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"Why I Love Lakewood" - Winning Essay by Landon Metz

I love this small but big community called Lakewood. This is my dream town! My parents moved us here a few years ago from the eastside because they loved it so much. There are so many things to love it’s hard to narrow it down!
           First, Lakewood is an interesting historical city. There are so many old houses and buildings. It’s great to see people fixing up their old houses to make them beautiful and charming again. My family is working on fixing up our house that just turned 101 years old. I like to think about all of the families that have lived here before us.
    Second, Lakewood has an awesome variety of food options. If someone came up and asked me “What food places are nearby?” I’ll say “I can walk right to the end of my street and find Angelo’s, Taco Tantos, Sushi, Thai, Barbeque, Eugene’s Kitchen, Frosty’s ice cream and cookies. So many options!” My favorites are Angelo’s, Taco Tantos, and Frosty’s.
            Our location is what gives Lakewood its name! I really like that we are close to the great Lake Erie, we have a beach nearby and we are close to downtown for all the sporting events. It’s amazing how much the lake affects our weather! And the view from the Solstice Steps across the lake and back toward downtown is beautiful.
            And last, no other town puts on as many great events as Lakewood, like music and movies in the park, the 4th of July fireworks, the Spooky Pooch Parade, and the Summer Meltdown. Plus, around Lakewood there are many amazing murals to see, scooters to borrow, community gardens, and now the sports lending lockers in Madison Park.
            In conclusion, there are so many reasons to love Lakewood. It’s an awesome city with lots of different kinds of people, great food, great history, great location, and great community activities. What’s not to love!

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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:11 PM, 12.07.2022

Lakewood Board Of Education's Resolution Opposes State Proposal

The Lakewood Board of Education at its November 21 meeting unanimously approved a reolution stating its opposition to a proposed anti-LGBTQ+ resolution under consideration by the Ohio Board of Education. The Board's resolution states that the Ohio Board of Education's proposal: "contradicts Lakewood City Schools Board of Education Policy...(and) is also in oppostion to Lakewood's Vision of a Lakeood Graduate, specifically the values of empathy and global awareness, and violates the ideals of human kindness and inclusion that are so valued by the Lakewood Community."

The resolution encourages the community to contact the State Board of Education to express their oppostion to the propoosed legislation.

Here is the text of the Lakewood Board of Education's resolution:

WHEREAS, In September 2022, Ohio Board of Education Member Brenden Shea presented an anti-LGBTQ+ resolution for consideration:The "Resolution to Support Parents, Schools, and Districts in Rejecting Harmful, Coercive, and Burdensome Gender Identity Policies" attempts to invalidate Federal Title IX protections in schools for LGBTQ+ youth;

WHEREAS, This resolution directly contradicts Lakewood City Schools Board of Education Policy;

WHEREAS, This resolution is also in opposition to Lakewood's Vision of a Lakewood Graduate, specifically the values of empathy and global awareness and violates the ideals of human kindness and inclusion that are so valued by the Lakewood Community;   WHEREAS, It is essential that our schools remain a safe, inclusive space for our children to grow and learn;

WHEREAS, The State Board of Education Executive Committee will continue debate on this resolution and two additional amendments;


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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:06 PM, 12.07.2022

Avenue Home And Cotton: Two Lakewood Gems

"What would our community be like without this store or any of our other local shops"? A collection of phrases such as this are framed and perched upon the counters of both Avenue Home and Cotton. Directly across the street from each other on Detroit Avenue, they represent two exceptional small businesses in our city.

Both establishments are owned by founder, David Stein, and have been in operation for approximately 20 and 10 years respectively.

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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:06 PM, 12.07.2022

Grace Presbyterian Church To Honor Dr. H. Leslie Adams

Twenty-seven years ago Grace Presbyterian Church had the honor of turning Grace’s musical program over into the hands of world-renowned composer, Dr. H. Leslie Adams. Now Grace is celebrating Dr. Adams’ ninetieth birthday with a concert in his honor. On Saturday, December 10th, a concert will take place at 2:00 PM at Grace Presbyterian Church, 1659 Rosewood Avenue, Lakewood.

Guest artists will be gifting the audience with many of Dr. Adam’s works. Pianists Nicole diPaolo and Dan Overly, of the Cleveland Music Settlement, will be at the piano and violin. Additionally there will be pieces played by Tamara Kazy and Katherine Calvey on flute and piccolo. Brandy Birdsong, lyricist, vocalist and personal friend of Dr. Adams, will be flying in for the concert. Ms. Birdsong was the lyricist for Dr. Adams’ “Daybirth” and “Coming back to Cleveland.”

After the concert there will be a reception in the church’s social hall. Friends of Dr. Adams are invited to attend. Gifts are not necessary, but if anyone wants to send a birthday card, mail it to the church or bring it to the concert.

The Grace Family feels so honored to know Dr. Adams and to get to experience both his incredible music and his warm and loving friendship.

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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:06 PM, 12.07.2022

Starr Gazer


ARIES: The Ram’s got bigger-than-life things going on behind closed doors, & the Sunbeams are in your house of higher learning & overseas…looks like you’re taking a Sleigh Ride abroad

TAURUS: The Bull is catching some rays from other people’s money/resources; luck is coming to you from friends, groups & associations who may have seen Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

GEMINI: The Twin’s business/personal partnerships are getting a double boost from the Sun & Jolly Jupiter has landed in your Career house…It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

CANCER: The Crab’s focus is on service & health; Lady Luck visits your 9th house of foreign travel & higher studies – you may be singing Feliz Navidad from different shores than Lake Erie

LEO: The Lion/Lioness romantic vibes are on fire, and the golden buzzer has lit up the house of other’s resources, buy a lotto ticket, and soon you’ll be Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree 


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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:06 PM, 12.07.2022

LCAC Wraps Up Thanksgiving Food Drive, Prepares For Christmas Food Drive

Volunteers pack 150 bags with perishable food items to be delivered to Lakewood community members during the 2022 Thanksgiving Food Drive.

With the help of dozens of Lakewood community members, Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation was able to deliver non-perishable and perishable bags filled with Thanksgiving fixings to 150 Lakewood residences.

This was part of LCAC’s Thanksgiving Food Drive, which took place over the weekend before Thanksgiving. In addition to the 150 residences given bags of food, LCAC also mailed 150 Giant Eagle gift cards worth $75 to other families in need.

On Nov. 18, volunteers came in the morning to sort all the non-perishable food within an hour. Later that night, more volunteers came to bag the non-perishable food into 150 bags, taking less than an hour.

On Nov. 19, volunteers came to bag all of the perishable foods like turkeys and pies and were off to deliver to residences within the hour.

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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:06 PM, 12.07.2022

Children’s And Youth Services Programs

Pre-school Story Time:For You and Your 2 to 5-Year-Old Pre-schooler

This four-week pre-school story time is ideal for walkers, new talkers, and learning early literacy skills. You and your toddler and preschoolers will enjoy short books, songs and rhymes. The focus is on skills with your participation as a model. Registration is required. Register once for all four weeks.

Main Library- Tuesdays, January 3- January 24, 2023
10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. 
11:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. 
Wednesdays, January 4- January 25, 2023
11:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Madison Branch- Thursdays, January 5- January 26, 2023
10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Just Baby 'N Me: For You and Your Birth to 24-Month-Old Baby

Just Baby 'N Me is a four-week 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 once for all four weeks.

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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:06 PM, 12.07.2022

Harlan Radford Receives Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award

Rotary members present at the District 6630 Annual Foundation Awards Gala to honor Harlan Radford’s Paul Harris Fellow award were (from left) Larry Lohman, past district governor; Kevin Kelly, The Rotary Fund (TRF) major gifts officer; Marjorie Corrigan, past president Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River; Frederick T. "Rory" McGuire, grandson of Arch C. Klumph, founder of TRF; Haran Radford; and Tyler Stokesbary TRF annual giving officer.

Harlan Radford has been named a Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) by the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River in recognition of his leadership in the club and the communities it serves.

He was among those honored at the District 6630 Annual Foundation Awards Gala at Windows on the River on November 17.

