Latest News

Coventry SID welcomes new executive director

Mallory Phillips is the new Executive Director of the Coventry Village SID.

It’s a behind-the-scenes job that makes a ton of difference for our community. In her role as Executive Director of the Coventry Village Special Improvement District (SID), Mallory Phillips attends board meetings; oversees neighborhood events, marketing, and street beautification; connects with property owners and merchants; communicates among the board, the city, merchants, and the neighborhood; and increases awareness of and the direction for the Coventry district. 

Phillips was drawn to the opportunity because she has long felt that there is something special about Coventry. Phillips moved to Cleveland after visiting a friend in Westlake several times over the years. Every time she came to town, Coventry was a destination. “Coventry was part of my first impressions of Cleveland and became a quick part of my own experience,” she said.

Coming from Los Angeles, the “east/west thing didn’t matter,” said Phillips, who found herself hopping over from Ohio City to spend the full day in Coventry.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 8:44 AM, 11.13.2018

Latest News Releases

Fundraisers, Candlelight Vigil Set For Beloved Cleveland Journalist Nikki Delamotte
- , November 14, 2018 Read More
Heights Arts 17th Annual Holiday Store opens November 2
- Heights Arts, October 30, 2018 Read More
Beaumont School Cross Country Team Wins District Title, Ciecierski Repeats as Champ
- Beaumont School, October 22, 2018 Read More
Voter information for Nov. 6 election
- Cuyahoga County, October 4, 2018 Read More
- Jewish Federation of Cleveland, September 26, 2018 Read More

View more news releases

UH native is touring with 'Les Miz'

Gabriel Sidney Brown (right) received a proclamation from University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan.

University Heights native Gabriel Sidney Brown is back in Northeast Ohio, and he’s brought the cast of “Les Misérables” with him.

The Broadway Series production of “Les Misérables” will run at the Palace Theater in Playhouse Square ( through Nov. 18.  Brown will perform as Feuilly, and he is the understudy for Marius.

On Nov. 1, Brown stopped by University Heights City Hall, where he was presented with a proclamation from Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 4:44 PM, 11.11.2018

Heights Libraries seeks new board of trustees member

Heights Libraries is currently accepting applications for a new trustee to serve a seven-year term.

Applications will be available from the Lee Road Administration Office from Oct. 8 until Nov. 19. Those interested should call 216-932-3600 ext.1200. 

The deadline for receipt of completed application is Monday Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an informational meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m., at the Lee Road Branch Administration Office Conference Room, 2nd Floor. Please RSVP to Nancy Levin, (216)-932-3600 ext. 1240.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 11:21 AM, 11.13.2018

CH's brand survey reveals diversity 'most valued'

It was a busy summer moving forward with the city of Cleveland Heights’ branding effort. Over a two-month period, our branding consultants held a series of one-on-one interviews, focus groups, expanded outreach and a community survey. All in all, we heard from around 1,000 Cleveland Heights residents and business owners. We also gathered input through our Facebook page and at In addition, a competitive analysis was completed on seven other Northeast Ohio cities.

What was discovered will be no surprise to many of you. Cleveland Heights is a remarkable community nestled in the inner-belt of Cleveland’s East Side. With a purposeful, intentional focus on the values of diversity, acceptance, and a fervent sense of “home,” the city has a powerful distinction relative to peer cities.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 2:15 PM, 11.12.2018

Ten years in, here's why it matters when you shop local for the holidays

We’ve been celebrating the Heights Observer’s 10th year by looking back—one month at a time—at a decade’s worth of headlines. This month is different; this month we bring you our annual “Shop local for the holidays” guide.

Here’s why it's important:

  1. Economic impact. Money spent over the Internet effectively leaves the community forever. The same goes for most of the money spent at big box stores. But much of the money spent at independent local merchants gets recycled back into the community, where it continues to feed the local economy.
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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:29 PM, 11.01.2018

Forest Hill Church's 'new thing'

The Rev. Veronica Goines is the new co-pastor of Forest Hill Presbyterian Church.

The sign in front of Forest Hill Presbyterian Church that proclaims “See, I am doing a new thing!” refers to the hiring of the Rev. Veronica Goines as the church's first African-American co-pastor.

The story of this historic call started in 2010, when a horrifying racial incident threatened one of the church’s young members. The young man, soliciting money for his football team, was searched at gunpoint by Pepper Pike police after a 911 caller reported a black youth trying to break into houses with a gun.

When church members demanded a public apology, the city of Pepper Pike refused, saying its response would have been the same if the call had been about a white youth with a gun.

The problem was, there wouldn’t have been a 911 call if the boy had been white. Only through the lens of implicit bias does a well-dressed, respectful and respectable young man with a cell phone, going door-to-door to raise money for his school, become a criminal suspect wielding a gun.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:25 PM, 11.01.2018

HRRC's Women's Electrical Repairs Series begins Nov. 7

November brings Home Repair Resource Center’s (HRRC) immensely popular electrical and electrical repairs series, just for women.

Over a five-week span, attendees will learn how electricity works and how to strip wire, wire switches and outlets, add 3-way switches, rewire lamps, work with service panels, use common electrical tools, and more.

The classes to take the fear out of electrical repairs and enable women to save money by making those fixes themselves.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 9:48 AM, 11.02.2018

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 11-5-2018

NOVEMBER 5, 2018


  • Public comments
  • Sewer maintenance agreement
  • Civil service amendments
  • Cheryl Stephens’ resignation
  • Mayor’s report


Council members present were Vice Mayor Melissa Yasinow, Mary Dunbar, Jason Stein and Cheryl L. Stephens. Mayor Carol Roe, Michael N. Ungar and Kahlil Seren were absent. Concern was expressed for Mayor Roe’s recovery from a fall. The meeting lasted from 7:32 to 8:22 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:46 AM, 11.13.2018

There is systemic racism in CH

When institutions give an unjust amount of resources, rights and political-economic power to white people while denying it to people of color, this is systemic racism. According to sociologist Joe Feagin, white elites and even people of color perpetuate systemic racism. The Cleveland Heights government is such an institution.

In 1972, it was revealed that the city had been redlining—limiting black families to homeownership only on the north side of the city. In 1993, city leaders acknowledged it had not invested in that area's infrastructure, housing stock and local business districts, and promised to change its ways. Today, after bearing the brunt of the foreclosure crisis in this city, the north side has yet to experience a change in the city's racist ways. It razes vacant and abandoned property and hopes to attract out-of-town property buyers and developers to build high-density, high-income residential buildings along the “Noble Corridor,” to bring in a more-gentrified class of people and businesses—forget the issues facing the low- to moderate-income, primarily black, residents currently living there.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:22 PM, 11.01.2018

Coventry School should be sold

While having an arts/nonprofit center is a wonderful idea and concept for our community, I don't feel the Coventry School site should be the location for it. A non-property tax generating building is not the highest and best use for this desirable location. It is a site that I presume would have a lot of interest from developers.

A site I presume won't have as much interest would be the Tudor buildings at the corner of S. Taylor Road and Superior Park Drive. These buildings are being transferred to the city of Cleveland Heights due to non-payment of property taxes. The first floor retail space in these buildings is essentially empty. Let's state some facts:

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:19 PM, 11.01.2018

Lake Erie starts here

At various points around Cleveland Heights and University Heights, you can find the message “Lake Erie Starts Here” stenciled on residential streets. In each case, an arrow points to a storm-drain grate. These words remind us that any litter or toxic waste dumped in the roadway will eventually be washed into a drain, and from there into our local streams—which in turn empty into Lake Erie a few miles north of here.

Lake Erie, of course, is the source of our drinking water, as well as home to food fish and the organisms they eat, and a place where residents of and visitors to four states and the province of Ontario come to swim and sail.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:16 PM, 11.01.2018

Ohio's test-driven culture has unintended consequences

The CH-UH administration has created instructional and testing pacing guides for each grade and most secondary subjects. These are calendars of material to be taught and tested at different points during the year. When these were first implemented, they were merely guidelines on curricula that should be emphasized, but recently they have morphed into restrictive deadlines and lock-step teaching. 

Teachers are now being directed to teach and test within a certain time frame, regardless of the needs of students or the distractions that may occur in class, like a fire drill, for example, that interrupts instruction. There is a need for flexibility in the pacing guides because some students may not be ready to move on as the pacing guide dictates.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:12 PM, 11.01.2018

Show your pride in and gratitude for Heights schools

Michelle Gore is proud and grateful for the education her son, Grant Gober, receives at Cleveland Heights High School, especially the opportunity to participate on the award-winning robotics team.

November is gratitude month. CH-UH school administrators and staff work continuously to bolster the educational experience and academic success of each of their students. While there are always ways to improve, there is also much to celebrate.

We want to hear your statements of pride and gratitude about the Cleveland Heights-University Heights public schools. Please go to and complete the “Proud & Grateful” form. These statements will be compiled and shared on the Reaching Heights website, our Facebook page, and other media, to spread positive statements about the accomplishments of the students and staff of the CH-UH public schools.

Several Reaching Heights staff and board members shared statements of pride and gratitude for the community’s public schools:

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 9:50 AM, 11.01.2018

State report cards should get an F

October was school-quality judgment month. The Ohio Department of Education issued its annual report cards that assign school districts single letter grades from A to F. This system uses performance on standardized tests as a proxy for school quality. The stakes are high when tests are used for making judgments like this.

Throw away your report card. It doesn’t matter if you got an A or an F! It doesn’t tell you enough about what matters, and it was built on a rocky foundation that ignores warnings about the inappropriate uses of standardized tests. When the reputation of a school or a community is on the line, or a child’s future is going to be affected, judgments should be based on legitimate methods. High-stakes testing does not meet this standard.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 9:45 AM, 11.01.2018

UH's first intern returns

Rachel Mullen is back at UH City Hall after 25 years away.

In the summer of 1993, John Carroll University student Rachel Mullen found herself with more free time than she could handle. She needed something to do.

At the time, Mullen lived in a duplex across the street from University Heights City Hall. She walked across Warrensville Center Road, marched up the steps to city hall and asked the first person she saw if there were any internships available.

Community Coordinator Walter Stinson told her nobody had asked to intern before. “Mr. Stinson said the city couldn’t pay me,” Mullen said, “but they could use the help.”

