Latest News

Russell presents two-session Pathway to Homeownership

CH Council Member Davida Russell

Realizing the dream of homeownership is exciting but challenging, especially in today’s real estate market. The chances of success depend greatly on partnering with the right lender, real estate agent, and housing counselors.

To help Heights residents achieve this dream, Cleveland Heights Council Member Davida Russell is sponsoring a two-part Pathway to Homeownership series, on June 8 and 10, and has convened a group of community-minded organizations and neighborhood partners to participate.

The first session will take place on Thursday evening, June 8, 6–8 p.m., with the second session planned for Saturday, June 10, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The location for both is Disciples Christian Church at 3663 Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 10:35 AM, 06.01.2023

Latest News Releases

BD’s Mongolian Grill Raises More than $21,000 to Fund Autism Research
- , May 20, 2023 Read More
Heights EcoFest - May 27
- , May 10, 2023 Read More
Cleveland Heights Division of Police Responds to Shooting on North Taylor Road
- City of Cleveland Heights, April 20, 2023 Read More
Heights High School to Commemorate 50 Years of Holocaust Education April 16
- CH-UH Schools, April 4, 2023 Read More
Repairs to begin on University Heights branch library
- CH-UH Library, March 23, 2023 Read More

View more news releases

Horseshoe Lake supporters demand cities save it

On April 20, Friends of Horseshoe Lake (FOHSL) issued demand letters to Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights, claiming that the cities have failed to follow the terms of the lease agreement for Horseshoe Lake and make necessary repairs to restore the dam and lake.

FOHSL is working with the law firm Mansour Gavin to keep the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) from destroying the dam and lake.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 10:33 AM, 06.01.2023

FutureHeights' July 29 benefit to honor John Zagara

FutureHeights' July benefit will feature performances by Robin VanLear and company. Here, VanLear and Story Rhinehart Cadiz perform as VanLear's Shibori butterflies. [photo: Jesse Rhinehart]

FutureHeights will celebrate 21 years of service to the community at its 5th annual benefit party, A Summer Night’s Dream, on Saturday, July 29, 6–9:30 p.m. 

FutureHeights’ annual benefit celebrates the nonprofit's ongoing efforts to energize the economic and community development of Cleveland Heights and University Heights, and raises critical operating funds for the organization. 

This year’s event will take place at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, where guests will partake of music, dancing, and a selection of delicious food and drink from some of the Heights’ top culinary establishments. With enchanting live performances and art from local artists, including Robin VanLear, there are sure to be delights and surprises around every turn.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:21 AM, 06.01.2023

UH Charter Review Commission proposes 10 amendments

UH City Council will determine which of the CRC's recommended amendments will go before voters on Nov. 7.

Last summer, University Heights City Council passed an ordinance to create a Charter Review Commission (CRC) for only the third time since the city’s founding in 1941. Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan chose four CRC members, and each council member chose one, bringing the total to 11 commissioners. The CRC, which met twice a month for 10 months, proposes the following 10 charter amendments:

Gender Neutrality: The CRC recommends a charter amendment that would replace gendered terms and language throughout the city’s charter with gender-neutral and gender-inclusive terms and language. This proposed amendment would correct the charter's long-standing sexist, androcentric language and replace it with language that communicates and promotes a more inclusive city and government. 

Eliminating Term Limits: CRC recommends an amendment to eliminate term limits for elected officers of University Heights. Currently, the charter limits elected officials to serve no more than three consecutive four-year terms, or 14 consecutive years whether elected or appointed. This [term-limit] provision was approved by voters in 1995, when the national movement in favor of term limits reached its peak. However, since the 1990s, term limits have proven to be detrimental—rather than beneficial—to good government.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 3:34 PM, 05.30.2023

FutureHeights announces development opportunity

This three-bedroom home at 2124 Rossmoor Road is located near Heights High. It currently has one full bath and a newer two-car garage. Renovation is to include a new half bath.

FutureHeights, the nonprofit, community-development organization serving Cleveland Heights and University Heights, is accepting applications to renovate/develop two single-family homes as part of its FutureHomes program.

The application deadline is Monday, June 26, at 4 p.m.

The houses, located on Rossmoor and Englewood roads, each feature three bedrooms and were built in the 1920s and 1940s, respectively.

The properties will be open for walk-throughs on Friday, June 16, and Saturday, June 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day; or by appointment.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 1:23 PM, 05.30.2023

CH council must learn the art of compromise

To the Editor:

The May 1 Cleveland Heights City Council meeting has not only confirmed the sad state of our current city government, but also that being an elected official in this town is the last retirement job I would pursue.

The circus, as the council president described the meeting, was interrupted with hammering gavels, endless snide remarks, and verbal personal attacks. As if that wasn't enough, the council president even physically attempted to turn off the microphone of another council member.

This was not a circus. It was a display of mature individuals acting like immature children. For the sake of our city, this conduct cannot continue.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:17 AM, 06.01.2023

Horseshoe Lake plan is 'act of vandalism'

To the Editor:

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District revealed its plan for what’s left of Horseshoe Lake on May 1, and they deserve credit for being frank about what they want to do.

