Setting Things Straight….

I’m letting this blog go back to its WordPress roots  It’s much easier to upload pics to Facebook, than to upload them to Flickr (whom I also pay), and then select each pic and copy the link and then paste it here, and then delete all the other assorted code that comes with each pic.

But there was a story that needed told, something that happened over a decade ago, that I have kept quiet about. The dust had settled over the events that transpired but a year ago I heard a comment from the spouse of one of those involved that Mark ‘had gone crazy’ and taken everything back.

Mark didn’t go crazy. Mark realized he’d been lied to and cheated and stolen from and then kicked to the curb, holding a bag that cost him a lot of time and money and pain and falling out with some close to him. Everyone else was told lies and those lies became ‘facts’ to those that heard them before they spoke with me.

Back when my children were young, and my wife and I wanted to get them into Catholic school, money was tight. Interest rates were falling and we refinanced for a lower rate and to get some money to put the kids in the school we chose. A former family member had a job as a mortgage broker, and to help him and his family, we did our refi through him.

When he saw what an excellent credit rating we had, he invited me to join him and two others in a real estate investment group they had formed. Buying houses at sheriff’s sales, fixing them up, and then renting them out was a big business back in 2000 and everyone was getting in on it. I did my research, looked at what they were doing, and got in on the action.

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Damage done by angry Boobs

While the paperwork was being put together for the LLC we were forming, I would purchase the houses in order to get a better interest rate, and have a better chance at a refi on the property to have money to fix it up. If there were a couple bucks left after the fix-up, we’d all get a few dollars to bank for ourselves, and the rent money would go towards the mortgage and a fund to cover any repairs that popped up.

We made our first purchase of a house in Cleveland, and we spent a few weekends painting, cleaning, installing a drop ceiling in one half of the duplex, and repairing whatever needed fixed. This looked very promising.

7028Morgan4Door kicked in to remove cabinets

As time went on, I purchased six more houses. I trusted my two partners on two and inspected four myself. Money was being used to paint and renovate and the houses were being rented. Or so I was told. One of the houses was going to be rented to a partner.

With all the purchases and refi’s, money was coming in and my two partners, who I’ll refer to as Big Boob Vrabe and Little Boob Reynol (you’ll see why later), were taking a bigger cut of the money because they quit their jobs to do this full-time. The job I had was not one you walked away from, as the benefits and pay were excellent. The Boobs were going to Disney, buying laptops and digital cameras, and living it up. The money I was getting was going in the bank or paying bills.

7028Morgan8Furnace stolen because house was not locked

To cut straight to the chase, a house was bought on 22nd St here in Lorain. It was in great condition, and only needed tile in the kitchen and carpeting in the living room and hallway. We had the money and got it done. Bob and Bob wanted to refi the house anyway to get more money out. I couldn’t see the need for it because the house was ready to rent now, and nothing needed done. Thus began the downfall of this entire partnership.

A little behind the scenes info to put more into perspective. A friend of theirs from said mortgage brokerage, which I’ll refer to as “Columbus Home Mortgage” (to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent), was apparently creatively submitting these applications. I’ll call him ‘Dave Not-ready”. Dave got pissed with me when I apparently asked the ‘wrong questions’ in front of the representative of the loan institution that was financing the last house we purchased. More evidence that something stinky was afoot. (Also, they had this insurance agent putting through the paperwork, listing each of these properties as my primary home, in order to get a lower rate. More BS that I learned later.)

So, due to my unwillingness to refi the property on W. 22nd, I was booted from the group. Words were exchanged, none of them pleasant, but I was expected to disperse funds from the pending refi. I was left holding seven properties with mortgages worth a little over $500,000. My intent was to sell them, because I couldn’t work and do the real estate thing. They gave me the keys, and I visited these houses to see just where I stood.

Yea, I had 6 houses that weren’t worth diddly. Cabinets had been installed in a few of the homes. These two returned and yanked them all out. Money had been paid to them for a dumpster to empty out an attic and garage at a house on Morgan in Cleveland. All the garbage was still there. Because they failed to make a duplicate of one of the keys, they beat in a brand new door at one house so they could remove more cabinets. They spray painted obscenities on the wall and ceiling at another Lorain property, but they did it in Spanish to try not to incriminate themselves. Materials from painting and cleaning were strewn over another house because they were pissed.

Other things came out after the fact. Loose lips sink ships, and all. When visiting the properties and speaking with the neighbors, I learned that these guys would pay a neighbor kid $20 to mow the lawn while they threw a football around until he was done. A lot of their ‘work afternoons’ were spent at a strip club, drinking and throwing bills at the girls. There was even a discussion of hiring some of the strippers to paint the interior of a couple of the houses, and the Boobs would sit in chairs and drink beers and watch.

I made the difficult decision to file bankruptcy and let the banks foreclose on everything. Big Boob expected me to continue to let him live in the one house (which was in Elyria), and to draw up a lease-to-own agreement. After what I was left with, I told him he had 30 days to get out. He left garbage in the house, a mattress, took part of a window so that the house was open to the elements, and broke most of the ceiling lights.

Word got back to them through a mutual acquaintance that I was going to file bankruptcy and stop paying on the houses (banks won’t foreclose until after you’ve stopped making payments) so they told all the tenants to stop paying rent. This later led me to file suit against all of them in small claims court in Cleveland for unpaid rent. This meant months of driving to Cleveland after working all night and sleeping in the court house until court convened in the morning.

Still trying to find a way to deal with their anger over the end of the gravy train, and trying to cover their butts should I try to sue them, they went to Cleveland one night and set fire to the garage on Morgan that had all the garbage in it. The Fire Department came and put out the fire and then just hours later, they returned to the property and set fire to the house. How do I know? Because when I found out this happened weeks later, I went out to see for myself and to talk to the neighbors. Three neighbors all told me they saw two men running away from the property that night that fit the descriptions of my two partners, one short and round, the other tall and thin.

Guess what happens when a property that is being foreclosed upon by a bank, owned by someone who’s planning to file bankruptcy, is found to have burned due to arson? The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms investigates. Yup! Now I get to drive out to Cleveland a few more times to meet with an agent with ALL the paperwork I have concerning housing appraisals, mortgage paperwork, insurance information, and leasing agreements. They found me completely innocent of any wrongdoing and wished me luck should I pursue charges against my former partners.

Meanwhile (yes, there was other stuff still going on), these two hold a pig roast at the Elyria property on money they got from me to try to entice other family members to invest in their venture. Well, there was already a divide between some of the family based on the lies they told and the facts they got from me and my wife. After hearing from us, they all politely declined due to shortness of extra money. (Big smile!)

Not getting any takers on the investment side of it, they decided to try their hands at remodeling and home repair. They talked another family member into taking a loan out against her house and they would replace the gutters and make other repairs. Well, Little Boob ended up putting his foot through the roof and damaging the ceiling in the back room of this house. And when they replaced the gutters, they hung the gutters with an INCH-AND-A-HALF of space between the edge of the house and the back of the gutter!! “It’s supposed to be like that!” they claimed. Imagine the additional BS I’d have had to deal with had they actually WORKED on some of my houses!!

So, on top of taking non-paying renters to court and dealing with mortgage companies telling me I should beg family members for money so my house doesn’t go to foreclosure (LMAO-Dude, I ain’t livin’ in that house!), the Boobs then got the residents to break stuff in the houses and outside the houses so that Cleveland Housing Inspectors would cite the houses and I’d have to repair them. Driving 45 minutes to East Cleveland to fix the interior of a toilet tank, a part that NEVER breaks, is a pain in the backside. But they were being boobs and I just looked forward to the day that all this would be over.

One of the houses had a porch, and nice wooden spindles along the railing. These were kicked out and thrown around the yard. I was contacted by a housing inspector who told me I had 30 days to repair the spindles. I explained that the house was in foreclosure proceedings, I was filing bankruptcy, and I didn’t have any money to fix that. She told me she understood and asked that I keep her informed on the progress of the foreclosures.

Got another notice 40 days later, telling me I needed to replace the spindles and paint the porch on the property. Another call to the inspector, who ‘sounded’ concerned, told me not to worry about it, and to continue to keep her posted. Thanks!

Received a summons to appear in court for inaction concerning the repairs of the porch and the paint. I told Judge Pianka what my situation was and about the conversations I’d had with the inspector. She denied EVER telling me not to worry about it and said she had told me to try to do whatever I could to fix them up. Guess who Pianka believed? Now I had 30 days to make those repairs or end up in jail, plus I would pay about $500 in fines and court costs. At this point, as far as I’m concerned, ‘everybody lies’.

