Fishing With My Dad

While coming home through the park on a 40-degree December afternoon from completing some errands. I noticed many anglers out taking advantage of the nice weather. I particulary noticed what appeared to be a father with his young daughter fishing on the bank of the Rocky River. This  sight took me back 50 years to when I was a young boy fishing on the banks of the Rocky River with my own father.

My father, who passed away thirty plus years ago, liked to take us fishing in the evening, then for an ice cream cone, if neighbor kids or friends were around he would take them too.

My Dad worked two jobs but always seemed to find some time to spend with us doing an activity we enjoyed like playing Baseball, Bicycling or Fishing etc. Sometimes it was not a lot of time, but he was available for us.

As I got older my pastime became golf. My dad was not a golfer, but encouraged it. I still fish when I have time, which is not often due to career and golf coaching demands. When I do fish I head for Lake Erie for Perch or Walleye or an Ocean Fishing Charter trip to chase the big fish I dreamed about as a young boy, but what I do miss and remember is the life conversations I had with my Dad on those fishing trips along the riverbank.


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Volume 18, Issue 1, Posted 10:15 AM, 01.05.2022

Wishing Our Community A Wonderful Holiday Season

HAPPY PAWLIDAYS! No matter where life takes you, I hope that your adventures bring you home for the holidays. Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous and fun holiday season.


1 loaf cinnamon swirl bread                        1 tablespoon vanilla extract

8 large eggs                                                     ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2-1/2 cups half-and-half                               ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup milk                                                        Praline Topping (below)

2 tablespoons sugar

Praline Topping: 2 sticks butter; 1 cup backed light brown sugar; 1 cup chopped pecans; ½ teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg (combine all ingredients in a bowl and blend well and spread over bread)

Arrange slices of bread in two rows, overlapping in a 9 x 13-inch flat baking dish that is prepared with non-stick spray.


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Volume 17, Issue 24, Posted 2:26 PM, 12.15.2021

The Picture

I have often heard it said a picture is worth a thousand words or beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to art. I never thought too much about it until the other day when having a phone conversation with a friend who is into art.

She said what I really want for Christmas is for my daughter to paint me a picture. I have saved a space on the wall above my buffet for it, but she says she is too busy with her career to paint, but I think she would have the time if she watched less TV.  We talked some more about the art in our homes and how mine is mis-matched and I was thinking about doing something different. and concluded or conversation.

I had a tough time sleeping that night as I frequently do since my wife passed away just over a year ago. I walked around the house looking at the different pictures none of which are a Rembrandt or Picasso and realized each one had a story of how it came to be in my home. Then I looked at the picture that hangs in my bedroom. I always thought it represented the ocean at sunset, over the last year I have found much peace and relaxation looking at it. I wondered what the artist was really trying convey, so I texted her the next morning and her reply was as follows.


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Volume 17, Issue 23, Posted 2:26 PM, 12.15.2021

Senator Antonio Presents Testimony On Bill Prohibiting Mandatory Nurse Overtime

Last week, I had the opportunity to join Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) as we presented sponsor testimony to the Senate Health Committee on Senate Bill 129, which would make Ohio the 19th state in the country to prohibit mandatory overtime for nurses as a condition of employment.

According to various studies done by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, excessive work and overtime can result in negative outcomes for both patients and nurses. A 2016 Johns Hopkins report found that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US, behind heart disease and cancer.

It's important to note that, under this bill, nurses would still be permitted to work voluntary overtime. Hospitals will simply be prohibited from terminating employment or taking disciplinary action because a nurse chooses not to work overtime. There is also a clause in SB 129 that allows hospitals to be exempt from the requirements of the bill if there is a health care disaster, emergency declaration, influx of patients with specified criteria, or an ongoing procedure the nurse is actively engaged in.

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Volume 17, Issue 22, Posted 2:04 PM, 11.17.2021

Book Review: New Deep-Cover-Cleveland Book Summons Lakewood Readers

I'm proud to add the latest book by local author/ historian Laura Peskin to my collection. This volume, "Topics in Depth," is the third in Peskin's series called "Deep Cover Cleveland" (2014-2021) Peskin explores and exposes forgotten, overlooked, significant regional developments around the Lakewood area and beyond. "Topics in Depth" features more interviews and illustrations.

As an artist and an arts supporter, I loved the series' chapters on 2,000-year old Native American jewelry and artifacts. "Topics in Depth" highlights include Cleveland favorite Victor Schreckengost (artist, sculptor, teacher and researcher). Detailed in the book are his equally deserving brothers: Paul and Don Schreckengost. Also included is Schreckengost nephew, illustrator Don Eckleberry, most noted for painting in the "Audubon Bird Guides" of 1946-57.


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Volume 17, Issue 21, Posted 3:04 PM, 11.03.2021

H2O Home Alone Fall 2021

Join our upcoming session of Home Alone!

HOME ALONE is a volunteer program designed and run by high school students to teach young Lakewoodites about how to stay safe when home alone. Our program is open to children of Lakewood between the ages of 9 and 12 and has been specifically created to address the concerns that were commonly expressed by children of the same age during our data collection period.

Based on these concerns, we found that our focus should be centered around six main topics: First Aid, Emergencies, Tricky People/Street Smarts, Routines & Siblings, Internet Safety, and especially due to the recent effects of Covid-19, Mental Health.

While children are presented with researched information from high school students, parents attend a similar presentation from safety professionals. After each Home Alone program, we ask for feedback from parents and their children on what they have just experienced. In response to being asked what the best part of HOME ALONE is, one parent said, “gaining knowledge on some serious topics through the experience of small groups and with older students allowed our student to learn and grow in a safe environment.” When asked about how the program impacted families in light of the pandemic, one parent responded “Yes - as we are coming out of the pandemic and can't always be home, it was important to use to have our son go through this course to be able to stay home alone for short spans of time.”


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Volume 17, Issue 21, Posted 3:04 PM, 11.03.2021

Candidates' Forum: Nora Katzenberger, School Board

Please describe your current job and past experience.

Currently I am a writer and community volunteer, much of my time spent in Lakewood Schools. I chaired the 2020 Lakewood School Levy. Previously, I worked in communications and public relations at the Bank of New York, New York University, University Hospitals of Cleveland and Progressive Insurance. 

1.) What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Lakewood City Schools? What will you do about it?

The pandemic is the most pressing issue facing the district today. Keeping students and teachers in school, safely, is the priority. With a lack of state and county guidance, our administrators and board must make the best decisions for the health and safety of our teachers and students. I support the mask mandate currently in place, and I applaud the vaccine clinics that have been scheduled. I would work with city leaders to expand these measures and provide more vaccine information and opportunities for our community. Our schools fare best when we partner with our community members for solutions. 


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Volume 17, Issue 21, Posted 1:25 PM, 10.20.2021

Lakewood Needs A Judge Who Can Connect To The People And Progress The Court

Please let me tell you what type of person you will get as judge if I am elected. I am the eldest of seven siblings. My father worked at the Brookpark Ford Plant. My mother was a waitress amongst other things. When I was twelve, I bussed tables at her job and have been working ever since. I was the first person in my extended family to go to college. I put myself through undergrad and law school without a dime of help from my family. I worked as a police officer for three years after college and saved and borrowed enough to graduate from law school.

My first jobs as an attorney were working for a law firm, representing clients in municipal and state courts, and then working as a staff attorney for two Common Pleas Judges. In 1997 Nancy McDonnell, a long time Lakewoodite, was a Judicial Magistrate here in the Lakewood Court. She was elected and became a Judge downtown. Judge Carroll appointed me to take her place in Lakewood. For 10 years I wore the judicial robe and served our community as a Magistrate, and many times Acting Judge of the very court I am seeking election. I was trusted to hear important cases and make difficult legal decisions on every type of case before the court. My ability to be fair and impartial was never questioned.


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Volume 17, Issue 20, Posted 1:25 PM, 10.20.2021

H2O Summer Service Camp - "When We Feel Heard"

H2O “Help to Others” hosted three sessions of in-person Summer Service Camp in 2021. Middle school participants enjoyed eight days of volunteer work, small group interactions with awesome counselors, reflection, speakers, games, and more! We adapted the program for Covid restrictions, opting to keep our service onsite or at local, outdoor sites. While we hope to return to trips to area agencies like the Greater Cleveland Foodbank and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, we found rich satisfaction in the work of this summer.

The camp theme, “When We Feel Heard” guided and unified the breadth of our experiences. Campers integrated their reflections on service, information from speakers we heard, and their own experiences to reflect on what it means to be heard. As one camper wrote, “This theme has so much depth and meaning. In service, it means listening to those in need and not only listening to their needs and helping them get what they need, but also making sure that they feel heard as people too.” (Shannon Katzenberger, 9th grade). Another camper expressed the need to hear others, but also to be heard in his own life: “If someone who hasn’t been able to express their views finally gets heard, it can change their life. Because of this, it is important as an organization or person to hear everyone in your community but also to strive to make yourself heard and not lose your voice.” (Alessio Matera, 8th grade). They demonstrated a balanced understanding of how critical it is to truly hear others and to cultivate one’s own voice to make a difference in the world.

The highlighted project this summer, which every camper contributed to, was the site we called “Parks and Rec” as a nod to the popular t.v. show. On the first day of each session, Dave Baas from the City’s Department of Planning & Development presented to campers, getting them to think about how the Lakewood community was formed and how it has changed over time. They learned how to use three key planning considerations: Big picture (how parks should grow and change), involving community (are parks safe, healthy, and accessible for all ages), and looking ahead to meet the needs of today while keeping the future in mind.  With fresh perspective and knowledge, they visited Lakewood parks big and small to document existing features and to propose new and additional features. Each small group had an iPad with a GIS app to pinpoint their observations on a map and then offered critical thinking with a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. They documented over 700 distinct elements of the parks. They recognized the value of both open space and recreational equipment. They noted elements that needed updates, proposed additional water bottle-filling stations and recycling cans. They expressed interest in new or expanded activities, like disc golf, gaga pits, and additional skateboarding facilities. Ultimately, the information they gathered will help begin the work to update Lakewood’s Parks Strategic Plan in the near future. The campers enjoyed feeling heard, having their opinions matter, and gaining understanding how communities are built and sustained.


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Volume 17, Issue 19, Posted 5:16 PM, 10.06.2021

A Thank You From Tess Neff

It is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank all the supporters who voted for me in the September 14 primary to be the next Lakewood Judge. Together, we put forth a tremendous amount of energy and effort that resulted in my first-place finish. Our work is not finished, and we have many more tasks to perform before the November 2 general election.

My appreciation extends to many dedicated family, friends, and neighbors who volunteered their spring and summer days to help me! Every job, whether big or small is important and it all matters.

In addition, it has been very rewarding to talk with my Lakewood neighbors, to answer their questions, articulate my vision for the court, and to tell them about my unique experience. Thank you for taking a pause in your day to listen to me. The show of support is magnificent and overwhelmingly humbling.  


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Volume 17, Issue 19, Posted 5:16 PM, 10.06.2021

Senator Antonio Shares Information On Redistricting

The General Assembly reconvenes this month, and of course our important work has continued with the process of redistricting.

Every ten years after the census, the Ohio General Assembly re-draws the boundaries of its state legislative and congressional districts. Fair representation for all Ohioans is my number one priority as we work through this process. People should be the ones to pick their policymakers, not the other way around, and I am committed to doing whatever I can for fair maps for all 99 House districts and 33 Senate districts in Ohio.

The bulk of the redistricting work is done by the Ohio Redistricting Commission. Created by an amendment to the Ohio Constitution in 2015, the Commission is composed of the Governor, State Auditor, Secretary of State, Speaker of the House, Senate President, one individual appointed by the House Minority Leader, and one individual appointed by the Senate Minority Leader.

The Commission will hold three public hearings on separate days in different cities for Ohioans to provide feedback once they decide on a map. Follow the Ohio Senate Democrats on Twitter for news and updates. For more information on upcoming opportunities for public input, resources, or to watch past meetings, visit redistricting.ohio.gov.


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

Shop + Eat + Unwind LKWD Event

We know that many in our community have been affected by the pandemic this year, including small businesses like retailers and eateries. While some were able to modify hours of service and decrease staff in order to stay open, others were forced to close temporarily. Some permanently. Despite the hardships all around, Lakewood residents have truly embodied eat local, shop local. And for that we are grateful. 

As a THANK YOU for your continued support of the local fare in our town, please join us between 16000 – 19000 block of Detroit Avenue for an evening filled with shopping, dining and plenty of unwinding. On Friday, September 10th, 2021, merchants on the western half of Detroit Avenue will be extending their store hours and have joined up with neighboring eateries to offer $5 off your purchases beginning at 6pm. Simply present your receipt of purchase from one of the participating locations (see below) and enjoy this sweet reward. 

All the Joy, Burning River Coffee, Cleveland Vape, Cleveland Vegan, CouCou Sentiment, The Designer Consignor, Eclectic Cleveland, GV Art + Design, Lakewood Antique Mall, Milo & Me, Sacred Hour Wellness Spa, Simply Sugar & Skincare … and more!


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

Rader And Rodriguez-Carbone: Let's Vote For Progress Together

Finding ways to work together is what we know will make Lakewood a better place, and as candidates for City Council, we want to express our commitment to a shared, inclusive vision.

Councilperson Tristan Rader has helped make local government more transparent through a reformed public records policy, and taken initiative on affordable housing, and renewable energy.

Laura Rodriguez-Carbone has been a community leader throughout her life, serving on the Federal Covid Response team, as co-chair of Lakewood’s Anti-Racism Task Force, and as chair of the Ohio Democratic Party’s Hispanic and Latino Caucus.

On Sept. 14, we hope you will vote to re-elect Tristan Rader, and vote for Laura Rodriguez-Carbone, who would be the first person of color elected to office in Lakewood’s history.

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

The Lakewood Family Room

Many years ago, I wrote an article about The Lakewood Family Room. Yesterdays, turned into yesteryears and now the families that I embraced have young adult children. Yes, they sleep through the night, and yes, they have found their words, and yes, they can do most things on their own. They are now starting and ending their college years, are working in our community, living on their own and dare I say some are on the verge of getting married.

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

The Rotary Club Of Lakewood-Rocky River Sunrise Sets Goals For The 2021-2022 Rotary Year

Newly installed Club President, Jason Pickering, has accepted the challenge of Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta, of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, to add members to Rotary. The R.I. Theme for his presidency is “Serve to Change Lives.” New members will join existing members to practice the motto of Rotary, “Service above Self.”

The Sunrise Rotary Club members work through committees such as Community, New Generations, Vocational and International Service. Service projects implemented by these committees can truly “Change Lives” in Lakewood and Rocky River.

At his installation on July 28, President Pickering challenged the Club members to reach out tfriends and business associates, particularly younger men and women, and give them an opportunity to help “Change Lives” by joining Rotary!

R.I. President Shekhar Mehta has been a Rotarian since 1985. He trained as an accountant and founded a real estate development company, Skyline Group, which he also chairs. Jason Pickering, Sunrise Rotary President, lives in Lakewood and is active in his family’s farm and retail market in Avon, Ohio.  The Sunrise Club has a Co-President, Marty Harris, a past president of the Club, who will assist Jason during peak farm work seasons and share work with the various committees.


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Volume 17, Issue 16, Posted 1:00 PM, 08.04.2021

Attorney Marc Dann Sues DeWine Over Unemployment

Attorney Marc Dann, a Lakewood resident, is suing the DeWine administration on behalf of unemployed Ohioans.

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program provides funds for an extra $300 per week, for eligible unemployed claimants. Governor Mike DeWine terminated Ohio’s participation in the program effective June 26, although the funds remain available.

Dann, a former Ohio Attorney General, filed suit July 6 in Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court, against DeWine and Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services Director Matt Damschroder.

Dann’s core argument is that Ohio law requires Damschroder to seek as much benefit as possible from programs like Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Ohio Revised Code Section ORC 4141.43(I) requires that he “…cooperate with the United States department of labor to the fullest extent…[and] take such action…as may be necessary to secure to this state and its citizens all advantages available under the provisions of the ‘Social Security Act’ that relate to unemployment compensation…”

Ohioans from across the state have detailed the harm caused by DeWine’s order, in correspondence shared with Dann’s lawfirm. One woman wrote “I am a psych nurse, my husband was a machinist for standard aero. Until planes start flying and families start placing dementia/Alzheimer’s loved ones back in facilities we won’t get our jobs back.” Many others related personal hardship, as well as ongoing problems with Ohio’s unemployment bureaucracy. Several people contacted Dann seeking help from other states where Republican governors have also turned away the additional funds.

Similar lawsuits are underway in some of those states, including Indiana where Indiana Superior Court Judge John Hanley ruled in June that the state must continue paying the benefits.

“Indiana’s statutory language is very similar to Ohio’s,” says Dann. “We believe we are right on the law and absolutely right as it relates to public policy that protects the interests of the people of the state of Ohio.”

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

Clark New Rotary President

Steve Clark has been installed as the ninety-sixth president of the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River for the Rotary year July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, succeeding Gina Gavlak.

Clark’s first exposure to Rotary was his family hosting a youth exchange student from Brazil. He joined the Lakewood-Rocky River Sunrise Club in July 2011 and transferred to his current club seven years later.

The installation took place at the club’s annual Past Presidents Picnic at Elmwood Park. Nine past presidents attended including 50-year Rotarian Thom Geist. Gavlak presided over the ceremonies and inducted Clark, who was joined by his children and their families.

Past President Marjorie Corrigan (2019-2020) thanked Gavlak for her year of service through the pandemic and gave her the past president pin. Past presidents Julius Skerlan, Larry Yunaska and Bill Huffman attended the grill.


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

Simple Acts Of Kindness, It Is The Little Things That Matter

My son, Steven, was walking our dog Bentley on our street when he came across Bill. Bill works with the Lakewood Public Works Department, and he was removing our street signs to replace them with new ones. Steven has always wanted our street sign. I recall one time he asked when he was in middle school if he could get in trouble if he unscrewed the sign. YES, I said! Our house on Narragansett Ave. is the only home he knows. Steven was born and raised on Narragansett. He grew up here, where he rode his bike and played on the street, he and his buddies took over lawns for their impromptu baseball games, and he met his best friends, George, and Luke. Narragansett Ave. is filled with memories that he will forever cherish. He will always consider it home. It is a special place to live and to be a kid. The neighbors are wonderful, inclusive, and caring.

Now back to Bill and Steven’s conversation. Steven asked how he may buy the street signs. Bill was kind and took the time to explain the purchase process. Steven took in every word and relayed what he learned to me with an excitement as if he were a little kid again (he is now 22). I left a voice message for Kim in the Finance Department to inquire about how we may purchase the two signs. She called me back the very next day and said she would notify the individual in charge to pull the two Narragansett signs and hold them for Steven. It was only one day later that Steven paid up the $50 ($25 per sign) and I met Kim and picked up the signs.


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Volume 17, Issue 13, Posted 3:01 PM, 07.07.2021

Sweet Designs Is Going To The Dogs With A BEST DOG Essay Contest

“We know how much people love their dogs,” said Carly Moran, General Manager, Sweet Designs Chocolatier, “so we thought it would be great fun to have an essay contest with a custom dog portrait as the top prize.”

Why is your pooch the most deserving canine pal on the planet to merit a portrait?  Tell us, in no more than 250 original words, and the portrait could be yours.  

The lucky winner will get a custom 16” x 20” portrait painted by Renee Fisher, whose day job at Sweet Designs is creating lovely decorations for the European-style chocolates. A graduate of the College of Art & Design in Columbus, Renee is also a working artist who specializes in dog portraits.

Key details for the contest:

  1. Your original essay should answer the question why your dog is the most deserving dog on the planet to win a portrait.
  2. Entries will be evaluated by a panel of dog-loving judges and the winner will be announced in the August issue of Truffles, the Sweet Designs newsletter.
  3. Entries must not exceed 250 words.
  4. Deadline for entries is July 24, 2021 (at 11:59pm)
  5. Please include your dog’s name and your name and phone number along with your entry.
  6. Send your entry and any questions to: Toby@sweetdesigns.com


Carly Moran is the General Manager of Sweet Designs Chocolatier in Lakewood.

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Volume 17, Issue 12, Posted 1:55 PM, 06.16.2021

It Is Okay Not To Be Okay

May was Mental Health Awareness month. If you know someone who suffers from mental health disorders, and chances are you do, the awareness of their own mental health is every day. Over the past 15 years I have learned about and experienced the effects of mental distress on various levels. Through my work as a magistrate at the Juvenile Court, I dealt with children and families who suffered from mental health disorders. If untreated, the disease can break a family and utterly ruin a life.

On a more intimate level, I have lived through my brother’s journey with mental health disorders. It has been a painful, devastating, frustrating, frightening, sad and sometimes happy ride. Our childhood was chaotic with seven kids in a small three-bedroom house. My brother and I have always been close and growing up he seemed “normal” to me. He was popular in school, a great athlete, and very intelligent. However, when I rewound the video of his life as a young adult, I realized I (and my family), missed all the signs that were readily apparent to anyone with a little education about mental health disorders.


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Volume 17, Issue 11, Posted 3:01 PM, 06.02.2021

Cancer Survivor To Juggle Soccer Ball 5K For TGP Fundraiser Race For The Place

On June 6th, National Cancer Survivor's Day, The Gathering Place (TGP) will hold their annual fundraiser event Race for the Place. To help promote and encourage participation, Lakewood resident and breast cancer survivor, Frances Inak, will walk 5K while juggling a soccer ball around Lakewood Park a few days before. If you are interested in donating or participating in the virtual race, you can register on The Gathering Place website: www.touchedbycancer.org.

The Gathering Place, which has two locations one in Westlake and one in Beachwood, offers free services to cancer patients and their families. The wide range of services include but are definitely not limited to physical, emotional, nutritional, and financial guidance, assistance with navigating complicated medical information for many different types of cancers, as well as group discussions and activities such as arts and crafts, cooking, Zumba, yoga, and tai chi.  They provide free wigs and have even offered personal massage and reiki sessions.  In general, they provide amazing comprehensive programming to uplift the body, mind, and spirit and support the needs of those touched by cancer in an inviting, friendly, warm, safe environment.


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

Community First: Announcing My Candidacy for Lakewood City Council At-Large

Over the past year, our country has faced insurmountable odds. COVID-19 has underscored the need to refocus on strengthening public health and our economy. The reckoning of racial injustice ingrained in our public systems calls us to walk a path toward equity and belonging for all people in our community.

A world where the COVID-19 pandemic is still present in our landscape leaves us with decisions to make about how to solve some critical issues -- how to prevent and prepare for future public health and economic emergencies, where unemployment and infection from COVID-19 already threaten the lives of our residents -- how to maintain and build confidence and equity into our city’s functional objectives and systems as our city moves toward a post-pandemic life where we are more conscious about the disastrous affects of racism, bias and discrimination --how to support, without further job loss, expanded economic growth benefiting all Lakewoodites--and how to give direction to our collective moral purpose as a city, engaging residents collaboratively in the work and opportunities that lie ahead.

These are among the critical issues of 2021. And it is based on these issues that Lakewood residents must make a choice for their future this fall.


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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

School Supplies And Clothes Delivered To Nicaragua By Rotary Fundraising

Support of the fundraising activities of The Rotary Club of Lakewood Rocky River Rotary Sunrise enables the Club to not only fund local community projects, but also to help with joint Rotary International projects. Last year, the Sunrise Club joined with 24 Rotary Clubs in northeast Ohio to send 695 boxes and 25 layette bags plus an assortment of handmade dresses and other items that are desperately needed to Chinandega, Nicaragua. 

The “Children of the Dump Project” started several years ago when a Rotary delegation visiting Chinandega noticed that children were going through a large local dump to salvage clothing and other items. Past Rotary District Governor, Jack Young of the Rotary Club of Conneaut, came up with an idea for an International Service Project. Rotary Clubs and Rotary members collect items needed by the children and families in this area of Nicaragua and pack them in boxes about the size of a large shoe box. Items are either purchased by the individual Club Members and/or the Clubs purchase the items using funds raised through their various fundraising activities. Items include school supplies, personal items like soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and tooth paste, an outfit of clothes and some toys.

Several years ago, the purchase and packing of layettes for mothers of new born children was added to the project. Blankets, towels, and personal items for the babies and mothers are packed in special Layette bags and are now shipped with the shoe boxes. They are distributed to a maternity center near Chinandega. Packing of both the shoe boxes and layettes often become a Club social family activity, with children joining in to get experience in service work.


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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 4:13 PM, 02.17.2021

Introducing H2O’s Newest Project: A COVID COLLAGE: Capturing Lakewood’s Story

2020 was quite the unique year. Using the pandemic’s communal effect and differing experiences of the community, H2O is working diligently to turn these experiences into a creative project for the Lakewood community to take part in. “A COVID COLLAGE: Capturing Lakewood’s Story” will be Lakewood’s own time capsule to be used as a record for future generations. It will illustrate not only COVID-19, but also the numerous historic events of 2020. The goal of this project is to bring people together to create a resource that not only shows how it looks to live during this time, but also how it feels.

In order to capture an accurate picture of life during a pandemic, H2O will need help from everyone. This will be done by collecting your experiences in a creative way. The first opportunity to share your story will be provided in the upcoming weeks: a photo contest with several categories. The categories will guide the direction of the photos, such as the category “Together 6’ Apart.” The winners of each category will be selected by a panel of judges and have their artwork placed into the physical time capsule, with other submissions uploaded to a virtual time capsule. Other events will include art contests, writing contests, artifact collections, and more! More details about the photo contest and other events will be released at a later time.

Even before the photo contest begins, you can start participating by reflecting on your experience thus far. Brainstorm where you are interested in showcasing your talents: Will you submit a work of writing? Will you take pictures of what lockdown looks like to you? Will you paint an art piece about how COVID felt to you? Anything you contribute will help to paint a more accurate picture of life during 2020.


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Volume 17, Issue 4, Posted 4:13 PM, 02.17.2021

The Epiphany: January 6, 2021

The wise men did not come to this one.

They stayed home.

It was as if hell had released a swarm of madmen (mostly)

And they would not be stopped until they had trespassed

And trampled

And beaten

And stolen


They took away our innocence

Our trust that

Respect for this holy place

Would prevail and prevent pandemonium.

It did not.

And now we are left


Supremely saddened

And wondering

Why was it allowed to come to this?

How many times did we say,

“If anyone else said that, they couldn’t get away with it!”?

Shame on all of us

And especially on you

Who was guided by self promotion

Rather than love for your country.

Jean Brinich is a retired Family Nurse Practitioner who spent her very early years and a few later years, so far,  in Lakewood.

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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 3:37 PM, 01.20.2021

Citizen Map-Makers Invited To Join Redistricting Process

The perfect project awaits a civic minded technology buff who is able to redraw Ohio's state legislative district and congressional district maps. In 2015 and 2018, Ohio voters passed two state constitutional amendments that established rules that are designed to make a fair redistricting process more likely for the decade beginning 2021.

The current congressional district map of Northeast Ohio is often described as "the snake on the lake." That map joins the City of Toledo to the western suburbs of Cuyahoga County and includes part of the City of  Cleveland. This map would not meet the criteria approved by the voters in Article XIX of the Constitution of the State of Ohio.

The Constitutional criteria for the drawing of both types of maps is specific. The criteria requires "contiguity" and "compactness" which means that the new maps must honor established county, municipal or township boundaries. The criteria also considers existing population density to avoid fragmentation of neighborhoods, towns and cities. This strong language is intended to prevent gerrymandering and allow voters to cast ballots in congressional and state legislative districts that are drawn so that communities of interest are kept together. 


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

Mayor's Corner: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Lakewood! 

2020 was a challenging year by any measure. In spite of all those challenges, we have accomplished so much over the past twelve months that we should be proud of. We were awarded a 2020 Vibrant NEO Champion Award for our affordable housing strategy. We made progress on our stormwater management program with our state and federal regulators. We provided grants for small businesses and residents who were struggling due to COVID-19. The City of Lakewood was recognized by the Auditor of State as having attained the highest level of public transparency (4 stars) in the new STaRS rating program. The list goes on and on.

Now 2021 has arrived and we have so much to look forward to. Major developments in Lakewood are underway. The Cove United Methodist Church renovation into our City of Lakewood Human Services Center has received a $250,000 grant from the State of Ohio. Kauffman Park will get a major overhaul this year. Clifton Prado Park will also be improved. We have turned the page on our downtown development project and are working with a new developer team to create the right project for Lakewood. We will have a major investment at the intersection of Detroit and Sloane and the surrounding area to improve the western gateway into Lakewood. Be on the lookout--there are many other exciting projects under discussion or underway.

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 1:03 PM, 01.06.2021

2021 Brings Some Glitches...

It's not the best way to start off a fresh new year, but the Observer website is experiencing some glitches today. Visitors to the site may notice that the bank of links that normally appear in the left sidebar, and the calendar in the right sidebar are missing. 

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Volume 17, Issue 1, Posted 12:50 PM, 01.01.2021

One Lakewood Progress: New Year, New Opportunities For Progress In Anti-Racism For Lakewood

Late last year, I was appointed by Mayor George to sit on Lakewood’s newly formed Anti-Racism Task Force. As a Latina, it is not an appointment I take lightly. The work being done by the Anti-Racism Task force is a first for this community, and is critical to ensure that Lakewood continues to grow and progress towards a future where inclusion and equity is a cultural and societal norm: Where acceptance of all races and ethnicities is intrinsic rather than a by-product of tolerance, which by itself, lacks true equity. 

I thank the George Administration for committing to doing this work, which may, at times, make folks feel uneasy. The work being done now will bring to the forefront community conversations which are long overdue. It is important to remember that looking at some hard truths regarding the past, whatever they may be, need not define who we are: it is only what we do with that information that is definitive - especially for our future. 

Like many, I was spurred by the death of George Floyd and other unarmed black men while in custody of law enforcement to put forth my skills and interest in serving on the Task Force. My father and brother, who are dark skinned, have repeatedly been victims of racial profiling and police brutality through unwarranted traffic stops. Neither fought back against these injustices because they knew their voices wouldn’t matter. And to me, the mere fact that a human being’s voice, or life, may not matter as strongly or as equitably as the voices and lives of others is not only antithetical to the ideals of equality this country was founded upon, but is unconscionable. 


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Volume 16, Issue 24, Posted 12:59 PM, 01.06.2021

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

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

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

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


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

COVID-19 Scams

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

Imposter Scams

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


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

Thank You To State Senator Nickie Antonio

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

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

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

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

Lakewood Rocky River Sunrise Rotary Named Shelter Box Hero

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

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

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

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

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

Senator Antonio Commemorates Women’s Suffrage By Voting

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

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


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

Election 2020 Process Outlined By Senator Nickie J. Antonio

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our daily lives; what we wear, where we go, and who we can visit--but it does not change your vital role in our democracy. With the 2020 General Election right around the corner, it is important to be aware of upcoming deadlines and processes to make your vote count and your voice heard.

Before heading to the polls on November 3, 2020, you must be registered to vote. The deadline to register to vote for this election is October 5, 2020. To register, you will need your Ohio driver’s license or Ohio identification card number, name, date of birth, address, and the last four digits of your social security number. If you have recently moved, you will need to update your voting address. Last year, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office purged thousands of citizens from voter rolls. Some of these names were removed in error, so even if you have not moved and you have previously voted, you should verify your voter registration out of an abundance of caution.

The unpredictable nature of a global pandemic makes the possibility of in-person voting unclear for many. To be safe, you can vote by mail. To do so, you will need to complete and mail an absentee ballot application to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections at 2925 Euclid Ave Cleveland, OH 44115. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is three days before the election, but it is highly recommended that requests are submitted as soon as possible. Once you receive your ballot in the mail, you will need to return it to the Board of Elections, which can be done by mail or in person. When mailing the completed ballot, it must be postmarked no later than the day before the election (November 2, 2020) and received no later than ten days after the election. You can also deliver your ballot in person prior to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

Election Day 2020 will look different, but you too can help the process run smoothly by signing up to be a poll worker if you are less vulnerable to the virus. Many of our older Election Day volunteers will be unable to help in November due to Covid-19 related risks, so it is a great time for young people to sign up as paid poll workers through the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

While this election will present new challenges, we must remember that our foremothers and fathers fought for our right to vote and make our voice heard. This is an important time to participate in our democracy.

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Volume 16, Issue 18, Posted 4:58 PM, 09.02.2020

"Lakewood Small": A Project To Celebrate And Support Small Businesses

Don't let their appearances fool you: even though the morning crowd is a lot smaller at the Place to Be, and Madison Square Lanes is a lot quieter on Saturday nights, Lakewood's small businesses are fighting to remain a part of the vibrant city we know and love -- they can use all the help they can get to win that fight.

"Lakewood Small" is an art project that serves as a charity effort and love letter for the heart and soul of Lakewood, Ohio — our small businesses. Featuring forty-eight of Lakewood’s oldest and most cherished shops and storefronts, this hand-drawn piece aims to celebrate each and every small business that makes our city special. 100% of the proceeds from this project will be either donated back to the small businesses featured on the print, or donated to the Lakewood Foundation per these business' request. If you're interested in picking up a $23 print, visit etsy.me/3gZFcEK or search for "manytinylines" on social media.

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

Community Meals In Lakewood Carry On And Carry Out Through COVID 19.

St. James Catholic Church sponsors a community meal on the Second Wednesday of every month, in Andrews Hall, regardless of weather, or any other circumstances.

St. Luke Catholic Church sponsors a meal the third Wednesday of each month. St. Edward High School covers the fourth Wednesday of each month. Each has weathered the COVID storm providing fresh hot meals on a carry-out basis since the health crisis broke in March. Heavy rains and bitter cold did not stop our volunteers from serving the community in its time of need.

These three institutions each prepare and serve over 100 hot meals per month. They are committed to providing a healthy meal including salad, vegetables, a fresh main dish, drink and dessert in a dignified setting with live music. They are committed to providing fellowship and engaging in good conversation while getting to know the people. Provisions beyond a good meal include wool socks, hats and gloves and providing information regarding free clothing and health screening. 

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

Lakewood Residents Earn Medical Degrees

Two Lakewood residents were among the students who received doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) degrees from Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at the college’s April 18 degree conferral.

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

COVID-19 And The Law


We all know that so much has changed over the last month. The impact of the Covid-19 has affected every part of our lives. This change has also affected the way our area courts are operating. As with every other business, most of the courts are closed; however there are some limited exceptions, as the courts are mandated to maintain a docket for certain cases. In Cuyahoga County and Lakewood, updated information can be found on their websites. Each court has issued its own directives, and each continues to maintain a strong online presence. An outline of some of the important directives are as follows:

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court:


By Order dated March 16, 2020, the Common Pleas Court, through its Presiding Judge Brendan Sheehan, adopted the March 9, 2020 Executive Order from Governor DeWine “Declaring a State of Emergency”. Based on the governor’s order, the Court created a set of rules by which the court would be operating.  Judge Sheehan outlined  that the court would be “Open with Restrictions,” meaning that the Court  would implement a reduced docket and only operate with essential personnel. For the time being, the focus would be on cases involving incarcerated individuals and emergency matters before the Court. 


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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

State Senator Nickie J. Antonio Holds Virtual Town Hall

COLUMBUS- Last week, state Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) hosted a virtual town hall to provide Covid-19 updates to her constituents. She was joined by Cuyahoga County Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan and state Representatives, including Representative Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood).

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

Primary Voting Extended By Mail

Voting in Ohio’s March primary will continue in April. To take part, voters should request a vote-by-mail ballot from the Board of Elections, then complete and return it without delay.

That’s the simple update on the Ohio primary. All ballots already at the Board of Elections or there by the end of April will count. There’s still time to vote, and no reason to wait; local polling places in Lakewood won’t be opening.

Technically, March 17 remains the date of Ohio’s 2020 primary. Late on March 16, the Ohio Department of Health ordered polls closed, amid efforts to slow the COVID-19 pandemic. Errors and false steps by Secretary of State Frank LaRose and other state officials produced days of confusion, but legislators restored some clarity on March 25.

House Bill 197, passed unanimously by the Ohio General Assembly, allows voters to continue requesting and returning primary ballots until the end of April. The broad pandemic-response bill also instructs boards of elections to pre-pay the return postage for vote-by-mail ballots.

Limited in-person voting is to be available at the Board of Elections on April 28, only for voters with disabilities or no access to the postal service.

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020

Mayor's Corner

Dear Residents:

Safety and public health are my top priorities. Since the first confirmed cases in Cuyahoga County were announced on March 9th, the City of Lakewood has adopted all recommended protocols and followed all guidance from our public health leaders at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the Governor’s Office, and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. 

Safety and Public Health

The City’s Fire Department and Police Department are award-winning preparedness experts and have taken necessary precautions to ensure that the safety of residents is protected without compromising the ability for the staff of each department to protect its ranks from infection or quarantine.

Taking Action

I have convened a coronavirus task force who meet daily. We have been communicating to staff, partner organizations, and the community at-large about the goals for emerging from this crisis, the steps the City is taking, and the impact those steps will have on City operations. With these partners, our goal is slowing the spread of the virus, so our health care system is not overburdened.

Slow the Spread

The City has closed public access to City facilities, canceled or postponed non-essential meetings, instituted livestream public meetings where practical and appropriate, enforced federal and state mandates for closure of bars, restaurants, and other relevant businesses, and required all non-essential staff to work remotely. All staff have been informed of coronavirus protocol and advised to notify a manager and stay home if they are sick or have a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees.


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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020

Mayor's Corner

Coronavirus. COVID-19. Social Distancing. Flatten the Curve. Community Spread. These are phrases that weren’t part of everyday vocabulary a month ago.  Now that these terms are our everyday reality, I want you to know that my administration is doing everything possible to save lives. 

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 3:06 PM, 03.19.2020

The Ohio Question

The great state of Ohio is the unquestionable forebearer of industry in the United States. We have given unto this country efficient rubber, strong glass, reliable steel, and the dedication of our men and women only found in the mid-west. And with that, the drive that ushered in the automobile phenomenon after the second World War. But before we built our cities and towns around the dependability of Ford, Chevrolet, and the once steadfast Plymouth, we relied upon the railroad.

Cleveland, Ohio was a city dedicated to its rail service. Our streetcars and inter-urbans spanned dozens of miles in every direction except north-- less than twenty years ago Lakewood still had streetcar lines that yearned for service again, but we declined. The automobile became popular, the city was bought out by Goodyear in favor of buses, the streetcar and inter-urbans passed along our thoroughfares for the last time-- and inconsequently or not, our population quivered.

In 1827, under President John Quincy Adams, the Tom Thumb became the first passenger train in the United States on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, ushering in a new era of industry on this continent. In 1869, Ulysses S. Grant accomplished what many believed to be impossible: connect the East and West coasts by rail. William H. Taft laid the groundwork for the greatest expansion of the railroad in history. And in 1970, President Richard Nixon saved national rail by signing into law the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. If these four presidents who believed so much in our railroad infrastructure had one thing in common, it would be their party, their Republican ideals. However, the modern party of these presidents has disbanded and abandoned their allegiance to this most critical of needs.


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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 4:27 PM, 02.18.2020

Jennifer O’Donnell For Judge: Experienced Public Defender Advocates Reform

Public defenders are entirely unrepresented in Cuyahoga County’s court of common pleas, general division, right now. Of 34 current judges, not one has a public defense background.

Jennifer O’Donnell is running for judge to change this, and improve a local justice system in need of reforms.

Conditions in Cuyahoga County’s jail have made headlines and prompted formal investigations, and O’Donnell says that real solutions remain incomplete. “We are still in a situation where it is incredibly overcrowded, we have inmates that are sleeping on the floor,” she notes.

O’Donnell advocates greater transparency and more efficient courts, along with bail reform and lasting solutions to the county jail’s problems.

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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 4:27 PM, 02.18.2020

Vote Issue 28 Support Our Schools

As a third-generation Lakewood resident and proud alumna of Lakewood Schools, I am proud to support Issue 28. I am grateful for the education I received as a student and wish for future Rangers to have that same high-quality experience. Voting for Issue 28 on March 17th will make that possible.

Before serving on City Council and becoming Mayor of Lakewood, I started my career as an educator. I've always valued the role that education plays in setting children up for success. Issue 28 will ensure our students are ready to succeed in life – whatever paths they choose. It will allow the Lakewood City Schools to increase mental health services for all children K-12, expand STEM classes to prepare students for their futures, keep educational technology and other learning materials up-to-date, help recruit and retain excellent teachers, and preserve our community’s investment by keeping all of our school buildings and other assets in good condition. Issue 28 will accomplish all of this while still being mindful of the taxpayer at less than $2 more per month based on a property valuation of $100,000.

I believe that strong schools mean a strong community. The basis for vibrant neighborhoods, strong housing values, and overall economic development is a strong education system. Issue 28 supports Lakewood families and our community by enabling the best possible educational outcomes for our students. Everything I do as Mayor remains focused on ensuring that Lakewood is one of the best places in the country to live. Issue 28 supports this effort.


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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 4:30 PM, 02.05.2020

The Lakewood Observer Digital Subscription

Don’t miss the homegrown, hyper local news, events, opinions, photos and cartoons that impact and reflect our community.

Subscribe to the digital edition by sending a request to thelakewoodobserver.digital@gmail.com with “SUBSCRIBE” in the subject line. There is NO COST to our readers. We simply ask that you consider our advertisers for your needs.

The Lakewood Observer remains committed to the continuation of the print edition available around town, the PDF edition online and respecting your inbox. Your email address will only be used to send the digital edition on publication dates.

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020

Antonio To Deliver State Of The District

State Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) will give her annual State of the District address to discuss issues affecting the community such as health care, education and transportation on Saturday, February 1 at 11 am in Parma, Ohio. This presentation to the public will include an update on Antonio’s work at the Statehouse since the beginning of the 133rd General Assembly, and a Q&A period.

Immediately before the address, from 10 am to 11 am, the Senator will hold office hours to meet constituents. If you are interested in scheduling a brief one-on-one meeting, please contact Nicole Schneider in her office at 614-466-5123.

WHO: Senator Nickie J. Antonio
WHAT: State of the District address
WHEN: February 1, 2020, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (Office hours are by appointment from 10:00 a.m.- 11:00 a.m.)
WHERE: Parma-Snow branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, Conference Room B

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 8:04 AM, 01.23.2020

Thank You Lakewood: Let’s Create A Positive Future Together

It is a profound honor to begin the work of serving our community, as Lakewood’s next mayor.

I want to thank the voters who entrusted me with this great responsibility. Accomplishing things together, as a city, depends on the trust of residents.

Earning this trust through a positive, grassroots-based campaign was important to me, and I am very grateful to those who made it possible. Anyone who has worked on a political campaign knows that it’s a team effort. Every vote mattered, so every phone call, every yard sign, every piece of literature left at a door made a difference.

Bringing this community together will be my mission over the next four years. There’s a lot of work to be done, starting with the transition planning which I have been giving much attention.

Thank you to everyone who encouraged the decision to run, and to everyone who supported this campaign. I also want to thank all candidates who put themselves out there. Running for office is not easy, but it makes representative democracy possible.

I look forward to working with new and old colleagues, and engaging input from throughout our community in a 360-degree approach to the challenges ahead.

