Here is David Ellison's position on burning coal at MCCO - TOO LITTLE TOO LATE FOR ALL OF US, David. Good Luck.

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 09/02/2010 - 17:59.

Susan Miller just sent me County Executive Green Party Candidate David Ellison's written statement to the Federal EPA protesting the burning of coal by Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown's brother (Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz' Brother-in-Law) Robert Brown's Medical Center Company (MCCO), which harms the health of my family and the millions of citizens of Northeast Ohio... spreading death and destruction worldwide.

Is David Ellison the only candidate for County Executive who formally protested the burning of coal at MCCO? That should be easy to determine.

I challenge the other candidates for County Executive... and ALL standing local politicians... to put forth their written positions submitted to the Federal EPA regarding burning coal at the politically-corrupt MCCO plant, in politically-corrupt University Circle, or withdraw from offices and races to represent citizens in government anywhere in the world, for cause (being murder).

Here is David Ellison's position on burning coal at MCCO.

This is not an endorsement - I am not voting in this election, as I was lied to by everyone in power in the community about MCCO, so I was the one who had to surface the MCCO issue to the public on realNEO.US in the first place - which was not my responsibility - making me "public enemy #1" of all the corrupt sell-outs in the region, which has caused my family astounding harm, which forces us to leave the region and state. Until the Sierrra Club endorsed my efforts, I was treated like shit because of all this... and my family is still treated like shit here - nothing good matters here... no appreciation.

TOO LITTLE TO LATE FOR ALL OF US, David. Sorry. No respect.

But, I offer Ellison's wise words to his lesser candidates and corrupt local politicians as a learning moment.

Wise up and do your jobs, EPA Director Lisa Jackson and President Obama! Fix the air pollution monitoring and air pollution in Northeast Ohio, as I have advised you.

Subject: Ellison's comments to EPA re: MCCo
Re: Issuance of a Draft Title V Permit for the Medical Center Company (OEPA Facility I.D. 1318003059)

The Clean Air Act of 1970 requires that licensees meet its strict emissions standards. Forty years of non-compliance is long enough for this licensee to have made the transition away from non-compliant, old, dirty technologies and it is time that the intention of the Act is met without further delay.

Please revise the Draft Title V Permit to exclude permission to continue operating the coal-fired boilers by this licensee. The rapid phase-out of these coal-fired boilers is the only reasonable action at this time. Permission may be granted to construct and operate compliant natural gas-fired boilers at this location providing that use of the coal-fired boilers is discontinued as soon as is feasible.

It is inappropriate from public health and environmental justice standpoints to allow the coal-fired boilers to continue operating any longer than is absolutely necessary to make the transition. If they are allowed to continue to operate under the currently expired license, only low-sulfur coal should be allowed to be used. The health effects of emissions from these coal-fired boilers on the local population are significant enough to warrant extraordinary action to remedy the situation.

People who live in metropolitan areas near coal-fired plants are acutely affected by their emissions. In these areas death rates are much higher than in areas with few or no coal-fired plants. It is unreasonable to allow a coal-fired facility to operate in such close proximity to two of the regions most important medical treatment institutions and in an area with such nearby residential occupancies.

Coal-fired boilers emit nitrogen oxide which plays a major role in the formation of ground-level ozone (or smog) in summer and contributes to fine particulate matter (or soot). Both smog and soot are linked to a host of serious health effects. They also emit mercury which causes serious nervous system problems in humans and wildlife. Especially vulnerable are developing fetuses, babies and children. Sulfur dioxide, another emission, contributes to the formation of microscopic particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs and aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, increasing cough and mucous secretions. (see The Health Risks of Burning Coal for Energy, updated December 27, 2006, published by the Environmental Defense Fund)

As a public health initiative, local, state and federal government assistance is urged to make the phase-out and transition away from the coal-fired boilers happen quickly, ideally prior to this winter's heating season. It is appropriate given the economic and cultural importance of the institutions served by this heating and cooling plant that the immediate transition be facilitated with governmental assistance.

Additionally, governmental help should be made available for intensive conservation and efficiency measures at the 9 institutions which will evaluate current steam and chilled water usage, improve efficiency and reduce waste, and which will monitor the results of these measures.

