Skatecore

Skatecore

In this week’s issue:
* Cool Cleveland podcast now available for download here
* Cool Cleveland Interview Danny Creadon, Founder Factory13 Skateboards
* Cool Cleveland Night Out in the Heights on Thu 6/16. Get your $16.50 tix until midnight 5/26 here
* Cool Cleveland Sounds CD review Colin John Band Live Voodoo Surfing from the Beachland
* Varying Degrees of Excruciation explores the Devastating Deep Freeze of Middle Age

Cool Cleveland Interview
Danny Creadon, Founder, Factory13
By Pete Chakerian

Danny Creadon is hardcore. He’s living and redefining the skateboarding lifestyle that began oozing from the underground back in the 80s. As a skater, he’s out in the scene refining the physical nature of his talents. As a punk rocker, he burns up the local scene with an “old-school steamroller” of a band known as the Curbslappys. As a businessman, he’s quietly reclaiming the skateboard manufacturing industry from those posers hijacking his art for pure profit. And he’s doing it right in your backyard.

As founder and catalyst of Factory13 Experimental Skateboards in Chardon, Creadon forged his craft at Cleveland State University in the indie-est of ways – utilizing their art department’s equipment despite not being enrolled there. He supports and values independent businesses, just as others do his full-service company. He can create anything your twisted little mind can conjure up within the confines of his decked-out wood and metal fabricating skate shop.

Cool Cleveland: I think it’s great that you didn’t even register for any classes there! Seriously, what started you down this career path and where did your aptitude to create skateboards come from?
Danny Creadon: Good question. I started Factory13 [because] there are a lot of really important reasons for having a proper board as a skater. In the ’80s, you just couldn’t get any decent boards to ride. There were only a few creative American board makers in the world then… And by the time the early ’90s came, there weren’t any. It was a major draught. That’s how it started. Things were so bad, that I decided to start making them myself. I personally didn’t have the tools at the time to do it – I was hampered because we couldn’t get equipment – but I was working as a fabricator [and] certified government welder. A lot of the money I made from working those jobs… commercial goods, defense contracts, all that stuff… I put back those skills and money made from those skills directly into a workshop for the company.

Your customers are really as hardcore as you are. Do you ever stop, step back from your handy work and think, “I did this?”
Yeah. Definitely. But I can’t think about it for long. (laughs). As soon as they’re done, I take a picture, they’re wrapped and they’re gone. We’re busy with a 90 day backlog of work at any point! Most of the orders are prepaid, custom and made to order. The other ones in the shop are gone almost immediately to shops or distributors. Our boards don’t stay here for more than a day-and-a-half.

Seriously? That’s unreal. So, you test all of the boards yourself personally? That’s a Factory13 “seal of approval,” if such a thing exists. How much do you think that means to your customers?
[Customers] know I’m not just some corporate jerkoff, so that’s everything. It might seem pretty obsessive, but quality is obsessive. That’s the guarantee I give, which can be hard to understand in this Wal-Mart world. But there’s total loyalty there with them. They usually have a number of boards they ride and they care about quality as much as we do. As a skater, your skateboard is an extension of yourself. You don’t have to be a millionaire to have one. And for people who want art, style and creativity as a part of that, well, I’m here to do the work.
Read the Cool Cleveland interview with Danny Creadon here

We could all use a dose of Cool

Bring friends and hang out on Cedar and Lee with Cool Cleveland’s next party – a Night Out in the Heights on Thu 6/16. The fun starts at 5:30 at Studio You at 2180 Lee Road, where craft meets cool (a make-your-own pottery shop). Enjoy open bar beer, wine and a variety of delicious, complimentary appetizers from area restaurateurs. Then receive a complimentary ticket to Cain Park’s rendition of A Secret Garden at 8PM (shuttles provided). You’ll enjoy this Tony Award-winning story about the restorative power of love. Click here and order online for an unbelievable $16.50 by midnight Thu 5/26 and soon you will be enjoying Jambalaya and Braised Short Ribs from Brennan’s Colony; European Hungarian Peppers stuffed with Sausage from the Pub on Lee; and exotic Golden Veggie Siam Rolls from Lemon Grass Restaurant. You and your friends can nosh on Jimmy O’Neil’s signature Mini Beet Cakes and Goat Cheese Spinach with Sun dried Tomato Tarts. Your evening will also include selections from other discoveries, such as The Lopez Bar and Grille, The Tavern Company, The Stone Oven Bakery and Café, Phoenix Coffee and Chris & Jimmy’s Diner. Enjoy cool, cultural sounds by Cleveland Institute of Music students. Click here to get more details for a networking night of summer celebration, and order online by midnight Thu 5/26 here to receive special $16.50 passes to this Night Out in the Heights. Stop by after work, and don’t miss the fun. Click here: http://www.coolcleveland.com/tickets/nightoutfive

36 hours in Cleveland The New York Times visits flyover land for 36 hours, and whaddya know? They’re blown away, and presumably exhausted. And who wouldn’t be after church-hunting and visiting “Soho on the Cuyahoga” in Tremont, the West Side Market, Great Lakes Brewing, the Rock Hall, the Warehouse District, Pickwick & Frolic, University Circle and Frank Gehry’s Peter B. Lewis Building. “Clevelanders remain, by nature, a self-deprecating lot. But before long, calling their town hip, cosmopolitan – even splendid – won’t sound so ironic.” Hate to tell ya, but that time has come. See New York Times here.

Wal-Mart sneaks into Cleveland After much controversy and stalled plans, a local developer has revived plans for Cleveland’s first Wal-Mart. The Steelyard Commons shopping center is on schedule again, even though City Council was considering a law to restrict big-box retailers from selling groceries. Cleveland can expect the mega shopping mall to open in the fall of 2006. Read the story here and more editorial here. At least nine different Cleveland bloggers are opposed to the backroom politicking and have created http://www.NoClevelandWalmart.org. They are organizing to stop Wal-Mart in Cleveland with a meeting this Wed 5/25 at 7PM at the Treehouse, 820 College Avenue at the corner of College & Professor in Tremont. See the blogs here: Ex Machina, NEObabble, Organic Mechanic, JackZen, Democracy Guy, Have Coffee Will Write, Brewed Fresh Daily, Cafe Cleveland, and Cleveland Diary. Just in case you have some comments on Wal-Mart, you can send them here: Letters@CoolCleveland.com.

A BID for Downtown Manhattan has dozens of Business Improvement Districts, we have one around the Theatre District, and finally Cleveland is considering this innovative option for the entire Downtown. Business owners are agreeing to tax themselves to pay for Safety Ambassadors and Maintenance Teams to keep sidewalks clean, police alleys, remove graffiti and undertake special maintenance tasks throughout the District. For more info, contact Downtown Cleveland Partnership’s Joe Marinucci at 736-7799, Historic Gateway and Warehouse District CDC’s Tom Yablonsky at 771-1994 or Playhouse Square’s Tom Einhouse at 623-6606. Your thoughts on a Business Improvement District in Downtown Cleveland? Letters@CoolCleveland.com.

