Latest News

Barnes To Return To Mayfield Schools to Lead District

On the evening of December 1, the Mayfield City Schools' Board of Education voted to hire Dr. Michael J. Barnes as their new superintendent effective August 1, 2021. Dr. Barnes will replace current Mayfield Superintendent Keith Kelly, who recently announced his retirement effective August 1.  

“While we as a Board are disappointed that Dr. Barnes will be leaving us after the end of the school year, we appreciate everything he has brought to Lakewood,” Board President Emma Petrie Barcelona said. “We know he will be fully committed to the Lakewood City Schools for the remainder of his superintendency and through this unique school year.” 

The Lakewood Board of Education will meet soon to determine the path moving forward for the District. The Board will keep the community informed as a plan is developed.  

“The decision was not an easy one for my family and me. My wife and I have enjoyed every minute of being a part of the Lakewood community,” said Dr. Barnes. ““Lakewood Schools are a special place where community, children, and staff come together for the betterment of all. I treasure the experience and lessons from my tenure as Superintendent, and firmly believe that I am a better instructional leader, and person, as a result of my time here,” he continued.

Dr. Barnes came to Lakewood in August 2018 from the Mayfield City Schools where he served in several administrative positions for more than 20 years.

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Volume 16, Issue 24, Posted 9:48 AM, 12.02.2020

Lakewood Schools Stay Remote Until New Year

Lakewood Family:

Our focus has been, and continues to be, to provide the best instruction possible for the students of our district in as safe a manner as possible. To accomplish this, we are adhering to two core principles: Safety and Choice. 
 

Regarding Safety 

We are following the latest guidance from healthcare professionals and are committed to implementing best-practice safety protocols. 
 

Regarding Choice

Our families have made it clear through extensive two-way communication with the school district that they desire options for instruction. We have heard you and three instructional options will be available. 

  • In-Person instruction

We are committed to returning to in-person instruction as soon as possible for those that choose this option.

  • Remote instruction

We are committed to supporting our remote learners with high quality instruction.

  • eLearning instruction

     

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

Progress Amidst The Pandemic

As we begin the 2021 budget presentations, I wanted to share a letter within our budget document that reflects our progress through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dear Citizens of Lakewood, and Members of Lakewood City Council: 

I am pleased to present you with a balanced budget for calendar year 2021 that reflects our perseverance, progress, vision, and strategic initiatives amidst the challenges of operating in a global pandemic. After being elected last November, I came with core ideals that valued teamwork, public safety, public finance, and innovative ways to implement public policy while also promoting public health throughout our environment, especially for our at-risk population. The COVID-19 pandemic created an environment in which our entire staff along with the community has come together as a team to embrace this vision and key initiatives for the City of Lakewood:

Public Safety and Human Services 
o Established a Coronavirus Task Force that regularly meets, and a COVID-19 Playbook outlining our administrative initiatives and policies that will continue to safely guide us through the pandemic. 
o Keeping seniors safely at home by delivering meals. 
o Responsibly monitoring public spaces to encourage compliance with orders and best practices initiated by the Governor.
o First responders (Police and Fire) remain substantially dedicated to keeping Lakewood safe during the pandemic.

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Volume 16, Issue 24, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

Mayor's Corner

November, like every other month this year, was a busy month for the City of Lakewood. We continue to make progress on several key initiatives and are preparing for a prosperous 2021.

The Department of Public Works has begun 2020 Leaf Pick Up, which continues through December 11th. Our Wagar Park Revitalization Project is officially complete and the park is open to the public. The renovation included the installation of new playground equipment, a picnic shelter, a half-court basketball court, walking trails, and open green space with help from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Land and Water Conservation Fund. Keep Lakewood Beautiful selected the 2020 Beautiful Home Award winners. We completed incredible local art installations for the Spectacular Vernacular initiative throughout the community. The City’s Affordable Housing Program was recognized for the Vibrant NEO award. 

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Volume 16, Issue 24, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

Community Fridge At The Root

Today is the first official day of hosting the ‘Community Fridge Cleveland Project’ at the Root Café. Thank you to everyone who donated already, we are fully stocked
 
Please tell your friends and anyone in your networks about this resource-- Anyone can come by and get Free Food during our business hours.

They worked with @reparations.now.cle to raise funds for a mural on the fridge by local artist September Shy (IG: @tember611 )

They do ALL the legwork to make this happen--including providing daily maintenance and cleaning by their volunteer staff.

They accept:

Pantry staples, Fresh produce, Frozen foods, Sealed beverages (no alcohol), Meals prepared in professional foo safe environments with ingredients clearly labeled, Dented but sealed cans, packages with damaged labels, Masks and Hand sanitizer. 

 

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Volume 16, Issue 24, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

Holiday Recycling Tips

With the huge popularity of on-line shopping because of the Covid Pandemic and the holiday shopping season in full swing, the amount of cardboard to be recycled in Lakewood has increased immensely. Here are a few suggestions to aid the city workers in recycling your cardboard.

1.)   Breakdown your cardboard boxes whenever possible. So many residents place one or two large boxes in the toter and then throw the rest on the tree lawn. This defeats the purpose of  the automated process. A city worker must pick-up the cardboard manually which is labor intensive and not economical. In addition, when you do not break down the cardboard boxes the automated truck fills-up faster. The recycling truck must drive all the way to the recycling center in Twinsburg daily. Those fuel costs add up.

2.)   Many Lakewood residents run their businesses from home and recycle much cardboard weekly. Try to get your cardboard in the toter, but if you have an abundance, please break it down and bundle it with rope or strong string. Remember, you can always drop it off at the recycling center yourself. The hours are M-F 8to2 and Sat. 8-12.

3.)   Styrofoam is not recyclable and should be placed in the garbage toter whenever possible. If you place a cardboard box on the tree lawn and there is Styrofoam in it, the cardboard will NOT BE RECYCLED.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 24, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

The View From City Council

November 16th City Council Meeting Rundown

Beautiful Home Awards

The Keep Lakewood Beautiful Board presented the winners of the Beautiful Home Awards for 2020. Every year the Keep Lakewood Beautiful Board receives upwards of 100 nominations for this award and then performs the arduous task of whittling down the nominations to two per Elementary School Boundary. Please join me in congratulating Marsha & Dennis Paul, Heidi & Dana Paul, The Derethiks, Rick & Kim Friedrich, The Toth Family, Mark & Emmy Eichelberger, and Linda Powers & Daniel Weiland for receiving the Beautiful Home Award! You can view the homes by visiting http://www.onelakewood.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/KLBBeautifulHomeAwards2020.pdf.

County Health Department Contract Renewal

City Council approved the renewal of the contract with Cuyahoga County’s General Health District for the provision of public health services. The contract amount is $284,114 for the year 2021. Councilman John Litten, Chair of the Health & Human Services Committee, noted that state laws favor contracting with a County Health District as opposed to a city running their own health department. Mr. Litten stated that the City would have to forfeit several revenue streams if we established our own Health Department.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 24, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

Rotary Encourages Community Support

Giving back to the community is a hallmark of Rotary, and the Rotary Club of Lakewood & Rocky River has traditionally used its annual Wassail Bowl Christmas parties as a time for members to provide toys and clothing items for children in Lakewood and Rocky River.

Gift items were donated by club members and distributed by the Lakewood Foundation and the Rocky River Women’s Club (RRWC) and its Rocky River Assistance Program (RRAP).

As COVID 19 restrictions make it necessary for the club to cancel its in-person gathering, the holiday event will be held virtually this year, and the club will continue to support these community partners.

The club strongly encourages residents in Lakewood and Rocky River to join in donating to one or both of these 501(c)(3) organizations – Lakewood Foundation, an organization that works in conjunction with the city’s Department of Human Services, and the RRAP. Both have altered their in-person programs this year to help families in need.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 24, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

West Shore Student Ohio Presidential Scholar Semifinalist

Congratulations to West Shore Career-Technical and Bay High School senior, Ryan Duffy for being recognized as an Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Presidential Scholar Semifinalist. Duffy is in West Shore’s Auto Technology program instructed by Mike Szittai. Duffy was also recognized this year as a National Merit Commended Scholar.

