Cleveland at night

Submitted by lmcshane on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 00:02.

A lot of folks will want to further write off downtown Cleveland after the recent violent shootings of two Clinic employees.  The violence can happen anywhere.  It's time that we looked harder at ourselves.

IMG_0276.JPG28.11 KB
( categories: )

With the economy down, expect the worst

Living and spending most of my time on the East Side of Cleveland, where violent crime - mostly armed robbery related - is a daily thing, I can tell you that nobody feels safe around here right now, and it is at its worst under the current economy.

There is a solution... one and only one solution... and that is to help the 1,000s of people here who are poor and unskilled for work here to get working and making money - it is what alll people need and want, to be able to live a good personal and family life.

As long as "Community Development" is about SIIs and consolidating the underclass in poverty zones, expect lots of people to get popped for things as stupid as a purse, car or shoes, ALL OVER TOWN AND IN THE BURBS... EVEN XURBS.

Now do you see why this top-down leadership bullshit doesn't work, and is downright dangerous?!?!?

Because the powers that be live in places where the poor know they are not safe to go, like Gates Mills and Westlake, and the powers avoid the poor and poverty zones - that is the core to the whole SII/ODOT corridor, anchor, zone, moat and buffer urban planning model - it makes the powers feel safe.

Do the rest of you feel safe?

In this economy, without hope and jobs for the growing poor, if you are in Northeast Ohio, you should not ever feel safe.

And it ain't about black or white - an out of work uneducated Medina mall rat is just as likely to snap and go violent as an Ohio City ghetto thug.

Price of poverty, getting worse.

Disrupt IT

In the

In the coverage, there were blurbs from Councilman Cimpermann (pretty legit altho an entirely scripted       typical predictable statement) and then Joe Marinucci put forth a quip...

"Police plan to re-examine other robberies in the area and the Gang Impact Squad is checking for gang connections. Detectives are examining surveillance video from locations near the shooting. 

"We're hopeful and confident that it will help us identify the people responsible for the shooting," Stacho said. 

Joe Marinucci, president of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, said the entire area is safe and called the shooting a very unfortunate incident. He said 10,000 people live downtown and 100,000 commute in and out of the area every day. 

"It's an incident we're concerned about, but I put it into context," he said. "Overall, downtown remains a very safe environment."


So I'm wondering why does the PD need to turn to the DCA president to get a goofy positive summaration on the extent of a crime? What do they think he's got to do with it...? He holds no position of power over this stuff and he's got no claim to knowledge over it. Why not just do the necessary reporting and not reach to stick him into the mix. He could have just as easily said..."Luckily this type of thing just doesn't happen in the daytime when we are around, we represent the busy class and we won't put up with those foolin' around"

Probably not gang related

I've been talking to some friends who know Cleveland urban life well, from the perspectives of my generation and younger... us and our kids... and many kids and young adults right now are really detached and lost - many did not grow up with any parents at all - in foster homes all their lives - at best, they did not get good schools - they have seen and been through hell - they are not prepared for anything about life - they do not have work skills or social skills to get and hold work and what work they may get does not pay well - they are largely homeless - they are not in gangs but groups of freinds and they mostly rob within their community, and do not hesitate to shoot for any reason and do life. Crimes may happen any time but at night is worse - many are drug robberies but many are on the spot unknown people for money - crimes of convenience near freeway ramps - late at night, whatever is unlucky. All races doing it and being hurt. The more people in need, the more crime. Take care of the people in need and the crime will go down. Ignore them, watch out.

I'm not happy about any of this, and not interested in any happy talk, or strategic police task force SII solutions. I'm interested in seeing some real smart workforce development here, and reasons for the kids on the street to feel hope.

Jackson don't deliver.

Disrupt IT


Are not the answer to the growing division of reality going on here in NEO. Cities like Cleveland have to take vacant properties into receivership and then turn those properties over to residents who will restore those properties, like Norm is doing in East Cleveland--some one willing to pay taxes to keep the communities alive. Companies are not willing to pay taxes and have no loyalty to their communities, so now it is contingent upon homeowners.

Mohsin Hamid spoke about universal issues that plague humanity at the IdeaCenter Baker-Nord lecture. He spoke about 9/11 and asked us to put it into proportion, much like the Downtown Alliance folks rushed in to assure folks that Cleveland at night is SAFE. How much do we allow fear to cripple our lives? Mohsin Hamid talked about terrorism. It has been a reality for thousands of years. The United States has just been fortunate to have enjoyed peace for so long, but we are also unable to see the real enemy as Norm describes in his post. No one talks about the Oklahoma City bombing. We know cars kill people everyday and, yet, we get into them. I know that I am not doing justice to Mohsin Hamid's discourse, so I hope that it becomes available on line at some point.


