What you should know about credit scores and bankruptcy


By Tonya Sams

Most consumers know that credit scores and bankruptcies can impact their financial well-being but don’t understand how. Credit scores can determine whether someone can get a loan and if their interest rates will be low or exponentially high.  There are things that consumers should be aware of to keep their finances stable. 

One area that causes confusion for consumers is how to dispute discrepancies on their credit report.

“You can write a letter to the three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion- that includes documentation to show the bureaus that their reports are incorrect,” said Matt Alden, a Senior Attorney in the Economic Justice Group at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. “The credit bureaus would then have 30 days to investigate the inquiry and write a response to the consumer stating that they will delete, keep, or change the error on the report. If the credit bureaus will not change the incorrect information, the consumer can hire an attorney and respond to the bureaus according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.”

Credit pulls can also impact your credit score.  Hard pulls are made when you want to borrow money from a lender for car and home loans or when applying for new credit cards. Too many hard pulls can decrease your credit score. Soft pulls are made when a company pulls your credit to verify your name, address, work history, payment history, if you filed for bankruptcy and more.  Some soft pulls are made without the consumer’s permission. An example of this is when you receive mail from auto and home insurance, credit card and loan companies.  These companies have already pulled your credit to determine that you pre-qualify for their offers. Soft pulls don’t affect your credit score.  

Another area that consumers struggle with is bankruptcy.

“You should file for bankruptcy if your wages are about to be garnished, you’re facing repossession or foreclosure, or you can no longer afford to make the payment,” said Matt.  “You should also file if you have more than $10,000 of unsecured debt that you can’t realistically pay off, facing an IRS collection or if the Department of Education is coming after you for student loans.”

One myth about bankruptcies is that it will ruin someone’s credit forever.  

“Bankruptcy does not kill credit because your credit is already tanked. Not making the payments is not going to make your situation any worse,” Matt said.  “Most people still have an income, and they can get secured credit cards.  Most secured credit cards require at least $300 on them and must be paid in full.  You can use it to buy groceries, gas, and car repairs.  They can help to reestablish credit.”

If you have brief questions about money issues including debt and bankruptcies call the Legal Aid Economic Justice Info Line at 216-861-5899.  Need further assistance? Legal Aid may be able to help! To apply for assistance, call 888-817-3777, or complete an online intake 24/7 at lasclev.org.  

Tonya Sams is a Development & Communications Manager at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

St. Patrick’s Day in West Park

(2011 Photo By Jerry Masek)

West Park is gearing up for an exhilarating St. Patrick’s Day celebration, filled with music, food, and Irish cultural festivities.

Here’s what’s happening around the neighborhood.

5 Points Coffee & Tea Music & Food

At 5 Points Coffee and Tea, immerse yourself in a cultural musical experience with Andy McManus , a talented artist with a rich background in music. Having been part of the South Ulster Youth Orchestra and performed in various venues across Ireland and England, Andrew brings his solo acoustic talents to Cleveland. Join this event to enjoy a blend of traditional and contemporary tunes that resonate with St. Patrick’s Day’s spirit. They’re also currently serving a corned beef sandwich wrapped in a pastry made in-house.

  • Date & Time: March 17 from 10 a.m. until noon.
  • Location: 5 Points Coffee and Tea, 3600 W. Park Rd.

P.J. McIntyre’s Irish Pub Celebrations

P.J. McIntyre’s Irish Pub is your St. Patrick’s Day headquarters with a lineup of events leading up to and including the big day. Enjoy the Green Mile Bar Crawl, musical performances by Crawley & Sofranko, and the vibrant atmosphere of St. Practice Day with Half Craic’d. On St. Patrick’s Day, the doors open early with music, Irish dancers, and bagpipers to entertain you throughout the day.

  • Green Mile Bar Crawl: March 9th, 2 to 6 p.m.
  • Crawley & Sofranko: March 14th
  • St. Practice Day: March 16th
  • St. Patrick’s Day: Doors open at 7 a.m., music by Marys Lane at 2pm
  • Location: P.J. McIntyre’s 17119 Lorain Ave.

The Survivor’s Party at Public House

With Matt Szucs and Rod Torres at Public House, The Survivor’s Party promises great Irish food and sing-alongs to Irish songs. This event is a perfect wrap-up to the St. Patrick’s festivities, inviting everyone to relish in the communal joy and cultural heritage.

  • Date & Time: March 18 from 4 to 7 p.m.
  • Location: Public House, Cleveland, OH. Contact the venue for the exact address.

West Park Station’s 7th Annual Green Mile Crawl

Join the largest St. Patrick’s themed bar crawl in Cleveland at West Park Station. With hundreds of participants each year, enjoy exclusive drink specials, live music, and the energetic performances of the Westside Irish American Pipe band. Don’t miss out on the chance to be a part of this organized and fun crawl that brings the community together.

  • Registration Party: March 9, Saturday noon to 2 p.m. at West Park Station
  • After Party: March 9th, Saturday 6 to 8 p.m. at West Park Station
  • Location: 17015 Lorain Ave.

Each of these events encapsulates the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, offering a mix of cultural appreciation, entertainment, and community engagement. Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional Irish music experience, looking to partake in a lively bar crawl, or just want to enjoy good food and company, West Park has something for everyone this St. Patrick’s Day.

Lent 2024 seafood and vegetarian options in West Park

Image of a Fish Fry by the West Park Times (2018)

In West Park, Lent is a season marked not just by its spiritual significance but also by the culinary creativity it inspires in local restaurants. This year, Lent began on Valentine’s Day and continues through March 28.

As the community observes this period of reflection and fasting, many eateries have updated their menus to cater to those abstaining from meat on Fridays, offering a variety of seafood and vegetarian options.

Here’s a roundup of some options for Lent 2024 in the neighborhood of West Park:

Si Senor, located at 16800 Lorain Ave., is known for its vibrant Mexican cuisine offering an extensive seafood menu. Diners can enjoy their fish tacos, ceviche, or seafood soup, all bursting with fresh flavor.  

Seven Seas Seafood, Inc., a staple at 15725 Lorain Ave., becomes a go-to spot for those observing Lent. Their Lent menu features an extensive selection of fresh seafood. The restaurant requires individuals call ahead to place orders during Lent (i.e. no walk-ins).

West Park Station, at 17015 Lorain Ave., its menu includes Lent-friendly options such as the beer-battered haddock and grilled salmon. There’s also a lobster mac and cheese option available. 

Public House, located at 17219 Lorain Ave., is another local favorite, with a Lake Erie yellow perch fry special offered on Fridays. 

Canary’s, nestled at 14810 Puritas Ave., has many fish-centered menu items available, including beer battered fish, baked tilapia, a fish sandwich and tuna fish sandwich, fish and chips, and fried walleye. 

Cozumel, at 4195 W. 150 St., adds a Mexican flair to Lent with their fish tacos, seafood burrito, and seafood chimichangas, along with other seafood options. 

PJ McIntyre’s, an Irish pub located at 17119 Lorain Ave., incorporates a special Lent menu including battered and fried Haddock and fries, fried butterflied shrimp, a perch dinner and three cheese macaroni, pierogies, mussels, lobster bisque, and sandwiches like a cracker crusted cod and perch on a pretzel roll.

Habesha, at 16860 Lorain Ave., introduces Ethiopian fare and a number of vegetarian options, like the vegan combination which features timatim fit fit, fosolia,  atkilt wot,  ater kik alicha, and miser wot.

In West Park, Lent is more than just a religious observance; it’s an opportunity for the community to come together and explore the diverse culinary landscape that the neighborhood has to offer. Whether you’re observing Lent or simply looking to try some new seafood and vegetarian dishes, West Park’s restaurants have something to satisfy every palate.

Updates on Fairview Hospital demolition project

Dozens of residents gathered this evening at West Park Kamm’s Neighborhood Development Building (17407 Lorain Ave.) to discuss plans for Fairview Hospital to demolish a number of properties on W. 179 St. 

According to Executive Director of Buildings and Properties at Cleveland Clinic Pat Rios, the first step was securing the properties and they are now looking to plan the demolition, which is expected to begin on Jan. 22. First, Rios says a six-foot-perimeter fence will be put up around the site, followed by securing the site. Demolition is expected to happen within 2 to 3 weeks following this, Rios says. For the next 3 to 6 months, officials will be reviewing options for the building layout.

There are additional upcoming quarterly meetings scheduled for April 10, July 10, and Oct. 9. Those who would like more information on the project or who might have questions are encouraged to attend. 

Background on the Project 

“…The reason this is all taking place is we have three buildings at Fairview Hospital there at end of life,” says the President of Fairview Hospital Dr. Neil Smith. “We have a seven-story parking garage that’s end of life; we have a medical office building that’s attached to the parking garage, that also has to come down when the medical office building comes down, and then across the street on what we call the north campus is our Moll Center which is also end of life. And this is a replacement project to replace these three structures and we’re going to need a little bit bigger footprint than we actually have right now…”

A Year in Review: Senate Minority Leader Nickie J. Antonio Legislative Wrap-up

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In January, I was sworn into the 135th General Assembly as the new Ohio Senate Minority Leader. Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of both challenges and accomplishments, and I want to take a moment to thank all of my constituents and Ohioans for working together to get things done. Below is a wrap-up of some of the great things we’ve achieved this year.

In February, I introduced Senate Bill 57, a bill to designate the month of May as Stroke Awareness Month, as well as Senate Bill 69 to designate the week including March 22nd as Ohio Doula Awareness Week. Both of these bills have been referred to the Senate Health Committee.

In March, Senator Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and I introduced Senate Bill 100, a bill to prohibit the installation of tracking devices or apps without consent. This bill passed the Senate in June and is now awaiting its second hearing in the House Criminal Justice Committee. In the same month, I introduced Senate Bill 101 with Senator Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) which would abolish the death penalty and replace it with life without parole. Senate Bill 101 has had two hearings, with 97 submissions of proponent testimony in November. 

In April, the $13.5 billion two-year transportation budget was finalized. Serving as the ranking member of the Senate Transportation Committee, I worked tirelessly with Chair Stephanie Kunze and several other senators on this bill to implement a series of changes aimed at making Ohio a safer place to live and to advance businesses. This bipartisan budget came directly after the devastating East Palestine train derailment and made clear the need to regulate railroad operations in Ohio further. 

In May, the Ohio Senate Select Committee on Rail Safety was in full swing, as we met to hear testimony from the EPA and other institutions in addition to producing recommendations to Governor DeWine and President Biden in order to hold Norfolk Southern accountable. At the same time, Ohio’s two-year operating budget was at its height. My office held countless budget meetings with advocacy groups and organizations requesting money from the General Revenue Fund (GRF). At the end of the month, we were able to submit our final amendments to House Bill 33 for consideration. 

