Latest News

Coventry Holiday Fest is Dec. 10

The Grinch will visit Coventry on Dec. 10.

The holiday season just doesn't feel the same without some "Big Fun" on Coventry—so, as part of Coventry Village's 8th Annual Jingle Bell Holiday Shop, Steve Presser, the impresario behind the beloved Cleveland toy shop, will be back for the event with retro gifts, knick-knacks, collectibles, vintage neon letters and more for sale.

The Holiday Shop will take place on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Grog Shop and BSide Lounge (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd.).

It's part of the Dec. 10, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Holiday Festival in Coventry Village.

Coventry Road will be aglow with decorative lights and festive characters walking about and taking photos with festival visitors, including the Grinch and Olaf. Santa will also be on the move, taking in the live music hosted at various venues along the street.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 8:46 AM, 11.29.2022

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I'm talking about Coventry

Coventry Road, from Euclid Heights Boulevard, looking toward Mayfield Road, in 1940. That house in the center is still there, as are many of these buildings.

I tend to write about Coventry Village fairly often in these columns. I guess that’s why the Heights Libraries’ Coventry Village Branch has invited me to speak on that topic on Thursday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. It’s free and open to the public.

When I was first asked to do that, my immediate thought was: I’m not a Coventry expert. But then I thought: Well, actually, I grew up there. And so did my parents. And I have always spent time there, my entire life (so far). My family and I have spanned most of Coventry’s history. Plus, I’ve written about it and, in the process, researched its history. So, if I’m not an expert, who is?

My family and I can check most of the significant boxes: Jews migrated there from the 1920s to the 1950s. That’s my parents, whose families moved to the neighborhood in the early ’20s (my father) and mid ’30s (my mother). I was there through the ’50s. Then it became a counter-culture haven in the middle and late ’60s. I was right there, right then, and just the right age. And I’ve lived nearby ever since.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 9:16 AM, 12.05.2022

Student musicians rise to challenge of the 'pit'

The Heights High musical pit orchestra in rehearsal. [photo by Eve McPherson]

When we think about musicals, probably the first thing that comes to mind is the singers who take center stage. But there are many more people involved in creating a musical. Among the significant contributors are the musicians in the pit orchestra.

In Heights High’s November production of "Sister Act," 26 student instrumentalists took on the challenge of the pit.

According to Dan Heim, Heights High’s director of orchestras, playing in the pit requires a level of skill beyond what is needed in regular school ensembles. Heim should know; an accomplished professional violist, Heim was for several years a full-time orchestra member at Germany’s Theatre Lübeck, where, he said, “Probably two-thirds of the services were in the pit. We’d do operas, operettas, and musicals.”

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 1:58 PM, 11.30.2022

'Friends' donates $100,000 to PEACE Park redesign

Nancy Levin (fifth from left), Heights Libraries director, with Heights Libraries and FOHL board members.

Friends of the Heights Libraries (FOHL) celebrated its 60th anniversary by presenting Heights Libraries’ Director Nancy Levin with a check for $100,000 on Oct. 23, at its 60th annual meeting.

The donation will be used to help redesign and redevelop Coventry PEACE Park and its playground (part of Coventry PEACE Campus, owned by Heights Libraries).Details about the plan can be found on the Heights Libraries website, heightslibrary.org.

Ketti Finneran, FOHL board president, said, “I am proud that our mighty group of volunteers has successfully raised significant funds through our used-book sales and members’ contributions. The libraries in Cleveland Heights and University Heights act as gathering places for the community. Helping to fund the refurbishment of the Coventry PEACE Park at the corner of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard represents a huge opportunity to add to, and improve upon, a huge community asset.”

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 2:03 PM, 11.30.2022

Zagara's Marketplace was a CH citizen

With Dave’s Market now open on Lee Road, it occurred to me that a Cleveland Heights tradition like Zagara’s Marketplace should not just fade into the past without notice.

Zagara’s was a sort of citizen of the city, and should be recognized as such.

My son started working at Zagara’s when he was still in high school and the store was located at Lee and Yorkshire roads. I have learned that [his employment] was by no means unique.

In fact, John Zagara prioritized hiring Heights High students because he thought that it was important for them to gain work experience. My son’s work at Zagara’s prepared him for a 30-plus-year career in the grocery business.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 1:49 PM, 11.30.2022

Seniors enjoy 'Writing in the Gardens'

A gathering of writers at Council Gardens.

With lifetimes of stories to tell, and the opportunity to gather with the guidance of a professional writing teacher, eight seniors let their tales unfold during a Literary Cleveland class held in the library of the Council Gardens apartment complex in Cleveland Heights.

The topics they chose to address could be timely or timeless. One writer, who attended the class session the day after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, chose to explore how the reign of the UK's longest-serving monarch paralleled much of the lifespans of the generation represented in these classes. The Council Gardens residents enjoyed the subsequent conversation, sparked by the piece about the Queen, that revealed various perspectives about the future of the British monarchy and its role in society.

Another senior writer used the opportunity to explain how one could write about nothing, since after all "nothing is something."

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 1:40 PM, 11.30.2022

Tending our collective backyard

A century ago, municipal parks featured velvety lawns flanked by tidy groupings of trees, shrubs and annual blooms, often imported from Europe or Asia. Today, scientists and landscape designers advocate “re-wilding"—using native plants to recreate lost habitats, as insect and bird populations decline. These small, endangered creatures are the pollinators we depend on to fertilize the plants that underpin our food system and, indeed, all of life on earth. It is time to transform our beloved city parks.

Most spring, summer and fall mornings, Cleveland Heights retirees Stu and Kathleen Greenberg can be found in Forest Hill Park behind the Recreation Center, tending a few square feet of ground at a time. They remove thickets of invasive, non-native plants (Amur honeysuckle and multiflora rose are two major culprits), uncovering native trees and shrubs—and the occasional park bench. In newly opened spaces they plant black-eyed Susan and varieties of coneflower.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 1:47 PM, 11.30.2022

Crenshaw served library during tumultuous time

Heights Libraries Board President Gabe Crenshaw.

Heights Libraries Board President Gabe Crenshaw will complete her term on the library board at the end of December. Crenshaw served a three-year term, replacing outgoing board member Suzann Moskovitz, who left after serving four years of a seven-year term.

Crenshaw’s three years on the board have been marked by considerable changes and challenges for the four-building library system, ranging from COVID-19 shutdowns to preparation for a major renovation of the Noble Neighborhood branch.

“Gabe has been with us through a very challenging and exciting period of time,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “And during this past year serving as board president, she guided the board with confidence and grace.”

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 9:17 AM, 12.05.2022

Lead-safe law overlooks inspector shortage

A well-intentioned “lead safe” law recently was enacted by Cleveland Heights City Council. Mayor Seren calls it a “housing-based solution” to protect children in rental units. It is not a solution that makes sense.

Lead in paint has been banned since 1978. Many houses and rental units contain old lead paint. It usually is safely overpainted and encapsulated. Children are not busily eating paint chips. Problems occur when dust is created by negligent paint removal, or unreasonable wear and tear. Such dust then can be tracked into households. It can harm small children crawling on rugs who put their hands in their mouths. Otherwise, old lead paint is not hazardous.

Nobody claims all lead paint must be removed from all surfaces. There should [be] public education given to all residents about potential hazards and remedies. Instead, city council has chosen to single out and demonize landlords.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 1:46 PM, 11.30.2022

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 11-7-22

NOVEMBER 7, 2022 - regular meeting

  • Public comments
  • Mayor’s report
  • Barbara Boyd
  • Clerk of council’s report
  • Sharing facilities
  • Other council action
  • Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook 
  • Council member comments
  • Committee of the whole

 

Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Council President Melody Joy Hart, Council Vice President Craig Cobb, and Council Members Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., Josie Moore, and Davida Russell. Also present were Addie Balester, clerk of council, and William Hanna, law director. The meeting ran for one hour.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 9:20 AM, 12.05.2022

What’s going on at your library?

Coventry Village Branch

1925 Coventry Road, 216-321-3400

Thursday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m.

Let's Head to Coventry! A Journey Back in Time with David Budin. Local writer/journalist David Budin will speak on the unique and colorful history of the Coventry Road business district. He'll detail the history of some of the businesses and people who have made Coventry a dynamic cultural hub.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 9:13 AM, 12.05.2022

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 11-1-22

NOVEMBER 1, 2022, regular meeting

 

  • Public comments
  • Recognitions and awards
  • Progress in health instruction
  • Purchase orders
  • Expansion of Title IX protections
  • Announcements

 

Present were President Malia Lewis, Dan Heintz, James Posch, Jodi Sourini, and Beverly Wright. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. 

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 3:14 PM, 12.05.2022

National leader urges collaboration

On Nov. 1, I attended a meeting of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education with Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Weingarten leads a union of 1.7 million professionals working in 3,000 organizations, including the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union AFT Local 795.

I didn’t know what to expect, but I was happy to attend. It isn’t often that a person with as much power, status and responsibility as Weingarten invites you to spend time with her and treats you as a valued and wise partner, but that is exactly what she did.

In our gerrymandered state it is very easy to feel powerless to affect policy.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 1:44 PM, 11.30.2022

LEI offers creative December programs

December is full of opportunities for kids of all ages to create. at Lake Erie Ink: a writing space for youth (LEI).

Up first is Paper Making on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 4–5:30 p.m., followed by Lantern Making as part of the Coventry PEACE Campus Lantern Festival on Saturday, Dec. 10.

 A Puppets and Poems program will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 4–5:30 p.m.

And, during winter break, students in grades two through five can participate in Creative Play Day sessions filled with hot cocoa, creative activities, and craft making Dec. 28 through Jan. 4, from 9:30 a.m. till noon.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 2:08 PM, 11.30.2022

Dec. 3 light fest will set Grandview aglow

The Grandview LightFest in 2021, its first year.

On Saturday evening, Dec. 3, to celebrate the beginning of winter, the entire length of Grandview Avenue will glow with hundreds of luminaries.

The 10-person team of neighborhood volunteers, who launched the Grandview LightFest event last year, invite Heights residents from other neighborhoods to visit the street after dark to enjoy the lights. 

"The luminaries transform our neighborhood for one night,” said Andrea Crabb, who helped spearhead the event. “They line both sides of the street from Cedar to North St. James and create a magical winter village, and we want as many people as possible to enjoy it.”

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 9:14 AM, 11.29.2022

Cleveland Potters' Co-op hosts holiday sale

Vases, bowls and other items are on display in the windows of the Potters' Co-op on Kensington Road. [photo: Kim Sergio Inglis]

After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the Cleveland Potters' Co-op is again hosting a holiday pottery sale this December.

The sale, featuring ceramic art and objects made by co-op members—mugs, bowls, planters and more—will take place on Friday, Dec, 2, 7–9 p.m.; and on Dec. 3 and 4, and Dec. 10 and 11, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The potters invite the public to their studio during sale hours, to partake of light refreshments while shopping for holiday gifts. Visitors will also have an opportunity to meet co-op artists and learn about the classes they teach.

The Cleveland Potters' Co-op is a group of area potters who share the expenses of operating a ceramics studio and offer classes for the community.

The co-op is located at 3175 Kensington Ave. in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 8:54 AM, 11.29.2022

Lantern Festival will light up the night on Dec. 10

The lantern procession proceeds down Coventry Road.

For some, the cloak of darkness on winter nights offers the perfect opportunity to paint the world with light, inspiring the annual Coventry PEACE Campus Lantern Festival and Procession. 

This year's festival is planned for Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Coventry PEACE Campus, 2843 Washington Blvd., as part of Coventry Village's Holiday Festival.

At the PEACE Campus, lantern festival activities begin at 3:30 p.m., with free lantern-making workshops. Lake Erie Ink will offer haiku lanterns, and ARTFUL artists Adam Brumma and Jacqui Brown will be making origami and paper and twig lanterns.

Lantern workshop participants and community members who have lanterns of their own are invited to join the procession, which will start at 5 p.m., at the PEACE Campus flagpole.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 8:51 AM, 11.29.2022

Severance Action Group envisions a plan for redevelopment

Many of us living in Cleveland Heights have been concerned for years about the steady deterioration of the Severance Town Center, formerly known as the Severance Mall. We have watched the occupancy rate fall to well below 50%, and feared that we might lose Dave’s, Home Depot, Marshall’s and OfficeMax—the few remaining major occupants. We have seen potholes develop that are wide enough and deep enough to not only cause a pedestrian fall, but even trap and damage a vehicle. And we could not see that anything was being done to address these issues. All of this in the very heart of our city and right next to CH City Hall.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 10:59 AM, 11.22.2022

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 10-18-22

October 18, 2022, work session

 

  • Advanced Placement program update

 

Present were President Malia Lewis, Dan Heintz, James Posch, Jodi Sourini, and Beverly Wright. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. 

Advanced Placement program update

The superintendent and members of the administrative and teaching staff presented information on the Heights High Advanced Placement (AP) program. Four teachers presented their curriculum for the AP classes they teach: Biology, Spanish, Computer Science, and Studio Art.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 3:17 PM, 12.05.2022

Sophie La Gourmande and Heights Arts collaborate

Art on the walls—and in the pastry case—surrounds diners at Sophie La Gourmande. [photo: Kim Sergio Inglis]

This year's Heights Arts Holiday Shop has overflowed the nonprofit art space at 2175 Lee Road, extending down the block to 2277 Lee Road—home of Sophie La Gourmande.

"I am all about collaboration," said Bob Sferra, Sophie's owner. "This marks our third sort of large collab in the past six years. The energy and mission of Heights Arts has always been a favorite of mine!  Plus, Rachel Bernstein and her team are so great to work with."

The art installation at Sophie La Gourmande will be on view through the beginning of the new year, until Jan. 17.

Each piece on the gourmet shop's wall is accompanied by a QR code that describes the piece and provides an opportunity to purchase it.

Sophie La Gourmande opened on June 1, in the space formerly occupied by Verne & Ellsworth Hann Inc.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 10:16 AM, 11.22.2022

Cedar Lee businesses host holiday drives

Rudy's Pub's sock drive runs through Dec. 18

Rudy's Pub, at 2191 Lee Road, is hosting its annual sock drive through Dec. 18.

The business is accepting donations of new socks for children and adults.

Across the street, at 2180 Lee Road, CLE Urban Winery is a 2022 drop-off location for Toys for Tots. New, unwrapped toys can be donated at CLE through Dec. 14.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 10:14 AM, 11.22.2022

Heights Arts seeks next CH poet laureate

Ray McNiece performing live at Ekphrastacy: Artists Talk and Poets Respond.

Heights Arts initiated the Cleveland Heights poet laureate program more than 20 years ago. It is now seeking the city's 11th poet laureate, to serve a  two-year term, April 2023 through March 2025—Heights Arts’ 25th anniversary. The Cleveland Heights poet laureate receives a yearly stipend, participates in civic and community events, and manages Heights Arts’ popular Ekphrastacy—Artists Talk and Poets Respond series.

Heights Arts is accepting applications for the position through Dec. 31. Anyone applying for the laureateship must commit to serve the full 24-month term of service if selected, and be either a resident of Cleveland Heights or have a significant relationship to the Cleveland Heights community. 

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 1:38 PM, 11.15.2022

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 10-17-22

OCTOBER 17, 2022, regular meeting

 

  • Mayor’s report
  • Clerk of council report
  • Council actions on emergency
  • Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook
  • Lead safe ordinance
  • First readings, no vote
  • Council member comments
  • Committee of the whole

 

Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Council President Melody Joy Hart, Council Vice President Craig Cobb, and Council Members Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., Josie Moore, and Davida Russell. Also present was William Hanna, law director. The meeting ran for 45 minutes.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 3:13 PM, 12.05.2022

HSF names Heights alumna new director

Laura Loebl has been named executive director of the Heights Schools Foundation.

The Heights Schools Foundation (HSF), the nonprofit fundraising arm of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, has named Laura Schwartz Loebl its new executive director.

A 1987 graduate of Cleveland Heights High School, Loebl has built a 30-plus-year career in nonprofit development and marketing, corporate communications, and sales. Prior to joining HSF, she was the Development Director at Mandel Jewish Day School in Beachwood.

“As a proud alumna and champion of Tiger Nation, I’m thrilled to take on this important role of leading the Heights Schools Foundation,” said Loebl. “It’s a tremendous honor to be able to serve the schools and the community that have done so much for me.”

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 1:37 PM, 11.15.2022

Apply now for 2023 Neighborhood Leadership Workshop Series

NLWS 2022 participants Lauren Zeleznik (left), Jessica Wobig, and Yvonne Wallace.

