Non-profit & Groups

Nonprofit yoga service organization sponsors online benefit auction

North American Gurukul (NAG), a Cleveland Heights-based nonprofit organization, is sponsoring its sixth annual Connect, Discover, Serve online auction. The auction runs through July 12.

For the fourth consecutive year, a portion of the auction proceeds will benefit the Heights Emergency Food Center. The auction also helps to support NAG’s yoga service programs for recovery centers, halfway houses, prisons and inner city schools.

Beverly Singh, founder and director of the Atma Center on Lee Road, founded NAG in 2004, to support awareness and growth of Satyananda yoga throughout North America.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 11:46 AM, 07.01.2014

HRRC Director Kathryn Lad to retire

Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC), the Cleveland Heights-based nonprofit that provides tools and techniques for homeowners to maintain their homes, announced in a May 21 press release that its executive director, Kathryn Lad, will retire on June 13. 

According to the release, since taking the helm of the organization in 2006, Lad has helped redefine HRRC as a respected regional resource with a healthy new base of support. Throughout this process, she remained committed to client service.

"The recent economic crisis continues to impact the homeowners of our community," Lad said. "In recent years, in response to the needs we saw among the people we served, we added special services for seniors—to help them deal with contractors, maintain their property, and maximize their chances of remaining at home even if their physical health declines. We also introduced a series of classes for new homebuyers, and services to help people threatened by foreclosure."

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 11:12 AM, 05.27.2014

HRRC searches for new leader

Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) has launched a search for an executive director to advance its long-standing focus on home maintenance for healthy and diverse neighborhoods. This is only the third time in 43 years that the Cleveland Heights-based nonprofit has changed leaders.

Rob Josey, HRRC board member, and Shouresh Amir-Tahmasseb, president of the HRRC Board of Directors, are co-chairs of the search committee, formed at the organization’s June 9 board retreat, to find an effective leader who embraces HRRC’s mission and core commitments to equity, empowerment and sustainability.

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 1:42 PM, 06.30.2014

Cleveland leadership program seeks applicants for 2014

In 2006, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, along with former Cleveland Mayor Michael White, established a leadership training program for engaged neighborhood leaders. The Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP) is a free, 15-session community engagement training program for residents of Cleveland and its inner-ring suburbs.

“A large part of Cleveland’s future depends on the strength of its neighborhoods,” said Michael R. White, NLDP program director. “The Neighborhood Leadership Development Program identifies, engages and trains leaders working to improve their communities. Through an intensive, nine-month program, NLDP develops skills and abilities that will benefit its participants, their neighborhoods and the city for years to come.”  

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 1:26 PM, 06.30.2014

Sunday at Cain Park

We Are Cleveland Heights, an organization that comprises both residents and business owners, is hosting a Sunday in the Park event at Cain Park on June 1, 2–4 p.m.

We Are Cleveland Heights encourages park visitors to bring their families, fly kites, play instruments, bring a picnic, read a book, meet neighbors, and enjoy time in the park with others.

For more information on this event, and about We Are Cleveland Heights, visit

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 11:24 AM, 05.30.2014

FutureHeights and Reaching Heights move to Coventry Village neighborhood

Two Heights nonprofits—FutureHeights, the community-building organization that publishes the Heights Observer, and Reaching Heights, the organization that supports public education in the Heights—are the newest tenants at the Coventry Building, 2843 Washington Blvd., the former Coventry Elementary School. The two organizations have both moved in to Suite 105, formerly occupied by the Open Office. 

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 11:19 AM, 05.30.2014

Heights foodies to speak at welcome event on June 26

Three Heights civic organizations will host Welcome Home: Heights Foodies, a reception to welcome new and potential residents of Cleveland Heights and University Heights, from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, June 26, at The Wine Spot, 2271 Lee Road.

The free event will feature a panel discussion by Heights foodies and entrepreneurs about why they like living and working in the Heights. Panelists are Chef Jonathan Sawyer, owner of The Greenhouse Tavern and Noodlecat; Tommy Fello, owner of Tommy’s restaurant; Keith Logan, owner of Sweetie Fry; and Adam Fleischer, owner of The Wine Spot.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 11:06 AM, 05.30.2014

Kick off the summer at HYC's Taste of the Heights June 11

It’s time for Taste of the Heights, the annual Heights Youth Club (HYC) fundraising event that brings together great tastes from many local restaurants. The event takes place at the club, 2065 Lee Road, on Wednesday, June 11, 6–9 p.m.

