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Hooray For Hollywood, Part 10

Production trucks from Hadaad's fill the old Steve Barry lot.

Almost overnight, the old Steve Barry lot was filled with semis, various trucks, and strange housing units. Then after a quick read of the name on the trucks: “Haddad’s”-- it became clear, Hollywood was back in Lakewood, Ohio!

This time it was for a $50 million dollar feature for HULU called “Stickshift” which is just a working title. As of right now the film will be called “Eenie Meanie” when it reaches the small screens around the world. The movie has a common Hollywood story line. A person is dragged back into their criminal past to save a loved one. fThis one has Australian actress Samara Weaving (40 films, 2-time Producer, and 1 time director), actor Steve Zahn (93 films, 1-time director, 4-time producer), and Randall Park (173 films, 8-time director, 4-time writer.) This time the girl is the reforrmed get-a-way driver who comes back to help her ex-boyfriend.

They will be filming through the end of the month at various locations around the city. If you see them filming, please give them space. While we can argue about what an inconvenience it is, or how much tax deferment they get, it is hard to argue that it isn't good for a community from fees they pay, to local purchases of food and various items from daily needs to gifts, down to, in most cases, a sense of pride when the final product hits the streets. The best way to see a little part of Hollywood is to give them room. During the shooting of "White Boy Rick" with Matthew McConaughey, he wandered into a local establishment with his daughter. Someone posted it and the place became a zoo, and he left, and never went back. Meanwhile The Coffee Pot would place him at a back table where he quietly ate breakfast most mornings. No one likes being interrupted while eating or working.


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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 3:03 PM, 05.08.2024

Mayor's Corner: Speed Limit To Change On Lake Avenue On June 3rd

As you may have heard, the City of Lakewood announced last week that we will be reducing the speed limit on Lake Avenue from 35 miles per hour (MPH) to 30 MPH on Monday, June 3rd. The City arrived at this change only after a comprehensive process of data collection, analysis, and interaction with residents and State of Ohio. After this thorough process, we believe that reducing the speed on Lake Avenue is warranted and fits into Lakewood’s overall commitment to enhancing safety for our residents and visitors.

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024

You Should Go To City Hall

There is a regularly scheduled City Council meeting on Monday May 20th at 7:30 PM and I can’t go. There will probably be a few other people from the community there but maybe not. There have been a few meetings this year when I was the only person in attendance who was not a member of the council or a city employee. These meetings are open to the public and streamed online but public interest seems to be very low.

The future of the Lakewood Pit, recreational marijuana laws, Lakewood Park and Madison Park upgrades, the Bunts Road overhaul, transportation safety practices, the use of tens of millions of dollars of public money and much more are all ongoing conversations at City Hall. Most of these topics are discussed with zero input from the public. Sometimes there is an eComment submitted. Most of these projects have public meetings in advance where our voices can be heard. But the public voice is almost always absent at the committee and council meetings where these issues are finalized and voted on by our elected representatives.

Do you know who your council representative is? At election time do you usually vote for whoever is already there because things are fine, or vote for the other person because you aren’t happy with something that happened? Voting is absolutely crucial and also the bare minimum you can do to influence the future of our community in the way that you would like to.

Last week I watched our elected officials debate whether or not adults should be able to smoke weed on bar patios and it seemed like they were basically guessing how you felt. More importantly, they were going off of their own personal feelings. Is that the way you would like these decisions to be made? 

 

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Volume 20, Issue 10, Posted 3:03 PM, 05.08.2024

Razzle Dazzle ’24, Where Everything Old Is New Again, Cover To Cover

Another excellent Razzle Dazzle performance at the Beck Center for the Arts

Beck Center for the Arts’ Creative Arts Therapies program participants and volunteers performed for sold-out audiences the last weekend of April.

Creative Arts Therapies at Beck Center offers music therapy, and art therapy, as well as adapted and inclusive dance, music, theater, and visual art for people with disabilities.

The 22nd annual Razzle Dazzle inclusive theater performance, “Everything Old is New Again – Cover to Cover,” featured original versions of beloved songs, with cuts to updated cover versions.

Thirty-eight cast members produced a show rich with dancing and humor. The crowd-pleasing production included audience participation in a conga line. Other audience members were also pulled from their seats to dance in the aisle during the show.

This year’s show art by Ryan Finley of @ArtbyRyanFinley was a stylized cassette tape. It was printed on every performer’s T-shirt.

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024

Keep Lakewood Beautiful Humus And Perennial Flower Sale Returns May 11

Keep Lakewood Beautiful Humus and Perennial Flower Sale Returns May 11.

There’s no better time than now to get your garden thriving, and Keep Lakewood Beautiful is here to help turn your thumbs green.

KLB announces the return of our annual Keep Lakewood Beautiful Humus and Perennial Flower Sale taking place on Saturday, May 11, from 9 am to noon at the parking lot of Old Stone House at Lakewood Park.

Come get your bags of "black gold" for your gardens (humus = $5/bag) and shop from a fabulous selection of attractive perennials that tend to be local, native and hardy, while serving as pollinators for bees and butterflies.

Native plants will be available from Meadow City Native Plant Nursery, a Cleveland-based nursery focused on plants that can grow in nature within our region. Offerings include: Herbs, Milkweed, Coneflowers, Heuchera (Coral Bells), Leucanthemum (Shasta Daisy), Monarda (Bee Balm), Peonies, and many other perennials.

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024

Your Voice In Ohio Policy, A Series - Part 1

Fast and furious is how many of us could describe our daily lives. Between juggling work and getting kids to soccer practice, taking care of elderly parents, and barely finding time to sit down and pay bills, most of us don't have time to understand how our state legislature affects our daily lives. Most of the news we randomly catch amid our busy lives centers around what’s happening on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., obscuring how our state legislature touches our community and daily lives.

In the Ohio Legislature, where your local state rep serves as your voice in state government, many decisions are made that improve or worsen our lives. 

For many hard-working Ohioans struggling to make ends meet, laws passed by the state legislature can improve working conditions in the state, raise the minimum wage, affect your hours and shifts at work, and also impact what benefits you are entitled to, like paid leave, sick time, and unemployment.

Laws that make it easier to obtain and carry high-powered weapons used in school shootings, restrict reproductive rights even in cases of rape, put up roadblocks to the legalization of marijuana, make life difficult for LGBTQ+ communities, and impact climate change often begin in our state legislature in Columbus. 

 

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024

Join The Ranger Golf Classic & Help Lakewood Students

Come be a part of the Lakewood Rangers Education Foundation (LREF) annual Ranger Classic Golf Outing to benefit the educational experiences of Lakewood City Schools students! The Ranger Classic will be held Monday, June 10 at Valley of the Eagles Golf Course in Elyria.

LREF welcomes foursomes and individual golfers for a fun day that will include 18 holes of golf with carts, skills contests, swag bags, raffle baskets and a box lunch and early dinner on the patio. Foursomes are selling quickly, so get your registration in soon! The fee for foursomes is $640, individual fee is $160. Visit https://bit.ly/RangerClassic2024for more information and to register or make a donation.

We’re grateful to our title sponsors, Senney Enterprises and First Federal Lakewood, as well as our Gold Sponsor, Barton Communities, and the rest of our local businesses, organizations and individuals who have signed on as sponsors. Sponsorships still available include:

 

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024

Lakewood High School's Long History Of After Prom

Alma, Ed Horton, and Griffin Starr try their hand at Karaoke

After Prom 2024, Enchantment Under the Sea was an extraordinary success, a testament to several parents' and community members' dedication and hard work to add joy and community to our schools. I could fill an entire page by naming people and businesses who donated their time and goods to help make the evening a splash.

Our senior class of over 300 found a unique and memorable haven after their Senior Prom at Windows on the River, a feat that sets us apart and one we can all be exceptionally proud of.

