Wednesday, December 23, 2009

CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE WORLD'S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Forget about what you hear on the six o'clock news, your mainstream radio airwaves---what you read in the local newspaper---OR what you hear from your overweight, sports, chicken wings, and Rush Limbaugh addicted suburban neighbor with the chemically addicted sterile lawn, noisemaking leaf blower, and titanic SUV!

Instead, Have a watch of these four short films that address climate change through the voices, eyes and ears of the world's indigenous people's. I hope that such films will shed a bit of light on a public who's idea of global travel is riding the "ITS A SMALL WORLD RIDE" at Disneyland!


http://www.lifemosaic.net/filmsforcopenhagen.php

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Introducing Gardens Under Glass For Cleveland And North East Ohio!

There is a new concept in the works tilling in downtown Cleveland that will offer local restaurants, small farmers and community gardeners as well as individuals to grow their own food year round! It is the Gardens Under Glass concept that will transform a former specialty shopping mall called "The Galleria" into a neighborhood community institution that will offer the above gardening opportunities, specialty art galleries and unique shops/businesses and services already housed in the building---as well as an expanded selection of eco-friendly merchants carrying many independently and locally made products to serve life's daily needs. Some of the products such as art, furniture or clothing you can find in the place will be made from recycled materials.

Gardens Under Glass at the Galleria can also serve as a "bookend" of sort for the adjacent emerging Asia Town neighborhood---as it is located in central downtown Cleveland's northeastern most edge, opposite of Asia Town. These places are already virtually linked by nearby Rockwell Avenue. There can be a great synergy between the two places as local residents and even restaurants can rent/lease out spaces in hanging gardens to grow foods locally and hydroponically.

That said, in the simplest of words, is the very basic concept; and what a great re-invention of building and downtown district this can be! I don't want to spoil the surprise on this...so please visit the website for further details about the proposed project.


www.gardensunderglass.vpweb.com

Note: If the above link does not work, please copy and paste it into your browser window.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

AUTUMN YARD CARE IS AN EXTREME AND DISTURBING OBSESSION!

As I walk the dog through various neighborhoods, I cannot help but be attentive and observant to the world surrounding us--and to the behavior of the humans who inhabit these neighborhoods. Let’s take the case of yard maintenance in the Fall. In the Autumn, I am walking frequently through suburban style neighborhoods with stately trees and larger yards---And what I notice the most in these neighborhoods at this time of year is the obsessive and anal approach they have towards controlling leaf litter and other beneficial organic yard matter on their lawns---And the overall yard obsessive maintenance approach in general.

Ever since the invention of various machines--what I refer to as “technology run amuck”-- gas powered noise and emissions pollution producing lawn care products, the suburban environment does not stand a chance against the wrath of the ideology of “man versus nature” or “we must control nature” I believe this sort of fearful thinking takes root in the disconnection from----and the lack of understanding or appreciation of how the natural world works, how it is interconnected to us, how what we do either negatively or positively affects it……OR how we can work with it and not against it to achieve a healthy co-existing balance. After all these years since the crying Indian, we still haven’t learned much.

Why do so many people seem to think that their yard has to appear completely sterile all throughout this particular season---a season that is inherently messy? As someone who has been in the carpet cleaning business, I have observed lawns cleaner than carpets! I never really understood the logic in removing leaves from a specific piece of land year after year, denying that specific ground its nutritional due.

I have also witnessed people still placing leaves in plastic bags which is totally counter productive to the natural process of natural breakdown whereby nature recycles itself back into itself 100% I have observed people trying to blow soil out from their lawn and even suck leaves off the tree with the same machine! Woah! I see this behavior as a form of insanity.

Where does it say that the yard has to be devoid of all beneficial humus such as tiny bits of twigs, leaves, grass clippings, nuts and shells, and so on? These are nourishing products for the soil, in fact are components of healthy soil, as well as an important survival element for backyard friendly wildlife such as birds, squirrels, earthworms, and harmless insects. Sort of like the “Home Depot for animals” What may seem “dirty” to you, may be a food or shelter creating source for an animal trying to survive in the up-coming cold winter months.

What I find really astonishing is that so much of this organic material that nature provides free of charge, is then purchased in the spring in the form of in-organic carcinogenic lawn chemicals, compost shipped in from far away in plastic bags, low quality birdseed (that most birds won’t eat …hence a waste of money!), fertilizers, toxic sprays and so on. I shudder to think that as this oil dependent lawn care war wages on to achieve what essentially is a worthless-to-nature mono-culture 50X75 plot of bland green turf grass--where the only thing you can find moving in it is a lawn mower---that all these chemicals involved in the effort, will eventually end up in our water resources; and our drinking water! And for what? A mere lawn?

The anal obsession with yard care, especially in the Fall, even makes the “selfish act” of walking a nightmare when each time you step out the door for what should be a reasonably peaceful stroll, you are immediately greeted not with the sounds of birds or breezes….but instead the acoustically assaulting sounds of war on the yard with the incessant running of mowers, blowers, chainsaws, and a host of other weapons, as the boys fire up their engines and unleash the daily attack. Some of the commercial maintenance services with trucks, trailers, and a host of lawn care weapons even resemble SWAT teams about to attack the neighborhood!


Seeing that we have such an obesity problem in this country today, and if people still think they MUST do this, then perhaps getting some exercise with a rake or some other non-gas powered tool may not only be healthful, but also much more respectful and less anti-social to the neighborhood. I really pity those who can find no other fruitful or enlightening way to spend their time other than obsessing about a few leaves laying in their yard --- that would be ground up in a mower and recycled back into the soil by next spring anyway---if simply given the chance!

They will not be happy unless every last speck is removed from their property so that we never really know what season it is anyway. I also see the results as a drab yard, lacking in diversity, color and vibrant life, that exists in a truly healthy self maintaining yard. In a word, I see it is BORING! Could this final achievement be a testament to the personalities of the people? Afterall, we allow a lawn care industry commercials shape our opinions on subject and rarely do we stop to ask if all this obsession with thinking we can keep a yard spotless 365 days a year is really necessary. And if so, at what cost? The peace in the neighborhood? The quality of your water, soil and air….Or, your very own body? Personally, I find the behavior quite disturbing and rather scary!


Finally, I want to include a forwarded email classic that about sums it all up completely! Whoever wrote this must have been thinking exactly like me.




GOD AND ST. FRANCIS DISCUSSING LAWNS


GOD: Francis, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect, no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.

ST. FRANCIS: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers "weeds" and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

GOD: Grass? But it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.

GOD: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

ST. FRANCIS: No Sir. Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

GOD: Now let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

ST. FRANCIS: Yes, Sir.

GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

ST. FRANCIS: You aren't going to believe this Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life.

ST. FRANCIS: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

GOD: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?

ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

GOD: And where do they get this mulch?

ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

GOD: Enough. I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have they scheduled for us tonight?"

ST. CATHERINE: "Dumb and Dumber", Lord. It's a really stupid movie about.....

GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Disability Tag Abuse In Ohio?---We're disabled in Ohio...sick..and PROUD of it!

I don’t know if its just me, or has anyone else noticed the seemingly increasing number of disability tags dangling from vehicle window mirrors while the vehicles are in operation? I happened to examine one of these tags ( an elderly relative) closely and a note indicates that the tag should not be displayed while driving. I am not quite sure what this increase of dangling tags means because I am hard pressed to be convinced that everyone I see who sports such a tag, is legitimately ‘disabled’ based on the criteria set forth by the information that is included with the tags---as to what actually constitutes a disability.

I have witnessed many younger people driving vehicles around sporting these tags, parking the vehicle conveniently close to places like grocery stores, banks, etc---and then step out of the vehicle looking healthier than many people who have parked much farther away---only to jog to the front doors! Well, I hate to be so judgmental---AND, I will consider the possibility that perhaps its someone’s 80 year old Grandma’s car? Sure, that must be it; Her tripped out--hard to get in and out of--Escalade with an audio system loud enough to set of seismic activity in the mid oceanic ridge. But still, I thought only the person to whom the tag was issued to had the permission to use it.

Maybe the increase in tags being displayed means that there has been some sort of subculture nobility statement thing going on that takes pride in being sick or disabled? Maybe the increase in the tags is some sort of fashion statement and people chose to dangle them from the mirror while driving as though they were some sort of air freshener? Is it perhaps they're proud of the tags and display them like some sort of Purple Heart Award?.....

OR, maybe we are just seeing this privilege abused because it is hardly watch-dogged?


I did some poking around and discovered that it is fairly easy to obtain a disability tag in Ohio. Just go get a Dr. to sign off on just what you claim ails you and POOF!…you have the pass to valet parking! Grandma’s tripped out Escalade with the revolving hubcaps never had it so good!

