Latest News

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

Dr. G's Lakewood Ranger Round-Up: Recap Of A Fabulous Year In Ranger Sports

Emily Potoczak with fellow Scholar Athlete Award winner Hutch Reed.

At the risk of leaving out many fabulous moments, here are, in no particular order, some of my favorites from the 2023/24 Lakewood Ranger sports campaign. Now, the memories...

QB Avery Holt led the Rangers to a heart-stopping 1 point win over Clearview, throwing 3 long touchdown passes but actually caught the game winner as time expired on reverse WR pass from Alex Symons. (Avery then kicked the extra point). Donnie Mikuluk in later games and Chanceler Moses this night got the tough years, and Jaylen Chappell and Alex were the deep threats.

The resurgent Ranger Volleyball team had many big wins, perhaps none more satisfying than the Holy Name match. Olivia Baker, Sophia Zarbo, Emily Potoczak (pictured with fellow Scholar Athlete Award winner Hutch Reed) and Audrey McNulty led a great team effort.

The Boys Soccer team not only won the GLC-Wes--keyed by a huge defeat of Buckeye--but also went over to St. Edward on an early, chilly Saturday morning and left with a 2-0 victory and the Community Cup.

Girls soccer competed well despite many close losses, but had big wins over Normandy and Midview.

The Boys Basketball team stormed back from a 15 point deficit to win in overtime at Buckeye--keyed by Drew Jablonowski and Lucas Seguine. Junior Luke Vannucci set the 3-point record, and the squad won two tournament games, including a thriller over Hudson in the second round.

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

President’s Page: The 411 On 420 In 44107

Image credit Julia Teichmann via Pixabay

Hi Neighbors! Cheeky headlines aside, I know many folks have been wondering about adult-use, or recreational cannabis sales in Lakewood, so I thought I’d…uh…clear the air.

The short answer is that the City of Lakewood is ready for business!

June 3rd – Lakewood City Council passed Ordinance 42-2023 which allows for the permitting of adult-use dispensaries.

June 6th – Lakewood’s citizen-led Planning Commission heard the first two applications for mixed-use distribution from the two current medical marijuana dispensaries.

June 7th – the State of Ohio’s Division of Cannabis Control (DCC) began accepting applications for mixed-use licenses.

September 7th – deadline for the DCC to issue provisional licenses. All Ohio adult-use dispensaries must have a license from the DCC to operate legally. 

 

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

Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program HAS GONE DIGITAL!

A big change this year for the program. Seniors are now able to sign up online. Requirements are the same in that you must be 60 years of age or older and meet a certain income criteria but the process is more streamlined in that you can use your smart devices to sign up and to use your vouchers.

Go to www.aging.ohio.gov for the details and a link to the application. If you need assistance please feel free to contact us at 216-529-5005 and we will help you with the process.

Susan Hijjawi is the Manager of the Senior Services Division of Aging.

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

How To Safely And Legally Navigate Bike Lanes

About those bike lines you’re increasingly seeing around Lakewood and the Greater Cleveland area...many communities have added bike lanes to their roadways for the specific, exclusive use of cyclists. Some are “protected” with bollards (as on the stretch of road between Clifton and Lake Roads connecting Lakewood and Rocky River), some are simply painted stripes and a bike image with a directional arrow on the pavement.

Cyclists have the right of way when riding in a bike lane, and motor vehicles cannot travel in them. However, if the lane is clear of cyclists, a motorist may cross a bike lane to make a turn, access parking, or enter or exit a roadway.

No vehicle, except for a bicycle, can stand or be parked in a bike lane or in any way impede bike traffic.

When there is a bike lane present, a cyclist may still choose to ride on the road, “taking the lane.” Adult cyclists have a legal right to ride on the road in Ohio (except on divided, controlled access freeways).

