Lake Erie Living

Submitted by lmcshane on Sat, 05/24/2008 - 18:03.

SMART publishing! Really SMART--Capitalize on our biggest asset.
I found Lake Erie Living at my hair salon, so as you can imagine, I had time to read it from cover-to-cover.  And, I thought, at least the publishers know that their niche is to sell the region, which, out of curiousity, made me look up this publication in Wikipedia.  Not there, yet.  But, the Plain Dealer and Cleveland Magazine are listed. 

 This month's Cleveland Magazine looks at the Breuer debacle.  Sorry to say, much like the trouble you will encounter at any website and reminiscent of RealNEO's own woes and BFD's current woes, ...Cleveland Magazine's online version is currently down with this message:

Microsoft JET Database Engine error '80004005'

Not enough space on disk.

/ME2/Apps/CPTraffic/clsLog.asp, line 237

...Sort of a statement on the times for publishing as we know it.  But, hey, on the bright side, available at newstands and your local library!

BTW, the photo shows W.C. Reed field, actually, a buried tributary to the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie.  And, speaking of publications--this month's Northern Ohio Live is entitled: Great Neighborhoods--why we love where we live.  Of course, our local CDC executive lives in Westlake, so she wasn't interested in promoting my neighborhood through this issue and Northern Ohio Live's City Guide.  Hell--what do I know?  I only live here.

Please see attached photo of the townhouses that will be torn down for NRP and read the attached comments.  The doomed structures are located on the border of WC Reed Field, adjacent to that buried tributary and tied into an ancient, decrepit sewer system.  These townhouses are slated to be demolished soon.  Expect the taxpayers to foot the bill for this demo, too.



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Organized crime, NRP, NPI, NEORSD, GCBL?

See photos above--See articles written on Neighborhood Revitalizaton Partners in the 1990s in Toledo Blade and Akron Beacon Journal.  See Save our Land posts.

Here is the text of letter I sent to Southwest Citizen's group:
I work tonight, but I am going to try and make the Southwest Citizens' meeting to share my concerns on the proposal by Councilman Cummins to build subsidized senior housing on Denison Ave. 

The sewers are decrepit and not sized for this scale project.  There is also a buried creek under WC Reed Field. That culvert carries an enormous amount of water during storm events and is also subject to collapse.

The City of Cleveland's department of water pollution  control is responsible for the sanitary and combined sewers along Fern Court and Denison Ave--they have not reviewed this proposal. Denison has the inceptor, which receives rainwater and sanitary waste from the "upstream" connections along West 22 and Fern Court.  Fern Court is a 15" sized pipe with negative slope (meaning it currently does not drain properly--it actually slopes towards the park, rather than towards the inteceptor).  West 22nd Place has an 18" pipe, which ties into Denison. 

Brian will try to say that the project will tie directly to the Denison Inteceptor.  The Denison interceptor is also subject to collapse (it has collapsed across from Art House/next to Denison School).  This is also misleading, because the storm water flowing from the  parking lot slated for access from Fern Court can not tie directly into the interceptor.  Also the interceptor has exceeded capacity as recently as March 2008, which means that the combined sewer/storm water from the interceptor is subject to backing up into the smaller feeder lines (Fern/West 22nd Place) during storm events.

The volume of water proposed for this type of project has been calculated before by the DWPC for a previous proposal, which was denied due to the fill and existing geologic/environmental conditions on Fern Court.

You will also want to see these stories on the developer Neighborhood Revitalization Partners:


Page: 13
Record Number: 9807240022
Copyright (c) 1998 The Toledo Blade Company


Page: 16
Record Number: 9808010065
Copyright (c) 1998 The Toledo Blade Company


Edition: 1 STAR
Section: METRO
Page: A1
Record Number: 9908090062
Copyright (c) 1999 Akron Beacon Journal

SEE also Aberdeen Investments, for demolition and deception coming soon.

UPDATED 3/13/2009...The white townhouses and an adjacent house have been boarded up.  Developer types were out to the property this week and now the gas lines have been marked for the imminent demolition.  Councilman Cummins aide insists that the demolitions will not take place until May, after the City of Cleveland Engineering reports are released.  I am going to "go out on a limb here" and predict that the demolitions will occur sooner.  Probably the week of Easter.  Any one placing bets?

I have my own motherlode of questions regarding the City of Cleveland Building and Housing Department!  For instance, who are the contractors awarded these demolitions?  Who is paying for these demolitions and why do I suspect that taxpayers are footing the bill?

