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Friday, September 28, 2007

Is Lakewood Selling What Little Green Space It Has?

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2007 at 5:37 PM

Lakewood is often described as the most densely populated city between New York and Chicago. So it would seem that a suburb with such scant green space would desperately cling to what little she has left. But not so in the City of Homes. Lakewood has approved a $20,000 study to see if baseball and softball games at Kauffman Park can be relocated to another field, thus allowing the city to sell the park to a private owner. It would then be converted to a retail/condo development of undisclosed specifics, an improvement over the strip mall that now fronts the park on Detroit Avenue. On the surface, it would seem a moronic notion. Most of the city’s 100-year-old homes have yards the size of grapefruits, making its few parks an absolute necessity. Lakewood leaders say the green space will remain, only moved closer to Detroit, though it’s hard to believe a private owner would leave much expensive land undeveloped. And any time a city hires a consultant, buyer beware. They’re often just an expensive way of providing an “official study” that lends credence to a pre-ordained position. Hey, this wasn’t our idea! This is what the experts are telling us! All of which has residents buzzing that the fix is in. Some believe the study is being delayed until after the elections, so Mayor Tom George won’t take the hit for selling the park. George (who couldn’t be reached late Friday), is well aware of Lakewood’s penchant of rebellion. He won office after former Mayor Madeline Cain tried to use eminent domain – that’s German for “We’re about to take your shit” – to confiscate people’s homes for another development. But Council President Robert Seelie says there’s no secret plot afoot. The city is merely examining its options. If Kauffman’s sale brings a handsome price, Lakewood could use the money to rebuild other parks. “How much is the land worth?” he asks. “If there’s millions of dollars to be obtained there, we could improve the other parks dramatically.” Moreover, even if city officials love the idea, it still must go through planning, zoning, and architectural review boards, as well as the city council, says Seelie. That gives residents plenty time to raise hell and find really good bricks to throw. “Oh shit,” says the council president, “there’s no done deal -- only don’t tell them about the nuclear silos going back there. It can’t be, because we have no idea we can take those activities elsewhere. This isn’t a done deal; this is an exciting deal. This is an opportunity to jump on board and see what we can do, or bring back Bob’s Big Boy and play baseball there every night.” Unfortunately, he might find out that a lot of residents really miss Bob’s Big Boy. – Pete Kotz UPDATE: The mayor responds.

You Got 5 On it?

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2007 at 4:07 PM

I%20got%20five.jpg I Got Five On It, Touch Supper Club's (2710 Lorain Ave.; 216.631.5200) monthly old-school hip-hop party, with Mick Boogie and Terry Urban, goes down tomorrow. Best party in Cleveland, hands down. -- Joe P. Tone

Ohio SPJ Hands Out Awards, (Drunkenly?) Names Scene Best Weekly

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2007 at 3:07 PM

Scene's Jared Klaus (left) and Joe Tone celebrate their Ohio SPJ Awards.
The Ohio Society of Professional Journalists announced its 2007 awards yesterday, and they were particularly kind to this little rag of ours. We never thought all those unmarked vodka bottles we sent would actually sway the judges, but how else can you explain such a bounty for a gang of unruly (although handsome!) scribes. Competing against the largest papers in the state, Scene snagged a total of nine awards, including Best Weekly and five other first-place honors. The winners, with links to the offending stories, are: - Lisa Rab, first place, newsmaker profile; second place, environmental coverage - Denise Grollmus, first place, arts reporting - Elaine T. Cicora, first place, arts profile - Erich Burnett, first place, headline writing - Joe P. Tone, first place, sports coverage - Rebecca Meiser, second place, medical/science reporting - and, of course, part-time kitten-juggler Jared Klaus, second place, children’s issues The Columbus Dispatch took home the most hardware: 17 awards, by our count, including Best Daily. They must bribe with top-shelf. By contrast, The Plain Dealer, which enjoys describing itself as the "largest newspaper in the state," used those resources to take home just six awards. They included, oddly, the award for Best Columnist in Ohio, which went to Tom Feran, whose column got taken away by his own bosses ["A day without Feran," First Punch, January 17]. To celebrate Scene's achievements, the powers-that-be, after much finagling, have agreed to let us install a permanent Crocodle Mile in the newsroom. Finally, all the hard work pays off. -- The Management

LeBron James roots for the Yankees; Drew Carey named Cavs’ new forward

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2007 at 2:30 PM

Why can't LeBron look more like Drew?
The Plain Dealer reported today that Lebron James will be rooting for the Yankees if they face the Indians in the upcoming divisional series. Now some people might respect that LeBron is his own man, arguing that he's allowed to root for whoever he wants. He shouldn’t be forced to support Cleveland’s baseball team, they say, just because he’s the face of our basketball team. Yeah, that's some bullshit. LeBron wearing a Yankees cap is akin to Brady Quinn getting his face tattooed to look exactly like Terry Bradshaw's. But it's typical, really. This, after all, is a guy who flew all the way to New York to host Saturday Night Live. Hey SNL Guy: Cleveland has live talk shows too, you know. Ever heard of a little show called Good Company? Another thing: we don’t approve of you cavorting with Jay-Z all the time. You need to hang out with some of our equally talented Cleveland rappers. Bizzy Bone needs friends too, you know. So here's a tip, LeBron: Be like Drew Carey. That dude is constantly photographed in Cleveland sports gear. When he takes a vacation, he doesn’t use his ample fortune to fly to St. Tropez in the south of France, but rather jet-sets to his beach estate on the equally elegant shores of Lake Erie. Plus, Carey looks like a Clevelander. He’s pudgy, with a $7 haircut and terrible glasses. Lebron, meanwhile, is 6’8” and in superior physical condition. He dresses stylishly and just got Lasik eye surgery -- yet another slap in the face. The bottom line, LeBron: shape up or get shipped out. We will trade you for Andrei Kirilenko if you don’t at least pretend to have Indians Fever. And then we’ll see how you like hanging out with Utah rappers. -- Gus Garcia-Roberts

Fifty Reasons I Can't Read Regina Brett

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2007 at 2:17 PM

If you’ve been reading Plain Dealer columnist Regina Brett for the past five years, you probably either A) find yourself angrily lashing out at your friends and family for no apparent reason, or B) own at least three sweaters embroidered with kitten faces on them. You also may remember the column Brett wrote five years ago, on her 45th birthday, in which she listed her 45 life lessons. (Remember those sappy motivational posters in high school classrooms that first inspired you to start wearing black lipstick and drinking your friends’ blood? Yeah, that kind of stuff). ...

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Mike G's Picks, Featuring Genesis, the Lips, and One Darn Sad Exhibit

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2007 at 1:56 PM

Gensis plays the Q Saturday.
This weekend’s top arts and entertainment picks around town, from the guy who’s paid to pick them: Friday: We realize you probably don’t want to start off your weekend by looking at the Maltz Museum’s new downer of an exhibit, Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race, but it’s one of the best displays to come to town all year. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum loaned more than 500 artifacts to the Maltz – including photographs of murdered children, sharp instruments used to measure faces, and yellowed notes that detail some very sinister experiments. They all chronicle the Third Reich’s plans to eradicate European Jews more than 60 years ago through medical means. Saturday: Sure it’s a bummer that the big Genesis reunion tour doesn’t include Peter Gabriel dressing up like a giant flower. But there’s still plenty of prog-rock pretension in store, since the band is mostly playing 20-minute epics about trolls rather than Phil Collins’ wimp-rock ballads. They’re at the Q. Sunday: The Flaming Lips’ new DVD, U.F.O.s at the Zoo: The Legendary Concert in Oklahoma City, features staples like costumed fans dancing onstage, fake blood, and lots of confetti. It’s quite a trip and proof that the Lips are among the planet’s best live bands. You can see them tonight at the Agora. -- Michael Gallucci

Mitch Karczewski, who owned Lorain's Red Parrot and Flying Machine, dies

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2007 at 1:46 PM

Mitch Karczewski, owner of Lorain's Red Parrot and former owner of the Flying Machine, died Tuesday. Karczewski was a longtime promoter whose Spotlight Talent had worked with Mushroomhead and organized the World Series of Metal festivals. At his passing, he'd been working with all-girl rock group Level C. His wake will be this Sunday at Golubski Funeral Home (5986 Ridge Rd., Parma). In the meantime, Chris Akin, host of The Classic Metal Show, offered the below memory of Karczewski. Stay tuned to Scene to read more. And if you have any Mitch stories -- everybody on the scene does -- please post one. -- DX Ferris “Metal Show, who’s this?” the Warlock called out to a call that rang through on the flashing hotline in WMMS’ on-air studio. “Hey guys! It’s Mitch Karczewski from Spotlight Talent and Anthony from the Agora. We’re down here with Dokken tonight, and could really use the help getting some people here. Could you guys tell people that if they want to see Dokken, they can come down here and get in free?” The irony of the call hit me on a lot of levels. ...

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