Thursday, November 30, 2006

Harry S. Dent backs off forecast to 2010

H.S. Dent Foundation--We were down in Worthington yesterday to meet with our friends at The Money Foundation and heard that futurist Harry S. Dent, Jr., had shortened up the cycle on his boomer forecasting just recently, doing so in conjunction with his mission of "helping people understand change." On his site homepage, I see that he has a new "Special FREE Update To Our Long Term Forecast" dated October 30, 2006. All I can say is that it's very interesting, or at least good fodder for cocktail party conversation. The other free offering next to it on the Dubai conferences is chock full of data, too, and should help broaden our thought horizons.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

so the people called, and then what happened?

Cuyahoga judges cutting down foreclosure backlog: I have trouble with the idea that there are no results shown with the program, and because it has no results, we throw more money at it--$400,000, in this case. So people called in, and then what happened to them? Also, pay attention to the comment about things moving along "without a hitch," as foreclosures happen faster and people more than likely are deprived of due process. Things may also move without a hitch if you avoid treating the problem, give everybody short shrift and the appearance of fair treatment (because there's an expensive, touchy-feely "program" in place), and rush the case through to the foreclosure. Who is being served here, anyway? One of the "program" spokesmen told me that KeyBank was their "business partner." Any questions?

"But most of the people were deep into foreclosure by the time they called, the study said. The team recommended that officials better publicize the program so homeowners can seek information before getting into a bad loan or ending up in court.
The county should enlist banks to help provide counseling and education and ask cities to point out homeowners whose blighted property may be a sign of hardship, the study said. CSU's team also recommended that the county consider finding emergency financing for homeowners in distress.
Mark Wiseman, who heads the prevention program, said the county delayed prominent advertising on billboards, radio and television because counselors had their hands full. The county expects to soon receive $400,000 from the federal government for counseling, which Wiseman said will pay for more services. "

Monday, November 27, 2006

the Thankification process

from RESEARCH Magazine, November 2006 issue, Bill Miller's closing column--somehow, this struck a funny bone today:

"Have you thought of anything to be thankful for? If the only thing you've come up with is being thankful that you're not a turkey, try this simple five-step process to facilitate the trip to Thankification .

Step 1. Have a shot and a beer.
Step 2. Inhale deeply through your nose.
Step 3. Reflect on the previous year, gently sifting through the tragedy.
Step 4. Give thanks for anything that is important to you.
Step 4. Exhale through your mouth.
Step 5. Have a shot and a beer.

Repeat this process until you run out of things to be thankful for or you lose consciousness, whichever comes first. "

Saturday, November 25, 2006

In Cincinnati, Life Breathes Anew in Riot-Scarred Area - New York Times

In Cincinnati, Life Breathes Anew in Riot-Scarred Area - New York Times: And here's the other NYT article today on the city, this one about our local urban resettlement, down in The Queen City. Oddly enough, Richard Florida gets no play here. The journalists are calling it "gentrification." I don't like the way they're loading the words. What's the definition of the "poverty pimp"? Whose interests are served?

"To hear the jackhammers and the booms and the nail guns," Mr. Baum said, "it's music to me."

Vine Street runs through the heart of Over-the-Rhine, a neighborhood of narrow streets and ornate brick buildings built by German immigrants from 1865 to the 1880s. After decades of decay in the area, gentrification is spreading north from downtown and south down the steep hillside of Mount Auburn. New condominiums, art galleries, theaters and cafes are bringing people and investment.

But poverty remains, as do drugs, violent crime and the stigma of the three days of riots in 2001. The riots effectively killed an earlier Over-the-Rhine renaissance, in the late 1990s.

The magic of Over-the-Rhine is in its compact brick buildings. Mostly two- to four-story walkups, few are significant individually. But together they create a historic district with a scale and grace reminiscent of Greenwich Village in New York. In May the National Trust for Historic Preservation listed the entire 362-acre neighborhood as one of the country' 11 Most Endangered Historic Places."

hopping into the Hipness Battle

Cities Compete in Hipness Battle to Attract Young - New York Times: This is oneof two NYT articles this morning on living in the city. Again, Richard Florida gets play.

