Latest News

CH announces developer for Top of the Hill project

Fairmount Properties preliminary site plan for the Top of the Hill. [Image courtesy of City of Cleveland Heights.]

The City of Cleveland Heights' Top of the Hill Project is taking the next step in the development process at [its Oct. 17] meeting. City Council is expected to consider legislation to authorize the City to negotiate a non-binding letter of intent with Fairmount Properties. [See editor's note.]

"We were very pleased with the results of our Request for Qualifications process. Several excellent development teams were interested in partnering with us to bring a spectacular development to the Top of the Hill," said City Manager Tanisha Briley. "We believe that says a lot about the interest and excitement surrounding this site and in new development in Cleveland Heights."

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 9, Issue 12, Posted 10:59 AM, 10.18.2016

Latest News Releases

- Beaumont School, October 17, 2016 Read More
CH-UH school district announces implementation of new Educational Equity Plan
- CH-UH Schools, October 10, 2016 Read More
Cleveland's "Naked Trump" Sculpture Auction at Gray's to Bring More Public Art to Cleveland Heights
- Arts & Entertainment, October 4, 2016 Read More
Boy Scouts of America, Tinker's Creek District, announces, "It is never too late to join the Cub Scouts!"
- Boy Scouts of America, Tinker's Creek District (local), September 29, 2016 Read More
City of Cleveland Heights announces results of police investigation
- City of Cleveland Heights, September 28, 2016 Read More

View more news releases

Noble Neighbors hosts panel on school levy

On Oct. 11, Noble Neighbors hosted a panel on the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District’s proposed 5.5-mill operating levy, which will be on the Nov. 8 ballot as Issue 109. The nonprofit neighborhood group invited pro- and anti-levy groups to participate, and gave each side the option to send as few or as many representatives as it wanted, to speak within set time allotments.

Ron Register, school board member; Lisa Hunt, Reaching Heights assistant director; and Jayne Geneva, CH-UH Lay Finance Committee chair, spoke for the pro-levy side.

Charles Drake, of the anti-levy Citizens Leadership Political Action Committee (PAC), spoke for those opposed to the levy.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 12:46 PM, 10.18.2016

Cleveland Water invites Heights customers to meetings about water service transition

Cleveland Heights (and some University Heights) residents will purchase water directly from Cleveland Water beginning in January.

In January 2017, the City of Cleveland Heights will move from [being] a master meter [community] to a direct service community of Cleveland Water.

Cleveland Heights water customers, and affected University Heights customers, are invited to attend one of several planned community meetings in which Cleveland Water representatives will provide information about the transition, and give customers an opportunity to ask questions.

A meeting for commercial business customers has also been set up specifically for those who use large amounts of water as part of their business.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 11:12 AM, 10.18.2016

Revolution Books to close after 33 years

Revolution Books will close permanently on Oct. 23. [Photo credit: Andrea C. Turner.]

Revolution Books, located on Mayfield Road near Coventry Road, will close on Oct. 23. According to the people who work there, the closing of the store—owned by the Revolutionary Communist Party—has nothing to do with poor sales or other problems.

Instead, they said, they want to spend more time spreading the word about a Communist revolution to the people of Cleveland.

Lee Thompson, one of the store’s workers, said, “We cannot do all of that and maintain the store.”

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 11:24 AM, 10.18.2016

Heights businesses plan family-friendly Halloween events

A young trick-or-treater from last year's Cedar Lee Candy Crawl. Photo by Gabe Schaffer.

As fall arrives and temperatures drop, many young Heights residents can think of only one thing—Halloween, with all of its thrills and chills, is almost here!

This year, three Cleveland Heights business districts will host family-friendly, Halloween-themed events, welcoming residents to get in costume and trick-or-treat in safe, walkable areas, all while enjoying neighborhood establishments.

The Cedar Fairmount Business District will host its 2016 Halloween & Fall Festival on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 5–7 p.m. The event will feature trick-or-treating, entertainment by Musical Mark and Whipples the Balloon Clown, a visit from police dog Argos, and merchant and restaurant specials throughout the district. Attendees can also participate in cupcake decorating at Luna's Cake Shop, for a small fee. Event visitors should look for orange pumpkins on the doors or windows of participating merchants. Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District, City Architecture, Cedar Road Buffalo Wild Wings, Kiefer Realty Group and Osborn Engineering are sponsors of the event. Learn more at the event's Facebook page.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 12:27 PM, 10.11.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights for Sept. 20, 2016 [online]

SEPTEMBER 20, 2016

  • Board actions on policy, contract and personnel
  • Work session on special education programs

Board actions on policy, contract and personnel

The board approved a Standard-Based School Counselor Evaluation Policy on third reading; a contract with the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County/Inter-District Service Area for 2016–17, which entails three positions; and several routine personnel items.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 11:48 AM, 10.17.2016

CH Happy 5K and Fun Run benefits youth recreation fund

Several CH residents were members of the fastest merchant team winner: Six Shooter Coffee. Photo courtesy of Western Reserve Racing.

On the first Sunday in October, 575 runners from 60 cities participated in the second annual Cleveland Heights Happy 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run. The Oct. 2 event raised more than $8,000 for the Cleveland Heights Youth Scholarship fund.

About 163 Cleveland Heights residents were among the participants, following a route that started on Lee Road and wound through the business districts of Cedar Lee and Coventry Village and Cedar Lee. Lead sponsors, the Cleveland Clinic and Motorcars, each donated $2,500 to support the event.

