Pedaling on Central Parkway

On April 18th, a story in the Cincinnati Enquirer suggested that a planned, major Bicycle Lane Project in Cincinnati was in danger of being cancelled. Cincinnati Traffic Engineering has been working for 18 months on a project to create protected bicycle lanes on both sides of Central Parkway from Ludlow to Elm Street. The Federal Government had agreed to pay $500,000 of this $600,000 project, but only if Cincinnati committed to a construction contract by May 2nd. The Enquirer story said that Mayor Cranley and some Council members were now wanting to review the project before making this commitment.

Part of the role of your neighborhood community council, Clifton Town Meeting (CTM), is to represent Clifton on issues that impact the neighborhood such as these bike lanes. Because these bike lanes run from Ludlow to downtown, they clearly impact transportation and recreation options for our neighborhood. CTM prefers to discuss and vote on these matters during our monthly public meetings. However, CTM had an emergency email vote on this topic on 4/18 because our next Public meeting would have been May 5th and the entire project was in jeopardy of losing Federal funding by May 2nd. All Trustees who voted agreed to support a resolution in favor of the bike paths. We forwarded the a resolution to City Council on April 19th.

Here’s an excerpt from CTM’s letter to Council:
“This bikeway promotes public health and recreation, reduces pollution, reduces parking issues, and encourages people to explore other neighborhoods.  For the many people who love to live in an urban environment but are scared to ride bikes in heavy traffic, these protected bike lanes may be the ONLY way we will get out of our cars and on to our bikes. These bike lanes are what will get us to ride to Findlay Market, Washington Park, the Gateway Quarter, and the Banks.  By connecting the biggest population centers from Uptown, Northside, and other neighborhoods to Downtown, this project probably will spell the difference between success and failure in giving Cincinnati a bicycle friendly reputation.”

Clifton Memorial Day Parade

Please join Clifton Town Meeting (CTM) and the Clifton Business and Professional Association (CBPA) for a parade and grill-out to celebrate Memorial Day. The parade forms up at 1030am at the intersection of Middleton and McAplin Avenues. All residents, businesses, and friends of Clifton are welcome to participate in the parade!

The parade begins at 1100am. The route proceeds north on Middleton Avenue, then west on Lafayette Avenue, ending at Mt. Storm Park, where neighborhood volunteers have a fundraising grill-out waiting. There will be burgers, veggie burgers, and hot dogs on the grill. There will also be other exciting events.

CliftonFest 2014 Call for Artisans

CliftonFest 2014 is seeking the finest arts and crafts talent in our region for this end-of-summer street party!

Reserve a 10’ x 10’ booth footprint for just $50. Get your payment in early to be positioned in the heart of the festival midway that stretches from Middleton Avenue in the west to Diggs Plaza in the east. Request an application form to submit your information and photos of your art/wares at Applicants who are accepted into the program will have space reserved as their payments are received. Checks will be payable to CliftonFest, 360 Resor Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45220-1616.

What you get: A reserved space on Ludlow Avenue on Saturday and Sunday. Bring your tent, your tables and shelves, we’ll help you schlep! Load in: 7 am on Saturday; Load out: 5 pm on Sunday.

To get a copy of the flyer with all details click here. All instructions are on this flyer.

CTM Resolution Supports Grocery

At the March meeting, your Clifton neighborhood council (CTM) passed a resolution stating its support for a full-service grocery store in the property formerly occupied by Keller’s IGA. Vice Mayor and Clifton resident David Mann introduced a motion in support of CTM’s resolution to City Council that has been referred to the Council’s Neighborhood Committee for consideration on Monday, March 24 at 2pm.

CTM felt strongly that the neighborhood’s wishes regarding a grocery store should be voiced to the City now, since it appears that the purchase of the former IGA property may be more likely now that its current owner, Steve Goessling, is considering offers less than the $2.3 million he has been asking for the building. CTM’s position is that if developers purchase the property, they and the City should be aware that the Clifton neighborhood wishes it to contain a grocery store component. We believe the resolution is worded such that it will not deter any developers interested in the property, even developers who may want to include a grocery component as part of a larger mixed-use development.