"Mobile but not flighty, fresh but technologically savvy, "the young and restless," as demographers call them, are at their most desirable age, particularly because their chances of relocating drop precipitously when they turn 35. Cities that do not attract them now will be hurting in a decade.
"It's a zero-sum game," said William H. Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution, noting that one city's gain can only be another's loss. "These are rare and desirable people."
They are people who, demographers say, are likely to choose a location before finding a job. They like downtown living, public transportation and plenty of entertainment options. They view diversity and tolerance as marks of sophistication.
The problem for cities, says Richard Florida, a public policy professor at George Mason University who has written about what he calls "the creative class," is that those cities that already have a significant share of the young and restless are in the best position to attract more.
"There are a dozen places, at best, that are becoming magnets for these people," Mr. Florida said"

Friday, November 24, 2006

resources page for Sandvick Architects

resources for preservationists--Norm Roulet mentioned Donovan Rypkema's talk at The Cleveland Restoration Society the other day, which led me to this resources page put up by Sandvick Architects and featuring a good number of links about historic tax credits. It's worth the browse.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

he watched over me while I slept

Allen Ginsberg: Collected Poems and a Biography - Books - Review - New York Times: Heck, when I sported his poster (the one where he's wearing the Uncle Sam hat) on the wall (overlooking my bed, like some garogoyle guardian angel) in my college room around 1966 or 1967, I had no idea he was "queer," as we used to call it back then. We all thought he was just sort of cool and of the counterculture, like Kerouac and Burroughs and Terry Southern. Here, in a book review, is a lot more than we ever wanted to know about him back then. He's now a piece of history, whacked out as he finally became.

"Gay, in the lotus position, with a beard, wreathed in a cloud of marijuana smoke and renowned as the author of a “dirty” poem whose first public reading in a West Coast gallery was said to have turned the 1950s into the ’60s in a single night, Allen Ginsberg embodied, as a figure, some great cold war climax of human disinhibition. Ginsberg, the hang-loose anti-Ike. Ginsberg, the Organization Man unzipped. The vulnerable obverse of the Bomb. He had the belly of a Buddha, the facial hair of a Walt Whitman and — except for the ever-present black glasses that hinted at a conformist path not taken — he was easier to imagine naked than any Homo sapiens since Adam. "

doing the disparity numbers with Dr. Jerry

Income Inequality: The Haves and the Have-Nots: Here's some good data and common sense from Dr. Jerry Webman at Oppenheimer. One of his conclusions is that the solution lies in the classrooms. Read it all, but here's a teaser:

"“By show of hands, how many of you are concerned about the direction of the U.S. economy?” The hands often shoot up as if the audience were auditioning for a Sure Deodorant commercial. In the aftermath of the mid-term election, many former Congressional incumbents are left pondering this surprising result as well. The latest poll data shows that 55% of Americans rate the economy as only fair or poor while 54% say it is getting worse.1 How is this possible? Is my Blackberry lying to me?
The U.S. economy has grown over 15% in real terms since 2001. Corporate profits have more than doubled over that time period and stocks are up over 30% since the end of that year.2 Americans who want jobs have jobs, as the unemployment rate has fallen to five-and-a-half year lows of 4.4%, while worker productivity has reached all-time highs. So what’s there to complain about?
The disconnect stems from the unusual way in which this recent surge of prosperity has distributed itself through the citizenry. Here are some examples: Corporations posted profits of $1.62 trillion in the second quarter with earnings on track for 17% increase y/y in 3Q, while employers currently pay less of their profits in the form of salaries than at any other time since the Great Depression. The top 1% of wealthiest Americans now earn more than the bottom 40% (translation: the combined income of the 3 million wealthiest Americans is greater than that of the poorest 110 million Americans combined) while the top 20% claim well more than half of all income.3 And as 25% of families in the bottom income bracket struggle with debt that exceeds 40% of their annual income4, the average "

Florida: The Deadbeat State

The Columbus Dispatch - Local/State: Now that Noe's been convicted, we need to pay attention to how the restitution will work out. From last February, here's a tidbit about Noe's establishing residency in Florida. Does anybody have an update to this?

"But Petro, who filed a civil lawsuit against Noe and others to recover any state money found to be missing, has argued Noe used state money to buy expensive homes, cars, boats and other items.
Petro says the Noe and his wife, Bernadette, already have sold $2 million in assets -- including all their Ohio holdings -- in an effort to establish residency in Florida and avoid any restitution ordered. "

giving blood

Rejecting the Draft - New York Times: Here is a thoughtful piece on reinstituting the draft. The one thing left out is the discussion of how many young people may have already rendered themselves unfit for military service, and what will constitute the new 4-F classification. For instance, when you go to give blood, and read the things that exclude people from participating in this common community exercise, you realize that the young people of today have far more ability to marginalize themselves than we ever did. Many already have. What will the criteria be for the new 4-F, and how many of our population are already in that classification?

