Latest News

Lake Erie Ink hosts Sept. 25 comics fest, and weekly workshop

Calvin, a participant at Lake Erie Ink's Comics and 'Zines Summer Ink camp. 

Is there an educational value to comic books? Lake Erie Ink thinks so. The Cleveland Heights-based writing space for youth has been working with aspiring comic book writers and illustrators for more than 10 years. This fall, Lake Erie Ink is running a Mini-Comics Fest on Sept. 25, as well as a weekly series of comic design workshops. 

While typically focused on other forms of writing, Lake Erie Ink has found that comic design is an educational, as well as popular, method of supporting creative expression and inspiring new narrative forms among youth.

When Lake Erie Ink started running its yearly spring Kids Comic Con (a convention focused on comic books and related forms of pop culture), the event’s overwhelming success led to an increased demand for comic-related programs.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 10:11 AM, 09.21.2021

Latest News Releases

New Volunteers Needed Volunteer with Hospice of the Western Reserve!
- Hospice of the Western Reserve, June 14, 2021 Read More
Heights Libraries wants public input on PEACE Park improvements
- CH-UH Library, June 14, 2021 Read More
Legal Aid Further Extends Eviction Prevention into Cuyahoga County Suburbs
- Legal Aid, June 8, 2021 Read More
Cleveland Water's 2020 Water Quality Report Now Available
- Cleveland Water, May 3, 2021 Read More
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- Heights Libraries, April 17, 2021 Read More

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Hart thanks Cleveland Heights residents

To the Editor:

The votes in the Cleveland Heights mayoral primary election have been counted, and I will not be moving on to the general election. 

While the voter turnout was extremely low and the results were not what I had hoped for, I want everyone to know how much I appreciate the faith many of you placed in me during my campaign. 

Thank you to all of my hard-working volunteers, all of my contributors and endorsers. And thank you to everyone who placed their trust in me with your vote at the primary election.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 2:41 PM, 09.16.2021

How a CH council appointment became an election

Mary Dunbar resigned from Cleveland Heights City Council on Aug. 16, effective immediately.

That was about 78 days before the upcoming general election on Nov. 2, where a mayor and four council members will be elected.

The very next day, the city issued a press release announcing that applications were being accepted to be considered for appointment to the remaining two years (plus a little more) of the term.

I saw that press release on FaceBook, and decided to read the city's charter to see if that was correct. I've read that paragraph previously, so already had my doubts.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 10:13 AM, 09.16.2021

Moore announces run for vacant CH council seat

I’m excited to announce my candidacy for the unexpired term of the vacant CH City Council seat.

But let’s begin with the elephant in the room: I ran for mayor. While I am proud of my campaign—that I focused on my own message, ideas and vision, and did my best to raise the level of dialogue—I reached a point when I knew I had gone as far as I could in the race for mayor. Because I want the results of that election to accurately reflect what Cleveland Heights residents want for our city, I felt that the right thing to do was to pull out of the race.

One could say that—in running for such a high-profile office before living here long enough to create the kind of community network needed for a successful campaign—I had put the cart before the horse. Or perhaps my mayoral campaign created a horse for a future cart. Little did I know that the cart would pull up so soon.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 10:12 AM, 09.16.2021

Seven to vie for unexpired CH council term on Nov. 2 ballot

Seven residents filed valid candidate petitions in the race for the unexpired CH City Council term, ending Dec. 31, 2023, that has been added to the Nov. 2 ballot.

The seven candidates are Erin C. Johnson, Garry Kanter, Robert Koonce, Josie Moore, Ellen M. Roth, Eric J. Silverman, and James A. Williams.

Other Cleveland Heights-specific races on city ballots on Nov. 2 are the following:

  • Cleveland Heights mayor: The two candidates are Barbara Danforth and Kahlil Seren, based on unofficial primary election results (as of Sept. 15).
  • Cleveland Heights City Council member, four-year term: The six candidates, for four council seats, are Lee Barbee II, Craig Cobb, Tony Cuda, Anthony Mattox Jr., Davida Russell, and Allosious K. Snodgrass.
  • Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District Board of Education member: The seven candidates, for three board seats, are Mario Clopton-Zymler, Charles C. Drake, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, Maureen Lynn, Mordechai Rennert, and Jodi L. Sourini.
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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 2:19 PM, 09.15.2021

CH mayoral race narrows to Danforth and Seren

In the Sept. 14 primary election, Cleveland Heights residents cast their votes for one of three mayoral candidates. According to not-yet-official election results, the tally as of Sept. 15 showed Barbara Danforth in the lead, with 3,105 votes (about 47%), followed by Kahlil Seren with 2,555 (38%) and Melody Joy Hart with 1,007 (15%).

The top two finishers, Danforth and Seren, will face off in the general election on Nov. 2.

Voter turnout for Cleveland Heights' first mayoral primary election was low, with votes cast by fewer than 7,000 of the city's approximately 33,967 (as of Sept. 1) registered voters.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 11:19 AM, 09.15.2021

Good lake, bad lake

We have two well-loved lakes in the Heights—Lower Lake and Upper Lake (Horseshoe Lake) of Doan Brook. They were created in the early 1800s as mill ponds for the Shaker Societies’ water-powered mills. By the early 1900s the land, renamed Shaker Heights Parkland, became the property of Cleveland, but only on the condition it be reserved and protected continuously for the public use. Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights embraced the land’s beauty and unique recreational value, and gained responsibility for it by lease agreement. Caretakers and visitors over time seemed to agree that the two lakes are the crowning glory of this parkland.

