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!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


We were going to hold our peace; but hell, does anyone do their research? 

 Let's go back 8 years: 

Way too many homeowners began losing their homes in Maple Heights starting somewhere around 2007, and in 2008 The Mortgage Crisis hit (banks were definitely in the mix of perpetrators) and Maple as was reported, was at the epicenter of the mortgage crisis.  (We don't make this stuff up folks) 

"For sale" signs were everywhere, and correct us if we're wrong, at some point city hall made it so those signs could not be posted (bad impression of Maple ... right?).

So here we go ... people losing their homes, the population of Maple dwindling to around 24,000 (down from 26,000 and is currently somewhere around 22,000).  And by the way, Maple Heights website didn't adjust those figures to the 2010 census figures until we started complaining.  We love transparency, and way too many times we've had transparency issues with those folks down at city hall.  

Ok, ... we digress.  So the population is dwindling, but we hear going into the next administration, there was a surplus in the budget (?)  Check this out.  Now again, population dwindling, people losing their homes.  So what does city hall do?  New pool, (and according to the former finance director) new police cars, a push for (20+year) bonds (debt, debt, debt) to build (how many?- yep 5) new schools, and tax levies (that never lets up).  But in 2010, census shows we're down to around 23,000 Maple Hts folks (included in that figure around 3500 school children).  Wonder who got those lucrative contracts? also [Go HERE for Maple Heights School report card]

What's done is done; however, you really need to understand.  Even if the number of homeowners declined significantly, the homeowner would still be on the hook to make those bond interest payments.  Can you lose your home if you don't pay your property taxes?  Absolutely!!

When you have loss of population, loss of homes, high unemployment, money circulating outside the community, you need to address that vigorously.  Was that done? NO! 

Property owners lost value in their homes (that still continues).  

Property owners and other residents didn't want charity. 

 Property owners and other residents needed financial assistance, money, ownership, job training and jobs. 

What they were asked, approve tax levies.   
Specifically, ... over and over again, they asked the already overburdened homeowner for tax levies.  Don't those folks at city hall have any real ideas that don't call for overburdening homeowners? 

Where did Maple Heights taxpayer's money go?  We asked and ran into wall after wall to get answers until we started posting (the emails we sent to various inhabitants of city hall) on this blog. Then we got stone-walled again.  We especially wanted to know how many Black full time public employees there were (particularly police and fire) and how many Black contractors were hired during a certain period of time.   **Result: Stonewalled

Now ...About those speed cameras.  Anyone with any intelligence knew that this was mostly about revenue and not so much safety (city hall gave it away with those revenue comments and failed to involve residents in the decision). To make matters worse, some of those speed cameras were placed near shopping areas and /or predominantly black residents.  As to who got ticketed.  Among those ...well, people who wanted to shop at Giant Eagle, and friends and family of residents, and residents got tickets.  Got so folks didn't want to come into Maple and the folks here ... many of them felt trapped. We all knew it wouldn't stop with just those cameras.  There would be more to come (yep, just like in Cleveland).
That the speed camera amendment passed with overwhelming votes was a smack at city hall.  Folks were so mad, they were coming from Warrensville Hts to vote LOL.

We wanted to know where most of that money was going. 
City Hall will tell you they needed it for city services.  We wanted a breakdown.  Stonewalled 
How many residents have full time jobs at city hall?  Most of the people city hall does business with, and full time public workers in Maple live outside Maple. Most of that money circulates outside Maple. There are no easy answers right now; however, we've said it over and over again (as has research shown and other cities have proven); money needs to largely circulate in the community.   

This problem continues to not be addressed and we're sick of the excuses concerning state cuts (cuts that these politicians knew about in 2011 folks).  You can't keep asking for money from residents (esp. while the population continues to decline) and pumping that money outside the community.  

***Remember that money in a fund for the folks who lived down by the railroad tracks? Well, while all these non residents got paid and spent our money in their own communities, those folks (who were down by those railroad tracks due to the banks and mortgage company's institutional racist policies -Link and (2 (3)) ... well, most of their money got dumped into the general fund that [wait for it] was used to pay folks who spent our money where they lived (outside of the communities in which they served).  Talk about a slap in the face!

