Latest News

Voting information for Aug. 2 primary

Most voters are more than a little confused about the upcoming Aug. 2, 2022 Primary Election. Simply said, for those voters living in Westlake and Bay Village, this election is the time to vote for candidates for District 16 Ohio House of Representatives and for members of the State Central Committees for the Democratic and Republican parties. The May 2022 primary determined the winning candidates for many other offices and who have been advanced to appear on the November 2022 general election ballot. 

The Bay Village and Westlake/North Olmsted Chapters of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland will host an in-person candidate forum on Tuesday, July 12, to introduce the contenders for the Ohio House of Representatives seat. The forum will take place at 7 p.m. at the North Olmsted branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library, 27403 Lorain Road. The forum will also be livestreamed via Zoom at For those who are unable to attend live, a recording of the forum will be available at

This election is occurring in August this year due to the complicated process for redrawing political districts after the 2020 U.S. Census. The process for this, for both state and federal offices, is described in the Ohio Constitution as a result of voter approvals in 2015 and 2018.

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:44 AM, 07.06.2022

A message more stores should promote

An aspirational sign posted at the Ikea store in Columbus. Photo by Jennifer Hartzell

I recently made a trip to the Ikea store in Columbus. The upper level is the showroom, where Ikea displays their products in real situations: living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, etc. When you go down to the lower level, you enter the retail area, where you can put items that you would like to purchase in your cart.

Before entering that area, there is a large sign painted on the wall that reads “Fill your cart with conscious decisions.” If you have read my columns before, you know I LOVED to see that. I even took a photo of the sign, pictured here.  

I have written about this before, and the how the last “R” should be the one on the top of our minds: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rethink. Rethink! What a great idea to promote. Each of us should be taking time to think – and rethink – about our purchases.

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:40 AM, 07.06.2022

Westlake Police welcome 3 new patrol officers

Ptl. Alejandro Giraldo has his new badge pinned on by a family member at Westlake City Hall.

Three new patrolmen officially joined the Westlake Police Department on Tuesday, June 28. Alejandro Giraldo, Giovanni Santiago and Steve Barnie took the oath of office administered by Mayor Dennis Clough in the Michael Killeen Council Chambers at Westlake City Hall. The new officers each come to the City of Westlake having established excellent reputations during their time in their previous roles.

Prior to the oaths of office, Westlake Police Chief Kevin Bielozer described for the attendees the meticulous and rigorous screening process the department uses when considering new hires.

“Everybody that’s about to be sworn in this morning has done an exceptional job at every step of that process,” Chief Bielozer said. “So we have every bit of confidence as we welcome them aboard onto the team here at the Westlake Police Department. We are really serious not just about excellent teamwork and service, but training and continually refining our abilities as police officers.”

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:37 AM, 07.06.2022

Longtime Bay Schools director and interim superintendent Char Shryock to retire

Interim Superintendent and Director of Teaching and Learning Char Shryock is retiring from Bay Village City School District as of July 31, when her interim contract expires. The lifelong educator made the announcement at the June 27 Board of Education meeting.

“Being connected to students has been at the heart of my work, in my 34 years as an educator,” Shryock said. “I plan on seeking out new opportunities to use my experience to have a positive impact on education and students.”

Shryock has been an administrator with Bay Village Schools for 11 years, when she was appointed the district’s Director of Teaching and Learning in 2011. Prior to coming to Bay Village Schools, Shryock served the Fairview Park City Schools for nearly 22 years as a teacher, technology integration specialist, coach and curriculum leader. She started her career with Brooklyn City School district as a building substitute teacher.

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:35 AM, 07.06.2022

Citizen, Project of the Year celebration July 16

The Bay Village Community Council invites all Bay residents to join us in celebration of this year’s Citizen of the Year, Patrick McGannon, and Project of the Year, Bay Village Historical Society’s Revitalization Efforts. The ceremony will be held Saturday, July 16, 2 p.m., near Rose Hill Museum in Cahoon Memorial Park. City Council President Dwight Clark will present proclamations on behalf of the city, followed by tours of Rose Hill Museum and the Village Bicycle Cooperative.

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:47 AM, 07.06.2022

Kiwanis promote prevention of kids' head trauma

Westlake Mayor and Westlake Kiwanian Dennis Clough with Tim Cornelius of Fairview Park Kiwanis and Safety Pup, the newest member of Westlake Kiwanis. Tim is the former governor of Ohio District Kiwanis who started the Helmet Project. Photo by Robert Rozboril

The First Family Project, "Prevention of Kids' Head Trauma," is a program that was inspired by the Ohio District Kiwanis Foundation "Safe and Healthy Kids Initiative." 

The Westlake Kiwanis are doing their part by providing safety helmets for all the youth who have graduated from Westlake's Safety Town for the past three years. Westlake Kiwanis want kids safe as they ride their bikes, go-carts, skateboards, scooters, etc. By making helmets available they hope to do their part as Kiwanians to help reduce the number of head trauma cases.

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:35 AM, 07.06.2022

Local radio personality to open Westlake Art Festival

The Westlake-Bay Village Rotary is again hosting their second annual Art Festival on Saturday July 30, in the green space on the campus of the Westlake Porter Public Library. 

This year, the Art Festival will officially kick off at 10:00 a.m. with a special ribbon-cutting by morning radio personality Tim Richards from Star 102.1 FM. Westlake’s Jen Touhey has passed the baton to her co-anchor this year. Tim, a traditional East-sider has graciously accepted the invitation to come from Mentor and open the Westlake-Bay Village Rotary Festival.  

This one-day rain or shine family friendly event has something for everyone with over 50 original artists, live music, food trucks, a beer and wine garden, balloons for kids, and plenty of free parking. 

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:45 AM, 07.06.2022

Lost & digitally found

This is part of the series on privacy in the digital world.

An old friend of mine, who has a type B personality, was anything but calm when he called me one sweltering day last summer. So much so that I thought he was involved in an accident … or worse. I could guess only every other word he was rattling off at the speed of sound.

When I could finally interject, I told him to call me back on the Duo app I had taught him to use (instead of FaceTime) since I have an Android phone. I figured the added "visuals" of a video meeting app will help calm him down faster than just audio. But he couldn't call me back using the Duo app. The reason for his panic, and the reason he couldn't call me back using Duo, was because he had lost/misplaced his new $1,000+ iPhone while vacationing abroad!

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:35 AM, 07.06.2022

Osborn Porch Talk focuses on centennial of Bay schools

The summer Porch Talk series at the Reuben Osborn Learning Center kicks off on Sunday, July 10, at 2:15 p.m. and focuses on the centennial of the Bay Village Schools.

Bay Village Alumni Association President Jim Joyce will talk about the history of the Bay schools spanning the years 1922 to 2022, as well as the plans for the Centennial celebration.

Admission is free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to bring their own lawn chair. The Reuben Osborn Learning Center is located at the intersection of Lake and Cahoon roads in Bay Village.

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:40 AM, 07.06.2022

Founder of Westlake SRO program retires after 26 years

Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough presents SRO Scott Fortkamp a proclamation recognizing his contributions to the Westlake Police Department, particularly the School Resource Officer Program.

The City of Westlake held a send-off last Friday for the founder of the WPD's School Resource Officer (SRO) Program, SRO Scott Fortkamp, who is retiring after 26 years with the department. 

During his career in Westlake, he established Westlake as a regional leader, inspiring other cities to implement their programs as well. He has led and expanded the program so all of our city schools are covered by SROs full-time during the school year. Additionally, he has helped train the city's other SROs and provided safety training to several companies and organizations throughout the area.

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:39 AM, 07.06.2022

Four must-know medical facts about abortion

A similar version of this column first appeared in the September 2021 issue of the Observer.

Overturning Roe v. Wade does not change medical facts.

Fact #1:

What does “you’re 6 weeks pregnant” mean?

Ohio has a 6-week abortion ban. You may think you have 6 weeks to plan after you miss your first period – WRONG. You have 2 weeks, at best.

Doctors date pregnancy starting the first day of your last actual period. Let’s say your periods are a perfect 28 days. The first day you miss your period – that is, the first time you’re clued in that you’re pregnant – you’re already 4 weeks pregnant.

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:36 AM, 07.06.2022

What's in a name?

So, if you’ve been reading any of my recent Observer columns, not only are you in the minority, but you’ve probably also noticed that I’m rather excited by the play of the ballclub formerly known as the Indians.  

And if you’ve been following the team with any regularity, you’ve probably picked up on something else as well: there are a lot of guys on the team whose names are either vaguely – or totally – unfamiliar.

Not to worry, friend. Typically, the fans of teams that are the youngest in the majors typically suffer from the same general affliction, and I believe the medical term for this is “nameous unfamiliaritis.” 

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:36 AM, 07.06.2022

Herb Guild meets July 13

The next meeting of the Herb Guild Garden Club will be held on Wednesday, July 13, at Westlake Porter Public Library. Guests are invited, but are encouraged to bring a bagged lunch as the speaker will start at 11:30 and talk while members are eating. 

The topic of the presentation is "A Living Wildlife Landscape" presented by Marne Titchenell from the OSU Extension. Her areas of expertise are wildlife habitat management, forest wildlife ecology, and non-game species conservation. Marne has been with the OSU Extension since 2007 and has written several publications.

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:37 AM, 07.06.2022

Combat loss and loneliness after age 50

Do you often feel a sense of solitude in the world? Does that feeling stay with you, even when you are around a group of people?

That feeling is loneliness. Since loneliness is often a byproduct of loss, older adults are more susceptible. The loss of a significant other, of course, is a major trigger. A recent AARP study reports that 47% of older adults who have lost a partner in the last five years identify as lonely. Post-retirement existential crises can also be a trigger as well as any declines in health that can discourage folks from venturing out (i.e. trouble with vision, hearing or mobility).  

Have you been encouraged by others to get out and get active but haven't been able to get very far? 

If for any reason this is the case, and you are 50 or older, the Westlake Community Services Department, with partner support from the Cleveland Clinic Avon and Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospitals has something designed just for you.

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:44 AM, 07.06.2022

District taps Bay Middle School principal for human resources, operations role

Aaron Ereditario will be Bay Village Schools' new director of human resources and operations. 

The Bay Village Board of Education voted unanimously on June 27 to confirm the appointment of Aaron Ereditario as the district’s Director of Human Resources and Operations. Ereditario currently serves as Principal of Bay Middle School. 

In his new role, Ereditario will lead the district’s personnel program and business operations. He will work out of the Board of Education office, 377 Dover Center Road. The Bay Village resident has worked for Bay Village Schools for the last 11 years, serving at Bay Middle School the last three years, and the eight years prior as Assistant Principal of Bay High School.

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:40 AM, 07.06.2022

Newly appointed pastor in Westlake

Pastor Mike Martel

Pastor Mike Martel spent a life running from truth that called at his heart almost four decades ago. In December 2012 Mike finally came to the understanding that only Christ could provide the peace and hope that alluded him as he ran. He surrendered fully to Christ's leadership. God provided him with a hunger and thirst for His Word – the Bible. At the same time "God gave me the desire to demonstrate gratitude for God's mercy in my life."

As a recovering alcoholic and addict, Pastor Mike ministers to the recovery community, Primary Purpose, a drug and alcohol rehab facility twice a week, where he teaches a Bible study introducing God's healing power and teaching for those who seek change.

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:37 AM, 07.06.2022

Westlake Porter Public Library's early July calendar of events

Following is Westlake Porter Public Library’s early July 2022 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, July 6 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) Horror Film Club – Join us for another creepy classic from the Vault! New members are welcome, but children under 13 must be with an adult. Join us in person or stream on The link will be posted at 6 p.m. the day of the program. Please register.

Wednesdays, July 6 and 13 (7-7:30 p.m.) and Saturdays, July 9, 16 and 30 (10:30-11 a.m.) Family Storytime – Join us for rhymes, songs and play! For families with children ages 2-6. Siblings are welcome. Registration begins one week before each session.

Thursday, July 7 and Monday, July 25 (1-7 p.m.) American Red Cross Bloodmobile

Thursday, July 7 (2-3 p.m.) Teen Crafternoons – Join us for in-person crafting. For teens in grades 7-12.

Thursday, July 7 (9-10 p.m.) Virtual Author Talk: Alka Joshi – Join us online for an evening with the New York Times bestselling author of "The Henna Artist" as she discusses her book. Streamed live. Please register.

Friday, July 8 (10 a.m.-noon) Hand Sewing for Literacy – Learn basic sewing skills and create a sewn project while listening to a story with sewing as its central theme. Hand sewing helps kids develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, self-confidence, patience and focus – skills used in reading and writing. Caregivers are encouraged to stay for the program to learn the sewing techniques and assist their child(ren). Younger siblings are welcome and a simple stitching project will be available for them. Grades 3-5. Please register.

Friday, July 8 (1-3 p.m.) Movies @ Your Library – Enjoy a feature-length newly released movie or favorite family classic! Contact Youth Services for specific title. All ages. Please register.

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:36 AM, 07.06.2022

Bay LWV awards Champion of Democracy scholarships

Maizy Ereditario

Bay High School seniors Maizy Ereditario and Jack Mediate were awarded Champion of Democracy scholarships of $1,000 each by the Bay Chapter of the League of Women Voters at the Kiwanis Award Ceremonies on May 23. The scholarships were awarded based on their persuasive and moving essays on the topic “Democracy is not a spectator sport.”

Maizy Ereditario is planning to attend Ohio University to study chemical engineering. She was involved in Buckeye Girls State and served as Vice President of NHS, as well as golf team, lacrosse team, YPF, SADD, and the kindness club.

Jack Mediate is planning to attend The Ohio State University to study political science. Among his many accomplishments, he is an Eagle Scout and was senior class president and Head Chair of Model UN. He was active in registering voters at the high school and helped with the school board and city council forums the League sponsored for the November 2021 election.

We send them our best wishes for all their future endeavors.

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:41 AM, 07.06.2022

Area students excel in rowing and sailing at national level

The Bay Sailing Team on the beach in San Diego at the Mallory Trophy Regatta.

The Foundry Community Rowing and Sailing Center in Cleveland provides fun, safe and accessible training for middle and high school students in the growing sports of rowing and sailing. This non-profit organization opened in 2017 and many student athletes participate year-round in these two water sports.

On June 4 and 5, the 2022 ISSA Fleet Race National Championship (Mallory Trophy) was hosted by Mission Bay Yacht Club in San Diego, California. The Bay Sailing Team, which trains with the Foundry’s High School Sailing Team, qualified and traveled to California to compete in this high school level regatta.

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:36 AM, 07.06.2022

Lake Erie from Huntington Park in Bay Village, OH

A pleasure and bliss to look at Lake Erie
The waves while large are not fury
To sit there on a bench appreciating the view
It is always a joy and ever new
As Tennyson wrote as he looked at the sunset and evening star
He thought of his passing and wanted no moaning as he crossed the bar

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:45 AM, 07.06.2022

Gettysburg Address 2020

Mel Maurer of Westlake reenacts Lincoln's address at Gettysburg.

A bucket list goal of someone, like me, who performs as Abraham Lincoln is to do his Gettysburg Address at the National Cemetery in Gettysburg. I was able to do just that on May 18 for about 150 students, some parents and assorted tourists.

It was great, what a thrill and what fun, especially seeing tourists' faces as they entered the grounds seeing Lincoln doing his historic address.

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 9:39 AM, 07.06.2022

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,

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Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 12:43 PM, 04.21.2020