Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
We got to know him through his charming wife, who was our older girl's running coach back in the '90s. When rollerblades first came out, Ed was on them, as they were nothing more than summer skis. Read the whole thing, but here's an excerpt of some good work by The Minister of Culture:
It was like Outward Bound with whiskey.
I went fishing in northern Ontario with six guys, including our host Tim's 85-year-old-father, Fast Eddie. Eddie is what you call a young 85. He's a ski instructor. Even though one of my favorite movies is "Jeremiah Johnson," I'm as much of an outdoorsman as Woody Allen. So this was four days packed with first-time experiences. . . .
. . .We swam and fished. We boated and fished. Fast Eddie was a demon on the Jet Ski and had great stories. He flew planes in the war. He drank with Hemingway and Errol Flynn in Key West. He made us Manhattans. He invited us to his place in Ellicottville, N.Y., for a ski lesson this winter. We brought in pike, walleye, sunfish and largemouth bass. We ate fish every night. I caught one smallmouth bass . . .
. . . With any luck, we'll live long enough to be like Fast Eddie.
The cultural part is that they don't appreciate what tearing down a Breuer will do to our regional reputation across the country and internationally, especially if they're intending to replace it with "a Madison." Is that better or worse than "a Dicky" or "a Fleischman"? I guess the jury's going to be out on that one for a while. However, I don't think that demolishing a Breuer will enhance our collective reputations. But, the mark of a strong, self-sufficient, healthy mentality is that it doesn't take what others think overly much into account when formulating plans and actions. Let's assume the regional mentality is healthy, and let's move on to the numbers.
Numbers are bandied about freely in this dialogue, and they're broad-stroke numbers that are seldom correlated to anything else, or each other. Everyone here has been remiss in doing the due diligence required when it comes to net cost to the public--back then, now, and later. Restoration and rehabilitation will make for more jobs, but you don't hear that from our unions--there are way more man-hours in the re-do. Where is the comparison? Why don't they talk about the benefit for local labor?
Where is the side-by-side for acquisition cost, tax credits, demolition costs, abatement costs, and so forth? I've been to the hearings. It's not there. It's all just speculation. There is still no concrete plan for the new building. This whole thing reeks.
If you buy a building for $22M and then demolish it, what is left? The value of the land? The value of the other building? What is the difference between wasting an asset through demolition (let's face it, you just don't "deconstruct" anything from the raw-concrete "brutalist" school) and giving it away to another entity, an entity that could use the tax credits in a mixed-use-development (MUD) format? When you add up the cost of acquiring the asset, abating the asbestos, tearing it down, and building new at a time when construction costs are escalating and all that's available is non-Cleveland steel, doesn't it make more economic sense to give it away for nothing or sell it for a nominal sum to a developer experienced with MUDs who can use or sell the tax credits to lower the net cost, give the county an economic benefit in lease abatement equal to or greater than what their original cost of the acquisition was, and manage the property properly when we finally get around to reducing the size of county government, or when we go regional and all the smart management decides they want to be in Akron? (am I just kidding?)
Anyway, there's been no creative work done with the numbers, because the current two go-go boys on the county commission, Jimmy and Timmy, have no concern for what this will cost us, our kids, or our grandkids. (Heck, our kids, half our immediate family, have already left for Tennessee and Georgia, with our encouragement.) The go-go boys have no trouble with the concept of enslavement of the population to bond payments. They have no trouble with the concept of subsidizing the Kennedy family on our backs. They have no idea of the magnitude of the debt they create. All they do is talk about "too big" and "ugly" and "unadaptable" and "obsolete."
My mom used to say something about those who live in glass houses.
Yep, Mark, without an underclass to live in the older structures and pay more than their fair share of the property tax, who's going to pick up the slack for all the new, tax-abated stuff?
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I just wanted to send a reminder for you to get ready for the Best Damn Tech Show Period (“BDTSP”) Launch Party sponsored by our good friends at ASM International. The show will take place on June 28th @ IdeaCenter (1375 Euclid Avenue) – Fourth Floor. Get to see the new ASM Design Studio and the expansion of the IdeaCenter. You will also be able to sign up as an exhibitor or general attendee for the BDTSP. The Launch Party is FREE! Let’s get a good crowd at the event.
