Child Development

My Message to Washington DC about Working Class Issues With CRA, CDCs and Urban Planning In real NEO

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 12/09/2010 - 12:18.

My Message to Washington DC about Working Class Issues With CRA, CDCs and Urban Planning In real NEO

My posting on CRA - Expand the Community Reinvestment Act to Bring Trillions MORE Dollars in Safe and Sound Investments to America's Neighborhoods - has had enough time online to offer some important insight.

First of all, from comments, CRA is a confusing issue and even liberal community development advocates associate CRA with urban development ills - projecting frustrations with local political corruption and planning failure upon all Federal urban renewal efforts, lumping in CRA (and organizations like NCRC). In fact, these citizens do not understand where CRA fits in and are misplacing their anger - missing an opportunity to support what may help.

Those responsible for educating citizens about CRA and credit issues - the councilpeople and CDCs - are the ones causing the harm and frustration for working class citizens, who feel under-served and under-represented - and they are under-educated about Federal efforts to improve their lives, and the availability of basic help.

Study Will Recommend Ways to Strengthen Sustainability at EPA - The Future of Sustainability is General Systems Theory

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 12/01/2010 - 12:33.

Study Will Recommend Ways to Strengthen Sustainability at EPA

November 30, 2010 -- The National Research Council, at the request of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has launched a study to strengthen the scientific basis for incorporating sustainability concepts into EPA’s decision-making. “Today I am formally requesting President Cicerone and the National Academies convene a committee of experts to provide to the U.S. EPA an operational framework for sustainability that applies across all of the agency’s programs, policies, and actions,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson at an event held at the National Academy of Sciences’ Koshland Science Museum. NAS President Ralph Cicerone and Bernard Goldstein, chair of the committee that will conduct the study, made remarks as well.

Science Wednesday: The Future is Sustainability - Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 - By Paul Anastas

LPJ-at-NRC

Wow! November 30th was an amazing day for the EPA. Not only are we in the midst of commemorating four decades of accomplishments in protecting the health and the environment, but Administrator Jackson also made a landmark speech at the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Science on the future of the EPA. That future is sustainability. The Administrator laid out her vision to a packed house of luminaries from across the spectrum, from academia to industry, to environmental groups.

EPA Recognizes Sustainable Communities with Smart Growth Awards

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 12/01/2010 - 12:25.

2010 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement

2010 Awards cover

"Well-conceived, effectively implemented environmental protection is good for economic growth… A clean, green, healthy community is a better place to buy a home and raise a family; it’s more competitive in the race to attract new businesses; and it has the foundations it needs for prosperity." – EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, March 8, 2010

Exceptional News for NEO - FirstEnergy to Close Dirty Coal Burning Power Plants, including Lake Shore, on Lake Erie in Cleveland

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 11/29/2010 - 06:43.

 

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported today Birders to lose favorite perches, birds lose havens when 2 power plants close, whereby the PD takes some of the best economic development and public health news of Clevelanders' lifetimes - "plans by FirstEnergy Corp. to close lakefront power plants at East 72nd Street in Cleveland and in Eastlake in Lake County" (and two others on Lake Erie, apparently) - and presents that as bad news for bait shops, birds, ecotourism and the region.

The PD doesn't even mention that what this news really means for Clevelanders is NOT BEING EXPOSED TO 148,141 pounds of toxic chemicals spewed by Lakeshore into the air Clevelanders breathe each year, and that will save lives and make citizens smarter, healthier and more productive in Northeast Ohio. Better air quality will lead to higher property values and reduced public health costs, and that will make this region wealthier and more attractive for residents, who will have a higher quality of life here with cleaner air quality. People will have fewer reasons not to move to the region, and more reasons not to leave.

"Clare threw around poverty that irresistible charm which only women can communicate to religious or civic heroism"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 11/26/2010 - 02:30.

Shortly after my daughter Clara was born, nearly 11 months ago, I shared her birth with the world on YouTube - realNEO homemovie 1 Women in HypnoBirth in Waterbirth Delivering Baby Happy - and on realNEO and it has since been viewed by nearly 110,000 people.... showing 300-400 people a day (and growing) how pure and simple birth and human life may be, to help the modern world rediscover the dignity of the human person. Feedback and inquiries from expectant mothers (and fathers) shows me the modern world heard us, and Clara helped many babies enjoy the best possible starts in life.

A Rare Example of the Unreal World Being Real: Michael Moore Confronts Industry Designed to Push Him Over Cliff

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 11/23/2010 - 19:00.

