Friday, March 30, 2012

Trailer: Documentary on Bullying at Mentor High School, Plus Reaction from School Officials

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 10:05 AM


Five Mentor High School students have committed suicide in recent years. That's a troubling number, and it hasn't escaped the attention of parents or the media, especially when families say that bullying in the halls of the high school drove their children to despair. Two of those families have sued the school district. One lawsuit has been dropped, the other goes on.

There's a documentary in the works by Alix Lambert on the alleged Mentor bullying problem, the trailer for which is above. The film isn't completed yet, but it's already touched nerves in the city.

School officials posted brief notes on the MHS site this week in response to the trailer and a Plain Dealer article about the documentary. They haven't and won't say much — legal reasons, naturally.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Struthers City Official Wants No-Sagging Ordinance

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 4:04 PM

You are killing America.
  • You are killing America.

Here's the thing about the great institution of Small Town Middle America: it can never just be, its always got to in a huff about something, positioning its white picket battlements against a perceived harbinger that supposedly threatens it's very Small Town Middle Americanness. Music, Guatemalan immigrants, gay marriage – you name it, some small town somewhere is getting up a fight against it.

Down in Struthers, they're spittin' mad about sagging – at least that's what the kids call it on the internets, really it's just letting your butt hang out for all to see, damn rap music. Now what type of goofhead would want everyone to see his underwear? No one wants to see that, or at least that's what the Mahoning County town's safety-services director is trying to tell city council. Ed Wiles wants an ordinance on the books that says your pants have to be sensibly placed when you're in the city building, according to the Vindicator.

To make his case, Wildes actually said this in a council meeting:

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Stuff We Love: Ping Pong at Sachsenheim Hall

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM


The Best of Cleveland 2012 issue is online and on the streets now. Read it, love it. In addition to the usual categories, there were some offbeat staff picks. We'll be posting them here over the next few days.

Best Place to Play Ping Pong in a Bar: Sachsenheim Hall

Despite the game’s irrefutable awesomeness, not too many bars offer ping pong as a recreational option. But Sachsenheim Hall, that century-old, little-known West Side gem on Denison, is the welcome exception to the rule. The quintessential neighborhood joint offers one of the best Taco Tuesday deals around and copious amounts of cheap beer every day of the week, all served by a friendly staff. But the ping pong table is the cherry on this glorious sundae. For one thing, it’s well cared for, and it’s sequestered in a side room, meaning you can work on that backspin return without sending it careening into someone’s liter mug of pilsner or plate of chipotle lamb tacos, both of which you should enjoy before a game or two. Just be considerate and wipe your hands before grabbing a paddle.
7001 Denison Ave.,

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Stuff We Love: The Bazaar Bizarre

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 3:40 PM


The Best of Cleveland 2012 issue is online and on the streets now. Read it, love it. In addition to the usual categories, there were some offbeat staff picks. We'll be posting them here over the next few days.

Best Craft Show for People Who Don’t Need Crocheted Blankets: Bazaar Bizarre

The craftspeople who set up shop at the annual Bazaar Bizarre have two things in common with your Aunt Betty: They make their own Christmas gifts, and they like cats. But unlike your “creative” aunt, the Bazaar Bizarre folks aren’t knitting ill-fitting winter hats or sweaters. And if they are, they most likely have the word “bitch” emblazoned on them somewhere. The vendors here are young creators whose wearable art includes everything from T-shirts to bracelets to trinkets you can hang from your leather jacket. You can also find coasters, posters, and magnets — all celebrating Cleveland and a side of life your Aunt Betty probably never walked on. Appropriately, Bazaar Bizarre takes place inside the dark and cavernous 78th Street Studios, and is accompanied by the sounds of alternative music. And it happens every year during the holiday season, so you can pick up a couple of fang-baring snowman ornaments for your more daring relatives.

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Stuff We Love: Peeing Next to a Picasso

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 3:34 PM


The Best of Cleveland 2012 issue is online and on the streets now. Read it, love it. In addition to the usual categories, there were some offbeat staff picks. We'll be posting them here over the next few days.

Best Place to Pee Next to a Picasso: The Velvet Tango Room

Although it’s not the kind of joint that makes any particular effort to flag down thirsty passersby with blaring signage, the Velvet Tango Room has made a name for itself as if it did. With its speakeasy vibe, rare-in-C-Town dress code, tinkling piano accompaniment, and cocktail menu, the once-best-kept secret in Duck Island is now synonymous with high-end living. And that class doesn’t stop at the bathroom door. This place is so swank, they’ve got a genuine Picasso hanging above the urinal in the men’s room. Sure, it’s a drawing crude enough to be your kid nephew’s — just an androgynous ass shot done in four brush strokes —but when’s the last time you got to do your business in the presence of Modernism’s finest? As of press time, we haven’t had the opportunity to see if the ladies’ room offers a complementary Joan Miro.

2095 Columbus Rd., 216-241-8869,

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Cleveland Shelves Gassification Plans After Learning It Would Cost Millions of Dollars a Year

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Turns out it was all garbage.
  • Turns out it was all garbage.

Last week the City of Cleveland officially canceled its $1.5 million contract with the New Jersey businessman hired to design a trash-gassing plant the city wants on Ridge Road. The problem with the work performed by Peter Tien and his Princeton Environmental Group? Mostly he sucked at math.

Despite Tien’s assurances that the plant would be a moneymaker, a check of his figures showed it would actually cost millions every year, which the city determined is not the preferable flow of cash for a $200 million investment.

Back in February, Tien submitted reports showing that the trash-processing units would deposit an average of $40.7 million a year into city coffers. A small problem arose when it was learned that Tien had inexplicably multiplied the plant’s actual energy earnings by 10.

The error was caught quickly — not by the city or Tien, but by folks at Ohio Citizen Action, a nonprofit watchdog that posted a detailed accounting of Tien’s promises on its website. Correcting for Tien’s faulty math, the group learned that the city’s $40.7 million profit would more closely resemble a $17 million annual loss, a feat City Hall can accomplish any number of other ways.

The city gave Tien and Princeton a chance to correct the math this month, but his revised number-crunching revealed the same phantom income.

Happily, not all profits will be lost: If the Ohio EPA approves the problematic permit Tien submitted for the plant, he’ll still get paid. Officials have invited the fired consultant to name his price in a final “progress report” that chronicles his foibles.

“The City is prepared to pay the amount contained in the approved final progress report upon receipt [of the EPA permit],” Tien’s pink slip notes.

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Chardon Rocked By Another Deadly Shooting (Updated)

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 12:59 PM


Update: The deceased is 28-year-old Ryan Sever, according to Chardon officials. He was killed after police responded to a domestic violence call at around 3 a.m. The caller reported her son had been fighting with his girlfriend but left the premises, according to the News Herald. When police spotted Sever on the sidewalk and approach, he pulled a knife and attacked.

The officer who used the deadly force has been put on administrative, per regulations.


Right now we’re pretty low on details, but various news outlets report there was a deadly shooting in Chardon during the pre-dawn hours today. If the news trickling out is correct, as you can see on the map, the incident happened only a block or so from the high school, the tragic site of a cafeteria shooting in late February.

Newsnet 5 reports a 27-year-old was killed by law enforcement near North Street and Allynd Bouelvard. The incident reportedly happened at 4:30 this morning.

Officials say the shooting had nothing to do with the earlier events. We’ll update as more information comes out.

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