Non-profit & Groups

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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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."

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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."

Read Full Story
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

Read Full Story
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.”

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.  

Read Full Story
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.


Read Full Story
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.”

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
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.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 2:09 PM, 05.30.2013

New farmers market at Bethlehem Lutheran Church

A farmers market featuring fresh local produce, organic products, plants, herbs, bakery items and craft artisans opens Friday, May 31 in the parking lot at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Cleveland Heights. The market will continue every Friday. 2–7 p.m., through October.

This is the first year for the market at the church site. "The fresh produce will be mostly Amish-grown, from Middlefield and Burton," said Debra Kates, market manager Debra Kates."The Amish do not use lots of pesticides."

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 10:30 AM, 05.28.2013

Dug-9 seeks volunteers for Forest Hill Park

Dug-9 Greenspace, a new organization dedicated to preserving, enhancing and expanding greenspace and green infrastructure in the Dugway Brook and Nine Mile Creek watersheds, held its first Arbor Day event on April 27 in Forest Hill Park.

The group held a tree-planting event with trees provided by Cuyahoga ReLEAF, a program administered by the Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization. Twenty-three youth volunteers from the East Cleveland Police Athletic League (PAL) and area residents participated. Arborists from Forest City Tree Protection Co. provided pruning demonstrations.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 1:48 PM, 05.21.2013

Lake Erie Ink to host Teen Fiction Symposium, summer camps

Lake Erie Ink (LEI) is a Cleveland Heights-based nonprofit that provides creative expression opportunities and academic support to youth in the Greater Cleveland community. The organization is wrapping up a year of creative programming with a Teen Fiction Symposium on Saturday, May 11, from 1–4 p.m.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 5, Posted 1:55 PM, 04.30.2013

Go BEE-hind the Scenes of the Reaching Heights Spelling Bee

Reaching Heights will host a Pre-Bee Party from 6 to 8 p.m., on Thursday, March 21, at The Bottlehouse Brewing Company, 2050 Lee Road.

The Pre-Bee will feature practice rounds for teams entered in the 22nd Annual Reaching Heights Spelling Bee. The public is invited to this free event to cheer on the teams as they engage in word games and sharpen their spelling skills.  Participating teams will compete for "Free-Bees," passes that will allow them to pass on a word and receive a new word during the actual Spelling Bee to be held on April 17 at Cleveland Heights High School.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 10:28 AM, 03.19.2013

HCC announces new project, contract and location

Heights Community Congress (HCC) enters its 41st year in serving the Heights community, and is excited to announce several recent developments that will positively impact Cleveland Heights and University Heights.

HCC has enlisted the expertise of researcher Ralph Day, who has joined its fair-housing team. Day is analyzing information from past testing audits to determine whether racial housing discrimination still exists in the suburban housing market, and whether the face of discrimination has changed since 1972. That was the year the St. Ann Audit found that racial steering was rampant in Cleveland Heights and neighboring communities.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 12:59 PM, 03.28.2013

Balanced transportation and urban reinvestment are focus of HBC meeting

The public is invited to hear an important address by Grace Gallucci, executive director of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), on NOACA and its regional planning efforts. Gallucci will speak following a brief annual meeting of the Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC). This event will start at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, at The Open Office, 2843 Washington Blvd., Cleveland Heights. 

Because of its responsibilities for transportation and environmental planning, NOACA plays a vital role in the economic development of the Heights and Northeast Ohio in general. NOACA’s Ten Goals ( include establishing a more balanced transportation system and fostering reinvestment in urban core areas. NOACA includes Cleveland Heights and all of its neighboring communities in the urban core.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 1:19 PM, 03.28.2013

Church of the Saviour hosts community recycling event

Church of the Saviour (COTS) in Cleveland Heights, in partnership with ENVIRO Recyclers, will host a community wide recycling event on Saturday, April 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the church's North Parking Lot.

This is a great opportunity for Heights residents to clean out basements, attics or garages, and recycle unused consumer electronics and scrap metals.


Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 1:35 PM, 03.28.2013

HRRC offers classes for prospective home buyers who have less than perfect credit

Low credit scores or lack of credit often prevent the purchase of a home. Many people with low credit scores assume they can never buy a home and instead turn to renting.

Before deciding that home ownership is not possible, it is a good idea to investigate what credit requirements are necessary and order a credit report to discover ways to improve a credit score. A free credit report can be obtained online at many sites, including and

Prospective homebuyers with less than perfect credit may qualify for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage, which are insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Because lenders have less risk with these mortgages, requirements are not as restrictive as conventional loans.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 9:49 AM, 03.20.2013

Nature Center at Shaker Lakes hosts 8th annual Pestival on April 12

Pestival, the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes' most unique event, will be held on Friday, April 12 from 6–9 p.m. at the Nature Center, 2600 South Park Blvd. This annual cocktail-style reception features delicacies made by local chefs from the invasive, but edible, garlic mustard pulled from the Nature Center grounds.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 11:19 AM, 03.28.2013

Plan your garden with HRRC and Bremec on the Heights

Show your support for Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) of Cleveland Heights and spruce up your yard at the same time by shopping for all your lawn and garden supplies at Bremec on the Heights Garden Center, located at 13410 Cedar Road.

For the fifth year, Bremec’s will donate a portion of every purchase made between Monday, April 22, and Sunday, May 5, to HRRC. For shoppers who prefer to select their plants and supplies later in the season, gift cards purchased during the event will also benefit HRRC.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 4, Posted 11:10 AM, 03.28.2013

Heights Dems to hold forum on gun violence

The Cleveland Heights Democrats will hold a panel discussion on reducing gun violence on Thursday, Feb. 14, at the Cleveland Heights Community Center,

“Since the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., our country has begun a very emotional and wide-ranging dialogue seeking to identify practical and effective steps we can take to curb senseless gun violence in our society,” said Mike Gaynier, secretary of the group. 

Panelists will include Susanna Niermann O’Neil, acting city manager of Cleveland Heights; Jeffrey Robertson, Cleveland Heights Chief of Police; Tom Schmida, teacher and former president of the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union; Jeffrey Bendix, journalist and senior editor of Medical Economics magazine; and a Jim Reese, a volunteer with the Buckeye Firearms Association.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 3, Posted 12:23 PM, 02.07.2013

FutureHeights to host spring programs

FutureHeights, a nonprofit dedicated to building a vibrant and sustainable future for Cleveland Heights and University Heights through civic engagement, will host two community programs this spring.

The first is a panel discussion on community organizing. On Thursday, March 14, FutureHeights will host “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” at the Bottlehouse Brewing Company, 2050 Lee Road. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and will feature panelists Pete Titas of Cain Park Neighborhood Association; Sarah Wean of the Grant Deming’s Forest Hill Historic District in Coventry Village; Jason Stein, member of Cleveland Heights City Council; and Deanna Bremer Fisher, executive director of FutureHeights. The event is free and open to the public; however, a courtesy RSVP is requested by going to

The second program is the FutureHeights annual meeting with guest speaker Peter Pula, founder and CEO of Axiom News, a Canadian-based community news agency that practices generative journalism, a new method of reporting and storytelling that builds on a community’s strengths, rather than focusing on its weaknesses.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 3, Posted 12:17 PM, 02.28.2013

Local events this week celebrate and commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.

The 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. holiday will be observed on Jan. 21. To follow is a listing local events from the Heights Observer online calendar that will celebrate and commemorate Dr. King's life.

Jan. 16: Cleveland Height's Annual Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The public is encouraged to attend Cleveland Heights's annual celebration of the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Wednesday evening, Jan. 16, 7 p.m. at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, 1 Monticello Boulevard.  Awards will be given for the winning entries in the city's essay, poetry and poster contests.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 3:43 PM, 01.14.2013

AFS: working for peace, one student at a time

The Heights High AFS Club recently welcomed David Ford, an American Field Service ambulance driver in World War II, to speak on the topic “Peace is More Than a Good Idea—AFS Past, Present and Future.” In addition to sharing his war experiences, Ford talked about the early years of the international exchange organization. Thirteen AFS exchange students who currently attend Brush, Shaker Heights, Solon and Cleveland Heights high schools, their host families, past exchange students, local AFS volunteers, and school administrators listened to Ford’s comments.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 12:02 PM, 01.31.2013

Panel to speak on neighborhood organizing

FutureHeights will host “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” a program about neighborhood organizing, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, at The Bottlehouse Brewing Company, 2050 Lee Road. The event will feature panelists Pete Titas of Cain Park Neighborhood Association; Sarah Wean of the Grant Deming’s Forest Hill Historic District in Coventry Village; Jason Stein,  member of Cleveland Heights City Council; and Deanna Bremer Fisher, executive director of FutureHeights.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 11:54 AM, 01.31.2013

UST assists refugees here in the Heights

US Together Inc. (UST) is a nonprofit refugee resettlement agency with a branch in Cleveland Heights. An affiliate of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), UST resettles refugees from all over the world—irrespective of religion or ethnicity—who are forced to seek refuge in another country. All resettlement cases are referred by HIAS.

UST was founded in 2003 in Columbus, where it is headquartered, in response to the needs of refugees and immigrants in central Ohio. In 2008, UST opened an office in Beachwood, and in 2010 moved to an office in Cleveland Heights, at 2940 Noble Road.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 11:41 AM, 01.31.2013

Introduction to Zen Buddhism at Feb. 9 workshop

Learn about Zen Buddhism at an introductory workshop on Saturday, Feb. 9, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The program will feature a lecture about Zen practice and how it differs from other forms of Buddhism, a demonstration and guided meditations. A discussion of how to integrate practice with daily life will follow.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 11:48 AM, 01.31.2013

Holistic Moms Network launching chapter on Cleveland’s East Side

The progressive underground of moms on Cleveland’s East Side is well established, and the Heights may well be the mothership. In the past, it was surprisingly difficult to gain entry to the green, holistic underground. Lately, the signs have been clearer, with cloth diapers flapping on now-legal clotheslines, workshops on edible lawns, and CSA delivery in every parking lot. Green is about to get even more mainstream.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 11:32 AM, 01.31.2013

Lake Erie Ink hosts writing workshop for all ages

Lake Erie Ink (LEI) will host a writing workshop this Saturday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon at its location in the former Coventry Elementary School. James Renner, author of It Came From Ohio, will host the travel and adventure writing workshop. He will describe how he tracked down stories of ghosts, aliens, frogmen and more to write his book, and participants will have an opportunity to write their own nonfiction story.

The program is geared for all ages, and the cost is $5, unless the participant is already registered in another LEI program. Pre-register at or by calling 216-320-4757. Lake Erie Ink's Weekend Ink programs are supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 12:59 PM, 01.22.2013

Nature Center offers winter family fireside nights

The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes welcomes winter with two fun and affordable Family Fireside Nights to be held on Friday, Jan. 11 and Friday, Feb. 1, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

“The Nature Center is a winter wonderland this time of year,” said Kay Carlson, executive director. “Plan to join us at one or both of our Family Fireside Nights, to enjoy the beauty of the season and catch up with friends around a roaring fire."

On Friday, Jan. 11, Mr. Paul, the magician, and his puppet friends Rocky the Raccoon and Milton the Bird, will take center stage for an evening of “Puppets and Pajamas.”

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 2:59 PM, 01.10.2013

House writing project tells a generation’s story of foreclosure and abandonment

A week before Halloween, students at Lake Erie Ink’s Ink Spot after-school program were asked to write a description of a house on three-dimensional foam panels. The goal was to teach the concept of personification, giving human traits to nonliving objects. The results surprised the staff.