Photo credit: Sarah Wolf

FutureHeights is accepting applications for its 2023 Neighborhood Leadership Workshop Series (NLWS). The program teaches strengths-based community-building skills in a cohort model that allows participants to connect with other engaged residents and stakeholders in Cleveland Heights.

The majority of program graduates go on to serve in leadership capacities in their neighborhood groups and other organizations across the city.

The deadline to apply for the 2023 cohort is Jan. 13. (The 2022 cohort filled up ahead of the application deadline, so don’t delay in applying, if you are interested.)

The workshops will take place on Sundays, Jan. 22, Feb. 5, Feb. 26, March 12, and March 26, 3–6 p.m. at Coventry PEACE Campus. Participants are expected to commit to all five sessions, both to get the most out of the program, and to build a strong cohort with their fellow participants.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 1:35 PM, 11.15.2022

Heights Arts Holiday Store opens Nov. 4

Jellicle Cats, jewelry by Dylan Kamalay.

This year's Heights Arts Holiday Store will be open Nov. 4 through Dec. 30.

“The Heights Arts annual Holiday Store offers a unique shopping experience for people seeking special gifts made by local artists," said store manager Heather Patterson. "We strive to display carefully curated works, and enjoy helping you find the perfect personalized gift.”

The holiday store has celebrated local artists for more than 20 years, and has expanded during that time.

The 2022 shop features approximately 120 artist contributors—chances are, some of your neighbors might be among them.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 2:37 PM, 10.31.2022

Walter Stinson was University Heights

A public servant, a gentleman, a family man, and a legend, Walter Stinson was laid to rest on Oct. 14. Photo by Caleb Schuster.

Walter J. Stinson, 94, who served the city of University Heights for more than four decades as its community coordinator and senior services manager, died on Oct. 7. He is survived by Sara, his wife of 47 years, son Paul, and two grandchildren.

“Walter Stinson was a good man, and a great man. He loved this community, and he served this community like no other," said Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan. “He is an inspiration, and an example for us all.”

Stinson, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., moved to University Heights in 1973. Three years later, Mayor Irving Konigsberg hired him to become the city’s first community coordinator, where he promoted fair housing opportunities, welcomed new homeowners, encouraged neighborhood activities and planned senior citizen programs.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 9:57 AM, 11.01.2022

FH rehabs 22 homes in three-plus years

Micah Kirman, FutureHeights' interim executive director, and Thomas Radford in front of Radford's new home on Elbon Road. 

“I was looking for a move-in-ready house on a quiet tree-lined street located close to my medical school job in University Circle,” said first-time homeowner Thomas Radford, who previously lived in Solon and Bainbridge. “This house checked all the boxes for me.”

Radford's house, on Elbon Road in Cleveland Heights' Noble neighborhood, is one of 22 vacant and foreclosed homes rehabilitated so far through work led by FutureHeights, the city's community development corporation (CDC). Each had fallen into disrepair, and some were facing possible demolition.

Until this year, FutureHeights sold each vacant house, prior to renovation, to a developer who then carried out the work and re-sold the renovated house to an owner-occupant. (One such renovation project was completed in May, just two doors down from Radford's home, in keeping with FutureHeights’ targeted approach to neighborhood investment and redevelopment.)

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 9:41 AM, 11.01.2022

12 reasons to shop local for the holidays

At this time of year, we typically run a local holiday shopping guide. I’d like to say it’s a reader favorite, but the truth is we get underwhelming feedback on it from readers and businesses alike.

We hope to replace it next month with a guide to holiday events and programs that will take place in the community throughout December.

But our message about supporting neighborhood businesses is as relevant as ever: Please shop local for the holidays.

Here are 12 reasons why:

  1. It’s personal. The people who run local independent businesses tend to be deeply embedded in the community. They’re friends and neighbors. So who manages the nearby big box stores? Have you ever met them? Where do they live, shop, send their kids to school?
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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 10:05 AM, 11.01.2022

The happy kind of blues

Raymond DeForest

Raymond DeForest was inducted into the Cleveland Blues Society Hall of Fame on Oct. 30. The longtime Cleveland Heights resident has been playing music professionally for 50 years.

