Lakewood Firefighter Gets Ride Of A Lifetime With Air Force Thunderbirds

The call came in, “Can you meet Captain Peter Hempfling at Cleveland Hopkins Airport 6:30am Friday morning?” Captain Hempfling is not just a 30 year veteran of Lakewood’s Fire Department he is one of the best, in a department filled with heroes and big hearts. So I immediately said I would be there. I then asked Fire Chief Dunphy why? The Chief responded, “Pete has been chosen as the Air Force’s Hometown Hero for the 2021 Cleveland Airshow. He is getting a ride with the Thunderbirds!” My response was, “I’ll get there at 6:30, thank you.”

Most young men and women at one time or another saw the Thunderbirds or the Blue Angels and said to themselves, “I would love to try that.”  That is why they are a huge part of recruitment. The real fact is that very few will every fly a jet in combat or at all, and even fewer in the Thunderbirds. But the ranks are filled with great jobs and experiences for anyone into electronics or aviation.

For Peter, a genuine good guy, to get this recognition weeks before his retirement seemed so fitting. One of Pete’s many hobbies is extreme riding. Like motorcycles through Mexican deserts, that kind of stuff. This was also on his bucket list since he was a kid.

At 6:30am exactly I rolled into Atlantic Aviation and met with Captain Hempfling, with him were Lakewood Fire Marshall Ryan Fairbanks, and Pete’s friend and extreme rider David Nolan. Pete was his usual cheerful self and said he ready was for this. Pete served in the military, and has been on the front line of firefighting for 30 years. He was calm. He looked up and smiled and said, “I have to be honest I had a little trouble sleeping last night.” “Fear?” I asked, he smiled and said, “No-- more like the night before Christmas. Filled with excitement and wonderment.”

A very pleasant member of the Cleveland Airshow grabbed him and had him sign a waiver. Then we met the spokesperson for the Thunderbirds. She was young and smiled as she walked all of us through what would happen the rest of the day, flying a small F-16 model around the table. “OK, any questions?” We all smiled and said no. Then she had Peter sign another waiver.

Next up Peter got fitted for his flight suit, helmet and brief explanations of how things work. The two Thunderbird crew people were very attentive and it is amazing how much a pilot needs extra hands for getting dressed. Almost like a knight going into battle. Underwear, outerwear, pressure suit fitted with straps and long laces.  Boots, life collar, neck device, helmet and fitted oxygen mask, pressure checks and more. Great crew.


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Volume 17, Issue 18, Posted 7:13 PM, 09.16.2021

League Of Women Voters Mary Warren Impact Scholarship Winning Essay On Why Voting Is Important (2 of 5)

A vote, however, is far more than just a mere drop in the ocean; it is the lifeblood of our nation. Even with philosophy and practical interpretation notwithstanding, it is a facet of the representative democracy this government was designed to fulfill. It is the fundamental ability of every citizen to not only wrangle themselves from the wire of injustice but to elevate, educate, and empower their communities.

Every minority has faced one --or perhaps many-- judgements of their worth by those who had never known the world as they had experienced it. If these citizens were never allowed to cast their vote, they would be relegated to forever remain on the menu, with no seat at the table. That is to say, when the right of even one citizen to vote, no matter how vulnerable, is revoked or limited, they are prevented from safeguarding their access to the freedoms guaranteed to American citizens who do sit at the nation’s helm.

The act of voting can mean the difference between life and death, poverty and health, equity and inequality. If those who are subjugated are given no opportunity with which to make themselves known, then the fundamental ideal of our democracy must be called into question; and engaging in this process of review is what voting allows the general public to begin, to participate in, and to grow from. Without this open referendum and the ability to influence how the government will treat you, there is hardly a weight to any claims of freedom for all when a portion of us “all” still remain without.



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Volume 17, Issue 18, Posted 2:53 PM, 09.15.2021

Candidate Forum Sept. 28 At City Hall

Please join the Lakewood Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland and the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, September 28 from 7-9P for the Candidates Forum in the Lakewood City Hall Auditorium. Candidates for Lakewood City Council At Large, Municipal Judge, and School Board will be asked questions from the moderator and citizens in attendance, about issues of concern for our city, court, and schools. This is your opportunity to ask the people that will respresent you the questions that are most important to you. Please plan to attend, listen, and understand what our candidates believe is important for Lakewood and then vote on or before November 2, 2021. 

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Volume 17, Issue 18, Posted 2:53 PM, 09.15.2021

2021 Community Survey Results Now Publicly Available

In March of 2021, the Lakewood Community Relations Advisory Commission (LCRAC) distributed a survey to residents, the results of which are now available to the public. LCRAC is a voluntary group of residents serving as a liaison between Lakewood residents and city leadership on matters related to community relations. The commission's mission is to ensure that Lakewood remains a fantastic place for everyone to live and work. LCRAC crafted and distributed the survey to help guide future efforts of the group, as well as to understand key areas of improvement city leadership should be aware of. Nearly 650 residents provided input on various topics including accessibility, community culture, housing & affordability, safety, and community engagement. Survey results can be accessed at as well as on LCRAC's Facebook page.

Members of LCRAC encourage residents to view the results and follow up with their council members with any additional input or concerns. Any questions about the survey can be directed to

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Volume 17, Issue 18, Posted 2:53 PM, 09.15.2021

Re-Elect Tristan Rader - Public Service With Passion And Purpose

I launched my first campaign for Lakewood City Council four years ago at St. Charles Green, an informal greenspace across from my house. And I was honored when Lakewood voters selected me to be their representative. This year, I decided to run for re-election for the same reason I’ve made a lot of decisions in my life—because I want to help the best I can to create the most good for the most people.

First and always, I have a passion for helping people and have dedicated myself to constituent services. I am available and responsive to all those I serve because people need a direct line to the government that they rightfully own. Those that know me well know that I often say: I have one phone number, it’s my cell, call me any time. I have the most open of open-door policies. And people know when they call me, I pick up, and I’m there for them.