The project was the idea of Lydia Munnell, an AmeriCorps volunteer with the Northeast Ohio Literary Corps stationed at Lake Erie Ink, a Heights-based nonprofit co-founded by Amy Rosenbluth and Cynthia Larsen that provides writing opportunities for young people.

“I expected spooky houses full of vampires and ghosts,” said Munnell. “What I didn’t prompt or expect was for every description to be a realistic and heartbreaking sketch of an abandoned house.”

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 1, Posted 11:55 AM, 01.02.2013

Chili Cook-Off raises $1,700 for CH youth recreation fund

The Cleveland Heights Division of Parks and Recreation and the Recreation Advisory Board hosted its first-ever Chili Cook-Off on Nov. 3 at the Cleveland Heights Community Center. Eight local restaurants participated: Cedar Lee Pub, Inn on Coventry, Tommy’s restaurant, New Heights Grill, O'Rielly’s Pub, Rockefellers, Zagara’s Marketplace and Barle Soup & Sandwich. Whole Foods, Starbucks and On the Rise provided artisan breads and pastries. 

Entries were judged by a panel of community members, including Joel Borwick, former owner of Seitz-Agin Hardware and president of the Heights Youth Center’s board of directors.

Read Full Story
Volume 6, Issue 1, Posted 11:17 AM, 12.11.2012

FutureHeights hosts Cleveland Heights Cash Mob on Nov. 30

FutureHeights, a nonprofit committed to promoting a thriving and sustainable future for the Heights, has decided to support the local economy in a new way: by hosting a Cash Mob. 

A Cash Mob is similar to a Flash Mob, except that it takes place in a retail setting. Cash Mobs, which were started here in Cleveland by Andrew Samtoy, are known for bringing the community together while helping out a locally owned independent business.

Samtoy’s Cash Mob website specifies three simple rules:

  1. Spend at least $20
  2. Interact and socialize with others
  3. Have fun!!
Read Full Story
Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 9:28 AM, 11.20.2012

Dec. 7 is deadline for Reaching Heights grants

As teachers throughout the Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools strive to implement new standards, update teaching methods and deliver high quality instruction, Reaching Heights supports their efforts through a competitive grant program. The 2012–13 Innovation in Education grants are designed to fund K–12 projects that help redefine what innovation and excellence look like in CH-UH schools.

Read Full Story
Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 3:33 PM, 11.30.2012

Leader of Middle East nonviolent resistance movement visits Cleveland

Iyad Burnat, head of the nonviolent Popular Committee of the West Bank Palestinian village of Bil’in, will be speaking at River’s Edge on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. (3430 Rocky River Drive, Cleveland) and at Cleveland State University (CSU) on Monday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. (Student Center at 21st and Euclid, Room 313). The presentations, accompanied by photos and videos, are free and open to the public.  

Read Full Story
Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 9:05 AM, 11.30.2012

International Human RIghts Day at Saint Alban's

The United Nation’s General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first global proclamation of its kind, on Dec. 10, 1948. Each year, people around the world gather to celebrate International Human Rights Day (IHRD), and this year the people at Saint Alban Episcopal Church have decided to host two events in its honor.

Saint Alban's invites the public to take part in a simple community meal on Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian options will be available and the dinner is free. This is an opportunity to meet others who are interested in human rights and social justice issues.

Read Full Story
Volume 5, Issue 12, Posted 7:38 PM, 11.29.2012

Nov. 26 Restaurant Tour and shopping event benefit FutureHeights

On Nov. 26, join FutureHeights for dinner and shopping. Two events in the Cedar Fairmount neighborhood of Cleveland Heights will support FutureHeights as well as two participating Heights businesses.

FutureHeights will host its monthly restaurant tour at The Mad Greek, 2466 Fairmount Blvd., from 5 p.m. on, in conjunction with—and proximity to—a holiday shopping event at Ten Thousand Villages, 12425 Cedar Road, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Read Full Story
Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 1:10 PM, 10.31.2012