Return of the Cuyahoga: the film!

Submitted by lmcshane on Wed, 03/05/2008 - 23:44.
03/08/2008 - 16:45
03/09/2008 - 21:15

So, if you made a movie, who would you pick for the stars???  I never thought that people I know would make the BIG time.  Do you think it is too late to ask for their autographs? 

SEE the film at the Cleveland International Film Festival--Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 4:45 p.m. & Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 9:15.  Both showings at Tower City Cinemas.

WHO'S WHO in The Return of the Cuyahoga
(in order of apperance)

Elaine Marsh is a long-time environmental activist, a founding member of the Friends of the Crooked River and president of Ohio Greenways.

A river is more than a ditch with an aqueous solution running through it. A river is really the heart of the community.

Paul Alsenas is the director of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, an organization that believes sustainability is the framework for new development.

We can bring this river back. That is the basic premise.

David Beach is the founder of EcoCity Cleveland, an organization promoting green development in city neighborhoods.

I tell my wife that as much as I love you, I have a more intimate relationship with Lake Erie, because Erie's water is in every cell of my body.

Dr. John J. Grabowski is the Krieger-Mueller professor of history at Case Western Reserve University and director of research at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland.

Once upon a time, smoke symbolized power.

Frank Samsel is the founder of Samsel Supply Company and the mastermind behind the Putzfrau, a highly-effective river cleaning vessel.

In a sixteen-hour day we would move a hundred yards of debris and twenty thousand gallons of oil. Now that's not bad.

Steve Litt, architecture for The Plain Dealer, was named Best Critic in Ohio in 2004 and 2005 by the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists.

In northeast Ohio there are organizations committed to bringing back the river.

David Stradling has taught urban and environmental history at the University of Cincinnati since 2000. His research has focused on the many ways in which urbanization has changed the Cuyahoga.

The river may function as an industrial artery, but it is also was really a river.

Robert Fretz retired as a watershed ranger after 32 years in the field. He is currently working on his masters degree in Justice Studies at Kent State.

People would have salt brine collect in their gas well, so they would let it out over the ground. People had built houses and not built a septic system.

Captain Wayne Bratton of Trident Marine has lived and worked on the Cuyahoga for over fifty years ago.

Fifty years ago the river boiled like a cauldron. This was all very black, and just constantly bubbling like a stew on a stove.

Dr. Sylvia Hood Washington is an engineer, historian and associate professor at the University of Illinois Chicago. She has studied critical issues in the environment for the past 25 years.

After the fire Cleveland suddenly became the mistake by the lake. For a while there it was just very difficult for people to say 'I'm from Cleveland.'

Mark Winegardner is the author of Crooked River Burning and other novels.

No matter what happens the river is a sort of metaphorical heart of Cleveland. Having it clean, having it be healthy, will always be something on which this city can build.

Joe Mosbrook has worked for 35 years as a television reporter for Channel 3 News in Cleveland.

I was working for NBC news, Cleveland bureau, and we heard on the police scanner that there was a fire along the river. It was a relatively minor story.

Jonathan Adler is Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law & Regulation at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Symbols are very important in politics. And the symbol of a burning river could be a catalyst for political action.

Roger Thoma is a biologist affiliated with the State University of Ohio and the Ohio EPA. He is an expert on river life in the Cuyahoga.

There's a lot of water. But there's no place for fish.

Jim Weakley is the President of Lake Carriers' Association, an association that has represented U.S.-Flag commercial vessel operators on the Great Lakes since 1880.

The Cuyahoga River is really what makes transportation of bulk materials possible in northeast Ohio.

Bill Zawiski is a biologist and environmental scientist at the Ohio EPA.

Dams take a free flowing river and they make it something that isn't a river, and they make it something that isn't a lake. Both of those are failures from a biological standpoint.

David Sinclair is the president of Advanced Hydro Solutions. He has spent over 32 years in global marketing, business management and business development.

We'd like to put the dam back to work at a time when we need all the renewable energy resources that we can find in this country.

