Latest News

Cedar Fairmount SID seeks new executive director

After nearly 19 years of service, Kaye Lowe, the Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District's executive director, will retire at the end of December.

The SID's board of trustees is currently searching for Lowe's replacement. The position is for a part-time, 1099 independent contractor. Qualified candidates must possess a minimum of five years of experience, a bachelor's degree, excellent communication skills and strong project management skills. The non-profit serves to promote and improve the Cedar Fairmount neighborhood for its businesses and property owners.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:54 PM, 10.16.2018

Latest News Releases

Beaumont School Cross Country Team Wins District Title, Ciecierski Repeats as Champ
- Beaumont School, October 22, 2018 Read More
Voter information for Nov. 6 election
- Cuyahoga County, October 4, 2018 Read More
- Jewish Federation of Cleveland, September 26, 2018 Read More
Heights Libraries brings YA authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely to Ensemble Theatre
- CH-UH Library, September 14, 2018 Read More
Local Filmmaker Addresses Mental Health Bullying and Suicide in New Documentary
- Arts & Entertainment, September 2, 2018 Read More

View more news releases

University Heights unveils new city logo

Concept art for new banners and signs bearing the new University Heights logo.

After months of research and planning, University Heights has a new logo.

“University Heights will always be ‘the City of Beautiful Homes,’” said Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan. “But University Heights is so much more than home.  Our new logo and branding will reflect this.”

The shapes in the new four-color logo form a U and H for University Heights; but the shapes aren’t random—they’re pulled straight from a map of the city. Just west of Warrensville Center Road and north of Fairmount Boulevard are several streets that form an H inside a U.

“We wanted our new logo to represent many things. We wanted it to be colorful, to represent a diverse mosaic. We wanted the logo to represent safe, established neighborhoods,” Brennan explained.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:45 PM, 10.16.2018

Tiger Nation celebrates homecoming

The community's youngest cheerleaders help kick off homecoming weekend. [photo by Krissy Gallagher]

The Heights community came together in spectacular fashion as Tiger Nation celebrated Homecoming 2018 on Oct. 12 and 13. After spirit days at many of the district’s schools and an afternoon pep rally at the high school, more than 27 groups—representing sports teams, extracurricular clubs and every one of the district's seven elementary schools—marched in the Homecoming Parade.

Making its way through the heart of the Cedar Lee Business District for the second year, the parade comprised more than 600 participants and drew countless spectators.

With the speedy cross-country team racing the route, and the loud and lively Heights High marching band keeping the beat, the parade began at Fairfax Elementary School and headed north on Lee Road. Parents, alumni and community members gathered at various Cedar Lee businesses, including The Wine Spot, where the Heights Schools Foundation hosted an alumni watch party as part of the Class of 1988’s 30th reunion.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:14 PM, 10.16.2018

Heights takes home the Golden Racquet

The Heights High girls' tennis team and coach with the "Golden Racquet," post-match.

For the second time in six years, the Cleveland Heights High School girls’ tennis team took home the coveted “Golden Racquet,” triumphing 4-1 over Beaumont School on Sept. 26.

Mike Pellechia, Beaumont tennis coach, created the Golden Racquet in 2013. An actual tennis racquet painted gold, it is the trophy claimed by the winner of the yearly match between Beaumont and Heights High. The recipient of the racquet then keeps it for an entire year, and is required to bring it to the rivalry match the following year.

To properly encourage his team to fight for a win, Heights High Coach John Laskarides did his best to hype the rivalry, and even e-mailed his team pictures of the Beaumont team holding the golden racquet, to get them fired up.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 9:55 AM, 10.09.2018

CH receives state approval for city-wide CRA to support new development

On Oct. 1, the city of Cleveland Heights announced that it had "achieved a major strategic development goal" with the state's approval of its Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) application. In the news release, printed in its entirety below, Mary Trupo, director of communications and public engagement for the city, described the CRA's benefits:

Cleveland Heights has achieved a major strategic development goal with the announcement last week by the Ohio Development Services Agency that the City's petition to create a City-wide Community Reinvestment Area, or CRA, has been approved.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 11:58 AM, 10.02.2018

Heights businesses invited to submit holiday gift ideas

Each year, FutureHeights publishes a Holiday Gift Guide in the November issue of the Heights Observer, to help readers discover the unique items Heights retailers offer and assist them in “shopping local first” to support the local economy.

The 2018 guide will contain listings in each of the following categories: Stocking Stuffers ($10 or less), Gifts Less Than $50, Gifts $50 to $150, Gifts More Than $150, and Gifts For the Person Who Has It All.

Cleveland Heights and University Heights retail businesses are invited and encouraged to e-mail photos and descriptions of items they would like to be considered for publication in the 2018 Heights Observer Holiday Gift Guide to Jessica Schantz ( no later than Oct. 19. Put “Holiday Gift Guide” in the subject line.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 11:54 AM, 10.01.2018

Heights Arts announces season 13 of chamber music series

A moment captured at a Heights Arts Close Encounters concert at the Dunham Tavern barn. From left, Isabel Trautwein, Tanya Ell and Kirsten Docter. [photo by Greg Donley]

Heights Arts is proud to announce the 13th season of its Close Encounters chamber music concerts. These popular salon-style performances take place in private homes or unusual venues in or near Cleveland Heights. All musicians this season are members of the Cleveland Orchestra or on the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory of Music. This is chamber music as it is meant to be: up close and personal. A wine and pastry reception is provided to audience members and musicians during the intermission of each concert.

