Economy

U.S. EPA Wants to Fine Midwest Landlord $$$$ Over Lead Paint

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 12/30/2006 - 15:38.

In a link on Brewed Fresh Daily today (which has really stepped up to create awareness about lead poisoning in our region), I found an interesting article on former Plain Dealer Cincinnati Reporter Bill Sloat's blog "The Daily Bellweather" titled "U.S. EPA Wants to Fine Midwest Landlord $$$$ Over Lead Paint", which illustrates one of the important steps essential to the eradication of lead poisoning in our region - ENFORCEMENT. In "The Daily Bellweather" report, regarding the EPA, we see "Earlier this month, the agency's Midwestern regional office moved to slap a $52,724 penalty on a landlord for failing to warn tenants and buyers that homes and apartments may contain health hazards from lead-based paint."

Canton joins East Cleveland, Toledo, Lancaster, Columbus and Cincinnati suing paint industry over lead paint...

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 12/28/2006 - 22:51.

Thank you again, Ohio Republican legislature, for bringing a second city into litigation against Sherwin-Williams and the paint industry in a single day, December 27, 2006, as Canton has joined Cincinnati demanding that those who created the public nuisance of lead poisoning now clean up their mess, that has harmed 1,000s in these communities. From the Canton Repository: "In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Stark County Common Pleas Court, the city says the paint industry knew lead was toxic as early as 1900 but continued to add the metal to paint and even promoted the product as having health benefits. The city wants the companies to pay for the removal of lead paint and for public education about its dangers, as well as reimbursement for money the city has spent dealing with lead-related hazards."

Bill Callahan's Cleveland Diary details risk of regional buying... NOPEC natural gas will be 33% higher than Dominion

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 12/28/2006 - 20:21.

Cleveland Vision's Bill Callahan hosts a remarkably insightful blog called Cleveland Diary where he digs deeper into fascinating regional economic issues than anyone else on Earth, in a very precise and reputable way. Today, he posted a fasinating revelation that "NOPEC natural gas will be 33% higher than Dominion East Ohio next month", because "Dominion’s current residential rate of $12.49 per mcf will fall to around $9.90 starting in mid-January" while "the rate charged by the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) — at $12.68, already higher than East Ohio’s — is going up next month to around $13.13." He goes on to point out, "So tens of thousands of residents of Cleveland and other NE Ohio cities who were automatically “opted in” to the NOPEC supply deal last Spring by our cities, and didn’t go to the trouble to opt out — either because they believed in the promised savings, or weren’t sure what to think, or just didn’t understand the system at all — will now be paying 33% more for NOPEC gas than they’d be paying as Dominion East Ohio customers." Well, by some stroke of luck, I'm still a Dominion customer... I sure didn't understand the system at all.

Cincinnati also to litigate against lead poison public nuisance - and their Enquirer puts PD to shame in covering issue

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 12/28/2006 - 17:18.

 Cincinnati Enquirer Lead Inspection Graphic

If we have anything to thank Ohio Republican legislators for, and especially Rep. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican,  it is that their cloak-of-night passage of Substitute Senate Bill 117, which seeks to outlaw cities suing polluters for public nuisances they cause, and legislate-away other consumer rights for Ohioans, has driven our state capital of Columbus and now huge Ohio city Cincinnati to storm their courthouses to sue Sherwin-Williams and other paint companies over the public nuisance of lead poisoning in their communities, which is a legal position proved valid in the courts of the State of Rhode Island. In Columbus, the Mayor has said it was the action of these Republicans that forced them to sue. Of course, Ohioans' greatest appreciation goes to Mayor Brewer, of East Cleveland, who was the man who brought such public nuisance lead litigation to Ohio to protect his residents, the most effected by lead poisoning in the state, and so he is protecting all citizens of Ohio.

Rob Portman, director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, on The President’s Funding Priorities

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 12/28/2006 - 16:37.
01/05/2007 - 12:00
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It is hard to imagine a more critical issue in America than the federal budget and "The President’s Funding Priorities". No matter what the stock market tells us, the war in Iraq has turned federal finances upside down and will have serious direct and trickle down impacts for decades, not to mention the rise of new economic tigers around the world, led by China, and the reliance on those tigers to keep the dollar afloat... the U.S. economy is in a precarious condition. Will the current reliance on supply sided economics and free trade grow enough of the economy fast enough to address the baby-boom implosion of social security and medicare costs ahead? So many issues to consider, and the City Club is offering Clevelanders the opportunity to get answers from a great source, as Rob Portman, director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) since May 2006, will speak about the economy and federal budget priorities at noon on Friday, January 5, 2007, at The City Club of Cleveland. From their Press Release on this talk:

Location

City Club of Cleveland
850 Euclid Avenue 2nd Floor
Cleveland, OH
United States

Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Sheryl Harris gives holiday gift to keep giving until 2008

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 12/26/2006 - 16:03.

On Sunday, December 24, 2006, Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Sheryl Harris wrote a column I thought to write myself, titled "My holiday gift to you: A list of Ohio politicians who sold you out", "a list of the Northeast Ohio legislators who voted to curtail your consumer rights" by passing lobbyist, lawyer and industry-benefiting Amended Substitute Senate Bill Number 117, allowing significant corporate entitlements to soar through the Ohio legislature without community debate. The amendments are most significantly designed "to prohibit the use of enterprise theories of liability against manufacturers in product liability claims, and to include public nuisance claims under the definition of product liability claims", meaning to protect the paint industry here from liability for the public nuisance they have caused by selling lead based paint nearly a century after it was known to harm humans, as proved in their loss to the State of Rhode Island earlier this year. The amendments also protect car dealers, scam loan sharks, manufacturers, etc. from real accountability for harming the public. The legislators who are guilty of this abuse of their offices were listed in the PD article with the suggestion that is "a keepsake you could clip and save." Local blogger Jill Miller Zimon repeated the list on her excellent blog, "Writes like she talks", and I repeat it here, so it may be as present in cyberspace and available to the world as possible. We will need this list over the next many years, until all of these anti-Ohioan men and women are driven from public "service", as they have shown they do not protect public interests. By having this information in as many public places as possible, I hope we the people will be more successful protecting the public than has our legislature under current rule. The list of sell outs and further harms they cause the public is as follows, from Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Sheryl Harris:

Radiating from The Star, transformational redevelopment is coming soon to Cleveland and East Cleveland

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 12/26/2006 - 02:42.

 Star Complex East Cleveland Half Mile Radius and Zones

Since late June, 2006, a growing team of innovative community leaders has been working together with Lamond Williams, the owner of Hot Sauce Williams BBQ, and East Cleveland Mayor Eric Brewer and Community Development Director Tim Goler, and government leadership in Cleveland, to determine how best to redevelop the historic Hough Bakery Complex, formerly the Star Bakery, which Lamond also owns. The objective is to use that redevelopment as a catalyst for transformation of the neighborhoods surrounding that significant property, located on Lakeview, partially in both Cleveland and East Cleveland. On the map above, the Star Complex is in magenta, and the green circle marks a 1/2 mile radius surrounding that - the other colored areas are key neighborhoods and assets within that radius.

Did you know Columbus joined East Cleveland, Toledo and Lancaster suing Sherwin-Williams?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 12/18/2006 - 05:09.

One might think when the capital of our state sues one of the biggest companies in our state, Sherwin-Williams, which is based in the Plain Dealer's home town of Cleveland, and is defended by one of the world's most powerful law firms, also based in our hometown, seeking over $1 billion, that story would rank a few real column inches in the local paper... perhaps hit Section One, or Metro. Not in the Sherwin-Williams Plain Dealer...

Ed Hauser's Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority Public Records Request - one man for the citizens

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 12/18/2006 - 02:25.

 There is lots of major news related to the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and their plans for the region, these days.

A story where individuals are making differences, for good and bad: The Historic Coast Guard Station

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 12/17/2006 - 18:30.

 

I met a few days ago with Ed Hauser - the "Citizen Hauser" who single-handedly saved Whiskey Island for the public - to see what he's been up to for the past few months. In brief, besides helping save Northeast Ohio from ODOT and their foolish pursuit of their ill-conceived Innerbelt Bridge and Trench plans, and continuing to single-handedly challenge the Port Authority's ongoing attempts to destroy Whiskey Island, Ed is taking next steps in his one man, multi-year battle to save the remarkable National Historic Landmark Coast Guard Station, at the tip of Whiskey Island, at the mouth of the Cuyahoga, designed by J. Milton Dyer, also architect of Cleveland City Hall. Ed mentioned to me he in the process of pressuring the city of Cleveland Law Director Robert Triozzi to seek a court order to force the city to comply with its own landmarks-preservation law, which requires owners of city landmarks to keep the properties secure and water tight, and, if the city fails to act responsibly and lawfully, Ed intends to file a citizens lawsuit against the city. Today, the Plain Dealer picked up the scent of the story, and shared some of the sad commentary of some of those related to the sorry state of this landmark, and the declining historic integrity of this city.

Premiere community screening of "Cleveland: Confronting Decline in an American City"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 12/11/2006 - 11:43.
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The premiere community screening of Cleveland: Confronting Decline in an American City, the latest documentary in the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s “Making Sense of Place” film series. This event is in conjunction with University Circle Inc., Cleveland Homebuilders Association and Cleveland Neighborhood Development Coalition.

Location

Cleveland Museum of Natural History
1 Wade Oval Drive University Circle
Cleveland, OH
United States

Fantastic, Happy 1st Anniversary as Convivium33 Gallery presents: Christoper Pekoc: Evolution 1964-2006

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 12/10/2006 - 19:27.

 

One of NEO's most striking and fascinating galleries, Convivium33, is featuring, as its first anniversary showing, Evolution 1964-2006, an exciting retrospective of the work of globally appreciated mixed-media artist and Case University art professor Christopher Pekoc, curated and catalogued by prolific author and Case art history professor Henry Adams, delivering an inspiring and intriguing experience for all visitors. From Professor Adams' writings about the show: “There’s something dark, tough and roughly textured about Pekoc’s work that captures the creative essence of Cleveland”... “His imagery is both repressed and intensely sensual.” I like those thoughts about Pekoc and Cleveland and this show very much.

Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Wood

Submitted by Zebra Mussel on Fri, 12/08/2006 - 23:57.

I saw some Forestry Stewardship Certified (FSC) timber products at Home Depot.  2 years ago they pledged to sell 40% FSC certified timber products.  Last year 60%.  The word on the street is that there is not even enough supply on the street yo.

4th of 5 final shows at 1300 featuring David D'Andrea, Stephen Kasner and Douglas Utter

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 12/08/2006 - 14:01.
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Leave 'Em Wanting More #2: 1300 Gallery celebrates the second to last installment of "Leave 'Em Wanting More" on December 8 with art by David D'Andrea, Stephen Kasner and Douglas Utter.

D'Andrea, a freelance illustrator in Portland, believes in the tradition of the "memento mori" and uses this visual reminder of the transience of life on earth in his work. D'Andrea, "seeks to perpetuate the avowal that is death and in turn catharsis to create archaic crests for modern battles of loss, love and hopeless abandon."

Location

13hundred Gallery
1300 West 78th
Cleveland, OH
United States

“We believe that the activist community was involved in this decision by Wal-Mart.”

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 12/05/2006 - 07:01.

 

In a fascinating greenwash article coming out in the Plain Dealer today, readers are offered an in-depth look into the lobbying efforts of industry to influence legislation impacting our environment, with a key example being action against the environment at the Ohio statehouse. The article, "Fertilizer companies battle environmental concerns", addresses the impact on the rest of the world of Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. in Marysville, Ohio, and Lesco Inc. in Cleveland,  the leading sellers of fertilizer for homeowners and lawn care professionals. The issue is their products harm the environment... the spin is discussion about how "America’s lawn-care industry is fighting back, liberally spreading its own green-sounding message." "The industry’s front-line tool: a lobbying group with a green-sounding name — Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment, or RISE."

Convivium33 Gallery at Josaphat Arts Hall presents: CHRISTOPHER PEKOC- EVOLUTION 1964-2006

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 12/04/2006 - 16:46.
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1st Anniversary Exhibition - Convivium33 Gallery at Josaphat Arts Hall in cooperation with the Bonfoey Gallery presents: CHRISTOPHER PEKOC- EVOLUTION 1964-2006

Christopher Pekoc, whose mural Night Sky in the main hall of the downtown Public Library is a Cleveland landmark, will be staging a major retrospective [that charts the technical and expressive evolution of his work over the last four decades and that highlights the ways in which photography has remained a constant creative stimulus for his work.] The exhibition, at Convivium33 Gallery in Cleveland will feature over 40 years of work as well as major pieces that have not been seen in decades, such as his grand-scale Kent (State) Triptych, based on his eyewitness experience of the shooting of unarmed student protesters by the National Guard in 1970.

Location

Convivium33 Gallery
1433 East 33rd Street Josephat Arts Hall
Cleveland, OH
United States

Thanks to Cleveland Magazine for publishing REALNEO images of Van Duzer and Convivium33

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 12/04/2006 - 16:13.

 St. Josephat Hall, Home of Convivium 33 Gallery

 

I was very please to be contacted, last month, by the editor of Cleveland Magazine and told they were writing a feature article on the remarkable St. Josephat Hall, home of the spectacular Convivium33 Gallery, which had just hosted a show of the great work of old family friend Clarence Van Duzer, and that the magazine would like to use in their article some of the photos and collages I had posted to REALNEO about that show. Well, the Cleveland Magazine article featuring all that, "Angel Investor" is in the December issue, now out, and very exciting.

