Latest News

FutureHeights to offer neighborhood mini-grant program

FutureHeights, in partnership with the City of Cleveland Heights, is launching a neighborhood mini-grant program for Cleveland Heights residents. FutureHeights will award grants of up to $1,000 to neighborhood-based groups.

“Our goal is to help neighbors leverage their many assets and provide tools to enable them to strengthen their neighborhoods,” said Richard Stewart, president of the FutureHeights Board of Directors. “Having a little bit of seed money for a project can make a big difference.”

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 4:26 PM, 07.01.2015

Latest News Releases

- City of Cleveland Heights, July 2, 2015 Read More
Book Signing with 9-year old Children's Author Ella Mozzarella, survivor of Neurofibromatosis (NF)
- Coventry, June 30, 2015 Read More
Heights Libraries chooses architect for University Heights Library renovation
- CH-UH Library, June 15, 2015 Read More
Equine therapy camp can help kids who are coping with loss
- Non-Profit & Groups, June 10, 2015 Read More
Doan Brook Watershed Partnership seeks volunteers for storm drain stenciling on Saturday, June 27
- Doan Brook Watershed Partnership, June 2, 2015 Read More

View more news releases

CH-UH assistant superintendent named Bedford superintendent

Andrea Celico

Andrea Celico, Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District's assistant superintendent, recently accepted the superintendent position for the Bedford City School District, located in southeast Cuyahoga County. The Bedford School Board approved her contract at its June 25 meeting. Celico has served as the assistant superintendent for CH-UH City School District since July 2013. Celico had been assistant superintendent in the Euclid School District in the four years prior.

“Dr. Celico has accomplished a lot during her short tenure in our district. She has led the Ohio Improvement Process, which is an established framework for internal communication, as well as shared best practices that we will continue to use moving forward. We wish her the very best in her new role,” stated CH-UH superintendent Dr. Talisa L. Dixon.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 10:33 AM, 06.30.2015

Heights artist hopes to open Artful new studios and gallery

Shannon Morris

If Shannon Morris gets her way, Cleveland Heights could become home to a new art gallery, studio and retail store. “The idea has always been in the back of my mind,” said Morris, who is 42 and lives on Kingston Road in Cleveland Heights. “The bottom line is that I want to provide affordable studio space on the East Side of Cleveland.”

According to a recent study, nearly 20 percent of all of the artists in Cuyahoga County live in Cleveland Heights. “I want to create a space where people feel comfortable, an environment where people can create and collaborate,” Morris said. To accomplish her goal, Morris has formed a new organization called Artful.

Morris grew up in Cleveland Heights. After graduating from high school, she moved to New York City, where she studied photography at New York University. After getting her degree in 1995, she remained in New York until 2002, when she returned to Cleveland Heights. She opened a shop on Lee Road called There’s No Such Thing as a Non-Artist.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:02 AM, 07.01.2015

Heights couple creates unique works of art

Pam Argentieri and Matthew Hollern in their Cleveland Heights home. Some of their creations are on the mantle behind them.

Two Cleveland Heights residents—Matthew Hollern and Pam Argentieri—are well-known around the world for the jewelry and other art they create using metals and other materials. Some of their work is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., and in the Vatican Archives in Italy.

Hollern and Argentieri have been making artwork together since they first met in 1990 at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA). Two years later, they got married, and have lived on Kingston Road in Cleveland Heights since 1992. In addition to creating works of art together, Hollern and Argentieri both do individual projects as well.

Hollern, 51, grew up in Madison, Wis. He got into art as a young child. “I remember doing art projects in the first and second grade,” he said. “I was really into carving and ceramics. Then, in high school, my homeroom was a jewelry classroom, and I really got into that.”

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 9:56 AM, 07.01.2015

Celebrate National Day of Dance at Cain Park July 25

What better way to celebrate a birthday than with a party and dancing? That is just what DANCECleveland is doing when it celebrates its 60th Anniversary season, beginning with its co-presentation of New York City-based Parsons Dance at Cain Park’s Evan’s Amphitheater, on July 25 at 8 p.m.

DANCECleveland—started by visionary Heights-area women in 1956, and first known as Cleveland Modern Dance Association—is one of the oldest dance-only presenters in the United States. This year, the organization returns to Cain Park after a 10-year hiatus.

