Callahan Seeks Seat On Board Of Education

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

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

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


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

H2O's HOME ALONE Kicks Off With Leadership Retreat

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

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

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

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

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

Famous In The Neighborhood

Lakewood Native Recognized for Exceptional Leukemia Fundraising

There are few things more enjoyable than a good old fashioned September Lakewood saloon reunion, a hops homecoming, bringing together generations of tavernites and neighbors, especially when the occasion is for a great cause.

Lakewood native, stalwart, and impressario Billy Blatt - recently recognized for his fundraising work by and on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Northestern Ohio - hosts his annual Music and Tailgaiting Festival, Saturday, September 14th from 1:00-8:00 p.m. in the carnival parking lot space beside the Avenue Tap House, 18206 Detroit Avenue.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Northestern Ohio
Inspirational | A community of heroes for a common cause.

"I've had people very close to me pass on from leukemia," says Billy, who grew up on Edwards and Detroit and still lives with his family in town. Moreover, Billy's longtime friend - see Team Hout - has been battling - and continues winning - the battle against leukemia and lymphoma. "So the quest to find a cure has been a real personal purpose in my own life for a number of years and I've seen how it can help in saving lives."

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Volume 15, Issue 17, Posted 6:27 PM, 09.04.2019

An Event Not To Be Missed!

A committee of Lakewood Historical Society members is busy assembling the most amazing collection of wedding history ever seen in Lakewood. The oldest dress is from 1890 and the newest from 1990.

What is this event?

It’s a three-day extravaganza at the Nicholson House exploring wedding fashion from 1890 – 1990 with more than 30 wedding dresses, accompanied by accessories, and supported with pictures and stories about the weddings. The exhibit concludes with wedding cake and punch on the tented Nicholson House side yard. Truly an event not to be missed and never to be repeated.

Go to lakewoodhistory.org or call 216-221-7343 for more information and to purchase advance tickets to avoid waiting in line for this fabulous exhibit. Don’t delay. Coming soon: July 19, 20, 21.

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Volume 15, Issue 15, Posted 7:18 PM, 07.17.2019

Starr Gazer


Aries: Fire your inner critic, whew, that’s scratched off your “to do” list, now start enjoying life, & living up to the Ram’s full potential, start hanging with people at the top of that mountain…

Taurus: The Bull can be lured out of his/her pen this month, you are a rare find, your potential partner is around the corner, it’s time to pair up, like a fine wine & cheese, hit some wine tastings

Gemini: The Twins ruling planet, Mercury, is finished with it’s Retrograde, thank the Heavens; hop on the Manifestation Mobile, you’ve got the green light, all systems go, Vacation? Hmm…

Cancer: The crab just inherited front row tickets to “this is your life” & it’s a thriller, laugh off the events that are maddening, & shout “encore, encore” for the Oscar winning performances

Leo: The Lion/Lioness is known for its generous nature, early-on this month you’ve got a star-studded lineup at your door, the Sun, Mercury, Venus & Mars, share some of the Good Juju

Virgo: Everyone’s a teacher in your story, even the ones you call less than desirable names, look for the lesson, after mid-month, the Sun, Mercury, Venus & Mars, join the classroom of life

Libra: It’s time to connect, & let go of those grudges, they’re not the trendiest look these days, besides they’re mighty heavy to carry around, lighten your load, make Peace your best friend


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Volume 15, Issue 14, Posted 7:18 PM, 07.17.2019

Senator Antonio Comments On Passage Of State Budget

On June 20th, 2019, the Ohio Senate passed the state’s two-year, $69 billion budget bill, House Bill 166.

I’m pleased to say that this is the first budget I’ve voted in favor of since taking office nearly a decade ago. For years, we’ve urged our Republican colleagues to invest in public health in order to build a stronger Ohio. This budget is a commitment to the people of Ohio to do just that.

I applaud the inclusion of several public health investments I secured in the bill:

  • $1 million per year for the Cleveland Lead Safe Coalition
  • $2.5 million per year for infant safe spacing programs in high infant mortality areas
  • Public health initiatives including resources to curb the opioid epidemic through harm reduction and syringe exchange services and increased access to Naloxone

The bipartisan budget also includes longstanding Democratic priorities. HB 166 increases funding for affordable housing programs through the Ohio Housing Trust Fund. It includes various measures aimed at supporting Ohio’s children and families, like a proposal to prevent the custody relinquishment of children with severe mental health issues and additional funding for home-living programs for low income and elderly Ohioans. It also funds the H2Ohio water quality initiative through the next two years.


