Latest News

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

Latest News Releases

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
Voter information for Nov. 6 election
- Cuyahoga County, October 4, 2018 Read More
- Jewish Federation of Cleveland, September 26, 2018 Read More

View more news releases

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

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

Students get work started on Langton Road pocket gardens

Heights High students and an instructor helped spread 20 cubic yards of compost and mulch on 11 Langton Road gardens. From left: Jachelle Knowles, Jay Ward, instructor Steven Warner, Chris Edwards, Mi'Kail Williams and Saunjae Andrews. [photo by Eric Dillenbeck]

In early November, six Cleveland Heights High School students helped the Noble Neighborhood's pocket garden project take a step forward. The project, launched last spring, aims to build community spirit and increase property values through coordinated landscape beautification. (A March article in the Heights Observer provided background information on the project and can be found at

The students—Martin Vaynshtok, Mi'Kail Williams, Jay Ward, Jachelle Knowles, Christopher Edwards and Saunjae Andrews—spent six hours spreading cardboard and 20 cubic yards of compost, topsoil and mulch on 11 frontyard garden beds on Langton Road. The six are students of Steven Warner, career-based intervention instructor at Heights High. "I am proud of the work the students did on Langton Road,” said Warner. “It was great to see them working together in the community."

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 9:56 AM, 12.03.2018

High schoolers launch lip gloss company

Ramona Robinson with Santasia Farrow, Nia Farrow and Logan Wallace on 19 Action News.

Photo submitted by Shannon Powell

Parents of teenagers often wonder if their kids ever listen to their advice. Well, the parents of Logan Wallace and Nia Farrow, freshmen at Heights High, and Santasia Farrow, a junior at Brush High School, need wonder no longer. After a particularly expensive trip to the mall last spring, the girls’ parents joked that because they spend so much money on cosmetics, they should just launch their own lip-gloss company. 

And that is what they did.

After months of research and planning, including a trip to New York City to visit a makeup manufacturing warehouse where they selected and purchased their colors and finishes, the three girls launched Glitty Cosmetics, makeup “for girls, by girls.”

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 4:59 PM, 11.29.2018

UH Civic Awards honor 'good neighbors'

Award winners gathered at the University Heights Civic Awards on Nov. 14.

After a decade-long absence, the University Heights Civic Awards returned on Nov. 14. An overflow crowd packed the Jardine Room at John Carroll University (JCU) for an evening of awards, live jazz, dinner and a comedic performance from local teacher and emcee Maggie McPhee.

The event was more than just a great party, said University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan.

“The Civic Awards did a lot to bring the community together,” Brennan said.  “It was a celebration of great people who work hard to make University Heights a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

Brennan said it was important to him to shine a spotlight on the “good neighbors” in University Heights, including people who are well known as well as those who may not have received as much attention.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 5:11 PM, 11.29.2018

Noble Road planning study continues

On Oct. 29 and 30, consultants from Camiros, Ltd., a nationally recognized urban planning firm, and The Riddle Company, a real estate and economic development marketing consulting practice, made their first visit to Cleveland Heights to begin a planning study of the Noble Road corridor. FutureHeights commissioned the study with the goals of revitalizing the corridor to enhance the neighborhood’s image and improve residents’ quality of life.

During the two days, the consultants toured the Noble neighborhood and the city of Cleveland Heights, and met individually and in small groups with almost 40 residents and business owners. They also met with members of organizations such as Noble Neighbors, Home Repair Resource Center, Central Bible Baptist Church, Noble Neighborhood Library, and the cities of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 5:20 PM, 11.29.2018

Last minute Heights gift ideas

Custom Floral Arrangements. Stems Fleur.

Each year, the Heights Observer urges residents to support local businesses, and think of them when shopping—especially during the holidays.

For many of them, purchases made at the end of the year make the difference between turning a profit or operating at a loss.

Here, we've listed a few last-minute gift ideas, to provide inspiration as you search for the perfect gift—hopefully right here in the Heights. 


Custom Floral Arrangements. ($45.00 to $150.00, Stems Fleur) 

One-Year Subscription. ($28.00, "Funny Times") 

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 5:13 PM, 11.29.2018

Little Italy restaurateur now owns Inn on Coventry

Co-owners Eddie and Erica Zalar with their daughter, Nora.

The Inn on Coventry, located at the corner of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard, has been serving up delicious breakfast and lunch fare for 37 years. Popular among many Heights locals, it’s not uncommon to run into someone you know at the inn. The casual, open dining room creates a social atmosphere while also maintaining a cozy, homey feel.

Under continuous family ownership since its 1981 opening, the inn changed hands in January 2018 when the owners decided to retire. Eddie Zalar, a Chardon native and the former owner of Nora, an upscale Italian eatery in Little Italy, purchased the restaurant.

Zalar, who now lives in Lakewood, is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York. He worked in several restaurants before moving back to Ohio in 2015 to open Nora. Creating and maintaining a successful business at Nora required Zalar to work long hours. With his second child on the way, the daytime operating hours of the inn were appealing, and so he made the switch.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 11:18 AM, 11.27.2018

10 Decembers: looking back on a decade of the Heights Observer

December is the height of the holiday season, when hope and excitement for the future are in the air. The community has processed and pondered the meaning of November election results, with either hope or trepidation for the coming year. For local business owners, the holiday season is make-or-break time. The strength of holiday shopping sales often determines if they will remain a going concern or close up shop come January.  

The December 2008 issue celebrated the opening of two new businesses in Cleveland Heights: Cleveland Violins at 2917 Mayfield Road and Taste at 2317 Lee Road. Cleveland Heights residents had just voted down an income tax increase proposal, and resident Toby Rittner reported on the various cuts to government services that would result and the need for economic development of “the top of the hill.” In an effort to help local retail businesses, the Heights Observer debuted its first-annual Holiday Gift Guide, a one-page listing of offerings from local businesses.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 5:08 PM, 11.29.2018

Teachers union members are committed to the community

Team Fairfax raised more than $3,200 for a service dog for a child in need.

Many young people are surprised to see their teachers outside of school, believing we are somehow confined to the classroom day and night. Though teachers work long hours, many are also community leaders. Our members are volunteers at churches and synagogues, scout leaders, band boosters, and PTA members, to name a few. In our teachers union, we believe strongly in community service as part of our core values of promoting social justice and democracy. Here are some examples of the types of activities CH-UH faculty participated in recently:

In September, our members volunteered for the Heritage Home Tour run by Heights Community Congress (HCC). We have been participating in this event for several years by hosting one of the homes on the tour. Many community organizations help out during this community event that showcases special homes and gardens while supporting HCC programming that promotes fair housing, integration, and more.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 4:35 PM, 11.29.2018

Forest Hill Church introduces new co-pastor

The Rev. Dr. Veronica Goines and the Rev. Dr. John C. Lentz Jr.

Forest Hill Presbyterian Church is changing to a new ministerial model. On Jan. 2, the Rev. Dr. Veronica Goines will join the Rev. Dr. John C. Lentz Jr. as the church’s new co-pastor.

The new co-pastor model reflects the church’s mission and vision [to be] a church where all of God’s children are heard, seen, exalted and equal.

After an extensive national search, the church called Goines to share equally in leading the 100-year-old congregation further along the path of restorative justice.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 1:45 PM, 11.29.2018

FH's Neighborhood Leadership Workshop Series begins in January

FutureHeights is proud to launch the fifth round of its Neighborhood Leadership Workshop Series, a multidisciplinary leadership development program. Participants will develop leadership skills and gain knowledge and tools they can use to help make their Cleveland Heights neighborhood strong, safe and vibrant.

Since 2015, 47 Cleveland Heights residents have completed the workshops. Participants were interested in learning more about Cleveland Heights and meeting other civically minded people, and some had a community or neighborhood project in mind when they signed up. Many workshop series graduates have gone on to receive project funding through the FutureHeights Neighborhood Mini-Grant Program.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 2:09 PM, 11.29.2018

Tips for winter bicycling

Bicycle riders in the Heights have wintertime challenges to overcome. One is keeping themselves warm and safe in cold and snowy weather, and another is protecting their bikes from harsh elements. Luckily, our neighborhood bike stores have a wealth of knowledge, and a quick visit can provide good advice on how to keep rolling during winter.

