Latest News

Green Team sponsors e-media recycling drive Oct. 1–8

CDs and other e-media can be dropped off at the four Heights Libraries branches for recycling. If any items are in working condition, consider donating them instead.

From Oct. 1 through Oct. 8, the Cleveland Heights Green Team (CHGT), in partnership with Heights Libraries, will be collecting all types of compact discs (CDs); video games; DVDs; Blu-ray discs; 3.5” and 5.25” floppy disks; Zip and Jaz disks; and media cases.

Large blue recycling bins for the items will be located inside the lobbies of all four Heights Libraries branches—Coventry Village, Lee Road, Noble Neighborhood, and University Heights.

The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District (CCSWD) recently partnered with GreenDisk, a company that provides secure disposal of intellectual property stored on electronic media and other techno trash. 

Because GreenDisk partners with a nationwide network of for-profit and non-profit companies, the formerly almost-impossible-to-recycle materials can be dropped off for eco-friendly processing.

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 10:02 AM, 09.20.2022

Latest News Releases

Nighttown Reopening Updates
- Nighttown, September 19, 2022 Read More
Ohio House and Senate Candidate Forum for the Aug. 2 Primary Election
- League of Women Voters, July 11, 2022 Read More
Heights High Class of 1971 announces its 50th reunion
- CH-UH Schools, May 5, 2022 Read More
Baldwin Wallace Music Theater Students Bring Broadway Back to Beaumont School
- Beaumont School, April 7, 2022 Read More
City Councils of Cleveland Heights and University Heights, The CH-UH School Board and the Heights Library Board To Hold Joint Special Meeting
- City of Cleveland Heights, April 6, 2022 Read More

View more news releases

RoxArts is now Mobius; launch party set for Oct. 1

RoxArts, the nonprofit organization that began more than 40 years ago at Roxboro Elementary School as REAP, has announced a new name and brand: Mobius. Its new tagline: Arts + Science for all.

Mobius raises funds and provides educational programs in performing and visual arts and in sciences for all elementary and middle school students in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District.

To celebrate the new energy, new school year, and new name, the organization will host its Mobius Launch Party on Saturday, Oct. 1, 7–10 p.m., at Coventry PEACE Campus.

The new name comes from the Möbius strip, a continuous, single-sided surface with no boundaries. It can symbolize the intertwining of arts and science.

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 3:25 PM, 09.19.2022

ARPA Funds Survey Weekend aims to boost CH resident input

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 has designated $38.8 million to the city of Cleveland Heights.

To date, the city has allocated ARPA funds to: lost revenue ($10 million), sewer repair ($18 million), first responders ($460,000), local businesses ($1 million), Noble Road ($2 million), and Taylor Road ($2 million).

The remaining balance ($4.54 million) could be spent in a variety of ways. The city of Cleveland Heights has posted a survey on its website, asking residents to weigh in on where they would like those funds to be used.

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 2:57 PM, 09.12.2022

Academy of American Poets awards fellowship to McNiece

Ray McNiece hosting an Ekphrastic poetry event at Heights Arts. [photo: Greg Donley]

Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Raymond McNiece has been awarded a fellowship from the Academy of American Poets. McNiece is among 22 poets nationwide who will receive $50,000 each in recognition of their achievements, and who will complete proposed projects.  

Cleveland Heights holds the distinction of supporting the oldest poet laureateship in Ohio, through a partnership between Heights Arts and the city of Cleveland Heights. Every two years, Heights Arts’ volunteer community team, Heights Writes, reviews submissions and chooses a new poet laureate for a two-year position.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 3:38 PM, 09.01.2022

School days—for 12 more years

The original Coventry School, in 1922, as seen from the roof of the Heights Art Theater (later the Centrum). Back then, Washington Boulevard went through to Euclid Heights Boulevard at Coventry Road. The empty space at the point at Washington and Coventry is where the Coventry Library was built, a few years later.

Ninety-six years ago, Joe Budin walked into Coventry School as a new kindergartner. It was 1926. He was 5 years old, and Coventry School was only one year older. In fact, though the first part opened in 1919, the whole school wasn’t actually completed until 1922.

Joe Budin, my father, went all the way through Coventry, then Roosevelt Junior High, and then Heights High. My brothers and I went all the way through all those schools, too. Then my son attended kindergarten in the new Coventry School building. He then went to Roxboro Elementary School, switched to Ruffing Montessori for a few years, and went to Heights High for all of high school.

