CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A new survey shows Ohio parents overwhelmingly trust their children’s teachers, despite all the political furor over critical race theory and curriculum.
We’re talking about that support on Today in Ohio.
Editor Chris Quinn hosts our daily half-hour news podcast, this week with City Hall reporter Courtney Astolfi, editorial board member Lisa Garvin and content director Laura Johnston.
You’ve been sending Chris lots of thoughts and suggestions on our from-the-newsroom text account, in which he shares what we’re thinking about at cleveland.com. You can sign up for free by sending a text to 216-868-4802.
Here are the questions we’re answering today:
After more than a year of largely far-right politicians trying to create anxiety with Ohioans about what is taught in the schools, the parents of Ohio students appear to be fairly grounded. What does a new Baldwin Wallace University poll tell us about how parents think of their schools?
How do Chris Ronayne and Lee Weingart, the guys running to be the next Cuyahoga County executive, propose to fix the outrageous situation with children in the county’s care being raped, sex trafficked and harmed in other ways?
Mike DeWine set aside another $42 million in pandemic stimulus cash Monday for something he had already invested $58 million in. What is it?
We often talk about the turnaround of the Cuyahoga River, but to the east of us, we have another stunning recovery of a major river. Which one, and how have things rebounded with it?
Cedar Point fans from Cleveland often complain about the traffic getting there, so what’s the good news from the federal government about making the trip easier?
A federal judge has selected new attorneys to represent plaintiffs in a lawsuit against FirstEnergy over the corrupt HB6. Why did the plaintiffs need new lawyers, and who did the judge pick?
Speaking of grants, Case Western Reserve University is in the middle of $50 million in them, for a couple of projects that are technically complex but could have profound implications. Laura, you have the fun duty of making these grants understandable?
We’ve had a bunch of good news stories of late, like the public introduction of a baby rhino out at the zoo, but the one we’re talking about here is the selection of two Cuyahoga County Jewish delis named among the best in the nation. Which ones?
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Read the automated transcript below. Because it’s a computer-generated transcript, it contains many errors and misspellings.
Chris: [00:00:00] The people who tried to destabilize our faith in education with the phony CRT campaign last year to rally the conservative base have failed to move the parents. It’s the first story we’re talking about on today in Ohio, the news podcast discussion from cleveland.com in the plain dealer. I’m Chris Quinn.
I am here with Lisa Garvin, Courtney Affy and Laura Johnston. I love this first story. Let’s go straight. After the more than a year of largely far, right? Politicians trying to create anxiety with Ohioans about what is taught in the schools. The parents of Ohio students appear to be fairly grounded. What does a new Baldwin Wallace university poll tell us about how parents think of their schools?
Laura. Great news story.
Laura: Yeah, absolutely. So parents trust their kids, teachers it’s overwhelming. And this was conducted for the children’s defense fund of Ohio. Found that 92% of parents agree with the statement. I trust my child’s teacher to support [00:01:00] their academic learning and success. 90.3% of parents agreed.
I trust my teacher to be a positive role model. 89.1%. Agreed. I trust my teacher to have high expectations of my child. There were 71 questions asked in this poll was taken online by about 1400 parents or guardians in may. So pretty recent that’s the very end of the last school year margin of error is plus or minus 3%.
And that was exactly the takeaway. From the children’s defense fund, but basically that the data makes it clear. Like we should not be wasting time on bills in the state house for problems that don’t exist, like this fewer over C RT and all of these issues about what can be taught in the school. Like, remember the Holocaust, um, statements about like teaching both sides.
Like these are not problem. People like their school, their kids’ teachers stopped trying to make this political.
Chris: It was very well documented that that whole CRT thing was a campaign. It was to rally the base. [00:02:00] There were people that were the authors of it that they just made this thing up. And people went screaming into school boards, arguing for stuff that wasn’t happening.
And it put teachers in a terrible position. Cuz here they are in the classroom doing what they do, helping children learn. And there they were horribly politicized and school boards were turned inside out mm-hmm but it didn’t end up working. I mean it worked probably to mobilize that far right. Fringe base, but it did.
