Letters To The Editor

Bay councilman announces resignation

Dear Bay Village residents:

I am resigning my elected position of Council At-Large for the City of Bay Village effective Dec. 31, 2012. The resignation is a result of a very significant career opportunity, which will not afford the time necessary to serve as a dedicated council representative. In my new role, I will serve as CEO of All-American Teleradiology, a nationwide provider of radiology coverage based in Bay Village.

The past seven years has given me a tremendous opportunity to work with residents, organizations, fellow council members, city leadership and city workers, all of whom contribute to the wonderful quality of life we enjoy in Bay Village. The Observer publication is an excellent example of the quality of people woven into the fabric of our community.

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Volume 4, Issue 25, Posted 10:48 AM, 12.11.2012

Thanks to voters

Thank you District 16 voters, Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River and Westlake, for your overwhelming vote of support to return me to the Ohio House of Representatives. It has been an honor and privilege to serve you over the past four years and I look forward to continuing my work to create an environment to retain, create and bring jobs to Ohio.

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Volume 4, Issue 23, Posted 9:20 AM, 11.13.2012

Wary of partisan behavior

After attending the recent forum between Andrew Meyer and Nan Baker several issues came to mind including hyper-partisanship, Representative Baker’s representation of her constituents, and how well-informed she is. These issues solidify my choice in voting for Andrew Meyer. 

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Volume 4, Issue 21, Posted 10:28 AM, 10.16.2012

Bay City Council returns from recess

Bay Residents:

City Council is back in session following its traditional summer recess and has begun the budgetary process for 2013. A fiscally conservative approach, marked by targeted cuts and restructuring of debt, has allowed the city to operate within its means without dipping into reserves specifically earmarked for public improvements to benefit our Bay Village residents. The Finance Committee is meeting frequently as the budget takes shape.

The Public Improvements Committee will soon begin a series of meetings with city administration to layout long-term public improvement plans. An aging infrastructure will require investment in municipal buildings, parks and recreation, roads and continued sewer upgrades.

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Volume 4, Issue 20, Posted 10:20 AM, 10.02.2012

Bay Village charter amendments on Nov. 6 ballot

The Bay Village Chapter of the League of Women Voters - Cuyahoga Area (LWV-CA) would like to thank the members of Bay's 2012 Charter Review Commission for their diligent service. Once every ten years, a commission appointed by the mayor and approved by city council reviews the entire charter. Their purpose is to ensure that the charter remains a coherent whole and meets the anticipated and current needs of the community. This is a monumental task.

The themes of this year's review were flexibility, streamlining city government and paving the way to regionalization. The LWV-CA is a strong advocate of regionalization and we support "voluntary intergovernmental, collaborative agreements which reduce costs, foster transparency and accountability, improve efficiencies, and maintain service standards." This is an excellent yardstick by which to examine the four charter amendment proposals.

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Volume 4, Issue 20, Posted 10:25 AM, 10.02.2012

In Support of Andrew Meyer

I moved to this area six years ago. I have loved Northeast Ohio from the start, and since moving to Greater Cleveland, I’ve married, developed a career and started a family. The success of the region means as much to me as to anyone, and it’s why I’m supporting Andrew Meyer for State Representative of Ohio House District 16. 

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Volume 4, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.02.2012

Examining candidates' positions on fracking

Labor Day celebrates the economic and social contributions of all workers. During this year's observance, I thought about the fact that Rep. Nan Baker voted for Senate Bill 5. How could a representative say “it’s about jobs” but then take away the right for collective bargaining? How could a representative turn on police and fire forces, as well as teachers? Blaming the budget woes on its workers rather than creatively pushing for innovative reform within our state government? Voters found out what Senate Bill 5 was about and overturned this legislation blaming hard working union men and women for the state’s financial woes. 

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Volume 4, Issue 19, Posted 10:00 AM, 09.18.2012

Leadership to govern

Am I better off than I was four years ago? I’m four years older and five pounds heavier – ergo, no. I face the same question every five years at school reunions. I often wish my private affairs were in fact private and not the measure of the nation.

But I realize personal matters do make a difference on the national stage and so does personal experience and character make a difference in our elected officials. I realize it takes more leadership than community organizing to govern the country.

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Volume 4, Issue 19, Posted 9:59 AM, 09.18.2012

Sutton willing to debate

Betty Sutton has invited Jim Renacci to debate at Akron University’s Bliss Institute. Here is it’s mission statement: “The Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics is a bipartisan research and teaching institute dedicated to increasing understanding of the political process with special emphasis on political parties, grassroots activity, and ethical behavior.”

As far as debate locations go, this sounds perfect. It’s a non-partisan institute dedicated to promoting and educating the public about politics. Sadly, Renacci has not accepted Sutton’s invitation to debate there.

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Volume 4, Issue 19, Posted 10:14 AM, 09.18.2012

Group matching donations to Westlake assistance program

Mary’s Food Friends, a.k.a. St. Paul Lutheran Thrivent Hunger Ministry Service Team, announces a $1 supplementation for every $4 donated through Sept. 15 to assist the Westlake Assistance Program. This match, made possible by the Northwest Cuyahoga County Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ Care Abounds in Community Program, will really help fill the food cupboards of Westlake Assistance.

If one wants to make a monetary donation, write a check payable to Northwest Cuyahoga County Chapter, with "Westlake Assistance" in the memo line, and mail to Hunger Ministry, St. Paul Lutheran Church, 27993 Detroit Road, Westlake, OH 44145. Thank you for joining our Hearts Helping Hunger Campaign for Westlake Assistance.

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Volume 4, Issue 18, Posted 10:56 AM, 09.05.2012

WHS Class of 1952 holds 60th reunion

On May 25 and 26, members of Westlake High School’s Class of 1952 held a reunion to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their graduation. Theirs may be the longest-running series of class reunions in the past 50 years.

There were originally 40 members in the class, of which 15 surviving classmates were able to attend, and 14 others were either unable to come or could not be reached. Nevertheless, two came from North Carolina, one from Colorado, and two more from California.

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 9:51 AM, 06.12.2012

Healthy lawns help prevent nutrient runoff

As a reader of the WBV Observer at home, and as the president of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company at work, I would like to take this opportunity to comment on a recent article by Patrick McGannon entitled “The harmful consequences of fertilizing your yard.”

The article is right on point regarding the importance of keeping fertilizers and other lawn care products out of stormwater systems and local waterways. What I feel should have been included in the article is the fact that a healthy lawn, regularly fed with non-phosphorus lawn food, actually prevents nutrient runoff into streams and lakes.

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Volume 4, Issue 10, Posted 11:42 AM, 05.15.2012

Annual hydrant flushing In Bay Village continues through mid-June

The annual Bay Village Fire Department hydrant flushing began April 30 and will be completed, weather permitting, by mid-June. Each year we test and flush every hydrant in the city to ensure proper function, pressure and maintenance.

As in past years, we will keep residents aware of our daily progress through the city by posting temporary signs. We also notify City Hall each morning of our work area for the day. Please note that hydrants are flushed from 8:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m.

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 10:26 AM, 05.01.2012

Be a good neighbor: pick up after your pet

Pet waste left on sidewalks, streets, yards or other open areas can be washed away and carried by rainwater into storm drains to nearby rivers, lakes and streams and cause many problems. According to USA Today, science has now revealed a more unsavory truth: It's an environmental pollutant.

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 10:28 AM, 05.01.2012

Community supports 501(c)3 organizations

Nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations have mission objectives that ultimately benefit the community. Clague Playhouse and Westlake-Westshore Arts Council are two such organizations, whose mission goals enhance and broaden cultural life through the arts. To facilitate the programs that they provide, they rely on community support. 

A Cabaret Night, their recent “sold-out” benefit held at Wagner’s Country Inn, received wonderful support. Products and services for the various benefit auctions came from restaurants, spas, the Indians, the Cavs, Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Museum of Art, florists, chocolate shops and other local donors. Twenty-six visual artists contributed works of art. A complete list of donors can be found at www.w-wac.org and www.clagueplayhouse.org.

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 11:50 AM, 03.20.2012

Bay cancer foundation making progress, needs volunteers

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

In the Jan. 10 issue of the Observer, I announced a team effort to create an entity called "Friends From The Start" Foundation, which is being established to provide resources and services to individuals and loved ones hit with cancer.

The following is an update on where we are at this point in time, as well as a request for help for those who might want to get involved.

First, we are working in collaboration with Cuyahoga Community College and Lorain County Community College to develop a comprehensive website which serves as the information center for anything and everything related to the subject of cancer. For lack of a better term, kind of like a centralized "one stop shop." While I am a relative dinosaur when it comes to the area of technology, we have the right people involved to make it happen.

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Volume 4, Issue 6, Posted 11:49 AM, 03.20.2012

Estate tax benefits few at cost to many

In her Jan. 10 letter to the editor, State Representative Nan Baker listed a smorgasbord of so-called jobs legislation she supported in the General Assembly. But one law she supported – the repeal of the Estate Tax – is not really about promoting jobs or economic growth. It is more about making sure the wealthiest in Ohio remain so, at the expense of Ohio's middle class.  

Most Ohio families – more than 90 percent, according to the nonpartisan research institute Policy Matters Ohio – will never have estate tax due after they die. According to Policy Matters' Feb. 2011 testimony to the House Ways & Means Committee, the estate tax was paid on about 7.5 percent of Ohio estates in 2009. Estate tax was finalized on just about 8,000 estates. This is not a tax on Ohio's middle class, on those  families living, working and sending their children to school in Rep. Baker's District 16.

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 2:00 PM, 01.24.2012

Catholics can come home to St. Raphael's

With this letter, I am hoping to reach out to anyone who has been away from the Catholic Church. About two years ago I felt something calling me back to the Church I had been away from for about 20 years. I wasn’t sure what to do.

Do I just show up one Sunday at Mass? How do I know what church I should go to? Should I call and talk to a priest? Then I saw an article about Catholics Coming Home at St. Raphael Church in Bay Village. Wow...talk about timing!

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 2:02 PM, 01.24.2012

Petition shows support for dog auction ban

The Ohio Dog Auction Act will be on the ballot come November unless Columbus acts sooner. Only one animal rights bill has passed the House, HB 14 (the pit bull bill), but none have passed the Senate. Speaker William Batchelder says that there is no push for animal rights bills by voters.

The Ohio Dog Auction Act petition was signed by over 154,000 folks from 88 counties. HB 108 Nitro's law has 11,000 supporters on Facebook. This shows the people are behind these bills while the Republicans are behind unwanted bills like HB 136, SB 5 and HB 194.

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 2:03 PM, 01.24.2012

Former Dwyer Center manager says goodbye

I'd like to wish the patrons of the Bay Village Dwyer Center a prosperous and happy New Year.

I worked at the center for the past 15 years, including the past two years as the Senior Center Manager. But in mid-December, I received a letter from Mayor Deborah Sutherland informing me that my position was being eliminated and that I would be placed on administrative leave, effective immediately. I was instructed to collect my personal belongings and leave that afternoon.

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Volume 4, Issue 1, Posted 12:42 PM, 01.10.2012

Westlake resident enters race for state rep

I am excited to announce that I am off and running in my campaign to become the next Representative to the Ohio House from the 16th District; which includes Westlake, Bay Village, Rocky River, Fairview Park and North Olmsted.

A native of Cleveland, I am a Westlake resident, a husband, father and teacher. I am a dedicated family man with three young children. During this campaign, my wife, who is also a teacher, and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary. I’m a proud Navy veteran of 20 years. My family is the typical middle-class, hard working Ohio family.

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Volume 3, Issue 25, Posted 2:48 PM, 12.13.2011

Westlake renewal levy will continue to assure strong safety force

On Nov. 8, Westlake voters are asked to renew the .9 mill levy that currently supports the salary of eight firefighters/paramedics and eight police officers. This funding source has been in effect since 1966 and has been renewed every five years. Consequently, it is important that we maintain this funding to continue to keep our police and fire personnel properly staffed to meet the everyday demands of our growing community.

Westlake has taken pride in managing your tax dollars in a responsible and effective manner. Your continued support of this renewal (NOT A TAX INCREASE) will assure a strong and responsive safety force for the next five years. Please vote yes on Issue 99 as you cast your ballot for the Nov. 8 election.

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Volume 3, Issue 21, Posted 5:18 PM, 10.18.2011

Michelle Albert running for Westlake School Board

I am currently seeking a position on the Westlake Board of Education. I am a 1992 graduate of Westlake High School and I returned to the community after studying physical therapy at Bowling Green State University. I currently work in Westlake at NovaCare Rehabilitation as a physical therapist and center manager.

My husband David, a 1991 graduate of the district, and I decided to send our children to the Westlake Schools. Our oldest son just started school at Hilliard Elementary this fall. Our younger son will be following in his footsteps in two years. My family values education, with David having two bachelor’s degrees, and I have a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. I have also recently decided to go earn my doctorate degree in physical therapy. I want to instill in my children a love of learning that persists throughout their life, I expect their teachers to be dedicated to their education and their future.

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Volume 3, Issue 21, Posted 5:12 PM, 10.18.2011

Robert Bodi running for Westlake School Board

The Westlake School District is currently heading into a period of deep fiscal crisis, but you would be hard-pressed to see this fact being reported in our news media or by our politicians. If you rely on their analysis, you would think that just because American Greetings is moving to Westlake, that all is rosy in this district. This is far from the case.

The reality is that the school district is facing a $3.4 million deficit by the end of this school year, one that increases every year to a whopping $12.4 million annually by 2015, which works out to over $850 per Westlake household! How did we get here?

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Volume 3, Issue 21, Posted 10:30 AM, 10.20.2011

Say yes to yourself on Issue 2

Here is the reality, the TV ads are telling you that the city councilman/woman you got to vet and elect are criminals who want to steal your safety. Do you believe YOUR mayor wants to have your granddaughter burn up in a fire?  Think about it. That is what they are saying. So instead of giving your elected officials the right to represent you, you prefer some unnamed, unelected and unchecked union boss? God help us. Every time I see some city council voting to condemn SB5, I see a bunch of people who are saying – I can’t be trusted, give my job to the union boss, because he/she is the one who is really paying me.

Why not talk about the adult problem. We have lied to those police and fireman and teachers and nurses. We can’t afford their retirements. We can’t afford them, period. And when we run out of money, the mayor does not lay off his/her secretary, he lays off the police and fire, then the teachers.

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Volume 3, Issue 21, Posted 5:01 PM, 10.18.2011

Former school board member running for Bay's Ward 3

I am excited and enthused about being a candidate for public office again in Bay Village. I am running for the Ward 3 City Council seat.

I am confident I can provide the leadership and professional management skills that Bay residents want. I served on the Board of Education from 1994-2005, three of those years as president and another three as vice-president.

Most recently in 2005, I ran for mayor of Bay Village, placing second in a field of five. I believe that my formal education and work experience have prepared me well for the city council position. I hold a Masters of Public Administration degree which is the degree that most city managers hold.

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Volume 3, Issue 17, Posted 6:34 PM, 08.23.2011

Long-time Westlake resident and former student to run for school board

My name is Tony Falcone and I am running for the Westlake School Board. I am asking for your vote on November 8. 

I am a proud product of Westlake schools – grades K through 12 – and Westlake teachers, administrators and coaches all played a significant role in making me the person I am today. I am absolutely committed to ensuring that each and every student has a similar, positive experience.

I want Westlake Schools to be as great as they can possibly be. Excellence in our district benefits students, administration, staff and taxpayers alike. That said, I do not believe in excellence at any cost. I believe in excellence at an excellent value.

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Volume 3, Issue 16, Posted 3:00 PM, 08.09.2011

Ohio House has maintained a focus on jobs, small businesses

As chairwoman of the House Economic and Small Business Development Committee, I have made it my top priority to foster economic development and job creation within the state of Ohio and the 16th District. With many Ohioans continuing to look for employment, they may be interested to hear of some of the initiatives that this Legislature has pursued in order to improve the job climate in Ohio.

The first bill that was passed by the House and signed into law was House Bill 1, which establishes the lean, responsive JobsOhio as an economic development entity that will create jobs without the sluggish constraints of bureaucracy or red tape.

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Volume 3, Issue 16, Posted 2:47 PM, 08.09.2011

Westlake school board VP announces re-election campaign

I am pleased to announce my candidacy for re-election to the Westlake Board of Education and I ask for your vote on November 8; a vote that will continue our district’s excellence for the success of all Westlake students.

Serving the Westlake community during my first term on the School Board has been a privilege. I thank the citizens of Westlake for this opportunity to use my background as an educator to work collaboratively with my board colleagues and the district leadership as we strive to make Westlake the premier district in Ohio.

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Volume 3, Issue 15, Posted 3:28 PM, 07.26.2011

Westlake school board president to seek re-election

Dear Westlake Residents,

For six years now, including this year as President, it has been a privilege to represent the citizens of Westlake as a member of the Westlake Board of Education. I have had the honor to work in partnership with so many parents, students and community members who are dedicated to our mission and vision of Educating for Excellence. I am also pleased that so many of our community members take the time out of their busy schedules to attend our board meetings.

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Volume 3, Issue 15, Posted 3:28 PM, 07.26.2011

Respect lacking at graduation ceremony

I'm writing to discuss respect, or more accurately, lack of respect. My son graduated from Westlake High School this year, and I proudly attended the Commencement Ceremony.

In the program, and then again from the stage, it was respectfully requested that the crowd refrain from applauding until all the names had been called. They gave reasonable, even eloquent reasons for this.

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Volume 3, Issue 12, Posted 2:17 PM, 06.14.2011

US should end operations In Afghanistan

President Barack Obama announcing Osama bin Laden’s death affirmed that “justice has been done.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton similarly declared that “justice had been served.”

His execution by a Navy SEAL team had nothing to do with justice. It had been decided in advance that he was to be killed under circumstances in which he could not have been captured and brought before a court of law on charges related to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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Volume 3, Issue 11, Posted 3:20 PM, 06.01.2011

A referendum with no winners

Representative Nan Baker had a townhall meeting April 26. She was asked to sign a referendum to overturn Senate Bill 5. If it gets overturned on Tuesday, Nov. 1, the police, fire department, teachers, and unionized public employees can celebrate on Wednesday and Thursday but on Friday there will be massive layoffs. 

Less police to protect us. Less responders to our burning houses. Bigger class sizes and no music, arts, or maybe even athletics. It will take winning a $100 million dollar lottery 80 times to cover the Ohio deficit. Wake up. We are broke. SB 5 saves jobs.

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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 4:47 PM, 05.03.2011

Shoe roundup and sale a success

The Bay Men’s Club recently hosted its first annual sport shoe roundup and sale, and this letter is to thank all those who helped make this event a success.

The event was designed as a way for Bay Men’s Club to provide another needed community service. The focus of the sale was to raise money for the Bay Men’s Club Scholarship Fund, as well as provide a very inexpensive alternative for families to purchase gently-used athletic shoes and cleats.

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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 3:23 PM, 04.05.2011

Bay's Ward 3 councilman to run for at-large position

Due to Councilman Jim Scott’s decision to not seek re-election, I am officially running for the open Councilman At-Large position, rather than the Ward 3 post which I currently hold.  There is much work to be done in Bay Village and this is an opportunity to make a long term commitment.
It has been a true pleasure serving the residents of Ward 3 residents directly as their council representative during the past six years.  If elected, I will continue to put forth a maximum effort for the benefit of our wonderful town.
Bay Village is facing many challenges as we continue to cut costs while investing in our infrastructure and maintain quality services .  We are actively investing significant dollars  in improvements to our sewer system.  Additionally, we must continue to look at Regional options in an effort to improve operational efficiency and reduce expenditures.

