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Thank You, Lakewood!

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your Ward 2 ­representative on City Council since 2020. I will be resigning my position effective August 5th to accept a new opportunity in public service. This decision comes with a mix of emotions, but primarily, I am grateful that I have been able to have worked alongside such dedicated public servants and with an incredibly engaged and vibrant community.­

During my tenure, we faced unprecedented challenges, particularly with the onset of the pandemic. I drafted the legislation that expanded outdoor dining options to support our local businesses, a testament to our resilience and adaptability. We also made significant strides in housing by permitting the building of accessory dwelling units, providing more housing options for residents. Additionally, I prioritized public safety by committing ARPA funds to ensure that a High Intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK) is installed on Madison Avenue between Westwood/Morrison and Victoria/Reveley, which is going out to bid in the next few weeks.

As I continue my career in public service elsewhere, I am confident that Lakewood will continue to thrive. Our efforts have set a strong foundation for the future, and I am excited to see the continued progress and positive direction of our city. Thank you for your support and kindness, and for the opportunity to serve our community.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

Hixson's Christmas In July Sale

Here in the heart of Lakewood, a town known for its tight-knit community and timeless charm, stands “Hixson’s,” a beloved shop that has been a cornerstone of the town for over seventy years. William Hixson, the shop’s namesake, and owner, passed peacefully in December of 2022 leaving many unanswered questions regarding what would happen to the one-of-a-kind store. I am pleased to tell you that the store and William’s legacy live on.

What many people didn’t know is that Mr. Christmas was a collector of all things, and we are ready to share those precious items with his loyal customers to keep his spirit alive. Throughout our store we have uncovered many hidden gems that are awaiting their new homes. Some of these items include never before seen stained glass windows, Tiffany-style lamps, and architectural elements. There is an array of vintage and antique oriental collectibles including art, furniture, and textiles. Spread the word and help us pass on these one of a kind items for generations to come.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Hixson’s if we didn’t mention Christmas! Please join us for our Christmas in July sale which will feature 30% off ALL things Christmas throughout the store. The sale will run from July 21st through July 26th from 12pm to 6pm.  Hixson's is located at 14125 Detroit Avenue (216) 521-9277

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

Mayor's Corner: Early Returns On Heritage Home Program Show High Homeowner Interest

In March of this year, the City of Lakewood began partnering again with the Cleveland Restoration Society to provide access to the Heritage Home Program for owners of Lakewood homes built over 50 years ago. With the return of Heritage Home, Lakewood homeowners can once again access professional guidance and low-cost, below-market-rate financing to upgrade and maintain our community’s impressive stock of historic homes. The City was recently provided a snapshot of early use of the program, and the interest in the program is impressive.

By way of background, the Heritage Home Program has two main aspects. First, it provides free, impartial, and independent technical assistance and advice for home repair and maintenance projects. That can mean anything from help finding and evaluating suitable contractors to general advice on repairs and remodeling down to helping owners pick out a paint color scheme that fits with the charm of their century-home. Second, Heritage Home also connects homeowners to affordable loans for home projects, with rates as low 2% fixed, provided by local banks. That is a huge benefit in light of the interest being charged in the market in recent years, helping homeowners get their projects done without breaking the bank.

Restoration Society staff provided the City with a snapshot of usage for the first two months of the program, and in a short period of time, over 350 Lakewood homeowners reached out to the Restoration Society to inquire about Heritage Home Program resources. Out of those contacts, 53 site visits were performed, and 18 additional off-site technical assistance contacts were performed. Finally, nine homeowners applied for loans in the first month alone, with a value of nearly $450,000. Overall, projects where Home Heritage was involved in just that short period of time exceeded $3 million.

What this early data tells us is that there was pent up demand for this kind of assistance in Lakewood, and it bodes well for our homeowners being able to improve and maintain their residences. We suspected the program would be popular when over 100 Lakewood residents attended the first informational meeting on March 7th at Lakewood Library, and this early information is proving that expectation correct.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

Observations On The District: The Good, The Better And The What The Heck: Part 5

Good: A special Board meeting was held several months ago on April 29th. This is how it was described: “The Superintendent and Cabinet members provided Board members with an update on matters pertaining to the 2023-2024 school year and discussed planning for the 2024-2025 school year and beyond.” 

What is the cabinet? Superintendent Niedzwiecki explained: “(The) Cabinet comprises the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Treasurer, and all of the Directors at the Central Office. Over the years, a few have lived in Lakewood, attended Lakewood schools, or graduated from Lakewood. To date, I do not believe anyone lives in Lakewood.” 

Directors in the cabinet are HR, Operations, Student Services, Teaching and Learning, Technology, Community and District Activities. (Correction: the Director of Operations lives in Lakewood.) Can the cabinet be considered an advisory group for the superintendent? “Yes. In addition, they become experts in their fields.” The Cabinet also presents to the Board and makes recommendations regarding Lakewood and the future of our schools and community.

Better: It’s Lakewood, and summer means camps, camps, camps where learning is fun: Pony Camp, Rock On! And Strings on Fire, Kids Connection, Safety Town, Build a Bot Camp, Ranger Roundball Camp and Lakewood Girls Summer Basketball Camp to name a few. There are also more in our community from the Beck Center to Lakewood Public Library. At all the Lakewood outdoor spaces there is lots of laughing and sounds of fun.

What the Heck? 

First: Cabinet members are not required to live in Lakewood, and the Board isn't required to record special meetings and make them available to the public.

I am sure the Lakewood community appreciates all the work that cabinet members put forth for our students. However, a couple of years ago a cabinet level administrator told me that I was tone deaf to the Lakewood community. Since I was stunned, I missed the opportunity to reply, “At least I live In Lakewood.” That’s a powerful group of administrators with no 24-hour connection to our community. Walking down our streets, mowing the lawn, hanging out at a coffee shop or cheering on softball games to truly understand the effect of the choices being made. 

 

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

Third Annual Most Distinguished Tree Contest Starts Today

Lakewood’s Tree Advisory and Education Board along with the Lakewood Observer are holding the third Most Distinguished Tree in Lakewood Contest, launching today, July 17, 2024. The contest is aimed at celebrating Lakewood’s status as one of the oldest Tree Cities in the USA, and encouraging the planting and maintenance of the city’s tree canopy. The city has actively been planting trees throughout the city but in order to achieve our goal of increasing the tree canopy to 33% by 2035, we need more trees planted on private property.

It also is focused on encouraging active participation by all residents in the appreciation of our trees, and this year, we are particularly focusing on native trees. Native trees range from mighty giants like many of the oaks and maples, sycamores, birches and tulip poplars to under canopy trees like flowering dogwoods (not kousa dogwoods), redbuds and chokecherries. 

Many non native trees like ginkgos and Japanese maples add to the beauty of our landscape but several are considered invasive and should not be planted. Trees to avoid include Norway maples, Callery pears, such as Bradford or Cleveland Select pears, Royal Paulownia or Princess trees and Tree of Heaven, which is the host for the spotted lantern fly. Grab a tree guide to North American trees and figure out what is native in your neighborhood.

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

2024 Senior Scholarship Winner, Bode Smith

Bode will attend Ohio University to study music performance. 

Bode Smith is the student who leaves you marveling at how they manage to accomplish so much while remaining grounded, kind, and well-rounded. His academic success, highlighted by a perfect ACT score, is just one of the many remarkable achievements Bode has earned during his four years at LHS.
 
Bode's passion for music has brought him numerous awards and honors. As a member of The Lakewood Project, he has consistently showcased his musical prowess. He served as Concertmaster for the Chamber Orchestra for 3 years and was also a member of the Four Seasons String Quartet. He was selected to the Northeast Ohio Regional Orchestra in 2022.
 
Beyond his musical achievements, Bode has shown a strong commitment to academic excellence and community service. He is a member of both the National Honor Society and the Tri-M Honor Society, organizations that recognize outstanding scholarship, leadership, and service.
 
Oh, and Bode even finds time to hold down a part-time job! In every endeavor, Bode Smith exemplifies the qualities of a true scholar and good person!

Bode received the George P. Read Music Scholarship and will attend Ohio University to study music performance. Best wishes, Bode!

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

2024 Senior Scholarship Recipient, Meredith (Edie) Barcelona

Edie intends to attend the Toronto Metropolitan University.

We aren’t sure how Edie Barcelona had time to sleep during her four years at LHS. With music in her veins, Edie is a skilled and passionate dancer who studied at the Beck Center for the Arts and also took private piano and vocal lessons. She was a member of the LHS Chamber Choir and Fourtes and served as a volunteer choreographer for the musicals at Harding Middle School. Edie also performed with the Barnstormers and in the Lakewood Congregational Church youth musicals and was a marching band and drill team member.

When she wasn’t honing her musical talents, Edie was diving with the LHS Diving Team, researching and presenting historical topics with the history club, and was involved in both the National Honor Society and French Honor Society. Just as she is a determined dancer and musician, Edie also displayed near perfection in her academic performance tackling a schedule full of AP and honors classes. Her list of awards and achievements is impressive and ranges from winning the Lakewood/Rocky River Rotary Club Speech Contest and Rangerette of the Year to the Governor’s Merit Scholarship from the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

Edie received the Dr. Lisa Hanson Fine Arts Scholarship and intends to attend the Toronto Metropolitan University and will no doubt continue to be an outstanding student with a bright future.

