Latest News

Free-parking weekends in Cleveland Heights begin Thanksgiving weekend

Starting Nov. 29, parking at meters in all Cleveland Heights parking lots, garages and on the street will be free on the weekends—Friday, Saturday and Sunday—from Thanksgiving weekend to the last weekend in December. 

"Business owners and residents have been very supportive of this idea. It reinforces the city's commitment to our commercial districts and also has been an incentive to bringing more people to our excellent restaurants and one-of-a-kind stores throughout the city," said Mayor Dennis Wilcox.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 9:40 AM, 11.18.2014

Latest News Releases

Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show Debuts in Cleveland Heights
- , November 19, 2014 Read More
CUYAHOGA COUNTY COUNCIL SEEKING APPLICANTS FOR UPCOMING VACANCY ON PERSONNEL REVIEW COMMISSION
- Cuyahoga County, November 6, 2014 Read More
Issue 5 Library Levy Passes in Cleveland Heights-University Heights
- CH-UH Library, November 5, 2014 Read More
Doan Brook Watershed Partnership hosts annual public meeting and celebration Nov. 11
- Doan Brook Watershed Partnership, November 4, 2014 Read More
Larchmere Boulevard's UnBlock the Street Party and Ribbon Cutting Nov. 6
- Larchmere, November 4, 2014 Read More

View more news releases

Unitarian Universalist Society elects new minister

Rev. Joseph Cherry

The Rev. Joseph M. Cherry sometimes uses his high school marching band experience as a metaphor for his new role as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland (UUSC). "We UUs don't march lockstep to outside imposed authority—musical, religious or otherwise," said Cherry. "We're noted for personal autonomy and, within traditional association principles, we compose our own congregational objectives. The band metaphor portrays UUSC as a principled, socially active and diverse religious organization whose members play different roles with different abilities in collaboration with a trusted elected leader."

Cherry was chosen to lead the UUSC congregation on May 4 and commenced his ministerial duties on Aug. 1. He succeeds the Rev. Dr. Douglas Wadkins, who completed a two-year interim ministry.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 10:21 AM, 11.18.2014

Shop local to invest in our community

Recently, I attended a meeting hosted by the Heights-Hillcrest Regional Chamber of Commerce, facilitated by Peter Benkendorf, Dick Clough and Jack Ricchuito of The Cleveland Collaboratory, regarding the importance of championing local business and buying local. It was with a great deal of enthusiasm that business, private sector and community leaders came together to brainstorm implementing a local/regional campaign. Do you bank locally? Do you eat at a locally owned restaurant? Do you think local before big box? The way you spend your dollars affects the economy locally and regionally, which is directly related to job retention and creation, along with building a healthy, vibrant community.

It is calculated that if every person in Cuyahoga County would shift $100 of his or her spending to a locally owned business, it would add $126 million to the local economy. It is interesting to note that the economic impact of $100 spent locally is approximately 80 percent greater than if the $100 is spent at a chain.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 10:11 AM, 11.18.2014

Nov. 20 HRRC presentation offers strategies for aging in place at home

As homeowners age, they start to think more seriously about how they might retrofit their homes to allow them to “age in place”—to remain in their current living environment despite potential future changes in mobility. Improving accessibility in older homes, however, is not always easy.

Matt Jenkins, president of Jenkins Painting Company, will share his firsthand experiences remodeling his family home to make it friendlier to those with mobility challenges. His presentation, Remodeling for Accessibility, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 20, 7–8:30 p.m., at the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Building, 3450 Lee Road, in Shaker Heights.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 12:54 PM, 11.17.2014

Music Settlement early education receives five-star award

The Music Settlement of University Circle, which offers programs that attract many Heights families, announced in a news release that its preschool, day school and kindergarten have been awarded a five-star rating from the state of Ohio "for meeting the quality standard established by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the Ohio Department of Education.”  The “5-Star” rating is the highest possible.

The Music Settlement is the first program in Cleveland to receive a five-star award from the state’s "Step Up To Quality" rating and improvement system, and is one of five programs in Cuyahoga County to reach this level.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 10:18 AM, 11.13.2014

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 11-3-2014

NOVEMBER 3, 2014

  • Public comments
  • Liquor license transfer
  • LGBTQ anti-discrimination legislation
  • Fall public works
  • CDBG program
  • Zoning variances
  • Nuisance properties
  • Dental and health programs
  • Upcoming events
  • Free parking weekends over the holidays

Council Member Jason Stein was absent.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 11:54 AM, 11.13.2014

Sustainable Heights Network to host meet and greet Nov. 12

Chris Bongorno, transportation planning director for University Circle, Inc.

Heights residents may fondly recall Networking Nights hosted by the Sustainable Heights Network as a way to network with sustainability professionals, advocates and concerned citizens and to learn what is going on in this area. After a hiatus of a few years, the organization is bringing back the tradition. A brief program with an event on the new back patio at Nighttown from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 12.