Also, take the time to enjoy the Flavor Oasis featuring Woo City Ice Cream brought to you by Flourish – a Cleveland, OH-based design and ad agency. This is a BDTSP exclusive! I have seen the Flavor Oasis and it is awesome. Kudos to Flourish!
Send the gospel far and wide – we want great attendance for the launch party and a lot of excitement for the upcoming BDTSP.
What: The Best Damn Tech Show Period – Launch Party Sponsored by ASM International
Where: IdeaCenter (1375 Euclid Ave.) – Fourth Floor
When: June 28th – 6pm to 9pm
Why: To launch the Best Damn Tech Show Period and to show the cool ASM Design Studio (and get some Woo City Ice Cream as brought to you by Flourish)
To RSVP please email firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to seeing you there!
Michael C. DeAloia
Senior Executive for Technology Development
City of Cleveland
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Dan and I want you to know about the Wendy Park Foundation event, "Play Until Dark at Wendy Park: Get the Towpath to the Lake" happening this Saturday, June 30, 2007. At 10:00 AM the @ 12 mile roundtrip bike ride begins at Wendy Park with registration on site at 9:00 AM.
The bike ride will start at Wendy Park and will proceed through city streets to Steelyard Commons and on to the Canal Way Visitors Center and back. As you may recall, the funding for the Towpath to Steelyard Commons is already in place, and Wendy Park Foundation is committed to extending the Towpath to Wendy Park at Lake Erie.
The park site event begins at 11:00 AM and ends at 9:00 PM. – it will mark the first opening of the Coast Guard Station site to the public. The inside of the Coast Guard Station will not be open, but in the future we are hoping it will become an interpretive center for the Towpath Trail.
The day will be filled with all kinds of entertainment, including kayak rides; Harvey Webster's animal show, including live raptors; windsurfing; kitesurfing, fishing, archery, rockwall climbing, and eating delicious food; bungee trampolining; live music from Whiskey Island Ramblers, Will Bowen, Inner City Outlet and Carlos Jones; nature photography, bird watching, and wildlife identification; more food and drink.
The day will be FUN at Cleveland's only outdoor sports and recreation festival! You can get tickets in advance by going to www.playuntildark.org , then click "Get Tickets" ($5.00 per person -- children under 10 are free). Please note that the deadline for website ticket purchases is on Friday, June 29, 2007 at noon. You can also buy tickets at the door for $8.00 per person.
Would love to see you and your family at Wendy Park!
Marge and Dan Moore
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Mayfield is one of those great places that’s nearly hidden in the middle of a thriving metropolis. “Most people don’t even know it’s here,” Wood says.
It began with Mayfield’s founder, Samuel Mather. Along with 300 charter members, he acquired a 235-acre plot of forest and farmland along the then-unpaved Mayfield Road in the early 1900s. In 1909, under the leadership of Benjamin E. Bourne, Malcolm B. Johnson and W.H. “Bertie” Way (who was the former Euclid Club head pro and a man who designed several other courses in the area), the building of the golf course began. “Bertie Way was the first golf professional and the architect,” says Wood. “Mayfield was a spin-off of the Euclid Club that was in downtown Cleveland. It had been designed by Bert Way (the first nine) and a second nine belonged to John D. Rockefeller. He wouldn’t let the members play the second nine holes on Sunday because he was religious. So they went to the end of the trolley line and bought a piece of property and hired Way to design and be its first pro.”
On July 15, 1911, Mayfield Country Club opened its doors. Prominent members of the time included Cyrus Eaton, Harvey S. Firestone and Dr. George Crile, co-founder of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. In the next two years, Way’s contemporary, Donald Ross, came to Mayfield to install the bunkering, which largely remains to this day.
Way was head pro at Mayfield for 51 years, during which time the club hosted the 1915 and 1919 Western Opens, the 1920 Women’s National Championship, the 1927 Ohio Women’s Championship and the 1929 Women’s Western Championship. The 1990 Women’s Ohio State Amateur Championship was also held at Mayfield. Legendary professionals such as Chick Evans, Walter Hagen and Byron Nelson all played there.