"...Representative Charles Rangel of New York plans to reintroduce his annual measure aimed at resurrecting the draft when the Democrats take control of the House in January. We don’t favor military conscription in general. And in this particular case, compelling military service won’t achieve the things Mr. Rangel says he wants, either.
Mr. Rangel wants to replenish an Army that is in critical condition, make the armed services more equitably representative of American society as a whole, and find a way to prevent future presidents from embarking on military misadventures. Those are laudable goals, but not ones the nation can achieve by bringing back the draft."

scientists find their voice, too

A Free-for-All on Science and Religion - New York Times: This is an article about how the community dialogues contend with each other and in the process throw light on the truth, somewhere in the middle of it all; here, the scientists begin to weigh in with their counterpoints.

"Somewhere along the way, a forum this month at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., which might have been one more polite dialogue between science and religion, began to resemble the founding convention for a political party built on a single plank: in a world dangerously charged with ideology, science needs to take on an evangelical role, vying with religion as teller of the greatest story ever told."

Monday, November 20, 2006

Cory the Crusader finds a way to keep a lid on Newark

Evicted From a Blighted Street, Newark’s Mayor Finds Another - New York Times: We need a lot more people like this so we can have all strata in our communities; neighborhoods used to be like small towns, and need to be that way again to prosper. Most people don't have Booker's courage or his moral imperative, but that's what it's going to take to win the cities back. He's not living in a gated community or a tax-abated development, either. When you read the article, notice the comments of his detractors. Here's Booker's basic strategy:

"Convinced that his very presence can have catalytic effects on a neighborhood, he said he would spend a year or so on Hawthorne Avenue. His new home, on the top floor of a three-unit building, looks out onto an elementary school. Eventually, he said, he would like to build his own house, ideally in another trouble spot. “I want to live in a place where I can leverage myself in the best possible way, where I can be part of the struggle for deeper justice in an urban community,” he said. "

perks for our public servants

The Taxpayers’ Chauffeurs - New York Times: This opinion piece has a novel idea: "public officials could take public transportation as a matter of public policy. "

I sat at a recent MeetTheBloggers session with Cleveland Ward 19 Councilman Jay Westbrook, and John McGovern began talking about how out of touch most people are around here with what public transportation offers, and how clueless most are about what it can do to be of better service. It should be an economic driver, and I don't think we see it as that around here any more. We have too strong a bias towards the car and tend to overuse it in the hopes of keeping our UAW friends rocking along.

Having all government people ride the public transit would shake out a lot of the bugs in the system and save us a lot on fleets of government cars.

Question: When a government employee takes a car home on a regular basis, isn't that a perk? Is it reported to the IRS as additional income? Are we losing tax revenue if it's not? Can we go back at the state and local levels and recapture these taxes? Isn't it the taxpayer ("we, the people") that pays for the car, the gas and oil, the maintenance and insurance? Can we have an audit, please, and a recapture for the public purse, if that's warranted?

All you have to do is to go to an ODOT meeting after hours to understand how many of these folks use government cars after hours. Do they take them back to the motor pool after the meetings? Drive down I-71 to Columbus any morning early and see all the commuters using government cars. Did they pick them up at the motor pool that morning, before 0500?

gimme shelter, gimme ad revenues

176 Newspapers to Form a Partnership With Yahoo - New York Times: Things are starting to move really fast. The culture is beginning to flip. This Yahoo move with 176 newspapers is thought to be a counterpunch to Google's deal with 50 a few weeks prior.

"In the first phase of the deal, the newspaper companies will begin posting their employment classified ads on Yahoo’s classified jobs site, HotJobs, and start using HotJobs technology to run their own online career ads.
But the long-term goal of the alliance with Yahoo, according to one senior executive at a participating newspaper company, is to be able to have the content of these newspapers tagged and optimized for searching and indexing by Yahoo.
In that way, local news — one of the pillars of the newspaper business — would become part of a large information network that would increase usefulness for readers and value to advertisers."

No Grunting: Planet Fitness & “The Judgment Free Zone.”

No Grunting, They Said, and He Was at the Gym - New York Times: This is a truly strange article. Read it all.