The season begins Nov. 11 at an art-filled carriage house in Herrick Mews, with the string ensemble We Too presenting a program of chamber music written by women between five and 1,000 years ago. The oldest work is from a vast collection of religious chants written by Hildegard von Bingen, a German nun born in 1098.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:11 PM, 10.01.2018

Peace Lutheran offers free permaculture class

Volunteers at last fall's permaculture class install a "lasagna" bed.

Local permaculture expert Tom Gibson will teach a special abbreviated course on the topic on Saturday, Oct. 6, at Peace Lutheran Church, 3470 Mayfield Road. Over a continental breakfast, Gibson will lead a review of permaculture techniques. Hands-on construction of a “lasagna” bed will follow, and then a hot lunch will be served in appreciation. 

Lasagna gardening, also known as sheet gardening, is a no-dig, no-till organic gardening method that produces rich, fluffy soil with very little effort. The name refers to the method of building the garden bed, by adding layers of organic material that will “cook down” over time, resulting in soil that will help your plants thrive.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:26 AM, 10.01.2018

The World Series and other connections

A 1958 baseball card featuring stars of the '57 World Series, the Yankees' Mickey Mantle and the Braves' Hank Aaron, with same kind of poor-quality color as a 1957 color TV.

October 1953 was the first time I heard the term “World Series.” I was 4 years old, and I heard it at my grandfather’s house a few days after my grandmother died.

My father, who had grown up in Cleveland Heights, joined the Navy shortly after the United States entered World War II. He was stationed in San Francisco. My parents got married during the war. After the war, my parents stayed in San Francisco. My father got a good job selling records in a big department store, which was the only place you could buy records then. The record department was next to the furniture department, because that was the only place you could buy record players, which, in those days, were pieces of furniture.

My parents were happy out there. Then, in 1948, my father’s brother, David, died. My father came back to Cleveland for the funeral, while my mother stayed in California with my older brother, who was still a toddler. During my father’s visit to Cleveland, my grandfather convinced him to move the family back here. He told him there was a good job for him, and that they were building a nice house for them. He told my father a lot of great things that would happen. He was, as my family sometimes said, exaggerating—or, as I call it, lying.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:19 PM, 10.01.2018

Concert series links past and present social issues

Burning River Baroque performing last March at The Wine Spot. [Photo Credit: Luis Gomez]

With the Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) down the hill, Cleveland Heights is blessed with a strong musical tradition. Living room concerts and chamber settings abound with a frequency unparalleled in most American cities.

Among these settings has emerged an ironically trend-setting ensemble that uses baroque music to underscore present-day social issues—juxtaposing past and present—with powerful performances, salient commentary, and links to relevant nonprofits that address injustice. Heights-based Burning River Baroque was founded in 2012 with the goal of “bringing the drama, passion and vitality of Baroque music to life for contemporary audiences." The ensemble’s work has been well-received in our musically rich community. St. Alban's Episcopal Church has become its unofficial home, hosting several concerts a year since the ensemble's launch.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 11:57 AM, 10.01.2018

Rogers and Perko named UH chiefs

University Heights Police Chief Dustin Rogers and Fire Chief Robert Perko.

University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan has made it official. Dustin Rogers and Robert Perko III can drop the word “interim” from their titles. They are now the police chief and fire chief, respectively, for the city. A swearing-in ceremony was held at the start of the Sept. 17 UH City Council meeting.

“Since making the announcement public [on Sept. 12], we have received nothing but congratulatory and laudatory support for their promotions to the permanent positions, coming from both within this city, and throughout the greater community,” Brennan said. “These gentlemen have the experience, leadership skills, work ethic and temperament to be successful leaders of their departments.”

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 3:04 PM, 09.27.2018

Vampires, zombies and witches are coming to Lee Road pop-up costume shop Oct. 19

Ben and Nicole Rossa in last year's costumes that now are headed for the donation box.

During the weekends of Oct. 19 and 26, old costumes will be brought back from the dead at the Costume Exchange Pop-up on Lee Road. Located in the former Heights Music Shop space, at 2174 Lee Road, the temporary shop will sell gently used costumes for $5 a set.

The project is a collaboration between Reaching Heights and local start-up The Old Vaudevillian (TOV). Proceeds from costume sales will benefit the Patti-Jackson Music Lesson Scholarship fund through Reaching Heights.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 2:58 PM, 09.27.2018

CH-UH schools host October open houses

Community members toured the new Heights High building and campus at its September 2017 grand opening.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District will host community open houses at each of its schools beginning in mid-October. The district’s seven elementary schools, as well as its high school and middle school, will be open to all community members, including prospective families and current families, to enable them to see and experience opportunities at the schools.