With a theme of Sustainability in the Heights: Past, Present and Future, the evening will include a review of our sustainability legacy by Cleveland Heights Director of Planning Richard Wong, a presentation on current innovations in sustainability by Transportation Planning Director Chris Bongorno of University Circle, Inc. (who grew up in Cleveland Heights), and a discussion on the future of sustainability in the Heights led by community development expert Mark Chupp, Ph.D. of the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and board member of FutureHeights.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 9:39 AM, 11.06.2014

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 10-20-14

OCTOBER 20, 2014

  • Public comments
  • Library audit wins praise
  • New photocopier contract
  • Coventry Village Library lighting plan
  • Staff development day awards
  • New circulation services manager
  • Retirement resolutions
  • Friends of Heights Library events
  • Foundation for the Heights Library
  • September public service report highlights

Board Member Abby Botnick was absent.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 12:53 PM, 11.11.2014

Janine Boyd wins bid to replace her mother as Ohio state rep

Janine Boyd

On Nov. 4, Cleveland Heights City Council member Janine R. Boyd overwhelming won her bid to become the next state representative for Ohio House District 9. Boyd defeated Republican Charles T. Hopson, garnering 84.7 percent of the 33,388 votes cast. She replaces her mother, Rep. Barbara Boyd, who did not seek re-election due to term limits.

Ohio House District 9 comprises Cleveland Heights, University Heights, Shaker Heights, and two wards on Cleveland's East Side.

"It is, undoubtedly, one of the greatest and most humbling experiences, to have the support of my family, volunteers, friends, mentors and neighbors,” said Boyd. “It's also an honor to look at the path my mother forged, including over 25 years of public service, building relationships on both sides of the aisle and crafting effective policy, and have the opportunity to continue that work, as well as my own, as an advocate for our district and the most vulnerable of our citizens. I'm sincerely grateful."

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 1:59 PM, 11.05.2014

Former UH vice mayor Goldberg holds lead over incumbent judge with election results not yet official

Francine Goldberg, former University Heights city councilwoman and vice mayor, holds a slim lead over incumbent judge Janet Rath Colaluca in the race for Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court Judge.

As of Nov. 5, unofficial election results provided by the County BOE showed that Goldberg, a Democrat, had received 116,409 votes (50.26 percent), compared with 115,212 votes (49.74 percent) for Republican candidate Colaluca.

Absentee ballots can be received up to 10 days after Election Day (if postmarked no later than the day before the election), and so have yet to be counted, and official election results, including provisional ballots, have not yet been certified by the BOE.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 12:57 PM, 11.05.2014

UH voters narrowly approve park bond issue

Voters in University Heights approved a $1.8 million bond issue to fund a new city park on the former site of the Fuchs Mizrachi School. By a vote of 1,688 (52.4 percent) to 1,531 (47.6 percent), residents narrowly passed the bond issue to fund the “constructing and equipping of a public park area and related improvements.”

The park bond issue is for a period of 15 years, and Mayor Infeld said it will cost homeowners $25 per $100,000 valuation—the same amount that UH residents have been paying to fund the construction of the Purvis Park pool 20 years ago. That bond issue will be paid off in December 2014.

Commenting on the bond issue’s passage, Infeld said, “I am very pleased that the community supported the establishment of a park at the former school site on Fenwick Road. A park will introduce a new community asset in University Heights and I look forward to seeing many happy people using the park in the future.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 11:38 AM, 11.05.2014

Heights Libraries tax levy passes

Heights voters passed a library tax levy on Nov. 4, with 68 percent (11,293) voting in favor, and 32 percent (5,302) opposed, according to unofficial results reported Nov. 5 by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

The levy is for an additional 2.2 mills (22 cents for each $100 of property valuation), and will cost homeowners $77 per year for each $100,000 of home valuation. The library’s last levy passed in 2008.

In a press release, Nancy Levin, Heights Libraries director, stated, “We are so very grateful to our citizens for voting to support us. Passage of this levy ensures the long-term financial security of our neighborhood branches, and ensures that Heights Libraries can continue its level of superior service to all of our citizens.”

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 11:36 AM, 11.05.2014

Heights High students greet UH voters with hot chocolate and information

Members of the Heights High Student Union, (from left) Imani Frazier, Henry Gray, Garrett Vandall, Elijah Snow-Rackley, Hailley Turner, Andrew Schellenberg and Calvin Gray, introduced themselves and offered free hot cocoa and coffee to UH voters at the University Heights Library.

Several Heights High students greeted voters in University Heights today, offering free hot chocolate and information—not about any issue on the ballot, but about themselves.

“We are explaining the current state of the [University Heights] Planning Commission and the issue of moving Heights High to Wiley,” explained Elijah Snow-Rackley, a junior at Heights High. He and several of his fellow students, representing the Student Union, a new student-initiated Heights High group, had stationed themselves inside the University Heights Library.

The CH-UH City School District has been seeking approval from the University Heights Planning Commission since February 2014, to move forward with its plan to use Wiley as transitional space for the high school.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 1:03 PM, 11.04.2014

Cedar Taylor merchants to host fall fundraising day on Nov. 8

The Cedar Taylor Development Association (CTDA) is holding a fall fundraising day on Saturday, Nov. 8, to raise funds for streetscape improvements. CTDA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that comprises merchants, property owners and residents in the Cedar Taylor neighborhood of Cleveland Heights and University Heights.

Last year, the organization was awarded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the City of Cleveland Heights to complete a streetscape study. Upon completion of this study, the association was awarded additional CDBG funds this year, in the amount of $5,500. If the association can raise $5,500, the city will match that, and award it an additional $5,500. These funds will be used for Phase 1 of implementation of the improvements, which will include planters, neighborhood signage, benches and bike racks.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 9:47 AM, 11.04.2014

FutureHeights will encourage discourse, rather than endorse ballot issues

In its more than 10-year history, FutureHeights has never endorsed an issue on any ballot.

This year, the FutureHeights Board of Directors made the decision to consider endorsing the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library’s Operating Levy. The board considered whether FutureHeights, as an organization, would endorse the levy, leaving aside personal support, or lack thereof, for the levy.

The board discussed and debated the levy issue and met with a member of the levy committee. Ultimately, the FutureHeights Board of Directors decided that, while FutureHeights could, theoretically, endorse a ballot issue, the board does not believe that it would be wise to have FutureHeights, as an organization, endorse any ballot issue at this time.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 11:02 AM, 11.03.2014

CHHS students to greet UH voters with free hot chocolate on Nov. 4

Four Heights High students (from left) Jalen Harris, Elijah Snow-Rackley, Jessa Lammert and Angelique Hale, spoke at the Oct. 14 UH Planning Commission meeting.

While there is not a school levy on the ballot this November, several students in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District plan on using their day off to promote civic-mindedness and clear up some misperceptions about Heights High. On Election Day, the students plan on greeting University Heights voters with a handshake and free hot chocolate as they go to vote.  

A Cleveland Heights High School (CHHS) Student Union has formed to help give students a voice and to advocate for student concerns. Their current focus is addressing concerns within the University Heights Planning Commission regarding the planned relocation of Heights High students to the Wiley campus in August 2015, while the high school is under construction for two years.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 11:05 AM, 11.03.2014

Heights students and staff tour urban farm

Farm tour participants visit one of the greenhouses.

Some Heights students extended their school day on Tuesday, Oct. 28, with a field trip to an urban farm in Cleveland. Rid-All Green Partnership, nestled in the Kinsman Neighborhood, is on the site of what was once a dumping ground, but now is full of life.

Joe Mendes, Gearity Professional Development School teacher, and Steve Warner, Heights High teacher and environmental Club advisor, organized the trip, and were joined by elementary and high school students, district staff, principals, teachers, parents and members of the Sustainability Working Group, who are iworking in partnership with the district to include sustainable measures in the renovation of the high school.

Hunter Scott, a Heights High junior, helped the Rid-All staff conduct the tour.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 11:04 AM, 11.03.2014

What's going on at your library?

November is National Novel Writing Month—aka "NaNoWriMo”—an annual event that unites professional and amateur writers. Heights Libraries is participating in NaNoWriMo by providing related, inspiring programs at all library branches this month, including Tuesday evening Write-Ins at the Noble Neighborhood Library, at 7 p.m. Find a complete list of programs at www.heightslibrary.org.

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

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m.

Cedar-Coventry Author Series: Murder on Mayfield. Can't get enough local crime history? Allan R. May's new true-crime book, The Sly-Fanner Murders: The Birth of the Mayfield Road Mob, recounts the notorious Jan. 1, 1920, murder of two local businessmen by members of the Cleveland Mafia, and the long labors of law enforcement to bring the criminals to justice. May is an authority on the history of organized crime in the United States. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 11:00 AM, 11.03.2014

Crain's Cleveland names CH-UH district's Gainer a 2014 CFO of the Year award winner

Scott Gainer received a Crain's Cleveland 2014 CFO of the Year award, in the government category, at an Oct. 23 ceremony.

Scott Gainer, chief financial officer and treasurer of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, has been named a Crain’s Cleveland Business 2014 CFO of the Year. Gainer received the award in the government category at Crain’s award ceremony at the Cleveland Convention Center on Oct. 23.

Crain’s Cleveland CFO of the Year awards are dedicated to recognizing the contributions and accomplishments of CFOs in Northeast Ohio. The award is the only one of its kind in the region.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 10:58 AM, 11.03.2014

Four Beaumont students recognized by National Merit Scholarship program

Julie Schiffer, Christina Kerner, Catherine Aumiller and Ana Maria Vargas (from left).

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) recognized four Beaumont School seniors for their academic success on Sept. 22. Ana Maria Vargas was named a National Merit semifinalist, and Catherine Aumiller, Christina Kerner and Julie Schiffer were all named commended students.

Ana Maria Vargas and Catherine Aumiller are residents of Shaker Heights; Christina Kerner lives in neighboring University Heights; and Julie Schiffer is a resident of Aurora.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 10:57 AM, 11.03.2014

CH resident Lessie Brown celebrates 110th birthday

Lessie Brown in her apartment in Cleveland Heights. Photo by James Henke.

Not many people make it to 100 years old, and even fewer make it to 110. Those who do reach 110 are called super-centenarians, and there are fewer than 300 of them in the entire world. In the United States, only about 20 people have reached that age, and one of them lives in Cleveland Heights.

Lessie Brown, who lives in the Concord Apartments near Severance Town Center, celebrated her 110th birthday on Sept. 22. Looking at her, one would never guess that she had reached such a milestone in her life. She looks great and is totally coherent.

Brown was born in Stockbridge, Ga., in 1904. “We lived on a farm,” she said. “I milked the cows, picked cotton and worked in the garden with my mother.” Then, in 1921, her parents moved to Cleveland. “My mom and dad just figured it would be better up here than down there,” she explained.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:49 AM, 10.31.2014

Friends of Heights Libraries invites scholarship applications

Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 1, Friends of the Heights Libraries will accept library education scholarship applications from residents of Cleveland Heights and University Heights, as well as non-resident employees of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library.

The $750 scholarship is designed to encourage careers in librarianship by providing financial assistance toward the pursuit of a graduate degree in library science from an ALA-accredited library school.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:43 AM, 10.31.2014

Heights High's IMD concert season opens Nov. 21

Maya Fields. [photo courtesy CH-UH City School District.]

Maya Fields will be the featured soloist when Cleveland Heights High School's Instrumental Music Department (IMD) opens its 2014–15 season on Friday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m., in the school's Dina Rees Evans Performing Arts Center, 13263 Cedar Road. Tickets, which will be available the day of the show, are $3 for students and $5 for adults.

The Heights High Concert Orchestra opens the program, followed by Symphonic Winds and Heights High Symphony. In addition, chamber groups will perform from 6:30 to 7 p.m. in the school's Social Room, and jazz ensembles will perform at the post-concert reception.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:42 AM, 10.31.2014

Judge Matia's Drug Court offers alternative to prison

David Matia, Drug Court Judge

“What do you want to share?” “How are you handling your stress?” “Good luck in school!” “Do you need help with anything?” “You okay today? You’re looking a little low key.” “Seriously, do you need help with anything?” Perhaps these are not questions expected from a Common Pleas judge. But Cleveland Heights resident David Matia is not an ordinary judge, and Drug Court is not an ordinary court.

Drug Court, where defendants undergo treatment for addiction rather than go to prison, was first established in Cleveland Municipal Court in 1997. In 2008 it was expanded countywide through Common Pleas Court.

Matia became interested in the drug court concept after 10 years on the bench. Experience had shown him that addiction was a disease and that prison did not address the true driver of much criminal behavior: drug dependency. "There is nothing fulfilling about sending people to jail who have drug-dependency issues,” Matia has said. “We can serve society much better through treatment.”

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:28 AM, 10.31.2014

Welcome Home: Heights Authors was a blast

On the beautiful Sunday afternoon of Oct. 5, the Friends of the Heights Libraries, FutureHeights and Reaching Heights gave a wonderful event for newcomers to the Heights. Thanks to the host, Nighttown, and generous sponsors Simply Charming, Motorcars, realtor Susan Delaney of Howard Hanna, DVUV, and Keller National. Appletree Books and Mac's Backs, our local independent booksellers, helped FutureHeights organize this event.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:21 AM, 10.31.2014

Class differences in the Heights

We seem to embrace racial integration, ethnic integration and religious integration with much more effort than class integration. When families move to the Heights who are apparently middle class or above, we welcome them into our circles and invite them to join community groups, serve on committees, enjoy recreational activities and so on. But I haven’t observed the same type of hospitality and warmth offered to people coming from lower-class areas who might be trying to escape the dysfunction of poverty and provide a better environment for their families. There is no welcome wagon or integration process for them.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:20 AM, 10.31.2014

Noble Neighbors are on the move

In January 2014, in response to a random, violent attack on one of our neighbors while she was walking, Noble Neighbors was born. Thanks to Cynthia Griggins, who took the lead, and others, we began meeting in our homes and with local police and city representatives, as a show of support, and because we wanted to do something to reclaim our area as a beautiful, welcoming, inclusive community. We continue to grow in numbers and are partnering with local churches that are providing space for monthly meetings, which have already outgrown our living rooms.

Noble Neighbors is committed to doing our part to make this area an even better place to live, work and raise families. Efforts encompass attracting new homeowners, safety, beautification and community-building events. We realize this can only happen by reaching across our rich cultural boundaries for a common purpose—the revitalization of Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:18 AM, 10.31.2014

The year every child must be proficient has arrived

Susie Kaeser

In 1948 George Orwell wrote 1984, his famous indictment of the totalitarian state that made 1984 a dreaded year for me.

Another dreaded year is 2014. This time the cause of the dread is the U.S. Congress and its 1,000-plus-page No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), which became law in 2002.

NCLB required that, by 2014, every public school student be proficient in math and reading, or else. “The goal set by Congress of 100-percent proficiency by 2014 is an aspiration. It is akin to a declaration of belief. Yes, we do believe that all children can learn and should learn. But as a goal it is utterly out of reach,” observed Diane Ravitch in her 2010 book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System. No one has ever achieved it.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:15 AM, 10.31.2014

Senior Citizen Happenings

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

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:11 AM, 10.31.2014

Women's empowerment workshop to be held at Forest Hill Church Nov. 15

A workshop titled Release Your Inner Superwoman will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 15 at Forest Hill Church, 3031 Monticello Blvd. in Cleveland Heights. Facilitated by three area experts, the workshop is designed to help participants optimize health of mind, body and environment, to develop their strengths and achieve their goals. 

The workshop will be led by Cleveland Heights residents Judith Eugene of Loving Hands Yoga and Reiki, and Jeannine Gury of Freshwater Coaching; and Lyndhurst resident Christina Hidek of Streamlined Living. Eugene will discuss achieving strength and balance through simple stress-relief techniques. Gury's presentation will concentrate on internal thought work, unleashing and enabling one's life. Hidek will highlight alignment of one's external environment with the internal self.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:08 AM, 10.31.2014

Cleveland Heights resident to lead AAOA

Dr. Steven Houser, new president of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy. 

Cleveland Heights resident Steven Houser, M.D., became the new president of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy (AAOA) on Sept. 20.

Otolaryngologists—head and neck surgeons—diagnose and treat disorders of the ear, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck.

Director of Rhinology, Sinus and Allergy for The MetroHealth System, Houser will lead a national group of approximately 1,700 ear, nose and throat doctors, with 2,300 members overall.

Houser will be president of the AAOA for one year, during which he’ll help the academy respond to allergy issues, such as insurance coverage and government validation of allergy treatment. He will also provide leadership to the AAOA in its mission of supporting its membership “through education, research and advocacy in the care of allergic patients.”

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:05 AM, 10.31.2014

Gigi's expands and starts new program to benefit nonprofits

Gigi's owners Jim and Gia Patsch in front of the new addition to their restaurant.

Gigi’s on Fairmount, a restaurant located in the Fairmount Taylor Business District in Cleveland Heights, has started a new program to benefit area nonprofit organizations. Called Magnificent Mondays, the program kicked off in July and has raised more than $1,300.

Each month, the restaurant selects a beneficiary for the program. Then, every Monday of that month, Gigi’s donates 10 percent of its gross sales to the organization.

“We’ve been so overwhelmed by the support of the community that we were looking for a way to give back,” said Gia Patsch, who came up with the idea and who owns the restaurant with her husband, Jim.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 6:49 PM, 10.30.2014

A bit of history, alive and singing

Jackie Washington, aka Jack Landrón, today.

You’ve never heard of one of the most important people in history. Probably. A tiny percentage of the people who read this article will recognize the name Jackie Washington (though some of those might be thinking of one of the two other semi-famous Jackie Washingtons). The Jackie Washington I’m talking about is performing at Nighttown on Nov. 11, which I find amazing, because he's historic, and because it is such a rare appearance.

Here’s why, in a ridiculously simplified overview, I think Jackie Washington is historically significant: The late-'50s and early-to-mid-'60s folk music scene encompassed the Folk Revival and the original singer-songwriter movements. Following the Kingston Trio’s million-selling single “Tom Dooley,” on Capital Records, which took everyone by surprise in 1958, all of the other labels signed a few folk artists, hoping to cash in on what they determined was a folk music fad.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 6:43 PM, 10.30.2014

2014 Heights Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking stuffers ($10 or less)

Wine Spot Gift Certificates.

Find something for everyone on your list at the many independent merchants in the Heights. Most will gift wrap or ship your items, too. Here are some of our favorite stocking stuffer gift suggestions:

Buddy Biscuits, Orijen, Grandma Lucy, Primal, Crumps, and Fruitables: All-natural, healthy treats for dogs and cats ($3.50-$9.95, Animal Zen).

One "Baby & Me" Session. This informal weekly program encourages new parents to get acquainted, share experiences, find support and gain information from one another and staff members ($5.00, Family Connections).

CLE Collective Letterpress Greeting Cards: celebrating the good, the quirky and the authentic in Cleveland ($5.00 each, Heights Arts Holiday Store).

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 6:38 PM, 10.30.2014

2014 Heights Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts Less Than $50

Wrought Iron Bookends. Ten Thousand Villages.

Find something for everyone on your list at the many independent merchants in the Heights. Most will gift wrap or ship your items, too. Here are some of our favorite gifts for $50 or less:

Bird Plate ($12.00, Appletree Books).

Giant Wine Glass. Holds an entire bottle of wine, for when one glass of wine is suggested/recommended ($12.50, Big Fun).

One Yoga Class ($15.00, Loving Hands Yoga and Reiki).

Chevron Mugs ($16.00 each, Revive).

Goldie Blox. Construction toys made especially for young girls—and boys, too.  Voted Best New Toy (Parade Float, $19.95; Spinning Machine, $29.95; Big Fun).

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 6:35 PM, 10.30.2014

2014 Heights Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts $50 to $150

Children's Package. Simply Charming.

Find something for everyone on your list at the many independent merchants in the Heights. Most will gift wrap or ship your items, too. Here are some of our favorite gifts priced from $50 to $150:

Children’s Package: onesie, crown headband, book and socks for babies up to six months old ($50.00, Simply Charming).

Close Encounters Chamber Music Tickets. Hear world-class musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra play chamber music in spectacular Heights homes and other unique venues ($50.00, Heights Arts Holiday Store).

Knit Poncho ($52.00, Blush Boutique).

One Reiki Treatment for You or Your Pet ($60.00, Loving Hands Yoga and Reiki).

Drop-In Play Sessions for parents/caregivers and their young children. Enjoy a family playroom with a wide variety of quality toys and a large "muscle room" for climbing, running and jumping. Each session enhances learning through play and provides opportunities for families to meet and share parenting experiences. (Three-month pass, $70; Annual pass, $140; Family Connections).

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 6:32 PM, 10.30.2014

2014 Heights Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts more than $150

Baby blanket by Elizabeth Mather. Heights Arts Holiday Store.

Find something for everyone on your list at the many independent merchants in the Heights. Most will gift wrap or ship your items, too. Here are some of our favorite gifts priced at more than $150:

Handwoven, 100-percent Cotton Baby Blanket by Elizabeth Mather, dyed with organic indigo in the shibori method ($150.00, Heights Arts Holiday Store). 

Plaid Coat with detachable faux-fur collar ($160.00, Blush Boutique).

Firefly Bracelets, designed in Los Angeles and created by hand in Central America (by fair-trade artisans). Each Swarovski piece is set by-hand (Around $165.00 each, Simply Charming).

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 6:31 PM, 10.30.2014

2014 Heights Holiday Gift Guide: For the person who has it all

Brent Kee Young glass vessel. Heights Arts Holiday Store.

Find something for everyone on your list at the many independent merchants in the Heights. Most will gift wrap or ship your items, too. Here are some of our favorite items, for the person who has it all:

Swim Upstream Teak Cutting Board ($36, Revive).

Cleveland Heights Gift Baskets. Choose from the Wine Spot/Mister Brisket Basket, which includes two steaks, a great bottle of wine, cheese, and a wine spot corkscrew; Wine Spot/Restless Coffee Basket; Wine Spot/Big Fun Basket; Wine Spot/City Buddha Basket and Wine Spot/Grog Shop Basket. Can be shipped nationwide. (Prices vary, Wine Spot) 

Cast and Hand-forged Steel Bottle Opener. Nothing celebrates Cleveland like opening a bottle of local craft beer with Stephen Yusko’s bottle opener ($72.00, Heights Arts Holiday Store).

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 6:28 PM, 10.30.2014

Heights Arts Holiday Store offers expanded selection and family workshops

Glass piece by Earl James.

The term “shop local” is nothing new for Cleveland Heights. In 2001, a group of arts lovers converted a vacant Lee Road storefront into a pop-up gallery for the holiday season. Heights-area artists and artisans offered works for sale, and the community enthusiastically gathered to purchase local, handmade art and gifts. Heights Arts has been a presence on Lee Road ever since.

This month, Heights Arts celebrates its 13th Annual Holiday Store with an opening reception on Friday, Nov. 7. More than 80 regional artists are represented in the show, with works ranging from industrial-inspired jewelry and clutches created from repurposed paintings to innovative, contemporary glassware. Participating artists also volunteer to staff the gallery during Holiday Store hours, so shoppers can meet them in person and learn more about their work.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 5:57 PM, 10.30.2014

Memento Memorials launches heartfelt Hatchfund

"Sand Pail" style infant cremation urn in black walnut with laser engraved details and hand carved footprints in a maple lid. Photo by Memento Memorials.

Chris and Shelley Harvan understand that losing a loved one or a pet is a difficult part of life. Since 2003, their woodworking business in Cleveland Heights, Memento Memorials, has evolved to serve grieving families by creating handmade cremation urns, memorial sculptures and other remembrances.

Working in their home-based studio, the Harvans began by making small keepsake boxes and hand-drawn portraits. When close friends suffered the loss of an unborn child, according to Chris Harvan, "we found ourselves frustrated by the available options for cremation urns, and knew there had to be other people who felt the same way."

The grieving couple had playfully referred to their son as "The Squid" during pregnancy, and the Harvans used that as inspiration to sculpt a cremation urn out of walnut and holly that looks like a friendly, child-like squid.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 5:47 PM, 10.30.2014

Grog Shop show to benefit School of Rock

A benefit concert featuring all female artists will take place at the Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights on Monday, Nov. 10. The show is a fundraiser for the School of Rock, the organization that provides guitar, bass, keyboard, drum and vocal lessons to students of all ages and abilities. The concert was put together by Hear in Colors, a local group that was founded by Cleveland Heights resident Elliot Nash and Nathan Chojnacki. Hear in Colors publishes a national and international music blog and also manages concert booking and promotion.

“Having a healthy outlet for today’s youth is of extreme importance,” said Lauren Aseff, a Cleveland Heights resident who is involved with Hear in Colors. “After talking to people who have worked with School of Rock, we wanted to do something for them.”

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 5:39 PM, 10.30.2014

The Wrights are a family focused on music

Jordan Wright of the Wright-Reynolds Project. Photo by Caleb Wright.

Caleb Wright, who’s 23 years old, grew up in a musical family. Back in 1978, his family formed the Wright Family Singers, a 10-person choir that sings gospel and spiritual music. Then, in 1993, his aunt, Toyia Wright-Reynolds, and his uncle, Eric Wright, formed the Wright-Reynolds Project, a group that plays jazz, and rhythm and blues.

Caleb, who lives on Whitethorn Road in Cleveland Heights, is now a member of both groups, which are still performing around the Cleveland area. He grew up in Cleveland Heights and graduated from Heights High in 2009. He also attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. He is thinking about returning to New York and the academy, possibly next spring. Caleb began singing when he was about 16 years old. “Growing up, there was always somebody playing something or singing something or going to see someone else perform,” he said.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 5:36 PM, 10.30.2014

Library board member invites applicants to fill vacant seats

Rick Ortmeyer is a current trustee of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library.

Rick Ortmeyer joined the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees in 2012. Ortmeyer is an architect, which doesn’t necessarily mean that he is a library expert, but he has actually been building libraries for more than 20 years.

“It’s been a great privilege to work with libraries and I’ve been able to really learn what libraries do for their communities,” said Ortmeyer. “In order to make a building that is best suited for its purpose, I need to know what happens in that building.”

The board is officially responsible for guiding library functions, and a big part of that is ensuring fiscal responsibility. “We talk a lot about how services are funded, where services are funded, including how long libraries are open, which days they’re open, and where we choose to spend our money in terms of collections,” he added.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 5:29 PM, 10.30.2014

Heights Coalition for Public Education sponsors community forums

The Heights Coalition for Public Education will sponsor a free community forum on Monday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Social Room at Cleveland Heights High School. The public is invited to join the conversation about current state and federal education policy that emphasizes testing and the privatization of public education.

The forum—titled The Myth of Failing Public Schools—will feature Rob Weil, national director of field programs for the American Federation of Teachers. Weil’s presentation will cover the history of the current test-and-punish culture, and take a closer look at misleading international comparisons based on test scores. Small group conversations will follow his presentation.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 5:25 PM, 10.30.2014

New grant to support Holocaust education at Heights High

Stephen Hoffman, president of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland (back row, left) with Mark Sack and honorees Leatrice Rabinsky (front, left) and Gita Franke.

The Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation received a $5,000 annual renewable grant for Holocaust education at Cleveland Heights High School from the George F., Stephanie M. and George L. Traub Fund of The Cleveland Jewish Federation.

Stephen Hoffman, president of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, presented the grant to Lessons of the Holocaust teacher Mark Sack at a ceremony on Sept. 29 at the federation.

The funds will be used for field trips and guest speakers, and also to support two local scholarships for Lessons of the Holocaust students. 

The scholarships will honor two women who have been instrumental in Holocaust education at Heights High for many years.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 5:22 PM, 10.30.2014

Canadian scholar explores 'How the Zohar Came to Be' at Nov. 15 lunch

Renowned Canadian Jewish scholar, Ira Robinson, will address the topic, How the Zohar Came to Be, at a Lunch and Learn event at Beth El – The Heights Synagogue, on Saturday, Nov. 15.

Kabbala (Jewish mysticism) is one of the most significant ways of understanding Judaism that developed in medieval times. It started out as the expression of a closed circle of scholars and transformed itself in the 16th century to become a popular movement. One of the ways this happened is through the emergence of the Zohar as the primary Kabbalistic text.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 4:47 PM, 10.30.2014

Fairmount Presbyterian's Women's Guild celebrates a century of service

Guild women in the early years.

The Women’s Guild of Fairmount Presbyterian Church is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. For the last century, guild members have been meeting for fellowship, study, charitable giving and service.

To honor this milestone, the guild has invited the Rev. Larissa Kwong Abazia, vice-moderator of the General Assembly—the ruling body of the Presbyterian denomination—to lead the church’s worship services at 8:30 and 11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 9. The services will “lift up” the gifts of women to the church.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 4:45 PM, 10.30.2014

How to keep the 'old ticker' ticking

Statistics show that the chance of suffering a heart attack greatly increases over the age of 55, for both men and women. Fortunately, there are some simple things one can do to limit, and even prevent, the chances of having a heart attack.

A heart attack happens when a part of the heart muscle dies or becomes damaged due to reduced or blocked blood supply. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), risk factors for having a heart attack include high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, smoking, physical inactivity, an unhealthy diet, and a family history of stroke, obesity or diabetes.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 4:43 PM, 10.30.2014

Lake Erie Ink launches fall workshops

Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of communication, beginning as an oral tradition and eventually bringing us to a digital age in which stories are consumed through every possible media outlet. After all, who can resist a good story?

Cleveland Heights's Lake Erie Ink (LEI) kicked off its fourth fall session with a creative writing workshop on the power of storytelling, featuring Cleveland resident and author Jack Ricchiuto. This workshop is one of many that will take place throughout the year as part of Lake Erie Ink’s Weekend Ink program.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:48 AM, 10.30.2014

Cumberland gardening team wins two awards

Bridget Katholi, Maeve Ialacci and Kira Cicerchi prepare corn.

On Sept. 22, five members of the Cumberland gardening team, of Cleveland Heights, participated in the Freshtoberfest Youth Garden Cook-Off. Dee Jay Doc Harrill, who runs the Fresh Camp youth garden program in Cleveland (http://fresh.deejaydoc.com/), planned the event, which took place at Dunham Tavern Museum on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland.

