Thursday, March 20, 2014

A 32 Hour Ohio Trip

Viewing the Presidential Planes gallery from the entry to SAM26000. I could definitely get used to this view.

Just before 7:00 AM Sunday, Dan & I bundled into the Element for a quick trip to Dayton. (Mason was boarded in a home provided by FlipFlop dogs, a wonderful service which I heartily recommend to dog owners.)

We arrived at the National Museum of the United States Air Force around 10:00 AM, giving us some time to look around before boarding a bus to another section of Wright-Patterson Air Force base.

The World War II hangar displays planes and other artifacts from the war. Not just American planes, including the Bockscar, which dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, but German and Japanese planes are included as well.
Plane nomenclature was not politically correct in the 1940s.

After about an hour, we headed out to view the Presidential Plane and Research & Development hangars. Billed as the Presidential Airlift, the former contains several prominent planes used by Presidents from Franklin Roosevelt to Bill Clinton.

The Sacred Cow was a modified Douglas C-54 Skymaster which carried FDR to the Yalta conference in 1945. (The aircraft which took him to Casablanca in 1943 was a modified Boeing 314 flying boat, but the Secret Service was leery of that model’s poor safety record and mandated a better plane for further Presidential flights.) The entry way to the Sacred Cow was short and I banged my head as I entered it. That was not something FDR would have had to deal with as there is an elevator that lifted him, in his wheelchair, from ground level to the flight level. As I walked through the fuselage, I was struck by how modest the interior was. The CEO of even a mid-size company would have more luxurious accommodations today.
The entryway to the Sacred Cow. Watch your head.

FDR's accommodations on the Sacred Cow were very modest by today's standards.

As the presidency grew, the Sacred Cow was outgrown and Harry Truman commissioned a C-118 Liftmaster, which he christened the Independence and outfitted with a color scheme which presaged today’s Air Force One. The plane had better accommodations, including a multi-line intercom.

The Presidential plane continued to grow as Eisenhower commissioned a Lockheed C121 Constellation, named the Columbine III by his wife Mamie, after the official state flower of Colorado. I suspect Mamie Eisenhower had a hand in decorating the interior of the plans as well, outfitted with chintz sofas and drab colors – no style at all. (I didn't bother taking a picture.) 

SAM26000, a modified Boeing 707, is arguably the most famous of the Presidential Planes. Jacqueline Kennedy recommended the designer who came up with details including the font on the exterior (based on the font used on the Declaration of Independence), along with the exterior and interior color scheme – both of which have been carried over into the present day Air Force One. First used in 1962, SAM26000 was seared into our national memory in archival films of President and Mrs. Kennedy exiting the plane to a cheering Dallas crowd On November 22, 1963 - with his coffin being carried onto the plane a scant three hours later. Members of President Kennedy’s staff had to remove four of the seats and saw away part of the bulkhead to accommodate his coffin.


I found the R&D hangar to be less interesting. Most of the aircraft were one-offs which never got put into actual production – and probably shouldn’t have made it past the drawing board. Viewing some of the bizarre looking planes, I could only muse at the huge tax expenditures for the military-industrial complex. It served as a reminder that while the United States spends more on the military than the next ten nations combined, we still can’t provide full health care for those who serve – to say nothing of countless uninsured civilians.

From the museum, Dan & I went to a concert with the Dayton Philharmonic, led by Neal Gittelman, at the Masonic Temple - a beautiful building containing a lovely hall with fine acoustics. The music included Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro overture, the Piano Concerto in C minor, K. 491 - with my friend Zsolt Bognár as soloist - and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

In my opinion, the C minor is the greatest of all Mozart’s piano concertos. It’s highly innovative, with an opening theme which covers all twelve notes of the chromatic scale. The central Larghetto is one of the few slow movements in a Mozart piano concerto which doesn’t need embellishment. The finale, a theme and variations, is among the darkest movements Mozart ever wrote, and the minor key ending is a rarity in a piano concerto. The whole work carries an emotional resonance that most of the other piano concertos, beautiful and finely written as they are, lack. Zsolt played the cadenza by Hummel, which Rubinstein also used – although the elder pianist trimmed a few bars toward the end. Zsolt’s performance was very fine, exquisitely scaled and balanced, with just the right amount of dramatic tension and pointed phrasing. The Dayton Philharmonic is a fine regional orchestra, with a surprisingly strong string section.

