Saturday, July 12, 2014

Re: God Loves Cleveland

Taken shortly after LeBron James announced his return to the Cavaliers — The Real Deal Press      

This is bonus Real Deal coverage: a link to a lengthy online article on the genius of LeBron James — not just as a basketball player — and a unique take on why he’s coming back to Cleveland. It should have special value for Michael Jordan fans, Cavs’ fans, basketball purists and social psychologists.

Written by sportswriter Bill Simmons, the piece takes awhile to really zero in on LeBron, but when it does …

Check it out here.

Love Stories: The Cavs, Karamu, and Cameo

My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio. I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. — LeBron James

I was unaware until I had breakfast yesterday with an old friend that Cleveland today is the occasion of the 8th annual MultiMusicFest. The old school theme of tonight’s 7PM concert at the State Theatre in Playhouse Square — a musical tribute to Gerald and Sean Levert featuring the R&B funk band Cameo and hosted by actress and comedienne Kym Whitley — seems in total resonance with yesterday’s mega-announcement that LeBron James is returning to the Cavaliers and will spend the balance of his career working to bring multiple NBA titles to Northeast Ohio.[1]

• • •
My breakfast, by the way, was with my longtime friend and Cleveland native, John P. Kellogg. A former recording artist with Cameo and entertainment lawyer for both Gerald and Sean Levert, Kellogg is now assistant chair of the Music Business Management Department at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Kellogg is also author of the best-selling book, Take Care of Your Music Business: Taking the Legal and Business Aspects You Need to Know to 3.0, now its second edition. You can find details about the book and his free online course at

Kellogg grew up in Cleveland’s Fairfax community which his father, John W. Kellogg, served many years with distinction as councilman before moving on to become general counsel for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. The senior Kellogg would be an anomaly today, a black Republican officeholder who put community service before partisan or personal interests. And phrasing it that way is not meant to give a pass to any current elected officials who may have a different political persuasion. Party labels are just that — labels. When it comes to politics, one must always look beyond the label and examine the contents.

• • •
Speaking of labels, can you imagine Romeo and Juliet as Africans? Well you won’t have to if you simply check out Karamu House’s new summer theater program, “ Classics in the Lot!”

Karamu, the venerable settlement house and community theater, is inaugurating an annual outdoor summer series of classic stage productions next weekend with Shakespeare's classic love story "Romeo and Juliet". Karamu playwright in residence Michael Oatman’s adaptation of the tale of star-crossed lovers is set in Africa.

His provocative version, which he will direct, features recent Karamu House Hall of Fame Rising Star Kyle Carthens (Romeo) and Shambrion Treadwell-Obama (Juliet) in the lead roles.

This BYOC [Bring You Own Chair] production will run Saturday and Sunday the next two weekends [July 19-20 and July 26-27] starting at 6PM in the Karamu House parking lot, 2355 East 89 Street at Quincy Ave. Tickets are $5. For more info, call 216-795-7077 or visit

[1] I don’t know how else one could reasonably interpret James’ first-person as-told-to account. He is here until he retires, and thereafter. His goals: to bring an NBA title to Cleveland, to win multiple titles here, and to make Northeast Ohio a better place.

The entire statement was masterfully done and is worth multiple readings. In its power and grace, it’s as elegant, direct, and forceful as any of his signature throw-downs.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The "King" is back!

Ten minutes after we heard the news, we found Cleveland's version of Paul Revere cycling towards Public Square with this sign.

It's been a big week for the city.

We'll say more later but for now I'm just going to enjoy the most pleasant strains of the jazz trio now playing in the Eastman Reading Garden at the Cleveland Public Library.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Business Tuesday

The big news in our region today was of course the announcement that the 2016 Republican Convention will be held in Cleveland. Tentative start dates are reportedly either June 27 or July 18, depending — get this! — on whether Quicken Loans Arena will be needed as a site for the NBA Finals. That might seem ludicrous except for the possibility, no longer entirely incredible that free agent LeBron James might return home as the prodigal son.

IF he did, well, then we would have to consider that in his first eleven years, his teams have made the NBA Finals five times. So, just maybe the Repubs will have to wait until July to have the run of the Q.

Meanwhile, the question of the day is who will step forward to negotiate one of those Community Benefit Agreements with the Republican National Committee?

We of course will have much more to say about the Republican Convention but for now, we simply offer our congratulations to Mayor Jackson, County Executive FitzGerald, and those folk who will be ponying up some $65 million or so to make this happen.

PC Scholar Graduation Reception canceled

We reported in last week’s Nonprofit Thursday post that The Presidents’ Council reception for this year’s graduates of its PC Scholars program would be held this Thursday, July 10.

This event has been canceled for the best of reasons: the honorees are so busy this summer with internships, gainful summer employment and the like, that it seems about half of them are unable to attend the planned festivities in their honor.

We are pleased to share the roster of 2014 PC Scholar Graduates below. Their names are followed by the schools they will enter this fall and their high schools. Each will receive a scholarship from the program once their fall schedules have been certified.

2014 PC Scholar Graduates

Ronisha Buckhanon, University of Akron, Collinwood HS

Elexsus Collins, Cuyahoga Community College, Max Hayes HS

Zalina Harp, Cuyahoga Community College, James Ford Rhodes HS

Diva Jones, University of Akron, John Adams HS

Tatiana Meadows, Cleveland State University, John F. Kennedy HS

Joshua Minor, Cuyahoga Community College, New Tech East HS

Danielle Quarles, Cuyahoga Community College, John Hay A & D HS

Erica Vanzant, Sierra Nevada College, Cleveland School of the Arts

Alexis Wiggins, United States Air Force, John Hay A & D HS