What’s happening online in the hood?

(Plain Press, March 2007) A number neighborhoods in the area served by the Plain Press now have online interactive sites where residents dialogue with each other about the issues of the day. A review of the discussion on some of those sites follows:

Tremonter: A community site for the Heart of Cleveland

At www.tremonter.com there is a discussion of the Tremont Civility Project. According to a posting on the site the “The Tremont Civility Project is being spearheaded by Merrick House to help alleviate the gap of community, seemingly being caused by the swift gentrification taking place in our neighborhood.” Activities of the Tremont Civility Project included a planned quarterly community meal and a quarterly Coffee on the Corner event where free coffee would be passed out to commuters at W. 11th and Starkweather.

The discussion gets serious as an individual called Political Hack and Commentator argues in a posting titled “Civility vs. Integrety” that civility projects “are nothing more than the first step down the road to quelling freedom of speech.”

The discussion moves to how the Civility Project came about. Apparently it was conceived after a public meeting on the return of former Valley View public housing residents to the new Hope VI project. Those in attendance recall former Merrick House Executive Director Gail Long challenging some of the outright racist comments coming from new neighborhood residents who apparently were told by their real estate agents that the public housing tenants would not be returning to the neighborhood.

The online discussion centers on whether the Civility Project is another “us” and “them” attempt by upper class neighborhood residents to impose their values on public housing residents or a genuine vehicle to create community.

One poster takes the discussion further saying the failure of Tremont West Development Corporation (TWDC) to hold committee meetings on a regular basis is excluding the general membership from the organization during a time period when the organization is undergoing long range planning. The writer, TCJ, links this lack of public input from the TWDC general membership to the civility project saying, “People become uncivilized when cut off from effective means of redressing their concerns or making their voices heard.”

Ohio City Yahoo Groups

The Ohio City Neighborhood has two Yahoo Groups: Ohio City and OhioCity2.

Ohio City

The Ohio City site can be accessed at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ohiocity.  Topics on the site range from snow plowing during the Valentine’s Day storm, to neighborhood prowlers, and summer volunteer opportunities for area teens. The site also features a link to the Ohio City Near West website.

Ohio City2

To learn more about the ohiocity2 group, you can visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ohiocity2.  One of the discussions on this site comments on Ward 14 politics. The discussion centers around the influence of Ward 14 Councilman Joe Santiago on recent firing of Clark Metro Development Executive Director Steve Kruger. There is also some discussion about Ohio City Near West employees being banned from posting on the Ohio City Yahoo sites.


The Clark Metro Yahoo Group found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ClarkMetro/ features a photo of Ward 14 Councilman Joe Santiago cutting the ribbon at the grand opening of La Copa Sports Bar at 2704 Clark Avenue.

The site also has a link for those interested in signing up for neighborhood safety updates provided by Ohio City Near West Development Corporation and some links to other neighborhood sites.  Some comments about several recent Plain Press articles on issues in the neighborhood as well as a letter to Channel 5 about how the security camera program got started in the neighborhood. Clark Metro’s site also features a survey of Ward 14 residents.


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