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.
Letters To The Editor
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.
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.
The Village Project's annual "Project Pedal" fundraiser on June 17 was a tremendous success. Hundreds of people gathered in the Bay Middle School parking lot to participate in the event, part of the Destination Bay slate of activities.
Whether individuals participated in the Cucumber, Carrot, Kale or Lettuce race, they all found a good time. Many thanks to the volunteers and sponsors who supported us. I was even pleased to see a neighbor of mine heading up one station.
I have been a resident at the Knickerbocker Apartments in Bay Village for seven years, and there has not been a day that goes by that I do not sit in wonderment listening to wonderful ladies who are also residents here. Every woman has her own story to tell.
We all have opinions, love, sadness, happiness, families and friends who are a part of who we are. With the world seemingly in turmoil at the moment, it is encouraging sometimes to hear the stories of women who are survivors. Women who have had turmoil in their younger lives, but used that to make themselves stronger, able to take on the world.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R.38) is a terrible idea. This bill would allow those with concealed carry permits from any state to legally carry a concealed handgun in any other state (including currently protected school zones).
To many, this may not seem like a radical idea, but scratch beneath the surface and you find that concealed carry requirements can vary immensely from state to state. For instance, Florida is a “mail-in” state that doesn’t even require residency. All you need to obtain a Florida concealed carry permit is to attend an NRA-sponsored class, get fingerprinted on site, mail in a form to the Florida Department of Agriculture (which doesn’t have a complete database from which to run background checks) and eight weeks later, you receive a concealed carry permit in the mail. It should come as no surprise that Florida has granted concealed carry permits to 1,400 convicted felons.
On March 15, 2007, I presented a letter to Westlake City Council requesting that the City install warning sirens to give Westlake residents and visitors/shoppers a chance to get to a potentially safe place in the event of a tornado or citywide disaster.
At the April 5, 2007, Council meeting, I asked what City Hall’s intentions were regarding the warning sirens and was told that the idea was in the Safety Committee. This isn’t rocket science – the towers/poles are there – please install the sirens! Heaven forbid a tornado strikes while this issue is “still in the Safety Committee.”
If a hypothetical school district achieved a ranking in the top 6 in Cuyahoga County, top 9 in the NE Ohio region, and top 18 in the entire state of Ohio, all while spending less per pupil than 22 other districts and having their teacher salaries rank 14th out of all 31 districts in the county, one would – hypothetically – consider such a district a rousing success.
We are pleased to write there is great news for the tax paying residents of Bay Village this school year – each of the above measurements are neither hypothetical nor merely a goal. They are the factual achievements of the Bay Village School District and our extraordinary educators, administrators and staff in 2016.
There’s a well-known radio commercial for a motel chain in which the host always concludes with the phrase, “We’ll leave the light on for ya.”
Such phrases conjure up in our minds the thoughts and memories of “coming home.” Those of us who have been through various job assignments, schooling, military service etc., know the importance of coming home. Home is the place where we are always welcome as we are, well-known, and supported.
Westlake’s proposed 4-to-1 school consolidation plan is a mistake. My wife and I moved our family to Westlake this past January and chose our neighborhood based on its proximity to a local neighborhood school. My strong suspicion is that many young families move to specific parts of Westlake for the same reason.
Smaller neighborhood schools provide close-knit, nurturing environments that foster confidence and critical relationships between students, educators and staff. In many ways, neighborhood schools mimic small, private school environments; and enjoy the advantages of such schools. Centralized mega-schools, on the other hand, often resemble cold, disconnected learning factories.
This upcoming national election is shaping up to be quite an interesting contest. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton. But more than just these the two strong personalities, there is a host of issues to consider. For example, items like terrorism, immigration, the economy and controlling ISIS, are all factors to consider when voting for Trump or Clinton.
And then there is, of course, the issue of Social Security, which is highly important to a lot of people here in northeastern Ohio. Social Security is important because, frankly, many people depend on it for their living.
The only way to say thank you, in my view, is to keep on doing the things one is being thanked for – so that is what I plan to do. Let me explain. Last year, I stepped down as president of The Bay Village Foundation. At the first meeting under the direction of our new president, Al Paulus, I was absolutely stunned into silence when I was presented with a bronze plaque commemorating my 19 years of work in helping to build the Foundation. I am rarely at a loss for words, as my friends know, but this time I truly couldn’t express my surprise and gratitude.
On Monday, March 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the committee room at city hall, the Bay Village Environment and Safety committee chaired by Councilman Paul Vincent will discuss animal ordinances and make recommendations to make the wording and fines stronger.
Specific topics will be tethering and proper sheltering of outside animals.
Being a resident in Bay Village for years has been a wonderful experience! I love the beach, the people, the atmosphere, Lake Erie, its history. Life here is fun!
One day last month, I was driving south on Douglas and was involved in an accident. The police and firemen arrived quickly. The firemen so kindly checked me to see if I was injured. I want to give firemen Corey Gregg, Jason Goodwin, Dan Smith and Kevin Somerville so much credit for their gentleness. The police officers Pellagalli and Bronston certainly were compassionate and considerate. Kind words were spoken to me by Greg, who towed my car to Patton's 5 Star Towing.
An expert analysis released last month found that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan will bring big saving to consumers by reducing electricity bills by an average of $17 a month by 2030.
In its report, Synapse Energy Economics found that by making strong investments in energy efficiency under the Clean Power Plan, states can put money back in consumers' wallets while also limiting dangerous carbon pollution. While Congressional climate deniers falsely claim that the EPA’s safeguards will turn the lights off and increase costs, these claims are patently untrue. The Clean Power Plan offers states the flexibility they need to implement customized and cost-effective solutions to cut carbon pollution.
As the population is growing older, more eye problems are beginning. Macular degeneration can sneak up on you. The macula is part of the retina. With macular degeneration your vision is not as sharp as it was.
I recently had a problem with my blood pressure. My blood pressure went from being very stable to very high in a short period of time. As a result, my vision in one eye became very poor. My eye doctor has sent me to a local retina specialist whom I see regularly now. Unfortunately, my eyesight has not returned yet and it remains unknown if it will return.
My cousin Marshall was 55 years old when he died of cancer in 1993. By all appearances, he died a "rich man" per most peoples' standards. He attended N.Y.U. and went on to make and lose his first million by his early twenties. Through shrewdness and an ability to set aside soft emotion, he became owner of a well-known clothing manufacturing company by his thirties, established a comfortable life for his wife and daughters (later for a second wife).
Marshall was born and raised in middle-class surroundings in Brooklyn, spent time in Queens, then close-in New Jersey. I lived in the Midwest and California but we were able to occasionally visit one another. We shared similar interests as kids but grew apart as adults. He was driven to "make" money; I was driven to save others from themselves and their circumstances (and in so doing rescue a remnant of my own past).
A new fifth-grade Destination Imagination team from Bay Village that goes by the name Seven Amigos is happy to announce that they will be holding a carnival to raise money for Heifer International.
Heifer International is an organization that gives animals and crops to hungry people worldwide. The animals they give can provide eggs, milk, cheese and wool.
The carnival will be held on Saturday, Jan. 9, from 3-5 p.m. at Bay Village United Methodist Church, 29931 Lake Road.
Jan. 1 is significant for being the first day of the year, but it is also designated as a World Day of Peace for thinking about how we can bring peace and harmony into our lives.
Even as horrible violence and oppression are occurring in many parts of the world, we must not despair. As actors on this planet, there are ways we can create peace around us.
This past May, I wrote an article for the Observer ("Pen pals for 70 years and counting") about my longtime pen pal, Annette, who lives in England. Since the article was printed, I have been surprised and pleased by the positive response I've received from friends and neighbors and some folks I didn't even know. Guess they recognized me from my picture in the article.
I wanted to share with you how that little article in the Observer took off. I sent two copies to Annette in England. Annette has a brother, Ron, four years her junior who was 9 years old when we began writing. When he was in his 20s he immigrated to Western Australia in the general area of Perth. He would occasionally ask Annette if we were still "at it." So I asked Annette to send Ron the second copy of my article.
If you've visited a museum or gallery, attended a performance, or taken a class from an arts and cultural organization in Cuyahoga County in the last decade, chances are good that arts and cultural organization receives funding from a penny-and-a-half tax on cigarettes the voters approved in 2006. Since the tax went into effect in 2007, $125 million has been disbursed in operating and project support grants throughout Cuyahoga County allowing the county's arts and culture sector to survive (and now thrive) through one of the most difficult economic periods in recent memory. The tax is up for renewal on the Nov. 3 ballot, and it is important that we continue that critical support for this asset by voting yes on Issue 8.
The Sisters of Charity Health System recently announced a decision to allow St. John Medical Center to become part of UH as a Catholic hospital.
St. John Medical Center is a gem, and is successful today because of the foresight and commitment of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine. I'm proud to have been a founding board member of this hospital. I saw firsthand how the Sisters – under leadership of Sisters Mary Patricia Barrett, Mary Ann Andrews and Judith Ann Karam – exemplified courage and respect as they brought partners together to create St. John Medical Center as a preeminent health care provider in Westlake. They are visionaries.
In response to Mr. Conover’s opinion letter [in the July 21 issue] celebrating the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling: The issue is not do you or I approve or disapprove of same-sex “marriage,” the issue is do we have a Constitutional republic or do we have a tyranny – a majority of nine unelected judges making law for 330 million American citizens? Don’t think for one millisecond that because they did it this time, they won’t do it again and again.
Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) is the public funder of arts and culture organizations in Cuyahoga County. Established by voters in 2007, CAC has awarded more than 300 cultural organizations over $125 million in grants helping make events like Parade the Circle, the lighting of Playhouse Square and Ingenuity Festival possible. In Bay Village and Westlake, it has been the largest funder of many organizations including BAYarts, Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, Clague Playhouse, Westlake Chinese School and Youth Challenge.
The one thing that most structures have in common is doors and windows. Which side you are on makes a huge difference in safety. The fire alarm in our building was ringing and the light was flashing brightly in all of the hallways. The firemen were on the way, smoke was in the hallway, and some of the ladies told me someone was still in the apartment.
State Representative Nan Baker announced on May 7 her candidacy for state senator representing the 24th House District.
It has been an honor to serve as State Representative at the Ohio House since 2009. Most of my work has been focused on creating the environment to retain, create and bring jobs to Ohio. I have chaired the Economic Development Committee over the last several years.
In this 131st General Assembly, the committee has evolved to the Economic and Workforce Development Committee as we have jobs to fill and we find our Ohioans needing the workforce skills to qualify for those jobs.
As I write this today, a member of our community is in a day-by-day mode for updates regarding her loving canine companion. Her dog was recently viciously attacked by a neighbor dog in the western end of Bay Village while out on an evening stroll.
The Bay High School Key Club recently served breakfast to the elders at the Knickerbocker Senior Center at 8 in the morning, in the dining room of the "Knick." Someone had gotten up at 6 in the morning to put the strata into the oven. I understand the husband of a teacher did this wonderful thing.
The Westlake-North Olmsted Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland endorses Issue 5, a 1-mill levy for the Westlake City Schools. We urge Westlake voters to vote “YES” on May 5 (or by absentee ballot before that date) to protect their already-substantial investment in the schools and to assure that technology needs and building repairs are adequately funded. The issue should bring in about $1.3 million per year, with an annual cost to homeowners of $35 per $100,000 of valuation.
Westlake City School District has a 1.0 mill Permanent Improvement Levy (PI), Issue 5, on the May 5 ballot. A PI Levy raises funds for capital usage only. PI monies will be spent on items such as:
- Buildings & Furnishings – Fixed Equipment: roofs, windows, masonry, plumbing, electrical, furniture, security cameras, security and access systems, etc.
- Site Development: asphalt, concrete, landscaping, drainage, field repairs and upkeep, security fencing, lighting.
- Technology Improvements: computers, wireless access, switches, printers, projectors, servers, etc.
It has come to this writer's attention that during the recent cold snap (temperatures of 0 degrees actual and -20 degrees with wind chill) Bay's relatively new police station was totally without heat.
Built with a considerable cost to local taxpayers, the new building is poorly designed. The heating unit is housed in the attic area which is unheated and receives the full brunt of cold weather, ditto the air conditioning units with an extremely hot spell.
In the spirit of the holiday season, Westlake Meals on Wheels would like to thank the community for the generous personal and corporate donations that allow our organization to provide essential meal delivery service to those who are unable to shop for or prepare meals for themselves.
Monetary donations subsidize the reasonable fees recipients pay and enable a dedicated team of more than 75 weekly volunteers to prepare and deliver daily meals to Westlake residents who are ill, elderly, disabled, homebound or convalescing. Together we are able to improve the quality of life for our recipients by prolonging independence.
Thank you to the voters of District 16 – Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River and Westlake – for their overwhelming support to re-elect me on Election Day. Thank you also to my campaign team that worked tirelessly walking door-to-door with me, making phone calls, attending festivals, walking in parades, planting yard signs and volunteering at our wonderful October Pancake Breakfast in Rocky River.
Mary’s Food Friends, aka St. Paul Lutheran Thrivent Hunger Ministry Service Team, has organized a special supplemented Hunger Campaign for donations received through Sept. 15 to assist the Westlake Assistance Program.
This supplement is made possible by the Northwest Cuyahoga County Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ Care Abounds in Community Program and will really help fill the cupboards of Westlake Assistance.
As the winner of Freedom Boat Club raffle prize offered by the Bay Days Fireworks Committee, I'd like to express my gratitude to this group of dedicated volunteers. I cannot express adequately how deeply appreciative I am for the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
They have worked so hard to make sure that Bay Village residents have the fireworks they have enjoyed year after year. It would have been easy to just turn away, but out of the goodness of their hearts, they set themselves to the task.
Next week, the absentee ballots will be going out for the May primaries. On the ballots will be candidates for the Democratic and Republican state central committees, the parties' top-tier leadership. There are 33 State Senate districts in Ohio and each district gets one man and one woman for the committee, per Ohio rules, for both the Democratic and the Republican parties.
March 16-22 is Sunshine Week, an annual nationwide discussion about the importance of access to public information and what it means to each of us and to our communities. It is a time to remember the important role that we all have in keeping our towns healthy, vibrant and strong.
We all have the right to know what our government is doing – both its successes and failures. Exercising our right to know gives power to us, the public. It allows us to hold elected officials accountable on Election Day and beyond.
The leadership of any community has every right to do what Westlake has done to get the best products and services for its residents. And it has the right to do this without threats and intimidation by its suppliers.
The attempted “waterboarding” of Westlake by the Cleveland Water Department with its planned imposition of outrageous fees is now before a judge with a decision expected in February.
Dear Bay Village Parents/Guardians,
I urge all Bay Village parents to participate in a very important initiative of our Bay Village PTAs – the Bay Village Parent Pledge.
Whether you have children enrolled in the Bay Village City Schools, other schools, or even if you think your children are too young to be involved in drug and alcohol abuse, this is an important step we can take together to fight substance abuse by children within our community.
I would like to thank my neighbors in Ward 2 for their vote of confidence to elect me as their representative for Westlake City Council. I also want to express appreciation to everyone who endorsed me and worked tirelessly on my campaign. No one wins an election by themselves. It requires grassroots supporters and a team effort. I look forward to continuing to build strong relationships with my neighbors, Mayor Clough, City Council President Michael Killeen and fellow city council members.