So, in the summer of 1993, Mullen began her first tour of duty with University Heights as the first-ever intern to Mayor Beryl Rothschild. Now, 25 years later, she’s returned to UH City Hall as executive assistant and special projects coordinator for Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan. Her first day back was Oct. 15.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 9:18 AM, 11.01.2018

Brennan joins county planning commission

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish has appointed University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan to the County Planning Commission. Brennan will represent the Heights Region, which comprises University Heights, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland and Shaker Heights.

In his application letter, Brennan explained to Budish that, as mayor of University Heights, he is aware “the success of our community is tied to the success of the surrounding communities,” and that he “will represent the interests of the several Heights cities in addition to my own city.”

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 9:15 AM, 11.01.2018

McPhee to host University Heights Civic Awards Nov. 14

Maggie McPhee

University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan expected to learn more about the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District at its Convocation Day back in August. What he didn’t expect, however, was to be entertained.

“I figured there’d be some speeches and a presentation or two,” Brennan said. “I didn’t count on there being an emcee who’d be putting on a performance like Tina Fey or Amy Poehler hosting the Golden Globes.”

Brennan knew then he had found his emcee for the upcoming University Heights Civic Awards.

The school event’s emcee was Maggie McPhee, a Spanish teacher at Fairfax Elementary School. In addition to her education training, McPhee has a background in dance, musical theater, sketch comedy and improv.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 9:12 AM, 11.01.2018

Again, what has changed?

Cain Park's sledding hill last year: It's getting dark and most of the kids have gone home. But an hour earlier, the place was packed with kids and adults, white and black, having fun, and nobody seemed to care what color you were.

There it is again. It won’t go away—that tired old “I’ve heard Cleveland Heights has really changed” thing that people say, people who no longer live here. I’ve written about this before, but it keeps coming back.

Just recently, someone in a Cleveland Heights-related Facebook group posted a photo of kids sledding down the hill at Cain Park in the 1970s. One of the first comments was “Those were the good old days.” I figured the commenter must have moved out of state and has assumed that kids no longer go sledding there. So I said to him, “It’s also the present. It’s exactly the same today.”

He responded, “I’ve heard that it changed.” I said, “Not at all. I’ve lived in Cleveland Heights for my whole life. I used to go sledding at Cain Park when I was a kid. Then I took my kids there when they were little. And now my son takes his kids there. And I also go to many concerts there during the summer.”

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 7:33 PM, 10.31.2018

Library launches new digital collections

Heights Libraries recently launched four new, free digital collections that customers can access through the library’s website, at any time of the day or night. All that’s needed are a Heights Libraries card and an Internet connection.

“Heights Libraries now offers three new movie and TV streaming services,” said Heights Libraries Deputy Director Kim DeNero-Ackroyd. “Acorn TV, which specializes in British and Australian movies and television shows, like Doc Martin and all kinds of British mysteries. Then there’s Kanopy, which offers items from the Criterion Collection, including classic movies from directors like Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurasawa, and all kinds of documentaries and art films. And then IndieFlix, which is just what it sounds like—independent films and documentaries that promote social causes.”


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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 6:33 PM, 10.31.2018

New UH clinic offers customized physical therapy

Evgenia Tararova has opened Physio Heights, a new physical therapy clinic in University Heights.

Evgenia Tararova became a physical therapist because she loves making people feel good, whether rehabilitating a patient's injury or training them for personal wellness.  She said she founded her own clinic, Physio Heights, so she can customize patient care without insurance restrictions. Treatment is based on the mix of services that work best for the client, not a pre-designated boilerplate plan.

Tararova chose University Heights for her home and workplace after growing up in Mayfield Heights.  “I chose University Heights because I love the area,” said Tararova, citing the livability, pedestrian access, and diversity. Physio Heights opened earlier this year at 2245 Warrensville Center Road. Client sessions can include a mix of manual physical therapy, neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, dry needling, therapeutic yoga, deep tissue and sports massage. 

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 6:43 PM, 10.31.2018

Cleveland's Pilates master goes international

McCarty teaching Pilates in Venice, Italy. (Image courtesy of McCarty)

Local Pilates master Troy McCarty, owner and director of White Cloud Studios, has been dedicated to his craft since the early 1980s. Now, he has taken his passion and talent abroad, working as an international teacher for Balanced Body Inc.

McCarty discovered the world of Pilates while working as a professional dancer in New York City in the 1980s, eventually opening Cleveland’s first Pilates studio in 1992 in his Lakewood apartment.

As business boomed, McCarty found himself spending more time on the East Side, attending events with the orchestra or at the Cedar Lee Theatre.

“I soon moved [White Cloud] into a retail space and then opened up [studios] in Cleveland Heights and Chagrin Falls,” McCarty explained. He even moved his personal residence east, too.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 6:50 PM, 10.31.2018

JCU art gala to benefit refugee foundation

On Nov. 10, 7­­–10 p.m., John Carroll University's (JCU) Student Union will host its first-ever art gala and silent auction in a collaborative effort to raise money for US Together, a refugee foundation with an office in Cleveland Heights.

The gala, which has as its theme “Art has no language barrier,” will showcase student and faculty talent while bringing together communities throughout JCU and University Heights. The art will be auctioned off and all proceeds will go to US Together.

There will also be raffle baskets, free food and drinks, and music. In addition, clients of US Together will be selling their handmade jewelry at the gala, to support their own business. 

