Welcome! This free speech community journal was created so the Maple Heights African American community could share videos, photos, events, articles, posts, ideas, thoughts, and information.  We're now exclusively on Facebook, so don't forget to also check out our Facebook page.  Have a fantastic day!

Thursday, February 28, 2013


Register here:   http://www.neoiwd.com/

"Angelhands of Northeast Ohio will lead the Greater Cleveland Area in the recognition and celebration of “International Women's Day” on March 9th.

The theme of the 2013 event entitled “Investing in Women and Girls” will address pertinent issues that affect women globally, while bringing together a group of culturally-diverse women to discussion their ethnic heritage, learn from one another, address common issues and plan to influence futures."

EVENT: International Women's Day 2013

WHEN:Saturday, March 9, 2013 - 9am-5pm

WHERE: Cleveland Clinic - Lyndhurst Campus, 1950 Richmond Road, Lyndhurst, OH 44124

INFO: For more information, contact Norma Ashong at  216.253.7079 or norma1ashong@yahoo.com




"The 2nd Annual Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival will take place from April 18-21, 2013 at Shaker Square Cinema. This four-day event will feature the groundbreaking work of local and national filmmakers. Informative panel discussions l...ed by industry experts. Free film screenings for high school and middle school students. The innovative Mouse Ward exhibit which fuses cinema and art to tell the story of Mouse Kaminski, a teenager en route to a 72-hour psychiatric hold. Opening and closing receptions, awards ceremony, filmmakers breakfast and so much more! "



"The Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival is setting out to change that by exposing, educating and entertaining the diverse audiences of Greater Cleveland through innovative and groundbreaking films that depict the African-American experience in a positive light. The festival showcases black films that reinforce positive images, dispel negative stereotypes, and provide a forum for their work to be viewed and discussed.
With your support, the 2nd Annual Greater Cleveland Film Festival will be held from April 18-21, 2013 at the Shaker Square Cinema. This four-day event will feature:

  • The groundbreaking work of local and national filmmakers.
  • Informative panel discussions led by industry experts.
  • Free film screenings for high school and middle school students.
  • The innovative Mouse Ward exhibit which fuses cinema and art to tell the story of Mouse Kaminski, a teenager en route to a 72-hour psychiatric hold.
  • Opening and closing receptions, awards ceremony, filmmakers breakfast and so much more!"

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Register *now* to take advantage of early bird prices!
Available now through March 1st.

TransparencyCamp is an “unconference” for opengov. Each year, journalists, developers, technologists, policy-makers, government officials, students, academics, wonks and everyone in between gather together to share knowledge about how to use new technologies and policies to make our government really work for the people -- and to help our people work smarter with our government.

As an unconference, TransparencyCamp emphasizes the important contributions that each and every attendee brings with them into the sessions, workshops, and conversations associated with this event. In fact, attendees (yes, all of them) are brought into the process of making the schedule for the conference with the organizers and are encouraged to step up and lead sessions themselves. (Check out our TCamp 2012 recap video to get a better sense of what we mean.)

This year, Sunlight is partnering with the George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs to bring you the best TCamp yet. We're expecting unprecedented numbers and guests from all over the country and the globe. Hope to see you there!

For more information head to http://TransparencyCamp.org.
For the last five years, we've gathered together a variety of journalists, policy creators, technologists, concerned citizens, academics, watchdogs, students and others to build community, share best practices and problem-solve challenges to work in the transparency arena. Last year, we hosted more than 400 people from more than 30 countries and 26 U.S. states. This year, we’re expecting around 500 participants with even more participation from attendees across the country and abroad. Please check out http://TransparencyCamp.org for a preview of what to expect at this year’s unconference.

What: TransparencyCamp 2013
Where: George
Washington University (Marvin Center) 800 21st St NW  Washington, DC
When: May 4-5, 2013

Plus, check out videos
here and here from past TCamps and be sure to come with
ideas, share the registration link with your friends, and tweet


"Debo Adegbile to go before supreme court to defend Voting Rights Act and argue key provision should not be struck down"
"The lawyer who will  ..." [Wednesday, February 27, 2013] "go before the US supreme court to defend the Voting Rights Act has warned that if a key provision of the law that prevents discrimination at the polling booth largely in southern states is struck down, it would “set the hands of the clock winding backwards” for millions of minority voters.
Debo Adegbile, special counsel for the NAACP, the country’s largest civil rights organisation, will have the momentous task on Wednesday of defending one of the mainstays of America’s prolonged struggle against racial discrimination.
Lined up against him will be an array of conservative lawyers and legislators, many based in the south, where the sting of the legislation is felt most keenly.
Wednesday’s hearing, in which the nine supreme court justices will hear oral argument before delivering a ruling expected in June, is being seen as the greatest threat to the Voting Rights Act since it was enacted in 1965. The focus of the debate will be Section 5, a provision under which 16 states – mainly though not exclusively in the south – are subject to stringent federal monitoring designed to prevent them discriminating against African American and other minority voters."
Follow rest of article HERE


