Latest News

St. Paul's former rector ordained as Massachusetts bishop

Alan M. Gates, his wife Tricia J. Harvey and two adult sons Philip and Ethan wave to supporters after Gates' ordination and consecration as the 16th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

Boston University’s Agganis Arena was transformed from sporting arena to sacred space on Saturday, Sept. 13, as the Episcopal Church ordained and consecrated the Rev. Alan M. Gates as the 16th bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. Gates, 56, served as rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights from 2004–14.

More than 3,000 participants and guests from around the country and across the globe—including 28 bishops—attended the event. Among them were 115 supporters from St. Paul's Church.

The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth Jr., Bishop of the Diocese of Ohio, and formerly a priest of the Diocese of Massachusetts, served as the event’s preacher. Hollingsworth and his family reside in Shaker Heights.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 9:31 AM, 09.23.2014

Latest News Releases

County Councilman Anthony Hairston sponsors Community Connections Fair Sept. 27 at CH Community Center
- Cuyahoga County, September 22, 2014 Read More
Howson Gallery presents 'Recording the Essence of Light' Sept. 19 through Nov. 2
- Judson, September 17, 2014 Read More
Cleveland Heights receives 2014 resident survey results
- City of Cleveland Heights, September 12, 2014 Read More
Major $150,000 grant from the Jean, Harry, and Brenda Fuchs Foundation supports Heights Arts
- Heights Arts, September 9, 2014 Read More
Nature Center at Shaker Lakes announces 2014 fall programs and events
- Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, September 9, 2014 Read More

View more news releases

CH-UH district steps up recycling efforts

Sam Bell and Harvetta Jordan directing traffic at the new bins. Photo by Glenn Oldenbrett.

At the Heights High football season home opener on Sept. 13, volunteers were stationed near new recycling and trash bins, encouraging attendees to recycle and reduce the amount of litter around the field.

The initiative is one of two ideas promoted by the Sustainability Working Group (SWG), a group of sustainability-focused residents that was formed during the district’s school facilities planning process, which the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is now implementing. In addition to a more comprehensive recycling program, the group also recommended that the district engage in a solid waste audit, a free service provided by the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District.

According to Kristin Hughes, athletic director, the athletic department is partnering with SWG and the Heights High Environmental Club to educate fans and encourage recycling efforts at all games and contests. Dubbed the Tiger Nation Game Day Recycling Challenge, the initiative includes placing recycling bins throughout the new stadium and inside the lobby of the South Gym, stationing volunteers near the bins to help fans dispose of waste and recyclables appropriately, and public address announcements at all sporting events.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 11:52 AM, 09.23.2014

CH law director will revert to part-time position

At the Sept. 2 Cleveland Heights City Council meeting, City Manager Tanisha Briley announced that Anthony Farris had “resigned his position as law director last Tuesday [Aug. 26],” and that Jim Juliano, who had served as acting law director for the first four months of 2014, “has agreed and we welcome him back to the executive team as acting law director.” Briley also stated that she planned, “at a future date to ask council to confirm him as the permanent law director for the City of Cleveland Heights.”

The city released no official statement regarding the circumstances of Farris’ resignation. Asked to comment, Briley said, “Mr. Farris resigned his position and we supported his decision to do so.” She confirmed that Farris’ last day in the office was Aug. 26, and that he would continue to receive his regular salary ($100,000 annually) through Oct. 1.

Briley appointed Anthony Farris as the city’s first full-time law director on April 23, and the appointment was confirmed by a unanimous vote of council members.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:08 AM, 09.23.2014

Sept. 30 presentation explores special problems of older roofs

Owners of older homes may be unfamiliar with some of the problems they may face in trying to maintain their roofs. Potential problems include ice dams; roof staining, moss, and mold; and finding companies that can repair historic materials such as slate, tile and shakes.

On Tuesday, Sept. 30, Jack DuShaw of Titan Roofing and Siding will discuss "Special Problems with Older Roofs.” The program will take place at 7 p.m. at the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Center, 3450 Lee Road, Shaker Heights.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:13 AM, 09.23.2014

Quire Cleveland makes its Cleveland Heights debut Sept. 26

Ross Duffin will conduct Quire Cleveland in Cleveland Heights on Sept. 26. Photo by Beth Segal.

Quire Cleveland presents its first Cleveland Heights concert at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., on Friday, Sept. 26, at 7:30 p.m. The program, “The Flower of Flanders: Masterpieces of Renaissance Polyphony,” features the greatest composers of the 15th and 16th centuries. Like the art of Michelangelo and Leonardo, this music has a timeless appeal, with its glorious melodies and the way the different voices weave around each other, like a fascinating conversation. 

Composers such as Josquin (“The Prince of Music”) Desprez, Guillaume DuFay, Giaches de Wert and Roland de Lassus may not be household names today, but they were revered in their time by kings and popes alike.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:02 AM, 09.22.2014

A collaborative approach gives community building the best chance for success

Since its inception, FutureHeights has provided tools for citizens to become more engaged in their community, bring innovative ideas forward to confront our challenges and have a greater voice in civic life. Cleveland Heights is a city of neighborhoods, and it is only with strong, vibrant neighborhoods that our city will be able to sustain itself and remain a desirable place to live and work.