Especially important from an energy usage point of view is the new glass structure at the Cleveland Museum of Art, which will be inherently inefficient to begin with, and which might be altered prior to its construction to be more energy efficient.

Respectfully submitted,

David H. Ellison, AIA See More
August 17 at 3:08pm


And I sincerely say good luck, David Ellison

And I sincerely say good luck, David Ellison. You've impressed me with your proactive leadership in the community - for the Breuer - against taxation without representation for the MedCon - running for County Executive, Green.

Right now we need Green at the radical extreme - please speak up, while you have the forum of County Executive candidate... be mad as hell... make people mad as hell - lead a Green Party Movement here... we need it here.

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The EPA permit process

My written comments on the draft permit will be included in the official review and they will have equal standing to comments made at the hearing and other written comments that have been submitted. If the reviewers deem the content of the comments relevant, they will have to respond to them in some way.

Personally, I think 40 years is long enough to come into compliance with the Clean Air Act.  The existing permit is lapsed and doesn't need to be re-issued for them to continue operations, apparently.  In this case, I am not opposed to the government providing financial assistance to bring the facility into compliance with the Clean Air Act.

The new permit isn't issued yet, so while it may seem like TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE, we're still in the midst of the process, thanks to the citizens in the neighborhood who have chosen to take on this fight and their successful attempts to buy us some more time and maneuvering space.  In the environmental movement it is often said that every victory is temporary while every loss is permanent.  In this case, we haven't actually lost yet. 

I think we should be looking at a lawsuit (and possibly other tactics and strategies) to block the continued operation of the coal fired boilers and the issuance of a new permit.  I think Bill Mason would be the first attorney I would approach with the request and rationale that such a lawsuit or lawsuits to be filed.  If he and the county prosecutors office doesn't choose to take on the case, then I'm sure that we can find an attorney who will.  MCCO is in violation of the federal Clean Air Act and doesn't appear to be moving toward compliance in as timely way as they should, given the sensitive location of their facility.  What better arrangement than to have a board member of MCCO be brother to a US Senator?  How much more convenient could it be to facilitate a little subsidy to an important non-profit entity that provides services to essential institutions in our city?

Let's focus in on what our near, intermediate and long-term goals are.  Let's identify the people who have the power to make happen what we want to have happen. Let's devise and work toward implementation of a strategy that uses the most effective tactics to create the kind of future we want. What choice do we have?   There are fights like this to be had all over the county.  The leadership needs to come from the communities most effected and most concerned, the rest of us, including the Green Party (as a tactical vehicle), can then help. 

Contact Neil Carman at the Texas Sierra Club to litigate

Thanks for following up, David. Too little too late means we were very lucky to have caught MCCO pulling their license renewal scam at all, but when we had a hearing few community leaders came and spoke up - no Mayors - no other standing politicians of any sort - no students from Case, CSU, Kent, Oberlin, etc... just a few hardcore environmentalists were there.

We are having elections and I suspect few if any candidates even know about the coal plant of MCCO.... are you people discussing pollution at your debates? MCCO?

We've had excellent opportunities to bring this issue front and center here and it has not happened - but people who want the plant to continue burning coal, like Senator Brown, his brother, and lots of other Manchurian and official Republicans have corrupted everything here in their $billion dollar pursuit to pollute.

When I raised concerns about conflicts of interest, whereby Sherrod Brown is deciding environmental policy that hurts citizens, to benefit his brother, the Senator's aid John Ryan was rude to me, and called my actions political. I can't recall ever being treated so poorly.. and he is the assistant to a Senator. The Senator's office has handled this poorly, and I no longer trust the Senator to handle anything well.... treat citizens like shit and expect to be treated like shit in return.

This situation is disgusting - it has shown our leaders, including BOTH Browns and everyone "in the know" throughout UCI, our Foundations, our CDCs and in government (all levels to the state), for who they are, being opportunist, cowardly, ignorant, sell-out polluters.

This situation has cost my family years of our lives and $100,000s... and we are stuck with a worthless house in a toxic community ruled by cowards... and must leave the region.

