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County: 18 percent of home-improvement stores fail price-check sweep

About 18 percent of home-improvement stores failed a price-check sweep conducted by the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs in anticipation of the summer home-improvements season. Most of the pricing errors found by the county’s Weights and Measures inspectors favored consumers.
 
The single highest overcharge was $2.74 for a paintbrush at a Sherwin-Williams store in University Heights, while the largest undercharge was $7.59 for a safety vest at Lowe’s Rocky River store.
 
“Consumers often rely on posted prices to make buying decisions,” said Sheryl Harris, Director of the county’s Department of Consumer Affairs, in a release. “By law, the prices posted on shelves and signs must match the prices that ring up at the register. Discrepancies mean someone – the store or the customer – is losing money.”
 
The department’s Weights and Measures inspectors checked posted prices of 975 items at 27 home-improvement and paint stores against the scanned prices – the prices that ring up at the register. Five stores failed the test, meaning they had more than the allowable number of errors.
 
Although the highest dollar error – the $7.59 undercharge – was found at Lowe’s Rocky River store, that store passed the test because all the other prices checked scanned correctly.
 
Inspectors require stores to immediately correct any errors. Stores that failed will be inspected again. Stores are never given advance notice of a Weights and Measures inspection.
 
Stores that failed the test are:

--Sherwin-Williams stores in University Heights (80 percent) and Woodmere (84 percent)
--Home Depot in Cleveland Heights (94 percent)
--Ace Hardware stores in Garfield Heights (88 percent) and Westlake (92 percent).
 
Stores that passed are:
 
--Ace Hardware stores in Independence (100 percent), Middleburg Heights (100 percent), North Royalton (100 percent), and Rocky River (100 percent).
--Home Depot stores in Brooklyn (100 percent), Euclid (98 percent), Highland Heights (100 percent), Maple Heights (98 percent), North Olmsted (100 percent), Rocky River (100 percent) and Strongsville (98 percent).
--Lowe’s in Bedford Heights (100 percent), Brooklyn (100 percent), Rocky River (98 percent) and Strongsville (98 percent).
--Sears in Parma (100 percent)
--Sherwin-Williams stores in Berea (100 percent), Fairview Park (100 percent), Mayfield Heights (100 percent), North Randall (100 percent), Parma (100 percent) and Shaker Heights (100 percent).
 
Contact the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs at 216-443-7035 or visit their page if an advertised price rings up higher at the register or if a sale price isn’t reflected on your receipt.
 

Serving tea, Islam and understanding in Cleveland

Angelo Merendino of Aljazeera tells the fascinating tale of Ayman Alkayali, the man behind Algebra Tea House in Little Italy. From the feature:

In the early days of Algebra's existence, Ayman faced great opposition. "Many neighbourhood residents didn't want me to be here." There were offers to buy him out, a steady stream of inspectors scrutinised every detail of the shop's renovation, and people shouted racial slurs as they drove by. "I had my struggles and had to go through that for a tough three years in the beginning. Thankfully, there were residents who stood up for me; without them it would have been a much more difficult fight."

Read the whole story here.

Salt Lake City "wordsmith" offers up snarky Cleveland nickname

Perhaps someone ought to tell Randy Hollis of the Deseret News that the Lake Erie Monsters won the Calder Cup Championship last night and that the Cavs haven't lost the series to Golden State just yet.

Instead of recognizing any of that, Hollis wants to hand Clevelanders a tissue from his desk in (ahem) Utah. Here is an excerpt from his latest "effort."

New York City has long been called "The City That Never Sleeps."

And for the past 50-plus years, Cleveland could very well be called "The City That Always Weeps."

Not since 1964, when star running back Jim Brown led the Cleveland Browns to the National Football League championship, has that Midwestern city been able to say it's the home of a major professional sports champion.


The City That Always Weeps, eh? Very clever, Mr. Hollis.

You can read the rest of his "writing" here.
 

Funding to help tackle infant mortality

First Year Cleveland, an initiative aimed at reducing infant mortality in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, has been awarded more than $2.9 million from the Ohio Department of Medicaid.
 
The overall infant mortality rate, which includes babies who die before their first birthday, in Cuyahoga County is 8.1 out of 1,000 live births. In Cleveland it is around 13. The national rate is 5.87.
 
The state funding will support:
 
Centering Pregnancy – a unique program that provides prenatal care and birth-related information and support to pregnant women in a group setting. The number of women participating in centering pregnancy is expected to increase to 375 women. Funding: $760,000
 
Home Visiting Programs – through partnerships with MomsFirst, the Ohio Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative and other programs, first-time mothers receive valuable knowledge and support in such as prenatal care, breastfeeding, safe sleep and family planning.  Funding: $2 million
 
Local Fatherhood Initiatives – support and funding to target and teach new fathers how to care for their new babies.  Funding: $200,000
 
“First Year Cleveland is an important collaboration between the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, the philanthropic community and area health systems,” said Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley in a statement. “The infant mortality rate in Greater Cleveland is shockingly high and, therefore, demands attention by our entire community.”
 
Cuyahoga County is one of nine Ohio communities engaged through the Ohio Department of Medicaid to identify innovative projects that connect at-risk women and infants to quality health care and care management.
 

Historic Birdtown Walk & Picnic set for this Sunday

LakewoodAlive and the Lakewood Historical Society will host the inaugural Historic Birdtown Walk & Picnic on Sunday, June 12, from noon to 4 p.m. at Madison Park.
 
The celebratory event kicks off with a community picnic from noon to 2 p.m. at the pavilion near Madison Park’s George Usher Field. Food and drinks will be provided, courtesy of The Gorilla Lakewood.
 
The festivities continue with guided walking tours of the Historic Birdtown neighborhood commencing at 1 p.m. The tours will depart from the corner of Madison and Halstead Avenues every half-hour until 2:30 p.m., affording participants an enriched perspective of this proud, working-class neighborhood in eastern Lakewood.
 
Following a neighborhood tour, participants will have a chance to walk through the Templar Motors Factory display within the Lake Erie Building at the south end of Madison Park.

More details are available here.

Get innovative at free think[box] Tuesdays this month

Explore all the creative possibilities in Case Western Reserve University’s Larry Sears and Sally Zlotnick Sears think[box] this summer at “think[box] Tuesdays. The university’s innovation center, at 11201 Cedar Ave., will host free public events from  5 to 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday in June, welcoming members of the local community to check out the facility and indulge their inner maker through a variety of activities and projects.
 
Live music and food available for purchase, featuring a different local food truck each week, will be presented. Fawaky Burst, which offers healthy smoothies and wraps, will be on hand at the first event June 7. The band Surf Deer will perform.
 
Each event focuses on a different theme. The series kicks off June 7 with “Intro to Thinking Beyond the Possible,” where attendees will get the chance to use the laser cutter in Sears think[box] to make a keychain.
 
Future events include:
 
June 14: Being Fearless: Let’s Create Together
Using abstract art to help us reimagine Cleveland

June 21: Collaborative Creativity
Discover Sears think[box] through a pinhole camera

June 28: Creative Endeavors in Cleveland
Learn from creative enthusiasts from all over Cleveland
 
The events are free and open to the public. Visit the Facebook event page to RSVP.
 

First cohort of grads from Comprehensive Reentry Services program honored at Euclid Jail

Last night, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish joined Cuyahoga County Corrections to congratulate the first cohort of graduates of the Comprehensive Reentry Services program. Students have completed more than 165 hours of classroom and hands-on training over the past nine weeks. They learned baseline kitchen, safety, preparation and cooking skills and earned a three-year Servsafe Food Handler certification through the National Restaurant Association.
 
“Too often, individuals who have paid their debt to society confront many obstacles to good jobs and quality education and training”, said County Executive Budish in a statement.
 
“It's exciting to see the progress of these individuals and the culinary program”, added Ken Mills, Cuyahoga County Director of Regional Corrections.  
 
The voluntary program fosters pre- and post-release employment and job readiness for male adult individuals serving court sentences with the County jail and housed at the Euclid facility. 
 
Euclid service providers are Towards Employment, Recovery Resources and Project Learn. Services to be provided pre-release at the Euclid facility include: employment assessment, individual success plan, career exploration, job readiness skills training, ABLE/GED classes, behavioral health/substance abuse counseling services, Thinking for a Change workshops, and culinary arts training.
 
To be eligible, inmates must be convicted as an adult and imprisoned under the municipal, county, Federal, or state law but have not been convicted of a sexual offense other than prostitution; and have enough time remaining on the sentence to complete the program.
 
Post release, previous offenders will continue to receive ongoing services as well as additional supportive services to help them successfully reenter the community and find employment.
 
“Their accomplishments demonstrate the potential impact of innovative and collaborative programming,” said Mills of the graduates and program.
 
Partly funded from the U.S. Department of Labor grant; Comprehensive Reentry Services is a collaborative partnership that includes Cuyahoga County Corrections, OhioMeansJobs|Cleveland-Cuyahoga County, and Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry and Edwin’s Leadership and Institute.
 

TRANSPORT to feature Groynom, Valdivieso

On Friday, June 10, from 7:30 – 10 p.m., the Wine Spot, 2271 Lee Road, will host the opening of TRANSPORT. Fresh Water contributor and nationally recognized photographer Rebecca Groynom will present her photography alongside artist Rafael Valdiviseo's work. Additionally, New Zealand born, artist and musician Brent Gemmill will exhibit his interactive media.
 
The opening event will feature an eclectic fusion harp performance by Stephan Haluska. TRANSPORT will be on display through Sept. 2.

For more information, visit the respective pages of Groynom and Valdivieso.

Capitol Theatre to screen doc highlighting rights for intelligent primates: "Unlocking the Cage"

In the wake of the controversial and deeply troubling story of Harambe, the rare silverback gorilla that was killed after a 4-year-old boy fell into the moat surrounding his environment at the Cincinnati Zoo, the Cleveland Cinemas yesterday announced the screening of a film that highlights primates in captivity and animal rights.
 
From July 1 -7, the Capitol Theatre, 1390 W. 65th St., will present Unlocking the Cage, which tells the story of Steven Wise, an activist lawyer who brings a unique animal rights case to court. His goal is to get legal personhood granted for a chimpanzee in order to get the animal released from terrible conditions. The documentary aims to make the viewer re-examine how humans treat intelligent animals.
 
The screening is part of the theatre's Capitol Selects program, which will feature limited one-week engagements that will include a mix of documentaries, foreign films and classic movies on a dedicated screen.  The program begins June 3 and extends though July. In addition to Unlocking the Cage, the 17 associated movies include Viva, Suspicion and Tickled.
 

Trump to make big play in Browns' or Indians' territory?

"Donald Trump's campaign is considering booking one of Cleveland's big sports venues for his acceptance speech in July, two GOP sources familiar with the planning of the upcoming GOP convention say.
 
The sources said First Energy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns, and Progressive Field, home of the city's Indians baseball team, are the two sites under consideration for Trump's acceptance speech on the final night of the convention."

Get the whole story from CNN.

Legal firearms not on list of prohibited items in RNC 'event zone'

Earlier this week, the City of Cleveland released a document outlining any number of items that will be banned within the "event zone" during the RNC. They include but are not limited to: light bulbs, containers of bodily fluids, grappling hooks, sledgehammers, canned goods, tennis balls and "any dangerous ordinance, weapon, or firearm that is prohibited by the laws of the State of Ohio."

Legal firearms are not on the list.

While Fresh Water was unable to locate a map of the event zone on the City's pages, Cleveland.com posted an image. Furthermore, the following description ran in the Plain Dealer:

"The boundaries of the event zone will be from West 25th Street on the west, to the Inner Belt on the east, and the corridor between Orange Avenue and 22nd Street on the south."

The rules for the "event zone" are not necessarily the same as those for the "secure zone," which "means the area or areas in the Event Zone to which access is restricted by the United States Secret Service or the Department of Public Safety," per the city's press release.

City officials, however, continue to assert that they are prepared.