It is important to note that because CTM has a critical role in neighborhood zoning issues and other decisions impacting local businesses, it cannot and will not endorse any particular enterprise, including the Clifton Market Coop. CTM’s role is to strongly advocate for the return of a grocery store to the Ludlow Avenue business district, and we believe the resolution passed Monday night is an effective tool for Clifton.

The resolution is provided below, verbatim.

Resolution to Support Grocery Development on Ludlow Avenue, March 10, 2014

In the three years since Kellers IGA closed its doors on Ludlow Avenue, residents of Clifton have made their wishes clear: they want another grocery store. They’ve expressed their wishes in hundreds of posts on social media, at almost every meeting of CTM (Clifton Town Meeting), and in letters and emails to CTM. Clifton is a walkable neighborhood, and walking to the grocery store is something residents sorely miss.

Many businesses have also told CTM Trustees that their sales declined after the grocery store closed. They say they are barely hanging on, that they miss having a grocery store as a big anchor to increase foot traffic and patronage throughout the business district.

In February, 2011, CTM affirmed to the Mayor, the City Manager, and City Council that CTM’s goal was to “promote a full-service grocery store that serves the neighborhood.” It is now time that CTM reaffirms that goal. On March 10th, this resolution was reviewed with and accepted by the Clifton Business and Professional Association (CBPA).

The current administration of Clifton Town Meeting would like to reassert that the highest and best use for the property located at 319 Ludlow Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220 is full service grocery retail. CTM is not endorsing any specific grocery solution and will not take the lead for any specific solution. If the building remains a stand-alone grocery store (or supermarket as the current land use definition would imply), the solution could be a grocery chain, an independent grocer, or a Food Coop. If the current building is replaced, the solution could also be a mixed use property with a minimum of 15,000 square feet of street level grocery retail in concert with a multi-storey co-occupant(s).
– Ben Pantoja, President, Clifton Town Meeting

CliftonFest 2014 Neighborhood Tables

CliftonFest 2014 is seeking applicants for Neighborhood tables. Your non-profit organization can join in CliftonFest Programming while raising funds for your own programming. Each request for registration for a Neighborhood Table must be accompanied by a minimum of 9 hours of volunteer service at the event.  Requests will be reviewed by the event planning committee prior to being added to the official CliftonFest program. Table reservations considered the most desirable will add to our audience’s enjoyment of the event. Table participants will bring all of their own furniture and signage. Please, no tents, though umbrellas will be allowed.

To get a copy of the form to fill out click here. All instructions are on this form.

CliftonFest 2014 is coming

CliftonFest is a rollicking revival of the Gaslight District’s epic neighborhood street party, fused with our traditional autumn celebration of street chalk art and music. Ludlow Avenue closes to through traffic, filling our streets instead with chalk artists creating durable original designs on sidewalk surfaces, fine artisans in booths selling their charmingly crafted treasures, strolling performers, special merchant sidewalk sales, live music on two stages, food and beverage vendors, and kids carnival amusements.

The festivities kick off on Friday, Sept 26, at 6pm with jazz on Clifton Plaza. Events continue on Sept 27 and 28.

The 5K run is back and so is the Pet Parade.

Our website will publish more details as the event draws near.

You can also check out the CliftonFest Facebook Page.

CTM Joins Facebook

Clifton Town Meeting has a launched a Facebook (FB) page in order to broaden our communication into the community.  We recognize that some in our community will use FB more than go to our website.   We intend to feed our FB page with some Events from our website.  We will also use FB to share other news.   Please check out our growing FB page and Like us!

Holidays on Ludlow

Holidays on Ludlow returns on Dec 13 from 6-9 p.m. The festivities include carriage rides, entertainment, giveaways, music, photos with Santa, and shopping. Parking is free after 5 p.m. in the Merchant Lot on Howell Avenue.

Come check out the Pop Up Windows at selected businesses as well.

CTM Trustee Elections

CTM Trustee elections will be held on Dec 2, 2013 from 6-7pm prior to the monthly CTM meeting in the same day.  Elections will be held at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center (CCAC) on the 2nd floor.  Current membership is required to vote, and memberships can be paid current on election day prior to voting.  There are four 3-year Trustee positions open for election for terms beginning in 2014.  There are five candidates vying for these positions.  Candidate bios are noted below.  This is the second time in contemporary history where the number of candidates is greater than the number of available open Trustee positions.  This happened during the 2012 elections also.  Election results will be announced at the CTM meeting on Dec 2.

