Everything old is new again
What goes around comes around. The more things change, the more they stay the same. . . .
As I looked back at 10 years of March issues of the Heights Observer, those familiar and often clichéd sayings kept springing to mind. I kept coming upon articles that covered the same themes and topics contained in this March issue.
In March 2009, opinion writer Ralph Solonitz wrote of the near completion of repairs to the University Square garage. Recalling “when the Old May Company on the Heights held rock ‘n’ roll record hops on the parking lot grounds,” Solonitz envisioned a rock concert on the rooftop.
In his first State of the City address, the subject of a page one story in this issue, University Heights Mayor Brennan touched on the need for redevelopment of the now largely vacant University Square. Looking back at the history of that site, Brennan drew comparison between former mayor Earl Aurelius’ transformation of a former golf course into May’s on the Heights, and the type of reinvention that might be possible for the Wiley Middle School site.
March issues have covered perhaps more than their fair share of stories about changes in school and city leadership.
The March 2009 issue contained a story about the search for a new CH-UH City School District superintendent, to succeed Deb Delisle. In March 2014, the district embarked on another superintendent search, to replace Nylajean McDaniel, herself the one-year (by design) successor to Douglas Heuer. Now, in March 2019, the district has announced another interim superintendent, and the search for a “permanent” replacement to Talisa Dixon.
A March 2015 article announced that Cleveland Heights City Council had appointed Kahlil Seren to fill the unexpired term of Janine Boyd. This March, an article describes the work of the League of Women Voters in interviewing applicants to replace Cheryl Stephens on CH City Council.
In March 2016, a story announced Cleveland Running Company’s move to Lee Road from Shaker Heights. This month, Shari Nacson’s article describes the details of a merger between the Heights business and another, bringing a name change to the running store that will remain on Lee Road.
As a nonprofit, all-volunteer-writer publication, what the Heights Observer publishes is limited to what writers are interested in, and feel a personal desire or need to write about.
Sometimes the thread of a topic is lost, and a story that seemed perhaps the harbinger of greater change ends up an isolated event, as far as Observer coverage is concerned.
In March 2013, the lead story was about Cain Park officially becoming “dog-friendly.” Six years on, how has that change worked out? Has, or will, it spread to other city parks? To my knowledge, no one has yet comprehensibly revisited that story.
There are many more stories and topics like that one, that could be re-explored and re-visited.
In his March 2018 “Songs and Stories” column, David Budin wrote of his experiences administering a Facebook group, “Growing up in Cleveland Heights,” that looks back at CH history and experiences. He wrote, “One thing that has been fascinating—and frustrating—is that the same topics keep coming up, over and over.”
History is rich, complex, and always in danger of being forgotten. For what its worth, and as imperfect and incomplete a record as it may be, every issue of the Heights Observer is archived at www.heightsobserver.org, for those interested in looking back at what has changed, what has stayed the same, and how we got here from there.
Kim Sergio Inglis
Kim Sergio Inglis is editor-in-chief of the Heights Observer, and is a Cuyahoga County master gardener volunteer.