Letters To The Editor

Where was everybody?

As in years past, I attended the Memorial Day service at the small cemetery in Bay Village. Normally, a parade happens immediately afterward, leading back to the town square. The parade was cancelled this year (in 1944, thousands of Americans paraded up a beach through deep water and withering machine gun fire, but now we are hesitant to stand by the side of a road catching candy, because we might also catch ... y'know).

Normally, there are a couple hundred people at the service – this year, a couple dozen. I counted a total of three children.

Apparently, sans a parade, there isn't a good enough reason for people show up to remember and show gratitude, and for parents to teach their kids a pretty valuable lesson about where they came from, and who they came from. Sad and inexcusable.

– Randy DeMuesy, Westlake

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Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 10:05 AM, 06.15.2021

Caring for the less fortunate across the globe

We live in one of the most powerful nations on Earth, and it is easily forgettable that across the world 1 in 9 people are hungry and one billion people are still living without electricity. To those that live in an underdeveloped country, their thoughts consist of where their next meal will come from, or how far it is to get to a bathroom.

Living in a nation with so much influence on the rest of the world, we have a responsibility to help those that are impacted by global poverty. Especially from the secondary socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19.

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Volume 13, Issue 7, Posted 10:30 AM, 04.06.2021

Celebrating Bayway Cabin

While we celebrate the groundbreaking of a new addition of a library coming to Bay Village, we also celebrate the Bayway Cabin and the great impact it had on the youth of our community. Let’s strive to replicate this model since the children of Bay need it now more than ever. Great memories.

– Gary S. Sharp, Bay Village

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Volume 13, Issue 7, Posted 10:38 AM, 04.06.2021

Knickerbocker donation drive a success

The Old Mother Hubbard's Cupboard donation event to replenish the kitchen supplies at the Knickerbocker Senior Center in Bay Village was a resounding success. I would like to say thank you to all the Bay Village residents and those from the surrounding communities; our four supporting churches: Bay United Methodist, Bay Presbyterian, Bethesda on the Bay and Christ Church Westshore Anglican; six Bay High School students: Cullen Gergye, Ashten Price, Brock Pickett, Kaden Ullom, Hayden Coffman and Jack Nageotte who unloaded all the drop-offs with a smile and a thank you; the mayor’s office and the Board of Trustees from Bay Interfaith Housing for helping make this event so successful. 

To say I am profoundly moved at the caring and generosity that was displayed is an understatement. On behalf of the staff and seniors at the Knickerbocker Senior Apartments and the Knickerbocker Senior Center, I again say thank you. Please know you have done your part and helped some wonderful people.

– Nancy Plain, Knickerbocker Senior Center Activities Director

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Volume 13, Issue 7, Posted 10:35 AM, 04.06.2021

Learn how to request public records in Sunshine Week program

Sunshine Week is a nationwide effort to highlight the importance of transparency in government, freedom of information and open government at all levels. Sunshine Week occurs around the birthday of James Madison, the fourth president of the U.S. and author of the First Amendment to the Constitution. It is being observed this year March 14-20, 2021.

The League of Women Voters of Ohio and Common Cause Ohio will provide a free virtual program at noon on Tuesday, March 16, to guide citizens through the process of requesting public records. To register for this free event, go the LWV Ohio Facebook page: facebook.com/events/459270628428774.

Most Ohio public bodies have changed their public meeting requirements in the past year, due to the need for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sunshine Week is an appropriate time to review ways in which citizens are informed about plans and actions and to assess how easy it is for citizens to express opinions to elected officials.

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Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 9:47 AM, 03.02.2021

Bay ordinance will preserve tree canopy

I am a lifelong resident of Bay Village. I write to express my deep concern about preserving the trees in Bay Village.

Trees are essential to the character of Bay Village. Beyond simple beauty, trees serve essential functions such as reducing air pollution, conserving water, and limiting noise pollution. Maintaining a robust tree canopy correlates with increases in residential property value by up to 15 percent. 

From 2011-2017, Bay lost 8.5% of its tree canopy, a rate higher than the county average. Some of this loss came from clearcutting for multi-unit home development, but much came from the loss of one or two trees at a time on individual lots. This rate of loss is unsustainable and must be reversed to maintain the beauty and health of our community.

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Volume 12, Issue 24, Posted 9:52 AM, 12.15.2020

This winter, use the right S.A.L.T.

Winter is coming! Road salt, or sodium chloride, only works above 15°F. One teaspoon of salt permanently pollutes 5 gallons of water! Salt works best when it is applied before the snow falls, or right after snow is removed from your sidewalk or driveway. Never apply salt when rain is in the forecast, it will just wash away into the storm drain and out to our waterways. 

This winter, pledge to use the right S.A.L.T. (Stuff, Amount, Location, Time):

  • Only use rock salt (sodium chloride) above 15 degrees F.
  • Spread only enough salt to do the job – one 12-ounce coffee mug full of salt is enough to effectively de-ice about 10 sidewalk squares.
  • Spread salt only on the surfaces that need to be de-iced, and never on the lawn, at the base of a tree or right next to a stream or storm drain!
  • Only apply salt right before the snow falls or right after snow is removed from my driveway or sidewalk – and never when rain is in the forecast.
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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 9:26 AM, 11.17.2020

Shining a light on community accomplishments

Congratulations to the Observer for continuing to cover community news in a positive light. In view of some recent columns in local publications concerning Bay Village and the other western communities, it's good to read cheering news of what we accomplish on a continuing basis.
 
These are difficult and challenging times for everyone, no matter what the personal situations may be. It's refreshing to have our community and residents in a good light.
 
– Doris Gorgas, Bay Village Citizen of the Year 2014

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Volume 12, Issue 21, Posted 9:27 AM, 11.03.2020

LWV encourages yes vote on Westlake Issue 64

Westlake fire and police departments have ever-increasing demands for the protections they provide as the city grows in both population and structures. Recognizing this, the Westlake/North Olmsted Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland urges Westlake citizens to join them in supporting Issue 64, the 0.9 mill renewal levy that is on the Westlake ballot for Nov. 3.

Voters have approved this 0.9 mill levy every 5 years since 1966. While the levy proceeds fund only 14 full-time employees, it has proved to be an important support to the safety services budget as state money for local governments has diminished. Fire and police operations and programs account for almost 40 percent of Westlake’s city budget.

– Janice B. Patterson, Chair, Westlake/North Olmsted Chapter, League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland

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Volume 12, Issue 19, Posted 10:17 AM, 10.06.2020

Trump supporters' signs snatched

We all knew that this would be a contentious election but I really thought that the vandalism, censorship and lack of respect for private property that we see in the news would never be seen in my lovely Bay Village neighborhood. Trump haters have struck and I am not surprised but I am totally disheartened.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 1:35 PM, 09.15.2020

Put health before 'perfect' lawn

I really appreciated Jennifer Hartzell's article on the importance of avoiding lawn chemicals in our yards ["Enjoy your own (healthy) lawn this summer," June 16]. I have often been baffled as to why people pay money to basically poison themselves, but I suppose that's a tribute to the power of peer pressure, a certain idealistic but outdated vision of the yard, and the heavy advertising of the lawn chemicals industry.  Thank you to Hartzell and the Observer for spotlighting the importance of keeping one's yard truly natural.
 
I offer two additions to Hartzell's article.

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:04 AM, 07.07.2020

Kudos to Westlake safety forces

I am writing to commend the Westlake fire and police departments.

One day several months ago as I had an appointment at Cleveland Clinic I fell ill and they called the rescue squad. The firemen who answered were very kind, professional and caring. They put me at ease and transported.

The police responded also and were excellent.

God bless them both and may they stay safe.

– Beverly Kosarko, Cleveland

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:08 AM, 07.07.2020

Protesters should step up

I hope that all these demonstrators volunteer to work with the black elementary kids – who have not been in school – because of the C-flu epidemic. Black lives matter – in our city – that's the true social justice – not this fascist organization sponsored by radical paid groups – who tried to destroy our cities and neighborhoods.

– Catherin Peter, Westlake

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:09 AM, 07.07.2020

The summer of 2020 (a child’s perspective)

“Every summer has a story.” This is going to be especially true for the summer of 2020. Hi, I’m Remy Harding and I’m 12 years old. I love summer so much and am wondering how different it’s going to be this year because of Coronavirus.

One of my favorite activities during the summer is riding my bike with my family to Huntington Beach. All 5 of us ride in a straight line like ducks and we wear helmets. When we get to Huntington, Honey Hut is our first stop. My favorite ice cream to order is chocolate with chunks of peanut butter. Sometimes they are so big, they are more like slabs of heaven. Nothing beats chocolate ice cream on a hot summer night.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:35 AM, 06.02.2020

What I am looking forward to this summer

Hello my name is Gabbie Harding and I am 13 years old.

I am looking forward to many summer activities this year. I will spend most of the summer with my family having fun. I'm also looking forward to going to summer camp.

Covid-19 has definitely changed some of our plans, however we are getting creative and resorting to some old fashioned traditions. We are spending more time creating games, painting outside on the driveway, baking and riding our bikes. We still get to barbecue and sit around a fire pit. I am looking forward to a Weenie Roast and making s'mores.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:35 AM, 06.02.2020

Clague Playhouse cancels season

Valued patrons of Clague Playhouse,

It is with a heavy heart that we must cancel all remaining shows for the season, and we will remain closed through July 8. Our 93rd season will begin in September and we will have more information for you soon. Please watch clagueplayhouse.org and our social media for updates.

Please stay home and stay safe! We appreciate your continued patience and support during these unprecedented times and look forward to seeing you all in September.

Best wishes,

Your Clague Playhouse family

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Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 9:03 AM, 04.21.2020

League website offers election information for voters

In every even-numbered year, Ohio ballots contain candidates for seats in the Ohio House of Representatives. There are three people running for this office on the March 17 primary election ballots. 

Typically, the League of Women Voters chapters in Ohio House District 16 seek to provide public meetings before a primary election to introduce contested candidates to the public. Regrettably, it was not possible this year to make mutually agreeable arrangements that satisfied the League’s nonpartisan policy and the legal requirements for state and federal candidates.  However, we will be seeking workable terms for a candidate forum before the general election in November 2020. 

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 10:04 AM, 03.03.2020

Bay High students unite to fight cancer

Hello, my name is Ava Ransom, and I’m a senior at Bay High School. I am excited to announce that Bay High School will be a part of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) “Students of the Year” campaign!

From Jan. 25 to March 13 high school students in Northern Ohio will engage their community in raising funds for LLS in order to support and fight for patients with blood cancer. Bay has been a part of this campaign for the past two years, and this year our team of 15 Bay High School students believes that with the support of our amazing Bay community, we can reach our goal of $100,000!

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 9:53 AM, 02.04.2020

Dangerous dog laws must be enforced and followed

I would like to comment on the article published in the Nov. 19 issue regarding dog bites in Westlake. I believe statements made in the article need clarification.

As mentioned in the article, my golden retriever, Chelsea, was involved in an unprovoked attack by two dogs on Sept. 11, as I was walking her in my neighborhood. The attack involved multiple puncture wounds to her neck and hip. Prior to this incident, at least two people were bit by one of the dogs (Lester) and several neighbors have reported seeing both dogs leaving their property and even chasing children riding their bikes on the road.

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Volume 11, Issue 23, Posted 10:06 AM, 12.03.2019

League of Women Voters supports Westlake infrastructure levy

The Westlake-North Olmsted Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland voted on Oct. 22, 2019, to support Issue 71, the 0.375% levy request proposed by the City of Westlake as it appears on the Nov. 5, 2019, general election ballot.

In its review, based on the League’s positions on taxation, it was noted that the City Council has carefully evaluated the methods available to it for appropriating tax dollars and has made long-range plans for infrastructure improvements. In addition, the City Council has worked to ensure taxpayer understanding of this levy by providing detailed spending plans in a Special Edition of the Mayor’s Newsletter that has been mailed to residents and is readily available online.

