Latest News

Cleveland Heights hires communications director

The City of Cleveland Heights announced in a July 17 press release that Mary Trupo has been hired as its director of communications and community engagement.

Trupo comes to the city from Washington, D.C., where she most recently was senior advisor and director in the Office of Public Affairs for the International Trade Administration (ITA) in the U.S. Department of Commerce. She has previously worked in communications for the National Association of Realtors and the American Public Transportation Association.

The press release states that Trupo is skilled in the development of effective marketing, outreach and communication strategies. In her last position she oversaw the production, marketing and distribution of newsletters, web content, talking points and speeches.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 11:15 AM, 07.18.2017

Latest News Releases

Michael Dylan Brennan Announces Candidacy for Mayor of University Heights
- Political, July 11, 2017 Read More
JSC celebrates 50 years of secular Judaism
- Non-Profit & Groups, June 21, 2017 Read More
2016 Water Quality report is available
- Cleveland Water, June 20, 2017 Read More
- City of Cleveland Heights, May 22, 2017 Read More
- City of Cleveland Heights, May 16, 2017 Read More

View more news releases

Ribbon-cutting celebrates remodeled Turtle Park

Cleveland Heights City Council members Carol Roe, Michael Ungar and Melissa Yasinow, along with city employees and residents, cut the ribbon to celebrate Turtle Park's remodeling.

On July 2, a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the remodeling of Turtle Park.

Also known as the Euclid Tot Lot, Turtle Park sits on the corner of Euclid Heights Boulevard, Hampshire Road and Overlook Road. The park is primarily for children ages 2–5, and is known for its signature turtle structure, which sits in the middle of the park.

In March 2017, Cleveland Heights City Council approved a contract of just over $66,000 to completely remodel the park. The Cleveland Heights Parks and Recreation Department funded the work, which included installing entirely new seating, playground equipment and shading, while maintaining the park’s original layout.

Cleveland Heights residents, members of the city’s parks and recreation department, and other city staff attended the July 2 ceremony that introduced the newly remodeled Turtle Park.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 11:23 AM, 07.17.2017

Monticello Middle School achieves IB World School certification

Monticello Middle School

Monticello Middle School has been named an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, Middle Years Programme, becoming—along with Roxboro Middle School—part of a diverse, global community of schools offering the program.

Monticello and Roxboro are two of just six middle schools in the state of Ohio to offer the IB Middle Years Programme.

“This is such an important accomplishment for Monticello as we move our two middle schools to the Wiley campus this fall,” said CH-UH Superintendent Talisa Dixon. “With both schools being authorized and also being in the same building, it ensures that our academic offerings will be equitable. Every middle school student in CH-UH will now have the Middle Years Programme Experience.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 11:06 AM, 07.17.2017

Heights Observer local candidate policy

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

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

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

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

  • The August-November issues of the printed publication will not carry any editorial contributions from known candidates for office.
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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 10:39 AM, 07.17.2017

Cleveland leadership program seeks 2017 applicants

Allosious Snodgrass [photo courtesy Maria Kaiser]

In 2006, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, along with former Cleveland Mayor Michael White, established a leadership training program for engaged community leaders. The Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP) is a free, 16-session community engagement training program for residents of Cleveland and its inner-ring suburbs, who are working on projects within the City of Cleveland and who are determined to make a positive impact on their communities.

Each program year, NLDP selects 20 committed applicants. The programs participants and graduates have many interests and are working on a wide variety of issues to improve life in their communities.

Allosious Snodgrass, a Cleveland Heights resident, is one such person.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 10:40 AM, 07.17.2017

A back-to-school refresher on the municipal court

Based upon the most recent reporting year for the Ohio Courts Statistical Report, there were 17,549 new filings, transfers and reactivations in the Cleveland Heights Municipal Court. In comparison, the municipal court in Shaker (which includes Beachwood, Hunting Valley, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights and University Heights) had 14,320, Euclid had 10,430, South Euclid had 6,100, and East Cleveland had 5,081.

As our kids get ready to head back to school, maybe it is time for a refresher on our third branch of government, the judicial branch. For many, what goes on in our courts, and especially our local, municipal court, is unclear. At their core, our courts uphold the rule of law, resolving disputes and testing and interpreting our laws in a fair and rational matter.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 10:46 AM, 07.17.2017

Why I'm running for municipal court judge

To the Editor:

I am running for Judge of Cleveland Heights Municipal Court to inspire people to reach their greatest potential.

The court serves as a mechanism to dispense justice with firmness and fairness. However, I believe the court should have a role in uplifting and empowering the community as well. I would institute these programs to ensure people are receiving services that empower them to lead productive lives, stay out the legal system and make the community safer and stronger:

I would establish a drug and mental health court or build partnerships with other local courts that offer programming and treatment to address those with substance abuse and other issues.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 10:41 AM, 07.17.2017

Construction delays move annual Cedar Fairmount festival to fall

Cone announcing Festival Change

Originally scheduled to begin in April, phase 2 of the Cedar Road Resurfacing/Cedar Fairmount Streetscape project, extending from Norfolk Road to the intersection of Cedar Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard, is now expected to get underway sometime in July.

In light of this delay, the Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District Board of Trustees decided to postpone the 16th annual Cedar Fairmount Festival from Aug. 20 until Oct. 22, noon to 5 p.m.

