Letters To The Editor

The Wine Spot thanks community, contractors for their support

Thank you for the wonderful article on The Wine Spot in the Jan. 4 Heights Observer. We are very excited to be up and running and appreciate the enthusiastic support from the local community. We are proud to be in Cleveland Heights and to have our shop in the historic Seitz-Agin space.

A couple of additions and clarifications:

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Volume 5, Issue 2, Posted 2:14 PM, 01.06.2012

Thank you to Al Oberst for remembering sacrifices of WWI

Thank you so much for the article "Veteran honors the fallen" in your December issue. I was very curious about the handmade WW I Memorial sign when it appeared on North Park, and I have been curious for years about the bronze plaques at the base of trees around Horseshoe Lake. Now I have the answer for both! What a wonderful way to honor the dead of WWI.

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 10:24 AM, 12.20.2011

Letter to the Editor

Editor,

The other day I received a piece of certified mail at my home address of 3XXX Meadowbrook, University Heights, Ohio. The certified mail was a court summons from the City of Cleveland Heights for “Failure to Obtain a Certificate of Occupancy for 2011” for the home located at 2XXX Princeton Road in Cleveland Heights (Housing File Number 113067). You can imagine my complete confusion and alarm upon reading the inspection complaint, and, even more so, the accompanying notice for the warrant of my arrest based on said violation. But here’s the thing: the mail was forwarded on by the postal service to my current address, where I reside, on Meadowbrook in University Heights. I have not owned or occupied the Princeton Road, Cleveland Heights, property in question since August of 2004.

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 12:53 PM, 12.13.2011

Supporting new faces for CH council

To the Editor:

Voters in Cleveland Heights are very fortunate to have three new highly qualified, energetic and intelligent candidates for city council in Jeff Coryell, Mary Dunbar and Mike Gaynier. Each comes with a valuable package of skills and background as well as a vision for engaging citizens in thoughtful and creative approaches to addressing challenging issues and moving our city forward.

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Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 10:07 PM, 11.01.2011

City of University Heights officials support Issue 6

To The Editor:

Education is one of the greatest gifts we can offer our children to ensure a vibrant future. In our country, public education is the backbone of that promise to future generations.

We understand and appreciate how economically challenging these times are for our residents. But we also understand that our public schools are a critical asset to our community: its health, stability, and future.

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Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 9:24 AM, 10.10.2011

Visitors document Cleveland Heights historic landmarks

To the Editor:

Our son, Tug (age 30) and his sister, Kate (age 27) were home this summer and decided to try to find all the historic landmarks in Cleveland Heights. They downloaded a map and list from a website. Then they went off on their bikes to find them. They took photos of each other in front of the markers or sights. They had a wonderful time doing this and found places in Cleveland Heights. where they had never been before.

We have lived in Cleveland Heights for 31 years, so we all love and appreciate it very much. We thought you might be interested in seeing the album: http://gallery.me.com/mektra#100124

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Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 12:37 PM, 10.11.2011

Heights Youth Club says 'Thank you!'

In June, five members of the Heights Youth Club and the club director, Roscoe Morgan, spent seven days immersed in the local communities and cultures of Managua, Nicaragua. The youths participated in an immersion project facilitated by International Partners in Mission (IPM). IPM works across borders of faith and culture on behalf of children, women, and youth to create partnerships that build justice, peace, and hope. 

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Volume 4, Issue 10, Posted 2:47 PM, 09.27.2011

Historic district signage is confusing, inaccurate

To the Editor,

Cleveland Heights is rightfully proud of its 10th historic district. Bested in the county by only the city of Cleveland, the Shaker Farm Historic District maintains Cleveland Heights’ status as home of the most districts listed on the U.S. Department of Interior National Register of Historic Places. Unfortunately, they have carelessly named these areas, causing confusion to all but the closest followers and a handful of historians.

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Volume 4, Issue 10, Posted 10:52 PM, 09.26.2011

Where were the editors on one-sided Oakwood article?

As a fellow Oberlin alumnus, I applaud Observer intern James Helmsworth’s well written account of the fight over the Oakwood property. A couple of points stand out for me as creating a less than balanced presentation in his article, and I think it’s not the fault of an intern.  Presumably there was  - or there should have been - some kind of editorial guidance for Mr. Helmsworth. First, he should have been disabused of the notion that the Oakwood property is some kind an unspoiled wilderness where the developers will snatch away homes from the indigenous flora and fauna. I halfway expect to read a claim by the anti-development forces that the property may be home to a previously unknown clan of native Hopewell people whose culture flowered in Ohio over a thousand years ago, surviving now only in the rough near Oakwood's erstwhile fourteenth hole.

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Volume 4, Issue 10, Posted 11:32 AM, 09.10.2011

Voters versus property owners: losing sight of the forest for the trees.

To the Editor

Few would disagree that there are plenty of unhappy people on both sides of any one of these issues: John Carroll University’s property usage, development of a McDonald's fast food restaurant on Warrensville Center Road; greenlighting the B’nei Torah congregation for the property next to my house on Green Road. In each instance, our elected officials claim they are acting in the best interests of the city — a poorly defined objective to be sure — though even the winners are upset by the process of vetting reported in the media.

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Volume 4, Issue 10, Posted 10:24 PM, 09.06.2011

Fencepiration lifts spirits

To the Editor:

Driving on Cedar Road near Warrensville, we notice the progress being made in turning a utilitarian steel fence into a piece of public art. It brings a note of peace and hope to our community. This program, sponsored by Heights Arts in collaboration with the Heights Youth Club and the Artsworks program of Young Audiences of Cleveland, has given young people of the area a positive and creative outlet. 

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 11:14 AM, 08.09.2011

Nature Center responds to questions about invasive species management

To the Editor:

We are writing in response to a Letter to the Editor that appeared online in the Heights Observer on June 30 that questioned the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes’ invasive species management approaches.

We appreciate the author’s concerns and wish to clarify our position on the use of pesticides at the Nature Center.

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 11:15 AM, 08.09.2011

Citizens for Oakwood seeks referendum on South Euclid zoning change

To the Editor:       

As many readers know, the Oakwood Country Club property (60 acres in South Euclid and 90 acres in Cleveland Heights) is threatened with big-box development. On June 27, South Euclid City Council unanimously voted to rezone the South Euclid portion from residential to commercial use to accommodate development by Mitchell Schneider of First Interstate. 

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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 12:13 PM, 08.02.2011

New curfew punishes many for acts of a few

To the Editor:

I have mixed feelings about the new curfew being imposed upon teenagers in the Coventry and Cedar Lee business districts. The homeowner/taxpayer/mother in me applauds Cleveland Height City Council for its quick response. But, I am also sad that the acts of a few will punish so many. I spent my highschool years in Westlake. This was pre-Crocker Park Westlake. There was no Coventry-like area, or any gathering spot, unless you counted the strip malls and fast food restaurants. It was boring, and we were fairly aimless on weekend nights, choosing to drive to Lakewood for entertainment. At least Coventry and Cedar Lee offer teens a destination. Unfortunately, things have gotten completely out of hand, and now no teen, regardless of his or her motives, will be able to enjoy an evening in either business district.

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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 12:35 PM, 06.30.2011

Thank you to Taste of the Heights participants

To the Heights Observer:

Cleveland Heights celebrated its tradition of serving great food at the Taste of The Heights held on June 2nd! More than 200 guests at the Heights Youth Club on Lee Road savored delicious platefuls of food, sipped a beverage or glass of wine, and enjoyed wonderful entertainment provided by the club's kids.  

Twenty-one area restaurateurs gathered at the Heights Youth Club and provided a favorite dish, prepared by their chefs for the Taste of the Heights fundraiser. The Heights Youth Club Board of Directors wants to extend a special thank you to Jimmy O’Neill for orchestrating all of the participating restaurants.

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Volume 4, Issue 7, Posted 10:08 AM, 06.14.2011

Patron questions use of herbicides at Nature Center

To the editor,

I've been walking around the area of the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes for years, and I love it. It's disturbing to find out that they're spraying herbicides to kill the cattails. The first  chemical application was September 2010, with more spraying planned for this summer. I was assured links to fact sheets and spraying schedules would be posted.

