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cleveland.com news quiz for Friday, 09/09/2016
The news quiz features 10 questions on current events from the past week. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Classes are in full swing at schools across Northeast Ohio. So it's a good chance to show some solidarity with students by taking a few moments to take the cleveland.com news quiz, featuring 10 questions on current events.  You're not being graded, but hopefully you have been paying attention to the news during the past week. The quiz is below. Mobile users can take it here. Good luck.  // var _polldaddy = [] || _polldaddy; _polldaddy.push( { type: "iframe", auto: "1", domain: "advanceinternet.polldaddy.com/s/", id: "cleveland-com-news-quiz-for-friday-sept-9-2016", placeholder: "pd_1473402753" } ); (function(d,c,j){if(!document.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src=('https:'==document.location.protocol)?'https://polldaddy.com/survey.js':'http://i0.poll.fm/survey.js';s=document.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);}}(document,'script','pd-embed')); // ]]>
1 points by The Plain Dealer | Akron Ohio Greater Cleveland Ohio Cleveland State University
Snapchat, Facebook Live coverage of Stipe Miocic's UFC workout: Follow along Wednesday
Add cleveland.com on Snapchat and Facebook for coverage from Stipe Miocic's workout Wednesday. CLEVELAND, Ohio - In a few days, Euclid native Stipe Miocic will try to defend his UFC Heavyweight Championship against veteran Alistair Overeem. Follow cleveland.com on social media Wednesday as Miocic prepares. UFC 203 takes place at The Q on Saturday and represents the first official UFC event to be held in Northeast Ohio. Both Miocic and Overeem are in Cleveland to prepare for their showdown. The heavyweights have open workouts Wednesday afternoon. Social media coordinator Hayden Grove will cover Miocic's workout on Facebook Live and Snapchat around 3 p.m. Here's how you can follow along: Add cleveland.com on Snapchat. Our username is clevelanddotcom Follow cleveland.com on Facebook here. For more information on UFC 203, check this out. Tickets to the fight are still available.
1 points by The Plain Dealer | Ultimate Fighting Championship Greater Cleveland Alistair Overeem Cleveland State University Akron Ohio Cleveland Ohio Cuyahoga County Ohio
United Way of Greater Cleveland CEO says fund-raising efforts and other changes are coming
United Way of Greater Cleveland President and CEO August Napoli on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, spoke at the City Club of Cleveland. He told the audience that under his leadership the agency will change its fundraising, enhance its presence in the community and more. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- United Way of Greater Cleveland needs to change how it raises money, enhance its presence in the community, and bring together groups to focus on solutions to major social issues such as infant mortality and lead exposure, the head of the agency said. President and CEO August Napoli, speaking to a group of business and civic leaders at the City Club of Cleveland on Friday, said the way in which United Way "conducts philanthropy" hasn't changed much since the early days of the organization. Given the needs, he said, change is needed now. "Today, roughly a century after our founders created an innovative new model of collaborative philanthropy, we are ready to pioneer a new, 21st century philanthropy -- one that begins to get at the root causes of poverty in addition to responding to their effects," Napoli said. He has lead United Way since June, 2016, replacing Bill Kitson who resigned. Napoli has been deputy director and chief advancement officer at the Cleveland Museum of Art and has worked in Cleveland institutions for most of the past 40 years, including at Cleveland State University, the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation and the Cleveland Clinic. He said the agency's fund-raising efforts need updating. "For 103 years, the United Way has been known for the workplace campaign. For 103 years, bosses have encouraged, and even strongly encouraged their employees to participate in the annual campaign," Napoli said. But Cleveland's corporate landscape has changed, he said. "There just aren't that many 1,000-plus employee companies here anymore." He said the agency needs to expand beyond the workplace campaign and recognize that people who donate are much more savvy than in the past. "Donor choice, donor designation, donor empowerment is not on the horizon," he said. "It is here and a reality that seems to have eluded us to date." In the past few years, the United Way has streamlined its mission and partnered with businesses and social service agencies to put a laser sharp focus on improving education, income and health in the community. The agency has a representative in 25 Cleveland Metropolitan School District Schools to "wade through the complexities of being poor" and get kids and families the help they need, said the United Way website. Its 2-1-1 Help Center, with information and referral specialists, provides free and confidential 24-hour access to people who need food, shelter and heat, along with non-emergency assistance such as tax preparation. Napoli said the service connects upwards of 300,000 a year. "As wonderful an organization as United Way is, I didn't come here to do business as usual, or simply continue what's been done before," Napoli said. "My goal is to take the best of what's been done before and meld it with a clear sense of what needs to be done."
26 points by The Plain Dealer | Cleveland Cleveland State University Greater Cleveland Cleveland Clinic Need Ohio 21st century United Way
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's concerns about rental inspections: Displacing poor families, burdening landlords
If Clevelad too quickly or too aggressively inspects rental properties for health hazards and safety violations such as peeling paint, mold and broken toilets, families may be put out of their homes and landlords unable to rent their properties. CLEVELAND, Ohio - Mayor Frank Jackson said that if an ethical or moral standard were applied to inspecting Cleveland's low-income rental homes for safety, about three quarters of it would be "closed up." Jackson made the comment last week when discussing the city's long awaited and soon-to-be implemented plan to start citywide inspections of rental units in response to its ongoing lead poisoning crisis. That crisis was revealed in 2015 by The Plain Dealer's Toxic Neglect series, which brought to light serious failings in how the city responded to cases of childhood lead poisoning. Without enough staff to keep up, less than half of the homes where children were poisoned over a recent five-year period were inspected, the newspaper's analysis found. "One of the reasons why our people are taking so long is because of that-- that decision around that moral dilemma," Jackson said during an annual meeting with Cleveland.com reporters and editors. The dilemma, as Jackson explained it: if the city too quickly or too aggressively inspects rental properties for health hazards and safety violations such as peeling paint, mold and broken toilets, families may be put out of their homes and landlords unable to rent their properties. "If you're talking about a very mechanical kind of thing, you know, half of the places would be closed up," Jackson said. "If you're talking about it in terms of the ethical or moral thing, probably three quarters of the places would be closed up. It's the way it is." Reaction to Jackson's sweeping comments were mixed among those closest to the issue, some saying the mayor put a finger on a problem central to improving the safety of city housing; others arguing his off-the-cuff estimates exaggerate the problem and provide an easy excuse for delay or inaction.   The city's first-ever foray into routine rental inspections is scheduled to begin in the summer and will involve a new team of 13 inspectors hired with money from November's income tax increase. (LINK to timeline) In addition to interior and exterior peeling paint which may indicate lead hazards, inspectors will look for mold, excessive extension cord use, and ensure homes have basic necessities like hot and cold water, flushing toilets and working carbon monoxide detectors. A check list of what Cleveland's new rental inspection unit will look for in homes as they begin inspections in July. Jackson, again speaking at the meeting, expressed concern about green-lighting immediate citywide inspection of all rental properties or inspecting for "everything from lead to a leaking faucet, to a roof that's leaking, to a hole, some plaster off the wall, the need for paint." Instead, the city plans to phase in its inspections over a five-year period, focusing on specific safety issues in rental homes that are registered with the city. Listen to Jackson's comments in the audio player below. Jackson deals in unfortunate reality Some say the mayor's concerns and the city's five-year plan reflect an unfortunate reality in Cleveland. "He [Jackson] knows the situation. He's an absolute realist," said Tom Bier, a senior fellow at Cleveland State University's Levin College of Urban Affairs with 40 years of experience studying the city's housing market. Bier said it's more likely that about one-third of city rentals are in bad condition. In 2015, a citywide survey by the non-profit Thriving Communities Institute of residential and commercial properties found less then 5 percent of all structures to be in "D" or "F" condition, though it only examined the exterior of homes. Nobody thinks children should be living in unsafe housing, Bier said, and it makes sense to fix the problems upfront rather than pay steep medical and social costs later. But that's not the ways things work here: "It's brutal. But it's reality," he said. Meredith Greif, a sociologist and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University said policy makers like Jackson have to consider how their actions will affect access to housing. Greif is part of a project that's conducted interviews with hundreds of low income families, landlords and court and policy makers in Baltimore, Dallas and Cleveland. On one hand, Greif says code enforcement helps ensure homes are livable, especially for poor children and families. But if landlords are hit with hefty fines for violations, what will happen? Some, she said, might get out of the business altogether. "It's a quandary," she said. "It's a terrible situation all around." Profit margins for landlords can be surprisingly thin, Greif said. There are some for whom the business is quite lucrative, but others report they usually break even or make only a small profit. "The vast majority of landlords with whom I spoke are not absentee, fly by night landlords but ones who have been in the business for quite some time, many well over a decade, and who report taking housing code rather seriously," Greif said. Cleveland Councilman Tony Brancatelli supports the phased approach to rolling out the new inspections, with ample time to educate landlords and give them a chance to make repairs before inspectors come knocking. "As much as I go after landlords, I want to make sure we think about and know the cost of this," he said. Some, especially those who want high "healthy housing" standards for mold and across-the-board use of the more stringent dust wipe tests for lead, might not be happy. Brancatelli thinks those standards, while admirable, would fail. The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority only targets peeling paint in its low-income unit inspections and that standard seems to work well, Brancatelli said. Kids in CMHA housing have lower rates of poisoning. "We want to make things safer for kids," he said. "But we need to move the bar slowly." No evidence for widespread displacement, advocates say Child health and housing advocates, though, take issue with several of the Mayor's statements. "We need to strongly resist the notion that a leaky faucet is the same risk (to children) as a neurotoxin," that can immediately and irreparably damage young developing brains like lead can, said Spencer Wells, a longtime housing advocate speaking on behalf of the newly-formed Cleveland Lead Safe Network.   The network hopes to encourage legislation that promotes "lead-safe" housing for kids, a standard that does not require homes to be completely free of lead, only for any known lead hazards to be controlled. It's a standard that protects kids and is affordable, Wells said. Making rental homes lead-free, on the other hand, can be prohibitively expensive for many homeowners without outside help. Still, Wells said, that's not what's required of property owners in most cases. The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires homes to be made lead-safe and then be maintained, for example. "Conflating lead-free and lead-safe leads folks to conclude, well, there's nothing we can do," Wells said. Dr. Aparna Bole, medical director of community integration and a pediatrician at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, was most concerned about Jackson's suggestion that rental inspections would displace families. "That hasn't been true at all in other cities that have implemented a rental inspection program," she said, including Rochester, New York (a city highlighted in The Plain Dealer's Toxic Neglect series which Cleveland used in part as a model for its plan) and Baltimore. "I'm the first to say that availability of affordable and safe housing stock is incredibly important to public health, so no part of me would want to recommend removing that housing. But that just hasn't been true anywhere else." Officials in Rochester said concerns similar to Jackson's were floated a decade ago when the city instituted citywide inspections for lead hazards that have since resulted in a more than 80 percent drop in the number of kids known to be poisoned by lead. The landlords who left the market, a housing official told The Plain Dealer, were ones who shouldn't have been there anyway. The rest adjusted. Yvonka Hall, a landlord and member of the Cleveland Lead Safe Network, agrees that many Cleveland landlords aren't making money hand over fist. They might need help -- zero-interest loans for window replacement, for example--in order to make their properties lead-safe. But children, who are the most vulnerable, deserve the most protection, said Hall, who served as director of the city's office of minority health until 2012. "If your whole campaign has been 'looking out for the least of us' then the children who are being poisoned would be at the top of that list, because they can't control their circumstances."
91 points by The Plain Dealer | Cleveland Frank G. Jackson Cleveland State University Lead Occupational safety and health Renting Lead poisoning The Plain Dealer
Cleveland Scene newspaper boxes removed by Downtown Cleveland Alliance
Downtown Cleveland Alliance said its workers removed 26 Cleveland Scene newspaper boxes after they were found the boxes knocked over on sidewalks into streets. Cleveland Scene  CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Downtown Cleveland Alliance removed 26 Cleveland Scene newspaper boxes from sidewalks and street corners in recent weeks without  notifying managers at the alt-weekly. Alliance spokeswoman Heather Holmes acknowledged Saturday that the organization's workers -- known as ambassadors -- removed the boxes, reporting that several had tipped over on sidewalks and into the streets. The ambassadors who took the boxes told their higher-ups that they were not sure who they needed to consult about removing them. "These newsstands were toppled over either from people knocking them over or weather or snow plows," Holmes said. Cleveland Scene Editor Vince Grzegorek said he is "flabbergasted" that the Alliance would remove so many boxes and store them at their own facilities and not think to contact someone with the newspaper or its parent company, Euclid Media Group.  Grzegorek, who learned from other sources that the boxes had been removed, said that he finds it strange that so many boxes would topple over in such a short span of time given that all 26 were held down by bricks.  "They weigh something like 150 pounds so the idea that they would blow over is interesting," he said. "I don't know under what authority they had to take 26 boxes." He also noted that each edition of Scene contains several ways to contact the paper and its managers, including a mail address, phone numbers and email addresses. He said he doesn't understand why the Alliance didn't get in touch, if there's an "epidemic" of Scene boxes littering sidewalks and streets, Holmes admitted that the Alliance workers made a misstep by removing the boxes.  "There's no question that this wasn't the best route to go, no question at all," she said. "They had no intention of violating anyone's person or property, and they take great pride in keeping downtown sidewalks clean and safe to provide the best pedestrian experience possible." Holmes said that there is a city ordinance that requires that newspaper boxes be bolted down. However, the ordinance governing newspaper dispensers reads: "Newspaper dispensing devices shall be anchored to the sidewalk by a method approved by the Director of Capital Projects and shall not be cabled or chained or otherwise attached to any object or building except to any other newspaper dispensing devices." Holmes said that she didn't know that the boxes were taken to the Alliance's operations center at East 18th Street and St. Clair until Scene officials called Friday. Scene should have been notified when the first box was taken, she said. The ordinance also says that any company considered in violation of city ordinances is supposed to receive notification of those violations through certified mail and is allowed seven days to respond to the complaint. Grzegorek and Scene Circulation Director Don Kriss said the paper received no notification.   The section of the ordinance that addresses the removal of newspaper boxes says that the company should have received notification by certified mail within two days of the removal of the first box. Both Kriss and Grzegorek questioned why the Alliance would attempt to enforce a city ordinance. Kriss said the city of Cleveland's Bureau of Sidewalks undertakes such enforcement.  "That's who I called first when they were missing," Kriss said. "...Usually they would call us. Like, when they had the (Republican National Convention), we had to remove them from the business district. I don't know how the Alliance thought it could remove them." Alliance workers were seen downtown Saturday returning the newspaper boxes to their sidewalk locations.
77 points by The Plain Dealer | Cleveland Cleveland Scene Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Downtown Cleveland Cleveland State University Sidewalk Euclid Avenue Newspaper
City of Cleveland refuses to reopen Public Square by Monday, disagrees with RTA's claim that it can't absolve the city of legal responsibility
City officials say they will not reopen Public Square until discussions with RTA are complete. CLEVELAND, Ohio - The city of Cleveland does not plan to reopen Public Square to buses by Monday as the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority requested. City officials say they won't reopen the square while they still are in discussions with RTA on "financial, transportation and security issues" related to the square. RTA General Counsel Sheryl King Benford on Feb. 6 sent a letter to the city requesting that Public Square be reopened to buses by Feb. 13. In response, Richard Horvath, chief corporate counsel of the city's civil division, wrote in a Feb. 10 letter to Benford, "These ongoing discussions supersede the requests made in your letter and constitute the city's response to your requests." City of Cleveland wants no legal responsibility for harm if buses are allowed on Public Square Horvath's letter also addressed issues about indemnification Benford raised in a Jan. 31 letter to Barbara Langhenry, the city's law director. Benford had said RTA didn't have the authority to absolve the city from any legal responsibility if anything were to happen on the square because bus traffic was permitted to cross the space. She was responding to comments Darnell Brown, the city's chief operating officer, made about indemnification during a Jan. 30 meeting between the city and RTA. Brown had said the city would want RTA to "hold the city harmless from any liability for third party claims arising out of a decision to open Superior Avenue at Public Square to vehicle traffic." But Horvath, disagreeing with Benford, argued that RTA does have the authority enter into a contract holding the city harmless from legal responsibility for reopening the square. The square has been closed to buses since Aug. 1, when Mayor Frank Jackson chose to ban them in favor of a unified Public Square. Jackson has said he would reopen the square to bus traffic if there was no way to keep it closed without harming RTA's operations or bottom line, and if RTA addresses the city's safety concerns. RTA is on the clock from the Federal Transit Administration to either reopen Superior Avenue through the square to buses or to repay $12 million in federal grants it received for the the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project by Feb. 21. Feds could have fined RTA $142.8 million over bus ban in Public Square Because the city will not permit buses to cross Public Square, RTA is not upholding its end of a funding deal it made for the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project, the FTA asserts. The Euclid Corridor Transportation Project established the HealthLine, which runs down Euclid Avenue and ends in Public Square. // DV.load("https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3458923-Horvath-Letter.js", { width: 600, height: 800, sidebar: false, container: "#DV-viewer-3458923-Horvath-Letter" }); // ]]>
253 points by The Plain Dealer | Cleveland Downtown Cleveland Euclid Avenue HealthLine Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Louis Stokes Station at Windermere Cuyahoga County Ohio Cleveland State University
Man, woman pistol-whipped during robbery in Cleveland State parking lot
A man and woman were pistol-whipped and robbed in a Cleveland State parking lot. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A man and woman were pistol-whipped and robbed at gunpoint late Sunday as they walked through a Cleveland State University parking lot, according to campus police. The robbery happened about 9:50 p.m. at the parking lot at the intersection of East 30th Street and Chester Avenue. The two, who are not affiliated with the school, were approached by a group of five men, including two who were armed, police said. One of the robbers pistol-whipped the man in the face and stole his cellphone. Another hit the woman in the face, according to police. Both the man and woman were taken to an area hospital for treatment. The group ran off south on East 30th, police said. One of the suspected robbers was arrested, according to police. Cleveland police are investigating the robbery and trying to identify the other four involved.  To comment on this story, please visit our crime and courts comments section.
15 points by The Plain Dealer | Crime Robbery Theft Piracy Cleveland State University
Cleveland Donut Fest preview: The inaugural fest will be sweet
"Clevelanders really love their donuts," says founder Rebecca Skoch. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland's first annual Donut Fest this weekend is a homecoming for founder Rebecca Skoch, a Cleveland-area native. "I'm bringing it home, I've wanted to for a long time," says Skoch from her home in Chicago, where she organized the first Donut Fest in 2014. The first New York Donut Fest was held last year. Those events always sell out -- but not as fast as the inaugural Cleveland fest. "All of the tickets were gone in three hours," says Skoch. "Clevelanders really love their donuts." What can you expect to experience Sunday if you were one of the lucky 1,000 donut-lovers who were able to score tickets to the event at Red Space, 2400 Superior Ave., in downtown Cleveland. The finest donuts from one dozen local bakeries. Cake donuts, ring donuts, crullers and long-johns will all be on the menu. "There are still so many old-school bakeries in Cleveland, we expect to see a lot of traditional styles," says Skoch. "But we'll also have some of the new kids like Brewnuts, there will be a nice mix." Competitors for the title of "Best Donut in Cleveland" are: Brewnuts; Becker's Donuts; Jubilee Donuts; Mary Anne Donuts; Bloom Artisan Bakery & Cafe; Peace, Love & Little Donuts of West Park; Moxie, Jack Frost Donuts, Magnolia, Madsen Donuts; Holey Toledough; and George's Donuts. Awards for both audience and judges favorites will be given. The top shop gets a trophy -- and the glory of being Northeast Ohio's favorite donut shop. Beverages will be provided by Rising Star Coffee Roasters, Solstice Coffee, City Roast, Erie Island Coffee Co. and the Hartzler Family Dairy.   See www.donutfest.com for details, or follow Donut Fest on Twitter (@donutfest), Facebook (www.facebook/donutfest) and Instagram (@donutfest).
201 points by The Plain Dealer | Cleveland Cleveland State University Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Doughnut Bakery Akron Ohio Twitter Greater Cleveland
Cupid's Undie Run is a wild goosebump chase (photos)
More than 600 barely dressed participants ran, walked and pranced through downtown Cleveland for charity Saturday in the 5th annual Cupid's Undie Run. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cold temperatures again didn't discourage more than 600 barely dressed participants from running, walking and prancing through downtown Cleveland for charity Saturday in the 5th annual Cupid's Undie Run. The event -- a "brief" fun run -- raises money for the Children's Tumor Foundation to fight neurofibromatosis, a debilitating genetic disorder. It's timed to Valentine's Day, which provided the theme and colors for much of the skimpy attire. The race started with a two-hour warmup party at the House of Blues, headed east on Euclid Avenue to East Ninth Street, then south to Prospect Avenue and west to East Fourth Street and the House of Blues for another warmup. Cupid's Undie Run has grown to 47 cities internationally and raised $11 million for the Children's Tumor Foundation since it started.
85 points by The Plain Dealer | Running Cleveland Cleveland State University Downtown Cleveland Temperature Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Valentine's Day Cold
Hundreds gather in Ohio City in protest of Trump Administration's immigration ban
Hundreds of people gathered in Ohio City Friday to protest the Trump Administration's ban on immigrants from majority Muslim countries. Watch video CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Hundreds of protesters gathered Friday in Ohio City to protest President Donald Trump's order that temporarily banned refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries from coming to the United States. The demonstration began about 4 p.m. in Market Square and are marching West 25th Street. The march was organized via a Facebook post. It's not tied to a specific organization. Several refugees who live in Northeast Ohio have already been affected by the president's order, including a Cleveland Clinic doctor who was forced to leave the country.  Tweets by CourtneyAstolfi
193 points by The Plain Dealer | Cleveland Akron Ohio President of the United States Greater Cleveland United States Cleveland State University Organization Lakewood Ohio
Cleveland funds win $105 million in federal New Markets Tax Credits to invest in local projects
Northeast Ohio real estate projects could benefit from more than $100 million in competitive tax credits awarded Thursday through a federal program aimed at spurring investment in low-income areas. CLEVELAND, Ohio - Northeast Ohio real estate projects could benefit from more than $100 million in competitive tax credits awarded Thursday through a federal program aimed at spurring investment in low-income areas. The U.S. Treasury Department announced $7 billion in New Markets Tax Credits this week, in the largest round of awards since the program's inception in 2001. Those credits will flow to 120 community-development organizations in 36 states; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico. Those groups, in turn, will use the credits to attract private money to projects in urban neighborhoods and rural areas that investors otherwise might overlook. Ohio organizations received $385 million in tax-credit allocations, with $105 million of that earmarked specifically for Northeast Ohio projects. An affiliate of Cleveland Development Advisors, an investment-focused arm of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, won a $60 million allocation. The Northeast Ohio Development Fund, tied to the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, landed a $45 million allocation. "We're going to see, hopefully, a lot of projects get done in the next 18 months," said Yvette Ittu, president of Cleveland Development Advisors, a nonprofit group that also provides low-cost loans for projects using money amassed from local companies, banks and foundations. With this week's announcement, CDA has won $215 million in federal New Markets Tax Credits during the program's lifetime. The current round marks the first time the organization will receive the full amount it sought - and the first time CDA has won back-to-back awards. Last year, Ittu's team received a $50 million allocation that ultimately trickled down to six projects: Revival of the vacant Joseph & Feiss Co. garment factory on Cleveland's west side for Menlo Park Academy, a public charter school for gifted children. The Snavely Group's $60 million redevelopment of the northwest corner of West 25th Street and Detroit Avenue, where apartments will sit atop the Music Settlement's west side outpost, a small grocery store and other commercial tenants. Lincoln Electric's new welding technology center in Euclid. A new Saint Martin de Porres high school in Cleveland's St. Clair-Superior neighborhood. An expansion of the Urban Community School in Ohio City. And a suite of facility investments by the Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland. The Port of Cleveland's affiliate fund last won an award in 2010. Over the years, the port has received $140 million in federal New Markets Tax Credits, including this week's round. Both the Port and CDA focus on local investments. Other New Markets winners, in Ohio and across the country, have a national footprint and could contribute a slice of their allocation to projects here. It's not unusual to see multiple community-development entities participate in larger, more complicated real estate deals. A pack of local projects is looking for an assist. Potential contenders for New Markets allocations include a handful of downtown Cleveland historic-preservation deals, such as a redevelopment of the long-troubled John Hartness Brown Building on Euclid Avenue or a mixed-use makeover of the largely empty former Huntington Building, now called the 925 Building, at Euclid and East Ninth Street. In the city's Midtown neighborhood, the University Hospitals' Rainbow Center for Women & Children and portions of the surrounding Link59 business park could be candidates for credits. Miceli Dairy Products, along Buckeye Road on Cleveland's east side, is still expanding. And additional charter-school projects in the city might need to fill financial gaps. "There are a number of projects out there that we've been looking at," Ittu said. "We will be working with our partners around the country to see how much allocation can be drawn from those allocatees, as well. ... Our objective is to try to get as many projects as we can done in Cleveland." The other Ohio winners were locally focused organizations in Cincinnati and Dayton; a multi-state fund based in Cincinnati; a statewide fund based in Columbus; and two nationwide community-development entities based in Cincinnati and New Albany.   The treasury department has awarded $50.5 billion in New Markets Tax Credits since the program started. The federal government estimates that every dollar of tax credits supports $8 in private investment. Investors put money into winning community-development entities and, in turn, receive a 39 percent tax credit that is claimed over seven years. This time around, 238 applicants sought roughly $17.6 billion in awards.
1050 points by The Plain Dealer | Cleveland Cleveland State University Taxation in the United States Greater Cleveland United States Department of the Treasury Akron Ohio Ohio Cuyahoga County Ohio
Cleveland State University to launch new summer arts festival with Playhouse Square
Cleveland State University is teaming up with Playhouse Square to present the inaugural Arts and Humanities Alive! - AHA! - Festival in June. The 'AHA' festival logo.CSU  CLEVELAND, Ohio - Cleveland State University is having an AHA! moment. Make that several moments. Three days' worth, in fact. The downtown school is teaming up with Playhouse Square to present the inaugural Arts and Humanities Alive! Festival in June. "It's called Arts and Humanities Alive, but in the future, we hope it becomes known as the 'AHA!' festival,' " says director Katie Shames. "It's the idea that everybody who comes down will find their own 'aha' moment. This is a festival about discovery." The multidisciplinary festival will be held downtown at CSU and Playhouse Square June 7, 8, and 9 in 2017. It will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, a world premiere children's theater production and internationally known artists. "What's special about this festival is that there are arts festivals throughout the city, and book festivals in the state, but there is nothing that brings together the arts and humanities," says Shames. Highlights include a daylong outdoor book fair on Euclid Avenue in front of Playhouse Square. This fair will include a children's area, performances and author events. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson ("The Warmth of Other Suns") will present a talk about the migration of African Americans from the South to the North at the festival. Author Jon Meacham ("American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House") will talk about lessons of hardship we can learn from our presidents. Singer Suzanne Vega will close the festival. Former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts John Frohnmayer will be the resident curator, acting as host and discussion leader. CSU's annual Arts Education Day Luncheon will be held on the stage of the State Theatre at Playhouse Square and will feature a keynote address from East Cleveland native Yvette Nicole Brown, who is currently starring in CBS's remake of The Odd Couple. "While CSU has a long and proud tradition in presenting world-class arts productions through our unique partnership with Playhouse Square and the Cleveland Play House, the AHA! Festival will bring all this and more directly to the community," says CSU President Ronald M. Berkman. There will even be a performance by "Dancing With the Stars' " Karina Smirnoff, who will lead a free workshop at the State Theatre. More performers and events will be added as the festival approaches; see the schedule below for all events. "We think there's an opportunity in the summer to really bring together people from the community in a celebration of ideas," says Shames. "CSU has long been committed to presenting the best ideas across disciplines, but sometimes you need a public space to show what you're doing." Most of the programs in the festival will be free of charge, but some events will require an admission charge. Registration will be requested for most events. The festival is being funded by the university and private sponsors, including former Clevelanders Myra and Darwin Smith. "We're trying to keep the costs to the public minimal," says Shames. "The idea is to bring as many people as possible; nobody should be prevented from going to these events because of the cost. " Complete fest information: www.ahacsu.com. Schedule Wednesday, June 7 Book Festival: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. CSU Summer Dance Workshop: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. CSU Student Art Exhibit: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Outdoor Book Fair: 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Euclid Avenue between East 14th and East 17th streets Arts Luncheon: Noon-2 p.m., Yvette Nicole Brown, State Theatre; fee, RSVP Thursday, June 8 Book Festival: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. CSU Summer Dance Workshop: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. CSU Student Art Exhibit: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Author reading: 10-11 a.m., Isabel Wilkerson, CSU campus, Waetjen Auditorium; RSVP TEDx Salon: 2-3 p.m., Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz, "Astral Stories," Westfield Theatre; RSVP Keyboard Conversations: 5-6 p.m., Jeffrey Siegel, "Musicale: Musical Stories," Drinko Hall; RSVP PSF Adult Theater Performance: 7:30-9 p.m., "Love, Loss and What I Wore," written by Nora & Delia Ephron, Outcalt Theatre, appearance by Delia Ephron; fee Friday, June 9 Book Festival: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. CSU Summer Dance Workshop: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. CSU Student Art Exhibit: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. AHA! Voices: 2-3:30 p.m., Jon Meacham, "What Stories Tell Us About Ourselves," CSU Student Center Ballroom; RSVP Malpaso, Cuban Dance Company: 2-3 p.m., Gund Dance Studio Dr. Greg D'Alessio: 5-6 p.m., electronic music performance, Drinko Hall World Premiere, CSU-PSF Youth Theater Production with Inlet Dance Company: 6-7 p.m., "What Do You Do with An Idea?," Hanna Theatre; RSVP PSF Adult Theater Performance: 7:30-9 p.m., "Love, Loss and What I Wore," written by Nora & Delia Ephron, Outcalt Theatre; fee Closing Concert: 7:30-9 p.m., Suzanne Vega, CSU softball field; fee
282 points by The Plain Dealer | Theatre Euclid Avenue Cleveland State University Jon Meacham Nora Ephron Theatres in Cleveland Ohio Cleveland Festival
Western Reserve School of Cooking in Cleveland changes name to Kitchen 216
The Western Reserve School of Cooking in Cleveland has changed its name to Kitchen 216, Connecting Cleveland in the Kitchen. CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Western Reserve School of Cooking in Cleveland has changed its name to Kitchen 216, Connecting Cleveland in the Kitchen. Formally known as WRSoC, business partner Carl St. John said he and his wife, chef Catherine St. John, found the public's emphasis leaned more toward events rather than culinary-oriented classes. Kitchen 216's new logo.Courtesy of Carl St. John  Located at 2800 Euclid Avenue and next to Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen, WRSoC opened in 2014 as an extension of Western Reserve School of Cooking in Hudson. "The bigger emphasis has been on events," Carl St. John said. Some of the events WRSoC used to do - oyster tasting, chocolate and wine - probably will continue, he said, as the space evolves "into more of an event-center type of place." But traditional classes are probably a thing of the past, St. John said. He also said he found some of the groups that showed up at the Cleveland location were "hesitant" because of the name, saying "a cooking school wouldn't do what they wanted to do." Kitchen 216 will continue to offer community cooking as well as team-building and customer-appreciation events. The 1,200-square foot space also is conducive to food stylists, videographers and photographers and has a kitchen equipped for demonstration events for as many as 40 people. Public events at Kitchen 216 will include bourbon tastings, oyster pairings, paint and wine, date nights, singles networking and more.
2 points by The Plain Dealer | Cleveland Culinary art Greater Cleveland Cleveland State University Cooking Ohio University Circle Logos
Heck's Cafe to open in downtown Cleveland as part of Beacon tower project (photos)
Heck's, the classic Cleveland spot known for its gourmet burgers, to open new location downtown. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Heck's Cafe has developed a devoted following over four decades, even as it operated quietly, nestled amid the residential homes of Ohio City.  Now, the classic Cleveland spot known for its gourmet burgers is ready to open amid the skyscrapers and the buzz. The bar-restaurant will open a new location downtown on the ground floor of the 515 Euclid Avenue parking garage. The seven-story garage is part of a new project by Cleveland developer Stark Enterprises that includes a 19-floor apartment tower. "We wanted to partner up with a local operator and Heck's has done a great job in Ohio City," says Ezra Stark, chief operating officer for Stark Enterprises. "They've done very well with their brunches and breakfasts." Both will be the focus of the downtown satellite of Heck's, which has operated in Ohio City since 1974, in a house that dates back 120 years. Heck's added an Avon Lake location last year. "There aren't many places that focus on breakfast and brunch downtown," says Stark. "And we think that there's a demand for it among people that work and live in the area." Stark plans to build the Beacon on top of the parking garage, which was constructed to support a residential tower. The developer has described the residential tower as "Millennial-driven housing" aimed at renters in their 20s and 30s - a demographic that has played a role in the rising popularity of brunches and breakfasts. Heck's will be taking over part of the space formerly occupied by Environments 4 Business. "We're splitting the space into two," says Stark. "Heck's is taking the one spot and we have a national fast casual chain moving into the other part." Potbelly Sandwich Shop will also continue to operate in the 515 Euclid space.  An opening date has yet to be announced. More info coming.
42 points by The Plain Dealer | High-rise Breakfast Apartment Cleveland State University Cleveland Iron Man Brunch Tower block
Deregulation shaved $15 billion from Ohio electric bills, lawmakers to meet Friday to re-regulate
A joint Cleveland State-Ohio State analysis commissioned by NOPEC and released today finds that deregulating electric utilities saved Ohio consumers and businesses $15 billion between 2011 and 2015 and is on course to save another $15 billion by 2020. But Ohio lawmakers are planning to meet behind closed doors Friday with the state's electric utilities. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Consumers, businesses and industries saved $15 billion on electricity between 2011 and last year and are on course to save the same amount by 2020, the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council, or NOPEC, said today. The claim is based on joint research and statistical analysis completed for NOPEC by Cleveland State University's Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs and Ohio State University's John Glenn College of Public Affairs. But those savings, thanks to deregulation, could end soon. The report's release comes a day before Republican leadership in the Ohio House of Representatives plans to huddle with representatives of FirstEnergy, American Electric Power and other utilities to talk about re-regulation. Both AEP and FirstEnergy have publicly said they would try to convince lawmakers to move their power plants back under regulation, which would mean state regulators rather than competition would set prices and customers would probably lose their right to shop for power suppliers. The problem, they said, is their old power plants cannot compete well against an increasing number of gas-fired power plants, in part because gas prices are far lower than coal, and in part because gas plants are cleaner. Chuck Jones, CEO of FirstEnergy, told analysts earlier this month that his company was giving lawmakers about six months to make up their minds. He said FirstEnergy would close or sell some of its power plants, which are owned by the unregulated subsidiary, FirstEnergy Solution. Jones also warned that FirstEnergy Solutions might have to seek bankruptcy protection. In releasing the results of the study, Chuck Keiper, NOPEC's executive director said the CSU-OSU analysis shows that deregulation has kept prices lower than they would have been under traditional regulation. "The study will illustrate, with hard facts and numbers, that deregulation is the driving force behind the relatively low cost of electricity in Ohio," Keiper said. "Deregulation has been a gift to Ohio consumers that has given us billions of dollars in savings, and it's a gift that will keep giving for years to come." NOPEC serves about 500,000 customers. It has recently changed its power supplier to NextEra Energy, a subsidiary of Florida-based FP&L. The analysis identifies two developments that have driven down power prices. The first is the ability of customers to shop for their own suppliers (listed for consumers on the PUCO's Energy Choice Apples to Apples website). This university study is the first to analyze the impact of consumer shopping on power prices because detailed price data is not publicly available, although the number of consumers shopping is public. The analysis assumed a 6 percent savings off the standard power company price  for consumers and 4 percent discount for small businesses that shop -- exactly the discounts offered by NOPEC and, according to the study, most other groups that "aggregate" customers in a city to negotiate power prices. Shopping alone cut power prices by more than $3 billion from 2011 through 2015, the analysis concluded. The second development that has driven down the prices is the method the PUCO has used during the last several years to set the power prices the utilities can charge. That price is called the "Standard Service Offer" or "the Price to Compare" on consumer bills. It's the price for customers who do not shop and choose their own supplier. Each utility must hold auctions monitored by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to supply its local distribution companies such as the Illuminating Co. Ohio Edison and AEP Ohio. None of those companies own the power plants, which under deregulation were moved to unregulated subsidiaries. Extreme competition from outside companies, some owning coal plants and others owning highly efficient gas-fired plants, has driven down the resulting Standard Service Offer. The analysis concludes that the auctions have saved customers another $12 billion 2011 through 2015. In other words, had the PUCO set prices during that period of time, customers would have paid an additional $12 billion. The study notes that the PUCO has never lost its authority to set delivery rates, and those charges, the analysis finds, have steadily risen even as the price of power has declined significantly. "Unfortunately, the regulated portion of electricity - called "non-bypassable costs" (distribution, transmission and various riders) -- has been trending upward at the same time that competition has been pushing the generation portion of the costs down. As a result, the overall cost of electricity has not fully reflected the savings achieved through deregulation," the study notes. "However, re-regulating the generation portion of electricity will not reverse the rising costs of distribution and other non-bypassable charges. "This only makes the argument for deregulation more compelling, since deregulation has been most responsible for the relatively low cost of electricity in Ohio. " There exists no public-policy basis for re-regulating generation in Ohio."
79 points by The Plain Dealer | Ohio Public utility Columbus Ohio Cleveland State University American Electric Power Cost Electricity generation Ohio State University
Construction to start on Link59 office building in Cleveland's Midtown
Hemingway Development expects to buy 6.5 acres from the city of Cleveland this week and to start site work soon for a 62,000-square-foot office building on Euclid Avenue. CLEVELAND, Ohio - With a use-it-or-lose-it federal grant deadline looming, construction will start within weeks at a new business park in Cleveland's Midtown neighborhood. Hemingway Development expects to close on a $1.15 million land deal with the city of Cleveland this week, putting the company in control of 6.5 acres of vacant property between Euclid and Chester avenues east of East 59th Street. During summer of 2017, developers Fred Geis and Jim Doyle plan to open their first new building, a 62,000-square-foot, three-story structure - one that's completely speculative, at this point, without any tenants lined up. A rendering shows the former Ace Fixtures building, renovated and reimagined as modern office space. Hemingway Development has a deal to purchase the vacant building, which will become part of the company's second business-park project in Midtown.Hemingway Development; Geis Cos.  Separately, Hemingway will buy the former Ace Fixtures building to the east and spruce up the empty space. The transactions will add roughly 90,000 square feet of new or renovated offices to the city's growing Health-Tech Corridor, where turnkey buildings are hard to find. Jeff Epstein, executive director of MidTown Cleveland, Inc., showed a fresh image of the new building, called Link59, during the neighborhood group's annual meeting Wednesday. The offices will be the first new construction on a broader block where Hemingway could construct at least one more building and University Hospitals plans to build a primary-care health center for women and children. UH will acquire its land from the city in a separate purchase. "With UH being next door, we assume there are going to be some medical tenants," Geis said. "And there are going to be a lot of people who want to move to Cleveland for office space and not be completely downtown." At Hemingway's nearby MidTown Tech Park, a mix of newly constructed and renovated buildings, offices are 92 percent occupied. A few steps away, Dealer Tire is crafting a campus around the long-vacant Victory Center, where the company plans to move its Midtown headquarters and hundreds of workers. A rendering shows the planned Link59 building in Midtown.Hemingway Development; Geis Cos.  So there's an argument for adding more supply. But interest hasn't translated to leases yet, in the case of Link59. "We've had a number of tenants who could take the whole building and who would have been able to use all of it, but they didn't pan out," Doyle said. Nonetheless, he added, "we're pushing dirt next month." Chalk up that timeline to $13 million in federal money that the city and the developer don't want to lose. Cleveland secured the funding, a $3 million grant and a $10 million loan, in 2011 for rehabilitation of the dilapidated Warner & Swasey complex on Carnegie Avenue. That project never happened. In 2014, the city asked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for permission to move the funding commitments to the land around East 59th and to extend the deadline for starting work to 2016. Hemingway needed to buy the land and tap the federal funds before the end of this month to keep HUD from rescinding the incentive package. That's why Doyle and Geis are charging forward. A city design-review committee and the Cleveland City Planning Commission are likely to review building renderings within the next few weeks. Hemingway started marking the space Wednesday, charging $16 per square foot. The former Ace Fixtures building, on East 61st Street, could be ready for new occupants before the end of the year. Doyle said the developers are talking to an unidentified tenant who might move into the 30,000-square-foot building's second floor. "I have a confidence level that the demand will be there to fill up this space, particularly because of its location right next to UH on this dynamic campus and on the HealthLine," Epstein said, referring to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's rapid-transit bus line along Euclid Avenue. "If we have a company today that wants to be in space in a month or two, there are very few options for them left. A site plan shows the layout of a new business park planned along Euclid Avenue, in the middle of Cleveland's Health-Tech Corridor.Hemingway Development; Geis Cos.  Epstein said he's particularly pleased that both UH and Hemingway are planning three-story buildings along Euclid instead of requesting zoning variances to build shorter structures. There's also the possibility that Link59 will include retail, a use that's been slow to materialize in the center of the Health-Tech Corridor. Geis said a coffee shop was the first business to inquire about the Link59 building. "I think having dirt moving on the site is going to help people visualize what kind of campus it's going to be," Epstein said.
264 points by The Plain Dealer | Cleveland Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Building Cleveland State University Occupancy Cuyahoga County Ohio Downtown Cleveland Fire protection
Panic! At the Disco at CSU on March 8, 2017! Can I get a 'Hallelujah'?
Panic! At the Disco, a favorite of Cleveland alternative fans, returns to the North Coast with a Wednesday, March 8, date at Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center. CLEVELAND, Ohio - Alternative Press favorite sons Panic! At the Disco return to Cleveland on Wednesday, March 8, for a gig at Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center. The band, which has been using social media for the past few days to tease to "something,'' announced the "Death of a Bachelor'' tour, named for the current album, Thursday morning. Panic!, formed by vocalist Brendan Urie and his Las Vegas high school friends in 2004, has been a favorite of the magazine based in Cleveland since bursting on the scene in 2006 with "I Write Sins, Not Tragedies,'' off their debut album "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out!'' The group's single, "Hallelujah,'' off "Death of a Bachelor,'' won song of the year at the AP Music Awards Show this year in Columbus, where it was moved from Cleveland because of a conflict with the Republican National Convention. "Death'' also debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart when it was released in January 2016. Misterwives will open. Tickets, $39.50 and $49.50, go on sale with a presale at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, and a general on-sale at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 30, at the CSU box office, Discount Drug Mart locations, online at wolsteincenter.com and by phone at 1-844-407-2279.
64 points by The Plain Dealer | Cleveland State University Single Album Cleveland State Vikings Wolstein Center Cleveland Cleveland State Vikings men's basketball Ohio
Cleveland State University hosts TEDx speaker event on transformation
"Reality Shifts: Are You Ready?" is the focus of Cleveland State University's third annual TEDx event. CLEVELAND, Ohio - "Reality Shifts: Are You Ready?" is the focus of Cleveland State University's third annual TEDx event. Speakers will take on the seismic shifts in a host of fields, including race relations, health care, 3D printing, the role of women in society and the changing face of history. They will pose new questions and answers for how government, business, individuals and society as a whole can respond to our transforming world, the university said.  TEDxClevelandStateUniversity, a licensed, independent TED event, will be held from 2 to 8:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 21, in Waetjen Auditorium, 2121 Euclid Ave. Tickets go on sale Friday, Sept. 8. The event will feature a series of 13 TED talks followed by a reception with entertainment, scientific exhibits and hands-on displays.  TED talks are no more than 18 minutes in length and focus on a singular idea or innovation with the goal of inspiring the audience to take action. Speakers include Tony-nominated writer and blues musician Mississippi Charles Bevel; Grammy-nominated songwriter and prominent intellectual property attorney Mark Avsec; Elizabeth Pugh, general counsel for the Library of Congress; Akram Boutros, president and CEO of the MetroHealth System and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Connie Schultz. Here's what they plan to speak on: Bevel: Bevel, nominated for a Tony for co-creating the acclaimed 1999 Broadway musical "It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues," will deconstruct the continued negative racial impact of the "One Drop Rule," which asserts that any person with one black ancestor, or one drop of black blood, is considered black.  Avsec: Avsec, who was a member of the bands Wild Cherry and Donnie Iris and the Cruisers and co-wrote the hit song "Ah Leah," will discuss how the technological revolution in the music industry caused by file sharing is now being mirrored in the manufacturing sector by the rise of 3D printing. Pugh: Pugh, who has served for 16 years as the top lawyer for the largest library in the world, will provide insights on how technology has allowed for the rise of "personal history" and how this is transforming both how we collect our historical heritage as well as what our history actually looks like. Boutros: outros will argue that love and good health care are not mutually exclusive concepts and that providers need to develop a greater sense of empathy and compassion to truly meet the needs of their patients. Schultz: Schultz will discuss how women over 50 are no longer invisible in society and continue to make contributions in a way previous generations were unable to accomplish. Other speakers include: Honey Bell-Bey, youth advocate and founder and director of The Distinguished Gentlemen of Spoken Word Fred Bidwell, noted Cleveland entrepreneur, philanthropist, and art collector Thomas Maridada II, president and CEO of BRIGHT New Leaders for Ohio Schools Roberta Muehlheim, assistant curator of vertebrate zoology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History Andrea Muto, journalist, lawyer and international development consultant Cody Peacock, solar energy advocate and entrepreneur John Perrine, saxophonist, composer and chair of the CSU Music Department Ron Soeder, president of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland. Their talks will discuss topics as varied as technological disruption, gun violence, improvisation and the central role amphibians play in our environment. For more information go to tedxclevelandstateuniversity.com.
18 points by The Plain Dealer | One-drop rule Donnie Iris Cleveland Cleveland State University Library of Congress Mark Avsec Connie Schultz TED
Just a few hours left to decide the August Person of the Month. Vote now for the candidate you believe best deserves the honor (poll)
With just a few hours left to decide, the investors from the "Cleveland Hustles" reality TV show are in the lead for the title of August Person of the Month. You still have time to vote. CLEVELAND, Ohio - With just hours to go, the investors of the "Cleveland Hustles" reality show are well invested in the lead to become cleveland.com's August Person of the Month. As of 8 a.m. Monday, the investors hold nearly 37 percent of the votes cast. Four successful Cleveland entrepreneurs are sharing their experience - and more importantly, their personal wealth -- with local business owners looking to take their businesses to the next level. Kumar Arora, Kathy Futey, Alan Glazen and Jonathon Sawyer set up challenges for new business owners, then decide if they want to invest in their dreams as part of a new show, produced by LeBron James. The hope is that these new businesses will take root in, and help revitalize the Gordon Square neighborhood. Each month cleveland.com looks for an individual, organization or movement that has gone the extra mile to inspire or make life better in Northeastern Ohio. You can vote for your favorite August candidate until noon today. Who should be the August Person of the Month? (poll) Other candidates are: Nine-year-old Abigale Chirdon: She spent the summer organizing and running a family garage sale that earned $616, which the youngster then donated to the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities. This is the third year Chirdon has run the sale and donated the proceeds to a local charity. Sullivan-Deckard Fund: For the second year, a $2.3 million gift, created by Barbara and Frank Sullivan and Jenniffer and Daryl Deackard, allows students who have graduated from the state's foster care system to attend Cleveland State University on a full ride scholarship. The program provides all expenses, including tuition, housing and meals, as well as academic support. Father Bob Stec: Father Stec is the creator of the Family FESTival, now in its 14th year. This year's festival was attended by 40,000. It was created to preserve family values and help keep individuals from drug use. Kent State University: Noticing the growing number of students suffering from gluten sensitivity, KSU opened the first totally gluten-free cafe at a university. An estimated 3 million American suffer from gluten sensitivity. Capital Access Fund of Greater Cleveland: A new $8 million fund, which will be administered by the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, has been established to provide loans and assistance to minority businesses. The county estimates as many as 300 new jobs over the next three years could result from the program. Polls close today at noon. Vote for the candidate you feel deserves the honor. This month's winner will be included in the 2016 Person of the Year contest.  
-1 points by The Plain Dealer | Greater Cleveland Ohio Cleveland State University Cleveland Kent State University Kent Ohio Akron Ohio Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Sparx City Hop is a citywide art party Saturday
The 14th annual Sparx City Hop runs 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday throughout Greater Cleveland.  CLEVELAND, Ohio - It's time to get hopping -- art-hopping.   The 14th annual Sparx City Hop runs 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday throughout Greater Cleveland. Free trolleys will transport art hoppers to more than 100 galleries and studios, markets, outdoor entertainment spots, shops and restaurants. "There have been so many reasons to come downtown recently, and we want to make sure art and culture continues to be one of them," says Joe Marinucci, Downtown Cleveland Alliance CEO and president. "Sparx allows Clevelanders to learn all about the art community and experiences Downtown Cleveland has to offer." The Sparx City Hop Main Hub will be located under Playhouse Square's GE Chandelier, which will include an information station as well as music and performance art. There will also be behind-the-scenes tours of Playhouse Square theaters at noon and 4 p.m. Trolleys will transport guests to several areas of town: Playhouse Square, the Superior Arts District, Campus District, Asia Town, the Gateway District, Ohio City and Tremont.  The Blue Line Trolley will take visitors to Downtown's Campus District, the Superior Arts District and Asian Town. City Hoppers will visit artist lofts at Tower Press Building and the Artcraft Building in the Superior Arts District, as well as the new Red Space at Hotcards. On Superior Avenue, the Campus District is hosting PARK(ing) Day, transforming parking spaces into activity spaces for all ages with exhibits and food vendors on site. Asia Town Center will host a variety of activities for Sparx, including live music, ShakeSPARX by the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival and live model sketching. In the Gateway area, the 5th Street Arcades in the Gateway District will be open. The stops in Ohio City include Market Square Park, which will be home to the Cleveland Bazaar, and Transformer Station which will have an exhibit featuring conceptual Artist Dan Graham. The Sparx stop at Lincoln Park is home to the Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival. Additional stops in Tremont include Lucky Park, which will highlight emergent art galleries. For trolley routes, schedules and day-of-event details, visit downtowncleveland.com/sparx.
-1 points by The Plain Dealer | Conceptual art Art City Downtown Cleveland Cleveland Cleveland State University Dan Graham Music
Bye-bye Brutalism: Tri-C Metro revises a gloomy, mid-century modern campus (photos, video)
The Tri-C Metro campus is set to undergo a transformation including fresh, new landscaping and a radical re-do of its fortress-like Campus Center building. Watch video CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Metro Campus of Cuyahoga Community College is about to undergo a much-needed heart transplant, architecturally speaking. On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Tri-C plans to break ground for a radical, $38 million re-do of the three-story Campus Center that will strip the building back to its structural frame and turn it from a brick and concrete bunker into a light, welcoming and transparent campus centerpiece. In addition, Tri-C is already underway with an estimated $28 million landscaping project scheduled for completion by 2020 that will soften the edges of the Metro campus, plus add greenery and social and outdoor recreational space. Big deal The changes are a big deal for one of the toughest and meanest looking campuses in Northeast Ohio. They also bode well for Cleveland's poor, majority black Central neighborhood, where well-intentioned utopian visions of mid-century modernist architecture created harsh-looking public housing and other environments that cry out for change. The nearly 50-acre Tri-C Metro campus at East 30th Street and Community College Avenue was largely built between 1966 and 1970 and was originally designed by the Cleveland architecture firm of Outcault, Guenther, Rode and Bonebrake. The design is a legacy from the heyday of Brutalist architecture, which became popular in the 1960s after unrest including the 1966 Hough Riots in Cleveland. The thinking back then was that in order to save the cities, urban planners and architects had to harden them up with built-in barricades and rugged buildings that looked capable of withstanding onslaughts by raging mobs. The cover of a recent book on Le Corbusier, famous for his heavy-rimmed black glasses and for laying the groundwork for Brutalist architecture.Phaidon  Architects took inspiration from the designs of the Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier, who advocated rough-textured buildings in molded concrete and cities with super-blocks that erased traditional and walkable street grids. Local examples include the Cuyahoga County Justice Center - now under analysis about whether it should be renovated or replaced - plus large portions of the Cleveland State University campus, and Marcel Breuer's Ameritrust Tower on East Ninth Street south of Euclid Avenue, which has been turned into a hotel and apartments.  The city's Erieview Urban Renewal District abounds in the mixed legacy of Brutalism. Le Corbusier's own buildings are full of majesty, poetry and mystery; works by his followers and imitators, not so much. Podium, anyone? The 30-acre core of Tri-C Metro campus is set atop a large concrete deck, or "podium,'' flanked by areas of grass set about one story below the chunky concrete parapets around the edge. The effect is that of creating a moat between the college and the surrounding community. Riding atop the platform, which serves as the roof of a giant underground garage, are a dozen clunky buildings designed with dark, deeply recessed windows or blank walls of brick, concrete or shiny black slate. The place looks more like an industrial plant than a place of learning, joy and discovery. The Tri-C buildings are interspersed among austere concrete plazas and are linked by concrete-frame covered walkways laid out in a robotic grid of right-angled turns that treat students like machine cogs without free will. The upshot is that Tri-C Metro, where students prepare for careers in healthcare, hospitality management, electrical engineering, or recording arts and technology, exudes a punitive air. Leveraging change Metro's big upcoming projects embody the recognition that it would be impossible to change the entire campus. They are instead a practical, pragmatic effort to make a few big retrofits to the mid-century modern campus that will produce a big payoff. The Campus Center, which houses student organization offices, a cafeteria and other central services, will undergo a sweeping makeover designed by the Cleveland-based architecture firm of Bialosky, which is also designing the Van Aken redevelopment in Shaker Heights. The project will surgically remove everything from the building's underlying concrete skeleton. Around the remaining framework, the architects will build what amounts to an entirely new building and wrap it in a curving, metal and glass shell. At night, it should light up like a lantern. The design will eliminate lower level outdoor pathways that cut around the building on its north, east and south sides by covering them with new plaza areas, thereby removing the impression that the structure is a castle edged by a moat. Neighborhood connections This will have an especially big impact on the East 30th Street side of the campus, which will look and feel accessible and completely opened up to the surrounding Central neighborhood. A Starbucks and a Barnes & Noble, visible from the street, could turn the building into a welcoming local hub instead of an aloof, fortress-like enigma, which is what it is today.  In the renderings, the arrangement of glass and metal panels designed for the new skin of the Campus Center looks slightly busy, as if it is trying too hard to generate visual interest amid bleak surroundings. Project Details What: The Tri-C Metro makeover. Components: Radical re-do of the Campus Center building plus new landscaping across the 30-acre core campus. Designers: Campus Center: Bialosky, Cleveland; landscaping: City Architecture, Cleveland. Total cost: $66 million. Funding for landscaping and garage roof redesign: Higher Education Funding Commission. $7 million received so far; another $10 million allocated. Tri-C will seek an estimated additional $11 million from the commission. Funding for Campus Center: $2.5 million from Higher Education Funding Commission; remainder from Tri-C funds. But in general, the new architecture proposed for the Campus Center has the potential to transform perceptions of the Metro campus, and perhaps even to make the remaining buildings look halfway decent. That's also very true of the second big project at Metro, already underway, will soften the harsh, hard-edged concrete plazas that now surround most buildings on campus by introducing new areas grass and trees inside the facility and around its edges. Designed by City Architecture, the project is divided into four phases, the most important of which is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2018 along with the new Campus Center. This part of the project will replace the elevated platform at the northeast corner of the campus with landscaping that will slope gently down to the intersection of East 30th Street and Community College Avenue. Softer and more welcoming The landscaping will provide multiple curved pathways directly from surrounding sidewalks into the campus, in dramatic contrast to the current design, which channels all visitors and students up and down a handful of staircases or across bridges that traverse the virtual moat that surrounds the campus. "Making the campus more outward-facing and more accessible to the public was one of our biggest goals," Michael Schoop, president of the Metro campus, said in a recent interview. It looks like he'll get his wish. A Cuyahoga County Metropolitan Housing Authority rendering of a redevelopment on the north side of Community College Avenue at East 30th Street, opposite a separate revamp of the Tri-C Metro campus that will soon get underway.Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority  Tri-C Metro's projects should also dovetail very nicely with a big project on the north side of Community College Avenue at East 30th Street, where the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority is replacing stalag-style Olde Cedar Estates and Cedar Extension Estates with street-friendly mixed-income apartments and townhouses. The upshot is that CMHA and Tri-C together are revising the legacy of mid-century modernism by drawing on a half-century's worth of new design wisdom about how to make cities better places to live, work and learn. That's good news for Central, and for the entire city.
-1 points by The Plain Dealer | Le Corbusier Cleveland Cuyahoga County Ohio Cleveland State University Mid-Century modern Downtown Cleveland Greater Cleveland Campus
Cleveland must do more than just manage decline: Richey Piiparinen (Opinion)
There's nothing lovable about losing. For a half century, the agony of defeat got baked into Cleveland. Now maybe the Cavs' victory signals the start of a new paradigm of expectations about the city's future, writes Richey Piiparinen of Cleveland State. Richey Piiparinen, Director, The Center for Population Dynamics at CSURichey Piiparinen  God didn't burn the river. We did. That's the reminder of culpability in Randy Newman's classic "Burn On," which ends: "Now the Lord can make you tumble, And the Lord can make you turn, And the Lord can make you overflow, But the Lord can't make you burn." The burning in question is Cleveland's badge of dishonor: when the Cuyahoga River caught fire. It happened June 22, 1969. The event accelerated Cleveland on its arc of Rust Belt shame -- one birthed by deindustrialization. The trajectory was a dejected, if needily resilient, one. The heartbreak of Cleveland sports only brought a poetic legitimacy to the cold truths of macroeconomics. There's nothing lovable about losing. For a half century, the agony of defeat got baked into Cleveland, not unlike agonies do in real life, like the loss of a loved one. And that was the worst part about being a Cleveland sports fan, as fandom is meant to be a salve on life's inevitabilities. A local psychotherapist once told me that his colleague in Boston would lose patients after a city championship. In Cleveland, the need for relief was never so easily reprieved. The internal struggle was the only way out. No longer. LeBron slayed the dragon, and the lack of a collective release was mercifully lost. The hope is that this psychic shift can open head space whereby the community has freedom to think new thoughts. Not just thoughts about future championships, but also thoughts about Cleveland's future. June: Cavaliers fans are crossing the country to come home for victory parade "One cannot long remain so absorbed in contemplation of emptiness without being increasingly attracted to it," wrote sociologist Emile Durkheim. This was the case in Cleveland. We got so numb to losing that even our solutions were drivers toward loss. Specifically, the operating model locally is one of managing decline. People and jobs left; people and jobs aren't coming back: That's the gist of the thinking behind the policy approach. The strategies, then, become those of gently dismantling the city. Or to "die right." Arguably, the first seed in Cleveland's "dying right" was planted a year after Cleveland's last championship. It was 1965 and Cleveland's mayor, Ralph Locher, officiated a "home burning" ceremony on the city's East Side. "I never thought I'd stand by and watch a place burn, but this is a beautiful sight, it isn't it?" asked the mayor. "It has such a cleansing effect." Over the next 15 years, there were more than 15,000 intentionally set fires in Cleveland, according to research by Daniel Kerr in his analysis, "Who Burned Cleveland, Ohio?" Upwards of 40 percent of housing units in select neighborhoods were gone. Yet the burning of Cleveland didn't so much manage decline as hasten it: Nearly one of every four residents left the city in the 1970s alone. The following decades brought more decline. Cleveland lost 17 percent of its population between 2000 and 2010. Concomitantly, the disassembling of the city has been renewed. Cleveland is a thought leader in the scaled bulldozing of vacant houses. 2013: Cleveland debates demolition vs. rehabilitation Ohio even recently missed out on tens of millions in foreclosure-prevention assistance as it favored a demolition-heavy approach. The thinking here is why help maintain household occupancy when abandonment is inevitable. Knock it down. Everyone will vacate anyway. Now, considering the affordable housing crisis in America, it's not far-fetched to suppose housing can be a comparative advantage for Cleveland. Yet it's no longer affordable when it's gone. Capitalizing on potential advantages, then, requires believing there exists potentiality. In Cleveland, the existence wavered. But the collective switch to thriving from "dying right" isn't easy. In his report "Regenerating America's Legacy Cities," Alan Mallach bemoans the tendency of Rust Belt leaders to be ensnared by "path dependence." Here, history affects the present to the extent it limits leaders' ability to see possibility. "Those who have never experienced anything but decline may have difficulty even conceptualizing a different reality," Mallach writes. After LeBron's Cavs were down 3-1 in the Finals, conceiving of a reality other than losing was near impossible. No team had made such a comeback. And with Cleveland's psychic baggage -- forget about it. The enormity was too enormous. Even at times for LeBron. Before Game 5, LeBron was asked about the real possibility of his failing to bring a title home. LeBron shifted in his seat, saying there were non-basketball reasons he came back. He wanted to help underprivileged kids in Akron. It's a want familiar to most here: making do in a land of undone. He then downplayed the basketball reasons, saying his goal had always been a championship -- be it in high school, Miami, or Cleveland. "And at the end of the day," Lebron said, "I am not happy [if they lose], but I'm okay with it." In the end, we'd be OK with it, too. In the end, however, OK turned into something else. "Resignation requires will, and will requires decision, and decision requires belief, and belief requires that there is something to believe in!" said author Anne Rice. Despite an all-pervading resignation, Cleveland never lost belief. There was a victory parade. Its presence ran through the ghosts of our city. It happened on June 22: the day the river burned. The arc has come full circle. Let's hope it galvanizes Cleveland toward being reborn right. Richey Piiparinen is director of the Center for Population Dynamics at Cleveland State University. ******** Have something to say about this topic? Use the comments to share your thoughts, and stay informed when readers reply to your comments by using the Notification Settings (in blue) just below.
100 points by The Plain Dealer | Cleveland Akron Ohio Cleveland State University Émile Durkheim Thought Greater Cleveland Cleveland Cavaliers Downtown Cleveland
Will RNC limelight bring jobs, investment to Cleveland? Only time will tell (video)
The long-term impact of the GOP convention on Cleveland's efforts to rebuild itself will be much harder to measure than the short-term pop of positive press. Watch video CLEVELAND, Ohio - Since thousands of delegates and journalists packed up and left Quicken Loans Arena in late July, one question keeps cropping up: What's the next big thing for Cleveland, now the Republican National Convention is behind us? Sorry to disappoint, but there's no simple response to that query when it comes to major investments in the city. Broach the subject with business leaders, and they'll react with generic, vague answers. Or they'll tender a shrug, a sigh or a poorly concealed eye roll. Despite much handwringing and hype over the candidate and the political climate, the GOP convention did provide a chance for Cleveland to remake its image on the national, and world, stage. Based on the abundance of laudatory headlines, the city largely succeeded. Yet the long-term impact of the convention on Cleveland's efforts to rebuild itself - with new jobs, new companies and new developments - will be much harder to measure than the short-term pop of positive press. We won't know what's next, really, for a few years. "Anyone who wanted an immediate impact is going to have to wait," said Rick Batyko of Team NEO, a nonprofit economic-development group. "I had a local TV station call me, because they wanted to know what businesses are coming to Cleveland because of the RNC. It doesn't work that way. But what this does do is put us on the consideration list." Researchers at Cleveland State University are putting together an economic-impact study of the convention at the behest of the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, a nonpartisan, local group that handled logistics and fundraising for the July 18-21 event. The results of that research won't be released until early next year, though. And the study will focus on the past - the convention and major investments completed in the run-up to it - instead of the future. It's tough, meanwhile, to assess the value of the networking that occurred, the business relationships that were established or rekindled and the ways that the convention might have impacted Cleveland's appeal to corporate executives from outside of the region. Some notable C-suite leaders did pop into town for a day or two during the convention, attending policy discussions hosted by the Jones Day law firm, more intimate gatherings at the Cleveland Clinic, networking events with local chief executives and and tours of the city. People who focus on government affairs for out-of-town corporations also made the trek to Cleveland, providing a possible gateway for local business-development groups to reach out to executives who make decisions about real estate, relocations and expansion projects. "What I expect, based on the anecdotal feedback that I've been getting, is that Cleveland as a potential site for new development will be on lists it hasn't been on before - and will stay on lists long enough to get site visits, as opposed to falling off earlier in the process," said Joe Roman, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the metropolitan chamber of commerce. "I've had 20 years of working with site selectors. Their job is to please their client as quickly as they can. ... I don't think we will hear as many of them saying 'Well, we just didn't know that much about Cleveland.'" The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum was bathed in red, white and blue during the welcome party for delegates, journalists and other Republican National Convention VIPs in July. Roughly 12,000 people were invited.Lynn Ischay/The Plain Dealer  During the RNC's opening-night festivities, Jones Day Partner Chris Kelly was watching fireworks on the East Ninth Street Pier. He started chatting with a Californian wearing a straw hat. The man, it turned out, was a real estate developer who had done business with Jones Day from time to time. He marveled at the compactness of the center city, the lack of traffic and the Euclid Avenue HealthLine, a rapid-transit bus line that links downtown to University Circle. "He clearly had thought about this," said Kelly, co-leader of Jones Day's capital markets practice and one of four local business executives to co-chair the host committee. "It wasn't a casual conversation. The vibrancy of it, the availability of land close to where the energy is - I got the feeling that he wasn't doing suburban shopping malls." Dan Walsh, a former regional banking executive who now runs an investment firm called Citymark Capital in downtown Cleveland, had a similar, serendipitous experience. He bumped into a former client, an out-of-town player in the apartment business, at The Q. Walsh ended up showing off Cleveland and forging a better link to lenders and apartment investors. "Take my experience and multiply it by 30,000," said Walsh, who is also board chairman for Destination Cleveland, the convention and visitors' bureau, a key participant in readying the city for the event. "The value of this convention, I think, is incalculable." The impact is, perhaps, clearest on the hospitality side. The Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland is landing more, and bigger, events thanks to publicity and a flurry of hotel openings that led up to the GOP gathering. The facility, which opened in 2013, is performing better than expected, though it - like many convention centers - still isn't profitable on its own. It's harder to get a sense of whether Cleveland's stint in the spotlight will bring more cash and companies here, because of the behind-closed-doors nature of business deals. "I believe that the value of this will be the halo effect it will leave," Jay Foran, senior vice president of industry and innovation at Team NEO, said of the convention. "Each year, making the case for Cleveland and Northeast Ohio has gotten better and better. Will I be able to tie a project win two years from now directly to this? I think it's going to be hard to do that." Team NEO can't talk about specific business-attraction efforts. The nonprofit Downtown Cleveland Alliance, which represents property owners, is guarded when discussing projects in the pipeline. Business leaders have been reluctant to drop names of CEOs who showed up on guest lists. During the week of the convention, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wouldn't even confirm that it had set up shop at the Cowell & Hubbard restaurant on Euclid Avenue. It's also difficult to measure who didn't show up. Amid widespread reports of dampened corporate financial support for the convention after real estate mogul Donald Trump emerged as the Republican nominee, some trade organizations and executives bowed out. Meanwhile, the throng of reporters grew, as news organizations champed at the bit for political drama and protests. When controversy failed to erupt, Cleveland became the story, instead. Kelly, of Jones Day, acknowledged that some people were disappointed in the level of corporate turnout. But he said there was tremendous value in heavier-than-expected media attendance. "They change impressions, and impressions matter," he said of the press. The Cleveland Clinic participated in and hosted several events and tours during the GOP convention week in July, including a Thursday reception for C-suite executives.Marvin Fong/The Plain Dealer  Top executives from U.S. Steel Corp., accounting firm EY, Owens Corning of Toledo and Cleveland-based KeyCorp did speak on panels at Jones Day, where CEOs of publicly traded companies joined neighborhood leaders and the occasional local public official in the crowd. Programs arranged by the host committee and JobsOhio, a quasi-public entity, put representatives of Northeast Ohio businesses including Key, the Clinic, University Hospitals and the Solon-based Swagelok Company on stage with politicians and magnates from other parts of the state. The discussions subtly showcased Cleveland to out-of-town executives and reporters during explorations of bigger issues, such as workforce development, energy policy, urban reinvestment, education, prescription-drug development and the opioid crisis. On the final night of the convention, the Clinic hosted roughly 100 high-ranking executives at a rooftop cocktail reception, dinner and panel event on the hospital's main campus. The guest list was private, but many of the attendees traveled here from outside of Cleveland, said Kristen Morris, the Clinic's chief government and community affairs officer. The entire point, she said, was to showcase the city to people who make business decisions. As an international healthcare brand, the Clinic itself didn't necessarily get a bump in visibility from the convention, though Morris has heard from more policymakers - of all political stripes - since the event. "The ultimate outcome is going to be defined by the city, writ large," she said of payoff from Cleveland's hosting gig. "Do we have more investment in our city? What's the next big event that's going to come?" The convention also brought - and occasionally forced - regional businesses, nonprofit groups and the public sector to work together in new, more organized ways. That cooperation, and improved communication, didn't end when workers at The Q swept up the red-white-and-blue confetti and cleared away the balloons. Public Square stole the show during the Republican National Convention. In early August, a solitary pedestrian walked through the downtown Cleveland space after all the fanfare was over.Marvin Fong/The Plain Dealer  Along with new physical infrastructure - nearly 300 trees, a reimagined Public Square, a slew of planters, repaired streetlights, repaved roads and big technology upgrades by AT&T, for example - the convention left Cleveland with a better system of public-private collaboration. And that improved coordination left some community leaders more optimistic about the next big challenges, from financing and building ambitious downtown real estate projects to attracting more jobs and residents in an effort to ensure that the national "comeback" narrative isn't just a story - that it's something concrete, sustained. So will a change in Cleveland's image bring a wave of investment? It's too early to tell. "We don't have to clear that first hurdle anymore," said Joe Marinucci, president and chief executive of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. "We've significantly improved the perception of Cleveland, downtown Cleveland." Still, Marinucci does have one more banner event on his wish list: "To get the Indians into the playoffs would add a good energy dimension into the fall," he said, laughing.
72 points by The Plain Dealer | Cleveland Cleveland State University Chief executive officer Euclid Avenue Convention Downtown Cleveland Greater Cleveland 2008 Republican National Convention
Have the Cleveland schools improved? State report cards, Transformation Alliance and State of the Schools all offer a look next week
Three events next week will offer insight into whether the Cleveland Schools have improved enough to warrant renewing 2012's tax increase Watch video CLEVELAND, Ohio - Have Cleveland schools improved over the last four years? And have they improved enough to meet the promises of the district and Mayor Frank Jackson when they campaigned for a major tax increase in 2012? "If we're going to ask for a significant levy, we better show results if we're going to ask people to renew that levy," Gordon said when he and Jackson first proposed the 15-mill tax increase. The campaign to convince voters to renew that tax -- an extension for four years without any increase in the tax rate -- kicked off today with a rally in the Old Stone Church off Public Square, just ahead of three events next week that will help voters answer those key questions. Click here for a look at how much the tax gives the schools and costs you. District CEO Eric Gordon and district leaders praised voters for passing the tax in 2012 -- the first increase for daily operation of the schools in 16 years -- then urged campaigners to share the district's gains with residents. They also announced that the renewal will appear on November's ballot as Issue 108 -- one up from the Issue 107 the tax was in 2012. The renewal also picked up endorsements from the presidents of Cleveland State University and Cuyahoga Community College. Tri-C President Alex Johnson told supporters that he'd support this levy even if it raised taxes. CSU President Ronald Berkman praised the district for staying its course, even as improvements come slowly. "Change is a difficult thing to do," Berkman said. "But we are making change and we are seeing the fruits of that change."  Voters who want to dig further should pay close attention to these three events next week: On Monday, the Transformation Alliance, Jackson's school quality panel, will give its annual report on progress of the district's improvement plan, the Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools. On Wednesday, district CEO Eric Gordon will give his annual state of the schools speech. And on Thursday, the state releases its annual report cards for districts and schools. See below for details on each. The first two will be subjective looks at the district, while the report cards will offer the last real set of data on whether kids can read, write and do math any better now than four years ago, when the Cleveland Plan helped the district escape takeover by the state. Just don't expect any easy answers.  Because the state has changed its educational standards since 2012 and has dramatically changed its state tests three times since then, it's hard to compare results from year to year. Most districts across the state saw scores fall as the state raised standards. Cleveland is among them, so you'll have to weigh scores in the state context. Transformation Alliance report: The Alliance was formed as part of the Cleveland Plan. Jackson, a co-author of the Plan, chairs the panel of charter, district, higher education, union and philanthropic leaders. "I want the report to be honest in its reflection of how we are doing," Jackson said at the panel's Aug. 29 meeting. "Good or bad. And I think there's enough good that people will see progress." Other members agreed. They and an early draft of the report highlighted some report card gains, an improving graduation rate and graduates being better prepared for college. At the same time, members said gains are "slow and incremental" -- a creep that Gordon specifically hoped to avoid -- and said they must be accelerated. "There are too many schools that are not meeting the grade," said Helen Williams of the Cleveland Foundation. We'll have details on the final report for you here by Tuesday morning. State of the Schools: Gordon will give his annual talk about the schools at noon Wednesday, a day before the state releases its new report card for districts. Gordon, who will have seen most of the results in advance, should offer at least a partial preview of what is coming. For two of the last three years, Gordon has highlighted district gains, while also noting they were a start but not enough. Last fall, report cards were delayed, so he could not talk about results. Click here for coverage of his 2015 speech, here for his 2014 speech, and here for 2013. The event is sponsored by the City Club but will be at the new Hilton Cleveland Downtown hotel at 100 Lakeside Ave. Online registration is closed, so call 216-621-0082 for reservations. State report cards: This is an important report for the district because it covers the 2015-16 school year -- the third year in which both the improvement plan and tax money were in place for the whole year. Voters did not pass the levy until partway into the 2012-13 school year, and money was not available to undo teacher layoffs until midyear. So that leaves 2013-14, 2014-15 and now 2015-16 as the cleanest looks at progress. The last report cards for 2014-15 showed that Cleveland had the fifth-worst test scores in Ohio, an improvement from having the second-worst scores before the Cleveland Plan was enacted. Improving graduation rates and an improved grade on the value-added measure of how much kids learn over a school year were bright spots. After having an F on that key measure of student academic progress and growth, the district jumped up to a C. That's a solid grade, according to state officials, who say the C on that measure means kids learned an expected amount over the school year. While Cleveland students didn't make up ground on kids in other districts, they have stopped falling behind. The new report card will show if Cleveland continues climbing up from the bottom in the state ranks and if students have started to catch up to their peers across the state.
20 points by The Plain Dealer | Better Frank G. Jackson Improve Cleveland State University Downtown Cleveland Cleveland High school School