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Mayor Clough presents State of the City address

Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough gave an overview of the state of the city on May 12. Photo by Denny Wendell

Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough shared a snapshot of each of the city’s departments, its financials and upcoming projects in his annual State of the City address to residents at the Westlake Community Center on May 12. The event was sponsored by the Westlake | Bay Village Observer as part of our commitment to making news and information accessible to all in the community.

Clough offered a shortened version of the presentation he made in March to the West Shore Chamber of Commerce, in order to allow more time for audience questions.

In his 38th annual address, Mayor Clough again emphasized the city’s focus on controlled growth and conservative fiscal policies, as well as his administration’s commitment to maintaining Westlake’s infrastructure.

Over the past three years, Westlake has spent $36.6 million on infrastructure improvements, from the new Community Center, to water and sewer lines, to road resurfacing.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 10:27 AM, 05.16.2023

Bay Village installs new bridge across Cahoon Creek

The bridge is lifted to be placed across Cahoon Creek. Photo by Tara Wendell

The Interurban Pedestrian Bridge was set in place across Cahoon Creek on May 4. The bridge follows the route of the former Lake Shore Electric Interurban Railway and is 125 feet long and 12 feet wide. 

The bridge was recommended in the Cahoon Park Connectivity Study completed by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) in 2016. It is expected to cost about $700,000, $475,000 of which will be paid for by two grants from NOACA. The bridge was also awarded state capital funding in 2020.

Trails to connect the eastern end of bridge to the Bay Village Branch Library and Dwyer Memorial Senior Center are in the planning stages. The West Interurban Connector Trail will connect the western end of the bridge to the Cahoon Basin Trail and is planned for construction in 2023.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 10:27 AM, 05.16.2023

Kiwanis memorializes and honors Westlake heroes

Memorial Day will soon be here. The Westlake Kiwanis Club hopes you will participate in our annual community parade and services on Monday, May 29. 

Come out and line the parade route along Hilliard Boulevard and enjoy the parade, which starts at 10 a.m. in front of Sts. Peter and George Coptic and Orthodox Church and ends in Clague Park at the Gazebo for the Memorial Day Tributes.

The parade and services will honor those civilians and military that sacrificed so much to preserve our freedoms and protect our shores – many of those fallen were members of our Westlake community. If you participated in the parade or in the services in Clague Park in the past, the Westlake Kiwanis and the community appreciate your participation and hope you will take part again this year.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:53 AM, 05.16.2023

Bay High grad, now an Army officer, to address Memorial Day audience

It is that time of the year when we start to think about summer and look forward to the Memorial Day weekend. While many think of this as a “Holiday” it is really a “Remembrance” day. It is meant to remember all the men and women who have served our country and have passed away.

This year the Bay Village Memorial Day Parade will be on Monday, May 29. The parade timetable is as follows:
    •    8 a.m. Assemble in Huntington Beach parking lot on Lake Road
    •    8:45 a.m. March west on Lake Road to Lakeside Cemetery
    •    9:00 a.m. Ceremonies at Lakeside Cemetery
    •    9:15 a.m. March east on Lake Road to Cahoon Park Gazebo
    •    9:45 a.m. Ceremonies at Cahoon Park

The Parade Committee invites all Veterans and Blue and Gold Star Mothers to participate and march in the parade.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:48 AM, 05.16.2023

Westlake Historical Society preparing for 51st Antique, Vintage, & Craft Show

The picturesque Clague family home is the setting for the annual Antique, Vintage & Craft Show!

The grounds of the Clague House Museum will be the place to be on Sunday, June 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., as the Westlake Historical Society welcomes visitors to the 51st annual Antique, Vintage and Craft Show.

This yearly event is put on by the members and friends of the Westlake Historical Society and is their major fundraiser for the year. Funding from the show helps to support many of the society's activities, events and youth programs as well as museum utility costs.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:49 AM, 05.16.2023

Bay Elementary School teacher Barb Woodburn retires after 51 years

Barbara Woodburn is retiring after 51 years teaching in the Bay Schools.

Westerly fourth-grade teacher Barbara Woodburn is ending her accomplished Bay Village career, retiring May 31. Woodburn has proudly served students, parents, fellow teachers, staff and the school system since her starting in 1972 – 51 years ago.

“Not one day has ever felt like work,” Woodburn stated in reflecting on her time teaching in Bay. She credited the sheer joy of teaching children as the motivating factor for her extensive tenure. She also credited the “team” teaching concept, which she helped establish in Bay, allowing teachers to split teaching duties 50/50, rather than teaching full-time every day. 

“I was truly blessed to have taught with two of the best teachers and friends with anyone you could hope for in Lu Laing and Mary Jo Mahall,” explained Woodburn. Mahall is also retiring this year.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:48 AM, 05.16.2023

Dover UCC's rainbow flag desecrated

Dover UCC's rainbow flag was vandalized earlier this month. Photo by Noreen Thompson

Dover Congregational United Church of Christ in Westlake is an open and affirming congregation. No matter who you are or where you are in your life's journey, you are welcome here. We proudly fly the rainbow flag along with the American flag.

Someone wanted to make a statement regarding our stand and damaged the rainbow flag on Saturday, May 7. The following Sunday at the church service, Rev. Melinda Quellhorst stated, “A new flag will soon be flown and love will always prevail. Let’s pray for those who find hatred in their hearts.”

Sexual preference has been with us since the beginning of time. When I was in high school, many years ago, if you wore yellow clothing on Thursday you were labeled queer. Unfortunately, time has passed but attitudes and labels by some, toward people with alternative lifestyles, are consequential issues that perpetuate divisiveness.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:53 AM, 05.16.2023

New Bay Village Dog Kennel Fund announces $10,000 match

Bay Village citizens once again rose to the challenge and donated to the New Dog Kennel Fund to meet the $5,000 Matching Fund presented just a few weeks ago.

Just as we are a little past our goal’s halfway mark, we are thrilled to announce that another Bay family has challenged the community to meet their $10,000 matching fund donation! That’s right – we can raise the roof on the existing kennel and add $20,000 toward meeting our goal.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:51 AM, 05.16.2023

August election coming for constitutional amendment

Hear ye, all citizens. There will be a “pop-up” election on Tuesday, Aug. 8, and you will need to be ready to vote (by absentee ballot or in person) beginning July 9, 2023. The Ohio Legislature voted 62-37 on Wednesday, May 10, to submit this proposal to the electorate this year. even though the same body had voted at the end of last year to eliminate August elections statewide.

This single-issue election will present voters with a proposed constitutional amendment that would change the requirements for citizen-led proposals for amendments. It would increase the percentage of valid voter signatures needed from the current 50%-plus-one of total registered voters to 60% and would also require that signatures be collected from all 88 counties. (The current requirement is for petition signatures to be submitted from at least 44 of the 88 counties and be equal to at least 5 percent of the total vote cast for the office of governor in that county at the last gubernatorial election.)

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:51 AM, 05.16.2023

Solar Eclipses: What to expect and how to safely observe them

Northeast Ohio will be treated to not one, but two solar eclipse events over the next year: a partial solar eclipse on Oct. 14, 2023 and a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

What is a solar eclipse? Well, the moon orbits Earth approximately every 27 days. A solar eclipse is the cosmic coincidence when the moon passes exactly between the Earth and the sun, thereby casting a shadow onto Earth and blocking our view of the sun.

For the partial annular eclipse this October, we will see about 33% of the sun covered by the moon. In April 2024, the path of totality will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. In Northeast Ohio, we will see the moon completely cover the sun, revealing the Sun’s outer atmosphere otherwise known as the solar corona.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:52 AM, 05.16.2023

WPPL Friends Programming Pavilion dedication set for June 4

The dedication of the new Friends Programming Pavilion at Westlake Porter Public Library is set for June 4.

Westlake Porter Public Library and the Friends of Porter Public Library will have a community dedication celebration for the Friends Programming Pavilion on Sunday, June 4, from 2-4 p.m. In addition to a ribbon-cutting ceremony, there will be refreshments, including a Kona Ice truck, children’s activities, and music from CJ the DJ.

The Friends Programming Pavilion was created as an outdoor programming and activity space and named for the Friends in honor of their 50th Anniversary in 2022 and their generous donation toward its construction. It will be used for library programs but can also be reserved by community groups. The library’s meeting room policies and procedures apply.

The dedication will take place weather permitting. In the case of rain it will be moved to Sunday, June 11.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:50 AM, 05.16.2023

Bay Village Schools to host 'Well-a-bration' party for Thirst Project

Seven hundred eighty five million. There are many little kids in school right now learning how to count to 10 or 100. To them 785 million is probably the largest number in the world. Meanwhile there are children who are not able to go to school because they have to walk tons of miles to collect dirty water that will make them sick.

There are 785 million people in the world without access to clean drinking water. In most communities, women and children walk all day long to collect dirty water. These children grow up with no education and the women do not have the time to get a job. These people get waterborne diseases from this dirty water which can cause them to get violently ill and possibly die. This cycle of life has been viciously attacking millions of people for years. The families and villages within Africa do not deserve to live this way.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:49 AM, 05.16.2023

BAYarts breaks ground for playhouse auditorium

The long-awaited project that will restore the theater of the former Huntington Playhouse – the centerpiece of the historic building – will begin this month with a Groundbreaking Ceremony on Saturday, May 24, at 11 a.m. All are welcome to join BAYarts and Cleveland Metroparks for a celebration of BAYarts' continued growth and cultural offerings to the Westshore communities.

The first phase of the renovation was completed in 2021 and houses the Sally Otto Gallery, the former lobby of the old playhouse, and has been a beautiful venue for classes, music, and community gatherings.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:51 AM, 05.16.2023

Bay High Schools’ student-led mental health initiative

Bay High senior Norah Schlegel stands inside the school's Reset Room, which was created by the Mental Health Advisory Group.

Bay High Senior, Norah Schlegel ‘23, co-started the BHS Mental Health Advisory Group alongside BHS grads, Annalise Johnson ‘21, Priya Goddard ‘21, Aliza Butchart ‘23, and BHS Principal Jason Martin. Currently the group is led by myself, Norah Schlegel ‘23, BHS Principal Jason Martin, and Athletic Director Matt Spellman, who also runs the Sources of Strength Group.

The Mental Health Advisory Group was started after the profound loss of fellow student, Sabrina DuPrey ‘22, in January 2021 and the swatting incident that occurred at Bay High School during the end of January 2021. Each year during Mental Health Awareness Month, which takes place in May, we host a variety of educational events and fundraisers to promote the advocation and education of mental health in the Bay Village community.

Each day during the designated Mental Health Awareness Week, we pick a mental or neurological condition to recognize and wear the color of awareness for the day. Alongside, we share information about the condition and coping mechanisms that work for not only that condition, but could universally work for anything.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:50 AM, 05.16.2023

Renaming the Guardians: It was a long time coming

So there I was, about to write a second column about some of the more colorful nicknames of some of Cleveland’s ballplayers from years gone by. Then I had an epiphany: Make nicknames for some of today’s Guardians, since nicknames seem to be going the way of the dodo bird (much like reader interest in my columns).

Then it really hit me: Just make new names for the players! I mean heck, if the Dolans can play switchola with the team’s name, why can’t I do the same with player names? So here’s what I did: I took a player, kept the same first name, changed the last name so that from the new name, there should be a good hint for you to figure out to whom I am referring. Example:

Shane Ach Du Lieber (which means “oh my gosh” in English) Reason for the nickname: Bieber gets hurt often (Application: “Oh my gosh … Bieber’s hurt again?”)

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:50 AM, 05.16.2023

Westlake Porter Public Library's early June events

Following is Westlake Porter Public Library’s early June 2023 calendar of events. All programs are subject to change. Please check or follow the library on Facebook and Twitter (@WestlakePorter) for the latest updates.

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

Friday, June 2 (11-11:45 a.m.) Adapted Storytime – Join us for this storytime designed for children who may not be successful in a typical storytime. Content is geared toward ages 3-7. Registration begins one week before each session.

Saturday, June 3 (10:30-11 a.m.) Wednesday, June 7 (7-7:30 p.m.) Family Storytime – Join us for rhymes, songs and play! For families with children ages 2-6 with a caregiver. Siblings welcome.

Saturday, June 3 (1-2 p.m.) Pokémon Fun! – View and trade cards, do a craft (if desired), and play a Pokémon Bingo game. Feel free to bring your cards! Ages 6-11.

Sunday, June 4 (2-4 p.m.) Anime Club – For anime and manga lovers! All otaku and newbies welcome. Grades 7-adult.

Sunday, June 4 (2-3 p.m.) Brick Builders – Do you love Legos? Bring your ideas and imagination to Brick Builders! Bricks provided. No registration required, but room capacity is limited. First come, first served. Ages 5-12.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:49 AM, 05.16.2023

Bay Village named ‘Best Community for Music Education' for 21st year

The Bay High School Band, Choirs and Orchestra were all recently recognized at statewide contests, contributing to the district being named a "Best Community for Music Education." Photo courtesy Bay Village Schools

Standards for inclusion on the prestigious Best Communities for Music Education list have increased consistently over the last two decades, but the Bay Village City School District has once again been honored for its exemplary music program. First recognized with the distinction in 2003 – and each year since – Bay Village Schools is among just 830 districts nationwide, and 47 Ohio school districts, identified for this national honor by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for 2023.

The distinction takes on added significance again this year since music education – perhaps more than any other school subject – was affected by pandemic protocol that included masking and social distancing the last two years.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:52 AM, 05.16.2023

Hi, about STD...

A young man asked to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI or STD). He and his girlfriend are in their early 20s, healthy, and updated on vaccines – including human papilloma virus (HPV), hepatitis B. Recently, she saw her gynecologist, who did a pelvic exam and checked her for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HPV.  

“It’s routine,” her gynecologist said. So, his girlfriend asked him to do the same.

I was touched by their strong sense of shared responsibility, but I said, “We don’t routinely test men for STD.”

“Oh, she’s going to be mad,” he said.

I’ve been chewing on that comment for a while; I’d like to elaborate on this apparent double standard. For almost a decade, three STDs – chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis – have been rising at an alarming, unrelenting rate.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:54 AM, 05.16.2023

Bay Village Proud!

Be proud Bay Village neighbors! We have a new generation of civic minded citizens, caring and determined to help their city, attending Westerly School: the K Club Kids! As president of the New Bay Village Dog Kennel Fund I had the pleasure of being presented a check for $1,252.10 to be used to upgrade our dog kennel.

Not only were the Westerly K-Kids able to raise $552.10, they encouraged the Westerly PTA to give $350 and the Bay Kiwanis also contributed $350! That’s what matching funds are all about!

Our sincerest thanks to the Westerly School K Club – you should be so proud of your accomplishments in supporting your community.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:49 AM, 05.16.2023

Summer Reading Challenge begins June 1

Westlake Porter Public Library challenges all ages to find their next adventure by reading or listening to books each day this summer! The library’s annual Summer Library Challenge begins June 1 and continues through Aug. 1. This year’s theme is “All Together Now” which is about spreading kindness, friendship, and unity. In addition to reading for 40 days, participants are asked to perform two acts of kindness. There will be activity rewards and the library will also offer a variety of special programs, including the annual STEAM WEEK (July 9-15).

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:50 AM, 05.16.2023

Yardstick, then and now

Before the advent of smartphones, cellular service providers invoiced us on how much we talked and texted; we had to pick a plan, aka "guess," how many minutes we'll be yapping and how many text messages we'll be tapping out on our cell phones each month. When smartphones began to replace the traditional cell phones, yapping and tapping became free while providers still make us guess how much "mobile data" we think we'll use while the smartphone is connected to the internet on mobile data.

The amount of mobile data we use on our smartphones, while not connected to Wi-Fi, became the new yardstick for your monthly charge. That yardstick can be either a finite or unlimited allotment of mobile data.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:49 AM, 05.16.2023

'Failure: A Love Story' concludes Clague Playhouse's 95th season

Noah Pekari as Mortimer Mortimer, Persis Sosiak as Gertrude Fail and Assad Khaishgi as John N. Fail

Follow Mortimer Mortimer as he falls in love with the three Fail sisters – Nelly, the youngest, Jenny June, the middlest, and Gerty, the eldest – as they live out their lives above the family clock repair shop near the Chicago River, before their time unexpectedly runs out. Tuneful songs and a whimsical chorus follow this magical, musical farce where, in the end, the power of love is far greater than any individual's successes or failures.

Our production of "Failure: A Love Story" by Philip Dawkins is directed by Ron Newell our cast includes Patrick Carroll, Kierstan Kathleen Conway, Jon Fancher, Beth Gaertner, Assad Khaishgi, Noah Pekari, Eliza Rodriguez, Persis Sosiak and Lou Will.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:52 AM, 05.16.2023

Porter Library parking lot to be closed May 28 and 29

Westlake Porter Public Library’s parking lot will be closed for resealing and striping from 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, through 6 a.m. on Tuesday, May 30. There will be no access to the drive-up book drops while the parking lot is closed. The library will be closed on May 28 and 29 in observance of Memorial Day, making it an ideal time for performing the annual maintenance. The re-sealing and re-striping will be done weather-permitting.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 9:51 AM, 05.16.2023

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,

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