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Volume 4, Issue 7, Posted 2:08 PM, 06.30.2011

Farewell to Seitz-Agin

This letter to Joel Borwick, longtime owner of Seitz-Agin Hardware, was also provided to the Observer for publication.

Dear Joel:

Just a brief note to express thanks and admiration for all you have done for us in Cleveland Heights these many years. The guys you put together were a unique group, wise in the difficulties of wonderful old houses, always responsive, forthright, and well, just plain trustworthy!

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 1:04 PM, 06.01.2011

What will University Heights look like in 50 years?

For me the issues of McDonalds on Warrensville and Temple B'nai Torah on South Green are about three things: Just what is University Heights going to look like in 50 years? What do the residents affected by these projects think, and why can't the city make the developer address their concerns as individuals?

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 1:04 PM, 06.01.2011

Redevelop Oakwood to support a healthier lifestyle

Dear Editor,

Earlier this year, I offered an idea for a way to redevelop Oakwood for the common good. This letter offers some additional information on that idea. I wonder if the social, economic and environmental benefits that could come reusing Oakwood in a way that I suggested could outweigh any tax dollars that could come from using it for a combination shopping plaza and apartment complex.  

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 11:24 AM, 05.16.2011

'Shop Local' should not be used as a marketing ploy

Editor:

The April 28 issue of the Sun Press newspaper features more than two full pages of “Support Your Local Business” advertising. By recently taking an editorial stand in favor of developing more national chain stores and grocery offerings as Oakwood Commons in South Euclid and Cleveland Heights, publishing these ad pages is the height of hypocrisy. 

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 10:37 AM, 05.03.2011

Location of temple raises question of UH council decision-making

B’Nai Torah congregation has proposed a complex development project on a piece of property too small for the intended purpose. It is in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Leaders and members of the congregation will have a higher moral authority than me to answer to regarding their business dealings and character in the way they have gone about forcing their project on their University Heights neighbors. 

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 10:49 AM, 05.03.2011

Revisiting the census: a suggestion for preserving and increasing the population of Cleveland Heights

An open letter to Mayor Edward J. Kelley; Vice Mayor Phyllis L. Evans, and Council Members Cheryl L. Stephens, Mark A. Tumeo, Dennis R. Wilcox, Bonita W. Caplan and Kenneth Montlack

Honorable Mayor, Vice Mayor and Council Members,

The purpose of this letter is to open a public discussion about how to encourage temporary rental occupants to stay as permanent, homeowning residents.

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 10:40 AM, 05.03.2011

Oakwood developer objects to community forum

Mitch Schneider,president of First Interstate Properties and potential developer of the former Oakwood Club property, submitted a letter to the editor of the Heights Observer, which is addressed to FutureHeights board president Lloyd Bell. In the letter, he objects to the educational forum that FutureHeights is hosting and requests that the forum be postponed.

FutureHeights board president Lloyd Bell responds and explains why FutureHeights is holding the forum this Thursday, April 7, at 7 p.m. at Forest Hill Church in Cleveland Heights.

Read the letters on the Heights Observer blogs.

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 3:08 PM, 04.05.2011

Plan discourages Oakwood rezoning

Editor:

First Interstate Properties’ request before the South Euclid’s Planning Commission to rezone the Oakwood Club property from residential to commercial big-box use directly conflicts with the South Euclid Comprehensive Plan 2000 and Update 2010.

The South Euclid Comprehensive Plan specifically states that if Oakwood were to become available for redevelopment it should not be rezoned to accommodate commercial development. Citing a “plethora of retail choices outside the City to meet the needs of residents” and specifically discouraging commercial expansion along the Warrensville Road corridor, the plan was written when the city knew the land was for sale. Despite this, planners in 2010 reconfirmed the policy of having Oakwood remain zoned for residential use.

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 11:28 PM, 03.22.2011

Slow down Oakwood for regional perspective

Editor:

We share many concerns with opponents of the proposed Oakwood development plan. We also appreciate the need for local tax revenue that the proposed development may provide, and the opportunity to increase recreational park land in both Cleveland Heights and South Euclid. The decisions we make to develop this unique property will have long-term consequences in both communities and our East Side region. Therefore, we believe development of the former Oakwood Country Club property is an opportunity for regional cooperation and gain, rather than just what is best for Cleveland Heights or South Euclid.

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 11:30 PM, 03.22.2011

Oakwood postcard response is deceptive

Editor,

In the Observer article, "South Euclid to hold public meeting on Oakwood rezoning", one paragraph, apparently extracted from the McKenna report, caught my attention:

"McKenna Associates stated that the public opinion is important when considering rezoning and that the public appears to support the project, based on response to a mailing conducted by the developer. First Interstate sent 13,000 mailers to South Euclid and Cleveland Heights residents adjacent to the project site, asking them to mail in a postcard if they supported the project. 169 people responded positively, while only 19 people mailed in the postcard stating that they did not support the rezoning."

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 7:53 PM, 03.09.2011

Coventry feels the madness of March

Editor,

March Madness . . . nearly our entire country gets caught up in the year-ending NCAA Basketball Tournament. From office pools to the President's bracket, we Americans seem obsessed by this tournament. Locally, our neighborhood bars/restaurants that have "BIG TVs," really enjoy this time of year. This past weekend, people crowded into Panini's, McNulty's and The Winking Lizard to eat, drink and cheer on their favorite school(s). It was great to see the street packed with people from noon to late at night.

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 11:24 AM, 04.05.2011

CH should encourage sustainable housing

Editor:

Recently a number of articles have come out protesting the teardown of the James H. Foster residence in Ambler Heights.

I know the property because I lived in Ambler Heights, and pass it nearly every day. It is one of the largest mansions in the neighborhood of historic homes.

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Volume 4, Issue 3, Posted 11:49 AM, 03.01.2011

There won't be a better deal for Oakwood

As property owners living within 200 feet of the Oakwood development, we would like to weigh in regarding the development of Oakwood Commons.

Obviously, we would love to have the entire Oakwood Country Club property turned over to parkland. However, we believe that is not a realistic option. The First Interstate deal, before the communities of South Euclid and Cleveland Heights, will turn over nearly half of the property to our communities as permanent green space. We believe that it is in the best interest of both cities to take the proposal because there is never going to be a
better deal on the table.

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Volume 4, Issue 3, Posted 10:14 AM, 03.01.2011

A better way to redevelop Oakwood

Editor,

This letter presents an idea for a Center of Excellence along the "healthy-life/healthy-planet" continuum. It’s an idea that could better serve the common good—one that addresses pressing social, economic and environmental needs of the region. Just as important, it taps into the creativity of the community's leaders. Although conceptual in nature, it has enough substance to start a dialog.

First Interstate Properties wants to bring a group of discount retailers and chain restaurants to the portion of Oakwood Country Club it just purchased. Its plans depend on getting the land rezoned, but that effort may not work. Alternatively, other parties want all of the land maintained as green space. While that has merit, it ignores the importance of creating more jobs now.

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 1:18 PM, 01.13.2011

Cleveland Heights needs more money, not green space

Editor,

I was delighted to hear about the plans by First Interstate Properties to develop Oakwood Country Club, a site that I suspect most residents of Cleveland Heights have never set foot on, as it has historically been a private country club. I can appreciate the sentiment of many residents that this property should remain green space, but Cleveland Heights already has more parks than most inner-ring suburbs—Cain Park, Caledonia Park, Cumberland Park, Denison Park and Forest Hills Park, not to mention nearby Shaker Lakes.

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 10:34 PM, 01.06.2011

Oakwood should remain green space

Editor:

There are many reasons the former Oakwood Club property should remain green space:

1. Development would affect Nine Mile Creek and the wildlife there. Flooding could be caused anywhere along its path to where it joins Euclid Creek.

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 1:58 PM, 01.19.2011

Sharrows remind motorists to 'share the road'

Editor,

With regard to page 3 of December's edition, I just want to say that I, for one, am really happy to see the sharrows. Positioned "correctly" or not, the sharrows' best function is to simply remind motorists to share the road. The best road markings are the ones that actually create a real, two-lined lane for bicyclists, but our residential roads are too narrow for that. The sharrows are the next best thing and I think it's reducing the amount of horn honking because it's increasing awareness and respect. The bike coalition is doing a GREAT job!