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

2024 Senior Scholarship Recipient, Cameron Wereb

Cameron Wereb will attend the University of Michigan in the fall studying film.

Cameron Wereb certainly made the most of her four years at Lakewood High and in doing so, made a significant impact at LHS through her leadership, community service and outstanding academic achievements. Cameron was one of Lakewood High and the Class of 2024’s six National Merit Commended Students, a prestigious nationwide honor.

Her extracurricular involvement reflects Cameron’s broad interests, curious nature and desire to serve and improve her community whether in school or out. Cameron was captain of the LHS Mock Trial Team, a member of the Club Identity/Race & Diversity Leadership Team, National Honor Society, History Club and the Lakewood Ranger Marching Band Color Guard.

Her commitment to community service was evident through her volunteer work with Lakewood Congregational Church Childcare, the H2O service organization, and The Fairytale Foundation. Cameron’s high school career is a testament to her dedication, leadership, service and compassion.   Cameron received the Class of 1960 Scholarship and the Pearl Ann Bodle Class of ‘50 Memorial Scholarship. She will attend the University of Michigan in the fall studying film.

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

President's Page: Applications Sought For Ward 2 Councilmember, Thank You, Outgoing Councilmember Jason Shachner

Hi Neighbors,

At the Monday, July 15th meeting of City Council, it was announced that current Vice President and Ward 2 Councilmember Jason Shachner will resign from Council effective August 5th, 2024. Pursuant to Articles 2.1 and 2.2 of the Charter, Council has 60 days from that date to appoint. Therefore, Council will begin to accept applications for the position immediately. 

An applicant must be a resident of Ward 2, a registered voter of the city and a resident of the city for at least one year to qualify for consideration. The candidate appointed to this position will serve until December 31, 2025. In the next municipal election in November of 2025, voters will determine the individual elected to serve the final two years of the unexpired Ward 2 Councilmember term. The appointed individual may run in that election if they wish to continue the role.

Interested Ward 2 residents, please submit a cover letter and resume in PDF format to the Clerk of Council at council@lakewoodoh.gov. Applications will be accepted until August 23, 2024. I expect candidate interviews to be held and a subsequent appointment to be made in early September. I and my fellow At-Large Councilmembers Tom Bullock and Tristan Rader will continue to serve Ward 2 residents in the interim.

I encourage interested individuals to join us for the Ward 2 Council Community Conversation on August 6th from 6-7pm at the Main branch of Lakewood Public Library at 15425 Detroit Ave to meet fellow Ward 2 residents, hear some of their ideas and concerns, and learn about items currently in progress in the City. The Ward 4 Council Community Conversation on August 20th from 6-7pm will also provide an educational forum. All are welcome at both events.

Though it is our duty to begin to look to the future with this appointment, I also wish to express my gratitude to outgoing Ward 2 Councilmember Shachner for his dedicated service to our city. Regular readers of this publication will no doubt remember with appreciation his many informative “View from Ward 2” articles, which proactively provided regular updates to constituents. Vice President Shachner’s legislative accomplishments include legalizing beekeeping, protecting pollinator plants, permitting accessory dwelling units, and establishing common sense regulations on adult use marijuana. He has been a staunch advocate for increased public safety infrastructure, including allocating funds for an additional crosswalk on Madison. I have been continuously impressed by his effectiveness as a legislator and deeply appreciated his fierce allyship in the fight to protect reproductive rights. 

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

Gigalearn: 10 Years Of Tech Education

Students building and programming LEGO robots with Gigalearn which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month.

Happy 10th birthday to Lakewood-based small business Gigalearn, LLC!! Founded on July 3, 2014 by Lakewood resident Sarah Kepple, Gigalearn helps learners of all ages engage in the digital age.

Gigalearn focuses on computer coding, robotics, and STEAM classes, camps, and curriculum for youth learners in grades K-12, but they also help adult learners build new technology skills. They work with a number of community partners including schools, recreation centers, and libraries to bring the fun to neighborhoods throughout the greater Northeast Ohio region. Additionally, they offer private opportunities for homeschool groups, scout troops, and others and work one-on-one with private clients on digital literacy, web development, and social media impact.

Locally, Gigalearn routinely offers classes via Lakewood’s Community Recreation & Education Department and has taught classes at Lakewood Public Library. GameBOT and Jr GameBOT, which combine creating video games with programming LEGO robots, are popular options at Lakewood Rec.

Kepple began Gigalearn after working in public libraries for over 10 years. Her career began at Lakewood Public Library, and she was last with Cuyahoga County Public Library, where she founded their Robotix Blox initiative, before becoming an entrepreneur. She is the author of two books, "Teaching Coding through Game Creation," and "Library Robotics: Technology and English Language Arts Activities for Ages 8-24." Kepple holds a BFA from Kent State University and an MLIS from Drexel University, and she is a Treu-Mart Youth Development Fellow through Case Western Reserve University.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

Meet Us At Cove: Wellness Team, Division Of Aging

Meet our dedicated wellness team at Cove Community Center, where a combined 64 years of experience and dedication to wellness is evident. Committed to promoting health and community spirit through the Division of Aging, our team offers transformative practices such as Adapted Jazzercise, Silver Strength, Qigong, slow flow chair yoga, Tai Chi, and line dancing. Each program is designed to enhance physical well-being and foster inner peace, ensuring a holistic approach to wellness for all participants. If you’re 60 years of age or older, join us at Cove and embark on a journey towards a healthier, more vibrant you.

Patty McGuire, Adapted Jazzercise Instructor

Since 2010, Patty McGuire has specialized in adapted Jazzercise for seniors and individuals with disabilities. Her classes at Cove combine physical movement with diverse music, providing physical and cognitive benefits. Each session includes warm-ups, cardio, strength training, and stretching to promote overall health. The social aspect creates a supportive environment, combating depression and boosting motivation. Participants consistently report significant health improvements.

"I find joy in seeing people happy and fit," says Patty. She focuses on adapted Jazzercise and other tailored fitness activities to meet individual needs. Teaching at Cove allows Patty to foster unity among seniors and individuals with disabilities, cultivating a thriving community environment.

Adapted Jazzercise, provided free by the inclusive adult day care center Inner Peace, supports adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This class features extended, low-impact exercises with chair options for inclusive participation, promoting health and well-being through music and movement while embracing diversity.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

Lakewood Arts Festival Original Art, Original Music, Original Food Saturday, August 3, 2024 10AM-6PM

For one breezy summer day, Detroit Avenue from Belle to Arthur, becomes a creative oasis and brings artists of all disciplines together with 15,000 collectors and art lovers. The juried festival hosts over 175 regional and national artists displaying painting, prints, photography, art glass, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry and more.

Returning to the festival this year will be Billy Ritter featuring handmade and atmospherically firedceramics. Emily Joyce is a vitreous enamellist, creating wearable art and small sculpture with a balance of playfulness and elegance. This year’s stellar jewelry selection includes hand forged timepieces and jewelry by Alexander Draven of The ExCB and MimiAntonetti of Nautilus Creations of Pittsburgh. Utilizing steel, titanium, copper and brass, Antonetti interprets variations of European, Persian and Japanese armor styles in her jewelry.

The festival is pleased to welcome back Korey Smerk, known for his architectural photos of The Old Arcade and drone shots of downtown Cleveland and Whiskey Island. Dynamic metal sculptures blending classic and contemporary forms are individually crafted by Thomas Yano. His work appears in collections and exhibitions in New York, Chicago, Miami and more. Fine art prints and painting selections include works by George Kocar, Chuck Wimmer, our “Best of Show 2023” and Brian Jasinki of Grey Cardigan.

Live performance is another aspect of original art to appreciate at this year’s fest. Twelve bands appear on two stages at The Andrews Stage and the City Center Park Stage featuring Charity Evonna, Hot Club of Cleveland, Chris Allen, Country Honk Acoustic, Maura Rogers and The Bellows, Opus 216, Moon Echo Garden and more.

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

Upcoming Events

Meet The Author - "Gift Me with Flowers While I’m Present" by LaTonya Fenderson-Warren 

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

LaTonya Fenderson-Warren is a soul poetess and author. Her fourth book, "Gift Me with Flowers While I’m Present," encourages you to live now, love now, and gift flowers to your loved ones while they can enjoy them.  While shedding light on social issues that are normally downplayed, she wants her art to become a voice for those who feel silenced. Books will be available for sale and signing at the event. 

Meet The Author - "The Edge of Doubt" by David Miraldi  

Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium   

Delve into the captivating world of true crime legal drama with David Miraldi's Edge series inspired by actual cases from Northeast Ohio. Miraldi, a seasoned civil trial attorney and native of Lorain, Ohio, artfully weaves gripping narratives that throw open the hidden intricacies of the American justice system. Books will be available for sale and signing at the event.   

