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How do honey bees survive winter?

“Where did the honey bees go?”

This is one of the questions most frequently asked by Lake Erie Nature & Science Center visitors during the winter months. Despite freezing temperatures and lack of flowers, honey bees survive the winter due to their amazing array of survival mechanisms.

Simply put, honey bees must create their own heat source and maintain a food supply inside the hive in order to make it to spring.

“Once the temperature drops below 50 degrees, honey bees keep the inside of their hive a warm 97 degrees in order to keep the colony alive,” explains Christine Barnett, wildlife program specialist at the Center. “Honey bees must produce over 90 pounds of honey throughout summer in order to survive the winter.”

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:35 AM, 01.07.2020

Kicking the tires of your digital-world ride

Are you ready to kick the tires of the Power of One device or shiny new computer you found under your tree? The former, i.e. tablets and smartphones, are also referred to as consumption devices since you consume, or more appropriately “stream,” various content such as entertainment and knowledge from the internet, aka the cloud. Computers can also consume but additionally can be used to create documents and many others for self or to share with others.

If you are ready to find out what your gift is capable of, just whip out your … library card! Being a card-carrying digital-world citizen has its privileges as libraries have adjusted nicely to the world after the internet. They continue to embrace digital-world-based services as society changes the way they do things and all the while continuing to service the people who walk into the libraries in the real world.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:33 AM, 01.07.2020

Soup sale supports Meals on Wheels program

Westlake Meals on Wheels is offering a way to warm your heart and satisfy your appetite, all while supporting the recently introduced "We Care About You" program.

During the first week of December, Meals on Wheels volunteers and community members delivered to recipients four bags of non-perishable food items and a bag of winter supplies and personal items collected and donated by area schools, fire departments, churches and the community at large. It was met with overwhelming appreciation from the recipients. 

“We received so many notes of thanks from our recipients for the items,” said Executive Director Marie Patten-Blatter. “Many of our recipients live alone, and the only person they will see is their Meals on Wheels driver. Our goal is to be able to provide a similar care package throughout the year. The mission of Meals on Wheels is not just delivering a meal, but serving our recipients in other ways as well."

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:35 AM, 01.07.2020

Deadline nears for annual Bay Village honors

Each year, the Bay Village Community Council honors a worthy Bay Village resident with the title of Citizen of the Year. The award recognizes an individual’s service and dedication to the community. Special projects are also considered for distinction based on community impact and the involvement of volunteers and organizations.

The deadline to nominate a citizen and/or project is Monday, Jan. 13. Forms are available at wbvobserver.com, City Hall, the Bay Village Branch Library, and from members of the Bay Village Community Council. Completed forms may be submitted via email to tara@wbvobserver.com or mailed to Bay Village Community Council, 350 Dover Center Road, Bay Village, OH 44140.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:33 AM, 01.07.2020

Village Bicycle Cooperative’s big holiday donation

VBC members load up 40 bikes for donation to the Salvation Army.

Village Bicycle Cooperative, located in the Community House in Bay Village, donated the biggest single one-time donation of reconditioned bicycles in its 8-year history. On Dec. 18, five VBC volunteers braved the winter cold and loaded 40 bicycles on a truck for donation to the Salvation Army from the VBC secondary storage location at BAYarts. Beth Milli, of BAYarts, was there to greet and launch the volunteers on their journey. The VBC volunteers were Susan Schneider, Eric Evanoff, Bob Piccirilli, Bill Abbott and Dave Kett.

The Salvation Army bike donations will serve two important purposes. Some of the bikes are gifts for needy children, bringing them joy during the holiday season. The rest are adult bikes, given to adult Salvation Army clients, that will be to used as transportation to their newfound places of work. In all cases, the bicycles were donated to those in real need who cannot afford them. VBC also included 50 bicycle helmets, acquired through a state grant, and 50 heavy duty bike locks, thanks to assistance from Fairview Cycle. To cap off the day, VBC volunteers assisted in unloading a toy truck delivering gifts for the kids of Salvation Army.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:36 AM, 01.07.2020

Kiwanis Aktion Club contributes to the community

Marie Patten-Blatter, left, accepts a donation of decorated jelly jars for Meals on Wheels clients from Jennifer Rutkoski, president of the Kiwanis Aktion Club.

The Westlake Kiwanis Aktion Club recently decorated jelly jars to be given to Westlake Meals on Wheels recipients. The jars were delivered to the Meals on Wheels kitchen just in time to be handed out with the Christmas Eve meal delivery. Aktion Club President Jennifer Rutkoski presented the jars to Marie Patten-Blatter, executive director of Westlake Meals on Wheels.

Aktion Club is a community-service group that provides adults living with disabilities an opportunity to develop initiative and leadership skills. Members strive to return to their communities the benefits, help and caring they have received, as well as develop important skills in the process.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:34 AM, 01.07.2020

A giving season at Bay Village Schools

Bay High students made paper flowers and butterflies for Village Project to cheer cancer patients receiving meals.

Students and staff at Bay Village Schools are generous throughout the year, and this holiday season they planned and delivered on dozens of giving efforts to help others. Below is a list of the many projects and activities that took place throughout the season.

Bay High boys basketball players caroled and served cookies at the Knickerbocker Apartments – a favorite event for those residents that was followed by several more musical performances by Bay Village Schools student vocalists and instrumentalists.

Every building throughout the district collected brand new toys for patients at the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital in honor of Maggie Willmitch, a young sibling of a Bay Village Schools family who passed away while a patient there. In her memory, youngsters will have a brightened Christmas while in the hospital thanks to "with love Maggie" which was established by her family.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:34 AM, 01.07.2020

Upcoming programs at Bay Village Branch Library

CHILDREN

Weekly Storytimes

  • Mondays (10 a.m.) Toddler Storytime – ages 19-35 months
  • Tuesdays (10 a.m.) Toddler Storytime – ages 19-35 months
  • Tuesdays (6:45 p.m.) Family Storytime – for all ages
  • Wednesdays (10 a.m.) Baby and Me Storytime – ages birth-18 months
  • Thursdays (10 a.m.) Preschool Storytime – ages 3-5 (not yet in kindergarten)
  • Fridays (10 a.m. and 11 a.m.) Family Storytime – for all ages

Saturday, Jan. 11 (10 a.m.) Preschool STEAM – Ages 3-5: Join us for stories and a hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) activity. Registration required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Bay Village Branch Library.

Monday, Jan. 13 (7 p.m.) STEAM On: Snap Circuits – Join us for a hands-on STEAM program. Design and build models of working electrical circuits. Registration required.

Thursday, Jan. 16 (4 p.m.) Beach Party – Heat things up with summer stories, songs and sand. It might be cold outside, but we won’t mind! Registration required.

TEEN

Wednesdays, Jan. 8 and 15 (3-4 p.m.) Teen Zone – Grades 5 and up: Hang out with something fun to do after school – gaming, art, movies, technology and more! Parents/guardians must complete a Release and Hold Harmless form.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:37 AM, 01.07.2020

January events at Westlake Porter Public Library

Tuesday, Jan. 7 (6-8:45 p.m.) CPR – Get certified for adult, child and infant CPR and AED. Instruction provided by certified instructors/paramedics from UH St. John Medical Center. Participants under the age of 14 must have parent/legal guardian with them in class. If any questions, contact the instructors at uh4cpr@gmail.com. Please register.

Tuesday, Jan. 7 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) Interactive Movie – Watch this Marvel film in a brand-new way. Sing, snack and see if you can out-sarcasm Starlord. Grades 7-12. Registration required, but drop-ins welcome while supplies last. Please register.

Tuesday, Jan. 7 (7-8 p.m.) Cooking with Susan: Death by Chocolate – Get ready for Valentine’s Day with some chocolaty delights! Please register.

Wednesdays, Jan. 8 and 15 (9:30 & 10:15 a.m.) Let’s Sing and Dance! – Sing and move to the music with Miss Nancy! For children ages 2-6 with a caregiver. Please arrive early to receive a ticket.

Wednesday, Jan. 8 (10-11 a.m.) Tax Tips with H&R Block: Senior Lecture Series – When should you start social security benefits? How do you avoid retirement money mistakes? Aging comes with a few tax perks; let H&R Block help you relax and enjoy some of that money you won’t have to give to the IRS. Please register.

Wednesday Jan. 8 (1-2:30 p.m.) Cuyahoga West Genealogical Society Help Session – Free help session in the library’s computer lab. Please bring your pedigree and/or family group sheets.

Wednesdays, Jan. 8 and 15 (4-5:30 p.m.) and Thursday, Jan. 9 (6:30-8 p.m.) Bow Wow Books – Stop by Youth Services to sign up for a 10-minute reading time with a reading therapy dog. Dogs will stay for 10 minutes past the last registered reader or 1.5 hours, whichever comes first. Sign-ups begin Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. and Thursday at 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 8 (6-8:45 p.m.) First Aid – The Heartsaver First Aid course is designed to prepare students to provide first aid in a variety of injury and other emergency situations in a safe, timely and effective manner. Instruction is provided by certified instructors/paramedics from UH St. John Medical Center. Participants under the age of 14 must have a parent/legal guardian with them in class. If you have any questions, please contact the instructors at uh4cpr@gmail.com. Please register.

Wednesday, Jan. 8 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) Horror Film Club – Join us for another creepy classic from the vault ... if you dare! New members are always welcome, but children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Please register.

Thursday, Jan. 9 (1-7 p.m.) American Red Cross Bloodmobile

Thursdays, Jan. 9 and 16 (4-5 p.m., Grades 3-4) and Mondays, Jan. 13 and 20 (4-5 p.m., Grades 3-8) and Code Club! – Learn how to build an app, design a video game, and change the world through code! Registration begins a week before each session.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:34 AM, 01.07.2020

Pro Football Hall of Fame

The Pro Football Hall of Fame. The original 1963 rotunda is visible on the far left. Photo by Rachel Polaniec

Magical History Tour welcomes the start of 2020 (and the end of another disappointing Browns season) at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, conveniently located an hour’s drive south off I-77.

With a sprawling façade both unabashedly retro and decidedly modern, the Pro Football Hall of Fame begins making an impression before visitors exit Interstate 77. A mural-sized banner covering one of the brick walls proudly proclaims the “Class of 2019: Kickoff of the NFL’s 100th Season.”

Here in Canton on Sept. 17, 1920, the American Professional Football Association was created by representatives from 10 professional football teams. Two years later this association became the National Football League, or NFL. The Canton Bulldogs would become the League’s first two-time champion in 1922 and 1933.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:33 AM, 01.07.2020

Women in Transition program begins Jan. 13 at Tri-C Westshore

The Women in Transition program at Cuyahoga Community College will launch a new session of classes at Westshore Campus on Jan. 13 to empower women in their pursuit of education, training and a career.

Classes will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Jan. 13 to March 4. The eight-week course is designed to assist women in transitional periods of their lives, such as a career change or return to the workforce.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:36 AM, 01.07.2020

Westlake resident receives Rotary award

Joe Matuscak presented Allen Porter Sr., right, with an award for his contribution of service to the North Coast Rotary.

North Coast Rotary President Joe Matuscak recently presented the Paul Harris Fellowship award to fellow club member and Westlake resident Allen G. Porter Sr. during the club's regular meeting in Avon Lake.

The Paul Harris Award is special recognition for contribution of service. It also is awarded for financial gifts to the Rotary Foundation of $1,000 or more. This is the second time Allen has received this award.

Allen has led the cause for recycling medical equipment and supplies for the club.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:33 AM, 01.07.2020

Discussion group to focus on leadership in turbulent times

Once again Case Western Reserve University, through its Siegal Lifelong Learning program, will be offering a course in Bay Village this winter. This is not a college course, just learning for the fun of it.

Our course, "Leadership in Turbulent Times," uses as a textbook the book of the same name authored by presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin. Applying five decades of study, Goodwin demonstrates how four exceptional leaders – Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson – overcame adversity and transcended personal ambition to enlarge the lives of others.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:36 AM, 01.07.2020

Kathryn Maver named to Westlake Porter Public Library board

The Westlake Porter Public Library board of trustees has appointed Kathryn “Kate” Maver to serve a term from 2020-2026.

A Westlake resident, Maver is the director of development for the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, Cleveland. She previously served as the pastor of the Wells River/Newbury United Church of Christ in Vermont, the planned & major gifts officer at the Little City Foundation in Palatine, Illinois, and the communications and development director at the Horizons Hospice. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a master’s degree in divinity.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:34 AM, 01.07.2020

Local hospice family receives gift-card donation

From left: Bill Finn, president & CEO, and social worker Khannah Wetmore, Hospice of the Western Reserve, accept a gift card donation from Helder Rosa, Vice President of Operations, Mercedes-Benz of North Olmsted.

The holidays are full of celebrations, but they can be stressful for family members who are caring for loved ones with an advanced illness. One local business is doing its part to make a difference. Helder Rosa, Vice President of Operations for Mercedes-Benz of North Olmsted, visited Ames Family Hospice House in Westlake recently with a gift to make the season a little warmer for one local family. The dealership donated $350 in gift cards to Giant Eagle and Target.

The gift cards will go to a "sandwich generation" caregiver who is not only taking caring of her children and grandchildren but serving as the primary caregiver for a dying family member.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:36 AM, 01.07.2020

Breakfast with Santa: Westlake police raise money for Adopt-a-Family

North Pole Patrol, from left: Halle Shelby, officer Chris Johnson, officer Dan Eynon, officer Dennis Funari; center: Cash from K-9 unit). Photo by Jeannie Ross

Jeannie Ross, Westlake police dispatcher, started Adopt-a-Family six years ago. Policemen donate $25 monthly in exchange for not shaving during the holiday season. They have raised thousands of dollars each year for families in need.

The Westlake Police Department hosted a Breakfast with Santa event on Dec. 21 at the Holiday Inn Express to raise additional funds for Adopt-a-Family.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 3:00 PM, 12.21.2019

Tri-C offers Encore Campus Fridays at Westshore campus

The Encore Campus Fridays program at the Westshore campus of Cuyahoga Community College begins new sessions of classes in January and March to enrich the minds and lives of those aged 55 and older.

The winter program begins Jan. 24 and runs every Friday for seven weeks at the campus, located at 31001 Clemens Road in Westlake. Age-eligible students can enroll in one to six courses for a $99 fee. The 50-minute classes take place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:36 AM, 01.07.2020

A new year is here! Will you keep your promises?

"Because I said I would" is a social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept. Founded in 2012, we are changing lives through Promise Cards, chapters of volunteers, character education in schools, and awareness campaigns with global reach. Perhaps the world has forgotten the importance of a promise ... we have not.

We are looking for volunteers of all ages and experiences to serve with our organization in Rocky River. Volunteers are the backbone of our organization and help us maintain our daily operations. In addition, volunteers bring knowledge, experiences and talents beyond what our professional staff already bring to the organization and its work.

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 10:35 AM, 01.07.2020