Submitted by Roldo on Sun, 06/14/2009 - 15:22.

Can you sense the panic?


Certainly the Plain Dealer does. Maybe it’s leading it. Maybe it’s helping to make it up.


All you have to do is read the Sunday PD lead editorial, “Reluctant reformers,” to hear the gnashing of teeth over the dead-in-the-water Cuyahoga County reform package amid a corruption scandal.


On the next editorial page, the PD follows with a frantic op-ed column by Tom Bier, Cleveland State University’s urban affairs executive in residence. Bier’s fretting about Opportunity Corridor. Tom, calm down. Bier gets space in the PD because he talks their talk but can be cited as an independent voice, an academic voice.


He has long been earnest and urgent about the troubles of Cleveland. I respect him for this. However, I don’t see him attacking on the tremendous waste that has gone into the private sector in town. I’d like a little more balance, even on this issue.


Bier decries the desire for input by the Council members from wards through which the $350-million (a cost he doesn’t mention) road will travel from East 55th Street to Cleveland’s cultural, educational and medical center. My take on the road:


He intimates that they will pressure businesses “to employ particular people, to form partnerships or subcontract with particular other businesses, to make contributions to certain parties, and so on.” 


You mean, Tom, there’s politics going here? And with only $350-million at stake?


Bier uses the word “virus,” a rather explosive word today. He’s aiming to shock. He’s really upset. He wants to “kill the virus,” I guess, of politics. Good luck there.


Politicians will play politics. Business and civic leaders play a heavy-handed game, too. No one ever says anything about killing the later virus.


So I wonder (really I don’t) if the PD will get another academic to talk about some of the drawbacks of “OPPORTUNITY” Corridor. Will there be any balance in the coverage about a road pushed by an elite committee co-headed by PD publisher Terry Egger? Or is this a done deal?


This ass-backward thinking is what keeps Cleveland back. You try to put a road – nickname it Opportunity (but never say for whom) – through an impoverished area and expect the deprived to say, please take what you want.

No need for thanks.


It won’t play that way. Someone will use the opportunity as an opportunity.


This is ass-backward because for oh so long the people left in these poverty areas haven’t been given the necessary help and opportunity by those businesses – and labor unions. So fronts now to operate in cities that are essentially black controlled on the specious claims of being screwed. Somebody’s getting screwed but not those who take advantage and are allowed to take advantage by the powers that be.


So you want peace, as they say, give a little justice.


Otherwise, there is a virus alert.


Business has had plenty of government help by the city, county and state. It’s been take, take and take. Time to give a little.


Yes, some pols have used the issue to feather their and their friends businesses via front/make-believe construction and consulting firms. Get real and do something about it. Don’t use it as an excuse to charge “insular interests stall opportunity,” as the headline of Bier’s piece says.


The reform issue, as I’ve said before, needs reform. It has the stink of special interests and that’s not the way toward reform. See here for what it needs:

















( categories: )

Link to Bier opinion piece

  Wow--I read the paper and missed it...I hand off my copy to my neighbor.  Looking it up on line is a for convenience--here it is:


How about fixing a bridge or two, instead?  How about just putting a bridge at Clark-Pershing, where we used to have access to the intentionally "forgotten" and abandoned east side.  I used to respect Tom Bier...not anymore.

Why we have sprawl

I only agree on one thing Bier writes, that City Hall has problems... and not with ward representatives opposing opportunity

I don't want this CSU economist speaking for me or my community at all, in any way - Period. Here is why... from his "OPINION" in the PD:

If the Opportunity Corridor were being planned in a suburb such as Solon, talk would be about the benefit for Solon's tax base, period! No other considerations would be involved or implied. (And permits would be processed promptly.) As matters are, Cleveland cannot compete with the climate of free enterprise that exists elsewhere across the region.

No kidding! Which is why we have sprawl, and global warming, and racism and so much bad here.

What are Bier's qualifications to speak for this community - what has he published lately?... Time to read-up.

Anyone had any professional, student or social experiences with this community leader at CSU?

thanks for "translating" the pd for us Roldo

....because i think deep down inside, the editorial board wants cleveland to be communist-era moscow and the paper they run, Pravda.

Well paid people with their own agendas. Dimora, Russo, Hagan, Goldberg, Sam Miller, Lebron James....shoving shit down our throats. "Just make sure you pay your unmatching portion of your "estimated" R.I.T.A or C.C.A. taxes due for the year. "

I wish we can be like the French, Argentinian or practically any other foreign state. Shut down all traffic and communications both in an out of Northeast Ohio, until the pompous-assed pricks go on local TV and 'formally' announce their resignations, before some retired Marine sniper on West 44th and Clark or E.126 and Buckeye figures out their daily routine.

Can't make up their minds

With Santiago's recent announcement that he will use $30,000 of council discretionary funds from his impoverished ward to finance a 20 minute fireworks show, the PD FINALLY acknowleges that this guy is a bona-fide CLOWN, and they sheepishly admit that their editors PREVIOUSLY endorsed the guy...

What will it take for the PD to recognize their overall lack of judgement when it comes to any and all endorsements??  Why should their editorial board be taken seriously at all?