Latest News

CH economic development director, Greg Zucca, resigns

The City of Cleveland Heights announced today that Greg Zucca, economic development director for the city, has resigned. Zucca has accepted a position with as the vice president of lending and lending operations for the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI). He had been in his position with the city since June 2014.

"Economic development is a top priority for the city," said City Manager Tanisha Briley. "Greg Zucca provided the city with strong analytical and financial skill and a keen ability to build partnerships. We are disappointed to see him go, but wish him great success in his new role at ECDI. We look forward to working with him and ECDI to strengthen and support our thriving small business community."


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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 4:00 PM, 01.30.2015

Latest News Releases

Jan. 30 is Family Fireside Night at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes
- Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, January 29, 2015 Read More
Stephanie Tubbs Jones Health Center hosts mobile food pantry Saturday, Jan. 24
- Cleveland Clinic, January 23, 2015 Read More
IRS drastically cutting 2014 tax forms and booklets for libraries; Heights Libraries is finding ways to help customers despite shortage
- CH-UH Library, January 20, 2015 Read More
Jan. 23 address by award-winning journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault to cap weeklong Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at CWRU
- CWRU, January 19, 2015 Read More
City of Cleveland Heights celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 14
- City of Cleveland Heights, January 18, 2015 Read More

View more news releases

Nighttown celebrates 50 years in the Heights

Nighttown owner Brendan Ring with the restaurant's founder, John Barr. Photo by Beth Segal.

Nighttown, the restaurant located at the top of Cedar Hill in the Cedar Fairmount District of Cleveland Heights, is observering its 50th anniversary this month. On Feb. 13, the restaurant will host its biggest anniversary celebration, which will feature a concert by the Manhattan Transfer, the Grammy-Award-winning vocal quartet. In addition, the restaurant is putting together an all-star Cleveland band for a performance on Feb. 5, and is planning numerous other anniversary celebrations over the course of the year.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 4:25 PM, 01.29.2015

Senior soloists featured at Heights High Midwinter Concert

Heights High senior musicians Mason Spencer (left) and Eli Kauffman will perform in the Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m. concert at Heights High.

The breadth of the instrumental music program at Cleveland Heights High School will ring loud and clear at the Midwinter Concert when two senior soloists take the stage. The performance takes place on Friday, Feb. 13, at 7:30 p.m., at the school's Dina Rees Evans Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for adults, and are available the day of the show.

Eli Kauffman will perform his own composition, Piano Concerto #1, with Symphonic Winds, and violist Mason Spencer will perform Bartok’s Viola Concerto with Heights High Symphony.

Kauffman characterizes his piece as modern classical with jazz influences. He began work on it last year, and continued to make minor changes as he rehearsed it with the 45 members of Symphonic Winds. He started composing during his sophomore year.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:57 PM, 01.29.2015

Dutch vocal group to perform on Feb. 20

Quink Vocal Ensemble

Arts in the Cathedral presents Quink Vocal Ensemble on Friday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m., at Church of the Saviour in Cleveland Heights.

Since its first concerts in 1978, this group of four professional singers consistently ranks among the top a cappella ensembles of the world. The versatile Dutch musicians always strive for authenticity in the way they perform the different styles of music with a repertoire that stretches from the Middle Ages to contemporary music. Extremely well-known in Europe, Quink is gaining recognition in this country through its highly acclaimed U.S. tours and recordings.

With the resurgence in popularity of a cappella singing, this concert promises to delight audiences.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:54 PM, 01.29.2015

With unemployment down, library's job search classes remain popular

Jackie Mayse (left), Heights Libraries technology trainer, helps Donna Simms fine-tune her résumé.

According to a December press release from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio's unemployment rate was 5 percent in November 2014, down from 7.4 percent in November 2013. That’s good news, but many people in Cleveland Heights and University Heights are still looking for jobs. Some are unemployed, some are looking for something better than their current situation, and others are looking for a change. 

“I tell people that the hardest job they’ll ever have is looking for a job,” said Joseph Kaiser, the CH-UH Public Library’s technology training supervisor. Kaiser and his staff teach classes that help customers find jobs: how to effectively search for jobs online, how to write a powerful résumé and cover letter, and how to prepare for that job interview, once you get it. Each class also offers some one-on-one coaching by staff after the class has ended, time permitting.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:48 PM, 01.29.2015

What's going on at your library?