Cool Cleveland wins business award You may have heard that Cool Cleveland’s Thomas Mulready was recently honored by the International Association of Business Communicators, and he’ll receive their first-ever Business Communicator of the Year Award at Windows on the River on 6/8. See story here and get your tix here. Can we help your business communicate more effectively? Drop us a line and we’ll be glad to show you why Cool Cleveland is so effective. Especially for your business. Info@CoolCleveland.com.

Case builds green The Village is Case Western Reserve University’s stunning $126 million housing project, among the nation’s leaders in energy efficiency and environmentally cool, conscious design. Seven residential houses in three buildings will open in fall as the first LEED-certified buildings in Ohio. Students who live in each building will learn and understand how their lifestyles impact the environment, as their monthly and annual energy use will be monitored and calculated per house and per student occupant. Data from this project will also be broadcast on the Internet, allowing researchers to access the information. Read the story here. Your thoughts on green development? Send to Letters@CoolCleveland.com

Beware Ohio Patriot Act Not only does it duplicate existing law, it allows any place to be called a “terrorist-sensitive site,” even a football stadium on game day, or an art museum, and then require everyone there to provide ID or face criminal prosecution. The bill, which has passed the Ohio Senate and is now being considered by the Ohio House, would cut funding to any city that passes a resolution disapproving of the USA Patriot Act, and would force people applying for a license to incriminate themselves by indicating if they have supported terrorist organizations, even though most people cannot know how funds they donate to a hospital will be used. The terrorist watch list, by the way, is managed in secret by the Secretary of State. Contact your State representative here and cc: Cool Cleveland here: Letters@CoolCleveland.com

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For the Health of It Take a look inside and see just how amazing you are! Learn by experiencing BODY WORLDS 2: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies at the Great Lakes Science Center, where you will have the opportunity to view the complexity of the human body in meticulous detail. Hours: 9:30AM – 7:30PM Sunday through Wednesday; 9:30AM – 9PM Thursday through Saturday. Tickets start at $16 for adults and $9 for youths. Thursday evenings enjoy our full cash bar on the terrace overlooking Northcoast Harbor from 6PM – 9PM (weather permitting). BODY WORLDS/Rock Your World combined Science Center/Rock Hall all day passes available at the Science Center Box Office. For more information contact the Science Center at 216.694.2000 or www.GreatScience.com
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Museum expansion caught off-guard The Cleveland Museum of Art is experiencing growing pains while they attempt the six-year renovation. To prepare for the expansion project which requires demolition of the museum’s structure, this spring the CMA canceled a photography show of Jim Dine, a significant American artist. The internationally known artist in New York received a phone message from the museum saying the show would not happen as the institution had decided to instead focus on its massive renovation; the way it was handled, according to Dine, was “cheesy.” This major renovation is too important to the community and hopefully everything will get in sync soon. Read the story here. Your thoughts on the museum’s shutdown and renovation? Send them to Letters@CoolCleveland.com

Museum announces NEO artists For decades the Cleveland Museum of Art showcased artists of the region through its regular May Show, which ran from 1919 to 1993. Now, the Museum is bringing back the tradition with The NEO Show, on view Sun 7/10 through 9/4. Almost 1,300 works were entered by Northeast Ohio artists, but only 80 works were selected for the exhibition. Judging was provided by Jane Farver, Director of the List Visual Arts Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Louis Grachos, Director of The Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. See list of accepted artists and works here.

Salon des NEO Refusés The Cleveland-based Digital Museum of Modern Art invites artists of Northeast Ohio whose entries were not accepted in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s NEO Show to submit their artwork to this renegade exhibition which will be fully digital and online. Think of it as a powerful tool to present the original work of professional, mid-career, new and student artists. See it on view 7/8 through 9/4 followed by an extended, archival exhibition. All artists who were not selected for the NEO Show are encouraged to send images and materials, including a copy of their NEO Show rejection letter by Wed 6/8. For submission requirements, visit http://www.Dmoma.org/lobby.html. Your thoughts on Salon des NEO Refusés Letters@CoolCleveland.com

Cool Cleveland podcast Click here to listen to a brief, 3-minute Cool Cleveland Update on your computer, your iPod or your MP3 player. Check out this week’s highlights with your headphones. If you use an RSS feed reader and want to receive the Cool Cleveland Podcast every week, the podcast feed is here. Let us know how you like it: Letters@CoolCleveland.com.

Casino effort launches in Cleveland & statewide Ohioans for Local Option, is a political action committee of casino supporters collecting signatures to include in a November referendum allowing larger cities to vote on casinos. Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell is betting they can gather 322,899 signatures by summer’s end to position a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution on the fall ballot. It would allow cities with least 50,000 residents, or cities that are county seats, to vote if they want casinos or not. Read the story here. Is Ohio headed in the right direction regarding gaming? Tell us your thoughts at Letters@CoolCleveland.com

Convention Center helps… or does it? The recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers prepared for the Convention Facilities Authority tells a sobering tale: Cleveland’s best bet is a 300K square foot facility with a new attached 600-room hotel, at a cost of $380 to $500 million. And the report recommends closing the existing, and very economically viable I-X Center, something owner Ray Park is understandably not interested in. Area hotels are also not hot to build what would be Cleveland’s largest hotel, either, since their occupancy rates have sucked for years. It’s still unclear who will be asked to pay for the Convention Center project. See story here. As for the current historic Convention Center facility, imagine it reconstructed into a state-of-the-art facility, possibly redirecting lakefront development and transforming the area into a desirable civic space. It could happen, according to a $447 million plan submitted this week to the CFA. Read the story here. Does downtown need more renovation? Send your ideas to Letters@CoolCleveland.com

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A Force of Nature What does the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Verb Ballets, Cleveland’s National Repertory Dance Company, have in common? An exciting new program of dances called Nature Moves. Open to the public, Nature Moves will launch Fri 6/3 and Sat 6/4 at 8PM. Performing together will be members of Verb Ballets with Hernando Cortez, artistic director, G.D. Harris, a highly acclaimed solo dancer from the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and Huang Dou Dou, considered China’s leading dancer. Performances will include The Man and the Echo, The Envelope, Awassa Astrige/Ostrich and Planet Soup. Ticket are $25 or $40 (which includes admission to a reception, hors d’oeuvres, and an open bar). Reserve seating. Contact (216) 231-1177 or 800-317-9155, ext. 3279, www.CMNH.org or www.VerbBallets.org
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Flats reaction Developer Scott Wolstein’s has a mind to restructure and revamp the east bank of the Flats, with a $225 million plan to redevelop. His proposal asks for $40 million in public money, mostly to improve the area’s streets and infrastructure, but the Council’s approval will determine this project’s future. Many believe it’s a good idea, as long as it doesn’t infringe on school funds and other neighborhood projects. Read the story here. Do you have some thoughts on the East Bank of the Flats? Send your opinions to Letters@CoolCleveland.com

New Downtown housing proposed Downtown is on the verge of scoring ritzy upscale homes, caffeinated cafes, and a fresh offering of art galleries which would infuse the downtown neighborhood near Galleria at Erieview. Cleveland City Council has approved the sale of three city-owned parking lots on East 12th and East 13th streets to developer Zaremba Inc. The 150 million District Development would shape a walkable and pleasant neighborhood with 423 condominiums and townhomes, with pricing ranging from $187,000 to $333,000. Read the story here. Is Cleveland coming closer to realizing its urban potential? Send your thoughts to Letters@CoolCleveland.com

Eye on Plusquellic Don Plusquellic, Akron’s longest-serving Mayor talks tough and says, “I get passionate and I get pissed off.” It may be an example how an attitude can serve one well, as his success confirms his popularity in Akron, a city that faces, and deals with, their serious municipal problems. “He wants to go down as the best mayor the city has ever had,” according to John Valle, Clerk of Akron City Council. Apparently that’s what’s happening. Read the story here. Can Cleveland learn from its Rubber City neighbors? Send your thoughts to Letters@CoolCleveland.com

Casino polling is close One poll shows 52% favor gambling, another shows 55%. The advantages? Capturing the tax revenue that now flows to Detroit, Windsor, and West Virginia casinos. And the casino jobs. The downsides? Violence, prostitution, gambling addictions. Businessman Rick Dayton of Strongsville says, “Casinos would not have a positive influence on the great things we have here, like the orchestra, museums and the lake.” And let’s talk about those jobs. Do you want your children to grow up to be bioscientists or croupiers? Read the story here. Do you have an opinion on casino gambling in Ohio? Send it to: Letters@CoolCleveland.com.

Tommy rocks The Who’s critically revered, and hugely influential, concept album Tommy was released in 1969 and examined spirituality and the self. Come to the Rock Hall’s exhibition that features Pete Townshend’s handwritten manuscripts and production notes, as well as costumes, instruments, posters and other artifacts from the numerous incarnations of Tommy. This week hang out at Rock and Roll Night School’s Tommy and Rock Opera: A Genre Emerges on Wed 5/25 at 7PM, where you can look at the pop music innovation, the Rock Opera. BTW, if you’re in love with Green Day’s recently released punk rock opera American Idiot, this class will examine the work that created the genre by focusing on Tommy and looking at the new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit The Who’s Tommy: The Amazing Journey. For info http://www.RockHall.com

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Get Your Groove On during Cleveland State University’s alumni weekend. A weekend of fun starts Thurs 6/2 at 5:30PM with the alumni juried art exhibit at the “Edge” art gallery. On Fri 6/3 at 6PM honor outstanding graduates at the 15th Annual Distinguished Alumni Dinner at Cleveland State’s Cole Center. Sat 6/4 at 8:30AM enjoy class and college reunions, and don’t miss the grand finale Saturday night – a Star-Studded Extravaganza at the Galleria from 5PM – 10:30PM. Laugh with movie star Rodney Perry and the Comic View All-Stars. Dance to Colin Dussault’s Blues Project, The Dave Morgan Sextet with vocalist Nicole K and the latest sounds from DJ Ant Dog. Taste tempting treats from fine chefs. Then join us at the after-party at Shooters. Tickets are going fast. Get more details or order tickets by contacting 216-687-2078 or www.csuohio.edu/alumni
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Cleve arts overview Cleveland is home to 125 arts and cultural organizations in Cuyahoga County with world-class cultural assets, such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Cleveland Orchestra. These groups bring in a combined $1.3 billion annually into our region’s economy, but it’s a limited and endangered cash flow. Unlike other Midwestern cities, such as Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, Cleveland does not have an appointed revenue stream for the arts, whereas arts in Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton are publicly supported through taxes, including sales tax and property tax. Local activist Tom Schorgl, President and CEO of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the arts and culture community for the future of art and our economy. See Cleveland Jewish News here.

Rotunda retained As a clarification to last week’s blurb mentioning that the Cuyahoga County Commissioners have purchased, for $22 million, the Cleveland Trust property at East 9th & Euclid to house their 2000 employees in a new County Administration building, the planned demolition of the adjacent 28-tower would not include demolishing the historic rotunda where the beautiful glass ceiling was recently identified as a Tiffany. See story here.

Drum Corp.! Business leaders, educators, and community activists are forever looking for ways to enhance communication, creativity, and teamwork. People who have participated in drum circles know that group drumming does exactly that – by a quantum leap. The merits of this activity have been touted by the most innovative companies in the world here, and is now finding its way to Northeast Ohio’s business community. During the upcoming Ingenuity, Cleveland Festival of Art and Technology, hundreds of professionals will be invited to participate in the unique experience of Corporate Drumming. Volunteers are needed to form the Core of the Corps, which will meet several times over the summer before the Ingenuity Corporate Drumming event over Labor Day weekend. No experience necessary. Contact Grant Marquit at gmarquit@yahoo.com for more information.

Bardstock hits the airwaves Northeast Ohio-area high school students will learn the writings of William Shakespeare through music. Student competitors will be challenged to utilize Shakespeare’s classic writing and unique characterizations as sources of inspiration to create original compositions using rock, rap, jazz, folk, hip hop, country, or classical musical forms in a collaborative presentation of The Great Lakes Theater Festival and 90.3 WCPN ideastream’s Fourth Annual “Bardstock FM.” As You Like It will be the focus of this year’s educational program, and it airs on Wed 5/25 on 90.3 WCPN from noon to 1PM. Call 739-3826 or visit http://www.WCPN.org

Cleveland in poverty? Not so much Cleveland’s famous poverty ranking does not adjust for cost of living and housing, and our city’s small geographical size (1/3 of Chicago, 1/5 of NYC) distorts our view of Cleveland’s economic situation. How this affects Cleveland’s image is examined by Mark Rosentraub, Dean of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at CSU, who reminds us of Northeast Ohio’s economic successes and colloborations that are steadily growing among for-profits and nonprofits. Educational institutions such as Case and Cleveland State are investing up to $400 million to spiff up their campuses and celebrate our city’s arts and cultural assets. Technology is taking Cleveland by storm, with Internet availability throughout the city and learning centers, transforming our Downtown into a destination that is an example of tech excellence nationally. Tally up all this activity, and our region does not need to wait for casinos or other silver bullets to “save” the region; Cleveland’s already doing it. Read the story here. Tell us your thoughts at Letters@CoolCleveland.com

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Do the CMJ/Rock Hall Music Fest Math Everyone’s looking for a deal, and here’s the best one going. A $99 VIP Pass gets you in to all the shows and events: 100 bands over 3 days in 10 venues, including the Beachland Ballroom, the Grog Shop, the Odeon, the Agora and the House of Blues. Plus guest speakers like Grandmaster Flash and Richard Hell and one-day access to the Rock Hall and the Festival Village. Plus, see the legendary Pixies in a rare performance in the Rock Hall on 6/8 and again later that night at Scene Pavilion. To see both Pixies shows would cost $80. Buy a VIP pass for $19 more, experience the whole festival. It all adds up. To purchase your VIP Pass, visit http://www.cmj.com/rockfest/rf_tickets.html
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Enjoy the Market this summer For fresh air, funky arts, crafts, antiques and collectibles laid out under nature, Open Air in Market Square will kick off its eighth season at Market Square Park from 10AM to 4PM every Saturday beginning Sat 5/28 with music provided by Cool Cleveland favorites, Cats On Holiday. The outdoor festivities run through 8/27, where you can shop and rock to the sounds of talented musicians from the Cleveland area, including Roberto Ocasio’s Latin Jazz Project and The Dreadful Yawns. Open Air in Market Square will again be partnering with Cleveland Public Art for the fourth annual City Xpressionz Graffiti Arts Festival on 8/27. Call 781-3222. Across from the West Side Market, on the corner of West 25th Street and Lorain Avenue. http://www.OpenAirInMarketSquare.com

CBS lawsuit over Cleveland International logo Clevelander Steve Popovich was the brains behind Cleveland International Records in 1977, signed the now-legend Meat Loaf to a contract, and enticed Epic Records to release Bat Out of Hell. Part of the deal included an agreement for Cleveland International’s logo to appear on “Bat Out of Hell” and three other Meat Loaf releases, but Popovich contends that means the logo should appear on any compilation CD with a Meat Loaf song on it. Read the story here.


Cool Cleveland This Week

5.25-6.01
Send your cool events to: Events@CoolCleveland.com

Innovation Economy in NEO It’s time again to discuss new ways of working together to build our innovation economy in NEO. The discussion on Thu 5/26 at 8AM will center on the cutting edge tools and methods necessary to support emerging networks in our region. Bruce Latimer, Director of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History will share his insight on what it takes to be a sustainable region. Read more here. Register here. Cleveland Ritz-Carlton, 1515 West Third Street. http://www.Weatherhead.cwru.edu/rei

The Next Generation Energy Workshop Series What are the future energy options for your business? Meet local experts on renewable energy, clean fuels, fuel cells, co-generation and energy efficiency on Thu 5/26 at 3PM as they give you an overview of your short and long term energy technology options. If you like what you hear and want to learn more, you can sign up for future energy workshops on each technology or sign up for all 6 workshops for a reduced rate. Call 509-9776 for info and registration. Trinity Commons, corner of East 22nd Street and Euclid Avenue. www.e4sustainability.org

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Mingle, Sip and Download Your Week at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s “Summer in the Courtyard” series June 15 through September 2. This popular continuation of summer’s celebration happens every Wednesday and Friday evening from 5:30 – 8:30PM and Sundays from 1:30 – 3:30PM. Enjoy live music that includes the Tony Carmen Band (Swing/Dixieland) on Wed 6/15, and Haywire (Rock) on Fri 6/17. Enjoy a glass of wine while watching unique films and dining in the courtyard. Also experience Michael Borremans’ “Hallucination and Reality” through September 4 (free), and the Northeastern Ohio Show, a juried exhibition celebrating artists of Northeast Ohio, open all summer in the Contemporary Galleries. For a complete schedule of Summer in the Courtyard programs, contact the Museum’s ticket center at 1-888-CMA-0033 or visit www.ClevelandArt.org
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Digital Publisher Talent Showcase Want an opportunity to network with some of Cleveland’s top digital publishing talent while showing off your graphic designs? Come to this Cleveland Digital Publishing Users Group event Thu 5/26 at 6PM. Call 361-6805 for info. Dodd Camera & Video, 2077 East 30th Street. http://www.CDPug.org

Applied Femistry Study Group For feminine-positive thinkers who are exploring identity questions, or if you’re new to Cleveland’s alternative lifestyle community, stop by to talk about the theory of queer women. Community veterans and professional social workers, Staci Wampler and Katy Bishop will be facilitating discussions about examining a queer female identity that fits your personality, queer women’s culture, relationships between women, and tips on navigating the Cleveland scene. The study group will meet for six sessions, and women may attend either a single group or the whole series on Thu 5/26 from 6 to 8PM through 6/30. Questions? Call 651-LGBT. The Center, located at 6600 Detroit Avenue. Visit the Women’s Forum website at http://www.Voy.com/190910 or email kbishop@lgcsc.org

Greening Your Home Series Want to do more for our environment than just choosing paper over plastic? Then check out these upcoming sessions designed to promote Green and Sustainable Design throughout the community. Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling your current home, get practical information about making it greener, from the site and foundation down to the appliances and maintenance. The first class begins on Thu 5/26 at 6:30PM and they run through Thu 7/7. Call 961-8850 for more information or visit http://www.clevelandgbc.org/GreenHome/index.html. Register here. Lakewood High School, Room 196, 14100 Franklin Blvd.

Funding Fiasco: A Solution for Ohio’s Schools? Fed up with the financial state of Ohio schools? Listen as former State Representative Bryan Flannery presents his ideas to solve the school funding crisis in Ohio. Flannery’s Educate Ohio amendment would eliminate the need for school districts to pass tax hikes to raise money for operational needs by placing a cap on property taxes and requiring the General Assembly to make up the difference in revenue. Learn more over lunch on Fri 5/27 at 12PM. Call 621-0882 for ticket info. City Club of Cleveland, 850 Euclid Ave www.CityClub.org

From the Streets to the Classrooms The impact of hip-hop culture on today’s youth is part of Catalyst Cleveland’s focus to build understanding between hip-hoppers and baby boomers. Thirty years after urban youth fused rap music, break dancing, DeeJaying and graffiti art into a phenomenon now commonly known as hip-hop culture, civic activists, educators, psychologists and sociologists are analyzing the impact hip-hop has on youth values and their attitudes toward education. Experience cultural education with workshops, lectures, community forum and book signings beginning Fri 5/27 at 6PM at Tri-C Metro Theater and Sat 5/28 starting 9:30AM at Cleveland State University’s University Center. For venue information and schedule list, call 623-6320 or email catalystintern@catalyst-cleveland.org and visit http://www.Catalyst-Cleveland.org

Torso Murder Tour Fascinating and grisly discoveries await you at the Torso Murder Tour, the event that takes you by bus to Cleveland’s infamous crime scenes and gory venues. Tour stops also include the Cuyahoga County coroner’s office and the Cleveland Police Museum on Fri 5/27 at 6PM. The excitement begins and ends at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Call 251-0406 or email HauntedCleveland@aol.com and visit http://www.HauntedCleveland.net

Michael Greenwald: Recent Landscapes Engage with meditative and poetic landscapes painted by the celebrated Cleveland Heights resident at the opening reception for his latest exhibit on Fri 5/27 at 6PM. His use of color and ability to show subtle changes in light upon the horizon creates a stunning visual and is a fitting way to celebrate the end of a long Cleveland winter. Experience the serene introspection elicited by his beautiful landscapes. Call 795-0971 for info. e. gordon gallery, 2026 Murray Hill Rd. http://www.EGordonGallery.com

Pound and a Bear Hug II is a carefully intersecting body of work that is both autobiographical in meaning and collective in purpose. Ales “Bask” Hostomsky and Leon “Tes One” Bedore first became friends during the mid nineties, sharing a common interest in graffiti art and its associated subculture. They have since emerged as two accomplished artists, each with unique and exciting styles. Join the artists at the opening reception on Fri 5/27 at 7PM. Take a sneak peek here. Call 281-4868 to RSVP. 1300 Gallery, 1300 W. 78th St. http://www.13Hundred.com

The Healing Imagination IV Experience over 80 pieces of art ranging from sculpture and paintings to photos and prints that demonstrate the powerful, curative effects of art making and the creativity and vitality of the art therapy profession. Curious about art therapy? Then be sure to come to the opening reception on Fri 5/27 at 7PM. The show will run through Sun 6/26. Call 440-646-8122 for info. Florence O’Donnell Wasmer Gallery, Ursuline College, 2550 Lander Road, Pepper Pike http://www.Ursuline.edu/wasmer

WCLVnotes The last Severance Hall concerts of the season by The Cleveland Orchestra will be this weekend. Franz Welser-Moest conducts the Orchestra, soloist and the Chorus in Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis.” And WCLV 104.9 will broadcast the Saturday night concert live beginning at 8PM. Sunday’s Orchestra broadcast is another blockbuster from 2003 – a concert performance of Verdi’s “Don Carlo” conducted by Franz. Because of the length of the performance (3 hours), it will begin at 2:30PM. Details for all of WCLV’s programming can be found in the Program Guide section of the station’s website at WCLV.com. WCLV is a Cool Cleveland partner

The Blacklist Gallery grand opening gala dares to present art from the underground and beyond. Experience the goods you won’t find anywhere else, and select works to spark up your living environment. Bring a friend and make a few emotional art purchases on Fri 5/27 at 8PM. The Blacklist Gallery, 2177 Scranton Rd. For more info, email artlist@elephantstonerecords.com

HeadRush Music continues weekly series MIX on Memorial Day weekend with featured DJ sets by Deviant and Thomar. Formerly of Cleveland and now residing in New York City, Chris Thomarios (Thomar) is a writer for the international dance music e-zine Resident Advisor (www.residentadvisor.net). He and Cleveland-based Toes in the Sand Recordings label honcho Deviant will spin sets of the latest progressive house beats at on Sat 5/28 from 10PM to 3AM at Abbasso Underground Lounge, located in the Bottom’s Up building at 1222 Prospect Ave. Call 375-5425. For DJ bios, downloadable promo mixes, and more, visit http://www.HeadRushMusic.com http://www.ToesRecordings.com

The Village Folk Festival Join modern day folk hero John Gorka whose musical career spans over 15 years and 9 albums, as he takes the stage at this acoustic folk music concert. Find out why Rolling Stone magazine declared him “the preeminent singer/songwriter of the New Folk movement.” He is joined by gifted Ohio singer/songerwriter Jim Gill and Kate Voegele, declared possibly the greatest thing out of Ohio by Media Fix. The Mon 5/30 show starts at 7:30PM. Call the Box Office at 440-567-3770 for tix. Bay High Auditorium, 29230 Wolf Road, Bay Village http://www.JohnGorka.com http://JimGillMusic.com http://www.KateVoegele.com

Density by Design: How Density Can Create Great Communities And you thought less was more. Listen to community leaders explain why they believe that well designed density is the key to vibrant communities on Tue 5/31 at 11:30AM. Speakers include Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell, Cuyahoga County Commissioner Tim Hagan, Joe Konen of OSU Extension Urban Programs, Mike Caito of City Architecture, former Cleveland Planning Director Chris Ronayne, and Pat Carey of Greater Ohio. Call 440-225-6441. City Club of Cleveland, 850 Euclid Ave. http://www.CityClub.org

Community Arts Festival The Tom & Susana Evert Dance Theatre and Oliver H. Perry Elementary School (Cleveland Municipal School District) present their 2nd Annual Community Arts Festival on Wed 6/1 at 4:30PM. The first and third grades have staged a production of folktales, Bossy Gallito and Arturo the Tortoise. Bring your lawn chair and hobnob with proud parents and community leaders while listening to professional music combo, Baba Jubal Harris, who will kick off the show. Call 421-7340 ext 2195. Oliver H. Perry School, 18400 Schenley Avenue http://www.EvertDance.com

Send your cool events to: Events@CoolCleveland.com

Cool Cleveland Sounds
Colin John Band
Live Voodoo Surfing From The Beachland
WMF Records

If you ever want to start a debate somewhere, throw the question “is Cleveland a good blues town?” on the table. That should keep you entertained for a couple hours, depending on what beer garden you happen to be in. While there are winning arguments on both sides of the coin, one thing about our local blues musicians is that they tend to stay put. The majority just play gigs in town and don’t tour. Then, we have Colin John, a native Clevelander, who moved back here after growing up in Memphis. In 1993, Colin relocated to England for 10 years, so he picked up a following over there, thanks to the old saw that American bands do well in Europe just as European bands always have popularity on U.S. soil. That’s the way things are sometimes and it’s been like that for 50 years, if not more. Backed by drummer Scott Turner and now-former bassist Steve Calabria, the latter also known for his stint with 15-60-75, guitarist John had a spotlight night at the Beachland Ballroom 18 months ago or so and made the most of it via Live Voodoo Surfing From The Beachland. The disc only runs near an hour with seven stretched out songs, but it’s the kind of blues that you get from grabbing the spark plug while the car is running. It’s high energy all the way, from “Are You Ready For The Blues” to “11 Months And 29 Days.” Voodoo Surfing From The Beachland is nearly sixty minutes of pedals and effects shot through a reverb cannon, although “Beer Drinking Woman,” slows down to tell us the sad tale of some tootsie that goes to the bar a lot. Though the aforementioned “11 Months And 29 Days” has a touch of funk to it, the closer here is for those who don’t get Colin John’s connection to the past. “Voodoo Chile-Slight Return-Part Three” gives the audio bow down to both Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan as John’s fingers do the walking and talking for nearly nine minutes. It’s a sense of Deja Voodoo all over again, to paraphrase Yogi Berra. Enjoyable? If you like the artists mentioned, you will. It’s a high octane mix of blues and rock while sticking your wet hand in the nearest light socket. Colin John can play classic Chicago blues but is more on the wired-side of life here, having a fun night at one of Cleveland’s most appreciated venues. Best advice is send the tootsie to the bar for another round and crank it up until the neighbors move. http://www.colinjohnband.com

from Cool Cleveland contributor Peanuts hostofthenorthcoast.com

Wanna get reviewed? Send your band’s CD (less than 1 year old) to: Cool Cleveland, 14387 Detroit Avenue, #105, Lakewood, OH 44107.

Varying Degrees of Excruciation
The Devastating Deep Freeze of Middle Age

Cool Cleveland contributor TL Champion shares her humorous frustrations with the idiosyncrasies of human beings in Cleveland and beyond.

