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May 2008 Archives

Plans to approve the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact suffered a setback in the Ohio legislature yesterday. Democrats in the House blocked a proposal to put a water rights constitutional amendment on the ballot, and Senate Republicans responded by calling off a vote on the Compact. Legislators will discuss the issue again on June 10.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial predicts that Governor "Strickland will knock heads among Democrats" to get the Compact passed.

The Brookings Institution detailed the carbon footprints of the 100 largest American metropolitan areas by analyzing emissions from transportation and residential sources in 2005. Urban residents generally had smaller carbon footprints than rural residents, but several Ohio metropolitan areas were among those with the largest footprints due in part to their reliance on coal. Cincinnati and Toledo were in the top five. The Cleveland metropolitan area had the 31st-smallest footprint of the 100 cities examined, ranking 12th-lowest in emissions from transportation and 74th-lowest in emissions from residential energy use.

A new report from the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition describes the likely impacts of global warming on the Great Lakes and recommends several changes in federal policy. It predicts that the lakes will be warmer and shallower, and will see increases in pollution and dead zones. The solutions identified include adoption of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact and the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy.

Yesterday, participants in the Look Up To Cleveland program presented ideas for improving three Cleveland neighborhoods. The 51 local high school students worked in teams to generate proposals for the Lee-Harvard, Old Brooklyn, and University Circle neighborhoods.

Richfield Mayor Michael Lyons, Medina Commissioner Stephen Hambley, and Myron Orfield were the guests on Wednesday's Sound of Ideas show, where they discussed the regionalism initiative of the Northeast Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association. Many local mayors and councilmembers support the concept, but some, like those in Solon, remain wary about the idea.

Feedback from the public led North Olmsted leaders to part ways with YMCA for the proposed $18 million recreation center. Mayor O'Grady still hopes to have a tax issue on the November ballot. The dissolution of the partnership means that the income tax would run for 30 years instead of 20-25 years.

Streetsboro City Council unanimously voted to remove recently-appointed Planning Director Patrick Christie-Mizell because of complications with his availability.

Construction of the Casa Romana townhomes on Warren Road in Cleveland began last week. In South Euclid, the 16 unit Stoneridge Place subdivision may not be built.

The City of Berea is the newest member of the Northeast Ohio First Suburbs Consortium.

Brooklyn City Council approved the construction of a $32 million assisted living development behind Ridge Park Square on Idlewood Drive.

The board of the Tri-City Joint Recreation District established a committee that will study the options for a proposed levy that would fund the Tri-City Senior Center.

The newest discussions in Case's Regionally Speaking series are about the Glenville-Wade Park neighborhood in Cleveland.

The Jacobs Group and Hines Interests of Houston yesterday announced plans for a 21 story office tower on the parking lot facing the west side of Public Square. Public Square Tower is a $180 million project that would feature 500,000 square feet of office space. Construction could start next year. Improvising Schema is critical of Gensler's design for the tower, calling it "another impersonal glass box".

A land use study was released for the Route 8 corridor in Northern Summit County yesterday. It includes an analysis of 918 acres in Macedonia, Boston Heights, and Northfield Center Township. Less than half of the area is developable because of environmental restrictions on the land. Among other items, the study identified opportunities that a restoration of Brandywine Creek could create.

Update: Silverlode Consulting Corp.'s slideshow (PDF, 1.9 MB) is now online.

On Wednesday, Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis told a City Club audience that he is confident that state legislators will pass a law that will enable urban counties to create land banks.

Many questions surround the siting of a proposed new psychiatric hospital in Cuyahoga County.

Update: Cleveland Councilman Roosevelt Coates proposed building the facility in Collinwood.

Four local developers submitted bids for the purchase of the former Geauga Lake site in Geauga and Portage Counties. The companies are interested in developing the 500 acre property as a mixed-use development.

