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For the Love of Cleveland; Happy Dog Takes on the World

On Tuesday, July 11th, we attended two City Club connected programs which took place in Public Square and at the Happy Dog.

The first program in Public Square was part of the "For the Love of Cleveland" series in with the presenting sponsor was the Cleveland Foundation. On this day, the issue was "gentrification" and although the discussion centered on the neighorhoods of Glenville and SoLo, it was an all-encompassing subject that affects us all no matter where we reside.

Today the panelists were Mr. Mordecai Cargill, Fund Development Manager, from "Cleveland Neighborhood Progress"; Ms. Khrys Shefton, PMP, Director of Real Estate Development from the "Famicos Foundation"; Mr. Ben Trimble, Senior Director of Real Estate and Planning from "Ohio City Incorporated"; and Ms. Julia Sieck, Chairperson of the "South of Lorain Block Club". The moderator was Mr. Rick Jackson, senior host and producer from "Ideastream".

In the course of the discussion, all points of view were taken into consideration including those of local government, developers, and especially local residents whose lives are directly affected by changing neighborhoods. All agreed that change was necessary if not vital but it must be done in such a way as to not displace those living in a neighborhood for many years, and are often the ones holding it together, as well as maintaining each neighborhood's own unique flavor.

Thankfully there are the examples of Ohio City and Tremont to point to as places who have thus far found a pretty good balance in terms of being welcoming places to those of different cultures and different income levels. Ohio City even has established areas where the diverse residents can all come together such as the Westside Market (of course) and new recreational programs.

Perhaps one participant said it best when the person stated that developers must realize the vision and the value of those who now live there and be able to address the issue of who will benefit from the proposed project.  Along these lines, another point that everyone agreed on is that community/residential input is imperative so new members to institutions like block clubs are enthusiastically welcomed. It was also said that small, privately owned businesses/stores are a better reflection of a community than chain stores and thus should be encouraged both economically and socially.

Before the program we spoke to a couple of the panelists who agreed with us that immigrants/refugees have potential to build up a declining neighborhood as well as being positive contributors to its culture.

As we were leaving, we had a chance "wasn't that a good discussion?" type of encounter with a woman who immigrated to the U.S. from Canada in 1977 and, thanks to the assistance of Ms. Margaret W. Wong who she asked us to express her gratitude, became a U.S. citizen in 1992 just in time to vote for Bill Clinton for President!

That evening we attended a "Happy Dog Takes on the World" program pertaining to the protection of cyber space and the increasing growth of cyber threats.

The program notes read, "The frequency of cyberattacks across the globe have increased significantly in recent years. Investigations in Russian efforts to influence the recent U.S. presidential election are still ongoing and similar hackings occurred during France's last election cycle. Within the past couple of months, computer systems stretching from Britain's public health system to Russia's Interior Ministry were damaged by malicious software stolen from the National Security Agency (NSA). A Ukrainian tax software product turned virus, dubbed Petya, also crippled computers across Europe."

The program, which was moderated by our friend Mr. Tony Ganzer of WCPN, featuring panelists who addressed this issue from their own areas of expertise. They were Mr. Robert Eckman, Chief Information Security Officer, MCPc (technological); Mr. Ryan MacFarlane, Supervisory Special Agent, Cleveland Division Cyber Squad 1, FBI (law enforcement); and Dr. Pete Moore, Ph.D., M.A., Hanna Professor of Political Science at CWRU (Political/Social).

What we took from the discussion is that, based on our increasing reliance on technology in our daily personal and professional lives, cyber crime is very much a crime for these times and will continue to become even more omnipresent in upcoming years. As we have seen, it has the power to do great damage from financial, national and international perspectives.

Law enforcement is doing the best that it can to combat it although it would help if rules regarding investigations were brought up to date which does not mean that protections regarding privacy will have to be surrendered. Moreover, in order to maximize effectiveness, international cooperation between governments, technologists, and law enforcement agencies is paramount.

It is also very important that we all practice a fundamental rule when we review our emails which has proved to be an excellent way to prevent computer hacking and cyber attacks. That rule, stated articulately by Mr. Eckman, is "think before you click."


Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC