Latest News

Burgess aims to expand HYC membership

Beverly Burgess is director of the Heights Youth Club.

Beverly Burgess’s ambitions for Heights Youth Club (HYC) are straightforward: Reach more of the youth of Cleveland Heights, University Heights and South Euclid with the after-school programming she has been overseeing as the club’s director since November.

Burgess, who joined HYC as assistant director in February 2016, said that the club currently has about 200 members. The sign-up fee, posted on a recruitment sign on the club's, front door, is just $10. Another sign on the door makes clear that the first order of business when a young person arrives at the club on a Monday through Friday afternoon is to do his or her homework for the day, and then they can move on to more fun activities. On the last day of February, those activities included a poetry slam honoring Black History Month.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 3:17 PM, 03.22.2017

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Heights Community Congress celebrates Fair Housing Month

What does “neighborhood” mean to you?  Is it a place where you feel at home, where you can raise a family? Is it a place where you know people and they know you, where you shop, eat, live?  We all have different ideas of what neighborhood means, and Heights Community Congress (HCC) invites the community to explore two different perspectives of what constitutes a neighborhood, as the Cleveland Heights-based nonprofit celebrates Fair Housing Month.

HCC is proud to once again be a Community Partner of the Cleveland International Film Festival, which opens its 41st year at the end of March. HCC will sponsor two screenings of “Voices of the Hill,” directed by Carla LynDale Carter-Bishop, on Friday, March 31 at 4:05 p.m. and on Sunday, April 2, at 1:05 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 3:10 PM, 03.22.2017

Cleveland Heights adopts Master Plan

Cleveland Heights City Council voted unanimously on March 20 to adopt a new Master Plan as a long-term guide for the community’s development and revitalization.

The 250-page plan was prepared by the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission during a 16-month period that included three community meetings attended by about 230 people. At its March 20 meeting, CH City Council committed to begin implementing the plan immediately.

Among the plan’s more noteworthy recommendations are the following:

Mayfield Corridor Innovation District. As part of a strategy to increase jobs and tax revenues, the plan proposes targeting the Mayfield Road corridor as an “innovation district,” building off of its connection to University Circle and re-using some of the corridor’s currently under-utilized buildings.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 2:27 PM, 03.22.2017

Cedar Fairmount streetscape project to begin in April

View of expanded sidewalk area along Fairmount Blvd. Image courtesy Cedar Fairmount SID.

After a year’s delay, the Cedar Fairmount Streetscape and Cedar Road Resurfacing project is set to begin in April. The city awarded a $3.99 million contract to Perk Company Inc. in January.

According to Joseph Kickel, assistant to the director of public works for Cleveland Heights, the project was designed as two separate projects with multiple funding sources for each, but was combined into one in order to reduce costs and construction time. Of the total project cost, the resurfacing portion will be $2.95 million and the streetscape $1.04 million.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 4:52 PM, 03.20.2017

CLE Urban Winery expands its operation

The expansion will double the size of the winery's storefront.

CLE Urban Winery, located at 2180B Lee Road, has expanded into adjacent space. The expansion will not increase the size of the public tasting room, but will enable the winery to increase its on-site production and storage space.

“Everything is going very well for us, and I am ready to take the next step,” said Destiny Burns, owner of the winery.

She has a license that enables her to self-distribute wine in the state of Ohio. “We really want to expand our production and bring on more businesses who will sell our wine.”

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 11:22 AM, 03.21.2017

Noble Road resurfacing project gets underway

Noble Road will be resurfaced from where it begins at Mayfield Road to Cleveland Heights’ northern border with East Cleveland. Cuyahoga County is overseeing the $2.947 project, which is completely funded by the county, including engineering, administration and construction costs.

C. A. Agresta Construction Co. won the contract, and will begin work in April. Construction is expected to be completed by October.

According to Mike Tworzydlo, area construction manager for Cuyahoga County, the road resurfacing will include repairing the underlying structure and replacing curb ramps so that they are ADA compliant. Any broken curbs will be repaired. Although there was some initial discussion about adding bike lanes to Noble Road, this is not part of the project. The road will be re-striped to match what is currently there.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 6:10 PM, 03.20.2017

Heights Libraries designated a 'Safe Place' for kids in crisis

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System is now a designated Safe Place for youths in crisis. Each library branch will display the yellow-and-black Safe Place sign, which signifies immediate help and safety for young people.

“Libraries are already great places for kids and teens, with programs and materials that cater to their interests and educational needs, and staff members trained to work them,” said librarian Sara Phillips, the library’s Safe Place point person. “That’s why Karen McHenry, manager of Bellefaire JCB’s Homeless and Missing Youth Program, thought the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library would be a perfect candidate to become an official Safe Place for youth.”

“There are already lots of kids here,” said McHenry. “The library is already a safe place for kids, so this Safe Space training and designation just makes it official.”

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 6:09 PM, 03.20.2017

Heights High presents 'Much Ado About Nothing' March 23–25

The cast of the Heights High production of "Much Ado About Nothing." 

