Take Back Your Life, a six-week course for parents coping with the drug or alcohol addiction of a child, will be offered on Thursdays, April 19-May 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Church of The Saviour, 2537 Lee Road. The course will be taught by licensed counselors Ellen Bishko and Roy Nichols. The cost is $150 per person or $225 per couple.
Non-profit & Groups
FutureHeights invites community members to show their support for community building and citizen-journalism by having dinner at Anatolia Café on Monday, Dec. 12. Beginning at 4 p.m. that evening, Anatolia Café will donate 15 percent of the food proceeds of each dinner check to FutureHeights when patrons present the attached flyer or bring the one found on page six of the December Heights Observer print issue. Carryout orders also qualify.
Zagara’s Marketplace will serve as the pick-up location for the Cleveland Sight Center’s holiday food baskets. With the remodeling of the center’s building on East 101st Street in Cleveland, the center needed a new location for its annual holiday food basket delivery to blind or visually impaired clients. The center is temporarily located at the Coventry School building in Cleveland Heights.
FutureHeights will launch a new dinner series in 2012 to raise funds for its community engagement programs and support its mission of creating a vibrant, sustainable future for the Heights by supporting the local economy.
FutureHeights plans to launch the series with a “Meet, Greet and Eat” dinner at Rockefeller’s Restaurant on Wednesday, Jan. 25. “We're excited to launch this new effort,” said Richard Stewart, vice president of the FutureHeights Board of Directors and chair of the marketing committee. “Community members are invited to show their support by having dinner at Rockefeller’s anytime that evening. FutureHeights staff and board members will show up at various times, and we’d like to meet and greet all that attend.”
Since 2003, the Jazzercise students of instructor Mary Beth McCann have spent the holiday season raising money for worthy causes. In past years, the students raised money for needy families through the MetroHealth Foundation and Malachi House.
This year, McCann asked her students to nominate their favorite charities and vote to determine which would be the recipient of this year’s drive. The clear winner was the Cleveland Foodbank.
Avital Lugasy was visiting her sister in Austin, Texas, last summer when her parents informed her that she had been awarded the Jewish Family Service Association’s Raskind Family Scholarship.
On Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Lee Road Library, Cleveland Peace Action will present "Our Tax Dollars Off To War," led by longtime Cleveland Heights resident Francis Chiappa, Cleveland Peace Action copresident. The program is free and open to the public, and will be followed by discussion.
Chiappa’s presentation will show how the military/war budget has grown and how the Pentagon uses tax dollars (the United States accounts for about 47 percent of the world's total military spending). He will contrast America's military spending to its spending on domestic needs.
At the Nov. 16 meeting, the Friends of the Maltz Museum elected a slate of four officers. Jeff Kaplan, a University Heights resident, was elected president; Wayne Malz, vice president; Candy Anker-Roehl, a Cleveland Heights resident, secretary; and Merna Wolfe, treasurer.
The Friends of the Maltz Museum is a new group of volunteers who engage in educational and charitable fundraising activities for the museum. In the past year, the group has run the Cleveland's Funniest Rabbi contest, the Jewish Food and Culture Festival, a speakers bureau, and several interfaith Shabbat dinners, which have raised more than $9,000 for programs and initiatives at the museum.
On Dec. 5, Go All in For Milestones Autism Organization, a night of laughs and luck for a serious cause will take place at Pickwick and Frolic.
Double "O" Promotions and hip-hop artist Caine will sponsor a holiday toy drive to benefit needy children in Northeast Ohio. Caine's Winter Wonderland Toy Drive and charity event will be held on Sunday, Dec. 11, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Grog Shop, located at 2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights.
The A. M. McGregor Home, an assisted living community, announced that Courtney Presswood has received the Outstanding Housekeeper Award for 2011 from the Ohio Assisted Living Association (OALA). Presswood has been an employee of the facility for nine years.
The nomination of Courtney Presswood included many of the reasons for his selection. Presswood was described as someone who takes his job very seriously, always with a smile on his face, and always willing to help a resident in need.
Chapter 39 Veterans For Peace (VFP) will sponsor its fifth annual public reading, by chapter members, of wartime letters and statements of military personnel and public figures. The readings are intended to evoke the reality of wars in which the United States has been engaged, dating from the Revolutionary War to current conflict in Afghanistan.
Pavi Mehta, an original occupier of Liberty Plaza (Zuccoti Park) in New York City, will speak and lead a forum discussion “Occupy Wall Street, First Three Weeks and Beyond” on Sunday, Nov. 27, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland (UUSC). The society is located at 2728 Lancashire Road, Cleveland Heights.
The voters of South Euclid have spoken. Although deeply disappointed, we are grateful to the thousands of people who supported the No on 96 campaign. First Interstate did everything it could to prevent this vote from taking place, and outspent us by three or four to one. That was to be expected.
The Literacy Cooperative launched a new professional development program, Teacher’s Academy, at John Carroll University’s D.J. Lombardo Student Center on Nov. 1.
Concerned Citizens for University Heights is sponsoring a “Meet the Candidates Night” on Monday, Oct. 24. The event will take place from 6-8:30 p.m. in meeting room A of the University Heights Library, 13866 Cedar Road, at the corner of Cedar and Fenwick roads.
Saturday, Nov. 5, Vikki & Todd Webster, of Cleveland Heights, will host the 2nd annual Scrabble Tournament to benefit the Waiting Child Fund. The Waiting Child Fund works to find permanent families for children in the foster care system.
Two family concerts in the Cleveland area will benefit the National Autism Association—Northeast Ohio (NAA-NEO). Grammy Award-winning children’s group, Dan Zanes and Friends, will appear at the Beachland Ballroom on Cleveland’s East Side, Nov. 13; and Grammy-nominated Justin Roberts will perform at the Grog Shop in Coventry Village, Dec. 4. For both shows, doors will open to the public at noon, with the performances beginning at 1 p.m. The concerts are presented by DAP Productions.
This Saturday, Oct. 22, Lake Erie Ink is presenting a morning workshop for all ages: "Thrills and Chills: Writing Stories of Mystery and Suspense." Lake Erie Ink invites participants to explore the dark frontiers of their imaginations by writing spooky, mysterious, haunting, terrifying, calculating, thrilling and chilling stories.
With the final tally of votes from more than 700 ballots, FutureHeights crowned the captains of local industry at the 2011 Best of Heights Awards held Oct. 4 at Rockefeller’s Restaurant, 3099 Mayfield Road.
The awards program is in its seventh year. Votes are collected throughout the summer for each of 22 categories through the Heights Observer and at futureheights.org.
Top honors went to The Tavern Company, 2260 Lee Road, for Favorite Cleveland Heights business, Whole Foods Market, 13998 Cedar Road for Favorite University Heights Business and Luna Bakery Café, 2482 Fairmount Boulevard, for Best New Business.
To help people feel empowered to report neighborhood events and contribute to the community conversation, the Heights Observer is offering several workshops this fall. Workshops are free and open to the public. Space is limited. Residents may reserve a place in a workshop by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 216-320-1423.
“The best places to live in America have great public schools,” said Douglas Heuer, superintendent of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District. “There’s a symbiotic relationship between the two.”
Heuer addressed a crowd of community members at a FutureHeights speaker series event on Sept. 13.
He spoke of the many challenges Heights schools face in striving to create great schools “Tests that kindergarteners take at the beginning of the year show that 60 percent of Heights students entering kindergarten are not ready. They don’t have the basic building blocks needed to begin reading,” said Heuer. “This correlates with 61.2 percent of Heights school children who are eligible for free and reduced lunch.”
The vacant lot at Lee and Meadowbrook roads was the site of an unusual fundraiser on Sept. 13. Reaching Heights, a nonprofit that supports Heights public schools, was the latest beneficiary of Marigold Catering’s Renegade Lunch Project, a fundraiser that combines a delicious multi-course meal with a bit of street theater.
Lisa Hunt, a program associate at Reaching Heights, also works with Marigold Catering. She brought the two organizations together and organized the back-to-school themed lunch, complete with vintage lunch boxes borrowed from Steve Presser, owner of Big Fun.
“We’ve been doing this every month for the last two years,” said Joan Rosenthal, owner of Marigold Catering and a Cleveland Heights resident, “It’s our way of giving back to the community. We choose a smaller, grass roots charity that needs some publicity and a high-traffic area to make a statement.” Past beneficiaries have included the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, the Aids Task Force and the Cleveland Foodbank.
David Jones, the Tai Shin Doh instructor at the Heights Youth Club, recently received a fifth-degree certificate of promotion (for achieving five of ten degrees of skill). He is now one of 22 masters worldwide who hold this certificate. Jones received his first degree black belt at age 15 and his second before college. He has traveled to five continents to acquire the third and fourth degrees. He remarked, “I guess you could say this took 45 years to obtain.” When one of his students responded, “that stinks!” he replied (with a twinkle in his eye), “No, it shows dedication.”
From May through August, Heights residents voted for their favorite Heights businesses in 22 categories, including 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 Heights, and their contributions to the local economy.
Heights Community Congress will host a second event to address youth issues in the community on Monday, Aug. 29 at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, 1 Monticello Boulevard from 7-9 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
This is a crucial time for Middle East peace efforts. Not only does this September mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11/01, but also Palestinians plan to go to the United Nations to request recognition as an independent state within the 1967 borders. There could not be a more opportune moment for a visit from Ambassador Warren Clark, executive director of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP; http://www.cmep.org). Ambassador Clark will be speaking to several audiences in the Cleveland area from Sept. 15–18. His theme is "Ending Conflict in the Middle East and What You Can Do to Help."
FutureNow, the young professional's committee of FutureHeights, will host its second speaker series event on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Myxx, 12459 Cedar Road. The featured speaker is Douglas Heuer, superintendent for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school system.
Heuer will explain current and future initiatives and the upcoming school levy. The event will conclude with a question-and-answer session.
The event is free and open to the public. However, seating is limited on a first-come, first-serve basis. RSVP by sending an e-mail to email@example.com or by calling 216-320-1423.
With the recent additions of the Cleveland Sight Center (CSC) and its Bright Futures preschool program, the former Coventry School is busier than it’s been since the building was closed in 2007. Cleveland Heights officials, along with Sight Center and InfoCision employees, celebrated the new enterprises at a midday open house on July 20.
InfoCision, a large call-center company, is training CSC clients to become eligible for employment in telemarketing services in nonprofit fundraising, direct-to-consumer sales and business-to-business applications.
"We’ve created an InfoCision call center right here in the facility. People go through extensive training that prepares them to communicate with our clients’ customers and, at the same time, creates jobs for them. It’s been a real win-win situation all around," said Steve Brubaker, InfoCision’s chief of staff.
CSC occupies more than 13,000 square feet inside the spacious, open-classroom-style former elementary school. Its mission is to empower people with impaired vision to realize their full potential, and to educate the community about that potential.
Youth of Coventry wants "to make Coventry a safer place for the youth of today and the youth of tomorrow." Those are the words of Randall Walker, public relations officer for the group.
As a 17-year-old who frequents Coventry Village often, he knows firsthand the impact of recent crime and safety issues, as well as the new special curfew ordinance. He does not want problem-solving that affects him and his peers left up to adults. "We aren’t tools to be used to push agendas," Walker told the Cleveland Heights City Council, after a group protested the alleged racism of the curfew law before the July 18 meeting.
Pop culture gives us its version of what life is like for frat boys. It almost always shows a group of self-centered guys who think only about partying. Unfortunately it rarely spotlights the kind of men who make up Beta Theta Pi—and more specifically, Eta Epsilon—the John Carroll chapter of this fraternity.
The brothers of John Carroll’s Beta Theta Pi chapter were honored with the Milestones Volunteer of the Year Award at 9th annual Milestones Conference. Milestones Autism Organization was created in 2003 to help fill the void of education about autism and Asperger’s in Cleveland.
