Latest News

Neighborhood to gather for Nela Park holiday lights

GE Lighting will illuminate its annual holiday lighting display on Friday, Dec. 6.

Continuing a long-held holiday tradition, GE Lighting will illuminate its Nela Park headquarters with a festive display beginning Friday, Dec. 6. This is the 95th year the company will have created the light show. This year’s theme, Deck the Halls, uses more than 500,000 LED light bulbs and features a replica of the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C., and a selfie station in front of a big red ornament at which visitors can take festive, personalized pictures. The display will be visible from the street through Jan. 6.

At 5 p.m. on Dec. 6, FutureHeights, Noble Neighbors, NOAH (East Cleveland’s CDC), East Cleveland’s Neighborhood 9, and other community partners invite the public to gather at Chester’s parking lot (across from Nela Park at Noble and Neladale roads) to celebrate the beginning of the show, when GE officially flips the switch to illuminate the displays.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 5:07 PM, 12.02.2019

Latest News Releases

Statement from Mayor Roe on CH vote to change form of government to directly elect full-time mayor
- City of Cleveland Heights, November 6, 2019 Read More
Citizens for an Elected Mayor statement on the approval of Issue 26
- Citizens for an Elected Mayor, November 6, 2019 Read More
CH Fire Fighters Local 402 opposes Issue 26
- Non-Profit & Groups, September 26, 2019 Read More
Rep. Boyd to hold Sept. 5 event to help rebuild uprooted CH community garden
- State Rep. Janine Boyd, September 4, 2019 Read More
Cleveland Heights Teachers Union And CH-UH City School District Restricted To One-Year Contract Due To State Voucher Expansion
- CH-UH Schools, August 29, 2019 Read More

View more news releases

Shadow puppets and music create mystical setting for Dobama play

Dobama Theatre’s 60th anniversary Mainstage Season continues with “The Old Man and the Old Moon,” opening Dec. 6.

“The Old Man and the Old Moon,” written by PigPen Theatre Co. and directed by Melissa T. Crum and Nathan Motta, is a mystical epic—an odyssey of music and theater magic in which actors playing instruments create live sound effects on stage, and interact with elaborate shadow puppets.

In the play, the old man has the important job of filling the moon with liquid light each night. When his wife is drawn away by a mysterious melody, he abandons his duties and crosses the seas in search of his lost love. Along the way, he contends with apocalyptic storms, civil wars, monsters of the deep, irritable ghosts, and the fiercest obstacle of all: change.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:19 AM, 12.03.2019

Christmas Carols

I’m the kid in the . . . oh, wait—I was absent that day.

When I was 4 years old, I started going to nursery school in a big house on Taylor Road, between Shannon and Bendemeer roads. The women who ran it were nice, but I hated going there, just like I hated going to every other school I attended. However, I did look forward to being there every day for a few weeks in December, when we started learning Christmas carols.

I loved the music. I didn’t understand the words. Having been raised in a Jewish family, and being only 4 years old, I had no background in the Christmas story, no reference points. But I had never heard these songs before and I thought they were beautiful. I still do—even now, when I understand the words.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 12:09 PM, 12.03.2019

Heights Arts invites community involvement

Heights Arts 2019 Holiday Store window.

It’s been almost 20 years since Heights Arts began shining a light on greater Cleveland’s local artists, musicians and poets.

Its most visible program, the Heights Arts Holiday Store, is currently in full swing at 2175 Lee Road. More than 100 artists are participating to ensure that visitors can purchase one of thousands of unique and beautiful gifts created by artists who live and work in the region, while contributing to the creative economy at the same time.

While the holiday and year-round store is highly visible and has become a favorite destination, residents and visitors may not be aware of many other opportunities Heights Arts has for residents to become engaged, whether they dabble or work professionally in the arts.

Currently, the organization is accepting submissions for its popular Members Show in March. With just a $10 entry fee, all are welcome to submit a work of art for this show, which celebrates the Heights’ creative community. The work is not curated, and all submissions are accepted until the show is complete, so participants are encouraged to submit early.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 12:06 PM, 12.03.2019

Heights Libraries cooking up 'Culinary Comforts' this season

“Cast off the winter doldrums and dig into our savory menu of programs this quarter,” invites Heights Libraries’ winter program guide, Check Us Out, introducing this season’s Culinary Comforts theme.

From December through February, the library will offer a feast of culinary-themed literature, film and tasting experiences for all ages as a way to celebrate the multifaceted role that food plays in our lives.

“Our adult programming team was throwing around ideas for the library’s upcoming quarterly themes, and food and food-related topics seem to be perennially popular,” said L.P. Coladangelo, adult services associate. “We agreed that winter is a great time to highlight the fact that, in the darkest time of year, we often come together as families and communities to connect through shared meals.”

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 12:04 PM, 12.03.2019

HBC invites all to holiday party on Dec. 8

Every December, Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC) celebrates its progress, outlines its plans, and recognizes community “roll models” at a free public event. This year, join the fun on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 4 p.m., in the Secret Garden room at Nighttown, 12383 Cedar Road. Everyone is invited!

Jessica Yox, HBC president, will provide a brief update on the group's accomplishments in 2019 and the outlook for 2020.

Then HBC will recognize its roll models—those members of the community who either exemplify or contribute to the thriving bike culture in the Heights. HBC will honor four this year—one from each of the communities represented in the organization: Cleveland Heights, University Heights, Shaker Heights, and South Euclid.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:56 AM, 12.03.2019

What’s going on at your library?

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

Tuesday, Dec. 10, 7 p.m.

Exploring the Heart of Dying Through Courageous Conversation. This program, the first in a series, will consider "Ritual, Ceremony and Sacred Intention: The Balm in Compassionate End of Life Care." Journey deep within, opening to one another while exploring ritual, ceremony and ancient practices in preparation for conscious dying.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:59 AM, 12.03.2019

New memoir sheds light on early Heights history

In a new memoir published by her family, Eleanor (Ellie) Hinig Davies vividly describes her experiences growing up in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights in the early 20th century.

Her father—Benjamin C. Hinig—was a prominent builder who built 26 houses in Cleveland Heights between 1910 and 1928; a dozen of them on prestigious Fairmount Boulevard.

While many of these houses were built for prominent Clevelanders, the family lived in a series of homes that he  built speculatively. The family stayed in each new house until it was sold, then moved on to the next new house, until Hinig's bankruptcy in 1928 brought it all to an abrupt halt.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:54 AM, 12.03.2019

First Baptist hosts Advent service and reception

King's College, Cambridge, has been the site of the BBC's "Carols from King's" broadcast since 1928

As part of its Advent season observances, First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland will present a service of Lessons and Carols, followed by an International Tea reception, on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 4 p.m. All are welcome to attend this traditional service, and the reception afterward, which will be held in the church’s Spahr Center, and feature edible treats from many countries around the world.

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a service of Christian worship that is traditionally celebrated on Christmas Eve. Thanks to the inspiration of Bob Schneider, the church’s late music director, the First Baptist Chancel Choir several years ago began presenting this traditional service during Advent, as a  way to prepare hearts and minds for the coming celebration of the birth of Christ.

In the service, the story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in short Bible readings—or “lessons”—from Genesis, the prophetic books, and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir anthems.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:52 AM, 12.03.2019

School collaborates with Heights businesses to make book fair local

William Skok, a fourth-grader at Communion of Saints School, wrote in Appletree Book's front window during the school's book fair.

In the vast third-floor library at Communion of Saints School, the school’s volunteer librarians take very seriously the task of helping students find their “book match”—whether it’s the newest Newbery Medal winner, a book about sports, a graphic novel, or material to help with a school report. They note student requests for books that aren’t part of the library’s collection, and follow book releases and national library lists to stay on top of the most recent titles. Then, they compile wish lists and start preparing for the school book fair.

Tired of the highly commercialized fairs that seem to be part of today’s “big-box” school book-fair experience, the librarians brainstormed better ways to fundraise for their library. They wanted the best quality books for students and, knowing Cleveland Heights’ rich history of supporting libraries and independent bookstores, wanted to keep things local.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:58 AM, 12.03.2019

CH Senior Center News

If you enjoy trivia and want to be part of a team, this event is for you! The Cleveland Heights Office on Aging is excited to be participating in the second NEO Mind Challenge for the New Majority. The first year was great, and we look forward to more fun and continued success in year two.

The initial competition for Cleveland Heights will take place on Thursday, Jan. 16, 10 a.m., at the CH Senior Activity Center (SAC). There is no cost to participate, but you must register in advance at the senior center.

All participants will receive a T-shirt and an opportunity to attend the championship round, to be held at Jack Thistledown Racino on Wednesday, May 6.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:49 AM, 12.03.2019

Neighborhood Leadership series helps community member realize a dream

Donna Johnson with her street's Little Free Library.

Donna Johnson has lived on the same street in Cleveland Heights since 1995. Her children attend Heights schools, her professional life is rich with connection to the nonprofit world, and she has an active sense of volunteerism. “Community is important to me,” Johnson said. “Without it, neighborhoods decline.”

In recent years, though, Johnson felt a disconnect with her neighbors. “It seemed like every spring there were new faces on my street. I knew my neighbors on either side, but felt a strong need to connect and engage with more of my neighbors,” Johnson said.

One day she read a Heights Observer article about how FutureHeights was conducting a Neighborhood Leadership Workshop Series, and she decided to apply.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:46 AM, 12.03.2019

One last look at the Observer's role in Issue 26

With the contentious Issue 26 campaign behind us, residents of Cleveland Heights seem dedicated to moving forward together.

But the purpose of this column is to provide transparency about decisions made at the Heights Observer. So at the risk of opening old wounds, here’s some background on the past several months.

We set out to serve as a forum for discussion about Issue 26 without inserting ourselves into the debate. It was easier said than done, and we weren’t fully prepared for the aggressive lobbying we'd receive along the way, or the pressure we'd feel.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 5:04 PM, 12.02.2019

Beyond race, CH marketing video remains problematic

I have no doubt that the Cleveland Heights marketing department now has an understanding that race was mistakenly misrepresented in its initial marketing video. While the marketing staff is bound to fix it, it was unfortunate, and certainly preventable.

I have a profound concern that the original video failed for a second, and entirely different, reason, and I’m concerned that, for likely contractual reasons, it will not be fixed on the second go-round.

The video’s stagnant camera work, the rigidly scripted "older" voice of the voice-over talent, the editing, and music were ‘80s old-school and corporate in approach.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 4:55 PM, 12.02.2019

A modest proposal to participate in CH redevelopment

After presenting many rejected concerns about Top of the Hill (TOH) [to the city], I realize that it’s time to stop resisting and join the city in its redevelopment efforts. I’m offering the city a proposal: instead of selling my 100-year-old house, I will stay in Cleveland Heights and convert it and the house next door into a high-density, mixed-use residential property including a restaurant. In return, I expect the city to grant me the same financial and other assistance it gave to the Indiana-based developers for TOH.

My credentials are that I’ve lived in my house for 40 years, restored the interior to its original condition and added amenities, including a second-floor enclosed porch and a formal garden. I have successfully developed and sold property in Novelty, Ohio and Sedona, Ariz. Unlike the TOH developers, I know that the main road is called Cedar Road, not Cedar Street.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 4:45 PM, 12.02.2019

Middle school students propose green solutions

Middle school students visit the Watershed Stewardship Center.

Photo by Christine Smrdel

We’ve all seen it: puddles of water gathering around the clogged drains in our driveways, rivulets of water running down the sidewalks, and standing water pooling in our yards. That’s stormwater runoff, and it’s a problem.

As that water moves over impervious surfaces, such as roads and parking lots, it picks up pollutants and harmful chemicals and carries them into freshwater and oceans. Due to urban development and an increase in paved surfaces, stormwater is increasing in communities throughout the country, including Cleveland Heights and University Heights. But seventh-graders in Lee Ann Chambers’ and Sarah Cusick’s science classes at Monticello Middle School, and Christine Smrdel’s and Joshua Luton’s classes at Roxboro Middle School, have solutions. 

The students began their Earth’s Water unit by visiting Cleveland MetroParks’ Watershed Stewardship Center to learn about stormwater runoff and explore green infrastructure options to reduce its impact. They worked in pairs or small groups to research solutions, eventually settling on one or two that they would like to see implemented on their own school campuses.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:21 AM, 12.03.2019

Top of the Hill—bottom of city council

For the last six issues of the Heights Observer, there have been two major subjects addressed in its pages—the first, the CH elected mayor and new council members; and the second, the Top of the Hill (TOH) development project at Cedar Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard. We have been relieved, after an election, of the first issue—and the right thing happened at the polls.

The second issue, not subject to election, or any other visible means of effective citizen response has, after nearly 40 meetings, and approaching 50 years, not been relieved, and portends even further absence of relief.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 4:38 PM, 12.02.2019

Looking back, and looking forward

As the winter solstice approaches, we consider events of the past year and our hopes for the future.

Cleveland Heights City Council kicked off 2019 by establishing the Refuse and Recycling Task Force. Composed of residents and city staff members, the group’s charge was to address the need to modernize our collection system, tackle the perennial debate over bags versus carts, and recommend future actions.

We urge everyone to read the task force’s findings, which will be released early in 2020. Meanwhile, the group’s agendas, minutes, e-mails and other documents are available at www.clevelandheights.com. As we said last year (“Heights of Democracy: Trash talk,” Heights Observer Vol. 11, Issue 12), we oppose privatizing this essential service.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 4:35 PM, 12.02.2019

Celebrating community ownership of our public schools: Reaching Heights turns 30

My, how time flies!

It’s already been 30 years since an idea that was hatched on my deck became a reality. Fresh from a two-year examination of the best ways to support a successful, integrated school district, a half dozen public-school advocates, who shared a commitment to equity and excellence, created Reaching Heights.

This community-based organization—independent of district administration, the teachers’ union, and the Board of Education—was designed to stay out of elections and mobilize the community as a full partner in providing a quality education for its students. The mission also called for nurturing public appreciation and respect for the public schools.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 4:30 PM, 12.02.2019

Participation in fall musical teaches students essential skills

I expect some students will succumb to illness following the high school musical production. There is such a buildup; late evening rehearsals, along with all of the exhaustion that comes when teens pour their hearts and souls into a common effort.

There always seems to be some magic at work when the fall musical finally comes together. This year was no exception with Heights High’s production of “Damn Yankees.”

Students from all of our schools came together to sing, dance, and perform, comprising two different casts over four performances.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 4:25 PM, 12.02.2019

New UH logo scarves are available

University Heights City Councilman-elect Justin Gould sports the new UH logo scarf.

This winter, University Heights residents can stay warm while looking cool. The new University Heights city logo scarf, is now available, exclusively at University Heights City Hall, for $10.

The soccer-style scarf prominently features the city's new logo and colors.

The scarf made its debut at the recent University Heights Civic Awards, and is available while supplies last.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 4:19 PM, 12.02.2019

Mini-grant helps community leaders create aging-well guide

Forest Hill resident Jack Kenney with his Aging Well At Home Guide.

Forest Hill neighbors Sue Kenney and Judy Charlick saw a need for a resource about at-home services for the aging members of their community. Through discussions with others involved in a local social activity committee, they decided to do some research and compile a list of nonprofit and public organizations that could benefit the older population. The result: Cleveland Heights Aging Well At Home Resource Guide. 

“This document lists background info about services available by category.  For example, grocery delivery, home repair assistance, social activities, and transportation,” Kenney said. Both the city of Cleveland Heights and the Forest Hill Homeowners Association offer online access to the guide, which can be found at https://chparks.com/DocumentCenter/View/527/CH-Aging-Well-At-Home-Resource-Guide-May-2019.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 4:11 PM, 12.02.2019

CH prepares for 2020 U.S. Census

With the first phase of the 2020 U.S. Census just six months away, Cleveland Heights is preparing for this initiative.

In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will collect data on more than 330 million U.S. residents. The date will inform decisions on how to allocate $675 billion federal tax dollars annually for the next 10 years. Population counts also determine a state's number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and number of votes in the Electoral College.

On Feb. 10, 7 p.m., Heights Libraries will present “The 2020 Census: What You Need to Know” at the Heights Libraries Lee Road Branch.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 3:58 PM, 12.02.2019

FH launches housing program

2036 Hampstead Road after renovation.

FutureHeights, the community development corporation for Cleveland Heights, has launched FutureHomes, a housing rehabilitation program. In partnership with the city of Cleveland Heights and the Cuyahoga Land Bank, the program is intended to strengthen neighborhoods in which there are vacant and abandoned properties.

FutureHeights works with its partners to secure vacant houses and facilitate their rehabilitation with trusted contractors. “We develop a scope of work, monitor the process, and assist with the marketing of the completed property to a new owner-occupant,” said Deanna Bremer Fisher, executive director of FutureHeights. “The first home we completed is located on Goodnor Road, about one block north of the high school; based on feedback from neighbors, we already know it’s having an impact on the surrounding neighborhood.”

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 9:56 AM, 11.26.2019

CEM says 'thank you, let’s work together'

Cleveland Heights voters made history on Nov. 5, 2019. They voted—by a majority in every precinct across the city—to transform a nearly 100-year-old council-manager system to an elected-mayor form of government they believe will be more accountable to the voters.

They said they want a mayor who will spend full time leading Cleveland Heights in a new way to address our challenges and maximize our assets—a mayor who will be our voice across the region and state.

Now that voters have spoken, we need to pull together and make the transition as one community: city council, the administration, city employees and citizens need to collaborate to transform our government into one that is truly representative of the voters’ decision.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 10:09 AM, 11.26.2019

'The Power of Ten' fills White Gallery

 A work by Kathleen VanMeter.

The Power of Ten opens Dec. 1 at the White Gallery at St. Paul’s Church, with an artists’ reception planned for Dec. 6.

The exhibition features the work of 10 talented Northeast Ohio fiber artists—Deb Berkebile, Joann Giordano, Ann Kmieck, Barb Lind, Ruta Marino, Amy Reed, Sandy Shelenberger, Mary Ann Tipple, Kathleen Vanmeter, and Martha Young.

“We call ourselves ‘The Tens’ because there are 10 of us . . . who have been meeting once a month for years,” explained Young. “Through those years we have supported and guided each other through the joys and sorrows of our lives.”

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 10:04 AM, 11.26.2019

Library waterproofing will require tree removal

This large oak on the west side of the Coventry Village Library (in this photo from 2015) is one of the trees that will be removed.

Built in 1926, Heights Libraries Coventry Village Branch is the first and oldest Heights Libraries building. Committed to maintaining and improving the building, Heights Libraries, over the past three years, has invested in both the exterior and interior, undertaking an extensive tuck-pointing project, and a redesign and expansion of the children’s area.

The latest improvement project for the building will be a full waterproofing of the foundation on all sides. In order to complete this project, two large oak trees and a number of smaller trees will have to be removed.

“It is very hard to part with these beautiful oaks,” said Nancy Levin, Heights Libraries director.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 12:03 PM, 11.19.2019

Residents celebrate UH at sold-out civic awards

Steve and Adam Grace, of Fairmount Cleaners, received a Good Neighbor award.

There are problems, and then there are good problems. Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan explained his good problem in his welcoming remarks at the 2019 University Heights Civic Awards, held on Nov. 13.

Even after moving the event to a larger banquet room at John Carroll University (JCU), the event completely sold out. “We had to tell people they could not attend this event,” Brennan said. “We had to turn them away because so many people wanted to be here.

“You all wanted to be here because you love this city, and because you are all part of the renewed success of University Heights.”

JCU graduate and Cleveland Indians in-stadium host Gabriella Kreuz hosted the event, and also received an award for her work with her nonprofit organization Love Doesn’t Shove.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 12:01 PM, 11.19.2019

Cleveland Heights voters opt for change

Voters approved Cleveland Heights Issue 26, the charter amendment that will allow residents to directly elect the city's mayor, with a vote of 6,922 (64.10 percent) to 3,877 (35.9 percent).

