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[12 May 2014 | No Comment | ]
The Faithful Press on Cleveland’s Giant, Outdoor Chandelier

Here‘s Cleveland’s “architecture critic” Steven Litt defending the construction of a giant, outdoor chandelier in downtown Cleveland.
The crux of Litt’s argument seems to be if a woman from Vermont was standing under it and taking a picture of it, criticisms of this project can’t be legitimate. Litt reported on this project many times and each time he alluded to unnamed “critics” who think the project is tacky and/or a waste of money (The city of Cleveland, which has a 54 percent child poverty rate, contributed $1 million to the construction …

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[9 May 2014 | No Comment | ]
Wealthy Suburbs Help Keep Pro Sports on Cleveland’s Payroll

The battle over Issue 7, whether or not to renew the sin tax on alcohol and cigarettes, revenues from which finances upgrades to our professional sports facilities, ended up being the main event in Tuesday’s primary here in Cuyahoga County. Ultimately, Cuyahoga County residents voted 56%-44% to continue the tax for another two decades.

The arguments for and against the sin tax, at least as it is currently defined, have been laid out quite effectively and ad nauseum; I’m not here to rehash them. It was nearly impossible for anyone watching, listening to, or attending a Cavs or Indians game to avoid being hit over the head with pro-Issue 7 ads.

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[2 May 2014 | No Comment | ]
Do Sports Facilities Make Downtown Cleveland “Strong?”

By Roldo Bartimole
The claim is that we need more public investment to keep Cleveland strong. Does the evidence prove this? You know the answer.
On Sunday April 6 the Plain Dealer ran an article based on a study done for the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was meant to measure the value of sports facilities to our community.
Hiring a firm whose business essentially serves the industry it is asked to assess suggests you don’t really want a straight answer. You seek a rigged game.
The truth is the study done by a Texas based …

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[22 Apr 2014 | No Comment | ]
Baltimore’s Waterfront to Get Yet More Parking

Fancy office towers, hotels, museums, and tourist attractions line the contours of Baltimore’s Chesapeake Bay harborfront. So too, do massive parking garages and interstate-sized roadways that feed them. What does the future hold? According to a new plan, still more parking.
Like much of America, Baltimore waterfront development since the age of cars has been designed for the age of cars. That looks likely to continue as the waterfront grows.
The Greater Baltimore Committee and Waterfront Partnership hired architecture firm Ayers Saint Gross to prepare Inner Harbor 2.0, an overarching new plan for …

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[17 Apr 2014 | No Comment | ]
Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Cincinnati and Recovery from the Recession

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland just released a report showing economic data from Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Cincinnati. The idea was to track how these three cities are recovering from the recession.

Here’s the three area’s employment rates, before the recession and currently.

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[14 Apr 2014 | No Comment | ]
Is Cleveland Strong?

This picture just blows my mind.
This is a sign encouraging people to renew the “sin tax” in Cuyahoga County, a tax on alcohol and cigarettes that subsidizes pro sports teams.
This was taken in East Cleveland. Paid supporters of the “sin tax” have been plastering Cleveland’s vacant lots with these signs, urging people to “Keep Cleveland Strong” by renewing the tax.
Keep Cleveland Strong. Man, the gall behind that statement.
That’s the narrative Cleveland’s political and business establishment is always pushing. I heard someone from this campaign say if Cleveland’s sports stadiums start …

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[8 Apr 2014 | No Comment | ]
An Art Gallery and Neighborhood Change

Right now I live in Cincinnati, Ohio, in a neighborhood called Northside. It’s about a 15-minute drive north of downtown. From my bedroom window I can see a pizza place, hair salon, a couple tax centers, a rad art-collective-space called Chase Public, and a boutique shop I’ll never venture into. I think if I lean I can see a chile place on the corner. Largely, the area is populated by long-time locals, but many (like myself) have moved here after a bit of redevelopment and renewal. While this renewal, on …

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[3 Apr 2014 | No Comment | ]
The Big Road Solution: A Critical Look at the Opportunity Corridor

The Opportunity Corridor is a $331 million road through the east side of Cleveland that has been presented to residents as an economic development project. The residents of these neighborhoods, such as Kinsman, are struggling with poverty (median household income $13,300) and serious health issues, including high rates of asthma and infant mortality rates worse than Zimbabwe.
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) believes that neighborhoods have declined due to poor highway access, stating “by the middle of the 20th century, trucking had become more prominent in transporting industrial goods. This …

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[31 Mar 2014 | No Comment | ]
Tolerating Hate Speech and Misogyny on the News Websites

My friend, a beautiful, intelligent native American woman, wrote a column this weekend in the Plain Dealer explaining why she thinks the Indians’ Chief Wahoo is offensive. It was brave, and respectful and well written.

To the surprise of no one, the comments section immediately devolved into a cesspool ignorance and depravity that has come to characterize commentary on local news issues — particularly when there is a woman or minority concerned.

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[28 Mar 2014 | No Comment | ]
Roldo on The Pro-Sports Subsidy Machine in Cleveland

Venerated Cleveland reporter Roldo Bartimole wrote the following item about the “Sin Tax” up for renewal this May in Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County. The tax would provide some $300 million for the city’s three professional sports franchises, for facilities upgrades and repairs. Citizens groups have raised questions about the fairness of this tax, which is issued on cigarette and alcohol, and is paid disproportionally by poor people, contributing to the profits of billionaire sports team owners. A powerful political, business and media coalition is pushing for the tax, even though there has been little analysis or public debate about the spending proposals. Roldo, one of Cleveland’s most knowlegable and sophisticated political observers, says they are pulling out all the stops to delude taxpayers: