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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Red Restaurant Group Is the New Owner-Operator of Nighttown in Cleveland Heights

Posted By on Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 5:12 PM

Red Restaurant Group will take over Nighttown property in Cleveland Heights. - GOOGLE MAPS
  • Google Maps
  • Red Restaurant Group will take over Nighttown property in Cleveland Heights.
Nighttown, the iconic jazz club and restaurant in Cleveland Heights, has been closed since March of 2020, when owner Brendan Ring shuttered it as a “moral obligation” to help slow the spread of Covid. In early January, he sold the 55-year-old business and property to an ownership group with assurances that “the essence of Nighttown” would remain when the club reopened in July of 2021.

Summer came and went with no announcements or developments, and all along the way rumors have been swirling as to the fate of the property.

Now we know what’s coming next for the storied business. Red Restaurant Group managing partner Gregg Levy has announced that his company has leased the space and will reopen it as Nighttown. Extensive design and planning already have begun and the restaurant is expected to re-open sometime in 2022.

“This is not going to Red the Steakhouse, this is going to be Nighttown,” Levy says. “We wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t going to be Nighttown. Nighttown and Brendan Ring have been a beloved part of the Cleveland hospitality scene for decades, and we wanted to ensure we could preserve that and put our Red stamp on this project. We have and will continue to consult with Brendan in this regard; make no mistake, this will remain Nighttown!”

Levy says that the 150-year-old building will require significant work to ready it for its grand reopening.

“This is a large-scale project with many infrastructure and back-of-house improvements, including replacing all kitchen equipment and cooler systems, but from a guest facing perspective, our intent on keeping the look and feel of Nighttown intact is paramount,” he explains.

Levy adds that when it does reopen, it will feature a “kick-ass brunch,” something the eastside lost when Fire closed.

We will keep readers updated as (re)opening day approaches.

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Photos From Last Night's Jonas Brothers Concert at Blossom Music Center

Posted By on Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 4:54 PM

The Jonas Brothers brought their The Remember This Tour tour to Blossom last night. Ace photographer Mekhi Turner captured all the action for Scene.
The Jonas Brothers in action at Blossom - MEKHI TURNER
  • Mekhi Turner
  • The Jonas Brothers in action at Blossom



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Principal of LeBron's 'I Promise' School in Akron On Paid Leave After Accusation She Slapped Student

Posted By on Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 2:46 PM

  • Courtesy LeBron Family Foundation
  • The I Promise school

The Akron public school system today said that Brandi Davis, who's been the principal at the I Promise School since it opened four years ago, has been placed on paid leave as it investigates a report she slapped a student.

The incident in question happened this week. Davis, according to the Akron Beacon Journal's report, told a parent she slapped her son after he used profanity. The parent filed a report with the police and the board of education.

'I Promise' is an Akron public school that operates in partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation, which released a statement today:

"We are family, and that means we support every one of our I PROMISE educators, students, and family members through anything they may be going through. In this and in every case, we will always do everything we can to make sure all are loved and supported during these times as we learn and grow as a family."

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Citing Increasing Covid Cases and Low Vaccination Rates for Younger Ohioans, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Announces 'Vax to School' Scholarship Lottery

Posted By on Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 2:25 PM

  • The Ohio Channel

"Since Aug. 15, there have been more than 42,000 confirmed or probable cases of Covid among school-age kids in Ohio ages 5-17," Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said today. "The 27 days with the highest number of cases per day throughout our entire pandemic for children ages 5-17 have been since school began."

Citing those stats, alarms raised by children's hospitals throughout Ohio in the recent week, and a comparatively low rate of vaccination for younger Ohioans, DeWine today announced the state of Ohio will debut a new incentive — Vax-to-School.

Much like Ohio's Vax-a-Million program, the new offering is a lottery and will give out five $100,000 scholarships and 50 $10,000 scholarships to winners that can be used for Ohio colleges or universities, job training, technical schooling, or any sort of education.

Ohioans ages 12-25 will qualify to enter.

"We've done very well in vaccinating Ohio's older adult population. The percentage of Ohioans over the age of 40 is 73%. If we go to 65 and older, that number is 84%. Both are pretty good numbers," he said. "If you look at younger Ohioans, we don't find such good news. The rate of first dose for Ohioans ages 12 to 25 is just 46% statewide, and we know there are many, many communities across Ohio where that number for that age group is vastly below 46%."

It's the age group with the most room to grow, but beyond that, DeWine said the impetus was keeping kids in school.

"Keeping our kids in school, in person, is a top priority for this state," he said. "It's so very, very important, and the best way for those 12 and above, the best way to stay in school is become vaccinated. Students who are vaccinated don't have to quarantine when they're exposed. It's the ticket, it means they don't have to miss school."

DeWine said the program will be run through the Ohio Lottery with more details to follow soon.

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Ohio GOP Leaders Broke Promises, Failed Us All By Creating More Rigged Maps

Posted By on Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 1:47 PM

The Republican majority members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission. Top row from left, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Frank LaRose. Bottom row from left Ohio Auditor Keith Faber, House Speaker Bob Cupp, and Senate President Matt Huffman. - OFFICIAL PHOTOS
  • Official Photos
  • The Republican majority members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission. Top row from left, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Frank LaRose. Bottom row from left Ohio Auditor Keith Faber, House Speaker Bob Cupp, and Senate President Matt Huffman.

The oddest part is Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine acting as though he’s somehow powerless and had no choice when he voted to rig Ohio elections with partisan, gerrymandered maps for the next four years. After all, he’s only the governor.

It’s an absurd position. Maps were proposed to the commission that actually represent the 54-46 Republican to Democratic political split of Ohioans, as averaged over 16 partisan statewide elections, directly mirroring the 1.9 million to 1.6 million Republican to Democratic registered voter split of Ohioans. The majority of registered voters, 4.5 million, are unaffiliated.

GOP leaders instead awarded themselves more supermajorities, with a House breakdown of 62 seats to 37 Dems, and 23 to 10 in the Senate, according to their own figures. Dave’s Redistricting App projects a 65-seat GOP supermajority in the House. This is called cheating.

As one of the seven members on the 5-2 Republican to Democratic Ohio Redistricting Commission, DeWine had a vote. As did fellow Republicans Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Ohio Auditor Keith Faber, Senate President Matt Huffman, and House Speaker Bob Cupp, and two Democrats, their House Leader Emilia Sykes and state Sen. Vernon Sykes.

Huffman and Cupp on the board were tasked with drawing the districts of the very caucuses they lead, something of a conflict when it comes to them desiring accurately bipartisan fairness in representation.

Their personal and professional interests are maintaining their leadership and the supermajority strength of their caucuses — essentially their political power — and not drawing mortar fire from their members who’ve been enjoying the fat steak of gerrymander-rigged elections for many years, and would rather not give up their seats to the ideal of a truly representational Republic.

Essentially, as much as it’s an utter ethical failure for both of them (and sad such a failure can be so easily anticipated), Huffman and Cupp could never really be counted on to follow the wishes for bipartisanship of more than 71% of Ohio voters who amended the state constitution for Statehouse redistricting reform in 2015.

And remember that a majority of the commission — Huffman, LaRose, Faber and Vernon Sykes (and DeWine’s Lt. Gov. Jon Husted) — were all co-creators of the plan that was eventually passed by voters, making the hand-wringing over “the process” fairly tedious.

It was the plan they made, the plan they sold, and the plan they got passed.

Facing heavy opposition to reform efforts in 2005 and 2012, proposals from advocates were rejected by voters. Thus, in 2014, Statehouse Republicans came together with advocates and Democrats to create this reform, passed by voters the next year.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported in 2018 when Keith Faber was running for his current position as state auditor that he, “doesn’t like the term ‘representational fairness,’ and said mapmakers shouldn’t create districts for the sake of partisan balance.”

Give Faber points for honesty, folks; we could never count on him to vote for fair maps.

That’s three out of five Republican members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission who Ohio voters could never really expect to do anything but push for more GOP-gerrymandered district lines.

The two Democratic members, Vernon and Emilia Sykes, do not have the votes to gerrymander.

The Ohio Democrats’ political interest is in fair maps, even if those fair maps keep them the minority caucus, as they gain accurate representation of Democratic voters: They win more seats and break the rigged-in-place GOP supermajority, extremist as ever thanks in no small part to gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering is an original poison and all gerrymandering is despicable, toxic, anti-democratic and un-American, whether it’s Ohio Republicans doing it or Maryland Democrats.

Having a narrower partisan split creates more opportunities for political compromise, as does maximizing the number of competitive districts. These things bring politicians toward more bipartisan and thoughtful policy solutions as more of the elected officials must compete to win general elections, instead of only facing real challenges in partisan primaries that push them to the fringes.

As all politics is about coalition-building and compromise (nobody should ever get everything they want all the time), advocates want fair districts because they want to see our elected representatives actually reflecting and representing our collective wishes and interests, which is a bedrock ideal of the American Republic: in Abraham Lincoln’s construction, “A government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Gerrymandering pushes and incentivizes government officials to represent only the extreme end of one political party.

So where does that leave us to go for a potential compromise to perform the clear wishes of a vast majority of voters for bipartisan, fair, and representative districts? We have two votes left: Gov. DeWine and Secretary of State LaRose.

In 2011 as a state senator, LaRose voted for the gerrymander-rigged districts Ohio has had for the last decade. Those lines, our current districts, were created in a secret GOP hotel room “bunker” at the downtown Double Tree in Columbus.

Last week, as secretary of state and a member of the redistricting commission, LaRose again voted to gerrymander Ohio, this time for four years.

LaRose said last week, “I’m casting my ‘yes’ vote with great unease.”

When he was campaigning for his current position in 2018, he explained his 2011 vote by saying he cast it with a pit in his stomach.

LaRose also co-wrote a national opinion piece for NBC News in 2018 declaring, “Even if our party benefitted, it’s still wrong. By gerrymandering districts, we send the message that winning elections is more important than finding effective policy solutions.”

If LaRose is sending messages, they’ve been received. This is now 14 years of rigged district lines LaRose has voted for but feels super bad about.

LaRose told everybody all over the state in 2018 that we could count on him, but when the time came, in a critical moment for the integrity of Ohio government, he failed us.

How about DeWine? Here’s what he said when he was campaigning for governor in 2018: “The rules are pretty clear — the voters said that the redistricting process should be done in a bipartisan way and when I am governor there will be an expectation that the new district maps honor the voters’ wishes.”

DeWine had a golden opportunity to live up to his own expectations. It was even in his own interest. He could’ve broken the veto-proof supermajority that has overridden him on pandemic safety and stripped him of powers.

Instead DeWine shrank from the moment, and claims powerlessness, bemoans a lack of compromise, when it was he who was in a position to compromise, he who was in a position to lead, and he who failed to do so.

DeWine had a vote. So did Frank LaRose. Instead of a 5-2 partisan vote for gerrymandering, it could’ve been a 4-3 bipartisan vote for fair maps. That’s exactly what voters wanted, bipartisan and fair maps.

DeWine and LaRose could’ve voted for and gotten representative maps, but they gave Ohio voters more rigged maps.

Their actions scream so much louder than their hollow words.

Originally published by the Ohio Capital Journal. Republished here with permission.

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Cleveland Clinic is So Bad at Equity That it Can't Crack Top 500 U.S. Hospitals When Social Responsibility Metrics are Included

Posted By on Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 1:31 PM

The Cleveland Clinic - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • The Cleveland Clinic

The Cleveland Clinic, the second-best hospital in the nation as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, ranks so poorly in equity metrics that it failed to crack the United States' top 500 hospitals when "social responsibility" was taken into account.

The Lown Institute, a healthcare think tank which earlier this year found that the Cleveland Clinic was the most selfish hospital in the nation — it spends less than any other hospital in the United States on community and charity care relative to its tax exemptions, a "fair share deficit" of $261 million — has just published the second annual edition of its Social Responsibility Index, the only ranking of U.S. hospitals, it says, to include equity as a major category. The Clinic ranked 543 overall.

Despite "A" grades in both value and clinical outcomes, the Clinic received a "C" grade in equity, including a "D" in pay equity (ranked 3423 of 3699 hospitals nationwide in how hospital staff are paid relative to executives) and a "D" in community benefit (3301 of 3641 in community spending).

Two Ohio hospitals appeared on the Index's Top 10 — Mercy Hospital Clermont, in Batavia, and East Liverpool City Hospital in East Liverpool — and in fact, a third of the 75 hospitals that received A grades in equity, value and outcomes were located in either Ohio or California.

The Cleveland Clinic fared about as well as the rest of the country's top hospitals. Johns Hopkins Hospital performed best (#147) among those that also appears on the US News & World Report list. The Lown Institute noted that while these hospitals achieved high marks on outcomes and value, every hospital except for Johns Hopkins received a “C” or “D” grade on equity.

“It’s not enough for hospitals to say they’re committed to social responsibility," said Dr. Vikas Saini, president of the Lown Institute, in a press release. “They need to put their commitment into action. Doing well on the Lown Index is one way they can demonstrate progress.”

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Great Lakes Brewing’s Annual Christmas Ale First Pour Celebration Slated for Thursday, October 21 at the Ohio City Brewpub

Posted By on Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 1:17 PM


For many beer lovers in the region – and many outside of it, to be honest – the holiday season officially kicks off with the first sip of Great Lakes Brewing’s iconic Christmas Ale. And that first sip, for diehard fans, typically occurs at the annual Christmas Ale First Pour celebration, held at the Ohio City brewpub (2516 Market Ave.).

This year’s festivities will take place on Thursday, October 21, a day filled with pageantry, tradition and camaraderie.

The events kick off at 10:30 a.m. with the Cleveland Carolers, followed, in turn, by the ceremonial keg delivery (11 a.m.) and first pour (11:30 a.m.). There will be Christmas Ale-themed food specials all day long. Also on tap, so to speak, is a visit from Krampus and fresh donuts dished up by Brewnuts.

As usual, expect large, enthusiastic crowds. This year, also be prepared to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test administered within 72 hours.

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