Phone Scam Targets Lakewood Voters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Presutto Demonstrates Professional Experience Needed For City Council

My career started in the financial sector where I specialized in creating and delivering training programs for new hires, existing employees, and leadership development. While I was training staff members in a variety of financial roles, I also achieved a wide variety of financial licenses, HR certifications, and project management experience. In addition to training, I managed teams as small as two to as large as sixty across multiple cities and countries. It is this experience that has me best suited to interact with different demographics and will allow me to communicate the issues and solutions to Lakewood residents.  

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

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

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

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

Presutto Candidate Question Answers

Occupation:  Owner - Level Up Employment LLC

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Debunked: O'Leary's Pretend Endorsement

Two campaign mailings have now alleged that "The Lakewood Democratic Party" has endorsed Sam O'Leary for mayor.

"The Lakewood Democratic Party" doesn't exist, though. There's no such group.

The only formal organization of Democrats local to Lakewood is The Lakewood Democratic Club, which made no endorsement for mayor at its September 26 meeting.

O'Leary's campaign sent out two mass mailings before the club even voted, however, inventing a "Lakewood Democratic Party" endorsement out of thin air. One mailing even featured a made-up logo.

As these misleading claims have hit mailboxes, The Lakewood Democratic Club has stated directly that no formal Democratic organization specific to Lakewood has endorsed a candidate for mayor this year.

The Democratic Club considered applications from various Democrats, including candidates for mayor O'Leary and Meghan George. No mayoral candidate reached the threshold for endorsement when the club voted on September 26, and no 2019 candidates had any basis for claiming or implying endorsement by the club prior to its September meeting.

Voters should rate O'Leary's invention, of a "Lakewood Democratic Party" to endorse him, as "definitely false."

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

Letter To The Editor: What Are People Breathing?

I have been concerned whenever I have go by the Lakewood Hospital demolition site, wondering what the people in the neighborhood are having to breathe. Spraying some water hardly suffices in these hot dry days to keep down particulate matter.

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

Ward 1 Primary Results: Neff And Rodriguez-Carbone Look Ahead To November

A very busy municipal election season in Lakewood saw its first set of results on Tuesday, September 10 in the Ward 1 primary. There were four candidates on the primary ballot, Matthew Fredrickson, Lindsey Grdina, Tess Neff, and Laura Rodriguez-Carbone. The top two candidates continue on to the general election in November. The results were as follows:

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Volume 15, Issue 18, Posted 3:47 PM, 09.18.2019

Birdtown Flower Boxes

Have you seen the new flower boxes in Birdtown?

This has been an exciting project years in the making by the dedicated members of the Birdtown Beautification Committee.

From installing the flower boxes along Madison Ave. in Birdtown, to painting them, lining them, working with the small business owners in the area to plant and maintain beautiful flowers and foliage, to the final step of adding these fun and unique decals that represent our great city of Lakewood. They are a great addition to the neighborhood and truly beautify the city! 

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Volume 15, Issue 18, Posted 3:47 PM, 09.18.2019

It’s Time To Make Kauffman Park A Priority

Kauffman Park, named for Lakewood’s longest serving mayor, Amos Kauffman, is tucked behind Drug Mart and occupies the space between Lakeland and Andrews Avenues. The park has captured the imaginations of our neighbors and sparked the creation of Friends of Kauffman Park. For years, the organization’s membership has been working to improve the park, so that it can attain its full potential as a city-wide destination with amenities that everyone can enjoy. The time is now to make investment in Kauffman Park a priority.

Lakewood has fewer acres of park space per person than Cleveland or Chicago, according to the Park System Strategic Plan of 2010. This means we must make the green space we have really count and carefully consider a design that serves many different constituencies.


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Volume 15, Issue 18, Posted 3:47 PM, 09.18.2019

How To Use The Lakewood Tool Box

Lakewood is a city of beautiful old homes. Thankfully, it’s now easier than ever before for Lakewoodites to give their homes the TLC they deserve.

