Latest News

Westlake Garden Club awarded grant for pollinator garden

A couple of local gardeners are spearheading a vision of pollinator gardens throughout our city. The Westlake Garden Club is sponsoring this initiative. This vision was enhanced on April 27 by the recent award of the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District’s (SWCD) Conservation Action Grant & Scholarship Fund.

Susan Baker and Deb Dougherty, both Westlake residents, started planning the project in late 2019 and early 2020. They decided to approach the City of Westlake to test the level of support.

Susan Baker’s affiliation with the City of Westlake began with her involvement with the annual Westlake in Bloom event. Her contacts with the City’s Planning and Economic Development and Public Service Departments helped introduce the concept on the City level. Susan commented that the City of Westlake and particularly Jim Bedell and Chris Stuhm are amazing advocates for improving our community.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:01 AM, 05.04.2021

Bay High named a 2021 'Best High School'

Bay High School has again been named a 2021 Best High School by U.S. News & World Report. The annual ranking was released late last month. Bay High is ranked #4 in Northeast Ohio and #17 in Ohio, moving up five spots this year.

"Of course we are thrilled that Bay High School has again made the top 10 list in Northeast Ohio as it relates to our math and reading proficiency, graduation rate and AP testing opportunities, but most importantly, we are proud that we have been in-building five days a week for 80 percent of the school year," said Jodie Hausmann, superintendent of Bay Village City School District. "Our students have continued to thrive in a nontraditional year because of in-person learning and a dedicated faculty and staff."

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:02 AM, 05.04.2021

Westlake Tree Commission hosts annual Arbor Day planting

DIS students Freda Elsebaei and Ryan Brediger take their turn helping to plant a tree in front of the school. Photo by Tara Wendell

Friday, April 30, was Arbor Day at Dover Intermediate School in Westlake. Paul Quinn III, Westlake's Service Director; Stan Barnard, Westlake’s Urban Forestry Manager; and members of the Westlake Service Department were there to assist with the planting of a tree.

Several weeks prior to the ceremony, all fifth-grade students were invited to submit a poster explaining “Why trees are important to me!” Forty-five members of the class generated a poster to enter in the annual contest! The posters were then judged by Stan Barnard, Paul Quinn, Mary Beth Schneidler, Diane Morris, Ken Sadd and Justin Parks, members of the Westlake Tree Commission.

This year, because of the pandemic, students were permitted to enter a poster online or by submitting their creative ideas on poster board. Six students were selected as the winners of the contest. Ryan Brediger, Leah Navratil, Freda Elsebaei, Miles Salem, Callie Barnes and Sanika Jadhav were all presented a proclamation by Paul Quinn who was there representing Mayor Dennis Clough. Each proclamation designated a day in Westlake honoring each student and congratulated them for an outstanding poster. The students also received a ribbon for their winning posters and were told all the posters would be on display on the City of Westlake website.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:28 AM, 05.04.2021

Kiwanis offer take-out spaghetti dinner

The Kiwanis Club of Bay Village invites you to the take-out spaghetti dinner on Saturday, May 8, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Pre-order online or order at drive-up for Tony Dostal's award winning signature sauce and spaghetti. Take home a dinner for only $10 including salad, roll and sweet. Also available: sauce in quarts and 50/50 raffle. Order online at

Drive-thru pick-up at Village Project 27378 W. Oviatt Road (between Dover Center and Cahoon roads). Drive, bike, or walk up – everyone is welcome. Proceeds from Kiwanis events are used to benefit the children of our community and around the world. Currently we are supporting the high school Key Club, Project Thirst, Academic Achievement Awards for high school students, and BAYarts' stage, wood shop and sign projects. Kiwanis also needs volunteers. If you want to help, call 440-724-1578.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:04 AM, 05.04.2021

Westlake residents clean up for Earth Day

Katy Boscia, Judy Fabec, Michael DiLauro and Mary Step. Photo by Katy Boscia

Many neighbors in the area of Forest Park and Berkeley Estates in Westlake – Michael DiLauro, Judy Fabec, Katy Boscia, Mary Step and the Strawbridges – did their part in picking up litter.

This was our first event to commemorate Earth Day 2021. As you can see, we gathered quite a pile of trash in and around our neighborhood.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:03 AM, 05.04.2021

Bay Village Schools offers elementary STEM camp

Bay Schools Summer Virtual STEM Camp is available tuition free to ALL students in grades K-4. The camp will be held the weeks of June 14 and June 21. It will be held virtually on Zoom and Google Classroom. The K-2 daily Zoom will be from 9:00-9:50 a.m.; the daily Zoom for grades 3 and 4 will be from 10:00-10:50 a.m. Hands-on challenges will be provided online for students to problem solve, build and test at home, with guidance and feedback from camp staff.

We plan to return to the traditional K-2 STEM camp in the summer of 2022. It is our hope that our exciting virtual program this summer will provide your student with a variety of engaging, high-quality learning opportunities.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:04 AM, 05.04.2021

Hot cars can leave pet owners in hot trouble!

With the weather warming up, it's important to remember the safety of our four-legged friends when going for a ride. Bay Village police will respond to calls to mitigate for the safety of animals locked in cars or those left in hot cars, even those with cracked windows on warm days. They request that they be contacted immediately if you see an animal in distress. Give a description and location of the vehicle. Stay if you can and they typically handle it as a lockout.

If you are the pet owner you can likely expect a strong warning and/or charges. With the animal laws and fines changing you might even face animal cruelty charges. Ohio animal cruelty laws are changing and we will always have Goddard’s Law, amendments and new laws to be grateful for this.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:04 AM, 05.04.2021

Native Tree Cover

Cover of the Ohio Coastal Atlas Third Edition published by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. A great resource for every coastal property owner.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Ohio Coastal Atlas Third Edition was published in 2018 by ODNR's Office of Coastal Management. It features information on the Lake Erie Watershed, including a series of maps on just about any topic one can think of. It is available to view online at and also as a free print publication.

One of the many maps in the Atlas is one showing a snapshot of the natural vegetation that was original to Ohio’s Lake Erie region at the time of European exploration and settlement (circa 1800). While much of this vegetation has been replaced by man-made surfaces and landscaping, if one looks carefully at our current environment some of this native vegetation can be observed, particularly ancient trees and their descendants.

The same topography, soils, micro-climates and general drainage patterns have persisted until now to support the same types of trees that have grown in northeast Ohio since a few thousand years after the last ice age ended.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:01 AM, 05.04.2021

Live Caption for Chrome web browser helps HoH community

Part two of a two-part series on how technology can help the hard-of-hearing community.

Whether you are: checking email, shopping online, googling (yes, it's a word in the Oxford Dictionary) for a widget, watching YouTube videos, paying bills, registering for a COVID-19 vaccine, or streaming a movie from Westlake Porter Public Library or Cuyahoga County Public Library in Bay Village, one ubiquitous tool that you will need is a "web browser." Firefox from Mozilla Foundation, Chrome from Google, Edge from Microsoft, or Safari from Apple all do the same thing: pull up a website so you can benefit from all of the above and other things in the cloud, aka the internet.

Previously, we discussed an app and a feature that fall under the "accessibility" category. Accessibility settings make handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets more comfortable to use while compensating for physical disabilities. Through personal experience, I've been relying on the above every day for over a year.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 9:59 AM, 05.04.2021

Bay Board of Education April 12 meeting notes

The Bay Village Board of Education met on April 12 with Board members Beth Lally, Scott Schulz, Dave Vegh, Paul Vincent and Lisa Priemer in attendance.

Here are some highlights of that meeting:

Director of Communications Karen Uthe Semancik and Technology Coordinator Brian Reynolds introduced a video presentation to demonstrate Apptegy, a school marketing resource system. Later in the meeting, funds for that program were approved.

The December board meeting will be moved from Dec. 13 to Dec. 6, 2021.

The Board of Education adopted the resolution regarding graduation requirements for the Class of 2021.

