Wednesday, May 27, 2009

my current Sales Practices Manual tells me I am not to be engaged in blogging activity

I have never used this or any other blog for professional purposes.

That being said,  I am aware, as of today, that, for considerations relating to my registrations with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA),  I am not to be engaged in blogging activity. Therefore, this is my last blog post; here’s the proximate rule, the one that most closely affects me:

Prohibited Activities
The below list is not intended to be inclusive of all of the instances in which the Firm will prohibit a communication with the public; rather it is intended to demonstrate some of the most common types of communications that are not approved. . . .
. . . Blogs: Interactive electronic forums such as blogs subject a member firm to various supervision and record keeping requirements. As such, no employee or affiliated person with the Firm may participate in blogs or other similar interactive electronic communications such as chat rooms.
WSP Online: Current Manual

And another, less proximate:

Electronic Chat Rooms, Blogs and Bulletin Boards
The fact that an individual is registered subjects him/her to a higher standard than members of the general public. Given the fast-paced environment of chat rooms, blogs and bulletin boards, casual or off-handed statements have the potential of crossing the line between being a reasonable opinion and an exaggerated or unwarranted claim. Because of the difficulties of supervision and the potential liabilities from participating in these forums, many firms limit or prohibit participation altogether.
Chat room participation by RRs is considered a public appearance. Therefore, RRs must follow the same requirements for participating in a chat room that they would if they were speaking in person before a group of investors. There are no filing requirements, but RRs are accountable under FINRA Conduct Rules and the federal securities laws for what they say regarding securities or services. Also, member firms are responsible for supervising the business-related activities of RRs including chat room participation. Remember, these rules apply regardless of whether an RR is in the office at home or a public computer.
In general, blogs and bulletin boards are considered advertisements and as such, all the content standards apply. Depending on the subject matter, firms may need to file these postings with FINRA.
RRs who are considering hosting a bulletin board, blog or chat room should contact their compliance department to determine whether such activities are permitted and what procedures may apply. Member firms must supervise the operation of any securities-related blog, bulletin board or chat room hosted by an RR or by the firm itself to ensure compliance with FINRA Conduct Rules and the federal securities laws. For example, a member firm may limit when commenters can post new messages to times when such messages can be monitored. A member firm may also require commenters to register and agree to abide by the terms of the Web site, including limitations on content.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tomorrow at 11:00 AM: Denison Cemetery Memorial Day Service

We’re planning on being there tomorrow for the Memorial Day service’ this is a place of memories and history. One of the best speeches I ever heard was delivered here impromptu by Ruth Ketteringham at the Memorial Day service in 2006, a few months before her death at age 99 at the end of July. She was in a very special place at the time and spoke in metaphors that transcended our particular service, yet applied beautifully. I remember she spoke of God, water, gifts, stewardship, conservation, and creation.

Gloria put this notice on a couple of our other blogs earlier this evening:

Who:  A group of friends and neighbors are called together by another neighbor Rick Nicholson each year to remember those who served our country—living and dead.  We give thanks for those who protected the freedoms of our country so that we can live without fear. 

When:  Monday May 25, 2009

               11:00 am

Where:  Denison Cemetery, 2300 Ellen Alley, Cleveland, Ohio 44109

               Turn left Off  Pearl Road onto Garden Avenue  (north of Denison Avenue)

Posted by Gloria Ferris at 5/24/2009 07:16:00 PM

More background on the former Brooklyn Centre Burying Ground is at pp. 119-120 in Reflections from Brooklyn Centre: Presentations and Oral Histories from The Brooklyn Centre Historical Society. Links to information on the cemetery appear at--

Denison Avenue: Denison Cemetery Memorial Day Service

Thursday, May 21, 2009

great ideas from mid-state: The Lazarus Building creates a distinction for Columbus

Here are a few great ideas about sustainability and preservation coming out of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.  The ideas are both specific to the Lazarus project and also applicable to “green buildings” in general. I’ve provided the entire text here in case the site page goes away after a while.

The Lazarus Building

Once a thriving department store and Columbus landmark, Lazarus has been renovated into a premier "green" office space. Located in the heart of downtown, the Lazarus Building is once again a prominent destination due to its innovative method of redevelopment. The method included recycling more than 75 percent of the materials removed from the facility and the inclusion of a rooftop living garden which keeps the building cool. The Lazarus Building is the most significant "green" building in the country and is certified Gold through the LEED Program. The Lazarus Building provides space for 2,600 jobs in Downtown Columbus.

