Latest News

Work begins June 21 on Fairmount Circle pedestrian island

In a June 20 press release, the city of University Heights announced that work would commence on June 21 on Warrensville Center Road and the north side of Fairmount Circle, to install a pedestrian island. The press release states:

"Traffic will be reduced to one lane of traffic in each direction during construction. Please use caution when driving, walking, and biking through the work zone.

This pedestrian safety improvement is part of the 2017 University Heights Road Program. More information about this year’s repaving and pedestrian safety projects can be found at

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:22 PM, 06.21.2017

Latest News Releases

JSC celebrates 50 years of secular Judaism
- Non-Profit & Groups, June 21, 2017 Read More
2016 Water Quality report is available
- Cleveland Water, June 20, 2017 Read More
- City of Cleveland Heights, May 22, 2017 Read More
- City of Cleveland Heights, May 16, 2017 Read More
Customize your fresh veggie menu - join Geauga Family Farms CSA
- CSA, May 12, 2017 Read More

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City Council agrees to hold public meeting on future of Coventry School site

The tenants of the former Coventry School building. Photo by Jessica Schantz.

In response to requests from Coventry Building tenants and residents, Cleveland Heights City Council decided to delay the issuance of a Request for Qualifications/Request for Proposal (RFQ/RFP) for the Coventry School site until a public hearing is held. At its Council Committee of the Whole meeting held immediately prior to the June 19 City Council meeting, CH City Council decided to remove from that evening's council meeting agenda a request from the city manager to receive proposals for the redevelopment of the Coventry School site.

At the June 5 CH City Council meeting, attorney Lee Chilcote, speaking on behalf of the Coventry tenants, stated that there was “a disconnect” between what the RFQ/RFP draft called for and what citizens had called for in 2008, when they recommended to the school board that the Coventry Building become an arts center. One of three requests that Chilcote made of council was that a public process be conducted prior to the issuance of the RFQ/RFP.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:26 PM, 06.20.2017

Heights Lacrosse hosts 2017 youth camp

Members of the Heights High girls lacrosse team, pictured here in a 2016 match, will be among the student coaches at this summer's youth lacrosse camp.

Beginning July 11, Heights Lacrosse will host the Heights Youth Summer Lacrosse Camp at Canterbury Elementary School, open to all students who will enter grades 2–9 this coming school year.

The camp provides a great opportunity for young boys and girls to try out the sport and perhaps develop into future lacrosse players. No experience is necessary.

The camp runs for four weeks, and comprises eight evening sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6:30–8 p.m., beginning on Tuesday, July 11.  Terry Saylor, Heights High’s girls lacrosse coach, and Chris Ticconi, the school’s boys lacrosse coach, will supervise, and Heights High lacrosse players will coach the kids during the camp.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 1:18 PM, 06.20.2017

Studio How-To invites community to June 22 open house

Sarah Nemecek inside Studio How-To.

Studio How-To, a new handcraft studio school, opened on June 1 on the second floor of the Douglas Fine Arts Building, at the corner of Cedar and Lee roads. The space offers workshops and private parties for both adults and children, teaching the how-to of leather-working, sewing, knitting, block-printing, embroidery, jewelry-making, journaling, working with clay, and more.

Sarah Nemecek, owner of Studio How-To, invites community members to attend the studio’s first monthly open house on Thursday, June 22, 4–7:30 p.m.

Nemecek founded Studio How-To as a way to share the knowledge and love of making that she has developed across several disciplines. A self-taught artist, Nemecek grew up in a family of makers and has been sewing, quilting, painting and drawing since she was 5.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 1:50 PM, 06.16.2017

CH-UH school district seeks members for its Bond Accountability Commission

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is now accepting applications for its new Bond Accountability Commission (BAC), which will monitor the progress and expenditure of funds for the middle school portion of the district’s Master Facilities Plan Phase I.

Membership is limited to residents of the CH-UH school district. Members must have a background in the areas of finance, construction, engineering, architecture or project management.

To access the application form, click on the following link:

Applications can be e-mailed to Caroline Jewell-Rogers at The application deadline is July 3.

Bond Accountability Commission Information:

Mission: The mission of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District’s Bond Accountability Commission is to monitor the progress and expenditure of funds for the middle school portion of the district’s Master Facilities Plan Phase I, as authorized by district voters as Issue 81 in November 2013. 

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 1:31 PM, 06.16.2017

BOE to discuss middle school facilities plan at June 27 meeting

The CH-UH City School District Board of Education plans to discuss the current middle school facilities renovation plan at its next board work session meeting, on Tuesday, June 27, at 7 p.m., in the Wiley campus cafeteria.

Community members are invited to attend the session to learn more about the status of the Monticello and Roxboro Middle school renovations, and provide feedback to board members as they approach the July 11 deadline for confirming plans with the design and construction team. However, the board will not facilitate a community discussion or hear additional proposals at the June 27 work session.

At the meeting, the board plans to confirm whether the current renovations plan, which is part of the larger Master Facilities Plan, is the right path for the district’s future. The board will also consider alternative paths as part of the discussion.


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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 1:14 PM, 06.13.2017

Heights High boys relay team wins state championship

Members of the Heights High boys 4x100 relay team (in yellow, from left) Zaire Webb, Shakorie Davis, Rahmon Davis-Smith and Jakeith James, with their coaching staff, after their state championship performance on June 3.

