Posts tagged ‘Charleston Village’

Morning Journal- The Punishing Press- Part 3

Part One : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/13/morning-journal-lorain-the-punishing-press/

Part Two : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/14/morning-journal-lorain-the-punishing-press-part-two/

 

ED NOTE As I  revisit the situations in the early  part of this century  I  am amazed at the amount of time, energy  and money  wasted. The 2004- through  2007  wheeling and dealing. Most of it centered around this old neighborhood, which  of course is why  I  became involved and why  I  came up  against the press and politics. Naïve is the word I would describe myself.  Reading the harsh  words today  as I  went through  articles  and posts  of an Editor and a Mayor of that time.

I couldn’t help  but think  today

  “ I  was not a politician, I  did not hold a job of work with  the city  or county  or with  anyone else.”

 

I  suppose I  was visible in the public eye due to  all the volunteer situations and events from producing Lorain Community  Music Theatre productions of Brigadoon and King and I , saving the Palace – Palace Players, one of the founders of Charleston Village Society  and a great many  other hats all of which  did not bring me in a penny and cost me personally. Looking back  and with  hindsight I  should have walked away  years ago.

However, I  was pilloried in the press and  by local government administration  as a “VOLUNTEER”- if this can happen to  me it can happen and probably  did  to others.  This is the reason I believe  this  regurgitating of “old news” is warranted.

Winston Churchill said,

“The further back you can look, the farther forward you can see…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apart from selling us ( Lorain’s oldest neighborhood) down the river – or on it  by  Foltin , Cole and the Shawnee , the gathering storm  of the Foltin Follies hit  Lorain Portside  with   not one but two  blight studies and to  hell with  this old neighborhood and its people .

( Planned Blight ) was also  on the agenda for the dismantling of the oldest greenspace in the county – now known as Veterans Park. Once again Cole , Foltin and Prudoff gathered together in the tower of power to  make this happen for the developer Jon Veard.  The paper calling that little slice of Lorain’s tangible history  a “piss park”

 

Unfortunately  I  cannot link directly  to  those editorials they  have disappeared , as has most of the Wom Blog articles at the time . I did however, manage to  save  some although  the links embedded originally are “broken” through  accident or design. A lot of revisionist history  happens in Lorain.

Let us start with Blight. As a founding member and co  chair of Charleston Village Society  ( 1986 to  present and a 501C3. )

http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/feature.shtml?f=375llage

I received phone calls from the neighbors over on the Portside section of our neighborhood

A Mr. Gould would be coming into  their homes to  start a blight study.”

This was also  around  the time Eminent Domain for  private  development was  being used  see Kelo case https://ij.org/issues/private-property/eminent-domain/

We (CVSI)  did some research  and informed the neighbors NOT to  let Mr. Gould onto  or into  their property  and homes.  We fought with  what little resources we had and travelled to  Washington D.C to  meet with  the Institute of Justice , became  “friends of court for the Norwood Case” .

The Norwood, Ohio Eminent Domain Trial

 

With  the help of the Institute of Justice  – Gould and Associates could not meet the required percentage  to  “blight the neighborhood”- the first step  in eminent domain .

On April 10th 2006 I  testified before the State Task Force on Eminent Domain ( Ex  Lorain Mayor Joseph Kozuira was a member of that Task Force.  part of the testimony was as follows:

We believe the citizens and taxpayers are the last to know. In the Portside case it is the taxpayer that is paying the $125,000 for the study- $50,000 from our Utilities Dept -$25,000 from the Lorain Port Authority and $50,000 from the city- ALL dependent upon the tax payer and yet we were not informed of the ordinance or the fact that our money would be used. Every time a toilet is flushed in Portside they are paying for their homes to be under the tool of eminent domain. This evening (April 10th) they are asking the City to remove them from the study.

The designation of Blight in Lorain gives the following options to the city: the tool of Eminent Domain, TIF funding, and zoning changes and readies the area “in case a casino” or another concept comes across the board. Blight designation HAS worked well in Lorain with Harbor Walk but that development was different in the fact that the city and the developer (who owned the property) took a disused shipyard and turned it into housing and a marina. It is a wonderful asset. The difference being that there was financing in place, architectural drawings and “real plan” not concepts or visions. The community was aware of the project, it was no secret.

The city of Lorain has contributed to the housing infrastructure problems; the city of Lorain has NOT enforced building codes,

brokehomes

therefore contributing to the deterioration of our homes and infrastructure and NOW say-“oh the area should blighted!!”

ED NOTE:You  can access the whole testimony  here Eminent Lorain V

Are you  adding up  these costs to  the taxpayer for the Shawnee, the Blight ? can you  see why  I  was an irritant in the underwear of Foltin and Cole.  Who  the hell was I  to  point out the “waste” and meddle in their plans?

And then came the Park TAKE OVER-  Lorain’s Oldest continuing green space from which  the City  of Lorain was platted and born :

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/the-history-park-1812-201-hundred-years-a-recorded-city-park-veterans-park-lorain-ohio/

“In the closing months of 2005 the Foltin Administration along with Community Development Director Sandy Prudoff, Jon Veard and Morning Journal editor – John Cole, in their infinite wisdom, decided the historic park should be condos. Foltin and Co started the wheels in motion to make this little park unworthy of its heritage .
Mayor Foltin quietly stopped work and maintenance on the park so that after a period of months the park and its infrastructure started to rapidly deteriorate. The fountain no longer was turned on, said to have major problems ( which turned out later to be a false statement)- graffiti wasn’t removed – only the grass was cut – the vagrants were allowed to use it as John Cole’s editorial stated as a “piss park”. In truth Craig Miller the Safety Service Director told me the park would be “blighted”. Events happened when Jon Veard let the plans out of the bag prematurely and I, along with others, started fighting to stop this fiasco of finance.

And John Cole really  had a field day  with  me and his editorials :  However, I  do  have to  thank  him because it was “HE”  who  gave me the moniker “that woman” hence the name of this blog ….. Of course I  was also  named a crank, blowhard and history bonehead…..Nice

To  be continued………

 

 

April 15, 2020 at 12:18 pm 1 comment

How does your garden grow? Part One

I love flowers , eating the vegetables and looking our the window at my  garden and the ponds  BUT I  hate gardening. In the long before the turmoil that has struck this home especially  in the last few months I would , in the springtime, have a blitz for one day  in the garden. Usually  it was to  get my  husband to  move  the stuff that had accumulated over the fall and winter and tidy  up. I really  don’t like weeding , digging in the dirt and getting all hot and sweaty but I  love the results when my  garden looks full of flowers  and the pond and the waterfall wakes up  in the spring.

 

The pond I have written about and the Ghost Koi

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/the-ghost-in-the-pond-continued-2015/

Purchasing the vacant  lot next door in 2015  was a huge drain and investment of time and energy.

Illness interrupted the rehabilitation of the now vacant lot, my  ideas and wants had to  be put on hold  but eventually  thanks to  the help  of two  little boys who  moved so  much  dirt  the ground was level. I was amazed at how much  these two  little tots worked and how much  help  they  were. I  am still amazed!!!

 

The once vacant lot was divided into  two sections and the back  section I decided on a mini orchard with  still ponds , plantings consistent with non filtered and pumps water gardening. In other words letting the plantings in the ponds filter the water with  no  fish.

Considering we are two  blocks from Lorain’s downtown this was a bit of a novel idea for Lorain, Ohio. After a season of raw builders dirt used for fill where the previous little house had been ,

dodging the concrete and rubble that had been dumped in what was a ravine and small rivulet that runs under the property  next door we managed hit and miss plantings of the trees for the orchard.

 

My  husband would use the back part of the original lot as his vegetable garden, we flourished with  tomatoes, peppers, potatoes ( planted by  the grandchildren ) corn and asparagus.

 

And so success for a couple of years, the planted orchard of two  cherry  trees, one peach  tree , one pear tree, two  apple trees and a plum tree blossomed beautifully. It took a couple of years but this year they  all bore fruit and that is another story to  come in this urban orchard.

The front part of the vacant lot was planted more formally I envisioned climbing roses on the fence and archways, the side rockery  full of roses, butterfly bushes and lavender for the fragrance as we opened the windows.

We have a lovely  balcony and it was my  mother’s pride and delight to  empty  the containers , refill with  new soil  and planted fresh  every  year with  all the plants she received on Mother’s Day. Of course watering was an issue as the balcony  is in full sun and south  facing. Mum, being mum was forever weeding out the errant weeds that somehow made it to  the containers and would water  twice a day.

 

Last year as she fell into  decline at 99 she did not have the strength  to  plant and water so  that job fell to  me. My  mum loved those flowers and her bedroom was off the balcony  so she would sit and enjoy  the garden from above and sit amongst her flowers.

It has been a terrible few months one way  and another , my  mother passed in October and January  found my  husband extremely  ill ( as has been documented in the series  )

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/medical-care-a-consumers-perspective-brookdale-pt-2/

Time and weeks slipped from dead of winter to  spring whilst the garden lay  dormant , my  thoughts were not of how to  manage the garden or ponds.

Trips sometimes twice a day  for hours dealing with  medical issues left me tired, frustrated and lacking energy . I admit it took what was left of any  energy  to  keep  the house running and laundry  up  to  date. I had no  time or desire to  deal with  anything else.

 

In order to  wind down before bedtime I would watch  my  British  murder mysteries and also  programs from Britain on gardening, basically  because they  took me back  to  the land of my  birth, to  familiar places and happier times . One such  program and presenter / gardener extraordinaire is a chap  called Monty  Don,     https://montydon.com/

he has numerous garden shows but the one I  would watch every  week on Britbox

https://www.britbox.com/us/

is Gardener’s World

https://www.gardenersworld.com/

and there by  hangs the rest of the tale on how my  garden grows this year and the way Britain is  rewilding and cultivating the pollinators one flower pot and meadow at a time !!!!! https://www.housebeautiful.com/uk/garden/plants/a28574537/wildflower-seeds-garden/

 

‘Wildflowers are often capricious so if you have the space, create varieties of habitats within your garden – shade, dampness and wild. You can also, within reason, harvest the seed of our more common wildflowers from the wild.’

More so now than ever, gardeners are being urged to transform parts of their garden into wildflower meadows to help save the bees. The UK has seen a vast decline in the number of bees, and with 75 per cent of all food crops requiring pollination, the rapidly declining bee population has been cause for serious concern.”

and help  the sunflower kisses

 

To  be continued

August 18, 2019 at 4:33 pm 7 comments

My roses their guns – walk away from Lorain?

I don’t need a little Christmas- I need  new leaves, blossoms, daffodils, tulips the sound of splashing water from the ponds, grass that is green . I need mother nature to  take me away  and screen me from  those that dwell in the “hood”.

I  can look at the snow drops peeking through  and imagine I  am far far away in a woodland  dell instead of the “No  Exit” that we are living. I use  mother nature and her children – trees and shrubs flowers and vines to  build a barrier between them and us.

I have been planted here  because I  chose a young, brown-eyed , perfect teeth  of a guy and followed him to  Lorain  and this house. It has been home for over 40  years now. And the issues and problems with  purchasing in a neighborhood that was transitioning has been well documented on this blog.

But in the past 10  years the bank dumps especially  with  the “Blue House” have lowered property  values – caused the neighborhood  that was at one point stable and going back to a more respectful quiet and family  area to  take a nose dive. 1121 W 4th   now owned by  one  MARRERO – RAMOS MIGUEL  . His “tenants” who  obviously  feel we should appreciate their  foul language and loud – gun totting lifestyle as they hemorrhage it all over the rest of the block.

