Tag Archives: ohio

Lake Effect Snow up North drops all kinds of Blizzard — Most people stay indoors — Here are the others.

Lake Effect Snow up North drops all kinds of Blizzard — Most people stay indoors — Here are the others.

Witness… Part 2. The LeBron James Legacy continues

Witness… Part 2. The LeBron James Legacy continues

LeBron James i s coming home.

LeBron James i s coming home.

Below find LeBron James’ letter to Sports Illustrated followed by Bill Simmons from ESPN’s Grantland take on James’ return home to West Akron and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

On a quick side note, I lived in Fairlawn, Ohio & Bath, Ohio where LeBron lives now and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting LeBron in our earlier days. He is a class act, has always been a class act and now that he has settled into the role of being a father, man, provider, champion… The return home is a glorious and welcome one. I have of course moved down south to my original hometown of Sarasota, FL and if LeBron makes it down this way, he is more then welcome to stop by for a home cooked meal.


Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.

Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.

I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys. I’ve talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life. I also want to thank Micky Arison and Pat Riley for giving me an amazing four years.

I’m doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted. I don’t want anyone thinking: He and Erik Spoelstra didn’t get along. … He and Riles didn’t get along. … The Heat couldn’t put the right team together. That’s absolutely not true.

I’m not having a press conference or a party. After this, it’s time to get to work.

When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.

I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.

To make the move I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough. The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned — seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, “OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.” But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?

I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys. I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.

But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.

In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.

I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.

Lion Heart

Lion Heart

As Promised, below find a couple parts of Bill Simmons most recent article;


Why LeBron James — unparalleled NBA genius, heir to Michael (and Larry and Magic) — went home


Yeah, I read LeBron James’s classy letter in Sports Illustrated. I believe him. I think he wanted to come home. I think he always wanted to come home.

In the summer of 2010, LeBron handled everything wrong. He knows that now. His hometown turned on him. His former owner excoriated him. Everyone else hated what he did. We turned him into a wrestling heel, pushed him to a dark place, affected his personality, planted seeds of doubt that blossomed like a black rose during the 2011 Finals. It took LeBron nearly 15 months to recover from the damage, both mentally and physically, and when he did, he captured two straight MVPs and his first two NBA titles.

But he never forgot what happened, and deep down, he probably always wanted to atone. When the time arrived this summer, he flipped the script on us. This wasn’t a 24-7, overplanned reality show like the one in 2010. He said nothing. He hinted at nothing. During the first week of July, his agent took every meeting. During the second week, LeBron stayed in Las Vegas and made everyone come to him. He announced his decision in an online piece titled “I’m Coming Home,” then he flew to Brazil for the World Cup. So much for the Boys & Girls Club and Jim Gray.

Those four Miami seasons made me sure of one thing: He’s one of the greatest NBA players ever. Now he’s pursuing a greater challenge: bringing Cleveland its first title in 50 years in any sport. Add everything up and it’s the best possible story. He’s the conquering hero who came home, and, hopefully, will conquer again.

It’s also not entirely accurate. I think LeBron would have stayed in Miami — for at least one or two more years — if he truly believed he had a chance to keep winning there.

If you think of him like a genius, it makes more sense. He’s smarter about basketball than you and me, and, really, anyone else. He sees things that we can’t see. During that last Miami season, I don’t think he liked what he saw from his teammates. LeBron James wanted to come back to Cleveland, but he also wanted to flee Miami. His heart told him to leave, but so did his brain. And his brain works like very few brains — not just now, but ever.

Who could have guessed that LeBron had only seven Miami games left? At the time, I thought their gamble to keep resting Wade at the expense of LeBron — which I never agreed with — was improbably paying off. I thought they were headed for a three-peat. I thought LeBron was never leaving Miami. I couldn’t see the things that he saw.

I watched Game 4 from our NBA Countdown set, sitting on the metal steps, and at one point, I emailed an NBA Entertainment friend asking if their photographer could snap a picture. I thought it could be a cool photo — me wearing a blue suit, surrounded by happy Heat fans dressed in white, the Celtics fan trapped in enemy territory, all of us watching someone at the peak of their powers. I just wanted to have it for 30 years from now. I know that sounds sappy, but that’s how I felt.