Wow ... Straight out of a mayor's playbook.  We know that playbook so well.  [Inside joke]

Look, if you want to elect a black female as mayor simply because it would be historic, go ahead and do so.

To be specific to The Mortgage Crisis and Maple Heights:
We don't like titles being thrown around when we know the huge role banks, mortgage companies, re-insurers, major accounting firms, etc played in one of the greatest financial meltdowns this nation has seen - - The Mortgage Crisis ... that placed Maple Heights at the epicenter.

We could go on and on and on .... but, we're just FED UP with excuses, AND bullshit!!!

Oh.. and for the folks who want to vote for Bill, simply because he's white, ... (by all means) whatever makes you feel comfortable.   

We do recommend you read the Maple Heights News for general information about candidates who are running, and Maple Heights ballot issues

While we have major differences in ideology, Brownlee has done something no other person in Maple (or outside of Maple) has done. He's put what goes on in Maple Heights meetings and council, etc out there for everyone to see.  It's called transparency folks, and ya'll (those who know our writing style and have followed us for years) know we love transparency in government.

Update 10/30/2015

****No matter who becomes mayor of Maple Heights, you can believe the Maple Heights African American Gazette (and we're sure Lynde Brownlee) will not stop telling you what goes on in city hall, and asking for public records.   

Astounding the number of people (esp who don't live here) and outside groups who have made last minute endorsements (especially last minute since this post).  God bless them. To think they never gave a "hill of beans" about Maple Heights before, but have showed up on the scene. 

Let's see how much money they contribute to this community come 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.  Let's see what happens with jobs, job training, and creating viable diverse communities.  Let's see their commitment to money circulation within the community and ownership.
 Let's see them put their money where their mouth is.  We will definitely tell you if they don't.******

Update: 11/2/2015
Finally,  If you need to pass a tax levy for a temporary fix, go ahead and pass the damn thing.


Foreclosure Epicenter: Maple Heights, OH

What Caused The Mortgage Crisis

The Role of Accounting in the Financial Crisis

Role of Auditors in Crisis Gets Look
Railroad money gets locked into special fund

Transparency and Open Government

From Black Wall Street to the Black Dollar Project

Maple Heights News Yahoo Page

The Case For Reparations

 Questioning Maple Heights mayoral candidates: editorial board

Your Black Education
Asians keep a dollar in their community 120 times longer than African Americans

And this is a message for Richard A:
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

To others who would like to link us as supporters of Mrs. Mitchell, we are admirers.  She helps folks whether you're in her ward or not or it's midnight or 6 am (that's simply what she does).  .... ; however, please understand we would be as critical of her as every other politician should she be facing that position in the General Election.  

Friday, October 23, 2015


This SMEAR CAMPAIGN against Mrs Mitchell in Maple Heights is old.  

What's disgusting is these are CHARACTER ASSASSINATIONS and it's cheap and petty.  

Others have tried it and failed.

Trust us ...It will backfire.

To Mrs. Mitchell ... 
You've heard all this garbage before during election campaigns. ... You are these politician's favorite punching bag whether you run for office or not. We won't give them the satisfaction to name them because we believe this is a publicity stunt for attention. 

Just ignore them.

Sunday, October 4, 2015


The October issue of The Real Deal Press went to press before the Maple Heights primary election recount. To check on the status of that race, visit here.
Click HERE for the October issue of The Real Deal Press.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


10/12/2015 2pm

see our continuing comments 10/27/2015 (in italics) at the very bottom of this post

Well, if you trust the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections (which sorry we don't), after Wednesday's count there will be two candidates with relatively little public service experience vying for mayor of Maple Heights in the November Election.  Bill is a 1 term councilman (who caused many of the inhabitants of Maple Heights City Hall great angst) and Annette was "Mayor appointed" to serve on Charter Review in 2011, but has never held an elected office in Maple Heights city government.  Maple, by the way, is in Fiscal Emergency.  

