Friday, August 02, 2013

Mariama Whyte takes center stage tonight in Lakewood

Homegrown talent Mariama Whyte, who has played leading roles in the Broadway national tours of The Color Purple (“Celie” and “Nettie”) and The Lion King (“Rafiki” and “Shenzi”), is the headliner tonight at Mahall Lanes in Lakewood.
Mariama Whyte
Whyte grew up in Cleveland and is a graduate of Shaker Heights High School and the College of Wooster.

She describes her sound as “contemporary R&B with splashes of world and rock music.”

Check out her sounds here and then head on over to Mahall’s, 13200 Madison Avenue [216.521.3280] for an 8PM curtain. [Map]

East Cleveland mayoral debate tomorrow; 75 more police face suspension for chase roles

East Cleveland mayoral debate set for tomorrow at city library

Most of the news coming out of East Cleveland over the past year has been the stuff of misfortune and tragedy. To cite only a few of the lowlights: the city descended once again into fiscal emergency, the mayor called the police to escort the council president from his office, the school board rejected the favorable terms of offer to merge its shrunken and overburdened library system with the county’s acclaimed library system, more than 100 police officers from Cleveland gave chase to an unarmed pair of suspects, first cornering them in a school parking lot and then executing them on the spot, and finally, just last month, the decomposing bodies of three women were found in one of the city’s more desolate areas, victims of an apparent psychopath.

These and other issues are likely to be part of what should be a lively debate when the three Democratic Party candidates for mayor meet on stage at 1 PM tomorrow at the East Cleveland Public Library.

Residents will get to hear Mayor Gary Norton, City Council president Joy A. Jordan, and Vernon Robinson share their visions of better days ahead for their city, along with perhaps their plans for achieving their vision. Each candidate will have fifteen minutes to address the audience. A question and answer session will follow, moderated by Charles E. Bibb, Sr., president of the Ohio Eighth House District Black Caucus, the debate’s sponsor.

Bibb told the Real Deal yesterday that all three of the candidates have confirmed their plans to attend and participate.

The three candidates will square off in the Democratic primary to be held October 1. The winner will be the city’s next mayor as no Republican filed for the office and the city’s charter does not permit write-in mayoral candidates.

A suspect was indicted and arraigned this week in the suspected serial murders. He is being held in county jail in lieu of bail. No criminal charges have been filed as yet in the deadly 100 mph chase by dozens of police cars that led to the 137-bullet volley that killed Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. That case, like the serial murders, is in the hands of County Prosecutor Tim McGinty.

Cleveland police to discipline 75 officers for role in deadly chase
Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said today that 75 policemen would be disciplined for their involvement in the police chase last November that ended in the neighboring city of East Cleveland with the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.

None of the officers facing discipline is among the 13 who shot at the victims. Eleven supervisors have already been disciplined, including one who was fired.

Nineteen of the 75 officers will be referred to Cleveland’s Department of Public Safety and face temporary suspension.

Of the 75 officers facing discipline for violating police protocol, 19 will be referred to the Department of Public Safety for disciplinary hearings and could face temporary suspension, McGrath said.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cleveland/Cuyahoga's incredibly shrinking daily newspaper is community loss

This is a sad day for Cuyahoga County residents and most of them don’t even know it. The area’s principal daily newspaper, in the callous emotionally unintelligent manner for which its ownership/management is becoming known, delivered pink slips in the form of phone calls to fifty or so of its editorial personnel. Those laid off — a euphemism, given the likelihood of their recall is de minimis — include reporters and others who carry much of the paper’s institutional memory.

Among the departed are reporters Margaret Bernstein and Stan Donaldson. I can say without fear of contradiction that no Plain Dealer writer has ever covered Cleveland’s black community with more insight, sensitivity and affirmation than Margaret. Her eyes and voice will be sorely missed.

Stan Donaldson brought a professional approach to his reporting that will likewise be missed. He worked with unflinching focus on uncovering real community stories.

While I have never been a PD fan, I have always been a regular reader. The fact that they left so many stories untold or and skewed others with serious myopia or prejudice does not obscure the positive values of having a community wide source of information. Staying informed about our community has just gotten harder.