Named "one of the great movers of modern dance" by The New York Times, Parsons Dance seemed like the perfect company for the occasion—a favorite in Northeast Ohio, and known throughout the world since 1985 as a family-friendly, uplifting dance company.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 9:45 AM, 07.01.2015

Free healthcare screenings for seniors

Taking advantage of free healthcare screenings is a smart and affordable way to keep track of your health and detect potential problems early. The Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center (SAC), located in the Community Center at 1 Monticello Blvd., offers several free screenings throughout the year, including vision screenings on July 14, conducted by Cleveland Clinic’s Cole Eye Institute. There is no cost, but appointments are necessary.

Other screenings to be offered at the SAC include bi-monthly blood pressure checks administered by Case Western Reserve University medical students; vision, hearing and balance screenings administered by Cleveland Clinic; and flu shots administered by Rite Aid and Walgreens. The SAC also hosts an annual health fair that includes screenings for glucose, cholesterol and body mass index.

For a schedule of SAC screenings, to schedule an appointment, and to arrange for low-cost transportation to the screenings, call 216-691-7377.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 9:26 AM, 07.01.2015

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

July 2: Joanie Kaufman, who provides the delightful piano music for the popular High Tea served every Wednesday afternoon at the Cleveland Clinic, will celebrate Independence Day by performing a medley of patriotic hymns and the best of Broadway’s hits.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 9:24 AM, 07.01.2015

Campfire Storytelling Series lets teens share their experiences

Traditions are often passed down in the form of stories and myths. Framing experiences in a storytelling narrative makes them more accessible to others and easier to remember. While the concept is as old as humanity, live storytelling is having a resurgence. For example, The Moth: True Stories Told Live is a New York-based nonprofit dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. The Moth’s podcast has become one of the top ten most popular on iTunes.

Another example is the once-a-month storytelling event called “Keep Talking” at The Happy Dog in Cleveland. Hosted by two stand-up comedians who choose a broad theme, it invites participants to come prepared to stand and tell their stories. The only rule is that the story has to be true.

This is where Monica Wilson, Heights Libraries youth services associate, got the idea to start Campfire Storytelling Series, a storytelling program for teens.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 9:13 AM, 07.01.2015

Heights Libraries names new finance manager

Deborah Herrmann

Heights Libraries has named Deborah Herrmann as the system’s new finance manager. Herrmann will begin her new job on July 1, and succeeds Jana Nassif, who left the position in April.

Prior to joining Heights Libraries, Herrmann, who lives in University Heights, served as treasurer of Strongsville City Schools. Before that, she worked as treasurer for Cuyahoga Heights School District, Kirtland Local School District and Richmond Heights School District. She also served as Geauga County’s chief deputy auditor and was a tax administrator in the Medina County Auditor's Office.

“Deborah brings with her a wealth of government experience, in public school districts, and city and county governments,” said Nancy Levin, Heights Libraries director.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 9:11 AM, 07.01.2015

What’s going on at your library?

Explore your inner hero with these library programs focused on fictional and real-life heroes.

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

Thursday, July 9, 2:30 p.m.

Music Heroes. It takes guts and grit to follow one's dreams and that is just what these Music Heroes are doing. Join us for an afternoon performance from Cleveland Institute of Music students.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 9:09 AM, 07.01.2015

Renaissance principal James Reed retires

Principal James Reed at the senior picnic with picnic organizers Imani Smith, student council president (at left) and Emily Vinson, senior class president.

James Reed, Heights High Renaissance School principal, will retire after 27 years of service in the CH-UH City School District. A social studies teacher at Wiley Middle School for 11 years, he moved to the high school in 1999 to be a unit principal, responsible for a class of students as they progressed through the school. In 2003, he became a member of the Small Schools design team and was the founding principal of the Renaissance small school.

One of the guiding tenants of the small school model was an emphasis on strong relationships between students and staff as a basis for instruction and leadership. “One of the most rewarding aspects of working here has been getting to know students,” said Reed. “When I could spend the time to understand students, it made it easier to guide them.”

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 9:07 AM, 07.01.2015

Oxford Elementary first-grade teacher Betty Miller retires

Betty Miller with Tom Schmida. [photo by Karen Rego]

All great teachers dedicate their lives to teaching, challenging and loving their students. Betty “Oxford” Miller has been a standout in this regard. She is retiring after 40 years as first-grade teacher at Oxford Elementary School.

With undeniable dedication, Miller has tirelessly advocated for both her students and her colleagues in education. She has done everything possible to challenge her students and see them succeed. Miller has helped generations of Oxford children and their families, often working through lunch and after school.

Throughout her time as an educator, Miller has worked hard for teachers’ rights and better working conditions in Heights schools. She has been an advocate of issues and candidates focused on the needs of students.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 9:05 AM, 07.01.2015

Fairfax school community collaborates on playground projects

Students enjoying the main adaptive play piece. Photos by Dallas Schubert.

Three heartfelt and child-centered innovations to the outdoor area of Fairfax Elementary School, two years in the making, were completed this spring.

Early in 2013, members of the Fairfax PTA entered a national video contest sponsored by Big Lots. Their video, which highlighted the need to accommodate students with physical disabilities during recess, won the $20,000 grand prize. 

That money, with additional funds raised by the PTA, paid for three pieces of adaptive-play equipment that were installed in the spring of 2014.

More recently, the school community was brought together by the addition of some finishing touches. A Buddy Bench was installed as part of the Fifth Grade Legacy Project. Antwuan McKeller, recently promoted fifth-grader, created the sign on it. He also received the school’s Awesome Artist award. The bench was the culmination of an idea that was proposed more than 18 months ago.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 2:58 PM, 06.29.2015

Peggy Spaeth takes on a new challenge

Peggy Spaeth and her daughter Rosey Coburn.

When Peggy Spaeth retired from Heights Arts two years ago, she thought she would spend her time gardening and walking her dog.  

She had founded the lively arts hub on Lee Road and ran it successfully for 13 years.

But Spaeth is a woman of boundless creativity and resolve. Pretty quickly she turned her attention to developing something new: a program to help addicts in recovery. You might say, that’s a far cry from Heights Arts, but actually it’s pretty close to Spaeth.

“Addiction seems to touch every family. I know it has mine. Today my beautiful daughter has been clean and sober for five years. But there was a time when I feared I would lose her as so many others have...[lost their loved ones],” wrote Spaeth in the beginning of a fundraising letter.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 2:51 PM, 06.29.2015

Why the levy failed: finding reasons closer to home

I found Sarah West’s piece, “The Inequity of Social Spaces in the CH-UH School Community,” (published in the June 2015 Heights Observer), disturbing—not for its descent into academic nomenclature or its application of cookie-cutter sociological concepts onto one section of our community—but for the lack of research about pre-existing conditions, local conditions and other contributing factors.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 2:41 PM, 06.29.2015

Heights Observer 2015 local elections candidate policy

With the November election approaching, the Heights Observer is publishing its policy for contributions by candidates for local office.

As a community newspaper staffed by volunteers and committed to equal access for everyone, the Observer is unique among publications in providing opportunity for any member of the Cleveland Heights and University Heights communities to raise and discuss issues of local interest.

At election time, however, this commitment creates a challenge in managing the finite space that is available for community members who are running for public office.

The policy, approved by the FutureHeights Board of Directors, is designed to address that challenge. It states the following:

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 2:37 PM, 06.29.2015

A correction to Motorcars article in June issue

To the Editor,

For the sake of accuracy, Motorcars is the largest private-sector employer in Cleveland Heights. The City of Cleveland Heights is the largest employer in the city, with more than 300 full-time employees. If you include seasonal and part-time, the city employees more than 400 people.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 2:34 PM, 06.29.2015

Bob Cheshier brought Little Free Libraries to Cleveland

To the Editor:

I was quite pleased to see the article regarding the Little Free Library in the June 2015 issue, but was dismayed that mention was not made of the late Bob Cheshier, who was responsible for bringing the Little Free Libraries to the Cleveland area. Bob was an ardent advocate for the advancement of libraries and associated reading skills. I know Bob would have been very pleased to see yet another Little Free Library.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 2:33 PM, 06.29.2015

Thank you from Coventry P.E.A.C.E.

To the Editor:

The Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Playground and Gardens work day on May 16 was a partial success in some ways and a great success in all other ways.

The great success shown that day was the dedication of community volunteers who came to help repair the playground equipment and spruce up the beautiful gardens.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 2:31 PM, 06.29.2015

Building for an unknown future

It’s official. Heights High is closed. A proud history that started in 1926 ended this June as a platoon of moving trucks pulled away from the school laden with remnants of a glorious public space that has changed many lives.

Now, shiny silver letters attached to the façade of the former Wiley Middle School spell out Heights High. They declare that change has arrived. This will be the fourth building since 1902 to provide a high school education to residents of Cleveland Heights and University Heights.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 2:07 PM, 06.29.2015

Light up Lee Road

On a recent beautiful early summer evening, my friend and I walked from our yoga class to the Stone Oven Bakery for a salad. Three adjacent blocks of Lee Road hosted tables filled with people from all over, dining at Taste, Anatolia, TavCo, Phoenix Coffee, Black Box Fix, or tasting at The Wine Spot. I am sure the patio behind the Colony was jumping, too. Just a few steps beyond this vibrant scene, there are storefront windows covered with paper and “for rent” signs. 

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 2:27 PM, 06.29.2015

Heights historical photo of the month

Courtesy City of Cleveland Heights

It wasn't just swimming that drew crowds to Cumberland Pool early in its history; there were also special events. One such event took place in August 1945, when Stubby Kruger put on his famous "water comedy" show. Kruger, an Olympic swimmer and diver in the 1920s, went on to work in Hollywood as an actor and stuntman. His traveling production featured diving and synchronized swimming stunts set to music in a variety-show format.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 3:05 PM, 06.29.2015

William R. Jeavons House

The Jeavons House. Photo courtesy of the City of Cleveland Heights.

The William R. Jeavons House at 2541 Arlington Road was built in 1910 and became a Cleveland Heights Landmark in 2000. Designed by prominent Cleveland architect Harlen E. Shimmin, the imposing beige brick home sits on a two-acre corner lot at the confluence of Arlington and Monmouth roads in the Shaker Farm Historic District.

Originally the core of the Van Sweringen brothers’ Shaker Village development, before the majority of it took shape in the city of Shaker Heights to the south, Fairmount Boulevard and the winding streets to either side, including Arlington, [featured] some of the most opulent homes in the emerging suburbs—so much so that Fairmount Boulevard was even called the Euclid Avenue of the Heights.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 2:01 PM, 06.29.2015

Longtime resident leads community garden with wisdom and love

Phyllis Thomas

Phyllis Thomas is in charge of the 81-year-old Oxford Community Garden located next to the Oxford Elementary School in Cleveland Heights. It’s obvious why her predecessor chose her for the job. She is a straightforward woman who elicits respect through her warm and loving, no-nonsense approach to life and problems.

As the leader of the disparate group of gardeners, Thomas is tasked with enforcing the garden rules, recruiting gardeners, allocating plots and maintaining peace and communication among the gardeners.

“Oh, my goodness, if you had been here yesterday [when Tom Gibson and Elsa Johnson conducted a permaculture class] you would have seen all the different cultures and ages of people. Refugees from Nepal, a Vietnamese woman, blacks, a Russian woman, white people, about 30 people in total. I was so proud to see everyone together. We try to work together, sometimes we have problems communicating, but I love this garden,” she said.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 1:52 PM, 06.29.2015

Get buggy with HRRC

A sample bug house.

We all know how good (some) bugs can be. We spend time trying to attract ladybugs, mantises and pollinator bees to our yards and gardens, hoping the work they do will help us reduce or eliminate the use of chemicals. We understand how necessary bugs are, even providing food for birds and spiders.

If they manage to live through the summer and fall, though, where do they spend the winter?

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH) and the Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) have teamed up to answer that question. On Saturday, July 18, 10 a.m. to noon, parents and children (suggested ages 6–10) can attend Build a Bug House, a hands-on opportunity to learn why bugs are good, and build a bug house that can hang in one's yard. Attendees will also learn how to outfit the bug house with materials bugs can use over the winter.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 1:45 PM, 06.29.2015

Heights Heritage Home Tour planning is underway

With Cleveland’s roller coaster weather—It’s Spring! It’s Winter! It’s Summer! No, it’s Spring!—it might be hard to imagine the crisp days and cool nights of September, but that’s exactly what the Heights Heritage Home Tour team has been doing since early March. The team has been busy planning the always-popular tour, sponsored by the Heights Community Congress (HCC), and is in the midst of lining up another amazing roster of homes and gardens. 

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 1:31 PM, 06.29.2015

How to cruise around town on your bike

Blaise Lily (left), on her pedal-less push bike, with Joyce Brabner, whose bike features a small electric motor. Both bikes were purchased at Cain Park Bicyle.

If you want to join the growing number of Heights residents who use bicycles for short trips and exercise, this is the perfect time to start. If you plan to buy a bicycle, know what to look for to get the right bike for your needs. Local bike shops can help you find one in your price range, or, if you want to purchase a used bike, seek advice from a knowledgeable friend.

Bicycles range from awful to awesome, and you will need help finding the right one for you. You will also need to know some good routes and basic rules of the road.

The bike: If you want the health benefits of cruising to the coffee shop, around the neighborhood, or to work, you need a basic bike that is easy to mount and comfortable to ride.

Bikes with “step through” frames do not have a top bar. These bikes are easy to mount, offer an upright riding position and have a well-cushioned seat. Handlebars are flat or sloped up, and the frames are lighter than an old-school bike.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 1:25 PM, 06.29.2015

MoMo's Kebab offers tasty take on Moroccan food

Mohamed Abdessamad and his wife, Khadija Ait Ammar.

MoMo’s Kebab, a restaurant that specializes in Moroccan food, opened last February at 2199 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. Mohamed Abdessamad, the restaurant’s chef and owner, was born in Morocco, immigrated to the U.S. in 1990, and moved to the Cleveland area in 2007.

Abdessamad, 55, said he has always had a passion for cooking, which he learned from his mother. When he was 21, he moved from Morocco to France, then Germany and finally Russia. He spent seven years there, primarily in St. Petersburg, where he attended college and earned two master’s degrees, one in linguistics and one in education. While in Russia, Abdessamad was asked to cook a meal for the Moroccan ambassador. “After he ate, he came up to me and shook my hand and told me how good the food was,” Abdessamad said. “That was the first time I had cooked for someone, and his response really had an impact on me.”

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 5:24 PM, 06.26.2015

IPM invites participants to join in its immersion experience programs

IPM group poses in front of a teepee. 

An Immersion Experience Program (IEP) with International Partners in Mission (IPM), an international nonprofit based in Cleveland Heights, is a life-changing opportunity to discover another culture, primarily by interacting with locals who are implementing initiatives focused on improving their communities.

IEPs are short-term trips to the places where IPM works. IEP participants, many of whom are from Northeast Ohio, will learn about the socio-economic, political, cultural and historic realities of these places.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 4:17 PM, 06.26.2015

Cleveland leadership program seeks applicants

Orlando Boyd [Photo courtesy Maria Kaiser]

In 2006, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, along with then-Cleveland Mayor Michael White, established a leadership training program for engaged neighborhood leaders. The Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP) is a free, 15-session community engagement training program for residents of Cleveland and its inner-ring suburbs who are working on projects within the City of Cleveland and who are determined to make a positive impact on their communities.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 4:08 PM, 06.26.2015

GardenWalk Cleveland tour is July 11 and 12

The Fifth Annual GardenWalk Cleveland will take place July 11 and 12, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cleveland Heights resident Jan Kious, founder and chairperson of the annual event, said, “GardenWalk is an opportunity to show Cleveland at its best!”

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 4:07 PM, 06.26.2015

Unity Center hosts public forum on world religions

The Unity Center of the Heights celebrates the diversity of the Heights with a Civilization Transformation Forum on July 19 at 1:30 p.m. The forum is open to the public, and no registration is required.

Cynthia Rantala, founder and moderator of Civilization Transformation, and founder of Hershey Montessori School in Concord Township, Ohio, will moderate the forum and ask participants, “What is this world coming to? What is happening in this country with all these other religions coming into play here?”

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 4:06 PM, 06.26.2015

Coventry Village to dedicate Pekar Park on July 25

Illustration of Harvey Pekar provided by the Harvey Pekar estate.

The Coventry Outdoor Courtyard, at the northwest corner of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard, was a treasured spot for Harvey Pekar—internationally known underground comic author, music critic and media personality—who often referenced the Coventry neighborhood in his work. Pekar, a longtime Cleveland Heights resident, died in 2010.

On Saturday, July 25, the courtyard will be renamed Pekar Park in a special public dedication event. The Coventry Village Special Improvement District, the City of Cleveland Heights, Jakprints and the Harvey Pekar Estate all collaborated to make this event possible.

A festival, from noon to 6 p.m. in Pekar Park, will celebrate Pekar's work, and that of other Greater Cleveland comic book writers and graphic novelists. The official dedication will take place at 12:30 p.m., followed by live jazz, 1–3 p.m., and storytelling, 6:30–8:30 p.m. The dedication will conclude with a free 9 p.m. showing of “American Splendor,” the 2003 film based on Pekar's life and work, in Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park. [Note: In case of severe bad weather, the event will be held on Sunday, July 26.]

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:37 AM, 06.23.2015

City Fresh CSA comes to Coventry

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is building healthy, sustainable communities and, through a program called City Fresh, a new CSA has come to Cleveland Heights. Participants can pick up weekly shares of fresh, local produce every Tuesday this summer, next to the Coventry Village Library. The program began June 9 and will run for 20 weeks.

The City Fresh CSA is part of the New Agrarian Center (NAC), a nonprofit organization that has been at the epicenter of Cleveland's local food revival for the past decade.

The inspiration behind City Fresh was to end food deserts—neighborhoods in Greater Cleveland where there are few or no stores where fresh produce can be found. City Fresh supplies these neighborhoods with fresh produce and offers reduced pricing for families or individuals with limited incomes.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 11:17 AM, 06.23.2015

CH's Jessica Bryant earns academic honors as a student-athlete

Jessica Bryant

Jessica Bryant of Cleveland Heights claimed academic all-conference honors from the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) as a student-athlete at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C).

Bryant, a first-year student at Tri-C, played women’s basketball for the Tri-C Challengers. She was one of 15 Tri-C student-athletes to earn a spot on the Academic All-OCCAC Team.

Those honored maintained at least a 3.30 GPA while completing at least 24 credit hours during the 2014–15 academic year.

“These student-athletes reflect Cuyahoga Community College’s commitment to excellence,” said Alex Johnson, Tri-C president. “They made us proud both in the classroom and on the field.”

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:47 AM, 06.22.2015

HRRC offers remedies for soggy yards in June 30 talk

During periods of heavy rain here in Northeastern Ohio, it’s not unusual to have standing water for extended periods. Homeowners can learn about Yard Drainage Options from J. Meiring Borcherds, watershed coordinator for the sustainable environments program of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.

This free presentation, sponsored by Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC), will take place on Tuesday, June 30, 7–8:30 p.m., at HRRC's Teaching Center, 2520 Noble Road in Cleveland Heights.

Attendees will learn the common causes of soggy yards, the pros and cons of possible remedies, and which projects are easy for a homeowner to do—and which are best left to the professionals.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:38 AM, 06.22.2015

Callender named new CTE director for Heights High

Brad Callender

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District has named Duane (Brad) Callender its new Director of Career Technical Education (CTE) at Cleveland Heights High School.

“I am very excited to welcome Brad Callender to our Tiger Nation family,” said Superintendent Talisa L. Dixon. “Mr. Callender is a highly qualified, innovative educator. He was the clear choice for this position because of his years of experience in career technical education and his commitment to transforming and enhancing our current career tech programs. With the new career tech facilities that are going into the renovated high school, now is a perfect time to ensure that our CTE programming offers the latest and best possible programming for our students. We’re confident that Mr. Callender will help establish our Heights High School CTE offerings as one of the strongest, most up-to-date CTE programs in the region.”

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:28 AM, 06.22.2015

Renovations are underway at Heights Arts

Heights Arts's renovated exhibition area is slated for completion by mid-August.

Last year, Heights Arts was honored to receive a transformative donation from the Jean, Harry and Brenda Fuchs Family Foundation. It was the largest single gift in the nonprofit arts organization’s 15 year history, and was designated in part to provide ongoing improvements to its 2,400-square-foot exhibition/performance/retail space at 2175 Lee Road.

