Updated: 22 min 28 sec ago
Detroit-based writer Matthew Lewis travels to Cleveland to check out the RTA HealthLine, one of the premier BRT systems in the nation. As his city debates its public transportation future, leaders can look to Cleveland as a beacon of hope, a place that has embraced transit and is now enjoying the benefits of its investments.
Craig Lewis, Andrew Schad and CJ Valle, CWRU and Cleveland Institute of Art students and founders of Sprav Water, won the 2014 Ohio Clean Energy Challenge at Cleveland State last week for their wireless water meter. Sprav won $10,000 and will advance to the regional competition in Chicago in April, where they will compete for the $100,000 grand prize and a place in the Department of Energy’s National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition in Washington, D.C. this summer. Although Lewis says the competition was “fairly stressful,” it was a good opportunity to showcase Sprav. “I think it means a lot because we’re entering a beta phase where we’re going to start testing it,” he says. “And the cash prize helps.” The Sprav meter helps users conserve water in the shower by measuring water temperature and usage and relaying that data to a smartphone or tablet. NorTech director of Cluster Acceleration Rick Earles served as Sprav’s mentor during the competition. “He was really helpful and added a lot of value,” says Lewis. “He gave us access to contacts at manufacturers in Northeast Ohio, which will be very valuable moving forward.” In fact, Sprav is now a part of NorTech’s Speed to Market Accelerator. “It’s a lot of fun working with promising startups like Sprav Water,” Earles says. “These guys are so passionate about what they do. They have created a beautifully designed product and really understand what it takes to get it to market.” Sprav just signed contracts with CWRU and Baldwin Wallace to test the meters in 60 of the universities’ showers. “We want to see how people’s behavior changes when they have real-time feedback with our device,” says Lewis. Eight other teams from around the state competed in the Clean Energy Challenge, five from CWRU, and one each from University of Cincinnati, Wright State University and Ohio University. Sources: Craig Lewis, Rick Earles Writer: Karin Connelly
In advance of the Cleveland Orchestra's upcoming performance in Austin, Texas, the Austin Chronicle published a sort of behind-the-scenes peek at the logistic of travel. "The Cleveland Orchestra is known around the world for its rich sound, but some of the most important members of the organization don't play an instrument and are never seen or heard by the audience: They're with Operations, the team responsible for all of the behind-the-scenes planning for the orchestra," writes Natalie Zeldin. That work falls on the lap of Julie Kim, director of operations of the Cleveland Orchestra, whose job it is to oversee transportation, hotel bookings, meals… "But that's only the easy half. There's a second whole itinerary for the cargo: the assortment of precious cellos, basses, harps, gongs, and even all of the tuxedos that need to be transported for the performances." "The goal," Kim is quoted as saying, "is always to make sure the cargo and people get there before the concert!" "So when you hear the Cleveland Orchestra play -- and you should -- don't forget to clap for the people you don't see, too." Read the rest of the article here.
Tremont West Development Corporation is pushing a plan to reconfigure W. 14th Street, which for decades has been a busy thoroughfare for residents and commuters, into a more pedestrian- and bike-friendly street that will spur business growth. Under the proposal, the current configuration of two lanes in each direction (plus parking in some places) would be reconfigured to one lane in each direction plus a turning lane. This would create a dedicated parking lane and bike lane. According to Cory Riordan, Executive Director of Tremont West, the proposal was warmly received by residents and stakeholders at a recent community forum. The next steps are to further refine the plan, respond to feedback and seek funding. Riordan wants to see the project done before the I-90 ramp reopens in 2016. "Now's the time," he says. "There's an opportunity to reconfigure the street prior to the opening, have traffic calming measures in place and create a new experience." W. 14th is an uncharacteristically wide street for Tremont. Additionally, it serves as a gateway to the community, yet the majority of businesses are located along Professor Avenue or other side streets. Finally, the street can be both confusing for drivers and hazardous for pedestrians. Riordan believes there's a win-win-win opportunity for drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and businesses. "We have a crosswalk at St. Augustine Church, but when people drive 50 miles per hour down the road, it's not a very safe crosswalk," he quips. "The bike community has expressed how dangerous they feel W. 14th is." Depending on the final plan and available funding, there might be opportunities for streetscape enhancements including public art, decorative crosswalks, curb bump-outs and reconfiguration of the Steelyard Commons roundabout. The good news is that Tremont has seen a transformation of W. 14th Street in recent years from a place considered hard to do business in to a sought-after location. As Professor Avenue storefronts have filled up, W. 14th storefronts have become more valuable. Riordan believes that's a sign of things to come and sees the potential for even more commercial growth along that street. Source: Cory Riordan Writer: Lee Chilcote
Larchmere Boulevard might just be Cleveland’s best-kept secret. This classic commercial strip has never earned the attention of Coventry, W. 25th Street or East 4th Street, but it offers one of the best examples of a “complete” neighborhood in the region, chock full of retail and residential within a walkable, transit-friendly neighborhood.
