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December 2013 •

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News from

Buckeye-Shaker • Central • East Cleveland • Fairfax • Glenville • Hough • Little Italy • University Circle

Neighbors Celebrate

Community members were honored for innovative work at the inaugural Neighbor Up Awards ceremony Nov. 2 at the Tudor Arms Hotel. Read more about the awards on Page 4. Photo by Jan West.

PERRY’S PERSPECTIVE Commentary by East Cleveland’s M. LaVora Perry

Residents Invited to Attend Upcoming Meeting, Take Part in City’s Redevelopment East Cleveland is on the rebound, and people are working to ensure that current residents reap the benefits of our city’s progress. Those people include Mark Chupp of the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, Trevelle Harp of the Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope (NOAH), and Wayne Mortensen of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP). Chupp first tried to link some of the institutions in University Circle with East Cleveland in continued on Page 10

Case Western Reserve University Classes Come to Hough Fatima Family Center hosts course about American politics Richard Massey, Shirleen Wright and their neighbors are not students at Case Western Reserve University, but that hasn’t stopped them from studying there — through a university course offered at Hough’s Fatima Family Center. The university’s Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program offered a class at Fatima this fall about the book “That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back.” There was a syllabus with reading assignments, but otherwise there were no tests or written homework. The point of Lifelong Learning classes is to foster discussion. The syllabus said the class would consider the question: “What are our opportunities and challenges as citizens of the United States?” The Lifelong Learning program offers a variety of off-campus classes throughout the region


Dr. E: One Woman’s Extraordinary Journey Page 5

on everything from China to Michelle Obama. Teachers come to a home or a community location (like a library or community center) to host the eight-week classes. The registration fee is typically $70, but financial assistance is available. A grant from Neighborhood Connections, the community-building program of the Cleveland Foundation and the publisher of Neighborhood Voice, paid the registration fees for the students at Fatima. The class teacher was Joe Konan, a Clevelander who has been working with the Lifelong Learning program for about five years. He called the group of 13 students at Fatima “vibrant.” “These are not supposed to be traditional classes,” Konan said. “The expectation is that people read the book and have their own views and my job is to lead a discussion and ask questions. This group loves the discussion. I’m finding this to be one of the more exciting


Residents to Meet about Opportunity Corridor Page 6

By Lila Mills

groups (I teach).” Konan said the group kept asking the question, “What can we do to improve the country?” During discussion of the book at a class in November, class members bantered back and forth about the reasons behind the budget deficit (“Bush got elected!” Wright said to laughter from her classmates), the lagging U.S. education system and the need to teach entrepreneurship to young people. “Sometimes we as a nation get away from the idea of community, and how we can do things better,” Wright said. “We need to really understand and get together as a nation around a common goal.” Added Massey, who was raised in Hough: “We feel like we don’t have any power. We think others are going to take care of it.”

You could win a $50 gift card by filling out a Neighborhood Connections sur vey! Find it online at www. neighborhood-news/useyour-voice/ Or fill out a hard copy of the sur vey for a chance to win a $25 gift card. Pick up a hard copy of the survey at the Neighborhood Connections Greater University Circle office or call 216-229-2975 to receive one in the mail. The office is located at: Neighborhood Connections 1988 Ford Drive Cleveland, OH 44106

continued on Page 10


Liz Tekus: Crafting Circle Leads to Career Page 8

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Neighborhood Connections


Lila Mills


M. LaVora Perry Justin Rutledge

Graphic Design Consultant Julie Heckman

Copy Editor Lindsy Neer

Contributors Janet Century, Leonard Forbes, Gwen Garth, Debbie and Warren Groce, Lori Ingram, Katie Montgomery, John Moore, Natalie Rudd, Jennifer Schlosser, Elaine Siggers, Chris Smith, Shirley TatumChapman, Jackie Tucker, Becky Voldrich


1990 Ford Drive Cleveland, OH 44106


Landscape of Greater University Circle atop the W.O. Walker Building at 9500 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, Ohio.



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About Us

Neighborhood Voice is a community newspaper written by citizen journalists who live, work and play in Greater University Circle. It’s easy to share your story. Just send a text or picture message from your phone to Or call 1-888-821-7563 ext. 6036 to record your audio story. Or go online to en/groups/neighborhood-voice to submit your story. Thanks to Vojo it’s easy for people to share stories with Neighborhood Voice from any mobile phone. You don’t need a smartphone or Internet access to post stories – any phone will do!

Neighborhood Voice is part of a courageous and innovative movement happening in Greater University Circle — an area that includes parts of East Cleveland and the Buckeye-Shaker, Central, Fairfax, Glenville, Hough, Little Italy and University Circle neighborhoods of Cleveland. We are part of a wide network of people committed to making our communities stronger. Neighborhood Voice tells the stories of everyday people doing extraordinary things. We tell stories of transformation, authentic relationships and people using their talents to do good work and help others. We tell these stories to inspire and inform. We all have something to give and we need each other to thrive. Come join us. Find out more at or call 216-229-8769.

“I’d always thought I was waiting for someone to come and change things — but what I really learned was that I was waiting for myself.” ~ Bevelynn Bravo, resident

Deadline for submissions: Dec. 18

Neighborhood Voice is a program of Neighborhood Connections.


Get Neighborhood Voice delivered to your home. Paid subscriptions available. Just $10 for six months! Call 216-229-8769.

We want to hear from you. Write to us at 1990 Ford Dr., Cleveland, OH 44106 or email us at

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December 2013

Come for dinner, fun and possibility! JOIN THE NEXT

Network Night 6 - 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5

(No Network Night in January)

University Circle United Methodist Church, 1919 E. 107th St. For information, call 216-229-2975 or email Indigo Bishop at

8 Communities, 1 Voice Pick Up Your Copy at one of our 300 distribution locations in Greater University Circle including these: BUCKEYE-SHAKER

Cleveland Public Library, Rice branch, 11535 Shaker Blvd. East End Neighborhood House, 2749 Woodhill Road Yours Truly, 13228 Shaker Square Dewey’s Coffee House, 13201 Shaker Square Buckeye Area Development Corp., 11802 Buckeye Road


Cleveland Public Library, Garden Valley branch, 7100 Kinsman Road



East Cleveland City Hall, 14340 Euclid Ave.

Hough Multipurpose Center, 8555 Hough Ave.

East Cleveland Public Library, 14101 Euclid Ave.

Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center, 8611 Hough Ave.

Konni’s Market, 13598 Euclid Ave.

Cleveland Public Library, Hough branch, 1566 Crawford

Helen S. Brown Center, 16100 Euclid Ave.

Snickerfritz, 13240 Euclid Ave.


PNC Fairfax Connection, 8220 Carnegie Ave. Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Ave. Tudor Arms Hotel, 10660 Carnegie Ave.

CornUCopia, 7201 Kinsman Road

Antioch Baptist Church, 8629 Cedar Ave.

Ohio BMV, 2765 E. 55th St.

Fairfax Renaissance Development Corp., 8111 Quincy Ave.

Vocational Guidance Services, 2239 E. 55th St. Friendly Inn Settlement, 2386 Unwin Ave. Lonnie Burten Recreation Center, 2511 E. 46th St. Arbor Park Village, 3750 Fleming Ave. Tri-C Metro Campus Student Center, 2900 Community College Ave. Cleveland Public Library, Sterling branch, 2200 E. 30th St. Stepstone Academy, 2121 E. 32nd St.

Rainey Institute, 1705 E. 55th St.


Murray Hill Market, 2072 Murray Hill Road Valentino’s Pizza, 2197 Murray Hill Road Presti’s Bakery, 12101 Mayfield Road


University Hospitals Atrium, 11100 Euclid Ave.

Fairfax Recreation Center, 2335 E. 82nd St.

Case Western Reserve University, Kelvin Smith Library, 11005 Euclid Ave.

Karamu House, 2355 E. 89th St.

Cleveland Public Library, MLK branch


The Free Clinic, 12201 Euclid Ave.

J. Glenn Smith Health Center, 11100 St. Clair Ave.


Cleveland Public Library, Glenville branch, 11900 St. Clair Ave.

Cleveland City Hall, 601 Lakeside Ave.

Famicos Foundation, 1325 Ansel Road

Justice Center, 1220 W. 3rd St. Cleveland Public Library, main branch, 325 Superior Ave.



Team of Neighbors Help Others Get Healthy By Debbie and Warren Groce, Jackie Tucker and Shirley Tatum-Chapman The Family Wellness Network came together more than eight years ago because of our interest in the health and wellness industry. We are a team of six people who are all about teaching people how to live longer, healthier lives and we are committed to each individual. The mission of the Family Wellness Network is to offer the “Eat Healthy, Be Active” community workshop series throughout the community. The six-week workshop series is based on the dietary and physical activity guidelines for Americans. Our vision is to promote health and reduce obesity. Our goal is that after taking the series, participants will not only live a healthy lifestyle but will motivate others to do the same.

We found that the handouts that were given to each participant were a very important part of the series because they gave people something to work from — not only during the workshop, but also at home as a means to measure how well they were doing. Because lots of prizes were given out, there was much fun and excitement for everyone. People were a lot more attentive, too. The participants were very engaged in the workshop. They really enjoyed the icebreakers and interacting with each other.

Each week we had great stories about how their week was and how they put what they learned in the workshops into use. They loved trying a variety of different foods. Many talked about how they looked forward to coming to class each week. We explained the physical activity guidelines for adults, children and adolescents and the health benefits from being physically active. We talked about moderate and vigorous activity. As

Our team partnered with Zelma George Recreation Center and received a grant from Neighborhood Connections, the communitybuilding program of the Cleveland Foundation. We conducted two separate, six-week workshops — one on Thursdays from noon to 1 and the other on Saturdays. We averaged about 22 participants at each session. Each session featured icebreaker activities, handouts, handson learning activities, prizes, short films and a chance to taste different foods. The workshops were interactive and promoted teamwork. Certificates were given out at the end of the sixweek series.

“I have been to many events all over the world, but I must say this was the most uplifting and spiritual event I have ever attended,” she said. “There was nothing but pure love in the place … when you have people that love all people in one room, it can be powerful and spiritual. There was nothing but positive energy at this event. It was a honor to be amongst such motivating people.” The evening started with a poem written and performed by Gwen Garth of Central followed by an introduction by Tom O’Brien, program director of Neighborhood Connections. Then it was onto the awards. The awards were based on the values of Neighbor Up, a powerful network of people working to strengthen our community and make long-term change here. Award recipients, through their involvement in their neighborhoods, exemplify the belief that relationships are vital, and work from a platform of abundance that recognizes the resources and gifts that are found in the community.


Neighborhood Connections, the small-grants and grassroots community-building program affiliated with the Cleveland Foundation approved $273,648 in grants to support 90 different projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, Cuyahoga County’s local public funder for arts and culture, will co-fund 35 of the resident-led arts and culture projects through a unique partnership with Neighborhood Connections. — McGregor Seed2Feed Organic Community Garden in East Cleveland was granted $5,000 to bring back honeybees to East Cleveland by conducting beekeeping classes and gardening activities for youth in the community garden for eight consecutive Saturdays. The grant funds will be used to purchase equipment and provide a stipend to the youth and instructors.

Neighborhood Connections hosted first Neighbor Up Awards Celebration

Gwendolyn Harris, founder of A Ray of Sunshine Youth Program, raved about the night.

By Jennifer Schlosser

Highlights of the grants include:

A Night To Remember The first Neighbor Up Awards Celebration, hosted Nov. 2 at the Tudor Arms Hotel, was an awesome event.

