PD EGGING ON UNNECESSARY ROAD

Submitted by Roldo on Sun, 09/13/2009 - 14:33.

We have a problem Plain Dealer.

The monopoly newspaper has been pushing hard for the so-called Opportunity Corridor. The problem is that the co-chairman of the push is Terry Egger, publisher of the Plain Dealer. He’s a walking conflict of interests.

 

Multi-millionaire Egger is a board member of the Cleveland Clinic, likely the chief entity to benefit from the proposed road. The road would go from I-490 at East 55th street and slice to, well, the Clinic area.

 

So Egger has two conflicts of interest – his position as publisher and his position as a Clinic board member along with his position as head of the only newspaper in town.

I wrote Egger for information on his committee’s efforts a while back. Egger punted over to Terri Hamilton Brown. She’s the project head, working at the Greater Cleveland Partnership. The Partnership helped finance a study on the importance of the road, helped with matching $100,000 contributions from the Cleveland and Gund Foundations.

 

Money is easily gotten for projects that benefit the powerful and wealthy.

 

Once again today the PD had big headlines: “Opportunity Corridor needed even more now, officials say,” read the top headline on the Metro Page. I had a hard time finding in the article any officials, other than Ms. Hamilton Brown, making comment that would back up that headline.

 

The same old line is given us by the Pee Dee. The urgency deals with “spawning” economic and community development. Please, give me a break.

 

What I did notice, however, is that the price of the 2-3/4 mile road has already gone up since the last article by $25 million, from $350 million to $375 million.

 

Egger, who once complained to me that I overstated his income from the sale of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, made millions on the deal. The numbers came from the St. Louis Journalism Review, which cited Security & Exchange Commission figures. See here for Egger’s wealth:

http://www.lakewoodbuzz.com/RoldoBartimole/RB%2005-24-06_Cleveland_Plain_Dealer_Terrence_Egger_Lakewood%20Ohio%20Roldo%20Bartimole.html

 

I inquired about meetings of Egger’s Corridor group. The answer came from Ms. Hamilton Brown.

 

“The Steering Committee held a kick-off meeting on May 15 at the Plain Dealer…” Well, isn’t that convenient for Mr. Egger.

 

The next meeting was scheduled for Sept. 1 and was held “in the board room of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.” Also, convenient for those most interested.

 

The public, well, not so convenient, especially meeting at 9 a.m.

 

Well, I asked for minutes of the meetings. I’d like to see what’s going on. Wouldn’t you?

 

“Minutes from the Sept. 1 meeting have not been completed and I am now out of town until Sept. 21. I will forward minutes from both meetings when I return to the office.”

No mention of minutes from the May meeting?

 

Anyway, I don’t expect too much in the way of cooperation.

 

Egger is busy putting out an inferior newspaper. The Partnership is busy doing what it always does – taking care of those with power. The Cleveland and Gund foundations are busy doing that they typically do – funding what those in power want funded.

 

This is a disgrace. Opportunity Corridor, indeed. When people who need transportation are being hit with increased fares and lesser service by the Regional Transit Authority, our leaders are busy wrangling $375 million (so far) for a road we don’t need, for the convenience of people who can afford to travel Cleveland’s streets.

 

This is simply a very expensive bypass of ghetto residents for those who don’t want to see the seamy side of Cleveland. Let them take Woodland, Carnegie, Cedar, and Chester to University Circle. These are roads, already built, already convenient, and already paved.

 

You don’t hear much from the black political leadership. I remember when this issue came up years ago, Frank Jackson, then Council President, was a bit hesitant, as I remember. After all, the proposed road went through his ward.

 

Hardly a stir can one hear from Jackson or any other African-American politician.

 

Let’s stop building ghetto by-passes and calling them an OPPORTUNITY.

 

 

  

 

 

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14 million dollars could be

14 million dollars could be used to clean up the ghetto so people wouldn't be afraid to drive through it to get to the Cleveland Clinic instead of building new freeways to bypass it. 

 

But that would make too much sense

  Thanks Ward 14 resident--I don't understand how the monied interests in this town live with themselves.  We have plenty of existing streets, bridges, water lines, gas lines, sewers and infrastructure needs that would provide jobs if we could get the powers that be to focus on restoration rather than destruction and demolition.
 

BTW, you asked about desanctifying/deconsecrating a church--I believe it is the opposite of consecration of a church and would involve a bishop...I don't want to depress myself to think what the Diocese has done with St. Procop's and what will happen to St. Barbara's in my neighborhood. 

Desanctification...never

Desanctification...never heard of it before...but it sounds kind of evil to take away sanctity.  I find the closing of inner city churches depressing too.  It sure doesn't help to stabilize a neighborhood.  So sad.

lots of rituals

If it can be consecrated, it can be "deconsecrated', there is always a method.

St. Procops

There is a ceremony that is conducted. I wonder if it is open to the public? Anyway, one proposal from one of the council candidiates is to combine Trent Park at the back of St. Procops with the St. Procops' buildings, and make a City rec center in addition to the outside area. If you have ever been in the hall, it is really an old basketball court. It would be great for kids to have an inside winter basketball court. There is so much space there that can be used by the community. The kids in that area play in the street all the time.

Now that sounds like a great

Now that sounds like a great idea. 

