Submitted by Jeff Buster on Sat, 08/11/2007 - 23:30.

I spent the afternoon at the Burning River Fest on Whiskey Island.

Representatives of the Fest told me that” attorneys “had discussed yesterday whether or not they would allow petitioning to take place during the festival.  I told the representative (Brad Withers) that I had not participated in any attorney conversations and that the only agreement I knew of was the constitutionally protected right to petition.


Yet they told me that I could not use an ironing board as a table surface to collect petition signatures.  So I acquiesced, and put away the ironing board,  Then I spotted a trash receptacle and I set my petition clip board on it as a steady rest for signatures.  BW came back and told me that I could not use the trash can as a table or I would be arrested and removed from the festival.


Dan Moore became involved ( he said he didn’t "know who the fuck owned the trash can"- Dan said I could quote him)  Dan Moore is a Harvard Grad and didn’t stand up for democratic petitioning in the public park – which I felt was a weakness in Moore’s public presence)  Now what makes this all so curious is that the officials were not telling me that I could not petition at the Fest, but that I could not set a clip board on the top of the box which screened the trash barrel.  No one could site an ordinance or code which would preclude clip boards on the trash can enclosure, so they were trying to figure out who owned the trash can receptical (Did Dan Moore own it?) so that person or entity could tell me I couldn't use it as a steady rest. 


Getting signatures on the petition to put the sales tax increase on the public ballot in March is a trip!  People get very angry about the democratic process when they perceive that process allowing people who they believe are less perceptive than themselves - but of larger quantity - vote.

I 'll get my photos of Moore and the Police who were sent to arrest me up here as soon as I have the energy...


Put it on the ballot . com

Dan Moore in shorts and blue shirt (with back to camera) speaks with Tim Ferris and police and park personnel.  In the fore ground the clip board is visible on top of the brown plastic trash can enclosure.

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Dan-Moore-speaks-with-Ferri.gif223.11 KB

Freedom of Speech

  Awhile back, I got mad at a person who showed up to promote Ralph Nader's presidential bid at an EPA hearing on filling a wetland in the West Creek watershed.  I am not defending Dan Moore's actions, but I know environmentalists can be single-minded in their pursuits.  (I know you are saying, "Is Dan Moore an environmentalist?"...but you get my drift). 
So now, after your experience, I put the whole EPA hearing in perspective and realize that the person promoting Ralph Nader had a right to monopolize the microphone at that public meeting.  We all have a right to stand up.  Thank you Jeff for fighting this cause.

those trash cans

Jeff, what tickled me yesterday is that "they" and their attorneys (The Burning River organizers) were prepared to quibble and niggle on the little issue of getting petitions signed. I think is having an impact.

The best part was when they--the people with the authoritative T-shirts-- went scurrying to find out whether the square brown cans were owned by the park or contributed by the Moores, or whatever silly distinction it was they were trying to make in order to take away your use of the trash-can top.  I'm glad things didn't escalate to the point where the top of the trash can became like Little Round Top at Gettysburg, or Pork Chop Hill.

As for Dan Moore, consider the fact that he probably did as well dealing with the situation as anybody could, with everybody pissing on his leg all at once. All he wanted to do was to enjoy the afternoon at the park, I'd imagine.  The staff should not have put him in the middle of the mess to begin with--they're paid to handle things and to keep him out of it. Second, the good news was that the T-shirted staff dogs were called off and dispersed after he was involved--that did not happen by happy accident. Think over the way events played out, and realize that the situation was de-fused after Dan and Marge got involved, and you were allowed to ply your trade for the rest of the day after they walked away. You were playing towards making a media event about basic rights; they were playing to keep a lid on what is a sort of memorial of theirs to their daughter Wendy, and their story that day was about respect and dignity and sharing a space. I think the matter resolved appropriately, as rights and dignity merged and the afternoon progressed without much material change.

What would have been optimal was to have our own booth at Whiskey Island, as we do at the County Fair,  but I was told they were sold out two months in advance.  And, as you are aware, the commissioners did not give us lead time, and that was intentional.