Watch this amazing video of award-winning filmmaker and intellectual activist Michael Moore nearly speechless as he comes to terms, on Countdown, with a Cigna Insurance industry executive, now retired from the industry, who has written a book about how the insurance industry conspired to attack Moore and his movie "Sicko", and deny Americans good healthcare, ultimately being about the failure and sorry state of corporate America, subverting and smearing the best interests of citizens... "which kills 45,000 people a year".

Sicko promotes the concept of universal healthcare, which renders the health insurance industry useless. In its current state, revealed here, the health insurance industry is far worse than useless than you may ever imagine... it is collusive, murderous, and evil, as confirmed by one of their top executives ever.

In 7th Year, REALNEO.US Surpasses 500K Annual Unique Visitor and 1 Million Annual Page Visit Levels

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 11/19/2010 - 04:15.


Google Analytics Traffic Data for realNEO.us for October 19 - November 18, 2010 (31 days)

Based on Google Analytics of realneo.us traffic, we are now at a level that exceeds 500,000 unique visitors and 1,000,000 page visits per year, and both metrics have been growing steadily for as long as we have tracked our web traffic metrics... so expect realNEO.us to exceed 1 million hits per year forever hereafter. By how much we exceed these metrics, with what growth rate for the future, is up to our members and community who create the content here that now attracts over 1,000,000 reads a year.

"I have recommended Cuyahoga County convene and sponsor overarching Greater Cleveland Food and Information Advisory Councils"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 19:02.

It is interesting to see published in Crain's Cleveland Business today Study advocates creation of NEO Food Authority to aid in localizing region's food supply that reports "A comprehensive study that examines the state and potential of Northeast Ohio's food economy calls for the creation of a NEO Food Authority that would facilitate a 25% shift in localizing the region's culinary and agriculture systems." That's the leading recommendation I made in my Preamble: Real Co-op for Open Food, Information and Community Development 2009, which I developed with one of the authors of the study Crain's references today, Brad Masi, about two years ago.

To optimize value in these critical sectors, I have recommended Cuyahoga County convene and sponsor overarching Greater Cleveland Food and Information Advisory Councils, like and associated with the Greater Cleveland Lead Advisory Council, and county leaders should take active roles leading the councils and in planning these multi-billion-dollar sectors of our economy and society... we must not entrust the leadership, innovation, financial engineering and decision-making control to under-engaged government and over-engaged foundations, academe, industry and non-profits.

Planning these sectors should not happen behind closed doors in any ways at all, as has been the case in the past.

Crain's is reporting on "Economist Michael Shuman, who is part of the local and national consulting team that has conducted the Northeast Ohio Local Food Assessment, presented the study's findings Tuesday, Nov. 16, to a sold-out meeting at the City Club of Cleveland." Apparently, a bunch of Foundation-paid consultants have finished planning local foods behind closed doors.

The report is found at the NEO Food Web portal - you must register for access, which seems open to the public, and Drupal.... see Summary of NEO Local Food Assessment and Plan after you have set up an account... or just click the following link for a 354 KB .PDF of the "summary" report (the only report posted)... Summary of The 25% Shift- Northeast Ohio Local Food Assessment and Plan.

Department of Homeland Security Publicly Available Social Media Monitoring and Situational Awareness Initiative

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 13:33.

November 14, 2010, AlterNet featured an important article by G.W. Schulz, Center for Investigative Reporting: Workers, Be Careful: Facebook Snoops Looking Over Your Shoulder - Corporations and government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, are increasingly using new communications tools for surveillance purposes. In this report, Schulz profiles "a new company called Social Intelligence billing itself as a social media private eye will observe your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other online accounts on behalf of employers to make certain you’re not a liability."

    Background checks involving criminal records and credit histories are typical and even expected of many major employers responsible for children, nursing homes or public safety.

    But the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company takes this concept to a new level offering an automated tool that mines social media content for troubling signs. Search filters can be customized “to reflect corporate culture,” and additional manual reviews are conducted by “social media experts.”

    A display tells the human resources manager in your workplace how many “negative” hits are uncovered, placing the names of both job applicants and active employees next to red flags like “drugs/drug lingo,” “gangs,” “poor judgment” and “demonstrating potentially violent behavior.”

    Social Intelligence is the latest in an ever-expanding movement by both corporations and government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, to use new communications tools for surveillance purposes. Some of the most provocative examples yet emerged only in recent weeks.

