NO EASY JOB FINDING OUT HOW OUR PUBLIC MONEY IS SPENT ON CSU'S “WIND SPIRE” SCHEME

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Thu, 04/03/2008 - 14:44.

Back on  July 13, 2007 Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones announced that her office had obtained a1.1 million dollar federal earmark for a “wind spire”.   The “wind spire” is a  scheme ( often also touted – here in an interview on Green City Blue Lake - by Mark Cironi)  pursued by CSU professor Dr. Majid Rashidi   as a Bernoulli Principle “trick”.

 

On July 17, 2007 I raised a few questions here on Realneo about the “wind spire” idea and about the credibility of it’s promoters.

 

With Spring in the air this week, I thought it would be time to check back on what the 1.1 million of our federal tax money was doing. 

 

I called Rep. Tubbs-Jones’ Washington DC office to confirm that the money had been obtained.   The representative’s office gave me the email of Staff person Kimberley Alton (Kimberley [dot] Alton [at] mail [dot] house [dot] gov) and I emailed a few questions  about the wind spire to Ms. Alton. 

 

Ms. Alton promptly replied:

“Mr. Buster,

 

Yes, $1.1 million was obtained in FY 2008 for this project. The CSU staff is better positioned to respond to your additional questions.”

 

So I looked up Dr. Rashidi’s email at Cleveland State University and on March 31, 2008 I sent him this email:

Dear Dr. Rashidi.

 

Tubbs-Jones’ office has suggested that I contact CSU for information regarding ongoing news about the “wind spire”.

 

I have been following Mark Cironi and his “wind spiral” idea along with your patent (assigned to CSU) for the past several years and I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss with you any developments since Rep Tubbs-Jones obtained $1.1 million for the project last summer. 

 

I report about north east ohio (including wind energy policy and developments) on my blog at www.realneo.us

 

I live in NorthEastOhio and would be happy to visit you at CSU.

 

Sincerely,

Jeff Buster

 


 

Dr. Rashidi promptly responded:


Dear Mr. Buster,

 

I received your E-mail of March 31st.  I appreciate if you make a correction to one of the statements of your e-mail; the "wind spiral" design has never been an "idea of Mr. Cironi."  If you need to know more details please arrange a meeting with CSU's attorney to discuss this matter.

 

Regards,

M. Rashidi, Ph.D., P.E.

(216) 523-7485

m [dot] rashidi [at] csuohio [dot] edu" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" ymailto="mailto:m [dot] rashidi [at] csuohio [dot] edu">m [dot] rashidi [at] csuohio [dot] edu

So then I wrote back to Dr. Rashidi:

 

 

 

Dear Dr. Rashidi,

 

I am not so interested in the legalities of whose idea/invention/patent the   “wind spire” is but rather I am interested in news of progress on the project and news of how the federal grant is being spent.   I am a bit taken aback by what I sense is negativism and defensiveness – is this project so fraught with issues that it can only be discussed through CSU counsel? 

 

Ms. Tubbs-Jones’ office directed me to contact you to obtain updated information on the 1.1 million dollar federal grant earmarked for the wind spire project.

 

If you don’t feel you are the person to provide news on the project, please give me the name and contact information of the CSU attorney (or other contact)  who is familiar with the funding and its expenditure. 

 

Best

Jeff Buster

 

 

And on April 2 Dr. Rashidi wrote back to me:

 

Dear Mr. Buster,

 

In response to your E-mail of April 1st, 2008, I advice you to contact the legal office of CSU.  The phone number for our legal office is (216) 687-3543.  Thank you for your interests in our research programs.

 _______________________________________________

So today I called the CSU legal department and spoke with Janice.    After quizzing me about who I was (jeff buster) and where I was calling from (NEO), and why I was interested (tax payer) Janice told me that I would need to speak with a CSU attorney but she –the attorney - was not at her desk right then.   I asked Janice the name of the attorney who would be calling me back and Janice told me that she wasn’t sure.  I told Janice that if the attorney wasn’t at her desk then wouldn’t that be the person who was calling me back and so wouldn’t Janice know the attorney’s name?  

 

Janice then told me that she wasn’t sure who would be calling me back.

 

 I was getting the run- a-round – wasn’t I?

 

IS PARANOIA AND SECRECY THE NEO MODUS OPERANDI?  WHY? 

 

WHAT DOES ALL THIS DEFLECTION AND NON-RESPONSE MEAN?   

 

It means that if you are thinking about moving to NEO or locating a business here in NEO you should think again.  Because in NEO  you can’t get straight answers about public information. 

 

Whether you are in University Heights trying to get payroll tax information on University Square Plaza from:

 

Arman R. Ochoa

Director of Finance

City of University Heights

(216) 932-7800 ext.217

 

 or you are Ed Hauser trying to get a copy of a 1.5 million dollar publicly paid for relocation proposal from the Cleveland-Cuyahoga Port Authority (Ed finally got it, but not in a pdf) – our publicly funded agencies and boards and government employees think it is best to be secretive.

 

If you have had a positive experience obtaining public information here in NEO, please post your experience to give balance to my experiences.  I could vicariously use some positive experiences with the public records law...

( categories: )

Public Information

Run around is what's going on.

 

I'd suggest you make a formal request of the information you desire to the public information office of the university, citing the Ohio Revised Code (143.49).

The law requires timely response.

See if this works.

WIND SPIRE & MIL$ EARMARK GO POOF

 

 
I had a few questions then about the purported $1,082,000.00 federal funding - and CSU wasn’t forthcoming about the answers.
 
 
“Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Cleveland Democrat: $1,082,000 for a Cleveland State University program that will construct four rooftop wind spire towers in Northeast Ohio to provide alternative electricity sources.”
 
In the meantime we know that Ms. Tubbs Jones has passed, but what about her earmark for Mr. Cironi, Professor Rashidi and CSU?   Did the money ever get to OHIO?  
 
Is the “wind spire” a bogus scheme?   (I think it is) Is the earmark process another layer allowing one bogus scheme on top of another bogus scheme.   (I think it is)   Are these schemes holding back NEO?   Of course they are.
 
This is a great example of why internet available accounting must be put in place for all public spending.   One wouldn’t be forced to beg CSU’s head attorney for public access.
________________________________________________________
FYI – you will find most every old link to the Dealer (and to Tubbs Jones congressional web site) are dead.   Lesson: if you really want the material in the link preserved, you should copy it to your computer.   Don’t rely on others.