Heights Libraries has something for everyone in February: Celebrate Black History Month at Noble Neighborhood Library, turn your attention inward at Coventry Village Library, learn about cancer prevention at University Heights Library, and immerse yourself in Civil War history at Lee Road Library. For a complete list of programs, and to register, visit

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

Thursday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m.

Step Out of Time: Meditation. Use breath and mantra techniques for a series of three meditation sessions.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:46 PM, 01.29.2015

Library talk honors women spies of the Civil War

Vernice Jackson portrays Mary Elizabeth Bowser, a former slave who became a spy.

Harriet Tubman is well-known as the former slave who led more than 300 people to freedom as a conductor in the Underground Railroad. She was also a spy for the Union Army.

While she was volunteering as a cook and nurse, Tubman was recruited to help establish a network of spies in South Carolina. She and many other women used their feminine status to perform feats of espionage during the Civil War.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library has been exploring the Civil War era in a series of programs, Tales and Chronicles of the Civil War, developed in conjunction with Dobama Theatre's holiday season production of A Civil War Christmas.

At 7 p.m. on Feb. 23, the Lee Road Library will welcome Vernice Jackson for a program titled Women In History: Civil War Spy Mary Elizabeth Bowser.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:44 PM, 01.29.2015

Some doctors still make house calls

An MD2U nurse practitioner working with a home client.

The idea of medical house calls conjures up images of bygone days when the local “healthcare system” was a doctor with a satchel who knew each patient by name and visited their homes when they were ill. The healthcare system as we know it today is very different. However, it’s comforting to know that there are still certain cases when doctors and other medical professionals will call on patients when needed.

MD2U (216-502-3220) is a national medical house call company that serves those who are homebound, disabled, or have difficulty getting out of their homes. Natalie Barbastefano, a clinical nurse practitioner, opened the MD2U’s Cleveland office last year. “I saw the need in my community and wanted to help the seniors and disabled people here.” she said. “The goal is to help people live independently for as long as possible.”

University Hospitals Case Western Reserve House Call Program (216-464-6210) offers a similar service, with the goal of providing comprehensive primary care to help clients avoid unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:40 PM, 01.29.2015

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. For information, and to suggest program topics, contact the UH Office for Senior Services at 216-397-0336 or To receive the monthly schedule by e-mail, call 216-932-7800, ext. 205, or send an e-mail to

Feb. 5: Rick Jackson, UH's 2014 Citizen of the Year and host of “Morning Edition" on WVIZ's Ideastream, and Bob Perko, UH's 2014 Employee of the Year and member of the UH Fire Department, will each reflect on their respective occupations and contributions to the community.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:42 PM, 01.29.2015

City Club announces high-school essay competition

It’s that time of the year when the City Club of Cleveland announces The Hope and Stanley Adelstein Free Speech Essay Competition, an opportunity for students to explore the complexities of our constitutional right to free speech while building essential writing and critical thinking skills—and win prizes.

The Adelsteins have been lifelong residents of Northeast Ohio, philanthropists and environmental activists for decades, establishing the Free Speech Competition in 2012 as part of the City Club's centennial. Although Stanley died in December, their legacy continues.

This year, the competition is open to all high school students, not just juniors and seniors. Students in grades 9–12 in public, private, parochial, charter and home schools in Cuyahoga and surrounding counties are encouraged to submit an essay on the topic “How can teens utilize free speech to inspire change in their communities?”

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:27 PM, 01.29.2015

Heights Youth Theatre seeks new location

Calvin Knight looks at 60-years worth of set pieces used by the Heights Youth Theatre. Photo by Devon Turchan.

As a few remaining volunteers and staff prepared to bring the twelfth truckload of Heights Youth Theatre (HYT) props, costumes and set pieces to a temporary home, a lightbulb along the back wall of the stage cast dramatic shadows across a barricade of chairs and wooden fragments of castle doors.

Calvin Knight, HYT's technical director, oversaw those carrying items as they loaded them in the back of a full-sized U-Haul. Stage right, a giant metal letter "E" and multiple guitar cases rested on a plastic bin full of glitter-covered hula hoops.

