Saturday, April 7, 2007

Will There Be a New Convention Center in Cleveland? Who Should Decide: Clevelanders or Sam Miller?

I wrote a post on my excitement at finding terrific interactive information on the three final proposals for a new Convention Center in Cleveland. It was (and still is) on the City Planning Commission website. That was at the beginning of March. (rendering of one proposed plan from City Planning Commission Site) (I have a rendering of one of the other proposals on the first post)

Since then, Sam Miller of Forest City Enterprises has come out with a strong challenge to the City and us, the residents, to take charge of the City and get things done and stop thinking badly about ourselves as Clevelanders. I can get with that. What are his motives? I almost don't care, because he is right. However, I said 'almost.' lol. I've had a week to mull over his interview regarding this challenge to all of us, conducted by Tom Beres of WKYC. You can go to Brewed Fresh Daily to see a longer interview with Miller conducted by Cool Cleveland.

So what is this post about that has taken two paragraphs to get to the point? I respect Sam Miller, but I don't personally think his plan for the Convention Center is the best. Secondly, no matter what plan is chosen, I think resident and business input from a 'majority' is the best way to decide this. Apparently the Planning Commission truly wants your input. I am imploring all of you to go to the section of their website on The Convention Center. To me, as long as the decision is made by more than one person (i.e. Sam Miller or any other developer who has a vested interest,) I am satisfied. Please check it out! After you have reviewed the plans, you can email the Planning Commmision right from that site and I promise you they get your comments and you will get a response back.

Sam Miller said one thing right: we all need to take charge of our City and do our part to put Cleveland on the right path. Peace Out - 3C
April 9th Update: Received a nice email from Robert Brown, Director of our City of Cleveland Planning Department. He said that while the Department's website receives visitors who comment every day, it has been a while since people have commented on the Convention Center ideas. Do you want one? Let them know, yes or no. Do you like one plan better than another? Let them know! Having a 'voice heard' has gotten so much easier with the internet!

Tired Of Snow? Give Global Warming a Few Years.....

I saved this article from The Plain Dealer. After two days of snow (good thing I took a photo of my miniature daffodils, I have a feeling they are not bright and sunny anymore) - it seemed like a good time to post it here. I'm going to provide the entire article instead of a link.

Scientists say global warming will bake Midwest
Posted by John Mangels April 03, 2007 17:58PM
Categories: Breaking News

If global warming continues unchecked, within 100 years its impacts will significantly alter the Midwest, with the Great Lakes climate resembling that of today's Sun Belt, a panel of scientists said Tuesday.

While shorter winters and longer growing seasons might sound like improvements, the climate-change consequences on balance will largely be negative, the researchers said.
In In Ohio and the other Midwest states, they likely will include worsening summertime droughts and heat waves, intensifying storms, declining water levels and purity, increasing air pollution, and a greater risk of insect- and rodent-borne diseases.

"We're talking about a climate for the state of Illinois that's maybe more like that of eastern Texas by the end of the century," said atmospheric scientist Don Wuebbles of the University of Illinois School of Earth, Society and Environment. Computer models of climate change project summer conditions in Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin by 2095 "more like that in Arkansas."
"People should be very concerned," Wuebbles said.

He and several other climate researchers briefed reporters in anticipation of Friday's release of a major report on the impact of global warming. The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is expected to issue a sobering assessment of the long-term region-by-region effects of human-caused warming.

The buildup of heat trapped by greenhouse gases coming from cars and factories already is causing substantial climate change, including melting Arctic ice sheets, rising sea levels and altered weather patterns.
The plight of polar bears on shrinking ice floes at the top of the world may seem like an abstraction to an Illinois farmer or an Ohio surburbanite, but that shouldn't be the case, Wuebbles said. "Because the Midwest's climate is basically the result of interacting Arctic and southern air masses, whatever happens in the Arctic will affect us." If current greenhouse gas levels persist, climate models indicate that, by the end of the 21st century, average winter temperatures in the Midwest will be as much as 12 degrees warmer than at present, and as much as 20 degrees warmer in summer. Nighttime temperatures likely will not fall off as much as they do now.

Snow cover will be erratic, with more wintertime thaws, said Knute Nadelhoffer, an ecology and evolutionary biology professor at the University of Michigan. Spring rainfall will more commonly come from heavy storms than from long, gentle "soaker" showers that allow the water to percolate into the soil. Midwest summers probably will be considerably drier.
Those climate changes will have profound health effects, said Dr. Jonathan Patz, an associate professor of environmental studies and population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin.

Peace Out - 3C

'Advance Northeast Ohio' Website Launched

Voices and Choices is an organization we will keep hearing about and it seems as if people are listening to them. The latest of their suggestions to be 'taken' is a website (I found it by lurking on the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission Website) It's a new website called Advance Northeast Ohio. It's interactive, I just signed up to be able to leave messages when I want...they might be sorry lol. Anyway, there are four 'initiatives' from Voices and Choices - the website seems like a way to keep everyone honest about progress. I recall that was the goal of Mayor Jackson when he announced the City of Cleveland's Five Year (CIP) Plan and then put the outline and then increasing detail about it on the City website. (It's still in pdf form so let's get it interactive guys!)

Anyway - here are the four initiatives:

  • Business Growth and Attraction (who can argue with that?)
  • Workforce Preparation & Educational Excellence (WIRE-NET? Max Hayes? Design Ctr?)
  • Growth Through Racial and Economic Inclusion
  • Government Collaboration and Efficiency

Voices and Choices completed a study and had (I think) at least 3000 participants in this written study - and these initiatives came out of the research V & C did.

The new website hasn't gotten a ton of exposure yet. And of course it's late at night so no one was logged in when I was logged on. There is a web page where you can add topics for discussion or add to already existing topics...a forum page! I like that. What I don't like? No one has participated yet! I know what I will be doing this weekend: getting familiar with the website.

There is also a page that outlines in a little more detail what could? will? happen to advance the four initiatives. For example :

Regional High-Tech and Health Care Jobs Portal that will shine a spotlight on the large number of available jobs in the region’s health care, technology and biosciences industries.


Minority Business Accelerator to assist mid-sized to large minority-owned enterprises to boost sales by more than 20% and more than double employment. Supported through $1 million grant by the Fund for Our Economic Future

There is also something there about a National marketing campaign to promote all that Cleveland has to offer; I try not to roll my eyes, but, can you say 'Believe In Cleveland?' Anyway, I like Voices and Choices so I will give them the benefit of the doubt but seems like money is better spent on 'doing' rather than promoting. Anyway, check out the website and get involved from the comfort of your own home: Advance Northeast Ohio Peace Out-3C