Councilman Update

Councilman's Update

It has been a productive summer in many ways. However, we are still dealing with some long standing issues. I want to thank everyone, first of all, who have supported any of the community activities this summer. 

Some issues are still hampering our efforts though, and the City’s Administration, for some reason, unexplainable at best, refuses to deal issue with the illegal dirt bikes and ATV’s roaming our streets city-wide. Why the Command Staff is unwilling to enforce the basic traffic code is mindboggling. When you see packs of riders with no license plates going through red lights, stop signs, driving through yards and threatening motorists city-wide. You have to ask yourself, if the CPD brass cannot enforce the basic traffic laws then what can they enforce? Time has come to lay down the law, confiscate the illegal bikes and prosecute the riders before an individual or family is injured or killed. Excuses are not cutting it anymore.  Just enforce the law for Pete’s Sake.

Talking about traffic, I want to thank Director John Picuri, of ODOT District 12, in getting the I-90 ramps opened at East 185th Street / Neff Road.  The closure had caused a major problem for businesses and residents alike.  We understand that from time to time work has to be done on the interstate but hopefully, in the future, they will come up with a better game plan in making sure that the contractors move at a much quicker pace. For, I am told that the I-90 Bridge over East 152 Street will be coming up in the near future for replacement. Let’s hope that there is a better plan in place.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 5:20 PM, 09.08.2019

August

Summer is really here! We went from the monsoons to the heat. I am not complaining for, before we know it it will be Autumn. Let’s enjoy each warm day while we can!

The construction work at Mark Tromba playground, in spite of the rain, has gone very well. We are planning on an official reopening of the park sometime in the middle to late August. This $1.5 million project was long overdue and will put Tromba on the same level as many suburban facilities. This park is special to me for I myself swam at Tromba Pool as a teen and I am looking forward to the project being completed. Watch for the re-dedication announcement.

Our friends at the Cleveland MetroParks contacted my office to let me know that they are still looking for SEASONAL HELP at Wildwood Marina and Concession Stand. If you know of anyone interested in seasonal and part-time work with the MetroParks. Contact them at (216).635.3200, or send an email to generalinfo@clevelandmetroparks.com

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Volume 11, Issue 8, Posted 8:45 AM, 07.30.2019

Happy Summer and Happy 4th of July!!

As I wrote in the last Observer about our crazy weather, what more can I say? It should be clear to all of us that our weather patterns are changing and with that comes a whole host of concerns and issues. The lake level has never been higher and it is affecting piers and abutments at our parks. In addition, the entire lakefront, including our community, is experiencing severe shoreline erosion. Some communities along the lakefront have completely lost their beaches. We are fortunate so far at Euclid Beach and Villa Angela, but all of us can see that we have lost at least 25 feet of open beach at the two parks this year alone. At this point there are no quick fixes and this high water will be with us for some time.

Speaking of the parks, our Friday Night, Euclid Beach Live Concerts, which run from 6:00 – 8:30 PM, are shaping up to be another great success. The weather has been perfect and we have had record crowds. The only problem we have experienced is with the availability of parking. Therefore, I want to point out that there is additional parking behind the Collinwood Recreation Center in the Humphreys Sports Complex; you can enter off of Grovewood Avenue at East 164th Street.  There are approximately 200 additional spots there with a walkway leading up to the recreation center.  Parking is also available at Wildwood Park. Please be aware that CMHA has announced that anyone parking at the Beachcrest Apartments located at 16700/16800 Lakeshore Boulevard will be ticketed and/or towed. The same holds true at the Euclid Beach highrises at East 159 Street and Lakeshore Boulevard. I guess having parking issues is a good problem to have.  It is so nice to see so many of our residents coming to enjoy these concerts which run through August 2nd. Don’t forget that the restaurant at Wildwood is now open along with the concession stand at Euclid Beach.  Thanks, once again, to our partners at MetroParks for helping to put our lakefront back on the map.

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 12:36 PM, 07.07.2019

Summertime in Ward 8

Wow! Can you believe this past Spring?  I don’t know about you but my yard is like a sponge and I am trying my best to keep on top of the grass cutting and the weeds that pop up all over.  I am not complaining though when I look at the crazy and deadly weather in other parts of the nation.  Cleveland’s weather looks good.   

We have kicked things off already in a big way. I wish to thank all the neighborhood residents and dignitaries who attending the official grand opening of the new Euclid Beach pier on Wednesday, May 22 at 11:00 AM.  What great turnout. The weather was good and the Cleveland MetroParks, once again, delivered on this long-awaited improvement to the historic Euclid Beach park. 

As I mentioned previously, I was a teenager when the park closed and how we all came to miss that “magical place on the Lake.” It had been my dream and desire since I came to be the councilman of the North Shore Collinwood community, to see the pier rebuilt. We went through the ups and downs over the years with the State, when it was under their control. After a great deal of lobbying and negotiations, the Cleveland MetroParks, in partnership with the City, then took over the three historic parks in our neighborhood of Euclid Beach, Villa Angela and Wildwood and thus, filling in the missing link of the “Emerald Necklace”.  From the very first day, I actively engaged MetroParks in making the pier a priority project for our community. On May 22, that dream became a reality.  However, I can assure you, I am not done, yet. I want to see additional capital improvements made to Euclid Beach Park and Wildwood, while keeping Villa Angela as a swimming beach and a nature preserve, as it was intended to be.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 4:13 PM, 06.05.2019

Winding Up for Summer

Spring has sprung and the cleaning season has just begun! In order to make your property aesthetically more appealing, I am asking each and every property owner to please clean up their property.  Lawn care is one of the biggest part in maintaining curb appeal, as well as regularly mowing the lawn, raking the leaves and pulling weeds. The appearance of our community is important to me and should be to all. If there is a home on your street that has an unkempt yard please report it to the Division of Health (216) 664-2300 or the Mayors Action Center at (216) 664-2900.  If there is a home or business that is not being maintained properly please call that into the Building & Housing hotline (216) 664-2007.  Our community deserves to look the best it can be. There is a great sense of history and pride on the northeast side especially in the greater Collinwood community.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 10:48 AM, 05.05.2019

Spring is Here !

