Thursday, March 15, 2007

Governor Strickland Begins Laying Out a Plan for Ohio

"The Federal Government’s Workforce Investment Act helps states provide job training. We’re 51st in making use of those funds." (quote from Governor's speech has frustrated me that Ohio seemed to miss out on too much available Federal money which to me has to have been related largely in bad State management)

Governor Strickland gave his State of the State speech the other day. You can read She Writes Like She Talks for some information about it. I'm impressed with one quote from the speech (from Crains Cleveland):
"We will live within our means and invest in what matters," [Strickland told legislators].

Ohio has tobacco company money coming our way and the Governor plans on spending $5 billion of it on our schools as well as revamping some tax loopholes to get us more money for the schools. You can read the entire Crain's article here. And an ONN Ohio article about it as well. Personally, a little fiscal responsibility and a needed budget increase to aid public schools seems like a breath of fresh air to me. How do you feel?

Other quotes from his speech:
"I am seeking permission from the federal government to use Medicaid funds for private health insurance premium assistance. This would help as many as 300,000 Ohioans – those earning up to 150 percent of the poverty level – pay for coverage that is otherwise beyond their means."

"First, I will establish a higher education compact between the state and our public colleges and universities which will result in lower tuition costs for our students. This compact will increase funding for the basic instructional subsidy by 5 percent next year. And by 2 percent more the following year."

Not being a fan of, or seeing the use of, 'talking heads' on television, I'm not going to become one here lol. So my suggestion? Read his entire speech on his official website here.

Going to close with one more quote since it's about energy and alternative fuels and such:
"Next-generation energies – biofuels, fuel cells, clean coal, and renewable sources such as wind – offer us the opportunity to create jobs, support our farmers, reduce our dependence on foreign oil producers, and be responsible stewards of our environment. " Again I ask, what do you think? Peace Out - 3C

Connecting Cleveland Includes Makeovers for The Variety and Capital Theatres

The majestic blue and white mosaic tiling announced Gunning Recreation Center, the last in a series of Connecting Cleveland meetings held by the City of Cleveland's Planning Commission. These were public meetings to 'dog and pony' the Commissions suggested changes to Cleveland's Master Plan. Some good stuff here and a seemingly aggressive series of ideas to help revitalize our neighborhoods.

Some of the highlights:
1. Encourage mixed use development (shops, housing, offices)
2. Sustain our industrial parkways
3. Look into a specialized high school dedicated to industrial design
4. Continue to foster public/private/non profit cooperation

You have heard our Metropark system referred to as the Emerald Necklace? Well the City is now calling their bike/tow path system the Emerald Bracelet. The idea is to finish connecting the 'trail' dots so that a circle of bicycle trails exists.
The Commission feels we should focus on 'pockets' of retail, because our population is down and trying to sustain, for example, the entire length of Lorain Avenue as a thriving retail district is not as feasible anymore. So they want to foster 'retail clusters.' Already in the works an example of two of these retail clusters:

Kamms Corner - whose 'Streetscaping' project is set to begin next month
Gordon Square - W. 65th and Detroit - most definitely already in the works

One highlight would be the tale of two theatres: The Variety and The Capital. Both exist as shells of their former selves but they are about to get the equivalent of Ty Pennington's Extreme Makeover.

The Capital will now be the West Side version of the Cedar Lee in Cleveland Heights, hosting Independent and Art films (I for one am extremely excited about this!)

The Variety near W. 117th on Lorain will show off her makeover in a different kind of mixed use: everything from children's shows, second run movies and a dinner theatre! I can't wait to see the marquee working on the Variety! The exterior work will be completed in 2007
Of course there was a lot of discussion as well about TODs, population shifts, etc. Check out the Planning Commission Website to get all the details for each district and your own neighborhoods. Peace Out - 3C