Posted Thursday, September 16, 2004
13 trillion gallons of water. Plenty of fish, Zebra mussels and some say… gold. From the time it was discovered by Moses Cleaveland in the 18th century the lake has had a major impact on the economy of our city, and our region. And as many sought ways to stimulate and reinvigorate Northeast Ohio’s sluggish economy -- some looked north, towards Lake Erie. As our single natural resource many argued we were not using it enough, in responsible ways, as a powerful economic catalyst. How can we better leverage Lake Erie -- not just to improve the quality of life in our region but to create jobs? Stimulate commerce? Attract new people and business? These were just some of the questions asked in this special episode of A Quiet Crisis.
Chris Ronayne, Director, City Planning Commission, City of Cleveland
Robert C. Farley, President, Team Neo
David Beach, Director, EcoCity Cleveland
Dr. David Orr, Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Chair of the Environmental Studies Program, Oberlin College
There were many signs of trouble in late spring of 2001. LTV Steel had just gone through bankruptcy—again. Cleveland’s last downtown department store was closing. The region’s largest multi-national corporation, TRW, was leaving town. No major downtown construction project was on the boards. Regional growth was lagging behind the national average. The so-called “brain drain” was sapping the region of its best and brightest young minds. And nobody wanted to talk about it.
This was the backdrop for A Quiet Crisis, a series initiated by The Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest daily newspaper and ideastream, the multimedia content organization just formed by the merger of Cleveland’s public radio and television stations. For three years this innovative multiple-media series focused the attention of Northeast Ohio on the region’s most serious challenge—an economic decline that was unraveling the “comeback” renaissance of the 90’s and threatening the vitality of the region.
Through 14 round table discussions of community leaders that were broadcast on WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN, radio call-ins, in-depth reports on radio and television, newspaper articles, columns and editorials, the ambitious multimedia campaign highlighted the region’s problems and also offered solutions in ways that energized and empowered individuals and organizations to action and change.