Heights Arts staff and board members worked with John Williams of Process Creative Studios to determine how the gallery could be re-configured to provide an enhanced space for multi-disciplinary programs, offer spotlight art exhibitions in addition to the six main exhibitions each year, and better display the works for sale by local artists and artisans in the retail shop. Construction began in mid-June and is expected to conclude in mid-August.

Planned renovations entail the relocation of walls to create a more-open, flexible area for community events and exhibitions; addition of carpet to improve acoustics for Heights Arts's expanding calendar of gallery concerts and classes; a centralized sales desk with better sightlines; and revitalized displays for showcasing the jewelry, ceramics, hand-blown glass, prints, photographs, stationery and homewares created by more than 70 local and regional artists.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 11:05 AM, 06.16.2015

Sustainability in Heights High design is focus of June 16 BOE meeting

Design rendering of Heights High.

The June 16 CH-UH Board of Education work session will focus on sustainable designs in the new high school, including constructing an energy-efficient building and using the building as a teaching tool (known as BaTT). The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Board of Education building.

Laura Steinbrink of HLMS Sustainability Solutions will provide an overview to the board and community on the sustainability goals and individual design concepts that were generated through an integrated design event, called an eco-charrette, last May, and how those ideas have been implemented thus far. The eco-charrette was an all-day session, with attendees from the community, the sustainability working group (SWG), design and construction team and district staff, where concepts were discussed and ideas brought forward to shape the design process with the goal of achieving a sustainable building, as well as identifying areas for sustainable concepts to be integrated into the building’s operations, culture and curriculum.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 12:38 PM, 06.14.2015

New group seeks to keep CH water public

Cleveland Heights Citizens for Safe, Affordable Water is a new organization that advocates public ownership and operation of the Cleveland Heights water system. The group formed in response to a move by the city to lease its ailing, century-old water system to a private utility.

On May 27, the City of Cleveland Heights tabled discussions with Aqua Ohio, a subsidiary of the $3.76-billion private utility Aqua America. The decision followed a May 26 public forum at which approximately 230 Cleveland Heights residents gathered to air objections to the proposed 20-year lease. For more than two hours, participants lined up at the microphone to address questions, comments and, in some cases, admonitions to Tanisha Briley, Cleveland Heights city manager, and Edmund Kolodziej, Aqua Ohio president and chief operating officer.

Cleveland Heights purchases water from the Cleveland Water Department, and resells it to residents and businesses. Out of 58 municipalities in Cuyahoga County, 54 receive water directly from the Cleveland Water Department. Cleveland Heights is one of only four “master meter” cities, which operate their own water departments.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:39 AM, 06.16.2015

Sugarloaf Mountain meets Cain Park on June 20

Apollo’s Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, returns to Cain Park on Saturday, June 20, at 8 p.m.

Apollo’s Fire made its debut at Cain Park five years ago with its first Appalachian program, Come to the River. Music Director Jeannette Sorrell took a bold risk in bringing her period-instrument ensemble to an outdoor venue. But the Plain Dealer commented on the successful sense of “intimacy” that Apollo’s Fire created at Cain Park. As the more-than-1,000 concertgoers observed that night, this concert sounded fine without the usual level of amplification often required at outdoor venues like Cain Park.

Come to the River soon became a Billboard Classical Top-10 CD. It was hailed by The American Record Guide as “one of the most joyous releases, intoxicated by the sheer joy of being alive.” The Plain Dealer wrote, “A fascinating journey . . . which a sold-out audience savored. The theatrical aspects are so charmingly realized that you can’t help but wonder if a sequel is in store.”

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 9:52 AM, 06.16.2015

Cleveland Heights artist wins award in juried exhibition

Artist John Martin.

John Martin, a resident of Cleveland Heights and a former resident, for many years, of Shaker Heights, has been awarded an Honorable Mention at the juried 39th Annual Fairmount Art Exhibition 2015. The show opened May 30 and runs through June 11.

Martin won for his monoprint Winter on North Park. His monoprint Calm in the Face of Chaos is also featured in the show, at the Fairmount Center for the Arts, 8400 Fairnount Blvd., in Novelty.