Sample specialties from Anatolia Café, Barle Soup and Sandwich, the BottleHouse Brewery, Brennan’s Colony, Cafe Tandoor, Dewey’s Pizza, Joey’s Bistro, Katz Club Diner, Lopez, the Mad Greek, Mister Brisket, New Heights Grill, Nighttown, O’Rielly’s Irish Pub, Pacific East, Pizzazz, the Rib Cage, the Stone Oven, Sweetie Fry, the Tavern Company, Taste, Tommy’s and Zagara’s Marketplace.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 10:50 AM, 05.30.2014

HRRC annual meeting is June 3

The annual meeting of the Cleveland Heights-based, nonprofit Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC), will take place on Tuesday, June 3, 7 p.m., at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, 1 Monticello Blvd. The public is invited to attend this free event.

After a brief review of the past year and election of new HRRC board members, staff and clients will share stories of HRRC and the community it serves.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:38 AM, 05.30.2014

Vote for Best of the Heights

Residents can vote for their favorite Heights businesses in the 10th annual FutureHeights Best of the Heights awards program. The 2014 survey begins May 31 and runs through Aug. 31.

Since 2005, FutureHeights—a nonprofit dedicated to promoting civic engagement through information, education and advocacy—has conducted this public opinion survey to recognize the unique attributes of locally owned Heights businesses, and their contributions to the local economy.

Ballots for Best of the Heights awards will be available in the June, July and August issues of the Heights Observer, at the many Heights independent businesses and at

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 4:40 PM, 06.02.2014

Nonprofit FracTracker Alliance plans May 22 fundraiser in Cleveland Heights

FracTracker Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to tracking, and enhancing public understanding of, the impacts of the global shale gas industry, will host a fundraiser in Cleveland Heights on May 22.

The event will take place at the Wine Spot, 2271 Lee Road, 6:30–9:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person and include a wine and cheese tasting, a silent auction and a door prize. FracTracker board members and staff will be on hand, and there will also be a special exhibit of maps and art, to enlighten and inform guests. Space is limited. To order tickets go to

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 10:36 AM, 05.16.2014

St. Paul's Reading Camps are making a difference

An article in the Plain Dealer on March 11 reported that Cleveland public schools are preparing for 1,000 third graders to attend summer school. These children are at risk for not advancing to fourth grade due to lack of progress in reading. One local congregation is working to boost reading skills through a unique summer camp for children in Cleveland, Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights who are at risk for falling behind.

In June, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church begins its fifth summer of an overnight camp program, and is adding a day camp this year. Based on a model established in the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, Reading Camp Cleveland offers a week-long camp free of charge to children identified by their teachers as needing a reading boost.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 12:04 PM, 05.05.2014

Parents invited to unite for children at Mama Summit on May 7 in Columbus

Have you ever wished you could be a lobbyist working on behalf of children? Even if you are not a paid lobbyist, you can still embrace your role in the democratic process and demonstrate that you are paying attention to the decisions our elected officials make that affect the health and welfare of children by attending Mama Summit 2014 on May 7 in Columbus.

Organized by Moms Clean Air Force, with various partners, Mama Summit offers a chance for organizations and individuals focused on children’s issues to come together in a nonpartisan setting to ask elected officials to consider our children's future when making energy, air quality and health related decisions in Ohio.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 11:01 AM, 05.05.2014

RoxArts benefit celebrates the Roaring ‘20s

Step back into the 1920s at the 2014 RoxArts Auction & Benefit on Saturday, May 17, 6:30–10 p.m., at the B-Side Lounge, 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd. 

The event will evoke a speakeasy, circa Prohibition, where participants can indulge in phenomenal food catered by The Katz Club and Bodega, as well as complimentary beer and wine, and enjoy music and dancing—perhaps the Charleston or Shimmy—popular dances of the era. Silent and live auctions will feature getaway packages, art and jewelry by local artists, sports and arts venue tickets, summer camp packages and more.

This annual benefit is the primary fundraiser supporting RoxArts, a nonprofit organization of parents and community members working to bring enhanced arts education to students at Roxboro Elementary and Middle schools. Now in its fourth decade, RoxArts has sponsored programs in performing and visual arts for thousands of Heights students.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 6:46 PM, 05.01.2014

Forest Hill Park offers garlic mustard-related events for spring, beginning April 26

Spring is finally here, which means garlic mustard is in full bloom at Forest Hill Park. Because of the late start to the spring season, the garlic mustard plant is just now popping up. An invasive species that compromises and overwhelms our native biological communities, garlic mustard should be pulled up. It can then be transformed into edible dishes. Pesto is the most well-known recipe made from the plant.

Garlic mustard negatively affects both flora and fauna, including the native cut-leaf toothwort and native West Virginia White butterfly.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 11:37 AM, 04.25.2014

Krista Hawthorne to lead Reaching Heights

Reaching Heights has selected Krista Hawthorne as the next leader of the 25-year-old citizen support organization for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights public schools. Hawthorne has been on the staff of Reaching Heights since 2006, most recently as assistant director. She will assume her duties as executive director on April 15.

“Krista combines an exciting sense of the future for Reaching Heights with a deep awareness of the organization’s history, which she’s helped shape over the last eight years, most recently as assistant director,” said John Hubbard, Reaching Heights board president. “She brings a deep understanding of our community and a demonstrated ability to connect with a wide range of people. We were fortunate to interview other remarkable candidates, whom I’m confident will continue to share their gifts on behalf of excellent public education in our community.”

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 10:42 AM, 03.25.2014

Snow, sidewalks and shovels: FutureHeights hosts public safety forum on April 1

Spring is finally upon us, but this winter has proven especially memorable. Record snowfall, weather-related school closures, and discussions about civic responsibility dominated conversations and media for months. Lengthy and severe conditions have left some lingering questions: What can we do better? How can we plan more effectively? Where do city services end and residents’ responsibility begin? Can we cooperate as a community to maintain superior public safety for all of our residents and visitors? How can we align our civic policies and individual actions to look beyond clear roads for cars to create a safe and welcoming environment for everyone, traveling by foot, bike, bus or car?

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 12:39 PM, 03.24.2014

Brave, bold, and bald: Heights students shave their heads for St. Baldrick’s cancer fundraiser

On Sunday, March 16, from noon to 4 p.m., cancer survivors will gather with their families, classmates, friends, teachers and students from the Heights and neighboring communities at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, 1 Monticello Blvd., where participants will shave their heads to raise money for pediatric cancer research.

This year’s St. Baldrick’s event is held in honor of three students from the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District: Austin Gallagher, a first-grader and two-time survivor of kidney cancer; Becca Meyer, a kindergartener currently battling a brain tumor; and Garrett Gulden, a seventh-grader battling leukemia.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 10:00 AM, 03.13.2014

Mixing up drinks and generations on Feb. 9

ClevelandGives, a volunteer group for young professionals sponsored by NCJW/Cleveland, is teaming up with senior residents from Beachwood's Myers Apartment and The Katz Club Diner to sample and relive the 1940s.

On Sunday, Feb. 9, at 5:30 p.m., attendees will learn from chef/owner Doug Katz and mixologist Eric Mattimore how to craft (and taste) three vintage cocktails, sample classic small plates, and learn about that time period from residents of Myers. The event will take place in the Katz Club bar car, a cozy, refurbished 1940s-era former diner car.

“We spend so much time on the internet researching stories, but often we forget that our greatest historians and storytellers live a mile away from us,” said Andrew Doris, ClevelandGives board member.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 9:13 AM, 02.04.2014

March 5 is wrap-up session for communitywide book discussion

This winter, more than 115 people participated in three evening conversations about the future of public education and education reform. The focus of the communitywide discussions was the book Reign of Error, written by Diane Ravitch, an education historian who served as assistant secretary of education under President George H. W. Bush.

A follow-up session to discuss action steps will be held from 7–9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 5, at the Heights High Social Room.

Ravitch, whose own views have changed significantly as she has observed the impact of widespread high-stakes standardized testing on public schools, neighborhoods, cities, teachers and children, argues in her book that the privatization approach that educational reformers advocate threatens the future existence of public schools in the United States.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 10:33 AM, 02.28.2014

Reaching Heights to honor Bailey at 23rd annual Bee

On March 12, Reaching Heights will host its annual Adult Spelling Bee in Heights High auditorium. The event serves as both a fundraiser for the organization and a family-friendly event for the whole community.

For 23 years, community members have formed teams of three to test their spelling skills and compete for the honor of having their team’s name emblazoned on the “Coveted Big Plastic Bee Trophy.” Teams represent organizations, such as parent-teacher associations from Heights schools, local religious institutions, universities, world-class orchestras, law firms, and city councils, or they comprise groups of friends. Some teams train extensively, others not so much, but all get into the spirit of the evening with creative costumes and cheering sections.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 4:34 PM, 02.27.2014

HCC hosts March 7 diversity awareness program

Heights Community Congress (HCC) will host a diversity awareness program on Friday, March 7, from 7–8:30 p.m. at the Lee Road Library. Advance registration is not required for this event, where participants will have the opportunity to experience the choices people made during the civil rights movement. Sometimes these choices meant the difference between life and death.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 4:14 PM, 02.27.2014

Join The Nature Conservancy for dinner at Tommy’s on Feb. 19

Last fall, The Nature Conservancy asked foodies in Cleveland, and across the country, to nominate their favorite green restaurants for its second annual People’s Choice Nature’s Plate Awards. Tommy’s Restaurant, 1824 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights, garnered the most votes of the four nominated Greater Cleveland restaurants and so won the Conservancy’s 2013 Nature’s Plate Award for Cleveland.

On Feb. 19, the Ohio Nature Conservancy Meetup group will gather for dinner at Tommy’s, to celebrate the award and continue the conversation about food, conservation and The Nature Conservancy’s work with food producers. The public is invited to join in the dinner and the discussion.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 10:16 AM, 02.11.2014

CH Historical Society has new president

The Cleveland Heights Historical Society (CHHS) Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Ken Goldberg as the organization's new president.

A trustee since 1996, Goldberg serves on the Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission and spent many years as a member of the Cleveland Heights Improvement Awards Committee. He also is a former president of the Western Reserve Architectural Historians and was principal editor of AIA/Cleveland's Guide to Cleveland Architecture, 2nd edition. Many Heights residents are familiar with his articles, lectures, architectural walking tours, preservation consulting, and architectural color consulting. Goldberg holds an M.A. in art history from Binghamton University and an M.L.S. from Syracuse University.

Working with Michael Rotman, CHHS' new executive director, Goldberg hopes to strengthen the organization's core programs: producing "View from the Overlook," a publication featuring articles about local history; CHHS' website ( and related new blog; the organization's new Facebook page; and local history presentations; as well as fostering community outreach and cooperation with other historical organizations.

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 12:10 PM, 01.30.2014

Dee Jay Doc gives new voice to students at Lake Erie Ink

For the third consecutive year, Lake Erie Ink welcomes Dee Jay Doc to Ink Spot, the creative writing afterschool program for students in grades 4 through 6. On Thursday afternoons, Doc will assist students in the creation of lyrics and beats (rhythmic soundtracks) with a positive message. He will also offer the Hip Hop Recording Project on Wednesdays for students in grades 6 through 12.

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 11:50 AM, 01.30.2014

Award-winning bicycling movie coming to Cedar Lee Jan. 23

"Rising From Ashes," a joyous and uplifting independent film about the development of a Rwandan National Cycling Team, will be shown on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Cedar Lee Theater, 2163 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights. The screening will benefit Heights Bicycle Coalition and Bike Cleveland.

Members of the Rwandan bike team were children during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Their pasts are painful.

Jacques ("Jock") Boyer, the first American to ride in the Tour de France in 1981, moved to Rwanda in 2006 to coach the Rwandan team's bicyclists. Both Jock and the team find new purpose as they rise from the ashes of their pasts through remarkable achievements, both big and small.

To view a trailer for this award-winning, visually stunning movie, go to

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 9:44 AM, 01.14.2014

Reaching Heights seeks new executive director

On Dec. 12, at the Reaching Heights Annual Meeting, Patrick Mullen announced that he will be stepping down as executive director of the organization in 2014.

Mullen and his family plan to move to New Zealand for a year, where his wife, Dr. Heather Mullen, will practice medicine.

"With gratitude for the chance to lead this organization since the fall of 2007, and excitement about the adventure that awaits, I will step down as executive director of Reaching Heights in the spring of 2014," said Mullen.

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 11:43 AM, 01.07.2014

Community groups to host communitywide public education book discussion

Several Heights-based organizations will host a communitywide discussion about the future of public education and educational reform this winter. The focus of the discussion is the book Reign of Error, written by Diane Ravitch, an education historian who served as assistant secretary of education under President George H. W. Bush, and whose views have changed significantly as she has observed the impact of widespread high-stakes standardized testing on public schools, neighborhoods, cities, teachers and children.

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Volume 7, Issue 1, Posted 1:39 PM, 01.02.2014

Reaching Heights receives $4,550 grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

Reaching Heights, a community nonprofit in Cleveland Heights that supports excellent public education, has been awarded $4,550 by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) for the Heights Summer Music Camp, which will mark its 10th year in June.

Reaching Heights mobilizes local musicians and music educators to create a weeklong, affordable music-immersion experience for more than 90 10- to-15-year-olds who participate in the school district’s instrumental music program.

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Volume 7, Issue 1, Posted 1:32 PM, 01.02.2014

Free speech essay contest for juniors and seniors

The call is out to all high school juniors and seniors. The City Club of Cleveland is presenting The Hope and Stanley Adelstein Free Speech Essay Contest, a special opportunity for upper-grade students to shine, and to win generous cash prizes.

The Adelsteins, lifelong residents of Northeast Ohio, are philanthropists and longtime members of The City Club. Stanley joined The City Club in 1941 and served as president of its board of directors. Hope, a retired nurse, joins her husband in their support of free speech, justice and the environmental issues.

The Free Speech Essay Contest gives students an opportunity to explore the complexities of our constitutional right to free speech while building essential writing and critical thinking skills. The contest is open to all juniors and seniors in public, private, parochial, charter and home schools in Cuyahoga and the surrounding counties.

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Volume 7, Issue 1, Posted 1:19 PM, 01.02.2014

Simply Charming teams up with the SPCA Dec. 5–7

On Thursday, Dec. 5 through Saturday, Dec. 7, Lisa Gevelber, owner of Simply Charming in Cleveland Heights, will donate 20 percent of all sales at her boutique to the Northeast Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

Gevelber, who describes her shop as “an eclectic, quirky little boutique, carrying a variety of goods such as greeting cards, jewelry, handbags, scarves, candles, picture frames, journals, and baby and kids items,” has a special connection to the SPCA.

