Category Archives: northeastohio

Cleveland Planning Commission – Jan. 6,2012

[intentionally left blank].

There was no City Planning Commission meeting on Jan. 6, 2012. City Planning Director Bob Brown told me that there was not anything submitted, so there wasn’t any need for a meeting although it’s normally held the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month.

There you have it. The next meeting is scheduled to be held, at the normal time, 3rd Friday of the month: January 20,2011.


Cleveland Neighborhood Map

The Cleveland Neighborhood Map was updated last week, check it out. I added Brooklyn Centre and Lake Erie is now included on the map.

Questions on Cleveland’s new food truck program

While food trucks are growing in popularity (well, the number of the them and the amount of press they receive) in other American cities (like LA and midwestern cities like Milwaukee [warning: poor web design alert], there’s only notable one food truck in Cleveland so far, Dim and Dem Sum.

Cleveland’s city council wants to add more by beginning a program to offer loans to prospective food truck operators. The city of Cleveland’s RFP (request for proposals) is here

Having more food options in the city is great, although the program’s description and RFP is extremely vague, which concerns me on a couple points including:

“the applicant will not operate their cart in association with a national food chain.” What constitutes a national food chain ? I would presume burger king wouldn’t qualify for the program [which is for the best] but does this mean that a company from Columbus or Pittsburgh cannot also have one in Cleveland ?

And more importantly, the RFP does not state whether all food trucks that want to open in Cleveland must apply to this specific program and follow the specific guidelines (that are listed in the RFP) . Since Dim and dem sum has been operating for a few months already, I would hope the city is allowing any food truck to open in the city, as long as they have the correct permits.

This program, as far as I have read, just offers loans [with a stipulation that the cart’s exterior will be designed by CPA (Cleveland Public Art)] and puts the food trucks at 4 different locations around the city [adelbert and euclid, public square, the harbor/voinovich park @ e9th, 14th and euclid]. pg. 2 says the trucks are allowed to rotate, but are they allowed to go anywhere else !? If the trucks are restricted to only those 4 locations, it would eliminate one of the key characteristics of food trucks, actually being mobile.

If you know of any other food trucks, please let me know in the comments.

City cutting more trees in Old Brooklyn

In response to the threat of Ash Borer beetles, the city has cut down several Ash trees in Old Brooklyn in 2010. About 10 of these trees have been cut down on Mayview, where I reside.

Last year, I blogged my resignation to the city’s removal of ash trees on my planting strip (the space between the sidewalk and curb). Because our tree was the only one cut down at the time, I didn’t realize its impact on the street. However, after reading an article by Michael Gill in a December issue of the Cleveland Scene and seeing more trees cut down on my street [even in the snow], I’m having second thoughts about the city of Cleveland’s plan to cut down the remaining Ash Trees.

Why keep the trees ?
Aesthetics. They also provide shade and cool down the front of houses and while walking through the neighborhood [although I’m not sure if that can be calculated].

Unfortunately, the city, planting the Ash trees (on Mayview, they were planted in the late 1970s), didn’t follow a rule of biodiversity, to plant different types of trees to prevent a bug or disease from affecting all of the trees. Any new tree replacement should include different trees and I’ll see if that’s being done for Mayview and Cleveland.  A 2009 study by a group of Entomologists from OSU and a couple other midwest universities stated that there are several insecticides that are effective. 

More questions to be answered: do the insecticide treatments have any negative environmental effects ? Has Chicago’s or Milwaukee’s alternative strategies to cutting been effective and can they be replicated in Cleveland ?
After reading a bit more on it, I would like to find out more if our trees can be saved [though I’m still figuring out how high of a priority it is for me to take more action] and whether the insecticide treatments have any negative environmental effects. I don’t know how much it will cost to keep them. It’s something that I’ll talk to my neighbors about and think about.

PS – While writing this, I found to be a great source of information of Ash Borer beetles and communities’ responses.

Timeline of the Ward 15 Redistricting

The new, updated page for this timeline is:

Below is old version.


July 2, 2008 – Cummins proposes 3 different plans to reduce number of seats on City Council by Six.

Brian Cummins’ Proposals for City Council Size Reduction (PDF file format)
(courtesy of Bill Callahan)

November 2008 –
Voters approve measure to reduce number of seats on Cleveland City Council by two, to a total of 19.

March 4th – Public Meeting at Applewood center with some City Councilmen: Cummins, Santiago, Matt Zone, Kevin Kelly, and Anthony Brancatelli; discussing the possibility of a reduction in City Council Size

(I’ve found no mention whether the proposed ward boundaries were explicitedly announced at this meeting). According to Anthony Fossaceca , the discussion only focused on the probability that one unspecificed west-side ward would be eliminated. I don’t know whether it is just coincidence that

March 6th – Brian Cummins’ initial reaction after being told the day before that his lose his seat on city council due to redistricting.

March 6th – Henry Gomez’s reaction to the redistricting

March 7th – Bill Callahan’s Reaction

March 9th – Henry Gomez’s report

March 12th – Sweeney announces that he will not schedule a vote (one of his powers as City Council President) for the City Council on the proposed ward redistricting. No rescheduling date has been publicly announced.

