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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.


From the Daily Beast: The myth behind the first Cleveland Indian: Louis Sockalexis

"Baseball legend recounts how [Louis Sockalexis] dazzled Cleveland fans in 1897. With the first Native American ever to play pro baseball so dominant, Ohioans started calling his team 'The Indians.' His on-field feats and Apollo-like physique had already inspired a Maine writer and rival manager Gilbert Patten, using the pseudonym Burt L. Standish, to create the mythical scholar-detective-superstar dime-novel athlete Frank Merriwell. The great sportswriter Harry Grayson would judge Sockalexis faster than Ty Cobb, stronger than Babe Ruth, and a better outfielder than Tris Speaker.
Sockalexis’s rookie year was so dramatic, with his .331 batting average, that 18 years later, in 1915, the franchise resurrected that magical moment. Calling the club “The Indians” made a name that’s now considered racist by some actually a salute to honor this hero, this Native American 'Jackie Robinson,' and his people.
Read over the simple story. Savor the legend. Imagine his greatness. Now learn the truth."
Read the whole fascinating story from Gil Troy over at The Daily Beast.

Forbes: Why Cleveland is America's hottest city right now

"Unbeknownst to most outsiders, however, Cleveland’s rebirth is happening at street level as well. This gritty, 'underdog' city is now home to six James Beard award-winning chef-inspired restaurants, a thriving bar, arts, and music scene, and biomedical and 'smart' manufacturing start-ups that are quickly luring America’s youngest and brightest away from Boston, Austin, and Silicon Valley. All of which makes every Saturday night along East Fourth Street just north of Quicken Loans arena look more like SoHo or South Beach than the 'Rust Belt' strip some would conjure up in their minds when anyone says 'Cleveland.' So just who sprinkled the fairy dust on Cleveland this year?"

Find out how Peter Lane Taylor answers that question for Forbes here.

Success rings across Cleveland, national media freaks out

As locals know, from the wins on the court and around the diamond to a nearly incident-free Republican National Convention, things are going very well here in Cleveland

The national press is predictably flummoxed.

- In this one for the Washington Post, for instance, Adam Kilgore seems to believe we're all slack-jawed and blinking doe-eyed at one another, bewildered that anything other than gray skies and doom could befall our unfortunate lot:

"People here are trying to comprehend what has happened over these past few months, how to process a delirious and wholly unfamiliar confluence."

- The incredulous question mark in this headline for Corky Siemaszko's effort for NBC was not lost on us. It's as if to say, can this really be happening? In Cleveland?

The 'Year of Cleveland'? Hard-Luck City's Sports Fans Are Losers No More

- Lastly, this headline and subhead atop this article from Jared Diamond for the Wall Street Journal has us in crisis mode:

Success Is Giving Cleveland an Identity Crisis

The city’s sports fans could experience a second major championship in one year—a 180-degree turn for a town accustomed to losing.

Now then, gentlemen, while we appreciate the concern, not to worry. We can handle it. We suggest you, however, calm down and take a powder.


"World's longest sports parade" stops in Nebraska en route to Cleveland

A cross-country caravan celebrating the city of Cleveland gathered at the intersection of 40th and -- of course -- Cleveland streets at UPCO Park in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday.
When the Cleveland Cavaliers took home an NBA title on June 19 for the first time in 52 years, Weston Wride, a Cleveland native living in Provo, Utah, thought celebration was in order. That’s when he decided to take a crew of photo, video and social media gurus on a ride in his 1992 Ford F-150 on a cross-country journey. They call their grassroots movement, “Cleveland is Calling” and the stops along the way are “Believe Rallies.”
The idea is to rally Clevelanders everywhere, alerting people to their coming using social media or word of mouth, or even a good Cleveland vibe. Lincoln was the first visit where they didn't have somebody waiting for them and organizing a welcome. So it was a bit of a whim.
“Everyone in Cleveland truly appreciates and clings on to their roots,” Wride said. “We love that people suffer and celebrate together, and there’s such a good feeling of overcoming when you come from an underdog, middle-class city.”

Get the whole story from the Lincoln Journal Star here.

Is Cleveland the best sports town in America right now?

USA Today poses the question: Does all of the local basketball and baseball success make Cleveland the best sports town in America right now? Watch Luke Kerr-Dineen and Charles Curtis break it down in a short video here.


National spotlight once again on the 216 and winning Tribe

It's much to the delight of Fresh Water staff to roundup some national coverage on the stunning Tribe pennant victory over the Toronto Blue Jays last night.

"The team hasn't won the World Series since 1948." - CNN

"Cleveland had waited so long for this." - USAToday

"Welcome to the October of Tito." ESPN

And perhaps our favorite - a headline from the New York Times: "Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Cleveland Indians: Your Thursday Briefing"

Now who saw that trio coming? Not us. Go Tribe!

County issues utility scam alert

Cuyahoga County’s Department of Consumer Affairs is issuing a new utilities scam alert after learning scammers are posing as electric company employees and calling Cuyahoga County residents, threatening them with immediate utilities shutoffs if they don’t pay.
The threat of losing power can scare people into wiring money or making a phone payment before they’ve had time to think the call through. The Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs wants you to know it’s OK to hang up on these calls. Any utility that plans to shut off your service will send you a written notice, not spring the news on you during a phone call.  Scammers have in the past used the names of First Energy, the Illuminating Company, Cleveland Public Power, Dominion East Ohio and Cleveland Water.
Consumers who receive these calls should hang up and report them to the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs at consumeraffairs.cuyahogacounty.us or by calling 216-443-7035.
How to protect yourself:
- Don’t panic. Utilities don’t make cold-calls about shut offs. They will always send written disconnection notices.

- Be skeptical of the Caller ID. Scammers may spoof their numbers.

- Know that disconnections are typically not scheduled at night or on weekends.

- Be wary if anyone asks you to pay a bill using a wire transfer, prepaid card or gift card. Those are payment methods most utilities don’t accept, but scammers like because they’re hard to trace.

- Never give account information to someone who calls you.

- If you believe you may owe, contact your utility using the number from your bill, not one provided by a caller.
Follow the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs on Facebook and Twitter to report, ask questions and stay up to date on the latest scams.

Brief online survey gauges transportation priorities for 20-year plan

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) is asking area residents to participate in a quick and easy online survey to gather information about what they think transportation in Northeast Ohio should look like over the next two decades, including priorities for commuters, cyclists and transit users. The survey will remain online until October 30.

The effort is part of NOACA’s Long-Range Transportation Plan, a 20-year framework to guide investments for all forms of transportation and the movement of freight throughout the region. The plan is slated for approval by NOACA’s board in March 2017.

“This survey will help us to inform Northeast Ohio’s transportation goals, wants and needs for the next two decades,” said Grace Gallucci, NOACA executive director in a statement. “We’ve been really thoughtful in designing a survey that encourages users to think about transportation differently,” she added. “We hope that this survey will help highlight the need to prioritize transportation wants cohesively, as a region.”

Take the survey here.
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