Latest News

Marotta's to close for renovations

Marotta's general manager, Alexandrea Quinn, with her uncle, the restaurant's owner, Brian Linihan, visiting an Italian winery.

Staying true to Brian and Alicia Linihan’s original vision and taste, Marotta's, the Lee Road landmark, will close Feb. 3 for an estimated six-week renovation that promises to retain the warmth and charm that customers have always loved. According to the restaurant’s general manager—and the owners’ niece—Alexandrea Quinn, customers can expect a gentle facelift that includes updated tables, chairs, paint and light fixtures. 

“Brian wanted to add a room for private wine dinners,” said Quinn. This will include an expanded offering of wines and cocktails. While the menu will stay the same, customers will notice more aperitifs, staff guidance with the all-Italian wine list, plus encouragement to dine slowly and enjoy their tables, unhurried, post-meal. 

A family-run business, Marotta’s first opened on Lee Road in 2000. The Heights community surrounded the family with support when co-owner Alicia Linihan died suddenly in 2016.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 9:42 AM, 01.15.2019

Latest News Releases

At Cleveland Heights Democracy Day, Citizens Speak Up
- City of Cleveland Heights, January 16, 2019 Read More
Library addresses the suicide crisis with two January programs
- CH-UH Library, January 4, 2019 Read More
Fundraisers, Candlelight Vigil Set For Beloved Cleveland Journalist Nikki Delamotte
- , November 14, 2018 Read More
Heights Arts 17th Annual Holiday Store opens November 2
- Heights Arts, October 30, 2018 Read More
Beaumont School Cross Country Team Wins District Title, Ciecierski Repeats as Champ
- Beaumont School, October 22, 2018 Read More

View more news releases

Feb. 2 workshop will explore privilege and bias in our community

The recent Cleveland Heights branding survey confirmed what residents have long known to be true: "diversity stands out as the most valued characteristic" of this community.

What does diversity really mean, and how do we embrace this vital characteristic every day?

On Saturday, Feb. 2, join Heights Community Congress (HCC) and other community members for a four-hour (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) workshop, Recognizing Privilege and Bias in Your Community, that will wrestle with these questions, and more.

The workshop, facilitated by HCC’s partners at Compass Consulting, will define and differentiate between diversity and inclusion, and discuss privilege and its impact in the community.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 10:37 AM, 01.15.2019

In defense of density at Cedar Fairmount/Top of the Hill

Nighttown first opened for business in 1965. I started working there in 1992. When I bought the place in 2001, business was just so-so. Eighteen years later Nighttown thrives because we added three outdoor dining areas, a world-class music calendar, a changed menu and other innovations that have made Nighttown a regional destination for a diverse clientele which benefits all of Cedar Fairmount. However, with the cost of food, people and benefits constantly on the rise, as well as the addition of scores of new restaurants in Greater Cleveland (with a population that isn’t increasing), it’s a continual struggle to remain a destination location. So, too, do my fellow merchants and property owners face similar challenges in the Cedar-Fairmount area.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 10:04 AM, 01.15.2019

CH-UH BOE to interview superintendent candidates and appoint interim leader

Heights High students participated in a December focus group on what to look for in the district's next superintendent. 

The search for the next superintendent of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is in full swing. The CH-UH Board of Education (BOE) began the process in November, and expects to interview finalists in February, with the goal of naming its new superintendent by March.

The BOE will name an interim superintendent to lead the district beginning in March, when the current superintendent, Talisa Dixon, leaves for Columbus City Schools. The new permanent superintendent is expected to begin work in CH-UH in the summer of 2019.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 12:07 PM, 01.08.2019

FutureHeights urges CH ABR to 'conceptually approve' TOH

To the Editor:

The FutureHeights Board of Directors sent this letter to the Cleveland Heights Architectural Board of Review on Dec. 19:

Dear Members of CH Architectural Board of Review,

FutureHeights supports moving forward with a mixed-use development at Top of the Hill (TOH) and urges the Cleveland Heights Architectural Board of Review to “conceptually approve” the project, with final approval subject to the developers’ final architectural design.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 10:15 AM, 01.07.2019

A fine-dining gem opens on Noble

The interior of Jewellz Fine Dining, at 2204 Noble Road. [photo: Diane Hallum]

The comfortable and relaxing feel of Jewellz Fine Dining, 2204 Noble Road, carries through from the moment one enters this newly opened restaurant to the wonderful, unexpected flavors of the delicious food.

Don't expect fast-food or corner diner-type fare here. This is a menu with grace, intelligence and warmth.

The hard work and skills of chef/owner Dieesha Witherspoon come together in a multifaceted menu that may include rack-of-lamb chops, chicken Alfredo and grilled salmon. Diners can also expect to find a variety of hot wing preparations, an “Amazing Burger,” and chicken spaghetti. What primarily fills the menu, though, are those types of meals that families might eagerly relish at their own home tables following Sunday church.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:38 PM, 01.03.2019

Vote for Best of the Heights in 2019

Beginning Jan. 1, Heights residents can show their appreciation for local businesses by voting for their favorites in the FutureHeights 2019 Best of the Heights Awards contest.

Since 2005, FutureHeights—a nonprofit community development corporation—has conducted the Best of the Heights to recognize the unique attributes of locally owned Heights businesses, and their contributions to the local economy. Each year, residents cast their votes for their favorite businesses by nominating them for an award in a variety of categories.

FutureHeights’ Planning & Development Committee has selected 12 categories for this year’s ballot, including Best New Business and Best Bang for Your Buck.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:27 PM, 01.02.2019

Kaye Lowe: 18 years building Cedar Fairmount

Kaye Lowe will retire this month as executive director of the Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District, after 18 years at the organization and its predecessor.

If you’ve enjoyed the landscaping, community art and ambiance of Cedar Fairmount, you’ve appreciated the work of Kaye Lowe, who’s dedicated the last 18 years of her professional life to building the "Gateway to the Heights.”

In May 2000, Lowe became executive director of the Cedar Fairmount Business Association. With a small, dues-based budget, Lowe undertook the coalition-building work that would evolve, nine years later, into the Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District (CFSID). According to CFSID President Sal Russo, Lowe “has been the heart and soul” of the operation. Through Lowe's work, the neighborhood has been characterized by stable businesses, signature landscaping, and community art.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:19 PM, 01.02.2019

Child and teen wellness practice opens in Cedar Fairmount

Richard Dempsey

Richard Dempsey, a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC) has opened a child and adolescent psychotherapy practice in the Cedar Fairmount Business District.

Fairmount Mental Wellness, located in the Heights Medical Building (2460 Fairmount Blvd., Suite 317), serves the social and emotional needs of children and their families.

Specializing in narrative therapy, Dempsey’s focus is on helping angry kids, frustrated parents and disconnected families, and addressing concerns related to behavior, anxiety and depression.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:41 PM, 01.03.2019

Heights Arts launches internship for CHHS students

Heights High students ShaDonnah Miller (left) and Ava Collyer (right) with art teacher Laura Skehan (center), who helped develop and launch the Heights Arts internship. [NOTE this version sharpened, brightened]

As executive director of Heights Arts—and as a Cleveland Heights High School (CHHS) parent—Rachel Bernstein was in a unique position to cultivate a partnership between Heights Arts and the high school. “Heights Arts was long searching for an authentic way to connect with CHHS,” she said, noting that the organization’s strategic plan includes a goal of increasing audience diversity and engagement. 

Last spring, an idea took shape that would allow this collaboration to flower: adding student interns to the organization's longstanding exhibitions committee. The students would gain valuable experience about developing and presenting art exhibitions, and Heights Arts would tap the students’ perspectives.

Heights High art teacher Laura Skehan quickly identified about a dozen students who would be good candidates. Heights Arts narrowed the field to a half-dozen and conducted individual interviews with the finalists in the summer and early fall.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:46 PM, 01.03.2019

Cleveland Heights - University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 12-18-2018

DECEMBER 18, 2018


  • Public comments
  • Update on the superintendent search
  • Middle school change orders
  • Mapping available elementary school space


President James Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting began at 7:32 p.m. and adjourned at 8:58 pm.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 10:01 AM, 01.08.2019

Library board welcomes Iwamoto, honors Botnick

Annette M. Iwamoto, new Heights Libraries board member.

At its Dec. 17 meeting, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library Board announced the appointment of its newest board member, Annette M. Iwamoto. Her seven-year term begins in January.

At the same meeting, the board honored outgoing Board President Abby Botnick, whose seven-year term ends on Dec. 31.

Chris Mentrek, who joined the board in 2013 and most recently served as vice president and chair of the operations committee, succeeds Botnick as president. 

“I’ve used the library since I first moved here,” said Iwamoto, “and I’ll bring to my board service the perspective of a customer who has used the library’s services during different stages of her life, including as a young adult with few resources and as a parent with a young child. I have a strong commitment to supporting and serving my community, and I’m looking forward to putting that commitment to use on behalf of the library.”

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:29 PM, 01.03.2019

Cleveland Heights – University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 12-17-2018

DECEMBER 17, 2018


  • Annual performance reviews
  • 2019 board meeting calendar
  • Website and e-newsletters - quarterly report
  • Culinary literacy
  • Small Business Saturday
  • Financial report


Present were President Abby Botnick, Vice President Chris Mentrek, Dana Fluellen, James Roosa, Vikas Turakhia and Suzanne Moskowitz. Max Gerboc was absent.


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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 9:54 AM, 01.08.2019

In 2019, join your fellow residents in writing for the Heights Observer

As I look back at the 10 January issues of the Heights Observer that we published between 2009 and 2018, I am struck by how many frequent contributors we’ve had—folks like David Budin, who wrote a story for our first issue and whose current column is on page 24 of this one, and Shari Nacson, who wrote her first story for us in 2014 and has been contributing almost monthly since March 2018 (she has two stories in this issue).

But out of the 1,450 Heights residents who have created accounts to submit articles in the Heights Observer’s Member Center, many of them are one-time or infrequent contributors—and that’s OK.