On Saturday, July 9, from 5-9 p.m., Church of the Saviour open the doors for a fun-filled event. SummerFest 2011 will feature carnival games; a 52-foot-long inflatable obstacle course; a dunk tank; a kids’ Fun Zone with games, prizes, face painting, puppet theater and clowns; a team pie-eating contest; popsicles and cotton candy; live music; hamburgers, hot dogs and sodas.
The third annual Dugway Brook Watershed Festival will take place on Saturday, June 25 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Forest Hill Park Boat House in East Cleveland. This free event will feature family-friendly activities, educational sessions, Radio Disney, and a tour of the Dugway Brook through Lakeview Cemetery. Learn about the Dugway Brook and how residents impact the local environment.
The United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. Cod Base held Memorial Day services at 4 p.m. aboard the U.S.S. Cod submarine at East Ninth Street and North Marginal Road in Cleveland, May 28.
The service included a "tolling of the boats," for all the submariners lost in the 108 years of naval service, Cleveland Heights resident and veteran U.S. naval officer Sam Nigro said.
About 300 people gathered at the Cedar Lee Theatre to watch "The New Metropolis" and participate in a community discussion at the FutureHeights Annual Meeting on June 21.
"The New Metropolis" is a two-part documentary that highlights the efforts of two "first suburbs"—Madeira, Ohio and Pennsauken, New Jersey—that are struggling to retain their vitality as they compete for money and population with newer, outer-ring developments. The first part of the film argues that policies allocating federal and state funding for building infrastructure in new suburbs, while not supporting repair of infrastructure in older communities, is damaging in the short term and unsustainable in the long term. The second half explores how a group of concerned citizens are encouraging racial integration and civic involvement in their community.
The second floor of the YWCA building on Prospect Avenue has been repurposed to house Cuyahoga County’s young women who have aged out of foster care.
The newly renovated facilities, called Independence Place, include 23 furnished efficiency apartments with kitchenettes, bathrooms, closets and basic household items. In addition, tenants have access to a community room, laundry facilities and a playroom for children.
Three YWCA employees who live in the Heights helped make the $5 million undertaking possible: Gina Cheverine, chief program officer; Fannie Johnson-Baxter, manager of supportive services; and Margaret Mitchell, president and CEO of the YWCA. Mitchell said planning for Independence Place has been a top priority for her since she joined the organization in May.
FutureHeights will welcome four new members into the Innovator’s Circle at a ceremony during its annual meeting at 7 p.m., on Tuesday, June 21 at the Cedar Lee Theatre. The circle honors the vision and efforts of people—active and dedicated citizens—who give their vision and energy to making our communities the best they can be.
This year’s inductees are all business owners who volunteer their time and resources to community causes. The 2011 inductees are: Joel Borwick, owner of Seitz-Agin Hardware on Lee Road; Tom Fello, owner of Tommy’s Restaurant on Coventry Road; Steve Presser, owner of Big Fun Toy Store on Coventry Road; and Stan Soble, owner of Nela Florist on Noble Road.
"The New Metropolis", a two-part documentary film and community engagement project, will highlight FutureHeights’s annual meeting on Tuesday, June 21 at 7 p.m., at the Cedar Lee Theatre. The screening is free and open to the public.
The film documents the implications of America’s suburban migration and challenges older suburbs face--shrinking populations, property abandonment, a dwindling tax base and limited resources to maintain a good quality of life--both for the people who currently live there and for attracting new residents. An opportunity to discuss the issues raised in the film will follow the screening.
How do you build the future of a community? It can be as simple as turning off the TV, leaving the house and getting to know your neighbors.
It can also mean volunteering at your local neighborhood school or library, attending a community forum or writing a letter to the editor of the local newspaper.
While most Heights High Students are anxiously awaiting the last day of school, my daughter Janine Walker will be packing her bags to begin 11th grade in Thailand. Three years ago, her older brother went to Japan for a summer exchange. She remembers how much he enjoyed it and how it broadened his view of the world.
Since then, she has had a goal of going abroad—and not just for a summer, but for the school year. As I contemplated the duration and cost of the program, I spoke with other Heights parents who had sent their kids abroad in high school. They all said it was a wonderful experience for their kids.
My wife, Cynthia Van Lenten, and I are walking in memory of our daughter, Olivia, who lost her struggle with cancer when she was ten years old. Krissy and Mark Gallagher are walking with their four-year-old son, Austin, who is a cancer survivor. Stacey Brown-Walker and Chris Walker are walking with Caleb, age six, who is also a survivor.
These and other Cleveland Heights residents will be walking on June 4 because they have learned that, while cancer is a horrible disease at any age, childhood cancer is particularly underfunded. Consider the following:
Take out that bicycle, fill up the tires, and save money this summer by using one of Cleveland Heights’s many bicycle parking racks. Bicycle parking is free, easy to use and are located throughout Cleveland Heights. With the average American spending more than $8,000 a year on gasoline, insurance, and other costs related to automobile use, bicycle parking is a great way to save money, and improve your fitness at the same time.
The Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition (CHBC) surveyed the community’s bicycle parking racks, and here’s what it found:
Annie Lopez, executive director of the Redstone Schoolhouse, was presented with the 2011 Carolyn Grossman Award by Family Connections of Northeast Ohio (formerly Heights Parent Center) at the organization’s Fiesta benefit on May 7 at Hiram House Camp.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Home Repair Resource Center. From its inception, its mission has been to maintain and strengthen the houses of Cleveland Heights, to support the community’s rich diversity.
HRRC began when concerned members of Forest Hill Church gathered to assess the needs of Cleveland Heights, and discuss whether a church committed to open housing and racial harmony could do anything to meet those needs. In a time of anger and fright—especially fear of deteriorating neighborhoods and housing values—the group wondered whether, if the issue were defined as maintaining quality housing and not racial integration, people of all persuasions and attitudes might become involved. These efforts led to the birth of HRRC (originally FHC Housing Corporation) in September 1971.
Orlando native Matthew Fieldman is planting roots in Northeast Ohio—specifically in University Heights. With an undergraduate degree from University of Florida and an MBA from George Washington University, Fieldman began his fundraising career with the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. While looking to expand his work, a mentor suggested that he pursue an opportunity with the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. He fell in love with the city.
Following several years at the Federation and various consulting projects, Fieldman discovered MedWish International and landed a position as director of development for the Cleveland-based nonprofit organization.
The Organization for Autism Research, a highly respected national agency focused on applied research has held its own autism conference annually. This year, OAR decided instead to partner with other well regarded, established conferences. OAR chose two such conferences in the United States, one of which is Cleveland’s own Milestones Annual Autism/Asperger's Conference: Life-Long Strategies for Success.
Through this new partnership, OAR will provide a special conference track to focus on cutting-edge research and to implement these research findings in daily life. These tracks will feature speakers drawn from OAR’s Scientific Council and its growing list of funded researchers. OAR’s choice to partner with Milestones emphasizes the effective and important work of this this grassroots Cleveland autism organization.
The all-volunteer crew of the Coventry Fresh Stop is gearing up to begin distributing farm fresh fruits and vegetables on the lawn next to the Coventry Village Library on June 14. Part of the City Fresh Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) network that delivers food from local farms to sites across Cuyahoga, Lorain and Summit counties, the Coventry Fresh Stop will operate on Tuesday evenings from June 14 until Oct. 25, with food demonstrations on the third Tuesday of the month. City Fresh is a project of the nonprofit New Agrarian Center, based in Oberlin, Ohio.
After quietly sitting empty since 2007, the Coventry School building will once again be filled with children's voices. On June 21, Family Connections, the family support organization formed from the merger of Heights Parent Center and Shaker Family Center, will move its Cleveland Heights office and core programming from Taylor School to Coventry. The move has been greeted with enthusiasm by staff, participants and area residents alike.
Annual fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis helps families in Northeast Ohio; relies on contributions from the community.