The Heights High boys 4x100-meter relay team— juniors Zaire Webb and Jakeith James and seniors Rahmon Davis-Smith and Shakorie Davis—won the state championship on June 3 in Columbus.

The 4x100 team members ran a 41.68 in the prelims on Friday, June 2, which put them third overall and second in their heat, behind Gahanna Lincoln. The Heights High Tigers came through in the finals on Saturday, running a 41.36 to beat Lincoln High for the title.

Shakorie Davis also made the it to the medal stand as an individual, finishing fourth in the state in the boys 200-meter dash. Davis was in sixth place after the prelims, running a 21.72 in the second heat. He then ran a 21.75 race in the finals to finish fourth.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 11:40 AM, 06.13.2017

Cedar Fairmount to host free family concert on June 22

Jen Maurer and Anthony Papaleo will perform on June 22 with Corn Potato Duo Aaron Jonah Lewis and Lindsay McCaw.

Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District, Nighttown Restaurant, and Jim Wadsworth Productions invite the community to a free family-friendly concert on Thursday, June 22, 7–9 p.m., at Nighttown's Stephen's Green (12383 Cedar Road).

Northeast Ohio duo Jen Maurer and Anthony Papaleo, performing old-school blues and roots music, will join American music traditionalists the Corn Potato Duo, Aaron Jonah Lewis and Lindsay McCaw, for a fun and rowdy night of music.

Both groups have toured throughout the world, from the U.K. to Colombia, performing American Roots music.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 11:25 AM, 06.13.2017

Gesu School wraps up spring season with 33rd annual Hike for Hunger

Gesu students raised more than $14,000 in the school's 33rd annual Hike for Hunger.

Gesu Catholic School students raised more than $14,000 in the school’s annual Hike for Hunger, held on May 19 this year. In the event’s 33 years, Gesu students have raised more than $370,000 to support a variety of social service agencies that help the poor and homeless, both locally and internationally.

University Heights Mayor Susan Infeld, speaking at the event’s kick-off ceremony, congratulated the students on their continued efforts and dedication to making the world a better place.

The Hike for Hunger was part of an eventful spring at University Heights’ Gesu School.

Phase two of its STREAM Center opened on April 27. This newly remodeled area includes two Makerspaces filled with equipment for turning creative ideas into reality.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 11:21 AM, 06.05.2017

Business succession planning workshop to be held June 9

Seku Shabazz

Financial planner Seku Shabazz will lead a workshop on business succession planning for small business owners on Friday, June 9. Sponsored by FutureHeights and the Small Business Development Centers of Ohio (SBDC), the workshop will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Ohio SBDC at Cleveland State University’s location on the 2nd floor of the Lee Road Library’s Knowledge and Innovation Center, 2340 Lee Road.

“The workshop aims to help local merchants, specifically ones who are ready to retire or leave their business and are concerned with what will happen with their business in the future,” said Micah Kirman, chair of the FutureHeights Planning & Development Committee, which is organizing the workshop. “Seku Shabazz will look to show business owners that there are possible options that they can take when they feel that they are ready to leave their business or retire. These options can consist of anything from handing the business over to a loyal employee or selling the business to a family member.”

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:09 PM, 06.02.2017

The Fairmount serves up art alongside cocktails

The Fairmount's main bar, with a photo by Steve Vacariello overhead. [photo by Jayne Sestak]

Along with its selection of craft and draft beers, extensive wine list, cocktails and small plates menu, The Fairmount Cocktail Bar also offers an alternate venue in which emerging and established local artists display their work. Every few months, The Fairmount presents new visual experiences that make use of its indoor and outdoor spaces. “It’s all about creative community building,” said co-owner Jake Orosz.

The current exhibit, the Factory Window series by Megan Frankenfield, runs through June 15, with an artist’s reception scheduled for Saturday June 3, 6–9 p.m. Frankenfield’s series is inspired by the beauty of the Rust Belt, as nature reclaims old factory buildings and bridges throughout the region. Photographic images in intensely saturated tones hover gracefully behind layered windows and rusty framework—remnants of once-thriving industry. Her work has been exhibited in local galleries including the Screw Factory, and in a corporate installation at the Cleveland Hilton Convention Center Hotel.

Mid-June through mid-September, Cleveland native and internationally sought-after photographer Steve Vaccariello returns to The Fairmount after a three-year absence.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 6:58 PM, 06.02.2017

FutureHeights to host June 13 public forum on development tools

Wayne Mortensen

FutureHeights will hold a public forum, Development Tools: Give Away or Benefit?, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13, at its offices in the Coventry School building, 2843 Washington Blvd.

FutureHeights’ Planning and Developing Committee organized the forum to help inform Heights residents about real estate development tools, such as tax abatement, tax credits, and tax increment financing (TIF). Speaker Wayne Mortensen, director of design and development for Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) and a Cleveland Heights resident, will explore the costs and benefits of these common financial tools that are commonly used in development projects throughout Northeast Ohio.

Mortenson is a Nebraska native. He and his wife, Jill, moved to Cleveland Heights in 2010.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 12:53 PM, 05.31.2017

Students win health career awards

Yidiayah Box (left) and Sydney Williams placed first in regional competition and advanced to the international competition in June.

