The Mike White Years by the Journalists Who Covered Him Wednesday, October 21, 7pm

The Mike White Years by the Journalists Who Covered Him
Wednesday, October 21, 7pm via Zoom
with panelists:
Brent Larkin, The Plain Dealer
Tom Beres WKYC-TV (retired)
Leon Bibb, WKYC-TV, WEWS-TV
Moderated by Mark Naymik, WKYC Channel 3 – Cleveland

The recording is here:

The 1990s in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio were molded by 3-term Mayor Michael R. White (1990-2002). Changes to the Cleveland Public Schools, Gateway stadium (and stadiums in general), the Browns, the airport, and many other decisions were made that are impacting the region to this day. Hear from the journalists who covered Mayor White as they look back 20 years later.

Sponsored by Cleveland History Center, Siegal Lifelong Learning Program at Case Western Reserve University, League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland

Photo: Plain Dealer

Before Dimora and Russo, there was Gray: A look back at another Cleveland pay-to-pay corruption probe by Eric Heisig Cleveland.com July 2, 2019

Before Dimora and Russo, there was Gray: A look back at another Cleveland pay-to-pay corruption probe
by Eric Heisig Cleveland.com July 2, 2019

CLEVELAND, Ohio — It was one of the largest public corruption probes in Cleveland history. Allegations arose that influential people received tens of thousands of dollars in bribes, which turned into millions’ worth of government contracts.

It was also years before the local pay-to-pay political atmosphere came to light through another, more well-known probe into Cuyahoga County’s government.

The FBI’s investigation into Cleveland began in 2002 and led to convictions against eight people. Leading the pack was Nate Gray, a connected businessman and longtime confidant to former Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White who was released last month from federal prison.

Read more here:
The link is here

 

Interview With George L. Forbes, Former Cleveland City Council President (1973 – 1989) – Video

 forbes-and-voinovichforbes_george_l_19791979 CSU


Left to right councilmen Richard Harmody, Michael Zone, George Forbes. 1964 CPL

George L. Forbes was the longest and perhaps most powerful City Council President in Cleveland history, serving from 1973 – 1989. He was interviewed for Teaching Cleveland Digital on August 21, 2013. This is part six of a multi-part interview with Mr. Forbes and covers the 1980s when he was President of Cleveland Council, his relationship with Mayor George Voinovich and his campaign for Mayor in 1989. Produced by Michael Baron. Cameras by Jerry Mann and Meagan Lawton, Edited by Meagan Lawton, Interviewed by Brent Larkin.

part 1
 

part 2

part 3

part 4
part 5
Part 6
 
© 2013 Jerry Mann and Teaching Cleveland Digital.

MUSEUM RIGHT TO DROP MAY SHOW Plain Dealer March 4, 1995

MUSEUM RIGHT TO DROP MAY SHOW
March 4, 1995 | Plain Dealer, The (Cleveland, OH)
Author: STEVEN LITT | Page: 8E | Section: ARTS & LIVING | Column: ART CRITIC

The Cleveland Museum of Art’s annual juried exhibition of local art, has been the apex of local artistic accomplishment since it began in 1919. That’s exactly what has been wrong with it, and exactly why the museum is right to dump it.

Cleveland needs higher goals to which local artists can aspire.

The May Show played a vital role in nurturing generations of artists before and after World War II. But as artists have increasingly shown work in new commercial and nonprofit galleries, frame shops, theater lobbies, corporate offices, colleges and universities, the May Show’s raison d’etre evaporated. Instead of being a proud medium for the appreciation of local art, it became a tired vehicle for overexposure and redundancy.

Museum Director Robert P. Bergman, who came to Cleveland in 1993, has stated publicly for more than a year he would experiment with ways in which the museum exhibits local contemporary art. He said the May Show wasn’t sacrosanct. But it wasn’t until last week that he said the show was off for the near future.

His announcement was occasioned by artists who daily were calling Tom Hinson, the museum’s curator of contemporary art, to ask for May Show entry blanks, as they have every winter for decades. Predictably, many artists complained that the museum was forsaking them by canning the May Show. But it isn’t. Nor is it turning its back on contemporary art.

In August, the museum will host an exhibition on contemporary art inspired by the secular sainthood of Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Admittedly, the show is an attempt to piggyback on the Labor Day weekend opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. But it’s a welcome change after years in which the museum failed to devote major space to contemporary art from outside the Western Reserve.

In 1996, the city’s bicentennial year, the museum is planning a much-needed historical survey on art in the city from 1796 to 1945, tentatively titled “Transformations in Cleveland Art.” The show will include a catalog, which will be a major contribution to public understanding of the city’s art.

The museum is also planning a collaborative exhibition for 1996 with the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art and Spaces. Artists from the region, the nation and from other countries will be asked to create new works inspired by the city itself.

Exciting as they sound, these shows would not have been possible if the May Showwere still on the calendar. Budget cuts in 1992 limited the museum to four slots a year for major shows, one of which is devoted to contemporary art. Repeating the May Show ad infinitum would prevent the kind of experimentation Bergman wants to explore.

The next two years will give time for a debate on how the city’s leading arts institutions should serve the region’s artists. Without question, they have an obligation to nurture local talent. But the May Show is not the way.

All the show asked of artists was that they produce one or two good works a year – the limit they could display in the exhibition. By focusing attention thinly on a hundred or more artists, the show appealed to boosterism rather than deep understanding.

All the show asked of collectors was that they come and graze once a year. Apparently, this didn’t fuel a thriving commercial gallery scene, because the city doesn’t have one. Northeast Ohio has a generous supply of artists who want their work appreciated and scores of widely scattered exhibit venues. But the number of serious commercial galleries is minute. Rather than stimulate the local market, the museum may have hurt it by selling works out of the May Show.

For the museum, the show put curators and other jurors in a passive role unflattering for an institution that otherwise prides itself on intellectual rigor. The format required curators or jurors to choose the artworks from those submitted by artists who chose to submit. If the best artists didn’t submit anything, they remained invisible, and the audience remained none the wiser.

It could be argued that the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art and Spaces – two important nonprofit exhibit spaces that have emerged in the past 20 years – have filled the gap in contemporary art. They have, but only up to a point.

Spaces concentrates on emerging artists from around the region and the nation, which effectively duplicates the May Show’s primary function as the patron of local artistic talent searches.

The center also has focused attention on emerging local talent, although it does much more by organizing retrospective shows on midcareer artists and by staging ambitious theme shows.

But while the center’s ambitions are national in scope, it can’t afford to do contemporary shows on the order of the sprawling survey of German neo-expressionist painting mounted by the Toledo Museum of Art in the winter of 1988-89. Nor can the center aspire to the likes of the Guggenheim Museum’s Roy Lichtenstein retrospective, which the Wexner Center in Columbus will show next fall.

The Cleveland Museum of Art can, and should, host such exhibitions. Furthermore, it should organize its own contemporary shows, whether local, regional or national in scope, with the same scholarly standards it applies to the art of ancient Greece or 16th-century Japan.

It could be that the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art should be the new home of an annual or biannual survey of regional art. The center has the space, the staff, the resources, the central location and the parking. It also has a mission that could encompass an annual, biennial or triennial local survey show.

Whatever happens, the museum is wise to break the lockstep rhythm of a once prestigious annual show that has gone stale. Now it can go about the business of doing the exhibitions that only it can do.

Brent Larkin Writes about Lonnie Burten Jr. in 2016

Brent Larkin Writes about Lonnie Burten Jr.
cleveland.com  11/16/2016
The full article is here
Councilman Lonnie Burten (center, with beard-Press Collection)

Excerpt below:
It was late morning on Nov. 29, 1984, when Jackson, David Donaldson and Sam Johnson were watching Councilman Lonnie Burten single-handedly tear down his boyhood home on East 38th Street in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood.

The home had been firebombed, most likely by some thugs who wanted to teach the crusading Burten a lesson.

Now city inspectors wanted the house demolished. And Burten, as was his way, was determined to do it himself.

“I remember this distinctly,” recalled Jackson, sitting at a table in his City Hall office. “Lonnie was standing next to a truck. We were talking, when he put his hands on the hood and laid his head on the truck.”

The friends gently put Burten in the back seat of a car and rushed him to St. Vincent Charity Hospital.

It was too late.

Lonnie Burten — Cleveland City Council’s rebel with a cause, a legend who came to power by defeating one of the shrewdest men to ever hold elected office in Cleveland (Charlie Carr), and who several years earlier had come within a whisker of unseating the most powerful council president in city history (George Forbes) — was dead of a heart attack at the young age of 40.

Burten’s seat on council went to Preston Terry III. Jackson, a lawyer with a job in the council clerk’s office, had no interest in it.

“I just wanted to help Lonnie,” recalled Jackson. “That was it. He was my friend. We shared a passion for life and an understanding of the situation we were in. I had no inclination for a life in politics, none whatsoever.”

Like all mayors, Jackson has his shortcomings. But he will never forget where he came from.

Nor will he forget one of the best friends he’s ever had.

“You don’t have many friends in life. You have people you know. Lonnie was a friend. And if he had not died, I would have not been a councilman, let alone a mayor.”

 

Mayor Michael R. White Interview, Parts One – Five (video)

white-celebrates-gateway  mike-white-1989

Part One Link is Here

Part Two Link is Here

Part Three Link is here

Part Four Link is here

Part Five Link is here

Michael R. White was Mayor of Cleveland from 1990-2002. He was interviewed for Teaching Cleveland Digital on July 24, 2013. Cameras by Jerry Mann and Meagan Lawton, Edited by Jerry Mann, Interviewed by Michael Baron. © 2013 Jerry Mann and Teaching Cleveland Digital.

Part one covers Mayor White’s formative years in the Cleveland neighborhood of Glenville, living in Cleveland during the election of Carl Stokes in 1967 and White’s election as the first African-American Student Union President at The Ohio State University in 1973.

Part two covers his work with Columbus Republican Mayor Tom Moody, his return to Cleveland, working with and learning from Council President George Forbes and his election to Cleveland City Council.

Part three covers the 1980’s in Cleveland when Mayor George Voinovich and Council President George Forbes were in power. White then speaks about being elected Mayor of Cleveland, and his first challenge as Mayor: the baseball team wants a new ballpark, so White spearheads the Gateway development.

From Wikipedia:

White, who grew up in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood, began his political career early on during his college years at Ohio State University, when he protested against the discriminatory policies of the Columbus public bus system and was subsequently arrested. White then ran the following year for Student Union President and won, becoming the college’s first black student body leader. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973 and a Master of Public Administration degree in 1974.

After college, White returned to Cleveland. He served on Cleveland City Council as an administrative assistant from 1976 to 1977 and later served as city councilman from the Glenville area from 1978 to 1984. During his time in city council, White became a prominent protégé of councilman George L. Forbes. White then represented the area’s 21st District in the Ohio Senate, serving as a Democratic assistant minority whip.

In 1989, White entered the heavily-contested race for mayor of Cleveland, along with several other notable candidates including Forbes, Ralph J. Perk Jr. (the son of former Cleveland mayor, Ralph J. Perk), Benny Bonanno (Clerk of the Cleveland Municipal Court), and Tim Hagan (Cuyahoga County commissioner). Out of all the candidates Forbes and White made it to the general election. It was the first time two Black candidates would emerge as the number one and two contenders in a primary election in Cleveland history.

In Cleveland, incumbent Mike White won re-election against council president George Forbes, who ran as the candidate of black power and the public sector unions. Angering the unions by eliminating some of the city’s exotic work rules, White presented himself as pro-business, pro-police and an effective manager above all, arguing that “jobs were the cure for the ‘addiction to the mailbox,'” referring to welfare checks. [1]

White ended up winning the race receiving 81 percent of the vote in predominantly white wards and 30 percent in the predominantly black wards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_R._White

 

Ruth Ratner Miller obit from Plain Dealer 12/26/1996

Ruth Ratner Miller obit from Plain Dealer 12/27/1996 newspaper

Ms. Rater Miller (1 Dec. 1925 – 26 November 1996)
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History listing

 image from PD 6/8/1980

RUTH MILLER, A SERVANT OF THE CITY, DIES AT 70 `SHE NEVER ASKED FOR ANYTHING FOR HERSELF’ by Lou Mio

Ruth Ratner Miller broke the glass ceiling before anyone thought of the term to describe successful businesswomen.

She was president of Tower City Center, but business was only one aspect of the life of a woman who also dedicated herself to public service.

“She never asked for anything for herself,” said Gov. George V. Voinovich. “She was always asking, `How can I help? How can I help?’ She will be missed.’

Miller, 70, of Lyndhurst, died yesterday at Cleveland Clinic Hospital. She had cancer, a disease she had vowed to beat.

“She always assured me, `I’m going to recover from this and be all right,’ said Rabbi Armond Cohen of Park Synagogue, a lifelong friend. “I think she felt that way to the end.”

Miller, who had been fighting cancer for several years, was the eternal optimist, said Cohen. She had scheduled a party for Dec. 12.

“She was blessed with many gifts, but most remarkably, she shared most generously all the gifts that she had,” Cohen said. “She was a very great Jewish lady, a great citizen of the world and of her community.”

Her renovation of the Terminal Tower’s lower levels into a glamorous shopping center captured the city’s attention, but she also was instrumental in converting the former Halle Bros. Co. department store downtown into an attractive office building.

“She was a tremendous booster of Cleveland and understood the significance of relighting the Terminal Tower,” said Voinovich.

“That may sound insignificant, but Cleveland needed a symbol of its rebirth. On July 13, 1981, Ruth was responsible for relighting the Terminal Tower. It was a symbol the lights were back on in Cleveland and there was hope for a bright future.”

On a personal note, Voinovich added: “I’ll never forget how she responded when we lost Molly [their daughter, in an auto accident]. She was a prime mover in Janet and I receiving the Tree of Life Award from the Jewish National Fund, and was responsible for one of the largest recreation centers in Israel being named for Molly Agnes Voinovich. Ruth reached out to us at a time when we needed comfort.”

Miller, who never held elected office, was Cleveland’s community development director for Mayor Ralph J. Perk from 1976 to 1978 and director of Cleveland’s Health Department from 1974 to 1976.

“I have a new idea for saving neighborhoods,” she once said. “You start with people, not with buildings.”

When Miller was appointed community development director, Perk said: “She is more sensitive to people’s needs than any of the other candidates. That is one of the major requirements of being community development director.”

To carry out her goals, she worked 12 to 14 hours a day – spending much of the time out in the neighborhoods – and came to her office Sunday afternoons to catch up on correspondence.

Fridays, the Jewish sabbath eve, were always spent with her family, which had long been active in Park Synagogue.

Mayor Michael R. White said of her contributions to the city: “She was a passionate leader for assuring the health and well-being of Cleveland’s less fortunate and upgrading the quality of life for all of Cleveland’s citizens.”

At the national level, Miller was on the executive committee of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and was a member of the Holocaust Memorial Council, appointed by President Ronald Reagan and reappointed by President George Bush.

“She had the longest tenure [at the museum], through two parties,” said Albert Ratner, her younger brother and co-chairman of the board of Forest City Enterprises Inc., where her uncle, the late Max Ratner, was board chairman. “She was the individual who was able to bring together the survivors and people in the community who had not been victims.