2012 I knew that this was going to  be an issue from the very  first day  it sold…… after being dumped by  the bank

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/banks-banking-on-lorain-business-of-blight-devaluing-lorain/

“Well First Federal Savings of Lorain I have seen and “heard ” the “people” who have come to see your listing . I spoke to a couple of them as the parked on the lawn next door under my dining room window- as I informed them they were parking on another’s property and that it wasn’t a driveway – they knew and didn’t care- they were buying the  blue house? SIGH. Oh! and quite frankly I am dreading the rest of the summer thanks to you and your “business” decisions .

You, First Federal Saving of Lorain have, in my opinion, “dumped your unwanted housing” from $56,000 to 28 thousand (buy back )to 13,900 listing just two months later . NOTE sold for $12,500 – Great !!! And let us face it – it was your bank that made the decision just a few short years ago by giving a mortgage to someone unable to pay it in the first place that set in motion this chain of events.

You are responsible, in my opinion, for what will ripple out and effect this neighborhood. Don’t forget, you were also the mortgage holder and foreclosed on the other neighborhood house next door 1125, W. 4th street– now scheduled for demolition

AND then

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-one/

 

Flash  forward 6  years later and many  issues – the brown house was demolished- then came the highway  cut through  and parking wherever the needed to  park… boats, trucks and vehicles. I  suppose it was just a nuisance to  me and mine that we had to  live with  this disrespectful behaviours.

We  finally  purchased the lot next door  1125 W 4th   (2016)  duly  fenced , planted shrubs, trees, ponds and plants to  make our little corner of the world  a place for respite .

I argued there was hope for Lorain and this area , even knowing that it was an uphill battle due to  business practices that have made the surrounding  neighborhoods a concern for anyone wanting to  open  a restaurant or bring in an  “up  market” healthy  business. It was going to  be local and piecemeal at  best. Through a 501C3 we have tried our best to  bring something of which  we can be proud to the area:

This particular house 1121, W 4th   – a rental- with  a plethora of tenants  in the three bedroom 1 bath  home- including a very loud lifestyle,. has a business in the form of a funeral home  behind them – The fence behind the funeral home parking lot was knocked down  and so  now exposes those  coming for viewing a view that I  am sure isn’t what they  were expecting :

March 11th  found a “flock” of “yard birds” swilling alcohol comparing guns and shouting in the alley  – and witnessed by  more than me.

In the front of the house, across the street is a Charter School, and since these people live back to  front their trash   etc is always s there bidding a warm welcome to  the parents dropping off their kids.  March  18th

Trouble is  we can nothing about the intimidation  the “fear of ones safety” and IF WE don’t feel safe in our own street and  back garden  then does Lorain honestly  think walking this street to  the local opportunities or parking in the neighborhoods  just blocks away is an option.

People read this blog who  are not from Lorain- they  use it to  research  the community – they  come here to  find out about Lorain-

This type of post does Lorain no  good BUT it is the truth , it is what has happened all over this Ward 2  thanks to  banks local , national and international ( all documented for years on this blog) , out-of-town LLC’s , multi property  owners who  don’t give a damn and a population that is being held hostage and quiet  through fear of retaliation.

This past weekend March  18  my  two  little grandchildren coming to  help  their grandfather tidy  the new lot – get ready  for spring were subjected to  a wild-eyed , irate  witch calling them and their “Nog” – as she hauled herself on the flat-bed of a tow truck they  have parked next to  my  fence – every  form of filth she could muster from her large loud mouth.

 

The cause of this “in retaliation tirade”   because I asked her on  Sunday March  4th  – as her music  cranked up  when she parked her vehicle in the alley  doors wide open   was vibrating every  window in the neighborhood .

My  request to  turn it down   was met with  a torrent of Spanish peppered with  “fu##” bitch .. was given the” talk to the hand” among the profanities pouring from her  and I said either turn it down or I call the police –

“you go backa in your house, bitch   I don’t need you… I gotta a new car and testing it out”

I said test it elsewhere – as she entered the house  the tirade of go into  your house mother- fu##er  .

Back  to  this past Sunday –  we were lighting the fire pit and preparing to  have the kids roast hot dogs (  nice American  pastime) apparently  Tonya of the Tow Truck decided  she no  likka my  smoke ( which  I  may  add was NOT  blowing east but south)  and hence the abuse.  Well I  have news for her I am allowed to  be in my  own garden with  my  grandchildren .

Unfortunately , as I  looked at the kids faces and what I  was seeing , I  became disenchanted , angry  and fed up !

The  littlest one now no  longer wanted to  be in the garden – he was frightened – they  didn’t know what was happening- they  aren’t exposed to  this sort of behaviors with  their neighbors and the oldest (  8) saying:

Nog, I am sorry  you  have to  live here

it dawned on me he felt like I was in some sort of hellish  world  so  unfamiliar to  him… I was seeing  our home through  the eyes of an 8-year-old and I  didn’t like what I  was seeing there .

Yes so  am I  – I said

There is nothing I can do…  This ward has become a  “glut of yobos” gone too far – the tipping point tipped.

– and thanks to  First Federal policies  and devaluing the neighborhood  ( in my  humble opinion) by dumping this house for $12,500    I can’t even sell this property   and my  grandchildren will not want their inheritance- far from over the river to  grandma’s house we go  – it will be “dump it” for what we can get -I   am not living there .

So  Lorain you  will  lose again ….  take that to  the bank!!!!!

My  roses against their guns ………. ain’t happening … 

 

 

 

March 19, 2018 at 4:24 pm 2 comments

Lorain’s housing- the owners of the dirty diaper- PT1

Come into my  parlor said the FLY to  the SPIDER – Lorain being the name of the FLY  and the SPIDER -???)  

Notorious Opponents of Exactitude

 

I am not an inspector, I am not a builder, I am not a politician ,  I am not a legal eagle , ( although in some cases around this  “wonderland”  the eagle fails to  fly )I admit I  have no  qualifications what so ever pertaining to  “housing” I am however an “expert taxpayer”.  I didn’t come down with  yesterday’s shower and I am not a complete fool.

