Local News

Westshore Council of Governments (WCOG) Meeting, Oct. 14, 2020

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

Present: Mayors Koomar (Bay Village), Cooney (Fairview Park), George (Lakewood), Kennedy (North Olmsted), Bobst (Rocky River), Clough (Westlake); WCOG Fiscal Officer Renee Mahoney.

Guests: RTA General Manager and CEO India Birdsong.

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

NEW BUSINESS

Mayor Clough introduced RTA’s new General Manager and CEO, India Birdsong. Birdsong’s background is in planning. She is adopting innovation and technology and has been successful in retaining employees over the Covid crisis. She is bringing in new staff, including a search for a new chief of police and creation of a new department for diversity and community inclusion. The 10-year strategic plan is in final draft and currently seeking public comment. Simultaneously, the RTA is working on service redesign which had been delayed by Covid. Currently, ridership is only about 55% of pre-Covid ridership. In the height of the crisis it was at about 30%. 93-95% of the RTA system is now in service.

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Volume 12, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.20.2020

Bay Village continues forward with public improvements

This 2020 year has been one for the ages, considering all we’ve experienced through the COVID-19 pandemic and the many changes required in our daily routines. Work at the City of Bay Village is no exception, as City Administration and City Council have adapted to the realities of this changing health landscape. 

Leadership has worked tirelessly to protect the health of our employees and residents, while the Administration and Council have adapted ways to run meetings remotely and efficiently, with safety as the No. 1 priority.

City leadership continues to make good on its promise to deliver positive changes to our residents on many different fronts. This includes work completed, currently underway and/or on the drawing board through a variety of capital improvement projects.

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Volume 12, Issue 19, Posted 9:50 AM, 10.06.2020

BHS Key Club distributes voting information door to door

The Bay High School Key Club has over 110 members volunteering to distribute door hangers to the residents of Bay Village during the start of October.

The door hangers were provided by the Bay Village Chapter of the League of Women Voters and were designed by chapter member Tara Wendell to give city residents information on voting by mail and in person voting.  The hangers also direct residents to the League’s election information website, Vote411.org. Vote411 is an excellent site to get nonpartisan information on civic candidates, judicial candidates, issues, voter registration and links to various other sites with election information. A good voter is an informed voter.

This was a major undertaking for the Key Club, requiring them to map out routes, create teams, count out door hangers, and distribute over 6,500 hangers while practicing social distancing. We should all commend them on this effort to promote voter education in our city.

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Volume 12, Issue 19, Posted 9:57 AM, 10.06.2020

Westlake Fire earns Gold Plus Award

The Westlake Fire Department has again been awarded the 2020 Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Award by the American Heart Association, which recognizes the department as a premiere emergency medical provider. The department earned the honor last year as well.

"We have the equipment, training, and talents to provide the best care to those patients who need us in their time of need when they are experiencing a critical cardiac event," said Westlake Fire Chief Jim Hughes. "We give each of our patients the greatest chance for survival and an enhanced quality of life after recovery. I am extremely proud of the team that is out on the streets doing their best to improve the lives of all of those who live, work, travel and play in the City of Westlake."

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Volume 12, Issue 19, Posted 9:52 AM, 10.06.2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Business:

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

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

Historical Society establishes fund in memory of Kay Laughlin

A fund has been established by the Bay Village Historical Society (BVHS) to honor the memory of longtime Bay Village historian Kay Rothaermel Laughlin.

“Kay Laughlin will always hold a special spot in our hearts. Her loss will be felt profoundly for years to come by so many of us,” said Cathy Flament, current Bay Village Historical Society president. “Her knowledge about our local history and commitment to sharing her vast wealth of information will be hard to match. Losing her to COVID-19 was a wakeup call as to how devastating and widespread the implications of this pandemic have been.

“After discussing with her family the best way to memorialize her dedication, we felt a fund for Kay would be an honorable way to keep her legacy going. We have set up the Kay Rothaermel Laughlin Fund for Preservation and Education that will help fund current and future projects. There will also be a bench dedicated in the rose garden at Cahoon Memorial Park, next to her sister Gay,” Flament noted.

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Volume 12, Issue 17, Posted 9:35 AM, 09.01.2020

Tri-C Westshore to offer free COVID-19 testing

Drive-thru and walk-up COVID-19 testing will be offered at the Westshore Campus of Cuyahoga Community College during fall semester through a partnership with Care Alliance Health Center.

Testing will take place on three Thursdays – Sept. 17, Oct. 15 and Nov. 12 – for Tri-C students, faculty and staff, as well as community residents. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

The program offers testing to individuals regardless of their symptom status, insurance status or ability to pay. Individuals will not be charged for the test.

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Volume 12, Issue 17, Posted 9:33 AM, 09.01.2020

Bay Music Boosters hosts virtual membership drive

Over 1,000 students enroll each year in orchestra, jazz, band, choral and Rockette programs from the 4th to 12th grades. Bay Village Schools’ music program has been named one of the "Best 100 Music Communities in America" since 2003!

Bay Music Boosters is a volunteer, nonprofit organization established to support and promote Bay Village Public Schools’ fine music education program. This year, due to the pandemic and social distancing requirements, Bay Music Boosters is hosting a virtual Membership Drive.

Bay High School students who are in chorus, marching band, orchestra and Rockettes are asking Bay Village residents to support them through purchasing a membership or by making any monetary donation. All donations are greatly appreciated and are tax-deductible.

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Volume 12, Issue 17, Posted 9:35 AM, 09.01.2020

Westshore Council of Governments (WCOG) Meeting, Aug. 12, 2020

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

Present: Mayors Koomar (Bay Village); Bobst (Rocky River); Clough (Westlake); Cooney (Fairview Park); George (Lakewood). Guests: State Rep. Dave Greenspan; Michelle Pomerantz, Director, Cuyahoga County Dept. of Regional Collaboration.

The meeting was held at Bay Village City Hall, Mayor Koomar presiding. It was called to order at 9:30 a.m.

Fiscal Officer’s Report, Renee Mahoney: Financial statement was produced. Nothing new to report.

RTA, Clough: Will receive $111 million from federal government, which will cover recent loss of revenue. State Rep. Greenspan is working with State Sen. Matt Dolan to increase state funding, which was cut. General manager has been on maternity leave, but will be back in September, and will be invited to a WCOG meeting.

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Volume 12, Issue 17, Posted 9:34 AM, 09.01.2020

Westlake Garden Club and the pandemic

No one was prepared for everything to shut down in March, but then, how does one prepare for a global pandemic? Life as we know it came to a screeching halt and we were advised to stay home.

We learned new terms like “shelter in place” and “social distancing.” We could not go to work, children could not go to school, we could not meet with friends or socialize in any way. That was a big order for humans who are wired to be social.

One thing in my life that was affected is the Westlake Garden Club where I have been a member for 12 years. We start our year the third Wednesday of March, but not this year. The many exciting programs and speakers scheduled for this year had to be cancelled. The yearbook could not be distributed at the first meeting, so during that third week of March, several board members met in the parking lot of the closed library, everyone took a supply of yearbooks and dropped off at members’ homes.

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Volume 12, Issue 17, Posted 9:32 AM, 09.01.2020

Community West Foundation partners with local thrift store for SocksPLUS initiative

Community West Foundation announced they have partnered with Common Threads, a charitable thrift store, to be the SocksPLUS in-kind donation drop-off location. Monetary donations, however, should still be sent to the Community West Foundation office located at 800 Sharon Drive in Westlake. 

Community West started the SocksPLUS initiative after learning that socks were, and still are, the number one requested item by the homeless. Due to the exponential growth since its inception in 2014, the foundation needed a resource to help house the donations of socks and other items that were arriving at their office. Common Threads has the means to accept donations on the foundation’s behalf and house them until they are delivered to the homeless through the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH).

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Volume 12, Issue 17, Posted 9:33 AM, 09.01.2020

Pandemic causes schools to write, rewrite opening plans

On July 30, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH) made their recommendations on school reopening. Schools should operate remotely (virtual classes) and suspend all sports and extracurricular activities. CCBH’s health jurisdiction does not include the city of Cleveland.  

In the ensuing weeks, most county school districts (24 out of 26) – including Westlake and Bay Village – announced that they will start the fall semester remotely. Two exceptions:  Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District plans on a hybrid model (2 days in-person alternating with 3 days online learning); Independence Local Schools offer parents and students the options of in-person or all-remote learning.

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Volume 12, Issue 16, Posted 9:19 AM, 08.18.2020

Westlake in Bloom winners announced

In a summer that’s been anything but normal, more than 300 Westlake gardeners continued a beloved tradition. Across the city, in window boxes and large yards, planters along Hilliard Boulevard and fence gardens at Evergreen Cemetery, Westlake was awash in color for the 18th straight year as part of the Westlake in Bloom competition. The participants were recognized at a masked, socially distanced ceremony in the Westlake Recreation Center gym on Aug. 13.

“We really appreciate the fact that you continued to participate in Westlake in Bloom, one of the nice things that didn’t change a whole lot this year,” Mayor Dennis Clough told the crowd. “We can always still be out in our yard, we can always make it a little more attractive and we can beautify the city as we’re doing that.”

Competition was fierce with 97 entries residential and business entries (up from 78 the year before), with several gardeners taking home more than one award. This year’s Best in Bloom winners, Lan Le To and her husband, Binh V. To, were no exception, placing among the top three finishers in three separate categories, in addition to winning the overall grand prize.

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Volume 12, Issue 16, Posted 9:32 AM, 08.18.2020

The 19th Amendment: Proof that one vote counts

It was a sweltering day on Aug. 18, 1920, when the Tennessee House of Representatives met to consider whether or not to ratify the proposed 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, written to ensure that the right to vote could not be denied based on sex. The Tennessee Senate had already voted to ratify.

Proponents and supporters of the amendment had been buzzing around the legislators like swarms of bees, as were reporters from across the nation. The two Ohioans running for president that year, Governor James Cox and U.S. Senator Warren Harding, were watching closely and wondering how Tennessee’s actions would affect their election prospects.

The House vote resulted in a tie. Then, Representative Harry T. Burn changed his vote to “yes” and Tennessee became the pivotal 36th state to approve the federal amendment. After the necessary certifications at the state and federal levels, the 19th Amendment was officially proclaimed as the law of the land on Aug. 26, 1920.

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Volume 12, Issue 16, Posted 9:20 AM, 08.18.2020

Voice of Bay Schools retires

As schools across the country embark on a new year filled with uncertainty, the Bay Village City Schools will do so without their trusted spokesperson at the helm. After more than 20 years with the district, Karen Derby-Lovell retired from her post as Director of Communications on Aug. 1.

After years in marketing for BP and as a correspondent for the Plain Dealer, Karen went to work as the part-time communications coordinator for Westlake Schools. She pursued a master’s degree in communications to pair with her business degree, and was hired for Bay’s full-time job in 1999.

Karen joined Bay Schools at a time when controversy was brewing. A bond issue to construct the new middle school had just been rejected by voters for the second time. It was now her job to convince the community that a new school was needed.

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Volume 12, Issue 15, Posted 9:55 AM, 08.04.2020

Westlake resident receives national scholastic honor

The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) today announced that Westlake resident Madeline Boyer, a student at Hershey Montessori School, has been selected to become a member of the esteemed organization. The Society recognizes top scholars who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, scholarship and community commitment. The announcement was made by NSHSS founder and chairman Claes Nobel, senior member of the family that established the Nobel Prizes.

“On behalf of NSHSS, I am honored to recognize the hard work, sacrifice and commitment that Madeline has demonstrated to achieve this exceptional level of academic excellence,” said Nobel. “Madeline is now a member of a unique community of scholars – a community that represents our very best hope for the future.”

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Volume 12, Issue 15, Posted 9:54 AM, 08.04.2020

Change of command at Bay Village VFW

On May 29, after many changes to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic, several key officers from VFW Post 9693 met in the Bay Village police station parking lot to ensure proper social distancing, and were able to conduct a modified version of the official VFW Change of Command.

The police station is the official part-time home of our Post. We meet in the community room on the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.

After eight years leading the Post, I was relieved by the current Commander Geoff Belanger.

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Volume 12, Issue 14, Posted 10:03 AM, 07.21.2020

Bay Women's Club grants scholarships

The Bay Village Women's Club Foundation has awarded a $2,2000 scholarship to each of six Bay High School 2020 graduates. The recipients excelled in scholarship, leadership and character.

Katarina Chesterfield will be attending the Farmer School of Business at Miami University. In high school she was on the Bay High cross-country team and was a member of the Youth Philanthropy Foundation. She was a volunteer cook for the Village Project and worked for the Bay Village Recreation Department.

Neuroscience and forensic psychology will be the academic majors of Jill Durkin in her college career at John Carroll University. At Bay High she participated in Model U.N., the Bay High orchestra and ran in for the cross-country team. Jill has worked on beach clean-ups and has concern about keeping Lake Erie clean.

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Volume 12, Issue 14, Posted 10:08 AM, 07.21.2020

VFW honors chief with LEO award

Every year the VFW has recurring awards for law enforcement officer (LEO), firefighter, and emergency medical technician (EMT) of the year. These are local, district, state and national programs.

The program chair for our Bay Village VFW Post 9693 is Patrick McGinty, a Bay resident. This year we received one input and that was for LEO of the year.

This year's LEO award winner was police Chief Mark Spaetzel. He was recognized at an outdoor ceremony behind the police station on May 29, days before his retirement. He was given a certificate signed by the Post commander and program chair, and was awarded a $100 donation to the charity of his choice – the Alzheimer's Association. A plaque was installed in the Bay Village police station with the name and year of the winner.

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Volume 12, Issue 14, Posted 10:03 AM, 07.21.2020

Bay Village welcomes new police chief

Welcome to Bay Village’s newest Chief of Police, Kathleen Leasure! 

Chief Leasure was sworn in on June 2, becoming the City of Bay Village’s eighth Chief of Police. Chief Leasure serves as the first female Chief of Police for the City of Bay Village and in the Westshore communities.

Chief Leasure brings over 24 years of experience with the Bay Village Police Department to the job. She began her career in 1996 as a patrol officer after attending the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy. As a patrol officer, she served as a field training officer, evidence technician and was a member of the Bike Patrol Unit and Dive Rescue Team.

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:39 AM, 07.07.2020

The best-laid plans

Westlake planner retires after 30 years serving city

The City of Westlake recently said goodbye to one of the architects of its metamorphosis, as longtime assistant planning director William Krause headed into retirement.

During his 30 years at City Hall, Will played an integral role in helping to guide Westlake’s transformation from a sleepy farming community to a bustling suburban destination.

As readers of his “Digging Dover” column in the Observer know, Will has a passion for history, interest in architecture and attention to detail – qualities that served him well in the Planning Department and left an indelible mark on the landscape of Westlake today.

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:39 AM, 07.07.2020

Bay Rec Dept. moves into renovated Community House

With the closure and eventual razing of Bay Way Cabin planned this year for the new library, the Bay Recreation Department was in need of a new home. After reviewing different location options in the city, Mayor Koomar, with the support of City Council, directed renovation work to be done on the Community House to create enough space for the Rec Department move.

“Given the storage, training, and customer service needs of our Recreation Department, and to allow our residents easy and convenient access to the department, we felt the Community House was the perfect location,” said Mayor Koomar. “Now that they are up and running, many agree the decision was a good one.”

Service Director Jon Liskovec and his team had a number of areas that needed attention in the building. The first item that needed to be addressed was repairs to the roof and cupola, which allowed water to penetrate into the building, damaging the main ceiling area.

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:38 AM, 07.07.2020

Westlake clerk masters her job

Clerk of council is often an unseen and thankless job. Other than sitting alongside city council during public meetings, many of the clerk’s duties are performed behind the scenes. But that doesn’t make the work any less important.

In Westlake, paraphrasing the city’s codified ordinances, the clerk is expected to attend all Council meetings; prepare minutes; post all ordinances, resolutions and actions of Council; be the custodian of all papers and documents kept by Council; and serve all notices required by law.

In addition, the clerk is responsible for providing administrative assistance to Council members; preparing meeting agendas and packets; responding to public records requests; maintaining Council’s webpage, databases and codified ordinances; and acting as a liaison between Council and the public, media and internal employees.

All of those obligations don’t leave much time in the day to pursue professional advancement, but Westlake’s clerk of council, Denise Rosenbaum, has somehow found a way, even if it meant working at it on her own time.

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:38 AM, 07.07.2020

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center offers tours, resumes wildlife intakes

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center began offering pre-registered guided tours and pre-scheduled wildlife rehabilitation services on July 7.

The Center will follow protocols recommended by the State of Ohio and Ohio Department of Health to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus:

  • face masks are required to be worn by employees and all visitors over the age of 3
  • visitors are encouraged to bring their own masks, or will be provided one to wear
  • hand sanitizing stations and hand washing facilities are available throughout the building
  • physical distances of 6 feet will be maintained at all times
  • indoor public areas will be regularly cleaned and sanitized
  • visitors are asked to self-monitor for virus symptoms prior to arrival
  • visitors are asked to stay home if they are ill, if diagnosed with COVID-19, or if residing with someone diagnosed with the virus

Visitors to the Center will see facility and exhibit changes that help to protect people and animals, and to allow for recommended cleaning and sanitizing of the facility. Online registration for guided tours and pre-scheduled appointments for wildlife rehabilitation services are required to monitor building capacity.

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:11 AM, 07.07.2020

Carlton residents celebrate Independence Day

Each year for Independence Day, residents of Carlton Drive in Bay Village line their curb lawns with American flags. This year several residents flew other U.S. flags, such as the “Don’t Give Up The Ship” flag flown by Commodore Perry in the War of 1812.

Pictured are two Revolutionary War flags flown by Doris Gorgas, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution – the Betsy Ross flag with 13 stars and 13 stripes, and the First Navy Jack from 1775 bearing the motto "Don't Tread on Me" and an uncoiled rattlesnake.

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:04 AM, 07.07.2020

Bay Village Foundation honors three with bronze plaques

The Bay Village Foundation is honoring local residents Marie Ashmus, Jim Cahoon and Al Paulus with permanent bronze memorial plaques to be installed at the T. Richard Martin Cahoon Memorial Bridge in Cahoon Park.

Marie Ashmus has been a resident of Bay Village since 1974.  Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Marie was a teacher in Bay from 1974 to 2008. During her tenure, she taught thousands of kids at Normandy, Westerly and Bay Middle schools. She was one of the first teachers in the gifted and talented education (GATE) program in the school district and also taught third grade, first grade, and, for many years, kindergarten.

Marie’s commitment to the community extends to her family life. Her husband, Keith, is a founder and longtime supporter of the Bay Village Foundation and her two children, plus her niece and nephew graduated from Bay High School.

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:09 AM, 07.07.2020

Bay Village American Legion honors Flag Day

The American Legion Post #385 has a long tradition of retiring American flags at the end of their service life. Following standard procedures, 168 full-size flags and 607 flags used at local cemeteries were retired. Prayers and salutes are part of the retirement program.

The retirement was conducted at the Post home on Cahoon Road. Commander Stanley Zeager officiated.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 9:45 AM, 06.16.2020

WHS senior Stephanie Randar receives Jeffery Owen Marriott scholarship

Stephanie Randar, a 2020 Westlake High School graduate, received the Jeffery Owen Marriott Memorial Scholarship at the Senior Awards Banquet Night earlier this year. The scholarship was established to celebrate the life and contributions of WHS 1992 alum Jeffery Marriott, who passed in March 2015. This was the fifth consecutive year a scholarship was awarded to an exemplary WHS student in honor of Marriott. Of special note was the fact that the WHS awards ceremony occurred “virtually” with all awards and scholarships distributed via an online, streamed ceremony.

Randar ranked in the top 15 percent of her 2020 WHS class while maintaining a near year-round athletic schedule on Westlake’s varsity soccer, basketball and softball teams. Athletically, she racked up 10 varsity letters in addition to 1st and 2nd team, All-Southwest Conference honors in softball her freshman, sophomore and junior years. Further, she earned honorable mention, All Southwest Conference honors in both soccer and basketball as well as a 2nd team, All Southwest Conference honors in basketball her senior year.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 9:55 AM, 06.16.2020

Bay residents take to the streets against racism and injustice

Around 40 people of all ages joined in the call to end police brutality and discrimination by staging a peaceful demonstration in front of the Bay Village Police Station on June 3. The group, organized on Facebook by the Bay Village Nasty Women, held signs proclaiming their support for racial equality and justice as they stood along Wolf Road. Passing motorists beeped their horns in solidarity and called out encouragement.

Bay resident Shirley Tomasello came out to be a voice against violence, holding a sign bearing the final words of George Floyd, an African-American man who was killed on May 25 during an arrest by Minneapolis police officers.

“I think it’s important because I think people need to stand up and say it’s not acceptable for the kind of abuse that goes on to continue and to say that silence is acceptance,” Tomasello said. “We have to stand up and change the culture that allows our fellow citizens to do such horrendous things so that it doesn’t happen again.”

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 3:58 PM, 06.04.2020

Community West Foundation grants over $600,000 to local nonprofit agencies

The Community West Foundation board of directors approved $485,000 in second-quarter grants to nonprofit agencies that provide basic needs services to the community. The receiving organizations include:

  • Avon/Avon Lake Community Resource Services
  • Cogswell Hall
  • Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center
  • Lorain County Free Clinic
  • May Dugan Center
  • Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH)
  • Nueva Luz Urban Resource Center
  • Oberlin Community Services
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul
  • St. Herman’s/FOCUS
  • St. Paul’s Community Outreach
  • The City Mission
  • The Ed Keating Center
  • The Turn

These grants are just the beginning of the group’s recent philanthropic efforts. In March, Community West announced they were establishing the COVID-19 Emergency Fund to support nonprofit agencies in need during the pandemic crisis. That fund quickly grew to $143,000 and, in the past two months, Community West issued grants amounting to $85,140.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 9:53 AM, 06.16.2020

VFW announces changes to May events

Due to public safety recommendations, Bay Village VFW Post 9693 has changed, cancelled or postponed its May events.

The Bay Village Veterans Honor Wall update and dedication scheduled for Saturday, May 23, in the Dwyer Senior Center has been cancelled. The addition of name plates and new plaques will be added as available. These updates will be recognized during the annual Veterans Appreciation Luncheon in early November, exact date and time to be announced.

The Memorial Day Parade and Observance has been cancelled.

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Volume 12, Issue 9, Posted 9:39 AM, 05.05.2020

Vote now! Ballot applications due April 25

The 2020 Ohio Primary Election is still in progress, and your vote is more important than ever. Due to the closing of in-person voting on March 17 due to the coronavirus contamination, many people have not yet voted. If you already sent in an absentee ballot or voted in-person at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections (BOE), your vote will be counted and there is nothing you need to do.

However, if you are a registered voter and were planning on voting in-person at the polls on March 17, here are the two steps you should take to vote by mail for the April 28 deadline.

  • Step 1:  Request a ballot. April 25 is the deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot. You should do this now by going to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections website to print an application:  www.443vote.us. If you don’t have a printer or postage, you can call the Board at 216-443-8683, follow the automated prompts, and they will mail you an application. You can also handwrite the required information on a piece of paper, sign it, and send that in.
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Volume 12, Issue 7, Posted 9:43 AM, 04.07.2020

Porter Library extends coronavirus closure

In the interest of public safety and to follow the guidelines provided by Governor DeWine, Westlake Porter Public Library is now targeting April 30, 2020, as its re-opening date. The library had previously announced it would be closed until Monday, April 6. Programming, events and meetings originally scheduled through April 30 are also canceled. WPPL’s Board and Management Staff will continue to evaluate the situation and take the recommendations of local, state and federal government and health agencies into consideration when making any decisions regarding the library’s closure.

“​We are certainly aware of how much people rely on their public library for reading, listening, and viewing materials as well as Internet connections and meeting spaces,” said Director Andrew Mangels. “However, we believe the risk of helping to spread the virus, even with proper social distancing practices in place, is too great to reopen at this time. We appreciate the community’s continued understanding and we look forward to opening as soon as it is safe to do so.”

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Volume 12, Issue 7, Posted 9:45 AM, 04.07.2020

Westlake’s Food Pantry is here to help

A food pantry can serve as a lifeline to a variety of people, many of whom one might not think of when imagining the average individual(s) served by this type of social service.

The good people in the Westlake Senior & Community Services Department knows the reasons a person or even an entire family may find themselves struggling to afford basic nourishment essentials can vary greatly. This is why they want residents to know that the Westlake Food Pantry is open to any resident in need.

Perhaps an individual lost their spouse who was the primary bread-winner for the household. Insurance may only go so far to cover expenses, leaving them in need of a way to make up the difference. They should not go hungry or feel shame in seeking some assistance in their time of need.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 9:46 AM, 03.17.2020

Bay Village improves ISO rating

The Bay Village Fire Department is delighted to announce that, based on its recent analysis of our Fire & Rescue services, we have received the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Class 2 Public Protection Classification (PPC). This places Bay Village in the top 2% of communities nationwide.

ISO is a third party independent agency that evaluates the readiness of all 50,000 fire departments in America every 5 years, and uses that evaluation to provide statistical, actuarial, underwriting, and claims information and analytics to the market. ISO rates each fire department on a national scale from 1 to 10, with a 1 being the highest possible rating.

According to ISO, its Public Protection Classification Program plays an important role in the underwriting process for insurance companies. Most U.S. insurers report that the PPC information is used in their decision-making process when determining what businesses to cover, what types of coverage to offer, and what prices to charge for both residential and commercial property insurance. With each improvement in PPC rating, community members may expect to see a discount on their annual insurance premiums.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 9:43 AM, 03.17.2020

City of Bay Village acts to limit spread of coronavirus

As you know, a national emergency has been declared by the federal and state governments to combat the coronavirus. Bay Village city services such as trash and recycling will continue unless otherwise notified. My administration is committed to working with health authorities to implement practices on a local level.

Effective Saturday, March 14, public access has been limited to certain Bay Village municipal buildings. The Dwyer Center, Community Gym and the Recreation Department have been closed to the public and programming has been suspended. All non-essential meetings at all city buildings have been cancelled. City Hall is open primarily for Building Department related matters.

All departments are staffed and are available by phone or email. We would appreciate it if sewer payments are placed in the drive-through payment box at the exit of city hall or if paying by credit card, please call 440-871-2200.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 9:46 AM, 03.17.2020

Westshore Council of Governments (WCOG) Meeting, March 11, 2020

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

Present: Mayors Koomar (Bay Village), Cooney (Fairview Park), George (Lakewood), Kennedy (North Olmsted), Bobst (Rocky River), and Renee Mahoney, WCOG Fiscal Officer.

Guests: BV Fire Chief Chris Lyons; Ron Barlow, Westshore Central Dispatch Center ("Westcom"); Bay Village Human Resources Director Jennifer Demaline.

The meeting was held at Bay Village City Hall, Mayor Koomar presiding. It was called to order at 9:30 a.m. 

New Business

The meeting began with a discussion of recent CDC communications regarding the coronavirus and their dissemination and implementation. CDC defines a mass meeting as more than 50 people for more than two hours at a time, and asks local government officials to consider the purpose of a meeting and whether the population involved is vulnerable when making decisions about closing events at facilities like schools or senior residences. The mayors speculated that the protocols about closing events and facilities to prevent disease transmission would continue until sometime around Easter.

Bay Village Fire Chief Lyons described cleaning protocols in municipal buildings, and Mayor Bobst announced that Rocky River has contracted for several portable disinfectant machines from a supplier in Toledo. The machines are carried in a backpack and disperse a fine mist of disinfectant that attaches to surfaces and will be effective for several weeks. She will make more information about it available to the other municipalities.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 9:41 AM, 03.17.2020

Herb Guild Garden Club offers scholarships

The Herb Guild Garden Club is offering a one-time scholarship available to graduating high school seniors as well as Lorain County Community College and Cuyahoga Community College current freshmen or sophomore students. Applicants must be residents of the state of Ohio and U.S. citizens. (International or foreign exchange students are not eligible.)

Only students with a proposed academic study in forestry, botany, horticulture, environmental science, agriculture, landscaping, or culinary arts are eligible for this scholarship.

Deadline for applying is April 6. For further information contact Karol Polkinghorn at 440-554-7755.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 9:41 AM, 03.17.2020

Connecting for Kids of Westlake recognizes 3 with awards

Connecting for Kids has recognized the following individuals with its 2020 Board Awards:

Parent & Professional of the Year Awards

These awards are given to those that exemplify the mission of Connecting for Kids to provide education and support to families concerned about their child. The following individuals have been recognized:

2020 Parent of the Year: Jean Dombrosky, a resident of Amherst

Jean Dombrosky was nominated by her daughter, Lisa Neely, who wrote the following in her nomination: “My mom stopped enjoying being a grandparent six years ago and turned into a parent again. Raising my niece and nephew, Joe and Ada, to be the best they can in all areas of their life. Joe and Ada both carry a large medical and trauma history that requires countless appointments. My mother retired to ensure she could adequately care for them in every aspect. She takes them to all medical and therapy appointments without any voice of discord or second thought. She has turned into their educational advocate and is always in attendance at IEP meetings, conferences and is in constant communication with teachers. She is one of the biggest fans at the various Special Olympic events and attends community programs in hopes to become better educated in her role as caregiver.”

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 9:44 AM, 03.17.2020

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center to close through March 31

UPDATE: Lake Erie Nature & Science Center announced on March 27 that it will extend its temporary closure until Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health provide directives indicating it is safe to repoen.

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center sent out a press release on March 12 announcing that its doors will close March 13 in response directives from state and county officials:

The health and safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors is a top priority of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. The Center is taking appropriate action to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Following directives of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Public Health, Cuyahoga Board of Health and the CDC to limit public gatherings, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center will close to the public, cancel all classes and programs and halt wildlife rehabilitation services from March 13 through at least March 31.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 7:52 PM, 03.12.2020