Latest News

Westlake charts path of 'controlled growth'

Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough presented his annual State of the City address on March 14. Photo by Denny Wendell

Controlled development and solid financial planning have played a major role in Westlake’s decades-long evolution from a quiet farming community to a thriving suburb. One might even say, in this American Greetings town, that growth and planning have been the hallmarks of Mayor Dennis Clough’s tenure. These topics always feature prominently in Clough’s annual State of the City address to the business community, and this year’s presentation was no exception.

Speaking before an audience of West Shore Chamber of Commerce members on March 14, Clough discussed his administration’s approach to managing Westlake’s transformation.

“We’ve had a history of good planning ever since I’ve been involved, for 32 years,” Clough said. “I think that’s one of the reasons why Westlake has become the very successful community it is today, because we didn’t just let things happen. We controlled the growth in the community and we had a lot to say with how it grew and what type of businesses, what type of growth was going to happen.”

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:28 AM, 03.21.2017

CIM stars will shine in free opera preview

Among the performers coming to Westlake to preview CIM’s Opera Scenes program will be Renée Richardson, seen here in "Così fan tutte." Photo courtesy Robert Muller, Cleveland Institute of Music

The magnificent voices that captivated audiences at the Cleveland Institute of Music throughout its past season will perform excerpts from some of the world’s most popular operas on Tuesday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m. at Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road. The Westlake-Westshore Arts Council has presented the FYI: Opera program free to the community for 26 years.

The March 28 program will preview CIM’s upcoming Spring Scenes presentation. CIM Opera’s artistic director, David Bamberger, said the Westlake performance will include portions of such well-beloved works as "La Bohème," "Don Giovanni," and "Porgy and Bess."

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:09 AM, 03.21.2017

Safe boating program for middle school students returns this spring

Students in the safe boating program learn to canoe at Wendy Park.

Bay Village Schools and the Spirit of America Foundation will provide a hands-on boating safety education program this summer for sixth- through eighth-grade students. The nationally recognized program, known as Spirit of America (SOA), provides students both classroom and on-the-water sessions to teach safe boating skills.

Participants will take the Ohio Boating Education Course on two Saturdays in May. This meets the Ohio law that requires "any person born on or after Jan. 1, 1982, to show proof they have completed an approved boating course if they are operating a power boat over 10 horsepower." This OBEC class is mandatory and students must attend both days and pass an exam. Boy Scouts can earn their small boat sailing, canoeing, kayaking and motor boating merit badges by completing the course and some additional requirements.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:21 AM, 03.21.2017

Westlake schools, city announce land deal

The Westlake City School District and the City of Westlake announced on March 6 an agreement in principle on a joint land exchange and infrastructure improvement deal that best serves the entire community.

After passage of a combined 2.1-mill bond issue and permanent improvement levy, the school district and city agreed to an appraisal process to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities to their stakeholders. That process is now complete and paved the way for this agreement.

The agreement, in summary, involves the following:

  • Westlake Schools will take ownership of a 29.4 city-owned acres on Center Ridge Road next to Westlake Porter Public Library to build an elementary school for pre-kindergarten to Grade 4.
  • In exchange, the City of Westlake will take ownership of 42 acres of district-owned property on Bradley Road, as well as the former administration building at the corner of Dover Center Road and Hilliard Boulevard.
  • The district also will sign over the deed to its Parkside property – which houses administrative offices and the Board of Education – to the city. The district will rent the property for $1 per year with a buyback option over the next 10 years. The city retains the right to use the building’s gymnasium, sports fields and auditorium for municipal events during the lease period. The district will maintain the grounds during the lease period.

This agreement is not limited to an exchange of land. The city agreed to fund about $1 million in improvements on Center Ridge Road, including a traffic signal and turning lanes, to accommodate increased traffic. The city also is dramatically reducing permit fees for the new elementary project.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:07 AM, 03.21.2017

Tri-C Corporate College West to screen documentary on Middle Eastern immigrants

Abe Kasbo

"A Thousand and One Journeys: The Arab Americans," a documentary on the contributions of Middle Eastern immigrants to the United States, will be screened from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, at the Corporate College West facility of Cuyahoga Community College.