While admission is free, donations at the door will be appreciated. Starting bids for the art pieces will range from $25 to $50.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 7:20 PM, 10.31.2018

Two Heights artists are part of OAC exhibit

"4th of July" (2018), oil on canvas by David King. [courtesy OAC]

The work of two Cleveland Heights residents, Sarah Curry and David King, will be part of the Ohio Arts Council's (OAC) Art Educators as Artists exhibition.

The show will be on view at the Riffe Gallery in Columbus, Nov. 1 through Jan. 5.

As a state agency, OAC is dedicated to supporting and expanding Ohio’s artistic community. The organization has provided funding for Heights organizations and events, including FutureHeights' 2018 Heights Music Hop.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 7:30 PM, 10.31.2018

Pickleball is increasingly popular

Pickleball players in Cleveland Heights. [photo by Mimi Hargate]

Cleveland Heights Community Center visitors may see a group playing a game with paddles on courts there. They are playing pickleball—a combination of tennis, badminton and table tennis. It's played with a paddle and a hard plastic ball with holes, on a court about half the size of a tennis court. It's usually played as doubles, and players rotate. Pickleball is quickly learned, and information is available through USA Pickleball (

In Cleveland Heights, from October through May, it's played Tuesday and Thursday mornings indoors at the community center. In the summer months, it’s played outdoors on four courts at Denison Park.

About 20–25 people play regularly in Cleveland Heights. Most have taken up pickleball within the past three years, learning about it from a variety of sources.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 6:23 PM, 10.31.2018

Ensemble presents Ohio premiere of 'East of Eden'

A cynical Cathy, played by Jill Levin, listens to pleas from her husband Adam (Dana Hart) in "East of Eden." [photo courtesy Aimee Lambes Photography]

John Steinbeck's masterpiece "East of Eden" is making its Ohio stage premiere at Ensemble Theatre in Cleveland Heights. Shows continue through Nov. 11.

Adapted by Chicago theater legend Frank Galati and directed by Ensemble artist and board member Ian Wolfgang Hinz, the epic play tells the story of the attempts of the Trask family to set roots in Salinas Valley, Calif.

“’East of Eden’ is widely accepted as John Steinbeck's greatest work, and American classics have always been a part of Ensemble's core mission. With past productions like ‘The Great Gatsby’ and now ‘East of Eden,’ we have been able to build a bridge to classic literature through theatrical adaptations,” Hinz said.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 7:25 PM, 10.31.2018

Cinderella story turned on its head in 'Ella Enchanted'

Dobama Theatre celebrates the holiday season with a regional premiere of "Ella Enchanted." This family-friendly musical, adapted from the best-selling novel by Gail Carson Levine, is directed by Nathan Motta and will run from Nov. 30 through Dec. 30.

Dobama is thrilled to be partnering with Robin VanLear, community arts director at the Cleveland Museum of Art, to create puppets for the production.

With music, puppets, adventure, and plenty of girl power, "Ella Enchanted" is a modern Cinderella story. Ella is given the "gift" of obedience as an infant by a misguided fairy and cannot disobey any order. The strong-willed Ella goes on a quest to rid herself of this so-called gift.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 7:18 PM, 10.31.2018

UH Senior Happenings

Senior Happenings, sponsored by the city of University Heights, are open to all senior citizens. Events take place on Thursdays at 2 p.m. at the University Heights Library. To receive the monthly schedule by e-mail, call 216-932-7800, ext. 205, or send an e-mail to

Nov. 1: Nancy Levin, director of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System, will discuss Heights Libraries' outreach to refugees in our community. She reports that 25.4 million people around the world are refugees, and 53 percent are children younger than 18.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 6:36 PM, 10.31.2018

CH Senior Center News

The Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center (SAC) is offering new classes to keep you feeling healthy and fit. Enrolling in any of them can have a multitude of benefits, and you can try each of them one time for free. It’s a chance to meet new people and enhance your quality of life.

Pilates Primer is offered Wednesdays at 10 a.m. with instructor M. Valentin. This basic Pilates class includes modifications made especially for seniors. Pilates has been shown to increase strength and flexibility in both the core and the legs, which can positively affect balance and prevent falls.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 6:38 PM, 10.31.2018

FutureHeights awards mini-grants to four Cleveland Heights projects

Oxford Community Garden received a FutureHeights mini-grant for raised beds. Photo courtesy Tom Gibson.

FutureHeights completed the fall 2018 round of its Neighborhood Mini-Grants Program, approving $1,425 in grants to support four neighborhood projects in Cleveland Heights. The grants are intended to spur small, grassroots projects to improve quality of life and build community.

The Old Vaudevillian was awarded $355 for its costume exchange pop-up project, located in the former Heights Music Shop space, and its plans to build community, provide low-cost Halloween costumes to children, and decorate and re-use a vacant storefront.

