Latest News

Members of CH youth track club compete in AAU Junior Olympics

Coach Alana Williams with Joe Kellers and Xavier Jackson, after the 800M race.

Fifteen members of Cleveland Heights Tigers Youth Track Club participated in the 2017 AAU (Amateur Athletics Union) Track and Field Junior Olympics, held July 29 through Aug. 5 in Detroit.

After qualifying at the district and regional finals in June and July, these top-finishing athletes moved on to the Junior Olympics to compete at the national level.

The Tigers took the field for shot put, hurdles, 400M, 800M, 1500M and 4x relays at Eastern Michigan University. Representing Cleveland Heights were Jordan Morman, Rondale Reid, Na'kyla Ford, Allana Fair, Simon Williams, Joe Kellers, Jebree Peterson, Xavier Jackson, Nick Vitantonio, David Tyus, Sir Thomas Hill-Bey, Asia'lee Fair, Ana Williams, Amaya Mattox and Kennedy Ferguson-Castro. While they took home no medals, they did set four personal records.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 10:19 AM, 08.15.2017

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

Communion of Saints School opens new preschool

Communion of Saints preschool's large-muscle room.

The new preschool at Communion of Saints School in Cleveland Heights will open on Aug. 22.

The half-day program, 8:30–11 a.m., runs Monday through Friday for 4- and 5-year-olds, with 3-year-olds attending on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. An optional lunch bunch program runs from 11 a.m. to noon.

Karen Sommers is the preschool teacher. She graduated with honors from Kent State University and most recently was the lead pre-K teacher of PDO Preschool at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 10:18 AM, 08.15.2017

Volunteer Match: Heights High orientation, Heights Music Hop, Heights Observer

The renovated Heights High opens to students on Aug. 21. A community open house is scheduled for Sept. 10.

Heights Observer’s Volunteer Match column lists opportunities for residents to lend their time and talent to worthy organizations and causes around the Heights.

Submit your organization’s volunteer needs by e-mailing Sruti Basu at or calling the FutureHeights office at 216-320-1423.

Items submitted on or before the Heights Observer print issue's monthly story deadline will be considered for the next column. (To see past columns, visit, and search “volunteer match”.)

Heights High Orientation: The renovated Heights High will open for student orientation/schedule pick-up on Aug. 15 and 16. While several elements of the school are located in the same place as before, much of the building is different. The school district wants to ensure that students feel prepared and comfortable on the first day of school, Aug. 21, and seeks community volunteers to help direct students and families as they walk through their schedules from 4 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 15 and 16. Volunteers will stand at specific locations in the building (with a map) and assist students as they locate classrooms on their schedule. Volunteer training will take place at 3:30 p.m. each day. Contact Joy Henderson, the district’s liaison for parents and community, at if you can help.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 11:54 AM, 08.09.2017

CH City Council votes to form CDC working group

At its July 31 meeting, Cleveland Heights City Council declared its intent to partner with FutureHeights as the city’s community development corporation (CDC) and authorized the city manager to form a working group to flesh out the details. The resolution passed 4-1, with Council Member Kahlil Seren casting the dissenting vote. Council Members Michael Ungar and Jason Stein were absent.

The legislation will take effect Sept. 4, when council returns from its summer recess. City Manager Tanisha Briley will create a nine-member working group that will have three city staff representatives, three FutureHeights representatives, and three members of the community at large. The group will discuss goals and priorities, governance, funding sources and other topics to help guide the CDC and determine the roles of the CDC and city staff.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 11:32 AM, 08.08.2017

Burning River Baroque performs in Cleveland Heights Aug. 9 and 11

Malina Rauschenfels and Paula Maust performing at Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland. [photo by Alex Belisle]

On Wednesday, Aug. 9, and Friday, Aug. 11, Burning River Baroque will present a new program in two Cleveland Heights venues, The Stone Oven and St. Alban Episcopal Church.

“At a Crossroad: Will You Live, Love, or Die?” features soprano and violinst Malina Rauschenfels and harpsichordist Paula Maust. The duo will present a program of French cantatas and harpsichord solo, with works by Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Julie Pinel, and Nicolas Racot de Grandval.