– Janice Patterson, Chair
Westlake-North Olmsted Chapter
League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland

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Volume 11, Issue 21, Posted 6:34 PM, 10.28.2019

Bay Village, a great American town

Many years ago in Houston, I met the woman I fell in love with and married. She was from Ohio, and I was from Michigan. I knew little of Ohio, except there were some cousins, near Ashtabula.

As I got to know my wife, I visited her family in the town where she graduated from high school and her parents resided, Bay Village. At first, it seemed like just a nice name. I met her mom. Within half an hour, she told me how proud she was of living in Greater Cleveland, saying many times that day (later, too): "Cleveland, the Best Location in the Nation." I was open to that and felt welcomed and loved.

The purpose of this essay, is to celebrate a special place which, from the perspective of a visitor here, is amazing. Though, I have been here many times in the past 29 years, this year I was struck how simply incredible this small town really is.

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Volume 11, Issue 16, Posted 9:23 AM, 08.20.2019

Phil Bova Baseball Camp closes after 45 years

It is with a grateful heart that we officially announce our youth baseball camp, held at the Westlake Recreation Center for the past several years, will come to a close after a 45-year run. A tradition like no other, the Bova camp became a summer tradition for many area families and was voted the No. 1 camp of its kind in Northeastern Ohio.
 
As this successful run comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank former campers, their parents and all the communities that trusted the Bova name for over four decades, and to acknowledge all of the businesses that proudly displayed the "Bova Baseball Camp sign" each year.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:24 AM, 05.21.2019

Letter to the editor

On Tuesday, March 19, my husband and I attended the “State of the City” address by Mayor Dennis Clough at the Westlake Rec Center. I found out about this event by reading it in The Observer newspaper.

I found out our city is in “very good hands,” but I also found out that The Observer had sponsored the event and is a 100% volunteer publication. I am in awe of the talent and dedication of Tara Wendell and her father and all the other volunteers who put together such a great publication.  

I want to publicly thank them for their time, talent and community dedication. 

– Judy Budoi, Westlake

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 9:44 AM, 04.02.2019

Understanding occupational therapy

When I tell people that I am a college student, their first question is often, “What are you studying?” No matter who is asking me, I almost always have to explain my answer. I am an occupational therapy student at the University of Findlay.

Occupational therapy is a profession that many people do not understand. My professors have taught me the importance of advocating for our profession, which starts with educating others on what occupational therapy is and its many uses.

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Volume 10, Issue 19, Posted 9:54 AM, 10.02.2018

Picnic brings area veterans together

Three local veterans groups (VFW Post 9693, American Legion Post 385, and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 249) wish to thank everyone that joined us for our second annual All Veterans Picnic at the Legion Lodge on Aug. 25. In spite of a quick rain shower, it was a wonderful day and all had plenty to eat and great company to share. Various games provided some great gifts for our members and a 50/50 raffle netted a profit of $70. This will be added to our Veterans Honor Wall budget as will all future net proceeds from this event.

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Volume 10, Issue 17, Posted 9:10 AM, 09.05.2018

Hilliard gardens legacy

It was great to have both Jean Povinelli and Jackie Crosier in the SAME garden at the SAME time! For both of them, gardening is a labor of love.

Jackie is now part of the Westlake in Bloom judging panel and recently had the opportunity to stop and see Jean’s yard. Jean and her husband, Lou, received the third place award in the "Residential Landscaping – Entire Yard, Large" category for the Westlake in Bloom competition this year. 

Jean and her dear friend and neighbor, Mim Blair (deceased), started the garden boxes on Hilliard Boulevard back in 1982.

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Volume 10, Issue 16, Posted 8:44 AM, 08.21.2018

Dogs can help people

When people adopt a dog, their life changes. It helps people who don't get that much exercise, get more by their dog. Dogs can also help people have a buddy when you're lonely. I mean, I'm not forcing you to get a dog – but it can really help.

Dogs help you have a better life. I know, you're probably thinking, I can just exercise more and spend more time with friends. That's right, you can. I don't have a dog, and I do get lonely sometimes. And since I don't go to the gym every day, I started a business where I get to walk dogs. Just think, dogs can change your life.

– Sam Viskocil, Avon Lake

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Volume 10, Issue 14, Posted 10:02 AM, 07.17.2018

Congratulations to the 2018 Westshore Montessori School graduates

Westshore Montessori School would like to congradulate its 52nd graduating class of kindergarteners. We wish them well in all of the future endeavors. 

Looking ahead, our students are very well equipped to take on the next part of their educational lives. They have a strong foundation, they have learned many priceless lessons, and most importantly they have learned that they can do it.

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Volume 10, Issue 13, Posted 9:22 AM, 07.03.2018

Bay Village Foundation thanks outgoing president

A new chapter is upon the Bay Village Foundation. Many in Bay Village know the organization, especially after the recent overhaul of Play in Bay, but what a lot of people don't know is the man behind the helm. Al Paulus has recently completed his term as president and what a wonderful term it has been. 

Founding member and past President Eileen Verrnon recently stated, "Al joined the board in 2004, before we had term limits. We managed to keep him for 14 years. Even though his newly applied term was up, he agreed to serve as vice president. As that three-year term ended, he was nominated and accepted the presidency. How lucky were we? Al served very actively on the grants committee, chairing the group, and was a very involved and active member of the Run committee. His major contribution, in my view, was to serve on the finance and develop committees, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to that important, growing base of our organization. As president he was a godsend, as we jelled as a formal, growing community asset and organized board with term limits. We needed a leader; Al filled that role beyond expectations. He prepared us to move forward as a growing, dynamic organization."

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 9:28 AM, 06.19.2018

Bay VFW raises funds for veterans

The members of Bay Village VFW Post 9693 want to thank the West Shore residents that contributed to our recent Buddy Poppy drive for veterans. We raised over $2,700 to provide ongoing support for West Shore veterans, families, youth and community.
 
We also wish to thank Java Bay, Discount Drug Mart, Giant Eagle and Walgreens for allowing our members and friends of the Post to use their facilities.

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 10:02 AM, 06.05.2018

Porter trustees encourage Yes vote

The Board of Trustees of the Westlake Porter Public Library wholeheartedly endorses a YES vote for Issue 6, our five-year renewal operating levy on the May 8 ballot. 

Since passing an operating levy 10 years ago the library has carefully managed its resources and operated without any increase in taxes. Issue 6 is also a renewal with no increase in taxes to Westlake voters.

With an extensive and ever-changing collection of over a quarter of a million items in a variety of digital, electronic and print formats, the Westlake library serves all segments of the diverse Westlake community. Open 70 hours each week and with over 66,000 square feet of collaborative space the library offers the latest in technology and media resources with little or no cost to patrons.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 10:01 AM, 05.01.2018

Porter levy plans for the future

What will libraries be like in the future? I hope they will be a lot like what we have right here, right now, at the Westlake Porter Public Library.

Our library has a large, high quality collection of books and other materials. It has creative spaces for children and teens to learn and grow, and places for quiet study or noisy activity. It has the latest technology, and many opportunities for meetings large and small. Our library is a great place to connect with your family, with your friends and neighbors, or your community organization.


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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 9:46 AM, 04.17.2018

Thank you for supporting the Bay Village Kiwanis pancake breakfast

The Bay Village Kiwanis and Bay High School Key Clubs held their annual pancake breakfast with the Easter Bunny and the Fairytale Foundation Princesses on Sunday, March 18, in the Middle School Cafetorium. We would like to thank the local community for their generous support without which the Bay Kiwanis Club could not continue their community service efforts.

If you would like to learn more about Bay Village Kiwanis and what we do, join us for dinner on Tuesday nights, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Bay United Methodist Church at the corner of Lake and Bassett roads. Visit bayvillagekiwanis.com for more information, or visit our Facebook page, Bay Village Kiwanis.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 9:51 AM, 04.17.2018

VFW seeks local veterans

Feb. 28, 1991, was the official Cease Fire to the Gulf War. This year marked the 27th anniversary. There are not many tributes to this event, but the VFW wants to ensure that all those who served are not forgotten. Thank you for your brave and dedicated service to our country.
 
I want to ensure that if you are not a member, you are aware of the existence of our Post and may consider joining and serving the community and continue your unselfish service to our country. We meet the second Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m., at the Bay Village Police Station Community Room. Hope to see you there!

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 9:31 AM, 03.06.2018

NRA must do more to promote public safety

The National Rifle Association (NRA) cares not for the well being of you or your family.

According to a Politico report, the NRA bans the use of the “bump fire” device used in the Las Vegas massacre from the NRA headquarters' gun range because it effectively changes an AR-15 into an unsafe automatic weapon. Public use of this device, however, has not been banned.

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Volume 9, Issue 21, Posted 9:51 AM, 11.07.2017

Former Bay candidate explains decision

I am no longer a candidate for Bay Village City Council, but this decision wasn’t about winning the election. In fact I felt the general election was probably winnable given a little luck.  

Politics is a messy business, and I’ve seen friends who got involved battered and vilified. Worse, they weren’t able to achieve their objectives. Some tried to “go along to get along” and this approach was unsuccessful because they’d sold their political soul. I became convinced that my historically contentious relationship with City Hall would thwart my efforts, and in some cases the very fact that I was the one pushing an issue would doom the effort. I was in for a frustrating and unproductive two years.

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Volume 9, Issue 19, Posted 10:12 AM, 10.03.2017

Our Century Home

Recently we gathered our friends and family to celebrate our home’s 107th birthday with the placing of our Bay Village Century Home plaque. We view the plaque as a salute to a big old house that has been our home for so long. We aren’t sure what the future holds for any of us or for our home, but for the time being, we’re together enjoying our life and looking forward to making more memories.

Owning a Bay Village Century Home comes with its wonderful history which is sadly, incomplete to us. Several families lived here before us and there was a doctor’s office operating on the second floor at some time. We do know this is where St. Raphael’s started in 1947 before it moved to its present site on Dover Center Road.

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Volume 9, Issue 19, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.03.2017

Westlake renewal levy will fund new senior center, improved rec options

Prompted by such a desirious school system, our young family moved to Westlake 33 years ago; it was a wise decision. What we came to appreciate very quickly in addition to the schools were the many city services that our sons participated in throughout their school years: soccer, t-ball, baseball, tennis, golf, swimming and the parks. All these amenities were generously provided right in what they came to call their hometown of Westlake. When we became empty nesters, we determined we would move from the family home but came to the conclusion that Westlake was the community of choice so we stayed.

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Volume 9, Issue 19, Posted 10:09 AM, 10.03.2017

A taste of fall

Isn't it awesome to be able to smell the air, feel the fresh fall breezes surround you, and no matter your age, sample the tastes of autumn? A friend and I recently spent a day enjoying the season, being lazy, not missing any sights or sounds around us, and visiting areas alien to us.

We started out with a leisurely breakfast, slowly savoring our food, and taking time to talk about things we had done a few weeks ago, and opportunities for adventure in the future. As we made a tour of some shops, the trees already had begun to wear their fancy fare of oranges, yellows and golds.

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Volume 9, Issue 18, Posted 10:18 AM, 09.19.2017

The keeper of our courtyard

Every one of us has a gift to share. Our own special expertise, that no one else can take credit for. At the Knickerbocker Apartments, we have a gentleman who has a gift for turning thorns into beautiful roses. His name is Chuck, and he is our volunteer gardener.  

The courtyard in the center of our building was a shambles, and now is filled with flowers, shrubs and delicate little lights, as if to light the path for angels seeking out a comfortable place to rest their wings.

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Volume 9, Issue 16, Posted 10:18 AM, 08.15.2017