GETTING READY TO TRAVEL?

If you love to travel, you likely get a rush from the anticipation of going somewhere completely different; submerging yourself in a culture opposite to your own. The thought of leaving behind the world and life you know and entering into another world–And, the moment you step on the plane, you feel free! Off you go high into the sky, ground disappears, and you’re on your way!

You may takes weeks preparing for your journey by closing on such tasks such as finding someone to watch the house, your pet, gather your mail, or run various errands. The most fun part of the trip may involve selecting the kinds of useful things you may want to bring. Clothing, recreational items, maps, cameras, a good book, jewelery, shoes, health and hygiene items, and many other needs. At this time, it is fun going to the local store to obtain such items for your travels. Additionally, you may even want to search online for the unusual or international world item you just cannot find anywhere!

Everybody likes a quality product at a good price too, and at Canada Post, you just may find what you’re looking for! So, if you are ready to travel and need anything mentioned above–and you cannot find it near you, you may be just a click away! Start your trip by vising Canada Post, online for an impressive array of items. Just look at the variety of high quality digital cameras available for starters!

Happy Travels!

The Reality Behind The Bottled Water Madness!

I am adamantly opposed to this bottled water nonsense. There was a time when I thought different, believe it or not, as I bought on to the marketing too! But in many cases the bottled water has its own kinds of contaminants, AND the fact it is stored in PLASTIC, which is not only bad for personal health, but for the environment too, as most wind up as litter…. The mere production of “clean bottled water” is so counter-productive to maintaining clean water resources!

However, tap water is not the cure all either as many municipality filtration systems do not remove everything. Among common contaminants, there are traces rust, lawn chemicals, heavy metals, and of course the chlorine and chloramines.

The best and most affordable thing to do meanwhile would be to stop buying bottled water. Do we really want Pepsi owning the worlds water supplies? Less bottled means less energy spent on production (as outlined in below video), less litter, less need to recycle, so eventually, less means of polluting the environment just to make “clean water” for consumption.

Then, buy a high quality tap water filter that uses cartridges that last up to 18 months such as the 10 stage “New Wave Enviro-Products” filer available at Gardens Under Glass.

Here is a video outlining the madness of bottled water—which at beach cleanings, plastic bottles of all sorts, make up a large quantity of litter, specifically the water and soft drink kind. I find it interesting hat the video notes about “manufactured demand” and such is exactly where, but by the marketing machine.

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 8:49 AM No comments:

 

FOREST GARDENING INSTEAD OF LAWNS

Instead of wasting the world’s energy on mowing, blowing, spraying, and working against nature maintaining a traditional lawn…let’s work with nature instead! The energy intensive suburban yard model has got to go….as it is totally unsustainable and pointless, other than satisfying some cosmetic image created by companies like Scott’s and “Chemical-Lawn”.

No food does it yield for people or wildlife…and it demands an incredible amount of energy, all for the sake of the chemical companies conditioning people to think that diversity in a yard is bad…and anything other than a blade of grass is taboo! I never recall anyone dying of dandelions!

Sadly, through poisoning, we extinguish all the culinary and medicinally potential plants in a yard and keep grass that is not even native. We weaken the self supporting life systems in soils making plants even more susceptible to diseases, due to the mono-culture created as a result.

We cut it short–a plant that is meant to be tall and waving in the first place! How twisted is this logic? There is nothing brilliant or unusual about it when every one has a yard consisting of bland and boring patch after patch of green….that no one is lining up waiting in line to oooohh and ahhhwww over! I think Forest Gardening is really unique as an alternative! Check it out…

http://www.edibleforestgardens.com/about_gardening

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 8:10 PM No comments:

Thoughts Dedicated To The Roadkill Slaughter Of Animals

To all the animals who are victims of vehicular murders….some unavoidable while many others go purposely perpetuated by careless and unconscious minds….

You were going about your daily routine for survival….
You frolicked and played with your brothers and sisters….
You breathe in the clean forest air and bask in the warmth of meadow sunlight and smell sweet fragrances of wildflowers….
You find food to share with your family…
You feel it is wonderful to be alive….

One day as night begins to fall, you follow a way…an instinct that your ancestors have been following for generations….
The path leads you to the loud and intimidating sound of huge machines roaring past you at high speeds….
The machines follow this long and straight smooth and wide trail made of stone….
You attempt to cross this scary place as its the only way you know how to get home, or perhaps find some food….

