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End of the line

The first article I wrote for our inaugural issue in 2009 referenced the doubts my dad, Denny, and I faced when launching a publication during the decline of newsprint. Maybe it was hubris or naivete – although I prefer to think it was optimism – that led us to believe we could beat the odds.

And for 15 years, we did. With the support of great writers, photographers, advertisers and, eventually, individual donors, we were able to keep this Little Engine That Could on the tracks.

So it is with heavy hearts that we announce we are pulling into the final station. Our last issue will print in March.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:04 AM, 02.06.2024

Ohio Primary Election set for March 19

TV talk, radio commentary and social media are filled to the brim with reports about primary elections, to the point that Ohio residents could be quite confused. Many people may find that Ohio’s Presidential Primary election is “sneaking up” on them. 

It will take place on March 19, 2024, instead of the traditional May date for other primaries. Citizens have just a few weeks to take the steps needed to be ready to vote. 

  • Tuesday, Feb. 20, is the postmark deadline for registering to vote at your present address, if you have recently moved.
  • Tuesday, March 12, is the postmark deadline for requesting an absentee ballot. If you are going to be basking in a warmer place in mid-March, you can ask for your ballot to be mailed to your temporary address.

Ohio has an “open” primary.  You can request either the Democratic or Republican ballot, regardless of which party ballot you used in a previous election.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 9:59 AM, 02.06.2024

Private school vouchers, part 2

Bay Schools superintendent alarmed at unexpected changes to public school funding

Part 2 of a 2-part series about changes in public school funding in Ohio and the likely effects of these changes on suburban school districts like Bay Village.

Bay Village City School District Superintendent Scot Prebles’ eyes sparkle when he talks about his love for Bay Village and its residents’ commitment to public education.

“Bay Village is a unique community,” said Prebles. “Bay High graduates leave the village to further their education and begin their careers, and then return home when it’s time to raise their own families. They know our community is safe and our district is high achieving, and they appreciate that. These alumni expect their kids to receive the same top-notch education they experienced.”

It’s one of the reasons he recently moved to Bay himself. It’s also one of the reasons Prebles decided to take on completion of the district's long-term Strategic Plan while launching a 7.2 mil operating levy campaign, simultaneously, shortly after his arrival.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:19 AM, 02.06.2024

Weight training after age 50

Everyone knows exercise is important to maintain good health and most know that it is one of the keys to longevity. But with all of the options, how do you know what type of exercise is best? 

Certainly, different exercise trends have come and gone as our culture modernized, affording people less physical labor and more free time. The 1940s was characterized by jumping jacks and stretches. Then, in an apparent attempt to make exercise fun, the 1950s gave us the hula hoop.

The vibrating belt of the '60s (remember that one?) was a disappointing gimmick, but opened the door in the '70s through today to group exercise fads and gym memberships starting with Jazzercize, aerobics, step-aerobics onward to Tae Bo, Spinning, Cross-Fit and today’s popular HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts. Many of these exercises are great because they will combine strength training with cardio.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:02 AM, 02.06.2024

The Bay Village Green Team wants YOU!

The Bay Village Green Team wants you! The advisory board of the Green Team is looking for members who are passionate about the environment and how to help Bay Village continue to take steps toward being more sustainable.

We host public meetings quarterly to talk about environmental issues and opportunities in Bay Village and how the Green Team may be able to help set and achieve goals. Residents are invited to come to learn about what we are doing and to offer suggestions and concerns.

Some of our accomplishments in recent years are: we helped bring residential public composting to Bay Village, we promote sustainability at Bay Days, we inform residents about how and what to recycle, we talk with city council members about sustainability issues in the city.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:01 AM, 02.06.2024

Don't let this vaccine delay your travel plan

Illustration by Megan Stewart

I’m a homebody. If I had a spirit animal, it’d be the opossum. It’s unfussy and eco-friendly in a garbage-eating and low-rabies-risk way. Like me, when it finds a place with food and shelter, it stays – unless, of course, something disrupts its nirvana.

For me, that something would be my husband, who has a travel bug.

Now the son, 25, shows signs too. He’s heading to the Amazon to work with endangered animals. The husband itches to go.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:03 AM, 02.06.2024

Bay school board swears in new members, elects officers

The 2024 Bay Village Board of Education, left to right, Dr. Scott Schulz (outgoing president); James Goodman (new member); Amy Huntley (vice president); Dr. Andrey Stojic (president); and Debbie Callihan (new member). Photo courtesy Bay Village Schools

During the Jan. 5 Bay Village Board of Education's Organizational Meeting, Debbie Callihan and James Goodman were sworn in as new Board members by Bay Village Schools Treasurer Meghan Rohde.

Next on the Board agenda was the election of new officers for the 2024 calendar year. Dr. Andrey Stojic was elected President and Amy Huntley as Vice President.

“For the Board, 2024 brings change. We say goodbye and extend our thanks to Beth Lally and Paul Vincent for their hard work and dedication to our students and district. At the same time, we are excited to welcome Deb Callihan and James Goodman to the School Board. Both Deb and James are committed to putting our students first and to our shared value of academic excellence,” said newly elected President Stojic.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:04 AM, 02.06.2024

From my bottomless idea box

Someone recently asked me if I ever run out of topics to write about. She knew I write for this outstanding hyperlocal newspaper serving not one but two westside communities.

I have a bottomless idea box, courtesy of the Greater Cleveland area "community of learners" that I teach technology knowledge (digital literacy), help alleviate and solve technology related pain points and challenges. Rummaging through my box as end-of-year cleaning, I see a couple notable trends in the last months of 2023: an uptick in our seniors embracing smartphones and questions regarding artificial intelligence (AI).

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 9:58 AM, 02.06.2024

Immaculate reception

The year was 1977, early January, and I had just moved into the upstairs unit of a Lakewood double (is there any other kind of home in Lakewood, really?) so we’d have a nice place to stay when my wife-to-be and I were married in April of that year.

Those of you too young to recall 1977 (which would be the vast majority of my loyal reader(s)) probably need to be reminded that there was no such thing as “digital” television back in those days; we were strictly analog folk, requiring those goofy rooftop antennas (many still remain on homes to this day, as most sensible humans would rather let Mother Nature bring them down rather than risking a serious fall attempting to dismantle one themselves) to receive a decent TV signal.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 9:59 AM, 02.06.2024

Soup cook-off raises funds for Bay's seniors

More than two dozen volunteers served 150 hungry seniors at the annual Bay Village soup cook-off. Photo by Tara Wendell

The Bay Village Senior Center hosted its annual soup cook-off on Jan. 26, serving a sampling of 11 different culinary creations to 150 hungry guests.

This year's event featured a variety of soups, from the Normandy Senior Living's first-place white chicken lasagna soup, to Concord Reserve's perennial favorite lobster bisque (a close second), to Fairmont's bronze-medal-winning sausage and potato soup.

The event ran like a well-oiled machine thanks to the meticulous planning of senior activities manager Jennifer Ruese and the work of 26 volunteers, including employees from city hall and the police department.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 9:59 AM, 02.06.2024

Westlake Porter Public Library's February calendar of events

Following is Westlake Porter Public Library’s January 2024 calendar of events. All programs are subject to change. Please check or follow the library on Facebook and Instagram (@WestlakePorter) for the latest updates.

Tuesday, Feb. 6 (10-11:30 a.m.) Microsoft Word – Learn the basics of Microsoft Word and how to access Northstar Digital Literacy for self-paced online learning. Registration begins Jan. 30.

Tuesday, Feb. 6 (6:30-8 p.m.) Jewelry Junction: Valentine Red Crystal Bracelet with Charm – Celebrate Valentine’s Day by making a beautiful red crystal bracelet with heart charm. Registration begins Jan. 30.

Tuesday, Feb. 6 (7-8:30 p.m.) World at War Forum: MacArthur in Japan After WWII – Judge William Vodrey will discuss General Douglas MacArthur’s role as Supreme Commander for the Allied Forces in Japan’s postwar reconstruction and governance. Please register.

Tuesday, Feb. 6 (7-8 p.m.) Bicycle Friendly Drivers – Learn about how and why bicyclists travel the roadways in the ways they do to develop a shared understanding for all users in this interactive program. Drivers and soon-to-be drivers welcome. This program will be led by an instructor trained by the League of American Bicyclists on how to educate individuals who bike and drive to safely share the road.

Wednesday, Feb. 7 (2-4 p.m.) Discover Your Roots: Learn the Basics of Ancestry Library Edition – Did you know that you can use in the library free of charge? Find family photos, immigration records, census records and much much more! If you are new to genealogy research, this is a wonderful place to start. Registration begins Jan. 24.

Wednesday, Feb. 7 (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. Please register.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:04 AM, 02.06.2024

BVHS program features 'Reminiscences by Ida Cahoon'

“Looking Backwards: Reminiscences by Ida Cahoon,” a presentation by Barb Comienski in character as Ida Cahoon, is the program for the Thursday, Feb. 15, Bay Village Historical Society potluck dinner.

The presentation, held at Bay Lodge, 492 Bradley Road, begins with a social at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and program at 7 p.m.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:01 AM, 02.06.2024


I am saddened to hear my favorite newspaper, the Westlake | Bay Village Observer, will no longer be published. I began my journey with the Observer in October 2009. I was new to Bay Village and so was the Observer.

For several years I contributed to the paper through my column, One Senior's Opinion. I enjoyed writing the column.

Now, 14 years later, many things have changed. Our country is finally recovering from life with Covid, prices have gone up causing many families to struggle financially. No longer is the front porch a peaceful place to spend a summer evening. It has become a convenient drop-off for Amazon and other deliveries.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 9:58 AM, 02.06.2024

Washington & Harriet Lawrence Estate, 23200 Lake Road

Washington & Irene Lawrence Mansion, 23200 Lake Road, c. 1899. Photo by Will Krause

The 26th and 27th in a series of articles to be published as a walking tour of Lake Road by the Bay Village Historical Society in 2026. The articles profile the oldest to the newest minimum-century-old artifacts.

Washington Lawrence, born in Olmsted Falls in 1840, married Harriett Collister in 1863 and they raised seven daughters.  By 1883 the Lawrences owned a summer home in Dover-Bay Colony, located near the eastern border of Bay Village.

In 1890 he developed here, for his family and friends, one of the oldest golf courses in the United States, the Dover-Bay Country Club.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:01 AM, 02.06.2024

Anecdotes from local history

Bay's two-room school house

Longing for the good ol' days? Here are excerpts of old records from the Bay Village Women’s Club, giving a snapshot of local life. 

1917: Women in Bay formed the Mothers Club in January while the men formed the Community Club mid-year. The women first met in the one-room school house (now Bay Presbyterian Church site) but soon moved to the two-room school house at the western end of Lake Road when membership ballooned to 107. The women rode the interurban railway to the meetings and “transported food and refreshments in wagons.”

1921: Club records noted the “seriousness of the school situation” with 108 students attending the West School and “48 receiving instruction in the Village Town Hall.” Also, the Club sent a resolution to the mayor “asking for some means of fire protection” in the community.

1922: Performed a one-act play for a fundraiser, with the husbands building the set. Eventually formed a theater group and in 1967 moved to Clague Playhouse in Westlake.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 9:59 AM, 02.06.2024

Westlake UMC offers Winter Wednesday Worship services

Winter Wednesday Worship is offered to the community as an informal mid-week time to reset and find God’s peace as we sing along to enter into worship songs with guitar and piano accompaniment.

Prayers and communion will round out this 30-minute worship experience at Westlake United Methodist Church, 27650 Center Ridge Road. Wednesday Worship starts at 6:30 p.m., runs through March 27 and all people of all ages are invited to attend.

For more information go to or call 440-871-3088.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:03 AM, 02.06.2024

Providing healing for families experiencing grief in Westlake, Bay Village

Grief is a universal experience, yet for school-aged children and their families coping with the death of a loved one can be an especially challenging journey. Founded in 2003, Joel's Place for Children is a compassionate organization dedicated to providing grief support for children aged 5 to 18 and their families. Joel's Place offers peer-based grief support groups for children, teens and their families after the death of someone special. 

Groups meet every other Tuesday during the school year for a pizza dinner and peer-based grief support groups at Bay Presbyterian Church, and a Butterfly Release is held every summer at Cahoon Park.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:02 AM, 02.06.2024

President Lincoln visits Porter Library

Westlake resident Mel Maurer will present Abraham Lincoln's historic Gettysburg Address on Feb. 19 at Porter Library.

In honor of Presidents Day, Feb. 19, President Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, will be at Porter Library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to greet the public and to autograph copies of his Gettysburg Address.

Westlake resident Mel Maurer, as Lincoln, will open this event at 11 a.m. with a performance of that historic talk. And do it again at noon. Hear the address as you may have never heard it before – as Lincoln delivered it on Nov. 19, 1863. Dedicating a cemetery for those who lost their lives in the Battle of Gettysburg that July, speaking words that will live on forever.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:02 AM, 02.06.2024


We wait for spring to arrive in a few months, disappointed in the gray skies and cold temperatures. It happens every year, and we talk of how we can’t wait for spring to come. What if, instead of being impatient, we take time to pause, to take stock of where we are, and why. Time to be in the moment, to learn something new.

I believe that I am still learning, evolving, stretching. I am constantly searching for online classes, summits, and retreats that will provide me nourishment and new inspiration. I also look for opportunities to pause and reflect.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:00 AM, 02.06.2024

Women's heart health

February is known as American Heart Month, and this year it is even more near and dear to my mission. As a nominee for the American Heart Association’s Women of Impact initiative, I am teaming up with women across the nation to increase awareness of women’s heart disease and raise money to improve research and education to better identify, diagnose, treat and prevent cardiovascular disease in women.

February 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the Association’s Go Red for Women movement, as well as the American Heart Association’s 100th anniversary. However, to this day, cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer of women. In fact, in 2016, Ohio was ranked 13th in the U.S. for highest rates of death due to heart disease.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 9:58 AM, 02.06.2024

Celtic music at Clague Playhouse

Tiffany Schaefer and Kristen Capp will perform Celtic music at Clague Playhouse.

Join us on Sunday, March 3, at 2 p.m. as Tiffany Schaefer (harp, vocals) and Kristen Capp (fiddle) share their passion for the music of Ireland and Scotland. Together they will captivate listeners with traditional foot-tapping Celtic dance tunes and exquisite slow airs. They will also provide a brief history of the music as well as some information about their instruments.

The performance will be 90 minutes with a short intermission.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:01 AM, 02.06.2024