Plain Dealer goes on personal attack against Mayor of East Cleveland, source of lead litigation in Ohio

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 12/04/2006 - 14:04.

Nothing like seeing a good old lynching by newspaper editor to make people "Believe in Cleveland" and Northeast Ohio. In an editorial today from the power-brokering "We" of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the "editors" make a move everyone in the know has expected from them since September 29th, 2006, when the City of East Cleveland sued "dear friend" of the Plain Dealer Sherwin Williams for making East Cleveland "perhaps Ohio's most troubled city" by creating a public nuisance and economic and health crisis by selling lead-based paint long after it was well known and proved to cause permanent physical harm to humans. In a strong retaliation against the mayor who brought lead litigation to the State of Ohio, Eric Brewer, the Plain Dealer is creating dubious scuttlebutt about a situation in which the editors acknowledge "We don't know where the truth lies." To the Plain Dealer editors, this is personal... from their editorial: "as we've stated repeatedly, we do know Brewer can be rash, reckless and extraordinarily vindictive." The logical observation is that one of the world's most powerful and troubled companies, Sherwin Williams, and one of the world's most vicious law firms, Jones Day, (which have sued East Cleveland for suing Sherwin Williams) have partnered with the region's most powerful media outlet, to which Sherwin Williams certainly pays $ millions for advertising, and they are all attacking the mayor of East Cleveland in as "rash, reckless and extraordinarily vindictive" ways as they may. Is it the duty of a newspaper to focus on facts, and allow due process, even when the publishers fear that bites the hands that feed them? No, the only purpose of a newspaper is to make the owners money. Read the opinion of the editors of the Plain Dealer here and imagine being the PD's next victim, if you ever hurt their feelings or threaten their bottom line:

Study: Sewage Threatening Great Lakes

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 11/29/2006 - 12:22.

Bill MacDermott forwarded to me the following insight on a problem most of us are aware of, but which must stay ever-present in our minds: "We need to change our ways and stop treating the Great Lakes like a toilet,"... this is a multi-billion-dollar issue we as a region must address.

TORONTO (AP) - The untreated urban sewage and effluents that flow into the Great Lakes each year are threatening a critical ecosystem that supplies water to millions of people, according to a study by a Canadian environmental group.

Even though municipalities in the Great Lakes region have spent vast sums of money in recent decades upgrading their wastewater plants, the situation remains appalling, said the Sierra Legal Defense Fund.

Extending Community Home Online - the ECHO for universal access is about to return home

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 11/28/2006 - 03:38.

On next Wednesday, December 6, 2006,  it will have been two years since I proposed to Northeast Ohio that we can easily and inexpensively bridge the digital divide for East Cleveland, and other communities in need in the region, by deploying mesh wifi networks here and distributing recycled computers running open source software (see original posting below, and linked with other related files here). I called this vision ECHO - originally "East Cleveland Homes Online", renamed "Extending Community Home Online". While I've driven some ECHO progress, over these years, especially deploying to people in need recycled computers running Ubuntu, the mesh is still to come. The time has come.

Gen-X speaks and the establishment doesn't listen - can we try again

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 11/25/2006 - 13:16.

There is an important article in the NYTimes today titled "Cities Compete in Hipness Battle to Attract Young" which, in the closing paragraph, briefly summarizes what I feel has been one of NEO leaderships' greatest weaknesses: “The real issue was, is your city open to a set of ideas from young people, and their wish to realize their dream or objective in your city,” he said.

ArtCraft Building is holding their 18th Annual Open Studio Holiday Sale

Submitted by Zebra Mussel on Thu, 11/23/2006 - 15:52.
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ArtCraft Building is holding their 18th Annual Open Studio Holiday Sale, featuring the work of over 60 resident and visiting artists at 2570 Superior Avenue, with secured parking in the rear. Sat 12/2 noon-7PM and Sun 12/3 noon-5PM.

Location

Art Craft Building
2570 Superior Avenue
Cleveland, OH
United States
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Nanotech products harm the environment!?!

Submitted by Zebra Mussel on Thu, 11/23/2006 - 15:21.

In a striking change of direction the USEPA has decided to regulate an ever growing part of consumer culture....  pesticides built into our products.

As you may have noticed you can get just about anything these days in "antibacterial" form.  Windex, socks, deodorant, zebart tidycar antibacterial car wash, hell even my keen sandals have "no odor footbeds" impregnated with what Ray Anderson CEO of Interface calls " Microbial Inhibitors".  Dont be fooled fellow citizens for the fancy terms used in place of the regulatoraly defined word pesticide.  That word, with all this organic food fan fair can cause negitive vibrations.... rightly so, maufacturers are shying away.