Saturday, August 27, 2005
Millenium Park was beautiful.
Now I am getting ready for classes to start this week.
Enjoy the rest of my photos from Chicago from here:
There are only a few - I was there on business, not fun.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
She was very excited about this particular toilet seat because it had only cost her $4.00.
You see, she is very thrifty and given our current income (me being poor as a student… because I am one), this was the find of the year.
I had made fun of her for buying such a not-so-heavy seat; it was small, but it was cushy. So I installed it and was happy to be the first one to christen it.
Not more then two weeks later, I was at the friendly neighborhood Home Depot buying a new sturdier and not-so-light toilet seat.
It comes down to this – You get what you pay for.
Now the CFA, with urging from the county commissioners, et al, is being asked change much of what they wanted in a new convention center. I m not going to rehash what has already been said in hundreds of forums, I just thought that this was going to be the next big project that would make a visible statement about how the city gets things done.
But what do I know?
Lord knows I am not the only person who thought of having a portion of the cost financed through the Port. I am sure the report from Turner took into consideration the substantial savings from historic tax credits – although I have not heard about it.
Yep, what do I know? I’m just an overly optimistic planning student.
Maybe there is a way to get more bang for the buck, it’s just going to be smaller, and cushier.
Monday, August 22, 2005
Within the next few days there will be more about that here, including photos.
So, I anticipate I will have a little more time to devote to this blog. However, with classes starting this Saturday, it will probably not be much more time then what I can do now.
I am creating this post using the new M$ Word plug-in by Google for Blogger. This is great for somebody like me since I must use some sort of word processor before actually posting. Let’s see how this works.
** UPDATE **
The posting of this worked well. I did have a picture that I added to the post in Word, but it did not load through the plug-in. I recommend it anyway.
I was amused by the article on Drive-In Theaters by Michael Sangiacomo in the Sunday PD, not that the article itself was amusing; in fact, it was nice to read this article. I did not know we had the third highest amount of drive-ins in the country.
The part that was amusing was the very last quote in the article from Rich Reding, who runs the Lynn Drive-in in Strasburg, Ohio.
"My dream is that someday we'll tear down a Wal-Mart to make room for a drive-in theater."
Monday, August 15, 2005
Monday August 15, 2005
OfficeMax picks suburban Chicago
By Jay Miller
11:17 am, August 15, 2005
Office supply company OfficeMax Inc. has decided to stay in the Chicago suburbs and will not move its headquarters to Northeast Ohio.
The decision is expected to cost the regional economy more than 600 jobs that now are at the headquarters of the company’s office superstore division in Shaker Heights.
“I understand that the decision was based on business factors out of our control,” said Shaker Heights Mayor Judy Rawson. The mayor said the move will cost the city of Shaker Heights and its school district between $600,000 and $700,000 a year in tax revenue.
OfficeMax, in a news release this morning, said the “headquarters consolidation will integrate retail and contract functions and is expected to strengthen operational efficiencies, enhance collaboration among departments, and reduce costs over time.”
Boise Cascade Corp. in 2003 bought the Shaker Heights company and last year took OfficeMax Inc. as its corporate name. OfficeMax now is based in Itasca, Ill. The news release stated that an exact location in suburban Chicago has not yet been determined.
OfficeMax spokesman Bill Bonner said the company will vacate the Shaker Heights office building that was the headquarters of the original OfficeMax.
Mr. Bonner said senior department managers were beginning today to evaluate staffing needs to determine how many of the Shaker Heights employees will be offered jobs in Illinois. He said the headquarters staff eventually could number 1,500, which is more than the company now employs in its Shaker Heights and Itasca offices.
Mr. Bonner said he did not know what the company’s lease obligations were in Shaker Heights.
Consolidation of the two merged companies’ headquarters staffs was foreseen when the merger took place two years ago, but the merged company did not begin its site selection process in earnest until earlier this year. At the outset, the Chicago region was the front-runner. But a concerted effort by the cities of Shaker Heights, Cleveland and Team NEO, the regional economic development organization, kept the region in the running.
