Community Meeting on Rockefeller Park 6 - 8 PM TODAY

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 12:17.
03/25/2009 - 18:00
03/25/2009 - 20:00


Zack Reed and Chris Bongorno Univercity Circle Inc UCI at 3.25.09 Doan Brook Rockefeller Park meeting You would think that I was Mr. Reed's publicist - getting his photo everywhere - but I had no idea that Mr. Reed would be attending this meeting in the Cleveland Wards of Sabra Pierce Scott and Mamie Mitchell.
Ah hah I thought!   Gerrymandering!  
It didn't take Mr. Reed long to adapt to the new play book...
And although I am not cynical about Zack, I am very cynical about UCI and their sincerity in involving the neighborhoods in planning. 
Chris Ronayne and his aide Debbie Berry were helping run the event.  Thinking of what Norm Roulet would say,  I asked if there was a web site where the community discussion  about the Doan Brook and RockefellerPark  was hosted.  
Each of the organizations involved, UCI, Parkworks, and the Landscape planners quickly said "YES" - on our websites.
I asked them if any of their websites were inter-active and allowed community discussion, and all three said "NO".
I suggested to the audience to take the discussion to Realneo – where it would be interactive and open.
So my belief is that this is another top down Cleveland "plan" - where the community is involved as "cover".   The primary UCI objective was a 4 million fed fund for intersection improvement at the two traffic circles at 105 and the Parkway.   This is the money that paid the consultants.   The money which was to go to the Doan Brook as mitigation of the Hopkins runway extension was no where to be seen…that money has sort of vanished…
I was glad to see many Realneo regulars at the meeting including Sudhir, Kevin C, Tori M.  Ray S.  And I was glad to hear comments from neighbors that were very articulate, informed, and committed.  Those neighbors should be running the show - not the "consultants" hired via UCI.


March 25, 2009
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Hitchcock Center for Women
1227 Ansel Road (north of Superior)

University Circle Inc. and ParkWorks invite friends and neighbors to a community meeting to discuss recent planning efforts for Rockefeller Park.  The Rockefeller Park Strategic Plan- the result of a two-year long effort involving numerous stakeholder groups- envisions a revitalized park with enhanced connections to adjoining neighborhoods and the institutions of University Circle, as well as other recreational and ecological improvements.  
The meeting is being hosted by City Council members Sabra Pierce Scott, Kevin Conwell, TJ Dow, and Mamie Mitchell in partnership with University Circle Inc., ParkWorks, Famicos Foundation, Glenville Development Corporation, and St. Clair Superior Development Corporation.
Free parking is available on-site. RTA route #3 stops at Superior Avenue and Ansel Road. Visit for additional transit information.


Zack-Reed-Chris-Bongorno-UC.jpg49.13 KB

Great meeting!

This was a great meeting today, which gave the opportunity to connect with several local leaders on positive change.  City Planners, Chris Ronayne, Bob Brown, Fred Collier, and Councilwoman Sabra Pierce Scott - as well as lead designer Jim McKnight.  I highly recommend attending these ongoing weekly dialogues to engage community, they offer great networking opportunities.  Would love to reconvene with the realneo team on discoveries.   Great stuff !   Good to see Martha and Jeff there as well.

Follow the money. So where is the $4 million?

So where is the $4 million?

I don't see the rainbarrel plans - water planning here is pure bull shit - all pure bull shit.

Rip them apart, Jeff... I can't stomach these people any more

Disrupt IT

Inclusive Dialogue and opportunities to better the plan included

Norm, the meeting offered anyone the opportunity to add input and offer changes.  Rain water barrels are the specialty of Doan Brook Watershed Partnership - they must know what they're doing, right?  And those groups , I'm sure, have that in mind, right?  Creative, right?.  There are some pretty significant installations included in this plan - and a whole bunch of collaborating organizations are sharing in the project.  This ultimately pays the people who did the work.  It does offer a bit of different perspective, though - I wasn't really dwelling on how the 'spoils' were spent.   Perhaps I should reconsider - but I like some of those folks - they are good people, fundamentally.  If we can help them with ideas (as long as they are recognized and given credit) and the greater good is done, why not play that role?

Ideally it would be good to be recognized and rewarded though - folks, you would think, would get restless when the ideas of others (like ours on realneo) get repackaged and sold as someone elses.   So we'll see how the therapeutic garden application - which is an ASLA specialty concept I identified and included for KSV's mission months ago (with my spin to include functionalilty in what is planted)- gets utilized and credited.  Jim McKnight is ASLA certified, with an office in the Caxton - so it will be interesting to see if he'll endorse this and acknowledge the win to the nth power and endorse my concept here.  Today Ray Saikus of Citizens' Vision (the same of Whiskey Island, let's truly Honor Ed Hauser fame?) presented a hand-sketch of a 'Hope Garden' tied to the VA (exploring a 'global gardens unified' idea in conjunction with 'woo the VA hospital and treat PTSD idea') - an identical concept I shared with Frank Mills and many others several weeks ago.

What would Eddie Hauser think?  How did the City reward Ed?

I shared the opportunity long back to unify the cultural gardens and celebrate globalism.  He had this concept displayed on an easel -it looked like it had been drawn up (by hand) very recently.  It's interesting no one really saw or captured this particular opportunity, I alluded to earlier.   Mike Walton of NEO Restoration Alliance and partner on Open Roads Institute's studies involving African American needs - is the green jobs, garden, green roof lead on this project and has been for a year.  I just offered some truly enriching ideas to make the project work better.   I have emails from Hitchcock board members applauding these inclusions and this short form proposal, wanting to drive it.  We can use this model anywhere in the country, though - but why not here?

These therapeutic gardens, that are also functional - make more sense than anything - especially given the workforce development opportunity that can woo stimulus dollars, grant money and so on.  The value added vegetation, the therapeutic value of herbals that an be incorporated within the garden, and of course the fact that facilities like Hitchcock benefit from the intergenerational and connecting aspects add even more value to the proposal.  Hitchcock's not the only one, though - this can be applied to any VA hospital,  correctional facility, and mental institution.  So why doesn't the realneo crew move on this and execute all over?  Don't forget elder care facilities like Judson.  Here's the gift to realneo - go team go!  Who's in?  Facilitated Forums make the whole thing go on the other side - combining cutting edge methodologies like Open Space, AI , and Appreciative Inquiry (my speciality area) to foster stakeholder connectedness.  For the actual short form proposal I submitted, see next comment below.

By the way,  Sabra Pierce Scott just informed me she recommended NPI (Reichtell)  to Mike Walton to support the Hitchcock work now - any objections to that? I raised the need to be truly collaborative in this community.  These folks aren't going to skip town, from what I can tell.  Are you suggesting assasination?  Let's at least be real.  Everyone can't be the enemy- you have to look at helping folks do the right things. I think Chris and a lot of these folks are fundamentally good people trying their best.   In the end, people in this town know whose ideas are whose - they should be able to figure out who acts corruptly.   So call them on it if they are really wasting money. The plan looked pretty extensive with many partners - but in another sense - this is how everyone can 'assure pay' in hard times - keep it 'In the Circle' - no pun intended.   Good points all around -  stay cool,  Norm.  There is a way - alert the community if this is misspending.   I hadn't really looked at that angle, but hmmm... Salaries gotta come from somewhere.  The fountain that filters the water in a sexy way, prior to 'draining into Doan' is pretty darn cool, but is this what we want to see in current leadership?   You raise a good point.   If they weren't in before, The rainbarrels will go in now that you innovated, Norm, lol.

How are you really going to 'rip em apart'(and why) is my question.  Why not instill the right policies and suggestions and be paid consultants because we know the shiznit, so to speak?   These aren't fundamentally bad people, are they?

In many cases, it appears so. Follow the money.

Follow the money.

Disrupt IT

In search of money well spent around Rockefeller Park


in appreciation of your belief "Rockefeller Park Strategic Plan" people must be innately good and this effort you praise must be great - and because the meeting leaders told the public meeting their plans are online (in Jeff Buster's comments above) I looked for some internet resources to show me where is our $4 million... our "Rockefeller Park Strategic Plan".

I see ParkWorks has a website with a page bragging about spending lots of money and years on a plan... but no plan. What does Parkworks really do and why does it exist anyways? What does it cost society and why...? You vouching for them, Sudhir?!?!...

ParkWorks is helping to shape an exciting future for Rockefeller Park as part of the Greater University Circle initiative. ParkWorks is leading a strategic planning process for Rockefeller Park in partnership with University Circle, Inc. and a variety of other partners.

Really impressive

Anyways... no good "google" results for "Rockefeller Park Strategic Plan"... if you search harder, you do find a paragraph about it on the University Circle website...

