Monday, February 28, 2011

Census News: Irish-American Heritage Month

Irish-American Heritage Month (March) and St. Patrick’s Day (March 17): 2011

Originally a religious holiday to honor St. Patrick, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century, St. Patrick's Day has evolved into a celebration for all things Irish. The world's first St. Patrick's
Day parade occurred on March 17, 1762, in New York City, featuring Irish soldiers serving in the English military. This parade became an annual event, with President Truman attending in 1948. Congress proclaimed March as Irish-American Heritage Month in 1995, and the President issues a proclamation commemorating the occasion each year.

                         Population Distribution
36.9 million
Number of U.S. residents who claimed Irish ancestry in 2009. This number was more than eight times the population of Ireland itself (4.5 million). Irish was the nation's second most frequently reported ancestry, trailing only German.
Sources: 2009 American Community Survey and Ireland Central Statistics Office

Number of Irish-born U.S. residents in 2009. Those from Ireland are much older (a median of 60 years old) and have a higher median household income ($56,158) than U.S. residents as a whole (37 years and $50,221, respectively).
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

Percent of Massachusetts residents who were of Irish ancestry in 2009. This compares with a rate of 12 percent for the nation as a whole.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey 

                          Irish-Americans Today
Percentage of people of Irish ancestry, 25 or older, who had a bachelor's degree or higher. In addition, 92 percent of Irish-Americans in this age group had at least a high school diploma. For the nation as a whole, the corresponding rates were 28 percent and 85 percent respectively.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey 

Median income for households headed by an Irish-American, higher than the $50,221 for all households. In addition, 10 percent of people of Irish ancestry were in poverty, lower than the rate of 14 percent for all Americans.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey 

Percentage of employed civilian Irish-Americans 16 or older who worked in management, professional and related occupations. Additionally, 27 percent worked in sales and office occupations; 16 percent in service occupations; 9 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations; and 8 percent in construction, extraction, maintenance and repair occupations.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

Percentage of householders of Irish ancestry who owned the home in which they live, with the remainder renting. For the nation as a whole, the homeownership rate was 66 percent.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey

                         Places to Spend the Day
Number of places in the United States named Shamrock, the floral emblem of Ireland. Mount Gay-Shamrock, W.Va., and Shamrock, Texas, were the most populous, with 2,623 and 1,828 residents, respectively. Shamrock Lakes, Ind., had 152 residents and Shamrock, Okla., 122.
(Statistic for Mount Gay-Shamrock is from the 2000 Census; the other statistics are 2009 estimates.)
Sources: American FactFinder and population estimates

Number of places in the United States that share the name of Ireland's capital, Dublin. Since the 2000 Census, Dublin, Calif., has surpassed Dublin, Ohio, as the most populous of these places (44,541 compared with 39,310, respectively, as of July 1, 2009).

If you're still not into the spirit of St. Paddy's Day, then you might consider paying a visit to Emerald Isle, N.C., with 3,695 residents. Other appropriate places in which to spend the day: the township of Irishtown, Ill., several places or townships named "Clover" (in South Carolina, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) and the township of Cloverleaf, Minn.
Sources: American FactFinder and population estimates <

                             The Celebration
26.1 billion and 2.3 billion
U.S. beef and cabbage production, respectively, in pounds, in 2009. Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick's Day dish.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service and

$25 million
Value of potted florist chrysanthemum sales at wholesale in 2009 for operations with $100,000 or more sales. Lime green chrysanthemums are often requested for St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Tremont's University Road to Close as Cold Storage Building Removal Begins

I-90 Cuyahoga County 
*NEW*I-90 Innerbelt, Construction of a New Westbound Bridge, Cleveland 

Crews prepare to begin construction of a new Innerbelt Bridge which will eventually carry westbound traffic.  Beginning on Tuesday, March 1, crews will permanently close University Road between W. 14th Street and the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks along the west bank of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood.  University Road will be closed permanently just west of W. 14th Street and a cul-de-sac will be constructed just west of the railroad tracks.  Those motorists wishing to travel to the Tremont neighborhood will be rerouted via Scranton Road and Fairfield Avenue.  This closure coincides with the beginning of demolition of the Cleveland Cold Storage building.  Click here for more information.  

Tentative completion date: fall 2013.  **Crews on behalf of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District work to relocate an existing interceptor sewer in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood.  Both Abbey Ave. between W. 12th St. and W. 13th St. and W. 11th St. between University Rd. and Abbey Ave. are closed to vehicular traffic until the summer of 2011.  

In addition, W. 14th St., just south of Fairfield Ave., is restricted until mid-May 2011.  For more information, please contact NEORSD at 216.881.6600.

Please exercise caution in work zones.  For statewide construction information visit: 
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For more information, log-on to or dial the Project Hotline at 216.344.0069.

"The State of Our Arts" - 2011

State of Our Arts 2011

In 2006, voters enacted a 10-year tobacco tax specifically to support arts and culture in Cuyahoga County.  With that action, county residents created dedicated public support that could make a real difference. 

As CAC enters its fourth year of public investment in arts and cultural programs across the 59 communities that make up Cuyahoga County, what has happened?  What has been the impact of dedicated public funding for the region's arts & cultural ecosystem?  How has the presence of this important public resource, one of the largest dedicated local sources of arts funding in the nation, helped improve economic development and the quality of life for all County residents?  And what is Cuyahoga Arts & Culture doing to ensure that all residents of the County continue to benefit from public investment in the arts?

On Wednesday, March 30 at Noon, CAC Executive Director Karen Gahl-Mills will explore these questions and share substantive data about the impact of arts and culture on the region, as she addresses "The State of Our Arts" at the City Club of Cleveland.

For more information about the City Club, this event, or learn about how to download a podcast of this event, please visit the City Club's Web site:

Please Note:  This is not an official CAC event; the State of Our Arts is an event of the City Club of Cleveland.  CAC is a political subdivision of the State of Ohio, which collects a dedicated tax on cigarettes sold in Cuyahoga County, and reinvests those funds as grants to local nonprofit organizations that focus on arts and culture.  For more information about CAC,

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Census Bureau News -- 2009 American Housing Survey for Selected Metropolitan Areas

While we wait around for the Census Bureau to release data for Ohio, here are some stats for various metropolitan areas around the country from the 2009 American Survey.

Chicago Release:

Detroit Release:

New York Release:

Northern New Jersey Release:

Philadelphia Release:

Seattle Release: <>.

Legislative Action: 10th District and State - 02222011

From Megavote:

In this MegaVote for Ohio's 10th Congressional District:
Recent Congressional Votes
  • Senate: FISA Sunsets Extension Act of 2011
  • Senate: FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act
  • House: Continuing Resolution, FY2011
  • House: FISA Sunsets Extension Act of 2011

    Editor's Note: The Senate and House are in recess until Monday, February 28, 2011.
    Recent Senate Votes
    FISA Sunsets Extension Act of 2011 - Vote Passed (86-12, 2 Not Voting)

    The Senate passed this bill extending some expiring provisions of the Patriot Act for 90 days. The extension allows both chambers more time to work on long-term bills. The House cleared the measure for the president two days later.

    Sen. Rob Portman voted YES......send e-mail or see bio
    Sen. Sherrod Brown voted NO......send e-mail or see bio

    FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act - Vote Passed (87-8, 5 Not Voting)

    This $34.6 billion bill reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration for two years and sets aviation policies. The House is working on its own version of the bill that would cover four years.

    Sen. Rob Portman voted YES......send e-mail or see bio
    Sen. Sherrod Brown voted YES......send e-mail or see bio

    Recent House Votes
    Continuing Resolution, FY2011 - Vote Passed (235-189, 9 Not Voting)

    The House passed this long-term CR that would fund government operations through September 30, 2011, the end of the current fiscal year. The bill includes $61.5 billion in spending cuts. The current funding expires on March 4, 2011. The bill now goes to the Senate.

    Rep. Dennis Kucinich voted NO......send e-mail or see bio

    FISA Sunsets Extension Act of 2011 - Vote Passed (279-143, 11 Not Voting)

    The House gave final approval to this bill extending some expiring provisions of the Patriot Act for 90 days. The original House bill would have extended the provisions to December 8, 2011, but the Senate approved the short-term bill on February 15. Both chambers are working on long-term bills. The president is expected to sign the bill into law.

    Rep. Dennis Kucinich voted NO......send e-mail or see bio 

    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    Another Firm HQ Coming Downtown from the Burbs


    MCPc, Inc signed lease to move HQ Downtown

    Last month, MCPc, Inc. signed its ten-year, 98,000-square-foot lease to move its corporate headquarters to 1801 Superior Ave., in downtown Cleveland. The technology products and solutions provider plans to move from 21555 Drake Rd. in Strongsville, Ohio, during the summer of 2011.
    “Now that our relocation plans are official, we are focused on the next steps, and helping to make Cleveland a center of technology in the United States,” said Mike Trebilcock, chairman and chief executive officer of MCPc. “We’re looking forward to being in the heart of Cleveland, and expanding our relationships with local business-technology organizations and the community at large.”
    MCPc will occupy the third floor of the 1801 Superior building. It will also build out a portion of the first-floor parking garage to accommodate its Technology Center, which will include a state-of-the-art Computer Configuration Lab and Warehouse. The 1801 Superior building is the recognized home of The Plain Dealer, which will continue to occupy space on the remaining floors of the building.
    In addition to the new Technology Center, MCPc will develop a 4,000-square foot Customer Experience Center that will allow customers to see, touch, test, research and evaluate new technologies prior to making purchase decisions. Along with onsite meeting facilities and videoconferencing capabilities, including an Executive Briefing Center, this will help MCPc educate, collaborate and bring cutting-edge technologies to its customers all over the country.
    For more details on the relocation, or to stay updated about the process and plans visit the company’s business-technology blog at To learn about MCPc Inc visit

    Here comes the Ferry... Again!

    From Crain's Cleveland:

    Prospects brighten for ferry service between Cleveland and Canada

    6:30 am, February 17, 2011

    There are signs of a thaw in the stalemate that has frozen plans for a cross-Lake Erie ferry for several years.

    Officials of the city of Central Elgin, Ontario, met earlier this month with a consultant for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, and on Monday the city's council passed a resolution supporting further discussions.

    Port Authority president William Friedman hired the consultant late last year to see if he could get talks moving on a ferry that would haul cargo and passengers across Lake Erie.

    “We are delighted the Central Elgin officials want to discuss this potentially exciting opportunity,” Mr. Friedman said in a statement. “We believe there is interest on both sides of the lake for this service now, and we see that interest only growing in the next several years with construction of several major developments in Cleveland, including a casino.”

    The Port Authority has discussed the idea of ferry service for more than five years. But there were problems initially with finding a Canadian partner, and then one side or the other would lose enthusiasm for the project as the idea simmered.

    Nearly $7 million in federal aid has been made available to build an Ohio terminal for a community that can put together a ferry deal.

    Canada is Ohio's top trading partner, and a ferry route could reduce shipping costs between central Ontario to Cleveland.

    In his statement, Mr. Friedman said HMS Global Maritime of New Albany, Ind., has expressed interest in exploring the possibility of operating the higher-speed ferry service.

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    "Is Cleveland’s Answer to Innovation Blowing in the Wind?"

    Is Cleveland’s answer to innovation blowing in the wind?

    By Yahoo! Local – Tue Feb 8, 10:52 am ET

    Diane DiPiero, Yahoo! Contributor Network
    Once known for massive steel mills belching smoke into the sky, Cleveland could one day be known as the center of innovation for clean, alternative energy with wind turbines lining the edge of Lake Erie and spreading west across the northern portion of the state.
    Don't hold your breath, you say? Consider this: LEEDCo, a nonprofit group heading Northeast Ohio's efforts to initiate an offshore wind project, and Fresh Water Wind, a private developer working with LEEDCo to finance, construct and operate the wind turbines, recently signed an option with the state of Ohio for offshore land on which to build a 20-megawatt wind farm.
    With this option, LEEDCo and Fresh Water Wind can reserve nine square nautical miles for a wind farm. The parties are already busy determining the best location for the turbines, conducting fishery and bird surveys and acquiring permits, with the intent of building the actual turbines in 2012.
    Cleveland is not the first city to devise a plan for offshore wind energy. Groups in Michigan and Canada are looking into building turbines in other slices of the Great Lakes.
    A proposal for Cape Wind, a 130-turbine project in the waters off Cape Cod, was approved by the federal government, although it has raised the ire of many conservation groups and individual residents of New England. The Cleveland project, however, seems to be the only one with enough power and support behind it to get the wheels -- or in this case, the blades -- turning in the near future.
    The 20-megawatt pilot project would deliver enough energy to power 5,000 homes, according to Lorry Wagner, president of LEEDCo and a wind energy engineer. The long-term goal is to have 1,000 megawatts of energy produced from wind turbines by 2020; that would be enough energy to power 250,000 homes, according to Morgan.
    Long before the power of those massive turbines is unleashed, Cleveland will have the opportunity to establish itself as a leader in every aspect of this alternative energy -- from research to construction to maintenance. It is a chance for this Rust Belt city to once and for all put the "mistake on the lake" razzing to rest and declare itself a true pioneer.
    This won't happen overnight, of course. Supporters of the wind energy project have enough confidence in this project, though, to believe that Greater Cleveland can create thousands of jobs and build a regional and national reputation in the wind energy industry over the next several years.
    "A lot of business can develop from this," Wagner says. Technical, engineering and permitting jobs will be in high demand from the beginning. "Our goal is to look to Ohio companies first to see if they can accomplish the task from technical and financial perspectives."
    Non-technical jobs in the legal, administrative and regulatory realms will also need to be placed from the very beginning of the project.
    GE, which will be building the turbines for the pilot project, has a local supply chain that could serve as valuable resources, Wagner notes.
    Then there are the jobs that have not yet been created, the wind energy-specific roles that will be formed as the project takes shape. For example, skilled crews will have to get the massive turbines offshore and weigh them down.
    "There's the whole maritime industry -- ships that will tow the turbines, specialized vessels, crews to do the work," says Dave Karpinski, vice president of NorTech, the technology-based economic development organization that has been one of the lead players in bringing wind energy to Northeast Ohio.
    "Because the equipment is so large, work will have to be done close to where it's being commissioned, so lots of jobs would have to be located here," Karpinski says.
    In a study commissioned by NorTech last August, it was estimated that 600 jobs could be created in the next few years just through the pilot project. The long-term wind energy project could mean about 8,000 new jobs in Greater Cleveland, the study concluded.
    What gets proponents like Wagner and Karpinski really fired up is the potential to build an industry locally that can reach out to help future wind farms in the Great Lakes region and beyond.
    Ontario, for example, wants to build 4,000 megawatts of wind energy on the Great Lakes. If Northeast Ohio establishes itself early as an authority in wind farms, it could claim a portion of the jobs that would be up for grabs in the Canadian project.
    "We can really be leading the way," Karpinski says.
    Before it can proclaim itself as the leader in the alternative energy industry, Greater Cleveland must first do all the necessary research and answer the questions of individuals and groups who have voiced concerns. "We've started surveys in response to regulatory requirements," Wagner says.
    LEEDCo is also meeting with groups to address concerns ranging from the safety of wildlife to the challenges of producing wind energy in the face of significant ice buildup.
    "We probably have about 200 groups out there we need to reach," Wagner says. In one Cleveland district, the councilman has asked LEEDCo to address individual business districts. In Bratenahl, a lakeshore community, a kind of town hall meeting is being set up to talk to residents as a whole.
    "Cleveland has been very supportive, including the mayor and the utilities department," Wagner says. He realizes that, ultimately, it's the residents of Greater Cleveland who must be comfortable with the region's aspirations of building and maintaining a wind energy legacy.
    "Our role is to continue to reach out to people so they're aware and know as much as they want to know about the project," Wagner says. "We want to get their concerns and interests upfront and deal with them as much as possible."
    Content provided by Yahoo! Contributor Network

    Legislative Action: 10th District and State - 02142011

    From Megavote:

    In this MegaVote for Ohio's 10th Congressional District:
    Recent Congressional Votes
    • House: Patriot Act Extensions
    • House: United Nations Tax Equalization Refund Act
    Upcoming Congressional Bills
    • Senate: FAA Reauthorization
    • House: Patriot Act Extensions
    • House: Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

    Recent House Votes
    Patriot Act Extensions - Vote Failed (277-148, 9 Not Voting)

    Under a vote that required a two-thirds majority, the House failed to pass this bill that would extend through Dec. 8, 2011, three provisions of the anti-terrorism law known as the Patriot Act. The bill is likely to be voted on this week under regular voting procedures.

    Rep. Dennis Kucinich voted NO......send e-mail or see bio

    United Nations Tax Equalization Refund Act - Vote Failed (259-169, 6 Not Voting)

    Under a vote that required a two-thirds majority, the House failed to pass this bill that would establish as United States policy that the United Nations should return $179 million overpaid into the U.N. Tax Equalization Fund as of Dec. 31, 2009, and that the U.S. should press the U.N. to change its fund assessment procedures to reduce discrepancies. The future of the bill is unclear.

    Rep. Dennis Kucinich voted NO......send e-mail or see bio

    Upcoming Votes
    FAA Reauthorization - S.223
    The Senate is scheduled to continue work on this bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration.

    Patriot Act Extensions - H.R.514
    The House is expected to vote on this bill that would extend provisions of the Patriot Act.

    Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 - H.R.1
    The House is scheduled to work on this bill to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011.

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Skatepark in Cleveland - Final Design Chosen


    Planned skateboard park in Cleveland could have big impact as part of recreation hub in the Flats

    Published: Saturday, February 12, 2011, 12:00 PM     Updated: Saturday, February 12, 2011, 5:28 PM

    View full sizeAcross the country, skateboarding attracted 8.4 million people in 2009, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. More than 1.2 million of those skaters were in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- When more than 180 skateboarders and BMX-bike riders showed up for a public meeting last April, Cleveland city officials were taken aback.
    The crowd wasn't just large. It was young - people in their teens, 20s and 30s. They came from downtown Cleveland, from Parma, Kirtland, Eastlake and Kent. And they were riding a wave of enthusiasm for a municipal project: a skateboarding park in the Flats.
    Compared to a downtown casino and a $465 million medical mart, the 15,000-square-foot skatepark doesn't seem like much. But proponents say the small project could have a big impact, attracting skaters from across Northeast Ohio, capturing traffic from other states and rounding out a recreation hub on the Cuyahoga River.
    Mayor Frank Jackson has asked Cleveland City Council to approve $550,000 for the skatepark as part of the city's 2011 capital improvements plan. If council members concur, construction on the park might start this summer and the facility could open in 2012.
    skateboard-park1.jpgView full sizeSkateboarders at a planned park in the Flats will be surrounded by bridges, industry and other recreational uses. The 15,000-square-foot concrete skatepark in the Flats will be flanked by Hart Crane Park and the Cleveland Rowing Foundation's Rivergate Park, a 6.5 acre boating facility that rowers will start using in March.
    "For about half-a-million dollars, you can create another stop on the tour that skaters are taking for pretty much nine months out of the year," said Vince Frantz, a devoted skater and executive director of the Public Square Group, a Lakewood nonprofit focused on bringing skateboarding to neighborhoods. "People are leaving the city a handful of weekends out of the summer, the fall. All of a sudden, we're going to be right in the middle of all this traffic between Pittsburgh, Columbus and Detroit."
    Cleveland's previous skateparkattracted plenty of wheeled traffic to North Coast Harbor. But the steel ramps, left over from the Gravity Games and turned into a municipal park in 2004, were falling apart when the city dismantled them last year. The new park on Merwin Avenue would be more than twice as large, poured from concrete and designed to last decades with little maintenance. Nestled on the Columbus Road Peninsula, the park would be wrapped by the river and surrounded by industry and recreation.
    "It was a really dramatic site, and then the rowing foundation came along and took the site next to it," said Eric Wobser, executive director of the Ohio City Near West Development Corp. and a former city employee who shepherded the skatepark project. "There's a lot of people-powered recreation down there."
    The Cleveland Rowing Foundation is preparing to open Rivergate Park, a 6.5-acre facility that replaced a longtime marina. Rowers will push their shells into the river in March, and public kayaking could start in May. Last week, foundation officials said that USRowing, the governing body for the sport, is considering Rivergate Park as the location for a major national race in fall 2012.
    On Columbus Road, a nonprofit bicycle co-op that runs classes and sells and rents bikes recently moved to a larger building. And long-term plans for the peninsula involve a large public park and connections to a network of bicycle and pedestrian trails running from Tuscarawas County to Lake Erie.
    skateboard-park2.jpgView full sizeThe grit and drama of the Flats made it an attractive site for a skatepark, a concrete facility that requires little maintenance and could last decades. The city of Cleveland has allocated $550,000 to design and build the park in its 2011 capital improvements plan. Proponents say the small project could have a big impact, attracting skaters from across Northeast Ohio and capturing traffic from other states.
    "It makes sense when you look at where the Flats is going," Frantz said of the skatepark site. "If there was not a larger plan that we're involved in, then it would sort of be a lonely place. This guarantees foot traffic. If the plan for the Flats is to lean more toward recreation and people buying condos and redeveloping the buildings, you have instant traffic from the day the ribbon's cut to the day the snow falls."
    Across the country, skateboarding attracted 8.4 million people in 2009, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. More than 1.2 million of those skaters were in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. The number of skaters and the amount they spend annually - $94.9 million in 2009 - fluctuates, and it has dropped since the early 2000s. The sport wins fewer devotees than basketball or baseball, though the number of people who play football isn't much larger.
    Opening a skatepark can be a battle. Debates over location, safety and concerns about skaters raged for more than a decade in Lakewood and six years in Bay Village. But public parks are becoming more common and some cities, particularly on the west coast, are creating networks of parks scattered across neighborhoods, said Miki Vuckovich, executive director of the Tony Hawk Foundation in Vista, Calif. Since 2002, the foundation has awarded $3.4 million in grants for public skatepark projects in 467 communities across 49 states, including Ohio. A new park can attract hundreds of skaters daily; an older park might bring in 30 to 50 skaters each day, he said.
    "Cleveland's lack of any skatepark within its city limits is a very serious need," said Ken Silliman, chief of staff to Mayor Jackson. "There is a very dedicated and enthusiastic group of skateboarders in Cleveland who will use our streets and sidewalks if nothing else is available. We feel the obligation to provide them with a state-of-the-art, well-located skatepark that will be an attraction."
    13FGSKATE.jpgView full size
    Cleveland's park would be built on city-owned land and funded using general obligation bonds. The Jackson administration plans to borrow $31 million for 2011 - money dedicated to projects, not services. The $550,000 for the skatepark would cover design, engineering and construction. Adding benches, sidewalks, plants and a boardwalk would cost an additional $169,000, according to an estimate from landscape architect McKnight Associates Ltd. The city has not identified funding sources for the site improvements, though several nonprofit groups are looking at potential grants.
    Grindline, a noted skateboard design and construction company based in Seattle, created a conceptual plan for the park last year. Through site visits, public meetings and a process funded by $20,000 from the Cleveland harbormaster, Grindline came up with a design that seems to mimic the winding Cuyahoga River. Skaters would follow a crooked path called a snake run, grind down banisters and drop into a bean-shaped bowl, all under a sky broken by bridges.
    grindline.jpgThe conceptual design for Cleveland's skatepark includes a snake run, a bean-shaped bowl and street features like railings.
    Frantz, a 37-year-old information designer, expects to skate there with his three children. He first picked up a skateboard in the mid-'80s, as a child in rural northwest Ohio. Now married and living in Lakewood, he skates at least once a week and credits the sport with shaping his life and career. Through skateboarding, he's met clients and future coworkers, friends who started their own companies and guys who went from pumping gas to flying planes.
    Since Cleveland announced plans for a permanent park, Frantz has been inundated with questions and feedback from local skaters and former Clevelanders.
    "We loved the Gravity Games when they came, but it's a handful of days and then it's over," he said. "When it's a handful of tax dollars, there's nothing really being born here. The city is birthing something itself, in a unique way, in a unique location. That means this is something that no one can take away."

