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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Trump Administration No Longer Forcing International Students to Leave U.S. Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2020 at 12:11 PM

  • Charles Burkett Jr./FlickrCC

The Trump administration has rescinded its controversial rule that would have stripped thousands of international students of their visas amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The reversal was announced Tuesday by a a U.S. District judge who was hearing a lawsuit filed by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Boston Herald reports.

“I have been informed by the parties that they have come to a resolution,” U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs said during a Tuesday hearing.

“The government has agreed to rescind the July 6, 2020 policy directive,” the judge said.

Under the order, international students would have been forced to leave the U.S. if they were exclusively taking online classes.

Many Ohio colleges have not yet decided whether to offer in-person courses this fall as the number of new coronavirus cases continues to rise nationwide.

Ohio State joined 180 other universities and colleges in a lawsuit aimed at reversing the order.

The Trump administration has been pressuring colleges to offer in-person classes, despite concerns about the spread of COVID-19, which has killed more than 135,000 people in the U.S.

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Study Finds "Complete Devastation" in Ohio Communities after 2018 ICE Raids

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2020 at 11:31 AM

  • ICE
Intense feelings of fear and loss. Dramatic changes to daily routine. Economic hardship. Bullying. Anxiety. Depression. Aberrant behavior. PTSD. All were experienced by children and parents affected by two Ohio ICE worksite raids in June, 2018.

On June 5, ICE agents raided two locations of Corsos Flower and Garden Center in the Sandusky area, arresting 114 people. Two weeks later, agents raided the Salem, Ohio meatpacking plant Fresh Mark, arresting 146, almost all of whom were Guatemalan immigrants, and many of whom were seeking asylum, having fled violence and persecution in their home country. 

Researchers with the Center for Law and Social Police (CLASP) visited both sites in December, 2019, as part of a larger study documenting the effects of ICE worksite raids. The CLASP team interviewed legal service providers, community organizers, social workers, and government officials as well as nearly 30 immigrants directly affected by the Ohio raids. They conducted similar site visits in Mississippi and Texas. The report's findings were, "in a word, devastating."

"The impact of raids on families, communities, and children—many of whom are U.S. citizens—was the complete devastation of family economic security and mental and physical wellbeing," the summary read.

And in the words of an Ohio service provider: “Family separation is family separation, whether it’s a border agent prying a baby from its mom’s arms or leaving a kid at school with no one to pick them up. It’s the same crime against humanity I would say.”

Researchers found that children of workers at the raided sites were separated from their parents for up to several months. In both the Ohio and Mississippi raids, some parents were held at prisons or detention facilities hours away from their homes and were unable to see their children for the duration of their detention. 

In multiple cases, ICE did not notify area service providers of the coming raids and local advocates had to intervene to ensure that young children were placed with family members instead of child protective services. After separation, children experienced symptoms consistent with PTSD, including heightened fear, trouble sleeping and emotional volatility. Parents also suffered severe negative emotional and mental health impacts. The researchers noted how closely linked the mental health of children is linked with their parents.

In the Ohio cases, researchers noted a paranoia that followed the raids that drastically affected how families were able to live their daily lives.

"Children no longer played outside," the report said, discussing the aftermath of the Sandusky raid, "and soccer games ceased as families stayed hidden in their homes. Children were also very scared of opening the door and often begged their parents not to leave the house. A mom in Ohio described her seven-year-old son who always wants to know her whereabouts for the day before he leaves for school. When she goes on an errand—like to the grocery store—“he stays there waiting” for her to come back."

Ohio respondents also told researchers that anti-immigrant sentiment, including bullying at school, had increased.

The report noted, in Ohio specifically, how workers were often subjected to long hours and dehumanizing conditions, and yet the workers were often exemplary employees. They told researchers that they endured low pay and terrible conditions to give their children a better shot. And yet when the ICE agents came, workers were treated like dangerous criminals. They were yelled at and pushed and shoved during their arrest and transport.

The raids had enduring economic impacts on many of the families. In Salem, Ohio, for example, one priest said that a fourth of the Guatemalan families in his congregation had to move as a result of the raid and he had no idea what happened to them.

In one heartbreaking case documented in the report, a 16-year-old Ohioan was arrested in the Fresh Mark raid, though he was a U.S. citizen and a minor. He told researchers that his biggest concern is that he won't turn 18 before his parents' deportation proceedings conclude and might not be able to take on full custody of his two younger siblings.