St. Procop

  I visited Rebecca's house on Hyde, a beautiful street that was anchored by St. Procop on W. 41 St. to the east and St. Rocco's on Fulton to the west.  Council introduced legislation to landmark the interiors and exteriors of Cleveland's sacred landmarks.  I don't know the status of the interior legislation.  Can any one update?  DWebb, the suggestion to develop a community center with a park and recreation at St. Procop makes complete sense and another denomination, most likely Spanish would take on the church if the Diocese will allow it. 

St. Procops

I would really hope that the Diocese would cooperate and if they deconscrete it, then it should not matter what the denomination would be (am I dreaming here?). The question is how much of the beautiful interior would remain?

St. Procop's Stained Glass

The windows have been sold to a church in N. Carolina and were scheduled to be removed the week after closing which was delayed due to media interest.  Don't know when they are coming out but openings have been measured and replacement glass is ordered. 

Several years ago, my studio had the opportunity to bid on the removal contract but chose not to.  kd

Any idea how much the church

Any idea how much the church paid for the windows?  And what church bought them?  Very interesting information.  Follow the money.

Cost of Windows St P

No, I don't but whatever it was is a fraction of what it would cost to duplicate them today.  Very few people can do that sort of glass painting.  Current cost for that type of work is about $350-400 per square foot.  Old church windows, however nicely done are hard to market.  Usually need releading which is expensive and if they don't fit, have to be retrofit so most likely these windows are going into a new building designed around the windows. 

There are hundreds of old church windows at the warehouse.  Fifty years from now they'll still be there.  kd

it is a great re-use

A great reuse of existing buildings and I bet it would really get used alot. People just don't have the time to take kids to the other rec centers, and we have to find something positive for kids to do. The excercise is good for them, and a walk to rec center sounds idea. Better than letting a building moulder into decay.

Definately better than

Definately better than decay. 

Sold--St. Procops Stained Glass

  Kate, this is sickening news.  Those windows were paid for with parishioners' alms out of the pockets of hard-working immigrant families. 

The Catholic Diocese should be ashamed.  It is a pitiful reflection of what the Church actually represents in society today.
 

it is money for them

What a loss this is. And it is being repeated through out the area. I am not sure about the ability to designate the interiors of building as historical without the cooperation of the owners of privately owned buildings (and that would be the Diocese).

I do hope that Rick's desire to use the buildings and playground for a neighborhood recreation center reaches fruition, regardless of who wins the race. 

Sound of Ideas --Opportunity Corridor broadcast

  The program this morning is podcasted here--
 

http://www.wcpn.org/index.php/WCPN/soi/27864/

Steven Litt mentioned public hearings next week--and a presentation at Cleveland Public Library as part of the Spectrum lecture series in late October.  More later.

no anti

  listened to it this morning - i found it interesting they did not include anyone in opposition to the plan (at least not what I heard). 

Build "it" and "they" will come?

  Debra...I didn't get to hear the comments in the morning and listened later.  ALL of the comments were skeptical and DUBIOUS of the claims supporting the Opportunity Corridor made by Steven Litt, Deb Janik and Phyllis Cleveland tried to play both sides of the aisle.

Here's my recap:

Comment from a listener named Gary was not "appreciative" of the Opportunity Corridor proposal.  He points out that we are losing the "they" in NEO...

They?  New employment, new investment?? New development in the actual corridor?  Who wants to be there?  Supposedly bioenterprise?? How much of the acreage is brownfield?? 

Second airtime comment echoed the first. Will we need to reallocate public safety forces??  Of course..and, how do we pay for it?  Get REAL...

Third comment.  Cleveland does medical well...if students stick around for a job it will be in medical, but where is the vision and investment...and comprehensive vision?  Steven Litt says take unproductive land and turn it around...claims that this significant buck will result in a big bang...but, but, but...Euclid Corridor is not substantiating these big promises...economic downturn blamed/crisis...City of Cleveland's history of not "following through" on projects...

Mouthroup claims the consensus is: We can't just do nothing?  And, I say, why not?  Allow areas to revert to vegetation and forest.  At the very least we improve our air and water quality...

Tom from Oberlin wants to know who owns the bread?  Who owns the land--350 acres...majority land owner...the City of Cleveland?  GCP Deb Janik claims the CDCs are assembling the land bank lots...what about the other 49 % ? Janik doesn't (and won't) identify the major "private" owners and skirts eminent domain questions...

Another question: white flight...racism...caller talks about Randall Park, Shaker Square, Coventry...connection?  Demographic driven or played off of this dynamic...of course.

North Royalton caller...with long history in the area discussed false promises of the shoreway when it was developed and fears this project will be just as bad.

Last caller from Old Brooklyn...complained about how investment on the east side was killing the west side.

Just please stop this madness. NOW.

 

Ever since Ideastream was bought by the Cleveland Foundation

It has just become another voice for the establishment. I stopped listening years ago, when they refused to address lead poisoning in the community the first time the community asked... and they've largely ignore the issue every annual lead awareness week and annual meeting of the GCLAC, for many years since...

Wouldn't want to offend those sponsors, nor benefit the public, public radio.

Big bills to pay in those fancy production studios and offices... and for all that fancy staff....

Disrupt IT

 

BTW, who opposes the Opportunity Corridor?!?!?

I've yet to see one community leader with the courage to challenge the leadership behind the Opportunity Corridor... we have 100% sell-out on this one. 100%.

Disrupt IT

Build "it

Thanks for this recap, Laura, as I was going to listen to the pod-cast and now I don't have to. I can just play the other "build it and they will come" scenarios in my head and substitute the  the names and places. All the same, just new projects to throw the $$ at.