Suddenly, out of nowhere, lights blind you…
You are so surprised and stunned that you freeze in your path while looking up….
You know nothing of what is about to happen….
You are suddenly hit on the side of your legs…
You fall to the ground wounded as you cannot get up….
In excruciating pain you try desperately to walk…but you fall…
You are covered in blood….

You lay half conscious still sensing those huge machines whisking by at high speeds…
You lay lonely and frightened…breathing rapidly, heart racing…
Your body tenses up in intense pain and fear….cold and lonely gasping for air….
What did I do, you ask?
What am I experiencing, you sense to wonder….
All I know is that I am terrified, I hurt and am wishing I was at home with my family and friends…. I have a nest to attend..a home…

Those machines do not stop….they do not offer to help me….
What are they?
We never hurt another for fun or carelessness…
You lay there helpless…..
Just make me feel better….
I want to go home….

Now, will you, the driver, be the one out of thousands whipping by either not noticing, turning a blind eye, or thinking this creature is already dead while you sit cozy and comfy in your car?

Will you be one of the ones who says… “Its just another bit of roadkill?”

Will you be one of the ones who refuses to acknowledge the animal had a life that counted and was important to the web of life?

Will you be one of the ignorant that thinks hitting animals on the highway is a natural thing?

Will you be just one more fool who thinks the ever increasing assault on our natural world is something we’re entitled to do perhaps because of your dedication to the ideology of profit today and who cares about tomorrow?….or because you have interpreted your God’s words as placing you above all other life?

Or, maybe you will be the one who carries the common excuse of “I don’t have the time” OR….will you be the ONE, who actually stands up and gives a damn and says enough is enough already…this is just wrong…..

Make your choice.

TAG: This post is dedicated to the little squirrel pictured at the top–we tried to rescue–that although not killed by vehicular traffic, was attacked by a domestic cat. Allowing pets to harass native wildlife is another story in itself.

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 12:13 PM No comments:

Reducing Litter In Cleveland

For approximately 12 months now, myself and several other dedicated volunteers came together in the interest of doing what we can to help reduce litter in the city and region–And to plant the seeds of change that can alter the mentalities that produce the litter in the first place.

So far, as a result, we have raised the awareness of this issue–and placed it on the radar of several key figures in the city who have graciously offered their cooperation in reducing liter and illegal dumping. Also coming forward have been other volunteers and several neighborhood community development corporations.

Neighborhoods that are aiming at leading the charge in this campaign are… downtown–as Gardens Under Glass at the Galleria will be the voice of the campaign slogan material and educational presentations at the Eco-Tuesday event. Adding to this will be a display in the Re-Source Educational Center courtesy of Keep Ohio Beautiful, that aims to recruit volunteers who will obligate to create Cleveland’s first official chapter of this long time litter awareness and education organization.

Ohio City has also taken on a roll–as this neighborhood has worked to increase recycling/and or availability of trash bins, have a monthly neighborhood wide clean-up announcement, place law enforcement signage, and eventually get the word to schools, businesses, residents, and police on why litter is not acceptable, how it contributes to other quality of life degrading issues–and why laws need to be enforced. Cudell may be another neighborhood emerging and embracing the movement, with a storefront window planned and dedicated to artfully displaying awareness campaign material and its distribution.

Lastly, Edgewater Beach/Park and Euclid Beach/Park have also seen the addition of new anti-litter and educational signage and increased clean-ups. Additionally, a cooperative relationship between volunteers and park management is growing. These are just a few areas that are working toward helping to reduce litter. Other community development corporations have expressed interest in being a par of what hopefully will evolve into a city wide effort.

The above are just a few of multiple other efforts to help plant seeds of litter reduction. All who are dedicated to this understand that change on what seems to most who are concerned, as no-brainier logic, often comes very slow. Therefore, their patience and commitment will drive the ongoing success of the effort. I recently wrote an article for Cool Cleveland to help spread the word about impacts of litter–And, started a petition on Change Dot Org that promotes action being taken on plastic cigar tip/butt litter. Please see the article in the link below…and sign the petition on the Change site. –Thank You!

http://www.change.org/petitions/promoting-against-littering-of-plastic-cigar-tipsbutts-discontinue-their-use?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=own_wall

http://www.coolcleveland.com/blog/2011/07/litter-in-cleveland-to-clean-up-our-city-we-must-clean-up-our-act/#comments

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 7:07 PM No comments:

Scrubby Women and Children–Learn to lounge better!

