Latest News

Second annual music festival keeps Lee Road hopping

Volunteers stand in front of Joey's Pizza, one of the many venues on Lee Road that offered free live music performances at the Heights Music Hop. Photo by Janet Century.

FutureHeights extends its thanks to the many individuals and organizations who contributed time money and energy in support of the second annual Heights Music Hop. More than 1,500 people turned out to the district to enjoy great music, craft beer and local merchants on Oct. 11.

The group is seeking feedback on the event to help in its planning for next year. Take the survey at

For other questions or inquiries, e-mail

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 1:55 PM, 10.21.2014

Latest News Releases

Two-session nature photography hike & workshop to explore Doan Brook Gorge starts Oct. 18
- Doan Brook Watershed Partnership, October 17, 2014 Read More
Local archeologist to lead Doan Brook's 'Suburban Gorge' hike on Oct. 18
- Doan Brook Watershed Partnership, October 17, 2014 Read More
South Euclid United Church of Christ to Give Away Lightly Used Household Items to Local Families on Oct. 18
- Non-Profit & Groups, October 17, 2014 Read More
South Euclid United Church of Christ to Hold Worship & Empowerment Service for Domestic Violence Victims on Oct. 17
- Non-Profit & Groups, October 17, 2014 Read More
- Maltz Museum, October 17, 2014 Read More

View more news releases

Heights High celebrates homecoming Oct. 24

Gearity Tiger Cubs take part in the district's 2013 homecoming parade.

Tiger Nation’s 2014 Homecoming is set for Friday, Oct. 24, and festivities include community celebrations, a parade, a football game, and crowning of the homecoming king and queen.

Homecoming activities begin at 4:30 p.m. with a student council-sponsored pre-parade celebration in the Delisle Center parking lot, 14780 Superior Ave. Snacks, beverages and Tiger Nation accessories—think black and gold pom-poms!—will be for sale.

The parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Delisle Center parking lot, and then proceed down Washington Boulevard to Cleveland Heights High School, where a family-friendly tailgate will take place. The tailgate will feature an inflatable obstacle course, face painting, and arts and crafts, and the Tiger mascot will be on hand to pose for photos. Concessions will be open and Tiger Nation gear will be available for purchase.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 9:55 AM, 10.21.2014

Mitchell's Fine Chocolates celebrates 75th anniversary

In celebration of its 75th anniversary, Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates in Cleveland Heights has partnered with more than a dozen Greater Cleveland restaurants to give away fine chocolate. Every weekend through Dec. 20, featured restaurants will be giving away limited-edition Mitchell’s chocolates.

Each Friday during the promotion, Bill Wills will announce that weekend’s chocolate giveaway restaurant locations on Newsradio WTAM 1100. The locations will also be announced on Mitchell’s Facebook page. Each restaurant patron will receive a complimentary Mitchell’s chocolate.

“It’s our way of saying ‘Thank You’ to our customers and to Cleveland for 75 years of success in doing what we love,” said Bill Mitchell, owner of Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates. “Over the years, customers kept coming back for my dad’s signature dipping chocolate—a 52 percent cacao signature dark semisweet chocolate. So, we made a special size with special packaging to give away in gratitude.”

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:41 AM, 10.21.2014

Heights announces National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

Cleveland Heights High School seniors Thomas Pharis, Abraham Mendes and Isaiah Pressman (from left).

Cleveland Heights High School seniors Thomas Pharis, Abraham Mendes and Isaiah Pressman are semifinalists in the first round of the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

More than 1.4 million students nationally take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) as juniors, and the 50,000 with the highest scores can qualify as semifinalists. The semifinalists are eligible to apply to become finalists, a designation that includes scholarship opportunities.

Mendes is a committed musician and writer. He is sergeant of the Marching Band trombone section, first chair trombone in the Jazz Ensemble, and plays in the Brass Quartet and Symphonic Winds. He also recently helped start a board game club. Mendes plans to attend a liberal arts college to study creative writing, as he is interested in storytelling and hopes to write for TV someday. His top college choices are Bennington College in Vermont, Carlton College in Minnesota and Reed College in Oregon.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:49 AM, 10.21.2014

Dobama presents play about likable hit men

It’s rare to find the terms nice and hit men in the same sentence, but that is how Dobama Theatre describes the central characters in its upcoming production of “The Norwegians.” In fact, Dobama describes them as “really, really” nice hit men!

The play, by C. Denby Swanson, is about two not-so-nice women who hire the Norwegian underworld figures to whack their former boyfriends. The women—Olive, a sweet Texas belle, and Betty, a hard-living broad from Kentucky—are unprepared for the long and cold Minnesota winter. They are also surprised to find themselves falling in love with the two “funny, kind, sweet . . . and homicidal” would-be thugs. This “Fargo-esque” dark comedy would make the Coen brothers smile.

Playwright Swanson is a graduate of Smith College, the National Theatre Institute, and the University of Texas Michener Center for Writers, where she was a fellow in playwriting and screenwriting. Her work has been commissioned by the Guthrie Theater, Macalester College, and The Drilling Company, and featured in the Southern Playwrights Festival and the Women Playwrights Project. She won a 2008 Susan Smith Blackburn Special Prize for her short play “The Potato Feast,” which was also nominated for a 2008 New York Innovative Theater Award. She is a former artistic director of Austin Script Works and on the faculty at Southwestern University.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:55 AM, 10.21.2014

CH-UH CFO named finalist for Crain's 2014 CFO of the Year award

Scott Gainer, CFO for Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools.

Crain’s Cleveland Business recently recognized the outstanding work of Scott Gainer, Cleveland Heights–University Heights City School District chief financial officer and treasurer, by naming him a 2014 Finalist for the CFO of the Year award. Crain’s CFO of the Year award is dedicated to recognizing the contributions and accomplishments specific to CFOs in Northeast Ohio. The award is the only one of its type in the region and is recognized as a true distinction for the area's fiscal officers.

“Every day we witness Scott’s experience, vision and leadership.” said Talisa Dixon, superintendent. “The continued validation of Scott’s effort and hard work by outside organizations is immensely rewarding to see. I am incredibly proud to have him as a member of our team. He is a true asset to this community.”

As reported on, Kal Zucker, who is nearing the end of his third term on the district's board of education, said he has worked closely with Gainer “in some capacity for at least 15 years.” During that time, what has stood out most to Zucker is Gainer's calming influence.


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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:15 AM, 10.21.2014

CH-UH principals participate in education policy and leadership program

Andrett Calloway (left), Fairfax Elementary principal, and Erica Wigton, Canterbury Elementary principal.

Andrett Calloway, Fairfax Elementary School principal, and Erica Wigton, Canterbury Elementary School principal, recently enrolled in the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP). This 10-month professional development program is designed to cultivate strategic, visionary leaders who have the capacity to create and implement public policy to improve the educational outcomes of children and young people.

“I am proud to see two of our principals taking the initiative to better their ability to serve our students,” Talisa L. Dixon, superintendent.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 9:59 AM, 10.21.2014

Two Lee Road businesses to close this week

A passerby reads the notice of Sweetie Fry's closing posted on the window. Several customers have shared their thoughts on sticky notes placed on the shop's window. Photo by Deanna Bremer Fisher.

Two days after the 2014 Heights Music Hop, which brought hundreds of people to Lee Road, two of its well-loved businesses—Cedar Lee Pub and Grill, and Sweetie Fry—announced that they are closing up shop.

At 1:51 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 13, a Cedar Lee Pub and Grill staff member posted on Twitter, “We regret to inform you we are closing permanently. Thank you all for your support. We've had some great memories.” The pub had been a music venue for the hop on Saturday, Oct. 11.

As of Tuesday morning, Oct. 14, nothing had been posted on the business’s Facebook page nor at its physical location at 2191 Lee Road. The owners could not be reached for comment.

Keith Logan, owner of Sweetie Fry, posted a letter announcing the closing of his business at its storefront at 2307 Lee Road, and on its Facebook page, on Monday, Oct. 13.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 2:17 PM, 10.14.2014

University Heights City Council meeting highlights 10-6-2014

OCTOBER 6, 2014

  • Muscular dystrophy collection
  • Renovation meeting
  • Leaf pickup
  • Hazardous waste
  • Bond issue
  • Library levy
  • First Energy
  • Rezoning application
  • Grant acceptance
  • Insurance
  • Financial assistance
  • Master plan
  • Other cities’ grants
  • Ambulance sale
  • Legislation for administrative expenses
  • Vendor contracts
  • Auxiliary police
  • Minute Men Staffing
  • Direct deposit
  • Tree service
  • Street repaving
  • Tree planting bid
  • Garage lighting

All council members were present.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 3:58 PM, 10.20.2014

University Heights City Council meeting highlights 9-15-2014

SEPTEMBER 15, 2014 
[Town Hall Meeting]

  • Public comments
  • Responses regarding fire and ambulance issues
  • NOCCA Award
  • Commercial zoning request
  • Equipment grant
  • Public nuisance
  • Less restrictive hiring
  • Leaf collection contract
  • Direct deposit
  • Health insurance
  • University Square parking garage
  • Sewer cleaning
  • Lawsuit

All council members were present.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 3:40 PM, 10.20.2014

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 10-6-2014

OCTOBER 6, 2014

  • Public comments
  • Law director appointed
  • Lacona Drive
  • CHP honor guard
  • Cedar Lee Candy Crawl
  • Awareness declarations 
  • Garage repairs change order
  • Tree lawn pick up
  • Zoning variances
  • Outstanding Neighbor of the Month
  • LBGT discrimination protection
  • Firefighter equipment

All council members were present.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 5:58 PM, 10.19.2014

Two separate Oct. 14 meetings will explore future of Heights High

Representatives from the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District will participate in two overlapping meetings tonight, Oct. 14.

From 6–8 p.m., the district will hold a community forum in the Cleveland Heights High School Social Room, to discuss the need for academic program changes at the high school.

A meeting of the University Heights Planning Commission is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. The primary item on that agenda is the school district’s plan to temporarily relocate the high school to the Wiley Middle School building. The meeting will be held in the Dolan Science Center auditorium at John Carroll University, at 1 John Carroll Blvd.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 11:47 AM, 10.14.2014

CH-UH district partners with refugee agencies to ease transition for students and families

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is a member of the Refugee Services Collaborative (RSC) of Greater Cleveland. RSC helps families from other countries transition to life in Northeast Ohio. The district will be working with Global Cleveland, one of the collaborative’s partner agencies, to help families who are moving to the Heights.