Fast forward to 2021. Horseshoe Lake has suddenly been taken from us, and we deserve to have it back. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) drained it quickly a few years ago, without warning, saying it was to fix the dam, and would be temporary. But the water is still missing.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 10:44 AM, 09.14.2021

Christ Culture Church at Severance relaunches on Sept. 12

Christ Culture Church, formerly known as NewSong Church, located within the old Severance Athletic Center across from the Home Depot on Severance Circle, is re-launching on Sept. 12.

In the past three years, Pastors Klen and Audrey Kuruvilla and their family have been part of the transformation of the church.

In that time, the church has grown into a thriving multi-ethnic and multi-generational church. It has partnered with various organizations, locally and globally. Last fall, the church gave away more than 1,000, 40 lb., boxes of food for Heights families in need, through its partnership with the USDA. Its global outreach efforts provide food, shelter and education for teenage mothers, ages 11–14, and their children, in Kenya.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 10:20 AM, 09.10.2021

Seren should be CH's first elected mayor

Kahlil Seren wants every street in Cleveland Heights to see the street sweepers, not just the ones lined with mansions. 

The mayoral candidate unveiled this “radical” position at a backyard meet-and-greet, after an attendee noted disparities in street services between affluent and less-affluent neighborhoods. She wanted to know what he would do about it if elected mayor.

Kahlil had an answer. He almost always has a well-thought-out answer, and when he doesn’t, he is ready to listen and learn. 

Kahlil honed a simple strategy for governance at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, at Policy Matters Ohio, as an advisor to Cuyahoga County Council, and serving on Cleveland Heights City Council.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 9:56 AM, 09.09.2021

Moore endorses Seren for CH mayor

On a personal level, I really like all three candidates for mayor. I have spoken with Barbara, Melody, and Kahlil, and each cares deeply for this community, has their own distinct leadership style, boasts an impressive résumé that will be useful to our incoming administration, and presents a compelling vision for the future of our city.

While I see the strengths of each candidate, I am endorsing Kahlil for two reasons. First, his values and vision most closely align with what I believe in and want for our city, and second, of these three candidates, he has the most experience working in government.

Voting one’s values is important because, as 2020 showed us, we can’t predict what the future will bring. When we elect people whose values are most like our own, we can rest assured that, when the unexpected happens, they will make decisions we can feel good about. I am confident that Kahlil’s progressive values will serve us well, come what may.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 9:54 AM, 09.08.2021

Artist installs new mural at Coventry PEACE

Artist WRDSMTH next to his mural at the Coventry PEACE Campus.

Artist WRDSMTH has installed a mural on the Coventry PEACE Campus building, near the Lake Erie Ink entrance, as part of the “How Do I Love Thee" tour, hosted and produced by Graffiti HeArt. The tour is a series of 17 murals gifted by the artist to various spaces, walls and organizations installed throughout Cleveland, Lakewood and Cleveland Heights in August. All of the murals are in WRDSMTH’s signature style of typewriters with inspirational quotes. Learn more about the tour at

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 8:37 AM, 09.06.2021

Storefront Renovation Program provides business owner with upgrade

New signage outside the businesses in the building Franklin Myles owns.

Cleveland Heights small-business owner Franklin Myles has roots here that stretch back long before he moved into his State Farm Insurance storefront, in the Mayfield Triangle area of the Noble neighborhood, in 2003. He grew up, and attended school, here, graduating from Cleveland Heights High School. Though Myles has since moved away, it still is important to him to play an active role in the community.

“I know Cleveland Heights like the back of my hand,” Myles said. “It’s always been a beautiful place to me. The thought of coming back home to my community and opening up a business and taking care of people I went to school with, and their parents and all of that, was very exciting to me.”

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 8:21 AM, 09.03.2021

Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook plan includes green space

The Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook development site plan, designed by City Architecture, includes an outdoor gathering space.

Pedestrian-oriented retail districts work best when they are continuous, encouraging shoppers to walk from storefront to storefront, from block to block. Lee Road, south of Cedar Road, is one of those vibrant, walkable retail and restaurant districts.

Placing a wide, block-long park in the middle of the Lee Road retail district would interrupt the flow of shoppers and diners walking along Lee Road and would, therefore, detract from the vibrancy of our retail district.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 8:08 AM, 09.03.2021

Growing together

Joanne Westin waters the Cumberland garden.

When I was 3, my grandfather built a house on a new street. The houses were kind of small, but, at least at his end of the street, there was lots of land behind them. (Behind those properties now are the houses on Belvoir Boulevard, north of Cedar Road.) In that big backyard he created a garden for my older brother and me.

He bought us overalls, straw hats and little gardening tools. We planted vegetables and took care of them (to a degree, anyway; my grandfather did most of it). Then we harvested and ate the vegetables.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 8:27 AM, 09.03.2021

Musicologie adds early childhood classes

Young students and caregivers at a Musicologie Junior class in Columbus. [photo by Stephanie Ewen]

Musicologie, a community music school owned and operated by Pat and Kevin Richards, will bring Musicologie Junior to their Cleveland Heights school this September.

This new, early-childhood music class for kids and their caregivers develops young minds through music using a research-based proprietary curriculum.