Team and individual race results can be found here:

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 11:38 AM, 10.11.2016

Renovated high school on track for August 2017 completion

New Heights High science rooms will overlook the new library and cafeteria. [photos by Deanna Bremer Fisher]

Renovation of Cleveland Heights High School, the first part of Phase 1 of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District’s Master Facilities Plan, is on schedule for completion on or before Aug. 14, 2017, the first day of the 2017–18 school year for teachers.

The project includes renovation of the original 1926 façade, clock tower and auditorium, and newly constructed state-of-the-art classrooms, athletic facilities, arts spaces and common areas. The renovated building will feature more-efficient use of space, improved traffic flow and security, a new mini-theater and a community-accessible, competition-size swimming pool.

The building will be one of the most energy-efficient high schools in the nation. Features such as a geothermal heating and cooling system, a tight building envelope—made possible by new roofing, insulation and new energy-efficient windows—and LED lighting throughout the building will help the project achieve LEED Gold certification, a measure of energy efficiency.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 12:16 PM, 09.30.2016

Apolloís Fire celebrates 25 years

Apollo's Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra.

Celebrating 25 years in Northeast Ohio, the Cleveland Heights-based Apollo’s Fire is set to begin its 2016–17 season under artistic director Jeannette Sorrell. Committed to performing Baroque music the way it was meant to be performed—alive and full of emotional impact—Apollo’s Fire brings world-class performances practically to your doorstep.

The season will begin in October with Resplendent Purcell, a large-scale program of choral works never before heard on period instruments in Northeast OhioHenry Purcell wrote his most majestic music for royal events at Westminster Abbey—from joyous birthday celebrations to the heartbreakingly beautiful lamentations at Queen Mary’s funeral. The program will bring together vocal soloists and the acclaimed Apollo’s Singers, with strings, lutes, recorders, trumpets, percussion and organ.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 2:57 PM, 09.30.2016

Library wraps up its centennial with original theater production

Jonathan Wilhelm, associate managing director of Dobama Theatre, wrote a play to honor Heights Libraries centennial.

Heights Libraries will wrap up its year-long centennial celebration with an original Reader’s Theatre production, Great Librarians I Have Known, on Monday, Oct. 24, 7 p.m., at Dobama Theatre.

Jonathan Wilhelm, Dobama’s associate managing director, wrote the play to honor the library’s 100th birthday and to pay tribute to the role libraries and librarians have played in his life.

“Every summer, my mother would drop me off at the swimming pool, where I would stay for several hours,” said Wilhelm. “I would then walk over to the library, where she would pick me up. As the summer progressed, I would spend less time at the pool and more time at the library.”

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 2:37 PM, 09.30.2016

Heights Arts announces 11th Close Encounters chamber music series

The audience listens entranced at a 2015 Close Encounters concert in a downtown Cleveland loft.

Auditioning for and winning a job with an ensemble like the Cleveland Orchestra is a dream come true for a classical musician. Anyone who has attended a few concerts at Severance Hall can attest why: The combination of awesome power and incredible refinement is astonishing. But symphonic music is rarely the only reason a virtuosic performer loves to play. For many, the intimacy and expressive intensity of chamber music—just a few instruments playing together in a small space without a conductor—is the utmost expression of their personal connection to music.

For 11 years, the Heights Arts Close Encounters series has provided audiences the opportunity to hear music that is never performed in symphony halls, and is played with passionate intensity in intimate settings where the instruments are as close as a person sitting across the dinner table.

Tickets are on sale now, with full-series subscriptions available for $200 to the general public, and $160 for Heights Arts members. Individual concert tickets are $15 for students, $45 for Heights Arts members, and $55 for the general public. Venues will be revealed as the season progresses.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 2:31 PM, 09.30.2016

Dobama Theatre presents An Octoroon

Ananais Dixon in An Octoroon. Photo credit: Steve Wagner Photography.

Dobama Theatre continues its 57th season with An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, a modern deconstruction of Dion Boucicault’s The Octoroon.

Premiering in 1859, The Octoroon was one of the most successful stage productions of its time. At one point, seven different theater companies toured the United States with their productions of the play. It is famous for sparking a national debate about the abolition of slavery and the role of political theater. But when its melodramatic depiction of the antebellum South is viewed from a modern perspective, it appears not only simplistic, but also somewhat racist.

Using Boucicault’s plot as a template, contemporary playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon critiques the earlier play’s depiction of race and confronts how theater interacts with identity.  An Octoroon was the co-winner of the 2014 Obie Award for Best New American Play (along with another Jacobs-Jenkins’ play, Appropriate).  

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 2:08 PM, 09.30.2016

HYT celebrates community with The Music Man

Heights Youth Theatre's 2016-17 season. 

If you’re looking for an entertaining and meaningful activity for the whole family, consider attending Heights Youth Theatre’s (HYT) production of The Music Man at Monticello Middle School in Cleveland Heights. The show opens on Saturday, Oct. 22, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 30.

Cast and crew, and everyone involved in the production, are excited to bring this classic American musical to a local stage. Talented kids from Cleveland Heights, University Heights and Shaker Heights, and several other Cleveland suburbs, are ready to transform the theater into the small Midwestern town of River City, Iowa. They will take the audience back to a simpler time when community and family were the paramount values by which society lived.