The first open house is on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Cleveland Heights High School, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. as part of the school’s homecoming weekend celebration. The Heights Schools Foundation will host a cookout during the open house, to benefit scholarships for graduating seniors.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 2:56 PM, 09.27.2018

Library outreach embraces homeless families

Youth Services Librarian Katherine Assink assembles her outreach bag, including interactive story books to read to the children, for a visit to Family Promise of Greater Cleveland.

Youth Services Librarian Katherine Assink recently was reading Go Away, Big Green Monster! to a group of kids, and they were loving it. The colorful, interactive storybook—about a big green monster who gets bigger and scarier with each turn of the page—encourages kids to deal with their fear by facing it. During the second half of the book, the kids make the monster disappear, bit by bit, by telling it to go away.

“Some of the kids got so excited they started running around the room yelling ‘go away!’” said Assink. “It was great to see them have such joy and enthusiasm for the story.”

Most kids need a little help dealing with fears, but this group, perhaps, needs more than most; the children at this story time were all living in temporary housing provided by the homeless-serving agency Family Promise of Greater Cleveland.   

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 2:55 PM, 09.27.2018

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 10-3-2018

OCTOBER 3, 2018


  • Public comments
  • Foreclosure bonds for commercial and residential property
  • Purchase 60 Severance Circle
  • Cancer awareness
  • Domestic violence awareness
  • Age 21 for smoking material purchases
  • Mayor’s report


Mayor Carol Roe, Vice Mayor Melissa Yasinow, Mary Dunbar, Kahlil Seren, Jason Stein, Cheryl Stephens and Michael Ungar attended the meeting.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 11:04 AM, 10.22.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 10-2-1018

OCTOBER 2, 2018


  • New master teachers
  • Board approvals
  • Future buildings
  • Career and ed tech fair
  • Meeting with Ohio School Board Association


President James Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heinz and Malia Lewis were present. Beverly Wright was absent. Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting began at 7:10 p.m. after an executive session and adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 11:15 AM, 10.22.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 9-25-2018

SEPTEMBER 25, 2018


  • 2018 state report card update
  • Summer programming update
  • Board approvals
  • Superintendent Dixon’s departure


President James Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz and Beverly Wright were present. Malia Lewis was absent. Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting began at 7:05 p.m. after a board training session and adjourned at 8:48 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 11:10 AM, 10.22.2018

October issues often look ahead to November

The Heights Observer is a monthly publication; as such, the content of any given issue primarily focuses on the current month. One occasional exception to that unwritten rule is the October issue.

In those election years when local issues and candidates are on Cleveland Heights and University Heights ballots, the October edition of the Heights Observer looks ahead to early November, when Heights residents will vote, and publishes a voters guide.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 2:52 PM, 09.27.2018

Checking out democracy

Andrew Carnegie said, in 1903, “Free libraries maintained by the people are cradles of democracy, and their spread can never fail to extend and strengthen the democratic idea[.]” At a recent public meeting, Nancy Levin, Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System director, echoed Carnegie when she called her organization “a facilitator of democracy.” We decided to explore how the Heights libraries function as part of the infrastructure of local democracy.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 2:49 PM, 09.27.2018

Privatization consumes essential public resources

Ohio’s constitution provides for a thorough and efficient system of public schools, but state lawmakers subverted this essential responsibility when they allowed public education funds to be transferred to private education providers in the form of vouchers and tuition payments to charter schools.

They justified privatization of this public good as a way to increase competition and thereby improve education. The thinking was faulty and the results are terrible for children and communities. The public system is held accountable and being bled dry, while private and charter operators enjoy unfettered access to public resources.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 2:45 PM, 09.27.2018

Teaching in hot classrooms

CH-UH schools opened on Aug. 20 this year, earlier than the traditional opening days I remembered from the past. Then our elementary and middle schools, along with dozens of schools throughout the state, cancelled classes because of extreme heat. You might say that closing the schools had nothing to do with the early starting date, but, in my opinion, staff and students in those buildings were already pretty worn out from extreme late-August temperatures, even before the Labor Day weekend heat wave hit. Our schools have never called off classes because of heat, as far as I know.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 2:42 PM, 09.27.2018

UHPD invites community for coffee Oct. 3

The first 50 people to attend "Coffee with a Cop" at Jack's Deli and Restaurant on Oct. 3 will receive a free coffee mug.

The University Heights Police Department (UHPD) is looking to build relationships with residents—one cup of coffee at a time.

On Oct. 3—National Coffee With a Cop Day—members of the UHPD will meet residents at Jack’s Deli and Restaurant, 14490 Cedar Road, 10–11:30 a.m. The agenda is no agenda; the event will be relaxed, informal and open for discussions about local issues of concern to everyone in University Heights.

Through one-on-one conversations with and between citizens, Police Chief Dustin Rogers said he hopes to encourage positive interactions between his department and the public.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 2:38 PM, 09.27.2018

UHFD opens to all on Oct. 7

Members of the University Heights Fire Department will host an open house on Sunday, Oct. 7.