The Heights High Theater Department will present performances of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” March 23–25, 7 p.m., in the school’s Wiley auditorium.

“This is a funny show with witty comedy and intense drama,” said David Jurns, the show’s director and theater department teacher. “It's about love, betrayal, and the awkwardness of finding out you wanted something that you would have sworn you never would.”

In this production, the show is set in the late 1960s/early ’70s, during the hippie movement and the Vietnam War. Vocalist and guitarist Grant Heineman will provide live period music, and costume designer Beth Jurns has created hippie-style costumes for the cast.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 7:08 PM, 03.19.2017

Burning River Baroque to perform at Stone Oven on March 23

Burning River Baroque, a nonprofit early-music group, will return to Cleveland Heights on Thursday, March 23, with “On the Brink of Insanity: Portrayals of Women as Mad, Crazy, and Unhinged.” The program will be performed at 6:30 p.m., at the Stone Oven, 2267 Lee Road; free-will donations will be gratefully accepted.

Dramatic musical works often contain scenes of overwhelming emotion in which male characters are portrayed as being consumed by power. When women are overcome with emotion, however, male composers often attribute madness or craziness to them.

In this program, Burning River Baroque will present a selection of works by George Frideric Handel, John Eccles, and Henry Purcell in which women’s passions and emotional expressions render them unhinged in the eyes of their creators. A set of Sephardic folk songs will depict ways in which female narrators describe various types of insanity.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 7:07 PM, 03.19.2017

Cleveland Heights crime rates stable in most categories for 2016

Overall crime trend in Cleveland Heights, 2011-2016

While the number of property crimes in Cleveland Heights continued a four-year downward trend in 2016, the overall number of violent crimes increased last year for the first time since 2012.

Three murders were committed in the city last year, the same as in 2015. Nine rapes were reported, compared to eight the previous year. But there were 83 robberies, up from 53 in 2015; and 55 aggravated assaults compared to 33 the year before.

Police Chief Annette Mecklenburg said citizens shouldn't be alarmed by the increase. "We'd love the rates to keep going down until we're at zero crime, but it doesn't work that way," she said, emphasizing that it doesn't mean the city’s streets are less safe.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 11:30 AM, 03.22.2017

High school renovation on schedule as middle school plans take shape

A portion of the historic high school is incorporated into the high school's new east side entrance.

As the renovation of Cleveland Heights High School nears completion, the district will enter the final part of its Phase I comprehensive school facilities renovation project and begin renovation of its two middle schools. The high school is on schedule to reopen to students in August. When school begins this fall, all district middle schoolers will attend the temporary campus at Wiley, 2181 Miramar Blvd., while construction begins at the Roxboro and Monticello buildings.

Construction on the two middle schools will take an estimated two years, with students returning to the renovated buildings at the start of the 2019–20 school year. At its Jan. 3 meeting, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education (BOE) approved the design schematic for the middle schools, created by architects Moody Nolan.

In November 2013, the Heights community passed Issue 81 to finance a bond to fund $134.8 million of the $157 million project. The Ohio Schools Facility Commission [OSFC] was to provide an 11 percent reimbursement of eligible costs, which would then assist the district in financing the renovation of its elementary school buildings, for which the community would also have to pass an additional bond issue.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 11:28 AM, 03.22.2017

Reaching Heights honors community partners at annual meeting

Dave Tabor and Saroya Queen-Tabor (center) were each recognized individually as a Friend of Public Education. They are flanked by Talisa Dixon (left), superintendent of the CH-UH City School District, and Krista Hawthorne, executive director of Reaching Heights.

Hellos, goodbyes and thank-yous dominated the Reaching Heights Annual Meeting in January. Two board members finished their terms and five new board members were welcomed.

The evening’s theme, Honoring A Caring Community, continued with the presentation of the Friend of Public Education award to two community members who happen to be a married couple, Dave Tabor and Saroya Queen-Tabor.

Next, Bryan Barrett, owner of Bryan’s Marathon and a Heights High alumnus, received the Outstanding Community Partner award for employing Heights students and supporting school activities.

Finally, the Reaching Heights staff and board, and the community, thanked Lisa Hunt, who resigned as assistant director of Reaching Heights to accept a parent-engagement position with the CH-UH City School District.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 10:40 AM, 03.18.2017

CHHS and JCU host Community Day March 18

Cleveland Heights High School (CHHS) and John Carroll University are hosting a Community Day at Heights High's Wiley campus on Saturday, March 18, from noon to 2 p.m. The event will include an unveiling of a Cleveland skyline mural, food, games for children, short performances, speakers and ice-breaker activities. The event is free.

Community Day has been planned by the Social Justice Cadre that comprises 14 CHHS students and eight JCU students from the university's Arrupe Scholars Program that focuses on developing leaders for social action.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 10:26 AM, 03.16.2017

University Heights considers Cedar Taylor gateway

The northeast corner of Cedar and Taylor. Photo by Eli Auerbach.

On March 7, a dozen University Heights residents joined Mayor Susan Infeld at University Heights City Hall as she introduced the city’s first Public Art Listening Session. The purpose of the community meeting was to present grant-eligible projects aimed at improving and beautifying various public spaces around the city. Infeld said she felt it was critical to the city's process to engage with the community in order to explore creative uses for the city’s public spaces.

The city recently applied for an Art Start grant, offered through the Ohio Arts Council. The grant awards recipients up to $5,000 with a one-to-one match.

This meeting focused on the intersection of Cedar and Taylor roads, and the adjoining business district. Specifically, the mayor and her staff are looking to improve the intersection’s northeast corner, the site of a building that was once home to a long-defunct Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 2:41 PM, 03.13.2017

Beaumont School to host 2017 benefit gala on April 1

Beaumont School will host its 2017 Beaumont Gala on Saturday, April 1, at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven, 6111 Landerhaven Drive, Mayfield Heights.

All proceeds from the event will directly benefit Beaumont students at Beaumont, enabling the school to provide a scholarship to each student, provide tuition assistance to those in need, and provide operating expenses for the school.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m., with Celebrant Reverend Donald Oleksiak leading a liturgy in the Landerhaven rotunda. At 6:30 p.m. a cocktail reception and silent auction will begin in the atrium. Dinner, a live auction and a mission drive will commence at 8:15 p.m., in the ballroom. The evening’s events will also include a wine pull, gift card grab, heads or tails game, and two raffle opportunities.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 7:06 PM, 03.13.2017

Revive on Lee Road to close in April

Revive owner Lisa Dunn outside the shop in 2010.

Lisa Dunn, owner of Revive, has announced that the independent fair-trade boutique will close in April. Dunn opened the store, at 2248 Lee Road, in 2006.

In a press release, Dunn cited the 2016 street construction on Lee Road as a factor in the store’s closing, stating that several months of reduced traffic flow and sales volume left the business unable to recoup those losses.

“After 10 years doing business in our wonderful community of Cleveland Heights, this was not an easy decision to make,” said Dunn. “We are grateful, both to our customers for their decade of support, and to the artisans we work with for their meaningful partnerships. Our hope is that our patrons continue to support fair trade and social justice in any way they can.”

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 10:56 AM, 03.08.2017

Beaumont School speaker series continues on March 8

Beaumont School presents the second installment of its 2016–17 Saint Angela Merici Speaker Series, which examines critical topics and provides a forum for alumnae, parents and community members to join together for discussion.

Sister Ann Winters will lead “Becoming the Light of Christ: An Experiential Hour of Releasing and Forgiveness to Love Ourselves as God Loves Us,” on Wednesday, March 8, 7–8 p.m., in the school’s Angela Merici Chapel.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 6:28 PM, 03.07.2017

Barrio opens in Cedar Fairmount district

Jake Hawley, Sean Fairbairn and artist Michael McNamara inside the new Barrio in Cleveland Heights.

Barrio, a new restaurant, opened on Feb. 28 in the Cedar Fairmount district, in the space formerly occupied by longtime tenant the Mad Greek. The new restaurant is the fifth Barrio in Greater Cleveland, and the first to open on the East Side.

“Barrio means neighborhood in Spanish,” said Sean Fairbairn, co-owner of the chain, along with Tom Leneghan. “We thought this was a really nice neighborhood. There is good energy and good people. There is also parking in the back, behind the restaurant, and there are colleges nearby.”

Jake Hawley, director of operations, noted that Barrio often draws a younger demographic, and having both Case Western Reserve University and John Carroll University nearby was a big factor in the location’s selection. Fairbairn and his partner looked at about 100 locations before selecting Cedar Fairmount.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 4:48 PM, 03.06.2017

Heights Observer readers suggest new businesses for the Heights

Each year when FutureHeights conducts its annual Best of the Heights Awards survey through the Heights Observer, the last question asks readers to suggest businesses that they would like to see open up shop in the Heights. Because it is an open-ended question, the responses vary widely. Some suggest specific businesses by name, others suggest an idea for a particular business district or location. Still others suggest ideas for activities that they would like to have access to in the Heights, whether they can be provided by a for-profit business or not.

In this year’s survey, readers suggested several new food-related businesses that they would like to see locate in the Heights.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 10:25 AM, 03.07.2017

Superintendent’s Cadre works for social justice

The 2016–17 Superintendent’s Social Justice Cadre held its initial meeting in November.

A group of Cleveland Heights High School and John Carroll University (JCU) students have teamed up to create positive change in the Heights community.

Sixteen Heights High students, members of the 2016–17 Superintendent’s Social Justice Cadre, met on Nov. 30, at the CH-UH Board of Education building, with eight JCU students from the Arrupe Scholars Program and their director, Associate Professor Malia McAndrew, as well as CH-UH Superintendent Talisa Dixon.

The Arrupe Scholars Program provides JCU students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become advocates for positive social change. The combined cadre was formed when McAndrew and Dixon met and began discussing ways to collaborate.