What are people considering a “disability” these days? I know what the rules on the disability tags state, but I will get to that in a moment. Have we broadened the scope of being disabled so widely that the criteria now includes being considered disabled because someone is too fat to walk 50 feet? Maybe in this situation it should be considered an "obese-ability" and NOT a disability! Are we including a stubbed toe, a sore foot, or a common seasonal allergy….or laziness? Maybe it’s an extreme mental disability, but if that is the case, perhaps you shouldn’t be driving in the first place!

Whatever the case, it seems that the amount of spaces available for the “disabled” has grown to small army-like proportions--and I have unfortunately witnessed many people who could have legitimately benefited from a close parking space--have to opt otherwise because of someone who clearly could have walked the extra yardage to a front door!

Now I will include the “disability” criteria as mandated by Ohio Revised Code Section: 4503.44

1. Cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest


2. Cannot walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, a cane, a crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair, or other assistance service.

3. Is restricted by a lung disease to such an extent that the person’s forced (respiratory) expiratory volume, for one second, when measured by pyrometer, is less than one liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than sixty millimeters on room air at rest.

4. Uses portable oxygen

5. Has cardiac condition to the extent that a person’s functional limitations are classified as severity as class III or class IV according to standards set by the American heart Association.

6. Is severely limited in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition.

7. Is blind

Based on the above criteria, I have concluded that from what I have witnessed repeatedly, there is wide spread abuse of these tags. Clearly many are not fitting the bill of being truly disabled according to what the law says--and instead chose to display these tags with pride. If our state is this abundant in sick and disabled people, it is not something we should be proud of. It actually is quite disturbing. Maybe we should do what the tag tells us and not don it unless the car is actually parked--Or, start paying attention to the obvious abuse of this system so as to not compromise the lives of those who actually need this tag.


I want to footnote this article as of 5/26/10

It occurs to me from personal experiences with many people that those who are truly unable to walk are very proud people---but not so proud as to boast that they are disabled. They want to try as much as they can to walk as long as they are able...and therefore generally do not go around boasting a disability label on their head. Could all this be a by-product of the difficulty to strive for better these days that it easier to make all that is pathetic look acceptable by lowering standards to meet the underachievement of our populace?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

CLEVELAND'S WOODLAND CEMETERY

I am a fan of old cemeteries, and Woodland Cemetery in Cleveland is in my opinion an underrated gem. I volunteered to help any way I could to help in the restoration of the cemetery with the introduction of some Ohio native plant, plantings....and doing a quick narrative overview of the history of the cemetery to help attract other doers and enthusiasts. It is not perfect and likely not 100% accurate, but the point is to attract more involvement in the cemetery, and awareness, so that it can continue to improve. Below is the link to the MP3. If interested in helping....please write down the contact details at the end of the pod-cast.

Thanks!


http://www.noiseoff.org/media/woodland.cemetery.mp3

Here is the new website for Woodland Cemetery!

http://www.wcfcle.org/

Monday, October 5, 2009

NO McCrap in Ohio City-Cleveland!

KEEP McDonald's OUT Of Ohio City in Cleveland

It has been brought to my attention that there is a proposed McDonald's on Detroit near a funeral home. I am not clear on this but if there is any truth to this, such an establishment in this neighborhood should be avoided at all costs. Here are my reasons/thoughts as to why: First, It was not the greatest choice to allow Wendy's on Loraine in the past, and with the continued development of the neighborhood---with its architectural heritage, history, culture, culinary class and wide array of locally owned and unique independent food establishments that sets us aside from many other places---a McDonald's is an utter disrespect and slap in the face to so much of what Ohio City represents or is trying to become.


Secondly, As I try and organize frequent litter sweeps, when it comes to fast food litter, McDonald's trash makes up an estimate of some 95% of all fast food litter. Bags continually strewn out of car windows and onto the streets by those who seem to think their window in the car is their trash receptacle. I want to add, that a large portion of litter not picked up, ends up in our lake and has many ill-health implications, makes our waterfront appear as though we take no pride in it or have respect for this limited resource---as well as create health problems for wildlife. The reason McDonanld's makes up a large portion of fast food litter in the urban core....most likely has something to do with their target marketing. Just watch all their ads on television during--and even not during sporting events. You will see that their target market is a lot of inner city youth.

What does this have to do with litter? Well, no matter how much McDonald's tries to romanticize this 'hip-hop urban youth thing' in their whimsical commercials, a good portion of the element associated with that, are those who don't even live in the neighborhood......who grab a quick meal, and then discard their McGarbage out of the car window. Putting it kindly, since McDonald's chooses to target this crowd in ads, some of it appeals to a certain element we already have enough difficulties dealing with in the neighborhood.

Simply put, McDonald's, more so than many other fast foods, is also the food choice of those who chose to be anti-social, thug-like, and have no respect or concept of the visual, physical, or environmental health of the neighborhood. I am tired of seeing their garbage discarded in people's yards and along curbs or in the middle of the street. Just because you have not immediate access to a trash can does not excuse tossing it out the window. You simple save it until you get to one--again, another basic of common sense, courtesy, and manners when living in a communal setting.


Third, such institutions only help to further the problem of obesity in this country, which is making sick populace. Their profits depend upon people making poor and uninformed food choices. Perhaps we should welcome more entities that try and educate people on making healthier food choices--and to debunk the common chamber driven and perpetuated myth that fast food is convenient, cheap--and that it costs a lot to eat well. That notion is rubbish to say the least, as world renowned chef Jamie Oliver of England blew that myth out of the water. He has illustrated that around the world in similar cultures, other than in the US, some of the poorest people actually ate the healthiest foods. Why not produce a healthier populace, body, mind and soul, who will be more productive and happy in the work place, thus benefiting our economy....who will be less of a drain on health care in the future. (taking less sick days, less diet associated diseases, etc) Those who will learn better, be more peaceful. (See the Movie Super-Size me about what improving diet did for ill-behaved, and learning challenged youth)


Lastly, such sets a bad precedent of inviting other establishments of the sort to the point we lose our unique identity. McDonald's in the suburbs is somewhat less harmless, but in the inner city, this food addiction simply preys off those who have been conditioned to think this sort of product is all they can afford, or is somehow good for them. Placing a McDonald's in areas where we have a lot of people with very poor eating habits, and who are very poorly informed on the topic of nutrition, is like placing a bar next to an alcoholics rehab establishment. The temptations are strong and very conflicting. Something those in such condition do not need---and such the temptation would depend upon the patron making the wrong choice.

So, if you don't want to see increased trash in an neighborhood already struggling with such, increased transient element we do not want to see hanging around the neighborhood... aside from the dietary factors and it being a slap on the face to all the art, history and culture integrity this neighborhood represents--then please shun away this place. There is already one on Detroit up the road a way---and I invite you to go look closely at the surrounding area, the building itself--the litter, trash, etc. Is this what you want the heart of Ohio City to be?

Part of the reason I moved here in the first place was because of the intrigue on the limit in seeing chains and fast food clone zone establishments. I also invite you to look closely, the next time you see fast food litter, take notice that 8 or 9 out of ten times, you see McDonald's as the originating source. I know, because I, and many others have cleaned it up for years and cannot babysit their irresponsible patrons anymore.

A more fruitful venture would be to continue to promote places like farm markets, the WSM, a Food Co-op, Local Food Cleveland and City Fresh to help wean people away from this harmful toxic waste packaged as food so we can produce a healthier populace which will result in a higher competitive gross domestic and national product. Several studies are available to illustrate the correlation between good health and a better economy.

Regards,
Robert Carillio

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Storefront Makeover Opportunities For Downtown!

Press Release!

Attention Plain Dealer!


Let me tell you about “The Storefront Makeover Program” for downtown Cleveland!

There is currently a new program in operation downtown to enhance the visual appearance of empty historic storefronts. We are working with several local artists to offer building owners with storefront window space---completely free of charge---the opportunity to have their storefronts freshly made-over with tasteful art exhibits. Some will have themes of helping to foster a litter free/recycling mindset in our city, while others will be themed accordingly to property owners preferences.

The concept is nothing new, and in fact has been implemented in other cities as well as right here in Cleveland, however, we feel we could use a lot more of the concept downtown. The program, simply called as of now….“The Storefront Makeover Program” has been in operation for over a month and has gained enthusiastic support. The program will achieve many positives and offers a win/win/win scenario.

For the owner of the building, the program will make the space available for rent/lease much more marketable to potential occupiers of the space---as well as inspire onlookers as to just how classy a genuine and historic downtown retail space can look when displayed just the way they were in their heydays. A finished window display will exude life and activity, and such would be a great contrast to the typical empty storefront with dirty or whitewashed windows donning a “For Rent/Lease” which really is a testament to depression or difficult times.