In 1935, a swimming pool was added, something new for country clubs at the time. With the growing popularity of curling, the club added first an outdoor sheet, and later, a state-of-the-art indoor facility. Platform tennis was added in the 1960s. In 1987, a cross-country skiing program was inaugurated.
Two fires have destroyed Mayfield clubhouses, and the last one was rebuilt in 1948. In 2001, the club added a new dining room and put an addition onto the clubhouse for casual dining and a fitness center. There are locker rooms for men, women, junior boys and junior girls.
But the central lure for Mayfield is the golf course. “It’s an old-style golf course where the nines don’t come back,” Wood says.
Let's start talking about making the utilities invisible. We've had the idea for about 100 years and, like the 1903 "Burnham and Root" plan, The Group Plan, we still haven't fully executed it. That says something about our community, and about us.
We need to make sure the interests of the public are served first, and those of the utilities are served someplace after that. I wouldn't want to build a business in a city where my lifeline, my electrical and fiber optic cable hookups, were exposed to as much risk as they are in Cleveland. Cities with thriving commerce like Dublin, Shanghai, London, and Paris realized this long ago; business goes where it's generally welcome.
Here's a writer's recounting of the wireless renovation of Brugge that paid dividends, once it created community capital. Like Cleveland, Brugge was at one time one of the richest cities in the world:
The city fell on hard times and became such a backwater that neither side bothered to bomb it during the war. The place was poor for a long while, and only began to recover during the 70’s.
But then Brugge found that History had dealt it the same kind of weird backhanded favor it did when it made Ireland too poor to put chemical fertilizers on its fields and pastures (for which reason its grass-fed beef is now famous all over Europe, and its organic produce
is becoming that way). Brugge had been ignored… and hence all the great old buildings of its medieval inner city had been perfectly preserved.
The city began renovating itself and (in a very smart move) putting all its utilities underground. Phone, electric, cable, fiber, everything went under the paving stones. Satellite dishes are not permitted to be visible on the outsides of buildings: everybody in town has affordable thousand-channel cable and broadband, and if you want something more exotic, as long as you can hide the hardware from the tourists, you’re fine.
As a result, you can walk through the Markt and all the streets around it and see nothing that reminds you of this century…except the things inside the shop windows. A big problem, there, for this is one of the great shopping towns of northern Europe.
Friday, June 22, 2007
The problems with Bucephalus (my motorcycle, named after Alexander the Great’s horse) intensified two days before the end of the riding part of our trip. It had been running well for more than two weeks with the automobile fuel pump. But on the way to Pingliang it stopped running. Fortunately, Dennis, one of our group who is an electrical engineer at Cisco (the Cisco Kid), developed a way to jump the fuel pump directly off the battery, so that the fuel pump would run regardless of an electrical fault somewhere else. It worked for one hour, and then on a steep hill, it stopped running even though the fuel pump was getting fuel. This time we had no answers, and it looked like we would have to call the chase vehicle to carry Bucephalus the rest of the way. There were steep cliffs all around, and there was a discussion of euthanasia, but I would have no part of it – Bucephalus and I are bonded.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Demolition calls to mind tax abatement and residential real-estate development concerns are reflected in commercial concerns. Ultimately, all the indicators point to our having elected and appointed bad help who serve imperfectly or fail to serve at all. They forget that they're the help, the servants of the public, and begin to think they're rock stars. In this comment, by one of our neighbors over on Archwood, Joe Cimperman gets whacked. The commenter is a Tremont native. He uses plain talk. Enjoy.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Moss Takes "Entrepreneurship by Design" to Heart
After two years managing a startup with CIA, FUTURE's Founding Director is leaving to launch his own design firm, in the soon-to-be-established District of Design, Midtown, Cleveland.
Moss will be joining forces with existing partners of Nead Brand Partners and Newbomb. The combined firm will offer a progressive approach to Brand Communications, Strategy, and Experience Design and will launch under a new name in the months ahead.
The change will also allow David to further his Regional advocacy for Design and Technology, dialing up his contributions to IngenuityFest, Friends for the School of the Arts, CPAC, GameHub, Defrag, Tuesdays, and others.
