Latest News

Relay for Life of Westshore ends on an amazing note

Participants spontaneously join hands during the Relay for Life luminaria ceremony on April 30. Photo by Mike Brediger

This year's Relay for Life was a celebration. We celebrated people fighting and we celebrated the family members that help our survivors everyday. We were six communities coming together as one. Our event was a great success – only falling short of our $34,000 goal by $4,000. But we still have three more fundraisers coming up over the next two months and I have no doubt we will hit this goal and surpass it!

I cannot name everyone who put their heart and soul into this Relay; you know who you are, so I will simply thank everyone as a community. This was my fifth year as event chair and there was a moment during the Luminaria Ceremony that defined why we work so hard to Relay. Unprompted, the attendees reached out to hold hands around the track in dark silence, while the names of those touched by cancer glowed in front of them.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:43 AM, 05.03.2016

Plaque for Sally Price a gift from the community

The Huntington House porch on the BAYarts campus will be renovated this summer and dedicated in honor of Sally Price.

As the director of Baycrafters for 30 years, Sally Price was the visionary responsible for many community projects and events that still resonate today. To honor her contributions, artist Paula Blackman of Blackbird Fine Art is creating a plaque that depicts the unique accomplishments of a unique woman.  

Paula, a nationally celebrated artist known for her large scale public works in bronze and stone had a special relationship with Sally. The group is reaching out to friends and family of Sally to fund the plaque as a community gift to Sally. Paula has waived her usual fees but materials and firing are costly; one-third of the goal of $3,000 has been raised through a GoFundMe campaign and donations made directly to BAYarts.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:50 AM, 05.03.2016

Westlake in Bloom entry forms available

Lan and Binh V. To won first place in the category of Rear Yard Residential Landscaping in last year's Westlake in Bloom competition. Photo by Jim Bedell

At last, spring has sprung! We hope that you will consider celebrating the beautiful gardens and landscapes of Westlake by entering your property in the annual Westlake in Bloom competition. Whether you enter your home or business, Westlake in Bloom is our chance to say thank you to the individuals who help beautify our city. 

Entry forms are available at Cahoon Nursery, Dean’s Greenhouse, Gale’s Westlake Garden Center, Plant Crafters, Porter Library, Westlake City Hall, Recreation Center, Community Services Department and www.cityofwestlake.org.  

The deadline for entering is Friday, July 1, at 5 p.m. Properties will be judged in July and awards presented at a ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 6:30 p.m., at LaCentre. So, put a reminder on your calendar to pick up an entry form and make sure to get it to City Hall by the deadline date. 

Happy gardening!

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:55 AM, 05.03.2016

Bay Village ‘plugging along,’ making most of resources

Bay Village Mayor Debbie Sutherland listens as Jim Chillemi, president of the West Shore Chamber of Commerce, introduces her State of the City address at the April 19 chamber meeting. Photo by Denny Wendell

Bay Village was hit hard by the recession, enduring the double whammy of decreased tax revenues and state funding cuts by trimming expenses and reducing staff. Mayor Debbie Sutherland has maintained that there is hope on the horizon as the economy recovers. In her annual State of the City address to the West Shore Chamber of Commerce on April 19, Sutherland reiterated that confidence, this time sharing economic indicators that support her optimism.

While a rise in tax collection has provided some “breathing room,” the city looks to take advantage of all possible resources – increasing the efficiency of city operations, partnering with neighboring communities and relying on the volunteerism of residents.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:43 AM, 05.03.2016

Westlake school board adopts strategic plan

The Westlake Board of Education adopted the outline presented by Westlake City Schools’ Strategic Planning Committee at its April 25 meeting. The committee is a cross-representational group of over 50 residents including business, nonprofit, civic, mental health, higher education, clergy, parent and neighborhood leaders.

“We want to thank the Strategic Planning Committee members for being forward thinking and sharing their input and ideas to help ensure our school district’s priorities are aligned with the needs of the community and the skills required to compete in today’s society,” said Board President Carol Winter. “Their commitment to this process demonstrates the importance of strong schools and a strong community.”

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:45 AM, 05.03.2016

Bay Village Foundation announces new trustees

The Bay Village Foundation announced a new group of trustees joining its board. The new trustees (who replace outgoing trustees Tim Atkinson, Margaux Hamilton, Colleen Harding, Amy Huntley, Jeff Koehler, Elaine Korte and Mike Petrigan) are Molly Bisson, Mark Flash and Mindy Stroh, Ginger Mlakar, Kristine Stylski, Dave Tadych and Denny Wendell.

The Bay Village Foundation has an exciting year ahead as we complete the fundraising and watch the new construction involved in the remodel of Play in Bay. Any family that wishes to add its name to the more than 300 families listed as donors should mail their contribution as soon as possible to The Bay Village Foundation, P.O. Box 40122. This has been a rewarding successful project.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:49 AM, 05.03.2016

The importance of Arbor Day

Porter Library Director Andrew Mangels and Westlake Garden Club President Marsha McEntee shovel dirt on a newly planted tree at the library. Photo by Tara Wendell

Trees are such a big part of our lives that sometimes we tend not to notice them, to take them for granted. Then once a year on the last Friday in April, we see articles written and programs taking place to celebrate Arbor Day.

The first official Arbor Day was held on April 10, 1874, in Nebraska. Soon other states passed legislation to observe Arbor Day and it became a nationwide tradition by 1882. It was estimated that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on that first Arbor Day.

All of this came about because of the efforts of a pioneer by the name of J. Sterling Morton, a journalist and editor who became secretary of the Nebraska Territory. Morton and his wife loved nature and came to realize the importance of trees to the landscape and environment. Besides the visual beauty and shade to protect us from the sun, trees are functionally significant in controlling storm water and soil erosion, conserving energy, and removing pollutants from the air and water. Trees also provide nesting sites for birds, food for birds and other animals, and nuts, seeds and fruit for our own diets.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:43 AM, 05.03.2016

Bay Middle School students learn about conservation

BHS Project Earth Club advisor Mrs. Bridgit McFarland talks to seventh-graders about the importance of trees. Photo by by Greg Hastings

Bay High School’s Project Earth club members contributed to the celebration of Arbor Day by spreading environmental awareness to young students at Bay Middle School on April 29. The Arbor Day Ambassadors designed activities to help seventh-grade students understand the importance of renewable resources. With help from the Bay Village city arborist Mike Polinski and the donation of 200 red oak trees the students were able to learn and plant, then take home their own renewable resource!

Members of Project Earth discussed the importance of conservation and how we can all protect the environment. Students learned about the impact of healthy trees within our community and the importance of cleaning our local waterways.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:43 AM, 05.03.2016

Dover Intermediate students celebrate trees with planting, poster contest

Dover Intermediate School fifth-graders participate in a tree planting ceremony on April 29. Photo by Tara Wendell

In celebration of Arbor Day, the Westlake City Tree Commission sponsored a poster and essay contest for Dover Intermediate School's fifth-grade students. Essays included information about the importance of trees for the city and its residents. The students' posters were colorful illustrations of the area's trees and the theme “Why Trees are Important to ME”. The posters showed methods of preserving and protecting trees as well as encouraging the planting of new trees for shade, erosion control, animal habitats, wind shelters and beauty.

Posters were judged by the Westlake City Tree Commission members Mary Beth Schneidler, Margie Rossander, John Walz, Diane Morris, Justin Parks, Westlake Urban Forestry Manager Stan Barnard and Westlake City Service Director Paul Quinn.

The poster contest and tree planting are components of Westlake's status as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. Being a Tree City USA requires the city to meet criteria to ensure the preservation and protection of trees as well as observing Arbor Day celebrations for the community. This is Westlake's 25th year earning this designation and was the fourth year for the poster contest. All of the fifth-graders who submitted a poster for the contest were invited to the April 29 ceremony and tree planting.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:47 AM, 05.03.2016

An addendum to the Dover-Bay golf course story

Relatives of Washington Lawrence, who owned the Dover-Bay property, play golf on the course located on Lake Road between Clague and Humiston.

A few months back, I wrote a story about the Dover-Bay Country Club, from its grandeur to its demise. After the story appeared in the Observer, I received an email from a longtime friend who added more information to why the Union Carbide Research Facility was not built in Bay Village. Following is the rest of the story:

In the late 1950s, the Union Carbide Company had proposed to build a research facility on the golf course property. The land where the golf course was located, at the corners of Lake and Clague roads, was not zoned commercial. The first thing the city needed to do was rezone the parcel of land to commercial.

A concerned group of citizens formed a “For the Project Committee.” It was decided every household would receive a post card proposal. The rezoning committee, sent post cards asking for a vote on the proposal. The straw vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the project coming to Bay, roughly 3 or 4 for approval, versus 1 against. My friend remembers, distinctly, the counting of all the returned postcards.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:54 AM, 05.03.2016

Westlake Kiwanis looking for Memorial Day participants

Derrick Fess and Alex Krystynak carry the Kiwanis banner in last year's Memorial Day parade.

Memorial Day will soon be here. The Westlake Kiwanis Club hopes you are planning to participate in our annual community parade and service that day, May 30.

The parade and service 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 last year, the Westlake Kiwanis and the community appreciate your participation and hope you will take part again this year.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:51 AM, 05.03.2016

Over-90s celebration keeps growing

Mayor Dennis Clough presents a Proclamation to Elsie Cornelius at the recent Birthday Brunch Celebration. Photo by Cindi Lindgren

The Westlake Center for Community Services together with the Westlake Women's Club recognized our city's over-90s residents with a Birthday Brunch Celebration on April 28. These two organizations have partnered to provide this time-honored tradition for well over 15 years now. The biggest change to this event over the years is that the number of celebrants keeps growing. Some of us (including myself) who attended the brunch as special guests, have given up our seats to meet the demand.

In fact, approximately 100 people over the age of 90 attended this year's brunch! The celebration included a handshake, photo-op and proclamation from Mayor Dennis Clough. Among the attendees were individuals from the eight assisted living/senior living facilities in Westlake, as well as 25 or more residents who live independently. There were plenty more Westlake nonagenerians who could not attend the brunch, but will still receive Proclamations. Many reside in the six nursing home facilities within the city. In total, over 325 individual Proclamations were prepared.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:51 AM, 05.03.2016

Annual hydrant flushing in Bay Village

Our annual hydrant flushing is underway and will be completed, weather permitting, by early to mid-June. Each year we test and flush every hydrant in the city to ensure proper function, pressure and maintenance. 

As in past years, we will keep residents aware of our daily progress through the city, as we work from the east side of the city to the west side of the city, by posting temporary signs. We also notify city hall each morning of our work area for the day. Please note that hydrants are flushed from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.



Since hydrant flushing sometimes loosens some of the rust in the water mains, you may notice rusty or discolored water when we are flushing in your area. If this happens, let your cold water run for a few minutes until it is clear again. Should any rusty water end up accidentally in your laundry, the Fire Department has a supply of rust remover packets. Call 871-1214 for more information or just stop in at the Fire Station.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:46 AM, 05.03.2016

Upcoming programs at Bay Village Branch Library

How do we find the joy in our daily routines, engage more deeply in everyday living, and live each day with grace and wisdom? Author Claudia J. Taller will join us at the Bay Village branch library on Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m. to discuss how she did it during her 30-day quest to engage more deeply in everyday living. She'll present her book, "30 Perfect Days: Finding Abundance in Ordinary Life," which takes you through her process to create a perfect life from perfect days.

CHILDREN'S DEPARTMENT

Storytimes are on hiatus this month. They will start back up in June. Meanwhile, join us for one of the special events we have in the children's department in May:

Monday, May 2 to Saturday, May 7 (All Day) Mother's Day Craft – Drop in to share the story of "The Kiss Box" and make a Mother's Day craft to take home.

Tuesday, May 3 (6:45 p.m.) Play, Learn and Grow – Children will play with developmentally appropriate toys in a playgroup atmosphere while parents meet and learn from community health experts.

Wednesday, May 4 (10 a.m.) Play, Learn and Grow – Ages birth to 3 years with parent or caregiver. Children will play with developmentally appropriate toys in a play group atmosphere while parents meet and learn from community health experts. Registration required.

Thursday, May 5 (7 p.m.) It's an Elephant and Piggie Party – Grades K-2: Celebrate the publication of the final book in the Elephant and Piggie series with stories, activities and a craft.

Saturday, May 7 (10 a.m.) Super Hero and Comic Book Day – Join forces at the Bay Village Library to celebrate Free Comic Book Day! We will feature a selection of free comics while supplies last!

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:53 AM, 05.03.2016

May events at Westlake Porter Public Library

Tuesday, May 3 (7 p.m.) Connecting for Kids Coffee and Chat – Join us as we discuss a topic related to parenting children who struggle. For this program we do not invite an expert speaker; however, the group discussion is facilitated by a mental health professional. This month: Grandparents Chat.

Wednesdays, May 4 and 11 (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, May 4 (1-7 p.m.) American Red Cross Bloodmobile

Wednesday, May 4 (1-2:30 p.m.) Cuyahoga West Genealogical Society – Drop-in session for genealogy help provided by the members of the Cuyahoga West Chapter.

Wednesdays, May 4 and 11 (4-5:30 p.m.) and Thursdays, May 5 and 12 (6:30-8 p.m.) Bow Wow Books – Stop by the Youth Services Department and sign your child up for a 10-minute reading time with a reading therapy dog! Bring your own book or choose one of ours. Registration begins each Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. and each Thursday at 6 p.m.

Wednesday, May 4 (5-8:30 p.m.) May the 4th Be with You – We’ll celebrate the Star Wars universe with trivia, crafts, a raffle and some of your favorite characters! Costumes are encouraged, but not required.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:53 AM, 05.03.2016

Herb Guild to spruce up Rose Hill garden

The May 11 meeting of the Herb Guild will be held at the Rose Hill Herb Garden, which is located in Cahoon Park between Wolf Road and Lake Road in Bay Village. The Herb Garden is located by the Cahoon House in the park and has been the longest supported garden effort by the Herb Guild. Volunteer teams tend to the garden monthly, weeding and watering as needed.

The meeting will start at 10 a.m., followed by a vigorous workout in the garden to spruce it up after the long winter. Members are asked to bring garden gloves and tools.

The guest speaker for this meeting will be Shirley Swindell, who will talk about growing a low-maintenance garden, something everyone needs in these busy times. She will also conduct a “make and take” workshop. Non-members will be asked to pay $5 for the workshop.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:49 AM, 05.03.2016

Weed-free, green lawns cost more than you think

Weed-free, lush, green lawns. Many people strive for this. I tell my kids not to play on them. Why? I have many reasons for avoiding “perfect” lawns. Lawn perfection typically comes at a high cost. A cost to Lake Erie, a cost to wild animals and a cost to our health. It is estimated that more than one billion pounds of pesticides and herbicides are used by homeowners in the United States every year for their lawns.

When chemical fertilizer is applied to lawns, the excess nutrients are carried away by rain waters into Lake Erie. Chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides contain nitrogen, and when too much nitrogen (and phosphorus) get into the lake, it causes an imbalance, which in turn can trigger an algae bloom. This is the cause of the toxic algae blooms we see in Lake Erie in the summer time, especially in the western Lake Erie basin.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:49 AM, 05.03.2016

Bay, Westlake earn silver medals in high school ranking

Bay and Westlake high schools have been designated Silver Medal Schools in U.S. News & World Report's 2016 ranking of America's Best High Schools. Bay High ranked No. 24 in Ohio (out of 890 high schools), and No. 583 nationally (out of 19,908 public high schools). Westlake High ranked No. 41 in the state, No. 968 in the country. Bay narrowly missed the Gold Medal designation, which is awarded to the nation's top 500 rated schools.

U.S. News and World Report considers a number of factors in its ranking. First, they determined whether each school's students were performing much better than statistically expected for the average student in the state, factoring in the percentage of the school's economically disadvantaged students, on math and reading proficiency tests.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:46 AM, 05.03.2016

May 7 a day for biking in Bay Village

The second annual History Mystery Bike Ride sponsored by Village Bicycle Cooperative will be on Saturday, May 7, from 12-2 p.m. at the Cooperative, located on the ground floor of the Bay Village Community House, 303 Cahoon Road. The fundraiser is an easy-paced, family-friendly bike tour that includes a map of stops designed to educate riders about Bay’s rich history and a few of its mysteries. Cost is $10/adult and $3/child, or bring the whole family for $25. Raffle tickets for a bike and other items are available for $1 each. There will also be live music, geocaching, a photo scavenger hunt and light refreshments. Volunteers will be on hand to assist and answer questions. Children 14 and under need the company of an adult. Helmets are mandatory.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:48 AM, 05.03.2016

Be a part of the seventh annual Westlake Special Olympics

The Westlake Kiwanis Family and the Westlake City Schools would like to invite anyone with special needs to take part in the seventh annual Special Olympics competition at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 4, at the Westlake High School track, 27830 Hilliard Blvd. The event will start with a parade around the track with the Special Olympics torch.

The event is open to anyone ages 7 and older with special needs. Last year's event included contestants ranging in age from 7 to 80. There will be seven track events: 25-meter wheelchair race (independent), 50-meter wheelchair race (independent), 25-meter wheelchair race (assisted), 50-meter wheelchair race (assisted), 25-meter independent walk, 25-meter walk and 50-meter dash. The field events will include: softball throw, standing long jump and wheelchair softball throw. Participants may pick up to four events to participate in, two track and two field.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:51 AM, 05.03.2016

A little geography can be big help in genealogy

The dawn of the 21st century ushered in a new “information era” of research capabilities. Personal computers and search engines allowed for anyone to easily mine mountains of electronic data from the most relevant sources, for a particular subject, at any hour of the day without leaving home. Traditional research practices of physically visiting various repositories became “so yesterday.” 

This is particularly evident in the area of genealogical and family history research, where the need to visit local libraries, historical societies and county courthouses has been reduced greatly. Popular genealogical search engines and databases, such as FamilySearch, Fold3 and HeritageQuest, can be freely accessed electronically from anywhere, using a library account and pin number.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:48 AM, 05.03.2016

There is hope

“Isn't it amazing that my children cannot find the large, open dishwasher rack for their dirty dishes – yet somehow manage to find their small mouths with their forks while eating?” I was nearly despondent when I saw this friend’s post on Facebook.

I wasn’t despondent because he was feeling frustrated. The feeling arose because I knew if he cannot get his children to find the “large, open dishwasher rack,” there is little hope that I will be able to have better luck with my own. His children are the kind of kids that your parents used to say, “Why can’t you be more like…” They are the epitome of responsible youth, the ones that you point to and say, “I have hope for the future.”

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:44 AM, 05.03.2016

Project Pedal is ready to roll on June 18

School is almost out and summer is on its way, and that means it is time once again for Project Pedal. This multi-route bike ride offers beautiful early summer scenery, healthy exercise and an enjoyable experience to share with family and friends of all ages. Best of all, riders will be having fun while helping to raise funds to continue the mission of Village Project. Project Pedal begins at 9 a.m. and all rides are concluded by 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. All routes begin and end at Bay Middle School at 27725 Wolf Road.

There are five routes to choose from:

  • Pea Pod Pedal (100 yards) is for two- and three-year-olds on trikes and big wheels. Registration fee: $10.
  • Sprout Route (400 yards) is for children six years and under on two-wheelers, with or without training wheels. Registration fee: $15.
  • Cucumber Course (6 miles) is for all ages. The route travels primarily side streets with a rest stop at Village Project headquarters. Parental supervision is suggested for young riders. Registration fee: $25.
  • Kale Trail (15 miles) is for intermediate riders of all ages. The route travels through Bay Village. Rest stops will be at Village Project, Reese Park and Bradley Park. Sidewalks are available throughout the ride. Parental supervision is suggested for young riders. Registration fee: $30.
  • Artichoke Adventure (35 miles) is for more experienced riders of all ages. The route travels through Bay Village, Avon Lake and Westlake. Rest stops will be at Village Project, Reese Park and Bradley Park in Bay Village. Much of the ride will take place on well-traveled roads such as Lake, Bradley, Walker and Hilliard. Registration fee: $40.
Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:54 AM, 05.03.2016

Bus tour takes riders on trip through Bay's memories

Village Bicycle Cooperative board member Carl Gonzalez leads a bus tour of some interesting historical sites in Bay Village. Photo by Rebecca Krueger

The Village Bicycle Cooperative and the Bay Village Historical Society teamed up with the Dwyer Memorial Senior Center on April 28 to present a 14-mile historical tour through the memories of Bay Village.

The event was to help publicize the cooperative’s upcoming “History Mystery Tour” bicycle ride through the city, scheduled for Saturday, May 7.

Local citizens boarded the community’s 14-passenger “covered wagon” to learn about the city’s rich history, spanning from 1810 to the present.“The mystery wave,” Sam Sheppard, Eliott Ness and Cahoon family stories were just four of many discussed that day.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:44 AM, 05.03.2016

Bay Village VFW Post seeking new members

The Bay Village VFW Post is looking for new members – male or female – and a "new generation" to carry on our veterans and community service. Post meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at the Bay Village Police Department, 28000 Wolf Road. Meetings last about an hour and we usually have refreshments afterwards.

You do not have to be a Bay resident to join, we support most of the West Shore communities (Rocky River, Westlake, Avon Lake). Also, our post does not have a facility, nor do we have an auxiliary. Unlike larger posts, we do not run a full-time food and beverage operation. However, your VFW Membership Card can get you access to any VFW Post in the county. If you are looking for a great opportunity to provide a positive impact to the community and can qualify for VFW membership, this is your chance!

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:53 AM, 05.03.2016

Blue Jay

Oh how beautiful.
The blue jay soars though the sky.
Then returns home again.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:52 AM, 05.03.2016

Westlake Porter Public Library adding to its digital collection

Starting on May 7, Westlake Porter Public Library users will be able to access more content through the Hoopla downloadable digital resources app. In addition to the digital video (movies and television) and music collections the library already offers, users will also find downloadable comic books, ebooks and audiobooks.

“More and more of our library users want to access information and entertainment digitally,” said Library Director Andrew Mangels. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer them even more digital content through Hoopla.”

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:47 AM, 05.03.2016

Two earn Bay Village Historical Society scholarships

Rachel Zvara

Bay High seniors Rachel Zvara and Jocelyn Joseph have been selected to receive $1,000 scholarships from the Bay Village Historical Society.

Rachel has lived in Bay Village her whole life. She is the daughter of Jennifer, and granddaughter of Janet Zvara, former Bay Village citizen of the year and longtime curator of the Rose Hill Museum.

Jocelyn has lived in Bay Village for 18 years and is the daughter of Jeanne; she also lives with, and cares for, her grandmother.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:53 AM, 05.03.2016

Westlake Board of Education begins search for new CFO/treasurer

Westlake Schools CFO/treasurer Mark Pepera is leaving the district for a similar position in Brunswick.

The Westlake Board of Education has begun the search process for a new chief financial officer/treasurer after Mark C. Pepera announced that he accepted a similar position with the Brunswick City School District. Pepera has been with Westlake City Schools since 1998 and received numerous national and state accommodations and accolades for excellence in financial reporting, a focus on transparency and superior audit results.

Pepera and his staff recently earned the district its 23rd consecutive national Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award, the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:45 AM, 05.03.2016

Cleveland's unique NFL Draft Day perspective

Draft day in Cleveland.

Is it me, or is it nothing short of ludicrous how it happens that year after year, massive failure after massive failure, Browns faithful nonetheless religiously plant their posteriors around the tube to witness the NFL draft? I have to assume it's the never-ending hope – indelibly etched into the collective psyches of all Browns fans – that the odds will be with us this year because of the against-all-odds run of drafting failures. Sort of like "even the blind squirrel finding an acorn on occasion" mentality. (The same way I approach the possibility of writing a good column).

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:46 AM, 05.03.2016

BAYarts' annual May ceramics show

The Annual Advanced Ceramics Exhibition at BAYarts will take place this spring, starting on May 13 with an opening reception that night from 7-9 p.m.

The theme this year has been "The Potter's Kitchen" with students tackling the theme by creating sushi platters, cutting boards, cheese plate accessories, spoon rests and tons of bowls. Gallery coordinator Eileen Seifert-Stockdale has overseen the popular ceramics exhibitions for the past 10 years, and it has become one of the most popular times for the Sullivan Family Gallery. Seifert-Stockdale says the variety of artists and items is part of what makes this exhibition special.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:46 AM, 05.03.2016

Clague Playhouse shows some 'Panache'

Clague Playhouse, 1371 Clague Road in Westlake, will present Don Gordon’s quirky and heartwarming romantic comedy "Panache" as the fifth and final production of its 88th season.

Kathleen, a Scarsdale socialite, has tracked down Harry, a short-order cook from Brooklyn, in hopes of convincing him to sell his one-of-a-kind vanity license plate. In the course of their negotiations, two people from dissimilar backgrounds discover that, in their quests for life’s intangibles, they may not be so different after all.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:49 AM, 05.03.2016

Dancing is great exercise

The Westlake Center for Community Services is having a monthly daytime dance. Dancing, watching dancing and listening to music have many benefits. Throughout a person's entire life, the brain responds to music. Unborn babies hear and respond to music in the womb. Those with Alzheimer's disease and dementia often can still remember words to songs, even when they can’t recall other things.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:53 AM, 05.03.2016

Fish and swim at Westlake Rec

Spring has finally sprung! Well maybe not totally, but it will, I know it will! As we move into May, the Westlake Recreation Department has several exciting programs for you and your family. Check these out:

Family Fishing Derby (Ages up to 12)

Saturday, May 14 (9 a.m.-noon) – Enjoy a morning of fishing in the Westlake Recreation Center’s lake. The lake is stocked with plenty of bass, channel catfish, crappie, trout and blue gill. Please bring your own equipment. Parent/guardian is required; however there is no cost for the parent. Bait (while supplies last) and prizes will be provided. All children must be registered to receive bait and prizes. Cost is $10 per child. Pre-registration is preferred.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:50 AM, 05.03.2016

WHS ensembles perform well in state contest

Westlake High School's Chorale was the only choir its class to receive a Superior rating at the Ohio Music Education Association contest.

Five Westlake High School vocal and instrumental ensembles received top ratings in their categories at the Ohio Music Education Association High School State Large Group contests last month in Medina and North Royalton.

Symphonic Band received a Superior rating with straight 1s in Class AA. Chorale also received a Superior rating with straight 1s in Class AA and was the only AA choir to achieve that rating.

Men’s Chorus received straight 1s in Class C – one of only two schools to achieve that rating. Women’s Ensemble received an overall Excellent rating/2 in Class B. Concert Band received an overall Excellent rating/2 in Class C.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:45 AM, 05.03.2016

Town Criers aid kids

Town Criers secretary Rick Grane, left, presents a check to Andrew Mangels, President of Connecting for Kids.

The Westlake Town Criers, an organization comprised of men dedicated to aid and assist worthy causes within the city, recently made a monetary donation to Connecting for Kids.

Connecting for Kids is a nonprofit with a mission of providing education and support for families with questions or concerns about their child.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:52 AM, 05.03.2016

Incoming superintendent addresses Westlake Kiwanis

Scott Goggin, who will head the Westlake Schools this fall, speaks at a recent Kiwanis meeting. Photo by Victor Rutkoski

Scott Goggin, the current superintendent of Midview Schools and soon-to-be superintendent of Westlake Schools, addressed the Westlake Kiwanis at a recent meeting. Scott is originally from North Olmsted and attended St. Edward in Lakewood. He has a degree in special education from Bowling Green State University and a graduate degree in rehabilitation counseling from Kent State University. He is currently working on a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Ashland University, which he expects to receive in August.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:51 AM, 05.03.2016

It’s kitten season again

Feral kittens may not be in need of rescue if their mother is around. It is best not to interfere unless you are certain they have been abandoned.

Warm spring weather has returned, and soon kittens born to stray and feral cats will be coming out to play in the sun. Many people mistakenly think that such kittens are lost or abandoned, but that is usually not the case. Most of the time the kittens are not in need of rescue; their mother is around and taking good care of them. In fact, trying to rescue “stray” kittens may not be the best thing for them. The best course is to go slow, and try to do no harm.

When you see a kitten, the first thing you need to do is determine the kitten’s age. Alley Cat Allies has useful charts that will help you determine a kitten’s age at alleycatallies.org. A kitten taken from its mother too early will need to be bottle fed, and rescue organizations are overwhelmed. They will not be able to help you with that. Watch the kittens but do not interfere unless you are certain that they are orphaned or abandoned, and unless you are prepared to take responsibility for caring for them yourself. Your veterinarian will be able to help you obtain the necessary supplies and show you what to do. Even with the best care, a kitten separated from its mother too soon may not survive, so do not take this course unless it is absolutely necessary.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:47 AM, 05.03.2016

Children and spirituality

Prayer is the cornerstone of the Unity philosophy, and a way of life. Children our are future. How do we teach children that they are spiritual, not just physical beings, living in a very physical world? How do we explain that the Divine Source is within, and follow up with how to go within? How do we reinforce that faith, hope, love and compassion are important, and can be practiced in everyday life? Not only is "how" a consideration, but what age is appropriate to instill these critical concepts? 

Unity believes that their teachings can make a positive difference in the lives of children and families. Unity minister Rev. Jim Fisher created three guiding principles for the Youth Ministry that supports the healthy development of the spiritual and emotional lives of individuals. He gives insight into the particulars of how to accomplish these. Children who have participated in the Youth Education Program regularly will understand these principles; the first has to do with love.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:48 AM, 05.03.2016

Don't invite a digital con artist into your computer

The digital world is experiencing an upward trend of nefarious activity utilizing malicious software called "ransomware." As the first half of the name implies, ransomware takes your computer's data hostage and demands a ransom in “bitcoins,” an untraceable internet-based payment system. (We’ll demystify bitcoins in a future issue).

Ransomware renders your data unreadable, and thus useless, until you pay the ransom. Non-payment means you lose your data forever (unless you have an uncompromised backup).

Individuals and organizations, including society’s lifeline services such as hospitals and police departments, have fallen victim to ransomware attacks. Numbers reported by the media are probably on the lower estimate as some victims may just pay the ransom and never report it to authorities. NBC News reports that last year more than 2,500 ransomware attacks were reported to the FBI, costing victims $24 million. The amount of reported damages skyrocketed to $209 million in just the first 3 months of this year.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:44 AM, 05.03.2016