They want to dig out the north end of the dam, so far intact, bring the two branches of Doan Brook together about where the dam was, and direct the joined stream along a carefully engineered slope through the trees below as far as Lee Road.

The brook’s banks will be flattened into an artificial flood plain 16 feet on a side to prevent erosion. Sixteen feet is about the width of a lane of traffic—the bulldozed stream is going to look a lot like the Clark Freeway that residents fought to a standstill 50 years ago.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:09 AM, 06.01.2023

Dunbar thanks city for its bike-friendly efforts

To the Editor:

For the second year in a row, CH City Council named bike month “Mary Dunbar Bike Month” in Cleveland Heights.

On city council, I advocated for making Cleveland Heights more bicycle friendly. Cleveland Heights was declared a bronze-level bicycle-friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB). To attain this distinction, Cleveland Heights had to meet criteria in the categories of the five E’s:

  •  “Engineering”—this involved engineering new pathways for bicycle travel in the Heights.
  •  “Education”—we held bike rodeos at many schools to meet this standard.
Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:06 AM, 06.01.2023

Heights Community Congress will be missed

After 50 years, Heights Community Congress (HCC) ended its existence on Feb. 28. We should consider what could have happened to Cleveland Heights without it.

HCC now receives justly deserved compliments for its consistent commitment to fair housing. But it did other good work during the 1970s and 1980s.

It helped Cleveland Heights survive as an open and integrated community. There was legitimate concern then that Cleveland Heights could not handle integration well and that “white flight” would result. HCC sought to make new residents welcome while also making existing residents comfortable in, and committed to, Cleveland Heights.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:15 AM, 06.01.2023

CH council must do better and embrace diversity

I watched in utter disappointment the behavior that occurred during the May 1 Cleveland Heights City Council meeting. Unfortunately, this is NOT the first time.

You hear about outrageous antics of council meetings across the country on YouTube and other social media outlets, and this came to mind as I witnessed some of our council members in action.

The lack of respect, the power control (efforts to turn off another member's mic, the uncontrollable gavel banging, the yelling), and the tone that exist among some of the members are unfortunate and embarrassing.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:03 AM, 06.01.2023

New air-quality monitors raise pollution awareness

The first week of May was recognized as Air Quality Awareness Week in Cleveland Heights. Each weekday [the city's website] featured a short video with Mayor Seren, along with facts about different air quality topics. (All of the news releases are available at

It was announced on day five that Cleveland Heights has installed five air-quality monitors that display data in real time. Their locations can be viewed at

These sensors detect fine particulate matter, called PM 2.5, suspended in the air.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 8:59 AM, 06.01.2023

Democracy—who ever said it was easy?

When the two of us agreed to collaborate on this column, we didn’t stop to think where it might lead us. Certainly, we hardly imagined we’d still be writing it eight years later!

A couple of things directly inspired us. The first was a series of discussions (and the ultimate success) we shared with a small group of citizens dedicated to stopping privatization of Cleveland Heights' water service. The second was having experienced the Democracy Day public hearings held by Cleveland Heights City Council in 2014, 2015 and 2016. We realized that people are interested in democracy. They like it, they generally want more of it, and, given the opportunity, they have important things to say about it.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 8:55 AM, 06.01.2023

The common good on display

On April 28 the Cleveland Orchestra was performing works by Anton Dvorak, one of my favorite composers. On that same night, a combined performance by the Heights High Symphony and Symphonic Winds had “Feeling Good” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” on their playlist.

Heights High and Severance Hall are equidistant from where I live, and both are luxurious spaces. I chose the Spring Finale Concert at Heights.

I’m never disappointed by these concerts. Music directors Daniel Heim and Nicholas Marzuola crafted a creative program, and the students looked like they were having fun. They played with confidence and ease. A vocal performance by Libby Warren was magic, and Micah Belcher’s senior solo on trombone was skilled.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 8:52 AM, 06.01.2023

Men turn out for MetroHealth's annual health fair

Charles Modlin, M.D., (center), founder of the MetroHealth Minority Men’s Health Fair, greeted guests and volunteers at the April 27 event at MetroHealth's Cleveland Heights Medical Center. Modlin, a urologist, is MetroHealth's Medical Director of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity.

The MetroHealth Minority Men's Health Fair enjoyed a large turnout at the Cleveland Heights Medical Center on April 27. The event offered education and free screenings for more than 30 health issues prevalent in minority men, including prostate cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, skin cancer, and mental health concerns.

Though the health fair was geared toward men of color, all were welcome to the event, which also was held at the health system’s Main Campus and Ohio City Health Center.

James Elder, 66, of Cleveland Heights, was attending his first Minority Men’s Health Fair.

“I knew about it for a while, and this year was the first time I decided that I’d better show up,” said Elder, who was there to get as many health screenings as he could.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 8:46 AM, 06.01.2023

'This Art is for the Birds' invites community to collaborate on theater event

On July 22 and 23, Artful Cleveland will showcase its first original outdoor community theater presentation, "This Art is for the Birds," in Coventry PEACE Park. The outdoor theater piece is being created in the tradition of Greek comedies, complete with its own chorus, and backed up by the reggae band No Bad Days.