The Board approved Superintendent Jodie Hausmann’s contract. Interim Treasurer John W. Scott’s resignation was accepted, but he was soon installed as a financial consultant to the new treasurer. Three-year contracts were approved for Holly Schafer, Director of Human Resources; Ramsey Inman, Bay High Assistant Principal; Josephine Sanfilippo, Westerly Principal; and Daniel Sebring, Normandy Principal. A modification to the contract for Karen Uthe Semancik was also approved.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:03 AM, 05.04.2021

St. Raphael students win Brain Brawl

The St. Raphael School Academic Team won the 10th annual St. Ignatius Brain Brawl on April 17, becoming the only team in the history of the tournament to win back-to-back titles.

The Brain Brawl, hosted by St. Ignatius High School, is an annual academic competition for junior high school students from private schools across the Cleveland metropolitan area. The competition is an all-day event in which schools compete against one another by answering game-show style questions that range from music and math to baseball and board games.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:00 AM, 05.04.2021

Westlake in Focus: Please meet ... Ron Zenkewicz

Ron Zenkewicz

A Clevelander by birth and a Westlake resident since 2001, Ron Zenkewicz has a gift for turning obstacles into opportunity. Born in 1942, Ron grew up in Cleveland’s Slavic Village, near Fleet and Broadway. He graduated from Cathedral Latin High School near University Circle.

After graduation, Ron sold shoes and managed stores for Thom McAn with thoughts of joining his father, a lifelong US Steel worker, in the mill. The arrival of a draft notice derailed those plans. Ron opted for a four-year stint in the Air Force, hoping to become an air-traffic controller. Incoming tests landed him, instead, as a non-Morse intercept operator, capturing Russian and Chinese military communications. Stationed initially outside London, Ron was eventually sent to Pakistan until his discharge in 1967.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:02 AM, 05.04.2021

Westlake Porter Public Library's early May calendar of events

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

Wednesday, May 5 (6-7 p.m.) Learning to Cube Supply Pick-Up and Program – Have you always wanted to solve the Rubik’s Cube? Pick up your Learning to Cube supplies at the Youth Services desk then join us on Zoom to learn the basics of cubing. Ages 9-13. You will need a cube to participate in the program. Please register. Registration for the kit also registers you for the May 5 program. Participants must provide an email address to receive Zoom instructions.

Wednesday, May 5 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) Horror Film Club: Online Edition – The Horror Film Club returns for another online viewing! New members are welcome; children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Please register. The Club will meet online using the video sharing site Watch2Gether. To participate, check the event on the library’s website as early as 6 p.m. on the day of the program. There will be a link to take you to the site. You do not need an account with Watch2Gether to participate.

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

Thursdays, May 6 and 13 (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.

Thursday, May 6 (7-8 p.m.) Thursday Night Book Discussion – May’s title is "The Girl He Used to Know" by Tracey Garvis Graves, and is available in ebook format in the Hoopla app. The group will meet on the first Thursday of the month in July, September & November. Due to the extended time frame, participants will need to obtain their own copies of each month’s title.

Friday, May 7 (4-4:30 p.m.) Cup of Science (Live) – Join Miss Holly on Facebook or YouTube for a fun video on flowers and bees! Recommended for ages 4-6.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:04 AM, 05.04.2021

The long ball in a long season

As I watched Franmil Reyes hit two monster shots against the Twins on April 27, shortly after the Tribe had been brutalized in 3 of 4 against the Yankees, it got me thinking about the home run and the psychological impact the “long bombs” have on the game – including its participants.

From a fan’s perspective – let’s use me as an example – I was pretty down after that Yankee series. Not only because we lost (although that was certainly a contributor), but the way we lost. It felt to me as if for about 90% of that series, we didn’t deserve to even be on the same field as New York, and for me, that’s a bitter pill to swallow.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:02 AM, 05.04.2021

Westshore Council of Governments (WCOG) Meeting, April 13, 2021

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

Present: Mayors Cooney (Fairview Park), Bobst (Rocky River), Clough (Westlake), George (Lakewood), and Koomar (Bay Village). Mayor Kennedy (N. Olmsted) and WCOG Fiscal Officer Renee Mahoney were unable to attend.

The meeting was held at the Gemini Center in Fairview Park, Mayor Cooney presiding. It was called to order at 9:38 a.m.

Fiscal Officer’s Report: Fiscal Officer Mahoney was unable to attend because of training for the new financial reporting system. Retiring Westshore Enforcement Bureau Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Jeff Capretto will continue on a part-time basis through May. Incoming SAC Matt Vanyo will begin on June 1. Fiscal Officer Mahoney will report on any budget adjustments next meeting.


RTA: Mayor Koomar reported that the RTA board of trustees was going forward with the purchase of new vehicles for the Euclid Avenue Health Line. Service redesign effective in June should enhance connectivity and increase access to employment for individuals.

NOACA: Mayor Bobst reported that Bay Village will receive a Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) implementation grant in the amount of $140,500 to reconfigure the intersection of Wolf and Cahoon roads. The total projected cost of the project is $175,451. Rocky River will receive a TLCI implementation grant in the amount of $95,500 for the Beachcliff/Lake Road Pedestrian Crossing Improvement Project. The total projected cost of the project is $118,805.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:02 AM, 05.04.2021

Bay Village resident qualifies for national CrossFit semifinals

Jessica Androsik, a 22-year-old from Bay Village, is heading to Las Vegas to compete in the CrossFit Semifinals. Jessica's bracket started out with 70,000 women competing in North America. After several competitions, the semifinals have come down to 120 women, four groups of 30 competitors, and Jessica is one of the 30 women going to Las Vegas. The top five in each group will go onto the CrossFit Games.

Jessica stands 5 feet tall and been training twice a day for months to prepare for this opportunity. Jessica is a force and we are so proud of her accomplishment.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:01 AM, 05.04.2021

Drug collection drive continues to be huge success

​The Westshore Enforcement Bureau (WEB) Drug Task Force gratefully acknowledges the citizens of our six western suburbs for actively participating in the semi-annual collection event on Saturday, April 24, with 421 pounds of outdated and unwanted medications collected for safe disposal.

In addition, our WEB communities' citizens 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 lobbies to the tune of 3,022 pounds for the calendar year 2020.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:03 AM, 05.04.2021

New owner seeks to continue Greenisland's charm

After years of managing an IT company, Bob Weishampel decided to pursue his passion for the restaurant industry by purchasing Greenisland from longtime owners, Connie and Sean McConnell. With his heart set on bringing fantastic food and an inviting pub environment to the residents of Bay Village, Weishampel re-opened the popular Irish restaurant in October 2020.

Weishampel's staff interviewed residents about what they missed most about Greenisland, which had closed months earlier due to the pandemic, to ensure he brought back customers' longtime favorites. The No. 1 item residents looked forward to were the ever-so-popular Irish Nachos and the neighborhood friendly Irish pub atmosphere.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 9:59 AM, 05.04.2021

Koomar to seek re-election in Bay Village

Dear Residents: 

It has been a great honor to serve as your Mayor the past five years. As you may know this is an election year and I have decided to seek re-election. I will be on the ballot Nov. 2 and hope that I have earned your support for another term.

I am excited about the prospect of having an opportunity to build upon our many successes. We have built an outstanding administrative team which has done a tremendous job managing city services while landing significant grants to improve livability for our residents.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 9:59 AM, 05.04.2021

Virtual concert features Cleveland Orchestra members

Mary Kay Fink, one of the members of The Cleveland, will perform with her colleagues on May 17. Photo by Roger Mastroianni

The Rocky River Chamber Music Society will present the last concert of its 62nd season on Monday, May 17. Next season we hope to be presenting concerts that are both virtual and that have a live audience in our fabulous acoustical environment at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church. Meanwhile, this season will close with an evening of chamber music for woodwinds and piano in the usual virtual format. We are most grateful for your support and we thank you for bearing with us for over a year.

The players who will be performing at the May 17 virtual concert are avid chamber musicians. Except for pianist Christina Dahl, all are members of The Cleveland Orchestra – flutist Mary Kay Fink, oboist Frank Rosenwein, clarinetist Robert Woolfrey, hornist Richard King, and bassoonist Barrick Stees. We are especially grateful for the support and encouragement of all the members of The Cleveland Orchestra who played with the Rocky River Chamber Music Society this season.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:04 AM, 05.04.2021

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,

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Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 12:43 PM, 04.21.2020