Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 01/02/2007 - 06:01.
In a fascinating article in the NYTimes.com today, we learn “The environment is begging for the Wal-Mart business model”... describing "the environmental movement’s dream: America’s biggest company, legendary for its salesmanship and influence with suppliers, encouraging 200 million shoppers to save energy." That Wal-Mart, in October, announced it would pressure suppliers to stop using three chemicals, including the insecticide permethrin, used in pesticides, awoke my attention to good activism by this company that I have not historically liked, but that now Wal-Mart Stores, the giant discount retailer, is determined to push compact fluorescent lamps into at least 100 million homes is truly revolutionary.
Biggest story of 2006 lost in Plain Dealering: Lead Poisoning is the #1 story in Northeast Ohio in 2006
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 12/31/2006 - 16:57.
Source: Environmental Health Watch
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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."
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:
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.
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.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 11/22/2006 - 19:27.
As an excellent sign of the times, on November 13, 2006 it was announced "Carbon Neutral" is the Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year. Unlike what is typically defined here as underpinnings of sustainability, being Business as Agents of World Benefit, I see this trend toward individual social responsibility reflects the real world, being Individuals as the Agents of World Benefit, and, in fact, I believe it is only through individuals as agents that businesses act as agents of anything, and so the rising of Carbon Neutral as the word of the year is very hopeful for the future of the world... this reflects social consciousness becoming mainstream.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 11/18/2006 - 16:50.
I was very pleased to be joined by the new Director of Development for East Cleveland, Tim Goler, last Monday, November 13, 2006, at the Greater Cleveland Lead Advisory Council (GCLAC) Steering Committee meeting. Tim has an undergraduate degree in early child development, and has taught kindergarten and 4th grade, and he has a master's degree in urban planning from Cleveland State University, and has been active in that field, nationwide, including working in environmentalism in NEO. So, he is an excellent addition to the team in East Cleveland, and to the war against lead poisoning in our region. Short story, he has assured me East Cleveland is not intimidated by Sherwin-Williams suing them for suing the paint industry over the public nuisance of lead poisoning in that community, nor efforts of State Rep. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican, who hopes to tweak previously passed legislation that would prevent cities or anybody else from using the state’s public nuisance law to sue the lead pigment manufacturers - Tim Goler is in step with East Cleveland Mayor Eric Brewer and their law department in pursuing due process and justice and they will drive an aggressive battle against lead poisoning in this region.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 11/16/2006 - 23:58.
EPA is soliciting grant proposals from eligible entities to conduct activities to reduce incidences of childhood lead poisoning in vulnerable populations, including projects to: (1) Reduce lead poisoning in areas with high incidences of elevated blood-lead levels; (2) identify and reduce lead poisoning in under-studied areas with high potential for undocumented elevated blood-lead levels; and (3) develop tools to address unique and challenging issues in lead poisoning prevention, especially tools that are replicable and scalable for other areas. Activities eligible for funding include outreach and public education, data gathering, monitoring, training, inspections and assessments, and demonstrations of new and innovative approaches for identifying or reducing lead poisoning. EPA is awarding grants which
Sherwin-Williams Plain Dealer posts latest in the war to save 1,000s of NEO youth from lead poisoning each year
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 11/16/2006 - 02:21.
In an article that makes one wonder whether the mayor of Akron is perhape lead poisoned, the Cleveland Plain Dealer today gleefully reports " The City of Akron has dropped its lawsuit against Sherwin-Williams Co. (NYSE: SHW) and other former manufacturers of lead pigment, but it’s not saying exactly why" and "Motley Rice partner Jack McConnell said it’s his understanding that (Akron Mayor) Plusquellic wanted the suit dismissed for the time being, but that when the outside lawyers working with the city wanted to meet with the mayor to discuss his intention he refused." I'll point out that in the term of this mayor it is safe to say more people in his domain have been lead poisoned than died in 9/11, and than the Americans who have died in Iraq, and if it is not the fault of Sherwin-Williams it is Mayor Plusquellic's fault, and he should be subject to litigation. He has been mayor for five terms and, as Wikipedia reports: "He is widely praised and criticized by both sides of the aisle--and some affiliated with neither Parties. In 2006, it was announced by an independent watchdog group that the city was 1.1 billion USD in debt, more per capita then any other city of its size in Ohio. The public school system has suffered due to a very strong tax abatement structure Plusquellic employed to bring new development to downtown Akron. Some complain that the City does not run like a municipal body but a business, complete with press releases and news conferences." More to follow on this shift of responsibility for lead poisoning to the Mayor of Akron.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 11/14/2006 - 22:57.