Through honest dialogue, we can address small problems and large ones, and we have done so. We committed the city to 100% clean energy. We instituted the Lakewood Tree Education Advisory Board to engage the city in rebuilding our tree canopy. We developed a lead abatement education program, and we ended breed-specific legislation. We implemented a $15 minimum wage for all city employees and created an affordable housing strategy. We dedicated a brand new park for the first time in decades, invested $50 million into our wet weather infrastructure, and dedicated over $3 million to park improvements, all while balancing the budget.


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Volume 17, Issue 17, Posted 2:41 PM, 09.01.2021

Our Lakewood Progress: The Lakewood Community Relations Advisory Commission (LCRAC) Survey And What It Says About The New Post-Pandemic Normal

During the height of the pandemic last year, the world seemed to transform through lockdowns, mask mandates, jarring news reports and the long separation from friends and loved ones. We learned some valuable lessons, learned to slow down, showing kindness and care for our neighbors. Parents spent more time with their kids. For those of us fortunate enough to work from home, we turned our attention to our physical and mental health and learned to appreciate the smallest blessings we used to take for granted. Front line workers, from grocery cashiers to nurses, bore greater burdens to help keep the rest of us safe. Still others lost jobs, family members, and friends, grieving without the support we so often need in hard times. 

Yet we proved to ourselves how resilient we are as a community, and treated one another with compassion. As our country continues to race back to “normal” we are faced with the reality that the continued presence of COVID-19 means that things cannot be quite the same, and there are some critical choices we can make as a community to make sure we navigate the continuing pandemic, and thrive on the other side of it.


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Volume 17, Issue 17, Posted 2:41 PM, 09.01.2021

A Busy Couple Of Weeks For Lakewood Frontline Services

This has been an especially busy and challenging week for Lakewood’s public servants. But, as usual, they have risen to the challenges. In addition to the normal flow of emergencies and calamities that our firefighters, paramedics, police officers, and Public Works employees must tend to every day, there were three particular situations I want to underscore, and call attention to the incredible work that Lakewood’s taxpayers are getting from the city’s workforce.

First, on Wednesday, a backhoe collapsed on top of a man working at a property on Thoreau Ave. Our Fire Dept. and other first responders shot into action immediately, bringing every last bit of their training and experience to bear in quite literally saving the man’s life. Our Public Works Department employees also thought creatively in dispatching heavy equipment to aid in the situation - a critically important decision.

That night, an unusually powerful storm blew through Lakewood, knocking down trees and power lines and leaving most of Lakewood without electricity. Our first responders and public works employees - who had barely caught their breath from the Thoreau incident - were seen all around the city clearing massive amounts of debris, blocking off power lines, assisting elderly residents who were without power, and attending to the most serious property damage.


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Volume 17, Issue 17, Posted 9:20 AM, 08.19.2021

Meet The Candidates

Meet the Candidates for Lakewood Council At Large, Municipal Court, and School Board on Saturday, August 28 from 9A to 12P. The event is sponsored by the Lakewood Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland and the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce. Lakewood citizens are strongly encouraged to come to the Kiwanis Pavilion at Lakewood Park to ask questions, get answers, and acquaint themselves with the voting process. To join the Lakewood Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, please go to

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Volume 17, Issue 17, Posted 9:20 AM, 08.19.2021

Mayor's Corner

As many of you know, my partner Matt and I recently were thrilled to welcome the arrival of our baby girl, Maggie. In the short time since, our growing family has been amazed at how so many of you have reached out to congratulate us with words of kindness and support. While I was humbled by this outpouring, I was not surprised. Lakewood is the kind of place people seek out to raise their families because of the incredible community found here. We are so grateful to be part of this community.

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Volume 17, Issue 16, Posted 9:20 AM, 08.19.2021

Another Endorsement To Keep Kepple On Council

Cuyahoga County Young Democrats recently became the latest of many local organizations and officials to endorse Sarah Kepple for an At-Large Lakewood City Council position in the upcoming elections. “[Kepple is] a fierce advocate for making government transparent and accessible and will continue to ensure health, safety, and prosperity to Lakewood residents if elected to City Council,” said The Matriots PAC.  Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, Cuyahoga Democratic Women’s Caucus, Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, and North Shore AFL-CIO have also each endorsed Kepple, who has been serving on Council since being unanimously appointed in February 2020.

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Volume 17, Issue 16, Posted 9:20 AM, 08.19.2021

City Of Lakewood Beats Census Estimates, Population Remains Over 50,000

The US Census Bureau released its official population count for the 2020 census, and the City of Lakewood, Ohio once again topped 50,000 in total population, remaining the densest city in Ohio. With a total population of 50,942, Lakewood actually beat the Census’ own estimates, and remained the third largest city in Cuyahoga County, and one of the top 20 in the entire state.

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Volume 17, Issue 16, Posted 9:20 AM, 08.19.2021

City Of Lakewood Making Major Investments At Madison Park

The City of Lakewood provided an update on several capital investments being installed at Madison Park this year. The improvements come as a result of conversations between the Mayor’s office, City Council, and Lakewood residents regarding park priorities, including concerns over how to ensure that Madison Park – Lakewood’s second largest city-owned park – has the resources and amenities it needs to serve the city’s southeastern neighborhoods.

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Volume 17, Issue 16, Posted 9:20 AM, 08.19.2021

Why A Judge Can Have Empathy And Still Protect Lakewood

My experience as a criminal defense attorney is what separates me from my opponents. I have been in the muck with my clients, and I know the trials and tribulations they have dealt with — something my opponents have never done in their legal careers.

