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Ed Morrison · ?

April 11th, 2009

As of Friday evening, Cuyahoga County and its private partner in the medical mart project still disagreed on who would own the proposed $425 million complex.

Sunday Plain Dealer article to answer many medical mart questions

MUSIC SAVES will open for Record Store Day at noon and remain open until 11pm. During that time, customers can purchase over 60 special releases available for the first time on that day, most of which are exclusive to independent stores and extremely limited. A complete list of what we will have is on our website (

In addition, anyone coming in wearing an indie record store t-shirt will receive 10% off their purchase, and everyone making a purchase will receive a bag of goodies from indie labels, including a wide array of CD samplers, stickers, buttons, posters, download cards, and other cool stuff. Every bag will have a slightly different mix! For every $25 spent, customers will be entered into a raffle to win a ton of really great prizes also given to us by our favorite labels and distributors. A full list of goodies and prizes is available on our website.

Our coloring contest of last year has been replaced this year by Diorama-RAMA!, a diorama contest to see who can make the most creative, music-themed scene inside the confines of a shoebox. The winner will be chosen by TEAM MUSIC SAVES, and will receive a $100 gift certificate to the store. Entries are due by 10pm on Thursday, April 16.

MUSIC SAVES and Blue Arrow Records are also hosting live music in the evening:
5:30pm Brian Straw (OUT-store at MUSIC SAVES, on the sidewalk)
6pm Prisoners (IN-store at Blue Arrow Records)
6:30pm Trouble Books (OUT-store at MUSIC SAVES, on the sidewalk)
7pm HotChaCha (IN-store at Blue Arrow Records)
7:30pm The Very Knees (OUT-store at MUSIC SAVES, on the sidewalk)

Other Waterloo businesses are getting into Record Store Day, too! If customers spend $10 or more at MUSIC SAVES, This Way Out, or our newest record store, Blue Arrow Records, each of those 3 receipts is good for $1 off a beer in the Beachland Tavern! The Tavern will open at 11am with a special lunch menu and excellent brunch cocktails, and our galleries, shops, and the new Waterloo Cafe will be open, with other events and specials going on throughout the day. It’ll be a great day to hang out on Waterloo!

The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth has teamed up with the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson to launch a new strategy for the South Coast of Massachusetts.

UMD will become the first affiliate of the National Center. Read more.

It’s a strategy that some leaders in Cleveland might consider to boost educatonal attainment. The National Dropout Prevention Center has developed a number of evidence based practices to reduce kids dropping out of school.

The costs of these dropouts on the regional economies both in lost earnings and in higher social costs places a major drag on the region’s economy. Further, the evidence is strong that educational attainment is a key driver of a region’s prosperity.

George Nemeth · links for 2009-04-09

April 9th, 2009

There are three ways a financial planner can be compensated.

1. Commissions: The financial planner makes a commission off the buying and selling of your investment portfolio.

2. Fee-Based: The financial planner charges a fee for bringing your assets under management. The fee is usually charged quarterly.
For example: You have $100,000 that can be brought under management. The financial planner might propose charging you a 1% fee payable quarterly. This would total a $1,000 for the year at $250 per quarter.
The 1% is charged whether your portfolio gains or loses.
The financial planner is motivated to grow the portfolio presumably because he grows his fee simultaneously.

3. Fee-Only: The financial planner charges either hourly or through a retainer for their time and advice.
A fee-only financial planner operates similarly to an attorney or accountant.

Look for my next blog: Top 5 reasons why you should choose a Fee-Only Financial Planner.

Is it time for the citizens of Cuyahoga County to launch an anti-corruption initiative?

The idea came to mind as I read reports on the latest ranking of corruption in Asia by Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Group (PERC). (The other major survey is compiled by Transparency International and was released last December.)

You can read more about the PERC survey here.

We are seeing more efforts at bringing accountability to government. See, for example, the Transparency and Accountability Network.

In Indonesia, a corruption eradication commission (the KPK) is credited with improving the scores in that country. (The success of the commission in Indonesia led Malaysia to launch an anti-corruption commission in January. Anti-corruption commissions also operate in other countries like Kenya.)

The PERC survey of measuring corruption relies on interviews with foreign business executives. The PERC polled more than 1,700 expatriate business executives.

Is it time for an Anti-Corruption Commission in Cuyahoga County?

In response to Frank Revy’s comment below, I add these thoughts:

For anyone interested in an anti-corruption effort in Cuyahoga County, add your voice here.

The next step will be to organize a Meet-up if enough people are interested.

A Citizen’s Commission would have to overcome at least three forces that operate in Cuyahoga County: apathy, fear and malevolence.

Update: 4/10/09:
It’s pretty clear this idea is going nowhere. My experience teaches me that you can get about 80% of your response in the first couple of days after a post. We clearly do not have enough interest to push this idea forward.

On the positive side, though, I have worked out a simple protocol for evaluating the critical mass needed in a network for launching an initiative. This will be extremely useful in my future work. Sometimes, failed ideas provide the best opportunity to advance your thinking!

George Nemeth · links for 2009-04-08

April 8th, 2009

George Nemeth · links for 2009-04-07

April 7th, 2009

Please see and comment on Playfulness in Cities

Broma memo
Over at Map the Mess, readers are adding their voice to illuminate Cuyahoga County contracting practices.

A MtM reader points to Broma Information Technology, Inc. Broma is mentioned in the PD article here. Broma pitches itself as a minority contractor.
It’s a good catch. You have to wonder about a company that has a web site without any individual’s name listed and a “newsletter” that is a year old: Latest issue is April Fool’s Day, 2008.

You can view some of Broma’s County contracts over at Map the Mess here. Broma has contracted with the Engineer’s office, the Juvenile Court and the Recorders Office.

Here are the Articles of Organization for Broma Technology Ltd. filed with the Secretary of State and an address change filing from 2002. (Based on Broma’s articles of organization, founders include Anthony and Alan Ma. “Broma” appears to be derived from “Brothers Ma.” Get it?)

Note: A sole source contract implies that there is only one person or company that can provide the contractual services needed and that any attempt to obtain bids would only result in one person or company being available to meet the need. More here.

You can add your thoughts at the bottom of the Map the Mess home page.