Both Mike Bednarz, of Cain Park Bicycle, and John Reinker, of Cycle Fitness and Sport, agree: salt, grime and moisture will harm your bike.

Reinker suggests that people who commute by bicycle year-round may benefit from using an inexpensive bike and keeping the bike chain clean and lubed so it will be functional as long as possible. Yet some of his customers opt for the opposite: riding higher-end bicycles that have fewer components exposed.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 1:50 PM, 11.29.2018

Metro Life Flight lands in Cleveland Heights

The new helipad at MetroHealth's Cleveland Heights hospital at Severance Town Center.

MetroHealth’s hospital in Cleveland Heights is now accessible by air.

In October, MetroHealth opened a new Metro Life Flight helicopter landing pad at its Cleveland Heights Medical Center, located at 10 Severance Circle.

The new helipad gives MetroHealth the ability to transport patients in critical need of care from its emergency room at Cleveland Heights Medical Center to its renowned Level I Trauma Center at MetroHealth’s Main Campus in Cleveland.

MetroHealth thanks officials from the city of Cleveland Heights, the Ohio Department of Transportation, and the Federal Aviation Administration for helping through the process of constructing and opening the helipad.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 1:53 PM, 11.29.2018

Citizens Police Academy alum urges other residents to apply

Have you ever had “nystagmus?” Do you even know what it is? You will if you read on.

Earlier this year, I attended the Cleveland Heights Citizens Police Academy. In a nutshell, it gives the community an opportunity to look inside the complex world of law enforcement, to see the processes and procedures that guide police officers every day, and to remind us that police officers are part of our community, often our neighbors.

To be selected I had to pass a background check and commit to attending three-hour classes two nights a week for six weeks at the police academy—a historic former firehouse.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 4:43 PM, 11.29.2018

Top of the Hill design should reflect Cedar Fairmount architectural style

To the Editor:

If a vote would had been taken after each of the three public meetings concerning the Top of the Hill Project, I believe the majority of those attending would have said that they think the "look doesn't fit the location.”

The existing Cedar Fairmount buildings have four to five architectural styles. The most prominent have an English Tudor influence. That style is reflected in the Cedar Fairmount District logo. The basic materials are brick, stone, stucco, wood and glass. Those materials and some of that style can "easily" be incorporated into parts of the new design.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 4:51 PM, 11.29.2018

November opinion lacked evidence

To the Editor:

Two questions about Diane Hallum’s opinion piece in the November issue of the Heights Observer (“There is systemic racism in CH”):

Question one: “In 1972, it was revealed,” Hallum writes, ”that the city had been redlining—limiting black families to homeownership only on the north side of the city.” [i.e., the Noble neighborhood.] What exactly does she refer to? Who revealed this? And to whom? This is a highly charged, very damaging, controversial statement, made with no supporting evidence.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 4:48 PM, 11.29.2018

Trash talk

If there’s one subject that gets Cleveland Heights residents riled up, it’s trash collection. The pros and cons of plastic bags vs. wheeled carts are hotly debated on social media. CH City Council members frequently find themselves confronted by constituents with strong opinions.

At an Oct. 22 meeting of council’s Safety and Municipal Services Committee, City Manager Tanisha Briley noted this is the third time during her five-year tenure that the city has considered major changes to its handling of refuse and recycling. About two dozen residents squeezed into city hall’s executive conference room to hear what staff and council members had to say, and to make their concerns known.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 4:39 PM, 11.29.2018

Accountability can't deliver quality

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of accountability, a strategy policymakers have adopted to guarantee quality education. It assigns consequences to teachers and their schools when student performance on standardized tests falls short of defined levels. This is supposed to improve results.

