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Wonderful work: Joan Kemper honored as Clerk of the Year

Joan Kemper, Bay Village Clerk of Council, was named the 2022 Clerk of the Year by the Ohio Municipal Clerks Association. Photo by Denny Wendell

To those of us who interact with Bay Village City Council on a regular basis, Joan Kemper is the Clerk of Every Year. She is dedicated to her craft; eager to help others; incredibly kind, caring and thoughtful; the epitome of a public servant.

For the past 57 years, Joan has served the public in various roles. At age 82, she still works late into the evening and on weekends when the job calls for it, preparing packets of information for council members, conducting comparative research with other cities, responding to public requests and, of course, diligently transcribing the minutes of public meetings.

“Joan is admired by everyone with whom she connects,” remarked City Council President Dwight Clark. “She is the ultimate City of Bay Village ambassador to our residents, colleagues, friends and acquaintances. She is the model of consistency and professionalism, one who represents the ideal qualities of a dedicated public servant. No employee with the City of Bay Village comes in earlier and stays later than Clerk Kemper. She can make a pot of hot coffee and bring a smile to one’s face, second to none."

Last month, Joan was recognized by her peers for her professionalism and dedication, receiving the prestigious 2022 Clerk of the Year award from the Ohio Municipal Clerks Association.

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 10:11 AM, 08.02.2022

COFA = 4 weeks of art and artists

"Dove in Morning" by Kelly Berkheimer, Photography

Works of art and artists demonstrating their techniques take center stage for four weeks as the Community of Fine Arts (COFA) returns for the first time since 2019. The Westlake-Westshore Arts Council presents its 21st edition of COFA, a juried art show, on display now through Aug. 27 at Westlake Porter Public Library. 

The exhibit includes 68 pieces of art from 30 artists, amateur/semi-professional and professional, judged by professional artists. The awards ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 27, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the library’s Porter Room, is open to the public.

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 10:06 AM, 08.02.2022

Rotary Art Festival expands in second year

Rotarians Michael O'Donnell, Joe Kraft and Andrew Mangels greet Mayor Dennis Clough (second from right). Photo by Denny Wendell

The annual Westlake-Bay Village Rotary Art Festival on July 30 grew  to over 50 artists with original works displaying paintings, unique jewelry and “one of a kind” creative crafted pieces. 

The festival had live music performers, a beer and wine garden, balloons for kids, food trucks all day and plenty of free parking.

“One of the interesting things about this Festival is each artist pays their way in, but each artist also gifts to Rotary a piece of their art to be raffled off. All the proceeds go to nonprofits that Westlake-Bay Village Rotary supports,” said Rotarian Joe Kraft.

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 10:04 AM, 08.02.2022

Fix it, Cleveland!

Do you have something that is broken and you wish you could fix it? Look no further, there is a workshop for you! On the second Saturday and the fourth Monday of the month, Circular Cleveland, ThinkBox and the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste district have partnered to host Fix-It workshops to help people repair broken items.

Why is this important? Because when people repair things rather than discarding them and purchasing new, we are keeping items out of the landfill. I have written many, many times about simple steps each of us can take to live more sustainably. It is not sustainable behavior for our culture to encourage buying new, new, new all the time. We must shift our behavior to first of all really thinking about purchases and ensuring we need the item, and secondly researching to make sure the item is high quality and will last a long time.

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 10:05 AM, 08.02.2022

Leading the good life ... in prison

He hasn’t played a down in a game that counts. He may not play at all this year.

Yet, we hear or read his name daily, and that is not likely going to end anytime soon.

In fact, you may hear Deshaun Watson’s name for several years regardless of whether his career as an on-the-field contributor for the Cleveland Browns lasts 10 years or 10 weeks.

Personally, I’m already sick of it, and not simply because of the charges against Watson – but that’s certainly a part of it I cannot ignore. As many of my faithful reader(s) are aware, I’m sick because Jimmy Haslam has done a real number on the Browns’ future with his handling of the whole Watson "deal", his bungling of Baker Mayfield’s trade value, and, well, Jimmy just being Jimmy.

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 10:05 AM, 08.02.2022

Bring the family to happy hour at BAYarts

There’s nothing like BAYarts in the summer with free events for all ages (and friendly dogs) including the Thursday Market and Sunday Concerts.

Thursday Market continues to shine as one of the west side’s favorite markets with dozens of food and art vendors, local food trucks, Chatty’s Pizzeria and live music on the gazebo. Add to that a new twist, especially for families and younger kids, Third Thursdays behind the gazebo invites parents to socialize with a beer or wine while kids enjoy meeting friends for crafts and games under their watchful eyes. 

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 10:07 AM, 08.02.2022

Attending Zoom meetings is trivial

Our nonprofit just held our second annual "Gathering in the Park" where attendees spanned from our first graduating class in 2016 to current students graduating in two weeks. What I realized was that the physical distance mandates of the past two years really made me miss "seeing" and talking to some of the alums who couldn't attend our "standing by the watercooler" Zoom meetings. 

Although I truly believe that COVID-19 is entering the endemic stage, unlike the flu whose season recurs only once a year, the COVID-19 endemic seems to have multiple flare-ups during the year. To avoid postponing or having to cancel our 16-class "Discover Digital Literacy!" program in progress when public health officials declare physical distancing mandates again, last fall I adjusted our program's curriculum to cover "How to Zoom" earlier than later.

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 10:05 AM, 08.02.2022

Learn the true story of Johnny Appleseed

Learn the true story of Johnny Appleseed on Sunday, Aug. 7, at the Bay Village Historical Society’s Osborn Learning Center porch talk.

Many people think of Johnny Appleseed as a fictional character. In fact, he was a pioneer on the Ohio frontier. Beryl Prusinoski will talk about Johnny Appleseed and the conditions our state’s early settlers encountered.

The free porch talk begins at 2:15 p.m. Guests are asked to bring their own lawn chairs. Visit for additional information.

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 10:06 AM, 08.02.2022

Westlake community event to kick off school year

The Westlake Demons Athletic Boosters (WDAB) will host its annual Spirit Rally and Membership Drive on Wednesday, Aug. 10. The purpose of the community event is to celebrate the start of the school year, introduce coaches and student-athletes and raise critical dollars to support WHS and LBMS athletic teams.

Held at the UH St. John Stadium at Westlake High School, the Spirit Rally will begin at 6:00 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. All community members are invited to attend this free event. The event will feature the WHS cheerleaders, marching band and auxiliary teams, food trucks, games, a Dunk Tank and other activities.

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 10:07 AM, 08.02.2022

Observe the Perseid Meteor Shower at its peak, Aug. 11-12

Photo Credit: NASA

The Perseid Meteor Shower, typically one of the most popular and impressive meteor showers of the year, will reach its peak Aug. 11 and 12. For this event, which is visible throughout Northeast Ohio, Planetarium Specialist Bill Reed of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center explains what a meteor shower is and provide tips for seeing “shooting stars” this summer.

What is a meteor shower and what causes them to occur?

Meteor showers are caused by comets. Comets are large, icy objects which orbit the sun on regular, although eccentric orbits. As a comet approached the inner solar system and passes closer to the sun, its ice warms and begins to release particles of dust and rock into space, which can result in a glowing trail of vapor we see as a “tail.”

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 10:07 AM, 08.02.2022

Westlake Porter Public Library's early August calendar of events

Following is Westlake Porter Public Library’s early August 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, Aug. 3 (2- 3 p.m.) Virtual Author Talk: Dr. Marcia Chatelain – Join us online for a conversation with Dr. Marcia Chatelain as she discusses her Pulitzer prize-winning book, “Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America.” Please register.

Wednesday, Aug. 3 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) Horror Film Club – Are you scared yet? Join us for another creepy classic from the Vault ... if you dare! Please register.

Thursday, Aug. 4 (1-7 p.m.) American Red Cross Bloodmobile

Friday, Aug. 5 (9:30-10 a.m.) Summer Yoga with Ms. Jen – Calm your body, mind and spirit in this yoga class taught by a certified yoga instructor. Wear comfy clothes and bring your own mat or towel. Ages 2-6, siblings welcome. Please register.

Saturday, Aug. 6 (10:30-11 a.m.) Family Storytime – Join us for rhymes, songs and play! Ages 2-6 with a caregiver. Please register.

Saturday, Aug. 6 (1-2 p.m.) Pokémon Fun! – This will be a time to view and trade cards, do a craft (if desired), and play a Pokémon Bingo game. Feel free to bring your cards! Ages 6-11. Please register.

Saturday, Aug. 6 (2-3 p.m.) My Garden of a Thousand Bees – Join us for a screening of a new documentary, “My Garden of a Thousand Bees” (53  min.). Prior to and after the screening, take part in family friendly "pollinator" activities. Please register.

Sunday, Aug. 7 (2-4 p.m.) Anime Club – A great club for anime and manga lovers! All otaku and newbies welcome! Grades 7-adult. Please register.

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 10:05 AM, 08.02.2022

Come meet new Bay Superintendent Scot Prebles

Bay Village City School District invites the community to attend a welcome reception for incoming Superintendent Scot Prebles from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 3, at Bay Middle School. The event will be held in the school's library/media center area.

Come say hello and meet Bay Village Schools' next leader in person. Light refreshments will be served.

Prebles officially started with the district on Aug. 1.

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 10:07 AM, 08.02.2022

Veterans invited to free picnic

American Legion Post 385 and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 249 are sponsoring an All Veterans Picnic on Saturday, Aug. 20, noon to 4 p.m.

This free event is open to all veterans and their families at the American Legion Post 385, 695 Cahoon Road, Westlake.

Come join us for lunch or a mid-afternoon snack. We will have hot dogs, hamburgers, side dishes and dessert. We would like to meet you so please stop by, if just to say hello. We will also have a representative from the VA to answer veteran-related questions.

Any questions regarding the picnic can be addressed to Loretta Krook of the American Legion at

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 10:04 AM, 08.02.2022

Meet the recipients of Village Project's scholarships

Jennie Koomar

This year, Village Project (VP) was able to award three graduates from Bay Village High School each with a $1,000 scholarship. These student volunteers were chosen based on merit, past experiences at VP, and their essay responses describing the importance of VP to the community and to them personally. The scholarships were awarded to Jennie Koomar, Aden Bergstresser and Emily Terrell.

The Harrell Family Scholarship was awarded to Jennie, one of VP’s long-standing volunteers. She’s been involved with VP since third grade after her girl scout troop began a card-making competition at Westerly, which led her to start making cards regularly. Because Jennie started so young, she commented that the multi-generational aspect is a highlight of working at VP. “No matter what age or ability you have, there’s always a place for you here. In third grade, I would come after school and walk Ernie,” she recalled. “I’ve also worked with someone in the kitchen who has special needs.”

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 10:06 AM, 08.02.2022

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