Literary Cleveland Presents: Poetry Open Mic 

 

 

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

Lakewood Public Library Upcoming Programs - Children’s And Youth Services

Adventure Begins at Your Library 

For all children and youth from birth up to those entering twelfth grade. Read for fun and rewards. Participants will be entered into weekly drawings for prizes and gift cards. Readers can check online or in person. Finishers receive a certificate of completion and a new book to keep. Registration is required. 

Friday, May 10, 2024 through Monday, August 12, 2024 at the Main Library and Madison Branch 

Adventure Begins at Your Library Scavenger Hunt 

For all ages. Children are invited to participate in the Summer Reading Club scavenger hunt by looking for pictures of road and traffic symbols they might find on their next adventure. The pictures are found throughout the Children’s and Youth Services area of the library. The hunt lasts all summer. When you finish, turn in your scavenger hunt sheet to be entered in a drawing for a prize. No registration is required.  

Friday, May 10, 2024 through Monday, August 12, 2024 at the Main Library and Madison Branch 

The Wonderful World of Bubbles 

For the whole family. Bubbles and science are taken to a new level of fun at this entertaining show. See square bubbles, bubbles that change shape, bubbles that walk a tight rope and even a person inside of a bubble! This is a laugh out loud comedy show for all ages. No registration required. 

 

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

District Treasurer Addresses Reappraisal Process & HB 920

The school district has received questions regarding the 2024 reappraisal process and how it impacts the schools. This brief explanation is provided to help the public better understand the process.

Property value is determined by the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer. This is done through a reappraisal every 6 years, an update every 3 years and an inspection of any additions or modifications to a property on an annual basis. As the cost of groceries, automobiles, and clothing increases with inflation, so does the value of real property.

In Cuyahoga County, Lakewood had a higher than average percentage of reappraisal increase. The positive is that this means Lakewood is a strong, vibrant community where people want to live and raise their families. The flip side is that when folks receive a notice that the value of their property has increased 20% or even higher, they assume their taxes are going up 20% or more. This is not exactly true.

In 1976 during the high peak of inflation the Ohio General Assembly passed a bill called House Bill 920 (HB920). HB 920 was enacted to reduce increases in property taxes on voted levies for schools during a reappraisal (which is occurring in 2024 in Cuyahoga County) or a triennial update (in Cuyahoga County the last triennial update was in 2021). As property values go up, the effective millage rates of levies go down to effectively bring in the same amount of money.

As previously noted, the reappraisal process happens every six years. In three years (2027) there will be a triennial update, which is when the County Fiscal Office looks at recent sales and provides an average increase to the community. During the reappraisal process, the County Fiscal Office’s internal and external appraisers go out to the communities and look at each and every home and business in order to assign them a value. This is comparable to the process followed when a house is sold and needs to be appraised. 

 

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

Healthy Lakewood Foundation Awards $212,500 In Community Grants

The Healthy Lakewood Foundation (HLF) Board of Directors awarded $212,500 in 2024 funding for its Community Grants program at its July Board meeting. Additionally, the Board committed $170,000 in 2025 funding for eight organizations receiving two-year grants. Overall, twelve area organizations were granted funds to advance programs that address health and well-being in the Lakewood community.

HLF’s Board President Becca Baas explains, “Through HLF's Community Grants Program, we're investing in the vital work of local non-profits making a tangible difference in Lakewood. These organizations work directly in our community to address critical issues like food security, housing stability, and social connections. By providing substantial, multi-year funding, we're not just supporting individual programs – we aim to build the long-term capacity of these essential community partners.”

HLF places a priority on programs that support low-income single-parent families, children and youth, older adults, and immigrants and refugees.

Funding included awards to:

  • LakewoodAlive for the Senior Outreach and Support (SOS) Program, offering comprehensive services that includes aging in place assessments, low-cost home improvements, the Lakewood Paint Program and other community resources for senior residents to increase their safety at home.
  • Lakewood Community Services Center (LCSC) for their food delivery program that provides essential home-delivery to low-income individuals and families in Lakewood.
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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

Safe Cycling In The Seasonal Heat

Cyclists are in their glory now that summer is officially here. Many – including me – cycle often during the hot days and rides tend to be longer, and sometimes go later, thanks to extended daylight.

The first couple rides in higher temps feel harder as the body adjusts, but proper nutrition and hydration can help keep you safe and feeling your best. In my book "Cycling Rights: Second Edition" local fellow cyclist Dr. Mark Davis suggests drinking a bottle of water before even getting on your bike, and 16-20 ounces per hour (within 15 minutes) once riding. Plain water is fine for a shorter, under an hour ride. If going longer, consider adding electrolyte powder to your water bottles. (Notice that I said “bottles,” plural!) Instant glucose such as Stingers, Shot Blocks, and Skratch available at local Lakewood bike shops like Spin, Beat Cycles and The Bike Spot and running shops like Second Sole can be helpful. Post-ride you’ve got a window of 45-60 minutes for nutrition replenishment. Drinks with whey protein and branch chain amino acids can aid in recovery. And if night cramps are an issue, try magnesium supplements or – my personal favorite – liquid pickle juice! Also, consider planning your day earlier in the morning or later in the evening when temps are generally cooler.

These steps can help you avoid everything from dehydration (with potential muscle cramping) and bonking (“hitting a wall” as your body’s glycogen stores become depleted) to more dangerous situations like heat exhaustion, and heat stroke (a bona fide 911 medical emergency). Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of heat-related illnesses before jumping into longer rides, and always use common sense when the temps and humidity are soaring.

https://www.cdc.gov/extreme-heat/signs-symptoms/index.html

Enjoy your summer by riding safely and legally!

 

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

Irie Jamaican Kitchen Expands To Lakewood, Bringing Authentic Caribbean Flavors To The Community

Chef Omar McKay is excited to bring the flavor and enjoyment of his Jamaican homeland to the residents of Lakewood. (photo by Jim O'Bryan)

Irie Jamaican Kitchen, a fast-casual restaurant concept known for its vibrant island flavors, is pleased to announce the opening of its fifth location in Lakewood, Ohio. This exciting expansion brings Chef Omar McKay's celebrated Caribbean cuisine to a new and eager audience.

A Taste of the Islands in Lakewood

Located at 13804 Detroit Ave., Irie Lakewood offers a menu brimming with authentic Jamaican dishes, all prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Guests can savor classic jerk chicken, simmered in a blend of fiery spices and aromatic herbs. Rich and flavorful curries, featuring chicken, shrimp, or braised oxtail, cater to a variety of palates. Each dish is complemented by perfectly cooked rice and beans, tangy coleslaw, and sweet plantains, creating a truly satisfying dining experience.

Beyond the Food: An Irie Atmosphere

Irie Jamaican Kitchen strives to create a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere for its guests. The friendly staff provides exceptional service, ensuring a positive and memorable dining experience. The lively ambiance evokes the spirit of the Caribbean, transporting guests to a tropical haven.

A Commitment to Community

Irie Jamaican Kitchen is dedicated to becoming a valued member of the Lakewood community. The restaurant is committed to using fresh, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, supporting area farmers and businesses. We offer a catering service. For more information, visit our website to view the menu and call to order at (440) 409-7880. Additionally, Irie Lakewood plans to participate in local events and initiatives, fostering a strong connection with the neighborhood.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

Lakewood Updates City Pool Policy Due To Overcrowding

Photo credit: City of Lakewood

With the heat of summer in full force, both Becks Pool and Foster Pool have seen continued high usage this year. On multiple occasions, Foster Pool has reached full capacity and we have had to turn away swimmers seeking admission.

Both the City of Lakewood and the Lakewood Recreation Department hold the safety of pool users as our highest priority and we continue to jointly monitor the situation ongoing.

Due to safety concerns and a need to avoid overcrowding, we have updated our admissions and usage policies. This includes restrictions on any non-resident day passes so that each non-resident must be accompanied by a Lakewood resident on a one-to-one basis.

This policy started on Sunday, June 23rd.

Day pass admissions will require one of the following documents as proof of residency:

  • Driver’s License or State Issued ID
  • Utility bill from current year
  • School ID
  • Report card

Existing season passes will continue to be honored.

Please visit the Lakewood Recreation Department website for further details.

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

Lakewood Women's Club Awards Scholarship

Each year, the Lakewood Women’s Club (LWC) awards a scholarship to young woman  graduating from high school who plans to continue on to a higher education institution. 

This year we are proud to announce that Emily Potoczak, Lakewood High School graduate, Class of 2024, is this year’s scholarship honoree. Emily applied to almost 20 universities, and has declared Biology/Pre-Med as her major at The Ohio State University. 

Emily has achieved at a high level in the classroom, on the volleyball court and softball diamond, and in our community. She has been recognized as a 5.0+ GPA Fall and Spring athlete (Volleyball and Softball), and graduated from high school with an overall GPA over 4.75.
She began high school classes in middle school, and earned college credits while in high school. Her class schedule over four years of high school was filled with numerous AP and advanced classes.

