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Monday, July 13, 2020

Consent Decree Monitor Says McGrath was Consistently Too Lenient with Police Discipline

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 4:27 PM

(from left to right): Euclid mayor Bill Cervenik, county prosecutor Tim McGinty, Mike McGrath, FBI special agent Stephen Anthony, Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area director Derek Siegle - DOUG BROWN/CLEVELAND SCENE
  • Doug Brown/Cleveland Scene
  • (from left to right): Euclid mayor Bill Cervenik, county prosecutor Tim McGinty, Mike McGrath, FBI special agent Stephen Anthony, Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area director Derek Siegle

In a memo to U.S. District Court Judge Solomon Oliver Monday, the Cleveland Consent Decree Monitor said that former Safety Director Michael McGrath had been too lenient in doling out punishment for police misconduct.

Having reviewed 39 cases of officer discipline from March, 2018, through May, 2020, Monitor Hassan Aden said that not only did McGrath consistently impose punishments on the low end of the s0-called "disciplinary matrix," he failed to sufficiently document his rationale for these decisions, even after being instructed to do by the monitoring team.

The report found that McGrath's failure to consistently impose proper discipline, and to do so in a timely manner, was preventing the reestablishment of trust between the police and the community, one of the central goals of the Consent Decree. 

McGrath resigned abruptly last month due to what he called "personal and unavoidable circumstances." He has been replaced, in an interim capacity, by Karrie Howard, formerly a city prosecutor who retains close ties to Mayor Frank Jackson.

The report was the first review of officer discipline as meted out by the Safety Director. It focused on McGrath, as opposed to Chief Calvin Williams, because in Cleveland, serious discipline (anything more than a 10-day suspension), must be authorized by the Safety Director.

The findings, in aggregate, were serious indictments of McGrath's judgement and performance. They included McGrath's abiding preference for suspensions over terminations, even when terminations were advised in the court-approved disciplinary matrix. They also featured a systematic failure to impose serious discipline for integrity-related offenses.

Fully 50 percent of the cases reviewed involved deception, the report stated, yet in only three of them was an officer terminated. In all 23 of these cases, officers "either knowingly and intentionally lied to or withheld information from" Internal Affairs, the Office of Professional Standards, police command staff or a judge. In the Consent Decree's revised disciplinary matrix, untruthfulness now carries a presumption of termination.

"Going forward," the memo stated, "the issues raised by these cases suggest that substantial progress must still be made by the City to achieve compliance with the Settlement Agreement with respect to accountability, transparency and officer discipline." 

Accountability has long been an issue for the police department Michael McGrath oversaw as Chief and then as Safety Director. Mayor Frank Jackson, however, recently defended his promotion of McGrath in 2014, insisting that without McGrath, in the aftermath of #137shots, there would have been no police accountability at all.

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Tommy's Restaurant on Coventry to Utilize Former Patio of Panini's Bar and Grill, Which has Permanently Closed

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 2:45 PM

  • Tommy's Restaurant
Tommy's Restaurant (1824 Coventry Rd., 216-321-7757) in Coventry Village has appropriated the former patio of Panini's Bar and Grill, which closed in mid-March and never reopened. The corporate office confirms that the location has closed for good. Tommy's is renting the property on a temporary basis.

Located across the street, the patio provides an additional 60 or so outdoor seats for Tommy's customers. Diners who visit will enjoy full-service dining, complete with host stand, servers and restrooms. There is no outdoor dining at Tommy's, so this is a welcome development for the 50-year-old restaurant and its many fans.  

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The Ultimate Guide to CBD And Seniors for Weight Loss

Posted on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 2:21 PM

This article was originally published on CBD Seniors. To view the original article click here.

With each passing birthday, it feels like your jeans are suddenly a bit tighter.
No matter what you try to do, it seems impossible to combat age-related weight gain. Whether you are in your 50s or 80s, age-related weight gain can be a major problem. If you start gaining just a pound a year when you are 50 years old, you will end up weighing 30 pounds more by the time you turn 80.

From the ages of 29 to 39, women gain an average of 7 pounds. During the same time period, men gain an average of 15 pounds. Unfortunately, it is harder for people to lose weight in their 30s and 40s. By the time you get to call yourself a senior, you probably have a dozen pounds or more that you want to get rid of.

