Latest News

Dobama Emerging Actors Program performances begin July 28

The DEAP Class of 2016.

Dobama Theatre continues its commitment to education programming with the seventh season of its Dobama Emerging Actors Program (DEAP), an intensive summer acting program for high school and college students.

This year’s DEAP production is a double bill of Greek drama: Ellen McLaughlin’s adaptations of “The Trojan Women” and “The Persians.”

The performances are at Dobama Theatre on Thursday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, July 29, and Saturday, July 30, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, July 31, at 2:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Each performance will feature both productions.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 10:37 AM, 07.22.2016

Latest News Releases

- City of Cleveland Heights, July 25, 2016 Read More
Joint Statement of the City of Cleveland Heights and the City of Lakewood Regarding Recent Articles
- City of Cleveland Heights, July 15, 2016 Read More
City of Cleveland Heights Master Plan survey is open through Aug. 1
- City of Cleveland Heights, July 15, 2016 Read More
Sewer District to Host Residential Stormwater Credit Workshops
- Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, July 10, 2016 Read More
Beaumont Grad Earns All-American Honors Playing Softball at Tri-C
- Sports, July 8, 2016 Read More

View more news releases

Cleveland Heights designates four free-parking weekends for Cedar Lee

In an effort to support Lee Road merchants during the disruption caused by streetscape construction, the City of Cleveland Heights has agreed to designate four free-parking  weekends in the Cedar Lee Business District. Free parking will be offered last weekend of each month, from July through October, and applies only to metered (not permit) spots on the district's streets, in city parking lots and the city parking garage.

The Cedar Lee free-parking weekends are:

  • July 29, 30, 31
  • Aug. 26, 27, 28
  • Sept. 23, 24, 25
  • Oct. 28, 29, 30
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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 5:54 PM, 07.20.2016

Judson gallery exhibits work by resident Leonard Trawick

Leonard Trawick with one of his prints. [photo by Maggie Kaput]

Retrospective: View with a Twist, featuring etchings, watercolors, and acrylics by Judson Park resident Leonard Trawick, will be on view at 
The Streeter Gallery at Judson Park July 22 thought Oct. 3. The public is invited to attend a reception with the artist on Friday July 22, 4:30–6:30 p.m.

An Alabama native, Trawick studied literature at the University of Chicago and the University of Dijon in France before receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He taught English at Cleveland State University until he retired in 1998. Throughout his life, painting and drawing have been serious avocations, and he continues his work with help from the art faculty at Cleveland State University.

His prints and watercolors have been shown in various galleries. Through his work, Trawick tries to include a subjective element and portray an emotional impact, and his prints often contain fanciful or humorous ideas.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 12:45 PM, 07.19.2016

Pavilion offers furniture and more in Cedar Fairmount

Michele Ross and Leslie Marceau, the owners of Pavilion Home & Floral

Pavilion Home & Floral, a home furnishings and interior design store, has relocated to Cleveland Heights. It originally opened on Larchmere Boulevard in December 2015, and moved to 12433 Cedar Road, in the Cedar Fairmount Business District, in July.

“We simply needed more space, and we wanted to expand our product offerings,” said Michele Ross, one of the store’s owners.

Leslie Marceau, the store’s other owner, said that she and Ross thought the Cedar Fairmount space would be a good fit, and enable them to grow their business.

Marceau, who grew up near Toronto, has lived in Cleveland Heights for the past four years. Ross was born in Elyria and now lives in Weymouth, near Medina.

Pavilion offers furniture; custom-upholstery items; lighting; art, featuring work by local artists; and home accessories, including candles, rugs, table tops, bedding and custom pillows. Pavilion also sells fresh flowers and faux flowers.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 10:00 AM, 07.19.2016

Coventry Collaborative Garden thrives with support from community partners

Master Gardener volunteer Divina Koonce and her children plant marigolds around the garden to prevent pests.

Over the past few years, neighborhoods both urban and rural have seen a renewed interest in backyard (and front yard) vegetable gardening. As the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System aims to reflect the interests of its community, gardening has become a standard program.

The Coventry Village Library is home to the Coventry Seed Library, maintained by the Cleveland Seed Bank. The Coventry Village Library also leads gardening programs for adults, with help from local experts.

“Overflowing” is the word that Maggie Kinney, youth services librarian at the Coventry Village Library, used to describe the Coventry Collaborative Garden at mid-summer. The garden occupies a space adjacent to the library, where community members have helped plant carrots, lettuce, basil, peas, parsley, chives, tomatoes, peppers, green beans and marigolds.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 10:11 AM, 07.19.2016

Coventry Village celebrates Star Wars Tribute Day Aug. 6

Image courtesy of Coventry Village Special Improvement District.

Coventry Village will celebrate all things Star Wars with its Star Wars Tribute Day on Saturday, Aug. 6.

From 2–5 p.m., snap a photo with your favorite characters as they roam Coventry Village; play Star Wars video games in a free mobile truck parked in the heart of Coventry Village; and battle your friends in Lightsaber Wars, a kid-friendly battle arena.

Coventry Village shops will be joining in the fun, offering Star Wars-themed specials and discounts.

