Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Notes from OBCDC Annual Meeting

In case you missed it, here are some notes from OB Blogs on tonight's annual meeting. There were approximately thirty people in attendance at the Knights of Columbus hall. My comments, albeit there are not many, are in parenthesis.

Welcoming remarks and review of agenda - Greg Huth
Approval of Minutes from last year's annual meeting.

Treasurer's Report – TJ Lewarchick
Fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. Audit just completed for previous fiscal year. Summary is available in the annual report in organizational documents online. Board meetings are on oldbrooklyn.com and open to public. Majority of funds from CDBG block grants, full breakdown is in annual report. The majority of expenses are for programs. KeyBank line of credit paid down substantially over the last twelve months. Paid for line of credit for TLCI study until funds were received.

Board Recommendations Regarding Code of Regulations – Greg Huth
(1) Change code to allow for more than one notification for annual meeting. Approved by membership. (2) The establishment of a green space and natural resources committee. Committee would make recommendations to the board. Language is on website. Board member John Jenkins requests insertion of “community” before word gardens. Questions from membership about powers of committee, GH says that it is appointed by board and is subordinate to it. Approved by membership. (3) A real estate development committee. Committee will make recommendations to the board. There are some items that would be necessary when presented a proposal for development. GH asks for some of the members should become involved in the committees discussed this evening. Motion to amend with word “written” (I missed exactly where). Approved by membership.

Proposed Board Members – Lynea Derwis
Introduction of 2008-2009 board members, beginning with institutional, then commercial, then residential. Introduction of Jeff Kipp, director of the Living in Cleveland Center and resident of South Hills. April Beates of Paran Management, has been marketing the neighborhood as a leasing agent of the Memphis Fulton shopping plaza. Theresa Martin, employee of KeyBank and resident of South Hills. Christina Seabold, resident and works for Cleveland Metroparks human resources. Jeff Rhodes, resident for six years and a high school technology arts teacher. The three residents, Martin, Seabold, and Rhodes, have been appointed in the last year and have been serving on the board already. At the end of meeting, it was announced that all candidates on ballot were elected to the board.

Councilman Remarks - Kevin Kelley
Unopposed for new Ward 13. Old Brooklyn had two CDCs when he was appointed and elected. The organization survived the consolidation and all of the questions that initially accompanied. Thought that one organization would be more efficient. OBCDC has emerged strongly. Was pleased with turnout of All Access and Brookstock, as well as movie nights. Plugs Fall-o-ween coming up soon. Completed TLCI study and master plan, both of which required a lot of time and input. We are in position to see results come into fruition. Within the next year, one of the projects from the plan will be implemented. (Which project could it be?)

Councilman Remarks - Brian Cummins
Thanks to board, staff, and volunteers. Happy to see level of engagement in the neighborhood. Redistricting elections are now underway. Cummins, Kelley, Cimperman (who was not in attendance), and Brancatelli (who was in attendance but did not speak) have great relationships, should not have a negative impact on future of organization. (Sounds like Cummins believes that the incumbents are shoe-ins, which seems like the case.) They will work together to get things done at city hall. The people are most important and their involvement will result in further progress.

Report on New Organizational Strategic Plan - Greg Huth
Six major areas on which the organization would like to focus. Big picture goals to achieve by 2012, they are on website along with the strategic plan.

Executive Director's Report – Robyn Sandys
Introduction of OBCDC and OBN staff. Served thousand people with programs. Over 170 block clubs. Over 800 code enforcement referrals and more than 200 housing repair referrals. Annual report is online. Master plan also online. Several areas identified for strategic investment. Org is seeking funds for engineering of downtown OB to Wildlife Way. New real estate program, bought a house on Tampa Avenue. Looking to rehab three to five houses this coming year. Example of home on Cecilia that was sided and improved, communicates community pride. Org will be putting info on Facebook to grow pride. OBN is more than 30 years old, goal to reach every household in Old Brooklyn, especially with Brooklyn Sun News discontinuing publication. If members can help sell advertisements, circulation can be expanded. BF Community Garden has won best of show at county fair and acknowledgment regionally. Fall event is this Saturday. All Access was a success, more than two hundred people participated. All Access planned to be bigger and better next year. Robyn will send presentation to members upon request because some of the photos were missing. (Not a whole lot of discussion about or reference to Brooklyn Centre by anyone. I cannot recall it being mentioned much if at all this evening.)