As more field service employees rely on their mobile devices for scheduling and to check in with the office, TOA Technologies is keeping up with increased demand. The provider of field service management software experienced record growth in 2013 thanks to the launch of its ETA direct software, landing global telecom company Telefonica as a new customer, and securing a partnership and $66 million investment from Technology Crossover Ventures. “It’s just a reflection of an ongoing need for people to have scheduling solutions and support,” says John Opdycke, TOA’s vice president of worldwide marketing. “Our goals were not just about revenue growth. We entered new vertical markets and new geographies. We’ve increased our breadth and expansion of our presence throughout the world.” TOA entered five new countries last year: Finland, Argentina, Chile, Sweden and the Philippines. It experienced 50 percent growth over 2012 in new deals. And had 30 percent staff growth, which translates to 68 employees in the Cleveland headquarters and 514 worldwide. Over the past three years TOA has grown its global team by 71 percent and its Cleveland team by 127 percent. “You always go into any year budgeting for a year of growth and, yes, we went into last year knowing we were on track to increase business,” says Opdycke. “And we met all of our goals. But if someone had asked me, ‘Will you increase business by 50 percent?’ I would have said, ‘No, that’s a dramatic increase.’” The Telefonica deal was the largest service deal in the history of the mobile workforce management software industry. TOA is in the process of expanding its Cleveland offices, with plans to more than double its size to accommodate its growth. Every TOA employee around the world comes to Cleveland for training. Opdycke says he expects 2014 to be an equally successful year. “We continue to push forward and we really feel we’re on the right path,” he says. “ Source: John Opdycke Writer: Karin Connelly
Antiques & Fine Art magazine writes that "The Cleveland Museum of Art announced that it has received a $10 million gift from an anonymous donor to further strengthen the institution's mission and core principles, which focus on scholarships, artistic excellence and community engagement. Thanks to the donation, the museum has established two endowments -- one to support community engagement activities and another for interpretation of its permanent collection." Fred Bidwell, interim director, was quoted as saying, "This incredibly generous gift really touches upon the fundamental initiatives of the Cleveland Museum of Art." Check out the entire article here.
Brian Cook, a real estate developer who lives in Shaker Heights, has always had a passion for Doan Brook. It's a little slice of wilderness that cuts through the otherwise urban environments of Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights and Cleveland, and nowhere is that respite from the concrete world more apparent than on the western part of North Park Boulevard. Here, the brook cascades down the hill from the Heights, while informal pathways allow residents and visitors to take a stroll and escape into nature. One day, Cook was hiking with his son, talking about big dreams and plans. They stopped by the falls to take a rest and enjoy the view. Wouldn't it be neat, Cook wondered aloud, if they could somehow rebuild the historic footbridge that once spanned the gorge, linking the three cities of Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights and Cleveland? That was Father's Day of last year, but Cook didn't focus on that dream until his son approached him two weeks later. "He says, 'How is that bridge coming, Dad?'" Cook recounts with a laugh. "I said, 'Oh, I’m actually going to have to do this.'" Since then, Cook has talked with officials from all three cities, met with nonprofit leaders such as Victoria Mills of the Doan Brook Watershed Partners, and begun to recruit a committee of a dozen or so volunteers. The next step is to develop a conceptual proposal for the new footbridge, including an estimated budget, and begin the process of seeking funding, partnerships and approvals. "Everyone we've talked to is very interested," says Cook. "This is a legacy project." The original bridge was torn down in the late 1950s or early 1960s after it fell into disrepair. The footers are still in Doan Brook, causing occasional problems when it floods. Cook's proposal is not to build on the existing footers or recreate the original; rather, he wants to find a cost-effective means of spanning the gorge to allow cyclists and walkers to easily travel between North Park and Fairhill. "People from Cleveland Heights tell me they'd go to Shaker Square more often if there was an easier way to get there," he says, citing the fact that Coventry is the nearest cut-through street. "There are many ways this would benefit the area." The footbridge also would create a recreational amenity for walkers, runners and cyclists, and offer a picturesque point for photos. Cook had his holiday photo taken here, and many people couldn't believe the falls were in Cleveland. The bridge also could offer opportunities for environmental education, and history markers could educate visitors about the legacy of the Doan Brook. Cost estimates are not yet available, but an earlier proposal developed as part of the Lakes-to-Lake Trail study suggested that a new footbridge could cost $1.5 million. Cook is hosting the first meeting of the footbridge committee this week, and hopes to use the meeting as a springboard to further develop the proposal. If you're interested in getting involved, email Brian Cook here. Source: Brian Cook Writer: Lee Chilcote
Phoenix Coffee, a popular independent brand known for advancing coffee culture in Northeast Ohio over the past few decades, is opening a cafe in Ohio City. The new Phoenix will be housed at 3000 Bridge Avenue, in the former West Side Community House, which is being renovated into 21 apartments. Coffee Director Christopher Feran says the location appealed to Phoenix because of the vibrancy of Ohio City, the area's artisan food culture and the developers' vision for the property. Ohio City resident Damon Taseff and Bluewater Capital Partners are renovating the building into a showcase of bike-friendly living. "We've been pretty involved in the bike community, and it's in our mission to promote sustainability and sustainable causes," says Feran. Additionally, the firm's owners liked the idea of having a coffee shop that is nestled within a community, slightly off the main commercial district on W. 25th Street. The 1,000-square-foot shop, which Feran hopes will open this summer, will have about 35 seats and a dedicated patio. The entrance will be located on Bridge, and bike and car parking will be available in an adjacent lot and on the street. The cafe will focus on artisan coffee and tea and offer pastries from Bonbon Cafe. Although details are still being worked out, Feran says the new Phoenix will have its own distinct feel. "We’ve intentionally made it so that each one of our cafes has a little bit of a different vibe. It will have a warmer, more inviting atmosphere. We've created a concept that's pretty special, that will transport people out of their daily lives, into a space that makes them feel more present in the moment." Feran is especially excited about the momentum that's building behind Cleveland's coffee culture. "We’ve been trying to build coffee culture in Cleveland for a long time," he says. "It's starting to feel like it’s alive, like it’s here. There are whispers in the industry that Cleveland is an up and coming town for coffee. We're excited to show that you can have two roasters within a mile and thrive." The other Ohio City roaster that Feran is referring to is Rising Star, which recently announced plans to open an east side location in Little Italy. Source: Christopher Feran Writer: Lee Chilcote
Fresh Water Cleveland is one of 22 publications run by Issue Media Group. Week in and week out, our sister sites cover all the latest news in urban innovation and development. This is the first in a new monthly series that will aggregate top news stories from around our network and profile "What’s Next" for cities.
Anthony Trzaska was born and raised in Slavic Village, where his family owns Fortuna Funeral Home. He left Cleveland to go to college, then returned home and settled in Lakewood. Exploring the city as a young twentysomething, he became actively involved in efforts to improve Slavic Village. He watched as areas like Ohio City boomed with new development, and yet his beloved neighborhood continued to slide downhill. "Every year, it was a much different neighborhood," says Trzaska, describing the foreclosure epidemic that devastated the streets where he'd once played as a kid. "I graduated from law school in the worst economy since the Great Recession, and that was layered on top of what was happening with the neighborhood." Today, Trzaska is a business attorney who has reinvested in Slavic Village. He serves on the board of the Slovenian National Home (The Nash) and purchased a building on Fleet Avenue that he plans to fix up for a new commercial tenant. He doesn't believe that Slavic Village needs to be Ohio City, but rather, "the new wave of the Old World," where the past is respected yet change is embraced. "I look at what's happening with the regentrification of historic neighborhoods, and I think that makes what I'm doing more probable and even likely," he says. Trzaska's efforts to open up the Nash to more people and make it a joint that welcomes everybody from hipsters to longtime regulars recently was detailed in Scene. The Nash's Facebook "likes" jumped by 42 percent thanks to that article, Trzaska says. He's expecting a good crowd at Friday's Open Bowl, where $10 buys you shoe rental and all-you-can-bowl for three hours. There's a cash bar, good tunes and Lebowski on the television. Trzaska himself has introduced Nash Nosh, updated versions of classic Slovenian food like stuffed and fried pierogis. Trzaska also is heavily involved in revitalizing Fleet Avenue, which he views as one of Slavic Village's best shots at renewal. The city soon will spend about $8 million to transform Fleet into its first complete-and-green street, including bike infrastructure and green infrastructure, and there's already been some new investment in the area, he says, in the form of properties changing hands. Fleet Avenue already is home to classic ethnic delis like Seven Roses and butcher shops like Krusinski's. Trzaska sees an opportunity to add newer businesses to the mix, including an updated, younger version of the butcher shop. His building at 5014-16 Fleet Avenue will house the construction crew during the streetscape rebuilding. Once it's been completed, Trzaska will bring in a new tenant. While there are many challenges to redeveloping Fleet Avenue, including convincing existing owners that change is needed, Trzaska sees the area as one with potential. With projects like Slavic Village Recovery underway, he believes that he can leverage neighborhood activity to achieve a new vision for the area. Source: Anthony Trzaska Writer: Lee Chilcote
Writing for Trib Total Media, Mark Kanny takes his Western PA readers on a winter-themed road trip to Cleveland. "Perhaps the only way Pittsburgh doesn't mind being beaten by Cleveland is in annual snowfall," he writes. "Located on Lake Erie, Cleveland always wins that contest because of lake-effect precipitation." "Taking challenge as opportunity, Cleveland Metroparks offers many winter activities, including tobogganing. In addition, there's a free skating rink in University Circle and the local Boston Mills/Brandywine ski resort just south of the city." Also highlighted are the Rock Hall, Cleveland Museum of Art and Severance Hall. Check out all his great wintertime suggestions here.
The 2014 Gay Games kick off August 9th with an expected 8,000 to 10,000 participants competing in some 40 sports. The comprehensive event will serve as the latest memo to the world that Cleveland is a sought-after host for large-scale events that add millions to the local economy.
With the loss of the United Airlines hub in Cleveland, LeanDog Software owner Jon Stahl say's he's discovered a way perhaps to cut down on the size of his team while traveling to visit clients. It's a robot named Gilligan -- made by Double Robotics – that roams about the LeanDog boat, checking in with team members on a project. The investment might be one solution to reduce air travel for businesses that go to customers or bring customers to their offices. Stahl got Gilligan in January to cut down on the number of team members he needs when traveling to call on customers. “Instead of taking a large team to customer sites, we can send less people and then drive the robot around the boat and talk to anyone we need to,” Stahl explains. “I don’t need to have as many people travel with me just in case I need them in a meeting.” Gilligan also helps Stahl stay in touch with his staff when he’s on the road for long stretches of time. “I can also use the robot to look at our visual management walls, attend our daily standup meetings, and just make an appearance,” he says. “We have been on the road for three weeks straight, and it’s nice to pop in when we can.” Stahl finds the robot to be a more flexible alternative to video conferencing, which requires scheduling a time for the meeting. “With Gilligan, we can wake him up and drive him around the boat and talk to someone at any time,” he explains. “Soon, we can even drive it to the recharging docking bay. We tried to use Skype phones in the past and gave them to our customers – we bought 20 of them, but you need someone to answer the phone, so that solution didn’t work so well." The only disadvantage to Gilligan is that he can’t climb stairs; he has wheels for legs. LeanDog has a client in San Francisco who also is trying out the robot. Together, the two companies are experimenting with their robots to see if they might replace, or reduce, travel and improve communication. Source: Jon Stahl Writer: Karin Connelly
Since 2001, Cleveland Public Theatre's Big Box program has been fostering original work by independent Northeast Ohio artists by providing access to CPT's resources. Next up for the program is "La Femme," which runs in the James Levin Theatre this weekend. Here's slideshow preview.
In a feature titled, "Getting a Market Buzz in Cleveland," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Diana Nelson Jones compares the West Side Market to her city's eclectic Strip District, as that city plots a course for a grand future marketplace of its own. "Except for the selection of dried beans at Urban Herbs, the West Side Market in Cleveland doesn’t sell anything you can’t find in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. What they have that we don’t have is a grand work of marketplace architecture," she writes. She adds that "the trip prompted many thoughts about what we have and don’t have and led to a rumination on the potential of the Pittsburgh Public Market and the Terminal Building on Smallman Street to be long-term additions to the scene." "As I toured the West Side Market, I caught myself oohing and aahing, wondering why at first and then realizing why -- the intensity of consolidation. It is Wholey’s, Penn Mac, Stamolis, Parma Sausage, Sam Bok, Stan’s, Labad’s, La Prima and every farmers’ market all together in one big teeming, gleaming -- and at times overwhelming -- place." "But the certainty I came away with from Cleveland was that a great city needs a great indoor market scene and any city that still has its old-world market house is blessed, lucky, farsighted or all three." Read the rest of the story here.
