Latest News

Sober Living Cleveland raises funds by 'Raising the Roof' on May 21

Singer/songwriter Rachel Brown will perform at Raising the Roof for Recovery.

Sober Living Cleveland presents Raising the Roof for Recovery on Saturday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. The event at the Dunham Tavern Barn will raise funds to provide a house in Cleveland Heights for women in recovery from substance abuse. Presented by the Heights Music Shop, proceeds will support the nonprofit's mission to empower people in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs by providing safe, affordable sober housing, support for healthy habits, and a foundation for a better life. 

Cleveland Heights resident Rick Szekelyi, co-owner of the Heights Music Shop on Lee Road, selected some of his favorite local singer/songwriters to perform:


Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:43 PM, 04.29.2016

Latest News Releases

- City of Cleveland Heights, April 19, 2016 Read More
Michael Ungar appointed to CH City Council
- City of Cleveland Heights, April 8, 2016 Read More
Cleveland Heights native co-stars in comedy 'The 4th' at Cleveland Int'l Film Festival
- CIFF, March 31, 2016 Read More
Annual Clean-up and Invasive Plant Pull of Doan Brook to be held during Earth Week, 2016
- Doan Brook Watershed Partnership, March 29, 2016 Read More
Doan Brook Watershed Partnership and the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes team up to teach about rain gardens
- Doan Brook Watershed Partnership, March 23, 2016 Read More

View more news releases

Jason West scholarship fundraiser is May 22

On May 26, 2007, Cleveland Heights Police Officer Jason West responded to a routine disturbance call and was shot getting out of his car. His death shocked the community. In response, local residents, West’s family and friends, business owners and fellow officers established a scholarship fund in his memory. Each year, graduating seniors from the Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement program at Cleveland Heights High School can apply for the scholarship.

To raise money for the fund, the scholarship committee is holding its annual Mega Raffle on Sunday, May 22, at the New Heights Grill on Lee Road. Tickets for the raffle are $2 and can be purchased at several local businesses: Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa on Taylor Road; and Shawn Paul Salon, New Heights Grill and Parnell’s Pub on Lee Road. Tickets will also be on sale at Zagara’s Marketplace on May 14. Last year’s raffle raised more than $8,000.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 8:19 PM, 04.29.2016

Noble Neighbors weekend celebration set for May 13–15

The northeast quadrant of Cleveland Heights will celebrate during the weekend of May 13–15. The neighborhoods and business districts north and east of Mayfield and Taylor roads will be vibrant with yard sales, real estate open houses, music, food and art-making activities.

Noble Elementary School’s NobleFest and Noble Road Presbyterian Church’s Urban Line Dance will kick off the weekend on Friday evening. On Saturday and Sunday, Kid Hubs will feature activities for children, and Denison and Caledonia parks, with their playgrounds and athletic fields, will offer organized activities.

On Saturday, the Oxford Elementary School Carnival will feature games, food and a flea market. Realtors are funding Rocket Car rides launched near the Oxford Community Garden, and Disciples Christian Church is hosting a family fun day. Noble Neighborhood Library will hold a book sale and activities showcasing its kids’ and teens’ facilities. Home Repair Resource Center will sell tools.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 4:20 PM, 04.29.2016

FutureHeights events to focus on Heights business districts

“Strong business districts with a vibrant mix of retail and services are vital to our ability to attract new residents, maintain property values and sustain the long-term health of our community,” said Deanna Bremer Fisher, executive director of FutureHeights. “We’ve identified a growing need to support our districts by working to ensure that existing businesses remain strong and actively recruiting new businesses and new uses for vacant spaces.”

FutureHeights, the nonprofit that works toward a vibrant and sustainable future for Cleveland Heights and University Heights, will host two events that focus on Heights business districts.

The first is a presentation of a Market Study of Cedar Lee by Viking Planners, a graduate-level class from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University (CSU). Heights Community Development Alliance, a program of FutureHeights, hired the class to conduct a study of the Cedar Lee Business District during its spring semester. The students examined various aspects, including parking, safety, retail mix, and potential redevelopment and infill sites. They will present their findings on Monday, May 9, 4–6 p.m, at the Cedar Lee Theatre (2163 Lee Road). 

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 3:50 PM, 04.29.2016

CH celebrates Preservation Month in May

Front porches, prevalent throughout Cleveland Heights, are the focus of a May 12 talk.

May is National Preservation Month. In Cleveland Heights, as in communities across the country, this month celebrates our rich architectural and natural history. Since 2002, the City of Cleveland Heights and its partners have observed Preservation Month with lectures and tours, and this year holds special significance as Heights Libraries celebrates its centennial.

Preservation Month programs provide residents with the opportunity to learn the nuts-and-bolts of porches; the history of our library, city and school buildings; and explore Cleveland Heights’s neighborhoods and natural features.

CH Preservation Month 2016 co-sponsors are the Cleveland Heights Historical Society, the Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission and Heights Libraries.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:21 AM, 04.26.2016

May 21 walking tour explores 'deep history' of Quilliams Creek

William Quilliams house (1867) is a Cleveland Heights landmark. Photo courtesy: Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission.

How does a neighborhood landscape come to be? What does nature provide? Can humans live in ways that honor the gift?

Rocks and Waters walking tours seek to answer such questions by visiting local stream courses. This year, the series explores the people and places of Quilliams Creek, in Cleveland Heights’s Noble Neighborhood. A May 21 Nine Mile Creek tour is part of Cleveland Heights’s Preservation Month activities. [For more information and to register, see article "CH celebrates Preservation Month in May." 

How does the Quilliams Creek walking tour relate to issues of environmental health and preservation?

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 7:05 PM, 04.29.2016

Noble Road Presbyterian welcomes neighbors to its spring and summer activities

Recognizing that summer, now just around the corner, is a great time to get outside and meet one’s neighbors, Noble Road Presbyterian Church will offer several opportunities for its congregation and the church’s neighbors to get to know one another better during the next few months.

The church will participate in the May 13–15 Noble Neighbors community event, hosting urban line dancing on Friday at 7 p.m., and a Saturday program—from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.—that will include a plant sale and bake sale, and a craft activity for the young and young at heart.

On Friday, June 3, 6–8 p.m., Noble Road Presbyterian will host its 25th annual strawberry festival. The free event will feature strawberry shortcake and live music by Squirrel Jam.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 10:06 PM, 04.29.2016

Engaged learning does wonders for students

After 18 years of teaching in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school system, I took a year's leave of absence to rejuvenate my teaching enthusiasm by exploring ways to engage students with meaningful, hands-on learning experiences.

I taught special education at Heights High for most of my career and, regrettably, saw firsthand the problem of student disengagement. I also saw that outdoor, hands-on activities engage and motivate students. When I take a class outdoors for a lesson, learning comes alive and students become more engaged in learning. Outdoors, the learning experience becomes more real and more accessible. I believe the Heights community can be the catalyst to enable our schools to embrace hands-on outdoor learning experiences.    

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 5:30 PM, 04.29.2016

Forest Hill Park

John D. Rockefeller's summer estate stood in present-day Forest Hill Park until it burned in 1917.  [Library of Congress.]

Forest Hill Park is a diamond in the rough. Its National Register of Historic Places designation calls attention to its historic merit, but does not guarantee its preservation. Its upkeep has been a challenge for years, in part because more than half of its acreage is in East Cleveland, a struggling municipality with virtually no budget for maintenance.

Designed by Cleveland Heights native A. D. Taylor, the park reflects the landscape architect’s prior work in the firm of Warren H. Manning, who worked with Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture.

Taylor had a hand in designing several Cincinnati parks and the grounds of several notable estates, including Stan Hywet in Akron. Taylor’s Forest Hill Park plan included a number of Olmstedian nods: inward-looking vistas framed by wooded fringes, curvilinear lanes that lent a pastoral effect, a picturesque lagoon and boathouse, and a stone footbridge spanning a valley traversed by a parkway.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 8:10 PM, 04.29.2016

An argument against standardization in education

When I started teaching math in the CH-UH school district in 1988, the requirements for graduation included one, then two, math classes, neither of which had to be Algebra I. Some kids took the Algebra I (geometry through calculus) courses, but others chose Basic Math, Applied Math, or Business Math. In Ohio today, the lowest level of high school math is Algebra I, and all students must take four years of math, including Algebra II. The assumption from the great state of Ohio is that every child should be ready to attend a four-year college, if they so choose.

I have often wondered why it is that everyone needs so much formal math (strange coming from someone who actually likes math and teaches Algebra II). I wonder how many people actually use Algebra II skills in daily life or in their jobs. My wild guess is that it is probably a small percentage of the population.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 5:45 PM, 04.29.2016

'Number sense' necessary to assess impact of school-funding policies

“Number sense” is an important part of learning math. If you know what a number represents you can use it to make sense of the world. I remember my kids collecting pop-top rings to take to school to help them understand 100 and 1,000. I don’t think they tackled 1 million—too hard to collect that many rings in one year!

The number I am trying to understand now is $5.5 million. This is the money the state of Ohio owes to our school district but withheld this year in order to fund private and religious education through vouchers, Peterson grants and charter schools. This number is too big to represent with pop-tops.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 6:39 PM, 04.29.2016

Parent advocates for school choice

To the Editor:

We're lucky to have people like [Ari] Klein in our city and in our school system. His passion for education is evident. However, as a parent who opted out of the public system, I see a few details differently.

My view is that, in general, parents are the best advocates for their children. Parents that opt out are not draining resources, or "starving children," in Mr. Klein's dramatic words [Heights Observer April 2016 issue]. They're being conscientious parents! Without these [opt-out] programs, when parents aren't satisfied, the only other choice might be to move away.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 5:06 PM, 04.29.2016

When writers have a personal interest in the articles they submit

Anyone in Cleveland Heights and University Heights who is willing to meet some basic standards of civility is invited to write for the Heights Observer.

That means our pages are filled with articles by people who have a personal interest in the events and organizations they’re covering.