Lakewood High School has a long-standing tradition of offering students a fun and safe place to go from 11:30-2:30 a.m. After our seniors enjoy their fancy prom, they get to come back to the high school for a fun evening of festivities meticulously planned by the senior parents, who not only decorate the venue with the secret theme of the night but have food and various activities to enjoy, as well as a chance to win a raffled off item.

This year's secret theme was Under the Sea, with a dash of glow, and the planning started last fall. The students were treated to glowing glasses and leis to go with the beachy theme and a glow-in-the-dark henna artist, with a sizeable glowing octopus generously loaned to us by Garfield Middle Schools PTA. In the main gym, the kids were treated to a bounce house, obstacle courses, 360 photos, a simulated surfboard, enough food to feed an army, and a glow room with a glowing octopus. 

 

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024

Meet Me At Cove: Alexis, Frances, and Basil

This space for family and community is a lifeline for us parents. It means we're not alone, struggling to teach our kids at home. It shows that raising kids is a team effort, with support coming in many forms. When my child has been talking to me for two hours straight, we can come here for a change of scenery. On other days, I enjoy chatting with other adults and learning about parenting tips, kids' programs, and local info about Lakewood. My husband, Ben, joins us here sometimes too.

Alexis, Frances (4) and Basil (2)

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024

Starr Gazer

MAY 

ARIES: This month, the Sun & Jupiter are partnered together for the Zodiac. The Ram has the lucky duo in the 2nd house of finances. Buy Mom something special & then do something adventurous.

TAURUS: The Bull’s got it going on in your own Bullpen. Cook a gourmet feast, spruce up the house, and have Mom over for dinner. I shall never forget this. Then it's all you, Bull.

GEMINI:  The Twins have got their action going on behind the scenes. Why don't you make what you're doing for Mom a surprise, I'm sure it'll be double the pleasure.

CANCER: The Crab is joining the friendship arena for Mother's Day; the more, the merrier. For once, Crab, let somebody else cook for you or take you out; you deserve it.

LEO:  The Lion's Den is centered around work & career this month. Pull yourself away from the office long enough to make Mom the center of attention on her special day.

 

                                                                                                                                                 

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024

GardenWalk Lakewood Hosts Free Plant Swap

Looking for some new plants to brighten up your home or garden? Join GardenWalk Lakewood for a free plant swap on Sunday, May 19, 2024, from 1 to 3pm at Cove Park at 1294 Cove Ave.

Come together with your fellow gardeners to swap divided perennials, seeds, cuttings, plants, pots, tools, and tips, all while learning more about GardenWalk Lakewood and our mission. Nothing to swap? No problem! There will be plenty of items to help you on your gardening journey. The event will be held under the pavilion, rain or shine.

Volunteers are also needed before the plant swap at noon for a spring clean-up event at the Cove Park pollinator garden. Please join us!

And save the date for the third annual GardenWalk: Saturday, July 20, 2024. The list of participating gardens and a map will be posted in early July to the GardenWalk Lakewood website at www.gardenwalklakewood.org. This free event will be held rain or shine.

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024

In Tune And In Stride: A Lakewood Teacher-Student Duo Is Breaking Barriers In Music And Sports

Photo by Felicia Ardelean

Amid the early afternoon clamor of band rehearsals at Harding Middle School, a remarkable story is unfolding in the world of music and mentorship. Aiden Ardelean and Etienne Massicotte, a student-teacher duo, both of whom are visually impaired, are taking a unique approach to ensuring Aiden’s success in music, and beyond.

Aiden Ardelean, a young trumpet player with a keen ear and a passion for Romanian and Serbian music, faces unique challenges due to his severe visual impairment. Unable to read printed materials, Aiden’s journey into the world of music requires a modified approach. Etienne, whose visual impairment is less severe, draws from his experience having learned music in a traditional setting and tailors his teaching methods to meet Aiden’s needs.

In their one-on-one sessions, they utilize an age-old approach – learning by ear. Instead of relying on visual cues, Aiden learns to recognize notes by their names and their sound. Knowing Aiden’s passion for Eastern European culture, Etienne selects music that aligns with both Aiden’s preferences and the required band curriculum. This not only helps Aiden develop the skills on the trumpet recommended for his age-level, but also ensures that Aiden can enjoy making music that resonates with his family’s heritage.

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024

New Harding Middle School Principal Named

Christopher “Chip” Plush is the next principal of Harding Middle School.

The Lakewood Board of Education at its April 15 meeting approved Willoughby Middle School Principal Christopher “Chip” Plush as the next principal of Harding Middle School, beginning Aug. 1, 2024. Plush has spent the last eight years as an administrator for the Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools.

Plush began as a high school house principal and then moved into an assistant principal role at the middle school level before assuming the principal job at Willoughby Middle School in 2021. He began his educational career as a language arts teacher at Willoughby South High School.

Among many accomplishments while principal at Willoughby Middle School, Plush and his team earned the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce 2023 Momentum Award in recognition of significant improvement in growth and achievement on the Ohio School Report Cards. 

Plush earned his undergraduate degree in education from Dayton University and was awarded a master’s degree in educational administration from Cleveland State University.   

 

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024

The Lakewood Ranger Purple & Gold Classic: GRANT WINS!

On the corner of Bunts and Franklin, in the LHS Gym, the annual Lakewood Ranger Purple & Gold Classic took place in front of a rowdy, exuberant and supportive crowd, cheering on their respective 5th grade school squads. Fans and spectators showed up in force creating an electric atmosphere, feeding off of the energy of the Women’s Final Four. 

Tip-off began at 8:30am with Emerson and Harrison going back and forth all game. You can’t kick off a tournament any better than with a game winning shot. With 6 seconds left, a right side short jumper sent Harrison into the 2nd round earning their first ever tournament victory!

Game number 2 featured Grant and Lincoln, who slugged it out for 32 minutes, with Grant emerging victorious. The final 1st round game was a cross town rivalry with Roosevelt facing off against Horace Mann. Both teams gave it their all, playing hard, but Roosevelt managed to claim the W.

Second round action, the returning champion Hayes, faced the upstart Harrison squad.  It seemed there was a lid over the rim for the first quarter but things began to roll as the teams settled into a rhythm.  The game was frantic, neither team backing down, which resulted in another game winning shot - Harrison advances! Grant and Roosevelt had a grudge match, both teams running and gunning, taking each other's best haymakers and when it was all said and done, Grant survived and advanced.

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024

Lakewood’s ME/WE Family Education And Support Group – Update!

The Lakewood ME/WE Family Education and Support Group has been meeting on Saturday mornings at Lakewood’s Cove Community Center since May 13, 2023. The meeting can be accessed both virtually and in person. This unique program which provides education and support for family members who are concerned about a loved one’s abuse or addictive use of alcohol or other drugs is the only such program which is funded and supported by a municipality. Sponsorship of the program is made possible by Opioid Settlement funding. The meetings are facilitated by Jim Joyner a licensed chemical dependency counselor clinical supervisor who has over 50 years of professional experience in the field of substance use disorder treatment, prevention, education and professional training.

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024

Foster Pool Fill-Up

One more sign that summer is nearly here: the Lakewood Public Works team has begun the process of filling and preparing Foster Pool!

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024

The Good, The Better And What The Heck - Part Two

The Good: Communicating with the Board is the right of every stake holder in Lakewood. Here’s some information that may help. At every Board meeting there is a time for public communications when you step up to a microphone and address the Board publicly. Policy 0169.1 is “Public Participation at Board Meetings.” The policy starts with …”public comment on educational issues and the importance of allowing members of the public to express themselves on school matters of community interest…” This is a longer policy but it is extremely specific. Here are examples of do’s and don’ts. “Anyone having a legitimate interest in the actions of the Board may participate…”, “Attendees must register their intention to participate…” (Sign in as you enter.) “Each statement made by a participant shall be limited to three (3) minutes duration..” and “All statements shall be directed to the presiding officer (normally the board president); no person may address or question Board members individually…” 

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024

Upcoming Events In May

Adele Malley

Presentation- Classic Candy of the Twentieth Century... with a special visit by Adele Malley 

Sunday, May 19, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium 

Join Kathleen Williams as she examines the best-selling candies from the turn of the century through the 1970s and stick around for a special visit with Adele Malley, from Lakewood’s very own Malley's Chocolates, as she discusses her new book, "Conversations with Adele."  