The truth is, I didn’t know when this would be happening again. And I still don’t.

Magic and Bird were done before I graduated college. Jordan came and went before I turned 30. Duncan, Kobe, Hakeem and Shaq never quite got there — all of them were great, but they were never GREAT. Durant might be a magnificent scorer and an even better teammate, but it’s hard to imagine him getting to that last level. After him, you’re looking at Anthony Davis — someone with an infinitely better chance of becoming the next Duncan than a basketball genius — and there’s nobody on the immediate horizon. This might be it for a while.

So yeah, I wanted a picture. Shoot me. I was there for Larry. I was there for Magic. I was there for Michael. And I was there for LeBron James. Now he’s bringing his genius back to Cleveland. It’s the right move at the right time for the right guy. This will be fun.

LeBron James To Opt Out Of Deal and become free agent.

LeBron James To Opt Out Of Deal and become free agent.

LeBron James

LeBron James

by Chris Broussard

LeBron James’ agent, Rich Paul, has informed the Miami Heat that James will exercise his early termination option and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Opting out does not mean that James has decided to leave the Heat, sources said.

James, a four-time NBA MVP, had until June 30 to decide whether to opt out of the final two years of his contract with the Heat. He was scheduled to make $20 million next season and had two years and about $42.7 million remaining on his deal.

For full story and millions of other LeBron story’s, CLICK HERE <—–======

Shout out to new Ironman, John Norris!

Ironman - livestrong

Ironman - livestrong

Shout out to new Ironman, John Norris!

Results from the REV 3 Cedar Point Full Ironman. <—–

LeBron James Fever gone Wild….

LBJ has a new twitter account…
LBJ has started a new website which will give you live feeds and updates of his annoucements…
I think the people who do care, only care about 1 announcement in particular. Where might King James spend his days and nights for the next 5 or 6 years…. Lets hope for 6 in the Q.

Here is a great ESPN article which helps put this frenzy in perspective and some interesting Fan Behavior as well.

By Tim Keown, ESPN The Magazine senior writer Tim Keown co-wrote Josh Hamilton’s autobiography, “Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back

The idiocy is what we’ll miss. Once LeBron James announces Thursday where he’ll play basketball for the next several years, there will be no more alphabet-based songs from Broadway singers, no more fans spending their own money on billboards, no more guys waxing their chests and devising elaborate handshakes to persuade James to play basketball for their team.

LeBron James Fan

AP Photo/Tony Dejak
Fans wooing LeBron James have used cars, websites, billboards, signs, songs and much more to spread their message.

The vast, endless stupidity is what separates us from other creatures. It is what makes us proud to be American sports fans. And in LeBron James we have found a remarkable confluence of circumstances, people and cities to bring the stupidity to an epic spike, a moment in time that is giving us a glimpse into the brains of a certain segment of the population.

Let’s break it down:

A pointed finger: Classic stall tactic. Caught off guard by the question, he buys himself some time by pointing at the questioner. Defuses the situation immediately by acknowledging both the question and the questioner. The outward point clearly indicates a desire to be elsewhere.

Advantage: Bulls.

Smile: He’s happy. He’s in Akron. Smile presents something of a contradiction when juxtaposed with outward pointing finger. Could be diversionary tactic. Important question not addressed: Was it a close-mouthed smile or were teeth involved? If teeth, done deal.

Advantage: Cavs.

For the full article, click here <—–

State Road Plaza in Cuyahoga Falls gets its Groove Back in new plan.

Upscale future for Falls plaza

The State Road Plaza’s future has solid footing and a real optimism looking to the future!


An upscale shopping center and housing development may soon replace the dilapidated State Road Shopping Center.

The development, called Portage Crossing, was announced at a news conference by Cuyahoga Falls officials at the city’s Natatorium on Thursday.

Last fall, the city bought the plaza at State Road and Portage Trail from State Road Associates for $10.2 million.

Cuyahoga Falls Development Director Susan Truby said the dilapidated shopping center was ”truly the black eye of our city.”

What will replace it will be a neighborhood marketplace that is walkable, unique and community-focused, officials said.

The first phase of the project will include about $30 million to $35 million in investment into a retail area that will be anchored by an upscale grocery store and several smaller retail or restaurant establishments.

It will be much smaller in total retail size at 150,000 square feet than the 300,000 square feet that the plaza once held.

Unlike the current plaza, which faces State Road, the new development will face Portage Trail, which also will get some improvements such as parallel parking, colored concrete and greenery to make it clear that it will be an area to slow down, Truby said. State Road along the new development will be turned into a boulevard with trees lining the middle.

The grocery store, which will be an anchor tenant, will have traditional parking and entrances. The grocery store will be 60,000 square feet and the space is expandable to 90,000 square feet.

The retail establishments along Portage Trail will have their entrances on the main street, which will encourage people to get out of their cars and walk around and even walk across Portage Trail to the other side of the development, which also will have retail.

‘It’s been a long time coming for the community,’‘ said Falls Mayor Don Robart. ”I think in the end, they’re going to be very, very pleased and excited about the quality and the product.”

Additional phases of the project, which could total $60 million, could be another retail phase or townhomes flanking both ends of the retail area, but will be dependent upon the economy improving.

Well-known developer

The developer for the project will be Cleveland-based Stark Enterprises and its Chief Executive Officer Robert L. Stark. Stark has developed such projects as Crocker Park in Westlake and several in the Akron-area, including West Market Plaza, the Shops at Fairlawn and the Strip in Jackson Township.

Stark said building designs and green space areas will be like Crocker Park.

An agreement has yet to be penned with Stark, and a lot of the details will be hammered out in the next three to four months before it must go in front of City Council for approval. But Robart said Stark has been a strong supporter of the city and is committed to the project. Stark also has been working with the city as a consultant to come up with a master plan to address the revitalization of the downtown area, which the mayor said will look more like Crocker Park than the State Road project.

Robart said he doesn’t see Portage Crossing as a regional draw, but serving the residents of the general area.

For the full article, click here <—–

By Betty Lin-Fisher
Beacon Journal business writer

Akron-area home values keep sliding

Report finds 24.8 percent of Summit, Portage owners have negative equity

Published on Thursday, May 07, 2009

This article from http://Ohio.com is a bit of a micro-view segue from the previous blog article. Zillow has plenty of research and commentary to show how Akron Residential is slowly rotting from the inside, despite all the wonderful efforts of local business people. The local government needs to hopefully read this blog and many of the available resources out there screaming about the area needing help… anyhow… I digress… enjoy the articles’ worth content.

Beacon Journal staff report

Nearly a quarter of all homeowners in Summit and Portage counties owe more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth as values fell from a year ago, according to the latest research by the online real estate firm Zillow.

Home values in the Akron metropolitan statistical area — defined as Summit and Portage counties — fell 7 percent in the first three months this year compared to a year ago, according to the Zillow Home Value Index. The Zillow Real Estate Market Reports look at 161 metropolitan areas and cover the value changes in all homes, not just homes that have recently sold.

The average home price in the greater Akron area for the first quarter this year was $115,682, down 14.9 percent since the Akron market peaked in 2006, Zillow announced in a release Wednesday.

The results for Summit and Portage counties showed:

24.8 percent of all Akron-area homeowners now have negative equity, meaning they owe more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth. The local area still fared better than the nation overall, according to Zillow.

Homes in the Akron area lost $815.3 million in value during the first quarter of 2009, and have lost $3.2 billion in the past 12 months.

28.8 percent of transactions in the past 12 months were foreclosures.

• 8 percent of homes sold were ”short sales,” meaning the proceeds fell short of the balance owed on the mortgage.

Nationally, home values fell in the first quarter, declining 14.2 percent from the first three months of 2008 to an average of $182,378.

Declining home values left 28.9 percent of all American homeowners with negative equity by the end of the first quarter, Zillow said.