When parents assign their children weekly chores and then make their allowance contingent upon completing those chores, they are holding their children accountable. Kids are perfectly able to put away their toys or take out the garbage. They aren’t being asked to clean the gutters or repair the roof. The expectations are appropriate and attainable, and fully within the control of the child.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 4:37 PM, 11.29.2018

Winter art show opens Nov. 30

A landscape by Jamie Morse.

The Nicholson B. White Gallery invites the public to the Friday, Nov. 30 (5–7 p.m.) opening of its Winter Show, featuring four local artists. The show will be on view through Feb. 24.

On exhibit will be creations of cut-paper collage by Maggy Brown; art glass objects by Jerry Keller; landscape paintings by Jamie Morse; and prints, including a variety of landscapes, by Jane Petschek.

The mood of this group exhibition is upbeat, as the artists share their passions and provide a sense of time and place in their work. Show visitors will see a variety of subjects depicted in the work, including horses, dogs, coastal landscapes, beach scenes, guitars and other musical instruments.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 11:37 AM, 11.27.2018

Shahrazad premieres 'Around the World in 80 Days' at Ensemble

Shahrazad Theatre's new family-centric  adaptation runs at Ensemble Theatre Nov. 30 through Dec. 16.

As part of its 39th season, Ensemble Theatre is co-producing Shahrazad Theatre’s adaptation of Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days. Directed by Shahrazad co-founder August Scarpelli, the play will be a world-premiere production, running Nov. 30 through Dec. 16 in Ensemble’s PlayGround Theater (2843 Washington Blvd.).

The story follows the adventures of Phileas Fogg and his newly employed French valet, Passepartout, as they attempt to travel around the globe in 80 days.

“I consider Jules Verne to have been a very lucky man,” Scarpelli said, “because the natural curiosity and sense of adventure that we are all born with was something that he held close to his heart for his entire life, and there is little that is more important than that, especially today.”

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 11:37 AM, 11.27.2018

Shop for cookies and crafts on Dec. 1

Heights Cooperative Preschool (formerly St. Paul’s Cooperative Preschool) is excited to host its first-ever combined bake sale and craft show on Saturday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Stop by the bake sale table for coffee and gift-worthy baked goods, enjoy relaxed holiday shopping for items by local crafters, and enter to win some great prizes at the chance auction.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the school so that it can continue to provide a fun, safe and nurturing environment in which kids can learn and grow.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 9:53 AM, 11.27.2018

Heights Bicycle Coalition hosts Dec. 2 public party

The after-school bike club bicycled enough to deserve an ice cream snack. Note Chipper the dog supervising this trip.

Every December, Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC) celebrates its progress, outlines its plans, and recognizes community “roll models” at a free public event.

This year, join the fun on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 4 p.m., in the Secret Garden room at Nighttown, 12383 Cedar Road.

HBC president Steve Reinhardt will provide a brief update on HBC’s accomplishments in 2018 and the outlook for 2019. Then HBC will recognize this year’s roll models:

  • Richard Wong, Cleveland Heights Director of Planning, representing all city staff who have planned and implemented infrastructure improvements to make the community more bicycle friendly;
  • Chipper the dog, one of the volunteers who have made after-school bike clubs successful at Fairfax and Canterbury elementary schools;
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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:12 AM, 11.27.2018

Heights High remodel wins Heritage Ohio preservation award

Cleveland Heights High School renovations, completed in 2017, win Heritage Ohio's Best Public Building Rehabilitation Award.


The recently renovated Cleveland Heights High School building was honored by Heritage Ohio with its Best Public Building Rehabilitation Award. The award was presented to Board of Education President Jim Posch and Superintendent Talisa Dixon during a ceremony on Oct. 23 at the Allen Theatre in Cleveland.

“Winning the Best Public Building Rehabilitation award is an honor for our school district and our community,” said Posch. “We appreciate the support of FutureHeights for helping to make this happen. This honor gives me a great sense of pride for my community and all the great people who worked so hard on the project.” (Full disclosure: The Heights Observer is a volunteer-written publication of FutureHeights.)