Kelly Monaghan directs the show, with music direction by Stacy Bolton. Sixty-eight student actors in grades one through 12 will sing and dance. The lead cast members are Brian Tuohey as Harold Hill and Courtney Foerg as Marian.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 2:21 PM, 09.30.2016

Heights Arts's Pet Project supports animal welfare

Chagrin Falls artist Maggy Brown, with her Pet Project sample portrait in cut-paper collage.

Starting this fall, art is going to the dogs—as well as cats, rabbits, and possibly even guinea pigs—as Heights Arts launches Pet Project, an ongoing custom-portraiture program in which pet owners and adopters can provide a photograph of their pet and choose a participating artist to create an original, personal portrait of their animal. A percentage of the portrait fee goes directly to Northeast Ohio animal welfare organizations.

The idea for Pet Project originated with the community arts organization's executive director, Rachel Bernstein. "My passion for the arts and my passion for causes that promote the humane treatment of animals collided in my brain and out popped the idea of Pet Project!" she said. "My hope is that this project will cross-pollinate awareness between the two causes: to make art accessible to those who might not otherwise have considered it, and also benefit the community of animals and animal lovers in a creative way."

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 2:46 PM, 09.30.2016

The little, old man in 1954

When I was a kid, there was a little, old man who lived on my street, Belmar. When I say “little, old, man,” I mean all those words: He was a man, he was old, and he was little. And when I say “little,” I mean he stood about 4 feet tall. He wasn’t a Little Person; he was just a little person. Let’s call him Mr. Fink. By the time I was 5 years old, I was as tall as Mr. Fink. In October of the year I was 5, the Cleveland Indians were playing in the World Series. Well, for two days in October. There were no playoffs back then. There were only 16 MLB teams, eight in each league. The Indians had set the record that year for the most wins in a regular season—111, in a shorter season than the current ones—and then they got swept in the Series, 4-0, by the New York Giants, led by Willie Mays.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 2:40 PM, 09.30.2016

CH duo Red Brick Rhoades makes beautiful music

Becca Rhoades and Red Chrosniak with their baby, Moses.

Becca Rhoades and Red Chrosniak have been making music together for about five years. The two met in 2011 when they were both contra dancing (similar to square dancing) at Grace Lutheran Church in Cleveland Heights. Both of them loved music, and they became good friends.

The couple, who married in 2014, perform as a duo, Red Brick Rhoades. Rhoades explained how they came up with the name: “Before we started dating, there were a lot of brick roads in our lives. In addition, on one of our first dates, we went for a walk on two brick roads.”

Rhoades, who’s 30, grew up in Lubbock, Texas, the hometown of rock music pioneer Buddy Holly. “There’s a lot of good music there,” she said. She started playing violin when she was 4, and by the time she was in high school, she decided to make music the focus of her life. She atteded Texas Tech University, where she majored in music performance. After graduating in 2009, she moved to Cleveland to attend the Cleveland Institute of Music, and received her master’s degree in music performance in 2012.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 3:03 PM, 09.30.2016

How to decide when itís the right time to move

As time goes on, lifestyles naturally change. Kids move out, we retire, we take on new hobbies, our income level and our health changes. It’s a good idea to occasionally reassess whether one’s current home is supporting one’s current lifestyle, or hindering it.

Many continue to live in their homes out of habit or nostalgia—it’s the home they bought when they got married, it’s where they raised their kids, it’s the place where they have lots of memories, and it’s where all of their personal possessions are kept.

As time passes, homeowners should ask themselves the following questions: Does taking care of your home leave you enough time to pursue your current hobbies and interests? Are you sure that your home will not need costly or complicated repairs in the future? Do you still use all of the rooms in your house on a regular basis? Is it still easy for you to go up and down stairs? Are you able to maintain your yard and clear snow by yourself? Is it convenient for you to visit family and friends from where you live now?

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 1:30 PM, 09.30.2016

CH Senior Center News

October at the Cleveland Heights Senior Center is full of classes designed around the concept of creating a healthier you. Some classes are free; some have a fee. Call 216 691-7379 for registration information.

Healing Heights: Attend this workshop, Oct. 6 at 1 p.m., featuring local healing arts practitioners for an afternoon of learning and fun.

Dance 101: So you think you can’t dance? You can! Dance 101 begins Oct. 7 at 11:15 a.m., and continues for eight weeks. Enjoy dance movement to improve strength, balance and flexibility, and explore the art of improvisation with instructor Leslie Keller.

Brain Health: Join the Center 4 Brain Health on Oct. 13 at 3 p.m. for Strengthening Your Brain, an interactive brain aerobics class.

MetroHealth Talk: On Oct. 11 at 11 a.m., a MetroHealth professional will provide an educational session on a variety of topics.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 1:50 PM, 09.30.2016

UH Senior Citizen Happenings

Senior Citizen Happenings, sponsored by the City of University Heights, are open to all senior citizens. Events take place on Thursdays at 2 p.m. 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

Oct. 6: The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Kay Carlson, its director, will discuss the work of this nonprofit to conserve a natural area, educate visitors about nature, and promote better environmental stewardship. The nature center’s All People’s Trail, which the National Park Service named a National Environmental Education Landmark in 1971, showcases a panoply of wildlife and plant species.

Oct. 13: Meredith Bond, dean of the College of Sciences and Health Professions at Cleveland State University, will discuss the new Center of Innovation in Medical Professions and its Partnership for Urban Health, a collaboration with Northeast Ohio Medical University. Recently awarded a $5.5 million grant from the Cleveland Foundation, the partnership prepares primary-care physicians to practice in urban settings, within the context of interprofessional learning communities, to meet the unique health-care needs of underserved urban neighborhoods.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 1:35 PM, 09.30.2016

Lee Road Ethiopian restaurant plans fall opening

The exterior of Zoma Ethiopian Restaurant.

