Issue: August 2007 Issue
Letters from our readers.
Not Cynical, Just Honest
In Michael Roberts’ July column, “A Reality Problem,” he is not being cynical in his view on the city of Cleveland — he is merely being openly observant, honest and, I’m sad to say, right on the money.
As a native Clevelander, the state of our once great city brings me to tears. There is a lot of talk, plenty of committees, a lot of money spent on “studies” and ideas put forth. Unfortunately, the two important things Cleveland lacks are decisions and action. The years-long derogatory “Quiet Crisis,” as set forth by WVIZ and The Plain Dealer, has turned into the “Screaming Demolition.” I could have summed it up in 20 minutes — and not wasted years and years of time and money to tell people the same thing.
Cleveland’s glory years of former-Mayor George Voinovich, and even the first term of former-Mayor Mike White, were exciting — cranes all over downtown for projects like Tower City, The Galleria, the new North Coast Harbor, both the East and West banks of the Flats. ... From 1989 to1991, I lived at Riverbend Condominiums in the Flats — next to bustling Sammy’s. The crowds and noise level was my reason for leaving — can you imagine? Using river taxi boats, we’d eat on both sides of the Flats! The streets were packed with cars and people.
After the opening of Tower City and The Galleria, I wrote a lengthy letter to former-Mayor White, Forest City’s Sam Miller, county commissioners and the downtown councilman outlining my idea for perpetuating the city’s growth. Euclid Avenue to Playhouse Square, and East Ninth to the Harbor should offer upscale outlet malls, which would tie everything already built together, as in other cities that foster tourism — San Francisco and Chicago. Needless to say, no one responded. Now from my office window on Euclid Avenue and East Ninth Street, only a small section at East Fourth Street shows any life.
To have so much money available for the lamentable Euclid Corridor — and the strings attached that “it must be used for this project” — is ludicrous. Roberts’ column is correct — these businesses will not return. Also, RTA better wake up to the fact that no one else, other than those who currently ride buses down Euclid Avenue, is going to ride buses down it! Why should they? Because the bus goes in the middle of the street? Is this an incentive for me to get on that bus? When I go to University Circle, I drive.
WVIZ put its new studio downtown to show faith in the city. Shortly after the move, it aired one of the local cooking shows, featuring viewers and local restaurant owners preparing their favorite recipes. Through windows behind the hosts, viewers could look out onto East 14th Street and Euclid Avenue that Saturday morning. What a sad scene! A car going by every once in a while, a homeless person pushing a cart — what were they thinking? This is great for the “Today Show,” but a weekend morning in Cleveland? I was totally embarrassed! Fortunately, the station had the good sense not to do this on future programs.
Today, Cleveland has the misfortune of having an invisible mayor. We never hear from him; we never see him. I’m sure he’ll say he is busy working behind the scenes, but that doesn’t cut it. Cleveland needs an in-your-face loud mouth, get-things-done Richard Daley kind of mayor! Someone out there every day fighting for this town! Someone inciting action!
Spelling Out the Obvious
Another great article by columnist Pat Perry (president of ERC)! He is always the first one I read when I receive your magazine.
Pat always has such good insights and often expresses the blinding obvious, which many business folks do not see. A very smart HR guy!
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