I have written about housing in this city  for years on various blogs, been picked up by  national and local media- brought situations to  the fore- and still the same behaviours when it comes to  “predatory property LLC’s “continue …

Back to  Lorain City  Hall on October 19th  and the Demolition Board of  Appeals – ( why ? when I  said I was done!) because the icon house of  thousands of my  words and documentation was on the list. 1348 West Erie

 

In 2012 I  wrote about this house situated in one of the better areas and also along the main thoroughfare into  what is called “Lorain’s downtown, business , entertainment, waterfront, social service and law offices abound  District“-

In 2012, as  I wrote about this home,  we thought the house was one of the oldest , historically  speaking in Lorain according to  Ohio  Historic Inventory

only  to  do  some detective work to see the original house on that site was destroyed by   the 1924 Lorain Tornado . After the tornado a home was built over the original foundation  – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/lorains-history-mystery-the-wurmser-house-a-tale-of-two-houses/

 

It wasn’t another tornado causing this home  to be on the demo  list.There is a  blockage in the bowels of the building housing and planning system and Lorain’s right to  decent housing .

The system is clogged, broken and the cause of a lot of Lorain’s housing ills

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cartoon Source – Sannimas – https//www.sswm.com

So who or what  Lorain City  /  Lorain County  Dept is  helping to fill the dirty  diaper of decay , to  bugger up the system causing the foul stench  to  permeate Lorain’s  older neighborhoods , streets and if something is smelling in Denmark

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”

it is positively  putrid ( in my  opinion) in Lorain!

The social media will have discussions of conspiracy, kickbacks  and anecdotal evidence-  to  be fair  that has happened – ( William Desvari Chief Building Inspector under Mayor Craig Foltin)  comes to  mind .. Those decisions made during that time  have resurfaced just a few weeks ago

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/am-i-bovvered-lorain-fire-in-the-belly/

The mere fact reports stated from the Chronicle Telegram Newspaper that earlier in another administration ( Foltin) “inspections were “case closed” by an administration that was “landlord friendly” on this building.
http://www.chroniclet.com/Local-News/2017/08/07/Section-of-Broadway-remains-closed-until-Thistle-Building-is-razed.html

http://www.morningjournal.com/article/MJ/20120427/NEWS/304279955  The date on that particular article was around the same time the 1348 House documentation was starting to  be  written.

Even before that  2012  article the rot  was setting in , the “waste product “of”friendly inspections”    brokehomes      started to clog the flow. Yes   we did have the issues  of fraud  etc in the Building Dept.


http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/07/lorains_chief_building_officia.html

Desvari was placed on paid administrative leave in February while police investigated accusations of accusations of dereliction of duty, conflict of interest and issuing improper building permits against him. He was hired in 2003 for the $63,000-a-year job.

In 2004, he was charged with falsifying his job application for not disclosing felony convictions of fraud, forgery, theft and passing bad checks, all from Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court between 1987 and 1990.

And the tale continued http://www.chroniclet.com/news/2012/08/06/Former-Lorain-official-dies-while-awaiting-trial.html

You see it wasn’t that he was  a fraud and a thief  – known to  have issues, criminal  charges and legal issues  but the fact that HE WAS HIRED by the Foltin Admin in the first place is my  issue  .   And  WHY when the initial reports of his  “iffy  ” resume  reached us through the media  – where was our outrage -why  didn’t we use our collective voices to  say  NO!  this isn’t right?

Did not Mayor Foltin, at the time, do due diligence he was and is a very  intelligent person, you  mean to  say  he did not  check the on line university  for the degree of Billy  Boy was  well pretty  much non  existent. Well the diaper may  not have been full but it was fast becoming  smelly. There were certainly enough red flags back then but it seems  the Foltin Administration  REPUBLICAN- 2000-2008 were  red / green color blind.

Of course we also  had issues with  the next administration  this time DEMOCRAT- 2008-2012 Mayor Krasienko  – and that is still on going – a Safety  Service Director – Robert Gilchrist  ( also  a resume that had flags) who  was less than desirable  and one of whose participation in the loan program   is still under investigation by  the FBI- Photo source Gilchrist’s Mug shot ( but I ask you  who  is really  the “mug” in all this????

http://www.chroniclet.com/news/2016/07/08/FBI-probes-loan-program-by-Lorain-Development-Corp-ran-for-city.htmlhttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/tag/robert-gilchrist-service-director-lorain/

 

Of course the whole 5th floor of city  hall was also now starting to  reek from the odours  as to those in charge- we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Sandy  Prudoff – controversial  head of Community  Development for many  , many  years ……… http://www.cleveland.com/countyincrisis/index.ssf/2012/06/sanford_prudoff_former_lorain.html

Sanford Prudoff, former Lorain official, pleads guilty to conspiracy; will testify against Anthony O. Calabrese III

found also  to  be entangled with   Attorney  Calabrese who worked for the law firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP 

This law firm was brought into  the city  also  under the Foltin administration (according to  Lorain City  documentation)

http://www.morningjournal.com/article/mj/20131118/NEWS/131119348

Cleveland law firm to pay Lorain $3 million (with video)

http://www.cleveland.com/countyincrisis/index.ssf/2013/11/anthony_o_calabreses_former_la.html

You  can see why  people in chat rooms and face book pages call out corruption and kickbacks no  matter who  is in city  hall or on city  council . The smell of those involved  hasn’t gone away  and lingers on those who  now  work in the city  environment and I  can  see the diaper  being filled .

The smell oozing through the political cracks  did start  to  attract attention and although we can “hopefully”  eventually   catch  those  that add to  our  decaying housing, decaying building who  are found to  be crooks -gaining money  and power through nefarious means  –they  are the least of our worries .