Hurt our faith in education, unless, unless this is one of those things. I, you know, I like my Congressman, but I hate Congress. Like I like my teacher, but I hate the schools, but that’s not the feel you got from, it was so overwhelming. I mean, it was 90 plus percent. I trust my teachers and they should, teachers are heroes of our society.
They take the kids and move them along so that they can thrive.
Laura: Absolutely. I, I, and it wasn’t just C RT. Right. And I do think there was some damage in the, the school board races, [00:03:00] cuz obviously teachers took the brunt of this, but that was a hot and heavy school board race season brought out a lot of people.
And so we end up with more contentious school boards than we. Had before I believe. And so you have some infighting there, and I think people are paying much closer attention to boards of education than they ever have before. Um, but what I think is interesting is it wasn’t just CRT, right? That all of a sudden people were calling into questions, social, emotional, learning, what kids should be learning about sex education.
I mean, everything aside from like reading, writing, arithmetic, People were arguing about. And the survey found that the opposition to social, emotional learning, mental healthcare, and even school lunch nutrition absolutely are held by a VI vocal minority. And this is my favorite part, many of whom do not have children in the K through 12 schools.
Right. They don’t, let’s let the parents of these kids who are getting educated, make the decisions. I know it’s a taxpayer supported system, but these are our kids,
Chris: but they never knew what they were talking about. They, they went in to scream, stop teaching [00:04:00] CRT and the school board kept saying, we’re not teaching it.
We’re not. And then once they were embarrassed by that, Because the media clearly portrayed it. They tried to split some hairs and say, well, they don’t teach CRT, but it’s in the nuance of what they say. And it’s not anybody that knows teachers. And I’m married to one knows they’re working the curriculum.
That that’s what they do. They, the kids are tested repeatedly. There’s all sorts of standards involved. And the teachers are very decent about communicating with parents. That’s why the parents
Laura: have it’s it’s, it’s like they don’t want the kids to learn how to think. Right. They just want them to. Recite facts.
They don’t want them to, to deal with their whole brain. And the thing about this study, they pointed out social, emotional learning is not something like a curriculum. You know? Like, I mean, it’s part of the curriculum. That’s the thing. It’s not an either, or you don’t learn science or social skills. Right.
You learn social skills when you are in a group project in middle school, or when you’re doing story time, when you’re little and it’s all like, I just, the people who are [00:05:00] against it are not raising children. No idea what they’re facing today, because we’ve talked about this a lot on the podcast. Kids are stressed out the pandemic and everything else.
So you’re right. Teachers are heroes and I’m really glad the parents trust them
Chris: and Baldwin Wallace has done it again. They’ve done another really good survey. We’ve talked about how we rely less and less of. Polls for horse race decisions that the people lie when they talk to pollsters about which candidate they support.
But there’s been a thought that the issue surveys like this are much more accurate, so happy to publish this story way to go Baldwin Wallace university, way to go on the survey it’s today in Ohio. How Chris Rohan and Lee WGAR, the guy is running to be the next Cuyahoga county executive proposed to fix the outrageous situation with children in the county’s care, being raped, sex trafficked, and harmed.
In other ways, Courtney, I’m glad somebody is talking about ways to fix this because [00:06:00] Lord knows. Buddhi Armon Buddhi and the county council certainly is not.
Courtney: Yeah. You were talking yesterday about kind of silence. We’ve heard from the county since this, uh, you know, scandal came to light, but like you said, the two candidates for executive they’re largely proposing staffing kind of changes and changes to that process is a big part of their solution to this issue.
So I wanna give you a rundown of each Lee. We guard. Among other things, an overhaul of DCF S’s top leadership. He wants to boost reimbursement rates for caretakers of kids who are in foster care in the county custody. He wants to in Institute a scholarship program for social workers to help retain and recruit more staffing.
