Observer News

End of the line, the sequel

Since I broke the news last month in my regular email to our writers and in the Feb. 6 issue about the Observer’s impending demise, I’ve been asked the same question nearly every day, by email and phone, in person at meetings and while out shopping, and even from pop-ins at my part-time job in the Bay Village Senior Center. 

Over and over I’ve heard with genuine concern: “Can you save it?”  

Let me tell you now what I’ve been telling them: We are sure going to try!

My initial heartbreak has turned to hopefulness after hearing from so many readers that care so much about the paper. 

We will take a break from publishing after this issue and use that time to solicit funding from community organizations and businesses, in hopes that the Observer can get back on track – better and stronger than ever – a little farther down the line. 

If you have any contacts that you think might be willing and able to help, please encourage them to do so! They can email me at for more information.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 9:29 AM, 03.05.2024

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.

Read Full Story
Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:04 AM, 02.06.2024

Lawmakers reverse themselves, schedule special election in August

Five months after voting to prohibit August special elections citing cost and historically low turnout, Ohio lawmakers in May approved a statewide special election to be held on Tuesday, Aug. 8.

If approved by voters, Issue 1 on the Aug. 8 ballot will amend the state’s constitution to raise the percentage of votes needed to amend the constitution from 50 percent to 60 percent.

Legislators, who had earlier opposed the use of statewide special elections as costly and undemocratic, say the change would prevent “outside special interests” from amending Ohio’s constitution.

Read Full Story
Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 8:44 AM, 06.06.2023

WBVO honored as one of top Ohio newspapers

For the first time in our 14-year history, the editorial staff of the Westlake | Bay Village Observer decided to throw our hat in the ring for industry recognition by participating in the Press Club of Cleveland's 2022 All Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards.

We selected our three favorite issues from 2021 – it was hard to pick just three! – and sent them off to be judged by an out-of-state press club.

On June 10, the results were announced and WBVO took third place in our category: Best Non-Daily Newspaper in Ohio: Community Newspaper. Not bad for an all-volunteer writing staff!

Read Full Story
Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:14 AM, 06.21.2022

Herb Guild Garden Club awards scholarships

Due to Covid-19, The Herb Guild Garden Club did not have its annual scholarship luncheon this year, but the club awarded scholarships to two students anyhow.

Alexander Pruchniki, who attended Avon High School and Lorain County JVS, lives in Avon. Alex submitted a "thank you" video to the club since he was already at the Culinary Institute of Michigan. Alex will be majoring in Culinary Arts, Food and Beverage Management and minoring in Culinary Instruction.

Read Full Story
Volume 13, Issue 17, Posted 10:46 AM, 09.08.2021

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,

Read Full Story
Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 12:43 PM, 04.21.2020

DAR members honor historic preservation with award

Members and guests of the Martha Devotion Huntington (MDH) Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) met Tuesday, March 12, at the Clague House Museum to present Westlake Historical Society President and MDH member Lysa Layne Stanton with the NSDAR Historic Preservation Recognition Award.

This award is available for both DAR members and non-members and is designed to recognize worthy local individuals and groups for outstanding achievements in volunteer work at the community level in all areas of historic preservation: buildings, landmarks, monuments, cemeteries, historic districts, statues, museum collections, manuscripts, documents and archival materials. It also includes writing or compiling and publishing books on historic preservation projects, historical properties, genealogical and court house records, and photography collections; as well as compiling oral histories and serving as historical guides, interpreters or docents.

Lysa Stanton’s application was quickly approved because her accomplishments are numerous. Her first effort was the refurbishing of the Jack Miner Memorial Marker, which led to the cities of Westlake and Kingsville, Ontario, Canada to become “twin cities” – Westlake being Jack Miner’s boyhood home and Kingsville his adult residence.

Read Full Story
Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 10:08 AM, 03.19.2019

Observer writer pens farewell letter

This will be my last article in the Observer. Maybe

Let me back up a bit. I moved to Bay Village in July 2004. It was the start of Bay Days (the annual summer carnival) and, with that, my love for this community bloomed. Bay is a quaint city with a small town feel that I have always been attracted to. Bay Days – and the house that we moved into – were both positive signs that the decision we made to move here was right.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 19, Posted 9:08 AM, 10.04.2016

Tour shows water flow, from Lake Erie to tap

Water in Bay Village and Westlake currently comes from the Cleveland Water Crown Treatment Plant located on Clague Road in Westlake. On Saturday, May 7, I took the public tour celebrating 160 years of Cleveland Water. About a dozen people were guided by Scott Naelitz, a plant supervisor. We passed the reservoir which holds 36 million gallons of clean drinking water. Crown pumps 41.5 million gallons per day into the Cleveland system which serves 420,000 homes and businesses in a 640-square-mile service area.