That’s supposed to be forbidden at a traditional newspaper. But the Observer has never paid for anything it publishes; it couldn’t exist without volunteer contributions. So at the bottom of each article, we run a biographical statement that aims to disclose any pertinent information about the author’s connection to the subject matter. We believe you're smart enough to take it from there.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 4:34 PM, 04.29.2016

Beth El presents talk on fostering civil discourse

Rachel Eryn Kalish

Rachel Eryn Kalish will speak on the topic of Fostering Dialogue in the Jewish Community at a Lunch and Learn at Beth El – The Heights Synagogue after services (approximately 12:15 p.m.) on Saturday, May 14. A vegetarian-friendly lunch will be served, and the public is invited. The event is free of charge, but attendees should call 216-320-9667 to make a lunch reservation.

In the San Francisco Bay area, when the topic of Israel threatened to rip apart the Jewish community, leadership teamed up with Kalish, a visionary mediator/facilitator to create The Year of Civil Discourse. A little more than a year later, the area became a model of civil discourse. At this time of political polarization, this talk will explain how it was done, and provide some of the basic tools.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 8:55 PM, 04.29.2016

Phairphax Spellerz win Reaching Heights 'Silver' Spelling Bee

Krista Hawthorne (left) presents the Reaching Heights Spelling Bee trophy to the Phairphax Spellerz: Julia Powell, Kirsten Parkinson and Kate Macleod.

The Phairphax Spellerz, representing Fairfax Elementary School, clinched the coveted plastic bee trophy in the ninth round of the 25th annual Reaching Heights Adult Community Spelling Bee on April 20. Winning team members Kate Macleod, Julie Powell and Kirsten Parkinson correctly spelled the word “perovskite”—a mineral comprised of an oxide of calcium, titanium and rare earth elements. Honoring the 25th anniversary of this fundraising event, the “Silver Bee” included a visual history projected onscreen, silver-themed spelling words, and two costumed “silver bees” who shared silver-wrapped candies with contestants and audience members.

The competition started strong with a perfect first round in which every team spelled its first word correctly. All but two of the original 21 teams held on through round three—the Musical Round—in which teams could advance in spite of one incorrect, missing or extra letter, provided they sang the spelling of their word.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:58 AM, 04.26.2016

May is Bike Month in Cleveland Heights

Ride of Silence participants last year.

Cleveland Heights will again celebrate National Bike Month this May, with various events that will take place throughout the month, including a Bike to School Day and a Bike to Work Week. 

Cleveland Heights City Council first declared May as Bike Month in 2011. Two years later, in 2013, Cleveland Heights was declared a Bicycle Friendly Community—one of only 13 in Ohio—by the League of American Bicyclists. The other cities in Northeast Ohio that have been so designated are Cleveland, Lakewood, Oberlin and Akron.

Cleveland Heights Bike Month is organized by the Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC), a nonprofit organization that formed in the spring of 2010 with the goal of making the Heights more bicycle-friendly.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:26 AM, 04.26.2016

Performances and poetry accompany openings at Heights Arts

Cleveland chamber music ensemble Time Canvas.

Heights Arts has lined up a number of free events for arts lovers during the month of May. On Thursday, May 5, at 7 p.m., hear Cleveland-based chamber music ensemble Time Canvas present its third and final program of the 2015–16 concert season.

The program showcases 20th-century chamber music with strings, featuring Leo Brouwer’s Quintet for Guitar and String Quartet (1958). Other works on the program include Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata for Two Violins op. 56 (1932), and Allen Krantz’s Trio Op. 27 for violin, cello, and guitar (2003). The ensemble will be joined by special guests Aniela Eddy on violin and Sarah Poe on viola. 

Time Canvas’s musical curiosity has culminated in performances throughout Northeast Ohio, where its members reside, and in performance spaces across the East Coast of the United States and in Bangkok, Thailand. Music clips can be heard at

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 10:58 AM, 04.26.2016

Equestrian athlete headed to nationals

Madison Rheinheimer clears a fence at a recent competition. [photo: the Rheinheimer family]

Madison Rheinheimer, a Heights High freshman, will compete in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association National Competition April 20–24 in Lexington, Ky. To qualify for the national competition, she placed in the top three at several regional competitions.

Rheinheimer is a member of the Double Deuce Farm Equestrian Team in Painesville. At nationals, she will compete in an individual event and two team events. Her individual event is the flatting competition, in which she will be judged on her performance riding the horse at a walk, trot and canter, and on her body position in the saddle. As a team member, she will compete in both the flatting and jumping competitions. The jumping event requires the rider and horse to clear eight two-foot-high fences.

Horse riding has been part of Rheinheimer's life for as long as she can remember. “I have been riding since I was eight years old,” she said. Both of her parents work in the equestrian field, and her father is one of her trainers.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 10:59 AM, 04.19.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights [online 3-21-2016]

MARCH 21, 2016

  • City [of Cleveland Heights] recognizes library’s 100th anniversary
  • Library board and school board share strategic plans
  • Family Connections update
  • Lynda Library subscription extension
  • Public Library Association Award for Colin Tomele
  • Lee Road Library circulation desk improvements
  • ALA opposes unlocking smart phones
  • February public service report highlights

All board members were present.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:11 AM, 04.22.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / University Heights City Council meeting highlights [online 3-21-2016]

MARCH 21, 2016

  • March 7 minutes
  • Master planning survey
  • Free tax preparation
  • Water main break
  • Tree trimming
  • Payroll service
  • Mayor’s spending limit
  • Disposition of city property
  • Purvis Park
  • Library expansion
  • Purchase of Ford Escapes
  • Pavement marking
  • Utility refuse vehicle
  • Coyote sightings
  • Senior recreation program
  • Cedarbrook Road
  • Summer camps

Councilman Steven Sims was absent.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:05 AM, 04.22.2016

Montford Community Garden seeks new members

Raised beds in Montford Community Garden.

