Now in its fifth year, Frankfurter Fridays offer free 100% beef hotdogs and lemonade as well as intergenerational fun activities every other Friday from June 16 through Sept. 22 on the front lawn of the Church of the Ascension, 13216 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood. All are welcome to enjoy food, fellowship, Frisbee, croquet and other lawn games!
I had a dream the other night. Generally speaking, I find it hard to remember most of the dreams that I dream, but this one was different. This dream was the kind that stays with you long after the day has come and gone again.
Let’s be honest…Lakewoodites loves their pets! The companionship, the love, the fun…more and more people are choosing to have a pet become a part of their family. If you are thinking about a new pet you are probably thinking about such things as having enough space for their needs, the time commitment, maybe adopt; the variables are endless but a necessary and important part of the decision-making process. If you have been considering bringing in a new addition to your family, hopefully this article will aid you in that process.
She measured out the butter with a very solemn air,
The milk and sugar also; she took the greatest care
To count the eggs correctly and to add a little bit
Of baking power which, you know, beginners oft omit,
Then she stirred it all together and she baked it full an hour,
But she never quite forgave herself for leaving out the flour.
We're coming up on holiday time and for me that means Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas cookies, the works. It's a perfect time for kids and parents to be in the kitchen together, not only making food for each other, but also to give away as gifts to friends and loved ones. With the prospect of spending extra time with kiddos in the kitchen in the next couple of months, it's a good time to revisit some of what helps keep cooking and baking lower-stress.
One of the things that adults who have been cooking for a while can forget is how frustrating recipe instructions can be sometimes. Just how big is a large onion compared to a small onion? Or carrot, or potato? What does "season to taste" mean and how do I know? When a recipe calls for a half a cup of chopped parsley does that mean I stuff a half cup full of sprigs and chop them, or do I chop as many sprigs as I need to until I have a half cup?
Join all the fun for the Fall Classic Half Marathon & 5K on November 20th.
Join the Cleveland West Road Runners on November 20th in beautiful Bonnie Park Reservation inside the Cleveland Metroparks for the 41st running of the Fall Classic 1/2 marathon and 5K. Over the past 4 decades, thousands of runners have enjoyed this fast scenic course run entirely in the beautiful Cleveland Metroparks. This late autumn race will be the highlight of your Fall running season so sign up now for this great tradition. Full details and registration through the Cleveland West Road Runners website: CleWestRunningClub.
In the words of Sophia from the "Golden Girls," “picture this”….
Last year, the City of Lakewood really stepped it up in enhancing our community by installing the Solstice Steps in Lakewood Park. Not only is it a creative use of our shoreline, but it provides a destination for people to gather and furthers our small town feel.
I recently launched a new campaign at my Lakewood Screw Factory Art Studio in support of Cleveland's Food Bank Harvest for Hunger. My campaign began at the studio during our recent Open Studio on April 8th. I call it "Bridge the Gap."
Sunshine and spring have finally arrived here in Lakewood, Ohio and the Keep Lakewood Beautiful organization is celebrating this time of year with its Annual Earth Day and Great American Cleanup on April 30th from 9-11am beginning at City Center Park at the intersection of Cook and Detroit Aves. Come one or come all, and help spruce up the downtown Detroit Ave. commercial district. Learn from arborists, and then we will: plant a tree in observance of Arbor Day in City Center Park, plant flowers, and mulch trees and large planters. Meet at City Center Park, at the intersection of Cook & Detroit Avenues. For more information or optional pre-registration see:http://www.onelakewood.com/KLB Or call 529-6601.
Tears filled my eyes as I listened to Patty describe her restored vision from Wet Macular Degeneration. The reason for my crying became evident when I returned home from the local television station and saw the picture of my father with his close friend.
I met Esther by chance outside Blackbird Bakery a few years ago. It's almost haunting that this graceful lady from Texas returns to Lakewood and wants to spend time with me. Esther mentioned that it's the honesty that lures her. An indulgence, despite my efforts, I was unable to have with another...
Sunday was a glorious day in Lakewood -- a gift before the dreaded cold to come.
