Monday, January 25, 2010

Northeast Shores supports Cat Project

A neighborhood business owner and Bratenahl resident recently shared their plans to start a spay and neuter program for all the feral cats in the neighborhood. Seeing as how the feral cat population has spiked with the recent foreclosure crisis, Northeast Shores eagerly joined this effort.

Below are some comments about this project and ways you can get involved:

I have been working diligently with a retired State Ranger on a project benefiting the North Collinwood community at the Euclid Beach Villa location and Wildwood State Park.

We have been trapping cats that live on the beach, under the arches, the pier, and at Wildwood State Marina. Those that are healthy are spayed or neutered, the feral cats are returned to the colony and the kittens and friendly adults go to the APL for adoption. The result is improved quality of life for the cat colony by controlling the exploding population and eliminating disease.

In the past eights months, we have trapped-neutered/spayed and returned (TNR) 17 feral cats, trapped eight friendly adult cats and 15 kittens and put them up for adoption. In total, we have affected over 79 lives.

Many of the cats living on the beach were old, sick and unable to survive the bitter cold Cleveland winters and were humanely euthanized. There are 38 healthy neutered/spayed cats currently living on the beach. They have warm housing and I feed them every day. I do all of this work at my own expense.

I have been fortunate to make contact with a group of concerned residents in the Collinwood area that are volunteering their time and money to manage several feral cat colonies. I have learned a lot, not only about managing a colony, but how to really help these cats as well as the community.

In neighborhoods throughout Cleveland, TNR programs have proven to be effective in humanely managing feral and stray cats, while at the same time reducing their numbers. With TNR, the cats are trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies, ear-tipped and, if they're feral, returned to their original territories. A trained caretaker then provides food and shelter, and watches for problems and newcomers.
After being sterilized and returned to their territory, feral cats no longer reproduce, so their numbers will diminish. There will be a reduction in noise – no more crying cats in heat and no more fighting.

The cats will roam less, making them less visible. There is less of chance for the spread of feline leukemia and, most importantly, there will be less suffering. All of this benefits the community.

My hope is that more people will become involved in our efforts. Whether or not you are an animal lover, we have a responsibility to each other and our community. Grants from PetSmart Charities and the City of Cleveland enable the APL to spay/neuter cats and kittens for only $10. If you are feeding a cat outside, please be part of the solution to overpopulation and call the APL for more information on
the TNR program (216-377-1624).

If you are not able to do the hands-on work, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Northeast Shores Development Corp., 317 East 156th Street, Cleveland, OH 44110. Please write on the bottom of your check that the donation is for The North Collinwood Feral/Stray Cat Project.

Thank you for your consideration. Please feel free to call me if you would like more information about our work.
Ginger Hannah

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Northeast Shores Election Results

Last night, the membership of Northeast Shores attended the 2010 Annual Meeting.

The meeting commenced with each candidate sharing why the membership should elect him (or her) to the Northeast Shores Board of Directors. After hearing from the candidates present, two more members were nominated from the floor. These two additional nominees were Jim Valentino and Miles Kennedy, who shared key details about why they should be elected. Having heard from all interested candidates present, the membership proceeded to complete their ballots.

While the ballots were tallied, Councilman Polensek provided a brief update about projects and happenings in the neighborhood. After the councilman spoke, Northeast Shores Executive Director Brian Friedman shared key details about the organization's outcomes in 2009. Mr. Friedman shared that over $14 million was invested in the community in 2009 and that Northeast Shores programs created 110 housing opportunities and that 103 current residents were assisted by various housing programs. In addition, 31 businesses were assisted in their creation or growth and over $45,000 was raised for various grassroots programs in the community.

After Mr. Friedman's presentation, the results of the election were announced. Returning for an additional term are incumbents Brian Menard (VASJ High School), Fil Scafidi (Euclid Hospital), Pastor Trombley (St. John Lutheran Church) and Victor Rucker (Resident). Newly elected to the board are Bill Eppich (Advance Industrial Glass), KC Petraitis (Resident), John Meyerhoffer (Resident), and Miles Kennedy (Resident).