If there’s any piece of classical music one can refer to as overplayed, it’s Beethoven’s 5th. Not merely is the 5th overplayed in terms of frequency, but often it’s over-interpreted. For example, there is a phrase in the third movement where Beethoven indicates a ritardando toward the end. In too many performances led by too many conductors (who shall remain nameless), the pulse starts to slow early on in the phrase, well before the spot in the score where the composer placed the ritardando indication. In effect, the conductor is telegraphing Beethoven’s punches! I was relieved to hear that Maestro Gittleman interpreted the work as indicated, as did Toscanini before him. The work on the whole was briskly paced, with a riveting finale.
Zsolt signing copies of his CD after the concert.

After a relaxing evening and good night’s sleep, Dan & I headed to the Book Loft in Columbus. This is the kind of book store I’d have loved to work in, rather than the purgatorial chain store where I wasted four years of my professional life. The set of historic pre-Civil war buildings, with its 32 rooms of books and cubby holes, is the ideal place to browse away one’s day. After shopping there and leaving with an armful of literary booty, we strolled the German Village neighborhood. It’s ironic that, even as I have embarked upon more distant travel recently, there are nearby regions I have not explored. My parents used to regularly take the family to Columbus when I was a young child to visit my great aunt and her husband. But I can count the number of times I’ve been to Columbus as an adult on the fingers of one hand. It’s a lovely, ideally sized city, which I intend to visit more often. Indeed, from what I’ve seen were it not for my job and the Cleveland Orchestra, I could well envision myself living in Columbus.

We arrived home in South Euclid a few minutes before 3:00 pm, St. Patrick’s Day. A whirlwind trip!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Is 2014 the year for marriage equality in Ohio?

My spouse and I just filed our tax returns. Thanks to the 2013 Supreme Court ruling, for the first time, we were able to file our federal return as a married couple. Because of Ohio’s retrograde restrictions on same sex marriage, we had to file separately in Ohio - along with a special form advising why. Without delving into too much personal detail, the process was far more costly and time consuming than in the past. But it was worth the time and money involved, knowing that our 2010 Vermont marriage is recognized by the Federal government. It’s also worth the effort we’re putting into getting our end-of-life documents in order – something opposite sex married couples don’t necessarily need to do.

One group, FreedomOhio, has been collecting signatures to get the Freedom to Marry amendment on the ballot this year. FreedomOhio has received a great deal of pushback from state and national LGBT organizations, including Equality Ohio, the Human Rights Campaign, and even the American Civil Liberties Union. These groups contend that there are problems with the ballot language and the timing, and prefer to wait until 2016 to push their own amendment.

 As is often the case, there are valid arguments on both sides.

The verbiage of the proposed amendment IS poor. The religious exemption could be used in ways that are harmful to the LGBT community, particularly given the growing prevalence in religiously affiliated hospitals here. On the other hand, HRC and the other big money gay groups have lawyers on hand who could have hammered out the correct language before the petition drive began. Why didn’t they? That’s open to speculation, and I have my own opinion - which I will expand upon below.

 The argument that one can get married in another state and have it recognized Federally, or that 2016 is only two more years, gives little comfort to those with a dying loved one or otherwise going through a life changing event.

 I believe if Ohio voters had a chance to vote on the issue this year, 2004’s Issue 1 would be repealed and same sex marriage legalized – so long as the ballot issue received adequate support from the larger LGBT organizations. This isn’t based on some Pollyanna notion that all of Ohio has suddenly become enlightened, but on hard data from numerous polls. Indeed, as Ohio is a microcosm of the country as a whole, there are parts of the state that are shockingly backwards, as well as more progressive areas. But the tide has shifted in Ohio as it has in much of the country.

The last few years have seen tremendous progress for the LGBT community: Hate Crimes Legislation, two historic Supreme Court rulings, and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. In all cases, it took the activists to get the ball rolling, often with HRC and the other high profile groups cautioning that it wasn’t time yet before finally being dragged into the party. When HRC’s Joe Solomonese was replaced by Chad Griffin, I had faint hopes that HRC would start to push more – but thus far that hasn’t been the case. They continue to take the “wait for the perfect time” approach, hunker down in their $16 million headquarters, and plan their next black-tie fundraiser. But there is seldom a perfect time in politics – and we oughtn’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good. The optimal time could sneak up on us when we least expect it, even in Ohio. Like it or not, Ohio is a bellwether state. If SSM passes in Ohio (specifically by vote, rather than a judicial ruling), it would have a huge impact on the national marriage debate. The dominoes would start to fall very quickly. 