We can work together on priorities of public safety and sustainable strong finances, on open government and an inclusive community, and on a clean environment.

The next chapter for Lakewood is starting, and I hope you will be part of it.

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Volume 15, Issue 23, Posted 12:41 PM, 12.04.2019

Sam O'Leary Is Unfit To Be Mayor--Here Is Why

In December 2015, Sam O’Leary was a defendant in a lawsuit brought on behalf of the residents of Lakewood alleging that he and other members of City Council held secret meetings and agreed to enact the so-called "Master Agreement" prior to any public meetings. 

This agreement, between the City of Lakewood, the Lakewood Hospital Association (LHA) and Cleveland Clinic, would close Lakewood Hospital and give away $120 million of taxpayer money and property belonging to the residents of Lakewood.

To conceal the non-public (i.e. illegal) meetings and decisions made in secret, O’Leary gave false testimony under oath that the Master Agreement “did not exist when it was announced”--even though this testimony contradicted his own statements made at a press conference held earlier that month in front of TV cameras.

Let's pause for a moment and reflect on the absurdity of insisting to a court of law that you held a press conference to announce an agreement that did not exist. 

The people of Lakewood didn't buy it either. 

The residents’ lawsuit against O’Leary was instituted, in part, because of his comments in support of the Master Agreement at that December 7, 2015 press conference which occurred before any public meetings were held concerning the terms of ANY agreement

O'Leary described the agreement in very particular terms, making statements before the cameras like: “This new agreement funds our future…. Specifically, this agreement means the Cleveland Clinic will…. Demolishing the old parking garage is part of the agreement.” 

The clear implication of O’Leary’s statements was that an agreement existed and he was in favor of it. 

Each of the other 6 councilmembers made similar statements referencing the “agreement” and their support of it. (The complete press conference can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lChNMhrAXCk)

On December 21, 2015, O’Leary gave the following testimony in Court:

The agreement that was announced on December 7th did not exist when it was announced and, therefore, it is correct to say the council had not deliberated on the definitive agreement that wasn’t in existence yet, absolutely.” (From the Court Transcript at page 63; lines 18-22).  

Public records prove that this testimony was false, and O’Leary knew it was false.


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

Rotary Celebrates Eradication Of Polio With World Polio Day October 24

The members of the Rotary Clubs of Lakewood Rocky River join are joining with 1.2 million Rotary members, in nearly 34,000 Rotary Clubs around the world, to celebrate the eradication of the crippling disease of polio. It all started in 1979 by Rotary with the administration of the first dose of an oral polio vaccine in the Philippines; 6 million children in the Philippines have been vaccinated. Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for 40 years, and the goal of ridding the earth of this disease is in sight.

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

Candidate Questions For Meghan George

Occupation: Senior Account Manager

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

You deserve a mayor that understands the unique needs of our community and as a third-generation resident, I have called Lakewood home for nearly 38 years. My experience goes beyond serving as your current at-large Councilwoman. I have served the community as a supervisor for the Lakewood Recreation Department and I’ve worked for our schools. Additionally, I am a workforce strategy/benefits consultant for employers throughout Ohio. I assist CEOs with creating a competitive environment, mitigating risk, and establishing budgets. This combination of community service and practical experience has provided me with the skill set necessary for the role as Mayor.

2.) What are the top 5 issues you see for Lakewood? (One sentence each)

1)            Fiscal Stability. Long term fiscal planning geared toward ensuring we provide the quality services Lakewood residents deserve without burdening lifelong homeowners with undue tax increases by not appropriately planning for the future.

2)            Public Safety. Not only should residents feel safe in their homes, they should feel safe from speeding traffic and we need to be sure our Police Department has the resources it needs to enforce our traffic codes.

3)            EPA Mandate. The financial burden of the overhaul of our 100 year old sewer system is a massive undertaking that will impact every household for decades to come.

4)            Transparency and Ethical Governance. It is crucial we are conducting business ethically by transparently and honestly sharing information with the residents of Lakewood.



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

Candidate Questions For Linda Beebe

1.). Why do you want to be elected, or re-elected, to the Lakewood Board of Education? Why should we vote for you? (100 words or less)

I bring some distinctive contributions to board considerations. My connections to Lakewood Schools are strong. My children Aaron and Megan are Lakewood graduates. My husband Dr. Bruce Beebe taught in Lakewood for 30 years. As one whose children are now grown, I can focus the needs of all children. As a former teacher both in Lakewood and Scotland,  I bring classroom experience into policy discussions.  I love reading about learning theories and best practices. As an older person I bring a different perspective to policy discussions.  As an attorney, I can bring my knowledge to considerations with legal implications.

2.) What do you see as the three biggest issues facing the Lakewood School District? Explain how will you address one of them? (100 words or less)

I will continue to seek to lower expenses by reducing staff in line with declining enrollment and to seek out opportunities for group purchasing. I will support the district’s efforts to lobby for effective state support for the district to relieve the burden on local taxpayers. I will encourage the district leadership to look for creative ways to increase programming at reduced cost, while maintaining a talented and strong teaching staff and without cutting arts or extra-curricular education.


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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 6:17 PM, 10.02.2019

Police Union Endorses Jeff Wise for Lakewood Council

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 25 has endorsed Jeff Wise for Lakewood City Council, Ward 3.

The union’s endorsement is a powerful statement of support for Wise, a first-time candidate facing an incumbent city council member in November.

Wise has emphasized a record of public service for Lakewood, demonstrated during his years working in the Ohio Statehouse. Along with this experience, his campaign has offered a positive vision of inclusive representation and practical problem-solving.

Following a committee interview and recommendation, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 25 members voted to endorse Wise’s candidacy.

“Our law enforcement officers are on the front lines each and every day working to keep Lakewood safe,” says Wise.

“Their endorsement shows my strong commitment to public safety and support for those who serve our city. I am honored to have their confidence.”

The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest organization of law enforcement professionals in the United States, and Lodge 25 represents more than 500 members on the west side of Cuyahoga County.

The FOP joins a broad coalition of endorsements for Jeff Wise, including the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund PAC, State Representative Michael J. Skindell, Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, and national advocacy groups Democracy for America and Our Revolution.

Lakewood voters will elect city council representatives for the city’s four wards, along with other local offices, on November 5. Early voting begins October 8. For more information visit wiseforlakewood.com.

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