Dress in costume, and meet at the P.E.AC.E. Park arch at 6 p.m. to participate to parade along the sidewalks of Coventry Village. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes in a variety of categories.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 11:05 AM, 07.19.2016

Tri-C honors Tracy Oliver with distinguished service award

Tracy Oliver

The Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) Foundation Board of Directors has awarded its 2016 Heath Oliver Distinguished Director Award to Tracy Oliver, in recognition of her exemplary service to Tri-C and its students.

Oliver, a Cleveland Heights resident and director of media and local affairs for Dominion East Ohio, joined the board in 2003 and has dedicated herself to making higher education accessible to Greater Cleveland residents.

She has repeatedly championed requests from the foundation and provided opportunities for Tri-C students, particularly through grants awarded from the Dominion Higher Educational Partnership.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 10:37 AM, 07.19.2016

Beaumont School senior selected for ocean research program

Crista Kieley

[Photo courtesy of Anne Jarrad.]

Crista Kieley, a member of Beaumont School’s class of 2017, will sail aboard Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus during its 2016 expedition. As an Honors Research Program student, Kieley will join the Corps of Exploration aboard Nautilus in August as they explore the California Margin, a broad area within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that remains largely unexplored and is crisscrossed by seismically active faults.

Kieley is among 22 students and 17 educators from around the world who were selected by the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) to participate in the 2016 Nautilus Exploration Program expedition. OET, a nonprofit founded by Titanic shipwreck discoverer Robert Ballard in 2008, explores the ocean, seeking out new discoveries in the fields of geology, biology, maritime history, archaeology, physics and chemistry, while pushing the boundaries of STEM education and technological innovation.


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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 10:48 AM, 07.19.2016

BP names Motorcars Honda world's first carbon-neutral auto dealer

On July 13, BP will present Motorcars Honda of Cleveland Heights with its Carbon Neutral Award, making it the first automotive dealership in the world to achieve this distinction. BP created the award as part of its Target Neutral program, and will bestow the award as part of University Circle’s Wade Oval Wednesdays celebration.

BP Target Neutral is an independently advised nonprofit program that aims to reduce the carbon footprints of both businesses and individuals. Motorcars Honda gained the program’s attention after achieving the title of eighth-greenest dealership in the U.S.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 11:36 AM, 07.12.2016

BottleHouse introduces new food offerings and program to benefit local nonprofits

Brian Benchek, owner of the BottleHouse Brewery.

Four years after it opened, BottleHouse Brewery is expanding its food menu, which formerly comprised mainly sandwiches and charcuterie boards.

The brewery, located at 2050 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, is also instituting a new program to benefit nonprofit organizations.

“Cleveland Heights has given so much to us,” said owner Brian Benchek. “We wanted to give back to the community.”

Starting in July, for every pint of Community Pilsner it sells, BottleHouse will donate 50 cents to a nonprofit organization. The first donation recipient is Dobama Theatre, which will benefit from every pint sold from July through October. Every four months a new nonprofit organization will be selected to receive the money.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 10:37 AM, 07.12.2016

Blueprint Boutique opens on Coventry

Anthony Ho in his new clothing store on Coventry Road.

A new clothing store has opened in Coventry Village. Called Blueprint Boutique, the store opened on July 2 in the space previously occupied by Heart and Soul, at 1781 Coventry Road.

The new store sells the same brands of sneakers that Heart and Soul used to sell, along with hard-to-find brands of clothing, most of which are otherwise available only at retail stores in New York City.

“We carry a wide variety of street-wear brands, and we also have vintage clothing from the 1990s, like old T-shirts,” said Anthony Ho, owner of boutique. Among the brands that his store carries are Supreme, a specialized street-wear brand, and Bathing Aupe, a New York City label.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 10:35 AM, 07.12.2016

Fairmount sewer project to begin week of July 18

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District will begin construction on the Fairmount Boulevard Relief Sewer the week of July 18. 

This project includes the construction of 2,400 feet of new sanitary sewer between Wellington and Idlewood roads. In addition, contractors will re-line 2,250 feet of existing sanitary sewers and rehabilitate manholes along the section.

When the project is complete, there will be additional sanitary sewage capacity and reduced sanitary sewage overflows into Doan Brook.

Construction will occur in the two northernmost lanes of Fairmount Boulevard, closing those lanes to vehicular traffic. Although lane closures will occur, traffic will be maintained in both directions.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 10:31 AM, 07.12.2016

Invincible. Or maybe not ...

A friend of mine died recently. Jim was a few years older than I. When we met, in the late-1960s, he was a significant player in the local folk music scene here. At that time, I was starting out in the professional folk-singing world and he served as an unofficial mentor to me.

I soon left Cleveland for New York, where I recorded and toured and did all of the things that go with that business. A few years later, I returned to Cleveland to re-group, so to speak, and figure out how to proceed. While I was trying to determine what kind of musical project to start next, in that early-‘70s July, Jim offered me a gig backing him up in a club that was filled every night with Mafia-related figures and Mafia wanna-be figures.

This upstairs restaurant/downstairs bar was a nice spot in a wealthy section of town. It was the kind of place where every man who came in wore a jacket and tie—and carried at least one weapon, which he had used before and would, no doubt, again.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 5:51 PM, 07.01.2016

Paul Ferguson performs jazz and sacred music

Paul Ferguson

Paul Ferguson is one of the most respected jazz musicians in all of Greater Cleveland. He is the director of jazz studies at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and the artistic director of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. He also plays trombone, and in addition to the eight CDs he has released, he performs with many other artists around the area.

