When almost 70 cents of every dollar spent at local independent stores is retained and recycled through the community, versus about half that for big box stores, it’s easy to see why we’re so adamant about shopping locally. And while Cool Cleveland believes in the Internet, your online purchases, unless with a local retailer, bring virtually nothing back to our community. See our new ShopLOCAL Holiday Gift Guide (and suggest more local businesses), read about local Young Adult authors, check out Zanzibar, and get ready for LeBron and the first ladies of dance. Go local with our hand-picked daily suggestions for cool stuff to do this week. And this holiday season, think outside the big box & shop local. It’s your choice. And your community. –Thomas Mulready

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Want to create a better world? The key to making the world a better place is to improve your community. After all, you can’t save the world if you won’t even help people in your own backyard. This is the year to do it all: Strengthen your community, support a local entrepreneur and take a stand against corporate greed & all that comes with it. Shop locally.

Did you know that 70 cents of every dollar you spend at a local shop stays in the community? Plus, local brick & mortar shops are what separates a community from a generic landscape of parking lots & warehouses. We’ve compiled a list of the coolest shops NEO has to offer in our annual ShopLOCAL Holiday Gift Guide, already among the Top 5 most clicked links on Cool Cleveland. Watch the video for even more ideas. Did we forget to include your favorite store? Send us a note at Save our communities; save our world! Click here for the Guide

Is the Internet changing your business or organization? Consider CoolCleveland Sponsored Links and Sponsored Videos.

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SPONSORED: A colorful holiday musical, and we promise… not one carol! Beck Center presents Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Fri 12/3 through Sun 1/2/11. Dazzle your entire family with its brilliant light show, splashy costumes, rousing children’s chorus, and musical stylings for all tastes– from reggae to country western to an Elvis-channeling pharaoh.

What should happen w/ the Mall? Oh, the Mall is a-changin’! Transformation is inevitable for this swath of open land in downtown Cle, but what, exactly, should become of the Mall? Keep it as open space? Turn it into football fields? Voice yr opinion on Your Changing Cleveland’s website & help yr city!

* Wanna download music for free? Now you can, legally, w/ new program from the Rocky River Public Library.
* Local talent in Unstoppable NEO-based freelance journalist & actor Jennifer Boresz is “Reporter #3” in new Hollywood action flick.
* Akronites value social offerings, openness & beauty more than leadership & safety, says Knight Soul of the Community study.
* Save Ohio’s 3C Rail Project? Band together if you want to save Ohio’s 3C Rail Project, which would link Cle, C-bus and Cincy.
* Think Again! list of local job opportunities in marketing & non-profit management.
* Cle Bicycle Alliance awarded $10K grant to unite cycling community. Plus, they need yr input.
* Entrepreneur sought for Cleveland Bike Rack, set to open in Spring of 2011 next to The Q on E. 4th. Respond now.

Click here for more News and Biz

Cool Cleveland Podcast Weekly roundup of cool events, in an easy-to-digest 3 minute audio format, for playback on your computer or iPod.

Click here to subscribe to the Cool Cleveland Podcast in iTunes.

SPONSORED: Finding the Right School Means Finding the Right Fit Register now for the Spring 2011 semester at Kent State University at Stark. Classes begin January 10!

Whether you’re just starting out or transferring, KSU at Stark has something for everyone! A convenient location, reduced tuition and wide range of degree programs make Kent State Stark a great option!

Here comes the Christmas Tree Ship! Ahoy? Head to Vermilion on Sat 12/4 for a reenactment of the 1887 Rousse Simmons arrival carrying trees ashore on the Vermilion River. You can even pre-order a tree and have it arrive on the ship. The event includes the ship’s arrival, community bands, hot chocolate & treats and a kids coloring contest. And lots of history you never knew about.

* Dancing Wheels: Pinocchio! @ Breen. Tix include post-performance party w/ games, prizes & food.
* Children’s Open Gym Throw balls, climb things & beat those winter blahs @ St. Paul’s Church.
* Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ Beck Ctr. Colorful, mesmerizing & thoroughly entertaining.
* Ohio City Christmas Festival Market St. fills w/ vendors, Xmas trees & festive cheer. Plus Santa.

Click here for more Cool Cleveland Kids events

As we move into the holiday gift giving season, no gift is more elusive than that for the tweener or teenager in your life. You want to get them something cool, something thoughtful, something that hints you might even understand them. While you could just go the lazy route and get them an iTunes gift card, you could also get them a book written by one of the many young adult authors living and working in Northeast Ohio. There are more of them than you might think, and they’re working across all genres. You’re sure to find a title or two that will satisfy the young adult in your life (and make you look pretty hip in the process).

However, it can be difficult to identify these writers if you don’t know what you’re looking for. To help you, Cool Cleveland offers a Field Guide to Northeast Ohio Young Adult Authors. Read more from Susan Petrone here

SPONSORED: Next week , WCLV 104.9 begins its move from Radio Ranch in Warrensville Heights to Idea Center on Playhouse Square. On Mon 12/6, the first two control rooms will be moved, with the air programming switched at 10AM on Wed 12/8. Also on the 8th, at 10AM, WCLV’s connection to the Internet web sites, audio stream and e-mail will go down until later in the afternoon. The web sites will still be able to be accessed by viewers. WCLV’s new address is Idea Center, 1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.

WED 12/1
A couple of poets (literally… they’re actually a couple) present a night of poetry readings @ CSU on Wed 12/1. Hear from Ben Dollar & Sandra Dollar, two published poets who also teach poetry in colleges. They’ve honed their craft. Now hear what they have to say.

* Happy 85th, Cedar Lee! Cedar Lee Theatre anniversary bash w/ showing of The Gold Rush.
* Manufacturing Mart Launch Party @ Galleria. Networking, biz & feng shui.

Click here for more events on Wed 12/1

THU 12/2
Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant You’re invited to Cleveland Public Theatre’s “dinner theatre of the absurd,” opening on Thu 12/2 at 7PM. Delightfully weird theater, crazy cabaret, improv comedy, death, violence & a five course meal. An experience like none other.

* Chamber Music Festival Performances by CIM students, Cavani String Quartet & Jasper String Quartet.
* Animals in Art Exhibit & Craft Sale. One event, two missions: Promote the fine arts & promote low-cost spay/neuter programs.
* Unmentionables for the Mentionable unique party & fundraiser to benefit homeless & less fortunate ppl in NEO.
* For the Heights By the Heights All things Cleveland Heights @ the Grog Shop. Proceeds benefit FutureHeights.

Click here for more events on Thu 12/2

FRI 12/3
FLY: Five First Ladies of Dance Five groundbreaking dancer/choreographers who’ve shaped the history of contemporary dance are coming to Oberlin for two days: Fri 12/3 and Sat 12/4. Awesome digital effects & amazing dance moves from ladies who continue to raise the artistic bar.

* Art House Revealed Anonymous art auction featuring works of local artists… & a hint of mystery.
* A Christmas Carol @ GLTF Because the tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge never grows old.
* Rock Unroll Four bands come together to support the AIDS Taskforce of Grtr Cle.
* convergence-continuum: APORKALYPSE! World-premiere of play set at Pawpaw’s pig farm.
* Little Italy Art Walk 3 days of wine tastings, receptions, trunk shows & local shopping.
* Weekend on Waterloo Holiday Sale 30+ regional artists selling goods in the festive holiday ambiance of Arts Collinwood.
* Brilliance, A Holiday Trunk Show @ DuoHome. View jewelry created by local designers.
* Terra Vista Studios Holiday Sale Creative & completely original handmade art.
* Fridays@7: Heroic Mahler Mahler’s explosive & cathartic First Symphony followed by cool @fterparty at Severance.

Click here for more events on Fri 12/3

SAT 12/4
Mikel Rouse – Gravity Radio @ Tri-C Complex sounds tuning into the zeitgeist. Mikel “mixes kaleidoscopic multichannel video with sounds from the AP News Wire, a string quartet, short wave radio frequencies, and songs by Rouse’s band to create an otherworldly environment.” Listen to the Cool Cleveland interview here. Be mesmerized when he performs on Sat 12/4 @ Tri-C.

* Ohio City Christmas Walk Tour gorgeous homes all decked out for the holidays.
* Women Speak Out for Peace & Justice Holiday Peace Festival & Bazaar @ Pilgrim.
* Off the Wall Holiday Show & Sale @ Zygote Press. Affordable art for all!
* ArtCraft Bldg Open House & Holiday Sale Photography, jewelry, clay, paintings, hand-crafted confectioneries & much more.
* Cle Handmade Market sets up shop @ Wooltex Gallery. Local. Handmade. Awesome.
* Lost Cleveland book signing & talk @ Visible Voice. Author Michael DeAloia discusses cool local history.

Click here for more events on Sat 12/4

SUN 12/5
Rock n’ Roll Flea Market This isn’t your average flea market. No, sir, you won’t find any VCRs, broken kids toys and random remote controls here. Instead, you’ll find vintage goodies, records, kitsch & art offered from 30+ vendors. Buy a gift for someone cool, like yourself. Sun 12/5 from 11AM – 4PM @ the Beachland.

* Holiday CircleFest University Circle is abuzz with events for singles & families.
* Oberlin Musical Union performs Carl Orff’s ubiquitous Carmina Burana.

Click here for more events on Sun 12/5

MON 12/6
Local Food Cle Holiday Happy Hour Into the local food movement? Meet other locavores and organic foodies at Local Food Cleveland’s next food & booze shindig @ the Greenhouse Tavern on Mon 12/6. You’re invited whether you’re a seasoned veteran or are just finding your place.

Click here for more events on Mon 12/6

TUE 12/7
A Sea Change Showing & Community Forum CO2 created from the burning of fossil fuels is not only changing our air, it’s impacting our oceans by making them more acidic. Find out more info on Tue 12/7 when the Nature Ctr at Shaker Lakes shows Barbara Ettinger’s timely documentary A Sea Change at 7PM. Stay after for a community discussion w/ Cle Clinic’s Dr. Eric Schreiber.

* 5-Course Beer Dinner @ Happy Dog The Happy Dog crew’s favorite beers paired w/ 5 food courses.
* Emerging Chefs Prohibition Dinner Party @ the Speakeasy. Food & drink from Bar Cento’s Michael Nowak.

Click here for more events on Tue 12/7

WED 12/8
Warehouse District Holiday Tour The Warehouse District, thankfully, consists of much more than clubs. Get a feel for life in the District at the Holiday Tour on Wed 12/8. View apts, condos & homes, and chow down on awesome food provided by local restaurants.

Click here for more events on Wed 12/8

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For Cleveland sports fans, the return this week of LeBron James to Quicken Loans Arena – the scene of his cowardly act of quitting last May in Game 5 against the Celtics – is neither the time nor the place to exhibit anything resembling the better angels of their nature. Not on your life.

While operating, of course, within the boundaries of non-violence and relative human decency, the boos directed at the traitorous James need to be downright deafening, the signs clever and brutally cutting and the chants rhythmically raucous. A game-long chorus of “Quitter, Quitter” would work just fine, and the next day’s hoarseness could be worn like a badge of honor.

There is no need to pay attention to the calls for servile decorum prompted by fears that the city will receive yet another tedious scolding from the national media for lacking suitable class… Read more from Larry Durstin here

We’re driving to Oberlin this weekend to see FLY: Five First Ladies of Dance, a concert of solo performances. Their names are familiar to anyone who follows concert dance. Carmen de Lavallade is described by some as Alvin Ailey’s first muse. Bebe Miller, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and Cleveland’s own Dianne McIntyre [pictured] are important postmodern choreographers. Germaine Acogny is the only African choreographer we know of creating contemporary African dance.

It would be difficult to name five equally eminent dance personages, much less get them all performing on the same stage… Read more from Elsa Johnson & Victor Lucas here

Ever since the comfy Shaker Square soul restaurant “Phil the Fire” decamped for a much larger and more upscale space on Prospect Avenue eight or nine years ago I’ve felt that another such eatery would do well there. Akin Africa evidently harbored similar notions.

He’s the general manager of Zanzibar Soul Fusion, a recently-opened, well-appointed restaurant located next door to the Shaker Square Cinema on the southwest quadrant of the Square…
Read this story from Mansfield Frazier here

Read other recent pieces by Mansfield Frazier here

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Shunning LeBron… and Other Stuff I am an extremely loyal Cavaliers fan since I was a little girl watching them in Richfield. LeBron had the RIGHT to leave Cleveland, but the backlash is for the crass, insensitive WAY he did it! I will be at the December 2nd game (coincidentally my birthday) to support my hometown team. LeBron did not define the Cavaliers, even though it made for 7 exciting years….
Read the comment from Laurie Redmon here

Read and comment here:

Most clicked
Here are the Top 5 most clicked links from last week’s issue, with one more chance for you to click.

1) Artists Fleeing New York City for Cleveland

2) ShopLOCAL Holiday Gift Guide

3) Lost Cleveland: Seven Wonders of the Sixth City

4) Crafting a Better Coop: One Chicken, One Coop, One Yard at a Time

5) Redeveloping Randall Park Mall

Our local writers are the best: Larry Durstin, Mansfield Frazier, Elsa Johnson & Victor Lucas, Susan Petrone, and Sarah Valek. And lastly, though certainly not least, thanks to our readers 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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