Latest News

Phone Scam Targets Lakewood Voters

A Texas-based company has begun calling Lakewood residents, to present false information in the format of a survey. Paid callers from Dynata Global present a series of false statements about mayoral candidate Meghan George, then ask voters how they would react "assuming the statements are true."

The American Association for Public Opinion Research has stated that calls like this are not surveys at all, but rather unethical telemarketing designed to push respondents for or against a candidate. That say that such “push polls” are “an insidious form of negative campaigning disguised as a political poll.”

Multiple residents have reported identical calls attacking George, beginning Tuesday, October 8. Two have provided recordings of a call, confirming other reports.

In a statement, Meghan George said that "These intrusive, inaccurate calls are the complete opposite of what I stand for, and Lakewood deserves better. Our campaign has focused consistently on positive messages of public safety and sound policies to protect affordability for seniors and working families.

"I assure you that you will not hear those kinds of attacks or dirty tricks coming from my campaign. I am running to bring inclusive, collaborative and transparent government to City Hall."

One of the paid callers identified her employer as Dynata Global, based in Texas, but the company has refused requests to reveal who is paying them.


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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Latest News Releases

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
Lakewood Empowers Young People to Say Something and Save Lives!
- City Hall, October 17, 2017 Read More

View more news releases

Lakewood Mom And Son Dance Is Back For The Fourth Year!

What started as a casual conversation among some moms at Horace Mann Elementary evolved into a fun night out for hundreds of Lakewood families. Now in its fourth year, the Lakewood Mom & Son Rockin' Monster Mash will be held on Saturday, October 19 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm in the Lakewood High School gym and cafeteria.  

"The Lakewood Father/Daughter dance was going strong and we wanted to offer a similar opportunity to moms and sons," said event co-chair Kristen Humphreys. "We've always had a rock & roll theme, and we recently added a Halloween element to amp up the fun."  

The "Monster Mash" theme encourages attendees to dress up in Halloween costumes, wear t-shirts from rock bands and concerts, or even get dressed up in formal wear. The gathering encourages families of all kinds -- not just moms, and not just sons, either -- to be who they are and wear what they want. This year's event includes a maze in the LHS gym and a calm craft area outside of the gym for anyone who needs a break from the noise.  

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Callahan Seeks Seat On Board Of Education

The Callahan family; Michael, Kristyn, Liam, Kenna and Mary Frances

My name is Michael J. Callahan and I am a candidate for the Lakewood Board of Education. I’m running as an advocate for our schools and our community. The Lakewood City Schools are in a good place with dedicated teachers, great administrative leadership, and new or newly renovated buildings. We have a unique opportunity to make these investments continue to pay dividends in the community.

Our Board of Education can be more effective with added representation of young families and the fresh perspectives that come with it. As a parent of children in elementary school, I have routine interactions with parents, teachers, and staff and am positioned to represent the community.

My wife Kristyn and I are both lifelong Lakewood residents, and we have been proud to send our children to the Lakewood City Schools. Our oldest is a fourth grader at Grant Elementary School, our middle child is a second grader at Emerson Elementary School, and our youngest (age 3) will soon attend Lakewood schools. 

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Healthy Lakewood Foundation Updates Community On Their First Year

Sharing notes from small group discussions.

Over 50 Lakewood residents attended the Healthy Lakewood Foundation’s first community meeting on Tuesday, September 24th at the Women’s Pavilion at Lakewood Park.

The HealthyLakewood Foundation (HLF) was established in September 2018 as part of the master agreement following the closing of Lakewood Hospital. HLF was formed from the Foundation Planning Task Force and through their recommendation to the City of Lakewood and the Lakewood Hospital Association.

The 17 member Board, who represent a diverse array of personal and professional experience, spent the past year creating and formalizing the organizational policies and processes. This work will aid the board in the responsible, sustainable stewardship of $32.4 million in assets that will eventually be available to support health and wellness initiatives in Lakewood.

The community meeting provided an opportunity for Lakewood citizens to hear about HLF’s first year. Board members shared short summaries of specific work, including a financial update, community engagement plans, governance initiatives, and an overview of the strategic planning process.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Let's Talk Lakewood's Future

If we look at elections as conversations, we can see what conversations we want to continue and what ones we want to stop. Local elections are no different. They are community conversations about where the community wants to go in the years ahead, and what it needs to move forward into the future.

There are a lot of conversations happening in Lakewood right now, and as someone who has lived in Lakewood for five years, I recognize certain conversations important in changing the status quo, as the city’s status quo is changing. Conversations about affordability, accessibility, and increasing racial, religious, and economic diversity. There are people running in Lakewood who want the same imperative conversations. There are people running who want certain conversations to stop, not because they have lost their relevance or the issue is exhausted, but because they just don’t like the premise. Now, I realize that I haven’t met every candidate running, (and I would welcome the opportunity to). There are those in city council who are having these conversations currently, and have the respect of their constituency through accountability. Dan O'Malley is an awesome city council person, representative of his constituency. I worry for the future of Lakewood in respect to the other wards and the city's mayoral race.

We all want our interests to be respected and represented by someone to work collaboratively towards solutions that benefit everyone. I value community-centered candidates that follow through by listening closely to their constituents, rooting their policy ideas on constituent feedback, and receiving constructive criticism. I value candidates with honesty and transparency and want to offer community-based solutions to them, echoing their constituents who are asking for it of them.

I see Laura Rodriguez-Carbone and Brad Presutto as community-oriented, community-based city council candidates who listen, advocate, and amplify the voices of their future constituents. I can see that in their voiced concerns about healthcare, affordable housing, public transportation, and in their efforts to increase visibility of marginalized groups in the city who deserve a seat at the table in policies affecting their lives in Lakewood, regardless of population statistics. I believe them to be candidates who listen to the people in their wards, and in the city at large, who would base their policy initiatives on what they hear from the people.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Be Wary of Sam O'Leary. Don't Be Fooled Again.

As the saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” In 2015, I naively supported Sam O’Leary’s campaign to maintain his Ward 2 seat on Lakewood City Council after being appointed the previous year.

At one of Sam’s campaign fundraisers that summer, we spoke one-on-one at length. Sam is approachable and articulate. He appears to take a genuine interest in others. He convinced me that he was an independent thinker committed to due diligence and the highest ethical standards. I expressed concerns regarding Lakewood’s future, including the fate of our hospital. He shared my sentiments and promised to fight. We corresponded and spoke throughout the year regarding the hospital closing, but as a council vote on the issue neared, Sam began replying with patronizing rhetoric in line with the administration. I no longer felt represented and haven’t since.

I learned just this year that in March 2015, Sam was designated campaign treasurer for former Lakewood Mayor and Cuyahoga County Executive, Ed FitzGerald, coming off his loss for Governor amid questionable behavior. Had I been aware of this at the time, I would have been leery. FitzGerald launched a fake, single issue newspaper that misled voters on the hospital issue before a community wide vote that November; and then became a consultant to the developer who scored the land grab at the corner of Belle and Detroit after council voted to close the hospital.