“I’ve had many dogs from the SPCA,” said Gevelber. “Clementine, Simply Charming’s shop dog, is not from there—she was a puppy mill dog—but most of my dogs have come from the SPCA. It’s an important organization, and I wanted to show my support for its work."

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Volume 7, Issue 1, Posted 10:27 AM, 12.05.2013

Heights group provides hope to women trapped in global sex trade

Although Sr. Anthonia Ugheighele has worked with Nigerian women caught in the horror of human trafficking and prostitution in Italy for 13 years, their suffering still brings her to tears.

In November, she took the podium to accept an award from International Partners in Mission (IPM). She began by describing her first encounter with the international criminal enterprise that promises jobs to impoverished girls and women in Nigeria, sends them on a harrowing passage across North Africa and the Mediterranean Sea, and then traps them in Europe’s sex trade.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 12:08 PM, 12.02.2013

Racial disparities In suburban housing market still exist

Martha Goble, interim director of the Heights Community Congress (HCC), said the organization released a new study, Racial Disparities in the Cleveland Suburban Home Sales Market, 2008–2013, at the Ohio Fair Lending Conference at Trinity Commons on Nov. 1.

Ralph Day, who prepared the study and presented its findings at the conference, said that the study draws on data compiled from real estate audits conducted by HCC from 2008 to 2013, and compares the results to those of the St. Ann Audit conducted in 1972 in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland. The St. Ann Audit established that “steering” and other forms of differential treatment guided black home seekers into integrated neighborhoods, and white home seekers away from those neighborhoods.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 11:59 AM, 12.02.2013

School in Liberia is open and growing

A project that originated in Cleveland Heights is bringing education and hope to a remote part of West Africa. The Dougbe River Presbyterian School is the first school in Grand Gedeh County, Liberia, the birthplace of Isaac Monah, an elder at Noble Road Presbyterian Church. 

The school opened in November 2012 and now has 130 students: 69 girls and 61 boys, from kindergarten through seventh grade. Most walk about a mile and a half from one of two villages that donated 150 acres of land for the campus midway between the villages.

Monah realized the need for a school in 2007, when he visited his home village in Twarbo Region for the first time since he fled from a civil war 17 years earlier. His refugee journey took him to Ghana, where he finished high school, at the age of 27, before coming to the United States and landing a job at the Cleveland Clinic.

Last May, six months after the Dougbe school opened, Monah finally had the opportunity to see his dream in operation.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 11:26 AM, 11.19.2013

Heights High alumni host Nov. 14 fundraiser

The Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation will host its annual holiday cocktail party and fundraiser on Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Wine Spot, 2271 Lee Road. The event, which runs from 7 to 10 p.m., will feature desserts from the Stone Oven, Luna Bakery Café, Whole Foods Market, the Katz Club Diner and Sweetie Fry.

The foundation will raffle off an Apple iPad Mini and a 32” TV. Winners need not be present to win. In fact, even those who cannot attend the event but wish to support the alumni foundation can order raffle tickets online.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 12:01 PM, 11.05.2013

Ari Klein retires as Cleveland Heights scoutmaster

It is difficult to measure the impact of Boy Scout Troop 22 on the Cleveland Heights community during the 25 years Ari Klein has served as scoutmaster. Klein is retiring from Troop 22, though he will continue to impact the community as a nationally board-certified math teacher at Cleveland Heights High School and as president of the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union, AFT. His tenure as scoutmaster is being celebrated on Nov. 2 by the families of the hundreds of Boy Scouts whose lives he has helped shape.

The number of boys who have earned the rank of Eagle Scout—51 since Klein became scoutmaster in 1988—attests to the leadership style Klein established, with the boys themselves leading the organization through a system of patrol and assistant patrol leaders under the guidance of a senior patrol leader.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 12:39 PM, 10.28.2013

UH council and mayoral candidates to lead off Oct. 8 candidate forum

The CH-UH Chapter of The League of Women Voters (LWV) Cuyahoga Area and FutureHeights will host and moderate a nonpartisan candidate forum on Tuesday, Oct. 8, from 7–9:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, at One Monticello Blvd.

All candidates for Cleveland Heights and University Heights city councils and for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education whose names will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot have been invited. The candidates for University Heights City Council will begin the evening at 7 p.m., followed by the CH-UH school board candidates at 7:55 p.m. The candidates for Cleveland Heights City Council will close out the evening beginning at 8:40 p.m.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 12:03 PM, 10.08.2013

Oct. 16 screening of 'The Last White Knight' kicks off HCC diversity program

Heights Community Congress (HCC) will sponsor two free screenings of the documentary film "The Last White Knight" on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., at the Cedar Lee Theatre.

