Latest News

Memorial wreaths to be placed this holiday season

For over 10 years, members of the Westlake Historical Society have remembered some of our city's historic families by placing holiday wreathes on their graves.

We believe placing a wreath on a grave is not only a symbol of remembrance, it is a sign of respect for that person, who they were and the contributions they made to our city. We would like to extend the opportunity for you, your family, organization or business to place a holiday wreath this year in memory of your loved ones or one of our pioneer families.

Volunteers from the Westlake Historical Society will be placing wreaths on graves in both Evergreen Cemetery and Maple Ridge Cemetery until Dec. 10 for those individuals, families or businesses who would like to sponsor a wreath. You or your organization can sponsor a wreath from the historical society for a donation of $25 per wreath, then we will place it at the grave site.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:16 AM, 11.16.2021

Integrity is highlighted in Westlake City Schools

The Westlake Demon Athletics Boosters placed flag tributes honoring local veterans in front of the high school. Photo courtesy Westlake Demon Athletics Boosters

Our Portrait of a Lifelong Learner has been a guiding light as we navigate the waters of this school year. The traits we highlight in our Portrait continue to provide needed direction and ambitions as our teachers and staff strive to Educate for Excellence, while our students continue to Learn with Purpose.

As we continue into the month of November, the trait I think of most is Integrity. 

A Westlake student with Integrity develops “empathy, social awareness and accountability to understand how behaviors and actions impact others.” With all our students have been through – not just in the last two years, but throughout the entirety of this generation’s academic lifetime – the idea of understanding and empathy carries so much importance. I’ve seen students lift each other through difficult times; I’ve experienced students demonstrate character beyond measure; I’ve observed our students’ ability to reach out to each other and truly listen to their peers.

In short, I’ve witnessed our students’ growing integrity.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:24 AM, 11.16.2021

Bay Village donation locations

Please support these Bay Village churches and organizations. They have kicked off their holiday campaigns to assist children, families and pets in Bay Village and Northeast Ohio. Some collect all year long.

  • Bethesda on the Bay Lutheran Church, 28807 Wolf Road, is collecting for Fill This House, a non-profit that helps young adults aging out of the foster care system. The organization provides the young adults with the household needs to live in an apartment on their own for the first time. Visit fillthishouse.org/donatingitems or call 440-871-2276 with inquiries.
  • Bay United Methodist Church, 29937 Lake Road, is collecting NEW children’s boots for Child & Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County. They currently have 65 fosters that have a need. They need a variety of sizes from toddler to older teen, both boys and girls. Collections are Nov. 21-Dec. 12. Drop off at the office Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to noon. Bay UMC also works year-round with The Haven House which is an emergency overflow shelter for women and their children. They collect toiletries, laundry detergent and whatever their greatest need is. Visit thehavenhouse.org or call 440-871-2082 with questions.
  • St Raphael Catholic Church, 525 Dover Center Road, is collecting non-perishable pantry items and also has a gift tree with specific requests for local families and the multiple organizations they interface with. Call 440-871-1100 with questions.
  • Bay Presbyterian Church, 25415 Lake Road, serves as the designated Bay Village community food bank year-round. They have a weekly shopping list posted of current pantry needs and a donation bin for non-perishable items located at the main entrance off Columbia Road.
  • Bay Village Community Services located at the Dwyer Center, 300 Bryson Lane, is always in need of gift cards to grocery stores, drugstores, gas stations and cash donations to help with utility bills for Bay Village residents. Contact Leslie Selig at 440-871-2200.
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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:16 AM, 11.16.2021

There is plenty to be thankful for

With Covid dominating the lives of many for the better part of the last two years, it can be difficult for us to be thankful now that Thanksgiving 2021 is here. But we do have some bright spots:

In sports, we finally have a football team worth talking about, after decades – yes, I said decades of horrid football.

Think about that: someone born right around the time Art Modell shuffled the Browns off to Baltimore – and then reincarnated them as the Ravens – would not have seen any stretch of decent NFL football unless they decided to root for another team. A solid quarter of a century of consistently putrid football is tough to do, but the Browns answered the call.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:15 AM, 11.16.2021

Westlake firefighter/paramedic Craig Goodwin retires after 30 years of service

The City of Westlake held a retirement ceremony honoring longtime firefighter/paramedic Craig Goodwin on Wednesday at Fire Station No. 1 on Crocker Road.

Goodwin is an Air Force veteran, as well as a 30-year veteran of the Westlake Fire Department. In fact, it was the Air Force that gave him his start fighting fires before coming to work for the City of Westlake in April 1991.

Westlake Fire Chief Jim Hughes presented Goodwin a personalized plaque and his helmet and Assistant Fire Chief Mike Freeman read an official proclamation detailing his life and career with Westlake, as well as his plans for retirement.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:15 AM, 11.16.2021

Bay school board passes resolution in support of military-connected students, families

The Bay Village Board of Education recently passed a resolution in support of military-connected families. Westerly Elementary School demonstrates its gratitude for veterans with this tribute wall that includes information about relatives who have served. Photo courtesy Bay Village Schools

November is Military Family Month, dedicated to military families in Ohio and around the world. The annual observance recognizes the commitment, dedication and sacrifices Ohio’s military families make for our military to remain organized and strong.

On Monday, Oct. 25, the Bay Village Board of Education passed a Resolution in Support of Military-connected Children and Families. The initiative, spearheaded by Interim Superintendent Char Shryock, realizes there are many military-connected families within Bay Village, and the goal is to provide them with the support and resources they need, to eventually become an official Purple Star school district, as recognized by the Ohio Department of Education.

“As Interim Superintendent, I have had the opportunity to personally meet our stakeholders, and I was surprised at the depth of experience we have within our many military-connected families, both active and retired,” said Shryock. “With the help of Bay Village Schools parent Bernadette Power and her husband, Mike, a Lieutenant in the Coast Guard, I was able to assemble a Purple Star advisory group to get this initiative underway. I am grateful that the Board also realizes the importance of the goal to become a Purple Star District.”

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:24 AM, 11.16.2021

Meet local environmental steward: Derek Schafer

Derek Schafer, executive director of West Creek Conservancy.

For my column this week, I interviewed the executive director of West Creek Conservancy, Derek Schafer. Derek lives in Bay Village and his organization is spearheading multiple conservation projects in and around Cleveland. West Creek Conservancy’s mission is “to enrich the lives of all people in Northeast Ohio by conserving natural habitats, restoring the ecological value of our region’s lands and waters, and expanding opportunities to connect people from all cultures to experience nature and discover our great outdoors.” 

I recently met Derek and was inspired by his work with West Creek Conservancy; I also think it’s very important that the community learn about key local environmental work that is being done around us, because their work benefits each and every one of us.

Derek has been the executive director of West Creek since 2014 and has been with the organization since 2004. He grew up on a small farm outside of Columbus and spent his days fishing, playing in the fields and forests, and camping. Additionally, his parents had the same love of the outdoors and before he graduated from high school he had visited most of our national parks and forests, further cementing his love of nature and the critical importance of environmental conservation.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:23 AM, 11.16.2021

Is an aspirin a day right for you?

Last year, my younger brother turned 56, gained a few pounds. His blood pressure was up. Diabetes runs in our family. He started taking a baby aspirin a day because he read somewhere it’s good for his heart.

At the time, I thought nothing of it. What harm can a baby aspirin a day do? But after reading the draft of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s (USPSTF) new guidelines on aspirin, I’m having second thoughts.

For almost a century, cardiovascular disease, mostly heart attacks and strokes, has been the leading cause of deaths in the U.S. It accounts for one in three deaths.   

Those who suffer one event are at high risk of having a second one. Study after study showed that aspirin can significantly reduce the chance of a second heart attack or stroke. Aspirin works by reducing inflammation and, more importantly, impairing blood clot formation. It’s so effective that low-dose or baby aspirin (81 mg) works just fine.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:24 AM, 11.16.2021

One Veteran's Life: A mortician in Vietnam

Tony, right, and his friend Denny Lazuta having a picnic.

This is the second in a series of articles about one local veteran, Bay Village resident Anton (Tony) Dostal, who served as a mortician during the Vietnam War. 

Tony Dostal arrived in Vietnam at the Air Force Base in Da Nang aboard a C-141 transport plane on Friday, Aug. 30, 1968. He arrived with 19 other soldiers, eight of whom were embalmers. 

“We carried bullet clips in our pockets, but no weapons, because the rifle boxes were nailed shut in their shipping crates. We exited the tailgate of the aircraft in a secure area, so we were given the impression we would have nothing to worry about,” Tony recalled.

“We loaded up our personal stuff and were driven to our barracks in the Army compound, which was about five miles away from the airport,” he continued. “Because the eight embalmers were going into the embalming room the next night, the other 12 soldiers unpacked our bags and got our lockers together.

“As I'm walking to the barracks, someone yells ‘Hey, Anton!’” And there was a friend of Tony's from Cleveland, Denny Lazuta, a dental technician that Tony had attended mortuary school with.  You never know who you'll meet the in theater of war. 

Tony started work in the mortuary the following night.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:15 AM, 11.16.2021

Cacophony inside Tak's head

As we head into Thanksgiving, I have a lot of things to be thankful for this year. I regained my hearing after being deaf for almost 18 months, thanks to the University Hospitals team led by Dr. Rivas who handled my cochlear implant surgery.

Our non-profit, Center for Aging in the Digital World, after five years has a permanent home to offer the "Discover Digital Literacy!" programs, thanks to the in-kind gift from Advent Episcopal Church in Westlake. By having the use of their facilities, the organization will continue to help seniors in our communities discover the 21st-century life skill of digital literacy in 2022 without worrying about finding a teaching space every quarter.

Despite getting ready to finish 2021 strongly, I have a personal conundrum that I probably should consult fellow WBVO columnist Mr. Jeff Bing as it pertains to professional sports. My buddy Dave already tried to help me with my quest to find an "affordable" streaming service that will enable me to stream one thing, and one thing only, at a reasonable price: Cleveland Cavaliers games.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:15 AM, 11.16.2021

Bay Board of Education Nov. 8 meeting overview

This report contains member observations and selected highlights of the Nov. 8 meeting of the Bay Village Board of Education. It is not an official statement by the League of Women Voters, nor does it represent the official minutes of the meeting.

The regular meeting of the Bay Village Board of Education was called to order at 6:35 p.m. by board president Lisa Priemer in the middle school cafeteria. Board members in attendance were Beth Lally, Scott Schulz, Dave Vegh and Lisa Priemer. Paul Vincent was absent.

Donation: The first order of business was the acceptance of a donation for the Carlene H. Bonds English as a Second Language scholarship for the Bay Village City School District by Devon Gess, choir director.

Staff recognition: William (Bill) Mears, Glenview was recognized on his retirement.

Board policies: First reading of several proposed revised Board policies occurred. These can be found at go.boarddocs.com/oh/bvcsd/Board.nsf/Public.

Consent items:

  • Certified Personnel – activity contracts for extended day at Normandy were approved
  • Special project contract – homebound instruction and mentor teachers contracts were approved
  • Service contract of English language tutor at Normandy was approved
  • FMLA for two individuals was approved
  • Supplemental contract for ski club advisor was approved
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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:23 AM, 11.16.2021

Westlake Porter Public Library's late November calendar of events

Following is Westlake Porter Public Library’s late November 2021 calendar of events. All programs are subject to change. Please check westlakelibrary.org or follow the library on Facebook and Twitter (@WestlakePorter) for the latest updates.

Wednesday, Nov. 17 (2-3 p.m.) Wednesday Book Discussion – This month’s title is "The Widows" by Jess Montgomery. A limited number of books are available at the Circulation Desk. Please register.

Wednesday, Nov. 17 (7-8 p.m.) Adult Creative Writing Group – Join us in person for an hour of creative writing prompts to inspire you to start and keep writing. This meeting will focus on the spirit of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Please register. Masks will be required during the program.

Friday, Nov. 19 (9:30-10 a.m.) Yoga with Ms. Jen! – Calm your body, mind, and spirit in this yoga class taught by Ms. Jen, certified yoga instructor! Wear comfy clothes and bring your own mat or towel. Ages 2-6. Masks are required for anyone ages 2 and up. Please register.

Friday, Nov. 19 (4-4:45 p.m.) Fun Science Friday: Volcanoes – Some volcanoes erupt slowly and others are fast. Let’s explore volcanoes by making some of our own pretend lava eruptions. Ages 4-6, up to kindergarten. Please register.

Saturday, Nov. 20 (11-11:30 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 years. Please register.

Saturday, Nov. 20 (3-3:34 p.m.) Pre-Cooking Skills for Kids – Get ready to cook by learning important skills you will use in the kitchen! Ages 8-12 No food will be consumed or prepared during this program. No sharp knives or heat will be used. It is led by a librarian, not a chef or occupational therapist. Please register.

Monday, Nov. 22 (1-7 p.m.) American Red Cross Bloodmobile

Monday, Nov. 22 (7-8:30 p.m.) Alternatives to Cable TV (Live) – Frustrated with cable? Let us help you sort through the alternatives available. Learn about digital media players, streaming services, and additional options. Please register to receive the Zoom link.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:23 AM, 11.16.2021

Westlake honors veterans at Community Services Center

David Tabar and his family at the Veterans Day lunch at the Community Services Center.

The City of Westlake was pleased to host a special Veterans Day event in the Community Services Center's Eileen Humphrey Auditorium on Nov. 11.

The event featured a pinning ceremony, lunch prepared by chef Garrett Baglier and a few words about the importance of honoring our veterans by Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough. 

"I definitely want to thank all the veterans here today," Mayor Clough said. "If it wasn't for your dedication in service and commitment to making sure that our freedoms our protected each and every day we would not be able to enjoy those freedoms."

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:16 AM, 11.16.2021

'Alice in Wonderland' comes to Westlake

The cast of "Alice in Wonderland" features Kaitlyn McCann (Alice), Ellen Babinski (Mad Hatter), Alyssa Brucchieri (Queen of Hearts), and Meghan Rogozinski (White Rabbit). Photo courtesy Westlake City Schools

The Westlake High School Demon Drama Club is performing "Alice in Wonderland,” based on the classic Lewis Carroll story we all know and love. Alice is a young girl who, after falling down a rabbit hole, finds herself in the magical, and sometimes odd, “Wonderland.” The show is directed by DM Warnke and is being performed by students in grades 9-12.

Pandemic protocols will be in place. Masks are required, social distancing between each seated party is recommended. The venue will be disinfected between shows and hand sanitizer will be available. Tickets will be sold at the door for $7. The show runs at the Westlake High School Performing Arts Center, 27830 Hilliard Blvd., Nov. 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. We hope to see you there!

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:15 AM, 11.16.2021

'Black Hole Friday' at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

Schuele Planetarium

Join Lake Erie Nature & Science Center on Friday, Nov. 26, for Black Hole Friday.

Each year after the Thanksgiving holiday, the Center dedicates its planetarium lineup to one of the most mysterious objects in the universe: black holes. Center planetarium specialists will share the latest data and research on these strange celestial objects in the following age-appropriate shows:

  • 10:30 a.m. – Twinkle Tots
  • 11:00 a.m. – Stellar Stars
  • 11:30 a.m. – Mini Missions
  • 1:00 p.m. – Sky Tonight
  • 2:00 p.m. – Phantom Universe: The Hunt for Dark Matter

Shows cost $5/person. Children 6 months and under are free. Plan your visit at www.lensc.org/program-calendar. The Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed on Thanksgiving Day).

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:23 AM, 11.16.2021

Community West Foundation expands SocksPLUS program into Lorain County

Community West Foundation announced they have expanded their SocksPLUS initiative into Lorain County through partnerships with area leaders helping people experiencing homelessness.   

Community West started SocksPLUS in 2014 after learning that socks were, and still are, the number one requested item by homeless people. Every year, they collect new socks and other essential items to be given directly to those in need.

Items collected for SocksPLUS can now be taken to Good Neighbor Thrift Shop, a ministry of Avon Lake United Church of Christ, located at 158 Lear Road in Avon Lake. The donations will be picked up by non-profit community service agency, Neighborhood Alliance, for sorting and distribution to those who are struggling through the Lorain County Taskforce for the Homeless.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:24 AM, 11.16.2021

What to wear for photos

Clothes that fit and flatter

The holidays are arriving fast, and we will finally be gathering in person once again. Hurrah!

We know what that means: photographs to mark the occasions with family and friends. At least I hope so, because those photos are probably the only record we keep of our lives, and they are how we pass on our stories.

As a photographer, I have been part of creating those memories for decades. However, I have also seen lots of people hide from the camera, because they say they don’t like the way they look in pictures. I’d like to change that, and help everyone like the way they look on camera. So here are a few suggestions on how you too, can like the way you look in photos, no matter who takes them.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:25 AM, 11.16.2021

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