Heights High Career and Technical Education (CTE) students Yidiayah Box and Sydney Williams placed first in the Ohio Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) competition in Toledo on April 19 and 20, and qualified for the international competition in Orlando, Fla., June 21–24. They were among 16 Heights High CTE students who competed in the 40-event regional HOSA competition.

Box, a junior, is in the Sports Medicine and Exercise Science program and won first place in the Job Seeking Skills competition. She was judged on the strength of her resume content and cover letter.

“Her resume reflects her activities and leadership,” said Sports Medicine and Exercise Science teacher Casey Graham. “It demonstrated her high achievement and really helped her win this award.”

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:36 PM, 06.02.2017

RTA driver commends Heights students

Leslie Rivers (center) with a few of the  students who ride the RTA #41 bus: Brendon Lawrence, Taniya Wilcox, Larrielle Lockwood, Ladaishare Lockwood, Navi-Ayuri Lockhart and Travonna Lewis.

RTA bus operator Leslie Rivers was so impressed with the maturity of Cleveland Heights High School students that she called Administrative Principal Zoraba Ross, commending the students who ride bus route 41 on Tuesdays, the school’s early dismissal day.

In her message to Ross, Rivers said that the students are good representatives of the school and they do the right thing. She asked Ross to let the students know that they should keep up the good work. Over the 17 years that she been an RTA bus operator, she said she has seen many groups of students.

Ross thanked the students during the morning announcements, commending them for their mature attitudes and for representing Heights High with pride.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:38 PM, 06.02.2017

CH City Council initiates new agreement for Top of the Hill

The preliminary site plan for Top of the Hill from Flaherty & Collins, which was included in the city manager's May 12 Memorandum to Cleveland Heights City Council.

At its May 15 meeting, Cleveland Heights City Council voted to authorize City Manager Tanisha Briley to negotiate a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Indianapolis-based developer Flaherty & Collins Properties to move forward with the “Top of the Hill” project.

The Top of the Hill project refers to the approximately four acres of city-owned property at the corner of Cedar Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard at the top of Cedar Hill. As a highly visible property at the gateway between the Heights and University Circle, developing this property has been a long-time goal of the city.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 1:35 PM, 05.16.2017

CH-UH district puts Coventry building up for sale

Coventry building

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District announced on May 10 that it will pursue the sale of the Coventry School site. On May 22, the district announced that it will sell the property to the city of Cleveland Heights, once the city identifies a viable developer. 

Formerly Coventry Elementary School, which the district closed in 2006, the property is now home to various organizations, the majority of which are not-for-profit. Tenants include Ensemble Theatre, Family Connections, Lake Erie Ink, Artful Cleveland, Reaching Heights, FutureHeights, Urban Oak School, and Coventry Children’s Center. The former school playground, now known as Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park, also occupies the site, and numerous community events, including Coventry Village Special Improvement District’s summer movie series, take place there.

The district said it is pursuing the sale of the site because of an estimated $1 million in building repairs needed in the near future. These repairs include a new roof, projected to cost $750,000; a new wooden play structure for the park, estimated at $300,000; and additional improvements, including plumbing and HVAC updates and new windows.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 12:18 PM, 05.23.2017

City of Cleveland Heights to increase sewer fees to comply with Clean Water Act

Once the city of Cleveland Heights institutes phase one of a sanitary sewer remediation plan, prompted by a proposed federal Consent Decree, CH residents’ sewer bills will increase. The federal government is enforcing the Clean Water Act of 1972, which requires municipal sanitary collection systems to operate without overflows during wet weather.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 11:49 AM, 05.30.2017

Free Christian day camp returns in June

Campers enjoy story time with their counselor after lunch.

In one of their last acts at Hope Lutheran Church’s current site, 2222 North Taylor Road, church members will offer to the community the 17th annual Christian Day Camp, June 26–30. The camp is free of charge and open to all children in grades 1–6. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

On-site registration begins at 8:15 a.m. on Monday, June 26. Residents who live near Hope Lutheran Church will receive a flyer and registration form delivered to their homes during the month of June. Anyone can request a registration form by calling 216-371-5252, and the church also welcomes advance registrations.

Activities offered at this annual free camp, which adheres to the guidelines set by the American Camping Association, include singing, storytelling, Bible stories, athletics, crafts, and one-on-one Christian mentoring. The church provides snacks and drinks. Each child should bring his or her own lunch, as well as a clean, white T-shirt for a tie-dye project.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 6:55 PM, 06.02.2017

New photo exhibit opens June 8 at Foothill Galleries

Dee, 2017. Photo by Angelo Merendino

In Dad’s Chair, a new photography exhibit, will open on June 8 at Foothill Galleries. The photos, by Angelo Merendino, feature the photographer’s friends sitting in what was Merendino’s father’s favorite chair.

The public is invited to the opening reception on June 8, 6–9 p.m. The show will be on display through Aug. 13.

Merendino, 43, grew up in the North Hill section of Akron and now lives in Old Brooklyn. After his father died in May 2014, and his mother died in December of that same year, Merendino inherited the chair, which his parents had bought, along with a matching couch, in the 1950s.

"I always wondered what my dad was feeling when he sat in this chair," Merendino said. "But, in general, I think he was at peace when he was in the chair. Dad was certainly larger than life, with endless energy."

After his parents died, said Merendino, he started thinking about how they had touched other people's lives, and how those people stored memories of his parents in their minds. The chair became Merendino's way to remember as much as he could about his parents.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 6:47 PM, 06.02.2017

Eastwood Furniture opens loft to exhibiting artists

Some of the items in the "Song of Steel" exhibit at the Loft at Eastwood.

