On Friday, Aug. 2, The D.A.R.E. Association of Ohio held their annual awards ceremony in Columbus. Awards were given for D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year, D.A.R.E. Educator of the Year and Law Enforcement Executive of the Year. In addition to these annual awards, the association chose to recognize one of its own with the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award.
Friends and family of Westlake’s military banner honorees – including two of the featured servicemen – attended a ceremony at Westlake City Hall on July 18 to officially retire the banners that were displayed throughout the city for the last several months. Pictured, from left, are Cindy Wisniewski; Andrew Adkins; Darla Midgley; Mark, Bonnie and Rae-Rite Chomoa; Cecilia and David Smalley; Debbie and Dylan Rooney; and Olga Skerly.
All the hard work and time are over and we had a wonderful day July 13 at Westlake's Relay For Life. Games were played, raffles were won and music was enjoyed. Kids sweated their way through the bounce house and others cooled off in the dunk tank. Overall, we made money and that was the main goal.
Unfortunately the turnout was much lower than we had wanted, and it breaks my heart for all the volunteers involved. Everyone worked so hard and we threw a great party and honored survivors, caregivers and those that we have lost. As Event Chair I had high hopes of reviving the Relay so I can’t help but be disappointed.
Will Bay Village have a fireworks show in 2014? The answer to that question is maybe: It will depend upon the generosity of those who enjoy the fireworks by contributing to the Community Fireworks Fund.
Bay Village Mayor Debbie Sutherland announced in 2011 that the city could no longer afford to pay for fireworks. Following that announcement, an anonymous donor stepped forward and contributed the funds through The Village Foundation for the past two years. In the future, funds will have to come from private donations given specifically for this purpose.
The Bay Village chapter of the League of Women Voters Cuyahoga Area will present a candidates' night on Tuesday, August 13, at 7 p.m. in the Bay Middle School cafeteria, 27725 Wolf Road. The four candidates for mayor will each give short opening and closing remarks. An LWV moderator will pose audience questions that have been screened for duplication, clarity, relevance and appropriateness.
On Sept. 10, Bay Village will have the first test of the primary election that was instituted by Charter Amendment in 2007 after the mayor won by a plurality rather than a majority.
Boy Scout Troop 41 of Bay Village presented the Eagle Scout award to three young men at a ceremony in Bethesda-on-the-Bay Lutheran Church on Sunday, June 30. The Eagle Scout award is the highest-ranking award in Boy Scouting. The three recipients were Alexander James Davis of Avon Lake, James Blakely Fell and Nathan Samuel Cullinan, both from Bay Village.
Mr. Carl Meermans, Scoutmaster of Troop 41, presided over the Eagle Court of Honor. The Reverend Dennis Stylski, Eagle Scout and pastor of Bethesda-on-the-Bay Lutheran Church, offered opening prayers that were followed by highlights of the road to Eagle Scout. Nationally, only about 4 percent of Scouts achieve this goal. In order to be considered for the Eagle rank, a scout must satisfy certain criteria. These include a minimum of 21 merit badges, of which 12 are required; demonstration of leadership positions in the troop; planning and implementation of an Eagle service project; character references with at least five letters of recommendation and the approval of a district-level Eagle Board of Review.
During the last week of June at Capital University in Bexley, over 400 teens were swarming from all over Ohio and around the country including Washington, D.C., and Georgia. Viktoria Paulic, a freshman at Rocky River High School, and Liz McIlwee, a senior at Lakewood High School – both members of the Westshore Young Leaders Network – attended the Y2Y International Conference. Y2Y's motto is "believing in the power of youth and the drug-free choice."
This year’s conference theme of "Limitless" equipped the teens and adults who work with them to the limitless potential to make positive change occur. This change can be within themselves, in their schools and their communities. Participants experienced small group family sessions, team-building challenges and limitless workshops over four days.
More than 80 golfers enjoyed a beautiful day at Avon Oaks Country Club while supporting the 25th Annual Youth Challenge Golf Outing on June 27. Close to $10,000 was raised to directly help fund Youth Challenge programs. Thank you to all of the golfers, sponsors and volunteers who helped make it a fun and prosperous event.
Youth Challenge is a non-profit corporation that brings together children with physical disabilities and youth volunteers for year-round adapted sports and recreational activities. For 37 years, YC has been making it possible for children with physical disabilities to enjoy sports and activities like kayaking, horseback riding, skiing and bowling.
The June 20 Westlake council meeting was an evening of comings and goings. Introduced to the community was newly hired planning and economic development director Jim Bedell, while retiring longtime public servants Richard Schultz and William Huffman were given resolutions for their service to the city of Westlake.
Bedell arrives from Bay City, Mich., with an extensive planning background, including working as manager of the planning department and supervisor of the engineering and community development departments over his 14-year tenure with the city. He began his career as a planner with the Bay County (Michigan) Planning Department after receiving a degree in landscape architecture from Michigan State University.
I'm back one last time with my most exciting article yet, part three of my new crusade to remodel Bay United Methodist Church’s youth group room as my Eagle Scout project starting July 3!
Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout takes a great commitment. Only four out of every 100 scouts achieve Eagle Scout. To reach this level, an Eagle Scout project needs to be accomplished. The project has to impact the community in a positive and lasting way. I know that my project will help teens in need come to Christ through a newly remodeled youth group room that will be fully functional, inviting and inspirational to newcomers.
The Bay Village Chapter of the League of Women Voters Cuyahoga Area has named two 2013 Bay High School graduates as outstanding “Good Citizens” of the school and community. Sarah Melenick and Benjamin Nortz were each awarded a $1,000 college scholarship at the recent Kiwanis Awards Night. Sarah and Ben were chosen for their superior qualities of character, scholarship and leadership.
Bikers traversing the United States to raise awareness and money for multiple sclerosis research made a stop at the Cahoon in June festival on June 15. Starting in Bar Harbor, Maine, on May 28, the riders will travel 4,295 miles, ending in Seattle, Wash., on August 4. Pictured are Jim Omans, Matt Konece, Cecilie Cardoza and Rebecca Lemmon. To follow their progress or join the team, visit BiketheUSforMS.org.
It’s no secret to those of us who live here that Cleveland is in the midst of a major revitalization. All the “buzz” about our hometown has reached into rural North Carolina. Sixty middle school and high school students from the combined youth choirs of First Baptist Church of Mount Holly and Marion, N.C., were inspired to plan a “Cleveland Rocks” mission trip and were in town until June 24.
We are back to having only four seasons after Westlake's family sports club closed its doors on May 31. My family's charter membership in the Five Seasons club on Clemens Road began in 1999, yet no more will we be greeted by Sharon as we arrive for our morning exercise class. As most readers know, Hyland Software bought the building and land to build its Science and Technology Center.
Members and guests have a lot of good memories to share, and as the last weeks moved along, good friends met for that last fitness class, the last tennis session and the last time that the water exercise group would ever meet there. Everyone has been asking everyone else where they plan to go now that our club is closing.
The flowers are planted, the edging is done, the mulch is down and the garden is looking great. What are you waiting for? The deadline for entries for Westlake in Bloom 2013 to be received is Friday, June 28, at 5 p.m.
Westlake residents and business owners can download entry forms from the city’s website at www.cityofwestlake.org and mail to Westlake in Bloom, City of Westlake, 27700 Hilliard Boulevard, Westlake, OH 44145, or drop off at the reception desk at Westlake City Hall. Entry forms are also available at any of these Westlake garden centers: Cahoon Nursery, Dean’s Greenhouse, Gale’s Westlake Garden Center or Plant Crafters.
Hello, this is part two of my new crusade to remodel the United Methodist Church’s youth group room as my Eagle Scout Project!
The Bay Days carnival is fast approaching. When it does, I will be there with my fundraiser, “Dillon’s Duck Race.” I am currently building the duck race, and it will be ridiculously fun for all kids and adults! Remember, all proceeds from my booth go to Bay United Methodist Church.
I will also have envelopes that you can enclose a donation to sponsor me for the July 4 Bay Days Run. Please come to my booth, I would love to meet you in person! You may also donate on my secured online fundraising page at www.active.com/donate/DillonsRunForJesus. Please take note, this is a new web address, different from my first article. This is the one that will be valid throughout the summer.
The Bay Village Women’s Club Foundation announced the awarding of $2,000 scholarships to each of seven outstanding graduating seniors from Bay High School at their annual “Honors for Scholars Luncheon” on May 9 at the Cleveland Yachting Club in Rocky River. The scholarship recipients also received a certificate of recognition from the Foundation at the annual Kiwanis Academic Awards Ceremony at Bay High School.
The seven recipients are: Rannie Dong, daughter of Yi Dong and Danhong Song. Rannie's activities include Student Council, National Honor Society, and varsity tennis. She plans to attend Cornell University, majoring in engineering.
Daniel Huntley, son of Thomas and Amy Huntley, plans to attend Miami University, majoring in marketing and statistics. Daniel's activities include class president, Student Council president, a capella choir, Choraleers, Symphonic Band, HUDDLE and tennis.
Bay Village Mayor Debbie Sutherland announced Chief Wright's retirement to city officials on June 6. In an email addressed to department heads and City Council members, Sutherland wrote:
"It is with very mixed emotions that I have accepted the retirement letter of Chief Dave Wright effective June 23, 2013. Chief Wright has been a member of the Bay Village family for nearly 33 years and has run an excellent Police Department. During his tenure, the PD saw significant improvements in leadership, recruitment of excellent personnel, and overall professionalism.
"He is highly respected by his peers which is why he was elected to lead both the Cuyahoga County Chiefs’ Association and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police during his career with the City of Bay Village. Chief Wright will be opening a new chapter in his life with his new employment as Police Commander for the Cleveland Clinic. Our loss is certainly the Clinic’s gain and we wish Dave every success in his new position."
The Sixth Annual Patriotic Band Spectacular sponsored by the Westlake Music Boosters will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, at Wagner's Country Inn in Westlake. If you play a band instrument and would like to be part of this special concert, please contact Ray Walczuk at 440-250-1014 or email@example.com for information about rehearsals.
The weather is warming, Memorial Day has come and gone and summer has unofficially begun. The time for outdoor activities and parties is here, and I encourage you to take added safety precautions with fireworks and outdoor grills.
Annually, just under 10,000 Americans are injured by fireworks and almost 5,000 are injured by grill fires according to the United States Fire Administration. Taking a few simple precautions, knowing fire safety tips and following instructions will help everyone enjoy a safe summer.
- The only types of fireworks that can be legally purchased and discharged in Ohio are trick and novelty devices. These include items that smoke, sparkle, snap and snake.
- Handle and discharge trick and novelty devices only under adult supervision.
- Appoint one adult to be in charge. This person should know the hazards of each type of firework being used.
- Carefully read and follow the label directions on the trick and novelty device packaging.
- Light only one sparkler at a time and hold it away from your body and others.
You may remember me from saving an abandoned little black poodle named Peanut last year from Porter Creek in Bay Village. You may also remember me from selling you popcorn at your door or in front of the Bay True Value store. I am now on a new crusade to raise donations for the Bay United Methodist Church!
I am 15 years old and have always had a goal to become an Eagle Scout by the age of 16. I knew I wanted to combine my Christianity with my Eagle Scout project. Last month, I spoke to the youth council coordinator from the church who told me of the problems within the youth group room. Ever since, I felt committed to helping remodel the youth group room.
The West Shore Rotary Club surprised Westlake resident Megan Teets with a full year, $1,500 sponsorship to participate in Youth Challenge programs. Megan, 11, will soon be starting her second summer with YC. She has enjoyed more than 30 programs so far, including dance and drama, sled hockey, hip-hop and marching in Cleveland’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Pictured are Dan Fronczak, President of the West Shore Rotary Club; YC participant Megan with her parents, Paul and Dawn Teets; and Tom Eble, one of the founding members of the West Shore Rotary Club.
It’s been an up-and-down year for Bay Village. In the past 12 months, the city has garnered local and national accolades, faced budget challenges due to decreased revenues, completed a major infrastructure improvement and got slammed by one of the worst storms in decades to hit the region.
In her 13th annual State of the City presentation to the West Shore Chamber of Commerce on May 7, Mayor Debbie Sutherland’s focus remained on the positives – and the lessons to be learned from the negatives.
Since her last State of the City address in May 2012, Bay Village has been recognized as the No. 1 suburb in the region by Cleveland Magazine, was named to Family Circle magazine’s top ten best towns for families and received the state auditor’s award for “exemplary financial reporting” in last July’s audit for fiscal year 2011.
Is regionalization a good thing or a bad thing? Those who have been following the League of Women Voters (LWV) forums on regionalization know that the answer is, "It depends." Regionalization itself means different things to different people, and the meaning can vary depending on the context.
In the first forum, featuring Cuyahoga County's Director of Regional Collaboration Ed Jerse and Cuyahoga County District 2 Council member Dale Miller, we learned that collaboration between county and city governments can offer unique opportunities for efficiencies and can strengthen the entire region. Yet both speakers agreed that merging political entities is not a first choice: most local communities want to preserve their identities, and mergers are so time-consuming and expensive that the costs often outweigh the benefits.
Bay students are taking out their bikes for the annual Bike to School Challenge. It is a three-week bike challenge to get kids out and about on their bikes.
Each day they earn a stamp if they biked, and on some days they can earn extra for wearing a helmet. Also on some days they can earn a prize, including Subway coupons, water bottles, T-shirts and ice cream.
It started on Monday, May 6. Also, on the first day, a TV news crew got footage of the students to be put on the 6 p.m. newscast. On the first day there were already 544 bikers at the middle school and others at the high school not yet added to this total.
The Belvedere of Westlake garnered national media attention in 2009 by becoming the first assisted living facility in the U.S. to serve as the summer home for a minor league baseball player when it hosted Lake Erie Crushers pitcher Josh Faiola – and has hosted a player every summer since. The most recent chapter in the story of this unique arrangement finds the intergenerational living movement propelled to the national stage with a suburban Washington, D.C., retirement community now housing two Washington Spirit soccer players.
Local teacher Janet Vinciguerra is awarding scholarships to fellow teachers again this year to attend a national character education conference in Washington, D.C., in October. Last year’s recipients from Rocky River, Avon Lake and Cuyahoga Falls attended, gained strategies and shared 10 “best ideas” with their faculty.
Warren Buffett once said, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” It’s unlikely Buffett was thinking of Bob Parry when praising that second “someone,” but the comparison is fitting, literally and figuratively. Current and future generations have Parry to thank not only for the abundance of trees lining Westlake’s streets and developments, but also the transformation of the city from a quiet farming community to a bustling destination for residents and businesses.
Bob Parry, who retired as Westlake’s director of planning and economic development on April 19, played a vital role in shaping the developing city over the course of 26 years at city hall. Hired in 1986, Parry helped to plot a course forward during the most dynamic period in Westlake’s history as the construction of Interstate 90 and a population boom that began in the 1980s shifted the city away from its agricultural roots.
Our annual hydrant flushing in the city of Bay Village will begin April 29 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 between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Since hydrant flushing sometimes loosens some of the rust in the water mains, you may notice rusty or discolored water when we are flushing in your area. If this happens, let your cold water run for a few minutes until it is clear again. Should any rusty water end up accidentally in your laundry, the Fire Department has a supply of rust remover packets. Call 871-1214 for more information or just stop in at the fire station, 28100 Wolf Road.
AMP1, a team of stand-up (non-wheelchair) amputee basketball players, came to town and created a lasting impression on everyone who saw them play. “Nothin but Net! Hoopin it up For Disability Awareness” was an all-day event on April 24 that showcased the team members’ athletic abilities, determination and positive attitudes.
This was the team’s first appearance in the Cleveland area, and was coordinated by Leimkuehler Inc., a Cleveland-headquartered prosthetic and orthotic provider, and Youth Challenge, a sports and recreation organization designed for children with physical disabilities.
Close to 400 generous guests helped raise $210,000 for Youth Challenge at their “Gallery Gala” Annual Benefit & Auction on April 13 at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center. The Westlake nonprofit brings together children with physical disabilities and teen volunteers for adapted sports and recreational activities.
Guests enjoyed a fun evening with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, dinner, silent and live auctions, a Hilton Head vacation raffle and a 50/50 raffle while supporting Youth Challenge. In addition, attendees were treated to a gallery of artwork created by YC participants and volunteers.
Update, April 22: BFI workers will return to work this week and resume regular Tuesday trash/recycle collection.
Update: According to city officials via a Nixle message on April 19, BFI trucks have completed trash pickup with the exception of some streets in the eastern section of Bay Village. There is no information on recycling collection and residents are asked to bring in their green recycling cans from the curb.
The city of Bay Village alerted residents via Nixle messages that the BFI/Teamsters strike has continued into Tuesday, the regular trash pick-up day for Bay. According to the message, city staff will pick up yard waste beginning on Tuesday, April 16, and BFI non-union employees will pick up trash only (no recycling) on Wednesday, April 17. Residents are asked to hold their recycling until further notice.
