NewsChannel 5 Conducts Multimedia "Building Better Neighborhoods" Town Hall Special

Mon, February 27, 2012 by Dan Coyle

WEWS NewsChannel 5 will conduct its first Building Better Neighborhoods Town Hall special Thursday, March 1st, at 8pm.  Audiences can participate and watch the live, multimedia event on-air or via live stream on the station’s website,  The live stream can also be accessed on mobile devices via the app.

NewsChannel 5 anchors Danita Harris and Chris Flanagan will host the Town Hall program, joined by ten in-studio panelists.  The general public is invited to watch and participate at three field locations (limited seating).  Those audiences, as well as anyone visiting, will be able to submit questions that the panelists will address. 

Building Better Neighborhoods – the mission:

NewsChannel 5 is shining a light on a problem which impacts property values, crime, and quality of life in Northeast Ohio. That problem involves tens of thousands of vacant and condemned properties.  Thursday’s Town Hall program is one way residents throughout northeast Ohio will express their concerns and get answers.  The long-term goal of Building Better Neighborhoods is to help renovate abandoned homes, restore neighborhoods and improve the lives of thousands of residents.  Achieving this will result in safer, cleaner, and more socially and economically vibrant communities in Northeast Ohio.

What you can do:

Residents can report abandoned homes and neglected properties and share their stories by sending an email/photos to  Anyone can follow our conversation on Twitter too using #BBN5. 

“This Building Better Neighborhoods Town Hall event takes our coverage of the foreclosure crisis and the problems associated with abandoned homes to the next level,” explains NewsChannel 5 VP & General Manager, Sam Rosenwasser.  “Since we launched this initiative in December, community feedback has been growing by the day, and through our news coverage we’re already helping people.  This March 1st program gives residents all over Northeast Ohio the opportunity to be heard on-air, online, and via social media,” adds Rosenwasser.  “It exemplifies how NewsChannel 5 is truly On Your Side serving our communities.”

Scheduled panelists for the March 1st Town Hall - NewsChannel 5's Studio:

1) Congresswoman Marcia Fudge

2) Judge Ray Pianka, Cleveland Housing Court

3) Jim Rokakis, Thriving Communities Institute

4) Prof. Claudia Coulton, NEO CANDO Case Western Reserve University

5) Gus Frangos, President Cuyahoga County Land Bank

6) Ron Traub, Mentor Economic Development Director

7) Tony Brancatelli, Cleveland Councilman, Ward 12

8) Chase Ritenuer, Mayor of Lorain

9) Chris Warren, Cleveland Chief of Regional Development

10) Don Plusquellic, Akron Mayor

Fatima Family Center: 6600 Lexington Avenue, Cleveland: 

1) Brian Cummins, Cleveland Council Member

2) Greg Baron, Housing Director for Stockyard-Canal Fulton Community Development Office

3) Kevin Conwell, Cleveland Councilman

4) T.J. Dow, Cleveland Councilman

Cleveland Public Library (Eastman Branch): 11602 Lorain Avenue, Cleveland

1) Dona Brady, Cleveland Councilwoman

2) Anthony Biondillo, Strongsville Building Commissioner

3) Jay Westbrook, Cleveland Councilman 

Mason Community Learning Center: 700 East Exchange Street, Akron

1) Abraham Wescott, Akron Development Manager

2) Fonda Williams, Canton Community Development Director

3) Jim Bauschlinger, Barberton Building

4) Bill Kraft, Massillon’s Chief Building Official