I personally surfaced and raised on realNEO the issue of MCCO's plans to build a NEW COAL PLANT... and without realNEO I could not have gotten any public awareness of this situation... the Sierra Club would not even know about MCCO still today... the license would have already been issued to MCCO...

And that is why "Social Media Gurus" like Nemeth, Mulready, Gonick, Beach and Lefkowitz have done so much to cause me harm... to silence realNEO... and they are not alone.

But I have the satisfaction of kicking their asses... and these facts shall not be rewritten as I move on, as they are part of the legacy of this virtual community... the realNEO community. Stopping MCCO licensing  is one of our great realNEO successes here. Stopping MCCO from building a second coal plant is another great success for realNEO...

I questioned the operation of the current MCCO plant when I learned it existed (unfortunately, after we bought and remodeled our house here). Nobody else came forward to support me or this concern until the Sierra Club became involved... and still support has been poor. Not my Mayor... not my councilwoman... not Commissioner Jones... not planners at Kent Urban Design Collaborative, Environmental Health Watch, Cleveland State, or Case, which are all parties involved in MCCO planning - everyone I asked about the plant lied to my face.

This evil pattern of deception is worse than any other corruption in this region, and has caused my family great hardship...  and has Cleveland Foundation tattooed all over it.

The plant and MCCO/UCI planning are secretive and divisive, causing public harm... and I am prepared to prove that. My case against them is for fraud.

MCCO plans and pollution were hidden by our elected officials and other planning leadership here - they are polluting my home and children... but few other area residents seem to care at all about the plant - it could and probably will go on burning coal here for years, for lack of environmentalism here.

I am opposed to MCCO getting any government support for their conversion from coal - MCCO stakeholders have been evil and dishonest - they have never paid taxes - Case, UH and University Circle are already sucking in far too much government money through political entitlement programs like Third Frontier... and before becoming a coal burning tycoon, Robert Brown worked for ODOT getting UCI that great Health Line, and positioning them to get that great opportunity corridor... they have taken far more than their fair share of tax dollars, forever.

I think Sherrod Brown or his brother need to step away from this situation - we need separation of politician and polluter - and I have no faith in Mason to do any right things here... all enforcement of environmental laws will need to come from out-of-state, I am sure.

Prove me wrong - my family is going ABC - anywhere but Cuyahoga.

We've been polluted by our corrupt leadership here quite enough, and would rather die in peace.

Good luck - Contact Neil Carman at the Texas Sierra Club to discuss how to get litigation going... he is the expert at that - email neil_carman [at] greenbuilder [dot] com

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NIMBY-ism works

In fact, it may be the only thing that does, but it usually takes the tireless efforts of some very committed individuals over a course of time, sometimes years.  

It's easy to become frustrated with the situation. When we finally stopped the LLRW dump in the 1990's and de-railed what was left of the Federal LLRW Policy Act, we had made enemies of almost every environmental organization in the state and had made a reputation for ourselves of being strident and inflexible, but we had stopped the dump.  One of our only political allies was State Senator Dennis Kucinich - so you must have a sense of where that put us in the political spectrum.  We didn't have the support or backing of any mayors or the governor or the federal legislatures, in fact we were going against a plan they had created.  We didn't have foundation support or wealthy donors.

We couldn't wait around for someone else to do the work for us and we had to figure out a way to do it ourselves, despite the lack of community support, funding or staff.  We did it on a shoestring, and while sometimes it felt like we were doing it by ourselves, we had little bits of help along the way from all sorts of people.  When it was all done, it was a thankless task, but we did it.

If you want to gain some perspective, read Robert Jungk on the nuclear state.  Plutonium provides the only reasonable justification for the permanent imposition of martial law.  Civil liberties stop at the fence line around a nuclear power station.  Whistle blowers get killed - remember Karen Silkwood?  She was only one of them...  Yellow cake, or even the mere mention of it, was cause enough for the US to launch into a permanent war in Iraq with no end in sight, regardless of what they're calling it now.  Once Chernobyl erupted, the place was contaminated beyond repair.  Large expanses of land are uninhabitable.  Hundreds of thousands of people were exposed to harmful doses of radiation and continue to suffer its effects.  The former Soviet Union, against which we sunk our nation into interminable debt, no longer even exists.  Fear of a small tactical nuclear weapon or even a dirty bomb has compromised our bill of rights.