Updated 8/23/2009 From my neighbor Al, who is feeling the pain of seeing our neighborhood chewed up and spit out--editted per his request and sent as evidence to HUD in Columbus.


and.   "Fw. Office of the Auditor Property-Information--"  You may include this e-mail as well.
Firstly, I would like to see the issue of clause "C" addressed in the "Objections of release of funds"  with an investigation because it is very clear to me that if a release of funds did not occur in May,  because they (HUD and the City) were still in the process of collecting objections.  Monies spent were an exorbitant sum from somewhere and or someone to make all these purchases as the county records show, so I would think that the developer had obviously committed funds prior to release of funds.   I've addressed the parcels of the vacant land and the parcel of the Workman's Cottage at 2000 Denison and six unique parcels belonging to the Midland Terrace structure.  I did not mention the parcel belonging to the storefronts or the parcels on each side of the storefronts.  These also need to be investigated.   
Ms. Laura McShane, a well informed environmentalist has went above and beyond to properly submit objections before the proper deadline and they went either unanswered and or un satisfactorily concluded.  I invite you to please review her issues of concern in her blog at    She actively debates with Councilman Cummins and invites other input in the neighborhood to also comment along. 
Ms. McShane's claims of objection on permissible grounds,-- are again stated here in this e-mail and are as follows: 
Sec.58.75 Permissible bases for objections.  HUD (or the State), will consider objections claiming a responsible entity's noncompliance with this part based only on any of the following ground: (Page 383)  A)  The certification was not in fact executed by the responsible entity's certifying officer.  B)  The responsible entity has failed to make one of the two findings pursuant to Sec. 58.40 or to make the written determination required by Secs. 58.35, 58.47. or 58.53 for the project, as applicable.   C)  The responsible entity has omitted one or more of the steps set forth at sub-part E of this part for the preparation,  publication and completion of an EA. 
D)  The responsible entity has omitted one or more of the steps set forth at sub-parts F & G of this part for the conduct, preparation, publication and completion of an EIS.
E) The recipient has committed funds or incurred costs not authorized by this part before release of funds and approval of the environmental certification by HUD or the State.  
F)  Another federal agency acting pursuant to 40 CFR Part 1504 has submitted a written finding that the project is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of environmental quality.    
In layman's terms the land behind the Midland Terrace and behind the rest of the block was a landfill.
This landfill was a very deep gorge in the earth, as Brooklyn Centre sits high atop the Cuyahoga River Valley, there are estimated cliff drops around our neighborhood into the Brookside Park area which sits in the river floodplain of anywhere from 80 to 200 feet in drop.   The freeway system coupled with a convenient place to dump created this unregulated landfill starting in the late 1800's and it continued until the land was covered with soil and grass in the 1960's,  it has never been properly deed restricted because the City of Cleveland does not believe in doing things that make much sense.  Parts of it are official city park space and yet other parts of it are just in a holding state in the landbank without stipulations attached.    Hence we have had developers over the years build on or near this site, and in one case an entire apartment building had to come down because it had 1" cracks in the walls and was sinking.
When one looks outward behind the Denison Block in question over to Fern Court and beyond Eastward, it looks like perfectly stable earth, although it is riddled with sink holes, evidence of unstable earth.  Now after the latest round of "developer pull out" under Jane Campbell's administration if it really was "developer pull out" or simply a guise for NRP or an affiliate, now this NRP developer will be building a parking lot for 67 cars on the unstable earth,  and a 61 unit complex just south of the unstable earth, on the fringe lots of the filled gorge.  To today's common building standards it would not be permissible to build on the fringe or rim of a gorge in the earth.   Because the fringe land currently holds scant historical housing with small basements and one does not "physically" see an open abyss in the earth, they feel it is perfectly safe to build.  We do not know the exact start and ending point of the landfill.  The Midland Terrace was built and designed as a "Terrace" and was built into the lip of a cliff, something that would not be promoted in today's standard.   What we don't understand is exactly where the drop off and or landfill started or ended.  The 1800's map simply shows jagged lines throughout our neighborhood where the gorges plummeted downward to 80' plus.   A sad story from one of the old timers in the neighborhood, they say that a little Polish boy playing behind the Midland Terrace lost his footing and plummeted over 100 feet below and died in the 1920's.
