Finding Our Rhythm


Finding Our Rhythm

In this week’s issue:
* Cool Cleveland vYbe Snapshot with 15-year-old drummer prodigy Steve Renko
* RoldoLINK on the escalating costs of Gateway, and a suggestion for Mayor Campbell
* Cool Cleveland People with local theatre phenom Nina Domingue

vYbe Snapshot
Steve Renko

In Cool Cleveland’s ongoing vYbe feature, we hook you up with 20-somethings who have something more to offer creatively and intellectually. A product of the camaraderie of the Cleveland music scene, Steve Renko, a local 15-year-old drum prodigy, is on his way to the Grammys this Sun 2/13 as part of a hand-picked nationwide search for young talent. Steve will not only be performing in a special pre-Grammy and post-Grammy production, he will also accompany sessions with seasoned performers. Cleveland has been a regular breeding ground for musicians and this drummer reiterates how our area has continued to belt out staying power in the music arena. Recently, Cool Cleveland correspondent Marc Majercak sat down with Steve Renko (SR) and his dad Mitch Renko (MR) before a recent sold-out show.

Cool Cleveland: I can’t wait to hear more about your teachers, but what exactly will you be doing as part of the Grammys?
Steve Renko: I am going to be a part of the High School All-Star Band that only a select few students from across the nation get to play in. This will be during the pre-show and the post-show events. We also get to play at different jazz clubs in the area. The coolest part of the trip is that we get to play at a party where all the stars that are nominated will be. Then we get to go to the Grammys too. I get to back Al Jarreau and Eric Marienthal on a song.

Who gave you your first break locally?
Allen Green and Butch Armstrong were the first two guys that let me up on stage to play with them. I was 10 years old at the time.

Besides performing at the Grammy’s on Sun 2/13, what else is on the horizon?
I am working on graduating from high school but in the meantime, you can also catch me the last Tuesday of every month with Ernie Krivda’s Fat Tuesday Band at Savannah’s [in Westlake]. I am also working on a punk rock CD with my band, “The Hit List.”
Read more of Cool Cleveland People with Steve Renko here

Nanotech for Cleveland Is rustbelt technology the next big thing? One company in Cleveland that’s shining out of the rust is Cleveland’s Five Star Technologies, which is centered on a Ukrainian scientist’s patents for a technology called controlled-flow cavitation, which produces trillions of molecules: the basic material for nanotechnology. This has brought attention from angel investors from as far away as Cali, when Five Star acquired $4.5 million in venture funding from Morganthaler Ventures in Menlo Park, Calif. See Business Week here

Who owns blog content? Online enthusiasts are creating their own individual weblogs to discuss work, as well as their opinions, insights and observations about it. How much should employees share their thoughts on work strategies and other professional information on blogs, especially when it can alter a company’s strategy? At this point, the ownership of blog content becomes blurred – or does it? See Information Week here

Nobel nomination for Case prof Michael Scharf is a Cleveland native and law professor at Case Western Reserve University; he co-founded an international law organization, Public International Law & Policy Group, that has provided pro bono legal assistance during peace negotiations or war crimes tribunals to foreign governments. Scharf has been nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. Read Cleveland Jewish News here

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Old School Charm, New School Convenience Kenilworth Mews is a new community of luxurious, Arts and Crafts style homes located in the Cedar-Fairmount neighborhood of Cleveland Heights. These 17 homes feature 2000+ square feet, a stone, brick and cedar-shingled exterior, Pella windows, gourmet kitchens with granite counters, first-floor master suites, glamour baths with Jacuzzi tubs and a patio or deck. Buyers have the opportunity to customize their floor plans and amenities. Kenilworth Mews is conveniently located near University Circle, just minutes from downtown Cleveland. Prices start in the mid 400’s. Visit our open house this Sun 2/13 from 2-4PM at the elegant model home, located at the intersection of Kenilworth Lane and Kenilworth Road in Cleveland Heights. For a complete list of open houses this weekend, please visit
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NYC smoking ban OK for business The city statistics were reviewed, along with recent interviews of bar patrons, workers and owners who found the smoking ban did not have the negative effect on New York’s economic, cultural or political arenas as predicted by many of its opponents. Instead, most were pleased with cleaner air, lowered costs and new patrons. See New York Times here

Glad we could help Prelude2Cinema has signed Cleveland dessert makers Lucy’s Sweet Surrender as a “Branded Entertainment” Sponsor for its TV series Out of Darkness, based on a multiple Emmy winning TV movie. Lucy’s Sweet Surrender is a Hungarian bakery located at 12516 Buckeye Road in Cleveland, and owner Michael Feigenbaum read about Prelude2Cinema seeking sponsors with an E-bay auction in Cool Cleveland; the result is a financial sponsorship of the TV series which will include product placement from Lucy’s Sweet Surrender.

How can Cool Cleveland help your business? Know someone who wants to gain exposure to the thousands who read and pass along Cool Cleveland each week? CC offers a prime platform delivering your company’s customized message about your organization’s alignment with the goals of this e-letter: the revitalization of Cleveland. It’s cause-related marketing that gives recognition to our region’s artistic, historic and cultural assets, while supporting Cool Cleveland and technology’s role in Cleveland’s future. Start the revolution today and contact us at

The Clevelanders Read this hot article at your local library, because it’s not located online; the current February issue of The New Yorker magazine features a 7-page story on the Cleveland Orchestra, entitled, The Clevelanders: Can An Orchestra Survive Its City? Former Orchestra staffer Jordan Davis felt that its treatment deserved more than a Reader’s Digest condensation. It’s great that the rest of the world cares about the Orchestra, and to have the ensemble given props during its recent Carnegie Hall concerts.

Museum director quits Katherine Lee Reid, who has been director of the Cleveland Museum of Art for only five years, and whose father, former CMA director Sherman Lee was instrumental in securing the Museum’s world-class status, made the surprise announcement that she was retiring. There’s not a person we’ve spoken with who doesn’t feel the announcement is related to the vote of the Museum’s board scheduled for 3/7, at which they will decide whether or not to go forward with an ambitious but challenging $225 million expansion and renovation. See story here

Cleveland Car-Free Group Wouldn’t it be cool to meet people who bike to work or people who are eschewing the automobile for more environmentally-friendly forms of transit? Get in on the secrets of car-free living and take part in their group. All you have to do is sign up and get ready for action. The next grassroots group meets Fri 3/11; RSVP at

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Rolling Stones, John Mellencamp pitchman comes to Cleveland for Rock Hall Education program Meet the people behind the hits. “From Songwriters to Soundmen” gives Rock Hall audiences a look at aspects of the music business that are often concealed from view. The series is held on the third Wednesday of every month through June 2005. On Wed 3/16 at 7PM, Publicist Bob Merlis will share his insight with you. Merlis is a music industry veteran whose name had been synonymous with Warner Bros. Records. He started his own public relations business and his clients have included John Mellencamp, ZZ Top, and Percy Sledge to name a few. Tickets are $5 and are available through Ticketmaster and at the Museum box office. For more information please click here.
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Should NEO secede from Ohio? So says Jim McCarthy, the top elected official in Summit County, after expressing his disgust with state legislative leaders who continue to exhibit cluelessness. “They don’t have the guts to raise taxes, they don’t have enough brains to redo the tax system so it becomes fair, and they don’t have the courage to make the cuts… I wasn’t kidding when I said sometimes I think we ought to be a separate state.” The question is, does Northeast Ohio, which generates 1/3 of the state’s economy, have the guts to secede. Read it here and then tell us your thoughts at

Detroit Shoreway gets spiffed The Detroit Shoreway neighborhood will see real culture emerge, as Near West Theatre, Cleveland’s premier youth theater groups, will eventually move to the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Other ideas to facelift the area include streetscape revitalizations that are planned to regenerate the commercial district. See Lakewood Sun Post here

Film Commission out of commission? Chris Carmody, as President of the city’s film commission, began it as a non-profit organization hoping to rival Pittsburgh’s film industry, but its success has been elusive in our city. Can the Cleveland Film Commission survive another year? See Scene here

Bush decimates Cleveland Cities such as Cleveland had better beware: this president is leaving us high and dry. Not content to dismantle Community Block Grant programs that have been the cornerstone of innovative city redevelopment initiatives ($29 million in Cleveland last year alone), reduce housing supports, cut lead hazard reduction and trim Medicaid, his new budget released Monday now calls for slashing Cleveland’s NASA Glenn workforce by 700, or over a third of it’s 1860 workforce, not counting the ill effects on contract workers and area suppliers. Read about it here, and send your thoughts to

Cleveland Mom is a super source for busy parents. Use this colorful site to get the best our region has to offer, where you’ll find up-to-date listings of kid-friendly events and helpful tips to improve the parenting experience. Informed moms will appreciate this resource that’s easy to navigate.

MFA in Digital Arts @ CIA The deadline for applications is coming up. A new MFA in Digital Arts (T.I.M.E.) is a two-year graduate curriculum designed for advanced students committed to the critical investigation and practice of the digital arts and design. Students can get in on Web design and authoring, art and media installation, motion graphics, TV production, animation, 2D and 3D, game design, theory and robotics. For complete application instructions call 421-7369 or visit

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Celebrate Women’s Sports in Cleveland In conjunction with National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Cleveland State University will hold their 5th Annual Benefit for the CSU Women’s Athletic Fund. A Celebration of Women’s Sports includes fun and friendship and will be held this Fri 2/11 from 5-8PM in the CSU Wolstein Center (formerly known as the Convocation Center). This event features live and silent auctions, as well as raffles – with many unique opportunities and special items up for bid; plus, your $10 admission includes hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Meet up with your friends to get out and celebrate women in sports – with proceeds benefiting athletic opportunities for Cleveland State’s female athletes of nine varsity sports. Visit for a list of auction items and prizes, or call 216.687.4812 for tickets and information. CSU Athletics: the Best Sports Value in Town! And come see the CSU women’s basketball team in action – Thu 2/10 vs. Loyola @7PM and Sat 2/12 vs. Milwaukee @3PM…tix just $5!
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Healthy WiFi HealthSpace Cleveland’s new Internet café, Health Central, offers free wireless Internet access, public health info, tasty lunch offerings, and an eclectic crowd with slick cyber-culture technology. Get your wireless at a new location in University Circle at East 89th St. and Euclid Ave. Call 231-6815.

Can you match Peter Lewis? Lewis sent a check for $25,000 as a challenge grant to Cleveland’s philanthropic community to match for Dancing Wheels, the first Integrated Dance Company in America. Now, a television documentary is being created to celebrate Dancing Wheels’ 25th anniversary, and is scheduled to air on television next season. The documentary will also be previewed in Cleveland at the Intercontinental Hotel in October at a Silver Screening Gala and at other locations in Ohio. To support these events, call 432-0306 or visit

Big boxes scared More and more big box retailers are angling to land in Cleveland, specifically a 123,800-square-foot Target tentatively setting up business on West 117th Street at Interstate 90; but now they seem intimidated by local action designed to curb WalMart’s anticipated ill effects on local grocers. Chris Ronayne, Mayor Jane Campbell’s chief of staff admitted recently that Target may not come to Cleveland if an ordinance to regulate the Steelyard Commons in the Flats is approved. Read Lakewood Sun Post here

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What’s hot when it’s cold outside? The Cleveland Institute of Music heats things up on February, Fri 2/18 with 2 exciting events. A new era dawns as CIM breaks ground on an exciting new expansion to CIM’s campus in University Circle. Join us at 11:30AM, as we “break the ice” for a new recital hall and teaching facilities. Later that evening at 8PM, legendary trumpeter Doc Severinsen takes the stage along with the CIM Orchestra at Severance Hall for An Evening with Doc Severinsen – a benefit for the Cleveland Institute of Music presented by the CIM Women’s Committee. Since his final days on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Doc and his band have been heating up audiences with big band standards, jazz and the classics. Tickets are $35 and $48. Call the Severance Hall Box Office now at 216-231-1111. Visit to learn more about one of the top international music conservatories.
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Arts Collinwood classes will be offering art and dance classes for children and “funk-tional” art classes for everyone this spring. Jump start your child’s imagination with Mobiles with Joan of Art Sat 2/19 and 2/26; Masks with Anna on Sat 3/19 at 10:30AM-12:00 noon at Immanuel Presbyterian Church located at 326 E. 156th St. On Sun 4/3 the Spice Hound from the Coit Road Market will introduce you to spices and savory recipes. Register at 491-1785, or pick up a brochure at the following locations: Memorial-Nottingham Library, 17109 Lakeshore Blvd.; Euclid Main Library, 631 East 222nd St. in Euclid; Arabica Coffee House, 818 E. 185th St.; Bratenahl Community Center, 10300 Brighton Rd. in Bratenahl.

Church becomes office space According to the new group Lakewood Alive, an investment group by the name of 15422 LTD has purchased the former Christian Science Church property located at 15422 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood, directly across from the Lakewood Public Library, which is scheduled for a major renovation. The group intends to redevelop the church property into high-end office space. Lakewood Alive’s newsletter even provides the agenda for upcoming City Council meetings to help citizens become more active.

Arts educator awards Young Audiences of Greater Cleveland (YAGC) present the fifth annual Arts Educator Awards to celebrate, promote, and advocate for the arts in schools. The 2005 recipients are: Alice Backus, Jim Bycznski, and Colleen Porter. All three are tireless educators and advocates for youth, culture, innovation and education. YAGC is one of 32 chapters in the national Young Audiences, Inc. network; the oldest and largest arts-in-education association in the country.

Call for Queer Pop Wild Plum Productions, Northern Ohio’s LGBTQ cultural arts project, is announcing a call for artists for its upcoming Queer Pop exhibit at the Lesbian/Gay Community Center of Greater Cleveland. If your art is loud, bright, colorful and full of opinion and pop-culturally fantastic, this exhibit is calling your name. All pieces must be delivered to the Center at 6600 Detroit Avenue by Fri 3/4. Call 322-8812 or The show will kick-off with an opening night party on Sat 3/12.

Ohio school funding is still illegal Just to show how cynical this state really is, the long-awaited blue-ribbon panel on school funding released it’s report last week after 18 months of study with watered-down recommendations that are the very definition of tepid…and still Governor Bob Taft refuses to support them. Instead of addressing a funding mechanism that has been ruled unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court four times, our “leaders” prefer to demagogue. Even the PD editors bemoan the abysmal lack of leadership here.

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Cool Fridays Start your weekend off on a good note! Raise a glass to cool music, fine arts and good spirits at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Shed the winter blues every Friday from now through Fri 4/29 from 5:30-8:30PM. Follow the sound of music (unplugged) into the Interior Garden Court where you can enjoy music and drinks from the cash bar. Parking is only $3 after 5PM. There is plenty of music for everyone: jazz, blues, folk or classical, on any given evening. Come and experience a happy hour full of atmosphere and rhythm.
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Cool Cleveland This Week


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The High Strung are cranking out ear candy that has been described as a combo between Pavement and early Beatles tunes. Dig into their sass and sound that surpasses the usual underground garage sound when they hit the stage on Wed 2/9 at 9 PM. Call 383-1124. Beachland Ballroom Tavern, 15711 Waterloo Rd.

Impact of International Marketing is an eye-opening program with speaker David Yen, Executive Director of the World Trade Center, Cleveland. Discover global markets that are within your company’s reach and the resources and opportunities to access international opportunities on Wed 2/9 from 5:30-8PM. Call 251-7801. Hilton Garden Inn, Cleveland Gateway, 1100 Carnegie Ave. Register here.

Robert Pinsky in Cleveland He teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University, and in 1997 was named the United States Poet Laureate. He’ll be landing in Cleveland for a special reading on Thu 2/10 at 7:30PM. Call 397-1886. John Carroll University’s Dolan Auditorium, 20700 North Park Blvd. in University Hts.

Mixin’ It Up With JumpStart Meet serial and aspiring entrepreneurs, supporters of entrepreneurship, community leaders, business leaders, deal makers, and investors at Northeast Ohio’s premier networking event at Pickwick & Frolic. Make new contacts and connections while sampling an assortment of drinks and hors d’oeuvres on Thu 2/10 at 5:30PM for JumpStart’s networking event. Call 363-3400. Pickwick and Frolic Restaurant and Pub, 2035 East Fourth St.

Venus A young woman, taken from her home in what is now South Africa, is brought to London in 1810 and shown as a sideshow freak. Objectified and abused, she is resilient throughout the experience of her fate, emerging as a character with incredible dignity. Determined to make a living from her circumstances, she eventually goes to court, fighting for her right to exhibit herself. See the true magic of dramaturgy at the show’s preview on Thu 2/10 at 7:30PM and Fri 2/11 at 8PM. The show’s formal opening happens Sat 2/12 at 7PM. Call 631-2727 for tickets. Cleveland Public Theatre’s Gordon Square Theatre, 6415 Detroit Ave.

Ground Floor Improv Theater Comedy Night Show is coming to Coventry; show some love for alt performances from Ground Floor Improv beginning their previews at their temporary home within the B-Side Liquor Lounge. The preview performances are produced by Second City mainstage alumni Nate Cockerill, and will be held every Thursday night, beginning Thu 2/10; doors (and bar) open at 7PM with showtime at 8PM. Call 323-4677. B-Side Liquor Lounge, 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd.

African-American Craft Program Join a talented and fired up group of local artists, educators and entertainers, like Kelly Harris, member of the Jazz Poets Nia Coffee House at the Cleveland Museum of Art and others who live to make a creative difference in Cleveland. Take part in this African-American History presentation with art and attitude on Thu 2/10 from 4-5PM. Call 623-7032. Cleveland Public Library, Mt. Pleasant Branch, 14000 Kinsman Rd.

Labor/Management cooperation brings success Cleveland is getting up to speed, and here’s one way to discover collaboration in action. Mitch Schneider, President of First Interstate Properties Ltd., will speak about the successful cooperation between labor and management on his recent Legacy Village project, to discuss plans for the Steelyard Commons project and how it will impact Northeast Ohio and its workforce. Event begins Thu 2/10 at 5:30PM. Call 687-4750 and 241-5100. Holiday Inn Lakeside, 1111 Lakeside Ave. Register at

African-American History Month activities Read Langston Hughes’ poetry at the branch named after this famous African-American, who is also particularly known for his insightful, colorful portrayals of African-American life from the twenties through the sixties. Explore the contributions and talents of African-Americans through movies, poetry, music, and author visits on Thu 2/10 from 5-7PM. Call 623-6941. Cleveland Public Library, East 131st Street Branch, at 3830 East 131st St.

Lingg Art Show Cleveland-based arts and events promoters, Lingg Productions, are presenting a Grand Opening Event featuring designers’ jewelry from New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Cleveland in a showroom atmosphere. Check out the funky urban headgear from Raycrochet, and be there on Thu 2/10 from 4-8PM running thru Sat 2/19. Call 233-376. 28500 Chagrin Blvd.

Everyday Art Workshop Make everyday more artistic in this series bringing out your budding artist. In this new series from the Akron Art Museum, experience the intricacy of bakery decoration; you’ll learn from talented cookie artisans who’ll discuss color, line and patterning and will lead you through a hands-on demonstration of gourmet cookie decorating on Thu 2/10 from 2-4PM. Preregistration is required. Call 330-376-9186 x214. West Point Market, 1711 West Market Street. Register at

Valentine Trunk Show from Paris’ Laurence Laurence, a Parisian artist now in the US, will be at Anne Fashion Design Boutique for a special Valentine’s treat. Her jewelry collection of delicate Parisian vintage buttons adorn the wrist, ears and neck. The show will also feature authentic, signed Emilio lingerie; come by for sensuous, exquisite one-of-a-kind gifts on Fri 2/11 from Noon-6PM and Sat 2/12 from Noon to 6PM. Call 721-6633. Anne van Hauwaert Fashion Design Boutique, 2026 Murray Hill, Suite 106 in the School House Collective, Little Italy.

Arts and Culture As Economic Development Attend a workshop for the ACE grant which is available for non-profit organizations to support new, creative events that provide a measurable economic impact to Cuyahoga County on Fri 2/11 from 2-4PM. For info call 443-8066. This event takes place at Cleveland Botanical Gardens, 11030 East University Circle.

Apply Within: Office of the President Available is the sweet tale of a man dedicated to his career at the prosthetic limb manufacturing plant. Solo performer Perren Hedderson teaches the how-to on making it up the corporate ladder. However, there is something devilishly wrong with the higher ups; what will happen when our narrator learns of the company’s demise? See this solo piece written and performed by Perren Hedderson, assistant technical director at Near West Theatre. Show starts Fri 2/11 at 8PM thru Sun 2/13 at 3PM. Call 631-2727. Cleveland Public Theatre, James Levin Theatre, 6415 Detroit Ave.

3rd Edition of Friday Night Live @ SPACES Combining art and live performances, SPACES is famous for their casual, social, and creative atmosphere. Sample original experimental music, dance, theater, video and art performances all in one evening. Sure to be unpredictable, the evening will feature electronic music and instrumentation by The K.A.O.S (Kinetic Amplified Organization of Sound), exploring the intersection of experimental music, blues, hip hop, and free jazz. Groop, Cleveland’s own multimedia performance team, will present a work about the flow and spreading of information incorporating light and movement on Fri 2/11 from 8-11PM. Call 621-2314. SPACES, 2220 Superior Viaduct.

SLAM U! for Cleveland’s first national youth poetry slam team. High school students can learn the edgy talent of performance slam when they attend any of these workshops. Students will be eligible to compete for a place on Cleveland’s first National Youth Poetry Slam Team that’s traveling to Brave New Voices, the 8th Annual National Youth Poetry Slam Festival in San Francisco on 4/20 thru 4/23 this year. Workshop happens on Fri 2/11 from 6:30-9PM for pizza, slamming, and literary interaction. Call 348-7909. Playhouse Square Center’s West Rehearsal Hall.

Racial and Ethnic disparities in Health Care Take part in this symposium, Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare designed for health care providers on all levels. Social workers, educators, students, health consumers and those providing services to health care organizations will also want to attend this event on Fri 2/11 at 7:30AM. It’s sponsored by Aetna Foundation, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland Clinic Health System East, Lake Hospital System and University Hospitals Health System. Register by calling 752-3000. Executive Caterers of Landerhaven, 6111 Landerhaven Dr. in Mayfield Hts.

Orchid Mania Returns to celebrate in grand style for Valentine’s Day, and you’ll feast your eyes on thousands of orchid blooms in this exotic and sensational exhibit. Get acquainted with one of nature’s most precious and coveted plants on Fri 2/11 from 6-11PM. Event runs through March 20. The Garden is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10AM-5PM and Sundays from Noon to 5PM. Get tickets at 721-1600 or at any Heinen’s. Cleveland Botanical Garden, 11030 East Blvd. in University Circle.

Non-Profit Shop Talk Cleveland area non-profit organizations are facing issues ranging from strengthening their finances to fund raising and audience development. Learn about strategic, business, annual, and project planning in this day-long intensive workshop. It’s designed especially for small to medium non-profit organizations working in arts and culture, social services, education, health care, and community development sects of the community. The Reverend Tracey Lind, Dean of Trinity Cathedral, will give a welcome and opening address, with a keynote address from The Plain Dealer’s philanthropy reporter, Susan Ruiz Patton, on Fri 2/11 at 8:30AM. Call 991-6003. Trinity Commons, 2230 Euclid Ave.

WCLVnotes The music world was saddened this week to learn of the death of Karl Haas, host of Adventures in Good Music. His program, heard on WCLV 104.9 weekdays at 10AM, has been on the station for over three decades. Adventures, which brought musical enjoyment to millions of listeners, was for many years the most listened to classical music radio program in the world, carried by hundreds of stations in the United States, Australia, Mexico, Panama and world-wide by Armed Forces Radio. Robert Conrad, the President of WCLV, which has produced and distributed Adventures in Good Music since 1970, said, “Throughout his broadcasting career, Karl Haas had the knack of informing and delighting his listeners with his vast knowledge of music, ranging from humor to etiquette and everything in between. And who can forget his penchant for punning the titles of his programs – The Joy of Sax, Baroque and in Debt, May the Source be With You and No Stern Untoned. Karl leaves a valuable legacy of music appreciation that is unparalleled. And because his programs are timeless, WCLV will continue to make these priceless musical treasures available to WCLV listeners and to radio stations elsewhere.” a Cool Cleveland partner

Laughs for the Heart See Northeast Ohio’s up and coming stand up comics for two super side-splitting shows only. Proceeds benefit the American Heart Association on Fri 2/11 at 8PM and Sat 2/12 at 8PM. Call 241-6000. Playhouse Square Kennedy Theater, under the Ohio Theatre, 1511 Euclid Ave.

ReThinkPink fundraiser is promoting monthly breast self-exams in a fun, creative way with self-painted body prints created by local women. The event is tackling the serious issue of breast cancer in an upbeat, unconventional and creative way to provide awareness for monthly breast self-exams (BSE). Bid on an original print from Annie Sprinkle, and see the sights during this progressive breast health event on Sat 2/12 from 6-10PM. Call 323-0085. Gallery Ü, Colonial Marketplace ARTcade, 530 Euclid Ave., Suite 30

Collective Treasures: Masterworks from CAF The Cleveland Artists Foundation (CAF) invites you to head out and celebrate their opening reception, highlighting a selection of paintings, prints, and three-dimensional works from CAF’s unique permanent collection of art from the Northeast Ohio region. Be there on Sat 2/12 from 6-8PM. Call 227-9507. Show runs through 3/2. Gallery at the Beck Center for the Arts, 17801 Detroit Ave. and

Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration See presentations of the Ribbon Dance or Monkey King Dance, and watch beautiful coordination with Chinese Yo-Yo demonstrations, along with a presentation of the Zodiac Stamps. The afternoon will conclude with lively performances, and the public can take part in this open event on Sat 2/12 at 4PM. Call 623-2895. Main Library, Louis Stokes Wing, E. 6th Street and Superior Ave.

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Master of sound and silence Ahmad Jamal performs live this Sunday 2/13 at 3PM at Severance Hall as part of the Jazz on the Circle series. “For 50 years he has exhibited his profound understanding of…jazz, turning his trio into an orchestra of American sound.” -The New York Times. Ahmad himself states, “I have a thousand melodies in my head, but I don’t write them all down. I write down the jewels. So when I have a jewel I go into the studio. Jewels are hard to find–you have to dig.” What could be better than rare jewels for Valentine’s Day? Let Ahmad share these with you and your sweetie as part of a romantic weekend! Get your tickets by calling 231-1111, or click here.
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Wounded Heart Benefit A sweet selection of Cleveland musicians will be teaming up to support Greg Kudlaty (Ace Dixon), the lap steel guitar player for Cats On Holiday in an event to help out with financial problems related to his ongoing battle with heart disease. Drop by for free hors d’oeuvres, excellent music, and a prize raffle on Sun 2/13 from 4-8PM. Call Wilbert’s at 902-4663 or Cats On Holiday at 941-6850. Wilbert’s, 812 Huron Rd.

Emergence explores the artistic, philosophical and scientific ramifications of evolutionary adaptive behavior, using mathematical models of flocking, herding and schooling behavior in birds, mammals and fish to create an interactive theatre piece that merges sound and image. The performance environment will be a conventional recital hall with no visible evidence of technology beyond a projection screen and eleven speakers mounted on the walls for surround sound. See the premiere on Sun 2/13 at 8PM. Call 440-775-8121. Oberlin Conservatory of Music, corner of Professor and West College St. at Kulas Recital Hall on the campus of Oberlin College.

Sage Francis and SoLLiLoquists Sage’s spoken word performances were featured on ESPN and ABC X-Games commercials, and he has toured the US twice. This artist captures the attention of both punk rock kids and hip-hop purists with his gritty conviction. Check him out on Mon 2/14 at 9PM. Call 321-5588. Grog Shop, 2785 Euclid Hts Blvd. in Cleveland Hts.

Lake Effect Radio Change is on the air, and you can hear it during the launch of Lake Effect Radio’s three new shows, What’s So Funny!, Supper and the Silver Screen, and Novel Conversations that will air each weekend on WHK 1420AM. Check out the launch event taking place on Tue 2/15 at noon at Pickwick & Frolic, 2035 East 4th St. Call 671-7900.

Janet Macoska: From Tri-C to the Rock Hall The Geeks and Gurus Visual Communication and Design Lecture Series for 2005 is rockin’ out with photographer Janet Macoska, who has captured classic rock ‘n roll moments on film for over two decades. Her memorable images include David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and The Kinks. She has been published by the heppest of hep publications like The London Times, Rolling Stone, Creem, and The New York Times. Macoska’s photographs are in the permanent collections of The National Portrait Gallery in London, and locally at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; get on the inside of a rocker’s world at her lecture on Wed 2/16 from 7:30-9PM. Event is complimentary with no entry fee. Cuyahoga Community College’s Western Campus, Building G, 11000 Pleasant Valley Rd. in Parma.

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Cool Cleveland People Nina Domingue

Go to almost any theater in town and you’re likely to see Nina Domingue on stage. One of the hottest and hardest-working performing talents in the city, she recently received a Cleveland Theater Collective Award for her subtle, varied performances in Sincerity Forever, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and Nickel and Dimed. She has already had a busy year – with a galvanizing turn as “The Lady in Red” in Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls… at Karamu, then a lead in the Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theatre’s The Night Before Christmas. Last month in Cleveland Public Theatre’s Big [Box] series, she opened her solo show, Mo Pas Connin, to rapturous reviews. This month she burns up CPT’s mainstage as the controversial title character of Venus, Suzan-Lori Parks’ play about the “Venus Hottentot,” a South African woman with prominent buttocks who was shown off as an exotic carnival freak. A New Orleans native, Domingue has made her home in Cleveland since 1999. She talked with Cool Cleveland correspondent Linda Eisenstein about two of her big loves – theater and education.

Cool Cleveland: How did you get to Cleveland?
Nina Domingue: Mr. Gary Hyatt, my theater teacher at Dillard, knew Mike Malone who knew Bill Hoffman at the Play House. I was just out of school, and The Ohio Company – which is now defunct — had one slot for an internship. It was a great gig, in the ’99-00 season. It didn’t pay us much, but they put us up and paid our bills. What’s funny is I had no idea of what the Cleveland Play House was. Because I was in an HBCU – a Historically Black College or University — I knew about Karamu, but not the Play House. I drove up to the Play House and said “It’s a castle!”…
Read the interview here

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News Media Unlikely To Tell You
By Roldo Bartimole

No one else will do this so I might as well. The bookkeeping below gives some of the escalating costs of the 1990 decision to build Gateway.

It’s necessary to examine and tote these costs because the principal outlet for public information – The Plain Dealer – will never do it. Before getting into the figures, something has to be said about why these public costs escape the public realm.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” said philosopher George Santayana. What then happens when the past is distorted by gross omissions?

The PD, the paper of record here, advises the public repeatedly with copious data of sports teams, present records, past records and individual achievements of all kinds. However, the PD will not remind us with even a smidgen of news on the public costs of these sports venues. It’s too disturbing, apparently. If there is not a press release of some kind, the PD lives cozily in Sleepy Hollow. In this manner, the news media corrupts public discourse by failure to notice. This safe structure frames news in favor of elites by essentially ignoring it…
Read RoldoLINK here

Instant Karma
Quick 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

Verb Ballets @ at Playhouse Square’s Ohio Theatre 1/28
Verb Ballet’s debut proved substantial both in terms of length (two and a half hours including intermissions) and in terms of the weight of the choreography and music presented. Audacity paid off for Verb and their audience on almost every front. Verb’s Artistic Director Hernando Cortez has long intoned his belief that “If we build it they will come.” So far this seems to be true. So often we’ve seen first-rate concerts attract disappointing houses; but Verb sold the 900 and some seat Ohio Theatre out. Which is a great thing to see….
Read the review here

Adaptation @ Cleveland Black Box Theater 2/3
What: Elaine May’s one-act satire about suburban American life, in the style of a game show, by The Other Theatre Project.
Reasons to go: Baby-faced Chris Hegedus is endearing as the hapless Phil, the “contestant” who goes from babyhood through adolescence and on to adulthood to the pronouncements, buzzers, and point-awards of the Gamesmaster (G. A. Taggett, an emcee with a hint of smarm). Russell Stich keeps the pace popping along, with Rose Leininger & Allen Branstein as Phil’s parents (Branstein’s also funny as his sullen teen), and the mobile-faced Jimmy Helms and a perky Natalie Stefanek in multiple roles. To fill out the 80 minute evening, there’s also an uncredited original skit and some audience participation with game show prizes.
Caveats: May’s one-act is essentially an extended sketch, and a fairly predictable one at that — although she gets off some good zingers, compared to the opening sketch, which is energetic but silly. It’s staged in the cavernous basement at Cabaret Dada, with a depressingly tiny sprinkling of audience among its 150+ chairs. Set up a smaller house, folks — you can always add chairs.
Backstory: This is only the 2nd outing for The Other Theatre Project, produced by Aaron Patterson and directed by Russell Stich, both Cabaret Dada members and alumni of “Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding.” Their last production was “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You.”
Target audience: Lovers of comedy and light satire.
Details: Thru 2/14, at Cabaret Dada’s Cleveland Black Box Theater, 1210 W. 6th.
from Cool Cleveland contributor Linda Eisenstein

The Vampyres @ CPT 2/4
What: David Hansen’s black comedy about an uptight medical student’s erotic walk on the wild side in a Goth coffee house, a contemporary retelling of John Polidori’s short story “The Vampyre”.
Reasons to go: Hansen has found his ideal collaborator in director/costumer Alison Hernan, who delivers a pitch-perfect tone. The show is sinister, sexy, perverse, and hilarious — frequently all at once. Joshua D. Brown is sympathetic as the well-meaning nebbish who falls into the coffeehouse den of Goth-vampire freaks. Sadie Grossman does a fab turn as the girl he always yearned for, going from soft hippie-dippie chick overnight to blood-and-sex-crazed Goth queen. John Galbraith and Matthew Zitelli are literally a scream as the two bitchily Byronic, bisexual poseur-musicians, as is Margi Herwald as the cadaverous teenage waitress. The writing is witty, the costumes are fetish-hot, the acting is campy fun, the songs by Queue Up sound great — what’s not to like?
Caveats: The transitions within the orgy scene happen a bit fast, and the sets are workshop-functional, but hey, it’s a workshop.
Backstory: The Vampyres had its debut in 1998 at Dobama’s Night Kitchen — which is honored as the name of the Goth coffeehouse in the play. It’s much improved here — tighter, nastier, more fun.
Target audience: Fans of witty erotic-horror – think Poppy Z. Brite, Anne Rice, “Lost Boys,” or “Rocky Horror.” Adults: it ain’t “Oklahoma.”
Details: Cleveland Public Theatre, 6415 Detroit Ave., Cleveland. Call 631-2727. from Cool Cleveland contributor Linda Eisenstein

Yr Turn
Cool Cleveland readers write
We encourage our readers to speak out by sending us letters and commentary. Send your letters to You must include your full name (required) and you may include your e-mail address (optional). You may also create a new Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail e-mail address and submit it with your letter. Letters submitted to Cool Cleveland, or edited portions may be published in an upcoming issue of Cool Cleveland at our discretion.

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On Cleveland’s fight against Wal-Mart It is another sad commentary on the city of Cleveland when it turns its nose up at an opportunity for a company like Wal-Mart to bring in additional jobs and quality groceries at a lower price for its residents. Meanwhile, there have been store closings in the area and prices of groceries have escalated. It is pretty sad when you pay nearly $2.50 for a can of Campbell’s soup from Giant Eagle and we will not allow competition to provide better value. We are a backwards city.
from Cool Cleveland reader Mark Wester

Thanks to Joe Cimperman for trying to block Wal-Mart from coming to Cleveland. Cleveland needs jobs with living wages not Wal-mart jobs. Other places have seen Wal-mart to be a drain on local public assistance systems, as underpaid employees need to rely on child care, food stamps, and medicaid. Not to mention all of the “gimme’s” that they’ll want from the city, county and state.
from Cool Cleveland reader Chuck Ackerman

Given the completely destructive effects of Wal-Mart stores on our communities, why ON EARTH is this company, or indeed any big box company, being welcomed into Steelyard Commons? Tremendous effort has been put into making the Near West Side such a people-friendly, lively place, providing for the basic needs of the local residents, but also into being sophisticated and original enough to draw in residents and visitors from a much wider area. Why would the city want to be the agent for greatly weakening, crippling, or maybe even killing Cleveland’s hard-won urban success story? Surely the city should be in the business of encouraging smaller stores (e.g. hardware, drug stores) into setting up shop within Ohio City? And Steelyard Commons should become a park, attracting visitors for relaxation, and for exploring Cleveland’s industrial past. There are probably other, more inventive, ideas that groups such as ‘Entrepreneurs for Sustainability’ could (or have) come up with. Presumably there would also be small-scale commercial development associated with a people-drawing venue like a multi-purpose park – a REAL economic engine.
from Cool Cleveland reader Sarah Taylor

In my opinion the best thing that we can do for our city is to block Wal-Mart from entering its realms. Wal-Mart is a corporate bully, we all should realize and internalize this notion and protest shopping at such a large chain. This corporation is almost solely responsible for corporations taking jobs overseas and for small businesses closing due to unfathomable competion. Besides the fact that this corporation keeps its prices falling at the detriment of its suppliers, the community, and small business, it is also a horrible place to work. Wal-Mart has been sliding down a slippery slope of law suits for their treatment of women, the mentally, and physically disabled. This company stands in the way of women rising to management positions and has layed of numerous employees when their medical costs and salary requirements rise above the pittance that the corporation offers them. This company is on a massacre rampage and people are blinded by their low prices and advertising schemes. Please please keep this company out of Cleveland for the sake of our people, our small businesses, and our principles.
from Cool Cleveland reader Regina M. Piunno

If Wal-Mart planted some soy beans…Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman would not allow large big-box retail stores…I applaud him. In my opinion, Wal-Mart and other big box stores are killing the spirit of local retailers in many cities across America. Wal-Mart is helping to eliminate manufacturers in our country and providing China with opportunities to become the next industrial powerhouse. Plus, they are developing land and erecting new buildings when there are tons of empty retail and warehouse space all over the city. Look around, do we really need more places to buy stuff? Does, this fit into our Master Plan for the area? Now if Wal-Mart wanted to buy that land and plant some soy beans, corn, cabbage and potatoes Yes, I would support them. But until then I will support my local farmers markets! Buy Local and Screw Wal-Mart!
from Cool Cleveland reader Robert Vance

SAY NO to Wal-Mart! Support this legislation! Keep Wal-Mart OUT of Cleveland! Thanks!!!
from Cool Cleveland reader Dave Modarelli

Stop Wal-Mart. So glad to see people standing up to that behemoth – let’s reveal to the general public what it costs them to get that dirt-cheap VCR, and that there are alternatives out there to getting reasonably priced merchandise without committing the near-criminal act of supporting Wal-Mart. Joe Cimperman deserves our thanks for leading the fight.
from Cool Cleveland reader Jill Levin

wal-mart go away. as many know, wal-mart is one of the biggiest stores in the market for just about everything & if they come to cleveland many stores (locally owned) will flop off the yard & disappear for good. why would we want that??? should we be shopping at our local neightborhood stores & business??? to help them boom instead of wal-mart, right??? this sucks if wal-mart wins & becomes here again with another store…..what are they going to cater to the small businesses & locally owned stores & put there products in there store??? i think not! they can charge what they want for a product just to get customers to buy it since the smaller business can’t do that & that is why they go out of business. oh, no you think wal-mart is safe??? for people to work there & to shop there??? i think not! remember DEAD PEASANT INSURANCE & what about the RFID TAGS, huh??? not sure what these are? look it up & you will see how evil wal-mart is.
from Cool Cleveland reader jeremy koteles

Wal-Mart isn’t our problem. If people don’t like Wal-Mart, they should stop shopping there. They shouldn’t try to dictate to everyone else where they can or cannot shop by introducing legislation like this. I say let the market decide. I personally don’t like Wal-Mart and rarely shop there. But for many people, Wal-Mart’s low prices lets them buy more. And that is a real consumer benefit. People should have that option. By forcing its suppliers to lower its prices, Wal-Mart encourages productivity gains that help our economy continue to grow. I understand frustration with low wages paid by Wal-Mart. But the best way for the government to help those workers is to provide more educational opportunities for them so that they have more and better job options. When there’s a scarcity of workers who would accept a Wal-Mart job, then the market will force Wal-Mart to increase its wages. Coming up with some “band-aid” legislation that tries to keep Wal-Mart out is simply putting off the real problems we have.
from Cool Cleveland reader Dan Witalec

On a grocery store in Cleveland Normally, I would support a grocery chain coming into a city that just lost Tops. However in this case I believe the legislation is justified. If the developer is going to tailor this development to the neighborhood it is going into (instead of turning it into “little suburbia”), then they should consider dealing with Dave’s Supermarket. Over the last 10 years Dave’s has been successful in turning around blighted areas and been successful in neighborhoods the other chains haven’t been willing to touch.
from Cool Cleveland reader Diane Shoemaker

On Cool Cleveland I always look forward to Wednesdays – Cool Cleveland is one of the few hopeful bits of news about the City that crosses my desk during the week! It makes me remember why I choose to stay here – and what is so vibrant, so alive, so exciting about being in this place I call home.
from Cool Cleveland reader Megan Wilson Send your letters to:

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) The Power 100 With their annual ranked list of the 100 most powerful people in Northeast Ohio, Inside Business has always been provocative.

2) The Bop Stops When Cleveland’s Bop Stop closed a couple of weeks ago, they left a hole in the local jazz scene.

3) Ohio City Merchandise Check out the cool, new Ohio City merchandise available from the Ohio City Near West Development Corporation.

4) Tuning In with J. Scott Franklin Franklin just recently returned from traveling in his automobile on a three-month tour of America, where he took his words and music to points North, South, East and West. Tuning In J Scott Franklin

5) Top ten most-looked-up words at Merriam-Webster Online are fun words such as Blog, incumbent, electoral, insurgent, peloton, and others.

Love the culture in Cleveland At Cool Cleveland, we’re coaching others to catch the desire for experiencing new people, events, and communities. Expand your participation in the various communities and cultures of our city by reading Cool Cleveland; we make it easy to identify trends you’ll want to be part of. Want cool-as-heck happenings and updates? Now you and your friends can scope out our website, and take in the latest on life in Cleveland. Send along friends and co-workers to register for the no-charge e-zine at or have ’em send an e-mail to

Hard Corps attack the scene Bringing in an arsenal of articles, personality, and readable bits for Thanks to the people who put the power behind Cool Cleveland: Tisha Nemeth-Loomis, Marc Majercak, Deb Remington, TL Champion, Linda Eisenstein, Ivan Jackson, Victor Lucas, Bill Nagode, Rachel Jacobs, Kevin Risner, Roldo Bartimole, George Nemeth, Ivan Jackson and everyone who partners with us. Want to volunteer and contribute your writing to Cool Cleveland? Send your reviews, articles, or story ideas to:

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–Thomas Mulready

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