I'm working on something else right now, and after that, I'll either have a job or not, so I am not going to be taking the lead in fighting this coal burner.  If you are giving up, you will leave it up to the people around you to carry on the fight.  Once we had picked the fight against the LLRW dump, turning around and walking away from the fight didn't seem like an option.  Our reputations were on the line.  It's probably the reason I still live in Cleveland, despite the fact that I really wanted to leave mid-way through the fight and it would have been a good time to do so in terms of my career.

Social media and internet networking is all fine and good, but stopping the coal burner is going to take traditional in-person organizing and gentle education and consensus building (and maybe a little hammering).  It's going to take making friends and influencing people.  Once they understand how important it is, they will want to help.  They need to know how they can.

Read the book, The Midwest Academy's Organizing for Social Change. It lays out the steps you need to take to stop the coal burner.  Follow the steps or leave it to someone else.  It's OK either way but it's not OK to leave a mess in your wake that others have to clean up.  Among other things, leadership involves setting an example and convincing people to follow it.  The choice is which leader's example are we going to follow?

David Ellison


Were your children harmed in the process?

Were your children harmed in the process? Mine are.

I don't need to be here to deal with corruption here, and the people here are too evil to leave my children in their influence. I believe the general populous of Cleveland is poisoned, and that is why this community has failed. It will take migration of new, healthy people here to fix that. I need to take my poisoned children somewhere they can get help that is not poisoned.

Protect the children first.

Don't worry about the MCCO plant - I'll deal with it, without a friend in the world.

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My Relocation Criteria in choosing a new community

My Relocation Criteria in choosing a new community:

  • No influence at all there from Jones Day
  • No influence at all there from the Cleveland Plain Dealer- preferably no Newhouse influence there at all
  • No influence at all there from the Cleveland Foundation - preferably no significant industrial foundation influence there AT ALL
  • No influence at all there from any NEO area "bloggers" or leaders except realNEO members
  • No steel mills, coal plants or other clearly toxic pollution source points in the immediate vicinity - no MCCO-type secret political pollution factories

I'll be more intelligent and selective this time than when I moved here - I've certainly learned more than I wanted about pollution in Northeast Ohio and worldwide while living here and I am now an educated citizen with choices in life. My choice is to not raise my family by a steel mill.

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Dear David Ellison--County Executive

Dear David,

I will show up on the pages of REALNEO* to commend you for using this great social media tool--the best site in NEO to make a case for change.

All the best to you in your campaign. I wish you would have testified for the record, but, you were there--the only NEO candidate for County Executive in the room. 

I am sure you also received this email from Architecture 2030:

There are $1.4 trillion in commercial real estate (CRE) loans coming due over the next few years, most of these are small building and small business loans (mom and pop operations).

Fifty percent (50%) of these CRE loans are underwater, and a larger percentage cannot refinance. CRE property values are down 40%.

Most of these loans are held by small community banks – to date 250 banks have failed, 750 are on the FDIC watch list.

There are billions of dollars waiting on the sidelines to buy up this distressed CRE.

Wallmart, Best Buy and Kinkos won't lose their buildings or businesses – Jane Doe Apparel and John Smith Printing, whose net worth is tied up in their buildings, will. Middle class? What middle class?

Daphne Wysham lays it out in the Huffington Post today at:

Best, Ed

Edward Mazria
Founder / CEO
Architecture 2030
607 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM 87505



Here is the link to the book you recommend:

Organizing for social change : Midwest Academy manual for activists

Author: Publisher:
Kimberley A Bobo; Jackie Kendall; Steve Max; Midwest Academy.
Santa Ana, Calif. : Seven Locks Press, 2001.

The real financial mess we face is yet to come--eternal thanks to Lily Miller for her courage here using REALNEO to point out where the real crimes in NEO have occured.  I also hope you can channel some of County Executive Candidate Dianna Hill's spirit and commitment for change.  She is a great advocate for those of us who struggle to have HOPE.  I hope you find time in your campaign to read their posts here. 

