Monday, June 13, 2016

Topsy Turvy Series tilting Cavaliers' way for Game 5 with Green suspension

I was surprised that NBA suspended Warriors forward Draymond Green for tonight's game. Likely it was either the cumulative effect of his unsportsmanlike behavior during the playoffs or a "make up" call for his knee to the groin against the OKC center in the prior series, an act for which he should have been suspended. There's also the possibility that conspiracy theorists will endorse: ABC wants the series to go 7 games. 

Golden State will likely be a very diff team without Green & his unique skill set. His absence will significantly affect all phases of the Warriors game: their set offense, their transition offense, and perhaps most of all, their defense.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr has not yet announced who will start for Green or how the team's rotations will be adjusted. One thing is for certain: Green's versatility means that Kerr cannot simply plug & play a substitute.

None of this guarantees the Cavs a victory tonight. Golden State typically plays with a fluidity that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. And they have some pretty spectacular parts.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Muhammad Ali On Face The Nation

Muhammad Ali displayed uncommon grace, candor, humility and intelligence in this 1976 appearance on the Sunday public affairs show, Face the Nation:

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Civil Rights Icon still Answering the Call

Few Americans of any stripe fought harder, longer, or more successfully for civil rights progress than Nathaniel R. Jones. After his appointment by President Carter, Judge Jones served for 23 years on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. Prior thereto, Jones’ distinguished career brought him to Cleveland as the first African American to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. Later he served a decade as NAACP General Counsel [1969-1079]. He also taught at Harvard Law School and has been a pioneer for civil and human rights both at home and abroad.

Jones is the featured and honored guest at a continuing legal education workshop this afternoon from 3pm-5:30pm. The event is co-sponsored by The Cleveland Branch NAACP along with Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Admission is $35, which includes a copy of his recently published memoir, Answering the Call. The book is an incredibly rich, frank and intimate account of his years in the civil rights struggle, beginning with his years growing up in Youngstown.

Cleveland NAACP president Michael Nelson will moderate the program, which will also include attorneys James Hardiman and Cheryl Mabry Thomas, director of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. For more information, call the NAACP office, 216.231.6260.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Low-key Larchmere affair affords rare sighting of Black Republicans

A famous dictum attributed to former US Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill declares,  “All politics is local.” While no doubt an exaggeration, it is probable that if black Republicans are ever to increase in number — especially given the current toxic national political environment — it will be due to the efforts of people like Laverne Gore, who is simultaneously and unapologetically black, proud, and Republican.

L-R: Arkeya Thomas, Laverne Gore,
Judge Michael Sliwinski, Sam Gantous
Gore has for sometime been convening groups large and small of black Clevelanders and bringing them together with local and national GOP hierarchy as well as rank and file party members. Last summer, for instance, she hosted a cookout at her home in the tidy CHALK neighborhood just north of Shaker Square featuring GOP national chair Reince Priebus. That brought black Republicans from all over the state, including Youngstown and Cincinnati. 

Gore has also been busy connecting with black conservatives around the country, facilitating get-togethers that put all manner of black people in the same space with Republican operatives and officeholders. Her diligent efforts began well before the GOP hierarchy decided to hold its 2016 convention here in Cleveland and will likely place her in the thick of much of the activity that surrounds a national convention spectacle.

An example of Gore’s efforts could be seen two nights ago
Shalira Taylor, GOP District 11 candidate for state
representative, between Rev. Jeffrey and Mrs. Lori Jemison
at the Academy Tavern, a well-known and popular eatery owned and operated for years by Sam Gantous on Larchmere Avenue. The restaurant is on the border of Shaker Heights and Cleveland, an area that has weathered ethnic and socioeconomic transformation far better than most neighborhoods in Greater Cleveland. Situated on the crest of the first foothill of the Allegheny Plateau — the beginning of the Heights — one can stand in the middle of the street and see clear downtown, though the route is fraught with many demographic changes. 

Larchmere turns into Woodland Ave. as it moves westward towards downtown, passing through areas once heavy with industry and residential areas full of European immigrants who could either walk or take public transportation to work in the factories, foundries, and machine shops that once comprised the heart of the city. Today, one traverses westward along Woodland towards downtown and the largest complexes encountered are housing projects, churches, and one of the city’s oldest cemeteries. Conversely, if you headed the other way, you could enjoy a serene walk into Shaker Heights, where former Mayor Carl Stokes lived during his years as the first black mayor of a major American city.
The history alluded to here somehow made the unpretentious and homey tavern’s rear patio an ideal spot for a low-key mingling of black Republican hoi polloi and adventurous white politicians. There were no speeches, no heavy-duty politicking; in fact, had you innocently wandered into the space — as some Academy regulars may in fact have done — you would have been hard-pressed to discern that you had stumbled upon a political gathering.

