Kill the story

Submitted by lmcshane on Sat, 04/11/2009 - 16:19.

 Jeff Buster

Today, at the West Side Market, I watched someone cover issues of the Plain Press with the Ohio City Argus.  The Ohio City Argus and the various other "newspapers" sprouting like mushrooms around the City of Cleveland are funded by the CDCs...using your tax dollars.  You are going to be told what to read, what to believe and what is REAL by the right people.  Remember to know your place, do not speak, do not listen, do not see, do not question.

Meanwhile, the alternative media is already there to pick up the story.  Watch  Young reporters, videographers from LA and Baltimore area were here today filming our city (and our meat!).

Cleveland is so anti-cool that we are actually cool.  Thanks to Michael Symon for giving us international cache(t).  Viva la press!


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OK, lmcshane:  Weve had

OK, lmcshane:  Weve had this conversation before, and apparently you've forgotten it, so let me refresh your memory.  The Ohio City Argus is run entirely by volunteers who are donating their time and expertise to the cause.  They are receiving not one dime for their work.  The production of the paper is being covered entirely by ad sales and donations from private individuals.  No taxpayer dollars are being spent on this publication.  So please stop spreading lies and distortions about the Argus.  I have no idea what other newspapers you're referring to in your post, but your allegations do not apply to the Argus.

And please, come clean:  Who are you and what's your agenda?  Why do you continually defend the Plain Press?  Do you work for them?  What's the deal here?  I'm very curious.

Bernie Thiel
Executive Editor
Ohio City Argus

Ohio City Argus

Mr. Thiel--I have to ask why is it so critical for all the CDCs in Cleveland to suddenly produce their own newspaper.  Yes--you might be all volunteer, but I find it hard to believe that there is no time commitment or funding from the CDC, when the executive director and board president figure prominently on the production page. 

Other publications?  Old Brooklyn Development Corporation's newspaper eats up a lot of that CDC's time and money.  Tremont West just expanded their newsletter to the same newsprint format featured by Ohio City Argus.  Coincidence? Shaker Square/Larchmere and Superior St. Clair also put out these "news" format publications.  I imagine that there are more of these publications in the works.

No, Mr. Thiel.  I don't work for the Plain Press and I did see that the Plain Press was being pushed out of their usual distribution sites in Ohio City.  My agenda?  I want to see my tax dollars spent in my community for the benefit of my community.  I have lost all faith in any CDC's ability to actually stabilize economic conditions in my neighborhood, where developers come first, and residents come last.

To my knowledge, I have not "lied" about anything here.  I frankly see little point in a publication largely used to advertise a CDC, and, especially, if that publication takes away advertisers from a publication like the Plain Press that has served the near west side community, so well, for so long. I would hope that actual physical improvements and information provided on a less intensive and well-maintained website would suffice. 

That said, your publication has a wonderful article by Tim Barrett on St. Stephen and the glasswork featured there by Franz Mayer and Co.  I only wish that you would apply that energy to help an existing publication/employer and long-time Ohio City business, rather than undermining it.

One other thing I forgot to

One other thing I forgot to mention:  The Argus is not out to replace the Plain Press, but rather, to complement it.  The Plain Press does what it does, and we bring a different perspective to coverage of Ohio City.  There's room for both.


Ah, so there's the issue: 

Ah, so there's the issue:  " I frankly see little point in a publication largely used to advertise a CDC, and, especially, if that publication takes away advertisers from a publication like the Plain Press that has served the near west side community, so well, for so long. I would hope that actual physical improvements and information provided on a less intensive and well-maintained website would suffice."

Let's dissect this now, shall we?

- "I frankly see little point in a publication largely used to advertise a CDC"--The point of the Argus is not to "advertise" a CDC (OCNW).  Rather, it's to advertise, promote and market the Ohio City neighborhood to spur things that most cities and neighborhood would consider good things, such as more visitors who spend money in neighborhood shops and restaurants, people who choose to relocate their businesses there, and people who ultimately decide to rent or buy there.  Would these not, in your world, be seen as "good thing?"

- "especially, if that publication takes away advertisers from a publication like the Plain Press that has served the near west side community, so well, for so long"--I'm not sure where to start with this one, but here's a stab:  First, in whose mind has the Plain Press "served the near west side community so well for so long"?  Yours?  OK, but I know there are many, many others who would disagree, and in fact, see the Plain Press as not exactly the paragon of objective journalism.  Opinions aside, there's the simple aspect of capitalism:  If the Plain Press is so great, then it should have no problem beating back an upstart that obviously (in your mind) has nothing going for it and would have no hope of attracting advertiser support.  So what's the worry?  And even if it does, are you against capitalism and competition?  Wouldn't the presence of another publication in its turf make the PP raise its game which, in turn, ultimately would benefit its readers? 