Part of the problem is because your muscle mass changes. Starting in your 30s, you lose muscle mass with each passing decade. Your muscle mass is then replaced by fat. Even if you work out frequently, you will still deal with this problem. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, this change causes your metabolism to slow down.

Changing hormones also leads to weight gain. Because of estrogen changes, women typically gain about 15 pounds during menopause. Meanwhile, men lose testosterone. This leads to less muscle mass and potential weight gain.

Once you reach retirement age, you finally have time to get in shape and lose weight. Your kids have moved out, so you no longer have so many family responsibilities getting in the way of your health. If you are still struggling to get in shape, CBD for weight loss may be able to help. CBD uses the cannabinoid system to help you treat some of the problems that keep you from having a healthier, thinner body.

How Does CBD Work?

Your body already has a cannabinoid system that uses the chemicals your body naturally produces. CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) both work by using this natural system. In total, there are at least 113 cannabinoids that have been discovered in cannabis. THC is the most famous one because it is the component in cannabis that gets you high. Unlike THC, CBD and other cannabinoids do not have psychoactive properties.

Instead of causing a sense of euphoria, CBD helps with problems like stress, pain and anxiety. Many people take CBD for insomnia, arthritis and similar conditions. CBD targets the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain to alleviate different medical problems.

Because of the 2018 Farm Bill, farmers can now grow and sell hemp. Unlike other strains of cannabis, hemp does not contain high levels of THC. This means that CBD can be legally produced and sold under federal laws. Many states also have laws that legalize CBD production. Because of the legality of CBD, many researchers are now looking into the different therapeutic effects of this cannabinoid. Investment and research in this field are only beginning, so there is still a long way to go before researchers discover all of the conditions that CBD can treat and the correct dosages.

At the moment, research trials have found success in using CBD to treat schizophrenia, autism, alcoholism and skin conditions. There are more than 150 trials taking place around the world that are looking into other conditions as well. Right now, the Food and Drug Administration has actually approved a CBD-based drug known as Epidolex to treat a kind of epilepsy. From trials focused on sleep disorders to pain management, scientists have already found that CBD can help with a number of different problems.

How Does CBD Affect Weight Loss?

If you plan on taking CBD for weight gain, you may be on the right track. Like any diet plan, you also need to adopt a healthy lifestyle as well. Other than taking CBD, it is also important to eat a healthy diet and start working out.
Researchers have already found several ways that CBD can support weight loss. In a 2011 study in Neuroscience Letters, researchers found that laboratory rats had a significant drop in body weight after they were given CBD injections for 14 days. During the study, the rats received 2.5 to 5 milligrams of CBD for every kilogram of their body weight. The rats that received 5 milligrams of CBD had the most pronounced weight loss. Because of this study, researchers believe that CBD can alter how the body gains weight.

At the moment, scientists think that CBD supports weight loss because of the way it works in the human body. Your body has had an endocannabinoid system since the moment you were born. This cannabinoid system produces different responses to compounds using two receptors known as the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB2 receptors exist throughout your body. Meanwhile, the CB1 receptors are primarily located within your central nervous system and brain.

People who suffer from obesity have a weird distribution of CB receptors. For whatever reason, the CB1 receptors travel to other parts of the body that they are not supposed to be in. They become especially prevalent in fatty tissue. Because of this strange distribution, scientists now believe that there could be a link between obesity and the activation of CB1 receptors.

CBD influences the way your body’s natural cannabinoids work. This can lead to the shutdown or activation of different receptors, which can influence your body’s metabolic system. Because of this, some evidence seems to indicate that using CBD can help you lose weight. It may also help you combat weight gain that stems from metabolic disorders.

Looking for a reliable CBD product for seniors? Check out Blue Ribbon Hemp.

The Benefits of Using CBD for Losing Weight

Scientists have discovered that CBD can help a variety of different health problems. Other than alleviating chronic pain, it is useful for treating depression and anxiety. The following benefits help CBD to successfully support a diet and exercise plan for losing weight.

CBD Supports the Browning of Your Fat Cells

In recent years, scientists have discovered that the human body contains white and brown fat. White fat is the main form that exists in the body. It is used to cushion and insulate your organs. White fat is also responsible for storing energy.

Unfortunately, white fat is also linked to a number of chronic illnesses. If you have heart disease or diabetes, you are more likely to have excessive amounts of white fat. This kind of fat is generally considered unhealthy.