I got a notice in the mail that there was a warrant out for my arrest for failure to appear at a court hearing. Seems the Boobs told a resident that if he made any repairs or painted the house, they would deduct the cost of the materials from his rent. After he made the repairs, they lied to the renter and said I changed my mind and refused the deduction. So the renter called a housing inspector to the house to complain about a railing and a notice to appear in court was issued. However, the Boobs told them to list my mailing address as the one at which the renters were living and I never received the summons. So, someone mailed it to my home. I called the Court, and was told I could come in and pay the fine, but to be careful driving, because if I was pulled over for anything, they’d see the outstanding warrant and I’d be arrested on the spot.

Needless to say, I pretty much held my breath all the way into Cleveland, doing EXACTLY the speed limit. I almost ran up the steps to the court’s office to pay the fine. Once that was done, I almost broke down. I’ve about decided that there is no end to all this BS.

I think I mentioned earlier that there was a refi in the process when the ‘business’ was dissolved. I kept every penny, and disbursed none of it to the two knuckleheads. Now, mind you, I could’ve buried that money, about $9,000, in a hole and filed bankruptcy and dug it up later. However, in my mind, it wasn’t my money and I wasn’t going to be a cheat. So I used it to pay the mortgages on all those properties until it was gone. The last payment was made in November of 2002. My bankruptcy was filed in the spring of ’03 and discharged in June, I believe. It was done. The properties were forfeited back to the mortgage companies, the only house I had to worry about was my own, and the only building I would need to concern myself with was with rebuilding my credit.

What about the Boobs, you ask? Little Boob got divorced. He ended up refinancing his own house to live on that money, and then trying to flip it to someone to get more money out of it and instead, got none of that money back and stuck with an even larger mortgage. At the end, he had sold almost the entire interior of the house on eBay before he lost it.

Big Boob just recently bought a lot in Amherst, apparently with the hopes of building on it. He’s been sponging off his wife’s family for the last 14 years. Big Boob’s wife was heard to say, when she found out that her husband was doing something a little sly and in the ‘grey area’, ‘I don’t care as long as there’s money coming in.’ Interesting.

Me? I still have my home of 22 years, celebrating 21 years at the job that I kept. I keep to myself and prefer to do things alone or with my wife and children. I haven’t gone crazy in the least bit, as you can see.

There is a lot of unpaid court settlements from renters that had judgement rendered in my favor. So, if there are any collections lawyers that would care to take this up, I’m sure there’s a few bucks in all of that for both of us.

Bessemer15“Wonderful” house in Cleveland

7028Morgan9Attic that was never cleaned of the house that was burned

West101gHow the Boobs cleaned up after a job

7028Morgan6Cabinets they damaged because they were angry

Off to the Races!!

Tried my hand at shooting the races at the Lorain County Speedway. First time I’d ever been there. Not particularly thrilled with how these came out. I was at the top of the grandstand, and it was starting to get dark out. Didn’t want to take my whole bag o’ tricks in, so I went with the best option which was the zoom. Not a low-light friendly lens. These are the best of the group. Maybe I’ll go back and try it again…..?

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“Art” Oehlke, Jr.

I first met Art when I was writing for the Word of Mouth blog. WoM started as a one-man show, with Scott Bakalar, with occasional posts from his wife, Michele, and eventually picked up Kelly Boyer Sagert, Loraine Ritchey, Paula Tobias, Brian Hazelett and myself. Before you could  say “Lorain”, the blog was calling people on the carpet, pointing out the city admin’s missteps, and questioning the direction the town was heading. Art Oehlke found us on his desktop in his Broadway store, The 530 Shop.

I believe I had recently done an article about the decaying downtown, and had compared Lorain’s to those of surrounding cities. Out-of-town downtowns were booming, and Lorain’s was gasping its last breath. Art had read it and, I believe, contacted Scott to send me over to the store. I stopped by and we talked (he talked and raised a stink about City Hall’s lack of involvement/concern/etc. for the area). Art vented and I nodded and shook my head and sympathized. Here was a guy who was doing all the right things to resurrect the area, beautifully kept storefront, open year-round, late hours, agreeable, willing to negotiate on prices, just an all-around nice guy, and the city didn’t give a flyin’ you-know-what. They were giving Art a ration of $#&^ and giving other shop owners a bye. I did a story on his shop shortly after, lots of pics and a nice little promo for him. Next time I stopped in, he told me it was the nicest thing anyone had done for him in a long time.