 

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

Neighborhood Leadership Development Program & Community Development Corporation Leadership Program Seek 2024 Applicants

NLDP Session

If you are passionate, committed and dedicated to taking an active role in improving your community, you may be excited by, and ready for, one of two valuable leadership development programs. NLDP and CDCLP are programs of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation. Both programs are at no cost to participants.

The Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP), for 17 years, has offered community engagement leadership training for residents of Cleveland, and its inner ring suburbs, who are working on projects in the City of Cleveland and who are determined to make a positive impact on their communities.

The Community Development Corporation Leadership Program (CDCLP) just graduated its third cohort. CDCLP is the Cleveland area’s only leadership program specifically designed for Community Development Corporation Executive level leadership.

Both programs are currently seeking applicants for their 2024 cohorts.

 

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

Meet Me At Cove

Chitra Walker

Community Resource Specialist

Lakewood Area Collaborative, Division of Youth

Chitra is a dedicated and deeply involved community member. She moved to the United States from India in 1972. With the help of friends, she pursued higher education and eventually settled in Northeast Ohio in 1982, where she raised her family, and built a career in healthcare administration from which she retired in 2012. 

Active in her community, Chitra has volunteered for various organizations including the City of Lakewood's Community Relations Advisory Commission, the League of Women Voters, Lakewood Chapter and as a founding board member of the Healthy Lakewood Foundation. She is also a volunteer peer coach, supporting families affected by substance use disorders. Her dedication to community involvement and her advocacy for understanding and kindness reflect her belief in the power of collective action and conversation. For almost two years, Chitra has worked part-time as a community resource specialist in the City of Lakewood's Lakewood Area Collaborative, Division of Youth and will be retiring at the end of this month.

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

Congratulations, Class Of 2024

On Sunday, July 2, 2024, 313 amazing graduates received their diplomas at our 176th Commencement Ceremony in the Civic Auditorium, surrounded by family, friends, and staff.
 
The event featured inspiring speeches from students Owen Rumsey, Alex Krankowski, and Edie Barcelona, as well as words of wisdom from Principal Joy Morgan, Superintendent Maggie Niedzwiecki, and Board of Education President Michael J. Callahan.

Special recognitions were given to the 66 Hawthorne Medal recipients for achieving a 4.0 or higher GPA, our four brave graduates entering the military, and various honor societies and music and athletic groups. The LHS Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Choir provided beautiful music to honor our graduates as well.

We couldn't be prouder of our graduates and wish them all the best in their future endeavors!

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Volume 20, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.05.2024

Kiwanis Awards 15 Scholarships To Graduating Lakewood Seniors

The scholarship winners 2024.

Lakewood Kiwanis Scholarship Foundation is proud to announce our 2024 recipients for this year’s graduating high school seniors. The following 15 graduates are being awarded thirteen $10,000 and two $5000 for vocational schools. We consider their academic, citizenship and leadership abilities. Thank you to all the applicants and their families. This scholarship fund is funded through the efforts of The Kiwanis Club of Lakewood. The Lakewood Kiwanis Hootenanny Dance and legacy donations were just two of our major fundraisers.

The winners of the 2024 Lakewood Kiwanis Scholarships are: Rowan Brown-Lakewood HS, Kaileigh Burton-Lakewood HS, William (Liam) Craighead-St. Ignatius, Rosemary Cronin-Lakewood HS, Ava Donaldson-Lakewood HS, Yasmine Elhachdani-Lakewood HS, Jason Haklaj-Lakewood HS, Edward Horton-Lakewood HS, Safa Jabarkhil-Lakewood HS, Mimi Née-Lakewood HS, Hannah Schmidt-St Joseph, Zoe Schmidt-St Joseph, Hannah Watkins-Lakewood HS, Cameron Wereb-Lakewood HS, Mary Grace Wirst-Magnificat.

The Kiwanis Club of Lakewood is the leading service organization in Lakewood and we are celebrating over 100 years of service. Along with our scholarships, we also support Harding Builders Club, K Kids Club at Horace Mann and Horizon B&A Care at Harrison and Emerson.