No,  it is my  opinion what is happening now to  fill the diaper , which  is causing the blockage in the “system” of decent housing is far more dangerous- yes money   and a lot of it is involved , but LEGALLY –  which  is even more  horrendous than all the  fraudsters we have had though the years.  WE ARE INVITING THEM IN TO  THIS COMMUNITY –  we are the little fly  inviting in the great big money  grabbing salivating spider and its enablers!

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/when-vision-is-cloudy-property-holding-llcs-ny-times/

 

TO  BE CONTINUED ……………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 22, 2017 at 4:09 pm 2 comments

Money where your mouth Is – Part 7


Part One- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-one/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/june-3rd-your-truth-chris-ritchey
Part Two- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-the-process-part-two/
Part Three- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-3/
Part Four- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-4/
Part Five – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-5/
Part Six- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-six/

It was just over a  year ago when we were working to create a garden from the muck  and mire   lot next door. We could have just  taken down the large dangerous tree and mowed grass.

However, for many years I had had to block views from that lot- when it held one of the “rentals” of Lorain and finally the vacant lot of “long grass and critters – of both two legged and 4 legged kind.
Apart from the fact, I had made promises to the City of Lorain ,   we would make the lot desirable and would enhance the ambiance, stop the 4th street cut though from the alley and parking of marine and construction vehicles and accumulate trash, I needed to be able to find at least a little joy in looking out of my windows. I no longer wanted to shudder at the construction parking lot and marinas we had put up with for many months, the  tenants from hell in the little brown house as it slowly deteriorated. I wanted a little peace and not angst . Part 1 through 6 will tell you of that journey.

We were almost finished with the hardscape and clearing of  lower lot in July of last year (2016)when illness struck and the 2nd phase of the lot behind the fence had to take a step back.
Lower front 2016

and then same time  2017

The illness held up Phase 2 for at least two months. There we were with dump trucks full of in fill dirt needing to be moved and levelled, 9 trees- fruit and evergreen -to be planted and Lilly pond to be dug. What a mess we were in.

Also when we took down that very large tree so close to our house we realized that side of the house needed to be painted ( well Klinar of the Building Dept. didn’t have to tell me that I could see it.) This meant more expense as the whole house need to be painted.

I can’t say I didn’t have two willing helpers whilst their “Poo Bah” was in hospital – they worked that dirt….


They more than made up for the weed letter from the City of Lorain and Building Dept. complained to by the “King of Construstruction” ( which of course turned out to be Swiss Chard, Morning Glories and Mint on my property poking through the fence in the alley .


https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/municipal-manipulation-lorain-e-again/
One thing leads to another, apart from educating the city inspectors as to what is a weed and what is food we then had to stop  put screening around the chain link fence to contain the garden and plant tall “ornamental grasses “ to stop prying “alley commandos” from their vigilante inspection process”
The offending weeds ( spot the weeds in the fence ??)
and the same view after the screen of prying eyes fame

More expense and time and effort.

October 2016 found things getting better and the garden crew ( Gavin and Braedyn) were busy digging and the fruit trees were planted along with the layout for the “Lilly ponds”. The snows stopped work, but Spring found the need to put in a gravel parking spot and gravel along the alley – yet more money – but the fruit trees started to blossom, the Lilly ponds and dry stream bed feature brought flowers and smiles from behind the fence

Lilly pond and dry stream bed
Spring/Summer was busy this year peach blossoms in the mini orchard turned to peaches, apples, plums and cherries blossomed but another year is needed.

Scarecrows to guard the crops.
and planting to be done , ponds to be filled


Slowly the grass came in enough on the back lot-

then came the weed whacking and tidying

Sunflowers bloomed and sheds for tools put together

 and the corn grew,

Lily pads and still ponds thrived the sunlight

Roses Lilacs and rhubarb…

And a Scotch Broom sweeps clean 😉

So here we are 18 months later $20,000 dollars poorer – this put up a fence and a mini orchard and just mow turned into something much , much more than envisioned.  I am more relaxed and happy as I look out of the windows although the project that nearly killed the gardener…

but we have kept our word to the city administration and to ourselves remained true.

After Phase One we sent an update  of the front lot project to  the City  Of Lorain- we had used 6 local businesses, 10 ( men employed by  contractors) and spent $11,045.50

Phase Two  , we used  5 local businesses , materials, labor  etc came to  another $8,935.00 and still climbing ….

 The collage: Today Oct 2017:

 

Before

 

Soon the snow will fly  and next spring , hopefully all being well, tweeking will be done  and the gardens will continue to “bear fruit”.  Some have mentioned we were stupid to  put that amount of money  into  an empty  lot in “Low rain”  but this is our neighborhood, our home . We certainly  can’t make a difference on other neighboring streets, or  the “downtown” but we could make a difference on this old block, give the school kids and teachers a better view , show a little pride  and  put our money  where my  mouth is ! After all I  can’t criticize unless I am prepared to  do  my  bit to  beautify  this old neighborhood.

October 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm 3 comments

Many faces of The Captain- Settlers’ Watch- Lorain 2017

Photo Mark Teleha

As I started to write this post with regard to the tree carvings at Settlers’ Watch and their journey
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/settlers-watch-an-overview/
( yes you will see they have travelled over time) I realized we were coming up on the 10th anniversary of the first carvings. Time, bugs, road salt and weather have taken their toll.

But it is “The Captain” who has changed and was on life support for a year or more. We spent hundreds in chemicals and treatments and this is his story.

Born 2007 The Captain had a rough birth- CVSI had raised money to carve some of trees taken down by Ohio Edison – 19 of them along 2nd street making the street uglier and without any softness or much worth .

We had just started the carving – first up Lorain Portside Sign to coincide with the Lorain Bicentennial August 2007
https://www.flickr.com/photos/12219598@N06/

when a change in the plan for the new sewers blindsided us. Originally these were going to bypass the area BUT as with all things plans change and trees marked for carving were taken down ( without warning) and piles of materials were stored on the site. We had already taken donations and the carvings were contracted.