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, January seems quiet and calm. It’s a good time to reflect and set new goals for the year ahead. If you’ve enjoyed reading the Observer in the past, consider contributing a story in 2019.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:04 PM, 01.02.2019

Justice-elect swears in state reps at Beaumont

(Left to right) First-term state Rep. Juanita Brent, Ohio Supreme Court Justice-elect Melody Stewart, and three-term state Rep. Janine Boyd, after Stewart swore in the two state representatives in a ceremony at Beaumont School. All three women are graduates. (Credit: Beaumont School)

About 200 people packed the foyer of Beaumont School in Cleveland Heights to see the first African-American woman elected as a justice to the Supreme Court of Ohio administer the oath of office to two local state representatives. All three are graduates of the Catholic, all-girls school, whose motto is “Where young women learn to change the world.”

Supreme Court Justice-elect Melody Stewart gave the oath of office to third-term 9th district state Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) and newly elected 12th district state Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Lee/Harvard) on Dec. 16.

Stewart, currently a judge on the Eighth District Court of Appeals, will be sworn in to the Supreme Court on Jan. 2.

Boyd organized the event, which she said the legislature encourages to promote community participation. Boyd said it can be difficult for some constituents, like her mother, who uses a wheelchair, to go to Columbus to see the mass swearing-in ceremony on the floor of the Statehouse on Jan. 7.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 11:06 AM, 01.02.2019

Heights Youth Theatre presents 'Little Shop of Horrors'

Heights Youth Theatre (HYT) continues its "Celebration of Tolerance, Transformation, and Acceptance" with its production of "Little Shop of Horrors," at Heights Middle School (the former Wiley Middle School) auditorium in University Heights.

The show, directed by Cleveland Heights resident Eugene Sumlin, with music direction by Stacy Bolton, includes 60 actors in grades 1–12 from Cleveland Heights, University Heights, Shaker Heights and surrounding communities. Join them as they make their way through downtown Skid Row with Seymour, Audrey, and one very strange plant!

“HYT'S production of 'Little Shop of Horrors' is sure to be a highlight of the season," Bolton said. "With this strong a cast, it's hard to believe these are school-aged students on stage.”

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:48 PM, 01.03.2019

University Heights City Council meeting highlights 12-17-2018

DECEMBER 17, 2018


  • Public comments
  • Mayor’s comments
  • Guide Studio proposal
  • Council assignments changes
  • Ladder truck financing
  • Supplemental appropriations and expenditures
  • Community improvement updates
  • Contract with Solon jail
  • Delinquent property taxes
  • Movement to amend the U.S. Constitution


Present were Mayor Michael D. Brennan, Vice mayor Susan Pardee, Pamela Cameron, John Rach, Michelle Weiss and Mark Wiseman. Also present were Law Director Luke McConville and Clerk of Council Kelly Thomas. The meeting was held from 7 to 8:42 p.m.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 10:11 AM, 01.08.2019

'A Raisin in the Sun' continues Ensemble's season

"A Raisin in the Sun" runs through Feb. 17 at Ensemble Theatre.

After directing both parts of “Angels in America” last season, Ensemble Executive Artistic Director Celeste Cosentino again takes on an American classic, bringing Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” to the Cleveland Heights theater (2843 Washington Blvd.), Jan. 25 through Feb. 17.

“A Raisin in the Sun” was the first play by an African-American woman to appear on Broadway (1959). The award-winning play is about an African-American family facing racism while trying to find a better life.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:51 PM, 01.03.2019

The old neighborhood

My mother was born in Pittsburgh. Her mother died when my mother was 11 months old. Her father married a woman from Cleveland when my mother was 2 or 3. But when my mother was 10, and right before her stepmother gave birth to my mother’s brother, my mother’s father died. Within a couple of years, her stepmother brought my mother and her baby brother to live in Cleveland Heights. My mother’s older sister stayed in Pittsburgh to finish high school.

That was during the Great Depression. They lived in an apartment on Coventry Road, where most of the buildings are the same ones that stand there today. My mother attended Roosevelt Junior High. When the interior of their apartment building (above what is now the Hunan Coventry Restaurant) was destroyed by fire, they moved in with relatives nearby.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 1:00 PM, 01.03.2019

Top of the Hill design fails CH

I was disappointed to see FutureHeights support the Top of the Hill (TOH) project in light of the current design. While I agree with FutureHeights on many points, and give the site plan an “A,” the TIF funding a “B” and the parking plan a “B-,“ I feel the design is so poor that it warrants a “D” and support should be withheld until a better one is presented.

The current design fails Cleveland Heights on multiple levels, both in process and appearance.

From a process standpoint, while city materials state community feedback will be included, in calendar year 2018, I know of no formal process to solicit this input from the general public. There have been no design charrettes and the only input from the public has been generated by questions when status updates on the project have been given. I have seen none of that feedback translated into the design, as the original images, which were reported to just be “massing studies,” have only been refined with more detail—they continue to be boring, bland, banal “Developer Modernism.”

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 11:50 AM, 01.02.2019

Change in state law offers 'fresh start' for some offenders

The new year is all about fresh starts. A recent change in Ohio law means that more people are now eligible to have their criminal records sealed. Effective Oct. 29, 2018, the definition of “eligible offender” changed and is now much broader.

