After years of decline, Cleveland aims to go green

Submitted by Eternity on Sat, 08/15/2009 - 14:26.

CNBC - Orchards and vineyards may soon spring from the blight of thousands of abandoned buildings in Cleveland, a city struggling to rise from years of decline and home foreclosures. Once a proud manufacturing powerhouse, Cleveland has lost nearly 10 percent of its population since 2000, the fastest drop of any U.S. city except for hurricane-hit New Orleans.

"The first thing we must do is stabilize our housing market," said Jim Rokakis, treasurer of Cuyahoga County which includes greater Cleveland. "Then we'll need to work out what to do with all the vacant land we'll be left with."  Read more.

Nice article with lots of

Nice article with lots of information.

Does anyone know when gasoline went lead free?  Just wondering if I need to test my soil..

The final removal of lead from gasoline

Very sad subject in American history. There are lots of issues with lead and soil, and many strategies to address them... we need a whole thread for that... here is the late history of lead from gasoline (the story will make you sick), and in the inner city lead is certainly abundent in your soil, if you live near major roads and freeways...

The final removal of lead from gasoline had little to do with fears about poisoning children.  Following severe smog episodes, the 1970 clean air act led to auto manufacturers adding catalytic converters to reduce air pollution.  These could not operate with leaded gasoline.  Even so, lawsuits from the TEL manufacturing company delayed the phase-out of leaded gasoline.  They successfully influenced the National Academy of Science which, in 1972, declared that airborne lead emissions have no known harmful effects. 

Only in 1980 did the tide finally turn, and the Academy of Science acknowledged the accumulated evidence, declaring leaded gasoline to be the greatest source of atmospheric lead pollution.  But the lead lobby was still influential: the proposal that gasoline be blended by 10% grain alcohol was blocked by the Reagan administration, but Congress passed legislation to outlaw oil companies' opposition to the sale of gasohol at their pumps.  Even then it was still not quite dead, and in 1981 George Bush (senior) headed a task force that tried to relax the phase-out of leaded gasoline, but finally, in 1986 the EPA limited lead content of gasoline to 0.1 gm per gallon.

The result?  In 1983, soon after the phase-out began, the CDC reported that use of leaded gas had fallen by 50% and that blood lead levels had fallen by 40% between 1976 and 1980.  By 1994, CDC reported that blood lead levels had fallen 78% between 1978 and 1991.  The American Academy of Pediatrics concluded the existence of a direct link between childhood lead exposure and IQ deficits.  This has been reinforced in a 2003 report in the New England Journal. 

Source: Dr. Don Wigle "Child health and the environment" Oxford University Press, 2003

Disrupt IT

Thanks for the information

Thanks for the information Norm.  I will have to test my soil.  I have been growing a small backyard garden for many years.  I never thought to test the soil.  But, my children, all 5 of them, NEVER tested positive for lead, and they ate the produce from our vegetable garden.  My home abuts the freeway, that is why I was asking when lead was taken out of gasoline. 

lead testing

Hi 14. You want to test it regardless if you are planning to grow edibles. If it is high, grow flowers until it test ok.


Cleveland has lost much more than 10%

I am not a statistician, (well I do have my measuring instincts) but I do have eyes and I will bet anyone a large amount of something that Cleveland – and neighboring communities – have lost 25 to 50% of their population since 2000.
I can take you for a ride through many, many areas of Cleveland proper where at least half of the houses are vacant – or already removed – demo’ed.
Cleveland will want to pad the census, to keep our representatives, and Federal CASH etc, so watch out for bogus figures.
Fallujah, Iraq is our sister city.

vacant & lost

population  has been the on going saga of our town, way before the foreclosure epidemic. The newer houses around me where built mostly on years long vacant lots as a result of arson.

 How would padding the census work? The Census Bureau had people out in the street this spring counting houses and told me that even vacant houses would get a questionaire "in case they are occupied" when the census questionaire was sent out.

sunflowers and chicken poop

 sunflowers and chicken poop bind lead (chicken poop actually turns it into an inert, non-toxic compound, I believe. Check out localfoodcleveland for more lead remediation tips, 14.

chicken poop

If this works to abate lead, then we need to spread it out all over. Good thing for the chicken and bees movement. 

You know that chicken poop

You know that chicken poop is good for a lot of things.

Another hill story:  Back in the day, in the hills of course, they would give chicken poop to babies for the colic.  I'm  told it was a sure fire cure.

i can understand why, if I was a baby and I knew they were going to give me chicken poop, I wouldn't cry with a belly ache either.  (LOL)


chicken poop

 new one for me. hope it was well cooked. wonder if it was the taste or if it has digestive enzymes lacking in colicy babies that made it work.

Edit here: just found a reference to this as something done for colic, pain in the womb, etc.

DBRA is setting on a goldmine.


I never questioned the how -

I never questioned the how - nor did I care.  There were a lot of "hill" folk remedies I just never caught on to.  You know about the pee in a spoon and pour it in your ear for the ear ache,  Groundhog grease for the croop,  catnip tea for the hives, etc.  There was a tea for everything.   Spruce pine tea, shumac tea, black pepper tea, Genseng and Yeller Root were both used in a lot of homemade medicines too.

I often wonder how children were given some of these concoctions and lived to tell about it?  I mean we had our share - but were able to avoid some of the lethal potions.


Cleveland Is A Great Town

From all whom I've encountered in NEO (I'm from Atlanta) it has become abundantly clear that people in the region are painfully aware of all the ills that plague the surround.  Identifying and naming the problem(s) and fully admitting that it is a problem, does not automatically  equate problem solved.

What are the solutions?

Where's the empowerment?

Who has articulated a plan?

Get organized?

And, another thing is, are people in NEO in love with their town, or do they just love to hate it?

Who's got big enough balls; to dream of something extraordinary--great?

These questions and many more need to be asked, and solutions need to be found, before Cleveland and all of NEO, can turn this page of its past. 

I'll give you an example.  As an artist, for years I wondered why there wasn't an informative digital arts magazine.  And then I realized that maybe there wasn't one, because someone needed to start one.  It had to be created, and low and behold, after many discussions with artist colleagues and friends, it dawned on me that I was the one to get it going.  After years of heming & hawing, Art Digital Magazine has been born.  And now the art world has it's digital arts magazine, and I'm it's editor and publisher. 

I have touched the sky.

Now you might ask, things like that cost money?  Well no, not necessarily.  I started Art Digital Magazine with not a penny.  And, in the last year, I have feature a very diverse range of artist from all over the world; including Canada, The UK, France, Russia, South America, etc.   The magazine is a big success, leading a couple gallery owners to take interest in my work, also helping me to land a position as a contributing writer to a  high-end arts publication named Artworks Magazine.

AD Mag I do for free, Artworks pays me.

So ask yourself, whoever you are, what are my talents?  And what am I not doing, that I could be doing?  Am I willing to up the game?

Am I just here chewing the fat, or am I hear to totally rock the boat and change the world?

I believe we create what we believe. 

Cleveland is a great town!  Cleveland is a great town!

Hip Hip Hurrah!  Cleveland's A-OKAY!!!

Isn't it? 

Eternity Gets It

Eternity, I appreciate your insight and agree.  Kate


Thanks Kate!

See here and here.

hill remedies

you make me laugh, Jerleen. I still gag when I pour olive oil; just the sight takes me back to castor oil, the cure all. got a hang nail, well, have some castor oil. got a boil, salt pork will "draw that right out".

I meant to ask my mom about the chicken poop but we starting talking about canning and burnt fingers. Her grandma had a pair of canning tongs made by the guy who made the fire dogs. She knew to go ahead and explain the fire dogs.

People still harvest ginseng in my mountain hometown, but don't demolish it. Good moneymaker. Moonshine and MJ are the big "crops" though.

I can't help but notice...