Until the spaces are occupied with valid tenants, why should they be left to decay?
We are also confident that this program could be an important role in possibly deterring unwanted activity near the properties, as it portrays activity and occupancy of the space--especially at night, when the displays can be colorfully lit.

For the visitor and window shopper,
obviously there are the benefits. When visitors come downtown they tend to be polarized in “districts” and do not venture beyond them. By filling all the in-space between the districts with window displays, it will sort of act as a magnet to draw walkers to observe the displays.


Finally, for the participating artists, this program will offer free advertising for their art, and direct onlookers to places where they may be able to purchase their art. So, the program also potentially helps other businesses downtown. The retail spaces will be freshly cleaned inside and out, as well as the walks in front of the space. Anyone wishing to participate in the opportunity, and for further details should contact Vicky Poole or Robert Carillio at: 440-225-0723 or 330-393-4448

Monday, August 24, 2009

RTA-Please...Pull The Plug On the Beeping and Honking!

Dear RTA,

My name is Robert Carillio, local contact for the national anti-noise pollution group Noise Free…and Noise Off. Regarding your new policy to have buses beep and honk at intersections, I would like to explain to you why this is an irresponsible and thoughtless decision on your behalf.

I want to state first and foremost that by state law---and contrary to the fact that pedestrians have been bullied into thinking that vehicular traffic owns the road with drivers often disregard for pedestrians----that it is the responsibility of vehicular traffic to watch out for pedestrians at crosswalks/intersections---and not solely the responsibility of the pedestrian to be on the constant watch for vehicular traffic as if they have no right to cross the road!

First of all, the unfortunate situation where a pedestrian was killed was NOT the fault of the pedestrian….it was the fault of the driver. Had the diver been more attentive and NOT talking on a cell phone, this would not have happened. I have witnessed several of your drivers operating their vehicles in a less than responsible way on the streets…and more so, a ‘bullying’ one.

Now comes your decision to ‘alert’ pedestrians of your presence at intersections by horn honking and the use of the beeping device. If there is one thing we do NOT need to add more of in the air-scape is NOISE. Cleveland, like many other cities already has their hands full of enough of the kinds of noise that contribute to people leaving their communities because of the audio assault excessive and unnecessary noise contributes to the community. I suggest you research the US Census Bureau’s statistics on some of the top reasons people flee any given community, be it rural or urban. You will find noise at the top. You will also find it amongst the top complains fielded by police departments.


Unnecessary noises such as illegally modified exhaust systems on cars, trucks, and motorcycles….audio equipment that violates noise ordinances, incessant and unnecessary and/or irresponsible uses of motorized lawn care equipment are the top three most complained about sources of noise to date---about which we at the noise pollution awareness movement---receive hundreds of emails on a monthly basis…from people crying out for help---Mostly because local law enforcement bodies are unaware of the ill-effects of noise on the body, mind, soul---And on the community, socially, environmentally, and economically.

Now we have RTA making this brilliant decision to add their fair share of noise to the mix. This decision could very well backfire because the beeping and horn honking startles drivers and pedestrians and could result in an accident. There is a big difference between alerting pedestrians/drivers---which should be alert from the overly loud noises of bus engines to begin with---and startling them to experience a sudden and frightening adrenaline surge. You really need to sit down and educate yourselves on just what a noise situation actually does to the body. Instead, we should be promoting a quieter world, where we can all be heard….and do not have to live life louder and louder over an ever increasing nosier world.

Lastly, noise pollution is REAL form pollution and it is time more people become informed about it to realize why this is so. For now, I invite you to educate yourselves by visiting our websites at www.noisefree.org and www.noiseoff.org Then, I suggest you pull the plug on this very irresponsible decision to make noise. In a city striving to be more environmentally sustainable, these are not the kinds of decisions that such an effort needs. Instead, try screening your drivers better…and answering or listening to complaints when they’re reported. Then, remove them from behind the wheel.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

NEW ONLINE CLEVELAND RADIO STATION EMERGING IN NEAR FUTURE!

ATTENTION LOCAL BUSINESSES, RESIDENTS, ACTIVISM GROUPS, ORGANIZATIONS…ETC. --- INTRODUCING A NEW ONLINE RADIO STATION HERE TO SERVE YOU!

We are promoting a new online radio station in what is a growing up and coming media source. The mission of the station is to serve a sector of economy, and wide age range of audience, which most mainstream and commercial media sources have ignored for years. This sector is the local, independent, and family owned businesses that are the very fabric, character, and definition of the many unique neighborhoods throughout the Greater Cleveland area---and especially such in the core city. In addition, we believe in promoting such entities because we feel they are what makes our city one of a kind. We will broadcast throughout the region and to the world!

To help promote ourselves, we will be spreading the word through handout fliers, the web, neighborhood associations, block groups, and word of mouth. Our programming, which will be very original….AND…locally and community oriented, is what will really set us apart. Programming will include many pod casts covering issues such as the environment, music, quality of life issues, special infomercials featuring a unique business of the month and many other topics. We also hope to add live talk that can include everything from world issues to local politics and community events, sports, economy, environment, and other topics.

We will feature radio mystery theater broadcasts, and some music programming that will cover many influences such as Classic R&B and Soul, Philly Soul…Classic Jazz and Classic Rock covering the 40’s through today. Ragtime, Reggae, Latin, World, Doo Wop, Show Tunes, Big Band, and much more. Basically we will cover music influences spanning several decades and reach audience age ranges and tastes that will appeal to people in their mid to late 20’s to mid 60’s and higher.

We will not promote any influence that glamorizes crime and/or anti-social behavior. We want to keep this mature, professional, fun, and clean…..and not full of the loud ‘in-your-face’ formats too often prevalent today. We would like to get back to what radio used to be---and that is entertaining, informative, original, and local. We want to show our audience how refreshing this can be!

This station will be a professional and mature, yet a fun arrangement of programming. Best of all, as I mentioned at the beginning, we are promoting what big media has failed to do, and that is.. YOU.. Your business and why it is special and unique for the community. As an incentive, we are offering FREE advertising to a select pioneering group of businesses to help launch the station and to collect an audience. There is no obligation, no contracts.

All we need is to meet, discuss and exchange ideas about your business---and then we will create an ad ranging from 15 to 60 seconds--only to be broadcast upon your approval. As the station’s popularity increases, we will be accepting donations to offset operational costs and help pay for our time. If you help us grow, we can help you grow--and offer something that is rarely found through traditional advertising means--especially on radio.

If this interests you, please call us at 330-393-4448 so we can arrange a time to meet. This is NOT a gimmick. We need businesses that would like to advertise…but cannot afford the costs of commercial and mainstream media. It is time small business join force amidst the highly franchised economy of today.

We look forward to working with you soon! Help us and we will help you….. Call 330-393-4448 and ask for Robert. That’s me…and I will personally look forward to meeting with you and discussing your advertising needs.


Thank you,
Regards,
Robert S. Carillio
WCR-World Community Radio-For The Community of Cleveland!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Stop Funding Sprawl-Start Funding Urban Cores!

The recent decision of the Cleveland Regional Transit Authority to discontinue the service of smaller circulator bus services inspired the following thoughts which I shared with several state representatives......


As Ohio moves into the future we must find was to help preserve its urban historical heritage and its rural/natural historical heritage.

I believe we can do both, but only if we cease this archaic spending pattern that has rural interests being represented more than urban. By shifting funding interest and support in favor of urban, Ohio will boast attractive urban cores that will promote economic prosperity, environmental sustainability, less dependency on oil---as well as social and economic diversity. We will create thriving and world wide competitive urban cores that are truly one of a kind.

What the above will in turn mean for rural interests is that we preserve Ohio’s family agriculture community from being overrun with unsustainable, unethical, and environmentally destructive factory farming. Additionally we will help protect many other small locally owned and independently operated businesses from the homogenization of the clone zone franchising scene. We will preserve Ohio’s unique natural heritage/environment---and rural identity.

I do not comprehend how anyone who is thinking on a long term future basis---can be supporting measures that lead to the kind of land and energy consuming sprawl we do not need. Supporting spending stimulus money for rural over urban, for example, contributes to making rural Ohio go extinct. Where was the gain? How does this end up ‘supporting’ or benefiting rural areas, in the long run when they will be destroyed along with the quality of life they offer? Is such support looking out for the best interests of the identity forged for years that became the charm of rural America??? No, its not… And people need to learn that sprawl in areas that do not need it, is not some sort of benefactor as conventional misguided wisdom seems to suggest.

By taking federal stimulus money and spending most of it outside the urban core, we only dig a deeper hole in being more oil co-dependent--by creating energy consumptive cities outside of cities outside of cities and so on. When does this aggressive cycle level off and strive to achieve sustainability?