Now my grandson is a little Heights Tiger, too, attending kindergarten at Fairfax, along with his sister, Westin, who’s a second-grader.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 3:37 PM, 09.01.2022

Services available in advance of new hospital's Oct. 8 opening

Kythryn Carr Harris

Kythryn Carr Harris was in the Cleveland area visiting her daughter in October 2020 when she heard the news that The MetroHealth System planned to build a behavioral health hospital. Carr Harris, at the time, was in a leadership role with the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County, Ohio, and was very familiar with the treatment and support services landscape across the state.

MetroHealth’s new venture caused Harris to do a double take.

“I wasn’t aware of any health care system in the state investing that kind of money into behavioral health,” she said.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 3:33 PM, 09.01.2022

Volunteer through Reaching Heights to support public schools

Barb Wherley practices letter names and sounds with a kindergartner at Boulevard Elementary School. [photo courtesy Reaching Heights]

Reaching Heights has three volunteer programs that encourage community members to volunteer in the Heights public schools. Each program is unique and offers different ways to support district students.

One and Done is a single-event volunteer program in which community volunteers help with book fairs, literacy nights, food distribution events, gardening, and more. These are “one and done” commitments, with no pressure to take on future volunteer work.

Role Models speakers share their personal stories of professional success with the district's fifth-grade students. This inspires CH-UH students, and helps them envision their full potential. Role Models programs engage and energize CH-UH students by providing positive examples of the successful community members who share their pathways to success.

Many Villages Tutoring Program supports the academic progress of students through a structured and targeted tutoring program. Many Villages volunteers provide one-on-one support in CH-UH elementary schools, and receive the training, orientation, ongoing feedback, and heartfelt appreciation necessary [to make it] a great experience for all involved. Many Villages tutors must pass a background check and commit to weekly sessions throughout the school year.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 3:30 PM, 09.01.2022

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 9-6-22

SEPTEMBER 6, 2022

 

  • Public comments
  • Clerk of council
  • Mayor’s report
  • Racial Justice Task Force
  • Union agreement
  • Legislation presented
  • Lead-safe ordinance
  • Council member comments
  • Committee of the whole

 

Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Council President Melody Joy Hart, and Council Members Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., Josie Moore, and Davida Russell. Council Vice President Craig Cobb was not present. Also present were Addie Balester, clerk of council; and William Hanna, law director. The meeting ran for one and three-fourth hours.

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 2:45 PM, 09.15.2022

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 9-6-2022

SEPTEMBER 6, 2022

 

  • Public comments
  • Recognitions and awards
  • Board action
  • Superintendent’s comments
  • Treasurer’s report (Three Things)
  • President’s report
  • Board comments

 

Present were Board President Malia Lewis and Board Members Dan Heintz, James Posch, Jodi Sourini, and Beverly Wright. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting ran for about an hour.

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 2:48 PM, 09.15.2022

Request a tree for fall planting

Heights Tree People, a volunteer organization working to rebuild the tree canopy in Cleveland Heights and University Heights, encourages residents to make requests for fall trees now. With its cool, moist weather, fall is a perfect time of year to plant trees. Fall tree-planting runs from the end of September through Thanksgiving, and Heights Tree People will plant trees for free in the front yards of homes in both cities.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 3:27 PM, 09.01.2022

Officer Jason D. West scholarship fund restructures

Travis Thompson was a two-time recipient of the Jason D. West Scholarship, in 2013 and in 2018, when he attended the Cleveland Heights Police Academy. He is currently a member of the Euclid Police Department.

The Officer Jason D. West Scholarship Fund was established by residents, business owners and Cleveland Heights police officers to honor the service and memory of Officer Jason D. West. He was a member of the Cleveland Heights Police Department who was killed in the line of duty in 2007.

The goal of the scholarship fund has been to encourage young men and women to consider a career in law enforcement, and to strengthen the relationship between young people and the police.

At its inception, the organization's committee awarded scholarships to Heights High seniors who had completed the two-year Criminal Justice Career Tech Program and were interested in pursuing additional education in criminal justice. In 2021, however, the school district discontinued the program. As a result, the scholarship committee is reevaluating its work.

One of the first things that the committee did in the restructuring process was to acquire tax-exempt designation from the state of Ohio and 501(c)3 status from the IRS. The organization is now The Officer Jason D. West Memorial Fund with its own board of directors. This step made the organization entirely separate from the school district.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 3:24 PM, 09.01.2022

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 8-22-22

AUGUST 22, 2022 - special meeting

 

  • Clerk of council
  • Other council action
  • Committee of the whole

 

Present were Council Members Melody Joy Hart (council president), Craig Cobb (vice president), Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., Josie Moore, and Davida Russell, as was Law Director William Hanna. Mayor Kahlil Seren was not present. The meeting ran 12 minutes.

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 2:52 PM, 09.15.2022

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 7-7-22 online

JULY 7, 2022 - special and executive meetings

 

  • Public comments
  • Mayor’s comments
  • Passed on first readings
  • Classification change of safety chiefs

 

Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Council Vice President Craig Cobb and Council Members Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., and Josie Moore, Council President Melody Joy Hart and Council Member Davida Russell were not present. Also present was Law Director William Hanna. The regular public meeting ran for 50 minutes following an executive session.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 3:12 PM, 09.15.2022

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 8-15-22

AUGUST 15, 2022 - regular meeting

 

  • Public comments
  • Mayor’s report
  • Charter amendment
  • Other council actions
  • Consent agenda. 
  • Council member comments on charter amendment
  • Other council member comments
  • Committee of the whole

 

Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren and Council Members Melody Joy Hart (council president), Craig Cobb (vice president), Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., Josie Moore, and Davida Russell, as was Law Director William Hanna. The meeting ran for one and one-half hours.

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 2:55 PM, 09.15.2022

HCC celebrates 50 years as fall tour returns

Stroll the exterior grounds of Harcourt Manor as part of this year's HCC tour. [photo: Rob Erick]

Heights Community Congress (HCC) is proud to announce that its Heights Heritage Home & Garden Tour will return for its 43rd year on Sunday, Sept. 18, from noon to 6 p.m. This year's theme: The Tour is Back in Town!

This year marks the 50th anniversary of HCC, which formed in response to the results of the historic St. Ann Audit of Real Estate Practices in Eastern Cuyahoga County in 1972. That year, five brave women from St. Ann Church published their findings on racial discrimination in real estate selling practices throughout Cleveland Heights, triggering a series of legal and community actions which forever changed the community.

The five committee members who researched and produced the St. Ann Audit are honorary chairs of this year’s tour.

All proceeds from HCC's tour support its fair housing and diversity programs, and tickets are 100% tax-deductible.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 12:10 PM, 08.31.2022

UH Fall Fest to be 'bigger and better' in its third year

Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band will return to University Heights for Fall Fest on Sunday, Oct. 2.

Were you wondering why Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band weren’t on the University Heights Summer Concert Series schedule this year? The legendary reggae band will be performing at Fall Fest, instead.

University Heights Fall Fest returns to Walter Stinson Community Park for a third year on Sunday, Oct. 2, from noon to 5 p.m.

Having grown up around fall festivals, Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan said it has always been his goal to bring such an event to University Heights. “Our first Fall Fest was in 2019, and that was a great success for an inaugural event," said the mayor. "2021 was big, and we anticipate this year’s edition will be bigger and better than ever.

“Fall Fest is just another way for us to come together as a community.”

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 12:06 PM, 08.31.2022

Hey, where's my lake?

Last month the circus came to town. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District had a “public-engagement” open house at Shaker Lakes, complete with seven tents.

“Join the design team as we envision how we can bring the natural environment back to the Brook,” read the sewer district’s publicity. 

So now we’re supposed to call Horseshoe Lake a Brook (capital B, at that) to get back to the primordial “natural environment.” Should we all live in goatskin lean-tos and get rid of our paved roads, too? Cain Park should be a brook, too.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 11:20 AM, 08.31.2022

Sewer district seeks input on Horseshoe Lake project

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, in partnership with LAND studio, is seeking resident input for its Doan Brook Restoration Near Horseshoe Lake project.

This project will remove Horseshoe Lake Dam, a failing earthen dam constructed more than 170 years ago, restore Doan Brook to its natural state, and the free-flowing stream corridors will be planted with trees and native vegetation. This will help manage stormwater throughout the watershed, reducing flooding along area roads and downstream.

Along with the sewer district's work, the design team has an opportunity to work with the cities of Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights to develop a park plan with other key stakeholders.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 11:23 AM, 08.31.2022

Heights High Homecoming Parade returns to Lee Road

Members of the 2019 Heights High marching band performed in that year's Homecoming Parade.

The Homecoming Parade, a communitywide celebration of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, will return this September after a three-year hiatus.

The parade will kick off the 2022 Homecoming Weekend celebrations on Friday, Sept. 16, at 5 p.m., marching north on Lee Road from Fairfax Elementary School to Tullamore Road.

All school groups, clubs and teams are invited to participate, as are area nonprofits that want to show their support for Tiger Nation.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 11:55 AM, 08.31.2022

Yes, charter review matters, but not now

In our March 2022 Heights Observer column, we wrote:

“[A] charter review process initiated so early in our new government’s tenure would be a grievous misuse of time and effort. As a member of the most recent CRC [Charter Review Commission], convened from 2017 to 2019, one of us had the dubious honor of serving on a commission formed for the wrong reasons in the wrong way. We implore council: Let us not do that again.”

Our conclusion, in that same column:

“Cleveland Heights may want to consider ward representation and other important charter changes sometime in the future—but not now.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 11:46 AM, 08.31.2022

Activists weigh in with court

Matt Huffman, majority leader of the Ohio Senate, is the architect and champion of privatizing education in Ohio. In an Aug. 15 New Yorker article about gerrymandering, he is quoted as saying that gerrymandering means “We can kind of do what we want.” And they have. Under his leadership, investment in public education has lagged, while spending on private-school vouchers has exploded.

Stymied by the legislature’s lack of concern for public education—the system that serves 90 percent of Ohio children—a coalition of school districts turned to the state courts to protect public education, a state obligation set out in the state constitution.

On Jan. 4, more than 100 school districts filed suit against the state of Ohio, challenging the constitutionality of using public funds for private education.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 11:42 AM, 08.31.2022

Five ways to celebrate World Clean Up Day

Heights residents at a Cain Park cleanup in 2021.

On Sept. 17, the Cleveland Heights Green Team (CHGT) encourages Heights residents to participate in World Clean Up Day, when volunteers and partners worldwide work together to clean up litter and mismanaged waste from neighborhoods, parks, beaches, rivers, forests, and streets.

The World Clean Up Day Organization reports that in 2021 more than 8.5 million people in 191 countries participated in the effort.

"We know our community is ready to embrace this opportunity," said CHGT co-founder Alex Sitarik.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 11:06 AM, 08.31.2022

Ordinance No. 75 means 'all are welcome'

In last month's Heights Observer, I read Alan Rapoport’s opinion ["There's a culture war in Cleveland Heights'] criticizing recently passed Ordinance No. 75-2022. In it, he takes issue with the ordinance for banning conversion therapy, a practice that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. He argues that the law is “one sided,” noting that it bans efforts to change same-gender attraction but does not prohibit school counselors from “advising minors to adopt a homosexual lifestyle.”

It’s worth noting that the ordinance is largely agnostic on a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity—it protects LGBTQ kids just as it protects straight and cisgender kids. Even if Mr. Rapoport were correct, though, and the ordinance only protected LGBTQ children, he invents a fake problem to distract from a real one.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 11:17 AM, 08.31.2022

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 8-8-22

AUGUST 8, 2022 - special meeting

This meeting included emergency legislation and an executive session to consider the terms of sale or lease of city-owned property.

Present were Council President Melody Joy Hart, Council Vice President Craig Cobb, and Council Members Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., and Josie Moore. Davida Russell was not present.

Council actions

Council approved implementation of the public services plan for the Cedar-Fairmount Special Improvement District (SID). This allows collection of $120,000 annually from property owners in the SID for marketing, beautification, maintenance, economic development, and physical improvements.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 3:03 PM, 09.15.2022

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 8-1-22

AUGUST 1, 2022 regular meeting

 

  • Public comments
  • Mayor’s report
  • Council action
  • First readings without a vote
  • Council member comments
  • Committee of the whole

 

Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Council President Melody Joy Hart, Council Vice President Craig Cobb, and Council Members Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., Jose Moore, and Davida Russell. Also present was Law Director William Hanna. The meeting ran one hour and 18 minutes. 

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 3:00 PM, 09.15.2022

CH mayor attempts power grab

Mayor Seren recently tried to sneak past Cleveland Heights City Council an “emergency request” to remove police and fire chiefs from the list of classified employees. That removal would deny them protections of civil service status. It would be a naked power grab that city council properly balked at approving too quickly. Hopefully, reasons for the present system will be considered carefully by city council before any changes to it are made.

Civil service resulted from a reform movement in the 1880s, which sought to reduce or eliminate the system of spoils, patronage, and corruption that characterized many governments. It instituted hiring based on merit. This improved the performance of government services.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 11:12 AM, 08.31.2022

Library spotlights censorship with banned book programs

Heights Libraries Banned Book Family Bingo Challenge offers prizes such as banned books totes, socks, and mugs to raise awareness of the dangers of censorship.

In August, the public library in Jamestown, Mich., lost funding due to residents’ objection to the library’s inclusion of LGBTQ materials in its collection. In July, 200 residents attended the board meeting of the Ashland (Ohio) Public Library to demand that children’s books related to health be removed for being “pornographic.” In January, a school board in Tennessee voted to remove Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus from the school’s eighth-grade curriculum, in part due to “curse words” and a depiction of a naked Holocaust victim. Public libraries in Iowa and Alaska have had to shut down temporarily due to the resignation of directors who could no longer tolerate the pressure to censor materials found objectionable by residents.

While book challenges are nothing new, they have been increasing at an alarming rate. The American Library Association (ALA) reported in April that “ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. Most targeted books were by or about Black or LGBTQIA+ persons.” That number, 729, is the highest recorded by the ALA since it began tracking challenges in 2000.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 11:01 AM, 08.30.2022

Deadline is Sept. 9 for UH's rubbish/recycling survey

The official “University Heights Residential Rubbish and Recycling Collection Survey” hit mailboxes last month. All households are encouraged to participate and let their voices be heard.

The deadline to complete the survey is Sept. 9. The survey is also available online via a link at www.universityheights.com.

The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, in partnership with Resource Recycling Systems, is surveying residents regarding collection services to assist the city of University Heights in future decisions pertaining to collection methods, costs, efficiency and safety.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 10:57 AM, 08.30.2022

What’s going on at your library?

Coventry Village Branch

1925 Coventry Road, 216-321-3400

Thursday, Sept. 1, 7 p.m.

Coventry Village Author Series - An Evening with W. Dennis Keating. Emeritus Professor Keating will present his newest book, Cleveland and the Civil War, a detailed account of the active role the city played in national events before, during and after the Civil War. Keating is the past president of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable. A book signing will follow the presentation. Registration is required.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 12:02 PM, 08.31.2022

Council members call for CH City Charter review

On Aug. 15, Cleveland Heights City Council voted 4-3 in favor of amending our city charter to clarify council’s right to inquiry. However, we needed 5 votes for a charter amendment to appear on the ballot. Council members Davida Russell, Gail Larson, Josie Moore and myself voted yes; Council members Melody Joy Hart, Craig Cobb and Anthony Mattox Jr. voted no. 

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 10:15 AM, 08.23.2022

Bremer Fisher joins team at University Heights City Hall

Deanna Bremer Fisher, the former publisher of the Heights Observer, has joined the team at University Heights City Hall, and she’s bringing more than 20 years of public service experience with her.

Bremer Fisher began work in mid-August as the new Executive Assistant to the Mayor for Special Projects.

“I aimed high when I recruited Deanna for this position,” said University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan. “She has a ton of experience. Deanna works hard and gets things done, and I am thrilled she is on board.”

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 4:13 PM, 08.22.2022

Coventry PEACE Chalk Festival is Aug. 20

Spectators watching featured artists chalking.

On Saturday, Aug. 20, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., ARTFUL will host the first Coventry PEACE Chalk Festival. (It's taking place the same day as the Harvey Pekar festival on Coventry.)

The community is invited to participate and celebrate the four-centuries-old Italian tradition of street painting, in which artists of all backgrounds and styles work side by side for a set amount of time to showcase their workmanship.

Unless artists opt to dampen their surface with mists of water, street painting involves no liquid. Instead, artists use paint in its solid form—soft pastels.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 10:54 AM, 08.16.2022