Tuesday, October 28, 2008

STREETCARS ANYONE?

Did you know there was a time when most cities in Ohio, larger and smaller had the choice of rail passenger streetcars for all their transportation needs? In Cleveland, for example, many people knew exactly what it meant to walk more and rely on public transport---even much more than you see today. Indeed this was the way of life up until the mid 1950’s when the streetcars started to disappear due to reasons like decreased ridership from an ever-growing auto-dependent society lulled by the appeal of having one’s own transportation to escape the crowds of public transport--- AND lulled by the idea of the independence of living on one’s own transportation schedule, rather than the public transport schedule.

While this may have seemed like the most convenient way to go at the time, years later I think we are witnessing a resurgence in alternative transportation methods like biking, walking, bus and light rail--not only because of increased fuel costs, but also because of the fact that the “independent” schedule we used to enjoy in transporting ourselves rather than taking buses or trains, may no longer be the case. The reason for this is because urban sprawl has so crammed up the freeways, that a lot of people no longer find that scenario a bowl of fruit either!

Did you know that Cleveland has a gem of a streetcar museum paying homage to the history of streetcar transportation in the city and surrounding area? I will list the link to the museum at the end of this article. I have spoken with one museum contact and it was indicated to me that in the future, it is very likely that we will see a streetcar line return to Cleveland, called The Heritage Line, that will offer no only transportation around downtown, but also a chance to experience what it was like to ride these wonderful machines!

Below there is a link to a film that was apparently shot on one of the last days or maybe the last day of streetcar operation in Cleveland. Notice how people from all walks of life shared the trains as described in the video description. I find this interesting considering that many people these days here seem to think public transport is a second class form of transportation. Well, I suggest they travel to many other cities around the world and discover a whole other perspective! Maybe by seeing the short film below, we will remember what it was like here and see why rail should be a transportation choice made available to us in what is supposed to be the "land of choice" Today, many of the old Cleveland streetcars reside in Toronto Canada. For more information about streetcar history in Cleveland, contact the museum!

Streetcar Movie:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CdQb7yH2xY&feature=related


Streetcar Heritage Museum:


http://www.lsery.org/




Bahama Banners

Monday, October 27, 2008

DON'T UNDER-ESTIMATE CLEVELAND

It seems that a lot of people cannot shake the sometimes negative image the word “Cleveland” evokes. Whether the image stems from some of the people who have resided in the area for a lifetime and have seen the ups and downs and are still true to their hometown---or whether the image comes from those who have heard negative things from people who heard it from some people who haven’t even been here--much less took the time to explore the region, this perception is more often than not, greatly exaggerated and often undeserved.

While I am not suggesting this city is without flaw or problems which need be addressed, in no way are any of them endemic to Cleveland alone. I think our biggest enemy is the self esteem issues many Clevelanders inherit about their city which seem to get passed on from person to person via what comes mostly from hearsay---until the point people start believing the bad things they hear and just accept things as they’re told. But shouldn’t we

I, on the other hand have always been an independent thinker, and never followed the crowd or believed something just because everyone was repeating what they heard like parrots mimicking sounds. Rather, I have been an explorer of the myriad of surprises and treasures we possess in all that surrounds the arts, local history and culture existing right before our eyes. I have uncovered a place that was really one of the major wheels that got this country rolling, yet who‘s role in doing so seems confidently forgotten. I took the time leering about the area, its history and its contributions to society. I have learned about our wonderful natural parks and landscapes, museums, the cultural diversities, architecture , many famous persons, and much more.

I sometimes discover blogs on the internet produced by proud enthusiastic individuals who love and are proud to call Cleveland and surrounds their home. They have taken the time to explore and discover what a lot of people aren’t aware of. So, if you are someone who thinks ’east is least and west is best’, I invite you to visit the blog below and read about what an interesting place Cleveland really is--a very underrated city and metro area.

Cleveland is amongst one of many of the nation’s ’original big cities’ --- and just looking at the street grid/layout of the city, and the many fine remaining examples of original architecture and parks, one realizes it was a place built by those philanthropists and first industrialists who had a grandiose vision to leave behind a city that would last for all times---as well as a place people could be proud to call home. The blog below is one of the finest I have encountered of stories about “All Things Cleveland“ which is what it is called. If you plan a visit here, this blog can be very informative!


http://allthingsclevelandohio.blogspot.com/

Saturday, October 25, 2008

CLEVELAND AREA VEGETARIAN CHOICE RESTAURANTS!

Here is an older list, from a blog I found, of vegetarian restaurants. There are a couple numbers out of service, but I do now know if it means the establishment is gone. As I wrote about in an earlier post, Greater Clevelanders and people in North East Ohio need to be offered more of a choice for such food---and need to be shown that vegetarian is not just a few lettuce leaves and a tomato as is the common misconception. I feel sorry for those who actually have such a limited and narrow scoped mindset about what is really a cuisine and art of cooking all unto itself! Anyway, check out the list below and if you have a suggestion of a new place to add, drop me a line!


http://yeahthatveganshit.blogspot.com/2006/08/best-vegan-friendly-restaurants-in.html

Sunday, October 19, 2008

NOISE POLLUTION-GREAT TOPIC FOR RADIO SHOW

I have been doing all I can to generate attention to a very under-recognized form of environmental pollution; noise! Excessive noise impacts our communities in more negative ways than you may realize: Economically, environmentally, socially---and it also affects personal health and safety. Lately, I have written a letter to a local community radio station in the hope that the topic will be covered.

Our country faces a national growing plague of 'audio-terrorism' that is robbing people everywhere of their personal right to peace in their own home, or even something as simple a good night's rest.

Sadly, a lot of the noise we have to endure these days at the neighborhood level stems from individuals who do not seem to know the meaning of exercising common sense and manners in a communal setting---and also seem to feel it is their "right" to make as much noise as they want---under the guise of "freedom". But at the same time, these individuals are forgetting the fact that when someone does not exercise responsibility with their "rights" then their "rights" are no longer a right--and that no one has the right to impose their personal self indulgence upon others without their conc=sent. The old saying sums it up: "Your "rights" end where mine begin!"

Lastly, I wonder who will pay the price of the physical damages noise can do to a body--when the damages become a physical disability. What are your thoughts. Review some of the material below and get informed about noise pollution.

Here is my letter to a local radio station to promote the noise topic as a possible idea for a show topic.


Dear WNIR,

I have a show idea. Excessive NOISE POLLUTION! I am a representative of a national group that deals with excessive noise pollution problems and their under-recognized negative impacts on our community---socially, economically, environmentally...AND on our personal physical health and safety in so many ways. I am confident once you review the material, you may want to consider this a topic for a show in the near future.

Here is a public radio station that did a show on such. Click where it says "listen to the show"

http://www.wfpl.org/CMS/?p=2395



Also, here is a You Tube video about a specific growing noise problem from boomcars, which has communities across the nation re-writing the ordinances to deal with this very in-your-face and physically damaging form of noise.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPKpQAUL4B8



Please review the material and get back to me. Lastly, for more information on the topic, see www.noiseoff.org or www.lowertheboom.org

Regards,
Robert Carillio

Thursday, October 9, 2008

SAY NO TO OHIO ISSUE SIX GAMBLING!

I oppose issue six for several reasons. Before going into a few reasons why it is nothing more than a con to benefit one casino operator, I want to talk a bit about the twisted philosophy we are buying into these days when it comes to curing economic woes---and who we chose to rely on to pull us out of them!

Perhaps it is time people in Ohio stop making 'deals with the joker' in attempts to cure economic/social problems or generate better business.

