On Aug. 18, a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks chanted, prayed, and consecrated the land as part of a blessing ceremony at Spirit Corner in Cleveland Heights. Lobsang Yeshey, spokesperson for the monks, said the prayers were dedicated to all of the residents of the city, “That they may have immeasurable happiness and be free of suffering, attachment and hatred.” The monks visited as part of a two-year tour of the United States. Religious refugees from Tibet, they are raising funds to support more than 1,500 monks who live in the Gaden Shartse monastery in southern India. For more information visit www.sacredartsoftibettour.org. For information about another group of monks who will be visiting in October, contact Judith Eugene at email@example.com or 216-408-5578.
Peace Lutheran Church, carrying on the tradition of Hope Lutheran, one of its predecessor congregations, will offer its 18th annual Christian Day Camp June 18–22. The camp is free of charge and runs daily, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the church, 3740 Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights.
As part of Lutheran Outdoor Ministries of Ohio, three professionally trained counselors will serve as the main staff, organized under the guidelines of the American Camping Association.
Activities include daily Bible study discussions around this year's theme, Jesus Makes All the Difference. Children will participate in sports and games, arts and crafts, singing, storytelling, and nature education. They can also expect visits from the Cleveland Heights Police and Fire departments.
Michael Dylan Brennan defeated incumbent Susan Infeld in a closely contested race to become mayor of University Heights on Nov. 7. In unofficial election results posted on the Cuyahoga County Board of Election website, Brennan received 1,546 votes, 50.9 percent of the total, giving him a narrow win over Infeld, who received 1,492 votes.
In addition, Cleveland Heights and University Heights voters elected three new members to the CH-UH Board of Education: Dan Heintz, Jodi L. Sourini and Malia Lewis.
In other area contests, James Costello secured a six-year term as Cleveland Heights Municipal Judge with 5,075 votes, representing 49.1 percent of the total. Incumbents in both the Cleveland Heights and University Heights city council races retained their seats.
See local election results here.
On Nov. 7, Michael Dylan Brennan defeated incumbent Susan Infeld in a closely contested race to become mayor of University Heights. In unofficial election results posted on the Cuyahoga County Board of Election website, Brennan received 1,546 votes, 50.9 percent of the total, giving him a narrow win over Infeld, who received 1,492 votes.
In addition, Cleveland Heights and University Heights voters elected three new members to the CH-UH Board of Education: Dan Heintz, Jodi L. Sourini and Malia Lewis. Cleveland Heights voters elected James Costello to be its next municipal judge with 5,075 votes, representing 49.1 percent of the total. Voters in both cities retained incumbents in their city council races. Cleveland Heights reelected Cheryl Stephens, Jason Stein, Mike Ungar and Melissa Yasinow for its city council, while University Heights voted to retain Phillip Ertel, Susan D. Pardee, John Rack and Mark Wiseman.
Heights Music Hop, a free festival of live music, will take place in three Cleveland Heights business districts. Performances are staggered and feature a wide variety of musical genres. Visitors are encouraged to “hop” around to various locations to sample performances, and enjoy food, drinks and special offers from local merchants. The Hop begins on Thursday, Sept. 7, in Coventry Village, continues Friday, Sept. 8, in Cedar Fairmount, and culminates Saturday, Sept. 9, in Cedar Lee.
In addition to the many venues already announced, festival organizers have added an additional location in each business district: Vintage Apparel: Made in America, the pop-up shop located in the former American Apparel store in Coventry Village, 1782 Coventry Road; Nighttown in Cedar Fairmount, 12383 Cedar Road; and Parnell’s Pub in Cedar Lee, 2167 Lee Road.
Brady Dindia captured a series of images of the eclipse in her University Heights back yard. The first image in the series is unfiltered; Dindia took the other nine by placing the lens of her eclipse glasses over the lens of her Fuji Finepix HS20 camera.
The eclipse attracted a number of people to the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. park for a clear view.
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.
The second Catch Meaning Music Fest will be held on Sunday, May 28, at the House of Blues in Cleveland. The concert is a benefit to honor Josh Weil and Alex Doody, the two Hawken School seniors who were killed in a car accident on May 14, 2015. Weil lived in Cleveland Heights.
The concert will raise money for the Catch Meaning Fund at the Cleveland Foundation, which was established by the Weil and Doody families.
According to Michael Weil, Josh's father and a lifelong Cleveland Heights resident, the purpose of the fund is "to identify organizations that would be of interest to young adults or that would have been of interest to Josh and Alex. We can then make donations to those organizations."