In Ohio, an adult criminal record can be sealed so that the conviction or criminal charge is filed separately from a person’s record. However, the record can never be completely erased. It is still available to some; for instance, judges, law enforcement, certain employers (such as schools), and most professional licensing boards can gain access to the sealed record, but most employers, landlords, and the public cannot see the record.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 11:46 AM, 01.02.2019

Heights Arts explores mapping and cubism in new exhibitions

Artist Sai Sinbondit's "Emergent," a multi-media work consisting of ink, coffee, dirt, plants and dyes, will be part of VIEW-points, opening Jan. 18.

Heights Arts is exploring the concept of mapping in the group exhibition VIEW-points, curated by Helen Liggett and Sharon Grossman. "This exhibition is based on questions of what mapping is and how maps mediate between viewers and the world," Liggett said. The exhibition, which runs Jan. 18 through March 3, will show viewers different perspectives of locations both close to home and distant from everyday life.

The show features artists G.M. Donley, Michael Loderstedt, Wendy Partridge, Sai Sinbondit and Rebeckah Wilhelm. They use a variety of media, from photography and prints to locally sourced pigments made from plants, coffee and dirt.

"Mapping is a way to make sense of things by directing attention,” Liggett explained. "This terrain blurs the distinctions between art and science, diagrams and cartoons, play and politics. The artists and viewers participating in VIEW-points explore, provoke and reflect on mapping as orientation rather than destination."

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:55 PM, 01.03.2019

CH Senior Center News

The Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center (SAC) invites seniors to dance in the New Year by joining one or more of the many dance classes it offers, including two free classes. 

Line Dance (contemporary style) promotes physical fitness through dance exercise. Join instructor Gladys McGlothin on Mondays, Jan. 7 through March 11, 9:30–10:30 a.m. All levels are welcome and no partner is required. The class fee is $25 for eight weeks.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:32 PM, 01.03.2019

UH Senior Happenings

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

Jan. 3: University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan will review 2018 activities and discuss plans under consideration for 2019.

Jan. 10: Jane Goodman, director of Cuyahoga River Area of Concern, will discuss how this nonprofit agency works for removal of contamination and other impairments from the river, which is becoming a national symbol of recovery.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:34 PM, 01.03.2019

Library adds student newspaper to local history collection

The front page of the Sept. 30, 1938 edition of the Black and Gold.

Heights Libraries recently expanded its local history collection by creating a new digital archive of the Heights High student newspaper, the Black and Gold
Heights High students have published the Black and Gold since the 1920s, and the Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation gave a collection of the paper to the library in hopes that the historic issues could be preserved and shared with the community.  
For the past few months, Heights Libraries’ Local History Librarian Jessica Robinson has been scanning and uploading old issues to the library’s page on the Ohio Memory website. The online collection currently includes issues from the 1930s and '40s, and Robinson plans to add to the collection in the future. 

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:27 PM, 01.03.2019

UHFD to get new ladder truck

University Heights firefighters test a new ladder truck.

University Heights city officials recently approved the order for a new ladder truck.

“We’ve been living on borrowed time, and the increasing risk was unacceptable,” UH Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan said. “The new truck will help our fire department with their life-saving mission.”

At a UH City Council meeting on Dec. 3, Fire Chief Robert Perko explained how a tragedy was narrowly averted at a recent Tullamore Road fire.

In that fire, a resident was on the third floor of her home, when fire broke out on the second floor. “When the woman ran down the stairs to escape, she quickly decided to go back to the third floor and await the fire department, because the fire blocked her path,” Perko said.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 11:27 AM, 01.02.2019

Introducing Noble Community Center

Noble Community Center is a community center without walls.

Over the summer, the center provided games and sports activities on available green spaces along Noble Road for children and adults to play, meet one another, and have fun. Local businesses provided water and canopies to keep everyone cool, and residents provided snacks, refreshments and game equipment.

The mission of the nonprofit is to arrange opportunities where all residents who live on the north side of Cleveland Heights can get together, talk, play games and participate in other engaging social, civic and educational activities that build a sense of community. Noble Community Center’s objective is to lessen neighborhood tensions, support the underserved, and improve the well-being of neighborhood residents.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 11:19 AM, 01.02.2019

Before "diversity"—the integration of Cleveland Heights [part 1 of 3]

How many transformative social movements have started over a pot of coffee?

Just as the campaign to stop the freeways from decimating the near East Side suburbs was driven by women through a network of garden clubs, the movement to integrate Cleveland Heights began with a handful of women in a living room. In the early 1960s, some Cleveland Heights residents involved in the struggle for school desegregation in Cleveland began to question the virtually all-white composition of their own neighborhoods and schools, and to focus their attention closer to home.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 11:42 AM, 01.02.2019

GardenWalk seeks CH gardens for free summer tour

GardenWalk Cleveland Heights is a new organization formed to showcase the beauty of neighborhoods in Cleveland Heights, and to build community within Cleveland Heights and in the Greater Cleveland area.

The first GardenWalk Cleveland Heights is planned for the weekend of July 20 and 21, from noon to 5 p.m.

The spirit of GardenWalk is inclusive. Tours are free, and anyone who wants show a garden may participate. There are no judges or prizes.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:10 PM, 01.02.2019

Advocacy is fundamental

The midterm election is over. We elected people to represent us, and now it is our job to make sure they do!

