Latest News

Westlake Porter Public Library closed until Sunday, Sept. 20, due to COVID-19

Westlake Porter Public Library will be closing beginning today, Sept. 15, 2020, at 5 p.m. The Library has been informed that staff members of the library have tested positive for COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution, WPPL will remain closed and will reopen at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20.

During the closure, browsing and computer use will be suspended. However, the drive-up window on the south side of the building will remain open and many of our scheduled virtual programs will continue. Visit westlakelibrary.org for updates to check the status of online programs.

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Volume 12, Issue 19, Posted 5:01 PM, 09.15.2020

BAYarts installs mural for the community

Bay Village Kiwanians install the new mural on the former playhouse. Photo by Denny Wendell

It takes a village! BAYarts' new mural is a community collaboration that incorporates the positive message of the healing power of art, community and the natural beauty of the Cleveland Metroparks.

The mural was conceived and created by BAYarts students under the guidance of their mentor Jim Giar, a professional muralist and BAYarts faculty member. Another community group, Bay Village Kiwanis, took care of installing it on the west side of the former playhouse.

The site was chosen for its proximity to BAYarts' back lawn where art classes, music and celebrations take place. Donors can purchase one of the limited spaces in the "school of fish" to show their support at www.bayarts.net. It's also a great photo op! Please check it out and share your photos on Twitter using the hashtag #bayarts_ohio or send them to us via email at info@bayarts.net.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:48 AM, 09.15.2020

Westlake supplies headed to Louisiana

Five trucks loaded with relief supplies headed for distribution in Louisiana.

A huge cooperative effort by the City of Westlake, Westlake Police Department and Westlake Kiwanis gathered supplies for victims of Hurricane Laura in Louisiana.

Bottled water, non-perishable food items, pet supplies and food, toiletries, household items and new or gently used clothing were gathered and stored at the Westlake police garage. Monetary donations were also accepted.

The accumulated supplies were moved to the Nehemiah Network Warehouse in Cleveland where they were loaded on a tractor trailer truck and shipped to Louisiana.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:48 AM, 09.15.2020

Bay Village Schools superintendent honored by national communication association

Bay Village Schools Superintendent Jodie Hausmann honored by NSPRA. 

Photo provided by Bay Village Schools

Bay Village Schools Superintendent Jodie Hausmann has been named a "2020 Superintendent to Watch" by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). 

Hausmann was one of 24 district leaders in the country honored, selected for her use of communication technology in innovative and effective ways. According to NSPRA's Sept. 2 announcement, Hausmann and the other 23 honorees "engage and inform their school communities with new communication technology tools combined with tried-and-true techniques, and possess dynamic, fast-paced leadership with strong communication at its core."

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:23 AM, 09.15.2020

Porter Library takes annual Health Fair virtual

Westlake Porter Public Library is taking its annual Health Fair virtual this year, with a week’s worth of virtual programs, online health challenges and health blogs. The Virtual Health Fair Week will take place Sept. 20-26.

All ages are invited to join The Healthy Living Challenge on Beanstack. Complete activities to earn points toward a healthy living prize. Participants may log their activities on Beanstack using the same account they used for the Summer Reading Challenge, or on logs they can pick up at the library or print out at home from westlakelibrary.org. Points may be earned from Sept. 20-26, and paper logs must be returned to the library by Sept. 26. Prize drawings will be held on Sept. 28. The more activities participants do and the more library programs they attend during the week, the more prize points they’ll earn.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:22 AM, 09.15.2020

Westshore Council Of Governments (WCOG) Meeting, Sept. 9, 2020

This report is not an official statement of the League of Women Voters. Mayor Koomar's office prepares official minutes.

Present: Mayors Koomar (Bay Village), Cooney (Fairview Park), George (Lakewood), Kennedy (N. Olmsted), Bobst (Rocky River), Clough (Westlake).

Guests: Rocky River Municipal Court Judge Brian J. Hagan, Judge Donna Congeni Fitzsimmons, and Clerk of Court Deborah Comery. Ohio House Representative Dave Greenspan.

The meeting was held at Bay Village Police Department Community Room, Mayor Koomar presiding. It was called to order at 9:30 a.m. 

WCOG Fiscal Officer Renee Mahoney was unable to attend the meeting because she was installing a new fiscal program. She had nothing to report and will be at the next meeting. The mayors had no questions.

New Business:

The visitors from the Rocky River Municipal Court were invited to speak first. They wanted to alert the mayors that the court would run a deficit for the first time since 1997. They anticipated a deficit before Covid-19 hit but that has made things much worse. Mayor Kennedy suggested that the court was run inefficiently, comparing it to his mayor’s court, and the Rocky River judges and clerk all pushed back strongly suggesting that there is no comparison to the mayor’s court. The discussion lasted an hour.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:21 AM, 09.15.2020

Vote411 information distribution underway

VOTE411.org bookmarks

The Westlake/North Olmsted Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland (LWVGC) will participate in National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 22, in a different way than in previous years when registration tables could be easily set up in high-traffic public places. This year, the chapter’s focus will be to provide voters with information that will help them fill out their general election ballots.