On Oct. 18, Global Cleveland will open a Welcome Hub at the Noble Neighborhood Library, 2800 Noble Road in Cleveland Heights. The hub will be a place where families can obtain life skills information, to help ease their transition to life here in the Heights.

Kathleen Scully, English Language Learners (ELL) coordinator at Heights High, said that this partnership will help support teachers in the classroom.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:37 AM, 10.14.2014

Early morning fire engulfs Katz Club Diner's bar car

The remains of the Katz Club Diner's bar car, several hours after the fire had been extinguished.

Photo credit: Richard Stewart

Early Tuesday morning, Oct. 7, the Cleveland Heights Fire Department responded to a call at the Katz Club Diner, located at 1975 Lee Road. Fire crews arrived at approximately 4:30 a.m. and found the bar car on fire. Within 20 minutes, fire fighters had extinguished the fire, and there were no reported injuries, but the bar car sustained extensive damage. The vicinity was briefly blocked to traffic.

Owner Doug Katz arrived at the diner, after being alerted by police, to find the bar car engulfed in flames; by daylight it was a burned-out shell.

Commenting several hours later, at 8:30 a.m., Katz said that he felt “pretty shaken up and awful.” He noted, “It’s been a year and a half, and not only is this our busiest catering week of the year, but we were [preparing the] catering here.”

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 2:39 PM, 10.07.2014

Transforming Heights High inside and out

While work is progressing rapidly on plans to renovate Cleveland Heights High School, plenty of attention is also being paid to consistently improving the school’s academic programming. On Tuesday, Oct. 14, 6–8 p.m., the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District will hold a community forum in the Heights High Social Room, to discuss the need for academic program changes.

Currently, the school has three small schools in addition to Career Tech and Early College programs. The district wants to hear from parents, students and staff members about what’s working and what can be enhanced within the high school structure

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 11:21 AM, 10.07.2014

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 9-15-14

SEPTEMBER 15, 2014

  • City parking lot improvements
  • Fire prevention code updating
  • Nuisance property
  • Health insurance update
  • Childhood cancer awareness
  • New website features
  • Gas aggregation program
  • Emergency paving
  • City property sale to Honda
  • Tax agreement with health care provider

All council members were present.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 1:00 PM, 10.07.2014

The roles of the County Executive and Council

This year, for only second time in the 200 years of Cuyahoga County, voters will elect a County Executive and half of the members of the County Council.  

Some people know that acting upon the decision of voters, we have changed our form of government to a Charter with a County Council and County Executive, while others might think we still have three County Commissioners.  Even those who are aware of the Charter may ask, “What are the roles of the County Executive and the County Council? What do they do? Why should I care?” 

As someone who has been part of the new Charter government these past four years and someone who is currently running for the position of County Executive, I will try to answer these questions.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 12:49 PM, 10.03.2014

Quintana's set to expand on Taylor Road

Quintana's Barber & Dream Spa will expand to the building next door this fall.

Alex and Dawn Quintana, owners of Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa, are embarking on the next step in their entrepreneurial journey, inspired by a desire to provide superior customer service in a more comfortable environment, while growing their business.

They recently closed a deal to purchase the building that formerly housed AJ’s Beauty Salon, conveniently located next door to their current space at 2200 South Taylor Road, and are set to more than double the size of their spa, from 900 to 2,000 square feet.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 12:06 PM, 09.30.2014

Steve Cagan: activist photographer

Steve Cagan

When Cleveland Heights photographer Steve Cagan says he is socially engaged, it doesn’t mean that he shoots weddings, nor does it mean that he is a documentary photographer. Cagan is an artist who is engaged in social issues—an activist photographer. He stands on the shoulders of sociologist Lewis Hine (1874-1940), who used photography to influence child labor laws, W. Eugene Smith (1918-1978), who turned an unflinching eye on war and disease, and the Worker Photography Movement of the 1920s and '30s.

Perhaps his current project with artist Mary Kelsey, “Gold Mining in El Chocó, Colombia,” explains best what it means to be a socially engaged photographer. In 2003, Cagan’s friend, activist Rev. Bob Begin, invited him to the first anniversary of a massacre in Colombia, promising that his spirits would soar in spite of the grim occasion. Cagan was uplifted by the resiliency of the survivors, who confronted tragedy and change through community organizing.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 11:58 AM, 09.30.2014

Elvis and the Russians vs. the New Math

That's the jacket. But that's Elvis, not me, in 1957.

Two things happened to me in school in October 1957 that altered the course of my life. They were different, unrelated things, until they came together several years later.

First, I should say that every teacher I had, all the way through Coventry Elementary School, had been born around the turn of that century, 1900, and most, probably, in the 1890s. You know Western movies and cowboy TV shows? That was the 1890s. Just for a reference point; and just for some background.

Here’s more background: 1957 was the peak of the first wave of rock music, with hit records by rock pioneers including Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, Fats Domino, Ricky Nelson, the Coasters and others.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 11:53 AM, 09.30.2014

CityMusic Cleveland's new season includes two Heights concerts

Avner Dorman, CityMusic Cleveland's music director and conductor.