Since a visit from the Grim Reaper seems the only option to aging, does it make the process any less painful as we watch our minds, bodies and even our decades-old belongings deteriorate beyond recognition?

Take the example of my hauntingly old refrigerator. As each passing day, week and month continues to pack on additional years, this old broad (the refrigerator, not me) has begun a screaming ritual that lasts into the night. Sure, some would say that a malfunction of the cooling system needs a simple adjustment, but I think it’s more than that. I think the ol’ fridge is afraid of the same stuff you and I are, but dare think about, let alone speak of.

You know what I mean. It’s scary to think that our futures may consist of frailties like arthritic hips, social security injustices, and the dreaded dermatological exams where suspicious things, that used to be cherished parts of our bodies, are “removed.”
Read Varying Degrees of Excruciation 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 Events@CoolCleveland.com

The Roots @ House of Blues 5/20
I have attended many concerts, which I thoroughly enjoyed; however, The Roots concert on Fri 5/20 most certainly stands out. From the moment that you entered into the venue the atmosphere was that of a funktified house party, which just happened to be at the House of Blues. The crowd was prepped for the concert by a DJ who spun old school hits from artists like The Gap Band, Mary J. Blige, Prince and Michael Jackson (with his original nose). Then an MC walked through the crowd inviting the standing room only crowd to get their groove on and sing along. We danced and boldly sang the lyrics of these old school favorites with complete abandon and sheer disregard for our, well my, lack of singing ability. The entire crowd pointed in the air in rhythm and chanted the words to Slick Rick’s “La Di Da Di,” as if it were still 1985…
Read the review by Roxanne Ravenel here

Talley’s Folly @ Ensemble 5/21
What: Lanford Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning period romance about an unlikely pair of wounded souls –- an immigrant Jew and a World War II Missouri nurse -– who find each other.
Reasons to go: Set in a falling-down boathouse in 1944, Wilson’s tender two-hander is a complex and ultimately moving journey about the unpeeling of secrets, and the cast makes their darker revelations vividly compelling. Scott Miller is gauntly handsome as the Matt Friedman, who has been pursuing the ambivalent Sally Talley (Elizabeth Ann Townsend) for a year and won’t leave without answers.
Caveats: Though she’s a fine actor and has crafted a credible performance, Townsend isn’t ideally cast; she’s too solid and sensible for Sally’s haunted fragility. Miller’s accent comes and goes during his long speeches. Director Lucia Colombi does her cast no favors with her stolid direction. Nevertheless, the play is so well-written that it still works its magic.
Backstory: Lanford Wilson originally wrote the play as “backstory”, when the actor playing a much older Sally in his classic “The Fifth of July’’ wanted more information about her character’s background. It has turned out to be one of his most produced plays.
Target audience: Audiences who enjoy a well-made romance with a happy ending.
Details: Thru 6/12. Ensemble Theatre, Brooks Theatre at the Cleveland Play House. http://www.ensemble-theatre.com
from Cool Cleveland contributor Linda Eisenstein Linda@coolcleveland.com

Masterworks from The Phillips Collection @ CMA 5/21
Cleveland’s culture quotient increased as the Cleveland Museum of Art hosted one of the world’s finest private art collections. With 59 significant European paintings, Duncan Phillips accumulated a taste for French art that saturated the exhibition, an apparent predilection that could easily label him a Francophile. A substantial amount of Impressionist art decorated the walls, along with muted pieces by Courbet, Corot, Vuillard and the crispness of Neo-Classicist Ingres’ small, photographic-like painting The Bathers (1826). Chardin’s wholesomely domestic still life Bowl of Plums (1728) guided the viewer into insightful moments of life’s simple pleasures, and Monet’s warm and ruddy Low Tide Near Dieppe (1882) salvages French Impressionism’s predictable blur of pastels to depict a cliff side sea scene, dappled with salmon hues and surprising spatial effects. Delacroix’s commanding portrait titled Paganini (1831) projected the famously self-absorbed violinist in a moment of ardent expression during a performance, yet other main attractions included canvases containing the arresting visions of Van Gogh and his staccato brushwork of generously layered impasto. A few commanding and visually active Picasso canvases punctuated the collection, but pieces such as Kandinsky’s Succession (1935) and Matisse’s Interior with Egyptian Curtain (1948) offered a climax of sharp color which accentuated the color-driven complexion of the collection. The array of divergent artists made it difficult to determine Phillips’ direction for the collection, however his penchant for color proved to be the unifying thread that provided the commonality within such a broad range of artists and varying styles.
from Cool Cleveland senior editor Tisha Nemeth-Loomis

Taste of Lakewood 5/22
As cities go, Lakewood has it pretty good. There’s the proximity to the Lake and meetings downtown, affordable housing, and oh yes, the food! Sunday evening I had the chance to feast from the east to west side and back again without the bother of having to drive to multiple locales at the second annual “Taste of Lakewood.” I interviewed a table of five friendly noshers who allowed me to semi-politely crash their party. Here was their takeaway on the most delicious vittles in Lakewood: 1) The Atlantic Sea Scallops from Italian Creations – devout followers claimed these morsels were so good they melted in your mouth. They were made with sun dried tomatoes and white wine cream sauce. This was the one thing that I didn’t get to taste for myself (hint!), because they ran out early – a true testament to their popularity, since people were stockpiling them – possibly in their purses or jacket pockets. (You know who you are!) 2) The Shrimp and Lobster Bisque from Bella Lucca – it’s like you’ve died and gone to heaven with each savory spoonful. Try it and you might see God. 3) The Chicken Piccata from Maria’s – so tender and delicious. Made with white wine reduction, capers, lemons and garlic. 4) Angelo’s Seafood Pizza was succulent and satisfying, made with lobster cream sauce, shrimp, crabmeat, spinach and provolone cheese. And don’t forget dessert! 4) The Bananas Foster Flambe from Swingos was the hit of the evening, made with butter, brown sugar, orange, dark rum sauce, Crème de Banana and Grand Marnier (topped with French vanilla ice cream and Bacardi 151 – to get the flambe). As a proud eater of sweets, the Bananas Foster rated high on my list of favorite foods from Lakewood and BEYOND. In fact, many of the nibbles showcased were world class and exceptional in taste. The only thing bad about the taste of Lakewood is that they don’t do “to go” containers, even when you inconspicuously bring your own Tupperware (or pull up your van with back doors open). But all in all, I had a great time, made some new friends and had an occasion to wear my French cut expando-waist Capri pants.
from Cool Cleveland contributor T.L. Champion TL@coolcleveland.com

The Imaginary Invalid @ Beck Center 5/22
What: A witty adaptation of the classic Moliere comedy about a hypochondriac and his obsession with doctors – in rhymed couplets, no less.
Reasons to go: Costumes and sets are sumptuously professional, Tim Mooney’s new translation is funny and easy to follow, and there are several engaging performances. Looking tall and healthy as a horse, Matthew Wright plays Argan as an overgrown baby who craves constant attention, and Tracee Patterson sparks as his mischievous servant Toinette. The second act is particularly good, when the able Robert Hawkes shows up as Argan’s sensible brother, Jeffrey Grover thunders as his doctor, and Allen Branstein convulses in a cameo as an apothecary wielding an enema bag the size of a vacuum cleaner.
Caveats: Mooney has choreographed the stylized schtick to within an inch of its life –- there are delightful bits, but too often he has the overmatched secondary actors running around like windup dolls. Two out of three of the added “interludes” are lame – what works as spoken verse falls flat when sung.
Backstory: Mooney is one of the country’s foremost Moliere experts, and his rhymed adaptations have been seen on national stages. He also tours with his one man show “Moliere Than Thou”.
Target audience: General audiences — especially anyone who thinks doctors or drug companies deserve a roasting.
Details: Thru 6/12. Beck Center for the Arts, 17801 Detroit Ave., Lakewood. 216-521-2540. http://www.beckcenter.org
from Cool Cleveland contributor Linda Eisenstein linda@coolcleveland.com

Yr Turn
Cool Cleveland readers write
We encourage our readers to speak out by sending us letters and commentary. Send your letters to Letters@CoolCleveland.com. 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.

Send your letters to: Letters@CoolCleveland.com

On top high schools (See 100 Top High Schools in the Country here) you mentioned Orange at #170 on Newsweek’s list, but missed Chagrin Falls and Solon, which ranked higher than Orange, at #95 and #145 respectively. Also, honorable mentions are Shaker Heights (#186) and Beachwood (#227). The top west side school is Bay Village, at #440. As an International Baccalaureate graduate myself, I like the idea of ranking schools not just on how many students graduate, but how many aim high — whether that means they’re headed off to college or into a strong apprenticeship program.
from Cool Cleveland reader Sandy Piderit piderit@mac.com

On the Cleveland schools (See Cleveland Schools turnaround is real here) Thanks for taking issue with Manhattan Institute researcher Jay Greene’s 3 suggested reasons for Cleveland’s improved graduation rate. As you note, in acknowledging Cleveland’s impressive graduation rate gains, Greene suggested they have 3 sources: the ease of beating the old rate; voucher-driven gains; and the state’s takeover from 1995 to 1998. While his first suggestion makes sense, the others are plainly wrong: Vouchers started with Kindergartners in 1996 – no one in that cohort has reached high school yet. And official graduation rates dropped from 38.9% to 37.8% under state control, as the percent of high school students stuck in 9th grade grew from 38% in 1995 to a peak of 46% in 1998. It’s frustrating to see people given the aura of “researcher” and space in newspapers and other news outlets who advance arguments on the basis of ideology and no evidence… Obviously, no single measure can ever produce a useful ranking system. That said, I’ve always liked the Newsweek ratio of Advanced Placement (AP) and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) tests divided by the number of graduating seniors. It was first pushed by a Washington Post reporter 15 or so years ago, and its value has been distorted by the AP credit frenzy it helped generate (and by colleges’ fierce backpedaling from the revenue drain they cause). But until we have reliable measures to compare what students from different high schools learned in courses with the same title, this is the best way to estimate a school’s academic level of effort. And it keeps us focused on the fact that our future economic competitiveness as a nation requires we produce high school graduates with more substantial academic preparation. For more on this subject, see http://www.achieve.org/achieve.nsf/AmericanDiplomaProject?OpenForm
from Cool Cleveland reader Peter A. Robertson robertsonsohio@yahoo.com

On the closing and renovation of the Museum This news is bitter sweet for me. I live in Cleveland Heights and I LOVE taking friends and family to the circle when they visit. Having the museum closed for the next 3 years is just insane. Now where I am going to spend lazy, broke Saturday afternoons when I’m tired of looking at the 4 walls in my apartment?
from Cool Cleveland reader Toni Rodriguez fuzznudget@gmail.com

On studio space in Cleveland Hi, I am a painter from Berlin and looking for a studio to work in cleveland this up coming winter. For any suggestions Iwould be very grateful.
from Cool Cleveland reader Magnus Plessen mplessen@surf-club.de

On our never-ending recession (See Ohio’s recession is over, but not Cleveland’s here) I am greatly concerned with Cleveland’s current administration take on the recession. The obsession with bringing more and more retail into the city of Cleveland to offset job losses seems to me to be very shortsighted to say the least. As more and more good paying jobs leave the city and the region, the city’s answer seems to be replacement with lower paying retail jobs whether it be small botiques on the east side of the flats or mega-box stores in Steelyard Commons. My question is, who are the consumers who will buy the goods? It won’t be the productive citizens who have recently lost their jobs. Oh wait, I know, it will be the tourists.
from Cool Cleveland reader Gloria S. Ferris geeferr@attglobal.net

On Cleveland’s WiFi future (See Is WiFi Cleveland’s future? here) I can’t talk for Cleveland, but I’m a librarian for the Cuyahoga County Public, and we worked with OneCleveland to get Wireless Internet at our Fairview Park, Strongsville and North Olmsted branches. This has worked wonders. Having WiFi has brought new customers to our branches. Customers can relax and do research in a Information center for free. Other places that offer WiFi are places of business such as coffee houses. As a Library we already provide Internet access on our computer terminals to the public. WiFi has furthered our capabilities to serve the public. Working with OneCleveland we are able to be responsible with public funds. If we had to go to an ISP provider for WiFi, we would be using more of the public funds or have to consider cutting WiFi completely. The Library’s budget continues to shrink because of state cuts to the LGSF (Library and Local Government Support Fund). OneCleveland’s WiFi could definitely help Cleveland. As a city, we’re losing so much of our draw almost on a daily basis as jobs move out and stores shut down. Providing a free, inexpensive service could be a feasible way to bring people in.
from Cool Cleveland reader Angeline Kapferer AKAPFERER@cuyahoga.lib.oh.us

On Cleveland’s fuel cell future (See Fuel cells are Ohio’s future here) I’m glad to note Cool Cleveland’s recognition of this tremendous and exciting opportunity for Northeast Ohio and the state in general. Your readership should know that the linked story included an overstatement of the financial support being committed by Governor Taft and the Ohio Dept of Development, but their commitment is real, sustained and still puts Ohio at the leading edge of industry development based on fuel cell technologies and applications. Ohio can offer a full range of resources from research expertise, testing facilities, core technology developers and system integrators, and a broad and deep supply chain of component and balance-of-plant providers. We are ahead of the curve in creating a ladder of educational initiatives from secondary through university level programs that will educate tomorrow’s workforce in this technology and create an unparalleled pipeline to facilitate industry growth. Fuel cell technology offers compelling benefits in improved energy efficiency, reduced reliance on fossil fuels and resultant emissions. From fuel cell vehicles to stationary power generation and battery replacement applications, fuel cells are the future. We plan to keep Ohio at the front of this train.
from Cool Cleveland reader Ken Alfred, Executive Director, Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition www.fuelcellsohio.org kalfred@nortech.org

If we had invested in research for alternative fuel sources to drive American cars, the money we have squandered on this foolish war in Iraq, we would all be plugging our cars in at night and actually getting a good night’s sleep. Thank GOD someone is FINALLY taking the bull by the horns. Maybe we can bring home the sons and daughters we have shipped off and replenish our own fuel resources so we can be free again. Thank you for your excellent newsletter. I never miss reading an edition.
from Cool Cleveland reader Deborah Dockery DDDockery@aol.com

On green cities (See Top Green Cities here) How very interesting to see Chicago, Illinois on that list of top ten. I would say that Mayor Daley owes a big thank you to Cleveland or at least to Mayor Campbell. Sadhu Johnson, head of the Green Coalition here in Cleveland tried so hard to get meetings with Mayor Campbell to show how our city was a prime site for promoting GREEN, but all he received were reassurances from Chris Ronayne insisting that the mayor was on board and committed to green initiatives. Meanwhile, Mayor Daley continued to call Mr. Johnson trying to persuade him to move to Chicago and work with him to make Chicago GREEN. Mr. Johnson left Cleveland last year, set up shop in Chicago, and now Chicago is in the top ten. Quickly now, what is our top ten designation?
from Cool Cleveland reader Gloria S. Ferris geeferr@attglobal.net

Where to begin to improve the air quality in this city? Enforce environmental regulations on manufacturers who regularly pollute (and watch for those who pollute at night when no one is looking). I live in Tremont and my outdoor surfaces are regularly coated in dirt from the steel mill, and who knows what else. Walk outside many nights, and you can smell some chemical that is not supposed to be in the air. The other suggestion is to better time traffic lights in the city. Many are timed so that you stop at every block (on Carnegie it’s every quarter block between Ontario and E. 30th). We waste so much gas and dump so many emissions into the air sitting at traffic lights with no traffic.
from Cool Cleveland reader Leah Sharkey leahsharkey@prodigy.net

On Clear Channel’s new digital billboards (See Digital Billboards here) Can’t we just get rid of all of this clutter? What happened to the highway beautiful movement? Doesn’t anyone pay attention to the concept of “overkill” in advertising – not to mention these billboards can be a distraction. What would it be like if the billboard companies just agreed to do some beautiful landscaping along the roadways which they maintained with a very small sign near the ground that said brought to you courtesy of XYZ company and Clear Channel Entertainment. I would think a whole lot more of those companies than I do of most of the garbage they have on oversized pieces of blight that pass for billboards.
from Cool Cleveland reader Nora Mc Namara? NMcNamara@city.cleveland.oh.us

I think billboards are an eyesore and a distraction to drivers. I wish they would ban them all.
from Cool Cleveland reader Lynn Ryan lryan@gundfdn.org

On Regionalism (See This is how regionalism works and Survey says: Go Regionalism! here) The biggest hurdles to regionalism will be political and social, in that the entrenched political structure would not want to give up their seats for the greater good, and how do you eliminate the community spirit from a political subdivision like Lakewood? Cooperation on basic services is a good first step, and I think these are being taken with the West Shore Council of Governments and other groups that meet on a regular basis to discuss how groups of suburbs affect things like buying health insurance together and bulk supplies. Regionalism as a movement needs to be defined primarily, then bitten off in small pieces as one would when thinking about eating the proverbial elephant. It might behoove us to watch what the City of Buffalo, New York is doing as they have recently joined forces with their county government and created the “Regional City of Buffalo” that does not include the suburbs of the old city of Buffalo.
from Cool Cleveland reader Terry Novak Terry.Novak@lakewoodoh.net

I have had the pleasure of getting to know how a good regional government can really help to corral metro area communities into a cohesive fabric. Metro, the elected regional government for the Portland metropolitan area in Oregon, deftly handles region-wide needs such as solid waste and recycling coordination, land-use planning, transportation planning, and open-space stewardship. As a native Clevelander, I would love to see the Greater Cleveland area adopt this model. See http://www.metro-region.org for more information.
from Cool Cleveland reader Molly Chidsey, Portland, OR mollychidsey@yahoo.com

On the Flats (See East Bank of the Flats redevelops here) I think Wolsteins idea for the flats is ridiculous and its another wealthy developer just looking out for themselves. Who is going to move into these apartments? If Wolstein and Mayor Jane Campbell are interested in revitalizing the city of Cleveland lets talk about jobs. Let’s talk about bringing retail/restaurants into the flats. I have a few friends who own retail on Larchmere. I asked how much business do they get from the residents of the new condo that was just recently built. They said none! There goes the city of Cleveland again, buying into the hands of some wealthy developer. Let’s talk about what the Wolsteins have done over the years with the property they own in the flats or how they have tried to work with the tenants there. The Wolsteins have been trying to buy out all the owners, and if unable, they try in unethical ways. They have been eyeing that property for years to build condos. And if the Wosteins sell all the condos/apartments and succeed for a few years then the project dies, who makes out and who loses? Come on Cleveland. Putting money into the flats with condos is a mistake and a waste of money… You asked.
from Cool Cleveland reader Barrie Sandman sweetpeasorg@earthlink.net

With limited and expensive parking downtown, this city will never be revitalized and neither will the flats for the same reason.
from Cool Cleveland reader Lynn Ryan lryan@gundfdn.org

Send your letters to: Letters@CoolCleveland.com

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

1) Cool Cleveland Interview Gary Jacob Gary Jacob is president of GMJ Events, and has produced events and festivals in the Cleveland area from the National Rib Cook-Off to the National Fireworks Championship. www.CoolCleveland.com

2) Top Green Cities Growing concern for our environment prompted the Green Guide to investigate which cities go easiest on both the environment and our health. Read here.

3) 100 top high schools in the country Politicians, business leaders, educators and parents across the country are fixated on this topic. See MSNBC/Newsweek here.

4) Museum goes public Some connoisseurs are in culture shock to learn of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s decision to close its permanent collection galleries during its momentous renovation and expansion. Read the story here.

5) Cool Cleveland Night Out in the Heights Carouse into summer on Thu 6/16 from 5:30 to 7:30PM Cool Cleveland-style at the corner of Cedar and Lee Roads. http://www.coolcleveland.com/tickets/nightoutfive/

Hard Corps crunch the content Cleveland’s activists and cultural commentators hit the crowds, events, and regional news to bring readers the Cool Cleveland experience every week. CC appreciates those who brings the content to life: Tisha Nemeth-Loomis, Deb Remington, Roxanne Ravenel, TL Champion, Peter Chakerian, Peanuts, George Nemeth, Linda Eisenstein, and everyone who partners with us. Want to contribute your writing to Cool Cleveland? Send your reviews, articles, or story ideas to: Events@CoolCleveland.com

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: Events@CoolCleveland.com. For your copy of the free weekly Cool Cleveland e-zine, go to http://www.CoolCleveland.com

Welcome to SK8 season,

–Thomas Mulready
Letters@CoolCleveland.com

all contents ©2005 MulreadyGROUP all rights reserved
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