"I would hope that actual physical improvements and information provided on a less intensive and well-maintained website would suffice."--I'm not exactly sure what this means, but I think you're saying we should confine our output to the Web.  We certainly will use the website, have I mentioned, is also entirely run by volunteers who receive no taxpayer money or money from the councilmen and have zero involvement of the CDC employees who are paid with taxpayer money?  But we also think having a physical product available to people who frequent bars, restaurants, shops and other businesses will futher enhance our ability to promote all the good things we're doing in the neighborhood.  It's called "multichannel marketing" and seems to be all the rage among successful businesses.

"but I find it hard to believe that there is no time commitment or funding from the CDC, when the executive director and board president figure prominently on the production page"--well, hard as it may seem, belive it.  There's nothing coming from OCNW in either time commitment or funding to make the Argus happen.  You'll probably not be able to believe this, but those of us working on the Argus actually believe in the neighborhood and what OCNW is doing, so much so that we want to promote both as much as possible to help make Ohio City the best it can be.  OK, if you consider that the OCNW executive director and board president read the copy before it goes to press an "investment" on their part, we're guilty:  they invested a modicum of time in the production of the paper.  But what if we say they did that in the evening when they were supposed to be watching "American Idol"?  Would that be OK?

In short, please get the facts straight before your continue to attack the Argus.  The people behind this publication only want to improve Ohio City and want nothing whatsoever from the public teat. 






"Zero involvement" OCNW

>Mr. Thiel, 


In your comment above you made the statement:

There's nothing coming from OCNW in either time commitment or funding to make the Argus happen. "

But when I navigated over to (btw - your ohiocity link is dead in the comment) I found this statement at the bottom of the web page: 

"For information on advertising (in the Argus), contact Nate Coffman, OCNW, at 216.781.3222."

When the Argus is using the paid staff of OCNW, and the telephone and office of OCNW, for taking in advertizing, that would seem to call into doubt your credibility in claiming that the Argus is independently funded.   

This is the sort of slippery duplicitous "ethics" to which I think lmcshane was alluding.   

I would say lmcshane’s spot on... OCNW, as a Community Development Corporation,  is funding Argus

Good luck with your independent paper.   Hard copy is a dying breed.





I was not aware someone was

I was not aware someone was putting the Argus on top of the PP until it was pointed out in this thread.  There's no question that's not kosher, and I'll make sure our distributor knows not to do that.

but what happens

 if the executive director of OCNW disagrees with content?


Mr. Thiel, I will confess--

I do have a problem with CDCs and the CNDC.  I think that these quasi-City of Cleveland organizations are draining the life-blood of our city neighborhoods. Disclosure--I worked (briefly) for TWDC and then had the misfortune to serve on their board.  

CDCs used to help folks get their own homes in the neighborhood and part of their mission was to community organize and to keep banks operating in city neighborhoods making loans to homeowners and businesses. Now, banks have left, replaced by cash checking places and too many CDCs do very little besides having meetings.  CDCs should make visible improvements to neighborhoods--make them clean, safe and liveable, but they don't.  CDC employees are also (conveniently) not required to live in the City of Cleveland, which only adds insult to injury--more money leaving my neighborhood. 

I don't have a problem with you Mr. Thiel.  I know that you are trying to sell your neighborhood.  I am, too.  And, I might find your publication a worthy effort, if it did not have any affiliation with a CDC.

BTW, did you bring in the young reporters from


Life of a Salesman?


Try talking to anybody who works for a CDC (TWDC)  and all they do is try to sell you on what great things they are doing.  Except it is all about giving more and more "model block funds" to big developers who are out to make a big profit and there is nothing said about helping the low income hard working everyday people.  The money is going to the 15 yr tax abated, developers who already have millions to put into projects. 

TWDC buys up properties to rent out to low income families and you should see some of them, talk about slum lords?  It's sickening they actually believe that crap pie they expect everybody else to swallow.  I think they've been brain washed.


This must stop

As always, a lack of transparency, information sharing and authenticity leads to a pattern of manipulation of assymetric information - in this case, a gross manipulation of the most disadvantaged and quietly subjugated soldiers of our community.  They are champions all and we will champion their cause.  The CMHA and others are working hard to rectify this problem, are creating citizen voice groups within their structures, while laggards like this example have still not awakened to the disasterous implications of their most malicious machinations.

The question for me is 'What now?'  Change agency is the most rational route - and awareness had been raised on this matter - what now?   Share with the world via virtual networks - get all media sources to cover the situation, and accumulate a large enough voting block that these manipulations have to stop.

Makes sense to me. You?


  In my mail today:

Northeast Ohio Media Guide Transformed to Online Service
New resource helps organizations, businesses tell their stories

We are pleased to announce a new online resource that will help organizations and businesses tell their stories about services, programs, and products. After 50 years as a publication, the Northeast Ohio Media Guide has been transformed into an electronic subscription service of Community Solutions. It may be accessed at Annual subscription fee is $50, per individual user.

