Features

Roots of American Music enriches lives through music

At a time when many organizations, from school systems to groups that help senior citizens and disabled adults and children, have cut back on their funding for arts-related classes and programs, a Cleveland Heights nonprofit group called Roots of American Music (ROAM) has stepped in and filled a major gap. ROAM takes teaching artists—musicians who have teaching skills and who work in group situations—into schools all over Northeast Ohio and presents classes and programs covering everything from music to history, and even math and science. It also provides programs for scores of groups that serve adults with various needs.

ROAM was founded in 1998 by Cleveland Heights resident Kevin Richards. Richards majored in music at Cleveland State University and also worked at Dick Lurie Guitars for several years as a salesman and a guitar instructor. Then, in 1988, he founded the Fairmount School of Music, which is still located on Fairmount Boulevard in Cleveland Heights. “I was teaching private, one-on-one guitar classes to musicians who were upper- and middle-class folks,” Richards said. “I wanted to start an outreach program for students in schools—for those who could or could not afford it. And I wanted to work with the students who were not necessarily musicians. I wanted to preserve, present and educate through roots music.”

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 1:32 PM, 08.30.2013

Dream On Foundation fundraiser set for Sept. 12

The Dream On Foundation will host its second annual fundraising event on Thursday, Sept. 12 from 6-8 p.m. at Jake’s Speakeasy in the lower level of Pizzazz On The Circle, 20680 N. Park Blvd. in University Heights.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 10:19 AM, 08.30.2013

Heights nonprofit bolsters Haitian student's dream

For Claryce Medard, international development is more than a possible career path or exercise in compassion. It’s personal.

Even before the 2010 earthquake that devastated parts of her native Haiti, Medard witnessed aid efforts that had little impact. So when she learned about International Partners in Mission (IPM), based in Cleveland Heights, she wanted to see what set it apart.

In August, Medard, 22, completed a six-week internship with IPM, a nonprofit founded nearly 40 years ago to provide seed funding, training and technical support to small, community-based programs in more than 20 countries. Called Project Partners, the agency works in Latin America and the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, and south Asia, focusing on women, children and youth. IPM also offers Immersion Experiences—short-term travel for participants from developed countries to visit partners and experience their way of life.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:33 AM, 08.30.2013

Eddy Maddox's quarter-century of style

Eddy Maddox has been cutting hair for more than a quarter of a century.

His salon — Eddy’s on Coventry — has a unique atmosphere. The waiting area offers lemon water, coffee and fresh cookies, as well as magazines and a TV, so his customers can relax while waiting for their haircut.

At each cutting stall mirrors are affixed to old house doors. His supply storage area features the doors that used to be on the changing rooms at the Brigade clothing store, a previous occupant of the space.

Eddy’s on Coventry has many five-star ratings on yelp.com.  “We constantly get customers as a result of those reviews,” Maddox said.

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 2:55 PM, 05.30.2013

Church volunteers produce 100,000 life-saving meals

Hundreds of Church of the Saviour volunteers and community members will work to feed thousands of starving children in the developing world. Through a partnership between the church (at 2537 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights) and Minneapolis-based Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), volunteers will prepare 100,000 potentially life-saving meals at an FMSC MobilePack event on Saturday, May 18, in the church’s Great Hall

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 12:57 PM, 05.13.2013

Joe Quandt, former Heights student, remembered by friends in community

Friends of Joe Quandt, 20, a Cornell University sophomore who grew up in Cleveland Heights, were shocked when they heard about his sudden death from a cardiac embolism on Feb. 27.

"Joe was the total package—so smart, so funny, so talented, such a great writer . . . Eagle Scout, Phi Beta Kappa," said Peggy Hull, who taught English to Quandt his sophomore year at Cleveland Heights High School. "I was heartbroken when he left Heights; now, I'm even more so."

Quandt was born in Cleveland Heights and attended Coventry Elementary, Roxboro Middle School and Heights High before his family moved out of the Heights area following his sophomore year. He continued to stay in close contact with his Heights friends.

He was attending Cornell on a full academic scholarship, majoring in urban and regional studies.

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Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 12:05 PM, 03.28.2013

The Alcazar remembers Pat Pavlovitch

“Now that you know where I am, don’t be a stranger.”

With those words, Patricia Anne Pavlovitch ended her recorded comments that were played at her memorial service on Jan. 13 in The Alcazar’s dining room.

Irreverent? Probably. Pure Pat? Positively!

Last October, several months before she died, Pat recorded a message to be played at her own memorial. Rather than a service, she called it a party—a gift to her family and friends. Pat wanted to give a good time to the people who meant the most to her. That was Pat.

Several years ago, Pat Pavlovitch was honored by the City of Cleveland Heights for her and her husband’s efforts to racially integrate our city. They met with much resistance and many threats. So did their sons. But they persevered. She felt strongly that it was the right thing for her and her family to do. That was Pat.

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Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 1:11 PM, 03.28.2013

Mac's Backs thriving on Coventry

In this era when bookstores, like record stores before them, seem to be a dying breed, Mac’s Backs is bucking the trend. According to co-owner Suzanne DeGaetano, business at the Coventry Road shop is "just fine."

DeGaetano said that the closing of the Borders chain and other large stores in the area has helped. “We have definitely had a spike in our business.” Despite the pressure from Amazon.com and other online sources, “people still want to browse. They want to be able to stay in a store for 10 minutes and look at the books. It’s a cultural experience.”

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Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 12:00 PM, 03.28.2013

Local journalists fear for future of Plain Dealer

Peter Zicari, online news editor for the Plain Dealer and a Cleveland Heights resident, believes that approximately “one in three” Plain Dealer newsroom staff will be laid off in 2013. He said that he expects to be moved away from interactive graphics and instead work on “lower-impact, higher-volume activities.” Zicari characterizes the switch as “very conservative . . . when risky experiments are needed,” but said he does not anticipate a serious drop in circulation.

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Volume 6, Issue 3, Posted 12:20 PM, 02.28.2013

Annual Reaching Heights Spelling Bee will honor Reggie Evans

Where can you find a federal judge, a Cleveland Orchestra violinist, the owner of Big Fun, and a trio of young parents known as the Comeback Kids? Only at the Reaching Heights Adult Community Spelling Bee. The 22nd annual edition of this campy yet competitive community event takes place April 17 at 7 p.m. at Cleveland Heights High School. Admission is free.

Reggie Evans will be honored with this year’s Friend of Public Education Award. A longtime advocate of the CH-UH schools, Evans has served as PTA officer, levy co-chair, and Reaching Heights Board member and president. He and his wife, Terri, are parents of two Heights High graduates.

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Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 11:36 AM, 01.31.2013

Tommy Fello: from soda jerk to acclaimed restauranteur

Back in 1966, when he was 14 years old, Tommy Fello began working as a soda jerk at the Ace Drug Store, which was located on Euclid Heights Boulevard near Coventry, where the Inn on Coventry is currently located. It would have been hard to predict that in just six years Fello would own the store, that he would turn it into a restaurant, and that some 47 years later, it would still exist as something of a landmark up the street on Coventry.

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Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 12:01 PM, 01.31.2013

Christmas on campus at Beaumont School

On Dec. 11, students at Beaumont School hosted more than 100 grade-school children from the Urban Community School at Archbishop Lyke School in Cleveland for the annual Christmas on Campus party.

Each grade-school student was partnered with a Beaumont “big sister” for an action-packed afternoon. Children wandered through the classrooms and hallways which were filled with games, snacks, crafts, and activities, sponsored by more than two-dozen Beaumont clubs, faculty and staff.

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Volume 6, Issue 1, Posted 10:29 AM, 12.07.2012

Cleveland Heights couple is remembered at memorial service today

Gregory and Elise Lindsay were remembered by their church pastor, Charles Yoost, of Church of the Saviour in Cleveland Heights, as a “very loving, caring and giving people, who everyone felt well of and liked.”

The couple was found dead in their home on East Monmouth Road in Cleveland Heights on Nov. 8.

The cause of the death was carbon monoxide poisoning.

A funeral service will be held Friday, Nov. 16 at Church of the Savior, 2537 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights. The service will begin at 3 p.m.

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 2:40 PM, 11.16.2012

BBC to broadcast live election coverage from Cleveland Heights restaurant

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has chosen Melt Bar and Grilled in Cleveland Heights as one of the settings for its live election night coverage.

According to a statement released by the restaurant, Cleveland is one of several cities in the United States chosen for BBC’s live election night broadcasts, and Melt was chosen to represent Cleveland based on the restaurant’s reputation as a place that draws a cross section of the city. Melt is located at the corner of Cedar and Taylor roads.

The live broadcast is scheduled to begin in the early evening on election night, Nov. 6, and continue into the early morning hours of Nov. 7. Christina, a Melt bartender, confirmed by phone, “We’re planning to stay open until 2 a.m.—as long as the BBC is still broadcasting and until the election results are final.”

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 10:40 AM, 11.06.2012

Alex Quintana becomes U.S. citizen

Alex Quintana, co-owner of Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa, became a citizen of the United States last month. On Nov. 16, surrounded by family and friends, Quintana took the oath of citizenship at the United States District Court in downtown Cleveland. It was the end of a long journey.

Quintana came to the United States when he was four years old. “My mom Aurora, dad Pedro, and I came in February of 1976,” said Quintana. “We were political refugees. My dad had just spent the last three and a half years in a Chilean concentration camp. My dad and all his brothers were unionists, which is what landed them all there with the coup and Pinochet's regime.”

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 10:11 AM, 11.27.2012

Vivian Rogers celebrates 106 years of life

Vivian Rogers, the oldest member of Central Bible Baptist Church, recently celebrated her 106th birthday. She was born on Nov. 7, 1906 in Ronceverte, W.Va., married William Rogers, and bore three children: William Rogers Jr., Crystal Rogers, and Annie Rogers Crider. She loved to sew, had an artistic flair for home decoration, and was a great cook—German Chocolate Cake and a scrumptious shrimp mold were two of her specialties. She worked hard and devoted herself to her family and service in her church where, as long as she was able, she sang in the choir and served in the kitchen.

Rogers later moved to Ohio, where she joined the Central Bible Baptist Church in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 10:42 AM, 11.13.2012

Simon's Auto Service to Expand

Simon’s Auto Services, a fixture at Lee Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard for 40 years, is embarking on a major renovation that will replace the current three-bay shop with a six-bay facility. The expansion will have space for 18 cars to be stored overnight and will include a waiting room.

The shop, which faces Lee Road, will remain open during construction. The new building will be north and west of the shop, facing Euclid Heights Boulevard. When it is complete, the old shop will be cleared for parking. The entire space will be landscaped. Owner Simon Daher says construction is likely to begin sometime next year.

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 1:31 PM, 10.31.2012

Beth El hosts scholar-in-residence weekend on the environment

Tikkun Olam is a Hebrew phrase meaning “repair the world.” In Jewish tradition, it is often cited to inspire active participation in working to improve life for all people, or in one’s own community. For rabbis Arthur Waskow and Phyllis Berman, it is their life’s work.

Waskow, a prolific writer and environmental activist as well as a rabbi, is the founder and director of The Shalom Center in Philadelphia, an interfaith organization that seeks to bring together Jewish practice with social and political activism. Prominent among its other goals is to repair the world by drawing attention to current environmental concerns.

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Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 10:54 AM, 10.31.2012

Haunting Lee Road

Shawn Paul, known primarily for cutting and coloring hair, is really just a big kid. Last year, when he heard about the annual Phoenix Pumpkin Carving Party a few doors away from his salon at 2265 Lee Road, he begged owner Sarah Wilson-Jones to help him organize a candy crawl on the same day. 

This year a new tradition joins the old one. On Thursday, Oct. 25, from 4–8 p.m., favorite haunts on Lee Road will be offering not tricks, but free treats at the Cedar Lee Candy Crawl and ninth annual Phoenix Pumpkin Carving Party. Participating shops with treats will feature a pumpkin poster in their window, and want to see kids in costumes!

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Volume 5, Issue 10, Posted 1:25 PM, 10.03.2012

Sergio Abramof: a remembrance

I wasn’t a personal friend of Sergio Abramof, though I would have liked to be one. I am, however, and will always be, an ardent fan who had three brief person-to-person encounters with him.

In the five years since we moved to Cleveland Heights, Sarava, at Shaker Square, has become my favorite local restaurant. (Sergio’s in University Circle is also in my top five.) The first time I met Sergio was when I was dining at Sarava. He was walking through the restaurant; we made eye contact and he stopped to chat with us. We complimented the food and he thanked us for choosing his restaurant.

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Volume 5, Issue 10, Posted 9:52 AM, 09.11.2012

H. Gray Underwood founded beauty school to help at-risk students

H. Gray Underwood has an open-door policy. The students at his cosmetology school have just as much access to his office as they do to a flat iron (for hair straightening). Underwood is the founder and executive director of The Cut Beauty School, on Cedar Road in Cleveland Heights. Students regularly go in and out of Underwood’s office to discuss everything from their academic progress to their weekend plans.

Underwood grew up cutting hair and soon discovered that he enjoyed doing women’s hair more than men’s. After getting his cosmetology license, he opened his own salon.

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 11:29 AM, 08.03.2012

Coventry Chess match ends in a draw

It was a "heated" battle between two local chess champions in Coventry Village on July 22.

International Grand Master Champion Anatoly Lein, 81, battled 90-degree temperatures with National Master David Allen, 52. The two played on a wooden table near the benches under the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Arch for two hours and forty-five minutes, in a well-fought match that ended in a draw. A crowd of chess afficionados surrounded the players to take in the action.

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 11:45 AM, 08.01.2012

'Giant' chess match in Coventry Village this Sunday

At 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 22, Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park will host a unique chess match between International Grand Master Chess Champion Anatoly Lein and Original Life Master/National Master David Allen, a Cleveland Heights resident.

While the match will be played on a regular-sized chess set, a “giant” chess set, with 18-inch-high pieces, will enable spectators to easily view the match as it unfolds.

Steve Presser, a Coventry Village SID board member, helped to organize the event, which is part of Coventry Village’s summer series.

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 4:09 PM, 07.19.2012

Community Events

Monday, Aug. 13
Coventry Summer Series: Playground Fun
7–9 p.m., Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park at Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard

Monday, Aug. 13
Atma Yoga anniversary event: Stories of Transformation (lecture and yoga)
7–8:30 p.m., Lee Road Library, 2345 Lee Road

Tuesday, Aug. 14
Tunes Outdoors on Tuesdays Series: The Singing Angels

7–8:30 p.m., Lake View Cemetery, 
12316 Euclid Ave.


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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 9:09 AM, 08.13.2012

Youth of Coventry still aims for curfew change

After Cleveland Heights instituted a curfew last year, YOC set out to change it.

The group formed last June after a highly publicized flash mob disrupted the Coventry Street Fair. Following the incident, Cleveland Heights City Council instituted a curfew of 6 p.m. for anyone under 18. The curfew originally applied to the Coventry and Cedar Lee commercial districts; Severance was added later.

“We believe [the curfew] is a temporary solution to a permanent problem,” said Nora Eagan, a founder of YOC. “Instead of keeping this extreme curfew in place, we would like city council figure out a more permanent solution that everyone can be happy with.”

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 1:20 PM, 06.28.2012

Reasons to walk the Heights

How do we come to know a city—find our sense of place within these massive urban constructs? How do we “take back the streets” (à la Mayor Ed Kelley), or find commonality among individuals with different generational values?  Simply put, we walk: we wander, we see, and we are seen.

Most people nowadays live in boxes and view life from a two-dimensional viewpoint. That’s not a metaphor. The boxes in which so many of us spend our time are interiors—home, office, car, gym; the two dimensional view is usually a window, whether in the traditional sense or a computer or iPhone screen. We don’t really have to experience anything outside of the box life, as we have the attached garage even when we do go from place to place.

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 6:25 PM, 06.08.2012

Coit Road Farmers' Market will celebrate 80 years on June 2

The Coit Road Farmers’ Market will celebrate its 80th anniversary during market hours on Saturday, June 2 from 8 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The celebration will feature activities for all ages, including entertainment, games, information tables, health screenings and food.