Advocacy—speaking in support of a cause or an issue—is part of our civic responsibility. It may feel intimidating to address an elected official or testify at a public meeting, but such participation is important to the democratic process. It’s the way we inform our representatives about what matters to us, their constituents.

After the November election, the Heights Coalition for Public Education held a workshop to inspire supporters to advocate for public education with neighbors, friends, community leaders and elected officials at the local, state and national levels.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 11:35 AM, 01.02.2019

Changing the testing culture

CH-UH kindergarten teachers spoke in unison during public comments at the Board of Education (BOE) meeting on Nov. 5. Their concerns ranged from the excessive time spent assessing our young learners to how our current testing of kindergartners is developmentally inappropriate. 

One teacher stated that by the 25th day of school, teachers had administered five tests. Others stated that some of the tests must be given one on one, which results in a tremendous loss of instructional time. Nearly 90 colleagues and community residents attended the board meeting to support our teachers. Each teacher who spoke asked for time to meet with district officials to rethink what and how we test kindergarten students.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 11:39 AM, 01.02.2019

Addendum to December letter re: Top of the Hill

One of our readers alerted Heights Observer staff to the fact that in publishing a letter by Richard Bozic ["Top of the Hill design should reflect Cedar Fairmount style"] in the December issue, we failed to disclose that he was "a (very recent) former chair of the CH Architectural Board of Review."

We were unaware of that, and confirmed with Bozic that he was indeed a former member who "left the board at the end of 2016, almost 2 years ago . . . (and) was the chairman in 2016."

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 11:56 AM, 01.02.2019

Local foundation gets gold seal

The McGinty Family Foundation, a University Heights-based nonprofit dedicated to helping education, has received the 2018 GuideStar Gold Seal of Transparency. The seal means that the foundation has provided financial statements, goals, and other key metrics that the GuideStar website says “give potential donors and funders better insight” into their work.

GuideStar is the nation’s largest nonprofit database, with information on 2.7 million organizations. It awards four transparency levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum (

Foundation Executive Director T.P. McGinty said receiving the seal “means we’ve done our due diligence,” and it “allows us to stand out among nonprofits. We’re honored to receive this award.”

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 11:10 AM, 01.02.2019

Beth El hosts lunch-and-learn about autism

Beth El - the Heights Synagogue will host an open lunch-and-learn, "The ABCs of Autism Spectrum Disorder: A First-Hand Account," on Saturday, Jan. 12, at the synagogue (3246 Desota Ave.).

Attendees will receive complimentary lunch and valuable information about autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The talk will be facilitated by Mia Buchwald Gelles, co-founder of Milestones Autism Resources, a nonprofit located in Warrensville Heights that works to improve the lives of individuals with autism.

Joining Gelles is Molly D. Dann-Pipinias, a young adult on the spectrum, who will share her personal insight as a member of the autism community.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 11:01 AM, 01.02.2019

Community book discussion to explore school 'testing charade'

If you are the parent or grandparent of school-age children, there’s an important book that the Heights Coalition for Public Education urges you to read. The book—The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better, by Daniel Koretz—concerns a topic that affects the CH-UH community: the overwhelming intrusion of high-stakes standardized testing in the public schools. 

The Coalition invites members of the community to discuss The Testing Charade on Wednesday, Feb. 6 and Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7–9 p.m., in the Wiley Middle School cafeteria. Relevant and important conversation is promised, as well as a few surprises.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:54 AM, 01.02.2019

As Stephens takes county council seat, CH seeks her replacement

Cheryl Stephens

Cleveland Heights City Council is seeking a replacement for former Council Member Cheryl Stephens, who was elected to represent District 10 on Cuyahoga County Council on Nov. 6 and officially took her seat there Nov. 27. Stephens had served on CH City Council since 2010 and had been reelected for her third, four-year term in November 2017.

The city has posted an application online ( and has set a deadline of 5 p.m., Jan. 15.

The application asks candidates to answer several questions and attach a resume or CV. A PDF of the form can be printed from the website and e-mailed, mailed or hand-delivered to CH City Hall. Applicants are asked to describe the “special qualities, abilities, skills, insights or perspectives” that they would bring to a position on council, as well as their goals for improving the city.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:12 AM, 12.18.2018

Teachers honored as diversity advocates

Top row, from left: Searcy, Askew, Thomas. Bottom row: Harris, Coleman-Kirkland.

Four English Language Arts teachers in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District were honored at the state level for their work in promoting the importance of diversity among district educators.
Lorna Askew, Angela Coleman-Kirkland, Mikia Searcy and Sherice Thomas are recipients of the Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (OCTELA) Diversity Award. They were selected as a result of their participation in the OCTELA Teacher Diversity Recruitment Program, and were among nominees from across the state.
“I think that it is important for students of color to experience school life with teachers who have a similar race or ethnicity because it is more likely that they will infuse multicultural perspectives and relate how the curriculum was influenced by diverse peoples," said Askew, an intervention specialist at Heights Middle School. "Students of color need to see role models, and they need to know that people who looked like them influenced the subject matter that they are learning." 

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:31 AM, 01.01.2019

Two CH speedskaters race in national junior championship

Ryan Shane, 14, and Hira Hanson, 16, representing the Cleveland Heights Speedskating Club, were among only 38 boys in the nation who qualified and raced in this year's US Short Track Junior Championship.

Two members of the Cleveland Heights Speedskating Club were among approximately 50 skaters who raced in the US Short Track Junior Championship last month in Wassau, Wis.

Hira Hanson, 16, a junior at Cleveland Heights High School, and Ryan Shane, 14, a freshman at Shaker Heights High School, are the first members of the Cleveland Heights club to ever qualify and compete in the Junior Championship. 

Their coach is Nicole Golembiewski, head coach of the Cleveland Heights club.

The high-stakes event was for boys and girls ages 14–19, with top competitors earning spots on the U.S. Junior World Cup team and the Olympics training program. Neither of the Heights skaters placed high enough to do so.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:05 AM, 01.01.2019

Beamont's Rulison declares for CCU

Beaumont senior Ashley Rulison (at left).

On Nov. 14, Beaumont School senior Ashley Rulison signed a National Letter of Intent to run cross-country and track at Coastal Carolina University (CCU), a Division I school located in South Carolina.

Rulison, a Burton native, excelled as a Beaumont Blue Streak. She burst onto the scene as a freshman, finishing 10th at the 2015 Division II state cross country meet, and came back with a third-place finish as a sophomore.

That same year, she qualified for the state track meet in the 1600 (finishing 12th), 3200 (placing 16th) and as a member of Beaumont’s 4x800 relay quartet that took fifth. Last year, Rulison ran second on Beaumont’s 4x800 relay team that took third at the state track meet, and also anchored the 4x400 team that finished fifth in the state.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:08 AM, 01.01.2019

'Helping Hann' furnace giveaway now in its third year

Cleveland Heights resident Ardyce Daugherty, 2018 recipient of the free "Helping Hann" furnace, with company co-owner Chris Hann.

Verne & Ellsworth Hann Inc. is accepting nominations for its third annual Helping Hann furnace giveaway, in which a deserving member of the community will receive a free furnace and installation.

Chris Hann, co-owner of the Cleveland Heights-based heating, cooling and plumbing company, is asking for nominations from Cleveland Heights, University Heights and other east side communities.

“It has been our honor to install a new furnace the past two years to deserving homeowners,” Hann said. “Again, we want to share our good fortune by continuing to give back to the community that’s been so good to our family all these years. We are hopeful that members of the community will nominate themselves or someone they know who is without heat or has an old furnace and is in desperate need of a new one.”

This year’s winner will receive a new high-efficiency heating system and installation, with a total value of up to $3,500.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:13 AM, 12.18.2018

JCU volunteers partner with Options students

JCU volunteers, with Brian Williams, (back row, second from left).

It takes a village to raise a child. Brian Williams, coordinator of alternative education for the CH-UH City School District’s Options Center, would argue that the same applies to raising a teenager.

The teenagers in his care, 145 high-school students who are working to recover their credits and get back on the track to graduation, benefit from a “village” of regular volunteers from John Carroll University (JCU).

Nearly 40 college students visit the Options Center, located in the Delisle Building, for 90 minutes each week to tutor students. The program is organized by the Center for Service and Social Action at JCU  and coordinated by J.P. Graulty, JCU’s assistant director for community partnerships.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:12 AM, 01.01.2019

Heights High basketball team meets Holocaust survivor

Back row, from left: Cameren Majors, Jadrian Gant, Heights High social studies teacher Mark Sack, Ibn Edwards, Mol Coles, Stanley Bernath, Greg Pitts, Justin Wodlty, Christian Dillard, Jaylen Davis, Harris Kern, Nigel Martin, coach Michael Cruz, Jamarion Lanum. Front row, from left: Landon Brown, Manny Hill.

The new Heights High varsity basketball coach, Michael Cruz, wants to provide both physical and social-emotional training for his team. That is why he partnered with Heights High "Lessons of the Holocaust" teacher Mark Sack to plan a Nov. 29 team visit to the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage's Stop the Hate exhibit, and a meeting with 92-year-old Holocaust survivor Stanley Bernath.

“For the team to meet with Mr. Bernath was a real honor,” said Sack. “We do not have many Holocaust survivors left, and I knew that he could share his stories and tell the team about the dangers of hate and indifference.”

Bernath shared his story of survival during the Holocaust and offered advice to the students. He told the young men: “Believe in yourselves; never, ever give up, no matter how bad things look. Nobody is better than you and you are not better than anybody else—we are just different!”

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:17 AM, 01.01.2019

Cedar Fairmount SID supports Top of the Hill project

To the Editor:

The Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District (SID) is in support of the Top of the Hill Project at Euclid Heights Boulevard and Cedar Road in Cleveland Heights.

The area is on the former site of Doctor’s Hospital that was 10 floors. This was built in the Cedar Fairmount neighborhood, which was created for density in a planned community.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:11 AM, 12.18.2018

Robotics team swaps force for finesse

The Heights High Robotics Team working with the new Vex system (clockwise from left): Jacqueline Gold (seated), senior; Keshaun Madlock, sophomore; Jaleel Davis, freshman; unidentified adult volunteer; Emma Hodges (wearing hat), junior; James Birdsell (foreground, kneeling), sophomore.