Related articles, etc:

SECTION 5 of Voting Rights Act: "Section 5 currently applies to nine states in their entirety: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. It also applies to identified parts of a further seven states: California, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina and South Dakota."
RACIAL ENTITLEMENT- Term used by JUSTICE SCALIA:    "Scalia has generally voted to strike down laws which make distinctions by race, gender, or sexual orientation .... "   "To pursue the concept of racial entitlement – even for the most admirable and benign of purposes – is to reinforce and preserve for future mischief the way of thinking that produced race slavery, race privilege and race hatred. In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American.[74] "[WIKIPEDIA]

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Visit My Website

450 Jobs Returning to Cleveland’s Engine Plant

Ford Motor Company announced last week that it will invest nearly $200 million and add 450 new reshored jobs at its Cleveland Engine Plant which produces the 2.0-liter EcoBoost. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown praised the nearly $200 million investment, which will officially move production of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine for North American vehicles from Valencia, Spain to Cleveland, Ohio.

The demand for the EcoBoost is a testament to the strength of Northeast Ohio manufacturing and our auto supply chain,” said Sen. Brown. “Ford’s expansion not only boosts jobs and the economy in our state, but proves that you should always bet on the American worker.”

Sen. Brown has long been a champion of American manufacturing and Ohio’s auto industry. In 2008 he introduced the Auto Industry Emergency Bridge Loan Act, with a bipartisan group of colleagues and also fought to ensure that funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) were allocated to aid the Big 3 and American auto suppliers. At the start of 2009, Sen. Brown applauded President Obama’s decision to advance restructuring plans to ensure the viability of the American auto industry.

He also was a strong supporter of the Cash for Clunkers program, in which the federal government provided Ohio consumers with vouchers to purchase new fuel-efficient vehicles. The program was a resounding success, helping American consumers purchase nearly 700,000 new vehicles—adding nearly one percent to the third-quarter GDP growth at the time. The program stabilized the auto sector and saved or created thousands of jobs across Ohio and the nation.

According to a 2010 study by the Center for Automotive Research, more than 848,000 Ohio jobs depend on the auto industry; this figure includes 120,285 direct employment (people employed directly by auto industry: 39,685 by automakers and 80,600 by parts suppliers); 276,330 indirect employment (jobs indirectly employed by automakers or parts suppliers: 167,891 by automakers and 108,439 by parts suppliers); and 395,981 spin-off employment (expenditure-induced employment resulting from spending by direct and intermediate employees; 221,018 by automakers and 174,963 by suppliers). A 2011 study by the Center for Automotive Research found that 164,654 jobs in 2009 would have been lost in Ohio if the auto industry had not been rescued.

Monday, February 25, 2013


I don't usually watch the Oscars; however, I've got a Smartphone, and I love apps, so of course, I couldn't pass up the Oscar apps, which made me want to watch the entire program on television.

A few highlights of my evening were probably yours too.  I speak of the divine Dame Shirley Bassey, the awesome, actress, singer, designer Jennifer Hudson, and the stunning Academy Award winning actress, and "ex Bond Girl" Halle Berry.







Saturday, February 23, 2013


Release date: February 22, 2013

"February 26 will mark one year since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed by a gun wielded by self-appointed neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman after he saw Trayvon walking home from a 7-Eleven with a bag of Skittles and bottle of Arizona iced tea.
Black children, youths, and families know first-hand that the killing of Black children by gun violence is not new but a relentlessly unreported and under-reported plague that has been disproportionately snuffing out Black child lives for a very long time. Fifteen percent of children and teens are Black but 45 percent of all children and youths killed by guns in 2010 were Black. Black boys 15 to 19 years old were 28 times more likely than White boys the same age to be killed in a gun homicide."
Follow HERE
"Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children's Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to www.childrensdefense.org.
Mrs. Edelman's Child Watch Column also appears each week on The Huffington Post."
The Fifth Column dedicates page to Trayvon Martin



Healthcare Law Helps Seniors Save on Drug Costs

Seniors have saved millions of dollars on prescription drugs as a result of the health care law – the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This law has enabled Ohioans in the so-called “donut hole” – the period of time when private Medicare insurance no longer covers prescription drugs – to save millions on prescription drug costs. Prior to the health law, the donut hole left seniors with huge out-of-pocket costs that may cause them to have to choose between medicine and food. Over the past three years, the added coverage for seniors as a result of the health law has saved Americans $5.7 billion nationwide.


