OPPORTUNITY - OR CRIME IN PROGRESS? $350 MILLION ROAD

Submitted by Roldo on Wed, 04/29/2009 - 17:01.

The Cleveland Foundation and Gund Foundation push inequality again with two grants to the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) for a road to by-pass poverty. The game goes on. You pay because they say.

 
Let’s zip by those poor folk and get them to pay for it.
 
The two foundations, which often work in tandem, are giving the Greater Cleveland Partnership $200,000 over two years for Opportunity Corridor uses.  
 
It’s a very, very expensive short road with a PR name to hide a deformed purpose. Can we credit Chris Ronayne? I believe so.
 
They have labeled it fancifully “Opportunity Corridor.” Who could be against Opportunity? They don’t, however, tell you for whom it is inopportune.
 
Opportunity Corridor is a road that will slice through an East Side Cleveland poverty area to quickly route drivers through and past it. The lucky drivers won’t have to even glance at the unseemly sights. From the highway to University Circle in no time. Convenience has a pricy price tag, as we shall see.
 
Two grants of $100,000 from each the Cleveland and Gund foundations has been combined to hire former Mayor Michael White executive Terri Hamilton Brown. She is married to Mayor Frank Jackson’s chief operating officer Darnell Brown. And how convenient – she formerly headed up University Circle, Inc.
 
All tied up in pretty bows. As it always is when the Establishment types come to call.
 
It’s the kind of Establishment decision-making that produces what I’ve called the Deformed Society. We’re knee deep in it. Opportunity in the Deformed Society means just the opposite of what it says. It’s inequality posing as progress.
 
Within the Deformed Society they call it a public-private partnership. A win-win decision. Lots of that going around.
 
This Opportunity Corridor allows people to avoid unwholesome places where poverty resides. The cost is negligible to our leaders – a mere estimated $350 million investment. Of course, unless some things go wrong.
 
 “… It represents one of the largest public projects ever undertaken in the core city.” Whoopee! That’s according to the GCP announcement of Brown as project chairman of Opportunity Corridor. It’s another opportunity for her, will attest to that.
 
The spin doctor, self-promoting quote makes it sound as if it benefits the Core City. It doesn’t. Is there any core left?
 
It doesn’t make it sound what it really is. A sneak around the poor.
 
Doesn’t it sound to you as if it’s a $350 million convenience for, say, the University Circle institutions or the Cleveland Clinic? The expensive but Establishment needy road goes from I-490 at E. 55th Street to E. 105th. That’s destination closes in on University Circle’s cultural institutions and the Clinic. I guess that’s somebody’s “core city.”
 
Here’s what Plain Dealer publisher Terry Egger says about the less-than-three-mile-$100-million-a-mile corridor: “It will resurrect a new vitality within this community and position our region for substantial economic growth. Everybody in Greater Cleveland is going to benefit from it. We must come together as a community and work to accelerate this project and make it a reality as soon as possible. It’s an aptly named project. It’s a great opportunity for Cleveland, and we’ve got to take advantage of it.”
 
God, do people believe this crap? “Come together as a community.” Really?
 
You might guess that the elated PD publisher Egger co-chairs the Opportunity Corridor Steering Committee with Jamie Ireland, managing director of Early Stage Partners, a venture capital firm. He’s a former Wall Streeter. Of course, he’s also chairman of University Circle, Inc.
 
It all fits together.
 
Egger’s gleeful pronouncement sounds as if the quotes come from a file marked for such “special” occasions.
 
“Say, Joe, this is Terry. Will you get me Civic Sucker Quote 207? We’re announcing another public-private partnership.”
 
The two foundations, via the Greater Cleveland Partnership, are putting up $200,000. That’s the private side of the public-private partnership, I guess.
 
Gov. Ted Strickland is balancing the public side. He has awarded $20 million thus far from federal stimulus money to the project, the GCP says, and Mayor Frank Jackson has pledged the city’s cooperation. So far that hasn’t been put in dollar signs. Frank will.
 
So the $20 million so far - that’s the public side. Seems fair to Egger. Not you?
 
“Few projects are as important to the city as Opportunity Corridor. Terri Hamilton Brown’s appointment together with the allocation of $20 million in federal stimulus funds gives us the impetus we needed to move this crucial economic development and transportation initiative forward,” says Mayor Jackson. He’s really on board.
 
