Friday, July 22, 2005

More Whiskey Island - The Grasshopper Learns

I ran into Ed Hauser today at A.J.Rocco's on Huron. I was actually going there to meet with John McGovern about a project we are trying to implement with the MGLCUA. I was not part of the whole conversation, but I was invited to sit with the two of them and listened as Ed give his spiel on WI.

Ed knows that I interned with CPC for a big portion of the Waterfront Plans (almost) public process, so he and I were comfortable talking about things. Something had been on my mind for a while, so I asked him why, in light of the Port's recent move, was nobody talking about the consequences this may have on said Waterfront Plan - particularly the area north and west of Municipal Stadium, otherwise known as the Harborfront District?

He then explained to me that that was the problem. Except for an interview with Port Director, Gary Failor in Crain's (published before the Port's withdrawal); nobody has really talked about what may happen with the Harborfront area. If they have, I have missed it; however, that is doubtful - even Ed said there has been little, if any mainstream information provided to the public. What he did tell me, and showed with his six-inch binder full of everything W.I. related, was that the Port's consolidation has nothing to do with the park. It does, however, have much to do with the proposed landform that will be built 1/4 mile north of the Island.

In the Crain's article, I did see Failor's comments where he talks about the same idea. He states:

We have to build additional land in the lake in order to accommodate the port, but more importantly we have to build additional land to accommodate the disposal of dredge materials from the river and lake bottom to allow ships to navigate. So instead of just building the space and never utilizing it, our concept, in concert with the city is to build the space, and then utilize it as the location we’d move the Port operations to. It would open up space on the lakefront for better public access.
Previously, I had questioned the reasoning behind Whiskey-head’s denunciation against anybody suggesting Cleveland follow through with its plan for filling in the marina and building new dock space to the north of Wendy Park. I have now seen the error of my ways. Perhaps I was biased in my opinions because of the work I did in City Hall. I don’t know; but I would like to publicly thank Ed Hauser for clearing this up for me.

See mass media, that wasn’t so hard.