Ask long-time Lakewood resident Jan Dregalla why she wanted to be in the Hen Pilot Program and she’ll tell you: “It’s part of a sustainable lifestyle. My family raised chickens when I was growing up and I’d like to share what I know about returning to a balanced lifestyle and away from the need for a factory farm system.” That’s her practical answer for keeping backyard hens. All practicality aside, Jan will tell you she takes great pleasure in watching their charming antics around the coop yard, the way they run to her when called and the flock’s favorite game: chase the rolling blueberries.
On Saturday, May 30th, at 9 a.m., freemasons and friends of the Lakewood Masonic Temple will celebrate the Temple's 100th year anniversary with a centennial cornerstone ceremony. The public is also invited to attend this event. Freemasons from around the community and the state plan to gather in support of this occasion.
The historic Lakewood Masonic Temple supports a number of Masonic organizations and community events, and also serves a Lakewood church congregation.
It’s almost that time of season again: time to take out those painting clothes and brushes to breathe life into your home from the winter blues. In the past, LakewoodAlive has offered assistance to income qualifying homeowners with the cost of paint and materials. Well folks, we have amped up the Paint Lakewood! program for the 2015 season. The program now includes assistance with the cost of labor! Yes, you read that correctly. LakewoodAlive will now offer assistance to income qualifying homeowners with paint, materials and labor.
On May 1st bicyclists nationwide will roll out and log miles in the National Bike Challenge, a friendly event that encourages people to get on their bikes and ride. Last year nearly 50,000 cyclists rode over 23 million miles during the challenge period which ran from May 1st to September 30th. People for Bikes, a bicycling advocacy group, sponsors the challenge and hosts a website that lets participants log rides, chart progress, and view the rankings of individuals (like Bob Bellamy, Lakewood’s top rider in 2014) or teams such as Mind Brain Social Club which was ranked #1 in the nation and based right here in Cleveland. The award winning site is compatible with a host of phone apps which help make tracking rides and mileage a snap and can provide a wealth of data regarding fitness (calories burned) or the environment (CO2 emissions reduced) or money saved by not driving a car.
There was plenty of snow for this year’s Kauffman Park Friends Snow Sculpting Contest! Fourteen artists braved below normal temperatures this winter to build eight spectacular sculptures. Individuals, families, teams, businesses and organizations were invited to participate by sculpting snow creations in the park and submitting photos of their work. The first ten artists enjoyed hot beverages compliments of The Root Café and each artist was eligible for a raffle drawing. Prizes included tickets to an upcoming show at Beck Center for the Arts and extra large pizzas from Roman Fountain.
An open letter to Old Man Winter
As a recent addition to Lakewood from NYC where I was a member of their press corps (WSJournal, NYPost, BXTimes), NYFW photographer, and sports photographer for NIKE Basketball, I bought a beautiful Victorian home on Grace Ave. Needless to say, my wife who was raised here, is thrilled! So I decided to keep a Facebook photoblog/journal entitled "Catching the light in Lakewood". (https://www.facebook.com/alexbelisleinlakewood).
It’s a Saturday afternoon and I’m taking a Buyer on tour to look at potential homes. The front door is opened and there is an auditory gasp from the Buyer as their eyes take in the view. The tour continues room-by-room, floor-by-floor with various expressions of amazement. The home is quite simply gorgeous. This is the reaction Seller’s should aspire for when listing their home and what Realtor’s call the “Wow” factor. What is this element that in today’s Lakewood market can sell a home in practically days and result in multiple offers? It is a home that is show ready and has a few elements that clearly sets it apart from the competition.
As of this writing there are a total of 78 single family homes for sale in the city of Lakewood. This is a historically low number. And weather is at historically low temperatures. Some may suggest that these two figures share some cause and effect and they are partially right. After all who wants to get a house ready to sell when it’s below zero outside. Who wants to keep all things pristine and lovely when the daily battle with layer upon layer and where did I leave my gloves and don’t you go tracking snow, mud, and water into my house and it takes five times as long just to get out of the house and where are my GLOVES?
Sellers often fret over what home improvements to invest in in order to get the biggest bang for their buck. The saying "beauty is only skin deep" goes a long way in Real Estate. Before thinking about an exciting kitchen remodel, take care of the mechanicals, structure and energy efficiency of your home FIRST. Without a doubt, updated kitchens and baths sell a home quickly and for a higher value. However, if the roof is leaking, your deal may fall apart despite the lovely granite counter tops. Most buyers in today’s market want what I call the big-ticket items taken care of. These items include: roof, windows, electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, and dry basements. Buyers want to take the basics for granted and spend their discretionary funds on fun remodeling projects to reflect their personality and make the home theirs. Even a hint that there could be a problem will be reflected in their purchase offer.
My journey into the dance world started about four years ago at one of the many Lakewood festivals. My daughter, Ava, who was 3 years old at the time, was interested in taking a ballet class. I happened upon a booth for Silhouette Dance, now named Dance Lakewood. At this booth, I met four women who would nurture my daughter’s interest in dance. Up until that point, my only knowledge about dance classes was what I had seen on the show, “Dance Moms.” Despite that, we decided to jump right in and see what happened.
Like most who choose to live in Lakewood, I adore my old home with its beautiful character and unique architectural attributes. These features, which may seem unusual now, are a glimpse into the daily lives of our homes Stewards from the past century. As a Realtor, when I am showing homes in Lakewood, Buyer’s often ask me the purpose of some of these features. While I am certainly not a member of “This Old House,” I have learned a thing or two over the years. Here are a few of the most common questions.
Ella, my Golden Doodle, and I love our outings to Blackbird Baking Company. I'm not much for routines, but this picnic ritual has sprung some soulful moments.
One unspayed dog or cat can have as many as 10 unwanted births in the first breeding season. Do you really have that many friends?
Help Keep Lakewood Beautiful get the word out: Cigarette Butts are Litter Too! KLB is joining with Keep America Beautiful to reduce the cigarette butt litter in our city and begin a, It is Litter Too! Cigarette Litter Awareness Campaign. KAB reports that the overall littering rate for cigarette butts is 65%. KLB's chief complaint from our annual Spring Clean-Up volunteers is the "prevalence of cigarette butt litter." On May 3, KLB is sponsoring a sidewalk "sweep" throughout our downtown and night-life districts. Volunteers are picking up litter and cigarette butts and helping to raise awareness that cigarette butts are not biodegradable and need to be properly discarded. KLB is also sharing information about cigarette litter with area businesses and providing them with information about ash receptacles and pocket ashtrays. Cigarette litter prevention programs have been effective in communities. Join us May 3 or contact Keep Lakewood Beautiful through our facebook page or by calling city hall at 529 -6601 for more information or to volunteer. We can all agree, it ain't pretty.
Keep Lakewood Beautiful invites you to the Great American Cleanup and Earth Day on Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 9-11 a.m. Give your spring cleaning a jumpstart by participating in the:
- Household Recycling Roundup
- Detroit Ave. Sidewalk Cleanup
- Tree Planting 10:30 a.m.
All events will take place at the Detroit Ave. entrance of Kauffman Park. For more information see: www.onelakewood.com/KLB or call 529-6601.
The dedication of the World’s Children Peace Monument Sculpture in Lakewood Park occurred on Sept. 21, 2013, also United Nations International Day of Peace. With the kind recommendation of Senator Skindell, Lakewood was suggested to receive the World’s Children Peace Monument. We are honored to have been chosen to receive this sculpture. The dedication ceremony sponsored by Keep Lakewood Beautiful was held adjacent to the sculpture and began outside as the sun finally peeked through the clouds with music performed by Marty Higgins. The World’s Children Peace Monument (WCPM) was wrapped like a large gift with a yellow bow in the sunshine. Indeed, it is a gift to the City of Lakewood from the International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) and the children of Berea, Ohio who have donated the Peace Stone for the World’s Children Peace Monument to promote a sustainable global Culture of Peace and Goodwill. The International Center for Environmental Arts is dedicated to assisting in the understanding of the relationship between humans and their environment through the arts to promote a sustainable Culture of Peace.
Come learn about what is happening with the City of Lakewood’s trees from some resident experts and the new City of Lakewood’s Tree Task Force. We will begin with a short family friendly tour and hands on learning of some interesting trees right in Lakewood Park. Then get settled in your lawn chair or blanket and be ready to learn about why we want and need trees in our city from our local experts: John Palmer, Certified Arborist, and Bob Rensel, Horticulturist at Cleveland Botanical Garden. Bring your tree questions! For the Friday Night Flick, the tree theme continues with the popular movie from Dr. Seuss, "The Lorax" that both children and adults can enjoy. Bring the whole family and enjoy this evening under some of our grand trees in Lakewood Park!
I have to admit, my mind was a million miles away. I had just gotten back from some meetings in Parma. The differences in the various cities around Cleveland always amaze me, but at the same time every Clevelander and Cleveland neighborhood is so much alike. Each neighborhood straining between new, and old, rich and poor, arts, life, biking, garden, golf, shopping, all starting to blend into an over-homogenized almond double mil latte, while desperately struggling to hang on to the reality we all want and need to believe. We have made the right choice, our neighborhood is...
Three guys from Lakewood living the Tom Sawyer dream.
Suddenly I cannot believe my eyes. I try to use Metro Parks when ever possible for getting around the city. There is no fast way to Parma, so why not take the most relaxing. As I look over between the branches and weeds, I swear I was seeing Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn rafting down Rocky River on hot summer day. I pull the car over stop and grab my camera and sure enough coming around the bend is a raft made of who knows what, with 4 folding chairs attached in some wacky way with 3 teenagers who were living the big adventure, building a raft and taking it to the river, and to the rapids.
The Lakewood Farmers Market is kicking off its 4th season on Saturday, June 29. The Lakewood Farmers Market began in 2010 as a grassroots resident initiative and has demonstrated commitment, not just to community, but to collaboration since. The neighborhood market will boast a healthy mix of hand-picked produce, artisanal foods and handmade goods from over 20 area vendors. Shoppers can purchase local farm fresh produce and products such as Ohio-raised meats, eggs, cheeses, honey, baked goods, pasta, spices, oils and soaps and lotions, plus one-of-a-kind handcrafted items.
LakewoodAlive's Housing Education Series presents "Painting Your Home: Technique and Color," a presentation by Michael Fleenor of the Cleveland Restoration Society.
This program will examine different types of paint failure, highlights what to look for when hiring a painting contractor, reviews historic color schemes and provides tips on selecting and placing appropriate colors on older homes.
Join us at the University of Akron, Lakewood Campus on Saturday, June 15 at 10:30 am. This event is free and open to the public. Free parking will also be available in the rear lot.
Details on the full series are available at: www.tackk.com/LAHousingEducationSeries
A landmark of the city's most prominent park is getting a makeover, courtesy of Lakewood-based Neubert Painting. In what is sure to be an exciting display of civic pride, 60-plus volunteers from Neubert Painting will scrape, sand, and paint new life into the Bandstand at the historic and beautiful Lakewood Park. The Bandstand was selected by Neubert Painting as the recipient of its 2012 annual Charity Paint Giveaway. The event was rained out, however, and will take place this June 27.
Paint Lakewood Applications Now Available LakewoodAlive Program Helps Residents With The Cost Of Painting Their Homes
Applications are now available for LakewoodAlive’s 2013 “Paint Lakewood” program. With funding through the city’s Community Development Block Grant allocation, the program provides income-eligible residents up to $1,000 towards materials to paint the exterior of their homes.
“Our goal is to revitalize Lakewood’s neighborhoods and also educate residents on lead safety issues that are prevalent in older homes,” said LakewoodAlive Housing Outreach Coordinator Laura Krawczyk. “Tackling this home maintenance issue can cost homeowners thousands of dollars. With the Paint Lakewood Program, we hope to defray the cost.”
The traditional Lakewood Kiwanis spaghetti dinner is moving.
The new location is the Lakewood Catholic Academy, 14808 Lake Avenue, just west of Lakewood Park. The date and time: Saturday, March 23, from 4 to 7 p.m. In addition to the always outstanding spaghetti with meat sauce, guests will enjoy garlic breadsticks, desserts, coffee, tea and milk. All-you-can-eat is still the rule. Parking will be available at the rear of the building, which is handicapped-accessible.
Tickets are $8.00 per person, available at the door or in advance from Kiwanis members. Children five and under eat free. As usual, proceeds from the dinner benefit Lakewood Kiwanis community projects.
Life is about relationships….
