Latest News

Ed and Barb Leszynski named Mr. and Mrs. Westlake

Ed and Barb Leszynski were honored by Mayor Dennis Clough as the 2019 Mr. and Mrs. Westlake during the Dec. 2 tree-lighting ceremony at City Hall. The Leszynskis have been active members of the community for 38 years. Photo by Denny Wendell

On Sunday, Dec. 2, family and friends huddled inside the Westlake City Hall rotunda to both witness the annual tree lighting and honor Ed and Barb Leszynski as the recipients of the 2019 Mr. and Mrs. Westlake title.

The Leszynskis are involved in a wide array of community service programs. Together they are active members of St. Ladislas Parish, run a food pantry through St. Vincent DePaul and run mass for residents of the Lutheran Home in Westlake. Additional activities include serving dinners at the Ames Family Hospice House, tutoring and reading to children at Dover Elementary School, and involvement with the Westlake Boosters Club while their children were in school.

Ed has served as president of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul for the past six years and is in charge of the hot meal programs that feed more than 200 of Cleveland’s hungry. He and Barb were active for many years in the Westlake/Bay Rotary, with Ed serving as president.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:38 AM, 12.04.2018

Old St. Nick visits Bay Village

Photo by Denny Wendell

Santa Claus visited children of all ages on Dec. 2 at the Community House as part of the annual Cahoon Christmas event sponsored by the Bay Village Historical Society and the Bay Village Kiwanis Club.

Historical society member Eric Eakin accompanied Santa as he rode around the city in a fire truck before the event.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:38 AM, 12.04.2018

Westlake Historical Society placing holiday wreaths

Volunteers from the Westlake Historical Society place holiday wreaths at local cemeteries in remembrance of early citizens and donors' loved ones. This wreath honors Westlake pioneer Leverett Johnson and his wife, Abigail.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Show me your cemeteries, and I will tell you what kind of people you have.”

Each year the Westlake Historical Society makes and places holiday wreaths on the graves of founding and pioneer citizens of early Dover (now Westlake). We believe placing a wreath on a grave is not only a symbol of remembrance, it is a sign of respect for that person and who they were.

We would like to extend the opportunity for you, your family, organization, group or business to place a wreath this year in memory of one of our pioneer families or one of your departed loved ones. Volunteers from the Westlake Historical Society will be placing wreaths soon at either Evergreen or Maple Ridge cemeteries.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:18 AM, 12.04.2018

Holiday Caring & Sharing supports Bay Village community

The Holiday Caring & Sharing Program, a Bay Village tradition, is seeking donations to benefit the community in the coming year. There are two ways to contribute to this program:

  • Cash donations for emergency funds for residents in financial need. The City will pay up to $250 to a resident in financial crisis for utility bills, rent/mortgage or medical expenses.
  • Donations to Adopt-a-Classroom. The average teacher in the U.S. spends $500 of his/her own money on school supplies each year, so this year we are adopting the Westerly School in Bay Village, grades 3 and 4. Each classroom will be provided with requested school and project supplies that they would go without if not for donations. Contact Leslie Selig at 440-899-3409 or lselig@cityofbayvillage.com for requested supplies, or a cash donation is always welcome and we will do the shopping for you!

Drop off donations by Tuesday, Dec. 18, at the Bay Village Senior Center, 300 Bryson Lane. Holiday Caring & Sharing is sponsored by the Bay Village Department of Community Services.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:20 AM, 12.04.2018

Dickens comes alive at Dover United Church of Christ

John Ferris brings Ebeneezer Scrooge to life in his dramatic portrayal of one of Charles Dickens' most famous characters on Saturday, Dec. 8, at Dover Congregational United Church of Christ. For over 50 years, Ferris has shared the immortal story with small groups in schools, auditoriums and basements. He plays the narrator and all the characters one at a time, using the gifts of his voice, face and body language to share this story of one unhappy, self-centered man.

Ferris learned the story from his grandfather, Delbert Lean, who was a professor of speech at the College of Wooster. Lean shared the story with the Wooster community for 50 years, and Ferris is continuing the tradition. Ferris uses the shorter version Dickens himself preferred when he read his famous ghost story in public.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:23 AM, 12.04.2018

Community invited to holiday concert

Organist Matthew Dion. 

Talented musicians from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Bethesda-on-the-Bay Lutheran Church will present a holiday concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, at Bethesda-on-the-Bay Lutheran Church, 24607 Wolf Road.

The concert will feature Matthew Dion, a native of Somerset, Massachusetts, and an undergraduate organ performance major at Oberlin College and Conservatory. Matthew is a recipient of the YOI (Young Organists Initiative) Scholarship from the Boston Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Matthew is the organist at Bethesda.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:21 AM, 12.04.2018

Clague Playhouse presents youth holiday show

We adults all appreciate the real meaning of Christmas, but isn't it fun to see the holiday season through the eyes of a child as well? This year at Clague Playhouse, we are very proud to present two of our new children's groups, The Barnraisers: Clague Playhouse Youth Chorus and the Red Barn Youth Theater.

On the evenings of Friday, Dec. 14, and Saturday, Dec. 15, these two groups will give their first ever performances at the theater beginning at 7 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:25 AM, 12.04.2018

You might exercise more than you think

My brain free-associates: my mom reminds me of Costco. Texting while driving: natural selection. Vladimir Putin: mutating Swine Flu.

But when people see me, their brains wander to exercise.

Colleen: “Want to come over for dinner? Five-ish? I should start swimming again.”

Liz: “Your dog is at my house again. No, I didn’t give her all the leftover chicken, just half. By the way, I did four miles on the treadmill today. On an incline.”

A stranger walking his dog: “That’s a pile of leaves you got there. I need to lift weights.”

I don’t know what it is about my face that drives people to exercise. But here I am, again, talking about the new exercise guidelines. Before you toss me to the same-old health-advice boneyard, let me tell you some wonderful news.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:22 AM, 12.04.2018

National First Ladies' Library

The Grand Lady of Market Avenue. Photo by Rachel Polaniec

This November, Magical History Tour marks its first anniversary with another Northeast Ohio president and first lady, William McKinley and his wife, Ida Saxton McKinley. So down to Canton we go, about an hour and 15 minute drive on I-77 S, to the National First Ladies’ Library and Saxton-McKinley House. All tours of the house are guided, and advance reservations are highly recommended. Free on-site parking is available. 

In charming downtown Canton sits the “Grand Lady of Market Avenue,” a three-story brick house that is quintessentially Victorian: a wrap-around porch, arched windows, and architectural details and chimneys galore. Originally built in 1841 by George DeWalt, the house was expanded around 1865 by his son-in-law James Saxton, a prominent Canton banker and father of three children, of whom Ida was the eldest.

In regards to his daughters, James Saxton was unusually progressive for the era. He provided Ida and Mary with quality educations, sent them on a Grand Tour of Europe, and hired Ida at his bank, where she quickly rose to the rank of cashier and, in his absence, manager. A portrait of Ida hanging over the mantel in the parlor shows her as a very elegant and fashionably dressed (and coiffed) young woman. Instead of looking out at the viewer, she glances past the photographer and out of the frame, her eyes bright with an expressive thought.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:25 AM, 12.04.2018

Concert remembers 1914 Christmas Truce

During World War I, on Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies.

On Friday, Dec. 21, at 7:00 p.m., Unity Spiritual Center Westlake will hold a concert in remembrance of the 1914 Christmas Truce. All are invited to celebrate the joy of the Christmas season and to remember and proclaim that peace in the world is possible among people of goodwill.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:21 AM, 12.04.2018

Storing wallet pictures

I fondly remember the days when I carried in my wallet family photos that were taken with a 35mm camera. We all know how analog cameras were replaced by digital cameras. Like many other changes involving an analog widget being replaced by its digital counterpart, these analog-to-digital transitions often change how we use the widget.

As an amateur photographer, I do miss the sense of wonder and excitement that accompanied the film development process. Why? The results of the film development process, i.e. negatives produced to print pictures, showed how well the shots were framed or how the lighting was metered at the subject – questions I kept in mind before taking each shot on my 35mm camera.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:18 AM, 12.04.2018

Herb Guild displays wreath at Cleveland Botanical Garden

Herb Guild members Barb Armstrong, June Zweidinger and Fran Wilhelm with the club's wreath.

The Herb Guild Garden Club has decorated a wreath for the GLOW display at the Cleveland Botanical Garden in University Circle. Every year area clubs are invited to decorate Christmas trees or wreaths at the botanical garden to exhibit to the public during the holiday season.

This year's GLOW theme is "Remember When?" which is a nod to the nostalgic days of Cleveland. The Herb Guild wreath is decorated with candies and sweets from the past and is titled, "How Sweet it is."

Visitors can see the club's wreath, as well as other clubs' decorations, from now until Jan. 5, 2019. Visit cbgarden.org for hours, admission rates and tickets.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:21 AM, 12.04.2018

Bay Men's Club members assist neighbors

Volunteers from the Bay Men’s Club turned out on a recent Saturday morning to help their fellow residents by raking leaves and cleaning the yards of a number of deserving residents, many of them seniors and disabled.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:24 AM, 12.04.2018

Upcoming programs at Bay Village Branch Library

CHILDREN

Storytimes at the Bay Village branch library are on hiatus for the month of December. Please join us again in January for our weekly storytimes. Through Dec. 22, children can stop by to make a seasonal craft to take home.

Wednesday, Dec. 5 (7 p.m.) Mad Scientists: Snow – Grades K-2: Join us for a hands-on science program. Learn about polymers as we make our own snow. Registration required.

Friday, Dec. 7 (10 a.m.) Block Party – Ages 2-5: Come build with us! We will supply the building bricks and you bring the imagination.

Saturday, Dec. 8 (10 a.m.) Preschool STEAM – Join us for a hands-on science program. Learn about polymers as we make our own snow.

Monday, Dec. 10 (7 p.m.) STEAM On: Let it Glow – Grades 3-4: Join us for a hands-on STEAM program. Use paper circuits to light up a holiday card.

Thursday, Dec. 13 (4 p.m.) American Girl: Rebecca – Learn about the times and cultures represented by the dolls. Feel free to bring your doll to the program if you have one.

TEEN

Wednesdays, Dec. 5, 12 and 19 (3 p.m.) Teen Zone – Grades 5 & up: Hang out with something fun to do after school – gaming, art, movies, technology and more! 

Thursday, Dec. 6 (3 p.m.) Write On! – Join us for fun, quirky and challenging writing exercises and activities to get your creativity flowing. Registration required.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:24 AM, 12.04.2018

December events at Westlake Porter Public Library

Wednesday, Dec. 5 (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, Dec. 5 (4-5:30 p.m.) and Thursday, Dec. 6 (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, Dec. 5 (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.

Wednesday, Dec. 5 (6:30-7:45 p.m.) How to Manage Personal Collections Like a Pro – Do you want to learn more about how to care for your family’s heirlooms and other treasures? Get an introductory lesson from Jennifer Souers Chevraux, principal at Illumine Creative Solutions. Jennifer will walk participants through the basics of collections care at home. Please register.

Thursday, Dec. 6 (10-11:30 a.m.) Intro to Smartphones – Learn the basics of using smartphones, such as screen brightness, wi-fi settings, adding apps and more! If bringing your device, please bring all account passwords. Please register.

Thursday, Dec. 6 (1-7 p.m.) American Red Cross Bloodmobile

Thursdays, Dec. 6 and 13 (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.

Thursday, Dec. 6 (7-8 p.m.) Finding Scholarships for Undergraduate and Graduate School – Foundation Center’s Sara Krane and Natalie Jemiola-Wilson will discuss foundation support and other sources of financial aid for students in higher education. Learn how to research private scholarships and hear about available funding opportunities for students. Please register.

Saturday, Dec. 8 (10-11:30 a.m.) What Is Cloud Computing – Discover how Google products, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Apple iCloud, and other cloud-based services can make your life easier. Please register.

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Volume 10, Issue 22, Posted 9:34 AM, 11.20.2018

Porter Library to present 'Thank You Notes: One a Day for A Year'

Without really knowing why, Glenn Blair decided to write a thank you note a day for a year ... to friends, celebrities and strangers. He soon discovered the reason he had to write the letters, along with a number of powerful positive lessons, and some surprising responses and reactions during this 365-day project.

Glenn will share his amazing story when Westlake Porter Public Library presents "Thank You Notes: One A Day for a Year," on Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 7-8 p.m. Registration is required. To do so please call 440-871-2600 or visit westlakelibrary.evanced.info.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:20 AM, 12.04.2018

Experience virtual reality at Porter Library

Learn about and experience Virtual Reality at Westlake Porter Public Library on Monday, Dec. 17, from 7-8:30 p.m. with "Maker Monday: Virtual Reality." Attendees will learn about and have the opportunity to defend a castle, explore space and even encounter a whale with their own smartphones via Google Cardboard and the high-tech HTC Vive!

For more information or to register, please call 440-871-2600 or visit westlakelibrary.evanced.info.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:20 AM, 12.04.2018

BAYarts Holiday Trunk show is Dec. 6

Ornaments by Jennifer Lee Studios feature different Cleveland-area cities. 

A festive selection of favorite Cleveland artisans will be in attendance at the BAYarts Holiday Trunk Show on Thursday, Dec. 6, 6-9 p.m. Along with shopping, there will be cocktails and plenty of socializing. Each of the vendors will be bringing an extended assortment from what they currently offer in the holiday shop.

Diane Jacoby’s one-of-a-kind wool mittens became extremely popular in the Holiday Shop last year due to both comfort and style. Fair Isle patterns lead the pack, in everything from soft blue-and-white patterns to abundantly colored styles. The artist says they are made from “rescued” wool sweaters, and then “lined with soft fleece to keep your hands extra warm and protected from the winter chill.”

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:23 AM, 12.04.2018

Knickerbocker Thanksgiving

Adam Latimer, Dwight Clark, Thom Kerka and Paul Koomar at the annual Thanksgiving dinner at the Knickerbocker Apartments. Photo by Scott Gregory

Members of the Bay United Methodist Church recently sponsored the annual Thanksgiving dinner for residents of the Knickerbocker Apartments in Bay Village. Church members prepare the food, set up the tables and serve the residents.

This event, which Bay United Methodist does as a tradition each year, includes turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, cranberry sauce, rolls and pie. The turkeys are carved on site, led by Bay Village Mayor Paul Koomar. This year we also had the Bay Village City Council President, Dwight Clark, and his wife, Nancy, helping as well.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:19 AM, 12.04.2018

'A Christmas Carol'

Scrooge, center, (played by Tim Peebles) admonishes Bob Cratchit (Colin McCauley) while the Narrator (Greg Willihnganz) looks on during a rehearsal of Bay Village Community Theater’s staged reading of Charles Dickens’ "A Christmas Carol."

Performances are Saturday, Dec. 8, 2 p.m., at O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village; and Sunday, Dec. 9, 3 p.m., in the BAYarts Fuller House and 6 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Apartments. All performances are free and open to the public. Call 440-847-8494 for more information.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:24 AM, 12.04.2018

BHS Robotics Club gears up for high-level competition

Bay High Robotics Club members work on a robot for the 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition.

Robotics, the technology of designing, constructing and programming robots to do automated tasks, is a growing field. The Bay High School Robotics Club, in its second year, is also growing and aiming to compete with some of the top high school robotics clubs in the area.

“Building robots to solve the challenge of a rigorous competition is just the best learning experience on so many levels,” said Michael Clifford, Bay High science teacher and the club’s advisor. “It is a goal of the school to prepare students for a world of technology, and the FIRST Robotics Competition is as technical as it gets for high school students. Last year was our rookie experience with FIRST Robotics, and we made some mistakes. But we learned a lot that will help us this time around.”

The competition project is to build a robot that will compete in a very complex game. Each year, the game and its objectives are announced during the kick-off in January, at which time every team in the country begins building their robots.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:19 AM, 12.04.2018

Holiday musical performances from St. Paul Westlake

St. Paul Westlake students will perform an Instrumental Music Concert at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, in the School Activity Center, 27981 Detroit Road, Westlake.

Students will also be featured in a Christmas program as a part of the midweek Advent Service at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the School Activity Center.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:23 AM, 12.04.2018

Musical memories that keep giving

Curt Crews and the Singing Christmas Tree is a Bay Village tradition that keeps making us feel warm and fuzzy at Christmastime. The tree was unveiled in 1959 to oohs and aahs by Curt Crews, Bay High School's choir director. This is a picture of alumni who returned to sing "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" at the end of a Christmas program.   

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. A picture is worth a thousand words. So they say. This year, I hope you participate in Christmas with the musical programs offered by our young people by attending the many concerts planned for the community.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:20 AM, 12.04.2018

VFW announces winners of essay contest

The annual VFW Voice of Democracy (VOD) essay competition for 2018 has been completed. Bay Village VFW Post 9693 was proud to receive four entries this year, two from Bay High School (Khaled R. Hamil and Emma Spirollari), one from Westlake High School (Nicholas Gauntener), and one from St. Joseph High School (Mariana Maddox).

A committee of four, including two VFW members, and one teacher each from Bay High School and Westlake High School, reviewed and judged the entries. Mariana Maddox was the first-place choice. Emma Spirollari placed a close second, with a tie for third place between Khaled Hamil and Nicholas Gauntener.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:18 AM, 12.04.2018

Dollar General

I was sitting around the house the other day bemoaning the fact that I never really made it "big" financially in my life, although some might suggest that sitting around the house probably has something to do with it.

But since I don't really like where that conversation is headed, I think I will take us in a different direction. I decided to check out who the 100 richest athletes in the world were, and where all their moola came from.

I was surprised to learn that the list wasn't topped by MLB players, since I've always been led to believe the MLB palyers had the best (aka "guaranteed") contracts and the NFL and NBA simply hadn't been fortunate enough to obtain MLB-type contracts.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:25 AM, 12.04.2018

One millionth checkout at Porter Library

Elaine Maurer, with her husband, Mel, was the one millionth checkout of 2018 at Porter Library. Photo courtesy Westlake Porter Public Library

Friday, Nov. 30, wasn’t a typical day at Porter Library for Elaine Maurer. Just after she checked out, a voice came over the loud speaker announcing that she had just made the one millionth checkout of 2018.

Library staff presented her with a nice gift bag in celebration. Congratulations to her and congratulations to Porter Library and all of its patrons in achieving this wonderful milestone.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:19 AM, 12.04.2018

Meal on Wheels volunteers needed

Westlake Meals on Wheels is seeking volunteers to deliver meals, work in the kitchen and make desserts. Opportunities are available Monday through Friday at our Westlake and Olmsted Falls locations. Please call 440-871-2551.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:22 AM, 12.04.2018

Interactive murder mystery hits Bay Village

Two of the actors from "A Dickens of a Christmas," BAYarts' murder mystery last year.

BAYarts is once again presenting an interactive murder mystery event after last year’s was so popular. The title is "A Winter’s Tale" and it is set in the 1930s.

Actress Kaylea Kudlaty has been organizing the local Cleveland acting talent from the TrueNorth Cultural Arts center. The cast list has 12 in the murder mystery, all functioning as possible suspects. Joining Kudlaty are Tim Hale, Alicia Spurlock, Bridget Messaros, Emmy Cohen, Lyda Santa, Martin Carlton, Matt Dodds, Nick Yuric, Rich Phillis, Sam Seawolf and Shea Hopkins. Actor Fred Munkachy will once again be emceeing the event.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:23 AM, 12.04.2018

Is anyone dating anymore?

When I was young, we dated and the people before that dated and the people before them dated. It was how we got to know each other and decide if there was a connection. If there was a connection, we dated more until a decision was made to make it more permanent or to move on and date someone else. At times it was a bit uncomfortable and made us nervous but most of the time it was exciting and fun.

There was also an innocence to dating. Great stories came out of dating and it helped you narrow down what you wanted and what you didn't want in a partner.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:26 AM, 12.04.2018

A look at stained glass artist Judy Kean

Judy Kean with stained glass from The Glass Studio, her studio in Avon. Photo by Robert Pearl

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, the Westlake-Westshore Arts Council presented stained glass artist Ms. Judy Kean, owner of Creative Space Avon and The Glass Studio.  Ms. Kean did a wonderful presentation about stained glass artists, the different kinds of stained glass and various locations in Cleveland which have stained glass, including Tiffany stained glass. She gave a very thorough explanation about different methods like copper foil and lead.

In addition to the presentation at Porter Library, Ms. Kean displayed various kinds of stained glass artwork as well as books on the subject. She showed a short segment of "Let There be Light," a film which highlights the work of Rowan LeCompte and Dieter Goldkuhle who both made their last stained glass window in Washington National Cathedral. Both men are interviewed describing the work and captivating beauty of their creation with the light shining through the large rose window. This was an excellent aspect of Ms. Kean’s talk, offering a personal glimpse of the creative process and end result.

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Volume 10, Issue 22, Posted 9:33 AM, 11.20.2018