Saluting the Stellar Service at BRF

Jeff, it was great to see you and your enterprising daughter rallying the troops to 'Put it On' at BRF yesterday.  You address a key issue with action as so many of the others part of the REALNEO community now have demonstrated.  A quick sixteen-minute spin of the grounds led to wonderful  connections with Jon Jensen of the Gund Foundation (soon leaving us for a coveted Executive Director position in New York), Stephanie Spear of EarthWatch Ohio, Lyndy Wertman of the Wright Fuel Cell Group, and Ed Hauser, of Friends of Whiskey Island - all of whom indicated inspiration by our East Cleveland efforts.

It was a beautiful day on Whiskey Isle, with great people, great food (the cold sesame noodles accompanied by Mitchell's Milkshake did me just fine!) Great Lakes Brews and music on two stages by the likes of Anne Dechant and the Sultans of Bing.

I'm already looking forward to BRF 2009!  

You've done it now Jeff!

Great shots, great coverage, and its great to know that the Burning River Fest is no haven for free speach.  Maybe we can get an official comment from Pat and Dan Conway, the owners of corporation who brought you the beer that is the festivals namesake.


One of these days I will have to write about our experiences with implimentation fo recycling at the first or was it second Burning River Fest!  "Come get it, or its going in the trash".  Its ok, dont worry, back then it was only a celebration of the company, and its beer and err art.  No environmental and social justice messaging was present then.  Pat and Dan perhaps had not caught on yet.  Woo Wooo.

Trashed Democracy

I was proud to see you out there, Jeff, and am glad the PIOTB campaign is getting such a great response. My involvement with the Put It On The Ballot initiative has been to provide the committee with a Drupal site - - and host the initiative at The Inner Circle... before the petitions were even ready... to discuss related issues... one of our regular Inner Circle Roundtables.  When I sent out invitations to The Inner Circle lunch featuring the ballot campaign, I was surprised to get an email back from a high-level Cuyahoga County Official saying "Norm this is a government/public e-mail account and can not be used for political purposes. Therefore, Please remove me from your advocacy list." I responded "I'm not an advocate one way or the other - we're providing the technology for the campaign and offering meeting space for an informational session to learn more, and promote the East Cleveland development planning - just business as usual."

Since then, I've seen how political this sales tax MedCon thing is - the big boys know they are ramming a tough pill down the public throat - raising sales taxes without public representation through hard-handed private-media driven public relations and smear campaigning - just like with a scum-bag political campaign, the powers that want to be are investing heavily in controlling the masses by controlling the low level leadership. So Dan Moore is activated - he wants more County support in the future - and County officials are activated - they want their jobs - and union leaders are activated - support your brothers - and planes are bought by someone to fly over downtown Cleveland reminding everyone big brother is watching - who is funding that plane? - and they all attack the public and those who seek to help educate them... all to enrich some political bosses and their friends who own them.

Pretty pathetic, but people do some crazy-ass, evil things for money... hell, Cleveland was built that way (e.g. Rockefeller, Hanna, Mather...). And that is the reason there is a - a response to the crazy-ass, evil things people around here are doing for money, these days. And crazy-ass things like police threats at Whiskey Island are the exact reasons people should sign the petition to seek public representation in the decision to tax them.

Disrupt IT



The airplane Norm is referring to was a plane flying around downtown Cleveland on Saturday afternoon August 11, 2007.

I did not see the plane myself but 3 people who signed my sales tax petition at Burning River Fest on Wendy Island (Whiskey Island) said they had seen it from the Fest. 

They told me that the plane was pulling a aerial advertising type banner which read something like "DON'T SIGN SALES TAX PETITION" and flying around Jacobs Field where the Indians were up against the Yanks.

If anyone out there saw the plane, please fill is in here on Realneo. Did anyone get a photograph of the banner?  Does anyone know who sponsored the plane adverts?


It would be interesting to know who is spending money trying to prevent people from voting on a tax increase which will affect everyone.

Hot Damn I Can Smell a Conspiracy from all the way in Indiana!!!

Unidentified banner carrying aircraft?  Did they fly it especially for you Jeff?  I mean did you put the word out ahead that you would be present and chasing down signatures?  

  My sense is that most of those planes flying banners over games and downtown fly out of Cuyahoga County (imagine that) Municipal Airport.   There cant be too many providers of a service like that... at most I have 2 or 3 in the air at the same time flying up and down the coast.