Latest News

Bay clerk recognized for career achievement

Bay Village Clerk of Council, Joan Kemper, left, is presented with the Certified Municipal Clerk certificate by Westlake Clerk of Council, Denise Rosenbaum, during the Sept. 27 Bay Village City Council meeting. Photo by Denny Wendell

The clerk of council for the City of Bay Village, Joan Kemper, has reached yet another milestone in her extensive and illustrious career. She has earned the distinction of becoming a certified municipal clerk.

Through the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, two levels of certification are offered, the first of which is the Certified Municipal Clerk, or CMC. (The second is Master Municipal Clerk.) IIMC was founded in 1947, and is a professional association with almost 15,000 members in the US, Canada and 15 other countries. Its primary goal is to actively promote the continuing education and professional development of municipal clerks through extensive education programs, certification, publications, networking, annual conferences and research. IIMC also engages in municipal research administration, enhances critical professional skill development and fosters a spirit of mutual assistance and good fellowship among municipal clerks around the globe.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 10:12 AM, 10.05.2021

City of Westlake collects for hurricane relief

WPD Chief Kevin Bielozer and Rick Grane load donations from the Elks Lodge in Westlake.

The Westlake Police Department, along with the city of Westlake, have set up a donation center to help victims of Hurricane Ida and several tropical storms in the southern states. The police have collected over 1,000 pounds of supplies such as water, food, blankets, toiletries, paper products, charcoal and tents. We are currently working on filling our third semi truck to send down.

The Westlake Police have teamed up with Nehemiah Network, a disaster relief center here in Cleveland. And they transport the supplies down.

You can still donate by dropping off donations at the police station, 27300 Hilliard Blvd, or contact Rick Grane at or 440-829-0974 with any questions.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 10:01 AM, 10.05.2021

Scaredy Cat Run is a fun fall tradition

The Scaredy Cat Run & Walk, hosted by the Bay Village Foundation, is quickly becoming a fun fall tradition in the community. The event, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 16, begins at Bay High School and follows a course that winds through the city.

Participants can choose to sign up for a 5K run or one mile walk. Mail-in pre-registrations must be in by Oct. 13 or find a link to register online at Registrations are also welcome the day of the event. Cost for participation is $30. Race day registration and packet pick up will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the high school. The first 300 entries get a Cool Dry Tech shirt, and the first 200 entries will receive a free set of cat ears!

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 9:58 AM, 10.05.2021

Westlake's annual Fall Festival, Pumpkin Hunt and Haunted Trail return

This October will bring about the return of Westlake's Annual Fall Festival and Pumpkin Hunt at the Recreation Center on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 1-4 p.m.

This free, family-friendly festival features face-painters, hay rides, inflatables, an animal show, a bubble show, refreshments and more. Parents must be present during the event.

The pumpkin hunt will start promptly at 1:30 p.m. Kids ages 2-8 must be registered for the pumpkin hunt by Friday, Oct. 8, or before maximum capacity is reached. 

The Trick-or-Treat Haunted Trail is also back by popular demand for another year at the Westlake Recreation Center on Friday, Oct. 22, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 9:56 AM, 10.05.2021

How to 'hide' photos on your device

In the previous issue, we talked about putting a PIN (Personal Identification Number) on your smartphone/tablet. A PIN that only you know is akin to a deadbolt on your front door. If your smartphone/tablet is lost or stolen, the person who finds it, or the nefarious person who stole it, will not be able to get into the device without knowing your PIN. 

I also wrote that both Apple and Google, creators of "iOS" and "Android" operating systems for their smartphones/tablets respectively, have a way to "hide" photos from appearing in their Photos (aka photo album) app. For example, if you take a digital photo of your vaccination card, moving it to the hidden album or locked folder will prevent that photo from appearing in the Photos app alongside pictures of your grandkids!

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 9:56 AM, 10.05.2021

Sea Scout Ship Intrepid (41) crew wins national USCG Auxiliary contest

Heidi Moody and Gwynn Miller test an electric trolling motor.

Congratulations to Alpha Crew, Hannah Bergmann, Amy Burgy, Gabby Csire, Gwynn Miller, Heidi Moody, and Grace Sugaski, whose research report was selected by the judges as the top Sea Scout B.S.A. project, nationally chosen to support the U.S. Coast Guard Research & Development (R&D) Center.

The challenge Alpha Crew tackled was researching a way for the Coast Guard to reduce its environmental impact while still effectively executing its missions. Knowing that there is considerable excitement regarding electric vehicles, the scouts decided to explore the possibility of the Coast Guard using electric outboard motors.

To ensure the project was on target, they consulted with Capt. John Bingaman U.S.C.G. (ret.) on the suitability of electric outboard motors.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 9:57 AM, 10.05.2021

From brothel to orphanage: The history of 384 Fordham Parkway, Part 3

The subject home as it appeared in a 1938 Cleveland News photo, prior to the fire. Photo courtesy Bay Village Historical Society

The former “house of ill fame” which had the address of 23930 Lake Road at the time, was occupied by John and Cora Humphrey in 1939 according to the first Bay Directory which came out that year. They continue at that address in subsequent Bay Directories until 1944 or 1945. Samuel Goldberg’s Home Centers Incorporated sold the subject home to the Humphreys in 1943. It was in 1945 when the address was changed from 23930 West Lake Road to 394 Fordham Parkway. The Humphreys are not listed in the Bay Directory for 1946.

The 1940 U.S. Census has husband and wife 55-year-old John G. Humphrey and 48-year-old Cora M. Humphrey occupying the subject house. He is listed as a chemical salesman and she the proprietor of a children’s boarding home. They both worked 52 weeks in 1939. He earned $1,500 in wages and she earned nothing in wages. They both stated that they earned other compensation exceeding $50 in value. Perhaps whoever organized the orphanage compensated the Humphrey’s with a housing stipend?

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 9:56 AM, 10.05.2021

Bay High has 5 students recognized in National Merit Scholarship Program

Milan Oppewall, Semifinalist

Bay Village City School District is proud to announce that five students have been recognized in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program, an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships.

Aden Bergstresser and Milan Oppewall have been named Semifinalists, and Jonathan Douglas, Angelica Jameson and Sean Smith are recognized as Commended students. All are seniors at Bay High School. These students were identified based on their 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) scores.

National Merit Semi-Finalists

Aden Bergstresser is looking to attend University of Michigan, Cornell University or Harvard University to study Applied Physics. He plans on pursuing a career in the aerospace industry. This Key Club and National Honor Society member is also on the BHS tennis team, and he volunteers for the Village Project and Cleveland Angels. HIs favorite subject is physics. Aden’s hobbies include playing chess and sudoku. He is the son of Amy and Art Bergstresser.

Milan Oppewall is field commander for the BHS Marching Band. She is also part of Symphonic Band, Chamber Orchestra, Jazz Band and Pit Orchestra, playing both the clarinet and tenor saxophone. Her extracurricular activities also include: yearbook co-editor, vice president of the senior class, and treasurer of Thespians and Key Club. Milan is also a member of National Honor Society, Project Earth, Pupil Assisted Learning and Young Philanthropy Fellowship. Her college studies will include Business Administration & Management, and she hopes to attend The Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University or University of Pennsylvania. She is the daughter of Tarra and Chris Oppewall.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 9:58 AM, 10.05.2021

Meet the Candidates, Westlake Ward 2: Nate Cross

Nate Cross, Ward 2 candidate

I am running because this role serves as an additional opportunity for me to serve my community, in a capacity I am well qualified for.

Most importantly, I am running because I firmly believe that service on City Council requires a non-partisan approach, and fully understand that there isn't a Republican or Democrat way to patch a pothole, or pick-up rubbish. To me, it is all about service and responsiveness to every taxpayer, while listening to everyone's concerns, so that each resident (regardless of political affiliation) truly has a voice on council.

I also pledge to provide straight talk to find solutions to resident's concerns, without any nonsense rhetoric; and will follow through with action, not promises.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 10:02 AM, 10.05.2021

Meet the Candidates, Westlake Ward 2: Nick Nunnari

Nick Nunnari, Ward 2 candidate

I am proud to announce my re-election bid for Westlake Ward 2 City Council. We have accomplished so much the last eight years, including The Community Center, Aquatic Center, Clague Playhouse Fields, and Market Square at Crocker Park. We’ve worked as a team (council, mayor & schools) to get land deals done to finish the new schools.  

Let’s keep the momentum going. We’re in the midst of building a brand new state of the art handicap/wheelchair accessible playground. As we face these unprecedented times with the pandemic, Westlake has stayed strong. We will survive these challenging times together.  

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 10:03 AM, 10.05.2021

Meet the Candidates, Westlake Ward 4: Jennifer Meyer

Jennifer M. Meyer, Ward 4 candidate

My name is Jennifer M. Meyer and I am a candidate for Westlake City Council for Ward 4. I am a wife, mother of two young children, and a government attorney who has dedicated my entire career to public service. Over the course of my career, I have represented law enforcement in federal civil rights cases, argued criminal appeals, shut down nuisance drug and human trafficking houses, bars, and hotels, among many other criminal and civil matters. I have learned to work with people from all walks of life.

We are very fortunate to live in a wonderful community. I want to safeguard the low taxes and fiscally responsible budget that the current Council and Mayor have implemented for years.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 10:04 AM, 10.05.2021

Meet the Candidates, Westlake Ward 4: Michael O'Donnell

Michael O'Donnell, Ward 4 candidate

I am writing to let you know I am running for re-election to the Westlake City Council.

As I walk through our city, neighbors share stories of how happy they are to live in Westlake and love that we are a top ten community in northeast Ohio. I am proud of our success working with Westlake business partners developing Crocker Park, attracting corporations like American Greetings, and providing a safe quality of life for families.

As your councilman for 22 years I have worked with Mayor Clough and his administration, on major capital improvements that have successfully improved your streets, added sidewalks, removed a trailer park, rebuilt the library, expanded our recreation center, added an aquatic center, and built a new community center.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 10:04 AM, 10.05.2021

Autumn in a nutshell

A few tree seeds commonly found in Northeast Ohio this time of year. Clockwise from top: Black Walnut, hickory tree species, oak tree species. Photo by Jordan Ladikos

The crackle beneath your feet, a sudden thump on the ground nearby. These familiar autumn sounds of forest and backyard indicate that summer has come to a close and many species of trees have begun to disperse their large crop of seeds and nuts. Great quantities of these are gobbled up by native wildlife as a seasonal, nutrient-rich food source that is especially useful to animals preparing for energy consuming survival strategies like migration and hibernation.

Squirrels famously store large collections of nuts in hidden caches for the winter to come. This is useful for the trees as well since not every buried seed is recovered before it sprouts into a young tree. It might be a long time before an acorn produces a large harvest of its own though – it can take 50 years or more for some oak tree species to produce an abundant harvest!

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 10:00 AM, 10.05.2021

Bay Board of Education Sept. 27 meeting notes

This report contains member observations and selected highlights of the Sept. 27 meeting of the Bay Village Board of Education. It is not an official statement by the League of Women Voters, nor does it represent the official minutes of the meeting.

Bay Village Board of Education President Lisa Priemer called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. in the Bay Middle School cafeteria. This larger space allows for more seating and better acoustics than the Middle School Library. Other Board members in attendance were Vice-President Dave Vegh and Mr. Paul Vincent. Mrs. Beth Lally and Dr. Scott Schultz were not in attendance.

Certified and Classified Personnel: Several staff contracts were approved, including the following for certified staff: extended day contracts at Normandy for a Lego Club (students will pay $4 per class session); a long-term sub for the Middle School; a home instructor; family medical leave contracts; special project contracts; summer special project contract; supplemental/pupil activity contracts for lacrosse and basketball; and extended leave with use of sick time.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 9:59 AM, 10.05.2021

Abortion talk for pro-life and pro-choice

It doesn’t matter where you sit on the spectrum of abortion. You do you, but we all need facts.

Last month, Texas began banning abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy. Planned Parenthood estimates they turned away 85-90% of women mostly because they were too far along in their pregnancies. With abortion a 'hot topic' in the news lately, I thought I'd use this column to add a medical perspective to the discussion.

First, what does “you’re six weeks pregnant” mean?

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 9:59 AM, 10.05.2021

Like son, like father

Anyone who reads me with any regularity is probably all too familiar with my rants about how the Dolans appear to be happy with mediocre baseball – if the Indians draw enough fans to make whatever the Dolans consider being an adequate profit.

I have given ownership credit on several occasions for putting together one of the best front offices in all of baseball. Year in and year out, the guys who make the player personnel decisions have kept the Tribe competitive with an ever-shrinking budget.

This year, in spite of the two best starters on the team out for extended periods, the Indians remained competitive, revealing some outstanding young pitching that suggests that the Indians/Guardians could be a team to be reckoned with as early as next season.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 9:57 AM, 10.05.2021

Porter Library's annual book sale returns

The Friends of Porter Public Library in Westlake, at 27333 Center Ridge Road, will be holding our Annual Book Sale from Oct. 21-24. There will be three rooms full of fiction, non-fiction, children's books, DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, and audio books.

Preview Night for members of Friends is Oct. 20, 4-7 p.m. Memberships available at the door. Cash or check only.

Regular sale days are Thursday, Oct. 21, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m., and Friday, Oct. 22, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Half-price sale is Saturday, Oct. 23, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. The $2 Bag Sale is Sunday, Oct. 24, 1:15 to 4 p.m. We supply the bags. 

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 9:57 AM, 10.05.2021

Bay Village snake hunters: Basement edition, Part 2

One of the snakes was found on the tracks of a model Norfolk Southern train in Kevin Davey's basement.

For those of you new to the story, over three days in August and September I captured five LIVE baby Northern Water Snakes in my Bay Village basement.

To "solve" the problem I tried a three-pronged "dummy's guide to snake removal" approach: flour on the floor to track any new snakes (I neglected to contemplate what I'd do if I found tracks in the flour, but no snake!), a minnow trap to catch snakes (with yummy, fishy-smelling baby snake food), and a rubber decoy snake to make any few snakes feel comfortable and safe (like the decoy gophers Bill Murray used in “Caddyshack”).

So I patiently waited for three days, and NOTHING happened! Either this mom snake gave birth to only five snakes (instead of the usual 30 to 90), or there might be dozens of snakes still in the basement, waiting to be discovered. I hoped for the former, but expected the latter.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 9:56 AM, 10.05.2021

Westlake Porter Public Library's early October calendar of events

Following is Westlake Porter Public Library’s early October 2021 calendar of events. All programs are subject to change. Please check or follow the library on Facebook and Twitter (@WestlakePorter) for the latest updates.

Wednesday, Oct. 6 (4-5 p.m.) Fall Teen Writers Workshop (Live) – A twice-a-month meet up for writers in grades 7-12. In this workshop, we’ll be prepping for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. Hit the ground running by getting organized and brainstorming within a supportive group of young writers. We’ll also share tips and tricks to maintaining a productive writing environment. Please register to receive Zoom instructions by email.

Thursday, Oct. 7 (1-7 p.m.) American Red Cross Bloodmobile

Saturday, Oct. 9 (10:30 a.m.-noon) Medicare Open Enrollment Information (Live) – Attend a presentation on Zoom by Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) volunteer counselor Jim Langan to learn the “ins and outs” of Medicare, including Medicare coverage options, Medicare benefits Part A and Part B, supplemental insurance policies, prescription drug coverage, and Medicare Advantage plans. Please register to receive Zoom instructions by email.

Saturday, Oct. 9 (11-11:30 a.m.) Pokemon Fun (Live) – Join Miss Rachel in person for  Pokemon fun! This will be a time to view and trade cards, do a craft (if desired) and play a Pokemon Bingo game. Feel free to bring your cards! Ages 6-11. Please register.

Monday, Oct. 11 (All Day) Sewing Soft Circuits Pick-Up Halloween Craft (On Demand) – Sew LEDs into a spooky felt craft with an on-demand webinar to watch whenever you’d like! Instructions for materials pick-up and webinar access will be emailed a few days before the program. Participants must provide an email address to receive instructions. You will need your own scissors. Suitable for tweens, teens and adults. Please register.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 18, Posted 10:00 AM, 10.05.2021

Farrell Foundation receives film grant

Methods to enhance communication between persons with dementia/Alzheimer’s and their care partners are the primary focus of the Carolyn L. Farrell Foundation in Westlake. This major goal of the foundation is the focus of a recent project grant they will be receiving from the Ohio Arts Council (OAC).

With a $6,415 grant the foundation will create a film series to illustrate methods to avoid conflict and anxiety within daily living, says co-founder and board member Dr. Charlie Farrell.

“In addition to care partners the series can be used for other segments in the community such as businesses, first responders, the medical field and faith communities. An innovative process based on improv, an approach in theatre, will be addressed in the film and can make a significant improvement in care.”

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 10:00 AM, 10.05.2021

Bicycling to School

The author's father, Archie Funnell, in Huntington, New York, ca. 1907

Harford County, Maryland, 1956: BelAir Elementary School allowed us to ride our bikes to school, and sometimes, in good weather and with my parents’ permission, I did ride that 3-1/2 miles. I might not still be remembering that, if it weren’t for an accident. 

It was not as bad as a later bike accident in 1963 where both my kid brother Dickie and I were injured. That time an aggressive dog, that I had thought I could outsmart every time, died on the road. Dickie & I went head over heels into a rose bush. The bike that landed on top of us was a 1949 Panther trials bike, 350cc single; the weight of the dog bent its front wheel and the fork with it.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 9:55 AM, 10.05.2021

Bay Teachers’ Association endorses candidates for school board race

On Tuesday, Sept. 21, and Thursday, Sept. 23, the Bay Teachers’ Association (BTA) screened all eight candidates for the upcoming Bay Village School District Board of Education election in November.

In this process, the BTA looked to endorse candidates who they expected to continue the on-going commitment to excellence in Bay Village Schools, and who will be able to bring the community together around the schools.

Therefore, the BTA is proud to announce the endorsement of Amy Huntley, Patrick Mosier and Scott Dwyer for the three open BVSD Board of Education seats. 

We would like to thank all of the candidates for their time and effort, and their continued support for the Bay Village students, staff and administration.  

– Julia Papcke-Russell, Screening Committee Chair, Bay Teachers’ Association

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 9:57 AM, 10.05.2021

Community West Foundation announces quarterly grants

Benjamin Jurek, Education Program Manager; Erin Huber, Founder & Executive Director, Drink Local, Drink Tap & Marty Uhle, President & CEO, Community West Foundation

The Community West Foundation Board of Directors approved $627,500 in third-quarter grants to nonprofit agencies that provide basic needs services to the community in Cleveland, Western Cuyahoga and Lorain counties.  The recipient organizations include:

  • Ursuline Piazza - $10,000
  • Building Hope in the City - $60,000
  • CHN Housing - 15,000
  • Community Service Alliance - $65,000
  • Cornerstone of Hope - $25,000
  • Denison Avenue U.C.C. - $25,000
  • Drink Local, Drink Tap* - $17,500
  • El Centro de Servicios Sociales* - $30,000
  • Enterprise Community Partners* - $25,000
  • Frontline Services* - $40,000
  • Joseph’s Home - $35,000
  • Koinonia - $25,000
  • Malachi Center - $20,000
  • MHAC (Mental Health & Addiction Advocacy Coalition) - $45,000
  • NAMI Greater Cleveland - $40,000           
  • NEOCH (Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless) - $70,000
  • Oberlin Community Services - $20,000
  • The City Club of Cleveland* - $25,000    
  • The Edna House for Women - $35,000

*The five with asterisks are new grantees for Community West Foundation.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 19, Posted 10:00 AM, 10.05.2021

We need your help!

Since 2009 the Observer has strived to fulfill our founding mission – to strengthen our community by informing and engaging Westlake and Bay Village residents. 

Times are tough, and the pandemic has presented an added challenge at a time when emotional connection and togetherness matter so much. Please help us continue to provide a free medium where the community can share news, share stories and share laughs.

If you’d like to keep the Observer serving the community, please send a cash or check donation along with your name for recognition in a future edition of the Observer. Donations may also be made via credit card using the links in the left column of the website. All supporters will be recognized in a future edition of the Observer.

Please make checks payable to WBV Observer and mail to: 451 Queenswood Drive, Bay Village, OH 44140.

The Observer is an independent, community owned publication. Please note that charitable contributions are gratefully accepted but not tax-deductible. For questions about donating or more information on how to get involved, contact publishers Denny Wendell or Tara Wendell at 440-409-0114,

Read Full Story
Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 12:43 PM, 04.21.2020