So you see the Cleveland and the Gund provide $200,000 to balance the thus-far $20 million in public funds of the soon to be $350-million (without overruns or interest costs).
 
The co-chairs are a couple of rich white guys. The public can read the nice quotes in the paper, maybe. That’s what they call a public-private partnership.
 
That’s what I call a crime in progress.
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Dear Roldo

I do mean to read through the plot line you have documented for history through your Point of View publication.  I know you know the puppets and the puppet masters.  It is a tale of intrigue, greed, murder and mayhem worthy of an opera or a great novel.

The fiction perpetrated on NEO as the Opportunity Corridor made me realize that the epic story of Cleveland should be told as in the tradition of Gone with the Wind, and The Godfather.   I know that the material has the makings of a potboiler and I entertain myself with thoughts of who should play the main characters in the fictionalized telling of this never-ending tale. 

If I can help in any way, please consider me your humble servant.

Regards,

Laura McShane

crap, it is

Coudn't agree more about the crap part.

How is this whole thing getting paid for? I still see a shortfall of $330,000,000, even without trying to forecast the inevitable cost overruns.

Is the City of Cleveland going to tap into its "rainy day fund"? We do have one, don't we? We are prudent, aren't we?

How much have we already bought on the installment plan? How many future generations have we indentured? Why would anybody in his or her right mind submit to that by moving in here? Why are we submitting to it, for that matter?

Is there a compilation anywhere of the local debt service and how far into the future it extends?

 

Laura - You're right it is

Laura - You're right it is the stuff of novels. Unfortunately, I don't have a good enough imagination for the job. Maybe you should do it.

Contact me at Roldo [at] Roadrunner [dot] com.

Funding to date is up to

Funding to date is up to for Right-of-Way Acquisition and Relocation, which alternative did they choose?

The construction funding will be a matter for each budget each year. Alt 2 requires $282M, Alt 4 $211-$247M

Its fully funded up to construction, if not delayed or not funded it's done in 2014. 

The rail lines really

 

The rail lines really should be considered in all of ODOT Urban Core Projects.

Rail is not Government owned, it is privately owned and not by one private company by a different companies.

The companies pay property tax to the city they are located in, but the tracks are often redundant since they do not share tracks. They could reduce the redundancy nationalize the tracks and then convert the property tax to lease fees.

That would reduce the tracks consolidations could occur, the removed tracks could become parks. The path of the consolidated tracks should connect to inter modal hubs, the new port and industrial clusters.

Then the path of the removed tracks could be parks and or location for a naturalized water shed with reservoirs and streams. Because the rail all connect and often are in ravines, sometimes the ravines they exist in were at one time natural water sheds. Some of those path could be reused for commuter lines.

That corridor is heavy with rail, the whole region rail could be looked at from the perspective of efficiency. Then again for the potential of the land above it’s current use.

None of this is new, it’s a hot topic in congress and has been for years.

Brooklyn  http://cpl

http://cplorg.cdmhost.com/u?/p4014coll24,209

 

http://cplorg.cdmhost.com/u?/p4014coll24,214

 

We really made a mess of it, it would be interesting to add fields to each parcel that convert the year of a construction to a color, then a time series could be done. You could then see what and were, what is historical exists.

I requested a giant map be made that had everything, the entire county with nothing man made the natural water shed the topography of the land.

Then add all infrastructure, the water lines, sewer lines, gas lines, power lines….

The roads, the highways, bridges, the rail lines.

All the built objects.

The point is that is data and data points, there are relationships. We are not using the technology, we are still just people living on the land. Everything else is dramatics. Inputs and outputs?

What is societal and what is structural, the former benefits most when it glorifies the second.

Go back to the townships as regional districts and then seek the highest and best uses. That is why eminent domain is written into the constitution. People will interfere with progress. Deflation is good it allows costs to fall and enables the feasibility of change. Capital measures must be used to ensure that what is done is long term and substantiality. Built and intended to last, revisiting it is not industry it actually is inflationary. Like not painting the home and it rotting away. Like coating bridges with corrosives and then paying millions to repair it. They say it keeps us working, I think there are other things that need to be done.