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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 10:00 AM, 03.22.2011

Group works to improve Bay animal kennel

On behalf of the Friends of the Bay Village Kennel, I would like to introduce our group to the West Shore community.

My husband, Tom, and I, along with John and Ruth Glasmire, met with Animal Control Officer Diana Fife and Police Chief Dave Wright to discuss how we could help ACO Fife with the needs of the kennel since Bay, like most cities, is experiencing a recession-based budget crunch.

Observations and discussions have included the following items for the existing kennel: (1.) Insulation, (2.) Electrical upgrade, (3.) New air conditioning & heating wall unit, (4.) Inexpensive wind breaks that cut heat loss when the dog doors are open, (5.) Expand/build a storage facility since storage space at the police station is limited.

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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 10:05 AM, 02.22.2011

St. Raphael program welcomes 'drifting' Catholics

With this letter, I am hoping to reach out to anyone who has been away from the Catholic Church. About a year ago I felt something calling me back to the Church I had been away from for about 20 years. I wasn’t sure what to do. Do I just show up one Sunday at Mass? How do I know what church I should go to? Should I call and talk to a priest? Then I saw an article about Catholics Coming Home at St. Raphael. Wow...talk about timing!

I went to the sessions not knowing what to expect. Everyone was great! You could share as much or as little as you were comfortable with. The sessions were about topics to reacquaint you with the Catholic teachings. I learned about things that made me more of an active participant, instead of just going through the motions. I even made several lasting friendships that have helped me in my spiritual journey.

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Volume 3, Issue 2, Posted 3:09 PM, 01.20.2011

'Doors of Bay Village' fundraiser a success

We wanted to say thank you to the Observer and its readers for the response to our "Doors of Bay Village" print! We were overwhelmed by the success of the poster and what your support allowed us to do for the children at Enat Alem in Ethiopia. 

We traveled to Ethiopia in December for our court date and we were able to spend a lot of time with the children at both Enat Alem orphanages. We also were able to visit a few other orphanages in southern Ethiopia and fell in love with the children and the country!

With the proceeds from the sale of the prints we took soccer balls, hacky sack balls, nail polish, bracelets, silly bands, toys and medicine with us to the orphanages. Anything that we could fit in a fifty-pound bag! Thank you so much!

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Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 6:16 PM, 01.06.2011

Letter to the Editor: Thanks to all involved in Bay's Bicentennnial

It was a birthday bash that few had ever seen celebrated with more fanfare! And the Bay Bicentennial Executive Committee of Tom Phillips, Carole Roske, Evelyn Allen and myself want to say “thank you” to Bay’s residents, churches, and civic organizations along with our many generous corporate donors. You made it happen!

Each effort, be it large or small, was an important part of ensuring that our proud community celebrated the rich history that makes Bay so special.


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Volume 2, Issue 22, Posted 11:16 AM, 10.29.2010

Letter to the Editor: Vote YES on Issue 1 in Bay Village

It won’t be long now until our Bay Village community decides whether it wants to remain an “A” school district, or slip and become a “B” school district, or worse.

It is a fact that our Bay Village schools have been doing more with less for many years. Our schools consistently spend $1,000 to $2,000 less per student than other neighboring districts in our county and we still achieve excellent results. Excellent teachers want to live and work here, just as we want to live here. They make about county average for doing some of the best work in the county. Our school board does an outstanding job managing resources for the district.

However, Bay Village has reached a tipping point, and I am worried. If our schools begin to slide, one of the best reasons to move to Bay Village will become a non-factor, and home prices will begin to fall. 


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Volume 2, Issue 22, Posted 4:50 PM, 10.21.2010