    And in other Skatepark news:

    A new world-class skateboard park is coming to Cleveland.

    The City of Cleveland has completed the conceptual design phase of a new skateboard park to serve local residents and to help spearhead further development of the Columbus Road Peninsula. This section of the Flats is already home to the Ohio City Bicycle Co-Op and the proposed home of theCleveland Rowing Foundation. Columbus Road Peninsula will become a people-powered recreation district nestled along the Cuyahoga River.

    Grindline completes the conceptual design phase.

    World-class skatepark design/build firm Grindline has finalized the conceptual design of the skatepark. Based in Seattle, Grindline is one of a small handful of world renown design/build firms that have ushered in a new era of skatepark design and construction. They engaged with Parkworksto design the new skateboard park for Cleveland and will be one of the main candidates for construction.

    Final Conceptual Design

    Three different conceptual designs were created based on all the ideas and comments from the first public meeting on April 28th 2010. These concepts were refined based on feedback and ideas from the public starting at the June 22nd public meeting and comments and ideas collected since then. The final design chosen was the “Snake Run” concept featuring an iconic snake run and deep kidney bowl along with various street/flow elements and double ledge lines around the edge. Materials feature a mix of concrete, brick, granite, and pool coping.

    More angles of the Cleveland Skateboard Park

    image image image image

    Sample proposed Site Plan off Merwin Ave.


    What about the skatepark at North Coast Harbor? It is finally gone.

    The temporary steel ramps at the Cleveland skatepark at North Coast Harbor outlived their useful life and were damaged beyond repair. The ramps were dismantled and the public art surrounding the skatepark has been preserved.

    The Cleveland Skateboard Park will be located west of Hart Crane Memorial Park off Columbus Road on Merwin Road.