“The JCU students would work on a project with communities in the city of Cleveland, but we thought, why not do their projects within John Carroll’s community here with our students?” Dixon explained.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 4:47 PM, 03.06.2017

CLE Urban Winery is Best New Business

Destiny Burns, owner of CLE Urban Winery, in front of her newest wine tank. CLE Urban Winery won Best New Business in the FutureHeights 2017 Best of the Heights Awards. Photo by Deanna Bremer Fisher.

In the 2017 Best of the Heights Awards contest, readers of the Heights Observer honored outstanding businesses in Cleveland Heights and University Heights by voting, Jan. 15 through Feb. 15, for their favorites in 12 categories. In all, 195 businesses were nominated.

CLE Urban Winery (2180B Lee Road), producer and retailer of handcrafted wines, edged out finalists Greedy Girl and Zoma Ethiopian Restaurant to win Best New Business.

Owner Destiny Burns said that winning the award was exciting, humbling and validating. “I feel like we are connecting with the community. My vision for this place was a community space, and that is really what it is becoming and it’s wonderful to see,” she said.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 10:30 AM, 02.28.2017

Taylor Road ceramic shop opens

Asya Palatova in her new store, Gleena Ceramics, at 2114 South Taylor Road. Photo by James Henke.

In December, Asya Palotova, a designer and ceramist, opened a unique new store and studio at 2114 South Taylor Road in Cleveland Heights.

Called Gleena Ceramics, the store features tableware, including cups, plates, saucers and vases, designed and produced by the store’s owner, Palatova, a former art director at Martha Stewart Living magazine.

Palotova’s products are available in stores in 16 states, and online, and have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living, House Beautiful, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, InStyle and Martha Stewart Weddings, among other magazines.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 2:34 PM, 02.28.2017

FutureHeights to host vacant and abandoned properties forum

This home in University Heights was demolished last month. It had been vacant for several years.

FutureHeights will host a public forum, Vacant and Abandoned Properties in Cleveland Heights and University Heights, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7, at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, 3031 Monticello Blvd.

As Northeast Ohio climbs out of the housing crisis, many Cuyahoga County communities are still dealing with issues of property abandonment. This panel presentation and discussion aims to help attendees understand the basics about vacant and abandoned properties, help translate applicable laws and policies, and discuss existing options and solutions.

The discussion will focus on answers to the following questions:

  1. What is a vacant and abandoned property, from a legal perspective?
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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 4:31 PM, 02.27.2017

Lutheran churches consolidate to form new congregation

On Feb. 5, the congregations of Hope Lutheran and Bethlehem Lutheran churches voted to consolidate their ministries to form a new congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) later this year. 

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 2:35 PM, 02.28.2017

CH is advised to create a Community Development Corporation

A special Economic Development Advisory Committee appointed by Cleveland Heights City Council delivered its recommendations to the council’s Committee of the Whole on Feb. 13. Its top recommendation is the creation of a Community Development Corporation (CDC) in Cleveland Heights that will partner with the city and other organizations to promote the city's economic development.

The CDC would focus on revitalizing mixed-use business districts, coordinating Special Improvement Districts (SIDs), and work with the city and civic organizations to create visions and plans for neighborhoods and business districts throughout the city. The CDC would also focus on enhancing the identity of the city and its unique neighborhoods and business districts, and marketing the city throughout the region.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 10:46 AM, 02.28.2017

Swim Cadets to perform annual show March 9–11

The 2017 Cleveland Heights High School Swim Cadets.

The Cleveland Heights High School Swim Cadets, a 20-member synchronized swim team and the school’s oldest extracurricular club, established in 1939, will hold its annual performances on March 9, 10 and 11, at 7 p.m.

The year’s theme, Swim Cadets Break Your Heart, is set to break-up songs, and is the culmination of five months of practice.

The shows will be held at the Warrensville Heights High School pool, 4270 Northfield Road in Warrensville Heights. Tickets are $8 and are available from team members and at the door.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 11:04 AM, 03.01.2017

The Salon artists comprise spring show at St. Paul’s gallery

Santa Fe Series: Mountain Walk with Road by Tom Roese, graphite, acrylic and colored pencil on acid-free board.

The Nicholson B. White Gallery at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., announces its spring show, The Salon Shows at St. Paul’s. The exhibition opens with an artists’ reception on Friday, March 10, 5–7 p.m., where participating artists will greet guests and discuss their creative processes. The show runs through June 4.

Featured artists are Bonnie Dolin (oils and pastels), Jennifer Leach (woodcut prints), Leslye Discont Arian (mixed media and clay) and Tom Roese (acrylics and graphite).

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 11:17 AM, 03.01.2017

Heights Arts goes 'Public' with March exhibition

Illustration from Science Book, by Joe Lanzilotta. [image courtesy Joe Lanzilotta]

Design and illustration continue to expand beyond their traditional roles in publishing and advertising. Influenced by graffiti and new technologies in animation and gaming, illustrators create stories about world issues, popular culture, even trends in daily life. Artists take issues out of context and reexamine them in previously unconsidered perpectives, challenging viewers to assess their own part in the whole. 

PUBLIC CONSCIENCE through graphics and illustration, which opens Friday, March 3, 6–9 p.m., in the Heights Arts main gallery, examines these trends among Northeast Ohio artists. Co-curated by artists Leslye Arian and Dave King, the group exhibition showcases the work of Laura and Gary Dumm, Derek Hess, Brian Jasinski, Nancy Schwartz Katz, Milan Kecman, Jake Kelly, George Kocar, Joe Lanzilotta, Angela Oster, Josh Usmani, Justin Michael Will, and Sean Higgins and Nicholas Rezabek of the Bubble Process.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 6:32 PM, 02.28.2017

March-ing order

March in Cleveland can bring some of the worst winter weather of the year. But March also offers some major harbingers of spring.

Like the Cleveland International Film Festival. The festival itself has nothing to do with spring—I mean, it’s not like they screen 150 movies about nice weather—but it takes place at what is supposed to be the end of winter, and sometimes is the end of winter, but sometimes isn’t. A few years ago, the biggest snowstorm of the year took place on a Saturday in the middle of the film festival.

I decided to chance it—I had tickets to three CIFF films that day—so I drove down to Tower City from the top of Cedar Hill. I kept to the major roads all the way there, but none had been plowed. Luckily, I was able to follow a big truck and drove in its tracks. I didn’t see any other cars along the way, and I figured I was going to be the only one there. I thought they might give me a prize—maybe a pass for the rest of the festival—for being so loyal.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 6:35 PM, 02.28.2017

Letter: Bodega is a hidden gem

To the Editor:

Several years ago we first ate at the Bodega restaurant on Coventry to take advantage of the Tuesday night offer of half-price tapas, a variety of small plate dishes. We discovered outstanding cuisine.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 2:52 PM, 02.28.2017

Letter: Democracy Day hearing was entertaining and informative

To the Editor:

I was both entertained and informed by the Democracy Day at CH City Hall on Jan. 25. Underlying this event are the modified-free speech activists of Move to Amend, [who want] to restrict the First Amendment because even a court of nine Bader Ginsburgs would never agree with their objective. I didn't ask, but I doubt anyone there has actually read the Citizens United (itself a nonprofit) decision, because even the justices in the minority agree that corporations are an assembly of people and have First Amendment rights. The minority could not convince another justice why General Electric would have free speech by virtue of owning NBC, but not the media-light Ford Motor Company, for example.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 2:42 PM, 02.28.2017

Letter: Top of the Hill is a tremendous opportunity worthy of discussion

To the Editor:

By now, most of us who live, work, or recreate in the City of Cleveland Heights are probably aware of the redevelopment proposal for the Top of the Hill property in the Cedar Fairmount District. A developer has been selected, negotiations are underway, and highly anticipated planning and economic development details should soon be available for public view.

FutureHeights supports a mixed-use development project at Top of the Hill. Development of underutilized properties in Cleveland Heights will increase population, add to the tax base, and decrease the tax burden among current residents. A high-quality mixed-use development at the top of Cedar Hill will also enhance the reputation of the city, appropriately increase density to support existing businesses, and improve the quality of life for existing residents by providing goods and services that they need, including the addition of new for-rent and for-sale housing options.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 1:10 PM, 02.06.2017

It's hard to recommend teaching as a profession

My holiday tradition for several years was to go backpacking overnight between Christmas and New Year’s with Boy Scout alums from my days as scoutmaster. For the last several years, we seem to get a better turnout if I host a party at my house instead. This year, one of the young men, who is in his mid-20s, and I discussed whether he should go into teaching. This would have been an easy discussion years ago, but now it is not so simple.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 2:55 PM, 02.28.2017

Short messages work

Short and punchy messages are important to successful protest. They help frame issues and raise awareness. They can get to the core of an idea and make it real and raw.

My favorite short-form medium is the bumper sticker. As I try to organize and focus my concerns, my mind quickly turns to formulating a bumper sticker. When I gave up my 1990s Honda CR-V, it was covered with the names of my favorite candidates and messages about causes that mattered to me. I was disappointed during this election cycle to discover the bumper sticker was no longer a critical part of electoral politics.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 2:59 PM, 02.28.2017

County overvalues Heights properties

Has the county valued your home accurately for property tax purposes? In other words, does the value comport [compare?] with other properties that have sold on your street? Do you think that your home would sell for the amount at which the county has valued it? If the county's appraised value seems out of line to you, you are not alone. There seems to be a pattern of overvaluing homes for property tax purposes in Cuyahoga County, and this miscalculation by the county could be costing [homeowners] thousands of dollars.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 3:00 PM, 02.28.2017

Corporate personhood and Ohio

Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that corporate entities are “persons,” entitled to the constitutional rights originally intended solely for human beings. On Jan. 25, Cleveland Heights held its fourth annual Democracy Day public hearing, created by the 2013 ballot initiative that called for a U.S. constitutional amendment stating, “Corporations are not people and money is not speech.”

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 3:05 PM, 02.28.2017

Naming new park for first UH mayor would honor city's history

By now, many know that University Heights has a new neighborhood community park, located near City Hall, bordering Fenwick Road on the west. But how many know the history of our city or the names of its founders?