The Origin of “BuildingWhat?”

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 12:32.

The Origin of  “BuildingWhat?”

More than eight years after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, New York Supreme Court Justice Edward H. Lehner was hearing arguments in a courtroom less than a mile from Ground Zero about a ballot initiative to launch a new investigation of the 9/11 attacks. When the lawyer for the plaintiffs sponsoring the initiative explained that the 9/11 Commission report left many unanswered questions, including “Why did Building 7 come down,” the Judge replied quizzically, “Building what?”

Like Judge Lehner, millions of people do not know or remember only vaguely that a third tower called World Trade Center Building 7 also collapsed on September 11, 2001. In any other situation, the complete, free fall collapse of a 47-story skyscraper would be played over and over on the news. It would be discussed for years to come and building design codes would be completely rewritten. So, why does no one know about Building 7? And why did Building 7 come down?

The answers to these questions have far-reaching implications for our society. The goal of the “BuildingWhat?” campaign is to raise awareness of Building 7 so that together we can begin to address these questions.

THE MONEY BUSINESS - The art museum's new boss gets a crash-course in American arts funding - CleveScene

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 11/04/2010 - 01:11.

It's a toss up to me between my two favorite assets in Cleveland - The Cleveland Orchestra or the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) - so I am always interested in unique perspectives on those worlds. The CMA is especially interesting right now as they near completion of a massive expansion, that is going very well, and they bring a new Director on board - from the Canadian Museum of Art - David Franklin.

In this week's Scene Magazine, Michael Gill offers the most informative and interesting perspectives on recent CMA developments I've seen, with THE MONEY BUSINESS - The art museum's new boss gets a crash-course in American arts funding.

I've had a good feeling about Franklin from all I've read, and this adds to my enthusiasm. He seems like a personable family man who will integrate with and celebrate with the community rather than hover above, as is so often the case with people in such lofty places - we'll be seeing much human interest in this family in the community, and expect people will appreciate the additions to the community - and neighborhoods of Shaker, where the Franklins have settled.

Of interest in Gill's informative reporting are some financials on the museum and it's operations, including - "Its largest and most dependable source of public funding — the cigarette tax — is just a $1.5 million fragment of the museum's $30 million overall budget". As the museum is one of the greatest in the world and one of few that are FREE - YES FREE - I'd say this is one public expenditure worth spending... although I strongly oppose this sin tax. I'd prefer to offer them some SALES TAX, de la MedCon.

Not having to seriously consider alternatives to the dominant ways of doing things is one of the beauties of privilege

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 11/02/2010 - 15:52.

I once told an supposedly "green" friend that in the future he will not get to jet off to India or Brazil if he can afford, as that will not be ecologically responsible. He nearly cried.

Flying Is One of the Worst Things You Can Do for the Environment -- So Why Do So Many Well-Intentioned Folks Do It?

It's not easy being "Green" - that is life... as highlighted here, and provided in full below, from AlterNet:

The trouble with this is that flying is the single most ecologically costly act of individual consumption, one that requires the exploitation of large amounts of environmental and human resources. In a world of deep inequality, it thus also speaks to privilege -- most notably what we might call ecological privilege -- and its ugly flipside, disadvantage.

Moreover, the climate-destabilizing effects of air travel -- per passenger mile -- dwarfs that of other modes because of the enhanced climatic “forcing” it brings about: due to the height at which planes fly combined with the mixture of gases and particles they emit, conventional air travel detrimentally impacts global climate approximately 2.7 times more than that of its carbon emissions alone, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Understanding The Cannabis Divide is Critical to the Process of Legalizing the Cannabis Economy in Ohio

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 10/27/2010 - 04:40.

Medicinal Marijuana and edibles samples from Green Depot, Denver, Colorado
Legal, licensed Super Skunk and Blueberry Medical Marijuana and Cannabutter food samples from Green Depot, Denver, Colorado

In Denver, Colorado, the above medicine cabinet provides citizens economic opportunity and legal, natural, organic relief from many health ailments - in Cleveland, Ohio, the contents get citizens arrested... especially if they fit the demographic profiles targeted by new Jim Crow laws in America, designed to imprison our poor, minority, urban male population.

That reality defines The Cannabis Divide in America, which presents modern Americans with some of the greatest economic and social disparities in the history of the nation, leading to treatment and accommodations for blacks and Latinos (prison) that are inferior to those provided for white Americans (freedom), systematizing a number of economic, educational and social disadvantages (defining Jim Crow laws).

As I highlight below, from a study about criminal injustice in Northeast Ohio: "those areas that have the highest percentages of African-Americans are especially likely to be subject to police surveillance and arrests" for drug possession, leading to poorer treatment and accommodation of proportionately more blacks than whites in our inferior quality-of-life prisons.

"Of those drug possession cases in which the race of arrestee is known within Cleveland city limits, as Table 1 below illustrates, there has been a consistent magnitude of over-representation of non-whites among drug possession arrestees over the past 10 years."

EPIC CLEVELAND HARDCORE COMPILATION THE NEW HOPE - Released By Smog Veil Records As Double LP -- Ships November 2, 2010

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 10/26/2010 - 11:10.

American homicide rate over the last century-plus
American homicide rate over the last century-plus

This is cool, Cleveland - hardcore first-wave thrashings from the lead poisoned capital of America at the height of lead poisoning's impact on Americans... sonic origins don't get any more mutated than that. I'll guarantee the following compilation re-release will take listeners to the depths of our industrial hell, at tis worst... and I haven't even heard the album - sounds awesome and as real as Cleveland music may get:

 EPIC CLEVELAND HARDCORE COMPILATION THE NEW HOPE
Released By Smog Veil Records As Double LP -- Ships November 2, 2010

Chicago, IL, October 26, 2010 – Smog Veil Records is excited to announce The New Hope double LP featuring 64 tracks with performances by ten North Eastern Ohio first wave hardcore bands.

The New Hope comp was originally released on Tom Dark’s New Hope Records in 1983. It included debut performances from The Guns, The Dark, No Parole, Offbeats, Agitated, Zero Defex, Starvation Army, Spike In Vain, Outerwear, and PPG.

realNEO Question of the Day: "What should I do? Should I be who you want me to be?"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 10/26/2010 - 09:53.

The repackaging of LeBron James beyond parochial-Cleveland regional slave to global free-thinking phenomenon has begun. Enjoy this first world-class commercial video redefining the LeBron James persona of the future - the African American leader of the future - escaped from the slavery of small-mindedness, asking "What should I do? Should I be who you want me to be?"

From my personal experience, I must ask Clevelanders... do you really know who are your greatest leaders, and what you want your leaders to do? Are you satisfied with what your chosen leaders provide to citizens? Are they the real reason the Cavs are not champions - that LeBron is gone?

Hi Norm, I think we should take down Cleveland Thermal. Thoughts?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 10/26/2010 - 02:11.

This week, I was thrilled to receive the following forward-thinking message from Nachy Kanfer, Campaign Representative, Midwest States, Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign:

Hi Norm, I think we should take down Cleveland Thermal. Thoughts?

Cleveland Thermal is a major private out-of-state-investor-owned downtown Cleveland and regional air polluter that burns 10,000s tons of coal each year... emits 1,000s of tons of pollution on Clevelanders and the surrounding world each year... to benefit only large real estate investors and corporate, institutional and government customers - much like the private, out-of-license "district" coal-burning Medical Center Company (MCCO) plant polluting the community excessively a few miles away, in University Circle.

EPA Greenversations for National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week: “Preventing Lead Poisoning”

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 10/25/2010 - 11:46.

EPA Greenversations: “Preventing Lead Poisoning”

Posted on October 25th, 2010 - 10:30 AM

Picture this: You live in a gorgeous older row home in Washington D. C. Although it’s a “fixer upper”, you bought it for its unmatched Victorian charm and its unbeatable location (Who doesn’t want to live next to a cupcake shop?). You finally decide it’s time to remodel the kid’s room and update the kitchen, but your spidey-sense is going off because you know that renovating a pre-1978 homes with lead paint can have risks. What’s the next step?

  • Do a search on the internet about EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule
  • Look for a contractor, but make sure to ask them if they are EPA Lead-Safe Certified
  • Check with your pediatrician about testing your children for lead

The Senate scrapped the leading bill to curb carbon emissions following opposition from Republicans and coal-state Democrats

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 10/16/2010 - 09:11.

I've learned first-hand how people become environmentalists. They realize they are being polluted, get mad as hell, and do something about it... NIMBY... Not In My Back Yard!

Learning the harm of lead poisoning in my back yard made me an environmentalist against lead poisoning in my community and worldwide.

Learning the harm of pollution from the Arcelor/Mittal Cleveland Works steel mills in my back yard made me an environmentalist against steel production pollution in my community and worldwide.