Clifton Town Meeting Trustee Candidates for 2013 Election

Paul Buckley
Clifton is home. My wife, Peggy, was born at Good Sam and has had family and friends in the neighborhood for generations. We have many happy memories of buying groceries at Keller’s, spending an afternoon shopping on Ludlow, and catching a movie at the Esquire. We love the diversity of housing and people, and the wonderful community of culture, scholarship, and recreation, but we especially love the big old trees that have traditionally set the tone for this neighborhood. One of our biggest concerns is the loss of so many of those trees in recent years. This threatens to change the character of the area and diminish the quality of life for everyone. I hope that the Clifton Town Meeting can take the lead in helping to preserve them and encouraging our residents to replace them when they die.

Most of my professional career was in management. I held progressively responsible positions in public, private, and not-for-profit organizations. I know how to get things done by working with others. In 1998, I enrolled in a seminary and took up my current work as a writer in religious history and theology. I’ve had several books published and dozens of shorter articles. Periodically, I teach graduate-level courses. Over the years, I have served on a number of organizational boards – frequently involved in the finances of those organizations – and was very active with the local neighborhood association at my previous address.

My wife and I have volunteered our time to help with Clifton events – for example, working on maintaining neighborhood plantings, putting up holiday decorations on Ludlow, and helping out during Cliftonfest. We have attended nearly every CTM meeting since we moved to our current home.

I feel that I have skills and experience that would be of value to the Clifton Town Meeting and hope I will have the opportunity to contribute to its ongoing success.

Adam Hyland
“My institutional knowledge of Clifton would be a great asset to CTM. I am excited about the opportunity to serve our neighborhood in a leadership role. Clifton is a vibrant community because its residents are willing participants in defining how we want our neighborhood to unfold. We have a great legacy!”

Adam E. Hyland is the founder and principal of EccaNova, Digital Strategic Advertising. Adam lives on Loraine Ave with his wife Marta and is a fourth generation resident of Clifton. Adam’s great grandfather Edward William Soergel Sr. owned a watch repair shop on Ludlow. He was a respected local business owner who helped build the foundations for a successful Ludlow business district for generations to come. Adam’s grandparents Edward Jr. and Jean Soergel were influential in the fight to stop the widening of Clifton Ave in the 60’s and parents, Marilyn and Gerard, both served on CTM. Adam’s mother Marilyn Soergel Hyland was instrumental in keeping the Roanoke apartment building from becoming a Burger Chef and the Esquire from becoming a Wendy’s.

A graduate of University of Cincinnati with a degree in Urban Planning, Adam specializes in the areas of economic development, policy planning, environmental protection, urban design, international development and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He has also studied at the Universiteit Van Amsterdam School of Geography and at the Harvard Business School.

Adam has over twelve years of experience working on political campaigns in 20 different stats from Township Trustees to Presidential campaigns. Adam founded EccaNova in 2010 after a career in political field strategy, community organizing, and urban planning consulting. While utilizing the outreach tools of Fortune 100 corporations to mobilize communities, Adam pioneered new techniques of community mobilization and managed and oversaw research of online targeting for The Saint Consulting Group (TSCG). His years of experience managing field campaigns for political and corporate clients gave him the insight and tools to pull together networks of political and online media strategists when building EccaNova. EccaNova is now a pioneering company in the field of online community mobilization.

Additionally Adam serves on the Steering Committee of the Clifton Market Group, advisory boards of the Mt. Vernon Strategy Group and the Common Ground Group.

 Kevin Marsh
I ran for a CTM Trustee position last year because I wanted to help CTM find ways to communicate better with Clifton residents and to partner with other Clifton organizations such as CBPA and Clifton 20/20 in improving the neighborhood. In this past year as a Trustee, I have served on the Nominating, Membership/Communication, and Business District committees. My primary accomplishments on these committees have included: (1) proposing ideas for CTM to enhance membership value; (2) taking over responsibility for the membership roster updates; (3) improving the website so that we can start to share news with the neighborhood more easily; and (4) getting the Ludlow Avenue sidewalk repair schedule changed in time for Clifton Fest. I volunteer beyond my committee memberships to help implement events such as the Memorial Day Parade/BBQ and Clifton Fest. I have also spent time learning about CTM’s history and how we function currently.