Essentially, there are two pieces of unfinished business remaining on the LGBT political agenda (as opposed to social issues, like bullying and teen suicide, where we still have a long way to go): nationwide marriage equality, and equal accommodations in employment, housing, credit, and the like. Once these political hurdles are jumped, there will be little reason for groups like HRC to exist. And I think they fear that even more than anti-gay discrimination.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Telling Mansion update

The 2nd lawsuit filed by the Save the Mansion Library group has been dismissed. The deed has been transferred and the Mansion is now owned by the Richard A. Barone charitable trust. According to this article, the SML group is considering a 3rd lawsuit – although it’s not specified what the lawsuit intends to accomplish since the Mansion has been sold. Meanwhile, the case against the SML leader who allegedly assaulted a Cuyahoga County Public Library board member goes to trial March 4.

 I understand and share people’s frustrations with the way the CCPL handled the library move – especially with regard to those in Lyndhurst. The fact remains, the CCPL is an independent entity (per the State and County charters), and elected officials can’t decide where the library builds any more than they can decide which books the library carries. When certain members of the SML group state the South Euclid city council and/or Planning Commission can stop the new Library from being built, they are lying.

With yet another lawsuit under consideration by the SML group, one has to ask: What part of “NO” don’t they understand? How can their leaders, in good conscience, continue to solicit donations for legal actions which have no chance of success? A member of the SML group boasted that they have several thousand dollars bankrolled – all of which is apparently going to lawyer’s fees. Wouldn’t what money be put to better use keeping the Mansion opened as a cultural and arts center? Those of us who love the Telling Mansion have a choice: Continue to exploit people’s anger over the way CCPL handled the deal, or move forward with a constructive plan for the Mansion.

Friday, January 17, 2014

An Open Letter to South Euclid's Mayfield Road Commercial Property Owners


Dear Mayfield Road Commercial Property Owner,

I am writing to you today as a concerned resident of my city of South Euclid, whose parents moved here in 1971.  In my experience, South Euclid is a community of engaged and friendly people who take pride in their property and care about the future of their neighborhoods and city.

A recurring disappointment, however, is the Mayfield Road business corridor, our ‘downtown’, which no longer reflects the dynamic vitality of our global residential community.

The condition of the commercial buildings along Mayfield Road has deteriorated to the point where I suspect the properties do not attract the types of businesses our community desires and deserves.  I’d love to be able to patronize more local, independently owned business.  Sadly, with a few exceptions like the Better Occasions Shop, and Chef’s Ingredient Outlet, many businesses moving in over the last few years represent the “lowest common denominator” and serve to harm the community’s image.  Part of the cause of this problem is poorly maintained, unsightly structures which do not appeal to either the kinds of business we’d like to attract, or to customers.  While your buildings may satisfy the legal standards for occupancy, the minimum legal standard is by no means acceptable in a community like South Euclid.  

As expressed many times in the public meetings held to develop the City of South Euclid’s Comprehensive Master Plan, a primary concern for the future of our community is the condition of our central business district, the Mayfield Road Corridor. The Master Plan makes many recommendations for improving the corridor, some of which will be implemented next year through a streetscape project at Mayfield & Green.  As a member of the Master Plan Citizens’ Steering Committee, I have blogged on this very subject.

Our residential neighborhoods also continue to recover from the foreclosure crises as more and more young families and members of the “creative class” are calling South Euclid home. This is in no small part due to engaged residents who have worked to install and maintain “pocket parks” and support the city’s Heritage Home program.  Our large core companies and institutions are growing, and we have seen new retail developments on the south side of the city. Cedar Center is an example of positive change in a previously blighted area.

Therefore, it is time for you, as a commercial property owner in the Mayfield Corridor, to make the investment to your property which will attract high-quality businesses.  A business that truly benefits the people of South Euclid, rather than exploiting our poorest citizens, will likely be in a position to pay higher rent. 

We as residents stand ready to patronize local businesses, and the City is willing to assist in finding those new businesses which will be attracted to a modern, attractive, and revitalized downtown.

For this to happen, it will require a partnership between residents, city officials, and you the property owners making an investment in our community. I stand ready to assist, just let me know how I can help. Improving our central business district is a necessity.

Sincerely,
Hank Drake
 

 

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 in review


For much of the world, 2013 was a difficult, strife ridden year: domestic and international terrorism, government abuse and suspicion thereof, and the anniversary of an American tragedy.  Yet the economy improved despite continued government sequestration and a protracted shutdown, and Congress did something it hadn’t done in two years – passed a budget.

I’ve made no secret that the most important domestic political issue to me is LGBT rights.  On that front, the community witnessed a series of judicial and political victories, so that by the end of this year, 17 states with a population of over 123 million people now have same-sex marriage.  It is my hope that in 2014, Ohio will join the ranks of those states.  The comings out of a number of celebrities, from Jodie Foster and Wentworth Miller, to Robbie Rogers and Tom Daley, contributed to the mainstreaming of LGBT people – much to the consternation of religious extremists and radical LGBT separatists. 

The big story in South Euclid this year was the purchase of South Euclid’s Telling Mansion by investor Richard A. Barone.  While the Cuyahoga County Public Library Board’s decision to move the branch to a new location and sell the Mansion has been unpopular, it now appears to be a fait accompli – despite a new lawsuit recently filed to prevent the sale from “closing”.  I believe that Mr. Barone’s proposal to use part of the Mansion as a porcelain art museum, and his welcoming of the TellingMansion Preservation Organization’s assistance represent the best way forward in guiding the Telling site into the future.

I went to more concerts this year than I can remember - Severance Hall is always a joy to visit (Blossom, not so much).  Of particular note was Jean-Yves Thibaudet’s spectacular performance of Liszt’s Todtentanz in the aftermath of a driving thunderstorm at Blossom.  But the most memorable event for me was the exploration of Sony’s 41 CD (plus 1 DVD) boxed set of Vladimir Horowitz at Carnegie Hall – performances spanning 1943-1978.  The term “astonishing” simply does not do justice to a series of performances that demonstrate that virtuosity and musicality are not opposing virtues.  Also on the piano front, my friend Zsolt Bognár’s recording was issued to widespread acclaim.

I seldom go to movies anymore – unless the item is either unique, or spectacular enough to warrant the cost of a ticket.  Two movies: Star Trek Into Darkness, and Man of Steel, were profoundly disappointing entries in franchises I’ve known and loved over the decades.

For me, the year was busy, with both difficulty and success on the personal front. 

My quest to get myself into better shape was stymied by chronic back troubles and a pinched nerve.  Yet I continued a basic routine of 30 minutes on the elliptical machine – five times per week – to promote cardiovascular health – and that combined with my diet prevented me from gaining weight. 

Toward the end of the year, I received some good news: a substantial promotion at work.  The flip side is that this will make even more demands on my time – which has already resulted in a falloff of my blog entries.  But I’ll still post from time to time.

Friday, November 22, 2013

In Memoriam: John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1917 - 1963


John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated fifty years ago today. 
 
One can speculate how different the 1960s would have been had JFK not been killed, just as one can wonder if Reconstruction would have gone differently had Lincoln not been shot (maybe) or if the Cold War would have been avoided had Franklin Roosevelt lived longer (probably not). But I cannot help the thought that Kennedy's premature death robbed this country of much of its optimism.

I had not yet been born, yet today I feel very deeply a sense of mourning. I think the country was substantively traumatized by JFK's assassination, a wound which was re-opened and deepened by the murders of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy in 1968.

For what it's worth, I firmly believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole gunman.  As for the astonishment that a nobody like Oswald could cut down President Kennedy in the prime of life, I merely state: Look at history.  Charles Guiteau, Leon Czolgosz, John Schrank, Guiseppe Zangara, Sara Jane Moore, John Hinckley.  With the exception of John Wilkes Booth, who was a well-known actor, nearly all of America’s presidential assassins and attempted assassins were unexceptional persons.  None of the conspiracy theories, nearly all of which contradict each other, have been able to come up with the conclusive evidence (if you will, "the smoking gun") which would prove a conspiracy.

It's unfortunately true that JFK, like many people of note, had his foibles. But it's equally true that JFK possessed a rare wit, grace under pressure, and a cool headedness which got the country through perilous times. One shudders to think how Richard Nixon would have handled the Cuban Missile Crisis.
 