“Each class,” said Pat Richards, “is an action-packed musical journey that instills passion and excitement for music.” The program incorporates singing, melody, rhythm and movement to engage children and reinforce their natural musical instincts.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 8:24 AM, 09.03.2021

What’s going on at your library?

Coventry Village Branch

1925 Coventry Road, 216-321-3400

Saturday, Sept. 18, noon through the evening.

Pekar Park Comic Book Fest. This free festival honors Harvey Pekar, the late graphic novelist and Cleveland Heights resident, and offers an array of activities for children and adults. The festival will spotlight local, independent comic book and graphic novel writers, illustrators, artists, and comic book retailers. Activities, including vendor tables, a panel discussion, and crafts for kids, will run from noon to 5 p.m. at the Coventry Branch Library, Pekar Park, Coventry businesses, and Coventry PEACE Park. A family-friendly movie will be shown at 8 p.m. in the PEACE Park.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 8:20 AM, 09.03.2021

In support of mayoral candidate Hart

I am writing to vigorously support Melody Hart for our first [elected mayor]. This enthusiasm comes from my perspective and experience working with her on the Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) Cleveland Heights Housing Team for seven years.

[Others] who endorse Melody have spoken [of] her solid fiscal management skills, her executive skills set, and her contextual knowledge of Cleveland Heights. I am focusing on the way I know her best: As a person for others.

Melody is a person for neighborhoods. Long before this campaign, Melody walked every street in the Noble neighborhood. In doing this she demonstrated empathy for neighbors who were seeing their housing values deteriorate. She collaborated with neighbors [on a] badly neglected, vacant, investor-owned property that had been so since 2009. Her research efforts significantly led to resolving this case.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 8:16 AM, 09.03.2021

Make Horseshoe Lake more like nature center

I am excited to hear about an option to replace the dam at Horseshoe Lake, because I feel it represents a serious effort to mitigate climate change and the impact of extreme weather events that we’re seeing with more regularity, such as flooding of our local watersheds.

By removing the dam, we open up the possibility of Doan Brook supporting a more diverse ecosystem, along with more stormwater capture and a more equitable use of limited resources.

The city will need the $34 million that is estimated [as the cost] to replace the dam if we are to address the nearly $1 billion of infrastructure work ahead to meet the stormwater and sewer separation goals in the EPA consent decree signed by the city.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 8:15 AM, 09.03.2021

Resident recommends book on deniers of climate-change

The following is a letter that I sent to the candidates for the Cleveland Heights mayoralty:

As you develop your policies on climate change and the carbon "footprint," please read The Deniers: The world-renowned scientists who stood up against global warming hysteria, political persecution, and fraud.

A colleague who saw me reading this book inquired if it is about the ignorant, and I had to correct him: they are not at all ignorant; they are, or were, highly trained, educated, experienced, published professionals.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 8:13 AM, 09.03.2021

Cedar Lee resident and business owner supports development

I support Flaherty & Collins plan for the Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook development project. I own CLE Urban Winery in the Cedar Lee Business District, and I own a home within the district as well. My life and my life savings are both, literally, invested in Cedar Lee, so I have a great deal of personal and professional skin in this game. I am making this statement on my own, but I have discussed this with other district merchants who share and support this opinion.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 8:12 AM, 09.03.2021

Heights player and coach honored at Pro Football HOF game

Build the Bridge participants were honored on the field prior to the Pro Football Hall of Fame game on Aug. 5 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

Two members of the Cleveland Heights High School football team were honored last week—not for their skills on the field, but for their selflessness and kindness off of it.

Heights High senior Fahrell Freeman and Head Football Coach Mac Stephens were recognized on the field during the Pro Football Hall of Fame (HOF) game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Canton on Aug. 5.

“The opportunity to participate in the pregame ceremonies of the Hall of Fame game was a pretty momentous occasion for not only me, but also one of my players, Fahrell Freeman, who recalls the recognition being one of the best experiences of his life, said Stephens.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 8:00 AM, 09.03.2021

Heights Music Hop is Sept. 18

A band plays outside Best Gyros at the 2019 Heights Music Hop.

The eighth annual Heights Music Hop, a celebration of a diverse community through music, returns on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 5 to 11 p.m. This free music festival features a stellar lineup of artists on three outdoor community stages in the Cedar Lee Business District of Cleveland Heights.

The University Heights Symphonic Band, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, will open the festival at 5 p.m. on the Flaherty & Collins ~ City Architecture Mainstage @ Lee & Meadowbrook. The evening continues with music from acapella group Elegie (R&B, Soul, and Gospel), Ms. Reec Pearl and the Groovemasters (Jazz, Blues, and R&B), Top Hat Black (Blues and Rock), and Dan Bruce’s Beta Collective (Jazz). Apostle Jones (high-energy Rock and Soul) will cap off the evening.

The North Stage @ the Cedar Lee Mini-Park will feature performances by Jesse Jukebox (fun music for kids and adults), Kiss Me Deadly (Rock, Punk, and R&B), and OPUS 216 (classical).

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 10:26 AM, 09.02.2021

Special election on Nov. 2 will fill CH council vacancy

Cleveland Heights City Council announced on Aug. 25 that the seat left vacant by Mary Dunbar, who resigned Aug. 16, would be filled by way of a special election, to be held concurrently with the general election, on Nov. 2. Council had previously announced that it would appoint someone to fill the vacancy, and that it would be accepting applications beginning Aug. 17.

Council's Aug. 25 announcement, posted on the city's website (, states that authorization for the special election was made in consultation with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections (BOE), and after a review of the city's charter.

Candidates who are interested in serving out the remainder of Dunbar's unexpired term, through Dec. 31, 2023, must file nominating petitions containing the signatures of at least 50, and no more than 150, "qualified electors" with the BOE by Tuesday, Sept. 7, at 4 p.m.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 5:26 PM, 08.30.2021

Cross-country teams run 250 miles in 24 hours

Junior Jayvon Pryor runs one of his laps. [photo by Brian Fisher @Full-Stop Photography]

Members of the cross-country teams at Monticello and Roxboro middle schools joined Heights High’s cross-country and track runners for a 24-hour relay at Heights High on Aug. 7 and 8. Raising funds for the Cleveland Heights Running Boosters, the students ran 250 miles during the 24-hour period.  

They arrived at the track on Saturday morning, carrying tents, sleeping bags, board games, and playing cards. As the clock struck 9 a.m., they began logging their miles, one or sometimes two students running four laps at a time before handing the baton off to the next runners. All participants ran more miles than they had before, and some ran faster than ever, including junior Henry Turner, who logged a personal best in his seventh mile, then beat that pace in his eighth.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 9:54 AM, 08.31.2021

Library partnership aims to bridge digital divide

Heights Libraries Technology Trainer Nia Turner with a refurbished computer from PCs for People.

Heights Libraries is partnering with the nonprofit PCs for People to distribute free or low-cost computers, laptops and hot spots to qualifying customers.

PCs for People is a national 501(c)3 organization that recycles business electronics and provides refurbished tech to low-income households at a reduced cost or at no cost, helping them access technology previously out of their reach.

In August, the HKIC computer lab at the Lee Road Branch became a pick-up location for PCs for People’s clients. This means people who live in the Heights and other nearby communities, who qualify for the program, can select the HKIC/Lee Road Branch as a location to pick up their equipment. Previously, clients had to travel outside the Heights to libraries in other Cuyahoga County cities, such as Cleveland or Parma.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 10:22 AM, 09.02.2021

CH Green Team meets with mayoral candidates

On three evenings this summer, Cleveland Heights mayoral candidates met individually with a group of residents assembled by the Cleveland Heights Green Team. The meetings were planned as dialogues: candidates Barbara Danforth, Melody Hart and Kahlil Seren would each present their environmental platform. The sustainability professionals and environmental activists present would then ask questions and, hopefully, educate the candidates.

With the climate crisis well underway, the group wanted to hear that sustainability policies and actions would be a top city priority beginning in January 2022, regardless of who takes office. The Green Team advocates applying an “environmental overlay,” incorporating equity considerations, to all proposed policies and actions.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 10:17 AM, 09.02.2021

GCC asks CH mayoral candidates about housing

To the Editor:

Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) Cleveland Heights Housing Team [of which the author is a member] has developed a new website to assist Cleveland Heights voters in choosing the city’s first elected mayor:

The CH Housing Team is focused on issues of housing and economic development in underserved areas of Cleveland Heights. Since 2016, its members have been building knowledge and expertise for new approaches to the housing problems that plague the health of the city. 

The new website provides responses from the three CH mayoral candidates to four questions about the current state of housing and economic development in underserved areas in our city, including blighted and investor-owned (not maintained) properties.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 3:02 PM, 08.23.2021

Library's mask policy protects visitors

Heights Libraries and its Board of Trustees, along with the Cuyahoga County Public Library System, the Cleveland Public Library System, and Shaker Heights Public Library, recently reinstated a face-mask requirement for all visitors over the age of 2. The decision was made for the following reasons:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement that the Delta variant of COVID-19 is prevalent in all 50 states;
  • According to the CDC COVID Data Tracker, Cuyahoga County has a substantial rate of COVID transmission, and county cases have increased by 23.84% in the last seven days (as of Aug. 23);
  • The CDC has been recommending that people who have not received a COVID vaccine wear a mask at all times; it is now also recommending, in areas of “substantial” or high risk of transmission, that even fully vaccinated people wear a mask indoors. This includes people older than 2.
  • Children under the age of 12 cannot yet receive the vaccine. Masking in the library helps keep young visitors safe.
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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 9:41 AM, 09.02.2021

Horseshoe Lake: taking the long view

The future of Horseshoe Lake is very much in doubt. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) recommends permanent removal of the failing dam that has held back the waters of two branches of Doan Brook since the North Union Shaker community constructed it, about 170 years ago.

The Shakers were not thinking of recreation or beauty when, in the 1850s, they built the dams that created the lakes later named for them. They were thinking of industry, of powering grist, lumber and woolen mills to serve and support their community. It took real estate developers, 50 years later, to preserve the area as parkland, and build upscale residential subdivisions adjacent to it.

Seventy years after that, the garden clubs of Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights banded together to save the Shaker Parklands from obliteration by county engineer Albert Porter’s freeway scheme. The “housewives” Porter derided established the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes on the site of a proposed interchange.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 10:10 AM, 09.02.2021

The Heights need Horseshoe

Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights are poised to lose Horseshoe Lake, a precious and beloved historical, natural and recreational landmark.

