$60 million building boom in Broadview Heights

May 28, 2015

_20150527_171506Lately it seems that you can’t drive very far in Broadview Heights without seeing a bulldozer at work or a foundation being poured. There’s a good reason why: More than $60 million in new construction (non residential) and at least 10 different projects are underway in Broadview Heights.

Here’s a quick rundown, in words and pictures, of some of the developments. This isn’t comprehensive – it’s just what one person found out by using a smartphone, the Internet, and through some emails.


Contractors for University Hospitals’ new 52,000 square feet outpatient health center and freestanding emergency department are still putting up steel girders. This facility, valued at $28 million, is at the northeast corner of Interstate 77 and Royalton Road, adjacent to the Heritage office building. You can see it as you enter I-77 Northbound.  This health facility should bring a lot of new jobs to Broadview Heights as well. Here’s the link to a news article about it:


NOTE – Just east of Bob Evans, construction is underway on an extension of Treeworth Blvd which will provide access to a similar medical facility which MetroHealth Medical Center is constructing in Brecksville, just below the southwest corner of Interstate 77 and Royalton Road.


IMG_20150418_111631800More than $1 million went into the construction of these two new restaurants on Royalton Road.  Bob Evans has been open since March, with Chipotle opening its doors in late May. The parking lots seems always full, especially at the lunch and dinner hours. Don’t be surprised if a third restaurant finds its way here also – there’s a vacant spot next to the Chipotle.


Petros is constructing new homes in three locations in Broadview Heights.  This is a picture of the model home in Town Centre Village, just east of Broadview Road and just south of Royalton Road.  Below is a link to their web site with details.IMG_20150418_100742741_HDR

Additionally, Petros also has new home construction at Wiltshire (off Edgerton Road) and at Bella Terra off Wallings Road. Petros Homes’ headquarters is also in Broadview Heights, by the way.



When completed later this year, Danbury Woods senior living will be a 101-unit complex   90,000 square feet with a mixture of independent living, assisted living, and memory care.  This is a IMG_20150418_100542954project costing nearly $13 million.  The two-story, V-shaped building takes up about six acres at the corner of Broadview and Akins Roads.  Here is a link with more information:



With its headquarters in Broadview Heights Ohio Caterpillar is the factory-authorized Caterpillar dealer for the states of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. It has more than 1,100 employees at its various facilities. Ohio Cat is in Phase II of the _20150418_151042expansion of its corporate headquarters at Royalton Road and Taylor Avenue, a project costing $17.8 million.

Here are more details:



Work is in the preliminary stages behind City Hall, but by sometime in 2016 Cuyahoga County will have a new Emergency Operations Center (EOC) behind City Hall.  Here’s a recent site picture.

According to Cuyahoga County officials, this facility will feature an EOC floor with extensive communications and information display capabilities; a multi-position communications center for the county’s emergency communications systemcceoc bvh (known as CECOMS), which can also serve as a regional dispatch center; a Joint Information Center; officers for the County Office of Emergency Management; a training room; and a storage and maintenance facility. Here is a link to a Cuyahoga County web site with more details:



Drees is building larger single-family homes in the city.  The pictured home is in a development called Brookside Crossing, IMG_20150418_101556384off Victoria Drive. Here’s a link:



Jeffrey Halpert, DPM, and his partners are apparently planning to move their Podiatry of Greater Cleveland practice and offices down a bit on Royalton Road to aIMG_20150527_163129940 new office building, just east of Stoney Run condominiums. This building has a construction cost of about $500,000.  Here’s a link to some information:




This church, which has met at Blossom Hill in Brecksville for the past 19 years, plans to build an 11,160 square foot sanctuary and classrooms on the south side of Royalton Road, just west of Dunkin Donuts. Construction is estimated at $1 _20150527_171546million. The sanctuary will seat 250 people. Community of Hope owns 13 acres at this location.  The new church building is expected to open in 2016. Here’s a link to the story:


Timeless truths and media ignorance

April 19, 2015

Twice in the last 19 months, friends and acquaintances have asked me to make presentations about the media at Cuyahoga Community College. The first presentation, in Fall 2013, regarded media coverage about the humanitarian crisis in Syria.  Back then, almost no one in the United States had heard of ISIS.

Why not?

Many of our main media outlets are more concerned about profits and ratings than providing in-depth news and analysis about matters of national and global concern. So, as Syria’s civil war goes on and ISIS becomes a major threat to peace, Americans are pretty ignorant about it.

One of these days I will post all four of my “Timeless Truths” about the mass media in a blog. Suffice to say, students in my JMC 1011 Intro to Mass Communication classes learn these truths and gain a much greater appreciation that way of how the media functions. But Timeless Truth Number 1 is simple enough for everyone to get: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS.

But I digress.

About 10 days ago, I was privileged to be a speaker for “Culture Shock” a terrific annual program presented at Cuyahoga Community College’s West Campus. The event is part of the college’s very important Diversity Series. This particular time, I was fortunate to have a co-presenter with me, Shamina Merchant, who’s a senior at Brecksville Broadview-Heights High School.

shamina merchant john kerezy

Shamina Merchant with me at Culture Shock 2015

Shamina spoke on the Muslim faith, and gave an excellent summary of some tenets of it.

My role was to present information on our mainstream media, and how it mis-characterizes Muslims and the Middle East in general.  (Confession: due to my recent eye surgery, I didn’t research this talk as much as I had for the Syria talk in Fall 2013.).

It is gratifying to make these presentations, and I’m glad that students and adults believe the talks and explanations shed a lot of light on why the U.S. media does such a poor job covering Muslims, the Middle East, etc.

Below I’ve uploaded and created links to my 2015 presentation, to Shamina’s presentation, and to my 2013 presentation about Syria. Feel free to download and take a look. I’m grateful to my long-time friend Pierre Bejjani and the non-profit, non-partisan organization CAMEO, to Shamina Merchant and her family, to  Isam Zaiem and the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, and of course to my friend and colleague Dr. Susan Lohwater at Cuyahoga Community College for encouraging me to make these presentations.

Our beliefs are not the same, but we all share a dislike for those who hate and we have a longing to replace ignorance with information and understanding. That’s needed more than ever in 2015.

If you wish to speak further with me about this topic, don’t hesitate to email me at john.kerezy@tri-c.edu





My 2013 presentation on Syria            syria

Shamina’s presentation on April 9        Misunderstandings

My presentation on April 9                    misunderstand muslims

ON DECK:  Matt Lupica and inside Major League Baseball.

Read the rest of this entry »

Young People and the Grieving Process

April 9, 2015

John’s note — Julia Romito submitted this story to her JMC 26001 Multimedia Newswriting class in the Fall 2014 semester.  I am posting it here on my blog with her permission.


Julia Romito

Hormones, relationships, and homework cause high school to be a difficult time of every teenager’s life, but imagine how unbearable it becomes when a high school student also has to cope with the death of a close friend.

Suicide, cancer and car accidents are all in the top five causes of death in young people.  Different people deal with death in different ways, but everyone goes through the grieving process.

Laura Serazin, a grief counselor at the Cornerstone of Hope in Cleveland, OH, stated that the grieving process is divided into five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

“Grief is the hardest work anyone will ever do,” said Serazin.

Serazin explained that, in her experience, her patients deny that the deceased is gone, become angry that he or she was taken from them, grow depressed and then eventually learn to live with the fact that the departed is gone forever.

“In reality, everyone’s grief is unique and everyone slips back and forth between the stages,” said Serazin.

Serazin also stated that adults and teens grieve differently, and she later added that teens grieve in doses. She said: “Their ability to tolerate intense emotion is more limited, so they need to shut down their emotions.  You may see them very upset one minute, and then, laughing or playing a little while later.”

Anthony Gill, 17, committed suicide on January 13, 2014. According to Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people 15 to 24 years old, and results in approximately 4,600 deaths each year.

AnnaMarie Romito was friends with Gill since they were babies, and he was like a brother to her. Romito was dazed and wretched when she heard the news of his death.

“I immediately fell to the ground and couldn’t breathe, and I was screaming [and] crying,” said Romito.

Romito added that the most difficult part about losing Gill was not being able to talk to him anymore because he always helped her with her problems.

“Sometimes I feel like it still hasn’t hit me that he’s actually gone, and I still don’t want to accept the fact that he’s not here,” said Romito, indicating that she is still in denial regarding Gill’s death.

Cora Flemming, 18, died of osteosarcoma, which is a type of bone cancer, on May 5, 2013. Each year, approximately 800 new cases of osteosarcoma are diagnosed in the United States, and half of those cases are in children and teens.

Alex Cameron was friends with Flemming before and throughout her nine-month battle with the deadly disease, and he recalled that it was very emotional.

“I called [my friend] Haley and she told me that she [Cora] had died, and I just instantly started crying and hung up on her right away,” said Cameron.

Cameron later added that Flemming was positive about her cancer, and she did not feel she was going to die, which made losing her harder.

“I truly believed it was going to be fine because she believed that it was going to be fine,” said Cameron.

Cameron also mentioned that he has accepted Flemming’s death over the past year and a half. He said, “I just think that death is a really hard thing to accept, and it just takes time.”

Jeff Chaya, 18, was killed in a car accident along with three other teens on June 3, 2012. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, there are over 6,400 people 15 to 20 years old that are killed in car accidents every year.

Sobhit Haribhakti was friends with Chaya throughout all four years of high school, and he was in utter disbelief and devastation when he heard the news of Chaya’s death.

“I ran downstairs and started crying and yelling and screaming. It was one of the worst moments of my life,” recalled Haribhakti, with tears in his eyes.

Haribhakti also added that the hardest part about Chaya’s death was the untimeliness. He said, “I don’t think anyone should have to lose someone so close to them so early in their lives…He’s in a better place.”

Over the past two years, Haribhakti has come to accept Chaya’s death, but it was not an easy process. Haribhakti suffered through depression his first year of college, but he eventually overcame the sadness with the help of his friends and family.

“I can still hear his voice in my head, [and] all the memories are still living in my mind,” said Haribhakti.




Seeking non-profits, causes

February 27, 2015

This semester I’m teaching a class which I helped shape, and which Cuyahoga Community College has offered since 2007.  The class name is Social Media and Blogging.

As part of the class requirements, my students need to develop and carry out a social media campaign for a non-profit group of a social media cause.

It can’t be too extensive (the student will need to complete the campaign in a five-week window), but the student will be responsible for doing the social media aspects for the cause, and also for writing a couple of blogs about it.

So, right now, I’m actively seeking non-profits and causes who would like some student help in late March and April.

No charge.  Your student has already received education and some practice on blogging and social media techniques by the time they assist you.  The “outline” for this activity is attached/below.

Interested?  Email me at john.kerezy@tri-c.edu or call my office at 216-987-5040.  If we can work out details, I’ll put a brief description together for the students and try to “match up” causes/campaigns with students.



GUEST BLOG: Dining Diversity Found in Food Trucks

February 13, 2015

See note at the bottom of this story …


A big yellow truck rolls to a stop in the middle of the Lester A. Lefton Esplanade. A generator mounted on the rear bumper kicks to life and a line of students forms. The awning rises and the metal gate is pulled open, showing the cooks bustling inside. The LCD menu flickers to display this week’s choices. With that, the Fork in the Road food truck is open for business.

“I know that students don’t want to eat the same thing everyday,” said student and campus tour guide Lauryn Rosinski. She has been giving prospective students tours for about three semesters, and almost always touts the campus food truck as a highlight of the diversity among the dining options at Kent. “They think that’s really cool that they’re getting to eat different stuff all the time. I’m kind of showing them, you’re not going to get bored with the food.”

College dining is often the object of scrutiny. High prices, repetitive choices, a lack of healthy menus for students on the go, all of these are problems that afflict most campuses. Kent State University has taken a unique approach to offering students quality food in a convenient way. Fork in the Road is a food truck owned by Kent State and operated by Executive Chef Christian Booher and his team of cooks.

For students at Kent State, a lack of dining options on the north end of campus left them hungry and in need of something tasty and convenient. According to Richard Roldan, Director of Food Services at the university, the Fork in the Road food truck is the university’s solution.

“The biggest thing to push it was the last couple years I’ve been having a lot of conversations with students and folks across campus about under-serviced areas of campus,” said Roldan. “Places where students were coming across campus to get something to eat was a little inconvenient.”

The trend of university-run food trucks is not isolated to Kent State University. Many colleges across North America are seeing the benefits a mobile dining unit offers their student body and the popularity of such options. According to a Wall Street Journal article from August 22nd, 2012, nearly 100 colleges have their own food truck in use. This is compared to only about a dozen schools with food trucks only five years earlier. The statistics are courtesy of the National Association of College and University Food Services, which represents around 550 universities in North America.

The mobility of food trucks allows the businesses to tap into markets that wouldn’t be available with a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant. Especially on college campuses, a food truck is a profitable endeavor. The demographic spending the most money at food trucks is the 25-34 year old group. They spend an average of $44 per month. Those under 25 spend comparably, about $39 per month. This is according to a survey done by the statistical site IBISWorld.com in 2014.

The food truck uses it’s Twitter account (@KSUFoodTruck) to communicate with student’s where it’ll be setting up shop for that day. With over a thousand followers, the account is a popular way for students to interact with the unique service offered to them by the university.

According to Roldan, Kent State’s food truck cost about $160,000 to go from idea to a fully operational dining mobile. The truck has a twenty-foot chassis and is completely functional as a kitchen. It features a convection oven, full range grill, fryers, everything Chef Booher needs to propagate his menu.

“We decided we really wanted to have a truck that changed with the seasons, with the availability of local items,” said Roldan. The Fork in the Road menu is diverse as it is globally influenced. He described it as global fusion. There are elements of classic Americana alongside Latin dishes with Asian elements involved. All these influences combine to create a healthy, palatable alternative option to the campus’s other dining options.

The truck, which began servicing students this semester in August, has averaged about three hours per day on campus. During those days it has served an average of 200 people and pulls in roughly $11,000 in total revenue. All of this considering the average cost of a dish is only five dollars. Fork in the Road has been present at all of Kent’s home football games. Roldan said the truck will be operational when there is not classes. As long as there is a demand on campus, the wheels will be rolling to satisfy that hunger.

The boom in the food truck industry has Starbucks, the coffee chain behemoth,  testing the waters of mobile dining services at three universities in 2014. According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the corporation wants to further tap into the huge coffee market of college students. Of Starbucks’ nearly 11,500 store locations, only about 300 are located on college campuses. Depending on the success of their mobile coffee ventures at Arizona State University, James Madison University, and Coastal Carolina University, the chain could expand food truck services across the nation.

Kent State University has gone to lengths to ensure students have a variety of dining options across campus. They’re currently offering six different locations spread across campus for student’s to eat, including the mobile Fork in the Road. The Student Center offers a variety of places to choose from, including an Einstein Brothers Bagels, Subway, and a sushi booth. Student’s often flock to The Kent Market, located upstairs, for additional options.

The trend of universities becoming proprietors of food trucks is a sign that the wants and needs of the student body are being recognized by the powers that be. In Kent, Fork in the Road serves as a direct response to the need of convenient sustenance for students in the far corners of its broad campus. Across North America, mobile dining units have become staples in cityscapes and college campuses.The renaissance of the food truck is being taken seriously in culinary circles. Trucks like Kent State’s Fork in the Road prove that convenience, creativity, and sustenance can coexist in an affordable way.

Andrew is a journalism student at Kent State University, and wrote this in his JMC 26001 class in the Fall 2014 semester.  You can reach him at akeiper@kent.edu


0% qualifiers, 100% proud

February 1, 2015

Tough day Saturday. Revere speech & debate had 12 competitors and 6 judges and parent helpers in eight different vehicles going to two different locations.

It was the ending that brought some tears. We had great expectations, but Revere did not have a single person who qualified for the OHSSL state tournament at the Akron District’s “Littles” championship yesterday. Team Akron will have more then 100 entries going to State though, and I’m extremely pleased that there are so many good and talented debaters and speakers from Akron this year.

This has been a challenging adjustment for me. When I began coaching debate/speech seven years ago in Brecksville-Broadview Heights, I knew the students, knew the school district, and knew some of the parents. That made the process a bit easier for us (Mark McCandless, Dr. Yeh and me).

The acclimation is much more complicated when one doesn’t live or teach at the school where one coaches. Revere’s program might have even disappeared in the fall of 2013, but thanks to Tony Paparella (who recommended me to Phil King at Revere) it did not. But we had five seniors among the six students who were remnants at Revere in 2013-2014.  We added a few students last year, but all we could really do was keep the fire alive.

This year, that fire is burning brighter as we’ve witnessed a resurgence in debate and speech.  It’s thanks to:

  • Nearly 10 dedicated new students who have stuck with the program all year
  • Terrific leadership from captains James White and Alexis Espinal
  • Help from dedicated parents who’ve judged, opened up homes, and made it clear to their students and to me that debate and speech are high priorities to them
  • Assistance from Brad Laidman, who provided advice and case help for our LD and PF debaters

We still have the prospect of “back door” qualifying for States at the upcoming East Ohio District NFL/NSDA tournament on Feb. 20-21 at Medina. But unless that happens, Revere will have but three representatives at States this year — a Congress contingent of White, co-captain Drew Espinal, and Megan Travers. It’s a strong bunch though.  All three have finished in the “Top Six” in some Congress tournaments, James as high as fourth and Drew as high as second. We will be ready for States and Nationals in Congress.

Disappointed?  Yes.  Discouraged?  Not at all.  We’ve had so many 9th and 10th graders learn so much about debate and speech this year. We’ve set the table for a terrific future.

Students and parents: Don’t stop believing.

And finally — like the mythical basketball coach Norman Dale says in the movie Hoosiers, “my team is on the floor.” You have worked very hard. You understand how the events work.  You have come a long way in a short amount of time. You’re a winner no matter what the ballots said, and you’ll be winners in tournaments in the months and years ahead.

IMG_20150131_153752005 (1)                         About three-fourths of Revere’s Talking Minutemen

President Obama’s community college plan: Ponder, but act too!