Ohio’s seniors have worked hard, paid into Medicare, and deserve health care options that truly meet their needs,” Brown said. “Under the health law, coverage for our seniors continues to improve.” 

The new health law has also helped put money back in patients’ pockets. In 2010, thanks to the health law, Ohio seniors who hit the coverage gap “donut hole” received a one-time $250 rebate. In 2011, Medicare recipients began receiving a 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs. Seniors in the “donut hole” also saw additional coverage of generic drugs costs. Coverage for both brand name and generic drugs in the gap will continue to increase until 2020, when the coverage gap will be eliminated. Ohio seniors have saved over $278.7 million on prescription drugs since the passage of the health law with an average per beneficiary savings of $774.
These added benefits have helped guarantee that seniors and people with disabilities receive the medicine and care they deserve after years of hard work. Covering the Medicare “donut hole” is just one of the many ways the health law is benefitting Ohioans.

Also thanks to the health law, seniors have access to free preventive services. These services include cancer screenings, such as colonoscopies and mammograms, and an annual wellness visit. Because cost barriers have been removed, more than 903,000 Ohioans with traditional Medicare took advantage of at least one preventive service in 2012. Because of Medicare, nearly 98 percent of seniors have health coverage and more than 90 percent live above the poverty line.

Senator Brown will continue to make sure Ohioans – especially seniors – receive the health care they deserve.

Friday, February 22, 2013


In the next couple of weeks we're going to create a poll (for Maple Heights African Americans) called "RATE YOUR MAYOR AND COUNCIL PERSON"

The mayor and each member of council will be listed.

You'll answer yes/no on things like "calls/emails me when I call/email them", "do you like them?", "personally contacts me more than 2 times a year",  "were you satisfied with how they handled a complaint?", "were you treated w respect?", "were your issues resolved quickly?",  "did you attend a council meeting in the last 6 months?", "have you ever requested a public record?"

If you'd like us to add a question, email us or comment in the comment section.

By the way (click on the following link to vote):

If you could sell your house in Maple Heights, would you?

If you don't know who your council person is, now is a perfect time to find out.  Call Maple Heights City Hall and ask.  If you don't like how you were treated when you called, tell us in the comment section below.

Council office:            216.587.9000

City Hall main line:   216.662.6000

our email: mhaagazette@gmail.com



Get your Groove on and get ready to end a month and
begin another at the 

It's a $5 dollar holla !

D. J. Andre "D" will be spinning the tracks

DAY:     Friday - February 22, 2013
TIME:   9:00 pm - 1:00 am

$5.00 in advance $10. at the door

Dinner will be served

Proper attire, No Jeans, No Tennis shoes

CONTACT INFO:  online 
or call Matt @ 216-367-4778, Sandi @ 216-952-2477


Lonnie Bunch, museum director, historian, lecturer, and author, is proud to present A Page from Our American Story, a regular on-line series for Museum supporters. It will showcase individuals and events in the African American experience, placing these stories in the context of a larger story — our American story.

A Page From Our American Story

“Pray, what thing in the world can be done worse towards us, than if men should rob or steal us away, and sell us for slaves to strange countries; separating housbands (sic) from their wives and children.” — from The Germantown Protest (against slavery).
In 1565, the Spanish colony of St. Augustine, in what is now Florida, became the first permanent European settlement in North America. Among the settlement's population were some of the first enslaved Africans brought to the New World.
The first permanent settlement of African slaves in British Colonial North America arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, via a Dutch slave trading ship in 1619. It wasn't long before the American colonies found themselves economically dependent on slave trading and enslaved labor.

Emancipation Proclamation Reproduction
Reproduction of the Emancipation
Proclamation at the National Underground
Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
More than two hundred years later, on January 1, 1863, in the midst of our civil war, Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation would free slaves in the rebellious southern states. The Proclamation, along with the voices and actions of individuals such as Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, William Lloyd Garrison, and others, would ultimately lead to the passage of the 13th Amendment two years later, ending slavery in the United States and freeing nearly four million African Americans.

Reaching that milestone, however, was a long, painful, and bloody process. One of the earliest recorded actions toward ending slavery was taken by a small group of Quakers in Germantown, Pennsylvania Colony, in 1688.