Umm, while I can appreciate the the abundance of information relating to the positive, lastig effects of chicken poop in soil, should that be the focus of this discussion?  Hey, what do I know, I don't even live in NEO.

And, just thought I'd ask, did any one bother to read that long ass, well thought out comment that I posted a few jumps prior; which was posted in response to this very informative article on CNBC, talking about the potentiallity of Cleveland...beyond the possibilities of a chicken poop revival?

Don't get me wrong, chicken poop is important and all...but, is there another, more pertinent, conversation that might be taking place here; in reference to the lead article?  Is there anyone cognitive, who might address some of the issues I touched on in my prior comment?

Is Cleveland a great town?


It's Saturday night,

Hello Max, 

I'm sure you'll get some response.  I'm too pooped (not chicken) right now, but believe me many of us have been trying to figure out the potential angles for change.  

The trig is pretty complex however. 

Keep pushing us...





chicken poop anti- noise - vibration - -polution barriers

chicken poop noise - vibration  - anti-polution  barriers

yogi and guy

I will respond to your post

I will respond to your post by saying - Cleveland could be a great town - but we have some real "poops" in leadership positions and controling our communities and giving us all "poop" attitudes.

I can't help but notice

 I do appreciate your post about getting going already. Some of us are in small ways, getting going. It is fragile and may not work. As we face local elections, people are wary of each other in a turf type of way.  It is tough to divine solutions when the problems are not commonly defined yet.

And I do want to say that I loved the video that you posted of MJ today. I think that he was brillant, even genius. He had his demons, who doesn't? His music and videos lead the way for many. Thank you.


Belive it. Live it. And it shall be so.

Thanks Debbie. 

If America had more black editors at the helm of major publications like the New York Times and The Washington Post, I dare say America would be a very different place; where great contributors to society like Michael Jackson would be treated with respect--judged for merit and not slanderous inuendos--pure fabrication given validity by a discredited MSM.  But, this is not at all to suggest that Blacks are infallible.  We just need a more accurate representation of the citenzery at the top feeding post, instead of at the bottom; scounging for scraps while being grossly misrepresented by those who know nothing of our hopes and dreams.

30 years ago, Cleveland was the 5th largest city in America, larger than Atlanta.  Now that's changed.  But my belief is that if I'm smart enough to dig myself in a hole, I'm smart enough to dig myself out.  And that begins when I first affirm that I'm worth it.

Forget the petty infighting and rise above the fray.

No one has all the answers, but that's not what's important anyway, because you change the world by first changing yourself. 

When Michael Jackson sang "Man in the Mirror" that's what he was talking about.

So I challenge you (and all) to reach up and touch the sky.  Proclaiming...Cleveland is Great!  I love this place!

Do the work.

Believe it.  Live it.  And it shall be so.





Okay, I'm game.

What are the solutions? How about some good paying jobs for the residents of Cleveland.  Jobs that pay 45,000 and up with benefits.  Also how about the people who do business here in Cleveland stop tearing homes down to expand their businesses.  How about some government funds to help people stay in their homes, instead of tearing down abandoned homes? 

Where's the empowerment?  This is lacking.  I would vote out most of the current leaders and give someone else a chance to try.

Who has articulated a plan? I heard there was government money to tear down foreclosed housing and try to use it to green up the area. 

Get organized? Too many conflicting ideas about how to go about making needed changes. 

And, another thing is, are people in NEO in love with their town, or do they just love to hate it? 

There are many things to like about Cleveland...let's see. 

1. Four seasons 2. Metroparks 3. Museums 4. Theaters 5. Cleveland Orchestra 6. Cleveland Public libraries 7. County libraries 8. Lake Erie (plenty of fresh water) and boating 9. Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame 10. Colleges and Universities. 11. Terminal Tower 12. Plenty of churches of all denominations 13. Diversity

dream of something extraordinary--great?

Take a neighborhood, before it becomes a slum, and turn it around into a walkable community.  Built things up instead of tearing them down.  Give young people a reason to stay here.  Offer assistance to homeowners who are having financial trouble due to layoffs, unemployment, lack of jobs, instead of letting them struggle and fail and lose their homes.



Accentuate the positive!

See the comment I just posted (in response to Debbie) above yours, then continue reading.

You have an attitude of gratitude.  That's the way to get good things started.

And as I wrote before, it's important to identify and admit problems, but that alone does not SOLVE problems.  That alone does not create something from nothing.

Things that don't exist that should exist, isn't that the moral of this tale?

Michael Jackson wrote a song called "You Wanna Be Startin' Something" in which he sang about IT being "too high to get over, too low to get under, you're stuck in the middle"  MJ concluded the song by singing "lift your head up high and scream out to the world, I know I am someone, so let the truth unfurl...yes I believe in you, so you belive in me...HELP ME SING IT"

Hey!  Now that's something I can relate to.  That's what I'm talking about.  Start something. 

That's the deal.  That's what's up.

RealNeo is excellent forum for venting frustrations and brainstorming new ideas.  God bless Norm for getting it started.  But at the end of the day, RealNeo can't heal all of NEO--Cleveland et al. 

RealNeo is a nursery of great ideas.  It's a launching pad.  But some of ya'll need to get up out the nest.   This should not be a place to duck and dive.

Everyone knows about ED.  But ED's gone now.  He aready did his part and Norm's doing his part.  Others need to totally up their game and do their part. 

Look to yourself.  Be your own ocean of wealth.  Interdependency does not mean being held down or held back.

So, in my case for instance, while I know little about brain surgery, sports or (for instance) managing a large corporation (yet) I do know some things about fine art, history, architectural preservation and digital literacy.  So I took what I knew and I used my ocean of wealth to set up a network of websites to share my information.

I have a site for my digital art magazine, which I am the editor.  I have a site for my personal observations.  I blog @ RealNeo.  I have 3 different sites for architectural preservation.  I am a contributing artist to several other sites and I have a couple of sites for my scholarly papers.  As a result, over the last 3 years, things have really started to look up for me.

I have only a high school diploma.  I went to college for a year and a half, but never finished.  I have no formal training as an artist or writer.  I taught myself.

So, just fight the good fight and accentuate the positive.

Don't try to solve all the problems at once; tackle a couple at a time.

Help yourself first and others will soon come calling...and some will actually have something to give, instead of it being all take.

You might even make some money along the way!

Eternity, Sounds like you


Sounds like you are an artist first and foremost.  You found your niche. 

I just recently became a member of Real Neo.  I haven't been here long enough to venture an opinion about it.  It gives everyone an equal chance to express their point of view...and I like that.   I think one of the starting points for change is to brainstrom ideas.  This is a great place to find lots of ideas and lots of opinions.  Not everyone will get out there and do the actual physical work of making the change but that does not mean that they did not contribute behind the scenes.  Everyone won't be, and can't be, in the spotlight, but they are just as important to the overall result as those who are.



Before I am an artist, I'm a human who happens to be an American that's willing to work for change; beyond rhetoric and blogging.  If you Google me,you'll see that while I am certainly present as an artist, the fuel for what I do is mostly about CHANGE--EMPOWERMENT--GROWTH.

It's irrelevant to me who's not doing what, or who gets credit for what they've done. 

Yeah!  Every gets a cookie!

Tighten up and focus.

I'm interested in what I'm doing, as I suggest you should focus on what you are doing.

Spotlight?  Who cares about that?  I certainly don't.

So, now that we've pointed out the obvious, where do you go from here?  That's a good question to ask yourself. 

Live up to your own standard.  And challenge yourself to raise the bar.



I like that. 

And sometimes the obvious is not so obvious because it is hidden in all the meetings, rhetoric, and BS.  It is nice to bring it out into the open every now and then and take a good look at what it is.


I am going to bed for the night but want to get back on this in the AM. You raised good ideas. Let's see where we can go. Maybe people who stay up through the night will have some input.