GardenWalk of Cleveland Heights received $250 for its garden walk project. GardenWalk is a free, self-guided tour of private and community gardens and home orchards in each neighborhood in the city. GardenWalk aims to nurture community, beautify neighborhoods and encourage civic pride.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 3:12 PM, 10.31.2018

Afternoon with author benefits women's education

The Cleveland Heights Chapter Q of P.E.O. International will host its seventh annual Afternoon with an Author on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2 p.m., at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, 3031 Monticello Blvd. All proceeds will benefit P.E.O. International Projects for Women’s Education (  

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 3:05 PM, 10.31.2018

Church of the Saviour is 90 years old

Aa aerial view of Church of the Saviour [Photo by Drone Ohio]

On Nov. 25, 1928, Church of the Saviour held its very first worship service. This year, on Nov. 18, the Cleveland Heights church will celebrate its 90th anniversary with a worship service held in the building’s original sanctuary, essentially unchanged since its inception.

The Lee Road building, designated a Cleveland Heights Landmark in 1975, is now home to more than 1,400 congregants from the Heights and surrounding communities. Reverend Andy Call, lead pastor, describes the congregation as “diverse in every way—racially, generationally, economically, politically, and theologically—but united in the mission of bringing new life to Greater Heights by living and sharing the Gospel.”

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 3:01 PM, 10.31.2018

Beth El celebrates 20th anniversary and a new rabbi

Beth El – The Heights Synagogue announces a gala event, planned for Dec. 1, that will mark two special occasions in the life of its community: the 20th anniversary of the founding of the synagogue, and the installation of its new rabbi, Michael Ungar.

The event will be intertwined with regular Shabbat services at the synagogue.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 2:57 PM, 10.31.2018

Church bazaar support fair trade and cottage industry

Shop for unique holiday gifts that make a difference in our community and in communities around the world at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church’s annual fair trade bazaar on Sunday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Vendors will include the Inter Religious Task Force, Holy Land Handicrafts and Noonday Collection, and local business Golden Goddess—a line of sustainable, organic cosmetics produced and sold by Cleveland Heights resident Ajah Hales. The sale of jams and other edibles will benefit Camp Lilac for transgender teens.

Items from more than 13 countries will include jewelry, purses, clothing and more—offering perfect gifts for all ages. Prices range from $4 to $50 and up.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 6:16 PM, 10.31.2018

Disciples Christian Church plans downsizing rummage sale for Nov. 10

Disciples Christian Church

The upcoming rummage sale at Disciples Christian Church is a result of the church building’s downsizing. With a building that is now too large for its current vibrant congregation, Disciples Christian Church has been working with a developer to downsize its building and open up a large part of its property to the development of a condominium community, to be built along the rear of the property and at the corner of Mayfield and Yellowstone roads.

Two large sprawling wings of the building would be demolished, and its sanctuary reconfigured to comprise a smaller sanctuary as well as offices, classrooms, a fellowship hall and kitchen, all occupying a little more space than the current sanctuary itself. Space is also planned that will enable the Heights Emergency Hunger Center to continue to operate in the church building.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 2:51 PM, 10.31.2018

Cleveland Heights - University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 10-16-2018

OCTOBER 16, 2018


  • Middle school renovation change orders
  • Finance presentation
  • Citizens Task Force Committee


President James Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Beverly Wright and Malia Lewis were present. Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting began at 7:32 p.m. and adjourned at 10:16 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:17 AM, 11.13.2018

Cleveland Heights City Council special meeting highlights 10-22-2018

OCTOBER 22, 2018


  • Top of the Hill project
  • Trash collection


Council members present were Mayor Carol Roe, Vice Mayor Melissa Yasinow, Mary Dunbar, Kahlil Seren, Jason Stein and Michael N. Ungar. Cheryl L. Stephens was absent. The meeting lasted from 6:33 to 6:46 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:37 AM, 11.13.2018

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 10-15-2018

OCTOBER 15, 2018


  • Public comments
  • Project cost increases
  • Minimum age for tobacco product purchases
  • Traffic code clarification
  • SERB’s fact-finding recommendations
  • Council members’ comments


Mayor Carol Roe, Vice Mayor Melissa Yasinow, Mary Dunbar, Kahlil Saren, Jason Stein, Cheryl Stephens and Michael Ungar were present. The meeting began at 7:37 p.m. and adjourned at 8:07 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:32 AM, 11.13.2018

University Heights City Council meeting highlights 10-15-2018

OCTOBER 15, 2018


  • Public comments
  • New city logo
  • Fund transfers
  • Releasing University Square for development
  • City hall chair lift
  • Executive session for real estate matters
  • Director reports


Present were Mayor Michael D. Brennan, Vice Mayor Susan Pardee, Phil Ertel, John Rach, Steven Sims, Michele Weiss and Mark Wiseman. Also present were Law Director Luke McConville, Finance Director James Goffe, and Clerk of Council Kelly Thomas. The meeting was held from 7 to 8:45 p.m. at which time council went to executive session.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 11:06 AM, 11.13.2018

Homegrown chef opens Elite Bistro on Lee

Chef Alvin Harris displays his Jamaican Jerk Airline Chicken with garlic roasted green beans and Parmesan redskin mashed potatoes.

Executive Chef Alvin Harris thinks Cedar Lee is poised to be the Cleveland area’s next Tremont, a center of what he calls the “Progressive American” culinary movement, a place where you can “put on jeans and a nice shirt” and still enjoy “fine dining.” That’s why Harris and his partners chose to open their new restaurant, Elite Bistro (2195 Lee Road), in the evolving Cleveland Heights neighborhood.