Photo by James Henke.

A new restaurant specializing in Ethiopian food is due to open this fall in Cleveland Heights. Zoma Ethiopian Restaurant will be located at 2242 Lee Road, between Mama Joyce’s Soul Food Café and Heights Uptown Barbershop. Co-owner Zeleke Belete said he is working toward, and hoping for, an opening sometime in October.

Belete, who has never worked in a restaurant before, has always loved Ethiopian food and thought it would be a great idea to open an Ethiopian restaurant in Cleveland. Initially, he looked for potential spaces in Ohio City, Tremont and Lakewood. He ultimately chose Cleveland Heights as the location for his restaurant because he thought it was “the best spot, compared to what else was available.”

“There’s a lot of foot traffic in this area, and there are a lot of other restaurants, so I thought it would be a great space,” Belete said.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 12:52 PM, 09.30.2016

Noble eatery makes changes but stays in the family

Mike's Corner Deli on the corner of Noble and Roanoke roads offers up a variety of sandwiches, wraps and heroes.

Doyle Fayne, the longtime owner of Moran’s Bistro, located at 2548 Noble Road (at the corner of Noble and Roanoke roads), has stepped aside to turn over the day-to-day operation of the establishment to his daughter, Shawnnell, and her husband, Michael.

Shawnnell and Michael Thomas have already put their stamp on the business, now called Mike’s Corner Deli.

The young entrepreneurs have created a fresh, bright look inside, and offer a new menu of over-stuffed sandwiches, wraps and paninis. Early morning patrons can enjoy a breakfast sandwich, as well. Sweeter options include a banana split.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 12:25 PM, 09.30.2016

CH crime trends for first half of 2016

Crime rates in Cleveland Heights for the first six months of 2016 have remained steady compared to the same period in recent years.

The data in the charts represents the period January through June 2016; data from previous years represents January through July. The difference in reporting periods results from changes in the communication routine between the Observer and CHPD following personnel changes in the police department earlier this year. The discrepancy will be fixed by the time year-end data is published.

The information is compiled by the CHPD according to federal standards defined by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting system, and is also published on the Cleveland Heights city website.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 12:13 PM, 09.30.2016

Noble Neighbors to host Oct. 11 school levy community forum

The potential closing of Noble Elementary School will be a topic at the forum. Photo courtesy CH-UH City School District.

Noble Neighbors invites the Heights community to learn more about the proposed school levy on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m , at Noble Road Presbyterian Church, 2780 Noble Road.

Voters will vote "yes" or "no" on a 5.5 mill CH-UH City School District operating levy on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The Oct. 11 meeting will be an informational event at which Talisa Dixon, superintendent of schools, and other members of the district are invited to present their pro-levy position.

Also invited to speak are representatives of those who oppose the school levy.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 12:11 PM, 09.30.2016

Friends of Heights Libraries plans annual meeting and fall sale

Thousands of books, CDs and DVDs will be offered at the next Friends of the Heights Libraries' Mega Sale, Nov. 10–13. The group will hold its annual meeting on Oct. 16.

For 54 years, Friends of the Heights Libraries has provided funding and countless volunteer hours to support the nationally recognized Heights Libraries system.

Friends invites community members to its annual meeting on Sunday, Oct. 16, 1:30 p.m., at the Lee Road Library. It will celebrate the Heights Libraries’ centennial with a presentation by Amia Wheatley, local history librarian, on the history of the Heights Libraries.

The organization’s semiannual Mega Sale of thousands of books, CDs and DVDs will kick off on Thursday, Nov. 10, 5–8:45 p.m., with a preview night for members (memberships will be sold at the door for $10), and will continue through Sunday, Nov. 13.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 12:09 PM, 09.30.2016

Advocate, alum and mom is 'All In' for Heights schools

Lisa and Al Hunt pictured with eldest son Brycen and community school supporters. 

As a graduate of Heights High and mother to one current and one former student, I am a firm believer in our community’s public schools. My belief, however, is not blind; it is based on what I have seen and experienced as a parent and advocate over the past 13 years.

My older son graduated from Heights High last year and has just begun college, where he continues to build upon what Heights instilled in him: the confidence to pursue his passions. Each year when football season ended, he would jump headlong into school and theater. Between the Heights drama department, clubs, sports, and community theaters, he had a wealth of opportunities to grow as an athlete and a performer, and he took advantage of all of it.

My younger son has had a dramatically different experience. He was diagnosed with a brain abnormality known as Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (ACC) when he was 7 months old. He faces numerous challenges, including difficulties with learning, language, motor coordination and understanding social cues.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 12:08 PM, 09.30.2016

Library series gets community 'On the Same Page'

This fall, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System is hosting the second installment of On the Same Page, its communitywide reading and program series. This year’s series features Jacqueline Woodson’s autobiography of poems, Brown Girl Dreaming. The series, which started in September and runs through November, includes book discussions, arts and crafts programs, and movie nights.

The library first started On the Same Page programming in 2014, centered on the book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.

"We chose a book that would be meaningful to people in our particular community,” said Sam Lapides, who led the charge in 2014, and helped choose Alexie’s book.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 12:05 PM, 09.30.2016

Real facts about school funding

There is a false belief being perpetrated about tax levies for the CH-UH school district.