The group is looking for a new stage to perform its approximately four shows a year. They have been performing at the Frank L. Wiley Middle School for the past 60 years, but, this fall, because of the CH-UH City School District's renovation plans, high school students will have classes at Wiley and use its theater.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 5:56 PM, 01.29.2015

Heights Perelman selected for All-Ohio soccer team

Heights High senior soccer player and team captain Zander Perelman is one of 18 players selected for the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association’s All-Ohio Soccer Team—an honorary designation chosen by division 1 (large school) coaches. also selected him for its 2014 All Star Team.

“Zander is a shining example of the student-athlete,” said Sean Sullivan, Heights High soccer coach. “He brings sportsmanship, integrity and competitiveness to the field every day.” He also put the ball in the net 57 times, scoring in every game of this past season and breaking the team record of 30 goals in a season.

“I like the feeling of scoring—the excitement of that is like nothing else,” said Perelman. “Playing striker lets me be involved in most plays and make a difference for the team.”

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 5:51 PM, 01.29.2015

Reaching Heights sponsors Severance Hall student concert

Heights High musicians performing in Reaching Musical Heights at Severance Hall in 2011. Photo by Carl Jenks.

More than 450 student musicians from all of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights public schools will have the rare opportunity to perform onstage at Severance Hall on February 24. Geoffrey Golden, a Heights High graduate and the recent seventh-season winner of "Sunday Best," a televised gospel soloist competition, will speak and perform.

Reaching Musical Heights, a quadrennial project of Reaching Heights, is also a gala benefit for the organization. The event brings student vocalists and instrumentalists from the CHUH elementary and middle schools and the high school to the Severance Hall stage. Remembering the 2007 and 2011 performances, John Hubbard, Reaching Heights board president, “Listening and watching our young people perform so well together in this amazing hall is overwhelming. This concert should not to be missed.”

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 4:09 PM, 01.29.2015

Does something about this paper look different?

You may notice the appearance of this publication looks a little bit different this month. If you’re not able to put your finger on exactly why, here it is: The columns of type are 1/8-inch narrower than they used to be; and the gutters—the white space between each column—are 1/16-inch wider.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 3:34 PM, 01.29.2015

Coach Rotsky is an asset, not just a football coach

Cleveland Heights High School recently lost an amazing asset and mentor to its football program, Coach Jeff Rotsky.  Some people in the community believe that football is a pastime, a mere choreographed battle of athletes with no vision past 100 yards, but I beg to differ. I would like to share why I think the antiquated stereotype is wrong and how Coach Rotsky's departure will deeply affect our community. I petition you to listen.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 3:30 PM, 01.29.2015

Noble Neighbors celebrate the group's first anniversary

Noble Neighbors celebrated our first year together with storytelling and raising our glasses in shared gratefulness. What began in a living room in January 2014, with a group of people concerned about a crime against one of our neighbors, has grown into a much larger movement of people working together to change the story of our neighborhood.

It delights us that several of our guest speakers have said, “I had no idea so many people would be here,” as they apologized for bringing too few business cards.

Noble Neighbors attend every Cleveland Heights City Council meeting. We’re listening for decisions that affect our area and we’re watching for trends. City council members are also listening to our concerns and looking for ways to address our concerns.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 3:28 PM, 01.29.2015

Standardized testing is a debilitating silver bullet

Susie Kaeser

For a child, the 180 days of a school year can feel like an eternity, but this is not so for teachers.

Under the gun to squeeze more and more into the annual teaching window, teachers have too little time to effectively plan lessons and cover ever-expanding content, get to know children and respond to their needs, communicate with parents, overcome any effects of inequality, digest yet another set of standards (the Common Core) and the latest format for testing those standards (the PARCC assessments) and then administer all the mandated high-stakes tests.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 3:20 PM, 01.29.2015

Heights historical photo of the month

Credit: City of Cleveland Heights

This photograph from 1935 shows men working in the street in front of two small food markets. The shops are long gone, but the building shown is still standing somewhere in Cleveland Heights today. Do you know what store is there now? 

E-mail your guess to, and we'll randomly select a correct answer to win a free one-year membership to the Cleveland Heights Historical Society. Be sure to check out our Facebook page later this month, when we'll announce the winner.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 3:15 PM, 01.29.2015

Profile of a winter cyclist

Alice Stratton in her driveway, ready for her daily ride to Fairfax Elementary School.

Winter cycling is cool. Sometimes it is actually cold. But, with the proper clothes and equipment, it is a great way to be outside and experience the awe and beauty of winter in both the city and on the trail. 