“It’s getting there now. Boss Dog Brewery, that was a major plus in this neighborhood. Taste up the street. Lopez. Good pizza, good bars,” Harris said.  He hopes Elite Bistro will add to the Lee allure for foodies.

Harris grew up in Shaker Heights. His culinary career started by accident and took him through many of Cleveland’s best kitchens. He fell into cooking when he dropped out of college in Atlanta and returned to Cleveland to crash at his brother’s apartment. He responded to a Craigslist ad for a dishwashing job at Marigold Catering, and was hired on the spot. Soon he advanced to arranging dessert trays and helping catering crews.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 10:18 AM, 10.23.2018

Traffic projects mean progress for pedestrians and bicyclists

Only one lane is closed as work progresses on the Mayfield Road Signalization Project.

The Heights continues to become more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly, and city of Cleveland Heights staff earned many grants to help pay for important recent improvements.

Substantial developments in 2018 included the completion of the Cedar Glen Parkway Multipurpose Pathway, first planned in 2009; the installation of buffered bicycle lanes on North Park Boulevard, thanks to a Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) implementation grant of $30,000; and the inclusion of sharrows (“share the road” symbols) painted onto Cedar Road as part of the resurfacing project, and onto Mayfield Road as part of the city’s annual road striping program. Lanes on Cedar Road were also painted to move traffic further away from pedestrians walking on the sidewalks.

NOACA installed a counter at the top of Cedar Hill (the intersection of Cedar Road, Euclid Heights Boulevard, Overlook Road and Harcourt Drive) that records pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic. The counter NOACA previously placed on Edgehill Road, between Overlook and Murray Hill roads, recorded almost a quarter million walkers in its first year!

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 11:18 AM, 10.30.2018

FutureHeights supports moving forward with Top of the Hill

To the Editor:

FutureHeights sent the following letter to Cleveland Heights City Council on Oct. 19:

FutureHeights supports a mixed-use development project at Top of the Hill and urges council to adopt the Planning Commission’s recommendation to initiate the Planned Development Overlay District Procedures and Rezoning Process. FutureHeights staff and board members participated in the Aug. 30 design focus group meeting, attended the Oct. 10 community meeting, and reviewed the updated plans and renderings.

We are pleased with the responsiveness of the developer to our comments and [those of] others in the community. However, we are also aware that there remain community concerns about several important issues: traffic/parking, compatibility/quality of architecture, and the 30-year tax abatement. In addition, we are unsure that all business owners and residents in the neighborhood understand the project and have had a chance to provide input and suggestions. It appears more communication and dialogue are needed.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 11:16 AM, 10.30.2018

Free program counsels families struggling with addiction

An estimated one out of ten people who use alcohol before the legal drinking age will develop drug addiction or another substance abuse disorder, as will six of ten who use other drugs before the age of 15.

Addiction negatively impacts users’ lives and the lives of those who love them. Thoughts like “it can’t happen in my family” or “it’s just a phase” can fuel years of denial, during which behavioral and financial difficulties take their toll. Stigma often prevents family members from identifying problems and seeking help. Loved ones believe that they somehow must have caused or contributed to the user’s illness and therefore should be able to cure or at least control it. The truth is the opposite.

The family education and support group at Saint Alban Episcopal Church is designed for family members and significant others concerned about a loved one’s abuse or addictive use of alcohol or other drugs.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 11:20 AM, 10.30.2018

Heights Career Tech partners with Tri-C culinary program

Heights Career Tech logo

Students in the Heights Career Tech program will soon have another professional pathway to choose from. Beginning in the 2019-20 school year, the five-district consortium will partner with Cuyahoga Community College’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management program.

The two-year program will begin with 18 juniors taking two courses, Hospitality Fundamentals and Fundamentals of Food Production, at Tri-C’s Eastern Campus in 2019-20. The following year, the program will expand to 18 juniors and 18 seniors. The senior courses are Restaurant Management and Room Service and Operations. Students will receive 10 college credits after completion of the program.

“We are excited to announce this new partnership with Tri-C,” said CH-UH Superintendent Talisa Dixon. “But we are more excited about the opportunities that the partnership will provide to our students.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 6:30 PM, 10.31.2018

Library foundation honors three

Draupadi Pradhan

Draupadi Pradhan, Suzanne De Gaetano and Rachel Wayne Nelson are this year’s Fund for the Future of Heights Libraries Honor Roll award recipients.

The awards—recognizing those who have made a sustained, outstanding contribution to the Heights community by promoting literacy or educating through literacy—are inspired by Heights Libraries’ mission of “Opening Doors, Opening Minds.” A Door Opener is someone who provides access to education, literature and opportunity through literacy. A Mind Opener stimulates the minds of community members through literature and thoughtful discussion, or connections with though-provoking ideas or individuals.

Pradhan, a Nepali refugee, works tirelessly to help the refugee community in Cleveland Heights. She has served as an interpreter, advocate and liaison, and has been instrumental in working with Noble Neighborhood Branch staff to offer services for refugees. She will receive a Door Opener award from the library foundation.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:40 PM, 10.23.2018

A vote for Cordray means more local funding

To the Editor:

I urge my fellow Cleveland Heights residents to support Richard Cordray for governor because it will mean more and better funding for Cleveland Heights. Over the past eight years the state has slashed the Local Government Fund (LGF), and counties, cities, villages, townships, libraries and schools have been told to do more with less.