No more spending on, and construction of roads, bridges, and other infrastructures that will eventually become a maintenance spending never ending nightmare---if we cannot even maintain what we have already. What kind of mess is this state visually going to look like in the future? Do you think such a chaotic seen will foster the kind of quality of life people or businesses seek when deciding to locate somewhere. Why hasn’t Ohio learned after all these years, that such sprawl and financial support of it, only benefit’s a few, and not the state overall?


Ohio is still following these outdated spending models that favor rural over urban. As a taxpayer with a say in the matter, I do not want more money, especially stimulus money, spent on new rural roads and bridges, etc., that will just promote more sprawl…..UNLESS they are existing items that are in need of repair. Otherwise, we should be spending the majority of the money helping to build healthy and competitive urban core scenes that we can be proud of in Ohio. Part of helping to achieve creating the thriving urban core means increasing spending for encouraging and promoting alternative means of transportation such as busses, trains. It means MORE funding for public transportation, NOT less!

This state for too long has been given limited choice in the transportation scene as we have had cars and highways crammed down our throats for too long, which helped to foster and promote this very costly ongoing habit of the automobile, in the first place. Had trains and busses had the luxury of finance, advertising and promoting as do anything associated with cars, highways, etc, you would see more people riding these alternative modes. Ohio had it right the first time when the state designed a comprehensive network of rail service. Then, suddenly, we scrapped that, and allowed the auto industry to get us hooked on cars. While that certainly has purpose, by no means should we be so limited in choice.

Environmentally, we need to pull our heads from our tails and the sand…get out of denial and understand we are reaching a pivotal tipping point in this world. We will have to chose which direction we will want that scale to fall before there is no turning back--and all goes downhill, economically, socially, and environmentally. 1. On a side that has negative outcomes….by supporting sprawl and becoming more co-dependent on oil and other limited recourses---leaving us on this never ending treadmill rat race to nowhere and thus becoming the ‘good ‘ole boy’ closed minded laughing stock of the nation. OR 2. We chose to create positive impacts that will gain international kudos---and be an example setter and leader---by rebuilding the urban cores to achieve the kind of sustainability which is essential if we are going to become a place of choice for anyone or any company with forward progressive thinking. I hope for the sake of our state’s future, you will consider taking the latter choice.

Please do not undermine our urban cores OR our rural heritage anymore by supporting this mis-allocation and balance of funding that continually favors rural. The time for that kind of thinking has long passed. I do not want to be embarrassed of this state anymore by decisions that are contrary to what we should be doing for a more sustainable future for both urban and rural environments.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

NOT-FOR-PROFIT AQUARIUM MAKES BETTER SENSE FOR CLEVELAND

The below letter was well articulated as to why supporting a non-profit public aquarium serves Cleveland and the region--ant its future in a superior way--in contrast to a for profit aquarium---as was the proposal for the Power House. I have withheld the author's name, but he has many years experience working in the professional public aquarium profession.



I’d like to clear a few things up since there has been tremendous support of our project to bring an aquarium back to Cleveland. As most everyone in the area has heard, there was an announcement made by the Jacob’s Investment Group, that an aquarium is proposed in their powerhouse building on the west bank of the flats. First and foremost is that this proposed Jacob’s aquarium is in no way, shape, or form affiliated with the Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. The most striking difference between these two projects is that the proposed Jacob’s aquarium project is a private, for-profit aquarium and The Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. is a public, non-profit aquarium dedicated solely as a cultural resource for the city of Cleveland.

We initially approached the Jacob’s Investment Group, among other local development groups, with the possibility of hosting the new Cleveland Aquarium and there were some continuing discussions. Recently, however, they developed their own proposal. There were some discussions on collaborations between the two parties, however upon further examination of their proposal, we believe that it is too limited in size and scope to be successful and we feel that the location is less than ideal. I hope to summarize the benefits of our project as well as detail more of the differences which I hope you will agree makes The Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. a much better project for the City of Cleveland and its residents.

Let me start by saying that new Cleveland Aquarium project has a very rich history here in Cleveland. Some of our supporters and trustees were employees of the fondly remembered original Cleveland Aquarium, which was located in Gordon Park and closed in 1985. Furthermore, many of the trustees are currently employed at its current “temporary” location at The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Combined with the long history of the original Cleveland Aquarium, the legacy of the new Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. is taking into account the future generations of Cleveland families. For more information on the history of The Cleveland Aquarium and its significant contributions to other public aquariums and the aquarium hobby worldwide, I encourage you to visit our website at www.clevelandaquarium.org.

The trustees of the new Cleveland Aquarium, Inc, have been working to bring a public aquarium back to Cleveland for a number of years. This project has literally thousands of hours from volunteers from the community in acquiring equipment and supplies from both defunct and remodeled aquarium projects including the Pittsburgh Zoo, the Columbus Zoo, the Fortworth Aquarium in Texas and most notably a large selection of tanks and equipment acquired from the former SeaWorld of Ohio. All of this valuable equipment is currently being stored in warehouses in Cleveland and its surrounding areas awaiting our soon coming announcement of this grand project.

The trustees of the new Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. are dedicated in making this project an iconic cultural institution for Cleveland, not a roadside attraction, which is intended to work in synergy with other local institutions such as the Rock Hall, The Natural History Museum, The Botanical Gardens, The Cleveland Playhouse, The Cleveland Art Museum, The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, etc in continuing the educational and intellectual groupings of museums and attractions that Cleveland is well known for. The non-profit Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. will include much more than fish tanks, it is intended to be a leader in all areas aquatic including research, conservation, education, and contribute significantly to aquatic veterinary advancements and aquatic animal husbandry issues. Furthermore, it is intended to work closely with the large aquarium hobbyist community that is prevalent in Northern Ohio.

The Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. believes that a non-profit institution ensures that the aquarium will not be profit driven, instead proceeds go to valuable programs in the areas of scientific studies, outreach, saving endangered animals, educational programming, etc. Typically, these non-revenue generating programs cut into the bottom line profits of for-profit institutions, whose sole goal is to make money for its investors and as a result are often limited in the scope of what they can do. The trustees of the Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. believe that the goal of a non-profit institution is to educate, conserve, and learn. Our project does not intend to pay rent, have to return investments, or repay debt. It will be primarily financed by philanthropy and grants. The money saved can therefore be spent on the above described programs creating a greater impact in aquatic animal science and education. Additionally, non-profit institutions are also eligible for a wider variety of research and educational grants than for-profit institutions.

The Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. will be a medium sized institution of about 100,000 to 125,000 square feet, similar in size to institutions such as The New England Aquarium, The Newport Aquarium and the original phase of the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The non profit model of the project is intended to to be an economic engine for the city of Cleveland, by keeping the economic impact in the Cleveland community and not to funnel money out of the area since a significant part of the proceeds are to be spent locally. One important aspect of the project is that the exhibits will not be “shoehorned” into a building not designed for an aquarium. This model has proven unsuccessful in several instances since corrosion and weight issues are vital considerations in a properly designed facility. The Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. will have many habitats exhibiting a wide variety of freshwater and marine fish, as well as aquatic mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.

The Cleveland Aquarium, Inc. is not only about an aquarium, but a catalyst for downtown development. It is about creating a lively and attractive place where people in all stages of life and diversity can come to dine, shop, and spend quality time, all the while allowing them to learn and grow in important aquatic related issues. We are committed to the rejuvenation and growth of the Downtown area, and view the Aquarium as a stimulus for a great deal of needed development. To accomplish this goal, we are in collaboration with the world's leading aquarium architect, Peter Chermayeff , who led the modern aquarium renaissance in 1969 with The New England Aquarium in Boston, and has to date designed many of the world’s leading aquarium institutions including the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the Tennessee Aquarium, the Lisbon Aquarium in Portugal, the Osaka Aquarium in Japan, and the Genoa Aquarium in Italy. Current projects include an aquarium Alexandria, Egypt and also one in Triast, Italy.

We sincerely hope that you continue to agree with our vision of a truly world class aquarium and will continue to support this project in any way you can. Please stay tuned for a pending announcement and ways you can help.


Author Name withheld until further notice

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Warren City School Board Approves Lawn Chemical Use On School Grounds

Here is another brilliant decision by this most august group of educated people. This is the letter I wrote to the school district business administrator--who ultimately made this decision. After having gave all the information the board needed to make the right decision to STOP having the lawn sprayed.... They indicated "they needed more information" So, essentially, they must approve of it.



Mr. Donnelly,

I, and many have been closely monitoring your dialog with concerns from the few parents who have wised up and stepped forward to question what is obviously no one else's but YOUR irresponsible decision to use lawn chemicals on school grounds. Your smug reasoning, to say the least, is utterly disrespectful to the tax-paying parents of this school district, whether they are informed about the issue yet.….or not.