Spring is finally here! That being said, with Cleveland’s weather we could still get a snow storm or two. So, don’t relax, yet.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 2:55 PM, 03.30.2019

March Winds

As I said last month – what a crazy winter! What an understatement that was. Over the last month, I have dealt with countless water leaks in the streets, potholes, frozen pipes, power outages and trees down. I hate to think what else is around the corner. So, stay tuned.   SPRING IS AROUND THE CORNER.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 2:52 PM, 03.10.2019

Christmas Time is here again

CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE AGAIN

By: Michael D. Polensek

Since my last message to the community, a lot has transpired.  On November 13th I met with staff of the Cleveland MetroParks at their headquarters to discuss Phase Two improvements to Euclid Beach, Villa Angela and Wildwood Parks. Phase One reconstruction of the historic Euclid Beach pier is done and what a great addition to park. Not only does it look good but it is handicapped accessible which is a blessing especially for the disabled and seniors who live adjacent to Euclid Beach.  In Phase Two we are talking about additional enhancements to the bluff, an additional picnic pavilion and a splash pad for small children. We also discussed the Wildwood Marina and enhancements that could take place there as well. At the end of the day, my goal, working with our partners, the Cleveland MetroParks, is to make our lakefront a true destination place not only for Ward 8 but also for the greater community.

As I have been reporting, we are working with the Cuyahoga County Landbank and the City’s Demolition Bureau to target and remove those structures which are beyond repair or rehabilitation.  My goal is to rid our neighborhood of the eyesores and to preserve the structures worth saving. As I mentioned before, if you are interested in a vacant property, start by calling Peggy Kearsey at the Greater Collinwood Development Corporation at (216) 383-9772.  You can also call the Cleveland Housing Network (CHN) at (216) 574-7100 or visit their website at www.CHNHousingPartners.org.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 5:22 PM, 01.08.2019

HOLIDAY GREETINGS

At this time of the year, as we prepare for the Holidays I wanted to thank all the neighborhood groups, organizations, clubs and individuals who have worked on behalf of the community this past year. It goes without saying that the community is only as good as the people and organizations in it. As we approach 2019, it is more important than ever before to get involved in our community or the clubs that encompasses your street. 

We all know that there have been major changes in our local development corporations this past year.  We are moving forward, though, and doing our best to overcome bad decisions that were made by former Executive Staff members. Justice will be served on those individuals who took advantage of our neighborhood support and trust. Regardless of the actions of these individuals, our community is resilient and we must collectively refuse to allow their actions to define our community.  Again, I urge, anyone who would like to become a stakeholder in our community and to get involved, to contact the Greater Collinwood Development Corporation, which now encompasses our entire Ward and part of Ward 10.  They may be reached at (216) 383-9772.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 1:14 PM, 12.07.2018

Thankful

I wish to thank everyone who came out in record numbers to support the local clambakes which were held by many of our churches, schools and non-profit organizations in the ward. There were record crowds.  Once again, it only reinforces the fact that when we care about the institutions and organizations in the community we can and will make a difference. 

Talk about record crowds, what a great turn out and great weather for the “Remembering the Sights and Sounds of Euclid Beach” event held on Sunday, September 30. This year we had the largest antique and classic car show we ever had. Thanks to all who attended. Then there was the Men’s Health Fair held at the Recreation Center on October 7th sponsored by Cleveland Clinic, NEON, my office and Zeta Omega Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. We hope to be able to sponsor this event annually and I look forward to working with the sponsors on future health-related events and programs.

I also wish to thank all the volunteers involved, especially Commander Sammy Morris and officers of the 5th District, for their efforts in making the “Haunted Jail” Halloween Party at the 5th District a big success as well as the Staff and Volunteers at the Collinwood Recreation Center for making the Big City Boo at the Center another smashing success.  As one of the financial supporters of these two events, it goes without saying how important it is that our children have a fun and safe Halloween. Thank you to all who donated their time, talents and funds.

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 12:06 PM, 11.04.2018

Councilman’s Corner

It’s officially Fall and my sincere appreciation for all of you who supported all the events we had this summer especially the Euclid Beach Live concerts and the most recent clambakes that many of our neighborhood organizations have held.  If you missed any of them it is still not too late for the VASJ Clambake which is Fri., October 19th starting at 6:00 PM, for tickets call Fred at (216) 481- 633-0692; St. Casimir’s Clambake is Sat., October 27, for tickets call (216) 481-3157.  Both of these bakes are excellent, for I had attended both of them over the years. It goes without saying, let’s support our neighborhood groups and events.

As I reported last month, the Euclid Beach pier project is moving right along.  In fact, I try to visit the site daily. The approach sidewalks have been poured and access steps are being installed at this time. The pier project has been a long time goal of mine since I can recall the original pier and what it meant to the community.  What is unique about this design is that it will be handicapped accessible and augment the piers at the mouth of Euclid Creek. Once again, my sincere appreciation to our partners, the Cleveland Metroparks, in making this important project a reality.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 8:10 AM, 10.14.2018

Councilman's Corner

What a great last half of the summer we have had so far. I want to thank all the neighborhood groups, organizations and individuals who have been so supportive of all our Summer activities and events. My sincere appreciation to Ms. Erin Randel who was instrumental in putting together the Collinwood “Scoop on Summer Guide,” which lists all of our neighborhood events and programs throughout the summer, and the “Scoop on Collinwood” our online version for year-round activities, meetings and events.  I am not aware of any other neighborhood in the City that has such an extensive printed brochure promoting their community followed up with a website.  All of us should be very proud of what Erin has done for our community.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 12:19 PM, 09.07.2018

Councilman's Corner

Since my last community update, a lot has transpired in the community.  First, I want to thank all the residents and visitors who have attended the Friday Night Concert Series at Euclid Beach Park. There has been a great turn-out and I hope it continues throughout the summer. I don’t have to tell anyone that having an eastside music venue was very important to our community and this councilman.  MetroParks had originally only planned for the Edgewater LIVE Series on Thursday nights on the westside and, I was insistent that there be an eastside venue as well. Euclid Beach fit the bill perfectly. Therefore, I want to thank MetroParks and continue to show them that they made the right decision and that our events are well attended and enjoyed by all. Don’t forget the concerts start at 6:00 PM every Friday evening until August 3. Hope to see you there.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 3:11 PM, 07.05.2018

Councilman’s Corner

You’ve all heard the old saying, “I’ve got some good news and some bad news.”  The good news first.  Summer is finally here and the construction of the historic Euclid Beach Pier is going strong at Euclid Beach Park.  Work will continue on this long-awaited project the remainder of the year, according to our partners, the Cleveland Metroparks.  In addition, the Friday night concert series on the lake will resume once again starting June 1st at 6:00 p.m. and continue to run throughout the summer.  Please join us for some incredible music on the lake right here in our own community.  More good news.  The Cleveland Clinic purchased the former Sodexo Laundry facility at 15300 S. Waterloo Road at East 152nd Street.  They have partnered with Evergreen Cooperative to operate the complex which will supply laundry and linen for all Cleveland Clinic hospitals and medical offices.  Evergreen and the Clinic have been working with my office and plan to invest substantially in new equipment and ramping up employment and job opportunities.  This is exciting news for our community, especially for the historic Collinwood Yard Industrial Park.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 11:14 AM, 06.07.2018

