Scene & Heard

Thursday, February 15, 2018

ACLU of Ohio Files Lawsuit Challenging State's Ban on Down Syndrome Abortions

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 1:01 PM

  • Flickr CC
The ACLU of Ohio today filed a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on abortions in cases when a fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. The new law, signed by Gov. Kasich in December, is set to take effect on March 23 of this year.

The civil liberties group's suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, is on behalf of Preterm Cleveland, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and other abortion providers throughout the state.

Arguing that the law, which makes it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion if the physician knows the women's decision is based on a likely diagnosis of Down syndrome, is unconstitutional, the ACLU is seeking for a hold on its enforcement until a court can hear arguments.

“Banning a woman from having an abortion because of a fetal diagnosis is not only unconstitutional, it also does absolutely nothing to address discrimination against people with disabilities,” Freda Levenson, legal director for the ACLU of Ohio, said in a release. “If Ohio politicians wanted to proactively take a stance for people with disabilities, they should improve access to health care, education, or other services. This ban is just a thinly-veiled attempt to criminalize abortion in Ohio. We are committed to work to ensure this unconstitutional law is never enforced.”

“When a woman has decided to end a pregnancy, she deserves care without judgment. This law would undermine the relationship between doctors and patients, making it harder for a woman to have an honest and informed conversation with her health care provider. Politicians should stop trying to prevent Ohio women from making thoughtful decisions about growing their families,” said Chrisse France, executive director for Preterm, in the same release.
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Watch LeBron James and Kevin Durant Roll Through Akron in New Interview

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 11:39 AM


The night before the Cavs and the Warriors played for the final time in the regular season, LeBron James and Kevin Durant rolled through Akron together for a candid interview with ESPN's Cari Champion, kicking off the second season of Rolling with the Champion

Playing the part of an Uber driver, Champion asked the pair direct and personal questions while taking them to three of James' old Akron haunts: Summit Lake Community Center (where he first learned to play ball), Spring Hill Apartments (where he lived as a teen) and St. Vincent–St. Mary High School (where he became world famous).

Asked what it's like to play one another, James and Durant didn't hold back.

"It's our obligation to go out and try and kill each other on the basketball floor," James said. 

"It's like waking up and brushing our teeth in the morning, you don't even think about it," Durant countered.

"That's our job, we owe it to our fans," James continued. "We owe it to each other as competitors."

The discussion also turned to politics, growing as men and learning to handle pressure. At the end of the ride they both agreed to give Champion a five-star Uber rating.

Watch the whole interview on Uninterrupted or below:  

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Did You Shart Yourself at The Plum on Valentine's Day and Throw Out Your Boxers in the Bathroom?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 11:34 AM

Roses are red
Violets are blue
You were on a date
And then came some poo

"We were just cleaning at the end of the night and found them," reports Jonah Oryszak, owner of The Plum.

"Them" in this case refers to a soiled pair of boxers left in the trash in one of the restaurant's bathrooms sometime during Valentine's Day service.

Yes, someone, mid-romantic dinner, sharted, excused himself from his date, took off his pants, deposited the offending undergarments in question, returned to dinner commando style, presumably after cleaning himself up a bit, and went on with his meal.

"No clue who it was," says Oryszak. "I wish I knew!"

We... kinda don't.
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Topgolf Will Open in Independence in 2019

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 9:26 AM

  • Courtesy Topgolf

All the details are now wrapped up
: Topgolf will begin construction for a new facility in Independence (5800 Rockside Woods Blvd.) later this year with a projected opening of 2019. It'll be the company's third Ohio location.

“Adding Topgolf to the Independence business community is a significant win for us, as it broadens the Rockside area’s amenity mix,” Independence Mayor Anthony L. Togliatti said in a news release. “Its presence here will serve our families and corporate citizens alike with entertainment options that no one else in the region has.”

“We are so excited to continue our Ohio expansion with new venues in Cleveland and Columbus,” said Topgolf Chief Development Officer Chris Callaway. “We are looking forward to bringing Topgolf’s all-seasons entertainment for the local communities to enjoy.”

Topgolf, for the uninitiated, offers a year-round, climate-controlled facility where golfers hit microchipped balls at various targets. Players accumulate points based on distance and accuracy. Yes, it is mighty good fun.
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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Broadview Heights Bans Short-Term Home Rentals for 2018

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 2:55 PM

  • Photo via
For anyone in Broadview Heights looking to make a few extra dollars this year renting out your home, it's time to rethink your plans.

The city has installed a moratorium on short-term home rentals, including bed and breakfasts and Airbnbs. Set to last through 2018, the temporary ban sill supposedly allow officials time to establish regulations for home rentals lasting 30 days or less.

It should be noted that Broadview Heights already has regulations in place for short-term rentals, they're just largely ignored. Michael Skvasik, a Broadview Heights Building Official, told he thinks education could put an end to short-term rental lawlessness.

"People might not be aware of the rules. We want to make sure they at least comply with existing legislation," he said.

New legislation would include stipulations on how many people can stay in a house and how long, as well as how many cars are allowed.

The Broadview Heights moratorium is just one in a series of Cleveland area communities stalling short-term rentals. Lyndhurst previously introduced a similar ban in 2016 that was eventually lifted.
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Movers Actively Clearing out Old Erie Street Bookstore Downtown

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 1:44 PM

  • Sam Allard / Scene
Movers from the Dussault Moving Company were hard at work Wednesday morning packing up the vast inventory of used and rare books at Old Erie Street Bookstore on E. 9th Street in Downtown Cleveland.

"Out of business," reported one, who speculated that the space had likely been purchased by a bar or restaurant. 

Another thought that an existing downtown business might be expanding into the space. He said that there were considerably more books housed at the bookstore — including in the basement and in various nooks and crannies — than anyone could imagine. He said the books were being taken to a warehouse and said he supposed the books would now be sold online.
  • Sam Allard / Scene

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CWRU Refuses to Say What Students Objected To in Mural Celebrating Women in STEM

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 1:06 PM

  • photo via Case Western Reserve/Facebook reported this week that a mural at Case Western Reserve University celebrating women in STEM would be removed at the end of the academic year due to student complaints.

The mural, painted by local artist Rachel Latina, "aimed to combat stereotypes in math and science by representing the female faces of the fields," according to the University when the piece was commissioned last year. That would be in keeping with Case's stated goal of diversifying images on campus, a goal spearheaded by the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity and which includes the "Trailblazer Project" in the Kelvin Smith Library, celebrating alumni of color. 

A university spokesperson declined to elaborate on what exactly students objected to in Latina's mural. Painted in a colorful pop-art style, the mural combines diverse faces of young women with engineering material. It looks almost like a comic-book spread. (Images from here.)

Much of Latina's work, available on her website, is painted with similar color and flair.

But when Scene asked Case to elaborate on student objections — what were the nature of the complaints? — a spokesperson merely reiterated the comment already provided to

"The mural was commissioned specifically to celebrate women in engineering and has drawn praise from many for both its aesthetic appeal and its message. Some have objected to the representation of women and discussed their issues with staff at the university’s Flora Stone Mather Center for Women. After learning about these concerns at the close of 2017, the department chair explored potential options to address them. Ultimately, he embraced the concept of a rotating series of murals for that space—a new one roughly every two years—with selections overseen by a student committee and including the Mather Center’s director."  (Italics added.)

Great. Obviously. We get it. But what were the complaints? What about the representation of women was objectionable, in the students' view? Was it a matter of aesthetic preference? Did students feel that the imagery objectified women? Did they feel that the mural was counterproductive?

Scene reached out to Dr. Lisa Nielson, the director at the Flora Stone Mather Center for women, where students had reportedly discussed their complaints. Nielson referred us back to CWRU media relations. She said she did know the specific nature of student complaints but was "not at liberty" to disclose them. The complaints, she said, were reported in confidence.

(We weren't seeking student names or anything. We were honestly just trying to understand — even in a general way — why students were bothered by the imagery.)

Artist Rachel Latina, when reached by Scene, called the whole episode an "unfortunate situation."

"No one is right or wrong here," she said. "As CWRU is a private university, their priority is their students, and I will respect their decision however I wish to move on and continue with my work."
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