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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Oberlin Professor Fired After Anti-Semitic Social Media Posts, Vows to Fight Dismissal

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 11:57 AM

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Update: Joe Karega, the assistant Oberlin professor fired by the university after an internal investigation into anti-Semitic posts on social media, released a statement yesterday vowing to fight her dismissal.

“I will challenge the college’s decision and assault on my substantive rights through ALL the avenues I have available to me. Several of my Facebook posts were taken out of their original context and grossly misrepresented by a magazine with a political agenda. To add insult to injury, for the last eight months, Oberlin College has campaigned to implicate my professional fitness using arbitrary, inequitable, and discriminatory practices. Indeed, the college launched an assault on my substantive rights."

***

(Updated 11/16/16): Joy Karega has been fired by Oberlin. The assistant professor had been on paid leave and not allowed to teach classes after she posted anti-Semitic sentiments on Facebook.

Oberlin announced the dismissal today on its website and in a letter to the Oberlin community. You can read it in its entirety below.

The Oberlin College Board of Trustees, after extensive consideration and a comprehensive review of recommendations from multiple faculty committees and Oberlin President Marvin Krislov, has voted to dismiss Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition Joy D. Karega for failing to meet the academic standards that Oberlin requires of its faculty and failing to demonstrate intellectual honesty.

The dismissal is effective Tuesday, November 15, 2016.

As a Board, we agree with President Krislov and every faculty committee reviewing this matter that the central issues are Dr. Karega’s professional integrity and fitness. We affirm Oberlin’s historic and ongoing commitment to academic freedom.

During this process, which began with Dr. Karega’s posting of anti-Semitic writings on social media, Dr. Karega received numerous procedural protections: she was represented by counsel; she presented witness testimony, documents, and statements to support her position; and she had the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses testifying against her.

The faculty review process examined whether Dr. Karega had violated the fundamental responsibilities of Oberlin faculty members – namely, adherence to the “Statement of Professional Ethics” of the American Association of University Professors, which requires faculty members to “accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending and transmitting knowledge” and to “practice intellectual honesty.”

Contrary to this obligation, Dr. Karega attacked her colleagues when they challenged inconsistencies in her description of the connection between her postings and her scholarship. She disclaimed all responsibility for her misconduct. And she continues to blame Oberlin and its faculty committees for undertaking a shared governance review process.

For these reasons, the faculty review committees and President Krislov agreed on the seriousness of Dr. Karega’s misconduct. Indeed, the majority of the General Faculty Council, the executive body of Oberlin’s faculty, concluded that Dr. Karega’s postings could not be justified as part of her scholarship and had “irreparably impaired (her) ability to perform her duties as a scholar, a teacher, and a member of the community.”

In the face of Dr. Karega’s repeated refusal to acknowledge and remedy her misconduct, her continued presence undermines the mission and values of Oberlin’s academic community. Thus, any sanction short of dismissal is insufficient and the Board of Trustees is compelled to take this most serious action.

***

(Updated 8/3/16): Months after initially citing academic freedom in a half-defense of professor Joy Karega's anti-Semitic posts on social media, Oberlin has put her on paid leave and announced she will not be allowed to teach on campus any longer.

Back in March, when the story picked up national and international steam (see our original coverage below), the college's board of trustees asked for an internal investigation. The result of that investigation, some five months later, led to today's announcement, as first reported by the Cleveland Jewish News.

In a statement to the paper, Oberlin said: “In March, in consultation with President Marvin Krislov, the trustees of Oberlin College asked the administration and faculty to ‘challenge the assertion that there is any justification for these repugnant postings. The college initiated its faculty governance process to review Dr. Karega’s professional fitness in light of these postings.
 The faculty governance process that began thereafter is ongoing, and the Oberlin administration will continue to respect this process as it plays out. Until that process is complete, Dr. Karega has been placed on paid leave and will not teach at Oberlin.”

***

(Original story 3/3/16): Even leafy Oberlin College, that bastion of liberal thought one hour west of Cleveland, isn't invulnerable to the species of batty professors who advance their fringe views on the internet.

Joy Karega, an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition at Oberlin, was revealed last week to have been spouting anti-Semitic rants and lunatic conspiracy theories on her social media accounts.