The Eastwood Furniture store has expanded its space, taking over the second floor of the building at 3451 Fairmount Blvd., and creating a pop-up shop and gallery called the Loft at Eastwood.

Eastwood’s owners, Ron and Angie Nandor, first explored the concept last fall, when Madelaine Mavec, a Cleveland Heights artist, displayed and sold her paintings above the furniture store. Mavec, who calls herself an experimental painter, will return to the loft this fall.

"We want to use the space to showcase local artists," said Ron Nandor. He added that the artists choose whether or not they want to sell any of their work while it is on display at Eastwood.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:05 PM, 06.02.2017

'Jewish Lady Gaga' returns to Cain Park on June 25

Lipa Schmeltzer

Lipa Schmeltzer returns to Cain Park for the second year on June 25. Last summer he wowed an Evans Amphitheater audience with his Yiddish vocals, backed by local instrumental musicians, and his dance moves. The show's sponsor, the Workmen’s Circle, liked the show so much, he’s back, which is a rarity: The Workmen’s Circle hasn’t had a repeat performer for back-to-back summers since the 1980s.

Schmeltzer, 40, was raised in an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic household in New York. He broke away from the sect a few years ago and became simply Orthodox. As a youth, he wasn’t encouraged to pursue secular learning (among many other things). Schmeltzer is now a student at Columbia University.

He is fluent in Yiddish, which is the first language of many Hasidim. He interjects pop music references into his Yiddish and English repertoire. The media—trying to get a grip on him—has called him the “Jewish Elvis” and the “Hasidic Lady Gaga.”

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:00 PM, 06.02.2017

HYC member earns Indians scholarship

Beverly Burgess, HYC director, and Devonte Simon.

“It’s like a dream come true,” said Heights High senior Devonte Simon about his involvement with Heights Youth Club (HYC), a Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland affiliate, located at the corner of Lee Road and Washington Boulevard. Simon is both an HYC member and junior staff member; he takes part in club activities, and also helps provide mentoring and other services for younger members.

As runner-up for 2017 Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, Simon was awarded a $3,000 college scholarship by the Cleveland Indians Charities.

Simon has taken part in the Boys & Girls Clubs national Keystone leadership training program. He traveled to Dallas last summer, along with 10 Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland student leaders, to attend the national Keystone convention. For Simon, it was an opportunity to learn and network with high-achieving peers.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 6:52 PM, 06.02.2017

Dobama tackles opioid addiction in 'How to Be a Respectable Junkie'

Dobama Theatre is adding a summer production this year: the World Premiere of Greg Vovos’s "How to Be a Respectable Junkie." The play is based on the true story of a recovering heroin addict from Northeast Ohio.

The plot concerns Brian, an addict, who decides to end his life. Before doing so, however, he makes an Internet video for users everywhere, instructing them on how to be “respectable,” because even he has grown weary of their behavior. Despite the subject matter, "Junkie" is both humorous and hopeful, and puts a human face on the issue of opioid addiction.

Greg Vovos is a member of the Playwrights’ GYM, Dobama Theatre’s professional playwriting unit. His most satisfying work has addressed such issues as racism, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, obesity and the challenges of transitioning back to society after incarceration. Vovos explained, “For me, writing this play was about theater doing its ultimate job: serving the community.”

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 6:44 PM, 06.02.2017

Library starts lending Internet access

Mobile hotspots come in a carrying case with a charger and USB cable.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System is now offering customers access to mobile Internet hotspots. A hotspot is a small, portable device that connects up to ten wireless-enabled devices, such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet, to the Internet. The devices can be checked out with a library card and work in any area covered by the Sprint 3G or 4G LTE network.

“These devices essentially allow people to check out the Internet,” said Nancy Levin, Heights Libraries director. “Let’s say you’re going camping and want to bring your laptop—a hotspot device will allow you to upload photos to Facebook or Instagram, surf the Web, and watch movies. Or maybe you can’t afford Internet access at home and really need it for something, like a job interview via Skype—you can borrow a hotspot for free and get that.”

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:29 PM, 06.02.2017

Library tailors free coding classes to teens and kids

For many, summer is filled with swimming, reading and farmers markets. At the Lee Road Library, summer means opportunities for people of all ages to code with the new Summer of Code program.

Alyse Giannotti and Ann MacNamara, technology trainers at the Lee Road Library, have collaborated to bring Summer of Code to the community. The pair have been working together for the past year teaching Coding Basics, a four-part quarterly series, to adults.

During that time, they noticed an increasing number of teens and children were taking the adult Coding Basics classes, and realized they needed to reach a new audience..

“There has definitely been a growing need and interest from teens and young kids,” said Giannotti. “Our Coding Basics series always has a wait list. We once had an 8-year old come in with her grandmother and attend the course.”

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:34 PM, 06.02.2017

It is time for FutureHeights to be the CDC for Cleveland Heights

To the Editor:

As an architect, and an involved and concerned resident of Cleveland Heights, I fully support the efforts of FutureHeights to serve as the city’s Community Development Corporation (CDC). The creation of a CDC for Cleveland Heights is long overdue.

