Just Warming Up

5.23-5.30.07
Just Warming Up

In this week’s issue:
* BizTech Travelogue Attorney Terry Gilbert speaks at a conference in Pakistan
* Cool Cleveland Kids NEO Kids Entertainers Unmasked
* BFD Weekly Doug Craver highlights a BW article on poverty
* Interview Jeannette Sorrell, founder and music director of Apollo’s Fire
* Sounds Don’t Look Away from Kate Voegele
* Previews Cleveland Restoration Society Snoop + Flabbergasted Emus Reading
* Positively Negative A cartoon from Cleveland Ralph Solonitz
* Reads The Dick Schafrath Stories + The Beatles in Cleveland
* Straight Outta Mansfield Crisis, Curfews and the Rap on Culture
* RoldoLink Clifton Departs with Mixed Record
* Cool Cleveland Kids podcast click here, CC podcast click here, Brewed Fresh Daily here

How warm can it get? That’s an interesting question. We think things are starting to heat up pretty good. So we’ve got some of the sharpest thinkers in the region posting articles in Cool Cleveland this week. Like Mansfield Frazier speaking out on crisis and culture in the black community, or Roldo reminding us of the departing daily paper editor’s mixed record. Plus, we turn up the heat with with a preview of an historic restoration in the Central neighborhood, a jamming new release by chanteuse Kate Voegele, a profile of Apollo’s Fire renaissance babe Jeannette Sorrell, a backgrounder on three unmasked kid’s entertainers, and a BizTech Travelogue of Cle attorney Terry Gilbert’s wild trip to Pakistan. How warm can it get? We intend to find out. —Thomas Mulready

My trip to Lahore, Pakistan
by Cleveland attorney Terry Gilbert

When the invitation arrived to speak at a forensic DNA conference in Lahore, Pakistan, my first reaction was to politely decline. There is no way I am going to that part of the world and risk an abduction or worst. An American lawyer in an Islamic country, caught between two major conflicts – Afghanistan on one side, and India on the other – surely would be fair game for an extremist faction seeking retribution. On the other hand, advancing age had not quenched my thirst for travel cultivated in the late 60’s and 70’s, when backpacking in a strange third world country was second nature.

So, against the protestations of my mother in law, I accepted the challenge. “Don’t worry”, I told her. I will be in the hands of distinguished academics, hosted in an exclusive guest house secured with guards armed with AK47’s. And I will have a personal driver to chauffeur me around.

The brochure announced “Programme of A Mini-Workshop on DNA for Justice” sponsored by the Centre for Excellence in Molecular Biology of the University of the Punjab. My connection was Dr. Mohammad Tahir, the DNA expert in the Sheppard wrongful imprisonment case who now runs a DNA lab in Indianapolis, and serves as consultant to the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office. Through a grant from the National Academy of Science, he has been working with Pakistani scientists to develop a DNA program for that country. The lab in Lahore was already set up for forensic analysis, but the program needed to be sold to the law enforcement and legal community and incorporated into the criminal justice system. That’s where I came in along with a prosecutor from Indianapolis, Lisa Borges, to demonstrate how DNA is utilized in U.S. Courts…
Read about Terry Gilbert’s trip to Pakistan here

A warm & fuzzy array of hot tech and business news & events from around Cleveland and around the region. Send your business news and events to: EVENTS@CoolCleveland.com

Akron Urban League’s Summer Biz Conference Deadline for Vendors/Exhibitors at Minority Business Development Center is Fri 5/25 at 4PM. Event hits Sat 6/9 at 9AM. Email aultefobi@aol.com for info.

Brulant Named Finalist in NEOSA Best of Tech Awards. Read
Ecity drops 1st ever city-wide Business Plan Competition Thu 5/31. In 2 rounds of judging, contestants compete for a grand prize of up to $1,000 in biz seed capital. More

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“You are Boring!” I used to yell at my parents, especially during summer break, because I wanted to escape – preferably to a kids camp – where I could discover how to make cool things like movies or Lego robots (okay, in my day, it was more like “Pong”). So, it’s with some jealousy that I tell you about about the Children’s Technology Workshop, where kids (grades 2-8) can make and take home their own video games, movies, animation or other cool projects! Reserve your space now: 440.484.2222! CTW holds workshops, camps and parties in Chagrin Falls (38 River Street) around Cleveland, or at your place. Schedules: www.ctworkshop.com/glc. Children’s Technology Workshop is a portfolio company of Beta Strategy Group, LTD, www.betagroup.us, a founding sponsor of Cool Cleveland Tech.
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That’s Mine offers intellectual property law basics Wed 5/23 at Cle Bar Assoc. 1301 E. 9th St., 2nd Floor. Register
COSE Arts Network celebrates 1st Ann. feat Ed CanerThu 5/24 at 6PM @ CPH, 8500 Euclid Ave. Register
India-Ohio COC welcomes the trade mission from India and offers a Reception Thu 5/24 at 8AM with keynote Lee Fisher, Ohio Lt. Gov. Doubletree Hotel, Independence. Register: call 589-0693 or email ds@sgiglobal.com.
Biz Conference and Expo spon. by Hispanic Business Association/Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for Ohio hits Fri 5/25 at InterContinental Hotel. Info
Richard Stubi BP Fellow talks Green Design with Tuesdays@FUTURE event Tue 5/29 at 4PM. Future Center CIA’s McKullough Bldg. http://future.cia.edu
Restoring Prosperity, A Strategy for NEO feat. Bruce Katz, VP of Metro Policy @ Brookings Institution. Hits CSU Levin Tue 5/29 at 2PM. Info
Jerome Ringo Pres. of nat’l Apollo Alliance for Good Jobs and Clean Energy at CSU Levin Thu 5/31 at 4PM. Info
Networking in the Middle 2nd event hits Thu 5/31 at 6PM @ Holiday Inn Rockside. Cleveland Plus Marketing Alliance, Greater Akron Chamber and NEO Young Professional organizations celebrate “Cleveland Plus” and the region. Register: clevelandplusnetworking@gmail.com
TechStyle Spy Bar’s VIP Lounge at 1261 W. 6th St. hosts event where networking and fashion collide Thu 5/31 at 6PM. RSVP: MDeAloia@city.cleveland.oh.us
Women of Note luncheon spotlights NEO’s rising female business leaders on Wed 6/6 at 11:30AM. RSVP by 5/31. Register
Creativity in the Workplace Forum feat. Christy Gray and Joan Perch of the Red Dot Project on Wed 6/6 at 8AM Register
JumpStart CMO Thom Ruhe named IABC Communicator of the Year on Wed 6/13. 1st Communicator of the Year was awarded to Cool Cleveland creator/publisher Thomas Mulready. Register
Global Health Care Investing Conf @ InterContinental Hotel Wed 6/20 – Thu 6/21 Details

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Looking for the Perfect Date Night to impress someone you like, love or want to get close to? Forget dinner and roses, that’s old school! Impress them with a concert that will blow them away with an exclusive offer – only from Cool Cleveland: Two tix for the price of one! Take your love interest to witness the magic of Vienna at Severance Hall with the Cleveland Orchestra, led by Franz Welser-Möst. Strike a chord with your sweetie or potential, and make this the date night they’ll never forget with the music of Haydn, Richard Strauss and waltzes of Josef Strauss, Sat 6/2 at 8PM. Limit 4 tickets per customer. Use promo code 3500. Call Ticket Office at 216 231-1111 or go to www.clevelandorchestra.com.
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Cleve gets press Looking at NEO through the eyes of out-of-town tourists.