"At Planet Fitness gyms, grunters and other rule-breakers are treated to an ear-rattling siren with flashing blue lights and a public scolding. The “lunk alarm,” as the club calls it, is so jarring it can bring the entire floor to a standstill. (A lunk is defined, on a poster, as “one who grunts, drops weights, or judges.”) "

Sunday, November 19, 2006

nice save

MassTimes--Some Sundays, having missed the Saturday evening show at our parish, we start out with the best of intentions, meaning to go to early Mass at 0600, then deferring until some unnamed time in the morning, then realizing that the morning's slid by and we need to shop for salvation, to fulfill that obligation, on-line. MassTimes is good if you're procrastinating at home or on the road, and especially useful if you're Roman Catholic trying to show up regular, in spite of yourself.

Friday is "Greek Night" at Theo's

This past Friday, our friends at Theo's alerted us to their new "Greek Night" each Friday, which they're running until March sometime. Theo's is in our neighborhood and has Nick as their new chef. Many of you will know Nick from Carrie Cerino's. Gloria and I can vouch for the quality; we know food.

Theo's Old Brooklyn Grille
4250 Pearl Road
Cleveland, OH 44109


Opinions from PC Magazine: Hey Newspapers, it's 2006!--Pauly Shore used to have a way with words, and I'm sure he would describe the internet state of being linked as "link-age." John Dvorak weighs in, at the link, with a controlled rant on links, which leads to issues of usage, sharing, and copyright, all of which we are all running into lately, this past year.

time for scrutiny, everywhere

New York Library Officials’ Pay? Shhh - New York Times: Some of our public servants have, over the years, become the equivalent of nerdy rock stars and inflated their importance and their relative worth to the community along with their compensation. It's time to start taking hard looks at what we get for what we pay.
"In the world of charitable organizations and major public-private institutions, executive compensation has grown sizably in recent years. Those who defend the increased salaries contend that such costs are dictated by the marketplace for the most talented and expert people. Others, however, have complained that the often quite lucrative pay — while opaque to donors, large and small — has become excessive."

Saturday, November 18, 2006

relative value & internet service providers

Not Always Full Speed Ahead - New York Times: Here's a really good discussion of what all goes into broadband, and an attempt to help gauge the cost/benefit, and appropriateness.

"What is a megabit worth? And what the heck is a megabit anyway? These questions are hard to avoid for consumers trying to make sense of the fast-growing menu of options for high-speed Internet access."

look at what Knoxville does for Christmas in the City

City of Knoxville - Christmas in the City--This is one of our favorite other cities. Have a look at how they promote the downtown life for the Christmas season. They don't seem to be all hung up on making things politically correct or a-religious. They also have a series called "Sundown in the City."

Art House Holiday Sale November 18th, starting at 1100

Art House Holiday Sale REALNEO for all--Evelyn Kiefer posted this just yesterday, and it was the first I had heard of it; this is usually a very nice sale with great Christmas gifts. On Denison Avenue, just up from Pearl/West 25th. Check it out.

notes from the MTB Ed Morrison sit

Meet the Bloggers » Ed Morrison Director of the Institute for Open Economic Networks--Until transcripts show up again on a regular basis, here is my synopsis of some key words and phrases from the referenced MTB interview:

Friday, November 10th, Ed Morrison of I-Open met the bloggers over at the FUTURE Center for Design and Technology Transfer at 11610 Euclid, where David Moss is the director. The following keywords, ideas, and quotes appear in some way in the podcast:

David Allen; Jack Ricchiuto; ED (Economic Development); funds brokering; CDCs as gatekeepers, not promoters, depressing development; an imprimatur; “a set of civic disciplines”; brainpower, the real competitive advantage, unique on the planet; innovation, entrepreneurship; quality-connected places; branding, telling the story; civic habits; civic dialogue; collaboration; shared risk and reward; alignment; “deep exploration”; “deep engagement”; command and control; industrial mindset; shared meaning; a network world; deep collaboration; collusion; strategic conversation; “the new world of work”; 21st century skills; no longer being able to get a middle-class job with a high-school education; Greenspan; Medicare; aging scientists, global world; pre-Tom Friedman; Charleston, SC and Indiana; GE, Ford, Volvo and 20 years ago; several epiphanies; the Hiroshima engine plant; ocean freight; Beijing; The Commission on the Future of the South; brain science; leverage opportunity; early childhood; northern model of public-led financing; southern model of private-led financing; Research Triangle Park; ethanol; hydrogen; guiding the civic conversation, building political consensus through civic forums and having to move; The Port Authority; ODOTs Intermodal Transportation Plan; transparent and open; Purdue; setting metrics; quarterly forums, continuously aligning each 90 days; new modes of engagement; engage, mentor, use networks; “unnecessary civic vandalism”; civic vandals, deceit, gangsterism; Greater Cleveland Partnership pressure; Voices and Choices; flawed from the beginning; extremely expensive, $150 versus $3; a strategy versus a bumper sticker; appeasement, mollification, manipulation; a meeting and a process; discipline and simple rules; I-Open’s one simple rule: “We will work together in ways that build trust and mutual respect”; Lorain Community College; Fairfield, Iowa; high-leveraged strategies; Ponca City, Oklahoma; “It’s all about the network”; Norm Roulet; Susan Miller; silver lining; a quick regional agenda.