The Aug. 9 concert will take place at The Stone Oven, 2267 Lee Road, at 6:30 p.m. (donations are welcome).

St. Alban Episcopal Church, 2555 Euclid Heights Blvd., will be the venue for the Aug. 11 concert, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. (suggested donation is $10–15).

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 6:48 PM, 08.07.2017

Practice electoral awareness

To the Editor: 

Cities, towns, and all other forms of community organizations depend upon their elected officials to guide their futures through good and bad times. Residents expect competent leadership, practical solutions to ordinary issues, and the development and promotion of cultural and philosophical attitudes that define the quality of life which they seek for themselves and their families.

Over the many years that Cleveland Heights transitioned from a bucolic suburb just up the hill from Cleveland to "an inner ring suburb" with all the connotations that phrase infers, our city has had to deal with a variety of significant social and economic issues. It has done so successfully primarily because its voters have chosen sensitive, thinking, and intelligent members of the community to lead and guide the destiny of their city.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 1:23 PM, 08.07.2017

Mural adds vibrancy to Cedar Taylor corner

Artist Thomas Conger in front of his mural in the Cedar Taylor Business District. [photo provided by Kevin Smith of CTDA] 

Cedar Taylor Development Association (CTDA) commissioned artist Thomas Conger to install a mural in the Cedar Taylor Business District.

Conger completed the mural, on the west façade of the building at the southwest corner of Cedar and Taylor roads, on July 2.

CTDA, a grassroots group of property owners, merchants and residents with the common goal of beautifying and enhancing the neighborhood, selected Conger in fall 2016 from among those who responded to its call for artists.


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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 2:43 PM, 08.07.2017

Heights High reopens on Aug. 21

An aerial view of the front of the high school showcases the restored front facade, new additions on the sides of the building, and the sports field. Photo by Adam Dew.

“After years of planning, designing, moving and renovating, it is finally time to open the new Heights High,” said CH-UH Superintendent Talisa Dixon. “We are looking forward to welcoming the community to tour the building at our grand opening in September. Heights High will be a showpiece for the community and provide our students with a building that is designed for 21st-century education.”

Cleveland Heights High School will reopen its doors to students on Aug. 21 for the start of the 2017–18 school year. The building, originally constructed in 1926, has undergone an extensive transformation over the past two years. The most dramatic change is the removal of the 1960s-era science wing, returning the look of the front courtyard to that of a collegiate quadrangle, with restoration and a new open front lawn.

The Heights community is invited to celebrate the reopening of Heights High on Sunday, Sept. 10, 1–4 p.m. The community open house will include tours of the building, a dedication ceremony, commemorative merchandise and other offerings in conjunction with the Heights Schools Foundation.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 11:55 AM, 07.31.2017

Heights Music Hop announces lineup and venues

The Heights Music Hop presents live music in familiar and unusual venues. Here, a band performs inside Washington & Lee Service.

The Heights Music Hop will return for its fifth-annual festival this September with a stellar lineup of artists and venues that will span three Cleveland Heights business districts.

This year’s many acts include: The Whiskey Hollow, By Light We Loom, oldboy, Wildlife Soundz, Maura Rogers & the Bellows, New Thousands, Charley Mosbrook, Teddy Boys, Classical Revolution Cleveland, DJ Knyce, Diana Chittester, City Limits, Holden Laurence, Jason Patrick Meyers, The Mason District, J. Leshelle, Blacklister, Smoke Screen, Revolution Brass Band, and The Rainbow Emergency. A full schedule and list of performers will be available on the Heights Music Hop website and its social media accounts.

The 2017 Hop will begin in Coventry Village on Thursday, Sept. 7. It then moves to Cedar Fairmount on Friday, Sept. 8, and culminates in Cedar Lee on Saturday, Sept. 9.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:15 PM, 07.31.2017

Residents share ideas for Coventry site

Photo by Brady Dindia

On July 27, the city of Cleveland Heights held a public meeting on the potential sale and development of the Coventry School site, which includes Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park and Playground. The forum brought together members of Cleveland Heights City Council, the city manager and the city’s economic development director, as well as residents who voiced their opinions about, and hopes for, the Coventry site.

Attendees wanted to discuss what types of development might occur, how development would impact quality of life, how much influence a developer would have, whom would benefit from the development, and consideration of any similar projects that nearby cities might have undertaken.

Tanisha Briley, city manager, assured residents that any developer with whom the city may partner will not be able to tell the city what to do with the Coventry site. Briley said that “the train has not left the station,” meaning that no official decisions on the site have been made, and noted that when they are, residents will be informed. She stated that the goal of the RFQ/RFP process was “to stimulate creativity from the development community,” and that the city had set no minimum economic impact to be generated by development.


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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 1:06 PM, 07.31.2017

New Heights-based organization forms to benefit community heroes

Washington & Lee Service will repair donated vehicles.

Cleveland Heights community members J. Shorey, Nancy Landreth and Chip Ramsey have launched a new foundation to serve the heroes in our community—firefighters, police officers, teachers, military personnel and others whose unique gifts and talents make the Heights community stronger and better. Heights Heroes, a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization, seeks to identify and support those individuals, especially when they or their families need a little extra help due to injury or illness.

Heights Heroes is funded through donations of cars, motorcycles, boats—anything of value that can be rehabilitated and sold. Ramsey, owner of Washington & Lee Service, will repair the vehicles that have value; the organization will then sell them and put the profits back into the foundation. Items that cannot be repaired will be scrapped and the proceeds likewise put into the foundation.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:12 PM, 07.31.2017

Every 10 years . . .

That guy is not me, but in February 1976, I did watch the demolition of the original Coventry School, my alma mater—a bit of a metaphor for my whole education experience. 

I don’t know if this is unusual or not these days, but when my class graduated from Heights High, there were at least 15 kids who had been there since we were in kindergarten. And that was just from my kindergarten class at Coventry School. The Cleveland Heights-University Heights system had 11 elementary schools at that time, so there may have been somewhere around 165 “lifers” in the senior class. And there were others, too, who moved into the system in first, second and third grade and then stayed for the whole ride.

So I don’t know if that would be out of the ordinary today. But what I do believe is unusual is that my parents both went through the Heights school system, and my kids did as well. Three generations is a lot, these days. And if plans don’t change, the fourth generation will attend Heights schools, too.

I’m thinking about this because my 50th high school reunion takes place this month.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 5:54 PM, 08.01.2017

FutureHeights plans two mini-grant info sessions for prospective applicants

FutureHeights offers small grants of up to $1,000 to residents of Cleveland Heights, to help fund projects that improve the quality of life in their community. The grants are intended to spur a wide variety of small, grassroots community projects.

The next application deadline is Friday, Sept. 15, at 5 p.m.

To learn more about the application process and grant guidelines, FutureHeights invites prospective applicants to attend one of two upcoming information sessions: on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 6 p.m., or Thursday, Aug. 24, 7 p.m. Both sessions will be held at FutureHeights, 2843 Washington Blvd., Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 2:10 PM, 08.01.2017

CH residents invited to municipal court judge candidates forum

A public forum with the three candidates for Cleveland Heights municipal court judge will be held on Thursday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m., at Disciples Christian Church, located at the corner of Mayfield and Yellowstone roads.

The Cleveland Heights Housing Committee of Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC) is hosting the forum, which offers Cleveland Heights residents the opportunity to meet and hear from the candidates.

The committee planned the forum as an outcome of a listening campaign about the concerns of Cleveland Heights residents, in which housing issues were identified as a top priority in the city. Specific issues include housing values that fell during the recession and have only recently begun to rebound, and the impact on neighborhoods of vacant, blighted and tax-delinquent houses.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:32 PM, 07.31.2017

UH Library renovation is on track

The view of Cedar Road from inside the partically renovated University Heights branch. 

The renovation of the University Heights Library is on schedule, and tentative plans to open the building to the public sometime in mid to late October are in the works, with a grand-reopening celebration scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 12.

The major work on the exterior of the building took place throughout June and July. Roofing work is complete, mechanical air handling units have been installed on the roof, and the glass walls on the Cedar Road elevation and south elevation are complete, as are the wood-look metal siding on the building’s outer “hoops,” and the metal corrugated siding on the north elevation and northwest projecting stairwell.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 1:00 PM, 08.01.2017

Volunteers seek to establish Kiwanis Club in the Heights

A pre-organizational meeting for those interested in establishing a Kiwanis club here in the Heights is planned for Wednesday, Aug. 16, 7 p.m., at the Lee Road Library (2345 Lee Road).

The organizers invites anyone interested in joining a group that serves the Cleveland Heights and University Heights community, empowers youth (and adults) to become leaders through service to others, and provides opportunities to network with like-minded individuals, to attend the planning meeting.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:46 PM, 07.31.2017

New Spirit Revival Center

Temple on the Heights in the 1920s [courtesy of B'nai Jeshurun]

For most of its life, the building at 3130 Mayfield Road was Temple on the Heights (aka Temple B’nai Jeshurun), a Conservative Jewish congregation, and one of the two earliest synagogues to be situated in a Cleveland suburb.

Indeed, B’nai Jeshurun marked the first stage of Jewish community migration away from the city.

Recognized for its 12-sided central dome, the building features a multi-faceted red tile roof and two-and-a-half story arcaded entry loggia, beautifully accenting the eclectic building which shows both Byzantine and Romanesque influences. 


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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 10:53 AM, 08.07.2017

Experiences are key to learning

This summer, my wife and I are taking our first vacation without kids in 23 years. We have been fortunate to have taken our daughters all around the world. They have experienced cities, mountains, oceans, museums, and more. Travel enables people to see the world in new and different ways, and provides background for new learning.

We also exposed them to whatever enriching things we could in the Cleveland area, visiting parks, museums, zoos, going to concerts and plays, music lessons, camps, and much more. Our daughters had every possible advantage and incorporated their varied experiences into their learning in and out of school. 

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 1:56 PM, 08.01.2017

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. park is an essential community asset

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park and Playground [photo by Brady Dindia]

The Coventry P.E.A.C.E. playground was created 23 years ago by a group of passionate and engaged citizens, in collaboration with the school board and city of Cleveland Heights.

Since that time, Coventy P.E.A.C.E., a nonprofit organization, has endured. Its volunteer members are stewards of the park, caring for the grounds, gardens and play equipment through biannual park work days.

Coventry park is really a campus, as it encompasses the multi-use Coventry School building, the park itself, the ball field, the P.E.A.C.E. arch, the Coventry Village Library and the south entrance to Coventry Village.

The park serves at times as a soccer and Frisbee field, a summer movie theater, an amphitheater for Shakespeare plays, a great sledding hill for little kids, a gathering place for a drum circle, a concert venue, a place for outdoor yoga classes, a reading garden for library patrons, a place to meet neighbors, a place to make friends and a place where one can just “be.” Per square foot it is the most-used ground in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 1:31 PM, 07.31.2017

Thanks to all the supporters of Coventry School tenants

To the Editor:

I am the board president of ARTFUL, the newest tenant of Coventry School.

When ARTFUL chose the space we now occupy at Coventry School, we were excited by the fact that we were going to be surrounded by such wonderful and experienced organizations. As a start-up nonprofit, we felt our proximity to these other tenants would be a huge benefit as we grew. But we could never have imagined how truly significant this would be.

In a few short months we built our walls, leased our studios to many wonderful artists, and formed partnerships with several of these extraordinary groups. The brainpower housed under this roof is an invaluable resource, not only to us, but to the entire Cleveland Heights community, and beyond.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 1:09 PM, 08.01.2017

Choosing the words we use

Every human language is constantly changing, as people grapple with explaining, describing and understanding our world. This is a good thing; languages that never change die. The words we choose to label ideas, objects and people evolve, and our usage changes the words themselves.