History/Value of Renovating the Lazarus Building:
  • Important not to demolish the building – it's a community and historic landmark.
  • The Lazarus Building is actually seven buildings, the first building – the East Building – opened in 1909. The other additions were added over the following 60 years. Reconstruction involved dealing with diverse structural systems, differing elevations, unseen and unknown conditions. Significant aspects of this project resembled an exercise in urban archaeology as much as executing 21st century construction.
  • The renovation was a tipping point and a showcase for Mayor Michael Coleman's "Get Green" program.
  • The renovation of Lazarus could be viewed as an "anchor" for the redevelopment of downtown.
  • Lazarus could be a "sample box" – an example for all of Columbus and Ohio to better understand what it means to develop a landmark building with environmental sustainability as its central focus.
  • A larger objective was to enable residents of Columbus and surrounding areas to utilize the Lazarus Building as a "teaching tool" and learning experience for students, real estate professionals such as contractors, architects and developers, and residents working or living downtown. Through displays, exhibits and tours, they can understand the lessons of Lazarus and utilize these lessons in their daily, personal and professional lives.
Six major hallmarks of "Green Buildings"
  • Sustainable Development
    • The recycling of existing buildings, such as Lazarus, rather than building new buildings both conserves resources and helps revitalize urban centers.
  • Energy Conservation
    • Buildings use 65 percent of all electricity within the United States.
    • Efficient building systems and “daylight harvesting” for Lazarus’ oversized windows and center atrium enable the building's energy systems to operate 30 percent more efficiently and at a reduced cost.
  • Clean Air and Global Warming
    • Buildings consume more than 40 percent of the energy produced in the country, adding to the emission of CO2 and other Greenhouse Gases.
    • Efficient mechanical systems, conservation and support for renewable energy sources such as wind power improve air quality and minimize the adverse impact of CO2 and other emissions.
  • Water Conservation
    • Water usage in U.S. buildings accounts for 42 billion gallons per day, which equals 88 percent of our nation’s potable water supply.
    • Lazarus' "grey water system" and highly efficient plumbing fixtures reduce water consumption by up to 80 percent.
  • Indoor Air Quality
    • Non-toxic adhesives, sealants and paints were used throughout the building, and adhering during construction to stringent air quality plan created a superior interior environment - conducive to increased worker productivity.
  • Resource Conservation
    • Buildings use 50 percent of all woods and materials nationally, while construction waste is estimated to account for 150 million tons each year.
    • Lazarus' recycling programs, during demolition, reconstruction and occupancy were all geared to conserve resources and reduce energy consumption.
Green Characteristics of Lazarus:
  • "Art Deco" lobby consisting of architecture similar to the 1920's, while utilizing 21st century materials.
  • 7-Story light well, efficient building systems and "daylight harvesting" for Lazarus' oversized windows and center atrium enables the building's energy systems to operate 30 percent more efficiently and at a reduced cost.
  • The lobby and all other finished spaces in Lazarus were constructed using recycled products or are considered sustainable.
  • The floor in the lobby is terrazzo from recycled glass.
  • The elevator and trim is recycled metal.
  • The wall trim is made from wheat board instead of customary drywall.
  • Bamboo was used as a flooring material because it’s a sustainable material. Bamboo is not a tree—it's a grass, and it grows like one. Many species of bamboo can grow two feet or more a day. When it's harvested, it need not be replanted, because it will grow a new shoot from its extensive root system. So bamboo renews itself readily, unlike hardwood trees, which, once cut, are gone forever. Bamboo is an endlessly renewable resource.
  • Green planted roof – 1/3 of an acre in size – with living plants reduces summer heat buildup.
  • Rainwater is harvested for cooling.
  • 75 percent of the construction and demolition debris was recycled.
  • Low-flow plumbing.
  • Energy efficient windows that reduce utility cost by 25 percent.
  • Recycled materials were used wherever possible.

The Lazarus Building recycled more than 50 percent of the materials removed from the project.

For more information on green buildings, visit

Lazarus Building

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jamie Janos appears in Artists and the Recession - The New York Times > Arts > Slide Show > Slide 4 of 10

Our friend photographer James O. Janos, raised on Mapledale in our Archwood-Denison neighborhood, was in the New York TIMES yesterday, along with a great, great backdrop of Cleveland.