Sam’s St. Charles Green dream (to add land to the park system) unveiled just ahead of his 2015 campaign hadn’t been mentioned again until the eve of another election season, just weeks ago. A lack of attention to Ward 2 for nearly six years, the bombardment of recent mailings, banners, county establishment endorsements and countywide fundraisers are a clear sign that he’s doing someone’s bidding beyond his supposedly beloved hometown.  

 

 

 

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Volume 15, Issue 21, Posted 5:11 PM, 10.16.2019

Transfiguration Parish's 10th Annual Harvest Pork Chop Dinner & Raffle

Please mark your calendar now and plan to participate in Transfiguration Parish’s 10th Annual Harvest Pork Chop Dinner & Raffle to be held on Sunday, October 27th, in the parish hall at 12608 Madison Ave. in Lakewood. Dinner will be served from noon-3:30 p.m. This is Transfiguration Parish’s primary fundraiser of the year and a wonderful tradition for our parish community. Help us make it a successful one!

The dinner includes two pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, sauerkraut (optional), green beans, applesauce, dinner roll, dessert, and coffee. Dinner tickets are $18 for adults, $7 for children 5 to 12, and free for children 4 and under.  Advance ticket purchase is strongly recom­mended for dine-in and for take-out dinners. A limited number of dinners will be available at the door.  Any unclaimed tickets/reservations will not be held past 3 p.m.Please call Anne at 216-287-1127 or Pat at 216-269-9801 for tickets/reservations by Sunday, October 20th.

This family event is more than a delicious dinner. There will be a Grand Raffle, a Split-the-Pot drawing, the always-popular Basket Raffle, a special raffle for a 40” Insignia LED flat screen TV (only 200 tickets will be sold at $5 each) donated by P.C.S. Auto Body & Collision Repair, door prizes, and sideboards. The Grand Raffle has a top prize of $1,500 and five prizes of $100 each.  Grand Raffle tickets are $5 per ticket or six tickets for $25. The Split-the-Pot drawing is a 60/40 split to church/three winners.  Split-the-Pot tickets are $1 per ticket or six tickets for $5. Winners do not need to be present. Grand Raffle and Split-the-Pot tickets will be available for purchase at the event or can be purchased prior to the event by calling the Parish Office at 216-521-7288 on Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The Basket Raffle prizes include brunch for four at Pier W valued at $168, a $75 gift certificate to Palazzo Italian Restaurant, a $75 gift card to Luca West (downtown), a $50 gift card to Johnny’s Bar on Fulton, a $50 gift certificate to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville-Cleveland, a $50 gift certificate to Georgetown/Vosh, an Ohio Clinic Skin Care Rejuvenating Facial valued at $90, and many, many other great prizes. Tickets for the Basket Raffle are $1 each or six tickets for $5.  The drawings for the Basket Raffle will begin around 3 p.m. followed by the Split-the-Pot and Grand Raffle drawings.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Why I Think Brad Presutto Would Be An Asset To City Council

I have had several opportunities to chat with Brad Presutto about his ambition to serve on Lakewood City Council. He is very personable and always speaks to how much he loves our city. One thing that I am always curious about is, what past experiences would make a person the best for the job? I feel that Brad’s experience managing, consulting, and reaching compromise does make him the best person for the job. 

While working for a variety of banks, insurance companies, and financial institutions, he managed teams as small as two people to a team of almost 60, spread out over multiple cities and countries. We need someone on City Council who has the experience being able to work with a wide variety of demographics and achieving compromise.  Our city has issues that have opinions ranging the entire spectrum. Having someone who has experience achieving compromise will prevent major issues from dividing our city and losing trust in Lakewood’s government.

One thing I noticed on his LinkedIn profile was that he won the Rookie of the Year award at his last job.  When I asked him about it, he was quite proud to talk about the success the team he managed achieved by turning around 72% quality scores to 99% within eight months.  In fact, most of his career he sought out teams or departments that were new or struggling; and he enjoyed using a continual improvement mindset to bring results to above expectations.  While Lakewood is not a new or struggling city, I want someone in public service who is willing to review each process for ways to make it more efficient. Having someone willing to listen to residents and city employees to make sure our city services  are beyond reproach is important to all voters.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 19, Posted 5:47 PM, 10.16.2019

Why I Support Jeff Wise For Council

As a longtime resident of Ward 3, I have always voted in elections. This year I feel compelled not only to vote, but to express why I will be voting the way I will.

It is time for a change. Now is our chance to elect folks that want to do things differently and listen to the residents. I firmly believe Jeff Wise fits that description. I had the opportunity to attend a community meeting he hosted last month. The focus of the meeting was the various developments being planned in Lakewood.

A summary of the points discussed include:

  • Jeff Wise supports development that makes sense for the neighborhood - he supports green space and sustainability as well as transitioning properly into a neighborhood
  • He believes in transparency - if elected he will continue to hold community meetings as he did when he worked in Columbus
  • He thinks when something is before a board the entire neighborhood should be notified and not just the immediate properties
  • He acknowledges he may not always say what we want to hear but he will he be up front about his thoughts
  • He opposes rubber stamping as our current council seems to prefer to do
  • He is excited that our city council could look totally different after the upcoming election

As a resident directly impacted by one of the proposed Solove Development projects, I was excited to hear his perspective. I was especially pleased to hear he believes development needs to make sense and to transition into a neighborhood. I am not getting that same sense from the current administration or the Architectural Review Board.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 21, Posted 5:11 PM, 10.16.2019

Letter To The Editor: Why I Am Voting For Jason Shachner

A few months ago, I recently moved into Lakewood. As a Post-9/11 veteran, I have moved around quite a bit throughout my life, and I have for a long time been searching for a community to call my permanent home. I’ve been looking for a neighborhood that is beautiful, and peaceful, and fun, while also being affordable and close to Downtown. More so, as a young LGBTQ+ woman who has recently transitioned, I needed to find a place that is welcoming and safe for me and my loved ones. Naturally, I thought of Lakewood.

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

8th Annual Welcome to Lakewood on Wednesday, October 23rd

Welcome to Lakewood Wednesday, October 23 at Garfield Middle School, 6:30 - 8:30 pm

The City of Lakewood’s Community Relations Advisory Commission is sponsoring the 8th annual Welcome to Lakewood event on Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at Garfield Middle School, 13114 Detroit Avenue. 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Sam O'Leary Is Unfit To Be Mayor--Here Is Why

In December 2015, Sam O’Leary was a defendant in a lawsuit brought on behalf of the residents of Lakewood alleging that he and other members of City Council held secret meetings and agreed to enact the so-called "Master Agreement" prior to any public meetings. 