It just may have been the kind of political affair that could bring some healing to this era of political malignancy.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Black Design program tonight!

There are lots of exciting events going on in Cleveland these days but the one below just came to our attention and we thought it uniquely worthy of sharing. We reprint their announcement without editing:
“Please join us for the Design Diversity initiative's kickoff event, an ideas showcase Powered by Pecha Kucha. Scheduled during Black History Month, the social event will feature short presentations from six local African American designers, spanning a range of disciplines. Following the presentations, attendees are invited to stay and connect with other local designers, while learning more about Design Diversity's ongoing work.  
Event emcee:
Jennifer Coleman President, Jennifer Coleman Creative LLC
Presenters include:
Jason Eugene Boarde Project Support Specialist, Organizational Architecture, Inc.
Michele Crawford Intern Architect, Robert P. Madison International
Jason Russell City Planner, City of Lakewood
Diane Davis-Sikora Associate Professor, Kent State University College of Architecture & Environmental Design
Arlene Watson Principal and Creative Director, Möbius Grey LLC
We're very excited to have the event hosted at Take 5 Rhythm & Jazz, a locally owned live music venue conveniently located in downtown Cleveland. Happy Hour will be extended until 8PM, so feel free to arrive early, grab a drink and good seat to enjoy the evening. The event is FREE and open to the public, including all ages and backgrounds. 
RSVPs are encouraged, but not required, on the Facebook event page or via email at”

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cuyahoga Prosecutor appoints OH Attorney General as special prosecutor in Tanisha Anderson case

Press release issued by office of County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty:

Cleveland – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office has been appointed as special prosecutor to investigate the death in police custody of Tanisha Anderson. 

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty said he asked the Attorney General to take over the case after investigators from the Sheriff’s Department yesterday informed prosecutors of facts that created a conflict of interest for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. 

Attorney General DeWine agreed to take the case, and a motion for a special prosecutor was filed Tuesday. Today, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Administrative and Presiding Judge John J. Russo signed an order appointing the Attorney General’s Office as special prosecutor. 

Ms. Anderson, 37, died on November 12, 2014, after struggling with Cleveland Police officers who had been trying to get her into a squad car so they could take her for a psychiatric evaluation. 

Monday, February 01, 2016

Euclid mayor appoints new president of council after members deadlock on choice

New Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail appointed her own successor today after Euclid City Council failed to agree on a new council president. Gail had been president of Council for eight years before resigning after her election as mayor in November.

Gail appointed John Monroe as the next council president and will swear him in tonight at Council meeting. Monroe is not presently a member of council but the city's Charter does not make that a requirement. 

The responsibility to appoint a new president fell to Gail when Council deadlocked over the choice, failing to advance beyond repeated 4-4 votes between Ward 4 Councilman Kristian D. Jarosz and Ward 7 Councilman Daryl K. Langman.

Jarosz told the Real Deal Press that he was "looking forward to working with John as councilman to address the city's critical needs." He said that he was among perhaps several others who suggested to the mayor that she appoint someone not presently on Council as a way to move forward harmoniously.

The text of the mayor's letter to Council announcing her choice is reproduced below.

Councilman Langman was unavailable for comment at the time of this post.

As the result of City Council’s inability to appoint a new Council President within thirty days, that decision is now my responsibility as Mayor. The job of Council President is one I understand well, having held that role for the last eight years. I have also been able to observe our current Council members as they worked through their process, ultimately not coming to consensus.
The job of Council President requires a steady, strong leader who will work to build positive action and relationships for the good of both our neighborhoods and our businesses. At this moment, this person also needs to bring Council together, work effectively with a new administration and lead the legislative process for the City.
With this in mind, I have appointed John Monroe to the position of Council President. John is a lifelong resident of Euclid and has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission for 9 years having served as both Chairman and Vice-Chair. John has also been active in the community as a Board Member of Friends of the Henn Mansion, a member of the past Euclid Housing Improvement Board, coach for Euclid Youth Soccer, and Commissioner of Euclid Adult Hockey League. Professionally, John is a Share Holder for Mansour Gavin, LPA, specializing in real estate law where he also serves on the firm’s Executive Committee. His experience and expertise will serve the City well in this expanded role.
Personally, I have known John for many years, and trust that he will lead in a professional, balanced, participatory, and fair manner. I know he will challenge my administration to come to great solutions and bring out the best in all of us.
The tone of the first Council meeting in January was energetic, hopeful and collaborative. With key players now in place, I am confident that we can work together for the good of our community. Please join me in welcoming John to his new role.
I will be administering the Oath of Office for John this evening at the beginning of the Council meeting.
Thank you,
Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail