Forest Hill Church holds conversations on race

It all started last fall when two teenagers were walking door-to-door to raise money for their high school football team. The teens were in their own Pepper Pike neighborhood, when police, with guns drawn, approached one of the teens. These two teens, both African American, and members of Forest Hill Church, were racially profiled in their own neighborhood.

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Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 11:07 AM, 11.01.2011

Prototype study ranks most livable neighborhoods: Heights area comes out on top

One can hardly open a magazine or visit the Internet these days without encountering community rankings. Locally, Cleveland Magazine publishes a popular and highly publicized annual ranking of suburbs according to criteria and methodology chosen by its editorial staff. Every year, observers note that the report favors outlying suburbs, while discounting the criteria that are most important to people who choose to live in older communities, such as Cleveland Heights and other inner-ring communities. The problem with any effort to rank communities is that it will include making judgments that some disagree with.

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Volume 4, Issue 10, Posted 1:57 PM, 10.03.2011

Ice cream cart is sweet at Coventry

Perhaps you’ve noticed something different on Coventry Road lately. Maybe you’ve seen more people than usual relaxing on street benches, or just strolling down the street. Maybe you’ve noticed a street cart between two trees outside of Phoenix Coffee. If you’ve seen any of these things, the reason is probably Sweetie Fry.

Sweetie Fry is the newest addition to Coventry, bringing artisan ice cream to Cleveland Heights. Like its ice cream, this new addition is anything but ordinary.

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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 1:05 PM, 08.02.2011

Seitz-Agin Hardware to close this month

Seitz-Agin Hardware, a mainstay in Cleveland Heights for 66 years, will close this month. Owner Joel Borwick cited the economic climate as the reason for closing.

“When the recession hit it just seemed to change everything,” Borwick explained. “Business really went down and the bottom line is we lost money for the last year or two. I can’t do that forever, and I don’t see how it’s going to come back.”

Borwick bought the store 38 years ago when he was looking to get into the retail business. “Somebody knew somebody who knew the people who owned this place, and they got us together, and lo and behold I owned a hardware store.” The store, which is named after the previous owners, has enjoyed a zealous patronage in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 11:32 AM, 06.01.2011

No thru traffic

This tree fell across Demington Drive, between Fairmount Boulevard and Cedar Road, at about 7:15 a.m. on April 28, following a night of 50 mph-plus wind.

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 1:16 PM, 04.28.2011

FutureHeights land use and development forum draws capacity crowd

A standing room-only crowd of more than 150 people attended the FutureHeights forum on land use and development on Thursday, April 17 at Forest Hill Church in Cleveland Heights. While Cleveland Heights residents made up the majority of attendees, several South Euclid and University Heights residents also attended.

Mark Chupp, a professor at Case Western Reserve University's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and a FutureHeights board member moderated the forum. Panelists were Terry Schwarz, director of Kent State University's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative; Hunter Morrison, director of the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium; and Ed Jerse, director of regional collaboration for Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald.

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 2:23 PM, 04.08.2011

Bill Thomas, beloved Heights music teacher, dies

Bill Thomas, 68, died March 25 at Holly Hill Nursing Home in Newbury Township, 17 years after a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

Thomas led the Heights Singers and other vocal music groups at Heights High for 30 years. He was operations manager at Cain Park and director of the park’s Arts Festival. His high musical standards and ability to teach young people life lessons influenced many former students and colleagues.

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 10:22 AM, 05.03.2011

Land use forum shows need for regional planning

A standing room-only crowd of more than 150 people attended the FutureHeights forum on land use and development on Thursday, April 17 at Forest Hill Church in Cleveland Heights. While Cleveland Heights residents made up the majority of attendees, several South Euclid and University Heights residents also attended. (Watch video of the forum)

Mark Chupp, a professor at Case Western Reserve University's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and a FutureHeights board member moderated the forum. Chupp spoke about the importance of citizen participation in community decision making. He likened democracy to a three-legged stool that includes the public sector (local governments), the private sector (developers and private property owners), and civil society, which includes information sharing, civic dialogue and joint planning.

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 3:59 PM, 04.12.2011

April 7 forum to discuss land use issues, such as Oakwood

FutureHeights will host an educational forum at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 7 at Forest Hill Church, 3031 Monticello Blvd. in  Cleveland Heights, to explore the issues and long-term implications of redevelopment projects, such as the one proposed for the former Oakwood Club property.