FutureHeights, the community development corporation serving Cleveland Heights and University Heights, nominated and pursued the award for the school district.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 12:17 PM, 11.20.2018

Coventry SID welcomes new executive director

Mallory Phillips is the new Executive Director of the Coventry Village SID.

It’s a behind-the-scenes job that makes a ton of difference for our community. In her role as Executive Director of the Coventry Village Special Improvement District (SID), Mallory Phillips attends board meetings; oversees neighborhood events, marketing, and street beautification; connects with property owners and merchants; communicates among the board, the city, merchants, and the neighborhood; and increases awareness of and the direction for the Coventry district. 

Phillips was drawn to the opportunity because she has long felt that there is something special about Coventry. Phillips moved to Cleveland after visiting a friend in Westlake several times over the years. Every time she came to town, Coventry was a destination. “Coventry was part of my first impressions of Cleveland and became a quick part of my own experience,” she said.

Coming from Los Angeles, the “east/west thing didn’t matter,” said Phillips, who found herself hopping over from Ohio City to spend the full day in Coventry.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 8:44 AM, 11.13.2018

Elite Bistro changes chefs

Just a month after its official opening, Elite Bisto (2195 Lee Road) has a new head chef. Executive Chef Alvin Harris, profiled in the November issue of the Heights Observer, has left. Assistant General Manager Leanna Miller said the restaurant is moving in a “new direction.” 

Elite Bistro’s new head chef is Anthony Ford, who worked for the last 20 years at J. Alexander’s Lyndhurst Grill. Miller said the restaurant has a new menu, keeping some items from its original menu, and a more extensive Sunday brunch menu. Miller described the cuisine as Contemporary American.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 12:15 PM, 11.20.2018

UH native is touring with 'Les Miz'

Gabriel Sidney Brown (right) received a proclamation from University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan.

University Heights native Gabriel Sidney Brown is back in Northeast Ohio, and he’s brought the cast of “Les Misérables” with him.

The Broadway Series production of “Les Misérables” will run at the Palace Theater in Playhouse Square ( through Nov. 18.  Brown will perform as Feuilly, and he is the understudy for Marius.

On Nov. 1, Brown stopped by University Heights City Hall, where he was presented with a proclamation from Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 4:44 PM, 11.11.2018

Heights Libraries seeks new board of trustees member

Heights Libraries is currently accepting applications for a new trustee to serve a seven-year term.

Applications will be available from the Lee Road Administration Office from Oct. 8 until Nov. 19. Those interested should call 216-932-3600 ext.1200. 

The deadline for receipt of completed application is Monday Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an informational meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m., at the Lee Road Branch Administration Office Conference Room, 2nd Floor. Please RSVP to Nancy Levin, (216)-932-3600 ext. 1240.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 11:21 AM, 11.13.2018

CH's brand survey reveals diversity 'most valued'

It was a busy summer moving forward with the city of Cleveland Heights’ branding effort. Over a two-month period, our branding consultants held a series of one-on-one interviews, focus groups, expanded outreach and a community survey. All in all, we heard from around 1,000 Cleveland Heights residents and business owners. We also gathered input through our Facebook page and at In addition, a competitive analysis was completed on seven other Northeast Ohio cities.

What was discovered will be no surprise to many of you. Cleveland Heights is a remarkable community nestled in the inner-belt of Cleveland’s East Side. With a purposeful, intentional focus on the values of diversity, acceptance, and a fervent sense of “home,” the city has a powerful distinction relative to peer cities.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 2:15 PM, 11.12.2018

Ten years in, here's why it matters when you shop local for the holidays

We’ve been celebrating the Heights Observer’s 10th year by looking back—one month at a time—at a decade’s worth of headlines. This month is different; this month we bring you our annual “Shop local for the holidays” guide.

Here’s why it's important:

  1. Economic impact. Money spent over the Internet effectively leaves the community forever. The same goes for most of the money spent at big box stores. But much of the money spent at independent local merchants gets recycled back into the community, where it continues to feed the local economy.
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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:29 PM, 11.01.2018

Forest Hill Church's 'new thing'

The Rev. Veronica Goines is the new co-pastor of Forest Hill Presbyterian Church.

The sign in front of Forest Hill Presbyterian Church that proclaims “See, I am doing a new thing!” refers to the hiring of the Rev. Veronica Goines as the church's first African-American co-pastor.

The story of this historic call started in 2010, when a horrifying racial incident threatened one of the church’s young members. The young man, soliciting money for his football team, was searched at gunpoint by Pepper Pike police after a 911 caller reported a black youth trying to break into houses with a gun.

When church members demanded a public apology, the city of Pepper Pike refused, saying its response would have been the same if the call had been about a white youth with a gun.

The problem was, there wouldn’t have been a 911 call if the boy had been white. Only through the lens of implicit bias does a well-dressed, respectful and respectable young man with a cell phone, going door-to-door to raise money for his school, become a criminal suspect wielding a gun.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:25 PM, 11.01.2018

HRRC's Women's Electrical Repairs Series begins Nov. 7

November brings Home Repair Resource Center’s (HRRC) immensely popular electrical and electrical repairs series, just for women.

Over a five-week span, attendees will learn how electricity works and how to strip wire, wire switches and outlets, add 3-way switches, rewire lamps, work with service panels, use common electrical tools, and more.

The classes to take the fear out of electrical repairs and enable women to save money by making those fixes themselves.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 9:48 AM, 11.02.2018

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 11-5-2018

NOVEMBER 5, 2018


  • Public comments
  • Sewer maintenance agreement
  • Civil service amendments
  • Cheryl Stephens’ resignation
  • Mayor’s report


Council members present were Vice Mayor Melissa Yasinow, Mary Dunbar, Jason Stein and Cheryl L. Stephens. Mayor Carol Roe, Michael N. Ungar and Kahlil Seren were absent. Concern was expressed for Mayor Roe’s recovery from a fall. The meeting lasted from 7:32 to 8:22 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 10:46 AM, 11.13.2018

There is systemic racism in CH

When institutions give an unjust amount of resources, rights and political-economic power to white people while denying it to people of color, this is systemic racism. According to sociologist Joe Feagin, white elites and even people of color perpetuate systemic racism. The Cleveland Heights government is such an institution.

In 1972, it was revealed that the city had been redlining—limiting black families to homeownership only on the north side of the city. In 1993, city leaders acknowledged it had not invested in that area's infrastructure, housing stock and local business districts, and promised to change its ways. Today, after bearing the brunt of the foreclosure crisis in this city, the north side has yet to experience a change in the city's racist ways. It razes vacant and abandoned property and hopes to attract out-of-town property buyers and developers to build high-density, high-income residential buildings along the “Noble Corridor,” to bring in a more-gentrified class of people and businesses—forget the issues facing the low- to moderate-income, primarily black, residents currently living there.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:22 PM, 11.01.2018

Coventry School should be sold

While having an arts/nonprofit center is a wonderful idea and concept for our community, I don't feel the Coventry School site should be the location for it. A non-property tax generating building is not the highest and best use for this desirable location. It is a site that I presume would have a lot of interest from developers.

A site I presume won't have as much interest would be the Tudor buildings at the corner of S. Taylor Road and Superior Park Drive. These buildings are being transferred to the city of Cleveland Heights due to non-payment of property taxes. The first floor retail space in these buildings is essentially empty. Let's state some facts:

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:19 PM, 11.01.2018

Lake Erie starts here

At various points around Cleveland Heights and University Heights, you can find the message “Lake Erie Starts Here” stenciled on residential streets. In each case, an arrow points to a storm-drain grate. These words remind us that any litter or toxic waste dumped in the roadway will eventually be washed into a drain, and from there into our local streams—which in turn empty into Lake Erie a few miles north of here.

Lake Erie, of course, is the source of our drinking water, as well as home to food fish and the organisms they eat, and a place where residents of and visitors to four states and the province of Ontario come to swim and sail.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:16 PM, 11.01.2018

Ohio's test-driven culture has unintended consequences

The CH-UH administration has created instructional and testing pacing guides for each grade and most secondary subjects. These are calendars of material to be taught and tested at different points during the year. When these were first implemented, they were merely guidelines on curricula that should be emphasized, but recently they have morphed into restrictive deadlines and lock-step teaching. 

Teachers are now being directed to teach and test within a certain time frame, regardless of the needs of students or the distractions that may occur in class, like a fire drill, for example, that interrupts instruction. There is a need for flexibility in the pacing guides because some students may not be ready to move on as the pacing guide dictates.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:12 PM, 11.01.2018

Show your pride in and gratitude for Heights schools

Michelle Gore is proud and grateful for the education her son, Grant Gober, receives at Cleveland Heights High School, especially the opportunity to participate on the award-winning robotics team.

November is gratitude month. CH-UH school administrators and staff work continuously to bolster the educational experience and academic success of each of their students. While there are always ways to improve, there is also much to celebrate.

We want to hear your statements of pride and gratitude about the Cleveland Heights-University Heights public schools. Please go to and complete the “Proud & Grateful” form. These statements will be compiled and shared on the Reaching Heights website, our Facebook page, and other media, to spread positive statements about the accomplishments of the students and staff of the CH-UH public schools.

Several Reaching Heights staff and board members shared statements of pride and gratitude for the community’s public schools:

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 9:50 AM, 11.01.2018

State report cards should get an F

October was school-quality judgment month. The Ohio Department of Education issued its annual report cards that assign school districts single letter grades from A to F. This system uses performance on standardized tests as a proxy for school quality. The stakes are high when tests are used for making judgments like this.

Throw away your report card. It doesn’t matter if you got an A or an F! It doesn’t tell you enough about what matters, and it was built on a rocky foundation that ignores warnings about the inappropriate uses of standardized tests. When the reputation of a school or a community is on the line, or a child’s future is going to be affected, judgments should be based on legitimate methods. High-stakes testing does not meet this standard.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 9:45 AM, 11.01.2018

UH's first intern returns

Rachel Mullen is back at UH City Hall after 25 years away.

In the summer of 1993, John Carroll University student Rachel Mullen found herself with more free time than she could handle. She needed something to do.

At the time, Mullen lived in a duplex across the street from University Heights City Hall. She walked across Warrensville Center Road, marched up the steps to city hall and asked the first person she saw if there were any internships available.

Community Coordinator Walter Stinson told her nobody had asked to intern before. “Mr. Stinson said the city couldn’t pay me,” Mullen said, “but they could use the help.”

So, in the summer of 1993, Mullen began her first tour of duty with University Heights as the first-ever intern to Mayor Beryl Rothschild. Now, 25 years later, she’s returned to UH City Hall as executive assistant and special projects coordinator for Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan. Her first day back was Oct. 15.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 9:18 AM, 11.01.2018

Brennan joins county planning commission

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish has appointed University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan to the County Planning Commission. Brennan will represent the Heights Region, which comprises University Heights, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland and Shaker Heights.

In his application letter, Brennan explained to Budish that, as mayor of University Heights, he is aware “the success of our community is tied to the success of the surrounding communities,” and that he “will represent the interests of the several Heights cities in addition to my own city.”

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 9:15 AM, 11.01.2018

McPhee to host University Heights Civic Awards Nov. 14

Maggie McPhee

University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan expected to learn more about the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District at its Convocation Day back in August. What he didn’t expect, however, was to be entertained.

“I figured there’d be some speeches and a presentation or two,” Brennan said. “I didn’t count on there being an emcee who’d be putting on a performance like Tina Fey or Amy Poehler hosting the Golden Globes.”

Brennan knew then he had found his emcee for the upcoming University Heights Civic Awards.

The school event’s emcee was Maggie McPhee, a Spanish teacher at Fairfax Elementary School. In addition to her education training, McPhee has a background in dance, musical theater, sketch comedy and improv.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 9:12 AM, 11.01.2018

Again, what has changed?