To begin with, in over 90 percent of the districts in Ohio, operating tax levies expire after 3–5 years. Those districts have to go back to voters to request the same millage level (such as a "replacement" levy), or to increase the millage to cover unexpected, often short-term, expenses (typically called "addition" levies), every 3–5 years. The reasoning is that the districts are supposed to have demonstrated good stewardship of the money they are given to educate children in order to keep getting that much money or more "additional" money.

Once a levy is passed, the dollar amount that millage provides [to] the district remains unchanged during the life of that levy—typically 3–5 years.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 12:04 PM, 09.30.2016

A teacher suggests ways to help your student

Many parents and guardians want to support their students in school, but may not always know what to do. School is not the same for students today; what students are responsible for has changed significantly over my career teaching in the CH-UH City School District.

Here are a few tips for parents and guardians to help the students in their care:

Organization: Students may require help staying organized. Sometimes they need help creating a system where they can find their work.

Help students by asking these questions: Do they know how to use a folder or notebook? Do they have a single place where completed assignments go? How do they remember what was assigned—are they using a planner or some other tracking tool?

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 12:03 PM, 09.30.2016

Why conservatives should vote for the Heights school levy

Why should political conservatives consider voting FOR the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school levy this November? Here are a few reasons why doing so is consistent with conservative principles and why I, a lifelong Republican, am voting FOR the levy.

Conservatives care about fiscal responsibility—and this school board is committed to fiscal responsibility. The district has negotiated hard with local teacher and governmental employee unions and limited their raises in recent years. The district has closed schools in the past decade to eliminate overhead. The district took the unpopular step of laying off teachers and eliminating teaching positions this spring to right-size staffing. It is clear that the district is committed to spending taxpayer resources wisely.

Conservatives prefer local control over governmental [entities]. In public education, Washington and Columbus do not dictate to our community—we get to decide right here what kind of schools we have.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:58 AM, 09.30.2016

School district has a spending--not funding--problem

The CH-UH school board fails to provide a fair communitywide explanation for a tax increase and needs to show more concern for the broader interests and health of the 60,000-person community beyond the roughly 5,400 student families, and including the children who are not attending district-run schools. Data [from] the CH-UH district’s financial report or the Ohio Department of Education Department (ODE) provides a fuller picture.

In 2015, the unemployment rate in the district was 6.7 percent, which is higher than national and state levels. In Cleveland Heights, the median family income has dropped to $49,056, far less than half the compensation of the average school administrator. The figure was $58,028 in 2006. The district is getting poorer, and smaller. Population in Cleveland Heights has decreased, from 50,769 in 2006 to 46,121 in 2015. For a home valued at $100,000, the 2015 property taxes were $3,920, compared to $3,203 for Lakewood, [another] inner-ring suburb. There is no doubt that high taxes are a deterrent to families seeking homes in the district, which puts an even greater burden on the remaining residents.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:57 AM, 09.30.2016

Whatís going on at your library?

Coventry Village Library

1925 Coventry Road, 216-321-3400

Tuesday, Oct. 25, 4 p.m.

A Celebration of Dreams. Celebrate the moving memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson. Bring the whole family for conversation, creative writing, crafts and other activities. (Reading part or all of the book before a program is suggested.) Registration is open.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:55 AM, 09.30.2016

Please vote against the school levy, excess and opaqueness

To the Editor,

Cleveland Heights, University Heights and South Euclid voters should vote against the school levy that will be on the ballot on Nov. 8, 2016.

I support this statement with the following data from the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District Comprehensive Annual Financial Report For The Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2015.

The district and the levy campaign will fail to mention these, as they are, as always, putting all responsibility for another tax increase on HB 920:

  • Between 2006 and 2015
    • General Fund Expenditures increased by 32.3 percent.
    • Student Enrollment decreased 13.5 percent.
    • The Cost per Student per Year increased 53 percent, to $20,534.
  • Between 2006 and 2013, the Graduation Rate decreased by 17 percent.
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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:53 AM, 09.30.2016

Quality education requires making teaching an attractive job

Jeff Chapman was my daughter’s fifth-grade teacher at Boulevard Elementary School in 1992. He co-taught with his wife, Laurie Chapman, who was my son’s teacher a few years later. Parents and students couldn’t wait for fifth grade. They knew it would be exceptional!

In that era, before testing ran schools, these teachers inspired students and trusted parents. They were wonderful partners and they were school leaders, innovators, and people who researched their fields. They experimented and were willing to take risks and bend rules to break down barriers to equal results with rambunctious pre-teens. Much of my respect for teachers comes from knowing them.

Because teachers are such important participants in the development of our children, it is easy to forget that for them it is also a job. Jeff Chapman is the person who awakened me to the reality that teaching my children was his employment. He chose teaching as a way to contribute to the lives of children and as the way to support his own family.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:50 AM, 09.30.2016

Heights High musicians are swingin' in the 'Swing State'

Swing State members (from left) Andy Bell, Nicholas Edwards, Ian Nocente, Jeremy Kauffman and William van den Bogert.

For six Heights High jazz musicians, swing is the thing. A year ago they formed Swing State, a jazz combo, through the school’s small-group ensemble program. Within a few months, they were playing gigs at local establishments.

They continue to line up a few gigs, and they practice twice a week—once as an in-school session with Tim McDonald, jazz combo coach, and once at a member’s house.

Brett Baker, instrumental music director, is very proud of the students’ dedication to music. “The ensemble program encourages students to form these small groups,” he said. “And the guys in Swing State have taken the work to a very high level.”