Steve Tuckerman is a biologist and water expert with 27 years experience at the Ohio EPA.

Dams are temporary structures in the environment. And since they've been placed by man, they can be taken out by man.

Frank Greenland is Director of Capital Programs Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. Frank Greenland and an avid fisherman.

The combined sewer overflow problem is not unique to Cleveland. All communities near large bodies of water that urbanized quickly had have combined sewers.

John P. Debo, Jr. is Superintendent of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. He began his career with the National Park Service in 1976.

After rain events the Cuyahoga River ceases to be a clean flowing stream and becomes a kind of sewer that empties sewage into the city of Cleveland.

Dave Lincheck is the director of the West Creek Preservation Committee, an organization that works to conserve green space and improve water quality, in the West Creek Watershed.

We started going door-to-door to collect signatures to support what we were doing. I'm not the type to get active politically, and collecting signatures was very difficult for me.

David Vasarhelyi, after 17 years as a ranger with the National Park Service, founded and served for seven years as a volunteer director of the West Creek Preservation Committee.

My secret weapon was my three-month-old daughter. People will not close a door on somebody with a small baby in a backpack, selling clean water.

Neal Hess was the Watershed Coordinator for the West Creek Preservation Committee.

We know that we can never completely restore West Creek to the way it was back in the 1800s. But we can we can make it so that people want the stream to be a part of their lives.

Alex Bevan of Cleveland, Ohio has been a fixture on the Northeast Ohio folk music scene for many years. His most recent CD release is entitled "Fall and Angels."

In the film he sings Randy Newman's "Burn On, Big River."

..and the real star, the RIVER!!!!


Cleveland, OH
United States
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kum bai ah?

I once met a drunk at Duck Island who claimed he was the one who set the river on fire... as I recall, he said he saw setting logs on fire in the river and and one of them drifted into other wood and poof... probably true...

In any case, I saw this documentary mentioned on REALNEO and am interested but I will be really pissed off if it is a political lovefest for all the failed envionmental policy and inaction in NEO in my lifetime... I look forward to discussing this deeply... see you at the movies.

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Avid Birders will love the film

Well ZM--you are right.  I am an old, avid birder, so this film was for me!

Norm, you are right--the film should at the very least include Ed Hauser.

  What interests me is how the film got made.  I will try and give more of an accounting later.  Just an aside, Wayne Bratton shown in the film is ageless and so are the others: Elaine Marsh, Paul Alsenas, Dave Vasarhelyi...all of the "stars" are personal heroes to me--which goes to show that it helps to be a fighter :)

I know--I am hoping it is a decent film.  We can't congratulate ourselves just yet.  It is a real Cuyahoga County tendency...I do immensely respect a lot of these people, but the presentation is a little cheesy.  Tune in tomorrow...for the latest installment of the Cuyahoga County melodrama :)  Where did you meet the drunk Norm?  I hope that you are not hanging out under the bridges :)

Zzzzz ZZzzzz ZZzzz

Up to about 10 movies so far.. including a slew of shorts.

I give this Cuyahoga doc three zzz's

I think the film has historic appeal and is chock full of stunning images in the early part of the film but as the foci shift to contemporary state of the river I got sleepy.   I feel it will have appeal to seniors who are avid birders and are comfortable not taking much of a stand.   All of the Good historical information about the oil spill response industry in our area was unique but overall Zzzzzz.    The sleep quotent reminded me of the film "The Gleaners and I" a doc about the french gleaning culture and laws.   A story that needs to be told, but a sleepy story unless you add spice!

See you at private screening on tuesday.   If you missed the invite on GLBC's event calander, check this here.. you have to RSVP by the 10th to get in.  Tis Free for the film and they validated my parking and more.  More intel on the free screening on tuesday is online on Great Lakes main web page. 



Is it accurate and what is conclusion?

I only know of one documentary that accurately presents anything positive about environmentalism in Northeast Ohio, and that is Citizen Hauser.

So what is the bottom line on this Cuyahoga River piece... is it greenwashing, "Mission Accomplished", a call to action?

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