Throughout my legal career, I've learned that as a judge, you can be tough but fair; that throwing down the hammer and max sentencing defendants isn't always the answer. We need a different approach in Lakewood, an alternative to merely punishing people and moving on. It's clear that just punishing offenders does not work. It leads to the overcrowding of our jails, and with no rehabilitation efforts, these individuals become habitual offenders. The old brutal approach does not work; the antiquated crime and punishment approach does not work. My opponents will not change the norm — they are the norm, a product of the same broken system I am attempting to change.


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Volume 17, Issue 15, Posted 2:16 PM, 07.21.2021

Sherrod Brown, AFL-CIO Endorse Rader

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown has endorsed Tristan Rader for Lakewood City Council, praising him as “a leader who will continue to fight for affordable housing, public safety, and a cleaner environment in Lakewood.”

“Tristan understands that the Dignity of Work is not just a slogan, it's how we govern,” said Brown, “that's why I'm proud to endorse Tristan Rader for his re-election to Lakewood City Council."

Rader says that Senator Brown’s support is a moving validation of his work on council, as he completes with a large field in the approaching September 14 primary.

“Sherrod Brown has earned and kept Ohio’s trust, to a unique degree, by advocating progressive policy which people care about and understand,” says Rader. “That’s a standard I want to measure up to.”

Brown’s announcement arrived the same week as that of the Northshore AFL-CIO. On July 14, delegates of the prominent labor union endorsed Rader for a second term on Lakewood City Council, in a unanimous vote.

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Volume 17, Issue 15, Posted 2:16 PM, 07.21.2021

Businesses And Projects, Many Things Are Getting Done In Ward One

Immigrant Son Brewery at 18120 Sloane Ave. is opening soon! The owner, Andrew Revy told me they are finishing the construction, they have started brewing, and canning will begin at the end of July. A fun fact Revy told me is there will be a beer named in honor of Zydrunas Ilgauskas (“Z”), a former basketball player with the Cleveland Cavaliers. All you IPA lovers can look forward to trying PerZverence, which will be available in a can or draft. Z himself is an immigrant from Lithuania and has chosen to make Lakewood his home. The full-service brew pub will have an executive chef with a food menu that consists of old world meets the new world cuisine. Need a private room for a gathering or event? Revy has you covered, and he stated the space will be great. 

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Volume 17, Issue 14, Posted 2:16 PM, 07.21.2021

Memorial Day Grave Decorating - Volunteers Needed!

To honor our veterans, the Lakewood/Rocky River Joint Veterans Council annually places flags on veteran graves at Lakewood Park Cemetery for Memorial Day. For over twenty-five years, the City of Lakewood’s H2O “Help to Others” program has recruited volunteers to assist the veterans with this project.  Due to Covid-19, they weren’t able to do this tradition last year, but they’re back and want you all to join us! 

As a senior at Lakewood High, this act of service has always been a great opportunity to spend the day outside with friends and family as we honor those who have served our country. Seeing the myriad of diverse graves is always a fascinating thing to experience. I remember my friends and I being absorbed with the different, and sometimes recognizable, last names. The trees are beautiful, and the gravestones are lovely. No matter who you are, there is always something you can be enthralled with during this act of service. 


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Volume 17, Issue 10, Posted 11:40 AM, 05.19.2021

Update And Overview On The Many Projects Underway In Ward 1

Ward 1 is exploding with many projects that are in progress or close to taking off. We have a lot to be excited about with all the impending improvements, upgrades, and construction. I will highlight some of the changes we can expect to see this year and next. One major City venture is the Detroit-Sloane Improvement project. A May construction start date is in place. There is a focus on pedestrian safety, and a reduction of a traffic lane on Detroit will support this priority. The Metroparks parkway trail will be extended from the park along the south side of Detroit to Graber. Landscaping improvements will create softer green spaces on Sloane, Graber, and Detroit. In addition, public art will enhance the western gateway into Lakewood. The project provides an opportunity to upgrade the storm water system as well.  

The Beck Center for the Arts received a $50,000 grant to improve its open green space in front of the building. The green space enhancement will provide a tranquil area for the public and Beck Center patrons to enjoy. If you own an electric car, the electric vehicle charging stations expansion project will land a charger on the Detroit Extension near Rio Street. Lakewood received a combined total of $50,000 in funding from NOPEC and Ohio EPA to support the expansion of charging stations. Once the four new stations are installed, the City will have increased the total to seven city-wide.


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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Kyle Baker Announces Candidacy For Lakewood City Council At Large

It is with an abiding sense of pride and belief in Lakewood that I am formally announcing that I am running for Lakewood City Council at Large in 2021.  The theme of my campaign is From Lakewood, For Lakewood, Forward Lakewood. In line with that, I am eager to get out and meet with residents and local businesses to discuss how we can continue to move Lakewood forward. 

By way of background, I am a proud product of the Lakewood City Schools.  My experience in this community and the Lakewood City Schools has been foundational for me as a person and professional. After graduating from Lakewood High, I left for college (Miami University) and law school (The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law); but knew I would come back to raise my family. Growing up in Lakewood, I fell in love with the diversity of backgrounds of my friends, classmates, and neighbors. I’m the youngest of 7 kids and come from a blue-collar tight-knit family. I’m proud of the fact that I was the first in my family to earn a college degree. I married the love of my life (Allison) in 2012 and we are raising our two young boys and dog (Champ) in the Lakewood home we bought in 2013. 

I have a profound respect for public service. In 2014 I left a large law firm to join Cleveland Metroparks because I wanted to be a public servant and make my community better. This occasion is no different. Lakewood is at a critical juncture. We are currently experiencing a fragile prosperity and need to continue to position ourselves as a community of choice, while at the same time investing in our aging infrastructure, nurturing a safe community friendly to every person, and welcoming appropriate development that fits and advances the community while at the same time preserving affordability. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been experiencing some tough times. We must continue working to make Lakewood more resilient after the pandemic is over, and I believe that a strong City Council is necessary to help guide and provide vision to ensure that outcome.


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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

Summer Camp

Summer is an important part of the year for fun and exploration. The Lakewood City Schools Community Recreation & Education Department will be offering its Kids Connection Summer Day Camp. Kids Connection offers safe, fun, and affordable opportunities for kids’ entering kindergarten through sixth grade. The campers will spend the summer doing a wide variety of activities that include swimming, games, arts & crafts and much more. Kids Connection is located at Emerson Elementary School and will allow campers access to the computer lab, LRC, gymnasium, baseball field, and it is a short walk to Lakewood Park and Foster Pool.

The camp is staffed with certified teachers who provide families with a safe, fun, and affordable alternative to child care. The program consists of (9) one-week sessions, Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 6:00pm. Parents do not have to drop-off or pick-up that early or late, but it is an option that is available. The cost for camp is $135 for a resident and $165 for a non-resident, per one-week session.

For more information on the Kids Connection Day Camp or any of our other summer camps. Please contact (216) 529-4081 or visit our website

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 3:04 PM, 03.17.2021

Mayor's Corner:Spring Is Around The Corner

Spring is around the corner and I am excited to share some significant developments that are currently underway throughout the City.

I am proud to announce that as of March 3rd, the City of Lakewood has been given a high-grade investment rating from Moody’s Investors Service, a “Big Three” credit rating company that determines an entity’s financial health. Lakewood’s municipal notes were given a MIG rating of 1 and a credit rating of Aa2, indicating a very strong capacity to meet financial commitments. This is a win for Lakewood, as these ratings influence interest rates and demonstrate the City’s growth despite battling the pandemic over the past twelve months.

The City continues to install LED streetlights with funds from the NOPEC Energized Community Grant Award. Since beginning this program, almost 1,000 streetlights have been replaced, amounting to an annual energy savings of $45,000 and a decrease in energy consumption of 14%. The city will continue the streetlight conversion process utilizing the $197,322 in 2020 NOPEC grant funds, benefiting residents and businesses by reducing the city’s energy consumption, saving taxpayer dollars, and increasing safety.

The second of two virtual conversations concerning the Cove Church renovation project will be held on Tuesday, March 23rd at 6:00pm. Citizens are encouraged to join, provide feedback, and express any hopes or concerns they have about the project. You can visit for more details about joining the meeting.


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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 3:04 PM, 03.17.2021

Lakewood Recreation Hiring

What better job for the summer than at a swimming pool, ball field, or summer camp? Take the opportunity to work outside, with kids, making a difference. Lakewood Rec is now hiring to fill many open positions for Field maintenance, learn-to-swim instructors, lifeguards, pool attendants, pool cashiers, baseball scorekeepers, summer camp counselors and more. 

As winter turns to spring, many of our thoughts turn to warm summer days, filled with playing T-Ball, riding the water slide at Madison Park, or making friends at Kids Connection or Ohio Heritage. Lakewood Recreation is hiring seasonal employees to make all those summer memories continue for a new generation. Applications preferred by March 31, 2021. Find application details at

Sharon Mathaios is Secretary at the Lakewood Community Recreation and Education Department.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 7:38 PM, 03.03.2021

LCRAC Wants To Hear From YOU!

Lakewood Residents!

You are invited to complete our first Lakewood Community Survey, which will help us, members of the Lakewood Community Relations Advisory Commission (LCRAC) to better understand what our residents appreciate about our city, as well as some of the challenges that we may face.

The Lakewood Community Relations Advisory Commission is a group of volunteer residents serving in an advisory capacity for the purpose of educating, informing, and making recommendations to City officials on matters related to community relations in an effort to advance respect for diversity, equality, and bonds of mutuality. 

On January 18th, we will be launching a community-wide survey to better understand people’s experiences living and working in Lakewood. We are working with community partners and institutions to help us get the word out, share the survey, and to encourage our community to fill it so we can better serve our city.

You can fill out the survey by going to:


Jon Gromek
Lakewood Resident and Member, LCRAC

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 3:43 PM, 01.20.2021

Supporting Bessie's Angels

On Jan. 18th, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Help to Others (the City of Lakewoodl's locally active youth service group) and LHS's Race and Diversity Club are partnering with renowned organization Bessie's Angels to host their annual day of service in honor of the date - with a COVID-19 conscious twist! High school students of all ages are encouraged to join a virtual meeting that morning, during which club leaders, participants, and representatives from Bessie's Angels will be discussing their mission to aid in "NURTURING, educating, empowering, and providing low income housing to young women who have aged out of foster care." (1) All discourse will be followed with the beginning of the club's donation drive! With its rich history of community involvement, H2O invites Lakewood to assist in this drive, accepting new or like-new items including:

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 3:43 PM, 01.20.2021

O'Neill Healthcare Of Lakewood Among First With Vaccine

O’Neill Healthcare Lakewood is honored to be among the first in Ohio to offer the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to the staff and residents. On December 23rd, on-site vaccination started at O’Neill Healthcare Lakewood, with everyone receiving the first of two shots. All five of O’Neill Healthcare facilities will have the first shot before the end of the year. 

As we move into the new year, we look forward to a brighter future where we can all be together again. Thank you to the Walgreens team for administering the shot and helping us create a safe environment for our staff and residents so we can continue to care for our residents safely.  

For more information about O’Neill Healthcare and the vaccine, visit

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Volume 17, Issue 1, Posted 12:59 PM, 01.06.2021

Holiday Greetings To Lakewood

As we approach the end of another year in Lakewood, I'd like to extend my best wishes to all. 2020 has been challenging as we faced the COVID-19 crisis. I join my City Council colleagues in seeking to provide resources and adapt procedures to allow our community to remain strong during COVID while conducting our everyday work to the standard of excellence that has helped our city grow.

As ever, contact me any time to share your ideas on how we can improve.

Happy holidays, merry Christmas and seasons greetings to everyone in Lakewood--and to our families everywhere,
Tom Bullock & Family

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Volume 16, Issue 24, Posted 12:20 PM, 12.16.2020

Lakewood Year In Review 2020

So much has happened this year, it’s baffling. The following flashbacks (and a few updates) are just a sampling.

New government. Mayor George and council members Neff and Shachner were only sworn in at the beginning of January, and Kepple only appointed 10 months ago. What a first year on the job.

Big fire in Rocky River. The huge fire just across the river, on Feb. 23, destroyed in-progress condos. An explosion even flung debris across the freeway. The site is currently leveled and empty; investigation has not determined a cause.

Coin shortage. People remember the shutdown, in late winter, but a lot happened within that period. Example: coins were in such short supply at one point, that one Lakewood bank could give change for about three dollars, max.

“One Lakewood Place” is canceled. In early April the developer and the City decided not to move forward with the proposed development on the former Lakewood Hospital site, cleared and remediated at city expense, after all. The city has since negotiated a settlement, in the interest of permitting discussions with a new developer unencumbered.

The 2020 Primary. A mess. By the time a month of pandemic-shutdown overtime postal voting concluded in mid-April, hardly anyone really noticed. For what it’s worth Joe Biden won a landslide first-place finish in Lakewood, perhaps not surprising given that opponents had dropped out by the time Ohio finished voting. The school levy passed, too.

Black Lives Matter actions. A BLM march and Lakewood Park event were, it’s fair to say, driven by solidarity with nationwide protests after George Floyd was killed. Local electeds nonetheless concurred with the assertion that racism is a public health crisis, and have responded with e.g. scrutiny of police procedures, and appointment of a diverse antiracism task force.

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Volume 16, Issue 24, Posted 12:20 PM, 12.16.2020

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

Lakewood Neighbors Create “Friends Of Madison Park” Advocacy Group

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

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

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

Early Voting Has Started



VOTE! There are THREE ways:

Early In Person : Registered voters can vote RIGHT NOW through November 2nd at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections downtown at 2925 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.

There are 3 free parking lots and police everywhere directing traffic. You are asked 2 medical questions, your temperature is taken, then you're allowed in at 6 foot distances, with plastic barriers and a well-ventilated room. The BOE asks that you wear a mask.

By Mail: Request an absentee ballot here: or call  216-443-VOTE (8683). Fill it out, print it and mail it back to receive your absentee ballot or call the Board of Elections and request one. You may request one up to three days before the election (by October 31st this year). Once received, VOTE and mail your ballot in. It must be post-marked by November 2nd (the day before the election) or can be dropped off at the Board of Elections where you can hand deliver it from your car to a dropbox.




October 6 - 16

(Weekdays Only - Mon thru Fri)
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

October 19 – 23
(Weekdays Only - Mon thru Fri)
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.


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Volume 16, Issue 19, Posted 6:07 AM, 10.08.2020

Lakewood And Toledo City Councils Pass Resolutions Supporting Essential Workers Bill Of Rights

On September 21, Lakewood became the first city in Ohio to pass a resolution supporting an Essential Workers Bill of Rights, as part of a new national campaign to deliver better treatment and pay to all “essential workers.” Today, Toledo did the same--both with unanimous votes. See page 21 for the Lakewood resolution text and read the Toledo ordinance here.

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Volume 16, Issue 19, Posted 6:07 AM, 10.08.2020

St. Charles Green Is Now Bernice Pyke Park

Lakewood formally dedicated a new public park named for suffragist Bernice Pyke on August 18, the 100th anniversary of ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Most of the park property—bordered by St. Charles and Belle Avenues, downtown, and the railroad—has been city-owned for decades. Informally known as the St. Charles Green, residents have spent years pursuing official park status. 

Councilperson Tristan Rader, who emcee’d the ribbon cutting ceremony, recalled that upon moving next door several years ago, his first visitor was a neighbor collecting signatures to protect the space as a park.

Rader and other elected officials spoke of the accomplishments of Pyke, a Lakewood resident who helped win the right to vote for Lakewood women in 1917, and to pass the 19th amendment to the Constitution, recognizing women’s suffrage nationally.


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Volume 16, Issue 17, Posted 3:41 PM, 08.19.2020

Lakewood Votes


As we head into the November election, The Observer would like to help you make sure your voice is heard. Here is how YOU take part:
First, register to VOTE! You have until Monday, October 5, 2020 to register in Ohio.* It takes two minutes and can be done online in Ohio at:

To register online you will need to provide the following:
• Ohio driver’s license or Ohio identification card number
• Name
• Date of Birth
• Address
• Last four digits of your Social Security number

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Volume 16, Issue 17, Posted 3:41 PM, 08.19.2020

LakewoodAlive’s Warren Road Beautification Project Enhances Warren-Madison Intersection

When city leaders, civic-minded residents, local governments, small businesses and a nonprofit organization come together for the sake of community vibrancy, good things are bound to happen. Such is the case with LakewoodAlive’s Warren Road Beautification Project. Venture through the heart of Lakewood near the intersection of Warren Road and Madison Avenue and you’ll notice a transformation has taken place. Thanks to a $50,000 Community Development Supplemental Grant from Cuyahoga County and a partnership with the City of Lakewood, phase 2 of the Warren Road Beautification Project has created a rejuvenated gateway into Lakewood’s commercial districts featuring an improved pedestrian environment and significant public art components.

The prominent intersection at Warren and Madison now incorporates two public art murals, an artistic bus shelter, new crosswalks and 15 new trees. Still to come are the addition of eight bike racks and two artistically-wrapped traffic signal boxes. What started in 2018 as a conceptual vision is now a vibrant reality for Lakewoodites and visitors to enjoy.


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Volume 16, Issue 16, Posted 3:41 PM, 08.19.2020

H2O Summer Service Experience

To say the least, these past few months have not been what any of us were used to. As members of the Lakewood community we felt the loss of the many things that we hold dear-- seeing the seniors dressed up for prom take pictures at Lakewood Park, a graduation ceremony, LakewoodAlive concerts in front of the library, tents lined up along Detroit for the Lakewood Arts Festival, and of course The Lakewood Project playing on the Fourth of July followed by the fireworks.

We have grieved these losses, but we have also adapted. For the City of Lakewood’s H2O “Help to Others” youth program, this meant not letting our Summer Service Camp traditions fade. We worked hard at figuring out how to convert our unique camp to an online experience while keeping as much of the camp magic as possible. We have kept our days of reading and playing games with preschoolers at a local daycare and playing Bingo with the seniors of Lakewood, now all just over Zoom! While keeping as many traditions as possible, we have also added a few new service projects related to the census and getting out the vote, two topics that most middle school students are not very familiar with. And don’t you worry, you still have the opportunity to get your counselor PIED! 

Though it is not the camp we know and love, in some ways it is even more special this summer as we find a way to stay connected through these challenging times. This is what led us to our theme: Pieces of the Puzzle, Parts of the Whole. To us this was the perfect way to summarize that though we are much more separated than we’d like, we are all still crucial parts to our community. Without our campers there would be no H2O and without H2O Lakewood would not be the same. To represent this, we have placed our banner presenting our theme at the entrance to Lakewood Park. We hope that this will give passers-by a reason to smile and let them know that H2O will always find a way to remain connected with our community. We would love it if our campers or any of our supporters visited our banner and sent us a picture of you there or gave us a shout-out on social media, extra points if you’re wearing an H2O t-shirt! 


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Volume 16, Issue 15, Posted 4:08 PM, 08.05.2020

7 Reasons To Run The Virtual Meltdown 5K

Believe it or not, running can be fun. This is especially true in the case of LakewoodAlive’s Virtual Meltdown 5K and 1 Mile Family Fun Run & Walk taking place July 15 to July 31. Here are seven reasons why you should register now and lace up your running shoes to partake in these virtual races sponsored by Cox Communications:

1. Support LakewoodAlive
The Virtual Meltdown 5K and 1 Mile Family Fun Run & Walk serve as a fundraiser for LakewoodAlive. When you participate, you are empowering our organization to continue our efforts to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods within the city we love. Thank you very much for your support!

2. Celebrate Summer Safely
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely altered life as we know it, and chances are many of your regular summer activities have been put on hold. Yet we as humans have an innate need for movement and exercise. The Virtual Meltdown 5K and 1 Mile Family Fun Run & Walk enable you to fulfill this need while enjoying this unusual summer in a safe manner. 


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Volume 16, Issue 14, Posted 4:19 PM, 07.15.2020

Mayor's Corner

As we head into summer, I am reflecting on the big picture issues and the countless details we have addressed together so far.

We are managing the COVID-19 pandemic and are taking steps to ensure Lakewood remains as safe as possible while settling into our new normal. We are pursuing grants for our Fire Department and Police Department to keep us fully staffed and fully stocked with necessary supplies. I have been advocating to our state and federal elected officials for more resources and they are coming. Lakewood will receive over $2.3 million in newly distributed CARES Act funding through a change in Ohio law. We have expanded outdoor dining, suspended some parking enforcement, and provided rent relief in support of our small businesses.

Demonstrators in Lakewood have drawn attention to the national dialogue on racial violence and caused my administration to ask ourselves what more we can do here. Our Police Department and Human Resources Department are examining our policies and procedures and, at my request, implementing additional training to ensure Lakewood is a place where Black Lives Matter.

Many other issues that have been overshadowed in recent weeks and months are still very important to our community. Lakewood’s stormwater issue persists. I am advocating to the Ohio EPA and the U.S. EPA for a fair and affordable path forward. The food truck legislation I sponsored last year has resulted in more than a dozen food trucks inspected by our Fire Department this spring and a new business featuring food trucks in Lakewood. With a continued focus on responsible finances, we saved 40% of the costs on the base and pavement patching, resurfacing, and restriping at Lakewood Park and Winterhurst Ice Rink by bringing some of the work in-house. In the process, we were able to add 30 new parking spaces at Lakewood Park by reconfiguring the layout with no loss of greenspace.


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Volume 16, Issue 13, Posted 5:19 PM, 07.01.2020


In response to the Covid-19 pandemic the City of Lakewood - Division of Housing and Building has implemented the following TEMPORARY POLICIES to help protect the public health and safety until the state of emergency expires:
City Hall remains closed to the public. In-person meetings are discouraged, however should an in-person meeting be required, you are asked to take your temperature before arriving, wear a face covering, and always observe strict social distancing while at City Hall. You will be asked to sign a log for contact tracing purposes upon arrival.

If your temperature is elevated, or you feel sick you are asked to postpone your meeting. An appointment can be scheduled with adequate advance notice by calling 216-529-6270.
PERMIT APPLICATIONS can be mailed, emailed, faxed or dropped in the Building Department drop box at the main entrance of City Hall:
City of Lakewood
Division of Housing & Building
12650 Detroit Ave.
Lakewood, OH 44107
building.permits@lakewoodoh.netFax: 216-529-5930

CONSTRUCTION PLANS with the correct (commercial or residential) plan review application, if less than 25 MB, can be emailed to Plans must be flattened and submitted as full sets; individual pages are NOT acceptable. Larger plan sets with the appropriate application can be placed in the drop box at the main entrance to City Hall. (Note: all information on the application is REQUIRED, if not complete your application can be rejected)
PAYMENT can be made by check (call to verify cost) or credit card over the phone.


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Volume 16, Issue 13, Posted 5:19 PM, 07.01.2020

The View From Ward 2

Council Meeting

At the Council Meeting held on June 15th there were several items on the agenda related to racial equity and our police department’s policies. Communications from Council related to the Lakewood Police Department’s policies were referred to the Public Safety Committee. The next Public Safety Committee is Monday, June 29th at 7:00 PM. I look forward to an open and productive discussion that involves everyone, especially our local safety forces and residents, and will provide an update about the meeting in my next column. If you are interested in some of the Lakewood Police Department’s Polices and specialized training please read this communication from Mayor Meghan George.

We also learned last week that Police Chief Tim Malley will be retiring on July 4th. He has dedicated 38 years to serving Lakewood, with 18 years as Chief of Police. Please join me in thanking Chief Malley for his service and wishing him an enjoyable retirement.

All members of Council pledged to take part in the YWCA’s 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge.  As part of the challenge, participants are presented with daily activities, like a listening to a podcast or reading an article, on a given subject that covers an issue that is related to race, power, privilege, and leadership. If you would like to join us in participating the challenge, please visit

Marlowe Park Townhomes Planned Development 

City Council approved a change in the Zoning Map that will allow townhomes to be built at the location of the former St. Clements School Building and Convent. The property has been vacant for 15 years and was in bad shape with a roof collapse and significant water intrusion. The developer, Liberty Development Company, attempted to repurpose the building, but it was too far gone to be converted into a habitable space.


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Volume 16, Issue 13, Posted 5:19 PM, 07.01.2020

LakewoodAlive's Warren Road Beautification Project Brings New Crosswalks To Warren-Madison Intersection

Phase 2 of LakewoodAlive's Warren Road Beautification Project continued in late June with the installation of new crosswalks at the Warren-Madison intersection, making this busy intersection safer and more pedestrian-friendly.

This improvement follows the addition of 15 trees and two public art murals. LakewoodAlive thanks its many terrific partners, including the City of Lakewood and Cuyahoga County, for making this collaborative effort possible, and looks forward to sharing more details regarding this project in the coming weeks.

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Volume 16, Issue 13, Posted 5:19 PM, 07.01.2020

LakewoodAlive’s 2020 Front Porch Concert Series Going Virtual; Performers Announced

Music has the power to lift our collective spirits, reframe our perspective and bring our community together.

LakewoodAlive announces its 2020 Front Porch Concert Series sponsored by Bentley Wealth Management of Raymond James will feature eight live musical performances hosted virtually via LakewoodAlive’s Facebook page each Friday evening at 7 p.m. from July 3 through August 21.

Now in its 10th year, the popular music series is taking on a different format to ensure health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet LakewoodAlive remains committed to enhancing Lakewood’s sense of community by offering free weekly concerts that families and all music lovers can enjoy. 

“Over the last decade our Front Porch Concert Series has evolved into a major family entertainment option, and we are pleased to be able to continue the series this summer in a virtual format,” said Ian Andrews, Executive Director of LakewoodAlive. “The last several months have been uniquely difficult for many members of our community, so we are hopeful our series is able to provide a source of joy and inspiration for those who are struggling right now.”


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Volume 16, Issue 13, Posted 5:19 PM, 07.01.2020

One Lakewood Progress: Riots Are The Cries Of The Unheard

My mother is light-skinned. My father was dark-skinned. I am medium skinned. My oldest brother is dark-skinned. My youngest brother is light-skinned. We have all experienced racism in some form or another throughout our lives.

I remember my Uncle Bob telling my mother that she couldn’t move back home to Southern Ohio with us because we were “Spics” and the community would never accept us. My mother faced housing discrimination because white landlords didn’t like the “look” of her children.

At both of my first jobs, I was wrongfully accused of stealing money from cash registers, even though I was off work during those times and would never steal a crumb from anyone. That’s why I worked two jobs, and when defending myself against these accusations, told my employers as much. I was exonerated in both instances, but knew why I was singled out over my white co-workers. 

When walking with my mother one cold October night to the corner store, I suddenly felt a stinging sensation on my legs. When I looked down, I saw the remnants of eggs sliding down my jeans. I looked up as the perpetrators across the street screamed “Puerto Rican Bitch!” and ran off.


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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 3:23 PM, 06.17.2020

LakewoodAlive's Warren Road Beautification Project Brings Public Art Mural To The Doughnut Pantry

Here's another splash of sunshine for your summer: The second of two new public art murals went up on June 8 at the Warren-Madison intersection.

For this 54-foot-long mural at The Doughnut Pantry, Lakewoodite artist Stephanie Crossen was inspired by the stunning sunsets she’s witnessed at The Solstice Steps and wanted to offer community members an eternal sunshine to bring joy on cloudy days.

Thank you to Stephanie and our many terrific partners, including the City of Lakewood and Cuyahoga County, for making this collaborative project possible. Install was completed by Scherba Industries. LakewoodAlive looks forward to sharing more details about phase 2 of our Warren Road Beautification Project in the coming weeks.

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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 3:23 PM, 06.17.2020

LakewoodAlive’s Volunteer-Driven Flower Blossoms Program Beckons Summer With Beautiful Blooms

Venture along Lakewood’s Detroit Avenue these days and you can’t help but notice an additional splash of color and greenery enhancing the district’s vibrancy.

Now in its 14th year, LakewoodAlive’s Flower Blossoms Program has placed 53 flower boxes with participating merchants along Detroit Avenue from Lincoln to Cordova. Petunias and impatiens dot this urban landscape, creating a more appealing commercial district.

The Flower Blossoms Program is designed to help merchants keep their storefronts attractive. LakewoodAlive partners annually with a local grower to provide an opportunity for merchants to purchase professionally-planted Earth Box planters with flowers appropriate for the sun/shade needs of each location. With assistance from Lakewood Garden Center owner Paul Bilyk, the materials were dropped off at the Lakewood City Center Plaza on June 9. There, longtime LakewoodAlive volunteer Kathy Haber was joined by 10 volunteers to distribute completed flower boxes to program participants.

“The last several months have been uniquely challenging for many members of our community, and we hope our Flower Blossoms Program serves as a simple source of joy this summer,” said Ian Andrews, LakewoodAlive Executive Director. “This volunteer-driven beautification project is one of many ways we seek to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods. And we can’t say enough about the incredible team of volunteers who make this program possible.”