In Cleveland Heights City Council races, five candidates vied for three 4-year term seats, while two candidates vied for a single 2-year term, to fill the seat vacated by former council member Cheryl Stephens and serve out the remainder of her unexpired term.

In the 4-year term race, Melody Joy Hart garnered the most votes, with 6,358 (25.56 percent), followed by incumbents Kahlil Seren, with 5,644 votes (22.69 percent), and Mary Dunbar, with 4,670 (18.77 percent).

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 10:53 AM, 11.06.2019

Kreuz to host Nov. 13 University Heights Civic Awards

Gabriella Kreuz

Cleveland Indians in-stadium host and John Carroll University (JCU) graduate Gabriella Kreuz will return to University Heights to host the city’s Civic Awards on Nov. 13. The awards dinner will honor several individuals whose efforts are making the city an even better place in which to live, work and raise a family.

Named one of 2019’s “Most Interesting People” by Cleveland Magazine, Kreuz was an All-American cross-country runner at JCU. She is an on-air personality for Fox Sports Ohio and WOIO Channel 19.

The event will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 6:30 p.m., at the Lombardo Student Center’s Jardine Room on the campus of JCU. Tickets are $25 and are on sale now at www.universityheights.com. Prior to the awards ceremony, the Mal Barron Quartet will perform live jazz.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 6:20 PM, 11.04.2019

2019 Heights Observer Holiday Gift Guide

For the past 12 years, the Heights Observer has published its Holiday Gift Guide to inspire residents to shop locally for the December holidays. Cleveland Heights and University Heights abound with independent businesses—boutiques, salons, restaurants and artist collaboratives—which enhance our local character and anchor our business districts.

For the month of December, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the city of Cleveland Heights is offering free parking in each of its business districts—one more incentive to visit the brick and mortar stores featured in the Gift Guide and beyond.

Here are some of our favorite gift options:

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 3:20 PM, 11.01.2019

Six good reasons to shop local for the holidays—and every day

Here are six good reasons to shop local this holiday season:

  1. If you like the Heights for its walkable access to lively, interesting business districts, the way to keep these districts healthy is to spend money in them—for special occasions and everyday life. 
  2. I value the process of finding thoughtful, unique gifts in shops run by people I know as friends. When I give such a gift, it comes along with a little story about the great shop where I got it.
  3. All the money we spend on the Internet and most of what we spend at national chain stores leaves the community forever. But most of the money spent with an independent local merchant stays in the community, where it recirculates and supports the local economy.
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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:12 AM, 11.03.2019

All-night walk and talks

One of my three concurrent high school bands. This one was called the Streets. Within a few years, two or three of us would be living on the streets. I’m on the right. The person whose name isn’t John is one of these other guys.

I grew up in houses on Belmar Road, near Mayfield. It seems like one house, but there were two. I spent my first 15 years in half of a two-family up-and-down duplex; the first house after the apartment building on Mayfield, on the east side of the street. Then, in the summer between my 9th- and 10th-grade years, 1964, we moved next door, to a house with the exact same layout. So it seems like I lived in one house. Until I picture the main difference.

In the second house—where I stayed until I was 18—we lived downstairs. That was a big change. No more 20-stair climb (four steps from the ground to the front porch, then 16 more steps to our half of the house). What I also discovered, that first summer in the new place, was that the land it was built on sloped toward the street. So while there were a few steps up to the front porch, the windows in the back bedroom, where I lived, were only four to five feet off the ground.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 2:38 PM, 11.01.2019

Workshop will cover social-media basics for businesses

Social media plays a huge role in how consumers seek out goods and services, but knowing how to navigate those waters can sometimes be daunting for small-business owners. FutureHeights, in partnership with US Bank, is offering a free workshop that will teach the basics of how to “Socialize Local,” with two opportunities to attend: Friday, Nov. 8, 3–4:30 p.m., at Christopher’s Pub (1318 Warrensville Center Road), or Friday, Nov. 15, 3–4:30 p.m., at CLE Urban Winery (2180 Lee Road).

By utilizing Facebook business pages, Instagram, and Twitter, small businesses can get the word out about everything they have to offer. Small business owners in Cleveland Heights and University Heights are invited to attend “Socialize Local” to unlock the mysteries of hashtags, learn how to write effective posts, decide which platforms make the most sense for them to utilize, and learn how to use these social-media platforms in tandem with one another, enabling them to reach the widest possible audience.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 2:36 PM, 11.01.2019

Heights Arts to host Nov. 7 networking open house for business owners

On Nov. 7, 6–8 p.m., Heights Arts and FutureHeights invite Heights business owners to attend an open house and networking event in the Heights Arts gallery.

Attendees will have an opportunity to meet other members of the local business community, as well as Heights Arts and FutureHeights board members, and share ideas, problems and solutions.

This event is free and will include light fare and a cash bar.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:39 AM, 11.03.2019

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education regular meeting highlights 11-5-2019

NOVEMBER 5, 2019 

 

  • Shining Star CLE winner
  • Public comments
  • Five-year financial forecast
  • Operating levy proposed
  • Proposed UH residential development
  • Other announcements

 

Members present were President Jodi Sourini, James Posch, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting began at 7:05 p.m. after an executive session, and ended at 9:26 p.m. 

