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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Here's What You're Legally Allowed to Light Up in Cleveland This Fourth of July

Posted By on Tue, Jul 2, 2019 at 12:13 PM

Sparklers are legal for personal use. - PHOTO VIA CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Photo via Creative Commons
  • Sparklers are legal for personal use.
There are not a whole hell of a lot of fireworks you can legally light off in Cleveland this Fourth of July. Although state legislators have attempted to pass laws legalizing amateur firework displays for decades, nothing has yet to stick. The closest we are right now is a current Senate bill that is still pending in committee. In the meantime, here are some ways you can legally celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks in Ohio.

Break out the novelty fireworks
Probably the easiest way to celebrate Independence Day is to play with sparklers, smoke bombs, snaps and snakes outside in your yard. These little guys may not be as colorful, exciting or grand, but they offer a safe and legal thrill guaranteed to impress any of your guests under the age of five.

Purchase fireworks from an authorized retailer, if you're 18 or older
There are plenty of places to legally purchase fireworks, but then to comply with Ohio law you must take your purchase to another state within 48 hours to do whatever you'd like (so long as it's legal there). Of course, thanks to a provision in Ohio's 2015 budget, you no longer have to fill out the "liar's form" promising that you'll take the explosives elsewhere. It's more of an honor system now.

Obtain a fireworks exhibitor's license
The license costs $50 and requires at least a 70 percent score on a written test, proving that you're proficient in the use of fireworks. Honestly, if you can't pass it, you probably shouldn't be setting fireworks off anyway. You can find the application here.

Go watch professional fireworks displays
Take the hassle and clean up out of partying at your home, and head to one of these Northeast Ohio fireworks displays. Prepare for much to "ooh" and "ahh" over.

If you decide to risk illegally setting off consumer fireworks like firecrackers, Roman candles, bottle rockets, fountains or something more sinister, you could be looking at a $1,000 fine and up to six months in prison. There's also the chance of getting seriously injured, as one Lakewood man learned two year's ago after his leg was shredded.

The Ohio Department of Commerce put out a guide on how to safely and legally celebrate the Fourth of July, which you can read here. If you have more questions, you can explore an FAQ here.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Revamped Diner on Clifton Opens Today With New Menu, New Location, Booze!

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 3:34 PM

dinerbar_logo_fb.jpg

Plenty of folks were sad to see the closing of the Diner on Clifton in 2016 after 17 years of dishing up efficient, delicious diner fare. Almost immediately, owner Perry Drosos said he'd be looking for a new location to reopen the venerable institution.

Well, today was that day. After two years of waiting, the new diner officially reopened at 11 a.m. in Lakewood, just across the border from Cleveland, home to the original spot. 

The Dinerbar on Clifton, so named because the new location sports a bar and liquor license, can be found at 11801 Clifton in the former Clifton Medical Arts Building, which Drosos also owns.

With 2,200 square feet and an expansive patio, the new spot will be dishing up its welcoming mix of diner fare, including breakfast, lunch, brunch and home-style suppers. 

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth and Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba Talk About Their Co-Headlining Tour

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2018 at 4:33 PM

DAVID BEAN
  • David Bean
Earlier this year, indie rockers Dashboard Confessional [pictured] released Crooked Shadows, their first album in more than eight years. The result of "a near decade-long period of immense self-examination," the album finds frontman Chris Carrabba writing highly personal songs and delivering call-and-response anthems such as “We Fight” and “Heart Beat Here” as well as tender pop ballads like “Open My Eyes.”

Last year, the pop-punk band All Time Low returned with Last Young Renegade, a collection of righteous punk tunes propelled by the band’s sharp power-pop impulses. It's another triumph for the group, an Alternative Press favorite.

This summer, the two bands have teamed up for a co-headlining tour that comes to Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica on Friday, Aug. 10. In separate phone interviews, All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth and Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba talk about the tour.

Continue reading »

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Cleveland Hopkins Airport to Offer Year-Round Direct Flights to Europe for First Time Ever

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2018 at 3:06 PM

PHOTO VIA WIKIMEDIA
  • Photo via Wikimedia
The days of transferring through New York to fly to Europe may soon be limited for those traveling from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.  Icelandair has announced plans to extend its recently added service through the winter, making it the first airline to offer year-round direct flights to Europe out of Cleveland.

Since May, Icelandair and Wow Air have made European travel more affordable than ever for Northeast Ohioans, with their cheaper direct flights to Iceland's capital city of Reykjavik.

The area has since become one of the popular destinations for Clevelanders this summer, according to local travel agents. And, as Hopkins told Cleveland.com, there's been a 13 percent increase in international travellers this year since this same time in 2017.

So far, no word yet on if Wow Airlines will resume flights to Iceland from Cleveland next year. In the meantime, travel runs through October with that airline.

For those looking to travel around Europe once in Iceland, flights are also quite cheap. Customers can now book tickets on Icelandair through July 2019. 

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CWRU Will Now Allow Students to Choose Gender Identity Other Than One Assigned at Birth

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2018 at 1:47 PM

COURTESY OF PRIDE.ORG
  • Courtesy of Pride.org

Case Western Reserve University has solidified its spot on the front lines of student validation and affirmation by implementing an update to their Student Information System that now allows students to self-identify outside of the archaic "male/female" binary in addition to choosing their pronouns.

The list of gender identity labels were chosen by speaking with transgender students to determine the list of gender identities and pronoun options. Students are able to select from over 20 different gender identities including (but not limited to) transgender, genderqueer, agender, non-binary and polygender in addition to man and woman.

Available pronouns include she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs and xe/xem/xyrs.

Director of CWRU's LGBT Center, Liz Roccoforte and Assistant Director AmariYah Israel told Scene they are pleased with the move forward.

"We know that there are a multitude of terms that resonate with people and we opted to include more labels, rather than edit the list and include less labels," the directors said in an email. "The risk of not including an identity sends a message of invalidation and we wanted to validate and recognize as many gender identities as possible."

The change has been in planning for more than a year, and spearheaded by the university's LGBT Center. As the feature was part of a larger software update, the University had to wait until after the regular academic year to implement the change. CWRU unveiled the change this summer so incoming students can establish their identities before they ever step foot on campus.

According to Roccoforte and Israel, identifiers such as name, gender, and personal pronouns are core factors to many students’ sense of self. Not providing opportunities for students to share who they are allows for more chances of them being misidentified in the system and by faculty or administrators.

"Students who are misgendered experience a range of emotion and realities — a student might feel humiliated, unsafe, under scrutiny by classmates and/or pressured to affirm or deny the misgendering," Roccoforte and Israel said. "This kind of scenario could and has led to students choosing not to go to a particular class and potentially impacting their academic career."

In the first week of the launch, many students have already begun using the Student Information System to add pronouns and gender identity. CWRU Faculty and staff are inviting the LGBT Center staff to present at department and committee meetings to learn more about the importance of pronouns.

"The feedback that we have received so far has been overwhelmingly positive. People have questions, but are typically supportive and just seeking more information and resources," Roccoforte says.

This step is hugely progressive, as the Campus Pride Index indicates there are currently only 18 universities/colleges that list pronouns on rosters and 59 that enable students to update their gender without documentation.

The SIS update supports the work of the LGBT Center as well as affirms the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

"By adding these options we are not only directly supporting the students who this impacts, we are indirectly creating a space for dialogue, education and raised awareness for the entire campus community," Roccoforte says.

The SIS system is flexible so the university can add and remove labels based on community feedback and shifting language norms.

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Local Tech CEO Proposes 'Betaland,' Wants to Make Cleveland a 'Proving Ground for Innovation'

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2018 at 1:14 PM

Betaland - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • Betaland
Charles Stack, a local tech CEO, penned a column that appeared in the Sunday Plain Dealer's Forum section advocating yet another "big audacious plan" for the region. 

While luxury car salesman Bernie Moreno attempts to corral local leaders around a "Blockland" initiative, (Moreno's vision of making Cleveland the "national epicenter for all things blockchain"), Stack is now proposing a "Betaland" initiative, his vision of transforming the region into a "vast proving ground for innovation."

What that means and how it will take shape is still unclear. Stack proposed a series of City Club forums to plan and implement this vision. But the pitch is basically that Cleveland should lure start-ups to the region not with funding but with consumers, local guinea pigs who would be selected to test fledgling products and services; and with a bountiful supply of free and/or cheap labor, courtesy of the "world's largest startup intern program"

Speaking as if the program already exists, per local custom, Stack writes that the Betaland intern program "leverages our 200,000 regional university students to assist startups and simultaneously prevent brain drain." The hope would be that these local interns go on to staff the new start-ups or start their own.

What's ironic about Stack's column is his suggestion that his vision is more "all-encompassing" than the others that have been circulating in the months since Amazon declined to name Cleveland a finalist for its second headquarters and leaders have been scrambling for something new and grand and unprecedented to get excited about.

Even the economic development conversations themselves have been unprecedented, in Stack's view, which is why he says the region has a "once-in-a-generation" opportunity to change the its trajectory.

"The outgrowth of these [economic development] conversations is a flurry of great but largely disconnected ideas," Stack writes. "All these great concepts are largely based on recruiting and cultivating more startups."

Stack proceeds to introduce a disconnected idea based on recruiting and cultivating more start-ups.

Not to keep going back to attorney Jon Pinney, but isn't this sort of thing precisely symptomatic of the "egosystem" he criticized in his June City Club speech? It sure doesn't seem all that collaborative for Stack, less than a week after leaders gathered at Cleveland.com HQ to brainstorm ideas for the Blockchain conference, (tentatively scheduled for the first week of December), and to hear Pinney's pitch for transforming Tower City into a blockchain tech campus, to take to the Plain Dealer and propose a "new and more all-encompassing" vision. 

How many new and all-encompassing visions can the region sustain? How many in a single week?

Maybe Blockland and Betaland can co-exist, but the impression one can't help receiving is that these two grand and all-encompassing visions are in competition. Even their stupid names are the same, the lazy and self-aggrandizing [Something]-land formation, as if the very city will be remade in the image of their fleeting idea.

Incidentally, Stack's column appeared alongside another — all part of a lively ongoing discussion grouped under the header,  "Cleveland's Future" — by Brad Whitehead. Whitehead is the Executive Director of the Fund for our Economic Future, which put out the Two Tomorrows report earlier this year.

Two Tomorrows presaged Pinney's City Club talk in many ways. But it had concrete plans attached: It suggested that the region should prioritize job creation, job preparation and job access as pathways to economic progress. It also, (uniquely, if I'm not mistaken), emphasized the importance of racial equity in all economic development discussions moving forward.

In his piece Sunday, Whitehead seemed to anticipate Stack's column. He said that good ideas were important, but that acting on them — "greater civic alignment and commitment to implementation at scale" — is what's needed most. Big audacious ideas mean jacksquat, in other words, if we don't bother to follow through. 

"Perhaps what we really have," Whitehead writes, "is a cultural problem masquerading as a strategy question." 

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Parma Man Accused of Criminal Damage After Breaking Car Window to Save Dogs

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2018 at 12:46 PM

COURTESY OF BARK POST
  • Courtesy of Bark Post

A would-be Good Samaritan is now being hit with criminal charges after breaking a car window Saturday in an attempt to save two dogs in a hot car.

Richard Hill was leaving the Walmart in Parma around 4 p.m. when he noticed people standing around a car concerned for two dogs inside. It was about 78 degrees outside at this time.

According to a report from WKYC Channel 3, Hill said one bystander called 911 while another went into Walmart to ask the vehicle owner to come outside. However, Hill sprung into action grabbing a hammer from his contracting van and broke the window to rescue the dogs moments before the police arrived.

What Hill didn’t know was that the dogs had only been left in the car for eight minutes according to surveillance video, and police cited him for criminal damages upon surveying the scene.

Yet Senate Bill 215, also known as Ohio's "Hot Car" legislation, is meant to serve as a Good Samaritan protection for people who find a child or pet in a hot vehicle, allowing them to intervene by forcibly entering the vehicle prior to emergency personnel responding without the fear of litigation.

On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 100 degrees in just minutes. While the owner of the car very well could have been making an extremely short trip into the store, there's no guarantee that they would have returned outside before the car turned into a proverbial oven.

"Even with me and two other people tapping on the window, trying to get him to move and do something, he would not move," Hill told Channel 19, describing one of the dogs. "The officer I could tell was already upset with me. He asked me what I was doing, what I did. I explained the situation, and he told me that I should've waited on him."

Punishing Hill sends a dangerous message to other bystanders. But according to Sargent Dan Ciryak, with the Parma Police Department, "in this case we’re not sure this was a matter of life and death."

Ciryak noted that the vehicle's sunroof was open and felt that Hill didn't wait long enough for police to respond. "There was actually 4 minutes from time of call to the time officer had arrived there. It’s a case by case basis so it’s hard to determine and I think you just need to use good judgement," he told Channel 19.

However, according to the Ohio "Hot Car" law, there is nothing that states a samaritan must wait around and do nothing before police arrive after notifying them of the situation.

The owner of the dogs was not cited and Hill plans to fight the charges.

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