“Some downtowns are made for driving. Downtown Cleveland is made for walking. This city offers so many great spots so close together, that a Cleveland walkabout may be the best way to learn what goes into turing a city’s industrial past into contemporary cool at every corner…” Ann Arbor News (also appeared in Saginaw & Bay City)

“From art to baseball to royal fashions, several big exhibits are on tap in Cleveland this spring and summer. Here’s a look at what’s offered…” Kalamazoo Gazette

“A small new museum devoted to Jewish heritage has been thrust into the art world spotlight with loaned works by Rembrandt, El Greco, Ruebens and others while the Cleveland Museum of Art undergoes renovation…” Savannah Morning News (also appeared in Pittsburgh)

“Most museums aren’t for everyone. But in Cleveland’s University Circle district, there really is something sweet for any visitor, or at least any visitor interested in some aspect of art, music, history or nature…” Columbus Dispatch

“When it comes to rock-and-roll, Cleveland has it all. A dozen years after landing the heralded Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, this vibrant city welcomes its visiting rock fans to one of the nation’s most vibrant rock-and-roll scenes, complementing one of music’s most hallowed shrines with concert halls, clubs, bars and even restaurants that continue to stoke the rock fire….” American Airlines Latitudes magazine

Strickland Listens, Gets Real By signing the first pro-equality law for Ohio in 16 years, the governor protects over 60K state employees from job discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. It’s a good sign, given that 66% of Ohioans polled believe he’s right, 88% of Fortune 500 companies believe he’s right and it’s already policy standard for many major Ohio companies and cities. Bravo to Hizzoner! Now, don’t you wish other politicians used the public majority as a measuring stick?

A Non-Spider Film Shot In Cle? You bet. The completely OH-based Precinct 13 production of Robert Kurtzman’s The Rage is getting some buzz in Fangoria magazine. And there’s just as big a buzz for a 4-issue comic book prequel to the film coming out this summer. Visit the Precinct 13 website at http://www.p13entertainment.com for more info on Kurtzman; the latest Rage trailer and behind the scenes video can be found at http://www.theragefilm.com.

Ohio AG Marc Dann takes aim at subprime lenders for fraud. In wake of record foreclosures, he considers civil racketeering charges. New York Times likens him to Eliot Spitzer. Read. Read More
Art House on Denison is seeking a new Program Coordinator. Got the chops? Well, maybe you should apply. More
Judith Mansour-Thomas named PWLGC’s new Exec. Dir. A committed literary champion, she’s worked for Angle Magazine and Northern Ohio Live. More
2007 Blossom Festival Single Tickets @ Blossom onsale Tue 5/29. More
Beck Center announces their 07/08 season. Details
DanceCleveland announces their own eclectic 07/08 season. Details
Near West Theatre is auditioning for their reinvention of Cats through Thu 5/24. They seek felines on their first or ninth life, no previous experience necessary! Info
Cool Cleveland Podcast You know how to do it. Click here to listen: Link. iTunes or other.
To ensure you receive Cool Cleveland every week, take a moment now and add CoolCleveland@CoolCleveland.com to your address book, trusted sender list, or corporate white list.

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Escape this Holiday Weekend to the Most Anticipated Spring Event: Cleveland Botanical Garden Flower Show, Thu 5/24 – Mon 5/28. Bask in beauty, see something new, and gain inspiration for your own garden. This year’s theme “Rhythm & Hues” brings the world of music and the garden together with garden designs inspired by music. Check out 18 new gardens, more than 40 purveyors of select gardening goods, world-class exhibits and national gardening experts. Enjoy excellent food and musical entertainment. Show hours are 10-8PM Thu–Sun and 10-5PM on Monday (Memorial Day). Tickets at $14 (members) and $20 (nonmembers). Kids 4-12 are $6; Under age 3 – no cost. For tickets contact 216-721-1600 or 888-853-7091 or www.cbgarden.org.
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Every week, all of us here at Cool Cleveland pour through gads of fantastic things happening in CLE and NEO, all in an effort to answer that ever-nagging question: “What’s cool to do this week?” Submitted for your approval, here’s a snapshot of what we found. Got a unique event coming up? Know of something that is a totally Cool Cleveland worthy event? We want to hear from you about it; our tens of thousands of readers do, too. Be a civic and cultural activist and turn on your fellow readers.

Send your cool events to: Events@CoolCleveland.com

HOT One For the Books The Press Club of Cleveland presents this forum Wed 5/23 at 11:30AM at Nighttown in Cle Hts. Area writers are invited to learn how to turn their creative ideas into published books. Speakers include nationally known local authors Dan Chaon and Michael Ruhlman, and publisher David Gray of Gray & Company, Publishers. Joni London, general manager of Borders Books, Music and Café in Beachwood moderates. Includes lunch. 12397 Cedar Rd. For further info and registration, call 440-899-1222 or visit http://www.pressclubcleveland.com.

Growing the Inner Circle The owners of the old Hough Bakeries complex and Hot Sauce Williams BBQ, in collaboration with NEO social hackers, are building a star and want you to check it out Wed 5/23 at 10AM. This open house is your chance to tour the old Hough Bakeries complex and discuss plans for its future, while checking out a unique space planned to operate as a cybercafe. 1519 Lakeview Rd. For more info, Click Here.

Chuck D The legendary rapper and co-founder of Public Enemy hits the Akron Public Library’s Main Library Auditorium on Wed 5/23 at 7 PM. Called “the Bob Dylan of Rap,” Chuck D formed Public Enemy in 1982 and rocketed to international fame by redefining rap music and Hip Hop culture in the process. He’ll discuss P.E. watershed efforts Yo! Bum Rush the Show, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Fear of a Black Planet, the Spike Lee-commissioned “Fight the Power” and other works. Don’t miss this future Rock Hall of Famer. http://www.akronlibrary.org.

HOT Meet the Breuer Tower On Wed 5/23 at 6PM, Webtego host a community forum featuring County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones and Sustainability Director Joyce Burke-Jones, who will discuss the ramifications of the corner of East 9th and Euclid — namely the Breuer Tower. Discussion concerning tearing down has launched a bevy of questions regarding sustainability, embedded energy, transparency in government, efficiency and cost containment, conflicts of interest, patronage, landfills, and more. Come to ask questions and get answers. If you cannot make the forum, the event will be podcast by Meet.The.Bloggers and will be available at http://www.meetthebloggers.net within a few days so that the conversation can continue long after the actual discussion. Event details at http://www.upcoming.org.

Women’s Lunacy Night Kick off your shoes at Dobama Theatre’s annual “women only” shindig Wed 5/23 at 6PM. Bring your girlfriends, meet new friends, shop a Chinese auction for treasures and indulgences. A delectable buffet meal will be served prior to the 8PM performance of Dobama’s production of Lunacy. Share a dessert buffet with playwright Sandra Perlman following the performance. Call 932-3396 for ticket info. http://www.dobama.org.

Meet the Instructors Thinking about a writing course? Allow the Poets and Writers League of Greater Cleveland’s writers and instructors to introduce themselves Wed 5/23 at 7:30PM. Those folks offering summer classes at the Literary Center will be available to provide insight into the courses offered. Come and network with other writers and learn how the PWLGC can benefit your work. http://www.pwlgc.org.

Keith Mayerson An exhibition of the New Yorker’s works are on display at the Shaheen Modern and Contemporary Art gallery. Check out these recent paintings in Mayerson’s 1st one-person gallery exhibition in the Midwest. Explore Friends and Family on Wed 5/23 through the end of July. 740 W. Superior Ave., Suite 101. Call 830-8888 or email shaheenmca@ameritech.net for details.

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Celebrate Memorial Day – Watch WVIZ/PBS on Sun 5/27 at 8PM (encore at 9:30PM) for the National Memorial Day Concert, 2007. This musical special pays tribute to the men and women who sacrificed so much to preserve America’s freedoms. Broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the program features an all-star line-up in performance with the National Symphony Orchestra. Also on Sun 5/27 at 3:30PM, theatre director Bartlett Sher and Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez bring charm to the Great Perfomances at the Met production of “The Barber of Seville”. Visit www.wviz.org for additional information and the complete program schedule.
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HOT The Art of the Street The first Slavic Village May Show Painting Drawing Photography Sculpture Artifact Poetry Music starts Thu 5/24 at the Broadway—E55 Landmark District where Welcome to Collinwood was filmed! Organized by Broadway Public Art, the event runs outside in the plaza if it’s nice out, or in storefronts if it rains hard. Slavic Village. Call 469-4806 for info or to get involved.

HOT A Difficult Evening The Akron-based band The Difficult don’t get out much, but when they do, they rock with quiet dignity. The band, which features Akron Beacon Journal columnist and pop culture guru David Giffels, makes its first public appearance since 2006 this Thu 5/24 at 8PM. The High Strung (Detroit) and fellow Akronites The Same Thing will also perform. Per the band’s grammatical demands, all bands on the bill have names beginning with a definite article followed by an adjective (he told us so). The Lime Spider, downtown Akron. http://www.thelimespider.com. http://www.myspace.com/thehighstrung. http://www.myspace.com/thesamethings.

Voices of the Oppressed Experience this exhibition of works that present, address and explore the condition of oppressed peoples from throughout the world Thu 5/24 from 10AM – 5PM at Gallery C of the Cleveland State University Art Gallery. http://www.csuohio.com/art/gallery.

Don’t Dilly Dali The acclaimed stage show References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot runs for only two more weekends, starting Thu 5/24 at 8PM. Don’t miss your shot at a Cle indie fave, as well as one of Cle’s best bargains! The Liminis, 2438 Scranton Rd. For RSVP and info call 687-0074. http://convergence-continuum.org.

HOT Rhythm & Hues The worlds of music and the garden come together at the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Rhythm & Hues Flower Show starting Thu 5/24. Features a world-class horticulture and flower arranging competition, internationally recognized expert lectures and a huge garden marketplace with 40 purveyors of select gardening goods. CBG, 11030 East Blvd. http://www.cbgarden.org.

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Move over, John D. Rockefeller . . . and make way for today’s mega-millionaires. Think Cleveland doesn’t mint millionaire entrepreneurs any more? Think again. Just last week you may have read about Chuck Hallberg, who sold MemberHealth, the company he started in 1998, to a NY outfit for $630 million. And as far as successful Cleveland entrepreneurs go, he’s got lots of company. In a region where health care is the dominant industry, dozens of greater Clevelanders have made their fortunes in health care in recent years. Click here to connect names to faces in the new class of successful Cleveland health care entrepreneurs.
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HOT Bogosian Bang and Clatter Razor-sharp Armenian New Yorker Eric Bogosian’s Pounding Nails in the Floor With My Forehead opens Fri 5/25 at 8PM at The Bang and The Clatter Theatre Company. Thanks to TV, Bogosian says, “we float in a matrix of billions of image fragments, sound bites, plot-line, news reports and ad copy.” This vulgar, angry and hysterical set of diatribes attempts to sift though it all. Not for the faint of heart or ears. Runs through Sun 6/17. 140 E. Market St., Akron. Call 330-606-5317 for more info. http://www.bnctheatre.com

King Hedley II Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play details the heart-wrenching story of an ex-con in Post-Reagan Pittsburgh. As he’s trying to rebuild his life, the unfolding story illuminates the African American experience in 1980s America. This dynamic show runs Fri 5/25 thru Sun 6/17. http://www.karamu.com.

Rhythm Syndicate kicks off the Memorial Day weekend on Fri 5/25 at 7PM with “blues you can use.” The band offers zippy, playful chemistry and grooves that recall the cosmopolitan cool of Chicago’s best blues. Fat Fish Blue, 21 Prospect. http://www.fatfishblue.com. http://www.rhythmsyndicate.net.

Thistledown Spring Fling Zonta Club of Cleveland holds their benefits for charities and scholarships for Women Sat 5/26 from 12-3PM. A tasty buffet, silent auction, baskets, a raffle prize drawing and live/simulcast horse racing are all part of the fun! Thistledown’s Bistro Club, 21501 Emery Rd., N. Randall. http://www.zontacleveland.org.

HOT Monet ‘til Midnight Late night viewing hours help accommodate the extreme demand for the Cleveland Museum of Art’s popular Monet in Normandy exhibit Fri 5/25 and Sat 5/26 The landmark exhibition of 50 masterworks by Impressionist master Claude Monet closes on Mon 5/28 so the museum, normal closed by 9PM, is extending hours to midnight on these two very special evenings. Tick, tick, tick, Cleveland. http://www.clevelandart.org

Glue The local garage-soul act performs at the HiFi Club with special guest Brittany Davidson Fri 5/25 at 8PM. Magician Fran D’Amico will man the second stage where magic is the name of the game all night long! 11729 Detroit Ave. http://www.myspace.com/gluefreaks. http://www.myspace.com/brittanydavidsonmusic. http://www.hificoncertclub.com.

Pacific Highway 101 Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens presents an opportunity to “travel” unique wine regions with this tasting Fri 5/25 at 7PM. Taste wines in the beautiful setting of a magnificent country estate @ the Manor House Auditorium. In addition to wine, there will be live entertainment by Mike Lenz and some tasty appetizers. Advanced ticketing is highly recommended. 714 N. Portage Path, Akron. Tickets. http://www.stanhywet.org.

Purple Reign The Phantasy Niteclub in Lakewood celebrates the genius of multi-instrumental R&B legend, Prince Rogers Nelson on Fri 5/25 at 8PM. This Purple Party includes a night of Prince music, purple decor, drink specials for (you guessed it!) purple mixed drinks. Hosted by “ultimate Prince fan” Rude Boy. We’re glad His Royal Badness changed his name back; that hieroglyph was hard to pronounce. http://www.phantasyconcertclub.com.

Helen Boyd Loganberry Books and the Alpha Omega Society co-sponsor the She’s Not the Man I Married author’s appearance Fri 5/25 at 4PM. Boyd has written two books documenting her experience and the experience of other people who face the issues raised by transgendered people in their lives. Her first book, “My Husband Betty” was published in 2003. Loganberry Books, 13015 Larchmere Blvd. Shaker Hts. http://www.loganberrybooks.com/directions.html.

The Sky Drops have been called “a shoegazing Everly Brothers.” Delaware natives Rob Montejo and Monika Bullette go for that power duo sound of guitars, drums, and vocals at bela Dubby Fri 5/25 at 8PM. Montejo’s previous band, Smashing Orange, was quite the cult fave. The Sky Drops perform with local bands Stoned by Magic and Soft Spots. Beer, coffee and wi-fi, as always, are on site. bela dubby, 13321 Madison, Lakewood. http://www.myspace.com/beladubby. http://www.theskydrops.com.

Red, White, Blue Carl Topilow conducts the Cleveland Pops Orchestra in its 7th annual “Salute to Our Armed Forces,” assisted by the inspirational singing of tenor Daniel Rodriguez Fri 5/25 at 8PM. Severance Hall. http://www.clevelandpops.com.

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WCLVnotes The tenth annual WCLV/Red Cross Celebrate Life blood drive will take place on Wed 5/30 at the Airport Marriott on West 150th – right off of I-71. As is traditional, donors will be treated to live music, good food (orange juice and Oreos don’t suffice for the WCLV Blood Drives), and WCLV Goody Bags. WCLV air personalities will make regular broadcast reports throughout the day. Donors may make an appointment by calling 1.800.GIVE.LIFE or going online to www.givelife.org and entering the password WCLV530. The WCLV/Red Cross Blood Drives have a tradition of being the largest one-day drives in Ohio. The January 2006 drive resulted in 370 pints of blood. The September 2006 drive at Corporate College East collected 306 pints. Give the gift of life and feel good.
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Ahmed Hassan The popular host of DIY Network’s The Dirt On offers demonstrations on Sat 5/26 and Sun 5/27 at the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Rhythm & Hues flower show (see HOT item above). Hassan’s Q&A sessions, like his show, are geared to do-it-yourselfers with or without green thumbs. He’ll work with live plant material, answering vexing and perplexing questions about gardening and landscaping projects. Hassan’s gardening demonstrations are no-cost with admission. http://www.cbgarden.org.

Journey From the Fall A South Vietnamese Army officer and his family struggle to survive the chaotic aftermath of the fall of Saigon in this NEO premiere film at the Cleveland Cinematheque Sat 5/26 at 7PM (repeats Sun 5/28 at 7PM). The LA Times says this emotional journey “[p]owerfully illustrates the refugee/immigrant experience.” http://www.journeyfromthefall.com. Cle Cinematheque at the CIA. http://www.cia.edu.

Janice Lessman-Moss The Cle artist’s recent exhibition launched at exit (a gallery space) and it’s intriguing. It involves digital dobby and jacquard weavings that reflect her interest in the interconnectness of abstract systems. Explore her matrix of threads on the loom Sat 5/26 from 12-5PM and she how they correspond to with the pixels on the computer screen, creating compositions comprised of networks of patterns. 2688 W. 14th St. http://www.exitgallery.com.

HOT After the Ball is Over Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner offer honest and funny tales “about the slippery slope from red carpet to Coventry tree lawn” as a part of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland (Heights) presents the 2nd part of the year-long “Celebration Of Coventry” series Sat 5/26 at 8PM. American Splendor: After the Ball is Over details Pekar’s comics and the film that thrust both Cle indie icons into mainstream success. Their Hollywood friends have donated door prizes and refreshments, which will be served at an aftershow “eat, meet and greet.” 2778 Lancashire Rd., Coventry Village, Cle Hts. Tickets are at Mac’s Backs Book Store. Call 321-BOOK for info. Watch a clip here.

15-60-75 Venerable NEO faves The Numbers Band jam on home to the Beachland Ballroom Sat 5/26 at 9PM in the Tavern. All ages. 15711 Waterloo Rd. http://www.beachlandballroom.com.

Sue Copeland Jones Explore studies in textile pattern, imagery and color with the artist’s A Dyer’s Perspective at ginko gallery & studio in Oberlin. They hold an Artist’s Reception for Jones Sat 5/26 from 1 – 3PM. Jones will also give a gallery talk at ginko on Sat 6/23 at 4:30PM. 19 S. Main St., Oberlin. http://www.ginkogallery.net.

HOT Revving the Beer Engine American Craft Beer Week comes to a head today as The Society of Northeast Ohio Brewers (SNOB) gathers at The Beer Engine to demonstrate the art of brewing. The recently opened brewpub is a favorite of local enthusiasts because of its wide selection of rich, flavorful beers. Owner Bob Wright has invited SNOB — the area’s oldest and largest homebrew club — to participate in an aromatic demonstration of ale craft. SNOBs start brewing Sat 5/26 at 11AM at the Buckeye Beer Engine, 15315 Madison Ave., Lakewood. Call 226-2337 for details. http://www.buckeyebeerengine.com.

Perennials from the Estate Stan Hywet’s annual spring plant sale drops Sat 5/26 at 10AM with a large selection of perennials divided from their Historic Gardens. Green-thumbed attendees at last year’s sale found many varieties sell out quickly, so, the numbers and varieties of plants have increased: there will be about 200 different varieties of perennials and 315 different types of annuals for sale. http://www.stanhywet.org.

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Now Showing at Carousel: West Side Story! The reviews are in and Carousel has a hit with West Side Story: “Stephanie Iannarino is glorious as Maria . . . Nathan Scherich . . . as Tony . . . voices are powerful,” said Roy Berko of Cool Cleveland. Don’t miss this iconic tale featuring never before seen fight choreography and an environmental production, which transports you into the streets of Hell’s Kitchen! Good seats are available now! West Side Story continues through Sat 6/30. Show only tickets start at $33.50 for matinees. Dinner and this phenomenal production – for under $55! Makes a great anniversary gift. Purchase tickets online at www.carouseldinnertheatre.com or call the Box Office at 800.362.4100!
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Oxford Collapse Weenie Roast Check out the Sub Pop indie band at the Beachland Ballroom the night before Labor Day, Sun 5/27 at 9PM. Stop by beforehand for a no-cost traditional weenie roast from 7-9PM, co-sponsored by their nextdoor record store neighbors Music Saves. 15711 Waterloo Rd. http://www.beachlandballroom.com. http://www.musicsaves.com. http://www.oxfordcollapse.com.

HOT Restorating Prosperity Bruce Katz, VP and director of Metropolitan Policy at The Brookings Institution, presents Restoring Prosperity: The State Role in Revitalizing America’s Older Industrial Cities at the City Club of Cleveland on Tue 5/29 at noon. This event comes in advance of comprehensive economic study featuring 65 U.S. cities lagging behind their peers. Katz is joined by Ohio Lt. Gov Lee Fisher, who will give a local response to the report. http://www.cityclub.org.

Send your cool events to: Events@CoolCleveland.com

Behind The Makeup
NEO’s Top Children’s Entertainers Unmasked

They didn’t lie in bed as kids dreaming of becoming children’s entertainers one day. Nor did they take a straight path to their current careers bringing joy and laughter to the faces of Northeast Ohio children. Bill Morley, Jr., was a DJ working the Cleveland bar and wedding scene, even doing bikini shows for a time. Laura Broyles was a stay-at-home mom living in Uniontown, south of Akron. Ron Fowler was an electronics technician who repaired video games and vending machines.

But even though Morley, Broyles and Fowler all say they fell into their roles as children’s entertainers, they also say they’ve found their calling, and spend each day doing something they love…
Read more from Jennifer Keirn here

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Looking for Adventure? Strut into CMA’s Art Classes for Children and Teens this summer and invite your BF. (It’s always more fun with a friend.) Create lotsa stuff big time and study the elements of line, shape, and color. Saturday Session: 5 classes, 6/30 – 7/28. Or Weekday Session: 10 classes, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6/26 – 7/26. Most classes are offered both morning 10-11:30AM and afternoon 1-2:30PM. Register now for art classes for children ages 3-17. Students’ classes include Worldwide Wonder (ages 5-6), Picture Picnic (ages 6-8), Claymation for Pre-Teens (ages 9-12) special pricing, and Teen Drawing Workshop (ages 13-17) and many, many more for children of all ages. For info and prices call 216-707-2182 or visit www.clevelandart.org. The Cleveland Museum of Art is a Cool Cleveland Kids partner.
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Summer Dance Intensive Inlet Dance Theatre offers their 7th annual Summer Dance Intensive (SDI), an aggressive six-week modern dance instructional camp for dance students ages 12 though adult. SDI includes curriculum such as modern dance technique, hip-hop, nontraditional partnering, improvisation, composition and performance, culminating in July performances at Cain Park in Cle Hts. Register now by calling 382-0201. http://www.inletdance.org.

Butterflies, Dinosaurs and Touch! The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has ramped up for the summer. They’ve received hundreds of butterfly cocoons from a butterfly sanctuary in Costa Rica for their “Butterfly Magic” exhibit, now open in the Zoo’s Public Greenhouse. It features blue morphos, crimson-patched longwings, orange-barred sulfurs and the hard-to-spot glasswings — which actually have transparent “windows” in their wings! Check it out, along with 2 other new exhibits — “Dinosaurs!” and “Touch! Amazing Rays & Sharks.” Those latter-mentioned items open to the public Thu 5/24 at 9:30AM. http://www.clemetzoo.com

Esparanza Open House and tour hits Wed 5/23 at 5:30PM. The mission of Esperanza is to enhance educational and economic opportunities for Hispanic Americans. 3104 W. 25th St. RSVP or email: zvalentin@esperanzainc.com.

Midnight Monet Madness Take the kids to the late night viewing hours help accommodate the extreme demand for the Cleveland Museum of Art’s popular Monet in Normandy exhibit Fri 5/25 and Sat 5/26. C’mon parents, it’s summer. They’ll want to stay up a little late anyway… why not give them a bit of Monet as long as they’re awake? Odds are, they’ll be talking about it years from now. http://www.clevelandart.org.

Making College Accessible Rev. Robert Niehoff, president of John Carroll University, speaks about making college accessible and affordable to all qualified students — particularly those from underserved segments of the population on Fri 5/25 at noon. Find out what institutions are doing in response to the critical need to expand the pool of college-educated people at The City Club of Cleveland. http://www.cityclub.org.

GuitarMania® United Way of Greater Cleveland’s public art project returns again with a kickoff event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum on Fri 5/25 at 11:30AM. See celebrity guitars from Doors guitarist Robby Krieger, NASCAR drivers Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Michael Waltrip and Rusty Wallace, and artists Sam Bass and Shannon. All guitars will be on display together at the Rock Hall until Mon 5/28, then will be moved to individual locations throughout the city until Labor Day. An auction of the guitars will be held after Labor Day. Rock on! Learn more here.

Veterans Memorial Bridge & Subway Tour This no-cost, self-guided tour launches its 2007 season Sat 5/26 from 9AM – 3PM. Visitors begin the tour at the Cuyahoga County Engineer’s Office’s Bridge Garage (2433 Superior Viaduct), where there is also no-cost parking. Cameras are encouraged, and the event is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Intriguing fun for the whole family. http://www.cuyctyengineers.org.

You don’t want to miss what 11-year-old Max has for you and your family this week. Listen here: http://www.coolcleveland.com/files/audio/CoolClevelandKids05.25.07.mp3. Click here to subscribe: iTunes or other.


BrewedFreshDaily.com, run by Cool Cleveland’s George Nemeth, scans over hundreds of area feeds everyday and provides links and commentary on a range subjects—from coffee to economic development in Northeast Ohio.

The following are excerpts, posted by Doug Craver, from a very important feature article in this week’s issue of Business Week titled “The Poverty Business.” I encourage you to read the entire article because until we face the poverty issue here head on, everything else is window dressing. Reading this article I kept thinking of a quote from author James A. Baldwin: “Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.” It’s scary and sad to think about just how right he was…

* Disturbing post. What’s really disappointing about these vulture lenders is contrasting them with the more optimistic view of capitalism’s relationship with the poor that is offered by CK Prahalad in his book The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Prahalad has demonstrated that there’s lots of opportunity to generate wealth by serving the poor. But vulture lending is exploitation, not service. comment by Chris Thompson

* The huge jumps in percentages was extremely disturbing to me. I knew it had become a significant business but hadn’t realized, until I read the BW feature, that it had become so perverted and that our major financial institutions are getting their hands dirty in it. Being one of the poorest major metros in the U.S. it would prudent for the Plain Dealer, with their new editor, to take the lead here and examine the local impact and potential improvements on the problem here in NEO. comment by Doug Craver

* I agree with Chris. We need something other than capitalism. The massive profits that can be made off of the poor promotes a need to keep poor around. Deprivation of educational opportunities and bolstering crime and joblessness in depressed areas guarantees that there will be some poor to screw…almost like economic livestock. comment by Derek Arnold

* I think if you comment you should offer a solution. My solution is financial education. I don’t know what is being taught in the schools but the miracle of compounding interest (positive and negative) should be one of the primary lessons for all HS kids.There are a myriad of problems that lead people to those loans, but what it all comes down to is personal responsibiltity and wants. If we taught people how to live in their means these places would go out of business yesterday. comment by Tim Advent

Read the post by Doug Craver and add your comment here

Meet Jeannette Sorrell
Cleveland’s Renaissance Woman (pun intended!)

Do you like multiple choice questions? You know, especially the kind with the ‘check all that apply’ instructions? Sometimes this sort of thing prompts an unexpected epiphany. Take, for instance, Jeannette Sorrell, founder and music director of Apollo’s Fire. This summer, she’ll serve as a judge for an NEA panel on music grants. Of course, they wanted to know more about her, so they provided a list of activities from which one could indicate suitability for the task.

Well. There’s Writing. And Researcher. (She writes all her own program notes, and they’re terrific!) She Arranges a good bit of music for Apollo’s Fire. Obviously, she Conducts—and not just Apollo’s Fire, either. (More on that later.) And Performs on the harpsichord. She creates the Programs for the group, and is a Teacher, for a student baroque orchestra at CASE/CIM. There are probably even more things that she checked off, but I was so intrigued by this, I neglected to write them down. These aren’t bad for a starter, though. Obviously, she’s very qualified!
Read the interview by Kelly Ferjutz

Links to interesting NEO blogs

The wrong house is demolished in the Archwood/Denison neighborhood.
Chris Butler takes in a BRRG bout.
Adam Harvey posts a video of Uncle Scratch.
If you didn’t make the Pestival here’s what you missed.
Erin offers some advice for underclassmen re: getting into college.
Small Business Owners are less optimistic.
Youngstown is “pushing forward with new life for old structures”.
Ron Finklestein demos how to use YouTube to grow your business.
David Gray of Gray & Co talks about the future of publishing and books abour the region.

Check Brewed Fresh Daily here, where Peter Chakerian comments on Doug Clifton’s departure from the PD and how a Clifton/Feagler conversation this past weekend made Alaska’s senior Senator Theodore Fulton “Ted” Stevens look like an Internet/Web 2.0 guru. When you’re through, add your own comments, questions and attitude. Letters@CoolCleveland.com.

Don’t Look Away
Kate Voegele
MySpace/Interscope

Bay Village native Kate Voegele performed at Farm Aid amongst a star-studded cast in September of 2005. The singer-songwriter shared a day that included Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, and countless others. The attention paid to her at the high-profile gig — as well as a recent appearance at South By Southwest in Austin, TX — pushed her to the peak of buzzworthiness, just as she was gearing herself for studies at Ohio University in Oxford. But while most OU students long for the megaparty known only as Halloween, Voegele’s aim was studying hard and putting in the time on stage at Oxford’s Uptown music venues and bars.

Voegele has since hit the bigtime, signing a major label deal and releasing her debut Don’t Look Away this week on the joint online-record company label partnership, MySpace/Interscope. On Don’t Look Away, the one-time teen sensation does what she does best: introspective, melodic songs for the Teen Vogue set. Falling somewhere between Michelle Branch, Vanessa Carlton and Chantal Kreviazuk — with a pinch of Avril Lavigne for good measure — the 20-year-old Voegele has definitely streamlined her sound. Her vocals are stronger, the melodies and crescendos are more focused and the production of pop knob-twiddler Marshall Altman (Marc Broussard, Jupiter Sunrise) has definitely helped chanteuse Voegele find her voice….
Read the review by Peter Chakerian here

Wanna get reviewed? Send your band’s CD (less than 1 year old) to: Cool Cleveland, 14837 Detroit Avenue, #105, Lakewood, OH 44107

Cleveland Restoration Society Snoop
Curious Clevelanders Witness Invigoration and Adaptive Reuse of Space

On April 24, 1928, The Phillis Wheatley Association dedicated its new, nine story building on Cedar Avenue and opened its doors to African-American women needing a safe place to stay as they arrived in Cleveland and entered its burgeoning workforce. Fast forward to May 26, 2007. That same building, standing sound and strong, will open its doors to let the public view the historic restoration process that will give the Central neighborhood’s elderly and disabled a safe and secure place to live.

This special Phillis Wheatley Association Building restoration tour, sponsored by the Cleveland Restoration Society (http://www.clevelandrestoration.org), will enable curious Clevelander’s to see the complexities involved in restoring historic buildings intended to be used for modern purposes on a tight budget.

Architect, R. Kevin Madison, will be on hand to discuss the many challenges he faced as he designed 56 apartments in a building originally constructed as a dormitory. He explains. “If the building had been only four feet wider, it would have been much easier.” As it is, Madison had to plan apartments around existing window placement and behind elevators as well as add the conveniences of independent heating and cooling units in every apartment.

Many of the apartments have stunning views of the city and the lake but nowhere more stunning than from the ninth floor. There, the attractive arched windows will be renovated as funds are raised. In all, it will take approximately $100,000 to bring them back to their original beauty but as Erin Dorsey, Cleveland Restoration Society’s Marketing & Outreach Associate asserts; “The building is being restored for people who really need it….Why shouldn’t they have beautiful views of the city?” And she is right.

The total budget for the project is $6.2 million, not including the money needed for the windows. According to Madison it took three to four years to come up with the financing and involved players from several agencies including the Famicos Foundation (http://www.famicos.org). Famicos is known for its redevelopment efforts in Cleveland neighborhoods such as Hough and Glenville and has been featured on HGTV’s Restore America. Another key player in the restoration of the PWA Building is Marous Brothers Construction (http://www.marousbrothers.com). Madison called Marous Brothers the “premier company for historic preservation projects” in Cleveland. The company’s work can readily be seen at the Arcade downtown and in the Warehouse District.

The first two floors of the building will be used by the PWA as public spaces. The PWA will maintain floors 3-9 as Emeritus House and will have 42 one bedroom apartments and 14 efficiency apartments. Seven units will be wheelchair accessible. Executive Director of the PWA, Jacquelyn Bradshaw, looks forward to the project’s completion in December and the arrival of the residents saying that “it really feels like a family [here].” To that end, the 1928 “Chicago style” structure has truly come full circle.

“Snoop” this building on Saturday, May 26 starting at 11AM with architect Kevin Madison and the Cleveland Restoration Society. It’s free to members of CRS and only $15 for non-members. The $15 fee is a special one-time introductory rate to join the CRS and gives you a chance to participate in more “Snoops” around the city. Call Erin Dorsey for more information: 216-426-3103.
From Cool Cleveland contributor Nan Frost nanettehfATsbcglobal.net

Flabbergasted Emus Rock
Local Author Delves Into a Different Fab Four

Who is Wred Fright? And what on earth are the Flabbergasted Emus? If you hit Mac’s Backs this Thursday, May 24, you’ll have the answer to both… and neither.

See, Fright’s a bass-ackwards alter-ego nickname for Fred Wright, a writer and musician who you might know from local online and zine publishing, if not from his touring with the Perpetual Motion Roadshow. The … Flabbergasted Emus is his comedic novel about a garage rock band in a college town, and their hilarious trials and tribulations as told from the point of view of the four band members themselves. Keyboardist Alexander Depot, bassist George Jah, guitarist Theodorable and drummer Funnybear will have you flipping pages like mad, waiting for the punchline.

Unlike most other rock and roll novels, which tell the story of an upstart band’s emergence to stardom, this one focuses on a quartet that will never “make it big,” but rock on out anyway. Previously published in a number of formats, the entire story is available in a book format from Underground Literary Alliance (imprint of Out Your Backdoor Press). Fright will read from the tales of his Emus, sign copies of his book and answer questions readers might have about the gloriously wacky characters contained in it. Heck, he might even wear his bizarro headdress (above) if you ask him nicely.

Check out Fred Wright at Mac’s Backs, located at 1820 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Hts. He appears this Thursday, May 24 at 7PM. For details, visit him online at http://www.wredfright.com. Visit Mac’s online at http://www.macsbacks.com.

From Cool Cleveland Managing Editor Peter Chakerian peterATcoolcleveland.com

Poignant pieces from a Cleveland cartoonist

Ralph Solonitz comments on a recent case of mistaken identity

Heart of a Mule
The Dick Schafrath Stories
Gray & Company, Publishers

Dick Schafrath might have served as the prototype of WYSIWYG, otherwise known as What You See Is What You Get, a terminology that is a fixture in today’s computerized world. This engaging book explains the man behind the football player and former state legislator, the husband and father. There are not very many people he met along life’s highways that he didn’t like. Here, he tells it all like it was, or still is.

Readers of a certain age will laugh as he relates his growing up years—the more so if they shared a similar homespun lifestyle. Younger readers may well shake their heads in disbelief. But I’ll warn you, disbelieve at your peril! This is how it was. And not all that many years ago, either…

Read the review by Kelly Ferjutz here

The Beatles in Cleveland
Dave Schwensen
North Shore Publishing

With cameos by Jane Scott, Ghoulardi and his assistant Ron Sweed (later to become The Ghoul), and anecdotes about radio rivalries between WIXY 1260 and WHK, any Clevelander will relate to this account of the Beatles two infamous and riotous visits to our home town.

When you’ve read a lot of Beatles books, and there are a lot of them, and I’ve read most of them, you start to hear the same anecdotes and stories and myths propagated in book after book. In a way, the story of the Beatles has become, like the story of Elvis, an oral history passed down from father to son, from mother to daughter. It is a story that tells us about who we are as a generation, through the embodiment of four average blokes who together created a musical nirvana never since eclipsed. Cleveland-based humorist, entertainment journalist and comedy coach Dave Schwensen returned to NEO from Hollywood after tiring of “making his hometown a vacation spot every year,” and has put together not only a memory-filled tale of the two Cleveland Beatles concerts in 1964 & 1966, he has created the most microscopically detailed account of any period in Beatles history.

On 9/15/64, the Beatles stop at Public Hall caused such a commotion that the show had to be stopped by the Chief of Police after 3 songs when thousands of the 10,000 fans rushed the stage. After 20 minutes and the calming influence of radio personalities, the show continued, but news got out that security cost the city $14K to protect the Beatles, so Mayor Ralph Locher banned pop music concerts, causing the Rolling Stones to lose $5000 for a gig already scheduled. So Cleveland missed out on the 1965 tour entirely.

Fast forward to 08/14/66, and somehow, they got booked to play Municipal Stadium, which could have held 50-60,000 people. That is, if John Lennon hadn’t been quoted a few months earlier saying the Beatles were bigger than Jesus. The result? Probably 20,000 fans in the stadium instead. But those 20,000 again overpowered the meager police force guarding the stage built over second base. Actually, the police were facing the stage, enjoying the show, and were oblivious to the riot going on in the stands. At the start of the 4th song, “Day Tripper,” an estimated 2500 fans topped the flimsy wooden snow fence and rushed the stage, forcing the Beatles to retreat to a large mobile home that had been wheeled out next to the stage to serve as a green room.

After a half hour or so, and coaxing by WIXY DJs, the Beatles apparently played the concert opener, Chuck Berry’s Rock and Roll Music, again, the only time they played a song twice in one concert. A concert that many have still not forgotten.

The Beatles in Cleveland by Dave Schwensen, with a foreward by Beatles biographer Bill Harry, published by North Shore Publishing, http://www.beatlesincleveland.com

Abbey Road on the River the largest Beatles convention in the US, was started here by Clevelander Gary Jacob. He moved it a couple of years ago, and this weekend, 4/25-28, it takes place in Louisville, KY at Galt House Hotel & Suites and Belvedere Festival Park. http://www.AbbeyRoadOnTheRiver.com

From Cool Cleveland creator Thomas Mulready

A Public Outing
Crisis, Curfews and the Rap on Culture

The pot continues to boil in regards to young Black men, gun violence, and the culture that has spawned the acute problems we are faced with today in inner-cities. And Cleveland is not alone: the murder rate is so high in Baltimore that officials there are debating a type of curfew — for juveniles and adults in certain areas of town — that borders on martial law.

Locally Regina Brett, who has been thankfully relentless in hammering away at the problem, did a public “outing” of sorts in her Sunday column by naming over a hundred Black leaders and potential leaders (if you count the members of the Cavs and Browns teams she threw in for good measure), calling on them to each come up with 10-point action plan to impact on the crisis…

Read more from Mansfield Fraizer here

Clifton Departs with Mixed Record

Plain Dealer editor Doug Clifton’s eight-year tenure here was more a coast than a ride. He’s off to Vermont.

I say coasting because my impression is he decided maybe shortly after he arrived that his new team was deficient. Thus, why try?

Despite some high hopes and some achievements, the Clifton years didn’t much change the culture of the Plain Dealer or its value to the community.

“His heart wasn’t in it anymore,” said a veteran reporter. He suggested that when Clifton came and saw the quality of the staff, which this reporter loosely described as “a bunch clowns,” he lost interest…

Read more from Roldo Bartimole here

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

Entrepreneurs for Sustainability National Speaker Program @ Cle Museum of Natural History 5/15 Last Tuesday evening was the third Tuesday evening of the month, a time when the group Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (E4S) usually gather for their regularly scheduled networking event. But this time, 250+ people met at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to hear Paul Murray, director of environmental safety and sustainability for Herman Miller Inc., a leading designer and manufacturer of furniture systems, tell how his company is continuing its success while reducing its impact on the environment.

“Just 15 years ago,” said Murray, “when companies wanted a new building and asked the architects about a green building, they would ask what shade of green? Now people know what green buildings are. They require less energy to heat, cool, and illuminate; and the materials used in construction are more environmentally friendly.” Employees don’t wake up in the morning thinking they want to rape and pillage the environment. A company needs a structure and goals for the employees to learn how to protect the environment, advised Murray.

Herman Miller is adopting a Project 2020 Cradle to Cradle Protocol where they ask suppliers if any of the materials used in manufacturing the furniture, any of the formulas, would be harmful to the environment. Then they work with the suppliers to change those formulas to be compatible with the environment. This company promotes design for the environment. As a result, they have reduced the company’s waste landfill by millions of pounds per year. And this is good business said Murray and the audience nodded in agreement.

Using the Herman Miller company policies and employees as an example, E4S president Holly Harlan encouraged everyone to adopt “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” (BHAG – an acronym pronounced be-hag) to bring about change in the workplace and at home. Working toward bold goals sustained over a long time period strengthens the business performance. This is a compelling message we all need to hear in order to improve the environment in northeast Ohio.

From Cool Cleveland contributor Susan Schaul susn1ATatt.net

Elmore Leonard @ Ohio Theatre 5/17 Presented by Citizens for Cuyahoga County Public Library, Elmore Leonard came to Playhouse Square on Thursday night to talk about his recent book, Up in Honey’s Room and to entertain the crowd with a litany of tales from his varied experiences. At 81-years-old, the slight Leonard’s presence loomed as large as the characters he invents.

With complete aplomb, Leonard shared the varied personal stories and thoughts on writing, working in Hollywood, and the colorful characters from his books. This commentary gave insight into the working mind of one of the nation’s most prolific writers. Not fond of prologues or epilogues he shared a conversation involving an editor who told him a book ended abruptly. Leonard responded, “Because it’s over.” Open about his catalog of novels does not sell the half-million copies it takes to be on the New York Times bestsellers Leonard quips, that “doesn’t write well enough or poor enough” to be on the list. Not to imply he’s completely modest, when he found himself being compared to the former Senator’s knuckleballer “Dutch” Leonard, the author retorted, “I don’t throw junk.”

From the deft pen of moderator Michael Heaton prepared quality questions that brought out insightful commentary and stories on Leonard’s expansive life. As if being a prolific novelist isn’t enough, Leonard also adapted a few of his books into screenplays (Get Shorty) and sold the rights to Rum Punch to the unconventional Quentin Tarantino who, in addition to changing the title to Jackie Brown, made another rather large adjustment. Leonard waited a year after the success of Pulp Fiction so Tarantino could afford to pay him. Another year passed and Leonard got the brush off from Tarantino, who later admitted the slight was due to his fearing the author’s reaction to his changing the main character into an African-American woman for the film. Leonard has a simple credo when dealing with Hollywood, take the money and forget about the rest. Suffice it to say, he holds no grudge against the director.

From his recent novel, Up in Honey’s Room, Leonard talked about warming up to the title character once he changed her name from Helen to Honey. Either way, she is a tough broad, bent on changing her man. When asked if he personally experienced some of the worn-hard, street-tough lives like his characters he deftly reminded the audience of his fiction writer status. This swift denial of shared traits shouldn’t be perceived as a disdain for those living on the underside of society. Leonard has a rather warm relationship with his characters including one of the most famous, Jack Foley, the character portrayed by George Clooney in the movie Out of Sight. Already working on a second book with Foley in the lead, Leonard kindly states, “I don’t think of him as a bad guy just because he robs banks.” The turnaround can hold true for Leonard himself; it doesn’t take a bad guy to write good stories about them.

From Cool Cleveland contributor Christine Young itsmecayATmail2.visn.net

Beginnings and Endings: Uchida & the Cleveland Orchestra @ Severance Hall 5/17 Mitsuko Uchida has become a very familiar and welcome personage at Severance Hall these last five or so years. She has given us all of Mozart’s piano concerti, plus quite a few others in the repertoire. My special favorite was one of Ravel’s that glittered and glistened like a Fabergé egg.

Her Mozart, however, is remarkable for its clarity and joyeuse—not to mention the capability that this pairing has for filling the seats at Severance Hall. The only slight drawback is that the purely Mozartean concerts utilize only half the Cleveland Orchestra, if that many. Regardless, the music-making is sublime.

This last presentation was a form of book-ends: the first known original piano concerto by a seventeen-year-old Mozart, and the last one he composed, less than year before his too-early death at the age of not-quite 36.

First, however, a goodly number of the orchestra’s strings indulged in the Divertimento in F Major, K. 138, which predates that first piano concerto by nearly a year. Playing without a conductor, and standing (except for the cellos) it was an interesting exercise. Concertmaster William Preucil was the leader in more ways than one, keeping everyone together, and indicating dynamics with a nod of his head or extra sturdy sweep of his bow.

Then came the first concerto, the No. 5 in D major, K. 175. It’s hard to conceive of a work by Mozart that had not been previously performed by the Cleveland Orchestra, but here we had two of them, in succession. There’s no good reason for having previously ignored this charming example of Mozart’s skillful writing, even at such a young age. The third movement especially exhibited a dialogue between prinicpal oboe Frank Rosenwein and Ms. Uchida that was perky and persistent, almost–but not quite–argumentative. Delightful!

The Concert Rondo, which is also in D major, but written some nine years later (it carries the K. 382) was an alternate final movement for the concerto. Flautist Joshua Smith joined the ensemble, which originally had two each oboes, trumpets and horns, in addition to tympani. For the most part, this was a theme and variations. Even the ever creative Mozart, however, occasionally repeated himself, but you have to listen rather carefully to discern those instances when he did.

There is almost as much difference between the Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat Major, K. 595 and the earlier work, as there is between Mozart and Beethoven. It’s an astonishing difference, displaying his maturity as both composer and pianist. For this piece, he added two bassoons and left out the tympani. The writing for winds is especially impressive throughout, most notably the flute solo in the larghetto. The entire work, though, is brilliant and sparkly. Ms. Uchida was graceful and attentive to the music and the musicians around her. It’s been a splendid collaboration.

But it’s not as if she were really going away. In fact, she’ll be back again this week in a somewhat contemporary work – Alban Berg’s Chamber Concerto for Piano, Violin and 13 Wind Instruments with guest pianist Mitsuko Uchida and concertmaster William Preucil as soloists, conducted by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst. Also on the program will be Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73.

As an added feature on Sunday, May 27, the third of the ‘Musically Speaking’ Series, includes a Prelude Concert featuring chamber music by Brahms and Schubert. Orchestra members violinist Yoko Moore, cellist David Alan Harrell and pianist Carolyn Gadiel Warner will perform Schubert’s Piano Trio in B-flat major, D. 28 (“Sonatensatz”). Sonja Braaten and Alicia Koelz, violins; Joanna Patterson, viola and cellist Charles Bernard will provide two movements from Brahms’s String Quartet A minor, Op. 51, No. 2, and two movements from Brahms’s Trio in E-flat major for Horn, Violin and Piano, Op. 40, will be performed by Jesse McCormick(the newest member of the horn section), Stephen Warner, violin and Carolyn Gadiel Warner, piano.

For tickets or other information, call the Cleveland Orchestra ticket office at 231-1111, or visit the website: http://http://www.clevelandorchestra.com.

From Cool Cleveland contributor Kelly Ferjutz artswriterATadelphia.net

Comix 101 @ CPT 5/18 Simpsons, eat your heart out. Comics legend Art Spiegelman and New York Times art critic Michael Kimmelman spoke, and at time sparred, over comics as an art form, Mad Magazine and the Jewish-ness of comics before a packed audience at Cleveland Public Theater on Friday night. The two writers were brought to town by Cleveland Public Art and the Cleveland Public Library as a part of the Robert Lockwood-Thompson series.

Spiegelman, whose groundbreaking comics in the 60s/70s paved the way for South Park, Simpsons and trendy graphic novels, chain-smoked on stage and giddily clicked through slides of his work as he spoke. (The plumes of smoke emanating from the stage seemed gloriously taboo in our present, smoke-free state – lending a further air of rebellion to the countercultural artist.)

Kimmelman struggled to interject as Spiegelman – annoyed, seemingly, at attempts to lift his work from the page and offer interpretation other than his own – steamrolled over him. Renowned for his writing in the Times, several books of art criticism, and efforts to make writing on art accessible, Kimmelman was nonetheless no match for the soliloquizing tour de force that is Art Spiegelman.

Explaining his rationale towards comics as an outsider art form, Spiegelman commented, “Comics don’t have to be paintings to be art. They have their own logic system. When people think of comics they think of superheroes, but I’m interested in satire. I always liked Mad Magazine because it’s iconoclastic.”

He also described comics as a “mongrel art form” because they are “a blend of poetry and image … They present things in a way that’s similar to how we think and use language – in short bursts.” He added, “People don’t think in long narratives or iconic images, which is what novels and paintings are.”

Spiegelman’s varied career included the creation of the underground comics anthology “RAW,” co-creation of the 80s novelties “Garbage Pail Kids” and “Wacky Packages” (he parted ways with Topps Bubble Gum twenty years after his first assignment, citing a dispute over their paltry pay), and a decade of covers for the New Yorker. Spiegelman’s most famous book, “Maus,” is a story about his father’s experiences as a Holocaust survivor during World War II. Among other things, the book poignantly characterizes the relationship between a Holocaust survivor and his son, reflecting in its own, multi-tiered narrative the way in which Vladik Spiegelman’s haunted history suffuses his son’s memory and personal story, ultimately impacting and influencing his art as well.

The evening was a kind of history lesson, as well, on the evolution of comics from the pulp rack, to galleries and museums. Spiegelman won a Pulitzer for “Maus” in 1992, around the time that the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York staged an exhibition about his work. “When the idea of creating a prints department at MOMA was first discussed, there was a curator there that said, ‘Over my dead body’,” Spiegelman said dryly. “Well, he’s dead now.”

Spiegelman also discussed his own struggle to push comics in new directions without making his work inaccessible or effete. “The deconstructionist stuff, if that’s what you call it, reaches smaller audiences,” he said. “People want stories.”

Spiegelman’s spiel winded down as he talked about his own influences, particularly Mad Magazine. The magazine, which was the target of a Congressional inquiry into causes of juvenile delinquency in the 1950s, “changed my life,” Spiegelman said. “It acknowledged that we live in a mediated world, while also acknowledging that it too was a part of the media. The ironic distance of the Simpsons started with Mad Magazine

Asked a question about whether he prefers the term “comics” or “graphic novels,” Spiegelman, true to form, voted for none of the above. The term graphic novel is “an attempt to earn respectability” for the genre, he said. He himself prefers the term “comix,” which he claims can be taken to refer to the “co-mixing” of art forms – visual art and poetry –taking place within the genre.

From Cool Cleveland contributor Lee Chilcote leechilcoteATgmail.com

When the Chickens Came Home to Roost @ Karamu 5/19
Reasons to go: As Black Muslim leader Elijah Muhammed, Robert J. Williams is so sly, manipulative, and politically street-wise, he figuratively runs rings around Oliver L. Thompson’s straight-arrow Malcolm X. Williams’ engaging performance and Jimmie Woody’s direction help energize Laurence Holder’s talky script.
Caveats: Thompson looks like Malcolm, but doesn’t have the ferocious intensity needed to animate the charismatic leader. However, the script paints Malcolm as more passive than heroic. It becomes a dual portrait of two flawed men whose hubris and competition becomes a national tragedy.
Details: Thru 6/3, Karamu, Fri-Sat @ 2 pm. http://www.karamu.com.
From Cool Cleveland contributor Linda Eisenstein LindaATcoolcleveland.com

Body and Sold @ Karamu 5/19
Hair-raising: A high-energy ensemble of teen actors, mostly from Cleveland School of the Arts, makes Deborah Lake Fortson’s based-on-interviews exploration of child sexual exploitation and teen prostitution both riveting and scary. From gay teens to rural runaways, it’s a heartbreaking saga of abuse and hellishly difficult recovery.
Backstory: Bring your kids: the script is a necessary corrective to pop culture’s glamorization of sexualized teens. Director Heidi Bedrossian sometimes lets her young performers go over-the-top, but ultimately the powerful material trumps all flaws. Kudos to Terrence Spivey for booking a youth series this hard-hitting.
Details: Thru 6/3, Karamu, Fri-Sat @ 4pm. http://www.karamu.com.
From Cool Cleveland contributor Linda Eisenstein LindaATcoolcleveland.com

It’s Only Rock and Roll 2007 @ Public Hall 5/19 What’s the coolest way to raise $150K for rock and roll education projects like Toddler Rock, and Rock and Roll Night School and the American Music Masters series? We’ll if you’re the Rock Hall, you rent out Cleveland’s largest ballroom, Public Hall, hang a bunch of 25-foot Gibson guitars from the immense ceiling, generously spread a bunch of dining “stations” around the floor, build a staged cocktail lounge in the middle with Tom Cruise look-alikes spinning their shakers, then fill the vast Public Hall stage with nine acts guaranteed to get your toes tapping and keep your mind reeling. To top it off, you might want to sell cheap $10 tix to the hoi polloi in the balcony so they can enjoy the show sans food & bev. If you do it right, like they did last Saturday, you have the dance floor jammed all night long, if for no other reason than the house band rocked solid, with keyboardist Paul Schaffer, Letterman and Fab Faux bassist Will Lee, and Billy Joel’s drummer Liberty DeVito among others. My personal fave: Janice-Marie Johnson, better known as Taste of Honey, who entered in a Japanese kimono, doing a wild dance with streamers and fans, only to rip off, revealing a red glitter dress while she strapped on a funky bass guitar and starting slapping and plucking it like Bootsy Collins, leading the band in her massive hit, Boogie Oogie Oogie. When she got the whole crowd to chant her URL: “Janice-Marie-Johnson-Dot-Com” to the music, I realized what a genius she really was. Bonus: Rock Hall guru Terry Stewart announced the American Music Master for 2007: Jerry Lee Lewis, the first time the Rock Hall is honoring a living legend. Don’t miss it. http://www.RockHall.com


Cool Cleveland readers write
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Send your letters to: Letters@CoolCleveland.com

On the Cool Cleveland/Brewed Fresh Daily merger (See announcement here) I hope everything’s going well for you. Your new partnership with Fresh Brewed Daily is an awesome idea – George’s blog is probably one of the best in the country and your teaming together will make for some very powerful communication as well as a lab for new ideas. Wow. Good for both you guys!
from Cool Cleveland reader Rita Kueber rpk59AThotmail.com

On the Breuer Tower (See Second Life for Breuer Tower? here) Breuer Tower should come down. The County has done a thorough analysis and it will be MUCH cheaper long term to replace Breuer Tower with a LEED certified green building. It will also be more efficient for the County’s daily work flow and for customer service. Those who argue that it would be cheaper to save Breuer Tower simply don’t know the facts. Green buildings are cheaper, often with pay back periods as short as two years. It is time to move forward, not backward in this city. Let’s go green and proceed with the Commissioner’s decision! from Cool Cleveland reader C. Beau Daane beau.daaneATgmail.com

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

1) Cool Cleveland Kids Eagles in the Cuyahoga Valley.
http://www.nps.gov/cuva

2) BrewedFreshDaily.com scans over hundreds of area feeds everyday and provides links and commentary on a range subjects—from coffee to economic development in Northeast Ohio.
www.BrewedFreshDaily.com

3) BFD Weekly Ed Morrison posts a graphic of his idea of what the Cleveland+ campaign might look like.
www.BrewedFreshDaily.com

4) Straight Outta Mansfield Killings of young, black men indicate it’s time for drastic action.
www.CoolCleveland.com

5) RoldoLink Roldo Bartimole points out that the media’s lamenting the deaths of young black men doesn’t get at the problem.
www.CoolCleveland.com

Here Comes the Sun Little darling It’s been a long cold lonely winter. Here comes the sun, du dn du du. Here comes the sun… and we say, It’s alright. Cheers to Peter Chakerian, T.L. Champion, George Nemeth, Kelly Ferjutz, Linda Eisenstein, Mansfield B. Frazier, Roldo Bartimole, Susan Schaul, Nan Frost, Roy Berko and introducing Terry Gilbert. 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: Events@CoolCleveland.com.

Download the Cool Cleveland podcast each week at http://www.CoolCleveland.com. Join the conversation at Brewed Fresh Daily here. Listen to Cool Cleveland on WCLV-FM 104.9 twice each Friday during drive time. Send your cool events to: Events@CoolCleveland.com, and your letters to: Letters@CoolCleveland.com. For your copy of the free weekly Cool Cleveland e-zine, go to http://www.CoolCleveland.com.

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Letters@CoolCleveland.com

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