HCC is partnering with Facing History and Ourselves, the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and the Maltz Museum of Jewish History to bring "The Last White Knight" to Cleveland Heights. HCC is also collaborating with Cleveland Heights High School staff to facilitate student participation at the morning screening.

"The Last White Knight" premiered in 2012 at the Toronto International Film Festival, and was featured at the Cleveland International Film Festival in April 2013. Paul Saltzman, film and television producer-director and two-time Emmy award winner, will be at both screenings to introduce the film and conduct talk-back sessions afterward.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 10:01 AM, 10.08.2013

New CH city manager to speak at Nov. 21 FutureHeights event

FutureHeights will host Meet the New City Manager, the latest event in its speaker series, on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. The event will be held at the BottleHouse Brewery, 2050 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. 

The evening will feature Tanisha Briley, who became city of manager of Cleveland Heights in August. She will discuss her impressions of the city thus far and her goals for the future. She will then answer questions from the audience.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 11:50 AM, 10.31.2013

Scrabble tournament Nov. 9 aids children in foster care

The fourth annual Scrabble Tournament fundraiser will be held on Saturday, Nov. 9. All event proceeds benefit the Waiting Child Fund and its efforts to find permanent families for children in foster care. 

The tournament will run from 3–6 p.m. at Rockefeller's Restaurant, 3099 Mayfield Road. Vikki and Todd Webster, residents of Cleveland Heights, are the hosts. The $40 ticket includes appetizers, drinks, and a chance to test one's Scrabble skills and win prizes.

"Our favorite thing about this event is the laughter and joy it brings to all of the participants. It is a direct reflection of how the children must feel after being placed in a secure and safe permanent home," said Vikki Webster.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 12:01 PM, 11.04.2013

Find out who’s the Best of the Heights on Sept. 23

From May through August, Heights residents voted for their favorite Heights businesses in 22 categories, including best healthy eats, best place for fashion and best new business. Each year FutureHeights—a nonprofit dedicated to promoting civic engagement in the Heights through information, education, and advocacy, and the publisher of the Heights Observer community news—conducts the Best of the Heights survey to recognize the unique attributes of locally owned businesses in the Cleveland Heights and University Heights, and their contributions to the local economy.

“Heights residents recognize how lucky they are to have such an amazing diversity of independent businesses in our community and want to show their appreciation,” said Clare Taft, president of the FutureHeights Board of Directors. She added that the event has become one of the best local business networking events of the year.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 10:39 AM, 09.17.2013

Annual 'Ride for Miles' on Sept. 15 promotes environmental activism and bike safety

The annual Ride For Miles, a 15-mile family-friendly bicycle ride through the eastern suburbs of Cleveland, will hit Heights streets for a sixth consecutive year on Sunday, Sept. 15. Ride For Miles is a nonprofit organization established by family, friends and colleagues of Dr. Miles Coburn, to raise funds for the purpose of educating the public regarding environmental stewardship and bicycle safety.

A John Carroll University (JCU) biology professor, Coburn was struck by an SUV and killed on Aug. 16, 2008 while riding his bicycle in Newbury Township, east of Cleveland. This project continues Coburn's work to educate students and the community about the urgency of environmental activism.

Peggy Spaeth, Coburn's widow, said, "I cannot think of a better way to honor my husband Miles than to teach even more people to act now about global climate change in his memory. Perhaps in some unfair way he is reaching even more people than before as a teacher. So, in his memory, educate yourself and act about global climate change."

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 3:38 PM, 09.09.2013

Coit Road Farmers Market Taste of Autumn benefit Sept. 9

The annual Coit Road Farmers Market's "Taste of Autumn Benefit" will be held on Monday, Sept. 9,  6–9 p.m. at The Beachland Ballroom. The event, hosted by Fred Griffith of "Good Morning Cleveland," features live music by Albert Dennis & Friends and a harvest buffet from local farmers, prepared by the region’s finest chefs.   

Among the featured chefs are Doug Katz of fire, Katz Diner and The Katz Club, and Provenance; Brian Doyle of The Beachland Ballroom; Eric Wells, a personal chef; Ryan Cipriani of Angela-Mia Pizza; Robin Blair, a personal chef; and Phil Orea of Paragon Wine, Martinis & Plates.

Tickets are $35 per person, and are available at the Coit Road Farmers Market or online at

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 9:15 AM, 09.03.2013

Piccadilly is Best New Business in 2013 Best of the Heights Awards

On Sept. 23, at its ninth annual Best of the Heights Awards, FutureHeights honored outstanding businesses, organizations and community members in Cleveland Heights and University Heights. 

Piccadilly Artisan Yogurt edged out finalists Katz Club Diner and Pinwheel Kids to win Best New Business.

“It is a great honor for us to win,” said Cosmin Bota, who, with his brother Adrian, opened the all-organic frozen yogurt shop in March in Coventry Village. “We give full credit and say a heartfelt 'thank you' to the community that has welcomed and supported us since opening day. We really enjoy being part of the creativity and vibrancy of the area.”

