Latest News

Cleveland Heights unveils centennial mural

Community members and city officials attended the unveiling of the city's new mural on July 21. From left: Laura Marks, Barbara Sosnowsk, artist Adam May, CH Council Member Davida Russell, City Manager Susanna Niermann O'Neil, and Brenda H. May.

This year—Aug. 9, to be exact—marks the 100th anniversary of Cleveland Heights officially becoming a city. Since early 2021, 100 Year/All Are Welcome banners have decorated the city, and various activities have encouraged residents and guests to enjoy the history and beauty of Cleveland Heights. There have been walking tours, garden tours, webinars on the history of the city’s landmarks, and more.

One of the most visible projects was a competition for a mural for the corner of Noble and Roanoke roads, at the Noble-Roanoke Mini Park.

Artists submitted designs in April and May, from which a committee of community members helped make the final selection. Cleveland Heights resident Adam May’s design was the top choice, garnering the most votes.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 10:04 AM, 07.27.2021

Latest News Releases

New Volunteers Needed Volunteer with Hospice of the Western Reserve!
- Hospice of the Western Reserve, June 14, 2021 Read More
Heights Libraries wants public input on PEACE Park improvements
- CH-UH Library, June 14, 2021 Read More
Legal Aid Further Extends Eviction Prevention into Cuyahoga County Suburbs
- Legal Aid, June 8, 2021 Read More
Cleveland Water's 2020 Water Quality Report Now Available
- Cleveland Water, May 3, 2021 Read More
Heights Libraries shares vaccine information
- Heights Libraries, April 17, 2021 Read More

View more news releases

CH Historical Society urges NEORSD to preserve Shaker Lakes

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s (NEORSD) preferred plan regarding the Shaker Lakes, costing $28.3 million, removes the historic Shaker dam at Horseshoe Lake, built in 1852, and replaces the entire lake with stream paths and riparian channels. Lower Lake, built in 1837 and more vulnerable to flooding, would then be dredged and its dam rebuilt with wider and higher armoring. If the present dam and wooden walkway at Green Lake is any indication, the marvelous sandstone facing on the present Lower Lake bridge and spillway would most likely be reduced or removed entirely, as we are told the new dam will look significantly different. This plan also seriously limits and alters flourishing wildlife habitats.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 8:05 AM, 07.27.2021

Millikin neighbors make revived playground a gathering place

Families congregate, play, talk, enjoy the outdoors, and one another’s company at the new Millikin Playground.

Once upon a short time ago, in 2019, a group of neighbors living near the former Severance Millikin Elementary School decided that the neighborhood needed a spiffed-up playground and an attractive place for neighbors to gather. They formed the Millikin Neighborhood Group.

The old Millikin school occupies a unique spot in Cleveland Heights. South of the school, many of the residents are Orthodox Jews. North of the school, residents comprise the usual mixture one finds in many Cleveland Heights neighborhoods: young, old, black, white, lots of little kids, and multigenerational homes. 

The Millikin Neighborhood Group believed that the school playground and its surrounding woods could become a place in Cleveland Heights where families and friends gathered.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 8:01 AM, 07.27.2021

MetroHealth expansion underway; e-mail updates available

The MetroHealth Behavioral Health facility in Cleveland Heights is under construction, with an anticipated fall 2022 opening.

As the MetroHealth System begins construction on its Behavioral Health Care Facility at Severance Circle, hospital officials invite residents and businesses to sign up for e-mail project updates. 

“We are excited about expanding our work in Cleveland Heights with this $42-million addition to our Cleveland Heights campus,” said Stanley Miller, manager of community and government relations. “We are committed to being a good neighbor, and keeping you updated about this project and all our Cleveland Heights operations. We have benefitted from our conversations with the community so far, and want to continue this dialogue. We want this project to be a source of pride for everyone.”

MetroHealth’s new facility is expected to serve the mental-health and addiction-services needs of people throughout Cuyahoga County.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 11:00 AM, 07.20.2021

Multiple election dates loom for Heights voters

Cleveland Heights residents will go to the polls in three elections in the next four months, on Aug. 3, Sept. 14, and Nov. 2.

In the same period, University Heights voters will cast their ballots in two elections, on Aug. 3 and Nov. 2.

To help Heights voters make sense of this crowded local election season, the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, Heights Chapter, compiled the following list of election dates and races:

TUESDAY, Aug. 3: Special Primary Election for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District in the U.S. House

In this partisan primary, voters will request either a Democratic or Republican ballot. The special election is the first of two in which voters will elect a replacement for Marcia Fudge.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 9:43 PM, 07.19.2021

Seren on his experience and path to mayoral candidacy

Kahlil Seren

When I began serving on Cleveland Heights City Council six years ago, I could not have predicted that I would be running to be the first elected mayor of our city. But I could see as soon as I joined council that we needed a change. Since then, I have worked hard to push my colleagues and the administration to be more proactive, responsive, transparent, and bold. My legislative work has successfully produced policy changes that have made our city stronger. The example I’ve set on council has led to positive changes in how our government works and responds. But there is more work to be done.  

