Dear Friend,

In this week’s issue:
* Cool Cleveland Interview with Urban Dialect founder and publisher Daniel Gray-Kontar
* Skirting The Issue: Rehire or Fire Bush by CC columnist Lyz Bly
* Cool Cleveland Commentary Waves of Grain on urban sprawl by James Franklin (Sky) King
* Varying Degrees of Excrutiation by CC writer TL Champion
* Cool Cleveland Sounds CD review of Rainy Day Saints by Ben Vendetta

Cool Cleveland Interview
Daniel Gray-Kontar

Daniel Gray-Kontar is the founder and publisher of Urban Dialect, a pioneering example of Cleveland’s nascent independent presses. It began in 2003 as a print magazine with a literary bent connecting politics, gender issues, trans-culturalism, race issues and art, taking a positive lead over Cleveland’s faltering media. Daniel is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared nationally in The Source, The Village Voice, and locally in Free Times. Meet Daniel and hear his spoken word at Poetry Not in the Woods, next Tue 9/28 beginning 7PM at Shaker Heights Public Library. He spoke with Cool Cleveland senior editor Tisha Nemeth about Urban Dialect’s growth and imminent changes as he re-structures to take the magazine to a national level.

Urban Dialect is a smart, irreverent literary effort that seamlessly overlaps exigent topics which affect our community. How did the idea to start up Urban Dialect occur?
I started Urban Dialect with my severance check from Free Times. I worked there for four and a half years as an associate editor and columnist, and it was the third magazine I’d been involved with that went out of business. I looked at the process and just decided to try it on my own. Urban Dialect began as six of us who had ideas on how to make an alternative press work editorially. I called up a few people, and they instantly came on board. We grew Urban Dialect to be a local magazine that was free, with a unique editorial philosophy, but right now we’re in the middle of changing our focus.

Do you see a pattern of alternative presses failing in Cleveland?
I see a pattern with independent alternative presses failing because they are not backed by the major conglomerates. Free Times previously was backed by Village Voice, and Scene is owned by out-of-state conglomerates as well, so that’s what has kept them going financially. It’s tough to be a small media outlet without that type of financial and professional backing.

How have you managed developing the business side of Urban Dialect as an editor?
My situation at Urban Dialect involves a couple things: I am not a business man, I am a writer and editor by trade, and it’s a long, hard jump to make, starting and running a business. So it’s incumbent upon me to find business partners so we can diversify, and not just with publications. We want to do other things; we want people to invest in it as we grow. In Cleveland, I have not been successful in doing this, and so I’m thinking of how to get around it, where I can be successful doing UD, even if it’s out of another city…
Read the Cool Cleveland Interview with Daniel Gray-Kontar here

They love us more than we love us It’s all a matter of perspective. We Clevelanders think our RTA trains and busses are lame, but New York residents say, “Cleveland has solved the transportation problem we New Yorkers dread.” We complain about our travel time from the East Side to the West Side, but they say, “There are more cars in my neighborhood [in NYC] at 3AM than I saw the entire time I was in Cleveland.” The leaders of our fair city give arts and culture lip service, but New Yorkers think, “Cleveland has done more for art and culture than any other similarly sized city in the United States.” Our major media tells us we live in a boring town filled with crime and fear, but visitors say, “Cleveland is a ‘happening’ city with abandoned buildings being renovated into apartments, especially near Lake Erie and along the river. The drug dealers and prostitutes are gone and in their place are vibrant communities.” See Travel World Magazine here

Register to vote, get free coffee It’s going to be a close one this November. And Ohio’s swing state status means that every vote counts. Since January of this year, approximately 200K new voters have registered, according to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. Which is critical, considering the margin of victory in the 2000 election was 165K votes. In order to be processed in time for the election, your registration must be received by the Board of Elections by October 1. To make the point, on Fri 9/24, three Phoenix Coffee locations are offering a free beverage when you register to vote. 15109 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood, 2157 Superior Avenue Downtown, and 2287 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. Get yourself registered and caffeinated at the same time.

Ohio City announcements Interested in one of the coolest neighborhoods in Cleveland? Sign up for their new e-mail newsletter here, and stay on top of community news & events. Megan Wilson of the Ohio City Near West Development Corporation says, “We are a community which is bridging the digital divide, and accessing information at a faster and easier rate than any other community in the city!” Interestingly, they also plan to use the Internet to stay in touch about “criminal activity and emergencies in the neighborhood, and can be watching out for each other.” After the warm reception Cool Cleveland received last Friday for our Art/Tech/Dance party from restaurateurs, retailers and orgnizations in Ohio City, we can vouch for the close-knit nature of this community.

A cottage in Iceland You may know of Cleveland fiber artist Hildur Jonsson and her husband Brian Schriefer, whose accounting practice caters to artists and arts organizations in Cleveland, and he also writes for Cool Cleveland. If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting Iceland, here’s your chance. Their cozy 3-bedroom cottage in the small fishing village of Innri-Njardvik, 30 minutes from Downtown Reykjavik, sleeps up to five and is a delightful 2-minute walk to the coast, featuring whale, dolphin and seal watching, scenic bike and walking trails, birdcliffs, swimming pool, horse rental, angling, sailing and golf! Just minutes to the geothermal area and the Blue Lagoon spa, featuring CranioSacral Therapy performed in the geothermal-heated water. Flights out of Baltimore on Icelandair at $275 for September and October. 371-2944

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Douglass Street Forget the trip to NYC for edgy couture, this new boutique selects and offers fashions and accessories from nationally standout and innovative designers, with limited edition collections from Sydney, NYC, Los Angeles and more. Dive into custom leather, cashmere and al benessere body care products. Screw Legacy Village’s predictably mainstream stores and support independent, alternative boutique culture; it’s one way to remain ahead of the fashion curve. Located at 2379 Professor in Tremont. Call 344-9488.

Euclid Corridor call for art The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has just announced its most recent “Call for Artists” for the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project. To learn more about the call as well as to print out an application, please visit the Public Art section of For questions, contact Danielle Willis, Euclid Corridor Project Officer, at 771-4144. Cleveland Public Art, 1951 West 26th St., #101 Cleveland, OH 44113.

The Race at Case Cleveland was savvy enough to snag the only vice presidential debate which is being held at Case Western Reserve University on Tue 10/5, and a slew of activities are in place for students and the Cleveland community: Guest speaker Mo Rocca (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and NBC’s Today Show) will be on the Case campus Sun 10/3, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will present on the Case campus Thu 9/30 speaking on “Crimes Against Nature.” A student caucus and debate, with students from Case and 14 other prestigious peer schools around the country teaming up to model the political process on the eve of the vice presidential debate at Case. The debate is open to the public, and most programs are free and open to the public.

Ad Agency? Do your clients want to reach young professionals who are active, go to cool events, and have a lot of disposable income? They may be looking for the Cool Cleveland audience, much larger than you might think, and growing each week. Isn’t it time to try something new, something high profile? Cool Cleveland is what everyone is talking about. Don’t you think you should be the one to turn your client on to Cool Cleveland, rather than the other way around? Let’s talk:

WiFi continues to spread The new technology of WiFi (wireless Internet connectivity) is raging in popularity as manufacturers build receiver chips into laptops and handheld computers. With Philadelphia considering making all 134 square miles of the city the world’s largest wireless hotspot, other cities such as Boston, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and are considering doing the same. Cleveland is ahead of the trend, as the OneCleveland campaign, led by Case, has benefitted thousands of users who’ve already logged on cost-free to the service through the 4,000 wireless transmitters recently installed in University Circle, Midtown districts, and along the lakefront. 50 other cities are exploring their own versions of remarkably inexpensive communitywide transmitter nets; the progression from “hot spots” such as Internet cafes to “hot cities” will quickly have to jump traditional borders to “hot regions,” notes community communications expert Seth Fearey of Joint Venture Silicon Valley. See Seattle Times here and visit

Tai Chi for lunch Finding your chi just got a little easier. Join instructor Susan Cady, M.M., C.T.C.I. for the drop-in class on Thursdays from 12:15-1PM in the old Victoria’s Secret space in the Galleria with an “Alive for $5” special, unless you’re an employee of one of four visionary companies who’ve made arrangements for you to take the class for free: Emerald Health Network, Duvin, Cahn, Hutton Law Firm, CGI Information Management Services, and Minshall Development (who now owns the Galleria). 408-7962

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Regime Change Great Lakes Theater Festival’s Fall Repertory shifts into high gear on Fri 9/24 with the opening of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar – the ultimate political thriller. In this timeless tale of empire building, warfare, intrigue and allegiance, Shakespeare weaves manipulation and superstition into a story about men who conspire for the sake of freedom. Et Tu Cleveland? Julius Caesar plays in rotating repertory with The Importance of Being Earnest through October 16th at the Ohio Theatre in Playhouse Square Center. One company. Two plays. One stage. Six Weeks. Come discover Shakespeare’s Great Company. Great tickets are on sale now at great prices; $20 tickets for any show; plus, $11 student tickets – any show, any seat. For more information, please visit or call 241.6000
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Midtown rocks This sleepy niche between Downtown and Cleveland’s East Side is waking up: read about high tech firms, ethnic restaurants, publishing concerns, textile companies, and the group Midtown Cleveland, all of whom are contributing to a renaissance in this close-to-everything neighborhood. See Cleveland Jewish News here

Clayground Studios Here’s how it works: select from hundreds of unfinished pottery pieces (aka “bisque”), paint your piece with any palette of over 60 colors, then fire your piece. Relax and educate yourself with art; these items are personalized masterpieces that you can use and enjoy, and they’re lead free, food/dishwasher safe and microwaveable. Introduce yourself to a creative atmosphere, just bring yourself and your positive energy. For parties, info and custom orders call 292-3403. 27629 Chagrin Blvd.

Alliance to Save Energy offers information on how to maximize energy efficiency for consumers, educators, and policy makers in areas such as insulation, lighting, building and financing energy efficiency. Their programs include supporting green campuses and schools, as well as state efficiency initiatives.

Experimental Behavior seeking submissions ExBe is releasing a short run literary mag, A Million Tiny Pieces and submissions are welcome: one act plays, essays, poetry, short stories, and word experimentation. The final printed publication will be available exclusively at the 2-day ExBe II Showcase Event on 10/29 & 30. Deadline for submissions is 10/8. Experimental Behavior

Olfactory and literature The sense of smell is connected to the limbic system, the portion of the brain that routes memory, emotion, and… literature? An Italian perfumière, Laura Tonnato, has attempted to do justice to the olfactory imagination of some of her favorite authors, concocting five scents to match five moments in classic novels that readers can nasally identify with. See The Guardian here

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Downtown luxury living now comes with balconies and beautiful views of Lake Erie, the flats and skyline. All this can be found at The Bingham, in Downtown Cleveland’s historic Warehouse District. The Bingham offers quiet loft living with a full offering of first-class amenities including: a 4,000sf fitness center offering personal training, group classes, massages and more. Personal concierge services, indoor parking and the newest, 9,000sf gourmet market and grocery in Downtown Cleveland. Units feature hardwood floors, original high ceilings and new, operable energy-efficient windows. All units come with modern kitchens, laundry hook-ups, T1 internet capability and FREE basic cable. And, if you sign a lease by 9/30, you’ll receive one month totally rent free. To take advantage of this offer, send an e-mail to with the message ‘Cool Cleveland one month free offer’ in the subject line. Or just call 216.579.4000 and mention the ‘Cool Cleveland one month free offer’ on the phone. The Bingham, 1278 W. Ninth St.
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Design Spotlight Exhibit Toast the work of four outstanding design practices in our region, in this first annual event celebrating architects and their contributions. Presented by the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State University. See the exhibit now on view till 10/15. Call 440 323-9930. 820 Huron Ave, at the Cleveland Urban Design Center, 820 Huron Ave. above Winking Lizard.

Take the train to Columbus? Many Northeast Ohio residents have made the trek dozens of times, but wouldn’t it be nice to actually have a train to get you where you want in our region? It’s an idea that could become reality, and you can support the not-for-profit educational organization which is going to make it happen. The Ohio Association of Rail Passengers is hosting their first Wine, Cheese and Rail tour on 9/26 from 4-6PM. You’ll ride in a privately chartered rail car which has been purchased and rehabilitated by the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, enjoy wine, and tour the Cuyahoga Valley. Deadline for trip reservation is Fri 9/24. Call 253-0225 and register at

Year of the Arts in Iowa Even on a campus-wide basis, leaders around the country are finding that arts and culture generate economic development. This week we hear that University of Iowa president David Skorton has declared the academic year 2004-2005 the “Year of the Arts and Humanities,” which is being followed up with funding, events and opportunites for projects that share resources and ideas among university departments, the region and the state. See The Daily Iowan here

Impact of the arts Ed Morrison of the Center for Regional Economic Issues at Case Weatherhead uses his blog, EDPro Weblog, to reiterate that “communities are starting to figure out that the arts are more a ‘need to have’ not a ‘nice to have’…Arts are increasingly becoming an important agenda item for economic development.” He points out: Montgomery County, MD has an active and vibrant arts community that is gaining confidence with its expanding economic development role; Frederick, MD is considering tax incentives investing in a downtown arts and entertainment district; Missoula, MT is doing a study on the economic impact of the arts. See EDPro Weblog

Arts & Economic Prosperity Calculator built by Americans for the Arts, helps individual nonprofit arts organizations or entire arts communities measure the economic impact of these arts organizations.

Cool Cleveland This Week


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Murnau film rarities from German archives F.W. Murnau was one of the screen’s undisputed masters, and now you can see his rarest films restored. All are silent with live piano accompaniment, showcasing his pictorial gifts and poetic sensibility. On Wed 9/22 at 6:45PM see Phantom, a hallucinatory tale of romantic delirium, in which a dreamy clerk becomes obsessed with an unattainable woman he glimpses one day. Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd.

Taxation and Representation: Is the ballot our best option? Exchange ideas with specially selected individuals to collectively discuss and discover new means to fill funding gaps. At the end of the forum, ideas will be gathered and reviewed by everyone in the audience. The program will conclude with the traditional City Club question and answer period on Wed 9/22 beginning 5:30PM. Reservations are required, call 621-0082. The City Club of Cleveland, 850 Euclid Ave.

Summer Concert Series: Moises Borges takes you to the intersection of Latin culture with Brazilian jazz. Soak up live music, fresh food and verdant surroundings on Thu 9/23 from 11:30AM-1:30PM. Hang out for more lively Latin sounds with Roberto Ocasio’s Latin Jazz Project from 5-7PM. Call 707-5035. Kulas Community Stage on Wade Oval in University Circle

Sputnik just returned from performing on the East Coast, including a New York City gig at the Luna Lounge, and they were featured at the recent WRUW Studio-A-Rama Festival. The band has charted radio airplay in NYC, Washington, DC, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Minnesota, as well as right here in Cleveland. Get a live listen Thu 9/23; doors open 8PM, show starts 9PM. Call 383-1124. The Beachland Tavern, 15711 Waterloo Rd.

2004 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Ceremony This year’s winners are Edward P. Jones, The Known World (fiction); Ira Berlin, Generations of Captivity: A History of African-American Slaves and poet/playwright Derek Walcott (lifetime achievement). This event includes readings by each of the winners. It’s free and an amazing event where you’ll hear literatis like Derek Walcott read; check it out Thu 9/23 at 6:30PM. Join in the ceremony that recognizes writers whose works contribute to our understanding of race and appreciation of human cultures. Call 615-7255. Gartner Auditorium, The Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd.

WCLVnotes This is WCLV/Cleveland Orchestra Marathon week at 104.9 FM. The station is at the Arcade in downtown Cleveland through Thu 9/23 and on the air each day from 11AM-5PM. Orchestra members and representatives are dropping by to chat. Music wise, there’s live music from Noon-2PM at the Arcade and on the air. Also, WCLV is devoting lots of time to previewing the upcoming Severance Hall season. And if you can’t make it to Severance for Thursday’s opening night concert, you’ll be able to hear it live on WCLV beginning at 8PM. We should point out that the fabulous bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff is just one of the many participants in Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah. a Cool Cleveland partner

Wine tasting/auction at Buzz Gallery Join the Team in Training from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at the Buzz Gallery in Cleveland for an exclusive wine tasting and live auction. Get into the Dionysian spirit while you sample various vintages; industry wine expert Todd Thompson of will provide a lecture about by the selections Fri 9/24 from 6:30-9PM. Grab your ticket early at 440-823-3464. Buzz Gallery, 1836 West 25th, Suite 1B.

Whirling Dervishes of Rumi The Rumi Foundation is bringing one of the wonders of Turkey: a Sufi Music Concert, performing one of the most exquisite ceremonies of spirituality. Experience a mesmerizing, seven-century old ritual in an incredible performance featuring beautiful costumes, hypnotic live music with flutes, strings and percussion. The ritual unites the three fundamental components of human nature: the mind, heart, and body. These three elements are joined both in theory and in practice; see it Fri 9/24 from 8-10PM. Call 231 1111. Severance Hall, 11101 Euclid Ave.

Endurance benefit bash with notorious Redheaded Stepchild from NY providing the Janis Joplin vibe, and dreamy, indie blues/jazz from Cleveland’s own Poison Dartfrog and Cardboard Jones. Make it out to this nonconventional gallery where the art activists regularly exhibit and hang out; stay on to view performances by Bruce Edwards & Sound piece by Wes Kline of Chicago, and see works by eleven regional and national artists in the current exhibition. Grab a few drinks and get into offbeat conversations and art on Fri 9/24 from 7-11PM. Call 521-8582. B.K. Smith Gallery, on the east side of Lake Erie College on Gillett St.

Black and White portraits: Mike Wilson A Vancouver native, he’s acquired extensive professional experience in Canada. Now he is exhibiting his thoughtful photographs of women, taken with an old-fashioned 4X5 camera using natural light. The work, while revealing a sure technical hand, is understated and evocative of the texture. Complementing the exhibit will be folk music of John McGrail, the acoustic guitarist who has just released a new album of original work entitled Songs for Troubled Times on Fri 9/24 from 7-9:30PM. Call 404-0751. Whatnot Coffee Shop. 16001 Waterloo Rd.

Dr. James Elkins: Theory of Images in Art Elkins is a prolific writer on the history and theory of images in art, science and nature. He’s also a professor at the Art Institute of Chicago, and he’ll discuss transgressive images and surrealism at on Fri 9/24 at 6PM. Call 330-972-5951. Event is free with a public reception following. University of Akron, Auditorium of Folk Hall, 150 E. Exchange St. in Akron.

Digital IRIS prints on watercolor paper Jacob Wesley Lang steps into a world of chaos in an attempt to create order through the use of traditional printmaking techniques applied to a digital format. Starting with an IRIS print, multiple layers are screen printed over the digital image creating a rhythmic pattern. The subject matter is revealed through the weaving of concepts which culminates in an abstract image of vibrant colors and visual motion. The prints evoke a feeling of power and weakness as the viewer translates the abstract nature of the images; see it Fri 9/24 and Sat 9/25 till 10/1. Asterisk Gallery. Call 781-7278. 2393 Professor St.

Art Cetera’s Cocktails and Collage Do something different on a Friday night: get out, grab some excellent food and dreamy cocktails while an area artist demonstrates with newspaper the techniques of collage. De-stress after a tough week by ripping and shredding some paper, and get creative at Art Cetera’s party on Fri 9/24 beginning 6:30PM, at Summit Artspace 140 E. Market Street, Akron, RSVP at

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No Music Just Business 2004 Conference and artist showcase, providing exposure to record label representatives from: Def Jam, Interscope/Geffen, SRC/Universal, Roc-A-Fella, A&R and Sony. The day will provide insight on identifying business opportunities and how to survive in the music industry: artist contracts, negotiating, how to profit and more on Sat 9/25 from 10AM-5PM, with artist showcase starting at 7PM. You’ll want to pre-register if you’re a record producer, artists, investor or song writer; pre-registration is required at at 491-1788. Cleveland State University, University Center Auditorium, 2121 Euclid Ave.

deep/funky/groovy/tech/trippy/soulful/smoothhouse So in demand, they’re doing it again with a techno combination that can best be described as the above (and then some). Prepare to move and mingle with open bar and music to get you in transcendent mode by DJs Deviant, Brandon, Thomar, Cloud 10 and Cleveland’s trove of master spinners putting the smackdown on the turntables Sat 9/25 from 10PM-3AM. Call 566-7278. Abbasso Underground (inside Bottoms Up), 1222 Prospect Ave. East of E. 9th St.

On the Wall, Off the Wall, And in the Garden Atmosphere Gallery is an eclectic, free-form space that encourages and exhibits regional and local artists working in a variety of media. A sculpture garden created from metal works will be installed in front of the gallery, in Frank Brozman’s newest installation. He has created artwork in a variety of media: wood, clay, film and videotape; while living in New York, Brozman produced music videos for numerous artists including James Brown. Catch the opening night Sat 9/25 from 5PM-midnight, and eye the gallery’s glasswork, sculpture and jewelry. Call 685-9527. Atmosphere Gallery, 2335 West 11th St. in Tremont.

Creative Control Tour D4D (Downtown 4 Democracy) is bringing together three elements of Ohio creativity on each stop, with diverse lineups of musical acts and DJs, and an open submission political poster exhibition with giveaways of D4D signature t-shirts. D4D is offering free admission and drink specials for those 21 and over. Coinciding with the events, D4D is continuing their partnership with VoteMob Ohio, a young voter project of 21st Century Democrats, to send busloads of New York-area volunteers to Ohio to register and mobilize young voters before the October 4th registration deadline, ensuring that everyone who is registered goes to the polls and is provided with opportunities to volunteer. Increase your level of activism at this event and hit it up with DJs Dave P., Jugoe, Stout XTC and others Sat 9/25 from 8PM-2AM. B Side Liquor Lounge, 2785 Euclid Hts. Blvd. in Cleveland Hts. email and visit

Midnight Salsa Cruise End the summer right with the hot sounds of Sammy De Leon y Su Orquesta; get on board the Nautica Queen to view Cleveland at midnight, then dance under the stars till the early morning hours on Sat 9/25. Boarding begins at 11:30 PM with cruising until 2:30 AM. For tickets, email, or call 228-5748 or 252-6334.

Garbage art of the mighty Quin with undeniably questionable and transgressive works that will challenge your preconceived ideas on aesthetics; make the trip out to see Akron’s newest contribution to the art scene on Sat 9/25 from 7-10PM. The Church, 379 E. South St. in Akron. Call 330-416-8544.

Interior Design on a Budget Keith Smith from Virginia Marti College of Art and Design will be answering your questions, and you’ll receive designer tips and discover design reinvention for your home utilizing creativity while saving cash on Sat 9/25 at 4PM. Main Library Auditorium at Lakewood Library.

Hispanic Convention 2004: Entrepreneur Workshops Educate yourself financially and hear the keynote speaker and business owner who’ll share his story on how he financed the purchase of a building for his business with few resources. Learn about basic financial needs such as business loans, lines of credit, and other workshops related to growing your business. Prepare for highly effective strategic business plans, planning, mergers, acquisitions and financial analyses Sat 9/25 from 9-11AM. Lincoln West High School, 3202 West 30th St.

Rock Hall free admission & programming honoring legendary Cleveland DJ Bill Randle with free admission to the Museum and concert. Randle, a DJ and record producer, has been credited with helping to launch Elvis Presley’s career as well as Tony Bennett and many more. Catch a free performance by the Four Lads, a vocal group from Cleveland that Randle worked with, on the Museum’s Main Stage on Sun 9/26 at 3PM. Following the performance will be a free panel discussion and tribute to Randle in the Museum’s Fourth Floor Theater from 4-5:30PM. Call 515-1503. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1 Key Plaza.

Patriots for Change A non-partisan presentation organized by about the Electoral College with their Past and Present discussion will be the topic of a lecture/discussion led by Jerry Graham, a long-time member of the Shaker Heights High School faculty, who teaches in the adult education programs at Case Western Reserve University, Cuyahoga Community College and Lakeland Community College. A reception for Mr. Graham will follow the discussion on Mon 9/27 at 7:30PM. Call 440-893-9308. Chagrin Falls Town Hall, 83 North Main St. in downtown Chagrin Falls.

Poetry Not in the Woods: Daniel Gray-Kontar Get up close to hear spoken word from Cleveland poet Gray-Kontar, founder of Northeast Ohio’s newest arts, music and culture magazine, Urban Dialect. He is also co-founder of two performance poetry ensembles and freelance writer for local and national publications, including Free Times, The Source and The Village Voice. His poems have appeared in journals, poetry anthologies and sound recordings, including The Best of the National Poetry Slam, Volume One and Spirit & Flame: An Anthology of Contemporary African-American Poetry. Event happens Tue 9/28 at 7PM. This event is free, underwritten by the Ohio Arts Council. Call 991-2030. Shaker Heights Public Library, 16500 Van Aken Blvd. in Shaker Hts.

Unseen Cleveland a collaboration of the Service Employees International Union, the nonprofit cultural appendage of the SEIU’s Local 1199. Its purpose is to give union workers access to the arts by offering free photography classes. Try the complimentary wine & hors d’ouevres, and view photography of real world union people, chronicling life in Cleveland. It’s a SEIU non-profit event capturing the essence of daily life, on view Tue 9/28 from 6-7PM. RSVP is required; call 696-4806. Donations from the evenings proceeds go to assist the Merrick House. 806 Wine & Martini Bar, 806 Literary St. in Tremont

Second Annual Judicial Candidates Forum Meet your judicial candidates and bring your questions as the polticians prepare to serve up answers to your most pressing concerns on Tue 9/28 from 6-9PM. Light refreshments will be served and parking is available. Presented in cooperation with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Call 291-1833. Lee Memorial A.M.E. Church, 10512 Bryant Ave.

Greater Cleveland Community Shares will host an informational breakfast for Cleveland-area nonprofit organizations interested in being members of Community Shares. At the breakfast, attendees will meet representatives of current member organizations, members of the Community Shares staff and Board of Directors; they’ll also learn more about its mission and history, benefits of membership, membership criteria, and the application process Wed 9/29 from 8-9AM. 3631 Perkins Ave. Call 361-9920. Make reservations at or visit

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Skirting the Issue
Rehire or Fire Bush? The Hightower Report Card

Cultural and social commentator Lyz Bly gets vocal about current political trends with an unabashedly feminist lens, discussing the facts behind Bush’s record with women’s issues, and how it affects women who vote.
In a recent edition of Cleveland’s daily paper, the editors ran a few letters from women who were fed up with the Bush administration’s policies on women’s health and equality. The letters fell under the appropriate headline, “Why would women vote for Bush?” I had been asking myself this question for months and it was wearing on me that week in particular, as I’d just learned that a female friend of mine from Columbus is a Republican and plans to vote for Bush in November. I cut the letters and the headline out of the paper and sent it to her, along with several other articles containing facts on the current administration’s record on women’s issues. I haven’t heard from her since I sent the package and I wonder if I’ve created a rift in our friendship; however, I don’t regret sending her factual information on the ways in which Bush is hurting people, ruining individual lives, as well as our collective economy. But this burning question, – “Why vote for Bush?” – extends beyond women. It is a question we should all be asking…
Read Skirting The Issue by Cool Cleveland columnist Lyz Bly here

Cool Cleveland Commentary
Waves of Grain
by James Franklin (Sky) King

Highway exits demand urban sprawl, with all the trappings for the 1-$top American lifestyle of fast food, heart burn and gas at the expense of our environmental health (trees, oxygen, wetlands), peace of mind and self-respect. Part of the Lake Erie biosphere still has the dirtiest air in the country – even without its old steel mills, and we talented immigrants built a series of canals in “new port” towns around Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York State to provide clear sailing between the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. The canals were unfairly abandoned for the faster railway, again to be vacated by a new Interstate somewhere off in the distance while the vanishing American landscape lay absent of its original intent.

Ohio, along with only four other (destination) states, is surrounded mostly by water, not by land, and it is the only state bordered by two distinctly separate water systems that access the highest number of diverse locations with services and products. Despite having the longest reach in equity numbers and the greatest draw to substantial area mass or attractions, these facts remain unknown because we no longer make any connection between these two world class bodies of water…
Read the Cool Cleveland Commentary by contributor James Franklin (Sky) King here

Life’s Varying Degrees of Excruciation
Are all Bosses Idiots, Jerks or Tyrants?

Cool Cleveland contributor TL Champion shares her humorous frustrations with the daily rituals of modern life in Cleveland, exploring the idiosyncrasies of human beings and the world around them.

It’s like they sign a contract and swear-in on the first day of duty, promising to uphold the reputation of all idiots who have gone before them. I liken it to boot camp for corporate America’s upper management.

It’s a Nationwide Epidemic of Catastrophic Proportions

You know who I’m talking about: The Boss. The man or woman that has your life in their hands – and knows it. And the sheer power of it all is the reason they get out of bed in the morning. They eat nails for breakfast and middle management for lunch. You either do as they say or hit the road.

I’ve heard that some companies won’t hire people into upper management unless they pass the idiot/jerk/tyrant test. Those that fall into the “nice” or only “slightly creepy” category are passed over for those that lack the ability to mentor, have no compassion for human beings or walk with their knuckles scraping against the pavement….
Read Life’s Varying Degrees of Excruciation by Cool Cleveland contributor TL Champion here?

Cool Cleveland Sounds
Saturday’s Haze by Rainy Day Saints

Rainy Day Saints Saturday’s Haze (Get Hip)

Dave Swanson should be no stranger to those well-versed in the Cleveland rock scene, having played drums, guitar, and bass for a slew of well-known Ohio groups including Death of Samantha, Cobra Verde, Guided By Voices, and New Salem Witch Hunters. Rainy Day Saints is Swanson’s one-man studio project (though he does put together a band for the occasional live show). Having released several Rainy Day Saints seven-inch singles in the early ’90s, Saturday’s Haze, released by famed Pittsburgh garage rock label Get Hip Records, is the long awaited debut that’s well worth the wait. Rainy Day Saints’ blend of psychedelic fuzz-heavy garage rock should appeal immensely to fans of ’60s icons like The Who, Kinks, and all those cool American bands on the Nuggets box set, as well as admirers of ’70s power pop icons like The Barracudas, The Only Ones, and The Real Kids. For the most part, Saturday’s Haze is an intoxicating non-stop hit parade that will have you dancing around the room, but Swanson is equally effective when he takes it down several notches as on the acoustic-tinged Is Really True, which has a mournful vibe not unlike classic Stones ballads such as Lady Jane and As Tears Go By.

Review by Cool Cleveland music contributor Ben Vendetta

Instant Karma
Quik reviews of recent events
Going out this weekend? Take along your PDA and your digital camera. Scratch out a few notes to send us with a picture of it for our Instant Karma real-world reviews of what’s really happening. We’d love to hear from you. Send your stuff to

Stiv Bators Tribute & Memorial Show @ Beachland Ballroom 9/18
Dead Boys front man Stiv Bators was one of the most charismatic and influential rock ‘n’ rollers of our time. While most pundits credit The Ramones as being the first American punk band, the honor should really be bestowed on Cleveland’s Dead Boys, case closed. As good as The Ramones were, they were too rooted in the classic pop sounds of The Beach Boys and ’60s girl groups to be truly revolutionary. The Dead Boys on the other hand came from a darker, nastier place, their aesthetic having much more in common with UK compatriots like The Sex Pistols and The Damned. Like The Sex Pistols, The Dead Boys career was all too brief, releasing just two albums — Young, Loud, and Snotty (1977) and We Have Come For Your Children (1978) — before calling it quits. Stiv would go on to do excellent work as a solo artist and as the front man for punk/garage super group The Lords of The New Church before his untimely death in 1990, but his work with the Dead Boys would be the pinnacle of his career…
Read the review by Cool Cleveland contributor Ben Vendetta here

for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf @ Karamu House 9/17
What: Full of dance, music, and blisteringly truthful poetry, Ntozake Shange’s Obie-award winning 1972 work about a woman’s soul is as fresh and cutting-edge as ever in this amazing revival. Sure to be one of the highlights of the season.
Reasons to go: Shange’s writing is, simply, awesome. And director Terrence Spivey does her proud with a cast who can blow the roof off the house. A powerful ensemble of eight women conjure a juju of remembrance, humor, rage, and healing – sparkling like jewels in Kathryn Tobasko’s African-inspired costumes. Everybody has moments where she shines, but feisty Corene Woodford as The Lady in Green nails the love payback time in “somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff” and “no assistance”. Monte Escalante is sinuous and lithe as a tiger as The Lady in Purple. And the incomparable Nina Domingue turns a story about a domestic violence episode into a soul-shaking Greek tragedy. The poetry rocks, the choreography sizzles, and the women are so passionate and beautiful and alive that you could dig this show even if you didn’t understand a word. So why aren’t you calling that reservation number now?
Backstory: Karamu’s new Artistic Director Terrence Spivey made a name for himself in NYC with this 2001 production by his off-off-Broadway company Powerful Long Ladder, and remounted at Karamu with an all-Cleveland cast.
Target audience: Dance-lovers, music-lovers, theatre-lovers, poetry-lovers, love-lovers. Teens & up; Shange doesn’t mince words about sex in all of its colors.
Details: Karamu, 2355 E. 89th St., Cleveland. 216-795-7070. Through 10/17.
from Cool Cleveland contributor Linda Eisenstein

The It*Men CD Release Party @ The Beachland Ballroom 9/16
The best rock ‘n roll has always been nihilistic, misogynistic, and dangerous. Rolling Stones, Stooges, and Dead Boys: yes. Grateful Dead, Springsteen, Dave Matthews: no. It was never intended to be the voice piece for the DNC (voting for the lesser of two evils isn’t exactly rocking the vote) or a GAP fashion statement for baby boomers past their sell by date like Lenny Kravitz, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Madonna. Which brings us to Cleveland’s The It*Men who are 100% Altamont, 0% Woodstock. The It*Men are a throwback to the crazed frat rock insanity perpetuated by the likes of early ’60s legends like The Sonics and The Wailers mixed in with the borderline overindulgence of pioneering hard rockers like The MC5, Blue Cheer, and Black Sabbath. Thursday’s CD release party for Greatest Its on local imprint Davenport Records affirmed The It*Men’s status as Cleveland’s rock ‘n roll animals who just don’t give a damn…
Read the review by Cool Cleveland contributor Ben Vendetta here

Magic on Broadway @ University Settlement 9/14
Magic on Broadway: The stars were out on a different sort of Broadway, when former basketball great Earvin “Magic” Johnson came to town to dedicate a new public computer center at University Settlement, a social service agency with more than seventy-five years of service located on Cleveland’s Broadway Avenue, near Slavic Village. The Magic Johnson Foundation, Hewlett Packard and others dedicated the new 25-station Magic Johnson/HP Inventor Center, joined by Mayor Jane Campbell and Council President Frank Jackson, Dennis Northcutt of the Browns, and Cavs veterans Campy Russell and Jim Chones. At an event like this, it’s easy to lose track of the children and neighborhood residents who will benefit from the center’s free computer access and classes, but Magic Johnson put the whole event in perspective. Pointing to the athletes on stage and drawing on his own experience, growing up poor in Pontiac, Michigan, Magic called the students down to the stage, advising them that “your path is different, coming through education.” At times, sounding like an Olympic gold medal coach, he called for them “to go in there and hit those computers…we need more doctors, lawyers and business stars.” The new equipment, valued at over $80,000, replaces a smaller computer center, which operated for years with refurbished, donated computers that could only accommodate a portion of the children attending the center on a daily basis. The Magic Johnson/HP Inventor Center at University Settlement is one of twenty new computer centers established around the country, with Hewlett Packard dedicating over $1.4 million to the initiative, nationwide, over three years. With the computer center in place, University Settlement is currently looking for additional volunteers to assist in teaching programs for seniors and neigborhood residents.
from Cool Cleveland reader Kevin Cronin

Importance of Being Earnest @ Great Lakes Theatre Festival 9/11
GLTF’s Producing Artistic Director Charles Fee, in charge of The Importance of Being Earnest, maintained a sprightly pacing, allowing the one-liners to proceed at a fun-filled gait, and the laughs merrily tumbled over each other. The casting was superb, although the characterizations were almost too mannered. As the two young dandies at the center of the play, Douglas Frederick as John (Jack) Worthing was suitably bewildered about his family tree, while David A. Smith as Algernon Moncrieff came within a hair of chewing up the scenery as well as all the available cucumber sandwiches or muffins, as available. Aled Davies made a substantial Aunt Augusta/Lady Bracknell, a role frequently played in drag…
Read the review by Cool Cleveland contributor Kelly Ferjutz here

Yr Turn
Cool Cleveland readers write

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On Cool Cleveland’s party I just wanted to congratulate you on a fabulous party and celebration of the arts and the artistic in Cleveland. It was great to meet you, and I applaud you for your efforts to keep people in the know about what is happening in this great cultural center. Thank You for the work you are doing, I’m so glad to have discovered you and Cool Cleveland!!
from Cool Cleveland reader and flutist Mary Kay Ferguson

On WRUW’s (lack of) Latin programming I too was disappointed to find out that both Latin music shows on WRUW had not gotten slots for the fall programming season at WRUW. The truth is, is that the fault for not hearing those shows for the next 4 months is due to the inflexibility of the programmers themselves and their lack of contributing to the station beyond their on-air time. When we turn in our show requests each semester, we have to indicate a variety of different time slots we are available to do our shows and to indicate our personal preferences (if any) for specific slots. In addition, we must document the additional things we have done for the station…
Read the letter from Cool Cleveland reader Charlie Saber here

On WRUW’s (lack of) Latin programming What I’ve learned the hard way is that WRUW (which by the way is a community radio entity) has gotten out of business of serving the Latino Campus/Community. There are over 80 programs this fall and not one Latino music program. Again, in the 3 1/2 years of being on the air at WRUW there has never been an issue with the time slot. Why now? Because our current administration, instead of thinking about the community, wants to beat a dead horse in house policy of off-air contributions and being flexible. WCSB has several fine Latin music programs that have been airing the same time for years. Why? Because of the impact they have on the campus/community. I subbed one program and indicated this on the application. I also donated over 20 HOURS of my personal time obtaining Latin music CD promos for this year’s telethon which I explained in a E-Mail to the program director (Ms. Kelly Underman). During the Peter B. Lewis hostage crisis I stayed on the air for nine hours. But I guess contributions like this are only good for the following application. I’ve already subbed a program and plan on doing a Latin music seminar for the new APs trainees this semester. But I’m not going to take out the trash once a week to retain a radio program. And unless I decide to totally reconstruct my life (work, kids, school, or hold my breath, which I doubt), Friday afternoon is the only time I have available.
from Cool Cleveland reader James Carter (Jimmy “C”) Planeta Latino

On drinking in Cleveland I’m an Ohio native who has lived in Europe since 1990 and can only say that I completely understand David Sharkey’s frustration at the beer garden situation at the International Children’s Games, and am rather shocked at Mary Lou Budziak’s vitriolic and puritanical response to him, basically accusing him of inciting alcoholism in his child! For this woman’s information, alcohol consumption in Europe is quite moderate and casual, and every school event I have attended with my children has included beer or wine available to the parents. People do not get smashing drunk at these events, and children grow up realizing that alcohol is not something to overindulge in, but rather something to enjoy with a meal or a social gathering. As a matter of fact, when I have spoken to Europeans who have gone to college in the U.S. about this issue, they uniformly comment on the appalling amount of drinking that they’ve seen in young Americans, who have grown up with alcohol being seen as something “verboten” until a certain age, and only associate it with bars and getting inebriated. But enough about that. I really enjoy reading Cool Cleveland every week and it inspires me to see so many people appreciating the sophistication and earthiness of a wonderful part of the world that I am proud to say I grew up in. Keep up the good work!
from Cool Cleveland reader Emily B. Petrou

On drinking in Cleveland Talk about “cringe”; that’s all I could do when I read Mary Lou Budziak’s response to David Sharkey’s letter criticizing the neo-prohibitionist attitudes at events like the Children’s Games. Enjoying alcoholic beverages in moderation by adults is not a criminal activity, not a lack of “self control,” and is generally considered part of a healthy diet and lifestyle in most civilized societies. Cording off a “beer garden” sends the message that drinking is barely tolerated, and makes it more attractive as a “forbidden fruit.” Is it any wonder that binge drinking is up since the legal age was raised to 21? By the way, as a father of two children, I can tell Ms. Budziak what would happen if a ten month old grabbed a beer out of my hands: it would spill!
from Cool Cleveland reader Steven Mastroianni

On Studio-A-Rama I just wanted to comment on something I witnessed at WRUW’s Studio-A-Rama. First of all, I think it is great that they do this every year! What a wonderful way to close out the summer! I also appreciate the fact that they put out NUMEROUS recycle containers for the massive amounts of beer cans that accumulate at such an event. However, I am VERY disappointed by how many people just threw their cans into the trash. I brough a few blue bags with me to recycle my cans. Maybe people need to be clued in to something: The Animal Protective League will accept emtpy beer and pop cans. They will recycle them and use that money to help the animals with food, medicine, and to help keep up the facilities. I saw all those cans in the rubbish that would be going to waste – I plucked a few of those cans off the top of the trash cans, but I think if people were aware of what recyling can do, they may think twice about just pitching them with their empty chip bags and napkins. Please recycle for the animals! Not only will people be helping the environment, but also Cleveland’s homeless animals.
from Cool Cleveland reader Jessica Roach

On renewable energy Thanks for the link to the Solar Electric Light Fund in this week’s newsletter. Check out, too. You can support a wind farm on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota and offset your household’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.
from Cool Cleveland reader E. B. Newell

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Top 5
Cool Cleveland uses Opticast tools to track which articles were clicked the most. Here are the Top 5 from last week’s issue, with one more chance for you to click.

1) Cool Cleveland after-work networking party in Ohio City, one of Cleveland’s most exciting districts. Join Cleveland’s creative and business elite. Newsletter/Party

2) Ten things to do in Cleveland before you die Hitting the top five for the third week in a row.

3) Miami loves Cleveland It’s a familiar tale: they came, they saw, they loved our city. This time Associated Press travel writer Thomas Sheeran leads with one of our most stunning locations anywhere: the Ohio and Erie Canal’s Towpath Trail.

4) Detroit-Superior Promenade opens After more than four years of visioning, wrangling and arguing with the Federal government, the Veterans Memorial Bridge Bike and Pedestrian Promenade opens with fanfare.

5) NY Times notices kyaking in Cleveland “…some kayakers have been comparing the Lake Erie Islands, about 35 miles east of Toledo, to the San Juans of Washington — arguably the nation’s most picturesque backdrop for the sport known as sea kayaking,” according to the New York Times.

Coolness quotient Burned out and ready for a new approach to keep current on the latest? Many are making the shift to CC and increasing the coolness quotient in their media choices. We’d like to thank our many readers who are getting the best our city has to offer, while sustaining alternative media when they check out Tip off others you know to our website to get the hook up on what’s going down, and send them to register for the e-zine at (and check out the new site) or have ’em send an e-mail to

Got an appetite for better advertising? Make your fourth quarter stand out and adopt a new perspective on gaining exposure for your company with viral marketing. It’s the latest proven way to reach readers directly and grab their attention. Now you can get it by advertising with through our permission based email subscriber list, targeting tens of thousands of our subscribers’ inboxes. They visit the links to our sponsors, and then forward the CC e-zine to more readers who are exposed to our advertisers. Find out more by emailing us a note to and we’ll sit down and talk with you.

The Hard Corps motivate! They spend an inordinate time running around town, exploring events, interviewing people, and providing insight into what’s going down in Cleveland. Thanks to social arbiters Tisha Nemeth, Ben Vendetta, Deb Remington, Linda Eisenstein, TL Champion, Bill Nagode, George Nemeth and everyone who assists us with making CC. Want to volunteer and contribute your writing to Cool Cleveland? Send your reviews, articles, or story ideas to:

See the Cool Cleveland column each month in Cleveland Magazine. Listen to Cool Cleveland on WCLV-FM 104.9 twice each Friday during drive time. Send your cool events to: For your copy of the free weekly Cool Cleveland e-zine, go to

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–Thomas Mulready (:divend:)

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