Here’s what Fresh Water found in the latest Cleveland hiring news: OnShift, a developer of staff scheduling software for the healthcare industry, is looking for a couple of quick-minded people to help in its rapid growth. The company needs a mid-level UX/UI designer with two years of software and user experience design to work on development of new mobile and tablet interfaces. The enterprise software salesperson will travel 50-70 percent of the time, selling software to assisted living facilities, home health care agencies and retirement communities. For more information, go to OnShift’s careers page. RegulatorydeBinder, which makes document management software for clinical trials, is looking a self-starter to fill a sales rep position, selling software-as-a-service products to the academic medical world. There’s room for advancement, and the territory in unlimited. To apply, contact Meera Juneja.. LineStream Technologies, which develops embedded control software, is looking for five engineers in a variety of disciplines. For more information about the openings, go to LineStream’s careers page. Send resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the company, contact Mehves Tangum Embrace Pet Insurance, a Beachood-based online provider of comprehensive pet insurance, is in need of an ASP.net developer to improve customer experience and make the company more efficient. Embrace is also looking for an online demand generation manager to attract and convert pet owners to online pet insurance. Contact Alex Krooglik to apply. Policy Matters Ohio, a think tank dedicated to creating a more vibrant, equitable, sustainable and inclusive Ohio, needs a development manager to carry out a fundraising plan, build a donor program, manage grants, and help the executive director increase revenue. See more here. Have hiring news? Email Fresh Water Cleveland and send us the information or careers links! Writer: Karin Connelly
Bialosky and Partners Architects, a design firm in Shaker Square known for its design, historic rehab and new construction projects, recently promoted five of its younger employees to senior level positions. “This particularly young set, all under 40, join the senior leadership at Bialosky and Partners with a high energy, high motivation approach to how we design and how we do business,” says Jack Bialosky, Jr. “We take pride in growing our own. By empowering hard-working and self-confident individuals early in their careers, they end up gaining experience beyond their years.” David W. Craun was promoted to principal and continues to be one of the firm’s key design leads. Brandon Garrett was named associate principal. Both Craun and Garrett were key players in the development of Crocker Park. Paul Taylor was named associate principal. Craun and Taylor started their careers at the firm as interns. Taylor has played instrumental roles in projects such as the award-winning designs for Tri-C’s Hospitality Management Center. Ryan Parsons was named senior associate. Parsons currently leads the team in the adaptive reuse restoration of the Schofield Building at E. 9th Street and Euclid Avenue. John Guzik was named senior associate in addition to his role as the firm’s director of sustainability. “These young and empowered leaders are continuing the virtuous cycle of attracting new talent to the firm,” says Bialosky. “By knowing the skill set and mindset it takes to succeed early in their careers, these newly promoted leaders can effectively seek out compatible hard-working individuals who will stay will one day become principals themselves.” Bialosky and Partners won numerous design awards and national recognition last year for its projects and designs. Source: Jack Bialosky, Jr. Writer: Karin Connelly
Michele Hunt, who attended the 5th annual Summit of Sustainable Cleveland 2019, is tracking the progress of this bold 10-year initiative, which began in 2009. In a feature for Huffington Post titled "Sustainable Cleveland 2019: A Community of DreamMakers Creating a 'A Thriving Green City on a Blue Lake,'" she offers a comprehensive look at the halfway point. "The people of Cleveland are mobilizing around a compelling vision to transform their communities into a flourishing city. They have the courage to dream a magnanimous vision for their city in the face of tremendous challenges," she writes. "At the Summit, I was surprised to see hundreds of people from diverse sectors of Greater Cleveland working together. They came from the local neighborhoods, businesses, government, education, nonprofits, as well as advocacy groups from the sustainability community. They were highly engaged, enthusiastic and clearly committed to transforming their vision into reality." These are not merely dreams, she adds, five years into their journey Clevelanders are delivering on their vision. Their results are impressive: • Last year the 50-member Climate Action Advisory Committee, published the Cleveland Climate Action Plan, which has six focus areas, and 33 actions Clevelanders can take to strengthen the economy, clean up the environment and improve health and wellness. • There has been a 50 percent increase in recycling since 2006. • LEEDCO (Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation) is building the first offshore freshwater wind project in North America in Cleveland. • Over 200 community gardens and local food initiatives have grown up around the city. • Cleveland is transforming abandoned buildings and vacant lands into green spaces, local parks, urban gardens, as well as restoring homes. Read the rest of the green news here.