Meet The Author- "Cycling Rights" by Ken Knabe  

Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium  

Protect yourself and others as you enjoy the fun of riding your bike this season. Author and Attorney Ken Knabe will discuss the newest edition of his book Cycling Rights.  

2024 Adult Summer Reading Club: Adventure Begins at Your Library 

May 10, 2024-August 12, 2024  

Enter online at lakewoodpubliclibrary.beanstack.com or in-person at the Main Library or Madison Branch. No matter what you’re reading, make sure to log each book because every book, eBook, audiobook, or graphic novel you log equals one entry to win a prize. Winners will be drawn weekly. Having trouble? Call or stop by for assistance.   

 

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Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024

On The Eclipse

Finally an event that was shared by all (who were situated near it), free of charge, and attended by every kind of human being regardless of age, gender, color, nationality, ability, religion, clothing, whatever! All were welcome.

I didn’t hear of any protests at this event, at least no anti-eclipse ones. This in itself is a cause for celebration. Apparently we often angry peoples can, when there is a cosmic event, put aside all reference to politics and divisiveness. 

Even those who think science is a conspiracy game didn’t question whether the event would happen. They accepted the science which accurately predicted the timing of the eclipse.

Will the majesty, wonder and spirituality of the total solar eclipse soon be eclipsed by a return to our rancorous dealings with one another?

We,  just specks in the universe, should figure out how to live in peace with one another. That is why we are here.

Jean Brinich is a retired family nurse practitioner, returned to Lakewood in 2015 after a 46 year absence.

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Mayor's Corner: Lakewood Continues To Focus On Being A Pedestrian Friendly Community

I recently shared some updates on Lakewood’s holistic approach to overall safety. In this edition, I’d like to delve deeper into Lakewood’s ongoing effort to maintain and improve our city’s status as one of the most pedestrian-friendly communities in Ohio, if not the nation. Being a truly walkable community where people value the ability to safely walk and meet their daily needs is a key quality-of-life factor and priority for our residents.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month in the U.S., which makes sense with so many more pedestrians out and about walking as weather improves, and because distracted driving is a major cause of injuries to people on foot. This month also will see Ohio’s new restrictions on drivers’ use of cellphones in full effect. With very few exceptions, anything that involves using, holding, or supporting a cellphone while driving is now illegal, and repeat violators will be subject to escalating penalties.

I encourage everyone to review this new cellphone law for drivers – you can obtain a helpful fact sheet by visiting the Ohio Department of Transportation website:

https://www.transportation.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odot/phonesdown/resources/fact-sheet. Here in Lakewood, our officers will be enforcing this law if they observe a violation. We also have been informed that Ohio State Highway Patrol officers will have a focus on enforcing the law on state and federal routes, a number of which traverse Lakewood.

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

LHS Students Sweep Rotary Club Speech Contest

We are thrilled to share that Amy Garritano brought us some fantastic news today. Lakewood High School had yet another sweep at the speech contest sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lakewood & Rocky River, alongside the Beck Center!

Here are the winners: 1st Place: Elizabeth Schuldt - $750, 2nd Place: Sophia Lipowski - $500, 3rd Place: Ava Cuffari - $300, 4th Place: Lana Collins - $250.  We are proud to announce that Elizabeth and Sophia will be advancing to represent Lakewood High School at the District Finals on April 6th. Huge congratulations to everyone involved!  Let's continue to shine and make Lakewood proud!

 

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

City Hall Observed

The Public Safety Committee, Finance Committee and City Council met on Monday, April 15th.  

At the Public Safety meeting, Assistant Director - Planning and Development, David Baas presented the latest version of the Active Transportation Plan and accompanying Safe Streets for All (SS4A) Plan. The plan was partially developed around goals from the Community Vision such as: 

  • Build and maintain infrastructure to support active lifestyles.
  • Make transportation decisions that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote wellness.
  • Expand the dedicated bicycle network city-wide.
  • Improve and maintain the existing transportation infrastructure considering universal design, affordability, and environmental impact.
  • Adopt “vision zero” goal to reduce motor-vehicle related deaths to zero.

The committee agreed to recommend the plans to the full Council for a vote.

The Finance Committee heard a presentation from Finance Director, Peter Rancatore, regarding 3 proposed pieces of legislation relevant to the collection of taxes. They outline the need and ability to collect taxes as well as receive the funds promptly from the county so they can be invested. All three were recommended to the full council.

At the City Council meeting, all recommended legislation from Public Safety and Finance was adopted.

Public Works Director, Chris Gordon presented a plan to receive a $200,000 grant from the Ohio EPA to purchase and replace 4,630 of the city’s oldest recycling toters for residents. Council approved an additional $50,000 match to complete the transaction.

Fire Chief, Tim Dunphy, presented two grants to council to receive funds from the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Lakewood/Rocky River Rotary. Both were adopted.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Garfield Middle School Shines At NEOSEF Science Fair

Exciting news for Garfield Middle School!

We are incredibly proud to announce that four of our talented students competed at the NEOSEF Science Fair this Spring and achieved remarkable success!

KK Saunders placed 2nd in the Physics category.

Liam Callahan placed 3rd in Health and Medicine.

Elise Moran placed 2nd in Environmental Science, also earning special awards from The American Association of Chemical Engineering, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, and The National Audubon Society.

Charlaice McDonald placed 2nd in the Earth & Space category, winning special awards from Cleveland State, ASM International, and The Naval & Marine Corp. Science Center.

Not only did they excel in their categories, but Elise and Charlaice also garnered multiple special awards for their exceptional scientific thinking.

A huge congratulations to all participants for their hard work and dedication! Your achievements truly shine as a testament to your talent and passion for science.

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Dr. G's Ranger Round Up: Softball And Baseball

Mikey Klasa on April 9th.

SOFTBALL   April 13: Rangers vs Rocky River  

Senior ace Mia Carroll-Greeves struck out 14 on her way to a complete game win over Rocky River. Sister Gaby plated the first run—Madison Comer, who doubled-- for the Rangers with a sharp single to right, and Mia drove in the other with a single to center. Senior shortstop Emily Potoczak made a diving catch of a short fly ball to preserve the lead late in the game (6th inning). The Ranger are now 5-0 in the GLC and 6-3 overall.    

BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL   April 9: Rangers vs Westlake   When sophomore Cooper Russell walked off Westlake with a lightning bolt to left, he finished a dramatic comeback for the Lakewood Rangers (7-1). Cooper's heroics were only possible due to some great defense and solid pitching that kept Lakewood close until the bats came to life in the 6th. Tonight's was a deeply satisfying team win.  

Starter Logan Ellis allowed two runs (one earned) in 5 strong innings, while reliever and winning pitcher Mikey Klasa pitched two scoreless innings, including a dominating 7th. Freshman 3rd baseman Riley Verderber cut down a runner at the plate and made another fine play which held a potential run at third. Left fielder Keegan Schroeder and catcher Leo Soneson also made key defensive plays for the Rangers. Leo sparked the two run game tying rally in the 6th with a single in what was one of the best at-bats of the season, then scored the tying run on a clutch 2-strike, two run RBI single by Drew Jablonowski.  

