Habeas Corpus

Submitted by lmcshane on Tue, 07/12/2011 - 02:54.

Recently, I caught a rebroadcast of a PBS documentary entitled: The Judge and the General.


Under Augusto Pinochet, thousands of young men and women were left dead, tortured or "disappeared."  Pinochet regime attempted to erase collective memory, but the families had filed habeas corpus cases and this memory was exhumed by the judge in the documentary.

For me, REALNEO is a habeas corpus of events that have transpired in NEO.  It may be difficult to uncover the truth, but I am hopeful that one day--justice will be served. 

Fortunately, one of the past administrators of REALNEO has organized the material into books.  If you have a chance please examine the body.

Books on REALNEO

For example: If you visit this book--and scroll to the bottom--you will see "add child" page and you can help organize additional information related to the topic--you can also continue with the next related post "Civic Commons."

Archiving PD comments

Submitted by lmcshane on July 5, 2010 - 7:46am.

Archiving these comments--

Don't believe the hype. All Sandra Livingstone did was take Rokakis' story line and run with it. This story was so imbalanced it seems as if Livingstone read it to Rokakis to get his approval before submitting it to her editors.

As an example, Livingstone identified a "Caifornia" company that had a large portfolio but didn't name the company. Why not? Livingstone should have checked to learn if any of the commercial properties that were picked up by Rokakis and Frangoes and placed in the land bank may have been purchased by the companies through Rokakis' third party tax lien sale. The third party investors have agreements with the county. The PD should check to see if Rokakis is enforcing the agreements. The evidence will show he is not.

Livingstone didn't touch the fact that Rokakis' third party tax lien sale has actually been emptying Cleveland and East Cleveland streets since early 1999. You owe taxes on your property. Rokakis lets third party investors buy your tax bill at a discount, and then gives them the power to foreclose against you if you don't pay. Go to Rokakis' website. He hasn't updated the number of properties he's sold off like this since 2006. That's when he stopped counting at 22,916. http://treasurer.cuyahogacounty.us/taxlien.htm What's the matter Jimmy? You afraid to report the most recent number of Cuyahoga County property owners whose properties are now in the hands of your campaign contributors?

Rokakis sold the public on the fact that the delinquent taxes paid by the third party investors would send money to the county's school districts. But the school districts only got paid until the vacant properties on hundreds of streets drove out residents, increased crime, drove down property values and increased blight on the east side of Cleveand, East Cleveland and parts of Cleveland Heights. Vacant houses don't generate property taxes. And, if he wants to complain about the "foreclosure crisis," always remember that he started selling off tax liens early in 1999 ... long before the foreclosure crisis.

GLS Capital, Plymouth Park Investments and other third party investors have also left cities throughout the county struggling with the blight caused by the vacant properties they own. Each has been forced to invest block grant dollars, and to pursue HUD Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds, to demolish blocks of vacant properties. Where cities could previously allocate federal block grant dollars to storefront renovation programs, Rokakis' bad policies and the housing foreclosure crisis have caused real "development" funds to dry up. All Rokakis is doing with the landbank is reallocating county dollars to solve a problem he helped create in the first place.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled against Allegheny County for doing to homeowners there what Rokakis has been doing to them in Cuyahoga County. The Plain Dealer would know this if its editors ever assigned a reporter to dig deep enough into Rokakis' community-busting scheme instead of singing his false praises all the time. Is he related to someone over there?

Tarax, you should examine the ignorance of your own statement. You said that getting properties back onto the tax rolls creates a win-win situation while the article above says Rokakis "wiped out the taxes" for several large investors. Which one is it? Are we getting the taxes or are they being wiped out for select, out-of-state investors?

If Rokakis can easily "wipe out the taxes" for out-of-state real estate investors like Thor, who live in California, and who own 24 tax delinquent and blighted properties in Cuyahoga County as the article stated, then why didn't he just "wipe out the taxes" for tax delinquent residents and homeowners of Cuyahoga County who got behind because they lost their jobs or faced other financial hardships that created the delinquency in the first place? Better yet, why didn't he offer delinquent "resident" property owners the same discount on their own tax bill that he sold to the investors? Tarax you are so grossly misinformed it's scarey.

More importantly, why is Rokakis "wiping out taxes" for out-of-state investors instead of investing land bank money to help mayors and councils make them pay-up and fix up or demolish their own properties? About 65 percent of the money Rokakis wiped out goes to the school district, while about 15 percent goes to the city while the rest goes to the county. "Wiping out the taxes" AND using county money to demolish an out-of-state investor's vacant properties lets the big guy completely off-the-hook while the little guy is forced to pay-up. This is absolutely nuts and terrible public policy.