Likewise, he looks forward to supporting the Cleveland Institute of Art in their efforts to integrate FUTURE programming into the strategic buildout of their new combined campus in University Circle's emerging Arts District. Best wishes, David!
Hot on the heels of its feature story in the March 2007 issue of Cottage Living magazine, Ohio City was named by that publication as one of the top 10 "cottage communities" in the country. The full list of the the 10 best neighborhoods in the nation is profiled in the July/August issue, which hits newsstands on June 26.
Quoting from the magazine's press release: "A victim of suburbia’s post-World War II allure and Cleveland’s industrial decline, Ohio City suffered during the 1960s and '70s, but the residents led a comeback that left Ohio City thriving. By working to maintain affordable housing, they have managed to revitalize without forcing out long-term and lower-income residents.
'Ohio City is very friendly,' says Bernie Thiel, a long-term resident. 'It’s a
real talking over-the-fence community.'" '
Ohio City finished second on the list, just behind Forest Hills Gardens in Queens, NY.
The list includes neighborhoods that Cottage Living editors would like to call home, with charming cottages, a sense of community, and an eye on the future. Both old and new, the neighborhoods use creative ideas to solve common problems. "[T]hese neighborhoods are inspiring role models," writes Cottage Living Editor-in-Chief Eleanor Griffin.
Cottage Living canvassed the country for the 10 best cottage communities. The criteria were broken down into four categories: Homes (30%): Inspiring architecture, unifying design elements, and walkable streets; People (30%): Residents who spark a resurgence or designers and developers who envision change and bring it to life; Bright Ideas (30%): Innovative, positive change on a regional or national level; and Cottage Twist (10%): Something that brings a smile.
www.ohiocity.com regularly for news and upcoming events.
So come out this weekend, explore the neighborhood, and see what the excitement is all about. Be sure to visit Open Air in Market Square across from the West Side Market on Saturday, and mark your calendar for the Ohio City Garden Tour on July 22. And as always, check back to
WASHINGTON, June 19 — Microsoft has agreed to make changes to its Windows Vista operating system in response to a complaint by Google that a feature of Vista is anticompetitive, lawyers involved in the case said on Tuesday.
The settlement, reached in recent days by state prosecutors, the Justice Department
and Microsoft, averted the prospect of litigation over a complaint by Google that Vista had been designed to frustrate computer users who want to use software other than Microsoft’s to search through files on their hard drives.
Google had made its complaint confidentially as part of the consent decree proceedings set up to monitor Microsoft for any anticompetitive conduct after it settled a landmark antitrust lawsuit five years ago that had been brought by the states and the Clinton administration.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Be part of a first! The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's Learning Center and Money Museum is the first organization to host Money of the World Today: A Portrait of Global Society. The exhibit, containing coins, currency, and artifacts from 192 countries, is on loan from the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The special exhibit - which opens to the public today, and runs through July 12, 2007 - is full of fascinating facts and appealing displays. Visitors may be surprised at what a country's cash reveals about its art, geography, history, and languages. As they "journey" to each country, they will meet heroes, visit landmarks and landscapes, and explore other cultures.
Children visiting the exhibit can also participate in a scavenger hunt. They will receive a Money of the World Today passport and a brief list of questions. As they search through the displays for answers to the questions, children will learn about the history, economics, people, and geography of the countries that they are "visiting." Once they have completed their tour and turned in their answers, they will get their passport stamped - just like true world travelers!
Admission is free. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday (closed holidays). Groups of 10 or more, must call ahead for reservations.
The exhibit is a special addition to the Learning Center and Money Museum's 30 interactive exhibits and displays that focus on what gives money value. The Learning Center is open year-round, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday (closed holidays).
For more information, call 216.579.3188 or click www.clevelandfed.org/learningcenter/moneyoftheworld.cfm
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., spoke at my alma mater's commencement exercise this year; his wife's on of the alumnae (see, my A.B. was not for naught) and also on the board of directors. He made a distinction with regard to the Supreme Court that I wanted to share:
Mr. Robert’s short commencement address was filled with advice and humor but was devoid of politics.
At one point, however, Mr. Roberts intimated that his Supreme Court would plow a less expansive judicial path than its predecessors by stressing the role of the nation’s highest judiciary is to interpret law and not set it.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Antioch College became a rump where the most illiberal trends in education became entrenched. Since it is always easier to impose a conformist ethos on a small group than a large one, as the student body dwindled, free expression and freedom of thought were crushed under the weight of ultraliberal orthodoxy. By the 1990s the breadth of challenging ideas a student might encounter at Antioch had narrowed, and the college became a place not for education, but for indoctrination. Everyone was on the same page, a little to the left of The Nation in worldview.
Much of this conformist thinking focused on gender politics, and it culminated in the notorious sexual offense prevention policy. Enacted in 1993, the policy dictated that a person needed express permission for each stage in seduction. (“May I touch your breast?” “May I remove your bra?” And so on.) In two decades students went from being practitioners of free love to prisoners of gender. Antioch became like one of those Essene communities in the Judean desert in the first century after Christ that, convinced of their own purity, died out while waiting for a golden age that never came.
I grieve for the place with all the sadness, anger and self-reproach you feel when a loved one dies unnecessarily. I grieve for Antioch the way I grieve for the hope of 1968 washed away in a tide of self-inflated rhetoric, self-righteousness and self-indulgence.
The ideals of social justice and economic fairness we embraced then are still right and deeply American. The discipline to turn those ideals into realities was what Antioch, its community and the generation it led was lacking. I fear it still is.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
They have taken their show on the road, since then, and our friends Darren and Johanna Hamm and Brian Cummins have asked us to help out with the publicity. Here it is. I wish we had known about it more in advance, but Gloria and I are scheduled for being in Columbus on the 27th and 28th. We're hoping that the screening generates some good dialogue and thought.
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in collaboration with Brian Cummins, Ward 15 Councilman, and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo present:
Making Sense of Place - Cleveland: Confronting Decline in an American City
A free screening of the one-hour documentary film about deterioration in the urban core through the eyes and voices of Cleveland residents, followed by a community discussion.
Wednesday, June 27th - 6:00 - 8:30pm
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Auditorium - 3900 Wildlife Way
For questions, please contact:
Councilman Brian Cummins, Ward 15 Representative, 4483 Broadview Road, Cleveland, OH 44109
216-459-8400 216-459-8412 fax
(ticket graphic by Darren Hamm)
Just in case you missed it, there was a very nice article on the front page of the Business section in yesterdays (6/12) Plain Dealer. It was on a local Uni-Solar solar shingle installation done by a friend, Al Frasz.
Here is a link to the on-line article, but they didn't include the wonderful photo that was in the printed version :-(
Note the estimated numbers; we need to see more of this, if people are going to begin to adapt and retrofit:
The calculator (go through tinyurl.com/ywg7rv) shows that a solar array in Greater Cleveland can be expected to generate about 75 percent of what one in San Diego typically generates. The system, including the backup battery power addition, was expensive - about $30,000. But a state grant of nearly $10,000, a federal tax credit of 30 percent of the total cost and accelerated state and federal depreciation schedules made the net cost about $5,000.
"We did not add this and mark up the price. We discounted the solar in the [$295,900] price of the house," Kornell said.
Pointing to the neighboring homes that have sold for as much as $308,000, Kornell argues that "the actual cost of solar could disappear very easily when competing in the real estate market."
At today's electric rates, it will take more than a dozen years for the system to pay for itself in lower electric bills. But if the state deregulates rates as scheduled in 2009, allowing utilities to charge whatever the market will bear, the payback time should quickly shrink.
Whoever buys the Hambden house won't be able to cut the wire to CEI, however, no matter what the rates are.
The annual sun power will be enough to replace a quarter to a third of the average residential consumption here, which is about 750 to 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month or 9,000 to 12,000 a year.
But then this home is average in only one sense, its size: 2,150 square feet. All the appliances, the furnace, air conditioning and lighting meet federal Energy Star specs, said Kornell. Combine those efficiencies with solar output and you get electric bills that should be about half what the neighbors in similar homes are paying, he said.
Monday, June 11, 2007
The reorientation will come from us, not from the government. As a matter of fact, the government is going to be one of the things experiencing an imposed change, not the agent of change. As a matter of fact, one of the main ways we can redistribute income is to take our money back from our governments, not from our high earners; we've allowed "the nation's [political] leaders" to concentrate assets in the wrong places, with the wrong players, for the wrong reasons, and they are not the most appropriate or apt brokers of the assets. Taking the government out of the mix will probably reshuffle the high earners, but it won't exact redistributive penalties on them. Taking the government out of the mix will probably result in more fairness in the redistributions, too.
Go to the NYT for the basic research findings.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Basically, all we should know about AT&T is that they're not trustworthy, and on that basis, out of hand, we should have our legislators bounce SB117 right out of the legislative process. Make no mistake, these two issues are related; they speak to the character of a corporation that has a history of exploitation of the public and quibbling over legalisms.
Get ready to defend yourselves, if your legislators down in Columbus don't. Here's part of the PD article; the bold emphasis is mine:
AT&T sells a card good for 500 minutes of long-distance calling. But if you use it to call from Mayfield Heights to Cincinnati, your minutes will be used up three times faster than you'd expect.
The reason's in the very fine print on the back of the card.
"Minute value applies to state-to-state calls only. . . . For calls that begin and end in the same state, minutes are deducted at these rates . . ." What follows is a long list that says in-state calls are charged at the regular 60-second minute in a handful of places, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, but it's 3-for-1 in most states, including Ohio; 5-for-1 in many others, including Pennsylvania; and a blazing 8-for-1 in Missouri, New Mexico and North and South Dakota.
This time manipulation is beyond government regulation. State agencies have no jurisdiction over long-distance carriers. And the Federal Communications Commission doesn't regulate long-distance rates. AT&T says it's the FCC's fault. In June 2006, an agency ruling required AT&T to pay state access fees for in-state calls. It decided to pass those fees along by speeding up the clock.
A spokesman for the Ohio Consumers' Counsel said AT&T is the only company it knows is compressing time. But there are other kinds of hidden fees, and the Counsel's office offers fact sheets; call 1-877-742-5622 or check online at www.pickocc.org.
Friday, June 08, 2007
The Torch Hotel in Urumqi is the best hotel thus far. Tonight is the first night I have been able to get into my emails and return dictation to the office by email. It’s a great relief, but I am weeks behind in my work. The “blog squad” has done a wonderful job cleaning up the past blogs.
Tomorrow I will work on fixing the anti-lock brakes on my motorcycle. There is a new way to re-program the brakes that Mike Paull, one of our leaders, has been able to download from the Internet. In addition, I need new brake pads to replace the ones in the rear.
At dinner tonight we were served a fish – a little bit frightening since we are as far away from water as any point in the world. One of the treats that we will see tomorrow is the largest windmill power station in Asia. The wind in this area blows so hard that it has blown railroad trains off their tracks. Today it was actually cold, raining virtually the whole day. It should be an interesting ride over the mountains and then into the desert. The balance of this trip is going to be extremely hot. I have to convince myself that wearing black leathers was the right thing to do.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
"The Internet has been a great disappointment. I planned to dictate blogs on my digital recorder, send the digital file to the office via email for transcription, and then review the written version myself via email. The crew at my office would do a final edit to add the right tone and a little humor, and then post the blog to the net. As it turns out, I have only been able to dictate sporadically over the phone, and Carolyn, Nancy and Laura have carried the main transcription, editing, and posting burden. DTMCo may have the only “blog pit crew” in town that can correctly spell the names of the central Asian republics, their capitals, their leaders, and the premiere resorts and hotels. Many thanks to my blog pit crew for keeping the site running.
"Today in Kazakhstan, I have finally been able to access the Internet. Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are apparently frightened of widespread use of the Internet. Azerbaijan is too slow, and in Georgia it worked occasionally. Next trip I will have a SAT phone system that is entirely independent of internet access. "
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Don't miss the part about the guard donkeys' being replaced by llamas.
We Yankees are faced with more formidable challenges than kudzu: What we have to do in Cleveland is to find something to eat all the McDonald's food-packaging detritus. It probably would be easier and quicker if we all just stopped buying and consuming McDonald's and their ilk. Not only would we have a quantum leap in public health, but we'd also experience a massive environmental cleansing.
Ronn Richard's talk addressed a lot of the community issues we've had in the BFD and MTB dialogue these past two years, and did so in a way designed to give hope, but the high point of the meeting was the Gries Lecture series talk by Bill Strickland from Pittsburgh. Bill actually does great things, working with what he's got and what's he's given, from the middle of a neighborhood. From the way he describes it, from the days of "the riots," it sounds a lot like Hough. The slide show and commentary were excellent, and his ideas about people as assets and not liabilities, neighborhoods, divine providence, purpose, and working with what's available were exceptional and simple. It's an incredible and inspiring story he tells. Google will help fill in the blanks.
Monday, June 04, 2007
We left the hotel in Issyk-Kul Kyrgyzstan region and rode up into the mountains, into foothills that amounted to high summer pastures for shepherds. There was snow up high in the mountains. We reached an altitude of about 7,000 feet and then visited a shepherd family. They put on a display of horsemanship that was quite interesting and reminiscent of a book that my father wrote years ago called The Terrible Game. In it he described a game called the terrible game of ott (horse). Among other activities, they slaughtered a goat, cut off its head and hooves and then divided up into teams and tried to get the goat carcass into the other person’s goal – there really were no apparent rules – the trick was to pick the carcass up off the ground, tuck the goat under your leg and then gallop away with other people pursuing and grabbing the goat. The leg is stronger than the arm, so possession was the key. There was a lot of pushing and pulling with horses shoving into each other and shouts of glee. The participants were not like the ones that George Crile has witnessed in Afghanistan – grown men with aggressive horses and aggressive ponies. These were younger men, probably the oldest was 30 and the horses were not bred for just this game. When their game was over, the three of us took on their winning team and got badly trounced but it was an absolutely exhilarating exercise. It was like wrestling in many respects, but also involved strategy with the main trick being to separate your attackers from the leader holding your sheep with your horse, driving the defenders away. It was a real workout and I am sore all over with a number of black and blue marks
The one thing we found in working with the City of Cleveland when Gloria ran for City Council two years ago was that most people were acutely aware of the salary, everybody knew their take-home pay, but few had any grasp of the unshared cost of the medical benefits or the retirement contribution; a $67,000-a-year job was actually costing taxpayers about $84,000 a year. I'm sure the Clevelanders are not alone in their wilfully blissful ignorance.
And, as I've mentioned before, we need to account for the cost of cars, the gasoline, and the insurance for the state employees in particular. As a revenue-raising gambit, we might even audit the books and back-charge them for past usage, or at least let them pay taxes on the past perk.
Here's a snippet from the NYT opinion piece:
Congress should pass legislation mandating that all workplaces create this kind of transparency by requiring companies to post salaries. It makes sense, especially in light of the court’s decision last week requiring employees to file pay discrimination complaints under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act within 180 days of the last pay adjustment. It’s only fair since the five justices who supported this decision must have thought that it was easy for employees to find out whether they are being discriminated against. They must never have had to sidle up to co-workers and whisper nosy questions about pay to find out how they ranked. They must never have been so desperate for proof that they considered hacking into the company database or ransacking the human resources office searching for pay rosters. It’s understandable that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is responsible for investigating pay discrimination complaints, requires evidence. But some employees have not discovered evidence that they are paid less until after the 180 days has expired.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
This whole approach no longer makes any sense. Witness Cleveland since 1997.
Judging from what I saw last night at Ray and Rudy's and at Mike's, this year will be another good one. In desperation to have something to sell, we're all dragging out a lot of the good stuff that we have held back in prior years. We finally gave up Duke the Wonder Horse and the Victorian pressback high chair; Mike dragged out all the high-end china his relatives have given him over the years.
I believe the fair runs today and tomorrow, on Archwood Avenue between Pearl and Fulton. Wear sensible shoes. Don't forget to bring some food by for Rev. David Bahr and Archwood UCC.