This year, FutureHeights has applied for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding through the City of Cleveland Heights to help support the addition of a staff member who can oversee a community-building program. Through this program, FutureHeights would support existing neighborhood groups and assist new ones in forming. We would train neighborhood residents in neighborhood asset mapping, data analysis and resident engagement, to enable them to create priorities for their own neighborhoods. 

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:57 AM, 09.16.2014

Heights High dedicates new stadium

With the Heights Tiger at the opening ceremony are (from left) student athletes Leland Eddie, Emily Vinson, Amelia Ramos, Director of Business Services Steve Shergalis, Heights High principals James Reed, Alisa Lawson-McKinnie, Zoraba Ross and Jane Simeri, and student athletes Wyatt Sudduth, Daesia Avery and Kelly Howard.

A sellout crowd filled the new and expanded stands for Heights High’s first home football game of the season, on Sept. 13. The game, against Glenville, marked the official opening of the new Heights High athletic stadium, featuring all-weather turf.

The enthusiastic crowd saw the Tigers fall to Glenville, 12-19. Standouts among the Heights team members were offensive running back Jevon Avery, with 85 yards and a touchdown, James Crowder, who had 50 receiving yards, and running back Marquise Watkins, who added 59 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Before the game, students, families, alumni, residents and youth athletes attended the district’s tailgate celebration, opening ceremony and ribbon cutting.

Kristin Hughes, athletic director, began the ceremony with a big thank-you to Cleveland Heights and University Heights citizens, for making the new facility a reality.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:46 AM, 09.16.2014

Beaumont coach starts new tennis tradition

The Heights High tennis team, this year's Golden Racquet winners.

In the world of high school girl’s tennis, the teams representing Beaumont School and Cleveland Heights High School have always had a bit of a rivalry. In the spirit of competition, Mike Pellechia, Beaumont tennis head coach, started a yearly tradition to make the rivalry a little more interesting.

The “Golden Racquet” now serves as a trophy for the winner of the yearly match between Beaumont and Heights High. The winner—and racquet recipient—keeps it for an entire year, and is required to bring it to the rivalry match the following year.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:50 AM, 09.16.2014

School district receives three national communications awards

Talisa L. Dixon, superintendent, with communications team members Joy Henderson, Angee Shaker, Camilla Ziss and Cynthia Barnes Booker, and Ron Register, BOE president.

In June, the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) recognized the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District for excellence in communications. The district received the highest Award of Excellence for its website, an Award of Merit for its Update print newsletter, and an Honorable Mention for its weekly electronic newsletter. At its Sept. 2 meeting, the CH-UH Board of Education (BOE) recognized the communications team for its achievement.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my communications team. We are extremely grateful for this recognition,” stated Angee Shaker, director of communications. “The tools we use to communicate are evolving and the amount of information we need to communicate continues to increase while our budget continues to tighten. The demand on the department is high but we do our best to not only keep up, but lead with the latest communication tools, populate them and train and empower our school teams to do the same.”

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 11:41 AM, 09.10.2014

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 9-2-2014


  • Public comments
  • Law director resignation
  • Award for financial reporting
  • Public works purchases
  • Liquor license transfer
  • Payday loan businesses
  • Dobama loan amended
  • Outstanding Citizen of the Month
  • Appointments
  • Tax resolutions
  • Cedar Road paving
  • City water infrastructure
  • Larry Shaw

All council members were present.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 12:13 PM, 09.14.2014

Marotta's expands offerings and space with new patio

Brian Linihan and Alicia Marotta Linihan on their new patio.

Marotta’s, the slender Italian restaurant located on Lee Road between Silsby Road and Meadowbrook Boulevard, opened a new patio in late August. Located behind the restaurant, the patio seats about 30 people. It has a beige roof and zip-out windows, and also features a natural brick retaining wall, LED lighting and Brazilian hardwood fences. The covering makes the patio usable most of the year, with the exception of the snow-filled winter months.

In addition to increasing the restaurant’s seating capacity, the patio is also enabling Marotta’s to expand its offerings. The restaurant is now presenting live music and hosting wine tastings on the patio. Singer-songwriter and pianist Harry Bacharach will perform there on Friday, Sept. 12, 7–10 p.m., and violinist Ariel Clayton will perform later in September. Owners Alicia Marotta Linihan and Brian Linihan are also making the patio available for private events and parties.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:31 AM, 09.09.2014

St. Paul's youth choristers perform in England

St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Cleveland Heights) choristers Anna Turner, Erin Ptacek, Cecilia Payne, Sam Mitchell, Faith Shook and Maddie Gillooly sang Choral Evensong at Ely Cathedral in England.

This summer, six young choristers from the children’s and youth choirs of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights traveled to England to sing in a medieval cathedral.

Maddie Gillooly, Sam Mitchell, Cecilia Payne, Erin Ptacek, Faith Shook and Anna Turner joined choir members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, in Akron, to sing at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire from July 28 to Aug. 3. Four of the choristers—Gillooly, Mitchell, Payne and Turner—are Cleveland Heights residents. Ptacek lives in Lakewood, and Shook resides in South Euclid. 