To make this happen, Artful needs the help of the community.

Beginning June 3 and continuing through July 14, Artful will host a four-week series of seven half-day summer camps for 10- to 16-year-olds.

For families with children 6 and older, Artful offers a series of five family workshops.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:24 AM, 05.30.2023

Dewey Decimators wins 7th Reaching Heights Bee

First place went to the defending champions, Dewey Decimators. The Malaprops, dressed as flamingos, came in second place.

Can you spell nephelometric? Dewey Decimators, representing Friends of the Heights Libraries, can and did to win the 2023 Reaching Heights Adult Community Spelling Bee on May 10.

The team has won a total of seven Reaching Heights Bees, and most of its victories belong to spellers Chris Mentrek and Victor Rosenberg.

This year 14 teams—representing the Cleveland Orchestra Women’s Chorus; Friends of the Heights Libraries; the cities of Cleveland Heights, University Heights, and South Euclid; neighborhood groups; business districts; and school PTAs—gathered for a silly yet serious spelling competition.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 1:59 PM, 05.23.2023

Apply by May 24 for free singing and songwriting camp

A Singing and Songwriting Music Camp, open to all rising ninth- though 12th-grade students, is planned for June 5–16 at Disciples Christian Church in Cleveland Heights.

The camp is free, and is open to all, regardless of previous musical experience or ability.

Space is limited to 15 students, and the short application is due no later than May 24. For more information, and to apply, visit

During the two-week camp, students will explore songwriting components, including rhythm, melody writing, and storytelling through song. They will also be coached individually in vocal technique and diverse singing styles. Campers will also learn some basics of piano, guitar, and percussion instruments.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 10:07 AM, 05.16.2023

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 5-18-2023

APRIL 18, 2023 work session


  • GEAR UP update
  • Tri-C College Credit Plus partnership
  • English Language Arts testing


President Beverly Wright, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, James Posch, and Jodi Sourini were present. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting lasted about one hour 30 minutes.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:34 AM, 05.15.2023

And the 2023 Best of the Heights awards go to . . .

Michael Herschman, chef and owner of MOJO World Eats & Drinks, with FutureHeights Executive Director Kristine Pagsuyoin. MOJO won Best Cleveland Heights Restaurant or Bar. 

FutureHeights established its annual Best of the Heights Awards program 18 years ago to recognize the unique attributes of Cleveland Heights and University Heights businesses, and their contributions to the local economy. Voting for this year's winners began Feb. 1 and concluded March 15, with a nearly three-fold increase in participation compared with last year. 
FutureHeights, Cleveland Heights’ community development corporation, creates the categories, distributes the survey (in print and online) and tallies the results. It expanded the award categories this year to include trade services.

Winners and runners-up comprise longtime fan favorites, as well as new businesses—or businesses new to the awards.

Nova's Performing Arts, a dance studio owned by Alicia Sloan, won the award for Best Place to Take Kids. In a full-circle twist, Sloan began her training as a child at The Dance Studio on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 9:30 AM, 05.02.2023

Library partners with Ohio Means Jobs

Ohio Means Jobs Community Development Specialist Denise Oliver explains available job-search resources to library security guard Roosevelt James.

In partnership with Ohio Means Jobs|Cleveland-Cuyahoga County, Heights Libraries is now offering free employment counseling for adults every Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Lee Road branch.

The services are provided on a drop-in basis by a Community Development Specialist (CDS) from Ohio Means Jobs. The CDS can provide guidance, tools, resources, and support to help job-seekers find wage-sustaining employment, whether they are unemployed, underemployed, or receiving unemployment insurance benefits.

“Over the past decade or so, the job search process has gotten significantly harder to navigate for some people,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “Everything is online now, and not everyone is comfortable using the Internet. The job market has also changed drastically, and many people need additional training to qualify for newer jobs. The CDS can help people figure out what skills they have, and what new skills they may need, and help them find training.”

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 9:45 AM, 05.02.2023

FH awards $10,500 to 13 Heights projects

Noble Cigar Box Guitar Project participants performed at the 2022 Heights Music Hop. [photo: FutureHeights]

The FutureHeights Neighborhood Mini-Grants program has awarded $10,500 to 13 Heights groups in its spring 2023 round of grantmaking.

The program invites groups to apply for up to $1,000 in funding for neighborhood-level, community-building projects, programs, or initiatives in Cleveland Heights or University Heights.  

Artful’s project, This Art is for the Birds, received $1,000 to support arts workshops directed by Robin VanLear that will result in an outdoor Greek theater-style production to take place in Coventry PEACE Park this summer.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:14 PM, 05.01.2023

Beth El dedicates reading corner to Rabbi Adler

Rabbi Moshe Adler

Beth El-The Heights Synagogue (BE-THS), on Desota Avenue in Cleveland Heights, dedicated a library corner to the memory of Emeritus Rabbi Moshe Adler on March 18. Rabbi Adler’s most-treasured books, along with a few others, are available for study in this quiet, comfy place: a place for practice of Torah or Haftorah, a place for learning or contemplation, a place for prayer, or simply a place for inspiration.

Rabbi Adler’s faith in HaShem (G-d), and devotion to Torah, both written and oral, were joyous and seemingly limitless. He wore his broad and deep learning with such an unassuming, unimposing, humble sweetness that all who knew him delighted in finding reasons to query him. His lightning sense of humor and beautiful tenor singing voice enlivened the services he so plainly enjoyed. Adler was accepting, respectful, considerate and gracious to everyone. He believed passionately in egalitarianism and inclusion, always in ways that Halacha could accommodate.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 9:33 AM, 05.02.2023

UH Memorial Day parade to go big

Robin VanLear is helping the University Heights Memorial Day parade go bigger and better this year.

The University Heights Memorial Day parade has traditionally been the biggest and best parade of its kind in Northeast Ohio. But that doesn’t mean planners will coast on its reputation. This year’s parade will have additions—big additions.

“I’ve always loved the artistry and creativity of Parade the Circle, and ever since I took office, I wanted to bring that vibe to our parade,” said University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan. “The giant puppets, the costumes, the whimsical spirit.”

Instead of trying to figure out how Parade the Circle created that spirit, Brennan went straight to the source—its founder, Robin VanLear.

For the first time, VanLear is working with the University Heights Parade Committee. She will be responsible for coordinating with community groups, and—yes—bringing giant puppets to the city's parade.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:59 PM, 05.01.2023

Native plants are focus of June 3 sale

Native plants, like this milkweed, are beneficial to the native pollinators with which they co-evolved.

This spring, a sale of native plants for your backyard will take place practically in your own backyard.

On Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Heights residents can venture just a short distance to purchase plants at a sale that will bring four far-flung nurseries to Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, 3031 Monticello Blvd., Cleveland Heights.

The sale is presented by the Friends of Heights Parks and its popular sidekick, the Heights Native Pollinator Path (HNPP). HNPP is an effort to link native habitat, literally providing a path of native species from yard to yard in Cleveland Heights and surrounding residential neighborhoods.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 9:44 AM, 05.02.2023

Tiger 5K/Fun Run serves up ice cream and community on May 20

The kids' Fun Run in 2022.

Anyone interested in ice cream for breakfast? Then get on your mark, and join the CH-UH elementary schools for the second annual Tiger 5K and Fun Run on May 20.

All proceeds will be split equally among the Heights elementary schools, supporting PTA programming across the district.

At 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 20, at Cleveland Heights High School, the CH-UH elementary school PTAs will host a districtwide 5K, followed by a Fun Run for younger runners at 10 a.m.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 9:41 AM, 05.02.2023

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 5-2-2023

MAY 2, 2023 work session


  • School climate overview
  • Safety planning
  • Social and emotional supports
  • Multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS)
  • Climate root cause analysis (RCA)
  • Enhancing communication
  • Board comments


Present were President Beverly Wright, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, James Posch, and Jodi Sourini. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting lasted about two hours fifteen minutes.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:32 AM, 05.15.2023

Heights High's Evans wins Student of Integrity award

Taylor Evans of Cleveland Heights High School  is one of four Greater Cleveland BBB scholarship recipients.

Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland (BBB) presented its Students of Integrity Awards on April 20 to four Greater Cleveland high school students including Taylor Evans, a Cleveland Heights High School senior.

The awards went to students who personify integrity through their leadership, community service, academics, and strong character ethics.

Evans received a $1,000 scholarship. She is a member of the Heights High Student Council, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Superintendent's Student Cadre, Principal's Partners, and Minority Student Achievement Network—all groups that discuss ongoing issues in the school and ways they can be resolved.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 9:38 AM, 05.02.2023

Noble library services to continue during renovation

Heights Libraries’ Noble Neighborhood branch closed to the public on Sunday, April 16, for a year-long renovation and expansion.

However, residents of the Noble neighborhood still have access to library programs and services in multiple nearby locations.

Starting May 1, the BNH Building at 2940 Noble Road will provide limited services Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Customers will have access to public computers, a copier/fax machine, circulation and reference services, and a small collection of materials for checkout; and will be able to pick up holds. The site also features a small space where adult programs will be offered. The phone number for the Noble branch will remain the same for this new location: 216-291-5665.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 9:37 AM, 05.02.2023

Guided park walks begin May 20

A walking path at Lower Lake.

Many Heights residents and visitors are surprised to learn that there are 140 acres of nearby parks offering accessible trails and a rich history. Friends of Heights Parks, a nonprofit organization, will present a monthly free Walk in the Park at 10 a.m. on the third Saturday of every month, May through October, to remedy this.

Some people have an innate fear of walking in the woods, as if the Big Bad Wolf or Hansel and Gretel's Wicked Witch is lurking behind a tree. However, if poison ivy is identified and avoided (“leaves of three, let it be”), and walkers remain on the trail, any lingering fear can be replaced with pure enjoyment.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 9:34 AM, 05.02.2023

University Heights City Council meeting 5-1-23

MAY 1, 2023 regular meeting


  • Public comments
  • YouTube streaming
  • Committee reports
  • Council actions


Present were Vice-Mayor Michelle Weiss and Council Members Barbara Blankfeld, Brian King, and Sheri Sax. Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan and Council Members Christopher Cooney and John P. Rach were not present. Also present were Kelly Thomas, clerk of council; Luke McConville, law director; Dennis Kennedy, finance director; and Joseph Ciuni, city engineer. The public meeting ran 87 minutes.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:35 AM, 05.15.2023

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 5-1-23

MAY 1, 2023 regular meeting


  • Public comments
  • Mayor’s report
  • Horseshoe Lake
  • Charter review commission
  • Council actions
  • First readings only
  • Committee reports
  • Member comments
  • Committee of the Whole


Present were Council President Melody Joy Hart, Council Vice President Craig Cobb, and Council Members Janine Boyd, Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., and Davida Russell. Mayor Kahlil Seren was not present. Also present were Addie Balester, clerk of council, and William Hanna, law director. The meeting ran for one hour and 40 minutes.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:34 AM, 05.15.2023

Address signs endure as pieces of Heights school history

A reproduction shop-class address sign, recently made by the writer of this article.

Forty years ago, the sounds of ball-peen hammers striking wrought iron on the horn of an anvil, and power tools shaping a piece of poplar, echoed through the basement of Roxboro Junior High School. This was the din of students in a mandatory shop class crafting projects that remain fixtures throughout Cleveland Heights.

In the early 1980s, (the era when I was in junior high—now called middle school) seventh-graders had one class period divided over the year into three courses: Home Economics, Art, and Industrial Arts, or “shop,” as it was called.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:57 PM, 05.01.2023

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 4-24-23

APRIL 24, 2023 special meeting


  • Ice rink reconstruction


Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Council President Melody Joy Hart, Council Vice President Craig Cobb, and Council Members Janine Boyd, Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, and Anthony Mattox, Jr. Davida Russell was not present. Also present were Addie Balester, clerk of council; William Hanna, law director; Andrew Unetic, finance director; and Kelly Ledbetter, parks and recreation director. The meeting ran 30 minutes.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:37 AM, 05.15.2023

'Deer Karen, I'm writing in response to . . .'

I asked this visitor if he had just been at [deer-attracting woman]’s house. He said, “Of course. Who wouldn’t want to go there? It’s better than your yard. Ha ha. Though, actually, I must say, there’s plenty of great stuff here, too.” Since that conversation, a couple of city council members I talked to suggested that residents who are concerned about the deer problem contact Mayor Kahlil Seren at 216-291-3737 or I wrote to him in early March and, so far, as of mid-April, I haven’t received a response yet.

Just to be sure, I looked up the term “Karen.” A slang dictionary said: “Karen is a pejorative slang term for an obnoxious, entitled middle-aged woman who uses her privilege to get her way.” I’ll get back to that.

I’m a member of a Facebook group about Cleveland Heights. A few weeks ago, a woman posted on it that she was getting worried that the deer had disappeared and weren’t going to come to her yard anymore, and that she was planning to plant a garden that would attract them.

I could tell from the photo she included that she lived on the next street, approximately behind my house. I said that we get three to five deer every day, usually from behind our garage (in other words, from the direction of her house), and that, as with all of my neighbors’ yards, the deer are extremely destructive and eat much of the stuff we’ve spent a lot of time and money on, and which we are then not able to enjoy in the few months we have in which to do that.

She told me to put up a fence behind my house. I pointed out that they come up my street, too, and approach my house, and all of my neighbors’ houses, from the front as well. She said that she liked looking at deer. I said I like to look at them, too, but they don’t belong in the city, especially where they’re so destructive.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 9:47 AM, 05.02.2023

CH poet's new book coming in May

Cleveland Heights poet Tom Raithel. [photo: Regina Brett]

Cleveland Heights resident Tom Raithel's new book of poetry, This Easy Falling, will be published at the end of May.

The collection comprises poems Raithel wrote between 2015 and 2022, before an accident paralyzed him. In July 2022, Raithel slipped in a hotel shower and broke his neck. The accident left him a quadriplegic.

The power of words continues to strengthen Raithel as he recovers and rebuilds his life.

“The accident made me more appreciative for the power of poetry of others,” Raithel said. “I’m grateful to still be able to release this book, which means so much to me.”

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:23 PM, 05.01.2023

Heights EcoFest moves to May

An activity table at the Heights Eco Fair in 2022.

The third annual Heights EcoFest will take place on May 27 at Coventry PEACE Park, noon to 4 p.m. The event aims to raise awareness about local resources available to support and encourage greener and healthier practices.

The EcoFest is organized by Heights Libraries' Coventry Village Branch and the Cleveland Heights Green Team (CHGT) in partnership with the Coventry Village Special Improvement District (CVSID) and FutureHeights, and is sponsored by Amplify Dispensary on Coventry Road.

“The Heights EcoFest will continue to build on the success of last year’s Sustainability Fair and Eco Fair, but with warmer weather," noted Maggie Kinney, director of the Coventry Village Library.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:52 PM, 05.01.2023

Dun-dun! UH native guest stars on 'Law & Order: SVU'

University Heights native Gabriel Sidney Brown recently appeared on an episode of "Law & Order: SVU."

In the television acting system, an appearance on "Law & Order: SVU" is considered a prime gig for up-and-coming thespians. In University Heights, we are especially proud of hometown actor Gabriel Sidney Brown for his performance on a recent episode. This is his story . . .

“I hope I get it.” Brown was no stranger to the show’s casting director. “I auditioned for 'Law & Order: SVU' several times and also numerous other shows within the Dick Wolf Productions’ world previously,” Brown said.

“'Law & Order: SVU,' 'FBI: Most Wanted' and even 'Chicago Med, P.D., and Fire' all exist in the same universe and can have crossover in plot line,” explained Brown.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:26 PM, 05.01.2023

Library offers two paid internships for teens

2022 Teen Tech Ambassadors Henry Turner and Reid Autero.

This summer, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System will once again provide two paid, six-week technology internships to local teens as part of its Teen Tech Ambassador Program.

Now in its seventh year, the internship provides two qualified high school students the opportunity to learn a variety of real-life job skills through hands-on experiential activities in the library’s Continuing Education Department. Each intern receives a $1,000 stipend.

Internship application packets (application, résumé, and a copy of the applicant's school transcript) will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Monday, May 15, and can be found online at

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 9:46 AM, 05.02.2023

Celebrate We are Noble May 19–21

We Are Noble 2023, the May 19–21 celebration of the people and places in the Noble Road neighborhoods of Cleveland Heights, will kick off on Friday, May 19, 6–8 p.m., with NobleFest, the Noble Elementary School family fun fair, on the school grounds. Kids will have the opportunity to enjoy games and activities with friends.

The complete weekend schedule for May 19, 20 and 21 is unfolding at There, Noble neighborhood residents, businesses and institutions can find information about We Are Noble 2023.

Heights residents from other neighborhoods are invited to join in the celebration to discover new features of the neighborhood; explore its parks, business districts and eclectic houses; and meet new people.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:06 PM, 05.01.2023

EdChoice not a choice next year

I remember waiting for the classroom assignments for my kids to be posted on the front door at Boulevard Elementary the week before school opened. This was part of creating excitement for the upcoming school year.

Now I watch for the EdChoice “designation list” to be posted on the Ohio Department of Education website. This list names the public schools that the legislature has characterized as failing, and determines where the state can award performance-based vouchers. Vouchers are publicly funded scholarships to private schools.

I am pleased to report that the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is not among the 57 districts where new EdChoice vouchers will be authorized for the 2023–24 school year.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:32 PM, 05.01.2023

University Heights City Council meeting 4-17-23

APRIL 17, 2023 regular meeting


  • Mayor’s report
  • City council reports
  • Actions
  • Staff reports
  • Committee reports


Present were Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan, Vice Mayor Michelle Weiss, and Council Members Barbara Blankfeld, Christopher Cooney, Justin Gould, Brian J. King, and John P. Rach. Sheri Sax was not present. Also present were Kelly Thomas, clerk of council; Luke McConville, law director; Dennis Kennedy, finance director; and Joseph Ciuni, city engineer. The public meeting ran about two and one half hours.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:36 AM, 05.15.2023

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 4-17-23

APRIL 17, 2023 regular meeting


  • Public comments
  • Mayor’s report
  • Recognitions
  • Actions on first reading and emergency
  • Actions on second reading and emergency
  • First readings only
  • Council member comments
  • Committee of the Whole


Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Council President Melody Joy Hart, Council Vice President Craig Cobb, and Council Members Janine Boyd, Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, and Anthony Mattox, Jr. Davida Russell was not present. Also present were Addie Balester, clerk of council and William Hanna, law director.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:39 AM, 05.15.2023

Living with dementia in Cleveland Heights

Leslie Brooks Wells displays some of her art. [photo: Kristin Brooks]

My mother was in the late-middle stages of dementia when COVID hit, and I needed to move her into our family home in Cleveland Heights.

A 60-year resident of the city, she had been living alone with the help of many caregivers, neighbors and friends. When her condition made her retirement from her beloved career necessary, she and her huge yellow Labrador became a fixture in their Coventry Road neighborhood.

I am sure that I have many neighbors to thank for her freedom to roam and linger without harm. I know none of this would have been possible without the help of local librarians, shopkeepers, fellow church members and, at times, even the Cleveland Heights police. I am deeply grateful she lived in this familiar, close-knit community.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:34 PM, 05.01.2023

Calling all activists

In her April column, "HCC legacy can guide us," Susie Kaeser paid heartfelt tribute to this recently shuttered organization. "Its purpose," she wrote, "was to mobilize the whole community to fight racism, advance equity and inclusion, and protect racial integration."