I visited every now and again to say “Hey!” and listen to Art on what was going on. Sometimes my daughter, Kristen accompanied me and shopped a bit while we talked. Art loved WoM so much, he bought a bunch of stickers and stuff to sell in his shop. WoM was now a force to be reckoned with in City Hall, and many were the hits on the blog from that tall building at the corner of Broadway and West Erie. Shortly after his little investment, WoM imploded and I really felt bad for the money Art was going to have to eat. I’d stop in and pick up a little something here and there, and a few years ago, I set up a “Cash Mob” to visit his store one night, and pump a little extra money into his coffers. He enjoyed it, and I was happy to do something for him.

Recently, if I had to stop by the library on the way home from work, I’d drive by The 530 Shop. I’d tell myself I needed to stop in and see how he was doing, but I always had something going on, or dinner was waiting on me, and I kept going. Last week, I drove by and noticed the shop was dark around 5:30pm and thought that was really odd. Figured something must be up, but I didn’t know whom I could contact to see what was going on. A few days ago, I saw an obit for a Henry Oehlke, so I glanced at it, but it didn’t say “Art”, so I breathed a sigh of relief. Today, as I was catching up on the papers for the last few days, I noticed the Oehlke obit now had “Art” in the name, and I was crushed. I didn’t see it until 5 minutes before the 6-8pm visitation hours were ending, and felt even worse.

So, Art, if you’re seeing this from up there, know that you will be missed. I thank you for the friendship we shared, and I’m sorry I didn’t get by again to visit. I’m very sorry you didn’t get to see Broadway come back to life like you and I dreamed it might. The city of Lorain lost someone who set an example for a lot of others to follow.

LORAIN – Henry A. “Art” Oehlke, Jr. 80, of Lorain, passed away Thursday, April 17, 2014, at his home surrounded by his family.
Mr. Oehlke was born in Lorain August 23, 1933, the son of the late Henry A. and Laura L. (nee Berlet) Oehlke, Sr.
He was a graduate of Lorain High School in the class of 1951. Mr. Oehlke, the owner of the 530 Shop, was the 4th generation of his family to own a shop downtown.
He worked at the former Thew Shovel Co. and the Fruehauf Trailer, Co. He also worked as an over the road truck driver for the Southern Express Company of Cicero, Ill.
Mr. Oehlke was the captain of the sand dredge- M.V. James B. Lyons and was a welder for the Erie Sand and Gravel Company in Sandusky before retiring and restoring the family building downtown and opening the 530 Shop. He was a Great Lakes historian and enjoyed woodworking and collecting antiques.
He is survived by daughter, Jani Oehlke of Lorain; sons, Lenny (Cindy) Oehlke of Elyria and Bill Oehlke of Lorain; their mother, Rosa (Curry) Oehlke; and grandchildren, James Maloy, Jason Maloy, Hannah Oehlke, Sam Oehlke and Ash Oehlke.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by sisters, Laura Englehart and Patricia Reed.
Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 21, 2014, at Schwartz, Spence, Boyer & Cool Home For Funerals, 1124 W. 5th Street, Lorain.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at the funeral home.
Burial will follow in Elmwood Cemetery.
Online condolences at http://www.boyercool.com.

Daytripper: Coventry Village

Tagged as a “Daytripper” post, I also added the “Downtown” tag as this would more than fit the “Saving Downtown” series I’ve been doing. As you’ll see in the following pictures, well-kept buildings in an area that the merchants obviously take pride in, will reap rewards for the businesses as well as the city as a whole.

 

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After going to eat at Pacific East with my cousins a number of times, and seeing the area but not having time to really check it out, Coventry has been on my ‘visit’ radar for some time.

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So, after hitting the Japanese restaurant for some real sushi, Kristen, Michael, Cydnie and I set out to check out the area.

Our first stop was Attenson’s Antiques and Books, a store with a wide variety of glassware, jewelry, prints and collectibles.

Having been around for so many years, we carry much of what you might find in a traditional shop. We also like to follow the trends, and cater to our eclectic neighborhood. You never know what you will find at Attenson’s Antiques & Books. We are always buying, and our stock changes daily.