Who Won the Election Anyway?

Politry by Ken Duncan » Blog Archive » Who Won the Election Anyway?--Our friend Ken is such a quick study, and he says things so nicely, yet definitively. Have no doubt, we all need to pay more attention to this guy. He's the referee, as the flatteners convene the new community dialogues.

Steelyard Drive?

Yesterday, we saw the government trucks changing the green freeway signs along I-71 near Fulton (did the developers pay for that, or did "we, the people"?). What was going up was the suburbanized nomenclature "Steelyard Drive." The whole concept seems to lend itself to irony and self-parody--the "drive" in the middle of standing water in the toxic industrial lowlands. I guess that's what the effect, the theme, of Disneyfication is; we shouldn't try to take it too seriously, nor should we be too offended, I guess. We can't expect too much from the talent that has been elevated to serve our community in recent years--there just isn't too much there to give. To me, it is a civic embarassment, but it is down in a hole, and we shouldn't have to put up with it long. Once people catch onto the fact that the place is toxic and have their car finishes ruined by the output from Mittal Steel, we shouldn't have to put up with much traffic, either.

It seems that the whole benefit of these developments is front-loaded, in the "Deal" itself. Everybody makes their money putting one of these things into a community, and there's not too much concern about what happens a generation or two down the road. Look to North Randall and Euclid if you have any doubts about that. I hear that the economic life of these types of development is now a scant 7 years, in real-estate circles, as shopping malls continue to proliferate and cannibalize each other, or at least eat each others' lunch. The other civic embarrassment that brought us Steelyard Commons and The Red Room Monologues only lasted 4 years.

Change is accelerating, as is disease. Perhaps cures can accelerate, too.

timtimmytimothy: The OH in Ohio (2006)

The OH in Ohio (2006)--Our friend timtimmytimothy brought this Billy Kent film starring Parker Posey to our attention. I couldn't find any local listings, but it comes out on DVD December 6th.

Friday, November 17, 2006

big numbers in the PD lately: Woman accused of $28 million jewelry theft Newslogs#205955~This lady from Taiwan almost beat the recent record established by the guy from Keybank, $29 million. I've heard it said that it's a jungle out there, but is there a thieving contest going on out there, as well?

click to call, connect for free

Official Google Blog: Click to call in Google Maps--This is a really nifty feature; read about it; try it out. Are we having fun yet?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

ED Ed's 5 principles

Meet the Bloggers » Ed Morrison, Director of the Institute for Open Economic Networks--Last Friday, November 10th, ED Ed enunciated the 5 elements that pretty much determine a region's status and prosperity:

1. brainpower
2. innovation, entrepreneurship
3. quality-connected places
4. branding, telling the story
5. civic habits, such as collaboration, shared risk and reward

It's a very good dialogue--go listen to it all.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

in Tremont, The Grand Opening of A Christmas Story House, now restored to its movie glory

A Christmas Story House--From the movie of the same name. Be careful, you'll put your eye out.

a dimension of being blond

Albinism in Film: This is in addition to putting up with "blond/blonde" jokes, on the way to having to put up with "bald" jokes. The aggregation is very interesting. Click through, please.

"Many characters intended to be people with albinism have made appearances on TV and in the movies. Unfortunately, the depictions have been overwhelmingly negative, revealing a great deal of insensitivity and ignorance on the part of the writers and directors. "

Monday, November 13, 2006

putting lipstick on the piggy?

We just heard the report of the Key executive being picked up by the FBI for embezzling $29 million or so. We also recall yesterday's fluff piece in the PD about Henry Meyer III's mother's Christmas ties. These two pieces couldn't be balancing each other out, could they? It sort of reminds me of the slavish attention to Forest City at a time when they were plundering Brooklyn and about to try to help us all with Earn and Learn, or Learn and Earn.

