Letters To The Editor

Bay Village, a great American town

Many years ago in Houston, I met the woman I fell in love with and married. She was from Ohio, and I was from Michigan. I knew little of Ohio, except there were some cousins, near Ashtabula.

As I got to know my wife, I visited her family in the town where she graduated from high school and her parents resided, Bay Village. At first, it seemed like just a nice name. I met her mom. Within half an hour, she told me how proud she was of living in Greater Cleveland, saying many times that day (later, too): "Cleveland, the Best Location in the Nation." I was open to that and felt welcomed and loved.

The purpose of this essay, is to celebrate a special place which, from the perspective of a visitor here, is amazing. Though, I have been here many times in the past 29 years, this year I was struck how simply incredible this small town really is.

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Volume 11, Issue 16, Posted 9:23 AM, 08.20.2019

Phil Bova Baseball Camp closes after 45 years

It is with a grateful heart that we officially announce our youth baseball camp, held at the Westlake Recreation Center for the past several years, will come to a close after a 45-year run. A tradition like no other, the Bova camp became a summer tradition for many area families and was voted the No. 1 camp of its kind in Northeastern Ohio.
As this successful run comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank former campers, their parents and all the communities that trusted the Bova name for over four decades, and to acknowledge all of the businesses that proudly displayed the "Bova Baseball Camp sign" each year.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:24 AM, 05.21.2019

Letter to the editor

On Tuesday, March 19, my husband and I attended the “State of the City” address by Mayor Dennis Clough at the Westlake Rec Center. I found out about this event by reading it in The Observer newspaper.

I found out our city is in “very good hands,” but I also found out that The Observer had sponsored the event and is a 100% volunteer publication. I am in awe of the talent and dedication of Tara Wendell and her father and all the other volunteers who put together such a great publication.  

I want to publicly thank them for their time, talent and community dedication. 

– Judy Budoi, Westlake

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 9:44 AM, 04.02.2019

Understanding occupational therapy

When I tell people that I am a college student, their first question is often, “What are you studying?” No matter who is asking me, I almost always have to explain my answer. I am an occupational therapy student at the University of Findlay.

Occupational therapy is a profession that many people do not understand. My professors have taught me the importance of advocating for our profession, which starts with educating others on what occupational therapy is and its many uses.

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Volume 10, Issue 19, Posted 9:54 AM, 10.02.2018

Picnic brings area veterans together

Three local veterans groups (VFW Post 9693, American Legion Post 385, and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 249) wish to thank everyone that joined us for our second annual All Veterans Picnic at the Legion Lodge on Aug. 25. In spite of a quick rain shower, it was a wonderful day and all had plenty to eat and great company to share. Various games provided some great gifts for our members and a 50/50 raffle netted a profit of $70. This will be added to our Veterans Honor Wall budget as will all future net proceeds from this event.

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Volume 10, Issue 17, Posted 9:10 AM, 09.05.2018

Hilliard gardens legacy

It was great to have both Jean Povinelli and Jackie Crosier in the SAME garden at the SAME time! For both of them, gardening is a labor of love.

Jackie is now part of the Westlake in Bloom judging panel and recently had the opportunity to stop and see Jean’s yard. Jean and her husband, Lou, received the third place award in the "Residential Landscaping – Entire Yard, Large" category for the Westlake in Bloom competition this year. 

Jean and her dear friend and neighbor, Mim Blair (deceased), started the garden boxes on Hilliard Boulevard back in 1982.

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Volume 10, Issue 16, Posted 8:44 AM, 08.21.2018

Dogs can help people

When people adopt a dog, their life changes. It helps people who don't get that much exercise, get more by their dog. Dogs can also help people have a buddy when you're lonely. I mean, I'm not forcing you to get a dog – but it can really help.

Dogs help you have a better life. I know, you're probably thinking, I can just exercise more and spend more time with friends. That's right, you can. I don't have a dog, and I do get lonely sometimes. And since I don't go to the gym every day, I started a business where I get to walk dogs. Just think, dogs can change your life.

– Sam Viskocil, Avon Lake

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Volume 10, Issue 14, Posted 10:02 AM, 07.17.2018

Congratulations to the 2018 Westshore Montessori School graduates

Westshore Montessori School would like to congradulate its 52nd graduating class of kindergarteners. We wish them well in all of the future endeavors. 

Looking ahead, our students are very well equipped to take on the next part of their educational lives. They have a strong foundation, they have learned many priceless lessons, and most importantly they have learned that they can do it.

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Volume 10, Issue 13, Posted 9:22 AM, 07.03.2018

Bay Village Foundation thanks outgoing president

A new chapter is upon the Bay Village Foundation. Many in Bay Village know the organization, especially after the recent overhaul of Play in Bay, but what a lot of people don't know is the man behind the helm. Al Paulus has recently completed his term as president and what a wonderful term it has been. 

Founding member and past President Eileen Verrnon recently stated, "Al joined the board in 2004, before we had term limits. We managed to keep him for 14 years. Even though his newly applied term was up, he agreed to serve as vice president. As that three-year term ended, he was nominated and accepted the presidency. How lucky were we? Al served very actively on the grants committee, chairing the group, and was a very involved and active member of the Run committee. His major contribution, in my view, was to serve on the finance and develop committees, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to that important, growing base of our organization. As president he was a godsend, as we jelled as a formal, growing community asset and organized board with term limits. We needed a leader; Al filled that role beyond expectations. He prepared us to move forward as a growing, dynamic organization."

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 9:28 AM, 06.19.2018

Bay VFW raises funds for veterans

The members of Bay Village VFW Post 9693 want to thank the West Shore residents that contributed to our recent Buddy Poppy drive for veterans. We raised over $2,700 to provide ongoing support for West Shore veterans, families, youth and community.
We also wish to thank Java Bay, Discount Drug Mart, Giant Eagle and Walgreens for allowing our members and friends of the Post to use their facilities.

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 10:02 AM, 06.05.2018

Porter trustees encourage Yes vote

The Board of Trustees of the Westlake Porter Public Library wholeheartedly endorses a YES vote for Issue 6, our five-year renewal operating levy on the May 8 ballot. 

Since passing an operating levy 10 years ago the library has carefully managed its resources and operated without any increase in taxes. Issue 6 is also a renewal with no increase in taxes to Westlake voters.

With an extensive and ever-changing collection of over a quarter of a million items in a variety of digital, electronic and print formats, the Westlake library serves all segments of the diverse Westlake community. Open 70 hours each week and with over 66,000 square feet of collaborative space the library offers the latest in technology and media resources with little or no cost to patrons.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 10:01 AM, 05.01.2018

Porter levy plans for the future

What will libraries be like in the future? I hope they will be a lot like what we have right here, right now, at the Westlake Porter Public Library.

Our library has a large, high quality collection of books and other materials. It has creative spaces for children and teens to learn and grow, and places for quiet study or noisy activity. It has the latest technology, and many opportunities for meetings large and small. Our library is a great place to connect with your family, with your friends and neighbors, or your community organization.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 9:46 AM, 04.17.2018

Thank you for supporting the Bay Village Kiwanis pancake breakfast

The Bay Village Kiwanis and Bay High School Key Clubs held their annual pancake breakfast with the Easter Bunny and the Fairytale Foundation Princesses on Sunday, March 18, in the Middle School Cafetorium. We would like to thank the local community for their generous support without which the Bay Kiwanis Club could not continue their community service efforts.

If you would like to learn more about Bay Village Kiwanis and what we do, join us for dinner on Tuesday nights, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Bay United Methodist Church at the corner of Lake and Bassett roads. Visit bayvillagekiwanis.com for more information, or visit our Facebook page, Bay Village Kiwanis.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 9:51 AM, 04.17.2018

VFW seeks local veterans

Feb. 28, 1991, was the official Cease Fire to the Gulf War. This year marked the 27th anniversary. There are not many tributes to this event, but the VFW wants to ensure that all those who served are not forgotten. Thank you for your brave and dedicated service to our country.
I want to ensure that if you are not a member, you are aware of the existence of our Post and may consider joining and serving the community and continue your unselfish service to our country. We meet the second Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m., at the Bay Village Police Station Community Room. Hope to see you there!

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 9:31 AM, 03.06.2018

NRA must do more to promote public safety

The National Rifle Association (NRA) cares not for the well being of you or your family.

According to a Politico report, the NRA bans the use of the “bump fire” device used in the Las Vegas massacre from the NRA headquarters' gun range because it effectively changes an AR-15 into an unsafe automatic weapon. Public use of this device, however, has not been banned.

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Volume 9, Issue 21, Posted 9:51 AM, 11.07.2017

Former Bay candidate explains decision

I am no longer a candidate for Bay Village City Council, but this decision wasn’t about winning the election. In fact I felt the general election was probably winnable given a little luck.  

Politics is a messy business, and I’ve seen friends who got involved battered and vilified. Worse, they weren’t able to achieve their objectives. Some tried to “go along to get along” and this approach was unsuccessful because they’d sold their political soul. I became convinced that my historically contentious relationship with City Hall would thwart my efforts, and in some cases the very fact that I was the one pushing an issue would doom the effort. I was in for a frustrating and unproductive two years.

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Volume 9, Issue 19, Posted 10:12 AM, 10.03.2017

Our Century Home

Recently we gathered our friends and family to celebrate our home’s 107th birthday with the placing of our Bay Village Century Home plaque. We view the plaque as a salute to a big old house that has been our home for so long. We aren’t sure what the future holds for any of us or for our home, but for the time being, we’re together enjoying our life and looking forward to making more memories.

Owning a Bay Village Century Home comes with its wonderful history which is sadly, incomplete to us. Several families lived here before us and there was a doctor’s office operating on the second floor at some time. We do know this is where St. Raphael’s started in 1947 before it moved to its present site on Dover Center Road.

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Volume 9, Issue 19, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.03.2017

Westlake renewal levy will fund new senior center, improved rec options

Prompted by such a desirious school system, our young family moved to Westlake 33 years ago; it was a wise decision. What we came to appreciate very quickly in addition to the schools were the many city services that our sons participated in throughout their school years: soccer, t-ball, baseball, tennis, golf, swimming and the parks. All these amenities were generously provided right in what they came to call their hometown of Westlake. When we became empty nesters, we determined we would move from the family home but came to the conclusion that Westlake was the community of choice so we stayed.

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Volume 9, Issue 19, Posted 10:09 AM, 10.03.2017

A taste of fall

Isn't it awesome to be able to smell the air, feel the fresh fall breezes surround you, and no matter your age, sample the tastes of autumn? A friend and I recently spent a day enjoying the season, being lazy, not missing any sights or sounds around us, and visiting areas alien to us.

We started out with a leisurely breakfast, slowly savoring our food, and taking time to talk about things we had done a few weeks ago, and opportunities for adventure in the future. As we made a tour of some shops, the trees already had begun to wear their fancy fare of oranges, yellows and golds.

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Volume 9, Issue 18, Posted 10:18 AM, 09.19.2017

The keeper of our courtyard

Every one of us has a gift to share. Our own special expertise, that no one else can take credit for. At the Knickerbocker Apartments, we have a gentleman who has a gift for turning thorns into beautiful roses. His name is Chuck, and he is our volunteer gardener.  

The courtyard in the center of our building was a shambles, and now is filled with flowers, shrubs and delicate little lights, as if to light the path for angels seeking out a comfortable place to rest their wings.

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Volume 9, Issue 16, Posted 10:18 AM, 08.15.2017

Project Pedal brings neighbors together

The Village Project's annual "Project Pedal" fundraiser on June 17 was a tremendous success. Hundreds of people gathered in the Bay Middle School parking lot to participate in the event, part of the Destination Bay slate of activities.

Whether individuals participated in the Cucumber, Carrot, Kale or Lettuce race, they all found a good time. Many thanks to the volunteers and sponsors who supported us. I was even pleased to see a neighbor of mine heading up one station.

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Volume 9, Issue 14, Posted 9:52 AM, 07.18.2017

Appreciating amazing women

I have been a resident at the Knickerbocker Apartments in Bay Village for seven years, and there has not been a day that goes by that I do not sit in wonderment listening to wonderful ladies who are also residents here. Every woman has her own story to tell.

We all have opinions, love, sadness, happiness, families and friends who are a part of who we are. With the world seemingly in turmoil at the moment, it is encouraging sometimes to hear the stories of women who are survivors. Women who have had turmoil in their younger lives, but used that to make themselves stronger, able to take on the world. 

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Volume 9, Issue 13, Posted 9:34 AM, 07.05.2017

Concealed carry bill poses risks

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R.38) is a terrible idea. This bill would allow those with concealed carry permits from any state to legally carry a concealed handgun in any other state (including currently protected school zones). 

To many, this may not seem like a radical idea, but scratch beneath the surface and you find that concealed carry requirements can vary immensely from state to state. For instance, Florida is a “mail-in” state that doesn’t even require residency. All you need to obtain a Florida concealed carry permit is to attend an NRA-sponsored class, get fingerprinted on site, mail in a form to the Florida Department of Agriculture (which doesn’t have a complete database from which to run background checks) and eight weeks later, you receive a concealed carry permit in the mail. It should come as no surprise that Florida has granted concealed carry permits to 1,400 convicted felons.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 10:18 AM, 06.06.2017

Warning sirens could save lives in an emergency

On March 15, 2007, I presented a letter to Westlake City Council requesting that the City install warning sirens to give Westlake residents and visitors/shoppers a chance to get to a potentially safe place in the event of a tornado or citywide disaster.

At the April 5, 2007, Council meeting, I asked what City Hall’s intentions were regarding the warning sirens and was told that the idea was in the Safety Committee. This isn’t rocket science – the towers/poles are there – please install the sirens! Heaven forbid a tornado strikes while this issue is “still in the Safety Committee.”

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 10:03 AM, 05.02.2017

'Continue the Excellence' by voting yes on Bay schools issue

If a hypothetical school district achieved a ranking in the top 6 in Cuyahoga County, top 9 in the NE Ohio region, and top 18 in the entire state of Ohio, all while spending less per pupil than 22 other districts and having their teacher salaries rank 14th out of all 31 districts in the county, one would – hypothetically – consider such a district a rousing success.

We are pleased to write there is great news for the tax paying residents of Bay Village this school year – each of the above measurements are neither hypothetical nor merely a goal. They are the factual achievements of the Bay Village School District and our extraordinary educators, administrators and staff in 2016.

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Volume 8, Issue 21, Posted 9:59 AM, 11.01.2016

Thank you, Westshore community

There’s a well-known radio commercial for a motel chain in which the host always concludes with the phrase, “We’ll leave the light on for ya.” 

Such phrases conjure up in our minds the thoughts and memories of “coming home.” Those of us who have been through various job assignments, schooling, military service etc., know the importance of coming home. Home is the place where we are always welcome as we are, well-known, and supported.

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Volume 8, Issue 20, Posted 10:23 AM, 10.18.2016

Westlake Schools' 4-to-1 consolidation is a bad idea

Westlake’s proposed 4-to-1 school consolidation plan is a mistake. My wife and I moved our family to Westlake this past January and chose our neighborhood based on its proximity to a local neighborhood school. My strong suspicion is that many young families move to specific parts of Westlake for the same reason.

Smaller neighborhood schools provide close-knit, nurturing environments that foster confidence and critical relationships between students, educators and staff. In many ways, neighborhood schools mimic small, private school environments; and enjoy the advantages of such schools. Centralized mega-schools, on the other hand, often resemble cold, disconnected learning factories.

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Volume 8, Issue 16, Posted 9:46 AM, 08.16.2016

Congressman Renacci & Social Security

This upcoming national election is shaping up to be quite an interesting contest. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton. But more than just these the two strong personalities, there is a host of issues to consider. For example, items like terrorism, immigration, the economy and controlling ISIS, are all factors to consider when voting for Trump or Clinton.

And then there is, of course, the issue of Social Security, which is highly important to a lot of people here in northeastern Ohio. Social Security is important because, frankly, many people depend on it for their living.

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Volume 8, Issue 15, Posted 9:12 AM, 08.02.2016

One thank you isn't enough

The only way to say thank you, in my view, is to keep on doing the things one is being thanked for – so that is what I plan to do. Let me explain. Last year, I stepped down as president of The Bay Village Foundation. At the first meeting under the direction of our new president, Al Paulus, I was absolutely stunned into silence when I was presented with a bronze plaque commemorating my 19 years of work in helping to build the Foundation. I am rarely at a loss for words, as my friends know, but this time I truly couldn’t express my surprise and gratitude.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 9:34 AM, 06.21.2016

Bay Village officials to discuss animal ordinances

On Monday, March 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the committee room at city hall, the Bay Village Environment and Safety committee chaired by Councilman Paul Vincent will discuss animal ordinances and make recommendations to make the wording and fines stronger.

Specific topics will be tethering and proper sheltering of outside animals.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:00 AM, 03.15.2016

Thanking the first responders

Being a resident in Bay Village for years has been a wonderful experience! I love the beach, the people, the atmosphere, Lake Erie, its history. Life here is fun!

One day last month, I was driving south on Douglas and was involved in an accident. The police and firemen arrived quickly. The firemen so kindly checked me to see if I was injured. I want to give firemen Corey Gregg, Jason Goodwin, Dan Smith and Kevin Somerville so much credit for their gentleness. The police officers Pellagalli and Bronston certainly were compassionate and considerate. Kind words were spoken to me by Greg, who towed my car to Patton's 5 Star Towing.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 9:29 AM, 03.01.2016

Clean Power Plan gives states control

An expert analysis released last month found that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan will bring big saving to consumers by reducing electricity bills by an average of $17 a month by 2030.

In its report, Synapse Energy Economics found that by making strong investments in energy efficiency under the Clean Power Plan, states can put money back in consumers' wallets while also limiting dangerous carbon pollution. While Congressional climate deniers falsely claim that the EPA’s safeguards will turn the lights off and increase costs, these claims are patently untrue. The Clean Power Plan offers states the flexibility they need to implement customized and cost-effective solutions to cut carbon pollution.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:48 AM, 02.02.2016

Importance of an eye doctor

As the population is growing older, more eye problems are beginning. Macular degeneration can sneak up on you. The macula is part of the retina. With macular degeneration your vision is not as sharp as it was.

I recently had a problem with my blood pressure. My blood pressure went from being very stable to very high in a short period of time. As a result, my vision in one eye became very poor. My eye doctor has sent me to a local retina specialist whom I see regularly now. Unfortunately, my eyesight has not returned yet and it remains unknown if it will return.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:57 AM, 02.02.2016


My cousin Marshall was 55 years old when he died of cancer in 1993.  By all appearances, he died a "rich man" per most peoples' standards.  He attended N.Y.U. and went on to make and lose his first million by his early twenties.  Through shrewdness and an ability to set aside soft emotion, he became owner of a well-known clothing manufacturing company by his thirties, established a comfortable life for his wife and daughters (later for a second wife).

Marshall was born and raised in middle-class surroundings in Brooklyn, spent time in Queens, then close-in New Jersey.  I lived in the Midwest and California but we were able to occasionally visit one another.  We shared similar interests as kids but grew apart as adults.  He was driven to "make" money;  I was driven to save others from themselves and their circumstances (and in so doing rescue a remnant of my own past).

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 11:23 AM, 12.15.2015

This is COW we do it!

A new fifth-grade Destination Imagination team from Bay Village that goes by the name Seven Amigos is happy to announce that they will be holding a carnival to raise money for Heifer International.

Heifer International is an organization that gives animals and crops to hungry people worldwide. The animals they give can provide eggs, milk, cheese and wool.

The carnival will be held on Saturday, Jan. 9, from 3-5 p.m. at Bay Village United Methodist Church, 29931 Lake Road.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 10:02 AM, 01.05.2016

World Day of Peace

Jan. 1 is significant for being the first day of the year, but it is also designated as a World Day of Peace for thinking about how we can bring peace and harmony into our lives.

Even as horrible violence and oppression are occurring in many parts of the world, we must not despair. As actors on this planet, there are ways we can create peace around us.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 10:01 AM, 01.05.2016

The article read around the world

This past May, I wrote an article for the Observer ("Pen pals for 70 years and counting") about my longtime pen pal, Annette, who lives in England. Since the article was printed, I have been surprised and pleased by the positive response I've received from friends and neighbors and some folks I didn't even know. Guess they recognized me from my picture in the article.

I wanted to share with you how that little article in the Observer took off. I sent two copies to Annette in England. Annette has a brother, Ron, four years her junior who was 9 years old when we began writing. When he was in his 20s he immigrated to Western Australia in the general area of Perth. He would occasionally ask Annette if we were still "at it." So I asked Annette to send Ron the second copy of my article.

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:19 AM, 11.17.2015

Passage of Issue 8 will ensure continued arts and culture vibrancy

If you've visited a museum or gallery, attended a performance, or taken a class from an arts and cultural organization in Cuyahoga County in the last decade, chances are good that arts and cultural organization receives funding from a penny-and-a-half tax on cigarettes the voters approved in 2006. Since the tax went into effect in 2007, $125 million has been disbursed in operating and project support grants throughout Cuyahoga County allowing the county's arts and culture sector to survive (and now thrive) through one of the most difficult economic periods in recent memory. The tax is up for renewal on the Nov. 3 ballot, and it is important that we continue that critical support for this asset by voting yes on Issue 8.

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Volume 7, Issue 20, Posted 10:06 AM, 10.20.2015

Tough decision will allow hospital to grow

The Sisters of Charity Health System recently announced a decision to allow St. John Medical Center to become part of UH as a Catholic hospital.

St. John Medical Center is a gem, and is successful today because of the foresight and commitment of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine. I'm proud to have been a founding board member of this hospital. I saw firsthand how the Sisters – under leadership of Sisters Mary Patricia Barrett, Mary Ann Andrews and Judith Ann Karam – exemplified courage and respect as they brought partners together to create St. John Medical Center as a preeminent health care provider in Westlake. They are visionaries.

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Volume 7, Issue 18, Posted 9:02 AM, 09.15.2015

The right to govern ourselves

In response to Mr. Conover’s opinion letter [in the July 21 issue] celebrating the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling: The issue is not do you or I approve or disapprove of same-sex “marriage,” the issue is do we have a Constitutional republic or do we have a tyranny – a majority of nine unelected judges making law for 330 million American citizens? Don’t think for one millisecond that because they did it this time, they won’t do it again and again.

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Volume 7, Issue 16, Posted 9:47 AM, 08.18.2015