Though Karega has understandably upped the privacy settings on her Facebook page, Fox News (not what you'd call a bastion of liberal thought, to be fair) posted screenshots of some of her more outrageous posts:

In one, Karega blamed Jews for the 9/11 terror attacks. In another, she posted a picture after the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris showing an ISIS fighter with a Star of David tattoo on his forearm pulling off a mask, exposing the face of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Tasteful stuff like that. 

Oberlin issued an initial statement assuring the community that the views of Karega in no way reflected the views of the university. And Wednesday, Oberlin's president, Marvin Krislov, sent a letter to the community digging a little deeper. (The Chronicle-Telegram reports that the letter did not mention Karega by name.) 
 
“I am a practicing Jew, grandson of an Orthodox rabbi. Members of our family were murdered in the Holocaust,” Krislov wrote in the letter. “As someone who has studied history, I cannot comprehend how any person could or would question its existence, its horrors and the evil which caused it. I feel the same way about anti-Semitic conspiracy theories...

“I am also the son of a tenured faculty member at a large research university. My father instilled in me a strong belief in academic freedom,” he continued. “I believe, as the American Association of University Professors says, that academic freedom is ‘the indispensable quality of institutions of higher education’ because it encourages free inquiry, promotes the expansion of knowledge, and creates an environment in which learning and research can flourish.” 

Many in the Jewish community feel that that's a poor excuse, and that Krislov is hiding behind academic freedom instead of dispensing justice.

Assistant Professor Joy Karega - OBERLIN COLLEGE
  • Oberlin College
  • Assistant Professor Joy Karega
“She is not a tenured professor," the Director of the Israeli Law Center told Fox News. "She needs to be thrown off campus immediately.” 

Karega was, incidentally, on the list of professors to whom the Black Student Union wanted administrators to guarantee tenure back in December. Black students submitted an extensive list of demands at that time which they hoped might address racial tension on campus. They said they feared for their safety. 

For the time being, Karega claims that once she emerges from her "Unbothered state of being," she will address the threats and silencing tactics that have been used against her, presumably in a public forum, and will also analyze "how common it is for Black women, who are early in their career on the tenure track as part of the professoriate, to be prime targets for these kinds of activities and practices.”

According to Oberlin, Karega focuses on issues of social justice and social change in her classroom. Her primary area of research has been "historiciz[ing] the political literacy education of the Black Liberation Front International."

Now, thanks to the current controversy, (btw: first reported by the pro-Israel Middle East publication The Tower), Karega says she'll focus at least part of her next book on "bullying."    

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Proposed Outlet Mall in Garfield Heights Isn't Happening; Mayor Says Residents Will Be Happy With Alternate Plans

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 3:23 PM

PHOTO COURTESY OF CRAIG REALTY GROUP
  • Photo courtesy of Craig Realty Group
Garfield Heights Mayor Vic Collova says that the company that had set about plans for an outlet mall in his city, Craig Realty Group, has backed off the idea.

Which isn't to say the California-based company isn't doing anything. It's just going to be something different, and because of confidentiality agreements and maybe the sting of announcing something that wasn't for sure only to see it fall through, we're not going to know what it is for a little bit.

"I've signed a confidentiality agreement, but the outlet mall is not coming here. [Craig Realty Group] is pursuing a different venture," Collova told Cleveland 19. "If this new direction comes to fruition, I'm certain there won't be any disappointed people in Garfield. They'll be very happy.

"They [the developers] came to us about the possibility of having something else there that would be more inviting to the city and its residents and the entire region and we agree with them," he said. "It’s not 100 percent written in stone, but if it comes through as planned, everyone will be pleased."

***

If all goes according to plan, a new outlet mall could open at the site of the abandoned Bridgeview Crossing in Garfield Heights.

Transportation Boulevard, Granger Road and I-480 border the property, where construction is expected to begin in 2017. A previous plan for a shopping center there bottomed out when Lowe's, the main planned tenant, pulled out of the plans in 2008.

The company behind the proposed transformation is Craig Realty Group out of California, which owns several outlet malls. In all, the company operates 13 outlet malls, primarily out west. The company has owned the mortgage on the property since 2010 and originally had no plans to build on the property, but changed course some time in 2014.

While still early in the design and planning process, the developer is working to widen an overpass to handle the influx of shoppers. That project alone is estimated to cost about $8 million.

The outlet mall, should it come to fruition, would be slated to open in 2018. 

