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Brandon Chrostowski named CNN Hero

Local hero Brandon Chrostowski got some national recognition this week. Per CNN:

"Foodies savor the French cuisine at Edwins, an upscale restaurant that's earned a reputation as one of Cleveland's finest eateries. But this high-end establishment provides far more than a good meal. It's staffed almost entirely by people who were once incarcerated.

By day, ex-offenders learn the fundamentals of the culinary arts industry. By night, they put their skills to work."

Get the whole story here.

Local teen punches his ticket to Rio as part of 2016 Olympic team

Nine American boxers stepped into the ring on Thursday at the Americas Qualifier in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Eight were hoping to exit as United States Olympians, but only four accomplished that feat including 18-year-old Charles Conwell of Cleveland Heights, who is now officially off to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
 
"It feels wonderful," Conwell said. "It’s a dream come true."
 
Get the whole story here.

Studying fire in space - at NASA Glenn - and looking to Mars

Researchers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center are about to start a fire - on purpose.

Per NASA:

"Understanding how fire spreads in a microgravity environment is critical to the safety of astronauts who live and work in space. And while NASA has conducted studies aboard the space shuttle and International Space Station, risks to the crew have forced these experiments to be limited in size and scope.

Now a new experiment, designed, built and managed at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, will ignite an understanding of microgravity fire on a much larger scale. The Spacecraft Fire Experiment, known as Saffire, is a series of experiments to be launched on three different flights beginning (this month)."

The release continues: "As NASA continues to send astronauts to the space station and continues the path toward a human mission to Mars, improving understanding of the structure of spacecraft fires is critical. 'Saffire is all about gaining a better understanding of how fire behaves in space so NASA can develop better materials, technologies and procedures to reduce crew risk and increase space flight safety,' says Gary Ruff, Saffire project manager."

Get all the futuristic fiery details of this experiment here.
 

The best Irish watering holes in the 216

Fresh Water contributor Nikki Delamotte for Thrillist:

Call it luck, but Cleveland is rich in great Irish bars. From old-school dives to rowdy nights of live Irish music, it's where you don’t have to wear green to drink the night away. While everyone claims to be a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, all you have to do at these watering holes is pour yourself another Guinness. There may be no rolling hills in Cleveland proper, but there is plenty of beer. So hoist a pint to some of Cleveland’s best with our guide to the Irish pubs that will be more than happy to top off your whiskey.

Get her glittering green list of local Irish haunts here.

Shaker Historical Society to feature work of Leslye Arian

The Jack and Linda Lissauer Gallery at the Shaker Historical Society (SHS), 16740 South Park Blvd., will display the work of Leslye Arian via her show “Pushing Paint,” which will be on display from March 25 through May 15.
 
The opening reception will be held at SHS on April 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. Arian will be in attendance. This event is free and open to the public, but attendees are asked to make a reservation by calling 216-921-1201.
 
Arian currently serves on the Cleveland Institute of Art's alumni board and in 2015, she initiated the Pocket Park Public Art Project and the Shaker Community Gallery Project in Shaker Heights.
 
Get more details on Arian and the forthcoming show here.

Big Fun celebrates 25 years on April 1st

On Friday, April 1, Big Fun, the uber-quirky toy store at 1814 Coventry Rd., will mark its 25th anniversary. To celebrate, every item in the store will be discounted 25 percent and customers will be invited to enjoy a slice of cake.

The store will feature special giveaways, gifts and entertainment throughout the weekend, with a 15 percent discount offered on Saturday’s purchases, and a 10 percent discount offered on Sunday.

Get the whole big and fun story here.

Fund for Our Economic Future approves $3m in awards

The members of the Fund for Our Economic Future (the Fund), a philanthropic collaboration, have approved $3 million in funding to advance business development and job creation in Northeast Ohio, with the end goal of growing the regional economy so that all people benefit.

The recipients include:

Team NEO:  a one-year award of up to $650,000 to support the advancement of a shared, regional economic competitiveness strategy, business development and economic research.

BioEnterprise:  a two-year award of up to $800,000 to support its efforts to grow the bioscience cluster.

MAGNET:  a two-year award of up to $900,000 for its PRISM initiative to help mid-size manufacturers with high-growth potential innovate and prosper.

JumpStart:  a two-year award of up to $500,000 for its Scaleup Initiative to support high-growth potential companies; and a one-year award of up to $150,000 to support its startup network. 

Get all the details on this announcement here.

Mobile Growth Cleveland to host March 22 meetup

Mobile Growth, a community of mobile app developers (iOS and Android), mobile startups, and mobile marketers will host a meetup on Tuesday, March 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Speakeasy, 1948 West 25th St. This event is free and open to the public.
 
The event will feature networking opportunities and a panel including Michael Conley of the Cleveland Cavaliers; Matthew Lehman from Keybank, Brian Stein of Pervasive Path and Lauren Kluth of CLEseats. The panel will be moderated by Adam Lovallo, of Grow.co.
 
Attendees may register and get further details here.

Warren A. Sill Fund annual event to celebrate partnership with CMC and CMSD

On Saturday, April 9, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., the Warren A. Sill Fund (WASF) will host "Spring out of Hibernation," at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, 1309 Euclid Ave. Two hundred attendees are expected to celebrate the launch of the Fund’s early education program and its past scholarship recipients.Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here.
 
The WASF board of directors will unveil an innovative partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and the Children’s Museum of Cleveland (CMC) that will provide quality extra-classroom experiences to 20 underprivileged pre-kindergarten students at Euclid Park Elementary, 17914 Euclid Ave.
 
“Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Euclid Park PreK-8 School are excited that we were given the opportunity to join this incredible partnership. Through the generosity of The Warren A. Sill Fund, our PreK students will benefit greatly from hands-on, inquiry-based learning through the Children’s Museum of Cleveland,” Qianna Tidmore of CMSD’s Office of Early Childhood Education said in a release.
 
“The Fund’s greatest quality is its ability to dream – beyond the tragedy of Warren’s passing and now beyond the parameters of traditional education philanthropy,” Tyler Allchin, chair and cofounder of WASF added.

“In partnership with two tremendous institutions, the Fund has the opportunity to deliver an extraordinary return on a strategic investment in Cleveland’s PreK population,” said Allchin in the release.

Registration open for third 4 Miles 4 Water event on May 7 at Edgewater

Drink Local Drink Tap's third 4 Miles 4 Water event will be held on Saturday May 7 from 2 to 10 p.m. at the Cleveland Metroparks' Edgewater Reservation. Activities include a one-mile walk, four-mile run, free "All Things Water" festival with concert, and Guinness World Record Attempt. More than 1,500 participants are expected, including more than 500 registered runners and walkers.

Registration fees vary, but all proceeds will go to Drink Local Drink Tap's mission to preserve our fresh water resources and to have a positive impact on the global water crisis by creating more awareness and reconnecting people with the fresh water resources in their own backyards. Here are links to the participant form and the exhibitor form. There are also sponsorship opportunities.

More information is available here.

Sustainable Cleveland 2019, Great Lakes Brewery, offer up free happy hour apps, networking

Sustainable Cleveland 2019 invites everyone to be a part of "The Year of Sustainable Transportation" and get involved in some of the organization's 2016 projects on Wednesday, March 16, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Great Lakes Brewing Company, 2701 Carroll Avenue. This free public event will feature networking along with free happy hour appetizers and a cash bar.

Attendees are asked to register for the event here.

Las Vegas cocktails, Cleveland art

Last month, local artist Dana Oldfather completed her second commission for the MGM Resorts International's Aria Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The work consists of two large pieces, Reflexive 1 and 2, which measure roughly 10 ½ by 12 feet each. She completed her previous commission for the hospitality giant in 2013 when she was seven months pregnant.
 
"I'm sure glad it went well because it provided the opportunity to make the largest paintings I have every made," says Oldfather of this second commission. She finished both Reflexive pieces on February 13 then prepared them for shipping by dismantling and rolling them. The works will eventually unfurl in the resort's exclusive Sky Suites Lounge.
 
"It's been a long process," says Oldfather, "about two months of planning, building and ordering, and four months of painting. I am so thankful for my family and all the help they provided so that this project would be possible."
 
Get more details on the artist and her process here.

Cleveland is #2 - in mortgage affordability

According to online mortgage resource HSH.com, a homeowner must earn $32,523 in order to own a home in Cleveland. The only city with a lower threshold was Pittsburgh, for which the figure was $31,134. The highest must-earn income for home ownership was $147,996 for San Francisco.

From HSH.com:

"HSH.com took the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2015 fourth-quarter data for median-home prices and HSH.com’s 2015 fourth-quarter average interest rate for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages to determine how much of your salary it would take to afford the base cost of owning a home - the principal, interest, taxes and insurance - in 27 metro areas.

We used standard 28 percent "front-end" debt ratios and a 20 percent down payment subtracted from the NAR’s median-home-price data to arrive at our figures. We've incorporated available information on property taxes and homeowner’s insurance costs to more accurately reflect the income needed in a given market."

Get all the details here.

Cleveland Community Police Commission to hold "Use of Force" town hall

On Wednesday, March 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Halloran Skating Rink, 3350 West 117th St., the Cleveland Community Police Commission (CCPC) will hold a "Use of Force" town hall meeting. This event is free and open to the public.

Per the March 3 press release, "this meeting is focused on the CCPC's mandate to collect the concerns, experiences and values of the community concerning police use of force policies, training and accountability.

Attendees are invited to fill out a questionnaire available here. Contact info@clecpc.org or 216-755-4272 for more information.
 

CCPL offers Food4Fines throughout March

The Cuyahoga County Public Library invites patrons to reduce their library fines throughout the month of March by bringing in up to four of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank's "Super Six" food items, which include peanut butter, cereal and canned soup, vegetables, beef stew, and tuna. Patrons will get a $1 reduction in fines for every food item donated, up to $4 per visit, per account.
 
Cash donations will also be accepted during the entire Harvest for Hunger campaign.
 
Get all the details here.
 
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