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights has undertaken a program designed to help support and further the work being done by Edwins Leadership & Restaurant Institute on Shaker Square.
Brandon Chrostowski is the CEO of both Edwins (“education wins”) restaurant and its associated institute; he opened both on Nov. 1, 2013. Prior to that, Chrostowski had worked at L’Albatros in University Circle.
Chrostowski had wanted to [run] a restaurant since he was a teenager. What sets Edwins apart from other traditional restaurants is that it is a nonprofit—one that supports people who have recently been released from prison, teaching them how to work in a restaurant and helping them get jobs.
Forest Hill Church is co-sponsoring a presentation by Amos N. Guiora on “Complicity: The Role of the Bystander in the Holocaust” in the auditorium of B'nai Jeshurun Congregation, on Thursday, April 27 at 7 p.m.
A professor of law and a child of the Holocaust, whose parents are concentration camp survivors, Guiora will address the bystander-victim relationship from both a personal and legal perspective. He examines not only the Holocaust but also campus sexual assault cases and other crimes where witnesses failed to come to the victims’ aid.
Complicity: The Role of the Bystander in the Holocaust, is also the title of Guiora’s new book, which considers whether society should impose a legal duty to act on bystanders who witness a crime, or simply rely on the bystander’s sense of moral responsibility.
Cleveland Heights resident Ronald Triolo has spent much of his life trying to help people regain their ability to move around and walk. Triolo, 58, is executive director of the Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He is also a professor of orthopaedics and biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU).
The APT Center is a national center for the development of all kinds of devices, primarily for disabled military veterans. Its employees focus onprosthetics and orthotics, neural interfacing (which involves technology for recording from the brain or nerves and injecting into the nervous system), wireless health monitoring and maintenance, and emerging enabling technologies.
In The South Overlook Gang, Rick Karges, who grew up in Cleveland Heights, tells the story of his childhood here, in the 1950s and ‘60s.
The South Overlook Gang is Karges’ first book. He decided to write it after thinking about how wonderful that era was, and how different it is from today’s world. The book’s title comes from the name of a group of kids that Karges hung out with until he went to college.
He’ll be signing copies of his book at Nighttown on Sunday, March 12, 2–4 p.m., in an event presented by Appletree Books.
In January, Cleveland Heights resident Danny R. Williams became the new president and CEO of Eliza Bryant Village, the oldest African-American long-term care center in the United States. Located at East 72nd Street and Wade Park Avenue in Cleveland, Eliza Bryant Village is a nursing home, adult-daycare and independent-living center.
In taking the new position, Williams stepped down as executive director of the Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland (now called Circle Health Services).
“I’ve been at the Free Clinic for 10 years now, and it has gone through a significant transformation,” Williams said. “I did a number of major things at the clinic, and I think the clinic is now at a stage where my departure would not be a challenge.
“I’ve been blessed to spend the bulk of my professional career working for organizations that promote health and inclusion and justice for vulnerable communities.
Some people spend their summer vacation poolside, at theme parks, or on the beach.
Not Cathan Bricker. She spent hers helping to fulfill the medical, dental, and eye-care needs of more than 4,000 residents of western Kentucky.
Bricker is a confidential administrative assistant of communications for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District. In 2010 she enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve and, since completing boot camp in 2011, she has spent one weekend a month and two weeks a year with her Akron-based detachment.
In summer 2015, Bricker took part in a war-games training, where people pretended to have injuries related to battle.
This summer, Bricker worked to create medical-care sites at three high schools in western Kentucky, providing free-of-charge health care for citizens in three counties.
The program was a partnership between the U.S. Department of Defense and the Delta Regional Authority, with care provided by members of the U.S. Navy Reserve and the Air National Guard.
Lou Radivoyevitch was born and raised in Cleveland Heights. He returned to his hometown in 2000 and has lived here ever since. Even so, he felt that there was a lot more he needed to learn about the city. So, last year, after becoming a member of the Cleveland Heights Master Plan Steering Committee, he decided that he would walk down every street in the city, to gain more knowledge about Cleveland Heights and its needs.
“At the first meeting of our master plan committee, the city gave out big maps to everyone that was there,” he said, “and I realized that what I knew about Cleveland Heights was limited to the areas where I had lived. There were a lot of areas in Cleveland Heights that I had no idea about.”
Radivoyevitch began his walking program on Labor Day of last year, and he finished it this past July 24. “I did a good 50-plus miles in July,” he said.
Coventry Village’s Café Bon Appetit has added a new whiskey bar and a performance space for musician. The new bar and music space are located in the basement of the restaurant, at 2767 Euclid Heights Boulevard, and officially opened on Aug. 20.