Radford joined the club in July 2014 and immediately became totally involved in growing and strengthening the club’s membership. In presenting the award, past president Jim Lechko acknowledged Radford’s contributions, stating, “He has an amazing ability to explain and exemplify the tenets of our organization clearly and enthusiastically. As a result, he has been the source of nearly all our new members over the last eight years.”

Now serving on the District Membership Committee, Radford chaired the club’s membership committee shortly after he joined the club. He also serves on its board of directors and runs the club’s literacy project where each year over 400 dictionaries are presented to every third grader in Lakewood and Rocky River.

He single-handedly runs an annual Swim A Thon fundraiser that has garnered significant funds for equipment for the local police and fire departments, as well as the Elle’s Enchanted Forest playground in Rocky River.


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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:06 PM, 12.07.2022

December Events At Lakewood Public Library

Meet the Author- "Christmas in Cleveland"

Book by Alan Dutka

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.

Main Library Auditorium 

Many Clevelanders recall the Sterling-Lindner Christmas trees, shopping at the Twigbee Shop and visits with Mr. Jingeling. Local author Alan Dutka will share fond recollections of bygone holiday seasons. Alan Dutka has authored nine books on Cleveland history and has made multiple media appearances. This program is presented in partnership with the Lakewood Historical Society. Books will be available for sale and signing at this event.

Meet the Author- "The Storytelling Code: 10 Simple Rules to Shape and Tell a Brilliant Story"

Book by Dana Norris 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.

Main Library Auditorium 

Master the art of storytelling using ten rules to help shape your story and share it confidently. Whether you’re practicing job interview skills or giving a wedding speech, local author Dana Norris provides help on crafting a narrative and building public speaking skills. Dana Norris is the founder of Story Club, a monthly storytelling show. Her work has been featured in, Cleveland Scene, the Chicago Tribune, and others. Books will be available for sale and signing at this event.


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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:06 PM, 12.07.2022

All Over The Place 2: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 129

Moonlove - May Never Happen - Concentric Circles - 10 songs - LP, digital

I really like when totally obscure bands get reissued. This album originally came out on cassette only in 1985 in an edition of “probably fewer than 25 copies” on the classic Kent label Discographies For The Deaf (numbered DFTD 4— I have only seen evidence of two other DFTD releases but consider my interest piqued). Who were Moonlove? Well, there’s Jeff Curtis (whose recent music has been reviewed here at least once and has been in many great bands, from Bad Crabs to Satan’s Satellites and beyond), Randy Russell (who was also in The Channel Masters with Jeff), and Beth Erickson, aka Edda Blaine, whose trail ends as far as I can tell with her appearance on the Gibson Bros.’ “Dedicated Fool” LP in 1989. This record really fits right in with a lot of indie and underground music of its era— Beat Happening and The Clean both came to mind while listening. Not quite Paisley Underground, but they definitely really like the Velvets (and Beth Erickson certainly sounds at times like Moe Tucker). It’s lo-fi, it’s a bit scrappy, sometimes the guitars sound out of tune and the drums miss a few beats— but that all just adds to its charm. A lot of these songs are very catchy— “Blue Skies” gets stuck in my head every time I hear it. Something about “Moroccan Moon” reminds me of Daniel Johnston without really sounding at all like Daniel Johnston. “Trying To Find” has a cool double-melody vocal from Beth. Accuse me of being a Jeff Curtis superfan if you want, but “Cast Your Troubles And Dreams Away” and “Triangle” (his two solo writing credits) might be my favorite tracks here. A solid record with a nice presentation— Concentric Circles put some care into this, which is always appreciated with reissues, especially ones of something so unknown. The booklet has lots of cool pictures of the band and scans of flyers and stuff— not only do these three look like the perfect mid-‘80s indie band, but they have quite a command of their aesthetic as well (which can be seen just by looking at the cover here as well). Hey, while we’re on the Discographies For The Deaf stuff, I would personally really love it if somebody would reissue the J’accuse tape— please? 4/5


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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:06 PM, 12.07.2022

The Importance Of Music Education

Music has always been an important part of the curriculum in the Lakewood City Schools. As a teacher at LHS, I have enjoyed many an orchestra, band and choir concert. I also teach "about' music in my College Credit Psychology class, specifically the impact of music education on the brain, and have always wanted to write an article on this topic. But LHS senior Ellie Clark's response to an exam prompt—written in ten minutes—is not only better than what I could produce, but comes from a musician (flute) and a scholar (Ellie is President of our National Honor Society and Co-Captain of our Academic Challenge Team).

The Question was: "Discuss the research on the relationship between music education and brain development. Be sure to cite at least two specific examples." Her response follows.

"Music Education fosters more interconnectivity in the brain because the very act of playing an instrument requires a sustained neural connection between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Because the left brain controls language, it's needed to properly read sheet music and the notes it translates are then communicated to the right brain, which has more of a role in motor skills, which then communicates through synapses and nerves throughout the body. This leaves a thickened Corpus Callosum to aid in communication between the two hemispheres. "

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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:06 PM, 12.07.2022

Holiday Lighting Contest

Lakewood lights up in spectacular ways. Drive around other communities, I think we do it best. Our city of homes should take great pride in the decorating and holiday lighting that seems to get better every year. Once again, we try to acknowledge and award the most deserving homes that bring a smile to their neighbors. Anyone can win.

We are looking for everything from the simple and elegant traditional displays to the blinding disco of colors: one string of lights to, "I can't believe there's that many inflatables in one yard." Whatever makes you happy, you should nominate!

Nominate them at the Daily Question on our home page at: You can nominate 5 different homes a day. 

Public voting week will start on December 21st and continue through Dec. 28th. The homes with the most votes will be judged by a team who will decide the top ten. Winners will be announced December 30th. Along with the winning homes, one nominator and one voter will win a prize as well.

As always, we sincerely thank our sponsors who step up every year with gift certificates for prizes: Parnell Eagen of the West End Tavern, Brothers Ramesh and Sanjeev Sharma of India Garden, Bob Togliotti of Woodstock BBQ, Bobby and Julie Hutchison at the Root Cafe, and new this year: Lakewood's own Christmas Angel, Bonnie Fencl of Carabel Beauty Salon and Store with Haircuts for Females of All Ages. 

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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:06 PM, 12.07.2022

Healthy Lakewood Foundation Awards Over $150,000 In Grants To Support Community-Based Projects

The Healthy Lakewood Foundation Board of Directors awarded $153,550 in grants at its November Board meeting.

The HLF Board awarded Neighborhood Opportunity Grants for a total of $103,550 in funding to local organizations for community-based projects that support community building through innovation and learning. These projects address the social determinants of health – the environmental, social, and economic conditions of our community – through local programs and initiatives.

Awarded Neighborhood Opportunity Grants include:

  • $3,150 to GardenWalk Lakewood to promote the beautification of neighborhoods, spread gardening knowledge, and inspire home gardeners in the community.
  • $5,250 to the Lakewood Black Caucus to build capacity, allyship, and support for the mental health of Black residents in Lakewood.
  • $5,000 to the Lakewood Family Room for the new Parent Support Group, providing feeding, lactation, and parenting support to families with infants and babies.
  • $10,000 to Trials for Hope for community meals, basic care items, and outreach to unsheltered people to provide vulnerable populations with basic services.
  • $10,000 to the City of Lakewood Department of Human Services to start a composting and education program at Cove Community Center.
  • $10,500 to the Lakewood Outdoor Basketball Committee for the Youth Mentor and Violence Prevention Program at the Lakewood public basketball courts.
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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:06 PM, 12.07.2022

Mayor's Corner: Lakewood's First Comprehensive Snow And Ice Control Plan

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were able to enjoy a fantastic feast with friends and family. Although we’ve been lucky to have a relatively mild November, we at the City of Lakewood have been diligently preparing for the full arrival of winter weather. Part of that effort has been the unveiling of the City’s first official and comprehensive Snow & Ice Control Plan.

Our team at the City has always worked hard to coordinate efforts and provide high quality service in addressing cold weather events, but until now the City had not fully aligned our snow and ice control strategy across departments and codified this work in a single place. My administration made developing an official plan a priority this year in advance of the onset of cold weather. Our Public Works and Planning Departments did a deep dive during our warm weather months and involved all relevant City departments to brainstorm how we can improve our snow and ice protocols and practices to ensure we provide the best service possible for Lakewood.

The new Snow & Ice Control Plan prioritizes increasing the City’s overall capacity to proactively plan for and respond to harsh winter weather. This winter, the City is attaching snow plows to additional, smaller City vehicles so we can deploy more plows on the street simultaneously and clear more roads at once. On the personnel side, we are implementing policy changes to ensure additional coverage during holiday and weekends and proactively address our overall personnel needs.


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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:06 PM, 12.07.2022

LHS Science Classes Tackle Invasive Species Growth

A partnership with First Ring First Fellowship (FRFF) program and the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District led to Lakewood High science teachers Rita Chahda and Ann Pesta and their AP Environmental Science and biology students to remove a large amount of the invasive vegetation last week from the high school grounds.

The FRFF program provides first-ring science teachers in Cuyahoga County with free resources and professional development that creates place-based watershed projects with our students. Chadha and Pesta are obtaining knowledge and tools to introduce our students to Great Lakes literacy and watershed restoration concepts through meaningful watershed experiences implemented in their classrooms. This partnership led to a survey of the grounds at Lakewood High, where a hot spot of an invasive plant species was discovered in the stormwater basin behind the softball field in the North Lot.

The students removed the vegetation on Nov. 29 and will return in May to remove the rest of the vegetation and reseed with a native wildflower mix and plant native plants decided upon through their own research.

The real-life hands-on project is a great example of our Vision of a Lakewood Graduate in action, demonstrating communication, collaboration and a global citizen outlook. Many in our greater community collaborated on the project. The City of Lakewood provided a driver and truck to help remove all the vegetation that was pulled out. LHS custodians helped remove the filled bags as well. The project wouldn’t have happened without the guidance of Jacki Zevenbergen, Stormwater Education Program Manager at Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District. More importantly, our LHS AP Environmental and Biology students got down and dirty and did all the hard work!

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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:06 PM, 12.07.2022

Lakewood Municipal Court Is Recipient Of Top Grant Award Of $425,000

I am thrilled for our community and the court to have received $425,000 in grant money through the Office of Criminal Justice Services, a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, in partnership with the Ohio Supreme Court.

It is an amazing opportunity for me to significantly advance many facets of the court: from providing more efficient operations, to improving technology, modernizing, decreasing case backlog, and allowing broader access to the court and its services. This award benefits the court, and more importantly the users of the court, which I will explain later in the article.

In July 2022 the grant application process began. It was stressful, tedious work, with very significant obstacles. We were able to overcome the challenges to meet the grant application deadline of July 29, despite the short turnaround time from the date we were made aware of this opportunity. I was determined because I knew an award would greatly impact the court on many levels.

Having never been intricately involved in the granular details required to write a robust grant, I had to scramble to pull a team together to assist in the endeavor. A special shout-out to my court administrator, Maria Russo, who worked tirelessly, and to the city’s Finance Department for connecting us with experienced and court knowledgeable grant writers. Together we pulled it off, and the application, with supporting documents, was submitted on July 29 a few hours before the deadline.


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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:06 PM, 12.07.2022

Lakewood Community Services Center Launches A La Cart

On Tuesday November 22 at 2:00pm celebrity chef Matt Fish, chef/owner of Melt Bar and Grilled, will present a live cooking demo at Cove Community Center featuring his famous Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup – easy to prepare, healthy and delicious! The demo, just the first in a series, is open to all - no registration is required – and is FREE to anyone participating.

“We are so fortunate to have Lakewood chefs eager to give of their time and their talent,” said Trish Rooney, executive director of LCSC. “And to have the City of Lakewood Department of Human Services so eager to host them at the new and beautiful Cove Community Center is just fantastic.” Each participant will have the chance to sample the dishes and can take home the recipes so that they can make them at home.

Chefs will prepare their recipes on the Charlie Cart, a self-contained completely portable kitchen that is being used at over 325 sites in the US today. The sites include famers markets, K-12 schools, food pantries, libraries, and hospitals throughout the country. Chef Rocco Whalen of Tremont’s Fahrenheit restaurant has been delivering cooking programs using the three Charlie Carts purchased in 2019 by the Cuyahoga Public Library and it was Chef Whalen who introduced LCSC to this amazing kitchen. To learn more, go to


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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

Mayor's Corner: Lakewood's Innovative Integrated Wet Weather Improvement Plan

One thing we all love about Lakewood is the charming, historic character of our city – but we also understand that with age comes an increased need for upgrades, repairs, and maintenance. And these things can be costly. Unfortunately, when it comes to our infrastructure, Lakewood is currently facing the challenge of having water and sewer systems that are over a century old.

You may have read or seen the news about the needed repairs for the sewer system infrastructure. However, this is not new. The City of Lakewood has been working on addressing these challenges for well over a decade – performing research and analysis, engaging in innovative planning, and working hand-in-hand with the US EPA to come up with an approach to address overflows of our sewer lines during storm events. This month, we were pleased to announce that the City had entered into a partial consent decree with the federal government that formalizes elements of the City’s Integrated Wet Weather Improvement Plan (IWWIP), which was adopted by the City in early 2019.

Lakewood is the first place in Ohio to adopt an Integrated Wet Weather Improvement Plan (IWWIP). We also were able to convince the EPA that our IWWIP was the best way to address the problems we are facing. In fact, the terms of the consent decree are based on Lakewood’s own plan – so rather than the EPA dictating terms of what will happen, the City was able to come up with its own approach that suits our unique system and needs. That is highly uncommon and shows that Lakewood is a leader in this area.


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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

Foster Pool Improvements Underway

The Foster Pool Improvements project is well underway. The demolition is complete and underground utilities are currently being installed. The new pool layout is starting to take shape with the foundations, buttresses, and the pool walls being constructed under ideal weather conditions.

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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

All Over The Place: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 128

Joey Nix

Joey Nix - Another Way To Do It - Just Because Records - 15 songs - LP, digital

This is my third time around with this record— I had the cassette two years ago and I had the CDr two years before that (it was called “Hardcore Bedtime” back then and was missing a song or two, as I recall). I think I’ve only reviewed it once before, but who knows. In any case, I am totally happy to review it again and elated it’s finally really out (the cassette was fine but unavailable to purchase anywhere that I could find; the CD I think Joey may have just given out to people at shows) because it is a very, very good album. Joey’s thing is a sort of lo-fi power pop with garage-y leanings, but differs from a lot of music in this category because it all seems very acoustic guitar-heavy, even when it’s with electric guitar. This is not the best way of explaining this but I hope it gets the point across that there’s something special going on here.

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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

The YMCA’s “Thanks For Giving” Campaign

As an organization with the mission of serving the local community, the YMCA of Greater Cleveland is committed to giving back this Thanksgiving season. The “Thanks for Giving” campaign is aimed at gathering hygiene products to help those who are homeless. 

For the entire month of November, the Lakewood Family YMCA is offering a no-joiner fee promotion to people who donate hygiene products upon their registration for a Y membership. 

One of the hardest things to deal with when one doesn’t have a home is keeping up with their personal hygiene. Without regular access to a shower, a bath, a sink, or even basic toiletries, hygiene can easily fall by the wayside. And this problem goes deeper than just how someone smells or feels. Not having proper access to hygienic products can lead to illnesses and diseases that will make life even more difficult.

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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

Ranger Runner Earns All-Ohio

Runners Charlie Payne (left) and Luka Bork.

Congratulations to Lakewood High cross country runners Luka Bork and Charlie Payne, who competed in the Division 1 State Championship Meet on Nov. 5.

Luka finished 12th overall and earned All-Ohio status with his finish of 15:27. Charlie finished 46th out of a field of 180 with a time of 16:27. The two earned a place at the State Meet thanks to their performances at Regionals a week earlier. Luke, a junior, earned fourth place at Regionals and Charlie, also a junior, finished in 28th. Ranger Josie Kavc also earned a spot at Regionals.

Congratulations to these outstanding athletes along with their coaches, Charlie Moore (boys coach) and Adam Swiat (girls coach).

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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

District Hosting Seniors Holiday Breakfast

The Lakewood City Schools' tradition of holding a holiday breakfast for our community's senior citizens returns after a three-year hiatus! The event will happen on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 9 am at Hayes Elementary School.

Guests will hear from Superintendent Maggie Niedzwiecki with an update on District developments of note and also enjoy some holiday entertainment from our Hayes students.

There is no cost for the breakfast, but RSVPs are required. Please call 216-529-4074 or email to reserve your spot! The deadline to RSVP is Dec. 7.

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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

Children’s And Youth Services Programs

Celebrate! Paper Flower Crowns

Main Library- Tuesday, December 6, 2022, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Madison Branch- Thursday, December 8, 2022, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
For Students in First through Sixth Grades.
This is the season for celebrations. Get in a festive mood and crown yourself with a beautiful crown made of paper flowers that you make yourself. Paper flower crowns are called vinok in Ukraine and include streamers falling off the back of the crown. Your own paper flower garland to wear around your head, including streamers, will put you in a festive mood. Registration is required. Register online at or call (216) 226-8275, ext. 140.

Smiling Sunflowers for Little Ones

Main Library- Wednesday, December 7, 2022, 10:30am - 11:15am
Madison Branch- Thursday, December 8, 2022, 10:30am - 11:15am,
For You and Your 2-to-6-Year-Old Child

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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

LCAC Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive Back In Mid-November

Volunteers lined up to fill bags with perishable food items during Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corp's Thanksgiving Food Drive in 2016.

For over 30 years, Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corp. has provided holiday food baskets for hundreds of Lakewood families and senior citizens.

When the pandemic first began in 2020, LCAC, like so many organizations, had to find a different way to help Lakewood families without hosting our twice-yearly food drives or our spring cleaning drive.

In lieu of food drives, LCAC distributed $50 Giant Eagle gift cards to 300 families twice in 2020 and three times in 2021. In addition, we hosted a drive-thru diaper drive in 2020.

With COVID numbers decreasing, LCAC hosted its Spring Cleaning Drive in mid-May, keeping its event outdoors to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort levels.

Now, with the holiday season approaching, LCAC is getting ready for its Thanksgiving Food Drive to serve Lakewood residents in need.

This neighborhood tradition is only possible with the support of the entire community. In less than two weeks, LCAC will be hosting its Thanksgiving Food Drive for the first time since 2019 and will need volunteers of all ages to sort food items, bag 150 bags of food and deliver them to the community.

The LCAC Thanksgiving Food Drive will take place at the Lakewood Masonic Temple, at 15300 Detroit Ave., over two days.

On Nov. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., non-perishable food donations will be sorted. Later that evening, LCAC members and volunteers will gather from 6-7:30 p.m. to bag non-perishable food.

On Nov. 19 from 9 a.m. to noon, LCAC members and volunteers will bag perishable food and then hand deliver both non-perishable and perishable bags filled with Thanksgiving fixings to the community.

The event will be held regardless of the weather, so dress accordingly to stay warm and dry.

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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

Barbara's Bests (Part Two) Lion And Blue

Michael and Tina Dolatowski

When friends visit from out of town I always take them to Lion and Blue, a Lakewood landmark that has something for everyone, and a lot of heart. “It was our first baby,” co-owner Tina Dolatowski says.

She and her husband Michael opened it in 1996, less than one year after they married. (They went on to have two human children, Calvin and Esther). “When we married each other we married our talents. I previously had a shop in the Arcade, and was good at managing. Michael had worked for a jeweler, and was a jeweler himself.”

The result? A store that sells (obviously) jewelry, but also clothing, Birkenstocks, candles, books, essential oils, decorative mirrors, incense, beautiful Turkish lamps, cards, journals, musical instruments and more: “a world of treasures,” says Tina. Michael crafts jewelry, including wedding rings, to order, and also repairs and re-designs pieces.

Most of the other items sold in Lion and Blue are certified fair trade and crafted by indigenous people from all over the world. I’ve given many of these objects as gifts. And my granddaughters love choosing from the assortment of tiny hand-carved “spirit animals,” each of which is said to represent certain talents and traits.

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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

Correction For Seventh Day Adventist Blood Drive

In the last issue, Volume 18, Issue 21, we mistakenly printed the wrong advertisement for the Lakewood Seventh Day Adventist Blood Drive.
The Blood Drive this month is taking place on November 26th between 10a.m. and 4 p.m. at 1382 Arthur. The need is constant, please give the gift of life.

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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

Cleveland Vegan

I decided to stop by Cleveland Vegan for dinner, and I am oh so glad I did! The food was flavorsome, and the customer service was exceptional. Although I usually order the Classic Gyro or the Fried Chicken Sandwich with fries, I decided to boldly step outside my comfort zone on this particular day. (To my fellow cautious restaurant-goers who always order their tried-and-true dishes when dining at a familiar establishment, you know just how brave this was! But it paid off.) I asked the waitress about her personal recommendations, and she enthusiastically informed me of her favorites as well as some staff picks. 

Per her advice, I enjoyed quite a few new dishes. Among them was the Garlic Parmesan Brussel Sprouts, which perfectly balanced the tang from the garlic parmesan with the bitterness of the vegetable. The Lobster Roll, served cold, also boasted the distinctly sweet taste of fresh crab. This roll paired surprisingly well with the Loaded Nachos, which were deliciously smothered in cashew cheese, tofu, and other goodies. 

I ordered some new drinks to pair with these delectable dishes as well. I usually get the Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie, but I thought, why not mix it up? The Creamy Strawberry and Banana Smoothie was indeed creamy, which we all know is hard to achieve with vegan ingredients! I also sampled a Chocolate Charge-Up Smoothie, which contained a tasty blend of chocolate, banana, and espresso. 


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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

No Nuts

*Chock-full-o-Nuts coffee contains no nuts. None at all. Sounds crazy, I know, but it says so right on the label. Good news for coffee lovers with almond allegies. Drink up!

*Pharmaceutical companies are giving names to their products that don't match the spellings. I'm thinking of Farxiga [far-SEE-guh] and Humira [hume-AIR-uh]. What's wrong with these people? Are they on drugs?

According to what I learned in first grade reading class, Humira should rhyme with Elvira, not with Yogi Berra.

*QUESTION: What do you call a cremated movie star?

ANSWER: Burnt Reynolds.

*If you take off your jacket they say you are in shirtsleeves. How does that make sense? You are in an entire shirt.

*At Lakewood's Community Fitness Facility (naming rights available) they have lots of great weight machines and exercise bikes. You can do a full-body workout, including cardio, while seated. If they ever re-open, join. Don't just sit there.

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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

Legal Aid Will Host Annual Meeting With Keynote Remarks From Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. -- Lakewood Resident, Leslie Gentile, Esquire, To Receive 2022 Community Impact Award

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland will host its 117th Annual Meeting on Friday, December 2, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Cleveland. Legal Aid’s annual event will highlight hope, extend gratitude, and provide updates on high-impact community partnerships and initiatives. Additionally, Legal Aid leaders will unveil the organization’s new strategic plan.

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. will share reflections on Legal Aid’s work to promote fairness, racial equity, and social justice. Dr. Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University. As an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, Dr. Gates has produced and hosted more than 20 documentary films, most recently "The Black Church" on PBS and "Black Art: In the Absence of Light" for HBO. His groundbreaking genealogy series, "Finding Your Roots," has been on PBS for eight seasons.

Dr. Gates joins a distinguished list of past Legal Aid keynote speakers, including U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, and most recently, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who have highlighted the importance of civil legal aid at past events.

Legal Aid’s Annual Meeting is a chance for philanthropists, community members, nonprofit organizations, and business leaders to gather and reflect on Legal Aid’s accomplishments over the past year, as well as learn about bold new initiatives and plans for the year ahead.

Awards will be presented to outstanding employees, volunteers, and community organizations who demonstrate profound support for Legal Aid’s mission including Lakewood resident, Leslie Gentile, EsqGentile will receive the 2022 Community Impact Award. This award is presented to recognize individual(s) or group(s) who have made a mark for outstanding participation or critical involvement that ensured success for a client, client community, or project. Gentile, in her nearly three decades of volunteer work, has used her knowledge to develop Legal Aid’s pro se divorce project in Lorain County and to participate in Legal Aid clinics.


