Updated: 1 week 6 days ago
For the second year in a row, the American Association of Port Authorities honored the Port of Cleveland with its Environmental Impact Award, this year for its Cleveland Harbor and Cuyahoga River clean-up. “The Cuyahoga River is cleaner and more beautiful after the first full season of operation for the sister work barges Flotsam and Jetsam,” wrote the AAPA. “They were designed and put into service to restore and protect the environmental quality of the Cleveland waterways, to improve the aesthetic condition of the waterways and improve overall safety for industry and recreational users of the waterways.” In 2013 alone, the boats have removed more than 133 million pounds of floating debris from the water, including everything from tree trunks to plastic bottles. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy alone the twin boats cleaned up more than 40,000 pounds of floating debris. Will Friedman, President & CEO of the Port of Cleveland, said that Flotsam and Jetsam are just one example of the Port’s commitment to improving the environment, which is part of the Port’s strategic focus on developing civic assets and leading critical initiatives for river renewal and infrastructure improvements. “Clean, attractive, and inviting waterfronts help position our region for the new economy, serving as an economic engine and center of gravity that draws in people who value the water’s natural beauty and allure,” Friedman said. “We at the Port believe that our region’s future is tied to thriving waterfronts, which are directly related to the cleanliness and environmental health of our lake and river.”
The latest video in the "Downtown is Moving" series by Downtown Cleveland Alliance is, as they say, blowing up on the web. The artfully directed and produced short film by Cleveland-based Fusion Filmworks already has been viewed approximately 40,000 times in under a week. That's more than previous DCA videos have been viewed in one or two years, given the film. Give it a look-see right below.
Abeona Therapeutics, a small biotech startup company that develops therapies for lysomal storage diseases, earned the Global Gene’s Champion of Hope award, along with its partners, for its work in developing therapies for children with Sanfilippo Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. Abeona, founded earlier this year in Cleveland as a spinoff of Columbus-based Nationwide Children’s Hospital, is developing two products that came out of research at Nationwide. ABX-A and ABX-B have the potential to cure Sanfilippo Syndrome. Children with Sanfilippo are missing an essential enzyme for normal cellular function, causing toxins in their brains and bodies to cause severe disabilities. Symptoms often appear in the first year of life, causing progressive muscular and cognitive decline, and the disease is usually fatal by the early teens. Current studies show that a single dose of Abeona’s treatments prompted cells to produce the missing enzymes and help repair the damage. “What’s unique about this drug is that it’s a collaboration between Abeona, the hospital and eight international foundations to find a treatment for Sanfilippo Syndrome,” says Abeona president and CEO Tim Miller. Abeona’s products are a result of 10 years of research done by Nationwide’s Haiyan Fu. Abeona is currently raising money to conduct phase I and II clinical trials in 2014. “One of the things that drew me to this company is the pre-clinical data for these drugs,” says Miller. “The life span is improved. If this transfers over to the kids I’ll be very excited.” While there are no approved treatments for Sanfilippo Syndrome yet, Miller says a number of companies are working on therapies. Source: Tim Miller Writer: Karin Connelly
Brittany Gonzalez and Alicia Candelario started La Banana Frita on a dare from friend and comedian Ramon Rivas. He was having a show at the Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights last May and he wanted his guests to have food. The childhood friends accepted Rivas’ dare and began selling fried plantains, or tostones, at the show. “We’re by no means chefs,” says Gonzalez. “We just make them like our grandmothers and mothers made them.” The pair has fond memories of growing up as neighbors in South Lorain and smelling the plantains cooking. They enjoy sharing their heritage with Clevelanders. “We really like watching people try them,” says Candelario. “Right off the bat they really enjoy them, even younger people and children.” The two have been hitting the Cleveland Flea, some comedy shows and even picked up a few catering jobs. “We’ve just kind of been bopping around town, trying to get out there,” adds Gonzalez. La Banana Frita’s plantains come with some unique toppings. “The people of Cleveland love pulled pork,” says Gonzales. “That, coupled with spicy no-mayo coleslaw and a drizzle of Sriracha. Wow. We sell out every time.” But it seems like whatever Gonzalez and Candelario put on top of the crispy fried plantains, they’re a hit. “Recently, our plantains with smoked salmon, fried egg, and dill sauce were a huge hit at the Hingetown Market,” says Gonzalez. “We'll definitely be bringing that back again for the folks that missed out.” Councilman Joe Cimperman showed up at their Hingetown stand, but La Banana Frita had just sold out. La Banana Frita plans to expand to include a mail order business, shipping frozen plantains and sauces around the country. “So whenever they have a craving, they can pop them open, heat, and enjoy,” says Gonzalez. They also hope to get a cart or food truck to hit more outdoor events and expand their catering business in the winter months. Sources: Brittany Gonzalez and Alicia Candelario Writer: Karin Connelly
In a Nonprofit Quarterly story titled “Innovative “Placemaking,” Kresge Grant Makes Use of Opportune Moment,” writer Eileen Cunniffe details how the Northeast Shores Development Corp. in Cleveland's Collinwood neighborhood has received a $1 million grant from the Kresge Foundation to support the Waterloo Arts and Entertainment District. “Most of this grant will go toward permanent improvements: creating a ceramics co-op studio, further developing artists’ live-work spaces, and converting vacant spaces into homes for artists. But a portion of the grant will support temporary programming aimed at keeping the district open -- and lively -- during the construction phase.” Cunniffe goes on to outline the mission of the Kresge Foundation’s Arts & Culture program and why they felt the Collinwood neighborhood was a worthy recipient. Read the full story here.
The Cleveland Clinic marks its 50th year of successful kidney transplants this year. While the Clinic was not the first to successfully transplant a human kidney, the hospital was, and continues to be, a pioneer in the field. “There were two earlier transplants,” explains Robert Heyka, interim chair of the department of nephrology and hypertension at the Clinic’s Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute. “One was in New Jersey, but it only lasted 10 months. The first successful transplant was in 1954, in Boston, which worked because the transplant occurred with identical twins.” The Cleveland Clinic performed its first successful kidney transplant in 1963, in part due to the development of anti-rejection drugs, and in part because Willem Kolff, a doctor from the Netherlands, came to the Clinic in the 1950s with his dialysis machine. Kolff’s original dialysis machines were made with a washing machine motor, a nose cone borrowed from NASA and peach cans. He perfected his machine at the Clinic. Dialysis made it possible to keep patients alive while they waited for a transplant. “A combination of medications and the Cleveland Clinic having dialysis machines made the program successful,” says Heyka. In 1966, the Cleveland Clinic performed 126 kidney transplants. Additionally, Cleveland was one of the first cities to establish an independent organ procurement program in the late 1960s. The organization now is known as Lifebanc. Today, the Clinic has transplanted more than 4,200 kidneys and is on track to perform 200 transplants this year. The Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute ranked second this year in U.S. News and World Report’s America’s Best Hospitals. “All these things we take for granted now as standard and mass produced,” says Heyka. “When you get into it, it’s more inspiring when you hear about the people who did it first and the challenges they had to face.” Writer: Karin Connelly Source: Robert Heyka
Earlier this year, Hotcards CEO John Gadd moved the local printing and marketing company's headquarters to the former Futon Factory at 2400 Superior Ave., expanding from 14,000 to 22,000 square feet and giving the company the opportunity to do a ground-up renovation of new offices. "We were able to do it from scratch, the way that we wanted, in order to reflect the culture we're trying to build," says Gadd, who has injected new life into Hotcards since he bought the company a few years ago. The new space features 15-foot ceilings, expansive windows and walls adorned with tons of Cleveland artwork. Eleven people work in the Cleveland office. The company also has offices in other parts of Ohio as well as a Columbus manufacturing facility. Gadd says the company's growth can be attributed to its "customer-obsessed" culture, which "takes care of people we serve" with utmost attention to detail. Now Gadd aims to make the company burn even hotter -- and seek some thrills and raise money for worthwhile charities in the process -- by setting 20 people ablaze along the banks of the Cuyahoga River in a Guinness World Records-setting attempt. "It's a magical spectacle to watch -- people lit on fire look like an art display," he says. "Because we’re Cleveland, we'll turn a negative [burning river thing] into a positive. We'll also raise a bunch of money for charity and make some news." Gadd has brought in stunt expert Ted Batchelor of Chagrin Falls to manage the event. He says it's so safe it almost takes the excitement out of it. The current record is 17 people set on fire at one time, a feat that Batchelor himself pulled off in 2009. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 19, at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, with spectators invited to watch from Shooters (tickets start at $15). The fire department and Coast Guard will be on hand in case of emergency. Local YouTube superstar Madi Lee will sing the national anthem before the big burn. Gadd isn't sure how much money he'll raise for charity, since the event costs about $50,000 to produce. But any additional proceeds will go to the Cleveland Foodbank and Brick by Brick, a nonprofit group that builds schoolhouses in South Africa. Source: John Gadd Writer: Lee Chilcote
The Enterprise Nurture an Idea Crowdrise Challenge offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to win $10,000 by competing to raise the most money online. Eleven innovative ideas in Cleveland are competing between now and November 8th for that big grand prize. Ideas include a bike composting business in Gordon Square, an initiative to open retail startups in former shipping containers in downtown parking lots, a healthy corner store in Tremont, and a food cooperative distribution center in St. Clair Superior. Daniel Brown of Rust Belt Gardens studied successful operations in other cities before setting his sights on launching a bike composting business. He says that such a business not only can be profitable, but also can help homeowners divert waste from landfills, create green-collar jobs and improve soil at community gardens. "We need to buy specialized bikes and trailers, get the website up and running, and start to educate people about what is compostable and not compostable," Brown says of his startup. His partners in the challenge are Detroit Shoreway Community Development, Bike Cleveland and Groundz Recycling. Cleveland Bike Composting would charge $10 to $25 per month to pick up five-gallon compost buckets from a home or business, depending on how often it is scheduled. "At our community garden, we can't compost enough," says Brown of the demand. "Purchasing compost is expensive, but the process to make it is fairly easy if you know what you're doing. People in Cleveland are really buying into the local foods movement, and that lends itself to there being demand for a composting service." Currently, there is no business in Cleveland that helps individual homeowners to compost, much less that does so by bike, which raises the sustainability to a new level of green. Source: Daniel Brown Writer: Lee Chilcote
In a Slate post titled “Cleveland Chinese immigration: New people create new jobs,” Matthew Yglesias writes of his experience eating some Chinese food in Cleveland’s “Asiantown” neighborhood -- an area occupied by a growing collection of Asian restaurants and markets. “I had a meal there that probably exceeds any Chinese cooking you can find in DC proper and would count as quite good even by the standards of the more immigrant-heavy suburbs in Rockville or Northern Virginia," the writer boasts. Yglesias goes on to detail how the newcomers create “new jobs” by offering an “authentic experience” that might not otherwise be available. And while opponents to immigration fear “outsiders” might appropriate available jobs, consider the possibility of additional job creation that comes with fixing up buildings and delivering supplies. Check out the full piece here.
Michael Seifert and Jake Fader have had a lifelong love of music. Seifert grew up in his father’s recording studio on E. 61st Street. “It was all I wanted to do growing up,” Seifert says of hanging out in the studio. “Jake is the opposite," Seifert says. "He had more formal training.” Fader has studied guitar since he was 14 and has performed around the world in various bands. Both have experience in commercial production work on local and national levels. So, as friends and musicians working in Cleveland, Fader and Seifert decided to go into business together. They launched Bite Sized Creative, a full-service creative firm that operates out of Seifert’s 11-year-old recording studio, Ante Up Audio, on E. 38th Street in Tyler Village. “Jake and I have a good dynamic and a lot of respect for each other’s work,” says Seifert. Bite Sized Creative opened in April, and already the startup has landed some impressive gigs. Locally, they've worked on accounts for Wade Oval Wednesdays and St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. Other clients include Target, Samsung and Microsoft. They’ve also worked on soundtracks for movies. They produced more than 40 music cues for the documentary Running America. They produced more than a dozen original music pieces for the re-release of the classic movie The Outsiders. Seifert describes Bite Sized Creative as taking a boutique approach to production work, providing custom music for soundtracks and other audio. “We have a very high quality product, not only locally but regionally, nationally and internationally,” Seifert says. While Seifert and Fader are the only full-time employees at Bite Sized Creative, they do hire freelancers for bigger projects. “We’ve really been able to hire a lot of talent,” says Seifert. “We try to hire locally as much as possible. We both really love Cleveland and there’s a huge talent pool here.” Source: Michael Seifert Writer: Karin Connelly
Opponents and proponents of the Opportunity Corridor, a 3.5-mile planned roadway that would connect I-490 with University Circle, don’t agree on much. Opponents say that the road is a glorified highway that will encourage drivers to bypass east side neighborhoods without providing much local community benefit. Proponents say the roadway will connect low-income communities with transportation networks and jobs while spurring new development. “We think this is an example of outdated planning,” said Angie Schmitt of Clevelanders for Transportation Equity at a forum on the Opportunity Corridor, held at the Cleveland Museum of Art. “For decades, we’ve built a highway system and been told that prosperity would follow. A lot of times, this has been way oversold.” Schmitt believes that the Opportunity Corridor could “entrench auto-dependency” and hurt neighborhoods, and says younger workers want pedestrian-friendly development. Yet Vicki Eaton-Johnson of Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation says that the Opportunity Corridor is a true opportunity if done right. “Our neighborhood has planned with anticipation of this roadway for 10 years,” she said, pointing to the proposed New Economy Neighborhood on E. 105th Street as a benefit. “Fairfax’s responsibility is to leverage what happens for community benefit,” she added, arguing that the medical and technology businesses that the Opportunity Corridor is expected to attract will provide some jobs to community residents. However, there is increased consensus that the Opportunity Corridor must be better designed or it will be a missed opportunity. Panelists said it should be a truly multi-modal roadway that not only maximizes development opportunities, but also works for cyclists and pedestrians while making the area more attractive and vibrant. “I am a proponent of getting this right, and we need to create complete neighborhoods and complete streets,” said Chris Ronayne, President of University Circle Incorporated. Schmitt criticized a proposed 10-foot-wide, multipurpose path on the south side of the roadway as a “bone” that was thrown to cyclists in order to pacify some vocal critics. The car lanes are 12-13 feet wide like a highway, which will encourage speeding, she argued. She also said the intersections are not designed to be pedestrian-friendly. Moreover, Schmitt argued that there aren’t enough intersections (13 are planned). Although Opportunity Corridor proponents refuted Schmitt’s notion that the roadway represents dated thinking, some agree that more planning is needed to get it right. “Angie is right that we’ve got to plan this thing at the intersection level,” Ronayne commented, lamenting a short timeline and lack of funding for alternative plans. Architect Jennifer Coleman commented that the City of Cleveland needs to develop a form-based zoning plan for the area in order to foster the kind of development that will lead to community revitalization. “We can do better,” she said in response to drawings showing single-story, office-park development on the vacant land around the roadway. Moderator Steve Litt called on panelists to lead a community-based planning process and present an alternative plan to the Ohio Department of Transportation, which has awarded $331 million to the corridor. The project is expected to start in fall of 2014. Source: Angie Schmitt, Chris Ronayne, Vicki Eaton-Johnson, Steve Litt Writer: Lee Chilcote
Bachtrack, the largest online classical review site and concert finder, declared The Cleveland Orchestra as the winner of the "World’s Favourite Orchestra 2013" contest. Following a month of voting, with 11,895 votes for 417 orchestras from 97 countries, Cleveland Orchestra roundly beat the competition. The Cleveland Orchestra took 20.3 percent of the vote, with the next closest orchestra garnering just 12.4 percent of the vote. 46 percent of the votes came from North America and 48 percent came from Europe. “We want to thank our fans for voting for The Cleveland Orchestra," says Ross Binnie, Chief Marketing Officer of The Cleveland Orchestra. "We have 60,000 social media followers whom we invited to vote, and they clearly were engaged. We are proud to be one of the world’s finest orchestras, thanks to the support of all the communities we serve.” Read the rest of the results here.
WMMS "The Buzzard" reached the largest radio audience in the history of Cleveland media. A new film hopes to document the glory years when a charmed roster of on-air talent introduced national rock acts like Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie and Joe Walsh to the people of Cleveland and the rest of the country.
A grassroots urban placemaking movement that started in Portland has made its way to Cleveland, and a few weeks ago, residents from three Cleveland neighborhoods came together to remove blight with community-led art. City Repair, which started in Portland as a guerilla movement to add splashes of color to city streets, is so new here that the City of Cleveland denied a permit request at the last minute, forcing organizers to scramble to adapt their project. The original idea was to paint city intersections, and Cleveland officials now acknowledge that they need a new policy to deal with these requests. In the end, City Repair Cleveland created three successful projects and built a greater sense of community in the process, says Adele DiMarco-Kious, consultant to the effort. "This is about neighbors getting to know one another and taking shared action about things important to them in their neighborhood," she adds. "You get people to come together, take ownership of the public realm and start taking action and it has a multiplier effect. People build trust, take action and build a sense of power." In Buckeye-Shaker Square, residents created a vision for a mural that they hope will be painted on a bridge over the RTA tracks that historically has divided their two neighborhoods; Clark-Fulton residents beautified the long-neglected Newark Court alley by painting a mural of the river that once ran through the community; and Stockyard residents covered up a blighted retaining wall with colorful designs. DiMarco-Kious says the impact goes far beyond the physical projects themselves, as neighbors work shoulder-to-shoulder and families come out of their houses to help paint. City Repair Cleveland was supported by Neighborhood Connections, a small grants and community building program affiliated with the Cleveland Foundation. Source: Adele DiMarco-Kious Writer: Lee Chilcote
Researcher J. Mark Brown and his team at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute have discovered a protein that might promote obesity and diabetes. Therefore, blocking that protein, called ABHD6, might prevent these diseases. ABHD6 regulates the brain’s endocannabinoid system, which is involved in metabolism, cravings and hunger. Brown discovered ABHD6’s role in fat storage while studying a mutation in a different protein in the same group, ABHD5. “Normally, fat is stored in triglyceride tissue,” Brown explains. “With abnormal ABHD5, fat is stored in every other cell in the body. In studying that we discovered a crucial breakdown in ABHD6 and we decided to study it.” Brown conducted a study in mice to see how fat was stored in ABHD6, to see if it impacted type-2 diabetes, obesity and fatty liver disease. He found that blocking the protein’s function had a direct impact on these diseases. The research indicates that blocking function of ABHD6 in mice protects against all diseases driven by eating a high-fat diet. Further research could actually lead to a pill that would block ABHD6, and therefore prevent obesity. Brown’s findings were published last week in the journal Cell Reports. “Our paper will be the first that shows the importance of the enzyme in regulating the way the body stores fat,” explains Brown, who has spent the past four years researching ABHD6. “It’s hard to say if it would ever end up being a magic pill to cure obesity,” says Brown. “We look at it like a preventative measure. We’re really excited to move forward with it and conduct safety trials with humans. We know it works in mice, so it’s very important to translate our findings into human studies as quickly as we can.” Source: J. Mark Brown Writer: Karin Connelly
It's no easy feat to win unanimous approval from the City of Cleveland's Board of Zoning Appeals (BOZA) for a variance to open a new bar in Ohio City. With parking scarce in the densely built neighborhood, such a prized variance typically is required for opening any kind of new establishment. Yet Jukebox, a new bar set to open in the Hingetown area of that neighborhood early next year, earned that approval from BOZA this week, and owner Alex Budin is set to begin the build-out process. "I want people in Ohio City and Cleveland to embrace this as their jukebox for the city," says Budin, a 29-year-old who is in the process of relocating to Cleveland from Chicago. Budin has purchased a 100-CD jukebox that he will fill with a mixture of rock and roll classics, music by artists who are coming through town, local artists, obscure picks and even crowd-sourced suggestions from social media and other sources. The music selection will change frequently and the jukebox will be free or "pay what you like," akin to how Radiohead has released recent albums. To ensure that tipsy patrons don't program six Michael Jackson songs in a row, Budin is planning to establish some tongue-in-cheek jukebox rules. He also will create a "juke-book" that will help familiarize patrons with less familiar artists, albums, and tracks. "You're not going to see Katy Perry in the jukebox, but you'll see familiar artists," he says. Aside from the music, the cozy 1,300-square-foot tavern will feature six to 10 draft beers (many of them local), cocktails, wine and a limited food menu that includes flatbread pizzas. Just don't say the phrase "sports bar." There will be TVs, he allows, but that's not going to be the focus. "Ohio City has become such a vibrant place -- it's really a destination," Budin says. "As Hingetown evolves, my hope is this becomes more of a neighborhood spot for local residents. There are 200-plus new apartments set to open here. I'm hoping it's a walkable place, and that people can get their coffee at Rising Star in the morning, then grab a beer and light food at Jukebox in the evening." Jukebox will be located in the Striebinger Block at the corner of W. 29th and Detroit. Source: Alex Budin Writer: Lee Chilcote
Starting a successful food-based business takes more than a great idea and the ability to cook. Like any entrepreneurial venture, food startups require planning, money and a willingness to be flexible. But those who do dive in have found there's plenty of guidance, support and collaboration in the local food startup community.
In a Restaurant Hospitality feature titled “Toast: One of Cleveland’s most exciting new restaurants,” editor Michael Sanson highlights the amazing job chefs Joe Horvath and Jennifer Plank are doing at their farm-to-table restaurant in the Gordon Square neighborhood. “Recent menu items that have thrilled diners and critics alike include a rolled egg crepe filled with smoked perch, pickled strawberries and a dill crème fraiche; lamb ribs with pickled red cabbage and cucumber yogurt sauce; and mini French toast topped with sausage, a spicy maple glaze and a fried egg.” The young pair -- recently engaged to be married -- are expats from Jonathon Sawyer’s Greenhouse Tavern and Noodlecat restaurants. Read the full story here.
In a New York Times article titled "Ailing Midwestern Cities Extend a Welcoming Hand to Immigrants," writer Julia Preston highlights cities that have launched programs like Global Cleveland to attract immigrant newcomers and their work skills. "Other struggling cities are trying to restart growth by luring enterprising immigrants, both highly skilled workers and low-wage laborers," she writes. "In the Midwest, similar initiatives have begun in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Lansing, Mich., as well as Detroit, as it strives to rise out of bankruptcy." "We want to get back to the entrepreneurial spirit that immigrants bring,” said Richard Herman, a Cleveland immigration lawyer who advises cities on ideas for development based on attracting and retaining newcomers. Read the rest here.
As a graphic designer, Brian Andrew Jasinski wanted a creative outlet to express himself outside of his work at Epstein Design Partners. So he started Grey Cardigan, which features a whimsical collection of Jasinski’s fine art prints and stationery. Grey Cardigan debuted in summer 2009 at the annual Made in the 216 event. “Grey Cardigan was my need to return to my roots as a fine artist and illustrator,” says Jasinski, who earned his BFA at the Cleveland Institute of Art. ”It’s been growing and evolving ever since.” Jasinski chose the name Grey Cardigan because of the symbolism. “It’s classic and iconic,” he says. “You can adapt it to your style -- very much like my work.” Jasinski’s work is sold at shops around town like the Banyan Tree in Tremont, as well as other boutiques around the country. At the end of August, Jasinski nominated himself for Martha Stewart’s American Made competition, in which companies competed in six categories: technology, design, garden, food, style and audience choice. The winner receives $10,000, a trip for two to New York City to attend the American Made workshop, and a spread on Marthastewart.com. Jasinski entered in the design category. The winner was decided on voting through social media. “I had a very aggressive social media campaign -- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter -- and I had an incredible amount of support,” Jasinski says. Grey Cardigan was named a finalist in the design category. While he did not win the grand prize, Jasinski is pleased with the outcome. “Just being recognized in the top six is an honor,” he says. “And the tech finalist and I are talking about a collaboration; that’s a nice unexpected connection to make.” Source: Brian Andrew Jasinski Writer: Karin Connelly