To start the 7th, Logan Ellis blasted a long double to left center, and after Mikey and Petter Checkett reached on a walk and hit by pitch, Cooper worked the count to 3 and 2 before his full contact smash to left field.   The softball team also beat Westlake--look for that story a bit later--in what was a great night on the diamonds for the Rangers. Two community teams competed fiercely today, but happily the Purple and Gold prevailed. Kudos to Coach Graves, his staff and the entire squad. There was all kinds of lightning in the 44107 tonight. Long Live Lakewood.

April 6: 

 
SOFTBALL: Rangers vs Valley Forge
 
The diamonds were shining in Lakewood today, as players from all classes pitched the Softball and Baseball Rangers to victories. North of LHS, sophomore Ella Bower and senior Mia Carroll-Greeves pitched the Softball team to a double header sweep of Valley Forge. Mia's gem was a 5 inning perfect game.
 
BASEBALL: Rangers vs Fairview
 
South of LHS, freshman Riley Verderber and junior Peter Checkett pitched well in Lakewood Baseball's 9-3 win over Fairview. Both teams won with contributions from numerous players.

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Coal Bailouts, Fracked Parks & Solar Bans: Happy Earth Month From Ohio

Image created digitally by Tristan Rader

As we observe Earth Month, a time dedicated to celebrating and nurturing our planet, it's increasingly important to scrutinize the actions and policies that impact our environmental future, especially at the state level. Recent developments in Ohio paint a concerning picture of environmental policy that prioritizes fossil fuel interests over the preservation of natural resources and public health.

Ohio now allows fracking in state parks and wildlife areas, a decision that has sparked significant controversy and concern among environmentalists and Ohio communities. The passage of House Bill 507 in December 2021 mandates state agencies to allow fracking on Ohio public lands, fundamentally altering the stewardship of lands that include state parks, forests, wildlife areas, historical sites, and more. Late last year, drilling operations were approved at Salt Fork State Park, Valley Run Wildlife Area, and Zepernick Wildlife Area, allowing for oil and gas development underneath these precious resources. 

These actions come amidst a backdrop of legislative decisions that have not only subsidized aging coal and nuclear plants via House Bill 6 but have also imposed restrictive laws on wind and solar energy development, effectively stifling Ohio's potential for a cleaner energy future. The juxtaposition of subsidizing outdated coal energy while imposing barriers to renewable energy, coupled with opening public lands to fracking, underscores a stark contradiction in Ohio's approach to energy and environmental policy. 

The implications of allowing fracking in public parks and promoting natural gas as a "green" energy source are multifaceted. While natural gas is often touted for its lower carbon emissions compared to coal, the environmental impacts of fracking ”such as potential water contamination, air pollution, and contribution to climate change”raise significant concerns that our leaders have completely ignored. These concerns are amplified when such activities are permitted on public lands designated for conservation and recreation.

The Ohio state legislature is directly responsible for this regressive approach to energy policy. Its decisions reflect a disregard for economic opportunity, environmental protection, and community health. 

T

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Celebrating The Week Of The Young Child In Lakewood

Mayor George reading to LCCC Pre-K class

As many families in our community know, Lakewood Child Care Center (LCCC) has been caring for children – from newborns to school-agers – for more than 30 years at its 1450 Belle Avenue address. Many of our Center’s earliest children are now grown adults with families of their own.

From April 8-12, LCCC celebrated the Week of the Young Child® with activities, music, art and visits from local elected officials.

The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the world's largest early childhood education association. Established more than 50 years ago, the Week of the Young Child® is a week to spotlight public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.

“The Center is grateful to call Lakewood home and appreciates the long-standing partnership with the local community,” said Holle Brambrick, director of the 5-Star “Step Up To Quality”-rated Lakewood Child Care Center. “On behalf of our staff, children, and families, I want to extend a thank you to Mayor Megan George, City Council President Sarah Kepple, and City Council Members Tom Bullock and Kyle Baker who visited the Center during the Week of the Young Child to celebrate and read a favorite book with our children.”

According to the National Forum on Early Childhood Policy and Programs, high-quality early childhood programs can yield a $4 – $9 dollar return per $1 invested. Everyone from children and parents to state and local government, taxpayers, and society at large benefit from early childhood programs.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

H2O Summer Service Camp

The years of middle school are characterized by growing independence, emerging individual identity, social exploration, and CHANGE. One critical experience that kids can have to support this time of profound growth, to help them internalize compassionate thoughts and actions, and develop positive social connections is volunteering. Research supports the notion that the opportunity to serve others, and in turn to be valued within a community, is critical to youth development.

And we have just the experience! H2O Summer Service Camp has a 30-year tradition in Lakewood of enriching the lives of middle school students, providing memories that last a lifetime. We offer four sessions, which we hope accommodates scheduling around other summer plans. Each session brings together campers from across Lakewood, regardless of where they attend school. They are placed into groups of six with a counselor, and this is the foundation of their experience. The camp staff are a team of compassionate and talented leaders who dedicate their summer to providing the most fun and enriching experiences possible.

The service sites are planned to connect kids to their interests and passions, and to demonstrate how agencies across the region work to address community needs. H2O summer service partners include the Greater Cleveland Foodbank, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank, Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services, LakewoodAlive, Cove Community Center/Department of Human Services, local daycares, Lakewood Earth and Food, the Lakewood Arts Festival, and more. Plus, we host our own massive Clothing Drive and Super Sale. In addition to amazing volunteer experiences with these agencies, we also feature speakers from groups affecting positive change in our world, and a theme (to be revealed when camp starts!)

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Legal Aid Has New Tool Iin City Of Cleveland To Protect Residents, Neighborhoods From Blight

There is a new tool to help Cleveland improve the conditions of its housing stock. 

As properties change hands frequently, there are more out-of-state buyers purchasing homes to be used as rental properties. Absentee owners can easily neglect the buildings, allowing them to fall further into disrepair. To combat this, the City of Cleveland passed a set of ordinances in February, called the Residents First Legislative Package. The new ordinances will hold owners of rental and vacant properties more accountable for the maintenance of their properties.

“It’s easy to buy properties remotely if you are an out-of-town investor,” said Barbara Reitzloff, Supervising Attorney in The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland’s Housing Practice Group. “If the owner is in another city or country, they can buy properties sight-unseen and collect the rent by Cash App. They may never visit the property and try to manage it from a distance. This is bad for the tenants and for the neighborhood near those buildings.”

The new ordinances require owners of rental properties to register the property with the city. The owner must name a Local Agent in Charge (LAIC). If the owner is a person living in Cuyahoga or a neighboring county, the owner may be the LAIC. Otherwise, the LAIC must be a person who lives in Cuyahoga County. This agent is responsible for the maintenance and management of the property.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Volunteers Needed For LCAC’s Spring Cleaning Supplies Distribution

With warmer weather approaching, people often begin to wash off winter’s dirt and grime and start the spring fresh. LCAC, also known as the “food drive people” switches gears every spring to help provide cleaning supplies and hygiene items for Lakewood families in need, to help with their own “spring cleaning.”

LCAC will be hosting a Spring Cleaning Distribution on Saturday, April 20 at 9 a.m. at the Masonic Temple, located at 15300 Detroit Road in Lakewood. 

Many households need help with spring cleaning as necessary supplies can get expensive and are not covered by WIC. This drive will provide 100 recipients with the supplies they need for cleaning. 

LCAC’s board members and volunteers will sort and deliver cleaning supplies to Lakewood residences during the event. 

Volunteers of all ages are always welcome at LCAC events and there is a job for everyone to do as these much-needed cleaning supplies are sorted and then delivered to Lakewood families. 

For more information or to make a monetary donation, visit www.LCAC.info. Make sure to follow Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation on Facebook and/or on Instagram at @lcacfooddrives for any updates on our events.

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Church Of The Ascension Flea Market, Bike Rodeo, And Lakewood Bike Registration

Church of the Ascension Flea Market  

Bike Rodeo, and Lakewood Bike Registration

Partnering with Bike Lakewood and The Lakewood Police Department

Saturday, May 18th, 11 am to 5 pm, 13216 Detroit Ave. Lakewood, Ohio

216-521-8727

Are your closets full? Have your children outgrown their toys? Are there too many purses hanging in your closet? Are you ready to declutter or downsize? Are you a crafter? Are your children hankering to ride about town on their bikes?  Do you have a bike that needs to be checked for safety or needs general repairs? Do you have kids and want to join Bike Lakewood for a bike safety course?  

You need to come to Church of the Ascension from 11 am until 5 pm on Saturday May 18th. Enjoy a spring day outside on our beautiful idyllic grounds with activities for all ages. 

*Bring your treasures and crafts to sell on the large front grounds at Church of the Ascension, right on Detroit Ave., with lots of Lakewood foot traffic. Reserve your table today! Call 216-521-8727 or email secretary@ascension-lakewood.org to make your reservation. Arrive at 10:30 am to set up. A free will offering ($20 suggested) is appreciated but not required. In case of rain the sale will proceed from inside our church hall. 

 

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Keep Lakewood Beautiful To Host 2024 Earth Day Cleanup On April 27

Keep Lakewood Beautiful's 2024 Earth Day Cleanup takes place on Saturday, April 27.

Spring has sprung and there's no better time than now to celebrate the beauty of our planet while giving back to our community. Join Keep Lakewood Beautiful for our annual Earth Day Cleanup taking place Saturday, April 27, from 9 to 11 am at City Center Park (front of the Marc's Plaza) in Downtown Lakewood.

The Keep Lakewood Beautiful Earth Day Cleanup offers a family-friendly opportunity to clean up litter and spruce up public areas along the Detroit Avenue commercial corridor. Trash bags, vests, buckets, tongs and gloves will be provided to participants.

This year’s cleanup event also features a free tree saplings giveaway while supplies last. Fifty tree saplings (25 Eastern Redbuds and 25 American Plums) will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To participate in this year’s event, simply join Keep Lakewood Beautiful on April 27. No advanced registration is necessary. Check-in will be located in the public space at the front of the Marc's Plaza near the intersection of Detroit and Cook Avenues.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Bocce! Bocce! At Cove Community Center

Dive into summer with Bocce! Bocce! at Cove Community Center! Whether you're a seasoned pro or first-timer, join us Wednesdays for night games or Thursdays for daytime fun. Bring friends or come solo, we'll find a team for you!

For details or to sign up, call 216-529-5061 or email nancy.feighan@lakewoodoh.gov.

Let's make this summer memorable with Bocce! Bocce! at Cove!

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

LakewoodAlive Has Another Fantastic Year Of Events Ahead Of Them!

Join us in celebrating 20 years of LakewoodAlive at all our beloved events!

Exciting News: Get ready for a year of unforgettable fun in Lakewood! LakewoodAlive—which is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year—reveals their lineup of 2024 community events, featuring five must-attend occasions spanning early summer to the holiday season. Join us and experience the unique vibrancy of Lakewood for yourself!

Family friendly, community building, and diverse, the events include the Front Porch Concert Series, Lakewood Summer Meltdown, Spooky Pooch Parade, Lakewood Chocolate Walk, and Light Up Lakewood. Each event promises something special for everyone, providing the perfect opportunity to connect with neighbors, support local businesses, and immerse yourself in the charm of our city.

First up, the Front Porch Concert Series, presented by Johnson Bentley Wealth Partners of Raymond James, kicks off on Friday, June 7. With a total of eight free shows taking place every Friday evening in June and July, the first six will take place on the front steps of the Lakewood Public Library, with the last two shows hosted at Madison Park Pavilion. Bring your family, friends, snacks, blankets, and chairs for a delightful summer evening in the fresh air.

Returning for its 16th year, Lakewood Summer Meltdown, sponsored by Melt Bar & Grilled, promises endless summer fun on Saturday, July 20. From a 5K Race to the 1 Mile Family Fun Run & Walk, a water moose, the Gary Bish Memorial Beer Garden, delicious food, live music, and the opportunity to explore downtown Lakewood, there is truly something for everyone. You won’t want to miss out on the biggest block party of the year.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Upcoming Events At Lakewood Public Library

Meet The Author - "The Final Witness: A Kennedy Secret Service Agent Breaks His Silence After Sixty Years " by Paul Landis 

Wednesday, April 24, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium 

Special Agent Paul Landis was standing on the running boards of the car directly behind JFK’s Cadillac on the tragic afternoon of November 22,1963. In "The Final Witness," the author tells his story, the one he could not speak about for over sixty years. Books will be available for sale. 

Presentation - Women, Guitars and Pop Music: A Short History with Diana Chittester 

Sunday, April 21, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium 

Diana Chittester takes listeners on a musical journey through the past century to discover the styles of influential, and often overlooked, female guitarists. 

Film Matinee - "Enchanted April" (1991)  

Sunday, April 28, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. (98 minutes) in the Main Library Auditorium 

Four British women are transformed by a quiet holiday in an Italian castle.  

 

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Downtown Lakewood Celebrates The Return Of The Beloved Spring Stroll: A Unique Brunch Crawl And Arts Experience

The Downtown Lakewood Business Alliance is thrilled to announce the return of the Downtown Lakewood Spring Stroll on Sunday, May 19, 2024, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Following the overwhelming success of last year's event, the Spring Stroll is back to offer a unique blend of culinary delights and artistic exploration, all in support of the vibrant local business community in historic Downtown Lakewood. 

"We are absolutely thrilled to bring this event back for another year,” shared Nancy Hedberg, RN, MSN, of Lakewood Family Health Center and a lead organizer for the event. “The Spring Stroll is a celebration of everything that makes Downtown Lakewood such a special place - our businesses, our artists, and our wonderfully vibrant community."

This year's Spring Stroll invites attendees to embark on a brunch crawl unlike any other, featuring an expanded lineup of local businesses each offering delectable brunch items paired with engaging arts experiences. Participants will have the opportunity to explore at least 16 stops throughout Downtown Lakewood, from beloved eateries to cultural gems like the Lakewood Public Library.

"We've crafted an event that goes beyond the traditional brunch crawl. The Spring Stroll not only entertains but also fosters a strong sense of community and mutual support among businesses and artists alike,” said Stephanie Flask, Financial Advisor at Edward Jones and a lead organizer for the event.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Lakewood Public Library Upcoming Programs: Children’s and Youth Services

Just Baby 'N Me 

For You and Your Birth to 24-Month-Old Baby 

Just Baby 'N Me is a lap-sit story time ideal for babies from birth through early walkers. The focus is on rhymes, songs, finger plays and exploring short books together. Registration is required. Register for each session separately.  

 April 1- April 25, 2024 

Main Library-  

Mondays- 10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.  

Wednesdays- 10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.  

Thursdays-10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. 

Madison Branch-  

Thursdays- 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 

Pre-school Story Time 

 

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Hello There - The Story Of The Post Cards

Mom & Dad were children of the Depression. Being so, finances were a primary consideration in almost all of their decisions. Even though Dad had a very good job and they were economically comfortable, this never left them.

My favorite story of their parsimony was that, until the end of their lives, they saved their mealtime paper napkins – smoothing them out, folding them carefully, and sliding them under their placemats. This was too much for My Bride and me. One of the first things we would do, upon arriving at their home in Fort Myers, was make a beeline for the breakfast table in the lanai, and then to the dinner table in the nook, reach under the placemats and THROW AWAY all those used napkins. Well, actually many times it was a paper towel scrap – because paper towels were less costly than napkins and somewhat as soft. I think you have to stretch the concept of “somewhat as soft” because the paper towel brand of choice was of the cheapest sort and very rough to my sensitive (I guess) finger touch. When I mentioned this to Dad, all he did was swipe the back of his hand across his lips and say, “You don’t got to use it long, do you.”