As we see it, you'll either have another "white male" as mayor or one that is "white male" mayor approved.   Maple Heights has an estimated 70% African American population with considerable money circulation problems.  Whether you like African Americans or not, if money continues to largely circulate outside the community (that includes paying a large number of full time city employees who for the most part live and spend their money outside the city), Maple Heights financial problems will remain. That's bad for white and black residents. Regarding these taxes asked for ... they are temporary fixes at best and will not correct the long standing multitude of financial problems facing Maple; (what will help) money circulation within the community will.

We know at least one of the candidates wants more transparency in government, the other, "who the hell knows". 

Brownlee wants to restructure Maple's government to a city manager form of government.  (2)  (3)  That certainly won't be an easy task and it may or may not help the community.
Blackwell may try to keep the same folks around who were positioned when Maple went into Fiscal Watch and then Fiscal Emergency.

Both candidates are loose canons (meaning you don't know what the hell they'll do once they get in office).  Both candidates may shy away from dealing with the Department of Justice (2) (3), though it wouldn't be a wise move.

One will most certainly be replacing the current "issues with transparency" Law Director (When? No one knows), the other we hope will but we're skeptical.  Residents are going to have to carefully watch whoever is appointed to that position, including the Assistant Law Director position.

No matter which candidate lands in the mayor's seat, (ARTICLE V, THE EXECUTIVE) they will be handing out appointments.  This is what should really concern you!!!!

Be careful of those candidates who push taxes.  Think about who is being fed with your taxes (and we're also talking about school taxes). When those schools were built, who were the contractors? Who made money in the building of those schools?  Did residents participate in the building of those schools?  We're there any local contractors used (esp. Black contractors)?   Did those who dispensed our tax money insist that there be Black contractors/Maple Hts residents or Maple Heights/Black residents who would receive on the job training?  Are there any Black contractors being used now?  Look beyond the rhetoric you hear. Look at where your money goes and to whom the money goes.  

BHF: Black children do better when they know their history and culture. (2) see also: The Rise of Homeschooling Among Black Families.
A number of  HBCUs offer African American Studies. 

 [Go HERE for Maple Heights School report card]

As to candidates who will or could possibly have a seat on council come 2016 .. well, there's Toni Jones who seems to think "a resident speaking up (in 2011) about what she feels is a sitting mayor attacking the character of a Black female candidate without cause" is "playing the race card".   Ron Jackson and Edwina Agee (as did all of the current council members, including Brownlee first go round) voted for speed cameras in Maple Heights (without voter consent).  And then there's two uncontested wild cards, Stafford Shenett (an attorney), ... and Tanglyn Madden.

This is what we said in August 2012.  Click the link: MAPLE HEIGHTS LEADERSHIP NEEDS TO GO.   Adams, Cefaratti, Lansky and Albers will soon be gone, though whose to say who may linger in the background. 
Not sure if Jones or Trojanski will remain though our guess is they will.

Side note:  While we appreciate people's passions and comments, we've been dealing with Maple Heights city government for quite some time, and have put in the time and effort to try to understand how to create viable, diverse communities. 

And to those who comment:  Do you  know where your tax dollars go?  Do you attend council meetings?  Do you ask your council representative pertinent questions?  Have you ever asked for public records?  If not, why not?  Do you know how to create viable and diverse communities?  Have you done any research on how to create viable, diverse communities?  Do you understand the principle of money circulation and how to circulate money within a community (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)?  
If you're a politician, are you prepared to deal with the constant problems of running a government and criticisms thrown at you, and prepared to get calls late at night (or all through the night)?
As a politician, do you have the balls to criticize the police if necessary and deal with police union demands? 

We're not candidates or politicians and we don't bow down to any politician.  If you want to be in public office, get a thick skin and get used to the criticisms (and deal with them) or pack up and leave.

[Edited 10/04/2015]
"And to the person who left a comment in the comment section stating we promised to work together (??? WTH!!).  Since we did not attend any mayor's forum and we're not candidates or politicians who promised anything, your comment regarding what we said is misdirected.  ****We made no such comments. 