The Cedar Fairmount Fall Festival will feature many favorites from the summer festival—an arts & crafts show; children’s activities; animated characters such as Moana, Superwoman and Superman; Whipples, the Balloon Clown; and the Euclid Beach Rocket Car.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 11:48 AM, 06.29.2017

Cleveland Water to replace all CH meters by year's end

Cleveland Water has announced plans to replace all water meters in Cleveland Heights with new “state-of-the-art” automated meter reading (AMR) technology. The utility expects its Clear Reads project to be completed by the end of 2017, and stated that the new meters and their installation will not result in any additional costs to customers.

Every new meter is connected to an “endpoint,” a small battery-powered device that will read each water meter multiple times each day, then send the meter readings via radio signals to a “collector,” which then will transmit that data to Cleveland Water.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 11:35 AM, 06.29.2017

CH takes action on Arco dump site

The Arco dump site in relation to Cleveland Heights. Courtesy of Bob Brown.

The six-acre Arco Recycling dump, located at the corner of Noble Road and Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland, is packed with large amounts of construction debris. Concrete, wood, plaster, metal and brick from building demolitions throughout Northeast Ohio have been piling up since the dump opened in 2015.

The dump sits directly in the backyards of East Cleveland residents’ homes on Noble Road. They have complained about the dump site, not only because it is an eyesore, but because they are concerned that it could be hazardous to their health.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 11:32 AM, 06.29.2017

Heights Music Hop expands to Coventry

Heights Music Hop.

The fifth-annual Heights Music Hop will take place Sept. 7–9. The music festival is expanding this year, to take place over three days, at more than 30 venues in three Cleveland Heights neighborhoods.

When the festival first started in 2013, it was a one-day event that took place in the Cedar Lee Business District. Last year, it grew into a two-day event, with more than 70 performances at 27 venues in Cedar Lee and Cedar Fairmount, and drew more than 5,000 people to Cleveland Heights.

This year’s festival will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 7, in the Coventry Village Business District. On Friday, Sept. 8, the Hop will move to Cedar Fairmount, and then will wrap up on Saturday, Sept. 9, in Cedar Lee.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:29 PM, 06.29.2017

2017 Summer Shopping Guide

Find something for your home and garden, host/hostess’ gifts and summer entertainment at the many independent merchants in the Heights. Here are some of our favorites:

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 11:19 AM, 06.29.2017

Noble Neighbors plan community workshop about Triangle District

The Triangle District, outlined in red, in the Noble neighborhood of Cleveland Heights. 

Photo courtesy of Brenda H. May.

In January, the Center Mayfield building in the Noble neighborhood’s newly named Triangle District was demolished, producing a second large vacant lot on Noble Road, near Mayfield Road. This inspired some, including area residents and the neighborhood group Noble Neighbors, to consider the Triangle District in its entirety, and and to think about how it could be re-envisioned to create a cohesive, vibrant, multi-faceted gateway hub. The Triangle District encompasses Warrensville Center Road between Mayfield and Noble roads, Mayfield Road from Warrensville Center to Mayfield’s intersection with Vandemar Street and Wilmar Road, and the stretch of Noble Road—commonly known as Short Noble—between Mayfield and Kirkwood roads.

Noble Neighbors is partnering with the civic engagement committee of Future Heights and the City of Cleveland Heights' economic development and planning departments to host a communitywide workshop about the district’s future on Sunday, July 9, 3–6 p.m., at Disciples Christian Church, 3663 Mayfield Road.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 10:29 AM, 06.27.2017

David Budin column wins Press Club honors

David Budin, hanging out in Coventry Village in the 1970s.

Congratulations to David Budin, whose column “There goes the neighborhood—again” (June 2016) was awarded 2nd place for general interest columns in the All Ohio Excellence in Journalism competition, hosted by the Press Club of Cleveland. It’s one of the most competitive categories in the contest, which is open to every daily, weekly and monthly newspaper, magazine and news website in Ohio.

The first article Budin ever wrote for the Heights Observer appeared in April 2008—the paper’s inaugural issue. Since then, he’s written something for nearly every issue. Much of it has been about the arts—music in particular, which is his first love.

Over time, his regular contributions evolved into “Songs and Stories,” a near-monthly column that seems to put a finger on “Heightsness” (my word, not his)—that intangible, defining quality that makes this community unique.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 11:56 AM, 06.29.2017

The Summer of Love

It seems that 50 years ago should feel like a long time, but it doesn’t. Not to me. I guess if you’re 30, it would. But I’m not. I mean, I feel like I’m 30, but I’m twice that. At least. Actually, I still feel like I’m 18. Which I was 50 years ago.

If you are a longtime Cleveland Heights resident and are older than I am, and you remember when the hippies descended upon Cleveland Heights—specifically Coventry Road, between Mayfield Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard—and you recall being annoyed by them . . . well, I was one of those kids. And I knew you were annoyed. And I didn’t care. None of us did.

We moved into all the apartments and rental houses on Coventry, Euclid Heights, Hampshire and Lancashire.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 5:08 PM, 06.30.2017

CTDA supports FutureHeights as CDC

To the Editor:

As president of the Cedar Taylor Development Association Board of Directors, I want to offer my full support for recognizing FutureHeights as the official Community Development Corporation (CDC) of Cleveland Heights. 

All of the strong neighborhoods of the city of Cleveland have CDCs, and as an inner-ring suburb, we share similar issues with our neighbor to the west (deteriorating housing stock, exurban flight, challenging business climate, etc.).