Your justifications in using lawn chemicals are truly archaic in every conceivable way---and in fact, for those in the know, are catch all cookie cutter dialog spewed out by the lawn care services themselves. Had you read the information I provided you with, there would be no questioning this issue.

Your justification for need is solely from a mere cosmetic standpoint---that in many places is flat out illegal to use such products simply because someone may have become conditioned with the perception of what a lawn should consist of---and look like---by these companies. Their mission is to sell people on a regimen of chemical applications, much like cell phone sales people sell us a plan for the phone. Please listen once again... A LAWN DOES NOT HAVE TO BE MONO-CULTURE! Please de-program the thinking injected by the lawn care industry.....and start actually thinking.

By using these products, you are in fact killing the soil's natural ability to maintain a healthy system of checks and balances--by killing 95% of the beneficial organisms in the soil--that achieve this natural system of checks and balances---and hence, the lawn is left without a natural immune system (so to speak)---making it even more susceptible to so called 'pests' that these companies apparently set out to destroy in the first place.

Now we become hooked on this never ending “drugs-for-the lawn” cycle because it cannot maintain itself without a chemical trying to do what nature used to do for free. And, because you think a lawn must consist of blades of grass only---instead of a healthy bio-diverse lawn and soil. Your rationale that 'the chemicals are watered down’ is one that takes root (pardon the pun, please)...in the traditional sales pitches of the lawn care services. It is such a weak and pathetic justification. When we witness some 2 out of every 5 households participating in this monkey-see-monkey do nightmare….. It is simply unbelievable to see a school---a supposed institution of learning and better example setting---jump on the bandwagon too!

That's right Mr. Donnelly...the chemicals are “watered down” and winding up in our drinking water. See the annual drinking water report. I also think they’ve watered down our ability to use common sense! “Watered down” you say… Hmmmm…. Just enough here….and just enough there to all add up someday and make someone sick. Just enough, when all added together from everyone else doing it…..to contribute greatly to the pollution of our local waters. That’s brilliant thinking from our educating body in this city! “Watered down” just enough to contribute ’just a little’ to more breathing problems when children, pets and adults are forced to smell and expose themselves to what equates to a chemical fertilizer factory stench in their backyard each spring.


Indeed, all this because your best answer is that you have done it for years and nothing has happened to you. Bravo!!! I smoked for 40 years and I’m fine, so that must mean smoking is just a swell thing to do, right? Well, you really don’t know if or when being exposed to such chemicals right on your lawn could harm you personally, But….how do you know someone else isn't being affected? Many allergic reactions are mistaken for hay fever--when in reality, they can be traced back to chemical exposure. Something else you would have learned had you read the latest information well documented by leading world health authorities.

To me, it seems you’re willing to take a risky approach to this issue and listen to whatever the lawn guy tells you while ignoring the known facts. As a business administrator and perhaps one well schooled in business, you likely know that taking risks is what helps such people reach the top of the ladder of success, however, please leave this risk taking mentality to your business endeavors, and leave it OFF our school grounds!

Have you read the labels on these chemicals and the suggested safety preparation methods for using them? If you did, you have to be out of your mind to want to use them just for the sake of green grass--which by nature, is not supposed to be green all year 'round. Thanks for helping turn our waters green too. There are so many things that place our health at risk these days. Why add one more just for the sake of green grass!

The sad thing about all this is that you are choosing to do what countless other communities and school districts have made the wise decision NOT to do. Had you read the information, you would have learned this as well. Additionally, you are not only wasting tax payers money by getting yourself into a never ending spray regimen. You are denying people the RIGHT TO KNOW!

You are also denying the school science classes a chance to develop an educational pilot program which could be aimed at creating a safer, less oil, money, and energy dependent property….. which could not only look gorgeous....BUT, be the envy of other schools--and the give the district the kind of progressive kudos schools in only the most progressive cities receive.

There are so many exciting and progressive ideas in how we chose to landscape, so that we lighten our impact on natural resources---implemented elsewhere---but here---still waiting to be tapped due to an unwillingness on your part to learn. Because of decisions like yours in a time when we should know better about these things, we leave the burden for the next one to undo all the resulting mistakes. How costly will that be in dollars and sense in the future.

Use your business management sense to figure that out. All the above opportunity you deny the schools the chance of---simply because you chose to remain on the bandwagon of mediocrity and remaining in denial, Shameful! Congrats! Our own school science classes teach of the harms and threats contaminated runoff poses to our water resources, yet you chose to be a part of the problem.


Lastly, the anal obsession in society with the lawn these days would have one believing that the final product will be used as a food supply for the community----And maybe to reap a financial profit. But NO... Not even that benefit can result. (unless you eat this grass…..but be sure to wash off the poisons with the contaminated tap water) It is all just about the idea etched in our minds by the lawn care fad through various media advertising sources---that anything in the yard other than a blade of grass is taboo. Well, you can keep the health risks, no matter how minute you may feel they are---And I will err on the side of safety. I'll take the harmless dandelion. Maybe I will make a salad, wine, or medicine. You, on the other hand can drink a shot of the lawn chemicals! If you still insist the grass needs to be green…then cut it once a week so that those beautiful little yellow, white, red, and violet flowers never show their harmless faces again!

Cheers!
Robert Carillio
Concerned Citizen of the District
330-393-4448


P.S. I know you may find this letter very forward to say the least, but it is a reaction out of your total lack of regard and disrespect for those who have brought forth this important issue---and choosing to stick to your personal agenda. Instead of altering your opinions to fit the facts, you are altering the facts to fit your opinions. I tried approaching you with the utmost respect and you chose to patronize the issue and then blow it off. Indeed, this has been unacceptable and inappropriate behavior on your part--and as tax paying citizens, we demand more accountability. This letter and your replies will be shared with our wonderful audience. I hope that you share mine.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Why Should A New Public Aquarium In Cleveland Be Located In The Galleria?

Why should an aquarium be located in the galleria?

It has been long overdue for Cleveland to boast a world class educational attraction that teaches something to everyone about something we all have in common no matter what our politics, financial background or what walk of life in this world we come from. That ‘something’ would be about our often taken-for-granted perspective of our dependence on aquatic habitats as being crucial to the existence of all life----and how human activity can impact it.

What does the general public, or our political leaders who show up at the office each day really know about the interdependence between streams, rivers, lakes and oceans--and how our health will be a direct reflection of the health of our aquatic habitats? How many people really know how simple decisions they make on a daily basis can impact the life support systems of the waters of the world and their inhabitants---and eventually our own lives? The answers to these questions is very little.

Large scale public aquariums featuring larger than life exhibits make an impact in young and old minds--and stir the imagination to want to learn more about these animals and their environments. Such aquariums generate a better understanding and respect for our underwater world, which leads to fostering a better stewardship for the aquatic environment upon which we depend so much. For some, a visit to a public aquarium may be as close to the underwater world as they will ever be.

Currently, between New York and Chicago , in the northern states, there are not many places to witness such inspirational aquatic life themes. The lack of a public aquarium in a state like Ohio, which boasts over 60,000 miles of streams, and where human activity has certainly taken its toll on these habitats, demonstrates a total lack of regard for how much these environments sacrifice so that we can enjoy the kind of lifestyles we do.

Downtown Cleveland presents the perfect opportunity for building a world class public aquarium right in the heart of Northeast Ohio. As most aquariums around the country were built directly on the water to offer an inspiring backdrop, the city of Cleveland, however, lacks property along the lakefront within its proper boundaries. With the current economic development and political environment in Cleveland these days, priority is lent on building condos or casinos on the waterfront, rather than an attraction whose theme, as indicated earlier, is of a substance called ’water’ that affects all of us. Perhaps other options can present refreshing opportunities.

This brings to mind the Galleria in downtown Cleveland , a one time thriving upscale mall, now containing offices, art galleries, and a handful of restaurants and specialty retail. It is no surprise that it has struggled in recent times as it tries to re-invent itself, as it has battled against the allure of the Legacy Villages and the like.

For starters, the Galleria would be ideal for the new aquarium because it will eventually contain neighborhood foot traffic (from the surrounding up and coming neighborhood) from those who will live in the area, hence offering the kind of attraction that makes living in such a neighborhood in a downtown setting unique. The area surrounding the Galleria is an emerging neighborhood that will link to Playhouse Square. And, with the neighborhood, will also follow essential retail that can draw even more bodies, as no one who invests heavily in a downtown condo and walkable neighborhood, will want to have to drive to the suburbs for their essentials of life.