Having commenced all business, the annual meeting was closed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Public come out in force for LaSalle Theater Open House

Over 130 interested residents braved the cold winter weather to sneak a peek at the LaSalle Theater this past Monday evening. While the LaSalle Theater, which originally opened in the late 1920s, currently has no heat, the lights were on inside and the marquee was lit as people walked through the vacant theater and envisioned what the space could become. You could feel the energy and interest in the air as strangers greeted each other and shared this own recollections of the theater from its heyday and others compared notes on what it might take to return the LaSalle Theater, which originally sat about 800 theater-goers, to its proper grandeur.

In the crowd was Jeff Ramsey, executive director of Detroit Shoreway Development Corporation, the CDC responsible in helping with the restoration of the Capitol Theater at E. 65th and Detroit. Ramsey, a fan of old theaters, shared, "The LaSalle is in much better shape than the Capitol was [before the restoration]."

After the public tour, attendees packed the training room at Federated Auto Parts to hear a brief presentation from Northeast Shores. While warming up with Arabica Coffee and pastries from Dave’s Markets, residents listened attentively to a brief presentation from Wendy Sattin of CNDC. Ms. Sattin’s presentation covered the assets of East 185th Street and shared some national examples of theaters that were successfully converted into productive community assets. Throughout this visioning session, there were positive comments from those that attended about what a great landmark the LaSalle Theater can be for East 185th Street.

After the presentation, each attendee was offered the opportunity to share one idea for the reuse of the LaSalle Theater. After all the ideas were offered, attendees voted for their favorite concepts. The top ten ideas were: 1) Multifunction Entertainment Center, 2) Micobrewery, 3) Farmer’s Market, 4) Satellite location for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 5) Center for Local Film Makers, 6) Brewpub with Movies, 7) Euclid Beach Carrousel site, 8) Bookstore, 9) Comedy Club, 10) Community Theater.

Attendees repeated a couple of general wishes: 1. That the LaSalle historic structure be restored if possible, and used as one big space, rather than be cut up. 2. That the LaSalle becomes an anchor for the street and destination location that ties in to and supports other activities and businesses on E. 185th and the Waterloo Arts District.

With these results, Northeast Shores’ staff will attempt to contact individuals that have had success in the top suggested areas to see if we can find an entrepreneur interested in taking on this new exciting venture. Those interested in following our journey to find an entrepreneur should check our blog regularly at Those wishing to become more involved, might consider joining the Northeast Shores Commercial Development Committee. The next committee meeting will be held at Northeast Shores (317 East 156th Street) at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, January 27th.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Northeast Shores Elections next Tuesday evening

Each January, Northeast Shores elects one third of its Board of Directors from its membership.

This January 19th, the membership of Northeast Shores will elect eight directors from the 12 nominees that entered their name for consideration. Elected nominees will each serve a three-year term on the board.

At the January 19th meeting, each nominee will share pertinent details about why they should be considered for the board and then the members present will vote. The results of the vote will be tallied and the winners will be announced that night. While votes are being tallied, the membership will hear an update from Ward 11 Councilman Michael Polensek and Fifth District Police Commander Drummond.

This year’s annual meeting will be January 19th at 6:30 pm. The election will occur in the community room at the Memorial Nottingham Library located on Lakeshore Boulevard. Not yet a member? Come that evening with check or cash and you can join that night!

Eight of the following are to be elected at the January 19th meeting.


Ms. Suzi Darlin, resident - Ms. Darlin has been living in the North Collinwood area since 1993 and currently serves as Secretary for her home owner's association the Villa Beach Club. She has been a practicing commercial interior designer for the last 20 years at various firms in the Cleveland area. She has a passion for historical research and is seeking to get involved in the Collinwood/Nottingham historical society. Ms. Darlin served on the NSDC board in 2007 to 2009 but resigned the position in early 2009, due to a teaching schedule conflict with the board meetings.

Mike Gallagher, resident – Mr. Gallagher moved to the neighborhood six years ago and is a Senior Design Engineer with Swagelok and is an adjunct faculty member at Lakeland Community College. Mr. Gallagher is a consistent volunteer for various political campaigns and a regular editorial contributor to the Collinwood Observer.

