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‘Best of the best’: Clough highlights Westlake’s accomplishments during grand-opening events

Mayor Clough responds to audience questions during his speech. Photo by Denny Wendell

The prestige of Westlake was on full display on July 13 as the city celebrated the grand opening of the new Community Services Center, followed by a presentation by Mayor Dennis Clough highlighting the city’s accomplishments over the past year.

The event kicked off as Mayor Clough, joined by Community Services Director Lydia Gadd and the full complement of City Council members, cut the ceremonial green ribbon to “officially” open the new Westlake Community Services Center. The $12 million construction cost was funded by a one-eighth percent income tax levy renewal in 2017.

“For all the years that I’ve been serving with this City Council, we’ve never lacked support from our community,” Clough said. “Hopefully it’s because we’ve been doing the right things and making sure the services in Westlake are superior and of high quality, because we want to continue to be the best of the best.”

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:56 AM, 07.20.2021

Bay Village Board of Education appoints Char Shryock as interim superintendent

Char Shryock will serve as interim superintendent of Bay Village Schools.

During its July 14 Special Board Meeting, the Bay Village Board of Education voted unanimously to appoint the district’s Director of Teaching and Learning, Char Shryock, as Bay Village Schools’ Interim Superintendent. Her expanded role begins Aug. 1.

Shryock has served as the district’s Director of Teaching and Learning since 2011. She will succeed Superintendent Jodie Hausmann, who resigned on June 14 and who remains with the district through July 31.

Prior to coming to Bay Village Schools, Shryock served the Fairview Park City Schools for nearly 22 years as a teacher, technology integration specialist and curriculum leader. Throughout her career, Shryock has been recognized for her efforts, knowledge and talents, including being named Teacher of the Year by the Fairview Park City Schools, Administrator of the Year by the Science Education Council of Ohio (SECO), named Outstanding Math Educator by the Greater Cleveland Council of Teachers of Math, and receiving the Oak Tree Award by the state of Ohio PTA Council.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:24 AM, 07.20.2021

Westlake man awarded ESPY

Jeff Dell, center, holds the ESPY award he received from Emmit Golden of ESPN Cleveland 850 WKNR, left, and Jay Kelly from Elk and Elk. Photo by Kevin Barrett

Jeffrey Dell of Westlake was presented with an ESPY by ESPN Cleveland's Emmit Golden on July 8 for his work as player/coach with the Cleveland Scrappers Beep Baseball Team for those who are blind and visually impaired.

ESPN asked for nominations of coaches who people felt went above and beyond to keep their athletes engaged and active during the pandemic shutdown in 2020 and early 2021.

Being an adapted sport with sight-challenged athletes spread throughout Northeast Ohio, Jeff devised a plan to run Zoom practices and instructional workouts with the help of the Scrappers sighted volunteers and thanks to some special equipment he was able to secure through grants from the Challenged Athletes Fund (CAF) and the Cleveland Foundation.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:26 AM, 07.20.2021

Jim Sears receives DAR award for work at Lakeside Cemetery

Jim Sears with family members and Mayor Paul Koomar next to Revolutionary War veteran Christopher Sadler’s headstone in Lakeside Cemetery. Photo by Mary Kay Wilson

Jim Sears, a member of the Bay Village Service Department, was awarded an Excellence in Historic Preservation Award on July 8 by our local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

In 2018, the Bay Village Historical Society sponsored Jim’s attendance at a workshop on Gravestone Restoration and Preservation. He put the knowledge he gained at the seminar to work in our small, historic Lakeside Cemetery. He carefully researched the scope of renovation needed for the entire cemetery, and for specific headstones and monuments. 

Jim has restored dozens of stones. Some stones needed raising, straightening and precision cleaning, to make them legible again. At times, heavy equipment was needed. The stones that Jim restored are straighter, brighter and most importantly, legible.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:24 AM, 07.20.2021

Westlake Olympian honored by City Council

Westlake resident Adelaide Aquilla will compete in the shot put competition in the Tokyo Olympics. Photo courtesy Tracy Aquilla

The City of Westlake presented a proclamation honoring local Olympian Adelaide Aquilla during the July 15 City Council meeting. Adelaide will compete in the shot put competition in Tokyo and is currently quarantining for the event.

Her proud father, Jared Aquilla, who welded his daughter a squat rack to help with her training, accepted the proclamation on her behalf.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 12:58 PM, 07.21.2021

Historical society to celebrate grand re-opening of Rose Hill Museum

A typical mother-of-the-bride dress c. 1910 currently on display. To the right on the table is the decorated stoneware cookie jar the Cahoons brought with them in 1810.