Now I ask you: How do you answer something like that??!!
 

 


   

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Meet Me At Cove: Sean Collins

Swinging through life’s challenges for 56 years, Sean Collins is a force on the Disabled Golf Tour with the US Adaptive Golf Association since 2019. Ranked 2nd in the US Senior Seated Division, he’s teed off his passion since learning from his dad as a kid.

On May 10th, one day after his 67th birthday, watch Sean knock it out of the park throwing the first pitch at the Lake Erie Crushers game!

Mark your calendars for his moves in Cleveland at the Ohio Adaptive Open in August, after his victorious run at the Michigan Adaptive Open in 2023!

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Fire And Ice Hockey Game Raises Money For MILES

Last week Seth Andregg, representing Lakewood Firefighters Local 382, presented a check for $2,908 to the Lakewood High MILES (Moving to Independent Learning for Employment & Success) unit for use for their programming needs. The money was raised from the annual Fire and Ice charity hockey game last month of the firefighters versus LHS current players and alumni. We are so grateful for our first responders' commitment to our community and students! Thank you!

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Antonio Condemns Passage of Anti-Trans Administrative Rules

On April 16th, I condemned the passage of several administrative rules that would unnecessarily ban gender reassignment surgery on minors, even though such surgeries have never taken place in Ohio.

“The passage of these rules is unnecessary, confusing and will drive away young people and businesses from our state,” said Antonio. “Ohio cannot truly be a welcoming state while we continue to stigmatize marginalized Ohioans and take away a family’s right to make their own health care decisions.”

Rules 3701-59-06 and 3701-83-60 would ban the operation of gender reassignment surgery on minors. Gender reassignment surgery has never been completed on a minor in Ohio, meaning this rule will further spread untrue and harmful beliefs about the state of gender-affirming care in Ohio.

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Lakewood Diversity Potluck Dinner May 9th

Join the Lakewood Community Relations Advisory Council on Thursday, May 9 for the Lakewood Diversity Potluck! Attendees will bring a dish that represents their family, culture, or ethnic background, and dishes will be shared.

The event will take place from 6 to 8 PM at the Cove Community Center.

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024

Eclipse Information

Photograph by City of Lakewood

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will take place where the moon completely blocks the sun for nearly four minutes. Lakewood and a large portion of Northeast Ohio sit in the path of totality for this event, which means that we have front-row seats to one of nature’s most amazing phenomena.

Some quick reminders: Make sure that you have eclipse viewing glasses certified to ISO 12312-2 standards. Improperly viewing an eclipse can cause permanent damage to your eyes.

The timing of the eclipse for the Cleveland area is as follows:

Eclipse starts: 1:59 p.m. EDT Totality begins: 3:13 p.m. EDT.  Maximum totality: 3:15 p.m. EDT. Totality ends: 3:17 p.m. EDT Eclipse ends: 4:28 p.m. EDT. 

Lakewood City Hall and the Lakewood Municipal Court will be closed to the public beginning at 12:00 PM on Monday, April 8th.

The Lakewood Police Department will not be enforcing the rush hour parking restrictions (Monday-Friday 7:00 am-9:30 am & 4:00 pm-6:30 pm) on April 8th. Enforcement will resume on Tuesday, April 9th.

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024

New Police Officers

On March 20, 2024 the Lakewood Police Department welcomed four new officers to the team: Christopher Schilla, Nicholas Krotine, Christina Bridges, and Christopher Rafter. Congratulations to each of you and we are glad to have you serving the City of Lakewood!

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024

City Council Observed: Real Estate Development Spanning 145 Years

1470 Warren Ave from Victoria Ave

The Housing, Planning & Development Committee met on Monday, March 25 at 6:00 PM. Thomas Bullock - Committee Chair, Jason Shachner - Committee Member, Kyle Baker - Committee Member, Sarah Kepple - Council President, and Cindy Marx - Council Member Ward 4 attended the meeting along with Mayor Meghan George, Law Director Ernie Vargo, Director of Planning & Development Shawn Leininger and members of the community.

The first business item was Ordinance 05-2024 which the committee and council had discussed one week prior. This ordinance would allow the city to enter into an agreement with a licensed broker for the sale of multiple properties. Four individuals from the audience addressed the committee. Two speakers asked the legislators to contemplate how 16016-16024 Madison Ave might benefit the community as a senior living facility; urging the elected officials to consider all facets of future offers for the property and not simply accept the highest bid. Another commenter representing the Lakewood Child Care Center (the only current tenant of 1450 Belle Ave) expressed LCCC’s desire to expand their presence in the building and pointed out that they had already made many upgrades to the building at their own expense. LCCC is interested in buying the parcel. Committee member and councilperson Kyle Baker stated that he would abstain from commenting or voting on this ordinance as his wife, Allison Baker, serves on the LCCC board.

The Committee then voted to remove 1450 Belle Ave, 16016-16024 Madison Ave and 16021 Madison Ave from the proposed legislation as these are commercial properties while the others listed were residential. With the Belle parcel removed, Baker reentered the discussion. He then proposed that two members of council closely monitor the sales process for these properties. Shachner suggested that President Kepple and the Ward 2 representative (himself) serve in these roles. This was approved by the committee. 

 

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024

Mayor's Corner: A Holistic Approach To Safety

As the weather begins to warm up, so does our time outside, which allows us to spend more time enjoying our many parks and walking and biking through Lakewood. As Mayor and Safety Director, I think about safety year-round, and it is especially top of mind as things warm up and more people are out and about. I am excited to provide some updates on our holistic approach to safety here in Lakewood.

I am thrilled to share that our neighborhood ambassadors are returning to our parks this spring. Launched in 2023, the Parks Ambassador Program serves our five largest parks. The ambassadors provide a level of safety in addition to our uniformed officers, who will again be adding a parks detail during the warm weather months. We are excited to continue both of these important programs to ensure our parks remain safe and inviting for all users.  

With the aim of enhancing inter-agency communication and bolstering emergency response capabilities, the City of Lakewood has secured new state-of-the-art radios for our police and fire departments, funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). These cutting-edge devices boast advanced features facilitating seamless communication not only within their respective departments but also with surrounding public safety agencies. This technological upgrade marks a significant improvement over previous generations, offering a suite of modern enhancements designed to optimize coordination and efficiency during critical situations, ensuring a more effective and coordinated response to emergencies. The radios are scheduled to be in the hands of Lakewood first responders this spring.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024

Report On The District: The Good, The Better, And The What The Heck

The Good: This new column will be focusing on The Lakewood Board of Education and the entire district. Let’s start with the basics: there are 5 members on the school board who are elected by our community, and they serve a 4-year term. In general, all school boards have three responsibilities: developing the annual budget to run the school system; setting school policies; and hiring and evaluating the superintendent and treasurer. The only positions that the Board itself hire are the superintendent and the treasurer. The board therefore acts as their bosses. Policy 1210 states “it is the primary duty of the Board to establish policies and that of the Superintendent to administer such policies” and policy 1310 states “The Board vests the primary responsibility for the financial affairs of the District in the Treasurer.”

When someone stands and speaks at a school board meeting they may feel frustrated or wonder why the board members do not answer their question or respond at all.  Policy 1222 explains: “The Board only speaks through its minutes.” Pretty frustrating. This column’s goal is to help all of us understand more about this organization that has a tremendous impact on our entire community.  

Take a moment and go to lakewoodcityschools.org; find the Board of Education tab. There you will find information about board members, purpose, calendars, and a Board Policies link. Reading through policies may not sound like a great way to spend an evening, but there is an amazing amount of information about the district that can be found in these policies. General public meetings are held the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at 7pm and are also livestreamed on YouTube. Search “Brent Kallay” or go to the link on the Board tab. This is also the location to find archived board meetings, special events and concerts. 

The Better: Eclipse glasses are being supplied to every student through the Teaching and Learning Department. LHS hosted the OMEA Junior High solo and ensemble where 150 students participated, 50 from Lakewood all earning superior and excellent ratings. In 1999, one Lakewood elementary school started a jump-a-thon to raise money for "Jump Rope for The Heart.” More elementary schools have joined and to date they have raised over $100,000. Recently LHS welcomed 28 students and teachers from Germany. They stayed with Lakewood families, communicating in German and English while exploring Cleveland. 

What the Heck: Policy 7510 mandates in detail the usage and priorities of all district properties, it states: “In order to assure a close relationship between the Board of Education and the Lakewood community, it shall be the policy of the Board to grant and encourage maximum use of schools facilities as provided by law…Such use shall not interfere with the regular education programs. Category 1: Lakewood Student Groups, Category 2: Lakewood School Support Entities, Category 3: Lakewood Public Nonprofit Groups Category 4: Lakewood Private Nonprofit Groups and Category 5: Commercial Users/Non-Resident Groups."

I was around when this policy was written. It was in response to the practice of school facilities being rented out as much as possible for the rental monies. The result was that Lakewood school groups were pushed aside in favor of making money on rentals. School groups were given dates and then had those dates taken away or changed to accommodate a rental.

Just like all the facilities owned by our community and managed by the district, the Lakewood Civic Auditorium at Lakewood High School serves as a place for concerts, commencements, dance recitals, and awards ceremonies just to name a few. When it fits into the district schedule, it is rented out to mostly different community groups.

This year the Civic has been rented so much that it severely limited usage by the LHS Performing Arts Department's yearly musical. Due to an overly zealous rental schedule, instead of the normal 10 plus weeks of closely monitored time for rehearsals and production, they only have 1 full week of uninterrupted time. Volunteer parents are spending many hours to catch up, and Sunday rehearsals had to be scheduled for pit and cast. Now there are reports that the district is offering overtime to maintenance staff to help get the set done, up and struck. But none of this gives back the needed rehearsal time on stage.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024

Strong Odor Emanating From Rocky Rive

This past week the City of Lakewood became aware of a sick, pungent odor that was most noticeable on the west side of the city. This odor had been emanating from a historic oil well along Hilliard Boulevard in Rocky River that was punctured dur- ing construction work. The

Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) was in the process of fixing the issue, but said that it would take several days to complete.

The "Newburg" oil has a strong odor and smells similar to the mercaptan additive that gives natural gas its smell. We have been informed that the odor, despite its unpleasantness,

does not cause any health issues. Residents have been advised that the smell outside is not cause for alarm. If, however, you smell a gas odor inside your house (e.g., your basement) during this time, be sure to call 911 as you normally would, and the fire department will come

check for a natural gas leak.

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024

Dr. G's Lakewood Ranger Round-Up: Baseball/Softball

March 28: Rangers vs Lake Catholic
 
To win 1-0 over a strong team like Lake Catholic requires outstanding pitching and solid defense. With Logan Ellis (complete game shutout) in command on the mound and stingy defense, the Lakewood Rangers got just that today, and the result was pleasing to Ranger loyalists. Logan scattered 5 hits and stuck out 7, issued 0 walks and induced many ground balls.
 
That's where the defense comes in with infielders Riley Verderber, Cooper Russell (who scored the lone run on a Leo Soneson sacrifice fly), Brady Long and Nick Hart making several critical plays each. Peter Checkett was rock solid behind the plate. But it was right fielder Andrew Krankowski who made the play of the game. After a 7th inning leadoff double by the excellent LC pitcher, the next batter hit a short fly ball into no man's land--or so it seemed--in shallow right center. Andrew raced in and made a sliding one handed grab, stifling what could have been a back breaking rally. Logan retired the last two batters on strikes, and the Rangers walked off the field with a 3-0 record in this young season.

This was a very satisfying win for Lakewood, who has had spirited battles for the last two seasons (each team wining a one-run game), the Cougars winning last year. The Lakewood Rangers are young, always play hard and are all from 44107.
 
Long Live Lakewood.

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024

Magician Mark Paskell To Headline Centering Space Gala

Renowned magician Mark Paskell will perform in Lakewood on June 8.

Las Vegas magic is coming to Lakewood on June 8, when Mark Paskell takes the stage at Lakewood Catholic Academy for the Centering Space Magical Journey Gala fundraiser.

Paskell turned professional at the age of 15, and by age 20, was working in Las Vegas. Later he expanded his repertoire to include entertaining both private and corporate clients, such as Steven Spielberg, John Travolta and many Fortune 500 clients, at a variety of private events.

“Mark is an amazing magician and entertainer,” said Betsy Nero, director at Centering Space. “We are so thrilled that he offered to perform at this benefit for us. He has been an inspiration and has provided a lot of encouragement and support in the planning process.”

The fundraiser, which takes place on June 8 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM, will include heavy hors d’oeuvres, drinks, live music, silent and live auctions, a 50/50 raffle and a performance by Paskell on the LCA stage. All the proceeds will go directly to ensuring the continued ministry of Centering Space to the people of Northeast Ohio.

Located on the shores of Lake Erie next to Lakewood Park, Centering Space is a peaceful and inclusive space where people are invited to attend regular prayer hours each week or select from a wide variety of programs throughout the year.

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024

Neighborhood Watch

As those who overwinter here,
I fill the feeders in my yard
For hungry birds who wander far
And those companioning near

That they and those together flock
In browns and grays and muted tones
With colorful and foreign stocks
Behind this row of modest homes.

All day I watch for one or two,
Quick of wing and bright of hue
Who flash of yellow, orange, blue
Red, or green in passing through

And as they land or as they fly
In local or exotic guise,
I watch for something bold and new
As my neighbors watch there too.

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024

Starr Gazer

APRIL  

ARIES: It’s all about the Ram. The Sun has landed in your house of personality. The Solar Eclipse brings changes into your life; it will be the catalyst that paves the way for a new you.

TAURUS: The Bull's got something hidden up its sleeve; the Solar Eclipse will shine the light on that, & then you'll have to come out of hiding. No more staying in the Bull Pen for you.

GEMINI: This month, the Twins have double the pleasure or double the trouble; it's up to you to see how you roll with it. The eclipse is shaking up your world of friendships & organizations.

CANCER: The Crab is making some bold moves in the career sector. The eclipse makes you examine what stays and what has to go. You've got too many irons in the pot; scale back.

LEO: The Solar Eclipse has the Lion/Lioness looking into foreign affairs; maybe you're thinking it's time to get out of the Jungle & spend time somewhere on a sandy beach sipping a pina colada.

VIRGO: Virgo, the Solar Eclipse is shining on transformation. It's time to examine the deeper issues. The Sun may shine on the outside, but you’ll need to delve much further down.

 

                                                                                                                                             

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024

Upcoming Events At Lakewood Public Library

Lakewood Public Cinema Documentary- Eclipse Over America

Presented by Rita Chahda

Sunday, April 7, 2024 
2:00 p.m. (60 minutes) 
Main Library Auditorium

Join us for a special visit by Lakewood High School science teacher, Rita Chahda, as she gives us an informative overview of the April 8th eclipse, the first total solar eclipse visible over Lakewood since 1806, followed with a screening of Nova’s Eclipse Over America. The film documents the events surrounding the August 21, 2017, path of totality for both scientists and the public, while explaining the significance of this once in a lifetime phenomenon. Free eclipse glasses will be available after the documentary while supplies last.

Film- Casablanca (1942)  

Presented by Terry Meehan

Saturday April 13, 2024  

6:00 p.m. (102 minutes)  

Main Library Auditorium  

Filmed and set during World War II, Casablanca focuses on an American expatriate (Humphrey Bogart) who must choose between his love for a woman (Ingrid Bergman) and helping her resistance-leader husband (Paul Henreid) to escape from Vichy-controlled Casablanca. Particularly memorable is the "duel of the anthems" between the German officers and the patrons of Rick’s Café.  

 

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024

Healthy Lakewood Foundation’s Community Grants Process Opens On April 8th

Healthy Lakewood Foundation will accept applications for its Community Grants funding process from April 8 through May 10, 2024. Community Grants support organizational programming, projects and initiatives that seek to address critical needs, build community connections, address disparities, and improve the quality of our public and living spaces, with a priority on:

  • Food insecurity and access to affordable high-quality food.
  • Social and community support networks as safeguards against stress and discrimination.
  • Access to early childhood education programs and services.
  • Affordable and safe housing, access to transportation, and safety in and access to public spaces within Lakewood.

Additionally, specific populations in Lakewood are prioritized in this funding, including children and youth, low-income older adults, single-parent heads of households, and immigrants and refugees.

Grant funding ranges between $10,000 - $40,000.

Non-profits and fiscally sponsored organizations are encouraged to review the application process and guidelines on HLF’s website at https://healthylakewoodfoundation.org/community-grants/

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024

Happening At The Lakewood Family Room In April

Birth & Beyond

This in-person class is designed to help you prepare for the journey of pregnancy, birth and beyond. Whether you’re a first-time parent or adding to your family, our knowledgeable Birth and Postpartum Doula and Lactation Counselor, Kristen Bindel will provide valuable information and support to guide you through this exciting time. This is a FREE birth class funded by a grant from the Healthy Lakewood Foundation. The 3 part class will be offered throughout the year with the first session taking place on April 10, April 24, and May 8 from 5-7:30 PM at the Lakewood Family Room in Cove Community Center. Registration is required. Call 216-529-5018 or email Jessica.parker@lakewoodoh.net for more information.

Newborn & Infant Support

Once your baby has arrived you are bound to have questions. We feel that all mothers should be supported with grace and understanding during this first vulnerable year. Come as you are and find expert support and guidance as well as friendships that can last a lifetime. This drop in group is just that. Come when you can, no need to register. Kristen Bindel, Doula and Lactation Counselor, facilitates this group for all new parents and their babies every Wednesday morning from 10 am to Noon.

Morning Drop In Play

The Lakewood Family Room is the perfect place to let your child play in a cozy, friendly, safe environment while you meet your neighbors! Grab a cup of coffee while your little one plays with blocks, trucks, dolls, puzzles, and more. No registration is required. Tuesday mornings are for reserved for those 3 and under while Thursdays are for babies to big kids (0-5)! Doors open 9 to 11 AM.

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024

Lakewood Public Library Children’s And Youth Services Programs

Just Baby 'N Me 

For You and Your Birth to 24-Month-Old Baby 

Just Baby 'N Me is a lap-sit story time ideal for babies from birth through early walkers. The focus is on rhymes, songs, finger plays and exploring short books together. Registration is required. Register for each session separately.  

April 1- April 25, 2024 

Main Library-  

Mondays- 10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.  

Wednesdays- 10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.  

Thursdays-10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. 

Madison Branch-  

Thursdays- 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 

Pre-school Story Time 

For You and Your 2 to 5-Year-Old Pre-schooler. This pre-school story time is ideal for walkers, new talkers, and learning early literacy skills. You and your toddler and preschoolers will enjoy short books, songs and rhymes. The focus is on skills with your participation as a model. No registration is required. 

 

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024

Lakewood G.O.A.L.S. Kicks Off Its 2024 Fundraising On April 11 With Dine To Donate At Aladdin’s Eatery

Flags representing the country of origin for LHS Boys Soccer players, a tradition started by Dr. Amy Daso, is the highlight of the home opener every year.

It only takes reading a few of Dr. G’s Lakewood High School athletic recaps to see how high school sports bring us together as a community and fill us with Ranger pride.

According to Kristian Hila, LHS ’10 “The greatest strength of the LHS Boys Soccer program is our beautiful mix of cultures and life experiences that come together and create lifelong friendships and a shared love for our game and the Lakewood soccer family.”  

Current and future athletes pour their hearts into the soccer program. You might see them on their way to conditioning at 6:00 am year-round or playing at the Madison Park Futsal courts late into the night. Behind the scenes there are hours spent studying – sometimes learning English for the first time or helping teammates master chemistry and algebra. Some players work part-time to help their family pay for rent and food. Others spend hours volunteering in the community.

While differences in finances are not an insurmountable hurdle within Lakewood, they play a big part in shutting down opportunities for some of our talented athletes to play high-level club soccer. This type of training exposes players to intense competition, puts them in front of college recruiters offering scholarship opportunities, and helps them realize their fullest potential. 

Over the years, many in the community have been quietly helping make higher-level soccer training more accessible by paying for soccer cleats/uniforms, purchasing meals, or springing for extra hotel rooms. Now, with the encouragement of former LHS alumni and parent groups, the G.O.A.L.S. program has been launched. Granting Opportunity and Access for Lakewood Soccer (G.O.A.L.S.) is raising funds to provide high-level soccer training and equipment for boys from refugee and low-income families.Key to the program is creating a sense of belonging and support by removing income level as a barrier.

For me this is a personal story. Like many LHS soccer players, I came to Lakewood as an immigrant. I was 7 years old, from a single parent home and did not speak a word of English. The Lakewood soccer community was welcoming and generous. Families in our community found ways for boys like me to play for LSA and later Lakewood United. We had rides, and uniforms, and a safe, fun place to make friends and feel at home.  

Waking up at 5:30 every day for training as an LHS soccer player was intense, exhausting and an amazing environment for building great habits, learning to make good decisions, and building the best friendships.  

When I am not studying for my accelerated BSN degree you can see me on the sidelines as a Lakewood United and Lakewood City Futsal coach, and in the stands for LHS games with fellow alumni and lifelong friends cheering on each new generation of Rangers. I am grateful to be able to give back to the community that did so much for me.

I hope you will consider making a contribution either directly to G.O.A.L.S. or by enjoying a delicious, healthy meal for dine-in or take-out on April 11, 2024 at the Lakewood Aladdin’s Eatery, 14536 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107. On that day, 10% of all proceeds will go directly to support G.O.A.L.S.

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024

Enough Already: The World Is Watching As Gaza Is Being Starved

How much longer will the world allow Israel to act with absolute impunity? On countless occasions since the escalating attacks on innocent Palestinian civilians, the Biden Administration has been reported to “warn” Israel, and “pressure” Netanyahu and “push” the IDF to act in accordance with international humanitarian law. It has been six months. Six months of watching massive airstrikes, absolute destruction, depraved military operations and death - so much death in Palestine. Now, we are watching as those that survived the relentless bombings, die of forced starvation because Israel will not allow sufficient aid into Gaza.

It is long past time for the United States to halt the financial, military and political cover we’ve given Israel’s genocidal campaign. Even after the ICJ’s ruling, objections from international humanitarian organizations, and warnings from the Biden Administration, Israel has rejected any calls for restraint and doubled down on their intent to massacre Palestinian civilians. Currently, the IDF is poised to launch an invasion of Rafah, the southernmost point of the Gaza strip where 1.5M forcibly displaced refugees are sheltering. 

To be in lockstep with Netanyahu’s authoritarian regime is unconscionable; to hold Gaza and the world hostage by refusing international ceasefire resolutions is absolutely evil. Not only does the U.S. look incredibly foolish on the world stage, but also utterly hypocritical and breath-takingly callous. 

As a nation, we will face consequences for aiding and abetting a genocide. Whether it’s Trump in November, or a geopolitical conflict in the near future or judgment day when we meet our proverbial maker, America needs to take accountability and course correct or else this will be the beginning of the end of our role as a leader of the free world. No short-term foreign policy goals are worth that. 

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Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024