March 13th –
Plans announced for a protest at the steps of Cleveland City Hall, on Monday, March 16th to protest the proposed ward redistricting.

(I just found out the oldbrooklyn blog, great to see a few new bloggers from the Old Brooklyn neighborhood, I’ve been alone (and/or unaware of others, besides the Ferris’es from Brooklyn Centre) for a while now..).

March 16th – Protesters from ward 15 gathered at city hall to express their disapproval of the pending ward redistricting.

Henry Gomez’s Initial report of the Protest
March 17th –
Henry Gomez’s 2nd report of the March 16th Protest. He and others at the protest remarked a similarity in atmosphere of the protest with several scenes in the movie ‘Milk.’

April 1st – proposed deadline for the final recommendations for redistricting from Triad consultants. Deadline for city council to pass plans for ward redistricting. If they do not pass anything, this power goes to Mayor Frank Jackson.


A list of who’s who (Catch up with the names).

Bill Callahan – local blogger.

Brian Cummins – Ward 15 Councilman, Old Brooklyn

Henry Gomez – Plain Dealer’s and (operated by Plain Dealer)’s city hall reporter
Martin Sweeney – president of Cleveland City Council

Ward 15 – Old Brooklyn to be redistricted !

(this is an extremely rough draft, some initial reactions, notes).

Not a typical morning for me…

I woke up this morning to a different world than before (ok, this is philosophically loaded, in that each moment of time, the world is unique as the total amount of actions that are happening are usually different in some way, in that unique combination for people , but between one day and the next day, the worlds are usually the same for most people, including myself).

With an attention span and consciousness marred by robutussin and cold relief meds while listening to rhythm masters, I’m reading with great surprise that the City Council has planned to redistrict Ward 15.

There’s a variety of links out there with information:

While I support the decrease of council seats (to reflect the shrinking population, and I did vote for it), I hope Cummins would stay in one way or another on Council, even if he’s no longer my councilman.

My first reaction, well, he shows up to meetings.
He has an accessible office.
I’ve seen him at the community events and meetings. Plus, a PCV (peace corps volunteer) earns a point or two in my book, since he’s dealt with community members [wherever he went] that probably have different views (cultural) than him and work with people to get projects done in a community.

I have to look for that list of bookmarks that I had from weblinks whenever I saw Brian did something that I support…

Edit: Here’s a timeline of the Ward 15 Redistricting process in Old Brooklyn.

The growth of poverty in Suburbia

(this post was an essay that I had written for my urban economics class)

The increase of poverty in suburbia results from suburbia becoming no longer economically feasible for its residents (Emerson 417). This prediction is the opposite of the status quo in
America. This prediction is not new to me but is to those who are not very familiar
with urban economics. In the past few years, I have witnessed the increase of poverty
in the suburbs in the Cleveland area and believe this general trend will continue in
the future for several reasons.
The physical infrastructure in the oldest suburbs is beginning to deteriorate. Pub-
lically funded physical infrastructures like recreation centers, schools, parks, shopping
centers, and malls begin to deteriorate physically after their initial constructions in
the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. With newer ones built around it, the older suburb’s
experiences a decrease in the sales,
The housing stock also begins to deteriorate. My father, a plumber, has a lot of
business from people living in the inner-ring suburbs, whose houses’ has the original
plumbing fixtures, needing to be replaced after 30-40 years. Moreover, the quality
of the original plumbing work, lasting for only 30-40 years, is often worse than the
old city plumbing fixtures (iron and brass) which has been able to last longer. The
plumbing is just one problem of these houses’ infrastructures, quickly built following
WWII in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.
Outer-ring suburbs have usually have the newer housing stock and public infras-
tructure, attracting inner-ring suburb residents. Unless inner-ring suburbs are able
to raise the revenue for the physical infrastructures, people will continue to move
further from the city. To raise this revenue, the suburb may have to raise taxes or
cut city services.
In the near future, the donut (a barren, city as the hole, surrounded the wealth
of glaze and flour) will not symbolize income distribution of residents in cities. For
the case of Cleveland, it may be a city core with a mix of some gentrified neighbor-
hoods and poor ones, deteriorated inner-ring suburbs, surrounded by an outer-ring of wealthy suburbs.
One counterpoint, that I really want to mention that I don’t know where to fit
in this paper is that the factors that I mentioned are economically based. Other
factors, especially a person’s, family’s, or business’ loyalty and identification to the
community and neighborhood may make the incentives to leave less attractive. Inner-
ring suburbs that have unique cultural attractions and businesse whose customers
and residents continue to patronize them is important factor to prevent people from
moving out to the newer suburbs and convince people to invest in the community.

City to Cut Down Trees to Combat Ash Borer

One of the things that I enjoy about Old Brooklyn is my tree-lined street. The Ash Trees provide shade, keep temperatures down a couple degrees, and give the street some character.

In late July, the household received a letter (viewable here on flickr) that the City of Cleveland will be removing the tree (I assume that this includes the other Ash trees on my street) in front of my house because it is susceptible to the Emerald Ash Borer. I want to keep the trees, but I am resigned on this decision because it was recommended state of Ohio and US department of Agriculture.

