Latest News

Cuyahoga County Coronavirus Response Update

As we are nearing two months of isolation from the coronavirus, it seemed to be a good time to provide an update on County efforts to fight the virus. My highest priority is to help the County become more effective in saving lives, protecting health, and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the county. My second priority is helping businesses and social/recreational activities safely reopen. My third priority is dealing with the impacts of the crisis on county finances.

County Focuses on High Risk Populations

The county is focusing on preventing and containing the spread of coronavirus in high risk congregate settings, including primarily nursing homes, senior centers, developmental disability centers, group homes, jails and detention centers, and the homeless population. As the economy starts to reopen we will also have to focus on large manufacturing facilities.

We are working in each of these settings to facilitate greater social distancing and to provide protective equipment and sanitizer. Through collaboration among the judges, County Prosecutor, County Defender, and County Sheriff, we have been able to reduce the population in the County jail by almost half, from about 1900 to about 1000, particularly by releasing people to remain at home while awaiting trial. This has allowed us to properly isolate inmates and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed.

We are doing testing, contact tracing, and isolation with all of these congregate settings as cases of COVID-19 arise. The County recently found an additional source of testing materials and is purchasing $5 million worth of testing equipment which will allow us to do more testing with these high risk populations. This should particularly help with the homeless population, where we are currently doing primarily medical screening, rather than actual testing, which is a weakness in our current program.

The average number of new cases and new fatalities per day appears to have leveled off in Cuyahoga County at this time; however, we are not yet in a clear downtrend, and as the economy starts to reopen, the risk of a return to higher coronavirus activity remains high.

County Starts to Re-open for Business

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

Latest News Releases

Lakewood City Council Elects New Leadership
- City Hall, January 7, 2020 Read More
State Names Roosevelt Elementary High Progress School of Honor
- Board of Education, January 7, 2019 Read More
DeWine Nominates Cabinet Heads for DAS, DSA, OOD, DRC, Taxation, Appoints Numerous Senior Staff members
- Government, January 3, 2019 Read More
District to Renovate Taft for Curricular Expansion, Central Office Home
- Board of Education, December 18, 2018 Read More
Lakewood’s Roosevelt Elementary Named High Progress School of Honor
- Board of Education, November 16, 2017 Read More

View more news releases

Sweet Designs Chocolatier In Lakewood Offers Window Shopping Option

“We are excited to launch Sweet Designs Window Shopping with the installation of our full menu in our storefront windows, says Ines Rehner, founder and owner.“ In addition to our online shipping and curbside pickup, we can now serve customers at a safe distance, right from our front door. You simply make your selections outside, and we will prepare them and bring them right to you.”

“While we’re aware of Ohio’s small business reopening dates per Governor DeWine, we have decided to take a more conservative approach,” adds Rehner.

In addition to this new service, Rehner says Sweet Designs will treat customers with free (individually packaged) samples for all walk-up and curbside pick-up orders and will strive to give customers the Sweet Designs experience they have come to know and love.

“For over 25 years, we have been delighted to serve our customers and meet all of their chocolate needs, Rehner adds. “In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, our mission has not changed.”

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

Lakewood Observer's Victory Garden 3: Pests In Your Garden

A woman approached the checkout at the garden center last week and asked if there was anything we offered that would successfully repel squirrels from her vegetable garden. Another lady, six feet away at the closest, chimed in, “You know how we got rid of them at our church?”

“No Ma’am, how?” I inquired wondering where this was going.

“We made them members, now they only show up on Christmas and Easter,” she answered as the room broke into laughter.

If you have fought critters in your vegetable garden, you understand how maddening it can be getting to harvest. The suburban garden is under relentless attack by the animals and insects around it as well as the families that grow them. Properly preparing for such an invasion can save hours of frustration and countless profanities.  

Squirrels are consistently the pest we seem to be helping customers fight off at the shop. Although we have tried numerous approaches over the years, the best defense against squirrels is always an enclosure. Some sort of frame with a chicken wire wrap is the best defense. In our own experience a combination of repellants paired with aromatic herbs around the edge of the garden has been the most effective approach. One approach we are excited to test this year is hanging Christmas ornaments on tomato plants that have yet to fruit. The idea is to use a red ornament in the shape of a tomato, the squirrel comes to claim its prize and finds out this tomato is not appetizing and avoids your plants for the duration of the season.


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Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

Mama Mia! Here We Go Again! Reeling In Another Election Year

With COVID-19 dominating the news cycle, we should not forget that before it all began the 2020 presidential election was THE ongoing story. It went from the Democratic debates to now wondering how we will be able to vote. Given the gravity of what has recently transpired, here is a light-hearted reminder of the upcoming contest brought to you via song titles (and a few lyrics) from the 1970's! See how many are woven into the narrative.

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

The View From Ward 2

Since being elected as your Ward 2 City Councilmember, I have written a weekly newsletter to keep you informed. The View from Ward 2 is delivered to subscribers’ inboxes every Monday morning. For those of you who do not want to clutter your inbox, I am now providing a version for the Lakewood Observer. Below is a combination of Issue #17 and Issue #18. They cover the weeks of April 27th and May 4th.

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

Harding Students' Work Honored

Several sixth graders from Kevin Spooner's class at Harding Middle School earned honors recently for their outstanding work.

Six students earned recognition for their position papers as part of the Jr. Model UN Spring Conference, which was held virtually. Conference officials said all the students' work was "really high quality...and they were full of new ideas." The following students and their work were honored with best position paper in their category:

United Nations Environment Program:
The Philippines: Alessio Matera & Ursula Rosen

Human Rights Council:
France: Maya Trempe & Rhea Tabor

World Health Organization:
Spain: Zachary Carnovale & Rian Fetting

Congratulations to these students and their advisers, Kevin Spooner and Donna Tomlin.

Students Ella Clasen and Audrey McNulty both had their poetry selected to be published by Creative Communications in a hard-bound anthology of students' poetry from across the nation. Creative Communications has helped to inspire and encourage student writers with their national writing contests for over 20 years.

The selected poems:

Where I'm From
By Ella Clasen
I am from crumbled sketchbooks and broken crayons
I am from the crooked treehouse
That smelled of moss and sawdust
From skits we conducted ourselves
I am from the spicy smell of latkes and fresh apple pie
From Ms. O. saying "Be more specific"
And Mrs. B. starting a quiet game,
Just to complain about the silence
I am from true friends
From Amaiya being her over-enthusiastic self
And Reese keeping her under control
(At least, attempting to)
From Mateo driving everyone insane
And Amelia being...Amelia
I am from soccer games in the yard
And daydreaming in window sills
From playing dreidel and betting gelt
And from afternoons of poker
(No chips, we used pineapple scented
markers and strawberry taffy)
I am from those memories

New School
By Audrey McNulty
Going to a different school
Will not make you blue
It could make you smarter
And make you work harder
Although it might be your first day
You'll still find a way
You will get in sticky situations
And learn new locker combinations
You will play sports
On all new courts
Going to a new school is a choice that is bold
But you never know what your future will hold

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

Students Earn Top Awards In Beck/Rotary Contest

Audrey Warren's winning art piece.