Rockefeller Park Strategic Plan
In partnership with ParkWorks, UCI is turning this untapped and underused resource into a great public space once again. Working with Siteworks Studio landscape architects of Charlottesville, Virginia and McKnight Landscape Architects of Cleveland, UCI has created an exciting plan for the remaking of Rockefeller Park and the restoration of Doan Brook. The plan identifies key areas for major interventions and provides a set of forward-thinking, environmentally-responsible design elements that will make the park a more accessible public space.

Wow, I feel informed and well served.

I took a look at the City of Cleveland Master Plan to see if it had anything about this and what I found for University Circle and area is a huge, glossy 5.5 MB PDF brochure from a few years back... I think we need to take a good look at everything this city is calling a plan... certainly everything UCI calls a plan...

I looked at the website of the local firm doing the design... ... must be something there... nothing about a "Rockefeller Park Strategic Plan"... and I come away wondering how they got this gig... there must be a catch... what did they get paid... ?

Finally, I thought, perhaps the out-of-town professionals would have their act together, and they do, for PR... and what they are promoting in VA and online sounds like a very different act than is playing out here in unreal NEO... and that is to be explored... From Siteworks, in Charlottesville, VA...

Rockefeller Park at University Circle
Cleveland, Ohio

This 50-acre public park master plan is a collaborative project, jointly managed by Siteworks and McKnight Associates. It consists of a complex layering of ecological and circulation systems with prominent institutional and community stakeholders. The park connects prominent civic institutions including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Botanical Gardens, Case Western Reserve University and the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center, along with historical neighborhoods on either side of the Doan Brook valley.

Siteworks is currently working to consolidate efforts to transform traffic patterns, create a more viable pedestrian atmosphere, generate meaningful new park spaces and restore the stream corridor with multicultural vitality. These efforts are taking place via a series of meetings with public stakeholders, an integrated team of designers, park advocates, museum officials, artists, film-makers, neighborhood organizations and local officials.

The PFD they provide is a 1-page promo item - useless.

Were you provided with any good hard material to take home and review?

While there is nothing useful I could find online on any site about the "Rockefeller Park Strategic Plan", I did see a reference to the new "Uptown District" website... thought hey, that's University Circle.. and the site is "new"...  $ millions invested... that must have something...

They have a news section... hasn't been updated since July 2008...

They have a blog... hasn't had a posting this year...

What is our community spending on all these people and all this inefficiency.

Was anyone from Siteworks at the meeting tonight? They may know what they are doing.

Disrupt IT

We need a full accounting of what everyone was paid

It seems everyone listed above has a financial stake in this project - lots of "non-profits" and planning "professionals" getting paid lots of money from the City of Cleveland citizens, as usual. Where was the competitive bidding - where was the design competition - who hired who here - how were we consulted? What are the qualifications of any of these people?

And, let me guess... they spent all our environmental remediation money on the little nonprofiteers big salaries... but they say this is a great use of Obama's future economic stimulus money... just send the suburbs people more money and they'll fix this damn city...

More diversion of public money to the usual suspect, who are not providing good service or value for the money... probably are not particularly well qualified to work on such a project in the first place.

As usual, the citizenry has been snowed.

Where are the books and public records of this project?

Jeff and Martha... this sounds like your kind of issue, connecting to your neighborhood and having so much to do with Shaker and the environmental leadership of the day, there and all around here...

Disrupt IT

How is Doan Brook Strategy related to this?

If you go to you see Daon Brook Partnership, based at the Shaker Nature Center, demonstrating another non-profit using lots of public money to protect the environment of Doan Brook, which is the main thing that needs to be planned about Rockefeller Park... the overflowing of sewage water and other contamination there.

Doan Brook Partnership mentions on their website concerns about Rockefeller Park, but no specific reference to being part of the planning here... what is their involvement in all this?

$ millions wasted here... $ millions wasted there... shit overflowing everywhere...shitty plans everywhere... skyrocketing sewage bills... most impovershed city in America... economy tanking and far from bottom... you leaders have much to be proud oof, and should all go to Disney World... and stay!

Disneyland is what you are trying to make Cleveland look like, so go live in Orlando!

Disrupt IT

Short Form Proposal to Hitchcock Center for Women


The Hitchcock Center for Women: A Stakeholder Based Model for Transformational Outcomes


This short-form proposal details the basic pieces to help achieve great outcomes for Hitchcock Center and all its stakeholders. The pieces include facilitated forums to induce a culture shift toward loving, serving behavior, a state-of-the-art, therapeutic and productive Memorial garden system, a value-added products facility, and inclusion of ongoing support mechanisms for residents of the center long after the six month term currently used as the key metric for success of the Center.