Tuesday's Sound of Ideas program on WCPN was devoted to a discussion of urban gardening in Cleveland and the innovative programs offered through the Ohio State University Extension. Community gardening is also gaining popularity in Lakewood, and this week's Cool Cleveland looked at some techniques for turning waste streams into sustainable local agriculture.

Advanced Hydro Solutions still wants to build a hydroelectric plant at the Cuyahoga River dam in the Gorge Metro Park. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission terminated the application for the project last June, but the company is now seeking a renewal of the permit.

Continued ridership increases led RTA to plan the purchase of 20 articulated buses. The 60 foot long buses can hold up to 110 people and will be used on the busiest routes.

The Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association is trying to convince the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Metroparks systems in Cuyahoga and Summit counties to build a 100 mile network of unpaved trails.

The Plain Dealer looked into the status of the two remaining disassembled Hulett ore unloaders at Whiskey Island.

The Levin College Forum at Cleveland State will host a brown bag session about cohousing on June 6. The event is free and registration is available online.

A Plain Dealer editorial says that the biggest challenge facing the construction of a new psychiatric hospital in Cuyahoga County "will be making sure local officials don't get bogged down in a long, drawn-out fight over its location. "

State and local health officials began summer water quality tests at area beaches this past weekend. Instead of closing the beaches when bacterial levels are high, officials issue no-swim warnings. The Nowcasting system has been expanded to issue advisories for Edgewater as well as for Huntington beach.

On Friday, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority voted to issue $40 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Bridgeview Crossing shopping center in Garfield Heights. Some hope that the new center will create a regional draw when it is added to nearby retail development. Critics of the decision say that the Port Authority should not be subsidizing retail developments.

The sluggish residential real estate market is making it difficult for developers to sell new condominiums in inner-ring suburbs. Several cities are offering incentives to spur investment, and developers are trying to entice buyers. Rysar is offering a free Smart car to purchasers at the Bluestone development in Cleveland Heights. Other developers have pulled out of projects. Al Neyer canceled the Terraces on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. Experts predict that the market will rebound.

Governor Doyle of Wisconsin signed the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact today, leaving Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania as the only states that have yet to adopt the agreement. A Plain Dealer editorial says that the Ohio Senate's pending approval of the Compact makes "Ohio's long-term future got a bit more secure".

Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune looked at the Compact's implications for communities near the lakes and quoted Peter Annin: "In the near future, the tensions over Great Lakes diversions are actually going to be in the Great Lakes region."

Developer Bob Stark has refocused his plans for a Warehouse District Development. Instead of building around a large office tower on a single block, the project's first phase will now concentrate on filling gaps in the neighborhood that are currently occupied by surface parking. Phase one includes about 215,000 square feet of retail below roughly 350 residential units and 166,000 square feet of office space. He plans to complete the $400 million phase by 2011.

Plans for a new convention center and Medical Mart at the Tower City and Mall sites were presented at yesterday's Medical Mart Site Selection Forum. About 100 people attended the meeting, and most who spoke favored the Mall site. The Cuyahoga County Commissioners still intend to select a location in July.

Update: Jeremy Borger shared his thoughts about the forum.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has made $2 million in emergency repairs to corroded gusset plates on the Innerbelt Bridge this year, and expects to spend an additional $4 million on repairs this summer.

Nearly 400 people attended the Northeast Ohio Stormwater Conference on Wednesday and Thursday at Cuyahoga Community College's Eastern Campus. The Tinkers Creek Watershed Partners plan to make some of the conference presentations available online.

Leaders in Summit County are preparing a plan for a countywide revenue sharing program. Summit County Executive Russ Pry discussed the idea with a group of Summit County mayors yesterday.

WCPN concluded its series on the foreclosure crisis with reports on the roles of Fannie Mae and HUD in the crisis and possible solutions to the problem.

In a letter sent yesterday, six councilpersons from Cleveland's west side asked the Cleveland Municipal School District to build a new west side high school immediately. District officials say that construction may not begin until 2012.

The June issue of Cleveland Magazine includes an extensive look at the decisions surrounding Cuyahoga County's purchase and eventual sale of the Ameritrust complex in downtown Cleveland.

Gladys Haddad of the Western Reserve Studies Symposium continues her series of community dialogues with a pair of conversations about Cleveland's Fairfax neighborhood.

The Ohio 8th District Court of Appeals upheld the City of Cleveland's residency requirement for municipal employees, reversing a 2007 ruling by the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. The Ohio Supreme Court recently agreed to hear an appeal of related cases in Akron and Lima, and the Cleveland case is also likely to reach the Supreme Court.

Living Cities, a consortium of major philanthropic foundations and financial firms, will launch a new initiative in Cleveland. The first step in the process will be for Cleveland officials to set specific goals for the program.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial calls the announcement "good news for this city."

The stalemate over the Great Lakes Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact appears to be over, and the Ohio Senate is expected to approve it before adjourning next week for summer break. It's also anticipated that the Senate and House will vote to place Senator Grendell's proposed water rights constitutional amendment on the November ballot, although the two items are not formally linked.

Update: the Ohio Senate unanimously voted to put the amendment on the ballot.

Twinsburg City Council rejected a proposed riparian setback ordinance that would have established a 120 foot buffer along Tinkers Creek.

Randall Park Mall will close on June 12, although the anchors with exterior entrances will remain open. Mayor Smith of North Randall views it as an opportunity for redevelopment. Meanwhile, consultants for the Euclid Board of Education raised the possibility of turning Euclid Square Mall into the Euclid Educational Center.

North Royalton leaders met with Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer district officials to discuss the agency's plans for a regional stormwater management program.

The Solon Planning and Zoning Commission needs more information about the proposed expansion of Solar Shopping Center before it can rule on the project.

Brecksville officials are reviewing the recommendations in a report about the proposed development of the Crow property at Miller Road and I-77. Mayor Hruby does not expect a rezoning decision to be made this year.

In a class called "Parma 2.0: Re-thinking the Suburb", 15 Kent State graduate architecture students envisioned creative ways of remaking the aging inner-ring suburb. Their projects are on display at Parmatown Mall.

(via ClevelandDesignCity)

Yesterday, the Ohio Department of Development announced the creation of the new Local Government Services and Regional Collaboration Grant Program, which will make $900,000 available to local governments that are interested in studying regional cooperation. The application deadline is July 29.

The planned retail development on the site of the former Boston Hills Country Club continues to be a source of controversy, and a Boston Heights resident is now suing the Village for overriding last year's referendum issue.

WCPN continued its foreclosure crisis coverage with a report on the problems it has created in Cuyahoga County's outer ring suburbs and a discussion of the issues on this morning's Sound of Ideas program. In the Plain Dealer, Cleveland Chief of Regional Development Chris Warren wrote about the Jackson administration's approach to dealing with the foreclosure crisis and abandoned houses.

Patrick Christie-Mizzell, formerly of the Clark Metro Development Corporation is the new planning director in Streetsboro. He is succeeding Linda Kovacs, who left last year.

Michael Gill of the Free Times also wrote about last week's "From Rust Belt to Artist Belt" conference: "The bottom line is that neighborhoods that want to benefit from the arts have to be about helping artists - not the other way around. Succeed at that, and the benefits to the neighborhood will follow."

Citing concerns that construction costs may be too high for the new convention center and Medical Mart at the two leading sites (the Mall and Tower City), Commissioner Hagan asked the Greater Cleveland Partnership's site selection committee to consider a fifth potential location at East 55th Street and Chester Avenue in Midtown.

The Greater Circle Living program was officially launched today. The initiative will supply forgivable loans and rental reimbursements to an estimated 700 homebuyers in portions of seven adjacent neighborhoods in Cleveland and East Cleveland.

The City of Cleveland will spend an extra $208,000 to complete its share of Euclid Corridor construction ahead of schedule.

This week, WCPN is airing a series of reports about the foreclosure crisis. Yesterday's piece was an examination of the practice of purchasing Cleveland homes in bulk, and today's was a look at the impact of foreclosures in inner-ring suburbs.