Daniel Fortune, organist and choirmaster at St. Paul’s, Akron, extended an invitation to Richard Nelson, organist and children’s and youth choir director at St. Paul’s, Cleveland Heights, asking Nelson to identify young singers to help fill in treble voices for Akron’s men’s and youth choir trip.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:30 AM, 09.09.2014

Car accident results in destruction of church's stone sign

An Aug. 26 car accident destroyed the Communion of Saints Church's stone sign.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 26, the Rev. John McNulty, Communion of Saints Church pastor, was working in his office when he heard a loud "bang." The source of the noise was a two-car accident at the corner of Cedar and Coventry roads, which resulted in the destruction of the church's stone sign at that intersection. 

According to the police report, a female driver was driving west on Cedar Road, in the direction of downtown Cleveland, at approximately 1 p.m. She initiated a left turn onto Coventry Road, and simultaneously struck a pickup truck. That truck was driven by a man who was heading south on Coventry Road and making a left turn onto Cedar Road. The pickup truck driver, who had a green turn signal at the time of the incident, proceeded to turn left through the green light. The woman, reportedly, neglected to stop, causing the male driver to swerve his car in an attempt to avoid hitting her. His truck, however, did strike her car, then traveled approximately 25 yards and plowed into the church’s concrete sign. The female driver has been charged with "disobeying traffic."

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 11:52 AM, 09.02.2014

Ben Faller is new HRRC director

Ben Faller is the new executive director of Home Repair Resource Center.

After an extensive search, the Board of Directors of the Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) has selected Benjamin D. “Ben” Faller as the new executive director of the Cleveland Heights-based nonprofit organization.

A resident of Cleveland and a native of Northeast Ohio, Faller has served as staff attorney and chief housing specialist for the Cleveland Housing Court since 2009, working to expand the court’s problem-solving programs and engaging in outreach and policy work on housing and property issues.

"Home Repair Resource Center is an organization that I have admired for some time, and I am very excited to be to be coming on board," Faller said. "I look forward to the opportunity to work with the staff, board, and supporters of HRRC to serve and empower the community and to grow the organization."

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 11:14 AM, 09.02.2014

Grant Deming Artists exhibition opens Sept. 3

Grant Deming Artists will exhibit work in a range of styles at Loganberry Books thoughout the month of September.

The Grant Deming Artists, a collective of artists who reside in the Grant Deming’s Forest Hill Historic District of Cleveland Heights, will exhibit their work this September at Loganberry Books: Annex Gallery in Larchmere. The exhibition opens on Wednesday, Sept. 3, with a 6–8 p.m. reception, and will be on view through Sept. 28.  

Grant Deming Artists, formed in September 2013, is united by the purpose of connecting art with the public, intentionally focusing on local venues and resonating with fellow community members. Currently, artists
in the collective work in watercolor, acrylics, mixed media, photography, textiles and jewelry.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 11:01 AM, 09.02.2014

Heights High design phase planning meetings to wrap up in September

The architects presented their plans for a renovated Heights High at a meeting on Aug. 19.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District considers September to be a critical period in the design phase of planning for the renovated Cleveland Heights High School, and two public meetings are scheduled this month, on Sept. 16 and Sept. 30. Both meetings will take place at 7 p.m. at the Delisle Center, 14780 Superior Road.

"The community is encouraged to show up, see the latest plans and share your enthusiasm, concerns and questions during the public comment portions of the meetings," stated Ron Register, school board president.

BSHM Architects are currently revising the floor plan that was presented at the Aug. 19 special meeting to align with the budget. “Right now, we have more square footage in the plan than the budget is allowing,” said Gary Balog, lead architect from BSHM.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 10:13 AM, 09.02.2014

Find out who’s Best of the Heights Sept. 23

From May through August, Heights residents voted for their favorite Heights businesses in 22 categories, including Best New Business. Each year, FutureHeights—a nonprofit dedicated to promoting civic engagement in the Heights through information, education, and advocacy, and the publisher of the Heights Observer community news—conducts the Best of the Heights survey to recognize the unique attributes of locally owned businesses here in the Heights, and their contributions to the local economy.

“Heights residents recognize how lucky they are to have such an amazing diversity of independent businesses in our community, and want to show their appreciation,” said Clare Taft, president of the FutureHeights Board of Directors.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:36 AM, 08.29.2014

Authors to share their thoughts on living and working in the Heights at Oct. 5 event

Three Heights civic organizations will host Welcome Home: Heights Authors, the second in a series celebrating some of the amazing people who call the Heights home, on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2–4 p.m., at Nighttown, 12387 Cedar Road.

The free event will feature a panel discussion by Heights authors about why they like living and working in Cleveland Heights and University Heights.

Panelists include novelist Thrity Umrigar, whose latest book, The Story Hour: A Novel, is a LibraryReads pick; children’s book author Tricia Springstubb, whose What Happened on Fox Street was an Indie 2010 Pick of the Year; James Henke, a former writer and editor for Rolling Stone magazine and author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley; and poet George Bilgere, winner of a 2003 Cleveland Arts Prize and 2014 Creative Workforce Fellowship, whose work has been frequently featured on Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” on National Public Radio.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:34 AM, 08.29.2014

Scout installs rain barrels at Disciples Christian Church

Assembled by one of the rain barrels are Troop 461 members who helped with the installation of the rain barrels at Disciples Christian Church. Kneeling by his Eagle project is Joshua Ritchey. Mark Ritchey, Joshua's father and scoutmaster, is at the far left. [photo: Ronalc Werman]

When Joshua Ritchey heard a presentation at his church, Disciples Christian Church, about working to become an environmentally friendly “Green Chalice” congregation, he wondered how he could help.

A Life Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, Ritchey is on his way to earning the rank of Eagle Scout. Perhaps he could craft an Eagle project that would contribute to the church's efforts, he thought.

With the encouragement of Mark Ritchey, his father and scoutmaster, and his Troop 461, Ritchey decided on a rain barrel installation. 

He found the planning and approval process challenging. He drew up the plans and took photos to get approval from the troop committee and the church board. A detailed PowerPoint presentation to the church board resulted in approval and also inspired individual church members to contribute funds to the project.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:30 AM, 08.29.2014

St. Paul’s renames art gallery in honor of Nick White

Nick White, former rector of St. Paul's, in the church's sanctuary. Photo by Herb Ascherman.

Alan M. Gates, former rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, recently renamed the South Wing Gallery in honor of Nicholson B. White, who led St. Paul’s from 1983 to 2002.

White, who served on the original gallery committee and exhibited his photographs there in 1992, was instrumental in creating an art gallery at St. Paul’s in 1990. He had envisioned the gallery as a gift to the community, for public use. It is therefore fitting that the gallery is now called the Nicholson B. White Gallery.

White enlisted the help of Cleveland architect William H. Collins, a St. Paul’s parishioner, to design what White described as “a gallery and rotunda, a magnificent space, which would be in perfect proportion with the original church.”

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:27 AM, 08.29.2014

Lee Road salon offers multicultural service

Lenora Cruz-Price begins client Elaine's final phase of service at Lenora's Healthy Hair Clinic.

After 25 years in the Noble Nela neighborhood, Lenora’s Healthy Hair Clinic relocated in February to 2207 Lee Road, in the Cedar Lee Business District, where it continues to offer healthy hair care with a "clinical" approach. The salon offers the services of seven licensed cosmetologists, a manicurist and an esthetician. Owner Lenora Cruz-Price regularly consults with, and refers clients to, dermatologist Faith Durden as part of her salon’s focus on healthy hair.

Cruz-Price describes her salon as a “teaching salon with a clinical approach” and said relocating it was important, to accommodate the business’s multicultural client base and to expand availability of its services to other communities.

Cruz-Price sees “multicultural beauty environments” as the newest trend in hair salons, and says of the trend, “It’s about time.”

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:25 AM, 08.29.2014

What I did and didn't learn at Heights High

A Hootenanny magazine from the early 1960s.

I told my father that when I grew up, I wanted to get a job thinking. He said, “Good luck.” But, really, that’s what my jobs as a writer and a musician are—thinking. The writing and performing parts come last, after a lot of thinking.

That conversation with my father took place 50 years ago this month, in September 1964. It was a sunny Sunday following my first week of high school, at Heights High, and I started out with some vague notion of trying a little harder that year to stop being such a terrible student.

I sat down in my room to read a chapter in my history textbook, about which I was then supposed to write a paper. I read the chapter and then started on the paper, by which I mean I started thinking about it. But my eyes fell on a magazine I’d recently purchased called Hootenanny, about folk music and musicians.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:23 AM, 08.29.2014

Nature Center's annual Hike & Run is Sept. 21

Hikers participating in last year’s Shaker Lakes Hike & Run four-mile Doan Brook Gorge hike cross the Doan Brook.

The 10th annual Shaker Lakes Hike & Run, with 5K and 10K races and nature hikes, is set for Sunday, Sept. 21. This fun family event offers three hikes, a 5K race and—new this year—a 10K race and "Lakes to Lake" hike options.

The 5K and 10K races take runners on streets and paths through the scenic Shaker parklands, including the dirt path along North Park Boulevard, giving runners a beautiful view of lower Shaker Lake. The race is managed by HMA Promotions, and awards will be given to overall winners as well as winners of several age categories.

Hike & Run offers three different guided hikes of various lengths. A one-mile, pet-friendly family hike leads participants through the forest, marsh and demonstration prairie within the grounds of the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. This hike is the only time pets are allowed on the Nature Center trails.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:21 AM, 08.29.2014

Home permaculture design course begins Sept. 18 at HRRC

Jerusalem artichokes make an attractive edible landscape. [photo by Elsa Johnson]

Starting in September, an eight-week Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) class will teach the principles of landscape architecture and permaculture to help attendees improve the green functioning and aesthetics of their homes and yards.

Taught by a permaculturist and a garden designer, the course will meet once a week on Thursday evenings, Sept. 18 through Nov. 6, 7:30–8:45 p.m.

Instructors will cover how to: keep water on-site (reducing water bills); improve soil without chemicals; attract pollinators and other beneficial insects; incorporate permanent edible plants and native plants into the landscape; and more.

