Latest News

Haiku warrior-poets wanted for Haiku Death Match 2015

If you’ve written the right 17 syllables, glory, fame, and a not-so-cheesy trophy could be yours. Heights Arts is bringing back the Haiku Death Match, a live haiku poetry competition where audience votes determine the Haiku Master, on Oct. 10, 7 p.m., at Dobama Theatre. The registration deadline for competitors is Sept. 15.

Here’s how it works: Poets compete in pairs for a given number of rounds. The audience judges the poems by raising paddles. Volunteer counters count the votes. The emcee announces the score and keeps the crowds calm. The last poet standing is the 2015 Haiku Death Match Master.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:18 AM, 09.03.2015

Latest News Releases

City of CH receives award from Auditor of State for financial reporting for 2nd consecutive year
- City of Cleveland Heights, September 2, 2015 Read More
City of CH to hold third Tele-Town Hall meeting on Sept. 3
- City of Cleveland Heights, August 27, 2015 Read More
Howson Gallery presents paintings by Shaker Heights artist Kathleen McKenna, Aug. 28 through Oct. 11
- Judson, August 23, 2015 Read More
Doan Brook Watershed Partnership hosts 4th annual Take to the Lake on Saturday, Aug. 22
- Doan Brook Watershed Partnership, August 12, 2015 Read More
CH reports on first Tele-Town Hall meeting; second scheduled for Aug. 25
- City of Cleveland Heights, August 10, 2015 Read More

View more news releases

CH-UH district's transportation appeal process yields no results

To the Editor:

In May, we submitted a transportation appeal for our daughter. I cannot be more unimpressed, dissatisfied and frustrated over the process and the outcome. We received a letter within a week to tell us that we would hear the result in 30 days. By the first week of August, we had heard nothing. I contacted the CH-UH City School District Transportation Department and was told the committee would be having the meeting in two days and I would be notified. If I hadn’t contacted them, would my appeal ever have been heard? In fact, was my appeal actually considered or was the “denied” form letter simply sent?

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:17 AM, 09.03.2015

Monticello student named 'kid reporter' for division of Time magazine

Maple Buescher, Monticello Middle School student, and Time for Kids reporter.

On Aug. 18, Maple Buescher, a Monticello Middle School seventh-grader, got the news that Time For Kids had selected her as one of the weekly classroom news magazine’s 10 kid reporters for the 2015–16 school year.

As a kid reporter, Buescher will conduct interviews and write articles that may appear in the print edition or website of Time For Kids (, a division of Time magazine. She’ll hold the position from September 2015 through August 2016.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:16 AM, 09.03.2015

Heights High's science wing is demolished

An excavator with a grapple attachment removes the east end of the science wing revealing the facade of the original 1926 building, which will be restored.

The demolition of several sections of Heights High is underway. Perhaps the most anticipated is the destruction of the circa-1962 science wing, thought by many to be an unfortunate design that obstructed the beauty of the original building.

At noon on Friday, Aug. 14, a large excavator with a grapple began removing the exterior wall of the swimming pool, at the east end of the science wing. By 1:15 p.m., the entire wall had been removed and the excavator had moved on to the Cedar Road side of the pool and then on to the science wing.

The demolition of the back of the school building began on Aug. 3 with the removal of the East Gym, kitchen and Career Tech portions of the building.

The original 1926 core section of the building will not be demolished, but will be renovated and new additions will be constructed. The design of the new additions will be more closely aligned to the historic style of the original building.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 6:07 PM, 08.17.2015

Heights Music Hop brings live music to Lee Road

The Commonwealth plays at the 2014 Heights Music Hop after-party at the BottleHouse. Photo by Rob Mueller.

Lee Road will again be hopping with music on Saturday, Sept. 19, when the third annual Heights Music Hop takes place. Among the artists performing this year are such well-known Cleveland-area acts as the Admirables, Oldboy, the Megan Zurkey Band, Faith and Whiskey, Diana Chittester, Maura Rogers and Morgan Mecaskey.

“The Music Hop is a collaboration of local music and independent businesses creating a great night of entertainment on Lee Road,” said Kelley Robinson, the director of the Cedar Lee Special Improvement District (SID), which is a presenting sponsor of the Hop. “The event brings crowds of music fans to the district and an increase in customers to the merchants. It continues to be a unique opportunity to celebrate our community, while promoting Cleveland Heights to visitors.”

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 11:40 PM, 08.31.2015

Wilcox will not seek fifth term; eight others vie for CH City Council seats

Cleveland Heights Mayor Dennis Wilcox has announced that he will not run for reelection in the Nov. 3 general election. Wilcox, 62, is a principal with Climaco, Wilcox, Peca, Tarantino & Garofoli Co., L.P.A., specializing in business and corporate law. He has served four consecutive four-year terms on council, and was elected president of council—mayor of Cleveland Heights—in 2014. In Cleveland Heights, city council president is elected by city council members.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 11:34 PM, 08.31.2015

38th annual Heights Heritage Home & Garden tour set for Sept. 20

This Brewster Road home is an authentically renovated Rockefeller home. Photos courtesy HCC.