In its heyday, Heights Community Congress (HCC) did cutting-edge work in pursuit of fair housing. Staff and volunteers researched and documented illegal practices such as redlining. They pressured municipal government and confronted racial steering by real estate agents, helped create block clubs and neighborhood organizations, and developed services and working groups to meet the needs of specific constituencies. The group's skilled leadership, high level of community participation, and shrewd strategizing set the bar for future activist organizations.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:29 PM, 05.01.2023

CH Dems work to overcome new barriers to voting

Despite analysts across the political spectrum finding that voter fraud is exceedingly rare, Ohio dramatically overhauled its elections law in January 2023. While the legislation is wide-ranging, I will focus on new voter ID requirements, considered by many to be the strictest in the country, and the impact they may have on students.

Before passage of the new requirements, students could use a bill from their college or university as a form of identification. This convenient practice was acceptable for over a decade, but now a student, or any other voter, may use only an Ohio driver's license, Ohio ID card, U.S. passport, or military-issued ID. While requiring a voter to use one of these forms of identification might sound reasonable to some, it's important to consider the impact that this requirement could have on voters.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:44 PM, 05.01.2023

'Equity and inclusion' is divisive propaganda

Cleveland Heights City Hall flies a Progress Pride Flag to show it is becoming friendlier and more inclusive to LGBTQ+ community members. The CH-UH library adopts a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion plan and offers seminars about The 1619 Project. These and other measures are meant to show that “equity and inclusion” is a social goal.

This goal may help members of selected groups feel more welcome. But it causes those who are not members of such groups to feel less welcome. It divides our community into factions. It fosters intolerance. It results in bigotry disguised as anti-bigotry.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:20 PM, 05.01.2023

Millikin neighbors thank school district

A mural at the Millikin playground.

The playground at the corner of Maple and Wood roads is no longer the sad, dreary space it was as recently as 2019, when our group of civically minded volunteers began to turn it around.

The Millikin Neighborhood Group would like to thank the CH-UH City School District for its unwavering support. Since the group's inception, the district has been an invaluable partner to us. By allowing us to use the playground space at the former Millikin school, the district enabled us to continue our community-building efforts.

It has been gracious in advising us on what we may and may not do with the space.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:42 PM, 05.01.2023

Support the drive for a new Coventry park

It was early in my tenure as an elementary-schooler at the old Coventry Elementary School when a community of parents and civic leaders conceived, fundraised for, designed, and helped physically build one of our city’s recreational gems. It was an heroic effort, and the Coventry PEACE Park playground has been enjoyed by three decades of children—from me in the early 1990s to my four kids right now. It is an incredible edifice to the profits of community cooperation and engagement.   

The park is in need of renewal, however. Wooden playsets are typically slated to last 20 years; perhaps a bit more with quality maintenance.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:18 PM, 05.01.2023

CH needs low-impact lawn-care services

Cleveland Heights has a large percentage of senior-aged residents who choose to remain in the homes and neighborhoods they’ve made their own. All homes on our lovely, tree-lined streets require lawn and yard maintenance. As some residents become less able to, or less interested in, tending to yardwork themselves, they may turn to a lawn-care or landscaping service.

Most professional lawn-care equipment is designed for lots of an acre or more. Lawn-care businesses operate equipment sized for larger clients, including churches, schools, businesses and bigger residential properties. They service smaller residential clients with the same equipment.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:15 PM, 05.01.2023

Gould resigns from UH City Council

Justin Gould

University Heights Council Member Justin Gould resigned from council at its April 17 meeting.

Elected to a four-year term which commenced Jan. 1, 2020, Gould chaired council's Safety Committee and served on its Finance, Service and Utilities, and Economic Development committees (serving on the latter as an alternate).

An April 18 press release, posted at, invites University Heights residents interested in filling the council vacancy to submit a letter of interest and résumé by Friday, April 28, 4:30 p.m.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 2:02 PM, 04.24.2023

Heights groups to host multiple Earth Month events on April 23

On Sunday, April 23, neighborhood groups across Cleveland Heights will be hosting cleanups and beautification projects, followed by informal social gatherings.

Residents and businesses are invited to participate by joining one of the events listed below, or by hosting their own event in their Heights neighborhood.

The goal of the April 23 clean-up initiative is to pair community service with community-building through environmental awareness and stewardship, in celebration of Earth Month. The initiative is sponsored by FutureHeights, Coventry Neighborhood Group, and Cleveland Heights Green Team (CHGT).

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 9:25 AM, 04.18.2023

HRRC announces spring home-repair classes

Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) has announced its spring lineup of classes.

On Thursday, April 26, 7–9 p.m., HRRC will offer a Window Repair class. It will cover window basics, such as glass replacement, sash cord replacement, window glazing, and screen repair. Participants will work on a model window, and make repairs with their own hands. The fee for this class is $25.

The Women’s Electrical Series, a popular six-week course, will meet on Wednesday evenings, 7–9 p.m., starting May 3. Classes are designed to take the fear out of electrical repairs and empower women to save money by making repairs themselves.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 11:24 AM, 04.17.2023

April 15 community meeting will consider environmental health and the community

CH Council Member Davida Russell will host an environmentally focused "You Talk, I Listen" meeting on April 15.

