Current News of Forest Hill
|To suggest a Forest Hill related event to post here please email our president at President@FHHO.org. Visit our archive page for older news items. [See a slideshow of recent neighborhood events.]|
|What's Next For East Cleveland?|
|At a well-attended and well planned meeting Thursday evening, April 2nd, East Cleveland Mayor, Gary Norton laid out the realities of the city finances and categorically stated, â€œEast Cleveland has a financial crisis.â€ For the reasons defined, Norton asked the assembled to sign a petition authorizing the creation of a commission, empaneled to investigate a merger with the city of Cleveland.|
The mayor made clear that the action simply establishes a commission to gather information. The city of Cleveland has agreed to participate, should the 559 valid voter signatures be collected. Once confirmed that the signers are valid registered voters in East Cleveland, the respective city councils from East Cleveland and Cleveland will each appoint three people to form the six-person commission. The commission will have 120 days to gather facts and present their findings. At that point, the proposal for merging with Cleveland will be sent to the voters of East Cleveland. By a simple majority, East Cleveland voters can either vote to merge or remain an independent municipality. If East Cleveland voters agree to merge, the proposal is then sent to Cleveland City Council. They can, in a council vote, agree to the merger, or they have the option to send the merger proposal to a vote of the general population of Cleveland. The results of that vote finalize the process.
The municipality merging process is strictly defined in Ohio state code. By state mandate, merging can involve the municipal government ONLY, or it can also include the school system. The direction East Cleveland is pursuing is municipal government ONLY. The East Cleveland school district IS NOT included. It will remain an independent entity.
Prior to the conversation on â€œmergerâ€ Mayor Norton helped the assembled to understand how the city got to its current state. In 1970, East Cleveland enjoyed a population of 40,000 residents with an average income of $50,000 (in 2010 valuation.) The 2010, census stats show that the city had 17,000 residents with an average income of $20,000. Huron Road Hospital provided the city of East Cleveland with $1.2 million in income tax dollars each year. While they did negotiate a settlement deal with the city before closing, that money is near an end. In an effort to balance the budget for the state of Ohio, Governor Kasich reduced the monies delivered to ALL local municipalities from the state. East Cleveland now receives $1.2 million LESS than in previous years. The city of East Cleveland operates on a budget of approximately $13 million. A $2.4 million reduction represents over an 18% reduction of funds. Coupled with the almost 85% reduction in property tax value due to the 2008 real estate meltdown, a return to normalcy is almost impossible.
Over the past six months, Gary Norton has engaged lawyers and economic experts to explore four other options; further expenditure reductions, tax increases, bankruptcy and economic development. He outlined each.
East Cleveland has already cut the staff by one-third, reduced the budget 25%, the police Chief retired, thereby saving eight policemenâ€™s jobs and the services provided by the MLK Youth Center and the Helen S Brown senior center were taken over by non-profit groups. Still, further cuts would need to be made within the police, fire, road repair and other city services to save enough money for the city to survive.
To gather an additional $6 million each year, property taxes for each home in East Cleveland would need to triple. Income tax, now at 2%, would need to be increased to 4%, which is in violation of state law and could not be mandated.
Bankruptcy is a viable option for cities with large debt, but East Cleveland does not have what is considered LARGE debt (only $3 million) East Cleveland has a revenue problem and therefore, according to experts, bankruptcy is not a viable or helpful option.
Economic Development could work for East Cleveland, but unfortunately, the deck is stacked against a poorly funded player. Yes, they can offer tax breaks and tax incentives, but their ability to offer incentive financing is severely limited by a non-extant credit rating for 20 of the past 26 years. Better funded suburbs like Westlake and Beachwood will almost always win.