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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

Lakewood High School Girls Soccer Has Strongest Showing In Recent History

The LHS Girls Soccer Team ended one of its most successful seasons with a 12-5 record and a first place finish in the Great Lakes Conference East Division. The team was led by a talented group of senior captains in Sam Hudak, Mallory Zavatchen, Lauren Barber and Annette Doren. Although the season ended in a miserable, rainy, windy loss to Rocky River in the Conference Finals game, the girls and their fans had many happy memories to bring with them moving forward in their lives.

The season opened with an epic come-from-behind victory against local rival and perennial powerhouse Westlake. With the final goal crossing the goal line as the buzzer sounded, Mallory Zavatchen closed out the win with her second goal of the game, for a 4-3 win as the student body stormed the field celebrating with the team. Another highlight included a 3-2 win against last year's East Division Champions Buckeye. The team was led by Mallory Zavatchen's 30 points and 12 goals, followed closely by fellow Senior Captain Annette Doren with 26 points and 10 goals. The future also looks bright as the next two high scorers were Sophomore Helen Fraunfelder with 16 points and 7 goals and freshman Willow Trapp with 14 points and 6 goals. 


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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

Roman Ducu Wins Award, Announces Retirement

Refuse and Recycling ready to go at 6am!

It was my pleasure a couple weeks ago to sit down and spend some time with Roman Ducu, Director of Public Works. He had just won the 2021 Clyde “Butch” Seidle Public Works Servant Leader Award, basically the Oscar for public service employees. It was nice to hear that a good guy had won. After all, it is the hottest seat in public service. Everyone has an opinion about streets, garbage collection, parks, etc. It's not a job where one can hide from the public to get by. Which is fine, as that is not how Roman Ducu rolls.
Roman started with the City of Lakewood as a part-time laborer. Thirty-one years later he heads the department. He arrived at the top seat just as COVID happened. Talk about trial by fire: between shutdowns, testing, mandates, sick leave spread over the 8 divisions he managed, he was able with his managers to bring a bit of normalcy to both the city and the 108 employees under him.

Roman is a buck stops here kind of guy, which is good as he is often the person people in the city want to hear from most. Because he grew into the job, he carries the responsibilities as well as the talent and background to coordinate Public Works and capital improvement projects, reviewing equipment defects, prioritizing repairs, and selecting and managing suppliers or contractors and costs.

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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

Budget Letter

Dear Residents of Lakewood and Members of Lakewood City Council

It is again my privilege to present you with the City of Lakewood’s 2023 proposed balanced budget, reflecting our community vision, values, and priorities while also remaining fiscally responsible in our operations and objectives. We enter 2023 maintaining a strong financial position and enjoying an excellent Aa2 Moody’s bond rating.  I remain confident that we will work through the financial challenges that the 2023 economy will likely present while continuing to provide residents with first-class services and transformative projects and initiatives in 2023:   

Public Infrastructure and Environmental Interventions

  • Interceptor Tunnel Project: The City will begin a massive project on its main, 100-year-old 3.6-mile artery of sanitary sewer pipe that flows across northern Lakewood before going south to the City’s wastewater treatment plant. We are cleaning, repairing, and “sliplining” the pipe, while also adding access maintenance shafts. This project is part of the City’s multi-year plan for stormwater management compliance with the federal Clean Water Act. The City is dedicating $25 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to keep costs as reasonable as possible for our utility rate payers. 

Parks & Public Spaces 

  • Foster Pool: Construction continues at Foster Pool to realize the community vision developed from extensive community input in the redesign of this beloved Lakewood asset. It’s a project that will resolve long-term maintenance issues including severe water loss from leakage, while also incorporating new features that create a more useful and friendly environment for people of all ages and abilities.
  • Parks & Fields: At Lakewood Park, the City will upgrade and expand the heavily used skate park and make major upgrades and address maintenance at Lakefront Field as the ballfield management program continues. Various capital projects will also take place at Kauffman, Merl, and Niagara Parks.   
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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:51 PM, 11.16.2022

Studio West 117 Grand Opening

Studio West 117 had its grand opening last weekend at the Fieldhouse, Lakewood's newest most progressive development catering to businesses and services for the LGBTQ+ community. Thousands turned out to see phase one unveiled: A housing complex and entertainment venue, sports gymnasium, three restaurants (Muze Gastropub, Trellis, and Eat Me Pizzeria), a gorgeous rooftop patio, a state of the art teaching / demonstrating kitchen, courtyard and so much more.

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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 9:11 PM, 11.12.2022

A Taste Of Europe

I recently visited a store called A Taste of Europe, where authentic Eastern European delicacies line the shelves, and a medley of aromas meets you around every corner. Fresh from the kitchen, homemade food fills this humble shop to the brim. Inside, you will find an assortment of meats from various countries, such as Hungary, Croatia, Ukraine, and Russia. The store also provides a diverse selection of foreign wines, beers, and even water. The best part? Most of the food is made by hand by women in Albania, like the Burek, a delicious spinach pie. 

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 6:05 PM, 11.13.2022

Meet Lakewood’s New Law Director, Ernie Vargo

Ernie Vargo, the new Law Director for the City of Lakewood.

Welcome Ernie Vargo, the new Law Director for the City of Lakewood!

Mayor George administered the oath of office to Ernie at the October 18th city council meeting. Ernie comes to the City after a long and successful career at Baker Hostetler, where he spent 37 years in the fields of antitrust and complex commercial litigation with a focused, accountable, and results-oriented approach to every case and client need. He has achieved ranking in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and in The Best Lawyers in America since 2008. Additionally, he served as the President of the Board of Trustees for the nonprofit organization, Youth Challenge from 2013 to 2015 and he continues to volunteer his time with the organization as an Attorney Volunteer.  

Ernie has lived in Lakewood for 19 years with his wife Trisha, three teen-age children, and two cats who keep him busy. He enjoys hiking, reading about World War II, and watching OSU football.

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Keep Lakewood Beautiful Announces 2022 Beautiful Home Awards Honorees

All seven winning households were honored during a reception as part of the Lakewood City Council meeting held on October 17.

Keep Lakewood Beautiful proudly announces the winners of our 2022 Beautiful Home Awards Contest, an initiative celebrating Lakewood homes with eye-popping landscaping, well-maintained property, and that extra something that makes it “beautiful.”

Congratulations to the following seven households, representing each of Lakewood’s original school districts: Harry & Patricia Johnson (Clarence Avenue), Bertha Young (Clifton Boulevard), Tatlija & Fehim Coralic (Concord Drive), Jon & Kali Portz (Elmwood Avenue), Ronald Manner (Lewis Drive), Leahanna & Libero Puccini (Summit Avenue), and Joseph & Elizabeth Bratko (Wayne Avenue).

All seven winning households were honored during a reception as part of the Lakewood City Council meeting held on October 17. Winners received a plaque to place on their homes. Lakewood Mayor Meghan George, members of Lakewood City Council, and members of the Keep Lakewood Beautiful board partook in the festivities.

Keep Lakewood Beautiful has orchestrated the Beautiful Home Awards Contest for more than 20 years. A call for public nominations is issued each summer and Keep Lakewood Beautiful received more than 50 nominations.

“We are pleased to once again be able to recognize the very deserving winners of our Beautiful Home Awards Contest,” said Melissa Meehan, Keep Lakewood Beautiful Chairperson. “Lakewood has a reputation as a city of beautiful homes, and this year’s nominees did not disappoint. It’s an honor for our organization to be able to celebrate community members who go above and beyond when it comes to caring for their homes.”


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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Free Leaf Raking For Lakewood Senior Citizens - November 12

On Saturday, November 12,  H2O and St. Edwards students sill be volunteering to rake leaves for Lakewood Senior homeowners who are unable to do it themselves. They will rake back, side and front of yard to the tree lawn (no bagging).

Please note: You must be home to sign waiver, be a Lakewood homeowner and 60 years of age or older.