I believe if JFK were, somehow, able to communicate with us today, he would say something along these lines:
 
It has been 50 years.  Why are so many people still fixating on conspiracy theories about who killed me and why?  I almost died during the war and after back surgery in 1954, so I'd already made peace with my Maker.  Have you?  I’m flattered by the attention.  But if you want to worry about murder, think of the 34 people who are murdered every DAY in this nation.  Why not do something about that?
 
I wanted America to look forward, not back.  What happened to the space program?  We should have a base on the Moon by now – we should be planning a manned mission to Mars.  Why did we pull back after going there a few times?  Do you think I wanted us to go there just to plant our flag and collect some rocks?  You know, when Martin and Bobby got here, they told me about this TV show, Star Trek, where all of Earth's races and even people from other planets worked together in solidarity to make the galaxy a better place. That’s the kind of future I wanted. 
 
Who are these people claiming I would be a Republican today?  Are you kidding me?  Sure, I was pro-business - if they behaved responsibly. But did you ever see the Press Conference when I ripped U. S. Steel a new one for raising the price of steel by $6 a ton?  Whose idea was it to repeal Glass-Steagall?  If I was President in 2008, those bankers who tanked the economy would have been thrown in jail.
 
What’s this Tea Party?  Sounds like a bunch of Birchers to me.  Why have they turned “moderation” and “compromise” into dirty words?  Compromise, moderation, and negotiating in good faith is how we beat the Soviets.  On behalf of Harry, Ike, Lyndon, Dick, Jerry, and Ronnie: You’re welcome.  Why didn’t you take advantage of the peace dividend and embark on a rebuilding and redevelopment program?  Oh, you decided to cut taxes instead.   I’m all for cutting taxes, but when I took office the top income tax rate was 90%, and I cut it down to 70%.  Now the top rate is half that and nothing can get done.  Nobody likes paying taxes, but there are things that need to be done in this country.  Our bridges and roads are in terrible disrepair.  C’mon people, let’s get moving.
 
I asked Americans to sacrifice for their country, not sequester themselves in 3,000 square foot McMansions where they don’t even talk to their neighbors.  How did we allow obesity to skyrocket?  Why are kids vegetating in front of the TV and video games when they should be going outside to play ball?  Heck, I played football with a bad back, and all the other medical problems I had - but let’s not talk about that now.
 
My point in a nutshell is: people are being passive when they should be getting off their butts, looking forward, and working toward a better future. America must pursue her grandest dreams, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because they will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.  
 
Jackie’s here with me.  She says to stop showing that film of me getting shot.  It’s disgusting.  Concentrate on what I was trying to do as President, not how I died.
 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

2013 Election Endorsements - Just say Yes

This year’s ballot has been described as “levy-heavy”, but that’s small wonder considering many of the services funded by these levies have faced the dual challenge of reduced funding – brought about by the decline in property values during the Great Recession, along with federal sequestration and state cuts – and increased need for the services they provide.

Issue 1: This is a replacement of the Health and Human Services Levy (which renews periodically), which will increase property taxes by $3.83 per month based (as all calculations in this post are) on a $100,000 home value. Passage of the levy will allow various entities, including MetroHealth, to continue with their work providing services to children, seniors and families – including funding for our region’s only Level One Trauma and Burn Center at MetroHealth, Metro Life Flight and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I urge a YES vote.

Issues 2 – 5 are not revenue related.  All concern separation of powers and duties of the Cuyahoga County council and various boards. My main concern with any change to the county charter is that it not grant untoward power to the executive. I feel Ed Fitzgerald has done an excellent job as Executive over the last few years. (Frankly, I wish he was staying here rather than running for governor – but I will vote for him if he’s nominated.) However, and under the truism “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”, I am in favor of policies that promote a healthy tension and balance of power. Thus, I urge a YES vote on all four issues.

Issue 65: This 3.25 mill South Euclid safety forces levy would about $9.58/month, and would expire in 2017.

Our police and fire personnel have been subject to pay freezes and benefit cuts like many other private and public employees. Like any other municipality, South Euclid needs to compete for qualified safety personnel – and in the absence of that, our safety personnel may be enticed to leave for greener pastures.