Neighbors Receives Grants to Do Community Work

By Lila Mills

Those honored included: • The Cleveland Timebank and the Vital Neighborhoods working group for doing projects that build a greater sense of cooperation and neighborliness across the city.

Said Harris: “Congratulations to all the organizations and people who were honored that night! This is the season for people that want to make a change in their communities.”

• University Hospitals and Towards Employment for the University Hospitals Pathways Pilot Project, a grassroots/institutional collaboration to prepare and hire local residents at University Hospitals and promote those already hired.

Get the Neighbor Up vibe at the next Network Night from 6 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 5 at University Circle United Methodist Church, 1919 E. 107th St.

Also honored were Yvonne Pointer, Cheryl Johnson, Todd Kennedy, Michael Mishaga, Hassan Lee, Dawn Arrington and the folks from the Gordon Square Farmers’ Market.

— Layfayette Carthon Music Conservatory in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood was granted $3,000 to mentor and teach youth interested in music how to develop their talent and prepare for college auditions. — Red Hat Rubies in Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood was granted $4,000 for a project called “Red Hat Mamas,” a project that fights loneliness and depression of 22 long-term care residents. The grant funds will be used for outdoor field trips, local restaurant visits, holiday parties, entertainment twice a year for the entire nursing home, and van transportation costs for Rubies to attend events. — NextBroadway in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood was granted $2,000 to produce a comprehensive director of local businesses called “The Slavic Village Business Directory,” for use as reference by Slavic Village residents, organizations and businesses. The grant funds will be used to pay for printing costs. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture has invested $75,000 in Neighborhood Connections to support vibrant arts and cultural programs in Cleveland and East Cleveland, with the aim to support communitybased arts and culture activities organized by and for residents. For a complete list of Neighborhood Connections grants awarded, visit www.neighborhood-voice. com. The next deadline for proposals is Feb. 14, 2014.

Honorees and Neighborhood Connections staff pose with the awards at the celebration. See more photos from the event at Photo by Jan West.

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December 2013

Jennifer Schlosser is the communications manager for Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

NEIGHBORHOOD FAITH LOOKING UP A regular column by Natalie Rudd

Change is Coming

Every Christmas since I was a little girl, my family has gathered at the home of my aunt and uncle, eating dinner, exchanging presents and just enjoying the fellowship of being together. We may not all be together for Thanksgiving, but we are always definitely together for Christmas. Except this year, it will be different. Travel plans will have us celebrating Christmas apart — with half the family in Cleveland and the other half in Maryland. Some family members are excited, while others are saddened by this change. Change is the one constant element in the world and in our personal lives. The seasons change from winter to spring to summer to fall. The day turns to night and the night ushers in a brand new day. In our personal lives, change is everywhere. A baby is born — life changes. A loved one dies — life changes. We get a new job or we lose a job — life changes. It is inevitable that all things will not remain the same. Sometimes we label change as good, while other times not so good. The question that remains is how do we deal with change when it enters our life? Do we fight it or flow with it? If we fight the change, we must then ask ourselves, “Are we making the situation more stressful and more difficult? Does our response alter the outcome in any way?” Make no mistake, sometimes you have to fight. It often depends on the situation. If your health begins to fail and you get an unwanted diagnosis, you need to fight your way back to health. If your marriage takes a turn for the worse, get back in the game and fight to save the relationship. Sometimes you have to fight. But always fighting and resisting change isn’t good for us. Another option we often choose is to flow with the change and resist labeling it as all bad. Over the years, as I have experienced big changes in my life — divorce, losing everything in a fire, experiencing a sudden health crisis, changing jobs, having doors that appeared wide open suddenly slam shut in my face, just to name a few — I have learned to go with the flow of it rather than fighting it (not that it was easy).

Through these life-changing experiences, I learned to dig my roots deeper in God’s love and his word. I learned to trust in the passage that says God will work everything out for his good. And if it is “his good,” then my faith tells me all will be well — no matter how bleak or gloomy it may seem. I have learned to walk by faith and not by sight. I have these suggestions as you experience the never-ending changes of life: • Alter your approach to the change. Instead of jumping to conclusions about how the story will end and putting on your boxing gloves to fight, take a step back, breathe and calm down. Take one step at a time and consider altering your approach until you have a clear mind and have given yourself time to take in all of the facts and process them. Recently, a change occurred at work and our initial reaction was to be angry and resist it; however, once all of the pieces started to come together we had to set our resistance aside and alter our approach to the situation. • Alter your attitude toward the change. There is a quote that I absolutely love: “If you want to change your life — change your attitude.” Adjusting our attitude oftentimes will improve a situation. It may not remove the situation, but it positions us to deal with it better. I recall a conversation with a dear friend who had just lost her job and had no prospects of another one coming anytime soon. It was amazing to hear her talk about the faithfulness of God and how she trusted that he would take care of her every need. Not only did she speak those words, she lived them out and faithfully walked through a difficult season ending up with a stronger faith. This would have never happened if she had a bad attitude about her circumstances. • Adjust your altitude to the change. Perhaps instead of looking down and consuming yourself with negative thoughts, alter your altitude and look up. Looking up rather than looking down has a way of altering one’s mood. If I walk down the street looking down and inwardly consumed, I can create a downcast spirit. However, if I walk the same path looking up to the sky, observing the trees, taking in all of nature regardless of cloudy or sunny weather, I am reminded that God is in control and watches over me. I can literally lift my spirits just by looking up. The message to take home is that life is constantly evolving and there are some things that will occur that are completely beyond our control. Yet, there is something more important that we can control — our response to the change. It goes back to the adage that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond. Change is coming — how will you choose to respond?

Natalie Rudd is on the ministerial staff at Antioch Baptist Church.

Want to Share Your Thoughts on Faith?

Local Woman Shares Extraordinary Story of Going From Drugs to a Ph.D.

By Justin Rutledge

Elaine Richardson, a graduate of East Tech High School in Central, has an extraordinary story to tell. Once a drugaddicted prostitute, Richardson is now an author and professor at The Ohio State University. On Nov. 14, Richardson told her story — of low self-esteem, rape and redemption — to a crowd of people at the main branch of Shaker Heights Public Library. Her book “PHD (Po H# on Dope) to Ph.D.: How Education Saved My Life” is for sale on As soon as Richardson took the floor, it became clear that desiring a sense of belonging was going to be the driving theme of her story. From her time as an acne-ridden, chubby teen to her life on the street and her eventual emancipation, Richardson told the audience how she continually sought out acceptance and found addiction and hardship instead. “My life was just totally unmanageable,” Richardson said. “I was killing my family. I was not there for my child. I just was not there for myself.” Through the span of the story, it was the love of Richardson’s mother that ultimately pulled her through some of her toughest times. There were times when Richardson would return to

her mother’s home and other family members refused to let her inside. Richardson’s mother always did. “My mother never gave up on me,” Richardson said. “My mother always let me come home.” Eventually, Richardson told the group that through Project Second Chance, an employment-training program, and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, she was able to go to Cleveland State University and get on the road to bettering her life. The difference was that she knew to take the advice people gave her rather than trying to go her own way. “I was too scared at that point not to do what they told me to do,” Richardson said. Though the content was heavy, Richardson connected with the audience in a way that kept the room from getting too solemn. As Richardson went through her story , she brought characters to life by impersonating their voices and mannerisms. She also injected a bit of humor, allowing her to connect with the audience that spanned age, race and gender. Richardson’s story was filled with tragic turns, bad decisions and drug abuse. It also showed how the love of her mother and her religion got her through the tough years of her life to get an education and eventually obtain her Ph.D.

Justin Rutledge is a Benedictine High School graduate with a journalism degree from Bowling Green State University.

Express Yourself For the Safety of Our Children Recently over that last few years I’ve noticed that we seem to be experiencing an increased rash of violence in our schools and on our streets with our young people in general. For example, at my son’s school earlier this year, students from a rival school showed up after school and jumped students from my son’s school. My son fought back even though he risked being suspended. But I ask: “Shouldn’t our children feel safe in our schools? Shouldn’t we be doing more to increase the safety in and around our schools?” I think so. Now, tell me what you think.

Buckeye-Shaker’s Elaine Siggers posted this on her blog http://wordsthatlastalifetime. Check it out to comment or go to See videos of Greater University Circle residents responding to Siggers’ blog posts at www.

Email them to, send them to Neighborhood Voice, 1990 Ford Dr., Cleveland, 44106 or call us at 216-229-8769. w w w. n e i g h b o r h o o d - v o i c e . c o m

December 2013




Residents Call for Changes in the Design of the Opportunity Corridor Wyonette Cheairs lives in Buckeye and grew up in Fairfax. Greater University Circle is home and Cheairs is worried about the effect the Opportunity Corridor could have on the neighborhoods she loves. Opportunity Corridor is a $331 million transportation project, expected to begin in late 2014 that will build a boulevard connecting I-490 to University Circle. The boulevard would travel through parts of Slavic Village, Central, Fairfax and Buckeye before reaching University Circle. Proponents say the project will revitalize surrounding neighborhoods because improved access to the interstate will attract industry. A spokesperson with the Ohio Department of Transportation stressed that the corridor will be a 35 mph boulevard, not a highway, and will be similar to the section of Chester Avenue between East 55th and East 90th streets. “There will be a sidewalk on the north side of the Boulevard and a 10 foot, multi-purpose path on the south side of the Boulevard that connects to the existing bike lanes on Euclid Avenue,” public information officer Amanda McFarland wrote in an email. But Cheairs and others say more work should be done before construction begins. “I’ve been in this community forever,” Cheairs said. “I would like to see (the Ohio Department Of Transportation) rethink the Corridor and plan more because the current design creates barriers for existing community members while

making it easier for those who do not live in the community to travel through. People from the community are not the direct beneficiaries. “ Cheairs is concerned that some residents could lose their homes through eminent domain and not receive adequate compensation to relocate, and that the corridor will be difficult for residents to cross. She also would like to see training programs to prepare local residents to get construction jobs on the project. Business owners could also be affected, Cheairs said, if they lose their properties and are displaced without adequate compensation. Cheairs said an agreement to use local and minority-owned construction firms as well as to provide construction apprenticeships for residents is “critical for the economic success of this project.” Cheairs recently met members of a local grassroots group called Clevelanders for Transportation Equity who are also calling for changes to the design of the Corridor. Group member Akshai Singh, a graduate of Case Western Reserve University, especially questions two parts of the corridor design — the closure of Quincy east of East 105th Street and of East 89th Street near Woodland Avenue. Sighting statistics that show 40 percent of neighbors who will live around the corridor do not own cars, Singh said, “a significant amount of the population would have absolutely no use for the corridor.”

By Lila Mills

He is calling for guarantees from ODOT about pedestrian walkways and public transportation access. Cheairs is also concerned about the potential rerouting of the #10 and #11 bus routes. According to McFarland, although the current corridor design calls for closing Quincy east of East 105th Street to through traffic, “the road will remain open to pedestrians, bikes and emergency vehicles and we plan to evaluate whether we can get buses through there also, following final survey information.” ODOT is also working with the Fairfax Renaissance Community Development Corporation, McFarland said, about the closure of East 89th Street near Woodland. McFarland said there will be a pedestrian structure across the railroad tracks to access Woodland Avenue and the Ken Johnson Recreation Center. Cheairs said that she and others are simply trying to educate and raise awareness in the community about Opportunity Corridor and then people can form their own opinions. Clevelanders for Transportation Equity will host a community meeting at 3 p.m. on Dec. 14 and 15 at University Circle United Methodist Church, 1919 E. 107th St. This meeting will give the community an opportunity to discuss the project and get engaged in efforts to ease the impacts on the neighborhoods.

Courtesy of the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Find out more at the group’s website or contact them at 6

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December 2013



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School of the Month: The Intergenerational School Address: 11327 Shaker Boulevard, Suite 200 E Contact: 216-721-0120;

Area senior citizens come in and read with students regularly so the students can just enjoy reading. Students from Case Western Reserve University, Saint Ignatius High School and other local high-performing schools also come in to work with students. Finally, each class adopts an assisted living home in the area and students go out to do enrichment activities with the senior citizens living there. “There are benefits for both the students and the adults,” McGarvey said, noting that it was helpful for students to interact with adults other than their teachers. “Obviously, for the students, it affects their social growth and their academic growth. For the senior citizens, it’s actually improving the quality of their lives. They’re actually remembering things they had forgotten years ago, and many more things are added benefits, as well.”

The Intergenerational School in ShakerBuckeye is creating a model educational environment at its new St. Luke’s Manor location — using multi-age groups, positive reinforcement and empowerment in a collaborative teaching environment. The school, which was founded in 2000, began the school year just after Labor Day at its new location in a wing of the old St. Luke’s Hospital on Shaker Boulevard. The location was the only thing that changed, though. Teachers and administrators remain single-minded in their goals for the students. “We want (the students) to leave here as lifelong learners and spirited citizens,” said Eric McGarvey, director of admissions and community relations. “When they leave here, we want them to be ready for high-performing high schools.” While the desired result for the students is not unique, the route the school takes to get there is. As the name suggests, at The Intergenerational School, students interact with senior citizens in the community who serve as mentors. “The difference between us and other charter schools is, aside from the fact that we are the top-rated K-8 charter school in the state of Ohio and we have been for a few years now, is that we really integrate the intergenerational theme into the class and daily lives of the students,” McGarvey said.

The interactions with mentors help students in a way that is more than academic, according to McGarvey. He said the experience really helps students who may not have grandparents or are missing an elder’s influence in some way at home by, in a sense, providing a more complete family experience. “What this environment does is it supports what they’re getting at home, but it affords them the opportunity to work with up to six to 10 different adults other than their teachers,” McGarvey said. “And it affords them the chance to work with sibling-like students, so it’s like a family culture in the classroom.” The Intergenerational School also empowers students by keeping the atmosphere in the school as positive as possible. McGarvey said teachers do this by not yelling at or reprimanding their students. “(The students) are empowered at age 5 to make their own decisions and make good choices,” McGarvey said. “We are very much all about those positive choices. We want to make a big deal and celebrate those.” The teachers and staff follow the Nurtured Heart model —rather than find ways to punish poor decisions, the teachers make time to celebrate students’ good decisions and achievements. When the school was founded 13 years ago, there were just 30 students. Now, the school educates more than 200 kindergarten through eighth-graders. continued on Page 10



Liz Tekus By Katie Montgomery

When you first meet knitwear designer Liz Tekus, three things become instantly apparent. She is devoted to her family (three sons and husband Hank), her city (Cleveland), and the staff and customers of her stores (Fine Points and Fine Points, Too, both located at 12620 Larchmere). However, Tekus didn’t necessarily start out on the path her life has taken. In fact, little did she know that a crafting circle in friends’ homes when her kids were little would lead to this career. An English, speech and theater teacher by training, Tekus first developed the business as a way to both support and keep close to her boys: Jay, Alexander and Andreas. Thirty years later, she has customers around town and across the country that are wearing, crafting and sharing her fine knitwear designs. Tekus moved to the Larchmere neighborhood after 15 years at a Little Italy studio location. She chose Larchmere because it met so many of her personal goals. “I wanted to choose a neighborhood in Cleveland to support the city, which is very important to me,” Tekus said. “And I found everything on my wish list on Larchmere — an urban heartbeat and the diversity of community.” Visitors to her shop, situated in a beautiful Victorian home, often remark that it “feels European, very ‘Old World’” Tekus said with a smile. “I like that.”

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December 2013

“Come in with your own yarn, or pick it up at the store,” she said. And you’ll never know who you’ll see. Recently, folks from Cleveland Play House stopped by for period props, and a movie star and her mom stopped by during filming in Cleveland. This coming year, Tekus is looking at adding a new turn in her path — curating a collection of clothing for the women who are “full of life” and looking for that special touch.

She added, “They’re picking up on the fact that Larchmere is both trendy and has great roots.”

Tekus said: “Many of us may have moved beyond age 30 and size eight, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to look girly and fabulous!”

At the shop, you’ll find fine yarns and notions (Fine Points) as well as a clothing and jewelry boutique (upstairs at Fine Points, Too), designed to “accent your creative life.”

“Whether working with the Textile Association at the Museum of Art, traveling around the country to share designs, or welcoming people to the shop, I love what I do,” Tekus said.

Another thing Tekus likes? Her retail partners in the neighborhood.

And, not to put too fine a point on it, we do too!

“We’re all invested in the neighborhood and our businesses — there’s a lot of good values here,” she noted with pride. “The support for each other is amazing. There is extreme generosity. We all want it to work.” Tekus added, “It’s the power of independent businesses. We’re like the Three Musketeers — one for all and all for one.”

The Neighborhood Voice wants to hear from you. Use your voice. 8

If you haven’t been to Fine Points yet, try the weekly knitting circle from 2 to 5 p.m. Fridays. Or, Tekus hopes you’ll stop in on Dec. 1 for a special “Quick Knit for Giving” event. Her staff has picked out projects you can finish in one to two weeks — just in time to give your holiday gifts a personal touch.