On Saturday, April 15, at 10:30 a.m., Cleveland Heights Council Member Davida Russell will host a "You Talk, I Listen" Town Hall meeting, inviting the Cleveland Heights community to discuss how pollution and loss of trees is impacting neighborhoods on the north side of Cleveland Heights.

The meeting will explore the preventative steps available to lessen storm flow, prevent erosion, restore natural habitats, and reduce litter pollution.

It also will highlight the condition of Caledonia Ravine, a branch of Nine Mile Creek that runs through the Caledonia neighborhood. The creek provides an example of how litter pollution and illegal dumping, along with erosion and loss of trees, are having significant negative effects on the health of this natural environmental asset, and the surrounding community.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 10:29 AM, 04.10.2023

Heights team competes in 'Academic Challenge' airing April 15

The Cleveland Heights High School academic team recently competed on an episode of "Academic Challenge," scheduled to air on Saturday, April 15, 11:30 a.m., on WEWS Channel 5. Heights High senior Arthur Stadlin and 11th-graders Natalie Bier and Niko Bell participated for the Heights team.

Led by coach Karl Neitzel, an economics and history teacher at Heights High, the team has nine members from a range of grade levels. They participate in regional competitions where they face-off against other high schools, answering questions from all areas of academics, including science, literature, math, and even pop culture.

Members of the team will be traveling to Atlanta in May to participate in the National Academic Quiz Tournament. Heights qualified for the nationals by taking first place at an October regional tournament held in Solon.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 10:46 AM, 04.10.2023

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 4-4-23

APRIL 4, 2023, regular meeting


  • Public comments
  • Recognitions and awards
  • ELA curriculum and Group B Policies  
  • PBIS Reward Program results
  • Treasurer’s report - three things
  • School funding resolutions 
  • Announcements


Present were President Beverly Wright, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, James Posch, and Jodi Sourini. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting lasted about one hour 30 minutes.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 11:00 AM, 04.20.2023

Freeman is first poet laureate for all the Heights

Siaara Freeman is the newly appointed Heights Poet Laureate.

Heights Arts is proud to announce the appointment of Siaara Freeman as the eleventh poet laureate of Cleveland Heights—and now, also, University Heights.

The new laureate’s two-year term and official duties will begin in April—National Poetry Month. 

Freeman joins a long line of past Cleveland Heights poets laureate, the most recent of whom was 2022 Academy of American Poets Fellow Ray McNiece.

“I am incredibly honored to be chosen to continue in a legacy carved by such brilliant and generous poets,” said Freeman. “It is a privilege to sit amongst personal heroes and close friends who embraced the opportunity to serve the community.”

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 10:21 AM, 04.02.2023

Student art show returns to library

This is me, J'Mear, by Monticello Middle School student J'Mear Collins.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District’s Creative Heights Art Show has returned to Heights Libraries Lee Road branch. The show will run through April 15.

The exhibition of student art features hundreds of pieces, created by students in kindergarten through grade 12, working in diverse media, including pencil and chalk drawings, photography, sculpture, pottery, painting, textiles, printmaking, and metals (jewelry).

“The skill and creativity these kids put into their work is incredible,” said Youth Services Manager Sam Lapides. “You can tell that the art teachers in the district really inspire their students.”

The library last hosted the show in 2019. The COVID epidemic prevented the show from taking place for the next three years, 2020–22.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 9:23 AM, 03.28.2023

Help birds save the Earth in theatrical family workshops

Robin VanLear and Santanu Mallik try on "This Art is for the Birds" mask prototypes.

In April, Artful Cleveland and Art Acts studio will undertake the work of creating a play—"This Art is for the Birds"—a comical plea to save the earth, filled with hidden hopes and lessons. It will be the first original, outdoor theater production at Coventry PEACE Park.

According to the play's outline, the canary in the coal mine is dead. With so many amphibians on the brink of extinction, it is up to Birds to save the day. The Birds badly want to help, but the flocks can't seem to agree on anything. The King and Queen of the Birds have a plan: a competition, in which each flock or collection of raptors will get to demonstrate their fail-proof plan. And . . . may the Earth win!

Beginning April 15, community members can join a series of family workshops and be part of the creative team that, through sharing words, movement, and visual art talent, will decide how the Birds save the planet.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 10:57 AM, 04.02.2023

Celebrate Trails Day on April 22

Celebrate Trails Day, a national celebration established by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in 2013, encourages people to get outside and enjoy the country's trails and trail systems. Observed on the fourth Saturday in April, Celebrate Trails Day shares a date this year with Earth Day—April 22.

Here in Cleveland Heights, on April 22, 1 p.m., Boulevard Neighbors is hosting an all-ages hike of a two-mile section of Forest Hill Park. Built in 1938, as part of John D. Rockefeller's estate, the historic urban park encompasses 235 acres—a mix of woods and fields, as well as a large lagoon.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 10:44 AM, 04.02.2023