David Fair

Hampshire Road

Cleveland Heights

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Volume 4, Issue 1, Posted 3:05 PM, 12.21.2010

Barden Benner Carter Memorial Fund turns 10

Ten years. Can it possibly be? How did we make it through that dreadful night and the painful days, months and years that followed?

In the early morning hours of Sunday, Feb. 11, 2001, my son Kyle Barden was one of five teenage boys driving home from a party. There was a collision. Miraculously Scott Greggor and Greg Uguccini survived. Greg lives with some injuries that are permanent. Brendon Brenner, Milton Carter II and Kyle, who were all members of the Cleveland Heights High School varsity hockey team, perished that morning, leaving behind mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, a niece and countless friends.

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Volume 4, Issue 1, Posted 1:48 PM, 11.30.2010

Thank you, KÓrstin!

Editor:

On Sept. 18, the mailman brought the mail to my gallery just like any other day. But, this time, something very special was delivered to me. It was a card from Kàrstin with $25 cash enclosed. There was no last name or return address.

Kàrstin’s message was as follows:

“Dear Abrash, 

Walking to Stone Oven Saturday morning I noticed that the pot outside your door was broken. Please accept this contribution toward another. I like having you in the neighborhood! 

Kàrstin”

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Volume 4, Issue 1, Posted 11:00 AM, 12.01.2010

Let's think of the future and make recreation cuts equitably

In a few years, when the smoke clears and all this economic turmoil is behind us, we will be left with the results of the decisions we are making right now.

Once Denison Pool is gone, it’s gone. Do we want to bulldoze the city’s newest pool, one of only two public pools in the city, and the one serving the part of the city with the most children and the most poor children?

Cuts have to be made somewhere, I accept that. But let’s look at all the recreation facilities that we have, in all parts of the city, and make the cuts equitably.

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Volume 3, Issue 10, Posted 9:11 AM, 09.30.2010

CH officials playing politics with fire fighting

Today Cleveland Heights is less safe than it has been in years because city officials have slashed the city’s fire department by 10 percent.

The 69 firefighters and paramedics who remain since City Manager Bob Downey laid off three of them, and demoted two lieutenants, are struggling to respond to emergency calls. We have been forced to work overtime just to maintain minimum safe staffing levels.

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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 3:43 PM, 08.09.2010

Traffic laws apply to cyclists, too

It is admirable that the cyclists of Cleveland Heights wish to make Cleveland Heights more bicycle friendly.  I certainly hope that this includes informing the cyclists that traffic laws apply to them as well as automobile drivers.

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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 4:38 PM, 07.12.2010

Thanks from RTA

From April 30 to May 5, The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority hosted the International Bus and Paratransit Conference, where more than 1,000 attendees from throughout North America pumped more than $2 million into Cleveland’s economy.  To borrow a baseball term, Cleveland hit a home run.
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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 9:12 AM, 05.11.2010

Millikin is a matter of money

I agree that Millikin should be put to use. But, I encourage the school board to think carefully about its decision, as it is a matter of money.

If Millikin is sold to Mosdos Ohr Hatorah School it will not bring in any tax dollars because the school is a nonprofit organization. 

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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 12:13 PM, 05.21.2010

Heights moms started soccer league

I enjoyed Gay Eyerman's recent story "A leauge of their own" chronicling the "mom soccer" league in Cleveland Heights. It only had one small but important error: Sean Sullivan didn't start the league; it was started by the moms themselves.
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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 1:30 PM, 05.10.2010

Thanks, from RTA

From April 30 to May 5, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) hosted the International Bus and Paratransit Conference, where more than 1,000 attendees from throughout North America pumped more than $2 million into Cleveland’s economy. To borrow a baseball term, Cleveland hit a home run.
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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 9:16 AM, 05.11.2010

Put Millikin to good use

Tucked away in the corner of a quiet street between Severn Road and Severance Center, stands the building and land that used to house the Millikin Elementary School in Cleveland Heights. For years, the school was attended by the children of many local residents and had been an asset to the community.
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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 9:22 AM, 04.27.2010

League supports Health and Human Services levy renewal

To the Editor:

The League of Women Voters strongly supports Issue #15, the Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services levy on the May 4, 2010 primary election ballot. This is a renewal of the current 2.9 mill levy, with no tax increase. It amounts to 29 cents for every one hundred dollars of valuation, and will be in place for four years, commencing in 2010, first due in calendar year 2011.

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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 4:34 PM, 03.26.2010

University Heights finances are on track

Upon reading Councilman Sims’ letter in the online version of the Heights Observer, I would like to reply that if he refers back to the Council Minutes of Sept. 8, 2009, his Finance Committee report stated: “…There was a brief update from the Finance Director, in which he reported that the City is on track with revenue collection and is holding the line on expenditures. He does not foresee any real budgetary problems…”

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Volume 2, Issue 11, Posted 1:28 PM, 11.03.2009

Colorful knitting project is misplaced

To the editor:

Let me see if I’ve got this straight: The knitting of blue, yellow and pink booties and underwear for parking meters and tree trunks is going to give the great city of Cleveland Heights a sense of “community?”

Wouldn't it have been more helpful for the project artists to have knitted sweaters and socks for actual people? Like those who might not be able to afford such things in tough economic times?

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Volume 2, Issue 11, Posted 10:25 AM, 10.23.2009

University Heights is our city; don't hand over the controls to an administrator

Until the last vote is cast on Nov. 3, I will encourage residents to vote NO to changing our city government from an accountable-to-voter Mayor-Council to a less accountable and unnecessary City Administrator form. I find it intriguing to hear current council members support a change which ultimately gives the council more power and less accountability, while at the same time arguing that an Administrator is needed to handle the day to day operations of the city. This city does not need additional management, it needs leadership.
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Volume 2, Issue 10, Posted 4:06 PM, 10.09.2009

University Heights is at a crossroad; we can move forward or fall behind

Our city is facing many real and present challenges that require immediate attention, including the need to:

  1. Reverse deficits and negative financial trends.
  2. Fund the equipment and facilities necessary to provide quality services to residents.
  3. Identify the means to replace, repair, improve, and maintain the City’s streets, curbs, sidewalks, and water and sewer lines without tax increases.
  4. Work to revitalize and make higher use of our business district, as well as work to preserve and improve our housing stock in order to attract and keep homeowners.
  5. Explore opportunities for inter-jurisdictional cooperation as a way to cut costs.
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Volume 2, Issue 10, Posted 12:53 PM, 10.09.2009

Step It Up recommends two for CH Council

We are Cleveland Heights residents who assembled six months ago to focus on the City Council election in order to have a positive impact on our city’s future. We articulated a Citizen Agenda and solicited community endorsements of its ideas, interviewed each candidate about the agenda, and held a candidates forum.

Heights is fortunate to have ten knowledgeable candidates for Council who endorse the agenda, have valuable expertise to share, and different strengths.

The Step It Up Steering Committee is sharing its assessment of the top candidates in light of their leadership qualities, vision and appreciation of the issues articulated in the Citizen’s Agenda. We hope voters will consider these recommendations.

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Volume 2, Issue 10, Posted 9:36 AM, 10.05.2009

Parent centers need our support

To the Editor:

Heights Parent Center in Cleveland Heights and Family Connections at Shaker Family Center in Shaker Heights need our help. In this economy, their traditional sources of support are being cut. They must depend more and more on individual support.

As a new parent, I found these centers to be a great resource. As an early childhood educator, I am impressed by the services they provide. Families with young children gain education, resources and support to help them be the best parents they can be!
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Volume 2, Issue 9, Posted 11:15 AM, 08.18.2009

Gary Benjamin runs for Cleveland Heights City Council

As a resident of Cleveland Heights I am struck by its vibrancy. With colleges, strong small business districts, Severance Center, great public schools and wonderful public services, Cleveland Heights is a strong city.

We also have an electorate which wants its leaders to tell it the truth!

The truth is that, despite our vibrant city, we are losing population. In 1970 we had 60,767 residents. In 2000 that had dropped to 49,558. Estimates for July of 2008 are 45,827 – a loss of almost 4,000 people in 8 years. That’s a 7.5  percent loss in the last eight years., and a 25 percent loss since 1970! As population drops the tax base shrinks, and in Cleveland Heights, since 1970, we not only lost 25 percent of our people, our median income also dropped 25 percent.

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Volume 2, Issue 8, Posted 3:23 PM, 08.07.2009

Supporting the new superintendent

I was disappointed in the negative tone apparent in the July 7 article on Douglas Heuer’s selection as CH-UH superintendent. Let’s start with the ludicrous suggestion that he may be unqualified because his current district has “only” 5,000 students compared to CH-UH’s 6,000. How close do we need to come? Why would the Observer even print such nonsense?

As a 40-year veteran of the classroom (30 in a public school system with an overwhelmingly African-American population), I have always felt that the superintendent’s chief function was to be an effective communicator of the school system’s mission and policies to students, staff, parents and the general public.
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Volume 2, Issue 8, Posted 8:37 AM, 07.15.2009

RTA rapid station

RTA wants to build a new station at the bottom of Cedar Hill. This is being touted as "the Gateway to The Heights."

I am having difficulty understanding why it takes $1 million to plan a new station and another $10 million to build it. There is also a new station being built on the west side for $9.5 million. Why does it take a Taj Mahal to board a bus or rapid train?

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Volume 2, Issue 8, Posted 5:02 PM, 07.27.2009

Prevent littering; keep the community clean

Dear Editor,

I think it is a good idea to stop littering because it makes the area not look and smell nice. It also hurts animals.

I think good ways to stop people from littering areto have cleanups, clubs and fairs. I also think more good ways are to make more fines for littering, add more recycling cans and make comparison studies (littered vs. non-littered areas).

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Volume 2, Issue 7, Posted 3:14 PM, 06.08.2009

Follow city trash law

Cleveland Heights is a wonderful city in so many ways.  There is nothing more beautiful than driving down the streets on a beautiful spring day and looking at all the blooming flowers and budding trees.

There is nothing less beautiful, however, than driving down the same streets and seeing people's garbage on the treelawn or in the street, in some cases the day after trash collection, or two or three days before trash collection.

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Volume 2, Issue 7, Posted 2:31 PM, 06.04.2009

We elect school board members to make tough decisions

Dear Editor, 

First let me say that I am one of the community residents that supported Christine Fowler-Mack for CH-UH superintendent. Her professionalism and passion for the CH-UH school district; the fact that she lives in the school district, is a parent of a child in the district; the respect she has earned from parents and staff alike; and her experience as an educator and interim superintendent, made her, I felt, a strong candidate for the position. Was I disappointed when she wasn’t chosen – absolutely.

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Volume 2, Issue 7, Posted 11:31 AM, 06.26.2009

Uncut grass is another nail in the city's coffin

On my block of East Overlook Road, there are more than a dozen abandoned, probably foreclosed homes. Some of the lawns are covered with foot tall grass and dandelions. I called City Hall and a patient, helpful, articulate person in the Housing Department said that all City Hall can do is call the owners or banks that own the home and ask them to cut the grass. In the past, the city would have cut the grass and charged the owner/bank for the service. But now, because of massive layoffs, the city can no longer do this. They can only make phone calls. They have no way of enforcing the basic upkeep of lawns.
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Volume 2, Issue 6, Posted 4:55 PM, 05.07.2009

Nothing to gain in merger with Cleveland Heights

Why would a small city such as University Heights, which is doing well, want to be absorbed by its larger neighbor Cleveland Heights, which isn’t doing well at all in these economic times. What would we gain from it? Absolutely nothing.

Contrary to some of our other larger neighboring communities, we have a balanced budget, we live within our means, no employee has had to be laid off, all of our quality city services continue to be delivered. Our city has only been on the ballot once in the 32 years I have been mayor for an income tax increase, which passed easily several years ago. Also, our debt load is low.

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Volume 2, Issue 5, Posted 10:10 AM, 04.27.2009