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 9:26 AM, 07.20.2021

UH Mayor Brennan to run for re-election

In a June 22 press release, and on his campaign website, brennan4uh.com, University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan announced that he is seeking a second term.

“It is amazing how far we’ve come in less than four years,” Brennan stated in the press release, noting that he looked forward to taking his "positive campaign for continued change" to the residents of University Heights.

“For the first time in decades, we are building new homes," Brennan stated. "This year, we will break ground on a first-class townhome development on South Taylor Road. And what was once viewed as impossible is now within reach—the redevelopment of University Square.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 9:40 PM, 07.19.2021

Heights Libraries seeks public input on PEACE Park improvements

The Coventry PEACE Park currently includes green space and a playgound.

Heights Libraries is taking steps to ensure that the Heights Libraries PEACE Park remains an accessible, fun and useful public resource for the community.

The library has contracted with landscape architects Andrew Sargeant and Jim McKnight, at $9,000 each, to prepare sketches and develop an overall plan for the property, including cost estimates. They will also coordinate and gather public input about the park through three separate public events.

“Our PEACE Park is popular, and well loved, so we’re hoping we get plenty of input from our community so we can improve it, and make it an even better public asset for all,” said Nancy Levin, Heights Libraries director. 

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 9:16 AM, 07.20.2021

FH to host community conversations for residents and businesses

FutureHeights will host three free events for the Heights community in July and August.

On July 27, at 6 p.m., FutureHeights will lead an in-person community conversation at Severance Town Center. The event is part of Cleveland Foundation’s Common Ground series, in which community conversations take place at locations throughout Greater Cleveland, on the theme "Growing Common Ground: People, Place, Shared Power."

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 3:46 PM, 07.01.2021

In praise of David Budin

To the Editor:

David Budin is a Cleveland Heights gem. His articles are the first thing I read when I open my Heights Observer.

I know that you realize how lucky you are to have him writing for you. Thank you!

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 3:44 PM, 07.01.2021

Some thoughts on Nighttown: a love letter

It's not an exaggeration to say that the report of the sale of Nighttown restaurant, in early January, shocked the community. What was already a trying year was underscored by the transition of a legendary and community-defining institution. Most of the community—of musicians and music lovers, diners, artists, students and former students, and residents who grew up matriculating in and through this distinguished institution—is worried.

Many things make Nighttown unique.

While the food was good, it wasn't the focus of the club (though most everyone had their favorite “signature'”dish). What Nighttown featured was atmosphere and ambience, emerging organically through the decades of its existence. Nighttown was the antithesis of the overproduced and overprocessed. It was a club, as in nightclub, as you imagine they were in the 1930s and ‘40s (or at least as they were in movies of the 1930s and ‘40s).

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 3:42 PM, 07.01.2021

A tribute to Ida Bergson

When my 26-year-old daughter progressed from the old Heights JCC preschool program to kindergarten at Canterbury Elementary School, she expected the teacher that she had for two years to follow her to her new school. Luckily for us, Canterbury needed an art teacher and hired Ida Bergson. This is really the middle of the story, so let me back up a few decades. 

My mother and Ida’s mother were friends in elementary school; their relationship would last for over 70 years. My mother’s family moved to Cleveland Heights in time for her to enter high school. Our family moved back to Cleveland Heights when I was born, and it turned out that Ida’s family lived around the corner. So, Ida remembers babysitting me.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 3:36 PM, 07.01.2021

Thank you, Heights teachers

This column is dedicated to the 19 Cleveland Heights–University Heights City School District professionals who retired at the end of this school year. Our retirees, 18 teachers and one counselor, have spent between 16 and 45 years in the district, collectively providing more than 450 years of service to our community!

I am deeply grateful to each of them for their long-term investment in our schools and our community. Because teaching skills are perfected through practice, none of our retiring teachers arrived fully prepared, but all of them depart with invaluable expertise, relationships, and institutional knowledge. It will take time for those who replace them to catch up.

While I have had public school teachers in my family (my sister taught in Chicago and my grandmother taught in a one-room school in Iowa), my respect for this profession comes from what I have witnessed in our school district, often from this year's retirees.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 3:32 PM, 07.01.2021

The public good—a world apart from the private sector

Five years ago, Cleveland Heights embarked on an ill-conceived and seemingly endless charter review process (lasting from November 2017 to March 2019).  At the time, we were struck by how often—and how admiringly—members of the Charter Review Commission compared the role of our city manager to that of a CEO. Nevertheless, it turned out that Cleveland Heights citizens wanted a city government headed by an elected mayor, not an appointed executive.

As a result, on Sept. 14 we will have the opportunity to vote in a non-partisan primary for one of four mayoral candidates. The top two vote-getters will face off on Nov. 2.

While management ability is certainly an important qualification for anyone seeking to lead a city of 44,000, it is by no means sufficient. Executives of both non-profit and for-profit corporations are hired by, and answer to, their boards of directors.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 3:29 PM, 07.01.2021

Danforth on leading CH's transition

Since it became a city in 1921, Cleveland Heights has been run by a city manager. On Jan.1, 2022, a mayor will become the city’s first elected executive. 

This change will be dramatic and difficult. An effective transition will require broad and deep executive leadership skills and experience. With a population of 44,000, a budget of $52.2 million, and more than 400 employees, Cleveland Heights is a sizable municipal operation. 

This is how I will accomplish this monumental transition, if elected mayor:

  • Staff interaction: I will approach staff with full respect for them and the work they do. I will meet with every employee to learn about their expertise and challenges. Those with significant competencies, I will give them room to work; others may need support or resources to maximize their effectiveness. My years in executive search position me well to recruit, vet, and on-board the most talented professionals available. I will search for a city administrator who will work by my side to accomplish the city’s goals.
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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 3:26 PM, 07.01.2021

Hart puts forth her vision for CH

When we moved here in 2005, we looked for a walkable, bikeable town, with a diverse population and restaurants, shops, parks, trees, and mass transit. We found all of that in Cleveland Heights.   

We still have all of that, but other forces have hurt our city. The mortgage foreclosure crisis impacted the north end, particularly harshly. Currently, non-local investors snap up properties online and flip or rent them without repair. The unconstitutional funding of schools causes increased taxes, driving some residents out, and creating declining population and higher taxes for those of us who stay. We have a 100-year-old sewer system that the EPA is requiring us to repair.

These are all challenges we face now and challenges that we will face into the future.

But the bones of greatness are still here, and I would build on those bones.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 3:24 PM, 07.01.2021

Resident asks city to move TOH dog park

The purpose of this message is to address the Top of the Hill (TOH) development project, and its impact on The Buckingham residential building that it surrounds, from both a financial and quality-of-life standpoint. Obviously, we are well beyond the question of the propriety of such a massive project, and it is not my intention to subvert the process or undermine the development.

What I would like to address, however, is the promise, made by the developer in public meetings, that there would be green spaces created that would be a benefit to the public. Instead, what we see being created at the very entrance to The Buckingham is an artificial-turf dog park which, in the view of Buckingham residents, is a slap in the face and a cynical effort to fulfill a promise made to the community. We hardly view this artificial turf installation as a “green space,” and regard it as an affront to the unit owners and, ultimately, as a nuisance. Additionally, it will be locked and gated for use by only TOH residents, not for the public at all, as was promised.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 3:19 PM, 07.01.2021

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 7-6-2021

JULY 6, 2021 regular session

 

  • Recognitions and rewards
  • Update on academic goals
  • Resolution on education in systemic racism
  • Treasurer’s report
  • In-person public meetings required
  • Board announcements

 

Present were President James Posch and members Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, Jodi Sourini, and Beverly Wright. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting lasted approximately 1 hour 10 minutes.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 11:19 AM, 07.16.2021

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 6-29-2021

JUNE 29, 2021 work session

 

  • Online learning recommendations
  • Academic update
  • Blended learning policy
  • Treasurer’s report

 

Present were members Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, Jodi Sourini, and Beverly Wright. President James Posch was absent. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. and was adjourned at approximately 8:30 p.m.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 11:22 AM, 07.16.2021

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 6-15-2021

JUNE 15, 2021 work session

 

  • Board approvals
  • Blended learning policy
  • College and Career Task force recommendations
  • Board comments

 

Present were President James Posch and members Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, and Beverly Wright. Jodi Sourini attended virtually. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. and adjourned at 8 p.m.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 11:26 AM, 07.16.2021

CH council candidate Cuda says housing is the key

As a candidate for Cleveland Heights City Council, I hear you loud and clear; you want our government to be more accountable, responsive, collaborative, efficient, transparent, inclusive and environmentally aware. In other words, you are looking for change.

Well, we are electing the first mayor in our 100-year history this year. There are also four council seats up for election (those held by Cobb, Russell, Stein and Ungar). This is arguably the most consequential CH election in decades because there is a new governmental structure and a mandate for change.

That change needs to begin with our housing department.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 3:17 PM, 07.01.2021

New CH mayor should champion police department

I moved to Cleveland Heights in 1972. Looking back over 49 years, I’ve had the opportunity to reap the benefits of living in an integrated community that celebrates its diversity, and a community that has supported its public schools by (usually) passing levies. (Full disclosure: I worked on three of those levies.) 

Over that half century, I watched East Cleveland become a “minority-majority” city overnight, due to blockbusting—and I saw how the Heights Community Congress stopped real estate agents from doing the same thing here. I also saw our police department evolve from being an “occupying army,” with little civilian oversight, to a department run in a more progressive manner.

Certainly, there are still flaws and challenges. As a Black male, I’m well-aware of the fact that there are unwritten regulations governing DWB, and, like so many other families of all colors, I’ve had family members who’ve met police officers under circumstances that were warranted and unwarranted.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 3:15 PM, 07.01.2021

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 6-8-2021

JUNE 8, 2021, regular session

 

  • Public comments
  • 2021-2022 instructional model 
  • State school funding plan
  • Board comments

 

Present were Board President James Posch and members Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, and Beverly Wright. Jodi Sourini was absent. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. and lasted about an hour and ten minutes.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 11:51 AM, 07.16.2021

Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 5-18-2021

MAY 18, 2021, work session

 

  • Career and technical education student support
  • Social-emotional learning (SEL)
  • Fair Schools Funding Plan

 

Present were Board President James Posch and members Dan Heintz, Malia Lewis, Jodi Sourini, and Beverly Wright. Also present were Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Treasurer Scott Gainer. The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. and adjourned at 9 p.m.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 11:49 AM, 07.16.2021

Why I support Danforth for mayor

I support the candidacy of Barbara Danforth because she will make an excellent mayor of Cleveland Heights.

Competent city managers kept Cleveland Heights financially solvent, physically intact, and well protected by safety forces. Hopefully, mayors will do the same. But the first mayor chosen under a new system will have neither experience nor history as a guide. Our city will require especially talented leadership during the initial transition period. Danforth is the candidate most likely to provide such leadership.

Danforth has experience managing large organizations. She has hired and supervised talented employees to operate them. The most important job of the new mayor will be to find a city administrator and other staff who can manage ably important day-to-day city operations. Danforth has credentials that prove her ready for this job.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 3:14 PM, 07.01.2021

SF man returns library album 48-years overdue

UH Branch Manager Sara Phillips with the long-lost album.

Sara Phillips, manager of the University Heights branch of Heights Libraries, was having a routine day when an oddly shaped package arrived.

“I got a package in the mail from San Francisco that was record-shaped and—lo and behold!—it contained a record from our collection that was due back in June 1973!” said Phillips.

In 1973, when he was in eighth grade at Wiley Middle School, Howard Simon checked out Self Portrait by Bob Dylan. He recently found the record mixed in with his personal collection, sandwiched between two other Bob Dylan albums, Nashville Skyline and New Morning.

Simon included a letter with the overdue vinyl, and Phillips shared it with the library’s communications department.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 8:22 AM, 06.29.2021

Cleveland Heights City Council special meeting highlights 6-28-2021

JUNE 28, 2021

 

  • City manager’s report
  • Council actions
  • Council member comments

 

Present were Council President Jason Stein, Vice President Kahlil Seren, Craig Cobb, Mary Dunbar, Melody Joy Hart, Davida Russell, and Michael N. Ungar. Also present were City Manager Susanna Niermann O’Neil, Clerk of Council and Finance Director Amy Himmelein, and Law Director William Hanna. 

An executive session, lasting 85 minutes, was held to consider property purchase or sale and to confer with an attorney on pending court action. The regular meeting was 53 minutes.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 11:30 AM, 07.16.2021

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 6-21-2021

JUNE 21, 2021 regular meeting

 

  • Public comments
  • City manager’s report
  • Police chief’s report
  • Council actions
  • Council member comments

 

Present were Council President Jason Stein, Vice President Kahlil Seren, Craig Cobb, Mary Dunbar, Melody Joy Hart, Davida Russell, and Michael N. Ungar. Also, present were City Manager Susanna Niermann O’Neil, Clerk of Council and Finance Director Amy Himmelein, and Law Director William Hanna. The meeting lasted about one hour.

 

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 11:39 AM, 07.16.2021

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 6-7-2021

JUNE 7, 2021 regular meeting

 

  • Public comment
  • City manager’s report
  • Zoning code amendments
  • Council action
  • Council member comments

 

Present were Vice President Kahlil Seren, Craig Cobb, Mary Dunbar, Melody Joy Hart, Davida Russell, and Michael N. Ungar. Council President Jason Stein was excused. Also, present were City Manager Susanna Niermann O’Neil, Clerk of Council and Finance Director Amy Himmelein, and Law Director William Hanna.

The meeting convened at 7:48 p.m. and ended at 9 p.m. An executive session lasting 30 minutes followed the Public Safety Committee Meeting. Another executive session following the committee of the whole lasted 20 minutes.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 11:44 AM, 07.16.2021

UH to celebrate its first-ever July 4 parade

Dale Orians, who recently retired as UH police lieutenant, will be the grand marshal of the city's July 4 parade.

The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out most city-sponsored activities in University Heights in 2020. Lingering public-health orders also canceled the city’s annual Memorial Day parade this year. But the city plans to make up for lost time and lost events by hosting its first-ever University Heights Fourth of July Parade.

The July 4 parade will begin at 11 a.m. Recently retired police lieutenant Dale Orians will serve as Grand Marshal.

The event will feature many returning participants from past parades in University Heights, including Judge Frankie Goldberg, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Color Guard, Church of the Gesu members, Steve Ostrow’s Dixieland Band, City Dogs, CH-UH Board of Education members, the University Heights Library, Pickup-stix Stilt Walkers, members of UH City Council, and Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 8:18 AM, 06.29.2021

Summer concert series returns to UH

Diana Chittester will perform a free concert at The Walt on July 8.

Summer is back, and so is the University Heights Summer Concert Series. “We’re going to avenge the lost summer of 2020 with our greatest and most eclectic lineup in city history,” said University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan.

The 2021 season starts July 1 at John Carroll University, then moves to Walter Stinson Community Park for all remaining shows. All shows begin at 7 p.m.

July 1: University Heights Symphonic Band and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” The holiday weekend starts on Thursday night with the University Heights Symphonic Band playing under the stars at the quad at John Carroll University. Fresh off its 50th anniversary, the band will perform patriotic favorites, plus movie soundtrack selections.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 8:15 AM, 06.29.2021

Park Synagogue is for sale

Park Synagogue [photo courtesy of the city of Cleveland Heights]

The spectacular Park Synagogue in Cleveland Heights, now referred to as Park Main, is for sale.

The congregation of Park Synagogue, Anshe Emeth Beth Tefilo, can trace its Cleveland-area history back to 1869, when the congregation which would become Anshe Emeth was formed. As the congregation merged with another and expanded, a number of different locations were established, including Park Synagogue in Cleveland Heights.

The original portion of this sacred structure, designed in an expressionist style by internationally renowned architect Eric Mendelsohn, was completed in 1950. The accompanying school, also Mendelsohn's design, opened in 1953, and the Kangesser wing, designed by Michael A. Gallis, with Bialosky and Manders as associates, opened in 1968. Park was one of the first two U.S. synagogues designed by Mendelsohn and it became a model for religious structures across the country.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 1:47 PM, 06.21.2021

2021 Ron Register scholarship recipients announced

Tait Manning

The Ron Register Scholarship Fund was created by the Black Caucus of Forest Hill Church in Cleveland Heights. It is designed to honor Ron Register’s leadership and commitment to the CH-UH schools, where he served on the board, and board president, for many years.The fund is supported by both members of the church and the community.  

This year, the selection committee is pleased to present the 2021 Ron Register Scholarships to two outstanding Heights High graduates, Tait Manning and Asia’Lee Fair.

Manning graduated with a 3.9 grade-point average and will be attending Howard University in the fall.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 12:14 PM, 06.21.2021

Friends of Cain Park celebrates 30 years

Since 1991, Friends of Cain Park (FCP) has donated nearly $200,000 in support of artists, actors, musicians and programming at Cain Park.

This year brings a shorter season and limited seating to Cain Park’s 2021 programming. FCP members will receive early access, special seating, and reduced ticket prices to performances at the Evans Ampitheater (with some restrictions for Tri-C Jazz Fest and Multi-Music Fest). Memberships can be purchased on Cain Park’s Residents Day, June 26th: at FCP’s booth at the Cain Park Arts Festival, July 9–11, or online at www.friendsofcainpark.com.    

 “The vision of our founder, Chessie Bleick, was to raise funds and awareness of Cain Park so that everyone could enjoy our local gem,” said Molly McGuigan, president of the board of directors of FCP. “We are in full swing this year, with a new website and added membership benefits.” 

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 12:13 PM, 06.21.2021

CH resident Dronet is 2022 candidate for District 9 seat

Danielle Dronet

My name is Danielle Dronet. I live and work in Cleveland Heights. I’m running in the 2022 election for the District 9 seat in the Ohio House of Representatives, and I’d like your help as I campaign and develop my plan of action. 

For nearly a decade my professional life has been dedicated to serving District 9. In that time, I’ve become fluent in the language of our district: the optimism and growth potential witnessed here, the commonalities and civic pride of our citizenry, and the needs of our communities. My contributions to our district include:

  • Operating a mental-health practice on the East Side for patients suffering from trauma;
  • Advocating for economic education, blockchain-based transparency initiatives, improved delivery of social services, and community enrichment and outreach projects;
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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 12:12 PM, 06.21.2021

Cedar Fairmount district plans summer of activities

Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District is changing is summer programming from a one-day event to an all-season celebration.

The Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District (SID) is moving away from its traditional one-day festival to instead offer an entire summer of activities, from June through August.

The district hopes to renew its pre-COVID vitality by encouraging more people to walk to Cedar Fairmount, dine at its restaurants, raise glasses and celebrate in its bars, discover the many unique items in its stores, and support its services.

The summer’s plans and activities include Food Truck Tuesdays, Music Thursdays, and Family Arts/Entertainment Saturdays.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 9:32 AM, 06.08.2021

Testing and a missed opportunity

What a year this has been for educators. Teachers moved from virtual instruction to hybrid to in-person teaching. Educators were asked to adapt at a moment's notice. Some of our students lost their original teachers and had to build relationships with new ones. After all the chaos, the last thing any educator wanted to hear was that the Ohio state tests were required as usual. 

Ohio state testing was not optional for our district. Parents could opt out for their children, but schools were still required to administer these tests. This seems especially misguided considering that some students lost access to their regular learning opportunities due to circumstances beyond their control. Why these tests were deemed necessary remains a mystery, but we do know that the scores will be used to judge and rank our schools and our teachers. 

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:24 AM, 06.15.2021

University Heights remembers the fallen on Memorial Day

Commander Rick DeChant delivered the featured remarks at UH's Memorial Day ceremony.

On Memorial Day, University Heights residents gathered at Walter Stinson Community Park to commemorate and remember those who have fallen in service to their country.

“Today we remember the men and women that made this nation possible,” said University Heights Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan in his opening remarks. “We remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and sanctified with their blood the cause of freedom.”

In the featured address, Commander Rick DeChant reminded the audience of the cost of freedom. “We who survive these heroes must always remember the price they paid,” he said, “and that freedom, indeed, is not free.”

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 8:47 AM, 06.08.2021

Western Reserve Chorale presents online concert June 4–6

Since last September, the Western Reserve Chorale’s (WRC) artistic director, and pianist Sara Smith, have been meeting in a large space at Church of the Saviour every Tuesday night. They are the only two in the room while all other WRC members tune in for rehearsal via Zoom.

While many music ensembles put their seasons on hiatus this past year, WRC found a way to continue to connect with one another and create music together. This effort is culminating in a virtual concert, available on YouTube June 4–6. Links for the concert can be found on the ensemble’s website, www.westernreservechorale.org.

WRC invites the community to listen to and watch its upcoming concert. “In Her Voice” celebrates the contributions of female poets, including Emily Bronte, Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Barret Browning, Sara Teasdale, and Ysaye Barnwell.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 11:45 AM, 06.02.2021

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 5-19-2021

MAY 19, 2021 regular meeting

 

  • Public comments
  • City manager report
  • Clerk of council report
  • Police Chief’s report
  • Council actions
  • Council member comments

 

Present were Council President Jason Stein, Vice President Kahlil Seren, Craig Cobb, Mary Dunbar, Melody Joy Hart, Davida Russell, and Michael N. Ungar. Also, present were City Manager Susanna Niermann O’Neil, Clerk of Council and Finance Director Amy Himmelein, and Law Director William Hanna. The meeting lasted one hour and 10 minutes.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 11:13 AM, 07.16.2021

RTA service changes coming to CH and UH

The stretches of RTA's bus network shown in yellow will lose service on June 13.

On June 13, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) will introduce its NEXT GEN service revisions, which will bring major changes to Cleveland Heights and University Heights.

In 2019, RTA hired Jarett Walker and Associates to assist with redesigning its route network to improve service frequency and connectivity within the constraints of its financial resources. This type of streamlining has become common in the transit industry, with complete network redesigns in Houston and Columbus among the most notable.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:11 AM, 05.27.2021

UHFD delivers COVID vaccinations to the homebound

Homebound residents have struggled to get out for their COVID-19 shots. Now, the vaccine is coming to them, courtesy of the University Heights Fire Department and Chief Robert Perko.

The UHFD is teaming up with the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging and local health departments to assist in the administration of the vaccine to homebound individuals in University Heights.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:30 AM, 06.01.2021

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 5-24-2021

MAY 24, 2021 – special meeting

Present were Council President Jason Stein, Council Vice President Kahlil Seren, Craig Cobb; Mary Dunbar, Melody Joy Hart, Davida Russell, and Michael N. Ungar. Also present were City Manager Susanna Niermann O’Neil, Clerk of Council and Finance Director Amy Himmelein, clerk of council and finance director, and Law Director William Hanna. 

A one-hour executive session was held prior to the special meeting to cover “claims or disputes involving the public body and review of labor contract negotiations.” The special meeting lasted ten minutes.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 9:56 AM, 06.14.2021

Forest Hill Church celebrates Juneteenth

Elégie members Caleb A. Wright, Michael Hives, Mist’a Craig and Brian Barron. [photo by Aireonna McCall]

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Forest Hill Church Presbyterian has continued to press forward with services, programs and traditions. The church’s food pantry has tripled its service to families in need. Co-pastors John Lentz and Veronica Goines have delivered sermons digitally to the community and beyond, via YouTube, for more than a year.

Now, the church’s Black History Education Committee plans to present the church’s first public event since the pandemic began. Forest Hill Church’s annual Juneteenth celebration has been a widely attended event for the past five years, though it was held digitally in 2020.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:08 AM, 05.27.2021

CH Green Team springs to action

CHGT's founders (from left) Catalina Wagers, Natalie Elwell and Alex Sitarik at Forest Hill Park doing a cleanup on Earth Day.

Have you ever wondered if you are recycling correctly? Have you ever felt compelled to learn about, and promote, more environmentally sustainable practices in the Heights, but do not know where to start? You are not alone. The newly formed Cleveland Heights Green Team (CHGT) is a community volunteer organization focused on working with residents and local advocacy groups to identify opportunities and solutions intended to promote healthier and more sustainable environmental practices.

The group’s three founders met while attending a Recycling Ambassador seminar offered by Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District in January. 

“As we introduced ourselves to the class, [I] learned that two other participants were also Cleveland Heights residents. We decided to connect and explore ways to work with Heights residents to help improve recycling practices,” said Natalie Elwell.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:04 AM, 05.27.2021

Library offers memory kits for those with dementia

1940s-themed memory kit materials.

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia that result in memory loss impact many in our community. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 6 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s, and more than 11 million provide unpaid care for people with dementia.

In June, all Heights Libraries branches will begin circulating memory kits to support community members living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and their caregivers.

Library staff developed the kits after attending a Dementia Friends training in fall 2020, hosted by the Benjamin Rose Institute, which described ways people and spaces can be made more welcoming to those with dementia.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:53 AM, 05.27.2021

Heights Arts presents 'Random Acts of Art'

A performance from the 2020 season. 

Heights Arts is proud to announce the return of its Random Acts of Art LIVE! music program for this summer and fall. The concert series was born during the pandemic, when local musicians found that their usually steady summer work was no longer available due to the shutdown of many, if not all, performance opportunities. Concerts went virtual, and artists were inspired to write and create new music addressing current issues and challenges. The Random Acts of Art LIVE! series allowed for continued live performances, bringing friends and neighbors together, while remaining socially distanced.

"There is something magical about hyper-local pop-up events like this, especially after some of the isolation we felt in the last year,” said Arleigh Savage, music coordinator at Heights Arts. “I always witness spontaneous conversation and excitement shared with listeners at these concerts, with everyone walking away feeling energized with the connection the event fosters."

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 12:02 PM, 05.27.2021

Severance should be candidates' top priority

Severance Town Center is a shell of its former self. Its troubles are obvious to anyone who visits the property and sees the vacant storefronts, the closed Regal Cinema and I-Hop, the massive empty building that once housed a Walmart, and expanses of asphalt that were once filled with the cars of shoppers.

The question now facing Cleveland Heights is this: How can Severance Town Center be redeveloped so that it again becomes a productive asset for Cleveland Heights—providing needed services and generating tax dollars to help relieve the tax burden on residents?

As Cleveland Heights prepares to elect its first mayor, it is my hope that its citizens will demand that all candidates for mayor, and for city council, address this issue.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 10:37 AM, 05.27.2021

It's time for fair school funding

The following is a shortened version of the testimony I gave to the Ohio State Senate’s K–12 Education Committee on May 5, in support of HB-1:

Like you, I think my community is pretty amazing. We in the Heights pride ourselves on our racial, economic and religious diversity. We believe that diversity is our strength. Yet, when you [talk to] someone who has looked for a home here, the most common [comment] is, “I love Cleveland Heights and University Heights, but the taxes are so high.” Residents agree, and some may think it is because their tax dollars aren’t used well. 

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 12:03 PM, 05.27.2021

Dobama releases anti-racism policy in new document

The Love and Respect document is available at dobama.org/antiracism.

In 2019, Dobama Theatre was recognized for its efforts toward equity, diversity, and inclusion with the Kathryn V. Lamkey Award. On March 8, Dobama’s Board of Directors renewed the theater’s commitment [to those principles] when it unanimously adopted its Love and Respect document. In a statement, the Dobama Theatre team noted it was “continuing to learn about each other's life experiences, engaging with and supporting colleagues, and challenging injustice when we encounter it will help us create the community we seek."

The living document is a plan for anti-racist action, and building a culture of authentic inclusivity at Dobama Theatre, focusing on the intersections of race with sexuality, gender, disability, religion, and other oppressed identities.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:59 AM, 05.27.2021

LEI offers in-person and virtual camps

Lake Erie Ink staff.

As Lake Erie Ink (LEI) prepares for the start of in-person creative expression camps this summer, one cannot help but reflect back to last summer, when the idea of meeting in a physical space seemed impossible.

The story of LEI this past year is one of difficulty, as the entire organization scrambled to find ways to adapt.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:56 AM, 05.27.2021

What’s going on at your library?

Coventry Village Library

1925 Coventry Road, 216-321-3400

Monday, June 21, 7 p.m.

Matchmakers Midsummer Outdoor Book Talk. Looking for a great summer read? Join Matchmakers on the library's front lawn, where participants will share book suggestions. Bring your own chair or blanket, and look for the sign. This program follows CDC safety guidelines, and will be held weather permitting.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:54 AM, 05.27.2021

The nobility of Noble Neighbors

I love the gardeners market sponsored by Noble Neighbors at the Roanoke park. I have found new homes there for my crowded native perennials.

The park that finally occupies that space, after years of begging the city to allow citizens to create it, is wonderful and charming, all initiated by the early work of Noble Neighbors’ Beautification Committee.

Noble Neighbors’ May event is also tremendous, but I do wonder who actually plans it, since members never discuss [the plans].

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:49 AM, 05.27.2021

CH residents deserve a public hearing on Meadowbrook-Lee site

Cleveland Heights citizens have not been asked what they think about the city’s (sixth) attempt to develop [the site at] Meadowbrook Boulevard and Lee Road.

My friends and I think that putting in an urban activity park (a space with a stage; an area to hold farmers markets, or food trucks; a water feature, etc.) is a good idea for the 1.07-acre space at Meadowbrook and Lee.

Many people agree—more than 668 have signed our Change.org online petition—and have joined with us to help make this happen.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:44 AM, 05.27.2021

Pride flag theft sparks worry, then joy

A screen shot from Channel 19 News' coverage of the flag bandit.

What looked at first to be a possible hate crime in University Heights turned out to be nothing more than a home-improvement project.

Last month, University Heights neighbors feared the worst when a gay-pride flag disappeared from a house on Edgerton Road. They were concerned the theft was a hate crime, and an attempt to intimidate and silence the LGBTQIA+ community.

Charlie Olivio turned to a Facebook discussion board to ask neighbors if they had any video surveillance of someone stealing the pride flag belonging to him and his husband, Tommy Chesnes. Olivio noted that the neighborhood has many homes that fly pride flags, and expressed concern that others may also have fallen victim to a thief.

Neighbors rallied to the couple’s defense, offering encouragement and shared frustration.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:06 AM, 05.27.2021

CH Community Development Block Grant applications open June 3

The city of Cleveland Heights encourages eligible residents and organizations to apply for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, available annually. This federal program, run by the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, allocates money to eligible municipalities to be used in the areas of economic development, housing rehabilitation, and programming that specifically serves low- to moderate-income persons and neighborhoods.  

In Cleveland Heights, CDBG funding has historically supported organizations that serve the aging, the disabled, and at-risk youth; wrap-around services; housing rehabilitation programming and assistance; and business development in eligible districts.

The application period for 2022 CDBG funding will open on June 3 and close on July 15. For more information about the program, and to access the online application, visit www.clevelandheights.com/CDBG.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:02 AM, 05.27.2021

Cleveland Heights City Council meeting highlights 5-3-2021

MAY 3, 2021 regular meeting

 

  • Public comments
  • City manager’s report
  • Legislation 
  • Council member comments

 

Present were Council President Jason Stein, Council Vice President Kahlil Seren, Craig Cobb, Mary Dunbar, Melody Joy Hart, Davida Russell, and Michael N. Ungar. Also present were City Manager Susanna Niermann O’Neil, Clerk of Council and Finance Director Amy Himmelein, and Law Director William Hanna. The meeting lasted 50 minutes.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:42 AM, 05.27.2021

Living in a 15-minute city

Recently we came across a hot new concept in city planning: the 15-minute city. As longtime Cleveland Heights residents we said, “Wait . . . this describes where we’ve lived for years!”

Residents of a 15-minute city can work, shop, learn and play within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from their homes, with good transit options for further destinations.

With the rapid expansion of work-from-home during the COVID-19 pandemic, this concept gained international currency. Carlos Modena, a professor at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, championed the idea, and sold it to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. Hidalgo made it the centerpiece of her 2020 campaign, winning re-election to a second term.

Cleveland Heights is already a complex of overlapping 15-minute cities.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 10:21 AM, 05.27.2021