Rest in Shame, Forever, Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Chairman

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 11/16/2007 - 22:27.

I wanted to enjoy and capture a last glimpse of Fall 2007 so stopped by the second most important battleground in the history of the environmental movement in NEO, after Whiskey Island, being the Shaker Lakes Nature Center, above (see full size here). Were it not for 11 exceptional women from Shaker, including REALNEOan Martha Eakin's mother, a seriously crude, corrupt, foolish Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Chairman, former Cuyahoga County Engineer Albert Porter, would have driven freeways through this exact spot in the Shaker Lakes. The scenario is very much like we have in NEO today, with seriously crude, corrupt, foolish political bosses attempting to do seriously crude, corrupt, foolish things to our region, like demolishing the Breuer, over-bridging and retrenching I-90, and likely the "Opportunity Corridor", which is driving far more than 11 exceptional women to take on the latest generation of seriously crude, corrupt, foolish leaders... and, like the Shaker 11, we are winning.

It is important to constantly revisit the shame of Porter, to show today's seriously crude, corrupt, foolish leaders how they will be treated for eternity, in the open, new economy, when they fail. Envisioned by this Porter crook, an opportunity corridor of concrete would have connected 490 to 271, bulldozing some of NEO's most spectacular buildings and nature in the process. Obviously, a crook like Porter did not get into such a powerful position without the support of many corrupt, evil, foolish businessmen (all men, back then) who should be named - certainly including many "developers" and "planners" whose families are still alive and kicking the life out of the region today. Who? The same folks supporting the seriously crude, corrupt, foolish leaders of today, who never learned the lesson of Porter and the Shaker 11.

Time for REALNEO people to write NEO history, for real.


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"Parkway," Norm.  That is what our political skimmers are calling the Opportunity Corridor, these days.  If you examine the machinations going on in my neighborhood, and then power-of-ten it, then you get full-blown corruption, but no one wants to call it for what it is.  It is a sad reality that Northeast Ohio is run like a cheap casino and people lives are the chips.

Just like water-boarding, corruption can be defined

True we haven't yet explored the depths of corruption of Mayor White and Dick Jacobs, for example, but as more local crooks do get jailed for corruption then more victims will come forward and more crooks will go to jail - sort of like when a few people started taking about being raped by their priests as kids, and 1,000s of other victims came forward ... more people will talk about being raped by their political leaders and will form support groups and will eventually fight back... we who care about the region are past the rape and recovery stage and are starting the violent sex offender... er, corrupt NEO leader... registry.

Like I've been saying, we must name names and hold them accountable. Porter is trash for eterninty... who is next?

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Roldo says it all

  This week's editorial from Roldo, pretty much sums up our collective disgust.  How much can this community stand?

No Fire Sale will be required... the outside world won

No Firesale will be required - this is one of the most valuable properties in the world... it's one of the most important Breuers... local people don't get that because they don't get world history, economics and architecture, and have been reading the fraudulent coverage of this issue in the PD... which Roldo detals well. Roldo also didn't mention Madison, who seems to be at the heart of every huge bad design in town, and lots of other people who must be named because they rolled, tanked and bent over to the commissioners on this project.

It was not just a few corrupt business people but nearly every leader of every organization in town - too yellow-bellied to take a position on saving a landmark and huge embodied energy! If all our senior leaders had been cowards and frauds like that, back in the 1960s, today's header would be the Clark Freeway, and where I am sitting to post this, Phoenix Coffee, would be under the Lee Freeway... and I bet lots of the cowards who should speak up for arts, culture and the environment live within blocks of where this freeway would be today, and don't know what harm cowards like them cause the world even as they benefit so greatly from the Skaker 11.

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Reporting from site of the Lee Freeway

As I drive down Euclid Avenue, where there was once a row of mansions that, if still intact, would make Cleveland one of the most remarkable places on Earth, I am astounded by how ugly are nearly all the buildings that have been built there since. That includes downtown, midtown, and University Circle, and many generations of mind-boggling incompetence and stupidity by 1,000s of "regional leaders"... many alive and kicking today. Clearly, Porter was just one of soooo many failures.


Luckily, Porter failed and went to jail before he could complete the REGIONAL DREAM of the greatest fools of his time (the 1960s and 1970s) - the Clark and Lee Freeways - as 11 Shaker ladies stopped that, and saved the vibrant site of today's header, in front of two of the best authentic Cleveland food establishments, Mitchell's Chocolates and Phoenix Coffee.

It will be fun to pull all the old PD and Cleveland Press articles and photos about the Clark and Lee Freeways and Porter and see all the names quoted saying "you can't stop progress" and "God Bless Porter", who were so wrong about so much in life, like planning, sprawl, diversity and arts and culture.

Laura, can you work on researching the cast of characters of this divine comedy and finding source materials from the old media files, of can we access them online?

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Great piece Norm.   Gets

Great piece Norm.   Gets at our roots of conservation... here in the home of Standard Oil 1, the worlds first oil refinery  we continue to face the push pull of market and societal forces.   