The bar space can accommodate about 30 people, though it seats just 16. Jay Novak, who owns Bon Appetit with his wife, Jade, said he wanted a bar that was “cozy and quiet, with acoustic music, and a little bit of a dress code.”
Novak recently turned 40, and said he was looking for a small, intimate bar where he could find a variety of whiskeys and hear some music. “I couldn’t find anything,” he said. “And we had available space, so why not open one here?” Novak said that he designed the bar for people about 30 years old and older.
Four years after it opened, BottleHouse Brewery is expanding its food menu, which formerly comprised mainly sandwiches and charcuterie boards.
The brewery, located at 2050 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, is also instituting a new program to benefit nonprofit organizations.
“Cleveland Heights has given so much to us,” said owner Brian Benchek. “We wanted to give back to the community.”
Starting in July, for every pint of Community Pilsner it sells, BottleHouse will donate 50 cents to a nonprofit organization. The first donation recipient is Dobama Theatre, which will benefit from every pint sold from July through October. Every four months a new nonprofit organization will be selected to receive the money.
The Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District (CFSID) has announced special programs planned for this summer. They include two free concerts, and the annual Summer Festival.
Both concerts will be held on the green west of Nighttown, 7–9 p.m., with the first planned for Thursday, June 16, and the second set for Thursday, July 21.
Cedar Fairmount restaurants will offer takeout food that attendees can eat on the green while watching the show. In case of inclement weather, the concerts will move inside to Nighttown.
On June 16, Moises Borges and Kenny Davis will perform. A native of Brazil, singer and guitarist Borges performs in the bossa nova tradition, interpreting classics by Jobin, Gilberto and others.
This October, for the second consecutive year, Cleveland Heights will host the Happy 5K and one-mile Fun Run, as well as a one-mile family walk—new this year. The races will take place on Sunday, Oct. 2.
Last year, the event attracted 514 people, with about two-thirds of the participants coming from outside of the Heights. This year, the organizers—the City of Cleveland Heights, the Cedar Lee Special Improvement District and Western Reserve Racing—hope to draw 1,000 participants.
This year’s route will be the same as last year’s, passing through Cedar Lee, Coventry Village and several other Cleveland Heights districts.
A new art gallery—Foothill Galleries of the Photo Succession—will be opening this month in Cleveland Heights’s Cedar Fairmount Business District. Michael Weil is owner of the new photography gallery, located at 2450 Fairmount Blvd.
A lifelong Cleveland Heights resident, Weil, 49, has been interested in photography since he was a child. He taught art history and photography as an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University, and is currently an adjunct professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art. “Over the last decade, I began focusing more and more on my own photography,” he said. “I became more serious about wanting to exhibit my own work, but there were no galleries in this area committed to photography.”
As Cleveland Heights City Council Member Melissa Yasinow drove to work on the morning of Friday, Nov. 6, her mind was on her grandfather. Stuck in a hospital, hooked to machines, what would cheer him up? Blind for several years, he couldn't watch a Cavs game or enjoy a new book. What would bring some joy to this beloved old man’s day?
Meanwhile, across town, Cleveland Heights High School musicians were sitting in class, exhausted from weeks of intense rehearsals for the musical "Grease" and gearing up for a weekend with four full-length performances. If anyone had asked them to find an extra couple of hours in their day, the students would have thought they were crazy.
But then Yasinow was struck with an idea: Her Papa may not be able to see, but he could definitely hear. After a few quick phone calls, and the willing approval of school administrators, four members of the nationally recognized Heights Barbershoppers were pulled from their classes to rehearse for another type of show altogether.
The Loving Hands Group, a life-enrichment business based in Cleveland Heights, and Anytime Fitness, a University Heights fitness club, have teamed up to offer yoga classes for disabled adults. The yoga classes, which are free, began in August, and are held every Friday, from noon to 1 p.m.
“I call this ‘gentle yoga,’ ” said Judith Eugene, who runs both the Loving Hands Group and Loving Hands Yoga and Reiki, based at her house on Hampshire Road in Cleveland Heights. “We usually have about 10 people attend these classes, and members of Anytime Fitness can also attend.”
FutureHeights and the CH-UH Chapter of the Greater Cleveland League of Women Voters (LWV) will host two forums to introduce candidates for local elections to Heights residents.
A forum on Sept. 29 will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at John Carroll University’s Dolan Hall, and will feature candidates for University Heights City Council and the CH-UH Board of Education (BOE). An Oct. 14 forum will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, and will feature candidates for BOE and Cleveland Heights City Council.