The Cumberland gardeners, Kira Cicerchi, Maeve Ialacci, Bridget Katholi, Jackson Walker and Ella Watterson, made zucchini-corn fritters with the assistance of Chef Eric Wells. They enjoyed the chance to meet other young gardeners and taste their culinary creations. The Cumberland gardeners were excited to win the judges' prize for "Freshest Taste" and also "The Crowd Favorite" award.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:44 AM, 10.30.2014

Heights historical photo of the month

Photo courtesy City of Cleveland Heights.

Some things never change! Kids having fun on the playground at Canterbury Elementary School in 1933.

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

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:43 AM, 10.30.2014

Cleveland Heights announces Turkey Ridge development project will not proceed

[Editor's note: On Oct. 28, the City of Cleveland Heights announced in the following news release that the development project at Turkey Ridge will not go forward.]

The City of Cleveland Heights announced today that the Visconsi Companies Ltd. project, Ridgeview Homes, intended for Edgehill Road between 2351 and 2375, will not be developed. The project had called for a 10-unit residential development and had received the necessary approvals from the City's Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals.

As the project moved through the final phases of design, it was determined that site development costs would significantly exceed original estimates. Combined with the updated cost to build the quality of homes Visconsi Companies sought to provide, the project as proposed became unfeasible. 

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 12:02 PM, 10.29.2014

Katz Diner owner hopes to rebuild

Chef Doug Katz estimates that it may take six months to re-open the Katz Club Diner.

Photo credit: The Form Group

Two weeks after an early-morning arson fire engulfed the bar car of the Katz Club Diner, owner Doug Katz said, “We definitely hope to rebuild,” but estimated it would be six months before his business will be able to move back into the building. “It's unknown as far as what dates or when I can reopen,” said Katz. “It’s just too early.”

On Oct. 7, fire crews responding to a call at the Katz Club Diner found the bar car on fire. Within 20 minutes, fire fighters had extinguished the fire, but the bar car sustained extensive damage. The state fire marshal soon ruled that the fire was deliberately set, and the Cleveland Heights Police Department quickly made an arrest in the case, announcing the next day that James T. Warholak, a Cleveland Heights resident and former diner employee, was in custody and charged with aggravated arson.

Commenting on the arrest, Katz said, “I’m happy that he’s in custody and he’s been indicted and there’s a process to it. It’s my want to sort of stay out of that aspect of it. I don’t want to have my life absorbed by it or taken over by that. I’d rather look at the positive side, where we’re working with the insurance company to rebuild.”

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 11:05 AM, 10.28.2014

All-district production of 'Guys and Dolls' features students of all ages

Wyatt Sudduth, Michael Carder (back row, from left), Johnna Marotta, Miranda Coble and Evan Adeen (front row, from left) play lead roles in Heights High's production of "Guys and Dolls."

More than 550 CH-UH City School District students will play a part in the eighth annual all-district musical, a production of “Guys and Dolls,” Nov. 6–8, 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 9, 4 p.m. Performances will take place in the Heights High Auditorium. Call 216-320-3015 for ticket information or visit the Heights High Web page, www.chuh.org/GuysDollsTicketInfo.aspx. Ticket prices are $6 (orchestra and balcony) and $10 (dress circle and mezzanine).

More than 550 students will perform in two casts, and participants include 250 high school singers, dancers, and pit orchestra and stage crew members; 100 middle school singers and dancers; and 215 elementary school chorus members.

Craig McGaughey, the show’s director and Heights High’s vocal music director, selected “Guys and Dolls” for this year’s show because this year’s group of students is strong in both singing and dancing. “This show is a great way to use our amazing lyric sopranos, tenors and baritones,” he said, “and our dance talent is just phenomenal!”

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 11:49 AM, 10.28.2014

Nov. 1 Chili Cook-Off to benefit youth scholarship fund

Cleveland Heights will present its annual Chili Cook-Off, benefiting the Youth Recreation Scholarship Fund, on Saturday, Nov. 1, 6–8 p.m. The event brings together challengers from a variety of Heights eateries to compete for chili superiority.

All proceeds go to the Cleveland Heights Youth Recreation Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to young people participating in city-sponsored sports and recreation programs.

Attendees will sample chili from the competitors and vote for their favorites. For a suggested donation of $10 per person or $30 for a family of four, guests will receive a variety of chilis, sides, desserts and beverages. This year’s event will also include raffle items, a special children’s menu, and access to a children’s playroom and an adult gym.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 11:17 AM, 10.28.2014

Film screening Nov. 2 to help fund Heights High alum's next movie

Brandon Spring

Brandon Spring, a 2008 Cleveland Heights High School graduate, has had a longtime love affair with film. As a finalist, out of 200 Greater Cleveland students, in the 2008 Scenarios USA scriptwriting contest, Spring knew that writing, directing and filmmaking were in his future. Six years later, Spring is literally minutes away from Hollywood and pursuing his dream.

Spring earned an associate degree in business from Cuyahoga Community College, and now attends Biola University in La Mirada, Calif., where he studies and works in cinema and media arts production. As a writer and director, Spring has created several short films over the years, and is currently taking on his biggest film project yet, “Two Pink Lines,” a film that will explore love and romance between a husband and wife living in a futuristic utopian society.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 12:15 PM, 10.28.2014