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Our most popular stories from 2016

A zoomin' fleet of electric go-karts? The next must live neighborhood? What made the RNC such a success? We've got all that – and more.

Click here for a roundup of some of Fresh Water's most popular stories from 2016.

WSJ: 2016 is the year Cleveland got back on the map

From Joe Queenan for the Wall Street Journal:

Every year, one American city steps up to the plate for the nation’s attention. Some years it is Los Angeles, seething cauldron of glamour and elegance, other years New York, financial powerhouse and cultural leviathan. San Francisco, Boston and Chicago have all had days in the sun, as have Memphis, Tenn., (Elvis Presley), Portland, Ore., (hipsterism) and Miami (the “Miami Vice” look).

This year, it was Cleveland.

No one really saw this coming.

See all the reasons Queenan added our fair city to that venerable list here.

oWOW rings in the New Year with Rock & Roll 50

Fresh Water media partner, oWOW Radio, will ring in the new year with a jammin' look back at 2016 by counting it all down with the Cleveland Rock & Roll 50 this Monday, Jan. 2, at 2 p.m. and again at 6 p.m. The countdown will spotlight the best new rock and roll album tracks and singles that gained popularity over the last 12 months.
Artists in the 2016 lineup include The Lumineers, Dirty Vegas, Joe Bonamassa, Sturgil Simpson, Angela Perley & the Howlin’ Moons, Lissie, the Head and the Heart, the Revivalists, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and Michael Kiwanuka. A number of local performers will also pepper the 2016 Cleveland Rock & Roll 50 including Welshly Arms, Kristine Jackson, Nate Jones, and Brent Kirby and His Luck.
“It was a banner year for new music in the rock and roll genre, including new music from new artists and new music from established artists,” says John Gorman, chief content officer of oWOW.

Broadcasting from the 78th Street Studios in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, oWOW offers local listeners and those from around the globe a unique Internet radio experience with on-air personalities that bring a welcome dimension to an increasingly automated world. Also on Thursdays at around 11:20 a.m. EST, Fresh Water editor Erin O'Brien chats up Ravenna Miceli about what's new in the publication's pages.

Renner's "Primrose" on its way to Fox TV

In a forthcoming development, Working Title Television has set up three broadcast drama series projects, one of which includes an adaptation of James Renner’s book The Man From Primrose Lane at Fox.

The Man From Primrose Lane, which has a script commitment plus penalty at Fox, is a co-production with 20th TV. It is being adapted for TV by Renner, the local journalist and author, who penned a spec script.

Get the whole story here.

Tomorrow around the Metroparks: chickadees, pups and snowflakes

For those wanting to take back control of winter after the recent reminder of what ol' Jack Frost can shovel out, here are three activities to choose from around the Metroparks for tomorrow.

All events are free and open to the public. Follow the links for more information.

Chickadee Feeding Hike, Rocky River Reservation, 10 a.m.

Wild black-capped chickadees can be remarkably friendly. Join a naturalist-led walk for an attempt to lure this gentle creature to your hand. We'll supply the black oil sunflower seed.

Mill Creek Dog Walk, Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation, 10 a.m.

Take a brisk walk with your pup along scenic Mill Creek. Enjoy the flora and fauna as well as hearing a bit of the history of the area. Dogs must be leashed and waste picked up. Walkers without dogs welcome.

Sunday Drop-By: Snowflake Matching, Watershed Stewardship Center at West Creek Reservation, 1 p.m.

Stop by the Watershed Stewardship Center to celebrate this snowy season with a fun game. Bring your friends to this friendly competition while learning about snowflakes. Are snowflakes truly unique?

Memorial for Senator John Glenn to open this morning at Science Center

The Great Lakes Science Center has partnered with the NASA Glenn Research Center to establish a temporary memorial for Senator Glenn.

Members of the public wishing to leave expressions of sympathy may do so beginning Friday, Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The memorial exhibit will be in place through Sunday, December 18. (Please note the Science Center will be closed Sunday, Dec. 11 and Monday, Dec. 12.) The Glenn memorial will be placed in the Wintergarden atrium of the Science Center, which is a publicly accessible space that does not require admission.

The Science Center is located at 601 Erieside Ave. at North Coast Harbor.

Presentation this week: Icebreaker Wind - what does it take?

This Thursday, Dec. 8, from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn South Cleveland, 6001 Rockside Rd. in Independence, LEEDCo will host an open house featuring the components of the forthcoming Icebreaker Wind project, including information on the associated equipment, materials, services, and labor. The group will also give a brief presentation at 4:30 p.m. that will be repeated at 6 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
For more information and to register, please click here.

Local student's prom dress collection gets AP attention

Ashley Wilson had her eye on dresses for a birthday gift and not just one dress. Not even just one closet full of dresses. For her 18th birthday on Dec. 17, Ashley asked for dozens of dresses.

Before you conjure up Veruca Salt in full brat mode, before you think of Ashley as selfish or materialistic, know this: She'll never wear any of those dresses. She wants to give them away to girls who can't afford them.

"I thought what better way to celebrate your birthday than helping other people?" said Ashley, a senior at Villa Angela St. Joseph.

Get the rest of the story from the Associated Press here or here


A busy week for new biz loans and programs

While most Clevelanders were finally finishing off the Thanksgiving leftovers, these organizations were busy announcing loans and programs aimed at helping area small businesses, entrepreneurs and employees with good ideas.
-A unique collaborative of organizations and institutions has launched a small business lending program to help African American and minority businesses create and maintain jobs for residents and build community wealth. With a focus on bringing capital to underserved groups, the National Urban League’s Urban Empowerment Fund, Morgan Stanley, the National Development Council, the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, and Cuyahoga County have come together to offer the Capital Access Fund of Greater Cleveland (CAF).
CAF is a three-year program that provides minority business owners with access to capital offering 50 loans totaling $8 million as well as pre- and post-loan counseling to ensure the success of those small business borrowers. With a goal of creating or maintaining a minimum of 300 jobs within those three years, CAF already has completed 8 loans totaling $1.4 million helping to create or maintain 70 local jobs.
Read more here.
-Bad Girl Ventures Cleveland celebrated their fall 2016 graduation and five-year anniversary on November 30th by awarding two $15,000 loans, in partnership with the Economic Community Development Institute (ECDI), to the following women entrepreneurs: Liza Rifkin of Liza Michelle Jewelry and Angelina Rodriguez Pata of Blackbird Fly Boutique. Both are located in Ohio City.

-The MetroHealth System hosted its second Think Tank Competition on November 30. Modeled after the ABC show Shark Tank, employees submitted their ideas for a chance to win money to fund projects for the betterment of MetroHealth. Two winners were awarded a cool $150,000 each.
Their projects include one aimed at the development of a strategic approach to reduce the risks of opioid dependence and addiction for patients and the community through integrated pathways, analytics, informatics, and education. The other will create a formal team/department to administer and coordinate all of event medicine needs.

Read more here.


Sherrod Brown on the working class for the New York Times

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown for the New York Times:

As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us, all work has dignity and importance, whether done by a street sweeper, Michelangelo or Beethoven. People take pride in the things they make, in serving their communities in hospitals or schools, in making their contribution to society with a job well done.

But over the past 40 years, as people have worked harder for less pay and fewer benefits, the value of their work has eroded. When we devalue work, we threaten the pride and dignity that come from it.

Read his entire op-ed here.

Vanity Fair joins list of pubs that cannot write about Cleveland without an opening insult

From Yohana Desta for Vanity Fair:
Tom Hanks' latest role is local hero. On Dec. 2, the superstar actor (and patron saint of missing gloves) will embark on an incredibly daunting mission: to make Cleveland cool. More specifically, he wants to use his fame to help the Ohio city's film and TV industry. The actor will speak at two events sponsored by the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, according to Deadline, a nice way of giving back to the city that got him his start in the acting world.

"Incredibly daunting mission," eh?

Don't worry, Tom, we don't blame you. Now then readers, do Fresh Water a favor and read the rest of the article for us while we sigh and turn the page.

"One Night Only" film fest to focus on women

The Ohio Independent Film Festival (OIFF) returns for a One Night Only event to be held at the Bop Stop, 2920 Detroit Ave., on Friday, Nov. 11. The theme will focus on women with all films either directed by women or passing the "Bechdel Test" (in which two women must talk to each other about something other than men). The OIFF is completely programmed with films submitted directly by filmmakers.

A pre-event mixer on Nov. 10 will feature entertainment by Nate Jones. One Night Only will be hosted by Cleveland filmmaker Robert Banks and is presented by Independent Pictures.

Tickets for the Nov. 11 One Night Only event are $20. Admission to the Thursday, Nov. 10 mixer is free with donations accepted at the door. Click here to purchase tickets.

Highlights of this year's line-up include several shorts such as “Bombing” (13 min., Gloria Mercer - A comedian adjusts to taking care of her estranged daughter) and two features including "Search Engines" (1 hr 38 min.,  Russell Brown - Sanity and relationships are put to the test when mysterious circumstances force a family to survive the annual American Thanksgiving holiday without their cell phones).

Independent Pictures has been producing the Ohio Independent Film Festival since 1993. Formed by working filmmakers, the mission is to support the independent filmmaker through quality screening and exhibition events for audiences that might not otherwise have the opportunity to see the films.

One thing the Indians had the Cubs didn't

From Joel Sherman for the New York Post:

The Cubs were looking for a way to psych themselves up with their season possibly nine innings away from termination. But even facing elimination, the underdog motif fit these Cubs as well as a Mini-Me costume does Shaquille O’Neal.

Read the whole story here.

Does fat make you fat? Cleveland Clinic doc weighs in for WaPo

From the Washington Post:

The weight-loss industry has long been saturated with gimmicky, too-good-to-be-true diets, so one could be excused for thinking the main benefit of “Eat Fat, Get Thin” is to burn calories by causing particularly vigorous eye-rolling.

I mean, doesn’t eating fat, like, make you fat?

Actually, the answer is a big, fat no, at least according to Mark Hyman, director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and the man behind the “Eat Fat, Get Thin” plan.

“The misinformation that has been pushed on our population by the food industry and our government, which is that all calories are the same — that’s true in a laboratory, when you burn them,” Hyman said. “It’s not true when you eat them.”

Read the whole story from Des Bieler here.

USA Today: it's all about the Cubs and insulting Cleveland

From USA Today, Oct. 30, 2016, by Bob Nightengale:

Cubs not dead, planning return trip to Cleveland for Game 6 of World Series

The city of Cleveland has never been confused for anyone’s idea of a tourist destination, where even the natives love to poke fun at their two seasons:

Winter and construction.

Yet, despite all of the jokes over the years about their city, and those cold and long winters, there’s nowhere more a group of young men from Chicago would rather be next week than in Cleveland.

“Whoever says they want to go to Cleveland?’’ Chicago Cubs catcher Miguel Montero says. “Especially in November.

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say those words.

“But right now, there’s no place I’d rather be.’’

Fresh Water has a simple response to Misters Nightengale and Montero: Cleveland Indians: 7 runs; Chicago Cubs: 2 sour grapes.

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