"If my parents get deported," the boy said, "I’d fight to have my brother and sister stay. I’d have to drop out of school to get a good job—labor job—to be able to pay rent, food, everything. I’d become the new parent for the family. I already kind of had to take up the role because my mom had to work all the time. We don’t have family here. Everyone else we know are in the same

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Scene 50th Anniversary T-Shirts Now On Sale Through CLE Clothing Co.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2020 at 9:44 AM


Our 50th anniversary celebrations might have been curtailed due to the pandemic, but that doesn't mean everything's on hold. Market Garden brewed us a fresh and tasty hazy IPA you should try, for example, and we think there's no better way to enjoy a Freekly than while wearing some new Scene merch.

Which is why we're happy to announce that CLE Clothing Co. today began offering two Scene t-shirts with the snazzy throwback '70s logo to get in on the celebration.

So if you, like some of us on staff, have wanted to rep the country's oldest surviving altweekly around town, now's your chance.

The shirts run $28 and 15% of sales will come back to support the Scene Press Club.

Thanks in advance for looking devilishly sharp in these bad boys.

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Savage Love: I Love My Wife. I Also Love My Butt Plugs

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2020 at 7:42 AM

  • Joe Newton

My wife asked me to write to you about our situation. We've been married for 15 years. I am 50 years old and my wife is a decade younger. We are a heterosexual couple with kids. I am a submissive male, and I like to play with my ass using different sized dildos. I enormously enjoy being penetrated with sex toys. A few years ago, I introduced the idea of an FLR — female-led relationship — to my wife and she accepted it. We are a happy couple! My wife is more on the traditional side of sex, and I respect that. We have PIV sex twice a week, and I try to give her a pleasure as much as I can. Looks like everything is OK, right? But recently she complained that I have stopped ejaculating when we have sex. And it's true: When we engage in vaginal penetration, I no longer ejaculate. I like it this way because I don't lose my sex drive, and I can continue. But she doesn't like it. For her my ejaculate is the "cherry on top" of the sex and my coming during sex is important for her pleasure and satisfaction. My wife thinks that I stopped ejaculating because I developed the habit of pleasuring myself with dildos and butt plugs in the shower. My wife thinks the toys are distracting me. Do you think it's true? If that's the case, what should we do? I love my wife, but I also love my butt plugs and dildos. —Spouse Unpleased By Husband's Un Blasts

You should come in your wife.

If your wife is in charge — you proposed a "female-led relationship" and she accepted — then she gets to give the orders, and you're supposed to do what she says. (Within reason, of course.) So when she says, "Come in me," you should say, "How high up your vaginal canal would you like me to come?" Even if you weren't in a female-led relationship, SUBHUB, refusing to come in your wife when you know that feeling you come inside her is important to her pleasure is a weirdly literal kind of withholding behavior — and considering how GGG your wife has been, SUBHUB, refusing to come in her so you can "continue" presumably without her isn't something a loving submissive would do. It's something a selfish asshole does.

Your wife doubtless suspects the same thing I do: You aren't coming in her because you'd rather blow your load in the shower. She sees you when you slip out of bed to go cram sex toys in your ass and blow your load down the down the drain instead of finishing in her. And if that's what you're doing — and I'm pretty sure that's what you're doing — then you're treating PIV sex with your wife as foreplay and the time you spend alone with your ass toys as the main event. If I were your wife, SUBHUB, I would find that annoying, too. And however much you love your plugs and dildos, I would hope you love your wife more. At any rate, you aren't submissive to your plugs and dildos — you're submissive to your wife, who isn't made of silicone and who has needs and feelings that have to be taken into account.

At the very least, SUBHUB, your wife's pleasure should be your first priority during PIV sex — and it's not like you can't combine PIV with a little butt play. You can always shove one of your beloved plugs in your ass before you have PIV sex with the wife. And if you didn't refrain from ejaculating every single time you had PIV, SUBHUB, if it was something you were allowed to once in a while with your wife's permission, she might be willing to accommodate your desire every tenth time you have PIV.