Participants will be encouraged to explore their own sites and apply what they learn to create a plan they can implement, to add beauty and value to their properties.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:19 AM, 08.29.2014

IPM's 40th anniversary will draw experts and celebrities from around the world

What does a renowned television host and travel writer have in common with the mother of a 2014 Academy Award winner recently featured on a Vogue magazine cover?

Rick Steves, host of public television’s “Rick Steves’ Europe” and public radio’s “Travel with Rick Steves,” and Dorothy Nyong’o, director of the Africa Cancer Foundation and mother of Lupita Nyong’o of Kenya, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in “12 Years a Slave,” are among the speakers and panelists coming to Northeast Ohio in October to celebrate the 40th anniversary of IPM (International Partners in Mission). The nonprofit organization is headquartered in the historic Rockefeller Building in Cleveland Heights.

IPM works with women, children and youths across borders of faith, culture and economic circumstances to build justice, peace and hope.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:17 AM, 08.29.2014

HRRC's plumbing and heating classes for women start Oct. 1

Ann McCulloh, Virginia McGrew and Leslie Oliver, participants in last year's HRRC plumbing and heating course, practice working with plastic drain pipe.

There’s nothing more irritating than hearing a dripping faucet or a “ghost flush” in the middle of the night—especially when these plumbing repairs are so easy.

Participants in Home Repair Resource Center’s (HRRC) Home How-To women’s repair course will learn to do basic repairs like these, and will gain a better understanding of their plumbing and heating systems.

Women can enroll now in the upcoming “Plumbing and Heating” module, consisting of eight workshops held on Wednesday evenings, 7–9 p.m., from Oct. 1 through Nov. 19.

Participants will learn to repair toilets and faucets, snake drains, connect copper and plastic water pipes and plastic drain lines, install and maintain water heaters, and more.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:13 AM, 08.29.2014

Western Reserve Chorale announces its 2014–15 season

The Western Reserve Chorale performs in collaboration with the R. Nathaniel Dett Concert Choir from the Cleveland School of the Arts in March 2014.

The Western Reserve Chorale’s (WRC) 2014–15 season will feature an Ohio premiere and Act II of its popular program “For Love of Shakespeare.” 

For its December concert, WRC, under the direction of David Gilson, will share music of the holiday season, featuring the “Christmas Cantata” by English composer Geoffrey Bush, along with traditional favorites. 

In March, the group will present the Ohio premiere of Karl Jenkins's “The Peacemakers,” a multi-movement work composed in 2011 for choir, youth choir and orchestra.

Dedicated “to the memory of all those who lost their lives during armed conflict,” the work is set to music texts by Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., the Dalai Lama, Albert Schweitzer, Anne Frank and others.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:10 AM, 08.29.2014

Library aims to get the community 'On the Same Page'

Victor Cimperman, graphic designer for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, gets on the same page by reading Alexie's book.

This fall, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, along with Heights Community Congress (HCC), the CH-UH City School District, Reaching Heights, Mac’s Backs and Lake Erie Ink, will present “On the Same Page,” a communitywide initiative centered on Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, winner of the 2007 National Book Award.

“The idea is to engage the community around one book and to facilitate conversation about it through programs, book clubs, museum visits, and other community events,” said Sam Lapides, special projects coordinator for the library.

The event will kick off with a free screening of Alexie’s “Smoke Signals” at the Cedar Lee Theatre on Sept. 17 at 7 p.m., supported by HCC. This independent film, like Alexie’s book, is about young life on a contemporary American Indian reservation.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:05 AM, 08.29.2014

What's going on at your library?

Kids are going back to school, but what about the rest of us? This fall, Heights Libraries offers programs to help keep minds sharp and neighbors connected.

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

Monday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m.

Home Grown Food: Seed Saving. Mari Keating of Food Not Lawns, Cleveland will lead a workshop on harvesting seeds from crops grown at home. Learn how to turn your garden into its own renewable resource. Registration began Aug. 31.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:08 AM, 08.29.2014

Library increases access to free computer classes with Mobile Classroom

Heights Libraries Technology Trainer Jackie Mayse with several items from the new Mobile Classroom.

This fall, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library’s Training Department will take its Lee Road Library computer classes on the road with a new Mobile Classroom. The Mobile Classroom is exactly what it sounds like—a computer classroom on wheels that will allow Heights Libraries to expand computer class instruction to all of its branches and into the Cleveland Heights–University Heights community as well. 