Hank, Jack, and Eli ride again, for the community

Maurice R. Greenberg May Bid for Tribune - New York Times: There are some really interesting dynamics out there right now. What can all this mean? "Many of Mr. Greenberg's colleagues, including Mr. Broad, Mr. Geffen and Mr. Welch, appear to be interested in purchasing their local papers more for civic reasons than financial ones. Mr. Broad, for example, has told associates that he will be willing to accept lower profit margins to create a paper that benefits the community."

Sunday, November 12, 2006


We got this from one of our newsletters today, and thought we'd share the insight into most mainstream media.

"Watching the news is a bit like watching a bad opera. You can tell from all the shrieking that something very important is supposed to be happening, but you don't know what it is. What you are missing is the plot."

When a great museum submits...Old Masters Say, Can We Talk?

Masterpieces of European Painting From the Cleveland Museum of Art - Art - Review - New York Times: I missed this Friday. "Thus over the next four years, as the Cleveland Museum of Art adds 200,000 square feet in a two-stage $258 million expansion designed by Rafael Viñoly, it is sending six exhibitions culled from its collection to 12 museums in the United States and abroad. One is “Masterpieces of European Painting From the Cleveland Museum of Art,” a show of 14 works organized with the Frick Collection, which is its only stop. Don’t miss it."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

historic preservation as part of a business plan

AGORA in Mt. Vernon: I've been aware of AGORA, Inc., since reading Financial Reckoning Day when it first came out back in 2003. Click through to see how they have integrated the idea of historic preservation into their business model--they focus on the idea, the message, first. This is what I think we can do exceptionally well in an area like Cleveland, if we begin to strive harder to communicate our values through our actions. We have a lot of exceptionally valuable properties to work with here, both in the residential and in the commercial stock of solid buildings built prior to the 1930s. We have a heritage, or an inheritance. Prior generations spent their money wisely so that we could stand on their shoulders and progress further. Are we taking advantage of that? Are we maximizing our opportunities? Have we acknowledged and appreciated our birthright as Northern Ohioans?
"It is no accident that Agora’s companies are housed in a collection of stately 19th century Baltimore mansions. These buildings represent, in architecture, what Agora's companies try to achieve in publishing — applying more than 2,000 years of evolved wisdom to the current situation. Wealthy Baltimore entrepreneurs of the last century roamed the world in search of architectural opportunity. What they brought back with them were the best architectural designs of the day...those that had their roots in ancient Greece and had been improved and elaborated over many centuries. Naturally, they wanted these designs in their own homes.
Agora’s companies are pleased to be able to help maintain these treasures and keep this neighborhood vigorous and full of young people, new ideas and lively commerce."

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Gloria went to a CrimeWatch meeting yesterday evening; one of the tidbits she garnered there came from a local CDC representative, who had proudly trumpeted the fact that there are 43 CDCs (community development corporations) in Cleveland. She told me this this morning. I thought about it, and suddenly, out came this haiku. 5/7/5, right?

a community
and forty-three CDCs
cannot co-exist

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

vision endures

Focus: Cleveland; High-Rise Completes 1903 Plan - New York Times: Here's a blast from the past, the 1986 NYT. I remember going with Gloria, a SOHIO employee at the time, to the opening reception for this building--it was elegant. Helen Smith got us the tickets at the last minute, and I had to dig up a rented tux in a hurry. I was never aware until today that Obata had been guided by Burnham's vision. Say what you will, this town has great basics.

"WITH the construction of the 45-story Standard Oil Headquarters, Daniel Burnham's ambitious 1903 master plan for downtown Cleveland has finally been completed - but not in the way the 19th-century architect imagined.
Burnham, whose 1893 master plan for Chicago is considered his finest project, had grand ideas for Ohio's largest city - an elegant public square surrounded by tall buildings, a mall leading to Lake Erie and a lakefront train station. What he suggested was consistent with his belief that city planners should ''make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood.''
It was no little plan, but except for the public square and the mall, what Burnham envisioned for Cleveland was never built. And the railroad station ended up on the public square, not on the lake. But seven years ago, when Standard Oil decided to go ahead with the $200 million headquarters project, the architect, Gyo Obata of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum of St. Louis, decided to take his inspiration from Burnham. "

expatriate Lisa hypes the hometown

A Resurgence in Cleveland - New York Times--Lisa Chamberlain has a very nice article here about Cleveland, University Circle, Nottingham-Spirk, and adaptive reuse. Look to the links at the bottom for some vintage Cleveland stuff.