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 5:59 PM, 03.31.2011

JIm Rokakis to speak at Cleveland Heights Democratic Club April 14

The Cleveland Heights Democratic Club will host former Cuyahoga County treasurer Jim Rokakis at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at the Cleveland Heights Community Center. The meeting is free and open to all.

Rokakis became county treasurer in 1997, and stepped down in January due to the elimination of his office in the charter reform.  During that time, he did far more than just collect money. He worked actively to strengthen neighborhoods and homeowners through programs that dealt with predatory lending and abandoned properties, among other things.

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 3:18 PM, 04.07.2011

Heights families host St. Baldrick's Day to fight childhood cancer

This Saint Patrick’s day, hundreds of Clevelanders will lose their hair. At least that’s what two Heights families hope. For the ninth consecutive year, Cathy Richer, her husband Peter, and sister in-law Cari Ross, are spearheading the Cleveland version of St.Baldrick’s Day, the annual head-shaving fundraiser benefiting childhood cancer research.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, founded in 2000, funds more childhood cancer research grants than any other private organization. In just one decade, the organization has shaved nearly 150,000 heads worldwide, earning in excess of $90.6 million. The Cleveland event is consistently in the foundation’s top ten percent of fundraisers.

Despite this success, childhood cancer research remains one of the least-supported areas of cancer research.

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Volume 4, Issue 3, Posted 1:17 PM, 03.01.2011

Love and math

My wife cannot balance a checkbook to save her life. Once, she paid three bills totaling more than the balance in our account, and recorded a new balance almost twice that after deducting for the three checks she wrote. I asked if she had forgotten to record a deposit. She said "no" and asked why I wanted to know, with a smile that reminds me every day why I married her.

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Volume 4, Issue 3, Posted 4:35 PM, 01.31.2011

Local food author Michael Ruhlman cooks up his own line of kitchen tools

Michael Ruhlman, a Cleveland Heights resident, began his career as a nonfiction author, blended in his passion for good food, and wrote a recipe to become an internationally known food expert. Now he is stirring the pot with a fledgling line of cooking tools, developed in his own kitchen.

Ruhlman, who has written eight books on food and has sold roughly 10,000 copies of his Ratio iPhone app for cooks, has now launched a small line of innovative kitchen products. The first of these is a pair of square-tipped acacia wood cooking spoons (the big one is The Spanker, its little brother is Spanky), reusable straining cloths and a washable hanging knife rack.

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 10:29 PM, 01.19.2011

Versatile, sustainable bags, made here in Cleveland Heights

In a light-filled studio in the Coventry neighborhood, designer Madeline Hoyle crafts versatile and graphically striking bags. An avid bicyclist, Hoyle is inspired by the needs of bike commuters, and is committed to using sustainable materials to produce her durable, practical line of products.

Hoyle established her company, Blicksbags, after graduating from the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) in 2009. A native of Miami, Fla., Hoyle moved to Cleveland Heights after graduation, and cites Cleveland’s artistic community as a reason she decided to stay in the area. “I like the community here,” noted Hoyle, “And it’s relatively affordable, which is a huge plus. I lived in Little Italy when I was a student, and always hung out around Coventry.”

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 9:26 AM, 01.20.2011

The Funky Hippy brings vintage finds to Cedar Lee

Opened in June, The Funky Hippy on Lee Road is an expansion of owner Dawn Ward’s original Funky Hippy vintage store in Akron, Ohio.

Ward primarily stocks fashions from the 1960s–80s. “Much of the inventory is gently used vintage, but some is ‘new old stock’—never worn vintage items,” explained Ward. Among the “new old” items are sunglasses from the late 70s to early 80s, and a collection of dresses, tops and pants imported from India, that Ward describes as “slinky and beautiful, with diverse prints.”

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Volume 3, Issue 12, Posted 9:22 AM, 11.18.2010

Area youths in delegation to Italy

Although social networking websites, such as Facebook, have the ability to connect people from one point of the globe to another, CISV International programs connect people face-to-face. Five area youths learned this firsthand as participants in CISV’s Interchange program in Forli, Italy.

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Volume 3, Issue 12, Posted 9:06 PM, 11.10.2010

By Nature on Coventry offers healthy convenience

Cleveland-area natives Paul and Bonnie Ursetti are the owners of By Nature, a new shop on Coventry Road that provides healthy, convenient food, beverages and snacks.

Opened in September, By Nature is still expanding its inventory, offering what Paul Ursetti describes as “conscious convenience”—a variety of food items, each with a natural, organic and environmentally responsible focus.

“We were attracted to Coventry by its diversity,” Paul said, “and the forward-thinking folks of all ages, who are conscious of what they do and eat, and the effect on the environment.”

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Volume 3, Issue 11, Posted 5:09 PM, 10.21.2010

Behind the scenes at Dobama is a box office gem

Dobama Theatre’s 2010-11 season has gotten off to an intense, thought-provoking start. While "the play’s the thing," no one enters without a ticket and so Charlotta Enflo’s face is the very first one you will see at each production.

Enflo, who joined Dobama in December 2009 as box office manager and development associate, points out that meeting the Heights theatergoers is the best part of her job. "They know that each Dobama production will be a unique experience," she says, "and they are very vocal about it."

She feels the excitement and anticipation in each exchange. A recent graduate of Goldsmiths, University of London, England, with a master’s degree in arts administration, Enflo sees each ticket purchase as an opportunity for building a relationship, which is vital to Dobama’s future.

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Volume 3, Issue 10, Posted 9:49 PM, 09.20.2010

Overcoming the odds

My name is Cameron Williams and I was born with an “abnormal dysformative” condition that made me face a lot of challenges. I had surgery after surgery, which led to many hospital stays. My condition was rare and it baffled a lot of doctors. I have had more than eight surgeries from the age of six weeks old until the present. I am 17 years old.

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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 9:06 AM, 08.03.2010

From martyrdom to hope

Nasser Abufarha, scholar, writer and founder of the Palestinian Fair Trade Association (PFTA) and Canaan Fair Trade (CFT), will be visiting Northeast Ohio this month to discuss how his research on suicide bombers led to the founding of the largest fair trade producers’ union in Palestine. Dr. Abufarha will be speaking at John Carroll University’s Lombardo Student Center on Thursday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. and at Oberlin College on Friday, Sept. 17, at noon in West Hall. His talk is titled "Insisting on Life."

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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 4:53 PM, 07.28.2010

A remembrance by Harvey Pekar's 'personal' reference librarian

Comic lovers everywhere are mourning the death of writer and local legend Harvey Pekar. He was found dead by his wife, Joyce Babner, at his Cleveland Heights home just before 1 a.m. on Monday, July 12. Though the exact cause of death of the 70-year-old is still being investigated, Pekar had a history of poor health including lymphatic and prostate cancer, high blood pressure, asthma and - most famously - clinical depression. It was his melancholy outlook on everyday worries that gave Pekar’s comics their distinctiveness. Pekar's American Splendor comic book series, which was first published in 1976, illustrated his cynicism regarding daily life in the aging neighborhoods of Cleveland. In 2003, the series inspired a critically acclaimed film adaptation of the same name, with Paul Giamatti portraying Pekar. 

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Volume 3, Issue 8, Posted 10:43 AM, 07.22.2010

Blush Boutique: new chic on the block

Have you noticed the changing window displays at Blush Boutique, Coventry Road’s newest fashion-forward shop for women? Step inside and co-owners Gina Dudik and Laurie Warshawsky patiently let you browse. “I don’t like to hover,” says Warshawsky. But she does hope you’ll request help.

“Older customers, they’ll buy our jewelry, but don’t even think to look around.” A recent walk-in was convinced she wouldn’t find anything among the hip, eclectic collections, until Warshawsky showed her their Treehouse28 line of sophisticated organic cotton dresses and tops. “I called her when a new shipment arrived. She bought more!”

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Volume 3, Issue 8, Posted 2:01 PM, 07.16.2010

Interview with Tim McCormack, candidate for new top County post

Here, in response to questions posed by The Observer, Tim McCormack – candidate for the position of Cuyahoga County Executive – shares some of his thoughts on the new county government and the challenges that lie ahead:           

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Volume 3, Issue 8, Posted 12:15 PM, 06.16.2010

Harvey Pekar dies

The Plain Dealer reported that comic-book author and Cleveland Heights resident, Harvey Pekar passed away. Pekar, 70, was found dead shortly before 1 a.m. today by his wife, Joyce Brabner, in their Cleveland Heights home. Read the Plain Dealer story.

He will be missed!

Cleveland Heights resident Ralph Solonitz (artist/writer) was born in 1947 in Munich, Germany, the son of Holocaust survivors. He began doodling very early on, first in German and a few years later in his new language. His father gave him motivational advice:"stop your doodling, you are vasting time and vill amount to nutting". Fast forward 55 years, thousands of dollars in therapy and he still can't stop doodling.

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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 1:12 PM, 07.12.2010

Bicycle coalition formed for a more bicycle friendly Cleveland Heights

Did you know that:

  • Cleveland Heights ranks in the top 10 percent nationally for the number of residents that commute to work by bicycle,
  • Since 1961, our city has offered Safety Town and other programs to educate our children to navigate sidewalks and roads safely on foot or by bike, and
  • Every one of our business districts and libraries and almost every school has one or more bicycle racks?

Neither did I, until I completed an application in February for Cleveland Heights to be recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. In May, I learned that the application garnered an Honorable Mention. That means that we have a solid base on which to build for an award in the next year or two. The awards remain in effect for four years and range from platinum and gold to silver and bronze.

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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 10:20 AM, 06.22.2010

The show must go on--despite June 17 Street Fair fracas

On Thursday, July 1, the Coventry Village Summer Music & Movies Series continued with clear, cool weather, several hundred participants and no disruption like the kind that occurred just two weeks before at the end of the June 17 Coventry Street Fair.

The free entertainment series, hosted by the Coventry Village Special Improvement District and Coventry P.E.A.C.E. (which built and maintains the unique playground at the former Coventry Elementary School) features music and an outdoor movie every Thursday throughout the summer. On July 1, music was provided by the band Blue Lunch and the featured movie was "Best in Show."

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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 9:28 AM, 07.04.2010

Revive: A local store with international reach

Amid a unique selection of clothing and accessories, there are thousands of stories inside Revive, Cleveland Heights’ Fair Trade boutique.

One story describes the work of Mercado Global, a group of artists in Guatemala, whose skillful crafting of jewelry and textiles is helping to break the cycle of poverty for their daughters. Another story belongs to Gloria, a single mother in Central America, who supports her family with a line of crocheted handbags sold at Revive.

All of the stories are linked together by Lisa Dunn, Revive’s owner, who founded the Lee Road store in 2006, and has since expanded to a second store in Legacy Village. Dunn and her staff make sure the tag on each item includes information about the artisan who created it. “We put a lot of work into the description, making sure there is a story,” says Dunn. 


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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 9:51 AM, 06.22.2010

The Parent tarp

Where her boss saw remnants of baby’s breakfast, Meredith Ferguson saw opportunity. The 35-year-old Cleveland Heights resident and advertising executive remembers the exchange that triggered her inner entrepreneur.

“Meredith,” her boss said nearly three years ago, “Seems like every day, you’ve got something new on your clothes.” And she didn’t mean that as a compliment. First, Ferguson was humiliated, then annoyed.

“Every morning, I was trying to do so much--nurse my youngest daughter before work, get myself ready, pack a lunch, think about client meetings I had coming up, and get out the door,” she recalls. “And then without fail, I’d manage to soil my clothes without realizing it, no matter how hard I tried to cover up.”

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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 10:31 PM, 06.21.2010

Dobama previews 51st season

It was less than 24 hours after the lights went down on the extended run of the season’s biggest hit at Dobama. The set had already been struck, so you might think it would have been a good opportunity for the troupe to do a little resting on its laurels. Think again.

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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 5:20 PM, 06.11.2010

Organizing 'beyond block parties' is topic of FutureHeights forum

Concerned about public safety in areas with vacant and abandoned homes, people in Heights-area neighborhoods are beginning to organize for change in a way unseen since the 1970s. In recognition of that, the FutureHeights annual meeting this year will feature two community organizing professionals for a frank discussion titled “Beyond Block Parties: Building Safe, Livable Neighborhoods in the 21st Century.”

The meeting will take place  on Wednesday, June 30 at 7 p.m. at the Heights Rockefeller Building, at the corner of Mayfield Road and Lee Boulevard. It is free and open to the public.

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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 4:12 PM, 05.26.2010

Workshop launches Sustainable Heights

Sustainability was the theme of a meeting of Cleveland Heights and University Heights movers and shakers at Forest Hill Church on a recent sunny afternoon, the last Friday of April. Limited to 50 invited guests, the workshop brought together a diverse mix of individuals and organizations for a half-day meeting designed to launch Sustainable Heights.

The meeting was an outgrowth of Cleveland’s sustainability summit last August. An ad hoc group of Heights leaders who attended the Cleveland summit decided to plan a similar process for the CH-UH community. The workshop titled "Sustainable Heights: An Appreciative Inquiry" was a first step.

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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 12:26 AM, 05.21.2010

Swimming in the secret pool

Depending on where you live in the Heights, the existence of Forest Hill Swim Club may be breaking news to you. It took me 30 years to find it.

I grew up in the Fairfax neighborhood and learned to swim in the high school pool. When it was time for my children to learn to swim, we started at the city wading pools and progressed to Cumberland Pool. But the limited hours and many rules required for a large public pool didn’t suit us. I was looking for a pool where we could hang out all day, or have a picnic supper after work and relax until dark.

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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 6:28 PM, 04.29.2010

Green Mapping is coming to the Heights

Looking for a community garden? Can't find fair trade clothing? Need Meals on Wheels for your elderly aunt? The Green Mapping movement is coming to the Heights with solutions.

"You'll be able to find the answers to those questions, and more, using the Cleveland Heights and University Heights Green Map,"said Gina Cheverine, president of FutureHeights. With help from community groups and online input from the public, FutureHeights will oversee the creation of the map.

The Open Green Map system is a global program that provides communities with the tools to chart green living, nature and culture. The map will be available on the Internet, through iPhone and mobile applications, and accessible for printing. For more information, go to www.greenmap.org.

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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 10:16 AM, 05.21.2010

CHHS grad honored for work on Hubble telescope

Dr. Rodger Evans Doxsey will be among those inducted into the Cleveland Heights High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame on May 6. Doxsey, an astronomer known by his colleagues as "the heart and soul of the Hubble," was a 1965 graduate of CHHS.

His interest in mathematics and physics took him to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned his doctorate as prelude to a lifelong career in guiding the Hubble mission to explore far distant galaxies from the Space Telescope Science Institute near Baltimore. 

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Volume 3, Issue 5, Posted 12:51 PM, 04.10.2010

Grant aids Fairmount Group expansion

Entrepreneur Dawn Hanson’s company, The Fairmount Group, will be going global with much greater ease because of a grant from British Airways.

Fairmount group received one of the 100 Business Opportunity grants given out by British Airways. It will enable Hanson to travel to Europe, meet with clients and expand her business from her small office in Cleveland Heights to cities in Finland and Denmark. The company conducts market research, manages brands and plans special events.

The grant includes airfare for 10 round-trip business class flights, fiveglobal shipments with British Airways World Cargo and $1,000 in hotel accommodations at Courtyard by Marriott. 

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Volume 3, Issue 5, Posted 11:17 PM, 04.22.2010

JCU's Nonprofit Masters Program: Degree helps students pursue dreams of helping others

In these times of layoffs and cutbacks, you can’t avoid the advertisements and stories suggesting that now is the perfect time to go back to school. However, it's not quite that simple: it could mean incurring large amounts of debt, taking away time from job hunting and networking, or eating up the remaining time you have with your family. But it is possible to find the right program for you. Jana Longsworth Nassif, currently a knowledge center manager for a global mergers and aquisitions firm, did just that.
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Volume 3, Issue 5, Posted 11:46 AM, 03.15.2010

For almost 100 years, Heights Hardware draws customers with location and service

Founded in 1911, just eight years after Cleveland Heights was incorporated as a village, and ten years before it would become a city, Heights Hardware still occupies its original location, at 1792 Coventry Road.

Owner Tom Gathy credits that consistent location with much of his store’s success, and says, “I believe it is the oldest hardware store in the Cleveland area to still be in the same location.”

In its first century, Heights Hardware had just four owners, starting with the Weiskopf brothers. It has been a family business—albeit an extended one—since Gathy’s second cousin, Oscar Elton, purchased the store from the Weiskopfs, after returning from World War II.

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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 9:53 AM, 03.23.2010

Remembering Officer Thomas Patton

For the second time in recent years, Cleveland Heights police donned black ribbons, this time to mourn the loss of fellow officer Thomas Patton.

Just three years ago, officer Jason West died in the line of duty.

On March 13, Patton responded to a call at Marc’s on Coventry Road and assisted other officers in pursuit of a suspect. At Glenmont and Mayfield roads, Patton bent over, rested his hands on his knees for a moment and then continued running. He collapsed and was transported to Huron Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later. The Cuyahoga County Coroner’s office said Patton died of a cardiac incident.

Patton, 30, had served nine years as a Cleveland Heights police officer. He was the only son of State Senator Tom Patton. He is survived by his fiancée Tricia Sindelar and his four-month-old daughter, Kayleigh Evelyn Patton.

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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 4:36 PM, 03.18.2010

Brew-N-Bistro on North Park is revamped

Mark Reich, owner of Brew-N-Bistro on North Park, now offers an expanded menu in a newly renovated setting. "We’re changing the business to bring in more customers," he explains, "And to keep them coming back."

In 1994, Reich opened an Arabica coffeehouse in the same location, in the Fairmount Circle Shopping Center. Over the years, as he expanded beyond standard coffeehouse fare, Reich changed the name. Now, the "bistro" designation reflects additions, such as wine and beer, and new sandwich offerings.

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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 10:30 AM, 03.23.2010

Walk aims to conquer childhood cancer

The first CureSearch walk in Cleveland, planned for May 8 at Wade Oval from 9 to 11:30 a.m., will raise awareness and funding for childhood cancer research.

Cancer is the leading cause of death for children, according to CureSearch. The organization, which works with the Children’s Oncology Group and National Childhood Cancer Foundation to fund research, will play a major role in the Northeast Ohio CureSearch Walk to Conquer Childhood Cancer, according to cochair Stephen Crowley.

Crowley and his wife, Cynthia Van Lenten, are organizing the walk. Posters advertising the event feature photographs of their daughter, Olivia, who was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in 2002. She was 7 years old.
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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 12:08 AM, 03.23.2010

EITC Coalition offers free tax assistance for low income families

Free tax assistance is currently available for low and moderate income families in Cuyahoga County who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or make less than $49,000 a year.

The Cuyahoga Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Coalition provides free income tax preparation for those who qualify for the EITC, a refundable tax credit available to working adults. In the past, families with three or more children received the same EITC as families with two children. The federal stimulus created a new EITC category for families with three or more children and increased the credit amount for all EITC filers in 2009 and 2010. The maximum EITC will now increase to $5,657, and the average is roughly $2,000.

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 10:10 PM, 03.08.2010

Remembering Andrea Robinson

Andrea "Rea" Robinson lived a short life, but she made a difference in that time.

Rea, a 2009 graduate of Cleveland Heights High School and a freshman at Ohio University, died Feb. 17 after being hospitalized for bacterial meningitis. 

While at Heights High, Rea was on the tennis and lacrosse teams, captain of the swim team, a member of the Heights Singers and a student in the Renaissance School. She was known for her friendly spirit, and was liked by many.

The day after her death, students at Heights High signed a banner in her memory, and members of the Heights Singers sang "For Good," from the musical “Wicked,” as a dedication.

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 10:28 AM, 02.20.2010

Verne & Ellsworth Hann draw on four generations of experience

A fixture on Lee Road for 43 years, Verne & Ellsworth Hann Inc. has roots in the Heights community going back to 1907. Now Bill Hann and his brother, Chris, carry on the four-generation family tradition of heating and cooling service, begun over 100 years ago by their great grandfather, William Hann.

An inventor and pioneer in the heating industry, Hann codeveloped the first low-pressure steamheat system, working with architects, Harlan Shimmin and Meade & Hamilton, to install it in many of the large homes in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights.

“Prior to the development of the new system, heat was either on or off. My great grandfather’s invention kept noise to a minimum, and, for the first time, allowed radiator heat levels to be adjusted,” Chris Hann explains.

Today, 80 percent of Verne & Ellsworth Hann’s business remains in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights, and 95 percent of it is residential.

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 2:22 PM, 02.19.2010

Myth: Trusts are only for the rich

If someone had given you $100,000 on your 18th birthday, no strings attached, what would you have done with it? Would you have spent part on your college education, then saved the rest for a down payment on a house? 

More likely you would have thought, “I’m rich!” Then spent the money on a new fully loaded car or a vacation.

One common misconception is that trusts are only for the wealthy. But, not only can a properly executed and funded trust make the administration of an estate easier, it can ensure that children are provided for until they are adults.

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 1:50 PM, 01.18.2010

CH filmmaker to show documentary at Lee Road Library

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library and the Northern Ohio Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archeology (NOCSIA) will sponsor a showing of local filmmaker Valda Lewis’s 52-minute documentary, "Devil's Oven: The Fire in the Heart of the Little Cities of Black Diamonds." Following the screening at the Lee Road library on Sunday, Feb. 28, at 2 p.m., Lewis will discuss the making of the film and answer questions.
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Volume 3, Issue 2, Posted 8:43 AM, 01.19.2010

Lakewood’s Mayor Edward FitzGerald First To Announce Intentions Of Running For New County Executive Position

This morning the Mayor of Lakewood, Ohio announced his intentions to run for the new County Executive postition. Here in an Observer exclusive, his speech...

Good morning, and thank you for attending.

It's always good to begin an effort like this with a sense of history, and a sense of place.

My great-grandfather moved to this neighborhood from Ireland 130 years ago, and started a small grocery store just down the road from here.

This county has been good to my family ever since that time. I love the Cleveland area, and I'm committed to it, and my wife Shannon and I decided to raise our four children here.

But we have to be honest about what this county is facing. We used to be one of the economic drivers of not just the state but the entire country. We were known all over the world as a center of innovation and economic progress. That's why so many of our families came here in the first place.


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Volume 2, Issue 12, Posted 12:18 PM, 12.17.2009

Heights citizens vote for the status quo

Citizens voting in both the Cleveland Heights and University Heights local elections affirmed the status quo.

Voters in University Heights rejected the charter ammendment that would have created the position of city administrator and redefined the roles and responsibilities of the mayor and city council. They also rejected the ammendment that would have made the Charter Review Commission a part of the city's charter and required it to periodically review the charter.

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Volume 2, Issue 11, Posted 12:54 PM, 11.04.2009

Music Settlement announces Coventry project

Good things begin with an idea. And Peggy Spaeth’s idea to reach out to the Music School Settlement of University Circle, it turns out, was a very good thing, indeed. Last year, when the old Coventry Elementary School was being examined for new use, Spaeth, director of Heights Arts, called the Music School Settlement and asked them if they had an interest in a site up the hill.

It turns out they did.

The Music Settlement (they’ve recently dropped the “School”), speaking on October 13 to a crowd of government, library, and school officials, residents, merchants and neighborhood groups, officially announced their plan to build a new $16-$19 million facility on the Coventry Elementary School grounds, tentatively scheduled to open August 2013.

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Volume 2, Issue 10, Posted 10:22 PM, 10.13.2009

University Hospitals to lease Coventry School

The Cleveland Heights Planning Commission has approved the short-term use of the former Coventry Elementary School for computer training by University Hospitals. UH will lease the building from the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District to train hospital employees on a new electronic medical records system.

According to the district, the agreement will not interfere with its other agreement, to lease the building to the Cleveland Music School Settlement.

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Volume 2, Issue 10, Posted 1:05 PM, 10.01.2009

Heights Observer's first local election issue

FutureHeights, the nonprofit that publishes the Heights Observer, mailed a questionnaire to each candidate running for the local offices of University Heights Mayor, University Heights City Council, Cleveland Heights-University Heights School Board and Cleveland Heights City Council. The following eight pages contain the candidates’ answers to two questions, one from the FutureHeights questionnaire and one from a questionnaire of the candidate’s choice. Candidates were limited to 200 words and all photos were provided by the candidates.
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Volume 2, Issue 10, Posted 1:27 PM, 10.02.2009

Heights moms unite to raise over $50,000 for local charity triathlon teams honor children with special needs

In 2008, Cleveland Heights resident Tania Younkin entered the Cleveland Triathlon to raise funds and awareness for United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland (UCP) in honor of Elsie, her two and a half year old daughter. Elsie, —diagnosed with cerebral palsy and optic nerve atrophy which also leaves her legally blind—receives physical, occupational, and speech therapy at UCP.  Seeing the remarkable strides her daughter has made, Tania wanted to be sure that other physically challenged children could access the same essential and life-changing services regardless of their financial situation. In order do to so, last year she joined Team UCP, a group of families, triathletes, and recreational enthusiasts who unite to raise funds and awareness for UCP. With her best friend Trisha Tyson by her side, completed the grueling race.
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Volume 2, Issue 9, Posted 3:52 PM, 08.17.2009

Nighttown serves entertainment and the community

Cleveland Heights residents know they have a treasure in Nightttown, Brendan Ring’s nationally renowned jazz club named for the Dublin red-light district in James Joyce's Ulysses. Nighttown dishes up fine food and cool jazz. What folks may not know is that Nighttown is dedicated to serving the neighborhood as well.

It’s no secret that Cleveland Heights has been affected by the economy, as has Nighttown. "Foot traffic is off by 10 percent," says Ring. "However, the economy has an upside as there are more fundraisers and benefits held at Nighttown and that business is up by 30 percent. We’ve had benefits for organizations such as El Barrio, the American Cancer Society, and United Cerebral Palsy—just to name a few."
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Volume 2, Issue 9, Posted 3:07 PM, 08.17.2009

Union members protest at Cedarwood Plaza nursing home

Union protesters lined the sidewalk outside of Cedarwood Plaza nursing home on Cedar Road Monday, Aug. 3 for a one-day strike.

Picketers from Service Employees International Union, District 1199 were 30 to 40 strong outside the home that morning, waving as drivers honked in support and calling “Scabs!”  at the vans bringing non-union workers to facilities. SEIU represents 60 workers at Cedarwood.

According to Union Representative Danie Tarrow, SEIU members protested what they viewed as unfair terms Cedarwood’s management has offered during contract negotiations that started in April.
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Volume 2, Issue 8, Posted 3:22 PM, 08.04.2009

RTA community meeting answers questions, raises more

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority hosted their community meeting regarding the design of a new Red Line rail station at University Circle on Tuesday, June 9 to a crowd of riders and residents.

Mayor Edward J. Kelley opened the meeting, reminding the crowd that the new station is going to be “the gateway to Cleveland Heights.” He encouraged those who attended to be accepting of the current design but to also provide feedback to the planners and architect so that the station could better serve their needs.

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Volume 2, Issue 7, Posted 11:41 AM, 06.17.2009

What's up at Horizon?

If you’ve walked by the Horizon Montessori School recently, you may have asked "What are they doing over there?" or perhaps you’ve wondered "Why is that crane at the school?" Well, here are the answers.

Horizon Montessori School is undergoing a major renovation of its exterior on both the Mayfield Road and Newbury Drive facades. Among the new features are a 15-foot shingled, pitched roof with an illuminated cupola and functional bell; a 27-foot shingle-covered entry at Newbury Drive; new siding and brickwork; and new, energy-efficient windows.

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Volume 2, Issue 7, Posted 2:39 PM, 06.23.2009

NEORSD Speakers Bureau sends experts to educate audiences

When Gwen Parker of Judson Manor retirement community called look­ing for someone to speak to their residents about “chemicals in the water,” the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s public information specialist Jennifer Elting jumped at the opportunity.  

“We’re always looking to get our message out to our community,” said Elting.

Together, she and Parker chose Environmental Specialist Elizabeth Toot-Levy, a member of the sewer district’s speakers bureau who knows all about the impact of pharmaceuticals on water qual­ity.

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Volume 2, Issue 7, Posted 10:34 AM, 07.28.2009

Observer policy on editorial contributions by candidates for elected office

With the November election coming into focus, the Heights Observer is announcing its new policy for contributions by candidates for local office.

As a community newspaper staffed by volunteers and committed to equal access for everyone, the Observer is unique among publications in providing opportunity for any member of the Cleveland Heights and University Heights communities to raise and discuss issues of local interest.

At election time, however, this commitment creates a singular challenge in managing the finite space that can be made available for community members who are running for public office.

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Volume 2, Issue 7, Posted 3:16 PM, 07.01.2009

Officials to speak on government collaboration at public forum

A public consensus seems to be emerging that local governments must figure out how to provide services at lower cost to taxpayers. However, opinion is all over the map on how to achieve this goal. Is the answer fiscal belt tightening, fewer services, better competitive strategies, consolidation of services, or something else?

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 17, the League of Women Voters Cuyahoga Area, Heights Chapter; FutureHeights; and the CH-UH Public Library will present a public forum titled “Does sharing help? The inside story on cooperative government,” at the Lee Road Library, 2345 Lee Rd.

Panelists are South Euclid Mayor Georgine Welo, University Heights Councilman Kevin Patrick Murphy and Cleveland Heights Councilman Mark Tumeo. They will discuss how each has experienced inter-city governmental cooperation, and answer questions from the public. Deanna Bremer Fisher, executive director of FutureHeights, will moderate the discussion.

Post your questions in advance at www.heightsobserver.org/deck/.


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Volume 2, Issue 6, Posted 11:28 AM, 05.22.2009