This Week in the CLE
A review and analysis of the week's news in Northeast Ohio
4 years ago

This Week in the CLE: Thursday, June 6, 2019

Lawyer Roger Synenberg’s astounding bad judgment, disturbing videos inside the jail, Ohio’s Amazon cash bonanza, an update on bikelife’s Streetgod and Armond Budish’s “gotcha guy”

It was not the biggest news of the week, but prominent Cleveland defense attorney Roger Synenberg’s self-destructive decision to send an anonymous letter labeling a witness in his criminal case as a snitch sure had people talking.

That’s the first story we discuss on the latest episode of This Week in the CLE, the podcast discussion of the news in Northeast Ohio. Justice Center reporter Cory Shaffer offers his insights into why Synenberg took such a dangerous step, one that imperils his law license and his freedom.

The podcast offers many other insights, such as data reporter Rich Exner’s analysis of the impact on the state budget of sales taxes collected by

And Politics Editor Jane Kahoun handicaps the chances of passage of a proposal to make it easier for Ohioans to skip vaccinations, even as measles cases across the county rise to levels not seen in decades. Kahoun also discusses Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder’s fears about drag queens and a move to ban something you likely never knew existed, artificial urine.

Special projects editor and coordinator Laura Johnston explains -- with Lake Erie at an all time record level -- how long it would take to drain the surplus gallons if we could double the capacity of Niagara Falls.

Columnist Mark Naymik talks about the significance of our recent special episode, a 2017 recording of a meeting with County Executive Armond Budish’s cabinet, in which nearly all of the defenses the Budish team offered for its recent actions proved to be wrong.

Criminal Justice reporter Adam Ferrise explains the significance of two videos from inside the Cuyahoga County jail, videos that depict horrendous behavior by jail guards. He also discusses Samaria Rice’s efforts to make sure the man who killed her 12-year-old son on a city playground never again works as a Cleveland police officer.

Cuyahoga County beat reporter Courtney Astolfi tells why Budish called a candidate for interim county auditor a “gotcha guy,” and why that’s probably not a good idea. She also talks about how the RTA’s decision to provide free wi-fi on buses and trains will be a boon to people on limited incomes.

Cleveland City Hall reporter Bob Higgs details the ground-breaking legislation proposed to combat lead poisoning and what happens next. Bob also explains how new city rules will allow the rental of motorized scooters in some city neighborhoods.

He also gets into why Mayor Frank Jackson is returning to a proposal to build a dirt bike track in the city and the huge challenges the mayor faces. And Naymik explains why a key figure in the last bid to build a track, who goes by the nickname Streetgod, is not around this time to help the mayor.

Reporter Emily Bamforth analyzes the United Way of Greater Cleveland’s big pivot as it seeks new streams of money for fighting poverty and a new philosophy of identifying the agencies that get United Way grants.

And the entertainment and pop culture team closes the podcast with a preview of the many events happening in connection with the Major League Baseball All-Star game in Cleveland next month, including two major free concerts by the Killers and Twenty One Pilots downtown.

They also talk about the final round of the Warped Tour, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the thriving Laurelive music festival, featuring Sheryl Crow.

New episodes are published Thursday evenings, so you can listen on your Friday morning commute.