In celebration of National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7–13, the University Heights Fire Department (UHFD) will host an open house on Sunday, Oct. 7, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the fire station (3980 Silsby Road).

The open house will feature fire safety presentations, plus station and vehicle tours. For the kids, there will be a bounce slide and a coloring contest.

University Hospitals will provide health screenings and food, including kosher options, while the American Red Cross will distribute fire detector batteries.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 2:36 PM, 09.27.2018

University Heights is social

The "University Heights City Hall Players," including Elisabeth Rice, made their theatrical debut with a short form video to inform residents of the end of summer hours at the city pool.

University Heights City Hall is becoming more social.

The city recently created an Instagram account and is adding short-form videos to its existing Facebook and Twitter pages.

The “City of Beautiful Homes” is now sharing beautiful photographs on Instagram. So far, content includes pictures from weddings at UH City Hall, close up photos of lunches at restaurants in University Heights, and, of course, plenty of beautiful homes.

UH resident Rebecca Postupack-Slifer recently met with city hall staff and encouraged them to add short-form videos to social media response.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 2:35 PM, 09.27.2018

LWV hosts Oct 4 candidate forum in Cleveland Heights

The League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland (LWVCG) will present a candidate forum for state representative and county races on Thursday, Oct. 4, 7 p.m., at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, 1 Monticello Blvd.

Slated to participate are Ohio House District 9 candidates Janine Boyd and Joe Miller, and Cuyahoga County District 10 candidate Cheryl L. Stephens, currently a CH City Council member, who is running unopposed. [Candidates for Ohio Senate will not be participating.]

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:33 PM, 09.27.2018

McFadden's one-woman show will benefit Ensemble

Writer and song stylist Molly McFadden.

Molly McFadden will perform “Living on the Moon,” an original one-woman show, at a one-night benefit for Ensemble Theatre. The performance will take place Saturday, Oct. 27, 6 p.m., at Ensemble Theatre, 2843 Washington Blvd. A $20 donation is suggested; proceeds will help enable the theatre to continue to provide productions, classes and workshops.

In “Living on the Moon,” McFadden explores her own journey and her relationship with her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The show is a unique mixture of storytelling, original music, known standards and puppetry. It examines many facets of human life, helping the audience discover its rich complexities and its rituals and sorrows.

McFadden, a Heights resident for two years, participates in the Stagewrites group at Ensemble.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:16 PM, 10.01.2018

Dobama presents Midwest premiere of 'John'

Dobama Theatre continues its 2018–19 Mainstage Season with "John," an intimate and elusive ghost story, running Oct. 19 through Nov. 11.

Written by Annie Baker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of "The Flick," the play centers on Elias and Jenny, a young couple struggling to stay together, who stop at a bed-and-breakfast in Gettysburg, Pa. During their visit they encounter a cheerful innkeeper, her blind friend, and an eerie world crammed with toys, figurines and one very odd American Girl doll. This mystic puzzle of a play is full of surprises, both human and supernatural.

Dobama’s production features legendary Cleveland actor Dorothy Silver, in her first collaboration with Dobama Artistic Director Nathan Motta in the director’s chair.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:14 PM, 10.01.2018

Library launches 'In My Day' storytelling project

Cleveland Heights and University Heights residents alike are well aware of the diversity and rich history of this area. From October through May, Heights Libraries is inviting community members to celebrate this history by sharing memories of the Heights through “In My Day,” a unique storytelling project.

“With this program, we’ll be gathering stories from residents in the hopes of sharing and preserving the Heights’ unique history for future generations,” said Jessica Robinson, local history librarian at Heights Libraries. “There are so many important stories waiting to be told here, and we can’t wait to start weaving this tapestry together.”

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:50 AM, 10.01.2018

HYT alum directs season-opening 'Guys and Dolls'

Heights Youth Theatre’s (HYT) production of "Guys and Dolls" opens Oct. 19 at Heights Middle School in University Heights, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 28. 

The production features 65 actors in grades 1–12, from Cleveland Heights, University Heights, Shaker Heights, and surrounding communities.

Melissa Bertolone, an HYT alum, is the show’s choreographer, and Kelly Monaghan, another HYT alum, directs the production.

“I am so thrilled to be back directing one of the best classic musical theater shows in my all-time favorite theater,” said Monaghan.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 11:59 AM, 10.01.2018

Dixon to leave CH-UH schools for Columbus district

Dr. Talisa L. Dixon.

On Sept. 21, both the CH-UH schools superintendent, Talisa Dixon, and the Board of Education released statements regarding Dixon’s recent decision to take the position of Superintendent of the Columbus City Schools. Dixon expressed how honored she was to be chosen for the prestigious post, but affirmed her commitment to complete the 2018-19 school year with the CH-UH district, citing the need to “finish important work” and “see through our initiatives.”   

In its statement, the board expressed regret at losing “a dynamic leader,” but also its pride that “Ohio’s largest public school district has selected [Dixon] as its next superintendent. We believe this validates that we as a district are working on the right things: equity, community partnerships, improving communications with our families and community, and building strong relationships with our teachers and staff.”