Before slavery truly became institutionalized in the colonies, some Africans were sometimes treated more like indentured servants who were freed once their service ended or debt had been paid, a practice employed at times by various early Dutch and Spanish explorers and settlers. However, this changed dramatically in 1641 when Massachusetts became the first British mainland colony to legalize slavery. From that time forward, colonial slave laws became more restrictive, further codifying the institution.
Not everyone was blind to slavery's immorality. Although slavery played a major role in the economy of colonial Rhode Island, there were some who tried to temper the practice with a 1652 law that placed restrictions on slave owning and prohibited enslavement of any person for more than 10 years. However, the effect was limited. Slave holders simply sold anyone nearing the deadline and took ownership of new slaves, thus continuing the cycle.

Bas-relief portrait of Francis Daniel Pastorius,
c. 1897. From the Library of Congress.
In 1688, Francis Daniel Pastorius, and three of his fellow Quakers, drafted the first, formal anti-slavery resolution in America. The resolution raised objections to slavery on both moral and practical grounds during a period when Pennsylvania Quakers were nearly unanimous in their acceptance of the practice.

The decree is referred to as “The Germantown Protest,” or “1688 Germantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery.” It articulated themes of justice and equality that would be echoed throughout the long, painful period of slavery in America.
The authors’ premise was based on the biblical “Golden Rule” — treat others as you wish to be treated. Additionally, the authors recognized that colonial slave treatment mirrored the persecution Quakers had seen in Europe, and, to an extent, in the colonies.

"There is a saying, that we should do to all men like as we will be done ourselves; making no difference of what generation, descent, or colour (sic) they are... To bring men hither [to America], or to rob and sell them against their will, we stand against.”
Sadly, “The Germantown Protest” did not spark a significant change in the Americas against slavery. Even within Quaker communities the declaration was ignored, at least initially. But a seed had been planted. A belief shared silently by many was given voice.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. While it is tempting to view the Proclamation solely through the lens of Civil War events, in order to grasp the full context and importance of Lincoln’s decision, we must examine the issue of slavery in the North American colonies from its beginnings. From the Spanish colony in St. Augustine, to the first Dutch ship sailing into Jamestown, and to the Civil War waged to end it, slavery was a 300-plus year institution in America, leaving scars, fortunes, and repercussions we deal with still today.

dd-enews-temp-lonnie-bunch-2.jpg All the best,

Lonnie Bunch

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the newest member of the Smithsonian Institution's family of extraordinary museums.

The museum will be far more than a collection of objects. The Museum will be a powerful, positive force in the national discussion about race and the important role African Americans have played in the American story — a museum that will make all Americans proud.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


In the past, I've requested public records.  Some of the records I've received have been on plain paper.  The public record wasn't on Maple Heights stationery, there was no public employee signature indicating who prepared the document/record; there was no official Maple Heights seal or official Maple Heights stamp, or official city of Maple Heights label on it.  There was nothing to identify the paper as an official city of Maple Heights record. 

So, on February 17, 2013, I made the following request, which I felt was quite reasonable.

MHAAG <mhaagazette@gmail.com>
Feb 17
to Kathy, Maple, JACQUELINE, Crews, JLansky,
Dear Ms. Unger,

I am requesting that all future requested records/documents from the city of Maple Heights be presented on city of Maple Heights stationery, or be stamped with an official city of Maple Heights stamp/seal, or has an official city of Maple Heights label that is difficult to remove.

As it stands now, anyone can state that the record/s/document/s/correspondence presented on plain paper are not from the city of Maple Heights regardless if they came in a city of Maple Heights envelope.

Please respond within 10 business days, by fax, email, or regular mail only.

Elaine Stone

Here's Mr. Blair Melling's response (View at a zoom of 200% or more) - Since I made no request for anything on February 19, 2013, I'm assuming he's referencing the above:


As you can see, Mr. Blair Melling has clearly stated that nothing will change.  

Mr. Blair Melling is about evidence when it comes to protecting his, Mayor Jeffrey Lansky, and John Montello's reputation (February 4, 2013 letter). 

 In my opinion, this looks to me like certain public employees in the city of Maple Heights are trying to protect themselves. 

When data is presented as a public record, someone needs to be accountable and held responsible for that record.  In my opinion, if there's no signature, no official city of Maple Heights seal or stamp, or official city of Maple Heights label, or is not on city of Maple Heights stationery, there's no accountability and no one is responsible for the document/record's preparation, accuracy or reliability.  In a court of law, I don't think it would be considered as evidence that it came from the city of Maple Heights/city of Maple Heights public employee.  In my opinion, maybe that's why Mr. Melling wants things to stay the same.

I'm also troubled by (again) the February 4, 2013 letter. If Mr. Melling is so concerned about protecting the reputations of the mayor, himself and Mr. Montello, (in my opinion) he might be reluctant to release documents /records that would reflect badly on himself, the mayor, or Mr. Montello. I also wonder why Mr. Blair Melling feels it's in his job description to protect the reputations of Mr. Montello, Mayor Lansky, and himself. If it is in his job description, I think we better remove it now. Let them pay for their own attorney to protect their "reputations". ***

Mr. Blair Melling, Mayor Jeffrey Lansky, and John Montello, are public servants whose salaries are paid by the taxpayers in Maple Heights. The taxpayers are their employers, and I for one, do not want individuals representing me who won't provide clear evidence that a document/record was from Maple Heights government. Therefore, I have no trust in the above named individuals. I also would like you to see to whom he sent a copy of his decision.

Again read my request, and read Mr. Melling's response, and you decide if you feel comfortable with Mr. Melling's response. I don't.
*** UPDATE March 1, 2013 :
Guess whose reputation is called into question with this latest stunt by the mayor?:

It also looks like Blair Melling and John Montello are from the same law firm (check this out), and therefore, I feel there is a conflict of interest.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Maple Heights Pathfinders Assembly

TIME: Starts 9:30am

WHEN: 2/20/2013

WHERE: Wylie Athletic Complex - gymnasium .

5500 Clement Drive
Maple Heights, OH
The Pathfinders’ assembly is the culmination of  Maple Heights Schools Black History Month activities and recognizes people who have been trailblazers to success in five different areas: education, citizenship/government, the arts & science, humanitarianism and business. Individuals are recognized for finding or creating a path of success that Maple Heights' students can follow – thus the name Pathfinders.




 Mr. Frank R. Ross (on right) attended the event, along with other past honored Pathfinders (among those Leroy Colley ).

A former teacher, guidance counselor and Alternative Schools
Coordinator, Mr. Ross served as a desegregation expert and helped to
desegregate the Maple Heights Schools. He was one of the chief
negotiators for the historic Affi rmative Action agreements that
made it possible for African-American teachers and administrators
to be hired in the schools and for African-American police and
fi remen to be hired in the City of Maple Heights. Ross received his
master’s degree from John Carroll University. Additionally, he was a world class athlete whose
relay team was ranked second in the world in 1966 when he was featured on ABC’s Wide World of
Sports. Ross currently lectures and facilitates workshops on African-American dance, and is the best selling author of "Soul Dancing! The Essential African American Cultural Dance Book".




Newsletter from Sherrod Brown

At the President’s State of the Union address, I was joined by Cookie Hall, a second-generation Cleveland steelworker who knows from experience that American workers are the most productive in the world. Cookie works at Cleveland Works, a steel plant owned by ArcelorMittal North America. Workers at this plant produce one ton of steel per each man hour of work – making it the most efficient steel plant in the world. There is no disputing that our workers are the most productive in the world, but there are steps we must take to make them the most innovative.


In his speech, President Obama echoed my call for the creation of a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). Using Youngstown’s first-of-its-kind manufacturing innovation institute as a model, the President announced the launch of three more manufacturing hubs and called on Congress to help him create a network of 15 additional centers. Every region and every state has a role to play in helping maintain our innovative edge and these new hubs will help.

I’ve been working with small businesses, industry leaders, universities, and research institutions on legislation to create these important NNMI institutes. This network will retain U.S. leadership in a range of next-generation technologies, capitalize on our investment in basic research, and create thousands of high pay, high tech manufacturing jobs. By leveraging existing infrastructure and pockets of innovation across the country, NNMI provides small businesses with access to the tools and expertise needed to compete in the global economy. This will create regional magnets for cutting-edge research, talented students, and additional investments.

And we’ve already started to bring people and organizations together to spur 21st century innovation. Last year, we were able to bring the first-of-its-kind National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) to the Mahoning Valley – to the “Tech Belt” that extends from Cleveland to Pittsburgh. NAMII is a $70 million public-private partnership that can make Youngstown a world leader in new manufacturing technology – like 3-D printing. As the President mentioned in his address, “A once shuttered warehouse [in Youngstown] is now a state of the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3-D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.”

Collaboration is critical for our success – and an NNMI would provide small businesses and research institutions access to the tools and expertise needed to compete in the global economy. And it can also spur the creation of regional hubs of advanced manufacturing throughout the U.S.

American workers have the drive, the creative thinking, and the determination to out-innovate the rest of the world. We just need to make certain that they have the opportunity to do so.