Friday, April 21, 2017

Planning for a review of greens space and parks and recreation assets in Ward 14

The Ward 14 office, together with staff from the Metro West Community Development Organization and  Cleveland Planning Commission, are continuing to review the conditions of our community greens spaces and parks.  This past year we were able to plant over 120 trees along the Denison Avenue area from Brooklyn Centre, through Clark Fulton, and Stockyard neighborhoods.

Johanna Hamm was instrumental in the tree plantings and also led an initiative to install a reading garden and pocket park adjacent to the Fulton Road Library - see the article on that project posted here.  In addition, the Ward 14 office has also worked to have two traffic median strips installed on the ends of the Pearl Road/W. 25th Street bridge over I-71.  The median strips have been planted with trees and grasses to soften the entrances and exits to the freeway as well as to the Clark Fulton and Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods.

We'll be continuing with this work this year in reviewing the conditions and opportunities for improvements to the following parks and green spaces:

Our work is being complemented by the City's Planning Commission efforts to develop maps demonstrating where there is or not access to green space and recreation facilities.  They've begun work on mapping all city parks and recreation facilities and will be working to add school playground and play fields to better demonstrate and visualize are greens space and parks assets and where we should consider strengthening and adding amenities.  We also plan on adding to the maps the locations of active community gardens.  Although there are not a lot of resources for green space and recreation facilities improvements, with the City's enhanced budget it is expected that each of the 17-wards will be receiving $75,000 that can be used for such improvements.





It is expected that this summer we'll be scheduling community meetings for the areas of the neighborhoods closest to these sites to get input from residents on improvements and amenities they would like to see.  In meetings over the past few years there has been a lot of debate about the possibility of installing new basketball courts, or advocating for a soccer-field and even mini-skateboard-park amenities as well as more standard playground equipment for younger children as well as benches and seating areas.

If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns regarding green space and parks please call our office at 216-664-4238.

Division of Fire will be conducting a fire training at 3353 W. 56th Street off of Storer Avenue

The City of Cleveland's Division of Fire will be doing their annual live fire training for the 2017 Cadet Class.  They'll be using a vacant abandon home that the County has taken control of at 3353 W. 56th Street.

The structure's rooms will be sealed and fuel from pallets and straw will placed in them to simulate a house fire.  There will be cadets, fire apparatus, trainers and officials from the Division of Fire on hand for the training exercise that will begin at 9:00 am with the fire training starting at 10:00 am.  After the training the structure will be demolished and debris removed.  If any residents that live close by have any concerns or questions, please call the Division of Fire at 216-664-6880.

See the notice from the Division of Fire below.  Here are some photos of the training that was held in 2014.





New Fulton Library Reading Garden

By Johanna Hamm

For more than 20 years, the two commercial buildings located on the corner of Fulton Road and Arnold Court stood vacant, and eventually fell into disrepair and became an eyesore for many area residents. Despite their architectural significance, renovation for these structures was cost prohibitive and after several incidents of arson, they ultimately were slated for demolition. After the site was cleared, many area residents called our office to express their appreciation, however they also inquired about what will become of these two parcels.

After receiving numerous suggestions, and considering the needs of the community, our office decided to create a visually distinctive place that would add to the neighborhood’s identity and character. Working collaboratively with the Metro West Community Development Organization and the neighboring Cleveland Public Library Fulton Branch, we decided a “reading garden”, could be utilized by library patrons and residents alike. Moreover, this project would create a much-needed pocket park with many new trees and a place where anyone could come and rest, gather with others, and enjoy their community.

In 2014, working with Metro West CDC’s Green Space Manager, Sasha Ottoson-Deal, we were awarded a Neighborhood Placemaking Grant, one of only three projects selected throughout the city of Cleveland.  The Reading Garden project received $15,000 in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding, which was primarily utilized for soil remediation, the installation of a brick pathway, and landscaping for the site. The benches and stamped concrete wall were generously donated by Terrace Construction and the park would also be chosen as a site for a squirrel sculpture, a 1930’s era re-production that is part of Councilman Cummins’ larger community-wide public art installation.

A special thank you goes out to a number of residents that helped with this project as well as to our partners at Court Community Service, all of whom contributed the work needed to see this project completed. In addition, the staff at Cleveland Public Library’s Fulton Branch have agreed to maintain the lot and treat it as a natural extension of our neighborhood Library.