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 11:23 AM, 09.25.2018

City of CH to refund parking ticket overpayments

The City of Cleveland Heights is taking action to refund an overcharge of $5.00 for various parking violations issued between 2013 and present. The refunds are for tickets issued for specific violations (not metered parking) and include these infractions: Prohibited Zone, No Permit, Overnight Parking, Fire Hydrant and Fire Lane Parking, Abandoned Vehicle, Traffic Hazard, Parking on Sidewalk, Curb or Streetlawn. The City recently learned of a clerical error resulting in the issuance of paper tickets for some parking infractions with the additional fee.

“All efforts will be made to refund the extra $5, with interest, charged for applicable parking violations,” said City Manager Tanisha Briley.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 11:15 AM, 09.25.2018

Beth El invites community to special refugee Shabbat

Religious teachings, and plain old humanity, suggest that there is a moral imperative to treat the stranger well. In fact, the Torah instructs Jews 36 times that strangers should be treated with compassion and dignity. 

At the present time, one could easily substitute “refugee” for “stranger,” and then quickly realize that many people are not living up to the religious principals they espouse.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:28 PM, 09.27.2018

David Gregory will speak at CH's Park Synagogue

Gregory will speak under the temple dome at Park Synagogue in Cleveland Heights. (Photo courtesy Park Synagogue.)

As part of Park Synagogue’s 150-year anniversary, the popular Park Forum Series makes a return on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m., with journalist and author David Gregory. The current CNN political analyst and former moderator of NBC's "Meet The Press" will share with audiences his insights on the latest Washington headlines and the current events facing our country.

Gregory’s talk, "Promoting Dialogue in a Polarized World," will take place just two weeks before the November midterm elections, under the historic dome at Park Synagogue’s complex at 3300 Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights. The legendary Park Forum has featured various well-known figures, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, Abba Eban, and President Jimmy Carter.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:25 PM, 09.27.2018

Octavofest 10 is coming to town

James Canary will be a featured guest at Octavofest 2018. (Photo courtesy Latse Library.)

Octavofest, an annual celebration of book and paper arts, is 10 years old this month, and it's bigger and better than ever. This year’s theme is “Books and Paper in Global Context,” and will feature lectures, workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions, museum tours, and hands-on experiences. Many of these events will take place in or near the Heights. 

The festival’s keynote presenter is James Canary, conservator at Indiana University’s Lilly Library and an internationally respected specialist in Asian book forms. He has worked with the International Tibetan Archive Preservation Project in Lhasa, which provided equipment and training in document conservation for an archive containing around 3 million documents.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:22 PM, 09.27.2018

Backyard music gives boost to dog rescue group

Eunho Kim, left, plays the violin in concert with Jeeyoun Yoo, on the cello.

On Sunday, Aug. 25, Cleveland Heights residents Jeeyoun and Youngjin Yoo hosted an outdoor concert at their Stillman Road home, to benefit SecondhandMutts.

The Tremont-based organization helps homeless dogs receive medical care and find new homes, treating and assisting more than 150 dogs each year through the efforts of volunteers.

About 65 people attended the concert, donating approximately $1,600.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:23 AM, 10.01.2018

What's going on at your library?

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park (Ensemble Theatre)
2843 Washington Blvd, 216-321-3400

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 7–9:00 p.m.

All American Boys: Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. Join the library at Ensemble Theatre for an evening of side-by-side personal stories and inspiration from the authors of All American Boys, Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.

Lee Road Branch
2345 Lee Road, 216-932-3600

Monday, Oct. 8, 7–8:30 p.m.

Tech Talk: Little Bytes: Get Your Child Coding.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:52 AM, 10.01.2018

UH Senior Happenings

Senior Happenings, sponsored by the city of University Heights, are open to all senior citizens. Events take place on Thursdays at 2 p.m. at the University Heights Library. To receive the monthly schedule by e-mail, call 216-932-7800, ext. 205, or send an e-mail to

Oct. 4: Speaker Lee Lazar is the executive director of the Rainey Institute, founded in 1904 as a settlement house providing services to Eastern European immigrants who were making new homes in Cleveland. Today it serves Cleveland families in neighborhoods around East 55th Street and Hough Avenue, and participates in The Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion program to connect immigrants to Cleveland.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 11:52 AM, 10.01.2018

CH Senior Center News

The Cleveland Heights Office on Aging invites Heights seniors to participate in the first NEO Mind Challenge for the New Majority.

The concept is similar to Academic Challenge, with teams representing as many as 16 senior centers competing in play-off tournaments similar to NCAA March Madness. If you enjoy trivia and want to be part of a team, this event is for you!

Participants can register as individuals or with a partner, forming a group of two. The cost to participate is $15 per person, which can be paid at the CH Senior Activity Center.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 11:44 AM, 10.01.2018

Tickets on sale for Heights High's 'Mary Poppins'

The Heights High production of "Mary Poppins" will feature students double-cast in the leading roles: Will Davis (11th grade) and Emmanuel Vaughn (12th grade) in the role of Bert, Jackson Marshall (10th grade) and Zach Brust (12th grade) in the role of George Banks, back row, L-R. Lila Schubert (11th grade) and Chip Vandall (10th grade) in the role of Winifred Banks, Olivia Sormaz (12th grade) and Judea Lowe (12th grade) in the role of Mary Poppins, middle row, L-R. Jesse Gross (12th grade) and Charlotte Piszel (11th grade) in the role of Jane, Jonah Kerr-Jung (10th grade) and Nareus Hardin (11th grade) in the role of Michael.

“Mary Poppins” will take the Heights High auditorium stage Nov. 1–4, with high school students in the lead roles, and middle and elementary school students in the chorus. Tickets went on sale Sept. 24.

The production comprises more than 180 high school students who will be performing in the show, in two casts, as well as managing the backstage operations.

“This is a great show for us because the music is amazing and loved by so many people,” said Jesse Lange, the show’s producer and Heights High’s vocal music director. “And, we have the singing and dancing talent to really shine in this show.”

Most of the lead roles are double-cast: Mary Poppins will be portrayed by seniors Judea Lowe and Olivia Sormaz, and Bert will be played by junior Will Davis and senior Emmanuel Vaughn.

All four lead actors are focused on learning the show’s music, lines and dance steps. They are also all good friends, and spend many hours practicing and encouraging one another, outside of regular rehearsals.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 9:54 AM, 09.25.2018

Bishop Perez visits Communion of Saints

Bishop Nelson Perez [Photo Credit: Frank Mathias]

Tuesday, Aug. 27, marked the first day of school for Communion of Saints students.

The morning started with lively music, and coffee and donuts provided by the Parent Teacher Organization as Communion of Saints students, in preschool through eighth grade, gathered in the parking lot with their families. A blessing given by Communion of Saints pastor, Father John McNulty, followed.

That evening, Bishop Nelson Perez presided over an all-school mass held at St. Ann’s Church.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:56 AM, 10.01.2018

History and preservation series runs Oct. 1 to Nov. 5

The Oct. 6 bike tour will pass by this brick home.

The Fall 2018 History and Preservation Lecture Series is co-sponsored by the Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission, Cleveland Heights Historical Society, Heights Bicycle Coalition and Heights Libraries. No reservations are needed for any of the following programs:

Monday, Oct. 1, 7 p.m., “Queue-ration” - How to Manage Personal Collections Like a Pro

Speaker: Jennifer Souers Chevraux, Illumine Creative Solutions LLC

Objects have power! They serve as talismans and touchstones to the past—your past, your family’s past, our community’s past, and even the deepest reaches of humanity’s past. By preserving powerful remnants of the past, and we can learn from them in the future.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 9:48 AM, 09.25.2018

LEI expands programs for teens

Teens work on black-and-white comics at Lake Erie Ink.

Fall in the Heights is in full swing as schools and students are buzzing. Buses streak the streets with yellow, and parades of kids in backpacks have become a regular sight. Lake Erie Ink (LEI) is bursting with creativity and excitement for all that fall has to offer, which includes new creative writing program offerings for teens. This fall, LEI is expanding its after-school programming for those in grades 6-12. For youths eager to get their hands on a fresh notebook, daydream jumbles of words into stories and observe their world with open eyes, LEI has an array of programs available.

In addition to its longstanding "Evening Ink" drop-in creative writing workshop on Wednesday nights, youth writers have more exciting opportunities for creative expression. Among these, LEI’s "Stage Write: Comedy Club" takes place on Monday nights and allows youths to explore the funny side of theater. Creative arts teacher Nicole Rossa, who earned her living as a stand-up comedian and emcee before joining the LEI team, leads this fun-filled program that teaches students how to write a joke and deliver it through improv games, monologues, stand-up and sketch comedy.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 11:40 AM, 09.18.2018

Two CH-UH schools earn national PTA distinction

Canterbury Elementary School.

Canterbury Elementary School and Heights Middle School each have been awarded the two-year National PTA School of Excellence distinction for their commitment to inclusivity of families and enriching the educational experience for all students.

The national program helps PTAs become partners in identifying and implementing school-improvement initiatives based on PTA's National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. To qualify, each school had to enroll, conduct a survey, load data, and create an action team and an action plan based on that data—all of which would support the school-improvement process. Each school then had to submit its plan and, finally, deploy a summative survey and narrative that showed improvement.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 11:30 AM, 09.18.2018

Mayor Brennan sets forth fall legislative agenda

Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan

At the Aug. 27 joint meeting of University Heights City Council and the CH-UH Board of Education, UH Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan outlined the city’s fall legislative agenda:

  • In housing, the city is revising its ordinance on rental property inspections and rental permit applications. It plans to hire up to two new inspectors and add another clerk to the office staff, establishing a more-robust building and housing program.
  • The city has introduced legislation to create a CIC, a Community Investment Corporation, much as South Euclid and Lakewood have done, to provide an additional avenue for promoting residential development and redevelopment. This is in committee now, and should be up for a vote by mid-fall.
  • The city will be implementing CitizenServe, a program piloted in South Euclid and Lakewood, to streamline building and housing services, among others, to residents. Transactions that previously required a special trip to the building department will soon be doable online by credit card.
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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 11:05 AM, 09.18.2018

Family Connections hosts Sept. 28 clam bake benefit

Family Connections of Northeast Ohio, a nonprofit dedicated to serving families with young children, with facilities in both Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights, will host its annual benefit at Dino's, at Cleveland Metroparks’ Acacia Reservation, on Friday, Sept. 28.

The public is invited to enjoy an open bar, silent auction, and a family-style clam bake. The casual evening will begin at 7:30 p.m. for those purchasing the regular $100 tickets. Patrons who reserve $200 tickets will receive program recognition and reserved seating, and be welcomed at a special patron reception beginning at 7 p.m.

The benefit will feature the presentation of the Carolyn Grossman Award to an individual who has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to strengthening families and helping parents prepare young children for success in school and in life.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:59 AM, 09.17.2018

Four Coventry shops celebrate milestone anniversaries

Celebrating Coventry milestones together, from left: Suzanne DeGaetano, James McSherry of Mac's Backs; Stuart Attenson, Christina Attenson of Attenson's Antiques; Robert Laird, Ann Oswald-Laird of Passport to Peru; and Rob Pryor of Record Revolution.

On Sept. 29, four beloved Coventry merchants—Record Revolution, Passport to Peru, Mac’s Backs and Attenson’s Antiques—will, together, celebrate milestone anniversaries in the popular Cleveland Heights shopping district. The street will be abuzz from noon to 6 p.m. that Saturday, with musicians, face painting, balloon twisting, tarot card readings, origami book-making, in-store discounts, and more. All of the businesses will offer specials on that day, and some will offer ongoing sales or promotions.

Established by Peter Schliewin, Record Revolution is a Midwest hub of counter-cultural lifestyle. Celebrating 50 years of business, the shop is one of the nation’s oldest independent record stores. Originally filling three full storefronts, the shop’s footprint downsized in 2007. Current owner Rob Pryor noted that the business is known for its diverse and unique product base—ranging from collectible vinyl and posters to clothing, incense and alternative medicines. The shop continues to purchase records, welcoming selections in rock, jazz, R&B, punk, reggae, and hard salsas.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 2:47 PM, 09.03.2018

Heights Libraries' programs will explore refugee experience

This fall, Heights Libraries will explore the experiences of refugees around the world in On The Same Page, a community-wide initiative aimed at fostering conversations through a shared reading experience. On The Same Page will feature a series of community events, book and film discussions, and related programs aimed at raising awareness of the global refugee crisis and celebrating the cultures and contributions of Northeast Ohio’s refugee population.   

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 2:43 PM, 09.03.2018

10 Septembers: looking back on a decade of the Heights Observer

September means the start of the school year, but in the Heights it’s also the start of theater seasons, and many arts and cultural programs, as families return from vacation and settle back in to community life.

It’s also when the political season starts in earnest, especially every two years when candidates for city council and school board—and local issues—appear on the ballot. In September 2008, University Heights was in the midst of a debate on whether or not it needed a Charter Review Commission. Several UH City Council members were interested in investigating changing the charter to a city manager system, or at least a city administrator system, and had decided that a charter review process would be the way to accomplish this. Then-UH Mayor Beryl Rothschild vetoed a charter review process. Several UH citizens used the Observer to express their concerns about the process.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 2:37 PM, 09.03.2018

Cleveland Heights - University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 9-17-2018

SEPTEMBER 17, 2018


  • Staff recognitions and awards
  • Security update
  • Materials Evaluation and Selection Policy
  • Outreach Report 2017
  • Public service highlights
  • Coventry Conversations Series
  • Cleveland Heights Immigration Task Force


President Abby Botnick, Vice President Chris Mentrek, Secretary James Roosa, Max Gerboe, Chris Mentrek, Suzann Moskowitz and Vikas Turakhia were present. The meeting began at 6:30 p.m. and adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 12:35 PM, 10.17.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education work session highlights 9-4-2018



  • Public comments
  • High school construction update
  • Enrollment
  • Board president’s comments
  • Reaching Heights report
  • Board approvals


President James Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis and Beverly Wright were present. Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer were also present. The meeting began at 7:08 p.m. after an executive session and adjourned at 9:18 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 11:23 AM, 09.24.2018

Was the CRC process a democratic one?

To the Editor:

The Cleveland Heights Charter Review Commission (CRC) had a meeting on June 21. I believe it was at that meeting that the decision was made to keep our city manager form of government.

It was published in the Heights Observer that, at a meeting in April, 53 of the people who attended indicated that they were in favor of changing to an elected mayor, while 31 favored staying with our current city manager form of government.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 2:35 PM, 09.03.2018

Reduce, reuse and recycle CH trash

To the Editor:

Residents have submitted different opinions on trash collection to the Observer recently. I agree with Tom Diamond that we can do better.