These cuts have directly impacted Cleveland Heights and caused our city and schools to lose millions of dollars. To offset these cuts, our residents graciously supported Issue 53, an income tax increase to protect our fire and safety forces. Had Cleveland Heights residents not voted to offset the cuts from Columbus, we would have seen drastic losses, and Fire Station 2, which responds to calls west of Superior Road, wouldn’t have had enough first responders to simultaneously send out the ambulance and the fire truck.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:25 PM, 10.23.2018

Noble Road study kicks off Oct. 29

A map of Noble Road in Cleveland Heights showing the three commercial nodes: Noble/Mayfield/Warrensville Triangle, Noble/Monticello, and Noble/Nela.

FutureHeights will kick off a planning study of the Noble Road commercial corridor on Oct. 29. The nonprofit community development corporation plans to work in collaboration with Noble Neighbors, the cities of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland, Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope (NOAH), residents, business owners and other stakeholders to study the area and develop a market analysis and revitalization plan.

Throughout the approximately nine-month process, FutureHeights will seek input from neighborhood residents and other stakeholders.

Noble Road is the most significant street in the northeast section of Cleveland Heights and lends its name to the Noble neighborhood. The study area begins at Mayfield Road and extends along Noble Road several blocks to the west of Cleveland Heights into the city of East Cleveland.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 10:40 AM, 10.23.2018

Ohio's poet laureate is a neighbor

David Lucas, Ohio's poet laureate.

What does it take to become the state’s poet laureate? In Ohio, one might say, “It takes one to know one.”

When Dave Lucas, who lives in Cleveland Heights, met Ohio’s first poet laureate, Amit Masmudar of Columbus, they discovered that they shared many similarities. With Masmudar’s encouragement, Lucas expressed his interest in the position to the Ohio Arts Council, and was granted an interview.

He was asked to submit samples of his work and to write a proposal for furthering the mission of the poet laureate position, which is to encourage literacy and learning. Now, almost halfway into his two-year term, Lucas’s proposal will carry him across the state to cities, suburbs, rural towns and college campuses—wherever people gather to share the love of words in the form of poetry.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 10:26 AM, 10.23.2018

Cedar Fairmount SID seeks new executive director

After nearly 19 years of service, Kaye Lowe, the Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District's executive director, will retire at the end of December.

The SID's board of trustees is currently searching for Lowe's replacement. The position is for a part-time, 1099 independent contractor. Qualified candidates must possess a minimum of five years of experience, a bachelor's degree, excellent communication skills and strong project management skills. The non-profit serves to promote and improve the Cedar Fairmount neighborhood for its businesses and property owners.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:54 PM, 10.16.2018

UH receives CRA designation from state

University Heights has been granted a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) designation by the Ohio Department of Development. “This designation will provide the city of University Heights another tool to promote economic development,” Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan said. “It will encourage reinvestment in current housing stock, and promote new construction in the city.”

All of University Heights has been designated as a CRA, except for University Square, as the University Square parcels will be addressed separately for redevelopment.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 10:11 AM, 10.23.2018

University Heights unveils new city logo

Concept art for new banners and signs bearing the new University Heights logo.

After months of research and planning, University Heights has a new logo.

“University Heights will always be ‘the City of Beautiful Homes,’” said Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan. “But University Heights is so much more than home. Our new logo and branding will reflect this.”

The shapes in the new four-color logo form a U and H for University Heights; but the shapes aren’t random—they’re pulled straight from a map of the city. Just west of Warrensville Center Road and north of Fairmount Boulevard are several streets that form an H inside a U.

“We wanted our new logo to represent many things. We wanted it to be colorful, to represent a diverse mosaic. We wanted the logo to represent safe, established neighborhoods,” Brennan explained.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:45 PM, 10.16.2018

Tiger Nation celebrates homecoming

The community's youngest cheerleaders help kick off homecoming weekend. [photo by Krissy Gallagher]

The Heights community came together in spectacular fashion as Tiger Nation celebrated Homecoming 2018 on Oct. 12 and 13. After spirit days at many of the district’s schools and an afternoon pep rally at the high school, more than 27 groups—representing sports teams, extracurricular clubs and every one of the district's seven elementary schools—marched in the Homecoming Parade.

Making its way through the heart of the Cedar Lee Business District for the second year, the parade comprised more than 600 participants and drew countless spectators.

With the speedy cross-country team racing the route, and the loud and lively Heights High marching band keeping the beat, the parade began at Fairfax Elementary School and headed north on Lee Road. Parents, alumni and community members gathered at various Cedar Lee businesses, including The Wine Spot, where the Heights Schools Foundation hosted an alumni watch party as part of the Class of 1988’s 30th reunion.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:14 PM, 10.16.2018

University Heights City Council meeting highlights 10-3-2018

OCTOBER 3, 2018


  • Public comments
  • Releasing University Square for development
  • Finalizing the CIC
  • Fund transfers
  • Software Solutions contract
  • Change to the city’s CRA
  • Tree pruning/removal and planting
  • Cleveland Jewish Publication Company contract


Present were Mayor Michael D. Brennan, Pamela Cameron, Phil Ertel, Steven Sims, Michele Weiss and Mark Wiseman. Vice Mayor Sue Pardee was absent. Also present were Law Director Luke McConville, Finance Director James Goffe and Clerk of Council Kelly Thomas. The meeting was held from 7 to 10 p.m. at which time council went to executive session.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:57 AM, 11.13.2018

Heights takes home the Golden Racquet

The Heights High girls' tennis team and coach with the "Golden Racquet," post-match.