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

Legal Aid Helps Clients Struggling With Legal Issues Regarding Money

Money issues can cause an enormous amount of stress and fear.  Concerns about money can determine where you live, if you will be able to have basic needs met, the quality of life you will have and more. Money stressors not only include size of your paycheck and debt, but also include employment and unemployment issues, foreclosures, estate planning, taxes, and bankruptcy.  The Economic Justice Group at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland helps clients navigate these difficult legal matters surrounding money. 

“The Economic Justice Group provides direct representation for clients needing legal assistance related to money and advocates for systemic change that will result in greater economic stability for our client community,” said Barbara Barreno-Paschall, Senior Attorney in the Economic Justice Group. “The five legal areas that the Economic Justice Group focuses on are employment, consumer, tax, bankruptcy, and estate planning.” 

When assisting with employment issues, Economic Justice attorneys help clients remove barriers to employment such as sealing criminal records or applying for a Certification of Qualification for Employment (CQE), sealing and expunging juvenile records, and employment discrimination.

Those clients experiencing consumer legal issues are assisted with mortgage and property tax foreclosure, debt collection lawsuits, car repossessions, student loans, payday loans, auto title loans, and medical or nursing home collection. 

 

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Volume 20, Issue 14, Posted 11:59 AM, 07.17.2024

League of Women Voters Mary Warren Impact Scholarship Winner Leah Campbell's Winning Essay

The Dissolution Of The Weimer Republic: A Cautionary Tale

In 1919, out of the rubble of World War One, the Weimar Republic emerged. Founded on many of the same principles as the United States, the Weimar Constitution held democracy at its core, beginning with, “Political authority emanates from the people.” The Weimar Constitution ensured all of its citizens equality before the law, universal suffrage, and fundamental civil rights. Despite this facade of an ideal democracy, most Americans are more familiar with the Weimar Republic under the name Nazi Germany. What could have transformed a seemingly perfect democracy into one of the most inhumane regimes in human history?

Adolf Hitler knew how to play the political game. Like many young German men at the time, Hitler had a strong sense of national identity in a country that was drowning in disparities, debt, and humiliation in the aftermath of the war. In his founding of the Nazi party, Hitler harnessed this mass insecurity and promised his followers a remedy to the pathetic condition their country was in. His remedy? Annihilate the Jewish race and culture. With the overarching cause of German disparity being unclear, Hitler pointed a finger at the Jews — a group that had historically been discriminated against. Quickly, it became an us-versus-them battle. Hitler spoke to thousands of reactionary Germans with similar yearnings for the prosperity that they once enjoyed and mobilized them against a chosen victim and the rest is history. 

The Weimar Republic is not as different from the United States as it may seem. While there are key differences between the republics and their cultures, all democracies face similar threats. The Weimar Republic ended in tragedy when factions of the population turned against another and dehumanized the enemy. Democracies can only function with a certain level of respect for one’s fellow citizens. We can only enjoy our freedom to choose our leaders when we can respect the opinions, beliefs, and presentation of others. The current political polarization in the United States mobilizes similar “us-versus-them” ideologies that pose great threats to our democracy. While the United States is not yet on a trajectory to execute the next Holocaust, we as Americans should take heed of the downfall of the Weimar Republic. The Weimar Republic is living proof that democracies need to be consistently maintained and checked in order to be preserved. It is a cautionary tale of what may happen when the fabric of society unravels in the absence of a true democracy. 

 

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 10:05 PM, 07.14.2024

Strong ‘Complete Streets Ordinance’ Needed To Keep Lakewood’s Streets Safe

As someone who grew up in Lakewood and is raising my children here today, one of the driving reasons in my decision to run for City Council was to do everything I could to make Lakewood’s streets safer for users of all ages and abilities, not just cars. Distracted driving, speeding cars in neighborhoods, lack of safe pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and aggressive driving hurts our neighborhoods and residents. I was proud when City Council recently adopted the Active Transportation Plan which called for the adoption of Complete Streets legislation to ensure accountability measures for its implementation. Complete Streets is an approach to planning, designing, building, operating, and maintaining streets that enables safe access for all people who need to use them, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 7:53 AM, 07.09.2024

City Hall Observed

City Council met on Monday, July 1st after a meeting of the Finance Committee.

The beginning of a new month and quarter saw a handful of routine agenda items about moving money around.

This meeting saw the retirement of Finance Director Peter Rancatore who has served the city since March of 2024. Congratulations to Dir. Rancatore on a career of dedicated public service including 7 years in the Ohio Army National Guard. Each member of council except one who was absent and Mayor George thanked the director for his service.

The Civil Service Commission gave a presentation suggesting pay raises for the Mayor and City Council members. This was deferred to the Committee of the Whole for further discussion.

A resident and homeowner on Bunts Rd. gave an impassioned statement encouraging the city to dutifully consider all factors and implications as they move through the phases of the proposed Bunts Rd. rehabilitation. She was concerned with public safety, environmental impacts, sustainability, maintenance and impact on homeowners in the affected area. This resident did not believe that proper due diligence had been done by the city before the announcement of plans. Council President Sarah Kepple replied that there is typically not a response to public statements but that members of the administration or council may respond to her.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

Grant Students Celebrate Summer Olympics

With the Summer Olympics just around the corner, it was fitting that the end-of-year collaboration research/inquiry project the 3rd and 4th grade GT classes at Grant just completed was to research the last 15 Summer Olympic Games️.

They learned about the country, events, and competition results. They highlighted three athletes and summarized changes and exciting events that took place that year. They also designed an interactive presentation board with flags, mascots and all their newly learned information.

Several students dressed as mascots to pose with the younger Grant students who came to check out the showcase!

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

Lakewood Middle Schoolers Win State Soccer Title

We wanted to give a shout out to two of our middle school students who competed in the Ohio State Cup Soccer tournament last weekend and won the state title for the 14U division! Congratulations to Garfield's Dante Warren and and Harding's Donovan Demery!

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

Headed To Lakewood Park For Fourth of July? Here's What You Need To Know

• For safety purposes, there will be no parking permitted in the Lakewood Park Parking Lot after 5:00 PM. All vehicles in the lot must be moved by 5:00 PM or could be subject to towing.
• Generators and propane and gas-fueled grills are prohibited.
• All tents, shelters, and beach umbrellas are prohibited.
• Police may conduct searches of bags and containers for reasons of public safety.
• No alcoholic beverages are permitted at any time throughout the year.
• No personal fireworks. This includes novelty fireworks like sparklers and smoke bombs.
• No dogs or pets of any kind will be permitted in the park on July 4th.
• The skate park, tennis courts, and basketball courts are expected to close at 7 p.m., but may close earlier.

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

Mayor's Corner: Updated Parking Lot In Lakewood Park Achieves Multiple Goals

With summer in full swing and the Fourth of July upon us, Lakewood’s most heavily used public asset – Lakewood Park – continues to experience a high volume of use. Whether it is the Solstice Steps, the Kids Cove playground, our new pickleball courts, Foster Pool, or simply strolling the beautiful park campus, Lakewood Park continues to offer a multitude of opportunities for the people of Lakewood to enjoy the seasons. With the high demand for park access, last year the City took on a project to update the main parking lot at Lakewood Park to achieve multiple goals – from increasing capacity on the existing footprint to enhancing access, walkability, and safety to ensuring better lighting and more environmentally friendly elements were incorporated in the project.

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

Starr Gazer: July

ARIES: The Sun is shining on Ram’s Mountain of home & family, the Ram can spread the word in a heartbeat, throw an impromptu party. Lady Jupiter is gracing your neighborhood with Luck, enjoy!

TAURUS: The Bull just hit the jackpot, it’s time to come out of that Bullpen & celebrate, share the wealth with your siblings, & spread it throughout your community, be generous.

GEMINI: Lady Luck is sitting pretty in the Twin’s sense of self. It’s time to double up & share the greenbacks with the less fortunate. What you give out comes back ten-fold!

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

President’s Page: The Patriotism Of Participation

Ward 1 Council Community Conversation: On Thursday, June 20th, Councilmembers Kyle Baker, Sarah Kepple, Tom Bullock (pictured left to right), and Tristan Rader and Cindy Marx (not pictured) presented updates and answered resident questions at the Ward 1 Council Community Conversation at the Lakewood Family YMCA.

Happy Independence Day neighbors!

Two years ago my husband Andy and I visited the National Archives where we saw the immortal words in faded ink on delicate parchment declaring, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Exactly how such a government would be formed with the consent and input of the governed is laid out in a similarly fragile document in the same room, The Constitution.

Like the Constitution, the Charter of the City of Lakewood sets the foundation of how our local municipal government shall function, defining Council’s legislative role, the executive duties of the Mayor, and the administrative departments and officers. The charter also delineates general governance and recourse measures, as well as the citizen boards and commissions required for oversight. The Charter states that every 10 years, “nine registered voters of the city shall be appointed as members of a charter review commission.” As 2024 is just such a review year, for the past six months the citizen volunteers serving on the commission have been diligently working their way through the Charter, researching, discussing, and debating potential amendments.

At a time when the democratic rule of law envisioned in our nation's foundational documents sometimes feels as precarious as the paper on which they are written, it has been heartening to watch these dedicated Lakewoodites contribute their time and talent to our local democracy. City Council expects to receive theformal recommendations of the Charter Review Commission at our July 17th regular Council meeting at 7:30pm at City Hall, and I anticipate that they will be referred to committee for more detailed deliberation. I hope you’ll join us for those conversations, either in person or streaming online. Per the Charter, Council may submit any proposed amendments recommended by the commission to Lakewood voters.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

Meet Me At Cove: Bill McCarthy, Neighborhood Police Officer

Officer McCarthy has a knack for brightening anyone's day with just a greeting.

For 22 years, Bill McCarthy has been a dedicated member of the City of Lakewood Police Department. Since January 2022, he has embraced the role of Neighborhood Police Officer, bringing his vast experience and warm personality to the community.

A U.S. Army veteran, Officer McCarthy joined Lakewood PD in 2000 and has served in many capacities. We like to think his current role at Cove Community Center is the most rewarding. His favorite part of being at Cove is the daily interaction with community members of all ages, from infants to seniors. Known for his humor and friendly demeanor, Officer McCarthy has a knack for brightening anyone's day with just a greeting.

When off duty, Officer McCarthy loves the great outdoors, especially fishing. Next time you’re at Cove, be sure to say hello to Officer Bill McCarthy!

Nancy Feighan is a Project Specialist II, Department of Human Services, City of Lakewood.

 

A U.S. Army veteran, Officer McCarthy joined Lakewood PD in 2000 and has served in many capacities. We like to think his current role at Cove Community Center is the most rewarding. His favorite part of being at Cove is the daily interaction with community members of all ages, from infants to seniors. Known for his humor and friendly demeanor, Officer McCarthy has a knack for brightening anyone's day with just a greeting.

When off duty, Officer McCarthy loves the great outdoors, especially fishing. Next time you’re at Cove, be sure to say hello to Officer Bill McCarthy!

Nancy Feighan is a Project Specialist II, Department of Human Services, City of Lakewood.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

Save the Date: Annual Summer Resource Fair At Cove Community Center!

We're thrilled to invite you to the Lakewood Area Collaborative's FREE annual summer Resource Fair, generously sponsored by the Healthy Lakewood Foundation and The Warthogs M.C. Mark your calendars for:

Saturday, August 10, 2024

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Cove Community Center

12500 Lake Avenue

Lakewood, Ohio

Join us for a day of community connection and support! Discover local resources and services that can benefit you and your family. Plus, don't miss out on FREE school supplies and lunch (while supplies last)!

This event is open to all members of the community. Whether you're looking for educational resources, health services, or simply want to connect with your neighbors, this fair is for you.

 

Saturday, August 10, 2024

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Cove Community Center

12500 Lake Avenue

Lakewood, Ohio

Join us for a day of community connection and support! Discover local resources and services that can benefit you and your family. Plus, don't miss out on FREE school supplies and lunch (while supplies last)!

This event is open to all members of the community. Whether you're looking for educational resources, health services, or simply want to connect with your neighbors, this fair is for you.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

Lakewood Seventh-day Adventist Church Community Service Center Update

The Lakewood Seventh-day Adventist Church thanks the community for their decades of support, providing clothing and household goods for our community service center.

We will be restructuring our center, so we can partner with the city and other service organizations.

Effective July 3, 2024 our center will be closed. We are not accepting donations at this time.

We will post updates at an appropriate time. Thank you for your patience during this transition.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

Upcoming Events

Support local writers and celebrate the creativity of our diverse community by attending Lakewood Public Library’s "Meet The Author," a platform for Northeast Ohioans to share their latest books and unique perspectives.

Meet The Author: "The Long & Winding Phone!" by Helen Marketti, Wednesday, July 10, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium 

Julian Lennon, Pete Best and Pattie Boyd are part of a collection of interviews with a Fab Four connection by Helen Marketti in "The Long & Winding Phone!" Join the author for a nostalgic trip into Beatles history from the people who either knew or were deeply affected by the four lads from Liverpool. Books will be available for sale and signing at the event. 

Meet the Author- "Gift Me with Flowers While I’m Present" by LaTonya Fenderson-Warren, Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium. 

LaTonya Fenderson-Warren is a soul poetess and author. Her fourth book of poetry, "Gift Me with Flowers While I’m Present" encourages you to live now, love now, and gift flowers to your loved ones while they can enjoy them. Fenderson-Warren’s poetry sheds light on social issues that are normally ignored, hoping to become a voice for those that feel silenced. Books will be available for sale and signing at the event. 

Film- Barbara Steffek-Hill’s Five-Star Movie Matinee- "Gilda"(1945) Sunday, July 7, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. (110 minutes) in the Main Library Auditorium 

Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) is a small-time American gambler, newly arrived in Buenos Aires. When he is caught cheating Farrell manages to talk his way into a job with the casino's owner, the powerful Ballin Mundson (George Macready). The two form an uneasy partnership until Mundson introduces Farrell to his beautiful new wife, Gilda (Rita Hayworth), who just happens to be Farrell's ex-lover. 

 

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

New Qua Wine Shop On Madison Is Now Open!

Qua Wine Shop 15729 Madison Avenue

Qua Wine Shop is now open! Qua is a health conscious, community focused wine shop. With the goal of providing transparent and honest wine selections to new and experienced wine enthusiasts all the while giving back to the community. The shop highlights a local artist and a small business monthly, in addition to monthly wine education. At Qua Wine Shop, we are redefining connectivity through genuine experience.

Qua brings weekly wine tastings on Thursdays 5:30-7:30 pm & Saturdays 1-5 pm to Madison Avenue. Come by and see us! We have a wide variety of grapes that are compatible with strict diets/lifestyles. Qua brings a selection of wine that is organic, vegan, and biodynamic to Southwest Lakewood. The Shop focuses on supporting small businesses and small producers.

Qua Wine Shop is a quintessential addition to the Lakewood scene. Nestled on the Southeast corner of Madison and Carabel, Qua is redefining connectivity through honest unique wines of the highest quality, education, and artistic events. Qua creates your favorite place of solstice not too far from home through wine, education, and creativity. The Qua experience is completely unparalleled, as wine mingles with art and education. Qua caters to those who are enthusiastically adventurous, health conscious, and value transparency. Come experience the authentic Quality of being present.

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

Lakewood Family Room Turns 30!

The Lakewood Family Room has been a beacon of support and strength for families across our city and beyond for three decades. Originating from modest roots within a school cafeteria, evolving to establish its first dedicated space at St. James Child Care Center, then finding a nurturing haven at Lakewood United Methodist, and finally culminating in our cherished new permanent residence at Cove Community Center, our dedication to fostering an environment where families flourish has remained unwavering. 

This year we will celebrate our mission and the individuals who shaped it with a gala celebration and fundraiser on Saturday, August 17th at 7 o'clock in the evening at Cove Community Center. TIMELESS TALES: Celebrating 30 years of the Lakewood Family Room will bring together friends, alumni, and supporters for an evening of food, drinks, games, and auctions to raise funds for the Lakewood Family Room. This unique theme was chosen as a way to symbolize the timeless essence of the stories and memories created within the Lakewood Family Room over the past 30 years. Just as classic children's tales hold a special place in our hearts, so too do the experiences shared and bonds formed within our community. 

We are seeking sponsors for the event, donations for the silent auction, and (most importantly) your personal stories of the impact the Lakewood Family Room had on your life. Please contact Program Manager, Jessica Parker at 216.529.5018 or jessica.parker@lakewoodoh.gov to contribute or for more information. Look for tickets to go on sale next month!

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

Jungle Adventure

Can you see a howler monkey screeching?  Do you see a sloth hanging from a tree?  Is that the aroma of tropical flowers wafting through the air?  Do you feel soft grass under your feet? Join us on our Great Jungle Journey and use your imagination to see and feel all this and more.  

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

Rep. Skindell Announces Passage Of Final State Capital Budget, Securing Transformative Community Investments In Cuyahoga

State Rep. Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) today announced the passage of House Bill (HB) 2, the state's biennial state capital budget, in both the Ohio House of Representatives & Senate. The record-setting $6.2B investment makes appropriations for state-owned infrastructure, colleges, universities, and school districts as well as other community projects.  

In addition to the $3.51B in traditional capital funds and a $1.98B appropriation for ongoing projects, HB 2 includes an additional $700M in state funds that will be directly invested into transformative community projects designed to generate further development & economic opportunity across the state. These state funds were able to be set aside due to the influx of federal relief dollars that helped to supplement the state’s balance sheet during the most recent state operating budget.

Rep. Skindell helped secure $17.5M in traditional capital budget funding for Cuyahoga County, as well as $83M in one-time strategic funds.

“These historic investments in Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio thanks to the one-time Strategic Community Investment Fund are unprecedented,” said Rep. Skindell. “These state dollars will be benefiting countless nonprofits, schools, parks, and art initiatives. By investing in our local communities, we are ensuring that Ohio is the best place to do business or raise and grow a family.”

Some of the over $100M of funds will be distributed to several local entities, including: 

  • $2M to Irishtown Bend Park
  • $1.5M to Cleveland Christian Home – Child Wellness Campus
  • $800K to Saint Edwards High School
  • $750K to Winterhurst Ice Arena
  • $507.5K to Cleveland Habitat Building Project
  • $400K to May Dugan Center
  • $250K to Beck Center for the Arts
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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

16th Annual Lakewoo Summer Meltdown Set To Heat Up Downtown Lakewood On July 20

A little less than a month away, the Lakewood Summer Meltdown is sure to be the event of the season! Sponsored by Melt Bar & Grilled 

and presented by LakewoodAlive, this beloved summer tradition will return to Downtown Lakewood for its 16th year, on Saturday, July 20, from 4 to 10 p.m.

As one of the region’s most anticipated events, the Lakewood Summer Meltdown brings together nearly 15,000 attendees from across Northeast Ohio for a lively celebration of community spirit. Taking over Detroit Avenue between Marlowe and Arthur Avenues, this free event showcases the vibrant essence of Lakewood with a 5K race, sponsored by Cleveland Clinic Lakewood Family Health Center, a 1 Mile Family Fun Run & Walk, sponsored by Lakewood City Schools Community Recreation & Education Department, a street festival, sponsored by Bee My Baby Lakewood, games, food vendors, drinks, live music, and more!

The festivities cater to all ages, featuring activities hosted by local businesses and nonprofits. Highlights include the popular "Water Moose" sprinkler park, sponsored by Healthy Lakewood Foundation, interactive fitness demonstrations, and a skateboard park offering thrills for everyone.

 

and presented by LakewoodAlive, this beloved summer tradition will return to Downtown Lakewood for its 16th year, on Saturday, July 20, from 4 to 10 p.m.

As one of the region’s most anticipated events, the Lakewood Summer Meltdown brings together nearly 15,000 attendees from across Northeast Ohio for a lively celebration of community spirit. Taking over Detroit Avenue between Marlowe and Arthur Avenues, this free event showcases the vibrant essence of Lakewood with a 5K race, sponsored by Cleveland Clinic Lakewood Family Health Center, a 1 Mile Family Fun Run & Walk, sponsored by Lakewood City Schools Community Recreation & Education Department, a street festival, sponsored by Bee My Baby Lakewood, games, food vendors, drinks, live music, and more!

The festivities cater to all ages, featuring activities hosted by local businesses and nonprofits. Highlights include the popular "Water Moose" sprinkler park, sponsored by Healthy Lakewood Foundation, interactive fitness demonstrations, and a skateboard park offering thrills for everyone.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

Second Session Of Lakewood Acoustic Music At Blue Cafe

Congito Jaffe, noted Rocky River singer songwriter is looking forward to hosting the second acoustic music Sunday at the BLue Cafe, 15715 Madison Avenue Lakewood, on Sunday, July 14th, 2024, 12-2pm. The first event in JUne was well attended and featured fresh original and classic interpertations of popular music by first rate local musicians.

Come sign up for your 15 minutes of fame, signup starts half an hour before the event, play your original  folk, or classical, or string quartet, or violin, or tap your timbales-- all while enjoying world class coffes and fine cafe offerings while your friends and Lakewood citizens encourage your music and shared experience.

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

Lakewood Public Library Upcoming Programs-Children’s And Youth Services

Adventure Begins at Your Library 

For all children and youth from birth up to those entering twelfth grade. Read for fun and rewards. Participants will be entered into weekly drawings for prizes and gift cards. Readers can check online or in person. Finishers receive a certificate of completion and a new book to keep. Registration is required. 

Friday, May 10, 2024 through Monday, August 12, 2024 at the Main Library and Madison Branch 

Adventure Begins at Your Library Scavenger Hunt 

For all ages. Children are invited to participate in the Summer Reading Club scavenger hunt by looking for pictures of road and traffic symbols they might find on their next adventure. The pictures are found throughout the Children’s and Youth Services area of the library. The hunt lasts all summer. When you finish, turn in your scavenger hunt sheet to be entered in a drawing for a prize. No registration is required.  

Friday, May 10, 2024 through Monday, August 12, 2024 at the Main Library and Madison Branch 

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.  

 

For all children and youth from birth up to those entering twelfth grade. Read for fun and rewards. Participants will be entered into weekly drawings for prizes and gift cards. Readers can check online or in person. Finishers receive a certificate of completion and a new book to keep. Registration is required. 

Friday, May 10, 2024 through Monday, August 12, 2024 at the Main Library and Madison Branch 

Adventure Begins at Your Library Scavenger Hunt 

For all ages. Children are invited to participate in the Summer Reading Club scavenger hunt by looking for pictures of road and traffic symbols they might find on their next adventure. The pictures are found throughout the Children’s and Youth Services area of the library. The hunt lasts all summer. When you finish, turn in your scavenger hunt sheet to be entered in a drawing for a prize. No registration is required.  

Friday, May 10, 2024 through Monday, August 12, 2024 at the Main Library and Madison Branch 

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.  

 

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

New Non-Profit Club Aims To Revitalize Lakewood Football

The Ranger Nation Football Club (RNFC), a newly established non-profit organization, is set to revolutionize youth football in Lakewood. With a mission to foster growth and development from the ground up, RNFC aims to create a supportive and inclusive community that emphasizes leadership, teamwork, and resilience.

The RNFC is dedicated to enhancing the football experience for players at all levels. By providing state-of-the-art equipment, exceptional training opportunities, and spirited Lakewood Purple and Gold gear, the organization hopes to cultivate a strong football identity that extends beyond the field.

"Our mission is to build a winning program that not only improves the experience for our players but also nurtures future leaders and strengthens the bonds within our community," said Mike Bentley, President of RNFC. "A strong youth football program is essential for assisting Coach Polevacik in building a successful high school program. A vibrant football community, as we had in the past, unites Lakewood and instills a sense of pride and belonging."

The RNFC’s first major initiative is a fundraiser to purchase professional-grade jerseys for the 5th and 6th-grade football teams. According to Bentley, a well-designed uniform not only instills pride but also fosters team spirit and unity among young players.

Lakewood High School Football Coach Mike Polevacik echoes Bentley's sentiments. He believes a comprehensive strategy that supports athletes from youth through high school is vital for sustained success.

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

Lakewood GardenWalk To Be Held July 20

The third annual Lakewood GardenWalk will be held on Saturday, July 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., when residents, community organizations and businesses throughout Lakewood will open their gardens and yards for free self-guided tours.

The list of participating gardens and a map will be posted in early July to the GardenWalk Lakewood website at www.gardenwalklakewood.org. The event will be held rain or shine. Gardens of all types will be open for visitors -- vegetable gardens, flower gardens, native plant oases, pollinator gardens, and porches and patios brimming with plants. 

“We are so excited about how this event has grown to include gardens of every type in virtually every corner of Lakewood, said Claire Campbell, GardenWalk Lakewood’s founding board chair. “While of course it’s fun to view the hard work of the participating gardeners, the real value is in bringing neighbors together and forging relationships across fences, streets and neighborhood blocks. Thanks to all who have opened their gardens to the community for this special day.”

GardenWalk Lakewood is an all-volunteer organization that operates with the support of the Lakewood Foundation and the Healthy Lakewood Foundation and through the contributions of individual donors. 

About Garden

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

City Of Lakewood Passes Resolution Celebrating Juneteenth

At their June 17th meeting, Lakewood City Council passed Resolution 2024-40 to honor Juneteenth National Independence Day and spread awareness of Juneteenth as a federal holiday to respect the significance of June 19, 1865, the date on which people still being enslaved in Galveston, Texas learned of the Emancipation Proclamation two and a half years earlier and finally gained their freedom. Members of the Madison Court Community Coalition, who recently held their fourth annual Juneteenth celebration received the Resolution as well as members of the city's Anti-Racism Task Force. The Resolution was introduced by Councilmember Tristan Rader and Council President Sarah Kepple.

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024

City Hall Observed

City Council met on Monday, June 17th after meetings of the Finance Committee and the Committee of the Whole.

Angela Byington was introduced to the Committee of the Whole where they were able to ask questions before recommending her to the full council to confirm her as Mayor George’s selection for new Director of Planning & Development. She was later confirmed and sworn in at the council meeting.

Byington expressed excitement about working in a more “urban” community than Perkins, Ohio where she had been employed previously. She described Lakewood as “Vibrant, unique and progressive." She addressed the fact that Lakewood has combined the Planning and Development roles which is not how the majority of cities are organized. She has held a similar position elsewhere and has previous experience in Sandusky and Lorain as well.

The Finance Committee meeting was 9 minutes long.

The highlight of the evening was during the council meeting when Councilman Baker’s “Complete Streets” legislation was introduced. It is co-sponsored by multiple members of council and was vocally supported by six members of the community. The proposed ordinance would create a public forum for any and all changes made to roads, sidewalks, bike lanes and other infrastructure.