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 12:22 PM, 11.18.2019

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 11-4-2019

NOVEMBER 4, 2019

 

  • Public comments 
  • Master Plan update
  • Severance Town Center redevelopment 
  • Small Business Saturday
  • Animals and fowl
  • Cuyahoga County sewer maintenance services
  • Delamere Drive NEORSD grant 
  • Refuse and Recycling Task Force 
  • Housing and Transportation Committee
  • Mayor’s report

 

Council members present were Mayor Carol Roe, Vice Mayor Melissa Yasinow, Craig Cobb, Mary Dunbar, Kahlil Seren and Jason Stein. Michael N. Ungar participated by telephone, but did not vote. 

The meeting lasted from 7:31 to 8:39 p.m.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 12:18 PM, 11.18.2019

Church presents 'Requiem' for victims of mass shootings

The Fairmount Choir of Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights will present the Ohio premiere of the short work Requiem by Joshua Clausen on Nov. 17 at 10 a.m. The work was written to honor the victims of American mass shootings and their families and friends. The piece was inspired by the work of Sophie Cho, a journalist who took data about mass shootings and turned it into sound form to illustrate gun violence in America. What resulted was a recorded data sonification (series of piano notes) where each piano note represents the day of an American mass shooting, from January 2013 to November 2017. The louder the note, the more people were killed on that particular day.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 2:32 PM, 11.01.2019

Popular '1619 Project' discussion prompts further conversations

On Sept. 30, Heights Libraries hosted a “1619 Project” discussion group. It was so popular that the library system is planning additional discussions, in November and January.

The 1619 Project is an initiative by The New York Times that re-examines the history, and lasting influence, of American slavery on our society. The New York Times published a special edition of its Sunday magazine devoted to essays that re-frame economics, medical care, popular culture, and the legacy of racism. The essays served as a launching point for the discussion.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 2:21 PM, 11.01.2019

Library display gives kids a voice

Youth Services Associate Talia Linina with her Question of the Week display at the Lee Road branch

Talia Linina, a youth services associate at Heights Libraries, wants to know what kids are thinking, and she has a fun, creative way of finding out.

Every Monday, she creates a display by the Lee Road branch children’s reference desk called Question of the Week. She sets out a sign with a question, slips of paper for writing down the answers, colorful pens, and something she calls “the rainbow box of mystery,” a multi-colored box with a hole in the top where kids submit their answers.

“I wanted to create an interactive display that would get kids to practice reading and writing,” said Linina. “And I also wanted to get to know the kids that come to our library and see what was on their minds.”

Linina plans questions months ahead of time and alternates simpler questions, like "What's your favorite color?" with ones that require a little more thinking, such as "How do you show your family members that you love them?" Then, at the end of the week, she collects the answers and displays as many as she can fit on the Question of the Week board. “The wider variety of questions I ask, the more kids I can engage,” she said. “And the kids like seeing if their answer from the previous week made it on the board.”

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 2:25 PM, 11.01.2019

WRC presents holiday concert Dec. 8

The Western Reserve Chorale's (WRC) first concert of the 2019–20 season, featuring Respighi’s rarely performed masterpiece Lauda per la Natività del Signore, will take place on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 3 p.m., at Church of the Gesu (2470 Miramar Blvd., University Heights). 

This year’s holiday season concert, featuring the 100-voice chorale, will offer a variety of works highlighting the winter season, including traditional and not-so-traditional arrangements of songs for Hanukah and Christmas by Gustav Holst, David Willcocks, Susan LaBarr, John Rutter, Dan Forrest, Stephen Schwartz, David Chase and others.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 2:33 PM, 11.01.2019

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 10-21-2019

OCTOBER 21, 2019

 

  • Evans Energy presentation
  • Public comments
  • Vice city manager’s report
  • Severance redevelopment project
  • Change in code on dangerous animals
  • Mayor’s report

 

Present were Craig Cobb, Mary Dunbar, Carol Roe, Kahlil Seren and Michael Ungar. Excused were Jason Stein and Melissa Yasinow. The meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

Mayor Roe announced a change in the order of the agenda and that all legislation for the evening was offered as first reading.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:34 AM, 11.18.2019

Cleveland Heights – University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 10-21-2019

OCTOBER 21, 2019

 

  • SPARK (Supporting Partnership to Assure Ready Kids)
  • Incident reports
  • Financial report
  • Policy amendments
  • Library cleaning services
  • Coventry waterproofing project
  • Racial equity training
  • The 1619 Project
  • Greater Cleveland Food Bank mobile pantry
  • Ohio Library Council Convention
  • Strategic plan community survey
  • Youth Services new programs
  • Circulation report

 

Present were President Chris Mentrek, Vice President James Roosa, Dana Fluellen, Annette Iwamoto, Susan Moskowitz and Vikas Turakhia. Max Gerboc was absent.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:25 AM, 11.18.2019

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 10-15-2019

OCTOBER 15, 2019 

 

  • Ohio School Report Card performance, Part II

 

Members present were President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, and Beverly Wright. James Posch was absent. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby, Treasurer Scott Gainer, and Allison Byrd, director of data and assessment. The meeting began at 7:05 p.m., after an executive session, and ended at 8:45 p.m.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:28 AM, 11.18.2019

What’s going on at your library?