This season, Martin’s work has also appeared in juried shows at the Morgan Conservatory, the Gallery at Lakeland in Kirtland, the Valley Art Center in Chagrin Falls and the Shaker Heights Main Library. More information about his art is available at

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:33 AM, 06.08.2015

University Heights City Council meeting highlights 5-18-2015

MAY 18, 2015

  • All Geared Up bike event
  • Gas line replacement
  • Purvis Park
  • Water department
  • Clear Wireless
  • Waste processing and disposal
  • Anti-poaching
  • New park
  • Cuyahoga County Planning Commission
  • LifeForce
  • 2547 Ashurst Road
  • Auditors
  • University Square
  • Police body cameras
  • Fire department

Councilwoman Nancy English and Councilman Steven Sims were absent.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 6:38 PM, 06.10.2015

Baolu Chen's long journey to Carnegie Hall

Baolu Chen

The traditional answer to the question “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” is “Practice, practice, practice.” In the case of Baolu Chen, former music director at Noble Road Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights, the answer is a lot more complicated.

Chen grew up in China. His father’s career as a player of folk instruments was cut short by the Cultural Revolution, but the father’s love of music kept the house filled with the sounds of classical music of all sorts. Young Baolu fell in love with the sound of piano music that he heard on the radio and begged to learn to play. His parents provided him with a piano for his birthday, and lessons followed.

He continued his studies in the piano department at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. He was often asked to play the compositions of a young woman named Erya Yu who was studying in the composition department at the same conservatory. Their partnership blossomed and they fell in love.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 9:19 AM, 06.02.2015

BOE approves cost estimate for Heights High reconstruction and announces 'key meetings' timeline

The May 19 CH-UH Board of Education meeting.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education approved the design development estimate for the High School Renovation Project at the May 19 board work session. 

The Gilbane & Ozanne construction team that is working on the renovations presented the CHHS Reconstruction Project Design Development Phase estimate, which came in [at] just over $75 million. The board’s approval allows the design team to move forward with next steps. Construction will begin this summer.

Below is a proposed timeline of key meetings that the board has set for the High School Renovation Project. Meetings will take place on Tuesdays, at 7 p.m., at the Board of Education building, with the exception of the June 2 meeting, which will take place in the Heights High Social Room.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:41 AM, 06.01.2015

Cleveland Heights continues to explore water options

The City of Cleveland Heights announced May 27 that no action will be taken at this time on the Letter of Intent (LOI) regarding a proposed partnership with Aqua Ohio to manage the city's water utility. It made this announcement following a public forum held on May 26 at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, which more than 200 residents attended.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 5:10 PM, 05.27.2015

June 2 memorial will honor CH's Bill "Mr. Stress" Miller

Colin Dussault, musician and friend to Bill "Mr. Stress" Miller, is planning a memorial to the Cleveland blues legend who died on May 19 at his Musicians Towers apartment in Cleveland Heights.

Born in Cleveland in 1943, Miller went on to become a legendary bluesman and harmonica player.

"We are planning a memorial for him to be held on Tuesday, June 2, at the Euclid Tavern, 6–10 p.m.," said Dussault in an e-mail. "I anticipate a standing-room-only crowd to be on hand as myriad musicians join together to 'play their respects' to this beloved music icon."

Dussault has commissioned a black granite memorial plaque, to honor Miller's legacy. "I am in active conversations with the Rock Hall and owners of the building that houses the Euclid Tavern about having the plaque permanently affixed to one of those two edifices to honor him," said Dussault.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 11:16 AM, 05.26.2015

Musicians share experiences of living and working in the Heights

Moderator David Budin and the panelists at the "Welcome Home: Heights Musicians" event (from left): David Budin, Scott Haigh, Charlie Mosbrook, Brendan O'Malley, Beth Woodside and Willie J. Wright. Photo by Andrea C. Turner.

Cleveland Heights is known as “Home to the Arts,” and six Heights musicians took part in a recent panel event, "Welcome Home: Heights Musicians," to recount their experiences as musicians who live, and often work, in the Heights community.

Organized by FutureHeights, Reaching Heights and Friends of Heights Libraries, the event took place on May 19 at Rockefeller’s, the restaurant and bar located in the historic Rockefeller Building on Mayfield Road.

The musicians represented a variety of musical styles, ranging from classical to folk, and gospel to “newgrass.”

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 1:31 PM, 05.26.2015