In the late 1960s, citizens protested and rallied to save the Shaker Lakes from freeway construction. Some 2,000 Heights residents crowded into a public meeting at Byron Junior High on a cold January day in 1970 to demand a stop to Albert Porter’s freeway plans. Gov. Rhodes saw the writing on the wall and scrapped the project.

Today, however, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) and “environmentalists” have found just the right triggers to inspire citizens to go along with destroying the lake and “remeandering” the stream: It’ll be“natural, the way it was thousands of years ago;” saving Horseshoe will cost more than Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights can possibly afford; “rich folks” who live there will be the ones who benefit.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 10:02 AM, 09.02.2021

Public schools are for all

A banner in front of Heights High reads “Public is for all!”

The proclamation is both an invitation and a reason to enroll.

A hallmark of our democracy is the guarantee of a free public education. Universal access to a publicly funded education expresses the equal value and rights of all children and appreciation for the relevance of education to self-governance. It serves the common good. Because a community benefits from the education of its children, public schools unite communities in common purpose.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 10:05 AM, 09.02.2021

Two Heights Arts shows explore print's range

 Anna Tararova's RTA.

When we think of art, we might think of a painting that hangs protected in a museum, or sculptures, ever-present in parks. But art comes in many forms, changing with the times. In a time like no other, to close out 2021, Heights Arts presents the Printers Select exhibition, running through Oct. 17. 

Curated by artist Liz Maugans, the show features work by six artists new to Heights Arts. They were each tasked with bringing in a second artist for the exhibition—someone who made a significant impact on their lives and studies.

The participating six artists and their six partners are Hannah Manocchio and Sampson the Artist, J. Leigh Garcia and Nina Battaglia, Orlando Caraballo and Ed Lugo, Anna Tararova and Amirah Cunningham, Shadi Ayoub and Bob Kelemen, and Omid Shekari and Kristina Paabus.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 9:56 AM, 08.31.2021

Applications for fall FH leadership series due Aug. 31

FutureHeights (FH) invites Cleveland Heights residents who want to create positive change in their neighborhoods to apply for the 2021 Neighborhood Leadership Workshop Series.

This multidisciplinary neighborhood leadership development program is designed for individuals who are enthusiastic about positively contributing to the community in which they live, work and play. Participants will learn leadership skills and gain knowledge about best practices, tools and techniques to make their neighborhoods strong, safe and vibrant.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 1:15 PM, 08.24.2021

FutureHeights supports Cedar Lee development

To the Editor:

The following statement was presented to Cleveland Heights City Council at its Aug. 2 meeting:

FutureHeights supports the proposed mixed-use development at the Cedar Lee Meadowbrook site and urges Council to move forward with the project.

  • The proposed project fills a large gap in the Cedar Lee Business District by strengthening the “retail/building wall,” which will increase pedestrian foot traffic and consumer spending at our locally owned businesses. 
  • New housing will add more residents to increase our tax base.
  • The proposed green space at Lee and Meadowbrook and the Cedar Lee Mini-Park will enhance the district and meet residents’ needs for green space.
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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 9:55 AM, 09.02.2021

County council's Stephens endorses Seren

In August 2019 I encouraged the residents of our city to vote to change our municipal charter so that the community could elect a mayor, not have one appointed by the members of city council. The issue to amend the charter was approved by more than 60% of the voters in that election. At that time, I wrote that I would not seek election to the office of mayor in 2021, and I haven’t.

It was my sincere hope that the rich diversity of people who are the residents of Cleveland Heights would encourage several members of the community who are smart, intelligent, hardworking, and strong leaders to run for the office of mayor. That came true, in that there were some incredibly positive discussions about who should run and what were good criteria for the evaluation and selection of a mayor.

Since the beginning of this year, I have been committed to supporting a vibrant election process.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 9:51 AM, 09.02.2021

Another life tragically lost

On Aug. 9, a 13-year-old boy from Wisconsin was shot and killed while visiting family in Cleveland Heights.  This tragic loss breaks my heart and I offer my deepest condolences to his family and friends.  

According to Police Chief Mecklenburg, this was not a random or accidental event. A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with this crime and a 16-year-old, who is also wanted, remains at large. 

Whenever there is the loss of a young life, several questions arise, but none have easy or simple answers.

First, we have to wonder, how did a 14-year-old gain access to a gun?

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 12:20 PM, 08.23.2021

Let's talk about the 'T' word

When I moved here, I was struck by two things. First—what a great town with walkable, bikeable streets; great housing; great business districts; a wonderful park system; and more. This was my dream city.

But then there is the T word—Taxes. Sticker shock! In Michigan and in Chicago, my property taxes were far less than my mortgage payment. I had no municipal income tax, and city services were comparable to Cleveland Heights services.

Here the property tax bill was greater than the mortgage payment, and I had to pay an income tax.

When the city increased the income taxes, I decided to move.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 12:19 PM, 08.23.2021

Danforth will help arts and business

To the Editor:

We love music and enjoy sharing it with our neighbors. This summer, we were fortunate enough to host a front-yard concert with Moises Borges and Dylan Moffitt. It is a privilege to live in an area that supports live music and to invite neighbors to come and listen to a free concert. We enjoy living in a community where people value the arts. With Cain Park, Dobama Theatre, the Grog Shop, the Cedar Lee Theatre, Nighttown and so many other community treasures, Cleveland Heights has always been a regional leader for arts appreciation. For decades this community has provided a forum and venues for artists.

Yet, as a community we have not focused on telling our story and the story of the wonderful arts opportunities in the Heights.

Electing a mayor gives us the opportunity to look to one executive for leadership in maintaining and strengthening our arts community.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 9:59 AM, 09.02.2021

Hart has my vote

To the Editor:

Why is Melody Hart the best choice for mayor of Cleveland Heights? 

She believes in responsiveness. She returns phone calls and insists those who work under her do the same. She listens to all sides of an issue, but she’s not afraid to make a decision: these are character traits that are most important to me in choosing a mayor.

And, of course, experience and deep knowledge of Cleveland Heights are my next two values. Remember when MetroHealth [announced] plans to build a mental health facility [at its Severance facility]? Some staunch environmentalists in Cleveland Heights were opposed to the location of this project because many old trees would have to be sacrificed.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 9:56 AM, 09.02.2021

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 8-9-2021

AUGUST 9, 2021 – Special joint session with Shaker Heights City Council re: Shaker Lakes


  • NEORSD proposal
  • Questions from council members and the public:
    • The need for Horseshoe Lake Dam demolition
    • Post project development
    • Role of the cities
    • Environmental considerations
    • Public input


Cleveland Heights Council Vice President Kahlil Seren, members Craig Cobb, Mary Dunbar, Melody Hart, Davida Russell and Michael Ungar were present. Council President Jason Stein was absent. Also present were Cleveland Heights City Manager Susanna Niermann O’Neil, Shaker Heights Mayor David Weiss, and four or five Shaker Heights council members.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 1:06 PM, 08.24.2021

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 8-3-2021

AUGUST 3, 2021, regular session


  • Recognitions and awards
  • Summer programming and strategic plan goals
  • COVID protocol recommendations
  • Debt refunding 
  • State budget impact
  • Announcements


Present were President James Posch and members Malia Lewis, Jodi Sourini, and Beverly Wright. Dan Heintz was absent. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. and adjourned at 8:47 p.m. A sound problem occurred during the opening three minutes during the video recording.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 12:40 PM, 08.23.2021

Hart is ready to be CH's mayor

To the Editor:

I am writing to endorse Melody Hart for mayor of Cleveland Heights. My reasons are simple and straightforward: She is ready!

Melody spent four years following every council meeting to gather information and to research the issues that were and were not being addressed. Following that period of time, she took a leap of faith to run for an open council position. She won that race with a landslide.

Melody is not afraid to quietly speak up and stand her ground on important decisions.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 10:08 AM, 09.02.2021

State Rep. Boyd endorses Seren

Long before and after Issue 26 passed in 2019, we all weighed in on what and who Cleveland Heights will and won’t need. The time has come now for us to choose who among us will lead our beloved, diverse, tattered but not torn, inner-ring suburb to the next phase of our reinvention. Our votes on Sept. 14 will represent who we know we can be and who we believe can effectively, knowledgeably, and unabashedly launch us and lead us on our journey. That is why I support Kahlil Seren’s candidacy.

When I left city council for the statehouse in 2015, I knew Cleveland Heights was in good and capable hands with Kahlil. Since that time, I’ve watched him grow into a conscientious leader and emerge a seasoned legislator with invaluable institutional knowledge. While I had hoped he’d consider succeeding me at the statehouse, I understand that his commitment to Cleveland Heights must take precedent at this time.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 12:21 PM, 08.23.2021

Parents question library's mask requirement

When did it become the norm for our library to dictate what medical device is appropriate and necessary for children? From where is this authority granted?

The CH-UH Library Board of Trustees has again decided to make decisions regarding the health of residents. Last year's mask requirement was made in consideration that, until a vaccine was available, rules needed to be in place to protect staff. Then and now, the board did not honor a portion of the governor’s executive order: allowances for medical exceptions and that the order did not apply to children under the 10. 

Currently, library policy requires all over the age of 2 to wear a mask. Isn’t this shockingly wrong to anyone else?  

Why is it acceptable for a board to tell you what medical devices are safe and necessary for your child?

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 12:15 PM, 08.23.2021

Dunbar resigns from CH City Council

Mary Dunbar

Long-serving Cleveland Heights City Council Member Mary Dunbar resigned at council’s Aug. 16 meeting, effective immediately.

Dunbar stated that she had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, explaining, “When I was re-elected for a third four-year term on city council, in November of 2019, I expected to be serving on city council until 2024. Something unexpected has come up.” The rest of her statement follows:

“At the end of January 2020, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Ever since, I have been trying to understand the disease and how best to cope with it. I have studied up on Parkinson’s, done a lot of physical therapy, participated in three clinical trials, and started taking medicine for the disease this year.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 3:15 PM, 08.19.2021

Sept. 14 is first of two important CH elections

We—Tony Cuda and Jack Newman—do not agree on much, but we are both passionate about the importance of Cleveland Heights voters getting to the polls on Sept. 14, to weigh in on the city's first-ever mayoral primary election.

You see, Newman is the former chair of the city's Charter Review Commission (CRC), and Cuda is the former campaign manager for Citizens For An Elected Mayor (CEM). The CRC was assembled in 2017 to review the Cleveland Heights charter and make recommendations to city council. After 18 months, the CRC voted, by an overwhelming margin, to keep the city manager form of government. CEM then turned around and put the issue [of changing the city’s form of government] on the ballot in November 2019. Cleveland Heights voters decided, with 64 percent voting yes, to change the charter to an elected mayor government. 