We turned into the spotless pump building and looked into the main pump area. Our clean, tasty water comes from Lake Erie through pumps as big as 2,250 horsepower! The water comes from the intake 3 miles out in Lake Erie. The intake pipe is 24 feet in diameter – big enough to drive through.

Read Full Story
Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:48 AM, 05.17.2016

Women's Board invites new members to Sept. 1 meeting

September brings the regrouping of many organizations which have taken a break during the summer. The Lake Erie Nature & Science Center Women's Board will hold the first meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 1, at the Science Center in Bay Village. We always welcome interested persons who would like to join us and learn about our activities which support the Center's mission through service, leadership, community awareness and fundraising.

Read Full Story
Volume 7, Issue 16, Posted 9:40 AM, 08.18.2015

Writers group welcomes new authors

The West Side Writers have been meeting once a month at Westlake Porter Public Library to share their stories and obtain valuable feedback in the polishing process called "critiquing." Using the internet, writers distribute their writing prior to meetings, and then come together to offer constructive comments, suggestions and ideas to improve their writing.

The novels that have come out of this supportive environment cover a wide range of genre, from supernatural to science fiction to thrillers and mysteries. At least seven novels have gone through the critiquing process and been published.

Read Full Story
Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 10:02 AM, 03.17.2015

Thanks for a great year

As the calendar winds down with this final issue of the year and we set our sights on revving back up in January, all of us at the Observer wish to send a special thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who have helped create, edit and distribute the community’s newspaper over the last 12 months. We are also grateful to our civic-minded advertisers, whose financial support makes each issue possible. And of course, to the many thousands of readers who make the Observer the most popular newspaper in our community.

Happy holidays, Westlake and Bay Village. See you in 2014!

Read Full Story
Volume 5, Issue 25, Posted 11:00 AM, 12.10.2013

Youth Challenge named a finalist in Toyota’s 100 Cars For Good program

Westlake-based Youth Challenge (YC) has been selected as one of 500 nonprofit finalists in Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good program, a major philanthropic initiative in which the automaker is giving 100 cars to 100 nonprofits over the course of 100 days. Youth Challenge was selected as a finalist from more than 4,000 applications nationwide.

Each day since May 14, 100 Cars for Good has been profiling five finalists at Individual members of the public will be able to vote for which ever nonprofit they think can do the most good with a new vehicle. The nonprofit with the most votes at the end of each day will win one of six Toyota models. Runners-up will each receive a $1,000 cash grant from Toyota.

Youth Challenge will be up for consideration on Sunday, June 10, from 10 a.m. to midnight.

Read Full Story
Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 10:08 AM, 05.30.2012

Observer Guidelines

Want to be a writer? We’d love to hear from you! Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when writing for the Observer:

  • Aim for 300-500 words. More or less is fine, depending on the story.
  • Check your facts. Take the extra time to ensure accuracy.
  • Submit original stories and photos. Don’t copy others’ work and remember to credit your sources.
  • Be respectful of others.
  • Write for the community. Your stories will be read by people throughout Westlake and Bay (and beyond) so keep the audience in mind when choosing topics.
  • Know you’ll be edited. All stories pass through an editor who reviews stories for spelling and grammar. We try to keep the news as “unfiltered” as possible, but reserve the right to edit length and content if necessary.
  • Disclose your affiliation. If you have a personal or business relationship with the subject of your story, let your readers know.
  • Ask questions! We’re here to help you at every step along the way. Don’t hesitate to come to us for advice or help with topics, content or the submission process.
Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 6, Posted 1:26 PM, 11.01.2009

Writers always wanted!

The Westlake | Bay Village Observer is a citizen-written community newspaper that prints every two weeks. All of the stories you read in its pages were written by those who live and work in our two cities. They are people from all walks of life with interesting stories, events or photos to share. Anyone in our community can participate, including you! So what are you waiting for? Join the fun and share your interests with your neighbors!

How it works
Contributing to the Observer is as easy as 1-2-3:
Step 1. Sign in at
Step 2. Submit stories, events, opinions, pictures, poems, recipes, etc. in the online Member Center.
Step 3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as often as you’d like!

Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 5, Posted 6:52 PM, 10.20.2009

You can be an Observer!

I’m not a professional writer. Many of the people who have written articles for the Observer are not professional writers. They are simply people in our community who have something to share with the rest of us. That’s what I think is so great about the Observer project. It’s an open forum where people from all walks of life can communicate ideas, viewpoints and information.

The point I’m getting at is that you (yes, YOU, really) can write for the Observer, too. Anybody who lives or works in Westlake or Bay and has a story to tell or an idea to express can be a part of this community project. You don’t have to be an experienced writer or an influential member of society. The Observer gives an equal voice to everyone who participates.
Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 2, Posted 12:54 PM, 09.06.2009


We're getting close! Thanks for all of the articles submitted for the Premier Issue. Your stories will appear on this website when the paper comes out. Keep 'em coming!

[Meet the Observer staff at Mojo's Coffee and More (600 Dover Center in Bay) on Tuesday, August 18 at 7:00pm to learn about how this new local media source can help inform, energize and strengthen our community.]

The citizen-written Westlake | Bay Village Observer community newspaper is coming! And we'd like you to be a part of the Premier Issue!

We're going to press with our first issue and newspapers will be available at local establishments beginning August 25.

The free, full-color newspaper is your chance to speak directly to the community—announce events and programs. discuss local topics, or write about items of interest that you'd like your neighbors to know about.

We invite all residents of Westlake & Bay Village to join in and submit stories (and photos) to share by Thursday, August 20th.

It's a fun, easy way to communicate with fellow Westlake | Bay Village residents. Simply sign-up in the Member Center and submit your story and photos -- we'll take care of the rest!

Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 1, Posted 10:40 AM, 08.12.2009

Introducing the Observer

The most common question we are asked when people hear about the Observer project is, "You're starting a newspaper now?" The struggles of the newspaper industry are well-known - the death of Denver's Rocky Mountain News, the bankruptcies of papers in Chicago, Philadelphia and the Twin Cities, the buyouts and consolidations of papers in Northeast Ohio. We can understand why the initial reaction to the Observer is skepticism, and our response is simple: this is not a conventional newspaper.

The Observer is a citizen-generated news source, fueled by local residents and focused on our community. It is a true community effort; anyone and everyone in the community can contribute in whichever way they choose - writing stories, taking photos, submitting press releases or announcing events. It is a way of communicating between neighbors and filling in the gaps left by the mainstream media.
Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 1, Posted 11:50 AM, 08.22.2009

The benefits of citizen journalism

A discussion with the Lakewood Observer's Jim O'Bryan

As part of our series of articles introducing the Westlake | Bay Village Observer to the community, I wanted share with our readers the successes of a similar publication in Lakewood. I sat down with one of the founders of the Lakewood Observer, Jim O’Bryan, to discuss the positive developments his city has seen as a result of citizen journalism. Jim is a lifelong Lakewood resident and is active in various community groups. As the Lakewood Observer celebrates its five-year anniversary, I talked to Jim about the project’s impact on the city. I hope that this article will provide a glimpse at some of the benefits that citizen media can bring to a community.
Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 1, Posted 11:53 AM, 08.22.2009

Calling all Bay and Westlake citizens!

We're starting this new citizen-generated news source for the communities of Bay Village and Westlake and encourage people with an active interest in their towns to become involved. This unique, community-building project is gaining momentum across the country and has thrived in other Northeast Ohio communities. Citizen journalists in these towns have helped inform fellow residents about community issues related to government, schools, arts and events and have provided a source for civic conversation on all types of topics.

We want to inform, enrich and energize our own communities and are looking for like-minded people to share news, offer opinions, review events and share pictures of things that are news to you. Want to read more? Click here.

Stop on by Mojo's Coffee (on Dover Center in Bay) any Tuesday around 7pm and we'll buy you a cup of coffee. Hope to see you there!
Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 1, Posted 12:54 PM, 04.01.2009

Become An Observer!

Get up, get out and get active in your community! We're calling for news and information from your neighborhoods, schools, churches, civic groups, rec leagues and more in Westlake and Bay Village. Write stories, conduct interviews, review restaurants, report news, annouce events, and submit your photos.

You don't need experience - if you see something of interest...

Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 1, Posted 4:46 PM, 09.10.2008

Join The Discussion!

We're working hard to get this website and the free community newspaper up and running, but you don't have to wait to become a part of the process. Visit our discussion board at, where you can view and post news, opinions, events and photos, and engage in conversation with other Westlake | Bay Village citizens. There's also a forum to ask us questions or post comments and suggestions.

If you're interested in writing for the newspaper, you can get started now! Click below to read more...

Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 1, Posted 1:49 PM, 02.11.2009

Add Your Voice!

Do you know of a local news story that has gone unreported? Have you attended/hosted an event that you would like to see covered? Why not write about it and have it appear right here in the Westlake | Bay Village Observer!
Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 1, Posted 1:49 PM, 11.10.2008

Coming soon! The Westlake | Bay Village Observer

The Westlake | Bay Village Observer is a new citizen-led community building project which incorporates a news website, a community forum and, soon, a free printed newspaper for the residents of Westlake and Bay Village.

Following the model of the Lakewood Observer and the Heights Observer, this emerging form of media allows citizens to bring attention to issues that are important to them and their community. We aim to be a complement to your regular news sources, bringing you stories and insights from a local perspective.

Read Full Story
Volume 1, Issue 1, Posted 3:37 PM, 08.27.2008