CityMusic Cleveland, a Cleveland Heights-based chamber orchestra, launches its 2014–15 season this month. It will feature performances of both classic orchestral and contemporary works, with soloists including saxophonist Timothy McAllister, whom the composer John Adams called “the best in the world,” and violinist Adele Anthony, winner of the Nielsen Competition.

CityMusic will perform two concerts, on Oct. 19 and Dec. 4, in the Heights. For a full list of performance dates, times and venues throughout Greater Cleveland, visit All concerts are free, and free-will offerings are appreciated.

The season begins Oct. 15 through 19, when CityMusic performs the Cleveland premiere of Dorman’s “Saxophone Concerto,” along with works by Mozart, Haydn and Dvořák. The latter composer’s “Wind Serenade” will feature members of the orchestra’s woodwind and brass sections as soloists. On Sunday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m., the concert will be performed in University Heights at Church of the Gesu, 2470 Miramar Blvd.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:42 AM, 09.30.2014

Heights Arts unveils ninth season of 'Close Encounters' chamber music concerts

"Close Encounters" musicians (from left) Jeffrey Zehngut, Katherine Bormann, Amy Lee, Tanya Ell, Isabel Trautwein, Yu Jin and Sonja Braaten Molloy.

Image credit: Kalman & Pabst Photo Group

Heights Arts has announced the 2014–15 lineup for its “Close Encounters chamber music series, held in a distinctive array of locations in Cleveland Heights, Midtown, and downtown Cleveland.

The four Sunday afternoon concerts present classical music performed by arguably the world’s most renowned local musicians—members of the Cleveland Orchestra. Isabel Trautwein, a Cleveland Orchestra violinist and “Close Encounters artistic director, engages her colleagues and other professional musicians to design their own programs, ranging this year from baroque to bluegrass. Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate and Cleveland Arts Prize recipient Kathleen Cerveny will recite poems created in response to select musical offerings during the series.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:38 AM, 09.30.2014

Efforts underway to encourage walking and biking to school

Now that schools are back in session, school walking and bicycling programs are back too. The latest research indicates that regular, half-hour sessions of aerobic activity before school helped all young children become more attentive and less moody, and especially benefits those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), possibly enabling them to reduce medication. Quite simply, exercise—such as walking or biking to school—improves students’ attention and academic skills.

That’s one reason Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC) has been promoting Walk or Bike to School days in the spring and fall, since 2010. Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District now includes these dates on its calendar.

This year, the Heights’s fall Walk or Bike to School Day is Wednesday, Oct. 8. This is also International Walk to School Day.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:25 AM, 09.30.2014

Beaumont is IB candidate

Collaborating on a project in the school media center are Beaumont students (from left) Mia Cannata, Courtney Tyree (standing), Elizabeth Bagley, Mackenzie Allen (standing on right), Caitlin Lux (sitting on right).

Beaumont School, an all-girls Catholic high school in Cleveland Heights, is now recognized as an International Baccalaureate (IB) candidate school. Beaumont plans to institute the IB program during its 2017–18 school year, and will become the first all-girls school, and the second Catholic high school, in Greater Cleveland to offer IB’s rigorous Diploma Programme (DP).

IB education challenges students to excel in academics and in personal growth, and cultivates a quest for lifelong learning that goes beyond what students learn in the classroom. IB’s diploma program is widely perceived as one of the most challenging secondary curricula in the world. Students who earn the IB diploma are consistently twice as likely to be accepted to selective colleges and universities, earn more scholarship dollars and receive college credit.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:23 AM, 09.30.2014

Library offers arts program for special needs children

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library is starting a new arts and crafts program at the Lee Road Library specially designed to accommodate children with special needs and their caregivers.

“We’ve noticed that we don’t see these children very often at the library,” said Kornela Bogdanowicz, the Heights Libraries youth services librarian who developed the programs. “This could be due to the fact that until now we haven’t had programs for them, or it could be because they see the library as a place where you have to be quiet at all times and they don't think they would fit in. We want to show that there's a place for them here, regardless of their needs and abilities.”

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:20 AM, 09.30.2014

Library commits to early literacy with grant for Coventry

William Conley plays with a toy kitchen at the Noble Neighborhood Library literacy playroom. Coventry Village Library will have its own playroom by the end of 2014.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System has received a $4,000 grant from the Hershey Foundation to be used for the creation of an early literacy playroom at its Coventry Village Library. The development of the space, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014, will mark the first time the Coventry branch has had an enclosed, designated space for small children.

 “Coventry has a long tradition of excellent and well-attended story times, but families often don’t stay as long as they could because the children’s area has always been in the middle of the adult quiet reading area,” said Pat Gray, Coventry library manager. “With a new, enclosed space for young children, families can relax, read a story and talk while their children engage in enriching play with puppets and other literacy-based toys.”

The literacy playroom will add to the library’s roughly $150,000-worth of improvements at the branch this year, which include new carpeting for the entire building, roof repair, remodeling of the new children’s room and new indoor and outdoor lighting.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:18 AM, 09.30.2014

What's going on at your library?

Heights Libraries is a proud supporter of Octavofest, the annual Northeast Ohio-based celebration of book-related arts. This month, the library offers hands-on classes, lectures, tours and more, to extol the glory of the written and spoken word in its many manifestations. Find more at

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

Wednesday, Oct. 1, 7 p.m.

Cedar-Coventry Author Series: Emerging Notable Author Kevin Keating. Kevin Keating's debut novel, The Natural Order of Things, and the stories contained within have received much critical praise.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:15 AM, 09.30.2014

Senior Citizen Happenings

Senior Citizen Happenings, sponsored by the City of University Heights, are open to all senior citizens. Events take place on Thursdays at 2 p.m. at the University Heights Library. For information, and to suggest program topics, contact the UH Office for Senior Services at 216-397-0336 or To receive the monthly schedule by e-mail, call 216-932-7800, ext. 205 or send an e-mail to

Oct 2: Sarah Ryzner, director of Thriving Communities Institute for Western Reserve Land Conservancy, will discuss the institute's work to preserve essential community assets, such as clean water, working farms, wildlife areas and parks, to ensure a quality of life that attracts and retains a great diversity of residents.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:10 AM, 09.30.2014

Seek out fun and educational bus tours this fall

Lolly the Trolley.

The cooler temperatures of fall make this a great time of year to get outdoors and do some exploring. Bus tours are a wonderful way to see new places without the concern of driving or parking. You can even go with a group of friends for a fun outing together.

The SELREC (South Euclid-Lyndhurst Recreation) Program offers two interesting fall tours for active older adults: an Act Like a Kid Again tour on Oct. 24, which includes stops at an ice cream factory, candy store, fruit farm and a glass-blowing factory; and a trip to the Hartville Flea Market on Nov. 14. Trips depart from the Hillcrest and Warrensville YMCAs. For more information, call 216-382-4300.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:08 AM, 09.30.2014

St. Alban's Church labyrinth garden welcomes all

A Cleveland Heights family searches for the geocache log at the center of the labyrinth. 

The sign at the corner of Euclid Heights Boulevard and Edgehill Road reads: “Labyrinth. Garden. All Are Welcome.”

It is a high-traffic area for runners and cyclists, elderly couples, moms with strollers, and students. Until April, it was an empty, grassy triangle in front of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church.

That’s when Agape members Jessica Miller and Josh Handley attended a workshop on straw-bale gardening at a local plant store. They dreamed up a way to construct a straw bale garden in the form of a labyrinth that would incorporate food, beautification, sacred space and a community project. Agape is the young adult community at St. Alban’s.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:05 AM, 09.30.2014

Cedar Fairmount to hold Oct. 29 Halloween festival

Corn stalks, pumpkins, apples, the sound of crunching leaves—and ghosts, goblins and witches with brooms—are all signs that fall, and Halloween, is in the air. On Wednesday, Oct. 29, 5–7 p.m., the businesses of Cedar Fairmount will fill their stores with fall decorations and treats for young and old.

Children and adults are encouraged to come in costume, and there will be a costume contest for children at the India Community Center at 6 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for Most Original, Scariest and Funniest costumes.

Children (and goblins) will be able to play Halloween games, provided by members of the Cleveland Heights Church, at the India Community Center from 5–7 p.m.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:58 AM, 09.30.2014

Literary event to benefit women's educational nonprofit

Maria Doria Russell, an award-winning novelist and scientist, will be the featured local author at the third annual “An Afternoon With . . .” literary event and dessert reception, on Saturday, Nov. 1. The event, hosted by the Cleveland Heights Chapter Q of P.E.O. International, a philanthropic educational organization, will take place at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, 3031 Monticello Blvd., at 2 p.m.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:55 AM, 09.30.2014

Mark your calendars for fall Friends events

Four current and past Friends presidents at the 2013 annual meeting (from left): Adaora Schmiedl, Louisa Oliver, Sharon Richardson and Anne Cook.

Heights residents are invited to join the Friends of Heights Libraries for two special October events, and to mark their calendars for the Friends’ fall Mega Sale. 

On Sunday, Oct. 5, in cooperation with FutureHeights and Reaching Heights, the Friends will co-host the semi-annual Welcome Home gathering for Heights residents, this time featuring a panel of Heights authors. Participants (at press time) include poet George Bilgere, youth author Tricia Springstubb, novelist Thrity Umrigar, and rock biographer James Henke. Join us at Nighttown from 2–4 p.m. to celebrate our community and its diverse treasures. Refreshments will be provided, and a cash bar will be available. Everyone is welcome, and new residents to the Heights are especially encouraged to come, meet neighbors, and learn what makes living and working in the Heights so special.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:28 AM, 09.30.2014

Cedar Lee Theatre premieres bitcoin film

On Friday, Oct. 3, Bitcoin Boulevard US businesses along Lee Road will host the worldwide release of the documentary “The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin” at the Cedar Lee Theatre. Distribution rights to the film were purchased by Los Angeles-based Gravitas Ventures, which recently opened an office in downtown Cleveland.

“The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin” follows the stories of digital currency entrepreneurs and startups that are helping shape this emerging technology. The film will open with a red carpet event, including a Q&A with the movie’s participants and production team. There will be pre- and post-parties hosted by Lee Road merchants, and incentives at the various Bitcoin Boulevard US participating retailers throughout a week of screenings.

Cleveland Heights resident Nikhil Chand, founder of CoinNEO, successfully led merchants in the Cedar Lee district in becoming Bitcoin Boulevard US, the nation's first organized business community accepting bitcoins as a form of payment from customers.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:25 AM, 09.30.2014

Lee Road Library hosts October Heights history talks

This October, the Cleveland Heights Historical Society and Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission partner with Heights Libraries to offer presentations that delve into Heights neighborhoods, architecture and more, to highlight the Heights’s storied past, current issues and future direction. All programs take place at the Lee Road Library, 2345 Lee Road.

Rockefeller's Forest Hill Neighborhood

Thursday, Oct. 2, 7 p.m.

Learn about the Forest Hill development, its connection to the Rockefeller family, its unique and varied architecture, and plans to list the entire neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places. Presented by Sharon Gregor, Jeff Dross and  Christopher Hubbert.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 9:21 AM, 09.30.2014

Lee Road will be hopping with music Oct. 11

The second annual Heights Music Hop will take place on Saturday, Oct. 11. The free event will once again be held along Lee Road, between Silsby and Yorkshire roads. This year’s hop will feature about 30 artists and bands, up from 20 that participated last year, and 16 Lee Road businesses will serve as music venues, also representing an increase in participation over last year.

“We are very excited by the growth of this event,” said Greg Bonanno, chair of the FutureHeights Music Hop Committee, which is organizing the festival. “There has been a tremendous amount of interest and support from merchants, sponsors and the community.”

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 3:22 PM, 09.29.2014

Editing, fact-checking and correcting errors

The biggest part of the Heights Observer's mission is to enable discussion of important community topics. Who decides what's important? You do, by choosing to contribute.

There are some boundaries. Topics must be relevant specifically in Cleveland Heights and/or University Heights. So you can discuss the merits of city council candidates, but we don’t make room for opinions on would-be presidents or governors. There are plenty of other outlets for those conversations.

There’s more than one way to contribute too, and this sometimes causes confusion. If you have something to say, here are your options:

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 3:17 PM, 09.29.2014

UH voters need information to vote responsibly on park bond issue

To the Editor:

Thank you for featuring Anita Kazarian’s column on the University Heights Park Bond Issue [in the September print edition].

We in University Heights need to be informed, in order to vote responsibly. Your newspaper serves the need for all sides of this issue to be exposed.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 3:14 PM, 09.29.2014

Heights libraries are vital to our community

The immense value of our local Heights libraries cannot be taken for granted. The services they provide can sometimes seem routine: lending books, connecting residents to the Web, running programs for children, providing resources for job seekers, and more. But these services are fundamental to all of us. Our libraries are part of the bedrock of our community and must not be overlooked.

Since the library first opened its doors in the Heights in 1921, it has helped to shape the community’s success. The libraries have anchored our walkable neighborhoods, educated our citizenry, and provided top-notch, free services to every resident. And it is not only Heights residents who think we have a wonderful library system. Library Journal has awarded our library 5 Stars—its top grade—for the fifth year in a row! Heights Libraries is ranked seventh in the country for libraries of its size.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 3:08 PM, 09.29.2014

October is national Fair Trade Month

October is the 11th annual National Fair Trade Month. Fair trade products are "food or crafts that are produced under standards designed to end and prevent the poverty, sweatshop labor conditions, environmental degradation, etc. that are endemic to the free trade 'race to the bottom' that puts profits above people and the planet," according to the Global Exchange human rights organization.

Fair trade products can be found throughout Cleveland Heights, in grocery stores, local boutiques and major chains. As the holiday shopping season begins, this month's special designation offers a chance to reflect a little bit more on purchases.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 3:08 PM, 09.29.2014

Stop Mass Incarceration movement plans October month of mass resistance

Stop Mass Incarceration activists puncture the silence with facts during Larchmere Porchfest.

Last April, three older white women here in the Heights sent out a letter to friends and sympathetic acquaintances calling on them to take up the call of author Michelle Alexander, to help build a social movement against the new Jim Crow. We read Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow, and were horrified [to learn] that the war on drugs has caused an astounding rise in the incarceration of people of color for minor drug offenses over the last 40 years. Alexander’s exposure of the blatant injustice at every level of the criminal “justice” system had a profound effect on us. We felt compelled to do something.   

We were also deeply troubled by the acquittal of George Zimmerman, and inspired by the “Stop Stop and Frisk” movement in NYC. Our movement, Puncture the Silence-Stop Mass Incarceration, was formed in a living room in Cleveland Heights, where eight older women unanimously endorsed the Stop Mass Incarceration Network’s (SMIN) call for an October “Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror and the Criminalization of Generations,” initiated by Carl Dix and Cornel West.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 3:03 PM, 09.29.2014

A park, yes—but not a $3 million park

Anita Kazarian

Mayor Infeld’s proposed new tax bond issue for $1.8 million for a neighborhood park is on November’s ballot. Add to it the $856,677 already spent, and this park will cost close to $3 million.

How did it grow from the simple “green space” Infeld said was her preference to a project that now needs a massive tax to fund it?

According to the University Heights City Council meeting minutes of Feb. 6, 2012, Brett Teacher, chairman of Citizens for Saybrook Park, requested that the city purchase the former Fuchs Mizrachi private property and “convert it into a city park.”

