Monday, August 21, 2017

Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Validates More Than 13,000 Q Deal Referendum Signatures

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 1:59 PM

Councilman Zack Reed tries to explain Council's maneuvering to members of GCC, when referendum petitions were denied on 5/22/17. - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • Councilman Zack Reed tries to explain Council's maneuvering to members of GCC, when referendum petitions were denied on 5/22/17.
The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has validated 13,072 signatures submitted by groups seeking a referendum on the Quicken Loans Arena renovation deal. The groups submitted more than 20,000 signatures in May. Only 6,000 valid signatures from registered Cleveland voters were required

The signatures were initially rejected on constitutional grounds. Cleveland City Council Clerk Pat Britt, via a deputy, issued a memo on May 22 saying that a referendum would impair an existing contract (the Q Deal itself, signed less than 30 days prior.)

Earlier this month, though, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Pat Britt was wrong to deny the petitions.

"The clerk had a clear legal duty to perform the ministerial function of her office—verifying the sufficiency of the petition signatures—and relators have a clear legal right to compel the performance of that duty," the majority opinion read.

After the opinion, City Council turned over the petitions to the Board of Elections for certification. Now that a sufficient number of signatures has been validated, City Council may either repeal the ordinance or put it before voters.

Some councilmembers attempted to persuade Council President Kevin Kelley to move up their next scheduled meeting so the referendum might be placed on the November ballot. That seems improbable, given Kelley's, Mayor Jackson's and other incumbents' presumed fear of being booted from office after strenuously supporting a deal that a significant number of voters despise.

The Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, one of the groups opposed to the Deal issued a statement in response to the news. It read, in part:
This issue needs to be on the November ballot. It is a senseless waste of $760,000 of Cleveland taxpayer money to hold a special election when Cleveland City Council can simply schedule a meeting before the regularly scheduled September 18 meeting to get it on the November ballot.

We urge City Council to schedule this earlier meeting and not waste $760,000 that can be better spent in the neighborhoods that need help. We ask this question: If Mayor Jackson and the Cleveland City Council members who voted for the Q Renovations really feel that a majority of Cleveland citizens believe that this is an appropriate use of $88 million of taxpayer money, why would they not want it on the ballot as they campaign for re-election? What are they afraid of?

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Sakkio Japan is Closed at Tower City

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 1:17 PM

  • Sam Allard / Scene
If you haven't been to Tower City lately, the food court is a ghost town. After Dan Gilbert's purchase of the Avenue Shops last year, tenants of the food court have been incrementally packing it in. Even McDonald's has closed up shop.

But the saddest location to see go was Sakkio Japan. It's now a dark husk at the entrance to what remains of the food court, as nondescript as a former Great Steak and Potato. Yelpers have glumly reported the closure as well.

Clevelanders will remember with fondness the free Teriyaki chicken samples at Sakkio, and the styrofoam boxes overflowing with sauce-rich daily specials. It was as much an anchor of the Avenue Shops as Footlocker or Cleveland Cinemas.

Last March Gilbert said that the Avenue Shops provided his company, Bedrock Detroit, with a unique opportunity to "build upon the connectivity to our other downtown [Cleveland] investments and create a one-of-a-kind urban shopping, dining and entertainment destination that will make all Clevelanders proud.”

That sounds great, but we're still sorry to see Sakkio go.

Nostalgic fake-Japanese food lovers can still hit up Sarku Japan (Sakkio's parent company) at Great Northern Mall, Southpark Mall and Great Lakes Mall in Mentor. The food courts are open until 9 p.m.
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Get Over to Winking Lizard for the Solar Eclipse, and Other Places to Watch

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 12:46 PM

  • wikipedia photo
We know you want to watch the eclipse today, but like us, you probably forgot to buy glasses in advance. And unfortunately, there aren't many places around Northeast Ohio where the special glasses needed to look at the eclipse are available.

Thankfully, there are some eclipse viewing parties you can check out in the Cleveland area.

Every Winking Lizard with a patio plans to hand out 25 free pairs of special solar eclipse glasses. Just be one of the first 25 people to get out onto the patio after 2 p.m. at your nearest Winking Lizard and you'll get a pair.

But there are some other parties, too, most of which are starting around 1 p.m.:

-The Cleveland Museum of Natural History
-Edgewater Park
-Great Lakes Science Center
-Westcreek Reservation in the Cleveland Metroparks
-The Cleveland Public Library
-The Case Western Reserve University Astronomy Department

Don't wait. Glasses are limited at all of these locations so if you want to view the eclipse, get going.

Can't get down to one of these events? You can make a pinhole viewer at home. Here's how, from NASA:

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Country Singer Sara Evans to Bring Her Holiday Show to Hard Rock Live

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 11:43 AM

Just last month, country singer Sara Evans released Words, her latest chart-topping hit album. A veteran musician who's a legitimate superstar, Evans is also an accomplished author, blogger and Red Cross ambassador (in 2008 she was presented with the national Crystal Cross award for her work with the disaster-relief organization).

Her latest tour brings her to Hard Rock Live on Dec. 8. Billed as Sara Evans at Christmas, the show will feature both her hits and “holiday favorites.”

Continue reading »

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'Rock Box' Speakers Downtown Will Play 'Dark Side of the Moon' During Solar Eclipse

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 9:29 AM

Beginning at 1:50 p.m. or so, the Rock Hall will play Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon through its Rock Box speakers, located across downtown.

The album's final song, "Eclipse," will sync up with the darkest point of the partial solar eclipse, right around 2:31 p.m.

There's not much more to the news than that. If you have not yet procured your eclipse glasses or acid blotter, then you might just want to post up near a set of speakers this afternoon and enjoy one of the greatest rock albums of all time.

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CHA Spirits and Pizza Closing Up Shop in Battery Park, Relocating to Ohio City

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 9:19 AM

  • Emanuel Wallace

Three years ago CHA Spirits & Pizza Kitchen took over the space previously occupied by the Battery Park Wine Bar. The pizza joint and bar run by Susan Walters, whose nickname (Cha-Cha) gave birth to the restaurant's moniker, will now itself give way to something else as it closes up shop in Battery Park this Sunday, August 27. That gives CHA fans a few more days to grab a pie but if you can't make it by this weekend rest assured you're not totally out of luck: CHA announced Saturday on Facebook that it will be reopening in a brand new but as of yet undisclosed location in Ohio City, where Walters once ran KeKe, in October. We'll keep you updated when a firm location is announced.

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A Compelling Look at a Woman's Confining Marriage in 'A Doll's House' From Mamai Theatre Company

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 7:50 AM

Great theater often comes alive in the details, and there are gorgeous details aplenty in the outstanding production of A Doll’s House now at Mamai Theatre Company. This talented troupe has taken an adaptation by Thornton Wilder of the Henrik Ibsen script and turned that old Norwegian play into a fresh and compelling look at a restless and unfulfilled woman in a confining marriage.

But, oh, the details! Take the line “I can’t spend the night in a strange man’s house.” Those words are uttered by Nora, later in the play, when she decides to leave her husband of eight years, Thorwald, much to his surprise. And it sums up, in an instant, the profound disconnection between these two remarkable characters.

In this production, those two characters are given precisely crafted interpretations by Anjanette Hall as Nora and Abraham Adams as Thorwald. Hall’s role has a sweeping trajectory—from childlike “doll” to a self-realized young woman—and Hall brings each aspect of this woman to life with the exactitude of a pointillist. And Adams provides an equally fascinating portrayal of a man who is often rendered as a two-dimensional dufus. Indeed, there are often times when you feel great affection for Adams’ Thorwald, which makes the play resonate even more powerfully.

They are supported in splendid style by four other players. Rachel Lee Kolis is beaten but unbowed as Christina Linden, Nora’s less fortunate gal pal. She shares secrets with Nils Krogstad (a determined yet vulnerable John Busser), a functionary in the bank run by Thorwald. And Tim Keo makes the most of his turn as Dr. Rank. In his scene with Nora, when she entices him with her silk stockings, you can feel the tension ripple through his yearning and unmoving body. Like I said: details.

Director Christine McBurney has found exactly the right pace for this material, and it grabs hold of you from the first lines all the way to the end, some 2½ hours later. The design team has also done exceptional work, from the multi-level scenic design by Don McBride to the subtle lighting design by Marcus Dana. Kristine Davies’ period costumes are spot-on, and equally effective are Richard Ingraham’s sound cues, capturing party sounds from a floor above, and Monica Plunkett’s specific and appropriate props.

A Doll’s House created a furor back in the day, with a wife and mother willing to forsake her duty to husband and children to assert her own individuality. It’s an early sketch of the feminist mindset, and it is given a stellar production by Mamai that is hugely satisfying from the smallest details to the largest themes.

A Doll’s House
Through August 27 at Mamai Theater, The Helen Rosenfeld Bialosky Lab Theatre, 1407 Euclid Avenue, 216-241-6000,
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