Latest News

Atma Center celebrates 20 years

Atma Center founder and director Beverly Singh, pictured in crocodile pose, started the studio after experiencing for herself the healing power of yoga. [photo courtesy Atma Center]

Cleveland’s longest-running yoga studio, the Atma Center, is celebrating 20 years of health, education and community service in 2017.

Its director, Beverly Singh, worked at the Cleveland Clinic before opening the Atma Center on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. She had become seriously ill; her internist suspected Grave’s disease, fibromyalgia and lupus, and prescribed several medications.

While starting the regimen of prescriptions, Singh took a crash course of daily yoga from a friend, who flew all the way from Australia to teach her. After three months, Singh was off several of her medications and had reduced her dosages of the rest. She was sold on the healing power of yoga, and started teaching in her living room to share its benefits with others.

The Atma Center focuses on accessible stretches, breath techniques and meditations, and on the therapeutic benefits of yoga. Group classes, private sessions and workshops consistently prove the studio’s motto of providing “Yoga for Every Body.”

 

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 10:50 AM, 01.17.2017

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CH resident Danny Williams takes new nonprofit health care post

Danny R. Williams

In January, Cleveland Heights resident Danny R. Williams became the new president and CEO of Eliza Bryant Village, the oldest African-American long-term care center in the United States. Located at East 72nd Street and Wade Park Avenue in Cleveland, Eliza Bryant Village is a nursing home, adult-daycare and independent-living center.

In taking the new position, Williams stepped down as executive director of the Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland (now called Circle Health Services).

“I’ve been at the Free Clinic for 10 years now, and it has gone through a significant transformation,” Williams said. “I did a number of major things at the clinic, and I think the clinic is now at a stage where my departure would not be a challenge.

“I’ve been blessed to spend the bulk of my professional career working for organizations that promote health and inclusion and justice for vulnerable communities.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 10:37 AM, 01.17.2017

Forest Hill residents consider autonomy

With the recent recall of East Cleveland’s mayor and city council president, along with that city’s struggles to stay afloat, some residents in the neighborhood of Forest Hill are voicing support to secede from East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights in favor of forming an autonomous municipality, The Village of Forest Hill.

These homeowners believe the creation of a self-governing entity is needed to combat the growing number of neglected and abandoned homes that are plummeting property values and contributing to a negative perception of Forest Hill as a neighborhood on the brink.

A number of toxic houses, many of which have been vacant for years, continue to blight Forest Hill—a direct result of the 2008 housing crash, foreclosure crisis and incompetent oversight. 

One of the most egregious examples is the home at 15922 Forest Hill Blvd., in East Cleveland. This eyesore has sat vacant for more than a decade.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 10:35 AM, 01.17.2017

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights

JANUARY 3, 2017

  • Road resurfacing bids
  • Liquor permits
  • Nuisance abatement update
  • Amendment to wage and salary ordinance
  • Amendment to public hearing ordinance

Council members Cheryl L. Stephens (mayor), Jason Stein (vice mayor), Mary Dunbar, Carol Roe, Kahlil Seren and Melissa Yasinow were present. Council Member Michael N. Ungar was absent.

The meeting was held from 7:37 to 8:21 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 5:42 PM, 01.17.2017

Cleveland Heights – University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights

DECEMBER 19, 2016

  • Farewell and welcome
  • Employee benefits
  • Library revenues
  • Construction and renovation updates
  • Kudos
  • Food for fines
  • Heights libraries in the community
  • Library utilization

Board members Rick Ortmeyer (president), Ron Holland (vice president), Abby Botnick (secretary), Susan Beatty, Chris Mentrick and Jim Roosa were present. Board Member Suzann Moskowitz was absent.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 6:22 PM, 01.17.2017

Beaumont students garner art awards in regional competion

Beaumont School students won an impressive 23 awards in the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing competition, in the Cuyahoga County region, capturing four Gold Key and five Silver Key awards, as well as 14 Honorable Mention awards.

Gold Key recipients are: Alexandra Andrus ‘17, Natalie Noble ‘19, Mathilde Tomter ‘19, and Kerrigan von Carlowitz ‘19.  Andrus’ award was for photography, while the other Gold Key recipients all won for drawing and illustration.

Silver Key recipients are: Christine Aumiller ‘18, drawing and illustration; Claire Carey ‘17, who won for both painting and drawing and illustration; Stephanie Mackay ‘17, photography; and Grace Martin ’18, painting.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 1:46 PM, 01.15.2017

Center Mayfield demolition is imminent

Construction fencing surrounds the Center Mayfield Building in preparation for demolition. Photos by Graig Kluge.

The building for which the Center Mayfield Business District in Cleveland Heights is named will soon be demolished. On Jan. 9, residents noted that construction fencing and heavy machinery had been put in place. That evening, Allan Butler, housing programs director for the city of Cleveland Heights, confirmed that a demolition permit had been issued to Independence Excavating on Dec. 14, 2016.

In the city of Cleveland Heights, if the owner of a commercial property wants to demolish a structure, he must file for a demolition permit and pay a permit fee of $100, plus $5 per $1,000 value of the property. No city board or commission must review the request before the permit is issued.

The Center Mayfield Building, 3907–3927 Mayfield Road, is the most prominent building located in the "Triangle”—the district bounded by Mayfield, Noble and Warrensville Center roads.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 12:24 PM, 01.10.2017

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights

JANUARY 3, 2017

  • Organizational meeting
  • Awards and recognitions
  • Reaching Heights event
  • Personnel items
  • Middle school renovation design
  • Quarterly contracts, donations
  • 2018 tax budget, staff cost comparison
  • Board president’s report
  • Combined committee meetings
  • Upcoming meetings

Board members Ron Register (president), Kal Zucker (vice president), Jim Posch, Eric Silverman and Beverly Wright were present, as were Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer.

The meeting began at 7 p.m. and ended at 8:05 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 1:33 PM, 01.17.2017

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights

DECEMBER 20, 2016

  • Awards and recognitions
  • Field trips
  • Personnel items
  • Lease agreement, donations
  • High school renovation change orders
  • Middle school renovations
  • High school interior renovations
  • Finances, losses, voucher impact
  • Board president’s report
  • Application for share of mitigation funds

Present were board members Kal Zucker (president), Ron Register (vice president), James Posch and Eric Silverman. Beverly Wright was absent. Also present were Talisa Dixon, superintendent, and Scott Gainer, treasurer.

The public meeting began at 7 p.m., after a prior executive session regarding negotiations, and ended at 9:36 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 11:52 AM, 01.14.2017

University Heights City Council meeting highlights

JANUARY 3, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Synagogue sponsors food drive
  • Candlelight vigil at JCU
  • Cuyahoga Land Bank to acquire 3505 Tullamore
  • Heights-Hillcrest technical rescue team
  • Home address signs
  • Engineering services rate increase
  • Pension contribution for union employees

Mayor Susan Infeld and council members Susan Pardee (vice mayor), Pamela Cameron, Phillip Ertel, John Rach, Steven Sims, Michele Weiss and Mark Wiseman were present. Also present were Luke McConnell, law director, and Kelly Thomas, clerk of council.

The meeting was held from 7:05 to 9:10 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 11:30 AM, 01.14.2017

University Heights City Council meeting highlights

DECEMBER 19, 2016

  • Jerry Jacobson named citizen of the year
  • Application for lot split, consolidation
  • Ordinances for 2016 expenses amended
  • City budget for 2017
  • Cedar-Taylor streetscape
  • Refuse vehicles purchased
  • Update on 3505 Tullamore Road
  • Fire truck repair
  • Finance director

Mayor Susan Infeld and council members Susan Pardee (vice mayor), Pamela Cameron, Phillip Ertel, John Rach, Steven Sims, Michele Weiss and Mark Wiseman were present. Also present were Luke McConnell, law director; Larry Heiser, finance director; and Kelly Thomas, clerk of council.

The meeting was held from 7:05 to 9:35 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 11:28 AM, 01.14.2017

CH-UH Board of Education elects 2017 officers

CH-UH Board of Education President Ron Register.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District Board of Education (BOE) selected new leaders for 2017 during its annual organizational meeting on Jan. 3, in University Heights.

BOE members unanimously voted longtime board member Ron Register as president, a role he previously served. Register held the position of vice president in 2016.

Also unanimously, board members elected Kal Zucker, the outgoing BOE president, as vice president.

Board member Jim Posch was appointed treasurer pro tem, which means he will serve in place of Scott Gainer, the district's chief financial officer, if Gainer is unable to attend a board meeting. The job of treasurer pro tem includes keeping meeting minutes and recording all votes, and is a position Posch filled last year as well.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 10:03 AM, 01.10.2017

Beaumont students share the holiday spirit

Beaumont students used an assembly line process to fill bags with personal care items as part of their holiday service project.

Students in Beaumont School’s FAME (Females Achieving Minority Excellence) Club took service to heart this holiday season.

Under the direction of instructor NaNetta Hullum, the students collected more than 100 gently used handbags, then filled them with socks, deodorant, soap, lotion, kleenex, shampoo and other personal hygiene items.

On Dec. 16, before the official start of their Christmas holiday break, the students delivered the purses to two local shelters, the City Mission and the Norma Herr Homeless Shelter.

Earlier in the holiday season, on Dec. 7, Beaumont students hosted the school’s annual Christmas on Campus event, attended by more than 100 kindergarten through third-grade students from the Urban Community School and St. Leo the Great parish in Cleveland.

Each child paired up with a Beaumont student “buddy” for the afternoon, going room-to-room throughout the school to play games, make crafts, decorate cookies, have their pictures taken with Santa, and get their faces painted.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 10:02 AM, 01.10.2017

University Heights names Jacobson 2016 Citizen of the Year

Jerome Jacobson, University Heights 2016 Citizen of the Year, receiving a proclamation from Mayor Susan Infeld at the University Heights City Council meeting on Dec. 19, 2016. [courtesy Patrick Grogan-Myers]

As 2016 drew to a close, the city of University Heights honored two individuals for their service to the city and the community.

At the Dec. 19 city council meeting, UH Mayor Susan Infeld presented Jerome (Jerry) Jacobson, a 60-plus-year resident, with the city’s 2016 Citizen of the Year award, in honor of his 40 years of service as a member of the UH Police Auxiliary Unit.

The city also recognized Patricia Meehan, administrative assistant for the UH Police Department, as its 2016 Employee of the Year.

Meehan joined the department in 2014. Announcing the honor, Mayor Infeld said, “Patti has been nominated by her peers for her outstanding commitment and service to the department and the community. Her dedication and kindness are felt by all. I have received many compliments from residents about Patti’s kindness and help when they call or visit the police department.”

UH Police Chief Steven Hammett said of Jacobson, “Jerry’s long service to the community and mentorship to his fellow auxiliary members has been invaluable to the smooth functioning of the Police Auxiliary Unit.”

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 12:01 PM, 01.03.2017

FH's Best of the Heights awards return in 2017

Since 2005, FutureHeights—a nonprofit that inspires and facilitates collaboration and empowerment in our community—has conducted the Best of the Heights awards to recognize the unique attributes of locally owned Heights businesses, and their contributions to the local economy.

FutureHeights asks residents to cast their votes for their favorite businesses by nominating them for an award in a variety of categories, such as Best New Business and Best Interior Décor. After a one-year hiatus, FutureHeights is bringing the program back with the theme Show Heights Businesses Your Love.

Beginning in January, residents can show their love for Heights businesses by voting for them in 12 categories.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 12:00 PM, 01.03.2017

When ladies stopped the freeways and saved their cities

As the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes wraps up its 50th-anniversary year, we wish to reflect on the struggle that birthed it—a struggle that succeeded in preserving the wetland along the border of Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights and, indeed, both cities as we know them today.

Were it not for seven years of sustained effort by residents, elected officials and members of civic organizations, Cleveland’s near east side and adjacent suburbs would have been chopped into fragments by a heavily promoted system of freeways.

Announced in 1963, the [freeway] plan was the brainchild of Cuyahoga County Engineer Albert S. Porter, who also chaired the county Democratic Party. It consisted of four multi-lane, limited-access highways, all of them passing through some portion of Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 11:51 AM, 01.03.2017

How CH-UH district evaluates its teachers

How often should teachers be evaluated to make sure they are continuing to grow and improve in their job? The state of Ohio does not give us much of choice in CH-UH about how often, or what should be scrutinized, even though we control some aspects of teacher evaluation locally.

Teachers must undergo two cycles of observations per year. These cycles make up the teacher-performance part of the evaluation. Each cycle comprises a pre- and post-conference, a full-length lesson, and short walk-throughs. Before the pre-conference, most administrators require the completion of an extensive worksheet as well as a detailed lesson plan. During the pre-conference, teachers must explain what they will be doing and why, how they determined what to do, how students will be grouped, what data supports the differentiation that each student will receive, and on and on and on.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 11:50 AM, 01.03.2017

Superintendents protest new graduation requirements

When school superintendents protest at the Ohio Statehouse, you know there is something terribly wrong.

Their job is to implement policies mandated by their local boards of education and comply with the Ohio legislature’s demands. They are not exactly the boat-rocking kind—except when something seriously threatens their students.

On Nov. 15, more than 200 superintendents and school board members from across Ohio gathered in Columbus to protest Ohio’s latest misuse of standardized tests. The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District participated in this public display of concern. Superintendent Talisa Dixon and board members Ron Register, Kal Zucker and Beverly Wright made up our contingent.

These advocates for students challenged Ohio’s newest high school graduation requirements.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 11:48 AM, 01.03.2017

County values demolished CH residence at $97,200

To the Editor:

The Cuyahoga County Board of Revision recently valued the property at 3249 Desota Ave. at $97,200. The property had been improved with a two-family home that was demolished in the summer of 2015, after having been declared a nuisance by the city [of Cleveland Heights].

In so valuing the property, the board of revision ignored an Ohio Supreme Court decision directing the county to value the property in light of its decision that an adjacent property should be valued at $5,000. The board of revision also ignored its own appraisal of the property valuing same at $30,000.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 11:53 AM, 01.03.2017

Family of Sunny Ravi Patel donates $20,000 to CH's police and fire departments

Cleveland Heights Police Chief Annette Mecklenberg and Fire Chief Dave Freeman accept a check from the Patel family at at the Dec. 5 CH City Council meeting. Photo courtesy City of Cleveland Heights.

On Dec. 5, the Patel family donated $20,000 to the Cleveland Heights police and fire departments, in gratitude for their support during the tragic loss of Sunny Ravi Patel.

A family spokesperson said that the family is giving back funds from a GoFundMe account to "all of the groups that made a difference during our loss."

Patel was killed on Oct. 14 at his family's Mr. Hero shop on South Taylor Road in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 11:42 AM, 01.03.2017

HRRC plans enhanced services and classes for 2017

For nearly 46 years, Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) has provided residents with the tools—literally and metaphorically—to improve their houses themselves. As one of the country’s few home-repair nonprofits, HRRC continuously seeks to enhance its services.

In 2017, HRRC aims to increase its home-repair class sizes, diversify its course offerings, and expand the number of communities it serves.

A new six-week sequence dealing with home exteriors and landscaping—part of HRRC’s Women’s Home How-To series—will fulfill requests from many class participants for an examination of yards and spaces outside of the home. After all—this is what people first see when looking at a house.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 11:45 AM, 01.03.2017

Volunteer Match

Heights Observer’s Volunteer Match column lists opportunities for residents to lend their time and talent to the many worthy organizations and causes around the Heights.

Submit your organization’s volunteer needs by e-mailing Sruti Basu at sbasu@futureheights.org or calling the FutureHeights office at 216-320-1423.

Items submitted on or before the Heights Observer print issue's monthly story deadline will be considered for the next column. (To see past columns, visit www.heightsobserver.org, and search “volunteer match”.)

Reaching Heights: Reaching Heights’s Many Villages tutoring program, in its 11th year of service to the community, has open slots for a new after-school tutoring program at Gearity Professional Development School.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 11:46 AM, 01.03.2017

Early childhood educator to speak at Jan. 19 forum on education reform

Trying to make sense of the myriad educational reforms taking place in the country today is a daunting task. Sound bites on the news, posts on social media, and competing articles in various newspapers create a virtual smokescreen that chokes out the reality of the classroom and true educational research. Pundits, political donors, and legislators in the limelight seem to draw attention away from what is really happening to our young learners as they and their schools continue to be labeled according to the results of standardized test scores.  

As part of its ongoing mission to inform the community about current issues in education, the Heights Coalition for Public Education will hold its next Speaker’s Forum on Thursday Jan. 19, in the cafeteria at the Wiley Campus of Heights High, 7–9 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 11:44 AM, 01.03.2017

Career and Tech Ed offers diverse paths

Antonio Johnson uses an electrical training aid to build basic circuits.

On Dec. 2, sophomores at Heights High explored the 14 Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs offered to juniors and seniors. The all-day fair featured displays and demonstrations by students currently in the programs. In the spring, sophomores can select one of the two-year CTE programs during the school’s scheduling process.

CTE programs offer “college and career readiness,” providing students with practical experience that many college-bound students lack. Traditional college-bound students can enroll in a CTE program to earn a certification that will qualify them for an above-minimum-wage job in their area of interest while they attend college.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 11:38 AM, 01.03.2017

Learn about Urban Oak School at January open house

Urban Oak School third-graders celebrated the autumn harvest by honoring the Jewish festival of Sukkot. They created a sukkah to collect food, and Jean Miller, a Cleveland Heights resident and Waldorf home-schooler, shared with the children the story and meaning of Sukkot.

Together they blessed the sukkah, preparing it to receive donations from the Urban Oak community.

Felicia Campbell and her third-grade class delivered 168 pounds of food to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. The class visited Eddy's Fruit Farm to pick apples, and a local beekeeper to learn about bees and honey.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 11:37 AM, 01.03.2017

Heights alumni and district form new foundation

L-R: Julianna Johnston Senturia, outgoing Executive Director Eric Silverman, Susan Carver

Cleveland Heights–University Heights City School District leadership is working with the Heights Alumni Foundation to transition the existing alumni efforts into the Heights Schools Foundation (HSF) with an expanded mission and new leadership. 

Julianna Johnston Senturia, a 1987 Heights High graduate, is the executive director of HSF.

“Public dollars cover the basics when levies are renewed, but it still leaves some funding gaps for enrichment, innovation, special capital projects, co-curricular activities—that’s where we come in,” explained Senturia.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 11:03 AM, 01.03.2017

St. Paul's Co-op Preschool plans open house events for Jan. 9

It's only January, but believe it or not, parents of young children are thinking about preschool in the fall of 2017. St. Paul’s Cooperative Preschool is planning two open house events for parents who are thinking ahead. Both events take place on Monday, Jan. 9, 9:30–10:30 a.m., and 6:30–7:30 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:57 AM, 01.03.2017

District's free school markets move indoors for winter

The school markets at Boulevard and Oxford elementary schools will continue to offer free fruits, vegetables and healthy pantry items to school families and other Heights residents this winter, and throughout the school year. The schools have partnered with School Market, a program of the Cleveland Food Bank, to provide nutritious food to district families and others, outside of the school day.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:55 AM, 01.03.2017

What’s going on at your library?

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

Thursday, Jan. 19, 7–8:30 p.m.

Caregiver Bootcamp: Recognizing and Managing Difficult Behaviors. Learn the multiple and often interacting causes for a loved one’s inappropriate or difficult behaviors, as well as real-world tips and strategies for managing and preventing them.Bert Rahl (MSSA, LISW-S), director of mental health services at Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, will provide information on community agencies, organizations and programs that provide respite and other services—and how to qualify for them.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:40 AM, 01.03.2017

Library offers national pre-K literacy program

Kamaria Kabir reads to her daughter at Lee Road Library. Photo courtesy Heights Libraries.

Heights parents and caregivers can now visit a branch of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library and join “1000 Books before Kindergarten,” a national literacy movement.

“1000 Books before Kindergarten is a fun new program that encourages caretakers and parents to read 1,000 books with, or to, their child before that child starts kindergarten,” said Maggie Kinney, youth services librarian who is among those spearheading the program at Heights Libraries. “The program comes from a national nonprofit of the same name that promotes literacy in early childhood and gives program guidance to teachers and librarians to use in their community.”

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:39 AM, 01.03.2017

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. in Council Chambers at University Heights City Hall. To receive the monthly schedule by e-mail, call 216-932-7800, ext. 205, or send an e-mail to info@universityheights.com.

Jan. 5: University Heights Mayor Susan Infeld will reflect on the city's issues and accomplishments, as well as the challenges of providing service in the City of University Heights. She'll outline the possible development of new projects to benefit the community in the new year.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:37 AM, 01.03.2017

CH Senior Center News

Regular classes at the Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center (SAC) resume in January, along with additional special programs intended to entertain and inform.

Cleveland history enthusiasts will want to attend a special program on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 11 a.m., in which local historian Dennis R. Sutcliffe will highlight the fascinating history of the vicinity of 105th Street and Euclid Avenue. The event is free and open to the public.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:35 AM, 01.03.2017

Heights Arts kicks off 2017 with two exhibitions and some Zeitgeist

Girls in the Garden, courtesy fiber artist Mary Ann Tipple, goes on view on Jan. 13.

A portrait is commonly considered to be a painting, drawing, photograph, or engraving of a person, especially one depicting only the face or head and shoulders. Considering that the human face is one of the first things babies recognize, just weeks after being born, one might think that the artistic process of creating a portrait would be easy. Yet a truly engaging portrait conveys more than just a likeness, as viewers will see in the first Heights Arts exhibition of 2017.

“Likeness,” which opens Friday, Jan. 13, brings together six Northeast Ohio artists who approach the portrait from different perspectives.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:31 AM, 01.03.2017

The good January

January has always seemed like a kind of lonely month. All of the holiday stuff is over. It gets a lot quieter. People, in this climate, stay inside as much as possible. We don’t run into as many friends and acquaintances in stores or at parties (because there are no parties) as we did in December. It’s terribly cold outside (and sometimes inside), and it’s dark and bleak. College and professional football is over and baseball is still three months down the road. TV networks run miniseries at this time of year—from "Roots" to "Downton Abbey"—because people are stuck inside and bored. And reading is not a group activity.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:29 AM, 01.03.2017

LEI and Dobama join forces for youth playwriting workshop

Past participants in LEI's youth workshop act out their original plays on stage with friends.

Lake Erie Ink: a writing space for youth (LEI) is collaborating with Dobama Theatre to inspire young people from Cuyahoga County to put their playwriting skills to the test. On Jan. 21 and 28, kids will work with playwright Catie O’Keefe to write their own plays. A member of Dobama Theatre’s Playwrights’ GYM, O’Keefe has written plays that have been performed in the United States, United Kingdom and Amsterdam.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:28 AM, 01.03.2017

The Night Alive opens at Dobama

Two shadowy figures enter a garbage-strewn apartment in Dublin, Ireland—a young woman covered in blood and the older man who has just rescued her from a beating by her boyfriend. 

These are the opening moments of "The Night Alive" by Conor McPherson, which is having its regional premiere at Dobama Theatre, Jan. 20 through Feb. 12.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:26 AM, 01.03.2017

HYT celebrates community with 'Godspell'

Come sing about love, enjoy all good gifts, and learn your lessons well with the Heights Youth Theatre’s (HYT) production of Stephen Schwartz’s classic “Godspell,” opening Friday, Jan. 20. The show is appropriate for all ages.

As told through a variety of games, storytelling techniques, music and dance, the parables of Jesus Christ come to life in this modern take on a timeless tale of loyalty, friendship and love.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:23 AM, 01.03.2017

CH artist Kuehnle's interactive work is focus of Akron exhibition

Jimmy Kuehnle on one of the bikes he designed and created. Photos by James Henke.

Jimmy Kuehnle’s work frequently comprises huge, three-dimensional sculptural pieces, depicting bicycles, clothing and other items. Some of his work is also performance art—pieces he can ride or otherwise interact with physically.

Kuehnle, 37, lives in Cleveland Heights and is an assistant professor in the foundation department at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA). He has won many awards for his work, which he has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Kuehnle’s work is currently on view at the Akron Museum of Art, in an exhibition titled “Jimmy Kuehnle: Wiggle, Giggle, Jiggle,” open through Feb. 19.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:17 AM, 01.03.2017

Heights students form community-service organization

Members of CHYC pause for a photo while volunteering at a Shaker Lakes cleanup: (from left) Quinton Ndyajunwoha, Anya Chew, Avery Dyer, Londyn Crenshaw, Stephen Lang, Ben Schuster, Soli Collins and Jeremy Kauffman. [courtesy CHYC]

Sporting grey shirts with the Heights tiger on their chests, members of the Cleveland Heights Youth Committee (CHYC) are popping up all around the Heights community.

Heights High students founded and comprise this newly formed youth group. Entirely self-directed, CHYC’s members are dedicated to promoting positive change in their community through student activism and leadership.

Currently, CHYC is sponsoring a coat drive, running through Jan. 1, at the close of which the students plan to organize the donated items and distribute them around the community. Drop-off locations for donated coats are at The Wine Spot, Quintana's Barber & Dream Spa, Lee Road Library, Coventry Village Library, CH-UH Board of Education, Zagara's Marketplace, Lopez, and Ben & Jerry's.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 1:19 PM, 12.19.2016

Shop local this holiday season

To the Editor:

2016 has been a very unusual year. The grim reaper has unfortunately taken so many from us. The uncertainty following the presidential election continues to twist and turn, almost on a daily basis. The economy is not robust. A first snow storm wreaked havoc on local businesses, during what is, normally, the second-busiest retail sales weekend of the year. And then there is online sales.

For most of us, Amazon is our arch nemesis. It's like an Evil Empire that continues to grow and suck the life out of local independent businesses. It's our Kryptonite. Amazon has made it so easy for you to stay at home and shop. Free shipping . . . 2-day delivery . . . generous return policy . . . thousands of items and, did I forget to mention, great prices. How can you not like it?

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 6:40 PM, 12.19.2016

Holiday decorations add charm to vacant Lee Road storefront

The vacant storefront between Parnell's Pub and Heights Arts is decorated for the holidays. Photo by Nathan Merritt.

This holiday season, FutureHeights partnered with art classes at Heights High and local property owner Jonathan Forman to decorate a vacant storefront in the Cedar Lee Business District. Students added holiday-themed scenes to the window of Forman's building at 2169 Lee Road.

"FutureHeights had partnered with several property owners and arts organizations to fill vacant storefronts with art and increase the vibrancy of the district during Heights Music Hop," said Deanna Bremer Fisher, executive director of FutureHeights. "This initiative seeks to do the same during the busy holiday shopping season."

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 9:15 AM, 12.16.2016

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights

DECEMBER 6, 2016

Library board interviews and election

All board of education members were present: Kal Zucker, president; Ron Register, vice president; James Posch, Eric Silverman, and Beverly Wright.

The purpose of this meeting was to interview candidates who had applied to fill a single open seat, for a seven-year term, on the Heights Libraries board of trustees.

The candidates were Max Gerboc, Nicholi Evans and Russell Rucky.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 3:49 PM, 01.02.2017

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library Board meeting highlights

NOVEMBER 28, 2016

  • Library again receives five-star rating
  • New janitorial contract
  • Girl engineer program
  • Bookmobile video
  • Friends Mega Sale a success
  • October public service report highlights
  • Next meeting

Board members present were Rick Ortmeyer, president; Vice Ron Holland, vice president; Abby Botnick, secretary; Susan Beatty, Chris Mentrek and Suzann Moskowitz. Jim Roosa was absent.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 3:47 PM, 01.02.2017

University Heights City Council meeting highlights

DECEMBER 5, 2016

  • Tribute to Beryl Rothschild
  • Public comments
  • JCU football team
  • Gesu girls’ soccer and cross-country teams
  • Cedar Taylor Development Association presentation
  • Fund transfers
  • Discussion of current expenses and other expenditures
  • Cuyahoga County Board of Health services
  • Crime in University Heights
  • Leaf collection, tree planting
  • The next meeting

Mayor Susan Infeld and council members Susan Pardee (vice mayor), Pamela Cameron, Phillip Ertel, John Rach and Michele Weiss were present. Councilman Steven Sims was absent.

Also present were Luke McConnell, law director; Larry Heiser, finance director; and Kelly Thomas, clerk of council.

The meeting took place 7:05–9:45 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 3:43 PM, 01.02.2017

University Heights City Council meeting highlights

NOVEMBER 21, 2016

  • Congratulations to John Carroll University football
  • Update on NOPEC agreement
  • Information bags distributed to households
  • Transfer of funds
  • Cedar Taylor shopping district revitalization
  • Purchase of carpeting for the fire station
  • New budget funds proposed
  • Requested improvement to city parks
  • Status on accepting credit card payments
  • Update on building department commissioner
  • Agreement reached with Chagrin Valley Dispatch
  • The next meeting

Mayor Susan Infeld and council members Susan Pardee (vice mayor), Pamela Cameron, Phillip Ertel, John Rach and Michele Weiss were present. Councilmen Mark Wiseman and Steven Sims were absent.

Also present were Luke McConnell, law director; Larry Heiser, finance director; and Kelly Thomas, clerk of council.

The meeting took place 7–8:28 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 3:41 PM, 01.02.2017

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights

DECEMBER 5, 2016

  • Presentation by Happy 5K
  • Presentation from the family of Sunny Ravi Patel
  • 2017 operating and capital budget
  • Zoning variances
  • Liquor permit transfer
  • Down-payment assistance program extended
  • On-street overnight parking
  • Protected liability self-insurance
  • Reappointments to boards and commissions
  • Items to be discussed at Dec. 12 work session

All council members were present: Cheryl L. Stephens, mayor; Jason Stein, vice mayor; Mary Dunbar, Carol Roe, Kahlil Seren, Michael N. Ungar, and Melissa Yasinow.

The meeting lasted from 7:42–8:41 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 3:39 PM, 01.02.2017

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights

NOVEMBER 21, 2016

  • Ceremony for fire cadets
  • Voting results for Ballot Issues 51 and 52
  • Liquor permit transfer
  • Budget ordinances
  • Community development grant
  • Commercial loan
  • Nuisance bar on Mayfield
  • Wage and salary ordinance

All council members were present: Cheryl L. Stephens, mayor; Jason Stein, vice mayor; Mary Dunbar; Carol Roe; Kahlil Seren; Michael N. Ungar; and Melissa Yasinow.

 
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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 3:38 PM, 01.02.2017

Remembering Alicia Marotta Linihan

Alicia Marotta Linihan with her husband, Brian, in 2014. [photo by James Henke]

Alicia Marotta Linihan, co-owner of Marotta’s, the popular Lee Road restaurant, died on Dec. 5. She was 43 and the mother of four children: Maggie, 10; Libby, 9; Brendan, 7; and Mary, 5. A funeral mass was held on Dec. 9 at St. Dominic Church in Shaker Heights, and she was interred at Lake View Cemetery.

Marotta Linihan owned Marotta’s with her husband, Brian Linihan. The two met in the early 1990s, while working at Salvatore’s, in Cleveland’s Little Italy, and married in August of 2002. The couple traveled to Italy every year to work on their cooking skills.

The Linihans opened Marotta’s in the fall of 2000, naming the restaurant after Alicia’s father, who had died in 1999.

Marotta Linihan grew up in Cleveland Heights, and became interested in cooking at an early age.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 11:04 AM, 12.13.2016

CH-UH district launches 'public' marketing campaign

The new wind screen outside of Heights High, at Lee and Cedar roads. [photo courtesy Little Jacket]

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District recently launched a new marketing campaign to promote the community’s public school system. The campaign centers on the theme “Public is for all.”

The bulk of the campaign has been privately funded through the generosity of the Dietrich family, longtime supporters of the CH-UH school district.

“I was interested in supporting a marketing campaign because I think a community is stronger when there's broad support for its public school system, and I wanted to encourage that,” said Nancy Dietrich.

Community members will begin to see campaign materials around the city and in the district’s overall public relations efforts. The most noticeable element is a new public art-inspired wind screen outside the construction site at Heights High.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:05 AM, 12.13.2016

Beaumont students help homeless youths

Some of the kits Beaumont School students put together for the homeless.

On Nov. 19, a group of Beaumont students spent the morning making fleece blankets and assembling bags containing personal hygiene items and food for Greater Cleveland’s homeless youth.

Beaumont students also raised funds to benefit Bellefaire JCB’s Homeless and Missing Youth programs, led by Beaumont alumna Karen McHenry (’86).

McHenry was instrumental in the “Take A Closer Look” campaign, in which mannequins dressed in hoodies explaining their homeless stories were placed around Cleveland. The mannequins were called “somebodies.”

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:06 AM, 12.13.2016

Coventry Village embraces the holiday spirit with two December events for families

2015 Coventry Village Holiday festivalgoers with Santa.

The Coventry Village Special Improvement District (SID) invites everyone to get in the holiday spirit and visit Coventry Village for two fun, free, family-friendly events planned for December.

On Saturday, Dec. 10, noon to 11 p.m., the popular Coventry Village Holiday Festival returns.

This year, Coventry Village will reward visitors for shopping local by offering $10 in Coventry Cash for every $50 shoppers spend on a single receipt at a participating merchant location. The Coventry Cash shoppers earn during the Holiday Festival can be spent in January at participating district businesses.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:47 PM, 12.02.2016

V&E Hann seeks to give free furnace to a needy family

Chris (left) and Bill Hann, co-owners of Verne & Ellsworth Hann, plan to give away a free furnace to a family or individual in need. [photo by Bill Sheck]

On Jan. 31, Verne & Ellsworth Hann Inc. will give away a furnace, including installation, to someone in need. Chris Hann, vice president of the Cleveland Heights-based heating, cooling and plumbing company, is asking for nominations from the community.

“We want to share our good fortune by giving something back to the community that’s been so good to our family all these years,” he said. "We're calling it a 'Helping Hann.'"

Nominations are being accepted on the company website (www.vehbrothers.com/helping-hann/) through the end of January, for individuals or families who live in the extended Heights area. The winner will be selected based on a range of considerations, such as age, physical disabilities, financial challenges and military service.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:43 PM, 12.02.2016

Heights High boys basketball team serves homeless men

Student athletes Dash Chesney and Andre Cash Jr. [photo Andre Scott]

More than a dozen Heights High boys basketball team members prepared and served breakfast to 250 homeless men on Nov. 19 at the men's shelter at 2100 Lakeside Ave., followed by a brief tour.