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:48 AM, 09.30.2016

'We the Corporations' or 'We the People?'

On Sept. 14, State Representatives Kent Smith (District 8) and Nickie Antonio (District 13) announced their primary co-sponsorship in the Ohio House of Representatives of a resolution calling on “legislators at the state and federal level and other communities and jurisdictions to support an amendment to the United States Constitution that would abolish corporate personhood and the doctrine of money as speech.”

Also present at the Sept. 14 press announcement, held in South Euclid, were 30 Move to Amend supporters, and State Senator Michael Skindell (District 23) who introduced an identical resolution, SR 187, in the Ohio Senate in 2015. State Rep. Janine Boyd (District 9), who represents Cleveland Heights, University Heights and Shaker Heights, is one of 11 co-sponsors of the House resolution, which has not yet been assigned a number. The text of SR 187 is here:

Why this resolution, and why now?

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:48 AM, 09.30.2016

Edgerton block party steps up its game

Kids at the block party have fun with face paints.

Block parties have long been a way for neighbors to connect with one another over food and conversation—and what kid doesn’t love a chance to play or ride a bike in the street without getting yelled at? In late August, Edgerton Road neighbors between Washington Boulevard and Silsby Road in University Heights convened a block party and, in doing so, took this traditional form of community engagement to a new level, drawing adults, kids and guests from not only that stretch of Edgerton, but also from surrounding blocks.

“We’ve always had an inclusive approach,” said Jackie Gould, the driving force behind the Edgerton block party since it became a regular event in the early 2000s. “If one of the residents on Edgerton wanted to invite someone from one of the nearby streets, they were welcome to do so.” Traditional methods of promoting the event included flyers left in mailboxes and word-of-mouth.  

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:43 AM, 09.30.2016

CH residents open homes to visiting artists

Cleveland Heights considers itself a home to the arts, and, when many out-of-town musicians and other artists are in the Cleveland area, they stay at the homes of Cleveland Heights residents.

“Cleveland Heights bills itself as ‘home for the arts’ because of the many arts organizations in our community,” said Mary Dunbar, Cleveland Heights council member. “But the city is also home to a great many artists, including visiting artists. Heights hospitality to musicians in town for a short term for performances is an essential contribution to some of our most innovative, regionally and even globally celebrated musical-arts organizations.”

Apollo’s Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, plays concerts all around Northeast Ohio. Only about half of its musicians live in the Cleveland area, and, according to Allison Richards, the organization’s artistic operations manager, there are about 25 households, most of them in Cleveland Heights, where the musicians stay when they are playing with the orchestra.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:38 AM, 09.30.2016

Annual book arts festival has roots in the Heights

Octavofest: Celebrating the Book and Paper Arts is in its eighth year of organizing and promoting book-related events throughout Greater Cleveland during the month of October. (Referencing the page size produced by folding a sheet of paper three times to produce eight leaves, the octavo is still a common size for printed books.)

Octavofest events range from lectures, workshops and public demonstrations to exhibitions and tours of rare book collections. Heights Libraries always sponsors several programs, and this year is no exception.

On Oct. 3, explore the world “on one sheet of paper” at a cartography presentation at the Lee Road Library. On Oct. 13, at the Noble Neighborhood Library, adults can construct bird houses made entirely of discarded books. On Oct. 24, the Lee Road Library will host a Readers’ Theatre with Dobama Theatre that celebrates book history from ancient Alexandria to the present day. See the Heights Libraries ( or Octavofest ( websites for details on these and other Octavofest events.


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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:37 AM, 09.30.2016

Oct. 27 talk will cover new recycling guidelines

The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District rolled out new recycling guidelines for county residents earlier this year. The district’s goal was to reduce confusion about what could and could not be recycled by creating a consistent countywide message about how to recycle properly.

Diane Bickett, executive director of the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, will speak at the Lee Road Library on Oct. 27, at 6:30 p.m., and provide information on how Heights residents can become better recyclers.

Residents are throwing a lot of things in their recycle bins that should not be there—food, clothes, toys, engine blocks, garden hoses—even bowling balls. This causes problems, because sorting out these contaminants comes at a high cost.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:32 AM, 09.30.2016

Heights High announces AP scholars

Class of 2017 and 2018 AP scholars: (back row, from left) Daniel Fields, William Van Den Bogert, Jeremy Kauffman, Benjamin Schuster; (fourth row) Cody Radivoyevitch, David Fleischer, Andrew Bell, James Smith; (third row) Charles Adams, Paris Colbert, Andrew Kilbride, Akash Bartlett; (second row) Soli Collins, Melanie Graham, Calie Swaim-Fox, Anya Chew; (front row) Cecilia Payne, Isabela Jaffrey, Gilda Weinstock, Faith Morris. (Not pictured: Linnea Covault, Laural Matia, Tladi Motsamai and Nina Yao.)

In spring 2016, Heights High juniors and seniors took the end of course exams for Advanced Placement (AP) courses. On Sept. 14, the CH-UH City School District, which offers 19 AP courses, announced that 53 students were recognized for their exceptional achievement on the AP exams:

National AP Scholar - Class of 2016: 
Regina Bellian.

AP Scholar with Honor - Class of 2017: 
Andrew Bell, 
Anya Chew, 
David Fleischer,
 Jeremy Kauffman,
 Faith Morris,
 Tladi Motsamai,
 Nina Yao; Class of 2016: 
Anna Crowley, Kirkland Pearce.