Call Susan today to register: 216-521-1515

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Mayor's Corner: Happy Halloween

Earlier this year, the City of Lakewood was excited to announce plans for the redevelopment of the former Lakewood Hospital site. That plan met the goals identified by our residents, including community and economic development; priorities for public space; high quality architectural and environmental design; diverse and affordable housing; historic preservation; active commercial uses; and workforce growth.

If you have driven by the site lately, you will have noticed construction vehicles and a team of workers performing site preparation work as the project advances. Last week, the development team from CASTO also had multiple meetings here as they continue to fine tune details of the site plan. Last Monday, they attended Lakewood City Council’s meeting, which was held jointly with members of the Lakewood Board of Education, where they engaged in dialogue on details of the development deal and pro forma. CASTO also presented to our local Architectural Board of Review, which provided more feedback and guidance on the latest concepts for the site plan. 

Our City Planning and Development team continues to work hand-in-hand with the CASTO development team to incorporate feedback and provide updates and communication to the City administration, council, and relevant boards. My administration is pleased with the progress being made and we know that the final product will meet the high standards for design, materials, and planning for which Lakewood is known. Both our team from City Hall and CASTO are also in consistent conversations with our anchor tenant, Roundstone Insurance, the rapidly-growing local Lakewood business, with over 100 employees today and expectations to add 100 more in the next few years. 

In related news, I was also happy to be invited to be part of the grand opening of the Fieldhouse at Hird and Detroit. As the cornerstone of phase I of the $100 million Studio West 117 development that aims to serve Greater Cleveland’s LGBTQ+ community, the Fieldhouse will provide a welcoming gathering space for all. The grand opening event was a great opportunity to see the new space and get a taste of the overall vision for this impressive project. Look for more news from City Hall on subsequent phases of the project in the months to come. 

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Rotary Provides Dictionaries To Third Graders

The Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River continued its distribution of dictionaries to all third graders in Lakewood and Rocky River this fall, a project that the club began in 2005. A total of 622 dictionaries were distributed to students at 11 different school buildings.

Harlan Radford, project chair, with assistance from club members, stamped each dictionary with the Rotary logo, the Rotary Four-Way Test, and a place for the student’s name.

Schools receiving dictionaries were: Rocky River – Kensington Intermediate, Ruffing Montessori, and St. Christopher; Lakewood – Emerson, Grant, Harrison, Hayes, Horace Mann, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Lakewood Catholic Academy.

The following Rotarians visited the schools to deliver the dictionaries and interact with both students and teachers: David Baas, John Chandler, Steve Clark, Vicki Foster, George Frank, Thom Geist, Chuck Gustafson, Jim Harris, George Hwang, Harlan Radford, and Jay Rounds.

Members were rewarded with smiles on the students’ faces as they receive their dictionaries and begin to explore the contents. Both students and teachers are very appreciative of receiving these dictionaries and using them in the curriculum.

Thank-you letters, written by the students, express their gratitude and enjoyment in owning their very own dictionary. They mention the students’ favorite section of the dictionary and how they have begun to use the dictionary in their classrooms.

The dictionary features over 32,000 words with simple, child-friendly definitions, plus pronunciation and parts of speech, and includes additional information about punctuation, the nine parts of speech, weights and measures, Roman numerals, and a map of the United States.

Over 150 pages of supplemental information feature the Constitution of the U.S., the Declaration of Independence, brief biographies of all U.S. presidents, world maps, information about all 50 states, countries of the world, and the planets in our solar system.

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Light Up Lakewood 2022 To Spread Holiday Cheer On December 3

The most joyous of Lakewood traditions is returning to Downtown Lakewood for the 16th annual celebration. The spirit of the season will come to life with holiday cheer when Light Up Lakewood 2022 takes place on Saturday, December 3 from 4 to 8 p.m.

Sponsored by First Federal Lakewood and presented by LakewoodAlive, Light Up Lakewood celebrates the season and the richness of our city’s vibrancy. This free, family-friendly event on Detroit Avenue in Downtown Lakewood features a holiday parade, lighting ceremony, winter fireworks, The Roundstone Beer Garden, Holiday Train, live music, ice carvings, hot chocolate, food trucks, children’s games and more.

Attendees are invited to stroll Lakewood's downtown district and visit local shops and restaurants while taking in the sights and sounds of one of Northeast Ohio's largest holiday celebrations. Light Up Lakewood serves as a marquee event for the entire region. 

Light Up Lakewood represents a long-held holiday celebration of Lakewood’s sense of community. Guests will be delighted by the festive atmosphere which includes the twinkle of holiday lights, the cheerful sounds of carolers and the warmth of hot beverages.

Highlights include indoor a Holiday Market; The Roundstone Beer Garden sponsored by Roundstone Insurance; the ever-popular Holiday Parade sponsored by Lindsay Perrico State Farm, which commences at Belle & Detroit Avenues at 5 p.m. and ends at Arthur Avenue; the Lighting Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. at City Center Park and a can't-miss fireworks show at 7 p.m. over Kauffman Park.

Schedule of Events for Light Up Lakewood 2022:
• 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Ongoing performances at Lakewood Baptist Church with a surprise visitor
• 3 p.m. – Royalty Scholarship Ceremony at Avenue Home
• 4 p.m. – Festival Kickoff 

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Halloween At Barton Senior Center

Linda Genutis

Pizza, pop and bags of candy were treats served at the Barton Senior Center Halloween party October 19. The mid afternoon event saw some residents of the Westerly Senior Apartments arriving in costumes which included cowboy hats, a toga or dressing up as Cruella Deville. Others simply came as themselves. A colorful autumn backdrop installed in the Carr Lounge facilitated creating photo souvenirs. Revelers listened and danced to themed oldies such as "Ghostbusters" and "Witchy Woman." The festivities concluded with best costume prizes being awarded. For those in attendance, it was an opportunity for socialization and fun. It was also a perfect example of how, at any age, Halloween can still bring out the kid in anyone.

Adelaide Crnko is a Lakewood resident.

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Jesus Is Not Republican

Jesus is not a Republican. There are awesome Godly men and women who voted Republican their entire lives (including my husband, until 2016) and many good Republican people in elected office, but now many of those Republicans in the party of Trump are taking great liberties with my Jesus. By showing the cross with a red, white and blue flag on it behind him in the photo, this Ad by Keith Davey upsets me. 

By associating our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with the Republican party, this outrage has become a huge source of shame for the church and for Christians like me. It is long overdue that the entire church denounce this practice. It is embarrassing to me as a Christian. I too am  conservative, patriotic and a devout Christian - and I don’t like this. I don’t align myself with Davey as he defines himself with these same words. 

Also, Christianity is not nationalism. We are Christians first, Americans second. If politics compromises our allegiance to our King Jesus, then we must reject such practices by politicians. Its leads to such abominations as sayings like “Jesus is my Savior and Trump is my President” when our Capitol was violated. We can't let Christianity or the cross become a tool for political beliefs that go against Jesus' teachings. That is not who we are in Christ.


Mary Bodnar


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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Salt Lamp Lickers, Act 3: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Part 127

The Missed - Activation - Just Because Records - 8 songs - 12”, digital

Sort of the second album from The Missed– “sort of” because I don’t know if they consider their demo tape an album (I do) and also because 8 songs is a bit short for a punk album but it doesn’t feel that short listening to it, so I guess it evens out. The songs here are more like their 7” from a couple years ago than those first recordings, though the main thing is the same: hooky pop-punk. Mickey Mocnik not only has an immediately identifiable voice but a quite recognizable guitar playing style too (clearly Greg Sage influenced but very much her own thing) and Sebastian Wagner and Kent Sliney make up a very capable rhythm section. Obviously this band is great at the punk rippers (see “Over The Ledge” (did I already say something about the Wipers?), “You Otto Know,” “Fake It”) but I’ve come to really like the two slower ones on here, “Sink” and “Choke”– maybe they’re a bit quieter but certainly no less intense, and the latter has a great fast part at the end. “Listen Close” was another favorite– cool drum fill in there and a great guitar solo. This is one that grew on me with multiple listens and seems to just keep getting better. 4/5


Are you a local-ish band? Do you have a record out? Email vaguelythreatening@ or send it directly to the Observer: PO Box 770203, Lakewood, OH 44107.

