06.07.05 NOTES from Excellence Roundtable: More Whiskey, East Cleveland Next Steps & World Wisdom Center

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 06/10/2005 - 07:54.

The 06.07.05 NEO Excellence Roundtable had a very focused flow, starting with an update from Ed Hauser on Whiskey Island developments, following to next steps for East Cleveland, and concluding with a very enlightening discussion on making NEO the world's most empowering learning community.

Ed has been working for three years to raise awareness of the great value offered to NEO in the protection of Whiskey Island as a natural area and public park. For background on Whiskey Island issues see postings at http://realneo.us/node/1022 and http://realneo.us/node/1150 and also the related NEO Excellence Roundtable pursuit content at http://neoexcellence.realinks.us/node/16

In brief, the latest development is that Ed has pressured the Cuyahoga County Commissioners to pay $100,000 to hire consultants to study the growth needs of the Port of Cleveland, which will determine what if any port facilities should go on Whiskey Island, and thus whether the port has a reason to buy the island. This will be the first independent study of the port's needs in its history, and is a very wise decision. Unfortunately, it appears the study is ill intended, as County Commissioners Hagan and Lawson-Jones have told Ed they intend to sell Whiskey Island to the port before the study even commences. Ed intends to keep the pressure on all the Commissioners to hold off on selling the Island until the study is completed, at which time a more informed plan for the port and its facilities will be formed. To assist Ed in conveying this message, REALinks is providing Ed with our core technology as a COIL (Community Of Interest Link) at http://whiskeyisland.realinks.us - we'll let you know when this is active.

The roundtable then discussed exciting developments with East Cleveland. First up, congratulations went out to roundtable regular in absentia Joe LaMantia who has made arrangements with Progressive Insurance for 75 computers to be donated to East Cleveland residents in need. East Cleveland needs MANY more as this is just a start - spread word of this need among everyone you know!

We then discussed outcomes from several recent East Cleveland community meetings, including the Mayor's Town Hall last Saturday - see http://realneo.us/node/1148 - and an East Cleveland businesspersons breakfast this morning at McGregor Home - in each case the REALNEO team was asked to share progress with both the digital divide initiatives and development of a new urbanist master plan for the city, being led by our associates Joe Stanley and Sudhir Ragupathy. The city, area businesses and residents are very excited by the East Cleveland virtual community being developed for the city and area businesses, by the donation of computers to the needy, and by having a vision for an new day in East Cleveland.

We are to the next steps stage for East Cleveland. In addition to transferring the virtual community into a sustainable city support process and surfacing more computers for residents, we are acting on the new urbanist vision. Joe Stanley and I will immediately begin photographing all the property current owned by East Cleveland in their landbank and we will put them on-line, and Joe will make color renderings of how they will look when they are put back into proper service. the objective is to make the new urbanist vision a reality be highlighting the valuable potential of the building stock now abandoned in the city and to attract developers and investors to take on appropriate development of specific properties, with a priority focus on affordable housing and new business development. This will be a new pursuit of the roundtable, and more information on this will post here soon.

Tha final discussion topic of the day was the initiative we are leading to make NEO the world's most empowered learning community. Peter Holmes has had extraordinary success discussing this vision with leaders of the Cleveland Municipal School District, as part of a movement to bring together all education innovators in NEO to put brainpower before all else here, for economic development and best quality of life. More on this will post to the Excellence Roundtable shortly.