Our office is proud to have helped envision and carry out this project, an effort which transforms a once forgotten space and will build community. The intention of the Neighborhood Placemaking Grant program was to fund projects that seek to create “great little places in our City’s neighborhood” and foster a better sense of community. We hope this little corner lot has done just that, and the next time you pass, we hope you will stop and pay a visit.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Data Days Cleveland, Alt + Ctrl + CLE - three days of events exploring civic technology and the use of open data

Data Days CLE is three days of events planned in celebration of International Open Data Day.  The free events are being held Thursday, Friday and Saturday March 2, 3 and 4, and are open to the  public.

All events are being held at the HIMSS Innovation Center, 4th floor of the Global Center for Health Innovation, 1 St Clair Ave NE, Cleveland, Ohio 44114.  An opening reception is being hosted by and held at the Federal Bank of Cleveland.

The inaugural year is titled Ctrl + Alt + CLE, Cleveland’s first annual celebration of civic technology, data & the doers working to improve our region.

Data Days is proudly presented by the The Cleveland Civic Tech + Open Data Collaborative (The Collaborative).  For details see the press release and promotional card below and visit the web site and Eventbrite registration site.

 The Collaborative is a joint initiative of five original partner organizations, including the CWRU Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, Open Cleveland, of Code for America, Hack Cleveland, OpenNeo, the Cleveland City Planning Commission as well as, and more recently, the Cleveland Shapers, of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers venture, and the office of Cleveland City Council, Ward 14.

Kicking off in the fall of 2015, The Collaborative was born in bid for partnership through the joint Living Cities, Code for America, and National Neighborhood Indicator’s Partnership (NNIP) grant. Supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the grant supports teams of civic technologists, data practitioners and government officials in cities to develop data and technology solutions to address pressing problems.

Special thanks to Leon Wilson and the team at the Digital Excellence Initiative at the Cleveland Foundation and everyone at DigitalC for their encouragement and support.  And, to HIMSS North America to hosting this 1st Annual gathering.

NOTICE:  CALL FOR SESSION IDEAS - The Saturday, CLE - UnConference is an opportunity to mingle with users, developers, advocates, and folks of all backgrounds around tech and data.  It's your opportunity to bring ideas and use your fellow attendees for their expertise in hacking out solutions.

Sessions are not lectures or presentations, they're collaborative, inclusive, discussions that serve as a sounding board for ideas and solutions. Submit your ideas here (as many as you'd like) - help us ideate our civic tech and data future!

And, thanks to all of our Ctrl + Alt + CLE SPONSORS: 






DataDaysCLE playlist



Monday, January 30, 2017

Cleveland City Council passes Resolution No. 120-17 declaring "Welcoming City"

Cleveland City Council passed the following resolution this evening with this summary: "Strongly objecting to the recent Presidential Executive Order joining with all Americans who believe that the Executive Order is unlawful and un-American and further, declaring Cleveland, Ohio to be a “Welcoming City” and calling upon the people of Cleveland to join together to build a stronger, united community."

Below is the Council's Press Release and Resolution No. 120-17.  Please see a separate open letter that I have signed onto (hereto President Trump being organized and supported by Local Progress and local government officials across the U.S.

Additionally, many who support our Council's efforts to be a welcoming city for Refugees, Immigrants and un-documented people have asked about the potential for the City of Cleveland to become a Sanctuary City.

Resolution No. 120-17 has statements within it that supports the spirit of sanctuary cities.  But Cleveland City Council and the Jackson Administration could do more to codify and develop Police Orders and other tools to ensure that City resources are not deployed for the enforcement of Federal Immigration Laws.

For more information about Sanctuary Cities, see the following links:

CLE Press Release - City Council Welcoming City by Brian Cummins on Scribd




On a related note, thanks to the organizers and all the Greater Clevelanders that came out for the Emergency Cleveland Rally for Immigrants, Muslims,
& Sanctuary Cities
held on Sunday at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Select photos from Erik Óliver Jørgensen







Friday, January 13, 2017

Ward 14 News, Winter 2016/17

Winter 2016/17 Newsletter featured articles:

  • Clark -Fulton and Caribe Bake Shop
  • Carla Diamon and Concentrated Inspection Areas (Housing Code Enforcement)
  • New Fulton Library Reading Garden
  • Ngemba Family Home Renovation
  • CYCC/CMHA ConnectHome (computer training) Graduation
  • Alleyway Responsibility
  • Marilyn Weizcoreck's and Model Block Improvements
  • Winter Snow Removal Policy
  • Why Adult Literacy Matters - feature on Seeds of Literacy and May Dugan Center

Ward 14 Cummins Winter16 17 Web by Brian Cummins on Scribd



Cleveland Ward 14 Map, effective January 2014
[For an interactive map see the Cleveland City Council Ward 14 page.]