Ferguson, who lives on East Fairfax Road in Cleveland Heights, is 55 years old. He is the father of two daughters: 22-year-old Kelsey Ferguson, who plays violin, often with her father; and 18-year-old Tyler, a recent graduate from Heights High.

Ferguson was born in Sandusky, Ohio. When he was four years old, his family moved to New Jersey. After about two years, the family moved back to Ohio and took up residence in Massillon.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 5:44 PM, 07.01.2016

New collection at Lee Road Library highlights zines

Adult Services Associate Kate Atherton with the new zine collection at the Lee Road Library.

On the second floor of the Lee Road Library, patrons can find a newly curated collection: zines.

The word zine is an abbreviation of “magazine” and “fanzine.” The item itself is usually a handmade, self-published booklet or similar publication. Zines are often small, and vary in content: hand-drawn comics, essays and poetry, or photography.

Kate Atherton, adult services associate, curated the library’s collection, which currently consists of 70 publications. “This past year I was lucky enough to have this first batch of zines donated to me by a patron who runs a zine review blog,” said Atherton. “He had a surplus of zines he had been given to review that he no longer needed, so he thought to share them with us and our community.”

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 5:16 PM, 07.01.2016

What’s going on at your library?

Join the library for all-new programs, lead by Heights friends and neighbors. For a complete schedule of events, and to register, visit

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

Thursday, July 28, 7 p.m.

An evening with Poonam Bala. Medical historian and professor Poonam Bala will discuss her book Diaspora, Culture and Identity, which examines issues related to identity and sociocultural adjustments of Ohio's Asian Indian community. No registration is required; book signing to follow the talk.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 5:35 PM, 07.01.2016

New RoxEl parent group builds community

The four summer camp award winners, with members of Building Rox and Roxboro Elementary School leaders. 

“We started with the strong foundation that is already the Roxboro Elementary community, and we’re building it upwards and outwards,” said parent Jennifer Holland of Building Rox, a new subcommittee of the RoxEl PTA.

When Coventry Elementary School shut its doors a decade ago, the building’s students were divided among Boulevard, Fairfax and Roxboro elementary (RoxEl) schools. Those attending RoxEl arrive primarily by bus and live far outside the bounds of this “neighborhood” school. Because many of the school’s parents are not present at drop-off or pick-up time, they may feel less informed about school issues and less connected to the school community.

That’s where Building Rox comes in, as a PTA-supported organization run by committed parents whose mission is to facilitate a safe, inclusive, community-focused environment for all families through outreach and programming.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 4:38 PM, 07.01.2016

Preparing for the RNC

In her first months as police chief, Annette Mecklenburg said contingencies for the upcoming Republican National Convention (July 18–21) have been a priority.

While the city isn't anticipating any particular kind of activity, it is planning for an increase in visitors from among the delegates and protestors, and the chance that heightened political passions could result in police calls. 

Most of the work is in reviewing and writing policies with the political convention in mind—for example, a mass-arrest policy.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 4:01 PM, 07.01.2016

Mild winter results in crime uptick in Cleveland Heights

Crimes in Cleveland Heights rose in the first three months of 2016 compared to the same period a year ago, most likely because of the mild winter, according to Police Chief Annette Mecklenburg.

According to data compiled by the Cleveland Heights Police Department (CHPD), 26 violent crimes were committed in the city during the first quarter of the year, compared to 12 a year ago and 24 the year before that. 

There were 201 property crimes in the January to March period—up from 185 in the same period last year, but well below 247 in the first quarter of 2014.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 4:05 PM, 07.01.2016

Heights residents organize to welcome RNC with love

Three months ago, Cleveland Heights resident and recently appointed member of the city’s Economic Development Committee, Joy Roller found herself in a conversation with Sister Rita Petruziello, of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Rocky River. Petruziello shared her idea to have Clevelanders “circle the city with love” and hold hands in silent meditation or prayer before the Republican National Convention this month. After speaking with Roller, a plan to have thousands stand in unity, love and intentional silence for peace and justice on Cleveland’s downtown bridges began to develop.  

Petruziello believes that the power of such a gathering can transform the vibration of the convention, and could even influence the entire world. She told Roller about scientific research that indicates that spaces can be “spiritually charged” by prayer and intention. As a consultant and professional organizer, Roller knew that she could help Petruziello make her vision a reality, and so she has stepped forward to carry out the nun's vision.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:49 AM, 07.01.2016

Develop your artistic ability

Drawing by SAC artist Leonie Lee. Photo by Amy Jenkins.

Retirement brings with it an increase in one of life’s most precious commodities—spare time. If you enjoy art, and wonder whether you might have artistic ability, taking an art class can be a great way to spend your time. It can also be good for your health.

Researchers at the American Academy of Neurology reported last year that people who engaged in artistic activities such as painting, drawing and sculpting were 73 percent less likely to develop memory and thinking problems that lead to dementia.

The study also concluded that the social aspect of taking a class can also increase brain health. Socializing with others made participants 55 percent less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 4:55 PM, 07.01.2016

CH Senior Center News

The SAC has a computer room available for seniors' use, free of charge.

The Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center (SAC), located in the CH Community Center at 1 Monticello Blvd., offers a wide variety of programming for Cleveland Heights residents 60 and older.

Do you need to check your e-mail, research plane fares, print a coupon, or write an article for the Heights Observer? If you need to use a computer, SAC has a computer room with 12 computers available for seniors' use, free of charge. All of the computers use Windows 7 and are equipped with Word, Excel and Internet access. If you need help using a computer, volunteer computer tutors are available to answer questions on Mondays, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to noon; Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to noon; and Thursdays, 2–3 p.m.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 5:07 PM, 07.01.2016

UH 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. 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

July 7: Melanie Hogan, director of LEAP (Linking Employment, Abilities and Potential) will discuss her work helping people with disabilities to transition effectively to normal life in the community.

July 14: Henry Adams, Ph.D., professor of art history at Case Western Reserve University, will conduct a conversation with Peter van Dijk, a world-renowned architect who has played a major role in the historic renovation of Cleveland.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 5:03 PM, 07.01.2016

Residents invited to CH Master Plan public meeting on July 14

A community meeting to discuss the Cleveland Heights Master Plan will be held on Thursday, July 14, at 7 p.m. in the Cleveland Heights Community Center, 1 Monticello Boulevard. The County Planning staff will review the planning process to date and discuss draft policies; the public will be asked to provide feedback and set priorities for policies and action steps.

Following the public meeting, County Planning will host an online survey that will mirror the information available at the public meeting.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 10:03 AM, 07.01.2016

KazStylious Secret Closet brings vintage fashion to Cedar Lee

Tranette Thomas, owner of KazStylious

Photo by Lori Goldberg.

Tucked away near the corner of Lee and Silsby roads is KazStylious Secret Closet, a vintage boutique that offers boldly colored clothes.

Tranette Thomas, 33, owns KazStylious Secret Closet and said she runs it with one primary goal: to make unique fashion affordable. She buys all of the boutique’s stock herself and also works as an in-store personal stylist. Almost all of the clothes in KazStylious are vibrantly colored. Offering colorful clothes year-round is part of Thomas’ vision.

“I believe in color,” Thomas explained. “Color brings happiness. It takes away from anyone being in a bad space. I think it brings good vibes because at the same time you’re vibrant, you’re going to get compliments. So everything that I have in my store, it has color to it. It has something unique about it. The most important thing to me is that my customers are happy. People don’t have to buy something every time they come to my store, I just have to see them leave with a smile.”

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 4:11 PM, 07.01.2016

Ride a bicycle this summer

 A folding bicycle.

For most people, summer is the most appealing time of year for bicycling. This summer, more people than ever are riding their bicycles around the Heights.

Many people ride for recreation, or maybe to run short errands around town. But summer is a great time to try going longer distances or commuting by bicycle.

For longer distances, you can go the whole way by bicycle, or combine public transit with bicycling. The best transit route may become much more convenient if you ride your bicycle to the nearest stop, load your bicycle onto the bike rack installed on all RTA buses, then unload and ride your bicycle from the stop nearest your ultimate destination.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:42 AM, 07.01.2016

Music Hop expands and returns this September

Heights Music Hop returns for its fourth consecutive year this September. And this year, the Hop is expanding. It will take place over two days, Sept. 23 and 24, instead of just one, and, in addition to the Cedar Lee neighborhood where the Hop has happened the last three years, it will also expand into the Cedar Fairmount neighborhood.

"We're excited to be able to grow this festival each year,” said Dan Budin, chair of the FutureHeights Music Hop Committee. “Our goal always has been to showcase the Heights as an arts and entertainment destination, while simultaneously supporting our business districts. The addition of Cedar Fairmount this year helps us to do just that. We have an incredible partnership with Cedar Lee, and its businesses have been great venues and sponsors, so we look forward to the continued high energy of a festival in Cedar Lee and to the inclusion of Cedar Fairmount and the new experiences its businesses have to offer." 

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 4:40 PM, 06.30.2016

Challenging the narrative about education funding

Children say the darnedest things.

One of the many ways Zagara’s Marketplace supports our community is by hosting local groups raising funds for youth activities. I’m an easy target for those earnest young volunteers selling candy bars, raffle tickets, popcorn or Girl Scout cookies.

A recent sales encounter really set me back. An enthusiastic sports team member asked me to buy a raffle ticket. After handing over my money, I asked the young salesgirl where she attended school. Much to my disappointment, she named a charter school and then offered quite innocently, “You know private schools are better.”

I was devastated. In one sentence a young student rejected public education, the historic guarantor of access and opportunity for all. 

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:32 AM, 07.01.2016

Businesses should bear some education costs

In his May opinion piece, “An argument against standardization in education,” Ari Klein makes an excellent point that not all students need to take Algebra II. I would like to put his ideas into a larger context.

Let me start by relating my personal experience. I recently retired from a 43-year career as an actuary. Actuaries have a well-deserved reputation as the geeks of the business world. In STEM fields, geekiness is more the norm, but in business we actuaries stand out, or, more accurately, disappear into the woodwork. I studied math in college, and when I applied for my first job, my math degree was a necessary qualification. I also had to pass three-hour exams in both calculus and statistics, and in other subjects more directly related to actuarial work—10 in all in my time—to obtain my professional credentials.