Critics have said that the safety levy is merely an attempt by South Euclid’s elected leadership to cover their hides for financial decisions made prior to the Great Recession. As proof of their claim, they point to Cedar Center North, which was purchased and demolished by the city in 2007-2008. While there is legitimate criticism of the financing of Cedar Center North, very few right thinking persons would dispute that the new shopping center, even though it has yet to be filled to capacity, is a vast improvement over the dilapidated, embarrassing strip mall that was there before. (Further, the additional revenue the levy would raise is close to the amount that Governor John Kasich’s budget cut from South Euclid’s allocation of state assistance funds.) I think it also says something about the nature of the opposition that they have to go back to events that occurred before the Great Recession to bolster their criticism. The fact is, South Euclid’s leadership – not just elected officials, but employees across the board – made a good faith effort to tighten their belts during the recession. I don’t believe the way to reward them is to hose them on pay and benefits, particularly since many of them live and shop here. Given that the mayor was reelected in 2011 with a whopping 75% of the vote, I believe the people of South Euclid have already voiced their opinion of her leadership. The local and national economy is indisputably in recovery, the improving store occupancy and housing market are proof of that, and I believe the reports of South Euclid’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.  If anything, South Euclid is better off than it was two years ago. But that could change, and one of the key indicators of quality of life is public safety. Whatever the issue of South Euclid’s finances, the fact is that without effective and fully staffed safety forces, South Euclid could well fall back into decline. More than any of this year’s ballot issues, I strongly urge a YES vote on Issue 65.

Issue 80: This 10 year 2.7 mill levy will add a grand total of $5 per month to the tax bill of a $100,000 home. It’s surprising such a small levy would garner opposition, but I suspect it’s coming from people with higher valued homes and rental property owners. Critics have said that the Metroparks should operate within their budget and “do more with less”. But the truth is, our Metroparks have been “doing more with less” during the past half-decade – a lot more. Just in the past year, they’ve added the former Acacia Country Club, which was purchased by the Conservation Fund and then turned over to the Metroparks, to their list of reservations. (If the owners of Oakwood Country Club had made the same arrangement, South Euclid and surrounding communities might have been spared a divisive battle.) In addition, the Metroparks this year took control of Euclid Beach, Gordon, and Edgewater Parks from the state of Ohio. (Cleveland ceded control of the parks to the state in 1978, a time when the city was so broke it couldn’t afford proper upkeep.) The state’s long-term neglect of the parks is already in the process of being rectified, as evidenced by the improvements at Edgewater Beach. Whatever the detractors say, the Cleveland Metroparks is one of the few things in Cuyahoga County that has worked consistently well over the generations. The support of the community has been more than earned and that’s why I am recommending a YES vote on Issue 80.

Issue 82: This is a renewal of the .13 mill levy for the Port of Cleveland, which costs property owners about $3.50 per year. For that small amount, the Port Authority will be able to continue their work maintaining and improving our Port, which is one of the main economic drivers in our region. A major problem with the port is that the upper Cuyahoga River has become shallow over the years, forcing ships to run half-empty for fear of dragging their hulls on the riverbed. One project to be undertaken is the dredging of the riverbed which will allow ships to travel the river at capacity. There is also the continued economic development which will make our lakefront - and by extension our downtown - more attractive.

Generally I don’t comment on elections in other wards or communities. But since South Euclid’s ward 2 councilman, Moe Romeo, is running unopposed, I am going to make an exception and comment on the Ward 4 race: Jane Goodman is seeking reelection against a challenger nobody seems to have heard of: Lintashia Marshall-Wilson. I can think of no city councilor in South Euclid who has been as unfairly maligned as Jane Goodman. Ironically, most of the vitriol directed at her has come from people living outside our community. For all the talk of regionalism, we elect our officials locally and Goodman has acted in the interests of the people of South Euclid. Goodman has served as Executive Director of the Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization and is a dedicated and knowledgeable environmental advocate. Have you noticed the improvements of the Cuyahoga River and our local watershed? Goodman has had a hand in that. But she also works within the bounds of reality, which means when it came to the development of the former Oakwood Country Club – which was a certainty – she advocated for commercial zoning with LEED construction standards as opposed to residential development. I have discussed the development at Oakwood extensively in my blog and will not delve into it again. But I challenge those who refer to Goodman as a “phony environmentalist” to tabulate their carbon footprints against hers. I’ve no doubt most of them drive less fuel efficient vehicles, maintain toxic lawns, and live in larger homes than she. It is they, who spout Green Party talking points while acting like Tea Party Republicans, who are the hypocrites, not Jane Goodman – and I urge Ward 4 voters to reelect her.