In the work of my firm, City Architecture, the involvement of a CDC is paramount. We have worked in many Cleveland neighborhoods (Detroit Shoreway, Ohio City, Downtown, Glenville, MidTown, St. Clair Superior, etc.), the inner-ring suburb of Lakewood, and Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine neighborhood. In each case, a strong CDC has aided the city or neighborhood in realizing impactful economic development projects.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 1:21 PM, 05.31.2017

Letter: Heights Arts urges support for FutureHeights as CH's CDC

To the Editor:

Just after the turn of the millennium, two grassroots organizations formed in Cleveland Heights, each with a mission to help the Heights area thrive by making the most of the unique attributes of our area. One of those groups was Heights Arts (of which I am the second executive director); the other FutureHeights.

While Heights Arts set about leveraging the community’s unusually rich resources in the arts to enhance the quality of life here, FutureHeights concerned itself with promoting a vibrant and sustainable future for Cleveland Heights and University Heights through innovative ideas and civic engagement, with special attention to commercial and residential districts and community planning. Our two organizations have often worked closely together on projects ranging from public art, to neighborhood music offerings, to streetscape design, even a pop-up holiday store featuring local artists—an idea which would evolve into the current Heights Arts Gallery.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:36 AM, 05.30.2017

Consider city charter in historical context

Many of us first learned about America’s Progressive Era in history classes. Lasting from the 1890s to the 1920s, it was drawing to a close when Cleveland Heights voters first approved a city charter in August 1921.

According to Marian J. Morton, in her book Cleveland Heights: The Making of an Urban Suburb: “Reflecting contemporary efforts to reform local government, the charter provided for nonpartisan elections of the city council and a city manager, who would be chosen by council for his [sic] professional expertise. The seven members of Cleveland Heights Council chose the mayor from their own ranks.”

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 1:28 PM, 05.31.2017

Staffing decisions should prioritize connections and stability

In April, without any public discussion, the CH-UH Board of Education (BOE) decided to privatize the before- and after-school programs. The primary reason was economic.

Before- and after-school care is not seen as the school district’s main mission. One could make the case that as long as families have access to before- and after-school care for their children, the district should not have to shoulder the burden of organizing, supervising, staffing and recruiting for the programs at each of our elementary schools.

I believe that discussion with the public prior to the board taking action could have helped determine if there could have been a better solution or confirm that the proposal was best.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 1:38 PM, 05.31.2017

Enforcing the housing code in CH

Springtime in Cleveland Heights. We can finally get out of our homes and see the early blooms of the daffodils and tulips. Taking a closer look, we may note that it is time to get that porch painted, or maybe the chimney needs tuckpointing.  That may, in turn, lead us to wonder if our neighbor down the street is going to be getting their driveway redone. Or maybe it is not a neighbor down the street, but instead some unknown entity that owns the home, and already the grass needs cut, the broken window replaced, and the fallen gutter repaired.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 1:33 PM, 05.31.2017

Panel discusses prospects for East Side

A panel of five East Siders, including three Cleveland Heights residents, discussed “East Side Redevelopment: Prospects for Reinvention,” at the Lee Road Library on May 9. Terry Schwarz, of Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, moderated the panel. Joining her were Mansfield Frazier, who operates the winemaking operation Chateau Hough; Wayne Mortensen of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress; Rick Semersky of VIP Restoration; and Joyce Braverman, development director for the city of Shaker Heights.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 1:32 PM, 05.31.2017

CH resident brings free medical care to NE Ohio via Medworks

Zac Ponsky with his wife, Taryn, and two sons.

Zac Ponsky, a Cleveland Heights native, was sharing a beer with fellow volunteers after a day of service with a medical brigade in Honduras. His brother, Lee Ponsky, had started Medwish, a nonprofit that repurposes discarded medical supplies and equipment to provide humanitarian aid in developing countries. Despite the positive results of the day, Ponsky found himself wondering why “this type of medical charity was happening halfway across the world but not in my own backyard.”

From this idea, Medworks was born. Medworks, founded in 2009, is a local nonprofit that offers 100-percent free medical, dental and vision clinics to the medically underserved in Northeast Ohio.

The launch of Medworks was not without its bumps in the road. One of Medworks' first mass health clinics, projected to serve more than 5,000 patients at the Berea Fairgrounds, was canceled because it was planned during the height of the H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 1:32 PM, 05.31.2017

Leaders motivate teachers through trust

It’s June. Another school year is in the books.

Summer brings a much-needed opportunity for teachers to regroup and recharge after months of getting up early, building relationships and advancing student learning, juggling family obligations and late nights, and falling into bed so they can make the next day a successful one.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 1:32 PM, 05.31.2017

Euclid Golf Historic District

The Barton R. Deming House under construction in 1914. Photo courtesy of Cleveland Historical.

The Euclid Golf Historic District—on the National Register of Historic Places—is one of Cleveland Heights’ older suburban developments. It was created on land that belonged to John D. Rockefeller and leased to the Euclid Club. Its majestic Tudor Revival clubhouse, which stood for about a decade only, was situated approximately where Cedar Road meets Norfolk Road today. The historic district, centered on Fairmount Boulevard between Cedar and Coventry roads, includes the Fairmount Boulevard Historic District.

Barton R. Deming began developing the Euclid Golf district in 1914. His own house is the picturesque European-looking structure set in the hillside at the beginning of Fairmount Boulevard at Cedar Road.