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 3:00 PM, 09.29.2014

Who should define our community?

Susie Kaeser

Fifty years ago, the idea of housing integration was akin to a four-letter word. It was, as housing activist Kermit Lind explained to me, “a state of pathological transition.”

Segregation was the reality for nearly everyone living in Cuyahoga County. Single-race neighborhoods and a lack of choice for African Americans were the cumulative outcome of federal law, lending and real estate practices, and cultural norms. It appeared to be a locked system, with no options for change. Cleveland Heights was nearly all white. Only 251 African Americans were counted among 61,831 residents in the 1960 census. Then, everything changed.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 2:55 PM, 09.29.2014

Heights historical photo of the month

Image courtesy of the City of Cleveland Heights. 

In 1941, the Heights Theater on Euclid Heights Boulevard, in the Coventry neighborhood, advertised Humphrey Bogart's movie "The Wagons Roll at Night" on its marquee. The theater opened in 1919 and showed films up until the 2000s.  

This photo was selected by the Cleveland Heights Historical Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the diverse character and traditions of Cleveland Heights. For more information, and to view additional historical images, visit or

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 2:52 PM, 09.29.2014

Building a city of neighbors in Cleveland Heights

Simeon Ogonda (left) with UST volunteer Chris Vilevac, who is serving as Ogonda's "community mentor" during his stay in Cleveland Heights.

Welcoming Heights is a new initiative aimed at creating a “city of neighbors” in Cleveland Heights through activities and services that promote a welcoming environment for immigrants who have made the city their home. The initiative is based in the beliefs that all humanity is connected and that people discover their humanity by sharing their unique experiences with others.

The initiative is part of an effort to assist members of the immigrant and refugee community to integrate into life in Cleveland Heights and Greater Cleveland, and also to enrich the entire community through activities in which all residents are welcome to participate. On Sept. 9, in the first of a series of meetings regarding the project, participants endorsed the ideas of establishing a “welcoming hub” in a Cleveland Heights library and possibly setting up a Welcome Wagon for new immigrants and refugees living in the community.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 2:50 PM, 09.29.2014

Potter Village celebrates sixth annual block party

Face painting on Castleton Road. Photo by Michael Litherland.

More than 200 residents attended the sixth annual Potter Village Block Party, held on Aug. 23, on Castleton Road in Cleveland Heights.

According to the leaders of the Potter Village Good Neighbor Association, an organization of residents, it is the largest citizen-run block party in Cleveland Heights.

The 2014 block party featured DJ Freddie James; a potluck dinner; a visit by a Cleveland Heights fire truck and members of the CH Fire and Police departments; a water balloon toss and Hula-Hoop contest; face painting and bicycle decorating; an old-fashioned cake walk; line dancing; and a raffle, with prizes donated by more than a dozen local merchants.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 2:47 PM, 09.29.2014

90-year-old resident begins a new chapter

Lois Jeavons

Local author Lois Jeavons grew up in Shaker Heights during an era one often thinks about while driving down the tree-lined roads of our local communities. Having lived much of her life in Northeast Ohio, she has insight into a period of history in which this region experienced some of its lowest lows and highest highs.

A graduate of Hathaway Brown, Jeavons left the Heights for Smith College, where she studied English and creative writing under Mary Ellen Chase, a well-known New England author.

Thereafter, her life took a more traditional path of doting mother and supportive wife. But her love of writing never waned and, in later years, she attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she reconnected with the novel she had started years before and began to flesh it out.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 2:44 PM, 09.29.2014

Cedar Lee Kids' Candy Crawl is Oct. 24

Trick-or-treaters participate in the 2013 Candy Crawl on Lee Road. Photo by Shawn Paul Gustafson.

The fourth annual Cedar Lee Kid’s Candy Crawl will be held on Friday, Oct. 24, 5–8 p.m. Every year since the inaugural event in 2011, the number of children participating has doubled from the previous year. This year, organizers expect about 1,000 kids in costume to come trick-or-treating between the doors of the Cedar Lee Theatre and the Lee Road Library.

Each of the participating businesses will display an orange “Official Candy Crawl Stop” poster in its window.

"I created this event as a way for myself and the other merchants to give back to the families in our community," said Shawn Paul Gustafson, owner of Shawn Paul Salon. "After all, our fiercely locally minded community is the reason that all of us merchants are here and able to keep our doors open. It was also important to me that the children of the Heights get to experience a wonderfully magical night in the Cedar Lee."

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 2:33 PM, 09.29.2014

10th Annual Online Auction supports FutureHeights

FutureHeights is accepting donations for its 10th Annual Online Auction, which serves as a major fundraiser for the nonprofit organization.

The auction supports the efforts of FutureHeights to create a stronger community in Cleveland Heights and University Heights. FutureHeights engages volunteers to help produce the Heights Observer community news; provides fiscal agency to various neighborhood-based groups; hosts numerous community-building events and activities, such as the Best of the Heights Awards and the Heights Music Hop; and presents community forums, tours and speakers.