Closing Remarks – Greg Huth
Census is very important, one person not counted costs city $10,000 over ten years. (I missed the second point GH made.) Adjourn.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Update on a Old Post

One post on Old Brooklyn Blogs has elicited more questions, comments, and excitement from friends and community members with whom I come into contact.

Surprisingly, that's "OB Favorite Watering Holes," which I posted on March 17 of this year.

Occasionally, people will ask if I'm continuing to pursue my goal of visiting every bar or pub in Old Brooklyn, whether I've been anywhere new, or if my list of favorites has changed.

Here's my response.

While I fully intend to continue stop into every establishment in the neighborhood at least once, I haven't been going out very often and when I do, I've become accustomed to patronizing familiar, comfortable places. For the most part, I've been to everything east of the center line of Pearl Road and north of I-480, with the exceptions of The Nickel and Paradise Inn (both lesbian bars that I have no opposition to visiting, but anticipate difficulty being allowed inside) and the Broadview Road sports bar on the fringe of Downtown Old Brooklyn.

One spot new to me that I've enjoyed is Mr. Peabody's Pub on Pearl Road just north of I-480. It's large, comfy, and a little gritty. What makes Peabody's unique from other Old Brooklyn bars is that it has regularly scheduled karaoke three nights a week. Singers and non-singers alike come to belt some tunes from a very exhaustive library every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening. It makes for a fun environment and sometimes draws huge crowds.

Steelyard Tavern, about which I wrote in the spring, remains towards the top of my list. However, in August, Steelyard began closing some Saturday nights for private parties until further notice. The sentiment is that no one knows when it will be open and many people decide not to risk going to find it be closed.

Maybe I'll post a few words on each of the establishments I've visited. In the meantime, where's your favorite OB watering hole?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Stuff

Good Lord! It's been almost two months since my last update!

As the weather gets cooler, I'm going to try to do more blogging about Old Brooklyn and related topics.

Here are a couple of items to start off the fall season:

* Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation has a few events coming up. The OBCDC annual meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 20 at the Knights of Columbus hall on Broadview Road. The primary purpose is to elect board members and review the organization's latest strategic plan. More information here. (Old Brooklyn Blogs will try to cover the event, in case you can't make it.)

* OBCDC, MetroHealth's Senior Wellness Center in Old Brooklyn, and a group of local merchants and institutions are also having the Fall-O-Ween Festival on Saturday, October 24. Details are here.

* Thanks for everyone who participated in one or more groups rides with the Old Brooklyn Bicycling Group. Since a few weeks after All Access, a few of us have taken weekly rides together. The riding season is nearing its end, but the group is still using this website to establish group rides and pair up cyclists looking for riding partners.

* Mark your calendars for this year's Memphis Crawl happening Saturday, November 14. It's an annual group pub crawl whereby everyone begins patronizing establishments at the west end of Memphis, and after about a half hour, traveling to the next nearest bar. For more info, check out the event's Facebook page here.

* Old Brooklyn laments the loss of the Expressway Diner previously located on Memphis Avenue.

* Old Brooklyn is being powered by the wind! In addition to the first commercial wind turbine in Greater Cleveland that has been erected on Pearl Road near I-480 by Pearl Road Auto Parts and Wrecking, fellow OB Blogger and OBCDC board member Jeff Rhodes has installed the first residential turbine. Learn how the project progressed here.

* Finally, Carol Cohen, a local blogger and Realtor, has some excellent insights in her post, "What Is Going On With Housing In Old Brooklyn?"

Enjoy your fall season, and see you soon!