The styles of the residences seen in Euclid Golf—which is primarily residential with the exception of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and the commercial building along Fairmount Boulevard within the Cedar Fairmount district—are mainly of Tudor Revival, Georgian Revival, English Colonial and French Norman design. The streets off of Fairmount contain less expensive yet stylish homes.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 1:32 PM, 05.31.2017

June offers abundant, fun bicycle rides

One of the best ways to enjoy a host of summer activities and places in Northeast Ohio is to get there by bicycle. Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC) has compiled a list of attractive rides offered by other organizations throughout the region. The bicycle advocacy organization also sponsors rides of its own, and is building a collection of "Better by Bike" online routes so people can safely and conveniently pedal to places and events on their own.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 12:42 PM, 05.31.2017

Carla Bailey helps refugee students find their way

Carla Bailey

Imagine this: Your father was killed by rebels in front of your eyes, and you fled war with your mother and seven siblings. You have lived in a refugee camp in a foreign country since you were a toddler. Your mother could not afford to send you to school, and each day you prayed that your family would have enough to eat. Finally, at age 20, you—along with your now elderly mother and 18-year-old sister—are resettled in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

This is the reality of one young refugee who is making a home in our community.

For the past six years, Carla Bailey, the district's refugee school-community liaison, has helped refugees like this young man understand our educational system and figure out the quickest, most efficient way to learn English, complete high school, and move onto the next phase of education and life.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:39 AM, 05.30.2017

Senior Citizen Happenings

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

June 1: Irene Shaland, an internationally published art and travel writer, earned a bachelor's degree in theater journalism from St. Petersburg University in Russia, and a master’s in English from Case Western Reserve University. Her presentation, Face to Face with Africa, will conclude with a Q-and-A.

June 8: Ray Hoffman is director of the National WASP World War II Museum in Sweetwater, Texas, which honors the women pilots of World War II. His presentation will include a documentary film.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:15 PM, 06.02.2017

What’s going on at your library?

Coventry Village Library

1925 Coventry Road, 216-321-3400

Wednesday, June 14, 3–4 p.m.

Fairytale STEM. Join us for a lively afternoon storytime of fairy tales and adventure, followed by a simple science-themed activity that relates to the story. (For ages 3–6.)

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:25 PM, 06.02.2017

CH Senior Center News

June is Brain Awareness month and the Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center (SAC) offers many activities to benefit brain health, including a variety of exercise opportunities. Exercise is key to overall health, promoting increased blood flow to all areas of the body, including the brain.

Seniors can increase their step counts by using the indoor track, giving pickle ball or table tennis a try, or enrolling in a dance, tai chi or yoga class. However one chooses to exercise, the benefit is the same. Some classes are free, others charge a fee, but seniors can try any class one time for free and see what they like.

Learning a new activity and gaining skills also increases brain function. From Spanish to art, the senior center offers a variety of enrichment classes that will stimulate brain function while expanding one’s knowledge.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:13 PM, 06.02.2017

New talent and encore appearances in Heights Arts exhibitions

Woman with Green, by Douglas Max Utter.

Two exhibitions at Heights Arts this spring and summer express the vitality of the region as a training ground for visual artists, with one show (closing June 4) celebrating new talents and the other (opening June 9) bringing back artists who previously exhibited at Heights Arts.

Emergent 2017 features 12 artists recommended by their former art professors as representing some of the best among recent graduates. The year’s version (Heights Arts presented its first Emergent show in 2015 and plans to bring it back approximately every two years) includes works by Meghan Calvert (ceramics), Amber Ford (photography), Jessica Howard (prints, drawings, cut paper), Erin Jesson (sculptural wall pieces), Jacob Koestler (wall installation), Samantha Konet (drawings), Mike Lombardy (drawings/collage), Nathan Prebonick (painting), Rachel Shelton (prints), Maia Stern (glass), Grace Summanen (painting, drawing), and Nikki Woods (painting). The artists are graduates of the Cleveland Institute of Art, Kent State University, the University of Akron, and Baldwin-Wallace University. Emergent 2017 runs through Sunday, June 4.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:31 AM, 05.30.2017

'It was 50 years ago today . . . '

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band front cover

Two things happened on Friday, June 2, 1967, that made me really happy: The Beatles released their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in America, and I quit high school.

I had been planning to quit school on the first day I was legally allowed to—May 21, my 18th birthday—but there were still a few Heights Choir events, like our spring concert, our album recording, and our annual dinner and awards night. And since the choir was the one and only reason I ever went to high school, I stayed enrolled to finish all of the choir activities.

I had been trying to quit school since the ninth grade. I often tried to reason with my parents, especially my father, that since I knew I was going to have a career in music, it would make more sense for me to get started on it, instead of wasting time in school. Looking back, more than 50 years later, I know I was actually correct about that.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:27 AM, 05.30.2017

Church of the Saviour Co-op Nursery School has closed

Church of the Saviour.

On March 6, the Church of the Saviour Co-operative Nursery School posted a statement on its Facebook page announcing that it would be closing in May. [The Church of the Saviour Early Learning Center, a separate preschool at the church, will remain open.]

The church notified the co-op preschool that it wanted to use the space for other programs. The preschool’s Facebook post stated that the preschool board did not have enough time to find a new location before the critical registration period for the 2017–18 school year.

When contacted, neither church nor co-op preschool representatives were willing to comment.