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:49 PM, 06.29.2017

Why we chose ARTFUL at the Coventry School building

To the Editor:

When we moved (back) to Cleveland after 15 years in Florida and a six-month artist residency in Italy, our search for permanent studio space in Cleveland was influenced by two unexpected factors: gentrification and accessibility.

Many Cleveland buildings that had been homes to artists' studios were being converted to "upscale" locations for "respectable" tenants. And 27 years after the ADA, it was still impossible to find a studio space that would work for a wheelchair-using artist. 

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:04 PM, 06.29.2017

Exploring cohousing in the Heights

To the Editor:

A Cleveland Heights group is looking into starting a cohousing community. Cohousing offers a way to downsize, live actively engaged, and raise children in a safe, supportive neighborhood.  

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:02 PM, 06.29.2017

The Coventry School site: In whose interest?

An impressive group of nonprofit organizations, [many] dedicated to education and the arts, make their homes in the building that was once Coventry Elementary School, which was closed by the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District in 2007.

The first nonprofit to move in was Ensemble Theatre, in 2011; the most recent is Artful Cleveland, which leased space in July 2016, opened its doors in March 2017, and now provides studio space to 18 artists.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:11 PM, 06.29.2017

Sculptured paper shines light on traditional Korean dress

Noble (2017), by Aimee Lee.

This summer, Heights Arts’ Spotlight Gallery presents Hanbok’s Gifts, an exhibition of sculptural paper works by Cleveland artist and papermaker Aimee Lee. In the exhibit, on view through Aug. 6, Lee pays homage to the ingenuity and care behind traditional Korean clothing (hanbok) by using another material from the same heritage, hanji, which requires much discovery and labor to produce.

"Aimee learned hanji—traditional Korean paper-making—from masters and built the first hanji studio in North America at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland," said exhibition curator Helen Liggett. "Hanji is remarkably strong and is used to make household items in traditional Korean culture. With Hanbok, she joins craft to the celebratory and autobiographic elements of her art, revealing its versatility and beauty in an entirely new form."

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 5:02 PM, 06.30.2017

Heights Arts' first annual summer benefit aims to entice

ENTICING image courtesy Rose Hileman, KP Photo Group. Styling by Melissa McClelland.

Heights Arts has planned ENTICING, a music, food, pastry and "Big Fun" party to celebrate Heights Arts and its longstanding commitment to the artists and residents of the Heights community. ENTICING also will honor Steve Presser, legendary Heights booster and owner of Big Fun, Coventry’s iconic toy and memorabilia store.

ENTICING will take place on Saturday, July 15, in a unique private location—a penthouse and glass cube overlooking downtown Cleveland, with 360-degree views of the city’s skyline. Heights Arts benefit chair Melissa McClelland promises the event will be “too enticing to resist," noting that, "partygoers will enjoy signature dessert creations by Northeast Ohio’s best pastry chefs, bakers and chocolatiers, with sparkling wine from Gallucci’s and fabulous auction items to bid on, accompanied by music from Cleveland’s gypsy jazz group, Moustache Yourself. All this, while the city of Cleveland glows at partygoers' feet.”

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:43 PM, 06.26.2017

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 those 60 and older, and is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. A complete schedule of programs is published in the community center’s newsletter, which is available at Cleveland Heights City Hall, local libraries, the community center and online at

SAC’s focus for the month of July is needlework.

Quilting 101, a new craft workshop taught by Cleveland Heights fiber artist Martha Young, will begin on Thursday, July 6, 1–2:30 p.m., and continue through the month. Attendees will learn to create a hand-pieced placemat or table runner from beautiful fabric provided by the instructor.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 4:54 PM, 06.30.2017

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. in Council Chambers at University Heights City Hall. To receive the monthly schedule by e-mail, call 216-932-7800, ext. 205, or send an e-mail to

No programs are scheduled for the month of August. Senior Citizen Happenings will resume its weekly schedule after Labor Day, on Thursday, Sept. 7.

July 6: Heather Hodges, president of the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, will discuss the work of the council, to engage and educate Americans on international affairs and foreign policy.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 4:52 PM, 06.30.2017

Library offers music production training to teens

Heights Libraries IT Technician Matt Mancini creates a sound file with Ableton Live.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System is currently taking applications for its new teen Music Maker Space program at the Lee Road Library. The eight-week music production program, scheduled for fall 2017, has room for three paid teen interns and 12 teen program participants. The interns will help mentor the other teens in the use of music production software and equipment, as they learn sound- and music-related skills, including recording, mixing, editing and producing. 

Applicants must be between the ages of 13 and 18, live in Cleveland Heights or University Heights, and be able to commit four hours a week to the program. The interns will be paid $500 each. Applications for both the internships and the regular program are due Aug. 31 and can be found on the library’s website or picked up in the Lee Road Library’s Teen Room.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:32 PM, 06.26.2017

Library fund seeks nominations for inaugural honor roll

The Fund for the Future of Heights Libraries (FFHL) has created a new award to recognize those who have made a sustained, outstanding contribution to the Cleveland Heights-University Heights community by promoting literacy or by educating through literacy.

FFHL is currently seeking nominations from the public for the FFHL Honor Roll, which is framed around the Heights Library’s mission, “Opening Doors, Opening Minds.”

A nominee could be someone who established a literacy program, teaches adults to read, or helped at a school library or the public library.