An online preview begins Oct. 11, and bidding begins Nov. 21 at

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 2:25 PM, 09.29.2014

Author of 'Uppity Women' to speak in Cleveland Heights

Lisa M. Wolfe, professor in the Endowed Chair of Hebrew Bible at Oklahoma City University, will be at Church of the Saviour, 2537 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, from Oct. 17–19. A native of Stow, Ohio, Wolfe also teaches at Saint Paul School of Theology.

On Friday evening, Oct. 17, Wolfe will meet with junior and senior youth to explore the topic "Get Ready for Ministry." Her Saturday workshop, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. –noon, will discuss "Judith and the General’s Sword: The Difference Between Self-Defense and Revenge." The story of Judith is one of the lesser-known tales from the Apocrypha. Like Esther and several other biblical books, Judith raises the issue of violence. Is violence ever appropriate? How can the Bible be our conversation partner on this topic?

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 2:22 PM, 09.29.2014

IPM trip stirs memories of Sister Kazel

Alyssa Bovell in El Salvador for IPM's immersion experience program.

As a Beaumont School student, Alyssa Bovell had learned about Sister Dorothy Kazel, an Ursuline nun who taught at the school before undertaking missionary work in El Salvador, where she was murdered in 1980. Bovell's August trip to the Central American country, with International Partners in Mission (IPM), drove home the impact of Kazel’s sacrifice.

“To be there, to hear about the history of El Salvador and the civil war and see the challenges that people are still facing today, there aren’t words to describe that,” Bovell said.

A resident of South Euclid, Bovell began a two-year fellowship at IPM’s Cleveland Heights headquarters after graduating in May from the University of Dayton with a major in international development and political science.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 2:20 PM, 09.29.2014

Brennan's wins Best CH Business in 2014 Best of the Heights Awards

Brennan's Colony representatives (from left) Aran Keenan, Kathy Murphy and Richard Wise. Photo by Greg Bonanno.

Following a summer marked by both tragedy and resilience, Brennan’s Colony received the title of Best Cleveland Heights Business in the 10th annual Best of the Heights Awards, held Sept. 23. Voters also honored the Lee Road restaurant and bar in naming it the Heights’s Best Bar, Pub or Tavern.

“It’s an overwhelming testament to the amount of support the community has provided us, but most importantly it’s a testament to what Jim Brennan was able to do in his lifetime and in his years of service at the corner of Lee and Silsby, and I would be remiss to think that this award wasn’t directly for him,” said Aran Keenan, Brennan’s Colony manager. 

The Best of the Heights Awards is an annual recognition of outstanding Cleveland Heights and University Heights businesses.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 4:24 PM, 09.26.2014

Nominations open for Cleveland Heights Office of Poet Laureate

Cleveland Heights's sixth poet laureate, Kathleen Cerveny.

Heights Arts is accepting nominations for the 2015–17 Office of Poet Laureate. The purpose of the Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate—initially established by Heights Arts with the approval of the City of Cleveland Heights in 2005—is to celebrate and elevate the art form of creative writing for the benefit of the community’s residents.

Artist, poet, grant-maker and Cleveland Arts Prize-recipient Kathleen Cerveny currently serves as Cleveland Heights's sixth poet laureate. The next poet laureate will serve for a two-year period, beginning April 2015, and concluding at the end of March 2017. Poets must be residents of Cleveland Heights through the full two-year term of service if selected for the office.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 11:07 AM, 09.26.2014

Superintendent Dixon holds coffee klatches with local groups

Attendees at the Sept. 19 coffee klatch.

Talisa Dixon, Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District superintendent, welcomed representatives from Link4Schools as well as parent ambassadors for each of the district’s schools at a coffee klatch held on Friday, Sept. 19 at the Board of Education building. 

Link4Schools is a Cleveland-based learning organization formed by a committed group of educators. They partner with schools by engaging the entire school community in meaningful activities to bring about deep learning and positive outcomes for students.

The district’s parent ambassadors are a resource for district parents, providing information and support. They also serve as a link among parents, schools and the district, and represent the parents' perspective.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 11:06 AM, 09.26.2014

CH-UH district launches new website

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District launched a redesigned and improved website on Sept. 6. New features of the website,, include improved navigation, school photo rotations, a cleaner homepage, better search engine and a new "Tiger Praise" page.

“The Tiger Praise page will allow site visitors to celebrate the district’s culture and people by allowing for public praise of teachers, staff, students, schools and school volunteers,” stated Angee Shaker, director of communications.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 12:01 PM, 09.30.2014

Three arrested in connection with weekend shooting at bar

Anthony Hunt

The Cleveland Heights Police Department issued a statement late on Wednesday, Sept. 24, that it had made three arrests in connection with the shooting death of Arrion Smiley. The shooting occurred shortly after 2 a.m. on Sept. 20, outside the Double R Bar & Grill, 1940 S. Taylor Road.

Jamahl Drake and Darius Wills have been charged with aggravated murder; bond for each has been set at $500,000. Anthony Hunt has been charged with complicity to aggravated murder, with bond set at $250,000.

The investigation is ongoing, according to the statement.

Reports indicate a fight had apparently taken place inside the bar shortly before the shooting. Several people were escorted outside, after which bullets were fired into the bar through the front window. Smiley and another woman were struck; the other woman is expected to recover. Neither was believed to have been involved with the initial disturbance.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 11:00 PM, 09.24.2014