The hearty winter cyclists that keep the pedals turning all year long are brethren to skiers, ice skaters and ice fisherman, and use some of the same equipment.

Warm mittens, snow boots and pants, parkas and goggles are all non-cycling specific clothing that are perfect for winter cycling.

Then there is the bike; skinny tires are out, replaced by knobby or other specialty tires for needed traction in snow and ice, disc brakes are good for more consistent stopping power, and a hearty frame will better withstand lots of salt.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 12:47 PM, 01.29.2015

UUSC congregants can now clearly "hear the word"

Despite wearing hearing aids, several congregants at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland labored to understand messages from the pulpit. Those hearing-impaired listeners can now experience new clarity due to the installation of an induction-hearing loop in the church sanctuary, said Rev. Joseph M. Cherry, minister at UUSC.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 12:34 PM, 01.29.2015

Annual meeting for Heights gardeners is Feb. 17

Heights Community Garden Network (HCGN) will host its annual meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at 6 p.m., in meeting room A at the Lee Road Library. HCGN was created to help Heights residents and community gardeners share information. The group offers an informative website and an e-newsletter, a small grants program for community gardens, technical assistance for new gardens, workshops and volunteer opportunities.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 11:25 AM, 01.29.2015

Area Cubans hope change will come to their native land

Cuban immigrants (from left) David Alvarez-Carbonell, Raudel Napoles, Elia Pestana Knight and Eldis Rodriguez hold a Cuban flag at Napoles' house in Cleveland Heights.

This past December, President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced that the United States and Cuba were beginning the process of normalizing relations between the two countries. The plan is to lift some of the travel restrictions, allow more U.S. companies to do business in Cuba and open a U.S. embassy in Cuba. The small group of Cuban immigrants in the Heights area is somewhat optimistic about the changes that may result from these negotiations.

Raudel Napoles, who lives on North Park Boulevard in Cleveland Heights, said, “I think it’s a step in the right direction to establish relations. Right now, you never see anything from the U.S. in Cuba.” Napoles, who’s 37 years old, left Cuba in 2004 and moved to Wyoming before coming to Cleveland in 2005. He’s a Pilates instructor at White Cloud Studios on Fairmount Boulevard.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 11:10 AM, 01.29.2015

CHHS swim team hosts final competition in current pool

Heights High senior Jaryl Maxey swims in a freestyle event.

The Saturday, Jan. 31 Heights High home swim meet is a big one. It is the final competition that will take place in the school’s 1962 vintage pool. The next time the team competes on the high school’s Cedar and Lee campus, it will be in a brand-new pool.

The meet, to be held at 3 p.m., is also senior night, when each senior is honored and the competing team, West Geauga, partners with Heights to raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the event will be the generosity of the teams, collaborating to benefit cancer research. For the past five years, the two teams have coordinated the fundraising event and raised an average of $1,000 each year.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 10:32 AM, 01.27.2015

Stone Oven celebrates 20 years on Lee Road

John Emerman and Tatyana Rehn, owners of Stone Oven. Photo by Richard Stewart.

On an icy January day in 1995, John Emerman and Tatyana Rehn sat nervously at one of the tables in their new restaurant and wondered if anyone would walk through the front door. “Minutes earlier, we had pulled the Kraft paper off the windows and given the café a final once over,” said Emerman. “After months of work, we now wondered if anyone would know we were there.”

Twenty years later, the Stone Oven Bakery Café has become a neighborhood landmark.

“I’m amazed,” said Emerman. “I’m not one to stay in one place for more than a couple of years. I could never hold down a job for more than two years because I’d get bored and I’d leave.”

“This has been really creative and fun,” said Emerman, who added that he enjoys owning the business, although being a local celebrity can sometimes be a bit overwhelming.

According to Emerman, the business evolved slowly. He and Rehn met as engineering students at Cleveland State University in the 1970s. They married and settled on Queenston Road in Cleveland Heights to raise two children who attended Heights schools.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 10:19 AM, 01.27.2015

Forest Hill Church celebrates Black History Month

February is Black History Month and, for the fourth consecutive year, members of Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, 3031 Monticello Blvd. in Cleveland Heights, have organized events for each weekend of the month, designed to “educate ourselves, strengthen our ties with one another and stir our souls.” All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call 216-321-2660.

Feb. 1: A talk by LaDon Headon, hip-hop historian and former musician, on Hip Hop 2.0, 12:30–2 p.m. This presentation will explore the history and development of this genre of music, and the hip-hop culture.

Feb. 8: Cajun Treats and Jazz Music, 12:30–2 p.m. This event, for all ages, features a Mardi Gras masks activity, in anticipation of Fat Tuesday.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 10:33 AM, 01.27.2015

CH-UH kindergarten and preschool open houses set for early February

Gearity Professional Development School.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District invites Heights residents to attend its kindergarten and preschool open houses on Feb. 3 (and one on Feb. 4), to learn about enrolling their children.  

All district elementary schools and Gearity Professional Development School preschool, will host open houses on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 9:30–11:15 a.m.

Noble Elementary School preschool will host its open house a day later, on Feb. 4, 9:30–11:15 a.m.

The open houses provide an opportunity for families to learn about each school’s curriculum and programs.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:53 AM, 01.27.2015

Parnell's Pub on Lee Road celebrates 18 years

On Saturday, Jan. 31, Parnell's Pub will celebrate 18 years in Cleveland Heights.

Declan Synnott, owner of Parnell’s Pub in Cleveland Heights, only expected to stay in Cleveland for a year. Now, he is celebrating 18 years of owning his Lee Road business.

“I thought I’d be in and out,” said Synnott, a native of Dublin, recruited to move here from Boston by the founders of Flannery’s Irish Pub in Cleveland. “It wasn’t until I bought Parnell’s that I realized my stay may be a bit longer than expected."

On Saturday, Jan. 31, Synnott, along with his wife, Liz, and family and staff, invite you and yours to celebrate 18 years of serving great pints and good company. Whiskey specials and giveaways will be offered all night, with live musical entertainment provided by the Cleveland Heights-based band Oldboy, performing from 10 p.m. to midnight.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 10:15 AM, 01.26.2015

HRRC presentation looks at potential problems of older roofs

Owners of older homes may not be familiar with some of the problems they may face in trying to maintain their roofs. Potential problems include ice dams; roof staining, moss and mold; and finding companies that can repair historic materials such as slate, tile and shakes.

Jack DuShaw of Titan Roofing and Siding will give a free presentation on "Special Problems with Older Roofs" on Tuesday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m., at Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC), 2520 Noble Road, Cleveland Heights. Reservations are requested. To reserve a spot, call 216-381-6100, ext. 16 or e-mail

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:59 AM, 01.26.2015

District votes to place 2015 operating levy on May ballot

[Editor’s note: The Heights Observer received the following news release from the CH-UH City School District on Jan. 22, describing the district’s plans to place an operating levy on the May ballot.]

Citing the need to protect academic progress and avoid additional, significant cuts, the CH-UH Board of Education (BOE) has approved the second and final reading necessary to place a 5.9-mill operating levy on the May 2015 ballot. The reading took place at the Jan. 20 board work session, where Scott Gainer, district CFO, and Jane Geneva, Lay Finance Committee (LFC) chair, provided a recap of a report that was presented in December, and responded to additional questions from the board.

Geneva stated, “After a lengthy, thorough review of district finances and projections, two things are very clear. First, the district has made careful use of our community’s funds, has reduced costs, and continues to find ways to economize while protecting classroom education from budget cuts. Second, because of the way that Ohio funds its schools, the district must pursue additional operating funds this year, or we will face major cuts that will impact the classroom, and we would face a much larger need for operating funds next year.”


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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 4:38 PM, 01.22.2015

Local middle school students join model UN event at JCU

Students from Roxboro and Monticello middle schools participated in a U.N. simulation at John Carroll University in January.

More than 60 students from Roxboro and Monticello middle schools attended a two-day United Nations simulation at John Carroll University in January. The Cleveland Council on World Affairs (CCWA) organized the event, in which Roxboro finished first in the large school division and both schools brought home certificates of recognition and awards.

For its first-place finish, Roxboro will receive an engraved cup at CCWA’s annual meeting in June. Monticello Middle School finished second in the smaller school division.

The delegates worked hard to prepare for the simulation, researching and completing a country profile, as well as developing a position paper on specific topics for delegates to use in committee sessions. With help from teachers Deborah Frost, Janet Lechleitner, John Powaski and Anthony Provenzale, CH-UH students joined more than 200 students, from nine middle schools, to represent 47 countries.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:59 AM, 01.20.2015

District moves to place 2015 operating levy on May ballot

[Editor’s note: The Heights Observer received the following news release from the CH-UH City School District on Jan. 14, describing the district’s plans to place an operating levy on the May ballot.]

The CH-UH Board of Education (BOE) approved the first reading of the proposed 5.9 mills May 2015 operating levy language at its Jan. 6 regular meeting. A second public reading will take place at the board’s Jan. 20 work session at the Delisle Options Center at 6 p.m. The Lay Finance Committee (LFC) Chair Jane Geneva will also be at this meeting to answer any additional questions about the LFC report the board members may have.

The public readings are the first step in the process of placing an operating levy on the May ballot.


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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:01 PM, 01.19.2015

Cardale Jones visits Heights High

Cardale Jones (far right) spells out O-H-I-O with Miyana Williams, administrative assistant, LeAndrew Woody, Heights football player, and Zoraba Ross, administrative principal.

Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones stopped by Heights High on Wednesday, Jan. 14 to see his former Glenville coach Scott Niedzwiecki, a Heights science teacher. “I have always kept in touch with Coach Scott and I just wanted to check in with him today,” said Jones.

As he walked through the hallways, Jones drew quite a bit of attention. Fellow Buckeye—and former track team captain—Principal Zoraba Ross congratulated Jones and his performance. “We are all so proud of you and the way you represented our city and state,” said Ross.

Heights High football player LeAndrew Woody was happy to be in the right place at the right time to meet Jones and share in an “O-H-I-O” photo. “Yes, that was cool,” said Woody.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 7:00 PM, 01.14.2015

Mosdos withdraws offer to purchase Millikin; district announces building is no longer for sale

The former Millikin School.

After years of efforts to negotiate the sale of the former Millikin Elementary School building to local private K–8 school Mosdos Ohr Hatorah, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, the City of Cleveland Heights and Mosdos jointly announced that Mosdos has withdrawn its purchase offer.

“Mosdos found after investigation that it is not able to secure necessary financing due to renovation costs,” said Alan Rapoport, attorney for Mosdos Ohr Hatorah.

“We spent many years working on this deal and are disappointed, but we certainly understand the situation. We wish Mosdos the very best,” said Nancy Peppler, CH-UH Board of Education president.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:00 PM, 01.14.2015

Cleveland Heights–University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 12-16-2014

DECEMBER 16, 2014

  • Awards and recognitions
  • Course offerings for 2015–16
  • Policy updates
  • Field trips
  • Donations
  • Donation rededicated
  • Wiley enabling project
  • Millikin agreement
  • 2015 school levy recommended
  • Career tech education at Delisle Center
  • Neighborhood site plan
  • HVAC plan
  • Budget
  • Public comments

All board members were present.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:42 AM, 01.20.2015

University Heights City Council meeting highlights 12-15-2014

DECEMBER 15, 2014

  • RFQ for park design
  • East Cleveland
  • Dispatch consolidation plan
  • Rick Jackson honored
  • Gesu cross-country champions
  • Budget legislation
  • Distribution of council documents
  • Committee appointment authority
  • Council compensation
  • Patrolmen’s contract
  • Resolutions
  • Community engagement committee
  • Property split
  • Sewer study

Councilman Phil Ertel was absent.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 1:38 PM, 01.17.2015

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 1-5-2015

JANUARY 5, 2015

  • Labor agreement
  • Public works
  • Alcazar conversion
  • Loan agreement for Medusa property
  • Council vacancy

All council members were present; there was one vacancy as Janine Boyd, former council member, took office in the Ohio House of Representatives.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 11:44 AM, 01.17.2015

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library Board meeting highlights 12-15-2014

DECEMBER 15, 2014

  • Sunday hours begin in Spring 2015
  • Brian Hare to head Ravenna’s Reed Memorial Library
  • Balanced Scorecard report
  • E-newsletters available for patrons
  • Friends’ activities
  • Jim Posch finishes seven-year board term
  • Library’s centennial in 2016
  • November Public Service highlights

Rob Fischer, vice president, was absent. Two new board members, Susan Beatty of Cleveland Heights and Christopher Mentrek of University Heights, attended and will begin their terms in January.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 6:21 PM, 01.15.2015

HCC presents original play to mark MLK holiday

Heights Community Congress (HCC) will commemorate the Martin Luther King holiday by presenting “A Conversation After A Funeral,” an original play by Mary Weems, Cleveland Heights resident and former CH poet laureate. The event will take place on Jan. 21, at 7 p.m., at Hope Lutheran Church, 2222 North Taylor Road.

“A Conversation After a Funeral” is an imagined dialogue between two young people, Emmett Till and Anne Frank, set at the conclusion of Till’s funeral. Emmett Till (played by J’Vaugh Briscoe) was an African-American boy who was murdered in Mississippi at age 14 after reportedly flirting with a white woman. Anne Frank (played by Miranda Coble) was a diarist and writer who went into hiding during the Holocaust and wrote about her experience.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 11:05 AM, 01.13.2015

Cleveland Heights Democrats Club recommends Carol Roe for council vacancy

The Cleveland Heights Democrats Club has voted to recommend to CH City Council that Carol Roe, a 35-year resident and Noble Neighborhood activist, fill the council vacancy left by the resignation of newly elected Ohio State Representative Janine Boyd. 

At the club’s Jan. 8 meeting at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, three club members, Roe, Kahlil Seren and Keba Sylla, articulated why they should be appointed by city council and responded to questions from the audience.

Club members selected Roe, who is a registered nurse and licensed attorney, on more than 50 percent of the ballots cast.

Cleveland Heights City Council fills mid-term vacancies by soliciting applications from residents wishing to serve. After review, council members usually select a small group of qualified applicants for group interview, and then vote to determine which finalist will be appointed to fill the vacancy.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 10:15 AM, 01.13.2015

Apollo’s Fire features young local talent in upcoming Bach's Birthday performances

Apollo's Fire presents Part II of Bach's Birthday Party, "Family Frolic, a Multi-Generational Music Party" featuring Bach's most subversive and hilarious Coffee Cantata.

The staying power of Johann Sebastian Bach, the addictive properties of coffee, and the rebelliousness of teenage daughters are interwoven in Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra’s latest endeavor, Bach’s Birthday Party, Part II: Family Frolic – A Multi-Generational Music Party.

This musical romp, under the direction of Jeanette Sorrell, Apollo’s Fire’s artistic director, features emerging local musicians from Apollo’s Fire’s apprentice program performing alongside veteran artists, and samples everything the Bach family has to offer, including a semi-staged performance of Bach’s zany “Coffee Cantata.” 

Sorrell explained her concept of this piece: “We know from Bach family documents that ‘Lieschen’ was the nickname of one of Bach’s daughters . . . and she was the only of his daughters who got married. Bach indicated ‘Lieschen’ next to the soprano line of the Coffee Cantata. I’ve never seen any musicologists take note of this connection, but it seems clear to me that the role of ‘Lieschen’ was meant for his daughter. In the cantata, Lieschen keeps pestering her father to find her a husband. With an enormous church job and huge performing and composing responsibilities, Bach apparently didn’t have time to find husbands for most of his daughters, but he found one for Lieschen, because she wouldn’t give up. So I think the Coffee Cantata gives us a charming window into one of the important family dramas in the Bach household.”

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 10:16 AM, 01.13.2015

Fourth-grader plans book drive for Little Free Libraries

Because his birthday lands during the week of the Martin Luther King holiday, Kenji Sakaie—a Roxboro Elementary School fourth-grader, Cleveland Heights resident, avid reader and Heights Library fan—along with his parents, wanted to recognize his special day with more than just sweets and treats. When thinking of an appropriate service project, a book drive seemed a natural for this family of book lovers.

Kenji will be collecting new and gently used books that he and his parents will distribute to the Little Free Libraries in the Heights and on Cleveland’s East Side. Any extras will go to Cleveland's Little Free Library program for its other sites around town. The book drive will run through Friday, Jan. 23.

While Kenji and his family especially want to encourage reading among children, they are accepting donations of any books donors want to share with others.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 10:20 AM, 01.13.2015

New owners plan to renovate historic Alcazar

The courtyard at the Alcazar.

The Alcazar, the historic apartment building and hotel located at the intersection of Surrey and Derbyshire roads in Cleveland Heights, has a new owner, and, as a result, some changes will be coming to the building. Montlack Realty bought the Alcazar for $1.4 million on Sept. 22.

The building currently consists of 184 units: 62 apartments, all of which include a kitchen and a bathroom, and 122 lodging units, which have bathrooms but no kitchens. According to Kirt Montlack, 48, whose family owns the real estate company, the plan is to eliminate the lodging units and increase the number of apartments to 96.

Montlack said the company will install new and larger kitchens in all of the apartments, as well as bigger, more modern bathrooms. The changes, which require the approval of the Cleveland Heights zoning board, will take place over the next year and a half.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 11:04 AM, 01.09.2015

Developer looks to transform Grace Lutheran into housing

Grace Lutheran Church, 13001 Cedar Road. Photo courtesy City of Cleveland Heights.

On Dec. 29, Grace Lutheran Church signed a Letter of Intent with SRC Investments Corporation of Mentor. In the letter, Richard Ferris, SRC owner, stated his intent to adaptively reuse the landmark church building at 13001 Cedar Road for housing. Fifty-five of 58 church members present at the Dec. 29 meeting approved the signing of the letter.

Sources at the church—who did not wish to be quoted—emphasized that the church is in the early stages of negotiating a purchase agreement for the building, and that nothing is final. “The building is not sold, and the congregation has not disbanded,” said a member of the church’s management team.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:32 AM, 01.08.2015

Communion of Saints team advances to district Lego tournament

Saber Sockets (from left, back row to front row): Jacob Welsh, David Lampman, Jenna Gordon, Kenny Statham, Max McNeil, Preston Oddo, Mark Heltzel, Will Eva, Henry Peyrebrune, Robbie Applegate and Caleb Blake.

The Saber Sockets team from Communion of Saints School will compete in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Northeast Ohio District Tournament, to be held at the University of Akron, on Saturday Jan. 10. The Saber Sockets was one of six teams to advance from the Hathaway Brown Regional Tournament, held in December. 

FLL introduces young students, ages 9–14, in grades 4–8, to real-world engineering challenges. Teams of up to 10 students, with at least two coaches, build Lego-based robots to complete tasks.

This year’s Communion of Saints team members are Robbie Applegate, Caleb Blake, Will Eva, Jenna Gordon, Mark Heltzel, David Lampman, Max McNeil (alternate), Preston Oddo, Henry Peyrebrune, Kenny Statham and Jacob Welsh.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 12:03 PM, 01.06.2015

Canterbury House is the latest in a string of investments at Cedar Taylor

An artist's rendering of the new lobby window that will identify the Canterbury House as a unique destination. Courtesy CPR.

Changes are coming to the Cedar Taylor Business District, including streetscape improvements and expansion of Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa. One of the biggest changes is the renovation of what used to be called the CT Building, at the southwest corner of the intersection of Cedar and Taylor roads. In 2013, New York-based CPR Properties purchased the building, which houses 25 apartments, and six retail stores on the street level.

CPR—which stands for Community, Preservation and Revitalization—invests in apartment buildings in neglected areas of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and renovates them. According to its website, the company is motivated by the “desire young people have to live, work and create communities in authentic places with robust historical connections.”

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 12:08 PM, 01.05.2015

Beaumont School to host grand opening for $9.5 million STEM addition

Beaumont School will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for its building addition on Monday, Jan. 5 at 9:30 a.m. at the building’s entrance on North Park Boulevard in Cleveland Heights. The $9.5 million investment includes eight new STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) classroom labs and four lab prep rooms, which will propel Beaumont forward as a leading school in STEM curriculum.   

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 7:25 PM, 12.31.2014

Understanding crime in Cleveland Heights: First in a series

Chart 1: Violent crime in Cleveland Heights: Jan.-Oct. (lower is better)

Source: Cleveland Heights Police Department

Late in 2014, the Cleveland Heights Police Department began posting information about local crime rates on the city’s website (

“Communication between the police and the citizens we serve is essential,” explained Cleveland Heights Police Chief Jeffrey Robertson. “Along with our Facebook and Twitter feeds, Meet Your Police meetings, and other community outreach efforts, such as the Citizen's Police Academy, the posting and ease of access to these statistics continues my commitment to transparency.”

Now, the Heights Observer is working with the police department to amplify and interpret the data to eventually foster a better understanding of public safety issues in Cleveland Heights.

Reports in this series will be published at least once per quarter—and perhaps more often, depending on time constraints at the police department and among Observer volunteers.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 12:17 PM, 01.03.2015