This meant since they chopped down his tree and the one destined to be Eric Barnes Eagle we had to purchase other pieces of wood to be carved into the Captain and Eric Barnes Eagle off site.
The eagle when finished was safely stored at inside at the City of Lorain but the Captain went to Black River Landing.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/the-captain-arrives-and-the-eagle-landed/

He was supposed to be sealed and not stored on concrete due to the heat coming up from the concrete and in direct sunlight- this didn’t happen . Unfortunately, in the ensuing months of not being maintained , the toll taken by summer and winter the Captain started with issues.

2007-2008

Photo Mark Teleha


When we finally brought him back to the site he was very dry and whilst the other carvings took a gallon of sealer for all 4 he took 2 gallons by himself, he was soaking it up like a sponge but he and the other carvings finally had a home

Photo Mark Teleha

There he stood spring , summer , fall and winter for the next 4 years

Lorain365

His other problem is he attracts seagulls – these seagulls have a tendency to sit on his hat and poop – that poop eats away at the sealer opening his wood up to the elements and bugs .In 4 years he went from this to this

And his issues continued:

It was one day (during Pride Day 3 years ago) as we went to give him a coat of sealer we noticed what looked like a bullet hole in his back. No! not a bullet hole BUT wood wasps had made their homes in him, and the Heron and Lighthouse.

The Heron and Lighthouse were a quick fix but the Captain had a attracted seagulls who delighted in sitting on his hat . Their guano had eaten through the sealer and the wood on the top of his head leaving a huge hole in his head – just brilliant for collecting water. .

Research was started as how to preserve him and his crumbling insides- Many hundreds of dollars later we tried with preservatives , bug deterrents – drilling holes in him filling him with the wood chemicals, stabilizing wood pieces and plugging him up. We reached out to professionals all over the country. We added a hat over his carved head until we could deal with the damage and the seagulls. We had to leave his head open to access his insides.

Photo Lorain 365

Try as we might, his rotted insides didn’t react well and the chemicals actually reacted with the sealer and the Captain turned a dark mahogany.

He was literally flaking to death – his ship’s wheel would find the stanchions falling to the ground, his arms where the wasps and insects had done the most damage were hollow and flaking off, shedding with every week. It looked like curtains for the Captain. Obviously none of the “professional fixes ” were working we had to stabilize him whilst we experimented – otherwise the Captain was sunk.

His hat was retied onto his head ,back to front to protect his face , his cracks and holes filled with a special wood compound but

would it harden- would it stay- could we carve it -like the can said?

We worked on the top of his arms and shoulders , replaced the wheel stanchions . covered his top half with a black bag to keep out the water and painted his lower half with a white preservative- and there he sat for most of last summer, fall and winter.

Photo Lorain 365

The unveiling was done with much trepidation this June

The test areas seemed to be holding so the next step filling the insides- no more bugs but cavities were still a huge problem, experiments with special insulation foam and various fill products seemed to work- he was less hollow and stable. Where the foam etc leaked out we could carve it and it held the wood product alright and so we left him without his black bag and the water was shedding off him .

So there we were – what next? Obviously we couldn’t leave him looking like he was and we could no longer seal it with the varnish- The men in the know-( his surgeons) decided house paint.. but that would look awful I thought but something has to be done to cover and seal the patches etc. House paint it was – Tudor Brown ( can you guess where that came from)- well it looks good on my house) – the problem was he looked flat and semi glossed… a bit softening and highlighting, the Captains face changed again –

He is a little grayer ( more like driftwood than mahogany this time around) – but then who wouldn’t be grayer after all he has been through- I know I am! Fingers crossed and if you would like to donate to the Captain’s Hat
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/passing-the-captains-hat-2015-update/

If you can see your way to helping to fill the Captains Hat – 100% percent of your donation goes to the project. We are a 501C3
Make checks payable to Charleston Village Society- ( Captain’s Hat in the memo line)
1127 West 4th Street, Lorain, Ohio 44052

There is still work to do at the very base and if this fix holds then hopefully he will remain at his helm for a few more years …Oh and his hat was put back on just incase a seagull alights!!!

July 26, 2017 at 9:54 pm Leave a comment

A tale of two “city” houses – downing of quality

Durand Map 1834

Many, years ago in a place called Lorain the settlers, pioneers of their day, in those early 1800’s built a foundation for this city of hard work, diligence and pride.

Families followed to work in the ship yards and steel industry. How wonderful for the immigrants to this country , state and city to have a living wage and able to “own” a home , dreams coming true. Neighborhoods grew , log houses became wood sided houses with porches and designed not for shelter only but for home and hearth, curtains hung , window shades drawn to be even with the next window, grass planted , sidewalks made an appearance , and bricked roads replaced wooden planks. The homes loved and admired.

Captain Wilford Home -416 Washington ( take a drive by today )

Ladies proud of their part in the growth of the community , starched white blouses , the very ladies who kept the those homes shining with pride, the daughters of the founding fathers .
2nd row no 7 – Mrs. Fannie Wilford – wife of Captain Wilford – Gillmore Civil War letters

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/civil-war-letters-fannie-gilmore-lorain/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/02/12/capt-wilford-a-hero-of-the-inland-seas/

There has been a plethora of history of those same homes on this blog and others . However, as you drive around these same streets today , you will notice missing windows instead of lace curtains or even window shades, you will see homes not kept with pride but hanging on to their last gasping breaths of “being”.

Did people and values change , that is up for debate, did the plethora of social service agencies located in a cluster in this area cause problems , again up for debate, administrations , city councils that came and went , did we suffer from party politics or lack of forward thinking and the consequences of one’s administrative actions?

One thing is not debatable is that in the 44052- and the old neighborhoods in what is called South Lorain something happened or ,in my opinion, didn’t and hasn’t happened – property accountability. So where does that leave us , those who are now stranded by economics and age who are still trying for a quality of life, homes built with love for “home” now home to heroin dealers and fences not surrounding gardens but “fencing the stolen goods”.