AP Scholar with Distinction - Class of 2017: 
Charles Adams,
 Akash Bartlett,
 William Van Den Bogert,
 Benjamin Schuster,
 Cody Radivoyevitch, Callie Swaim Fox; Class of 2016: 
Andrew Schellenberg,
 Emma Schubert, 
Allegra Steiger,
 Linden Wike, Graham Ball,
 Regina Bellian,
 Michael Beyersdorfer, Taylor Jones, Aviva Klein,
 Isabel Mcgaugh, Grace Peppler,
 Michelle Posch.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:26 AM, 09.30.2016

SHN suggests sustainable tips for October

The Sustainable Heights Network (SHN) offers monthly tips to help reduce your bills and environmental impact while making your life more comfortable. For more information, visit

Energy Savings: Autumn is a great time to weatherize your home. Why not begin by asking a professional to evaluate your home-energy use? The SHN steering committee recently interviewed Empower G&E and was impressed. Empower offers homeowners free one-hour inspections, focused on insulation, air leaks, lighting and thermostats. In addition, Empower will introduce homeowners to a team of vetted, local contractors, and inspectors to verify that the job is properly completed. Empower can also help arrange financing so that the loan payment each month is nearly equivalent to what the homeowner will save each month. Contact Empower at 937-830-3189 or visit

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:20 AM, 09.30.2016

Gesu School moves full STREAM ahead

Gesu students engaged in the new STREAM program. 

Photo courtesy of Marjorie Gessner.

Thanks to leadership donations totaling more than $1.1 million, generously given by John and Mary Jane Breen; Kathleen Breen; Robert and Heidi Heltzel; Gerald and Helen McDonough; June McGinty, of the McGinty Family Foundation; and the Conway Family Foundation, Gesu Catholic School is introducing an innovative program, called Gesu STREAM, into its curriculum.  

"The goal of Gesu STREAM is to prepare students for a 21st-century world with a focus on science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and math," said Lucy Iemmolo, principal of Gesu Catholic School.

Gesu joins a handful of area Catholic elementary schools that are implementing STREAM, a relatively new concept supported by the National Catholic Educational Association. Because of this program, students at the school are engaged at an earlier age in areas such as robotics, architecture, space exploration and technical design.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:11 AM, 09.30.2016

Forest Hill Historic District

Abeyton Realty office, 2015. [courtesy of Margaret Lann]

The Forest Hill Historic District spans the cities of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland and comprises the Rockefeller homes, the Forest Hill Homeowner Association cottage, the Heights Rockefeller Building and Forest Hill Park.

In 1923, John D. Rockefeller Jr. purchased the estate of his famous father, John D. Rockefeller Sr., and began working with New York architect Andrew J. Thomas to develop a unique residential community featuring nine styles of French Norman homes constructed of the finest materials. At that time, Rockefeller Jr. also donated the land for Forest Hill Park to the cities of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland and sold other Rockefeller land to the Deming brothers, residential developers in Cleveland Heights.

To market the homes and facilitate sales, Rockefeller established the Abeyton Realty Corporation, named after his wife, Abby.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:10 AM, 09.30.2016

Neighbors gather to dedicate Spirit Corner

Coventry Village neighbors gathered to celebrate Spirit Corner.

On Sept. 10, 30 local residents gathered at the corner of Hampshire and Cadwell roads in the Coventry Village neighborhood to dedicate the community green space known as Spirit Corner.

A house built on this corner in 1898 had sat vacant for more than 50 years before it was demolished in 2012. Neighborhod residents, led by Laura Marks, asked city officials to allow them to adopt the site and make it a green space and gathering space.

Neighbors named the site "Spirit Corner" in memory of the spirits that, purportedly, had inhabited the otherwise long-vacant house, known to neighborhood children as the "haunted house."

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:03 AM, 09.30.2016

4th Annual Heights Music Hop draws record crowds

Headlining band Honeybucket performed at the Motorcars Stage in the Cedar Lee parking garage. Photo credit: Gabe Schaffer.

Cleveland Heights was brimming with record crowds in its Cedar Fairmount and Cedar Lee business districts on Sept. 23 and 24, respectively, at the 4th Annual Heights Music Hop, presented by FutureHeights. Event organizers estimate that more than 5,000 people attended the popular live-music festival, which featured 77 acts in 28 venues.

The districts’ businesses, restaurants and bars—many of which served as venues for the music performances—filled to capacity with event attendees.

"We were thrilled that so many people came out to enjoy both nights of the festival. It was a huge success," said Daniel Budin, FutureHeights board member and Music Hop chair. "Cleveland Heights was in the spotlight as we provided two nights of fun for thousands, and combined top regional acts with homegrown talent in our unique and exciting business districts. I'm especially grateful to the city and the police department for their cooperation and support."

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 12:01 PM, 09.27.2016

Anything Goes in Heights High production

Leading cast members in Heights High's production of Anything Goes: (back row, from left) Grant Heineman, Gerald Shazor, Cecilia Payne, Callie Swaim-Fox, Lily Kerr-Jung; (middle row) Ivan Sexton, Carlilse Hall, Alexis Thompson, Kasia Bufford, Tulsni Black; (in front) Tedd Byers.

Heights High students will perform the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes on Nov. 3, 4 and 5, at 7 p.m., and Nov. 6, at 4 p.m. “This is an amazing score,” said Jesse Lange, vocal music director. “It is a showcase for the jazz standards that are a true American artform.”