The 38th annual Heights Heritage Home & Garden Tour, sponsored by Heights Community Congress (HCC), gives tourgoers the opportunity to discover six Cleveland Heights homes and five gardens, to explore their history and learn what makes them unique. This year’s self-guided tour, with the theme, Step Inside Our Stories, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 20, noon to 6 p.m.

A preview party is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, at The Alcazar, a historic landmark. After a preview tour of selected homes, preview party guests will return to The Alcazar for fun, food, drinks and entertainment.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 11:32 PM, 08.31.2015

The Observer welcomes opinions about candidates and issues

Municipal elections are coming up this November. This is the fourth local election cycle that the Heights Observer has been through since its inception, and it, like the ones that have come before it, is an important one.

Cleveland Heights residents will vote for three of seven members of city council this year. University Heights residents will vote for four of seven members of council. Residents of both cities will vote for two of five members of the CH-UH Board of Education.

In addition, the City of Cleveland Heights has a proposal on the ballot to raise its income tax from 2 percent to 2.25 percent.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 11:27 PM, 08.31.2015

Ohio's state report card does not measure what counts

We live in a time where everyone demands accountability. For public schools this has been twisted into making comparisons between different schools and students using some supposedly standard measures. Many of these measures are based on high-stakes tests that purport to test what students should have mastered at a particular point in time. Other measures report on graduation rates, gap closing and student progress. In fact, there are so many categories on which to report, we often get lost in the mud of numbers. The more numbers there are, the more we blindly accept their legitimacy.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 11:22 PM, 08.31.2015

Alphabetize the Heights

Photo courtesy of Leo Reynolds,, under creative commons license.

“Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one.”

Larry Page stated as much in his first letter to shareholders, and repeats this important thought when announcing that the concept of Google that existed before Aug. 10, 2015 would now be known as Alphabet. Everything previously known under the domain of Google, from Web search tools to self-driving cars, will be under the new Alphabet umbrella.

Alphabet’s structure allows for —oversight and guidance from its founders, while companies under the behemoth—Google X, Calico, Nesteach operate with their own CEO.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 11:18 PM, 08.31.2015

Cutting funds will not improve schools

Resilience is an essential quality for surviving adversity, and I'm worried. Are our public schools resilient enough to survive the constant attacks by the Ohio legislature? Our schools are suffering from a regime that uses testing as a substitute for support, unfairly labels schools and children and communities as failed, ties high-stakes decisions with real consequences to an unreliable testing system, and then gives away public funds to private and charter schools with no oversight or accountability. That’s how crazy it is.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 11:07 PM, 08.31.2015

Open house at Heights High's Wiley campus draws interested residents

At the Wiley campus open house (from left), Adele Zucker, UH councilwoman; Nancy Peppler, BOE president; Sue Pardee, UH councilwoman, and Zoraba Ross, Heights High administrative principal.

More than 120 curious neighbors, community members, retired teachers and Heights family members attended the Aug. 20 open house at the newly renovated, temporary Heights High on the Wiley campus in University Heights. University Heights City Council and UH Mayor Susan Infeld hosted the event, to give community members a chance to tour the renovated building and learn more about the school’s programming.

Mayor Infeld, Talisa Dixon, superintendent of Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools, and Zoraba Ross, Heights High’s administrative principal, spoke briefly to the attendees.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 11:00 PM, 08.31.2015

Boulevard Neighbors to host housing forum

A new organization calling itself Boulevard Neighbors will present a forum for neighborhood residents on issues related to housing. The event will take place on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m., at Beth El - the Heights Synagogue, 3246 Desota Ave. The area served by Boulevard Neighbors is bounded by Mayfield Road on the north, Cumberland Road on the west, Berkeley Road and a short stretch of Euclid Heights Boulevard on the south, and South Taylor Road on the east.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 10:56 PM, 08.31.2015

Understanding crime in Cleveland Heights: A snapshot of the CHPD

At a public forum this summer, sponsored by FutureHeights and the Heights Observer, Cleveland Heights Police Chief Jeffrey Robertson said that maintaining diversity on the police force is a management priority.

“Officers in this department come from many different backgrounds, as do the residents of the city,” Robertson said. “I feel that a well-educated work force that reflects the community that it serves is helpful in the job that we do.”

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 10:51 PM, 08.31.2015

Grant Deming's Forest Hill Historic District

The 2014 Lincoln Boulevard block party [photo: Mark Souther]

For most of its history, Grant Deming’s Forest Hill Historic District was a neighborhood in search of its own identity. Developed more than a century ago as the Forest Hill Allotment, to evoke images of John D. Rockefeller’s summer estate of the same name, the neighborhood gradually lost its name. Once fully developed, it no longer appeared in newspaper advertisements. Then, after John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s land along the East Cleveland border was laid out as another Forest Hill in the late 1920s, the original Forest Hill neighborhood became a place identified primarily in relation to nearby areas. 

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 10:48 PM, 08.31.2015

CH historical lectures and tours planned for fall season

Cleveland Heights storefronts in the early 20th century. Photo courtesy City of Cleveland Heights.

This fall, the Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission, the Cleveland Heights Historical Society, Heights Libraries, and Cleveland State University Center for Public History + Digital Humanities are partnering to present a series of historical lectures and tours centered in and around Cleveland Heights.

All events will take place rain or shine, and registration is required for some events. To register, call 216-291-4878.

Sept. 5, 10 a.m. to noon, Cleveland Heights Rocks and Waters 2015: Dugway Brook west branch walking tour and lecture

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 8:37 PM, 08.31.2015

HBC offers discounted home tour tickets for bicyclists

Cyclists on an HBC-sponsored bike tour of historic districts in Cleveland Heights stop at a home on Washington Boulevard last May. Photo courtesy HBC.

Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC) is partnering with Heights Community Congress (HCC) to offer discounted tickets to HCC’s Sept. 20 Heights Heritage Home & Garden Tour, to encourage bicycling as a means of transportation during the tour.

Tourgoers who would like to ride a bike on the tour can purchase advance tickets for $15—a $5 savings off a standard pre-sale ticket—through the HBC website,, beginning Sept. 1. Contact Sarah O'Keeffe at with any questions.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 8:29 PM, 08.31.2015

FutureHeights and LWV to host candidates forums; publish voters guide

FutureHeights and the CH-UH Chapter of the Greater Cleveland League of Women Voters (LWV) will host two forums to introduce candidates for local elections to Heights residents.

A forum on Sept. 29 will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at John Carroll University’s Dolan Hall, and will feature candidates for University Heights City Council and the CH-UH Board of Education (BOE). An Oct. 14 forum will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, and will feature candidates for BOE and Cleveland Heights City Council.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 8:27 PM, 08.31.2015

Annual Shaker Lakes Hike & Run scheduled for Sept. 20

Hundreds of runners participated in last year's Shaker Lakes Hike & Run that raises funds for environmental education. Photo courtesy Nature Center at Shaker Lakes.

The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes will hold its annual Shaker Lakes Hike & Run on Sunday, Sept. 20. Runners and hikers of all ages and abilities are invited to participate. The event benefits the Jenny Goldman Fund and environmental education, promotes health and wellness, and celebrates the Shaker parklands.

The 5K and 10K races will begin at 8:30 a.m., at the intersection of South Park Boulevard, North Park Boulevard and North Woodland Road, finishing at the Nature Center. The courses take runners along the tree-lined streets of the Shaker parklands, around Lower Shaker and Horseshoe lakes. The 10K course extends east along Shelburne Road to Chesterton Road and back to the Nature Center along South Park Boulevard.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 8:22 PM, 08.31.2015

GrowingHeights names new coordinator

Chris Hanson

GrowingHeights, a Heights-based organization created to connect and grow local community gardens, has added a familiar face to a leadership role. Chris Hanson assumed the role of coordinator on Aug. 1. The position was originally held by Samantha Provencio, who was known for her highly detailed and helpful newsletters and website.

Hanson had his first taste of the Heights as a FutureHeights intern in 2012. He graduated cum laude that year from Cleveland State University with a B.A. in Urban Studies. Wanting to continue service to his community and country, Hanson then enlisted in the Ohio Army National Guard as a combat engineer. He now lives in The Canterbury, a building located in the Cedar Taylor neighborhood of Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 8:18 PM, 08.31.2015

Planning for Eastside Greenway advances

In residential areas, Noble Road could be reworked to include protected bike lanes.

A recently concluded study highlights the potential for a network of bicycle and pedestrian facilities linking the City of Cleveland’s east side with 19 other municipalities, including Cleveland Heights and University Heights and all of their neighboring cities. The Eastside Greenway, as the proposed network is known, would increase connectivity in eastern Cuyahoga County and enable greater access to active transportation and recreation. The study’s soon-to-be-released final report will include infrastructure recommendations tailored to major routes and amenities, and a strategy for design and implementation.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.31.2015

CH-UH voters will elect two new school board members on Nov. 3

Nancy Peppler/Eric Coble.

Residents of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District will elect two new members of the five-member CH-UH Board of Education this fall. The seats of Nancy Peppler and Eric Coble, who each served two four-year terms, are up for grabs as neither is running for re-election.

Three candidates will be on the Nov. 3 ballot: James Posch, CEO of Inc. and former president of the CH-UH Public Library System’s Board of Directors; Katura Simmons, an office administrator for QualaWash Holdings, LLC, and PTA Council co-president for 2014; and Beverly R. Wright.

Peppler and Coble, residents of the Coventry Village neighborhood of Cleveland Heights, were elected to the board in 2007, following the contentious closing of Coventry Elementary School.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 1:30 PM, 08.31.2015

St. Paul’s welcomes new rector and youth minister

The Rev. Jeanne A. Leinbach

As a new fall worship and program year begins, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church welcomes two new leaders to its clergy and staff. The Rev. Jeanne A. Leinbach will assume her duties as rector on Sept. 1, and Miguel Covarrubias became youth minister in early August.

In the Episcopal Church, a rector is the priest in charge of a self-supporting parish. Leinbach is the 16th rector of St. Paul’s, the largest parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, and the first female rector in its 169-year history. Since the mid-1980s, four women have served as associate rectors: The Revs. Charlotte Dudley Cleghorn, Harper Turney, Angela Ifill and Lisa Hackney-James.

Leinbach comes to St. Paul’s from Winnetka, Ill., where she was associate rector at Christ Church.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:26 PM, 08.31.2015

Heights Arts reopens gallery with two new shows

Boxer, by Clotilde Jiménez. [courtesy the artist]

After being closed most of the summer for renovations, Heights Arts marks its gallery reopening with a grand public reception on Friday, Sept. 4, 6–9 p.m. for two new exhibitions: Emergent 2015 and Spotlight: Brenda Fuchs.

The first installation of what will be an annual show, Emergent 2015, showcases the finest “local produce” of Northeast Ohio colleges and universities.

“The idea behind the exhibition is to feature artists who graduated from area art programs in recent years and are now producing significant work. In this way, Heights Arts seeks to shine a light on the considerable strengths of studio art programs in this area,” noted Greg Donley, Heights Arts board president and gallery committee chair.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:23 PM, 08.31.2015

Noble Road Presbyterian hosts Sept. 5 rummage sale

Every two years, Noble Road Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of Noble and Kirkwood roads, hosts the ultimate recycling event—a community rummage sale.

The 2015 sale will be held on Saturday, Sept. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The purpose of the sale is twofold: to provide a place where items can be recycled through re-use, and put in the hands of new owners; and to raise money for the church’s mission activities. 

This year’s sale will feature living room and dining room furniture, as well as some smaller pieces. All the usual garage sale items will be offered for sale, including adult and children's clothing, books and plants.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:19 PM, 08.31.2015

CH's John Troxell is thriving as a working artist

John Troxell in front of one of his paintings.

John Troxell has been “into art” since he was five years old. Now 55, Troxell, who lives on Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights, is a full-time artist whose work has been exhibited at galleries in Ohio and in several other states.

Troxell grew up on the East Side of Cleveland near Euclid Avenue and Green Road. His uncle was also “into art,” and his father “knew a lot about art.” When they left him in a babysitter’s care, his parents would leave him with a sketchpad and a pencil, and he would make drawings. He also liked to do finger paintings.

When he was in seventh grade, Troxell left Cleveland to attend a military school in Texas. After graduating from that school, he returned to Cleveland and attended Case Western Reserve University.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:18 PM, 08.31.2015

My years as Superman's pal

The Russians never got around to bombing the original Coventry School, but the building came down, anyway, eventually.

It’s not a story problem. But it’s a story—about math—and a problem.

I went to elementary school—Coventry—during the 1950s, the Cold War era. We practiced the “duck-and-cover” technique of sitting on the floor with our backs to a wall, bringing our knees up, and putting our heads on our knees with our arms wrapped around our heads. Doing that would protect us from the atomic bomb they assured us would be coming.

My third-grade teacher, a simple and not very insightful person, who was born in the late-1800s (and who also, by some cruel twist of fate, became my fourth-grade teacher), told us how, when the Russians did start to drop bombs on Cleveland, we would be taken away in buses with glass tops (so we could watch for the planes) to some forest, somewhere, without our parents.

I spent most of my time in her class doing two things: either staring out the window, fantasizing about Superman coming to save us all from “the Russians” and me from my school and teacher (and, in the process, making me his pal, instead of Jimmy Olsen); or making up jokes. As I got older, the Superman fantasies were replaced by writing songs and creating choral arrangements. Actually following the classes and their lessons never quite kicked in.

It was also during third grade when some man came in and, with the teacher, pulled each kid aside for a few minutes to pigeonhole us.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:15 PM, 08.31.2015

Cleveland Heights home is the setting for intimate concerts

John Roberts and Debra Cowan performing at Sue Hannibal's house.

If you’re a fan of folk music or singer-songwriters, there is perhaps no better place to see a concert than Sue Hannibal’s Cleveland Heights home. Hannibal has been presenting concerts at her house on Ardleigh Drive for the past 10 years.

“A friend of mine knew about a folk musician who was looking for a place to play in Cleveland, and she knew my house was quite accessible,” Hannibal said. “She asked me if she could use my house for a concert, and that’s how it got started. I had never been to a house concert before, and it was a new concept to me.”

Hannibal now presents four to six concerts in her living room every year. The shows are intimate, with attendance limited to 30 people. Hannibal usually charges about $15 for admission, and all of the money goes to the musicians. The artists usually perform a 45-minute set, take a break and then play another 45-minute set.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:13 PM, 08.31.2015

Steve Presser leads life filled with toys, art and community

Steve Presser at Big Fun.

Standing next to a seven-and-a-half-foot-long G.I. Joe aircraft carrier, flanked by a few dozen action figures, jets and hovercrafts, Steve Presser is a man who has found his calling.

Since leaving his job as a stockbroker 24 years ago and opening Big Fun, a toy store in the artsy Coventry Village neighborhood of Cleveland Heights, Presser, 57, has become a vocal business leader, community coordinator and activist for the arts.

Reflecting on how his life has changed since his days of selling commodities, Presser said, “Now my commodities are fake dog-doo and throw-up, and lots of collectible toys.”

Wearing a bowling shirt and sporting short gray hair and a soul patch, Presser walked into Tommy’s restaurant, a vegan-friendly diner a few doors down from his store.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:11 PM, 08.31.2015

Zen and the craft of teaching

Susan Rakow

When Susan Rakow was a 19-year-old college student in Buffalo, in 1968, she attended a lecture that changed the direction of her life. Rakow, with hundreds of other students, heard Roshi Philip Kapleau, of the Rochester Zen Center, speak on Zen Buddhism. When he walked onto the stage, she thought, “I want what he has.” She saw a calm strength and equanimity in all he did, and that made a profound impression on her. Rakow had been seeking answers to religious questions and, for the first time, glimpsed an answer. The practice of Zen did not provide a set of beliefs but a way of being in the world.

When Rakow and her new husband, Larry, moved to Cleveland in 1971, they became part of a small Zen group in Cleveland Heights. In 1974, they moved to Geneva, Ohio, as part of a back-to-the-land experiment that lasted for two years. Both realized they were more accustomed to urban living and returned to Cleveland Heights, where they have remained since.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:08 PM, 08.31.2015

Osteoporosis affects both men and women

Osteoporosis is a disease that makes bones porous, which weakens them and makes them more susceptible to fractures. Often a person has no symptoms or pain, so the disease may not discovered until a bone breaks.

Osteoporosis is a natural part of the aging process. Throughout our lifetime, our bodies naturally replace old bone mass with new. When we are young, bone growth exceeds loss. New bone production slows as we age, however, and by the time we reach our late 20s, loss begins to exceed growth.

Loss of bone mass is accelerated in women when they reach menopause. According to the Cleveland Clinic, women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. It is often thought of as a “woman’s disease.” However, at around age 65, men and women begin to lose bone mass at the same rate.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:04 PM, 08.31.2015

Senior Citizen Happenings

After an August break, Senior Citizen Happenings resumes its schedule of weekly talks on Sept. 10. Sponsored by the City of University Heights, the talks are open to all senior citizens, and take place on Thursdays at 2 p.m., at the University Heights Library. For information, and to suggest program topics, contact the UH Office for Senior Services at 216-397-0336 or

Sept. 10: Joseph Valencic, president of the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum, will present the story of Frankie Yankovic, Cleveland’s own legendary Polka King.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:03 PM, 08.31.2015

Library joins the ‘maker movement’ with new teen program

Arnaz Simpson, 18, uses a donated sewing machine and donated fabric to create a laptop bag.

Every Thursday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., a small corner in the back of the teen room at the Lee Road Library is transformed into a workshop. Tables and supplies are brought out of storage, and teens crowd around to see what tools and craft supplies may spark a creative idea. Needle and thread? Hammers, nails and wood? Yarn, beads, or electric circuits?

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library has joined the growing “maker movement” with its Maker Thursdays program for teens at the Lee Road Library.

A March 2014 Adweek article summed up the maker movement as: “The umbrella term for independent inventors, designers and tinkerers. . . . A convergence of computer hackers and traditional artisans, the niche is established enough to have its own magazine, Make, as well as hands-on Maker Faires that are catnip for DIYers who used to toil in solitude.”

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:00 PM, 08.31.2015

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland turns 150

A classic John Tenniel illustration from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland—a milestone of longevity that few books reach. A novel about a girl who fell through a rabbit hole to encounter nonsensical talking animals somehow became a classic. Alice has inspired countless adaptations in the form of other books, artwork, live theater, ballet and film. One explanation for its popularity is that the literary nonsense genre is fun for young readers, and also allows for infinite interpretations for adults. It’s a fantasy book for children, a clever satire of Victorian England, and, perhaps, something else altogether.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library is celebrating the book’s anniversary with Alice-themed programs for all ages during its fall season.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 1:57 PM, 08.31.2015

What’s going on at your library?

Heights Libraries’ summer reading programs have wrapped up, but the fun continues into fall with new programs.

Coventry Village Library
1925 Coventry Road, 216-321-3400

Wednesday, Sept. 2, 7 p.m.

Cedar-Coventry Author Series: James Robenalt. Attorney and historian Robenalt reads from January 1973: Watergate, Roe v. Wade, Vietnam, and the Month that Changed America Forever. His account of that tumultuous year is based partly on newly released Nixon tapes.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 1:53 PM, 08.31.2015

Ten Thousand Villages brings fair-trade rug event to the Alcazar

Mohammad Imran works as a rug finisher at the Bunyaad warehouse in Lahore, Pakistan. 

Ten Thousand Villages is bringing a fair-trade rug event to Cleveland Heights. Although these rugs from Pakistan are not literally made of magic, they seem enchanted for the people who made them, bringing these artisans good fortune and recognition.

Ten Thousand Villages, in the Cedar Fairmount Business District, is a local nonprofit fair trade retail store that, for the third consecutive year, will bring the popular Fair Trade Oriental Rug Event to the historic Alcazar Hotel. The event will offer more than 300 high-quality hand-knotted Bunyaad rugs for sale.

The Fair Trade Oriental Rug Event is not an ordinary sale; it is an opportunity to give recognition to the artisans who spend their hours, days and weeks weaving and knotting these unique rugs.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 1:48 PM, 08.31.2015

TMS offers back-to-school music lessons for all ages

Isaiah Paik, 15, with Callista Koh, his violin instructor of 11 years and The Music Settlement Suzuki program head. [photo by Lynn B. Johnson]

Students are inundated with after-school activities. More than just a feel-good choice, music instruction offers students an alternative means of expression, is a positive factor in the cognitive, social and physical development of children and teens, and is a terrific stress-reliever for people of all ages.

Cleveland Heights resident Isaiah Paik, 15, started learning violin 11 years ago at The Music Settlement (TMS) as part of its Suzuki program. "I started playing violin when I was 4 years old. I didn’t know anything to expect, but it was a lot of fun," Paik said. "Now, I don’t really remember a time when I wasn’t playing violin. It’s been a big part of my life."

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 1:43 PM, 08.31.2015

Teen campers write about exploring Cleveland with LEI

Lake Erie Ink teen campers at MOCA Cleveland.

College student and Heights High graduate Maya Watkins was a summer intern at Cleveland Heights-based Lake Erie Ink: a writing space for youth. Working with students who took part in LEI’s Teen Camp led her to reflect on “what it was like to be a young kid, with limited mobility and busy parents who can’t always take you everywhere you’d like to go.” With LEI, the teens visited Terminal Tower’s observation deck, rode the Rapid, and visited MOCA Cleveland. The experience inspired Watkins to share, below, first-person accounts of the interest and excitement the teens felt, traveling around Greater Cleveland with Lake Erie Ink: “It was a pleasure to work with these students, and see the art they created as they looked for inspiration around the city. I hope that our community can sense their interest and enjoyment from their own words.”

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 1:38 PM, 08.31.2015

HRRC offers electrical repair course for women

Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) is accepting applications for the next module in its Home How-To for Women course: Electrical Repairs. The course will begin Sept. 30 and run through Nov. 18, with classes held each Wednesday, 7–9 p.m., at the HRRC Teaching Center, 2520 Noble Road in Cleveland Heights.

The module’s eight classes cover common electrical home repairs:

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 12:12 PM, 08.31.2015

University Heights voters will elect three to fill four council seats

The race for four open seats on University Heights City Council is a bit of a yawn this year. Four of the seven council seats are up for election this year, including those of council members Pamela T. Cameron, Steven Sims, Nancy English and Adele Zucker, but only three candidates will be listed on November’s ballot: Cameron and Sims, who are both running for reelection, and newcomer Michele Weiss.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 10:02 AM, 08.25.2015

Cleveland Heights should take advantage of Ohio's transparency initiative

Earlier this month, I went to a meeting regarding Ohio Checkbook (, which is Ohio's transparency initiative. It is spearheaded by Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel, and is supported by his predecessor and political opponent, Kevin Boyce.

Launched in December 2014, Ohio's open checkbook allows taxpayers to see how their money is spent by the state—its sole purpose is to EMPOWER TAXPAYERS TO MAKE POLITICIANS ACCOUNTABLE.

Do you feel empowered in Cleveland Heights?

This program is setting the standard for government transparency in the country and has brought Ohio's transparency rating from #46 to #1 in the nation.

This program is blind to partisanship; taxpayers have a right to know how their money is spent. The government is a STEWARD of our money. The information about how our money is spent belongs to the people, not to the government.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 10:42 AM, 08.25.2015

Doan Brook seeks volunteers for Sept. 5 storm drain stenciling

The Doan Brook Watershed Partnership (DBWP) is looking for volunteers to help “paint the town” on Saturday, Sept. 5, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in Cleveland Heights. This will be nonprofit organization's final Storm Drain Stenciling Saturday, for this year.

Volunteers are needed to help mark curbs next to residential storm drains with the stenciled message “Lake Erie Starts Here," and to distribute information about the signage to neighborhood residents. 

On Sept. 5, participants will meet at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, 1 Monticello Blvd., for a short stenciling demonstration and to pick up needed supplies and street assignments. Refreshments will also be provided.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 10:26 AM, 08.25.2015

Beth El offers free tickets for the High Holy Days

Beth El - The Heights Synagogue (BETHS) is offering free tickets for the High Holy Days again this year.

“We’ve never charged for High Holy Day tickets,” said Erica New, Beth El’s co-president. “It’s kind of a ‘homecoming’ and we’re happy to have anybody join us.”

BETHS is a traditional-egalitarian synagogue located at 3246 Desota Ave., at the corner of Berkeley and Desota avenues, and a stone’s throw from Lee Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard. The main entrance is on Berkeley Avenue.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 10:56 AM, 08.25.2015

University Heights seeks nominations for its Beautiful Home Awards

University Heights’s Beautiful Home Awards committee is currently seeking nominations for the city’s home award program, which recognizes the city’s homes and gardens. Nominations are due by the end of August for the 2016 awards.

"In my opinion, the beautiful home awards are a charming tradition highlighting the outstanding efforts of residents to maintain their properties," said University Heights Mayor Susan Infeld.

The annual awards comprise various categories, including: best front door, best backyard garden, best curb appeal and best "sit a spell"—i.e., seated gathering area in the front of the house.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 8:25 AM, 08.25.2015

Sept. 1 HRRC presentation offers energy-saving winterization tips

Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) will kick off its Preparing for Winter series with a free presentation on Tuesday, Sept. 1: Save Energy & Save $$.

Jim Colopy from GoodCents will offer tips for identifying how your home uses—and loses—energy; how to evaluate which measures will be most cost-effective in increasing your home’s energy efficiency; and how you can qualify for rebates on energy-reducing repairs and improvements.

The Sept. 1 presentation will be held at the South Euclid Community Center, 1370 Victory Drive, 7–8:30 p.m. Residents of all communities are welcome, but reservations are requested. To reserve a spot, e-mail, or call 216-381-6100, ext. 16.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 10:17 AM, 08.23.2015

University Heights hosts Wiley campus welcome reception on Aug. 20

On Aug. 20, University Heights Mayor Susan Infeld and members of UH City Council invite residents of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District to a welcome reception and open house at the newly renovated temporary Heights High, on the Wiley campus at 2181 Miramar Blvd.

From 5:30 to 7 p.m. that evening, residents are invited to tour the building and modular classrooms, and learn more about the expectations for the school year from school district personnel. 

At 6 p.m., a program will begin that includes a welcome from Mayor Infeld and Talisa Dixon, superintendent of Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools, as well as a brief presentation by Zoraba Ross, Heights High’s administrative principal. 

Leaders from both the City of University Heights and the school district will be available to answer questions from community members.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 6:55 PM, 08.17.2015

HRRC hosts annual clambake fundraiser on Sept. 12

The Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) is hosting its annual Clam Bake fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 12, 5–9 p.m., on the grounds of the McGregor Home (14900 Private Drive, East Cleveland).

Patrons will enjoy a relaxing evening as they celebrate the season with fun and fellowship, festive music, an auction of unique items and a traditional clambake.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 10:23 AM, 08.18.2015

Shaker leaves CH-UH district for new role with Cleveland schools

Angee Shaker

Angee Shaker, director of communications and community engagement for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, will leave her position at the end of August to become the executive director of strategic engagement for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD). There, she will work within CMSD’s division of portfolio planning to lead engagement activity and provide internal and external communications to support “Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools.”

Shaker served as director of communications and community engagement for the CH-UH district for six years.

“During her time in this role, Ms. Shaker became a trusted advisor, champion of the district’s brand, and a reliable voice for education in the community,” stated Superintendent Talisa L. Dixon. “She has facilitated our strategic planning efforts that engaged over 1,800 stakeholders, including students, staff, families and partners.”

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 11:08 AM, 08.14.2015

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 8-3-2015

AUGUST 3, 2015

  • Public comments
  • Fall and winter recreation
  • Server performance
  • Zoning variance
  • Regional business development practices
  • Public engagement
  • Mayor’s comments on the city

Council Member Jason Stein was absent.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 10:27 AM, 08.16.2015

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 7-20-2015

JULY 20, 2015

    • Public comments
    • Water rate increases
    • Zoning variances
    • Anti-poaching business development
    • Tax budget
    • Income tax
    • Nuisance properties
    • City development

All council members were present.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 10:26 AM, 08.16.2015

Beaumont offers students fair-trade school uniform option

Lupe, the sewing cooperative's head seamstress, holds a skirt that will be worn by a Beaumont student.

Beaumont School has partnered with One Seed Heritage to offer its students the option of purchasing uniform skirts that are made by fair-trade workers and ethically sourced.

The skirts are handmade by women of the Mayan community of San Juan La Laguna in Guatemala. These women are paid fairly and create the skirts using organic cotton grown on family farms and dye created from plants. Five percent of purchases will fund scholarships for Guatemalan children, whose literacy and school enrollment rates are among the lowest in the world.

“Our women-owned cooperatives are inspired by the Beaumont community's commitment to fair trade and social justice,” said Hilary Dell, founder of One Seed Heritage. “This is just the beginning of our journey to strengthen woman-owned businesses and introduce the next generation of women leaders to global entrepreneurship.”

Beaumont began exploring the option of fair-trade skirts with One Seed Heritage during the 2014–15 school year, with two students testing out prototypes for several months.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:07 AM, 08.10.2015

Student buys CH home through new land bank program

Peter Camba at his new Cleveland Heights home. Photo courtesy Cuyahoga Landbank.

The Cuyahoga Land Bank is handing over the keys to the first home sold through its BRAIN (Buying and Retaining Academic Investment Now) program to Cleveland State University (CSU) student Peter Camba.

“Brain gain”—the attraction and retention of young professionals with higher-education degrees—has long been touted as an economic development driver, and affordable housing is one of the factors in retaining young talent. With several well-respected universities in the area and an inventory of vacant homes ready to be renovated and returned to productive use, the Land Bank recognized an opportunity to play a role in retaining talent in Cuyahoga County by connecting students and recent graduates with great, affordable housing. With this goal in mind, it created BRAIN.

BRAIN offers eligible students and recent graduates the chance to purchase a newly renovated home at a discount of 15 percent off the purchase price and an additional 5 percent of the purchase price to be applied to closing costs.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:04 AM, 08.10.2015

Aug. 9 Cedar Fairmount festival features talk by Cleveland historian Alan Dutka

The Sylvester Everett Mansion (Euclid Avenue and E. 40th Street).

Alan Dutka, author of Misfortune on Cleveland's Millionaires’ Row, will give a free historical lecture on the stories of those who built Cleveland mansions. He will speak at 1 p.m. in the Alcazar Music Room during the Aug. 9 Cedar Fairmount Summer Festival.

Since retiring from a business career, native Clevelander Alan Dutka has published five books on Cleveland’s history: Misfortune on Cleveland’s Millionaires’ Row; AsiaTown Cleveland: From Tong Wars to Dim Sum; Cleveland Calamities: A History of Storm, Fire and Pestilence; East Fourth Street: The Rise, Decline, and Rebirth of an Urban Cleveland Street; and Cleveland’s Short Vincent: The Theatrical Grill and its Notorious Neighbors.

Misfortune on Cleveland's Millionaires’ Row describes the extreme wealth that was needed to purchase a mansion on Millionaires’ Row, but which provided no immunity from unsavory business dealings or shameful behavior. May Hanna gave the slip to her millionaire ex-husband’s hired Pinkerton detectives, to sneak out of the country.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 8:55 AM, 08.05.2015

CHHS grad is new Heights High supervisor of athletics

Dwight Hollins

Dwight Hollins is the new Heights High supervisor of athletics. Hollins takes over the position following the departure of Kristin Hughes, former athletic director, who accepted the position of director of athletics for Smith College in Northampton, Mass. Dwight will help facilitate the transition of athletic programs in the midst of the Heights High construction over the next two years.

"I know the district well and am eager to get started. With the demolition and construction of the high school just starting to take place, I see this transition as a huge opportunity," stated Hollins.  

Hollins, a CHHS graduate himself, has extensive experience in athletics.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:12 AM, 07.28.2015

CH-UH BOE opts against placing levy on 2015 ballot; looks instead to 2016

Despite a significant need for additional operating funds to maintain current staffing and services, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District Board of Education (BOE) has decided against asking voters to approve a new operating levy in 2015.

Scott Gainer, the district’s chief financial officer, detailed recent spending cuts that have been made, and next steps to offset the lost revenue from the May 2015 levy not passing, the loss of the Tangible Personal Property tax reimbursement from the state, and EdChoice vouchers. [The Educational Choice (EdChoice) Program provides students from underperforming public schools the opportunity to attend participating private schools. The EdChoice scholarship amount is currently $4,250 for grades K–8. When families opt to take advantage of this program, the district loses both the student and the state funding.]

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 5:10 PM, 07.23.2015