Friday, December 26, 2008

MappingTheMess: Tommy Sinito, another heart attack case

Lately, I've been sensitized to the occurrence of sudden and unexpected heart attacks in relation to Cleveland communities and mythologies, and now here comes another one, my southeast-suburb homeboy Tommy Sinito's in 1997. Read the whole excerpt in MapTheMess; for me, it's a new perspective, perhaps a rewrite of actual events, but with oral histories, it's all up for grabs anyway. Enjoy, and make sure to go for your heart screening every year. There might be something in the water around here.

Tommy "The Chinaman" Sinito, a made man in the Cleveland Mafia Family, remains an enigma. The Full extent of his criminal career and influence is shrouded in mystery. He played a large part in the Cleveland Mafia. Tommy Sinito rose from being an errand boy to the rank of made man under Mafia Boss Big Ange Lonardo.

Tommy Sinito caught Big Ange Lonardo’s attention when he tended bar in the early 1970s at the Highlander Restaurant and Lounge on Northfield Road..

Sinito remained a major influence in the Cleveland Mafia until his death from a heart attack in the exercise yard at the Belmont Correctional Institute in 1997. His rapid raise in Mafia ranks from errand boy to made man has created a plethora of stories about him. Most of these are nothing more than fantastic tales.

Click on the Blogger label "heartbreak" below to view my growing collection of those who may have cared too much or felt too strongly.

Archive: Carmen Zagaria and Tommy Sinito [Map the Mess]

The Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla: grammer and the sintax

I missed this last month and thought it needed widespread sharing.  Sarah's constructs were remarkable, and Dick is in fine form here:

What will ambitious politicos learn from this? That frayed syntax, bungled grammar and run-on sentences that ramble on long after thought has given out completely are a candidate’s valuable traits?

And how much more of all that lies in our future if God points her to those open-a-crack doors she refers to? The ones she resolves to splinter and bulldoze her way through upon glimpsing the opportunities, revealed from on high.

What on earth are our underpaid teachers, laboring in the vineyards of education, supposed to tell students about the following sentence, committed by the serial syntax-killer from Wasilla High and gleaned by my colleague Maureen Dowd for preservation for those who ask, “How was it she talked?”

My concern has been the atrocities there in Darfur and the relevance to me with that issue as we spoke about Africa and some of the countries there that were kind of the people succumbing to the dictators and the corruption of some collapsed governments on the continent, the relevance was Alaska’s investment in Darfur with some of our permanent fund dollars.

And, she concluded, “never, ever did I talk about, well, gee, is it a country or a continent, I just don’t know about this issue.”

It’s admittedly a rare gift to produce a paragraph in which whole clumps of words could be removed without noticeably affecting the sense, if any.

(A cynic might wonder if Wasilla High School’s English and geography departments are draped in black.)

Read the whole thing.

The Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla - Dick Cavett Blog -

Manners: Be a Gentleman

This post from the sartorial expert Will, and the comments following,  are a needed antidote to the behavioral slippage many of us allowed to happen, or even gleefully pursued, in the societal change of the '60s and '70s.  On a personal note, my crusade to eliminate expletives and crudities from my everyday parlance has been about 90% successful this past year; there are indeed other words that work as well or better, my vocabulary is improving, and I am thinking a little more before I make strong or negative statements. Tourette's is a motherfucker. There! My 10% allowance!

In the first half of the twentieth century, the influential American etiquette author Emily Post considered the term "gentleman" to mean a man with a superior standard of behavior. The word "gentle", originally meaning that a man came from a good family if not outright nobility, came to be associated with the standard of manners expected from that elevated origin. Later, the term was extended to include any man of good, courteous conduct.

Unfortunately, in recent years the term gentleman has been diluted further, so that it now is used to refer to males who are members of certain drinking clubs that offer lap dances by minimally clothed females but altogether lack manners. And a man's poor manners can be a serious impediment in his life, for, like appropriate dress, good manners serve as a social lubricant

A Suitable Wardrobe: Manners: Be a Gentleman

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Coroner blames blocked artery for Rosemary Vinci's death

This is the same sort of thing Gloria had on November 17th. See my December 4th post, below.

Since that post, Roldo Bartimole has informed me that Norm Krumholz' heart went down for the count at about the same time Gloria had her incident. (Norm, by the way, has had surgery and is recovered.) Here's the lead-in from the PD yesterday:

Cuyahoga County employee Rosemary Vinci died of a blocked coronary artery, according to a preliminary autopsy report released this afternoon by the county coroner's office.

