Economy

Give former Governor Taft credit for signing Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit into Law

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 01/10/2007 - 05:18.

At the recent Green Affordable Housing discussion held at Cleveland Institute of Art, in association with their Home House Exhibit, Cleveland Planning Director Bob Brown stated that Cleveland needs to see more older properties renovated - we have many great old buildings, they add character and quality to our community, and that is the most environmentally sound strategy. Typically, much more energy is conserved by saving an old building than may be saved by building a new building, even if very energy efficient, because the energy required for creating and constructing all the material of a new building is the greatest factor in overall environmental impact, even when factored over a very long time period. So it is very good news for Cleveland and the environment that, just before leaving office for good, Governor Talf signed Sub HB 149 into law, providing critical tax incentives for the redevelopment of historic buildings in older cities and towns. A priority for NEO economic development strategy should including identifying important properties the community would like to see saved and move them on track to take advantage of these tax benefits - make sure as many of the 100 annual statewide projects are NEO project as is possible.

Ohio now has a real governor, Ted Strickland, who cares about citizens' rights and public health

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 01/09/2007 - 14:43.

What a great rebirth for Ohio. Sunday night, Ohio swore in our new Governor, Ted Strickland, and within 24 hours he vetoed the corporate and lobbyist planted, corrupt, anti-consumer, anti-American substitute bill 117, which was made to order for scam businesses to harm citizens. As Strickland states, " I will not allow this legislation in its current form, which drastically undermines current consumer protections, to go into effect during my administration." A Plain Dealer article on the veto reports " Strickland also said the curb on suits against manufacturers "prevents cities from being able to seek justice on behalf of their citizens."" "Our new Attorney General Marc Dann, who, like Strickland, is a Democrat, said he would "vigorously" defend the governor's veto." The PD article highlights the fact that the Republican lawmakers who were responsible for the corrupt SB117 are acting as lawyers and judges now, and that they plan to waste Ohio taxpayer money fighting our Governor... " State Sen. Tim Grendell, a Chester Township Republican who voted for the bill, also said the veto is void because the governor acted outside his authority. He said members of the legislature and trade groups were likely to sue over the veto." Go for it... concerned citizens are certain to defend Governor Strcikland, and those legislators who think they can keep acting corruptly under our new leadership will quickly be eliminated from office, as suggested in a previous article on SB117 by Plain Dealer columnist Sheryl Harris, which provides "a list of the Northeast Ohio legislators who voted to curtail your consumer rights". In the new Ohio, such corruption will not be tolerated. Read more about the veto below.

Tale of two OneClevelands... may we be one

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 01/08/2007 - 11:29.

I was interested to realize there are two OneClevelands. One OneCleveland is "a nonprofit provider of community-based ultra broadband networking services and applications that improve our community's quality of life and stimulates economic development," and the other OneCleveland is "a group developed for people in the Cleveland area, who are interested in learning about and getting more involved with ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History. We are building a network of grassroots activists to rally Americans ONE by ONE to fight hunger, extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS. The goal of the ONE Campaign is to get an additional ONE percent of the federal budget for poverty focused development assistance programs that would help meet the Millennium Development Goals to halve world poverty by 2010."

Conscious Choice talks eco-consciousness with our mayor

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 01/07/2007 - 06:14.

Would'a, could'a, should'a... that may be the best tag-line for Cleveland today. We would'a been a city very comparable to Chicago, but we should'a had different leadership, who could'a... what? Well, to quote Conscious Choice, about Chicago: "The epic renaissance the city has undergone in the 17 years that Daley has been mayor is nothing short of a miracle." We could'a done that! How now? There are answers to be learned from Daley's success and present state of mind. Props to George Nemeth for posting on Brewed Fresh Daily a link to this fantastic Conscious Choice interview with mayor who stole away our Eco-Czar (can't blame him)... the "Green Mayor"... the "Great Green Augustus"...  prefaced by "When all is said and done, Daley’s greatest legacy will be how he revitalized Chicago, making it the ideal place to live, work and play. And behind each great act, is a great idea and a conscious intent. Here, we explore Mayor Daley’s eco-consciousness, philosophy of government and the path that led him to become America’s “green mayor.”" Read a few words from Daley, below, and click through to the full interview, and imagine a city thinking like this, striving to be an ideal place to live, work and play. Then, demand more in Cleveland and of NEO.