Now that department’s always faced, you know, issues with hiring enough social workers. So, so that’s a fix to that longstanding issue, according to Wineguard. And this one was particularly interesting to me. He wants to [00:07:00] eliminate out of county placements for kids, cuz they’re unfair to the youth and their families.
That’s really interesting to me. I don’t know if that’s doable. Spots in foster care are, are hard to find all over the state. So I don’t know if that’s necessarily a solution to our issue in Goyoga county. He also says local providers have room to house, more foster kids, but they don’t have the resources to hire enough staff right now.
So he wants to help support their staffing. So these kids have somewhere to go.
Chris: Although our story contradicted that our story said they don’t need to take these kids because they can take kids who aren’t the behavior problems to fill up their staff. So I’m not sure he’s right about that, but you know what bothers me about both of these is they’re long term mm-hmm right now, today, this very minute 11 year olds are threatened with rape.
What do you. Right now, it’s almost like somebody needs to say let’s grab a building. Let’s take the [00:08:00] stimulus money. We’re squandering on slush funds pay really high salaries to draw in social workers, provide programming and do this, right. I mean, it’s not like there aren’t buildings in Cuyahoga county where you could do this, that are much more amenable to housing kids, but nobody’s talking about the immediate.
Every minute that goes by a kid can be harmed. I just don’t understand the lack of crisis management. I get that these guys are saying, if I get in, in January, this is what I would do. So they can’t really talk about immediate, but I would like to know from them. What would you do today right now to protect that 11 year old, who Caitlin Durbin reported was taken away and raped from the county
Lisa: building taken away by another child at that building.
I think that both Winegart and Roan are ignoring the fact that these are UN really almost unplaceable kids. I mean, I think they’re lumping these kids in with everybody else in the foster care system. I don’t think they’re, you know, making [00:09:00] distinctions here that are important distinctions with this population of.
Chris: Yeah. That’s why the county needs to, to create its own building. You’re not going to get services to take them. They don’t want them. So the county should do it, you know, invest in children. That’s what they say. They’re about. I mean, they’re spending money on golf clubhouses. And what, what would we be better off with in this county, a golf clubhouse, or a building that serves as a safe shelter with programming for these kids that are in such danger.
That’s what the county council is spending its money on a golf clubhouse, and nonsense that the city councils where they’re spending the money don’t even want Courtney.
Courtney: No, I just wanted to give a quick rundown. You said there weren’t any quick. Fixes here, but I did wanna lay out Ronan’s plan. He wants to boost pay for contractors who provide care for kids.
He wants to improve hiring at the county too. And he, among other things wants to form some committees, made up of industry experts to look at how to fix these problems at DCFS. So just wanted to include his stuff there. I will [00:10:00] say there’s already a DCFS advisory committee that we saw get created. When DCF S’s last crisis happened.
What was that back in like 2018? These crises happen every few years. A couple years ago, Chris, you had me go back and document all the problems over the last 20 or 30 years. This is a routine thing. So yes, while I think there’s like you said, a need for immediate fixes, it’s clear this whole system kind of needs cleaned up or something.
Chris: And the last thing we need is another task force. Victor Ruiz, who’s a member of editorial board talked about, he was a member of one of these things and he was just had his hands in here going, you know, what’s going on with that? What we need is leadership. It’s not another, let’s get a bunch of people together and go, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
It’s clear, nobody wants these kids. The county is responsible for the kids. The county needs to be the solution. And that would be a radical, innovative thought, right? I mean, why not do it, grab it and do it. They have the money on hand. They have the [00:11:00] huge infusion of cash they got from the federal government that they’re largely squandering in some ways, use it, do the right thing.
Uh, it’ll be interesting to see how this proceeds it’s today in Ohio. Mike DeWine set aside another 42 million in pandemic stimulus cash Monday for something he’s already invested $58 million in Lisa. I get the impression that in a campaign year, he was trying to get to a nice round number
Lisa: and they did reach that number.
It’s a hundred million dollars. Total now in the Ohio violent crime reduction grant program, 42 million was added Monday by, by the governor to that fund. Uh, law enforcement organizations can use this to create and expand programs like hotspot policing. Crime gun Intel centers and also on overtime pay payroll issues, hiring bonuses and new equipment.
Uh, interesting though, Lieutenant governor, John Huad was announced this at the Delaware county [00:12:00] campaign event that he was attending with sheriffs and prosecutors, and he took a shot at, uh, D Divine’s opponent, Nan NA whale. He said that my mayors hire police chiefs and set the tone for law enforcement culture in their cities.
And he said that that quote didn’t happen under Dayton. Previous mayor, um, uh, Whaley spokeswoman, Courtney rice says, well, Dayton used APA money to build up their police department and fire department facilities and use federal money for new recruits. So she said it’s pretty rich from the dine administration that only cares about public safety in an election year.
Chris: Well, it’s also kind of a cheap shot by DeWine at Dayton, because remember after the Dayton shooting, he stood in Dayton and said he was gonna take care of guns and gun issues. Mm-hmm . And since then he has assigned every bill that’s come his way to greatly increase the use of guns in the state. I I’m always.
When you hear these huge numbers, now we’re up to a hundred million that are going to be invested in [00:13:00] policing. You really wanna know what the details are. You’re we’re gonna, I guess it’s gonna be a few years before we know there was a big story, I think in the New York times today about how the government now is chasing down.
Immense amounts of fraud from pandemic dollars, all the unemployment fraud and all the businesses that got it. It’s, it’s like unprecedented fraud that they’re chasing down a and you just hope that’s not what happens to the a hundred million that the a hundred million actually gets spent on things that will make.
People safer. It’s, it’s interesting to talk about big numbers, but what does it mean in Cleveland and what does it mean in bra wall or Meina or elsewhere in the state? And we don’t really know,
Lisa: and hopefully they’ll be transparent about exactly where this money is going. I’m sure that Lucas Drek will be on the case here, but yeah, that’s a lot of money to throw around and I’m sure, you know, police departments will come running for that.
And it’ll be interesting to see what they’re asking for. [00:14:00]
Chris: Okay, you are listening to today in Ohio, we often talk about the turnaround of the Cuyahoga river, but to the east of us, we have another stunning recovery of a major river, Laura, which one? How have things were banded with it? And have you paddle boarded there yet?
Laura: this is the EULA river it’s been cleared by the EPA, no longer considered an area of concern. And our travel writer, Susan Glaser visited the Harbor area recently was really, I. By all the businesses and the number of things to do, they have good restaurants, cute shops, a very active business community, all working on a Harbor Renaissance.
They have a new boutique hotel on the way. And, um, Susan calls it Northeast Ohio’s most unexpected tourism. One of the most unexpected tourism success stories. I have not paddle boarded there. I have been. It is super cute. And, um, it is just the, the history of it is so interesting because it was such a big port for so [00:15:00] long at the turn of the 20th century bridge street, which is the street that goes over the river and has this lift bridge that lifts every half hour, it was this boom town.
It was exploding when railroads connected Ash fuel Harbor to Youngstown and Pittsburgh and all this iron or, and coal were streaming in and out at one point. There was this idea that Avila was one of the most dangerous ports in the world, along with Calcutta and what was known as Shanghai. So like, , it’s, it’s a very different place than it was 120 years ago.
Chris: What, what I like about I have to go back. I haven’t been there in years, but what I like about the sound of it is it really is a good day trip, right? Because it’s got the whole little cute village and lots of places to eat or drink and, and shop that. They’ve made it a destination, Susan Glazer’s piece about it made it seem so inviting.
Laura: Absolutely. And it’s not so far from here, right? It’s, it’s very easy for a day trip. It’s like a, you know, a little hour and a half maybe. And it’s pictures. There’s this conveyor that once transported coal from one [00:16:00] side of the river to the other, it’s deactivated by Norfolk Southern railway. But it hasn’t been torn down because of the historic and aesthetic value to the community.
I mean, it’s just this really pretty arch rainbow shape over the river. That’s fun to take pictures of you can rent water bikes and kayaks and, and paddle boards. You can get beach, glass Walnut beach is actually a very place, not Denver beach class, but, and also they have a, since they have the super active business community, they have tons of.
They have a beach glass festival. Mm-hmm they have, um, a really big wine, wine and walleye, I believe. Um, and a couple other really big ones that draws an arts festival that all sorts of people go to last year, they won the national America’s main street contest and got $25,000 prize for city beautification projects.
So lots of people are taking notice and it is. Really a success story.
Chris: It’s on my list. Once again, Susan Glaser makes you want to go visit a place best travel writer in Ohio it’s today in [00:17:00] Ohio Cedar point fans from Cleveland often complain about the traffic getting there. So what’s the good news from the federal government about making that trip easier.
Courtney, you grew up over there, so you’ll understand better than most. How big a deal this is. This
Courtney: is a big deal. This is a big deal. So. This 25 ish million dollar project is coming through the federal raise grant program. It’s building American infrastructure with sustainability and equity is what this money’s supposed to go towards.
Sandusky was one of a handful of Ohio cities to get this funding in this round. Cleveland went for it for a project in Huff. And, and wasn’t able to bring that home, but Sandusky, Cincinnati, Mansfield Marietta were the grant winners in Ohio this year. And the Sandusky project really zeros in on that strip of route six, a lot of Clevelanders going into town to Cedar point, know it well, you’re getting off route two, the little town of Huron.
And then you’ve got this stretch of route six through Erie county. Into the park [00:18:00] and it’s just always backed up with traffic. The locals avoid it like the plague in the summer, but this project is going to widen that stretch of road. There’s gonna be new turn lanes. They’re gonna replace a bunch of intersections with roundabouts.
And then they’re also going to connect up this stretch, um, with an extension of the Sandusky bay pathway. And the goal is eventually you can ride that all through town. From Huron into Sandusky and out the Causeway into the park. The, the park is doing a new Causeway bridge into the park. So these are all kind of complimentary pieces that should ease the flow of traffic into town from the east.
Chris: I love traffic circles or roundabouts or whatever we call ‘em here because they favor the aggressive driver. They are not, you really
Laura: cannot stand them. I would. Why do we keep adding them everywhere? It just makes everything more annoying. And anytime you have your Google maps on. I swear. They’re like actually at the tr you know, it’s just, it makes co directions so much more
I love them. They are, they, they are, you [00:19:00] know, I learned to drive in New Jersey where aggressive driving gets you, where you need to go and circles, which is what we called them. There are the
Laura: way to go. And they have all those jug handles where if you wanna turn left, you have to turn right. And then you have to do a U-turn.
Chris: So, yeah, cuz. Turn is from the right. That made a lot of sense. It should have been a national standard. Okay. It’s today in Ohio, a federal judge has selected new attorneys to represent plaintiffs in a lawsuit against firsty over the corrupt, HB six. Why did the plaintiffs need the lawyers and who did the judge pick?
Lisa? This. In the end is a turn of the screw story, but it is pretty major what the judge is
Lisa: doing here. And, and I love this judge. This is Akron, federal judge, John Adams, who doesn’t take any BS. And, uh, and hasn’t, so what he’s done, he’s named the Cincinnati law firms of Markovitz stock and DeMarco and Abraham fr, and Twerski to represent first energy shareholders in.
Bill six lawsuit. [00:20:00] They have experience in shareholder suits and they also represented the one shareholder first energy that rejected the 180 million settlement in a companion case in Columbus. Um, they, you know, and this is a. Suit where the shareholders are seeking a payout from the insurance company for first energy execs that represents first energy execs for damage from the scandal Adams removed the original attorneys after pushing for months for information about the scope of the scandal and famously.
You remember, he demanded from the attorneys that who paid the bribe and they actually told him, um, he says that these, the original lawyers didn’t rigorously pursue the case. They tried to avoid his oversight. And they also argued that because the preliminary settlement was reached in the Columbus case.
The one before Adams should be closed and he refused to do that. So these new attorneys will take more depositions and gather new documents.
Chris: Yeah, it’s unusual for a [00:21:00] judge to assign attorneys in a case, but this is a class of people. So there’s not one person making the choice. And the judge determined that the previous lawyers were not representing the interest of the class that they claimed to be.
Uh, Holding out the best for, so this is a, a pretty major development. I I’ll still be interested to see whether this generates a bigger settlement or any kind of different approach or whether these attorneys will go through the motions and close out the case. But it’s a fascinating turn of events in the continuing saga of the most corrupt episode in the history of Ohio.
It is today in Ohio. Case Western reserve university is in the middle of 50 million in grants for a couple of projects that are technically complex, but could have profound implications. Laura, you have the fun duty of making these grants understandable.
Laura: Oh, goodie. So. These grants were announced last week by the us national science [00:22:00] foundation.
There’s four new engineering research centers. Each of them gets 26 million over five years and each project has a handful of universities working together. So case Western reserve is part of two of these four centers. That’s how you get up to that. $50 million. One is led by Ohio state and the other is by Texas tech.
So the Ohio state project has the catchy name of hammer stands for the hybrid. Autonomous manufacturing, moving from evolution to revolution. Like how many, how many words did they put out and go, what can we come up with to make this work as an acronym, but they’re gonna help manufacturers transition to intelligent and autonomous manufacturing system.
And then the second one is not quite as catchy. That’s a Texas tech when it’s Casper the center for advancing sustainable and distributed fertilizer production, and they want to create effective fertilizers. Do less harm to the environment and reduce or eliminate carbon emissions from the process and think about how huge that would be for lake E.[00:23:00]
Chris: Yeah, I, uh, this was one that I had to read it two or three times to really kind of understand it. But, but in the end this could be very, very meaningful. This could have ramifications well beyond what they’re looking at.
Laura: Yeah. And well, beyond the five years, they’re renewable, they could be for another five years with another 20.
$6 million and these are gonna have national implications. I mean, there are universities all over the country working on this, um, and think about, we’ve talked so much about manufacturing and how you can’t find, well, obviously there’s shortages of everything, right? But that you can’t find people that are trained to do the manufacturing, the advanced stuff that we have, and the hammer projects are gonna work on that.
And the reason that C w. Are you got involved in this partly is their advancement, manufacturing, mechanical reliability center. And they have that Sears think box. So they already have some of the kind of infrastructure that you need to make something like this work. Okay.
Chris: It’s today in [00:24:00] Ohio, if you haven’t figured it out yet, you’re gonna figure it out.
Now, yesterday was a slow news day. We’ve had a bunch of good news stories of late, like the public introduction of a baby rhino out at the zoo. But the one we’re talking about here is the selection of two Cuyahoga county Jewish deli’s named among the best in the nation. Courtney wish one. Yeah, this story
Courtney: kind of made me a little hungry.
Um, the website tasting table named two of our local favorites as some of the best ELs in the nation. The first one was larder in hinge tone in hinge town. Excuse me. And, and larder is always getting rave reviews, but this article specifically pointed to how business partners, Jeremy Mansky and ally Lamansky, um, pair kind of.
Interesting new ideas with deli classics and they, they gave a shout out to their fried chicken sandwiches, Bob Gail to fish pastrami on rye, but they also gave a shout out to some of their less [00:25:00] traditional things like pastrami cured, root vegetables. So if that was pretty fun to see larder shouted out in there.
And then the second one is Jack’s deli over in university Heights and tasting table, really kind of lauded Jack’s deli as that classic kind of go-to option. They’ve been around since 1980 and the founder, Jack Markowitz. His menu’s really inspired from his roots in Czechoslovakia. That’s where he grew up.
So it’s kind of that traditional flare and his son Alvie now runs the family.
Chris: Yeah, it’s great to see the recognition. And we do try to lighten up the news load once in a while, celebrating successes it’s today in Ohio. And we’re gonna give you five minutes back. Thank you, Lisa. Thank you, Courtney. Thank you, Laura.
Thanks to everybody who listens to the podcast.
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