The Cleveland Blues Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving blues music in this region. It sponsors jam sessions, and holds an annual Blues Cruise on the Goodtime III as a benefit to raise funds, with which it provides scholarships to high school students who are interested in blues performance or related fields.

I had a ‘60s-style folk music group, Long Road, for about 10 years, from 2007 till 2017. Ray was our bass player. He was the rock-solid foundation of the group. We didn’t have a percussionist, and if any of us ever lost the beat—which happens sometimes to every musician—we’d just listen to Ray playing and pick it right back up. 

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 2:41 PM, 10.31.2022

UH band performs free concert Nov. 6

The University Heights Symphonic Band (UHSB) will perform its annual fall concert on Sunday, Nov. 6, 3:30 p.m., at John Carroll University's Dolan Science Atrium.

As always, admission to the concert, and parking, will be free.

UHSB will perform concert-band classics from Holst, Reed and Sousa, as well as new music from Reineke and Mackey.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 2:30 PM, 10.31.2022

Democracy does not begin or end with Election Day

In our June 2020 column, we wrote that citizen participation in a democracy requires effort beyond merely voting. Now, we approach this theme from a different angle: local government’s responsibility to facilitate resident access and involvement. We consider a few practices—some recent, others longstanding—at our own Cleveland Heights City Hall.

For years, council members and the public complained about city manager Tanisha Briley’s habitual insistence that council pass legislation “declaring an emergency,” even when it did not address an urgent matter. Under Mayor Seren, this practice has continued, although the full text of the proposed legislation now includes the reason for emergency status.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 10:17 AM, 11.01.2022

FutureHeights awards mini-grants to three Heights projects

An example of a hydroponic garden. Courtesy Fork Farms.

The FutureHeights Neighborhood Mini-Grant program has awarded grant funding to three Heights groups in the fall 2022 round of funding—Oxford Community Garden, Roxboro Elementary School, and the Cleveland Heights Green Team.

Oxford Community Garden, established in 1934 as a Victory Garden, was awarded $1,000 for its Raised to Grow project, which will install raised garden beds to help conserve water and to make it easier for older gardeners to participate. The garden's organizers also plan to plant shrubs, to try to prevent deer from infiltrating the garden space. Their hope is to continue to engage the whole community—everyone from the children in the neighborhood to the eldery—through these gardening enhancements.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 2:27 PM, 10.31.2022

Jury duty is both a right and a privilege

I suspect that most people’s first response when getting a jury summons in the mail is, how am I going to get out of this? If that is you, read on . . .

You were selected randomly from the voter rolls or a list of licensed drivers. Your employer cannot penalize you for being called to jury duty, and cannot require or request that you use vacation or sick leave for time spent while being called to jury duty.

You do not need to worry about not knowing anything about the law. It is the judge’s job to provide you with the law. Your role is to decide the disputed facts.

Nearly every resident at least 18 years of age can serve on a jury.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 10:12 AM, 11.01.2022

State report card inadequate as quality measure

In September, the Ohio Department of Education issued its annual report cards for each school in the state’s 610 districts. The reports are based on state-mandated tests taken last spring by students in grades 3–12. Calling these annual data dumps a report card is a stretch; that would suggest depth, thought about the complex components of quality education, and qualitative, as well as quantitative, information.

A summary of results for the Cleveland Heights–University Heights City School District is posted on the district’s website (www.chuh.org) under the headline “District makes strides in closing education gaps.” According to last year’s test data, several of our schools have done a great job reducing test performance differences among children by race, income and other categories. That’s something to be proud of when your goal is equity.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 10:20 AM, 11.01.2022

A pro-Horseshoe Lake summary of the issues

Between formal public statements and social media, the debate over Horseshoe Lake has become a tangle of ideas and responses. The following is an attempt to organize them.

There is no apology here for being partisan [pro-lake]; those who want to remove the lake speak pretty well for themselves.

The neglected spillway of Horseshoe Lake was found in 2018 to have seriously deteriorated. The state ordered Shaker Heights to drain the lake in 2019. Shaker Heights turned to the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. The sewer district [replied with] a hard "no," but offered to remove Horseshoe Lake forever. Everything after that is subject to dispute. The debate rages in the following areas:

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 10:14 AM, 11.01.2022

CH mayor's micromanaging impedes progress

While I do not present myself as an expert in city management, I do find it my civic duty to keep well informed on local issues.