Ward14 Map 2014 by Brian Cummins on Scribd







CYC2.0 and CMHA ConnectHome - Computer Training Graduation

By Bill Callahan, Director, Connect Your Community 2.0

Twenty-two residents of CMHA's Scranton Castle, Crestview and Manhattan Tower Apartments celebrated their new computer and Internet skills -- and new home computer systems -- at a crowded graduation ceremony in the Scanton Castle Community Room on October 19th.

CYC2.0 Graduates from CMHA's Scranton Castle, Crestview
and Manhattan Tower Apartments, October 19th 2016.
Councilman Brian Cummins, Graduate Verna T. Bell
and CMHA Executive Director Jeffery Patterson.
 
The graduates represented the first two classes of West Side CMHA participants in basic computer and Internet training, offered through a partnership between Ward 14's Connect Your Community Center and CMHA's "Connect Home" program. Each graduate received a diploma certifying his or her new skills along with a free, refurbished desktop computer system, donated to the CYC Center by CMHA's information technology department.



Several dozen neighbors packed into the Community Room for the ceremony, along with CMHA Executive Director Jeffery Patterson and members of his staff, Ward 14 Councilman Brian Cummins, and representatives of the CYC Center and its parent organization, the Asbury Senior Computer Community Center.

Bill Callahan of the CYC Center, lead trainer Richard Moseley and Center volunteer Tracy Bucher spoke briefly about the training the graduates had received and urged other neighbors to sign up for the next round of classes.

Director Patterson, Councilman Cummins and ASC3 Exective Director Wanda Davis each addressed to the gathering about the urgency of closing Cleveland's digital divide, before formally presenting their diplomas and congratulations.
Trainer Richard Moseley and Bill Callahan , Director of CYC2.0
The Connect Your Community Center, located in the Brooklyn Center Plaza at Pearl and Archwood, has offered free basic computer training and Internet connection assistance to Ward 14 residents and other West Siders since 2014.

Councilman Cummins has supported the Center with Ward 14 funding since its inception with an interest to increase computer literacy in the surrounding neighborhoods.  Neighbors interested in taking classes can call the Center's voicemail at 216-548-8651, or check the website for schedule information.
CYC2.0 Graduates, family and friends congratulating each other!

In addition to the work being done by CYC2.0 and ASC3 on training, they also assist our broader community in tracking and advocating for digital inclusion with national partners.  For more information on those efforts see the CYC 2.0 web site and read this article - What’s digital exclusion and why does it matter?

Here is a map showing the challenges faced in our work with digital inclusion in Cleveland.  It shows the fixed broadband connections as a percentage households in Cleveland's 175 census tracts.  Cleveland joins the City of Detroit in having fewer than 40% of households served by fast DSL or cable Internet connections at the end of 2014 according to data filed with the Federal Communication Commission by Internet providers and mapped by CYC 2.0.

Updated maps show no-broadband majorities in
most Cleveland and Detroit neighborhoods

Thursday, January 12, 2017

RTA’s 2016 Highlights

Communications (RTA’s 2016 Highlights) from Joseph A. Calabrese, CEO, General Manager and Secretary-Treasurer, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.


From: Joseph Calabrese
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2017
Subject: RTA Update

I’m pleased to share with you RTA’s 2016 Highlights.

Although RTA was often in the news in 2016, the “good news” stories seemed difficult to find!

Please review our accomplishments, feel free to share them with your colleagues, and be sure to call with any questions or suggestions.

RTA finished 2016 in a good financial position and has a stable budget for 2017.  Our biggest challenge ahead is to encourage the State of Ohio to take steps to mitigate the impact of a future loss in sales tax revenues as a result of a federal ruling which, if not addressed, will reduce annual resources to RTA and Cuyahoga County by approximately $40 million annually.

...I truly appreciate your strong support.

Joseph A. Calabrese
CEO, General Manager and Secretary-Treasurer
GCRTA
1240 West Sixth Street
Cleveland, Ohio  44113