Latest News

Noble Library hosts reopening ceremony, then closes due to technical issues

The ribbon-cutting at the Noble branch featured, from left, Branch Manager Constance Dickerson; Cleveland Heights Mayor Kahlil Seren; Heights Libraries board members Annette Iwamoto and Melissa Soto-Schwartz; Heights Libraires Director Nancy Levin; University Heights Mayor Michael Brennan; and Heights Libraries board members Patti Carlyle, Vikas Turakhia, and Tyler McTigue.

On Sunday, June 2, more than 500 residents celebrated the expansion and renovation of the Heights Libraries Noble Neighborhood branch.

Due to unforeseen challenges with phone and Internet lines, the building had to close after the celebration to ensure that phones and computers would be up and running for customers and staff. The building was expected to reopen on Monday, June 17. A subsequent announcement posted on Heights Libraries' website indicates that the Noble branch now will be closed until July 8.

The renovation and expansion doubled the size of the heavily used branch. The design, by architecture firm Bostwick Design Partnership, took into account feedback and suggestions from residents, gathered 2021–22 through community meetings and surveys.

In her opening remarks, Heights Libraries’ Director Nancy Levin thanked residents for telling the library what they wanted, and needed, at the new branch. “We have given you what you asked for,” she said, and was greeted with a round of applause.

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 2:27 PM, 06.15.2024

Latest News Releases

Legal Aid helps clients struggling with legal issues regarding money
- Legal Aid, June 17, 2024 Read More
Americans Making Immigrants Safe to hold fundraiser June 15
- Non-Profit & Groups, June 12, 2024 Read More
Legal Aid provides help for clients struggling with mental health
- , May 8, 2024 Read More
Paid teen summer internships available at Library
- CH-UH Library, May 7, 2024 Read More
Fair Housing Center for Rights & Research and Home Repair Resource Center Launch the Black & Latinx Community Reinvestment Fund Home Repair Program in Cuyahoga County
- Non-Profit & Groups, April 30, 2024 Read More

View more news releases

Cain Park presents 'Big Fish' June 20Ė30

Cain Park’s summer production of “Big Fish the Musical” is set to captivate audiences June 20–30, at Cain Park’s Alma Theater. Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, “Big Fish” promises an unforgettable theatrical experience that blends fantasy, romance, and heartfelt storytelling.

“Big Fish the Musical” follows the incredible life journey of Edward Bloom, a man with a penchant for telling larger-than-life stories about his adventures.

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 1:42 PM, 06.15.2024

'Paint the Town' at FH's July benefit

FutureHeights invites everyone to celebrate its 22 years of community engagement at this year’s annual benefit party on Saturday, July 13, 5–9 p.m.

The party will embrace the Heights’ entertainment and restaurant scene, highlighting the theme Paint the Town! 

Set against the beautiful campus of John Carroll University and its Dolan Center for Science and Technology, the party will feature unique drinks and appetizers from The Fairmount and hors d'oeuvres from Saroj & Carlos. Along with specialty cocktails and delicious food, there will be music, dancing, a silent auction, a concert by Apostle Jones, and an opportunity to mingle with residents and leaders of Cleveland Heights and University Heights and celebrate efforts to improve our cities with neighbors from around the Heights.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 8:29 AM, 05.29.2024

FutureHeights names Bailey and Brown interim leaders

Brenda Bailey

While FutureHeights restructures and develops its next strategic plan, the board of directors is pleased to announce that Brenda Bailey, currently FutureHeights' volunteer coordinator, has been named as the interim manager, and Robert (Bob) Brown, former FutureHeights board president, has agreed to serve as the interim executive director.

The board recognizes Bailey’s attention to detail and enthusiasm for the Heights—qualities that have been invaluable in building the nonprofit community development corporation’s volunteer and donor lists, and ensuring the monthly delivery of the Heights Observer to Heights businesses and institutions.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 10:50 AM, 05.29.2024

UH kicks off summer concert series June 13

Devlin Pope, conductor of the UH Symphonic Band.

“Do You Remember” is the first single off Lauren Lanzaretta’s new album, Soul Ties. Residents and visitors will be treated to a powerful performance—one they will long remember—at Walter Stinson Community Park when Lanzaretta makes her University Heights debut on Thursday, June 13, at 7 p.m.

Lanzaretta says concertgoers can expect to hear original songs from her three studio albums, as well as a handful of fun covers.

“I love to connect with my audience—to go deeper and bring messages of hope and healing,” she said.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 8:35 AM, 05.29.2024

Celebrate middle-school filmmakers at June 16 screening

Cynthia Booker with students.

Building Heights, a cornerstone nonprofit in Cleveland Heights, proudly presents the fourth-season screening of Heights Middle School Shorts (HMSS) at the Cedar Lee Theatre on June 16 (Father’s Day), at 6:30 p.m. 

Initiated in 2020, HMSS is more than a film camp; it's a launchpad for young creatives in the Heights community. Supported tirelessly by the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, HMSS has grown into a pivotal force in nurturing the filmmakers of tomorrow.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 10:04 AM, 05.29.2024

CH council approves Noble development

On May 20, Cleveland Heights City Council approved TWG’s affordable apartment development, Nobility Court (once known as Noble Station).

Since the community first learned about the development, it has been shrouded with controversy and opposition. This May 20 council meeting was no different. A packed room (the usual early opposers and first-time resident attendees) brought opposition statements, emotions, and disappointment on many levels and [for many] reasons. The intentional and orchestrated effort implemented to shut down this project came too late. Each council member's voting decision was made, after countless meetings, presentations, and discussions since 2023.

Intentionally, from the start, the project and process excluded engaging the community.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 8:46 AM, 05.29.2024

Noble by the numbers

This map orients viewers to the communities listed in the table.

Weather-wise, Greater Cleveland seems to avoid the extremes other places endure. Though we sometimes experience weather-related problems, like short-term travel limitations or skies that remain gray for weeks on end, we are unlikely to experience a storm like Katrina, or Buffalo’s Blizzard of ‘22.

Despite our great weather, however, we are not immune to other forms of disaster, and the foreclosure crisis that underlaid the Great Recession of 2007–9 is among the worst we have experienced. Though the crisis affected the entire United States, some places, including Greater Cleveland, were hit harder, and within those places, some neighborhoods suffered more than others.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 10:14 AM, 05.29.2024

Dobama presents annual Bianchi Kidsí Playwriting Festival

The 46th Annual Marilyn Bianchi Kids’ Playwriting Festival (MBKPF) will honor 24 young playwrights the weekend of June 7, 8, and 9. More than 250 students in grades 1–12 submitted plays to this year’s MBKPF, which is the oldest event of its kind in the nation.

MBKPF is the culmination of Dobama Theatre’s Young Playwrights Program, which teaches playwriting to students across Northeast Ohio. This year-round education program is taught by professional playwrights and theater artists. The wide-ranging resources available include classroom residencies, virtual workshops, instructional videos, and a fully adaptable curriculum based on grade level.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 10:39 AM, 05.29.2024

Consider smaller, upscale grocer for Cedar Fairmount

Growing up in Cleveland Heights, I have fond memories of shopping at Russo's Fairmount store. Like many longtime residents, I feel a sense of sadness seeing it vacant. Seeing it occupied by Dave's Supermarket, which doesn't quite cater to the local market around Cedar Fairmount, was disappointing to me. I don't mean to come off as a snob, but shouldn't we aim for an upscale grocer that fits into a smaller footprint, catering to the residents nearest to Cedar Fairmount?

As someone with experience as a former commercial real estate broker, I believe finding the right fit is crucial for ensuring a store's profitability and sustainability as a tenant in this space. An outlet grocery doesn't seem like the right fit here.

I disagree with the notion that the Heights doesn't need another grocery store.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 8:43 AM, 05.29.2024

Heard is library's first maker-in-residence

Summer maker-in-residence Alex Heard is a soft sculptor and performance artist.

This summer, Heights Libraries will host a maker-in-residence program in the Heights Knowledge and Innovation Center (HKIC) STEAM Lab at the Lee Road branch. The goal of the program, funded in part by a generous grant from the Cyrus Eaton Foundation, is to showcase local makers and to engage the community in a creative space where they can learn from creative experts and participate in the creative process.

The library’s summer maker, chosen from 37 applicants, is Alex Heard. Heard is a soft sculptor and performance artist working in Cleveland. Their colorful, plush costumes explore a variety of topics both absurd and sincere. They graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2020. Heard performs in the Cleveland area, and has exhibited throughout Ohio.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 10:26 AM, 05.29.2024

A desirable place to live

For decades, we’ve heard from Cleveland Heights officials that we need new, well-heeled residents to expand our population and, with it, the city's tax base. The current mayor and most council members have bought into this idea as well.

Cleveland Heights' population peaked in the early 1960s at a little over 61,000. Sixty years later, the 2020 census counted just 45,215 residents—due to smaller family sizes, loss of jobs in the region, and white flight, among other things.

In addition to population shrinkage, since the 1980s cities like ours have experienced drastic cuts in federal and state funding. Thus, the past three decades have seen a tightening of municipal budgets and corresponding reductions in staff and programs.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 8:59 AM, 05.29.2024

UH welcomes 'Beautiful Home' nominations

This home won a 2024 Beautiful Home Award in the "Two-in-a- Row" category.

University Heights’ 2025 Beautiful Home Awards nominations are underway. Throughout the summer, and no later than Sept. 15, residents are invited to nominate homeowners who exhibit an outstanding investment in their property in a variety of award categories.

The Beautiful Homes Committee, a group of residents appointed by the mayor, reviews the nominees, and winners are announced at the annual University Heights Civic Awards in the fall. With the exception of current committee members, anyone can nominate a house for consideration, as long as it’s not for sale. Self-nominations are also welcome. 

“For more than 60 years, University Heights has recognized homeowners who have done an outstanding job in maintaining their homes, enhancing the city’s neighborhoods, and enabling a sustainable and vibrant community,” said Deanna Bremer Fisher, chief of staff for the city of University Heights.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 9:03 AM, 05.29.2024

Put Wiley to use

To the Editor:

John Janssen's opinion, “What’s up with Wiley?’ (Heights Observer, April 2024), is important.
 
Wiley School sitting essentially vacant does citizens no good.
 
Having recently been the beneficiary of a $13 million investment to function as swing space for high school students during the renovation of Heights High, Wiley can and should be put to more constructive use.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 8:45 AM, 05.29.2024

School district has a building glut

The CH-UH Board of Education (BOE) needs to develop a comprehensive facilities plan to efficiently manage its aging infrastructure. The CH-UH school district owns 14 buildings:

  • Heights High: renovated 2017, 372,334 square feet, 1,519 enrolled students (as of Jan. 13, 2023), 245 square feet per student.
  • Wiley: built 1954, 147,819 square feet, 0 students.
  • Monticello Middle: built 1930, 126,780 square feet, 526 students, 241 square feet/student.
  • Roxboro Middle: built 1931, 111,152 square feet, 576 students, 193 square feet/student.
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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 8:53 AM, 05.29.2024

Robinson curates Artful's Juneteenth exhibit

LaSaundra Robinson, an accomplished painter, curates the third annual Juneteenth exhibit at ARTFUL. The opening reception will be held June 15, 6–9 p.m., at Coventry PEACE Campus in Cleveland Heights. 

Robinson, who has had a studio at ARTFUL since 2017, recently answered some questions about her work and the Juneteenth exhibit:

What artist(s) most influence you? I wouldn't say that there are specific artists that influence my work directly, but there are definitely artists that inspire me. Henry Taylor, Kerry James Marshall, and Charly Palmer, along with countless YouTube and Instagram artists, keep me wanting to paint and try new things.

Can you describe how your style has evolved over the years? When I first started painting, I would just find a couple interesting images, put them together and try to make a story. I used a lot of mixed media then. I decided to focus on what I really wanted to paint and that was Black women.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 10:31 AM, 05.29.2024

Russell and Costello to host Legal Aid advice clinic June 29

In a press release, Cleveland Heights City Council Vice President Davida Russell announced that she and Judge J.J. Costello will collaborate with the Legal Aid Society (LAS) of Cleveland to host a LAS Brief advice clinic on June 29, as part of the Russell’s ongoing Tenant Landlord Series. The event aims to offer tailored legal guidance and support to individuals facing civil legal issues.
 
The clinic will take place on Saturday, June 29, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the newly reopened Heights Libraries Noble Neighborhood Branch.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 10:55 AM, 05.29.2024

Itís bicycling season in the Heights

HBC's Tuesday Bike Rides are a great way to explore neighborhoods and meet fellow cyclists.

Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC) and its community partners hosted and supported several events during National Bike Month in May, including Bike to Work Day fueling stations, the annual Ride of Silence, community forums, bike and pedestrian counts, and community rides. The city of Cleveland Heights issued a resolution declaring May as Mary Dunbar Bike Month.

With warmer weather and longer days, June is an excellent time to build on that momentum. HBC is hosting and supporting several events this month, and invites everyone to come out to ride.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 9:15 AM, 05.29.2024

CH's community grants should be fully transparent

Cleveland Heights is not the only city where community development grants can be abused by developers and landlords for personal gain. This is a national issue. Other cities, however, have attempted to minimize this abuse by providing transparency to residents by instituting the following measures: 

  • Publish detailed information on the grant application process, eligibility criteria, and selection process. This allows residents to understand how grant decisions are made.
  • Create an online portal or database listing all community grant recipients, project descriptions, and award amounts. This provides public access to see how funds are allocated.
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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 10:54 AM, 05.29.2024

Artful presents Batrachomyomachia

Interns model prototypes of frog headpieces for this summer's production.

This summer, ARTFUL is at it again—producing another community-devised theater piece through a series of workshops and summer youth camps. Batrachomyomachia—an Homeric epic, which translates as the battle between the frogs and the mice—is this year’s theme. 

The camps and workshops begin in mid-July, and the schedule will be posted by mid-June on ARTFUL’s website, https://artfulcleveland.org. For information, send an e-mail to artacts_ltd@outlook.com.

Already, high-school interns are working together to create prototypes for the murine and froggish headpieces, armor and other props that will bring to life this humorous epic.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 10:35 AM, 05.29.2024

Fixing music: time, money and local priorities

Time and money are always scarce in public education. This scarcity constrains what is possible and forces everyone from the classroom to the superintendent to set priorities, often at the expense of what people value or what is effective.

This seems to be what is at play as Cleveland Heights-University Heights school leaders examine how to make music a higher priority for our school district and a bigger part of the school day.

Music cannot be an afterthought or considered a luxury if this part of the curriculum is to really support the learner. Like reading and math, music requires daily practice to gain mastery.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 8:58 AM, 05.29.2024

CH's Yates pens tribute to her husband

The Centers for Disease Control has declared the increasing number of friends and family engaged in caregiving a public health issue.  In a new book, Love is an Action Verb: A Caregiver’s Journey, Dr. Melodie Yates of Cleveland Heights tells her own story about caring for her husband of 50 years, Dr. Richard Yates, who has progressed deeper into Alzheimer’s disease over the last 16 years.

Throughout that time, Yates wrote poems as a relief and a release, and explained, “My poetry was the mechanism for survival, regeneration, and expression of emotional angst.”

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 9:10 AM, 05.29.2024

Hawthorne retires from Reaching Heights

Krista Hawthorne

After 18 years at Reaching Heights, and the last 10 as its executive director, Krista Hawthorne has embarked on her well-deserved retirement.

“Krista has led Reaching Heights with a clear and intuitive understanding of our role in our community and alongside our public schools," remarked Board President Josie Moore. “She brought a steady hand, kind heart, and thoughtful perspective to every service performed, relationship nurtured, and connection forged.”

“Krista is a champion for our schools, students and families,” said CH-UH school district Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 10:18 AM, 05.29.2024

Register for ODA's free summer camp

Open Doors Academy’s (ODA) free summer camp will return to Cleveland Heights this summer.

ODA invites learners in grades K–8 to enroll in its camp at Monticello Middle School to participate in a unique blend of academics, arts, and physical activities designed to prevent summer learning loss and foster individual growth. 

The camp operates Mondays through Thursdays (not Fridays), and participants can choose one of two sessions: 

  • Session 1: June 10 through July 3 (camp closed June 19; no camp July 4).  
  • Session 2: July 8 through July 25.
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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 10:20 AM, 05.29.2024

LEI's summer programs invite teens to unplug

Teens explored their creativity at LEI's annual Comic Con. [photo: Christopher Curry]

This summer Lake Erie Ink’s (LEI) programs offer teens the opportunity to disconnect from their devices and create in real time with real people. 

LEI creates spaces where teens can amplify their creativity and connection through summer camps and workshops for sixth- through 12th-graders that feature storytelling in its many forms. 

Content Creators, July 8–12, 1–4 p.m., $125:

At LEI’s Content Creators camp, teens are empowered to become the next generation of storytellers and digital content creators. Through hands-on activities, workshops, and group projects, participants will dive deep into the fundamentals of storytelling, script development, and creative content creation.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 9:07 AM, 05.29.2024

Whatís going on at your library?

Coventry Village Branch
1925 Coventry Road, 216-321-3400

Tuesday, June 4, 3 p.m.

Read to a Chicken. One of our chicken friends will be visiting the library to listen to children read stories. Each child may register for a 10-minute time slot with a backyard chicken. For those in grades K–6. Registration required at heightslibrary.org.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 10:29 AM, 05.29.2024

Gas lawn equipment is a danger to health and climate

Quiet Clean Heights—a grassroots advocacy campaign that seeks to raise awareness of the health, hearing and environmental impacts of gas leaf blowers in residential communities—applauds Cleveland Heights Mayor Kahlil Seren’s support for Air Quality Awareness Week (May 6–9), as well as the city’s Lawnmower Exchange Program, in which 90 Dewalt electric mowers will replace residents’ gas mowers.

Gas-powered lawn equipment is a significant source of greenhouse gas. Our biggest source of direct, local emissions are natural gas furnaces, water heaters, and stoves. With warm weather, lawn maintenance equipment emissions take over. Gas leaf blowers, or blowers of any kind, used to be rare. Commercial lawn care services with large, powerful and loud gas-powered equipment have become increasingly common in our neighborhoods over just a few years.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 8:49 AM, 05.29.2024

You're living in a small town

I can't tell which Cain Park concert this was, but I do know that there were probably about 60 people I know, from somewhere, in the audience.

I’ve joined the ranks of school volunteers (which I highly recommend). I did it at every school my kids attended (I was even a “room mother”), and this past semester I started at Fairfax Elementary School, where my grandchildren, Westin and Baxter, attend school. I was working with a class of fourth- and fifth-graders on a writing project. 

A few weeks ago, I was at my son and daughter-in-law’s house, looking at the pictures of that class in my grandchildren’s Fairfax yearbook. I was pointing out various kids and asking my son if he knew them. He had connections to several of them or their parents.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 10:42 AM, 05.29.2024

WRC wraps up season with 'Songs of America' June 2

The Western Reserve Chorale (WRC) will conclude its 32nd season with the concert From Sea to Shining Sea: Songs of America on June 2, 3:30 p.m., at Church of the Saviour (2537 Lee Road).

The performance will feature a broad spectrum of songs representing various genres of American music.

The music, both secular and sacred, has texts of American poets and lyricists, or are settings of other texts by American composers. The audience will hear the spirituals of Moses Hogan and William Dawson, as well as traditional Americana songs, including "America the Beautiful" and "Shenandoah."

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 9:59 AM, 05.27.2024

Feinberg Gallery's summer season opens May 24

Forests of Thoughts: Elevation of the Ordinary opens May 24.

Cain Park’s Feinberg Art Gallery kicks off the summer season with Forests of Thoughts: Elevation of the Ordinary, featuring the work of recent Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) graduates Liana Gonzalez and Thomas Smith.

The exhibition will open with a public reception on Friday, May 24, 6–8 p.m. in the Alma Courtyard. It will be on view until Sunday, June 30..