 Thanks for bringing this up Norm.  There will be a generation of forgotten children roaming the streets.  The kids we have let fall through the cracks.  The Applewood Center near my house once provided a haven for some of these kids, but despite the passage of Issue 15,  Cuyahoga County closed the residency program at Applewood. 

As for feeling safe, I recognize almost everyone I come in contact with in my neighborhood.  If I see someone I don't know, I introduce myself or, at least, smile and say hi.  I know it sounds pollyannish, but it works for me and it works for a lot of my neighbors.  I feel safer in my neighborhood, because it is a neighborhood with old folks, families, and kids from all cultures of the world.  I just wish we could find a way to put some of these folks into some of the vacant housing.  I know a family from West Africa paying $800 in rent and paying to send their four kids to Metro Catholic...sad.

The Plain Dealer just released more information today that dispels some of the random element of the crime...drugs must play a factor here.

Cleveland+violence and hatred are not neighborhood-oriented

Unfortunately, the minds that kill like this don't care about smiles and neighborhoods but rather opportunity and survival - money, drugs or anything valuable to steal and how to escape, if possible, and kill everyone, if not. Seems some kill unnecessarily, it seems because their hearts and minds are completely broken.

Here are some survival tips for living, visiting and traveling anywhere impoverished, like NEO today:

  • don't ever feel safe anywhere unless you are surrounded by a bunch of rich people in a rich place - they have their own systems for protection, like Clinic, UH, UCI and Case police forces overlapping with Cleveland Police... and protection zones and profiles
  • always look over your shoulder and everywhere else around you... constantly... especially while waiting at lights, going down tight streets, getting in and out of vehicles, and late at night anywhere
  • watch who and what are around you when you drive and use ATMs or have cash out, etc...
  • never honk at or piss off anyone... road rage will result in death

Smart survival skills for living in and visiting corrupt old economy places that failed to develop new economies... like Haiti and Cleveland+.

Disrupt IT

A bit much

  There have been plenty of folks killed while surrounded by their richness and affluence. Safety and well-being are not correlated with wealth.  Certainly, we don't want to follow Colombia's pattern of social disintegration.  It's happening, but not that extreme, yet.

Today, my street was filled with kids, mostly girls on roller skates.  I chose to believe that they are not casing my house for a break-in.

Prime target zones for killing and people caring

This is a very important and common topic of discussion among my friends. We are all personally concerned in very direct ways, on a day to day basis, at the most extreme levels.

I find some easy measures of where violent robbery will occur are perceived vulnerability of target, perceived pay-back for risk, and ease to escape... e.g. proximity to a freeway entrance ramp. 

Neighborhood thugs - often kids - the world over attack the weakest around them, like old people, for little payback, because they see little risk... they stay in the neighborhood - they return - the worst go on to worse behavior - not a race, class or neighborhood issue, at that point, but is always a poverty issue.

Not a rich people problem - they issolate themselves from all of it. Through isolation, they ignore. Then, big surprise, occassional rich people and the friends of their causes get killed and it is big news.

A guy I knew got crushed by a car and popped in the head in a robbery in Glenville - burried last week - and the write-up in the PD was wrong, and a few inches. Same ultimate circumstances as on E. 12th, but different victim profile so very different story.

As a very knowing African American old school Collinwood barber told me, when we discussed the crime situation here these days, a white family like mine living in a mostly African American urban neighborhood like mine is probably as safe as can be - the last thing a neighborhood robber wants is media attention and prosecution for killing white people... and my neighbors watch our street like hawks so any crimes around my neighborhood are blocks away and probably drug related robberies... so our greatest risks are stray bullets and being hit on the streets, which may happen anywhere.

Being white, I feel more vulnerable in white neighborhoods, where I blend in as a typical target

Disrupt IT


  Please just let me say this and not get hammered.  I am sick of labeling people "black" and "white."  I really think it has to stop and I am not critiquing you, Norm.  I am just venting my frustration at our societal tendency to try and summarize a person in one color code.  Truthfully, my skin tone has a greenish tinge, especially in the summer, not because of my environmental tendencies, but because I have a mixture of Mediterranean and Caucausian genes.  But, please don't call me a green person. We have cultural differences--very much so--this is where we have to make strides at understanding each other.  But, skin color should not be the issue.  We are all just trying to get through to the next day and have some joy to share in our lives no matter what the sun does to our skin.

re: colorblind

Hola lmcshane-

Stepping up in support of your comment.

I think we all, myself included, need to be careful of our "knee-jerk" tendencies for quick labeling.  Color, class, gender, education, etc . . . 

Poor people commit crimes cuz they're poor logic is very similar to rich people are all mean/bad {fill in negative blank here} cuz they're rich logic.  

Yes humans label as a means of identifying, even if the labels ascribed are innaccurate, they serve a human need.  So one person's perceived poor person to another may get spun as a rich person.  Depends upon the speaker and their agenda.   

And yes perception can become reality.

That slippery slope allowed the Holacaust. 

So I applaud you lmcshane for daring to step out and post what you did. 

There is no litmus test for who is good and who is bad, though we humans really wish their were.

Shirley McClaine:  There is so much bad in the best of us and so much good in the worst of us it's hard to decide who ought to fix the rest of us. 

Its not easy being green

Sorry - couldn't help myself...

Would that make you greenwashed?

Sorry again.

Anyways, color, ethnicity, genealogy, culture are all important realities of each being and are factors in community dynamics - different in different communities.

I was interested, in looking at how Seattle and King County measure the success of their regional economy, they are obsessive in addressing the unique concerns of native people living there - and no they do not call them "red" people, nor wear t-shirts of them in caricature, nor yell WAHOO when they convene.

It all matters.

Disrupt IT

OMG - I'm #FFAE69!!!

Now that you mention it, I'm not remotely white. I'm orange.

Wouldn't one way of ending the division of people into black and white be to see the world in more than two colors.

Evelyn is FFE3B3

Disrupt IT

good point: there are good neighbors, and bad neighbors

We need to focus on what we have in common, not what makes us superficially different.

There are good neighbors, and bad neighbors.

There are people who produce, and people who live off the production of others.

There are givers, and there are takers.

The takers and the parasites promote the discussions of what things make us different on the surface; to keep us divided refocuses attention away from them.


i'm FDCDB4

 or FOCOLTONE 4042 (actually I think the focoltone color schemes give more accurate renderings, norm, especially if you have any olive tones).

So how far off was AG Holder when he called us "a nation of cowards" when it comes to race? If we can't call things what they are, we're never going to be able to address them, for better or worse.

taking control of the streets is simple

The more "normal" people you have using a city, on the street, the less of this sort of terrorism you have. We have found this to be true in every urban situation where we have lived, and Cleveland is no exception.

NEO residents are exceptionally timid when it comes to urban living. They let their fear form barriers and never come downtown. All it takes is an act of terrorism, like this one, and it reinforces staying away in droves. The people of northeast Ohio are, on balance, way more fearful than people from anywhere else I've lived. NEO needs therapy, or confidence-building, or restoration of self-worth and self-esteem.

If people would only realize that this is the way the disenfranchised punks take over property they don't own, and begin to take back their cities, we would have fewer of these incidents.

And, our first expenditures as a public need to be on safety. We need to protect lives first, property after that. The priorities are simple. With protecting lives come things like police, fire, health, and so forth. With property come fire and police, with the building department.

We spend too much of the public dollar on nonessentials. The money going to the Rock Hall, $1M,. comes to mind, but I'm beginning to sound like a broken record on that count.



PD is following Norm

What local bloggers are saying about ... the downtown shooting

Posted by jkroll [at] plaind [dot] com March 02, 2009 06:38AM

Categories: Blog 5, Real Time News



They caught me one of those rare moments I wasn't swearing or trashing the PD...

I need to me more careful!

Disrupt IT

Justice NEO style


From today's Plain charges filed (see print edition)--watch this case:

Andrew Susak electrocuted trying to steal copper

by djmiller [at] plaind [dot] com
Monday March 23, 2009, 9:10 AM

CLEVELAND -- Andrew J. Susak, 30, of Hope Avenue, was found dead in a vacant lot at West 62nd Street and Barberton Avenue about 1:15 a.m. Sunday.

Detectives said Susak and two friends broke into Cleveland Stamping at 3636 West 58th St. and tried to steal copper wire from a substation. Susak was electrocuted.

His friends, Edwin L. Moats, 26, and John W. Wild, 40, carried Susak's body to the vacant property, Lt. Thomas Stacho said. Moats and Wild were arrested on suspicion of breaking and entering.

Moats' criminal history includes a conviction Feb. 20 for theft, breaking and entering, vandalism and possessing criminal tools. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Timothy McMonagle sentenced him to three years of probation. Moats also pleaded guilty in January, 2002, to attempted theft and was fined $250.

Wild pleaded guilty in September 1993 to sexual battery and was sentenced to three years of probation. Judge Burt Griffin also ordered Wild to learn how to read at a fifth-grade level.

Susak pleaded guilty Dec. 20, 2006, to drug possession and served two years of probation. He pleaded guilty in August 1999 to drug possession and corrupting another with drugs and was placed on probation for nearly two years.