Let's look at a few examples:

* Schools---stop making deals with the junk food industry thinking you are going to get revenue from, say, vending machines--because the dollar amount the junk food industry yanks from you versus what you keep is not worth it the resulting growing number of obese kids we are helping to produce who could one day place a big strain on health care costs!

* Bar owners who complain about no smoking laws.... Pssst... Stop thinking you have to rely on tobacco to drive your business. Alternatively, develop a new vision or philosophy as to how you can generate more business. Shouldn't the food, drink, or atmosphere be the cornerstone attraction? Is it worth ruining your interior with smoke and making people sicker?

* Now we have bought on to yet another vice driven revenue rescue source...gambling as the panacea to cure all social/economic woes. If the best Ohio can do for economic development is to nurture the 'bad' under the belief that it will ultimately do good, then this is a sick and twisted cultural mentality that needs to be re-evaluated and perhaps changed! It is a mentality as sick as a gambling addiction. Only those in the treatment industry thrive from such a philosophy--and the vast majority of people do not.

None of the above helps to foster a healthy body that will be competitive in today's economy, so who can begin to measure the revenue losses that come from a physically and mentally sick people?--which we are--and growing! Again, only those in the treatment industry gain. What about the rest of us?

Continuing further, lets look at some of the technicals why issue 6 should be opposed. For starters, some of the language suggests that some revenue will help those addicted to gambling. Ok, Let's use gambling to help the gambling addicted. That’s like selling cigarettes to pay for lung cancer research!


Next, if you read through the issue authored by the gaming industry, there are simply too many loopholes that could result in the casino paying absolutely NOTHING to the state because the language states that the casino would pay "up to" x amount of revenue. "Up to" could mean nothing. The gaming industry is in business for one reason--PROFIT...NOT charity. other language in section 6 of the issue reads as follows: (d)The remaining gross casino receipts taxes collected shall be distributed as follows: ten percent (10%) to the county in which the casino is located and ninety (90%) to be distributed on a per capita basis among all 88 counties in Ohio, such funds to be deposited into the general fund of each county and spent at each county's discretion. Where is the accountability here?




I hope Ohioans will remember even just these two examples of language in the proposed amendment that has unaccountability written all over it when they vote. The question is…Are we really going to generate revenue for the state? If so, at WHAT COST???



Sure, several other states have jumped on the casino bandwagon and it may seem like the latest thing to do BUT---If everyone is playing monkey see monkey do, why would Ohio be so different or special enough to attract tourists in drones? A casino? Its just like another Wal-Mart or Walgreens on the corner; nothing special! Are we going to become a destination place like Vegas where people travel to gamble, many of whom actually have some money to blow...or, do we become the gaming industry's patsy? The answer is probably the latter.

The gaming industry cannot wait to get its hands on Ohio for several reasons, one such reason is because they know many areas in Ohio are economically depressed---and what can often accompany such depression? You guessed it...Drinking and gambling! Stage set...A great place to help nurture a bad habit tinder box and profit at the same time. Some people would even be prone to spending government help money on gaming!

Ohio can be progressive and unique---and say no to the casino rave--and instead spend the money developing and investing in real jobs and fostering a quality workforce, create high tech family sustaining jobs, green jobs--and maybe a green economy to carry us long into the future--and not develop economies that prey upon and make worse already ill social scenes. Contrary to popular myth, casinos will NOT produce the kind of jobs we need in Ohio for its long term success--instead, produced will be many dead end, low paying service oriented jobs already plentiful. The gambling promoters are like opportunistic vultures waiting to swoop down and feast on the weak and dying--and in a time Ohio is weak, they are opportunists. You can do better than follow the gambling band wagon, Ohio.

P.S. On one last footnote: If you read through the constitutional amendment, the proposal basically sets up a monopoly for an out of state casino operator and also leaves little accountability to assure criminals are not employed or involved with the operation of such an establishment. There are simply way too many loopholes in the proposed amendment. Leave the state constitution alone.