This agreement, between the City of Lakewood, the Lakewood Hospital Association (LHA) and Cleveland Clinic, would close Lakewood Hospital and give away $120 million of taxpayer money and property belonging to the residents of Lakewood.

To conceal the non-public (i.e. illegal) meetings and decisions made in secret, O’Leary gave false testimony under oath that the Master Agreement “did not exist when it was announced”--even though this testimony contradicted his own statements made at a press conference held earlier that month in front of TV cameras.

Let's pause for a moment and reflect on the absurdity of insisting to a court of law that you held a press conference to announce an agreement that did not exist. 

The people of Lakewood didn't buy it either. 

The residents’ lawsuit against O’Leary was instituted, in part, because of his comments in support of the Master Agreement at that December 7, 2015 press conference which occurred before any public meetings were held concerning the terms of ANY agreement

O'Leary described the agreement in very particular terms, making statements before the cameras like: “This new agreement funds our future…. Specifically, this agreement means the Cleveland Clinic will…. Demolishing the old parking garage is part of the agreement.” 

The clear implication of O’Leary’s statements was that an agreement existed and he was in favor of it. 

Each of the other 6 councilmembers made similar statements referencing the “agreement” and their support of it. (The complete press conference can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lChNMhrAXCk)

On December 21, 2015, O’Leary gave the following testimony in Court:

The agreement that was announced on December 7th did not exist when it was announced and, therefore, it is correct to say the council had not deliberated on the definitive agreement that wasn’t in existence yet, absolutely.” (From the Court Transcript at page 63; lines 18-22).  

Public records prove that this testimony was false, and O’Leary knew it was false.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

LPL Calendar Of Events Compiled by Elaine Rosenberger

Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Author Event - "Pit Bull Heroes: 45 Underdogs with Resilience and Heart"
Book by Greg Murray
Main Library Auditorium

Meet Chad, the first pit bull in the pet therapy program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Apollo, who sniffs out narcotics at his job in Washington State; Charlie, who rallied a community to fight breed-specific legislation laws in Lakewood; and forty-six other underdogs. They are all pit bulls and heroes in their own way. Greg Murray is an award-winning animal photographer and advocate. Books will be available for sale and signing at this event.

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Meet The Author- “Cafe Abyss: John O'Brien's Fiction, A Reflection”

"Cafe Abyss" is a collection of essays about the late novelist and former Lakewoodite  John O'Brien and his work.

Long before he wrote the novel “Leaving Las Vegas,” John O’Brien called Lakewood home. The 1978 Lakewood High School graduate had a tragically short life and literary career, but the impact he made on the people who knew him and the readers moved by his work has more than endured the twenty-five years since his untimely death in Beverly Hills.

It is from this legacy that “Café Abyss: John O’Brien’s Fiction, A Reflection” was born. The editors and contributors of the book are visiting Lakewood Public Library on the day of its release, Thursday November 7, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. for a discussion about the novelist’s life and work. This special Meet The Author event will be held in the Main Lower Level Auditorium at 15425 Detroit Avenue.

Editors of “Café Abyss,” Dave Megenhardt and Rob Jackson, as well as O’Brien’s sister, Erin O’Brien, will join the discussion, along with additional essay contributors Sara Dobie Bauer, Patrick Snee, Matt Marshall and Tanya Pilumeli, who will speak about discovering O’Brien’s work and share their analyses of it.

In addition to his first novel, “Leaving Las Vegas,”(1990) which was made into a film of the same name in 1995, three more books, “The Assault on Tony’s”(1996), “Stripper Lessons”(1997), and “Better: a novel”(2009) were released posthumously with help from his sister.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Letter To The Editor

Dear Lakewood Observer,

I've been visiting your fair suburb of Center City Cleveland for going on 20 years now. My daughter settled in Lakewood after college to pursue her artistic dreams. American Greetings made that possible. Now my two granddaughters attend what I (a teacher) consider some of the best public schools in our grand country!

Now, I'd better get to the point of my writing. I discovered the gem of hair heaven at Carabel Beauty Shop on Madison during the past few years of visits. This establishment will be celebrating 50 years of business at this location, 15309 Madison, the 1st of November. If you have never been to that pink stucco building, it's time to make an appointment for an interview with the owner Bonnie, her daughter, or any member of her delightful staff. You will walk into 1950's Hair! Hairdos, Hair Spray, and unending love and attention with talk, talk, talk!

I try to have some type of service done whenever I'm in town to visit. It truly is a gem.

Sincerely,
Ms. Vonny Nelson Eckman
Carlise, PA (The Car Show Mecca of the East Coast, Home to United States Army War College, Dickinson College, and Penn State Dickinson School of Law.) 
Come Visit!

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Volume 15, Issue 21, Posted 5:11 PM, 10.16.2019

Which Way, Lakewood?

In November we will select a new mayor. Your vote will set our city's course for the next four years. Will it be business as usual, or will we head down the path of integrity and transparency?

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Comedy Escapes And Magic Fun With Ron Price

Come to Lakewood Public Library to experience a riveting show that blends comedy and magic. The astounding escape artist Ron Price will captivate the audience by his ability to escape from just about anything. Wrap him in chains, ropes, mail bags, or straitjackets--it doesn’t matter--he can escape! Price spent years practicing magic and escape artistry to create an amazing show. You might even be picked out of the crowd to enjoy the fun of being a magician’s helper. “Comedy Escapes and Magic Fun with Ron Price” will take place in the Main Library Multipurpose Room on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. Come and enjoy a free program that is full of amusement for the whole family.

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

On November 5th, Vote YES On Issue 43

In 2021, Lakewood voters will likely see something they haven't seen in several decades: a crowded race for Municipal Court Judge. Judge Patrick Carroll is retiring after 30+ years of dedicated service to Lakewood, and the open seat will probably be sought by many candidates. Lakewood's current charter, however, does not allow for a primary election to be held for the position of judge.

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Application Process Open For 2020 Cox “Tech Boost” Program

Cox Communications announced on October 1st that local nonprofit organizations are encouraged to apply to the company’s “Tech Boost” program for a chance to receive a technology ‘boost.’ Two $15,000 boosts will be presented to two nonprofit organizations in the company’s Northeast region. The Cox Tech Boost program was created to help nonprofit organizations invest in much-needed technology assets for the betterment of their patrons and mission.

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

H2O's HOME ALONE Kicks Off With Leadership Retreat

Attendees had a great time learning about the HOME ALONE Project at H2O's Leadership Retreat!

photo by H2O student leader, Kelsey Dalton

Lakewood’s H2O (Help to Others) service learning program is expanding its student leadership through HOME ALONE. I am excited to be a part of the HOME ALONE Research and Development Team that is currently working to create four events to be held during the winter of this 2019-2020 school year. It will be geared towards nine to twelve year old students, as well as their parents. Those attending will have the chance to learn from both high school students and local experts, such as firefighters, police officers, and internet crime detectives, on how youth can best stay safe when home alone. 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Time To Choose A Medicare Plan

This years Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) is October 15th through December 7th. This is the time of the year people can make changes on their Medicare Advantage Plan or Prescription Drug Plan. Changes made during AEP go into effect on January 1st, 2020.