What better way to honor our city’s first mayor, John J. Howard, and celebrate our history than name this new park the John J. Howard Park. This name has significant historical value and merit to our community.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 3:15 PM, 02.28.2017

Lanphear-Callender Sears House

3402 Ormond Road, 2015 [courtesy J.R. Salisbury]

Constructed in 1924, the home at 3402 Ormond Road is a fine example of a Sears Catalog Home known as the Ardara model. The Ardara was one of approximately 400 different styles of homes that Sears offered between 1908 and 1940. The Ardara was a five-room bungalow, though the Ormond version is larger. The model appeared by 1919, and was a very early design to feature a front-facing attached garage. Craftsman-style details are evident in the front door, windows and arched front portico.

The mail-order Sears kit homes typically arrived by railroad car. The new homeowners often constructed their own homes with the help of family, friends and neighbors. Sears homes can often be identified by the numbered markings on the lumber, and the special hardware that accompanied each model.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 3:23 PM, 02.28.2017

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights [2-6-2017]

FEBRUARY 6, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Council reaction and welcoming city resolution
  • Other public comments
  • Interim finance director/clerk of council
  • 2017 street repair bids, software proposals
  • Zoning variance
  • Recreation rates and programs
  • National African American History Month and American Heart Month
  • Support of public education
  • Signatories for financial accounts
  • Boss Dog Brewing Company
  • Zoning code amendments
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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 3:28 PM, 02.28.2017

Cleveland Heights proposes zoning code update

Because the city’s zoning code requires no review of proposed building demolitions, the Center Mayfield Building was demolished without any opportunity for public comment. Photos by Bob Brown.

Gas stations, car washes, auto sales and auto repair businesses could no longer be built along some segments of Taylor, Cedar, Mayfield, Lee, and Noble roads and Euclid Heights Boulevard under one of a series of proposed zoning code amendments being considered in Cleveland Heights.

Specifically, these auto-oriented businesses would no longer be permitted uses in the city’s C-2 Local Retail Business Districts and S-2 Mixed-Use Districts. The businesses would still be permitted uses, with conditions, in the city’s other main commercial district, the C-3 General Commercial District.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 12:25 PM, 02.20.2017

Cleveland Heights becomes a 'Welcoming City'

At its Feb. 6 meeting, Cleveland Heights City Council declared the city to be a “Welcoming City” by a 6-1 vote on Resolution 15-2017.

Council members considered whether to declare Cleveland Heights a “Sanctuary City” but decided, instead, to declare it a Welcoming City.

In a press release, the city stated, “There had been some discussion regarding the concept of Sanctuary City. After further research, it was determined that Sanctuary City does not have set definitions and has no official government designation. Recent announcements that federal funds could possibly be withheld from these cities made Council look for other alternatives. The goal was to affirm a designation that would uphold the spirit of Cleveland Heights without jeopardizing in any way the financial strength of the City.”

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 4:57 PM, 02.20.2017

Cleveland Heights doctor helps people regain movement

Team Cleveland celebrating their win in the Cybathlon. Mark Munh (in the white shirt, center) won the race. Ronald Triolo is just left of him. Photo by Dr. Paul Marasco.

Cleveland Heights resident Ronald Triolo has spent much of his life trying to help people regain their ability to move around and walk. Triolo, 58, is executive director of the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He is also a professor of orthopaedics and biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU).

The APT Center is a national center for the development of all kinds of devices, primarily for disabled military veterans. Its employees focus onprosthetics and orthotics, neural interfacing (which involves technology for recording from the brain or nerves and injecting into the nervous system), wireless health monitoring and maintenance, and emerging enabling technologies.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 3:38 PM, 02.28.2017

HCC's PechaKucha Night is 'Inspired by Art'

Heights Community Congress (HCC) joined the PechaKucha phenomenon last October, when dozens attended its Telling Your Story event. A group of speakers—professionals in a variety of fields—shared diverse stories in presentations that lasted just six minutes and 40 seconds apiece. Between presentations, audience members asked lots of questions, engaged in conversations and made connections.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 3:47 PM, 02.28.2017

WRC's 25th-anniversary season continues with March performances

Western Reserve Chorale (WRC) will present a double billing of Haydn’s Mass in Time of War (Missa in tempore belli) and Requiem for the Living by Daniel Forrest. Concerts will take place Sunday, March 12, at 4 p.m., at Mary Queen of Peace Church, at 4423 Pearl Road, in Cleveland; and Sunday, March 19, at 3:30 p.m., at Church of the Gesu, 2470 Miramar Blvd., in University Heights. WRC is a Cleveland Heights-based chorus of nearly 100 singers from across the region.

The two works, composed 218 years apart, provide a glimpse of the spectrum of compositional styles which have been used in liturgical choral/orchestral works.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 11:10 AM, 03.01.2017

New book recalls a 'magical' Heights childhood

Rick Karges, author of a book about growing up in Cleveland Heights.

In The South Overlook Gang, Rick Karges, who grew up in Cleveland Heights, tells the story of his childhood here, in the 1950s and ‘60s.