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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 3:23 PM, 06.17.2020

Mayor's Corner

One important role in my job as mayor is to be the chief advocate for our community as a whole. In some cases, I approach businesses who might move to Lakewood from another county or state. Sometimes I talk to the media about the good stories we have to share of strong people in our community. I am regularly bringing our interests to our elected representatives at the county, state, and federal levels to ensure that Lakewood’s voice is heard and Lakewood’s people are getting what they need from every level of government. Recently, I have been calling on our congressional delegation to fight for you and me in Washington.

We are entering the third month of the coronavirus pandemic. We have seen Congress pass four stimulus bills totaling over $2.4 trillion. However, with the exception of a few dollars here and there to reimburse us for disposable masks and latex gloves, city halls across the United States have been left out. We need assistance from the federal government. This is not unique to Lakewood, all municipalities are facing serious financial implications due to COVID-19.

I’ve sent multiple letters to Congresswoman Kaptur, Senator Brown, and Senator Portman. I thanked them for all they have done on our behalf and implored them to do more. We need Congresswoman Kaptur, Senator Brown, and Senator Portman to prevail upon their colleagues and pass a bill that provides money to local governments. The City of Lakewood’s revenues are down but our responsibilities remain the same: to continue to provide the services that our community expects and deserves.


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Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

LakewoodAlive's Warren Road Beautification Project Brings Public Art Mural To Wall Of Fifth Third Bank

The first of two new public art murals at the intersection of Warren Road and Madison Avenue went up on May 27.

For this mural, located behind Fifth Third Bank, local artist April Bleakney was inspired by an encounter she had with a deer while in Yosemite National Park, and came to appreciate the peacefulness and serenity this animal symbolizes.

LakewoodAlive thanks April and its many terrific partners, including the City of Lakewood and Cuyahoga County, for making this collaborative project possible. Install for this mural was completed by Scherba Industries. LakewoodAlive looks forward to sharing more details about phase 2 of its Warren Road Beautification Project in the coming weeks.

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Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

Cuyahoga County Coronavirus Response Update

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

County Focuses on High Risk Populations

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

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

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

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

County Starts to Re-open for Business

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

Lakewood Pride Fund Helps Families Complete Essential Home Repairs

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

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

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

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


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

Council Discusses Local Economy In Virtual Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lakewood Chalk Your Walk Inspires Residents To Express Hope

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

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

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

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

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

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

LakewoodAlive Launches Webpage Devoted To Resources To Help Small Businesses During COVID-19 Crisis

LakewoodAlive announces the launch of a webpage ( devoted to compiling resources for assisting Lakewood small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

This webpage is part of a collaborative effort with the City of Lakewood, Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and our private partners, including financial institutions, to demonstrate our commitment to helping small businesses citywide navigate this challenging situation. The page, which will be updated regularly, offers COVID-19 news, financial resources and other useful information for small businesses.

“During this time of crisis, supporting Lakewood’s vibrant small business community is more important than ever before,” said Ian Andrews, LakewoodAlive’s Executive Director. “Communication is essential in these difficult times. We are thankful to our partners for helping to make this webpage possible and hope it serves as a valuable resource for members of our small business community. We urge everyone to continue to support our small businesses in a safe manner during this difficult situation.”

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

LakewoodAlive Launches “Light The Lakewood Night” Community Solidarity Event

LakewoodAlive announces the launch of Light the Lakewood Night, a community solidarity initiative designed to convey optimism and togetherness during the COVID-19 crisis.

Lakewood residents are asked to participate by decorating their front porch or apartment balcony railing with string lights as a vibrant display of solidarity.  Residents who do not have a front porch or who do not have string lights at their disposal at home can still participate by simply turning on an exterior light at dusk.

Participants are asked to share their decorated porch photos to the Light the Lakewood Night Facebook event, while including the hashtags “#LovingLakewood” and “#LighttheLakewoodNight.”

“Light the Lakewood Night represents a simple way for community members to demonstrate that we are in this together,” said Ian Andrews, LakewoodAlive’s Executive Director. “Lakewood has always been a community of front porches, and now’s a great time for us to put these porches to good use to offer fellow community members a sign of hope during challenging times.”


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

LakewoodAlive’s Paint Lakewood Program Kicks Off 2020 Season

Looking to add a splash of color to your home’s exterior? A fresh paint job may be more affordable than you think. 

LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program announces the return of its Paint Lakewood Program for the 2020 season. The Paint Lakewood Program’s primary goal involves revitalizing Lakewood’s neighborhoods, while reducing lead hazards and educating residents on lead safety issues. 

This innovative program is designed to help make it more affordable for qualified Lakewood homeowners and residents to beautify their homes through exterior whole-home painting, ultimately making their homes safe for their families and the community.

Paint Lakewood will provide a grant of up to $4,500 to qualified Lakewood homeowners and residents for exterior paint, supplies and professional labor costs to paint their home. The program has been designed to offer a grant on a sliding scale to help reduce the cost of an exterior paint job.


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

LakewoodAlive Unveils “Knowing Your Home” Schedule For 2020

When it comes to your home, you are never alone. There’s no better time than now to take proper care of this important investment, and LakewoodAlive is here to help you every step of the way.

LakewoodAlive announces the schedule for the 2020 edition of “Knowing Your Home,” a free educational series focused on sustainability and home maintenance best practices empowering homeowners to tackle necessary repairs and improvements. Orchestrated by LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program, this series is designed to benefit a wide range of residents:

  • Those considering a home DIY project
  • Those planning to hire a contractor
  • Those simply interested in better understanding how their home works

The seventh year of this popular home maintenance program features a collection of 14 workshops taking place from March through October led by experts within the industry. These workshops will cover a wide range of topics designed to educate residents regarding improvements and best practices for their homes. The best part? Each workshop is open to the public and free to attend.


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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 10:32 AM, 03.04.2020