Mayor George spoke sharply and passionately about how the city employs many trained professionals in these areas and that they should be entrusted with these decisions. Councilpeople Schachner and Baker responded by stating that they do not believe the current wording of the ordinance hampers the administration’s ability to make recommendations and decisions.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 10:05 AM, 06.19.2024

New Police Officers Sworn In

Chief Kevin Fischer and Mayor George welcome new police officers Anna Durczak and Dennis Fischer. 

On June 5, Mayor George swore in new Officers Anna Durczak and Dennis Fischer to the Lakewood Police Department. Congratulations and welcome to each of you!

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 10:05 AM, 06.19.2024

Lakewood Fire and Paramedics Receive Grant For Knox Boxes

The Healthy Lakewood Foundation has awarded the Lakewood Fire Department and Lakewood Neighborhood Paramedic a $4,279 grant for the installation of Knox boxes, which are devices that provide secure and quick access for EMS and fire responders. 

It acts as a lock box/key. It allows first respponders to quckly gain access to schools, office buiildings, etc. without destructioin to doors and windows. 

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 10:05 AM, 06.19.2024

A Big Thank You To Lakewood From Supplies4Success

Here we are celebrating the end of another school year – which of course includes celebrating the generosity of our Lakewood community.

For the past decade Supplies4Success has run a summertime city-wide school supply drive supporting our K-12 grad students. There are several collection methods: local businesses and churches act as collection sites where people can drop off items throughout the summer, H2O campers recycle gently use items, and you can even donate funds directly for purchasing and leave the shopping to us!

Once items have been collected, a group of volunteers get together to sort, count, and box up the supplies for delivery in time for the start of school. Items are available at every building, and there are no financial requirements for students to access these supplies.

The committee wanted to report some exciting numbers from last summer's collection. In 2023 we collected over 16,000 items to create supply closets in each of our schools. This number includes 5,000+ pencils, 2,500+ pens, 1,400+ folders, and so much more. If you want to know more about the impact of these stocked supply closets in each building, take it from our teachers: "Harrison Elementary School embraces diversity and inclusion and strives to create a warm and supportive environment for all our students including many new immigrants and refugees. Students can "shop" for backpacks, lunch bags, and other needed supplies. Equipping new Harrison students in need with school supplies fosters a sense of belonging, promotes academic engagement, and alleviates a financial burden on their families. We are so grateful for the donations. Recently we welcomed a new student to Harrison, and he was able to pick out a brand-new Spiderman backpack. His eyes widened in excitement like he couldn't believe it was real!"-- Tiffany Hickey & Jeannette Sgambellone. We hear stories like this each year from all of our buildings. We hope to take the pressure off of families and teachers to make sure students have the needed supplies to succeed academically.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 12, Posted 1:36 AM, 06.19.2024

Observations On The District: The Good, The Better And The What The Heck: Part 4

Good: According to policy 0165.2 The Board can call a special meeting. “A special meeting of the Board may be called by the Board President, Treasurer, or by any two (2) Board members” It gives "at least twenty-four (24) hours advance notice to the news media that have requested notification, except in the event of an emergency requiring immediate official action.” “Special meetings of the Board shall be public. R.C. 121.22” Notification of a special meeting is posted on the LCSD website on the calendar and you can sign-up to get notifications by emailing kent.zemen@lakewoodcityschools.org or calling 216-529-4096. Notifications must be posted at least 24 hrs before the meeting time.

Best: Summer break is here and now our community turns to the extraordinary Recreation Dept. headed by Leslie Krogman. Baseball, softball and the outdoor Lakewood pools. Youth and adult sports, and so many more choices like CSI for ages 7-11, chess lessons K-8, virtual handyman skills for adults and so much more. https://tinyurl.com/mryh9hrw Hundreds of participants and volunteers keep the Lakewood traditions alive and create incredible summers to remember. Don’t forget the other summer traditions of the July 4th parade in the morning and The Lakewood Project concert at night leading into the best fireworks show in northern Ohio.

What the heck:

On February 29, 2024 the board held a special meeting. The agenda was “Planning Session.” Going to minutes for a bit more detail: “The Superintendent and Cabinet members provided Board members with an update on matters pertaining to the 2023-2024 school year and discussed 

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Volume 20, Issue 12, Posted 1:36 AM, 06.19.2024

Lakewood Public Library Programs

Literary Cleveland Presents:  

Write Now – Poetry Writing Workshop with Instructor Corey Miller 

Saturdays: July 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2024   10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. in the Main Library Multipurpose Room  

Participants will generate new writing in this free four-week practical workshop that explores a different element and form of poetry each Saturday. Registration is required and begins on June 1, 2024.  Visit lakewoodpubliclibrary.org or call (216) 226-8275 ext. 110.

Documentary - "Before Stonewall" (1984)                                                     

Presented by Tom Stebel from the LGBT Community Center of Cleveland 

Saturday, June 22, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. (87 minutes) in the Main Library Auditorium         

The Stonewall Inn in New York City is considered by many to be the birthplace of the gay rights movement.Through personal interviews and archival footage, this documentary reveals the history of the LGBTQ community prior to the Stonewall riots.  

Meet the Author - "The Beginning Was the End: Devo in Ohio" 

Book by David Giffels 

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Volume 20, Issue 12, Posted 1:36 AM, 06.19.2024

Lakewood Public Library Upcoming Programs-Children’s And Youth Services

Adventure Begins at Your Library 

For all children and youth from birth up to those entering twelfth grade. Read for fun and rewards. Participants will be entered into weekly drawings for prizes and gift cards. Readers can check online or in person. Finishers receive a certificate of completion and a new book to keep. Registration is required. 

Friday, May 10, 2024 through Monday, August 12, 2024 at the Main Library and Madison Branch 

Adventure Begins at Your Library Scavenger Hunt 

For all ages. Children are invited to participate in the Summer Reading Club scavenger hunt by looking for pictures of road and traffic symbols they might find on their next adventure. The pictures are found throughout the Children’s and Youth Services area of the library. The hunt lasts all summer. When you finish, turn in your scavenger hunt sheet to be entered in a drawing for a prize. No registration is required.  

Friday, May 10, 2024 through Monday, August 12, 2024 at the Main Library and Madison Branch 

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.  

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Volume 20, Issue 12, Posted 1:36 AM, 06.19.2024

Rotary Awards Scholarships To Five High School Seniors

At the Rotary Club scholarship presentation on June 3 were (from left) Leslie Favre-Krogman, club president; students Hannah Schmidt, Leah Campbell, Zen Bowers, Stephen Tirpak, and Jon Francher, scholarship chair. (Not pictured: Mimi Nee.)

Five area graduating seniors were awarded scholarships by the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River at its weekly lunch meeting on June 3. Recipients include Mimi Nee, Leah Campbell, and Zen Bowers of Lakewood High School, Stephen Tirpak of St. Ignatius High School, and Hannah Schmidt of Saint Joseph Academy.

Each will receive $3,000 Donald W. Strang, Jr. Scholarship awards from the Lakewood-Rocky River Rotary Foundation. This $15,000 scholarship program is part of nearly $78,000 that the local Rotary Club donates to community programs each year.

In addition to demonstrating academic achievement and potential, these five Rotary scholarship winners were chosen for their character, as well as extracurricular and community involvement.

Having immigrated to the U.S. just 10 years ago, Mimi Nee’s discovery that she could excel in advanced placement language classes inspired her to seek to become the first in her family to attend college. She accumulated over 100 hours of community service as her way of giving back to a community that supported her family in their adjustment to this country.

Mimi served four years on Lakewood’s Student Council and was active in LHS’s Help 2 Others program. She was recognized for her sportsmanship in volleyball and lacrosse. She will attend The Ohio State University to study health sciences, aiming to become a physician’s assistant.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 12, Posted 1:36 AM, 06.19.2024

Legal Aid Is Hosting A Know Your Rights Presentation In Lakewood

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and the Cuyahoga County Human Rights Commission will be hosting a special Know Your Rights Presentation on June 26 at 9:30 am at the Cove Community Center, 12525 Lake Avenue, Lakewood, OH 44107. This FREE presentation will help provide Lakewood residents with the information that they need to protect their rights in the areas of housing, employment, and public accommodations.  

This presentation is made possible through partnerships with the City of Lakewood, Cove Community Center, Cuyahoga County Human Rights Commission, and Lakewood Community Services Center. 

For more information go to: lasclev.org/06262024/

If Lakewood residents need further assistance beyond this informational presentation, help is available at Legal Aid Brief Advice Clinics. A full listing of Brief Advice Clinic dates and locations are available at lasclev.org/category/all-events/clinics/. Residents can also apply online at lasclev.org/apply-for-free-legal-aid/ or call 888-817-3777 during most business hours.     

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Volume 20, Issue 12, Posted 1:36 AM, 06.19.2024

Three Arches Foundation Welcomes New Board Members; Gavlak Elected Chair Of The Foundation's Board Of Directors

Three Arches Foundation, a community-focused grant making foundation, welcomed three new members to its board of directors and elected Gina Gavlak as its new chair. Domonic Hopson, Selina Pagán, and Lee Peña joined the 19-member volunteer board. The Foundation also recognized the leadership contributions of outgoing chair Mary Anne Crampton and departing directors Mike Carlin, Jay Carson, and Jeff Milbourn.

Gavlak will lead the Foundation as it carries out its work of investing in the advancement of solutions that impact equitable access to care, specifically those that remove barriers and improve behavioral and physical health. With over 30 years of experience in leadership, program and fund development, advocacy, and direct patient care as a registered nurse, she has focused her career on increasing access to high-quality, affordable, and equitable health care for everyoneGavlak is vice president of development for Neighborhood Family Practice (NFP) where she leads fund development, community engagement, and advocacy initiatives. She also serves as president of the North Coast Health Foundation, a supporting organization which works to advance the mission of NFP by raising awareness of services and fostering philanthropic support.

Hopson is president and CEO of Neighborhood Family Practice, a Federally Qualified Health Center delivering high quality, affordable primary and preventative health care in a medical home setting with seven locations across Cleveland’s west side neighborhoods and Lakewood. Throughout his career, Hopson has led efforts to enhance community health outcomes and address health disparities.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 12, Posted 1:36 AM, 06.19.2024

S.O.S. - Save Our Seniors: Support Property Tax Reform

In the last issue Tristan Rader wrote an article describing some of the duties and responsibilities of our state legislators. He listed quite a few responsibilities including climate change, worker’s rights, marijuana legislation etc. However, he failed to mention that our state representatives have direct control over our real estate property taxes in Ohio.

Even though we pay our property taxes to Cuyahoga County, the methods and formulas for those taxes are controlled by our elected officials in Columbus. Very few politicians want to discuss lowering our property taxes for one main reason. In most counties, 65-75% of our property tax goes to fund public schools. Most politicians are deathly afraid to upset the school teachers unions who are huge supporters and contributors to their campaigns.

The sad reality is that every three years our home evaluations increase and the public schools receive an automatic increase in funding that has not be voted on by the taxpayers. Because of this taxing formula, seniors are being driven out of their homes. Property values are going through the roof and while it may be a windfall for those individuals selling their homes, it is an incredible burden to the rest of us. Many of us seniors want to stay in the homes where we raised our families and  have resided for many years. The increase of value in our homes will not be realized until we sell. In the meantime, the pressure from rising costs in food, fuel and medical care combined with high property taxes is devastating.

JOIN THE MOVEMENT! - Citizens for Property Tax Reform is attempting to rally seniors in Cuyahoga County to put pressure on our politicians to make changes in the property tax structure.

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Volume 20, Issue 12, Posted 1:36 AM, 06.19.2024

The Abandoned Car Wash

For years, I walked past an abandoned car wash every morning on my way to work. A few years back, it did great business for a while, then was deserted. Re-opened a few times, but never stayed in business for more than an afternoon.

  I distinctly remember its Grand Opening, on a December morning. Giant bow across the front. Every vehicle in the region made its way to the car wash that day. The proprietor would be on his knees the entire time, making sure each vehicle was thoroughly cleaned. Having run his new business for hours, the proprietor fell asleep on site. But after that first glorious day, it would open only sporadically. The proprietor had his hands full with many ventures in the area.

     The sounds were awesome: Vroom-Squeak-Scrub-(indecipherable muttering). Such sweet music.

      As soon as my presence was noticed, the sounds would mute, but resumed when his sister came by with that jeep of hers:

“NO GIRLS! Thems too tall.”

“That’s discrimidation! We’re getting a lawyer!”

    In hindsight, I wish I’d been disciplined enough to heed that voice in the back of my mind: This is a limited time offer. How I wish I’d forced myself to stop and watch my Children’s beautiful imaginations soaring. No matter what household task I thought I needed to get to. My life isn’t any better today because I completed those tasks, and the car wash will never reopen.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 12, Posted 1:36 AM, 06.19.2024

Mayor's Corner: Taking Care Of Our Buildings

Lakewood’s status as both a charming, historic place and as Ohio’s most densely populated city helps make our community unique and full of activity. Over 50,000 people call Lakewood’s 6.7 square miles home, with more than 32,000 housing units (most of which were built before World War II).  At City Hall, we are laser-focused on ensuring that buildings in Lakewood remain safe, especially with so many people living in and visiting our city, and considering the age of structures. With all this in mind, the work of our Division of Building and Housing is crucial to the quality of life in Lakewood.

Lakewood’s building and housing team, led by Commissioner Chris Parmelee, has a lot on their plate. A given year finds them overseeing a wide range of work on residential and commercial buildings and even food trucks. Our team of inspectors regularly reviews the condition of buildings across Lakewood and guides those looking to make repairs, alterations, or new builds.

Last year alone, our inspectors reviewed and issued over 2,700 building permits – these can include anything from the simple installation of a new water heater to the construction of an entirely new building. Building and Housing also oversees the annual licensing for owners of rental housing, which involves over 3,200 landlords.   This work on rental units also includes a full interior inspection every time title changes hands on an individual unit. 

For all single and two-family homes (whether rental or owner-occupied), the City performs an exterior inspection on a triennial basis. Our inspectors use a four-point scale, with a “1” finding no exterior code violations and a 4 finding “significant disrepair” with multiple major violations. Recently, we realized that we needed a similar level of regular review of Lakewood’s commercial buildings and worked to build new policies.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 12, Posted 1:36 AM, 06.19.2024

State Representative Michael J. Skindell Named Grand Marshal Of The Lakewood Fourth Of July Parade

Lakewood Mayor Meghan F. George announced on June 6th that State Representative Michael J. Skindell will serve as the grand marshal of the city’s annual Fourth of July parade.

The parade is scheduled to step off on Lake Avenue at Kenneth Drive at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 4, 2024, and conclude at Lakewood Park.

Representative Skindell has been serving the Lakewood community for over 25 years. During his time as Lakewood Councilman-at-Large from 1998 to 2002, he was chairman of the Council’s Rules and Ordinances Committee and he served on the Finance, Housing, and Public Works Committees.

He has been a member of the Ohio House of Representatives in District 13 from 2002 to 2010, and again from 2018 to present. He also represented Ohio Senate District 23 from 2010 to 2018. This will be Skindell’s last year serving as a State Representative. In January of this year, Representative Skindell announced he would not be seeking re-election.

In addition to his public service, Representative Skindell serves on the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, the Lakewood Democratic Club, and the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Barton Senior Center and Westerly Senior Apartments in Lakewood and the Lakewood Jaycees, where he served as president in 1999.

“Representative Skindell has served the Lakewood community for over 25 years,” said Mayor Meghan F. George. “We are honored to have him serve as the grand marshal of the parade. As Representative Skindell leaves office at the end of the year, we thank him for all the contributions he has made to the Lakewood community and wish him all the best in his next chapter.”

Joining in the parade will be musical favorites: the Lakewood High School Ranger Marching Band, St. Edward Marching Eagles, and The Red Hackle Pipe Band.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 12, Posted 1:36 AM, 06.19.2024

Grant Green Team Spurs Change

The Lakewood City Schools continued to ramp up its efforts this school year to be a more eco-friendly organization. Grant Elementary is a shining example of making our staff and students aware of their environmental impacts and learning what they can do to help make a difference.

Led by student wellness Julie May, the Grant Green Team (grades 3-5) has implemented several initiatives this school year to lead the school on a path to greater sustainability practices.

The Lakewood City Schools continued to ramp up its efforts this school year to be a more eco-friendly organization. Grant Elementary is a shining example of making our staff and students aware of their environmental impacts and learning what they can do to help make a difference.  Led by student wellness Julie May, the Grant Green Team (grades 3-5) has implemented several initiatives this school year to lead the school on a path to greater sustainability practices.

These efforts include recycling paper throughout the building and in the cafeteria, recycling GoGo Squeeze-like pouches, creating a share table for unopened and uneaten food from the school, composting (via Rust Belt Riders), and using compostable silverware and trays. All these efforts were made possible by a $2,600 grant the District received from the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District as well as support from Nutrition Services.

Students play a crucial role in the green efforts. Each classroom has two student recycling steward who monitor the recycling bin daily and give weekly reports on progress. Older students have given presentations at lunch to younger students, educating them on proper recycling and composting and their impact on the Earth. This not only fosters a sense of community but also ensures the sustainability efforts are ingrained in the school culture for years to come. It also is a great opportunity for the older students to build their leadership and communication skills.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 12, Posted 1:36 AM, 06.19.2024

H20 Clothing Drive Fans: The Wait Is Over!

The blue bins are in place at all three fire stations and at Cove Community Center, waiting to be filled with clothing donations.
 
If you are not familiar with this project, H2O collects clothing donations for several weeks, then our young volunteers prepare them for a one-day Super Sale. Items are sold at EXTREMELY low cost as a service to the community. In addition to learning about the value of affordable clothes for people, H2O campers learn about the impacts of textiles on the environment.
 
This project is a staple of Summer Service Camp, and we hope you will donate!

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Volume 20, Issue 12, Posted 1:36 AM, 06.19.2024