”Slowing declines in select markets are a bright spot or, at least, what passes for one given current market conditions,” Stan Humphries, Zillow vice president of data and analytics, said in a prepared statement. ”Unfortunately, given the magnitude of the current rates of decline, we’re still many months away from a bottom even as depreciation slows.”

All Boarded Up ~ Groundroots Fortitude!

TONY BRANCATELLI, A CLEVELAND CITY COUNCILMAN, yearns for signs that something like normal life still exists in his ward. Early one morning last fall, he called me from his cellphone. He sounded unusually excited. He had just visited two forlorn-looking vacant houses that had been foreclosed more than a year ago. They sat on the same lot, one in front of the other. Both had been frequented by squatters, and Brancatelli had passed by to see if they had been finally boarded up.


They hadn’t.

But while there he noticed with alarm what looked like a prone body in the yard next door. As he moved closer, he realized he was looking at an elderly woman who had just one leg, lying on the ground. She was leaning on one arm and, with the other, was whacking at weeds with a hatchet and stuffing the clippings into a cardboard box for garbage pickup. “Talk about fortitude,” he told me.

In a place like Cleveland, hope comes in small morsels.

The next day, I went with Brancatelli to visit Ada Flores, the woman who was whacking at the weeds. She is 81, and mostly gets around in a wheelchair.
Flores is a native Spanish speaker, and her English was difficult to understand, especially above the incessant barking of her caged dog, Tuffy. But the story she told Brancatelli was familiar to him.
Teenagers had been in and out of the two vacant houses next door, she said, and her son, who visits her regularly, at one point boarded up the windows himself. “Are they going to tear them down?” she asked. Brancatelli crossed himself. “I hope so,” he mumbled.

Prayer and sheer persistence are pretty much all Brancatelli has to go on these days.

Cleveland is reeling from the foreclosure crisis. There have been roughly 10,000 foreclosures in two years. For all of 2007, before it was overtaken by sky-high foreclosure rates in parts of California, Nevada and Florida, Cleveland’s rate was among the highest in the country. (It’s now 24th among metropolitan areas.) Vacant houses are not a new phenomenon to the city.

Ravaged by the closing of American steel mills, Cleveland has long been in decline.

With fewer manufacturing jobs to attract workers, it has lost half its population since 1960. Its poverty rate is one of the highest in the nation. But in all those years, nothing has approached the current scale of ruin.

For the entire article, which is a great piece of journalism, click here.

Alex Kotlowitz teaches writing at Northwestern University and is a regular contributor to the magazine. His last cover article was about urban violence.

Create your own job? Pappas Realty Co. has Businesses 4 Sale.. Create your own future or continue someone elses success!

Currently, we have an upscale restaurant, a laundromat, a full service restaurant and banquet facility.


Are you one of America’s recently downsized? Are you looking at your “options”? Should you be going down the traditional career path? You know, the one that includes a resume re-do, online job searching, and mega-trips to your local dry cleaner to get your business attire cleaned and pressed?

Or, are you one of America’s recently downsized, who is looking to gain some career control, and become your own boss?

Whatever path you are on, do you remember how this all started?

visit : Pappas Realty Co. to view opportunities

Cavs eye Jamison as deadline nears

Antawn Jamison is averaging 21.4 points and 9.1 rebounds this season.


With Amar’e Stoudemire unlikely to be dealt before Thursday’s trading deadline, the next-biggest thing is being attempted by the Cleveland Cavaliers — a surprise move at acquiring two-time All-Star forward Antawn Jamison from the Washington Wizards.

A deal for Jamison is far from being completed, according to league sources who described the Wizards as reluctant to move a team leader. The sources considered the proposal a sign that the Cavaliers have become more aggressive in trying to improve at the deadline for a title push this spring.

The Cavaliers have talked to the Wizards about offering Wally Szczerbiak’s expiring $13.8 million salary as payroll relief for the 32-year-old Jamison, who is on the books for $50 million through 2011-12. Jamison is averaging 21.4 points and 9.1 rebounds this season, and he would be a lethal scoring threat off the bench for Cleveland in an anticipated conference final against the defending champion Boston Celtics.

For full story, click here…