Live and let die

Submitted by lmcshane on Thu, 03/19/2020 - 17:36.

Paul and Linda McCartney's Live and Let Die was playing as I left my house today in this time of COVID-19.  I had no human contact today - but thought I would ride the trail that is along the old Wheeling Lake Erie line.  As anyone who know me, KNOWS - I am obsessed by the land bank and real estate schemes that have plagued our region since the 1990s.  Developer Bo Knez is marketing homes along this trail.  I am not letting the COVID-19 virus stop me from exposing the Land Bank.

I rode across the Harvard Ave bridge to E. 56th (sad that Brick House has closed) along Park to E. 71st - where I connected to the Morgana Run Trail near Broadway  Here is the description from Rails to Trails:


Morgana Run Trail Description









The Morgana Run Trail runs on a former Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway corridor through Cleveland’s historic Slavic Village neighborhood. The paved rail-trail connects residents to Cleveland Metroparks’ Garfield Park Reservation to the south, where trail users can view Mill Creek Falls, Cuyahoga County’s largest waterfall. (Be aware that the link to Garfield Park includes a short stretch of travel on busy Broadway Ave.) At the trail’s northern end, Washington Park and its new golf course is just a short trip away.

The trail also provides a safe route to schools and recreational facilities for the community’s youth, as it passes directly by South High School, Stella Walsh Recreation Center, Union Elementary, the Boys & Girls Club, Cleveland Central Catholic High School, St. Stanislaus Elementary and Mound Elementary School.

I rode the trail and unfortunately can't add many photos to REALNEO - but here is a photo travelogue

East 71st St and the City of Cuyahoga Heights are vital to this trail connection.  Think of the trail connection as a means to get to the Ohio and Erie Canal Reservation.  The Cleveland Metroparks have already made a switch back to Mill Creek Trail.   See:  West Creek Conservancy has worked with the City of Cuyahoga Heights on Clean Ohio trail application  - their existing trails at Bacci Park will soon have a trail connection to E. 71st that avoids the Willow Freeway cloverleaf.

There is an abandoned train line from the end of Jones Rd. terminus of Morgana Run that crosses over two trestles- one over Broadway and one over  Harvard--that would allow a  connection at Irma and E. 76th  to connect with E. 71 St. Southbound to Cuyahoga Heights and Bacci Park, which feeds into the Metroparks' Ohio and Erie Canal Reservation.

Now - here is what galls me: my friend Dave Vasarhelyi died recently and he worked as a program manager at the Trust for Public Land.  I know that he had to work within the dirty political landscape here.  When I saw him this summer, he told me to keep on speaking out about the Land Bank. 

Recently, the Plain Dealer put out propaganda citing a TPL study that indicated that Cleveland residents "suffer" from a lack of access to parks.

Back to the Cuyahoga Land Bank. First off - the study cited in this article is blatant BS. 

Cleveland has a total of 168 parks  and even TPL acknowledges that 82% of Cleveland residents are within a 10 minute walk to a park. Secondly, the neighborhoods highlighted in the article are not devoid of parks and I find it odd that the TPL spokesperson quoted in this article neglects to mention neighborhoods that do suffer from park services (note I did not say lack of parks), which would be neighborhoods on the east side of Cleveland - certainly, NOT Old Brooklyn and Clark Fulton.

So, my little ride today revealed what I think is the ever-present agenda of the Cuyahoga County Land Bank to exploit the exploited.  One of my most visited LinkedIn posts refers to proposed plans to end point-of-sale inspections in Maple Heights.  Here is the Scene Magazine article that couched the real estate scam into racial propaganda:

Sadly, I think that the strategy to "stage" development for preferred developers (like Bo Knez) - after an area (Slavic Village, Maple Heights, East Cleveland) is completely depreciated - will never work.  And, as much as the three stooges (Rokakis, Frangos, Brancatelli) want it to happen on the east side of Cleveland, it will cave in, because Attorney Marc Dann has turned on his old friends (Dann employed Hatha - Brancatelli's wife, Gail Glamm's bogus company).

I am waiting for African-American representatives, like Maple Heights Mayor Annette Blackwell, to catch on.  Stop letting your community be exploited.  The gig is up.

