Thursday, January 25, 2007

Change for Change

Cleveland Colectivo Friends,

It is our pleasure and honor to personally invite you to "Change for Change," the Cleveland Colectivo's very first fund-raising event. The Cleveland Colectivo is a "giving circle" that was founded in 2005 and is now in its second year of funding innovative community projects.

The focus of the event is an auction. Artists from around the region are creating and donating what we are calling "Social Change Banks," an idea that builds upon the simple "change bank" that many of us grew up with: saving our pennies, nickels and dimes for a year before donating them to an organization in the community. A social change bank links the act of an individual saving money to the mission of the Colectivo: Clevelanders coming together to strengthen our community through collective investments that identify and nurture innovative projects. Ultimately, each social change bank will be auctioned off and 100% of funds raised will go directly to the 2007 grantees of the Cleveland Colectivo.

We feel your presence at this event is very important because of your dedication to community issues. This event will be a fantastic opportunity to both meet new people and reacquaint yourself with familiar faces who believe in Cleveland and its surrounding communities. Won't you join us? Food and beverages will be provided. In addition to the auction funds, 10% from the sales of all regular gallery items will go to the Colectivo and its 2007 grantees!

The event will take place on Saturday, February 10th from 7-10 pm at the Local Girl Gallery at 16106 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood. For complete information on the Cleveland Colectivo, visit Thank you for your time and we look forward to seeing you on February 10 th!


The Cleveland Colectivo

Monday, January 22, 2007

Cleveland School Voucher Application Help Session

If you live in Cleveland, you might be able to receive financial help to send your child to a high-quality private school!

St. Mark Lutheran School at 4464 Pearl Road will offer a free Cleveland School Voucher Help Session to area families on Saturday, February 10, from 9am to 1pm.

A representative from the Cleveland Voucher Program will be present to answer your questions and assist you with the application process. There will also be a representative with information from the Lead Safe Living Campaign and free Child ID Fingerprinting Kits.

Please call 216-749-3545 or go to for a list of what you need to bring to complete your application.

Applications are due February 28th!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Guitarmania 2007

In October 2006, the PD reported that Cleveland would be having its next Guitarmania in the summer of 2007.
GuitarMania to return next summer
Friday, October 20, 2006
Barb Galbincea
Plain Dealer Reporter

Don't fret. After striking a chord in two previous appearances, they're set for an encore.

Giant guitars, part of United Way's popular public art project that debuted in 2002 and was repeated in 2004, will return to Cleveland streets next summer.

Details of GuitarMania are scheduled to be announced Oct. 30.

Individuals, companies and groups sponsor the 10-foot-high Fender Stratocaster guitars, which artists and celebrities then paint, sculpt or otherwise decorate.

The resulting artwork is displayed for several months on Cleveland streets and then auctioned at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

The project has raised more than $1.6 million for health and human services programs supported by United Way of Greater Cleveland and for the Rock Hall's education fund.

Among past celebrity designers have been Yoko Ono, whose guitar was auctioned for $105,000 in 2002; rocker Graham Nash; actress Liv Tyler; pop artist Peter Max; and even three painting pachyderms from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
The website was launched sometime ago, but not mania people knew about it. Many of the proposals are posted. It looks as if it is mostly local artist. However, there may be people up there I dot recognize.
Some of the names I am glad to see up there include:

Jim Lanza
Gauri Torgalkar
XinXin Liu
Craig Petersen*
Daniel Radke
Dan Broache
Jim BycznskiuK

Just to name a few.
You can check it out here.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

More "Innerbelt Re-Evaluation"?

Yesterday, Crain's Cleveland reported on ODOT's presentation to Cleveland City Council regarding the Innerbelt. With new Governor Strickland's replacement of all the management at ODOT and the increasingly strong public outcry, we are likely to see more "re-evaluations."

There will be a meeting in Tremont on February 1.

Inner Belt plan is being re-evaluated


3:06 pm, January 10, 2007

The Ohio Department of Transportation continues to backpedal on its plans for rebuilding and reconfiguring the Innerbelt Freeway that serves downtown Cleveland.

An ODOT official told Cleveland City Council today that the state agency is re-evaluating the impact of the project on city streets and is planning to replace the existing bridge across the Flats with two new bridges. ODOT is responding to complaints from local community groups and businesspeople worried about the impact of the changes on their neighborhoods and businesses.

The complaints have come from businesses ranging from fast-food restaurants to the Cleveland Indians; the latter worries that the closing of some on-off ramps will make it harder for fans to get to Jacobs Field.

At a hearing today before City Council, Craig Hebebrand, ODOT’s Innerbelt project manager, stood by the plan to close several downtown exits but said the agency is considering changes that would relieve traffic at two key downtown intersections that will see additional traffic when the ramps close — at East Ninth Street and Carnegie Avenue and at East 30th Street and Chester Avenue.

“We’re not going to gridlock city streets,” Mr. Hebebrand pledged.

Mr. Hebebrand told City Council members that the stretch of freeway from the Shoreway to the bridge across the Flats on Interstate 90 — called the “trench” — has the highest level of accidents of any stretch of freeway in the state, even though it is not the busiest. He said the trench averages two accidents a day.

The ODOT plan, Mr. Hebebrand said, would cut that accident rate by closing several ramps at Broadway, Carnegie, Prospect, St. Clair and Lakeside avenues and reconfiguring the remaining interchanges at Superior and Chester avenues and East 22nd Street.

Mr. Hebebrand said any loss of jobs at companies that must relocate because their property is taken for the rebuilding or some of their business is lost will be countered by an increase in construction jobs during the 15-year construction period and by other new jobs that come to the area.

“There will be no significant change” in employment in the region, he said.

ODOT has studied the issue and estimates that over the construction period the area will lose about 37 permanent jobs but will gain 115 jobs for a net gain of 78 jobs.

One span not enough

The decision to build two bridges instead of one responds to concerns that the existing 50-year-old span across the Flats could not be rehabilitated to last another 50 years. The plan now is to build one new bridge, carrying westbound traffic, by 2015 and then build another, replacing the current bridge, by 2025.

However, comments from City Council members suggest that ODOT’s revised plan is not being well-received. During the question-and-answer session, downtown Councilman Joe Cimperman wondered what would happen if City Council declined to pass legislation that would give ODOT an approval it needs to move ahead.

Some audience observers who have a stake in the outcome of the discussion also were not satisfied with the changes.

James Haviland, executive director of MidTown Cleveland Inc., a community development group that serves an area just east of the Innerbelt, said he believes the plan still has significant flaws, particularly in the way it diverts traffic onto Chester Avenue and away from Carnegie.

“They (ODOT) have said (the plan) will increase traffic on some streets and that will have an impact on Chester,” slowing down traffic heading to east to University Circle and beyond, he said. “And Carnegie will have less traffic and it has the most traffic-dependent businesses.”

Central Cadillac, several fast-food restaurants and other businesses along Carnegie rely on traffic past their front doors for business, Mr. Haviland said.

Michael Coticchia, chief administrative officer of Applied Industrial Technologies Inc., in the past has said his company would consider moving its 300-plus employees from its Midtown building if the Prospect Avenue exit was closed.

“If Prospect goes, we will consider our options,” he said after today’s hearing.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Colectivo Deadline Approaching - January 15

Do you have an idea that you think would make a difference in Cleveland? We'd like to help you make it happen. The Cleveland Colectivo is seeking projects to support.

The Colectivo is a group of friends, neighbors and colleagues. We pool our funds and share our energy to invest it back into projects that we see as worthwhile and exciting in Cleveland. Each member contributes to the Colectivo quarterly and together we choose projects to support. Every month we gather to discuss ideas, learn about area initiatives and organizations, network with a growing circle of members, and continue building the Colectivo.

So now we are again looking for innovative ideas in which to invest. That's where you come in! If you have a project that you would like to make a reality, take the first step—visit and send us your answers to these three simple questions. Or send your answers to

1) What is your proposal?

2) How will this project strengthen our community?

3) What makes your project unique, and why are you the right person to do this?

We welcome individuals, new businesses, and community projects to participate. Grant amounts will range between $500 and $5,000, based on the number of projects selected.
The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2007. Please keep your response to one page.
Bring your idea to life, and let us help!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Cleveland Innerbelt Project Development Schedule

ODOT has released an update to their Innerbelt Project Development Schedule. On February 1, there will be a public meeting.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Cleveland Innerbelt Update - Construction to Start in 2010

The Ohio Department of Transportation released this press release today:

JANUARY 2, 2007, CLEVELAND, OHIO…The Ohio Department of Transportation has accepted the Central Viaduct Bridge Subcommittee’s recommendation for the bridge type for the new bridge to carry westbound I-90 over the Cuyahoga River Valley between downtown Cleveland and Tremont.

In October, the subcommittee reached consensus and recommended that the Single Tower Cable Stay be the bridge type built when construction starts on the new I-90 westbound bridge that will be built as part of the reconstruction of the Cleveland Innerbelt, starting in 2010.

Since October, ODOT has reviewed the subcommittee’s recommendation, the Bridge Type Study report, prepared by the consultant, Michael Baker Jr., Inc., and comments from the public and believes that the Single Tower Cable Stay is the appropriate bridge type for the new westbound Central Viaduct Bridge.

The subcommittee also recommended the adoption of design guidelines to be used throughout the bridge design process. The subcommittee will continue to advise ODOT throughout the design process for the bridge. The Central Viaduct Bridge Subcommittee is a subset of the Urban Projects Committee.

This release proves that things are moving forward despite a news report from the Plain Dealer on October 18 stating there would be a two year delay because of redesign issues. On November 9, Sun News reporter Ken Prendegast reported a clarification of the PD's story quoting ODOT project manager, Craig Hebrebrand: “I think there’s been some misinterpretation. All we’re doing is taking some time to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on two documents.”

Further proof of the ongoing progress is shown in ODOT's "Draft list of major new projects for 2008 - 2013." In this report the following time-line and dollar amounts for District 12 (Cleveland area) are listed, most of it for the innerbelt. To get an accurate portrayal of the amounts and time frame, read the original spreadsheet - my interpretation of it does not do it justice; sorry for any confusion.

(1st $ = Project Cost in millions; 2nd $ = Total TRAC Commitment in millions)

  • Bessemer Ave. - $5.9, $3.1, Extension of Bessemer Ave. to increase connectivity to I-490
  • I-71/90 - $922.0 $743.0 PDP Steps 5-8 Innerbelt Corridor
    GCRTA Park and Ride N. Olmstead, Strongsville, Westlake
  • I-71/90 - East 55th St. $14.0
  • I-71/90 - Quigley Road Connector
  • I-71/90 - Innerbelt Bridge; Grp 1 Construct new WB bridge and approaches I71 to Carnegie Curve $10.0
    • Cuyahoga River Valley Crossing - Tower and Superstructure $84.0
    • Cuyahoga River Valley Crossing - Approach piers and superstructure $118.0
    • Cuyahoga River Valley - West Approach $45.0
    • Cuyahoga River Valley - East Approach $118.0
  • Innerbelt Bridge; Advance Construction Contracts
    • Demo Cuyahoga River Valley Crossing-Foundations DEMO($20)
    • Building Demolition DEMO($13)
    • Slope Stabilization DEMO($8)
    • Relocation of Commercial Road DEMO($11)
    • Replacement of the East 22nd Street Bridge $10.0
    • Carnegie Avenue Improvements $9.0
    • Reconstruct I-77 Approach to the Central Interchange $6.0 $126.0
  • I-77/490 -
    • Reconstruct I-77 over I-490 $17.0
    • Reconstruct SB I-77 from SR 14 South $24.0
    • Rehabilitation of the Existing Central Viaduct
    • Existing Central Viaduct - East & West Approaches $7.0 $65.0
    • East 30th Street Extension $1.0
  • I-71/90 ITS - $29.7 $0.3 SPR $29.4 Cleveland ITS - Freeway Management System
  • I-77 - $90.6 $42.4 Major Rehab/$0.1 District $48.1 Add lane from SR 82 to Rockside Rd
  • US 322/I-271 - $19.1 $4.2 city/$0.6 Dist/$1.4 MPO $12.9 Upgrade interchange and improve Mayfield Rd.
  • US 6 - $76.4 $26.6 Local $51.7 Reconstruction of Cleveland's West Shoreway
  • Euclid Avenue Corridor - $247.4, $75.0 Euclid Corridor improvements
  • Lake SR 2 - $100.7 $21.5 Major Rehab $79.2 Add lane and interchange upgrade from SR 91 to Newell Creek
  • Lake SR 2 - $76.4 $18.1 M Major Rehab $58.3 Add Lane and interchange upgrade from Newell Creek to SR 44
The previous were Tier I numbers. There is a 90 day public comment period before any recommendations are given to the governor to authorize. There is also a substantial Tier II list which are projects under active development, but not guaranteed funding. Some of the projects include further funding for portions of the Innerbelt project, including Dead Man's Curve, the Cuyahoga River Intermodal Connector, the University Circle Access (Opportunity) Boulevard, and improvements of ramps servicing Hopkins Airport.