The Cleveland Heights High School robotics team has gone from trying to destroy its challengers to trying to beat them with finesse. For the past several years, they have designed and built Battle Bots, remote-controlled robotic units that battle other robots in a bulletproof cage. Last year the team placed 2nd at the regional competition and 5th at nationals.

This year the 30-member team is using a new model, Vex Robotics, a system for designing, programming, building and operating robotic units that perform sophisticated movements.

“Think of an Erector Set on steroids,” said robotics team coach Greg Nachman. “The kits are very versatile, with more opportunities for students to program the robotic movements.”

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:25 AM, 01.01.2019

Consider risks of the Top of the Hill Project

On Oct. 27, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the upcoming closing of Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern. It's been a rocky couple of decades for "the Euc," but Happy Dog co-owner Sean Watterson, quoted in the Plain Dealer, summed up the current situation in University Circle by saying, "The area changed pretty quickly with building going up rather than through organic growth." [The Euclid Tavern is owned by University Circle Inc.]

This could serve as a cautionary tale for the Heights' Top of the Hill Project. Could any of our organically grown treasures, such as Appletree Books, Luna, or The Fairmount, suffer because of too much building, too fast?

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 11:11 AM, 12.04.2018

Heights Arts holiday store open through Dec. 30

Ornaments by Sue Berry.

What began in 2002 as a tiny pop-up shop with a few local artists has blossomed into the 17th annual Heights Arts Holiday Store, featuring creations by 100 Northeast Ohio visual artists and artisans, writers and musicians.

“In addition to Cleveland darlings—including William Brouillard, APEmade, and Benita Cullinan—we welcome more than 20 artists who are new to the Holiday Store this year. Heights Arts is excited about adding more artists working in the graphic arts, jewelry and painting,” noted Genevieve Schwartz, program manager for the nonprofit arts organization. Visitors will also find handmade cards and ornaments, photography, handknits and printed tees, artisan items for the home and littlest family members, plus local music CDs and chapbooks by Cleveland poets.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:53 AM, 12.03.2018

Communion of Saints hosts Dec. 16 holiday shop

On Sunday, Dec. 16, Communion of Saints PTO invites the community to shop local at its inaugural Holiday Pop-Up Shop. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 20 businesses and artisans will gather in Walsh Hall, at Saint Ann Church, 2175 Stillman Road.

The shop will feature jewelry, clothing for all ages, functional pottery, Cleveland Heights- and Cleveland-themed ornaments and prints, stationary, honey and jams, and unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. There will be a variety of items in every price range.

StudioCat at Artful will be on site, offering, for a small fee, crafts for young creators.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:46 AM, 12.03.2018

Coventry holiday fest is Dec. 8

Coventry Village will host its annual Holiday Festival on Saturday, Dec. 8, starting at 11 a.m. and running through the evening. Offering events and activities for all ages, the district is proud to present something for everyone this holiday season.

This year’s festival is taking place in cooperation with the Grog Shop and B Side Lounge’s Jingle Bell Shop, and reflects the partnership between the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus and Coventry Village merchants.

With special music, holiday characters, Coventry Cash, holiday treats, crafts, classic movies and, of course, photos with Santa Claus, Coventry Village is bringing back all of the festival favorites to this beloved neighborhood event.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:44 AM, 12.03.2018

Remember when Coventry wasn't cool?

Some guy, in a Facebook group about growing up in Cleveland Heights, posted the comment “Remember when Coventry used to be cool?”

That drew dozens of responses, almost all of them saying that Coventry still is cool.

The guy who posted that was referring to Coventry in the early 2000s—a time, he’d be surprised to learn, when people were also saying “remember when Coventry used to be cool,” referring to the 1990s. The fact is people have been saying this since about 1971 (referring to 1968). Really. It’s a thing. People who hang around Coventry for a few years eventually see changes happening and decide that the whole place is ruined—from whenever their first experience was in the area.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:34 AM, 12.03.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 12-4-2018

DECEMBER 4, 2018

Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Members of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights library board were also present. The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. and was adjourned at 8:37 p.m.

Library board trustee interviews

This work session was held to conduct library board trustee interviews to elect a candidate to one, open seven-year term.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 4:28 PM, 12.17.2018

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 12-3-2018

DECEMBER 3, 2018


  • Top of the Hill hearing
  • Top of the Hill project ordinances
  • CDBG application for 2019
  • HRRC federal assistance loan program
  • Parks and recreation 2019
  • Application for open council seat
  • Liability self-insurance
  • 2019 Budget
  • 2018 budget amendments
  • Service director retires
  • Mayor’s report


Council members present were Mayor Carol Roe, Vice Mayor Melissa Yasinow, Mary Dunbar, Jason Stein and Michael N. Ungar. Kahlil Seren was absent. The hearing and meeting lasted from 7:29 to 9:58 p.m. Public hearing on the Top of the Hill project occupied the first hour and 50 minutes.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 11:22 AM, 12.18.2018

Cafe Tandoor marks 26 years in CH

Celebrating Cafe Tandoor's longevity, Beverly Singh, former owner; Pishori Lai, executive chef; and Raj Singh, owner.