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Volume 18, Issue 22, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Barbara's Bests

The best thing about Lakewood? Its people. Over time, I’ll highlight some of the men and women who make our city unique.

You may have seen Beth Keenan behind the counter at Nature’s Oasis, a coffee shop, café, gift shop and market she describes as a “connector space where people can hang out and enjoy Lakewood.” The city, as she sees it, is "a melting pot of cultures and humanity," and the average Lakewoodite is kind. As general manager, she looks for that trait when interviewing prospective employees – “I hire people that are good people, and if they have experience that's a plus.”

Kindness, of course, is not unique to citizens working at Nature’s Oasis. This became particularly obvious when Covid hit, and the restaurant Salt, for example, provided dinners for people in the service industry who were temporarily unemployed. The coffee shop and restaurant The Root began helping the community by becoming part of a project called Community Fridge, which enables people to donate or pick up food as needed.

Unsurprisingly, since Lakewood has a distinct artsy, boho vibe, half of Nature Oasis’s staff are musicians or artists. Beth herself is an artist, as is her mom, with whom she’s collaborated for 25 years, focusing on home decor and working in all kinds of media: wood, glass, metal, ceramic and polymer. The two have a store called Functini. It's located in one of seven small metal-roofed huts in a new space called City Goods, located on Detroit and W. 28th Street.

Lakewood inspires her work, some of which can be found at Nature’s Oasis, such as the detailed wood burning map of the city which hangs in the newly-expanded second room. That it’s the largest piece of art hanging in the shop is fitting. “I have a love affair with Lakewood,” Beth says.

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Children's And Youth Services Programs

Dear Ukraine: Ukrainian Folk Tales and Craft

Wednesday, November 9, 2022, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
Main Library Activity Room
For Students in Kindergarten through Second Grade
Do you like stories about animals? Ukrainian folk tales and fairy tales often use animals to show us how we can succeed with the challenges life brings us and encourage us to never give up! Join us October 12 as we read "The Cat and the Rooster" by Ivan Malkovych and create our own piece of Ukrainian art. Registration is required. Register online at or call (216) 226-8275, ext. 140.

Sunflower Garden for Ukraine

Mondays through Thursdays, October 10, 2022 through November 17, 2022 
from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Main Library Activity Room and Madison Branch Children’s Program Room
For you and your pre-school child. Sunflowers are a Ukrainian symbol of peace. Help the Library grow a paper sunflower garden as a visual tribute to Ukrainian people. Create one sunflower craft for the Library’s sunflower garden and one to take home. A different sunflower craft will be offered each week. No registration is required.

Sunflower Scavenger Hunt: For All Ages

October 1, 2022 through November 30, 2022
Main Library and Madison Branch

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

A New Voter's Take On Issue 2

As we are in October, coming up to November, and the general election, it is easy to get flooded with all the political advertisements from every candidate running that we miss the important issues that we will also be voting on.

I am here today to address issues with Issue 2, and how it will affect Ohio’s current voting system. Issue 2 is an amendment to Ohio’s state constitution regarding voting requirements, the main part that concerns me, and should also concern you, is the wording, as it would require voters to be 18 years of age at any election. Seems silly, right? seems like it is common sense that you should a full-fledged adult to vote. 

Well, yes and no.

Currently, in Ohio, it is possible to be 17 years old and vote in a primary election. This is of course given that you will be turning 18 years of age before the general election. This is an important little loophole, as it serves as a way to introduce high schoolers into the voting process while you can communicate with them en masse at their school. Last year when I was a Senior, the League of Women Voters came to my Highschool and helped make sure everyone had the opportunity and assistance that they needed to register to vote.

By requiring that all voters participating in an election be 18 years of age, we would rob many young adults of their first opportunity to vote in a relatively low-stress environment. This is because while Primary elections are in my opinion one of the most important points of an election cycle, as it is when you vote on who will be representing the party you support, not many older adults participate in this election, preferring to save energy and time for the general election. This means these new voters would have a chance to vote without waiting in the long lines we typically see on election week or feeling pressured by the enormous amount of people voting.


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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Rotary Assists With Produce Distribution

Ten Rotary club members and friends volunteered October 15 at Trinity Lakewood Community Outreach's monthly produce distribution. Three tons of food was distributed to about 80 families, with the remainder delivered to St. Augustine food pantry in Tremont.

Participants were John Chandler and grandson, Jim Harris, Marjorie Corrigan, Jon and Mary Fancher, George and Lily Hwang and nephew Kyle, and Curt Brosky.

The distribution takes place, rain or shine, May through November, in the parking lot of Lakewood Congregational Church at 1375 W. Clifton (Detroit Avenue and West Clifton) in Lakewood.

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

What You Should Know About Student Loan Cancellation

Millions of student loan borrowers breathed a sigh of relief earlier this year when President Biden and the Department of Education cancelled some federal student debt.

To qualify for student loan cancellation, borrowers must have earned an annual income below $125,000 for individuals or below $250,000 for couples or heads of households for 2020 or 2021.

If you meet the income qualifications and received a Pell Grant, a maximum of $20,000 in federal student loan debt will be cancelled. The government will cancel up to $10,000 in federal student debt if the borrower did not receive a Pell Grant. Most borrowers will need to apply for the cancellation. However, a small number of borrowers will have the debt cancellation applied automatically because they have already submitted their income for 2020 or 2021 as part of their federal student loan application or because they enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan. If you are not sure if this applies to your student loan debt, apply for the cancellation.

Student loan cancellation includes:

  • Federal loans held by the Department of Education
  • Loans issued directly by the federal government
  • Both undergraduate and graduate school loans
  • Parent PLUS loans (loans taken out by a parent for a child or grandchild)


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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Crossing Guards Needed

The City of Lakewood is seeking applicants for the part-time position (approximately 2 hours each day) of school crossing guard. Applicants must be at least 18 years old with a high school degree or GED, and complete a physical exam, drug screening and police background check. Applicants should apply online at Please direct questions to Lt. Robert Minteer with the Lakewood Police Department at 216-529-6781 or

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Of Shifting Standards And Contesting Contests

It seems there’s been

A shift

In thinking in this country….

The idea, fairly recent,

Of some contestants (politicians)

Deciding before a contest

That they have already won!

They are ready to contest

The contest’s results, (if not in their favor),

Before it even happens!

So why bother with elections?

Don’t take part in something you regard

As flawed to begin with!

At least have the decency to protest

By staying out of it!

Did you not learn by third grade

That losing happens?

And when you lose, you need to 

Step aside?

So disturbing that minds have again been corralled

To think the unthinkable.

It has happened before

With horrific results.

Jean Brinich is a retired family nurse practitioner and a Lakewood returnee.

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

104 Years Inside A Basement Wall: This Week In History

The basement walls of my century home are getting some much needed maintenance. I found a section of the mortar that was more like sand than cement. I went at it with an old paint scraper: bits of mortar were released followed by a nearly disintegrated wad of yellowed old newspaper. 

Newspaper is certainly an unusual item in masonry. Studying the few legible words of on the bits of paper painted a pretty good story: the hardware stores would again be open on Tuesday Nov. 5th following the closing restrictions due to the Spanish Influenza. Having been in this situation recently I can only assume that a stir-crazy homeowner took the opening of the hardware stores as an opportunity to tackle some home maintenance projects. A week old wadded up newspaper would supplement the limited supplies available. Unmixed cement has a limited shelf life, and the materials probably sat unused at the hardware store for an extended time, which would undermine the life of the mortar joint.

While I wasn’t able to find any information on what year shopping restrictions would have ended in the Spanish Influenza, or even much history on this pandemic I did find another bit or story on the paper which both overshadowed the pandemic and fixed the year with certainty: another bit of legible print describes the capture of 300,000 Austrian soldiers by Italians forces in Dalmatia, which is recorded in history books and unquestionably sets the year: 1918. These were the final days of the First World War, with the last armistice signed by Germany and Allied forces just one week from this news story.


