A lot is going on in Cleveland these days. We had the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (RRHOF) induction ceremony on April 4, which was held right next to where I work. For a week leading up to the proceedings I could barely get in and out of the parking garage due to all of the bands' buses and trucks taking up most of the street. It brought a lot of people into downtown, which was nice to see. The RRHOF is actually a really cool, beautiful building from any angle, though the large, plain Federal Building is blocking my view of it from my office window. I always thought it was ridiculous that the city of Cleveland was good enough to have the RRHOF here, but not good enough for the induction ceremonies which are usually held in NYC. I'm sure the big names in music think Cleveland is beneath them, but give me a break - we're not asking them to come to Antarctica or some trash pit. Cleveland can put on a good show when motivated. I give props to the musicians who did come here, who put on a great show and didn't once complain about the location. In fact, several vocalized that the ceremony should be held here every year; for now, it looks like we'll get it every three years. For a city that is usually mired down in political maneuvering and a lack of true caring about turning Cleveland around, it was definitely a positive.

This week should hold another positive for Cleveland, if the city, county and state government representatives can get their act together. For over ten years there have been discussions regarding a Medical Mart and Convention Center, similar to the Merchandise Mart in Chicago; in fact, it would be operated by the same group. A vote is to be made on Thursday in regards to the agreement. This is huge for the city, and without it I think it's fair to say Cleveland will end up in more decline and decay than it already is. We're already in danger of losing our airport "hub" status with Continental, and businesses are not only pulling out of Cleveland but the state as a whole due to the taxes and restrictions on businesses in the state. I'm not even going to go into the state of decay the majority of Cleveland is in, with abandoned manufacturing facilities, buildings and homes everywhere you turn. And did I mention the 10.2% unemployment rate in greater Cleveland? The sad part is that the foundation here is beautiful; you have Lake Erie, which is completely underutilized. You have buildings that at one point were beautiful, majestic and showed off the wealth this city and its citizens once had. If this deal does not go through, I don't know if the government representatives are smart enough or care enough to do anything else to improve the situation. The corruption is too great, and there is no motivation. The citizens of Cleveland do not care, and they continue to vote the same people into office. The problem is too big to solve overnight, and no one has patience anymore. People will continue to move further away from the city, or out of the city/state all together. People who have lived here there whole lives have become immune to their surroundings, but to someone like myself who has lived in areas across the country all I see is one big "warning" sign urging me to get out of here as fast as I can.

What's my point in all of this? I'm hoping that people finally do something right and sign the MedMart/Convention Center agreement. I hope that they use local companies, local people, and that they do it right so that it actually does boost the city and the people that reside in it. I want the people of this city to wake up and do something about their situation, before they become as bad as Detroit. I may not want to spend the rest of my life here, but I certainly hate to see those that stay here suffer.

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