In June, I introduced the Ohio Fairness Act (Senate Bill 132), alongside Representative Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood), who introduced companion legislation in the House. This bill would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. I have introduced this piece of legislation every year since I was elected. Not only is this bill a clear statement on non-discrimination, equal opportunity and inclusivity, but it also is crucial for attracting business investments to Ohio and growing its economy.

In July, Ohio’s operating budget for fiscal years 2024-2025 was signed by the governor. This budget had some elements in it that hurt everyday Ohioans and rewarded the wealthy, along with some good things.  House Bill 33 created universal school subsidies, slashed nearly $1 billion from Medicaid, and cut taxes for the benefit of Ohio’s wealthiest residents. Additionally, it contained a number of controversial policy provisions, including Senate Bill 1 which transferred most powers of the elected state Board of Education, to a new executive agency (DEW), as well as Senate Bill 117 to create new centers for “conservative indoctrination” at five state universities. Though portions of the budget were abysmal, there were positive highlights worthy of recognition including: increased funding for infant vitality, expanded access to greater support for childcare, $3 million in support for behavioral healthcare for children, removed barriers to access to SNAP, $50 million in support for vulnerable multi-system youth and $5 million to provide free period products in Ohio schools.

In August, we collectively defeated Issue 1, a tremendous victory for all Ohioans. This Issue was a despicable attempt by the GOP to engage in misinformation and keep the Republican supermajority and cruel policies in Ohio. However, Ohioans saw through this attempt and voted to protect one person, one vote in Ohio.

In September, I began serving as the co-chair for the Ohio Redistricting Commission alongside House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington). The process to the final map was anything but easy. The Redistricting Commission was originally delayed through Republican infighting, and even after the Republican co-chairs were chosen, there was still dysfunction and Republican attempts to propose unconstitutional maps. This process only made it resoundingly clear that the redistricting process does not belong in the hands of politicians. It deserves to be in the hands of citizens and done in an objective, independent process. 

In October, early voting for Issues 1 and 2 began. Issue 1 enshrined reproductive rights into the Ohio Constitution, by guaranteeing the right to abortion and protecting the right to other reproductive health care such as contraception, fertility treatment, miscarriage care and the right to continue a pregnancy. Issue 2 legalized adult-use recreational marijuana. 

In November, Ohioans voted to protect reproductive rights in addition to legalizing recreational marijuana. This was a major victory for the fundamental right to self-determination for women and their families in Ohio while setting the stage for similar wins across the country. By codifying reproductive rights in our constitution, we have ensured that Ohioans will have access to safe, reproductive health care options making their own personal, private decisions without government interference.

In December, the will of the voters was once again challenged and put in question after Republicans inserted language into House Bill 86 that would propose extreme changes to Issue 2. However, after a long, deliberative bipartisan process, the Senate agreed on the final version of House Bill 86.  In the middle of the month, the Government Oversight Committee held countless hearings on House Bill 68, a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for minors, deny parental rights and ban trans student-athletes from participating in sports. I urged my colleagues to vote “no” on this bill. Ohio voters have repeatedly told us that they don’t want the government involved in their personal health care decisions. Over 800 Ohioans have pleaded with the legislature to not pass this bill. House Bill 68 now awaits the governor’s signature. Wrapping up the month of December, Senator Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus), Senator Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) and I introduced a new package of legislation to prevent gun-related deaths and violence in Ohio. Senate Bill 187 would harmonize state and federal law by prohibiting individuals with a domestic violence conviction from possessing a firearm. Although it is already illegal under federal law for such individuals to possess a firearm, gaps in Ohio law subvert the federal statute.

Though this year was packed full of challenges and meaningful accomplishments, I’m honored to serve and will continue to serve Ohioans and Senate District 23 into 2024. I thank all of you for all the support and advocacy you have brought to this work!

Cleveland Public Market Corporation Names Rosemary Mudry as Executive Director to lead West Side Market 

Photo of Rosemary Mudry. Story Title: Cleveland Public Market Corporation Names Rosemary Mudry as Executive Director to lead West Side Market CONTENT SUBMITTED MEDIA RELEASE


Cleveland Public Market Corporation announced today that Rosemary Mudry will serve as the inaugural Executive Director leading the West Side Market’s historic transition to non-profit operation. Mudry currently serves as the Executive Director of West Park Kamm’s Neighborhood Development. 

“We are excited that CPMC has appointed Rosemary as the West Side Market’s first Executive Director,” said Mayor Justin Bibb. “As a seasoned community development professional with a proven track record in building and leading high performing teams, working closely with community stakeholders, and delivering on strategic priories, she’s exactly the leader the West Side Market needs as it begins this new chapter.” 

David Abbott, President of CPMC’s board of directors, chaired the Search Committee that worked with Waverly Partners, a national executive search firm, to conduct a search that included candidates from the local, statewide, and national marketplace.  

“We are thrilled to welcome Rosemary as the new Executive Director of CPMC,” Abbott said. “Her strategic mindset and passion for the Market make her an ideal leader to deliver on the West Side Market’s potential. We are confident that under her guidance, CPMC will make tremendous progress towards our goal of making the West Side Market the nation’s premier public market.” 

The Search Committee included Don Whitaker, President of the United West Side Market Tenant’s Association, Abbott, and CPMC board members Jason Russell, Tanisha Velez, and Ann Zoller. “I’ve been impressed by Rosemary’s energy and excitement about the job and her commitment to working closely with merchants,” said Whitaker. 

Mudry holds a Master of Urban Planning, Design, and Development from Cleveland State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Latin American Studies from Oberlin College.  

“The West Side Market is such a beloved Cleveland institution, and I am beyond excited to be a part of guiding its future,” Mudry said. “I feel privileged and honored to be chosen by CPMC’s Board of Directors and look forward to engaging with all those who care so deeply about the Market as we make the transition to non-profit management.” 


Rosemary Mudry currently leads West Park Kamm’s Neighborhood Development, an organization serving a community of over 25,000 located on Cleveland’s west side. As the   community development corporation’s Executive Director, Mudry works with an 11-member Board of Directors, seven staff and manages a $1 million budget. She is responsible for all strategic and operational activities of the CDC, which works to develop and promote the neighborhood. 

Mudry is an active board member of Summer on the Cuyahoga, where she serves as Secretary of the Board. She is also Vice President of the Laurel School Alumnae Association. 

Before joining West Park Kamm’s Neighborhood Development in 2019, Mudry was Director of Neighborhood Development of Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation and earlier was Director of Economic Development. She started her community development career in the Ohio City Neighborhood working for Near West Recreation. 

Mudry enjoys living in Cleveland’s Glenville Neighborhood and exploring Cleveland with her husband and children. 


Under the direction of a committed Board of Directors, the tax-exempt, nonprofit Cleveland Public Market Corporation (“CPMC”) is striving to make the West Side Market the nation’s premier public market by meeting the evolving needs of merchants, customers, and the community. CPMC’s mission is to preserve the city’s public market tradition while making the local food system more accessible, equitable, and diverse. 

Following national best practices among the nation’s large urban markets, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb and his administration initiated the effort to transition day-to-day operations of West Side Market from city management to CPMC. While the City will maintain ownership of the land and buildings, CPMC is on track to take over operation of West Side Market in early 2024. 

The City and a diverse Advisory Committee of city government representatives, local stakeholders, and Market merchants provided input into a masterplan prepared by an experienced public market consultant. The masterplan is guiding the new organization as it makes physical and operational changes that diversify income, support the Market’s merchants, and improve the customer experience. 

For more information about CPMC, its mission, vision and values, board, and the West Side Market masterplan, please visit https://westsidemarket.org/cleveland-public-market-corporation/

Bibb Administration Proposes Legislation to Raise City’s Maximum Age to Become a Police Officer  


Latest RISE Effort Will Increase the Maximum Age from 40 to 55 to Help Address Staffing Shortage 

Mayor Justin M. Bibb is proposing an amendment to a city ordinance that will raise the maximum age for cadets to be appointed to the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) to 55 years old.  The proposal, if passed, would amend an ordinance passed in September 2012 that capped the age at 40. 

“Solving multilayered problems requires multipronged approaches, which involves historic investments, leveraging partnerships, and updating policy – all key components of my RISE Initiative announced less than four months ago,” said Mayor Bibb.  “This latest amendment will help attract additional candidates to join our police force who may have previously not considered doing so.  We’re hopeful this change, combined with other recent actions my Administration has taken, will help improve our overall recruitment efforts within our Division of Police.” 

The Bibb Administration has increased pay up to 25% for police officers since taking office.  Last month, the Administration announced the largest increase in the city’s history, making CDP’s top patrol officers the highest paid among the largest cities in the state.  Earlier this summer, at the City’s first-ever Public Safety Summit, Mayor Bibb announced a major commitment targeting cadets – increasing their pay by 50%, offering up to a $5,000 sign-on bonus, reimbursement for prior OPOTA certification, and marked improvements for those entering the force with a college degree or military experience.  The City’s Department of Public Safety saw an extraordinary surge in 3rd Quarter applications with more than a 45% increase in volume since that announcement. 

Similar efforts to increase the age limit of applicants are being explored by agencies like the New York State Police, in other states like Texas, and in the military – where the Air Force increased its age limit to 42 just two weeks ago. 

“We remain committed to attracting the best candidates to join our ranks and this proposal supports our vision to continue to evolve as a progressive police agency,” said CDP Chief Wayne Drummond.  “This will allow us to reach more individuals who are interested and capable of serving our community.  We’re grateful to Mayor Bibb, as well as City Council, for their support in making progress in our recruitment efforts.” 

Today’s announcement is the latest component of Mayor Bibb’s RISE Initiative announced this summer to combat high levels of crime and address CDP staffing shortages that are reflective of police departments across the nation.   

Other recent RISE efforts led by the Bibb Administration include expanding the City’s SAFE SMART CLE camera sharing program, expanding ShotSpotter technology to all five police districts, a new partnership with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department to enhance safety downtown, and expanded partnerships with both the Ohio State Highway Patrol and U.S. Marshals Service for additional resources and personnel towards targeted hotspots and coordinated violence reduction tactics.  These strategic efforts have produced tangible results including hundreds of arrests, hundreds of gun seizures, hundreds of dangerous pills and other drug seizures, dozens of stolen vehicle recoveries, and several lives being saved.  The number of registered cameras has also seen a tremendous increase by more than 850% under RISE, and the Administration continues to urge residents and businesses to sign up. 

The proposed amendment was submitted to City Council for introduction at tonight’s council meeting and, if approved, will become effective immediately. 

Those interested in becoming a police officer with the Cleveland Division of Police can apply online

3D Mammogram event Nov. 4


The Deaconess Board at Second Calvary Missionary Baptist Church is hosting a 3D Mammogram Event on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 12017 Emery Ave.

This event is for the West Park Community along with the current and former members of the church.

Pre-registration is required with limited spaces.  Registration forms can be picked up at the church or can be emailed directly to you if you email the church at 2ndcalvary1050@att.net.

There are some guidelines:

  • You have to be at least 40 years old
  • You are allowed one mammogram per calendar year
  • You must be mobile by climbing 3-4 steps to get up into the mobile bus

MetroHealth can help the under and uninsured persons. Transportation can be provided on a first come first service basis. We welcome all who are in need of this preventative opportunity!

Pioneering program selects 14 emerging developers of color to revolutionize real estate development in Cleveland


 Fourteen promising entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds have been selected to participate in an innovative new real estate development program with a clear mission: to break down historical barriers and empower these individuals with the knowledge and tools needed to shape the future of Cleveland’s communities.

The Cleveland Equitable Development Initiative, or CLE-EDI, will bolster the ranks of successful minority real estate developers in the region and to stimulate economic growth in the communities from which these entrepreneurs hail.

Yvette Ittu, president and CEO of Cleveland Development Advisors, underscores the significance of this initiative, stating: “These entrepreneurs possess a range of business experiences, but the intensive real estate development training and mentorship this program provides will significantly enhance their chances of success.  By nurturing these motivated individuals, we will not only foster greater diversity and inclusion in our real estate community, but will elevate their capabilities in development.

CLE-EDI is a joint effort by Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), which provides expertise and financing to real estate projects that advance economic and community development; Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, a local community development intermediary that invests in community revitalization work in Greater Cleveland; and Capital Impact Partners, a mission-driven nonprofit lender based in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

“This program is imperative due to the profound disparities in the industry stemming from limited access to capital and training, the persistent wealth gap, and the absence of a cohesive network of service providers and mentors to empower these individuals to enable them to play a meaningful role in shaping our collective future,” Ittu added.

One of the CLE-EDI program cohorts is Hosanna Mahaley, founder and CEO of Legacy RED (Real Estate Development) Group, a woman and minority owned general contracting and construction management firm. Legacy has provided professional services on 200 real estate projects, including with public entities in Northeast Ohio, Chicago and Dallas. She is a former teacher and public education leader, eventually serving as the State Superintendent of Education for the District of Columbia.

“I’m deeply committed to the revitalization of Cleveland,” said Mahaley, a native of Hough. “Returning to this city was driven by my desire to give back to the community that has given me so much.  The east  side is Cleveland’s Cinderella and it is time for it to gain its rightful place in our city’s past, present and future.  My vision is to offer world class senior housing in an area that is often overlooked.  This program will provide extra support to help me cross the finish line.  A recurring challenge for developers of color is the scarcity of financial resources.  This program will provide invaluable insights into overcoming this obstacle and turn my plans and ideas into reality.” 

The other 13 entrepreneurs selected for the program are:

April Bebee, CEO of Phoenix Development Group, LLC, has a passion for transforming neighborhoods.  The Cleveland native is very deliberate in their engagement of local residents and stakeholders.  She is also a licensed financial services professional and a long time employee in clinical research at the Cleveland Clinic. Her extensive community outreach includes working with underserved youth in the real estate development space.

Andre Bryan, managing partner for BridgePort Group LLC, a minority and veteran-owned small business that provides innovative solutions for global supply chain, logistics, warehousing and distribution services.  Andre’s firm has been recognized as the Small Business of the Year by the Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council.

Jermaine Brooks, realtor and managing member of WRJ Developers LLC, a minority developer in Cleveland. Recent WRJ work includes ArkiTainer, a 64-unit apartment building being built from shipping containers on 72nd Street in Cleveland. He has been a licensed Realtor for 10 years with Keller Williams Greater Metropolitan, and is an active member of the City of Cleveland Airport Minority Advisory Council.

Akil Hameed, founder and CEO of FASS Real Estate Services, which manages more than 500,000 square feet of commercial and residential properties in Northeast Ohio. As an experienced broker, property manager and business professional, Hameed has an established record of success with diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout many of his corporate dealings.

Jimmie Hicks III, a board member and project director for housing rehab for Start Right Community Development Corporation, a family operated non-profit in the Caledonia neighborhood of Cleveland Heights.In September 2022, he was named Deputy Director for Responsible Gambling for The Ohio Lottery Commission.

Tiffany L. Hollinger, owner of Hollinger Financial LLC. She is a entrepreneur, Realtor, real estate investor and financial advisor. She has more than 25 years of financial service and 10 years of real estate experience.

Ariane Kirkpatrick, president and CEO of the AKA Team, a commercial construction and facilities company. Ariane is an experienced contractor providing collaborative management and construction services. AKA’s larger projects include work for the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Horseshoe Casino and Cuyahoga Community College. Kirkpatrick is also CEO of companies with provisional large-scale medical cannabis cultivation, dispensary and process licenses in Ohio.

Jimi Oluwabiyi, a real estate developer with Lael, LLC. He began his real estate development career in 2002. His residential work has expanded to multi-family development and has also worked on property management, contractor management risk assessments, financial analysis and stakeholder management. His civic work has included being appointed to the New African Immigrants Commission of Ohio.

Dominic Ozanne II, project manager for Ozanne Construction Company. He manages multiple projects throughout Northeast Ohio. He first worked for the company’s team in New Orleans as a member of the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office Recovery Program following Hurricane Katrina.

Evin Peavy, a real estate developer with DC Kelly Investments in Cleveland who focuses on transforming communities through inclusive projects. He has a passion for revitalizing urban landscapes and promoting inclusiveness within neighborhoods. He has experience in multi-family and commercial mixed use project development.

Christopher D. Roberts, a CPA who has worked for a number of Fortune 500 companies and now leads financial strategy for global procurement and supplier diversity & inclusion at Amazon. He has been involved in various aspects of real estate, including serving on a non-profit board providing low-income housing for senior citizens and the acquisition and development of multiple mixed-use buildings.

Dontez Sanders, founder of DS Group Real Estate Investments, a property management group that has managed more than 1,000 units in Northeast Ohio. Sanders, a former Cleveland Browns and University of Wisconsin football player, went into real estate after his career with the Browns.

Khrystalynn Shefton, chief of growth and expansion at Birthing Beautiful Communities, which is working to build the first Black-led free-standing birth center in Northeast Ohio. Her desire to impact Cleveland and its neighborhoods led to urban planning and development education, and she has served as director of real estate and development planning for the Famicos Foundation.

The program, which begins this week, will pair experienced developers with emerging developers to help launch their projects.  The list of developer mentors has also expanded and can be found here.

Kamm’s Corners Greek Festival Sept. 2023


It doesn’t get more delicious than the Kamm’s Corners Greek Festival! This year has been well attended so far, with anxious eaters filling their plates or to-go containers with favorites like moussaka, pastitsio, spanakopita, gyros, Greek fries, and more.

The Kamm’s Corners Greek Festival began Friday, Sept. 1, and runs through Monday, Sept. 4, ending at 9 p.m., at the George Varouh Cretan Club of Cleveland, 3853 W 168th St, Cleveland, OH 44111.

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents a seminal survey of Chinese art 

Twelve Views of Tiger Hill, Suzhou: The Thousand Buddha Hall and the Pagoda of the “Cloudy Cliff” Monastery, after 1490. Shen Zhou (Chinese, 1427–1509). Album leaf; ink on paper or ink and slight color on paper; image: 31.1 x 41 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund, 1964.371.7

Including more than 200 objects from over 30 international collections  

The Cleveland Museum of Art is pleased to announce the opening of China’s Southern Paradise: Treasures from the Lower Yangzi Delta, a landmark exhibition that explores the historical and cultural riches of a pivotal region known as Jiangnan. The exhibition—the first in the West to focus on this area—features more than 200 objects relating to Jiangnan which has remained one of China’s wealthiest, most populous, and agriculturally fertile lands.  

China’s Southern Paradise, shown exclusively at the Cleveland Museum of Art, opens September 10, 2023, and is on view through January 7, 2024, in the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Exhibition Hall. 

Through major loans from more than 30 institutions around the world and selections from the Cleveland Museum of Art’s world-renowned collection of Chinese art, China’s Southern Paradise explores the coastal region south of the Yangzi River, where the earliest remains of cultivated rice were found. Key loans from six Chinese institutions, including the Beijing Palace Museum, the Shanghai Museum, and the Nanjing Museum, bring rarely seen objects to the US that illustrate how Jiangnan gained a leading role in China’s artistic production and succeeded in setting cultural standards. The exhibition also includes objects from Japan, Europe, Canada, and throughout the United States, brought together for the first time, some of which have never been presented to the public before. 

Jiangnan’s lush, green scenery inspired poets and artists to conceive it as heaven on earth. For millennia, it has been an area of rich agriculture, extensive trade, and influential artistic production. Art from Jiangnan—home to such great cities as Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Nanjing, as well as to hilly picturesque landscapes stretched along rivers and lakes—has defined the image of traditional China for the world.   

“So much of what we associate with traditional China today—such as rice, silk and lacquer production, color printing, garden culture, landscape painting—either originated or flourished in the Jiangnan region,” said Clarissa von Spee, the show’s curator and the James and Donna Reid Curator of Chinese Art, Interim Curator of Islamic Art and Chair of Asian Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art. “To bring these rare, unique treasures together from around the world provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors, nationally and abroad, to witness the richness and unsurpassed quality of art from a part of China that is still associated with natural beauty, elegance, high culture, and erudition. Jiangnan imagery and goods that reached 18th-century Europe shaped our idea of China more than any other region.” 

Exhibits in China’s Southern Paradise range in material from jade, silk, prints, and paintings to porcelain, lacquer, and bamboo carvings, and date from the Neolithic age to the 18th century. 

Exhibition highlights include: 

  • A 12th-century National Treasure from the Tokyo National Museum—categorized as among the most precious of Japan’s Tangible Cultural Properties—Imaginary Journey through Xiao-Xiang is a handscroll that reflects the region’s natural beauty of mist-shrouded mountains along rivers and lakes. 
  • An 82-foot-long scroll documents in fascinating detail urban and rural life along the route of the Kangxi emperor’s 1689 Southern Inspection Tour from Beijing via the Grand Canal to the lower Yangzi delta (Jiangnan), lent from the University of Alberta Art Museums. 
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art’s well known carved jade cup with Daoist procession, almost identical in shape and decoration with an imperially marked white cup in the Beijing Palace Museum, will be shown together for the first time. Believed to have been made by Suzhou craftsmen, they exhibit a high point of refinement and workmanship, and offer a unique opportunity for comparison. 
  • On view for the first time in the United States, grains of carbonized rice excavated from Tianluoshan, a site of the Neolithic Hemudu culture in modern Zhejiang province, represent the world’s earliest cultivated rice, lent from the Zhejiang Archaeological Institute. 
  • Also on view for the first time to the American public is a group of large-scale, multicolor prints, the finest of their type ever produced in China. These prints from Suzhou depict fashionable beauties and famous sights. 
  • New Year’s Morning is a European-style tapestry depicting a large family gathering that once furnished an imperial palace interior. Thanks to the generous support of June and Simon K. C. Li, this rare tapestry in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art was conserved for the exhibition by the Textile Conservation Laboratory at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York. Only one other example is known to be in the Beijing Palace Museum.  
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art’s five-stringed guqin, a zither that is China’s most prestigious musical instrument, was the subject of a discovery when conservators cleaned the object for display and found an inscription which established that the instrument was made by Zhang Ruixiu from Suzhou in 1584. 

“This is an exhibition that the Cleveland Museum of Art is uniquely qualified to organize,” said William M. Griswold, Director and President of the Cleveland Museum of Art. “Our incredible holdings of Chinese art have inspired the confidence of our more than 30 partners across the world to lend works of art, which allow us to present an exhibition with objects of impressive quality and scope never seen together before.” 

Principal support is provided by June and Simon K. C. Li and the MCH Foundation. Major support is provided by the American Friends of the Shanghai Museum and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. Generous support is provided by an anonymous supporter and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the Blakemore Foundation, William and Terry Carey, the Gramercy Park Foundation, Carl M. Jenks, the Metropolitan Center for Far Eastern Art Studies, Xiling Group, and Zheng He Management Group.  

All exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Exhibitions. Principal annual support is provided by Michael Frank and the late Pat Snyder, the John and Jeanette Walton Exhibition Fund, and the late Roy L. Williams. Generous annual support is provided by an anonymous supporter, the late Dick Blum and Harriet Warm, Gary and Katy Brahler, Cynthia and Dale Brogan, Dr. Ben and Julia Brouhard, Brenda and Marshall Brown, Richard and Dian Disantis, the Jeffery Wallace Ellis Trust in memory of Lloyd H. Ellis Jr., Leigh and Andy Fabens, the Frankino-Dodero Family Fund for Exhibitions Endowment, Janice Hammond and Edward Hemmelgarn, Carl T. Jagatich, Cathy Lincoln, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, William S. and Margaret F. Lipscomb, Bill and Joyce Litzler, Carl and Lu Anne Morrison, Jeffrey Mostade and Eric Nilson and Varun Shetty, Tim O’Brien and Breck Platner, William J. and Katherine T. O’Neill, Michael and Cindy Resch, Betty T. and David M. Schneider, the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation, Margaret and Loyal Wilson, the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Claudia Woods and David Osage. 

The exhibition catalogue for China’s Southern Paradise: Treasures from the Lower Yangzi Delta was produced with the generous support of the MCH Foundation.  

Generous support of the exhibition symposium is provided by the Kingfisher Foundation. 

Complementary Programming 


“Jiangnan–Objects in Focus” 
In conjunction with the exhibition China’s Southern Paradise: Treasures from the Lower Yangzi Delta 

Saturday, November 4, 2023, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

Gartner Auditorium
ticket required 

“Jiangnan–Objects in Focus” is an international one-day symposium featuring 15 scholars from the United States, Asia, and Europe, who will each give a talk spotlighting one exhibit in their respective area of expertise. The goal of the symposium is to discuss highlights of the exhibition and foster a better understanding of the Jiangnan region and its artistic and cultural role in China and beyond. 

Generous support of the exhibition symposium is provided by the Kingfisher Foundation. 


“Heaven Is High and the Emperor Is Far Away”: Jiangnan in Ming Dynasty China 

Speaker: Craig Clunas, Professor Emeritus of the History of Art, University of Oxford 

Sunday, November 5, 2023, 2:00 p.m. 

Gartner Auditorium
ticket required 

Although the Jiangnan region of China, meaning “south of the Yangtze,” was the site of the first Ming dynasty capital, the court relocated to the north of China half a century after the dynasty’s founding. From this time, emperors and their immediate families were largely absent from the culture of this prosperous and vibrant heartland. But many ties still linked the culture of Jiangnan’s “Southern Paradise” and that of the Ming court. This lecture focuses on what artworks, as well as literature, can tell us about the often-fraught relationship between Jiangnan, its people, and their distant rulers in the north. 

Craig Clunas is the first scholar of Asian art to hold the chair of art history at the University of Oxford. Educated in Cambridge, Beijing, and London, he began his career as a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He is the author of numerous works on Chinese art and culture, particularly of the Ming period. He is a fellow of the British Academy and, in 2012, delivered the Mellon Lectures at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. 

All education programs at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Education. Generous annual support is provided by an anonymous supporter, Brenda and Marshall Brown, Florence Kahane Goodman, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, Bill and Joyce Litzler, Mandi Rickelman, Betty T. and David M. Schneider, the Sally and Larry Sears Fund for Education Endowment, the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation, Roy Smith, and the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Additional annual support is provided by the M. E. and F. J. Callahan Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Chapman Jr., Char and Chuck Fowler, the Giant Eagle Foundation, the Lloyd D. Hunter Memorial Fund, the Logsdon Family Fund for Education, and the Trilling Family Foundation. 


About the Cleveland Museum of Art 

The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes more than 63,000 artworks and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. The museum is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship and performing arts and is a leader in digital innovations. One of the top comprehensive art museums in the nation, recognized for its award-winning Open Access program and free of charge to all, the Cleveland Museum of Art is located in the University Circle neighborhood. 

The museum is supported in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and made possible in part by the Ohio Arts Council (OAC), which receives support from the State of Ohio and the National Endowment for the Arts. The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically. For more information about the museum and its holdings, programs and events, call 888-CMA-0033 or visit cma.org

City of Cleveland and KeyBank announce $2.5 Million Grant to fund new home repair programs for Cleveland residents


Yesterday afternoon, Mayor Justin M. Bibb, KeyCorp CEO Chris Gorman, Cleveland City Council President Blaine A. Griffin and leaders from CHN Housing Partners and LISC Cleveland celebrated a $2.5 million philanthropic grant from KeyBank to amplify the city’s recent $15 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) investment to support new home repair programs.  

“This incredible investment from KeyBank is helping us make our ARPA dollars go further, particularly in neighborhoods that have experienced disproportional disinvestment,” said Mayor Justin M. Bibb. “I know I speak for all of us when I say thank you to the KeyBank Foundation for their commitment to Cleveland and to this important work. Funding for home repair is a critical component of the work being done to revitalize the Southeast side and our city as a whole.”  

KeyBank Foundation grants will be awarded to CHN Housing Partners and LISC Cleveland, who will work with the City of Cleveland to distribute funds to qualifying residents. 

“KeyBank’s significant investment is a testament to our enduring commitment to both our hometown and to our purpose…to help our clients and communities thrive,” said Chris Gorman, Chairman and CEO of KeyCorp. “We are pleased to be part of this landmark partnership with the City of Cleveland, LISC and CHN Housing Partners, helping homeowners access funding to build and revitalize our neighborhoods, home by home and block by block. We look forward to seeing the transformative impact this investment will have in communities across Cleveland for years to come.” 

Affordable housing and home ownership are part of the KeyBank Foundation’s core mission, both building generational wealth through homeownership and revitalizing and improving the homes in under-resourced communities.   

“We are incredibly grateful to KeyBank Foundation for this investment in Cleveland’s families and neighborhoods,” said Kevin J. Nowak, president and CEO of CHN Housing Partners. “This investment will ultimately have a triple bottom line for residents—making them more housing stable, helping them live in a healthier environment, and improving their property values which will create generational wealth.” 

Following yesterday’s announcement, the partners will convene to finalize the grantmaking process and discuss how to best align with the work already being done by Cleveland’s Department of Community Development and community partners to make a transformative difference. 

“LISC is honored to partner with the City of Cleveland and KeyBank to bring a home repair program to Cleveland,” said Kandis Williams, LISC Cleveland Executive Director. “This program’s impact will be far reaching in that it will support the stabilization of neighborhoods through improved housing stock while also supporting the building of assets and intergenerational wealth for individual Cleveland homeowners.” 

The initial $15 million pot of ARPA funding for City of Cleveland home maintenance and repair programs was approved by City Council earlier this month. Through this investment, four nonprofits—CHN, LISC, Habitat for Humanity and Cleveland Restoration Society—will receive funding to administer loans and grants to assist low-income residents. 

“Residents want to know that Council’s ARPA investments are directly benefiting them. Our initial $15 million investments in home repair loans – and Key Bank’s $2.5 million match will allow us to help more owners invest in their homes, especially in neighborhoods often overlooked by traditional lenders,” said City Council President Blaine A. Griffin. “This is a win for Clevelanders. We’ll continue the fight for residents by seeking additional external partners to support this work.” 

Collaborative initiative conducted to reduce violent crime


The Cleveland Division of Police has partnered with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center, Ohio Investigative Unit, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Ohio Department of Youth Services and other local and federal authorities on a two-day violence reduction initiative focused on the city’s third and fifth Districts.

Provisional data from the initiative, which was held on August 24 and 25, shows that partnering agencies made 42 felony arrests, seized 28 illegally possessed firearms, and recovered 10 stolen vehicles.  OSHP troopers, federal agents, and local officers also seized varying amounts of cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and ecstasy in addition to illegally possessed prescription pills.

This week’s targeted saturation event was the second of several in Cleveland, which the State will participate in at the direction of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.  A number of OSHP resources were utilized to assist the Cleveland Division of Police and its Violent Crime Reduction Team, including Cleveland District OSHP troopers, Aviation, Investigative Services, Special Response Team, Vehicle Theft Unit, and the Ohio Investigative Unit. 

City announces Back to Basics Street Improvements funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

Montrose Avenue, Riveredge Road, Old Lorain Road, West 183rd Street (Ward 17)


Beginning August 22, 2023, weather permitting, the City of Cleveland’s Back to Basics Street Improvement Program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) will begin in Ward 17. Advance notice signs will be posted to advise the public of road improvements. The following streets are expected to be completed in mid-October:

  •   Montrose Avenue (Glencliffe Road to Warren Road)
  •   Riveredge Road (Larchwood Avenue to End)
  •   Old Lorain Road (Lorain Avenue to Valley Parkway)
  •   West 183th Street (Puritas Avenue to Ponciana Avenue)

One lane of traffic will be maintained for local traffic for the duration of each project. No detours are expected. Access to all businesses, residences and side streets will be maintained during construction. On-street parking will not be allowed during construction. The work will take place during the hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.For questions, contact the City of Cleveland’s Inspector, Eric Faehner at 216-857-3028.

Editor’s Note: Road construction invariably presents hazards to the public. All travelers are urged to use caution in construction zones. Public safety and the safety of workers is a top priority.

About the City of Cleveland The City of Cleveland is committed to improving the quality of life for its residents by strengthening neighborhoods, delivering superior services, embracing diversity and making Cleveland a desirable, safe city in which to live, work, play, and do business. For more information on the City of Cleveland, visit online at clevelandohio.gov, Twitter at @cityofcleveland or Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityofcleveland