Saturday, September 07, 2019

Detailed Look at the Ethiopian Cultural Garden Monument

The front was designed by artist Zerihun Yetmgeta with each panel on the front depicting a broad period of Ethiopian history. he Back Panel is titled "When the Sun Gets the Moon".

Photos and videos of the new Ethiopian monument

People at the Ethiopian Cultural Garden Phase 1 Dedication

A large crowd gathered for the unveiling ceremony for Phase 1 of the Ethiopian Garden and everyone wanted to pose in front of the monument.

Photos and videos of the people at the Ethiopian Garden 

Ethiopian Cultural Garden Phase 1 Dedication

The Ethiopian Garden is the first garden from an African country in the 100+ year history of the gardens.

The unveiling ceremony for Phase 1 of the Ethiopian Garden took place on Saturday August 24, 2019 with Fitsum Arega, Ethiopian ambassador to the United States, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Ethiopian artist Yetimgeta Zerihun in attendance.

Photos and videos of the Ethiopian Cultural Garden ceremony

Did you know coffee was first brewed in Ethiopia?

Before the unveiling

Monday, September 02, 2019

Parade of Flags at 2019 One World Day in Cleveland

A highlight of the 74th annual One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens is the annual Parade of Flags where marchers in native costumes and flags of their heritage march down MLK Blvd.

In 2019, after the marchers commemorated the historic Baltic Way of 30 years ago by forming their own human chain joining hands along Martin Luther King Blvd, the Parade resumed.

Units included communities of Chinese, Peruvian, German, Irish, Polish, Lithuanian, Mexican, Haitian, Sudanese, Latvian, Estonian, Slovak, Slovenian, French, Hmong, Syrian, Lebanese, Pakistani, Ethiopian, Colombian, Finnish, Indian, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Greek, Romanian, Ukrainian, Russian, Serbian, Armenian, Vietnamese, Korean, Uzbek, Turkish, Rusin, Czech, and more.  Channel 19 news anchor Chris Tanaka and Sheila Murphy Crawford served as MCs.

See more of One World Day

Friday, July 26, 2019

American Nationalities Movement Captive Nations Awards Ceremony

The American Nationalities Movement of Ohio held its 57th annual Captive Nations dinner program on Thursday July 18, 2019.

The American Nationalities Movement was formed for the purpose of uniting all the nationalities in the United States in the goal to educate, advocate and represent their interests of all the diverse ethnic groups to the public and mostly to the political leaders of the United States. This pursuit of our common interest to achieve an understanding of the complex issues that confront each group individually and collectively and that without our united efforts all of us will be endanger.

President Eisenhower, and every successive U.S. President up to the administration of President Donald Trump, has declared the third week of July to be Captive Nations Week.

Three deserving people were honored at the American Nationalities Movement Captive Nations Awards Ceremony: Rick DeChant Jr., John Sabol and Gia Hoa Ryan.

Pictures and videos of the Captive Nations program

Irene Morrow, Rick DeChant, Gia Hoa Ryan, John Sabol and Ralph Perk Jr.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Smoky, Sweaty, Rowdy, and Loud: Tales of Cleveland's Legendary Rock & Roll Landmarks

I enjoyed the authors' previous books about Cleveland Radio and TV so was eager to take a look at their stories of Cleveland Rock and Roll Landmarks. Being of that age, I was intimately involved with many of these clubs and the book triggered some serious nostalgia.

 Some of the venues were before my time or I never made it to them such as the Cleveland Arena, Leo's Casino, La Cave, Gleason's, Empire Concert Club and others but it was interesting to read about their history and the music that was made there. I did get to Record Rendezvous but it was later on and at the Coventry location not the historic Prospect or Euclid Ave. places.

There's an old joke that "If you remember the '60s, you really weren't there." This book reminded me of a lot of great times and music from long ago. For example, I spent countless weekend nights at the Agora when it was on 24th and saw many of the big names. We were at the Coliseum for the Springsteen show and realizing that Southside Johnny was playing the Agora we sped downtown just in time for Bruce to join his pal on stage. What a night!

We saw big names like the Cars, Bowie, Meatloaf, Todd Rundgren, Blondie, Frampton and many others but most weekend nights were local bands. (Who was that band that did all the Alex Harvey covers?) Given that, the more frustrating chapters in the book are the ones that I had experience with.

Everyone who had a favorite hangout or memory will feel that the coverage in the book, if any, was inaccurate or not enough. I have tons of Agora stories. I was an apprentice electrician while going to school so I was backstage for the World Series of Rock concerts at the Stadium and have stories that you would not believe. So the coverage was frustrating that my experiences weren't included but the book sure pulled them out of my memory bank.

Lots of new stories too. For example, it was cool to read about Led Zeppelin playing Musicarnival on July 20, 1969 and cutting the show short so they and the audience could watch the moon landing. I wish some of the Front Row stories I experienced were included. And what about Peabodys, the Pirates Cove, Brothers Lounge, Smittys on 55th, House of Swing and others?

 So much more happened at the Euclid Tavern and other venues than what is included in the book. I recall when a guitar player named Stevie Ray Vaughn played the Variety and the entire audience was made up of local musicians - mainly guitar players. Nobody else knew who he was at the time.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone interested in the growth of the music industry and the bands and players that were part of it. Especially if you are of a certain age and spent time going out in Cleveland. It will bring back a lot of memories.

The problem is I want more. Most of those venues require their own book. So get to work Mike and crank out some more.

By the way, did I tell you about the time at the World Series of Rock when I gave The Cars stage fright? Maybe in the next book.

Fred Griffith's last TV showDebbie Hanson of was there for Fred's last TV show celebration in 2012.

Debbie Hanson of was there for Fred's last TV show celebration in 2012.

See photos and videos of Fred Griffith's last TV show

Fred Griffith's last TV show

RIP Fred Griffith

Fred Griffith was a TV pioneer that we all got to know and love in his over 50 years on TV. He had more hours on live TV than anyone in the world except possibly for Regis Philbin.

He passed away at the age of 90. Rest in Peace Fred.

See photos and Fred Griffith's life story

Fred Griffith Press Pass

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

RIP Ben Stefanski

Ben Stefanski was a community leader and philanthropist especially in his beloved Slavic Village neighborhood. He was a history buff who brought that knowledge to current problems such as crime, poverty and clean water.

He worked on numerous projects including the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, regional leader for the Kosciuszko Foundation, worked and accomplished much for the City of Cleveland under Mayor Michael White, and in his earlier years was with Third Federal Savings and Loan, a national financial institution founded by his family.

Ben passed away on Saturday July 6, 2019.

Ben Stefanski in the Polish Cultural Garden

Ben Stefanski

Judge Karpinski, Ben Sefansi and Madame Curie bust

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Major League Baseball All-Star Game Play Ball Park Preview

While the biggest baseball stars will come together at Progressive Field during the All-Star break this July, the Indians and MLB will provide fans with their own opportunity to play and experience the game just a few blocks away

A new interactive baseball festival, PLAY BALL PARK, will arrive inside and outside the Huntington Convention Center from July 5-9. The outside activities will be free to all fans, while the indoor activities will be ticketed.  

We took a brief tour outside as crews set up for the big event.

The WalkUp area will let fans hear the walk up song that each player has as he approaches the batter's box.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Special Food Lineup for the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Cleveland

Delaware North, the official food, beverage and retail partner of the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, announced a lineup of new items for the MLB All- Star Game.

The menu showcases local favorites and ingredients such as Cleveland Kraut, a variety of pierogi and rich sausages.

Loaded Pierogi

On June 28, 2019 media were invited to preview the foods and ask the chef questions.

Chef Joshua Ingraham

See photos, descriptions and videos of all the new All-Star Game foods

More Cleveland foodie stuff at

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Liszt Concert in the Hungarian Cultural Garden

Each year the Hungarian Cultural Garden puts on a free performance featuring the music of Franz Liszt for the community. The last several years the talented students and teachers from the Aurora School of Music led by founder and director Vera Holczer-Waroquet, have performed.

The weather was perfect and the performers were amazing.

See photos and videos of the Liszt concert in the Hungarian Cultural Garden

Carina Vincenti 

Francisco Fierro

Jose Ramon Garcia Perez

Raquel Roman Rodriguez accompanied by Vera Holczer

Hungarian studies at CSU

A special announcement was made at the end of the Liszt concert program in the Hungarian Cultural Garden on June 23, 2019.

Endre Szentkiralyi, president of the United Hungarian Societies, announced that starting in 2020 the Hungarian government will pay for 4 years of a Hungarian professor to teach at Cleveland State University.

See video of the CSU Hungarian announcement and more

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Euclid Beach memories

When we were adding the new Euclid Beach Pier to our coverage of Euclid Beach Park it brought back memories of the old park.

Rocket Ship Ride

Laughing Sal aka Laffing Sal poster

I was very young when the Park closed but I remember going with my Mom and her friend and daughter to Euclid Beach Park in 1968 for a speech by then Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey who was running for President. I recall the protestors with signs and chants saying “Dump the Hump.”

What do you remember?  Leave a comment.

See more photos of old Euclid Beach  and at

Cleveland101 coverage of Euclid Beach Park

Cleveland Cultural Gardens Centennial Peace Plaza Groundbreaking Ceremony

On June 11, 2019 the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Centennial Peace Plaza in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.

After welcome and speeches, the actual groundbreaking took place with CCGF President Dr. Wael Khoury being joined by the Plaza committee leaders, major donors, Mayor Frank Jackson and others for the ceremonial shoveling of dirt.

Groundbreaking of Centennial Peace Plaza
Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation Executive Board

Photos and videos of the Cultural Gardens Centennial Peace Plaza groundbreaking

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Walk under bridge to Cuyahoga River at Shooters in Cleveland

For years there has been a bust of Viking Explorer Leif Erikson near the entrance to Shooters on the west bank of Cleveland’s Flats.

 Dan Hanson just noticed that now you can walk under the piece of the bridge from the parking lot to the Cuyahoga River and see some of the ironwork of the bridge.

Walk on the new Euclid Beach Pier at Lake Erie in Cleveland

On Wednesday May 22, 2019 the Cleveland Metroparks had a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the grand opening of the Euclid Beach Pier.

The new 315-foot pier partially extends over Lake Erie, offering views of the downtown Cleveland skyline not experienced from this location for decades.

Dan Hanson took a walk out onto the pier.  Sorry for the wind noise.

Rep Anthony Gonzalez - D-Day 75th remembrance at League Park in Cleveland

Ohio 16th District representative Anthony Gonzalez  read the prayer that President Roosevelt read to the nation on the night of June 6, 1944.

USS Cleveland (LCS-31) - D-Day 75th remembrance at League Park

Under the umbrella of the Bob Feller Act of Valor Foundation – the U.S. Navy, Cleveland Indians and the Baseball Heritage Museum at League Park saluted and thanked those who served during WWII. This D-Day Remembrance ceremony honored over 100 men and women of the greatest generation.

Mrs. Robyn Modly, Ship Sponsor of the USS Cleveland (LCS-31), told about the history of the ship and future plans. The USS Cleveland (LCS-31) Legacy Foundation has been established with the purpose to send the USS Cleveland (LCS-31) to the Fleet with the greatest start possible, to support the ship and crew throughout her service life, and to welcome her home to Cleveland at the completion of her Naval service.

More on USS Cleveland

21 gun salute, Taps to end D-Day 75th at League Park

The D-Day ceremony at League Park concluded with a 21 gun salute, the playing of Taps and the singing of God Bless America led by Major Scott D. Allen, U.S. Air Force.

More photos and videos from 75th anniversary of D-Day

37 Baseball Hall of Famers served in World War II led by Bob Feller

Under the umbrella of the Bob Feller Act of Valor Foundation – the U.S. Navy, Cleveland Indians and the Baseball Heritage Museum at League Park saluted and thanked those who served during WWII. This D-Day Remembrance ceremony honored over 100 men and women of the greatest generation.

After the ceremony, Bob DiBiasio, Sr. Vice President-Public Affairs, Cleveland Indians Baseball, told about the 37 Baseball Hall of Famers who served in World War II and the story of Bob Feller who was the first to enlist.

Feller had already won 100 games and was driving to Chicago to sign a new contract.  When he heard the news of the Pearl Harbor attack on the radio he turned around and drove to an enlistment center and signed up.

Baseball Hall of Famers who served in World War II

Watch this short video with Bob DiBiasio telling about the Hall of Famers who served.

What would our modern athletes do?

D-Day 75th anniversary Remembrance Ceremony League Park June 6, 2019

On the 75th anniversary of D-Day, under the umbrella of the Bob Feller Act of Valor Foundation - the U.S. Navy, Cleveland Indians and the Baseball Heritage Museum at League Park saluted and thanked those who served during WWII. This D-Day Remembrance Ceremony honored about 130 of the greatest generation who served in World War II.

World War II Veteran at League Park

Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy Thomas B. Modly gave the keynote address and his remarks included the story of his emotional visit to Normandy.

World War II veteran with Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy Thomas B. Modly