Five years ago Cleveland had over 17,000 vacant properties. That number has exceeded 25,000 today. There ain't enough money in the land bank to knock them all down and I guarantee that this money won't go to the neighborhoods hardest hit by foreclosure on Cleveland's east side, in East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights. And I will not back down from my statement that Rokakis' policies began to create vacant housing on hundreds of streets long before the foreclosure crisis hit Cuyahoga County. His policies exacerbated the crisis and anyone who's been paying attention to this issue knows this area was "hardest hit" because of the double-whammy effect of sub-prime lending AND Rokakis' third party tax lien sales. Mayor Frank Jackson asked him to stop selling third party liens in his city three years ago. Rokakis, arrogantly, ignored him.

Most cities have "blight" ordinances on the books that they can't afford to enforce. Those ordinances allow local mayors and councils to declare a property to be a nuisance and to pursue the owner for remedies, up to and including prosecution. Instead of investing anywhere from $7500 to $50,000 and more to demolish vacant structures, Rokakis could help cities by allocating a portion of the money to enforcement actions.

And Rokakis' campaign finance report is most definintely full of contributions from the individuals who represent the third party investment firms buying delinquent tax liens, and with investors who own large holdings of properties. Go get it from the Board of Elections and then get a list of the employees who represent the investment firms and compare the two. That's an easy enough assignment.

There's nothing vitriolic about facts, and I bear no ill will towards Rokakis, only his policies. He's been getting away with this charade for the last decade and, unfortunately, the only chance for it to end is under the new form of government. To all the county CEO candidates, hone in on this issue. You're going to inherit one big mess with this one.

Oh, and Tarax, which responsible non-profit? All the ones I know got vacant houses for nothing from local land banks, invested $80,000 in federal Hope 6 funds to build new homes on the site and then sold them to Section 8 recipients and poor working class people for $200,000 and more. Many of them are now new and empty.

Fifth-Third Bank officials found out that one responsible non-profit sold a house to a homeowner whose "family" consisted of a man earning less than $10 an hour, his 19-year-old son and the son's girlfriend, both of whom worked for McDonald's. The responsible non-profit actually convinced the man that calculating the earnings of everyone in his "household" was legal. They forgot, however, to tell him to budget for taxes after his first year during the required housing counseling session they were supposed to give him. So much for responsible non-profits.

Keep writing "tarax." The only person showing their lack of knowledge is you. Oh, and check your spelling. I know it can be difficult for some to write without the aid of spellcheck, but do your best anyway. "Serioulsy?" You're kidding ... right?


Dr. Gus Kious' commitment to East Cleveland is unwavering. Over the last four or five years and more he's worked with CEO Toby Cosgrove and Fred DeGrandis to obtain funds to invest in a $4.5 million facelift for the Terrace Road entrance, and another $3 million to renovate the parking garage. This $25 million investment guarantees that Huron Hospital - East Cleveland's largest employer - will remain in the city. And for those who haven't been to East Cleveland in the last decade, there is more.

General Electric, the city's second largest employer, invested nearly $4.5 millon four years ago for a lighting college that will eventually bring 13,000 guests a year to the area. If the city can attract a hotel or motel operator, guests could stay and shop instead of leaving.

Joe Calabrese and RTA four years ago invested another $4.5 million to renovate the Hayden Garage. That's on top of the $13 million former U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes secured for them to invest in remodeling the Stokes Station and $9 million invested in remodeling the Superior Station. Not to mention another $4 million to repair at least four bridges between Lakeview and Superior. And RTA finally completed the Euclid Corridor Line in 2008 with 24-hour-a-day transportation, every five minutes, seven days weekly.

Rob Hilton and his board at the McGregor Nursing home invested $65 million to literally rebuild the property and, if HUD and the city cooperates, will invest another $12 million or so for independent senior housing.

Discussions began two years ago between Cleveland and East Cleveland for a $500 million power plant on land owned by University Hospitals and CWRU at Euclid & Lakeview. This state-of-the-art plant will replace the old plant next to the hospital along Euclid Avenue, and power the institutions of University Circle. It could also - if the current mayor can work with Mayor Frank Jackson - provide low-cost electricity for the city's residents as well.

Every single school building in East Cleveland has been rebuilt or renovated as a result of a $100 million investment from the state that began sometime in 1998 and ended in 2008 and 2009 with the opening of a new Shaw High School and Caledonia Elementary School.

Water and sewer rates are significantly lower. The police department's been rebuilt, along with the service department. The city is out of fiscal emergency. The reasons for "not" living in East Cleveland have dwindled.

People have counted East Cleveland out for years. But this city, once the home of John D. Rockefeller, won't give up. Dr. Kious and Cleveland Clinic are to be commended. John D. Rockefeller believed in Huron Hospital when he invested in it well over 100 years ago. It is wonderful that you have protected and enhanced that investment. Well done.