The president of the Bay Village Historical Society, Cathy Burke Flament, the society's board of trustees and a whole host of other volunteers saw the Covid-induced closure of Rose Hill Museum and Osborn Learning Center as an opportunity. In fact, the pandemic gave Cathy the ability to quit her regular job in order to concentrate seven days a week to bring the museum and learning center up to professional museum standards, in terms of archival storage and display. Kelsey Rogers, the one paid staff member of the society, has also been putting in 20 to 30 hours per week to that end.

As the saying goes, “it takes a village.” Cathy tells me there have been three volunteers – Diane Pavan, Sue Jachnich and Marj Elhardt – who come in at regular times or work remotely for a combined 30 hours at the museum each week. Jack Hanley and Bill O’Brien have been diligently entering documents into the PastPerfect archival software. Marge Gulley has been reframing the Portrait Gallery. Peg Phillips has repaired all of the vintage rugs. Pamela Ebert painted the life-size standing portraits of the Cahoon sisters and a sign for the gift shop. The Herb Guild never stopped caring for the gardens. And numerous other volunteers have helped with other aspects of the renovation and re-opening. Cathy emphasized that she and the society are thrilled to be beneficiaries of the dedication of Bay Village city staff who have taken great pride in their work and done a tremendous job making many repairs and improvements to the properties which are owned by the city and leased to the society.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:25 AM, 07.20.2021

Ohio's attack on renewable energies

On Monday, July 12, Governor Mike DeWine signed into law SB 52. This bill specifically targets wind and solar projects in Ohio. Prior to this bill, all energy projects had to apply first- and only- to the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) for approval. OPSB is a governor-appointed/senate-approved board comprised of energy experts.

With the passage of SB 52, businesses that would like to build wind and solar farms in Ohio must now hold a public meeting in the county they are proposing their project at least 90 days before applying to OPSB. This gives county commissions the power to reject a specific project or ban wind and solar projects altogether in the county. However, citizens would still be able to canvass signatures and put the restricted development up for popular vote.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:24 AM, 07.20.2021

Bay Board of Education July 12 meeting overview

This report contains member observations and selected highlights of the July 12 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.

Board President Lisa Priemer called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm in the Bay Middle School library. Also in attendance were Vice President, Dan Vegh; Mrs. Beth Lally; Dr. Scott Schultz; and Mr. Paul Vincent.

Strategic Plan Presentation: The strategic plan will be presented at the Aug. 9 Board meeting. The equity audit is one part of the strategic plan. At that time, a series of town hall meetings will be announced. The town halls are being scheduled outside of a regular business meeting in order to allow all voices to be heard.

Public Comments: At this meeting, tickets were distributed to those who wanted to speak and were randomly selected. Those people were given five minutes to share their ideas. Mrs. Priemer allowed for an additional 10 minutes to the original time of 30 minutes in order to hear from more residents.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:22 AM, 07.20.2021

A little bit of optimism is good for the soul

You know, I was thinking about sports – specifically, Cleveland sports – the other day and it occurred to me that the general malaise which has enveloped my expectations for the Browns, Indians, and Cavs (with some notable exceptions) over my lifetime has – much to my surprise – spilled over to other things in my life, and frankly, it’s more than a little disturbing.

Take the Indians (please). I mean, I was really on the bandwagon when they were something like 10 games over .500 and then they did their Hindenburg imitation and went poof right before the All-Star game.

I mean, I was all grins and giggles even when the weather was lousy, because I was like, “Hey, man, cheer up, because the Tribe is on a roll.”

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:24 AM, 07.20.2021

Doing it for the dogs!

Macy was rescued by Golden Treasures after running away from a puppy mill and being hit by a car. She needed emergency surgery for several pelvic fractures and is still undergoing therapy to strengthen her injured leg. A fundraiser for Golden Treasures will be held on July 22.

Bay Village's Bethesda Childcare Center will hold their fifth annual Charity Car Wash and Bake Sale along with cold fresh lemonade on Thursday, July 22, starting at 1 p.m. The center activities are located at 28607 Wolf Road.

This is a donation-based event with this year's proceeds going to Golden Treasures Golden Retriever Rescue.

Golden Treasures was organized in 2004 for the purpose of removing golden retrievers from unwanted and inappropriate homes and also from shelters, China and Turkey; educating the public about responsible dog ownership, providing a resource for canine owners regarding the proper care and treatment of their dogs; educating the public about the breed and the need for obedience lessons for all dogs; encouraging, assisting and providing guidelines to other purebred fanciers to form rescue programs; and to provide an alternative to euthanization.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:25 AM, 07.20.2021

Part Two: Meet the 'truck lady'

The "truck lady's" supplies: fentanyl test strips, sterile needles, tourniquets, alcohol pads, sterile water, cookers, cotton swabs, etc. Photo by Melissa Hernandez

This is the second article in a three-part series on harm reduction in drug overdoses.

Omi, a 47-year-old heroin and cocaine addict, lived on the streets in Chicago for years. To survive, she had help.

Meet the “truck lady”

Melissa Hernandez, 39, born and raised in Chicago, describes her abusive childhood as “horrible, painful, and confusing.”

At age 12, she started using drugs, “just about everything.” Addled by drugs, abuse, and a bleak future, she couldn’t care whether she lived or died.

At 19, she had her son. She was shocked: “I can’t believe I can love somebody this much.” She quit drugs and never looked back.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:25 AM, 07.20.2021

Westlake Porter Public Library's late July calendar of events

Following is Westlake Porter Public Library’s late July 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, July 21 (2 p.m.) Wednesday Book Discussion – This month’s title is "The Secrets We Kept" by Lara Prescott. Discussion will be held via Zoom. Please register. An email must be provided to receive Zoom instructions.

Wednesday, July 21 (4-5 p.m.) Summer Teen Writers Workshop (Live) – Join fellow Teen writers (grades 7-12) this summer as we create an anthology of short stories. You pick the genre, characters, time period – everything. During each session we’ll reveal a new writing challenge to work into your story. Come with an idea and by the end, you’ll leave with a fantastic short story. Please register. Participants must provide an email address to receive Zoom information.

Wednesday, July 21 (7-8 p.m.) Adult Creative Writing Group – Join us for an hour of creative writing prompts. Please bring a notebook and a pen or pencil. Please register. This program is in person, weather permitting. Staff will make every effort to notify you if we cannot meet in person. If so, Zoom invites will be sent to all registered attendees.

Thursday, July 22 (9 a.m.-9 p.m.) Sea Glass Necklace Craft Take-Home Kit – Love the beach? Grab a take-home craft kit with materials and instructions to make a sea glass necklace. Materials for the necklace and instructions will be included in the kit (tools such as pliers and glue are not included). Please register.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:26 AM, 07.20.2021

Bay Music Boosters membership drive is Aug. 7

The Bay Village Music Boosters' annual membership and fundraising drive will be Saturday, Aug. 7, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bay High School students who are in chorus, marching band, orchestra and Rockettes will be going door to door on that day, asking Bay Village residents to support them through purchasing a membership or by making any monetary donation. All donations are greatly appreciated and are tax-deductible.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:24 AM, 07.20.2021

Astronomy Club relaunches at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

Bill Reed

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center will relaunch Astronomy Club on Wednesday, July 21 at 6:30 p.m.

In 2018, Planetarium Specialist and NASA Solar System Ambassador Bill Reed created Astronomy Club for people of all levels of interest to learn about astronomy in a fun and social environment. Reed led monthly meetings where he shared astronomy news, gadget and software reviews, pop culture recommendations and fun facts. Special events included planetarium movie nights, telescope viewing parties and off-site field trips organized by the club. Due to the pandemic, in-person Astronomy Club meetings were paused and astronomy updates were offered in a virtual format throughout 2020.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:22 AM, 07.20.2021

Bay Village senior center to host rummage sale

The Dwyer Senior Center will be hosting a Rummage Sale on Saturday, Aug. 14, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., as a fundraiser to support activities and community services for senior citizens. The senior center is located at 300 Bryson Lane, just off Lake Road west of Dover Center.

Donations of new or gently used items will be accepted Aug. 12 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and 6 p.m.-8 p.m. If you’d like to sell your own goods, tables can be purchased for $20 in person at the senior center by Aug. 6. All proceeds go to Bay Village senior activities and community services. For further inquiries, please call 440-835-6565.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:22 AM, 07.20.2021

Elks Lodge hosts car show

The Elks car show featured a number of custom automobiles. Photo by Hannah Witteman

It's so good to be out again!

Joe and Stephanie Kleinheinz, along with motorcar enthusiasts, presented their second annual “Cruise-In” car show and Elks open house at the Lakewood Elks 1350 Lodge in Westlake on June 21.

Everything from vintage trucks to mid-life-crisis mobiles were on display as burgers and brats cooked on the grill.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:22 AM, 07.20.2021

Local author features Bay Village in new book

Dee Krueger’s new fiction novel “Gifts No Bows” is a beautifully written escape to a place where family, friendship, and love are tested.

The story is set in Bay Village during the 1950s and '60s, and it is filled with memories that will make you feel like a kid again growing up in Northeast Ohio. The characters are brought to life so perfectly that you will find yourself immersed in memories of your own childhood. You will experience the joy, pain and hope the characters feel as they grow from childhood through adulthood. 

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Volume 13, Issue 13, Posted 10:26 AM, 07.20.2021

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,

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