On Tuesday, Sept. 22, the chapter will distribute VOTE411 bookmarks at both Westlake Porter Public Library and the North Olmsted branch of Cuyahoga County Library. In addition, the chapter will deliver VOTE411 bookmarks to selected senior living facilities and to food pantries in both cities.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:22 AM, 09.15.2020

Drive-in movie at Bay UMC

Bay United Methodist Church invites you to sit in your car and enjoy "Akeelah and the Bee," an uplifting, family-oriented film, on Saturday, Sept. 26. The parking lot will open at 7:30 p.m. and the feature will begin at 8:00 pm. Bring your own popcorn and soft drinks.

A freewill offering will benefit Africa University which is a private, fully accredited, United Methodist-related university in Zimbabwe. The university offers 50 cutting-edge undergraduate and graduate programs focusing on meeting Africa’s vital needs, including food security, improved public health, and sustainable economic growth to more than 1,200 students from 36 African countries.

Bay UMC is located at 29931 Lake Road.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:23 AM, 09.15.2020

Oh, the phones you can phone

As long as you have a tablet, computer, or even a retired smartphone connected to the internet, aka the cloud, you can make calls to any 10-digit domestic phone number (free), or even an international number (fee), from your device.

We'll concentrate on the service "Google Voice" (GV) and their app. There are other free and paid services too. For example, you've been able to get a 10-digit number and buy minutes for domestic/international calls through "Skype" from Microsoft for over a decade.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:19 AM, 09.15.2020

Making A Difference: Rick Grane, a Westlake super volunteer

Rick Grane was recognized in 2018 with a George F. Hixson Fellowship for his significant contributions to the Westlake Kiwanis Club.

There are special people that make the world a better place. Rick Grane, a Westlake super volunteer and recent nominee for the “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign of the American Cancer Society, is one of those people.

After experiencing a TIA (mini-stroke) last year, Rick’s tests came back all normal. Using his humor, Rick immediately insisted his doctor raise his right hand and swear to his daughter, Laura, his “police partner in crime”, Marian, and his friend Timmy, “I hereby state that Rick Grane is completely normal.”

Rick is anything but normal! There’s a reason he’s received an abundance of awards over the years including Mr. Westlake 2014, Auxiliary Policeman of the Year twice and the Fraternal Order of Police Associates (FOPA) member of the year for Ohio, to name a few.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:20 AM, 09.15.2020

A walk in the park

My great-grandson, Stephen, and I walked in Rocky River Reservation one day recently and for a while, returned to the America that once was.

Stephen saw his first gray squirrel as we walked along the river path toward the Nature Center. We passed it to climb the 155 wooden steps up to the top of a big hill overlooking the river. As we made our way up, we received encouraging words from people coming down. Once on top, Stephen, declared, “We did it! An 82-year-old man and a 6-year-old boy did it!” To the amusement and congratulations of others on top.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:23 AM, 09.15.2020

Browns: Let the games (a.k.a. 'torture') begin...

Yes, I know it's a new season. And yes, we have a new coach (for a change, right?), and yet again, we have an influx of many new players.

Feel like you've seen this movie before?

The problem is, in the one vital area in which the Browns desperately need change, they have had continuity: ownership.

Ever since Jimmy Haslam took over as the Browns owner midway through the 2012 season, the Browns have won roughly a quarter of their games. (The chances of making the playoffs with that kind of "winning" percentage are not all that good, folks). The scary thing is that Jimmy keeps maintaining that he's going to "keep on trying" until he "gets it right."

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:20 AM, 09.15.2020

Bringing back reusable bags

Photo by Patrick McGannon, near Rocky River Park

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the pandemic pollution, namely disposable masks and gloves and how the proper disposal of these items is very important to ensure that they do not make their way into the environment. This week, I’m going to revisit the plastic bag issue.

At the beginning of the pandemic, reusable bags suddenly were not allowed into stores, and for good reason as it was not well known how COVID-19 was spreading. However, we now know that the main risk (per the CDC) is to be in close contact with a person who has the disease. The CDC does state that it's not impossible to get it from a contaminated surface, however that is not the main source of transmission.

Also, when you think about grocery shopping, by the time the items get to the bagger, the customer has already touched them, the cashier has touched them, and the last person to touch them is the bagger.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:23 AM, 09.15.2020

A cardinal idea

Besides walking my dogs, another way of meeting neighbors in Westlake is at the school bus stop.

"How many live in your house?" one of my new bus stop buddies asked incredulously with a raised eyebrow. "Nine", I replied. "Wow!" was his response followed by an awkward silence. "Well, I'm sure you shop at Costco for that crowd," he said.