Club Notice from The Cleveland Club of Washington, D.C.

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 01/07/2007 - 04:04.

Harold Hitz Burton Award for Bruce W. Sanford

The Club is proud to announce that it will present its Harold Hitz Burton Award in 2007 to Bruce W. Sanford. Bruce is a partner at Baker Hostetler and one of the nation's most preeminent attorneys in media law. Author of both a popular work (Don't Shoot the Messenger) and scholarly tomes on libel and privacy, Bruce is also a recognized expert on the First Amendment.  Before going to law school, Bruce worked as a reporter on The Wall Street Journal. The Club plans a celebration in the Sugarman Room at Baker Hostetler, 1050 Connecticut Avenue, N. W., Washington, D. C., at 12:30 PM on January 23. A box lunch will be served. Reservations are requested through Brooke Stoddard. Non-Contributing members and guests: $15. Contributing members: $14.

OHIO NEEDS TO SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE ITS ABILITY TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN IMMIGRANT TALENT

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 01/06/2007 - 17:05.

Cleveland attorney Richard  Herman sent me an outstanding analysis (posted below) of a Duke University study released on January 4, 2007, which is attached to this posting and "concludes that foreign-born entrepreneurs were founders of over 25% of the technology and engineering companies started from 1995 to 2005," and surfaces that "Only 14% of Ohio's tech companies were founded by immigrants, well below the national average." "The study further found that Indians have founded more engineering and technology companies in the U .S. in the past decade than immigrants from U.K, China, Taiwan and Japan combined.  26% of all immigrant-founded companies have Indian founders." "Similarly, the study found that Ohio was successful in attracting only 1% of the Indian tech entrepreneurs and only 5% of the UK tech entrepreneurs." Richard offers three excellent suggestions for addressing this problem, and you should read those and his entire Economic Development Advisory and the attached report below.

An Aquaculture / Community Garden vision for the East Cleveland Intergenerational Complex and NEO

Submitted by Sudhir Kade on Thu, 01/04/2007 - 17:21.

 

Outline Proposal for Integration of Aquaculture (hydroponic /soil based organic vegetable <--> fish farm setup)

Introduction

We have a solution to the digital divide in East Cleveland, with the support of CUWiN

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 01/03/2007 - 02:32.

 

Building blocks for bridging digital divide in East Cleveland 

In a recent article on bridging the digital divide in NEO, "It seems time to open up the OneCleveland network vision of Cleveland Heights, to see if there is value for others", I mentioned "An example of a progressive community building a mesh broadband network environment is found in Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (CUWiN), which is a world- leader in such grass-roots broadband community service and technology. That is a model we are exploring in trying to help residents of underserved communities of East Cleveland and Cleveland secure access to broadband services, as carriers have underserved their neighborhoods, and poverty there is a significant issue."

Well, I was pleased to start the first work-day of 2007 with the correspondence posted below, from the Executive Director of CUWiN - globally celebrated community computing expert Sascha Meinrath - who is helping us center in on a viable model for East Cleveland and other undersupported urban neighborhoods in the region to bridge the digital divide here. Read on, as we are clearly on the right track and farther along than anyone may imagine. I'll add related insight and next steps as they develop.

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
01/05/2007 - 13:30
Etc/GMT-4

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.
12/11/2006 - 18:00
12/11/2006 - 20:45
Etc/GMT-4

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.
12/08/2006 - 19:00
12/08/2006 - 22:00
Etc/GMT-4

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."