And, this is my plea for the Metroparks to hire an African-American manager for the county-wide trail systems that WILL eventually link the east side and west side to the Cuyahoga River Water Trail and the Towpath Trail in our Cuyahoga Valley National Park and National Heritage Area.  The Metroparks can stabilize our tax base.  They must also work with Marc Dann to recover lost tax revenue and to shut-down the Cuyahoga Land Bank, now.


( categories: )

Prediction- TPL working with WRLC for "Brighton Park"

Shanelle Smith Whigham worked at Cuyahoga County before being chosen to head up the state office of the Trust for Public Land.  She is "friends" with former Cuyahoga County treasurer, Jim Rokakis, now at WRLC.  She also got a Famicos house that benefited from a wite out of back taxes in Glenville.

Trust for Public Land is working with the Metroparks to "massage" the federal TIGER grant and complete the Lake Link Trail -Connecting Cleveland package, which includes the Red Line Greenway.  I believe that the bogus TPL study was meant to help WRLC leverage money for their "Brighton Park" - on the old Henninger Dump in Old Brooklyn - along the lower portion of Big Creek. Prove me wrong - but all of the players listed on the sign for the park, which was scheduled to open this spring - are now down.

Johnston Run - Mill Creek Watershed


Lennie Stover - ridiculous Lorain bike lanes are a priority funding in the current Transportation Improvement Plan - Ken Prendergast would love to see your analysis of the projects - I do NOT favor bike lanes on Lorain or Pearl or Broadway for that matter. Some of our thoroughfares need to be prioritized for TRANSIT Chris Stocking Eric Oberg with trails connecting our greenspaces and cultural destinations from these transit feeder routes. I am heartened (though it is a secret) that the first African-American mayor is being featured in this application round with a trail that ties into Broadway Ave. Miles Heights Village is a bit of local history that is being carefully restaged for the insiders to know real estate plans - I hate to say it but CSU is a hub for these backroom deals. Metroparks is also quietly engaged in trail planning on the east side of Cleveland...which I applaud - but not the real estate aspect of speculation in Garfield and Maple Heights. Sam Allard sharing. Last day to comment 4/13/2020

PID: 104941
SFY 2022
TOTAL COST $3,204,908

Planet of the Apes


I want life to return to "normal."  But it will not - sharing thoughts that I have provided in a library forum:


Just putting out ideas that will let us reopen -not claiming anything is a perfect idea. Aluminum tables would be better surface for outdoor tables -amending the wood table idea. And, we do have to consider our public perception as a vital community service.  Like the restaurant industry - libraries have to consider our delivery model. The economics of our situation will cause furloughs and lay-offs. Hardware/software/webware do/can most likely work from home. The rest of our staff can not. Some may want furlough/lay-offs to collect unemployment and stay home. Some may chose to work like grocery workers even if the situation is not ideal.

Like it or not, we are a tax-payer supported entity and votes and media coverage do matter.Transportation to and from work is a big issue - I know a lot of folks rely on RTA to get to work at Main and branches. That needs to be part of the staffing discussion. I don't think we can pretend that this situation will change overnight. We have to be prepared to reopen and to redefine a service model that is safe for staff and patrons. It will probably not look like it has this past year with increased social services like a food program and job/housing assistance.

****I know that the federally funded CDCs are already looking to provide some of these services in the area in and around Metrohealth. CARES Act monies allocations will be partially decided by the 17 Cleveland council representatives. I am in Ward 14 - where language access is being made a hot button. There has been a big push for CDCs to define their websites as information portals for services. DSCDO for one. Suburban libraries are in just as difficult a situation.