There was no foul play or trauma involved, the report stated.

Coroner blames blocked artery for Rosemary Vinci's death - Metro -

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

premature capitulation: the aftermath of "Dan Moore blows a whistle on a bad deal"

Already, going back to this BFD post from November 14th, we find the link to the PD story coming up as "story not found" and the website taken down. The vote does not occur until Friday, the day after Christmas.  The newly coined term "premature capitulation" comes to mind as a descriptor of the way a lot of things seem to go around here. Cookies spilled, everybody's already gone home.

Thanks to Carla Rautenberg for the link to the WaPo article. I'd missed it, and I'd imagine I'm not alone.

Carla Rautenberg adds this background from the Washington Post.

Dan Moore blows a whistle on a bad deal | Brewed Fresh Daily

Ohio Supreme Court rules could make it harder for you to search court records

This bears watching, perhaps scrutiny:

Rules adopted by the Ohio Supreme Court on Monday could restrict the public's access to court records, a leading open-government advocate says.

Cleveland lawyer David Marburger, of the Ohio Coalition for Open Government, said the rules shift the burden to the public to prove why it needs access to court records if someone involved in a case wants sealed.

Before Monday, people involved in court cases had to prove they would be harmed if records remained open in individual cases.

"This is a dangerous precedent," said Marburger, who has represented several newspapers, including The Plain Dealer. "This is a dramatic change. The future of these rules can only be negative."

The court adopted the amendments from the Commission on the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio. Six of the high court's justices voted for the changes, and Justice Paul Pfeifer dissented.

Ohio Supreme Court rules could make it harder for you to search court records - Metro -

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Put It On The Ballot Campaign continues to smirk smugly

Cuyahoga commissioners shuffle funds to pay medical mart legal bill - Metro - of us who worked in the Put It On The Ballot Campaign last year did so efficiently and economically; I do believe that all of our outstanding bills have been paid. We recall quite well how much time and money was expended against us, and against the basic premise that government should not try to sneak through tax increases.

Now, here come the defenders of the MedicalMartConventionCenter with their hands out, expecting the county, the people, to cough up still more. Fred, how about throwing this one in pro bono, as the rest of us did who worked against you, now that Positively Cleveland is backing away from its unethical entanglements?

Commissioners, please hold onto our money. All Fred did during the MedicalMart snafu was to show that he's basically innumerate, and you shouldn't be paying for that sort of foolishness.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

civic activism in Cleveland may be harmful to your health; it breaks your heart

My Google calendar tells me that today is Rocco Oliverio's birthday. Rocco, a fantastic grassroots organizer, teacher, and community stabilizer, died suddenly and unexpectedly last December around the age of 75. Gloria and I had met him in the 1980s and worked with him closely during Bill Denihan's campaign for mayor, and thereafter. If I recall correctly, the cause of his early death was that his heart failed. For all we knew, he was healthy and vigorous up until the time of his death.

Our friend Ed Hauser, age 47, passed suddenly and unexpectedly this past November 14th. Again, the cause was that his heart gave out. We got to know Ed very well during the Whiskey Island land-grab attempts and later in recording and witnessing many of the ODOT sham hearings. He was tenacious, brave, principled, and able.

Gloria, age 58, on the evening of Ed's funeral-home visitation on November 17th, had a massive heart attack, suddenly and totally unexpectedly, nearly died a few times, and is now just beginning to recover at Metro in the cardiac ICU.

Lonnie L. Burten, scrappy Cleveland councilman, died at the age of 40 on November 29th of 1984. The CLENIX headline reads "Coroner rules that chronic heart ill killed Cnclmn Burten."

At about the same time as Burten's death, State Rep. John (Jay) Carroll of Garfield Heights, age 29, died in his sleep of "hard-to-detect disease of heart." An article later that year points out that Carroll and Colleen Shaughnessy (murdered in August of 1983 in the State Office Building), both destined for successful political careers in Cleveland, both breaths of fresh air, departed this earthly orb too, too early, with "unfinished business."

What's the point of all this, you say? Well, it appears that November and December are rough times of year for hearts, and that a good number of the bright lights in our community, those who love their neighbors, have hearts that break, particularly around the end of the year.

And again, today is Rocco's birthday, and it was always good knowing that Rocco had your back. You could depend on him to do the right thing.