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Rotary Celebrates Eradication Of Polio With World Polio Day October 24

The members of the Rotary Clubs of Lakewood Rocky River join are joining with 1.2 million Rotary members, in nearly 34,000 Rotary Clubs around the world, to celebrate the eradication of the crippling disease of polio. It all started in 1979 by Rotary with the administration of the first dose of an oral polio vaccine in the Philippines; 6 million children in the Philippines have been vaccinated. Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for 40 years, and the goal of ridding the earth of this disease is in sight.

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Starr Gazer

NOVEMBER

Aries: Patience isn’t one of the Ram’s virtues, however, be “grateful” for the time it allows you to follow your heart & smell the roses along the path, Rome wasn’t built in a day, take heed.

Taurus: The leaves are turning, and the Bull should follow suit, & turn your attention to connectedness, how wonderful to smile at a stranger, nod a hello, make “gratitude” your Mantra.

Gemini: Having fun comes natural to the Twins, your Thanksgiving task is to share the joy with everyone you meet, make being “thankful” a game, you set the rules, let the games begin.

Cancer: Open up those crab pincers, “generosity” is your theme, let it flow & let it grow, after all for you not to join in would be like everyone doing the wave at a Browns game but you…

Leo: It’s time to call that inner critic into your office & give it an extended leave of absence, it’s your Jungle & if you want to give everyone a day off go for it, never tire of saying “thank you.”

Virgo: Take off your grumpy hat for awhile this month, there’s something that you can “give” away all month for FREE, yep, it’s your smile, unless of course, you’d rather give away money?

Libra: Mars is still in your sign for the first few weeks, place your action where it matters most to a Libra, relationships; yep, make sure they’re well-oiled & running smoothly, be “giving.”

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

A Taste Of Tijuana On The Avenue

Blackberry Margarita

Who needs Tijuana, when John and Jill Crino bring a little bit of Tequila, Spanish Mexican style food, authentic daily homemade sauces, colorful artistry, and southern hospitality to Lakewood? Taco Tontos, situated in Bird Town, on Madison Avenue is a family-owned business that offers up more than the large chains and franchises can compete with.

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Tess Neff Corrects Opponent's Flawed Statements

I have chosen to run a positive campaign for Lakewood's Ward One Council seat and I will not stoop to denigrating my fellow candidate in this race. It is unbecoming. I stand by every statement I have made during this campaign regarding my qualifications, experience and responsibilities. It is an established fact that I am responsible for the Court's 60 million dollar budget. Not only is this fact outlined in my job description, but the fiscal responsibility has been an assigned duty for the four years I have been the Court Administrator. I believe these truths were recognized and acknowledged by the voters in my large margin of victory in the primary election. My opponent's false allegations published in an earlier edition of this paper have been debunked. It is unfortunate she chose to run a campaign in that manner. 

I have lived in Lakewood for over 30 years and have raised my family here. I love Lakewood and will continue to strive to keep it a great place to live. I am humbled to have the support of so many neighbors, friends, family members, men, women and young adults. My opponent should retract her factually baseless statements. 

Tess Neff

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Building Trust In Government Is Critical To Lakewood

This election is not about which middle-class professional gets to put a feather in her cap. It's about the people of our community who need real help, with real issues. That's what my campaign has been about from day one to now. I also believe in giving straight answers to direct questions, and when the Lakewood Observer asked why someone should vote for me and not my opponent, I answered both parts of the question. I replied based on more-than-triple-checked research, which is available for anyone to review.

The issue of judgment matters. City council members evaluate all the policies of our city, as well as potential appointments of the next mayor. My opponent demonstrated her judgment in decisions at the county jail, as well as in hiring an adherent of vicious negative politics to consult for her campaign, in the person of Ed FitzGerald.

This hire makes it very easy to believe the reports, throughout this campaign, of my opponent disparaging me when talking with Ward 1 residents. What I can say for certain is that my only criticism of any opponent in this election has been non-personal and in the open.

I can also say for certain that we need to re-center higher values in Lakewood, of not only honesty and transparency, but of treating government as an opportunity to help with real problems, rather than a prize to be seized by means fair or foul.

These are the values I have practiced in my career, and in this campaign, and these are the values I will uphold in service to this community.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 21, Posted 5:11 PM, 10.16.2019

Folias Duo Performs Concert In Main Library Auditorium

Folias Duo, a flute and guitar ensemble, is comprised of husband-and-wife team flutist Carmen Maret and guitarist Andrew Bergeron. Maret and Bergeron met while both were graduate music students at Michigan State University; they married in 2003.

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

The Grant PTA Invites You To The Third Annual Craft And Mingle Maker Fair!

The Grant Elementary PTA invites you to the third annual Craft and Mingle maker fair. The event will be on Saturday, October 26th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Grant Elementary School. The vendor lineup is awesome this year. You’ll find something for everyone on your holiday shopping list and more! We’ll have clothing and accessories for American Girl dolls, Cleveland sports team books and gifts, handmade jewelry, homegrown decor, handmade prints and greeting cards, clever monogrammed gifts, empowering tees, all natural skin care products and perfumes, handmade snacks and other food items. Another exciting feature is that five of the thirty five vendors are mini makers this year. Young entrepreneurs from Grant, Hayes and Lincoln will be showing off their talents at their booths. Bring your kids with you, because there will be lots of fun activities for them. We’ll have face painting, a scavenger hunt and the Dave and Busters Street Team. Everyone will enjoy the concession stand and raffle as well. We hope you join us!

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

LHS National Merit Honorees Named

National Merit Semifinalists Aidan Bohac (left) and Evan Bell.

Lakewood High School seniors Evan Bell and Aidan Bohac have been named National Merit Semifinalists in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Corp. competition. This designation recognizes Evan and Aidan as among the top students in the nation. 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 5:57 PM, 10.02.2019

Lakewood Native Katherine “Katie” Liston Named Oberlin College Assistant Varsity Soccer Coach

Recently-named Assistant Varsity Soccer Coach Katie Liston watches her Oberlin College team from the sidelines. Head Coach Dan Palmer is shown in the background. Go Yeo!

On August 15, 2019 lifelong Lakewood native Katherine “Katie” Liston was named Assistant Coach of the Oberlin College varsity women’s soccer team. The opportunity arose when the former Assistant Coach left to become the Head Coach for CWRU. Katie had spent the last two years training goalkeepers for Oberlin’s men’s and women’s teams on a part-time basis while pursuing her medical career.  Now, as Assistant Coach, Katie’s duties will expand greatly to include practice planning, player development, recruiting and whatever else Head Coach Dan Palmer assigns to her.