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

Local Cyclist Completes Great Lakes Circle Tour

A 4200-mile bicycle journey around each of the Great Lakes came to an end on May 31, 2019. I, Mark Looney, a resident of Lakewood, Ohio started my first exploratory trip around Lake Erie in 2015, then adding a new Lake in each of the four years that followed.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 2:55 PM, 06.19.2019

What's The Buzz At AXA?

The day the bees arrived at AXA Advisors was a spring day like any other. As if out of nowhere, thousands upon thousands of buzzing bees roared their arrival as they swarmed around the twin oak trees in the large corner lot at Delaware and Woodward. The move-in took little more than an hour. After that, it was relatively quiet as approximately thirty worker bees busily flew in and around the trees.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 2:55 PM, 06.19.2019

A Century Of Bridal Fashion, 1890-1990

The historic Nicholson House, built in 1839 and occupied for many years by the Nicholson family, stands as the oldest frame house in Lakewood, Ohio and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has served various purposes over the years, currently managed by the Lakewood Historical Society as an event venue.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 2:52 PM, 06.19.2019

Antonio Applauds Ohio’s Transportation Budget

Just last week, the Ohio legislature passed the state’s two-year transportation budget, House Bill 62.

I was honored to serve as the highest ranking Democrat on the Transportation, Commerce and Workforce committee where the transportation budget was deliberated. Once the budget passed the Senate, it then moved to Conference Committee, a committee made up of three House members and three Senate members. I was honored to represent as the appointed conferee, the only Senate Democrat, on the committee. The job of the committee was to sort out the differences between the Governor’s-introduced budget and the passed budgets in both the House and the Senate and come up with compromises through various amendments. In the end, we forged a compromise bill that the majority of Democrats could vote for.

HB 62 includes $70 million per year for public transportation, a 10.5-cent increase in the gas tax and a 19-cent increase in the diesel fuel tax as well as an increase in the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low- and moderate-income Ohioans amongst other items.

I supported this budget because it will bring more dollars to public transportation, provide an increased tax credit for low-income Ohioans, and bring needed funds to our local communities to fix our roads and bridges—core principles we fought to include.


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Volume 15, Issue 8, Posted 12:14 PM, 04.17.2019

Firefly Formal Tickets On Sale Now

Lakewood’s Firefly Formal (formerly known as the Father-Daughter Dance) takes place Saturday, May 11, from 6-9 p.m. at Lakewood High School. This community event welcomes all Lakewood girls (through grade 12) and their one special grown-up. Ticket price includes food, beverages, music, dancing, photo ops and fun! 

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Volume 15, Issue 8, Posted 12:14 PM, 04.17.2019

Hop To It!

Are you trying to keep those whimsical childhood dreams alive for your child as they grow up? Or maybe you just want to see how your baby will react to the Easter bunny for the first time and catch a funny snapshot! Either way, the best way to embrace those pivotal moments of childhood is to join other Lakewood families on Saturday, April 13th at this year’s Breakfast with the Bunny, hosted by H2O!

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

The Intergenerational Tea Party Brings STEM Fun To The Womans' Pavilion

It’s that time again for one of Lakewood’s cherished community events, the Intergenerational Tea Party. Launch your dreams of space exploration in a fun-filled afternoon at the Woman’s Pavilion, Lakewood Park. The party is scheduled for Wednesday, March 27, 2019 from 4 to 6 P.M. Our guest of honor is Luciana Vega, the 2018 American Girl Doll, Girl of the Year. This year’s theme is Space Exploration and we are ready for a STEM afternoon. The Woman's Pavilion will be transformed into a space camp, complete with a presentation by Great Lakes Science Center on STEM.

The party will start with delicious tea-time sandwiches, tea, hot chocolate, goodies, and of course, our perennial favorite, the Parade of Dolls. Dress for a space exploration party, and bring your doll or teddy bear to join in the parade, as it winds its way through the room. Moms don’t forget your cameras! There will be tickets for sale for the raffle prizes. The highlight of the afternoon will be the drawing for our guest of honor, American Girl Doll, Luciana Vega.

Tickets are $15 each, which includes your chance to win Luciana Vega. Purchase your tickets and reserve your place now. Seating is limited, so act quickly!


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

LCAC Does It Again! Volunteers And Gifts Of Food Needed

Thanks to hundreds of volunteers of all ages, Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation’s 30th Annual Thanksgiving Food Basket Distribution was another successful event! Turkeys and all the fixings needed to prepare a family feast were delivered to 320 Lakewood neighbors in need.

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Volume 14, Issue 23, Posted 2:28 PM, 12.04.2018

Bear Soul Studio: New Business On Madison Ave

If you're traveling down Madison Avenue you’ll find a treasure, tucked in between La La’s Custom Cakes and Holistic Lakewood, it's my new store, called Bear Soul Studio. It's a store that is truly a unique experience: A combination of a rock shop, art studio and spiritual healing arts. I wanted to create a unique place to share my gifts in the Lakewood area.

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Volume 14, Issue 22, Posted 4:01 PM, 11.20.2018

Denise Rini Juvenile Court:The Most Important Court You'll Never Visit

Judge Denise Nancy Rini is on a mission to tell you about Juvenile Court. Since taking the bench, Judge Rini has worked to improve the efficiency and spotlight some of the challenges facing our youth. “I believe that Juvenile Court touches everyone in Cuyahoga County, whether it is the neighbor who mows your lawn, the teenager driving down your street, or the youth who bags your groceries.  Everyone is affected by the commitment of Juvenile Court,” states Judge Rini.

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Volume 14, Issue 20, Posted 2:25 PM, 10.16.2018

Haunts, History And Hidden Secrets Of The Lakewood Gold Coast

Ever wonder what life on the Gold Coast was like a hundred years ago? Was crime a part of the scene? Are there any haunted buildings or spooky places on the Gold Coast? On October 27, the Lakewood Historical Society will host a walking tour, and will share information of the Edgewater Drive/Lake Avenue/ Cove Avenue neighborhood from around 1918.

The high rise apartment and condominium buildings have replaced mansions that had large lawns, beautiful gardens and long driveways. What brought about that change? Who were the families that resided on what was referred to as the “millionaires row” of the west side? Those questions will be answered, and, in keeping with the season, a few little known and mysterious facts will be shared, with reports of a murder or two thrown in for good measure.


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Volume 14, Issue 20, Posted 2:25 PM, 10.16.2018

Templar: The Superfine Small Car

Lakewood was a busy place 100 years ago. In the first half of 1918, 131 permits for the building of private homes were issued. Edgewater Drive was extended from W117th Street to Cove Ave. War gardens were prolific. Lakewood Baptist Church, at Lincoln and Detroit, and Lakewood Presbyterian Church, at Marlowe and Detroit, were dedicated. Three streetcar lines were running through Lakewood. Plans for a new high school were being developed. And Templar cars were being assembled in a brand new factory on Athens Ave.

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Volume 14, Issue 17, Posted 4:23 PM, 09.04.2018

Lakewood Historical Society Partners with Chef Jill Vedaa for Dinner Raffle

On a crisp November evening in an elegant lakefront home, it’s you and seven guests experiencing a spectacular five-course dinner complemented by superbly paired wines, masterfully prepared by James Beard semi-finalist Chef Jill Vedaa from Salt + Restaurant.

Hey, a foodie can dream, can’t they?

But this is one culinary fantasy that can come true by purchasing a ticket to the Lakewood Historical Society’s Dinner Raffle. Tickets, just $20 each or three for $50, are on sale now at Beck Center, Rozi’s, Paisley Monkey or on line at www.lakewoodmuseumstore.com.

The Raffle is part of the fundraising effort of the “Come Home to Lakewood” House Tour, to be held Sunday, September 9th. You can also purchase raffle tickets on tour day at the Society’s Nicholson House from noon until 6 p.m. (house tour ticket purchase not required) when the winning ticket will be drawn. 


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Volume 14, Issue 16, Posted 7:15 PM, 08.21.2018

Here's One Festival You Don't Want To Miss!

St. Mary Romanian Festival, in its 13th yearriday, is one ethnic festival close to home that you don't want to miss. Mark your calendar for August 17-19. And here are the top five reasons for you to join in the fun:

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 1:35 PM, 08.07.2018

Rep. Antonio Comments On Final Session Before Summer Recess

With the commencement of Session Wednesday, June 27th, summer recess for the Ohio Legislature officially began Monday, July 2nd. The last Session before summer saw a flurry of bills voted on the House Floor, both good and bad legislation.

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Volume 14, Issue 14, Posted 5:57 PM, 07.17.2018

State Representative Antonio Celebrates National Emergency Medical Services Week

This week marks the 44th Annual National Emergency Medical Service Week, a week dedicated to honoring the brave citizens who devote themselves to providing life-saving care to Americans. Putting themselves in harm’s way, EMS providers respond to everything from active shooter situations to drownings, from behavioral health crises to vehicle collisions. Truly, emergency medical technicians and paramedics are public servants in every sense, ensuring we all have access to critically important care when we need it.

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Volume 14, Issue 11, Posted 10:43 PM, 06.05.2018

Familiar Faces For Lakewood's Primary Election Results

The Tuesday, May 8th Primary Election may have only seen 23.4% voter turnout county wide, but here in Lakewood the contests were as contentious as ever. Locally, the two hottest races were the Democratic Primaries for two seats in the Ohio legislature, i.e., the State Representive seat for District 13 (Tom Bullock vs. Michael Skindell) and the State Senate seat for District 23 (Nickie Antonio vs. Martin Sweeney). Three of the four candidates, all but Sweeney, are Lakewood residents, which certainly contributed to the intensity of these particular races. In addition, it should be noted that Skindell currently holds the District 23 State Senate seat and Antonio holds the District 13 State Representative seat.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 3:06 PM, 05.15.2018

Lakewood Native Madelyn “Mattie” Liston Receives National Honor From GE

The last time I wrote about my oldest daughter Madelyn Liston ("Mattie") in these pages, she was 18 years old and had just signed a National Letter of Intent to accept an athletic scholarship at Ohio University. That was over eight years ago. She subsequently spent four years as the net-minder for the OU’s Women’s Soccer squad, then graduated and began her career.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 12:39 PM, 05.01.2018

Hidden Lakewood: The Gold Coast

It's not quite three-quarters of a mile from Edgewater Towers at Lakewood's easternmost edge to the entrance of the 20-story Carlyle on the Lake. The hallowed strip known as Lakewood's Gold Coast contains 13 high-rise residential buildings housing 2,840 suites. This vertical neighborhood contributes in no small part to make this city Ohio's most densely populated, with approximately 9,500 people per square mile.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 3:27 PM, 04.17.2018

Celebrate Spring With Earth Day, The Great American Cleanup, And Keep Lakewood Beautiful!

Spring sunshine and warmer winds have finally arrived here in Lakewood, Ohio. The Keep Lakewood Beautiful organization is celebrating this time of year with its Annual Earth Day and Great American Cleanup on April 28th from 9am-1pm beginning at Lakewood Park. Come one or come all and help spruce up public areas in our city. Learn about recycling, learn from an arborist, and you can help:plant trees in observance of Arbor Day, plant flowers, mulch trees, or pick up litter. Meet at the Women’s Pavilion at Lakewood Park. Lunch will be provided after volunteering. For more information or optional pre-registration requested, please see:http://www.onelakewood.com/KLB or call 529-6601.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 3:27 PM, 04.17.2018

Medical Care Is Very Important

Most of us have insurance and can pay for medical care. However, there are many residents in our community that don’t have this privilege. We don’t tend to think about those without health insurance who cannot afford the medical care they need. That’s where places like North Coast Health come in.

North Coast Health (NCH), located on Detroit Rd in Lakewood, is a charitable medical clinic. Anybody 14 years or older is welcome to schedule an appointment. The majority of patients are low income which makes it possible for them to receive care for free or at very low cost. North Coast Health also helps patients apply for Medicaid. 

When a patient arrives, they are greeted by the front desk where they get checked in for the appointment. The staff also helps connect patients with specialty services at the Cleveland Clinic and MetroHealth, they provide Giant Eagle gift cards for food, and bus passes. A medical assistant takes the patient to the exam room and checks blood pressure and reviews medications. The doctor comes in next and provides a physical exam, explains what’s going on and the best treatment. Patients who have chronic conditions can meet with the nurse for education. Anyone who needs medications can see the pharmacy technician for assistance. There is also a counselor to help with behavioral health needs.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 3:27 PM, 04.17.2018

An Update From Representative Antonio On House Bill 302

I am encouraged by the developments of House Bill 302 (HB 302), a piece of legislation I introduced with Representative Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus). The bill would allow pregnant minors to consent to prenatal through delivery and follow-up health care in order to have the best health outcomes for the mother and her unborn child.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 7:14 PM, 03.20.2018

LNLC Young Adult Coffee Night

On February 24, 2018 Lakewood New Life Church (LNLC) will be hosting a coffee night event to officially launch their new young adult ministry called HEARTBEAT. It is going to be a fun night of food, games, live music, and of course lots of coffee. This event will take place from the hours of 6 – 9 p.m. at 14224 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood.

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Volume 14, Issue 4, Posted 12:12 PM, 02.20.2018

Mark Kindt Takes Posts Of The Year With His Honesty In Goverment Series

Each year we have some fun with Post of the Year, but this year one member, an Ex-Assistant Attorney General of the State of Ohio, and an ex-Department of Justice attorney,  who brought an entire series, was selected and singled out. To be honest it is something every Lakewoodite needs to read. It has little to do with the hospital, outside of  City Hall’s actions. Mark Kindt underlines what norms people should expect from their Government, based on decades of experience.

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Volume 13, Issue 24, Posted 6:02 PM, 12.19.2017

Stop The Hate $100,000 Student Essay Contest

With the help and support of Councilwoman City Marx, the Observer Media Project has joined the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in their “Stop the Hate” essay contest. The $100,000 ESSAY CONTEST is for Northeast Ohio 6-12th Graders. You have the power to make a positive difference in the world.

Each year, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage gives out $100,000 in scholarships, awards and anti-bias education in recognition of 6-12th grade upstanders in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne counties.

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Volume 13, Issue 24, Posted 3:19 PM, 12.19.2017

Committee Cancelation Pushes Rep. Antonio's Ohio Fairness Act Hearings Into 2018

This week, I was disappointed by the delay of a second hearing on House Bill (HB) 160, which is being rescheduled for an unspecified date in January. HB 160, titled "the Ohio Fairness Act", would bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in areas of employment, housing and public accommodations in Ohio.

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Volume 13, Issue 24, Posted 3:19 PM, 12.19.2017

LCAC Does It Again! Holiday Help – Food Items And Volunteers - Needed For December

Thanks to hundreds of volunteers of all ages, Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation’s Thanksgiving food basket distribution was an incredible success! Turkeys and all the fixings needed to prepare a family feast were delivered to 300 Lakewood neighbors in need. According to LCAC President, Ellen Todia, this was the first time in 28 years that distribution day packing was held indoors and, with the help of an army of dedicated volunteers, it went off like clockwork.

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Volume 13, Issue 23, Posted 10:05 PM, 12.05.2017

Seeking Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) For Youth

CASA of Cuyahoga County, a program of Child and Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County, recruits, screens, trains, and supports volunteers who act as independent fact-finders for the court in cases involving child abuse and neglect. 

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 5:56 PM, 11.21.2017

It's Time To Party: 100 Years Of Women's Suffrage In Lakewood

Not many women stop to think that for many years in the history of the United States, they were denied the right to vote. Women went to school, often high school, and college. They managed households, often large households, efficiently and economically. In shops and offices they may have worked side by side with their husbands. But they did not have the right to vote

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Volume 13, Issue 17, Posted 12:35 PM, 09.06.2017

Rep. Antonio Responds To Horrendous Vandalism In Lakewood Neighborhood

State Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) today responded to hate-filled vandalism found in her neighborhood:

“There is no place for hate in Lakewood. Last night, someone vandalized a driveway on Belle Avenue by painting two swastikas on it. I made the decision not to post the photos online as I believe it gives the symbols too much attention."

“Our attention needs to be on how sad and sickening this hate crime is. I visited the family this morning and offered my Columbus office's full assistance. Moreover, Lakewood police are investigating, and Tony Gelsamino from the Health and Human Services Department in Lakewood arrived to offer city assistance. Many neighbors have offered their help and kind words. We will pull together and we will not let hate divide us. This act of hate will only serve as a catalyst to unite us within the community."

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Volume 13, Issue 17, Posted 4:20 PM, 08.16.2017

Ohio Democratic Lawmakers Introduce Common Sense Legislation To Protect Domestic Violence Victims

Yesterday in Columbus, State Representative Nickie J. Antonio and Janine Boyd introduced legislation to better protect victims of domestic violence from their abuser by requiring those convicted of a domestic violence crime or served a civil protection order (CPO) to temporarily turn over their firearms to law enforcement.

“Separating deadly weapons from a domestic abuser weakens their power over the victim. By stopping gun violence before it starts, we can stop burying innocent people who should have been legally protected under a CPO,” said Antonio. “It’s common sense: domestic abusers should not have access to guns.”

According to Center for American Progress, the most dangerous time period for victims in abusive relationships is immediately after they file a civil protection order. Additionally, the risk of homicide at the hands of an intimate partner increases eight times when a gun is in the home.

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 12:35 PM, 07.18.2017

Little Free Libraries In Lakewood: Nine And Counting

Little Free Libraries have spread to at least nine locations in Lakewood, and tens of thousands more, worldwide. It seems that awareness of these micro-libraries is still catching up, though.

When a friend of Dr. John Mumma mentioned seeing him outside by his postbox one day, while passing Mumma’s home on Hilliard, the doctor immediately recognized the error. “I said ‘that’s not a postbox,’” he recalls as an example of the ongoing task of explaining a Little Free Library. “Some people are incredulous” at the concept, he adds.

The concept of the Little Free Library (LFL) is ultimately simple: a small public shelter, where people borrow or donate books, for free. Yet it’s a surprisingly recent idea. Todd Bol built the original Little Free Library in Wisconsin just eight years ago. Noelle Champagne and her husband installed the first in Lakewood, outside their home on Parkway, a few years later. But a majority of the local LFLs have arrived within the past 18 months.

Little Free Libraries can be easy to overlook, perhaps especially in Lakewood. The Kenny family installed theirs on Elbur more than three years ago, but like most LFLs it’s a modest wood structure with a shingled roof. In a city like ours, with substantial variety among the housing stock, the typical Little Free Library blends in well even without trying.

Despite this, not one of Lakewood’s Little Free Libraries is neglected, according to owners. Even the new library on Cliffdale—brought to Lakewood from its old home in Seattle about one month ago—has local patrons. “Our best customer is John next door who is four,” says one of its owners. “He comes just about every day.”

Many of the local Little Free Libraries appear to be popular with children. Garfield Middle School has one of its own, and Garfield students also take great interest in Tony Neuhoff’s library, south of the school on Grace. Dr. Mumma says that students at Harding are a significant audience for his library.

The libraries have plenty of adult fans, also. Champagne says that over the years a number of people have driven specifically to check out her Parkway library, one of two in Lakewood listed at littlefreelibrary.org. North Coast Health set up the other one, outside of its offices on Detroit, in hopes of stimulating curiosity about them and the services they provide. “It has actually done that” very effectively, says Mary Ludwig.

Most of Lakewood’s Little Free Libraries, though, are unlisted and operated solely as hobbies. Nearly all have some sort of family connection; someone may have been first exposed to a Little Free Library through a relative who owns or lives near one, and nearly every LFL in Lakewood was built by or with a close family member.

The library on Lincoln appears to summarize most of the movement’s themes of family, volunteerism and person-to-person networks. The owner’s daughter in Maryland owns a Little Free Library too, and her son lives on the same street as one in Lakewood. She says that he “was good enough to surprise me with one” of her own last Christmas, which he built himself.

Though very close to the Parkway library, Lincoln’s has already found its own community, too. The owner says that while she had no children’s books for her library at first, users have supplied the need by themselves; “Now I have quite a few and I don’t know where they have come from.”