The second reason the Galleria is an ideal site is because contrary to the trend of ‘abandon the old and build new’, the Cleveland Aquarium can demonstrate a more conservation minded example by choosing to take the adaptive re-use of structure that even as it stands now, appears completely in sync with a public aquarium theme. In the day and age of cities all over the country and world demonstrating their own unique example is sustainability, renovating and retrofitting an existing structure, and choosing the philosophy not to encroach on the water with more concrete, will be the sort of theme that will gain kudos in the conservation community. After all, isn't the message the aquarium wants to be sending about conservation? Well, this begins with where and how you chose to build.

Adaptive re-use allows planners, architects, artists and so on to reach to the depths of their creativity, to show the world that we do not always have to tear down and build new, AND to show that we can re-use existing structures which can result in much less taxing of the earth’s resources than constructing from scratch. Inadvertently, the aquarium will help keep the urban hub thriving, which in turn can help reverse the trend of out-migration of populations encroaching on natural lands. Again, another conservation sublime message that is sent by choosing adaptive re-use options.

The third reason I find this site appealing is because of its easy as cake access to ALL major freeways that traverse Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. This is a key element because aquariums are attractions that are visited by people from everywhere. There is no way this site is isolated or hard to find---or lost amidst any other lakefront development. It will stand out beckoning to all who pass. Such a location will not be undermined by less austere developments. This attraction deserves to stand out and have a block to itself. Add to this the parking situation. The Galleria has a huge underground ultra clean, secure and heated lot that visitors can easily access, exit their vehicles, and be inside the attraction within a matter of minutes. Additional parking surrounds the entire facility.

Moving to reason number four. Here I will mention a host of related reasons: Accommodations, conventions, restaurants, area attractions, and public transport lines. The Galleria is within a 2 to 10 minute walk of several hotels, the site where the new Convention Center and Medical Mart will be constructed, the Great Lakes Science Museum , the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame, and the Cleveland Browns Stadium. We are also in close proximity to Progressive Field, Quicken Loans Arena, and Cleveland State University . The conventions will draw a large amount of people, and many of these people will want to see what kind of attractions are downtown. This would be a massive, classy attraction practically right at their doorstep! The aquarium stands to gain even more foot traffic and visitation from this scenario.

Within this same short walk are a myriad of fine restaurants and clubs. Whether you choose to dine within the hotels themselves, at Tower City , at any of the East 4th Street district’s restaurants, or just simply choosing the Aquarium’s own restaurant featured within the Galleria’s main entrance or built in Food Court where, visitors will undoubtedly be able to find a meal of preference. For those who choose to stay for a few days, there is even a grocery store within a short walk. Lastly, the Galleria is located along major bus and rail lines for easy access around the city, or to the airport via the waterfront line.

The fifth reason would have to be the fact that inside the Galleria, there is plenty of conference and banquet space available for functions which the aquarium can host. In return, those attending non-aquarium related functions may want to also visit the aquarium. Essentially, the building is a turn key operation in that respect.


Last but no least, among my favorite reasons for locating a public aquarium in the Galleria lies in the challenge of getting those who are dead set on a structure to be positioned directly on the water, to look at another angle, because I know that the one thing this site lacks is the expected backdrop of the lakefront. To me, this setting might be a bit cliché-ish, but aside from my personal opinion, I do realize this presents a scenario that offers a sour lemon to some. But, let me attempt to make lemonade! Here goes…..


If a quality planetarium can be a success in educating, stimulating curiosity, and fostering an appreciation for the distant heavens of the universe---while not situated (for obvious reasons) in outer space for its backdrop, why couldn’t the same logic apply for an aquarium, that is not directly plopped right on the water?

The Tennessee Aquarium is a success being located near, not exactly right on, a much less imposing body of water (than Lake Erie ) to the average eye. This being a river. So is the case for the Newport Aquarium. If those aquariums can be successful situated along the river, why can’t The Cleveland Aquarium be a success that would have a much more imposing body of water, even though not directly on the water……BUT, easily within eye-shot and a quick walk?

Lake Erie is less than a 10 minute walk right to the lakefront, and in actuality, because East 9th Street slopes up from the waterfront, one can actually see the spectacular blue ribbon across the horizon from the doorstep of the Galleria. This gives visitors a better perspective of the bigger picture of the lake, more so than being right down on the water, where at eye level, we see mostly the break wall and concrete!

The creative challenge here would be to connect the lake, somewhat, even though we are not directly on it; sort of lure it to us. How can this be achieved? Simple---A platform rising above and stretching directly from out of the Aquarium restaurant partly over East 9th Street. Such a patron observation deck/pavilion could offer places to dine outside, or viewing areas that catch the sunsets, which are spectacular from such a vantage point, as evidenced when standing on the Mall looking out onto the lake. The view is actually better from this point, than being sunken directly on the waterfront. Additionally, the opportunity to create roof top gardens presents another demonstration of sustainability and conservation of water in preventing storm-water runoff into our water resources.


All positive points the Galleria offers for housing this attraction, should not be passed by for this one simple aspect of it not being directly on the water. As discussed above, by not placing it directly on the water, we can boast the philosophy of choosing to not encroach on the shoreline, as has been the past practice of development, and offer all the conservation messages sent when choosing to exercise adaptive re-use of structures. Wal-Mart boasts how “green’ their buildings are these days, BUT, just how ‘green’ are they when they have chosen to not build upon a brownfield, and instead, clear 60 acres of green, pave it, then tell us how ‘green’ they are! Think about it! Again, the message of adaptive re-use is sustainability/conservation/less impact on the environment.


Other factors to consider are that those who are planning the Cleveland Aquarium, can avoid a lot of the political red tape that often results in so many projects being delayed in this city, by the typical ‘pass the buck’ mentality that is a regular practice of Northeast Ohio politics. Why wait for the city to work to help acquire land right near the lake, when as mentioned earlier, their priorities are not on focusing on such an environmental attraction. Using lawn chemicals on public grounds right near the water, says a lot about that! Working with a ready and willing private entity, can avoid so many potential complications and pitfalls. Do we want this to be another Med Mart drama? Cleveland has lacked a designated public aquarium since the mid 1980’s. The Aquarium people really have nothing since then to boast about in their portfolio to warrant either city or public support that will result in a rolling out of the red carpet.

The Great waters attempt failed in the 90’s only to result in the Rock Hall gaining center stage on the harbor, when at the time, I was in total support of the aquarium getting that spot. This should have taught us where the priorities amongst the movers and shakers are in the city. Maybe taking smaller steps right now and by configuring the Galleria to accommodate the aquarium and maintain the aquarium theme throughout the building, it will offer a demonstration of what private and grass roots efforts (which is how the original aquarium came to be) can do to get something grand accomplished; something that will actually be a crown jewel attraction in Cleveland at a time when attitudes are negative and hopes grim about getting anything done----and at a time when the best some can offer for the panacea to our economic woes is to follow the bandwagon of mediocrity and build a casino! I think that is pathetic and shows an utterly nauseating lack of creativity in re-inventing a city, BUT, that is another story and debate.

For now, let’s not ignore the opportunity that could set the stage for the ultimate support for such an attraction in the long term future. Cleveland should not have to wait another 5 or 10 years to get what has been long overdue. There is more of what the aquarium group says it needs surrounding such a facility---at the Galleria site right NOW---than what is on the lakefront right now! So, let’s not let this opportunity pass.

The staff at the Cleveland Zoo Aquatics Department is very talented and creative. I am quite confident they can make this idea of locating this attraction in the Galleria a success eventhough it is not directly on water. Achieving that would be something really unique!

Warren, Ohio---Welcome To Acoustic Anarchy!

Welcome to Warren, Ohio, the wonderful world of Acoustic Anarchy!

If you love illegal and unnecessary--or obnoxious and excessive noise, we’ve got it all right here! If you are a loud and disrespectful person to your neighbor, this is the place for you! Oh hail all ye noisemakers…. Warren is calling all of you! There is NO enforcement of laws relating to, or regulating such in Warren, Ohio!

Come to Warren, all motorcyclists who have illegally modified pipes on your bike---who simply like to be loud under the guise of safety---and who like to call attention to yourselves with your brain splitting, gut wrenching, terrifying noise assault that can be heard for blocks on a calm summer day! You can get away with that here!

Come all you boom car thugs who are so deprived of self esteem that you have call attention to yourselves by robbing people of their right to peace in their own home---by shaking and rattling their windows and bodies with your self indulgent noise weapons disguised as stereos! You can get away with that here, too! Warren LOVES audio terrorism and acoustic assault!

Come to Warren ALL of you who think the fourth of July lasts all year long and who love terrorizing animals with fireworks. Our very own High School sets a wonderful example for 10 weeks out of the year, draped with the label of “school spirit and tradition” with their cannon fire for every gain on the field no matter how minuscule! If you’re a war veteran, no one cares about the post traumatic stress disorder factor here! So, if you love unleashing cannon fire on your neighbors, you go right ahead! If the school can do it under the premise of “spirit and tradition”, all you need as an excuse in Warren is to say that “you’re entitled and you have a right!” Eventhough freedom without responsibility is chaos----and eventhough we discover it wiser to use freedoms to help, and NOT hurt people! But in Warren....ANYTHING goes!

