Four Projects Set The Standard

Every year there are a select few homeowners and businesses who set the standard, or raise the bar when it comes to property renovations. They provide examples of what can be done with a home or storefront to make it reach its potential.

After council passed the resolution honoring this year’s winners Richard Sicha stepped forward to give the tutorial slide show of the selected projects. Sicha is chair of the Heritage Advisory Board and his background in architecture and planning add immeasurably to participating property owners and the city as a whole.

Many years there are over a dozen winners but this year there were only four, due mostly to vagaries of construction scheduling Sicha said. This might mean a surfeit of winners next year.

Keith Galestock and Fred Kemp won the category of historic rehabilitation for their house on Manor Park. A slide showed a rather drab and utilitarian room which was transformed into an elegant sun room. Also, exterior walkway, masonry, and step work was completed this year.

The Napolitan family on Maple Cliff won the award for new garage construction. Their new garage with a steeply pitched roofline matches the grand design of their house.

The Rybickis on Overlook won the sympathetic addition award. Their home had an attached garage that matched an adjoining front gable. A third gable was added for an updated garage along with an unobtrusive dormer on the side.

And Ines Rehner, owner of Sweet Designs on Detroit Avenue won the category of commercial revitalization. This is a second location at which she has won this award.

The presentation of these awards is made in May which is recognized by the city as National Preservation Month.

The city and its various bargaining units continue to come to agreements. In this instance the corrections officers and dispatchers, both represented by the Fraternal Order of Police settled on contracts with the city for the next three years. Council suspended the rules in order to pass the legislation to enter into the agreements.

Kevin Butler (ward one) submitted legislation to revise Lakewood’s ordinances regarding bicycles in order to conform with House Bill 389 which was enacted by the General Assembly. Butler emphasized that the proposed Lakewood revisions as well as the new state law were supported by state and local bike advocacy groups including BikeLakewood. The effort is to make laws regarding bike operation uniform throughout the state so as to minimize confusion when biking in different cities and to promote bike safety.

And, finally, this past week has been an all SWAT week without any emergencies requiring their response. The Ohio Tactical Officers Association has been meeting in Westlake throughout the week. They have been having training seminars as well as competitions at the Cleveland Police shooting range. The Westshore Enforcement Bureau (WEB) SWAT sponsored a 5K run on Sunday which drew several hundred entries. According to Lakewood Officer and WEB Commander Pat Fiorilli, they hope to make this an annual event with proceeds going to C.O.P.S. which stands for Concerns of Police Survivors. This is an organization set up to provide assistance to the families of police killed in the line of duty. The Lakewood Observer was one of the proud sponsors of this race. And, on Monday night Mayor Thomas George made the decision to help honor area police by attending the dinner hosted by WEB SWAT on Monday night instead of attending the council meeting. George helped in the presentation of checks to the widows of slain Cleveland Police Officers Leon and Schroeder.

And continuing the SWAT theme and tying it to local development, Rick Foran who is a principle partner in the Cliffs condominium project on Sloane Avenue was at the council meeting. He is following the progress of the tax incremental financing legislation which will assist that project. Part of the initial work on that project included demolition of two houses on Sloane. Safety forces really like to practice and hone their skills on homes about to be demolished. In this case, the Foran Group readily agreed to let the SWAT team stage a mock raid on one of the houses. Foran was standing with a group of tree landscapers and watching while the cops staged their “raid.” The tree fellows expressed great appreciation and a little envy at the assault rifles, rams, and other equipment that the SWAT team was using.

Foran then stepped over to the police group and listened in as they expressed their own high regard and envy at the chain saws and heavy equipment that the tree guys were using!

Perhaps it was a case of two groups of professionals respecting the work and skills of the other.

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Volume 3, Issue 11, Posted 3:23 PM, 05.23.2007