We do both agree, however, that in order for this new government to be successful, voters must make their voices heard.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 12:53 PM, 08.16.2021

GardenWalk CH looks ahead to 2022

Numerous Cleveland Heights gardens with water features were on this year's GardenWalk CH.

This year’s GardenWalk Cleveland Heights, held July 17 and 18, featured 60 Cleveland Heights gardens. It attracted visitors from California, Texas, Virginia, Utah and Colorado, as well as Russell Township, Amherst, Chagrin Falls, Hudson and North Ridgeville, and 28 Cuyahoga County municipalities.

It’s difficult to accurately count participants in this free, unticketed annual event, but one gardener counted 230 guests over the weekend.

“This joyful experience was everything I’d hoped it would be!” commented one of the gardeners at the end of the weekend. The gardeners were exhausted but exhilarated after greeting guests and answering questions for five hours each day. 

The variety of gardens on the walk reflected the variety of properties in Cleveland Heights—from large gardens, to pocket pollinator gardens, and intimate backyards that seemed like an extension of the house.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 9:27 AM, 09.02.2021

Danforth rises above other candidates

Three candidates want to become mayor. With early voting underway and the Sept. 14 primary nearing, to narrow the field to two for the Nov. 2 general election, it’s time to compare their records, achievements and qualifications.

The mayor must bring together the administration, council, community and outside stakeholders, building consensus along the way whenever possible. Barbara Danforth has demonstrated she can collaborate and get things done. Kahlil Seren has brought an interesting and sometimes useful perspective to city council. But I have concerns how he could work effectively with council as mayor. He has a record of offering legislation without building support, which led council to take the unprecedented action of preventing anyone from introducing legislation without the support of at least two members.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 9:38 AM, 09.02.2021

Hart supports our public schools

Currently serving on CH City Council, Melody Joy Hart is experienced. As a certified public accountant, she understands finances. She has posted a platform that names the essential issues facing Cleveland Heights: strong housing, racial equity, fiscal responsibility, economic development, strong public schools, and transparent leadership.

Hart pledges to consider racial equity and the long impact of structural racism in every decision facing Cleveland Heights. She will help us continue to realize our long-held ideals of equity and inclusion.

The primary reason I will be voting for Hart for Cleveland Heights mayor, on Sept. 14, is her declared support for our public schools.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 9:35 AM, 09.02.2021

College senior endorses Danforth

Having been sent home from college in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have had the opportunity to spend an unexpected amount of time in my hometown of Cleveland Heights. As a young adult, I have gained an increased appreciation for the unique offerings of this city: a diverse community; a vibrant arts scene (even in the time of pandemic); small businesses and restaurants within walking distance; and close proximity to big-city amenities at affordable prices, compared to what can be found in the areas surrounding Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Such factors are why I, at times, surprise those who ask the question, “Where will you live long-term following college graduation?” by answering that, although I hope to see the world outside of Ohio after 21 years in the state, I can easily imagine returning to Cleveland and Cleveland Heights, and continuing to call this city my home. 

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 9:31 AM, 09.02.2021

Maple Heights mayor endorses Seren

I enthusiastically endorse Kahlil Seren for mayor of Cleveland Heights because I believe that he is the most experienced and prepared mayoral candidate. He has the transferrable skills—in advocacy and research, budget and policy, and economic development—needed to be an effective and successful CEO.

During my time as Maple Heights mayor, all of my interactions with and observations of Kahlil have left me with an admiration of his impressive professionalism, a greater respect for his commitment to public service, his voice in leadership, and his courage to make important decisions.   

A strong mayor listens and lifts up the people in their city, and then acts to ensure a Return on Investment (ROI) for all the stakeholders in the city: residents, businesses and visitors.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 9:33 AM, 09.02.2021

Aug. 12 CH Mayoral Forum now to be held virtually

On Thursday, Aug. 12, the Cleveland Heights Mayoral Forum, sponsored by the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland (LWVGC), will now be held exclusively online. The LWVGC announced the change in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases.

The forum will take place 7–9 p.m., as originally scheduled, and can be livestreamed via YouTube:, or the bitly URL: The forum will be recorded for later viewing.

There will be no in-person audience for the virtual forum; only the candidates, moderator, tech support, and a limited number of LWV volunteers will be in the room.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 12:02 PM, 08.10.2021

Heights High announces 2021–22 administrative team

Taylor Smith, Heights High's 10th-grade assistant principal.

Cleveland Heights High School has named two new assistant principals for the 2021–22 school year—Taylor Smith and Brandon Towns. They join the schools’ interim administrative principal, and two other assistant principals.

“This group is like the pieces of a puzzle coming together—they bring years of experience in top-notch organizational leadership, teaching, communication, technology, coaching, and more,” said Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby. “Most importantly, these individuals have a passion for providing a high-quality education to each and every student, helping them grow into young adults ready for college and career.”

Taylor Smith, 10th-grade assistant principal

Smith served the Brooklyn City School District (BCS) as the technology coordinator (2016–21), implementing professional development and technology integration across the district. Smith also was dean of students for BCS (2019–20). In that role, Smith instituted Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) for the student body, and worked with teacher teams across grade levels.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 1:03 PM, 08.09.2021

Heights High's Taylor Evans wins national award

Taylor Evans

Taylor Evans, a Heights High junior, has been named the GEAR UP Student of the Year by the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships. She is the lead intern/ambassador for Heights High’s GEAR UP 2 New Heights program. 