It's also very obvious that we have some commenters who have only been to the Maple Heights African American Gazette once or twice and are supporters of Ms. Blackwell (Which is fine - but that remark "Get Over It" was adolescent).  Look around.  You'll find links to not only "Codified Ordinances of Maple Heights", but also to organizations that are excellent resources.

Each commenter needs to do their own research and ask relevant questions of both candidates and go to council meetings and ask for public records.  Please do read the section "About Us".  Finally, ... Just because you're an African American doesn't mean we trust you or support you.  You have to earn our trust and support.  

We (plural) live here and we watch City Hall, this community and its leadership and community organizers and those who are considered community activists. We also speak out and ask for public records and place ourselves at grave risk for doing so in some instances."  

The Maple Heights News did video tape the mayor's forum and post on YouTube along with their other video tapes of council meetings, etc. 



You wanted an education, we're going to give it to you .... though you may not like what you read.

Click HERE

Codified Ordinances of Maple Heights

Residency Rules: The Detroit Experience

Thursday, September 10, 2015


No surprises for the small turn-out at the polls.  A big surprise in the picking of what we believe is a tax your way out of a crisis, status quo as she goes, candidate (Annette Blackwell) to run against Mr. Brownlee or Mrs. Mitchell (still to close to call) in November. 

Now we know we're going to hear the words "sour grapes" spew forth out of the top pick; but just as important as the candidate are the appointments. For instance, .. Will we see the same law director or will the second in command move up? Neither one is our choice given the transparency history.  Will anyone be paying attention?

And if things couldn't get any worse, we've got (we believe) at least one rogue in the safety division.  There are forces at play that would scare the hell out of residents if known, but transparency and accountability has not been Maple Heights City Hall's strong suit for quite a while  (Mr. Brownlee's "strongly objected to by many at city hall" cameras excluded) .  

Keep your eyes open and hold on to your seats cause it's going to be a very very rocky ride for residents.

Maple Heights Leadership Needs to Go,   August 14, 2012

Friday, September 4, 2015


Whether or whether not you live in Maple Heights, we strongly urge you to read this issue which features Maple Heights.  Keep up the great work Mr. Andrews.  

September 2015, Vol-2-6

Saturday, August 8, 2015


Maple Heights is coming up on a primary election and general election to pick a mayor to lead its city.

Seriously, come on,  are voters actually considering a bunch of lightweights going up against a heavyweight (Mrs. Neomia Mitchell)?  Far above those lightweights, Mrs. Mitchell (a 27 year Maple Heights resident) has devoted a large majority of her life to public service, which included serving on city council (at least 2 terms).*  City Council creates laws and policy that affect resident’s financial, business, and social lives.  Mrs. Mitchell, a retired Human Resource Officer, Payroll, Benefits Officer and Accounting Specialist; as well as a Financial Planner (27 years) and Tax Consultant (32 years), understands the importance of governance.

A graduate from Philander Smith College (an HBCU in Little Rock, Arkansas), Mrs. Mitchell is strong on education; and she has fought (even her former council colleagues) for a recreation center for Maple Heights youth.  At one time she even formed a youth group.

A great many of her supporters are seniors; and if you remember, those supporters were able to get the required number of signatures to get a charter amendment placed on the ballot that would allow the voter to decide if they wanted those speed cameras in their community.  Those supporters/seniors fought Maple Heights City Hall all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court (and won) to get that charter amendment placed on the ballot.  Had those cameras stayed, we all know where most of that money would have circulated and it wasn’t for community development.** Voters overwhelmingly decided to get rid of those speed cameras. So clearly Mrs. Mitchell has the clout and has demonstrated over and over again that she can get the job done. 

Mrs. Mitchell has a plan (and we’ve seen some of it) that will bring the big T (transparency to Maple Heights government), help circulate money within the community, bring diversity to government, attract grants and small business, help seniors and young people and homeowners; and will have the backing of various influential and “get the job done” members of state and federal government. 