Brown fat is the kind of fat your body actually burns for energy. When you are running low on energy, your body turns to brown fat before it uses white fat. People who are at a healthy weight tend to have more brown fat than overweight or obese individuals. To transform white fat into brown fat, you need to make sure to get enough sleep, exercise and expose your body to cold temperatures.

It turns out that using CBD may also help your body turn white fat into brown fat. This browning of fat cells has been shown to happen in laboratories. Scientists used CBD and test tubes to see what would happen to white fat cells. The presence of CBD helped to create the proteins and genes needed for creating brown fat.

CBD Could Help Improve Your Metabolism

While most people associate cannabis with getting the munchies, CBD may actually help you reduce your food intake. Recent research seems to suggest that using CBD can help you lower the amount of food you eat. It can also increase your metabolism. As a result of these two mechanisms, you could enjoy a higher level of weight loss.

In animal studies, CBD affected an animal’s weight by targeted CB1 and CB2 receptors within the brain and lymphoid tissue. Over the course of two weeks, rats were given daily injections of CBD. They received 2.5 to 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. The higher dose was connected to more weight loss, but both doses actually led to a reduction in body weight.

CBD Can Reduce Your Body Weight

In population studies, marijuana is actually connected to having a lower body weight. Researchers looked at 50,000 people and surveyed their cannabis use. Among people who used cannabis at least three days a week, there was a 14 to 17 percent incidence of obesity. Meanwhile, people who completely abstain from marijuana use for the last 12 months had a 22 to 25 percent obesity rate.
It should be noted that this study looked at marijuana use and not CBD use. Some researchers have proposed that the different cannabinoids in marijuana have a synergistic effect on appetite and metabolism. Because of this, some people use full-spectrum products so that they get other cannabinoids as well as CBD.

CBD May Alleviate Metabolic Disorders

There is also some research that shows how CBD can affect metabolic disorders. Researchers have found that metabolic disorders like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol are linked to higher obesity rates. This may be due to having too many CB receptors activated in the body. CBD helps to block the CB1 receptors, which may be why it seems to reduce an individual’s risk of becoming obese.

Previous studies show that CBD can have a remarkable impact on metabolic disorders. In one study, obese rats were given CBD treatments. The treatments led to lower blood sugar levels and better liver health. In addition, these rats had a 25 percent lower rate of high cholesterol than the rats in the control group. While rats are obviously not human beings, studies like this do show promise in using CBD to treat weight gain.

Does THCV Help You Lose Weight?

Other cannabinoids like THCV may be able to help with obesity as well. THCV is a minor cannabinoid that is an antagonist for CB1 and CB2 receptors. This means you can take THCV for weight loss. While THC increases your appetite, THCV lowers your appetite because it is an antagonist.

Basically, THCV is a natural appetite suppressant. It can help to reduce glucose intolerance, which is helpful for people who have type 2 diabetes. THCV can also increase your calorie expenditure, which supports natural weight loss.

How Can You Take CBD?

Since a great deal of CBD research is still ongoing, there is no recommended dosage at the moment. The right dosage can vary based on your personal body chemistry, your health conditions and what you are using CBD for. In general, it is a good idea to start with the lowest dose possible and gradually increase your intake from that point. Many people begin by taking 25 to 30 milligrams of CBD each day. If this dosage does not seem to work, you can try increasing it.

Other than choosing the right amount, you can also select different consumption methods. Many people choose one of the following options for using CBD.

  • Edible products.
  • Capsules and pills.
  • Oils.
  • Vaping liquids.
  • Topical products.

If you use edibles, it will take your body longer to absorb the CBD. Once the body does absorb the drug, the drug will actually last for longer. Meanwhile, vaping CBD will allow you to enjoy the effects faster. There are risks associated with inhaling CBD, so many people use edibles, capsules or topical products instead.

Any medication you use will always carry a risk of side effects, so keep this in mind before you try any drug. In general, CBD is considered relatively safe when compared to other medications. There is a minor risk of side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth and low blood pressure. In very rare cases, there have been signs of liver injury.

CBD can potentially interact with other medications, so it is important to be aware of that before you use CBD. You should always talk to your doctor before starting any diet and exercise plan. In addition to discussing CBD, you can also ask your doctor about different diet and exercise plans that can support your ongoing weight loss.

For CBD products backed by third party lab-test results, turn to Real Tested CBD.