Fine Points is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Call the store at 216-229-6644 or visit www.

Katie Montgomery is an active member of the Larchmere neighborhood. Larchmere is located one block north of Shaker Square, bordered by Shaker Boulevard, Kemper/N. Moreland, Fairhill Road, and E. 116th/MLK.

Send us your articles and photos at


Women and Children First Women and children first? For the past few months, many people have been concerned about violent crimes against women in Cleveland and East Cleveland neighborhoods. The severity of the crimes and the media attention this spring and summer were overwhelming and scary. They highlighted the fact that many other women and children are trapped in abusive situations and need help. What can we do? The Federation of Network Ministries founded by Glenville Pastor Andrew Clark Sr., of Trinity Outreach Ministries Church of God in Christ, is proposing a way for neighbors, churches and other organizations to band together to address this situation. January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. During that month, the federation will announce a sevenpoint initiative to prevent such trafficking and rescue those trapped in it. The federation plans to introduce a curriculum to develop peer rescue teams and train faith-based organizations to be “beacons of hope” for abused children to turn to, Clark said. The federation will also promote the hotline of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center — 1-888-373-7888.

Wade Oval Winter – A New Way to Celebrate the Season By Becky Voldrich

Celebrate the snowy months by bringing family and friends to University Circle for Wade Oval Winter, featuring two of University Circle’s most popular events, The Rink at Wade Oval and the 20th annual Holiday CircleFest, along with some new and exciting twists. The Rink, which is open now through March 9, 2014, invites visitors to skate for free in one of Cleveland’s most picturesque outdoor settings. Skate rentals are available for $3. This season, The Rink will host a variety of new, free programs and events, including Skate with Santa, learn-to-skate lessons, learn to play hockey, figure skating demos, live music on select Wednesday nights, movie nights, a snowman-making contest, a Groundhog Day event, a Valentine’s Day “Pink the Rink” event, live feeds of the Olympic Winter Games, and much more. When guests are finished skating, they can show their Rink wristbands at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Natural History and at Western Reserve Historical Society to receive special discounted admission.

Outside on Wade Oval during CircleFest, watch as solid blocks of ice are transformed into works of art, hop in a wagon for free horse-drawn carriage rides, lace up your skates for special hours at The Rink, and grab a meal or snack from Cleveland’s food trucks. The day concludes with the Cleveland Museum of Art’s dramatic Winter Lights Lantern Procession. “Cleveland is a great four-season town,” said Chris Ronayne, president of University Circle Inc. “Wade Oval Winter is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the winter season here in Cleveland.” For more information on Wade Oval Winter, visit

Becky Voldrich is the marketing manager for University Circle Inc.

Neighborhood Voice regularly features local poets. Submit your poem to submissions@

Smile, You’re Being Lit Up The light that through the sky shines down each dawn, the glow we remember no matter how hard it rains or snows or blows, or how often clouds smother it, is mirrored and reflected back in the sometime happy smiles of those around us.

Smoke Dreams

And a morning drink helps me come awake. And a magic time smoke relaxes some of the ache.

Ingram: How did you meet your captor? Cowan: (He was one of my husband’s friends and I went to him for help after my husband went to jail.) He moved us all to the country in a rural area. The kids were homeschooled. His wife and children lived in the main house. I lived in a part of a three-car garage.

But I know my time’s short, I’m not long for this life, I guess all along I’ve tried to skip strife.

Ingram: Is this when the abuse started? Cowan: Yes, once he got us away from everyone, he abused all of the children. He withheld food from them, turned them against each other and beat them on their feet. They were wasting away.

So I dream of a place Where worry is past When I’ll exist forever and be at peace at last.

Ingram: He withheld food? Was there food to eat?

continued on Page 10

The fun continues Sunday, Dec. 8 during the 20th annual Holiday CircleFest. From 1 to 5:30 p.m., visitors can enjoy free admission to 19 different museums, schools, churches, and nonprofit organizations. Activities include make-and-take children’s crafts, shopping, live music, holiday exhibits and displays and much more.


Cirrhosis, cirrhosis you’re burning me up my skin’s turning yellow, and my sleep’s really fitful, Doc, give me a prescription, there’s a good fellow.

I also talked with Laura Cowan, a local woman who was held captive for several years in California, about her experience. She and her three children now live in Cleveland. She is an activist who speaks out against violence against women.

Cowan: Yes, there was food to eat. He received food stamps for his children and a welfare check. He took my food stamps and welfare check and he himself received a military pension.


By Lawrence Forbes, a University Circle resident The ice rink at night. Photo by Downie Photography.

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December 2013




Residents Urged to Attend Upcoming Meeting, Take Part in City’s Redevelopment continued from Page 1

Case Western Reserve University Classes Come to Hough continued from Page 1

2009. His idea was for the institutions to play an active role in rebuilding East Cleveland — their neighbor to the east. He later joined with Harp and NOAH to help East Cleveland develop. However, lack of funding prevented their plan from fully taking off until now.

Since 1925, Case Western Reserve University — then called Western Reserve — has been affiliated with an adult education program, according to the book “From the Trenches to Classrooms” by Paula Coppedge. And in 1947, a program called “Living Room Learning” started, bringing teachers into local homes for classes.

Now, the three men and their respective organizations are teamed up to support East Cleveland residents who live in a “target area” and are willing to participate in Target Area Planning (TAP). East Cleveland’s first such area is the southeast quadrant off of Euclid Avenue and beginning at East Cleveland’s western border, or as Harp described it, “two census tracts adjacent to Euclid Avenue.” Harp believes that in order for East Cleveland to grow, residents need to “understand the reality that we need partners in and outside of community.” He’s excited about all the great things happening in his city. He just doesn’t want current residents left behind. “I want all the new economic growth to be accessible to the people that are (already) here,” he said. Similarly, Chupp believes it’s essential for development in East Cleveland to be based on what its residents and business want to see happen. In addition, he said “it’s important to use the expertise of other successful cities, to learn what’s possible.” East Cleveland doesn’t have to look far to find that kind of expertise. According to Mortensen, CNP has helped nine Cleveland

communities continue their growth, including Fairfax, which, like East Cleveland, is part of Greater University Circle. “We’re trying to make a specific plan for a targeted area, “said Mortensen, “a plan that will exploit developers’ resources for the betterment of the community.”

Cowan: Yes, he had many guns, a pistol, a shotgun and daggers and swords. I attacked him once and as I fell, he sliced at my foot. Blood was everywhere. Ingram: What was the worst thing you saw him do? Cowan: I got pregnant by him and he took my daughter into the house and gave her to his first wife to raise. Ingram: How did you escape? Cowan: For two months every chance I got, I wrote a letter from any paper I could find. I hid it in my clothes. My food stamps came certified in the mail and he could not sign for them so he had to take me into town to the post office. In line, he began a conversation with someone he knew there. I quickly reached in my cloths and gave the post lady the letter … As we walked out, I looked at the post lady. She looked at me and nodded. I prayed that she would not just


The Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program welcomes the formation of new class groups. Call 216-368-2090 if you would like to establish a group in your neighborhood.

Although members of the TAP project can’t tell people where to build, said Mortensen, they can make sure it’s done in a way that benefits the community. The TAP project plans to have about six public meetings with an advisory committee. East Cleveland residents are urged to attend; so are representatives from neighboring institutions and nearby communities, like Glenville and Hough. According to Chupp, TAP is a way to make sure East Cleveland residents “prioritize” and are “strategic” while participating in the redevelopment of their city. He and Harp shared Mortensen’s view of TAP: “It’s an opportunity for the public to help steer the kind of development they’d like to see, what kind of community they want to be known for.” The next TAP meeting takes place January 15, 2014. For more information, contact Brenda Mathias at and 585-402-9498.

M. LaVora Perry is a writer, wife, mother and 20-year East Cleveland resident. Her children have attended East Cleveland and CMSD schools. Visit her website at

Women and Children First continued from Page 9 Ingram: Did he have a gun?

Both programs have evolved into what is now the Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program.

throw the letter away. The next day the place was surrounded by sheriffs. They rescued us and I told them about my daughter being in the house. They gave her to me. She was eight months old and screaming because she didn’t know me from jack, but I held her and I had her back. Ingram: How does it feel being a hero? Cowan: I’m not a hero. I knew I had to do something to get my children free. He received seven consecutive life sentence terms. Many of the children were malnourished and dehydrated. All of them had post-traumatic stress disorder and were in therapy for years, but now my son is in college, my daughter just graduated from high school and my other daughter is a freshman in high school. They are all well-adjusted and successful. I stay busy. I will never have another relationship. I don’t have time and I am not interested. I have so much work to do.

Lori Ingram is an actress living in University Circle.

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December 2013

Richard Massey and LaJean Ray discuss youth, education and entrepreneurship during class at Fatima Family Center. Photo by Lila Mills.

School of the Month: The Intergenerational School continued from Page 8

“Currently, we have six Primary Classrooms, which are the equivalent of K-2. Then we have five Junior Cluster Classrooms, which are the equivalent of third through fifth grade,” McGarvey said. “And then we have three Senior Cluster Classrooms, which are the equivalent of grades six through eight.” Promotion through the school’s learning stages is based on mastery. Last year, there was an almost 100 percent retention rate allowing openings only for the kindergarten level after the school finished its enrollment process. The school is so popular, there is a waiting list and school administrators are considering adding another Senior Cluster class as well as a location in Collinwood.

The school attracts students from as far as Maple Heights and Lakewood. According to McGarvey, the main idea is to get Cleveland’s parents informed about the academic options for their students and get the children the best education possible. “I think we’re setting a pretty good example here of what a great inner-city school can look like,” he said. “Even if you take away the fancy new walls and everything, you’d still see the same students doing the same work.”

~ Article by Justin Rutledge, a graduate of Benedictine High School with a journalism degree from Bowling Green State University.

Team of Neighbors Help Others Get Healthy continued from Page 4

each workshop ended, we talked about doing a little more physical activity. We explained to the class that once you feel comfortable, do it more often. We talked about making your heart beat faster and making your heart, lungs and blood vessels stronger and more fit. We had a great time. The class loved all of the physical activities. We gave away hand weights, resistance bands and pedometers.

When the Family Wellness Network started with this vision, we had no idea what an impact it would have on everyone involved. We are happy to say that a team of six persons from the workshop have taken what we all learned and taken it to another level. We are now working together in a weight loss and fitness challenge to put all of our “eat healthy, be active” tools to work.



To place an event, call 216-229-8769 or go to How to Prevent Post Menopause Weight Gain Nutrition Class Dec. 10 • 1 to 2 p.m. Call 216-361-1773 for more information. At Cleveland Clinic Health & Education Center at Langston Hughes, 2390 E. 79th St., second floor.

1:1 Nutrition Counseling/Group Nutrition Counseling Dec. 10 • 1 to 2 p.m. Nutrition counseling with Lisa Burnett, RD. Call 216-361-1773 for an appointment. BMI screening for adults. At Cleveland Clinic Health & Education Center at Langston Hughes, 2390 E. 79th St., second floor

Lessons Learned about Diet and Health Dec. 1 • 6 to 7 p.m. Please join us at University Hospitals Otis Moss Jr. Health Center to learn about the results of the Salt Sensitivity Study. Learn what people thought about the taste of a low salt diet, available products on the market and low sodium recipes and how to make changes in recipes. This conversation will also include discussion of how research participants are protected and the need for community participation. The event will end with an opportunity for attendees to give suggestions about research ideas that are important to their community. At UH Otis Moss Jr. Health Center, 8819 Quincy Ave.