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 12:49 PM, 10.08.2013

Lake Erie Ink dives into third year

Lake Erie Ink, a writing space for youth, has started fall programming with the third year of the Ink Spot, an after-school program that provides homework help and creative writing opportunities to kids in grades 4–8.

Already, students have begun taking advantage of the opportunity to creatively express themselves. At a recent Ink Spot session, students were prompted to write about the stories their shoes would tell. 

If My Shoes Could Talk
By Anthony, 5th grade

If my shoes could
Talk, they would say
Just pick me up
And take me away.
My owner always takes
Me or maybe he
Just makes me
Go to places shoes should never go.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 5:41 PM, 10.01.2013

LWV sponsors CH-UH candidates forum on Oct. 8

The CH-UH Chapter of The League of Women Voters (LWV) Cuyahoga Area and FutureHeights will host and moderate a nonpartisan candidates night on Tuesday, Oct. 8, from 7–9 p.m. at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, at One Monticello Blvd.

All candidates for Cleveland Heights and University Heights city councils and for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education whose names will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot will be invited. The candidates for Cleveland Heights City Council will begin the evening, followed by the CH-UH school board candidates. The candidates for University Heights City Council will close out the evening.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 1:30 PM, 10.01.2013

Doan Brook volunteers needed for storm drain stenciling Sept. 7

The Doan Brook Watershed Partnership (DBWP) seeks volunteers to take part in its next "Storm Drain Stenciling Saturday" on Sept. 7, from 9 a.m. until noon.

Volunteers will mark curbs next to residential storm drains in Cleveland Heights or Shaker Heights with the waterproof message, “Lake Erie starts here.” This will serve as a reminder to the residents of these communities that their actions can impact the water quality of the Doan Brook and Lake Erie.

Doan Brook runs eight miles from Shaker Heights through Cleveland Heights and University Circle to Lake Erie. Most of the stormwater runoff that enters Doan Brook is not treated before it reaches Lake Erie. The stormwater runoff often contains motor oil, litter, pet and yard waste, and fertilizers and pesticides.

These pollutants are a large factor in increased algae blooms and ecosystem damage to Lake Erie. DBWP began this program because of the high number of contaminants in Doan Brook and Lake Erie.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 11:34 AM, 08.27.2013

Sept. 4 HRRC Expo for seniors and their families

The Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) is hosting its first annual Senior Expo. This event, sponsored in cooperation with the Cleveland Heights Office on Aging, will provide information to help seniors adjust to changes in income, emerging physical limitations, and home maintenance challenges.

The event encourages seniors to bring their questions to the Expo, which will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Senior Activity Center at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, 1 Monticello Blvd. Admission is free, and the Expo is open to residents of all communities.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 10:51 AM, 08.27.2013

Global Cleveland welcomes boomerangs and newcomers to Cleveland Heights Aug. 29

There's an excitement in Greater Cleveland these days. Billions of dollars of investment are transforming downtown and the lakefront. Nearby University Circle is bustling with new businesses and residents, and civic leaders are collaborating to revitalize the region.

Global Cleveland, an organization that works to attract, retain and welcome new residents, is partnering with FutureHeights and Nighttown to host a “Boomerang and Newcomer Reception” at Nighttown (12387 Cedar Road) on Thursday, Aug. 29 from 6–8 p.m. 

The purpose of the event is to welcome and celebrate boomerangs—former Cleveland-area residents who have returned—and newcomers, and showcase why many of them have chosen Cleveland Heights as a place to live and play.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:54 AM, 08.19.2013

Cleveland Heights citizens meet to discuss city leadership and concerns

On July 8, a group of citizens, organized by longtime resident Diane Hallum, convened at the Lee Road Library. Hallum brought the group together under the name Citizens in Search of Leadership because she hoped to identify potential leaders within the city and encourage them to run for Cleveland Heights City Council.

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Volume 6, Issue 8, Posted 3:51 PM, 07.31.2013

Volunteers needed for Doan Brook stenciling project

The Doan Brook Watershed Partnership (DBWP) is offering community members an opportunity to help reduce water pollutants in Doan Brook and Lake Erie by taking part in its Storm Drain Stenciling Saturdays on July 13 and Sept. 7 from 9 a.m. until noon.

Volunteers will mark curbs next to residential storm drains in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights with the waterproof message, “Lake Erie starts here.” This will serve as a reminder to the residents of these communities that their actions can impact the water quality of the Doan Brook and Lake Erie.

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Volume 6, Issue 8, Posted 11:31 AM, 07.08.2013

Apply for funding for arts and cultural programs in 2014 through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) encourages nonprofit organizations offering arts and culture programming in Cuyahoga County to apply for funding through its 2014 Project Support grant program. New applicants are encouraged to attend one of three informational workshops in Greater Cleveland in June to learn more about the Project Support grant program, and to visit for more information and to apply. The Eligibility Check, the first step in the application process, is due Tuesday, July 2, by 4:30 p.m.

