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All About the Great Outdoors: From a Golf Outing to Environmental Activism

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On Monday, June 18, we attended two events and ate two dinners.

First of all, we are pleased to report that Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC was a Sheriff Driving Range Sponsor at the Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Dave Rutt Memorial Golf Outing, which took place at the Red Tail Golf Club in Avon Lake.

As is posted on its website, Crime Stoppers encourages members of the community to assist local law enforcement agencies in the fight against crime by overcoming the two key elements that inhibit community involvement: fear and apathy. To accomplish this, a telephone number, text tips, and web tips are provided to volunteer information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of an offender. If this, in fact, takes place, the caller is eligible to receive a cash reward.

Crime Stoppers began in 1977 and is a not for profit organization comprised of diverse, active and dedicated community representatives.

Although we ourselves only play miniature golf (aka putt putt), we still wanted to support Crime Stoppers so we accompanied our friend and colleague Mr. George Koussa to the dinner following the golf outing. There we shook hands and congratulated Mr. William Jelenic, its Executive Director, and Dr. Rustom Khouri, the President of the Board of Directors, on what appeared to be a very successful event.

At dinner, we shared a table with four good-natured law enforcement officers associated with policing duties at Cuyahoga Community College and thus formed their own team. These men were Mr. Brad Sudyk, Mr. Ron Wynne, Mr. Al Moreland, and Mr. Clayton Harris. They didn't mind it they didn't win; they just had a good time playing together to their best ability. When we told them we worked with Ms. Margaret W. Wong, they were all the more welcoming because they well aware of Ms. Wong and her good works and very much admire her.

We had to leave very soon after the meal, but Mr. Koussa stayed to watch the prizes being handed out.

As far as we are concerned, everyone who played 18 holes of golf on that day in over 90-degree heat should have gotten an acknoledgement, because it was all we could do to walk to our car.

We ate our second dinner at Merwin's Wharf in Cleveland where we attended a City Club Dinner and Dialogue about the evolution of environmental activism in Cleveland titled "From Burning River to a Green City on a Blue Lake."

The program was in the form of a discussion moderated by Ms. Danielle Doza, City Club Chairperson of the Dinner and Dialogue series. The two superb panelists were:

  • Professor Wendy A. Kellogg, Ph.D., Chair and Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Studies at the Maxine Goodman College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University (CSU)
  • Ms. Mandy Metcalf, Planning Team Leader, Programming and Planning Department, Engineering and Project Management, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

Only twenty or so people attended so we all sat at a large table and got to introduce ourselves. Overall, the atmosphere was quite intimate which worked to the advantage of all parties because we got to break into the conversation (when appropriate) with our own observations and questions.

In order to allow everyone to express their often passionate views without fear, it was requested that no one post anything on social media in the interest of privacy. As far as this blog, we checked with City Club personnel who told us that we could post it as long as we focused on generalizations instead of specifics.

Along these lines, concepts that were discussed somewhat in depth were the importance of sustainable environmental policies and the necessity of demonstrating to people that it doesn't have to be a choice between strong ecology and a strong economy because they can complement each other.

Another concept that was brought forward was the importance of networking to gain information of value that can assist policy makers and educators. Accordingly, we asked Professor Kellogg and Ms. Metcalf about instances in which they had learned from a foreign-born person.

In answer to our question (and the City Club said it was fine for us to share this) Professor Kellogg spoke of a very positive, mutually beneficial relationship she and others at CSU had had with a graduate student from India who was quite an authority on climate change. Ms. Metcalf recalled that when she worked as a coordinator at Eco-Village she was very impressed by what refugees from Africa knew about gardening and what an asset they were to local community gardens.

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To be sure, present and contributing to the conversation were worthy representatives from such organizations as LEEDCo, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Sierra Club, West Creek Conservancy, and the Cleveland Foundation.

One person who we really liked talking to (and we are sure he won't mind if we mention him by name) was Mr. Mel Hauser who is a community liaison (just like us) for "Good Nature Organic Lawn Care," a very environmentally aware private business. In the course of the conversation, Mr. Hauser recalled how he grew up in the Cleveland area and how troubled he was about the conditions of the Cuyahoga River before it eventually was cleaned up after the 1969 fire. This motivated him to take action, and we commend him for his service since 2011 on the Rocky River Watershed Board.

 

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison

Margaret Wong & Associates LLC

 

Aimee Jannsohn