Councilman’s Corner

You’ve all heard the old saying, “I’ve got some good news and some bad news.”  The good news first.  Summer is finally here and the construction of the historic Euclid Beach Pier is going strong at Euclid Beach Park.  Work will continue on this long-awaited project the remainder of the year, according to our partners, the Cleveland Metroparks.  In addition, the Friday night concert series on the lake will resume once again starting June 1st at 6:00 p.m. and continue to run throughout the summer.  Please join us for some incredible music on the lake right here in our own community.  More good news.  The Cleveland Clinic purchased the former Sodexo Laundry facility at 15300 S. Waterloo Road at East 152nd Street.  They have partnered with Evergreen Cooperative to operate the complex which will supply laundry and linen for all Cleveland Clinic hospitals and medical offices.  Evergreen and the Clinic have been working with my office and plan to invest substantially in new equipment and ramping up employment and job opportunities.  This is exciting news for our community, especially for the historic Collinwood Yard Industrial Park.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 11:14 AM, 06.07.2018

Councilman's Corner

I thought Spring was here last month. What a surprise. Nonetheless, it will get warm sooner or later.  I want to take this opportunity to thank all the residents and friends of the community who turned out on Saturday, April 21, for the “Big Clean” and the “Cleanin’ with Cops” at Humphrey’s Park. We narrowly lost the Big Clean contest with the City of Euclid but the real winner was both of our communities; for when you looked at the amount of litter and debris that was hauled back to the dumpster at the VASJ parking lot, it was amazing. My sincere appreciation to our Ward 8 residents, Stephen and Ali Love, for their spirit and willingness to spearhead this much needed project.

With that being said, I hope we all take the opportunity to take a look at our own property and how we can dress things up for this spring and summer.  Many of our yards are full of winter storm debris, whether it be twigs, leaves or other debris. If we all do our part, we can make our community shine. As I have said before, if there is a property on your street where the owners just refuse to address unsightly or unhealthy yard conditions, please call Environmental Health Department at (216) 664-2300. 

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 4:56 PM, 05.10.2018

Spring is officially here. So the calendar tells me.

Thanks to all the residents who have been turning in the potholes and bad road conditions. Please continue to call those in to (216) 664-2510.  I have received calls into my office by motorists indicating that their tires and /or cars have been damaged because of the bad road conditions.  I you are a victim you must file a police report, take a picture of the hole in question, if you can.  However, you need to file a Moral claim with the City (216- 664-2800) to see if there is any form of reimbursement. As I have learned, this time of the year, drive with caution and be careful.  With the freeze and thaw cycle we have experienced, potholes can appear within days. Drive carefully.

My continued thanks to all residents who continue to be our eyes and ears of our neighborhood in turning in obvious service concerns and complaints.  What has distinguished our community, time and time again, is that we are proactive. If we continue to do that, then streets will be repaired properly, there will be no streetlights out, and abandoned vehicles will be removed from our streets and vacant lots.  All you need to do is drive the city and you can see what neighborhoods are proactive and which ones are not. Let’s continue to set a high standard in Ward 8.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 3:25 PM, 04.04.2018

Spring Into Action

I, like many of you cannot wait till Spring. What a winter!  Having grown up in Collinwood, I can’t even recall when we had such swings in weather. Nonetheless, it is what it is and as a result of the “freeze and thaw” cycle, I don’t have to tell anyone about the number of potholes and ruts which have taken over our neighborhood streets. If you have a pothole or road issue, please call (216) 664-2510 to report it. Don’t assume someone else called it in.  Be proactive.

Another weather related problem is with street lights burnt out.  Believe it or not, salt spray from the roads can and will corrode what is referred to as the “cobra head” of the streetlight or even affect the transformers. If you have a streetlight out please call (216) 621-5486.  If the cobra head is wrapped with black tape that is an indication that CPP crews have been out and that the entire head must be replaced.

If there is a car that hasn’t moved on your street for whatever reason, please call the 5th District Police at (216) 623-5505.  Let them know the address in front of which the car is parked along with the make and model and license plate number or temporary tag if possible.

The Cleveland Division of Water reported that in January alone that they had over 500 serious breaks and leaks throughout the system as a result of the cold. If water is running on your street from a valve, crack or depression please call the Division of Water at (216) 664-3060. 

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 11:04 AM, 03.10.2018

Winter is Really Here!

Wow, that cold spell we experienced was rough. I hope you all have been surviving the frigid cold.  Stay Warm!  Watch for ice especially when walking and driving.

We had more than our usual share of households who experienced frozen pipes or cold and ice-related issues.  Remember, if your pipes are frozen, NEVER use an open flame, ie a torch, to unthaw any pipe; instead, use a hair dryer or heat gun. If you have an exceptionally cold basement, look for drafts and leave a faucet in your washtubs dripping very slow during extended very cold snaps to prevent the pipes from freezing. This will work in most cases.  Make sure chimneys are clear of debris and are inspected once every five years, unless you have a newer model furnace. It goes without saying, get a carbon monoxide detector in your home and check to make sure your smoke detectors are working. Take extra precautions to keep your family safe and warm during these winter months.

As I reported last month, our community, along with the rest of the city, has been greatly challenged and concerned about the lack of basic police patrols in our neighborhoods. I have had no response back from the Administration with regard to my request of them seeking additional State support through the Ohio Highway Patrol to augment the Cleveland Police Department. It should be clear to all that somebody really missed the boat as to how many police officers are actually needed on the streets of the City of Cleveland.  For your information, 104 officers “left” the Department in 2016 due to retirement, attrition, etc and in 2017, there were 91 officers who left the Force. Yet, when the Administration submitted their annual budget they called for the hiring of only 65 patrol officers for 2017.  Go figure that one out!  The one thing they taught me at Collinwood High School was how to count.  Old or new math – this doesn’t add up. It’s no wonder that District Commanders are having to hold over shifts and platoons to staff the basic patrol car plan city-wide. We need more police officers on the street and the numbers speak for themselves.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 2:06 PM, 02.10.2018

Happy New Year

On behalf of my family and my office I hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and a joyous Kwanzaa.  The history and traditions of our community run very deep this time of year. I wish to thank all of the neighborhood institutions and organizations who have been so vital to our community this past year. 

We all know that Christmas and early in the new year are giving times of the year and I hope you remember all the non-profits in the Ward 8 community from our places of worship, to the Salvation Army Temple Corps, the FoodBank, the Collinwood Food Pantry, and the Collinwood Ministries who daily help the less fortunate and needy of our community. My sincere appreciation for all they do for the community in providing food, clothing, family services, recreation or just a place of comfort or companionship. I urge all residents to continue to support their work through monetary donations or by volunteering.

To say the least, 2017 was a very challenging year. We saw progress in many areas and yet, we were constantly confronted with an increase in violent crime, in our community and city-wide. As I write this article the city has already experienced 128 homicides for the year. That doesn’t take into consideration the felonious assaults (crimes committed with a weapon), burglaries, robberies, car thefts, break-ins, etc.  It is extremely troubling to realize that Cleveland now has the distinction of having a higher per capita, based on population, homicide rate than Chicago or New York.  Law enforcement officials will tell you that the two greatest deterrents to any criminal activity in the city is an engaged citizenry, where residents and businesses look out for one another and willingly report incidents of criminal activity, and police patrolling the streets.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 4:09 PM, 01.15.2018

Giving Thanks

By the time you read this, Thanksgiving will be over.  I hope you and yours had a happy thanksgiving; we, in the Greater Collinwood community have a lot to be thankful for. I wish to thank all the neighborhood groups, clubs, organizations, churches and other institutions, and above all our residents, who have worked so hard this past year in trying to make our community the best it can be, even though we have a lot of work to do yet.  I am looking forward to working with all of you on a whole host of projects and initiatives for Ward 8 in 2018.

On a personal note, I would be remiss if I did not thank the voters of Ward 8 for the overwhelming support that they gave me on Election Day, Tuesday, November 7. To receive 87% of the votes cast that day was a very humbling and moving experience. Not only did I receive the highest percentage tally in City Council but I also had the second highest vote total of any councilmember. It goes without saying how I feel about our community. I have lived my entire life on the northeast side of the city and have raised five children here. My world has not been a big one; from my great-grandparents on East 47th Street off of Superior Avenue, to my maternal grandparents on East 120th Street and Darley off East 140th Street, to growing up in the Nottingham neighborhood. I am a proud graduate of Collinwood High School to this very day, and as we all know “Once a Railroader, Always a Railroader.”

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 10:07 AM, 12.08.2017

November Winds

We had a great October and hopefully the rest of the Autumn season will be like we enjoyed in October. 

My sincere appreciation for all those who volunteered for our two neighborhood Halloween events at the Collinwood Recreation Center and the 5th District Police Headquarters.  These are always great events for our kids. My sincere appreciation as well to the Staff at the Recreation Center and to Commander Morris and his Officers for helping to make these events fun and memorable. 

A lot has happened since my last report. Five more abandoned and derelict structures have been removed and we are up to 230 for the year with more in the pipeline. As a result of this action, plus the fact that individuals are purchasing vacant properties for rehabilitation or yard expansion, we are seeing property values not only stabilize but starting to appreciate. That is good news for our neighborhood. Let’s keep the momentum going into the next year. 

Talk about momentum, 2018 will be a critical year for both of our neighborhood development corporations (CDC’s); Collinwood Nottingham (CNVDC) and Northeast Shores (NSDC). Both have seen major changes, some good and some bad. However, I finally feel that the community is becoming more and more aware of just how important these two groups really are to our ward. Remember, the City, nor the Mayor, nor the Councilman are developers.  We look to the CDC’s, who are separate corporations, to partner with private individuals, non-profits, businesses and developers to do just that. Our two CDC’s are funded by the City, private foundations and this councilman for most of their general operations. It would be an understatement to say that the city and my office have been happy with the performance of either group over the last year. However, with recent staff changes, more neighborhood participation, and the engagement of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP), a city non-profit group whose sole purpose is to provide guidance and help to CDC’s across the city, they are both now poised to get back to business; and, that is to provide development and job creation activities.  Stay tuned for future major announcements and developments. 

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 1:22 PM, 11.03.2017

Great September

Can you believe this weather? Ninety degree temperatures

in late September?  We have been extremely lucky and the Midwest weather looks real good compared to Texas, Florida and the Caribbean. Let’s hope that the winter is likewise.

I want to thank everyone who attended the “Sights and Sounds of Euclid Beach” event on Sunday, September 24 at Euclid Beach Park.  What a great turnout; antique cars, food, music and memorabilia from Euclid Beach, a great day along our beautiful lakefront and above all a great day for our neighborhood.  Thanks to Euclid Beach Park NOW, the Cleveland MetroParks and all the volunteers for a job well done. 

Talking about food, St Mary’s and St Jerome’s had wonderful clambakes this past month and St Casimer’s Clambake will be coming up on Saturday, October 21.  Anyone wanting tickets should call the parish rectory at (216) 481-3157.  My sincere congratulations to both Beulah Baptist Church on Cardinal Avenue and to Memorial Spiritual Church on Pawnee who both celebrated their 100th Anniversary.  May the good Lord continue to watch over these historic congregations. 

Since the last Observer, many things have happened.  With the tremendous help of the Cuyahoga County LandBank and the City’s Bureau of Demolition we have taken down over 225 abandoned and derelict structures so far. We are not going to rest until condemned structures are removed or put back into productive use.  As I have asked before, if there is an abandoned house on your street make sure we are aware of it; for who knows better than an adjacent neighbor if a structure is abandoned, vacant or occupied.  Please be proactive and turn in any property that is creating a problem on your street.  

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 3:28 PM, 10.08.2017

Dog Days of Summer

It goes without saying that the Concert Series along the lakefront this Summer have been a great success.  My sincere thanks to the Beachland Park Association, Coronado Beach Association, the East Shore Park Club, and above all, the Cleveland MetroParks, for bringing “music to the neighborhood.”  We look forward to growing our concert series next summer and beyond.

Since my last update we have taken down an additional six (6) condemned and abandoned structures in addition to the 218 we have already removed.  My sincere appreciation, specifically to the Cuyahoga County Landbank, for the partnership they have established with my office. For the first time in a long period we are making serious inroads in ridding our neighborhood of these derelict properties.  My personal goal is to ramp up this effort throughout the remainder of this year into the next. Please remember, if there is an abandoned house on your street do not assume the City or County knows about it; for some neighbors have taken it upon themselves to maintain the yards and to pick up junk mail. I am greatly appreciative of these proactive neighbors. However, inspectors or our local development corporations wouldn’t know they are abandoned. So, please let us know of an abandoned structure on your street or in the neighborhood.  

Public safety is a number one priority and a foremost concern of all Cleveland residents. My sincere thanks to 5th District Commander, Sammy Morris, and the “men and women in blue” who patrol our neighborhood. This summer, with the help of our “nosey neighbors,” who I love, the 5th District was able to stay on top of many problems which could have grown. When neighbors pay attention and look out for one another, what a difference it makes.  Let’s continue to send a message to those individuals who wish to disrupt the peace and sobriety of our community; it will not be tolerated in Ward 8.  

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 4:22 PM, 09.14.2017

Dog Days of Summer

It goes without saying that the Concert Series along the lakefront this Summer have been a great success.  My sincere thanks to the Beachland Park Association, Coronado Beach Association, the East Shore Park Club, and above all, the Cleveland MetroParks, for bringing “music to the neighborhood.”  We look forward to growing our concert series next summer and beyond.

Since my last update we have taken down an additional six (6) condemned and abandoned structures in addition to the 218 we have already removed.  My sincere appreciation, specifically to the Cuyahoga County Landbank, for the partnership they have established with my office. For the first time in a long period we are making serious inroads in ridding our neighborhood of these derelict properties.  My personal goal is to ramp up this effort throughout the remainder of this year into the next. Please remember, if there is an abandoned house on your street do not assume the City or County knows about it; for some neighbors have taken it upon themselves to maintain the yards and to pick up junk mail. I am greatly appreciative of these proactive neighbors. However, inspectors or our local development corporations wouldn’t know they are abandoned. So, please let us know of an abandoned structure on your street or in the neighborhood.  

Public safety is a number one priority and a foremost concern of all Cleveland residents. My sincere thanks to 5th District Commander, Sammy Morris, and the “men and women in blue” who patrol our neighborhood. This summer, with the help of our “nosey neighbors,” who I love, the 5th District was able to stay on top of many problems which could have grown. When neighbors pay attention and look out for one another, what a difference it makes.  Let’s continue to send a message to those individuals who wish to disrupt the peace and sobriety of our community; it will not be tolerated in Ward 8.  

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 4:22 PM, 09.14.2017

Warm Days of Summer

There have been a lot of good things going on in the neighborhood this last month. The MetroParks Concert Series in partnership with the City has been an overwhelming success with great weather and tremendous outpouring of support from the community.  The Friday night that the Kinsman Dazz Band played there were over 2,500 concert goers who came to the park, at which time MetroParks personnel stopped counting. So, it goes without saying – “thank you” to Cleveland MetroParks and all those who have come to support the concerts at Euclid Beach.  There are two concerts left with the last of the Friday Night Concerts on August 11.   The music starts at 6:00 PM. See you there.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 12:12 PM, 08.04.2017

Councilman's Corner

Since my last Observer article there has been a great deal of positive neighborhood activity and a significant break in the ongoing investigation into the double homicide at Mr. Cars on East 185th Street.

The Cleveland Police Homicide Unit in partnership with the 5th District Police and the U.S. Marshall, Pete Elliott, and the Fugitive Task Force made a significant arrest based on evidence obtained from the business and tips from CrimeStoppers. The individual arrested, a convicted felon whose name is not worth mentioning, has been charged by the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury on a twenty-five (25) count indictment including charges for aggravated robbery and murder and is now in County Jail under a $5 million bond. Obviously, the investigation is ongoing for we all know that the cars and the entire security system did not leave the property by themselves. Stay tuned for further updates on this case as they become public. My sincere gratitude to the investigators working on this case and others.

Remember, Mike and Trina’s children and families in your prayers as well as the other victims of violent crime in our city, like Stephen Halton Jr., a Surgical Assistant and a wonderful young man and father of two, who was brutally murdered while waiting for a bus on Lakeshore Boulevard to take him to work at Cleveland Clinic where he was to assist in a critical operation that morning. His case is still open and whoever committed this horrendous act is still roaming our city streets.  Hope and pray for an arrest in this case as well.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 11:04 AM, 07.07.2017

Community Update

 As I said last month, we are Collinwood Strong! And I want to thank all the residents, merchants and citizens city-wide and beyond for the show of support for the family of Michael and Trina, late owners of Mr Cars II located on East 185th Street. On Friday, May 26, 2017 I was briefed by Police Commander James McPike, the officer in-charge of the Homicide Unit.  Obviously, the investigation is still ongoing. They have processed over a hundred pieces of evidence.  Once again, anyone having any information or knowledge of what happened at Mr. Cars on Friday, April 14, should call the Homicide Unit at (216) 623-5464 or Crimestoppers at (216) 252-7463. Again, a reward is being offered for any information leading to an arrest and conviction of the violent perpetrators.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 6:04 PM, 06.13.2017

Collinwood Strong

We are Collinwood Strong.  I have always said that one should never underestimate the resilience and tenacity of the residents of Collinwood.  We prove that time and time again. The weekend of April 14, 2017 was no exception.  Our community was struck a devastating blow by the vicious murder of Trina Tomola and Michael Kuznik in their place of business, Mr. Cars II on East 185th Street on Good Friday, April 14.  I want to make this publicly clear that this was no random act of violence. This assassination of two long-time merchants and their pet dog was deliberate and calculated. We know this by the savagery of the shooting and what was taken from the business including cars.  You have to ask yourself as I did standing there in the middle of the night with the Homicide Unit and Janet & Randy Kuznik, Michael’s parents, along with their son, Collin, what type of human savages would commit such a horrific act, on Good Friday; my guess, only God knows. I have known this family for over thirty years and they did not deserve to leave this earth in such a manner.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 4:02 PM, 05.07.2017

April Showers

That old saying – “April showers will bring May flowers!” In Cleveland, the flowers are orange barrels and potholes due to this crazy winter we’ve had.  Please be proactive on your own street and if there is a road issue please report it to the Division of Streets at (216) 664-2510. 

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 5:26 PM, 04.11.2017

Springtime

As we transition into Spring, there are a lot of activities and initiatives underway.  Like flowers, come construction barrels. The biggest project is rebuilding of East 152 Street which has begun in earnest. This project, long overdue for the Greater Collinwood community, will run through all of this year and possibly into early 2018.  Included in the project is a new road surface and the repair and replacement of gas & water lines and sewer work. Please be careful driving the roadway and watch for detours during the course of this much needed project which runs from Waterloo Road south to the East Cleveland line.

Cleveland City Council is presently holding General Fund Budget Hearings.  I have a lot of questions with regard to the budget and city services and how the passage of Issue 32, the city income tax increase, will address those concerns. The Council has a lot of work to do and I look forward to being engaged over the next three weeks in this process. The budget we pass by April 1 MUST be a “real people’s” budget with an emphasis on “quality of life” issues.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 3:59 PM, 03.09.2017

Councilman Update

I am sure you have heard the phrase, “buckle up, hang on, we are in for a bumpy ride!” Well, folks, I think we are on an interesting ride both in this country and maybe locally. We have a new President and

As the old saying goes, “the proof will be in the pudding.” Locally, we are all watching as to what federal and /or state programs could be affected by the possibility of federal departments being eliminated/ combined or the reduction in funding for economic development initiatives and capital improvements. Only time will tell. I can assure you that this year will be very interesting and one we will not soon forget.

Just when you think you are prepared for “almost anything” we get the word on Sunday, January 22, that our dear friend, the Honorable Judge Raymond L. Pianka, of the Cleveland Municipal Housing Court, died suddenly. Just as we were not prepared for the death of our neighbor the Honorable Senator George V. Voinovich last summer, Judge Pianka’s death was a real blow to our neighborhoods. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to his wife, Karen, and their family. Besides losing a personal friend we lost an advocate for housing code enforcement, not only on the prosecution side, but for restoration, preservation, and advocacy on behalf of our neighborhoods. May he rest in Peace.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 6:05 PM, 02.08.2017

Happy New Year – Welcome 2017

Welcome to 2017. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa Celebrations. I wish all in our community a healthy, prosperous and safe New Year.

A lot transpired in 2016 on the development front and I am looking forward to an even more prosperous 2017. The long-awaited resurfacing and rebuilding of East 152 Street will begin within the first quarter of the year and will take us through 2018. This project is critical to the Collinwood Village community. I ask for all of your patience as this major project proceeds throughout the year.  

Work has begun on the historic LaSalle Theatre.  I believe in this project so strongly that I committed partial funding from our Ward allocation dollars for this lynchpin project. Thank you to Northeast Shores Development Corporation (NSDC) for spearheading this restoration and we look forward to visiting this venue once again. Anyone wishing to donate to this non-profit endeavor should call NSDC at (216) 481-7660.

The new multi-million dollar Salvation Army Temple Corps at 17625 Grovewood is tentatively set to officially open Sunday, 19 March. As I have said before, the Salvation Army has made a major commitment to our community and I cannot say enough good things about them.  Please remember them when you think about financially supporting non-profit neighborhood groups who work on behalf of our children and the neediest amongst us.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 12:11 PM, 01.13.2017

Wintertime

The Presidential election is over with; thank goodness. Those of you who voted and exercised your constitutional right – THANK YOU.  Those who didn’t – don’t complain. For, this election demonstrated, once again, how every vote counts. Only time will tell how our new President and his Cabinet will address the growing concerns of everyday citizens.  I will pray for him and his family just as I do for President Obama and his family.  We can only hope that he will work on behalf of all the American citizens and their families.  

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 6:48 PM, 12.04.2016

November Winds

The winds of change are upon us.  Please make sure you get your home winterized and your furnace and/or heating systems checked before the severe cold sets in.  Every year we have families being affected by carbon monoxide poisoning do to malfunctioning heaters or blocked chimneys/stacks.  Preventative maintenance goes a long way to keeping your family safe and warm this winter. 

With the change in season always comes that special day – and it’s not Halloween –even though it just may be scarier; that is ELECTION DAY! The day of fate is NOVEMBER 8th. I, like many of you, am not happy by what I see, read and hear virtually every day about this Presidential election as well as the statewide races we are confronted with as concerned citizens. As I have said repeatedly, Democracy is neither free nor pretty at times. This election, certainly, at least in my lifetime, has exceeded in every negative way possible. It has truly become ugly and as a result many citizens have become disenchanted and I hear far too often about folks not wanting to vote or plain simply will not vote. 

All I can say, from someone who has been voting since I was legally able to, and what I have told my own children on more than one occasion, I vote not just for myself and my own family but also for my community and especially for those who made the ultimate sacrifice defending this great country during all the wars and all the conflicts from the American Revolution to all the battles we still fight today, including attacks by terrorists and religious fanatics.  I am constantly reminded of that when I visit the various churches in our community and see the plaques and monuments to those who served and died in defense of this great nation. For the most part – they were just kids just out of high school or in some cases who quit school to enlist; some making the ultimate sacrifice and some coming home permanently disabled and not the same. 

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 7:00 PM, 11.07.2016

Councilman's Corner

It continues to be a great summer and as we enter Fall we look forward to the kick-off of even more developments in the community.There have been some very positive developments since my last column. First, MetroParks held its first public meeting in the community on September 22 at the Collinwood Recreation Center regarding the reconstruction of the historic Euclid Beach pier at the park. This capital project has been something I have lobbied for many years and now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel (and it’s not a train) or the practically speaking the horizon. It is my personal opinion that once the pier is constructed, which will be handicapped accessible, that Euclid Beach Park will become a destination place for the greater Collinwood community and beyond. Those of us who grew up remembering the original pier – remember it as a place for fishing, site seeing and watching the sun sunset with loved ones. I cannot wait to take that walk once again for I am committed to seeing this project come to fruition. 

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 7:55 PM, 10.03.2016

Councilman’s Corner

What great weather we’ve been blessed with this summer.  My sincere thanks to all who have supported all the neighborhood events and activities.  We had a great turn out for the Mayor’s Night Out Against Crime at the Humphrey’s Sports Complex on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 and my many thanks to the neighborhood organizations who staff the booths and tents.  Holy Redeemer Feast of the Assumption held on August 7th was a great show of support  as well.  The Friday night concert series at Euclid Beach Park had record turnouts and the Cleveland Metroparks is already working on next year’s musical line-up.  Veterans Park has been completed at East 174th Street and Lakeshore Blvd. and I can say that it looks great and if you have the time, please visit the memorial stone, it’s truly inspiring.

My sincere appreciation is extended to the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District for their contributions towards this most worthy endeavor.  The historic LaSalle Theater groundbreaking took place on Tuesday, August 9th and many thanks to the Northeast Shores Development Corporation for championing this project and anyone wishing to donate to make sure that this project is a success, please contact NESDC at 216 481-7660. 

Between our local development corporations, Collinwood/Nottingham Village, St.Clair-Superior and Northeast Shores, we believe that we have identified all abandoned and foreclosed properties in Ward 8.  If you believe that we may missed a property on your street, please call your local CDC to report the address.  We are working with the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer on making sure that all of the abandoned/delinquent property tax homes are processed for foreclosure and ultimate sheriff sale and/or demolition.  Our goal in 2016-17, is to rid our community of as many of these properties as we can.

As always, I can be reached at my office at 216 664-4236

Email mpolensek@clevelandcitycouncil.org

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 5:03 PM, 09.09.2016

Councilman’s Corner

What a great Summer! The RNC went off without any major problems and Cleveland was seen nationally as a peace-loving and supportive city. My sincere congratulations to everyone involved in making Cleveland shine during the convention, especially to our Cleveland Police Department and other law enforcement officers from around the country. However, now that the convention is over I hope that the City’s Administration will take a more aggressive and proactive look at neighborhood concerns and issues.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 1:19 PM, 08.11.2016

Councilman’s Corner

It has been a fast and furious summer so far.  I wish to thank everyone who joined us on Sunday, June 12 for the official dedication of Veteran’s Park at East 174th Street and Lakeshore Boulevard. It was truly a great day. I look forward to the final completion of the site and the installation of new signage. Also, congratulations to Holy Redeemer Catholic Church for their hard work for their annual Feast of St Anthony and Procession which was a great success with a large turnout. 

The Friday night attendance at the Euclid Beach MetroPark’s Concert series has been overwhelming with great entertainment. Make sure to put these concerts on your calendar; they run every Friday night through August 12 beginning at 5:30 PM. Look forward to seeing you there.

We passed legislation in Cleveland City Council authorizing additional funding for the historic LaSalle Theatre Arts & Media Project which we all hope will get started soon. This project is critical for the redevelopment of the East 185th Street corridor.  My sincere appreciation to my colleagues in City Council who supported my efforts and sponsorship of this legislation.

The Waterloo Arts Festival on Saturday, June 25 was well attended and we all look for bigger and better things taking place on Waterloo Road in the near future.  Please support the local businesses in this growing Arts & Entertainment District along with all of our other vital and unique businesses in the Greater Collinwood community. 

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 12:36 PM, 07.10.2016

Councilman's Corner

Good weather is finally here; at least I think so. With the good weather brings construction work which is about to begin on several key projects all of which will have an impact on our community. 

Demolition has begun on the concrete turrets of the destroyed pedestrian bridge over I-90 which was hit about three years ago by a truck. Construction of a new pedestrian bridge by ODOT will continue through the summer and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

Final work will begin shortly on the new Veteran’s Park at East 174th Street and Lakeshore Boulevard. The dedication of the park is set for Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 2:00 PM. The groundbreaking for the new Eastside Market at East 105th Street and St Clair is set for Thursday, May 5th at 6:00 PM. We are hoping this will be the impetus for additional enhancement and investment along the St Clair Corridor. Design work continues on the proposed new Oliver Hazard Perry School. Public meetings and updates will be forthcoming. 

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 5:10 PM, 05.05.2016

Councilman’s Corner

Wow! What a crazy winter! Cold, snow & ice and then rain with the warming trends. I cannot remember the weather being so crazy. Nonetheless, “it is what it is.”

Cleveland City Council and the City Administration has been in budget hearings for three weeks; first, Block Grant Hearings and then the last two weeks in the City’s General Fund Budget hearings. All of us are keenly aware of the issues that we are dealing with from diminishing property tax receipts due to the number of abandoned homes and buildings to our “so-called friends” in Columbus who had decimated the Local Government Fund and other sources of revenue which resulted in a loss of revenue to the city of Cleveland over the last five years of approximately $112 million. So, you can see, and hopefully understand the challenges we then face for this coming year and heading into 2017.

Nonetheless, under State Law the City of Cleveland MUST have a balanced budget. We will have that come April 1st. However, basic City services remain the number one concern of our citizens in our neighborhood and across the city. With revenue being tight, there MUST be greater accountability within the various departments and divisions. I am looking forward to the Mayor and his support team getting a better handle on basic city services and holding his directors, commissioners, and employees responsible for the jobs they do or don’t do. It is one thing not to have the revenue stream but it is another thing to see some city employees not working or being disciplined for questionable behavior. That is unacceptable.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 2:00 PM, 03.06.2016

Councilmans Corner

Greetings! I hope all of you had a wonderful Holiday season and a joyous New Year. In 2015 we had many challenges and many successes and I wish to thank all the neighborhood groups and organizations, above all our neighborhood activists, for their continued engagement on behalf of the Greater Collinwood area. As you have heard me say so often, people can and will make a difference if they take the time to become stake holders in their neighborhood. We have proven that on numerous occasions.

In 2015, the Waterloo Arts and Entertainment District improvements were completed and we have moved onto the re-design and planned improvements for East 185th Street commercial corridor, working in partnership with Northeast Shores Development Corporation and the City of Euclid. In the Collinwood & Nottingham Villages and Glenville communities we embarked upon the St Clair Avenue project which is targeting the redevelopment of the corridor from East 55th Street to Nottingham Road. Discussions continued with the Cleveland MetroParks with regard to capital improvements and the issues pertaining to the beaches and swimming.  We have made significant progress and our goal is to see swimming at our beaches THIS SUMMER and to have a plan put forth for the reconstruction of the historic Euclid Beach pier.  Stay tuned.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 5:34 PM, 01.05.2016

Happy Holidays!

I hope all of you all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving; for, we have many things to be thankful for in our community.  On that note, my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland for their announcement and groundbreaking for the new $10 million House of Worship and Community Center for the Salvation Army Temple Corps at 17625 Grovewood Avenue. This facility, since it will serve Greater Collinwood and Glenville communities and the City of Euclid, could have gone elsewhere. However, the Salvation Army decided to rebuild this facility at their existing site because of the ongoing support from the community itself. Please remember the Salvation Army during this Holiday Season and all that they do for the least amongst us. They are a wonderful organization and I cannot say enough about what they mean to our community.

As we move into the Winter season, please pay special attention to your surroundings.  If you see any streetlights out or water running in the street please report these as soon as possible.  Last winter, due to the extreme cold, we experienced numerous incidents of water main breaks in our streets and frozen and/or burst pipes in residential homes. Winterize your homes; keep a furnace vent open in your basement and plug / seal any drafts that you can identify, and never use a direct flame to thaw frozen pipes. Doing these simple things will prevent much larger problems.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 5:18 PM, 12.06.2015

Councilman Polensek's Letter to Senator Portman concerning Water Quality

Dear Senator Portman:

As Councilman representing Cleveland’s 8th Ward I am writing to you on behalf of my constituents and the people of Cleveland in regards to the ongoing Lake Erie water quality issue on the northeast side of the City of Cleveland.