More than 100 people attended the dedication of Pekar Park on Saturday, July 25. The newly named park—previously the Coventry Outdoor Courtyard—is at the intersection of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard, near the Grog Shop and the Inn on Coventry.
Harvey Pekar, well-known author, music critic and media personality, lived in Cleveland Heights for many years, until his death in 2010. He frequently hung out on Coventry, and loved the neighborhood.
Pekar is probably best known for his graphic novels, including the autobiographical American Splendor, which was released as a film in 2003; it starred Paul Giamatti as Pekar and Hope Davis as his wife, Joyce Brabner.
The SGI-USA Buddhist Center is set to open at 2255 Lee Road on Aug. 9, in a portion of the space previously occupied by Petland, which vacated the space about six years ago.
SGI-USA is part of a worldwide Buddhist organization called Soka-Gakkai International, which has more than 500 chapters and 100 centers throughout the United States, and more than 12 million members in 192 countries and territories around the world. SGI has about 650 members in northern Ohio, from Toledo to western Pennsylvania. Based on core Buddhist principles, such as respecting the dignity of human life and the interconnectedness of self and the environment, SGI focuses on various peace activities, including human-rights education, abolishing nuclear weapons and efforts to promote sustainable development.
When Peggy Spaeth retired from Heights Arts two years ago, she thought she would spend her time gardening and walking her dog.
She had founded the lively arts hub on Lee Road and ran it successfully for 13 years.
But Spaeth is a woman of boundless creativity and resolve. Pretty quickly she turned her attention to developing something new: a program to help addicts in recovery. You might say, that’s a far cry from Heights Arts, but actually it’s pretty close to Spaeth.
“Addiction seems to touch every family. I know it has mine. Today my beautiful daughter has been clean and sober for five years. But there was a time when I feared I would lose her as so many others have...[lost their loved ones],” wrote Spaeth in the beginning of a fundraising letter.
Numerous free events will be taking place along Coventry Road this summer, including movie showings on Thursdays and Fridays, and live music on Saturdays. Other special events include Skateboarding Saturday, a pop-up pinball party and a sidewalk sale.
The second annual Coventry Village Bike Tune-up Day will take place on Saturday, May 30, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in the outdoor Coventry CourtYard, located on the northwest corner of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard.
Bicycle mechanics and trained volunteers will be on hand to provide free bicycle safety inspections and make minor repairs.
Cleveland Heights resident Jonathon Sawyer has won the 2015 James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Great Lakes Region (Ill., Ind., Mich. and Ohio). Sawyer won for his work at his restaurant The Greenhouse Tavern, on East Fourth Street in downtown Cleveland.
The James Beard Foundation awards are considered the Oscars of the food world. They comprise scores of categories—from food writing and broadcasting to awards for restaurant design and best chefs in 10 regions.
Sawyer said he was honored to win. “It was really nice to have your mentors and peers validate you and tell you that you are doing the right thing and headed down the right path,” Sawyer said.
The award ceremony took place on May 4 at the Civic Opera House in Chicago, and Sawyer attended with his wife, Amelia, and 10 members of the Greenhouse staff. All of the other finalists in the Best Chef Great Lakes category were from the Chicago area.
Cleveland Heights resident Brent Kirby has been playing music since he was three years old. Now 43, Kirby is a full-time musician. Over the years, he has played in several bands, including the Jack Fords, the New Soft Shoe, the Lost Fortunes, the Flashing 12’s and Hey Mavis. And he recently formed a new group called His Luck.
His father was a composer, and his family had a piano in their house. As a young child, Kirby played the piano and drums. By the time he was a teenager, he was a pretty accomplished pianist, and he began writing songs. His first song was about his grandfather, who had recently died. When he was 14 years old, he joined his first band and started playing in bars.
There are hats and then there are hats.
Hats make a statement, and the statement that milliner Cynthia Marek Lundeen’s hats made at a recent event at the David Simpson Hospice House was fabulous.
Lundeen not only gave a presentation on the romance and history of hats, she brought a collection of her elegant couture designs. Two of the hats, a pink and black, and a white and black feathered one, graced covers of special Kentucky Derby issues of the magazine I Am Today’s Woman. The slide presentation included an image of a creation that won first prize at the Kentucky Derby Hat Contest.
As she led staff, volunteers, patients and family members through a slide show of hats in history—including tidbits from the 1700s and 1800s—a parade of participants modeled her creations. Two lucky volunteers got to wear the hats featured on the magazine covers.
