Axios Cleveland

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👍 TGIF. Enjoy your weekend, and May the 4th be with you tomorrow.

⛈️ Today's weather: Chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high of 75.

🎧 Sounds like: "Green, Green Grass of Home" by Johnny Cash

🎂 Happy birthday to our Axios Cleveland member Jody Wainer!

Today's newsletter is 927 words — a 3.5 minute read.

1 big thing: 🌻 Saying no to #NoMowMay

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Ohio lawn care experts want you to think twice before you jump on the #NoMowMay bandwagon.

The big picture: The campaign has spread widely on social media in recent years, urging people to stop cutting their grass for the month in an effort to boost habitat and food for bees and other pollinators.

Reality check: Experts say the mowing hiatus doesn't actually help bees all that much and that it could ruin your lawn.

Zoom in: Ohio is home to numerous specialists in the field, thanks to Ohio State University's large turfgrass science department in its college of food, agricultural and environmental sciences.

Catch up fast: The idea originated in England before spreading to the U.S. Midwest, where it was embraced by environmental groups and some local and state governments.

What they're saying: The approach has a few major flaws, says Mike Hogan, an associate professor and extension agent at OSU specializing in sustainable agriculture and urban food systems. Among them, he says:

  • Dandelions, which would be the primary pollen source for bees if you let your lawn go, peak in April in Ohio.
  • Even if you did hit peak dandelion bloom in May, the weed's flowers aren't actually a high-quality source of pollen for honeybees, especially compared with native flowers, shrubs and trees.
  • Finally, letting your lawn go for a month and then mowing it back down is a recipe for a patchy mess of turf because it would expose the tender crown of the grass.

State of play: An academic study supporting the theory that a month off from mowing helps bees was retracted in 2022.

The other side

2. 🗳 Another voter ID bill considered

Photo: Dustin Franz/AFP via Getty Images

Ohio's voter ID law could change again under a proposal supported by over a dozen Republicans.

Why it matters: HB 472 would make it tougher for some Ohioans to register to vote and cast absentee ballots.

State of play: Ohio citizens previously could use documentation such as utility bills and bank statements to prove their identification and voting address at the ballot box.

  • That changed last year under a law requiring photo ID to vote in person.
  • Ohioans have still been able to register to vote and cast mail-in ballots by using the last four digits of their Social Security number.

Yes, but: HB 472 would remove that option.

  • Under the bill, voters would have to provide a copy of their driver's license or state ID card and its corresponding number when returning absentee ballots.
  • It also would require more diligent voter roll maintenance and cybersecurity reviews.
  • Current law already bans voting machines from being connected to the internet, but the new bill says they cannot be connected to any telecommunications network.

The intrigue: The bill also would allow counties to use hand-counted paper ballots instead of voting machines or other tabulating equipment.

  • County officials could make that switch, or it could be mandated by local voters via ballot initiative.

What's next

3. The Terminal: Twisting through the news

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

🌪️ Ohio has seen the more tornadoes through April this year than it has in any year since tracking began in 1950. (Fox 8)

🚪 The City of Akron has opened up its Ring doorbell program to all residents, distributing 300 cameras in each of its wards on a first-come, first-served basis. (Akron Beacon Journal)

🌊 For the second straight year, Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky made USA Today's list of the best indoor waterparks in the U.S. (Spectrum News)

4. 🍽️ Dinner + a show: "Company"

Britney Coleman as Bobbie in "Company." Photo: Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

Another Tony Award-winning musical sings its way into Playhouse Square.

The intrigue: "Company" is showing at Connor Palace through May 19.

  • The show, which won the 2021 Tony for Best Revival of a Musical, follows Bobbie, a 35-year-old whose birthday party brings questions from her friends about why she's still single.

Fun fact: The current version of "Company" updates the original 1970 production by changing the main character from a man to a woman and adding a same-sex couple.

If you go: Tickets start at $25.

Worthy of your time: Sushi En, located between the Allen and Ohio theaters, serves some of the best Japanese and Korean food downtown.

  • The restaurant opened in the former Sung's House space in September.

5. 🏌️ Best golf courses (Nos. 2-1)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

We've been counting down the best public golf courses within an hour of Cleveland all week.

  • Now for the heavyweights.

2. Fowler's Mill

Location: Chesterland, ~45 minutes east of Cleveland, via I-90 and US-322

Rates: Dynamic pricing ($46-$68)

Scorecard: Par 72, 7,025 yards

State of play: Designed by one of golf's most revered modern architects, Pete Dye, this Geauga County track was originally the TRW corporate course (a la Firestone).

Pros: Pound for pound, these are the best 18 public holes in Northeast Ohio, brilliantly seamed and sculpted through acres of natural beauty.

Cons: Though money has recently gone to repave ailing cart paths, the greens and sand traps need professional attention (and probably a couple million dollars) to properly restore.

1. Boulder Creek

Location: Streetsboro, ~40 minutes southeast of Cleveland, via I-480

Rates: $54 weekday / $75 weekend ($44 after 3pm)

Scorecard: Par 72, 6,885 yards

State of play: Cleveland's answer to TPC Sawgrass, this championship-level course with eye-popping holes everywhere seems to have been tailor-made for tournament play since it opened in 2002.

Pros: A supreme golf experience from soup to nuts. Hitting good shots here makes you feel like a pro with an honest-to-God "island green" and no housing developments encroaching on the natural splendor.

Cons: Some of the most excruciatingly slow rounds on record.

👀 See the full top 10

Thanks to our editor Lindsey Erdody and copy editors Rob Reinalda and Bryan McBournie.

Our picks:

🏀 Sam will be watching the Cavs game from Pittsburgh. More Mobley game-winning blocks, please!

🤷🏾 Troy really wants to go to a Game 7 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Sunday.