Filmmaker Abe Kasbo will attend the showing and participate in a question-and-answer session with the audience. The movie, released in 2015, tells the stories of immigrants from the Middle East, North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula who left their homeland in pursuit of the American Dream.

“Arab Americans have proudly ventured beyond their ethnicity, language and religion to make noteworthy contribution to both the immigrant experience and ultimately the American experience,” Kasbo said. “They served this nation with significant contributions throughout the spectrum of society – as politicians and public servants, entertainers, physicians, business leaders and educators. It is this extraordinary and uniquely American story of people and places that must be told.”

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:20 AM, 03.21.2017

‘Oklahoma!’ at Bay High March 23-25

From left: Carolyn Carter (as Aunt Eller), Salem Stacey (as Laurey Williams), and CJ Hyland (as Curly McLain). Photo by Denny Wendell

Bay High School students will perform Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 23-25, in the Bay High School auditorium. All performances begin at 7 p.m. Tickets can be ordered online at: bit.ly/BHSOklahoma. The ticket link is also available on the school district website at bayvillageschools.com.

Reserved seating is $12, plus a service fee of $1.95. General admissions seats are $8, with a $1.30 service fee. Tickets will also be available at the door on a first-come basis.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:37 AM, 03.21.2017

Tickets available for Bay Village benefit party

Tickets are going fast for a party to benefit Bay Village's historic district, specifically much-needed renovations to the Community House.

The event is set for Saturday, April 29, at Lakewood Country Club in Westlake.

"Back to Bay's Future" will be a 1960s-themed dance party to raise money for the city's historic district, which includes the Rose Hill Museum and Library, the Reuben Osborn Learning Center, the Cahoon replica log cabin and the Community House. The event will include live music, a wine pull, side boards, dance contest and more.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:15 AM, 03.21.2017

What missing bumblebees are telling us

Months ago, the rusty patched bumblebee became the first bee species to be placed on the endangered list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Ohio is one of its last sanctuaries.

For years, to attract bees I’ve flooded my yard with flowering plants. By June, tree-size honeysuckles choke the eaves with white, pink and yellow blossoms. Last year, I saw one or two bees inconsistently. And it’s not just bees, I rarely see butterflies and dragonflies around our neighborhood anymore. It hasn’t always been this way.

Two streets over, a neighbor keeps a beehive in his backyard, an optimist who despite losing hives two years straight is still trying. He described the day his bees came home, staggering like drunk, and died en mass.

What does science say?

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:11 AM, 03.21.2017

Author Amanda Flower is coming to Porter Library on March 30

Cozy mysteries are fun reads that engage the mind and provide entertainment. The cozy mystery heroine is usually a very intuitive, intelligent woman with an interesting occupation, who just happens to also be an amateur sleuth. The story unravels in a small town where everyone knows everyone else's business. Although the local police force doesn't take her seriously, the cozy mystery heroine delves deep into clues amid a clever plot and well-developed characters.

Sound irresistible? We think so too. That's why we are delighted to welcome national bestselling and Agatha Award-winning cozy mystery author, Amanda Flower to Porter Library on March 30 at 7:00 p.m. Ms. Flower started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth-grade class. Her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel made everyone laugh, and a writer was born. Her debut mystery, "Maid of Murder," was an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:19 AM, 03.21.2017

Cahoon Creek gets clean bill of health

Khaled, Leo and Nick perform water chemistry testing on samples from Cahoon Creek. Photo by Richard Gash

This past winter the Sea Scouts, along with the middle school Marine Environment Explorer Club 360, conducted a study to determine the effects of runoff and storm water on the Cahoon Creek. We set out to determine if the creek was being affected by anthropogenic pollution. The study included analysis of the soil, water, over cover density and macroinvertebrate at the source of the stream (the Metroparks, Bradley Woods Reservation), at the mid-point, and at the mouth (Bay Boat Club).