Two casts will perform this comedy love story that is set on an ocean liner in the 1930s. “This show has everything,” continued Lange. “Love, sailors, gangsters, show girls and, best of all, tap dancing!”

Choreographer Katie Zarecki is the tap dance coach. “We love the tapping, but we have discovered that it is harder than it looks,” said Carlisle Hall, who plays Hope Harcourt.

The lead actors agree on two things: They love learning to tap dance, and the fellowship and camaraderie among the cast makes the experience “really fun.”

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:14 AM, 09.27.2016

Walk or Bike to School Day is Oct. 5

Full bicycle racks during the school day at Roxboro are a sign of progress. [courtesy Mary Dunbar]

Have you noticed more kids bicycling to school this year, and more parents or siblings walking to school with younger children?

We have!

Since fall 2010, Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC) has been working with schools to promote Walk or Bike to School Day twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring. This year’s fall event will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

For several years, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District has listed the two Walk or Bike to School Days on its calendar. Initially, HBC produced flyers for elementary and middle schools to distribute to families. For the past couple of years, the City of Cleveland Heights has produced the flyers for the schools, thanks to a grant from the Safe Routes to School program.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 9:35 AM, 09.27.2016

Cleveland Heights trials new parking app

Those parking in three Cleveland Heights parking garages—in Cedar Fairmount, Cedar Lee and Coventry Village—can now use a mobile Passport Parking app that they can download to iPhone and Android smart phones.

The City of Cleveland Heights made the announcement on Sept. 23 and has posted information about how to download and use the app at The information is also accessible via a Passport Parking icon on the website’s home page.

The parking rate for those using the app is the same 50 cents per hour as for those using quarters, which meters will continue to accept. Parking app users are charged a 35-cent convenience fee per transaction.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 3:05 PM, 09.23.2016

Trump visits Cleveland Heights; Heights residents speak up

CH Mayor Cheryl Stephens (center) addresses the crowd. State Rep. Janine Boyd is at right. [photos by Deanna Bremer Fisher]

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump held a “town hall meeting to discuss issues confronting urban America” at New Spirit Revival Center, 3130 Mayfield Road, in Cleveland Heights on Sept. 21.

Fox News Channel convened the meeting, which was taped live beginning at 9:30 a.m. for broadcast that evening. Republican Nominee Donald Trump was the special guest of Pastor Darrell Scott, who has received national attention for his support of Trump.

While Trump spoke inside the church, a counter-event was held across the street in front of the Heights Rockefeller Building. Protesters began lining Mayfield Road when the event began. Immediately after, several elected officials held a press conference at which Cuyahoga County Councilmember Anthony Hairston, Cleveland Heights Mayor Cheryl Stephens, State Senator Sandra Williams and State Representative Janine Boyd spoke.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 9:30 AM, 09.23.2016

Trump statue to benefit public art in the Heights

The group who arranged for the Trump statue to be auctioned off to benefit public art in the Heights: Steve Presser of Big Fun; artist Ginger; Ginger's lawyer Daniel Margolis; Angela Hetrick of Coventry Village Special Improvement District; and Rachel Bernstein of Heights Arts. Photos by Deanna Bremer Fisher.

Regardless of your politics or your thoughts on the “Naked Trump” statue that briefly appeared in the Coventry Village Business District in Cleveland Heights on Aug. 18, you may appreciate that some good will come of it. On Sept. 16, artist Joshua Monroe, who goes by the name of Ginger, flew into Cleveland to pay an impound fee of $110 and retrieve his property from the Cleveland Heights Police Department. Representatives of Heights Arts and Coventry Village Special Improvement District (SID) were on hand to help with the transaction as Ginger had agreed to offer the statue for auction to benefit the funding of public art in Coventry Village and throughout Cleveland Heights.

Ginger had created five life-size foam statues of U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, pro-bono, for an anonymous artists collective called Indecline. The group placed them in prominent public spaces in four major U.S. cities on Aug. 18—New York, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles—and in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:22 AM, 09.20.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights [online 9-6-2016]


  • Public comments
  • Liquor application
  • Stormwater management
  • Traffic signal project
  • Coventry Road paving
  • Zoning appeals
  • Top of the Hill
  • Dept. of Homeland Security SAFER grant
  • Overnight parking permits
  • Assessment board reports
  • Assessment rates
  • Tax collection
  • Mayor’s report

Council Member Melissa Yasinow was absent.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 1:19 PM, 09.23.2016

Nighttown hosts presidential debate party on Sept. 26

As the 2016 U.S. presidential candidates prepare to debate each other for the first time on national television, popular music venue Nighttown, located at 12387 Cedar Road in Cleveland Heights, will host a 2016 Presidential Debate Party on Monday, Sept. 26. The event begins with pre-debate entertainment at 7 p.m. prior to the much anticipated bout between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The debate runs from 9–10:30 p.m. via large screen TV's on Nighttown's stage, and airs live from Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.

The pre-debate show begins with a trivia contest, followed by the singing political satirists, The Debatables—A Non-Partisan Trio, presented by The Cleveland Cabaret Project. Fresh off their recent Nighttown success with 2016: A Political Race ODDyssey, The Debatables perform politically-incorrect musical satire. The trio consists of Rob Gibb, Tina D. Stump and Lora Workman.

Following that, students from the Baldwin Wallace University Musical Theatre Program, considered one of the finest in the country, will entertain with a program of political showtunes.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 11:44 AM, 09.20.2016