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

Thursday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m.

Step Out of Time: Develop Your Spiritual Intuition. Spiritual intuitive Kathy Pickett will help participants identify their sensitivity to spiritual experiences, discover their intuitive abilities, and inspire a belief in one's own spiritual power.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:16 AM, 11.03.2019

Ghanaian artist finds success in library gallery

Ansah stands in front of works displayed in the Lee Road art gallery.

From Sept. 3 through Sept. 13, Ghanaian artist Nana Kwesi Agyare Ansah shook up the art scene with his Cleveland Heights debut at Heights Libraries’ Lee Road art gallery, selling 10 of his vibrant acrylic paintings, ranging from the figurative to the abstract, along with three handmade African masks.

Ansah’s display was just one of dozens of exhibits the library’s gallery has hosted over the past six years. Being an accessible community gathering place, it is an ideal public venue for displaying art, and artists of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to apply for the opportunity to exhibit their work.

Stopping in Cleveland for part of his United States tour, Ansah discovered Heights Libraries’ Lee Road branch and happened upon the library gallery, which is located on the first floor of the library's HKIC building.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 2:29 PM, 11.01.2019

Beaumont team wins back Golden Racquet

Beaumont Girls Varsity Tennis Team holds the Golden Racquet after defeating Heights High, 4-1.  

The Beaumont School Varsity Tennis Team took home the coveted “Golden Racquet” on Sept. 23, triumphing 4-1 over the Cleveland Heights High School Girls Tennis Team in a match at Purvis Park in University Heights.

Beaumont Tennis Coach Mike Pellechia created the Golden Racquet competition in 2013. The trophy is an actual racquet painted gold which goes to the winner of the annual Beaumont-Heights High match.

This year, Heights senior Ruby Kauffman defeated Beaumont senior Amanda Desamito in two sets; Beaumont senior Nicolette Kelley defeated Heights junior Sophia Mita in three sets; and Beaumont senior Gianna Velotta defeated Heights senior Madeleine Nicol in two sets.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 2:15 PM, 11.01.2019

CH filmmaker explores a region once ruled by rail

For the film, J.T. Waldman, one of the last illustrators to collaborate with Harvey Pekar, drew a street scene common to working class neighborhoods in 1890s Cleveland. With no parks, children had no choice but to play in streets made increasingly dangerous by electric streetcars—a conflict explored in "Streetcar City."

Northern Ohio was an epicenter of electric rail in the early 20th century. Cleveland had one of the largest streetcar networks in the country, and was a key national center of streetcar innovation and manufacturing. Ohio once boasted the largest inter-urban electric rail system in the Midwest, connecting cities and small towns across the state.

What happened to those elegant systems? Was it a mistake to abandon them? What does history teach us about sustainable transportation choices?

Cleveland Heights filmmaker Brad Masi addresses these questions in his film "Streetcar City," which will have a free screening at the Bottlehouse Brewery & Meadery (2050 Lee Road) on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:58 AM, 11.01.2019

What happens after the Issue 26 vote?

My wife and I moved to Cleveland Heights in August 2016, returning to Greater Cleveland after moving back and forth to Toronto on and off for about five years. (The company I work for moved me to Toronto several times on expat assignments.) This was difficult for my wife and I, but we made it work. When we moved back the last time, we were ready to settle down, find a home, and raise a family. We had several ideas of where we wanted to be but didn’t know exactly where that was. We wanted to be within the inner-ring suburbs of Cleveland as we both work in the city, but more importantly, we wanted to move somewhere that was conducive to raising a family, where you could feel the history when you drove through the city, somewhere that was walkable, and into a community that shared similar values.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 11:01 AM, 11.01.2019

Issue 26 is about competing in an ever-faster-paced future

Did you hear about that one guy who moved to Cleveland Heights because he wanted to live under a council-manager government? You didn’t because he doesn’t exist. There are lots of things that make Cleveland Heights special. Our plodding and dour system of municipal governance is the least of our appeal.

Cleveland Heights is blessed with innate advantages in terms of layout, housing stock and location. And yet we continue to be saddled with a seemingly incurable case of hidden-gem status, living in a self-imposed state of suspended animation, paralyzed at times by denial, fear and nostalgia. A “no” vote on Issue 26 is a vote to continue waiting around to be discovered.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:54 AM, 11.01.2019

TOH doesn't meet city's own stated goals

After many months of presentations, discussion and review, the developer, Flaherty & Collins (F&C), has revealed the fundamental architectural failure of the now-approved Top of the Hill (TOH) design.

From the TOH page of the city’s website, dated July 2, 2019:

“Goals Established for the Project: The Developer and the City seek to collaboratively create a signature mixed use destination district that serves as a gateway to the City and a link between the City and the adjacent University Circle area of Cleveland. The City’s goal is that the development of the Project Site shall, at a minimum:

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:44 AM, 11.01.2019

City fails community on TOH

Concerns expressed at Top of the Hill (TOH) Architectural Board of Review (ABR)  meetings have been ignored. At the Feb. 6 meeting, I represented the Historic Resources Committee of the American Institute of Architects Cleveland Chapter (AIACLE) and observed that the project, as designed, fails to follow any of the guidelines for new construction in a historic district. The project is fundamentally unchanged from that original design.

The U.S. Department of the Interior states that new construction in a historic district should “be differentiated from the old and will be compatible with the historic materials, features, size, scale and proportion, and massing to protect the integrity of the property and its environment.”

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:42 AM, 11.01.2019

TOH process demonstrates city's lack of leadership and response

A change in the structure of Cleveland Heights city government is urgently needed for three reasons: the current council-manager structure does not provide leadership, transparency, or responsiveness to the citizens of Cleveland Heights.

Until recently, I thought our council-manager form of government was working fine. However, participating in the public meetings about Top of the Hill (TOH) changed my mind. After attending several meetings, I decided that the proposed TOH apartment project was ill-conceived, unattractive, and inappropriate to the Cedar-Fairmount neighborhood. But I was more dismayed by how the city related to the public during these meetings.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:49 AM, 11.01.2019

Noble corridor plan presented to city councils

On Sept. 16 and 17, FutureHeights and Bill James, of the consulting firm Camiros LTD, presented a proposal to bolster the Noble Road corridor to the city councils of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland, respectively. 

Plans include improving the roadway, adding specified bike lanes, beautifying the neighborhood, and revitalizing the business districts. (Watch James’ presentation to Cleveland Heights City Council on the city's YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSsOLRqXpFU&feature=youtu.be.)

Noble Road is the most significant street in the northeast section of Cleveland Heights, giving its name to an area known as “Noble neighborhood.”

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:39 AM, 11.01.2019

Noble corridor plan is not noble

The Noble Road Corridor Plan focuses not on Noble Road but instead functions as an extension of the city of Cleveland Heights’ Mayfield Road Corridor Plan.

For more than 50 years city leaders have not invested in or allocated city resources in an equitable way to the north side of the city. Numerous past city plans imply this, beginning with the 1976 Nine-Point Plan, which, among other goals, aimed to prevent re-segregation.

This time city leaders state Noble Road will not receive any city resources or investment until the area “stabilizes.”

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:28 AM, 11.01.2019

State funding results in losses for CH-UH

I am trying to understand how schools in Ohio are funded, and it seems about as easy as teaching advanced calculus to a toddler who doesn’t speak English. Public school districts in Ohio are funded by state and local dollars, with federal monies for some programs that support students with disabilities. But the bulk of school funding comes from local property taxes.

In 2018–19 the state of Ohio arrived at $6,020 per student as the base amount to educate a child. The state adjusts this amount based on several considerations.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:15 AM, 11.01.2019

View from the bench: Bail reform

The Cleveland Heights Municipal Court is making dramatic changes to its bond schedule based on recommendations from a task force created by the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. The new schedule gives me more discretion in setting cash bail, putting fewer non-violent defendants in jail while awaiting trial. It's fairer and saves taxpayers money.

A person arrested will now be released on personal bond (a signed promise they will show up in court) unless charged with certain offenses, or where the prosecutor or police request a bond.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:09 AM, 11.01.2019

Odd Dog Coffee sets up shop at The Walt

Michael Hancock of Odd Dog Coffee sets up for business in Walter Stinson Community Park.

If you need another incentive to get out of bed on a Saturday morning this fall, Odd Dog Coffee has one for you.

Odd Dog Coffee will set up a pop-up café every Saturday morning at Walter Stinson Community Park, from 8 a.m. until noon. Owners Michael Hancock and Mary-Elizabeth Fenn will serve up their Good Boy Blend, plus spiced blends including Pumpkin Spice, Cardamom & Clove, and Cacao, Cinnamon & Cayenne Pepper.

Odd Dog Coffee plans to run its pop-up café through December, weather permitting.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 6:26 PM, 10.14.2019

I don't want to be first

Being number one is typically a coveted status, but not when it comes to ranking school districts by their unfunded voucher costs.

The Cleveland Heights–University Heights City School District has the heartbreaking distinction of subsidizing vouchers at the largest dollar amount per student of any district in the state. Being number one is undercutting educational opportunities for public school students and putting pressure on our community to solve a school-funding crisis not of our making.

In fiscal year 2019, the 5,111 public school students in the CH-UH district lost $851 apiece so 1,300 other students could attend private schools.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 9:52 AM, 11.01.2019

Decisions . . . and transitions

Regardless of how the Issue 26 vote goes on Nov. 5, we, the people of Cleveland Heights, will be called upon to help our city make a transition to more effective and accountable city government.

As residents, citizens and, most of all, as neighbors, it will be up to us to heal the rifts of a bruising campaign. We either will or will not have a charter amendment changing our municipal government from a council/manager to a mayor/council form; but certainly there will be disappointed and worried people on whichever is the losing side.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 9:49 AM, 11.01.2019