Learning the harm of pollution from Medical Center Company coal burning in my back yard made me an environmentalist against coal burning in my community and worldwide.

Which has me exploring how big is my back yard... how big is my community?

Independence of the day 2010: The people of NEO may find freedom from "Cleveland Works"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 10/15/2010 - 11:10.

On July 4, 2006, I posted Independence of the day: May the people of NEO find freedom from "Cleveland Works" - a big picture analysis of the $ multi-billion harm caused in Northeast Ohio each year as a result of the Mittal Cleveland Works steel plant being here, and I concluded: "I propose we start working as an activist community to eliminate Mittal and Cleveland Works and all polluters large and small from our region"... leading to "When I met with my counsel about legalizing cannabis in Ohio, I explained I never bring up a problem without a solution".

It is safe to say that my 2006 posting against Mittal pollution of Northeast Ohio was my first shot in a one-website war against all excessive and unreasonable polluters in Northeast Ohio - a war that has made me about as popular here as was Patton with the Nazis.

Clevelanders are victims of uncaring totalitarian dictators who are gassing our families with toxins that are unsafe for us and our community - they are disfiguring the data that would warn citizens of this harm - they use mainstream media to propagandize for polluters - they attempt to increase the pollution for industrialists' financial gains, at great public cost - they make us sick and weak with toxins that shorten our lives - they make this an undesirable place to raise a family, and for our children to raise families - THEY must be stopped.

In honor of the Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference, reflections on lead poisoning and vacant property in Cleveland

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 10/14/2010 - 14:00.

In honor of the Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference in Cleveland this week, I thought I would share some real reflections on why so much property is vacant in Cleveland - lead poisoning... which impacted the whole world but has caused especially pronounced harm in Northeast Ohio, continuing today.

Comparison of relative temporal changes in lead concentration in tooth enamel and lake sediments, and relative changes in the total amount of lead additives to gasoline
Comparison of relative temporal changes in lead concentration in tooth enamel and lake sediments, and relative changes in the total amount of lead additives to gasoline. Maximum absolute values and symbols are:  4.94 μg/g (teeth, smoothed data, uninterrupted line), 72.7 ppm (“new core Lake Erie sediment, triangles), 41.1 ppm  (Graney et al., 1995 Lake Erie sediment, open circles), and 253,000 mt of lead additives to gasoline produced in the US, closed circles (see Methods).

While I don't recall it being reported in Cleveland before, Thaindian News, of Bangkok, Thailand, reported, on June 16, 2010, Leaded gasoline chief culprit for 20th century neurological defects, which raises significant concerns about lead poisoning issues in Cleveland, Ohio, and America-wide, finding “It raises the question, has leaded gasoline had a lasting effect on many present-day Cleveland adults?” From Thaindian.com:

Leaded gasoline is to be blamed for nearly two-thirds of toxic lead ingested or inhaled by African-American children in Cleveland during the latter two-thirds of the 20th century, says a new study.

According to researchers from Case Western Reserve University, their findings probably apply to many cities across the US and reinforce concerns about the health threat for children in countries still using leaded gasoline.

However, they emphasize that the results do not minimize the ongoing importance of current childhood lead exposure due to persistence and deterioration of leaded paint which was used as late as the 1960’s.

"whether it's caused by future carbon legislation or action by the EPA, the migration away from coal has begun"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 10/13/2010 - 02:08.

There is an insightful article in the September 13, 2010, Wall Street Journal - Turning Away From Coal - which points out "Power companies are increasingly switching to natural gas to fuel their electricity plants, driven by low prices and forecasts of vast supplies for years to come. While the trend started in the late 1990s, the momentum is accelerating and comes at the expense of coal. Some utilities are closing coal-fired plants; others are converting them to run on gas." Futher, "The switch is occurring globally and is getting a push from regulators who want to limit emissions that contribute to climate change, haze and health problems such as respiratory illness."

This is excellent news for citizens of Northeast Ohio, who are victims of pollution from burning coal in many local and upwind coal powerplants that cause serious health consequences here - one in particular that citizens are fighting now is operated by the Medical Center Company, in the heart of University Circle, Cleveland, Ohio. Regarding such small coal-fired powerplants, The Journal reports: "Most big coal-burning utilities have invested billions of dollars to install pollution-control equipment on their largest coal-fired plants. But they are replacing or idling smaller coal plants for which such expenditures can't be justified."