Lakewood’s Little Free Libraries

13455 Parkway
Probably the city’s oldest; its owners are moving soon but the library will remain with their home’s new occupants

13114 Detroit
Designed to match Garfield School

1081 Cliffdale
Just-arrived from Seattle; online at ourlittlefreelibrary.org

1500 Grace Ave
Seasonal decorations change four times per year

16110 Detroit
North Coast Health

1767 Lincoln

16906 Hilliard

15524 Edgewater

1554 Elbur Ave

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Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 2:48 PM, 06.20.2017

Summer Safety for Pets: Keeping Your Pets Safe On The 4th Of July (Part 2 Of A 3 Part Series)

While the Fourth of July is one of the best times of year to be a resident of Lakewood, the holiday can be a nightmare for pets. Did you know that July 5th is the busiest day for animal shelters across the country? The stress and anxiety that fireworks cause in animals can lead to pets running away from home and finding themselves scared, exhausted and in dangerous situations.  Your pet can panic and jump a fence or break away from a leash because of fireworks. Never leave your pet outside during fireworks and never take them with you to a fireworks display. If you believe they will experience anxiety when they hear the fireworks show, have someone stay with them during that time. Should the worst happen, and your pet runs away, make sure that their microchip is active and they have a collar with up-to-date tags that will make it easier to be reunited. Safety collars will release if your pet gets stuck on something unsafe. A little planning in advance can minimize the risks the holiday can bring.

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Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 2:48 PM, 06.20.2017

Part 1 Of 3 Summer Safety For Pets: Safety In The Heat

Prevention is vital in keeping our pets safe and healthy. The warmer months can be uncomfortable and sometimes hazardous for pets, but there are many easy ways to prepare for, and avoid, the dangers of summer.

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Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 12:39 PM, 06.06.2017

Grace Presbyterian Church To Host 50th Veteran Recognition And Remembrance Service

On Sunday, May 28th, at 11:00 a.m., Grace Presbyterian Church (1659 Rosewood--at the corner of Hilliard and Madison Avenues) will host their 50th community veterans recognition and memorial service. Always a memorable event, this has turned into a timeless Lakewood tradition for many veterans, families, and friends. Numerous veterans organizations also make plans to attend this meaningful service. All are cordially welcome to attend; particularly veterans and their families. (Access elevator from church parking lot side.)

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Volume 13, Issue 10, Posted 3:01 PM, 05.16.2017

Preventing Coyote Conflicts

Coyotes are cautious animals that are common throughout Cuyahoga County and all of Ohio. Coyotes have coexisted amongst us in Lakewood for years, rarely being noticed. Today, there are at least three alpha pairs, and their groups, living in Lakewood. An alpha pair lives in the Madison Park vicinity, another pair lives in the South West Corner, and the third pair in the Lakewood Park vicinity (see map.) Coyotes are located in dense urban populations all across the United States including Chicago, Los Angeles and even New York City.

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Volume 13, Issue 7, Posted 5:10 PM, 04.04.2017

Beer Engine Fundraiser For The LCAC Both Successful And Fun!

On behalf of Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation (LCAC), I am honored to thank the Beer Engine, their wonderful staff and the hundreds of supporters of the LCAC here in Lakewood who worked together to raise $8,580 during the Beer Engine’s 10th anniversary charity fundraiser for the LCAC that was held from March 13th through March 19th.  

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Volume 13, Issue 7, Posted 5:10 PM, 04.04.2017

Urban Bulk Foods Celebrating Over One Year Of Bringing Selection, Value And Country Charm To The Lakewood Community

The Paszkowskis are very grateful to the residents of Lakewood for all of their support during their first year. “We’ve expanded our merchandise,” said Dennis. The refrigerated section at Urban Bulk Foods now includes meats and cheeses from Walnut Creek Foods, Troyer and Dutch Valley in addition to the cage-free eggs and the popular Amish rolled butter. For the vegan, Urban Bulk Foods now offers Butler Soy Curls, a tasty meat alternative that is sold only in five Ohio stores.

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Volume 13, Issue 4, Posted 6:40 PM, 02.21.2017

LCAC Does It Again At Thanksgiving! Food Items & Volunteers Needed For Christmas Food Drive!

Despite the weather and a malfunctioning truck lift, Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation’s (LCAC) Thanksgiving Food Basket Distribution was an amazing success! In the face of plummeting temperatures and freezing rain, a record number of volunteers showed up to help the LCAC to sort and bag non-perishable food items as well as deliver turkeys, potatoes, pies and all the fixings to 300 of our Lakewood neighbors in need so that they could enjoy a full Thanksgiving meal with their families.

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Volume 12, Issue 25, Posted 7:29 PM, 12.06.2016