Not wanting to sound like the ignorant Cleveland emigre, I deftly changed the subject but as soon as I returned home I advised my lovely bride that a Costco membership was a must-have out here in the land of the Green Demons.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:23 AM, 09.15.2020

Westlake Porter Public Library's late September calendar of events

Following is Westlake Porter Public Library’s late September 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.

Wednesday, Sept. 16 (All Day) Fall Craft Pick Up! – Kids: Stop by the Youth Services Department starting Sept. 16 to pick up your bag of festive fall crafts. While supplies last.

Wednesday, Sept. 16 (11-11:30 a.m.) Dot Day (Live) – Celebrate Dot Day with us with our Dot Day blog, and tune in to our social media to hear a special Dot Day storytime! The Dot Day crafts pick up begins Sep. 16, while supplies last. Grades K-4.

Wednesdays, Sept. 16 and 30 (4-5 p.m.) Teen Writers Group (Live) – A bi-weekly meet-up for writers in grades 7-12. In this workshop we’ll be prepping for National Novel Writing Month in November. Hit the ground running in November by getting organized and brainstorming with a supportive group of young writers. We’ll also share tips and tricks for maintaining a productive writing environment. Please register. Participants must provide an email address to receive Zoom instructions, which will be sent the day of the program.

Thursday, Sept. 17 (All Day) Wire-Wrapped Pendant – Supplies to make a wire-wrapped pendant will be available for pick-up at the Drive-Up Window from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1. You will need to supply wire cutters and round-nosed pliers. Please register.

Thursday, Sept. 17 (11-11:30 a.m.) Storytime (Live) – Tune in to Facebook, Twitter or YouTube and join the fun as we livestream a live storytime!

Thursdays, Sept. 17 and 24 (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. Participants must provide an email address to receive Zoom instructions, which will be sent the day of the program. Then we'll get everyone's Roblox screen name and admit you onto the servers.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:22 AM, 09.15.2020

Fill This House donation drive

Fill This House Wish List

The Bay United Methodist Women are sponsoring a donation drive for Fill This House on Oct. 1, 3 and 4.  Fill This House is a faith-based nonprofit organization dedicated to improving living conditions of local youth aging out of the foster care system. By providing household needs for the transitioning youth to independent housing, Fill This House delivers support in a manner that maintains their dignity and provides encouragement to these young adults.

The United Methodist Women will have masked volunteers in the west church parking lot at 29931 Lake Road with open trunks to accept donations on the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, Oct. 1, 1-4 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 3, 1-4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 4 after church, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The wish list of items needed may be found on the Bay United Methodist Church website, www.bayumc.org. All items should be NEW and unwrapped.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:22 AM, 09.15.2020

Bay alumni scholarships fundraiser sailed into a 2020 success!

The Alumni Madness Scholarship Fundraising Committee: Front: Karen Obester Adams '75, Cristine Marco Hoffmann '75; Back: Bill Smith '71, Barb Chrystal Houston '73.

The Bay Alumni Madness bowling event proceeds soared to new heights thanks to the generosity of alums and friends!

This year, the committee brought in Barb Chrystal Houston, '73, whose personal contact efforts ensured more multi-class donations as well as new and exciting raffle prizes donated by local vendors. Barb also devised a Bay Trivia quiz about our history, sports, music, and other fun facts. The game was for those who were to socialize rather than bowl. The trivia prize was for two diamond box seats to an Indians game, donated by Cristine and Ben Hoffmann. The game and prize will be saved for the next fundraising event.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:24 AM, 09.15.2020

Ames Family Hospice House seeking reception desk volunteers

Are you looking for a way to give back to the community to make a positive difference? Hospice of the Western Reserve is seeking reception desk volunteers at Ames Family Hospice House, its hospice inpatient care center located near the intersection of Crocker and Clemens Road in Westlake.

Reception desk volunteers are the “first face of hospice” to visiting families and guests. They not only provide a friendly welcome but play a crucial role in helping the facility provide a safe and secure environment for patients, visitors and staff. During the pandemic, receptionists play an especially vital role, screening all visitors and taking temperatures. (Training for these procedures is provided.)

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:23 AM, 09.15.2020

Diamond Brass Quintet to perform virtual concert

The Diamond Brass Quintet

The Diamond Brass Quintet is comprised of players who are passionate about brass and have appeared in many local and regional concerts, including their popular annual Christmas concert. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Rocky River Chamber Music Society will present the Quintet's concert virtually. It will include music by Bach, Ewald, Stravinsky, Ewazen and DiLorenzo.

The artists will perform on Monday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the outstanding acoustical environment of West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Rocky River. The rest of us will be at home listening and/or viewing on either Facebook Live or YouTube.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:20 AM, 09.15.2020

Trump supporters' signs snatched

We all knew that this would be a contentious election but I really thought that the vandalism, censorship and lack of respect for private property that we see in the news would never be seen in my lovely Bay Village neighborhood. Trump haters have struck and I am not surprised but I am totally disheartened.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 1:35 PM, 09.15.2020

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