It is very disturbing to me that Clevelanddotcom is trying to disinfect Brancatelli:

Dave Vasarhelyi's job listed

Ohio Project Manager

Posted Date: November 28, 2020
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
The Project Manager is a key member of The Trust for Public Land’s Ohio team.  S/he works to acquire and conserve priority lands that enhance and expand access to our public lands, ensure local residents have close-to-home parks, trails and open space and help rural communities fulfill their visions for the landscapes that surround them. S/he uses a broad spectrum of nonprofit land acquisition techniques and sound business practices to produce tangible, lasting on-the-ground results. This position generates support for The Trust for Public Land through donations and the successful completion of real estate transactions.
Ohio’s health, quality of life, and prosperity are rooted in its magnificent natural heritage, from its many rivers and great lake to its vast pastoral plains, to its rugged hill county. The Trust for Public Land draws on our expertise in technology and outreach to help communities plan their conservation goals. Then we use our finance, legal, and transaction expertise to accomplish them. We have protected more than 2,400 acres in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, including the historic Stephen Frazee House, the Blossom Music Center, and the park’s main entrance. Each year, over two million people visit the park to enjoy its wealth of landscapes and cultural sites. Besides providing access to nature for millions of residents, the national park has greatly enhanced water quality by preventing development along the river.
Our land protection work ranges from neighborhood parks to national parks. By employing a can-do spirit and a creative, collaborative and entrepreneurial approach, we have developed a reputation as an organization that gets things done, and does so in partnership with local communities, neighborhoods and partner organizations. The person in this position will have a passion for conservation, a great sense of humor and a true zeal for real estate deals. S/he will play a lead role in advancing and accelerating projects that advance The Trust for Public Land’s “land for people” mission. 
  • Assumes primary responsibility for identifying, negotiating, documenting and closing real estate transactions with the assistance of Legal and Finance staff.
  • Explores potential projects by contacting landowners, nonprofit organizations, local elected officials, community leaders and municipal, county, state and federal public agency staff.
  • Assumes primary responsibility for securing interim financing and permanent public funding for land protection projects through existing or new public and private funding sources.
  • Develops and implements strategies for acquisition of priority properties and their conveyance to public agencies or other permanent stewards. 
  • Manages transactions, which involves researching and completing all phases of projects from initial outreach and landowner negotiation, supervision of appraisers, surveyors, and other consultants, to ultimate sale and conveyance to a public agency or non-profit partner.
  • Identifies areas in which TPL's interim protection strategy is needed for the preservation of open space lands of critical local, regional, or national importance; develops and maintains portfolio of potential projects; responds to inquiries by individuals, groups, agencies, etc…
  • Generates revenues for TPL through transactions and/or fundraising in the private sector.
  • Identifies and secures project funding from multiple sources. Good working knowledge of processes for obtaining public, private, foundation, and corporate funding. Captures contacts for TPL database and maintains landowner relationships for fundraising purposes.
  • Builds public awareness and understanding of TPL through outreach events, leading meetings, public speaking engagements, fundraising efforts and creating a public presence for TPL.
  • Collaborates with national-level Federal Affairs and Conservation Finance teams and local staff and partners to advance policy, funding and other legislative priorities.


  • May be involved in programmatic work, such as the coordination of a land acquisition program covering multi-parcel deals.
  • Other relevant duties as necessary.


  • Interacts with external professionals whom are involved with the purchase and sale of land, including public agency staff, non-profit partners, surveyors, lawyers, planners, appraisers, landowners and elected officials.
  • Should be comfortable with public speaking and with representing TPL to the public at outreach events.
  • Works independently with occasional guidance from supervisor.
  • Works with Federal Affairs, Conservation Finance, Marketing, Philanthropy, Legal, Finance and Field Support teams.


  • Bachelor's degree required.
  • Minimum of 4-5 years land protection project-related or equivalent land trust or non-profit experience. Experience with land acquisition projects preferred.
  • This position requires moderate to heavy travel.  Evening and weekend work should expected.


  • Superior written and oral communication skills.
  • Proficient in computer applications.  MSOffice Basics, Internet.
  • Demonstrated understanding of real property and tax law, land use planning techniques, environmental assessments, titles and government land acquisition policies/procedures. Politically astute and sensitive.
  • Strong, entrepreneurial negotiator, able to secure complicated real estate deals. 
  • Able to analyze and explain potential tax benefits and financial forecasting.  Management of contracts.
  • Able to work on complex projects with moderate level of supervision.
  • Able to initiate and participate fundraising efforts.

NOTE: Shanelle Smith is no longer at TPL's Cleveland office...