The idea for the presentation came about when hospice staff admired the hats decorating the room of one of Lundeen’s family members at hospice house, said volunteer service manager Lori Scotese. The David Simpson Hospice House, which is a facility of the Hospice of the Western Reserve, is located at E. 185th St.
Joe Hunter is one of Cleveland’s most highly regarded jazz pianists. A Cleveland Heights native, he began playing piano when he was eight years old, and now plays several shows every week around Northeast Ohio.
Hunter, who will be 55 this April, said there was always music around his house when he was growing up. “My parents were big music lovers,” he said. “They hired piano players when they had parties, and they had a wonderful record collection that included music by Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, the Weavers, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and many, many others.”
His mother, Sara Hunter, was a municipal judge in Cleveland Heights for 18 years, and was the first female judge in the city. She also played accordion. His father, also named Joe Hunter, was the regional director of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and he played washtub bass.
Despite wearing hearing aids, several congregants at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland labored to understand messages from the pulpit. Those hearing-impaired listeners can now experience new clarity due to the installation of an induction-hearing loop in the church sanctuary, said Rev. Joseph M. Cherry, minister at UUSC.
This past December, President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced that the United States and Cuba were beginning the process of normalizing relations between the two countries. The plan is to lift some of the travel restrictions, allow more U.S. companies to do business in Cuba and open a U.S. embassy in Cuba. The small group of Cuban immigrants in the Heights area is somewhat optimistic about the changes that may result from these negotiations.
Raudel Napoles, who lives on North Park Boulevard in Cleveland Heights, said, “I think it’s a step in the right direction to establish relations. Right now, you never see anything from the U.S. in Cuba.” Napoles, who’s 37 years old, left Cuba in 2004 and moved to Wyoming before coming to Cleveland in 2005. He’s a Pilates instructor at White Cloud Studios on Fairmount Boulevard.
Beaumont School will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for its building addition on Monday, Jan. 5 at 9:30 a.m. at the building’s entrance on North Park Boulevard in Cleveland Heights. The $9.5 million investment includes eight new STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) classroom labs and four lab prep rooms, which will propel Beaumont forward as a leading school in STEM curriculum.
Pacific East, the Japanese restaurant located at the north end of Coventry Road near Mayfield Road, has expanded. Last month, the restaurant took over the space previously occupied by Talmer Bank and Trust, which closed its Coventry branch last fall.
“We just didn’t have enough space,” said Freeman Ngo, who owns Pacific East with his wife, Susan. “There were always people waiting in line to get tables, and we couldn’t seat large groups.” With the new space, the restaurant can now seat about 100 people, while previously it could only seat about 70. This is the restaurant's second expansion; a couple of years ago, the owners took over the adjacent space on Coventry Road.
Ngo, who’s 45 years old, was born in Malaysia. He and his family moved to New York City about 29 years ago. Then, in 1999, he moved to Cleveland.
Longtime Cleveland Heights resident Anthony E. "Tony" Smith, known for his involvement in the Heights community and his ownership of Cleveland-area Popeye's franchises, died in his Cleveland Heights home on Nov. 29, at age 53.
Smith and his wife, Vanessa L. Whiting, opened their first restaurant in 1990, a Dock's Great Fish in Cleveland. Five years later, they became Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen franchisees and opened their first Cleveland location, eventually owning 16 locations in Northeast Ohio.
Smith’s children, Taylor, Lorin and Tony II, attended Roxboro Elementary and Roxboro Middle schools, and nephew Dan attended Heights High.
“I have seen Tony’s generosity and kindness. He was a great advocate and supporter of the CH-UH schools,” said Katura Simmons, CH-UH PTA president.
Elisabeth Gevelber, the owner of Simply Charming on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, likes to say that her store features “baubles, bijoux and bibelots.”
That’s trinkets, jewelry and treasures. If you look around the store, you’ll see that’s a pretty accurate description.
Simply Charming is stocked with unique jewelry, clothing, greeting cards, pens, journals, sketch books, coffee cups, mugs and more. “I basically like to carry whatever my captures my fancy,” said Gevelber.
The store originally opened in 2007 on Lee Road, in the space now occupied by the Shawn Paul Salon. Two years later, it closed.
Thrive, a relatively new Cleveland organization, has one goal: to make people happier. Called a happiness incubator, Thrive was formed in January of 2012 by Jen Margolis, a Cleveland Heights resident, and Scott Simon, who lives in Pepper Pike.
“We wanted to design experiences, habits and spaces that increase happiness, both at work and at home,” said Margolis, who is 37 and lives on Wilton Road.