A capital budget bill introduced in the Ohio legislature yesterday includes $83.7 million for a new psychiatric hospital in Cuyahoga County. The new 300 room hospital would replace the Northcoast Behavioral Healthcare facility on West 25th Street. The bill also includes funding for the Cleveland Museum of Art expansion, the Gordon Square Art Center, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Institute of Art, University Hospitals, and Cleveland State University.

31 of Ohio's top 100 polluters are among the companies participating in the Ohio EPA's voluntary Tox-Minus program. In Northeast Ohio, 15 plants are participating (PDF), although Lincoln Electric is the sole Cuyahoga County participant. The program is an effort to reduce pollution identified in the national Toxics Release Inventory.

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District's revised building program still includes plans for a west side reliever high school and a new John Marshall High School. The plans do not call for any school closings, but leave the future of over 30 schools to be determined later.

Recent Plain Dealer editorials praise the regionalism agenda of the Northeast Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association and the Cleveland District of Design collaboration. An editorial in the Akron Beacon Journal says that "the Republican majority in the Ohio Senate stands strikingly alone" in its opposition to the Great Lakes Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact, while an editorial in the Plain Dealer says that the opposition may be breaking down.

Update: an editorial in the Beacon Journal is also positive about the regionalism initiative.

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority route information was incorporated into Google Transit yesterday. The agency also maintains its own trip planning service.

The construction of a wastewater storage basin in Akron reduced combined sewer overflows from 40 in 2006 to 17 in 2007. City officials are also working on a sewer separation plan.

The poor national retail climate has led many large retailers to scale back their expansion plans. Cabela's recently announced that it would join them, which means that the company's plans for a Brunswick store have been delayed.

Some elected officials in Brooklyn reacted skeptically to the plans for combining the fire departments of seven southwest Cuyahoga County cities.

The City of Garfield Heights may withdraw from the Senior Transportation Connection of Cuyahoga County because of cost concerns.

Tecco's Next Level Sports Facility on Westwood Drive in Strongsville is being demolished and will be replaced by the Preserve at Westwood, a 90 unit residential subdivision.

The Garfield Heights company that was fighting its eviction reached a settlement with the City.

Mayors in the 16 county Northeast Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association yesterday voted to accept the recommendations of phase one of the Regional Economic Revenue Study and to move forward with its second phase. The report (summary, PDF; full report, PDF) calls for revenue sharing and regional land use planning. The effort differs from previous attempts because it has backing from suburban as well as big city officials. While the group's members overwhelmingly endorsed the plan, some Lorain County leaders expressed skepticism about the concept.

A pair of architecture firms have devised plans that call for putting a new convention center under the Mall and building the Medical Mart on its west side. It would replace two buildings and a parking garage, but the Cuyahoga County Administration Building would be retained. Public Auditorium would be repurposed as a ballroom.

An estimate projects that the design for the Cleveland Institute of Art expansion will cost well over the $55 million budgeted for the project. The school's next steps are unclear, but leaders hope to continue working with architect Winy Maas of MVRDV.

The latest conversation in the Western Reserve Studies Symposium's Regionally Speaking series is about the revitalization of Tremont.

Developers of the Flats east bank project revealed plans for a $48 million hotel and condominium building. It will include about 50 luxury condominiums and about 150 rooms in a five-star 1 Hotel & Residences hotel. It's scheduled to open in 2011.

Wisconsin and Michigan are close to adopting the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact, increasing pressure on the Ohio Senate to also approve the pact. Ohio and Pennsylvania are now the only states whose legislatures have not passed it. NPR devoted today's episode of Talk of the Nation to a discussion of the Great Lakes.

A forum titled "Surf's Up: Can Northeast Ohio Catch the Sustainability Wave?" will be held at CSU on May 29. At the event, panelists will discuss Northeast Ohio's "potential to become a center for sustainable business, technology and industry."