Come all of you who refuse to get your exhausts repaired on your vehicles, or have illegally altered or amplified exhausts fitted onto your vehicle. Who will notice? Afterall, in Warren, 2 out of every five cars has an exhaust falling off anyway! You’ll love it here, because there is no enforcement of the law on this either!

Come to Warren, all of you who are anal and ocd about your lawn and who think your driveway needs to be antiseptic as you relentlessly blow that ultra loud dust blower for hours upon hours! Look at the extra opportunities here! How fun is it for you to spoil an otherwise peaceful summer afternoon for your neighbors who are having a pic-nic by blasting a loud torrent of filthy dusty air their way! Not to mention the fumes from the machine itself! You can take great pride in knowing that not only have you produced an especially irritating and loud noise--but in the bonuses too--in that you have stirred up pollen, mold, rodent feces and spittle, lawn chemicals, and other nasties, so that it settles on people’s cars, windows, gets in their homes through open windows, and worse, in their lungs! Asthma is a big cash cow here and you help the drug businesses while sending people’s health down the drain simply by choosing to not have common sense!

Forget those other 400 communities across the nation who have chosen to place restrictions on uses of these machines and those communities who have chosen to get serious about noise issues because they have learned through statistics that they are far more than a mere nuisance issue---because In Warren, with noise, you can do whatever you wish whenever you wish---even if it means blowing swine flue in your neighbors face with a loud dirt blower!

Yes, there is so much opportunity in Warren, Ohio if you love assaulting people with your noise and invading their right to reasonable peace in their own home! This city prides itself upon being one of the last bastions of anarchy on noise and quality of life issues, because we don’t enforce the laws that do exist, let alone create new ones to keep up with the times.

Indeed, if you have never learned common sense and manners in your life about respecting others around you… Warren, Ohio is the place for you! Please settle here, because we LOVE noise! We LOVE acoustic anarchy and love how it has contributed greatly to the decline of the quality of life and property values! We want you here!

Thanks to your behavior, we've seen the spawning of a thriving new economy of noise machine outfitters for boom cars/motorcycles, tattoo parlors, tobacco outlets, fast food joints, and pay day check advance type businesses! Such businesses greatly foster a healthy populace, body, mind and soul--and have people from all over the nation wanting to re-locate in lovely Warren, Ohio! Thanks to your anti-social noisy behavior, we've also become the premier recruiting grounds for The Jerry Springer show!

Please come to Warren, Ohio if you love imposing your noise on your neighbor, or, if you think you are entitled, or it is your freedom to do so. We want all of you acoustic anarchists. We are the town of acoustic anarchy! Throw that quality of life issue down the drain.

Afterall, in these hard times when we don‘t have much, why not be the best we can be to make things even worse, by depriving people of that one little thing they are all entitled to…the feeling of peace, safety and comfort in their own homes! Who needs that in Warren? Mad Max would be proud that examples of lawlessness in Warren have been nationally acclaimed as fueling an ever growing aggressive and mentally disturbed society! Warren, on behalf of all who lack common sense and manners, we’re so proud of you taking the lead in making the laws on quality of life issues non-existent!

Thank you!

Signed...The, "I’m entitled" crowd!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Do You Need A Voice?

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

COULD IT BE POSSIBLE TO BE TOO LOUD AT A SPORTING EVENT?

Here are my rather repetitive and ranting thoughts shared with The Cleveland Cavaliers front office.


Dear Cleveland Cavaliers front office,

I am enjoying the success of this '09 season and have supported the team for several years, however, I have an issue that I would like to bring forth. This issue is about the overkill with the automated noise in the arena from start to finish of the game--either when the Cavs are on offense or defense.

If you take close notice, fans KNOW when to get into the game; they are not stupid! How many times can you notice, that while you insist on playing loud and obnoxious music constantly, and urge fans to 'clap their hands' and say 'defense' ..... that most of the fans simply ignore this childish attempt to generate enthusiasm? Why? Maybe it is because we are tired of having it forced down our throats.

I am not saying that what you do is not at all acceptable at times in the game---but you are completely operating in an overkill mode to the point this may do the opposite of what it is supposedly intended to do, and that is, generate enthusiasm---BECAUSE.... Why should fans make the noise and control the level of cheering when the machine is doing it for them?

I strongly urge you to ease up on this a bit and let us do what we do best, and that is, make our own noise to cheer on the cavaliers to a win. We are not baby's that need to be told 'everybody clap your hands' Nor is everyone keen on having rap and hip hop crammed down our throats! Teams won championships for years without this nonsense and maybe it is time the Cavs entertainment people allow the fans to concentrate on the game and learn how and when to get loud to give the team the extra edge. You are producing the ultimate in stupidity in a fan; treating them like robots!

Imposing your agenda from start to finish with no break is truly insulting to our intelligence. The artificial noise assault on us from the moment the ball its tipped is just plain stupidity. If you think I am the only one who shares this feeling, you would be surprised to learn what you could learn if you asked many fans about it.

Who asked for this, anyway? Let me repeat, just as you keep repeating the same nonsense at the games.....If you are not already DEAF from the overkill of artificial noise, please listen up: We know how to get up and get loud without your constant 'patty cake, patty cake' attempt to tell us what to do!

Please see the article below from a Mets fan and you will see that in NY, the same is happening in their baseball stadium and quite a few of us are over it. If the Cavs are as a professional organization I think they are, they will not defend this nonsense, but rather, get back with me and assure me they just may try easing up on it just a bit. When you do, you will see what we can do best on our own from start to finish.

By the way, I don’t want to hear how your surveys on ‘game presentation’ indicate that all the fans love what you’re doing. Any "survey" can pose questions in such a way that would give the entity offering the survey, the results they want. I could ask the same fans who the Cavs say approve of the presentation about game in my own way....that would have 90% agreeing that they could cut back on the overkill of artificial noise during the game.

I am ok with the intros, LeBron's chalk toss and all…...but the constant pounding during the game is where the problem is---whether it is needed or not. You really need to see what you are contributing to in causing a future drain on health care in this country by helping to produce deafness. Please learn more about the negative effects on the body induced from unnatural and excessive noise at www.noiseoff.org

Finally, you seem to have this preconceived notion that constant artificial noise is what all of the fans want, or that somehow, it makes the players play better. As the old saying goes, however, too much of anything is not good. In reality, no one asked for what you do. I think your agenda more so represents the corporate pandering and kissing up to a certain media market. Again, please stop force feeding it down our throats. GO CAVS!

Here is the article that echoes all the above... Thanks for reading and I look forward to your feedback and not a brush off...

What makes a great baseball park
by Frank Nunziata

Imagine going to a Major League Baseball game in 2007 and experiencing the joy of the game as you did when you were a child, while still being regarded by your favorite team as an adult. If you visit Shea Stadium in New York City, that's not going to happen. But a funny thing happened to me at Wrigley Field in Chicago recently.

I realized that baseball, for the sake of baseball, still existed.

I own a partial season ticket plan for my beloved New York Mets. I attend over twenty games a year. I have seen the "Shea experience" deteriorate year-by-year, and I'm not talking about Shea as a structure that needs to be replaced. A new stadium will not repair the chintzy, childish and downright obnoxious ancillary entertainment the Mets organization produces 81 times a year.

I spend so much time at Shea that I had almost forgotten what it was like to fully enjoy a baseball game. Wrigley reminded me. Each time a batter stepped up to the plate, music did not blare at an excruciating volume over the public address system. If that same batter happened to reach base, the only sound you heard was cheering proportionate to the game situation; you did not hear the loud, celebratory music that you might hear, say, if the home team had won the World Series. The fans make the noise at Wrigley. They control the volume. They are trusted to do their jobs as fans.

You will on occasion hear music, other than traditional ballpark organ music, at Wrigley Field. Background music. Music so subtle that the public address announcer can speak over it; gentle enough so that you can speak to the person next to you without screaming. At Wrigley, the only music that takes center stage is that day's unique rendition of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame," an ode to why everyone showed up to the park in the first place.

The absence of a giant television screen at Wrigley Field goes unnoticed. Eyes are constantly affixed on the field save for mandatory glances at the small electronic scoreboards displaying the count and the outs. The manual scoreboard in center is a sight to behold and not a distraction of gaudy graphics and foolish requests for crowd noise or worse, a beckoning to "do the wave." The Cub fan is encouraged to watch the game in front of them.