I’ve recently had the distinct pleasure of meeting Sherry through my colleague and associate Vernon Sweatte. Her story, having been one of those residing within your halls and since completing your hallmark program and achieving remarkable things - now as Special Assistant to the Mayor, and now a member of the Center’s Board of Directors, is inspiring and uplifting. As with correctional facilities, there is no match for having been one of those residing within the facility itself and experiencing all the programs afforded them have to offer. Not only is her insight and experience invaluable in helping bring strategic success and new opportunity to the Center, but as part of this Systems Theory Framework, she could play a tremendous role as a leader and mentor to the women going through their own personal transformations at the Center.

Step One: Culture Shift

So imagine the center as one system. The goal would be to energize and engage all the members of the center to connect and bond with one another and create a more loving and serving culture in the process. There may already be a good foundation for this at the center, but to move the center more in this direction, I recommend a facilitated forum – a workshop where ALL stakeholders of this system:

Staff, Security, Patients, Family of Patients, and Alumni, for example would all be the stakeholders involved at Hitchcock – we want to create new opportunities and a better quality of life for all the Center’s stakeholders. All would be included in the forum, which would employ the very best of cutting edge, positive change methodologies: Gestalt, Appreciative Inquiry, Open Space, and World Café. This forum would be a chance for all the stakeholders listed above to air their authentic feelings about life in the Center, stories of success from those who have graduated out of the Center, and building on this positive core to reach new co-created opportunities that might not have been thought possible before. The end outcomes are actually derived by the process itself – but a physical outcome of action plans and commitments will ensure accountability on the part of all participant stakeholders. Ultimately we want to create a shared vision and stewardship of this collaborative culture created so everyone is informed about what is happening and why.

Step Two: Therapeutic, Productive and Aesthetic Garden and Building Design

There are several cutting edge Therapeutic Gardens in existence in the world, and we’ve been researching some of the best of these. Interestingly enough – two of the world’s leading centers for therapeutic garden design and design implementation are here in Ohio – in Columbus and Cincinnati.

Another excellent resource we have tapped into is the ASLA – American Association of Landscape Architects. This thought center is on the cutting edge of therapeutic garden designs for Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the Disabled, the mentally ill (i.e. dementia), and more specific to Hitchcock – the Chemically Dependent. But in the spirit of employing and engaging local leaders in the field we have recruited local foods guru Maurice Small as a key advisor and consultant to support our cause. Maurice helps to grow and distribute organic quality foods to our local businesses and through City Fresh – to the disadvantaged and poor in the form of affordable food packages (shares). For actual details of implementation and budget construction we need the following key pieces of information

Exact acreage available for growing and cultivating

Access to these locations for surveying and documentation purposes (photos, video):

Locations for value-added product creation

Locations for green design consulting on the facility

Locations for diverse growth styles – vertical farming , spin farming, aquaculture

Time and Access for soil and water quality testing – and alternatives (i.e. raised beds)

Assessment of the Water use plan currently used by Hitchcock – implementing Rain Water Barrels to reduce water bills

Assessment of the detailed schedule of and for the Center – determining how rotations will be filled to match optimal planting, tending, and cultivating times with Stakeholder availability.

Qualitative interviews of the key stakeholders involved.

The current Cost Structure for the Center – financials related to supply acquisition for all foods currently, and shifts to local production and vocational / therapeutic training to mitigate costs.

Roof and Building Structural details to determine if Green Roof and Energy Efficient Design are a good fit.

Exact list of key strategic partners of the Center – to determine new value partners and map the existing ones of the Center - these relationships should be cultivated for fundraising and event planning opportunities.

Organizational Chart of the Center, including Board, Trustees, etc – to understand infrastructure

Identification of the lowest cost providers and suppliers locally for

Fruit Trees

Mushrooms (Outdoor or Indoor Options)

Aquaculture (If Pond available – or Indoor)

Herbals - for both added value foods and medicinal / therapeutic use

Fermented forms of value added vegetation - mead, tempeh, Kombucha, saurkraut

Other high value produce, and produce most needed by Center



After this information is collected a full proposal will be drawn up, including sources and uses of funds, exact budget, and detailed action steps for each of the above. There is a unique opportunity to generate wealth to all parties involved, in the form of a win to the nth power.