In this series I am going to look at what is, in my opinion, an issue that is one of the major concerns as to how we got this way. The tale of two homes – their paper trail – and conclusions………

As one official stated at a meeting ( paraphrasing) – There are people in the west side of Lorain complaining their neighbor’s fence is leaning on their property but in ( what is called old Lorain neighborhoods) we have people complaining the next door house is falling onto their property…

To be continued

May 11, 2017 at 3:47 pm 5 comments

Memory Lane – The Ladies who lunched and accomplished


I received a phone call yesterday from Barbara MacGregor and memories of good times in Lorain surfaced. I wrote about some of them in this post

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/ladies-of-lorain/

I was in my very early twenties when I first arrived, a Mrs. Osmundson of the “Lorain Chapter of the Welcome Wagon” knocked on our apartment door and there followed the introduction to the Ladies of Lorain.

These ladies , some of whom have passed away , then introduced me to the “volunteer aspect” that was and is Lorain. The ladies that saved the Palace Theatre, built Lorain Community Hospital, literally ran the entertainment for Lorain International , planned the ” Hospital Follies” and fundraisers, celebrated the “anniversaries” and gently bullied administrations, newspapers and public servants to join in and refused to take No for an answer . They organized their projects and committees with a battle plan and strategy that would have made any General proud.

Ruth Calta, Jean Schaeffer, Marylou Connone, Lori Hoke, Barbara MacGregor, Corky Bruck, Charlotte Zakowski, Jane Baran, Jane Norton, Lou Kepler, Alice Weston, Phyllis Pfaff, Sally Bobel , Lilly Yuzon, Sally DeLuca , Mirium Schneider , Jean Anne King , Lee Mattei, Darlene Brown , Mrs. Robert Bostwick, Mrs. Dave Herzer , Carol Kramer, Frances Cellozzi, Marie Bonaminio,

and so many others whose names have faded with my memory . Some of these ladies are still volunteering and making a difference in Lorain everyday.

Barb had called to tell me of the 40th anniversary celebration of the Palace Theatre and of burning the mortgage
http://lorainpalace.org/theater/

“December 10, 1977 was a landmark date. On the stage of the theater that night following a Christmas musical program, the mortgage was burned ceremoniously, thanks to the generosity of many groups and individuals.”

Oh those were the days before the mortgage could be burned though fundraising took place at 319 Broadway ( the annex)

” Forty civic groups participated in this week long street fair, Stores soon to be torn down were converted as if by magic into an old fashioned ice cream parlor, a “Second-Hand Rose” shop, a casino, a book and plant store, an open air barbecue, international shops, etc. The Saturday night “Great Gatsby Party” at the Palace climaxed the week’s activities.

Civic Center Madness – Oh and it was, the ladies served lunches , painted poppies on pianos, sold artifacts-


I still have a little chair -was left after one auction in a terrible state – it was headed for the dumpster when Ruth Calta decided I should buy it for a dollar – and you didn’t say no! – rehabbed and upholstered is still with us – a memory of can do!

I was just a young newly married transplant when Jean Schaeffer decided I needed to be introduced.

There was so much joy- energy – a pushing ahead through problems- these were the “can do ladies” and they did and they pulled each volunteer along with them in their net of enthusiasm. These ladies who saved a theatre and built a hospital. The Great Gatsby Party – what great fun – The Palace Players and Henry 8th night- not to be forgotten-

Cover Arcade MJ

As Barb and I talked, I remembered a time of energy and of loss of those ladies no longer with us- 40 years of life tends to do that. Still the Palace is there a testament to perseverance and pride- still needed in this old town.

April 19, 2017 at 4:06 pm 3 comments

Lorain Dudes- Maintenance-The Watch- The Walk -The Site

February– who knew there would be a window of weather where those who volunteer for the areas known as “Settlers’ Watch”,

Photo Lisa Miller

Photo Lisa Miller


Admiral King Tribute Site
AK 2 without tower
PHOTO Lisa Miller
Photo - Lisa Miller

Photo – Lisa Miller

Eric Barnes Heroes Walk

could get out in the sunshine and do some maintenance.

This is a very large area- Three completely different “honorings” of Lorain’s heroes – military, pioneers and her history. It takes a great deal of work to maintain and if I am honest more than I thought it would take.

It is something the powers that be should remember when the come up with grandiose ideas of – this and that locally- all well and good to have the grand openings etc BUT maintenance is the key to all things – from streetscapes, potted palms, to housing and buildings.

If you haven’t walked the walk ( in more ways than one) you will see over the past few years there have been, so many rose beds, perennial flowers, shrubs, trees, and secret gardens added
allyssas-rose
May and June literally burst forth with fragrance and color. However, it takes a huge amount of love and effort to keep this area in the “oldest neighborhood” ticking over. shed collage
The additions , the repurposed the plants and trees donated
beckers

ALL take maintenance, talk and more talk and meeting just doesn’t cut it. The little lighthouse shed lost some shingles over the winds in January. The flags put out to honor were looking forlorn . Seeing a break in the weather the littlest volunteers ( who take this job very seriously) and old ( er) granddads took on a task .
2ladres

chanflagresThe morning’s work went well , although I did mention to Gavin he didn’t have to say the pledge of allegiance for every flag he took out and replaced. (PHOTOS Lisa Miller)

Braedyn took his “military policing” of trash pick just as seriously
braelit
And after all was done a sit down to reflect the job ahead this spring and summer-

whose truck is that anyway????

btruck
Meanwhile Gavin decided to check the work of the “big boys” – seems it passed muster.

gavroofPHOTO- Lisa Miller
At the end of a couple of hours the policing of the areas, the flags changed out and a seagull back on its perch.

seagullres

There is a great deal to do everyday when the weather gets warm- Will you consider spending a day “honoring” – weeding , raking ? CVSI is always looking to add to our volunteers to walk the walk not just talk the talk………

Call 440-246-6046 or Email cvsilor@yahoo.com http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/

To be continued……….