Forest of Thoughts showcases a through line from the end of the artists’ academic careers to the present, as they learn to create, collaborate, and exhibit in their post-grad lives. The concepts for the featured works are built on the foundation of both artists’ individual BFA thesis presentations, then reimagined and integrated to create an immersive experience for viewers.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 12:10 PM, 05.19.2024

Reaching Heights names Penick new director

Ericka C. Penick

Reaching Heights is excited to introduce the newest addition to its leadership team, Erica C. Penick, who joins the organization as executive director.

Penick brings with her a wealth of experience and a commitment to equity, community, and service, and is no stranger to the world of nonprofit management and leadership. With a proven track record as a C-Suite professional and advisor, Penick has expertise in revenue generation, donor cultivation, funding alignment, strategy, branding, and communications.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 1:49 PM, 05.12.2024

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights

MAY 6, 2024 - regular meeting

  • Public comment
  • Parks and garages
  • Clerk of council’s report
  • Sewer district
  • Library renovations
  • Council actions
  • Council member comments
  • Committee of the whole

Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Tony Cuda (council president), Davida Russell (vice president), Craig Cobb, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., and Jim Petras. Also present were Clerk of Council Addie Balester, Law Director William Hanna, and City Administrator Danny Williams. Jim Posch was not present. The meeting ran for two hours.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 2:30 PM, 05.29.2024

Cleveland Heights University Heights Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights

APRIL 15, 2024

  • Presentation
  • Financial report
  • Board actions
  • Personnel report
  • Director’s report
  • Public services report

Present were Vikas Turakhia (president), Annette Iwamoto (vice president), Dana Fluellen, Tyler McTigue, and Hallie Turnberrez. Patti Carlyle and Melissa Soto-Schwartz were not present. The meeting lasted 45 minutes. 

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 2:28 PM, 05.29.2024

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights

APRIL 25, 2024 - special meeting

Present were Tony Cuda (council president), Davida Russell (vice president, Craig Cobb, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr. and Jim Petras as was Clerk of Council Addie Balester. The meeting ran for 48 minutes, including the executive session.

Council vacancy appointment

Council held a 45-minute executive session to consider the appointment of a public official. In public session, council appointed Jim Posch to the vacant council seat. Mr. Mattox voted no. No council members commented on the vote.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 11:49 AM, 05.29.2024

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights

APRIL 15, 2024 - regular meeting

  • Public comment
  • Mayor’s report
  • Poet laureate
  • Council actions
  • Council member comments
  • Council President’s Report
  • Committee of the Whole (CoW)

Present were Mayor Kahlil Seren, Tony Cuda (council president), Davida Russell (vice president), Craig Cobb, Gail Larson, Anthony Mattox, Jr., and Jim Petras. Also present were Clerk of Council Addie Balester, Law Director William Hanna, and City Administrator Danny Williams. The meeting ran for 52 minutes.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 11:33 AM, 05.29.2024

May 18 flea market to feature 'table top treasures'

Are you an artist, with handcrafted wonders you'd like to sell? Have you collected fascinating items that are now itching to find new homes? Are you looking for new treasures for your home or office?

Sellers and buyers alike are invited to the inaugural Noble Road “Table Top Treasures” Flea Market on May 18, 10 a.m. to noon. The Monticello-Noble flea market has been planned to celebrate the community and support the “We Are Noble” event, taking place May 17–19.

The Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) at 2520 Noble Road has opened its parking lot to accommodate the set up of 10 tables of wares.

Seller participation is thus limited to the first 10 vendors who sign up.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 4:50 PM, 05.12.2024

Memorial Day parade celebrates 'A Better Tomorrow'

Young spectators await the start of last year's University Heights Memorial Day Parade. [photo: Doug Tayek]

The University Heights Memorial Day Parade not only commemorates those we lost in service to our country, it celebrates the freedoms we enjoy.

This year’s parade will again step off at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day, May 27, with a memorial ceremony immediately following. This year’s theme is “A Better Tomorrow.”

The city of University Heights has proudly held an annual Memorial Day Parade since 1966 (with the exception of 2020, when it was canceled due to the pandemic). It is the longest-running east-side parade in Greater Cleveland

“This is not only the oldest and largest parade on the east side, it’s also the best,” said University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan. “The community is invested in the event. They want it to be successful, and it is.”

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 1:17 PM, 04.29.2024

CH council appoints Jim Posch to fill vacancy

At a special meeting of Cleveland Heights City Council on Thursday, April 25, the six council members appointed Jim Posch to fill the council vacancy created when Janine Boyd resigned on March 18.

The vote was 5-1, with Council Member Anthony Mattox Jr. voting no.

According to an April 26 press release from CH Council President Tony Cuda, the city’s law director, William Hanna, swore in Posch on Friday morning.

“Vice President Russell and I are pleased to welcome Mr. Posch to our team,” Cuda stated.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 4:40 PM, 04.27.2024

Noble Neighborhood Library's grand opening is June 2

A view of the patio under construction outside the new children's area.

Heights Libraries is celebrating two big events on Sunday, June 2: The grand reopening of the Noble Neighborhood Library and the kickoff of its summer reading program.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to welcome the community back into the expanded and renovated branch,” said Nancy Levin, Heights Libraries director. “Our Noble branch neighbors have been so patient and supportive of this big project, so we really want to celebrate in a big way. Luckily, the timing was perfect for these two big events to begin on the same day.”

The expanded building will offer roughly double the space of the original building and will feature four public meeting rooms, a technology learning center, a drive-up window and a storytime room. The new adult area will be on the opposite side of the building from the new, expanded teen and children areas.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 1:14 PM, 04.29.2024

Register now for summer music camp

Students from the middle grades have an opportunity to shine musically this summer by attending the Reaching Heights Summer Music Camp. This music-immersion week starts June 10 and ends with a public performance on June 15, when the inter-generational orchestra shares the music it's shaped during 11 rehearsals.

Instrumental music students completing grades six through eight this school year, who are residents of the CH-UH school district, are eligible to participate in this joyful and demanding week. Registration by May 15 is appreciated and recommended. Space is limited.

The camp experience has been carefully designed to emphasize collaboration and growth in the context of fun. Silly hats and theme days, popsicles, and recreation breaks add a light touch to the week.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 1:09 PM, 04.29.2024

Plans underway for May 18 Tiger 5K and Fun Run

A drone view of the starting line. [credit: Adam Dew]

Lace-up your running shoes—it’s time for the 3rd Annual Tiger 5K, benefitting all seven CH-UH elementary schools. The community event will kick off at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, at the Cleveland Heights High School track.

The race will begin and end on the Heights High track. The certified 5K is open to all ages and abilities. Walkers are welcome!

In addition to the 5K, the CH-UH elementary school PTAs will also host a 10 a.m. Fun Run for younger runners, which will also take place at the high school track.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 1:11 PM, 04.29.2024

Quilt show opens May 10 at Sophie La Gourmande

This quilt, Stretch Pants Must be Controlled,  is Lind's response to the national debate over obesity stigmas and prejudice. 

Barb Lind’s narrative quilts will be the focus of a solo exhibition at Sophie La Gourmande, May 10 through mid-July. The opening reception is planned for Friday, May 10, 6–9 p.m.

Proceeds from the sale of Lind’s quilts will be donated to refugee relief. 

Lind is a longtime Heights resident whose quilts have been featured at The Cleveland Museum of Art, the Ohio Craft Museum, and Firelands Association for the Visual Arts, and are in the corporate collections of Cleveland State University’s College of Law, and McGregor Home.

More than 40 years ago, Lind, a native of Cleveland’s industrial inner city, married into a Mennonite family from rural Kansas. Creating a quilt together—Lind’s first—provided common ground on which to build a relationship with her new mother-in-law.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 1:08 PM, 04.29.2024

Dobama announces upcoming season

Dobama Theatre announced its upcoming 2024/25 season on April 2. It comprises a lineup of five new plays—all Cleveland, regional, or world professional premieres.

The season will kick off on Oct. 4, 2024, with “POTUS Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive” by Selena Fillinger, directed by Carrie Williams. In the play, the President of the United States unwittingly spins a PR nightmare into a global crisis. The show was a star-studded hit on Broadway; an all-female farce nominated for three Tony awards.

During the holiday season, Dobama audiences will be able to visit a Neverland like no other. “Peter/Wendy,” Jeremy Bloom’s inventive adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s story, is suited for all ages.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 10:38 AM, 04.29.2024

Celebrate 'We Are Noble' May 17Ė19

We Are Noble—the celebration of the people and places in the Noble Road neighborhoods of Cleveland Heights—kicks off on Friday, May 17, 6–8 p.m., with NobleFest, the Noble Elementary School family fun fair held on school grounds. There, kids can enjoy games, food and activities with friends and family.

The weekend schedule for May 17–19 is unfolding at www.nobleneighbors.com. There, one can find information about participating—holding a yard sale, for example, or joining as a business or institution. Cleveland Heights residents from other neighborhoods are invited to join in the celebration and discover new features of this neighborhood; explore its parks, business districts and eclectic houses; and meet new people.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 10:02 AM, 04.29.2024

We donít need another grocery store

To the Editor:

We have lived in Cleveland Heights as homeowners since 1991. We are opposed to any actions by the city of Cleveland Heights to offer financial support to help open a grocery store in the Cedar Fairmount area.  

Grocery stores have never been profitable businesses at the corner of Cedar and Grandview. Over the years, we saw a procession of grocers in the space—Russo’s, Giant Eagle, and Dave’s. Grocery stores make profits on a low-margin basis, and the space is too small and the competition too great for any grocery to make a profit at the site. Would Dave's have moved out if the location was profitable? Any funding provided by the city would truly be “throwing good money after bad.”

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 10:31 AM, 04.29.2024

Murder in the Heights

The Lowe-Rice estate in a photo from around 1950, shortly before the mansion was torn down.

“What about the murders?” 

Several people have said those, or similar, words to me since reading my column in the April Heights Observer, about interesting factoids of Cleveland Heights history.

And, yes, there have been some murders in Cleveland Heights. Most of them have been mundane, but a few have had a little historical significance.