As a dog walker, I am up close and personal with trash. It’s not a pretty site. Trash bags are ripped open every single week by cats, possums, skunks, raccoons and rats. Our hard-working trash collectors do not rake up the mess, and to make matters worse, neither do some residents. Garbage sits on tree lawns indefinitely. Plastics find their way to the sewers marked “Lake Erie starts here.”

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 2:34 PM, 09.03.2018

CH is a city of choice

To the Editor:

I read that Cleveland Heights will start a branding campaign, and I think I have a good tagline: City of Choice. Starting with the fact that many residents and newcomers make an active choice to live here (regardless of the high taxes), where others default to more generic communities, consider how many choices we have: School and education choices—private, public, parochial and home, both K–12 and college. Lifestyle choices. Housing choices. Religious choices. Entertainment and food choices. Transportation choices—bike, walk, bus and car. Access to a metropolitan job market for work choices.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 2:32 PM, 09.03.2018

University Heights City Council meeting highlights 9-4-2018



  • Public comments
  • Updates by Mayor Brennan
  • IT package
  • Fall temporary labor
  • Cedar Green crosswalk project
  • 3950 Silsby Road
  • Fund transfers
  • Streetlight, sewer and tree assessments
  • Public safety grants
  • Budget Commission tax certification
  • Fingerprint ID
  • Garbage collection purchase
  • Sidewalk snow plow purchase
  • Vehicle purchase
  • Tree pruning and removal bids


Present were Mayor Michael D Brennan, Vice Mayor Susan Pardee, Pamela Cameron, John Rach, Steven Sims, Michele Weiss and Mark Wiseman. Also present were Acting Law Director Mike Cicero and Finance Director James Goffe. The meeting was held from 7 to 10 p.m. at which time council went to executive session.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:14 PM, 09.17.2018

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 9-4-2018



  • Public comments
  • Bond counsel
  • Branding initiative
  • PassportParking app
  • Cedar-Lee SID public services plan
  • 2018 Taxes
  • Forestry and street expense assessments
  • September observances
  • Taylor Road-Superior Park Drive historic district
  • Community Improvement Awards
  • Heights Community Congress tour
  • Mayfield multimodal plan
  • University Circle shuttle
  • Community Center fitness equipment
  • Top of the Hill project design meeting
  • Immigration task force
  • Charter review commission
  • Mayor’s report


Council members present were Mayor Carol Roe, Vice Mayor Melissa Yasinow, Mary Dunbar, Kahlil Seren, Jason Stein, Cheryl L. Stephens and Michael N. Ungar. The meeting lasted from 7:35 to 8:17 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 11:56 AM, 09.17.2018

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 8-21-2018

AUGUST 21, 2018


  • Middle school facilities cost
  • Technology plan update
  • Board approvals


President Jim Posch, Vice President Jodi Sourini, Dan Heintz and Malia Lewis were present. Beverly Wright was absent. Superintendent Talisa Dixon, Treasurer Scott Gainer, IT Director Frank Cikach and IT staff were also present. The meeting opened at 7:05 p.m. and adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:20 PM, 09.17.2018

Some things take time

On the evening of July 9, Lolly the Trolley threaded its way through Cleveland Heights’ Noble neighborhood, stopping every few minutes in front of a vacant and dilapidated house. The trolley’s passengers were not tourists. They were Cleveland Heights City Council members and staff, hosted by Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC), an ecumenical social justice organization.

GCC determined in 2016 that “ongoing decay of many Cleveland Heights houses and buildings” was one of the “most pressing issues” facing our city. Now the organization was highlighting 19 problem properties in the north end of town. GCC members wanted officials to see the peeling paint, sagging steps, missing shingles, listing garages, piles of trash, uncut grass and overgrown shrubbery—unmistakable signs of blight.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 2:30 PM, 09.03.2018

Accountability should be built on trust

It’s back-to-school time, with all the excitement that comes with new beginnings. Sadly, test dread is waiting in the wings.

In the name of accountability and to force educational improvement, state-mandated testing is used to shame and punish children, teachers and whole school districts.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 2:27 PM, 09.03.2018

Opinion: CDC: what does it stand for?

I would expect that when most folks think of what “CDC” stands for, they would think of Centers for Disease Control. But, for many of us who have had the opportunity to enjoy life in an established urban neighborhood, our response might more likely be “community development corporation” (CDC). So, what is a CDC, and why do we care?

Well, as the name suggests, the word “community” indicates a gathering and engagement of people with a common agenda or purpose—in this case, improving a place by taking action to remove or prevent deterioration, blight and decline.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 2:24 PM, 09.03.2018

Opinion: Tiger Nation wants you

Tiger Nation yard signs are available for $10 and can be purchased from any PTA in the CH-UH school district.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District has a tiger as the district mascot and is known as Tiger Nation. Current and past students and school staff are fondly known as Heights Tigers. Are you a Heights Tiger, too?

If you live within the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, your property taxes fund the public schools. You are a Heights Tiger. If you work for or own a business within the CH-UH school district, your business taxes support our public schools. You are a Heights Tiger, too.  

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 2:22 PM, 09.03.2018