Viewing the Committee of the Whole meetings of Cleveland Heights City Council on YouTube is an excellent method to educate oneself as regards the interactions between our current elected officials.

The meeting of Oct. 3 displayed the discord that obviously exists within council, as well as between council and the administration. At the heart of this conflict is council's direct access to information from administration department heads.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 10:01 AM, 11.01.2022

The Warner-Racca House

Warner-Racca House in 2015 [photo: J.R. Salisbury]

The Warner-Racca house, one of Cleveland Heights’ most picturesque, is known for the projecting circular staircase that forms a major component of its façade.

Designed by architects Meade and Garfield, the East Overlook home was completed in 1898. It was designated a Cleveland Heights Landmark in 1996.

The architect may have modeled the distinctive stairway appendage after the 16th-century spiral staircase tower at the Chateau of Blois, in France; in any case, he was certainly inspired by the romantic chateaux along the Loire River.

Half-timbering and ornate chimneys add to the eclectic décor of the home. Its interior boasts artfully carved woodwork and leaded glass, including around the graceful staircase.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 10:25 AM, 11.01.2022

What’s going on at your library?

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

Monday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 10:26 AM, 11.01.2022

Library chooses CMAR for Noble branch renovation

After a competitive RFP (request for proposal) process, Heights Libraries has hired the Independence Construction-DeGeronimo Companies as the construction manager at risk (CMAR) for the Noble Neighborhood branch renovation project. The decision was announced at the library’s Oct. 17 board of trustees meeting.

The Independence-based company has extensive experience with both for-profit and nonprofit projects. They include Pinecrest in Orange Village, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s new distribution center in Cleveland, and several libraries—most recently the new Bay Village Library.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 2:34 PM, 10.31.2022

UH breaks ground on long-planned South Taylor townhomes

The ground is officially broken at South Taylor Place.

In an Oct. 14 ceremony, the city of University Heights and Knez Homes broke ground on the South Taylor Place townhomes.

When the project is completed, 30 new "luxury" townhomes will have been built, in clusters of three or four homes. Each will have a two-car garage, and some will feature rooftop decks with views of the Cleveland skyline.

“This progress has been a long time coming,” said University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 9:46 AM, 10.18.2022

MetroHealth's new hospital opens at Severance

From left, Akram Boutros, M.D., MetroHealth president and CEO; Bev Lozar, executive director of Behavioral Hospital Operations; Julia Bruner, M.D., senior vice president for Behavioral Health and Correctional Medicine; and Jane Platten, executive vice president and chief administrative officer. 

A dedication ceremony to mark the opening of the MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Behavioral Health Hospital was held on Oct. 4.

The new three-story, 100,000-square-foot hospital at 10 Severance Circle is believed to be the largest investment in behavioral health in Northeast Ohio in at least 30 years. The 112-bed hospital facility is designed for short-term stays for adolescents, adults and seniors with mood disorders, addiction, and other behavioral health needs.

“We’re setting a new standard in relation to care in Northeast Ohio,” said Julia Bruner, M.D., MetroHealth’s senior vice president for Behavioral Health and Correctional Medicine. “We want to do the best for our patients and our families and the community.” The new hospital, she said, is “designed to be a place of calm, of welcoming and of light.”

The hospital, on the campus of the MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Medical Center, will add 225 jobs and generate an estimated $350,000 in additional tax revenue for Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 10.17.2022

Heights art students upcycle trash into treasure

The best-in-show winning piece was inspired by A Snowy Day.

Visitors to the Heights Eco Fair on Oct. 8 had the opportunity to view more than 100 works of art created by 10th- and 12th-grade Heights High students, and vote for their favorite pieces.

With the exhibit, From Trash to Treasure, art teachers Sarah Cooper and Nancy Rich-Drehs saw an opportunity to channel their students’ creativity through an awareness of the environment.

“We had already done some upcycled artwork in previous years," Cooper explained, "but a meeting with members of the Cleveland Heights Green Team helped give context to the work and inspired a movement that impacted the [school] building as a whole.

“Instead of just utilizing found materials, we tasked students with developing systems for acquiring items we could use. Our artists made phone calls, sent e-mails, and created collection bins that we plan to continue using for future upcycled projects. With this approach we were able to acquire the raw materials we needed while reducing the amount of waste leaving our school building for a landfill. It was an amazing opportunity for Heights’s artists to experience art as activism.”