You’re tired after a long day’s work, challenging people you encounter while you feel like the rat on the wheel, have you ready to sprint for the exit! Getting out of those binding clothes and taking a hot bath is all you can think of when you get home!

When you want to relax at home, just you, a book, maybe a candle or some incense, or background music, why not wear something that makes your skin itself, feel as relaxed as you do? So, instead of throwing on the typical T-shirt and shorts, why not slip into some stylish scrubs? “Scrubs?” you ask?….. “Those are for medical professionals”…. you say?…… WRONG! Now you can enjoy comfy nursing scrubs at home while you relax, because scrubs are not just for surgery anymore!

That’s right! At Blue Sky Scrubs, you can find an array of stylish scrubs in every color and pattern that will match your every mood or design taste. Scrubs are light, scrubs are comfortable…scrubs are fun and classy…and scrubs last forever….look great…and best of all, they’re so affordable! Look at the selection of cheap scrubs!

Scrubs also make great lounging attire or even pajamas. But not all scrubs are the same… To learn why, just visit Blue Sky Scrubs right here: http://www.blueskyscrubs.com/categories/Scrubs/Scrubs-for-Women/

Not only will you find a great selection of scrubs for yourself, but there are also scrubs for babies, children, both boys and girls! So, instead of relaxing in the house, or going to bed in the same old daggy clothing, just try on a pair of Blue Sky Scrubs and discover the difference they make in the comfort of YOUR next lounging time or slumber! You will never think the same about what you wear when you want to relax! With a name like “Blue Sky” they have to be comfy–like lounging on your own personal cloud! Blue Sky Scrubs!

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 7:20 PM No comments:

 

 

COME TO BECOME: Save time, money, and resources!

With fuel prices rising and much of the population living in highly car dependent suburban landscapes these days, not many people can afford to joy ride and get their shopping needs done at the same time. This is where Become can help you save money not only fuel costs, but on the widest array of top quality products, goods, and services that you would use every day!

From A to Z, you are covered for whatever your consumer need may be; all on one convenient and easy to use website! From clothing to cameras….food or insurance…to all your travel needs! Here’s an example of the savings you will experience at Become…. You can find Osiris Shoes, in any style and color, ranging from 10% to 40% off! Just have a look!

There is more to find at Become!…. From pet needs, jewelry or art….you will find it ALL at Become…. And, with the money you save, you can even book an airline ticket through our site, and take that long awaited get away you have been yearning for!…And while you’re booking that trip, make sure you take along a new pair of sandals! Have a look at these savings on any style of Chacos Sandals.

Visit Become to save time, fuel, and resources in a time of increasing fuel costs. Stop by Become today for all your shopping needs, 24 hours a day! Welcome to Become!

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 10:10 PM No comments:

BENEVOLENT BIKERS; WOULD YOU RIDE FOR THE RIGHT TO QUIET?

THANK YOU TO RESPECTFUL MOTORCYCLE RIDERS

Before I get to the point of this article, which is about excessively and unnecessarily loud motorcycles and their operators, I wish to thank the motorcycle riders who actually respect the peace, or right to quiet and safety one has in one’s own home. For the many who find loud motorcycle noise particularly obnoxious and downright frightening, we thank you for not altering your pipes illegally, or gunning your engines at three in the morning!


AS FOR THE ROGUE OTHERS

For those riders who do not care about respecting their surroundings and rights to reasonable peace, or have some sort of disturbing sense of entitlement or freedom. I have many questions and comments for you.

I wonder what pleasure you get out of unleashing acoustic terrorism on those who have done nothing to you? Those who may be ill, elderly, or even those who work daily–or innocent babies, all needing their sleep. What of the innocent animals who are literally terrified by your selfish, careless acoustic assault?

Sure, I know there are many kinds of noises in neighborhoods people deal with on a daily basis; many of which are just as irritating and unhealthy. Those such as boom cars or the relentless and non-stop operation of dirt blowers. Indeed, these in each and every one of themselves, can become excessive. But today, I am addressing one kind of noise of the most frequent noise offenders in neighborhoods today, and that is YOU, the Rice Rocket of Harley Hog.

Whatever the noise, you all seem to have in common one thing: And that is, some kind of low self esteem or lack of fulfillment in your life, that has you making such noises for attention or validation to compensate. Or, maybe it has something to do with something a bit below the belt! You have some twisted idea that you are allowed to do whatever you wish without regard to law, rules, or ordinance as you create an acoustic anarchy!

ROMANTICIZING YOUR BROTHERHOOD AS BENEVOLENT AND PATRIOTIC

As television helps perpetuate the romanticism surrounding the American biker these days with shows like “American Chopper”, we also see the romanticism in local bars offering “Bike Night” or even more on television–on news reports showcasing how motorcyclists banned together to ride for a worthy cause or raise money for charity.

When I see this sort of propaganda, I really have to wonder: If many bikers ride for such great causes, claim to be such great patriots and caring individuals, then why are the majority ignoring their fellow human beings who do not wish to be continually subjected to their self indulgent need to make noise? Where is the “patriotism” in destroying the peaceful environment of your natural lands and natural heritage as you caravan in an endless line of noise through State Parks? How is it being a patriot to not care about the constitutional right to domestic peace and tranquility? You love your country, but spoil its air-scape with your noise, hold innocent people hostage in their own homes by denying them the right to enjoy a peaceful weekend afternoon.

LOUD PIPES DO NOT “SAVE LIVES”

What gives you, the noisiest bunch and many who are donning waving American flags on your bikes claiming to represent freedom, law and justice, etc. the right to break local noise ordinances, force communities to have to waste time and money just to deal with this new level of excessive noise? What gives you the right to break federal clean air laws in the beautiful country YOU say you LOVE, by illegally altering the pipes on your bike? You cannot claim your typical battle cry of “Loud Pipes Saves Lives” because there is no scientific evidence to support that claim–And, just go Google “The Hurt Report” and let the science of physics lay that outrageous claim to rest. This was a report featured in one of your very own pro-biker magazines.

Is it lives you really want to save? Or do you just want to be louder than the other guy? Is it your testosterone gone wild….or is it a lack there-of? If safety is what you really want, you may want to strive for a quieter community, learn how healthy that can be, and recognize that when we have lower noise in our communities, we do not have to be LOUDER than everyone else to be heard! If safety is what you really want, then don’t ride drunk after hours–and get a helmet on too! Your extra caution, because you are the smaller vehicle will help too. If safety is what you want, then quiet down some. You will not go deaf, and instead, be able to hear what you need to hear around you, and so will the rest of us!

As for the loud pipes? No, they does NOT save lives and in fact can scare the hell out of a lot of people which can arguably shorten theirs. OR, you may scare a driver while you sneak up behind him with a sudden assault of loud, gut wrenching, brain splitting and ear ripping noise, causing him to swerve on the road and perhaps to hit you!

HOW YOU REACT WHEN EXPECTED TO SIMPLY RESPECT

Your defiance, arrogance, entitlement sense, lack of manners and consideration always manifests when asked kindly to not gun your engines in front of people’s homes. You curse and lament that “You have a right” But then you whine like babies when you finally get a ticket. When you force communities and law enforcement to take a stand as you have tested their patience too long and too many times, you have the colossal nerve to complain.

You complain about the ticket after so many times being given the benefit of the doubt by having the local/federal noise laws and ordinances, NOT enforced. We hoped that you would have enough common sense and consideration, the cuddly teddy bears and riders of good causes you are, to do the right thing. Seems you have forgotten that your so called “right to make noise” will never supersede one’s right to quiet in their own home.

IDEA FOR A CHARITY RIDE!

Indeed, the biker community often gets praise for its benevolence or patriotism. They have raised money and have ridden for many good causes. But there are many others as individuals and groups that have also done the same thing for many years, BUT without the noise. To the defiant and careless biker community” I have a final question for you. I appeal to your benevolent side and ask… Can you do a ride for the right to peace and quiet in ones own homes? How about a ride for the hurt you have caused many with your noise? Maybe this will get you to turn it down and discover the joy in quiet and what you are really doing. Maybe this will get others to see the dark side to your “hobby” Maybe you wont go deaf or force the rest of to…and maybe we will not be a drain on healthcare as a result!

THANKS FOR THOSE WHO GET IT!

For the respectful bikers out there who get it, you are thanked. maybe you can get through to the others who just don’t get it! They truly give a bad name to those who do not engage in the pleasure of being loud, no matter who it hurts.

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 1:20 PM No comments:

Cleveland, Do We Really Need Gambling?… Or Kenny!