The first big one was that of Willian Lowe Rice, in 1910, when Cleveland Heights wasn’t quite a village yet, but mainly a collection of giant mansions, plus a huge golf course, at the top of Cedar Hill. The developing area was still known as Euclid Heights.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 10:35 AM, 04.29.2024

Why Cedar Fairmount grocery space merits $1 million city subsidy

The Cedar-Fairmount community and neighborhood blogs have been abuzz with discussions surrounding the proposed $1 million [city] subsidy to secure a Grocery Outlet in our neighborhood. The information outlined here is intended to address some misconceptions and shed light on the critical need for this subsidy.

Modernization is imperative: The Cedar-Grandview Building is 100 years old. Times have changed, and so have the requirements of businesses, especially grocery stores. The time-honored business model for grocery stores across the U.S. is to make major capital re-investments every 15–20 years in order to be competitive. When the grocery store was Russo’s, we did major renovations in 1951, 1961, 1969, 1985 and 1992. After Giant Eagle acquired the store, they did a modest remodel in 2001, followed by the mostly cosmetic changes made by Dave’s. Thirty years of incremental updates by our tenants to the grocery space—and the current three-level infrastructure, designed a century ago—plain and simply isn’t conducive to modern grocery operations.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 10:26 AM, 04.29.2024

Officer West memorial fundraiser set for May 19

Gift baskets, like this one, will be part of the raffle to raise funds for the Officer Jason D. West memorial scholarship.

Boss Dog Brewing Company, at 2179 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, will host this year’s Mega Raffle Event to benefit The Officer Jason D. West Memorial Fund, which provides scholarships for cadets in the Cleveland Heights Police Academy. 

The family-friendly event is planned for Sunday, May 19, 5–8 p.m., and will include games for kids and adults. The event is free. Attendees will partake of finger food and a chance to vie for silent-raffle prizes donated by area businesses.

Regular menu items, beer and other beverages from the bar will be available for purchase.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 9:45 AM, 04.29.2024

CH should not fund Russos' remodel

In January an opinion in the Heights Observer praised Sal Russo as a landlord and member of the community, and stated he would be bringing a new grocer to Cedar Fairmount. In February, Mr. Russo announced Grocery Outlet Bargain Market as Dave’s replacement at a city council meeting. In March he hosted a meeting for the neighborhood, to introduce Grocery Outlet. He stated then that a city subsidy of $1 million would be required to make necessary repairs to the building, to lease the space to Grocery Outlet. When asked if he could apply for a loan, he did not respond. He asked the meeting attendees to engage in a letter-writing campaign to members of city council to [support funding] the remodeling.

I believe that, as owner and landlord of the Cedar Grandview building, he is responsible for its maintenance and repairs. I do not think it is fair that taxpayers be asked to fund its remodeling to meet the needs of a prospective tenant.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 10:30 AM, 04.29.2024

Rangers take CH50+ hockey championship

Standing (from left): Rob Laurich, Kassie Humr (with trophy), Glen Wilson, Matt Bachovchin, Bob Dobrowsky, John Zeleznik (leaning forward), Eric Ernsberger, John Grill. Kneeling (from left): Chuck Mengel, Andy Bragalone, goalie Mark Sieger, Greg Smith. Not pictured: Mike Sharon, Glen Stevens, Donald Fix.

The Cleveland Heights 50+ hockey league closed its 2023–24 season with the league championship game on Friday, March 22, at the Cleveland Heights Community Center North Rink.

The league’s four teams—the Blues, Leafs, Lightning and Rangers—had battled through a season that began in late September and finished up early this March. Only the Blues and Rangers were left standing after the semifinals, and the table was set for the two teams to meet in a one-game winner-take-all final.

The final was a spirited contest that ended with the Rangers on top. The Rangers, led by team captain Bob Dobrowsky, jumped to a 1-0 lead in the early minutes of the first period. The Blues, led by captain Colin Johnson, tied the game 1-1 in the second period. The Rangers scored the final (and unanswered) goal in the third period to break the tie and take home the championship trophy.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 9:42 AM, 04.29.2024

Disabled are unwelcome in CH

It is illegal for the city to create barriers to the disabled, according to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The city of Cleveland Heights did, however, bar this disabled person from ready, easy and respectful entry to a city meeting of its Noble Road study module on March 19.

I had notified city staff I required assistance accessing the handicapped entryway for the preceding module held at Oxford Elementary School a month before. They complied.

The March 19 module notice claimed the front door of Monticello Middle School was handicapped accessible. Unfamiliar with the renovated school, I believed that claim.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 10:23 AM, 04.29.2024

CH City Council is being silly again

Cleveland Heights City Council is at it again.

I do not recall any of its members campaigning for election by advertising their foreign policy expertise. But now that they have been elected, they are all committed to expressing official opinions about foreign policy. The most recent example is a watered-down resolution passed unanimously calling for, among other things, a cease-fire in Gaza.

It seems fitting that this resolution was adopted on April Fools’ Day.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 10:21 AM, 04.29.2024

Consider lifecycle of CH-UH schools

The CH-UH school district has an aging building inventory. Excluding the fully renovated high school, the average building age in the district is 77 years. Even well-maintained buildings eventually need to be gutted, rebuilt, or replaced to continue to effectively serve their intended function.

Most buildings, depending on the quality and care of construction, have a lifecycle of 25 to 50 years. Good maintenance can extend the life of a building, some building systems last longer than others, and some systems are easier to maintain and replace. Old heating systems are inefficient and sometimes dangerous. (Anyone still have a coal furnace?) Electrical systems installed 50 years ago are insufficient to support current demands. Changes in code requirements can also lead to costly improvements.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 10:19 AM, 04.29.2024

Do the right thing

Early 20th-century developers envisioned Cleveland Heights as an upper-class “garden suburb.” Given real-estate market realities, however, mansion districts soon gave way to subdivisions with smaller lot sizes, varied dwelling types and lower prices. By 1921, when Cleveland Heights received its city charter, housing stock determined that we would be an economically mixed suburb.

In 21st-century Cleveland Heights, "diversity" most often refers to the city's mix of races, religions and LGBTQ+ residents. Economic class is something of an elephant in the room, all the more so since income disparity has grown; in 2023, 16.2 percent of our residents lived in poverty. Wealthy, middle-class, moderate-income and low-income residents tend to be segregated by neighborhood.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 10:15 AM, 04.29.2024

CH Charter Review Commission to host May 21 public meeting

The 2023 Cleveland Heights Charter Review Commission (CRC) will hold a public information and input meeting—for comments on its report and proposed charter changes—on Tuesday, May 21, 6 p.m., at the Lee Road Library.

The CRC began meeting in July 2023 to consider possible changes to the CH City Charter.

Videos of the meetings are available on the city’s YouTube channel. Links to the videos, as well as the CRC's meeting schedule, agendas and minutes, are posted on the city’s Web page for the commission (www.clevelandheights.gov/875/Charter-Review-Commission).

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 10:07 AM, 04.29.2024

CH council leaders report on first 100 days

As the newly elected president (Tony Cuda) and vice president (Davida Russell) of Cleveland Heights City Council, we would like to present our report detailing our first 100 days in office. Since assuming our new roles on council, we have held four neighborhood meetings, changed the legislative process, changed the legislative schedule to give council members more time to prepare for meetings, and passed some very important legislation.

We listened carefully to residents’ concerns about safety issues, including crime, lack of police presence, and rampant speeding and running of stop signs. We also heard a lot about the lack of code enforcement in our residential neighborhoods, as well as the condition of some of our ailing business districts. There was also much angst about the general maintenance of our streets and parking garages.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 9:53 AM, 04.29.2024

MetroHealth CH provides acute stroke care

MetroHealth's Cleveland Heights campus.

The MetroHealth Cleveland Heights Medical Center Emergency Department is certified as a Stroke Ready facility by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care Inc.

The Emergency Department staff at Cleveland Heights is recognized for the level of initial care it provides stroke victims. The advanced teams can rapidly recognize the signs of stroke, diagnose a stroke and begin treatment, providing the highest level of acute stroke care to patients close to where they live and work.

Heart disease and stroke kill more people in the United States than all types of cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease combined, according to the American Heart Association.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 9:39 AM, 04.29.2024

CH launches 'engagement phase' of climate action plan

During June and July last year, wildfires in Canada gave Cleveland Heights a small taste of the threat posed by climate change; poor air quality forced residents inside and created health issues for many.

The city of Cleveland Heights is on a mission to plan and prepare for the effects of climate change through its inaugural Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP). This effort is being spearheaded by Andy Boatang, the city’s first Sustainability and Resilience Coordinator, who was appointed by Mayor Kahlil Seren in August 2023.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 9:59 AM, 04.29.2024

Let's celebrate our graduates

In May, another crop of Heights High seniors will collect their diplomas and complete their public-school careers. Watch for those golden “Class of ‘24” balloons decorating graduation parties, and yard signs proclaiming the homes of 2024 graduates.

It’s an exciting moment for the seniors and their families, and it should be for all of us in Cleveland Heights and University Heights. These are our kids, too. We helped make this moment possible, and we welcome our newest voters and citizens.

While they did the work and the learning, we are the ones who benefit. This has always been the thinking behind our system of public education.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 10:17 AM, 04.29.2024

CH court ensures compliance in housing violations

In 2023, the city of Cleveland Heights filed 97 criminal housing violation cases with the CH Municipal Court. Like all criminal cases, the city has complete discretion in deciding whether to bring a criminal charge and the nature of the charge to bring. Once that discretion is exercised, however, the control of the case shifts from the City to the Court. In a criminal case, if a finding of guilt is made, it is the judge’s responsibility to determine the appropriate sanction.

The severity of the maximum penalty depends on the nature of the charge and how it is charged. For the code violation cases filed by the city last year, the maximum penalty for an individual was a $1,000 fine and six months in jail, and the maximum penalty for an entity was a $5,000 fine. Although punishment may be warranted, [as CH Municipal Court Judge] I emphasize compliance with code requirements as the primary goal of criminal prosecution; we, as a community, are best served when properties are repaired, rehabilitated, and maintained.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 9:47 AM, 04.29.2024