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 4:17 PM, 10.25.2022

Dave’s Markets acquires Zagara’s Marketplace

The main entrance to Zagara's Marketplace. 

Dave’s Markets has acquired Zagara’s Marketplace on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. 

Zagara’s will close on Oct. 21. On Oct. 29, it will reopen as Dave’s Market and Eatery.

Dave’s Market in the Cedar Fairmount Business District will close on Oct. 25.

Dave’s is a fifth-generation family-owned and operated business, with three generations of the Saltzman family currently active in Dave's Markets.

David Saltzman, a fifth-generation member of the family, said, “We continue to believe in Cleveland Heights and we’re ready to deepen our investment in the city. We’re going to rebrand the new location as Dave’s Market and Eatery."

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 3:14 PM, 10.10.2022

Library security guard de-escalates toy gun incident

The Lee Road entrance to the Lee Road Library.

On the afternoon of Oct. 6, at Heights Libraries' Lee Road branch, a young teen "under eviction" from the library tried to enter the building with what appeared to be a handgun protruding from the waistband of his pants. It was later determined to be a toy “splatter gun.”

The security guard in the lobby, Roosevelt James, was alerted to the teen’s presence by several children as they entered the building. James took swift action to secure the safety of customers in the building by immediately calling 911, then calmly confronting the teen and preventing him from entering the building.

Cleveland Heights police arrived quickly and took the teen into custody. According to police, the weapon was not a handgun, but a realistic-looking toy gun—an Orbeez, or water pellet gun.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 11:31 AM, 10.10.2022

Beaumont wins back the golden racquet

A pre-match picture of the Beaumont and Heights High tennis teams.

Each year, the Beaumont School and Cleveland Heights High School varsity girls' tennis teams compete to bring home the “golden racquet.”

The tenth annual matchup took place at Cain Park on Oct. 4, with the Beaumont Blue Streaks beating out the Cleveland Heights Tigers 4-1.

The trophy, a tennis racquet painted gold, will reside in the Beaumont trophy case until the teams meet next year.

Beaumont head coach Mike Pellechia was feeling uneasy the entire match, even after Beaumont took a 2-0 early lead, early thanks to Maggie Brady taking first singles, and Lilly Dixon winning a hard-fought match at second singles.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 4:19 PM, 10.25.2022

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 10-11-22

OCTOBER 11, 2022, regular meeting

 

  • Public comments
  • Recognitions and awards
  • Consent agenda.
  • Superintendent comments and announcements
  • Treasurer’s report
  • State board resolution

 

Board President Malia Lewis and Board Members Dan Heintz, James Posch, and Beverly Wright were present. Jody Sourini was not present. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting ran for one hour and eight minutes.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 2:06 PM, 10.31.2022

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 10-3-22

OCTOBER 3, 2022, regular meeting

 

  • Public comments
  • Clerk of council report
  • First reading adoptions
  • Crossing guards
  • First readings, no vote
  • Lead hazards ordinance
  • Council member comments
  • Committee of the whole

 

Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Council President Melody Joy Hart, Council Vice President Craig Cobb, and Council Members Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., Josie Moore, and Davida Russell. Also present were Addie Balester, clerk of council, and William Hanna, law director. The meeting ran for three hours and 12 minutes.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 2:07 PM, 10.31.2022

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 9-20-22

SEPTEMBER 20, 2022, work session

 

  • Progress on strategic plan goals
  • GEAR-UP update

 

Present were President Malia Lewis, and Board Members Dan Heintz, James Posch, Jodi Sourini, and Beverly Wright. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting lasted about 1 hour 30 minutes.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 2:09 PM, 10.31.2022

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 9-19-22

SEPTEMBER 19, 2022, regular meeting

 

  • Public comments
  • Clerk of council report
  • Council actions
  • Lead-safe legislation 
  • Council member comments
  • Committee of the whole

 

Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Council President Melody Joy Hart, Council Vice President Craig Cobb, and Council Members Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., Josie Moore, and Davida Russell. Also present were Addie Balester, clerk of council, and William Hanna, law director. The meeting ran 46 minutes.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 2:11 PM, 10.31.2022