The Church of the Saviour Co-operative Nursery School, founded in 1955, had been operating in the Heights community for more than six decades, and served 3–5 year olds. It graduated its final class on May 18.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:24 AM, 05.30.2017

Canterbury student takes "Best In Show"

Grant Gosa

“Best in Show” is a pretty big deal for an artist. It’s a huge deal if you’re a second-grader competing against students in kindergarten through eighth grade, from 10 counties.

That’s the award that Grant Gosa, a second-grade student at Canterbury Elementary School, received in March at the Youth Art Month exhibit sponsored by the Northeast Ohio division of the Ohio Art Education Association (OAEA) at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). It was the fifth consecutive year that a Canterbury student took home that honor.

Grant is not the only talented artist in the building. The work of four other Canterbury students was displayed at either CWRU or the statewide Youth Art Month show in Columbus, sponsored by OAEA.

“I was really, really, really excited,” said fourth-grader Ryan Harris, whose drawing of a macaw was featured in the show at CWRU.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:21 PM, 06.02.2017

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 4-18-2017

APRIL 18, 2017

Ron Register (president), Kal Zucker (vice president), Jim Posch, Eric Silverman and Beverly Wright were present, as were Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting opened at 7 p.m., preceded by an executive session, and ended at 8:05 p.m.

Equity plan update work session

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District developed an equity task force and LEAD Tool under the direction of Sandy D. Womack, director of principal leadership and development. The equity leadership team presented the approach and five-year plan, which was developed to study and ensure that equity would be promoted in the schools. Much discussion followed between the board and leadership team.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:06 AM, 06.20.2017

University Heights City Council meeting highlights 5-1-2017

MAY 1, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Geraci’s gives back
  • Cavs support housing
  • Annual reports
  • Memorial Day parade
  • JCU president honored
  • Minority Health Month
  • Local executive honored
  • Proposed HUD cuts
  • Medical marijuana
  • Hydrant flushing
  • Repaving project
  • Finance committee
  • Executive session
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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:04 AM, 06.20.2017

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 5-1-2017

MAY 1, 2017

  • Poet laureate program
  • Public comments
  • Liquor permit transfer requests
  • Heart monitor/defibrillator machines
  • Charter review
  • Proclamations
  • Rock salt
  • Equipment purchases
  • NatureWorks grant application
  • Zoning variance
  • Mayor’s comments
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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:02 AM, 06.20.2017

Cleveland Heights City Special Council meeting highlights 4-17, 4-24-2017

APRIL 17, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Decision regarding votes on legislation
  • Zoning variance
  • Fence permit fees
  • Outdoor dining
  • Certificates of occupancy
  • Police vehicles
  • Charter Review Commission
  • Issuance and sale of bonds
  • Professional energy service agreement
  • Reaching Heights Spelling Bee team
  • Boston Marathon
  • Gun violence
  • Mayor’s State of the City report
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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 9:59 AM, 06.20.2017

Coventry Village pop-up shop offers wearable pieces of Cleveland’s past

A Coventry Village pop-up shop featuring vintage knitwear is located in the former American Apparel space. [photo by Connor O'Brien]

Through June 4, the former American Apparel space on Coventry Road has transformed into a showroom of vintage knitwear from The Ohio Knitting Mills—one of the many companies that once made Cleveland a center of textile manufacturing.

Steve Presser, owner of Big Fun, is one of the partners in the pop-up venture, along with Debbie Gulyas, who for many years owned Renaissance Parlour, a Coventry vintage clothing boutique.

According to Presser, whether you call it “new old stock”—a vintage toy term—or “deadstock”—in vintage clothing parlance—all of the merchandise is in new, unworn condition. The styles date from the 1950s through the 1980s, and the knits are made from synthetic materials (remember Orlon?), 100 percent cotton and wool, and other fabrics.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 11:30 AM, 05.23.2017

CH announces pilot program to permit food trucks

In a May 19 news release, the city of Cleveland Heights announced that it was launching a food truck pilot program in which the use of food trucks is now allowed on private property as part of an outdoor dining conditional use permit. Approval for the operation of a food truck at a business with an outdoor dining permit must be approved through the city's planning department.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 11:22 AM, 05.23.2017

Church of the Saviour hosts May 17 program on opioid epidemic

On Feb. 6, it was reported that Cuyahoga County had 14 deaths from drug overdoses in one weekend.

A group of concerned church members has organized a panel of experts from Church of the Saviour and the community to speak of their professional experiences in dealing with the complex issue of opioid addiction.

The program, The Opioid Epidemic in Cuyahoga County, will talk place on Wednesday, May 17 at 7 p.m. in the church’s parlor. Church of the Saviour is located at 2537 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:45 AM, 05.14.2017

City selects new developer for Top of the Hill

Following its announcement on May 11 that it had mutally terminated an agreement with Fairmount Properties to develop the Top of the Hill site in the Cedar Fairmount Business District, the city announced on May 12 that it was moving forward with its second choice developer, Flaherty & Collins Properties of Indianapolis.

The following is text from that announcement. Information about the Top of the Hill project is available on the city's website, under the planning and development section, studies and plans, here.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 9:38 AM, 05.13.2017

CH City Hall and developer part ways on "Top of the Hill" project

The City of Cleveland Heights and Fairmount Properties — the private company that had been selected to develop the "Top of the Hill" site — announced on May 11 they had discontinued negotiations on the project. It was originally hoped construction of the multi-use project, located on the vacant lot at the intersection of Cedar Road and Euclid Heights Blvd., would begin in 2018.

