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Calabrese advocates for transit funding at Statehouse

Joe Calabrese, CEO and General Manager of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) advocated for more transit funding in testimony on Feb. 16 at the Statehouse.

"RTA is the largest public transportation agency in Ohio. My employees, who reside in 16 of Ohio counties, serve approximately 50 million customers each year in Cuyahoga and several neighboring counties," said Calabrese in his address.

"Public transit in Ohio is a $900 million industry that supports many manufacturers, suppliers and jobs.

Public transit gets workers to work, students to school, connects important destinations, drives economic development and provides mobility to many Ohioans who have no other mobility option due to economic realities or disabilities."

Read his comments in their entirety here.
 

It's Time to Talk Essay on Race: Adaora Nzelibe Schmiedl

Adaora Nzelibe Schmiedl, Director of Development and Marketing for Towards Employment, responds to the question, “Why is an open and honest discussion about race important to you and your community?” in the following essay, which was one of two winners in a contest sponsored by Fresh Water and the YWCA Greater Cleveland as part of that organization's second annual It’s Time to Talk Forum on Race event.

It's Time to Talk Essay on Race: Tim Zaun

Tim Zaun, Associate Teacher Counselor for the Positive Education Program (PEP) at the PEP Prentiss Center for Autism, responds to the question, “Why is an open and honest discussion about race important to you and your community?” in the following essay, which was one of two winners in a contest sponsored by Fresh Water and the YWCA Greater Cleveland as part of that organization's second annual It’s Time to Talk Forum on Race event.

Valerie Mayen returns to Project Runway

Local fashion maven Valerie Mayen has returned to Project Runway as an All-Star. The show, which debuted Feb. 11, airs at 9 p.m. EST on Lifetime.

When asked, "What makes you All-Star material?"

The humble Mayen replied, "Honestly…I’m not sure. I feel uneasy saying that I’m an All Star. Who decides that? What’s the criteria? I’m a hard worker and I think I have some interesting ideas and I execute them well. If that makes an All  Star, then call me an All Star. It’s an honor to be one… I just hope I can live up to the name."

Read the whole Q&A here.
 

Hunger Network to raffle luxe handbag

The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland is raffling off a Chanel dark red quilted lambskin new medium Boy Bag that retails for $5,200. Tickets are $20 each, with three for $50. The winning ticket will be pulled at the group's annual "All About The Bag" fashion benefit on Feb. 25. Winner does not have to be present to win. 
 
Get all the details here.

 

These are the coolest jobs in Cleveland

Fresh Water contributor Nikki Delamotte for Thrillist:

"Admit it, you’re probably reading this while you’re bored at your desk avoiding work, listening to "Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta" on your headphones and trying not to go all Office Space on the printer. As you're waiting around for your conference call with that cranky client, scrolling through Twitter one more time, and trying to minimize the screen before your boss realizes you’re watching that cat video (again), feel free to lust after 11 of the sickest jobs in the rock and roll city."

Take her advice and get her entire list of cool CLE gigs here.

The Daily Meal names The Velvet Tango Room to list of 150 best bars in America

"Proprietor Paulius Nasvytis and the bartenders of The Velvet Tango Room are 'torchbearers of tradition.' Since 1996, the bartenders here were serving classic cocktails long before it was trendy. There are more than 80 cocktails on the menu; about 30 of them are house creations, including the India Lime Fizz (a rich, creamy, and powerful cocktail that combines gin, rum, flora India limes, vanilla, and a whole egg). The bar is housed in a space that was once a speakeasy — bullet holes can still be seen in the ceiling. The bar and back bar are made of refinished mahogany and the front room feature a baby grand piano at which music is played nightly by a three-piece jazz combo and a late-night pianist. The second room is reached by walking through a mirror in the coatroom. There's another baby grand piano there, along with a cozy fireplace, comfy leather chairs, and, further beyond, a patio where some of the bar's cocktail ingredients are grown. Both rooms have an old-fashioned black-and-white TV that shows classic movies with no sound. There are limited snacks, like speck, which is locally sourced smoked pork belly made by a German family in Cleveland."

Read the full story here.

Vibrant City Awards attract sold-out crowd, celebrate urban champions

On Tuesday, over 500 guests gathered at the Victory Center in the Health-Tech Corridor to celebrate the sold-out Vibrant City awards, hosted by Cleveland Neighborhood Progress.

CNP President Joel Ratner told the crowd, “The facts are there. Data shows that our region is gaining brains and income, our city schools are making terrific improvements, and Cleveland’s population loss is ending. We are headed into an era of exciting growth.”

City of Cleveland Community Development Director Daryl Rush was honored with the inaugural Morton L.Mandel Leadership in Community Development Award. Other recipients were:

CDC Catalytic Project/Program Award
Fairfax Renaissance Development -- Intergenerational housing

Urban Realtor Award
Keith Brown and Dave Sharkey – Progressive Urban Real Estate

Developer Award
Keith Sutton and Dave Territo, Sutton Builders

Neighborhood Branding & Marketing Award
Downtown Cleveland Alliance – You and Downtown Video

Community Collaboration Award
Gordon Square Arts District (DSCDO, NWT, CPT)

Corporate Partner Award
Third Federal Saving

Huff Po names Cleveland the # 1 beercation destination

"Cleveland has become the San Francisco of craft beer with small batch startups dominating the scene. Check out local offerings from Nano, Market Garden and Platform to make the most of your Cleveland stay."

Read the full story here.


Jetsetter names Cleveland one of 10 great new food cities

For years, the bold and the bearded poured into Portland, Ore., embracing craft spirits, farm-to-table fare and all things artisanal. Is Cleveland next? Local chefs like Michael Symon say yes, taking advantage of low rents and the Midwestern bounty like Iowa prosciutto at casually brilliant restaurants and urban breweries, including Great Lakes Brewing Company and Buckeye Brewing. At Lola Bistro, owner Michael Symon celebrates butcher cuts like calves hearts with preserved lemon. Jonathon Sawyer, whose Greenhouse Tavern is one of Symon’s favorite haunts, recently opened an opulent Italian spot called Trentina, where the bread course includes an edible beef candle (not a typo) made from aged beef tallow.

Read the full story here.

Thrillist: West Side Market is a 'definitive American destination'

There are great food markets all over America these days, but few are as ingrained in the community (it’s 100+ years old) or as representative of it (some of the same vendors have been there 60 years or more). Cleveland native Phoebe Connell explains in this quote we had to excerpt the bejesus out of because she gave us two pages of loving notes:

“The West Side Market, THE JEWEL OF CLEVELAND. This isn't a farmers market -- it’s a place where everyone's grandmother used to come to get cabbage and a roast for Sunday dinner. Think of it as being in Williamsburg before Williamsburg was fancy: still in the city, but in an actual neighborhood with working class homes."

Read the full story here.

Buzzfeed names Cleveland one of 29 cities 20somethings should move to

"It's cheap, their museum is on point, and they have excellent taste in beer." So says Buzzfeed.

Check out what other cities made the list. Read the full story here.

Travel + Leisure readers rank Cleveland one of America's best food cities

"The rust belt city offers some old-fashioned, even old-world, charms. Readers ranked it at No. 5 for its rich food halls, like West Side Market—with spices, baked goods and delis—which dates back to 1912, when it catered primarily to the city’s immigrants."

Read the full story here.

Greater Cleveland Film Commission announces 'My Blind Brother' to film in Cleveland

"The Greater Cleveland Film Commission is happy to announce that the film 'My Blind Brother,' a new comedy starring Jenny Slate, Nick Kroll and Adam Scott, will be filmed in Greater Cleveland starting in early May," the Greater Cleveland Film Commission announced this week. "The film, from writer-director Sophie Goodhart, is being produced by Tyler Davidson's Chagrin Falls-based Low Spark Films, along with Safehouse Pictures. It is also being cofinanced by Think Media Studios in Mayfield Heights."

Read more here
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