The real estate game in NEO and the role played by elected representatives at every level of government , developers, architects, and contractors to quickly make money using other people's money (especially HUD, CMSD and ODOT taxpayer dollars)--this is the REAL story of GREED and CORRUPTION in NEO.  

We are destroying our architectural and cultural heritage--and this is all sanctioned by the Greater Cleveland Partnership and the Plain Dealer. 

David, you have the almost impossible task of getting recognized by the mainstream media (the PD actively ignores you and the other candidates not within the current power structure)--so you will have to utilize REALNEO.  You will have to utilize video and you will have to appeal to the ten second attention span of American citizens.  I know that you are up to the challenge to change NEO.  I am hoping I can help in some way.  Because, I can't stand how we are being taking advantage by the super-rich versus the super-poor mentality in this country, anymore.


Laura McShane

*Unfortunately--many folks have been made unwelcome at REALNEO--which is a tragedy, because it is the only site of its kind--anywhere.

Laura, I agree David is to be commended

Laura, I agree David is to be commended. He has been challenged by a complex and highly sensitive issue - which none of the other politicians in town will touch - and he is taking ownership, recognizing urgency, investigating community awareness and concern, and enlisting the help of the right people to take the best action to solve a problem of immense public health concern.

Doing all the right things the right way - being a good leader.

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coal burner

My written comments on the draft permit, while not made verbally at the hearing, will still be recorded and given equal stature to verbal testimony and other written comments submitted within the allowed time period.  That's the way it works.

I spoke to an attorney today about a lawsuit.  It's not a problem, but I think the effort should be made to explain the issue to the County Prosecutor and ask him to file the lawsuit on our behalf before taking it to a private attorney.

I also spoke to a candidate for District 7.  They were unaware of the issue, which suggests that we haven't done the educational outreach necessary on the subject.  It also suggests that we might not have identified and communicated with all the decision makers who have the power to make happen what we want to happen.  Is there a basic information sheet on the issue and what we propose?  If there's not, it sounds like we need to start at the beginning.  We can make this an election issue, but we've got to explain the issue and what we propose happens in order for anyone to support us or to take up the cause. 

I've written Neil Carman an email asking for his suggestions on a legal strategy.

- David Ellison


That is excellent David. Let us know what Neil suggests

That is excellent David. Let us know what Neil suggests regarding legal - he gave me an overview but I'm not a lawyer - it does involve action over their operation without a liscense, for which they may be liable for considerable fines, which may be used to fix the problem.

I suggest you contact Mattie about informational material for candidates. Coming from the Sierra Club gives it global credibility, and Mattie has experience organizing this information for various stakeholder groups - I'm sure he would have suggestions if not good material already together. You know where to find Mattie.

If more people may become really educated well about coal and its impacts on public health, I think we will see some real progress here - this is a very important issue. Thanks David.

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David - will you contact David Franklin?

David - will you contact David Franklin? I posted about his arrival as new Cleveland Museum of Art Director and so his responsibility to come in from left field and address the political issue of MCCO... being one of their big customers...

While I'm sure he is busy, I suspect this will interest him - he is from the greener (not greenest) nation of Canada (they are doing lots of dirty energy-things up there too).

Franklin could be an excellent outsider-insider party to host some community building around moving University Circle off coal, if he agrees.

And this could showcase the Museum in a positive way, and bring some people through their doors to see the new space... and they have great space.

You may even be able to suggest some ways they may increase their efficiency so they use less heat while MCCO still burns coal... seems to fit your area of expertise.

And who do you know at the Cleveland Institute of Art, or any of the other MCCO organizations? One of the key next steps is to host a meeting in University Circle of them all... public, of course. Perhaps at Church of the Covenant - a new realNEO member is involved with them and wants to be involved for them... I can see about that.

Divide and conquer.

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Congratulations Green Party Winner David Ellison

Congratulations Green Party Winner David Ellison - I know this is a big day for you.

Now, back to work leading the community away from coal.

When you communicate with Neil, let him know I will be in Austin later this week and would love to spend another hour or two going over the next steps he recommends - I'll be in contact with him on this as well.

I'll have a video camera and gear with me so perhaps we can lay down some tape on these next steps and issues to better share with the community - we'll see what we can put together...

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