Artists and the Recession - The New York Times > Arts > Slide Show > Slide 4 of 10

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cleveland, Ohio, medical mart may have to fend off another competitor based in Nashville, Tennessee: Central Planning tries to outrun the Capitalists

This whole medmart drill is getting to be delicious. I added the “Ohio” to the headline to make sure we didn’t get confused with Cleveland, Tennessee, or any of the other US cities called “Cleveland” which, as we shrink and they grow, we rapidly approach in size and mission-criticality. The drill thus far: First, our local lightweights introduce their friends as the major players and beneficiaries, and tell us we should be grateful that they’d even deign to look in our direction; then, they confiscate public dollars for their friends and for the local medical community by imposing a tax increase without putting it to a vote; then, they bog down as everybody sees the dollars in motion and tries to pile onto the FREE STUFF wagon.

That 1991 Oldenburg FREE Stamp down by the city hall takes on new levels of meaning for me every day. It is indeed a work of art, and I am beginning to become aware.

Entrepreneurs with capitalist leanings in New York and Nashville eventually notice the feeding frenzy around the central planning pork barrel and decide to fund what’s basically a good idea quickly and privately, thus doing an end-around on a particularly vulgar fray and display of greed. The Nashville people decide to use CNL for financing; Kennedy’s partner Vornado still has not stepped up and offered financing, being content to extort the local tax base until the game ends, one way or the other. Why hasn’t Kennedy offered to execute in a capitalistic way? Perhaps because he knows he’s frolicking on the North Coast of the Welfare-Queen State, with the lightweights?

I’d say it’s time to give the unvoted tax increase to the RTA for free public transit to match our free public education, add the kicker of beginning the MedicalMarijuanaMerchandiseMart (4M?) right now, on a street corner, out of a suitcase, and get private financing for the mart to hold the rest of the medical merchandising displays, just like the big boys.

If you want to be the first on your block, you gotta hustle.

And let’s get over these self-esteem issues. We are intrinsically wealthy in Cleveland, Ohio. We have a built heritage that is beyond compare, despite efforts of the Jackson administration and the banksters to demolish it. Our basic infrastructure is pretty darned good, too. We have a natural heritage that includes fresh water, a temperate climate, varied terrain, lots of wind, and the vestiges of forests of trees. Let’s not buy into the idea that we’re pathetic or needy, because we’re not; we’ve got everything we need right here, right now.

This city is not so ugly it has to tie a porkchop around its neck to get the dogs to play with it. Welcome to Cleveland, Chris. Now either put up some capital, or go home.

Cleveland medical mart may have to fend off another competitor based in Nashville, Tennessee - Metro -

Monday, May 18, 2009

a privately owned convention center, of all things

I’ve just returned from a 4-day stay in Dayton, Ohio, at the Hamvention. As a side note and disclaimer, I am not a ham, but found the trip an interesting excursion in the field of American Studies.

Besides the crowd itself, another very interesting thing was that the huge convention center complex used by the Hamvention is privately held, owned by a family. They are making a go of it without the help of the imposition of an earmarked county sales tax or the self-proclaimed expertise of the Kennedy family. It makes me wonder why nobody in these parts has proposed that the medical community here take care of their own business and their own MedicalMart, with their own money.

Hara Arena Information
Home to the Dayton Hamvention since 1964, The Hara Complex is as unique as its history. In 1956, Wampler Ballarena (a dance hall) was built as the cornerstone of what is now a 6-building exhibition center. Originally, the location was a thriving, family-owned fruit orchard. Today it is a thriving, family-owned entertainment, conference and exhibition facility. Very few such complexes are privately owned, even fewer are family owned. Hara has survived and prospered by combining the professionalism of one of the areas largest exhibition centers with the care and personal concern of a family business. It is a unique combination that serves our clients and patrons well.

A MedicalMarijuanaMart concept ought to have them tripping all over themselves to be the first Pfizer of natural and organic products, Mother Nature’s little helpers, swashbuckling capitalist ganja buccaneers. / Media

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

central planning fails again, as advertising kiosks fail to deliver

Finally, Henry Gomez got the figures we’ve been asking to see for years now, and the verdict is in: We the people of Cleveland did in fact finance these “street furniture” atrocities, allowing the recovery of startup costs by Omni Media before there was any money at all paid to the city. Once again, our elected help, following the direction of the hired help at central planning, show themselves to be the chumps of private enterprise. The central planner, Bob Brown, here seems to be siding with Omni; it seems he’s quite often not aligned with the public interest.

It took Omni two years to build and install the first kiosks. The company's first full year of sales was not until 2002, said Sandra Gallucci, Omni's sales manager and head of development.

For the next three years, Gallucci said, Cleveland's cut of the proceeds was canceled out for three reasons: Uncollected debt; money deducted to design and produce maps; and revenues lost because of kiosks being displaced by construction.

In addition, Omni and the city amended the contract to allow for fewer kiosks.

Brown said the up-front costs of maps and signs alone accounted for about $175,000 -- more than the city was entitled to under terms of the royalty agreement.

Omni determines royalties based on the previous year's numbers. The city caught up in 2006, when the storefront program received $37,136. The amount jumped to $72,841 in 2007.

But the six-figure paydays once considered a starting point have yet to be achieved.

When we were collecting signatures for the Put It On the Ballot initiative, people coming up East Ninth Street kept asking us for directions to a good restaurant, even though they’d passed two or three of these behemoth kiosks before talking to us. These aluminum hulks are not only superfluous, but they’re also in disrepair and out of plumb. They add to the visual clutter and mar the streetscape.

These obstructions need to be removed and scrapped so they do no further harm. The Omni Media parasites have already recovered their costs. They’re not performing according to projections; they misrepresented in a major way. So, amend the contract again. Clean the streetscape. Take back the sidewalks. Recover from Omni when you backcharge them for sign removal and new concrete slabs.

Omni, you came in here under false pretenses, so now take your boxes, fold your little Cleveland office, and go home. You were carpetbaggers anyway. Who brought you all in here in the first place?

It’s time for major change, yet this little freshening would be salutary and good for morale.

Advertising kiosks fail to deliver projected revenue for city's coffers - Metro -

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ferris’ New Website – for Apartments!

My cousin Rick sent this to me in a batch this afternoon, and I wanted to post it here for posterity, for when he's richer and more famous.

Indeed, it IS a jungle out there, and now you can rent through a local NEO broker.

Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2009 3:50 PM
Subject: Ferris' New Website – for Apartments!

Dear Friend,

I need your help! I have been working on a new internet startup with my business partner, Jon Pastor. The site is an apartment search engine (like Google) that scours the internet for every apartment listing in the U.S. (unlike Google, we specialize in apartment search only). We organize the results in a simple, powerful map/results page. We have ~1 million listings, which is 5x our closest competitor, and we just launched this week.

Please check it out at I would really appreciate your feedback and comments. In fact, if you're on Facebook, please become a fan of our Facebook page at and post a comment.

The map interface is particularly useful, try:

So if you, your kids, parents, friends or relatives are in the market for an apartment, please give it a try:

Thanks, I appreciate it, and please share your thoughts with me,

Rick Ferris

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Harlan Ellison -- Pay the Writer -- putting moochers on notice

As followup to Harlan's being Marcelled earlier in the matter of The Cleveland Arts Prize, here's Harlan's take on moochers, doing things for nothing, and getting things for nothing. I tend to agree--these secular nonprofit directors "wouldn't go for 5 seconds without being paid."

multiplying talents: Cleveland Heights pastor at Forest Hill Church takes cue from parable, gives congregants $50 each

Great story from our friend Mike O’Malley. Instructive, too.

It occurs to me now that we Roman Catholics are uniquely positioned to do the same, but on a larger scale. Instead of demolishing churches or shutting them down and having them reappear on the tax rolls, what if the diocese gave away a church to the congregation, to see what would come back? That strikes me as being the proper role of a conservator of the parishes’ aggregated assets, a trustee of the efforts of prior generations.

In the final analysis, it’s not about the money at all. The tail has been wagging the dog. It’s about people, and what our forbears put together for the support of a strong community then and now. The money was spent and the energy expended long ago to provide what we have now, and we must honor that, and conserve.

Again, we’re back to the old “Waste not, want not,” but it holds true.

Cleveland Heights pastor at Forest Hill Church takes cue from parable, gives congregants $50 each - Metro -