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Headline, Real Estate, The Housing Crisis »

[10 Nov 2014 | No Comment | ]
Confronting Urban Population Decline

The fact that many American cities are experiencing significant population decline is old news. This trend has been occurring since 1950, particularly in the older cities that were once part of the “Great American Manufacturing Belt” that stretched across the northern tier of the country from New England to just west of the Mississippi River.

What is not old news, however, is that many of these same cities are now experiencing serious problems with vacant and abandoned properties.

These problems are relatively new in many places, and unlike population loss per se, the loss of taxpaying households poses an existential threat to the fiscal healthof these cities.

Economic Development, Featured, Good Ideas, Green Jobs, Headline »

[13 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]
Milwaukee’s Effort to Build a New Industry Around Clean Water

The three lake sturgeon in Discovery World’s “touch tank” aren’t given official names, but that hasn’t kept at least one employee in this newish Milwaukee educational center from christening them female superhero names like Tank Girl and She-Ra. As a Michigan native, I’d heard of Sturgeon before, but I wasn’t prepared to fall for them the way I did when I put my hand in the tank.

Sturgeon are big – in the wild, they’ve been known to reach up to seven feet long. And they’re unlike any other fish I’d seen. Their rough skin is scale-less and their spine is bony like dinosaurs you’ve seen pictured in kids’ books. In fact, sturgeon have been around for at least 200 million years. It’s a mind-blowing story of survival.

Headline »

[18 Jul 2014 | No Comment | ]
King James Returns to a Battered Kingdom

Inside of a short but salutary week, Northeast Ohio received a seemingly huge boost. Cleveland was chosen to host the 2016 Republican National Convention, and Lebron James announced he would be returning “home” to once again play with the Cavaliers.

The James’ announcement very quickly lit up newswires across the country, and Lebron’s gleaming visage graced the covers of sports pages everywhere.

Architecture, Brain Drain, Crime, Economic Development, Headline, Sprawl, Urban Planning »

[26 Jun 2014 | No Comment | ]
Canton: The Once and Future City

To me, Canton, Ohio, is a place that drips memories. I can see and feel them come at me in great waves as I drive down Cleveland Avenue to the still-beating heart of a once great city. Canton: a place I knew as an outsider from the suburbs; a place where I first saw both the solemn ugliness of the world and the gentle beauty of street life. This is a city of wonder and a city of ugliness. Even at its nadir in the 1990s, you knew Canton was a place that many once cared about deeply.

Headline, Politics »

[30 May 2014 | No Comment | ]
SB 310 — an Unprecedented Step Backwards for Ohio

On Wednesday, the Ohio Legislature approved a bill to freeze and dismantle the state’s clean energy provisions, making Ohio the first state to roll back its energy conservation and renewable energy standards. A vote on the House floor took place Wednesday, May 28; two weeks after the Ohio Senate passed the corporate polluter giveaways, known as Senate Bill 310. Governor Kasich has indicated that he will sign the legislation on Thursday, May 29.

Featured, Headline »

[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.

Featured, Headline »

[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.

Featured, Headline »

[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 …

Headline »

[4 Apr 2014 | No Comment | ]
5 Reasons Clevelanders Should Reject the Latest Pro-Sports Giveaway

Hello! If I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting you, allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Will Tarter. I love Cleveland, its people, its traditions, its teams, its institutions, its past, its present and its future.

It’s with the future of our community in mind, as a taxpayer and a citizen, that I am voting “No” on Issue 7, otherwise known as the “Sin Tax.” Issue 7 will appear on the ballot on May 6th, 2014. This proposed issue will primarily tax Cuyahoga County residents, potentially bringing in an average of $13.5 million, each year, for the next 20 years, totaling $270 million that is 100% intended to fund maintenance on the professional sports facilities.

Featured, Headline »

[20 Mar 2014 | No Comment | ]
Traveling Through Pennsylvania by Train

I shot these on my trip from Cleveland to D.C. Tuesday, out the window of the cafe car on Amtrak’s Capitol Limited route.
Pennsylvania is such a beautiful state. It’s really fun and interesting to travel at ground level through tiny communities like you get a chance to on Amtrak.

My journey took me 10 hours and left at two in the morning. But it only cost me $130 round trip and I was able to sleep for more than half the journey anyway. When I do this I take the savings …