My sister, who lives next door, didn’t take so nicely, feels this is completely unjustified because no exterior damage to the trees on our street has appeared and the city was spending money on cutting down trees instead of funding education, the Cleveland free clinic (not THE Cleveland clinic), and other municipal services. She also fears the street will look less nicer and crime will go up. She also prompted a good question – how much will this cost, and who is footing the bill ?

My grandpa, an retiree from Nelson’s (tree-cutting service) prompted whether soap and water would be enough to combat it.

After all of these questions and observations, I haven’t seen any work on this project start or any other mention. There’s still more questions to be answered. I’ll try to start by calling the city’s Urban Forestry Service (yes, cleveland has one) this week. I wonder how many trees in the city will be cut down, and if the work is concentrated in a specific neighborhood or area. What will trees will be replanted in place of the Ash Borer (Heavens to Betsy if crabapple trees, originally cut down and replaced by the Ash Trees in the late 1970s on my street, return). How have other cities in the midwest responded to the Ash Borer ?

Open for Business

The adjustment process back to America has been uneventful. There’s some responsibilities (finances, school loans, finding summer employment) on hold that I now have to deal with.

Time is flying by since I returned. I already return to school in 2 days, this weekend, wow.

My story: 4 pm, Monday: With Sunlight and melting snow finally appearing, I finally felt free to go for a walk for the first time in quite some time (a week probably, but it felt a lot longer than that). Plus, I needed to visit the barber. I took the chance of it not being open, but since it was close and I wanted to go for a walk (and the probability that it would be open), I didn’t call before leaving. After a 10 minute walk there, I found a sign on the door that the hours listed with CLOSED next to Monday and Sunday.

On my way back on Broadview, I saw the old pet food store storefront had been converted into a bicycle sort of shop. Cool. The lights and the “OPEN” neon sign hanging in window were off, it was closed.

I couldn’t find its hours or the name of the business easily (side window: ‘Fantasy Toys’ but it wasn’t obvious) and I was thinking:

What kind of business doesn’t have open hours posted or name clearly displayed at their store ?! I was surprised. I expected a place in the USA to have this information. It was something that I missed when I was in Senegal. There, places especially boutiques and small storefronts in the markets (Sandaga), usually did not have this information written down and posted for customers to see. A clear sign with the name of the store and its posted hours written down isn’t listed. This information is usually transmitted verbally in Senegal. People there just knew when most stores would be open and closed. The name of the business did not matter as much [especially for small businesses]. In addition to the name of the store, the owner’s name and the store’s location were signifiers of the store’s identity.

Update: I went by Fantasy Toys on Tuesday after I went to the (open) barber (around 3 PM). It was open and sells primarily low-rider bicycles and glitzy accessories; (I never understood my peers wanting to get their cars/bicycles/computers modified with extra accessories that sometimes only improve how they look.) and other stuff. They have some more basic bike accessories though.

The Future of St. Casimir’s Church (Cleveland)

Edit: Nov. 12, 2009 – This is a late notice, but I notice this post has received a lot of hits to the blog. The official closing date is Nov. 15, 2009 (Sunday).

Edit – March 14, 2009 – Well, it is now official. The parish of St. Casimir will be closing.
As of now, no closing date has been set.

Edit (July 9, 2008): My grandpa mentioned a couple weeks ago that the closing of St. Casimir is not definite.(As for what caused this change, I do not know, I’ll try to find out).
As of now, the Diocese’s Clustering process will close two of the following parishes: St. Hyacinth, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Casimir, and (one more parish – I believe St. Stan’s is the fourth).
There is no set date for this process.

I apologize for not taking more initiative to verify my sources before posting originally posting this. I am sorry. I hope to update this and directly talk to more sources – my grandpa [40+ year parishioner], and Fr. Telesz).
If you have any information, don’t hesitate to contact me and add a comment.

March 9, 2008
(I just arrived back from Dakar, Senegal last Tuesday, so there’s a bunch of things on my mind with that, and I’ll be posting about that soon as well).

St. Casimir’s Roman Catholic church, on 8223 Sowinski Ave. (located near Rockefeller Park and MLK Jr. Drive) will be closed soon (It is not known if it will close). The official announcement will be given by the Bishop at Sunday mass (was scheduled to be at the 10:30 am mass, but the mass has been cancelled  due to weather. The Bishop’s appearance has not been rescheduled yet, as far as I know).

(I add that I don’t know if this violating blogger ethics, and I hesitated to post this since Tuesday but I’ll do it – it has not been officially announced to the public). It hits a bit close to home (parents were married there, mother attended grade school there, also is the parish of my grandparents) and it will to some others as well – and I think some people may have forgotten the role that the church once played for a neighborhood.

(Sources: My father, who spoke to a previous associate pastor, Fr. John, on Tuesday, who received the news from Telesz a day or two earlier). Tuesday, March 4th also happened to be the Feast Day* of St. Casimir, ouch.

(to clarify, “Most saints and holy people have specially designated feast days. On those days we remember these holy men and women in a special way.Source-