Thrive came about after Simon spent time with what’s called a “positive psychologist.” “Psychology as a whole looked at what’s wrong,” Margolis said. “Then Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, flipped that. He thought it made more sense to see what’s working well and build from there.”
Not many people make it to 100 years old, and even fewer make it to 110. Those who do reach 110 are called super-centenarians, and there are fewer than 300 of them in the entire world. In the United States, only about 20 people have reached that age, and one of them lives in Cleveland Heights.
Lessie Brown, who lives in the Concord Apartments near Severance Town Center, celebrated her 110th birthday on Sept. 22. Looking at her, one would never guess that she had reached such a milestone in her life. She looks great and is totally coherent.
Brown was born in Stockbridge, Ga., in 1904. “We lived on a farm,” she said. “I milked the cows, picked cotton and worked in the garden with my mother.” Then, in 1921, her parents moved to Cleveland. “My mom and dad just figured it would be better up here than down there,” she explained.
On Aug. 2, the Cleveland Indians unveiled a new statue of Jim Thome, the team’s all-time home-run leader, at Progressive Field. The statue was designed and sculpted by Cleveland Heights resident David Deming.
Deming, 71, has an international reputation as a fine sculptor, and has been involved in the art world for more than five decades.
He grew up in Lakewood and attended Lakewood High. While in high school, Deming focused on both sports—he was captain of the wrestling team and also ran track—and art. On weekends, he attended classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), and, after graduating from high school, got his bachelor of fine arts degree from the institute in 1967. Deming then taught classes at Boston University for a year, before moving on to the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where he earned a master’s degree in fine arts. “When it comes to sculpture, Cranbrook is like the Harvard or Yale of art schools,” Deming said.
The north end of Coventry Road, between Mayfield and Hampshire roads, is something of a mecca for people wanting to buy clothes. This short stretch of Coventry features six stores that specialize in clothing. There are three chain stores—American Apparel, Next and Avalon Exchange—and three small, specialty stores—Blush Boutique, Sunshine Headquarters Too and Heart and Sole. In addition, there’s also Attenson’s Books and Antiques, which carries a selection of vintage clothing. As Steve Presser, owner of the Coventry toy store Big Fun, said, “It’s the most eclectic clothing district in Cleveland. No other block has so much variety, from new and used to funk and junk.”
The largest store, American Apparel, is part of an international chain headquartered in Los Angeles. Founded in 1989, as a sweatshop-free manufacturer, the company opened its first retail store in 2003, and offers clothing for just about everyone—from toddlers and infants to men and women. The chain now has more than 260 stores worldwide, but the Coventry store, opened six years ago, is its only Greater Cleveland location. The chain manufacturers all of the clothing it offers.
On Saturday, Aug. 30, Dress for Success Cleveland, Ten Thousand Villages and Virginia Marti College of Art and Design are partnering to bring an afternoon of fashion and philanthropy to Nighttown, in Cleveland Heights. The event, Dressed to the Tens, features a fashion show produced by students from Virginia Marti College. Dressed to the Tens also supports two local nonprofits—Dress for Success Cleveland and Ten Thousand Villages—that work for the empowerment of women.
The mission of Dress for Success Cleveland is to promote the independence of economically disadvantaged women and to help them overcome barriers to employment. The organization provides professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
Summer in the Heights kicked off with the University Heights Memorial Day Parade.
On Father’s Day 2013, Eric Meyer enjoyed breakfast in bed prepared by his three children, before a day of “just hanging out” and celebrating being home in Cleveland Heights after an overseas business trip. On Father’s Day 2014, he and his family were sitting shiva, a Jewish tradition of mourning the dead, for his daughter Rebecca.
Rebecca Alison Meyer died at her home on her sixth birthday, after a 10-month struggle with brain cancer. At her death, as in her life, she was surrounded by her family—father Eric, her mother Kat, her 10-year-old sister Carolyn and her 3-year-old brother Joshua—along with numerous friends. Known as Becca to many, she had told her parents that 6-year-olds are big girls and deserve big-girl names, and she made it to 6, so Rebecca it is.
A unique restaurant, called the Butcher and the Brewer, will be opening on East Fourth Street in downtown Cleveland later this month or in early July.
The new business will include a butcher shop selling fresh cuts of meat, charcuterie, smoked meats, terrines and sausages, as well as cheeses, eggs, dairy products, jams and other locally produced artisan products. Customers will be able to order sandwiches and other items at the shop.