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Local Producer Jesty Beatz Teams Up With Ohio-Born Singer on Viral New Single

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 2:04 PM

  • Courtesy of Holy Mattress Money
After 10 years in Los Angeles, singer-songwriter/producer Jesty Beatz recently moved back to Cleveland “in an effort to reconnect with the environment that helped originally shape [his] musical perspectives.”

As Holy Mattress Money, the songwriting project/band he's formed here, he's released a song every other Monday via Spotify, Apple Music and other outlets.

He recently collaborated with Bridgeport, OH-based pop singer Clemont [pictured] on “Summertime,” a breezy tune that features soulful vocals.

Continue reading »

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'I Never Felt Honored': A Response to the Indians from Someone Who Grew up Native in Cleveland

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 1:13 PM

  • Sam Allard / Scene
As the Cleveland baseball team considers changing its name and identity, I find myself reflecting on my experiences growing up and living in Cleveland as a Native American. No two Native American experiences in Cleveland are the same. With more than 500 tribes in the United States, we are not a monolithic people. I am half Salvadoran and half Native American, Anishinaabe of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. My grandma and my dad are the products of Michigan Indian boarding schools — Mt. Pleasant Indian School and Holy Childhood, respectively. I am a born-and-raised proud Clevelander who grew up and went to school in the Slavic Village neighborhood. This is the first time I've openly discussed my experiences as a Native person in Cleveland.

Years ago, when the American Psychological Association released its statement denouncing American Indian mascots for a variety of reasons but especially because of how they affect Native youth, I finally found official validation for my experiences. My memories around the team are not all terrible, but there are certainly more traumatic things that stand out to me, some more overtly racist than others. I'd like to think, believing in the inherent goodness of people, that if people knew what Native people have had to go through in Cleveland as a result of the team name, they'd see there is no honor in it. In fact, for me, it created complicated feelings about my identity that I am still resolving as an adult.

As a child, I went to a few games with my school and church. My dad took us to protest the team a few times, too. So on one hand, I had school and church tacitly giving their approval of the team and, on the other, my dad raising me to hate the name.

I remember one instance at school in particular. It was a dress down day if you wore baseball gear. I was excited as a child about the team, which was understandable in those years, since the lineup included Hall of Famer Jim Thome, as well as All-Stars Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga, Albert Belle and my girlhood crush, Omar Vizquel. And as is the case for many fellow proud Clevelanders, I felt a win for the team was a win for all of us in the city. The reason I remember this particular day is because a group of students started whooping in a stereotypical rapid hand-to-mouth motion I had seen before. Only this time, they were circling me and laughing.

Another time, I was shoved by a group of boys into a cupboard as I cried because they thought it would be funny to put an Indian in the cupboard. (You know? Like the book.) On yet another occasion, a girl I grew up with told me she didn't like Indians. Before I could stop myself, because I was always longing to make friends and belong, I denied my heritage. I said something to the effect of, “I’m not that Indian.” I regret and am so angry at myself to this day for saying such a thing.

When my dad was asked to speak about woodlands tribes to my eighth grade class, I begged him not to because I was terrified some Chief Wahoo-related teasing would ensue. Luckily, it didn't, but I think it hurt my dad's feelings a bit. The one time I recall standing up for myself was when someone said my dad looked like Chief Wahoo and, though I couldn't have been older than a fourth grader, I told them he couldn't look like Chief Wahoo because it's a cartoon and my dad is not. These are just a few experiences that stand out to me amongst a life of them.

What does all of this have to do with the team name and why getting rid of it is long overdue? The people of this region essentially gave their seal of approval by not challenging the name and logo on a wider scale. White people and other people of color, including some family members, wore and defended the mascot in my presence. I do not resent them for it because they do not know what the team name and Chief Wahoo have meant to me. Still, that acceptance made it okay for those kids to treat me the way they did, whether it directly had to do with the team name and mascot or if it was discrimination enabled by complicity. In other words, based on personal experience, I endured what I did because Chief Wahoo and the team name gave people a pass to look at me through the same lens of dehumanization with which they looked at a racist caricature.