My family and I have lived in Clifton for 8 years, and we love its charm and diversity. We also own a rental property also in Clifton. In 2012, we moved from our first home in Clifton on Gano Avenue to a new home on Rural Lane. We are invested in the long term success of all of Clifton – our parks, our walkable and diverse business district, and our strong sense of community.

When I am not working on things for Clifton, I am running the global supply chain operations for the 2nd largest printing ink company – Flint Group. I also spend some of my free time as the drummer in a jazz/blues band called Terreus.

If re-elected, I will continue working to enhance our neighborhood’s valuable Business District and continue to find ways of improving communications within our neighborhood. I will also spend time improving the transparency and effectiveness of CTM.

Ben Pantoja
I’m Ben Pantoja, the current President of Clifton Town Meeting.  I just finished my first 3-year term as a Trustee.  I need your vote to start another 3-year term so that I can continue presiding as CTM President next year.  I have lived in Clifton for 29 years, and have enjoyed contributing to this community by volunteering for CTM.

If re-elected, one of my goals as President next year is to guide CTM to dramatically our communications to Clifton residents.  In particular, we are poised to dramatically improve the CTM website to give residents timely information about upcoming events, public safety contact information/news, and how to get involved with the Community and the City.  I want CTM to continue to represent Clifton interests to the City of Cincinnati, as we did this year with the Probasco Fountain relocation project and when we voiced the concerns of Woolper residents when the Traffic Engineering Department was initially planning to widen their street and move utility poles into people’s front yards.  I also want CTM to continue the work we piloted this year working with several groups regarding how to enhance the Ludlow business district.  Finally, I hope CTM can find new ways to raise funds for our work.

I’ve worked as a Manufacturing Reliability Engineer for P&G for 28 years.  I have a wife (Chris), two sons (Spencer and Mackenzie), and two dogs (Oliver and Pearl).  I spend most of my free time with my family, but I’ve also written a psychology/personal growth blog since 2006, and I’ve been meditating regularly for more than 30 years.

Joyce Rich
Hello Clifton residents; my name is Joyce Rich and my one year term as a Trustee of Clifton Town Meeting is expiring in January. I hope to continue my current committee work but can’t do so without your vote. I sit on the committee for the restoration of our historic Probasco fountain. As deemed by the community, the objectives for the restoration are: maintain proximity to historic location, improve visibility to motorists and pedestrians, retain relationship to the street, improve accessibility, and render the fountain safe for residents. Aside from numerous group meetings and 3 community meetings, I have met City Council Members to encourage them to pass the budget for the restoration (passed) as well as visiting the city’s salvage yard for possible materials for the plaza. Adhering to the community’s objectives, the committee is working with the city to design a plaza that will surround and enhance the restored Probasco fountain

Since its inception, I have been one of two CTM Trustees that help comprise the Clifton Retail Working Group. This group with members from CBPA, Clifton 20/20, CTM and Uptown Consortium, is actively working with consultant Kathleen Norris of Urban Fast Forward to aid in the revitalization of the Ludlow Business District. Current projects include: improved way-finding parking signage, improving Clifton’s presence in social media, holiday window displays and to add vibrancy to the business district.

As a Trustee I represent Clifton at the Neighborhoods Of Uptown (NOU) meetings. NOU includes representatives from Corryville, University Heights, Fairview, Avondale, Mt. Auburn and Clifton. These communities come together to share ideas, accomplishments, and future objectives.

I negotiated with CCAC to secure the second floor gallery as the temporary meeting space while CRC undergoes renovation. The first meeting at CCAC was held on October 7, 2013.

In addition to working at CliftonFest, I recently became a CTM representative for Holidays on Ludlow.

My career life included social services and partnering with my husband, Jeff, an entrepreneur with Northwestern Mutual, DBA Rich & Company. We are delighted that our children, son Devon, son Morgan, his wife Mindi and our granddaughter Mae have made Clifton their home.

Upon retiring, I found an opportunity to give back to our community of 24 years through volunteering my time as a Clifton Town Meeting Trustee. My first year as a Trustee has been a rewarding and gratifying experience. With your vote, I can remain onboard.


Photo credit: Mykl Roventine used under the creative commons 3.0 license