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Volume 15, Issue 19, Posted 3:29 PM, 10.07.2019

The Root Of It All

I work at the Root Cafe VERY intentionally.

The most prevalent lesson I took from my education at the university of Notre Dame is the question, “How can my gifts serve the world?”

The Root Cafe ACTIVELY serves the Lakewood and Cleveland community in so many ways it’s difficult to even begin to quantify.

What sets The Root apart and has kept me there for 4+ years (with no end in sight) is the daily function of this cafe.

We open at 6 and set the tone for so many people’s days. Doctors and nurses, journalists, teachers, local government officials, retired you-name-its, artists, social workers, preachers, activists, and architects (when I mention each of these roles, I am thinking of literal people who I know and have connected with almost every day for these past few years, I’m not being hyperbolic.) 

Each of these individuals choose to start their day at The Root with a coffee or a scone or maybe both. They carry that experience and energy with them throughout their day and through their work.

We support local artists by showcasing their work or being their place of work!

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 5:57 PM, 10.02.2019

Experience And Enthusiasm Make The Difference!

The Beebe Family - 2018: my son Aaron Beebe, his daughter Miriam Matzner-Beebe, Linda Beebe and my daughter Megan Beebe.

My name is Linda Beebe, and I am asking to be re-elected to Lakewood Board of Education for another four years. I have served on Lakewood BOE for 36 years; I want to be re-elected because I believe public education is vital to the health of my community. I am committed to making Lakewood Schools the best choice for all our children, no matter what their background, abilities, or economic status.  Good schools mean more young families, a better informed citizenry and greater stability. 

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Volume 15, Issue 19, Posted 6:00 PM, 10.02.2019

Beatlemania At The Barton Senior Center

Remember the Beatles ’65 album? How about the Fab Four’s visits to Cleveland in 1964 and 1966? Get back to yesterday and relive those concerts or experience them for the first time. Best of all, you won’t have to travel across the universe to do it. There’s a place where you can go – The Barton Senior Center here in Lakewood!

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Volume 15, Issue 19, Posted 6:00 PM, 10.02.2019

Nightmare On Merl Avenue

As the fall season begins, so comes the time for tricks and treats. How do you plan to spend the spookiest holiday of the year? If you’re looking for something fun, free, and close to home on Halloween, consider attending the scariest experience Lakewood has to offer: Nightmare on Merl Avenue!

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Volume 15, Issue 19, Posted 6:00 PM, 10.02.2019

Danger: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 95

Fan Fiction - No Frontier - Just Because Records - 11 songs - cassette, digital

Fan Fiction returns with the follow-up to their tape from last year, the lengthily-titled, "I Thought You Said The Legend Wasn't Real." 11 tracks of perfectly decent indie rock, all catchy and hooky. Not particularly heavy stuff, but not lightweight either. I think most of the best material is on Side B, like the upbeat "Catch 22" and the sorta-power pop "Creeps," maybe my favorite track on the thing. Side B also closes with a hidden acoustic track about how great a dude Fan Fiction's lead guitarist Joe Vecchio (who also runs the Just Because label) is. It's actually a pretty heartwarming track, another favorite here, and when I think about it, yeah, Joe's probably near the top of the list of people who deserve a song in their honor. Overall, it's a decent tape, though it doesn't have the total hits the first tape had, like "Teenage Landlord." I guess my problem is that it's not quite poppy enough on one hand and then not aggressive enough on the other, though that's really my impossible gripe and not their fault. A solid, likable release either way. 3/5

(justbecauserecords.bandcamp.com)

The Society - You Girl - B-W Records / My Mind's Eye - 2 songs - 7"

Here's a really good archival find. The Society (most of whom were Lakewood High School students) would later morph into the Damnation Of Adam Blessing, but this is their 1967 debut, unheard until now. These tracks are both absolute killers. "You Girl" is a garage fuzz pounder, with incredible guitar playing throughout and a similar vocal line to The Sparkles' "No Friend Of Mine" and, indeed, sounds like something pulled straight off of "Nuggets." There's a guitar solo barely a minute into the song and great call and response vocals: "You're a LOSER!" sings Bill Constable, answered by the rest of the band singing, "You girl!" A total teenage monster here. The B-side, "Lonely," is also absolutely great, trading the fuzz guitar for a slower, organ-driven sound. I wasn't quite sold on it the first few listens, but it really grows on you. And when you think about it, all the best garage singles have the destructo first side with the cool-down flip: "Open Up Your Door" has "Once Upon Your Smile," "Talk Talk" has "Come On In," and "You Girl" has "Lonely." Both sides sound great, too, courtesy of Cleveland Recording and Ken Hamann. Great packaging as well here: looks truly vintage, phenomenal band photo on the cover (and more cool photos on the insert), and interesting and informative liner notes from the garage rock genius Tom Fallon. For fans of garage rock or local stuff or local garage, this is pretty essential. 5/5

(mymindseye.bigcartel.com)

Are you a local-ish band? Do you have a record out? Email vaguelythreatening@gmail.com or send it directly to Observer headquarters: The Lakewood Observer, c/o Buzz Kompier, 14900 Detroit Avenue, Suite 205, Lakewood, OH 44107.

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 5:57 PM, 10.02.2019

H2O’s R&D Team Gears Up For HOME ALONE

H2O's R&D Team Members

A highly dedicated team of eleven H2O “Help to Others” members from Lakewood High School spent last summer meeting with experts from Lakewood Police, Fire, EMS, and an internet crime investigator to gather important safety information that will aid their younger peers. The findings of H2O’s Research and Development Team will be shared by an expanded group of high school leaders through interactive presentations at four HOME ALONE parent/child events scheduled for January and February of 2020.

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Volume 15, Issue 19, Posted 5:59 PM, 10.02.2019

Swim With The Pumpkins At Lakewood Rec’s Pumpkin Patch In The Pool

Image Credit:  Nancy Pizir

On Sunday, October 27, the clear blue waters of the Lakewood High School pool become the coolest pumpkin patch in Lakewood. Children of all ages are invited to splash their way around the pool to find their pumpkin floating in the water.  

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Volume 15, Issue 19, Posted 5:59 PM, 10.02.2019

Come See All LHS Offers At Showcase Night Oct. 8

On Tuesday, October 8 from 6-8 p.m., Lakewood High School will host its second annual LHS Showcase Night. The event is designed to share with the community all the opportunities available to an LHS student, from the abundance of extracurricular activities, to the wide range of curricular options such as Advanced Placement, College Credit Plus, and career-tech classes. The evening will also include a Q-and-A session for parents of students not currently in the District interested in LHS. Visit the District website at www.lakewoodcityschools.org for more details.

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 5:57 PM, 10.02.2019

Candidate Questions For Meghan George

Occupation: Senior Account Manager

1.) Why should we vote for you and not the other candidate? (100 words or less)

You deserve a mayor that understands the unique needs of our community and as a third-generation resident, I have called Lakewood home for nearly 38 years. My experience goes beyond serving as your current at-large Councilwoman. I have served the community as a supervisor for the Lakewood Recreation Department and I’ve worked for our schools. Additionally, I am a workforce strategy/benefits consultant for employers throughout Ohio. I assist CEOs with creating a competitive environment, mitigating risk, and establishing budgets. This combination of community service and practical experience has provided me with the skill set necessary for the role as Mayor.

2.) What are the top 5 issues you see for Lakewood? (One sentence each)

1)            Fiscal Stability. Long term fiscal planning geared toward ensuring we provide the quality services Lakewood residents deserve without burdening lifelong homeowners with undue tax increases by not appropriately planning for the future.

2)            Public Safety. Not only should residents feel safe in their homes, they should feel safe from speeding traffic and we need to be sure our Police Department has the resources it needs to enforce our traffic codes.

3)            EPA Mandate. The financial burden of the overhaul of our 100 year old sewer system is a massive undertaking that will impact every household for decades to come.

4)            Transparency and Ethical Governance. It is crucial we are conducting business ethically by transparently and honestly sharing information with the residents of Lakewood.

 

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 6:16 PM, 10.02.2019

Candidate Questions For Sam O'Leary

Occupation: Municipal Attorney and Prosecutor, Council President

1.) Why should we vote for you and not the other candidate? (100 words)

 I have the experience necessary to be Mayor. As a 3rd generation Lakewood resident, I understand our City’s history. I began serving Lakewood on the Board of Zoning Appeals, and the Tax Incentive Review Council. For six years, I have had the honor of representing Ward 2. For four years, I have served as Council President, building consensus among Council members and between Council and the Administration. I work as a municipal attorney advising mayors and councils about their challenging issues, across all aspects of municipal government. As a prosecutor I understand what it takes to make our community safe. 

2.) What are the top 5 issues you see for Lakewood? (One sentence each)

1.

My administration will maintain our strong core city services like public safety by continuing the financial discipline necessary to further invest in the people and the equipment that ensure high-quality, reliable, and efficient service for our residents. 

2.

We must do more to ensure that Lakewood is an affordable and welcoming place for all, by being good stewards of taxpayer dollars so we don’t further burden residents, by implementing policies that encourage the development of different types of housing at a variety of price points, and by helping our seniors and young families make the investments in Lakewood’s aging housing stock that allow them to stay in Lakewood. 

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 6:16 PM, 10.02.2019

Tess Neff's Rebuttal To Laura Rodriguez-Carbone's Question One In The LO Candidates' Forum

Ward One Council Candidate Tess Neff has requested that the Lakewood Observer post a rebuttal to Ward One Candidate Laura Carbone's response to the first question in the LO Candidates' Forum.

Question One:

1.) Why should we vote for you and not the other candidate? (100 words). 

Laura Rodriguez-Carbone's response:

I have a clear platform and proven professional history of service. On the other hand, my opponent claims to personally oversee 600 employees as a court administrator and manage a budget of $60 million. According to the latest annual Juvenile court report, her job falls under the court administration division, which does not directly oversee the budget - the legal division does. This statement is misleading. My opponents campaign is also backed by the old boys network of money and political influence. This is not the kind of leadership Lakewood deserves.  

Residents in Ward 1 deserve a councilperson who will put their needs first, serve with transparency, integrity and be above undue influence. I am that candidate.

Tess Neff's rebuttal:

It is the responsibility of council to exercise due diligence when gathering all the pertinent facts  to reach an educated conclusion.

The statement by my opponent regarding my budget management for the Juvenile Court is factually incorrect. Internal documents unequivocally delegate the Court Administrator as the responsible individual for the court's budget. My opponent's response necessitates that I submit a rebuttal to correct the factually flawed statement in question 1.

It is a fact that I manage and direct the court's divisions: Legal, Court Operations, and Court Administration. It is a fact as the Court Administrator I am responsible for the court's budget. It is a fact that I direct the work of the Fiscal department to prepare an annual budget and maintain court operations within the budget. 

This language is directly from the job posting from which I was hired over four years ago and I have assumed the budget oversight during the entire tenure. 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 5:37 PM, 10.06.2019

Laura Rodriguez-Carbone's Response To Tess Neff's Rebuttal

Looking at the document provided me by the publisher of the Observer, which was provided to him by my opponent, I noted some potential missing elements and incomplete information. Because of this, I have submitted a public records request to Cuyahoga County to confirm. 

I believe that considering the circumstances, a public records request must be completed to ensure the veracity of the information submitted, which was incomplete, and is different than at least the last five juvenile court annual reports, that list administration and budget under two different departments.  

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:01 PM, 10.07.2019

Candidate questions for Laura Rodriguez-Carbone

Occupation: Community Outreach Coordinator

1.) Why should we vote for you and not the other candidate? (100 words). 

I have a clear platform and proven professional history of service. On the other hand, my opponent claims to personally oversee 600 employees as a court administrator and manage a budget of $60 million. According to the latest annual Juvenile court report, her job falls under the court administration division, which does not directly oversee the budget - the legal division does. This statement is misleading. My opponents campaign is also backed by the old boys network of money and political influence. This is not the kind of leadership Lakewood deserves.  

Residents in Ward 1 deserve a councilperson who will put their needs first, serve with transparency, integrity and be above undue influence. I am that candidate.

2.) Name two things you have learned while walking around talking to residents, first: what are their biggest concerns about their ward, and second, what are their biggest concerns about Lakewood in general? How will you address these concerns as their councilperson? (100 words, or less, for each). 

Having personally knocked on 2,000 doors in Ward 1 and spoken with hundreds of residents, our seniors are concerned about transportation, accessibility, and being priced out of their homes due to property tax increases and fixed incomes. They are concerned about public health and senior services, which they feel are underfunded.  Many families I spoke with are concerned about traffic safety and the safety of school-aged children given the amount of speeding observed in the neighborhoods. Residents across the board, and especially younger professionals, are concerned about affordable housing and the future of housing development in the Ward. 

The biggest concern about Lakewood, in general, is a perceived lack of transparency and open communication from city government. Residents want their government to be more transparent, council representatives to be more engaged in the neighborhoods, and a representative who will pick up the phone, provide responsive constituent services, include them in policy discussions and advocate for their needs within the community and on city council. They also, by and large, support ethics reforms that would ensure honesty and accountability for Lakewood’s public officials.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 6:16 PM, 10.02.2019

Candidate Questions For Tess Neff

Occupation: Court Administrator, Attorney, Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court

1) Why should we vote for you and not the other candidate?

I have proven leadership experience. The past four years I have managed the operations of the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court, which is comprised of almost 600 employees and a $60 million budget. My extensive experience collaborating with community partners has allowed us to successfully create and implement programming, policy and training that promotes equality. I have been in public service my entire professional career, I have lived in Lakewood 31 years, serving ten years as a judicial magistrate at the Lakewood Municipal Court, and many years on the Lakewood YMCA Advisory Board. I understand the concerns and challenges faced by the constituency. My platform is focused on the core services that have made Lakewood a strong, thriving and successful inner ring suburb: robust safety and public services; improvements to roads, sidewalks and sewers; keeping homes affordable and livable. These components significantly contribute to Lakewood’s greatness. I will maintain open dialogue, be inclusive of the community, make thoughtful decisions that are innovative and improve our city.

2) Name two things you have learned while walking around talking to residents, first: what are their biggest concerns about their ward, and second, what are their biggest concerns about Lakewood in general? How will you address their concerns as their councilperson?

Two concerns I learned from residents are speeding traffic is a safety concern on the cut through streets such as Cordova and Lauderdale, and the need to improve communication. First, we discussed traffic calming strips and speed bumps as a way to control drivers’ excessive speed. This issue is important not just in Ward 1 but city wide. Families, children, walkers and bikers deserve to be safe on the streets and sidewalks. I will explore funding options with council on how best to tackle this issue. Second, people want to be informed and not be surprised when big decisions are made that impact their lives. I plan to work with council and the city administration to devise a plan to improve city wide communication to bring important issues to the residents. Email newsletters about important issues can be distributed more efficiently. Getting the residents involved to help compile email lists by street will help expedite the process.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 6:16 PM, 10.02.2019

Presutto Candidate Question Answers

Occupation:  Owner - Level Up Employment LLC


1.) Why should we vote for you and not the other candidate? (100 words)

I can be trusted to be responsive to your everyday concerns, support sustainable development to help attract good paying jobs, and to keep Lakewood affordable for everyone by addressing our rising water/sewer costs.  

The 15 years I have called Lakewood my home with my children have allowed me to get to know our businesses, our families, our schools, and our community. It is this life experience along with my educational background that makes me the best candidate for Ward 2. I know what Lakewood’s concerns are because I’ve lived it with you, as your neighbor.


2.) Name two things you have learned while walking around talking to residents, first: what are their biggest concerns about their ward, and second, what are their biggest concerns about Lakewood in general? How will you address these concerns as their councilperson? (100 words, or less, for each)

Residential streets get used as cut throughs by drivers in a hurry. I am committed to working with our local police and overall city design to make sure traffic laws are enforced, to utilize speed tables as appropriate, focus on multimodal transportation, and bring back a Lakewood controlled circulator. We need to make sure our streets are safe for children to play in front yards or walk to school, sidewalks clear and wide enough to allow accessibility for all residents (including providing snow removal to those in need), and road traffic studied and timed for maximum efficiency. 

The broadest concern about Lakewood is affordability; water bills and housing. When I announced in March, my platform made the water/sewer infrastructure upgrade a centerpiece of our campaign. Water bills are already reaching more than $80 a month for residents. With them forecast to exceed $200 by 2030, this will price homeowners and renters out of Lakewood. We need to reevaluate how we will fund these upgrades without putting it on the backs of residents.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 6:16 PM, 10.02.2019

Candidate Questions For Jason Shachner

Occupation: Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Lake County Prosecutor’s Office, Criminal Division

1.) Why should we vote for you and not the other candidate? (100 words)

 My career in public service has provided me with the tools and the temperament to effectively build coalitions and strongly advocate for you. I am an attorney and have significant, relevant experience in the non-profit and government sectors, including serving as an Assistant Prosecutor in the Civil Division of my office. Here, I provided legal advice and counsel to elected officials and department heads, was responsible for drafting resolutions, reviewing and creating bid packages for public works projects, and representing the county in legal matters. I will use my experience to make sure your voice is heard at City Hall. 


2.) Name two things you have learned while walking around talking to residents, first: what are their biggest concerns about their ward, and second, what are their biggest concerns about Lakewood in general? How will you address these concerns as their councilperson? (100 words, or less, for each)

The biggest concerns in Ward 2 are speeding, development, the lack of crosswalks in heavily trafficked areas, and the condition of Wagar and Kauffman parks. I will address speeding concerns by working with residents to get the signatures necessary to have speed tables installed on problematic streets. I will communicate your concerns to developers and work with them to ensure that the developments benefit our city. I will work with city employees to identify areas that need crosswalks and advocate for their installation. I will engage you in the design plans of Wagar and advocate for investment in Kauffman.

The biggest city-wide concerns center around housing and land use. Increased housing demand has numerous positive effects, however those on a fixed income or whose wages haven’t kept pace with rising rents or property taxes are experiencing the adverse effects of Lakewood’s success. Our code doesn’t provide for accessory dwelling units (in-law suites) as a permitted accessory use or as a conditionally permitted use. I would work to revise the code to permit ADUs, which would increase the amount of affordable housing stock, increase options for those looking to downsize, and provide seniors more options to age in place.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 6:16 PM, 10.02.2019

Candidate Questions For Jeff Wise

Occupation: Realtor

1.) Why should we vote for you and not the other candidate? (100 words)

I care about our city and am concerned about the direction it has been going. In recent years, we have lost more than 1,500 jobs, including our largest employer. Our population has dropped substantially over the last four decades and with the next Census, we risk losing federal funding if this decline continues. Poverty is rising and more residents are struggling to make ends meet now than at the height of the great recession. We can do better. I will serve with honesty and integrity, support greater transparency, and work to restore trust between residents and city hall.

2.) Name two things you have learned while walking around talking to residents, first: what are their biggest concerns about their ward, and second, what are their biggest concerns about Lakewood in general? How will you address these concerns as their councilperson? (100 words, or less, for each)

The primary concern residents in Ward 3 have is development and how it impacts their neighborhoods. Many feel they have been ignored and the city is trying to rubber-stamp developers’ proposals. The city must do a better job with outreach, communication and responding to residents’ feedback. This is essential for the success of any project. My stance is any proposal must be responsible, sustainable, historically appropriate and fit the surrounding neighborhood. My experience in the real estate industry would be an asset to residents as these proposals are vetted. In fact, I have shown my commitment to resident outreach by already hosting a “Community Conversation” on the topic of development with residents. I am dedicated to listening to and representing their interests. On council, I will host more of these events to better connect residents to their local government.

Many residents also feel city hall has not been listening or responsive to their needs. They want an a councilman who they can count on not just for constituent services, but who will also play an active role in passing legislation to improve the city. My experience at the Statehouse makes me well qualified to accomplish these goals.

 

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 6:16 PM, 10.02.2019

Candidate Questions For John Litten

Occupation: Non-Profit Executive Director, Current Ward 3 Council Member

1.)   Why should we vote for you and not the other candidate? (100 words)

We’ve had four years of structurally balanced budgets, I have a high response rate to calls/emails, I pride myself on building ways for residents to access their city and their local elected council member. Block clubs, going door to door, attending Lakewood events and the like are what it’s all about for me. I think most residents know their Ward 3 council member better than ever and I would plan on that continuing. 

2.) Name two things you have learned while walking around talking to residents, first: what are their biggest concerns about their ward, and second, what are their biggest concerns about Lakewood in general? How will you address these concerns as their councilperson? (100 words, or less, for each)

Easily, the biggest concern in Ward 3 is vehicle speed and traffic. I hear it often when I knock on doors. Lakewood is a town designed in the 1890’s with 2019 traffic issues, so our solutions must be creative and comprehensive since we can’t change our road configuration. I think that the traffic calming pilot starting in the next week on Marlowe is a huge step that can be replicated throughout the ward. We’ve also commissioned traffic studies of high accident intersections, installed cameras, budgeted for more speed notification, passed distracted driving legislation, added cameras and more.

Lakewood-wide issues are skewed by ward 3 needs given my higher acquaintance there, but it seems that our greater growth has had an impact on existing residents, so I’d like to continue to find ways to bring developers and residents together. At least three recent Ward 3 development proposals have changed substantially because of resident feedback. That is what I’d like to continue doing. I think affordability in the face of our growth is the next step, which is why I’ve proposed looking at how Lakewood can be nuanced in this regard, sharing affordable housing with market-rate development.  

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 6:16 PM, 10.02.2019

Candidate Questions For Linda Beebe

1.). Why do you want to be elected, or re-elected, to the Lakewood Board of Education? Why should we vote for you? (100 words or less)

I bring some distinctive contributions to board considerations. My connections to Lakewood Schools are strong. My children Aaron and Megan are Lakewood graduates. My husband Dr. Bruce Beebe taught in Lakewood for 30 years. As one whose children are now grown, I can focus the needs of all children. As a former teacher both in Lakewood and Scotland,  I bring classroom experience into policy discussions.  I love reading about learning theories and best practices. As an older person I bring a different perspective to policy discussions.  As an attorney, I can bring my knowledge to considerations with legal implications.

2.) What do you see as the three biggest issues facing the Lakewood School District? Explain how will you address one of them? (100 words or less)

I will continue to seek to lower expenses by reducing staff in line with declining enrollment and to seek out opportunities for group purchasing. I will support the district’s efforts to lobby for effective state support for the district to relieve the burden on local taxpayers. I will encourage the district leadership to look for creative ways to increase programming at reduced cost, while maintaining a talented and strong teaching staff and without cutting arts or extra-curricular education.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 6:17 PM, 10.02.2019

Candidate Questions For Michael Callahan

Occupation: Parks and recreation professional, City of Bedford

1.). Why do you want to be elected, or re-elected, to the Lakewood Board of Education? Why should we vote for you? (100 words or less)

I’m running as an advocate for the Lakewood City Schools. 

I am a lifelong Lakewood resident, as is my wife.  We have two children currently attending Lakewood City Schools (Grant Elementary and Emerson Elementary).  We have a third child (age three) who will attend school in the district.  Our children are having a positive experience; however I believe that young families are not sufficiently represented on the Board.  If elected I would represent families of young students as a fellow parent. 

Also, as a public sector manager and parks & recreation professional, I bring valuable perspective to the Board.

2.) What do you see as the three biggest issues facing the Lakewood School District? Explain how will you address one of them? (100 words or less)

The three biggest issues are the impending operating budget shortfall, state report card rankings, consistency in class size.

Regarding budget shortfall, it is very important that the district have effective communication with the community and meaningful dialogue. An operating levy will be necessary at some point in the future and the district must be clear about reasons for it and the efforts taken to operate as efficiently as possible while delivering the highest quality of education to all students. 

I’d also like to comment on the state report card, in that the grade does not tell the story of the Lakewood City Schools; but since it is a metric used particularly by prospective residents, we must strive for improvement.  


 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 6:16 PM, 10.02.2019

Candidate Questions For Andrew Meyer

Occupation: Attorney

1.) Why do you want to be elected, or re-elected, to the Lakewood Board of Education? Why should we vote for you?

I want to be elected because I can provide a very real value to Lakewood’s Board. I’ve always been very interested in education, community and government. Now that my wife and I have had our first child after many years of struggle, our interest in local education has leapt to the forefront. 

My first professional job was as a substitute teacher. I subsequently became an attorney and participated in local groups and organizational or governmental boards and commissions. I have a track record of being independent minded and innovative, but collaborative and results oriented throughout my professional and civic life.

2.) What do you see as the three biggest issues facing the Lakewood School District?  Explain how will you address one of them?

  1. Thorough, careful review of the budget. I pride myself on my personal fiscal responsibility. At age 39 my wife and I have paid off all our debt; student debt, mortgage, car loans. And as a small business owner, I make sure I don’t spend more on overhead than what I take in.
  2. Work on new ways to focus on the individual student while understanding the limitations imposed by state guidelines.
  3. Improve best practices; I would work towards a new consortium or cooperative effort to meet and exchange best practices and ideas with local Cuyahoga County school districts.

3.) It seems that every week we hear of another terrible school incident and this year we have been informed of threats in our own schools. What are your ideas to keep our children as safe as possible in our schools?

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 6:16 PM, 10.02.2019

Candidate Questions For Emma Petrie-Barcelona

Occupation: Non-profit management- compliance

1.) Why do you want to be elected, or re-elected, to the Lakewood Board of Education? Why should we
vote for you? (100 words or less)

I have served the residents of Lakewood as a school board member for the last 8-years and believe I
have done a good job. I would like to continue to provide leadership and support the district in carrying
out the new district vision. I’m excited about the leadership that Dr. Barnes and Mr. Zeman bring to the
district and I add value to the board through my board and professional experience, as well as my first-
hand knowledge of the district as a parent, informed by what other parents and stakeholders share with
me.

2.) What do you see as the three biggest issues facing the Lakewood School District?  Explain how will
you address one of them? (100 words or less)

The consistent area of focus of the schools is serving all children as well as possible, given the realities of
funding, and meeting the variety of needs of children given the experiences, strengths, growth areas, and
backgrounds that each individual possesses. As a school board member, I will continue to focus on the
budget priorities and managing resources effectively and appropriately, while investing in areas that may
need additional attention. Finally, while managing enrollment changes across the district, I will pay
particular attention to ensuring that all buildings have consistent access to supports and programs.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 6:16 PM, 10.02.2019

The Results Are In: Understanding Your DNA Test

Over 26 million Americans have mailed in their saliva sample for an at-home ancestry test. The initial process is simple for the consumer, but deciphering the results of this ever advancing DNA research can be baffling. Mary Jamba is visiting Lakewood Public Library on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. to explain what the reports mean and how you can get the most out of them.

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Volume 15, Issue 19, Posted 5:59 PM, 10.02.2019