Emotions ran high at the meeting. Long-time residents worried about the disappearance of a proud city, many hoped that young people, given a â€œleg-upâ€ from the city could turn blight into gold, others felt linking arms and rolling up sleeves could solve the problem and a small minority felt that a Norton conspiracy was going to line his pockets at the expense of the disenfranchised-few. The cold, hard facts presented are clearer. East Cleveland has little to warrant optimism. An aging population with aging housing stock and minimal financial options can only hope that the central city will show mercy and embrace them. If the city of Cleveland ultimately rejects the East Cleveland overture, the path to the future, in the words of the mayor is, â€œUnknown.â€
Jeffrey R Dross
Reporting for the Forest Hill Home Owners Newsletter
April 3, 2015
|A Good Time Had By All At Picnic Despite Weather!|
|Forest Hill hosted a Hawaiian-style picnic on August 2, open to all residents and their guests. Our party-planner Marla Zwinggi had everything ready to go at 3:00 although we had to move things inside when it started to rain. Hawaiian decor and music. The little girls in hula outfits got to show us their moves. Menu included hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, pizza, potato chips, veggie tray, and snow cones -- the closest we could get to Hawaiian shave(d) ice. We had wine and beer and Hawaiian punch. Hattie Helm provided an edible fruit arrangement. We were able to move outside when the rain finally stopped. Conversations were so lively that folks were reluctant to leave at 7:00 when we were scheduled to quit. A good time had by all!|
Picture: Cameron Norton and Quinn Zwinggi.
|Eastwick+ International Dinner|
|The Eastwick+ Homeowners' Association held their annual International Dinner on Saturday, June 21 at the home of Jean Price. Featured cuisines were Mexican and Italian, and our hostess also gave us a "show and tell" of Italian culture. This get-together also gave us a chance to start the planning for our annual block party scheduled for August 24. Calling it a "Homecoming," officers intend to encourage many of the former residents of the street to join current ones for food, fun, and the usual line dancing.|
|Forest Hill Monster Garage Sale|
|Saturday, May 24, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.|
|Forest Hill Home Owners Inc. is in the process of planning a neighborhood-wide garage sale. In 2013, more than 20 homes participated! The cost to join is $5, which will cover the cost of newspaper and online advertising, inclusion on our Google Map, signage and balloons. |
If you would like to participate, please contact Marla Zwinggi at email@example.com or 440.724.9683.
|Why is someone photographing my home?!|
|The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's official honor roll of historic properties that are worth preserving. At present, Forest Hill Park, the Rockefeller Building, the blue cottage, and the eighty-one Rockefeller homes are listed in the National Register. But the historical significance of Forest Hill did not end when the Rockefeller homes were completed. From the 1930s to the 1950s, Forest Hill continued to be developed as a model suburb according to the principles established in the 1920s by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and architect Andrew J. Thomas. The resulting subdivision of approximately one thousand homes is historically significant as an excellent example of suburban planning and as a collection of high quality colonial and ranch homes that retain their historic appearance to a large degree, thanks to the FHHO preservation guidelines. We recently began the process of listing the balance of Forest Hill in the National Register of Historic Places. In order to apply for listing we need to take one or more photos of every home in Forest Hill, so don't be surprised to see someone taking a "portrait" of your home!|
|Eastwick+ Block Party|
|Eastwick Dr. celebrated their 18th annual block party on the anniversary of their first one, August 31, 1996. President Freda Webb welcomed residents and their guests for a perfect evening: dancing in the streets, courtesy of a DJ and a lot of spirited participants, a Bouncy Castle for the kids, and lots of ribs and potluck for everyone. Thanks to Cleveland Hts. Councilwoman Cheryl Stephens who joined us AND won the grand prize!|
|Hollister+ Block Party|
|Hollister residents recently celebrated their 13th annual summer picnic with nearby neighbors on Forest Hills and Hereford. David Ward made fern and floral arrangements for the tables and brought an originally decorated cake from Zagara's. Favorite dishes were served, recipes supplied for the future Forest Hill cookbook, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves! View pictures from the party and tag your neighbors on our Facebook page.|
|Looking Even Better at the Cottage!|
|The Cottage received quite a make-over this Independence Day weekend. We've had super help, with over 40 volunteer hours. Special thanks to Marge and George Bakale (Hollister) and Jamain Owens (Wyatt) for pruning and cutting out volunteer shrubs; Melissa Jones, a Cleveland Heights volunteer, who saw Hester's sign and stopped to help out; Joyce Holloway (Lee), who trimmed the evergreens artfully; Hester Lewellen (Eastwick), who carefully pruned back the front hedge which had grown over the walkway; and of course Sally Miller (Hollister) for coordinating the event. |
In addition, master gardener and resident Lois Rose has made numerous new plantings in our garden and the newly oiled cedar shake roof looks great. Of course there is always more to do, but see what your neighbors have been up to the next time you drive by our historic offices!
|Forest Hill Needs Volunteers|
|FHHO has three properties to maintain: the blue cottage at Monticello and Lee, the triangle at Forest Hills and Northvale and the woods at the corner of Burlington and Mayfield. We will need help with house cleaning at the cottage and work on the landscaping and new garden as well. On May 4th, the first Saturday in May, we'll be cleaning the cottage and working on the outside shrubs and garden. However, there will be need for continuing help through the summer. Please let Sally Miller know if you can help. You can reach her at SVP@FHHO.org or 216-321-2516.|
|Perfect Spring Day for the Cottage Cleanup|
|The weather was perfect for the Blue Cottage cleanup May 4. Workers (from left to right) Joyce Holloway, Gwen Bennett, Sally Miller, Gwen Dues, and Nate Wright left the cottage spring-clean on the inside and the hedges more weed-free on the outside! Thank you all and especially Sally for coordinating the event and Hattie Helm for her financial assistance. Photographer: Hester Lewellen.|
|Arbor Day in Forest Hill Park|
|Saturday, April 27|
|You are invited to celebrate Arbor Day in Forest Hill Park at the boathouse on Saturday, April 27 from 9:30-1:00. Events will include:|
Pruning Demonstrations 9:30 - 11:30
Volunteer Leaf Cleanup
Goose Control Projects
Garlic Mustard Pull 12:30-4:00 (South of Forest Hill Boulevard)
Learn pruning techniques from certified experts from Forest City Tree Protection Company. Learn about the Dugway Brook & Ninemile Creek Watersheds that drain to Lake Erie. Enjoy friends, neighbors and beautiful surroundings of John D. Rockefeller's Historic Forest Hill Park. Come to work or just to watch!
The day's events are supported by Dug-9 Urban Watershed Group, Cuyahoga ReLEAF (administered by Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization, funded by the US Forest Service), the City of East Cleveland, East Cleveland Police Athletic League, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Dugway Brook Partners, East Cleveland Parks Association, Forest City Tree Protection Company and Dewey's Pizza.
|Trustees Elect Officers for 2013|
|Earlier this week the board of trustees of Forest Hill Home Owners met and elected the following officers to serve on the executive committee for 2013:|
President: Hester Lewellen
Senior Vice President: Sally Miller
Trustee Chair: Christopher Hubbert
Secretary: Joyce Rothenberger
Treasurer: Tony Rupcic
Vice President of Membership: Joyce Holloway
Vice President of Standards: Jeff King
Newsletter Editor: Jeff Dross
Thank you all for devoting your valuable time to the association and our community!
|Happy 4th of July from Forest Hill!|
|As you commemorate our nation's birth this July 4, you may be interested to know that Forest Hill has a long history of hosting Independence Day celebrations. Before the area was developed, what is now Forest Hill consisted of the open fields of the Rockefeller family farm. In 1926, the Rockefellers allowed Cleveland Heights to hold the city's fireworks display on the farm, which was quite an event, with a bandstand and festive lighting. But according to the Heights Press, the "big feature" of the evening was a "pageant" given by area children before the fireworks display.|
|Northvale Triangle Project Photos|
|The Northvale triangle beautification project is off to an excellent start for 2012 under the leadership of Hollister resident and trustee Sally Miller. Volunteers Glending Olson, David Richardson, Nate Wright, Barbara Price (and her five-year-old grandson Shawn!), Margie and George Bakale, Soraya Naghshineh, Craig Murray, David Ward, Cheryl Stephens and Sally recently cleaned, raked and mulched the triangle in preparation for planting and landscaping. Hollister made by far the strongest showing. The assistance of both East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights was invaluable. Thank you all and enjoy the photos on our Facebook page!|
|Cottage Renovation Photos On Facebook|
|Renovations at the cottage continue with new curtains purchased by Sally Miller and Hester Lewellen. Trustee Hattie Helm recently provided the assistance of two young men to remove metal storage cabinets that were no longer necessary (and heavy!), making room for more efficient work space. Our next goal is to replace the defunct air-conditioning unit before the hot summer weather arrives. Visit our Facebook Cottage Renovations photo album for new photos of the project. Check back soon for more progress bulletins or click the "like" button on our Facebook page to see the updates automatically on your Facebook wall!|
|Burlington Lot Cleanup a Success!|
|The FHHO Burlington Lot Cleanup team lead by Sally Miller had a super day last Saturday with David Richardson starring by bringing bushels of yucca plants. He and Nate Wright worked with Rumson resident Kae Kaul and Tanya Young from Forest Hills Blvd. Fiona Reilly was everywhere: working, raking, sweeping, and digging out the grass between cracks. She and David cut down saplings and dragged huge branches from the woods. Nate was a whiz, digging the holes for the yuccas, stacking branches, edging around all the sidewalk, and blowing off the debris to clean the sidewalks. Bob Miller took pictures and Mike Reilly, who came with his son Travis, took more pictures. Enjoy the photo album on our Facebook page. Mike and Travis arrived just as Cheryl Stephens, our Cleveland Heights council woman from Hollister came. She made phone calls to the service department, and the trash, bags and wood were picked up immediately. The next time you drive by take a look at the newly mulched garden!|
|FHHO Launches New Contributor Discounts|
|This year your association and trustee Mike Reilly have arranged for significant contributors to receive equally significant discounts from local vendors. Residents who donate at the $104 level or above are eligible for the discounts under the incentives program. These residents will receive a letter from the president of FHHO to show vendors that they qualify. All discounts expire at the end of this calendar year: December 31, 2012. Current discounts include:|
Mister Brisket (one time offer: 1 corned beef sandwich)
Location: 2156 S. Taylor Road.
Rockefeller's (one time offer: two free desserts with purchase of two entrees)
Location: 3099 Mayfield Road (the Heights Rockefeller Building)
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 4 PM to 1 AM
Barle's Soup and Sandwich (10% discount every time with FHHO voucher card available at Barle's)
Location: 2479 Lee Boulevard (the Heights Rockefeller Building)
Hours: 11-6 daily
Home Depot at Severance Town Center (one-time 20% discount on goods and appliances, does not apply to commodities like lumber or dry wall)
Sherwin-Williams on Taylor (one-time 10% discount)
Siever's Security (10% off monthly monitoring for new or transferred
Reilly Painting and Contracting (one-time offer: $50 savings on maintenance work)
Thank you for your contributions and to the local businesses that make your contributions even more valuable!
|Cottage Now Open First Saturday|
|The blue cottage at the corner of Lee and Monticello Boulevards will now be open the first Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The cottage has served as the gateway to the Forest Hill community for three-quarters of a century and as our office since 1957. Stop by to learn more about Forest Hill, your association or just to socialize with Sally Miller, Hester Lewellen or one of the other volunteers staffing the cottage.|
|Garfield Memorial Opens for Season|
|The President James A. Garfield Memorial in nearby Lake View Cemetery is now open, with sweeping views of the city and lake. And although the cherry trees bloomed early this year, the dogwoods are lovely and the redwings have arrived to stake out their territories. Don't forget to pay your respects to John D. Rockefeller when you visit. Many people leave a dime on his headstone in the hopes of enjoying the wealth he attained. The tradition honors Rockefeller's habit of handing out dimes, particularly to children. Although a dime may not sound like much, it is estimated that Rockefeller gave away $35,000 to children, ten cents at a time, which was a lot of money nearly one-hundred years ago.|
|New Neighborhood Restaurant Opens|
|Barle Soup & Sandwich, serving soup, sandwiches, vegan dishes and more, is now open in Heights Rockefeller Building. The new restaurant is owned by Forest Hill resident Jim Barley. Read more at the Heights Observer.|
|Forest Hill Site of Archaeological Dig|
|Nearly a century after the Rockefeller family's Forest Hill summer home burned to the ground, a group of archeologists and college students are investigating the site to learn about the Rockefellers and determine the possible cause of the blaze. Arson was suspected at the time of the fire, but was never proven. Perhaps modern investigative techniques will finally put the mystery to rest. Watch the Fox 8 News special Rockefeller Mansion Fire Investigated 100 Years Later to learn more.|
|Forest Hill Luminarias|
|Independent journalist Afi-Odelia E. Scruggs is creating a series of articles for the ClevelandHeights.Patch.com website titled "90 Years in 90 Days" observing the 90th anniversary of Cleveland Heights, which officially became a city in 1921. Since 1974, the residents of Rumson, Burlington and Blackmore roads have greeted nightfall on Christmas Eve by lighting the block with luminarias, a celebration Afi photographed for her Christmas day feature. Read the article.|
|Rockefeller Homes Featured in Cleveland Magazine|
|This month's Cleveland Magazine features Forest Hill's Rockefeller homes in an article on "Classic Cleveland." Read the article to learn more about our Classic Cleveland neighborhood!|
|Welcome Animal Zen|
|Animal Zen is now open in the Heights Rockefeller Building offering pet sitting, grooming, consultation and pet-centric activities. Stop by and welcome Animal Zen to the neighborhood or visit them on the web at AnimalZen.net.|
|Learn About Nature From A Wizened Girl|
|Our spring newsletter featured an article on the barred owls that call Forest Hill home. We asked our readers to tell us about their nature observations and Oakhill resident Corinne L. Bomba responded. Not only has Corinne observed barred owls in detail, she's blogged about them as well! Visit Corinne's entertaining blog, A Wizened Girl, to learn more about barred owls, the pileated woodpecker, red-tail hawks, and much more.|
|Cleveland History Mobile App Launched|
|Celebrate Historic Preservation Month with Cleveland Historical, a free mobile app for Android and the iPhone that puts Cleveland history at your fingertips. Developed by the Center for Public History + Digital Humanities at Cleveland State University, use this app to find interesting people, places and events in Cleveland history. Explore the city's rich history through the GPS-enabled map, curated walking tours, historical essays, archival photos, oral history audio, and documentary films.|
|Pruning at the Cottage|
|Forest Hill resident and Master Gardener Lois Rose recently taught volunteers how to correctly prune shrubs and trees at the cottage. The weather cooperated (finally!), helping to make Lois' first Forest Hill horticultural class a great success! See more pictures at our FHHO Flickr photo pool.|
Lois has offered her services to any Forest Hill resident who would like to gather several neighbors together for a Q&A relating to landscaping. Lois is an expert resource on choice of perennials, trees or shrubs for this area and can give instruction on pruning and general care. Feel free to call her at 216-321-6766 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is available to speak at a neighborhood block party or a small evening gathering. We are so fortunate to have such a generous, highly qualified Forest Hill neighbor. Don't hesitate to contact her.