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Up and down the street, there’s not one empty storefront. And for good reason. Business is steady in every shop we pass or stop into. Businesses draw customers. Period. Even if you’re coming to Coventry for a bite to eat (and there’s LOTS of restaurants and eateries), and you bring someone, they’re liable to see something they’re interested in and come back later with another friend.

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Heights Hardware

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Sunshine Too

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city buddha
city buddha was a stop on Kristen’s list since we were there for Circlefest.

Take a moment to savor our fragrant Temple Spice and Bali Spirit incense as you explore our collection of handcrafted silver and beaded jewelry. Checkout our stunning array of jewel tone scarves, one of kind clothing and purses.
Visit our Buddha wall where you will find statues of Buddha, Kwan Yin, Ganesha and other deities both large and small. Looking for that perfect accent piece to make your house or apartment your home? We have everything from paintings, mirrors, table coverings, pillows and curtains in every color of the rainbow. (I was not permitted to take photos in the store, but they have some very unique and interesting merchandise.-mjt)

There was quite the selection of places to eat, too.

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Panini’s Bar & Grille

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Tree Country Bistro

TreeCountryBistro offers a large variety of menu selections for you ranging from Japanese Course Dishes and Sushi to Korean such as Bi Bim Bab and Thai traditional curry.

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Hunan Coventry

and my favorite restaurant name:

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High Thai’d

The funnest store in Coventry was Big Fun Toys.

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A cornucopia of delights, a cathedral of counter-culture, a warehouse of nerdabilia and nostalgia.

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G.I. Joe nirvana for collectors

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Star Wars heaven for fans

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Candy to take you back to the old days

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Remember how disgusting some of these were???

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Gnip Gnop tournaments!!

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Soft-back comics for the hardcore collectors!

Great day for all of us! Lots of places to browse, the only thing we really needed was more time. Like another week.

Saving Downtown: Faithfully Fit Group Fitness Center

Faithfully Fit Group Fitness Center is a fitness studio that offers group fitness classes in a warm, fun, and friendly atmosphere.

We offer a comprehensive physical fitness program that will help members meet their fitness goals while enjoying a sense of community, incorporating the ideas of fun, fitness, and fellowship.

In addition to the fitness classes, Faithfully Fit Group Fitness Center provides spiritual, emotional, and nutritional support in the form of monthly workshops and programs in an effort to help our members reach and maintain their goal of achieving and living a healthy lifestyle.

Faithfully Fit Group Fitness Center is centrally and conveniently located in downtown Lorain, Ohio (directly across from The Palace Theater) offering class times to meet a variety of daily schedules.

Owner/Operator Kristie Duffy has over ten years experience in the fitness industry and Group Fitness, teaching group fitness classes for Bally Total Fitness, The YMCA of the USA, and World Gym. She is a Group Fitness Instructor, AFAA Certified Personal Trainer, Workshop Presenter, and Independent Team Beachbody Coach.

She is a graduate from the University of Akron with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and is a former Family Intervention Case Manager, Youth Advocate, and Intervention Specialist with a genuine love for people. Her experience combined with a genuine desire to help people meet their personal goals fosters the caring and supportive atmosphere that Faithfully Fit Group Fitness Center provides.

Along with her education and professional experience, Kristie has the personal experience of being overweight and not living a healthy lifestyle. As an overweight child, teenager, and young adult, Kristie didn’t eat healthy and didn’t do much physical activity. She had the desire to lose weight, but didn’t have the knowledge or discipline.

She tried a lot of the “lose weight quick fixes” that were on the market. It wasn’t until she graduated from college that she began to exercise the commitment needed to get healthy, and now she is totally committed to living a healthy lifestyle and enjoys empowering others to do the same.

HELPING THE COMMUNITY LIVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

Kristie was born and raised in Lorain, graduate of Lorain City Schools (Admiral King High School)
She is grateful for the opportunity to work with Lorain Community Development and their Downtown Revitalization Program, helping to rebuild our wonderful downtown area while helping the community live a healthy lifestyle.
She also is currently working with Lorain City Schools Adopt-a-School program, adopting 3 schools (Academic Enrichment Academy, Credit Recovery Academy, New Beginnings Academy) where she volunteers and teaches physical fitness and healthy lifestyle principles to students, leading them in participating in the President’s Challenge where they can receive the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award for setting healthy eating and physical activity goals.