In his free-time, Duffy enjoys restoring cars, including a 1971 Buick Riviera and a 1965 Corvair which he can often be found driving to school. Self-taught, Ryan says he “did it with YouTube and a little help from my friends.” He also runs his own private auto detailing company, “Duffy’s Dynamic Detailing.”

Inside and outside of school, Duffy demonstrates leadership. Boy Scouts of America awarded him the rank of Eagle Scout in February 2020. He is also the drumline tenor section leader in the Bay High Marching Band and a 4-year member of the Rockets’ cross country team. For the last two years, Ryan has participated in the Appalachian Service Project and traveled to West Virginia and Virginia in the summer and rebuilt homes for impoverished families in those areas. Ryan is a leader among his peers in Automotive Technology and serves as the Skills USA Class President.

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

West Shore Billboard Design Contest Win Streak Continues

For the fourth straight year, a West Shore Career-Tech Media, Art & Design student has won the Teen Driver Safety Billboard Design Challenge. Congratulations to senior Gaby Bush of Bay Village High School for her winning design! The contest requires students to create a billboard design that tackles the issue of distracted teen driving.

Gaby’s winning design, “One Like Shouldn’t Cost a Life” will be displayed on five digital billboards for two-three weeks at various high-visibility locations throughout Cleveland, including I-90 and I-480.  It is estimated that approximately half a million people will see Gaby’s billboard design during their placement.

In addition to the billboard exposure, Gaby will receive a $500 cash prize for winning the contest, which is sponsored by University Hospitals, Safe Communities Coalition and State Farm Insurance.

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

Starr Gazer

DECEMBER

Aries: The Ram is always first for everything, in your rush to get there, take time to enjoy the journey, go ahead & Deck the Halls & let the festivities begin, you’re good at starting things.

Taurus: The Bull does a lot of thinking in that Bullpen of yours, since every request is granted, there’s no need for you to feel any competition, go Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Gemini: The Twins are always the life of every office party, even if you have to Zoom the party this year, you’ll be able to come up with something lively, Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

Cancer: I’ll Be Home for Christmas at the Crab’s house, take time to rest & let someone else pitch in, you’re the nurturer of all holiday gatherings, spread the baking & cooking chores.

Leo: You are the King/Queen of the Jungle & Christmas is no different, do it up in high Leo fashion, light up that Jungle, Roar like you’ve never roared, Jingle Bell Rock that Jungle.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

20 Northeast Ohio Non-Profits Awarded Over $1.5 Million In Grants

Three Arches Foundation Announces 2020 Annual Grant Awards

Three Arches Foundation, a community-focused grant making foundation, announced awards totaling more than $1.5 million to twenty Northeast Ohio nonprofits for their work in advancing the health and well-being of the people of Lakewood and surrounding communities. Each grant award reflects the Foundation’s priority area of access to care, specifically the advancement of solutions to remove barriers and improve behavioral and physical health.

Grants awarded expand existing programs, fund new initiatives and promote collaborations that integrate health care and social services, which will have a direct impact on the lives of people – both young and old. “Throughout the strategic grant process we were enlightened by the innovative ways these organizations have found to not only maintain, but implement much needed programs and services despite going through a period of immense organizational adjustment this year,” said Chas Geiger, board chair of the Foundation. “We’re proud to provide financial resources to help carry forward these impactful efforts for the benefit of our community.”


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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

Need Help Paying Bills? Financial Assistance Is Available For Limited Time

This year has been especially challenging for our customers. Throughout the year, The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has been advocating to federal, state, and local officials to seek financial relief to customers who are struggling with their sewer and stormwater bills.

Money provided by Cuyahoga County is available to residents affected by COVID-19 who need assistance with utility bills. Eligibility criteria include being at or below 120 percent of Median Household Income and have been affected by COVID-19 through income loss, childcare needs, or illness. Funds are only available until December 31, 2020 so apply early at chnhousingpartners.org/utilityassistance/ or call 216-350-8008. Rental assistance is also available at neorenthelp.org or 833-377-7386 (RENT).

Additional funds are available to Cuyahoga County residents who are at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. If you are struggling with sewer, stormwater, or other bills then you are encouraged to apply with the Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland (CEOGC). Applications must be approved by the end of the year, so we urge anyone looking for assistance to apply as soon as possible. To apply or learn more, please visit ceogc.org/covid-19-emergency-assistance/ or call 216-370-3480.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

Legal Aid Helps Those Struggling With Food Insecurity During COVID

Prior to COVID-19, more than 37 million people in America struggled with hunger each year, including more than 11 million children. The economic impact of the pandemic left even more families without the means for meals.

There are a number of resources available to those who are struggling with food insecurity issues. Legal Aid regularly helps clients put food on the table by connecting them with critical benefits, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.

One person Legal Aid helped recently is Frankie Subhani (name changed to protect privacy). Frankie, who is an insulin-dependent diabetic, applied for the SNAP program in April. It is important for Frankie to eat regular meals so he can maintain a healthy blood sugar level and avoid life-threatening illness. Unfortunately, weeks passed and he never received the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card he needed to purchase groceries.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

COVID-19 Scams

First Federal Lakewood is issuing this notice to alert customers to potential indicators of imposter scams and money mule schemes, which are two forms of consumer fraud observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many illicit actors are engaged in fraudulent schemes that exploit vulnerabilities created by the pandemic. This notice contains descriptions of imposter scams, money mule schemes, and financial red flag indicators to help keep you and your money safe.

Imposter Scams


In imposter scams, criminals impersonate organizations such as government agencies, non-profit groups, universities or charities to offer fraudulent services or otherwise defraud victims. While imposter scams can take multiple forms, the basic methodology involves an actor (1) contacting a target under the false pretense of representing an official organization, and (2) coercing or convincing the target to provide funds or valuable information (social security number, bank account numbers, etc.), engage in behavior that causes the target’s computer to be infected with malware, or spread disinformation. In schemes connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, imposters may pose as officials from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), other healthcare or non-profit groups and academic institutions.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

Lakewood Neighbors Create “Friends Of Madison Park” Advocacy Group

Photo by Friends of Madison Park

A group of neighbors has established “Friends of Madison Park” as a grassroots advocacy initiative to champion Madison Park, a 17-acre city park located on the edge of Lakewood’s Historic Birdtown Neighborhood.

Friends of Madison Park aims to complement the City of Lakewood’s park management by providing ongoing stewardship for Madison Park to ensure this public greenspace remains an exceptional asset for the community. 

Lakewood residents Matt Bixenstine, Alyse Lamparyk, Lauren Mikolay, Sam Paynter, Meghan Tinker Paynter and Chris Varano – all next-door neighbors on Clarence Avenue – created Friends of Madison Park as a way to celebrate and support the park located behind their backyards.

Areas of focus will include: Grassroots advocacy for Madison Park and surrounding neighborhoods, support of major park improvement projects, preservation and growth of park tree canopy, celebration and proliferation of park-goer diversity and continued emphasis on park safety, beautification and vitality.

To learn more and get involved, please visit FriendsofMadisonPark.org.

Matt Bixenstine enjoys all things Lakewood, especially walking his basset hound through Madison Park.

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

Healthy Lakewood Foundation Supports Lakewood Families With Remote Learning Needs

The Healthy Lakewood Foundation (HLF) took several actions in November 2020 aimed at assisting Lakewood families with meeting their school-age children’s learning needs during the pandemic. In specific, the board approved:

  • A $25,000 grant to the YMCA of Greater Cleveland to support its expansion of capacity to provide school-day care to school-age children while learning is remote;

  • The allocation of funds previously awarded by the foundation to the City of Lakewood, Department of Human Services, to provide scholarship assistance for care during the school day for children from Lakewood families with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level; and

  • The use of funds previously awarded to the Lakewood City Schools for document cameras to support teaching staff in their efforts to share documents, handouts and worksheets digitally and make connectivity easier for instructional purposes for families with school-age children. 

     

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020

City Eyes New Developer For Hospital Site

The City of Lakewood has undergone tremendous change in 2020. One of those changes was the direction of our downtown redevelopment at the intersection of Detroit Avenue and Belle Avenue and I am pleased to tell you that the City is now moving forward. At the November 16, 2020 Council meeting we asked for Council to authorize my administration to move forward in negotiating a non-binding term sheet with a new developer CASTO.

In 2017, CASTO and their partners were one of two teams selected as the most qualified to develop the nearly six-acre former hospital site in the heart of Downtown Lakewood. Their proposal and supporting documentation from that process can be found at http://www.onelakewood.com/downtowndevelopment/. This was a months-long selection process with multiple rounds of submissions and analysis, discussion with and evaluation of eight development teams before a citizen-led real estate development advisory panel, and presentations at a joint Architectural Board of Review/Planning Commission public meeting. 

CASTO presented a vision for a mixed-use development to integrate into the fabric of the Lakewood community while creating a new anchor for Downtown. The City now has a unique opportunity to revisit CASTO’s proposal. CASTO has stated they remain committed to this project and are enthusiastic about restarting discussions with the community.

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.18.2020

Light Up Lakewood: Reimagined To Spread Virtual Holiday Cheer

LakewoodAlive has creatively reimagined the most joyous of Lakewood traditions — this year, we will be virtually connecting the community to safely bring the spirit of this beloved event to life. Light Up Lakewood is back for a 14th consecutive year, help us to #LiftUpLakewood with holiday cheer when Light Up Lakewood 2020 takes place virtually from Saturday, December 12 through Sunday, December 20.

Sponsored by First Federal Lakewood and presented by LakewoodAlive, Light Up Lakewood celebrates the season and the richness of our city’s vibrancy. This virtual, family-friendly event will feature nine days of Lakewood holiday traditions that premier daily on Facebook and Instagram beginning December 12. The virtual event will kick off with our Lighting Ceremony that begins with a mini-parade featuring Light Up Lakewood celebrities including Santa, Grinch, and Buddy the Elf.

”Light Up Lakewood is such a fun celebration of the season and we wanted to do our best to keep the celebration alive, in a safe way,” said LakewoodAlive Executive Director Ian Andrews. “We are thrilled to bring you nine days of videos featuring some of our favorite traditions of the event and hope it brings the community together during this uncertain time.”

Schedule of Virtual Events for Light Up Lakewood Reimagined:
Video content will premiere daily at 7 p.m. on Facebook and Instagram.

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 11:39 AM, 11.18.2020

Celia Dorsch To Receive Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award

Celia Dorsch has been named a Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) by the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River in recognition of her leadership in the Lakewood community.

She will be among those honored at the District 6630 Annual Foundation Awards Banquet at 6:30 p.m. on November 19.

Ms. Dorsch has spent her career helping others and teaching Lakewood’s youth the value of giving back to their community. Hired by Lakewood Division of Youth as an activities specialist, Ms. Dorsch realized the importance of connecting young people to their community. She worked with the city and schools to create Help-To-Others (H2O), a youth volunteer program at Lakewood High School.

Through H2O, high school and now middle school students learn to give back in endless projects throughout the year. They have held dances for the elderly, visited nursing homes, food collection/distribution, among many others. Each summer H2O coordinates a summer service camp for middle school students.

During her nearly 19-year tenure as coordinator of the program, she has been privileged to help develop hundreds of young leaders who have gone on to make a difference. Upon her retirement from H2O, she jumped right into a volunteer organization that distributes meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas to those who are in need.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.18.2020

Dan O'Malley Elected As Leader Of North Shore AFL-CIO

Long time labor activist to lead Ohio’s largest local labor federation 

The delegates of the North Shore AFL-CIO elected, by acclamation, Dan O’Malley as its new leader this past Wednesday. O’Malley, who also serves as president of Lakewood City Council, is succeeding Harriet Applegate who is retiring.  

O’Malley, 35, is a Cleveland native and a graduate of John Carroll University. He previously served at the North Shore AFL-CIO as campaign director and prior to that he spent eight years with Working America, the last two years as the organization's state director in Ohio. O’Malley is a member of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 1794 and American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Local 4.

“As a fourth generation union member, it's the honor of a lifetime to be leading the Greater Cleveland labor movement,” O’Malley said. “We have incredible challenges and opportunities and I will work hard every day to address them both,” he said. O’Malley emphasized that his priorities for the labor federation are to assist affiliated unions in organizing campaigns, to build strong relationships in our communities and to provide a strong voice for workers at all levels of government.  

“Dan is eminently qualified to fill this position,” Harriet Applegate said of O’Malley and his new position. “Not only has he served the federation for the last five years as campaign director, he is also adept and intimately acquainted with the political process in all its aspects,” she explained. “Dan knows the labor movement and he knows the community in which it resides,” Applegate said. 

The North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor is the organized voice for 80,000 working people in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties. Over 146 Local unions are affiliated with the labor federation. 

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.18.2020

Mayor's Corner

This past week I released a new video on the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is the script of that video.

On Wednesday evening, Governor DeWine called on Ohioans to recommit to coronavirus safety practices. We are experiencing record high COVID-19 cases and a surge in hospitalizations and ICU admissions. These are the worst numbers since the beginning of the pandemic and they are moving in the wrong direction.

In his address, Governor DeWine announced revisions to existing health orders, issued new health orders altogether, and warned of further steps that would need to be taken if the tide does not turn within the next week. The new mask order includes the requirement that businesses post a face covering requirement sign at each public entrance. Additionally, the Governor has set up a new Retail Compliance Unit, led by the Bureau of Workers Compensation, that will be inspecting to ensure retail compliance. The first violation of this order will result in a written warning and a second violation will bring about closure of the store for up to 24 hours.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 11:39 AM, 11.18.2020

Rosy, Won't You Please Stay Home: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 109

Marty Brass - On The Grass - self-released - 6 songs - digital

Marty Brass: you might know him from Ma Holos, The Nico Missile, JuJu Shrine, Pig Flayer, and many other bands. If you read this column regularly, you might know that he shreds. "On The Grass" is his solo debut and while it has elements of some of those bands, it definitely is its own thing. I suppose what you'd call it would be lo-fi power pop-- catchy, guitar-driven pop rock songs with pretty poor recording quality. I'm not sure whether the fidelity was a stylistic choice or just a result of equipment constraints-- I'm a fan of a rawer production, but even I would've liked certain parts of this to be a little more clear-- but I suppose it does fit with the quarantined nature of this project. Some songs are slightly more mellow, like "Do Whatever We Want" and "Trip Up North," some have more of a garage rock feel, like "Morning Girls" and "Spaulding Street." "Ready To Pop" reminded me of a Parquet Courts song. If you liked that Joey Nix tape from last year (and I definitely did), this has that kind of vibe-- also, I think Joey himself plays drums on one of these songs, so there's a further connection. The weakest track here is "Clean Freak." I have nothing against an instrumental interlude, but this goes on for six minutes and, while it is sorta meditative in its way and there is a time and place for that kind of thing, it did not work for me stuck in the middle of the record like it is here. That said, the remaining five songs are all pretty good to really good. I hope this one comes out physically at some point (at least as a tape, come on) and I hope to hear more from Marty real soon. He shreds! 3.5/5

(martybrass.bandcamp.com)

 

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 11:39 AM, 11.18.2020

Senator Antonio Discusses Importance of Supporting Domestic Violence Survivors

Last week, I was honored to participate in Leadership Ohio’s panel on "Ending Violence Against Women & Girls."  In Ohio, 1 in 5 women will be raped in their lifetime, but unfortunately, only one third of survivors will come forward and seek justice. Additionally, more than 1 in 3 women in the United States will experience physical violence by an intimate partner in her lifetime. We are likely to see this increase for 2020. According to Human Rights Watch: crises & especially lockdowns can trigger a greater incidence of domestic violence due to increased stress, cramped and difficult living conditions, and breakdowns in community support systems and services. In fact, in our own community, calls to the Domestic Violence and Children Advocacy Center in Cuyahoga County’s hotline increased by 40% during Covid. 

Fighting for survivors is essential and passing state legislation is an important piece to supporting them. This General Assembly, I introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Stephanie Kunze (R-Columbus) to reclassify strangulation as a felony (SB 146), and SB 43 which would increase state funding to DV programs and include DV convictions and protection orders as a red flag component in firearm legislation. According to the Strangulation Training Institute, women who have been strangled by their partners are 750% more likely to be murdered than domestic violence victims who have not experienced strangulation. I also introduced SB 162 which would eliminate both the statute of limitations and the spousal exemptions for rape or sexual battery.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 11:39 AM, 11.18.2020

Ray Rodrîguez Show At Root Cafe Through November

Looking for a short break from the day? Some good art, conversation and coffee? Stop by the Root Cafe on Detroit Ave. and check out the art of part-time Root Barrissta Ray Rodriegrez. Ray is having a small show selling prints and stickers of his work. This small grouping is in the surreal vein.

Ray is one of those people you cross paths with in life, and as you see more bits and pieces about the person and their work your appreciation only builds. This has been my experience with Ray.

Passionate about life, science, art and his beloved Puerto Rico. At the tender age of 28, you can add him to your artist/people to watch list. I think you will be pleasantly entertained.

This show is up through the end of the month. 

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.18.2020

Something Everyone Could Use, Especially Bike Riders

Kenneth Knabe with Bike Lakewood putting a Bike Lakewood Bike Rack in front of the Madison Branch of Lakewood Public Library.

Cycling RIGHTS Bicycles, E-Bikes & Micro-Mobility Devices

As many of you know all of the Observers have been huge supporters of bikers, riders and cycling. At one time we started Bike Lakewood, and had a biking column that became the “Great Lakes Courier” cycling paper. So when I saw Kenneth Knabe’s new book “Cycling RIGHTS Bicycles, E-Bikes & Micro-Mobility Devices” I wanted to get a copy and find out what it was all about. All of us, riders and drivers, cannot know enough about the laws on the streets for all of us.

Lakewood resident and Lawyer Kenneth Knabe has earned the title “Greater Cleveland’s Bike Attorney” not just in the courts, but in decades of riding and service to the Greater Cleveland community. He is a Bike Cleveland Corporate Sponsor, He serves on the boards of Ohio Bicycle Federation and the Ohio to Erie Trail. He also co-chairs a sub committee of the City of Cleveland’s Vision Zero Taskforce, whose goal is to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries to all road users.

Back to the book. It contains common sense rules of the road that can benefit and educate everyone from the beginners to experienced riders, and yes even those who have never ridden a bike, will never ride a bike but drive. Simple questions answered and explained. Like the simple question that everyone on the roads ask, “Can a cyclist go through a stale red light with no cross traffic?” Well only if it is a “dead light.” Which is explained in one section with subnotes noted and put elsewhere. The book is that thorough.

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.18.2020

Thank You To State Senator Nickie Antonio

I am wrting to express my sincere thanks to State Senator Nickie Antonio for her leadership at Lakewood Park on Veterans Day, November 11, 2020. It was very disappointing to the many veterans, veteran family members and other respectful citizens who assembled at the Lakewood Park Veterans' Memorial to honor those courageous members of our military who served and sacrificed that there was no Lakewood city-sponsored event to honor our brave men and women, some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice.

Senator Antonio took the personal initiative to welcome those in attendance and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance at 11:00 A.M. in honor and remembrance. All in attendance welcomed and appreciated her gesture of community, patriotism, and appreciation. Thank you Senator Antionio and thank you to all those who visited the memorial, shared their personal stories with others and demonstrated such respect and reverence for our fallen heroes.

Stephen LaMantia is a 48 year resident of Lakewood, a retired hospital pharmacist and past member of Citizens Advisory Committee. All four children attended Lakewood Public Schools. 

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.18.2020

Changing The Tide For One Non-Profit At A Time

Shark&minnow, a Cleveland-based strategy and design consultancy, today announced its sixth annual #sharkATTACK, which acts in conjunction with #GivingTuesday on December 1, 2020. The movement brings together businesses and communities across the globe to champion the worthy causes they believe in.

“Now in its sixth year, we have the unique opportunity through #sharkATTACK to give back to our community during the holiday and giving season by changing the tide for one local non-profit through partnership, empathy and invention,” said Brian Jasinski, shark&minnow’s director of design. “Amidst these challenging times, we are here to elevate and illuminate the initiatives of the organizations for which we deeply care.”

Each year, shark&minnow joins the #GivingTuesday movement and global day of giving with its annual #sharkAttack. As one of the company’s ongoing efforts and commitment to building a brighter community, the creators and innovators at shark&minnow champion a worthy cause by donating expertise in strategy and design to a deserving non-profit in Greater Cleveland, including Lakewood.

The selected organization will have the opportunity to present their unique business challenge to shark&minnow’s team and, in exchange, be provided with a strategic and actionable plan that empowers the organization to turn their presented challenge into an opportunity.

Greater Cleveland non-profit organizations should submit their application for the sixth annual #sharkATTACK at www.sharkandminnow.com/givingtuesday before November 26, 2020 at noon. The chosen organization will be announced the following day, on November 27.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.18.2020

Lakewood Rocky River Sunrise Rotary Named Shelter Box Hero

ShelterBox USA Ambassador and Past Rotary District Governor, Jack Young, announced that the Lakewood Rocky River Sunrise Rotary Club has been designated a ShelterBox Bronze HERO for Rotary Year 2019-2020. The Club donated funds from its Foundation to support this worthwhile program. 1.6 million people have been sheltered since 2000, and this year alone ShelterBox USA has provided aid to over 87,000 people. This could not have been achieved without the support of clubs like the Sunrise Club. 

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.18.2020

50 Rangers Included In All-Conference Honors

The Rangers' first fall season in the Great Lakes Conference has paid dividends with 50 student-athletes earning some level of All-Conference honor, including 11 named to the GLC's 1st Team. The following Rangers were selected for their standout play: 

1st Team: James O'Donnell (cross country); Omar Almutari, Quinn Costanza, Ben Merriner, and Aubree Nagel (soccer); Brandyn Bates, Javion Goudy, Tico Jones, Jr., Pete Patsouras, and Hakeem Quran (football); and Annabelle Sorge (volleyball).

2nd Team: Lauren Barber, Sam Hudak, Matthew Hueter, and Eli LaDue (soccer); Matt Bowen and Lucas Winters (football); Sadie Gregg and Teeghan McGann (cross country); and Ella Bangert (volleyball).

Honorable Mention: Jazi Dunay, Ben Jablonowski, Abby Sacha, and James Toole (cross country); Nobert Baguma, Annette Doren, Sean Teets, and Mallory Zavatchen (soccer); Jack Derethik and Sean McHugh (golf); Bilal Abuaun, Mohammed Alniserawly, Othman Awad, and Sean Teets (football); Helen Hylton and Amy Pilgrim (volleyball); Kkyu Du, Hay Nay Lwi, and Sofia Rivera-Bitner (tennis); and Lanajah Honera and Isabelle Reay (cheerleading).

Sportsmanship Award: Lindsay Gregg and Simon Sanders (cross country); Muzafar Ali and Jasmine Magda (soccer); Cole Dockus (golf); Mohammed Alniserawly (football); Ella Bangert (volleyball); Maya George (tennis); Mayda Strnad (cheerleading).

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.18.2020

America Recycles Day

Every year on November 15th, we recognize America Recycles Day and the importance of recycling. It is a reminder that we should challenge ourselves to do more to promote a circular economy and reduce the amount of waste in our environment.
 
This belief in doing more inspired me and partners to launch Rust Belt Riders. In 2014, we recognized two serious problems impacting the community: food waste unnecessarily heading to landfills, and the need for a healthier, more equitable, and even regenerative food system.
 
We decided to start collecting food waste and composting it into soil products to help our region’s gardeners and farmers grow more of our own food locally. The simple act of diverting food waste from landfills enabled Rust Belt Riders and our partners to improve not only soil, but air, and water as well. Additionally, we are creating dignified jobs that are place-based and provide pathways toward employee ownership, and our work is tangibly and measurably slowing the global climate crisis. Little acts can have big impacts.
 

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.18.2020

Revisiting Your Budget During A Crisis

Revisiting Your Budget During a Crisis

Many Americans found themselves in the throes of the COVID-19 crisis before they fully understood what was going on. For many, news of the virus was distant and remote, something that was happening in China and Europe. Until it wasn’t. Once COVID-19 reached our shores, actions had to be swift and immediate. Our world changed in a matter of weeks. We quickly went from working in crowded office spaces, dining out frequently and enjoying abundant entertainment options, to sheltering in place, exhausting every streaming service, and becoming intimately familiar with food delivery services we had only vaguely heard of before.

And our budgets took the most substantial hit of all as 30 million people (and counting) lost their jobs during the COVID-19 crisis. A prolonged absence of income means that it is time to revisit your budget and make substantial changes to your spending to deal with the possibility of renewed COVID-19 shutdowns across the country.

Assess Your Income

If you are still employed, that is terrific news. Many of your friends, family, and neighbors may not be so fortunate. Even if your income has not taken a hit due to pandemic-related cutbacks, almost everyone needs to make some adjustments related to income. Of course, you cannot begin to make the right changes until you have adequately assessed your income situation.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.18.2020

Think Small For Thanksgiving 2020

As you plan Thanksgiving this year, try one simple and easy idea: stay home, together with people you live with.

This option is perfect for a dire pandemic, like the one we’re experiencing. There’s really no better way to go right now. A recent headline about our northern neighbors, who celebrate several weeks before we do, explains: “Canada’s had its Thanksgiving—and now has a COVID-19 spike.”

But staying in on Thanksgiving is also one of life’s best-kept secrets.

I have hosted Thanksgiving for three, or two, or even one, many times, and it’s one of the best days of the year. It’s unbelievably peaceful. Not just Thanksgiving itself, but everything. When you go small on Thanksgiving, you discover that the last Thursday in November is about as close as America gets to just giving it a rest for one whole day, all year.

Try it, trust me on this.

You could experiment with variations. You could stay in and still prepare a feast for 10; you’ll just have more leftovers. If you have to go visiting, try to stay outdoors. If you have to break bread together, avoid any kind of buffet service.

Staying in, though, is really something everyone should try for Thanksgiving some time, and this year is about the best moment you could choose. Stay safe everyone.

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.18.2020

Senator Antonio Shares Important CARES Act Funding Information

Last week, Governor DeWine announced the distribution of the Covid-19 Relief Fund dollars throughout the state. The Federal CARES Act provides assistance for state, local, and tribal governments impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This is certainly a win for many of the people, businesses, and organizations of Ohio, for whom I have been tirelessly advocating.

I would like to extend a sincere “Thank You” to all those who have been in contact with my office sharing your stories, letting us know what support is needed, and advocating for funding. Your dedication, time and effort over the last few months have been extraordinary.  

Clearly, more support is needed, but in these unprecedented times, this is a critical next step. I wanted to share a brief breakdown of Ohio’s CARES Act distribution so eligible people may apply for assistance as soon as possible.

$50 million has been allocated to rental, mortgage, water, and/or sewer utility assistance. Beginning this week, Ohioans at/below 200 percent Federal Poverty Level will be able to apply for assistance through their county’s Community Action Agency. While current federal restrictions on evictions exist, absent a state moratorium, this assistance is most helpful.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 8:02 PM, 11.04.2020

Mayor's Corner

October was a busy month for the City of Lakewood. We have brought projects to completion, made progress on others, and are in the initial stages of many new and exciting initiatives.

Our 2020 street resurfacing program has come to a close. We improved 9 streets with over $1.7 million in materials and labor. We completed the installation of a new electric vehicle charging station near the intersection of Parkhaven Row and Detroit. We completed our Census work--earlier than we hoped--but we still managed to improve our overall response rate in Lakewood compared to the last Census ten years ago. I participated in Power a Clean Future Ohio's "Ohio Leaders for Climate Accountability Roundtable" to share the work my administration is doing to preserve and protect our environment. I swore in two new firefighters. We installed six new crosswalks.

Last month, our Department of Human Services continued to provide creative and safe services to the seniors, children, and families of this community in the face of a pandemic. We continued to save money on overtime and operational expenses. We are in the middle of our fall tree planting program, planting 182 trees of 18 diverse species to bring the 2020 planting total to 406 trees. We continued to award grants to residents and small businesses in our Rent Relief grant programs, which have provided over $700,000 of assistance thus far with more to come. We’re near completion of the Wagar Park revitalization, with a ribbon-cutting planned for early 2021. We continued planning for future park improvements with community input, such as the refurbishing of Clifton Prado pocket park.

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 8:02 PM, 11.04.2020

...And Other Hits: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 108

Jeff Curtis - Summertime Stridulations - Coffee-Hut Records - 7 songs - CD, download

You may know Jeff Curtis from bands as varied as My Dad Is Dead, Gem, and Satan's Satellites- the press release I have here tells me so– which, of course, are all absolutely great bands, though this one-sheet inexcusably leaves off J'accuse, one of the best area post-punk bands of the early '80s if you ask me. This does not sound anything like any of those bands. "Summertime Stridulations" finds Jeff with a new instrument: the banjo. However, this ain't no hillbilly pickin'. (Not that I would mind that, and in fact now that I've said it I kinda would like to hear Mr. Curtis do some Grand Ole Opry-style tunes). Some of this is based in traditional folk, like "Bat Sky" or, indeed, the traditional song "Dinah," but more often these songs are hypnotic instrumentals, with the banjo carrying the "tune" as it were with backing from a droning chord organ (or, in a couple cases, earth music: the sounds of rain and wind or the occasional car passing by). It's actually pretty cool stuff. I personally don't love the sound of the banjo, generally speaking ("Stop Stop Stop" by the Hollies is an obvious exception), but what Jeff does here is so unlike typical banjo playing that it almost feels like some other instrument. And yeah, maybe sometimes his playing isn't note-perfect or it's a little amateurish (he says as much in the liner notes), but what he does with the sound of it is far more important here. My favorite might be "Sweet Corn," which has a feel not unlike George Harrison's excursions into Indian music. "Birthday Raga" is indeed a raga, but its title brings to mind Bert Jansch ("Birthday Blues," ya see) and I certainly think Bert (or, at least, other artists who were inspired by him) was an influence here. A cool little experimental collection here. 3.5/5

(coffeehut.bandcamp.com)

The Roobydocks - I Am Going To Kill Yourself - Cultural / Tiny God Inc. - 5 songs - cassette, download

I think this tape may have come out over a year ago, but I didn't manage to get a copy until now, so here's my (I'm sure hotly awaited) review of the final release by the now (very sadly) defunct Roobydocks. The mastering is terrible and maybe the songs aren't really the band's best, but you know what? I really like this tape. The Roobydocks were a great band and if you like their stuff, you'll like this. "The Roobydock Death Cult" epitomizes their sound: John spewing anger over mostly clean guitar and a

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 8:02 PM, 11.04.2020

The View From Ward 2

October 19th City Council Meeting Rundown

Previously, City Council asked the Lakewood Community Relations Advisory Commission (LCRAC) to review applications for membership to the Anti-Racism Task Force and to make recommendations to Mayor George and City Council on who should be considered for appointment. LCRAC recommended 15 applicants for appointment, and Mayor George announced her appointments during the meeting. We will decide who to appoint from LCRAC’s list at tonight’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

Council President Dan O’Malley informed Council of appointments that will expire at the end of the year. Council will need to fill one vacancy on the Board of Nuisance Abatement Appeals, two vacancies on the Community Reinvestment Area Housing Council, one vacancy on the Planning Commission, and one vacancy on the Tree Advisory & Education Board. If you are interested in applying to any of these volunteer positions, please contact our Clerk of Council at council@lakewoodoh.net. You can learn more about these boards and commissions by visiting http://www.onelakewood.com/apply-register/boardscommissions/.

Law Director Brian Corrigan presented Council with a resolution that would allow Mayor George to enter into an agreement with the District Advisory Council of Cuyahoga County for the provision of public health services by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH) in 2021. The CCBH has proposed providing public health services for Lakewood residents at a per capita rate of $5.45 for a total amount that would not exceed $284,114. This item was referred to the Health & Human Services Committee for further discussion.

Mayor George provided Council with a break down of how she has disbursed the funds Lakewood received from the CARES Act. Lakewood received a total of $5,283,717.23: $4,461,776.21 went to the General Fund to be used for Covid-19 related expenses, $347,637.29 went to the Police Pension Fund for salary and wages, and $474, 303.73 went to the Fire Pension Fund for salary and wages.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 8:02 PM, 11.04.2020

The Rockport Miracles: Episode 36 - The Finale Of “The Ballad Of Derecho Dan”

We are now in the Year of Our Lord 1980 and the Storm Era isn't letting up. As I write, the sentinel clouds and thunderclaps of Storm 10.3 are setting up on the northwest horizon, poised for yet another attack on Rockport.

Five years have passed since ‘Derecho’ Dan Newman took his Electric Kool-Aid boat ride into history. His actions on Lake Erie caused great wars of class indignation between Rockport and River City. The first skirmish, known as “Shale Wars,” was followed by “Shale Wars II” and “Shale Wars III.” The conflicts resulted in the senseless torchings of 103 backyard gazebos in River City and all seven gazebos known to exist in Rockport.

When 5 year-old Kitty Morrison’s pet rabbit was unintentionally squashed during one of the skirmishes, the child’s endearing and tearful pleas for peace were broadcast simultaneously across all 5 TV channels. Once people saw the misty-eyed lass hold up poor “Becky-June” to the cameras by its dead ears, the inane hooliganism and violence came to a clumsy and pigeon-toed conclusion.

Today, the two towns are friends again and mutually hold an annual celebration on the anniversary of the explosion. The BIG moment occurs when a re-enactment of the famous “Shale Wars” battle is performed during which ordinary Rockport citizens save a life-sized Derecho Dan piñata from mobs of River City Hessians. After the faux battle, the piñata is unceremoniously torn from limb to limb by children in pursuit of its hidden treats while ex-adversaries drink, hug and much later, start punching each other.

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 8:02 PM, 11.04.2020

Local Races See Familiar Faces, Presidential Results Unknown

At the top of the ticket, Lakewood and Cuyahoga County were unsurprisingly looking strong for Biden, but at the time of publication, the next POTUS was still unknown and may remain that way for several days as mail-in ballots continue to be counted across the country. Locally, of Lakewood's 37,687 eligible voters, 74% cast ballots in the 2020 general election - the majority of which did so in advance of Tuesday's election. Major races on the ballot for Lakewoodites include U.S. District 9 Representative to Congress, in which Marcy Kaptur defeated her Republican opponent Rob Weber.

Other races include two familiar incumbents who both secured their seats for another term. First, District 13's State Representative Michael Skindell won about three-quarters of the vote in his bid for re-election. District 2 County Councilperson Dale Miller will also continue in his existing seat - Miller was unopposed.

At the time of publication, the two state-wide seats on the ballot for Ohio Supreme Court had Sharon Kennedy leading her opponent John O'Donnell and Jennifer Brunner leading opponent Judi French.

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 8:00 PM, 11.04.2020

Help LCAC "Deliver" Food For The Holidays!

Trying times are when Lakewood neighbors show up for one another, even if they can’t “show up” in person.

For over 30 years, area schools have held non-perishable food drives and hundreds of volunteers have miraculously assembled at the Masonic Temple in mid-November and December to help Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation (LCAC) sort, bag and deliver holiday food baskets to neighbors in need. But then along came Covid.

Covid has presented many challenges to LCAC’s normal operations, including the cancellation of three major fundraisers for the charitable organization. At its October meeting, LCAC’s board members voted unanimously to continue to serve 600 Lakewood families and seniors in 2020. Members developed a plan to protect recipients and volunteers from Covid exposure by purchasing Giant Eagle gift cards that could be distributed safely, without personal contact.

One of the best things about LCAC’s annual food distribution is the sense of community it embodies. While LCAC regrets not being able to gather in person, its all-volunteer board still need lots of help! 

LCAC’s commitment to providing food for 600 Lakewood households in need over the holidays comes with a $30,000 price tag. Missing anticipated revenue from its 2020 fundraisers, LCAC is reaching out to its wonderful corps of volunteers and the entire community to help meet its holiday food distribution budget.

If you would like to be a part of LCAC’s 2020 Holiday Food Distribution, please make a donation  online at https://paypal.me/LCAC44107 or go to LCAC’s website at https://lcac.info and hit the donate button.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 21, Posted 8:02 PM, 11.04.2020

Starr Gazer

NOVEMBER 

Aries: Mars is about to move direct this month, the Ram will now charge forward, set your sights on what you desire, be grateful for Ram energy, you’ll got out & nab that Turkey yourself!

Taurus: The Bull's a stubborn one, no doubt about it, holding onto your anger has kept you locked up in that Bullpen, set yourself free this Thanksgiving & let it all go, be grateful.

Gemini: The Twins get a double dose of respect regarding their finances, pay heed to Aretha, and R.E.S.P.E.C.T. your money & your money will respect you, double up on your turkey.

Cancer: The Crab’s too busy nurturing others, cooking up a storm in the kitchen, this Thanksgiving, take off that apron, & get out of the frying pan, have yourself some F.U.N.

Leo: Yes, we all know you’re King/Queen of the Jungle, but you’re going to need a little help putting on that feast for your Kingdom, call on your animal buddies, they all have special gifts.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 21, Posted 8:02 PM, 11.04.2020

Arthur Ave Pumpkin Contest

As a kid, there are many holidays or events you look forward to...Halloween is usually one of them! This year the annual traditions of classroom parties and trick or treating may not be a reality for many children. With COVID-19 keeping families from participating in these types of events, we have to find ways to keep our spirits up.

Arthur Ave residents have organized several socially distanced events this year to help cure the COVID-19 blues such as: the Arthur Ave marathon, a kids' bike parade, a positivity sidewalk chalking day and the most recently a pumpkin decorating contest.

On Sunday October 25th, families on Arthur Ave set out their best decorated or carved pumpkins to be voted on by a few special guests.  Lakewood's Fire Chief Dunphy, Assistant Chief Bennett, Captain Schmook and Police Officer Laskowski all took a walk down Arthur Ave from Madison Ave to Lakewood Hts. to pick their favorite pumpkins. The kids were excited to show off their masterpieces for a chance to win a Halloween prize bucket, but getting to meet and talk with the fire and policemen was an added bonus and the highlight of the event!

 

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Volume 16, Issue 21, Posted 8:02 PM, 11.04.2020

LHS Students Engage With Violinist Known For Art Activism

The students in Lakewood High's Chamber Orchestra and AP Music Theory classrooms were fortunate to spend a virtual hour with acclaimed violinist, composer and social justice advocate Daniel Bernard Roumain. Roumain, known professionally as DBR, was recently the featured performer in New York at the Lincoln Center 9/11 tribute. He is a classically trained violinist who infuses a myriad electronic, urban, and African-American music influences (like Hip-hop, and funk) into his music. Roumain he uses his music to partner with others in projects that speak to social injustice issues. Some of his artistic partners include famed composer Philip Glass and Lady Gaga.

The students and Roumain, who were also joined by members of the nationally recognized Cavani String Quartet, who have been working with the Chamber students this school year thanks to a grant by the Lakewood Rangers Education Foundation, talked about how one can use their art to help heal some wounds in the world. Roumain explained how he uses his violin as his "weapon of choice" in his social activism. "You can use music to change the world," he told the students. "You can change menacing in magic and you can change the mundane into magic."

 

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Volume 16, Issue 21, Posted 8:02 PM, 11.04.2020

Milestone Project Gives Tree To Every Kindergartener

Part of the mission of the LKWDGreenTeam is to nurture good environmental stewards among students and staff. Like the development of any mindset, it helps to start young. The team’s Kindergarten Milestone Trees Project will give our youngest learners a tangible reminder of not only the benefits of healthy trees in our community, but it will also allow them to watch those trees grow as they do!

The project was the brainchild of LKWDGreenTeam and Harding Middle School staff members Diane Quimper and Laura Balliett as a great way to mark the milestone of our kindergarteners educational journey and foster their connection with nature. Each kindergartener will receive a poplar sapling to plant at home. The trees and planting materials were donated by Lynn Yanyo, founder of tree4all.org, and someone Balliett met thanks to common interests in raising awareness and educating people about environmental issues. 

“We wanted to create an opportunity for positive childhood memories with trees so that the next generation will be inspired to connect with nature and advocate for natural spaces in our urban community,” Quimper said.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 21, Posted 8:02 PM, 11.04.2020

A Digital Dog Day Delight: 2020 Virtual Spooky Pooch Parade Highlight

It was a crisp, picture-perfect autumn day, and although we weren’t able to gather together at Kauffman Park, we were happy to see the creativity and enthusiasm of Spooky Pooch endure through these times. It was, indeed, a digital dog day delight.

On Saturday morning, October 17, the original day of our annual parade, we premiered our 2020 Spooky Pooch Parade Video announcing the Best in Show, 12 lucky dogs that will be featured on our 2021 wall calendar, and heart warming honorable mentions that made our 13th Annual Spooky Pooch Celebration memorable for all who participated. The votes and comments for Best in Show flooded in on Facebook and Instagram, after two days, we tallied over 1600 votes. 

Sponsored by Ganley Subaru and presented by LakewoodAlive, the Spooky Pooch Parade featured mutts and purebreds, lap dogs and large canines, and a wide assortment of clever costumes adorned by both humans and their furry friends. The 12 lucky dogs that will be featured on our calendar were selected by a panel of judges, with the winner of Best in Show which was chosen through public through voting, receiving one year’s worth of free dog food courtesy of Pet’s General Store.

The level of creativity expressed in this year’s array of costumes truly brought a smile to our faces. Costumes included many fictional favorites such as Oscar the Grouch (a dog painted green jumping out of a garbage can, of course), Mickey Mouse (and his cohort of friends), Baby Yoda (as adorable as the one on the big screen) and many more. 

 

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Volume 16, Issue 21, Posted 8:02 PM, 11.04.2020

Cuyahoga County Goes Red, Lakewood Schools Stay Remote

This past Thursday, Cuyahoga County was placed into Public Emergency Level 3, red status in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System which is described as "Very high exposure and spread. Limit activities as much as possible."

Due to this change, Lakewood City Schools postponed the October 19th partial, in-person return to school buildings, notifying families that PreK through 12th grade students will remain in their current instructional model to start the second quarter. 

While some LCS families accepted this news with relief as it has become obvious that COVID19 cases are climbing, others were frustrated that the long-awaited plans for students to be back in the buildings, albeit in the hybrid mode, were postponed. 

At Monday’s Board of Ed meeting, the Lakewood Civic Auditorium was full of (socially distanced) attendees who were there to make their concerns known. 

The crowd was divided into three groups: those who wanted to encourage the District to open the schools, those who wanted to support the District’s decision to stay remote, and make sure they stuck to it, and the Lakewood Teacher’s Association who wanted to make sure their recently signed MOU was honored. The first group highlighted the difficulties of remote learning, the toll it has been taking on families, and the example the District is setting by “being scared” of the virus. Several people made it clear that they thought that Lakewood students were up to the challenge of staying safe in the buildings by following safety protocols that other school districts have been using. 

The second group praised the Districts decision to stick with remote learning because it guarantees the health and safety of the students, staff and families, saying that this way will lead to the desired goal for all: the day when the virus is fully under control and everyone can return to school together. 

 

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Volume 16, Issue 21, Posted 10:20 AM, 10.22.2020

One Lakewood Progress: Your COVID-19 Voter Safety Questions Answered

With the 2020 Presidential Election fast approaching, I asked community members to submit questions and concerns about voter safety for in-person voting on election day. After speaking with representatives at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, I have compiled an FAQ, in-person voter packing checklist, and a voter-safety pocket guide you can cut out of the physical version of the Lakewood Observer.

As a public health professional, I have strongly recommended that patients and community members vote early and/or by mail since the beginning of the year. However, with time running out and the public health situation surrounding COVID-19 changing rapidly, I cannot stress enough that in order to ensure greater infection safety while voting in-person this year, you should consider voting early at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections office

Election Day Voter Packing Checklist and Safety Tips

There is a shortage of election poll workers across the country this year. Because of this, wait times may increase at your voting location. Make sure to allow yourself some extra time for a possible wait in line and dress appropriately for the weather when voting in-person. Remember, if you are in line by poll closing time at 7:30pm, you still have the right to cast your vote.

Make sure you bring these things with you when you go to vote in-person:

Must Haves:

  • Ohio Driver’s License, Voter ID or other acceptable form of identification;
  • Cloth mask or face covering (bring two so you have a backup in case you lose one);
  • Several disposable cloths or paper towels for grabbing door handles;
  • Hand Sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol);
  • Snacks and Water;
  • Warm, comfortable clothes;
  • Pen (in case they don’t have sanitized ones at your polling location); and
  • COVID-19 Pocket Safety Voter Guide.

Nice to Have: 

  • Fully charged cell phone and power bank;
  • Portable chair;
  • Portable blanket; and a
  • Plan for rain (umbrella, hat or poncho).

 

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Volume 16, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.22.2020

Wear A Good Mask

With COVID-19 still being a very big thing, wearing a mask will help prevent the spread, but it can’t just be any mask, a big part of mask-wearing is wearing an actual protective mask, otherwise there’s not much of a point to wearing one. There are good masks like the cloth ones you can get from almost any store, or the blue medical masks, however there a masks--or things that pass as masks-- that don’t or hardly work.  Some scarf masks marketed as breathable don’t work/or are not as effective as the other type of masks. Some masks come with inserts which need to be used. If the insert is left out, the mask may let droplets through.

One way to check is by using a spray bottle and noting how much, if any, spray gets through, or you can just hold it under running water and watch how easily the water flows through. You can also check by trying to blow out a candle while wearing your mask. You shouldn't be able to blow it out. 

Another thing which goes without saying is you have to wear it correctly, over your mouth AND nose.

Make sure your mask is working for you, and everybody else. 

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Volume 16, Issue 21, Posted 10:20 AM, 10.22.2020

The Rotary Clubs Of Lakewood Rocky River Celebrated World Polio Day October 24

When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. We’ve made great progress against the disease since then. Today, polio cases have been reduced by 99.9 percent, and just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Rotary remains committed to the end.

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Volume 16, Issue 21, Posted 10:20 AM, 10.22.2020

Lakewood Kid Filmmakers Walk The Red Carpet

The audience prepares to watch the film.

That's a wrap! Lakewood Young Filmmakers Academy hosted the premiere of the latest film produced by their students on August 22 at Harding Middle School. The gala event featured all the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood premiere, complete with a red carpet, paparazzi, SWAG bags and, due to COVID-19, and outdoor screening of their new film "The Other Side of the Line," an allegory about racism and prejuduce.

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Volume 16, Issue 20, Posted 10:23 AM, 10.22.2020

Senator Antonio Commemorates Women’s Suffrage By Voting

Senator Antonio casting her vote early at the Cuyahoga County BOE drop box.

Election Day 2020 is only a couple weeks away, but with early and mail-in voting, you can submit your ballot today. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is open for early in-person voting now through Monday, November 2nd at 2:00 p.m. You can also request your absentee ballot up until three days before the election. Once you have received and completed your ballot, it must be postmarked and sent to the BOE or placed in the ballot drop box prior to election day; however, voters should submit or send their ballots as soon as possible. 

This year has been momentous for numerous reasons, but one significant milestone worth commemorating is the 100-year anniversary of the ratification of Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which gave women the right to vote. This allowed women to make their voices heard and represented one ballot at a time. In 1920, only about 36 percent of eligible women voters cast their ballot, compared to 68 percent of men. Now, women voters outnumber men at the polls 63 percent to 59.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.22.2020

Violinist DBR Engages Wth LHS Music Students

The students in Lakewood High's Chamber Orchestra and AP Music Theory classrooms were fortunate to spend a virtual hour with acclaimed violinist, composer and social justice advocate Daniel Bernard Roumain. Roumain, known professionally as DBR, was recently the featured performer in New York at the Lincoln Center 9/11 tribute. He is a classically trained violinist who infuses a myriad of electronic, urban, and African-American music influences (like Hip-hop, and funk) into his music. Roumain uses his music to partner with others in projects that speak to social injustice issues. Some of his artistic partners include famed composer Phillip Glass and Lady Gaga.

The students and Roumain were joined by members of the nationally recognized Cavani String Quartet, who have been working with the Chamber students this school year thanks to a grant by the Lakewood Rangers Education Foundation. They talked about how one can use their art to help heal some wounds in the world. Roumain explained how he uses his violin as his "weapon of choice" in his social activism. "You can use music to change the world," he told the students. "You can change the menacing in magic and you can change the mundane into magic."

LHS Orchestra Director Beth Hankins has her Chamber students studying the life and music of Dmitri Shostakovich and the ensemble will partner a Shostakovich composition with a modern piece by Roumain in order to expose the students to the music and composers who use the art of music to express significant historical times and feelings that may help to bring more empathy and unity to our community.

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Volume 16, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.22.2020

When Will They Learn: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 107

Gills - Dried Clothes - self-released - 4 songs - 7"

I don't know anything about this band other than I've seen their name on shows for a couple years and they're from Youngstown, I'm pretty sure. This record is a really good hardcore record. Nice garagey production and pretty straightforward, no frills stuff. There's a bit of the Cruelster sound here, though less weird both musically and lyrically. The singer kinda reminds me of the guy from Fried Egg. There's a part on "Bird Rage" where I'm not certain whether the drummer skips a couple beats for dramatic effect…or he just missed the beats. Dropped a stick or something? Either way, it sounds cool. "TUFF/M.B.T" reminds me of a Cider song, though I cannot quite remember which one. The no frills thing carries over to the packaging here: hand-stamped labels, not even a full folded cover, hardly any information about the band or anything. Maybe it's all best left a mystery. One other thing definitely done right by Gills here: Nathan Ward cover artwork (another thing in common with Fried Egg, now that I think about it). Worth seeking out. 4/5

(try a local record store)

Rat Fucker - Rat Fucker - self-released - 7 songs - cassette, digital

Here's the first studio release from Rat Fucker, following up on their live tape from last year. I guess this one is a cassette "for now" with plans of pressing it as a 7" at some point in the future. It's pretty ripping hardcore. I can't quite remember what other bands these guys are in– Spike Pit and Weed Whacker are at least two of them, I'm pretty sure. It's good stuff. Topic-wise, this i

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Volume 16, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.22.2020

Rotary Seeks Grant Applications

The Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River is seeking grant applications from non-profit organizations that serve our youth, adults and community within Lakewood and Rocky River.

Each year, the Rotary club, through its foundation, gives back to the community nearly $70,000 in grants, scholarships, and financial aid.

Applications must be submitted by November 14. The application process has changed this year as completed forms and materials should not be mailed but instead be submitted via email to lrrrotary@gmail.com. Grant awards will be announced in late December.

Grants requests can be for seed money for new endeavors, or to grow, enhance or sustain existing programs. Applications should emphasize activities that focus on job training, youth leadership, and health and hunger services.

Organizations are not limited to the number of applications they may submit.

Additional information and the grant application form can be accessed on the club’s website, www.lakewoodrockyriverrotary.org.

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Volume 16, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.22.2020

Grace Lutheran Church Donates Backpacks To Garfield Middle School

For twelve consecutive years, Grace Lutheran Church has provided backpacks and school supplies for students at Garfield Middle School at the beginning of the school year. In year's past, the members of the congregation would be informed of the supplies needed, and on a designated Sunday, backpacks would be filled with the supplies.

This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the congregation solicited financial donations so that a limited number of people could purchase the supplies for the backpacks. Approximately 16 people donated $1100 for the supplies. In all, a total of 50 backpacks with school supplies and 14 surge protectors were gratefully received by Garfield Middle School.

Grace Lutheran Church is grateful to those who provided financial donations and to Thrivent Financial which provided seed money for the project. The congregation looks forward to being able to continue this ministry in the next academic year.

Grace Lutheran Church is a member congregation of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Located across from Madison Park at 13030 Madison Avenue, the congregation offers worship service on Sundays at 9 AM with a Christian Education Hour following at 9:45 AM. On September 20th, the congregation began live-streaming its services on Facebook.

For more information about Grace Lutheran Church, go to their website at www.gracelutheranlakewood.org.

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Volume 16, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.22.2020

The Three P's Of Medicare

Carl Lishing in front of his storefront on Detroit.

This years Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for Medicare began on October 15th and runs through Monday, December 7th.

This is the time of year people can shop their Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug plans and make changes if there is room to improve. Medicare Supplement insurance is not subject to AEP, people can apply for that any time of the year.

I have been helping people in our area navigate the Medicare Maze for over twenty years. At HealthMarkets we represent hundreds of carriers so we can be unbiased when helping people find the best fit. People often tell me they are confused and do not even know where to start! We take a complex topic and make it simple by evaluating what I call the three P’s of Medicare. These are prescriptions, providers and plan design.

Each person has prescriptions and providers that are unique to them. So, what might be a good plan for their neighbor may not be the best fit for them. Each case should be evaluated individually to help ensure you have the best fit.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.22.2020

Things Will Not Change

Or, will they? Been recently reading an article by Rahm Emanuel, an old article, meaning before the virus, May 2019- what said? He’s sick and tired of elites running things, it seems. How nice of him to say. But, what does it mean? He’s an elite guy with a bug, somewhere. There is a massive break between what we think and what people tell us what to think. It’s so massive that the only thing we can perceive is attitude and demeanor and a few vague talking points. Okay, so all this is quite obvious to us. But, what if we cannot connect between what education is and what it means to be a human being? There is a massive virus afoot but there was one before it came-- education thinking it must tell people what to do, that education is power. A man concretely yelling middle class, Rahm Emanuel, when there is nothing in his thoughts but political power, as in, how to tame the middle class. Not to mention, Mr. Emanuel, the Democrats have decided to dismiss the poor.

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Volume 16, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.22.2020

Senior PenPal Program

As we start to adapt to this "new normal," our senior community is still experiencing pandemic isolation and loneliness. Almost all senior activities have been put on hold, common gathering areas are closed, and trips have all but ended except to the doctor’s office. While physical distance has been an important precaution to keeping our elder community safe, the lack of social interaction and human connection brings new health risks, especially to one's mental health.

This is where kindness and compassion have to happen. We’re launching a city wide Pen Pal Program in order to bring joy and social connection back to our seniors. Studies show that the simple act of letter writing has many positive benefits. By having a Pen Pal, it will help our elderly stay connected, give them something to look forward to, and provide them with a way to initiate contact if they're feeling isolated. Even more, they can reread the letters at their leisure for ongoing comfort and support.

Letting our seniors know how much they're thought of and that the community cares for their well-being can make all the difference. Here's how you can get involved.

Send a handwritten letter or note of encouragement to a senior and send it to:

Attention: Barton Senior Center

C/O Pen Pal Program

14300 Detroit Ave.

Lakewood, Oh 44107

If you are a senior and would like to be matched with a Pen Pal, you can also send in a letter and we will match you with a member of the community.

Once paired, your new Pen Pal will write a letter back, so keep an eye out in the mail.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.22.2020