For the second time in six years, the Cleveland Heights High School girls’ tennis team took home the coveted “Golden Racquet,” triumphing 4-1 over Beaumont School on Sept. 26.

Mike Pellechia, Beaumont tennis coach, created the Golden Racquet in 2013. An actual tennis racquet painted gold, it is the trophy claimed by the winner of the yearly match between Beaumont and Heights High. The recipient of the racquet then keeps it for an entire year, and is required to bring it to the rivalry match the following year.

To properly encourage his team to fight for a win, Heights High Coach John Laskarides did his best to hype the rivalry, and even e-mailed his team pictures of the Beaumont team holding the golden racquet, to get them fired up.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 9:55 AM, 10.09.2018

CH receives state approval for city-wide CRA to support new development

On Oct. 1, the city of Cleveland Heights announced that it had "achieved a major strategic development goal" with the state's approval of its Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) application. In the news release, printed in its entirety below, Mary Trupo, director of communications and public engagement for the city, described the CRA's benefits:

Cleveland Heights has achieved a major strategic development goal with the announcement last week by the Ohio Development Services Agency that the City's petition to create a City-wide Community Reinvestment Area, or CRA, has been approved.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 11:58 AM, 10.02.2018

Heights businesses invited to submit holiday gift ideas

Each year, FutureHeights publishes a Holiday Gift Guide in the November issue of the Heights Observer, to help readers discover the unique items Heights retailers offer and assist them in “shopping local first” to support the local economy.

The 2018 guide will contain listings in each of the following categories: Stocking Stuffers ($10 or less), Gifts Less Than $50, Gifts $50 to $150, Gifts More Than $150, and Gifts For the Person Who Has It All.

Cleveland Heights and University Heights retail businesses are invited and encouraged to e-mail photos and descriptions of items they would like to be considered for publication in the 2018 Heights Observer Holiday Gift Guide to Jessica Schantz ( no later than Oct. 19. Put “Holiday Gift Guide” in the subject line.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 11:54 AM, 10.01.2018

Heights Arts announces season 13 of chamber music series

A moment captured at a Heights Arts Close Encounters concert at the Dunham Tavern barn. From left, Isabel Trautwein, Tanya Ell and Kirsten Docter. [photo by Greg Donley]

Heights Arts is proud to announce the 13th season of its Close Encounters chamber music concerts. These popular salon-style performances take place in private homes or unusual venues in or near Cleveland Heights. All musicians this season are members of the Cleveland Orchestra or on the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory of Music. This is chamber music as it is meant to be: up close and personal. A wine and pastry reception is provided to audience members and musicians during the intermission of each concert.

The season begins Nov. 11 at an art-filled carriage house in Herrick Mews, with the string ensemble We Too presenting a program of chamber music written by women between five and 1,000 years ago. The oldest work is from a vast collection of religious chants written by Hildegard von Bingen, a German nun born in 1098.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:11 PM, 10.01.2018

Peace Lutheran offers free permaculture class

Volunteers at last fall's permaculture class install a "lasagna" bed.

Local permaculture expert Tom Gibson will teach a special abbreviated course on the topic on Saturday, Oct. 6, at Peace Lutheran Church, 3470 Mayfield Road. Over a continental breakfast, Gibson will lead a review of permaculture techniques. Hands-on construction of a “lasagna” bed will follow, and then a hot lunch will be served in appreciation. 

Lasagna gardening, also known as sheet gardening, is a no-dig, no-till organic gardening method that produces rich, fluffy soil with very little effort. The name refers to the method of building the garden bed, by adding layers of organic material that will “cook down” over time, resulting in soil that will help your plants thrive.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:26 AM, 10.01.2018

The World Series and other connections

A 1958 baseball card featuring stars of the '57 World Series, the Yankees' Mickey Mantle and the Braves' Hank Aaron, with same kind of poor-quality color as a 1957 color TV.

October 1953 was the first time I heard the term “World Series.” I was 4 years old, and I heard it at my grandfather’s house a few days after my grandmother died.

My father, who had grown up in Cleveland Heights, joined the Navy shortly after the United States entered World War II. He was stationed in San Francisco. My parents got married during the war. After the war, my parents stayed in San Francisco. My father got a good job selling records in a big department store, which was the only place you could buy records then. The record department was next to the furniture department, because that was the only place you could buy record players, which, in those days, were pieces of furniture.

My parents were happy out there. Then, in 1948, my father’s brother, David, died. My father came back to Cleveland for the funeral, while my mother stayed in California with my older brother, who was still a toddler. During my father’s visit to Cleveland, my grandfather convinced him to move the family back here. He told him there was a good job for him, and that they were building a nice house for them. He told my father a lot of great things that would happen. He was, as my family sometimes said, exaggerating—or, as I call it, lying.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:19 PM, 10.01.2018