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Noon headlines, April 2, 2013: Ohio voting; housing; Strongsville strike
Ohio early voting begins; renovation vs. demolition; Strongsville strike; wind turbine removed

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Ohio's 2013 primary voting has begun, at a much slower pace than the packed voting halls of last November.
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In The Region:
  • Absentee voting begins today in Ohio primary
  • Renovation instead of demolition planned for Cleveland neighborhood
  • Strongsville strike announcement expected
  • Wind turbine winds down early at Progressive Field
  • Absentee voting begins today in Ohio primary
    Absentee voting began today for the May 7 primary. Voters in 74 counties are deciding more than 100 school issues, as well as partisan primaries in some City Council races. Voters also are deciding police, library and other local tax issues and charter amendments. The deadline to register to vote is Monday.

    Absentee voting can be done by mail, and ballots must be requested by noon on May 4 and postmarked the day before Election Day.

    Renovation instead of demolition planned for Cleveland neighborhood
    The Cuyahoga Land Bank is working with a private developer to update and renovate vacant homes for little more than it would cost to tear them down.

    The question of renovation vs. demolition has been brewing since the housing market began to emerge from the 2008 collapse.

    The new program will be focused in the St. Clair Superior neighborhood in Cleveland and the Land Bank’s partner will be Loft Home Builders. It’s owner, Charles Scaravelli, is proposing a modernization process that costs $10,000 to $15,000.  It guts a single-family home to create a floor plan that requires less electrical, heating and duct work and other building materials.

    The Cuyahoga Land Bank will partially fund the construction. The land bank was the first established in the state and is the model for some four dozen others that have been set up around Ohio.

    Strongsville strike announcement expected
    The Strongsville Education Association has sent out a release promising “a formal announcement about future negotiations” in a teachers’ strike that is now in its fifth week.

    Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is expected to speak this afternoon in support of the nearly 400 teachers, schools nurses and  psychologists who have been on strike since March. 4. A 12-hour negotiating session with a federal mediator last week ended without an agreement, and students and parents asked the Strongsville City Council last night to try to intervene.

    Wind turbine winds down early at Progressive Field
    When the Indians open at Progressive Field on Monday, visitors will not see the corkscrew wind turbine that was installed last year. According to the Plain Dealer, Cleveland State took its down the 3,000-pound helix turbine a year early because winds damaged its plastic panels while it was shut down over the winter

    By Kabir Bhatia

    June 2012: Strongsville teachers begin negotiations on a new contract.  At issue are items such as pay freezes, dental benefits and retirement pensions.

    February 21, 2013: The Strongsville Education Association files notice that it will strike in 10 days if an agreement is not reached.  The teachers say they’ve made enough concessions in the last two contracts. Superintendent John Krupinski says the school system could face a $6 million deficit in coming years if the books aren’t balanced.

    March 2: The district makes its last, best offer

    March 3: The district begins hiring replacements for nearly 400 teachers, school nurses, counselors and psychologists.

    March 4: Day 1 of the strike

    March 7: The school board cancels its scheduled meeting as a student rally in support of the teachers takes place outside.

    March 11: Ohio Graduation Tests begin, with both Superintendent Krupinski and students agreeing it’s going smoothly.

    March 15: About 100 parents and students hold a rally against the strike, asking teachers to accept the March 2 contract offer.

    March 17: A five-hour meeting between the two sides yields no results; the board stands firm on its last, best offer of March 2.

    March 21: The Board of Education declines a request by Mayor Thomas Perciak to meet, saying it will only attend meetings at the request of federal mediators.

    March 22: Students walk out in a show of frustration, urging both sides to come back to the bargaining table. The teachers’ union delivers a new contract with input from Mayor Perciak.  It reportedly includes $300,000 in savings to the district.  The board agrees to meet with teachers on March 26.

    March 24: About a dozen Strongsville teachers join a protest by postal workers at the main Post Office in downtown Cleveland over the proposed elimination of Saturday mail. The local AFL-CIO announces that postal workers will return the favor by joining the Strongsville picket line

    March 26: A 12-hour meeting yields no results.


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