Founded in 1932, the market is located at the intersection of Coit and Woodworth roads, near East 152 Street, and provides residents of Greather Cleveland with access to affordable locally sourced food. Fresh vegetables and fruits, spices, eggs, cheese, baked goods, honey and jams are among the locally grown and crafted items for sale at the market.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 12:55 PM, 05.22.2012

UH philanthropist and lymphoma survivor adds Boston Marathon to list of accomplishments

All that hot yoga at Bikram Yoga in Shaker Heights certainly helped prepare Kevin Goodman for the scorching heat he encountered during the Boston Marathon. As temperatures soared above the mid-80s, and the humidity climbed well beyond a comfortable level, Goodman focused on the task at hand. He wanted to finish the race, not only for himself, but also in honor of those battling leukemia or lymphoma, and to thank the many donors who had pledged their support to him.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 1:53 PM, 05.15.2012

Local students participate in science fair

The din coming from the Cleveland State University Recreation Center in mid-March was not the usual squeaking of athletic shoes on the polished wood floor. Instead, the gym was abuzz with 600 students in grades 7–12 from more than 100 public, private and parochial schools in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage and Summit counties. They were there to showcase their work at the 59th annual Northeastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair (NEOSEF).

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 1:14 PM, 05.02.2012

Richard Kogan gives lecture and recital on Mozart

The Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center will hold its annual benefit event on Saturday, June 23, at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). Richard Kogan, psychiatrist and concert pianist, will present a lecture/recital called “Mozart: The Mind and Music of a Genius.”

The format is a compelling one, in which Kogan will first talk about Mozart’s life, emphasizing his relationship with his father, and will then perform the composer’s “Turkish Rondo” and selections from “Don Giovanni.” The combination of psychobiography and music is intended to deepen the audience’s experience of both.

Richard Kogan is familiar to many Clevelanders from previous performances on behalf of Cleveland psychoanalysis. All of his programs have had the twin focus on “the mind and music” of celebrated classical musicians. Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Schumann, Leonard Bernstein, and most recently, George Gershwin, have been featured in programs over the last 10 years. 

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 11:49 AM, 05.02.2012

May is Bike Month in Cleveland Heights

For the third year in a row, Cleveland Heights City Council has declared May Bike Month. Each year, the array of Bike Month activities in our city and region has grown.

The heart of Bike Month is Bike-to-Work Week, May 14–18. Highlights include Bike-to-Work Day and the annual Ride of Silence to honor those killed while riding their bicycles.

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 12:20 PM, 05.01.2012

Jim Wallis speaks at Fairmount Church April 25

Bestselling author, theologian and public ethics commentator Jim Wallis speaks Wednesday night, April 25, at 7:30 at Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights.

Wallis, the founder and editor of Sojourners magazine, plans to focus his talk on this year’s presidential election, and ask the question “Are People of Faith Ready for Post-Candidate Politics?”

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 9:54 AM, 04.23.2012

Introducing Biblio Radio to the Heights

If you haven’t heard of Biblio Radio yet, let the introductions begin: Cleveland Heights and University Heights, meet Biblio Radio, the new voice of your community library. Biblio Radio, meet Cleveland Heights and University Heights, communities that value engaged citizens and innovative ideas.

Biblio Radio is a weekly segment on WJCU 88.7 FM and a podcast on www.wjcu.org and www.heightslibrary.org that informs Heights residents about all the events sponsored by the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library. 

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 11:14 AM, 04.10.2012

April coffee tasting classes at the Wine Spot

Are you a coffee connoisseur wondering how to make your home-brewed cup taste as good as what you buy at your local coffee shop? Do you wonder about the difference between blends of coffee, and light roast vs. dark?

Phoenix Coffee will offer two coffee classes this month at the Wine Spot in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 3:47 PM, 04.09.2012

Local business and college faculty partner to raise cancer research funds

For many families, nothing hits closer to home than a cancer diagnosis for a loved one. Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed of the cancers, and just about everyone can tell a story about a mother, sister, partner, daughter, wife or neighbor who has been touched by this disease. While it’s a very personal situation for each individual affected, efforts to discover better diagnosis, treatment—and eventually a cure—for breast cancer must be conducted on a large scale. This kind of research costs money, lots of it.

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Volume 5, Issue 4, Posted 10:36 AM, 04.04.2012

Going bald for a cause

Fifty brave souls went under the buzzers on Sunday, March 11 at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, shaving their heads to raise money for St. Baldrick’s and childhood cancer research.  The event was organized by Cleveland Heights resident Krissy Dietrich Gallagher, whose son Austin is a two-time cancer survivor and one of five 2012 Ambassador Kids for the national St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

As an Ambassador, Austin represents the more than 160,000 children who are diagnosed with cancer worldwide each year. One in five children in the United States diagnosed with the disease will not survive.

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Volume 5, Issue 4, Posted 10:50 AM, 03.20.2012

Happy New Year!

The Heights Observer and the staff and board of directors of FutureHeights wish you and your family a Happy New Year. The Heights Observer exists to provide a voice for Heights residents. Please keep your stories coming!

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 1:34 PM, 12.31.2011

Harvard professor outlines changes needed in children's education

It’s not just the economy that makes employers nervous about the future, said Ronald F. Ferguson, senior lecturer in education and public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. According to Ferguson, “Big employers are scared that we will not be able to replace the baby boomers when they retire” with young people equipped with the basic skills needed. As our population shifts racially, Ferguson added, our emerging workforce will be “disproportionally from our lowest achieving groups” unless all students make dramatic gains in achievement.

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 1:50 PM, 12.05.2011

Heights election results are too close to call

While parents and educators in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District breathed a sigh of relief as the school levy, Issue 6,  passed handily in the November 2011 elections, the races for local city councils were too close to call.

Preliminary results in the Cleveland Heights City Council election showed a close race between current Council Member Phyllis Evans and challengers Mary Dunbar and Jeff Coryell. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections voted to certify election results on Nov. 29, including provisional and other ballots that were unavailable on Election Day. The board determined that an automatic recount was required because the margin of victory is less than one-half percent. The results of the recount won’t be available until sometime in December.

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 3:25 PM, 12.01.2011

Election results are in

Parents and educators in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District breathed a sigh of relief as the school levy passed handily.

In the Cleveland Heights City Council election, Dennis Wilcox was reelected, as was Phyllis Evans, who narrowly edged out newcomer Jeff Coryell. The second time was the charm for Mary Dunbar, who was also elected.

In the University Heights City Council election, Adele Zucker, former vice mayor, was the top vote getter. Newcomers Pamela Cameron and Tom Cozzens were elected, and Steven Sims narrowly won over fellow incumbent Kevin Patrick Muphy.

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 8:49 AM, 11.09.2011

Forest Hill Church holds conversations on race

It all started last fall when two teenagers were walking door-to-door to raise money for their high school football team. The teens were in their own Pepper Pike neighborhood, when police, with guns drawn, approached one of the teens. These two teens, both African American, and members of Forest Hill Church, were racially profiled in their own neighborhood.

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Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 11:07 AM, 11.01.2011

Prototype study ranks most livable neighborhoods: Heights area comes out on top

One can hardly open a magazine or visit the Internet these days without encountering community rankings. Locally, Cleveland Magazine publishes a popular and highly publicized annual ranking of suburbs according to criteria and methodology chosen by its editorial staff. Every year, observers note that the report favors outlying suburbs, while discounting the criteria that are most important to people who choose to live in older communities, such as Cleveland Heights and other inner-ring communities. The problem with any effort to rank communities is that it will include making judgments that some disagree with.

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Volume 4, Issue 10, Posted 1:57 PM, 10.03.2011

Ice cream cart is sweet at Coventry

Perhaps you’ve noticed something different on Coventry Road lately. Maybe you’ve seen more people than usual relaxing on street benches, or just strolling down the street. Maybe you’ve noticed a street cart between two trees outside of Phoenix Coffee. If you’ve seen any of these things, the reason is probably Sweetie Fry.

Sweetie Fry is the newest addition to Coventry, bringing artisan ice cream to Cleveland Heights. Like its ice cream, this new addition is anything but ordinary.

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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 1:05 PM, 08.02.2011

Seitz-Agin Hardware to close this month

Seitz-Agin Hardware, a mainstay in Cleveland Heights for 66 years, will close this month. Owner Joel Borwick cited the economic climate as the reason for closing.

“When the recession hit it just seemed to change everything,” Borwick explained. “Business really went down and the bottom line is we lost money for the last year or two. I can’t do that forever, and I don’t see how it’s going to come back.”

Borwick bought the store 38 years ago when he was looking to get into the retail business. “Somebody knew somebody who knew the people who owned this place, and they got us together, and lo and behold I owned a hardware store.” The store, which is named after the previous owners, has enjoyed a zealous patronage in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 11:32 AM, 06.01.2011

No thru traffic

This tree fell across Demington Drive, between Fairmount Boulevard and Cedar Road, at about 7:15 a.m. on April 28, following a night of 50 mph-plus wind.

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 1:16 PM, 04.28.2011

FutureHeights land use and development forum draws capacity crowd

A standing room-only crowd of more than 150 people attended the FutureHeights forum on land use and development on Thursday, April 17 at Forest Hill Church in Cleveland Heights. While Cleveland Heights residents made up the majority of attendees, several South Euclid and University Heights residents also attended.

Mark Chupp, a professor at Case Western Reserve University's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and a FutureHeights board member moderated the forum. Panelists were Terry Schwarz, director of Kent State University's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative; Hunter Morrison, director of the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium; and Ed Jerse, director of regional collaboration for Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald.

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 2:23 PM, 04.08.2011

Bill Thomas, beloved Heights music teacher, dies

Bill Thomas, 68, died March 25 at Holly Hill Nursing Home in Newbury Township, 17 years after a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

Thomas led the Heights Singers and other vocal music groups at Heights High for 30 years. He was operations manager at Cain Park and director of the park’s Arts Festival. His high musical standards and ability to teach young people life lessons influenced many former students and colleagues.

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 10:22 AM, 05.03.2011

Land use forum shows need for regional planning

A standing room-only crowd of more than 150 people attended the FutureHeights forum on land use and development on Thursday, April 17 at Forest Hill Church in Cleveland Heights. While Cleveland Heights residents made up the majority of attendees, several South Euclid and University Heights residents also attended. (Watch video of the forum)

Mark Chupp, a professor at Case Western Reserve University's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and a FutureHeights board member moderated the forum. Chupp spoke about the importance of citizen participation in community decision making. He likened democracy to a three-legged stool that includes the public sector (local governments), the private sector (developers and private property owners), and civil society, which includes information sharing, civic dialogue and joint planning.

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 3:59 PM, 04.12.2011

April 7 forum to discuss land use issues, such as Oakwood

FutureHeights will host an educational forum at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 7 at Forest Hill Church, 3031 Monticello Blvd. in  Cleveland Heights, to explore the issues and long-term implications of redevelopment projects, such as the one proposed for the former Oakwood Club property.

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 5:59 PM, 03.31.2011

JIm Rokakis to speak at Cleveland Heights Democratic Club April 14

The Cleveland Heights Democratic Club will host former Cuyahoga County treasurer Jim Rokakis at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at the Cleveland Heights Community Center. The meeting is free and open to all.

Rokakis became county treasurer in 1997, and stepped down in January due to the elimination of his office in the charter reform.  During that time, he did far more than just collect money. He worked actively to strengthen neighborhoods and homeowners through programs that dealt with predatory lending and abandoned properties, among other things.

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 3:18 PM, 04.07.2011

Heights families host St. Baldrick's Day to fight childhood cancer

This Saint Patrick’s day, hundreds of Clevelanders will lose their hair. At least that’s what two Heights families hope. For the ninth consecutive year, Cathy Richer, her husband Peter, and sister in-law Cari Ross, are spearheading the Cleveland version of St.Baldrick’s Day, the annual head-shaving fundraiser benefiting childhood cancer research.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, founded in 2000, funds more childhood cancer research grants than any other private organization. In just one decade, the organization has shaved nearly 150,000 heads worldwide, earning in excess of $90.6 million. The Cleveland event is consistently in the foundation’s top ten percent of fundraisers.

Despite this success, childhood cancer research remains one of the least-supported areas of cancer research.