Update: audio of the discussion (MP3, 183.6 MB) is now online.

The Treadway Creek Greenway Restoration & Trail in Old Brooklyn was offically dedicated at a ceremony at Harmody Park this morning.

The U.S. General Services Administration posted a video about the history and the award-winning renovation of the Howard M. Metzenbaum U.S. Courthouse on Public Square.

Grist highlighted sustainability efforts in Cleveland today as part of its week-long Smart(ish) Cities series, noting that "Cleveland is one of a handful of cities in the Rust Belt -- including Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Columbus -- that are reinventing the region as a sort of Green Belt."

Both property owners and consumer product companies are showing interest in the proposed Cleveland District of Design. Leaders of the effort say they need commitments from six companies in order to launch.

This week's Scene asks questions about the benefits of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's planned move from downtown to a new site north of East 55th Street.

About 400 people celebrated the start of renovation of the Capitol Theatre in Cleveland yesterday. A Plain Dealer editorial says that the $7 million project "could be the star of a much needed revival of the down-on-its heels Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood."

The Akron/Summit County Convention & Visitors Bureau will fund the Plant Your Meeting initiative, which will plant trees in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The plantings will begin this fall and next spring.

WKSU looked at several green building projects in Greater Cleveland, including the Oatey warehouse in Cleveland, the Unitarian Universalist Church in Wooster, and the planned expansion of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

The U.S. Senate approved former ODNR Director Sam Speck's appointment to the binational International Joint Commission. The opening was created when Dennis Schornack was fired last year.

The Village of Walton Hills is again considering hiring an economic development firm instead of adding an economic development director.

The renovation of the Capitol Theatre in the Gordon Square Arts District will begin tomorrow, following a celebration this afternoon. It is scheduled to reopen next April as a theater showing art and independent films.

GreenCityBlueLake is liveblogging today's "From Rust Belt to Artist Belt" summit.

Update: Even*Cleveland posted a recap of the event, and Steven Litt provided more details.

Ohio State Senator Tim Grendell is scheduled to introduce his proposed groundwater rights constitutional amendment today. He has said that he would end his opposition of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact if the amendment is approved. Others assert that the amendment wouldn't change Ohio's water law and that it shouldn't be tied to approval of the Compact.

Channel 3's Tim White interviewed Christopher Kennedy of MMPI about the company's plans for the Medical Mart in Cleveland.

While Cleveland officials are struggling to deal with the increase in abandoned homes, they have been able to raise the number of houses that have been boarded up, condemned, and demolished. However, a Plain Dealer editorial says that the City needs to do more. In addition to the other problems caused by abandonment, Cleveland has seen a rise in arson this year.

The Azerbaijan Cultural Garden in Cleveland's Rockefeller Park was dedicated yesterday. It features "Hearth", an eight ton stainless steel sculpture by Azerbaijani sculptor Khanlar Gasimov.

Christopher Leinberger, the featured speaker at today's Historic Downtown Cleveland Luncheon Forum, writes about Cleveland and his recent study of walkable urban areas. He predicts that if Greater Cleveland follows national trends, the region should have "12 to 14 regionally significant walkable urban places over the next 20 years". At the luncheon, he urged local developers to build walkable neighborhoods. Steven Litt feels that downtown Cleveland has great potential, although it currently lacks pedestrian activity.

The Western Reserve Land Conservancy reached a deal to purchase an eight acre forest along the Lake Erie coast in Bratenahl. The group has secured about $1 million from in grants and donations, and the mature forest will be preserved as a bird habitat if they can raise an additional $718,000.

The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt says that more talk is needed about ODOT's plans to rebuild the Innerbelt, and that it is "shaping up as an example of how American cities are losing the ability to manage large infrastructure projects for maximum positive impact." He also describes how the plan calls for two opposing design concepts to occupy the same physical space by routing the Carnegie Avenue exit ramp through a capped section of the highway.