 

I hope that since many other casino operations offer entertainment such as live shows, that Cleveland’s will create something similar by offering a chance to see some of the older performers like Kenny Loggins, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes… I noticed Kenny was performing at a casino in West Virginia, recently–and in previous years Harold and his Blue Notes were performing in the Poconos. This is the sort of thing other places offer and draws a more quality clientele. Maybe these kinds of shows can be offered at Quicken Loans Arena.

But entertainment is really not what I am going to focus on….I am more so, as in the past wondering if this whole casino bit is a good idea at all to place in a position to be some sort of benefactor to the city. I am not convinced that this is the best we can do for economic development, and certainly not the most creative, as casinos in this part of the country are becoming as common as another Wal-Mart!

The regional saturation component when standing alone, is enough reason why I feel ultimately the novelty will wear down, and nothing will be special about another casino. Surely not special enough to attract destination travelers with money to burn. We will never be a Las Vegas, nor should we strive to be, because we do not need to be. It is more likely the casino will attract mostly locals with little money, and many go hoke broker than when they came! Still, I hope that in the end, as reluctant as I am about this project, that it is not just about gambling and that other forms of entertainment, like Kenny, will be offered. Gaming can surely be part of some positive elements in a city, but not looked upon as “the savior” in typical Cleveland desperate fashion. We looked at LeBron James in this light, look where that got us…the manufacturing base…look where that got us! Maybe its time to not place all our chips on one number, for a change?

Not only will people be gambling, but so is the city as a governing unit, “gambling” under the daring notion that it will generate so much revenue and cure many ills. Again, this might be true, but the question remains: Should we place ourselves in a position where we have to depend on that which is related to fostering obsessive and dysfunctional habits, for revenue? I say no, let’s not make a habit of relying on these industries.

It is similar to placing the tobacco and junk food industries in a position where they can claim to be some sort of benefactor to a community because smoking (sale of cigarettes) helped pay for a stadium–OR, because Coke, Pepsi, and Frito Lay chuck a few pennies back to the schools where they place their vending machines. We really should think a bit deeper and awaken ourselves to the fact that these are NOT benefactors in the long run. They’re not because we must consider the trickle down repercussions resulting in fostering poor health which has been shown to be a drain on the economy and benefits only few financially. So, where we gain on one side in the short term, we still lose on another.

Gaming has its own associations with fostering bad habits that have people spending what they don’t have in the hope of winning it big, and thus, creating financial chaos in the hoke life–which carries with it all that can affect family because of it. The classic “externality” the industry has removed itself from. The industry proclaims “people should gamble responsibly” Do “gamble” and “responsible” really belong in the same sentence? Such seems a classic oxymoron! Gaming industry’s profits heavily rely upon IRRESPONSIBILITY! But let’s face it, their profits depend upon people making insatiable, spontaneous, gullible, and irresponsible decisions. The profits, indeed, result from the irresponsibility they warn against in the first place!

The same can be said for bad eating habits and smoking, when those industries pass the whole blame on being more personally responsible. While it is certainly essential to learn how to exercise more personal responsibility, what I do not want to hear are industries who profits depend on being irresponsible, telling us we need to be responsible! If we were, they’d lost a hell of a lot of business! But they know that bad habits are hard to break, especially those as in the case of smoking, where knowingly addictive chemicals are purposely added to get you hooked. So any industry that relies on its customer developing a obsessive habit, can proclaim such advice with confidence in knowing that it is unlikely that a grand enlightenment will overcome its followers.

I am straying away from the pointed question, though…. Back to the pointed question in the beginning: Should we place ourselves in a position where we have to depend on that which is related to fostering obsessive and dysfunctional habits, for revenue? Again, I answer “NO”…and follow with more questions that sum up why I say no: Do we want Cleveland to be labeled the fattest and most unhealthy city by traditionally anti-Cleveland publications like Forbes? The last thing we need is to become this publication;s exclusive target and punching bag.

How about the most financially crippled from gaming? Seriously, this sounds absurd, but Forbes has come up with just about every kind of list you can imagine!

Do we want myths about our city and region to be perpetuated even further, or have the myths actually come true which can result in a shunning or disinvestment in the city by potential stakeholders?

Finally, here is a question that just might result in revenue! How about good old fashioned home ownership and fostering neighborhoods that are attractive for such, like focusing on quality of life issues, safety, and clean environment and good schools? I know the gaming industry has posed as a benefactor to schools, but again, I ask….Do we want to have our schools reliant on gambling for the funding they need? We welcomed in junk food and this was just one part of many components that got us to an obesity level so shameful, that that the current generation of children may not outlive their grandparents! What are the costs?