Gloria shared this with our girls

Dave Potokar Cleveland Creative Designer Blog: Some Words to Live By...I liked this so much I put it on my own blog so I can go back to look at it from time to time. Maybe our kids can come back from time to time to look at it, too.

the 231st birthday of the Corps

We just got this from our friend Ernie in Virginia and wanted to share it. The quote is one of our favorites.

As we celebrate the 231st birthday of our Corps, lets take time to reflect and honor all of our brothers and sisters in arms during this time of war. As you sit at the table and break bread with family and friends, know that we're all together in spirit. May God bless the Marine Corps, it's civilian Marines and their families. Happy Birthday and know that you're missed.

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and ho, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."
~ Theodore Roosevelt

Gods speed and Semper Fidelis.

Ernest J. Wasikowski

attitude and balance

A Family Tradition Yields a $5.4 Billion Coup - New York Times--This is a good read about an exceptionally well-balanced young woman. Be sure to read what she says about her daughters at the end.

yesterday YDS, today NYT

Blogs Take Lead in Reporting Polling Problems, With Supporting Evidence on YouTube - New York Times--What Sammy did yesterday, the NYT is reporting on today.

a critical goal for The Forest City

Nobel prize winner launches campaign to plant 1 billion trees in 2007 - we were really great, we called ourselves The Forest City. It's time to get back on task, back to the basics of what makes a place valuable.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

This had better not interfere with Boston Legal. Denny Crane! Weblogs#202061: Today is Tuesday. Tuesday is sacred, come 10 o'clock PM.
"A federal judge in Cleveland has ordered 16 polling locations in Cuyahoga County to stay open until 9 p.m. because of late openings this morning and other problems.

This means that Cuyahoga County will release no election results, countywide, until at least 9 p.m."

hats off to Yellow Dog Sammy

Ohio2006 Blog--What YDS has done here today is so basic, and so cool. In video-recording the situation at the polls in Cleveland Heights, he is presenting balance where otherwise we might have had rumor, panic, or discontent. Granted, it's an imperfect situation, but it's not as bad as I feared based it was, based on the initial reports I had heard. This is truly providing a service to the community.

"...denying, not awarding, office..."

Mr. Bland Goes to Washington - New York Times: Food for thought, especially today.... "unless something is done to quell “gotcha” journalism and relentlessly negative campaigning — and as long as we continue to enter the voting booth looking for reasons to say no — the ciphers will be the winners."


The Family Pollworker has been up bustling around for the past 20 minutes, cheerfully getting ready to spend 14 hours as the presiding judge at the place where the guy who attacked the voting machine earlier this year may vote today. I am staying attuned. Wonder if he voted absentee this year, like me?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Slavic Village Business Incubator Project Competition

We just got this press release from our friend Chuck Gliha in his NextBroadway! bulletin:

Slavic Village Development accepting applications for business incubator

CLEVELAND – Slavic Village Development is accepting applications for its new Business Incubator Project. The competition will select one winning business concept to receive free rent for a year in a Slavic Village storefront.

The Slavic Village Business Incubator project is designed to promote entrepreneurship and attract new business development in the Cleveland neighborhood. As part of its overall neighborhood improvement plan, Slavic Village Development actively recruits small businesses and promotes retail corridors. With this project, Slavic Village Development is seeking to foster the creation of new businesses, with a focus on the retail and service sectors.

“This project will bring many benefits to the Slavic Village community,” said Marie Kittredge, Executive Director of Slavic Village Development. “It will support entrepreneurship, fill a vacant storefront in our retail district, and help establish a new business for local consumers.”As part of the award, the Business Incubator winner will receive free rent for one year and the possibility of discounted rent in the second year for a total value of $12,000. The award winner will be matched up with business mentors for technical assistance to complete a business plan prior to the store’s grand opening and guidance through the business development process. Design and funding assistance from the Storefront Renovation Program will be available for new signage for the business.

“There is a critical need to help small business start-ups,” said Ned Handy, President & CEO of Charter One Bank. “The Business Incubator concept is one we’re proud to support. The free rent can really make a difference in getting a business off the ground and making it successful.”

Charter One is the No. 1 SBA lender to small businesses in the Greater Cleveland area. The Charter One Foundation provided grant funding for the incubator.

