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For the third consecutive year, Preservation Ohio's list of the state's most endangered historic sites included the Warner and Swasey Observatory in East Cleveland.

In a Plain Dealer op-ed, Jim Rokakis described the region's problems with abandoned houses and presented the arguments for a strategic demolition program.

The Cities of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland will use funds from a mortgage fraud settlement to raze distressed houses and apartments in the North Coventry neighborhood. The properties will remain as greenspace. A Sun News editorial said the effort represents "regional collaboration at its finest".

RTA began studying the feasibility of extending the Red Line rail line or HealthLine BRT line beyond the current terminus in East Cleveland. Its board hired AECOM Technical Services to lead a multi-year study on the potential of extending service to Euclid. RTA is also completing plans for its new Little Italy-University Circle Rapid Station.

University Circle institutions relaunched the Greater Circle Living initiative, a program that provides incentives to employees who make their homes in University Circle and its surrounding neighborhoods. Participants are now eligible for increased financial assistance. The program began in 2008.

Update: University Circle Inc. issued a press release.

Preservation Ohio's annual list of the state's most endangered properties includes two in Cuyahoga County: the Stanley Block in downtown Cleveland and the Warner & Swasey Observatory in East Cleveland. Both buildings also appeared on last year's list.

At a recent Cleveland Museum of Art panel discussion, leaders from East Cleveland and Fairfax talked about ways that growth in University Circle is improving their communities.

The Ohio EPA declared that the Electrolizing Corporation of Ohio completed brownfield remediation of its 2.25-acre property (PDF) on East 152nd Street in East Cleveland.

A new paper from Cleveland State University researchers examines conditions in four distressed suburbs of older industrial cities, including East Cleveland. It "includes discussions of lessons learned from the four cities on housing and community development, concentrated poverty, trust in government, anchor institutions, education, local government capacity, regional collaboration, and state programs."

Local officials celebrated the groundbreaking for the Euclid Belmore Building on Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland. The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (PDF) hopes to open the 39-unit senior housing complex in July.

Update: the Land Bank posted video of the event.

The Ohio EPA is considering a request for an Urban Setting Designation (PDF) that would cover all of East Cleveland. If established, it would reduce (PDF) groundwater cleanup requirements under the brownfield remediation process.

On Thursday, the mayors of Orange, Pepper Pike, and Woodmere discussed the potential merger of their communities (along with the Village of Moreland Hills) at a Corporate Club forum. They spoke about their motivations and the potential cost savings.

Update: the Chagrin Solon Sun and Cleveland Jewish News reported on the event. Meanwhile, Jill Miller Zimon interviewed Gary Norton, the mayor of East Cleveland and Beryl Rothschild, the former mayor of University Heights.

On Monday, the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court opened for business in the new Juvenile Justice Center at East 93rd Street and Quincy Avenue in Cleveland. The $189 million complex's first full day of business will be October 11.

In East Cleveland, the new Cleveland Clinic Stephanie Tubbs Jones Health Center also opened on Monday. The three-floor, 50,000-square-foot facility is on Euclid Avenue adjacent to the former Huron Hospital. The hospital permanently closed on Friday.

The Finch Group and University Circle Inc. plan to build a 20-unit townhouse project on Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland. The $5 million Circle East development near University Circle is being supported with funding from local governments. A Plain Dealer editorial supports the project. Meanwhile, the Cuyahoga County Land Bank is clearing additional land in East Cleveland for potential future redevelopment.

Update: the Plain Dealer, WCPN, and Channel 5 also reported on the demolitions.

Update 2: Construction of the Circle East townhouses broke ground on October 13.

Preservation Ohio released its annual list of Ohio's Most Endangered Historic Sites. The 13 sites include the previously-revealed Columbia Building and Stanley Block in downtown Cleveland, as well as the Warner & Swasey Observatory in East Cleveland.

Update: demolition of the Columbia Building is underway.

The Cleveland Clinic and the City East Cleveland reached an agreement about the planned closing of Huron Hospital. The Clinic will pay the City more than $8 million over five years to offset lost payroll tax revenue. The Clinic will also raze the hospital and turn its land over to the City. The City of Cleveland, however, filed a federal lawsuit against the Clinic, saying that the closure would create a gap in trauma service.

The Cleveland Clinic announced on Monday that it intends to close the 137-year-old Huron Hospital in East Cleveland within 90 days, citing a decline in patient use, population decreases, and maintenance expenses. The Clinic plans to continue outpatient care at the health center currently under construction. The New York Times said that the decision "reflects a stark new reality that is likely to play out across the country at hundreds of other hospitals that can no longer afford empty beds or wings and unused medical services."

Frank Jackson feels he was misled by the Clinic, and said that it "has left the City with little choice but to resume legal action in an effort to protect the public health and safety interest of our community." The City of East Cleveland is also considering a lawsuit. Congresswoman Fudge met with Clinic officials, and said she wants to mitigate the harm to the local community. Members of Cuyahoga County Council expressed their concerns, as well. Community groups rallied in opposition to the closure. A Plain Dealer editorial said that the Clinic should have handled the announcement better, while a Sun News editorial said that the Clinic made the right decision.

The Kresge Foundation awarded $6 million in grants, including $750,000 to a coalition in East Cleveland that will work to improve the health outcomes of young people. The East Cleveland Teen Collaborative will address the social determinants of health for the City's youths.

East Cleveland officials and residents discussed the City's direction on the latest installment of the Western Reserve Studies Symposium's Regionally Speaking series.

The City of East Cleveland plans to raze about 150 distressed houses this year, and started demolishing the first on Tuesday. The work is funded by grants from the federal federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

In the third round of the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $970 million in grants. Allocations in Ohio totaled $52 million, including $6.8 million to the City of Cleveland, $2.6 million to Cuyahoga County, $1 million to the City of East Cleveland, and $1 million to the City of Euclid.

The Cleveland Clinic broke ground today on a community health center at Huron Hospital in East Cleveland. The three-story, 50,000-square-foot Huron Community Health Center is scheduled to open in late 2011.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial called it "welcome interest in a community that hears too little good news."

This year, Case Western Reserve University's Regionally Speaking programs will focus on the partnership between the university's Social Justice Alliance and Institute and the City of East Cleveland. Sunday's Plain Dealer examined new East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton's plans to revive his community.

Huron Hospital plans to build a $20–30 million expansion of its East Cleveland campus. The hospital will formally announce the expansion along Euclid Avenue later this year.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial called the expansion a "statement of Huron's continued commitment to the community it has served since 1874 -- and as a vote of confidence in East Cleveland's future."

With the Greater Circle Seniors Design Charette starting today, WCPN spoke with Rob Hilton, President of the McGregor Foundation and Margaret Calkins of IDEAS, Inc., one of the judges.

On April 16-19, participants in the McGregor Foundation's Greater Circle Seniors Design Charette will generate ideas for affordable senior housing at four sites in Cleveland's Glenville, Fairfax, and Buckeye-Shaker neighborhoods.

Volunteers and students with Case Western Reserve University are creating an inventory of the more than 2,200 abandoned houses in East Cleveland. The data will be used to prioritize demolitions.

Mayor Brewer of East Cleveland proposed building a 12,000-seat amphitheater in his city's portion of historic Forest Hill Park. The idea would require approval from the Forest Hill Park Advisory Commission, and at least one of its three members is opposed to the concept. Others question the need for additional concert venues.

Steven Litt was impressed by the plans for the redesign of the bus and rapid transit station at the base of Cedar Hill in University Circle. Under the plans, the transfer station on the south side of Cedar Glen would be replaced with a new public park.

With the foreclosure crisis increasing the supply of abandoned homes in Cleveland and East Cleveland, more of the area's homeless are squatting in the vacant houses. Advocates for the homeless are working to establish a program that would allow the skilled homeless to take possession of abandoned homes in exchange for repairing them.

The grand opening of RTA's HeathLine attracted crowds over the weekend, and its Monday debut experienced only minor glitches. A Plain Dealer editorial says that the corridor's real payoff will be in the surrounding development it encourages.

The Euclid Corridor was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the HealthLine this afternoon. Construction of the $200 million, 7.1-mile project took three years, and it was the subject of Thursday's Sound of Ideas on WCPN. RTA will hold opening celebrations all weekend.

Brad Masi of the New Agrarian Center describes how community gardening can be used to combat food deserts, using a new community garden at Huron Hospital in East Cleveland as an example.

The Greater Circle Living program was officially launched today. The initiative will supply forgivable loans and rental reimbursements to an estimated 700 homebuyers in portions of seven adjacent neighborhoods in Cleveland and East Cleveland.

On Thursday, OneCommunity announced the official launch of a wireless Internet cloud covering most of University Circle and parts of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland. They also rolled out Linked Communities, a new web portal for the University Circle area.

The renovation of the former Warner and Swasey Observatory in East Cleveland was halted after the owner was indicted for mortgage fraud last January.

Mayor Brewer of East Cleveland says that his City's water main agreement with the City of Cleveland will lower residents' water bills by about a third.

Update: WKYC and WTAM have additional information.

A Plain Dealer editorial says that the Cities of Cleveland and East Cleveland will both benefit from the recent water main agreement.

The Cities of Cleveland and East Cleveland reached a deal on the water main maintenance and no poaching agreement proposed by Cleveland officials. The cities had been negotiating for over a year.

Michael Schramm and Claudia Coulton of Case's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences examined the impacts of the foreclosure crisis on the number of houses and condominiums in Cuyahoga County owned by financial institutions. As of February 2007, 9,175 of these properties are held by financial institutions, representing 2.05% of the County's residential properties. The highest percentage was in East Cleveland, where financial institutions own 8.09% of the houses and condominiums.

The Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board is still trying to identify a site for the planned new State Mental Health Hospital. Councilperson Phyllis Cleveland objects to the proposed site on Quincy Road in Cleveland, so the Board is considering alternative sites in Warrensville Heights and East Cleveland.

RTA reports that the first two Euclid Corridor stations, one in Midtown and one in East Cleveland, will soon be complete.

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