Next Community Council Meeting
Jan 21 2020
Kennedy Heights Presbyterian Church
6312 Kennedy Ave
Welcome to
Kennedy Heights is one of 52 recognized neighborhoods within the City of Cincinnati. It is located in the northeast corner of Cincinnati, Ohio. Kennedy Heights straddles Montgomery Road between Pleasant Ridge and Silverton. The Kennedy Heights Community Council is the official body designated by the City of Cincinnati to represent and serve the neighborhood's 2,800 households.
View a map of Kennedy Heights

No December meeting - Next meeting January 21, 2020
Happy Holidays from the Kennedy Heights Community Council!
It’s time for our annual celebration of the holiday season! Winterfest is a joint effort between Kennedy Heights and Pleasant Ridge, held on the first Friday of December. Last year’s event exceeded expectation, so we hope you will mark your calendars and plan to join your neighbors for shopping, refreshments, entertainment, and merriment.

Like last year, this year’s event will take place in two different locations, so you can choose the party that fits your mood. Or don’t choose, and move from one to the other! Both events are family-friendly.

Shopping, Sipping, and Singing
Kennedy Heights Art Center Mansion
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Tree lighting, music by pianist Todd Hepburn, wine and light bites, art by the Kennedy Collective, and holiday shopping.

Crafting, Conversing, and Cavorting
KHAC Lindner Annex
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Performances by local students, live band, family friendly craft activities, open studios, food and drink.

Winterfest is sponsored by Kennedy Heights and Pleasant Ridge Community Councils.

Contributed by John Bange

In April of 2018, an initiative was launched to create a unique flag for each of Cincinnati's 52 neighborhoods. The purpose was to build neighborhood pride and a better sense of place. Over several months, teams of local designers learned about their communities through an online survey, visits and workshops.

Once preliminary designs were created, they were reviewed with community councils and other members of each community. Those in attendance at the meetings voted for their favorite design. The final flag designs were created based on all of these steps.

In Kennedy Heights we owe thanks to Jeffry Weidner, Lois Patterson and Lettie Davis for additional creative support during the final design phase.

The designs were created with five basic guidelines:

• Keep it simple.
• Symbolism.
• two or three basic colors.
• No lettering or seals.
• Be distinctive or be related.

The Kennedy Heights flag is now complete! Neighbors viewed it at the October Kennedy Heights Community Council.

The goal is for residents to hang them on their porch or businesses and fly them outside. The initial flag was made by The National Flag Company right here in Cincinnati. But the art for the flags are considered “open source,” so they can be ordered from any manufacturer.

It will most likely be best to place a bulk order for many flags. This will ensure consistency and a better price and delivery, and reduce everyone’s individual effort. The flags are also intended to be used as a fundraiser for the community.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the KH Presbyterian Church. Come and learn more about how you can order your very own Kennedy Heights flag.

To see all 52 flags and learn about the neighborhoods, go to:


The Kennedy Heights Landscape Awards Committee would like to thank the community for submitting a total of 31 nominations for an award—probably the most nominations in the history of the contest. It was a pleasure for the judges to evaluate the beautiful landscapes and select five winners and two Honorable Mentions. Learn what each winner likes best about their garden:

In Memoriam: Gordon Baer

Gordon Baer, a versatile, award-winning photographer and great friend of the Kennedy Heights Arts Center, died March 16 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. His work included stories of Vietnam veterans, the civil rights movement, a dying aunt, the strip mining of eastern Kentucky, a Kentucky chair maker, and almost every type of photo assignment. He worked as a staff photographer at the Cincinnati Post and Times Star from 1966 to 1971. His work has appeared in many national magazines, including Life, Time, Newsweek, Fortune and National Geographic.

He is survived by his wife Shirley VanAbbema of Pleasant Ridge.

The Caring Place
The Caring Place appreciates the abundance of donations from near and far. Teddy's Closet, our clothing room, is currently filled to capacity. We can always use new socks and undergarments for men, women and children, as well as toilet paper and grocery bags (plastic, paper and cloth). Thank you for helping your neighbors in need.
Lang Pickleball Courts

Coming in 2019

Here is an image describing the plan (installing six dedicated pickleball courts) for Lang tennis courts. The center area (where grass has been planted) is where the sewer (30' below grade) collapsed and caused the sinkhole. The sinkhole was filled with lean fill then site restored.

The remaining work for the pickleball courts will take place once the contract or bid is approved. This probably won't take place until the spring of 2019, unless the funding is approved sooner.

A crowd of more than 100 turned out to celebrate the incredible legacy of Kennedy Heights’ own 1st Lieutenant John H. Leahr. After months of planning and fundraising, the Leahr Memorial was finally unveiled with great celebration on June 9th..

1st Lieutenant John. H. Leahr was a documented, original Tuskegee Airman, part of the legendary group of black pilots who protected bombers in the air from German attack during World War II. He began training in 1943, and served overseas during the war.

Present at the celebration was Herb Heilbrun, aged 97, a friend of Leahr’s and a bomber who also served in World War II and received the invaluable protection of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Made possible by the support of the Ohio Arts Council.

Dementia vs. Normal Aging
Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio (COA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing quality of life for older adults, people with disabilities, their families and caregivers. There are more than 3 million cases of dementia in the US every year. Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. There is no cure, but there are treatments. For this reason, early intervention is greatly beneficial. See the below table to help figure out if you or a loved one is exhibiting warning signs of dementia.
Ten years ago, Maria Kreppel and a small cadre of leaders had a vision of uniting and strengthening Kennedy Heights and Pleasant Ridge through the arts. This vision led to the founding of “District A”—with the ‘A’ representing the ARTS for ALL of US.

District A’s mission was to connect local arts, business, and community assets to stimulate and sustain community vitality and economic growth within and beyond our neighborhoods. They sponsored arts activities including an annual Arts Festival, and hosting Playhouse in the Park’s Off the Hill productions.

Ten years later, the mission is complete. The neighborhoods are well-positioned for continued success, especially with the vibrant Kennedy Heights Arts Center and its studios and performance space at the Lindner Annex. We are excited to see the arts flourish for decades to come, thanks to the incredible seeds planted by Maria and the District A Board.

From all of us to you, Maria and your Board: Thank you!


Longtime Kennedy Heights resident Jody Barkley has been helping people find their home for 44 years. This year, again, she has been honored with a Five Star Real Estate Agent award for demonstrating excellence in her field. An exclusive group of less than 2% of real estate agents in the Cincinnati area, this honor is based not just on sales but also on customer service.

Jody is originally from Clarkson, Michigan. She attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor at the same that her first husband was in the ROTC there. In 1964, he was activated and they were sent to Elgin Air Force Base in Destin, Florida. Once in Florida, Jody was surprised to find that the schools and hospitals there were not accredited. With several years of art school and no degree, Jody was asked if she would like to teach school. Even without training or experience, she taught 3rd grade in an all-white school. After his discharge, her husband took a job with General Electric as an aeronautical engineer and they found themselves in Cincinnati. They purchased a house on Doon Ave. in Kennedy Heights. Jody lived there for 39 years, and it was where she raised their two daughters, Alex and Jessica.

Jody did not have a job. She got involved in a Class Action suit in which communities were suing five real estate companies and 17 agents for racial steering (steering white homebuyers away from black or racially mixed areas, implying that the areas would not be safe, would be victims of crimes, and so forth). They won the suit, which energized Jody and inspired her to go to law school and help the underdog.

Jody befriended Henry Leist of Leist Realty and went to work selling homes. One of her first sales was on two homes the same day, Fran and Mike Harmon on Kinoll Ave. and Christine Schumacher and Hal Hess on Wyatt Ave.

Soon after her divorce from her first husband, Jody met Ardell Barkley. It was 1982, and the setting was John Nolan Ford. She went in to lease a car. He sold her a blue 1982 Ford Escort, and they fell in love and married—an African American Catholic and a Caucasian Jew! Twenty-five years later, after living in their home on Doon for 25 years, they downsized and found a home on Tyne Ave. Ardell died very unexpectedly in March 2018. Like Jody, Ardell knew many people, through his years of work in car sales and playing and coaching baseball.

Jody has many interesting stories from her career. She recalls rushing to meet an inspector at a house when she was stopped by the police in a local municipality. The two officers were suspicious of her at first. She offered her business card as proof of her explanation, but she still got a ticket. Several weeks later she received an e-mail from one of the officers asking her for help in finding a house, which resulted in the purchase of a $250,000 home!

Jody Barkley represents all of the things that are good about our community: welcoming, friendly, supportive, someone you can count on, a good friend and neighbor, someone who truly cares. We thank you, Jody, for caring for our homes and our hearts!

Nextdoor is the new social network that helps you to connect with your neighbors in Kennedy Heights for just about any reason! Choose the boundaries that you want, include other neighborhoods in “your” network, and invite other neighbors to join. The Nextdoor website offers privacy and safety features, address verification, secure encryption using the HTTPS Internet protocol, and mobile access via an iPhone and Android app. Information that you share will never show up in search engines and Nextdoor never shares your personal information with third-party advertisers.
Read All About It!
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K.Heights Arts Center News


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