Participants at a meeting last month viewed a conceptual design for rebuilding the Euclid Beach Pier at Euclid Beach State Park. URS Corporation is conducting a feasibility study funded by a grant from ODNR's Office of Coastal Management.

An editorial in the Plain Dealer looks to the Phalen Corridor Initiative in St. Paul as a model for the proposed Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland.

The Ohio EPA awarded grants for the lowering of a Chagrin River dam in Chagrin Falls and for the removal of a Euclid Creek dam in the Cleveland Metroparks' Euclid Creek Reservation, as well as other grants in Greater Cleveland.

Ernst & Young confirmed that it will move to a new office tower in the Flats east bank development. The 21 story building will be known as Ernst & Young Tower. A Plain Dealer editorial says that this "means that the mammoth task of revitalizing the Flats" east bank "is really going to happen." Developers also unveiled new conceptual images of the planned mixed-use project, and announced that they secured $4 million from HUD for an unidentified supermarket in the development. Half of the award is a grant, and the other half is a loan.

State Rep. Matt Dolan and State Sen. Tim Grendell will discuss the merits of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact in Newbury Township tomorrow. Grendell is also scheduled to discuss the compact at an event on Monday in Chesterland.

The planned Melford International Terminal, a $300 million container cargo port in Nova Scotia, has the potential to bring increased containerized shipping to ports in Cleveland and Toledo.

U.S. Senators George Voinovich and Carl Levin introduced the Great Lakes Legacy Act of 2008 on Thursday. The bill would expand upon the Great Lakes Legacy Act of 2002 and provide $150 million annually over the next ten years for the cleanup of the 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern. The funding increase is one of the recommendations of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy.

Because of challenges facing the airline industry, Continental Airlines is scaling back and postponing parts of the $50 million Cleveland Hopkins expansion it announced last fall.

On Thursday, OneCommunity announced the official launch of a wireless Internet cloud covering most of University Circle and parts of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland. They also rolled out Linked Communities, a new web portal for the University Circle area.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership hired three construction and engineering companies to evaluate the four locations that have been identified as potential sites for a new convention center and Medical Mart. The GCP's site selection committee plans to recommend a location by early June.

The Chicago Tribune looked at how the Medical Mart could pose a challenge to Chicago's McCormick Place and other popular sites for medical conventions.

With the ongoing renovation of the Terminal Tower at its halfway point, the Plain Dealer reported on the work and highlighted a 1928 movie of its construction that was acquired by Cleveland State University in 2004 and added to the Cleveland Union Terminal Collection.

The Great Lakes Urban Exchange Cleveland chapter held its second monthly meeting yesterday. The group will hold its first of four community web launches on June 21 in Buffalo.

I.D. Magazine interviewed Ned Hill and Daniel Cuffaro about the Cleveland District of Design. "The District of Design is a way to streamline, so that instead of buyers driving all over Northeast Ohio planning a product line, Cleveland would be a one-stop shop."

(via CEOs for Cities)

Euclid City Council authorized the purchase of houses from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for $1 each. The City will turn the houses over to Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland for rehabilitation and resale. If the houses are beyond repair, the City will demolish them.

Solon officials are continuing their negotiations with developer Coral Co. about the proposed Central Parc development, and recently hired a law firm to assist with the development agreement. The mixed-use project may include assisted-living units and a four to five story hotel. In addition to possibly creating a need for additional safety personnel, the development may require more service workers and equipment.

The Ohio Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal from workers challenging municipal residency requirements. Several Ohio Courts of Appeals, most recently the 6th District in Toledo and the 9th District in Akron, have struck down the state's 2006 law that bans the residency requirements.

Update: WCPN has more details.

Accounting firm Ernst & Young plans to move its downtown Cleveland office from the Huntington Building to a new office tower in the Flats east bank development. The company's 1,200 employees could occupy over 150,000 square feet in the planned 20 to 21 story building. In February, law firm Tucker Ellis & West announced plans to move to the same tower.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's Regional Economic Advancement Committee tabled a decision on altering the project's development agreement so that members would have time to study the requested changes. One of the proposed changes is lowering the prevailing-wage requirements.

Demolition of the remaining structures on the Flats east bank began today.

Cuyahoga Community College intends to establish a Westlake campus at the corner of Bradley and Clemens Roads, and will pay $4.6 million for the vacant 32.9 acre site. Tri-C has requested a rezoning, because the area is currently zoned for industrial development. The State Controlling Board approved the plans last month.

Members of the Cuyahoga Valley Regional Council of Governments have begun discussing the possibility of collaborating on watershed-wide stormwater planning efforts.

Baldwin-Wallace College completed a study about merging the fire departments of seven cities in southwest Cuyahoga County. Councilmembers learned about the recommendations at a meeting yesterday evening, and a second meeting will be held tonight.

Built to Move Millions, a new book by Lorain County Community College Professor Craig Semsel, looks at the history of streetcar manufacturing in Ohio.

The From Rust Belt to Artist Belt symposium will be held next Wednesday. WCPN reported on the event and discussed it on yesterday's Around Noon show.

Today's Akron Beacon Journal looks at the growth of Entrepreneurs for Sustainability, which now has about 5,600 members. The next E4S events are a Biomimicry Collaborative Meeting and Practice Session on May 7, Waste is a Business Opportunity on May 14, and Exploring the Green Jobs Market on May 20.

The planned move of a company from Macedonia to Hudson has created skepticism among some Northeast Ohio leaders about the local potential for revenue sharing. Advance Northeast Ohio says that the move illustrates the challenges of negotiating individual revenue sharing deals and the need for a regional approach.

The City of Solon may hire a market analysis firm to determine if the proposed Central Parc development is likely to succeed.

Next month, RTA and Laketran buses will begin driving on the shoulder of I-90 during traffic jams. If the test is successful, the concept could be applied to other local highways.

The Cuyahoga County Commissioners revealed that they are now considering a fourth potential location for the planned new convention center and Medical Mart. In addition to the Tower City, Mall, and lakefront sites, they are also looking at a mostly-vacant part of the Warehouse District north of Tower City and west of Public Square. It was one of several sites considered for a new convention center in 2003. Bob Stark also included the area in his proposed Warehouse District development. The Commissioners will hold a public hearing about the four sites on May 22.

The Centers for Disease Control released a revised draft of its controversial study on heath risks in the Great Lakes Areas of Concern. The new draft contradicts earlier versions by omitting county-level data and saying that "current health and environmental data collection cannot define the threat to human health from critical pollutants in the Great Lakes region."

(via GLIN)

Case's Western Reserve Studies Symposium began its second year of Regionally Speaking conversations with a session on "how to move the region forward through economic and community development." The guests were Ronn Richard of the Cleveland Foundation, Chris Warren of the City of Cleveland, and Bobbi Reichtell of Neighborhood Progress Inc.

The University Square shopping center in University Heights has not performed up to expectations, both financially and physically. It has never been fully leased, and cracks in its garage support beams were discovered in March.

Leaders in North Olmsted hope to reach a decision by later this month about the proposed recreation master plan and a possible income tax issue.

On Monday, Shaker Heights City Council approved plans to redevelop the Warrensville-Van Aken commercial district and reconfigure its six-way intersection.

The American Lung Association released its annual State of the Air report, and again gave Cuyahoga County an F in particulate pollution. The County received a C in ozone pollution, up from a D in 2007 and an F in 2006. Los Angeles was again ranked as having the nation's worst air, but for the first time, Pittsburgh was ranked first in short-term particulate pollution. Cleveland was number 15 in short-term particulate pollution and number 11 in year-round particulate pollution.

The U.S. Census Bureau released national and state population estimates by race, Hispanic origin, sex, and age. Between July 2006 and July 2007, Ohio's minority population grew by 22,403 people, a 1.1% increase. The state's white population shrank as baby boomers moved south and west, but the increases in African-American, Asian-American, and Latino populations more than offset the losses.

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