Lakewood High students were the top award-winners in the 75th annual Rotary Club of Lakewood & Rocky River Speech, Music, and Visual Arts Contests sponsored by Beck Center for the Arts. Lakewood students Audrey Warren (far left) was awarded first place in the Visual Arts category and Katie Spilsbury earned the top spot in the Speech contest, in which LHS students captured the top five places.

Contest participants are students from the five Lakewood and Rocky River high schools including Lakewood High School, Lutheran High School West, Magnificat High School, Rocky River High School, and St. Edward High School. In Visual Arts, awards are given for first through third place and then Honorable Mentions are awarded at the judges' discretion for the music and visual arts categories. The speech contestants earned first through fifth places. The place winners were all awarded cash prizes of varying amounts.

The music portion of the contest was unfortunately canceled due to the stay-at-home order. The Speech contest was based on judging from the preliminary round, which took place before the order.

In addition to Audrey and Katie's top awards, the following students also earned recognition:

Mohammed Manaa, 2nd place, Speech
Kate Healy, 3rd place, Speech
Jennifer Ngo, 3rd place, Visual Arts
Sara Jarecke, 4th place, Speech
Madelyn Tumbleson, 5th place, Speech
Sara Corbin, Honorable Mention, Visual Arts

Congratulations to all the talented students and their teachers!

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

Far West Center Mental Health Is Here To Help Lakewood With Changes

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed daily life for everyone living in Lakewood and all over the world. Changes came so quickly and most times without warning. Concerns for our safety, health and the health of our loved ones has added emotional pressures. Stress, worry, anxiety, and depression can overwhelm any of us at any time. It is very important to keep in mind that there is help and mental health services available for residents of Lakewood at Far West Center.

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

One Million Acts Of Kindness Duo Stops By To Thank Hospice Staff

Lakewood resident Bob Votruba and his dog Bogart are on a mission to spread joy throughout the area through their organization, One Million Acts of Kindness. Recently, they visited David Simpson Hospice House and Hospice of the Western Reserve Headquarters to thank staff for providing compassionate care during the COVID-19 crisis in our community.

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

COVID-19 From A Child's Viewpoint

These times have certainly been scary, everything in most of everyone’s lives has been affected. People who get groceries are at risk, people who go to the hospital for a personal need are at risk, everything we do is a risk. Things that you may have taken for granted are now dangerous.

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

Lakewood Residents Earn Medical Degrees

Two Lakewood residents were among the students who received doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) degrees from Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at the college’s April 18 degree conferral.

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

Feverish: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 104

Glenn Schwartz Four - Glenn Schwartz Four - not on label - 8 songs - LP

Alright, so the story with this one is that it's the late Glenn Schwartz and several of his students and kind of functions as a showcase of the styles they played. There's a lot of undeniably good guitar playing on this thing– and Glenn taught these guys well, because a lot of the time you can't even tell when it's Glenn and when it's not. Generally, all the songs are in the blues rock realm, and with the exception of "I'm So Glad," are all instrumentals. Some ("Water Street," "Fear N Doom") are in a more psychedelic style, some are more traditional ("Hound Dog"). Personally, I prefer the former. I don't really spend a lot of time listening to this kind of thing, but those who do (and, obviously, Glenn Schwartz fans in particular) will like this. And again, unquestionably good guitar all over the place here. 3/5

(try a local record store?)

Xanny Stars - What Next? - self-released - 8 songs - cassette, digital

This is the debut release by Xanny Stars, who play a kind of hooky pop-punk/indie rock mix– almost in the same area as The Missed (with whom they share a member, Mickey), but slightly more towards the indie rock side than that band. It's decent stuff; they pull off both sides of their style pretty well– the power pop of "Make Up Your Mind" or the alternative stylings of "Spinning." There are good, catchy songs on here for sure. My issue is with the mix: I'm not quite sure what it is about it, but it just doesn't pop at all. Which is kinda weird, since Paul Maccarone recorded this and he definitely knows how to make things sound better than this, so maybe it was the choice of the band to have it sound this way? Maybe it was just laziness? Not sure, but since (as I understand it) this is essentially a demo anyway, there's room for improvement. The vocals at times are murmury to the point of being unintelligible, but that one I'm pretty sure is a stylistic choice– Xanny Stars would not be the first or the last to do this. Overall, a decent tape, good songs, worth checking out an up-and-coming local group and all that. 3.5/5


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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

A Conversation With Scott MacGregor And Gary Dumm

(The following is a discussion with Lakewood author, Scott MacGregor and Cleveland artist, Gary Dumm, the creators of a new graphic novel, “Fire On The Water." A Cleveland story, the graphic novel is about the sacrifices and lives lost building Cleveland's water delivery infrastructure-specifically the deadly creation of man-made water tunnels underneath Lake Erie. Scott and Gary discuss what the book is about and the creative processes that went into making it. "Fire On The Water" is available everywhere. Please consider buying a copy from your nearest independent bookseller. They need the business!!) 

Scott: The experience of writing this story began with the recollection of childhood memories. Cleveland is an Eastside/Westside kind of town and I grew up on the West side. We’d pile into the car on special occasions and drive to the Eastside to visit my grandmother or some other relation. I was always on the lookout on the way over to see certain landmarks that I loved seeing; like the Terminal Tower and the huge, animated Dairymen's Milk Bottle sign that sat on the Westinghouse curve. Going to and coming back from the East Side, I’d always looked out in the Lake and I saw this little structure out there. It was some little round thing that looked like a boat but was really a “Lake Crib” where all of our water came from. After I’d learned that my great grandfather had once worked on it, I’d felt very proud. 

Gary: The story on Fire On the Water inspired me to take on this really huge project. I’d worked on "American Splendor" with Harvey Pekar for a number of years, but this was inspiring to me…the idea of simple ordinary men, unsung heroes, who were trying to do a job just to feed their families. 

Scott: Cleveland is one of those Great American cities that grew up during the second industrial revolution personalized by self-made tycoons. The smoke belching industries that they created had polluted the air and water around Cleveland with impunity. By the late 1880s the mayor of Cleveland had declared the Cuyahoga River to be an “open sewer” and it was contaminated with all sorts of matter that used to clump together in the middle of the River and catch fire. Not just once, either. The river has actually caught fire over a dozen times since the 1860s.  


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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

LakewoodAlive To Host “Knowing Your Home: Universal Design” Virtual Workshop On June 11

LakewoodAlive will host its "Knowing Your Home: Universal Design" virtual workshop on June 11.

There’s a growing movement within our society toward realizing better universal design in our homes, and now is your chance to learn more about this quality of life concept.

LakewoodAlive will host Knowing Your Home: Universal Design on Thursday, June 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. as a virtual workshop. The seventh workshop of 2020 for this popular home maintenance educational series will cover how to incorporate the seven principles of universal design into your home.

Led by our friends at Maximum Accessible Housing of Ohio, this unique workshop will offer clear examples of features you can add and improvements you can make to increase the accessibility and safety of your home so that people of all ages can enjoy it.

Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Because of universal design, people in all stages of life can all enjoy the same home, and that home will be there for all its inhabitants even when their needs change.

To reserve your free spot for our “Knowing Your Home: Universal Design” virtual workshop, visit or call 216-521-0655. 


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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

Mayor's Corner: One-Lakewood Developer Backs Out Of Deal

Since taking office on January 1, 2020, my administration has been focused on redeveloping the former Lakewood Hospital site into an asset for our community. The prior administration entered into a Development and Use Agreement (“DUA”) with Carnegie Management and Development Corporation (“Carnegie”) to develop this site. My administration has faithfully fulfilled its obligations under the DUA, including completing the demolition and site preparation work contemplated by the DUA.

The work was completed, and, on February 7th, the City delivered the final certification letter to Carnegie verifying completion of the City’s work at the Lakewood Hospital site. Additionally, the City obtained a No Further Action (NFA) letter from a certified environmental professional confirming abatement at the Lakewood Hospital site in accordance with standards under Ohio’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP). 

On March 10, 2020, my administration submitted detailed deal points to Carnegie to continue negotiations. Instead, Carnegie has taken the position, articulated in letters to the City on April 3rd and April 10th, that they are terminating the DUA.

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

State Senator Nickie J. Antonio Holds Virtual Town Hall

COLUMBUS- Last week, state Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) hosted a virtual town hall to provide Covid-19 updates to her constituents. She was joined by Cuyahoga County Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan and state Representatives, including Representative Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood).

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

LHS Pair's Artwork Chosen for Governor's Exhibit

Congratulations to Lakewood High senior Natalie Costello and junior Nola Williams-Riseng, who each had their artwork selected to be part of the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition. The works are two of 275 from students across the state chosen for the exhibit, which due to the coronavirus pandemic will be a virtual exhibit this year.

Regional judges received more than 1,000 entries from high school students across Northeast Ohio and from those, 126 (including 21 from LHS) were selected to join winners from the other Ohio regions to be judged at the state level to determine which pieces of art would be part of the exhibit. 

The Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition, now in its 50th year, is open to all of Ohio's high schools, both public and private. Its purpose is to provide all budding young artists of the state with opportunities to advance their talent, whether that be through scholarships or simply experiencing the process of entering their work in a competition. 

Congratulations again to Natalie and Nola as well as their teachers, Dayna Hansen and Arline Olear.

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

Good Work Lakewood High Academic Challenge Team

Congratulations to the LHS Academic Challenge team of seniors Evan Bell, Aidan Bohac, and Tristan Rumsey for finishing as runners up in the Nordson Academic Challenge competition!

The Rangers finished second to Brunswick High School. Lakewood's team earlier in the season had won its episode versus Valley Forge and Garfield Heights high schools, earning the season's top score at the time. Way to go, Rangers!

The team is advised by LHS teachers Peter Petto and Bob Sedlak.

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

The View From Ward 2

Jason Shachner, Ward 2 City Councilmember

Since being elected as your Ward 2 City Councilmember, I have written a weekly newsletter to keep you informed. The View from Ward 2 is delivered to subsribers' inboxes every Monday and as of April 20th we have sent out 16 issues! For those of you who do not want to clutter your inbox, I am now providing a version for the Lakewood Observer. Below is a combination of Issue #15 and Issue #16.

If you are interested in subscribing to the newsletter please visit If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to e-mail me at or call me at (216) 714-2150.

City Council Meeting

At the beginning of the City Council meeting held on April 20th, Peter Rancatore and Claudia Dillinger were officially sworn into office as the Director of Finance and the Director of Human Resources, respectively. At a previous Committee of the Whole meeting we had an opportunity to have thorough conversations with them both. Ms. Dillinger shared her past experiences, including her part in creating the Human Resource Department for the City of Elyria. Ms. Dillinger also told us of her support for paid parental leave policies and explained her strategies for recruiting a diverse workforce. Mr. Rancatore told us that he was raised in Fairview Park and attended St. Eds. He shared with us his extensive experience and said that he was impressed with our award-winning Finance Department’s history of excellence. They both bring a wealth of experience to their positions and I look forward to working with them.

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

COVID-19 And The Law


We all know that so much has changed over the last month. The impact of the Covid-19 has affected every part of our lives. This change has also affected the way our area courts are operating. As with every other business, most of the courts are closed; however there are some limited exceptions, as the courts are mandated to maintain a docket for certain cases. In Cuyahoga County and Lakewood, updated information can be found on their websites. Each court has issued its own directives, and each continues to maintain a strong online presence. An outline of some of the important directives are as follows:

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court:

By Order dated March 16, 2020, the Common Pleas Court, through its Presiding Judge Brendan Sheehan, adopted the March 9, 2020 Executive Order from Governor DeWine “Declaring a State of Emergency”. Based on the governor’s order, the Court created a set of rules by which the court would be operating.  Judge Sheehan outlined  that the court would be “Open with Restrictions,” meaning that the Court  would implement a reduced docket and only operate with essential personnel. For the time being, the focus would be on cases involving incarcerated individuals and emergency matters before the Court. 


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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

Go Buddha Meals Come Home To Lakewood

Kitchen staff for Go Buddha Meals (photo courtesy of Emily Christescu)

If you had to launch a new business from Lakewood just ahead of a pandemic and general shutdown, you could do much worse than plant-based meal delivery.

Go Buddha Meals has fed people—and employed people—even as unemployment has soared. Husband and wife team Joshua Ingraham and Emily Christescu say they’re encouraged by their experience so far, but it’s certainly not what they anticipated or planned for. Ingraham says that supply chains have been disrupted, and Christescu adds that promoting a new food business without meeting people in person or offering samples poses obvious challenges. “It’s still nerve-wracking,” she says.

People finding Go Buddha, and placing orders anyway, may have to do with the importance of accessibility to the original concept.

Ingraham says his work as a chef and dietary manager often revealed gaps, particularly while working with the Cleveland Clinic. Patients asking for healthy diet suggestions, after a health crisis, demonstrated one gap; the limited options in a “food desert” near the Clinic main campus was another.

Concern to bridge gaps and make healthy meals more accessible defined Go Buddha’s model in multiple ways. The startup prepares meals, and delivers them; the minimum order is a single bowl, at $10, no membership or subscription required.

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

Lakewood Victory Garden #2

So, you have found a spot for the installation of your victory garden and now it’s time to decide what it will look like. There are countless options when choosing your garden style, three of the most common in Lakewood are in-ground gardens, raised garden beds, and container gardens. Whichever style you choose, pick a spot with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. The important part is choosing a style that fits your life, gardening expertise, and your expectations.

An in-ground garden is probably the easiest and most cost-effective way to get started. To begin, mark the perimeter of the space you plan to cultivate. Remove any unwanted grass, plants, or weeds and turn the soil once. After you have turned the soil, gauge the health of the actual soil. Is your soil heavy in clay? Is it saturated with water? Is it rich in organic material and loaded with worms? If you think you have an issue with your soil, consult a knowledgeable gardener or professional to remedy the issue. The next step is to amend the soil. A few bags of manure or peat should be spread throughout the bed and then turn the soil one more time, mixing the amendment in as you go. After grading the soil, the last step before planting would be forming raised rows of soil to plant in. Be sure when creating the rows to space them appropriately for the mature size of the crops you want to grow. Some of the negative aspects of in-ground beds are that they are labor intensive to install, and they do not always drain well.


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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

One Lakewood Progress: Breaking Down The New Stay Safe Ohio Order From The Ohio Department Of Health

Most circumstances by which public policy is developed are not glamorous or ideal. And this is certainly a challenging time in America. Regardless of how we feel about the development of a given policy, they are essential: Much of public policy is written to solve problems and provide a guide to the steps and actions needed to secure a desired outcome. 

In Ohio’s case, that outcome is to save the lives: Something that I am asking folks to remember as they slowly start to venture out to stores and work.

In fact, most public policy takes on a form not that much unlike Ohio’s new Stay Safe Ohio policy, which expires on May 29th and supersedes the order that expired on April 30th. The 14 page document lacks flash, but more than makes up for that in the delicate balance it endeavors to strike between protecting the lives of Ohioans, trying to stabilize a fragile economy, and incorporating the anguished cries of Ohioans who have been separated from loved ones and the clash of public opinion about personal freedom and what that means in light of, or in spite of, Coronavirus. 

So what does the new Stay Safe Ohio order say? The new order amends the original policy to extend some stay-home protocols (namely social distancing and limiting gatherings to ten people or less) while lifting restrictions on consumer interactions with businesses. 

What’s Open?

Effective May 1, healthcare facilities started conducting non-essential medical procedures. Dentists and Veterinarians reopened their practices. People started to seek out and get these procedures scheduled and performed. Retail businesses who can offer curbside pick up, appointment only interaction, and are able to limit customers to 10 people or less at at time were also allowed to reopen on this date.


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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

LakewoodAlive to Host “Knowing Your Home: How to Contract a Repair” Virtual Workshop on May 14

We’re known as the “City of Beautiful Homes,” yet as many residents have discovered, maintaining our renowned-yet-aging housing stock requires more than some basic elbow grease on the part of homeowners.

LakewoodAlive will host Knowing Your Home: How to Contract a Repair on Thursday, May 14, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. as a virtual workshop. The fifth workshop of 2020 for this popular home maintenance educational series will focus on the process of working with a home repair/improvement contractor.

Led by Allison Urbanek, LakewoodAlive’s Housing & Internal Operations Director, this free workshop will cover the basics of understanding your repair, including navigating the process of obtaining estimates, scheduling the job and ensuring the project is completed properly in a timely manner. 

The goal of this presentation is to help remove the guesswork from the daunting task of home repair and improvement projects. When your project is done correctly the first time, you save precious time, money and sanity.

To reserve your free spot for our “Knowing Your Home: How to Contract a Repair” virtual workshop, visit or call 216-521-0655. 


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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

Lakewood Pride Fund Helps Families Complete Essential Home Repairs

We take tremendous pride in the uniqueness of our neighborhoods and the onus is on us, as a community, to preserve our historic housing stock to improve quality of life for current and future Lakewood families.

The Lakewood Pride Fund is an innovative program of LakewoodAlive that leverages a collection of funds to secure home repair loans for Lakewood families who otherwise might not have access to conventional bank financing, helping families complete health and code compliance repairs.  It is designed to often be a last-resort option for folks who have nowhere else to turn.

The Lakewood Pride Fund will improve access to bank financing for those who are unable to qualify for conventional bank loans through financial and home repair education.  LakewoodAlive launched this program with support from First Federal Lakewood and the City of Lakewood.

LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program works tirelessly to connect residents to available resources to keep their homes in good repair, and this program is now another tool in our organization’s tool box.  This program will not only help to maintain our homes, but it will also improve the client’s credit score with each on-time payment.


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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

Healthmarkets Insurance Agency - Carl Lishing Receives 2020 Best Of Cleveland Award

Cleveland Award Program Honors the Achievement

Healthmarkets Insurance - Carl Lishing has been selected for the 2020 Best of Cleveland Award in the Insurance category by the Cleveland Award Program.

Each year, the Cleveland Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Cleveland area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2020 Cleveland Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Cleveland Award Program and data provided by third parties.

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

Thank You, Lakewood Voters

Once again the Lakewood community showed that it values its public school district and the education it provides for our city’s children!
In the April 28 election, the Lakewood City Schools' 4.9 mill operating and permanent improvement levies passed 76.66% to 26.34%, according to unofficial results.

Said Superintendent Mike Barnes: “During this extremely trying time in our community, we are extremely grateful for their support and commitment to keeping our schools strong and stable.”
Plans for the new funds include:

  • Providing more mental health services and counseling for our students;
  • Retaining and recruiting high-quality teachers by paying them competitive salaries
  • Expanding STEM offerings;
  • Keeping educational technology and other learning materials up-to-date;
  • Expanding career tech educational opportunities for middle and high school students;
  • Expanding early childhood programs; and
  • Keeping all of our buildings, athletic fields, and other assets in good condition.
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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

A Message From Superintendent Barnes

Hello Lakewood. I want to say thank you for showing your faith and support at the ballot.

Issue 28 is very important for the future of the Lakewood City Schools and you showed up and demonstrated your commitment to the continuation of the excellence in education that we intend to provide for our children. 

My mother used to say that faith is like a muscle: the more you exercise the muscle, the stronger it gets. You exercised a tremendous amount of faith in the Lakewood City Schools. And I am personally thankful and grateful for that generosity. 

With it comes an awesome responsibility to plan for the future of our students and we’re committed to that expectation. 

Thank you.

One heartbeat. One Lakewood.

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

GV Art + Design Is Utilizing Its Unique Creative & Artistic Abilities In The Effort To Support Local Front-Line Professionals During The COVID-19 Pandemic

GV Art + Design is utilizing its unique creative and artistic abilities in the effort to support local front-line professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently we teamed up with both University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic with the launch of our “Heroes” t-shirt with 50% of the proceeds benefiting each health system’s Caregiver Funds which support their healthcare professionals currently working on the front-lines.

Last month GV Art + Design released our “Overcome Together” t-shirt which also includes a portion of proceeds being donated to The Greater Cleveland Rapid Relief Fund which was set up to deploy resources to nonprofit organizations serving on the front-lines of the pandemic in our region.

We feel very blessed to be in a position to give back to a community that has done so much to support our business over the last several years,” explained the Vlosich family. “These are tough times for everyone and we just want to do our part in showing appreciation for those who are on the front-lines fighting this pandemic.” Both t-shirts are currently available for purchase on GV Art + Design’s website at

While you are shopping to support these local organizations make sure you don’t miss the chance to see GV Art + Design’s “One-of-a-Kind” Etch A Sketch artwork which has been featured on numerous national TV programs such as Oprah, David Letterman, The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Fox Sports, PTI and more plus world wide newspapers and magazines.

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

Cox Communications Extends Coronavirus Response Offer For Connect2Compete With Free Service For Students Until July 15 Nationwide

Recognizing that students will remain home to finish out the school year, Cox has extended free Connect2Compete service, the company’s low-cost internet offer for families with a K-12 student at home until July 15. Remote service support is also extended to ensure ease of implementation while students continue to learn at home during the Coronavirus pandemic. Customers that sign up between March 13 and May 15 are eligible for this offer and will receive free service until July 15. 

“Distance learning is critical during this time and Cox wants to ensure digital equity so that all kids have the ability to learn and advance from home,” said Pat Esser, president and chief executive officer of Cox Communications. “By extending Connect2Compete to July 15, we keep kids connected to their studies through the end of the school year, and account for additional virtual learning that may be required into the summer.” 

Cox temporarily doubled download speeds for its Connect2Compete customers from 25 to 50 Mbps in mid-March.This increase will also continue through July 15. 


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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

Starr Gazer


Aries: Ram,you’ve had plenty of time to develop your creative gifts, it’s time to share them with the world, check out Lakewood Alive, they’re always looking for innovative souls.

Taurus: The Sun has moved into the Bull Pen’s home for the month of May, and love is your tool of choice, struggling with conflict, love always wins, give it a shot.

Gemini: Mercury & Venus are visiting the Twins this month, & it’s all about integrity…tell the truth, even to you, quit denying what you know in your heart, an old flame may show up.

Cancer: Listen with those elephant ears of your Crab, we all know you love to talk, but it’s time to shut the jaw & open the ears, you’d be surprised at what you may be missing.

Leo: The Lion is one of the most generous of the Zodiac, it’s time to offer your love, who in that Jungle of yours could use a little kindness, what about your Momma?

Virgo: You’re your own worst critic, take that lead foot of yours off the gas, & let up on yourself, it’s time to be gentle as a baby fawn.


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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

Community West Foundation Grants $100,000 to Cleveland Clinic COVID-19 Response Fund to Support Fairview Hospital Caregivers

Community West Foundation is issuing a $100,000 grant to the Cleveland Clinic COVID-19 Response Fund to help Fairview Hospital employees who are on the front lines of the pandemic. The grant will cover expenses like temporary housing for caregivers, many of whom are staying away from home to reduce exposure to their families, gift cards for meals, and comfort stations. Access to these self-care resources will support them as they care for current COVID-19 patients and prepare for any potential surge to come.

Formerly known as the Fairview/Lutheran Foundation, Community West has been supporting these Cleveland Clinic hospitals as well as many community non-profit agencies since 1997. “Many people don’t know about our deep history with Fairview and Lutheran Hospitals,” said Marty Uhle, President and CEO of Community West Foundation. “We are responding to COVID-19 emergency needs to support all of our partners during this crisis. Supporting Fairview Hospital is a no-brainer for us,” he said.

“The gift from the Community West Foundation is significant and meaningful to us. We are grateful for the foundation’s support of our Fairview Hospital caregivers at this time when our caregivers are giving so selflessly to our community,” commented Lara Kalafatis, Chair, Cleveland Clinic Philanthropy Institute.
Since the pandemic struck, area non-profits are feeling the financial pressure that comes with increased demand, volunteer shortage and canceled fundraising events due to physical distancing requirements. In addition to establishing its own emergency response fund, Community West joined as a voting partner in the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to make emergency grants available to area non-profits. They also joined a similar collaborative being led by the Community Foundation of Lorain County.


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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

The Legal Aid Society Of Cleveland Calls For Pro Bono Help Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland is calling on attorneys, paralegals, law students, and law graduates to use their expertise to support the many people made vulnerable by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to COVID-19, due to limited resources, Legal Aid had to turn away nearly half of the people who sought help. As the need in the community skyrockets, additional resources are more critical than ever.

Legal Aid remains open and fully operational to represent clients, empower individuals with information and expert guidance, and advocate for justice at the policy level. While all four physical offices are closed, Legal Aid’s entire staff is working from home. Online intake is open 24/7 and phone intake is available during select business hours. Even so, Legal Aid will not be able to meet the needs of a growing client population without pro bono assistance from Northeast Ohio’s legal community.

Due to the pandemic, Legal Aid expects an increase in cases related to debt and bankruptcy, employment law and unemployment compensation, wage theft, housing stability, and domestic violence. Legal professionals can help those struggling with these issues in a variety of ways, at various levels of time commitment. Opportunities include: taking on a case; providing brief advice over the phone, participating in a “virtual” advice clinic, and helping Legal Aid with a project.


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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

Rotary Awards Scholarships To Five High School Seniors

Five graduating seniors have been awarded college scholarships by the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River. They are (from left) Kim Banak, Johana Guci, Nayfeh Mahmoud, and Nathanial White from Lakewood High School, and Youssef Salama from Rocky River High School.

Five students have been awarded college scholarships by the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River.

They are graduating seniors Kim Banak, Johana Guci, Nayfeh Mahmoud, and Nathanial White from Lakewood High School, and Youssef Salama from Rocky River High School. Each will receive a $3,000 award from the Lakewood-Rocky River Rotary Foundation. The $15,000 scholarship program is part of over $60,000 that the Rotary club donates to the community each year.

In addition to demonstrating academic achievement and potential, these five Rotary scholarship winners were chosen for their character, as well as extracurricular and community involvement.

Kim Banak was a four-year member of the Ranger Marching Band. She was recognized as the Outstanding Student in Health Careers at Lakewood High School’s West Shore Career Technical Center. She was a leader in the school’s Home Alone program in which high school students help younger students learn how to be safe at home while parents are still at work. Kim will pursue premedical and biology studies at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA.

Johana Guci has expressed her appreciation for opportunities as a recent immigrant by being deeply involved in her high school’s “Help to Others” (H2O) service club. Her scholastic achievement at Lakewood and at Tri-C has earned her membership in the National Honor Society. Johana will study biochemistry at Case Western Reserve University.

Nayfeh Mahmoud has taken advantage of Ohio’s College Credit Plus program to satisfy her high school requirements and earn nearly two years of college course credit. At the same time, she volunteers at numerous charity and cultural events. Nayfeh will study nursing at Cleveland State University.


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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

LHS Students Shine In Solo Porch Performances

Lila Wright performs a solo show on her front porch.

Last week numerous Lakewood High School musicians stepped out of their cozy houses and onto their front porches in the middle of an frigid arctic blast and delivered musical therapy to friends and neighbors. To all the musicians and teachers that organized and prepared for these concerts—thank you! You represent the essence of public education and a core mission of the Lakewood City Schools. As we help students develop individual talents and skills, we recognize that the ultimate purpose of education is engaged, productive citizenship-- to make our nation and communities all the better. With these concerts, you succeeded on both counts, and then some. I attended a violin concert by Senior Emma Carson, who will be continuing her education at Case Western Reserve University, majoring in music education. (Her freshman sister Audrey was assisting her.) In these bleak times, today was great day. 

This is quintessential Lakewood—we take care of each other in good times, and bad. Thank you LHS Students and Music teachers, and of course all the parents and citizens of Lakewood. Long live Lakewood.

More info from Lakewood City Schools:

Porch concerts began on Thursday, March 9 when LHS performing arts students stepped out between 5 and 5:30pm and played the LHS Alma Mater and then music of their choice. 

This week, April 16th the students from Harding and Garfield will also step out on their porches in conjunction with LHS students. They will play the Alma Mater between 5:00 and 5:30 and then music of their choice. 


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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

Mayor's Corner

The coronavirus crisis continues and I recently recorded a video address for the City’s website to provide my perspective on how your city government and your community are adjusting. In case you missed it, I’d like to summarize that video address for you here. 

First, and this can’t be said enough, my top priorities are safety and public health. Our goal with this crisis is to slow the spread of the virus. Every action we are taking is in service of those priorities and that goal.  

I watch Governor DeWine’s press conferences daily with my team and I am encouraged by the progress we are making in Ohio. I also want you to know that Lakewood is managing this crisis well. We continue to deliver thousands of meals to our seniors. We continue to pick up your trash. We are making adjustments or total changes to our way of doing things--to our way of life. Governor DeWine said yesterday that we have reason to be optimistic and I agree with him. We’re making necessary changes. We’re physically distancing. But we’re doing it together.

As we’ve heard, the peak is still ahead of us. No one is certain when it’s going to hit Ohio or Lakewood, but we do know that we have confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lakewood and there will be more. By sticking to the plan, we are protecting ourselves and giving anyone who catches this disease in the coming weeks access to the world-class health care we have in Northeast Ohio.   

We know that we’re #InThisTogether. I challenge you, Lakewood-- Let’s DO this together. Let’s tackle this once-in-a-century challenge. Dr. Acton called on us to “double down on our commitment” and “fight this together.”  Lakewood is the most densely populated community in Ohio. Nowhere else--not in Cleveland, not in Columbus or Cincinnati--is a community as tightly packed as we are here. This means we know how to live close to each other with respect.  

We’ve got this, Lakewood. We’re ready. Let’s show the rest of Ohio how to win this fight. 

Thank you and be well.

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

One Lakewood Progress: We Must Stand Against Xenophobia During Coronavirus

The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is new to the world, but the knee-jerk paranoia and misinformation fueling fear, racism, and hate targeting Asian and Pacific Islanders in the wake of the outbreak is not. Like Islamophobia that swept the country after September 11th, an exaggerated fear and hostility toward Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities is being perpetuated by negative stereotypes rooted in bigotry and historical bias and is in danger of leading to the marginalization of Asian communities in civic, business, social, and political life. 

Medically, viruses and bacteria (including COVID-19) do not discriminate based on race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or immigration status. But the language and actions of people fueling misinformation and fear absolutely do. Over the past month, hate groups and public officials, some at high levels of government, have used racist language to deflect, scapegoat and ascribe blame rooted in bigotry to Asian communities for the spread of Coronavirus. 

This rhetoric has emboldened an increase of hate crimes, assaults, abuse and harassment of the AAPI community across the nation. It was deeply troubling for me, also a person of color, to learn that some Asian owned businesses right here in Lakewood have been on the receiving end of racially-charged verbal abuse in response to this pandemic. What we know by looking to history is that if left unaddressed, hate, like any virus, will continue to spread and will leave vulnerable communities open to dire consequences. 


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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

Lakewood Resident Makes Ventilator Parts

Lakewood resident John Kocinski doesn’t have time to listen to Governor Mike DeWine’s daily updates, he's busy working on ventilator parts. “I’m usually here working at that time,” he says. The name of his company is Precision Productions which is a machine shop located in Strongsville. 

According to Kocinski they have "switched a ton of our stuff over to making ventilator parts.”  With a clear understanding of how great a demand the country had for ventilator, Precision Productions went to work: “We got the plans, we programmed the first part in a day. It took us three days to get up and running, it usually takes a a month.” 

Right now the shop is making four parts on the supply chain including 20,000 shafts a week and pressure plates. The parts will be used for ventilators being assembled by Ford Motor company for the Federal government.   

"We’re shipping every single day,” he said. “We put the first shipment on a corporate jet and flew them there was such a need."

"I think when you’re talking about essential businesses," he said,  "this is about as essential as it gets."

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

LCCC Grad And Lakewood Nurse Looks For The Simple Joys To Deal With COVID-19 Pandemic

Michelle Thimke

Cleveland Clinic registered nurse and Lorain County Community College graduate Michelle Thimke finds joy in the simple things while dealing with the uncertainty of treating patients in the hospital’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit – uncertainties that are now compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Catching up and checking in on my family and friends brings me the most joy,” said Thimke, who is an intensive care nurse in the surgical ICU. She and her husband, Corey, are Elyria natives who now live in Lakewood.

“I also find a lot of peace from exercise, so I have been keeping up with my weekly routine of jogs, long walks, yoga, and now at-home workout videos,” she said.

Thimke, who earned an associate of science degree from LCCC in 2014 and an associate degree in nursing from LCCC in 2016, starts her morning off from work with an online service or daily devotional from her Lakewood church. “This helps me have the right mindset for the day. I try to limit time spent on social media so that I am not influenced by the hysteria some are causing,” she added.

Facing this current public health crisis is not easy for any healthcare professional, but Thimke believes her education and training from LCCC prepared her for the challenges she now faces.

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

Barnes Addresses Lakewood Families Re: State Of The Schools

Lakewood teachers with a message for their kids.

I trust that you are safe, healthy and well during this Covid 19 Quarantine. I want to share some district news. 

Before doing that I would like to celebrate two weeks of remote learning. I would like to congratulate everyone for the hard work an the efforts put into engaging in this different kind of learning. I know it's uncomfortable and it's new but you're doing a fantastic job.    

To our students, keep in mind that the focus should be on learning. The intent here is not to overwhelm you. I know our teachers are working hard to plan lessons that will enhance learning experiences for you. We're trying to scale it appropriately, so this is a pleasant learning experience for you. We want you to not be overwhelmed, not to worry, just do your best, and everything will be fine, okay? Everything will be fine.  

To our parents: Thank you very much for your support through this. I know that many of you have several students at home, they're sharing computers and your wifi capabilities can be cluttered with multiple people working at the same time, but all of your support and generosity and the positive feedback you have been giving has been tremendously helpful and reassuring to our faculty, our staff, our administrative team, and our board of education, so know that your participation and support is greatly appreciated.  


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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

Sixty Day Remote Learning Plan From Lakewood City Schools

Lakewood Families,

What an unprecedented situation we are in. The uncertainty is challenging for all of us. In the midst of it though, we feel certain about Lakewood City Schools’ commitment to our students, our families, and our willingness to be flexible. 

Our Remote Learning Mission is to connect, engage, give feedback, and celebrate. Connection with students and families is critical. Relationships are the foundation of our District. We recognize that students and families need our support now more than ever. We are asking teachers to: Engage students in meaningful, authentic experiences; focus on essential learning; explore how to offer choice and flexibility to help families build routines that work best for them; and provide specific feedback and celebrate students’ progress. 

To help us achieve this mission, we, with stakeholder input, have created a Remote Learning 60-Day Plan that we hope will help you envision remote learning in Lakewood more clearly. Our intent is to make adjustments as necessary along the way. Remember, we are in this together!


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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

Council Discusses Local Economy In Virtual Meeting

Lakewood government continues to function during enforced social distancing, but sustaining the local economy is now a priority challenge. That’s the condensed version of Lakewood City Council’s April 6 meeting.

The meeting format was a first for Lakewood, with all participants attending virtually, either online or by phone. Council last met on March 16, in a mostly traditional gathering at City Hall but without in-person public attendance. City Council moved to the completely remote format, following a statewide Stay At Home order and legislation making formal allowance for virtual public meetings.

About three dozen people joined the April 6 meeting, including elected officials, city employees, and members of the public. Technical issues slowed or interrupted the meeting at various points. But in general, the experiment proved that technology will allow meetings to continue, while avoiding in-person gatherings to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The extended closure of many Lakewood businesses will be a pressing issue for community leaders, judging from the council discussion. Patty Ryan, governance chair of LakewoodAlive, told council that the extension of Stay At Home orders through April has increased local businesses’ concern: “They thought they could make it to the sixth [of April] and now they’ve extended it to May 1.”

Mayor Meghan George said that the public health work of her administration’s Coronavirus Task Force has gone relatively well—while still meeting multiple times per week “the meetings have gotten shorter”—but big challenges for Lakewood businesses remain.

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

Lakewood Victory Gardens

Victory gardens have long been an American rallying cry during times of crisis. Since World War I whenever uncertainty hits the food market Americans respond by growing their own food to ease the burden; the COVID-19 pandemic should be no different. It is rumored that 30% of produce in WWII came from victory gardens. The benefits of gardening are exclusive to no one and the possibilities are limited only by the imagination.

Pick a spot. Find an area with ample sunlight, a minimum of 6 hours can work but 8 or more would be ideal. Don’t have a grassy area that fits the description? Consider growing in containers. Additional things to consider include access to water, the potential for pests (deer, dogs, children etc.), along with what you’ll plant.

Identify what you want to grow. Focus should be on easy to grow crops that offer a high yield along with high nutrient value. Consider succession planting to ensure a steady supply of fresh produce and so that your crops aren’t spoiling before consumption. Leafy green crops spaced 3-4 weeks apart could provide food well into 2021. Zucchini is an easy to grow crop that produces a high yield. Tomatoes can offer similar results if the growing season is cooperative. Often forgotten are the fall crops. Cool weather crops such as Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale planted in August can be harvested fresh for Thanksgiving dinner.

Take care of your plants. Plants are living, breathing organisms and need to be treated as such. They will need food. Food comes in the way of soil and fertilizers; these items are essential to healthy plants that provide healthy produce. Container grown plants pull nutrient from a finite source of nutrients and they are depleted a little every time you water. Like any other organism, your plants need water, some more than others. In general, consistently fed and watered plants are also happier.



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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

Physical Distancing Events Made To Stay Home For

Lakewood has a new Facebook group designed to share and learn about upcoming physical distancing events taking place in the city. The group was started on April 9th by the community members who initiated the March 31st Lakewood, OH City-Wide "Porch" Sing-Along, trying to find a way to tie future sing-alongs together and allow other pop-up porch music initiatives to get shared, created or supported as well. It is their hope to encourage the front porch music movement to become a normal staple in our town, even after social distancing has ended, and to provide something to engage in and look forward to while staying home and maintaining physical distancing and avoiding crowd gatherings.

Currently, the group features two Lakewood Porch Music related initiatives. The second round of the Q104 hosted, Lakewood "Porch" Sing-Along is a featured event of the group took place on Tuesday, April 14th. Additionally, a Porch Concert Series is listed, which encourages student musicians and vocalists to perform on their porches on April 9th, April 16th, and April 23rd, between 5 and 5:50 pm according to grade level. Please join the group to help support these movements and others to come. Thanks!

Anna Brown is starting her career fresh right now thanks to the kick in the pants to follow her dreams given to her by her covid layoff. Taking what she's learned after 13 years of working in market research and software development project management, and 3 years of event hosting and looking for opportunities to fine-tune her skills and determining how she can help others meet their life and business goals.

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

Lakewood Chalk Your Walk Inspires Residents To Express Hope

As one of Ohio’s most walkable cities, Lakewood offers 180+ miles of sidewalks. Recently, Lakewood residents chalked many of them to show we are in this together.

LakewoodAlive hosted its Lakewood Chalk Your Walk ( community solidarity initiative during the weekend of April 3-5. Community members were encouraged to take advantage of beautiful spring weather to break out sidewalk chalk and head outside to add chalk art to their driveway, apartment balcony or the sidewalk in front of their residence.

Chalk messages of hope, inspiration and humor were spotted on sidewalks throughout Lakewood, offering a ray of hope as we all navigate this difficult time. LakewoodAlive featured chalk art submissions on its social media pages using hashtag “#LakewoodChalkYourWalk.”

LakewoodAlive thanks the many community members who participated in Lakewood Chalk Your Walk. For more information regarding our ongoing efforts to assist our community through this crisis, please visit

Matt Bixenstine is the Marketing & Development Manager for LakewoodAlive. He enjoys all things Lakewood, especially walking his basset hound through Madison Park.

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

LakewoodAlive Announces New And Improved Pricing Model For The Lakewood Tool Box

Welcome to year two of The Lakewood Tool Box. It’s never been easier or more affordable to rent the tools you need for completing essential repairs to ensure we live in healthy and safe homes.

LakewoodAlive announces a new pricing model whereby Lakewood Tool Box members will no longer be charged fees on a per-tool basis when renting from its ever-growing tool lending library, which consists of 60+ items ranging from standard hand tools to equipment for larger projects.

Annual Tool Box membership – open to all Lakewood residents, tenants and landlords – remains priced at $30 per resident/tenant and $75 per landlord.  Special pricing is available for low-to-moderate income residents. A refundable deposit will be required for tool rental, but will be refunded to the customer upon the return of all rented items in good, clean working order.

The Lakewood Tool Box is currently open by appointment only to ensure health and safety during the COVID-19 crisis. Appointments can be made by contacting Matt Clark at 216-712-6674 or Both Tool Box members and non-members are also welcome to contact Matt with questions regarding their projects.


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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

Staying Home


I've been holding off boredom and keeping busy with what I usually do anyway - by being a mixed media collage artist. I also like to Zentangle and do Black-Out Poetry, which is easy to teach yourself how to do. Any kind of artwork is a great way to completely lose track of time. So, for all intents and purposes, I'm just a little old lady living in Lakewood and this is what I do all day. I'm a retired special events coordinator. My husband Jim works as a chef at the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland; as of right now - blessedly - he is still working. Enclosed is one of his chicken recipes that is so easy to prepare.

What we miss most is the Library. Especially all who work there. I miss seeing their smiling, helpful faces. We take advantage of the Rocky River Marina in our neighboring community and of course our entire Metro Park system, driving and walking there as much as possible.

Chicken Thighs---Catch-Up

Servings: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Ketchup gives this chicken the flavor of a backyard cookout without the smoke and a drunk uncle.

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

Students Earn Top State Reflections Honors

Congratulations to four Lakewood City Schools students whose artwork was honored at the state level in the PTA Reflections art recognition program! Special shout out to Grant Elementary fifth-grader Sean Miller, who won an Award of Excellence, Ohio's highest honor, in the literature category for the Intermediate level. His piece will move on to national judging. Out of thousands of pieces of artwork submitted for state judging, only six students were recognized in each age level/category.

Harding Middle School eighth-grader Edie Barcelona earned a second-place Award of Outstanding Achievement for her dance choreography at the Middle School level. Lakewood High School senior Jane Kalinowski earned a third-place Award of Merit in the High School visual arts category, and Garfield Middle School seventh-grader Anna Maurer earned an Honorable Mention in the visual arts category for the MIddle School level.

The Reflections program offers students from schools with active PTAs the opportunity to create works of art for fun and recognition. Students in preschool through grade 12 are encouraged to submit works in seven arts areas: literature, dance choreography, film/video production, musical composition, photography, visual arts and special artist. All entries must follow a chosen theme, which this year was “Look Within.”

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

Lakewood Kiwanis Says Thank You.

Thank you, thank you to all the pizza lovers in Lakewood who came to the Lakewood Kiwanis Pizza Bake-off on a snowy February night at Lakewood High School. And a big shout out to all of our vendors for keeping the pizza and ice cream smoothly flowing all night. What a great event for our community. The Kiwanis Club of Lakewood wants to thank everyone for helping with the success of this event. Our attendance for pizza lovers was over 600 and we had 10 of the best pizza shops to work with and participate. You voted for the following categories:
Georgio's Oven Fresh Pizza
Peppers Italian Restaurant
Nunzio's Pizzeria
Papa John's

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

What To Do While You're At Home

Dolly Parton is at The Root! Daily.

There's a fun free app called "Spaceteam." You do need to be in the same room to play it, but it is a cooperative game where up to 4 people pilot a spaceship by responding to commands to work individual controls. It is a huge hoot to play and usually ends up being pretty loud.

The Root has free books for little kids under 5 that you can pick up when you get your carryout food and coffee from them. The books are from Dolly Parton's literacy cooperative and recently she has begun reading those books on You Tube as bedtime stories.  (Dolly Parton is at the Root every day right now. See photo.) The "Goodnight with Dolly" episodes are streaming on Facebook and You Tube every Thursday at 7PM at Imagination Library, Dolly Parton and Dollywood channels. 

On a more serious note, animal shelters are reporting that some people are turning in their pets because of their inability to feed them because of being out of work. If you have room in your life fand can take care of a pet, check with local shelters. 

For families who love legos and have a lot of them, and if you have fond memories of building the Bat Cave or Harry Potter's Night Bus but you long ago put all your legos together in large bins, you can sort them out and build those things again, or any set you want. Lego building instructions are available online. 


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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

Healthy Lakewood Foundation Responds To COVID-19

The Healthy Lakewood Foundation (HLF) has announced that it will focus its 2020 grantmaking on community needs stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis.

Funds will be awarded immediately to help support two organizations that are directly helping Lakewood residents who are in great need during this crisis. A grant of $50,000 will be awarded to the Lakewood Community Services Center (LCSC) to support increased food procurement and distribution. A grant of $25,000 will be awarded to the Department of Human Services, City of Lakewood, for resident emergency needs stemming from the public health crisis. 

The Foundation will be taking a phased approach for the remainder of the year to respond with additional grants to meet further needs as they become clearer as the crisis unfolds.

“The board places its full confidence in LCSC and the City of Lakewood Human Services Department to identify residents most at risk and provide increased services and basic needs support in this time of crisis,“ says HLF Board President Jeanine Gergel. “We trust the leadership of these two entities to be able to quickly provide help to those most in need.” 

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020

School Closure Extended

Dear Families,

Today, Gov. Mike DeWine extended school closures statewide through May 1, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. He indicated that he would assess what might happen after May 1 closer to that date and will not rule out closing schools for the rest of the academic year.

This prolonged closure through April means that we will all have to settle into a remote learning routine for the next month. This is new for all of us. Our teachers are learning to teach in new ways just as our students are adjusting to a new kind of learning. We must be adaptable, flexible, and be patient with each other!

We will continue to keep you posted as District leaders begin to address what this longer closure means for students and our school building communities.

Stay safe, stay healthy!

Lakewood City Schools

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020

Digital Library Open 24/7

Even though Lakewood Public Library’s brick and mortar buildings are currently closed to the public there are still many resources available. Patrons can take advantage of the Library’s digital resources from home with their library cards. The Library offers many different online resources to support student learning, and to help pass the time at home.

If you don’t already have a library card, call the Main Library at (216) 226-8275, ext. 130 or Madison Branch at (216) 228-7428 Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. to sign up for a library card.

Available from home: 

  • eBooks, audiobooks and magazines using the OverDrive/Libby app.

  • eBooks, audiobooks, movies, TV shows, music and graphic novels through Hoopla.

  • Free online learning at

  • Online arts and crafts, including patterns and templates on the Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center.

  • Genealogy resources like Ancestry Library Edition, HeritageQuest, African American Heritage and Fold3 Military Records.

  • Language learning resources like Rosetta Stone, Mango Languages and Transparent Language Online.

For Youth

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020

Primary Voting Extended By Mail

Voting in Ohio’s March primary will continue in April. To take part, voters should request a vote-by-mail ballot from the Board of Elections, then complete and return it without delay.

That’s the simple update on the Ohio primary. All ballots already at the Board of Elections or there by the end of April will count. There’s still time to vote, and no reason to wait; local polling places in Lakewood won’t be opening.

Technically, March 17 remains the date of Ohio’s 2020 primary. Late on March 16, the Ohio Department of Health ordered polls closed, amid efforts to slow the COVID-19 pandemic. Errors and false steps by Secretary of State Frank LaRose and other state officials produced days of confusion, but legislators restored some clarity on March 25.

House Bill 197, passed unanimously by the Ohio General Assembly, allows voters to continue requesting and returning primary ballots until the end of April. The broad pandemic-response bill also instructs boards of elections to pre-pay the return postage for vote-by-mail ballots.

Limited in-person voting is to be available at the Board of Elections on April 28, only for voters with disabilities or no access to the postal service.

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020

Starr Gazer


Aries: The Ram likes to lead the race, except there’s nobody following you, you’re a solo act, go home, you still win

Taurus: For once, I’m not going to tell the Bull to come out of the Bull Pen, there’s nobody at the Ballpark, go home

Gemini: Wherever the Twins go you’re the life of the party, not today; take your Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde act & go home

Cancer: The Crab, known homebody, loves to cook up a storm…except they’re throwing you the groceries from the curb

Leo: Leo, you’re King of the Jungle and when you roar everyone listens, except where have all the animals gone?

Virgo: Nobody likes to clean, organize & sanitize like a Virgo, your home is so clean, but nobody to show it off too


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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020