I'm a 53-year-old guy. Since I've been struggling with depression and anxiety all my life, I've never been in a situation where sex was a possibility. I'm really dying to know what it's like. I've gotten much better over the years, and the women who know me think the world of me. But they aren't in a position to help me out. Other women seem to want someone much more outgoing and confident than I am or ever will be. Confidence comes from experience, and I don't have any. My one girlfriend could not hide the fact that my inexperience offended her. Other people on blogs and such have recommended a prostitute. But that's not really what I'm looking for. It's about more than sex. I want someone to care for me as I am. Is there hope for me? Or has the world just left me behind? —Very Inexperienced Relationship Guy In Need

I know it's not what you want to hear, VIRGIN, but I agree with other blogs and such: I think you should find a sex worker. Find a nice, patient woman who does sex work and be completely upfront about why you're seeing her: you're so painfully self-conscious about your sexual inexperience that you find it hard to date. It may take some searching, VIRGIN, but there are sex workers who want to help their clients grow and heal. "Many people have the stereotypical misconception that all sex workers are disconnected, uncaring, and only there for the money," says Ruby Ryder, a sex worker and sex educator. "While money is indeed a part of it, many of us understand that human beings need touch, connection, and acceptance. We provide an opportunity for clients to be vulnerable, whether it's fulfilling their kinky fantasies or simply having sex." And while the relationship you have with a sex worker you might see regularly for a year or two is certainly transactional, VIRGIN, it's still a relationship and about more than sex.

I'm not suggesting you see sex workers exclusively for the rest of your life (even if I'm not not suggesting that either), VIRGIN, I'm only suggesting you see a sex worker to find out what sex is like, gain a little self-confidence, and maybe feel a little more hopeful for your future.

Ruby Ryder is on Twitter @Ruby_Ryder and online at

I'm a longtime reader who's never had a question that your archives couldn't answer. But there is something I wanted to share with you and your readers! My wife and I have incorporated virtual reality (VR) goggles into our sex life with great success, Dan, and they could be the answer to a range of questions that you get at the column. They're so useful, in fact, that your failure to mention them is starting to look like a glaring omission! Because let's say someone writes in who wants to open their relationship or explore a cuckold fantasy (like one of last week's letter writers!) but they're worried about the emotions involved, potential STIs, or COVID-19? VR goggles! While the offerings for female POV VR porn is pretty paltry I've never seen my wife come harder than she did with me inside her and a pair of goggles on her face giving her the perspective of a man getting fucked by a beautiful trans woman. I love the idea that this turns her on and I actually think she looks hot with goggles on! Besides the cost of a subscription to a VR porn site, the financial barrier is really pretty low — most people can use their smartphone and a $20 headset to get started, which is much cheaper than seeing a sex worker and much less time consuming than engineering a consenting affair. And there's no risk of STIs or COVID-19! Just wanted you to consider VR as a possibly overlooked tool for your otherwise always-outstanding advice in the future! —Very Recent Purchase Optimizes Reality Nicely

Thank you for writing in, VRPORN, and you're right: VR porn sounds like a great way for an adventurous monogamous couple to have a little virtual variety — whether that couple is monogamous by choice or monogamous for the duration of this stupid pandemic. In addition to the technology, of course, you'll need a partner who not only knows you fantasize about other people (like they do, like everybody does), but who's also excited about helping you explore those fantasies. Thanks again for sharing, VRPORN!

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Rent "Out of Reach" for Many Ohio Workers

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2020 at 7:32 AM

  • Adobe Stock

COLUMBUS, Ohio — For the one in three Ohioans who rent their home, the gap is widening between their earnings and their housing costs.

The "Out of Reach 2020" report released Tuesday said Ohio's Housing Wage — the hourly amount a renter needs to earn to afford a basic, two-bedroom apartment — rose slightly, to $15.99, $1 more an hour than the average renter earns.

Marcus Roth, communications and development director for the Coalition on Housing and Homelessness in Ohio, said mass layoffs with the pandemic are compounding the problem.

"People weren't earning enough money to begin with, and now they're not earning any money," he said. "We're concerned about a serious wave of evictions, and potentially homelessness, in the months to come. It's at crisis level at this point."

The report found that only three out of the 10 most common jobs in Ohio actually pays employees enough to afford a basic two-bedroom apartment.

According to a U.S. Census Bureau survey, 537,000 Ohioans are concerned they won't be able to pay next month's rent. Roth said there's a very real impact on people's health when they can't afford a place to live.

"People experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity have much higher rates of chronic diseases," he said. "And now, when you look at the fact that we have a global pandemic on our hands, basically not having a safe, secure place to live can essentially be a death sentence."

Roth noted that U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has proposed creating a $100 billion emergency rental assistance program for workers affected by the virus-induced recession. Housing advocates want Gov. Mike DeWine to allocate at least $100 million of the state's federal coronavirus relief funds for emergency rental assistance.

The report is online at

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Alarming White Opt-Out Rates Have Left Eastside Suburban Schools Segregated at Levels Not Seen Since the 1960s

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2020 at 7:31 AM

  • Tim Evanson/FlickrCC

Levels of segregation in some Cleveland-area public school districts are now as high as they were before Mayor Carl Stokes was elected, according to a report from South Euclid native and academic Beth Fry.

In several inner-ring suburbs, they are even worse.

But unlike the 1960s, this racial segregation is not perpetuated by a system that demands that educational buildings and services are inherently separated. Black families are not barred from attending white schools. The white students are simply leaving the local public system entirely, and at an alarming rate that is impossible to not tie to race.

Cleveland and its inner-ring suburbs have long suffered from the detrimental impacts of “white flight” to outer suburban and rural areas. Systemic and individual-level racism and classism have cast areas that are predominantly Black as less valued and less deserving of investments in high-quality economic, housing, and educational opportunities.

Still, the report, which comes from Fry’s master thesis at Cornell University, indicates that while poor, minority public school districts already face disinvestment due to an unconstitutional funding formula that relies too heavily on property taxes, they also see incredibly high levels of attrition from the white student body. In the city of Cleveland, this white opt-out rate averaged around 70% between 2009-2017. In the East Side suburbs, that rate average was closer to 75%.

Fry told Scene she observed this segregation effect first-hand.

“As I was growing up,” the Brush alumna said, “you could see in real time this shift of white people moving out of the community or sending their kids to private schools as more Black students enrolled in the school.”

Fry began to really dig into the shifts in public school attendance through her work several years ago with South Euclid’s Housing Director, Sally Martin. As they dug into the lived experiences of residents, Fry and Martin heard a common narrative that highlighted the value of diversity. But only for some.

As they dug deeper, Fry found a common theme was also apparent: Many, many, many white families were not sending their children to the district schools. Indeed, when Fry set out to research this opt-out issue further as a graduate student, she found the clear and obvious relationship between the loss of white students and the growing number of Black families in the district. The resulting shifts, according to Fry, can clearly be understood as re-segregation.

The rapid rate of resegregation suggests that many white families are choosing to bypass the local public education systems in the inner-ring suburbs entirely. They’re sending their kids to private schools, moving to other suburbs, or sending their kids to schools in other, whiter communities.

The data is damning: Besides Shaker Heights, which has a white opt-out rate of 47%, all other inner-ring east side suburbs have rates higher than 50%. South Euclid-Lyndhurst: 71%. Cleveland Heights-University Heights: 85%.

That’s left east side inner-ring suburbs with an average 78% Black enrollment, compared to 4% for west side inner ring suburbs, 67% for the city of Cleveland, and 47% for outer ring east side suburbs.

What mechanisms, besides a fear of racial threat, drives white, wealthier families to spend tens of thousands of dollars in private education? State-wide policy efforts that further fuel existing inequities.

The EdChoice voucher program is exactly as helpful as its name suggests. It is guided by a belief that systemic inequities can be resolved through “better” decision making (a claim that has been fully debunked by scholars, activists, and minority groups) and offers a flawed resolution for racist policy making.

The program was adopted in 2005 and intended to provide assistance, in the form of funding, for students in low-rated public districts who wanted to attend private schools. In 2013, it was expanded to include an income-based element allowing even those in high-rated districts to access these funds, should their personal finances make them eligible. But according to a 2016 Fordham Institute report, the students who actually use the vouchers are among the less disadvantaged kids in the eligible school districts.

“This finding may be, in part, an artifact of the program’s basic design,” the report notes, “It allows private schools to retain control over admissions, and a child must gain admission into a private school before he or she can apply for a voucher. This multi-step process might be more easily navigated by relatively more advantaged families; their children might also be more likely to meet the private schools’ admissions requirements.”

Though the program has been controversial since it was established, predominantly Black and poor school districts continue to lose significant amounts of money as vouchers go to students who already exist in a network likely to set them up for middle-class success. Some of these students, like many of those in the East Side suburbs, already planned to attend non-public schools. Others are the already high-achieving, high-capacity students who do currently attend the local public school, but who have the wherewithal and the “acceptability” to be able to transition to a private school education. Many of these students use their vouchers to attend parochial schools, giving credence to those who think the program is a questionable crossing of the line between church and state. And, according to the Fordham report, “the students who use vouchers to attend private schools have fared worse academically compared to their closely matched peers attending public schools.”

Though predominantly Black and brown districts have been up in arms over the EdChoice program for years, last year’s reassessment of school eligibility for vouchers brought new players into the game. When schools in Solon, Avon, Avon Lake, and North Olmsted were added to the list due to a new performance metric, State Senator Matt Dolan (R- Solon) expressed his deep dislike of program’s expansion. Earlier this year, Dolan and other Republicans in Columbus proposed revisions to the EdChoice program, not because of its negative impact on poor and minority districts, but because of their concern that it would negatively impact “successful” districts. In March 2020, one year after the Cleveland Heights local newspaper reported that the local district had lost over 30% of its funding to vouchers, the state cut back the list of eligible schools to protect Dolan’s constituents.

That Solon’s predominantly white school district faced little disinvestment threat, despite its performance concerns, isn’t a surprise considering Fry’s findings. Though Fry’s work didn’t focus on vouchers, “it becomes very clear that the racial diversity is the predictor of what causes the school segregation,” she notes.

Still, the issue goes beyond public-private funding to include public funding mechanisms as well. Ohio’s open enrollment system enables students to attend a district school outside of the one they are zoned for, should both districts agree to allow it. When students attend a public school in a different district, the school they join receives funding in exchange for that attendance.

According to 2018 data from the state department of education, only twelve schools in Cuyahoga County have open enrollment, half of which are in the inner-ring suburbs, including Brooklyn, CH-UH, East Cleveland, Euclid, Garfield Heights and Shaker Heights. Students in these districts who utilize the open enrollment system attend schools in various areas around the county and state, taking much-needed dollars with them. Indeed, state reports highlight deep cuts in funding to these districts in open enrollment adjustments. And these existing concerns related to individual and intra-school funding have only been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. In May, Governor Mike DeWine announced a series of funding shifts to school districts across the state. Unsurprisingly, areas that were already struggling will see some of the most significant cuts.

Though Fry’s work focuses on the individual family’s decision to opt-out, the systemic nature of this resegregation effort is clear. White, middle and upper-income families in areas that have seen rapid demographic shifts are incentivized to leave their local districts and the racialized fear that the school district will not provide a high-quality education, a talking point that Fry herself had to push back against as a public school attendee.

“It’s about pushing forward the idea that the education is great, the people are great, and you’re in an environment where not everyone is like you, and that in and of itself is an education,” Fry says.

As Fry noted in an interview with a South Euclid publication, “For the past 55 years, research has told us that the greatest predictor of educational achievement is socioeconomic status and parental education level. Only about a third of the achievement gap between white and Black students is explained by school quality and classroom characteristics.”

But as local schools struggle to actually address the social and economic concerns of the remaining students while hemorrhaging funds, systemic racism and disinvestment threaten that greatness, and the calendar is turned back 60 years.

“Cuyahoga County has the fifth highest black-white segregation in the nation,” Fry’s report says. “73% of Greater Cleveland’s black residents would need to move in order for the metropolitan area to achieve integration with whites.”

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

66 Positive for Covid-19 in Put-in-Bay's Mass Testing of Residents, Employees

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 2:37 PM

  • Doug Brown, Cleveland Scene

Sixty-six out of 984 Put-in-Bay residents or employees who participated in last weekend's mass testing effort were positive for COVID-19. The number could climb, as results were still pending on 33 tests.

The 7% positivity rate is higher than recent statewide data but lower than officials had predicted.

“We’re not going to have to shut anybody down,” the Ottawa County Health Department Commissioner told the Sandusky Register.

"I’m thrilled that so many negative results came back. It’s going to be a tool for employers to keep operating responsibly," mayor Jessica Dress told the paper.

Health officials will work on notifying those who tested positive first, asking them to isolate and then tracing for those who came in close contact with them.

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