Kristie also provides nutrition counseling, promoting a 90 day health challenge to help people transform their lives and get healthy through the Body by Visalus program. www.kristiefitness.bodybyvi.com

And through Team Beachbody Coaching, Kristie provides coaching to help you choose which in-home fitness programs, workout equipment, and nutritional supplements work best for you in working toward your healthy lifestyle goals. No matter what your health and fitness goals are, she will help you find the perfect workout program for you.www.kristiefitness.com

Websites:
http://www.faithfullyfitcenter.com/ (Fitness Center)
http://www.kristiefitness.bodybyvil.com/ (Nutrition Program)
www.kristiefitness.com (Home work out sytems)
email kristie@faithfullyfitcenter.com, kristiefitness@hotmail.com

Light Up Lorain – 2010

Saturday night downtown Lorain was the site of the annual “Light Up Lorain” ceremony. A parade with the Lorain High Marching Band, visits with Santa at The Palace, lighting up Veteran’s Park with a reading of ‘T’was the Night Before Christmas’ with Mayor Tony Krasienko, storefronts decorated down Broadway from West Erie to 9th St., and food vendors and carriage rides throughout downtown. Hope you got to see it all, because it was truly a sight to see. The storefronts will be decorated throughout the holidays and many businesses will be open for your shopping needs. Please visit so that you can see the Christmas Spirit in person.

Will the Herons Come Back?

(Editor’s Note: A mistake was made concerning the location of the rookery. The rookery is STILL intact, and just a little farther up the river. I will be going there early next week, and will bring photos and more information. Thanks to everyone that was concerned! Apologies about the mistake. See Loraine for for the update. -mjt)

On September 21, of 2009, Lorain City Council discussed the donation of the turning bin parcel, also known as the Heron Rookery, from US Steel Corp. Amounting to 10.16 acres of land, its donation was a goodwill gesture by the company, as it is a prime location for a nature preserve. Previously used for some dumping, and as a slag pit at one time, “it was not considered in need of huge environmental remediation..”, but did require some clean-up. It would require a “very minimal investment on the City’s part” and it would save one of the nicest areas on the Upper Black River.

Mayor Tony Krasienko said it was the City’s intention to leave it in its natural state, and improve it so it continues to flourish as a wild life preserve. It is also considered a future viewing point for a planned leg of a bike trail, in cooperation with the Lorain County Metro Parks. The area is very key as a wild life preserve. It will be a strategic viewing site for wild life and something that we want to include on that trail.

In the “Lower Black River Ecological Restoration Master Plan“, dated December of last year, the Rookery is one of the assets listed in the area. The Lake/Lacustuary Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (LQHEI) is a tool used to rate the habitat quality of portions of shorelines, as well as serve as a “guide to direct restoration efforts towards those activities that are most likely to result in improved habitat values.” The Ohio EPA documented the area as having aquatic life scores in the exceptional range, and the LQHEI gave the rookery a score of over 60, thus rating it as an “area of exceptional habitat.”

Great Blue Herons are an oft photographed bird here in Lorain, and usually breed in trees close to lakes and other wetlands. Groups of them together are known as a rookery, or heronry, and can number between 5-500 nests, with an average of 160 nests per colony.

Earlier this year, a group of 25 students from Lakeview Elementary were treated to a tour up and down the Black River. The kids were fortunate to see a Great Blue Heron fly past the boat they were riding in, and worked together to find more nests high up in the trees.

Mike Kennedy and I took a walk along the Black River Wednesday, and I was stunned at what I saw. Gone were the trees that these large birds called home.

(viewed from the north)

The entire area appeared to have been plowed down, and there were trucks spreading straw on what was probably recently seeded ground. According to a former councilman that voted on this clean up, part of the discussion in Council entailed being careful as to not harm the rookery.

(viewed from the west)

Of the entire area pictured above, the majority of it was populated with trees. Now,

 

the right-most area is all that’s left. And in the trees that are left, we were only able to find

one nest.

A lot of questions have been raised about this, and, unfortunately, only time will get us the answers. Are the majority of the herons gone for good? The males settle usually where there are nests from former years, either building a new one or restoring an old one. Will they build nests on the opposite side of the river? We didn’t see any on the northern or western side where we walked. The herons in this part of the country usually are permanent residents, and do not migrate south when the weather turns cold. Why did the entire shoreline area need leveled? Hopefully, someone will be able to tell us.

Below is video shot on October 1, with Mayor Krasienko discussing the clean up of the Black River shore line.