11/18/2006 - 10:00
11/18/2006 - 12:00
Hear inspiring birth stories from fellow women. Share your own birth story. This is one of our most popular meetings of the year. Come hear why!!!
Cleveland Chapter of BirthNETWORK presents Birth Stories
Carnegie West Library
1900 Fulton Rd.Cleveland, OH
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 10/26/2006 - 23:12.
Last week, my lifelong Republican now Democratic parents told me there is a promising candidate for President in 2008. Barack Obama. They are entusiastic, and even gave me a Time Magazine about Barack. I hadn't had a chance to think too much about this until today, when I got an email from Barack encouraging my support for the Democratic ticket this year. So I went to his website, and saw something very positive about the man... "Since coming to Washington, Senator Obama has made the elimination of childhood lead poisoning one of his top priorities." Add to that, "Senator Obama has been a strong supporter of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration and is a cosponsor of the Great Lakes Environmental Restoration Act (S. 508)" "He is a cosponsor of the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act (S. 1151)"... etc.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 10/26/2006 - 02:22.
Two weeks ago saw the second birthday of REALNEO. I started REALNEO in October, 2004, to provide “Regional Economic Action Links for North East Ohio” and implement for the region some exciting open source social networking technology. While the outcomes have not been entirely what I expected, and these years have in ways been rough, I've been thrilled to help drive and support some great developments in the community.
Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Thu, 10/19/2006 - 15:32.
“Even when it comes to a problem as big as global warming, doing Just One Thing can have an enormous, positive impact on our planet. For instance, replacing four light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs will keep a ton of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that causes global warming, out of the air. And if everyone in the U.S. unplugged their electronics, such as TVs, computers, DVD players, and stereos when they're not using them, we'd prevent 18 million tons of carbon from being released into the atmosphere. Just One Thing is so easy--and so effective.”
Trick My Vote: Science, Intellectual Courage, and the Battle for America's Soul" topic of a free public lecture by Ken Miler
Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Thu, 10/19/2006 - 13:48.
10/26/2006 - 11:30
10/26/2006 - 13:00
Trick My Vote: Science, Intellectual Courage, and the Battle for America's Soul" is the topic of a free public lecture by Ken Miller, biologist at Brown University, expert witness at the Dover, PA "Panda Trial," and author of the book Finding Darwin's God. He will explain why every college student must vote. Program will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, October 26, in Ford Auditorium, Allen Memorial Medical Library. Visit /scholars/Events.htm for more information.
CWRU, Ford Auditorium, corner of Euclid and Ford
corner of Euclid and FordCleveland, OH
Shaping Regina... Brett says that in our culture people tend to find fulfillment through material consumption
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 10/18/2006 - 17:24.
In today's Plain Dealer, columnist Regina Brett posted an editorial acknowledging the decline of PD readership and asking readers to offer suggestions. " How should we change? What do we do to attract young people without alienating the faithful?" I can offer an easy answer: " “When we talk about moving toward sustainability, we need to talk about at least three things,” he says. “Changing the economic structure we’re all working in, changing the culture we live in, and changing our own individual consumption patterns.”
ClevelandBIkes To Host “Silent Ride” In Memory of Charles Barr of Orchestra- Community Event To Promote Cycling Safety
Submitted by Kevin Cronin on Mon, 10/16/2006 - 22:44.
Please join members of ClevelandBikes, friends and colleague with The Cleveland Orchestra on a silent ride in memory of Orchestra member Charles Barr, killed in a cycling accident on August 11th. The ride is scheduled for Sunday October 22nd at 2:00 pm.
A silent ride is a low-speed group ride in memory of cyclists injured or killed while riding. The ride is intended to create opportunities for communities to spend their time and thoughts in a shared activity, winding through University Circle and past Severance Hall, the home of The Cleveland Orchestra. The ride (excluding the registration and safe riding instructions) will take approximately 30 minutes. Unfortunately, unaccompanied minors, or those under age thirteen, will not be able to participate in the ride. The ride proceeds regardless of weather.
Submitted by Zebra Mussel on Mon, 10/16/2006 - 21:47.
Once again the 'agency' makes a move towards increasing the likelyhood of exposure to frankenfoods. Check it: