Latest News

Westlake Porter Public Library announces services changes due to county order

Effective Thursday, Nov. 19, Westlake Porter Public Library will be offering drive-up window services, telephone services, online programs and limited computer access ONLY. The physical library will be closed for browsing, but open for limited computer access by appointment only. The new, expanded WiFi can be accessed in the parking lot for those who need the Internet.

“The health and safety of our patrons and staff are of the upmost importance,” said Library Director Andrew Mangels. “This difficult decision to reduce services was made in response to the rising COVID-19 cases locally as well as in response to the Cuyahoga County stay-at-home advisory.”

Customers may continue to request materials online by visiting westlakelibrary.org or by calling the library at 440-871-2600. Materials already on hold will be available for pick-up through the drive-up window during regular open hours. Limited computer access appointments can be requested by calling the library at 440-871-2600, ext. 2.

NOTE: Cuyahoga County Public Library also announced the closing of their branches, including the Bay Village branch, to in-person services. Materials on hold may be picked up via drive-though window or curbside service.

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Volume 12, Issue 23, Posted 9:50 AM, 11.19.2020

Westlake welcomes two new firefighters

Westlake Mayor Dennis M. Clough swears in firefighter Ryan Nerkowski on Nov. 9, as Westlake Fire Chief Jim Hughes and and Assistant Fire Chief Mike Freeman look on.

Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough administered the oath of office to two new firefighters the week of Nov. 9.

The week began with the swearing in of Ryan Nerkowski, who previously served as a part-time firefighter for Oakwood Village and Seven Hills. His former commanding officer, Oakwood Village Fire Chief James Schade, did the honor of pinning Nerkowski's new badge to his uniform during the ceremony.

Nerkowski wasn't the city's least-tenured employee for long.

Three days later, Mayor Clough swore in Sean McLaughlin, making him the city's newest firefighter.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:21 AM, 11.17.2020

Bay school board appoints new member

Dr. Scott Schulz, left, is sworn in by Bay Village City School District treasurer Nicole Spriggs. Photo courtesy Bay Village Schools

During its Nov. 9 regular meeting, the Bay Village Board of Education voted unanimously to appoint Bay Village resident and parent Dr. Scott Schulz to fill its board vacancy.

A Bay Village resident for the last six years, Dr. Schulz has spent the majority of his professional career in post-secondary education. He currently serves as Vice President for Enrollment Management at Baldwin Wallace University. He is also an adjunct assistant teaching professor for Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Schulz has also served in several volunteer capacities, including assisting military veterans in furthering their education through American Corporate Partners, and working with GED students to explore their education and career options via Seeds of Literacy.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:24 AM, 11.17.2020

Keeping tabs on auto-renewals

Several columns ago I talked about the "subscription" option, i.e. leasing, for Microsoft's productivity software suite "Microsoft 365" as opposed to buying "Office" outright. Another example, commercial anti-virus software, operates under a similar principle where they require their users to annually renew (pay) to continue getting the virus signatures to prevent known viruses from infecting your computer or identifying virus infections and eradicating them by using the updated digital antidotes.

I'm confident that many of you are seasoned geeks who can fix different ailments our technology devices succumb to. I also know some friends who opted for computer repair services from office supply stores or big box electronic stores locally. For the latter, many technology services have also adopted the subscription model to sell their preventative services after repair.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:20 AM, 11.17.2020

Bay Village Schools hosts virtual town hall on anxiety, adapting to change

Bay Village Schools invites community members to attend a virtual Town Hall – “Anxiety and Adapting to Change” – from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, via Zoom. The webinar event is hosted by Bay Village City School District, with experts from MetroHealth, Recovery Resources and the Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio.

The event is geared toward parents and guardians of students in grades PreK-12, and the panelists will help families adjust to change and uncertainties. As families move from crisis mode to adapting to a new way of functioning, they may seek advice, tips and resources to help their students better adapt.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:21 AM, 11.17.2020

A simple game plan to survive COVID-19

This New York Times graphic shows the number of vaccines in human trials as of Sept. 16, with many additional animal preclinical trials underway.