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Volume 6, Issue 7, Posted 1:43 PM, 06.03.2013

Local volunteers honored by JFSA

Jewish Family Services of Cleveland (JFSA) recently honored three of its more than 150 volunteers.

Basya Gluzman, Scott Erickson and Melanie Young all received Volunteer of the Year award at JFSA’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Brunch on May 5 at the Beachwood Community Center.

“These are three extraordinary volunteers,” said Sandy Lusher-Waterhouse, manager of volunteer services for JFSA.   

Cleveland Heights resident Basya Gluzman is a Holocaust survivor who emigrated from Ukraine in 1991. She was honored with the Lois Zaas Award for her contributions to JFSA’s Older Adult Services programs. Gluzman teaches English as a second language. She is passionate about her work. Her career began in the public schools of Ukraine and continues with her English as a second langue classes at JFSA.  

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Volume 6, Issue 7, Posted 3:52 PM, 07.01.2013

Forest Hill Church Haitian Celebration is July 14

For Forest Hill Church, Presbyterian (FHC), the 7.0 M earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010 and the Haitian people's struggle to rebuild have provided an opportunity to change lives.

In 2012, eight FHC members traveled to Haiti hoping to connect and build relationships with Haitians in the center of the country. The team was impressed by the opportunities to partner in agrarian development, education, midwife programs, and hospital and other basic health care. They plan to return to Haiti with a larger group this October.


In order to raise funds for medical care, education and sanitation, FHC will host SOHoh (Supporting Opportunity and Hope in Haiti) at SOHO, on July 14, from 5–8 p.m., at Cleveland Scene Magazine’s Best New Restaurant of 2013: SOHO Kitchen & Bar.


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Volume 6, Issue 7, Posted 3:23 PM, 07.01.2013

First annual Cleveland Heights Chicken Coop Tour

Twelve Cleveland Heights homeowners opened up their backyards—and their chicken coops—to the public on Saturday, June 15, for the first annual Cleveland Heights Coop Tour. On average, coop owners reported more than 70 visitors, and tour organizer Blayne Hoerner Murray declared the tour “a huge success.”

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Volume 6, Issue 7, Posted 3:08 PM, 07.01.2013

Taste of the Heights connects area restaurants, music, community

For the past three years, Heights Youth Club (HYC) has celebrated the vibrant Heights restaurant scene with its annual Taste of the Heights event. Guests sample food from local restaurants, sip a soft drink or glass of wine and enjoy local entertainment. 

This year's event will be held June 6, from 6 to 9 p.m., at HYC’s facility, at 2065 Lee Road (near Heights High). Participating restaurants include perennial favorites such as the Mad Greek, Tommy's, Pizzazz and the Tavern Company, and newcomers such as the BottleHouse Brewery, Barle Soup & Sandwich, the Rib Cage and the Katz Club.

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

The Heights celebrates Bike Month

In observance of National Bike Month, many bike-related events were held this May throughout the Heights.

At the May 6 Cleveland Heights City Council meeting, council members passed a resolution designating this month Bike Month in Cleveland Heights. Prior to the meeting, bicyclists gathered at the arch at Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park and rode together to city hall, to thank the city for making the community more bicycle-friendly.

On Wednesday, May 8, Boulevard, Canterbury, Gearity, Noble and Roxboro elementary schools and Monticello and Roxboro Middle School participated in National Bike or Walk to School Day. According to the Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC), kids who walk or bike to school are better able to learn, get the exercise they need for optimal health, navigate neighborhoods and avoid polluting the environment.

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 1:51 PM, 05.07.2013

Cleveland leadership program seeks 2013 applicants

In 2006, the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation established a leadership training and development program for engaged neighborhood leaders. The Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP) is a free, 15-session, 9-month community engagement training program for residents of Cleveland and those who live in its inner-ring suburbs and work with Cleveland neighborhood groups.

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 2:37 PM, 05.30.2013

Jim Rokakis to speak at HRRC annual meeting

The keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) will be Jim Rokakis, director of the Thriving Communities Institute, a program of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. The topic of his presentation will be "Northeast Ohio Housing Market: Down but not OUT."

During a lifetime of community service, including his years as a member of Cleveland City Council and Cuyahoga County Treasurer, Rokakis has worked to find creative ways of reversing neighborhood blight. He was the driving force behind a bill that allowed for the creation of the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation (also known as the Cuyahoga County Land Bank) and served as its first chairman. In his current position with the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, he helped to establish 15 land banks in Ohio counties in approximately two years. He also works with Ohio communities in Columbus and Washington, D.C. to raise funds to deal with distressed properties.

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 2:09 PM, 05.30.2013