January 17, 2015

America has always been a nation which invests in its future. In the early 19th century, Congress funded roads, canals, and other transportation infrastructure to spur development and reduce the cost of goods and services. We subsidized railroads in the latter half of the 19th century, and funded what became known as the interstate highway system in much of the 20th century.

We are also concerned about the welfare of its people, having faith that an educated population results in a better citizenry and country. When tens of millions of American servicemen returned home from World War II, it was the GI Bill (formally known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act) which provided tuition assistance to attend college or obtain technical training. More than 7.5 million Americans took advantage of the GI Bill. (Its vestige is with us today in the tuition assistance which armed forces veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan employ for higher education.)

Although it had flaws, the GI Bill helped establish a sizable educated middle class and enabled the U.S. to emerge from the post-World War II era as the world’s leading economy for nearly 50 years. Notable is the fact that the G.I. Bill was a bipartisan effort, accomplished as a world war approached its end. Harry Colmery, then a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and a former American Legion commander, was the principal author and advocate for the legislation. President Roosevelt signed it into law in late 1944.

In this context, President Obama is proposing to provide free higher education at community colleges across the U.S. It makes sense. If you haven’t heard about it, here’s a link to the video the White House released last week:


The long lens of history supports this type of investment in human capital which our country has made in the past. Concomitant with the GI Bill was the ascendancy of the U.S. system of higher education. Prior to the two World Wars of the 20th century, Europe was considered the center of collegiate learning. But by the ’60s, the United States led the world in the percentage of its population earning college degrees.

Somehow, that was expected in America. For hundreds of years, the U.S. has regarded higher education as a public good. Our nation believes that each generation would advance – intellectually, economically, culturally and socially – beyond the one before, and higher education institutions would help champion this advance. We were the “best and brightest” on the planet. We tamed the atom, broke the sound barrier, cured polio and other diseases, and sent humans to the moon and back.

Well, we’re not the best and brightest anymore. Depending upon the source, the U.S. now ranks between 15th and 20th in the world in the percentage of our adults obtaining a college degree. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development  (OECD) placed the U.S. 19th out of 28 countries in college completion in its “Education at a Glance” report, released in September 2014.

The OECD measures education investment and the performance of wealthier democracies. Higher education levels are associated with higher earnings (no surprise) but also with better health, more community engagement, and also more trust in governments, institutions and people.

Against this backdrop comes President Barack Obama’s proposal. It’s an intriguing one, and it should spur some deep intellectual analysis and spirited discussions at a critical time for our nation.


Our nation’s residents long for college completion. A late 2012 Lumina Foundation survey with the Gallup Poll showed that 97 percent of Americans believe it is important to have a certificate or degree beyond high school. In the same survey though, only 26 percent of respondents believe that the cost of higher education is affordable to anyone who needs it. And just 27 percent believe that the quality of higher education is worse today that it was in the past.

Here are some additional facts we – as a nation – should consider:

  • Public funding of higher education is declining dramatically. As recently as 1985, state and federal support provided more than 80 percent of revenues at public higher education institutions.  That percent is now below 60 percent nationally, and below 50 percent in many states.

higher ed two

  • Individual students are shouldering an ever-increasing percentage of college costs. The chart below show’s a “net revenue per student” figure which accentuates the fact that U.S. college students have now borrowed $1.2 TRILLION to cover higher education expenses. Students graduating with $30,000, $40,000 or $50,000 in debt is quite common today.

higher ed one

  • The middle class is shrinking. Median household income “peaked” at just over $56,000 in 1999, and it has been going downward every year since then.

declining middle class


President Obama’s plan, as unveiled and expanded upon, is well worth deliberating. This writer would make suggestions for improvements. There should be economic means testing, and the concept of a payback (such as through community service) could move the plan from paper to reality.

Facing facts, the political gridlock in Washington, DC might make ANY compromise impossible in 2015. But let’s hope our nation’s political leaders give this proposal a try. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain when our nation invests in improving the educational attainment of its citizens. If we remain in the bottom third of democratic nations in our citizens’ college completion rate, that bodes ill  for our future.

NOTE – There are many good articles out there on this topic, but I want to draw your attention to Debbie Cochrane and her work at The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), a non-profit education advocacy program.


LINKS AND SOURCES — Read more at:








*     *     *     *     *

You will be seeing more blogs on this site, either from me or from my students, in the weeks ahead. My family situation underwent a significant change around October 1, which affected my blogging output.  Perhaps I’ll address this further in a future post.

Finally — Please do share this posting.  The greater the discussion about the idea of free community college and the need for our nation to improve its college completion rate, the better.


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