The South Overlook Gang is Karges’ first book. He decided to write it after thinking about how wonderful that era was, and how different it is from today’s world. The book’s title comes from the name of a group of kids that Karges hung out with until he went to college.

He’ll be signing copies of his book at Nighttown on Sunday, March 12, 2–4 p.m., in an event presented by Appletree Books.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 3:46 PM, 02.28.2017

Noble library continues to welcome Nepalese refugees

A group meets at the Welcome Hub to learn about local resources for refugees and immigrants, and to learn English. [courtesy Heights Libraries]

For close to a decade, Bhutanese and Nepali refugees have been arriving in the Greater Cleveland area. Last year, ASIA Inc. estimated 400–500 Bhutanese families have resettled in Cleveland Heights.

As these refugees bring hope, optimism and a desire to learn, they contribute to making Cleveland Heights a better place. Noble Neighborhood Library sees this during its Welcome Hub hours.

“[The Welcome Hub] is this idea of having space that people can go to and acquire resources,” said Jessica Markowitz, a youth services associate at Noble Neighborhood Library. “If there is anyone in the community that does speak English as their native language but wants to connect to the non-native English-speaking community, they are more than welcome to join.”

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 6:20 PM, 02.28.2017

Library receives grant for digital media lab for teens

From left: Laurie Gemmill Arp and Melissa Hendon Deters, State Library of Ohio board members; Matt Mancini, Heights Libraries IT technician; Beth Hatch, Heights Libraries special projects librarian and grant writer; Jessica Robinson, Heights Libraries Youth Services librarian; Krista Taracuk and Jennifer Thompson McKell, State Library of Ohio bopard members  

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System received a Library Science and Technology Act (LSTA) STEM grant from the State Library of Ohio to create a Teen Digital Media Lab in the teen room at the Lee Road Library.

With $7,393 provided by the grant, Heights Libraries will build a sound isolation booth equipped with professional recording equipment and software that will allow local teens to learn sound- and music-related skills, including recording, mixing, editing and producing. The library will purchase and install the booth and equipment in the spring and summer.

This fall, the library will offer a formal program for up to 12 teen students, ages 13 to 18, to teach them how to use the equipment and software, produce a student album and learn about the music industry.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 6:03 PM, 02.28.2017

What’s going on at your library?

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

Wednesday, March 8, 7–9 p.m.

Cedar-Coventry Author Series. A book launch and signing for National Book Award finalist Dan Chaon. In his new novel, Ill Will, two sensational unsolved crimes—one in the past, another in the present—are linked by one man’s memory and self-deception. Registration opened Feb. 22. (This series, celebrating local authors, is presented in partnership with Mac’s Backs Books and Appletree Books.)

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 6:22 PM, 02.28.2017

Volunteer Match

Heights Observer’s Volunteer Match column lists opportunities for residents to lend their time and talent to worthy organizations and causes around the Heights.

Submit your organization’s volunteer needs by e-mailing Sruti Basu at sbasu@futureheights.org or calling the FutureHeights office at 216-320-1423.

Items submitted on or before the Heights Observer print issue's monthly story deadline will be considered for the next column. (To see past columns, visit www.heightsobserver.org, and search “volunteer match”.)

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 3:42 PM, 02.28.2017

CH Senior Center News

"Radio Hour' facilitators Jan Bruml and Drinda Kiner. [courtesy CH SAC]

The Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center, located in the CH Community Center at 1 Monticello Blvd., offers a wide variety of programming for Cleveland Heights residents 60 and older, and is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A complete schedule of programs is published in the community center’s newsletter, which is available at Cleveland Heights City Hall, local libraries, the community center and online at www.clevelandheights.com.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 3:50 PM, 02.28.2017

Senior Citizen Happenings

Senior Citizen Happenings, sponsored by the City of University Heights, are open to all senior citizens. Events take place on Thursdays at 2 p.m. in Council Chambers at University Heights City Hall. To receive the monthly schedule by e-mail, call 216-932-7800, ext. 205, or send an e-mail to info@universityheights.com.

March 2: Ronna Kaplan is chair of the Center for Music Therapy at The Music Settlement, the first community-based music therapy program in the country. She'll present a progam on the center's November 2016 50th anniversary: Celebrating 50 years of impacting lives through music.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 3:52 PM, 02.28.2017

Heights company helps local businesses thrive in digital age

Nachum Langsner (left) and Aaron Garfunkel, the owners of Local Biz Guru.

Two Cleveland Heights residents operate Local Biz Guru, a company that helps small businesses improve their online presence, to thrive at a time when online shopping has surpassed in-store shopping.

“Our entire business is predicated on helping local businesses be found online,” said Nachum Langsner, who owns the company along with Aaron Garfunkel. Langsner and Garfunkel started the business in August 2016. Prior to that, both men worked for a dental-supply company. In 2008, the company asked Langsner to build a website. “I had to very quickly learn how to do that,” he said. “But it turned out to be a great hands-on learning experience, and the project went very well.”

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 4:44 PM, 02.27.2017

LEI hosts fifth annual Kids' Comic Con

Lake Erie Ink will host its fifth annual Kids' Comic Con on Saturday, March 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. At this all-day event, young people will have the opportunity to attend workshops with well-known comic creators.

The event features professional writers and illustrators, with Terri Libenson, cartoonist for the internationally syndicated comic strip "The Pajama Diaries," giving the keynote address.

Workshops will cover the two aspects of comic creation—drawing and writing—and will include the ever-popular “create your own comic character in clay.”

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 5:05 PM, 02.20.2017

Dobama presents Pulitzer Prize-winner 'The Flick'

Kernels of stale buttered popcorn, sticky soda spills, and the occasional sandwich wrapper keep three underpaid employees of a run-down movie theater busy in “The Flick” by Annie Baker. Its regional premiere runs March 3–26 at Dobama Theatre, and is directed by Nathan Motta, Dobama’s artistic director.

In awarding “The Flick” the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Pulitzer committee cited it as “a thoughtful drama with well-crafted characters . . . rendering lives rarely seen on the stage.”

The play’s unconventional setting situates the audience where the screen would be in a movie theater, facing rows of seats and aisles with a projection booth above.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 5:03 PM, 02.20.2017

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 2-7-2017

FEBRUARY 7, 2017

  • Awards and recognitions
  • Public Address
  • Betsy DeVos
  • Student performance on state mandates
  • Black History month
  • American Heart Association Month
  • Professional development day
  • Ron Register receives OSBA award
  • Personnel
  • Change orders
  • Business actions
  • Donations received
  • Five-year forecast
  • School boards meetings
  • Board committee reports
  • Upcoming meetings

Board members Ron Register (president), Kal Zucker (vice president), Jim Posch, Eric Silverman and Beverly Wright were present. Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting took place from 7 to 8:55 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 11:28 AM, 03.01.2017

Barbershoppers earn award of Excellence

Barbershoppers William Aiken, Rangana Bartlett, Tedd Byers, Will Davis, Michael Garrett Jr., Remi Godard, Nareus Hardin, Dontay Hardnett, Grant Heineman,  Berlyn Phillips, Gerald Shazor, James Smith and Garrett Vandall, with Vocal Music Director Jesse Lange.

The 13-member Heights High Boys Barbershoppers earned an Excellent rating and the prestigious Presenter’s Award at the Barbershop Harmony Society's International Youth Chorus Competition in San Antonio, Jan. 19–22.

At the conference, students attended master classes, joined other vocalists in a chorus rehearsal and performance, attended performances by groups of youth and senior citizen singers, and performed for audiences and judges. They also received instruction from renowned musician Francisco J. Núñez, founder of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, international guest conductor and founder of the Social Change Through the Choral Arts Initiative.

Among the skills they honed in the master classes were using breath support and posture to emphasize specific lyrical content.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 4:58 PM, 02.20.2017

Heights High senior artist wins portfolio award

Shannon Berr with one of his portfolio pieces that received a Gold Key Award.

In the 2017 Cuyahoga County Scholastic Art Competition, Heights High senior Shannon Berr won a Gold Key award for his eight-piece portfolio, as well as five Silver Key and four Honorable Mention awards.

Six other Heights High student artists also won awards. Linnea Covault won a Gold Key and an Honorable Mention, Jenna Dent won a Silver Key and an Honorable Mention, and David Matia, Tylar McDowell, Lisa Ware and Gilda Weinstock won Honorable Mentions.

“Shannon’s Gold Key award for an entire portfolio is a fantastic accomplishment,” said his art teacher Nancy Eisenberg. “This is a significant award and we are very proud of him!”

Berr enjoys working on large-format multimedia pieces as well as three-dimensional sculptures, using wood and other materials.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 12:24 PM, 02.20.2017

Beaumont is first Cleveland-area all-girls school to earn IB status

Beaumont School has been officially authorized as an International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme World School by the IB organization in Geneva. Beaumont is the only all-girls school, and only the second Catholic school, in Cleveland to earn this international distinction. The program will be offered to students beginning in fall 2017. Beaumont will offer the IB Diploma Programme (DP), which is specifically for students in grades 11 and 12.

IB aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. It encourages students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 5:05 PM, 02.20.2017

RoxEl builds community by reading together

Cleveland Heights Mayor Cheryl Stephens spoke to Roxboro students about reading.

For three weeks in January and February, every member of the Roxboro Elementary School community—faculty, staff and students—read the same book.

The initiative started last spring, when first-grade teacher Liz McKinley, who sits on the Nordonia Hills Board of Education, listened to a presentation about One School, One Book (OSOB), a program spearheaded by the national Read to Them organization. She was so impressed, she brought the idea to Michael Jenkins, Roxboro’s principal.

At the same time, Clare Taft, Roxboro’s PTA president, who was searching for ways to build community at the school, read an article about One School, One Book. She brought the idea to Jenkins the next day. Jenkins formed a committee of parents and teachers to lead the effort.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 5:49 PM, 02.28.2017