"This was a very humbling experience for these young men, but they took to it well with open arms greeting [all] as they came up in line to receive the breakfast the young men created for them," said Andre Scott, assistant varsity boys basketball coach/director of operations.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:39 PM, 12.02.2016

St. Paul’s winter art show explores perception of place

Village Scene 1, by Barbara Eisenberg.

The Nicholson B. White Gallery at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., announces its winter show, Perception of Place: Pattern and Palette. The show opened with an artists’ reception on Friday, Dec. 2, with participating artists in attendance to greet guests and discuss their creative processes. The show runs through March 5.

Featured artists are Barbara Eisenberg (mixed media prints), Lari Jacobson (acrylic on canvas), Theresa Yondo (sculptural ceramics) and Gunter Schwegler (painting on silk).

Barbara Eisenberg creates abstract prints. Her art develops from an abiding interest in natural and imaginative forms, seeking simple bold shapes upon which to build. She places emphasis on spatial concepts and an intuitive response to these ideas. Her approach to each print includes incorporating as many technical and material variables as possible, without losing spontaneity or intensity.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:11 PM, 11.30.2016

Cruel Winter Festival showcases the best in local hip-hop

Ohio Hip-Hop Award winner Kris Hilton is the host of this year's Cruel Winter Festival at the Grog Shop on Dec 9. [photo: Emanuel Wallace (Cruel Winter Festival 2015)]  

Greater Cleveland’s original live music scene has been on fire in recent years, exemplified by the growth and success of high-profile events such as Brite Winter Festival, Larchmere PorchFest, and the Heights Music Hop. While those three festivals have received plenty of attention, another festival with close ties to them has been flying low on the radar. Cruel Winter Festival, highlighting Cleveland’s burgeoning hip-hop scene, is poised to return for its third season.

This year’s Cruel Winter Festival is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 9, at the Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights. More than 15 musical acts will take the stage between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m.

Wallace Settles (aka Dirty Jones), is the founder of Cruel Winter Festival. A local music promoter, Settles has been involved with each of the three aforementioned festivals. He focused on adding hip-hop components to those events, increasing the diversity of genres and performers offered by each, to a very enthusiastic response.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:48 AM, 11.30.2016

Recapping column's first six months and moving forward

We’ve enjoyed covering a variety of subjects during the first six months of this column. Readers—even a couple who haven’t agreed with us—have been generous and kind, in person and in writing. Many thanks to you all. This month, we’ll recap topics addressed to date in this column, and close with an appeal.

June: How “public” is public education? In our debut column, we highlighted testimony by two Cleveland Heights High School seniors at the third annual Democracy Day public hearing before Cleveland Heights City Council. Emma Schubert and Elijah Snow-Rackley, members of the Heights Coalition for Public Education, presented evidence of the negative impact on CH-UH public schools of high-stakes testing, vouchers and charter schools. The Heights Coalition for Public Education continues its excellent work. Learn more about the coalition’s work, and sign its position statement at http://chuh.net/coalition/.

July: Take back the CH Building Department. Citing more-stringent state licensing requirements for building inspectors, the city of Cleveland Heights outsourced its building department last summer to SAFEbuilt, a corporation founded in Colorado that is now owned by private equity firm Riverside.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 5:57 PM, 12.01.2016

In a democracy, citizens have the most important job

During the final three weeks leading up to this year’s presidential election, I spent eight days working in a basement on Edgehill Road in Cleveland Heights. I was part of a four-person team that welcomed volunteers to our staging location, where we trained them, assigned a “turf” and sent them off to knock on doors in our community. Their mission: to urge their fellow citizens to vote.

Each volunteer was given a walk packet identifying 35 to 40 addresses to visit. Some walked in pairs, while others went solo. They gave up beautiful days and private time because democracy matters. They endured rain and cold to reach one more street and a few more households. They presented themselves to strangers, some of whom readily engaged and others who slammed doors or yelled obscenities. They took themselves out of their comfort zones to do something important.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 6:02 PM, 12.01.2016

A school nurse's job is complex and essential

In the CH-UH school district, we have six school nurses. The salaries of these individuals have been highly criticized by levy opponents, even though they are on the same pay scale as social workers, counselors and program specialists. The argument has been that we should not have to spend so much for nursing services. It may be helpful [for critics] to know what our school nurses do and what they are responsible for before making assumptions about their worth.

Our school nurses have Bachelor of Science degrees in nursing and are registered nurses. More than half hold master’s degrees in education, and all are licensed as school nurses—a rigorous certification with many requirements, including a 300-hour practicum with a licensed school nurse.

All district nurses had at least 10 years of experience in nursing before CH-UH hired them. They are responsible for the welfare of every child in our schools, as well as for the adults.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 6:05 PM, 12.01.2016