The restaurant will offer a variety of beers that are brewed on-site, a menu of fish, meat and vegetable entrées, and small plates and bar snacks. The menu was inspired by rustic farmhouse fare and will embrace ethnic food traditions that are fundamental to the spirit and flavor of Northeast Ohio.
Musician Bill Miller, who recently moved back to Cleveland Heights, is better known to most people as Mr. Stress. Now 71 years old, and a member of the Cleveland Blues Hall of Fame, Miller has been a major figure on the Cleveland music scene since 1966, when he formed the Mr. Stress Blues Band.
As a member of that group, Miller played at virtually every major Cleveland rock venue, including the Agora, La Cave and the Euclid Tavern. The band released three albums, "Live at the Euclid Tavern," "Stress Formula" and "Killer Stress," and opened shows for such artists as Cream, Three Dog Night, Steppenwolf and the MC5. Singer/songwriter Chrissie Hynde even references Miller in the Pretenders’ song “Precious.”
Cleveland Heights resident Mia Buchwald Gelles was inducted into the 10th class of the Beachwood High School Gallery of Success on April 11 for her transformative contributions to the autism community through Milestones Autism Resources, a nonprofit organization that she co-founded 12 years ago.
“I am thrilled to be honored by my high school for the contributions that Milestones has made,” Gelles said.
As operations director, Gelles ensures that everything runs smoothly at Milestones. Her expertise in nonprofit management is a big reason why a small staff of 10 can serve more than 1,500 individuals a year through educating, coaching and connecting family members and professionals throughout Northeast Ohio who are affected by autism.
Gelles’ impact on the autism community started when her son was diagnosed with autism. At the time, in 1998, autism was a relatively new word and there were few resources for parents or professionals who wanted to learn more and help their children.
Mark your calendars for Coventry Village Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays this summer.
The first event will take place on Saturday, May 31 with a free bicycle tune-up day. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents can bring their bikes to the Coventry Courtyard near the Grog Shop. Mechanics will be on site to inspect the bikes and make needed repairs. The Coventry Village Special Improvement District (CVSID) is partnering with the Heights Bicycle Coalition to provide this service.
Potty training can be among the most stressful times for parents, according to longtime Cleveland Heights resident and pediatrician Deb Lonzer. At the request of one of her patients, Lonzer has published her first children’s book to help toddlers and parents view toilet training as a natural—and even fun—process. Lonzer collaborated with illustrator and Wickliffe native John Cairns, and said she wrote The Flushville Four “to help toddlers and parents relax a bit about potty training.”
“It seems to me that parents and kids can take potty training too seriously,” said Lonzer. “Potty training has become increasingly important, as parents try to train their kids as early as possible to get them into preschool, to save money on diapers, to reduce the weight of that diaper bag, or to keep up with neighbors who swear that their daughter was fully trained by 13 months. The truth is, I’ve never heard of a kid going to the prom in diapers.”
Sweet Melissa, the restaurant that has become something of an institution on Cleveland’s West Side, finally has a location on the East Side. The new Sweet Melissa is on John Carroll Boulevard in Fairmount Circle in University Heights. It’s in the space previously occupied by the North Park Grill, and it opened on March 24.
The restaurant had a "soft" opening the weekend before its official opening, and on Friday night, the place was packed.
Matthew Ullom, the owner of Sweet Melissa, said that the building’s owners wanted a restaurant in the space, and they thought that Sweet Melissa was a perfect fit for the community and for John Carroll University. “We always kept our eyes open in case the right opportunity came about,” Ullom said.
Ever since it opened back in December 2011, The Wine Spot, located on Lee Road between Silsby and Meadowbrook roads, has continued to evolve. The latest change involves live music. In January, The Wine Spot kicked off its new program with an appearance by the local band Meridian, featuring Max Stern and Jake Stern. The retail store/wine bar will continue to present live music on the last Friday of every month. The shows, which are free and open to the public, take place from 7–9 p.m.
“This is a really nice space for music,” said Adam Fleischer, owner of The Wine Spot. “I thought we could provide the best local music in a comfortable space, at no cost and in a family-friendly environment.”
The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes launched a new initiative in December, the Good Neighbor Litter Patrol. In the spirit of the holidays, the patrol was organized as an opportunity to show appreciation for and give back to the community.
The Good Neighbor Litter Patrol is led by Kay Carlson, executive director, and consists of local high school students, staff and additional volunteers who will meet every Thursday, from 3:30–4:30 p.m., throughout the year. The Litter Patrol will remove all trash and debris from the perimeter of the Nature Center, contributing to the tranquility of the area for visitors, commuters and nearby residents.
The call is out to all CH-UH high school juniors and seniors, and to their parents and teachers. The City Club of Cleveland is presenting the Hope and Stanley Adelstein Free Speech Essay Contest, a special opportunity for upper-grade students and their teachers to shine, and to win generous cash prizes.
The Adelsteins, lifelong residents of Northeast Ohio, are philanthropists and longtime members of The City Club. Stanley joined The City Club in 1941 and served as president of its board of directors. Hope, a retired nurse, joins her husband in their support of free speech, justice and the environmental issues.
The Free Speech Essay contest gives students an opportunity to explore the complexities of our constitutional right to free speech while building essential writing and critical-thinking skills. The contest is open to all juniors and seniors in public, private, parochial, charter and home schools in Cuyahoga and the surrounding counties.
At 33 years old, Cleveland Heights resident Jonathon Sawyer, the chef and owner of the Greenhouse Tavern and other Cleveland-area restaurants, has been involved in the food industry for almost two decades.
Sawyer, who was born in Chicago and moved to Strongsville when he was in first grade, got his first restaurant job when he was 13. “I wanted to get a job, and my older brother was working at a restaurant in Strongsville called Mad Cactus, so I applied and started out as a dishwasher,” he said. “But within six months I was cooking.”
Sawyer graduated from Strongsville High School and decided to attend the University of Dayton to study industrial engineering, despite his love of cooking. “During my sophomore year, we had to go out and work a trial job,” he said.
For many years, Gia Ilijasic and her fiancé, Jim Patsch, had dreamed of opening a restaurant. Finally, on Nov. 5, that dream came true. The couple opened Gigi’s on Fairmount, located in the Fairmount Taylor Business District in Cleveland Heights, in a space formerly occupied by a furniture store and a flower shop.
Gigi’s—the name is taken from the nickname that Ilijasic’s family gave her—is a beautiful “wine café” that has a full bar menu and also serves soups, salads, panini sandwiches and “small bites,” including olives, cheese and charcuterie. Bruschetta boards are the house specialty. Patrons can pick four items from a list that includes smoked salmon, prosciutto, house-made chicken-liver pâté and house-made trout pâté.
“We wanted to create a place that has healthy, affordable, good food that mixes with wine,” Ilijasic said.
Voters in Cleveland Heights and University Heights passed the school facilities bond issue, which will fund the renovation of the high school and two of the school district’s middle schools, by a big margin. With results from all 35 precincts reported as of 11:30 p.m., the bond issue received 7,229 votes in favor and 4,989 against.
Jeff Coryell led the pack in the Cleveland Heights City Council race with 6,595 votes. Newcomer Melissa Yasinow received the second most votes—6,126. Incumbents Cheryl Stephens and Jason Stein were reelected with 5,761 and 5,753 votes respectively. Janine Boyd, who ran unopposed, was elected to a two-year term to city council.
Megan Rochford of Cleveland Heights took these photos on Oct. 13 of a bald eagle at Lower Shaker Lake, by South Park Boulevard.
The eagle was seen eating fish immediately beforehand.
Dobama Theatre, Cleveland’s longest-running contemporary theater, will hold its second annual Dobama Benefit Cabaret event on Sunday, Oct. 20, from 6-9 p.m. The fundraiser will take place at Nighttown, 12387 Cedar Road, and will feature local artists performing jazz standards. Tickets are $35. For more information, and to RSVP, call 216-932-3396.
Nationally renowned chef Michael Symon—the owner of such popular Cleveland restaurants as Lola and Lolita, as well as the B Spots—has returned home to Cleveland Heights, and he couldn’t be happier. Symon, who spent his first five years as a child in Cleveland Heights, bought a house on Kent Road about five months ago.
“I love the East Side,” he said. “The arts are close to you. You are surrounded by them. You’re still within the inner circle of downtown, so the convenience of downtown is right there. And the people—it’s a great mix of people.”
Nighttown, the restaurant located at the top of Cedar Hill in the Cedar Fairmount Business District, is as well-known for the music it presents as it is for its fine food. DownBeat magazine, which covers jazz and blues, consistently ranks it among the top jazz clubs in the country, and in 2007 the restaurant won a Cleveland Arts Prize for its shows. The person behind the music that Nighttown presents is Jim Wadsworth, a Cleveland Heights resident who runs Jim Wadsworth Productions.
Wadsworth has been booking the shows at Nighttown since June 1999. Born in Kansas City, Mo., he was the youngest of seven children, and he started getting into music during the 1960s. “My sisters would be playing Beatles’ records in their rooms, and I began taking it all in,” he said.