Do we really want the gaming industry, despite the dark side we seldom hear of amidst all the hype, to be in a position to proclaim.. “The schools/city cannot survive without us…so we must get what we want!” (How did the planet survive before Vegas?!) Well, they’re already off to a good start because they got what they wanted with the destruction of the pedestrian oriented city block, to make way for one which encourages less street foot traffic and more driving–that is, unless the design is altered. This might be appealing for the generation of obese we have nurtured.

At the beginning of all this , I mentioned that I hope the gaming scene will at least offer some quality entertainment at the Q. Yes, despite all the above skepticism, maybe a song by Kenny Loggins will make it all a bit more easy to digest. Perhaps “Celebrate Me Home” to remind us of how much establishing a good home life can contribute to making a great place in which to live and raise a family, and for that family to do the same! It happened before deals with gaming industry, tobacco or junk food, and I am confident it can happen again without them. Cleveland should not be so desperate as to whore itself out to anything in the name of “economic development” that comes along. Development at any cost can be costly! Maybe the last song can be Kenny’s “I’m Alright” to remind Cleveland it can be alright without gambling!

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 11:20 AM No comments:

100 Year Old Columbia Building Coming Down For Parking Garage–Oh, I’m Sorry… I Meant To Say, “A Welcome Center!”

Despite his structure being in good usable shape…. We can say goodbye!

The Landmarks Commission, responsible for delaying demolition of the historic Columbia Building in downtown Cleveland to build a parking garage for a casino, has now given the go-ahead to demolish this handsome pedestrian oriented downtown structure, in favor of a more car dominated street scene. No one can be this short sighted to not explore ideas for saving the Columbia and incorporating it into a design which would satisfy parking issues for visiting guests with cars glued to their rear ends–as well as needs of pedestrians and people who actually LIVE downtown.

Making this even more difficult to swallow, is a planning commission that has not sold me on the idea that they have “looked at all possible alternatives..and none are feasible” , or so we have heard a dozen times! I cannot accept this bone thrown to the public.


Someone whom I have kept in contact with about this dilemma, name withheld, had this to say: “I am now convinced that The Landmarks Commission is nothing but a mascaraed; another puppet on strings. When they say that “none of the alternatives are feasible”, that is nothing more than those strings being pulled. In fact, they are literally mimicking whatever the developer says. They do not actually fight a real fight for historic buildings in this city, even when they are a designated Landmark as this one is.

They just go through some “motions” hoping to make it look like they’re putting up some sort of protest. Some who have protested this demolition are now looking at ways to improve the design of the garage. They were pleased with the large turnout of people who opposed the demolition of the Columbia, and lament that “just because they have lost this battle, that it does not mean we have lost the war.” That, referring to taking more enthusiastic action in the future where other historic buildings may be threatened.

Maybe it doesn’t “mean” we lost the war, but, I guarantee you — we “lost” this war before it even started. This city’s government wants only one thing — someone spending money in this city — especially a LOT of money, as developers do. They will sell the historic City Hall that they work in — also a designated Landmark — and allow its destruction, if the price is right. The situation here is thoroughly pathetic and thoroughly hopeless.

I could not agree with the above comments more. Still, how could there be “no feasible alternatives” It seems many who have attended meetings about the demolition did just that, present feasible alternatives! So what can it be? Why the rubber stamp go ahead? Hmmmmm…..WAIT!!!….maybe there are too many demolition contractors standing to gain by being given the promise they will get a job! No one in city government probably ever expected this much protest to this demolition so ramming it through would be a cinch, no worries. A few in the good old “good ‘ole boys club” can make some fast cash. Sure I am speculating, but one must wonder!


I hope people will realize why it is treading a risky path to allow a gaming industry, parking czars, and a developer be in some kind of position to act as a big benefactor and pillar member of the community. It is as close to a real life “deal with the devil” example as one can get! It is a perfect example of how letting developers, parking lot kings, and some gaming cronies dictate city planning, as I have mentioned before, is like letting loggers dictate forest management!


With the demolition of Columbia, what they want, they get, no matter how bad it is to the vision of creating a pedestrian friendly city-scape. Maybe those who run the show are used to the parking lot scene anyway, so to them they see nothing wrong with this picture! Maybe it is the quicker and cheaper way for them. But what is cheapest for the parties involved in this fiasco is not always best for the many in the long term. Indeed, screw the resident or stakeholder which bares the brunt of the long term costs such as ruining an already walkable infrastructure in favor of more cars and creating a pedestrian dead zone!


It is not as if the developer of this project would have walked away from it altogether had demolition of the Columbia Building been denied by the Planning and Landmarks Commissions. On the Contrary, it would have forced a more thoughtful re-design. The city neglected to use this scenario as leverage that would demand a design that would have integrated the Columbia Building into the plan. Here was an opportunity to achieve the best design possible to satisfy everyone, wasted!


To the rest of the outside progressive city designers and planners in the world..looking in, this demolition and parking garage design represents the poster child of HOW NOT to design a city if you want to promote more pedestrian traffic at street level, create connectivity for such, and create economic diversity and a walkable friendly feel… However, if you want to promote more oil use, pedestrian dead zones, noise, a building that will likely start to look crappy in a few years with its faux frontage cheesy looking building materials…..and build the city for cars and not people..The demolition with the current parking garage design is brilliant. Textbook right out of the 50’s through 70’s!


Yes, I should mention that the more historically significant Stanley Block Building will be saved and restored, (not because the developers were not prepared to knock this down too!–another story.) but to see it juxtaposed with a strip-mall type building, might look as ridiculous or awkward as seeing a new Westlake-style Taco Bell sitting right next to Severance Hall, or Liberace playing piano in a hip hop show. I Would such a “fusion” work?


Seriously, we need to ask.. “For whom are we designing our city?” Certainly NOT for attracting stakeholders…And rather, for fly by night visitors. They come, they gamble, they POOP, they leave…and continue to say how wrong Cleveland gets everything from the comfort of their sprawl-burb home.


If this demolition of an already pedestrian structured infrastructure for a parking garage… Oh, I forgot to mention what they’re calling it.. “Welcome Center” does not create the street pedestrian lively area with galleries, shops, businesses, restaurants, future retail, etc… In my opinion it will be a failure. Afterall, isn’t this the scene Cleveland touts it wants to create?….A walkable, day and night city of choice? Well, if your only choice in life is spending your penny rolls saved in the pickle jar at a casino to help pay for repairing the bungee attached bumper on your rusted car, for more cigarettes, or hungry man TV dinners, then maybe this is a perfect design! (Sorry, I am getting a bit nasty, but I cannot deny the scenes I witness in these kinds of places!)


I actually had a different vision for this part of the city…perhaps a bit more in line with promoting a healthy and more economically productive and diverse population that does not need The Lone Ranger to come in and “save the city” (Ie: MedMart, Casino) The current design of the garage that will replace the Columbia Building is so counter productive to the above described scene many would like to see downtown…as well as so counter productive to promoting a more sustainable city–also something that Cleveland is supposedly trying to achieve.


I cannot say much positive about this demolition/parking garage scenario, but I guess the light at the end of the tunnel is that if more opposition to demolitions as witnessed with Columbia happened every time city fathers partner with very un-creative developers and those with a lack of vision in quality city planning, then just maybe there would be a bit more caution exercised in how we lay out our city’s future designs. Maybe there would be more demand to achieve everlasting appeal, purpose, and style–And in the spirit of a more sustainable future and economy that can spawn from such–there would be more demand in keeping the pedestrian in mind first, the car second! So, looking forward, maybe the opposition can/will result in the changing of the current design of the garage.

Here are a couple good quotes online today that reflect the immediate disappointment and dissatisfaction for this terrible design.


“At the end of the day it’s not about “preserving the past” its about allowing lower prospect to continue a mixed use model that encourages people to use and live in the city and not creating a two block auto oriented dead zone for people who want to stop in for a couple hours and leave. Mixed use is “building for the future”… not lining our streets to make things easiest for temporary guests.”

“I’m feeling quite depressed this afternoon. I just can’t comprehend that we are tearing down this building for a parking garage. A parking garage for the folks of Streetsboro and Madison and Lagrange. The same people who talk crap about this city any chance they get won out. Congratulations to all those who comment on Cleveland.com, you are the true winners. You can now come and dump your quarters in my downtown while you laugh at what a terrible city this is from the comfort of your close parking garage and safety of your gerbil tube that “elevates” you above the dirt of the city.Another fine day of Cleveland politics. Still much work to be done ahead about final designs.”

Posted by Angry Man In The Basement at 11:06 AM No comments:

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