Sam Duncan, president and CEO of OfficeMax, suggested as much in a statement in the news release.
“While our review resulted in the selection of Illinois, the decision was a difficult one,” he said. “We specifically want to acknowledge the efforts of the city of Cleveland, the city of Shaker Heights, Cuyahoga County, the state of Ohio and Team NEO and express our sincere appreciation for their coordinated approach.”
Robert Farley, president of Team NEO, was disappointed with the outcome but believes the local effort made a significant impact on the real estate professionals involved in the process, which tells him that the next similar opportunity that comes around is winnable.
“(OfficeMax) certainly looked at all the numbers, but there are a lot of personal preference issues involved,” he said, when it comes to choosing a headquarters location.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Bush Signs $286.4 Billion Highway Bill in IllinoisRegardless of what everyone else thinks, this was needed three years ago. And I personally think Bush would have done better in the election had he been able to get this signed into law then. All he had to do was call it what it is... a massive jobs bill. (pork and all).
By Nedra Pickler Associated Press Writer
Published: Aug 10, 2005
MONTGOMERY, Ill. (AP) - President Bush, saying it will help economic growth, on Wednesday signed a whopping $286.4 billion transportation bill that lawmakers lined with plenty of cash for some 6,000 pet projects back home.
With fanfare, Bush signed the more than 1,000-page highway bill into law at a plant operated by Caterpillar Inc., which makes road-building equipment. For the president, it was his second trip away from his Texas ranch this week to highlight recently passed legislation.
"If we want people working in America, we got to make sure our highways and roads are modern," Bush said. "We've got to bring up this transportation system into the 21st century."
"I mean, you can't expect your farmers to be able to get goods to market if we don't have a good road system," he said. "You can't expect to get these Caterpillar products all around the United States if we don't have a good road system."
The House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to pass the six-year highway and mass transit legislation just before heading home for a summer break. They left Washington carrying promises of new highway and bridge projects, rail and bus facilities, and bike paths and recreational trails they secured for their states and districts.
The president left Texas during a downpour and ended up speaking under a bright sun at the plant where a crane sported a sign saying "Improving Highway Safety for America." The Chicago suburb is represented by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., who introduced Bush at the event.
"I'm here to sign the highway bill because I believe by signing this bill, when it's fully implemented, there's going to be more demand for the machines you make here," Bush said, adding that a piece of Caterpillar equipment is used at his ranch.
"Because there's more demand for the machines you make here," he said, "there are going to be more jobs created around places like this facility."
Just think of the jobs this will provide for the Cleveland region: Innerbelt, West Shoreway Boulevard, Various transit hubs, and so on. many jobs spread out over many years. The payrol taxes alone will be a benifit for the city.
Now we need to make sure ANY current and future, local and state administrations don't screw it up.
Anne Canby of the Surface Transportation Policy Project responds on the enactment by saying:
Much has changed since Congress initiated debate on the new transportation law more than three years ago. Energy supplies are more uncertain, gasoline costs are much higher and rising, and there is a greater urgency to connect our national energy, health, environmental and transportation policies. Despite some improvements in the safety area, Congress largely ignored these broader issues, leaving state and local leaders to address them on their own. Adding to the challenge, the huge increase in Congressional project earmarks reduces the resources that will be available to state and local leaders to respond to these national issues.
It is now up to our governors, mayors, county executives and other elected officials to make better transportation choices for transit, walking, bicycling, freight movement, and land use and development, mindful of these broader national challenges. The STPP Coalition calls on state and local leaders to act decisively and fill this void.
Now we have a mission.
Friday, August 05, 2005
It appears Ohio State Senator,
The use of eminent domain for private development is not new to Ohioans - the examples of Norwood, Ohio and Lakewood, Ohio, though different, demonstrate how little citizens can do in the face of eminent domain.It is common knowledge that the citizens of Lakewood went above and beyond the call of citizen response. Or has she forgotten that a certain mayor lost her job over the proposed Westend project.
Why are these politicians wasting our resources on something like this instead of dealing with more important issues in
The Supreme Court only made it clear that Economic Development is a legitimate, valid “public use” of eminent domain. It does not give any government or other entity more of a say in what happens to your property. It is actually upholding the rights of the local government decided long ago.
In a response to various media,
APAExecutive Director and CEO, , AICP stated, "The court's decision reaffirms that cities and planners have a responsibility to ensure the power of eminent domain is used thoughtfully and consistently with implementation of a community's comprehensive development plan. The court's decision not to second-guess the local government's determinations of 'public use' ensures that carefully thought-out community plans will not be hindered by a higher standard of judicial review." Paul Farmer
APAhas written much on the Kelo case and decision. I won't repeat all those arguments and insights here. There are extensive resources on Kelo and the other Supreme Court cases available on the APAwebsite. I will, however, attempt to set the record straight on some vital facts:
No new powers were created as a result of the decision.
The decision simply upheld existing legal precedent dating back 100 years and reaffirmed many times in the last 50 years. The justices reaffirmed that economic development qualifies as a "public use" under the Fifth Amendment. No city in
can do anything after Kelo that they couldn't do before the ruling. The petitioners were the ones asking for new powers, namely the ability to have local eminent domain decisions subject to review by federal judges. America
Citizens are not more vulnerable to the use of eminent domain in light of the Kelo decision.
Just the opposite is true. Cities will be under more scrutiny than ever. Officials should welcome this spotlight and continue to pursue eminent domain in only the rarest circumstances.
State laws and constitutions governing eminent domain were not overturned.
In my home state of
, state law would have prevented the situation in Kelo from ever arising. Many states have eminent domain standards stricter than those under review in Kelo. The decision did nothing to change, amend, or undermine these laws. We are certainly going to see similar restrictions introduced in other states. Illinois
The Court affirmed that a thorough and engaged planning process protects the values of citizens and their community.
The most important aspect of the decision in Kelo is the fact that the Court specifically noted that communities are granted deference in the determination of public use based primarily on the fact that an open, participatory, and comprehensive planning process was involved. Planning is the appropriate forum for public debate and decision-making. Good plans outline the collective vision of a community. The Court explicitly challenged backroom deals and made it very clear that the ruling would have been different had the private entity initiated the project requiring exercise of eminent domain.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
The August 9th meeting of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Convention Facilities Authority has been canceled.
The next Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Convention Facilities Authority meeting will be on Tuesday, September 13, 2005, time and location to be announced.
As of :
ISSUE #3 -
CSD PROPOSED TAX LEVY (ADDITIONAL) CLEVELAND
(With 463 of 463 precincts counted)
FOR THE TAX LEVY 15008 35.32%
AGAINST THE TAX LEVY 27485 64.68%
There was no chance of it passing anyway. It will not pass in November. The state might as well take over the system now and get it over with.
If you must know or even care, I voted against it.
Not that you need an explanation, but I am an unemployed, full time graduate student with four kids who owns his house (well, the bank lets me think that anyway). None of my children go to the
However, none of this matters. There must be a concerted effort made to change the way the system is run. That includes, but is not limited to, opening up the books from the yearly audits, changing the way teachers are paid and realizing that the constitution states the state is responsible for our children’s education (as opposed to extracurricular activities) and must find an equitable way fund the individual systems.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
By jpalmer on Miscellaneous
(Hat tip: USMC Weazel)
Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that our government can track a cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington, and then track her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give them all a cow.
They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don’t we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it’s worked for over 200 years, and we’re not using it anymore.
The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments in a Courthouse? You cannot post “Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery”, and “Thou Shall Not Lie” in a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians! It creates a hostile work environment!
And last but not least . .
George Carlin said it best about Martha Stewart . “Boy, I feel a lot safer now that she’s behind bars. O.J. Simpson and Kobe Bryant are still walking around; Osama bin Laden too, but they take the one woman in America willing to cook, clean, and work in the yard, and haul her %&@ off to jail.”
Monday, August 01, 2005
I have from a very reliable source that there are big changes in store for the CFA. Most likely these changes will be coming from the
The next meeting is Tuesday, August 9 at 9:30 in Room 211
Until then (and after), keep an eye on this table.
More to come….