Latest News

Coventry Village embraces the holiday spirit with two December events for families

2015 Coventry Village Holiday festivalgoers with Santa.

The Coventry Village Special Improvement District (SID) invites everyone to get in the holiday spirit and visit Coventry Village for two fun, free, family-friendly events planned for December.

On Saturday, Dec. 10, noon to 11 p.m., the popular Coventry Village Holiday Festival returns.

This year, Coventry Village will reward visitors for shopping local by offering $10 in Coventry Cash for every $50 shoppers spend on a single receipt at a participating merchant location. The Coventry Cash shoppers earn during the Holiday Festival can be spent in January at participating district businesses.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:47 PM, 12.02.2016

Latest News Releases

John Carroll University Playoff Football Game on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel: Saturday, November 19, Noon kickoff (TWC 1311 & 311)
- JCU, November 17, 2016 Read More
New STEM Programs for Cleveland Heights Jewish Day Schools
- Non-Profit & Groups, October 25, 2016 Read More
Designer Dress Days begins Oct. 28
- Non-Profit & Groups, October 23, 2016 Read More
- Beaumont School, October 17, 2016 Read More
CH-UH school district announces implementation of new Educational Equity Plan
- CH-UH Schools, October 10, 2016 Read More

View more news releases

V&E Hann seeks to give free furnace to a needy family

Chris (left) and Bill Hann, co-owners of Verne & Ellsworth Hann, plan to give away a free furnace to a family or individual in need. [photo by Bill Sheck]

On Jan. 31, Verne & Ellsworth Hann Inc. will give away a furnace, including installation, to someone in need. Chris Hann, vice president of the Cleveland Heights-based heating, cooling and plumbing company, is asking for nominations from the community.

“We want to share our good fortune by giving something back to the community that’s been so good to our family all these years,” he said. "We're calling it a 'Helping Hann.'"

Nominations are being accepted on the company website ( through the end of January, for individuals or families who live in the extended Heights area. The winner will be selected based on a range of considerations, such as age, physical disabilities, financial challenges and military service.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:43 PM, 12.02.2016

Heights High boys basketball team serves homeless men

Student athletes Dash Chesney and Andre Cash Jr. [photo Andre Scott]

More than a dozen Heights High boys basketball team members prepared and served breakfast to 250 homeless men on Nov. 19 at the men's shelter at 2100 Lakeside Ave., followed by a brief tour.

"This was a very humbling experience for these young men, but they took to it well with open arms greeting [all] as they came up in line to receive the breakfast the young men created for them," said Andre Scott, assistant varsity boys basketball coach/director of operations.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:39 PM, 12.02.2016

St. Paulís winter art show explores perception of place

Tuscan Church, acrylic on canvas, by Lari Jacobson.

The Nicholson B. White Gallery at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., announces its winter show, Perception of Place: Pattern and Palette. The show opens with an artists’ reception on Friday, Dec. 2, 5–7 p.m., with participating artists in attendance to greet guests and discuss their creative processes. The show runs through March 5.

Featured artists are Barbara Eisenberg (mixed media prints), Lari Jacobson (acrylic on canvas), Theresa Yondo (sculptural ceramics) and Gunter Schwegler (painting on silk).

Barbara Eisenberg creates abstract prints. Her art develops from an abiding interest in natural and imaginative forms, seeking simple bold shapes upon which to build. She places emphasis on spatial concepts and an intuitive response to these ideas. Her approach to each print includes incorporating as many technical and material variables as possible, without losing spontaneity or intensity.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:11 PM, 11.30.2016

Cruel Winter Festival showcases the best in local hip-hop

Ohio Hip-Hop Award winner Kris Hilton is the host of this year's Cruel Winter Festival at the Grog Shop on Dec 9. [photo: Emanuel Wallace (Cruel Winter Festival 2015)]  

Greater Cleveland’s original live music scene has been on fire in recent years, exemplified by the growth and success of high-profile events such as Brite Winter Festival, Larchmere PorchFest, and the Heights Music Hop. While those three festivals have received plenty of attention, another festival with close ties to them has been flying low on the radar. Cruel Winter Festival, highlighting Cleveland’s burgeoning hip-hop scene, is poised to return for its third season.

This year’s Cruel Winter Festival is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 9, at the Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights. More than 15 musical acts will take the stage between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m.

Wallace Settles (aka Dirty Jones), is the founder of Cruel Winter Festival. A local music promoter, Settles has been involved with each of the three aforementioned festivals. He focused on adding hip-hop components to those events, increasing the diversity of genres and performers offered by each, to a very enthusiastic response.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:48 AM, 11.30.2016

Recapping column's first six months and moving forward

We’ve enjoyed covering a variety of subjects during the first six months of this column. Readers—even a couple who haven’t agreed with us—have been generous and kind, in person and in writing. Many thanks to you all. This month, we’ll recap topics addressed to date in this column, and close with an appeal.

June: How “public” is public education? In our debut column, we highlighted testimony by two Cleveland Heights High School seniors at the third annual Democracy Day public hearing before Cleveland Heights City Council. Emma Schubert and Elijah Snow-Rackley, members of the Heights Coalition for Public Education, presented evidence of the negative impact on CH-UH public schools of high-stakes testing, vouchers and charter schools. The Heights Coalition for Public Education continues its excellent work. Learn more about the coalition’s work, and sign its position statement at

July: Take back the CH Building Department. Citing more-stringent state licensing requirements for building inspectors, the city of Cleveland Heights outsourced its building department last summer to SAFEbuilt, a corporation founded in Colorado that is now owned by private equity firm Riverside.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 5:57 PM, 12.01.2016

In a democracy, citizens have the most important job

During the final three weeks leading up to this year’s presidential election, I spent eight days working in a basement on Edgehill Road in Cleveland Heights. I was part of a four-person team that welcomed volunteers to our staging location, where we trained them, assigned a “turf” and sent them off to knock on doors in our community. Their mission: to urge their fellow citizens to vote.

Each volunteer was given a walk packet identifying 35 to 40 addresses to visit. Some walked in pairs, while others went solo. They gave up beautiful days and private time because democracy matters. They endured rain and cold to reach one more street and a few more households. They presented themselves to strangers, some of whom readily engaged and others who slammed doors or yelled obscenities. They took themselves out of their comfort zones to do something important.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 6:02 PM, 12.01.2016

A school nurse's job is complex and essential

In the CH-UH school district, we have six school nurses. The salaries of these individuals have been highly criticized by levy opponents, even though they are on the same pay scale as social workers, counselors and program specialists. The argument has been that we should not have to spend so much for nursing services. It may be helpful [for critics] to know what our school nurses do and what they are responsible for before making assumptions about their worth.

Our school nurses have Bachelor of Science degrees in nursing and are registered nurses. More than half hold master’s degrees in education, and all are licensed as school nurses—a rigorous certification with many requirements, including a 300-hour practicum with a licensed school nurse.

All district nurses had at least 10 years of experience in nursing before CH-UH hired them. They are responsible for the welfare of every child in our schools, as well as for the adults.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 6:05 PM, 12.01.2016

CH-UH superintendent thanks community for passing Issue 109

To the Editor:

I first want to say a heartfelt thank you to the CH-UH community for supporting our schools. We are obviously thrilled with the result of Issue 109, and we appreciate the trust that the voters have in our public schools.

The work doesn't stop here, however. We must continue to earn the support and the trust of our community and strive toward our goal of academic excellence for each and every student. Our five-year strategic plan clearly sets us on this path to success—we have seen improvements in district operations already and expect to realize even more positive results moving forward.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 6:08 PM, 12.01.2016

Steering committee member thanks community for supporting schools

To the Editor:

I would like to personally thank every single person who volunteered their time and energy to campaign with Citizens for Our Heights Schools on behalf of the school levy. Your passion and your faith in our district made an enormous difference to residents.

And I would like to thank every single person who voted in favor of Issue 109. This victory allows the district to continue offering a high-quality, well-rounded education to our community's children, and sends a clear message about the value we place on opportunity and access. 

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 6:07 PM, 12.01.2016

Western Reserve Chorale performs free holiday concert Dec. 3

The Western Reserve Chorale (WRC) will present its traditional Holiday Concert on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m., at Disciples Christian Church, 3663 Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights. No tickets are necessary.

A reception will follow the concert in the church’s social hall.

WRC, celebrating its 25th year as a community chorus, will honor the late John Roberts, who passed away last spring at the concert. He was one the founders of the chorus and served as its conductor for 10 years.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:55 AM, 11.30.2016

Heights Music Shop hosts popular open-mic events

Bob Sammon performing at an open mic at Heights Music Shop.

Photo courtesy of Rick Szekelyi.

If you enjoy live music and are a fan of some of Cleveland’s music stars, you should check out the open-mic events at the Heights Music Shop at 2174 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. These events are held on the first Sunday of every month, from 3 to 6 p.m.

While many open mics only allow acoustic music, the Music Shop's feature a wide variety of instruments, and, at last month's, the shop provided drums and keyboards, so many of the musicians were able to perform with a band setup.

Rick Szekelyi, the store's owner, said, “We love being part of the local music community, and the open mics are one way we can do that.” Prior to opening the store in November 2015, Szekelyi hosted open mics at Stone Oven, the Lee Road restaurant and bakery. He said he thinks one reason the Music Shop’s open mics are so great is because of the musicians who attend the events.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:52 AM, 11.30.2016

Celebrating 'roll' models and holidays

Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC) will celebrate Roll Models and Holidays on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m., at Nighttown (12383 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights).

The Heights community has dedicated and capable bicycle commuters. At this event, Heights bikers will talk about why they commute by bicycle and how they make it happen. The program will also provide information about year-round commuting gear and strategies to make bike commuting fun and rewarding.

Concluding the evening is a sing-along to an updated version of "Jingle Bells."

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 5:37 PM, 12.01.2016

CH resident's company makes unique bike-repair tool

Brandon Hirokawa in his shop in the basement of his house in Cleveland Heights.

Brandon Hirokawa first became interested in bicycles in 1987, when he was living in New Orleans, where he was born and raised. “I was a national-class swimmer, but everyone was growing over 6 feet tall,” he said. “I stayed at 5 feet 6 inches tall, and I had to find a new sport.”

One of his father’s friends raced bikes, and he suggested that Brandon give that a try. He liked biking, and now, almost three decades later, he is the owner of Hirobel LLC, a company that produces frame clamps that bike shops can use in repairing aero carbon-fiber bicycles.

Hirokawa, who’s 43 and lives in Cleveland Heights, explained that carbon-fiber bikes now make up more than 20 percent of the bike market. While most bikes are made of alloy or metal, the carbon-fiber bikes are lighter in weight. “They are made of carbon, which is similar to fiberglass, and they wind up being very light,” explained Hirokawa. However, they can also be damaged when they are being repaired.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:36 AM, 11.30.2016

Noble Neighbors invites residents to Light Up Noble!

GE Lighting's 2015 holiday display at Nela Park.

Noble area residents, businesses and institutions will be lighting up the neighborhood this holiday season. Light Up Noble! is the newest Noble Neighbors initiative to showcase the neighborhoods along Noble Road.

Thousands of visitors come to the neighborhood each year to view the holiday lighting display that GE Lighting designs and installs at its Nela Park campus in East Cleveland, just north of the Cleveland Heights city line. This year will be the 92nd year that the company will create the display. It will be the first year that Noble Neighbors seeks to expand the holiday lighting spirit to the rest of the neighborhood.

“This year, Noble Road from Monticello Boulevard to Euclid Avenue will become a glowing, welcoming corridor, twinkling with community pride,” said Susan Sanders, one of the leaders of Noble Neighbors.

The lights will reflect the area’s diversity—featuring holiday-themed decorations, solstice observance illuminations, and displays showing pride in Cleveland sports teams. The common goal is for neighbors to join together to display neighborhood pride to all who visit the famed Nela Park lighting display.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:41 AM, 11.29.2016

CH poet and resident uses grant to spread poetry

Catherine Wing. Photo courtesy of Community Partnership for Arts and Culture.

Catherine Wing has won many awards for her poetry over the years. The Cleveland Heights resident started writing when she was 8, and titled her first poem “J Is for Jello.” She wrote her first book, Bug Town, at the same age. It was a story about ants versus beetles, and how they wind up destroying each other.

“I wrote things all through childhood,” said Wing, now 44. “I wanted to be a ballet dancer more than a writer, but that became a non-option.”

Wing’s first book of poetry, Enter Invisible, was published in 2005, and was nominated for a Los Angeles Times book prize. Gin & Bleach, her second book of poetry, came out in 2012. One of her poems, “The Darker Sooner,” about autumn, was featured in Best American Poetry, 2010.

In 2016, the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) named Wing a Creative Workforce Fellow, awarding her a project-based grant.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:51 AM, 11.30.2016

Escaping December

Buddy Holly record picture sleeve.

I’m writing this in the middle of November. The weather here in Cleveland Heights has been warm and sunny. Most of the trees’ leaves are still green, as are all of the lawns around here. The predictions I’ve seen for December’s weather say the average temperature will be in the relatively warm 40s.

I work at an actual job three mornings a week. Almost everyone I work with there is a liberal, with one conservative. A few days ago, he came in marveling about how warm and nice the weather was for November, and how he couldn’t figure it out. He said several times, “I don’t understand what’s going on.” Finally, a few people said, "Global warming." He laughed and mockingly repeated, "Global warming."

I can’t say for sure if that's what is causing this weather, but I also don't want to simply dismiss the idea and laugh at it. I remember that when I was growing up, Decembers were always cold and snowy. And I've always hated cold and snowy.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:00 PM, 11.30.2016

Former UH Mayor Beryl Rothschild dies at 88

Rothschild received the 2009 University Heights Citizen of the Year Award upon her retirement.

Beryl E. Rothschild (née Shapiro), who served as mayor of University Heights from 1978 to 2009, died on Friday, Nov. 25.

According to University Heights Mayor Susan Infeld, Rothschild “had not been in good health of late and was recently in hospice.” The former mayor’s husband, Edmund Rothschild, pre-deceased her in 2015.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 10 a.m., at the Berkowitz-Kumin-Bookatz Memorial Chapel, 1985 S. Taylor Road in Cleveland Heights. Following the funeral, mourners will process through University Heights, en route to Mayfield Cemetery, where Rothschild will be interred.

The family will receive friends at Geraci’s (2266 Warrensville Center Road, University Heights) immediately following the service, and then at O’Rielly’s Pub (13149 Cedar Road, University Heights) later that evening, 7–9 p.m. More information on the funeral procession route, and additional calling times and locations, can be found on the Berkowitz-Kumin-Bookatz website.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 3:21 PM, 11.28.2016

Pickleball comes to Cleveland Heights

Judy Hauser, Mimi Hargate, Bonnie Bolitho and Peg Zitzner play pickleball at the CH Recreation Center.

Cleveland Heights has a pickleball program, which started in the winter of 2016. One of the fastest growing sports in the U.S, and popular in China, Costa Rica, Spain and Japan, pickleball is played on a court half the size of a tennis court (making it easier on the knees), using a paddle that looks like a large pingpong paddle, and a hard plastic ball with holes.

In Cleveland Heights, participants play outside in good weather, at Dennison Park’s two courts, and inside from October through May, at the Cleveland Heights Community Center (1 Monticello Blvd.), where there are three courts.

Pickleball is for singles or doubles, though most play doubles.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 5:33 PM, 12.01.2016

Beaumont's Adams competes in state golf tournament

Beaumont senior Erin Adams.

Erin Adams, a Beaumont School senior, represented Beaumont at the 9th annual Girls Division II State Golf Tournament. Adams finished 11th out of 71 girls who made the trip to Columbus, to play in the Oct. 14 and 15 championship at The Ohio State University Gray Golf Course.

Adams previously competed in the 2013 state championship, for which Beaumont’s team qualified. This year, she came out strong on day one, and shot a 4 over par 74. She followed up with an 87 on day two, for an overall score of 161.

Adams has been a member of Beaumont's golf team throughout her high school career and, as a senior, has become a leader both on and off the golf course. She is helpful, encouraging and always there for her teammates.

"As one of the co-captains this year, Erin has really stepped up in the leadership role,” said Coach Katie Kirk.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 5:30 PM, 12.01.2016

Holiday events for Heights seniors and families

Many local businesses and religious organizations offer fun social and cultural activities for the holidays—most are open to all; some are for seniors and, in some cases, their families. Events listed below are free, unless otherwise noted. Be sure to call ahead to confirm times, make reservations, if required, and inquire about handicapped accessibility if needed.

On Dec. 3, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Church of the Saviour will hold its annual Advent Festival, featuring fair-trade items and holiday greenery for sale, a silent auction, homemade donuts, a cookie walk, and live music. (2537 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-321-8880)

The 23rd annual Holiday CircleFest will be held in University Circle on Dec. 4. More than a dozen museums, gardens, galleries, churches and schools will open their doors to provide activities, music, food, fun and shopping, 1–5:30 p.m. Ice skating, ice-carving demonstrations and horse carriage rides will be available at the Rink at Wade Oval from noon to 7 p.m. (weather permitting). The festivities will conclude with a Winter Lights Lantern Procession at The Cleveland Museum of Art, 5:30–6 p.m. (10820 East Blvd., Cleveland, 216-791-3900)

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:56 AM, 11.29.2016

Mock graduation inspires Gearity students

Third-graders entering the auditorium.

Katrina Hicks, principal at Gearity Professional Development School, has big plans for her students. “Graduating from high school is an automatic expectation,” she said. “And going to college should be, too. I want that to be ingrained in them from a young age.”

She has brought the idea of college to her students, over the past three years, with a mock college graduation ceremony.

Third- through fifth-graders participated in a full-blown commencement at John Carroll University (JCU), complete with speeches, diplomas, and caps and gowns, on Oct. 6.

The third-grade students represented the Ohio University Class of 2030, fourth-graders were the Class of 2029 from John Carroll University, and fifth-graders were the Class of 2028 from The Ohio State University.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 5:26 PM, 12.01.2016

Volunteers clean up Coventry park and playground

On Oct. 15, a crisp sunny day, volunteers gathered at the hilltop of the Coventry Playground at 9 a.m. for the biannual fall clean-up day.

The volunteer groups comprised members of the Cleveland Heights Youth Committee, Heights High’s swim team and Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN), B’nai Brith Youth Organization (BBYO), Heights High alumni, and the hardworking Coventry Playground Committee, headed by Erick Kauffman.

Their first project was to set up the tent and tables to hold the food for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast treats, donated by Zoss The Swiss Baker and Phoenix Coffee, were quickly consumed, and appreciated. Then the work began.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 5:42 PM, 12.01.2016

Heights Libraries prioritizes privacy

Public libraries have always made privacy a priority.

Libraries protect and promote intellectual freedom, and that freedom cannot exist without privacy. If an individual’s activities and choices are monitored, that person no longer feels free to exercise free expression and make lawful use of library resources. That’s why the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System keeps customer privacy at the forefront of its mission.

Heights Libraries does not share customer library card identification with any vendors. It uses software to wipe out customer sessions after they use one of its public computers. Heights Libraries Wi-Fi lives behind the CLEVNET firewall. Library staff wraps hold items so that patrons can’t see what others are checking out, and self-checkout stations keep all reading and listening choices private.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:29 AM, 11.30.2016

Library earns top national rating for eighth consecutive year

For the eighth year in a row, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System has received five stars—the  highest possible rating—in Library Journal's annual Index of Public Library Service.

Heights Libraries has earned five stars in eight out of the nine years that Library Journal has published its ratings, beginning in 2008. Library Journal, a trade journal that reports news about the library world, emphasizing public libraries, has a circulation of 100,000.

The publication categorizes libraries by yearly expenditure and rates them on five criteria: circulation, visits, program attendance, Internet terminal use (public computers), and, new this year, eCirc (eMedia, such as eBooks).

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:33 AM, 11.30.2016

What's going on at your library?

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

Tuesday, Dec. 13, 7–8:30 p.m. 

Exploring the Heart of Dying Through Courageous Conversation. Adaire Pettry, end-of-life doula, will lead an exploration of the natural stages of dying and ways to support a natural death. No registration required.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:31 AM, 11.30.2016

Student leaders work to close achievement gap

2016 MSAN Conference attendees were (from left): Jalen Chesney, Jaylin Coleman, Mikaiah Truitt, Josephine Johnson and Hasson Lewis-Majied. (Also attending, but not pictured: Tessa Green.)

Six student leaders in Heights High’s Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) attended the organization’s national conference, Oct. 12–15, in Chapel Hill, N.C. The students brought back with them ideas and renewed energy to address the achievement gap between students of color and their white peers.

“The conference gives us a chance to learn from the successes of other districts, share our successes and get energized about the work,” said Shawn Washington, MSAN adviser. (Nate Williams and O’Dasha Johnson are co-advisers.)

The Heights High MSAN club has 60 members.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:19 AM, 11.30.2016

Four Heights students are National Merit Scholars

Heights High's National Merit Scholars (from left): Cody Radivoyevitch, Dorrie Pharis, William van den Bogert and Charles Adams.

The National Merit Scholarship (NMS) Corporation has named Heights High seniors Charles Adams, Dorothy Pharis, Cody Radivoyevitch and William van den Bogert National Merit Scholars.

They were among the more than 1.6 million students who entered the NMS competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in the fall of their junior year.

Adams, a merit scholar semifinalist, has the opportunity to advance to the finalist level and qualify for National Merit scholarships. He is among 16,000 semifinalists in the U.S., representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors.

Pharis, Radivoyevitch and van den Bogert were named commended scholars, placing among the top 5 percent of students who took the PSAT. About 34,000 commended students are recognized nationwide for their exceptional academic promise.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:21 AM, 11.30.2016

Cleveland Water provides transition information for Heights customers

Beginning on Jan. 1, Cleveland Heights households and businesses, along with about 700 University Heights households, will become direct service customers of Cleveland Water.

For 101 years, Cleveland Heights was a master meter community, purchasing water from Cleveland and reselling it at a marked-up rate. Water was a source of revenue for the city until recently, when infrastructure deterioration caused the Cleveland Heights Water Department to operate at increasing losses.

Several hundred Heights residents gathered at the Cleveland Heights Community Center on Oct. 26 and 29, to hear Cleveland Water Commissioner Alex Margevicius discuss the upcoming transition. (Business owners attended a separate session on Oct. 28.)

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:04 AM, 11.29.2016

UH Symphonic Band performs at JCU Dec. 1

The University Heights Symphonic Band with Matthew Salvaggio conducting.

The University Heights Symphonic Band will kick off the holiday season and put everyone in a festive mood with a free concert. The program will take place Thursday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m., in John Carroll University's Dolan Science Center Atrium.

The 45-member band, under the direction of Matthew Salvaggio, is now in its 47th year. The ensemble consists of outstanding local musicians, who present the best of concert band music. Its diverse membership includes professional musicians, engineers, homemakers, educators, medical specialists and others—even a rocket scientist. 

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:03 PM, 11.29.2016

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

Dec. 1: Carl Topilow, conductor of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, will celebrate its 20th anniversary season with his red, white and blue clarinets, while telling behind-the-scenes stories—the funny and the unexpected—of the history and legends of the Cleveland Pops.

Dec. 8: Maureen Kenny, professor at the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Law, and co-director of a new human-trafficking project in its Criminal Justice Clinic, will discuss the scourge of human trafficking and the work being done to help victims recover their lives.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:27 AM, 11.30.2016

CH Senior Center News

Movement is important at any age, but paying attention to the ways in which we move is increasingly essential as we get older. At the Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center (SAC) there are many opportunities for movement, and “chances to dance.”

On Mondays at 9:30 a.m., Gladys McGothlin leads the Beginning Line Dance class, teaching basic line dances set to contemporary music. Her class provides exercise and is a fun way to start the week dancing with friends.

Every Wednesday at 10 a.m., a group gathers under the direction of Wes Senseman to learn traditional English Country Dance. The music is delightful and the dancers are all smiles. Senseman insists that if you can walk, you can dance, so give English Country Dance a try!

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:25 AM, 11.30.2016

Gesu breaks ground for STREAM learning center

UH Mayor Susan Infeld, Pastor Karl Kiser, Principal Lucy Iemmolo and other guests posed for a photo before the groundbreaking ceremony.

Gesu Catholic School broke ground on Oct. 31, beginning the second phase of its STREAM initiative. University Heights Mayor Susan Infeld, Pastor Karl Kiser, Principal Lucy Iemmolo, Pastoral Associate Sr. Kathleen Flannery, Associate Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Cleveland Susan Pohly, architects Steve Taylor and Jim Marshaus from Marshaus & Farkas, project managers Art Lindroas and Nancy Lindroas from Bolton Pratt Company, and students were among those present at demolition to prepare the space. 

Phase two of construction includes renovation of the north side of the school building, originally the convent for the parish, and most recently the Religious Education Center. The three-story space will be designed to enhance classroom learning in science, technology, religion, engineering, art, and mathematics, all dedicated to Gesu’s STREAM initiative.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 9:42 AM, 11.22.2016

Voters pass Heights school levy and CH charter amendments

In the Nov. 8 election, voters passed the 5.5 mill CH-UH City School District tax levy, Issue 109, by a margin of 2,162 votes, with 53.9 percent of voters (14,932) voting for the levy, and 46.1 percent (12,770) voting against it.

Cleveland Heights voters also passed Issues 51 and 52—amendments to the Cleveland Heights City Charter—related to deadlines for Cleveland Heights City Council candidates.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 10:46 AM, 11.09.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights [online 11-1-2016]

NOVEMBER 1, 2016

  • Opening of meeting
  • Awards and recognitions
  • Public address
  • Booklet for district
  • Personnel
  • High school renovation and change orders
  • Surplus equipment, transportation, donations
  • Finance
  • Board president’s report
  • Legislative issues
  • Clock tower, high school musical
  • Upcoming meetings

Kal Zucker, board president, was absent.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 4:13 PM, 11.15.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights [online 11-7-2016]

NOVEMBER 7, 2016

  • Body cameras for the Police Department
  • Liquor permit transfers
  • Finance and payroll software
  • Computer network infrastructure
  • ODOT bridge inspection program
  • Zoning variance
  • CDBG application
  • Cranksgiving
  • Public health services
  • Nuisance property
  • Election Day and support for Issue 109

Council members Carol Roe and Michael N. Ungar were absent.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 4:02 PM, 11.15.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights for 10-17-2016 [online]

OCTOBER 17, 2016

  • Public comments
  • Banks designated for city’s active deposits
  • Cain Park concessions proposals for 2017
  • Liquor permit application
  • Sanitary sewer engineering
  • CDBG entitlement process
  • Top of the Hill development
  • Trick-or-treating events and other announcements
  • Nuisance property
  • Recent robbery and murder
Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:49 PM, 11.10.2016

Cedar-Taylor Garage closes after 78 years on Cedar Road

Mark Stanos and Bill Tammarino inside Cedar-Taylor Garage & Autobody.

Cedar-Taylor Garage & Autobody, located just south of the intersection of Cedar and Taylor roads in University Heights, closed on Oct. 28. The car repair shop had been in business at that location since 1938.

The garage’s most recent owners were Bill Tammarino and Mark Stanos, who bought the shop in 1986. Al Kus was the original owner of the business, and Bill Decapite was its second owner.

Tammarino, 61, said he and Stanos decided to close the shop because the auto-repair business has “changed a lot in the last 30 years.”

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 2:54 PM, 11.07.2016

Why I'm voting 'no' on Issue 109

To the Editor:

The following facts are reported on the Ohio Dept. of Education website at which measures the CH-UH school district versus the other districts in Cuyahoga County (and statewide averages):

  1. Total expenditure per pupil: CH-UH $19,671.49 vs. $14,445 average for all other districts in Cuyahoga county;
  2. Classroom teachers average salary: CH-UH is $73,708 vs. $68,848 for other Cuyahoga County districts;
  3. K–12 pupil-to-teacher ratio: CH-UH 11.6 vs. Cuyahoga County average of 14.7 pupils per teacher.

What emerges from this report is a picture of a school system plagued by out-of-control spending, excessive overstaffing, and overpaid faculty.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 2:53 PM, 11.07.2016

SHN suggests sustainable tips for November

Sustainable Heights Network (SHN) advocates for evidence-based community actions and education that will result in a positive impact on our environment and quality of life. For more information, visit

Solid Waste: Pack-and-ship stores in the Heights and nearby will likely accept foam peanuts for reuse. Check with the store, or call the Plastic Loose Fill Producers Council (800-828-2214) to find a drop-off site.

Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program turns old shoes into playground [material] and athletic flooring. The closest sneaker collection drop-off site to the Heights is Nike Factory Store in Aurora Farms.

Energy Savings: Switch to electricity from renewable energy sources. In Ohio, 82 percent of electricity is generated by coal or natural gas; both are greenhouse gas sources that contribute to climate change.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 2:49 PM, 11.07.2016

Remembering Sunny Ravi Patel

Sunny Ravi Patel [Courtesy Patel family.]

On Friday, Oct. 14, just after 8 p.m., 15-year-old Sunny Ravi Patel was murdered by an armed robber while helping at the Mr. Hero sandwich shop that his aunt and uncle own on South Taylor Road in Cleveland Heights. He was not an employee, but a dutiful nephew working hard to help his family succeed. The criminal shot Sunny, and he passed away from his injuries just hours later.

Sunny Ravi Patel is the only son of Ravi and Pinal Patel of Highland Heights. A sophomore at Mayfield High School, his friends describe him as hardworking, caring and an avid Cleveland Cavaliers fan.

Mayfield students hosted a candlelight vigil on Oct. 21, prior to the school’s varsity football game. They asked students, staff and community members to wear Cleveland Cavaliers attire for a "Cavs Night" theme in his memory and to show support for his family.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 10:24 AM, 11.01.2016

CH voters to decide on proposed amendments to city charter

Cleveland Heights residents will be asked to vote on two proposed amendments to the Cleveland Heights City Charter when they go to the polls on Nov. 8.

Ballot language for the proposed amendments, Issues 51 and 52, is as follows:

  • Issue 51: Shall Article VII, Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Charter of the City of Cleveland Heights be amended to change the candidate petition filing deadline from 60 to 90 days prior to the election, and change the period in which electors may sign candidate petitions from between 60 and 90 days to between 90 and 180 days prior to the election; and change the filing deadline for write-in candidates from 40 to 72 days prior to the election, and the deadline to file an acceptance of their nomination to office from 55 to 85 days prior to the election?

  • Issue 52: Shall Article VIII, Sections 3 and 4 of the Charter of the City of Cleveland Heights be amended to change the filing deadline from 40 to 90 days for candidates seeking to succeed those members of Council whose removal is sought in the event that a recall election is to be held for more than three members of council; and to change the time frame from 40 to 90 days to 60 to 120 days for which a recall election, or a question as a result of initiative or referendum petitions shall be submitted for a vote of the electors of the city whenever it becomes the duty of the Council to call such an election?
Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 12:44 PM, 11.01.2016

Participate in democracy: Vote!

The election is upon us. No one has expressed the importance of the vote better than Martin Luther King Jr. did in his “Give Us the Ballot” speech of 1957. “So long as I do not firmly and irrevocably possess the right to vote,” he said, “I do not possess myself. I cannot make up my mind—it is made up for me. I cannot live as a democratic citizen, observing the laws I have helped to enact—I can only submit to the edict of others.”

Nearly 60 years later, author and political analyst Donna Brazile observed, “For Dr. King, the right to vote was sacrosanct and foundational. It is the very essence of our social contract. Free elections create legitimacy. They imply the consent of the governed. He knew that unfair elections laws did not just hurt minorities or the working poor, they rendered hollow the very essence of American government.”

As neighbors, volunteers, workers, taxpayers and, yes, voters, each of us helps shape our community and workplace, civic life and public institutions, and our democracy. The vote is essential to the common good and to our responsibility as citizens, so, during this fractious political season, in an era of a resurgence of voter suppression, I decided to volunteer to register voters. It was something I could do to make the election more inclusive and democracy more complete.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 11:15 AM, 11.01.2016

Apolloís Fire performs 'Love in Venice'

Apollo's Fire continues its 25th-anniversary season with the Love in Venice concert series.

Venice, where East meets West, was one of the world’s greatest artistic centers that fostered geniuses of Western art music, such as Monteverdi and Vivaldi. Simultaneously, the city was alive with the sounds of Sephardic romances, dances by Jewish composer Salamone Rossi, and Arab improvisations. Cleveland Heights-based Apollo’s Fire continues its 25th-anniversary season with an eclectic program that celebrates the sounds of the City of Water, Love in Venice.

Apollo’s Fire musicians Olivier Brault and Kathie Stewart lead the ensemble in Vivaldi’s Autumn violin concerto and LaNotte flute concerto. Sopranos Amanda Powell and Erica Schuller and tenor Owen McIntosh sing Monteverdi’s timeless love duets that remind us that love knows no ethnic boundaries.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 7:53 PM, 11.01.2016

Peter and the Starcatcher returns to Dobama for the holidays

Luke Wehner as Peter in Peter and the Starcatcher, opening Dec. 1. [Photo: Steve Wagner.]

Peter and the Starcatcher, which won five Tony Awards, returns to Dobama Theatre for the 2016 holiday season. The Plain Dealer named last year’s Dobama production of Starcatcher one of the Top 10 Theater Productions of 2015, and it was an enormous hit with children of all ages.

Starcatcher, a prequel to James M. Barrie’s immortal Peter Pan, finds 13-year-old Molly Aster in the company of pirates, a giant crocodile, and some unusual singing mermaids. Adventures abound as Molly and three orphan boys (one of whom is the future Peter Pan) attempt to return a trunk of precious “starstuff” to her father as the pirate captain Black Stache and his sidekick, Smee, pursue them.

A dozen actors will portray more than 100 characters using talent, theatrical magic and the limitless possibilities of imagination. Among the returning cast members are audience favorites Christopher Bohan as Black Stache, Andrew Gorell as Smee, Luke Wehner as Peter and Molly Israel as Molly.  

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 7:47 PM, 11.01.2016

Cookie and cupcake shop opens on Lee Road

Stacey Stoudemire,the owner of Simply Michele's.

On Oct. 29, Simply Michele’s Cookies & Cupcake Boutique opened at 2265 Lee Road, in the space previously occupied by Shawn Paul Salon (which moved to larger quarters in the Heights Rockefeller Building). The Cleveland Heights bakery is the latest location in a chain of three; the other two are in Garfield Heights and Warrensville Heights.

Simply Michele’s sells cupcakes and cookies, as well as ice-cream sandwiches and other products made from vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream. In the summer, it will sell milkshakes as well. The bakery also offers Garrett’s Popcorn, made in Chicago, and assorted pastries, cheesecakes and mini-cakes, and custom cakes that are made-to-order.

Owner Stacey Michele Stoudemire, 43, bestowed her middle name on her bakeries. She grew up in Cleveland and moved to Cleveland Heights with her family when she was 16. Stoudemire graduated from Heights High in 1990.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 7:42 PM, 11.01.2016

Heights Arts Holiday Store celebrates 15 years of showcasing local artists

Heights Arts Holiday Store, at 2175 Lee Road, will open for the season Nov. 4.

Part of Heights Arts's mission as a community nonprofit is to showcase and support our region's artists, whether they are visual, literary or musical. Northeast Ohio—and particularly Cleveland Heights—is a hotbed of creative talent.

This season, Heights Arts hosts its largest holiday store since it first opened its doors on Lee Road as a pop-up gallery in 2001. Beginning on Friday, Nov. 4, and running through Dec. 30, the store will be filled with a broad selection of giftable art—ceramics, glass, jewelry, painting, printmaking, photography, fiber works, artist tees, paper crafts and handmade holiday cards, as well as artisan items for the home and for the littlest ones in the family (not to mention poetry chapbooks and CDs from Cleveland musicians). That's one long list, but it is a reflection of the depth and variety of local talent as the Heights Arts Holiday Store fills the entire gallery space with works from more than 80 artists.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 10:11 AM, 11.01.2016

CH's Ronna Kaplan impacts lives through music therapy

Ronna Kaplan is chair of the Center for Music Therapy at The Music Settlement, the first community-based music therapy program in the country.

Photo credit: Dale McDonald.

Music therapist Ronna Kaplan, who was born, and grew up, in Cleveland Heights, has a Heights teacher to thank for leading her to her profession.

“My senior year at Heights High,” recalled Kaplan, “we had a new band director named Robert Bergantino. When it was my turn to audition, he asked about my career aspirations. I said I wanted to go into a social service field and he said, ‘You should be a music therapist.’”

“Then, my mom told me that they had music therapy at The Music Settlement (TMS). She knew that because she’d been driving me to the Settlement for flute, theory and piano lessons since I was 10, and she often read the course catalog while she waited,” said Kaplan.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 10:04 AM, 11.01.2016

Lake Erie Ink hosts Nov. 12 storytelling workshops for families

Eris Eady, poet and storyteller, is a featured guest artist at Lake Erie Ink's family storytelling workshop on Nov. 12.

Every holiday season offers opportunities to share family stories across the generations. On Nov. 12, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Lake Erie Ink will explore the art of storytelling with kids of all ages. Using family stories as the inspiration for the day’s interactive workshops, participants will engage with guest artists from the Cleveland Association of Black Storytellers (CABS) and GroundWorks DanceTheater.

At 10:30 a.m., Eris Eady, artist, poet and CABS member, will share her secrets for keeping an audience intrigued. She will help attendees craft their stories into tales that can be shared for years.

Pizza will be served at 12:30 p.m.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 7:44 PM, 11.01.2016

McMillan Early Learning Center celebrates expansion

Payton Waller, former student of McMillan Early Learning Center, cuts the open-house ribbon. Pictured (from left): Sandy McMillan, Payton Waller, Mary Dunbar, Elizabeth Newman.

On Oct. 11, The Centers for Families and Children (The Centers) hosted an open house at its McMillan Early Learning Center, at 1941 S. Taylor Road, to celebrate the site’s recent expansion.

Attendees toured the renovated center, which now offers care for infants ages 6 weeks to 18 months, in addition to its toddler and preschool programs. The expansion included a new infant classroom, serving eight children; a toddler classroom, serving 10 children; and a large indoor gym for physical development. Added to the existing toddler classroom and three preschool classrooms, the expanded space enables the center to serve a total of eight infants, 20 toddlers and 59 preschoolers.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 7:08 PM, 11.01.2016

Auerbach-Brown is a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellow

Christopher Auerbach-Brown. [Photo: Robert Muller.]

Music has been an important part of Christopher Auerbach-Brown’s life since he was in second grade. That was when he started taking guitar lessons from his father. Now, nearly 40 years later, Auerbach-Brown’s life focuses on music.

He is a sound artist and composer, and a member of Trepanning Trio, an acoustic instrumental group that has released three CDs, and the Quiet Trance Ensemble, a group that holds community improvisation evenings. He is also the conductor of the Amati Chamber Orchestra, a string ensemble at The Music Settlement, and he has taught music classes at various schools in the Cleveland area, including The Music Settlement, Lakeland Community College and the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Auerbach-Brown was named a Creative Workforce Fellow at the beginning of 2016 by the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC).

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 7:04 PM, 11.01.2016

Heights residents invited to Nov. 16 forum on building community

Attendees at FutureHeights’s October 2015 Reimagining Severance forum. [photo: Deanna Bremer Fisher]

Cleveland Heights and University Heights residents are invited to attend Community-Building for Change—a free public forum and workshop, hosted by FutureHeights and Neighborhood Connections—on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 6:30–8:30 p.m., at the Cleveland Heights Community Center Atrium, 1 Monticello Blvd.

The interactive workshop aims to provide attendees with the knowledge and skills they need to create and maintain strong, effective neighborhood groups, and empower residents to take effective action in supporting and improving their community.

The forum will explore such topics as effective organizing and goal-setting for volunteer organizations, and strategies for creatively solving challenges.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 1:24 PM, 11.01.2016

Engineering program grows with partnership

Heights High engineering teacher Greg Nachman guides Jackson Herschman on an aspect of the circuit board assembly. Sam Kramer and Zakee Ali (L-R) solder components to circuit boards. 

Heights High students in the Digital Electronics (DE) Engineering course are learning about digital logic by creating a random-number generator—think of it as an electronic way to roll dice. To begin the activity, each student received a kit that included a circuit board, sockets, chips, capacitors, resistors, LED lights and a switch. After three days of assembly work, everyone in the class had a working random-number generator. 

The DE course is one of two engineering courses offered this year as part of the district’s partnership with Project Lead the Way, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to using hands-on projects to increase the number of students who graduate with a background in science and technology. The Heights High engineering program is in its second year, following a restructuring that created the Project Lead the Way engineering courses.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 7:11 PM, 11.01.2016

Euclid Heights Boulevard freeze-out

I grew up near Coventry Road, on Belmar. In the 1950s, my family would often walk up to one of the delis on Coventry for dinner—especially Benky’s, which later became Irv’s. Irv’s is a story unto itself, but not for right now. At Benky’s, and then Irv’s, I usually ordered a chopped liver sandwich. I know, I know. But I grew up on that and I liked it.

In November 1967, when I was 18, I stopped eating chopped liver, because I became what I still am today, which I describe as a “non-practicing vegetarian.” Because I was (and am) a hippie. I lived in a series of crash pads with other young hippies, in the Coventry area. Though all of us hippies knew each other (whether we actually knew each other or not), and we all helped each other in any way we could, no other people treated us kindly, and the area was not hospitable to us.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 7:50 PM, 11.01.2016

CH Senior Center News

Longtime Meals on Wheels volunteer Mary Sayre.

Cleveland Heights Meals on Wheels began in 1978 as a cooperative effort between local churches and the Cleveland Heights Office on Aging. The program’s volunteers deliver meals to Cleveland Heights senior residents. A few of the original volunteers have remained active in the organization for all of its 30-plus years.

One of these dedicated volunteers is Mary Sayre. Active since 1982, she has delivered meals, acted as volunteer coordinator, served on the board of directors, and held every office, including president. Volunteers like her are the heart of this organization that continues to serve seniors in Cleveland Heights.

Meals are prepared at the McGregor Home, heated and packaged at Fairmount Presbyterian Church, and delivered around the noon hour on most weekdays. The cost for a hot meal and a cold lunch delivered together is $6.25 per day and you must be at home to receive your meal.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 7:37 PM, 11.01.2016