Latest News

Proposed zoning changes spark discussion in Bay

Jason Russell of Concord Consulting, right, answers questions about Issue 2. Photo by Denny Wendell

A proposed change to the city’s zoning code to permit mixed-use developments in designated commercial districts drew a standing-room crowd of more than 50 residents to Bay Village Council Chambers on Oct. 5.

City officials conducted the informational meeting to answer questions about Issue 2, which will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot in Bay Village. The issue will ask voters to approve changes to the city’s zoning code to allow projects that combine commercial space and housing.

Jason Russell, of Concord Consulting who is working with the city on the proposal, explained that the proposed changes – referred to as an overlay – provide an option for current property owners and/or developers to create mixed-use projects that combine commercial and residential uses on the same parcel. Such developments, which are gaining in popularity in Ohio and elsewhere, are not permitted under Bay’s current zoning.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:20 AM, 10.19.2021

Checklist for Nov. 2 voting

Election Day is near – Tuesday, Nov. 2. Here’s a checklist for making sure you are ready to vote:

  • It’s too late to register or to change your name and address, so put a reminder on your phone or calendar to do these tasks early in the new year.
  • Decide whether you will vote by mail or in person.
  • If you are going to vote by mail, apply for a ballot NOW. (Go to Cuyahoga County Board of Elections website for the application form: boe.cuyahogacounty.gov. Fill out the form and mail it back right away.)
  • Buy TWO 58-cent stamps: one to use to mail back your application and the other one to use to mail back your completed ballot.
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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.19.2021

Biodiversity: Critically important to our survival

There was an article in the New York Times last week titled “The Most Important Global Meeting You’ve Probably Never Heard Of Is Now.” No, Catrin Einhorn, the reporter, was not referring to the climate summit that will be occurring later this month in Glasgow. She was referring to an international environmental meeting happening last week in China to problem solve the global crisis of a rapid collapse of species and systems.

Everyone has heard of the climate crisis and solving that problem is critical to our existence. However, the earth’s biodiversity crisis is equally important and a topic that receives far less attention. Brian O’Donnell, director of the Campaign for Nature, says focusing on only climate change and ignoring biodiversity loss is “(the) equivalent of having a flat tire and a dead battery in your car at the same time. You’re still stuck if you only fix one.”

As with all my columns, I’m going to try to break down this issue for you in a relatable way, and let you know how you as an individual can help!

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:14 AM, 10.19.2021

Westlake City Schools shine light on mental health efforts

Dr. Scott Goggin is the Superintendent of the Westlake City School District. 

In October, we recognize World Mental Health Day. This day is meant to raise awareness of the importance of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.

We’re so proud of our Westlake City School students and the work they do in class and in our community. We sometimes forget the importance of mental health and how that can have an effect on the student's growth and education.

We are also proud of the openness with which people are now discussing these issues. It wasn’t that long ago that such topics were considered taboo. We are learning more and more about mental health, both how to recognize certain issues, and how to help those who are looking to improve this aspect of their health.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:15 AM, 10.19.2021

Dangers of improperly discarded fishing line

Herring gull with hook through its bill. Photo by Tim Jasinski

Discarded fishing line poses a danger to humans, machinery, pets and wildlife.

Results can be deadly if your dog or cat happens to eat an animal that is tangled in fishing line or has ingested it, particularly if a hook is still attached. Humans can step on hooks, requiring surgical removal. Weed-wackers can require unnecessary maintenance if the line tangles the rotor and boats can suffer damage if old fishing line is caught between the propellers.

Wildlife, however, bears the brunt of fishing line that has been irresponsibly discarded. According to Coastal Breeze News, fishing line filaments, with or without hooks, that have been discarded along our beaches and waterways are the leading cause of wildlife entanglement. Furthermore, Audubon estimates that one million shorebirds die every year as a result of marine debris with over 300,000 of those deaths attributed to discarded fishing lines and hooks.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:21 AM, 10.19.2021

St. Barnabas announces new rector

Fr. Alex Martin

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Bay Village announced this week that its current Priest-in-Charge, the Rev. Alexander D. Martin, has accepted a call to serve as Rector – a tenured position. The church plans a celebration of his new role and the tenth anniversary of the church re-opening on Nov. 21.

“After extensive discernment, the vestry was thrilled to call Fr. Alex to be our Rector. In the last three years, he has led us to significant growth, guided us through the chaos of 2020, and been an excellent spiritual leader for our growing parish,” said Maryann Kuzila, Senior Warden of the St. Barnabas Vestry, an elected leadership team.

Fr. Alex has established the core building blocks to help St. Barnabas move from being a smaller, pastor-led church, to a larger, program-led church. For example, he has created the structure and identified leaders of various committees that provide consistent programming, from Spiritual Formation to Care to Hospitality. He has also expanded the staff to include a Youth and Children Director and a Communications Director. Our Sunday School attendance, in particular, has grown substantially.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:22 AM, 10.19.2021

Some Krumwiede homes

250 Bradley Road, Belpre model

According to “Bay Village: A Way of Life” William Krumwiede, his wife, Sophia, and daughter, Mary, left Hanover, Germany, to sail for America in 1847. They came directly to Cleveland because they had friends here. William was a carpenter and went to work as a ship’s carpenter until he could save money to purchase a farm on Walker Road in Dover Township. He built a house in the 1860s and it has been added to three times. The house still stands, along with a barn, both with colorful paint jobs at 31611 Walker Road, just east of Walker Road Park.

William and Sophie had one son, Louie. He stayed on to work the farm after his father died. He married Kate Quell of Cleveland in 1888 and raised four children. After Kate died, William remarried and had an additional son.

The Krumwiede brothers, William H. and Arthur E., became carpenters and builders just like their grandfather. Arthur also served as a councilman in Bay in the 1920s and a piece of firefighting equipment was stored at his home on Foote Road at that time. He later moved to Lake Road in Avon Lake.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.19.2021

New exhibit features tree-dwelling master of camouflage

Rough Green Snakes on exhibit at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. Photo by Maggie Watson

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center has a new species of animal on exhibit. A nimble, lime-green predator with beady eyes that likes to slink about in trees and bushes. Yet, despite the exotic sounding description, this is not a creature of the tropical jungle, but a native Ohio reptile known as the Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus). 

Tim Jasinski, Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, explains that this snake species is normally found in southern Ohio while the related and visually similar Smooth Green Snake (Opheodrys vernalis) is more often found in northern Ohio. However, Rough Green Snakes were chosen for this exhibit because of their active climbing habit which is perfect for the tall exhibit space.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.19.2021

Windows 11 has arrived!

Microsoft's PC Health Check app will determine if your computer is compatible with the new Windows 11 operating system.

As promised, this week's column gives you more information on the brand new Windows 11 operating system that became officially available on Oct. 5 to many, but not all, PC users whose computer hardware meets the prerequisites. I use the word "many" as it has become a common industry practice to release new operating systems to users in waves rather than everyone eligible at once. 

First, a recap:

  • Microsoft will support computers running Windows 8.1 until Jan. 10, 2023, and until Oct. 14, 2025, for computers running Windows 10.

  • As you may have realized, your computer running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 did not cease to work when Windows 11 became available a couple weeks ago.

  • When Microsoft ends support – i.e. stops providing monthly security updates – any unsupported version of Windows will still continue to work but it is strongly recommended that you move to a supported operating system version before that happens to minimize the risk of being victimized.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:12 AM, 10.19.2021

Browns: Don't look back; they may be gaining on you

As of this writing, the Browns have completed 29.4% of their season, so you know what that means, right?

Outside of my liking to do simple math, it means nothing, really.

All kidding aside, it’s time we looked at some of the concerns I have with the Browns after the first five games of the season (because this was written before they played game 6), in order of importance:

1. Defense (?): Alas, there was none. In the game against the Chargers, I’m not sure what Kevin Stefanski trotted out in the second half against L.A., but it was not an NFL defense. Until game 5, I had never witnessed a second-year quarterback do a “hot-knife-through-warm-butter” beat-down like the one that Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert laid on the Browns.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:12 AM, 10.19.2021

Series on rare antiques continues with Oct. 24 porch talk

The Bay Village Historical Society presents the second installment in its series about rare and extraordinary antiques on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2 p.m., at the Reuben Osborn Learning Center.

Learn about the Russian flintlock pistol and how it saved Russia from defeat during the French invasion led by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1812. The porch talk will be conducted by Kevin Killeen and Dean Brennan. Guests will be able to see and hold the pistol and learn more about its history.

Admission is free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to bring their own lawn chair. The Reuben Osborn Learning Center is located at the intersection of Lake Road and Cahoon Road in Bay Village.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:21 AM, 10.19.2021

Westlake Porter Public Library's late October calendar of events

Following is Westlake Porter Public Library’s late October calendar of events. All programs are subject to change. Check westlakelibrary.org or follow the library on Facebook and Twitter (@WestlakePorter) for the latest updates.

Wednesday, Oct. 20 (10 a.m.-noon) Combating Food Insecurity: Fundraising for Nonprofits (Live) – In collaboration with Candid we’ll explore fundraising and programmatic efforts to reduce food insecurity and hunger in Northeast Ohio. Join local nonprofit leaders for a conversation about how their organizations are working to improve access to healthy food in the communities they serve. Panelists will also discuss the challenges and successes of managing and funding their programs and services during the pandemic. Please register. Zoom instructions will be sent by email.

Wednesday, Oct. 20 (2-3 p.m.) Wednesday Book Discussion – This month’s title is "The Doll Factory" by Elizabeth Macneal. A limited number of books are available at the Circulation Desk. Please register.

Wednesday, Oct. 20 (4-5 p.m.) Fall Teen Writers Workshop (Live) – A twice-a-month meet up for writers in grades 7-12. We’ll be prepping for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. Hit the ground running by getting organized and brainstorming within a supportive group of young writers. We’ll also share tips and tricks to maintaining a productive writing environment. Please register. Participants must provide an email address to receive Zoom instructions.

Wednesday, Oct. 20 (8-9 p.m.) Discovery Box Survey Sign-Up – Teens in grades 7-12: You’ll receive a survey to fill out, and we’ll use your responses to create a custom Discovery Box! Register Oct. 20-27. Pick up your box on Nov. 3 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 21 (9 a.m.-9 p.m.) to Sunday, Oct. 24 (1-5 p.m.) Send Your Friend to a Sleepover Party! – Drop off your favorite stuffed friend or doll for a library sleepover! We will show your stuffed animal what a sleepover is all about. Then you can take them with you when you need some confidence! Stuffed friends can be dropped off at the Youth Services desk during library hours on Oct. 21 and picked up on on Oct. 24. Ages 3-7. Please register.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:20 AM, 10.19.2021

Annual Halloween Display

Westlake residents Audrey and Rowan Maurer enjoy a festive Halloween display.

The annual Halloween display of homemade superheroes and other characters in back on Sperry's Forge Trail in Westlake, featuring a flying Superman and Ironman. New this year is The Flash.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:17 AM, 10.19.2021

Westerly named a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School

Westerly Elementary School students during class.

Westerly Elementary School, a grades three and four building in the Bay Village City School District, has again been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education for 2021. This is the second time in five years the school has received this national honor.

Westerly Elementary School is one of only 325 schools in the United States to receive the honor this year, as announced by U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona, and one of only 11 Ohio elementary schools.

Westerly Elementary School is a multiple National Blue Ribbon awardee, 2015 and 2021. It is unusual for schools to receive the honor more than once, and Westerly is receiving the distinction for the second time in the least amount of years possible – there must be five years in between each Blue Ribbon’s awarding.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:14 AM, 10.19.2021

Bay Village snake hunters: Basement edition, Part 3

A minnow trap baited with cooked salmon lured Snake #7. Photo by Kevin Davey

This is the third in a multi-part series detailing the crazy adventures of a Bay Village homeowner faced with a serpentine crisis.

Previously on “Bay Village snake hunters: Basement Edition," I had captured six baby Northern Water Snakes in my basement over the course of several days.

That total is now seven snakes, and I'll get to that in a bit. Hopefully, for my family's mental health, this is the series finale.

First, I'd like to back up a bit, because most new readers (scratch that, probably ALL readers) are probably wondering at this point: “How did this mouth-breathing village idiot allow seven snakes in his house in less than a week?"

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:14 AM, 10.19.2021

Helping kids bond with their grandparents

Although Grandparents Day was Sept. 9, smart parents regularly celebrate the vital role that grandparents play in their family’s life every day.

Susan Bosak, the author of “How to Build the Grandma Connection,” says that children who have strong ties with involved, caring grandparents develop higher self-esteem, and better emotional and social skills, including an ability to withstand peer pressure.

So, if you’re looking for a fun bonding activity for your grandchild, look no further. The West Shore YMCA and Sunrise Senior living are collaborating to bring on the fun. It’s all treats and no tricks at this sticky-sweet dessert party. In this hands-on cooking class, your kiddo will have fun making apple pies and caramel apples!

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:14 AM, 10.19.2021

Village Project receives a $10,000 UPS grant thanks to volunteer

Village Project volunteer Chris Burroughs-Heineman is responsible for a grant made to the organization courtesy of his employer, UPS.

Global Volunteer Month (GVM) is held annually for UPS employees to come together to celebrate the spirit of volunteerism and to deliver impact where it matters most – in local communities.

UPS employees who had contributed community service hours to nonprofit agencies during the month of October were asked to log their volunteer hours into a website. Ten employees nationwide were then randomly selected to receive a contribution to the nonprofit agency where they had volunteered. Thanks to Christopher Burroughs-Heineman, Village Project received a $10,000 grant to be used toward volunteer initiatives and/or general program support. Chris has worked for UPS as a driver since fall of 2014.

Chris is an invaluable volunteer with the Village Project. He has volunteered in the Project Shoppe since April 2019 and has logged more than 200 volunteer hours so far. Chris started volunteering with VP because his sister did, and he quickly found that he very much likes all the people who work and volunteer there.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.19.2021

Westlake youth has story published in children's magazine

A story by Haadi Nouman of Westlake, age 7, was selected for publication in Spider Magazine.

In May, readers of the magazine were asked to submit an original story about moving. Haadi's story, "Debbie the Cat," appears in the Spider's Corner section of the October 2021 issue.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:12 AM, 10.19.2021

Phantom of the Opera comes to West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church

Scene from the classic 1925 silent film "Phantom of the Opera" starring Lon Chaney

Get into the Halloween spirit! Join West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church for the classic 1925 silent film "Phantom of the Opera," accompanied by Music Director David Blazer on the organ. You are invited to bring the kids in costume to enjoy this “scary” event on Halloween Sunday, Oct. 31. The movie will start  at 3:30 p.m. so you will have time to get home and get ready for the little goblins to arrive!

This is a  film adaptation of Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel “Le Fantôme de l'Opéra,” directed by Rupert Julian. The story follows the disfigured Phantom, played by Lon Chaney, as he causes havoc throughout the Paris Opera House. The destruction and bloodshed are all in the name of love, as The Phantom tries to win the heart of a young opera singer by making her a star.

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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 10:21 AM, 10.19.2021

We need your help!

Since 2009 the Observer has strived to fulfill our founding mission – to strengthen our community by informing and engaging Westlake and Bay Village residents. 

Times are tough, and the pandemic has presented an added challenge at a time when emotional connection and togetherness matter so much. Please help us continue to provide a free medium where the community can share news, share stories and share laughs.

If you’d like to keep the Observer serving the community, please send a cash or check donation along with your name for recognition in a future edition of the Observer. Donations may also be made via credit card using the links in the left column of the website. All supporters will be recognized in a future edition of the Observer.

Please make checks payable to WBV Observer and mail to: 451 Queenswood Drive, Bay Village, OH 44140.

The Observer is an independent, community owned publication. Please note that charitable contributions are gratefully accepted but not tax-deductible. For questions about donating or more information on how to get involved, contact publishers Denny Wendell or Tara Wendell at 440-409-0114, staff@wbvobserver.com.

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Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 12:43 PM, 04.21.2020