Ms. Hollis Geary, resident – Ms. Geary is running for the board for the first time after serving several years on both the Northeast Shores Commercial Development Committee and Residential Development Committee. Ms. Geary lives in Lyndhurst and is the owner of NEO Investment Properties LLC, which owns a residential property on East 156th Street. Ms. Geary is also an avid cyclist.

Mr. Payton Hall, resident – Mr. Hall is running for the board for the first time. He has lived in the neighborhood for the last sixteen years with his wife and daughter (who is attending her first-year at VASJ High School). Mr. Hall is the Assistant Commissioner of Distribution and Maintenance for the Cleveland Division of Water. His department runs the Cleveland Summer Youth Program, which completed the Bioswale project at Wildwood Lakefront State Park this past summer. The program also builds and distributes rain barrels to interested residents.

Mr. John Meyerhoffer, resident – Mr. Meyerhoffer is seeking his first term on the board after living in the neighborhood for over sixteen years. Mr. Meyerhoffer is the Manager of Information Technology Operations for the Cleveland Clinic Health System and his office is located at Fairview Hospital. Mr. Meyerhoffer’s family has a long history in the community and he is excited about what the neighborhood has to offer.

Mr. KC Petraitis, resident – Mr. Petraitis has lived in the neighborhood his entire life. He is currently seeking his master’s degree in Public Administration (with a concentration in economic development) from Cleveland State University. Besides his studies, Mr. Petraitis maintains part-time employment at Cleveland State and Mohr Partners. He has also interned with Northeast Shores for the last four months.

Mr. Frank Revy, resident – Mr. Revy is seeking his second term on the Northeast Shores Board of Directors. He has lived on Overlook Park Drive since 2003. As a board member, his intention is to help Northeast Shores become a prominent and positive force in the rebirth of North Collinwood. Currently he is 'Mr. Mom' to his two children (Franky - 3 and Tula - 1) and a Fee-Only Financial Planner for his independently operated company - Nottingham Tax and Financial.

Mr. Victor Rucker, resident – Mr. Rucker is currently Vice President of Northeast Shores and chair of the Safety Committee. He is seeking his second term on the Board. Mr. Rucker has lived on Landseer Road since 1998. Mr. Rucker works for the City of Cleveland as a Marketing Manager in the Division of Waste Collection and Recycling. Mr. Rucker is a graduate of VASJ High School, Cleveland State University and is seeking an MSM from Indiana Wesleyan University. He is currently a deacon of Good Shepherd Baptist Church.


Mr. William Eppich
, Advance Glass Sales Service Inc.– Mr. Eppich is seeking his first term on the Northeast Shores Board of Directors after becoming involved with the Residential Development Committee and the Commercial Development Committee. Mr. Eppich is the sales manager at Advance Glass Sales Service Inc. and intends to become the second-generation owner of the business when his father retires.

Mr. Brian R. Menard, VASJ High School - Mr. Menard is a current member of the Northeast Shores Board of Directors. He became the second President of VASJ High School in 2009 after serving as a school administrator, education consultant, and teacher at the elementary through college levels. He also serves as a member of the Euclid Hospital Community Leadership Board. VASJ High School has maintained an appointee on the Northeast Shores Board of Directors since its inception.

Mr. Filippo (Fil) Scafidi, Euclid Hospital – Mr. Scafidi is the Chair of the Northeast Shores Personnel Committee. He is seeking a second term on the Northeast Shores Board of Directors. Mr. Scafidi is the Director of Support Services/Facilities at Euclid Hospital. Mr. Scafidi was once employed at the Euclid Beach Amusement Park. Euclid Hospital has maintained an appointee on the Northeast Shores Board of Directors since its inception.

Pastor Michael Trombley, Saint John Nottingham Church – Pastor Trombley has been the pastor at this local church for the past two years. Pastor Trombley maintains his residence in the neighborhood. Pastor Trombley is seeking his second term on the Northeast Shores Board of Directors, but this neighborhood church has had representation on the board for the last fifteen years.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Reminder: LaSalle Theater Open House this Monday!

We are just moments away from the public open house for the LaSalle Theater.

If you missed the previous post about the open house, here it is again in its entirety:

Hope to see you Monday!

Please join Northeast Shores at the LaSalle Theater on Monday, January 11th at 6:30 for a community open house. The theater will be open for the neighborhood and interested stakeholders to view the current conditions of the building. We look forward to showing off the building and letting the community see what a tremendous asset the theater can be again for East 185th Street. Please dress warmly and wear sensible shoes as the theater has no heat and is in poor condition. Also, it couldn't hurt to bring your own flashlight to see small portions of the theater that do not have working lights.

Immediately following the open house, there will be a brainstorming and visioning session of what potential reuse the community would like to see for the LaSalle Theater. The visioning session will occur at 7:00 on January 11th in the Federated Auto Parts training room (just next door to the theater). There will be warm beverages and refreshments to help defrost after walking through the LaSalle Theater. Please come with your best ideas for what could be done with the theater and hear other people's dreams for what the theater could be used for. (Thanks to Wendy Sattin and CNDC for moderating this session.)

Interested attendees can join us for both sessions or either one. In other words, if you just want to see the theater out of curiosity, come to the open house, take a look, and go on with your evening (if you aren't interested in potential plans for the theater that may be presented at the visioning session).

RSVPs are not mandatory or required, but they sure would be appreciated. Please e-mail your attendance plans to or call (216) 481-7660.

This event is open to anyone and everybody so please help spread the word!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

CMSD Plan unveiled and its impact on Ward 11

As many of you probably have heard through the news, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) announced an exciting new plan to improve the public schools in the City of Cleveland. Many of you may be looking for details about how this plan impacts your child's education here in North Collinwood.

Ward 11 Councilman Mike Polensek sent us the following report about what the plan means for the schools in our neighborhood and his thoughts about its impact.

Dear Community Leaders

On Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 CMSD CEO, Dr. Eugene Sanders, unveiled his Academic Transformation Plan and Strategic Development Initiative recommendations. Some news was good and some was extremely troubling.

The good news first. Collinwood High School and O.H.Perry, which had been rumored to be on the chopping block, have been spared from closing for the immediate future. Memorial and Hannah Gibbons-Nottingham K-8 schools have been placed in the “Repurpose” category – which means that over the next two years they will be monitored as to what future category they will be placed in. Collinwood is to be repurposed and the question here is – what does this really mean in the long run? O. H. Perry is defined as a “growth school” which is great news; however, it looks like no additional funds are being recommended to improve the physical building, which as many of you know, I landmarked some years back and is in need of some Capital repair.

Now, the bad news. The historic Henry W. Longfellow School on East 140 Street and Darley Ave is slated to be closed along with Kenneth W. Clement (on Woodworth), both in Ward 10. The closing of Longfellow school may impact a small section of Ward 11 in the extreme southwest portion of the ward. However, the greatest loss will be the historic building itself along with the fact that the children who now attend this school will have to walk much further to either Memorial School or the new East Clark school (East 146th Street). The real troubling announcement pertains to Ginn Academy, though.

Ginn Academy is presently housed in the former Margaret Spellacy middle school at East 162 Street off of Holmes Avenue. This new and unique approach to education in the City was highly sought after by many communities. We were successful in bringing Ginn to Spellacy. New windows and doors were installed as well as upgrading of all the mechanical systems. The gymnasium was completely redone along with new lockers, new carpeting and the upgrading of classrooms and science labs. At this point, I cannot even begin to tell you how much money went into the upgrades of Spellacy but I am certainly going to make a Public Records Request, to get the exact dollar amount, if I can. Furthermore, a new parking lot was to be installed this Spring / Summer. The purpose of creating an all boys academy was to separate the young men and women and to emphasize academic excellence and achieving a much higher graduation rate especially among young men at risk. For us to hear that CMSD’s plans now is to place Ginn inside of Glenville High School – is absolutely ridiculous and flies in the face of everything that Ginn was supposed to be. We are also told that they will be creating a girls’ academy – also inside Glenville – which doesn’t make any sense, either.

Obviously, since I worked extremely hard to bring Ginn to our community – I am going to do everything I can to reverse this recommendation especially since Ginn Academy is one of the true success stories of the CMSD system and has become a true asset to our community. More so, as you have heard, they are planning on closing 16, K-8 schools., and 2 high schools for a total of 18 schools. This comes on the heels of the 10 schools they closed several years ago. What is even more absurd, they want $70 million to implement this plan PLUS a School Levy (which would need to be voted on.) Where have you ever heard of closing 18 schools and then needing millions of dollars to implement a reorganization plan – especially one that doesn’t educate or graduate one more student than is already enrolled in the system? Only in Cleveland, I guess!!!

Finally, we have a lot of questions to ask and some answers to demand – not only as residents but also as taxpayers. We fought to keep churches open and we were successful because of our tenacity. Whether we can save Ginn - only time will tell. The thought of having Margaret Spellacy / Ginn Academy abandoned and possibly bulldozed is absolutely an insult to injury. Stay alert for future announcements and updates. I would urge all concerned citizens and residents to begin the emails and letters expressing your viewpoint. This plan, if implemented, in its entirety, will have a profound impact on our City’s future. Dr. Eugene Sanders and the Board of Education need to be held accountable on how this might impact our City and its students in the years to come.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. You may reach me at my office at (216) 664-4236 or via email at



THURSDAY, JANUARY 7 6:00 – 8:00 PM at GLENVILLE HIGH SCHOOL, 650 East 113th Street (off St Clair Avenue)


MONDAY, JANUARY 11 6:00 – 8:00 PM at COLLINWOOD HIGH SCHOOL, 15810 St Clair Avenue

Councilman Michael Polensek

Monday, January 4, 2010

Additional RTA thoughts

Neighborhood resident, Northeast Shores board member, avid RTA user, and RTA employee, Mike Cermak also had several thoughts about the public transportation budget crisis and what is facing the neighborhood. Below are his thoughts and comments:

Please make certain as much publicity as possible is communicated about the public hearings for the proposed RTA 2010 Service Plan. Full details of the proposed plan can be found at, and the details of the scheduled hearings are at

Something I cannot stress enough is that people need to be prepared to come to these hearings with something more than "please don't cut my bus". This is not anything that the Authority wants to do, but our hand has been forced by the economic realities dealt to us by the state and federal government, as well as the overall economy. Any proposal to retain a route scheduled to be cut must be offset by an equal cut somewhere else in the system, or else must result in some increase in operating funds available to us.

A few facts to share (taken from the links above):
* County sales tax revenues for 2009, the major source of RTA's operating budget, are forecast to be down nearly $19 million from their 2008 level
* Passenger fares, which account for only ~20% of RTA's operating budget, are forecast to be approximately $4 million down at the end of 2009, largely due to decreased ridership (ridership down ~ 13.6% for 2009, largely due to the economic downturn)
* The State of Ohio, for 2010/2011, will provide only $10.6 million, to be split among all transit agencies throughout the entire state, for operating support -- this represents less than 3% of the operating expense needs of these systems, where the average state provides approximately 23% operating support
* RTA has cut 100 staff positions over the past year, and about 700 since the year 2000, and all non-union salaried staff have taken a 3% pay cut this year, with no merit increases in 2009 or 2010

What I need to also communicate is that the Authority and its passengers need to be on the same side. To that end, we will have opportunities available at each of the hearings for customers to send written and/or e-mailed letters to state and federal representatives urging more operating support for public transit.

I encourage you to distribute the information about the hearings as widely as possible. Our legislators need to see the impact of the mess they've created.

RTA threatens neighborhood service

The RTA is threatening to eliminate and reduce several routes through the neighborhood. While we understand current budget challenges facing the RTA, it is imperative that the neighborhood speak out against these changes.

The proposed changes include no evening or weekend service for the #34 and #37. Even worse, RTA is proposing to only run #39 during rush hours. These changes represent a drastic reduction in service to the North Collinwood neighborhood!

Please voice your feelings about these changes by sending an e-mail to or attending a public meeting. The public meeting schedule is listed at but please note the closest meeting will occur on Tuesday, January 5th from 5:00 - 7:00 pm at the Euclid Public Library (631 East 222nd Street).

If you are interested in all the proposed changes, full details are available at