We of Kade Social Ventures thank you for this opportunity to share a unique vision to transform correctional facilities of all types, VA hospitals, Centers for the disabled, the elderly, and so forth so new vocational opportunities are created to replace the level of crime and delinquency prevailing in this community. For this project , we would tailor our approach and design to best treat all these various illnesses at the source of many addictions.



14 million dollars vanished?

  What did happen to the 14 million dollars in mitigation funds?

The money which was to go to the Doan Brook as mitigation of the Hopkins runway extension was no where to be seen…that money has sort of vanished…

 (Apologies...many of the original links from posts to the pictures of a flooded Doan Brook have been corrupted or no longer work...sorry...enjoy the pictures).

worth a listen...

WCPN's Sound of Ideas talks to:

Stan Bullard Crain's Cleveland Business
Henry Gomez The Plain Dealer
Dan Harkins Cleveland Scene
Mark Puente The Plain Dealer

and they discuss how Cleveland plays.

You can hear Dan Harkin nail it and Henry Gomez use concilliatory phrases like "coincidental" in reference to the Santiago-LaCopa-Huberty link....come on Gomez, you've been on it so far, don't pansy out now....

I expect the Feds already know...

This isn't a Bratenahl Police investigation... this is a Federal Investigation.

I imagine the first thing Obama did, when he became President, was call the FBI and say clean out the corruption in our failing urban communities and governments so we may rebuild our urban infrastructure correctly... starting with Cleveland.

Expect huge federal task force efforts here, for years. I don't think anyone corrupt will get through this net... lots of softer criminals will bargain and turn on "friends", and this year's Christmas parties will be bleak...

The Feds (many divisions) will finish what the Mike White investigation barely started... all to be continued for years!

This makes living in Cleveland right now very interesting... thanks for the entertaining self-destruction, leadership!

Disrupt IT

I will listen to the replay

Sometimes the show goes so fast that what seems like a well-thought-out remark on the way out ends up sounding awkward. I wasn't trying to be concilliatory. I was being careful not to convict someone who hasn't been convicted. That said, I am very intrigued by the fact that La Copa has entered the corruption probe's realm.

I posted more of my thoughts on my blog today:

Thanks ...

Henry Gomez

one reason you are the reporter

 and I'm not!

Keep diggin' Henry - we love ya!


a little time for reflection - love all, serve all?

Hey, its a hard thing to do- but fundamentally we need to strive to love all people.  So I am really, really trying.  Guys, give me some hope here.

its been reported that

its been reported that pope john, the previous polish pope had a conversation with his great assistant and the assistant was amazed that pope john never forgave the nazi's for the murder torture etc., that he witnessed in poland as a priest  - pope john -"i may love the nazi's but i don't forgive them -  thats for god to do is to forgive them"
my prayer that i chant many times a day-
"change their mind - expose them- if not destroy them" 
what ever they are attemptimg to do to us -do to them first (thats evil)
so the folks or forces that are out to murder me and yogi or set us up etc.,  charactor assinate - me yogi and the almighty e.t.'s forces give them chances-
i add the names or forces at the beginning-
the same prayer for the great spirits humans etc., that help us -  protect all that help us-
many times ones worst adversary is really ones best friend-
"for every action there  action there is an equal and
oppsite reaction"
so when 757 brayton ave., mention in posts next door disfunctional preditors attempt to muder me yogi by running their car truck in the drive to have the carbon monixcide  muder us - i call the police and most times the police catch them and order them not run their car truck and i video also-
well  the next few things that happen in life to me and yogi are really good and benificial-
so do i wish bad things happen to us - no -
but i know good thimgs are on the way-
peace yogi guy

If we only wished it so...

 You know, Sudhir, I try to understand your feelings, and I think I do. But, what I think what gets lost in the shuffle is the feeling, hard work and aspirations of many, many people who work so hard, plan so hard, and hope so hard to make Cleveland a better city.

The fact is, we have people steering this city into the gutter, for nothing else other than their personal gain; or to put it less delicately - pure selfishness; or more bluntly - the deadly sin of GREED.

It is just a tad dismaying to have your hard work ignored. But it is a bitter pill to swallow to find out your hard work was ignored because of personal greed. Lets not even go into the fact that all these selfish, greedy "representives" are paid with our tax dollars.

In Jewish philosophy there is a saying- "Do not put a stumbling block in front of a blind person".

Now what is LOVE?


Love is all you need

 The Beatles.