To every problem is a solution, it is that the question are not being asked, its about satisfying at too low a standard. Is it good enough, could it be done better, even better for less.

 

I do not have issues with a new road, but I bet I will not be satisfied with what the results are.  I think make it look like Chester, thats a good connecting road.  Not a highway! 

Rockport 

Brooklyn

Roldo won't call out Rokakis

Roldo understands the crime, but won't call out Rokakis. 

Roldo sent me this article in 2009 and used to it to explain to me how he was a "good guy" :
http://www.oberlin.edu/alummag/winter2008/features/economics.html

Urban savior...right.

I am reading Muzzled by Juan Williams.  I find the book interesting because the local media is muzzled, including NPR.  Especially NPR.  Dan Moulthrop was aware of flipping and straw buyers--another component in the land bank and real estate deals that have gone on in NEO.  When his colleague Mhari Saito ran a story on the flippers on the east side (fed to NPR), I called and asked her to cover the story on the west side, especially, transfer of properties to HUD (see Sheryl Hoffman/Abe Bruckman).  She came out and started the story.  But, higher ups would not let it publish. The Plain Dealer published a sanitized version of the story that did not include the fact that one of the houses listed belonged to Sheryl Hoffman and peripatetic CDC employee Abe Bruckman.

New York Times is also a compromised outlet--as evidenced by this story fed to them:

All Boarded Up

www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/magazine/08Foreclosure

The reality is we have no media, except for the media we create on line.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This case is very unusual.

In the past, I have worked with the media on several cases with no issues on reporting.

The back/forth emails to/from the Plain Dealer has been going on for nearly one year.  They will not report on this story and continue to delete numerous  comments on Cleveland.com nearly every time this subjet or person is mentioned.

I met with Mike Gill from Scene Magazine and he agreed that I had "overwhelming evidence" ; however his coverage on this issue was very limited.  Mike Gill is an excellent and well respected reporter and this story was not  Mike's usual work.

I met with an East Cleveland Councilman and he agreed with me also.  He told me that he suspected something was wrong for a very long time and tried to warn others.  The councilman also told me that he was concerned that Black Churches were also being targeted.

The East Cleveland Councilman was so outraged with my documentation and allegatons that he personally drove my research/complaint to George Forbes' home and gave Forbes' wife the package.  The councilman called me after he delivered the documents.

I personally went to the NAACP and delivered my complaint and documents.  Stan Miller and I went back and forth on this issue, and I got no where.  The last converstation that I had with Stan Miller turned into a heated conversation and I decided that NAACP was not the place for my complaint.

I contacted my long time friend, Mike Nelson, President of 100 Black Men over this case.   Mike and I played phone tag for a few days, but I got entangled with some personal problems at the time and I never followed up with Mike Nelson.

I sent a copy of my complaint and research to Call and Post Newspaper.

I spoke with two federal agents regarding this case.  One in New York and one in Cuyahoga County.

I posted numerous comments to National stories regarding this issue.

And I could go on and on.   But in the end, all of this means absolutely nothing.  Tens of thousands of victims ripped off by Cuyahoga County officials and Plymouth Park Tax Services.

This plan to eliminate the poor Black community that was "in the way" was initiated years ago.

OPPORTUNITY - OR CRIME IN PROGRESS? $350 MILLION ROAD

Submitted by Roldo on Wed, 04/29/2009 -

In part,

The Cleveland Foundation and Gund Foundation push inequality again with two grants to the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) for a road to by-pass poverty.

They have labeled it fancifully “Opportunity Corridor.” Who could be against Opportunity? They don’t, however, tell you for whom it is inopportune.

 

Opportunity Corridor is a road that will slice through an East Side Cleveland poverty area to quickly route drivers through and past it. The lucky drivers won’t have to even glance at the unseemly sights. From the highway to University Circle in no time. Convenience has a pricy price tag, as we shall see.
 
The spin doctor, self-promoting quote makes it sound as if it benefits the Core City. It doesn’t. Is there any core left?
 
It doesn’t make it sound what it really is. A sneak around the poor.
 
The co-chairs are a couple of rich white guys. The public can read the nice quotes in the paper, maybe. That’s what they call a public-private partnership.
 
That’s what I call a crime in progress.