February 26, 2017 at 4:05 pm 1 comment

Lorain -History Mystery- In conclusion – Clara

212-w18thres

Part One https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara/

Part Two https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt-2/

Part Three https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt3/

Part Four https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-part-4/

Part Five https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt-5/

Part Six https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-part-6/

Part Seven https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt-7/
Part Eight https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt-8/
ED NOTE Please click on any of the photos to enlarge
main-beam
The consensus of opinion is the pages found tucked away on top of the beam in the basement of 212 W. 18th Street are in all likelihood the writings pertaining to a “novel” or story. Clara, a character in a writer’s fertile imagination. The research turned up similarities of place names but nothing that could be traced either in Lorain or in Oklahoma. Just the intriguing Lorain Lumber letter head
lorain-lumberres
However, we were able to track the history of the home – and the family that probably built it “The Greggs”. Renee Dore and I were fortunate to have spent a lovely afternoon on Thursday with Mrs. Margaret Gregg. This gracious lady allowed us to look through family photos and documents to see if we could unravel just who may have been the author of the pages.

Frederick S. Lamb's painting of William Penn at the Brooklyn Museum

Frederick S. Lamb’s painting of William Penn at the Brooklyn Museum

The Gregg family has a long history in these United States, one of the documents from the Gregg family was a completed family tree from the 1930’s. The family traced its roots from Ireland and eventually to arriving in the “colonies” along with the group accompanying William Penn. http://www.ushistory.org/penn/bio.htm

A quick search found
Thomas Coulson Gregg born in 1794 and deceased in 1878 in Belleville Ohio –
His son William Alan Gregg born 1823 -1873 also from Belleville
However it was his son Emmett Gregg who was born in 1860 in Belleville but eventually found his way to Lorain where he passed in 1938.

emmettbw

Emmett Gregg married Barbara (Reiff) Gregg 1857-1937from Maytown Pennsylvania
barbres

Photos scanned from the original tintypes
Why Emmett and Barbara ended up in Lorain is anyone’s guess but more than likely came for employment.

What is known is that the Sanborn Fire Maps for 1900 show what is now 212 W 18th as being 314 Forest and the dwelling footprint was very different on the 1900 Sanborn Fire Map
314forest1900

but that can be explained, as in amongst the Gregg family photos was a photo ( enhanced) of the Greggs home a small cottage – written on the reverse.
gregg-cottageres

Was this the dwelling shown in 1900 Sandborn Fire Map? When we spoke to Margaret Gregg she remembers the home was added onto ( or possibly rebuilt??) early on .
In June 1905 according the Sanborn maps more changes had been made – it looks like the garage ( outbuilding) had been added.
1905 Sandborn Map
1905-314res
What we do know is that by 1910 the footprint had changed again
1910 Sandborn Map
212-18th1910
The 1918 Sandborn Fire Map and 1926 through 1940 see minor changes
1918-res
1926res
1912 Tax Map for the city we have Emmett and Barbara Gregg listed as the owners of the property.

1912-tax-mapres
Emmett and Barbara had a son George in 1882 he passed in 1947
hsgeorgeres

George married Cora (Dyce) who was from Florida –

Cora followed her husband George back to Lorain and back to 212 18th Street. Cora was exquisite- the head and shoulders shot ( complete with Marcel Wave hairstyle) from the family album shows such. Unfortunately, we were scared to remove the photo from its folder due to the condition of the album fearing we might do damage . We do have a picture of her with her young son Donald ( Margaret’s eventual husband ) in 1932/3
cora-donald-1932

George and Cora ( thanks to the research by Rick Kurish) listed themselves in the 1930 census as to their occupation as Lecturer in a Traveling Show.
Audience photo source River Time Players
1920_audience
http://www.rivertimeplayers.org/tent/tentshow.asp

These shows were extremely successful in the US and elsewhere .George and Cora it seems were quite the artistic couple – a life of audiences and stories . George seen here posing was quite the “dapper” gentleman georgeres

The vocation of George and Clara also is confirmed by family history. George and Cora were heavily involved with the Circus and Traveling shows of the 20’s and thirties . Margaret told us that Cora would love to tell how she had visited all 48 states and the provinces in Canada.

Don’t I wish I could talk to Cora of those days?

However, back to the pages and the mystery as to the author. Margaret, Cora’s daughter -in- law, doesn’t remember anyone ever mentioning anything like the story or writing .

Renee and I sat on the couch and poured over old writings, photos and family papers hoping to find a similarity in the penmanship.
Cora’s hand was very different to the hand that wrote the pages. Just when we felt all was lost we came across another picture of Cora – The Florida girl and the snow circa 1927
cora-snowres

It was with a great deal of excitement we found written on the back of the photo

“It took as great deal of coaxing to get the Florida Girl to sit right down in the snow for this picture but she did”

writingres
And there is was the same handwriting as the pages, comparing the style of the words to those of the delicate pages, the “d’s” the a’s the I”s the B’s the “she” and the girl with the capital G- there was no doubt the writer of the pages was the same person as the writer on the back of the photo.

The conclusion was reached by myself, Mrs. Margaret Gregg and Renee, after comparing writing styles , the writer was not Cora but Barbara Gregg. Cora’s mother – in- law.

clara-let-5col
Barbara Gregg passed away in 1937 – was that the reason we will never know who murdered Bob Sandford? What was the rest of Rose Flemming’s story? Who was Clara and what was her mother’s secret? . Why were the pages tucked away all those years ago? We will never know unless somewhere in that old house there are other pages.

Barbara Gregg’s pages have now been published , the story forever on the internet , her life and times documented and along with her writing has taken us all on a “history tour”

Many thanks to the Gregg family for their permission to continue the story, the photos and a special thank you to Margaret Gregg who was so charming and helpful.
And a thank you to Dennis Flores , who showed up at my door with a file of very, very special writings.

The End???????????????

January 29, 2017 at 3:38 pm 15 comments

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