Serving in the military is not only an honor and a privilege but for some families a tradition. For one local family three brothers have continued that tradition, a tradition that started with World War I and has lasted almost six generations.
Lifelong residents of Westlake and graduates of Westlake High School, Colton and Dylan Rooney (class of 2007) and Brody Rooney (class of 2011) are all currently serving in the United States Armed Forces. Whether motivated by stories from family members about Vietnam, Korea or World War II or from a very positive upbringing for the love and respect for the flag and our country, Brody, Colton and Dylan found it very easy to serve their country.
Photo: Sister Judith Ann Karam, president and CEO of Sisters of Charity Health System, offers an opening prayer at the April 15 blessing ceremony for St. John Medical Center’s new 37,000-square-foot, two-story wing housing a grand main entrance, state-of-the-art surgical suites and sun-lit patient care areas.
Katie Cirincione, a sixth-grader at Parkside Intermediate School in Westlake, just completed the Silver Award, which is the second-highest award in Girl Scouting.
Her project involved revamping three Junior Girl Scout "badge backpacks" at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. Over the past few years, Girl Scout badges and requirements have changed. Katie saw the need to update the backpacks to meet current requirements for the detective, gardener and animal habitats badges.
After two months of public meetings and research, the Crisis Communications Task Force presented its initial draft of recommendations on how best to communicate with Bay Village residents in an emergency situation. At the most recent meeting, held March 25, the committee presented a plan that focused on three impact areas: communicating with vulnerable and at-risk populations; making better use of existing programs and resources; and using tactics that are flexible and scalable for the scope of the emergency.
The Youth Challenge kids are going to be better equipped to participate in Paralympic sports thanks to a grant from Northern Ohio Golf Charities Foundation Inc.
The World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational awarded more than $924,000 to 49 area charities at the Northern Ohio Golf Charities recognition program recently. Youth Challenge received $9,450 to help purchase Paralympic sports equipment to support their power wheelchair soccer and golf programs. YC brings together children with physical disabilities with trained youth volunteers to participate in adapted sports and recreational activities.
Through diligent planning, dedicated employees and community reinvestment, Westlake has maintained its status over the past year as a premier destination for residents and businesses alike, Mayor Dennis Clough told members of the West Shore Chamber of Commerce on March 12. In his 28th annual State of the City address, Clough highlighted the achievements of each city department and measured his administration’s progress toward objectives set for the year.
Mayor Clough said Westlake sits in a strong financial position, calling it “pretty much debt free,” with a “higher bond rating [AAA] than the U.S. government.” In accordance with city goals, Westlake’s property tax and sewer rates remain the lowest in the Westshore, and in some cases, the county, while income tax rates have been stable for the past twenty years. Clough, a certified public accountant, credits his city’s diverse economic composition and responsible fiscal management.
County officials Ed Jerse and Dale Miller kicked off the League of Women Voters–Cuyahoga Area's three-part forum on regionalization on March 5 at Bay Village's Dwyer Center. Both speakers emphasized opportunities for voluntary collaboration among cities, as well as between cities and the county. Both stated that mergers between political entities are not the first choice, given local communities' desire to preserve their identities, as well as the expense and length of time to effect mergers.
Mr. Jerse, Cuyahoga County's Director of Regional Coordination, cited the county's 59 communities signing a landmark anti-poaching agreement, promising not to attempt to persuade businesses to relocate within the county. Instead, the focus is on developing a strong region that businesses outside the county and the state will find attractive. Mr. Miller, Cuyahoga County Council District 2 representative, agreed, citing the Global Center for Health Innovation (Medical Mart) as a project that will revitalize downtown Cleveland and bring new businesses to the entire region.
In an effort to improve communications between Bay Village residents and its safety forces during crises or emergencies, a special volunteer task force has been appointed by Mayor Debbie Sutherland to research and recommend changes.
Stubborn communications issues experienced in the wake of “super storm” Sandy last October prompted the mayor to commission the all-volunteer panel to begin meeting and consider potential recommendations to city council designed to improve communications. The task force has been meeting since December, and is welcoming public input on their draft plan.
It became evident that while the city services and safety forces were able to stay in communications with one another, getting information out to residents became more of a daunting task, with landline phones and the internet being down for up to 6 days.