This seems like a logical story, and it makes me wonder just were the cliff started and ended.  When Mr. Cummins is asked about soil boring's, he does not know where and how many boring's where taken.  This should be a concern. 
Mr. Cummins assures us that a Voluntary Action Plan is enough and that the new structures will not have basements.  But my concern is physical weight of "fill" of existing basements, also the developer plans to build water retention chambers for storm water so that the storm water does not burst the aging sewers during heavy rainfall.  Here too is a concern,  The water retention chambers are like mini basements themselves, carrying with them the weight of their construction.  Mr. Cummins also claims that the Denison Elderly Project will consist of more than a twenty percent change of use in addition to the site having some soil conditions that are contaminated.  So now we will be increasing the weight loads on the fringe lots an additional 20%.   We will have the weight of the water retension systems when in use, plus the maximum weight of 67 cars on a weighty paved lot  covering the landfill.  Do these developers really know what they are doing?  Do they care?
In this situation we need more than just a voluntary action plan, we need something as broad as a NEPA enviromental impact statement. 
Furthermore,  the findings of the City claim a "finding of no significant impact,"  yet they themselves admit there is "contaminated soils" present, that a 20% change will be taking place in land use. 
And now I will touch base again on the historical housing issue.
Regardless of what the 106 study shows or what the comments of Ms. Catlin were and or the comments of Mr. Musson from the landmarks commision of Cleveland, the rules are plain and to the point, either you have two out of five criteria met on a "potentially historic" structure to make it historic or you don't.  Those are the rules.  While at first trying to drive home my point of the Midland Terrace  being "potentially historical" I presented my claim without evidence because I had no evidence.  With that the case was again reviewed and closed.  As a couple of weeks went by and new evidence came to light to indeed prove that the Midland Terrace is indeed "potentially historic"  I have since sent my evidence to Mr. Musson at the suggestion of Mr. Andrus the head of the Historic Preservation Office in Washington DC.   I only included Ms. Catlin's responce to you because it was on the e-mail page, wether or not you agree with her does not matter,  what does matter is that she finds it sad to see City's such as Cleveland not use 106 procedures more carefully when HUD monies are involved.  
Furthermore Ms. Catlin is agreeing with Ms. Adkins in Columbus because she is filmiliar with Ms. Adkins work, and Ms. Adkins work is based on Mr. Mussons opinion, and Mr. Musson had recently received training from Ms. Atkins, so any defect that Mr. Musson has is a reflection on Ms. Adkins.  Their whole viewpoint is contaminated and should be thrown out.  But at this point, that is neither here nor there, what shaped Mr. Musson is  Councilman Cummins outrageous contempt to force this entire project upon us.  
I've seen many buildings in much worse shape than the Midland Terrace be saved and restored in this town.  It's the powers that be that shape these projects into what they are.  The loss of the Midland Terrace and it's potential restoration will be the nail in the coffin for this neighborhood.  We have an opportunity here to grow as a historical community and give a crown to a rare piece of Architecture that will pull this neighboorhood out of the mucky muck and give it new hope.  And instead we are settling for a cracker box modern structure(s) that comes without organization and is riddled with potential mistakes.  Furthermore, the group offers no assurances that this Elderly Housing project will not, upon depreciation, transfer and or be sold to CMHA.     
What adds even more aggravation is that the City was aware all along that they were prepping this area for re-development and yet in the removal process of the Workman's Cottage at 2000 Denison a proper 106 procedure was not even considered.   The Workman's Cottage added Historical Potential to the Midland Terrace, having it blantantly removed without proper procedure is a violation of Federal Law!   By doing so they have deluded the architecture of surrounding properties and in a neighborhood like this, where much muddling has occured, we need every salvagable piece of history we can salvage.  And as far as "muddling" goes, as it pertains to the Midland Terrace, this is not an issue because it can be as muddled as anything, because the two criteria that have been met for the Midland Terrace are, 1) The Architect  and 2)  The Architecture   The Midland Terrace has a unique roof, like no other in the City and possibily the entire State of Ohio, so there, case closed. 
It is the powers that be that refuse to accept the Midland Terrace as "potentially historical"  because this City is a corrupt slimepit of degradation and to have your agency just fork out the dough, God as my witness, I'm going to have a stroke.          

Soap Opera

Frontline calls it the "Young and the Restless,"   last night one of the characters, an American-educated man, bemoans falling into the corruption so prevalent in China (everywhere).  He says a fish needs water--if the water is dirty, it must fight to stay alive.  Fish can't leave water.