Of course, as we are all aware, this is not strictly an organic process. Powerful players go to great lengths (with great means at their disposal) to change the meanings of words in ways both subtle and not.

For instance, we now have the “sharing economy.” This moniker is used to describe relatively new arrangements whereby people rent out space (in their homes, in the case of Airbnb) or charge for services (providing taxi service in their personal vehicles, as with Uber and Lyft). If this co-optation of “sharing” to denote commercial relationships sticks, it will be interesting to see how we eventually describe an act of generosity that does not involve payment.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 1:57 PM, 08.01.2017

Heights residents to perform in Cain Park production

Cleveland Heights resident Nicole Sumlin will play the lead role of Marian the librarian in Cain Park's production of "The Music Man in Concert." [photo courtesy Cain Park]

On Aug. 5 and 6, Cain Park’s Evans Amphitheater will be filled with the music of Meredith Willson’s "The Music Man," in a concert version of the musical featuring the Cleveland-based Contemporary Youth Orchestra (CYO). The production is directed by Joanna May Hunkins, with music direction by Jordan Cooper.

More than a dozen Cleveland Heights residents are set to showcase their talents on the Evans Amphitheater stage for "The Music Man in Concert," including leading female star Nicole Sumlin, who will portray Marian Paroo. The list of local preformers includes Sumlin siblings, August and Easton; Jeffrey Bendix and Joan Bendix; Maple Buescher; Courtney Foerg; Gabriel Mallamad;  Luca Mokotoff and Sienna Mokotoff; Julie Sabroff; Will Sanborn; Rosie Tilk; Cecilia Willets and Cordelia Willets; Grace Willmott; and Hannah Woodside.

Performances will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6. Also on Aug. 6, Bill Rudman of The Musical Theater Project will provide a pre-show talk for ticket holders, at 1 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 11:42 AM, 07.31.2017

BETHS offers programs in advance of High Holy Days

The Jewish High Holy Days are around the corner, and Beth El-The Heights Synagogue (BETHS) invites the community to a series of three events in preparation for them.

First up is a Kabbalat Shabbat (welcoming the sabbath) service and dinner on Friday, Aug. 18. Miriam Giardina will speak on “A Convert Looks at Tshuvah.” (T’shuvah means return or repentance, among other things.) The service will start at 6:30 p.m., with teaching starting at 7 p.m., followed by candle-lighting, dinner, and more teaching. The dinner is primarily vegetarian, usually with one fish dish, and the cost is $10. Those who want to attend should register at the synagogue website,

On the weekend of Sept. 8–9, Beth El will present two programs. Both will look at the machsor—the rich but often bewildering prayer book for the High Holy Days—and both will feature singing.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:10 PM, 08.01.2017

HRRC is always looking for new instructors

As fall approaches, the Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) is planning a large selection of home improvement classes for inside and outside the house. HRRC's classes help homeowners plan for insulation and window projects, and teach them how to prep their yards and lawns for the autumn and winter months, among many other topics.

HRRC is constantly on the lookout for volunteer instructors for home repair classes. The organization's first-rate, newly revamped teaching workshop gives instructors an opportunity to impart their wisdom to others, and the lot next to the HRRC building has become a great location for teaching classes on yards and home exteriors.

Those who possess the skills needed to fix things around the house don’t always realize how lucky they are, and instructing at HRRC is one way for them to see how useful their skills can be on a practical level.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 2:17 PM, 08.01.2017

Heights Arts hosts Enticing benefit

Honoree Stever Presser, with his family (from left): Brynne Presser Funderburg (daughter),   Debbie Apple-Presser (wife), Merrick Presser (son), Steve Presser, Arleigh Presser (daughter), Alex Purtell ( Arleigh's boyfriend). Son-in-law Nick Funderburg was unable to attend.

On Saturday, July 15, Heights Arts welcomed more than 100 people to its first Enticing benefit.

Thanks to its many supporters, volunteers and attendees, the event was a smashing success, raising almost $20,000 in support of Heights Arts' mission to celebrate the region's literary, musical and visual artists, and share their work with the community.

Heights Arts held the event in a stunning penthouse and glass cube space, overlooking downtown Cleveland—a frequent venue for Heights Arts' always sold-out Close Encounters chamber music series.

Owned by Rick Maron and Judy Eigenfeld, the location was a fitting place in which to honor Steve Presser, founding Heights Arts board member and Big Fun owner, whose steady support of Heights Arts has helped the nonprofit grow. Heights Arts now produces more than 60 programs and events each year.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:51 PM, 08.01.2017

Dayvione Briggs earns track and field scholarship

Dayvione Briggs signs her National Letter of Intent while her mother, Tiffany, and assistant track coaches Brandon Biggom and Claude Holland look on.

Heights High graduate Dayvione Briggs, a standout track and cross-country athlete, has signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to compete in track and field at Wheeling Jesuit University starting this fall.

Briggs graduated from Heights High in May, and had a decorated four-year career in cross-country and track. Now, she has received a scholarship to continue her athletic career on the collegiate level at Wheeling Jesuit.

Briggs expects to compete in the 100-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles, and heptathlon events for the Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:25 PM, 08.01.2017

Roxboro Middle School's Jordan-Shaw honored

Math teacher Tiffany Jordan-Shaw with her Roxboro Middle School students.

On June 8, Tiffany Jordan-Shaw, a Roxboro Middle School math teacher, was one of 33 Ohio teachers to receive a 2017 Celebrate Teaching Distinguished Educator Award.

Battelle for Kids, a nonprofit organization committed to collaborating with school districts and communities, recognized Jordan-Shaw as a distinguished educator for her impact on her students, colleagues and community.

The organization made the awards, to celebrate, support and inspire great teaching, at its Educators Connect for Success Conference.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:27 PM, 08.01.2017

Grant funds improve cycling safety for students

Safe Routes to School funds provided 24 bikes to be used for cycling skill and safety instruction in CH-UH elementary school physical education classes. The bikes are also used for school bike clubs and other cycling events.

Travelers in Cleveland Heights this summer will see new solar-powered speed feedback signs next to Canterbury, Roxboro and Oxford elementary schools, Monticello Middle School, and the Hebrew Academy. Exceeding the speed limit triggers impossible-to-ignore flashing lights, reminding drivers to slow down.

These signs are a result of a collaboration between the city of Cleveland Heights, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, Heights Bicycle Coalition and others in the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. SRTS is a federal initiative to encourage walking and bicycling to school.

Other improvements include new sidewalk curb ramps and crosswalks at the schools listed above, and new bike racks at some schools.

Walkability is a strength of the Heights communities. We have sidewalks to schools, parks, shopping districts, arts and religious institutions.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:15 PM, 08.01.2017

Cleveland Heights Senior Center News

Do you have a passion for helping others? Join the CARE program as a volunteer to help maintain the safety and independence of local older adults in need. 

CARE volunteers assist with projects inside and outside the home that enable older adults to stay safe in their homes as long as possible.

CARE is a new collaborative program for homeowners aged 60 or older who live in the cities of Cleveland Heights, Highland Heights, Lyndhurst, Maple Heights, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Solon and South Euclid.

CARE’s mission is to engage community resources in order to maximize the safety and independence of older adults who wish to remain in their homes.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 2:20 PM, 08.01.2017

Name change reflects department's expanded mission

Technology Librarian Jackie Mayse teaches a photo editing class for seniors at the Cleveland Heights Community Center using Heights Libraries’ mobile computer lab.

When Heather Howiler decided to change the name of her Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System department from “training” to “continuing education,” she felt the change was overdue.

The department has been expanding steadily over the past few years. In addition to its long-standing computer and software classes, it offers new classes that teach website creation using online tools such as WordPress, and coding basics for all ages.

A mobile computer lab visits the Cleveland Heights Community Center and local retirement communities, offering classes to seniors in social media, computer basics, and more sophisticated topics such as photo editing.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:44 PM, 08.01.2017

What's going on at your library?

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

Wednesday, Aug. 16, 3 p.m.
Fairtytale STEM. 
This STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program is for ages 3–6. Join us for a lively afternoon storytime of fairy tales and adventure, followed by a simple science-themed activity that relates to the story.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:48 PM, 08.01.2017

City of CH to hold public forum on Coventry school site

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park and Playground.

On July 27, the city of Cleveland Heights will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, to enable residents to voice their opinions and comments about the development of the former Coventry school site, including the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park and Playground. 

In the days following the public meeting, the organizations that are housed in the Coventry school building will host Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus Community Weekend, a series of events at the site, including Coventry Village Special Improvement District’s showing of the family-friendly movie "Power Rangers" at 9 p.m. on July 27, a building open house on July 28, a playground cleanup and community picnic on July 29, and the Cleveland Foundation’s “Common Ground” discussion at Ensemble Theatre, focusing on the future of the arts in Cleveland Heights, on July 30.

The public meeting is in anticipation of the release of an RFQ/RFP (Request for Qualifications/Request for Proposal) that the city will issue regarding the site’s development. The city has agreed to take into account public input prior to its release. A copy of the current draft RFQ/RFP can be found here.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 2:09 PM, 07.25.2017

Workshop considers Triangle district's future

Barb Sosnowski presents her team's vision for the Triangle District. Don McBride listens in.

More than 50 people gathered at Disciples Christian Church on July 9 to describe, in words and sketches, how the Triangle district could be revitalized. The business district, sometimes referred to as Center Mayfield, comprises a triangular area around the meeting points of Mayfield, Noble and Warrensville Center roads, and is characterized by light industry, restaurants, insurance agencies, personal grooming and home furnishings stores, repair and specialty shops, and office space. Institutions, including Noble Elementary School and Noble Neighborhood Library, anchor the district, and Cleveland Heights-owned properties cover significant acreage. Among the city’s holdings in the district are an impound lot, the sewer division’s offices and service yard, CH Police Precinct number 4, a carpenter shop, a salt shed, a large aggregate-storage yard and a small office building.

The large vacant parcels in the Triangle have recently inspired some to consider how the entire district could be reimagined. There are three vacant lots of more than an acre apiece—a city-owned lot at Glenwood and Noble Road, a large parcel to the rear of the storefronts along Mayfield at South Noble roads, and the recently cleared site of the building that housed the Center Mayfield Theater. The two privately owned lots are for sale.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 11:22 AM, 07.25.2017

Volunteers organize to care for Cedar Lee mini park

Micah Kirman (left) and Sruti Basu from FutureHeights pull weeds from a mini park planting bed. Ann Cicarella photo.

Over the years, the pedestrian space between the parking area behind the Cedar Lee Theatre and Lee Road has at times felt like a gracious park, and at others like little more than an alley through which one can take a shortcut because there happens to be a gap between the buildings. Businesses at this end of Lee Road estimate that every year well over 200,000 people come to see a movie, visit the gallery, enjoy a meal, or have a drink in a bar, and many of those people walk through the Cedar Lee mini park—without necessarily even knowing it’s a park.

Landscape designer Ann Cicarella is not the first activist to want to do more with the park, but she has some new ideas and specific expertise that could help sustain long-term improvements. “I am just one person in a long line of people who have tried for many years to improve the site,” Cicarella said.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 10:25 AM, 07.25.2017

Williams named interim Heights High principal

Brian Williams will serve as the one-year interim Heights High principal.

Brian Williams, longtime school district administrator and current coordinator of alternative programming at the Options Center, has been named the interim high school principal for the 2017–18 school year.

The CH-UH City School District recently completed the interview process for its open position of high school principal, bringing in two finalists for community interviews in June. The top candidate, however, declined the district’s offer.

Williams will serve as Heights High’s principal for the upcoming school year, and then return to lead the Options program. Claude Holland, a retired CH-UH teacher and coach, will serve as interim options site supervisor for 2017–18.

The district plans to conduct a national search for a permanent replacement principal at Heights High, beginning in the spring of 2018.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 11:39 AM, 07.24.2017

City hires communications director

Mary Trupo

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

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 designed 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

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 6-27-2017

JUNE 27, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Personnel
  • Finance
  • Middle school facilities update

BOE President Ron Register, Vice President Kal Zucker, Jim Posch, Eric Silverman and Beverly Wright were present, as were Superintendent Talisa Dixon, Assistant Superintendent Felisha Gold, and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The public meeting began at 7 p.m. and ended at 9 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 2:19 PM, 07.25.2017

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education and Cleveland Heights City Council joint meeting highlights 6-26-2017

JUNE 26, 2017

  • Board of Education topics
  • Superintendent's update
  • Cleveland Heights City Council topics

School board members present were Vice President Kal Zucker, Jim Posch, Eric Silverman and Beverly Wright. Board President Ron Register was absent. Also present were Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer.

City council members present were Mayor Cheryl Stephens, Vice Mayor Jason Stein, Mary Dunbar, Carol Roe, Kahlil Seren, Melissa Yasinow and Michael Ungar. City Manager Tanisha Briley was also present.

The meeting began at 7 p.m. and was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 2:18 PM, 07.25.2017

University Heights City Council meeting highlights 6-19-2017

JUNE 19, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Building Commissioner sworn in
  • Swensons Restaurant
  • NOACA grant request
  • Storm water management
  • 3886 Silsby Road
  • Purchase of two new pickup trucks
  • Special permit for chickens
  • Variance for a rear addition
  • Discussion of firefighter concerns

Present were Mayor Susan Infeld, Vice Mayor Susan Pardee, and council members Pamela Cameron, Philip Ertel, John Rach, Michele Weiss and Mark Wiseman. Steven Sims arrived after roll call and Philip Ertel left during public comments. Also present were Law Director Luke McConville, Finance Director William Sheehan, and Clerk of Council Kelly Thomas, clerk of council.

The meeting was held from 7 p.m. to approximately 12:15 a.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 2:16 PM, 07.25.2017

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 7-3-2017

JULY 3, 2017

  • Public comments
  • New and promoted police officers
  • HOME agreement with HRCC
  • Top of the Hill development
  • Medical marijuana ordinance
  • Charter Review Commission
  • National Parks and Recreation Month
  • Tax budget
  • Bond anticipation notes renewal

Five council members were present: Vice Mayor Jason Stein, Kahlil Seren, Carol Roe, Michael N. Ungar and Melissa Yasinow. Mayor Cheryl Stephens and Council Member Mary Dunbar were absent. The meeting lasted from 7:46 p.m. to 8:14 p.m., with Vice Mayor Stein presiding.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 2:15 PM, 07.25.2017

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 6-19-2017

JUNE 19, 2017

  • Public comments
  • Liquor Control permit transfer applications
  • Coventry Village SID plan
  • CDBG funding
  • Sewer system consent decree and sewer rates
  • Abatement of nuisance properties
  • Charter Review Commission
  • Guidelines for emergency legislation
  • Mayor’s report

All council members were present: Mayor Cheryl L. Stephens, Vice Mayor Jason Stein, Mary Dunbar, Kahlil Seren, Carol Roe, Michael N. Ungar and Melissa Yasinow. The meeting lasted from 7:50 p.m. to 10:23 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 2:14 PM, 07.25.2017

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 6-19-2017

JUNE 19, 2017

  • Wendy Gernsheimer retires
  • University Heights Branch adds new staff
  • Public forums on topical issues
  • Signage for University Heights Library
  • Book Bike and children’s books
  • Friends receives large cookbook collection.
  • FFHL to feature Thrity Umrigar
  • Cuyahoga County community read
  • May public service report highlights

Present were Board President Ron Holland, Secretary Chris Mentrek, James Roosa, Suzann Moskowitz and Max Gerboc. Vice President Abby Botnick and Susan Beatty were absent.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 2:08 PM, 07.25.2017

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