(Hat tip cleveland.com)

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Update: Here Are the 8 Businesses Competing in LeBron Reality Show, "Cleveland Hustles"

Posted By on Fri, Jun 24, 2016 at 9:46 AM

[image-1]Update: "Cleveland Hustles" will bring four new businesses to Detroit-Shoreway. The LeBron and Maverick Carter production will debut on CNBC later this summer and today we got a little more info on who all is making the final decisions on what businesses those will be and what businesses are vying for that chance.

The businesses that made the final list of 8 after initial pitches from about 25:

Old City Soda - Sean Adkins & Mike Gulley
Randy's Pickles - Andrew Rainey
Styles of Success - Chareen Fountain
The Cleveland Bagel Co. - Geoff Hardman & Dan Herbst
The Proper Pig - Ted Dupaski & Shane Vidovic
Groundswell - Anne Harnett
FOUNT - Jaclyn & Phillip Wachter
Akron Honey Co. - Brent Wesley

The judges/panelists/investors: Kumar Arora – CEO Aroridex, Ltd.; Kathy Futey – Certified Private Wealth Advisor, CPWA; Alan Glazen – Founder of GlazenUrban, LLC/Neighborhood Developer; Jonathon Sawyer – Team Sawyer Restaurant Owner.

***

(Updated 4/1/16): "Cleveland Hustles" will premiere on Aug. 24 on CNBC, we learned today. 

See our earlier story below.

***
Originally published March 16

When "Cleveland Hustles" got the green light from CNBC not that long ago we knew very little.

The gist: LeBron and Maverick Carter's SpringHill entertainment would be behind a reality show that would help revitalize a neighborhood in Cleveland. Four local investors would serve as the judges to eventually give the nod to four local entrepreneurs/businesses — they'd invest in and mentor them, and some part of Northeast Ohio would benefit.

We know a little more now.

We can tell you that neighborhood in focus will be Detroit-Shoreway.

In fact, a recorded (and eventually televised) town hall is underway this very morning with some members of the public in attendance as the four investors and business applicants (neither of which are public knowledge yet) vie to see what four will eventually plant their flag in Detroit-Shoreway.

Back in January when the partnership (which includes executives from Top Chef) was announced, CNBC executive Jim Ackerman said, “Cleveland Hustles speaks to the network’s entrepreneurial spirit and also creates an opportunity to help strengthen communities that have fallen on hard times.”

Five or six other neighborhoods were considered but executives eventually narrowed down the choice to Detroit-Shoreway in recent weeks. 

James is a co-producer on the show and will appear during the run of the series, though he's not one of the investors.

"Cleveland Hustles" is slated to premiere this summer.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

City of Cleveland Releases Full List of "Fast 8" Movie Shooting Road Closures

Posted By on Tue, May 17, 2016 at 10:56 AM

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Update:

The city of Cleveland has released a full list of roads to avoid (or, watch the action) during the shooting for Fast & Furious 8.

Again, Cleveland was chosen for secondary photography meaning you most likely won't be seeing the main cast drifting along East 9th Street.

RTA is also adjusting its routes along streets where shooting will take place, so make sure to regularly check your normal bus and trolley routes.


***
Update: Fast & Furious 8 will begin shooing May 18 and will continue through June 8.

Just like the last time Hollywood descended upon Cleveland, there will be road closures involved:

May 18 - 20

  • Superior Ave. will be closed - Roadway to E. 12th (6 a.m. - 8 p.m.)
  • E. 9th will be periodically closed, but not at peak times (6 a.m. - 8 p.m., 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.)

June 2 - 4

  • St. Clair Ave. will be closed W. 3rd to E. 12th (6 a.m. - 8 p.m.)

Rockwell Avenue is expected to remain open during shooting, and sidewalks in the area will have limited access. If you want to watch the action (speeding cars, yes!), most of the shooting will go down at E. 6th St. and Superior Avenue.

Several RTA routes will also be rerouted during shooting, so check with RTA.com for more information.

***

Update: We can expect clogged Cleveland streets and tons of fans waiting to catch a glimpse of filming for Fast & Furious 8 between May and June.

The filmmakers just announced that's when the bulk of secondary photography for the movie will commence. 

(Hat Tip WKYC)

***

Filming for the Fast & Furious 8 is coming to Cleveland soon, just don't expect to take any selfies with Vin Diesel.

News of the shoot was mentioned at the Cleveland International Film Festival, and there's even a posting on the Greater Cleveland Film Commission's job page requesting crew member and vendor submissions.

The call for submissions is only for work with the film's second crew, meaning there probably won't be any big names here in town. Instead, a lot of action sequences and b-roll will be shot here, so we can still expect some traffic trouble once shooting begins. No exact dates have been announced yet, but expect it to be somewhere between mid-April and mid-June.

The film's first unit are expected to shoot in New York City and Atlanta, with the possibility of Cuba on the table. Ludacris, Vin Diesel, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham and Lucas Black are all expected to return for the latest installment of the film.

(Hat Tip cleveland.com)

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Poll Worker Arrested for Allegedly Pulling a Gun on Another Worker Wants Case Taken to Mental Health Court

Posted By on Mon, May 16, 2016 at 5:04 PM

COURTESY CPD
  • Courtesy CPD
UPDATE:

Allen Bethea wants his case moved to mental health court. Court records show he has been diagnosed with a mood congruent psychotic disorder.

The former poll worker accused of pulling a handgun on another poll worker while working Ohio's primary election. 

We don't know many specifics about the diagnosis, but his attorney Michael Wolpert gave some details about the incident in a motion filed in the court.

"This illness is particularly relevant in this case since the incident took place in an election place where the defendant perceived that fellow poll workers were calling him derogatory names," Wolport wrote.

The diagnosis and motion won't affect whether or not he's convicted, but he could be ordered to undergo treatment for the mental illness.

Bethea has since been fired from his poll worker job, and it's unknown whether he could be reinstated in light on his diagnosis.

(Hat Tip cleveland.com)
***

UPDATE:

Allen Bethea, 45, was in court Thursday after allegedly pulling a handgun on another court worker and marijuana possession.

Bethea pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor marijuana abuse charge, but did not enter a plea for the charge of violating concealed weapons laws. 

Poll workers at Louisa May Alcott School say the altercation occurred after Bethea argued with another worker about the proper way to help disabled voters. That's when they say he pulled out a gun and began threatening poll workers.

Judge Emanuela Groves set his bond at $10,000.

***
A poll worker was arrested after brandishing a handgun at a poll station Tuesday afternoon. So, Cleveland's primary Tuesday is off to a rolling start.

The incident happened at Louisa May Alcott School on Baltic Road at around 12 p.m. Police say the worker got into an argument with another poll worker and pulled a .380 pistol out of his backpack. 

The man didn't point the gun at anyone, but faces aggravated menacing, carrying concealed weapon and having weapons under a disability charges. He also faces a charge of marijuana possession. He initially ran away from the polling station but was later arrested at West 107th Street and Detroit Avenue.

The man has yet to be formally charged for the incident, however the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections says the man has been fired.

(Hat Tip cleveland.com)


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Thursday, March 31, 2016

RNC Visitors Can Rent Jeffrey Dahmer's Childhood Home During Convention Week

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 5:07 PM

HOWARD HANNA
  • Howard Hanna
If the twisted machinations of the Republican National Convention aren't disturbing enough, incoming visitors now have the opportunity to rent Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood home for the week. The 2,170-square-foot house in Bath, Ohio, will run you $8,000 for the duration of the convention.

The Akron Beacon Journal pointed out today that Howard Hanna is listing the property among its RNC-ready rental options. 

Based on published photos, it seems like a charming three-bedroom tucked just a stone's throw away from the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

From the ABJ:

The house was where Dahmer killed and dismembered Steven M. Hicks of Coventry Township in 1978 and then scattered Hicks’ remains on the property.

Dahmer moved to Wisconsin in 1982 and murdered 16 more victims. He was killed in prison in 1994.

But the house has more interest than just that dark chapter of its past. Its current owner, Chris Butler, has achieved his own fame as founder of the new wave band The Waitresses and writer of songs including I Know What Boys Like and Christmas Wrapping.
 

I Love the ‘90s Tour Headed to the I-X Center

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 4:01 PM

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The inaugural edition of the I Love the ‘90s Tour features a revolving cast of acts including All-4-One, Biz Markie, Coolio, Color Me Badd, Kool Moe Dee, Kid ‘n Play, Rob Base, Salt-N-Pepa, Tone Loc, Vanilla Ice and Young MC. Promoters promise “an arena-sized dance party” as each show includes upwards of eight performers. Early reviews have praised the tour as a “once in a lifetime experience” and a “trip down memory lane with rap, hip-hop, smoke, lights and nostalgia.”

Continue reading »

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