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Volume 15, Issue 16, Posted 3:00 PM, 08.07.2019

Labor Lines Up For Tess Neff, Candidate For Ward 1 Lakewood City Council

I am honored to be endorsed by the dedicated and hard-working men and women in labor. The members of the Cleveland Building & Construction Trades Council, AFLCIO, Laborers' Local 310, AFSCME Ohio Council 8, and Electrical Workers Local 38 have placed their trust and confidence in me to represent their values as a member of Lakewood City Council. Having some type of job since I was twelve years old I understand and appreciate the importance of maintaining a strong work ethic. As an attorney, a former police officer and magistrate in both the Lakewood Municipal Court and the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court, I have always conducted myself with integrity and transparency. Open and honest conversations with the new mayor, the City's partners including police, fire, public services and community members will unite Lakewood and drive our City on its continuous progressive path. We are a successful inner ring suburb that is accepting and inclusive. It is critical we stay this course and strive to improve on our accomplishments because the alternative is unacceptable.

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Volume 15, Issue 15, Posted 2:59 PM, 08.07.2019

Matthew Fredrickson For Ward 1 Lakewood City Council

I am running for Ward 1 Lakewood City Council and look forward to combining business acumen and an acute understanding of politics and issues along with compassion to serve the residents of Lakewood.

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Volume 15, Issue 15, Posted 2:59 PM, 08.07.2019

It’s About To Get Hot: Lakewood Summer Meltdown Returns July 13

The biggest block party in the neighborhood is fast approaching. Lakewood Summer Meltdown 2019, sponsored by Melt Bar and Grilled and presented by LakewoodAlive, returns to Downtown Lakewood for its 10th year on Saturday, July 13 from 4 to 10 p.m.

The Summer Meltdown is one of the region’s most highly-anticipated street parties. This community event is a free summertime celebration of our city’s vibrancy. It draws more than 10,000 attendees from across northeast Ohio to the heart of Lakewood each July.

This Lakewood summer tradition takes place on Detroit Avenue in Downtown Lakewood between Arthur and Marlowe.  The Summer Meltdown offers an afternoon and evening jam-packed with seemingly endless activities for one and all, including the Meltdown 5K race, 1 Mile Family Fun Run and Walk, street festival, outdoor activities, games, food vendors, beer garden, live music and more.

Families will love the street festival, which features more than 100 vendor tents, many of which offer interactive opportunities. Activities range from the “Water Moose” sprinkler park to the Summer Meltdown Bike Raffle sponsored by Beat Cycles to a skateboard park sponsored by West Side Skates.


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Volume 15, Issue 13, Posted 6:32 PM, 07.03.2019

Lindsey Grdina Announces Ward 1 Bid; Endorsed by Cuyahoga County Democrats

On June 15, 2019, I was honored to have received the endorsement of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. The endorsement reflects my deep commitment to seeing Lakewood and its citizens continue to thrive. I understand that we are called to help those who are struggling, and our policies must ensure that we are creating a Lakewood that works for all its residents. I am also committed to seeing Lakewood continue as a haven for independent and small business, a place where entrepreneurship thrives, supported by both the community and the local government. I believe that my brand of compassionate, informed leadership can ensure that Lakewood continues to thrive and grow for this generation and beyond.

I have had the pleasure of calling Lakewood home for over a decade. After graduating from Cleveland Marshall College of Law, I knew I wanted to stay in Lakewood. In 2013 my husband, Ed, and I  bought our home on Woodward Ave., just a block away from where Ed grew up. In 2016 we welcomed our first child, Julia, and Oliver joined us in February of 2019.


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Volume 15, Issue 13, Posted 6:32 PM, 07.03.2019

Meghan George Endorsed For Mayor Of Lakewood

The Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus (CCPC) has endorsed Councilwoman Meghan F. George for Mayor of Lakewood, following a candidate forum at the Lakewood Public Library on Tuesday, June 25. Only Lakewood members of the CCPC were permitted to vote on this endorsement.

After opening remarks, Councilwoman George put her command of Lakewood’s issues on full display in a town hall style, question and answer format. She noted, “My professional experience creating solutions for some of Ohio’s largest organizations and businesses has prepared me to manage the challenges we face in Lakewood.” 

“Meghan’s private sector work, coupled with her achievements on council, made the conclusive case that she’s the candidate with the experience we need as our next mayor,” said Emily Christescu, a Lakewood resident who attended the forum.

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Volume 15, Issue 13, Posted 6:32 PM, 07.03.2019

Renewed Focus On Community Development And Health Essential To Lakewood’s Future

It is my belief that a renewed focus on community development and health in Lakewood is integral to our future.

As a public health professional working with communities all across northeast Ohio, it is readily apparent that public health intersects all aspects of public life. The key to our resilience in Lakewood - our ability to effectively meet future challenges as a community - hinges upon community health and development. Community development, and policies and processes that support it in all its facets, is imperative in determining how we address emerging issues.

As part of the Lakewood Wellness Foundation Planning Task Force,  we discussed at length the change in Lakewood’s health landscape and the opportunities for health improvement through community development. When considering the challenges that are impacting health and information access for Lakewood’s diverse array of residents,  what is clear is that more ought to be done to identify, organize, guide and strengthen community networks. This is something that will be the central focus for me as your council person in Ward 1.


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Volume 15, Issue 13, Posted 6:32 PM, 07.03.2019

Why Does The Lawsuit Matter?

I have had more than one person come up to me over the past two weeks asking, “Why is the lawsuit so important?” Or, “Why does it matter? The hospital is gone.”

To me the answer is simple. What Brian Essi and his team of lawyers proved beyond a shadow of a doubt was: 1) The Mayor, Law Director, Finance Director, Council President and some on council were knowingly lying to Lakewood residents and voters going back as far as 2010. Not just lying, but misrepresenting the facts of the single largest transaction in Lakewood’s long and wonderful history.

Why does this matter? Without transparency and accountability we cannot reasonably judge the honesty of our elected officials. Elected officials without honesty and accountability are a cancer to a city, a community and democracy. Our entire government process is based on voting, transparency, and accountability. Allowing an elected official to lie is just wrong. Allowing them to lie about the largest deal in Lakewood’s history borders on being complicit. No matter where you fall on the hospital debacle, one would hope you believe in fair, honest, accountable government.

Now as the Mayor gets ready to step off of his throne, and “will it” to Sam O’Leary, we really need to ask ourselves, can we walk Lakewood back to the days of Sunshine and free speech? Can we walk back from the edge of this civil war caused 100% by the secrecy of City Hall, and their willingness to sow the seeds of hate and divisiveness? Lakewood’s cure is easy: Transparency, Honesty and Accountability from all of Lakewood’s politicians, and elected officials.

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Volume 15, Issue 13, Posted 2:58 PM, 06.19.2019

Lakewood Hospital Public Records Case Comes To A Close

A three-year civil appeals case against the city of Lakewood came to an apparent end May 10 when a Cuyahoga County Appeals Court judge ordered the payment of statutory damages and attorneys' fees to resident Brian Essi, who'd urged for tens of thousands of pages of city records about the decision to close Lakewood Hospital to be released to the people. The judicial opinion brings one front of the contentious debate over what happened with the hospital to a tentative denouement.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 6:03 PM, 06.05.2019

Councilmembers George And Rader Propose Improved Public Records Policy

Public records policies can work better for Lakewood. I recently introduced legislation to help achieve that goal, along with my council at-large colleague Tristan Rader.

Our goal is to de-mystify the records request process for the average resident. Members of the public have a right to transparency from their government—but the process for a record request, itself, can and should be more transparent.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 6:03 PM, 06.05.2019

Jeff Wise Seeks To Work For Ward 3 On City Council

When Jeff Wise talks with people about running for city council in Ward 3, he returns often to one idea: working for Lakewood.

Wise announced his candidacy for council recently. But he has already worked to help Lakewood residents with their government, as a legislative aide in the Ohio Statehouse.

That experience working on constituent issues confirmed the value of public service, which Wise first saw during a high school internship also at the Statehouse. Even in a partisan legislature, he found that hard work and attention to detail got results for Lakewood.

Wise is eager to discuss policy, and has announced several priorities he hopes to advocate on council: reversing recent years’ heavy job losses in Ward 3, streetscape and infrastructure improvements, and sustainability initiatives including tree canopy preservation, among others.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 6:03 PM, 06.05.2019

Lakewood Tool Box Progressing Toward Early June Launch

It won’t be long until the Lakewood Tool Box is ready to offer community members an affordable and educational option for borrowing tools that are essential for completing home repairs to ensure we live in healthy and safe homes.

LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program has been working diligently in hopes of launching this tool lending library in early June. Situated on the grounds of the Lake Erie Building in the Historic Birdtown Neighborhood, the Lakewood Tool Box is housed in a large shipping container that will be accessible to the public from the back corner of the building’s East Lot near the intersection of Athens and Halstead Avenues.


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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 9:40 AM, 05.22.2019

Waste Water And The West Side: What Are The Issues?

Learn more about changes to clean Lake Erie by upgrading local sewer systems on Wednesday June 5, 2019. This forum is free and open to the public at Lakewood Library on Detroit Avenue from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. The forum is sponsored by the League of Women Voters and will be moderated by Professor Howard E. Katz, Cleveland Marshall College of Law. Panelists include:

  • Frank Greenland, Director of the Watershed Project, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District 
  • Janine Rybka, Director, Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Mike Summers, Mayor, City of Lakewood
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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 9:38 AM, 05.22.2019

Presutto Sponsors Neighborhood Tour In Ward 2

City Council candidate Brad Presutto is bringing a spotlight to interesting places and events in Lakewood Ward 2—and you’re invited to take part.

In May and June, Presutto’s campaign is making stops at business and parks, to recognize the rich diversity of life in Ward 2.

“Ward 2 is more than just downtown,” says Presutto, “and I want to bring more attention to local business on Madison Avenue, for example.”

The Lakewood Ward 2 Neighborhood Tour is also about better representing local residents, he adds.

“Lives and schedules aren’t one-size-fits-all, and our approach to community leadership needs to reflect that,” says Presutto. “I have some great conversations when I’m knocking on doors, but that isn’t for everyone.”

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 9:38 AM, 05.22.2019

LakewoodAlive Announces Performers For 2019 Front Porch Concert Series

There will be 10 opportunities this summer to enjoy free, live music in a welcoming Downtown Lakewood environment.

LakewoodAlive announces the talented lineup of musical performers for the 2019 Front Porch Concert Series sponsored by Bentley Wealth Management of Raymond James. See the schedule below for weekly performers comprising the popular live music program, which takes place each Friday evening (7 to 9 p.m.) from June 28 through August 30 on the front steps of Lakewood Public Library.

The 2019 edition of the Front Porch Concert Series will offer something for every musical taste. From folk to rock to jazz, each weekly concert remains family-friendly while delving into diverse musical genres. Like a crowd-pleasing encore performance, this Lakewood summer tradition is sure to delight its audience.

The concert series kicks off June 28 with a performance by The Pocket, a fun-loving band that will get the crowd grooving with a funk-fusion sound blending elements of jazz, funk and soul. This talented group is led by Chris Vance, a Lakewoodite musician who has been instrumental in developing the Front Porch Concert Series into a marquee summer event.

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 7:51 PM, 05.08.2019

Presutto Advocates Fair Solutions To Sewer Upgrade Costs

Lakewood needs to comply with the Clean Water Act, and prevent untreated wastewater from overflowing into Lake Erie. City council candidate Brad Presutto says he fully supports this goal.

But affordability and fairness need to guide the city in achieving that goal, says Presutto, who is running to represent Lakewood Ward 2.

“As a community, we need to work out ways to do so without putting the entire burden in residents’ water/sewer bills, or billing homeowners for the entire cost of upgrading infrastructure built before they even saw their home,” he says.

Upgrades already made or approved could raise the average home’s water and sewer fee to nearly $205/month, according to the city’s forecasts. Because a complete upgrade may eventually cost a further $300 million, Presutto says that paying for it all with rate increases won’t work for residents.

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 7:51 PM, 05.08.2019

O'Malley To Run For Re-Election In Ward 4

Ward 4 Councilman Daniel J. O’Malley has announced that he will seek a second term on Lakewood City Council this fall. O’Malley has amassed a record of legislative accomplishments, neighborhood improvements, and community growth since first being elected in 2015 and says he wishes to continue that progress.

O’Malley serves as chair of city council’s Finance Committee, which provides financial oversight and reviews the city’s budget on an annual basis. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done to make efficient use of Lakewood’s taxdollars,” O’Malley said. “We’ve managed to make investments in our services, infrastructure, and workforce without raising taxes.”

Among the most evident investments are in Ward 4’s parks. “We’ve invested over $1 million in Ward 4’s parks alone,” O’Malley noted. “That includes a total renovation of Cove Park, plus major investments in Madison Park.”

Last year, Madison Park saw the return of full-court basketball after a 10-year absence. O’Malley included funding for the court in his budget priorities in 2017.

Councilman O’Malley is also proud of the work he’s done on behalf of Lakewood’s most vulnerable residents. In 2016, when low-income tenants at Lake Shore Towers in the Gold Coast were being charged to remedy the building’s bed bug problem in violation of Lakewood’s laws, O’Malley stepped in on behalf of the residents. “The policy you have in place is creating a crippling burden on the low-income residents of your building,” O’Malley wrote to the building’s landlord at the time. “Many of your residents are impoverished senior citizens and in no position to pay for these costly treatments.”


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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 8:01 PM, 05.08.2019

Choosing Smart, Sustainable Development For Lakewood

A recent article in Crain’s Cleveland Business examined development issues in Lakewood, and I want to provide a response. As part of this year’s campaign conversation I will be discussing how we pursue “smart development.”

The closures of Barry Buick and Lakewood Hospital (among others) face us with big choices about development within the City of Lakewood. We have very few large commercial parcels available for new construction. Getting these choices right is important.

Our infrastructure will be further stressed by the demands of one of the densest cities in the U.S. adding additional dwelling units. New residents will need additional city services. It is imperative for Lakewood to have balanced development.

As I mentioned at a recent City Council meeting, not less than 10 or 12 years ago, it was nearly impossible to sell a condo in Lakewood without taking a loss. Times have certainly changed and we are now in a seller’s market, but we need to be thoughtful and balanced with the development along our commercial corridors.


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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 8:01 PM, 05.08.2019

The Nominees For The Third Annual Women Honoring Women Have Been Accepted!

The Lakewood Women’s Club Announces the Nominees for their 3rd Annual “Women Honoring Women” fundraiser and celebration.

Congratulations to The Community Leader nominees, Heidi Murray, Karolyn Isenhart, Kate Coghlan, Laura Jaissle, Laura Rodriguez-Carbone, Sandra Sauder and Vicki McCarthy.

The Community Leader Award honors a woman who has demonstrated excellence in leadership through deep local understanding and outstanding initiative. She consistently advances community-driven, innovative, and sustainable solutions to the region's most pressing challenges, and service to either one organization or a variety of volunteer activities.

Congratulations to The Business Leader nominees, Allison Urbanek, Brandi Larsen, Ines Rehner, Jennifer Truchon and Sharon Marrell.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 8:01 PM, 05.08.2019

LakewoodAlive To Host “Civil Discourse And Mutual Respect” Community Forum On May 14

Our society was built on a foundation of civil discourse – a skill that remains vitally important to this day.  The people around us are our neighbors, and we must collectively strive to listen to and respect differing points of view in order for our society to work.  Yet how can we ensure civility prevails as a societal virtue during an era of digital insults and political division? 

LakewoodAlive announces it will host a community forum – entitled Civil Discourse and Mutual Respect – from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, at Lakewood Public Library (15425 Detroit Avenue).  This community conversation will offer insightful dialogue regarding how we can feel empowered to promote a society that values open-mindedness, politeness and respectful disagreement.

The general public is invited to attend this free forum as the community seeks to better understand the current state of civil discourse within our society and the importance of civility to our future.  The discussion will delve into the consequences associated with dwindling decorum, the art of practicing intellectual humility, the threat posed by social media and best practices for promoting a more civil, respectful society.

Judge Michael J. Ryan, a longtime judge within the Juvenile Division of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, will oversee a distinguished group of panelists for an informative discussion.  The final 30 minutes will be devoted to panelists fielding questions from the audience.



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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 8:01 PM, 05.08.2019

Can You Feel The LOVE In Lakewood? I Can!

Well, many of you probably remember one of the best stories of this year, “Chas, Gordon Geiger And Lakewood Fire C-Shift Share The Love.” A story we told about some members of Lakewood Fire Dept One C Shift who saved a homeless man from the cold. Knowing that the man would be back on the streets soon, Lakewood Fire Department contacted Geiger’s who said they would love to help the man out providing the firemen with gloves, socks, shoes, coat, etc. Everything a person would need to survive in the cold. That day at another fire call, the firemen were relating the story to a contractor, who said, “My brother runs a place to help homeless people, it's called 'homeless hook-ups.' So they called homeless hookups and while people were talking, Dean Roff, the founder of Homeless Hook Ups mentioned his dream was to have a motorhome he could drive around and use to help clean up homeless people and get them on their feet, when one of the firefighters said, “Well I have a motorhome. It needs work, but you can have it.” This is where we ended this magical story about love, giving and helping in Lakewood, Ohio.

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Volume 15, Issue 7, Posted 7:53 AM, 04.03.2019

Brad Presutto Seeks To Represent Ward 2 Residents On Council

The people of Lakewood Ward 2 can rely on him completely for three things, Brad Presutto said in launching his campaign for city council: listening, helping others, and representing the community honestly.

A series of people spoke about how Presutto does all these things, already, in remarks to an event held March 13 at Deagan’s Kitchen.

Jennifer Scott, whose pit-bull “Charlie” faced banishment under Lakewood’s previous breed-specific policies, recalled listening to Presutto speak up at a city council meeting on behalf of her and Charlie. Scott said that she didn’t even know Presutto yet, but was moved by his advocacy.

More recently, Scott continued, local Coast Guard families received similar generosity when Presutto helped collect donations for unpaid federal workers during the extended government shutdown.

Several speakers joined Scott in describing him as someone who shows up for friends, neighbors and even strangers. State Representative Mike Skindell, City Councilperson Tristan Rader, and Bike Lakewood board member Amanda Wolf were among the guests speaking on Presutto’s behalf.

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Volume 15, Issue 6, Posted 1:00 PM, 03.20.2019

LakewoodAlive Launches Lakewood Pride Fund To Assist Residents With Home Repairs

LakewoodAlive, a community-centered nonprofit organization, announces the launch of the Lakewood Pride Fund. This innovative program will leverage 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 & code compliance repairs. This program will not only help to keep a home in good repair, but it will also with each on-time payment improve the client’s credit score.

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Volume 15, Issue 6, Posted 1:00 PM, 03.20.2019

Don't Lakewood Government Officials Have A Duty To Follow The Law?

On April 22, 2018 Lakewood City Council members Anderson, Bullock, Litton, O’Leary, and O’Malley voted to pass Lakewood Ordinance Number 27-18. That ordinance, among other things, authorized Mayor Summers to execute a development agreement with Carnegie Management And Development Corporation. That agreement provides for the City to sell to Carnegie Management And Development Corporation TWENTY EIGHT (28) parcels of land owned by the City for ONE DOLLAR!! That’s right. You didn’t misread. FOR ONE DOLLAR!!!!!!! Such a deal.

Council members Anderson, Bullock, Litton, O’Leary, O’Malley and Mayor Summers chose to ignore the law in Ohio that when a city is going to sell real estate, the city is required to advertise the sale for FIVE (5) WEEKS. Lakewood government officials DID NOT advertise the sale of those valuable 28 parcels for even one week.

That same state law requires that any sale of real estate by a city be only with the HIGHEST BIDDER. There has been no advertisement. Therefore, there was no bidding. Once again, those City officials have demonstrated their preference for rigged deals, like their giveaway of our valuable hospital, rather than following state law.


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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 12:58 PM, 03.05.2019

LakewoodAlive’s “There’s No Place Like Home” Draws Sellout Crowd for Journey to Oz

There’s simply no place like home, especially when the place you call home is Lakewood, Ohio.

LakewoodAlive hosted Loving Lakewood: There’s No Place Like Home presented by Cleveland Property Management Group on Saturday night, February 23, at the Lakewood Masonic Temple, drawing a sellout crowd of 235 Oz-enthused guests to celebrate 15 years of community vibrancy in grand fashion. Proceeds from this 15th anniversary fundraising event will support LakewoodAlive’s programming as we strive to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood.

Guests entering the Lakewood Masonic Temple’s ballroom were treated to a transformation of the historic building’s interior into a collection of “not in Kansas anymore” scenes from the Wizard of Oz. A Yellow Brick Road greeted attendees and led them to the stage, which displayed a larger-than-life Wizard with an emerald green face flanked by fiery flames. Both ends of the ballroom depicted fighting apple trees, while the west-end featured a spinning tornado and a photo booth beckoning guests to sit on a broomstick while the backdrop proclaimed “Surrender Lakewood” atop an aerial view of the Solstice Steps.

As they enjoyed a variety of Oz-inspired cocktails and cuisine courtesy of Karen King Catering, There’s No Place Like Home guests grooved to music spun by DJ Byron. They were greeted by a surprise visit from the cast of characters from the classic 1939 film, including Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, Glinda and the Flying Monkey.  


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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 12:58 PM, 03.05.2019

Shoot Out On Delaware

Around 1:30 on Thursday, January 31, on a quiet Lakewood street, Delaware, something happened that you never see on Lakewood streets: a shoot out.

It seems that a man was trying to sell four black youths guns out of a duffel bag as they drove around in a silver Chevy. The seller apparently got into the car to make the sale. One of the teens pulled a gun on him, they threw him out of the car and took off. He then got to his feet, grabbed his own gun, and chased after the car, shooting at it as it headed east.

Two of the youths jumped out of the car, and ran east with the duffel bag of guns through backyards to Brown, then split up. One was described as wearing a red hoodie, the other in a gray hoodie with khaki pants.

Police spent the rest of the afternoon trying to track down the teens and get the story from the man who was selling the guns.

The man was a licensed gun-owner, and as of when we went to press, no charges had been filed.

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Volume 15, Issue 4, Posted 2:06 PM, 02.05.2019

Rader Proposes Campaign Finance Limits For “Wild West” Local Races

No rules limit campaign donations to candidates for local office, in Lakewood. City Council member Tristan Rader (at-large) wants to change that.

At the January 22 council meeting, Rader introduced proposals for local campaign finance limits, and for a new commission to police campaign finance and other government ethics issues. 

“This is a proposal that is intended to look forward, and ensure that local government remains responsive to people, not big donors,” Rader said.

Rader’s proposal would limit donations to local campaigns—currently subject to no limits—at the federal campaign contribution limit of $2,700. Additionally, Rader proposes an embryonic public-financing component. Based on a state tax provision, this would earn small donations a local tax credit of up to $50 per year.

The proposal would also prohibit candidates for a local office from seeking or accepting funds from that office’s employees.

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Volume 15, Issue 3, Posted 2:00 PM, 02.05.2019

Kidnapping Hero Is FOP Citizen Of The Year

Every year, the Fraternal Order of Police Western Cuyahoga Lodge #25 reviews incidents that may warrant a Citizen of the Year Award. The award is not always given, however this case in 2018 was certainly deserving.

At about 4:00 a.m. on November 3, 2018, Joseph Presley was working as a driver for Kufner Towing. He called Lakewood Police to report an accident at W.117th Street and Clifton Blvd.

Presley added that the driver of one vehicle forcibly took a female from the accident. He turned his tow truck around and began to follow the pickup truck southbound on W.117th while he continued to speak with the Lakewood Police dispatcher.

The first officer to arrive on the scene of the accident verified that a pickup truck had intentionally struck the vehicle. Somebody then pulled the female driver out of her car and forced her into the pickup truck. Another female occupant was left in the car.

Presley continued to follow the suspect vehicle while giving Lakewood dispatchers information on his location. Lakewood officers were able to catch up to the pickup truck as it pulled into a parking lot near I-90. Two males in the truck were subsequently arrested for kidnapping. No weapons were found. The female was rescued and had suffered minor injuries from the accident but was otherwise OK.

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Volume 15, Issue 3, Posted 2:00 PM, 02.05.2019

HBO Star Bryant Carroll Teaching Acting Classes In Lakewood

Star of stage and screen, Bryant Carroll of HBO's critically acclaimed "Boardwalk Empire" and Showtime's "Happyish" will be teaching Scene Study and Auditioning classes for both adults and teens at the newly opened West Side Actor's Studio on Madison Avenue.

Carroll, who grew up in Cleveland, started his career dancing with Cleveland Ballet and Cleveland Opera, has worked with such Hollywood heavyweights as Steve Buscemi ("Resevoir Dogs," "Boardwalk Empire"), Kathryn Hahn ("Happyish," "Bad Moms"), the late great Michael Clarke Duncan ("Green Mile"), Tommy Chong (Cheech & Chong), Dan Lauria ("Wonder Years.") His latest movie was filmed right here in Lakewood, the dark comedy "Anhedonia," starring Breckin Meyer ("Clueless," "Road Trip") and Emily Kinney ("The Walking Dead") and Giselle Eisenberg ("The Wolf of Wall Street," "Life in Pieces.")

"Blue Bloods" Actor Shaun O'Hagan credits Carroll for much of his success as an actor. "When I started working with Bryant my bookings increased by ninety percent," said O'Hagan.

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Volume 15, Issue 3, Posted 2:00 PM, 02.05.2019

Rodriguez-Carbone Announces Ward 1 Council Campaign

Public service is personal for Laura Rodriguez-Carbone, who recently announced her candidacy for Lakewood City Council, Ward 1.

Speaking before a crowd including several elected officials, Rodriguez-Carbone said that good government can be the crucial difference in everyday lives. She cited her own family’s struggle with poverty as an example.

“If it weren’t for government and community programs and assistance, I don’t know where I, or my family, would be,” Rodriguez-Carbone said.

Neither her mother or father completed high school, and their limited opportunities forced Rodriguez-Carbone to drop out, as well; while in her teens she worked two jobs to maintain basic shelter for her family.

Rodriguez-Carbone credits help from others, including government assistance, for allowing her to hang on and eventually complete a high school degree, as well as a Bachelor’s and Master’s.

“While enrolled in college, I felt called to give back, in any way I could,” she said at her January 12 campaign announcement.

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Volume 15, Issue 3, Posted 3:56 PM, 01.22.2019