Now in its fourth year of operation, the Montford Community Garden (MCG) is seeking gardeners for the 2016 growing season.

Located in the heart of the Noble neighborhood, at the intersecion of Montford and Windsor roads, MCG serves residents of the area—which comprises Montford, Windsor, Englewood, Cambridge, Roanoke, Lowell and Northampton roads—as well as residents of other parts of Cleveland Heights, as space permits. Unlike other area community gardens, MCG does not currently have a waiting list.

MCG's mission is to create an organically sustainable sanctuary that provides opportunities for community growth, encourages healthy lifestyles, and supports diversity thru social interaction, education, exercise and neighborhood beautification.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:45 AM, 04.19.2016

Ten Thousand Villages launches campaign to plant 10,000 trees

Ten Thousand Villages in Cleveland Heights, a fair trade retailer at 12425 Cedar Road, will participate in a nationwide campaign to plant 10,000 trees in national forests. The program, which starts April 21 and runs through May 1, invites customers to donate $1 to plant a tree through the Arbor Day Foundation.

Ten Thousand Villages in Cleveland Heights, one of more than 390 Ten Thousand Villages shops throughout the U.S., hopes its customers will contribute, to help plant 150 trees on behalf of the Heights community. Ten Thousand Villages corporate offices based in Akron, Pa., will donate 1,000 trees.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 11:40 AM, 04.17.2016

Cleveland Heights City Council appoints Michael Ungar to vacant seat

Michael Ungar. [photo courtesy  Ulmer & Berne LLP]

On April 8, Cleveland Heights City Council announced the appointment of Cleveland Heights resident Michael Ungar to fill the unexpired term of former Council Member Jeff Coryell, whose resignation was effective Dec. 31, 2015. Ungar will officially be sworn in as a council member at the next CH City Council meeting, on Monday, April 18, at 7:30 p.m.

According to an April 8 news release from the City of Cleveland Heights, Ungar is a longtime resident of the city who has served on its planning commission since 1993, and has chaired the commission for 16 years. Prior to that, Ungar was a member of the Citizen Advisory Committee.

Ungar is a partner in the law firm of Ulmer & Berne LLP, where he is chair of the firm’s litigation department and a member of the management committee.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 11:42 AM, 04.12.2016

PetPeople opens UH store with Cleveland Kennel benefit

PetPeople will open a new University Heights location on April 15.

PetPeople, a Columbus-based pet supply retailer, will open a new University Heights location on Friday, April 15, at 13932 Cedar Road in the Cedar Center South Shopping Center.

The store, PetPeople’s eighth in Northeast Ohio, carries natural pet foods, treats and supplies, and features two self-service dog wash/bathing areas.

As part of its grand-opening celebration, from Friday, April 15 through Sunday, April 17, the University Heights store will donate 10 percent of its sales to Friends of the Cleveland Kennel, supporting the City Dogs Cleveland program.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 11:02 AM, 04.12.2016

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS / Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights [online 3-21-2016]

MARCH 21, 2016

  • Liquor license transfers
  • 2015 CH Police Department report
  • Zoning variances
  • HOME funds
  • Women Out Walking (WOW)
  • Special assessments
  • Bond sales
  • Purchases
  • Pedestrian and bicycle transportation for schoolchildren
  • RNC cooperative public safety services
  • Heights Libraries 100th anniversary

All council members were present.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 11:48 AM, 04.15.2016

CH hosts second annual Happy 5K and Fun Run on Oct. 2

Participants race in the 2015 Happy 5K.

This October, for the second consecutive year, Cleveland Heights will host the Happy 5K and one-mile Fun Run, as well as a one-mile family walk—new this year. The races will take place on Sunday, Oct. 2.

Last year, the event attracted 514 people, with about two-thirds of the participants coming from outside of the Heights. This year, the organizers—the City of Cleveland Heights, the Cedar Lee Special Improvement District and Western Reserve Racing—hope to draw 1,000 participants.

This year’s route will be the same as last year’s, passing through Cedar Lee, Coventry Village and several other Cleveland Heights districts.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 11:37 AM, 04.12.2016

Retired teacher seeks answers from BOE

To the Editor:

I felt the need to write after attending the CH-UH school board meeting of April 5. The board was voting on proposed cuts for the next school year. 

I listened to all of the people who spoke before the board and thought each and every one of them spoke thoughtfully and with passion. The commitment of this community to its schools was on full display that evening.

That is why I was astonished that Superintendent Dixon did not take a minute to thank those who spoke [of] their concerns. This district has students who speak eloquently of their teachers and classes, teachers who live and work dedicatedly here for many years, and parents who value and want to safeguard their children's fine education.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 12:09 PM, 04.12.2016

CHHS alumni host April 17 pancake fundraiser

Attendees at the 2013 CHHS Alumni Pancake Breakfast.

The Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation will host its 20th annual Scholarship Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, April 17, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

With Heights High under construction, the breakfast will take place at the temporary Heights High on the Wiley campus, at 2181 Miramar Blvd. in University Heights. This event is open to the public, and will feature tours of the building, to show how it is serving as Heights High’s temporary home.

Proceeds from the all-you-can-eat breakfast will benefit scholarship programs for Heights High seniors. Last year, more than 500 alumni, students, families and friends enjoyed all-you-can-eat pancakes.

Admission is $7 for adults, and $5 for kids and seniors.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 10:25 AM, 04.11.2016

CH residents open fitness club on South Taylor

Michael and Jodi Meilstrup in front of CrossFit I/O. 

A new fitness club opened on Jan. 15 at 2086 South Taylor Road, next to Cafe Tandoor, near Cedar Road. Called CrossFit I/O, it’s owned by two Cleveland Heights residents, Michael and Jodi Meilstrup.

At CrossFit, members work out with other members. “You work out as a team,” Jodi said. “We work out in a way that our bodies naturally move, to become stronger and more fit. You use your entire body for almost every exercise. For example, if you are rowing, you use your legs, your back, your stomach and your arms.”

The CrossFit chain was started in 2000, and there are now more than 13,000 affiliates around the world. “I believe that a new affiliate opens every nine days,” Michael said.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:52 AM, 04.05.2016

Communion of Saints School hosts April 6 Kindergarten Information Night

Communion of Saints School will host a Kindergarten Information Night on Wednesday, April 6, 6–7 p.m., for parents of children who will be starting kindergarten in fall 2016. Child care will be provided.

Parents will have an opportunity to learn about the school’s kindergarten program, daily curriculum, outstanding student achievements and enrichment programs, and to find out if students are eligible for an EdChoice scholarship. 

Communion of Saints School is a welcoming, inclusive community, rooted in Gospel values, nurturing spirituality, academic success and social responsibility. The school has served thousands of families, providing a faith-based education, combined with tradition and service. Its goal is to enrich students’ lives by challenging them to excel in school and to value and respect their community and family.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 11:38 AM, 04.04.2016

Teachers and supporters protest school district plan to cut staff

School district teachers, students and community members picket outside of the Board of Education building. Photo courtesy of Andrea C. Turner.

Cleveland Heights–University Heights City School District teachers, students and community members began "informational picketing" outside of the CH–UH Board of Education building on March 21, to draw attention to the administration's proposed school staffing cuts, to take effect before the beginning of the 2016–17 academic year. The cuts would eliminate 52 staff positions: 17.5 teacher positions at Heights High; 12.5 teacher positions between Roxboro and Monticello middle schools; 15 teachers within the seven elementary schools; plus a total of seven administration and classified (non-teaching) positions.

In a March 18 news release announcing the cuts, the district stated that the reduction in force (RIF) is due to declining student enrollment, and is necessary to bring staffing numbers in line with actual and projected enrollment, saving the district $3.5 million annually in its operating budget.

According to the district, over the last nine years 900 fewer students have enrolled in district schools, with enrollment dropping from 6,300 in 2007 to 5,400 in 2016. Independent enrollment projections cited by the district suggest that district enrollment will decline by an additional 800 students over the next 10 years.

The picketers showed up each morning, Monday, March 21, though Thursday, March 24—the last day school was in session before spring break.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 11:47 AM, 03.29.2016

CH crime tallies for 2015 show continued improvement

The number of serious crimes committed in Cleveland Heights last year declined by double-digit percentages. It was the third straight year crime was down in the city.

According to data compiled by the Cleveland Heights Police Department (CHPD) to standards established by the FBI, the number of violent crimes in the city was down 17 percent in 2015, compared to a 28 percent drop the year before. The number of property crimes dropped 16 percent last year, compared to a 22 percent drop in 2014.

The number of crimes committed in almost every category declined last year, except for homicide, which remained the same; there were two murders in the city in each of the last two years.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:43 AM, 03.28.2016

CH couple opens Amish furniture store on Fairmount

Angie and Ron Nandor, the owners of Eastwood Amish Craft Furniture, inside their new store.

A new furniture store has opened in Cleveland Heights. Called Eastwood Amish Craft Furniture, the store is located at 3451 Fairmount Blvd., at the corner of Fairmount and Taylor Road.

The space was previously home to Paysage, which also sold furniture and home-décor items.

The Eastwood store is different from other furniture stores in the area. Amish craftsmen from Ohio make all of the furniture the store sells. In addition, customers can request that the craftsmen create specific, customized furniture items, made to their specifications.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 2:05 PM, 03.28.2016

Cleveland Candle Company opening on Coventry

David Gin in his store in Mentor.

The Cleveland Candle Company, a business that is currently located in Mentor, plans to open a second store at the end of April on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights. In addition to selling a large variety of candles, the store also invites customers to create their own candles, choosing the scents, size and shape.

David Gin, co-founder and president of the company, owns the store along with Linda Turner and Tanya Bratten. Gin, who is 30 years old, was born in Chicago and spent many of his younger years in Indiana. He attended Indiana Wesleyan University, where he majored in finance and marketing. In 2011, he created a company called Real Frût to produce gourmet fruit juices. The company won the Best Juice in Cleveland award from Cleveland Magazine in 2013.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 2:01 PM, 03.28.2016

CTDA seeks proposals for public art installation

The Cedar Taylor Development Association (CTDA), with the support of FutureHeights, is holding a contest to commission an art installation for the Cedar Taylor Business District. The contest is open to any and all artists.

CTDA has a total of $3,000 to spend, and wants artists to propose what they want to do. Proposals could include, among other ideas, painting a mural on the side of a building, painting an abstract piece somewhere in the business district, or installing a sculpture. CTDA has no preferred medium, so creative proposals are encouraged, but it must be a permanent installation. It is up to entrants to determine what they can create for $3,000.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 2:03 PM, 03.28.2016

CH artists mount 'April Fools' exhibition

“Attempting Escape”, Catherine Butler, collage/monoprint (10 1/2" x 10 1/2")

Two Cleveland Heights artists, Catherine Butler and Julie Edberg, are part of a three-artist April Fools-themed exhibition on view at the Beachwood Library, 25501 Shaker Blvd., April 3–28. The opening reception is April 3, 2–4 p.m.

Edberg was looking for an exhibit venue and, thinking her text-covered sculptures would be perfect for a library, she asked Bill Rubin, who manages a county library. He forwarded her query on, and Margaret Reardon from the Beachwood Library replied. Edberg went to see the space and realized it could hold several peoples’ work. So she asked her friends Catherine Butler and Nancy Currier to join her.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:57 PM, 03.28.2016

An April shower of events at Heights Arts

The March opening for At Table: Cleveland Culinaria attracted hundreds of visitors over the course of the night.

Heights Arts exemplifies its “plural” aspect (not just art, but arts) in April with an especially wide range of offerings representing many flavors of creative expression.
The exhibition At Table: Cleveland Culinaria presents a tasty array of art objects created by teams convened to explore themes based on the art of cooking. Everything—from one-of-a kind ceramics, textiles and place settings, to food-themed sculpture, wall art, and even the tables to dine upon—was created by 27 local artists especially for this exhibition. Check out as well the poems written by local literary artists inspired by the exhibition.

Five special informal dining events were devised by these teams to showcase their themes. Visit for ticket availablity for the April dates in the series: Monday, April 4, 7–9 p.m., and Sunday, April 10, 4–6 p.m.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:54 PM, 03.28.2016

Heights Arts hosts music honor society

Concertmaster and Tri-M president Emma Zordan (center right) will perform. 

Heights Arts will host the Second Annual Tri-M Benefit Recital on April 13, starting at 7 p.m., in its gallery at 2175 Lee Road. The event will feature the talents of Cleveland Heights High School’s Tri-M Music Honor Society Chapter. The 16 members will perform a varied program of light classical and popular music selections, and guests can also enjoy bake sale items throughout the program. The event is free, but goodwill donations will be appreciated.

Tri-M is a national musical honor society under the auspices of the National Association for Music Education and Heights High’s chapter is open to eligible high school juniors and seniors. All inductees must be exemplary and dedicated performers of instrumental or vocal music, and must also demonstrate leadership, scholarship and willingness to serve their community.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:46 PM, 03.28.2016

Dobama premieres 'Marie Antoinette' in April

David Adjmi’s “Marie Antoinette” will have its regional premiere at Dobama Theatre in April. The play focuses on the extravagant, doomed queen of France, as she tries to keep her head in the middle of a revolution.

A humorous and haunting retelling of her story for the 21st century, “Marie Antoinette” first premiered at Yale Repertory Theatre and won three Connecticut Critics Circle Awards, including Best Play. The play was also produced at Soho Rep in New York City and at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:48 PM, 03.28.2016

RoxArts hosts Kentucky-Derby themed benefit on May 7

The arts have been a top priority at Roxboro Elementary and Middle schools since 1981, thanks to the parent fundraising group RoxArts, formerly known as REAP (Roxboro Enrichment Arts Program). RoxArts, a nonprofit organization, will hold its annual adult benefit on Saturday, May 7, at the B-Side Barcade & Lounge in Coventry Village. All proceeds from the benefit fund artists-in-residence, field trips, assemblies and capital projects that enhance the arts education for all children in kindergarten through eighth grade in both schools, impacting more than 1,000 students.

Funded projects at Roxboro Elementary School include, but are not limited to, the Science of Sound, Shen Yun Chinese dancers, professional reenactments of black history and women’s history during all-school assemblies, and printing of the new Rox Reader, the school newspaper. At Roxboro Middle School, RoxArts has helped fund an all-school annual Jazz Week, new equipment for the music and drama programs, and an eighth grade field trip to the Violins of Hope exhibit and concert.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:02 PM, 03.28.2016

Library Web developer wins national award for innovation

Julia Murphy, marketing and volunteer coordinator, and Colin Tomele, Web developer, test Book-a-Room software.

Colin Tomele, Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System's Web developer, has received the Public Library Association’s 2015 John Iliff Award.

The award honors the life and accomplishments of John Iliff, an early adopter and champion of technology in public libraries, and recognizes the contributions of a library worker, librarian or library that has used technology and innovative thinking as a tool to improve services to public library users.

Tomele received the award for creating a custom online calendar and room reservation system, called Book-a-Room, using WordPress, a free, open-source software. He created the system to replace an expensive, third-party reservation system that both staff and library customers found difficult to use.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:27 PM, 03.28.2016

New librarian preserves and shares historic materials

Local history librarian Amia Wheatley.

In December, Amia Wheatley was promoted from adult services associate to full-time local history librarian for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System. Since then, she has hit the ground running, digitizing historic library documents.

“We have a local history task force and, in the short term, we’re focusing on managing the library’s history materials to celebrate the library’s centennial,” said Wheatley. “Once this is taken care of, we hope to expand to include all local history materials.”

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:31 PM, 03.28.2016

What’s going on at your library?

Explore your creative side this month at Heights Libraries. For a complete list of library programs, and to register, visit

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

Wednesday, April 6, 7 p.m.

Cedar-Coventry Author Series: Art of the Book. Award-winning illustrators Tiffany Laufer (The Porch Dream) and Jamey Christoph (Gordon Parks) share their vision and methods in the art of illustration. A book signing will follow the talk.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:29 PM, 03.28.2016

First Baptist Church presents 'Evita' beginning April 8

The Happy Ending Lyric Players (HELP) will perform the musical “Evita” in the Gothic sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland, 3630 Fairmount Blvd., April 8–17.

With this production, HELP is celebrating 40 years of producing exceptional theater, including Broadway musicals, opera, drama and comedy.  The group was founded on the assumption that within the church congregation, and the surrounding communities, there was talent just waiting for an opportunity to shine on stage. All HELP activities are based at First Baptist Church.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:43 PM, 03.28.2016

CHHS empowers students to succeed in AP courses

An AP teacher and MSAN members talk with prospective students about the advantages of taking advanced placement courses.

Heights High offers 19 advanced placement (AP) courses, which provide college-level curriculum and credit. Minority students, however, have been underrepresented in AP courses both nationally and at Heights High.

“We know that so many of our students have the potential, but need encouragement and additional support,” said Alisa Lawson-McKinnie, assistant principal at the high school.

To capitalize on a wealth of student potential, and to increase minority student enrollment in AP courses, the district recently formed a partnership with Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS). The organization provides data analysis and suggests best practices that provide equitable academic opportunities to all students.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:20 PM, 03.28.2016

Rockin’ the tie at Heights High

Early College students, freshman Nicholas Munford (left) and senior Eric Adeyemon, in the school library.

Heights High hosted a Tie Day on March 3, encouraging students and staff to wear a tie in school. Some students came to school wearing a tie and some stopped by the Tie Station before school to pick out a tie or learn how to tie the classic fashion accessory.

The Tie Station featured nearly 100 donated ties. Several staff members were on hand to help students with the Windsor knot.

The idea for Tie Day was suggested by senior Darwin Scott. “I love to wear a suit and tie,” he said. “It makes me feel confident and proud.” Several weeks ago, he suggested to Principal Zoraba Ross that everyone should wear a tie for a day.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:23 PM, 03.28.2016

Make more mistakes

I attended Heights High in the late 1960s, and I know that at least some of this is my fault, but I didn’t take very many classes there that proved useful to me. Other than Choir, which was a class period and counted as a class, and which, as I often say, saved my life, I did take a business law course that helped me soon after I left school and started signing contracts in the music business; and a music theory class.

The music class was taught by the school’s band and orchestra director, Mr. Mackey, a man who had been born around the turn of the 20th century. He was a large, strict, mostly humorless, no-nonsense guy with a slight accent of some kind. I had taken music theory courses when I was younger and I knew the basics. This class covered the basics and then went beyond, at which point it became pretty interesting.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:51 PM, 03.28.2016

Living with computers

Jackie Mayse, CH-UH librarian, teaching a computer class at the CH Senior Activity Center. [Photo: Heights Libraries.]

Computers are an integral part of daily life. They are useful and efficient tools for finding information, accomplishing tasks and connecting with family and friends. It can be confusing and frustrating, though, to learn how to use and maintain a computer, and to repair one when it breaks.

The computer lab at the Lee Road Library (216-932-3600) offers ongoing free classes that provide instruction on how to use a computer.

The classes range from basic lessons on using a keyboard and a mouse, to more advanced instruction on Word and Excel programs, and Facebook. The library also offers individual tutorial sessions for those with specific questions or issues.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:33 PM, 03.28.2016

Senior Citizen Happenings

Senior Citizen Happenings, sponsored by the City of University Heights, are open to all senior citizens. Events take place on Thursdays at 2 p.m. at the University Heights Library. To receive the monthly schedule by e-mail, call 216-932-7800, ext. 205, or send an e-mail to

April 7: Krista Hawthorne, executive director of Reaching Heights, will describe the work of this nonprofit organization that sees the Cleveland Heights-University Heights public school system as one of the community's greatest assets. Reaching Heights mobilizes community members and financial resources to support its public schools, creating innovative extracurricular programs, and fostering excellence and pride in Heights schools.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:40 PM, 03.28.2016

CH Senior Center News

The Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center (SAC), located in the CH Community Center at 1 Monticello Blvd., offers a wide variety of programming for Cleveland Heights residents 60 and older.

The following programs are among the new and notable activities offered in April:

Tuesday, April 5, 11 a.m.: Adaire Petry will present Courageous Conversations—a program and talk exploring what she calls the “heart of dying.”

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:35 PM, 03.28.2016

All-district student art show on view at Lee Road Library

A pastel and watercolor painting by Canterbury fourth-grader Helena Duffy. [Photo credit: Ida Bergson.]

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District art show will feature more than 300 works of art created by CH-UH students in grades K–12. The Lee Road Library will host Creative Heights, April 8–29. The opening reception will take place on Tuesday, April 12, 6–8 p.m., with an award ceremony at 7 p.m. that evening.

Art, grouped by school, will be displayed throughout the library complex on both the east and west sides of Lee Road. Each school is represented by 20 pieces, selected by the certified art teacher from work created in art class.

A jury of community artists will serve as judges for the show. Three student artists from each school will receive first- and second-place, and honorable mention, awards. There will be three Best of Show awards—one each for an elementary, middle and high school student.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:00 PM, 03.28.2016

Students excited to raise trout in the classroom

Two fourth-graders at Communion of Saints School checking on the fish. 

Fourth- and fifth-graders at Communion of Saints Catholic school are experiencing an impressive environmental education program, Trout in the Classroom (TIC).

TIC gets students involved in raising trout from eggs while also monitoring tank water quality and studying stream habitat. Through this program, the students learn to appreciate water resources, foster a conservation ethic, and understand and respect ecosystems.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 1:18 PM, 03.28.2016

Spring concert features bassoonist Aviva Klein

Aviva Klein

Heights High’s principal bassoonist Aviva Klein will be the featured senior soloist during the Spring Finale Concert on April 29, performing Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto for Bassoon in e minor. The concert will include performances by both the Heights High Symphony and Symphonic Winds.  Earlier in the week, on April 27, the Heights High Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Concert Orchestra will present their final concert of the year.

In its concert, the Symphony will also perform The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives, Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber, and "Throne Room/End Credits" from Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope by John Williams. The Heights High School Symphonic Winds will present Sang by Dana Wilson, Sea Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Sevens by Samuel Hazo.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:36 AM, 03.28.2016

Actor, critic, playwright is new CH poet laureate

Incoming Cleveland Heights poet laureate Christine Howey in performance.

“No matter where you go in Cleveland Heights you see people you know or want to know.” So says Christine Howey, the incoming (2016–17) poet laureate of Cleveland Heights. Extolling the virtues of the Heights, including its diversity, Howey noted that very few cities have their own poet laureate: “How cool is that!”

Howey grew up, and has lived most of her life, in Cleveland Heights. She was a director and stage actor at Dobama Theatre for many years, and is the theater critic for Scene magazine. She was named Best Critic in Ohio by the Cleveland Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Howey is also a playwright, and her one-woman play, "Exact Change," is a poetry-rich narrative which received its world premiere at Cleveland Public Theatre in 2014, and which she performed last year at Playhouse Square, at the New York Fringe Festival, in Provincetown, Mass., and other venues in Northeast Ohio.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:07 AM, 03.28.2016

25th Reaching Heights Spelling Bee planned for April 20

Sally Wile, of the Presbee Spellers from Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, competes in the 2015 Bee.

Where would one find an attorney, a professor and a violinist, in costume, on stage?  At the 25th annual Reaching Heights Adult Community Spelling Bee. This serious yet fun spelling competition celebrates public education and raises funds for Reaching Heights. Bring your friends and family to the Bee on Wednesday, April 20 at 7 p.m., at Heights High (Wiley campus). Admission is free.

The Bee brings together business owners, community groups, school administrators and staff, parents, students and neighbors. Bigger and better than ever, the 25th Bee will have audience participation like never before.

This spelling bee is a team event. Three spellers work together to write down the letters in the word given to them and then send a teammate to the microphone to read out the team’s best guess.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 8:56 AM, 03.28.2016

Public money for schools is lining private pockets

Who pays for our roads? We do, from a combination of different taxes. Roads are part of the infrastructure we require as a society. I know that I will not get a chance to drive on all of the roads that my taxes support, but I assume that other people do and that they are there for the common good. What if these taxes were used to pave golf lanes on a private country club, or a church or synagogue parking lot? Is that the same? Is that what public money is meant to be used for?

Somehow, in the twisted thinking of our state legislature, tax money collected for our school district is diverted to several private enterprises over which our district has no control, and financially supports students the district does not serve.

Read Full Story
Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 9:19 AM, 03.28.2016