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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Netflix Debuts Documentary About Massillon Athlete This Friday

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 3:27 PM

Zion Clark is a wrestler at Kent State University at Tuscarawas. He's also the subject of a new documentary that's set to hit Netflix this Friday.

Born without the lower half of his body, the athlete gained local and later national attention for his wrestling and track abilities. The 11-minute documentary film, Zion, which recently showed at the Sundance Film Festival and was directed by Floyd Russ, tells Clark's journey growing up near Massillon.

“I don’t want people to feel bad for me,” Clark told the Massillon Independent. “That’s one thing that annoys me and irritates me. Yeah, I struggle, but I’m really just like any other guy. Just normal, doing my own thing, it just so happens I don’t have legs. And I’m just as good as other people at the sport I do.”

Watch the trailer for the new documentary below:

Prosperity Social Club and Western Reserve Distillers to Team Up for Special Vodka Tasting Event

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 3:26 PM

  • Courtesy of Prosperity Social Club
Now with state-wide distribution, Western Reserve Distillers has teamed up with Prosperity Social Club for a special Savor Summer Tremont Vodka Release Party that takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1, at Prosperity Social Club.

“As a small, family-owned business committed to locally sourced organic ingredients, it’s only natural we’d want to personally introduce ourselves to our local neighbors first,” says Western Reserve Distillers founders Ann and Kevin Thomas in a press release announcing the event.

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Pour Cleveland to Open Small-Batch Roastery in Tremont

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 2:40 PM

  • Justin Posey
Despite his initial reluctance to do so, Pour Cleveland owner Charlie Eisenstat is launching his own small-batch roastery, which will sell a small line of high quality coffees.

“It was never really my intention when I started Pour to get into roasting,” explains Eisenstat. “But once we made the switch to being a multi-roaster shop that dabbled in lots of international and award-winning roasters, we’ve been sent hundreds of samples from different coffee roasters all over the world. After trying so many different coffees and approaches to roasting it sort of developed into this underlying desire to put our own stamp on coffee and put our own product out there.”

Eisenstat, who opened the highly regarded downtown shop nearly five years ago, says that both he and his clientele have settled into a preference for Nordic-style roasting, which leans to lighter and more acidity-driven coffees than American-style, where fuller, sweeter brews are the norm.

“In our opinion they are more exciting to drink,” he says of Nordic-style coffees.

The boutique roastery is located at 807 Literary in Tremont, a small storefront across the street from Barrio. Only a few permits separate Pour Coffee Co., as the venture is called, from its opening day. Eisenstat says the focus will be on creating a few “extremely high quality coffees” for sale to wholesale customers. While the space will not be open to walk-in customers on a regular basis, it might open a day a week down the road.

“It’s a pretty small space, so I have no intent to open a retail café, but it will be a nice showroom for what we do and can do with our coffees, and for customers to come in for training and to try stuff out,” he says.

Pour Cleveland, a separate entity, will continue to serve single-origin coffees that you can’t get anywhere else, but will replace the main coffees with product from Pour Coffee Co.

This Thanksgiving will mark five years for Pour, and Eisenstat surely has had a hand in helping the local coffee scene mature.

“The Cleveland coffee scene is way different and improved since we opened up,” he says. “It was really difficult at first to break down that language barrier of people who, for the most part, were only familiar with Starbucks.”

Early on, customers were baffled by terms like pour-over, long service times and relatively steep price points.

“We have a more sophisticated customer base these days who can taste the difference in quality and understand why it costs more. People are really into what we do and are excited that we’re here.”

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7 Concerts to Catch in Cleveland This Weekend

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 1:54 PM

  • PFA Media

Keith Urban/Kelsea Ballerini

A stellar songwriter and one of the best guitarists in the Nashville, Keith Urban is what country legends are made of. On his new album, Graffiti U, Urban goes more pop country than he’s ever gone before. On“Coming Home,” his collaboration with “Issues” singer and a big player in the pop songwriting game, Julia Micheals, Urban creates a catchy, heartfelt, perfect-for-radio track with cool bluesy guitar riffs. “Horses,” another collaboration, this time with the Canadian crossover country diva Lindsay Ell, goes even softer. It’s an anthem for finding the strength to let go of what’s holding you back and letting yourself run free. Opener Kelsea Ballerini is the fastest rising female in country music, and with the impressive lyrics and perfectly-assembled pop-country singalongs on her sophomore album, Unapologetically, it’s easy to see why. The title track is a beautiful love song for her husband and fellow country music artist, Morgan Evans. “High School” is another highlight about a boy who can’t let go of his teenage glory days. “Get Over Yourself” is the embodiment of who Ballerini is as an artist: confident, honest and unapologetic. Ballerini has all the makings of becoming the next Taylor Swift; she won’t be opening shows for long. (Halle Weber), 7:30 p.m., $37-$116.50. Blossom.

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Senior Citizens are the Newest Victims of the Ohio Opioid Crisis

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 12:55 PM

  • Wikimedia Commons

As Channel 5 revealed last night, 14 people have died from drug overdoses in Cuyahoga County in the last week and half of these deaths were people 60 and over.

The elderly are more likely to have severe physical illnesses and pains, and are therefore more likely to be prescribed opioids to manage their suffering.

A recent analysis from Stanford University found that seniors covered by Medicare have “among the highest and most rapidly growing prevalence of opioid use disorder.” The report found that more than six out of every 1,000 Medicare patients are diagnosed with an opioid disorder, compared to one of every 1,000 patients covered by commercial insurance plans.

Many seniors are obtaining their opioids by legal means, but because the opioid crisis has caused a crackdown on the pill prescriptions, it's pushing more and more addicts to find their relief by the use of street drugs.

Education on the dangers of opioids have been increasing across the state, but the efforts have been targeting younger people, potentially leaving senior citizens, a demographic with a weaker possibility of withstanding opioids, uneducated and ill-informed about the pain killers they're putting into their bodies.

Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health suggests opioid misuse is increasing among older adults and the epidemic is nearly doubling among Americans over the age of 50.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner told Channel 5 that the death location of these victims is evenly split between the west and east sides of the city.

If you or anyone you know is actively using or recovering from an opioid addiction, contact Project DAWN for information at 216-778-5677.

Eligible program participants are given free Naloxone kits – the opioid reversing antidote.

Additionally, the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County provides a 24-hour crisis hotline at 216-623-6888.

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Good News! We're Paying More For Rent in Cleveland Than Ever Before

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 11:10 AM

  • Meme Credit: Jeanne Li

As development continues at a rapid pace in some parts of the city, the cost of living is making a leap while wages sit at a stand still. Meaning, we're now paying more for rent without having the income to supplement the difference in cost.

According to a monthly report from Rent Cafe, average rent costs in Cleveland have jumped 0.4 percent compared to last month, and have jumped 2.7 percent compared to last year.

The biggest jumps came from two bedroom apartments, which hopped 3.9 percent overall compared to last year, in addition to the traditionally most cost effective option for living, studio apartments, that increased 3.7 percent.

A two-bedroom apartment in Cleveland now has an average cost of $1,177 per month, a dollar amount that most Ohio jobs don't pay enough to cover. In 2016, 48 percent of Cleveland renters were cost burdened, and this number is only going to continue to grow if housing doesn't become more affordable.

What's also concerning is that Cleveland has the highest rental costs compared to every other major metropolitan city in the state, including Columbus which boasts a much larger population.

Cleveland is still trying to claw it's way out from the housing crisis, but the construction for new housing opportunities are overwhelmingly geared toward luxury living. These new city developments are targeting new professionals moving to the area, but Cleveland residents are still struggling to find affordable housing.

This upswing in housing costs isn't only impacting those that rent. Last week concluded the sexennial reappraisal of homes in Cuyahoga County, which revealed residential values increased by 10.8 percent countywide, and commercial values increased by 8.7 percent.

County Executive Armond Budish said in a press release about the increased values, “I am pleased that overall our property values have significantly increased. It’s a sign that our county is prospering.”

Unfortunately, many of these homes were appraised for a lot more than their worth. Many homes saw property values go up 100, 200 or even 400%.

A positive takeaway is that Cleveland's increase in rent costs was still below the national average, so we're not quite as screwed as other parts of the country (like Tampa, FL that saw an increase in rent costs by a whopping 6 percent).

However, with an Ohio minimum wage of $8.10 per hour, employees are only able to take away $1,296 per month before taxes, and a two-bedroom apartment costs $1,035 monthly. It's impossible to afford a two-bedroom apartment while working minimum wage.

Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, said in a press release that low wage workers often have to choose between paying for rent, health care, childcare, and other basic necessities.

“The administration’s cruel and shortsighted proposals to cut housing benefits would add to the struggles of millions. Rather than threatening the housing stability of families struggling to keep roofs over their heads, Congress must invest in expanding housing solutions that provide stable homes for the lowest income people in our country,” she said.

A report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition reveals that 41 percent of Cuyahoga County residents are renters, and Cleveland currently boasts 12 evictions every day. As rent increases, the eviction numbers are likely to increase as well.

Cleveland residents are finding ways to combat eviction, as the percentage of adults living with other adults as roommates is higher than ever before. According to a report from Zillow, 30 percent of working-age adults—aged 23 to 65—live in doubled-up households, up from a low of 21 percent in 2005 and 23 percent in 1990, and more than half (54 percent) of young adults aged 23-29 live in doubled-up households, with either roommates or family members.

It's easy to dismiss this trend as unemployed people living at home with their parents, but the likelihood of doubling up has increased at the same rate among employed and unemployed adults since 2005, regardless of age.

By Zillow's prediction (and one we agree with) it's that young people are
especially likely to be underemployed. Despite a generation having higher education levels than ever before, many twenty-somethings work in low-wage jobs, making it impossible to afford the escalating rents on their own.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there's only 41 available and affordable rental properties for every 100 renters. The sad thing? We're actually on the higher end of availability in the country, and we're still unable to assist more than half of the rental community.

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The Plain Dealer Has Discontinued New York Times Wire Service

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 10:20 AM

  • Sam Allard / Scene
Plain Dealer editor and president George Rodrigue has confirmed to Scene that Ohio's largest newspaper has discontinued its subscription to the New York Times syndicate service. That subscription allowed the PD to reprint news articles and opinion pieces produced by the Times and its global network. The wire reports are crucial for the PD, which, due to a depleted staff, regularly and heavily supplements its print edition with syndicated stories. 

The decision, Rodrigue said, was "entirely due to financial considerations."

The most recent Sunday edition of the PD featured articles — including opinion pieces in the Forum section — from the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Associated Press, so there's still a good deal of coverage from national outlets.

But the loss of the New York Times will be a significant blow, especially for readers who valued the Times' international reporting and the palace intrigue of the Trump administration written by reporters like Maggie Haberman, not to mention the deluge of #MeToo stories by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey last year, which won a Pulitzer Prize in Public Service Journalism. 

(A digital-only subscription to the New York Times, for what it's worth, is $10/month. The Times reported yesterday that it now has 2.9 million digital-only subscribers, out of 3.8 million total.)

As recently as last week, when NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik was in Cleveland, Rodrigue has stressed that the Plain Dealer must stay relevant and vital by providing what no other outlet can for its readership. That means, according to Rodrigue, deeply reported local news. This was also more or less the stance of former PD editor Susan Goldberg, and it makes sense.

It's understood that even the New York Times can't hold a candle to reporters like Rachel Dissell, John Caniglia, Ginger Christ, Brie Zeltner and Michelle Jarboe (to name a few) when it comes to local beats. It just doesn't make sense to finance far-flung bureaus in Budapest or Buenos Aires. (THOUGH AGAINST ALL ODDS, SCENE IS CONSIDERING BOTH!)

Rodrigue has cited a figure by the writer James Hamilton that for every dollar invested in investigative reporting, communities reap $100 in benefits. Presumably, given the limited pot of money, Rodrigue wants to ensure that his local reporters aren't losing resources and intends to prioritize reporting with direct local impacts. 

But discontinuing the wire service is no small decision, and it will change the tenor of the print product. It's even more harmful these days, now that Steve Koff isn't in D.C. providing original material. Koff was's Washington bureau chief and regularly appeared in the print PD. He was among the handful of veteran staffers who accepted voluntary buyouts earlier this year. 

The Plain Dealer and are owned by Advance Publications, which has pursued digital-first strategies at its publications nationwide with mixed results. It's rare to see reporting from other Advance newspapers — the Oregonian, the Times-Picayune, for examplein the PD, and if reporters at those outlets have been indoctrinated with the same digital priorities as, it's not a mystery why. The Advance papers did team up to produce "Guns: An American Conversation," a special report that appeared in the PD earlier this summer.

Rodrigue has been up front about the paper's financial challenges at a series of community conversations held at libraries across the region. He's trying to engage with readers to generate story ideas and flag areas where the paper could be better.  He has championed, as in the past, both solutions-oriented journalism and investigative reporting. But he has also said that subscribers bear a greater responsibility for supporting the print product than ever before, given the dramatic losses in ad revenue and the fact that doesn't support itself with a paywall of any kind. That discrepancy will get harrier in 2019, when the PD's union contracts expire.

At the conversation Tuesday, held at Cleveland Public Library's Lorain Branch — the first 2/3 of which Scene attended — the discontinuation of the New York Times wire subscription did not come up.

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