Fast forward to high school. I wanted to get far away from Cleveland and be among fellow Natives. I went to college in Nebraska where I found my circle of lifelong friends, women and men of color from various tribes and diverse backgrounds. That might seem to people from Cleveland like an unlikely place to go looking for oneself but I loved my time at Creighton University. I was able to advocate for Native issues and work and volunteer in Native communities. A year after graduating, I volunteered for two years via AmeriCorps on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota with Native youth, which has been one of my passions since. I also went on to serve on the board of the Native American Journalists Association and wrote for indigenous media such as RezNet and Vision Marker Media, previously known as Native American Public Telecommunications. I've lived in nine states for internships, school and work.

Still, my heart was in Cleveland. I met my husband, a non-Native person and we recently married in the neighborhood I grew up in. God willing, we will have kids someday, and they will be Native. I want them to be proud of their heritage and the city from which they come. I want their love of this city to not be clouded by the cognitive dissonance of loving one’s hometown and hating that its baseball team name is so racist. I never want them to feel like I did — like they have to reduce their indigenous-ness to get by in this town. I am tired of conversations, some evolving into heated debates, with friends and strangers about the team name and Chief Wahoo.

I do not, nor have I ever, felt honored by the team name. The strides toward phasing out Chief Wahoo were steps in the right direction. But there is still more to do. Please advocate in your own group of friends and relatives for the name change. I especially direct this toward my friends of color: if blackface offends you, as it should, then how can you excuse red face? You can't.

It’s time to change the name.

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City of Cleveland Says It'll Investigate Allegations of Discrimination, Toxic Culture in Department of Public Health

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 1:09 PM

  • Department of Public Health Director Merle Gordon, Photo by Rachel Dissell
The city of Cleveland in a late Friday afternoon email told Department of Public Health employees it had reopened an internal Equal Employment Opportunity investigation concerning allegations of discrimination and concerns that a generally toxic culture pervades the dysfunctional department.

It "received several emails and telephone calls from staff" that "center around questions and concerns on department moral, employee workplace complaints, workforce attrition and departmental management styles," the staff email said.

A reopened Equal Employment Opportunity investigation was broadly announced to be helmed by Nycole West from HR and Martin Flask, an executive assistant to Mayor Frank Jackson. Over the weekend, the city announced Tracy Martin Thompson, Chief of Prevention, Intervention and Opportunity for Youth and Adults would join the team leading the investigation. Both West and Thompson are Black.

As the public now knows, current and former health department staffers had, for nearly a year, attempted to make their complaints heard to those in charge through official channels. The response from the city, and Public Heath Director Merle Gordon, was to ignore them. While the general culture and lack of support from leaders were two key problems, staffers also said Black and brown women were particularly targeted and sidelined.

For some of those reasons and oftentimes for many of them, more than a quarter (30) of the department's employees have either resigned or opted to work in other jobs for the city since 2017.

Those allegations were the subject of a months-long reporting project by Rachel Dissell and Jordyn Grzelewski, including interviews with staffers who chose to talk to reporters because their concerns were sidelined by superiors.

Dissell and Grzelewski presented the city and the health department with specific questions during that period, but received no response until late last week, after the city was informed the story would be published.

Days later, the email was sent to CDPH staffers and the city briefly mentioned the investigation in a Friday evening news release.

"The City of Cleveland today reached out to CDPH employees regarding concerns on department morale, employee workplace complaints, workforce attrition and departmental management styles. The Department of Human Resources issued several workforce improvement recommendations specific to Cleveland Department of Public Health," the city's press release said.

Scene has asked the city for clarification on the scope, timeframe and purpose of the investigation and whether its results would be released to the public. We'll update you if and when the city provides answers.

You can read the in-depth story that prodded the response here.

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Western Reserve Historical Society to Host Virtual Event to Launch 'Women & Politics' Exhibit

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 11:45 AM
At noon on Wednesday, July 22, the Western Reserve Historical Society will present a virtual Fred Walk program based on its new exhibit, Women & Politics.

Guests will first learn about the historic struggle for voting rights and then discuss the issues faced by voters today as experts explain the story of women's empowerment from the early days of the suffragist movement to the election of northern Ohio women to positions of power on the local, state and national levels.​

After a brief introduction, participants will be split into one of three groups, where they’ll dive deeper into the exhibit. They’ll then will come back together to share what they’ve learned and explore the resources available to those wishing to make a difference in their communities.

Registration is free and required. The event will be held through the Zoom platform, and 24 to 48 hours before the event takes place, participants will receive the necessary login information and instructions.

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