I realize that it's impossible to replicate the Wrigley Field experience anywhere else on earth. The unique event is a perfect storm created by a committed fan base, a wonderful old ballpark, a rich baseball history and many other factors. Cub fans own it and it's theirs to keep. But the Cubs organization clearly helps cultivate and encourage it. They are partners with the fans and in no way insult them, "dumb them down" or attempt to provide anything more than a beautiful and fun place most conducive to watching the game of baseball.

The Mets, on the other hand, have hit rock bottom. They officially jumped the shark this year when they added a "Sweet Caroline" sing-along/ video montage that takes place in the middle of the eighth inning. This is something they do in Boston's Fenway Park and was featured in a scene of the horrible movie "Fever Pitch." Yes, the New York Mets, playing in the so-called capital of everything, have resorted to stealing cheesy, overwrought foolishness from New England and Hollywood.

The question of course is, who are they are entertaining? The loud music that accompanies every aspect the game, the silly contests between innings, the constant nonsense bouncing off each and every corner of the stadium; who is enjoying this? Who asked for it? When did this major league city become enthralled with minor league entertainment?

Perhaps the Mets would respond with something along the lines of "we're appealing to younger fans." But the Mets should do themselves and their young fans a favor: They should introduce them to baseball for the sake of baseball. Young fans have plenty of other outlets to hear loud, crappy music and to be inundated with foolishness. Encourage them to learn to appreciate the game of baseball and the simple joy of a day at the ballpark. A scan through any section of the stands was proof that everyone, young and old, enjoyed themselves during my visit to Wrigley.

I am not suggesting that the Mets turn back the clock and turn Shea Stadium, or Citifield in 2009, into a faux mecca of a bygone era in baseball. What I am suggesting is that the Mets start exercising some common sense and strive for stadium decorum appropriate to the great game of baseball. They can start by turning down the volume. And when the eighth place hitter knocks a two-out single in the seventh inning of a 10-1 game, they can remove the music altogether.

The Mets have my personal guarantee that fans will still attend their games, even if the thunderous voice of MC Hammer is not coaxing them to clap their hands every ten minutes. I can also guarantee that fans will still have fun, even if cheap t-shirts are not shot from a bazooka between innings. I can guarantee this because I know that even though New York City may be behind the times, baseball for the sake of baseball still prospers across the land.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CLEAN IT UP CLEVELAND-NORTH EAST OHIO!

LITTER, TRASH, ILLEGAL DUMPING ISSUES NEED TO BE COVERED MORE BY THE LOCAL PAPERS---AND THE CITY NEEDS TO BE ASSERTIVE IN ADDRESSING AND BEING PRO-ACTIVE ABOUT SOLVING THE PROBLEM.



I have a story idea that needs attention drawn to it:


How about the litter/trash/debris problem all over all the corridors into the city on the highways. In ditches, under embankments, bridges, waterways, along shoulders, in medians, and the list could go on. This cost Ohio 3 to 4 million last year to clean up---mostly because people have still not learned what a trash/recycling can is for. Should have learned that 38 years ago when the Indian cried on the commercial.

If we have not even learned how the above situation leads to a declining quality of life, property value, bad images, etc. then its hopeless. The burning river cast a grim shadow on our city in the past---we know the struggle it has been to take years to shed this image, as much of it still exists---so why are we inviting, and leaving go unabated, yet another legacy of community and environmental abuse that will secure another 50 plus years of Cleveland bad mouthing?

C'mon people, pitch in and get with it! C'mon PD...ADDRESS this issue and offer solutions. All those who participate in clean-ups once a year is not enough. To make this problem better, we need to make keeping after it a lifestyle--and maybe start reminding people that dumping/littering in OHIO is illegal--and Cleveland is not exempt. While the problem is pervasive, can we spare the complacent comments like "Weeelll.. its everywhere" and at least do OUR part to clean up our corner of the state?

This problem is among the first things people will notice when coming into our region/city... and it casts a strong message about where the civic pride has gone and a lack of respect for the environment as well--at a time when we should darn well know better to at least be able to curb this very preventable problem. It is quite embarrassing.

Is this the image we want to project of ourselves to all who come here---especially during the Rock Hall inductions? It is bad enough we have to continually clean up after people in neighborhoods who find it convenient to pull up along a curb and dump their McDonald's trash onto someone’s tree strip, let alone all the crap that does not adequately get cleaned up on the main streams into the city.

Just because times are tough, just because there is poverty, and just because people may be stupid......does not mean we have to look as though we play the part perfectly; being slobs! Hey Cleveland... Get this.. CIVIC PRIDE is FREE!!! Doesn't cost a DIME to embrace it and start using it, no matter what walk of life you come from---but it costs all of us millions when we DON'T exercise this pride!

Adopting such pride again means we foster a populous that will not allow the kinds of things to happen that end up tearing down a city and region in the first place; the kinds of things people spend all day winging about on these posts, but offer to do NOTHING about, and instead become a part of the problem by telling everyone how they cannot wait to take the next train out of here!

Please cover the trash/litter, illegal dumping issues, PD.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

POSSIBLE FUTURE IDEAS FOR OLDER URBAN DOWNTOWN RETAIL DISTRICTS

Several years ago, I had an idea take shape in my mind that recognized a great possible use for struggling historic downtown retail centers in larger metro-areas. In particular, I was thinking of the Cleveland/Akron/Youngstown/Warren metro-region. The idea, was to revert these original urban ‘cores of the core’ to fully functional neighborhoods-- -as what was their original purpose at the time of their infancy.

In a world of so much oil and automobile-dependency ---AND communities designed around the needs of the four wheels rather than our own two legs as pedestrians----and a retail scene that has become homogenized with the big box chains coast to coast, I thought it would be refreshing to return to some of the roots and purposes of the old downtowns.

Creating a walkable urban landscape that offered a community scene of real local and independent retail establishments and real human connections to those who bring us life’s daily needs not offered in the auto dependent suburbs was my vision. I felt that in order to re-connect those who have become disconnected from such scenes due to many factors---but one in particular; the 50 plus years of the advent of the automobile which helped contribute to outward migration from the urban core---the old town centers must offer a unique blend of local and independent retail and food establishments that have all but vanished.

These offerings could even include a unique blend of higher end retailers, some national names---but higher quality ones. In order to mix the independent character of the local venues which would offer what the national venues could not, or did not want to offer…it could be a successful balance to offer from some high end national venues what the locals did not offer--or cared to. I though this would result in a unique balance that would not result in the usual scenario of the big box stores undermining all the local/independently owned businesses in the economy.

By a downtown trying to attract, for example, the high end national factory outlet stores that could co-exist with all the other independent appeal of a downtown, we could achieve the perfect balance. Such an effort to lure the urban activity back to the urban hub, would be much more sustainable than clearing 60 acres of woods or wetlands for yet another clone zone retail center or typical outlet mall that sucks life away from the urban core. What this scene would offer if implemented in Cleveland is something for everyone.

A few selling points to draw people in from everywhere would be: 1. Easy and direct highway access from far away visitors in the metro area looking for a real historic downtown larger city retail experience with cheap parking in close by parking decks. 2. Easy walking access for those living in or near downtown who do not wish to drive a car everywhere. 3.Essy public transit access. 4. A blend of businesses and entertainment venues all in an historic setting offered nowhere else. These and many other factors help with the appeal of why such a place would be attractive to patrons . I want to add that a feeling of cleanliness and safety are key factors.

It appears as though all of the ideas I have mentioned above are share as well by many others. In this Plain Dealer On-line article, you can read more about this concept in detail Here is the link:

http://blog.cleveland.com/business/2009/03/clevelands_downtown_considered.html#preview




I like this idea. I have actually suggested this years ago in a letter to the Warren, Ohio mayor on a downscaled version--to have a higher end factory outlet mix. Interesting to see this just might happen in downtown Cleveland, specifically. BUT, I will also say again…balance is the key. The right mixture needs to be sought. This kind plan SHOULD NOT undermine the unique local/independent business scene already downtown, that will give it a distinction and character all its own.

If each type of businesses can offer something the other does not have as I mentioned early in this article, there should not be the problem of making downtown into just another retail clone zone. So in conclusion , I am in support of the plan in the article if carefully planned and consideration is given to unique individual character that is our own. There is really little construction needed other than renovations inside some areas.

All that really needs to be done is negotiation with the retailers. Looks as though the though to making Warren’s core a functional diverse non-auto dependent neighborhood with a select higher end unique factory outlet appeal ---at least was embraced by someone somewhere! It would be better than sprawl, and better than seeing the core struggle. The historic core, afterall, is a draw in itself. Tell me? When was the last time you planned a trip somewhere and had your activities centered around the experience of the Wal-Mart parking lot?

Let me know what you think!

Photo: Old Lower Euclid Avenue retail corridor