“There are so many people who have given so much of their time and resources to help Heights Libraries fulfill our mission,” said Nancy Levin, director of Heights Libraries and a member of the FFHL Board of Directors. “We created the honor roll to recognize their contributions and express our gratitude.”

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 4:47 PM, 06.30.2017

What’s going on at your library?

Noble Neighborhood Library
2800 Noble Road, 216-291-5665

Wednesday, July 12, noon to 1 p.m.

Cool Knights: Armor from the Middle Ages. Educators from the Cleveland Museum of Art will bring real pieces of armor used by medieval knights and Renaissance noblemen. Children in kindergarten through grade five are invited to learn, touch, and maybe try on the armor of "cool" knights. Registration began June 28.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 4:51 PM, 06.30.2017

Free meals available this summer to all CH-UH students

This summer, free breakfast and lunch is available Monday through Thursday to all CH-UH students, regardless of what school they attend.

The meals are offered at three CH-UH district schools:

  • Noble Elementary School, through Aug. 3
  • Gearity Professional Development School, through July 20
  • Monticello Middle School, through Aug. 3
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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:20 PM, 06.26.2017

MetroHealth expands Severance facility with addition of short-stay hospital

MetroHealth's Cleveland Heights facility will expand with the addition of 12 patient rooms for short-term hospital stays.

MetroHealth has announced plans to convert its Cleveland Heights facility into a community hospital that will focus on caring for patients who benefit from shorter hospital stays.

Construction is set to be completed by the end of 2017, with the facility ready for patients by January 2018.

MetroHealth’s current Cleveland Heights medical office, located at 10 Severance Circle, has an emergency department, lab, pharmacy and radiology services. It will become a community hospital with the addition of 12 single-occupancy patient rooms.

"We are so pleased to see MetroHealth expanding service in Cleveland Heights,” said Tanisha Briley, Cleveland Heights city manager. “This investment will not only provide new health care options for our residents and the surrounding communities, it will also create economic benefits in a high priority area for redevelopment in our city."

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:16 PM, 06.26.2017

Work begins June 21 on Fairmount Circle pedestrian island

In a June 20 press release, the city of University Heights announced that work would commence on June 21 on Warrensville Center Road and the north side of Fairmount Circle, to install a pedestrian island. The press release states:

"Traffic will be reduced to one lane of traffic in each direction during construction. Please use caution when driving, walking, and biking through the work zone.

This pedestrian safety improvement is part of the 2017 University Heights Road Program. More information about this year’s repaving and pedestrian safety projects can be found at

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:22 PM, 06.21.2017

Music, not testing, helps to develop kids' brains

My summer gig is directing the Reaching Heights Summer Music Camp. Tamar Gray and Betsy Neylon, two exceptional music educators, and I founded this intense weeklong musical enrichment experience 13 years ago. Reaching Heights has kept it a priority ever since, and so have I.

We keep at it because it is an exceptional learning experience and a hothouse for developing leaders and music professionals. It encourages kids, adds to the school district’s music program, and draws on the amazing expertise of our public school teachers, students and graduates. It can be magical.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:14 PM, 06.29.2017

Cain Park is better by bike

Bike racks fill up at Cain Park. Courtesy of HBC.

Cain Park has a packed performance schedule this summer. The July lineup caters to every taste and budget, from Stephen Stills and Judy Collins to Groundworks Dance Theater, Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra and the Singing Angels. Some performances are free, but you can buy tickets for the others at the box office, online at the Cain Park website, or by calling 216-371-3000.

July 7–9 brings the 40th anniversary Cain Park Arts Festival, considered one of the best fine arts and crafts festivals in the country. This juried art show targets an audience diverse in age, artistic background and affluence. The objective is to offer the best quality art in all price ranges.

A great way to see a show or the art festival is to go by bike, because bicyclists can park right next to the ticket office. Cain Park (14591 Superior Road) is an easy-to-find destination for all who live in the Heights.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:21 PM, 06.29.2017

CH-UH BOE should be able to hear directly from all school stakeholders

What are boards of education elected to do? According to adopted policies, their primary purpose is make policies and to hire a superintendent of schools who will enforce them. I would agree with this statement, but would add that they are also elected to ensure that the interests, values and needs of the community they represent are being met in the operation of the schools.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:08 PM, 06.29.2017

City Council agrees to hold public meeting on future of Coventry School site

The tenants of the former Coventry School building. Photo by Jessica Schantz.

In response to requests from Coventry Building tenants and residents, Cleveland Heights City Council decided to delay the issuance of a Request for Qualifications/Request for Proposal (RFQ/RFP) for the Coventry School site until a public hearing is held. At its Council Committee of the Whole meeting held immediately prior to the June 19 City Council meeting, CH City Council decided to remove from that evening's council meeting agenda a request from the city manager to receive proposals for the redevelopment of the Coventry School site.

At the June 5 CH City Council meeting, attorney Lee Chilcote, speaking on behalf of the Coventry tenants, stated that there was “a disconnect” between what the RFQ/RFP draft called for and what citizens had called for in 2008, when they recommended to the school board that the Coventry Building become an arts center. One of three requests that Chilcote made of council was that a public process be conducted prior to the issuance of the RFQ/RFP.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:26 PM, 06.20.2017

Heights Lacrosse hosts camp for students in grades two through nine

Members of the Heights High girls lacrosse team, pictured here in a 2016 match, will be among the student coaches at this summer's youth lacrosse camp.

Beginning July 11, Heights Lacrosse will host the Heights Youth Summer Lacrosse Camp at Canterbury Elementary School, open to all students who will enter grades 2–9 this coming school year.

The camp provides an opportunity for young boys and girls to try out the sport and perhaps develop into future lacrosse players. No experience is necessary.

The camp runs for four weeks, and comprises eight evening sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6:30–8 p.m., beginning on Tuesday, July 11.  Terry Saylor, Heights High’s girls lacrosse coach, and Chris Ticconi, the school’s boys lacrosse coach, will supervise, and Heights High lacrosse players will coach the kids during the camp.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 1:18 PM, 06.20.2017

Lee Road Library launches ESL conversation club

John Piche, outreach librarian at the Lee Road Library, launched the ESL (English as a Second Language) Conversation Club in June. This drop-in program is designed to offer informal conversation practice to anyone looking to brush up on English listening and speaking skills. It takes place at the Lee Road Library on the third Wednesday of each month, at 7 p.m.

Heights Libraries strives to create spaces and programs where all community members feel welcome and included. The ESL Conversation Club grew out of a desire for a place where community members could meet in a safe location to enjoy casual conversation and learn about other cultures in a supportive environment.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 4:50 PM, 06.30.2017

Ambler Heights Historic District

Homes in Ambler Heights. [courtesy of Ken Goldberg]

Ambler Heights, for many decades unofficially known as the neighborhood of Chestnut Hills, is one of Cleveland Heights’ first developments, as well as one of the first Cleveland Heights neighborhoods nominated to the National Register of Historic Places as an historic district.

The tract was named for Dr. Nathan Hardy Ambler, a dentist who became a real estate developer. Comprising five streets, Ambler Heights—part of which is in the city of Cleveland—includes more than 60 large, architect-designed homes, built from the 1890s through the 2010s.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:24 PM, 06.29.2017

Studio How-To invites community to June 22 open house

Sarah Nemecek inside Studio How-To.

Studio How-To, a new handcraft studio school, opened on June 1 on the second floor of the Douglas Fine Arts Building, at the corner of Cedar and Lee roads. The space offers workshops and private parties for both adults and children, teaching the how-to of leather-working, sewing, knitting, block-printing, embroidery, jewelry-making, journaling, working with clay, and more.

Sarah Nemecek, owner of Studio How-To, invites community members to attend the studio’s first monthly open house on Thursday, June 22, 4–7:30 p.m.

Nemecek founded Studio How-To as a way to share the knowledge and love of making that she has developed across several disciplines. A self-taught artist, Nemecek grew up in a family of makers and has been sewing, quilting, painting and drawing since she was 5.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 1:50 PM, 06.16.2017

CH-UH school district seeks members for its Bond Accountability Commission

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is now accepting applications for its new Bond Accountability Commission (BAC), which will monitor the progress and expenditure of funds for the middle school portion of the district’s Master Facilities Plan Phase I.

Membership is limited to residents of the CH-UH school district. Members must have a background in the areas of finance, construction, engineering, architecture or project management.

To access the application form, click on the following link:

Applications can be e-mailed to Caroline Jewell-Rogers at The application deadline is July 3.

Bond Accountability Commission Information:

Mission: The mission of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District’s Bond Accountability Commission is to monitor the progress and expenditure of funds for the middle school portion of the district’s Master Facilities Plan Phase I, as authorized by district voters as Issue 81 in November 2013. 

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 1:31 PM, 06.16.2017

BOE to discuss middle school facilities plan at June 27 meeting

The CH-UH City School District Board of Education plans to discuss the current middle school facilities renovation plan at its next board work session meeting, on Tuesday, June 27, at 7 p.m., in the Wiley campus cafeteria.

Community members are invited to attend the session to learn more about the status of the Monticello and Roxboro Middle school renovations, and provide feedback to board members as they approach the July 11 deadline for confirming plans with the design and construction team. However, the board will not facilitate a community discussion or hear additional proposals at the June 27 work session.

At the meeting, the board plans to confirm whether the current renovations plan, which is part of the larger Master Facilities Plan, is the right path for the district’s future. The board will also consider alternative paths as part of the discussion.


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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 1:14 PM, 06.13.2017

Church of the Saviour seeks new director for its Early Learning Center

The Early Learning Center (ELC) at Church of the Saviour is seeking a qualified candidate to replace its current director and teacher, Patricia Deal, who leaves in July, after 29 years, to begin a new job.

For more information about qualifications for the director position, contact ELC at 216-321-1685. Applications may be sent to the Church of the Saviour Early Learning Center at

For single-parent families and those with both parents working, one of the biggest challenges is finding competent childcare for preschool children and after-school care for elementary school students.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 4:40 PM, 06.30.2017

Heights High boys relay team wins state championship in 4x100 race

Members of the Heights High boys 4x100 relay team (in yellow, from left) Zaire Webb, Shakorie Davis, Rahmon Davis-Smith and Jakeith James, with their coaching staff, after their state championship win on June 3.

The Heights High boys 4x100-meter relay team— juniors Zaire Webb and Jakeith James and seniors Rahmon Davis-Smith and Shakorie Davis—won the state championship on June 3 in Columbus.

The 4x100 team members ran a 41.68 in the prelims on Friday, June 2, which put them third overall and second in their heat, behind Gahanna Lincoln. The Heights High Tigers came through in the finals on Saturday, running a 41.36 to beat Lincoln High for the title.

Shakorie Davis also made the it to the medal stand as an individual, finishing fourth in the state in the boys 200-meter dash. Davis was in sixth place after the prelims, running a 21.72 in the second heat. He then ran a 21.75 race in the finals to finish fourth.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 11:40 AM, 06.13.2017

CH-UH students learn the joy of running

Members of Canterbury Elementary School's Run Like A Tiger club at Roxboro Elementary School's Run Like It's Recess.

photo by Gabe Schaffer

Elementary students in the CH-UH school district are—like most children their age—full of energy. Parents and staff members have put that energy to good use by engaging the district’s children in a variety of running clubs.

From Girls on the Run (GOTR) programs at Boulevard, Fairfax and Oxford elementary schools, to run clubs at Canterbury and Roxboro elementary schools, and a lunchtime running group at Noble Elementary School, students learn one of the most challenging lessons of both sports and  life: sticking with something when it's hard.

“This was not just about running,” said school counselor Melinda Stoicoiu. “It’s about relationships.” At Fairfax's 75-minute GOTR sessions, participants discussed issues such as bullying, gossip, leadership, friendship and self-confidence, as well as how to set and reach personal goals and overcome challenges. They also cleaned up trash and planted flowers on the school grounds.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 4:44 PM, 06.30.2017

Cedar Fairmount to host free family concert on June 22

Jen Maurer and Anthony Papaleo will perform on June 22 with Corn Potato Duo Aaron Jonah Lewis and Lindsay McCaw.

Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District, Nighttown Restaurant, and Jim Wadsworth Productions invite the community to a free family-friendly concert on Thursday, June 22, 7–9 p.m., at Nighttown's Stephen's Green (12383 Cedar Road).

Northeast Ohio duo Jen Maurer and Anthony Papaleo, performing old-school blues and roots music, will join American music traditionalists the Corn Potato Duo, Aaron Jonah Lewis and Lindsay McCaw, for a fun and rowdy night of music.

Both groups have toured throughout the world, from the U.K. to Colombia, performing American Roots music.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 11:25 AM, 06.13.2017

Gesu School wraps up spring season with 33rd annual Hike for Hunger

Gesu students raised more than $14,000 in the school's 33rd annual Hike for Hunger.

Gesu Catholic School students raised more than $14,000 in the school’s annual Hike for Hunger, held on May 19 this year. In the event’s 33 years, Gesu students have raised more than $370,000 to support a variety of social service agencies that help the poor and homeless, both locally and internationally.

University Heights Mayor Susan Infeld, speaking at the event’s kick-off ceremony, congratulated the students on their continued efforts and dedication to making the world a better place.

The Hike for Hunger was part of an eventful spring at University Heights’ Gesu School.

Phase two of its STREAM Center opened on April 27. This newly remodeled area includes two Makerspaces filled with equipment for turning creative ideas into reality.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 11:21 AM, 06.05.2017

Business succession planning workshop to be held June 9

Seku Shabazz

Financial planner Seku Shabazz will lead a workshop on business succession planning for small business owners on Friday, June 9. Sponsored by FutureHeights and the Small Business Development Centers of Ohio (SBDC), the workshop will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Ohio SBDC at Cleveland State University’s location on the 2nd floor of the Lee Road Library’s Knowledge and Innovation Center, 2340 Lee Road.

“The workshop aims to help local merchants, specifically ones who are ready to retire or leave their business and are concerned with what will happen with their business in the future,” said Micah Kirman, chair of the FutureHeights Planning & Development Committee, which is organizing the workshop. “Seku Shabazz will look to show business owners that there are possible options that they can take when they feel that they are ready to leave their business or retire. These options can consist of anything from handing the business over to a loyal employee or selling the business to a family member.”

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:09 PM, 06.02.2017

The Fairmount serves up art alongside cocktails

The Fairmount's main bar, with a photo by Steve Vacariello overhead. [photo by Jayne Sestak]

Along with its selection of craft and draft beers, extensive wine list, cocktails and small plates menu, The Fairmount Cocktail Bar also offers an alternate venue in which emerging and established local artists display their work. Every few months, The Fairmount presents new visual experiences that make use of its indoor and outdoor spaces. “It’s all about creative community building,” said co-owner Jake Orosz.

The current exhibit, the Factory Window series by Megan Frankenfield, runs through June 15, with an artist’s reception scheduled for Saturday June 3, 6–9 p.m. Frankenfield’s series is inspired by the beauty of the Rust Belt, as nature reclaims old factory buildings and bridges throughout the region. Photographic images in intensely saturated tones hover gracefully behind layered windows and rusty framework—remnants of once-thriving industry. Her work has been exhibited in local galleries including the Screw Factory, and in a corporate installation at the Cleveland Hilton Convention Center Hotel.

Mid-June through mid-September, Cleveland native and internationally sought-after photographer Steve Vaccariello returns to The Fairmount after a three-year absence.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 6:58 PM, 06.02.2017

FutureHeights to host June 13 public forum on development tools

Wayne Mortensen

FutureHeights will hold a public forum, Development Tools: Give Away or Benefit?, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13, at its offices in the Coventry School building, 2843 Washington Blvd.

FutureHeights’ Planning and Developing Committee organized the forum to help inform Heights residents about real estate development tools, such as tax abatement, tax credits, and tax increment financing (TIF). Speaker Wayne Mortensen, director of design and development for Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) and a Cleveland Heights resident, will explore the costs and benefits of these common financial tools that are commonly used in development projects throughout Northeast Ohio.

Mortenson is a Nebraska native. He and his wife, Jill, moved to Cleveland Heights in 2010.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 12:53 PM, 05.31.2017

Students win health career awards

Yidiayah Box (left) and Sydney Williams placed first in regional competition and advanced to the international competition in June.

Heights High Career and Technical Education (CTE) students Yidiayah Box and Sydney Williams placed first in the Ohio Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) competition in Toledo on April 19 and 20, and qualified for the international competition in Orlando, Fla., June 21–24. They were among 16 Heights High CTE students who competed in the 40-event regional HOSA competition.

Box, a junior, is in the Sports Medicine and Exercise Science program and won first place in the Job Seeking Skills competition. She was judged on the strength of her resume content and cover letter.

“Her resume reflects her activities and leadership,” said Sports Medicine and Exercise Science teacher Casey Graham. “It demonstrated her high achievement and really helped her win this award.”

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:36 PM, 06.02.2017

RTA driver commends Heights students

Leslie Rivers (center) with a few of the  students who ride the RTA #41 bus: Brendon Lawrence, Taniya Wilcox, Larrielle Lockwood, Ladaishare Lockwood, Navi-Ayuri Lockhart and Travonna Lewis.

RTA bus operator Leslie Rivers was so impressed with the maturity of Cleveland Heights High School students that she called Administrative Principal Zoraba Ross, commending the students who ride bus route 41 on Tuesdays, the school’s early dismissal day.

In her message to Ross, Rivers said that the students are good representatives of the school and they do the right thing. She asked Ross to let the students know that they should keep up the good work. Over the 17 years that she been an RTA bus operator, she said she has seen many groups of students.

Ross thanked the students during the morning announcements, commending them for their mature attitudes and for representing Heights High with pride.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:38 PM, 06.02.2017

CH City Council initiates new agreement for Top of the Hill

The preliminary site plan for Top of the Hill from Flaherty & Collins, which was included in the city manager's May 12 Memorandum to Cleveland Heights City Council.

At its May 15 meeting, Cleveland Heights City Council voted to authorize City Manager Tanisha Briley to negotiate a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Indianapolis-based developer Flaherty & Collins Properties to move forward with the “Top of the Hill” project.

The Top of the Hill project refers to the approximately four acres of city-owned property at the corner of Cedar Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard at the top of Cedar Hill. As a highly visible property at the gateway between the Heights and University Circle, developing this property has been a long-time goal of the city.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 1:35 PM, 05.16.2017

CH-UH district puts Coventry building up for sale

Coventry building

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District announced on May 10 that it will pursue the sale of the Coventry School site. On May 22, the district announced that it will sell the property to the city of Cleveland Heights, once the city identifies a viable developer. 

Formerly Coventry Elementary School, which the district closed in 2006, the property is now home to various organizations, the majority of which are not-for-profit. Tenants include Ensemble Theatre, Family Connections, Lake Erie Ink, Artful Cleveland, Reaching Heights, FutureHeights, Urban Oak School, and Coventry Children’s Center. The former school playground, now known as Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park, also occupies the site, and numerous community events, including Coventry Village Special Improvement District’s summer movie series, take place there.

The district said it is pursuing the sale of the site because of an estimated $1 million in building repairs needed in the near future. These repairs include a new roof, projected to cost $750,000; a new wooden play structure for the park, estimated at $300,000; and additional improvements, including plumbing and HVAC updates and new windows.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 12:18 PM, 05.23.2017

City of Cleveland Heights to increase sewer fees to comply with Clean Water Act

Once the city of Cleveland Heights institutes phase one of a sanitary sewer remediation plan, prompted by a proposed federal Consent Decree, CH residents’ sewer bills will increase. The federal government is enforcing the Clean Water Act of 1972, which requires municipal sanitary collection systems to operate without overflows during wet weather.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 11:49 AM, 05.30.2017

Free Christian day camp returns in June

Campers enjoy story time with their counselor after lunch.

In one of their last acts at Hope Lutheran Church’s current site, 2222 North Taylor Road, church members will offer to the community the 17th annual Christian Day Camp, June 26–30. The camp is free of charge and open to all children in grades 1–6. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

On-site registration begins at 8:15 a.m. on Monday, June 26. Residents who live near Hope Lutheran Church will receive a flyer and registration form delivered to their homes during the month of June. Anyone can request a registration form by calling 216-371-5252, and the church also welcomes advance registrations.

Activities offered at this annual free camp, which adheres to the guidelines set by the American Camping Association, include singing, storytelling, Bible stories, athletics, crafts, and one-on-one Christian mentoring. The church provides snacks and drinks. Each child should bring his or her own lunch, as well as a clean, white T-shirt for a tie-dye project.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 6:55 PM, 06.02.2017

New photo exhibit opens June 8 at Foothill Galleries

Dee, 2017. Photo by Angelo Merendino

In Dad’s Chair, a new photography exhibit, will open on June 8 at Foothill Galleries. The photos, by Angelo Merendino, feature the photographer’s friends sitting in what was Merendino’s father’s favorite chair.

The public is invited to the opening reception on June 8, 6–9 p.m. The show will be on display through Aug. 13.

Merendino, 43, grew up in the North Hill section of Akron and now lives in Old Brooklyn. After his father died in May 2014, and his mother died in December of that same year, Merendino inherited the chair, which his parents had bought, along with a matching couch, in the 1950s.

"I always wondered what my dad was feeling when he sat in this chair," Merendino said. "But, in general, I think he was at peace when he was in the chair. Dad was certainly larger than life, with endless energy."

After his parents died, said Merendino, he started thinking about how they had touched other people's lives, and how those people stored memories of his parents in their minds. The chair became Merendino's way to remember as much as he could about his parents.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 6:47 PM, 06.02.2017

Eastwood Furniture opens loft to exhibiting artists

Some of the items in the "Song of Steel" exhibit at the Loft at Eastwood.

The Eastwood Furniture store has expanded its space, taking over the second floor of the building at 3451 Fairmount Blvd., and creating a pop-up shop and gallery called the Loft at Eastwood.

Eastwood’s owners, Ron and Angie Nandor, first explored the concept last fall, when Madelaine Mavec, a Cleveland Heights artist, displayed and sold her paintings above the furniture store. Mavec, who calls herself an experimental painter, will return to the loft this fall.

"We want to use the space to showcase local artists," said Ron Nandor. He added that the artists choose whether or not they want to sell any of their work while it is on display at Eastwood.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:05 PM, 06.02.2017

'Jewish Lady Gaga' returns to Cain Park on June 25

Lipa Schmeltzer

Lipa Schmeltzer returns to Cain Park for the second year on June 25. Last summer he wowed an Evans Amphitheater audience with his Yiddish vocals, backed by local instrumental musicians, and his dance moves. The show's sponsor, the Workmen’s Circle, liked the show so much, he’s back, which is a rarity: The Workmen’s Circle hasn’t had a repeat performer for back-to-back summers since the 1980s.

Schmeltzer, 40, was raised in an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic household in New York. He broke away from the sect a few years ago and became simply Orthodox. As a youth, he wasn’t encouraged to pursue secular learning (among many other things). Schmeltzer is now a student at Columbia University.

He is fluent in Yiddish, which is the first language of many Hasidim. He interjects pop music references into his Yiddish and English repertoire. The media—trying to get a grip on him—has called him the “Jewish Elvis” and the “Hasidic Lady Gaga.”

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:00 PM, 06.02.2017

HYC member earns Indians scholarship

Beverly Burgess, HYC director, and Devonte Simon.

“It’s like a dream come true,” said Heights High senior Devonte Simon about his involvement with Heights Youth Club (HYC), a Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland affiliate, located at the corner of Lee Road and Washington Boulevard. Simon is both an HYC member and junior staff member; he takes part in club activities, and also helps provide mentoring and other services for younger members.

As runner-up for 2017 Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, Simon was awarded a $3,000 college scholarship by the Cleveland Indians Charities.

Simon has taken part in the Boys & Girls Clubs national Keystone leadership training program. He traveled to Dallas last summer, along with 10 Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland student leaders, to attend the national Keystone convention. For Simon, it was an opportunity to learn and network with high-achieving peers.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 6:52 PM, 06.02.2017

Dobama tackles opioid addiction in 'How to Be a Respectable Junkie'

Dobama Theatre is adding a summer production this year: the World Premiere of Greg Vovos’s "How to Be a Respectable Junkie." The play is based on the true story of a recovering heroin addict from Northeast Ohio.

The plot concerns Brian, an addict, who decides to end his life. Before doing so, however, he makes an Internet video for users everywhere, instructing them on how to be “respectable,” because even he has grown weary of their behavior. Despite the subject matter, "Junkie" is both humorous and hopeful, and puts a human face on the issue of opioid addiction.

Greg Vovos is a member of the Playwrights’ GYM, Dobama Theatre’s professional playwriting unit. His most satisfying work has addressed such issues as racism, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, obesity and the challenges of transitioning back to society after incarceration. Vovos explained, “For me, writing this play was about theater doing its ultimate job: serving the community.”

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 6:44 PM, 06.02.2017

Library starts lending Internet access

Mobile hotspots come in a carrying case with a charger and USB cable.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System is now offering customers access to mobile Internet hotspots. A hotspot is a small, portable device that connects up to ten wireless-enabled devices, such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet, to the Internet. The devices can be checked out with a library card and work in any area covered by the Sprint 3G or 4G LTE network.

“These devices essentially allow people to check out the Internet,” said Nancy Levin, Heights Libraries director. “Let’s say you’re going camping and want to bring your laptop—a hotspot device will allow you to upload photos to Facebook or Instagram, surf the Web, and watch movies. Or maybe you can’t afford Internet access at home and really need it for something, like a job interview via Skype—you can borrow a hotspot for free and get that.”

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:29 PM, 06.02.2017

Library tailors free coding classes to teens and kids

For many, summer is filled with swimming, reading and farmers markets. At the Lee Road Library, summer means opportunities for people of all ages to code with the new Summer of Code program.

Alyse Giannotti and Ann MacNamara, technology trainers at the Lee Road Library, have collaborated to bring Summer of Code to the community. The pair have been working together for the past year teaching Coding Basics, a four-part quarterly series, to adults.

During that time, they noticed an increasing number of teens and children were taking the adult Coding Basics classes, and realized they needed to reach a new audience..

“There has definitely been a growing need and interest from teens and young kids,” said Giannotti. “Our Coding Basics series always has a wait list. We once had an 8-year old come in with her grandmother and attend the course.”

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:34 PM, 06.02.2017