A free workshop will be held in mid-November to assist interested entrepreneurs with business planning and fundamentals. For more information about the competition, application process, or workshop, visit, or contact Slavic Village Development at (216) 429-1182. Completed applications must be submitted by 5 pm. on Friday, December 8th.
The Business Incubator competition winner will be announced on January 15, 2007.

Issue 18: "The lesser of two evils is still evil."

Issue 18 -- should I vote for it? REALNEO for all: Evelyn Kiefer interjects rationality into the dialogue: "What I have not heard is how much money we can expect to see from issue 18, how it will be spent and who decides how to spend it. I seems to me there must be a better way to fund arts and culture. The lesser of two evils is still evil. [bold & italics mine]"

Ohio2006 Blog--Lew Katz finally gets a forum

Ohio2006 Blog--We've been following Lew's gutsy campaign for more than a year now. He is familiar with the truth and has no trouble enunciating. As a former military man, his take on the current conflict is very valuable. Go back to Yellow Dog Sammy's blog and to Lew's website. This man has earned your paying attention to him.

Sunday Comix: Marathon Edition featuring Ratner

No Land Grab: Sunday Comix: Marathon Edition--Here we are, with Ratner, our ambassador to Brooklyn, again garnering publicity outside the Cleveland area. All of NYC references everything today to its Marathon.

just when you thought you'd seen, or read, everything...

Naked man arrested for concealed weapon - think this writer is having fun. I also think his editors and he exercised remarkable restraint. A sampling:

"Officers drew their weapons and firefighters were called to the scene. Sheehan removed a 6-inch metal awl wrapped in black electrical tape without incident."

I have a lot of faith in our community Weblogs#201180: Here's some good news from the PLAIN DEALER, and it reaffirms my belief that we are a strong community with good basic values and principles.

"Only 34 percent of those questioned say they intend to vote for Issue 3, which gambling interests have spent millions promoting, while 57 percent oppose it."

fast-food ephipany

Miles away, 'I'll have a burger' - The Boston Globe--and it's not happening in Bangladesh. Let me serve up a portion--

"By moving the order-taking off-site, Wendy's cracked down on thefts that occurred during late-night shifts when some employees gave food to friends at the drive-through window and pocketed the cash without ringing up the orders. The new set-up separated order-takers from employees handing out food, Fritton said, and one restaurant experienced an 18 percent increase in late-night sales overnight after the new system was implemented. Two employees also quit the next day.

"It's the future of the industry," said Fritton, who is giving a speech today on the drive-through technology at the International Foodservice Technology Exposition in Long Beach, Calif. "I can't believe how stupid I was not to do this sooner."

our community unites to tell the truth

Beacon Journal 11/05/2006 One outrageously positive campaign--Mike Douglas lays it out here on issue 3--great piece.

Friday, November 03, 2006

a story about gambling in Indiana

Coroner: Priest drunk at time of deadly crash: Here's a DAYTON DAILY NEWS story, one element of which is gambling, in Indiana. Are the drinks free in the casino? What's the total social cost here? It seems massive.
"One hour and 11 minutes before the crash, Mentrup filled out a $1,600 win/loss ticket from the Argosy Casino in Lawrenceburg, Ind., according to the coroner. The ticket is required by the state for anyone who wins more than $1,200 gambling.
Those close to Mentrup said he frequently gambled at the Argosy."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

had to share this headline

New Cellphone Helps You Get Knocked Up (Gearlog)--I couldn't quite believe the headline here at first, and I had to share it with you. Note, too, the link on male infertility & cellphone use.

Ohio politics grab national headlines again

Concentration of Competitive Races Puts Ohio at Center of Midterm Battle - New York Times: Everybody's watching--I'm still waiting for yet higher entertainment value--The Dovilla jabs at Kucinich have been providing a bit of that, and Kucinich's silence has been atypical--
"Ohio has been a central battleground of the midterm elections because of the unusual concentration of competitive races. The Senate seat, now held by Senator Mike DeWine, is one of a half-dozen or so that will determine control of the chamber. The 4 House seats are among about 40 that will decide control of that body. And winning the governorship of Ohio can give a party a big assist in carrying the state in a presidential election.
Discontent with the war in Iraq, the limping regional economy and a corruption scandal in the Republican-controlled statehouse tilted the table in favor of the Democrats from the start of the campaign. But in the final days before the election, Republicans are fighting hard to hold on."