The classroom comprises 10 student laptops, 10 student iPads, mice, a projector, and a portable projection screen that are transported using rolling cases specifically designed for the equipment. It can be set up quickly with the use of tables and chairs provided by the teaching site.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:03 AM, 08.29.2014

HRRC's Senior Expo set for Sept. 16

Wesley Walker, coordinator of senior repair programs for Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC), talks to older residents about their housing concerns all the time. He urges them to consider whether their current home is the best option for them now and in the future. But, changing one’s living situation is difficult, and there are several factors that should go into making that decision. Walker usually asks the following questions:

  • Considering all the costs, including repairs and maintenance on your current home, what type of housing will best fit your budget?
  • Can your current home be modified—to fit a wheelchair, for example—if and when you experience changes in mobility?
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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 10:00 AM, 08.29.2014

Senior Citizen Happenings

Senior Citizen Happenings, sponsored by the City of University Heights, are open to all senior citizens. Events take place on Thursdays at 2 p.m. at the University Heights Library. For information, and to suggest program topics, contact the UH Office for Senior Services at 216-397-0336 or To receive the monthly schedule by e-mail, call 216-932-7800, ext. 205 or send an e-mail to

Sept. 4: Mickie McGraw, pioneer art therapist, contracted polio in 1953, at the age of 11. She studied art and then counseling, and helped establish the country's first art therapy studio. She will discuss her decades of transformative and healing work with disabled patients.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:58 AM, 08.29.2014

Seniors are eligible for special discounts

One of the perks of becoming a senior adult is that one becomes eligible for special discounts offered by many local businesses and organizations.

The Ohio Department of Aging administers the Golden Buckeye program, giving seniors access to discounts at more than 20,000 businesses throughout the state. Seniors age 60 or older, and any disabled adult over the age of 18, is eligible for this free program.

State residents who hold a current Ohio driver’s license or state ID card automatically receive a Golden Buckeye card the month of their 60th birthday. Other eligible residents may apply for the card at any CH-UH library or at the Cleveland Heights Senior Activity Center.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:57 AM, 08.29.2014

Beaumont School students participate in Project YESS

Beaumont students Ana Maria Vargas ’15, Molly Cogan ’15, Crista Keiley ’17 and Mary Martin ’16 aboard the Denis Sullivan.

Four girls from Beaumont School were among the 14 students who sailed on a tall ship for a weeklong voyage at the end of July.

They left on July 27 from Milwaukee, Wis., on the S/V Denis Sullivan and returned on Aug. 2.  

Since 2010, when the program began, Beaumont has had students on board. Another Beaumont student was among the three ambassador leaders.

The program is called Project YESS, Youth Empowered to Succeed Through Sailing. Its goals are for students to develop leadership, confidence and courage as crew on a tall ship. Project YESS was developed by the Rotary Club of Cleveland and funded by the Cleveland Rotary Foundation and other corporate, individual and foundation supporters. The project helps students, ages 14–17, by providing direction, developing community, and opening their eyes to career opportunities in the Great Lakes region.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:54 AM, 08.29.2014

Heights administrative principal brings broad experience to role

Zoraba Ross (second from right) discusses the first day of school with (from left) REAL Principal Alisa Lawson-McKinnie, Legacy Counselor Michael Dixon and Mosiac Counselor Haethem Rasu.

In early August, Zoraba Q Ross became the new administrative principal at Heights High. His experience as a Columbus-area high school principal and athletic director, administrator in the city’s recreation department and assistant director for the King Arts Complex during its $1.6 million renovation project gives him a unique set of skills to lead the school.

His varied background sets the tone for his approach to and view of education. “There are three key components to all great schools—academics, arts and athletics,” Ross said. “I am thrilled to be in a school with strong programs in all three.”

Ross acknowledges his sense of urgency about improving the overall academic performance of the school. “There are many students doing quite well here, but we have far too many who are underperforming. We must address that and help those students re-engage in school and succeed,” said Ross.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:51 AM, 08.29.2014

The grass roots of the rolling revolution

Is it a revolution? Yes, a fun-loving, fender-equipped, wind-through-your-hair rolling revolution. More people are riding their bikes. They are going to work, school, the dollar store and the coffee shop. 

How is this happening? Regionally, the work is being driven by many organizations and leaders. Here in Cleveland Heights and University Heights, the Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC) plays a small role in advocating, educating and encouraging in the cycling arena (visit HBC organized three years ago to help make CH-UH more bicycle friendly. Cycling advocates in Shaker Heights recently formed Bike Shaker and are working on the same mission in their city.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:47 AM, 08.29.2014

Sept. 13 clam bake to benefit HRRC

HRRC celebrated its first clam bake fundraiser in 2013.

Come and celebrate fall with a Clam Bake fundraiser for Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC), the Cleveland Heights nonprofit. The event will be held on the grounds of the McGregor Home, 14900 Private Drive, East Cleveland, on Saturday, Sept. 13, 5–9 p.m. Patrons will enjoy a relaxing evening filled with fun and fellowship, festive music, an auction of unique items and enticing experiences, and—of course—a delicious, traditional clam bake.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:38 AM, 08.29.2014

Roots of American Music benefit

Musician Charlie Mosbrook.

Roots of American Music, the Cleveland Heights-based nonprofit, held a benefit on Demington Drive on Aug. 9. The organization takes local musicians into schools throughout Northeast Ohio and teaches the students about music and other subjects, using the music. The benefit featured some great musicians, including longtime Cleveland musician Charlie Mosbrook (pictured) and the Godot Quartet.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:36 AM, 08.29.2014

Heights Youth Club encompasses scholarship, fun and responsibility

Members of Heights Youth Club visit University Circle. Photo courtesy Heights Youth Club.

