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COLUMNS

Hope

Growing up, I often heard my father say, “Keep your faith strong and your hopes high!” As a little girl, I didn’t quite understand what this expression meant, but I always loved to hear him say it. As an adult, I came to understand how important it was to “keep my faith strong and my hopes high” as the disappointments and challenges of life started to.
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From Empty Lot to High-Tech Farm

Leonard Davis’ dream of urban farming grew from a seedling to a garden. It's located on the corner of East 130th Street and Arlington Avenue in the Glenville neighborhood. In 2008, Davis’ godfather allowed him to plant a garden on the large plot of land. In 2011, Davis bought the plot and gave away what he grew to anyone who wanted some. Now Davis' garden has gone.
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Protecting Our Bridges

I've been thinking about the old saying "Don't burn your bridges." I've considered how, contrary to those words, sometimes it's actually best to let a bridge burn. Of course, the saying isn't about bridges made of steel, concrete and other raw materials. It's about bridges that take you from where you are now in life to where you want to be. It was a a recent incident.
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Stop Blaming, Start Changing Your Life

I was recently in an automobile accident, which in all my many years of driving has never happened to me. Thank God. After the initial shock of the impact, I thought I was fine, but the next day things begin to happen that I had not expected. It’s as if your entire body absorbs the impact, but after things begin to settle, body parts you.
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Bessie Had the Blues

The Cleveland Play House has always brought the area great entertainment and sometimes rapid history lessons, as well. At the opening night of "The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith," I learned about a different type of establishment that was available in the 1920s. It was called a “buffet flat” and is the setting in which the famous singer is introduced. As Smith's story.
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The Free Gift

Who doesn’t like receiving gifts? I certainly do, and so does everyone else I know! Gifts have a way of making us feel loved and special. Throughout the years, I have learned an expensive gift doesn’t necessarily make you happier. In fact, the best gifts I have received have been relatively inexpensive, but it was the thoughtfulness behind the gift that warmed my heart. We all have.
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“Playing” Tai Chi for Health

Susan Cady’s students strike proud royal poses when they walk — they hold their heads high and keep their chests wide. Cady, the founder of T’ai Chi for Health, teaches students to work out kinks in their bodies while in bed and keep good posture. She believes in standing tall, as if someone had just told you “You’re about to receive a medal at the Olympics!” Cady.
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A Valentine from NV

As a valentine to our readers, NV found people in our eight neighborhoods and asked them to share their thoughts on the subject of love. Some are in relationships, some aren’t. Some live or work in our neighborhoods, others don’t. Three happen to be named "John." Watch as each one answers our questions in our video “NV's 2013 Valentine” at www.youtube.com/NeighborhoodVoice, and read their comments.
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Women Work to Eliminate Racism

For the past two months, several women in my network have been participating in a program called “YWCA ChangeMakers 2012-2013.” Our goal? To identify and eliminate racism. During our first session, we were introduced to Margaret Mitchell, president and CEO of YWCA Greater Cleveland, and our facilitators, Erica Merritt and Adele DiMarco Kious. Several group members are leaders within their own work organizations, and all members.
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Building Abundant Neighborhoods

Over the last few months, Neighborhood Connections organized three book groups as part of our 10th anniversary celebration. Each group met three times to share thoughts and have fun. One group met on Monday night, one on Thursday mornings, and one met on Friday afternoons. We all read “Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods” by John McKnight and Peter Block. The book contrasts.
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Trust the Process

Trust the Process Have you ever played Solitaire? For those of you who have not, the goal of the game is to get all of the cards from seven piles into four piles. The cards in the seven piles can be moved by counting downward and alternating colors. For example, a red five of hearts can only go on a black six of spades or a black.
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War on Drugs Creates Permanent Underclass

What a difference “except” makes. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says no one can be enslaved, EXCEPT a prisoner. It reads:  “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” On Oct. 25, Michelle Alexander talked about this and more to an audience in John Hay High School’s auditorium. Alexander.
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Mental Health Forum Next Month

Untreated mental illness wrecks lives and ends them early. That's the view of Michael Baskin, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness' Greater Cleveland chapter. In a recent interview, Baskin echoed what is says on NAMI's national website: Untreated mental illness leads to "disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives.” Given this reality, the time is right for the public forums on.
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Desperate Choices

The recent tragic death of Emilliano Terry has created a lot of dialogue in the community. Whether on local television news, in the newspaper or on social media, the majority of the comments from others are the same: shock and deep sadness for the loss of a life cut way too short. His mother Camilia was charged with aggravated murder. Many can’t understand why a.
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The Perfect Gift

Did you make it to the Black Friday sales? Or, did you start your shopping on Thanksgiving evening after the food was put away and the kitchen was cleaned? Perhaps you were like my girlfriends, who started shopping on Thanksgiving evening and continued until 6 a.m. Friday morning. Then, they stopped briefly for breakfast before starting again. Oh, the joys of the holiday season! In our busyness.
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