The soils ranged from sandy to silt/loam to clay at the mouth. This difference helped explain the higher level of phosphorus at the source. A clay soil has great phosphorus ion holding capabilities whereas a sandy soil would allow phosphorus to easily flow into the stream. The over cover density or amount of tree growth along the stream, studied by looking at Google Satellite views on the web, averaged above the 100 feet width recommended by the experts. Other anomalies such as an acidic pH level of 6.0 and a low level of macroinvertebrate at the mouth could be explained by sampling later in the day with an overcast sky and limited sample size.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:08 AM, 03.21.2017

Bay High raises another $20,000 for St. Baldrick's

Bay High St. Baldrick's fundraiser participants, pictured left-to-right: front (kneeling), John Pim, Cory Scobee, Ben Klaus, Jonah Krueger, Will Huntington, Kevin Linder; back row, Arabelle Skelly, John Mosier, Ivan Marlin, Rick Manderine, Thomas Saccany, Bill Downey, Jared Hengst, Anthony Tabasso, Kyle McPhillips and Dave Adams. Not pictured are James McPhillips, Ivan Marlin and Duncan Ward.

Bay High School raised a total of $20,000 this year for the St. Baldrick's Foundation in the fight to find cures for childhood cancers. This year's effort brings the school's total four-year contribution to more than $75,000.

The annual event, held around St. Patrick's Day, has participants solicit sponsors with the promise they will have their heads shaved. The head shaving shows solidarity with children who often lose their hair during chemotherapy, but the tangible result is that many thousands of dollars are raised for lifesaving childhood cancer research.

Seniors Will Huntington and Kyle McPhillips have been co-leaders in bringing the St. Baldrick's effort to Bay High since they were freshmen. Back in 2014, the pair introduced the fundraiser to their fellow students. It was a memorable first-run effort, as the original goal of raising $10,000 was met and then doubled to $20,000. A top motivator that year was the promise of art instructor Thomas Schemrich to shave off his longtime ponytail hairstyle, which he said he had worn almost always since he was 15 years old.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:08 AM, 03.21.2017

8 Westlake Scouts earn Eagle rank

Westlake's newest Eagle Scouts, pictured in front of their parents: Daniel Alfes, Erik Hoke, Nicholas Kronz, Sean Rossander, Sean Dunphy, Owen Dunphy, Connor Harte and Zain Mohammad.

On Saturday, March 4, Boy Scout Troop 208 from Westlake held an Eagle Court of Honor, awarding the highest rank of Scouting to eight boys from Westlake High School. Chartered by Dover Congregational United Church of Christ since 1928, Troop 208 has a storied history in the Greater Cleveland Council. Special proclamations were awarded during the ceremony from Mayor Dennis Clough, County Councilmember Nan Baker, State Sen. Matt Dolan, State Sen. Tom Patton, State Rep. Dave Greenspan, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:08 AM, 03.21.2017

The Oviatt Manufacturing Company, Part I

This photograph from the 1870s shows one of the Oviatt mills near the old Cahoon Creek bridge.

Bay Village has a West Oviatt Road and an East Oviatt Road, both located off Dover Center Road near the railroad tracks. In Lakeside Cemetery there is a small footstone that reads, “Eugene C. Oviatt, died November 3, 1864 – 1 mo., 10 days.” So who were the Oviatts?

Our Oviatt family started in America with Thomas, who owned a tallow chandlery in Milford, Connecticut, in 1690. Four generations later, Benjamin and Elizabeth Carter Oviatt lived in Goshen, Connecticut. Benjamin Oviatt, Stephen Baldwin and Theodore Parmele jointly invested in one-eighth part of Hudson Township in 1800, one year after David Hudson established the village of Hudson. 

Heman Oviatt, Benjamin’s son, settled in Hudson in 1801 on land south of the village, a gift from his father. Benjamin’s second child, Luman, married Rhoda Norton and later Aloria Sanford in Goshen. He fathered 15 children. Some of his children settled in Parma Township and some in Richfield in Summit County. Although Luman spent his life in Connecticut, he was in Richfield when he died in 1838 and was buried in Fairview Cemetery. The second child of Luman and Rhoda is Nelson G. Oviatt.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:16 AM, 03.21.2017

Composting at home

This backyard compost barrel has a removable lid for adding food scraps, ventilation holes to allow for faster decomposition, and an open bottom so worms can aid in the composting process. Photo by Jennifer Hartzell

Have you thought about starting to compost at your house and then you chicken out because you think it will be smelly or gross? If so, that’s what I thought for a long time, until I bit the bullet one day and bought a compost bin for my backyard. For the record, my husband was not thrilled, as he was afraid of the same thing, as well as attracting animals. I’m happy to report that it has been over a year, and we have not had any problems with gross-ness or animals!

When you Google “composting at home” it can be a little overwhelming, as there seem to be a million websites about methods, ratios, etc. Trust me, it is not that complicated; it’s actually quite easy!

I purchased a repurposed food barrel, turned into a compost barrel, from Rain Barrels N’ More in Westlake. I went to the store with the intention of getting a rain barrel, and I walked out with both a rain barrel and compost barrel. To be honest, I was feeling a bit intimidated by the entire thing, however, Ann (the owner) ensured me it’s a simple thing to do.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:11 AM, 03.21.2017

Injuries can be a real pain

What attracts us to sports? The magnetic effect which draws us to sports is its inherent unpredictability; hence the ever-famous “Wait ‘til next year” phrase, probably repeated more in this city than anywhere else in the civilized (and uncivilized, for that matter) world. The sport doesn’t really matter; for after every contest in any sport, there is a winner and there is a loser. (And yes, I know about “ties” in football, hockey and soccer, but stay focused here or you’ll miss the point). 

The promise (often confused with hope: see Cleveland Browns) that this year will be much better than the previous one is what compels a typical sports fan to continue following his/her team(s) even after a year (or years) of “entertainment” that is usually more easily equated to excruciating torture. Just the mere chance of players improving upon their previous season’s performance is what gives that fan the inner strength to soldier on, no matter how depressing the odds might be. And in reality, those odds are pretty long, because generally, when one player improves, another one struggles, which typically results in a “wash” anyway.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:09 AM, 03.21.2017

Hasta la VISTA, baby!

According to Wikipedia, the above Spanish term is translated as "Until the (next) sighting" and means "See you later" and "Goodbye." The phrase has been made famous in our pop culture by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” and also by several musicians.

In this case, it seemed the perfect way to say goodbye to Microsoft’s Windows VISTA operating system.

Microsoft is ceasing support for Windows VISTA on April 11. Using a computer running on Windows VISTA after that date, although functional, will increase your risk exposure especially when connected to the internet as Microsoft will NOT be releasing patches to cover up newly found vulnerabilities.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:11 AM, 03.21.2017

BMS girls basketball team caps perfect season with trophy

The Bay Middle School seventh-grade girls basketball team celebrates their championship win. Photo by Bob Ziebarth

This year the Bay Middle School seventh-grade girls basketball team finished with a perfect season – 12 wins and no losses! They won the championship game at Hillside Middle School on March 7 with a final score of 33-30. The girls were down by nine in the third quarter but worked together to win the championship. The team was composed of Iris Hunt, Emily Edman, Rachel Rankin, Sydney Brabant, Abby Smith, Lydia Erwin, Carli Mendelow, Chaeli Ziebarth, Emily Martin, Myka Evenhouse, Emma Fox and Macey Ault.

But the team could not have won on their own. Along with the players, the team also included two amazing managers, Lia Vizdos and Lauren Cseh. The girls thought they had an incredible coach, Coach Mont, who inspired all of them to play their best! They truly could not have won the championship game without her. During the championship game Coach Mont gave an inspiring halftime speech that made them believe that they could win.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:14 AM, 03.21.2017

Backyard astronomy guide to visible planets

A young stargazer observes Venus in the night sky. Photo by Maggie Watson

Keep an eye out for visible planets in March and April’s evening skies with the help of Katy Accetta, astrophysicist at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.

Mercury

Mercury, the smallest and innermost planet in the Solar System, is never too far from the sun in our skies. Mercury orbits the sun in 88 days, the shortest orbital period in the solar system, and spends most of its time behind the sun, in front of the sun or right next to the sun. When Mercury’s position and the sunset coincide, it becomes possible for us to see the often-hidden planet. Now is the best time of the year for ambitious sky watchers to catch Mercury as the planet will be set low in the western sky now through April 1. An especially great evening to catch Mercury, Mars and a crescent moon all in the western sky is March 30, where Mercury will resemble a bright star next to the setting sun.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:15 AM, 03.21.2017

Noticing ham radio antennas years ago

This tower is installed at a nonprofit agency in order to facilitate amateur radio communications that may help the agency carry out its mission.  This is the sort of antenna system that would have intrigued the author in his youth (and still does).

A recent drive on Lorain Road in Fairview Park managed to spark a feeling of nostalgia in me (not terribly difficult to do).

Traveling westbound on Lorain Road from Cleveland I happened to recall a very large amateur radio antenna, now long-gone, had once proudly presided over the northwest corner of Lorain Road and one of its intersecting side streets, near Fairview Park’s eastern limit.  On my recent drive I didn’t recall the exact side street.  Clearly recalled from a significant amount of time ago was the fact the amateur radio call sign of the antenna’s owner was prominently displayed on its support structure.

Using the same sort of research techniques I’ve employed in writing previous Westlake / Bay Village Observer submissions, I found just where the antenna once stood and that the amateur radio operator who owned it was once a very well known ham and long serving Fairview Park Fire Chief, of which I had no idea.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:14 AM, 03.21.2017

Upcoming programs at Bay Village Branch Library

MLB baseball is starting, the Indians home opener is almost here, and we're ready to cheer on the Tribe in hopefully another exciting season. In the meantime, join us for some baseball talk at the Bay Village branch library on Tuesday, April 4, at 7 p.m. Local author Scott Longert will discuss his book, "No Money, No Beer, No Pennants," which tells the history of the Cleveland Indians through the turmoil of the Great Depression. A book sale and signing will follow the talk.

CHILDREN

Caregivers and their children are invited to enjoy rhymes, songs, fingerplays, books and stories together. No registration is required.

  • Mondays (10 a.m.) Toddler Storytime – ages 19-35 months
  • Tuesdays (10 a.m.) Toddler Storytime – ages 19-35 months
  • Tuesdays (6:45 p.m.) Family Storytime – for all ages
  • Wednesdays (10 a.m.) Baby and Me Storytime – ages birth-18 months
  • Thursdays (10 a.m.) Preschool Storytime – ages 3-5 (not yet in kindergarten)
  • Fridays (10 a.m.) Family Storytime – for all ages

Monday, March 27 (7 p.m.) Makey Makey – Grades 3-5: Learn to turn everyday objects such as bananas and clay into touchpads using Makey Makey invention kits. Registration required.

Monday, April 3 (11 a.m.) Homeschool Peep Science – Grades 4-8: Chill with your Peeps at the library for a program using marshmallow Peeps for hands-on science experiments. Do Peeps float in water or blow up in the microwave? Can Peeps change color or size? What happens when a Peep is frozen? Come explore Peep Science and find out!

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:21 AM, 03.21.2017

March events at Westlake Porter Public Library

Wednesdays, March 22 and 29 (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, March 22 (2 p.m.) Wednesday Afternoon Book Discussion – The March selection is "The Boston Girl" by Anita Diamant.

Wednesdays, March 22 and 29 (4-5:30 p.m.) and Thursdays, March 23 and 30 (6:30-8 p.m.) Bow Wow Books – Stop by the Youth Services Department and sign your child up for a 10-minute reading time with a reading therapy dog! Bring your own book or choose one of ours. Registration begins Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 6 p.m.

Thursday, March 23 (noon-1:30 p.m.) Small Busine$$ Lunch & Learn: Business Law – This seminar will cover the legal topics that most entrepreneurs and business owners will come across in the starting-up and running of his/her business. Please register.

Thursday, March 23 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) The Cleveland Indians and Baseball in the Depression – Author, baseball historian and lifelong Indians fan Scott Longert will discuss his latest book, "No Money, No Beer, No Pennants: The Cleveland Indians in the Great Depression." Please register.

Friday, March 24 (10-10:45 a.m.) Come Play With Me! – Open playtime with age-appropriate toys. For children ages 2-5 with a caring adult. Siblings welcome. Please register.

Friday, March 24 (10 a.m.-noon) Fiber Fanatics – A time for needlecrafters to share, solve problems, and show off.

Friday, March 24 (10:30-11:15 a.m.) Sensory Storytime – Features an adapted storytime for children with special needs and their caregivers. Siblings welcome. Includes time for social play. Content is geared to ages 3-7. Registration begins one week before each session.

Saturday, March 25 (10:30-11 a.m.) Mother Goose on the Loose! – An interactive storytime featuring simple books, rhymes, songs and movement. For ages birth-3 with an adult caregiver.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 9:34 AM, 03.07.2017

Celebrating Westlake's most senior citizens

Mayor Clough congratulates Fred Smith, as well as Lois Durst to his right, at the Over 90s Birthday Celebration last year. Fred and Lois are siblings, both in their 90s and lifelong Westlake residents.

What do Columbo, Alfalfa and James Bond (portrayed by Roger Moore) have in common?

Besides being famously quirky characters, probably not a whole lot except that the actors who portrayed them were all born in 1927. This means that they would be turning 90 this year. Roger Moore is the only one of this trio who is still living (although "fake news" wrongly reported his death earlier this month). If he lived in Westlake, we would be happy to add him to our Over 90s Birthday Celebration guest list; a list that grows year after year.

This year, the Westlake Community Services Department mailed 109 invitations to the 90-plus-year-old Westlake residents we know who live independently. Three of the invitations included couples who are both over 90. Additionally, we sent invitations to the Westlake-based assisted living facilities, as each of them bring a healthy contingent of nonagenerians and centenarians to the table. Of course, we don't know everyone, so please contact us if your nonagenerian didn't receive an invite, and we will happily add them to our guest list.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:10 AM, 03.21.2017

Keeping kids safe in parking lots

The Connecting for Kids Parking Lot Safety Kit comes with a special magnet to show children where to place their hand and safely wait for an adult.

Have you had a scare in a parking lot or driveway? You are juggling bags of groceries, responding to a text or maybe getting your baby out of the car seat. You are distracted for a second – the amount of time it takes your toddler or preschooler to run away from your vehicle and into a busy area. Many of us can relate to this occurrence that happens all too often. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on average, 96 fatalities and 2,000 injuries in children occur every year due to being backed over.

Connecting for Kids is launching a Parking Lot Safety Awareness Program to help change this statistic by offering families free safety kits to educate children about the dangers of running away from a car without holding an adult’s hand. The key part of this program is a free magnet that families can put on their car where the child exits. These magnets give children a visual place to put their hand to wait until an adult can safely take their hand and lead them to the next destination.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:12 AM, 03.21.2017

Hats, gloves and the DAR

Martha Devotion Huntington Chapter members dressed in high style, from left: Carol Radowenchuk, Lucy Sekerka, Deb Marisch and Jane Baran.

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) recently traveled back in time by means of a vintage hat fashion show and afternoon tea. Bay Village’s Martha Devotion Huntington Chapter co-sponsored the event with Strongsville’s Hannah Luther Bosworth Chapter and Western Reserve - Lakewood Chapter on March 4 at LeCentre in Westlake.

Eighty members from 11 Ohio DAR chapters and their guests dressed in period attire from the 1900s and earlier to present day. Hats and gloves were a must!

Before the tea, funds to support the upkeep of Christian Waldschmidt House near Cincinnati were raised for the Ohio Society DAR by means of a quilt raffle and sale of State Regent DAR items.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:15 AM, 03.21.2017

MS symptoms can mirror other diseases

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that attacks a person’s nerve fibers leading to the destruction of the myelin that insulates the fibers in the brain and spinal cord. It’s the myelin that facilitates electromechanical transmissions between the brain, the spinal cord and the rest of the body. In over-simplified layman’s terms – MS causes short circuits in the nervous system, disrupting whatever function is controlled by the affected nerves.

March is MS Awareness Month. It’s designated to help make aware those who may be enduring symptoms of the disease without knowing what they may have. There is no cure for MS but there are treatments for it that can slow its progress, making early detection essential for its victims.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:19 AM, 03.21.2017

Bay High's Will Huntington is National Merit Finalist

Bay High's Will Huntington is a National Merit Finalist.

Bay High School senior Will Huntington has been named a National Merit Finalist by the National Merit Scholarship Program. He earned the prestigious academic distinction with his score on the 2015 Preliminary SAT (PSAT), taken during his junior year in high school.

Will plans to major in economics, and he has narrowed down his choice of schools to Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Harvard and Yale. The Rockets baseball player would like to coach baseball, but he also has a strong interest in the nonprofit world.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:21 AM, 03.21.2017

WHS has 4 National Merit Finalists

Westlake High School has four students named National Merit Finalists.

Seniors Emily Schordock, Alexander Lathem, Anna Craven and Hong Liang are among 15,000 students to achieve Finalist standing. They will move on to compete for about 2,500 National Merit Scholarships worth $2,500 each, corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:20 AM, 03.21.2017

BAYarts juried show winners unveiled

"Rescued from Petland" by Martin E. O'Connor won Best of Show in BAYarts' juried show this year.

With nearly 300 pieces of art received, the BAYarts juried show was a popular choice for submissions this year. Judges Kristen Cliffel and Daniel Levin spent hours looking over each piece, seeing which would make it to inclusion. And the result is a spread of art in many mediums gracing the entire first floor of the Sullivan Family Gallery at BAYarts.

Cliffel, a Cleveland Arts Prize winner, enjoyed the judging process. "Jurying an exhibition is always so exciting because you get to see such a breadth of work that is being produced, sometimes by artists you are familiar with but many times, by artists that you haven’t seen."

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:10 AM, 03.21.2017

Meet the Romanovs in Westlake this spring

The Case Western Reserve University Off-Campus Studies program will study Nicholas and Alexandra with leader-teacher Betty Zak on Thursdays, March 23 to May 11, 10:00-11:30 a.m., at Westlake United Methodist Church, 27650 Center Ridge Road.

Nicholas and Alexandra have been called saints, innocent victims, harbingers of revolution among many other names. What really happened? Was it a love that extended beyond each other? Was it a love that ended an empire? Discover their passion, their strengths and their weaknesses in a new light. We begin with the traditional reading of Robert Massie's "Nicholas and Alexandra" followed by summaries of newly Russian released documents involving Rasputin, Alex and Nicky and Alexandra's lady-in-waiting. We'll then extrapolate possibilities through our second book, "The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar," by Robert Alexander.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:16 AM, 03.21.2017

Browns continue improving via free agency

Greg Schwert scores a photo op with Joe Haden.

In the last issue, I explained that the Browns were headed in the right direction by adding high-round picks in this year's draft. Since then, free agency has been in progress and once again, the Browns have made a move that will enhance their draft positioning. This time it is for next year, 2018. They have added another second-round pick from the Houston Texans with a creative move. They used a technique that happens frequently in the NBA of absorbing an under-producing, high salary player contract and being compensated for it with the high-round draft pick. They now have their own first- and second-round picks for 2018, along with the second-round picks obtained from both the Texans and the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Browns do seem to have some problems in free agency though. This would be with their own players that they could have and should have re-signed. Last year it was offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz and this year it was wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. The loss of Mitchell Schwartz last year played a role in the numerous injuries to Cleveland quarterbacks and the resulting 1-15 record. Terrelle Pryor was one of the few bright spots on the team last year. He is sure to be missed this year.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:17 AM, 03.21.2017

West Shore Council of Governments (WCOG) Meeting, March 8, 2017

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

The meeting took place at Westlake City Hall beginning at 9:30 a.m. The first half-hour was a closed session devoted to financial matters. The meeting adjourned at 10:39 am.

Present: Mayors Clough (Westlake), Koomar (Bay Village), Patton (Fairview Park), Summers (Lakewood), Kennedy (North Olmsted), and Bobst (Rocky River).

Also present: Renee Mahoney (fiscal officer)

Renee Mahoney reported on the newly formalized internet banking policy. The mayors have forwarded the proposal to their finance directors and the topic will be discussed at the next meeting.

2016 Financials: There is a total of $300,000 in cash and the checking account. All items were within budget. The cities' contributions for 2017 will be the same as for 2016. Most income comes from seizures.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:15 AM, 03.21.2017

Westlake resident earns hospice associations' top administrator award

Bob Phillips-Plona was integral in the development of the Ames Family Hospice House in Westlake.