The Media Guide includes a primer on working with the media and an expanding directory of print and electronic media. The directory focuses on Northeast Ohio, but also includes Columbus and national resources. Users may search the database by market, type, audience, and keyword. As an enhanced feature, users may export general information for mailings or other outreach.

The transition from a 50+-year publication was in response to numerous and repeated requests from users for an electronic, dynamic product, rather than a static source of information. It also reflects the advancement and widespread use of electronic tools in society, and our move toward an electronic communications platform.

Our Media Guide’s primary goal has always been to “help the people who help people”—health and social service providers—educate the community and promote their issues and services. We believe this new format will be even more beneficial because a printed directory is out of date almost as soon as it’s published. But an online format can be updated regularly so that the information is as accurate as possible. In addition to our own update efforts, we encourage users to let us know of changes as they happen.

The Media Guide is valued by professionals and volunteers in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Its text and tips reflect the experience and expertise of professionals who have watched the evolution and interaction of the helping professions and the communications field for over five decades. And its directory saves time by putting important information at one’s fingertips.

The Center for Community Solutions is a private, independent, nonprofit organization focused on policy and system reform. It provides strategic leadership to improve targeted health, social, and economic conditions. Established in 1913, it is a United Way agency.  


New media is old media is new?

In Parma yesterday, I picked up a copy of the Parma Observer.  It had some good content--all produced by volunteer civic journalists.

It is a community paper structured in the same way as REALNEO.  The truth filters out--maybe, not fast enough, but it does get published.

And, while we don't all agree here just because we publish here--we are lucky to have REALNEO. 

The format can be empowering and infuriating--and it is still evolving--with every person who joins and adds content.  We may not understand it now, but I am confident, that we will all understand it soon.

Major props, of course, to Norm Roulet--who consulted with the Lakewood Observer on their set-up and, oh so long ago--consulted with the Plain Dealer to empower residents with the dashboard concept.  The PD has recently adopted many of the features--pioneered by REALNEO.  Can some one give the guy some credit, where credit is DUE?!!!

OCNW, Cimperman and West Side Market - domain dropped 3/2021

OCNW, Cimperman and West Side Market

Let me cut to the MEAT of this morning's Plain Dealer story--

The city has formed a public-private partnership with Ohio City Near West, which will receive $20,000 a year for three years for planning events and promotions and seeking grants and potential donors for the market. In August, the nonprofit hired Amanda Dempsey, formerly Cimperman's executive assistant, as a liaison to the vendors and as director of the Market District. She will work closely with Christine Zuniga Eadie, the city's new market manager.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, Eadie is 28 years old, has a master's degree in urban planning from Cleveland State and was an executive fellow with the Cleveland Leadership Center. Eadie might represent a changing of the guard at the market, whose last manager, a former butcher, recently retired after more than two decades.

Two jobs created for the fine young cannibals cultivated by the CDC's and the oh-so easy access to our tax dollar in NEO.  This signals to me that Cimperman has set up his assistant, because he will be appointed to some position soon.  And, the other person awarded a sinecure, Eadie, obviously has all the credentials you need to manage a food market.

The Ohio City Team, (t) 216-781-3222

Eric Wobser, Executive Director, (e) ewobser [at] ohiocity [dot] org
Amanda Dempsey, Market District Director, (e) adempsey [at] ohiocity [dot] org
Virginia Houston, Manager of Marketing and Development, (e) vhouston [at] ohiocity [dot] org
Linda Litto, Ward 3 Social Services Coordinator, (e) llitto [at] ohiocity [dot] org
Bob Shores, Safety Coordinator, (e) bshores [at] ohiocity [dot] org
Ben Trimble, Director of Residential Development, (e) btrimble [at] ohiocity [dot] org
Jeffrey Verespej, Director of Advocacy and Operations, (e) jverespej [at] ohiocity [dot] org
Graham Veysey, Creative Consultant, (e) gveysey [at] ohiocity [dot] org
Christine Zuniga Eadie, Cleveland Executive Fellow, (e) CZuniga-Eadie [at] ohiocity [dot] org

 The city would not make Eadie available for an interview.

Now, that's a telling comment....Doesn't any one else find it disturbing that a Councilman controls the purse strings to OCNW and decides who to hire there and shields employees from the press?  


Ohio City and City of Cleveland are now debating over who was incompetent in dropping the Westside Market domain.  I posted original story in 2010 - now it is 2021.  City of Cleveland's website is a shambles.  Westside Market has been getting USA Today promotion (largely through Dave Gilbert - and Destination Cleveland - Dave G is GREAT) and just as USA Today poll is set to give Westside Market national attention...well, we can count on the CDC and the City to F it up.