“Ruth was a tremendous advocate for women, not only in this country, but in Israel,” Ratner said. “She was a mentor and model, and she organized women to take their rightful place in the community.”

The Ratner family has long been active in supporting Israel. Family members have been prominent in raising money for Israel, as well as money for the Holocaust Museum.

Miller was born Dec. 1, 1925, to Leonard and Lillian Ratner, who founded the highly successful Forest City Enterprises Inc. The national real estate giant built and owns shopping centers, office towers, apartment buildings and hotels across the United States, including downtown Cleveland’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Western Reserve University and a doctorate in guidance and counseling after the school had become Case Western Reserve University.

When she was 20, she married Samuel H. Miller, whom she had met at her family’s summer cottage in Wickliffe. Because she was a minor, she needed her parents’ written permission.

The couple had four children. Her marriage to Miller, who later became co-chairman of the board and treasurer of Forest City, ended in divorce in 1982.

Miller’s second marriage in 1985 was to Rabbi Phillip Horowitz, father of three children and rabbi of the former Temple B’rith Emeth. She retained the name Miller.

In 1980, she was the Republican candidate for the seat of retiring 22nd District Rep. Charles A. Vanik, but lost in the primary to Joseph Nahra by 1,500 votes.

She was elected chairwoman of the Greater Cleveland Convention and Visitors Bureau in December 1985.

She was a news analyst for WBBG-AM radio for two years, from 1978-1980, and was director of Rapid Recovery, a program aimed at cleaning up Regional Transit Authority right-of-ways, in 1979.

She co-chaired the campaign to elect Republican Thomas J. Moyer chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court in 1986, when he defeated incumbent Frank D. Celebrezze.

Former Democratic Gov. Richard F. Celeste appointed her a trustee of Cleveland State University in 1987. She was an occasional lecturer in CSU’s College of Urban Studies.

As a trustee, she was chairwoman of the board’s minority affairs committee when CSU President John A. Flower fired Raymond A. Winbush as vice president of minority affairs and human relations.

In 1986, Celeste had appointed Miller to the Ohio High Speed Rail Authority, a group assembled to recommend ways to develop a passenger network linking the state’s major cities. Miller served as fund-raising chairwoman for the Greater Cleveland chapter of Aiding Leukemia Stricken American Children.

In 1985, she was appointed a member of the U.S. delegation to the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women in Nairobi, Kenya. Maureen Reagan, daughter of then-President Reagan, headed the 34-member delegation.

Although Miller received many honors, she said she was especially proud of having been elected by her alma mater to the Cleveland Heights High School Hall of Fame in 1990.

Miller is survived by her husband, Rabbi Horowitz; sons, Aaron of Washington, D.C., Richard of Boston and Abraham of Cleveland; daughter, Gabrielle of Wellesley, Mass.; a brother; eight grandchildren; and five stepgrandchildren.

George Voinovich Era as Cleveland Mayor aggregation

1 Interview With Senator George Voinovich, Cleveland Mayor from 1980 thru 1989 (video)
2 The Voinovich Collections from Cleveland State Univ and Ohio Univ
3 Mayor of Cleveland: The Comeback City from the Voinovich Collections (CSU and Ohio Univ)
4 Mayoral Administration of George V. Voinovich – The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
5 George Voinovich from Wikipedia
6 Voinovich and Forbes: The Era of Good Feelings (Cleveland Magazine 12/2012)
7 Mr. Ohio
8 The Great Divide – from Cleveland Magazine
10 George Voinovich Biography

11 George Voinovich, former Cleveland mayor, Ohio governor and U.S. senator, dies Cleveland.com 6.12.16

Inside the Browns deal By BY JON MORGAN SUN STAFF | DEC 17, 1995

Inside the Browns deal