Recently, Westlake resident Bob Phillips-Plona was nationally recognized by his peers by being named "Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator of the Year." The award was presented at the annual assembly of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.

Phillips-Plona, Director of Residential Services at Hospice of the Western Reserve, has dedicated his entire career to serving some of the most vulnerable residents in our community. Over the past 20 years, more than 30,000 terminally ill patients and their families have benefited from his operational and administrative management skills at Ames Family Hospice House in Westlake, David Simpson Hospice House in Cleveland, and the Hospice of Medina County Inpatient Care Center.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:17 AM, 03.21.2017

Father/daughter team makes a difference for transplanted student

Holly Lane student Alex Kuenkel, whose family recently moved to Westlake from Germany, is working with his teacher Lisa Forshey's father, Hank Hanisch, to learn English and acclimate to American culture.

When Holly Lane Elementary School first-grade teacher Lisa Forshey took German foreign language classes at Westlake High School as a teen, she never imagined she’d rely on those skills to communicate with a transplanted student in her own classroom.

Alex Kuenkel showed up in Forshey’s class in early February after moving to the area from Germany with his parents, Sebastian Griebe and Anja Kuenkel. Alex speaks no English and was lost in a new school and a new country – until Forshey stepped in.

“We were very surprised about his teacher having German roots and even speaking German,” said Griebe, Alex’s father. “The extra attention was very pleasing for us, and Alex likes working with Hans a lot.”

Hans is Forshey’s father, Hans “Hank” Hanisch, a retired insurance appraiser who was born in Germany and speaks fluent German. Hanisch has been a Westlake resident for 42 years. He came to the community from Germany in 1953 at age 13.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:20 AM, 03.21.2017

Mental health presentation features Cleveland-based photographer Marc Golub

Cleveland-based photographer Marc Golub

"In one study, 92 percent of depressed patients who had attempted suicide were also plagued by severe anxiety," says Cleveland-based photographer Marc Golub. "Like alcohol and barbiturates, depression and anxiety can be a deadly combination when taken together."

Golub knows first-hand. He experienced a harrowing, life-threatening journey through 22 months of treatment-resistant clinical depression along with a co-occurring major anxiety disorder. A world-class professional photographer and computer geek, Golub has photographed every U.S. president from George H.W. Bush to Donald Trump. With an extensive and diverse body of work, Golub’s photos have appeared in every major publication in the United States and around the world. He is also an entrepreneur, owning ClikSEO – a search engine optimization and social media company.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:18 AM, 03.21.2017

SOAR! to host spirit-filled 5K and mile walk

Bob Thomas with SOAR! participant Susan Weidokal

For 13 years, SOAR! (Sports Opportunities & Active Recreation) has provided recreation and wellness activities for adults with developmental disabilities. From bocce ball and mall walks to dancercize, aerobics, bowling, indoor/outdoor games and baseball, SOAR! offers activities year-round in six-week sessions at locations in western Cuyahoga County. Each activity is hosted in an environment of kindness, caring, love and mutual respect.

On Saturday, May 13, at 11:00 a.m., SOAR! will celebrate the lives of two people who embodied the SOAR! mission with a spirit-filled 5K and mile walk. Bob Thomas (formerly of Thomas & Thomas Photography) was a long-time volunteer, and Jim Leisz was a beloved and avid bocce ball participant, "Razzle Dazzle" performer and SOAR! cheerleader. We lost these two friends last year and the 2017 “SOAR! Spirit Walk” is dedicated to their example and friendship.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:18 AM, 03.21.2017

Plant Crafters' last sale: Liquidation auction to be held April 1

The Plant Crafters era in Westlake is over. After 30 years on Center Ridge Road, the Burnett family decided to close their garden center and retire.

Known for their high-quality home decor and gift items, owners Molly and Bruce Burnett will miss the generations of customers they served. "Plant Crafters was a labor of love," said Bruce. "We truly enjoyed providing our buyers with items you couldn't find in the big box garden stores."

A live public auction will be held on Saturday, April 1, 10 a.m., to liquidate everything remaining in the Westlake store. Items include nursery stock and related horticultural items, firewood, a forklift, vintage and antique furniture and thousands of home and gift items.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:09 AM, 03.21.2017