You might think I spent more than 40 years solving equations and calculating probabilities. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:36 AM, 07.01.2016

Understanding school funding: House Bill 920

No matter where you live in Ohio, regardless of whether or not you have children or whether or not they attend public schools, you will be asked to vote periodically on a local school levy. You might as well understand why.

House Bill 920, the Ohio law that outlines how public schools are funded, is complex and confusing. But it has a huge impact on all of us.

H.B. 920 was passed in 1976, during a period of unprecedented inflation. Home values were soaring every year, sometimes by double-digit percentages, and property taxes were growing at the same alarming rate. The state legislature attempted to lessen the burden on homeowners by freezing the dollar amount paid to school districts and libraries at the 1976 level; not at the rate or percentage, but at the actual dollar amount.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:20 AM, 07.01.2016

How my family views education in the Heights

The next school year will be the first in 16 years that my wife and I will have no children in the CH-UH public school system. Our two daughters attended our schools from kindergarten through graduation from Heights High, just like both of their parents, and their paternal grandparents (my mother is an alum, but moved here in 10th grade). Our experience was similar to that of many other Heights families—our girls thrived and excelled in our schools. Certainly, there were moments when we were concerned about one issue or another, or that teacher or something else, but they both received a good education.

There are other lessons that our kids learned beyond academics by attending CH-UH schools. They navigated challenges that one doesn’t learn in a classroom, but does still learn at school, mostly about how to get along with others—how to play together on the playground, get along with others during lunch, and how to work on academic teams.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:27 AM, 07.01.2016

Community development experts speak at FutureHeights Annual Meeting

FutureHeights Board President Richard Stewart welcomes the crowd to the 2016 FutureHeights Annual Meeting.

On June 1, FutureHeights hosted an interactive panel discussion, Rediscovering Our Neighborhood Business Districts, at its annual meeting. Richey Piiparinen, director of the Center for Population Dynamics at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, facilitated the panel and cited census data to set the context. Cleveland Heights residents are highly educated, he said, and the Heights is among a handful of communities in Cuyahoga County with large numbers of highly educated young professionals.

More than 51 percent of Heights residents have a college degree, and more than 27 percent have advanced degrees, he said. This is much higher than average for the county (30 percent and 12.4 percent) and the state (29 percent and 11 percent). The numbers are even higher for young adults (65 percent for 25–34 year olds and 55 percent for 35–44 year olds). This is a trend that the city could leverage for growth, he said.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 4:28 PM, 06.30.2016

Take back the CH Building Department

On a warm May evening last year, about 230 Cleveland Heights residents packed a meeting room at the Community Center to oppose the city’s move to lease its water system to a private, for-profit corporation. When more than 200 people show up at a meeting on short notice, you can assume each of them represents many more who were unable to be there.

City council members listened to their constituents and went back to the drawing board. As a result, in January 2017, Cleveland Heights will join more than 70 Northeast Ohio communities that get their water directly from the Cleveland Water Department, resulting in substantial savings for residents and businesses.

Flash forward a year or so. Beginning this month, the city will contract out its building department operations to Colorado-based SAFEbuilt, a private, for-profit corporation.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 5:20 PM, 06.30.2016

Appletree Books event celebrates Greater Cleveland neighborhoods

Appletree Books will host a special event on Friday, July 8, featuring four writers who have contributed to a new book about Greater Cleveland—Cleveland Neighborhood Guidebook. Belt Publishing, a Cleveland company that also publishes Belt Magazine, produced the book.

The four writers who will be taking part in the event are Brad Masi, Kathrine Morris, Greggor Mattson and Maryann De Julio.

Masi, who lives in Cleveland Heights, contributed a chapter called “Chasing the Ghosts of Coventry Village,” exploring the many changes that have taken place in the Coventry neighborhood over the years. He describes Dugway Brook as a “historic stream that has disappeared underground, locked away in concrete culverts beneath the hapless footfalls of the denizens above.” He then goes on to write about Harvey Pekar and poet d.a. levy. “Many writers, poets, artists, publishers and graphic novelists find their home here, and many more were hatched here before their winged migration to other territories,” Masi writes.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 10:34 AM, 06.28.2016

Expanded Shawn Paul Salon finds new home in Rockefeller Building

The team at Shawn Paul Salon. 

The Shawn Paul Salon has found a new home in the Mayfield Lee Business District’s Heights Rockefeller Building and is ready to grow. The salon, currently located in the Cedar Lee Business District is not only expanding its space, but also adding services, and using its new space to foster creativity, social engagement, and connectivity opportunities.  

The salon first opened its doors in the fall of 2011. Since its inaugural haircut, the salon has grown rapidly, and has been voted Best Cleveland Heights Salon and has received several Best Stylist awards.

The salon’s team of master stylists has been crucial to its success. “I am the luckiest guy alive," said owner Shawn Paul Gustafson. "I get to work with the craziest humans ever (my team), laugh all day long, and know that at the end of the day we all had fun. We are not for everyone, and that’s okay. We can get a bit too loud, openly share our political thoughts, and are obsessed with NPR. That being said, a lot of people seem to like our brand of crazy.”

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:27 AM, 06.28.2016

Win tickets to GroundWorks DanceTheater's performance at Cain Park

Dancers perform Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. Photo credit: Mark Horning.

GroundWorks DanceTheater presents Carmina Burana at Cain Park's Alma Theater on July 15 and 16 at 7 p.m. and July 17 at 2 p.m. for their 2016 Summer Dance Series. GroundWorks will feature an expanded cast in an adaptation of Carl Orff's timeless classic. The program will also include a world premiere work by award-winning New York choreographer Adam Barruch. For ticket information, visit or call 216-751-0088.  

The local dance company is sponsoring a social media ticket giveaway contest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Contestants are encouraged to share their most memorable dance experience using the hashtags listed below to be eligible to win a pair of free tickets to the Cain Park performance. Winners will be selected and notified on July 1. Learn more about the performances here:

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 3:09 PM, 06.27.2016

Heights Arts hosts flute and guitar concert on July 9

Robert Gruca and Linda White are the Gruca White Ensemble.

Classical guitarist Robert Gruca and flutist Linda White will present a diverse program of music based on folk styles from Eastern Europe and Japan on Saturday, July 9, at 7 p.m., in the Heights Arts gallery, 2175 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, just south of the Cedar Lee Theatre.

The musicians will perform works by Serbian composer Dusan Bogdanovic, Hungarian Bela Bartok, and Masamitu Takahashi from Japan, as well as klezmer music written by American Carl Dimow. The family-friendly concert is open to the public, with free-will donations accepted to support Heights Arts's public music programs. A reception with refreshments follows the performance.

The Gruca White Ensemble was formed in 2013 as part of The Music Settlement’s Centennial Celebration, and became an Ensemble in Residence for the vibrant Cleveland community music school the following year.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 10:43 AM, 06.28.2016

Support Cedar Lee businesses during construction

I hope Cleveland Heights residents will join me in supporting our Cedar Lee businesses over the next few months. While the new streetscape construction is exciting, and will create a more attractive, safe and inviting district, construction activities will certainly disrupt “business as usual.” It will be dusty and traffic may be inconvenienced. However, I am confident the result will be worth it for our city.

Let’s work together to ensure the businesses that have continually invested in one of our best mixed-use districts are healthy when the ribbon is cut on the new street. Make sure to visit the Cedar Lee website ( to see where parking is available, and consider using back streets into the district to minimize frustration and traffic. Please be patient.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:46 AM, 06.28.2016

University Heights concert series continues in July

University Heights Symphonic Band will wrap up the series with a performance on July 28.

University Heights continues its free summer concert series on Thursday evenings on the Hamlin Quad at John Carroll University (between Dolan Science Center and the Grasselli Clock Tower).

The month of July features the Stratophonics (rock, soul, big band, and today’s music) on July 7; WIXY 1260 Band (music of the 1960s and '70s) and an ice cream social on July 14; Sloppy Joe’s (classic rock, blues, R&B hits) on July 21; and the University Heights Symphonic Band and another ice cream social on July 28.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 10:19 AM, 06.28.2016

Inn on Coventry celebrates 35 years of business

Mary Haley and Debra Duirk, owners of the Inn on Coventry. [Photo courtesy Debra Duirk.]

The Inn on Coventry is celebrating its 35th anniversary this summer, and its owners, Debra Duirk and Mary Haley, are planning some special events to celebrate.

The restaurant opened on July 27, 1981. This year, July 27 is “Throwback Wednesday” at the Inn; coffee will be free (with purchase of food), and buttermilk pancakes will be available for $1 each. In addition, starting June 20, the Inn will be giving raffle tickets to diners; prizes include a mountain bike decorated with a Coca-Cola logo, and certificates good for free coffee for a year and free breakfast specials for a month. The restaurant also plans to offer 35th-anniversary Inn on Coventry T-shirts and sweatshirts as part of the raffle, and for purchase. The raffle drawing will be held on July 27.

“I really just want to thank everyone for supporting us over the last 35 years,” said Duirk. “We really just want to show our appreciation, and that’s why we are having the specials and the raffle.”

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 10:01 AM, 06.21.2016

Mobile food pantry distributes healthy produce this summer

Free produce including fresh fruits and vegetables are given out the first Friday of each month at Friends Fellowship Bible Church, 2490 Lee Blvd., Cleveland Heights, in the back parking lot of the Rockefeller Pointe Building.

Sponsored by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, this mobile food pantry is a truck full of food that is brought to a central location where individuals can pick up items as they would from a regular food pantry. No proof of income, family size or residency is required. Mobile pantries distribute the healthiest and most nutritious foods available from the food bank.

Interested individuals in need should bring a valid ID and bags or boxes to transport produce and groceries. The next distribution will be on Friday, July 1 from 5–7 p.m

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 2:31 PM, 06.20.2016

Abstract drawings on view at Heights Arts

"Fleeting" (detail), Erik Neff. Image courtesy the artist.

An exhibition of abstract drawings by Northeast Ohio artist Erik Neff opens Friday, June 24, with a public reception from 6 to 9 p.m. in the spotlight gallery space at Heights Arts.

Working on a variety of surfaces such as plaster, wood, paper and slate, Neff creates a dialogue, or narrative, between the marks and shapes of an image through a "back and forth" process of scraping, gouging and applying color pigments.

Neff has exhibited in galleries and museums in Cleveland, Youngstown, New York and Chicago, including MOCA Cleveland, SPACES gallery, and Elizabeth Harris Gallery. He lives and works in Newbury, Ohio.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 12:34 PM, 06.20.2016

Literacy grant gives boost to summer reading program

Children can read with Dr. Barkley, a certified therapy dog.

With the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library summer reading program already in full swing, library staff learned in early June that the Dollar General Literacy Foundation had awarded the library a $2,000 Summer Reading Grant to support early literacy.

So far, $800 has been spent to buy books that will be given away when children sign up for summer reading. The grant will also support summer reading programming, including Books and Barks, where children can sign up to read with a certified therapy dog, Dr. Barkley, at the Noble Neighborhood Library on July 18 and Aug. 15.

“We are thrilled to have received this funding for our summer reading program, as it will provide more incentives for children who are new and emerging readers,” said Beth Hatch, special projects manager for Heights Libraries, who applied for the grant.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 10:51 AM, 06.21.2016

Cleveland leadership program seeks applicants for 2016

Greg Bell

Photo courtesy of Maria Kaiser.

In 2006, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, along with former Cleveland Mayor Michael White, established a leadership training program for engaged neighborhood leaders. The Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP) is a free, 15–session community engagement training program for residents of Cleveland and its inner–ring suburbs, who are working on projects within the City of Cleveland and who are determined to make a positive impact on their communities. After the application process, 20 committed individuals are chosen for the program year. NLDP participants and graduates have many interests and are working on a wide variety of issues to improve life in their communities.

Greg Bell of Washington Boulevard in Cleveland Heights, and a recent NLDP graduate, is one such person. 

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 1:29 PM, 06.20.2016

Cedar Lee finishes fourth in America's Main Streets contest

Cedar Lee Theatre, an independent movie theater, is a longtime anchor business in the Cedar Lee Business District.

On June 3, Independent We Stand—an organization that supports independently owned and socially responsible businesses, and promotes the importance, and benefits, of “buying local”—announced that downtown Lynden, Wash., was the grand-prize winner of its America's Main Streets 2016 contest. According to Tara Mazzarella, a representative of Independent We Stand, the Cedar Lee Business District ranked an impressive fourth among the top 10 semifinalists in the national online voting competition that recognizes the important role that main street commercial districts play in the long-term success of communities.

In March, FutureHeights nominated Cedar Lee for the contest, and launched a campaign to encourage residents and others to vote online every 24 hours for the district—named one of 25 quarterfinalists from across the country—through April 24.

“This year provided a great opportunity to nominate Cedar Lee because of the $3.3 million Lee Road streetscape improvements that broke ground in May,” said Deanna Bremer Fisher, executive director of FutureHeights. “Additional funding could have helped enhance the area further, which is now undergoing planned improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists, with new crosswalks, lighting and amenities, such as bicycle repair stations. During this construction phase, it’s especially important that our community continue to patronize these local businesses."

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 11:21 AM, 06.14.2016

Cedar Fairmount plans free summer concerts and annual festival

Riding the Euclid Beach Rocket Car at the 2015 Cedar Fairmount Summer Festival.

The Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District (CFSID) has announced special programs planned for this summer. They include two free concerts, and the annual Summer Festival.

Both concerts will be held on the green west of Nighttown, 7–9 p.m., with the first planned for Thursday, June 16, and the second set for Thursday, July 21.

Cedar Fairmount restaurants will offer takeout food that attendees can eat on the green while watching the show. In case of inclement weather, the concerts will move inside to Nighttown.

On June 16, Moises Borges and Kenny Davis will perform. A native of Brazil, singer and guitarist Borges performs in the bossa nova tradition, interpreting classics by Jobin, Gilberto and others.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 10:31 AM, 06.14.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights [online 6-7-2016]

JUNE 7, 2016

  • Awards and recognitions
  • Public comments
  • Strategic Plan Goal 1
  • English textbook
  • Construction change orders
  • Playground improvement
  • Special education transportation
  • Donations
  • Finance
  • Board president’s report  
  • Resolution to state board of education

All board members were present.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 6:38 PM, 06.19.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS – Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights [online 5-10-2016]

MAY 10, 2016

All board members were present.

Middle school programming

The board heard a presentation on the master facilities education programming for middle school planning. Five goals of the strategic plan centered on the district mission statement: student outcomes; educational approaches; parents and community; valued professionals and a culture of excellence; and operational resources. School visits and conference calls were made to the Bedford, Fairview, Plain Local, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, Wadsworth and Westlake school districts, as the board is considering a fifth–six grade and seventh–eighth grade middle school structure for Monticello and Roxboro middle schools. The other districts have this structure, which the district can evaluate.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:28 AM, 06.19.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights – University Heights Public Library Board meeting highlights [online 5-16-2016]

MAY 16, 2016

  • Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County awards grants
  • Successful MegaSale
  • Bookmobile for University Heights Library renovation
  • Public Library Fund (PLF) distribution
  • April public service report highlights

Ron Holland, vice president, and Susan Beatty, board member, were absent.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 8:33 AM, 06.19.2016

Pioneering woman rabbi part of weekend honoring retiring Adler

It’s not often that one sees the words “Orthodox rabbi” and “woman” in the same sentence. June 16–18, Beth El-The Heights Synagogue (BETHS) will host Rabba Rahel Berkovits, who was recently ordained—along with three other women—at the Jerusalem Orthodox center Har’el.

Berkovits will be participating in a celebratory weekend in honor of Rabbi Moshe Adler, who is retiring as rabbi of BETHS after 17 years. Berkovits is the granddaughter of Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits z”l, who was Adler’s teacher and mentor.

The weekend will kick off with a lecture and dessert reception on Thursday June 16, 7 p.m., at the Siegal Lifelong Learning facility, 26500 Shaker Blvd., where Berkovits will speak on “Darkhei Shalom: The Path to Building Community.” For more information, and to register, visit, or call 216-368-2091.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 4:25 PM, 06.12.2016

Dorsey & Company makes changes to enhance its expertise

Peter Lawson Jones

Dorsey & Company, a marketing strategy and consulting firm in Cleveland Heights, has enhanced its expertise with the addition of a new strategic partner and by moving a senior associate into the role of managing director.

Peter Lawson Jones and Dorsey have just entered into a strategic partnership. “Peter brings additional depth in the government and nonprofit space that can help us to more effectively solve an even wider array of competitive and marketing issues that clients in these sectors face more and more today,” said Julius C. Dorsey Jr., president of Dorsey & Company. “With his counsel and participation in engagements of such high consequence, I know we’ll be in an even better position to provide a higher level of satisfaction to our clients across many industries.”

A seasoned public servant, Harvard-educated Jones previously served for nine years as a member of the Board of Cuyahoga County Commissioners—and served as its president for three of those years. He also served two and one-half terms in the Ohio House of Representatives, and was formerly vice mayor and councilman in the City of Shaker Heights.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 6:32 PM, 06.06.2016

Children's book author and illustrator visits Pinwheel Kids on June 4

Lindsay Ward's latest book is all about "three."

On June 4, Cleveland author Lindsay Ward returns to Pinwheel Kids, at 3469 Fairmount Blvd., with her sixth and latest book, The Importance of Being 3. As parents know, age 3 is a very big year. Ward’s book follows three friends as they learn new things in threes—from triangles to tricycles.

According to Ward, "The idea for this book came from a project I was given while I was applying to graduate school. We were given three prompts, one of which was actually the number three. Although The Importance of Being 3 is different from my original concept, I would never have created the book had it not been for that initial idea. From there the book developed into the concept of what it’s like to be a certain age, the type of milestones associated with that age, as well as the challenges. I’ve always been interested in patterns, and loved the idea of merging being 3-years-old and things that come in threes."

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 12:58 PM, 05.31.2016

Three CH-UH schools among first recipients of Momentum Award

Fairfax Elementary School students.

The Ohio State Board of Education has named Fairfax Elementary School, Monticello Middle School and Roxboro Middle School as recipients of its new Momentum Award.

The award recognizes those [schools] with all A’s on value-added measures from their 2014–15 Ohio School Report Cards, exceeding expectations for student growth for the year.

This is the first year the Ohio State Board of Education has granted the award, making the three Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools among its inaugural class of recipients. This year, 165 Ohio schools received the Momentum Award.

“We are very excited that Fairfax, Monticello and Roxboro Middle are among the first to win this award,” said Talisa Dixon, CH-UH City School District superintendent.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:37 AM, 06.02.2016

Support transit in Cleveland Heights

The Cleveland Heights mayor and City Council have sent a letter to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) pointing out deficiencies in transit service for Cleveland Heights and other eastside communities, and noting how proposed cuts in service will further exacerbate deficiencies (see below).

It could be helpful if Cleveland Heights residents sent endorsements of this letter to RTA General Manager Joseph Calabrese ( and GCRTA board members prior to June 7. The RTA board is due to vote on proposed cuts at a special meeting on that date.

Here is a link to a website that provides RTA board members’ e-mail addresses: Please note that RTA lacks funds to continue operations at current levels so it must make some cuts, but the problems go beyond that. 

Thank you for your support.

Here is the letter CH City Council sent, which clearly explains the issues:

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 1:14 PM, 05.30.2016

CH issues RFQ/RFP for Top of the Hill site

Top of the Hill development site, which also includes Edwards Road, is shown in blue. Other city-owned properties that could be included in development plans are shown in yellow.

In April, the City of Cleveland Heights issued a request for qualification/proposals (RFQ/RFP) for development of the city-owned Top of the Hill property. The site is on the western edge of the Cedar Fairmount Business District and is convenient to University Circle, Greater Cleveland's second-largest employment hub. The city asked prospective developers to submit their qualifications and proposed visions for the site. Because input from the city and the public will help shape the final development plan, conceptual drawings or renderings were not required.

The 3.9-acre site currently comprises a 225-space parking lot and some vacant land. Developers were also invited to consider incorporating any of eight other nearby, but noncontiguous, city properties into their proposals. Some of the other parcels, which cover under two acres in total, are used for parking. Any new development would be required to satisfy its own parking needs and replace any lost parking.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:59 AM, 05.30.2016