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Volume 4, Issue 3, Posted 1:17 PM, 03.01.2011

Love and math

My wife cannot balance a checkbook to save her life. Once, she paid three bills totaling more than the balance in our account, and recorded a new balance almost twice that after deducting for the three checks she wrote. I asked if she had forgotten to record a deposit. She said "no" and asked why I wanted to know, with a smile that reminds me every day why I married her.

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Volume 4, Issue 3, Posted 4:35 PM, 01.31.2011

Local food author Michael Ruhlman cooks up his own line of kitchen tools

Michael Ruhlman, a Cleveland Heights resident, began his career as a nonfiction author, blended in his passion for good food, and wrote a recipe to become an internationally known food expert. Now he is stirring the pot with a fledgling line of cooking tools, developed in his own kitchen.

Ruhlman, who has written eight books on food and has sold roughly 10,000 copies of his Ratio iPhone app for cooks, has now launched a small line of innovative kitchen products. The first of these is a pair of square-tipped acacia wood cooking spoons (the big one is The Spanker, its little brother is Spanky), reusable straining cloths and a washable hanging knife rack.

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 10:29 PM, 01.19.2011

Versatile, sustainable bags, made here in Cleveland Heights

In a light-filled studio in the Coventry neighborhood, designer Madeline Hoyle crafts versatile and graphically striking bags. An avid bicyclist, Hoyle is inspired by the needs of bike commuters, and is committed to using sustainable materials to produce her durable, practical line of products.

Hoyle established her company, Blicksbags, after graduating from the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) in 2009. A native of Miami, Fla., Hoyle moved to Cleveland Heights after graduation, and cites Cleveland’s artistic community as a reason she decided to stay in the area. “I like the community here,” noted Hoyle, “And it’s relatively affordable, which is a huge plus. I lived in Little Italy when I was a student, and always hung out around Coventry.”

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 9:26 AM, 01.20.2011

The Funky Hippy brings vintage finds to Cedar Lee

Opened in June, The Funky Hippy on Lee Road is an expansion of owner Dawn Ward’s original Funky Hippy vintage store in Akron, Ohio.

Ward primarily stocks fashions from the 1960s–80s. “Much of the inventory is gently used vintage, but some is ‘new old stock’—never worn vintage items,” explained Ward. Among the “new old” items are sunglasses from the late 70s to early 80s, and a collection of dresses, tops and pants imported from India, that Ward describes as “slinky and beautiful, with diverse prints.”

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Volume 3, Issue 12, Posted 9:22 AM, 11.18.2010

Area youths in delegation to Italy

Although social networking websites, such as Facebook, have the ability to connect people from one point of the globe to another, CISV International programs connect people face-to-face. Five area youths learned this firsthand as participants in CISV’s Interchange program in Forli, Italy.

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Volume 3, Issue 12, Posted 9:06 PM, 11.10.2010

By Nature on Coventry offers healthy convenience

Cleveland-area natives Paul and Bonnie Ursetti are the owners of By Nature, a new shop on Coventry Road that provides healthy, convenient food, beverages and snacks.

Opened in September, By Nature is still expanding its inventory, offering what Paul Ursetti describes as “conscious convenience”—a variety of food items, each with a natural, organic and environmentally responsible focus.

“We were attracted to Coventry by its diversity,” Paul said, “and the forward-thinking folks of all ages, who are conscious of what they do and eat, and the effect on the environment.”

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Volume 3, Issue 11, Posted 5:09 PM, 10.21.2010

Behind the scenes at Dobama is a box office gem

Dobama Theatre’s 2010-11 season has gotten off to an intense, thought-provoking start. While "the play’s the thing," no one enters without a ticket and so Charlotta Enflo’s face is the very first one you will see at each production.

Enflo, who joined Dobama in December 2009 as box office manager and development associate, points out that meeting the Heights theatergoers is the best part of her job. "They know that each Dobama production will be a unique experience," she says, "and they are very vocal about it."

She feels the excitement and anticipation in each exchange. A recent graduate of Goldsmiths, University of London, England, with a master’s degree in arts administration, Enflo sees each ticket purchase as an opportunity for building a relationship, which is vital to Dobama’s future.

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Volume 3, Issue 10, Posted 9:49 PM, 09.20.2010