Fascinating to watch.  Even more fun to throw a wrench into the cogs and do something about it.   That's what realneo means to me  =-)    

the public has such a convenient memory

Norm, it's good you run a "lest we forget" piece every now and then. Generally speaking, the public has too much of a convenient, and short-term, memory.

The public memory is full of crap

Unfortunately, the majority of the American public doesn't have the opportunity to remember much that matters in the world because most of their brains are so crammed full of meaningless crap, and they are very content with that - for a great example, see NOVA special on evolution on PBS airing these days, or just reflect that over half of Americans do not believe in EVOLUTION... yup, the Earth is 6,000 years old to half of Americans. To a huge %age of them, the environment does not matter because they live for "eternity" and everything is in other hands and they are chosen and THE END is good, so ultimately that 50% of Americans has predetermined the death of all humans. We are a grand comedy... I hope there are gods up somewhere having a good laugh at all of us.

Go Browns - what is that QB's stat - gotta go check my fantasy football stats...

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Exceptional women

  Funny Norm, I was thinking along the same lines on the research side of things, because you link to an article crediting Kathleen Barber and Catherine Fuller for saving the Shaker Lakes.  Exceptional women.  And, I am sure, if you ask Kathleen Barber, she has documentation of everything.  She is a giant researcher.  She may not remember me from slogging through microfilm with her on legalities, but I remember her and all the giants, who quietly sleuth away at the downtown branch library.  Keep up the fight people!  Bring down the cyclops and minotaurs.

Why are we saddled with such giant visionless, idiots, when it comes to running our region?

 Why can't we just let Kathleen Barber run things?

Appreciative Inquiry Into Shaker 11

As I mentioned, Martha Eakin's mother was part of the Shaker 11, and I've met others, and Martha knows others, so I'm sure it will be easy to pull together all who are still with us... and I suggest we do this, at the Shaker Nature Center, for an appreciative inquiry into how they were able to succeed. In the process, we should capture the story in all media with many purposes - good subject for a photo exhibition, documentary, virtual learning projects, etc... in the process, we can teach future generations they can win against the establishment... just keep this effort out of the hands of the establishment... keep it grass roots and real.

Laura, can you pull the media coverage of this issue and Porter from the day. What I want to put together is two lists... those for the Clark/Lee Freeway Project and those opposed. And who supported Porter... his political cronies... and who took him down.  And where different people in the media stood - PD and Cleveland Press in particular - editorial slants on sprawl, preservation, the environment, etc. We need names of the past enemies, crooks and those who stood to profit..

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Exceptional men

I'll give it my best shot Norm, but it's not like I am swimming in free time :) Sure, I am writing you as I get ready for work, but this stuff is on microfilm.  I'll visit my old haunt or perhaps I can bribe one of my old coworkers to print out the history.  I have some time off for the holidays :) 

BTW, last night I attended a recognition for two exceptional men--David Vasarhelyi and David Lincheck.  Parma City Council recognized them for their work in saving over 400 acres of land from development in the West Creek valley.  Of course, there are a lot of women behind the scenes (Sue Zurovchak), too, but it was nice to see them get recognized.  It is nice to see West Creek written up in the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, as well.  Keep up the fight!  Here is the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History write up on the Shaker Lakes.

Krumholz on end of Clark War

Here's a book to look up... "Making Equity Planning Work" by Norman Krumholz - read the online preview of chapter 6 on the Clark Freeway War and NOACA - this names lots of the late stage players, good and bad. More and more this war looks like the trench war and the enemy like that incompetent Columbus ODOT gang, which was working with local sprawl-mongers who have made fortunes off freeways and destroying the region, led by Gordon Proctor, taken down by Citizen Hauser and the REAL NEO community over the past few years...

More about "Making Equity Planning Work:

Provides an account of a sustained and effective equity-planning practice that influenced urban policy. This book tells how, from 1969 to 1979, Cleveland's city planning staff under Norman Krumholz's leadership conducted...

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The war in Cleveland

Interesting parallels--Just listened in to Silvana Pasternostro describe conditions in her country Colombia and it made me consider conditions here in Cleveland, Ohio.  She said that some people just turn off the news and turn off the reality, because they have to live.   Well, they have spent so much time turning off the reality in Colombia that the well-to-do drive around in bullet-proof cars and have bodyguards to watch their children. 

Also, here is a related story you won't see more widely broadcasted by the PD--the availability and trafficking of drugs in the suburbs.

Marion Morton's report

The Clark, Lee and Heights Freeways
This entry in the Heights Historical Society includes other bad ideas that never happened. Curiously Cedar Euclid Heights is back on the table. Let us hope that the rendering that is shown on the Massive Heights Redevelopment Proposed in 1969 will not become a reality 40 years later. I prefer Nighttown as it is.

Kudos to Marian Morton, Charles Owen and Ken Goldberg for their writing and to the Heights Historical Society for keeping these records.

We will need many more such well heeled, influential Clevelanders to save the Breuer and other Cleveland landmarks and park areas.