Cain Park's sledding hill last year: It's getting dark and most of the kids have gone home. But an hour earlier, the place was packed with kids and adults, white and black, having fun, and nobody seemed to care what color you were.

There it is again. It won’t go away—that tired old “I’ve heard Cleveland Heights has really changed” thing that people say, people who no longer live here. I’ve written about this before, but it keeps coming back.

Just recently, someone in a Cleveland Heights-related Facebook group posted a photo of kids sledding down the hill at Cain Park in the 1970s. One of the first comments was “Those were the good old days.” I figured the commenter must have moved out of state and has assumed that kids no longer go sledding there. So I said to him, “It’s also the present. It’s exactly the same today.”

He responded, “I’ve heard that it changed.” I said, “Not at all. I’ve lived in Cleveland Heights for my whole life. I used to go sledding at Cain Park when I was a kid. Then I took my kids there when they were little. And now my son takes his kids there. And I also go to many concerts there during the summer.”

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 7:33 PM, 10.31.2018

Library launches new digital collections

Heights Libraries recently launched four new, free digital collections that customers can access through the library’s website, at any time of the day or night. All that’s needed are a Heights Libraries card and an Internet connection.

“Heights Libraries now offers three new movie and TV streaming services,” said Heights Libraries Deputy Director Kim DeNero-Ackroyd. “Acorn TV, which specializes in British and Australian movies and television shows, like Doc Martin and all kinds of British mysteries. Then there’s Kanopy, which offers items from the Criterion Collection, including classic movies from directors like Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurasawa, and all kinds of documentaries and art films. And then IndieFlix, which is just what it sounds like—independent films and documentaries that promote social causes.”


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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 6:33 PM, 10.31.2018

New UH clinic offers customized physical therapy

Evgenia Tararova has opened Physio Heights, a new physical therapy clinic in University Heights.

Evgenia Tararova became a physical therapist because she loves making people feel good, whether rehabilitating a patient's injury or training them for personal wellness.  She said she founded her own clinic, Physio Heights, so she can customize patient care without insurance restrictions. Treatment is based on the mix of services that work best for the client, not a pre-designated boilerplate plan.

Tararova chose University Heights for her home and workplace after growing up in Mayfield Heights.  “I chose University Heights because I love the area,” said Tararova, citing the livability, pedestrian access, and diversity. Physio Heights opened earlier this year at 2245 Warrensville Center Road. Client sessions can include a mix of manual physical therapy, neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, dry needling, therapeutic yoga, deep tissue and sports massage. 

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 6:43 PM, 10.31.2018

Cleveland's Pilates master goes international

McCarty teaching Pilates in Venice, Italy. (Image courtesy of McCarty)

Local Pilates master Troy McCarty, owner and director of White Cloud Studios, has been dedicated to his craft since the early 1980s. Now, he has taken his passion and talent abroad, working as an international teacher for Balanced Body Inc.

McCarty discovered the world of Pilates while working as a professional dancer in New York City in the 1980s, eventually opening Cleveland’s first Pilates studio in 1992 in his Lakewood apartment.

As business boomed, McCarty found himself spending more time on the East Side, attending events with the orchestra or at the Cedar Lee Theatre.

“I soon moved [White Cloud] into a retail space and then opened up [studios] in Cleveland Heights and Chagrin Falls,” McCarty explained. He even moved his personal residence east, too.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 6:50 PM, 10.31.2018

JCU art gala to benefit refugee foundation

On Nov. 10, 7­­–10 p.m., John Carroll University's (JCU) Student Union will host its first-ever art gala and silent auction in a collaborative effort to raise money for US Together, a refugee foundation with an office in Cleveland Heights.

The gala, which has as its theme “Art has no language barrier,” will showcase student and faculty talent while bringing together communities throughout JCU and University Heights. The art will be auctioned off and all proceeds will go to US Together.

There will also be raffle baskets, free food and drinks, and music. In addition, clients of US Together will be selling their handmade jewelry at the gala, to support their own business. 

While admission is free, donations at the door will be appreciated. Starting bids for the art pieces will range from $25 to $50.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 7:20 PM, 10.31.2018