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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.

Got talent? Save the date!

America's Got Talent invites all singers, dancers, magicians, performers and purveyors of entertainment to come and show them what you've got at an open call audition on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, at the Huntington Convention Center, 300 Lakeside Ave. in downtown Cleveland.

Details on registration, creating a Performer Profile and auditioning online for the show's season 12 are available here.

“There’s no show on television that changes lives and discovers stars the way that America’s Got Talent does,” said executive producer Sam Donnelly in a statement. “Each year we continue to find new and amazing acts through our open auditions.  We’re excited to visit each of these cities to discover the best talent they have to offer.”

CPAC launches free online business course for Cleveland artist start-ups

Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) has launched a new online version of its award-winning Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute. The business-planning course provides artist professionals with business skills to enhance their creative propensity. The free, online version of the course caters to emerging artists seeking to make a living with their craft as well as offering refreshers for established artist ventures.  
The program includes videos curated from across the web, which are supplemented with tailored activities, templates and reflection questions. Content is organized in several digestible sessions encompassing everything from mission statements to accounting. Each session aims to help participants gain skills to build out their business plan without losing their artistic integrity. The course considers all creative disciplines, even as it delves into a particularly sensitive topic for artists: the art itself as a product or service.
“We’ve heard many reservations artists have around their business practices as stifling, elusive or even contradicting their creative process,” says Megan Van Voorhis, chief operating officer at CPAC and founder of the course in a statement. “The course is not teaching writers how to write better, or musicians how to sound better. It’s designed to help artists find the balance, moreover, the parallel between their business and creative processes. Ultimately we want them to flourish and thrive on their own terms.”
The course was originally conceived in 2003 as a series of cumulative workshops by CPAC and the Council of Smaller Enterprises. The in-person course continues to run via the Akron Area Arts Alliance at Summit Artspace and by the Broward County, Fla. Cultural Division.
“Helping artists sustain themselves is critical to a healthy city,” adds Valerie Schumacher, director of CPAC’s artist services. “Throughout our programming, we are seeing how contemporary arts and culture is telling the stories of today and helping us reflect on our own world. These benefits among the many others are impossible without the artists who create that work.”
CPAC officials believe providing content that artists can access at anytime, free from judgment or time obligations, as one of the primary reasons for building out the course online to supplement the in-person workshops. The course is a cumulative process and can be taken from start to finish using the numbered sessions. With this new content, artists can refresh their skills in a particular area in which they are less comfortable, or they can return to the material as they test and implement new business strategies.

Get started with the online courses here.

Thrillist: Cleveland's most underrated neighborhoods

From Billy Hallal for Thrillist:
There’s a problem with the current discourse on progress in different areas of Greater Cleveland: you can’t describe a neighborhood as “on-the-rise” when it’s already risen. Some neighborhoods and districts have been established for decades. Everyone knows about Coventry’s hippie/hipster vibe and Little Italy’s old-world charm. Some have seen their star rise rapidly in the past decade or so: your in-the-know friends have had an apartment in Ohio City or Gordon Square for years, and even your grandparents know that Tremont is the cool place for dining out.

Yet despite the renaissance of cool Cleveland neighborhoods, there are some that aren’t getting quite the press they deserve. Hang out in them now before the high-rise condos and spinning studios show up.

Now go and read which CLE locales he tags.


Woman discovers decade-old certified LeBron-James-chewed bubble gum

"Along with the gum is a notarized affidavit signed by then Akron Deputy Mayor David Lieberth who chuckled Tuesday when told the 'infamous' LeBron gum had resurfaced."

Chew on the whole story from Ohio.com here.

Lake Erie starts with me ... and you

Though daunting to consider, every action we take affects the water we drink, the water for our crops, and the water we play in. Across the entire Greater Lake Erie region, the phrase “Lake Erie Starts with Me" applies to each of us.
The West Creek Conservancy has worked to protect vital stream and wetland systems, forested areas, as well as open green spaces - all in an effort to protect the waters of Greater Lake Erie. The conservancy's goal is to protect, restore, connect and reclaim important natural areas throughout the Greater Cleveland area.
As the organization continues to raise awareness about protecting the water quality within the Lake Erie watershed, it invites you to become a Stewardship Sponsor. With each individual donation of $20 or more, you’ll receive a “Lake Erie Starts With Me!” shirt.

All proceeds benefit the West Creek Conservancy Stewardship Fund to help the organization continue its great work.
Get more information and order your shirt here.

10 things to do around town in October from free to five bucks

A no-frills cheat sheet. Click through for more information on all the events.

Let's have a great October, Cleveland!

Oct. 1 and 8: Uptown Saturday Nights, University Circle. FREE.
Oct. 2: International Cleveland Community Day, Cleveland Art Museum. FREE.
Oct. 7: Cleveland Institute of Art's Lunch on Fridays: Michela Picchi. FREE.
Oct. 8: Tour Undiscovered E. 40th Street on Lolly the Trolley. $5.
Oct. 12: Concert at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern featuring Dutch Babies, Skim the Reason and Jeremy Porter And The Tucos. FREE.
Oct. 15: Sweet Moses presents a boogie - woogie retro event featuring "The Everley Sisters." FREE.
Oct. 22 and 23: $1 Family Night, Cedar Lee Theatre. "Wallace and Gromit" The Curse of the Were-Rabbit." $1.
Oct. 23: All City Candy's 3rd Anniversary Extravaganza. FREE.
Oct. 23: MOCA: Preschool Play Date: Artsquad Plays! FREE.
Oct. 28: Carpe Diem String Quartet performs at Praxis Fiber Gallery. FREE, donations appreciated.

Flower harvest to bring lush beauty to Spice this weekend

How many fresh-cut flowers can fit in a Detroit Shoreway restaurant? Anyone opting to dine at Spice Kitchen and Bar this weekend will have a chance to find out during the popular eatery's "Flower Field Takeover" event on Friday, Sept. 30th, and Saturday, Oct. 1st, from 4 to 10 p.m.

Staff is harvesting the entire half-acre Spice Acres flower field, which is part of a 13-acre sustainable family farm in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. All of the blooms will be transported to the restaurant in order to offer up a beautiful farewell to summer while visitors explore the fresh tastes of Spice's new fall menu.

While bouquets will be available for sale, there is no additional cost to attend the event. Reservations, however, are recommended. Call 216.961.9637 or go online to reserve your table.

Register to vote on September 27!

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Cleveland VOTES will partner with local organizations to host a series of events for National Voter Registration Day 2016. The effort is part of a massive 50-state drive to register thousands of voters before Election Day, November 8. The theme for this year’s National Voter Registration Day is "Celebrating Democracy in America."
The day will be marked by an array of registration drives across the city, from a “Pop Up Cook Out” at Moulton/Scoutway Park, East 115th and Moulton Avenue from 2 to 5 p.m., to the “Pan pa’ Casa /Drive Thru Voter Registration” at Walton Elementary School, 3409 Walton Avenue, from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
In Ohio, the voter registration deadline for the November 8 election is October 11. Ohioans are encouraged to make sure their voter registration is up to date. If you have moved, changed your name or had any other changes since you last voted, you need to re-register by October 11.

Ohioans must register to vote in person or by mail. Click here for more information, or attend one of the more than 14 local registration activities on Tuesday, Sept. 27, National Voter Registration Day, at locations all over Cleveland and times to accommodate every schedule. Get the full list here.

New York Post: Cleveland amid 15 best places to live

Cleveland's myriad charms continue to get noticed. The Cleveland Clinic and the new Public Square are among the amenities the New York Post cites in this roundup, putting our burg here on the North Coast at number 15.

To the credit of the authors, this group of cities includes towns that don't often get the spotlight - try Hoboken, New Jersey; Charlottesville, Virginia and Bend, Oregon.

Click here to get the whole list.

Residents invited to play superelectric "Pinball with Police" tomorrow in Gordon Square

With the aim to build rapport between local police, residents and businesses, the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization and Superelectric Pinball Parlor will host “Pinball With Police” is tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 15 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the vintage pinball mecca, 6500 Detroit Avenue.

This community bridge-building event will feature free pinball, food and refreshments from neighborhood merchants - and an opportunity for neighborhood residents and businesses to meet with Second District Cleveland Police Officers.

For more information, contact Tom Sarago, Principal of Spruce at 216-269-9673 or tom@spruceagency.com.


Franklin Castle to be offered as part of "America's Most Haunted" mini village collection

The Bradford Exchange, purveyors of all things collectible from Thomas Kinkade to Disney, has set its latest sights right here in Cleveland - at Franklin Castle no less.

As part of its "America's Most Haunted Village Collection," the fave local landmark will be offered as Issue Two. Issue One will be the Amityville House. Structures measure 4.5 inches wide by 6.5 inches long by 5.25 inches deep.

Per the company's site: "Each sculpture illuminates and features a wealth of detailing like the ghoulish apparitions that are seen peering out from their windows. Plus, learn about the events that took place in each historic place and what is thought to haunt the space with the included printed newspaper cards."

Full information, including images of the fun and funky miniatures, is available here.

USA Today taps CLE as top city to go car free

For those wishing to ditch the wheels (along with the expensive parking, insurance and not-so-green exhaust), USA Today taps Cleveland as the nation's top place to do so.

While locals may have other opinions of our public transit, the listing cites amenities such as the RTA Redline and the new UHBikes program as boons to those who'd just as soon opt for any mode of transportation over a private vehicle.

See which cities the 216 beat out here.
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