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Koomar recaps 2018, looks ahead to busy year in annual speech

Bay Village Mayor Paul Koomar addresses residents at the Dwyer Center on Feb. 27. Photo by Denny Wendell

For Bay Village Mayor Paul Koomar, 2017 was spent transitioning to the office after being appointed by his peers on City Council and then running for election to a full term; 2018 was a year for defining a path forward. Koomar shared his vision, as well as the progress that has been made, with residents in his annual State of the City address Feb. 27 at the Dwyer Center.

On an administrative level, the year was marked by restructuring in almost every department, the most significant likely being the law and building departments. Mark Barbour replaced longtime law director Gary Ebert in June. Much of 2018 was spent preparing to bring the building department back in-house, after it was outsourced to SAFEbuilt in 2013.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 10:03 AM, 03.05.2019

Mayor Clough to share State of the City address with residents

The Westlake | Bay Village Observer will present Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough in a special State of the City address tailored for local residents and community members. The State of the City address is scheduled for Tuesday, March 19, at 7 p.m. in the Westlake Recreation Center Community Room, 28955 Hilliard Blvd. The event is free and open to the community.

Attendees will have an opportunity to hear Mayor Clough speak about a variety of City initiatives including recent and current economic developments and city infrastructure improvements, together with an update on the highly anticipated Westlake Family Aquatic Center.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:52 AM, 03.05.2019

Learn about the latest in manned space flight on March 13

This artist's rendering represents a concept of the Orion spacecraft docked to the International Space Station in Earth-orbit. Image courtesy NASA

Join Lake Erie Nature & Science Center Planetarium Specialist Katy Downing for SkyQuest: Humans in Space on Wednesday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m.

Downing will provide her annual overview of what is currently happening in the world of manned space flight in the Center’s Schuele Planetarium. The presentation will include the latest information on the astronauts aboard the International Space Station and the progress of the Orion Spacecraft, which was designed by NASA to carry astronauts to destinations in deep space, including an asteroid and Mars.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:56 AM, 03.05.2019

Tribe slamming shut their ‘window of opportunity’

Feel a draft? No? Neither do I. The reason we don’t feel any of that warm spring air (hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?) rushing in is because the Indians have apparently decided to pull the plug on their World Series hopes (and their fans' hopes as well) for 2019.

How else can you explain their rationale behind cutting payroll before a single game has been played?

We’ve been down this road before, folks: The talk of playing in a small market and the difficulties competing in same, the need to "play the kids," as if someone will call Human Services on them and file a complaint if they don’t.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:55 AM, 03.05.2019

Worrying about Alzheimer’s? Don’t.

Last week I gave a short talk on dementia.

The church was set back from boisterous Detroit Road. In a sunlit, spacious room, home-made dishes packed two tables. The air was casual, familiar, coffee-warm. In the snow-capped meditation garden, I spotted half a dozen wild turkeys.

In my Sunday best, I was smart, gracious, gregarious and blissfully forgot an important message.

Here’s my talk, again, turkeys and punchline included.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:55 AM, 03.05.2019

Sun is setting on Windows 7

I don’t know if something first built in 1987 is old enough to qualify as a “classic” but I would love to own a Ferrari F40, a modern classic in my eyes, as my daily driver; scout’s honor that it won’t become a “garage queen” under my watch – vroom, vroom!

The digital world has its own classics. For example Microsoft’s Windows computer operating system has had classics, and duds, over the decades.

Remember Windows XP? That was a classic, both in terms of how long it lasted in the market and how versatile it was as an operating system. Of the many versions that followed Windows XP, one worthy of one day being called a classic is Windows 7.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:50 AM, 03.05.2019

Devon Gess and father fund music room at BAYarts

Devon Gess and her father, William Bonds, have started the Carleen Herring Bonds fund in honor of her mother to add music lesson rooms to the former playhouse at BAYarts.

Devon Gess, Bay High School's choral director, has touched the lives of many, whether winning all those countless awards highlighted on the district's electronic marquee or for the annual holiday concert with the "singing tree." Gess has inspired both students and the community.

"Mrs. Gess loves music but even more so when other people enjoy the music," said former Bay High Choraleer C.J. Hightland. "She challenged us to be better, but more importantly she wanted us to enjoy the music."

Now, in loving memory of her mother, Gess and her father, William Bonds, have established the Carleen Herring Bonds fund, for music lesson rooms to be part of the renovation of the former playhouse at BAYarts.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:55 AM, 03.05.2019

Rejection: a high school student’s life

First in a series on getting into college.

It was the third quarter of my junior year, inarguably one of the biggest vertical slopes any high schooler has to face. I remember sitting at my computer with four tabs open.

The second tab was Powerschool, my online report card. After getting a shocking notification on my phone, I decided to double check it on my computer. Maybe it’s a mistake. Perhaps my dreadfully cheap Android phone was playing tricks. But the notification was right – I flunked a physics test.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:49 AM, 03.05.2019

Westlake church to host simulcast event

Parkside Nazarene Church is pleased to announce the nationwide simulcast of the Tragedy into Triumph series, which features well-known athletes, authors and people in the news. This series will show how God can bring triumphant change into our lives, even in the midst of tragedy.

Simulcast over three days, the series features three inspirational stories:

  • Monday, March 18, 7 p.m.: Rifqa Bary will share the custody story that made national news as she fled her home in Ohio to Florida fearing for her life for accepting Christ.
  • Tuesday, March 19, 7 p.m.: Brian Bosworth will share his journey from football to faith, as he left drugs, defiance, and the “The Boz” persona to embrace faith in Christ.
  • Wednesday, March 20, 7 p.m.: Siran Stacy will share how even a strong NFL running back has to have help in the loss of his wife and 4 of 5 children in one night.
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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:54 AM, 03.05.2019

The road less traveled: Old Lake Road by Cahoon Creek

A pedestrian walks across the new Lake Road bridge over Cahoon Creek. The old stone bridge it replaced is in the background.

How many of you know that the road we use today to reach the Bay Boat Club was once Lake Road, used by our early settlers to go back and forth on their way across the township? From the arrival of the Cahoons until 1917 this still-important and visible road was the only way to travel by the Cahoon residence and over Cahoon Creek.

Later this year, the Ohio Department of Transportation will replace the existing bridge over Cahoon Creek, built in 1917. Along with a new bridge with bike lanes, the areas around the bridge will become scenic trails for our residents to enjoy.

There was always a need for a bridge over the creek and as soon as the Cahoons arrived and built their cabin close to the lake on the east side of the creek, they needed a way to cross the creek without getting wet. This area started with a wooden bridge in 1810 built by the Cahoons.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:51 AM, 03.05.2019

The musical 'Suds' opens March 8 at Clague Playhouse

Clague Playhouse continues their 91st season with "Suds: The Rocking '60s Musical Soap Opera." Set in a laundromat, "Suds" is a delightful story of a young teenage girl and three guardian angels who come to teach her about finding true love. The show is loaded with good clean fun, bubbling energy and over 50 well-known songs that topped the charts of the 1960s.

The play is written by Steve Gundersen, Bryan Scott and Melinda Gild and is directed by Jeff Lockshine with music direction by Jayne Bartish-Kacik and choreography by Kaylea Kudlaty. Our cast features Ellie St. Cyr as Cindy, Eileen Canepari as Marge, Kate Klotzbach as Dee Dee and Matt Cuffari as Everyone Else.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:54 AM, 03.05.2019

5 WHS students recognized in eXpressions program

Lili Busic earned a Blue Ribbon for her artwork.

Westlake High School junior Fiona Bihn, an International Baccalaureate Diploma student, earned a Red Ribbon in the Cleveland Clinic eXpressions Language Program this year for her poem, “No One Noticed Me.”

WHS junior Lexie Floyd and senior Lili Busic earned Blue Ribbons, sophomore Macy Sinreich earned a Red Ribbon, and senior Henyah Dardir earned a White Ribbon in the Cleveland Clinic Art eXpressions Program.

The eXpressions program is an interdisciplinary program that engages high school students in the world of scientific research. Through project-based, peer-to-peer learning, students produce creative interpretations of research conducted by Cleveland Clinic science interns.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:50 AM, 03.05.2019

Bay High artists take home 15 Scholastic Art Awards

From left, front: Masha Waiss, Marie Legeay, Lilly Clark, Grace Frey; back: Anna Baron, Kayla Poling, Sean Gulley, Nina Uniatowski, Elisa Renerts and Bea Jones. (Not pictured are Elyse Bryant and Kyela Evenhouse.)

Bay High Schools student artists brought back 15 art awards from the Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition held at the Cleveland Institute of Art in January.

A Gold Key award went to senior Lilly Clark for her color pencil drawing “Cooper.” Her work will be entered into the national-level competition held in New York City this spring.

Five Silver Keys went to Bay High senior Kyela Evenhouse (ceramics & glass, “Underwater Urn”); juniors Marie Legeay (digital art, “Obscure Grasp”), Elisa Renerts (digital art, “In the Palm of My Hand”), Nina Uniatowski (photography, “Zach”); and sophomore Bea Jones (photography, “self portrait”).

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:50 AM, 03.05.2019

Upcoming programs at Bay Village branch library

As we get ready to cheer on the Cleveland Indians for another baseball season, the Bay Village branch library will welcome author Scott Longert on Monday, March 11, at 7 p.m. to talk about the history of the Indians and his book, "Bad Boys, Bad Times: The Cleveland Indians and Baseball in the PreWar Years, 1937-1941." A book sale and signing will take place after the presentation.


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

Tuesday, March 5 (6:30 p.m.) One School, One Book Family Night – Drop in for activities related to the Normandy Elementary School "One School, One Book" selection. Registration required.  

Saturday, March 9 (10 a.m.) Preschool STEAM – Join us for stories and a hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) activity.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:56 AM, 03.05.2019

March events at Westlake Porter Public Library

Wednesdays, March 6, 13 and 20 (10:15 & 11 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, March 6 (1-2:30 p.m.) Cuyahoga West Genealogy Society Help Session – Please join the genealogy group for an informal walk-in help session.

Wednesdays, March 6, 13 and 20 (4-5:30 p.m.) and Thursdays, March 7, 14 and 21 (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. Registration begins each Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. and Thursday at 6 p.m.

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

Thursday, March 7 (10-11:30 a.m.) Beginning Coding for Adults – Learn the basics of coding through self-paced online modules. An instructor will be on hand to help get you started and to facilitate lessons. Please register.

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

Thursdays, March 7 and 14 (4-5 p.m.) Code Club! – Learn how to build an app, design a video game, and change the world through code! Grades 3-4. Registration begins one week before each session.

Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9 (9:30 and 10:30 a.m.) Music Therapy & More – For families and their children (ages 0-6 years) who are struggling in an area of development. Join us for a hands-on program designed to teach families how to use music to improve their child’s motor, communication and social skills as well as behavior. Siblings (ages 0-6 years) may also attend but must register separately. Each session is 30 minutes. For more information and to register, visit or call 440-570-5908.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:56 AM, 03.05.2019

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the fire on the river!

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the last fire in the Cuyahoga River, which occurred in 1969. The 50th anniversary is a cause for celebration. Why? Because that infamous fire helped spur the modern environmental movement. That fire initiated a response that includes the establishment of the EPA and the Clean Water Act. Furthermore, the first Earth Day occurred in 1970, and that’s no coincidence either.

The infamous June 1969 Cuyahoga fire was indeed the last fire in the river. The river had been used for industrial dumping for decades and decades, and had caught fire at least a dozen times between 1936 and 1969. In fact, the 1969 fire barely made the news in Cleveland, let alone nationally. However, Time magazine decided to run a story on the fire, further igniting the national concern for the environment. The picture of the river fire that Time magazine ran in 1969 was not from the June 1969 fire, it was from a larger fire in 1952. 

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:53 AM, 03.05.2019

Westlake has 6 National Merit Finalists

Westlake High School National Merit Finalists: Isabella DiGiulio, Claire Brewer, Mihir Shetty, Akhilesh Reddy, Talia Zheng and Meghana Tandon.

Six students from Westlake High School have been named National Merit Finalists. Seniors Isabella DiGiulio, Claire Brewer, Mihir Shetty, Akhilesh Reddy, Talia Zheng and Meghana Tandon are among 15,000 students to achieve Finalist standing in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program.

More than 1.6 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. A pool of nationwide Semifinalists, which represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, was selected.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:49 AM, 03.05.2019

Westlake celebrates spirit of charity with 2019 Volunteer Fair

The City of Westlake and Westlake Porter Public Library have partnered to bring an event filled with passion and purpose to the Westlake community. The city’s first Volunteer Fair is scheduled for Tuesday, March 19, 4-7 p.m., at Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road.

“The desire to make our community a better place is what connects us and fills us with purpose and meaning,” said Lydia Gadd, Director of Senior & Community Services. “Volunteering helps others, but it helps you, too. It helps combat stress, boosts self-esteem and can even teach new skills.”

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:52 AM, 03.05.2019

Get ready for baseball season with WPPL's Baseball Extravaganza!

Get ready for another season of America’s favorite pastime by spending the afternoon at Westlake Porter Public Library’s Baseball Extravaganza on Saturday, March 16, from 1-4 p.m.

The Extravaganza will include appearances by local mascots, a baseball-themed storytime, popcorn and a presentation by Jonathan Knight! Knight is the author of 10 books on Cleveland sports with a reputation as “one of the most articulate and devoted sportswriters in Ohio,” according to the Akron Beacon Journal. This family-friendly program is for all ages, and no registration is required.

For more information, please call the library at 440-871-2600 or visit

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:54 AM, 03.05.2019

A bright shining star performs

Courtney Hausman in performance at Porter Library. Photo by Louise Seeholzer

The audience sat in polite silence as the young artist began, but soon it was obvious the silence continued out of astonishment and admiration for Courtney Hausman’s performance. Excellence is a norm for graduating seniors in Baldwin Wallace’s prestigious music theater program, but Hausman has worked to finely tune her talents to an amazing level.

For her nearly hour-long performance on Feb. 26 at Westlake Porter Public Library, Hausman offered an array of musical show tunes that revealed her vocal strengths and her ability to personalize the emotions of the lyrics. 

Included in her repertoire were selections from classic hit musicals such as “Funny Girl,” “South Pacific,” “Carousel” and “Sound of Music.” But numbers from “Waitress” and “Avenue Q,” which are currently on Broadway, were also included.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:52 AM, 03.05.2019

Bay Theater's fundraiser is not just beer!

An audience enjoys improved sight lines at a recent staged reading of “Suppressed Desires” thanks to new portable stage units. All benefit proceeds will go towards the purchase of additional units. (Pictured are: Michael Attali, Lanie Richardson and Jenny Erbs.)

How would you like to win some Nike golfwear and a couple of passes for Sweetbriar golf course? A collection of Mary Kay skin care products? Or how about two passes to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with some vintage WMMS items? Bay Village Community Theater’s “Raise a Glass – Raise the Stage” fundraiser will feature raffle baskets worth anywhere from $50 to $300 and will be up for grabs for the cost of a $1 raffle ticket!

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:53 AM, 03.05.2019

See Monica Robins and The Whiskey Kings at Porter Library

Monica Robins & The Whiskey Kings. Courtesy

Monica Robins & The Whiskey Kings have been rocking Cleveland since 1998 and they’ll rock Westlake Porter Public Library on Sunday, March 10, from 2-3 p.m.

The band, which features the classic rock hits of the last four decades, has opened for legendary acts such as Donnie Iris and the Cruisers, South Side Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Temptations, Eddie Money and Hall and Oates. They feature Monica Robins on lead vocals, the tasty licks of lead guitarist Ken Cali, the smooth bass of Brian McDonald, the dulcet tones of Steve Revay playing the keys, the rhythm of Deke Kumler on drums and the sultry lead and backup vocals of Luther Smith.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:54 AM, 03.05.2019

Meet the woman behind FDR's New Deal

Once again, the CWRU Association for Continuing Education is bringing its off-campus study program to Bay Village. This semester’s eight-week course is titled "Frances Perkins, The Woman Behind the New Deal." Perkins was a woman way ahead of her time – the first female cabinet member in history and Secretary of Labor no less, usually associated with a male. The course is very timely at this time in history when so much is being questioned about women in high places.  

As a young social worker, Perkins witnessed the traumatic Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911 which killed 146 people. She immediately became an activist as well as a lifelong advocate for critical reforms, especially in the workplace. 

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:55 AM, 03.05.2019

Cooking demo awakens senses

The residents of Brookdale Westlake Village enjoy Chef Jason Ramsey's monthly cooking demo.

The senses come alive at Brookdale Westlake Village. Childhood memories are recaptured at unexpected moments as the pages of our lives turn each new day. A memory in song, an emotion tugged by the smile of a child, a hug for a friend that goes through grief, and the aromas of the kitchen that evoke fond memories of food.

It is human nature to enjoy a good meal. You inhale a deep breath as you walk into a kitchen that has the warm smells of cookies in the oven, a skillet sizzling with bacon, a delicious dish passed down through generations like stuffed cabbage rolls, paprikash, Grandma's sauce, or the many delicate pastries like baklava and kolachis.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:54 AM, 03.05.2019