Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Tomorrow is the Day that Mason’s Creamery Reopens as Ramen Shop for the Winter

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 9:38 AM

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Update:

At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, December 12, Mason's Creamery will reopen its doors after a brief hiatus as a winter-long ramen popup shop. Minor modifications and physical improvements have been made to convert the walk-up ice cream shop into a small, but sit-down noodle bar.

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For now, the hours of operation will be 4 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Owners may add lunch hours down the road.

Here's the original post:

For the past three winters, Jesse Mason and Helen Qin of Mason’s Creamery (4401 Bridge Ave., 216-245-8942) have hosted regular ramen pop-up events at their Ohio City-based ice cream shop. In addition to being a food they both absolutely adore, the wildly popular ramen nights inject some fun, energy and income into the typically slower months of the year.

The events have been so successful, in fact, that the owners were inspired to go all in this winter by setting up a full-time ramen residency at the shop.

“We were looking at options of what to do during the winter when it slows down,” explains Mason. “It’s not insanely crazy to think about doing ramen. We really don’t need to do much to convert it to a modern take on a classic ramen shop.”

In early December, the team will briefly shutter the petite shop in order to make some physical changes. New dedicated noodle cookers will be installed in the kitchen. The glass front on the display coolers will be removed to make way for some type of floating shelf that will serve as a dining counter. By enclosing the patio and adding space heaters, occupancy will be nearly doubled. All told, there will be approximately 18-20 seats. Service will be fast-casual-style, meaning that you’ll order, pay and sit down. Bowls also can be ordered to go.

As for the food, ramen fans can look forward to the same classic pork-based tonkotsu broth with cha siu (roasted pork belly), soy-marinated soft-cooked eggs, enoki mushrooms, mayu (black garlic oil) and ramen noodles. Other broth options will include chicken and a vegan mushroom-based brew. Specials and sides might also make appearances.

While most of the ice cream will be on winter holiday, a soft serve machine will be dispensing fun, colorful Japanese-inspired flavors that will be served in fish-shaped cones called taiyaki, a trend that’s sweeping the nation.

“The goal is to be fluid and just have fun with it, which has kind of been our plan with the ice cream shop in general,” adds Mason.

The plan is to run with the ramen concept until April, with afternoon and evening hours 5 or 6 days a week.

If you can’t wait until the middle of December for your Mason’s Creamery ramen fix, there will be a pop-up event taking place at the shop November 9 and 10.

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Michelle Obama's Book Tour Coming to the State Theater in 2019

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 9:13 AM

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One of the most articulate and eloquent First Ladies the country has ever had, Michelle Obama embarked on an arena tour earlier this year in support of her new book, Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama. Now, she’s added a slew of dates for a 2019 tour.

She comes to the State Theatre on Saturday, March 16. The appearance will feature a to-be-announced moderator.

Continue reading »

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Trevor Elkins, Lone RTA Trustee to Support Transit Levy, Just Lost Re-Election Bid for Board Seat

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 5:02 PM

Newburgh Heights Mayor Trevor Elkins
  • Newburgh Heights Mayor Trevor Elkins

Newburgh Heights Mayor Trevor Elkins has lost his re-election bid to serve another term as a board member for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA). His current term expires in March, 2019, at which point he'll be replaced by Parma Heights Mayor Michael Byrne.

Byrne will join board chair Dennis Clough, Mayor of Westlake, and South Euclid Mayor Georgine Welo as the two other representatives from the Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association.

Byrne has been Mayor of Parma Heights since 2010. He'd previously served, since 2001, as president of the Parma Heights City Council. Since 2012, he has served on the board of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission. Byrne was not immediately available for comment by phone.

Elkins told Scene that many of the county's largest suburban mayors voted for Byrne. And despite Elkins' support from Cleveland Heights and several smaller communities, votes are weighted by population.

"I served my three years [on the RTA board] in the way that I know how," he told Scene by phone. "I tried to shake up the status quo and challenge the way we were operating. The county's choice seems to be a return to the status quo. I think they just don't understand how important this transit agency is to the region economically."

Elkins' three years of service — not, perhaps, coincidentally — were a tumultuous time for the transit agency. They included a massive shake-up at the top of the organization after a health insurance scandal. Longtime board chairman George Dixon III resigned in the wake of revelations that he owed RTA more than $1 million in unpaid health insurance premiums. CEO and Chairman Joe Calabrese has been transitioned out of his leadership role as well. 

Elkins was also the lone board member to support a tax levy to fund the RTA. He called out his colleagues, who were urging restraint and "due diligence," at a tense meeting this summer.

"In this county, we have spent an insane amount of taxpayer dollars on funding for professional sports facilities," Elkins said. "If due diligence and research matter to us, we would never have done that because all of the research, right up to the Federal Reserve, says spending money on those facilities does not ever generate an economic return. Does research and data really matter to us? Only when it's convenient, it appears."

Elkins told Scene that the vote by the county mayors was not unexpected today. Even Dennis Clough and Georgine Welo, his RTA board colleagues, voted against him.

"The full muscle of the county's political machine establishment was in effect," Elkins said. "There is no real desire in this community for changing the status quo and anyone stepping out of line will be met with the type of result I experienced today. I will continue to speak truth to power and shake up the status quo. Today changes nothing." 

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Akron Native Teddy Robb to Play This Weekend at the Dusty Armadillo

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 3:40 PM

MATTHEW BERINATO
  • Matthew Berinato
Country singer-songwriter Teddy Robb grew up in Akron and played football at Kent State University before moving to Colorado and devoting himself to writing songs and touring.

Currently based out of Nashville, Robb now writes with some of the best songwriters in the Music City, including Grammy-winner Shane McAnally.

Hot on the heels of the release of his catchy new single, "Lead Me On," Robb comes to Northeast Ohio this week to perform at the Dusty Armadillo in Rootstown at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Singer-guitarist Jon Langston will open the show.

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Rally Outside Planning Summit Will Try to Teach Cleveland Leaders What the Word 'Inclusion' Means

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 1:33 PM

1801 Superior Avenue. - STRAIGHT FROM CITY HALL.
  • Straight from City Hall.
  • 1801 Superior Avenue.

As many as 70 community leaders will convene Thursday at Cleveland.com HQ (1801 Superior Ave.) for a two-day “design session” to discuss and plan a regional economic development summit. 

The session will employ something called the “Appreciative Inquiry” method, developed at Case, which encourages positivity and "focuses on answers, not problems" via group conversation. Per the method’s founder, David Cooperrider, AI is “a proven method to help diverse stakeholders discover their collective strengths to align around a shared vision and then co-create action initiatives to realize their highest aspirations.”

But the design session has been the subject of controversy. It was pursued and conceptualized by an As-Yet Unnamed Committee Of 15 civic leaders (AYUCO15) that includes Cleveland.com editor Chris Quinn, and has been framed as only the introductory planning portion of a much broader economic development conversation, which will include the summit in 2019, to which all will be theoretically invited.

While AYUCO15 leaders and the press continue to say that the planning process should be “inclusive,” the full list of the session’s participants has not been released. And some wonder, given the makeup of AYUCO15, whether or not it will truly represent the community it’s ostensibly planning for.

(Destination Cleveland has said that the list is not yet finalized and will be released Wednesday.)

On Nov. 26, Crain’s Editor Elizabeth McIntyre wrote in an editor’s note that the group of 15 was startlingly lacking in female representation. Only two of the 15 leaders were women.

“You can't throw around words like 'inclusion' if you aren't holding yourself to that very standard,” she wrote, “and the best place to start is by looking at who is, and who isn't, seated at the table with you.”

Local attorney Rebecca Maurer, who created the SerialLand blog, felt the same way. She volunteered for the design session, she told Scene, but was denied. She reported in a Crain’s op-ed that she was told the list of participants had been culled from Cleveland Leadership Center's program graduates, recent Crain's “40 Under 40” honorees, and the private networks of those who have helped develop the effort.

“I've never seen such a clear articulation of an unspoken truth embedded in our region's economic development ecosystem,” Maurer wrote. “For so many in this space, ‘community members’ are businesses executives, nonprofit leaders, and the networks of those already at the table. Community members are not the average people whose lives and livelihoods depend on our region's economy.”

(Certain “outspoken individuals” from the local news media were said to have been invited as well. This may or may not refer to Scene’s CEO Andrew Zelman, who received an invite from Destination Cleveland, but said he was not privy to the wider invite list.)

In response to the lack of transparency and a presumed lack of inclusion, a group of protesters will rally outside 1801 Superior Thursday and will call for changes to the planning process. The rally has been billed as the launch of a larger effort to incorporate equity into long-term planning, and rally organizers say they’ll be soliciting applications from members of the public who wish to serve as community representatives.

“The response is necessary because the organizers of this [design session] have failed to create a transparent and inclusive process,” said Rebecca Maurer, one of the organizers, in a prepared statement. “The group claims to have invited a broad set of community members to this crucial conversation. In fact, a private invitation went out to only a few dozen well-connected people. Since the invite list is secret, we have no idea if Cleveland will be well-represented in its true diversity or breadth of experience. We suspect not.”

In a phone conversation Monday, Maurer said that it was important to address the issue of inclusion immediately. She also said that while she would be interested to see the full list of participants, and called Destination Cleveland’s plan to release it “a good first step,” much more is required.

“What I’m worried about is that this [AI design session] is going to set the tone for the entire planning process,” she said. “If they only start thinking about inclusion and equity after the planning has taken place, it’s too late.”

Like others, Maurer said she was surprised that the AYUCO15 leaders haven’t internalized what is by now more a mandate than a hint: Better community representation is important to the people of Northeast Ohio. In virtually every recent conversation about local economic development, the most persistent refrain has been that Cleveland’s leaders are old and stale and hostile to new ideas. Jon Pinney, whose speech at the City Club in June is regarded as the summit’s public origin, was chastened for calling upon only white male leaders to step up and lead.

“What should be hyper-awareness about inclusion has translated into hyper-awareness about using the word ‘inclusion,’” Maurer said. “It demonstrates that they aren’t listening.” She reiterated a version of a theme that she succinctly laid out in her Crain’s piece: “When you design the structure of the summit, you are helping to design the substance of the summit,” she wrote. “When you design the table, you choose who gets to sit there.”

Co-organizer Yvonka Hall, Director of Outreach for the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus said, “Cleveland has seen this type of economic development planning process before. For decades, it's left people doing well even better off, and the average Clevelander far behind."

In the meantime, Destination Cleveland has invited media members to a briefing session Wednesday on the Appreciative Inquiry method, which appears, on first blush, to be a boardroom manifestation of ‘looking on the bright side.’

An online introduction to the method says that AI “is about the search for the best in people, their organizations, and the strengths-filled, opportunity-rich world around them. AI is not so much a shift in the methods and models of organizational change, but AI is a fundamental shift in the overall perspective taken throughout the entire change process to ‘see’ the wholeness of the human system and to “inquire” into that system’s strengths, possibilities, and successes.”

This method, which may or may not produce an actionable plan to help the region realize its highest aspirations, should in any case insulate Cleveland leaders from unpleasant ideas, including the fact that many of them may be the problem.

THE AYUCO15 CIVIC LEADERS:
  • Justin Bibb, senior consultant at Gallup / RTA board member
  • Julie Boland, central region managing partner at Ernst & Young
  • Akram Boutros, president and CEO at MetroHealth
  • Marc Byrnes, chairman of Oswald Companies
  • David Gilbert, president and CEO at Destination Cleveland
  • Ira Kaplan, executive chairman of Benesch (law firm)
  • Bernie Moreno, president of Bernie Moreno Companies
  • Jon Pinney, managing partner at Kohrman Jackson & Krantz (law firm)
  • Chris Quinn, editor and president of Advance Ohio/ cleveland.com
  • Chris Ronayne, president of University Circle Inc.
  • Rev. Stephen Rowan, pastor of Bethany Baptist Church
  • Bob Smith, Cleveland market leader for HPM Partners
  • Dan Walsh, CEO Citymark Capital
  • Brian Zimmerman, CEO of Cleveland Metroparks
  • Ann Zoller, senior advisor with Strategy Design Partners

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Jim Henson's Holiday Special Double Feature Comes to Cleveland Cinemas This Week

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 12:41 PM

FILM SCREENSHOT
  • Film Screenshot
Christmas is always better with puppets, as Jim Henson and team were/are well aware.

Now two of the outfit's more under-the-radar (but quite beloved) holiday TV entries, Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas and The Bells of Fraggle Rock, are coming to the big screen in Cleveland tonight and Sunday, Dec. 16 in the form of Jim Henson's Holiday Special.

Remastered and restored, both silly stories offer enough humor and ridiculousness for adults and children alike. The special also includes a fun intro with Amy Poehler, along with Jim Henson's daughter, Cheryl Henson.

The special is playing at Cedar Lee Theatre, Chagrin Cinemas and Southside Works Cinemas. The whole thing lasts about an hour and a half, leaving you with plenty of time to enjoy your evening. Find tickets here.

In case you're going to miss the special, just know that Emmet Otter's "Barbecue" song about, well, barbecue, is exactly the Christmas song you need right now. Enjoy below:

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Comedian Dane Cook Coming to Hard Rock Live in 2019

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 12:20 PM

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A few years ago, comedian Dane Cook was a superstar who could sell out arenas. His popularity has since waned, but he continues to tour.

He’s also regularly acted throughout his career and just last year had a role in American Gods, the fantasy drama series based on the popular Neil Gaiman novel.

Hard Rock Live has just announced that Cook will perform at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18, as part of his Tell It Like It Is tour.

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