Here’s a photo of the view north up Ontario Street from Superior Avenue, just off Public Square in the heart of downtown Cleveland.
Pictured is the beautiful Cuyahoga County Courthouse, framed as a crown jewel of the North Coast between two more century-old landmarks, the Old Stone Church (which is actually almost two centuries old), and the Society for Savings Building (which stood as the tallest building in Cleveland for seven years until 1896). This view used to extend from three blocks south of where the above photo was taken, all the way from the cliff bordering downtown and the river where Ontario meets Huron Road and veers north into the center of the city.
But that was before city leaders, led by Mayor Frank Jackson and Councilman Joe Cimperman, rubber-stamped Dan Gilbert’s proposal to build a five-million dollar “skywalk” connecting Gilbert’s Horseshoe Casino with a parking lot for casino customers. This approval came over vigorous public objection and unrebutted evidence, including testimony from officials in comparable American cities like Minneapolis and Cincinnati, showing the negative impact that such land bridges have on city streets. And now the view up Ontario from Huron looks like this: [click to continue…]
For all the essential analysis that wholly corporate-owned media systemically fails to provide in this era of wholly corporate-owned government, it used to be that at least the sports page was still okay. At least in some places. But if you start removing bricks from an essential pillar it’s probably safe to expect the whole thing to come crumbling down soon. And this week the Plain Dealer’s top Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot boldly abandoned all pretense to the contrary in a hail of stars and stripes.
If you didn’t like Ms. Cabot’s column from last week, where she declared that the Browns are the best team in the AFC North, that Rob Chudzinski was a “home run” hire by Joe Banner, and most absurdly, that “Jason Campbell is an elite NFL quarterback,” she has another message for you [click to continue…]
The Cleveland Indians made national news a couple of weeks ago by jamming a question about their trademark Jim Crow/Third Reich relic Chief Wahoo into the middle of an otherwise run-of-the-mill marketing survey posed to fans.
“Please rate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements in regards to the Indians’ Chief Wahoo logo,” the survey asks, presenting its subjects with the following five propositions of varying absurdity and complete irrelevancy to the question of whether Chief Wahoo has a place as a symbol of anything decent in 2013:
- This logo reflects the heritage of the Indians
- I feel a strong positive emotional connection to this logo
- This logo makes me proud of the Indians
- This logo represents more than the team – it represents the city of Cleveland
- This logo is an important part of my support for the Indians
The decision to poll fans about the logo is apparently in response to an unprecedented wave of negative public opinion against the use of Native American imagery in sports that reached a new apex when President Obama recently spoke out against the NFL’s Washington Redskins name. But in a nation that will shut itself down before abiding duly enacted laws proposed by a black President, it can be hard to muster excitement about what might happen in response to that President’s opinions on sports logos. And as much as folks might want to believe otherwise, it’s hard to see the Indians’ survey on Wahoo as anything but a cynical excuse grab right out of Redskins owner Daniel Snyder’s playbook. [click to continue…]
Detroit’s bankruptcy trial got underway in federal court last week, with lawyers for the city’s various thousands of pensioners challenging the city’s right to discharge some $3.5 billion in unfunded retiree benefits. The pensioners argue that Michigan state law prohibits cutting public pensions, and that the pension obligations should be prioritized in clearing Detroit’s historic mess. They also claim that Detroit’s appointed “emergency manager,” Kevyn Orr, failed to negotiate in good faith with creditors — that “bankruptcy was a forgone conclusion” to Orr, whose intent from the start, they say, was to slash the retirement accounts.
While there might still be at least a sliver of hope that Detroit’s retirees and municipal workers come out in tact here, it’s hard to think that things will unfold as anything but another chapter in the “developed” world’s 50-some-year run of prioritizing the interests of billionaires and bondholders’ returns over the well-being of citizens in times of crisis. Naturally, Detroit’s business leaders “overwhelmingly” support the discharge of the city’s debts in bankruptcy, including Cleveland’s favorite naked emperor, Dan Gilbert, owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and billionaire housing-bubble profiteer cum international casino gaming magnate, who also happens to be the second largest landowner in Detroit behind General Motors.
“As hard as that is to sort of suspend democracy, for a short period of time if you will, my view is, let’s get it over with,” Gilbert told NPR’s Morning Edition. “Let’s get it done. Let’s stop talking about it [and] go through the pain and then move forward, and I think it will fade into the background.”
A jaw-dropping statement, even for Gilbert, given that exactly none of all this pain that he’s urging Detroit to get on with will be suffered by Gilbert himself. While the vast majority of the country [click to continue…]
Detmer v. Couch begat Couch v. Holcomb, Holcomb v. Frye, Dilfer v. Frye, Frye v. Anderson, Anderson v. Quinn, Delhomme v. Delhomme, Wallace v. McCoy, McCoy v. McCoy, and Weeden v. Weeden.
Now it’s Weeden v. 43-year-old Jeff Garcia, who hasn’t thrown an NFL pass in 5 years, and the people have spoken.
Every time I think I’ve seen the most Cleveland Browns thing, a Brownser thing happens. Whatever else about Haslam, Banner and Lombardi, they’ve been decidedly unable to stem this tide so far.
In other news, note that the Garcia poll wasn’t even the most interesting thing in yesterday’s paper. Are you a “Native American Indian”? If so, Mike Sawyer from Denver, CO has a healthy deal for you. Kudos to the PD for helping to keep all options on the table re: the Chief Wahoo issue. I’ll be in the corner with my Couch bottle and a copy of the Cheddar Bay standings until next time.