But with this news, City Hall is back at square one, seeking a developer for the site.

Construction supplies currently located on the site are for an unrelated gas-line replacement project taking place this summer in the Cedar-Fairmount district.

Following is the full text of a letter announcing the decision. It was released jointly by ...

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 7:03 PM, 05.11.2017

Noble Elementary School receives $10,000 grant

Rachael Coleman, Noble Elementary School principal, and Debbie Furlong, Burlington South Euclid store manager, with Noble Elementary School students.

Burlington Stores, through its partnership with, donated $10,000 to Noble Elementary School in celebration of its new store in South Euclid.

Burlington store manager, Debbie Furlong, presented the check to Rachael Coleman, Noble Elementary School principal, during a schoolwide ceremony on April 25.

Coleman worked with Burlington and DonorsChoose to secure the grant for her school, which services approximately 400 students from pre-K through fifth grade. Coleman plans to use the grant to invest in hands-on technology for her students, including the purchase of Chromebooks.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:03 AM, 05.09.2017

Dewey’s Decimators win Reaching Heights bee

Spellers (in hard hats) Chris Mentrek, Victor Rosenberg and Susan Beatty of Dewey's Decimators won the 26th annual Reaching Heights Community Spelling Bee. They are joined by Krista Hawthorne (left), director of Reaching Heights and Nancy Levin, director of Heights Libraries.

By round seven, three teams remained on stage at the Reaching Heights Community Spelling Bee held on April 19 at Heights High: the Noble Queen Bees, representing teachers at Noble Elementary School; the Coventry Word Outlaws, representing Mac Back’s Books, Camp Firebird/Roosevelt, and the nonprofits in the Coventry School building; and Dewey’s Decimators, representing Friends of the Heights Libraries.

Adorned in wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses and feather boas, the Noble Queen Bees misspelled “coprolalia.” Next, the Coventry Word Outlaws—dressed as Old West outlaws, and holding stuffed toy horses—misspelled “apocope.” Dewey’s Decimators, wearing green hard hats, won the bee when they correctly spelled “inveigle,” which means to entice or win over by wiles.

The winning team—spellers Victor Rosenberg, Susan Beatty and Chris Mentrek—took home the Big Plastic Bee trophy, which will be on display at the Lee Road Library until next year, and gift certificates to the Blossom Music Festival and Dewey’s Pizza on Lee Road.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 5:59 PM, 05.08.2017

May is preservation month in CH

This quarry, photographed in 1938, was located in what is now Forest Hill Park. Photo courtesy city of Cleveland Heights.

May is National Preservation Month and, for the 15th year, the Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission, Cleveland Heights Historical Society and Heights Libraries will be celebrating the rich history and architecture of the Heights through a series of lectures, workshops and tours.

Cleveland Heights’ preservation month activites kicked off on May 1 with a Cleveland Heights House History Workshop that taught particlpants how to research their home's history.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 1:38 PM, 05.01.2017

UH celebrates 90 years of free concerts

1976 summer concert on the front lawn of Wiley Middle School. Courtesy UH City Archives.

This year, the city of University Heights will present its 90th annual free summer concert series. In preparation for this momentous year, UH city staff dug deep into the city’s archives to learn more about the creation of this popular, perennial University Heights event.

Prior to 1927, the Village of Idlewood, as University Heights was originally known, offered occasional free concerts in the old town hall, where local talent was paid $30. (The village name was changed to University Heights in 1925, when John Carroll University moved to its current location. In 1940, University Heights became a city.)

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 11:19 AM, 05.02.2017

FutureHeights annual meeting is set for May 24

Judy Rawson

FutureHeights, the nonprofit that works toward a vibrant and sustainable future for Cleveland Heights and University Heights, will hold its 15th annual meeting on Wednesday, May 24, at its offices in the former Coventry School building, 2843 Washington Blvd.

FutureHeights will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing inner-ring suburbs today, share its analysis of why a Community Development Corporation (CDC) is needed in Cleveland Heights and explain how FutureHeights is uniquely qualified to take on that role. Judy Rawson, former mayor of Shaker Heights, will deliver the keynote address. The event begins at 7 p.m. 

Judy Rawson has lived in Northeast Ohio since 1972. She served as mayor of Shaker Heights from 2000–07, following two terms on Shaker Heights City Council. During that time, she held leadership roles around regional issues, such as economic development, consolidation of services, housing, strengthening inner-ring suburbs, and linking the suburbs more closely to the city of Cleveland. She served on the Executive Committee of the Mayors and Managers Association during her mayoral tenure.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 10:24 AM, 05.02.2017

Community remembers Officer Jason West

Officer Jason D. West

Cleveland Heights wasn’t just his beat—Cleveland Heights Police Officer Jason West had purchased a house in the city. He had always wanted to be a police officer, and protecting and serving the city of Cleveland Heights was something that he did willingly every day he put on his uniform. A fellow officer commented: “Even at shift change, if there was a late call, he’d take it. He was always willing to go the extra mile. He just loved the job.”

On May 26, 2007, Officer West responded to one more call, a disturbance call on Altamont Avenue. It was a routine call that would sadly cost him his life. He was shot while getting out of his patrol car.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 11:23 AM, 05.02.2017