In the past we’ve seen ugly attempts to sully her reputation, but this lady is classy and always tries to run a clean campaign. 

We could go on and on, but while we appreciate the competition, none of those competitors can hold a candle to  Mrs. Neomia Mitchell.

*Note: Bill Brownlee served 1 term on City Council.
Donald Grossmyer - police officer

**Various members of council are gearing up again to cram traffic cams down the throats of Maple Heights residents.

Monday, June 22, 2015



Yes, Black America Fears The Police.  Here's Why. 

by Nikole Hannah-Jones, March 5, 2015

(zoom to 125%)


""Someone was just shooting on the beach," she said, between gulps of air, to the person on the line.
Unable to imagine whom she would be calling at that moment, I asked her, somewhat indignantly, if she couldn't have waited until we got to safety before calling her mom.

"No," she said. "I am talking to the police."

My friends and I locked eyes in stunned silence. Between the four adults, we hold six degrees. Three of us are journalists. And not one of us had thought to call the police. We had not even considered it.
We also are all black. And without realizing it, in that moment, each of us had made a set of calculations, an instantaneous weighing of the pros and cons.

As far as we could tell, no one had been hurt. The shooter was long gone, and we had seen the back of him for only a second or two. On the other hand, calling the police posed considerable risks. It carried the very real possibility of inviting disrespect, even physical harm. We had seen witnesses treated like suspects, and knew how quickly black people calling the police for help could wind up cuffed in the back of a squad car. Some of us knew of black professionals who'd had guns drawn on them for no reason.

This was before Michael Brown. Before police killed John Crawford III for carrying a BB gun in a Wal-Mart or shot down 12-year-old Tamir Rice in a Cleveland park. Before Akai Gurley was killed by an officer while walking in a dark staircase and before Eric Garner was choked to death upon suspicion of selling "loosies." Without yet knowing those names, we all could go down a list of unarmed black people killed by law enforcement.

We feared what could happen if police came rushing into a group of people who, by virtue of our skin color, might be mistaken for suspects.

For those of you reading this who may not be black, or perhaps Latino, this is my chance to tell you that a substantial portion of your fellow citizens in the United States of America have little expectation of being treated fairly by the law or receiving justice. It's possible this will come as a surprise to you. But to a very real extent, you have grown up in a different country than I have.
As Khalil Gibran Muhammad, author of The Condemnation of Blackness, puts it, "White people, by and large, do not know what it is like to be occupied by a police force. They don't understand it because it is not the type of policing they experience. Because they are treated like individuals, they believe that if ‘I am not breaking the law, I will never be abused.'"  ............

Continue reading and Read entire article HERE

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


This past Sat,May 30,the African Canadian Ass.sponsored my trip to. Toronto,to lead the awesome historical unity dance...
Posted by Author Frank R. Ross on Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


We've come to enjoy The Real Deal Press.  Please check out the June issue "Michael Brelo verdict, Muslim-bashing publisher runs for Bedford school board, how to create a new middle class, East Cleveland school supt. looking to double-dip, Ohio Realtists coming to town, African Dance & Drum Fest, Karamu Centennial, black president for Union Club, sclerotic Ohio Democratic Party, much more …" R.T. Andrews

Please read and download HERE

Thursday, May 28, 2015


In response to the Michael Brelo Trial Verdict and the DOJ/Cleveland settlement sham


FYI Excellent article. .. Please read ...This will make you sick ...Thanks for sharing Sheila ...#ExCop talks...
Posted by Maple Heights African American Gazette on Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Please be careful clicking on links that may look like they are connected to us.  We've seen our blog title linked with a uk and ru ending, and other fake blogs or websites with the words mapleheightsgazette inserted or keyword searches "Maple Heights African American" with links not related to us.  They are not connected with us, and may be malicious sites.

If you bookmark/fav us you won't have a problem.