The Karen Foundation for MS (TKF) celebrates its 11th annual NFL Draft Day Party on Saturday, April 30, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Barley House Cleveland in the Warehouse District downtown. The Karen Foundation raises money to provide respite care for families in Northeast Ohio who have a loved one at home suffering from multiple sclerosis. These services make an marked impact on the quality of life of patients and their families by providing relief opportunities to caretakers.
Women’s voices are important in the political process. Yet, many feel that politics is a man’s world and they don’t have a place in it. It's Not Your Mother’s Politics: It’s Yours! is an intergenerational discussion about the importance of women’s voices in the political process.
FutureHeights speaker series presents Howard Thompson, economic development director for the City of Cleveland Heights
FutureNow, the young professional's committee of FutureHeights, will host its first speaker series event on Tuesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. at the Tavern Company, 2260 Lee Road. The featured speaker is Howard Thompson, who was recently hired as the economic development director for the City of Cleveland Heights. Thompson will describe his prior experience and explain his plans for the city in his new position. The event will conclude with a question and answer session.
First Lady Michelle Obama struck an important chord when she broke ground in 2009 on a White House organic garden. Surrounded by children, she sent a strong health and environmental message to the nation: pesticides are poisons, and children, especially, should not be unnecessarily exposed to them. Further, she demonstrated that there are safe and effective alternatives to using toxic lawn and garden chemicals. Push-back from the chemical industry only emphasized the importance of her action.
Connecting Our Cultures will be the theme of Heights Community Congress's 11th annual multicultural festival, which will be held from 1-4:30 p.m., on Saturday, May 14, at the Lee Road Library, 2345 Lee Road. This year's theme encourages participants not only to recognize Cleveland Heights for its diversity, but also to connect with the many cultures that contribute to it.
Howard Thompson, the new economic development director for the City of Cleveland Heights, described his efforts to strengthen commerce and entrepreneurial activity in the city to a capacity crowd at the Tavern Company on Lee Road on April 26. Thompson spoke as part of the FutureHeights Speaker Series, which is hosted by the organization’s young professionals group, FutureNow. The series seeks to foster a dialogue between the city, business owners and residents to discuss the challenges and issues facing the Heights community. For more information on the series or FutureNow, e-mail committee chair Kevin Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taste of the Heights is a delicious fundraiser that benefits the youth of Cleveland Heights and University Heights and your taste buds. Local restaurants provide food for patrons to enjoy, and there will be more than 20 menu items for guests to sample.
The College Club of Cleveland is situated in a gracious historic home located at the top of Murray Hill, on Overlook Road in Cleveland Heights. The home was built in 1905 for the W.D.B. Alexander family. The architects were Abram Garfield, son of President James Garfield, and Franklin Mead. The Alexanders sold the house in 1916 to D. Edward and Effie Dangler. The house was occupied until 1948, when Effie Dangler died. It lay vacant and fell into disrepair. It was around that time that the needs of the College Club and the home converged.
Cleveland Heights High School's Leading Ladies gained media attention last month for a service project with Angel Hands Northeast Ohio International. While gathering supplies for gift baskets that would be presented to pregnant teens, the students sorted and organized clothing for distribution to the needy.
You are invited to hear Evalyn Gates, Ph.D., Executive Director and CEO of The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, at the League of Women Voters' public meeting set for Thursday, April 7, 2011, 7 to 9 pm, at Trinity Commons at Trinity Cathedral, 2230 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland. Title of her talk is "Portal to the Universe." There is no admission charge, with free parking behind the Cathedral off Prospect Avenue.
Gardners are invited to support the work of Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) by doing their spring shopping at Bremec on the Heights Garden Center at 13410 Cedar Road (just east of Heights High).
A portion of any noncommercial sale made between April 17 and May 1 will be donated to HRRC’s programs that help keep the houses of Cleveland Heights in good repair. This includes gift cards that can be used later in the season. Shoppers can ask for a HRRC voucher at the register to make sure the sale is credited to the benefit.
Synchronized swimming was a big part of Hannah Apple’s life at Cleveland Heights High School. As an officer in the Swim Cadets club, she not only choreographed routines, but worked with her team to raise money to pay for costumes and other expenses.