A recent headline: Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is 90% effective.

Well, maybe. It’s too early to tell based on a number released in the middle of a trial. The real news: Pfizer CEO profited by unloading $5.6 million of his own stock near its peak value – on the day of the announcement.

The real and better news: Not one, but several vaccines are close to being ready. Today over 100 vaccines are in the development pipeline.

However, “A vaccine is only a vaccine. It’s nothing until it’s a vaccination,” said Dr. Michael Osterholm, a renowned U.S. epidemiologist. Getting people vaccinated takes time.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:26 AM, 11.17.2020

A marathon of perseverance

Chad Pado is joined by his wife, Kristen, and children, Olivia and Jack, after completing the Columbus Marathon virtually by running the streets of Bay Village.

Since March, if you found yourself on Lake Road before dawn between Bradley and Clague, there is a good chance you passed Bay resident Chad Pado running. If you were on foot as he passed, you were likely greeted with a warm "Good morning." 

On the morning of Sunday, Oct. 18, the culmination of seven months of that daily routine was achieved with the successful completion of the Columbus Marathon accomplished virtually in a time of 3 hours and 38 minutes. Run entirely on the streets of Bay, the marathon included long stretches on Lake and Wolf as well as sections of Bradley, Clague, Walker, Walmar, Carlton and Cahoon.

The gravity of his achievement was certainly not lost on those that knew Chad's story. In April of 2019, the idea of running a marathon was not a high priority. At 43, Chad had hip replacement surgery and was more focused on just walking again. However, if you met Chad as I have you would quickly conclude that he is a person of quiet conviction and strong determination. A former educator, high school basketball coach, and college athlete, it is no surprise that his perseverance and self-determination would allow him to overcome any physical setback and cancellation of the in-person marathon and finish his marathon.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:26 AM, 11.17.2020

Westlake Historical Society placing holiday wreaths

A wreath next to the obelisk marking the Evergreen Cemetery burial site of the Lilly family, early settlers in what is now Westlake.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Show me first the graveyards of a country, and I will tell you the true character of the people.”

For over 10 years, the Westlake Historical Society has been placing 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 loved ones. Volunteers from the Westlake Historical Society will be placing wreaths soon at Evergreen, Maple Ridge, and surrounding cemeteries.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:21 AM, 11.17.2020

Making A Difference: Pam Denzler, founder of A Place 2B ME

Pam Denzler

Many of us have heard of services available for those aging out of foster care, but what about services for those with special needs aging out of high school who are losing their social life connections? When Pam Denzler’s nephew, Thomas, was graduating from high school in 2012, she wondered the same thing.

Without finding a local resource, Pam, an occupational therapist by trade, founded A Place 2B ME, a non-profit organization whose mission is to help those with disabilities explore what they enjoy, connect with others and participate in activities of their choosing.

Pam, who lives in Westlake, founded A Place 2B ME with 40 years of occupational therapy (OT) experience, including health care, nursing homes and group homes. 

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:27 AM, 11.17.2020

Dreaming big at Porter Library

Westlake Porter Public Library is encouraging tweens, teens and adults to dream big this month by viewing a series of engineering-related video programs and panels on Vimeo, Mimecast and YouTube. Titled "Dream Big: Engineering Our World," the programs are presented by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the STAR Library Network (STAR Net) and its Project Build engineering program.

"Dream Big: Engineering Our World" will be presented On-Demand on Nov. 17 and 24 via Vimeo. Registration is required to receive a password to access the video. The remaining panel programs include:

  • Dream Team: El Futuro se Diseña (Spanish) – Thursday, Nov. 19 (3-4 p.m.)
  • Dream Team: Chats with Change Makers featuring Avery Bang – Friday, Nov. 20 (2-3 p.m.)
  • Dream Team: Engineering Extravaganza – Tuesday, Nov. 24 (4-5 p.m.)

The panel programs will be available on YouTube except for "Chats with Changemakers," which will take place on Mimecast. To register for any of the programs or panels please visit westlakelibrary.org/events or call 440-871-2600.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:25 AM, 11.17.2020

Tribe pitching depth already a curse

Before you say it, I'll say it for you: "Almost every team in the Major Leagues would love to have the Indians' pitching staff."

I can't argue with that. For the better part of the last decade, the Indians have sported one of the most consistent – and consistently deep – pitching staffs in the American League, if not all of baseball. They have been contenders year in and year out, and not had a losing season during Terry Francona's tenure as manager. And yep, there are a plethora of baseball franchises who would love to be where the Indians are right now. The winning culture. Annual contenders. Strong (obviously) farm system. A steady and effective front office with an excellent scouting staff – especially when it comes to drafting and/or trading for pitching talent.

So then what, pray tell, is the problem here? Am I just getting ornery in my advancing age? Can't I just sit back and appreciate what we have, while we have it? 

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:21 AM, 11.17.2020

Westlake hosts 'Patriotic Pick-Me-Up' for local veterans

Westlake Senior and Community Services Director Lydia Gadd and Activity Planner Jodi Rodriguez hold up signs thanking veterans who attended the Patriotic Pick-Me-Up event.

In honor of Veterans Day 2020, the Westlake Senior and Community Services Department hosted a drive-through event on Nov. 11 to say "thank you" to local veterans.

Mayor Dennis Clough was on hand to greet the brave men and women who have served our country. Participants received gift boxes and baked goods from the safety of their cars and were able to converse with the mayor from a safe distance.

"We're just very pleased that the veterans are coming out here so we can say 'thanks' for their service to our country over the years," Mayor Clough said during the event. "And it's just nice to be able to put a little smile on their face."

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:22 AM, 11.17.2020

Bay Village Snow Angels to shovel snow for seniors

One of the services most needed to enable Bay Village older adults to stay in their home is snow removal. In response to this need, Bay Village Community Services has developed the Snow Angels program, in which volunteers are matched with a qualifying senior who requested assistance. A Snow Angel coordinator pairs the volunteer with a neighbor for the winter season.

Becoming a Snow Angel is a great way to:

  • Get involved in our wonderful Bay Village community;
  • Get to know your elderly neighbors;
  • Get fresh air & exercise this winter.

For those who need a Snow Angel:

  • You must fill out an application and show proof of residency and income. To qualify, household income is not to exceed $30,000 per year.
  • You will be assigned a volunteer or group of volunteers who will shovel your driveway and sidewalk when 2 inches of snow or more have fallen.
  • You will be notified by the Snow Angels coordinator if you have qualified and have been paired with a Snow Angel.

To volunteer as a Snow Angel or receive an application, please contact Jennifer Ruese at 440-835-6565, or jruese@cityofbayvillage.com.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:23 AM, 11.17.2020

Westlake Porter Public Library's late November calendar of events

Following is Westlake Porter Public Library’s late November 2020 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.

Tuesday, Nov. 17 and 24 (All Day) Dream Big: Engineering Our World (On Demand) – You're invited to participate in an exciting virtual engineering experience introducing engineers and engineering for people of all ages, especially families and children. Travel the world to see engineering in action, from the Great Wall of China, to solar car races in Australia, and underwater robots in the USA. Please register. Once registered, the URL and passcode will work all day. You will receive Vimeo.com links and passcodes to English, Spanish, and Closed-Captioned versions later in an email.

Wednesday, Nov. 18 (11-11:30 a.m.) Sing and Dance! (Live) – Join Miss Nancy on Zoom! Participants must provide an email address in order to receive Zoom instructions. Ages 2-6.

Wednesday, Nov. 18 (2-3 p.m.) Wednesday Afternoon Book Discussion – This month’s title is "The Stationery Shop" by Marjan Kamali. Please register to receive Zoom instructions.

Wednesdays, Nov. 18 and 25 (4-5 p.m.) Teen Writers Group: Writers Room (Live) – A bi-weekly meet-up for writers in grades 7-12. We’re working our way through National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) with a dedicated hour just to write. We’ll reserve the last 15 minutes for any writer in need of group brainstorming. Please register. Participants must provide an email address to receive Zoom instructions.

Wednesday, Nov. 18 (7-8 p.m.) A Taste of Tea: Tea Preparation and Health Benefits (Live) – Join us on Zoom as we learn all about tea! Paula from Storehouse Teas will teach us how to properly select and brew tea, while also explaining the health benefits of various varieties. Please register. Participants must provide an email to receive Zoom instructions.

Thursday, Nov. 19 (11-11:30 a.m.) American Indian and Alaskan Native Heritage Storytime (Live) – Join us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for a storytime celebrating American Indian and Alaskan Native Heritage Month.

Thursday, Nov. 19 (3-4 p.m.) Dream Team: El Futuro se Diseña/the Future is Designed (Spanish) (Live) – Join us online for a Spanish-language engineering panel led by Fernando Ceballos, a Minecraft builder and featuring engineers Angelica Hernandez and Isamar Escobar. To join in, visit westlakelibrary.org/events and click on the link in the program description.

Thursday, Nov. 19 (3:30-4:30 p.m.) WPPL Roblox Club – We have some private servers set up for Tweens in grades 4-6 to hang out with their friends and enjoy some of the most popular games via Zoom. Please register.

Friday, Nov. 20 (11-11:30 a.m.) Fall Yoga with Miss Nancy! (Live) – Join Miss Nancy on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube to calm your body and mind with yoga. Ages K-4.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:25 AM, 11.17.2020

Considering the GIOAT

From birth to the age of 12 I thought living in a double house on West 128th in Cleveland was nirvana. My grandmother and Aunt Vance lived downstairs and every Sunday we gathered down there with 15-20 relatives for spaghetti and meatballs.

My brother was two years older than I. We both were pretty fast runners. The biggest difference was he dreamt of using that speed getting around end for the Cleveland Browns while I saw myself stealing bases for the Indians.

Rocky Colavito was the star for the Tribe. Even the non-Italians wanted to be him. He had a very unique ritual before every at-bat. He lifted his bat up over his head and brought it down with both hands behind his back. He had tremendous power and could throw the ball from the outfield straight to the catcher, cut-off man be damned.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:22 AM, 11.17.2020

Cleaning during Covid

As with everything this year, we all need to roll with the punches – in other words, be ready for changes at any time. A recent change that is important for Westlake residents to be aware of: Simple Recycling has suspended service until the spring, unless we see a change for the better in Covid numbers. Bay Village residents: For now the city is still on the weekly route, however be prepared for this to change at any given time. Thank you to all of you out there who use Simple Recycling on a regular basis to keep as much out of the landfill as possible.

So, what to do with your stuff that you were going to put out on the curb for Simple Recycling? Easter Seals is still doing pick-ups in the area so please check their website, www.easterseals.com/noh, or call 1-800-708-2716 for details. Additionally, Savers in Rocky River is still accepting donations, but please make sure you confirm that before you drive over there. Donations to Savers also benefit Easter Seals and are tax deductible.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:22 AM, 11.17.2020

2020 drug collections a huge success

The Westshore Enforcement Bureau (WEB) Drug Task Force gratefully acknowledges the citizens of our six western suburbs for actively participating in the DEA's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Oct. 24 with 439 pounds of outdated and unwanted medications collected for safe disposal.

In addition, the citizens of our WEB communities were responsible for properly disposing of medications via the use of the 365/24/7 drop boxes located within each of the six police departments to the tune of 2,445 pounds through Oct. 31.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:25 AM, 11.17.2020

American Legion announces membership requirements have changed

The American Legion National Headquarters in Indianapolis has announced that all veterans, honorably discharged, who served in the active military or reserves since Dec. 7, 1941, are eligible for Legion membership.

An applicant need only provide a copy of their DD 214 discharge papers to show qualification.

Bay Village American Legion Post #385 Vice Commander, Joe Cronin, says that dues in the local post are only $35 per year and that there are many benefits available to members.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:22 AM, 11.17.2020

Clague Playhouse holds annual jewelry sale

Many in the community look to our annual holiday Jewelry Heist Sale for interesting and quality jewelry, handbags and accessory items at reasonable prices. We will be holding our 11th Jewelry Heist on Fridays and Saturdays, 1-7 p.m., from Nov. 20 through Dec. 12 in the Clague Playhouse lobby.

By diligently following the following COVID-19 guidelines, we believe we can offer our patrons a comfortable and safe shopping environment. Our staff and volunteers will be checking their temperatures each day and we will follow these protocols: limit of 6 shoppers in the lobby at a time; all to wear proper masks or facial coverings; all to wear gloves when handling jewelry; socially distanced displays; cashier available behind a plexiglass panel; all earrings and some other items carefully pre-cleaned, and bags will be available for wrapping.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:23 AM, 11.17.2020

BAYarts adapts for the holidays

With the cancellation of festivals and holiday bazaars due to COVID, many artists who rely on these events for their income have been struggling to find ways to get their work seen. For decades, BAYarts has provided income for regional artists in the year-round consignment shop and galleries. The annual Holiday Shop alone provides income for hundreds of artists while supporting the local economy. Artists love it for the ease and reward of selling their work. 

“BAYarts does all the heavy lifting – ticketing, marketing, display – I just drop it off,” says Westlake artist Laura Robbins. “I can then spend time in my studio instead of hassling with setting up at a festival with hefty fees that may or may not pan out.”

With COVID mandates for limited capacity and safety, BAYarts has spread out! Wide aisles, timed entrances and multiple checkout points have been implemented. An online shop was launched early this year and private shopping parties have been popular for small “pods.” For more information, visit bayarts.net.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:24 AM, 11.17.2020

Porter Library partnering with SJMC to provide 'Welcome Baby Bundles'

Westlake Porter Public Library is partnering with the Family Birth Center at University Hospitals St. John Medical Center to provide "Welcome Baby Bundles" to expecting families. Beginning in November, families who take childbirth and/or newborn classes through UH St. John Medical Center will receive a bib, board book and information about early literacy and your baby.

“Studies show that reading to your infant helps them develop language skills as they grow,” said Youth Services Manager Rebecca Shook. “This project aims to support parents and provide resources to help them start their children on the road to literacy.”

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:25 AM, 11.17.2020

How to raise a gentleman

If you follow the news and current events, one observation comes to mind. We are a bit starved for gentlemen and some leadership. My statement is not a political crack on anyone. Repeat my comment is NOT meant to criticize anyone. It is also not meant to sound sexist. This article is about our boys, and I'm looking for "a few good men."

So how do we find them, and better yet, how do we raise them? What needs to be done to improve the number of young men raised with dignity, character, integrity, morals, values, kindness, respect, discipline, and a little empathy?

Before we talk about the steps needed to get started, let's first address why it's important. If we don't teach our young men how to care for others, to think outside of themselves, to practice discipline, and the importance of looking out for others, we are in a world of trouble. These boys are going to grow up and go into a world of much uncertainty. It is our job to prepare them. They will go out on dates, to colleges with countless temptations, into the business world, marriage, fatherhood, and possibly into war. Each of these paths requires a firm backbone, the ability to think of others, and a good sense of self.

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:27 AM, 11.17.2020

This winter, use the right S.A.L.T.

Winter is coming! Road salt, or sodium chloride, only works above 15°F. One teaspoon of salt permanently pollutes 5 gallons of water! Salt works best when it is applied before the snow falls, or right after snow is removed from your sidewalk or driveway. Never apply salt when rain is in the forecast, it will just wash away into the storm drain and out to our waterways. 

This winter, pledge to use the right S.A.L.T. (Stuff, Amount, Location, Time):

  • Only use rock salt (sodium chloride) above 15 degrees F.
  • Spread only enough salt to do the job – one 12-ounce coffee mug full of salt is enough to effectively de-ice about 10 sidewalk squares.
  • Spread salt only on the surfaces that need to be de-iced, and never on the lawn, at the base of a tree or right next to a stream or storm drain!
  • Only apply salt right before the snow falls or right after snow is removed from my driveway or sidewalk – and never when rain is in the forecast.
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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:26 AM, 11.17.2020

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