The Heights Youth Club (HYC) offers Heights students in grades one through 12 a smorgasbord of after-school activities, five days a week, 3–7:30 p.m. The club’s young people aspire to excel in school, and bring their book bags to the club with plans to do their homework—with the help of volunteer tutors, if need be—during the club’s Power Hour.

Roscoe Morgan, executive director of HYC, stated proudly that 50 percent of those students who come to the club with serious intentions about school make the honor or merit rolls. Morgan, who leads with a firm hand and wearing a broad smile, said, “I have the honor of coming to work for the students. A privilege. I learn and grow every day.”

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:22 AM, 08.29.2014

Motorcars repurposes former Pontiac dealership, invests in Mayfield Road

The former Arthur Pontiac building at 3077 Mayfield Road is now the site of Motorcars Mobility. Photo by Deanna Bremer Fisher.

The once-vacant Pontiac building on Mayfield Road has a new tenant, and, if the Gile family can bring its full vision to fruition, it will soon have several more. Built in the 1950s, the spare modern structure had served as a car dealership and then an auto sales office, before former owner Lee Seidman donated it to University Hospitals in 2010. It then sat vacant, awaiting a new use.

The Giles, owners of Motorcars Honda and Toyota, purchased the building in June and quickly set to work envisioning a future for it that includes not only an auto-oriented business—a mobility van-conversion outlet—but also smaller-scale restaurants and retail space that would enhance the neighborhood.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 4:39 PM, 08.28.2014

Acclaimed sculptor David Deming makes his home in Cleveland Heights

David Deming in his studio in Lakewood. Photo by James Henke.

On Aug. 2, the Cleveland Indians unveiled a new statue of Jim Thome, the team’s all-time home-run leader, at Progressive Field. The statue was designed and sculpted by Cleveland Heights resident David Deming.

Deming, 71, has an international reputation as a fine sculptor, and has been involved in the art world for more than five decades.

He grew up in Lakewood and attended Lakewood High. While in high school, Deming focused on both sports—he was captain of the wrestling team and also ran track—and art. On weekends, he attended classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), and, after graduating from high school, got his bachelor of fine arts degree from the institute in 1967. Deming then taught classes at Boston University for a year, before moving on to the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where he earned a master’s degree in fine arts. “When it comes to sculpture, Cranbrook is like the Harvard or Yale of art schools,” Deming said.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 2:05 PM, 08.28.2014

'Art of the Home' HCC tour set for Sept. 21

The traditional elegance of this home is an example of center-hall Colonial architecture. Photo by Frank Gerlak.

Just as fall begins to sweep its striking palette of colors across Northeast Ohio, the 37th annual Heights Heritage Home & Garden Tour curates an exhibit of the cozy comforts of home juxtaposed with exquisite garden grandeur.

The self-guided tour of seven homes and three gardens takes place Sunday, Sept. 21, from noon to 6 p.m., and includes refreshment stops at two Lee Road locations, The Wine Spot and Heights Arts, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The Heights Heritage Home & Garden Tour is sponsored by Heights Community Congress (HCC), and the 2014 tour theme, Art of the Home, is a tribute to Cleveland Heights’s legacy of artistic and historic homes, in a community with a strong background in, and recognition as, “home to the arts."

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 2:01 PM, 08.28.2014

The other things FutureHeights does-–and will do

Well into its seventh year, the Heights Observer has achieved a basic level of sustainability—it has repeatable operating processes in place, and brings in roughly the same amount of money each month that it costs to produce.

It’s a fragile balance that would fall apart quickly without the efforts of a large group of volunteers and a core of part-time employees/contractors, who perform the daily tasks you can’t expect people to do for free 77 months in a row, and counting.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 1:53 PM, 08.28.2014

Beating a dead turkey

To the Editor:

Yes, again, I write about the turkey of a project planned for Turkey Ridge along Edgehill Road.

I attended the Cleveland Heights Planning Commission hearing on Aug. 12 regarding the high-end condos planned for this parcel because of my intent to address, yet again, my concerns about the landslide potential of this hillside.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 1:50 PM, 08.28.2014

Heights Libraries levy campaign kicks into gear

Did you know that there two election days this fall? 

First, on Thursday, Sept. 18, our Heights Libraries will hold a Sesame Street Block party at the Lee Road Library. At the block party, a close election between Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch will be decided by your votes. It will be a great time for kids and families, and we expect some of our local elected leaders to join us and help count the votes!

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 1:48 PM, 08.28.2014

How to encourage more bicycling in the Heights

Mom and daughter riding in a buffered bike lane in Austin, Texas. Photo courtesy People for Bikes.

I would like to see how Cleveland Heights looks when 4,500 people are riding bikes. We will certainly be healthier, wealthier and maybe happier than being stuck in traffic.

Does this express the sentiments of the 1 percent? In Cleveland Heights, the 1 percent are those the 2010 census counted as bike commuters—that’s 450 people. It doesn’t count kids who bike to school or spandex-clad weekend warriors—just the adult weekday bike commuters.

Cycling experts estimated that 60 percent of adults identity themselves as interested in the idea of bike commuting, but are concerned about riding close to cars. So, how do we get that 60 percent to consider riding a bike for transportation—especially to commute?

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 1:44 PM, 08.28.2014

Summer changes the starting line

How did you spend your summer vacation? It is a wonderful back-to-school conversation prompt. It turns out that the answer to that question has significant implications for children and the advantages that they bring to school in the fall.

My summer reading included Malcolm Gladwell’s 2008 publication, Outliers, where he explores what makes some people more successful than others. He is adamant that our belief in superior ability and hard work as the only explanations for success is wrong. Over and over he shows how “outliers,” those people who appear to be exceptional, find success because of their own assets but also because of external opportunities and advantages.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 1:40 PM, 08.28.2014

Why is UH mayor urging new tax if $2.2 million 'surplus monies' are real?

Mayor Infeld wants to impose a $1.8 million tax increase on the taxpayers of University Heights. But at the same time, she says we have $2.2 million in “surplus monies.” What?

The question is obvious. If we have surplus monies, why do we need a tax increase? Did Mayor Infeld generate the “surplus monies” by cutting basic municipal services the citizens expect?

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 1:36 PM, 08.28.2014

Heights historical photo of the month

Photo courtesy City of Cleveland Heights.

"Give me an H!" The Cleveland Heights High School band performs on its home field during a 1936 football game. East Derbyshire Road can be seen in the background.  

This photo was selected by the Cleveland Heights Historical Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the diverse character and traditions of Cleveland Heights. For more information, and to view additional historical images, visit or

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 1:32 PM, 08.28.2014

CH joins regional healthcare program

The City of Cleveland Heights has entered into an agreement to join the Cuyahoga County Healthcare Regionalization Program. The program provides eligible political subdivisions with the opportunity to obtain favorable group rates for health care benefits for their employees.

"The ability to stabilize health care costs while at the same time maintaining existing benefits for our employees presented a great opportunity for us," said City Manager Tanisha R. Briley. "Staff worked closely with county officials over the last few months to evaluate the offer to be absolutely certain that this was the right way to go."

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 1:31 PM, 08.28.2014

Umrigar book release party benefits Heights Libraries

The Story Hour is the lastest book by Cleveland Heights author Thrity Umrigar.

On Sunday, Sept. 7, at 4 p.m., critically acclaimed local author Thrity Umrigar will celebrate the release of her latest novel, The Story Hour, with a benefit for the Fund for the Future of Heights Libraries (FFHL) at The Wine Spot. 

“In addition to providing the world with another wonderful novel, Thrity has made sure the local community will benefit from this book,” said Sue Pardee, FFHL president. “She offered to work with Suzanne DeGaetano, owner of Mac’s Backs Books on Coventry, and the Heights Libraries to donate proceeds from a book release party to the fund.” Mac’s Backs is sponsoring the event.

Pat Gray, manager of the Coventry branch of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, arranged to have the party benefit FFHL, a year-old endowment that benefits the independent local library system. “Thrity and Suzanne came to me and said they wanted to help the library,” Gray said. “It doesn’t get much better than that.”

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 1:20 PM, 08.28.2014

District unveils proposed design for new CHHS exterior

The renovated Heights High will reveal the historic facade from Cedar Road. Photo courtesy CH-UH City School District.

On Aug. 19, architects hired by the Cleveland-Heights University Heights City School District unveiled their proposed new design for the exterior of Cleveland Heights High School.

The design calls for the removal of the 1959 science wing addition, to reveal the historic façade on the school’s Cedar Road side, which has been hidden from view for decades, and the construction of two new wings on the east and west sides of the building’s historic core.

As proposed by the architectural firm Balog, Steines, Hendricks & Manchester, the new additions are designed to complement, and will not block, the original façade, which will be restored.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:08 AM, 08.26.2014

Heights Music Hop seeks volunteers for Oct. 11 event

Do you enjoy music? Do you enjoy working with local merchants? Do you enjoy volunteering? 

On Oct. 11, Lee Road will once again be filled with free music at the second annual Heights Music Hop, and volunteers are needed to welcome people to the Cedar Lee Business District, help bands move gear, staff tables, and help set up and tear down. Volunteer perks include a T-shirt and free admission to the official after-party at The BottleHouse.

The Heights Music Hop will serve as one of the kick-off locations for Cleveland Beer Week (Oct. 10–18), and includes more bands and venues than last year’s inaugural event.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:13 AM, 08.26.2014

Heights' Got Talent finals captivate Cain Park

The Stockdale Family Band won the Heights' Got Talent show on Aug. 18 at Cain Park. [photo: Steve Deurlein]

The first Heights’ Got Talent contest took place on Sunday, Aug. 18, at the Evans Amphitheater at Cain Park. It was a huge success, and all of the 16 finalists who took part in the show were, indeed, very talented.

The competition was sponsored by Motorcars, the Cleveland Heights-based Toyota and Honda dealer, and Trevor Gile, the general manager of Motorcars Honda and the son of Motorcars owner Chuck Gile, came up with the idea last September. The contest was based on “America’s Got Talent,” and performers wishing to take part in the show had to live in Northeast Ohio and had to submit videos to Motorcars. More than 50 artists entered the contest, and their videos were posted on a website, where the initial round of voting took place. The top 16 vote-getters made it to the finals.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:14 AM, 08.26.2014