"Despite rumors," said yet another May 27 release, "the Division of Police is prepared and is on track with its planning goals. No outside agencies have expressed preparedness concerns directly to the Division of Police or to the City of Cleveland. Requests for staffing have been sent to hundreds of agencies and multiple agreements have been signed and are continuing to be signed."

Complied by Erin O'Brien

Sherwin Williams pitches in to spruce up iconic Coast Guard Station

Earlier this week, approximately 30 volunteers from Sherwin-Williams donated their time to help beautify the historic Art Moderne-style Coast Guard Station at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Cleveland Metroparks is overseeing the exterior restoration of the structure, which was built in 1940. The station was staffed for 36 years by the Coast Guard, which moved out in 1976. The Coast Guard Station will ultimately operate as an extension of Wendy Park.
 
"We are thrilled to be working to restore this structure, which for so long has been an architecturally important part of Cleveland's lakefront," said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman in a statement.
 
"Sherwin-Williams is always looking for opportunities to give back to our communities where we do business," added Sherwin-Williams Cleveland district manager Taylor Haley. "The team is happy to provide plenty of elbow grease and product to help restore one of our city's special landmarks," she said, adding that the work includes a 65- by 12.4-foot roof stencil saluting Cleveland.
 
Part of the first phase of the restoration efforts will include the restoration and installation of historically accurate windows. The aim is to have all exterior restoration work completed in time for the Park District's centennial in 2017.
 
This week's effort represents a donation from Sherwin-Williams of more than $60,000 including labor and 250 gallons of paint. The project is also one appropriate way to celebrate the company's 150th anniversary.
 
Partners in the restoration project include: Sherwin-Williams, the Burning River Foundation, PNC Bank, the Cleveland Foundation, Oswald CompaniesRitenour Decorators, Inc., and the City of Cleveland.

CAC accepting applications for cultural project grants up to $35,000

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) encourages 501c3 nonprofit organizations offering arts and cultural programs in Cuyahoga County to apply for funding in 2017 through its Project Support grant program for efforts both large and small. Project Support I offers grants up to $35,000. Project Support II includes grants up to $5,000.
 
An eligibility check, the first step in the application process, is due Thursday, June 30, by 4:30 p.m. Eligible organizations may then submit grant applications, which are due Thursday, August 18, by 4:30 p.m.
 
“Our Project Support grant program is one of the many ways in which Cuyahoga Arts & Culture delivers on its promise to support vibrant arts and culture offerings with public dollars,” said CAC's executive director and CEO, Karen Gahl-Mills, in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to support projects that connect Cuyahoga County residents with arts and culture in 2017 and encourage organizations to apply now.”
 
Since 2007, CAC has invested $140 million in more than 300 arts and culture organizations in the county. Efforts supported in 2016 include Ingenuity, the Coventry Village Summer Series and 2016 Shakespeare in the Parks.
 
Complete application information is available here.
 

Registration open for 2016 Greater Buckeye Fresh Camp

Greater Buckeye Fresh Camp is a free event for kids ages 11 to 18 who live in the Buckeye, Larchmere, Shaker Square, Woodland Hills, or Mt. Pleasant neighborhoods. Students will learn beat making, lyric writing, recording, and performance while creating original community-focused songs. Camp is held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, June 13 – 24 at East End Neighborhood House 2749 Woodhill Rd. Lunch is provided.
 
Fresh Camp aims to cultivate voice, leadership and health through hip-hop-in-action projects. Register here by June 7 to secure a spot.
 
To learn more about or register for other future freshcamp programs in the city, click here.


House of Wills to let for RNC?

Per fusion.net:

"If you plan to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this July, and were hoping to rent a cheap place on Airbnb, your options are limited. The cheapest, at $200 per night, is the House of Wills funeral home; it sleeps 16 and comes with its own embalming room and crematorium. If that’s not your jam, we hope your pockets are deep: on Airbnb, the average price of listings the week of July 18 is more than $1,000/night, with some nightly prices climbing up to $10,000."

Get the whole story here.

Photo by Christopher Busta-Peck
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