GEAR UP—Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs—aims to increase the college and career readiness of low-income students. It currently serves more than 523,000 students in 46 states. The award is given to one student in the U.S. who embodies the GEAR UP mission to “Excel, Prove, and Mobilize.”

“Taylor was selected out of hundreds of thousands of GEAR UP students across the country, and she is incredibly deserving of this honor,” said Bob Swaggard, the CH-UH City School District’s director of curriculum and instruction. “She’s a wonderful student and we are all so proud of her.”

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 12:28 PM, 08.09.2021

Moore suspends her campaign for CH mayor

It is with a heavy heart but clear eyes that I announce the suspension of my campaign for mayor of Cleveland Heights.

For a while now I have gone back and forth about whether staying in the race and pushing issues and ideas into the dialogue through the platform of a mayoral candidate was good for Cleveland Heights. And for a while, I believe it was. However, I no longer think that’s the case.

I ran for mayor because I wanted to present a cohesive, long-term, progressive vision for Cleveland Heights that prioritizes our people and our environment. I have watched so many elections in which the conversation around what’s at stake—and what’s possible—feels so limited. I wanted to be a candidate who would talk about issues that are on people’s minds but might not be treated as priorities in mainstream talking points.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 10:25 AM, 08.09.2021

Heights Music Hop announces 2021 lineup

The eighth annual Heights Music Hop, a celebration of a diverse community through music, returns in 2021, from 5 to 11 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 18. This free music festival features a stellar lineup of artists on three outdoor community stages in the Cedar Lee Business District of Cleveland Heights.

The University Heights Symphonic Band, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, will open the festival at 5 p.m. on the Flaherty & Collins ~ City Architecture Mainstage @ Lee & Meadowbrook. The evening continues with music from acapella group Elegie (R&B, Soul, and Gospel); Ms. Reec Pearl and the Groovemasters (Jazz, Blues, and R&B), Top Hat Black (Blues and Rock), and Dan Bruce’s Beta Collective (Jazz). Apostle Jones (high-energy Rock and Soul) will cap off the evening.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 5:14 PM, 08.06.2021

Multiple election dates loom for Heights voters

Cleveland Heights residents will go to the polls in three elections in the next four months, on Aug. 3, Sept. 14, and Nov. 2.

In the same period, University Heights voters will cast their ballots in two elections, on Aug. 3 and Nov. 2.

To help Heights voters make sense of this crowded local election season, the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, Heights Chapter, compiled the following list of election dates and races:

TUESDAY, Aug. 3: Special Primary Election for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District in the U.S. House

In this partisan primary, voters will request either a Democratic or Republican ballot. The special election is the first of two in which voters will elect a replacement for Marcia Fudge.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 9:43 PM, 07.19.2021

2021 Voters Guide to the Cleveland Heights Mayoral Primary

The Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland (LWVGC) has created a guide to the Sept. 14 nonpartisan primary election for Cleveland Heights' first elected mayor. The top two vote-getters in the primary will contend for mayor in November's General Election.

The LWVGC - Heights Chapter asked the same five questions of the four candidates. Each candidate's answers were then published, unedited.

For publication, the order of presentation of the candidates is alphabetical. Click on the links below to read each candidate's response.

Position: Cleveland Heights Mayor     Term: Four years     Salary: $115,000

Barbara Danforth

Melody Joy Hart

Josephine Moore

Kahlil Seren

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 4:40 PM, 08.02.2021

LWV plans Aug. 12 forum for CH mayoral candidates

[Update: The Thursday, Aug. 12, Cleveland Heights Mayoral Forum, sponsored by the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland (LWVGC), will now be held exclusively online. The LWVGC announced the change in response to the increase in COVID-19 cases.

The forum will take place 7–9 p.m., as originally scheduled, and can be livestreamed via YouTube:, or the bitly URL: The forum will be recorded for later viewing.]

On Thursday, Aug. 12, 7–9 p.m., the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland (LWVGC) will present a candidate forum in advance of the first-ever primary election for Cleveland Heights mayor. The forum will be held at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, 1 Monticello Boulevard.

LWVGC's co-sponsors for the free community event are FutureHeights and Heights Libraries.

The nonpartisan primary election for CH mayoral candidates is Sept. 14. Voters will choose from four candidates—Barbara Danforth, Melody Joy Hart, Josephine Moore, and Kahlil Seren. The two candidates who garner the most votes in the primary election will move on to the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

The Aug. 12 forum will provide an opportunity for voters to hear the four CH mayoral candidates discuss election issues. Voter registration will also be offered at the event.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 10:19 AM, 08.02.2021

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 8-2-2021

AUGUST 2, 2021


  • Public comments
  • Staff reports
  • Council action
  • Council member comments


Present were Council President Jason Stein, Vice President Kahlil Seren, Craig Cobb, Mary Dunbar, Melody Joy Hart, Davida Russell, and Michael N. Ungar. Also present were Susanna Niermann O’Neil, city manager; Amy Himmelein, clerk of council and finance director; and William Hanna, law director. The meeting lasted about an hour and a half.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 11:26 AM, 08.10.2021