Just before New Year’s Eve in 1992, Raj Singh put the finishing touches on what would become a local legend—Cleveland Height’s long-lived Cafe Tandoor. As another new year approaches, the restaurant is wrapping up its 26th year of business.

Seeing a niche opportunity in the 1990s, Singh wanted to open an Indian restaurant as, back then, there was only one Cleveland restaurant serving Indian food.

Singh said he chose to open his restaurant in Cleveland Heights because of its metropolitan and open-minded nature. To craft a rich menu with fine ingredients, Singh relied heavily on Chef Satpal Kashyap, a five-star chef from Mubai, India, and Kashyap's brother in-law, Chef Pishori Lal, who remains Cafe Tandoor’s head chef today.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:27 AM, 12.03.2018

Library launches new tech podcast

Technology Trainer Ann MacNamara.

Heights Libraries has launched a podcast aimed at making technology and online living a little less intimidating and a lot more fun. Called “Library Binary,” the monthly, half-hour show features Ann MacNamara and Alyse Giannotti, technology trainers at Heights Libraries, chatting about upcoming computer classes, new services, and technology news and trends.

It also features practical advice on common technology issues. The October show, for instance, offers advice on a common problem faced by smart phone users: how to manage the multitude of photos they take with their phones. The September show features a discussion on the potential dangers of sharing information on Facebook, and how users can safeguard their privacy.

The podcast is the latest way that the library’s continuing education staff is helping customers keep up with, and better understand, trends in technology.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:38 AM, 12.03.2018

Heights sisters launch app for home-schoolers

Cleveland Heights sisters Nina and Maya Serna are excited about the launch of their app to help home-schoolers track their work.

Two Cleveland Heights teenagers have launched a new app that helps home-schooled students with the tedious task of logging their study hours to earn high school credits. High school junior Maya Serna and her eighth-grade sister, Nina, launched HomieSchooler in November through a website, and they've applied for a grant to expand operations.

Each high school credit comprises 120 hours of study, which must be tracked over time. Students usually experiment with methods of logging their hours. Maya tried coloring in graph paper squares, which became cumbersome. “It was very inefficient. I would forget,” she said, “then the squares would blend together and it would be hard to count.” Then she tried a spreadsheet, with pull-down tabs for each course, which wasn’t readily accessible and was also easy to forget.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:15 AM, 12.03.2018

What's going on at your library?

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

Monday, Dec. 10, 4 p.m.

Tech Talk: Digital Collections from the Library. Your library card gives you access to more than just books! Learn about the eBooks, movies, magazines and more, available free with your library card—wherever you are. (Registration required.)

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:40 AM, 12.03.2018

Residents create guide to aging well in CH

Did you know that Heights Libraries will deliver and pick up books for seniors? This is just one bit of information that is now available in the Cleveland Heights Aging Well at Home Resource Guide.

Two Forest Hill residents created the 30-page guide, which contains a listing of local nonprofit and governmental programs and resources, organized by the general needs of senior citizens.

They had two purposes in mind in designing the guide and creating a CH Aging Well At Home Initiative: (1) to provide seniors with useful information to enable them to stay in their homes longer as they age; and (2) to offer a tool for neighbors and other volunteers and caregivers, to initiate conversations, provide a helping hand, facilitate connections, and expand supportive relationships within the city.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:23 AM, 12.03.2018

UH Senior Citizen Happenings

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

Dec. 6: Georgia Davis, a flight nurse with the U.S. Air Force, will look back on her wartime service aboard a C-141, ferrying wounded soldiers from Vietnam back home to the States. After 10 years of military service, Davis retired with the rank of major.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:20 AM, 12.03.2018

CH Senior Center News

The Cleveland Heights Office on Aging is excited to be partnering with University Circle Incorporated (UCI) to bring the world-class resources of University Circle to the Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center (SAC).

Beginning in January, monthly lectures will be offered using video-conferencing technology. The lectures will be followed by trips designed to bring the lecture to life.

The inaugural program will be about artist Georgia O’Keefe, and will start with a lecture on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 11 a.m. Titled “The Evolution of Georgia O’Keefe,” the lecture, by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, will provide a look at O’Keefe’s life, including her inspirations, setbacks and rise to fame.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:18 AM, 12.03.2018

Heights High stage crew lets the magic fly

Members of the stage crew on one of the many elaborate sets for "Mary Poppins." Photo by Krissy Gallagher.

Members of Cleveland Heights High School’s Vocal Music Department have enjoyed cheering crowds, bouquets of flowers, praise and admiration from all corners of the community. But their impressive four-day production of the musical "Mary Poppins" would not have been nearly as impressive—or even possible—without the time, commitment and expertise of the stage crew.

Heights High’s stage crew may exist in the shadows, but its work is front and center. The students spent months building sets, painting scenes, mastering the sound technology, designing the lighting, and learning to safely operate the flying equipment. Yes, that’s right: the flying equipment.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:03 AM, 12.03.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 11-20-2018

NOVEMBER 20, 2018


  • Update on facilities renovations
  • Measuring student performance


President James Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, and Beverly Wright were present. Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting began at 7 p.m. after an executive session and a meeting with Michael Collins of Ray and Associates, Inc., to discuss the superintendent search. The meeting adjourned at 9:32 p.m.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 4:22 PM, 12.17.2018