Hot Cocoa and Crafts! Dec. 12 and 19 • 4 to 5:30 p.m. Come warm up and make Christmas crafts and gifts. Parents are welcome to attend and craft with their children. This craft class is open to children ages 7 to 16. Class supplies are free, but space is limited. Please register by contacting Andrea at 216-451-0460 or LaDonna at 216-310-3619. Classes are taught by Karen Blythewood and LaDonna Omobude. Classes sponsored by Cloud 9 events and Cory Glenville Corp. Classes held at Cory United Methodist Church, 1117 E. 105th St.

Give a Child a Christmas Party Dec. 14 • Noon to 4 p.m. Attention Ward 8 residents: Councilman Jeff Johnson invites you to attend the Ward 8 Give a Child a Christmas Party. This party is open to Ward 8 residents and their children age 12 and younger. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Party to be held at Cory United Methodist Church, 1117 E.105th St. Please call the Ward office with questions at 216-664-4231.

Cooking Demo Dec. 17 • 1 to 2 p.m. Cooking demo with Lindsay Malone, RD. Call 216-361-1773 to pre-register. At Cleveland Clinic Health & Education Center at Langston Hughes, 2390 E. 79th St., second floor

Quit Smoking Support Group Dec. 19 • 1 to 2 p.m. Talk with others and get support from those who are in the quit process. Call 216-361-1773 for more information. At Cleveland Clinic Health & Education Center at Langston Hughes, 2390 E. 79th St., second floor

Family Open Studio Dec. 21 • 1 to 3 p.m. Enjoy spending time with your family as you make individual pieces or family art works. Art House provides the materials. Class is free. At Art House Studio, 3119 Denison Ave.

Simeon’s Christmas, His First and His Last Dec. 22 • 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. Come see this play from 10:45 – 11:45 a.m. at Liberty Hill Baptist Church Performing Arts Center, 8206 Euclid Ave.

Cleveland Rocks New Year’s Eve 2013 Dec. 31 • 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Drew Carey is counting down in Cleveland. The free festival-like event begins at 6 p.m. in Public Square and will include food trucks, a beer garden, live ice sculpting, fireworks and live performances all leading up to the countdown at midnight. Visit

I Love Myself Self Esteem Workshop for Kids Jan. 2 • 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. One day self-esteem workshop for ages 7 -14 will equip our youth with the skills necessary to feel good about themselves. Snacks provided. To register, please contact Andrea at 216451-0460. Sponsored by the Cory Glenville Development Corp. At Cory United Methodist Church, 1117 E. 105th St.


Job Opportunity Available Wanted: Assistants for TNT (Tennis & Tutoring), The Inner City Tennis Clinics If interested, please call 216-339-5911 or contact Brian Smallwood, Executive Director, at Looking for Tennis Instructor, Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center Must have strong organizational skills and the ability to multi-task. Will be in charge of all students, Background checks is mandatory. Prior experience in the tennis industry is preferred. Applicants must submit a resume to email address listed. Employee will also aid and assist the Director on a daily basis, collect pre and post testing materials and administer the curriculum set forth by the program. The hours are 4:00-6:00, Monday-Friday and Saturdays from 1:30-3:00. Pay: $15.00/hour

OPEN 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Saturdays 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Wednesdays 15000 Woodworth Rd. East Cleveland

FREE ROOM AND BOARD for Live-in Caregiver and Office Support

Please contact 216-224-6882 or

Sturdy (queen) chestnut dresser, mirror chest 3 drawers and night stand $150. One (4 drawer) dresser and mirror $40. Large speaker $25.

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December 2013


FRESH FOOD & NUTRITION EDUCATION are cropping up in the Kinsman neighborhood NOW OPEN! A healthy, fresh restaurant for Cleveland’s East Side Neighborhoods, located in the heart of Kinsman

New state-of-the-art kitchen & multi-purpose community space Centrally located in the Kinsman neighborhood Hands-on cooking classes, nutrition education courses, and much more

Breakfast Lunch Coffee Tea Smoothies Soups Salads Fresh Produce Dairy

Sandwiches Wi-Fi

Rent CornUcopia Place today for your meeting/private event 7201 Kinsman Road, Suite 103B Cleveland, Ohio 44104 (216) 341-1455

7201 Kinsman Road, Suite 103A | Cleveland, Ohio 44104 (216) 266-0140 | Open Mon - Fri: 7:00am-6:00pm and Sat: 10:00am-6:00pm

Improving quality of life... While building Greater University Circle. An Employer Assisted Housing Program created to encourage employees of Greater University Circle nonprofit institutions to live where they work.

“I live 2.9 miles from work. I like to say I roll out of bed and into work. I’ve ridden my bike to work and I could walk to work. It’s convenient and it saves on gas, too.” Gary, Cleveland Clinic

Looking to buy a home? Receive up to $30,000 to buy a home in Greater University Circle. Own a home in the area but need repairs? Receive up to $8,000 for exterior repairs. Looking to rent an apartment? Receive up to $1,400 in rental assistance on approved units. Eligible Greater University Circle Neighborhoods: Buckeye/Shaker Fairfax University Circle Glenville Hough Little Italy

East Cleveland

To Learn More: Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation 216.361.8400 or* University Circle Inc. 216.707.5019 or You must be an employee of a non-profit institution located in a Greater University Circle neighborhood. *Visit the website for complete program guidelines, eligibility and participating employers.

“My husband Ben and I moved here from Baltimore, which is a very liveable city. We weren’t ready for the suburbs and never being able to walk anywhere again. I love being able to walk to restaurants and not be dependent on driving. I walk to work as long as the weather permits.” Meg, Case Western Reserve University

Neighborhood Voice, December 2013  

Grassroots, citizen-driven news from Cleveland's Greater University Circle area.

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