Yesterday was Labor Day, a national holiday and the traditional end of summer, when countless numbers of families come together to celebrate the greatness of the American worker. In our own community families flock to the lakefront to picnic and to, hopefully, enjoy the lake.

However, over this magnificent weekend, families and their children were not allowed to swim at Euclid Beach and Villa Angela Beach MetroParks, because of the high levels of ecoli.  It hasn’t rained now for well over a week and the water in Euclid Creek itself is “as clear as drinking water.”  I live on the Creek and can attest to that on a daily basis.  Something is terribly wrong in America when families cannot enjoy the amenities of the lake except “at their own risk” in 2015.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 5:41 PM, 10.12.2015

September Winds

Where did summer go? It seems like it just got here and already it’s September. I hope everyone enjoyed the Friday night Summer Concert Series at Euclid Beach MetroPark. The attendance was unreal and the crowds enjoyed themselves immensely! In fact, we haven’t seen crowds such as these since the days of the amusement park and no issues were reported! The only concern, I guess,  was – not enough food vendors; which we will work on collectively for next year.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 6:40 PM, 09.08.2015

Last Days of Summer

It is hard to believe that these are already the last days of summer.  Yet, there is still so much to be done and a lot of fun yet to be had!!! I see many of you out in the Ward at different events, ie our Summer Concert Series at Euclid Beach, having fun – as it should be, with your family. 

Having said that I hope everyone has seen that the MetroParks has announced and opened Villa Angela Beach for swimming. This is a victory for our community and I wish to thank all of the individuals, neighborhood organizations and community activists for expressing their thoughts and opinions on this matter.  My thanks to MetroParks for hearing us and realizing how passionately, we as a community, feel about our beloved lakefront.  We are blessed in Ward 8 with almost two miles of lakefront.  These parks, besides providing recreational opportunities to our residents and children, have an economic impact on our neighborhood. Closed beaches mean less investment and lost opportunities.

We want clean beaches and parks that benefit our citizens.  Our next goal is to see swimming available for summers to come at Euclid Beach and Villa Angela.  We are also looking forward to seeing the final design and construction timeline for the replacement of the historic Euclid Beach pier.  Only then will we have a true destination park in our community.  I am committed to seeing that pier reconstructed.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 7:10 PM, 08.09.2015

Summer 2015

Summer is finally here and with it comes a whole host of neighborhood events. Starting June 12 through August 21st we will have the Friday night concerts at Euclid Beach MetroPark from 5:30 – 8:30 PM.  My heartfelt thanks to MetroParks for partnering with us and sponsoring this summer concert series. Last year we had great attendance and a lot of fun!  Put these concerts on your calendar. I look forward to seeing everyone on our beautiful lakefront this summer. For additional Summer Events look at the Collinwood Observer as well as refer to your very own copy of the “Scoop on Summer” which is now available (see www.scooponsummer.org).

Our many thanks to MetroParks for the ongoing improvements to Euclid Beach, Villa Angela Beach and Wildwood Park. The new pedestrian bridge over Euclid Creek is nearly complete and what a great addition to the park.  I hope you can all see now why I lobbied so heavily over the past several years for MetroParks to take ownership of these vital parks in our community. More improvements are being planned for the near future.  My personal dream is to see these parks become an true destination place for our greater community.  Stay tuned for updates and more information regarding the Euclid Creek Reservation along the lakefront.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 12:53 PM, 05.31.2015

Councilman's Corner

Dear Friends: 

It is hard to believe that it is May already.  It’s still cold but we are all looking forward to all the activities for warm weather.

Thank you to all residents for turning in potholes to the Mayor’s action Line at (216) 664-2900 and to the Division of Streets to (216) 664-2510.  If there are road issues – please do not hesitate to call these in.  Don’t assume someone else has turned them in already.  Be proactive about this.

The Lakeshore Boulevard project, from Marcella Road east, is in the home stretch. I wish to thank everyone for their patience and tolerance during this period.  It was truly like root canal.  The project is definitely needed and there will be additional projects coming to address sewer, flooding and waterline breakage issues.

The construction is well under way on the new MetroParks Pedestrian Bridge, between Wildwood Marina and Villa Angela Beach, and the erection of the superstructure should be taking place during the week of April 27, weather permitting. We continue to have ongoing discussions with the MetroParks with regard to lifeguards at Euclid Beach.  These discussions are productive and I look forward to hearing some good news before the swimming season.

There is still no final agreement between the City of Cleveland and the Department of Justice (DOJ) with regard to their review of the Cleveland Police Department. I, like most citizens, are really hoping to see a strong Community Policing component in the final agreement. Citizens want more police visibility and a greater interaction with the Police Officers in our community and the whole of the City. We need to get back to basic community police where the citizens can look on the Police as protector and the police see the citizens as partners in combating criminal activity. Stay tuned for future updates.

Our neighborhood, like the City of Cleveland, is waiting to hear about the County’s demolition bond.  We have abandoned and derelict properties which need to be razed throughout our community and in the entire city.  The City’s demolition funds have been exhausted and are only being used for forthwith demolitions on severely fire damaged structures or where there is an eminent collapse condition.  The city is hoping to receive several million dollars to address these conditions.  I urge all our neighborhood activists to express their support to our County Councilman, Anthony Hairston, who’s already on board, and County Executive, Armond Budish.

I urge our neighbors to do what you can to clean up your yards and around your property.  It was a rough winter and there is a lot of debris around.  If everyone does their bit our neighborhoods can look better than they do now.

I look forward to seeing everybody at the many upcoming neighborhood events. Please feel free to call me at the office at (216) 664-4236 or email me at mpolensek@clevelandcitycouncil.org.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 4:11 PM, 05.18.2015

Councilman's Corner

My dear fellow Eskimos – OOPS! They’re warmer in Alaska than we are.  What a Winter!

I don’t have to tell you the ongoing problems which we have had with snow plowing, especially on our residential side streets and now pothole and street repair. We are all hoping that the City Administration is getting on top of the shortcomings in their Winter Snow Attack Plan, so that we don’t have to go through the ordeal we had the week after the Super Bowl and beyond. Please, if there is an issue with snow or ice on your street please call (216) 664-2510, which is the number the City wants all of us to use.  In addition, you can call the same number to report potholes and dangerous road conditions.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 7:53 PM, 03.06.2015