Friday, April 10, 2015


From "Addicting Info" by Nathaniel Downes


"Former DA: Planting Guns On Shooting Victims ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ 
AUTHOR APRIL 10, 2015 4:06 PM
Attorney Arthur Aidala is a frequent guest on Fox News. The former Senior Assistant District Attorney for Kings County, NY had a lot of first hand experience in dealing with the troubled NYPD of the 1990’s. In a segment discussing the shooting death of Walter Scott by Officer Michael Slager, he may have revealed an open secret, something long claimed but difficult to prove regarding police, accountability, and their ability to get away with murder.
When I was in the DA’s office in the 80s and 90s, that was standard operating procedure. Police officers — I hate to say this — would keep a second gun that nobody knew about on their ankle, so if they ever killed someone they shouldn’t have they would take that gun out.
As a DA, knowing this, he clearly supported the policy at least indirectly. After all, nobody wants the reputation of being against the police, particularly a DA which is reliant upon them for doing their jobs. A hostile DA-police rapport would render the DA unable to fulfill his duty, so whatever the police wished to get away with, they would.
In this case, he was quite frank on Officer Slager’s situation:
There’s going to be no sympathy for this police officer, except for the fact that it’s a 33-year-old human being who is getting paid $40,000 to protect his own life and protect everyone else’s life. Nobody thinks this cop woke up that morning and said let me go kill somebody. He made split second decisions and they were wrong. Obviously he made wrong decisions. It’s going to be about, in my opinion, how much jail time does he serve."



8 Ways the FBI Tried to Change the Course of Black History by Influencing Black Writers, Thinkers and Freedom Fighters - by Nick Chiles


Being Black Was Enough to Warrant Surveillance
"African-Americans were Hoover’s largest targeted group. They didn’t have to be perceived as having liberal, or even radical or subversive, ideas to merit being spied on. Nor was it necessary for them to engage in violent behavior to become a watched person. Being Black was enough, according to The Nation. The FBI required field offices to watch thousands of African-Americans wherever they went — in churches, in classrooms, on college campuses, in bars, in restaurants, in bookstores, in their places of employment, in stores, in any social setting, in their neighborhoods and even at the front doors of their homes. Probably few of them realized that the bill collector at their door might be an FBI informer. In fact, every agent had to have at least one informer who reported to him regularly on the activities of Black people. In Washington, D.C., every agent was required to assign six informers to spy on Black people. Even in a community where no Black people lived, agents were required to submit a special memorandum to get permission to be exempt from the requirement."

Read the entire article HERE

Thursday, April 9, 2015



"In most of the liberal discussions of the recent police killings of unarmed black men, there is an underlying assumption that the police are supposed to protect and serve the population. That is, after all, what they were created to do. If only the normal, decent relations between the police and the community could be re-established, this problem could be resolved. Poor people in general are more likely to be the victims of crime than anyone else, this reasoning goes, and in that way, they are in more need than anyone else of police protection. Maybe there are a few bad apples, but if only the police weren’t so racist, or didn’t carry out policies like stop-and-frisk, or weren’t so afraid of black people, or shot fewer unarmed men, they could function as a useful service that we all need.

This liberal way of viewing the problem rests on a misunderstanding of the origins of the police and what they were created to do. The police were not created to protect and serve the population. They were not created to stop crime, at least not as most people understand it. And they were certainly not created to promote justice. They were created to protect the new form of wage-labor capitalism that emerged in the mid to late nineteenth century from the threat posed by that system’s offspring, the working class." ..........

Continued HERE

Sam Mitrani

Sam Mitrani is an Associate Professor of History at the College of DuPage. He earned his PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2009 and his book The Rise of the Chicago Police Department: Class and Conflict, 1850-1894 is available from the University of Illinois Press.


We decided to do this piece because we believe one of our people was being tracked today by local police and because of the bravery of Feiden Santana who now is in fear for his life. 

Community organizers and whistle blowers have often been targeted by police and/or others. In light of recent March statistics and the Walter Scott murder, community organizers and whistle blowers are on high alert.

We highly recommend you obey the law but keep your cell phone cameras ready to record any incidents you suspect might be police brutality/excessive force/deadly force.  We love the app called “HandsUp4Justice”