We welcome new volunteers and new members to continue giving to our youth. Please consider joining our club. Look  over our web page 

 

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Volume 20, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.05.2024

Congratulations Lakewood High School 2024 Graduates

Evelisse Evie Abderrazza 
Naseer Abdul Rahim Zai 
Mufeed Abushatara
Amily Abuzahriyeh
Leena Adams
Aseel Albadarin
Akram Ali
Moyeen Ali
Farhad Ali Shah
Elisabeth Grey Alleman
Maria Alrahhal
Tala Altaei
Ava Andjeski
Gift Angel Anya
Rachel Aoun
Lay Htoo Arrow
David Awkar
Aaliyah Aziz
Caroline Baas
Kayla Baire
Annabelle Baker
Olivia Baker
Aidan Bangert
Meredith Edie Barcelona
Ronan Barley
Giada Barricelli
Ryan Beaver
Olivia Behun
Adam Benhaddou
Haley Benjamin
Tirhas Berakhi
Cassandra Griffin Berry

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Volume 20, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.05.2024

Mayor's Corner: Human Services Department Is A Testament To The Spirit Of Lakewood

The City of Lakewood provides many highly visible services to our residents, from the public works department who are always out and about improving and maintaining things to our police and fire department who patrol our streets and respond to emergencies in vehicles and uniforms we all readily observe. One department that can fly under the radar but also provides a major benefit for the people of Lakewood is our Human Services Department.

In Lakewood, we are proud that our concept of providing services also extends to the deep and important work done by our Human Services Department. That includes work at Cove Community Center and in homes across the city. Human Services Director Chad Berry and his team provide an impressive breadth of support to our seniors, youth, families in need, and those living on the edge and facing crisis.

On any day at Cove, you might find a social gathering for Lakewood residents (everything from a Leap Year Dance Party to Breakfast with a Bunny); a financial literacy class; or the Human Services team figuring out an emergency plan for a resident whose heat went out or who lacks air conditioning on a sweltering day. That is just the tip of the iceberg, and it would be impossible to list all their efforts and impact in a single column.

In 2023 alone, an average of 150 community members came through the doors of Cove Community Center daily to participate in activities and programming. Seniors and family room participants checked in to our Human Services programs close to 29,000 times. Nearly 19,000 home meals were delivered, and over 12,800 congregate meals were served. The work of the Human Services department is a testament to the spirit of Lakewood and how deeply we care for and lift each other up.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.05.2024

Middle School & LHS Mock Trial Teams Shine In Competition

LHS Mock Trial team member Delano Yeung won a Best Witness award.

MIDDLE SCHOOL MOCK TRIAL SHOWCASE

By Lisa Batkiewicz

Garfield and Harding participated in the statewide Middle School Mock Trial Showcase sponsored by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education last month in at the State Courthouse in Columbus and came away with many awards, including Best Attorney and Best Witness.

Garfield’s three teams together won three of six possible Best Attorney awards and three of six possible Best Witness awards. Harding’s two teams won two  Best Attorney awards and              one Best Witness award. 

Garfield’s Best Attorneys winners were Tyler Kemp, Avery Spahr, and Adam Tanina. Harding’s Best Attorneys were Julia Thomas and Ingrid Matera. Garfield’s Best Witnesses awardees were  Cory Clemens, Zsofi Flasher, and Henry Trefethen. Harding’s Best Witness was Harper Haney.

Forty-three teams from districts across Ohio competed over three days, and only 16 teams scored in the top tier of three scoring tiers. The Garfield Ranger Team received the highest rating of Superior. Garfield Gold and Purple Teams as well as Harding Team 1 received a rating of Outstanding and Harding Team 2 received a rating of Excellent.

This year the Middle School Mock Trials were based on the book “The Giver” by Lois Lowry in which a teenager in a dystopian society risks his well-being and goes against the rules of his community to save the life of a small child. 

Each middle school team subdivides into a prosecution and a defense squad, and prepares for two different trials against other Ohio middle schools. Students take on the roles of attorneys, witnesses, and bailiff/timers. The trials take place in front of real attorneys who act as trial judges and who rate teams on case understanding, professional demeanor, oratory skills, and understanding of trial technique and courtroom procedure.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.05.2024

Lakewood Police And Fire Departments To Host Summer Safety Days For Children 3 Through 12

The Lakewood Police Department and Lakewood Fire Department will be hosting a Summer Safety Days Program for children ages 3-12 and their parents at Madison Park.  Children participating in this program will gain a better understanding of safety as well as engage in personal interaction with safety forces. The three-hour program will be offered a few times throughout the summer for two different age groups. Each child must be accompanied by an adult to this program. Pre-registration is required. There is a limit of 25 children per session.

Summer Safety Days will take place on the following dates in 2024:

Wednesday, June 26
Tuesday, July 23
Tuesday, August 13

Each date will feature two sessions:
Morning (10 AM-12 PM) for 3 to 7 year-olds
Afternoon (1 PM – 3 PM) for 8 to 12 year-olds

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Volume 20, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.05.2024

Starr Gazer

JUNE 

ARIES: The lucky duo, Sun/Jupiter are in the same house again this month for all signs. The Ram has the rays beaming in your neighborhood, siblings, short visits & travel, go visit Dad.

TAURUS: June has the Bull bringing in plenty of greenbacks. Take Dad out to dinner, you can afford it. If he’s passed on, bring a six-pack & flowers to his grave.

GEMINI:  The Twins, it’s all about you, for quite some time now. Jupiter just entered the sign of Gemini, & will hang out there until June 9th, 2025. Take advantage of the next year, double your pleasure.

CANCER: Hey Crab, you’ve got a lot of action going on behind the scenes this month. Hold your cards close to your chest. Keep your eyes & ears open, & your lips zipped.

LEO:  The Lion/Lioness has no trouble finding friends to fill its Jungle. The Sun is shining on your house of friends, & acquaintances. Keep the party going, & get out there & network.

VIRGO:  If you’ve been thinking about changing jobs, getting a promotion, or looking for a job, this is the month to hit the pavement. Don’t just sit there thinking about it, just do it.

 

                                                                                                                                                

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Volume 20, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.05.2024

Upcoming Events In June

Dustin Hoffman is The Graduate.

Support local writers and celebrate the creativity of our wonderfully 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 Girl from Cleveland City" Series by Alexsandra Sukhoy 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium  

Alexsandra Sukhoy breaks and blends writing and visual platforms- including screenplays, blogs and photography in The Girl from Cleveland City series. Books will be available for sale and signing at the event.  

Presentation - Cleveland's Olympic History 

Wednesday, June 5, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium 

The Olympics are coming this summer! Come and learn about some of Northeast Ohio’s notable Olympians. Presenter Jill Jaracz is the founder and co-host of Keep the Flame Alive, a podcast dedicated to the Olympics and Paralympics. 

Literary Cleveland Presents:  

Write Now – Poetry Writing Workshop with Instructor Corey Miller 

Saturdays: July 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2024  

 

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Volume 20, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.05.2024

Lakewood Cycling News

I’ve been a proud Lakewood business owner for years and a homeowner here since 2017. As such it’s great to see Bike Lakewood – a resident-led advocacy group and chapter of Bike Cleveland - increasing its activities in recent months!

Lakewood currently has the highest marks in Ohio from Walk Score, a company that helps people find walk/bike/transit-friendly areas. (Bike Scores are determined by bike lanes, hills, destinations/road connectivity, and bike commuting/mode share.) Currently Bike Lakewood is spotlighting the City of Lakewood’s Bunts Road rehabilitation project. Starting in 2026, Phase One will cover Lakewood Heights Boulevard to Franklin Boulevard and in 2027, Phase Two will encompass Franklin to Clifton Boulevard.

The improvements will benefit ALL road users: motorists, cyclists, micro-mobility device users, and pedestrians. Everything from surface drainage to pavement, curbs, and sidewalks to long pedestrian crossing distances to streetlights to updating signage to Clean Water Lakewood to sewer improvement to bicycle lanes will be addressed. Southbound traffic will be maintained, northbound traffic will detour to Warren Road. A small price to pay for such a huge list of safety improvements in our community!

PLEASE NOTE: Bike Lakewood supports Alternative 1, which will get us a 10-foot-wide separated shared use path (reducing accidents/injuries) and curb bump outs for greater connectivity and safety for all. More trees, less impact on traffic and the environment, plus Active Transportation Plan (ATP) and Safe Streets for All (SS4A) progress. Alternative 2 would mean on-street bike lanes on both sides of Bunts Road.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.05.2024

Bocce! Bocce! At Cove

On Wednesday, May 29th, we had a great “meet and greet” for the nighttime bocce league. Players gathered to see the court and lawn, watch live demos on how to play bocce ball, and check out the competition before the action kicks off officially on Wednesday, June 5th.

Got some free time on any of the next eight Wednesdays between 5:30 and 8:45 PM? Drop by Cove (12525 Lake Avenue) to say hi and cheer on these teams: Sunset Spockers, The Rat Pack, Ball Me Maybe, Joanie Loves Bocce, Irish Rovers, Fun-tastic Four, Rolling Rockers, Resilience, Bo-cheese Quesadillas, Jolly Ballers, The Misfits, Hot Shots, Khal’s Krew, The Bocce bHallers, Rookie Rollers, and We Speak Bocce. We hope to see you there!

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Volume 20, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.05.2024

District Honors Academic Standouts In Celebration Of Excellence

Students receive their medals and congratulations from Board of Education members.

Lakewood City Schools proudly celebrated the achievements of its brightest students at the 41st annual Celebration of Excellence ceremony on May 16 in the Civic Auditorium. Held to honor the academic dedication and success of its students, 390 medals of excellence were awarded to middle school and high school students who maintained a 4.0 GPA or higher through the first three quarters of the academic year.

The ceremony, a highlight of the school calendar, recognized not only these top academic performers but also celebrated the District's National Merit Finalist and six Commended Scholars, who have demonstrated outstanding academic prowess on a national level.

In addition to the medals of excellence, the ceremony also included the awarding of a range of scholarships to deserving students. Recipients included those honored by the Lakewood Leadership Team, Lakewood Rangers Education Foundation, and winners of various Lakewood High scholarships. A notable addition this year was the presentation of the new Governor's Merit Scholarships, aimed at supporting students in their pursuit of higher education.

Keynote speaker Lisa Bruening, director of student services for the school district and a Lakewood High School graduate, delivered an inspiring address. Her speech emphasized the many ways the Vision of a Lakewood Ranger competencies have helped her succeed in her career and life. The audience and students also enjoyed some beautiful music from the Lakewood High Chamber Choir. 

 

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Volume 20, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.05.2024

Acoustic Musicians: Play Your Instrument, Sing Your Song

Congito Jaffe, wellknown local singer/songwriter is honored to announce that he will be hosting an innovative monthly summer music series at the Blue Café, 15715 Madison Avenue in Lakewood.

Perform your original or non-original, classical, folk, solo, ensemble, or string quartet for 15 minutes of music.  Share your voice, vision, and creative soul. This is a chance to perform/listen to fresh lively music by local residents, your friends and neighbors. We hope you will share your innovative new music, put your original spin on a classic, strum your guitar, bow your violin, tap your timbales, and sing along with others.

Sign-up for a 15 minute slot will begin half an hour before the event begins. Scheduled dates are: Sunday, June 16th 12pm-2, Sunday July 14th, 12pm-2pm, and Sunday August 18, 12pm-2pm.

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Volume 20, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.05.2024

Boom! Cleveland Shops Makes Noise

Cleveland Shops is making noise with its latest promotion.

Gordon Geiger was tired of seeing Amazon trucks roaming his neighborhood. He was concerned when he witnessed the increasing number of big box stores.

As the owner of Geiger's, a family-owned, Lakewood institution, Geiger decided to take things into his own hands.

He created Cleveland Shops, an organization of locally owned, independent retailers who joined together to educate the public about the importance of supporting local retailers.

That was nearly five years and a pandemic ago.

While the concept was welcomed by retailers on both sides of Cleveland, plans to launch were ill-timed. Marketing slated for March, 2020 was postponed because of the Covid outbreak. Momentum was lost. Plans for moving forward were put on hold.

That was then...

Today, Cleveland Shops boasts nearly 40 impressive retailers as members.

On June 1, it will launch its first major marketing promotion, "Boom!"

"Boom! connotes increasing sales at the cash register. It's the surprise that our members have in store for those on our e-newsletter list and our followers on social media," Geiger explains.

 

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Volume 20, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.05.2024

Join Us For Juneteenth!

On Wednesday, June 19th from 6:00 to 9.:00 p.m., Lakewood Black Caucus is celebrating its annual Juneteenth celebration at Lakewood Presbyterian, Church: 14502 Detroit and Marlowe. Our event is open to everyone and it is free! Come join us for food, games and live entertainment. There will also be a raffle with wonderful prizes! There is something for everyone. We will hold the event in Lawther Hall which is at the back entrance of the church. Bring the family, and enjoy the fun!

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Volume 20, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.05.2024

Healthy Lakewood Foundation Appoints New Board Member

The Healthy Lakewood Foundation is excited to announce the appointment of Kim Fennell to its Board of Directors. Kim, a Lakewood resident for the past decade, was appointed at HLF’s March Board meeting and brings a strong background in therapeutic recreation and a passion for community engagement and inclusion. Currently, Kim works at Rec2Connect as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, where she not only works with clients in the water as an aquatic therapist, but also implements land-based programs, oversees adult program outreach, and manages volunteers.

Kim graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Toledo and is currently working to complete her Master of Nonprofit Administration with Louisiana State University. Her diverse experience spans across various roles, including Recreation Therapy Coordinator at Clear Vista Geriatric Behavioral Health Unit and as the Center Director of the Lakeshore Rose Center for Aging Well. Kim is also a dedicated volunteer, notably at GiGi's Playhouse and the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

Melissa Federman, HLF’s Board Secretary and Chair of the Governance Committee, notes, “Kim is an enthusiastic Lakewood resident who is eager to contribute to the Healthy Lakewood Foundation's mission. She brings experience as a recreation therapist in both non-profit and health care settings, in building community partnerships, and a dedication to equity and inclusion. Kim’s experience makes her a valuable asset to the foundation's board.” Join us in welcoming Kim to HLF’s board!

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Volume 20, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.05.2024

Keep Lakewood Beautiful Launches 2024 Beautiful Home Awards

Keep Lakewood Beautiful Launches 2024 Beautiful Home Awards

Keep Lakewood Beautiful is pleased to announce its 2024 Beautiful Home Awards! Now through July 15th is the time to submit your nominations for the Lakewood home(s) you think showcase eye-popping landscaping, well-maintained features, and that extra something that makes it “beautiful.”

Nominations can be made quickly & easily by visiting the City of Lakewood’s website (lakewoodoh.gov/keep-lakewood-beautiful) or by calling the City of Lakewood at 216-529-5061. Typically 50 to 100 Lakewood homes are nominated each year.

Keep Lakewood Beautiful has been orchestrating the Beautiful Home Awards for more than 10 years. One home from each of the original seven school districts is chosen from nominations submitted by community members. Winners will receive an award and be recognized during a City Council meeting this fall.

Thank you for helping Keep Lakewood Beautiful to properly honor this city of beautiful homes!

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Volume 20, Issue 11, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.05.2024