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Out & About in Cleveland

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3rd Annual Slo-ish Bowling Tournament, Rhythms of Latin America, Earthfest, and the American Croation Lodge

We hadn't planned to bowl at the 3rd Annual Slo-ish Bowling Tournament between the Slovenians and the Irish at Wickliffe Lanes on Saturday, 4/12/2014, but there was a cancellation at the last minute on the Irish side we we signed up and bowled the entire three games and, even though our bowling score could not be exactly called "good", we still had a very good time. As we recall, this was the third time that we have bowled this year. The first was for the Human Rights Campaign; the second was for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Northeast Ohio.

We also had a revealing conversation with several members of the East Side Irish American Club about the very low number of people from Ireland, Scotland and England who are allowed to immigrate to the U.S. each year to reside. This is certainly not the first time that we have heard this and it strengthens our conviction that the United States is in need of comprehensive immigration reform.

After bowling, we were ready for some relaxation so we headed over to Anthony's Place in South Euclid for a fundraiser to support State Senator Nina Turner who is running for Secretary of State of Ohio. It was a very pleasant affair organized by South Euclid City Councilman Edward A. Icove with maybe 30 people stopping by for a least a little while to support Senator Turner, who was very appreciative of our support. Among those who also attended were Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Anita Laster Mays who is running for 8th District Court of Appeals and Ohio State Representative Kenny Yuko who is running for Ohio State Senate. Columnist Katrina vanden Heuvel recently quoted Senator Turner as saying "We have to start by electing more women who are leading intersectional lives so that they bring that voice to the table in office. But just having those voices in the room isn't enough...we must elect voices who will speak up and give perspective. What good is being in the room if you do nothing with the opportunity to make real lasting change?" And we agree.

After relaxing at Senator Turner's event, we were ready for something a little more lively so we traveled across Cleveland to the Interreligious Task Force (IRTF) on Central America Dance Gala titled "Rhythms of Latin America" at the All About Dancin' Studio on Freeman Avenue. The first part of the evening was devoted to socializing and food which included vegetarian tamales with non-dairy sour cream made from cashews which was quite yummy to say the least. Scattered throughout the early part of the evening were latin dance performances by individual couples but at at 9:15 pm about 30 people lined up on the dance floor to take a salsa lesson. Needless to say, IRTF co-coordinators Crissy Stonebraker and Brian Stefan-Szittai and ARSP Volunteer Lukas Wiedemann (here from Europe) were acknowledged and applauded for all of their hard work.

The next day was Sunday, April 13th, and we couldn't think of a better way to spend an early afternoon than to visit the 2014 Annual Earthfest Celebration which took place at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. We always like to go to Earthfest because it is a swell combination of education, healthy food, fellowship, and fun which brings people together. This year the theme was "Zero Waste" and featured over 250 exhibits which covered such topics as clean transportation, suggestions/inspirations for green home and garden, advanced and renewable energy. Not surprisingly, Earthfest also provides us with some good networking opportunities because several of the alternative energy firms tabling there had international connections and expressed an interest in perhaps bringing some associates here to the United States to work with them. Last but not least (at least to us) we consumed some fries made from eggplant that were hardly international but still out of this world.

Our last stop for the weekend was the American Croatian Lodge in Eastlake because its museum was having an opening for a new exhibit about noteworthy places along the beautiful Adriatic Croatian Coastline and our friend Branka Malinar, the museum curator, was delighted to see us and was glad to take us on a tour. So we got to see costumes, photos and artifacts which came from the coastal cities and villages. We particularly liked seeing photos from Zadar which features the world's first musical pipe organ that is played by the waves of the sea which push air into the organ to play musical chords and of the Cathedral of Sibenik which is famous for its sculptural decorations created in the 15th century (or sooner) including 71 small human heads of local villagers. Branka looks forward to this summer's dedication of Phase II of the Croatian Cultural Garden which will add a baptismal font out of respect for Croatian Christianity.

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