In my last column I mentioned that Ken Warren felt comfortable enough to give me a handwriting sample. It took Jim O’Bryan a few fidgety attempts to ease into his comfort zone. At least he didn’t run out of the Blackbird Bakery door like another Lakewood dignitary when I asked him for a sample of his handwriting.
Let’s talk about the relationship between Kenneth Warren, former Director of Lakewood Library and Jim O’Bryan, Publisher of Lakewood Observer. What does their handwriting reveal about their connection?
Ken is relaxed and comfortable in his mind. His sensitive intellect is the type that inspires great ideals. Socially compassionate at heart, he’s quite shy and rather timid. He prefers to avoid compromises and fears confrontation. He feels stronger with greater confidence when he’s alone.
Having recently moved back to Cleveland after 10 years of living in Berlin, Germany, one of things I enjoy doing most in my free time is visiting the amazing park system. For those of us living in Lakewood, the parks are easily accessible and offer us space for such a variety of activities (walking, jogging, fishing, sports and meeting with family and friends). And if you haven't gone recently I recommend finding the time to visit.
The creation of the Cleveland Metropark District was due to the initiative of a young, self-taught engineer who had conceived the idea of an outer chain of parks with connecting boulevards. His name? William Stinchcomb. This idea first came to light in 1905 and has developed into what we now enjoy and know as the Cleveland Metroparks.
Josh Yellon is a professional saxophonist and avid photographer. http://joshyellon.500px.com/
We have just enjoyed the brightest time of the year. Holidays mean good will toward everyone. They embody the basic form of the Christmas spirit. A time to rejoice in the midst of an oncoming cold and the colorless sameness of blanketing snowfalls. It is a commitment to show the neighborhood that you care enough to brighten the nights. Our city is meant for colorful lighting, a sign of hope and cheer, as a physical display of its joyful resolve to be good neighbors. The lights are a reminder of our sense of community, a community which should not end with the passing of a month or two. Every year, it has been a disappointment to see them come down.
An instant tradition is in the making as Kiwanis presents its second annual Pizza Bake-Off on Thursday, January 17.
The Bake-Off will take place in Lakewood High School’s East Cafeteria from 5:00 to 8:00. Tickets available at the door are priced at $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children 12 and under. Students (13-18) can buy tickets for $8.00 in advance at their schools (not at the door). As always, proceeds will go to support Kiwanis’s programs for families and children.
The Thursday date was chosen because the following day is a no-school day for the high school, and because the event will not conflict with other school activities.
Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio has so much to offer all within walking distance. There are a lot of choices and many options from West 117th all the way to Riverside. There is no need for a car to get your hair done, to visit an accountant, or to get your shoes repaired. Take a stroll down Madison Avenue and see that we not only have great eateries, we have all kinds of local gems that are just waiting to be discovered by you!
This is why i chose to open my business on Madison Avenue. It has afforded me the opportunity to make a good living in a great community. It's our Uptown.
Madison Avenue is the home of Carol Lynn's Salon Plus. Cutting Loose Salon and Metro on Madison have also relocated to Madison Avenue. Chris, from Cutting Loose Salon, needed a space to work while her place was being renovated, so i offered her and her staff my salon to temporarily set up shop. With the help of Robbie of Metro on Madison, I was able to update my salon.This is an example of how businesses here have come together to support each other. These business gems along with others make Madison Avenue part of the great treasure that is Lakewood. This is why I love Madison Avenue.
Saturday, June 30th from 10:00 a.m. – 1 p.m. the Lakewood Farmers Market (LFM) will open for it’s 2012 season, providing Lakewood residents a weekend downtown destination to eat, shop, enjoy free entertainment, summertime and meet their neighbors.
Awareness of fresh, locally grown produce and products has been on the rise as a way to support your personal health and local economy. Come enjoy seasonal fruits and veggies, jelly, cheese, meat, plants, coffee, honey, eggs, baked goods, prepared foods, music, arts and crafts, chef demos and more from local vendors.
In addition to providing Lakewood’s downtown a weekend community event, Lakewood Farmers Market’s mission is to create an incubation space and outlet for local entrepreneurs, from backyard growers to budding and established small food businesses. A number of vendors from previous seasons are Lakewood residents, and LFM is adding more Lakewood-owned small businesses to its vendor list each year.
I met my wife in Greece, on the island of Chios, while she was visiting family for the holidays. It was love at first sight. So was Lakewood, OH. I was looking for an opportunity to leave the island, while the economy in Greece was taking a turn for the worse. It couldn't get any better doing it while chasing the love of my life back to the States. Returning to NYC after four years of living on the island was a reminder of why one would want to leave the city in the first place.
He had just come home, having completed a tour of duty in some location that did not exist, as far as the public was concerned. Vietnam was in the newspapers, on television, the people protesting the war in 'Nam, the political situation was thick with tension.
Having been a graduate of Lakewood High School, he knew he was about to be drafted, so he enlisted in the United States Air Force. He went though basic training at Lackland AFB, to technical school, also at Lackland AFB, then home for a 30 day leave. His orders were, at the end of that 30 day leave, to report to an allied country for further training, and then more training after that.
If you're a regular Detroit Road commuter (regardless of your means of travel), you probably noticed a new obstacle in the road. I am, of course, refering to the brand-spanking new yellow bike corral planted in the street on the block in front of the Root Cafe. Installed on Friday, May 18th, the corral will hold up to 12 bikes parked safely in the street, in a space that would only allow for one car. Julie Hutchinson of the Root Cafe, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony mentioned that she could not wait for a time when there will be no cars on the road whatsoever. No matter how ridiculous that may seem to you, it's doable, and in my mind Lakewood is capable of creating bike-only boulevards right in our downtown area.
Everyone knows that braces help people achieve beautiful smiles, but did you know that there are some significant health benefits to having straighter teeth as well? Crowded teeth are harder to properly keep clean, and swollen, red and irritated gums are often the result. Research has linked the periodontal disease that develops from plaque and bacterial buildup around misaligned teeth to other systemic health issues such as heart disease, stroke and even elevated stress levels. Misaligned teeth and/or jaws are also a significant factor in other oral problems, such as increased wear on tooth enamel from grinding and clenching, as well as TMJ and jaw pain.
I ran into Sam Willsey just after finishing up a day of work recently, and, as always, was able to get into a great conversation about bikes. Sam is a three-year rider who cruises around on either his Schwinn Cutter SS, or his Trek 1000 road bike. You'd probably recognize him as the guy who wears his u-lock around his neck (I was dying to ask why, but decided to leave that one a mystery), topped off with a helmet (although he admits being a 99.9% of the time helmet wearer).
Our fair city of Lakewood is so cool! And I'm not saying that tongue in cheek; it really is. It’s really time to shout it from the rooftops! Helllllooooo!
The land of milk and honey, figuratively speaking, has moved. Lakewood Kiwanis’s annual breakfast will be held on Sunday, April 22, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. It will have the same abundant menu, featuring all-you-can-eat pancakes and French toast, but at a new location, the Grace Lutheran Church, 13030 Madison Ave., across from Madison Park.
If you've ever spotted me on my bike, it's incredibly likely it was a dual spotting, with Tati in the very near vicinity. One of my closest friends, she's also my favorite and most frequent bike buddy. If you looked at our phone's in-boxes, you'd see a long history of messages to the likes of, “wanna go ride bikes?” (among other things of course, and NO, you can't actually look at my texts).
You might remember reading an article around the end of last summer about Everett Query and his love for cycling. One very notable part of Everett's story was that he had taught all of his children to ride bikes via tandem cycling. The idea was to teach them the feel of a bike in a comfortable setting so that when they got on their own bike, they had a solid base of understanding.
Here's a favorite from the Nature's Bin Deli.
NATURE'S BIN TURKEY LOAF
2 lbs. ground turkey
1 med onion, chopped
2 bell peppers red,orange or yellow, chopped (don't use green)*
2 stalks celery, leaves and all, chopped
1 med carrot, peeled and shredded
1 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. minced garlic
salt and pepper
1 tbs. oil
Last week was Spring Severe Weather Awareness week. With the nice weather we have had, I am sure a lot of you already did a lot of the preparations that this week is all about. For those of you that did not or those who still have more to do, let me tell you why we have Spring Sever Weather Awareness Week.
After our 2011 "Afternoon in the Park Winter Event" (which was to include a snow sculpting contest) came up short of the white stuff, Kauffman Park Friends (KPF) decided to try again this winter. Determined to beat the odds, we opted to run this year’s Snow Sculpting Contest over several weeks increasing the likelihood of snow and opportunities for interested artists.
Four families braved sub-freezing temperatures to participate in the contest during the only weekend in January with adequate snow. The results inspired many to start planning their creations with anticipation of the next “big” snow. KPF extended the deadline with expectancy. You know the rest, record low snowfall and spring-like weather throughout February. It seems the only chance of insuring snow before the end of the season is to wrap up our effort and start planning for 2013.
Many people believe the best time to list their homes for sale is in the spring. Historical sales records will even back that assumption up, to a point. This year Northeastern Ohio has enjoyed an unusually mild winter, and home sales have stayed pretty level. If you are one of the homeowners waiting until spring to get your house in shape for sale, wait no longer! The unseasonably warm weather has kept home buyers active in the market, and waiting until April or May to list your home for sale could eliminate a sizable number of potential buyers from seeing your home.
Thanks to all the neighbors, clients and guests who came to the Howard Hanna Team Lakewood’s First Annual Chili Cook-off on February 16. We had a wonderful fund-raising event for the Children’s Free Care Fund charity that provides free health care to children in need. Ten Howard Hanna agents made their BEST chili offerings for the public to enjoy. There was HOT chili and MEATY chili and NOT SO HOT chili and CHICKEN chili and Vegetarian Chili and TURKEY chili and BOILERMAKER chili and CHILI DOGS! There was French bread and corn bread and onions, cheese, sour cream and desserts….oh MY! Once the diners had finished sampling, they were able to choose their “Top Chili Chef!” This year our winner was Jeff Curtis, for his 4-Chorizo Chili! (This author said it made your mouth say, WOW).
About a month ago, a close friend of mine had his brand new Bianchi Volpe stolen from him. This was to be his summer touring bike, for a cross-country trip he's been planning for almost a year now. Many hours of work and saving went in to the ultimate purchase of this fantastic ride, only to have it taken away a mere few weeks later.
Many of you have likely at least heard of this particular theft already. Our cavalry of friends went immediately to action, posting fliers, searching craigslist, calling local bike shops, asking everyone we knew to keep a look out. While we still haven't found the bike, and it seems the odds of that happening become slimmer by the day, it brought to light an issue that doesn't come up until it hits home. Even though the bike only belonged to one of us, it felt like a stab at our neighborhood, a violation that we all felt on some level.
Walkable communities are described by Walkable Communities, Inc as “thriving, livable, sustainable places that give their residents safe transportation choices and improved quality of life. Walkable communities improve resource responsibility, safety, physical fitness and social interaction.”
Walkscore.com assigns a point value to communities in the US to assist families and individuals who seek a community lifestyle that benefits personal health and finances, the environment, and total community living. According to Walk Score a score of 43 is the average of 2500 cities measured in the US. Lakewood’s score is 68.4--a ranking in the 50-69 point range that is described as “somewhat walkable... Some amenities within walking distance.” According to this source 47% of Lakewood residents have a walk score of 70 or above, 95% of Lakewood residents have a walk score of at least 50 and 5% of Lakewood residents live in car-dependent neighborhoods.
Ahh...Cleveland winter. The snow is falling, the temperatures dropping, the lake freezing over, and all I can think about is how awesome it is going to be when this is all over!
Now, I realize not everyone shares my disdain for the winter months, but for those of us who greatly prefer those sunny and warm days we get between June and September, it is time to embrace what is inevitably upon us.
This will be more specifically “geared” (haha!) towards those of us who spend more time riding bikes or walking and need that head-to-toe cover, but even if that doesn’t sound like you, you might find at least some part of this information useful for your lifestyle.
Well it's that time of year again. You should start receiving your 2011 W-2s from your employer, if you haven't already. Some people schedule an appointment to see their CPA as quickly as possible in anticipation of a refund, which begs the question, "What did I do with that money last year?" Well, if you're not a home owner, why not put that money to good use? You can use your refund to help with a down payment. If you qualify for an FHA loan, your down payment requirement is only 3.5% of the purchase price. Also FHA allows the seller to pay for your closing costs, up to 6%.