|Postcards of the Rockefeller Estate|
|In an era before glossy celebrity magazines and gossipy blogs, the rich and famous and their homes often appeared on postcards. At the height of his power, John D. Rockefeller was the richest man in the world and a public luminary, and there are numerous postcards depicting the Rockefeller family's summer home and gatehouse at Forest Hill. Visit our Postcard page to see some of them.|
|Rockefeller's Now Open|
|Rockefeller's, a new upscale restaurant and lounge, has opened in the Heights Rockefeller Building. Read more at the Heights Observer.|
|Calling All Forest Hill Bloggers!|
|Do You Blog? If so, tell us. Let us know what Forest Hill citizens are writing about. Send your web-link and a brief description of your blog to email@example.com and we will link to it on our website. For example, our newsletter editor Jeff Dross and his wife, Michele Ladouceur have created a blog about eating in Cleveland. If you need a restaurant recommendation or are interested in following their eating escapades, visit their blog at Jeff and Michele Eat Cleveland. We'd love to promote your thoughts, just let us know!|
|FHHO Congratulates Buddy Schultz|
|Buddy Schultz was a former major league ball player, and a 1968 graduate of Shaw High School. He led Shaw to the 1968 Ohio State High School State Baseball Championship. Buddy developed his talents at the baseball diamonds in Forest Hill Park. Shaw's home field was then and continues to be at Forest Hill Park. Buddy has been referred to as "Ohio's greatest high school pitcher" due to his accomplishments on the field at Shaw. To learn more about Buddy and Shaw's 1968 season, please visit his web site: BuddySchultz.com.|
Buddy is now being recognized for his accomplishments and will be inducted into the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be held on Thursday September 23 at Landerhaven. To learn more about the event, visit: ClevelandSportsHall.com.
|Triangle Beautification Project Takes Off|
|Some of you may have noticed the work this last Saturday at the Northvale traffic triangle. The association and area residents are working to beautify the triangle with landscaping, and a retaining wall with a Forest Hill entry sign is planned. A special thanks goes out to Forest Hill residents Stan and Pam Dickinson who connected with the good folks at Davey Tree. Two of Davey's team came out on Saturday morning to remove low-hanging limbs, prune the trees, and remove the dead debris. Our thanks to Davey Tree and all the volunteer residents who are making this project possible. Stay tuned for more updates!|
|FHHO On Facebook|
|Our Facebook page features information about the association, our community and Forest Hill residents. Even if you aren't a Facebook member, you can click here to view our Facebook page or type "Forest Hill Home Owners" into the Facebook search bar. If you are a Facebook user, you can comment on posts, share information and engage in discussions with your neighbors. By clicking the "Like" button you can also receive updates of Forest Hill news on your Facebook wall.|
|Forest Hill is Now on Flickr|
|You can now view and post Forest Hill related images on the photo-sharing website Flickr. Visit the site and view what your neighbors have posted here. We've added some pictures to get started, but we need neighborhood photographers to add more! You can join Flickr for free and post your community related photos for everyone to enjoy. To facilitate searching the group pool, please tag your images with one of the following categories: Homes; Events; History; Nature. We look forward to your contributions and plan to recognize the best submissions in the next newsletter.|
|Reilly Creates Forest Hill Video|
|Forest Hill native Lindsey Reilly has created a video encapsulating the many advantages of our community and featuring several Forest Hill residents. Click here to view the video. Lindsey is the founder of Reilly Films, specializing in restoring and preserving your memories in a unique and interactive way. To learn more, visit them on the web at www.ReillyFilms.com.|
|Street Light Outages|
|Please report burned out street lights to FirstEnergy's automated outage reporting line at 888-LIGHTSS (888-544-4877). You will need a street address or pole number (on the side of most street lights) to request maintenance. Although the city also reports light outages, residents are often the first to notice when a light is out. Many street lights in Forest Hill were out after the storms late this summer, but we found the electric company to be quite responsive once they were alerted to the issue.|
|Independence Day Parade|
|Burlington, Blackmore and surrounding streets celebrated our nation's birthday this year in their usual style. The decorated bike parade was started by a musket shot from Dick Secor in full revolutionary garb and the Flower Clown added his special balloon creations and unicycle antics. Thanks to Mark Feingold for capturing the event with his camera. [Click here to see more photos from the parade]|
|Requiem for a Turkey|
|On a dark and icy late October evening the Forest Hill turkey met his end. Our wild turkey guest had been with us since early summer and many of us had become quite fond of him. Sadly his demise came as a result of his complete lack of fear of traffic. As Forest Hill resident Cornell Moore told a Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter, "He was marked for time. He was living a dangerous lifestyle." He will be missed.|