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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Superintendent's Message

Dear Lakewood Families:

It’s hard to believe we are almost into November! The first quarter of the school year flew by, however I don’t want to turn the page on a new quarter without celebrating some of the great things that happened from August to October.

First, l want to congratulate our five National Merit Scholars: Semifinalists Tyler DiLoreto, Jamie Holland and Maddie Oldfield; and Commended Students Alex Peterson and Lila Wright. These five students are wonderful representatives of the District and Lakewood High School and we are proud of their hard work and dedication to their studies. We also celebrated 67 AP Scholars and a perfect AP score by 2022 graduate Inga Wilhelmy, junior Jacquie Hudak winning the Maltz Museum Stop The Hate essay contest and a $20,000 scholarship, and Harding Middle School earning a Stop the Hate building award for its anti-bias efforts. It’s great to see our students and staff being recognized for their work in and out of the classroom and taking our diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging focus to heart.

Earlier in the quarter, the District also learned of its Ohio Report Card results. In the new five-star rating system, we are proud to report that the District earned five stars in the Gap Closing category (how well school districts are meeting performance expectations for their most vulnerable students), four stars in the Achievement and Progress categories, and three stars in Early Literacy and Graduation Rate. 

I continue to be impressed with how our teachers and students are exhibiting our Vision of a Lakewood Graduate and Vision of a Lakewood Educator in the classrooms. The Math in Business Symposium I and many families attended at Harding is a prime example of students collaborating, thinking critically and creatively and using a growth mindset. The results were fantastic as students displayed their findings in informative and well-designed graphics and shared results with the symposium guests. 

I look forward to seeing what great learning experiences are to come in the remaining quarters!


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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Starr Gazer


ARIES: Your luck is coming from behind the scenes Ram, be careful it doesn’t expand into something too big to handle; on a positive note, money comes to you from others, hmmm.

TAURUS: The Sun is shining in the Bull Pen’s relationship sector, and luck appears when you come out from under that rock & make the rounds with your friendships & organizations. 

GEMINI: The Twins are getting a double dose of pleasure this month; your health seems to benefit from the golden beams of the Sun highlighting your 6th house & Jupiter on your Career. 

CANCER: The Crab needs to dig itself out of the sand & come out of its shell; romance is waiting, luck & love could come to you from a faraway land or a foreigner, l’amore e`qui.

LEO: The Lion/Lioness is right at home this month in the Jungle; good fortune comes to you from others, all that generosity has paid off; be grateful, share the wealth & it shall multiply. 

VIRGO: It’s time to do a little networking around the neighborhood. Are there turkeys that need to be given away? Spending time in the community might bring a significant other your way.

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Final Fall Concert In Lakewood For Congito Jaffe

On Saturday, November 12th, 6pm-7:30 pm noted local singer songwriter Congito Jaffe will present his fifth performance at the Blue Cafe, 15715 Madison Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio.

Congito's fall tour has featured well received stops at Brent Kirby's 10x3 songwriters showcase at the Bop Stop, Blue Sky Brews in Cleveland and a slot performing and studying technique at John D. Lamb's retreat for songwriters in Harbor Springs Michigan.

This FREE event will feature new works by Congito and the lyrical richness of the noted poet Lady Ives, of Rocky River, Ohio principal lyricist of Congito's newest material.

Congito Jaffe is a singer/songwriter of melodic mellow folk music and veteran of Lakewood forums like Winchester songwriters' events, Kelly's pub and others. In the past he was director of InfoPLace, the career resource center for adults of Cuyahoga County Public Library, and a writer for Cleveland Jewish News--my recent political and social commentaries have appeared in JEWTHINK, the UK website of social issues.

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

League of Women Voters Mary Warren Impact Scholarship Winner Nawar Yared's Winning Essay

Nawar Yared with Mary Warren at the Lakewood High School Celebration of Voters in May 2022.

"How can our federal, state, and local governments better provide for basic human needs?"

The federal government should establish minimum, consistent criteria and regulations for social welfare programs and should be in charge of funding programs that help people and families satisfy their fundamental requirements. State and local governments, as well as the private sector, should play a supporting role in funding food, housing, and health promotion programs. The federal government should be the primary funder of income support programs, with state governments taking on secondary responsibilities. There is some criteria for income assistance include: all low-income people should be eligible for help depending on their financial need. Eligibility should be determined using simple methods such as a declaration of need, which should be spot-checked in the same way that the legality of income tax returns is reviewed. Benefit levels should be sufficient to ensure that goods, enough food, clothes, and housing are available. Minimum income requirements should be changed to account for regional variances in cost of living and updated on a regular basis to reflect changes in the buying power of the dollar. Some states may need to augment federal contributions until a federal welfare program achieves an acceptable level of benefits. Cash support should be prioritized, but in-kind assistance like food stamps, housing subsidies, and medical assistance should be maintained to ensure that these requirements are addressed. Participants' benefits should not be diminished under a changed scheme. Participants' privacy should be safeguarded. Individuals' rights and dignity should be respected at all times during administrative proceedings. Work should be encouraged: if wages rise, members' overall income should rise as well. The linkages between work programs and income support should include counseling, practical training for genuine jobs, and financial incentives. State and local governments should help by establishing effective agencies to aid, promote, coordinate, and augment federal and private sector housing projects. Housing aid programs must be adequately funded at all levels of government. When families or individuals cannot afford good housing, the government should give financial and/or housing help. State and local governments should adopt and enforce all of the listed above to make sure that we all are doing our best helping.

Nawar plans to attend Miami University (Oxford) in Fall of 2022 to study Undeclared Business, and then narrow her study to something math related such as economics or analytics.

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Harding Holds Math In Business Symposium

Superintendent Maggie Niedzwiecki chats with students about their project.

Last month Harding Middle School sixth graders held the second annual Math in Business Symposium, which showcased project-based learning using many of our Vision of a Lakewood Graduate competencies in an impressive way!

Working in small teams, sixth graders interviewed local business owners about how they incorporate math into building a successful business. Students discovered how Lakewood entrepreneurs use math in measuring, ordering inventory, tracking finances, and so much more!

Students then created graphics and podcasts sharing what they found. The symposium was a chance for families and staff to learn about the projects from the students. Superintendent Maggie Niedzwiecki and Mayor Meghan George spoke to the students and expressed how impressed they were with their communication and critical and creative thinking skills. Kudos to math teacher Stephen Kerney, who first envisioned the symposium project, and to the rest of the sixth-grade math team, and of course, the students!

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Middle School Students Write Messages To Ukraine

Visiting poet Katie Daley discusses Garfield seventh grader Charlaice McDonald’s poem.

Recently, Lakewood middle school students participated in a special learning opportunity made possible through a partnership between Lakewood City Schools, the Lakewood Public Library and the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University.

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Lakewood Black Caucus Will Sponsor Its First Allyship Program

Patricia Wellborn, president of Lakewood Black Caucus, will present an intensive educational for class program that is open to all individuals who choose to broaden their knowledge of the complex challenges of racism in America, and offer suggestions on how to be an effective force in the struggle for equity and justice.

The program is spread over four consecutive Sundays: November 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th. The classes will be held at Lakewood Presbyterian Church, 14502 Detroit Avenue which is at the corner of Marlowe and Detroit, and there is free parking on Detroit and at the rear of the church. The classes begin promptly at 11:20 a.m. and end at 12:05 p.m. The program is free and open to everyone.

Patricia Wellborn is an African American senior who has lived in Lakewood since 2015. She is active in social justice work and is president of the newly formed Lakewood Black Caucus.

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 1:41 PM, 11.02.2022

Mayor's Corner: Tree City U.S.A

There are many things that make Lakewood special, but one of my personal favorites – and something many of you often talk to me about – is our wonderful tree canopy. For a city as dense and developed as ours, we also have a spectacular amount and diversity of trees within Lakewood. Our trees add beauty and make our city more inviting, but they also keep our air clean, keep Lakewood cooler on hot days, and address stormwater and weather events. They are truly an immense asset to us all.

With this in mind, I have made it a priority at City Hall to focus on the continued health and future growth of Lakewood’s tree canopy. Our Forestry Division has a Tree Action Plan that is regularly updated to allow us to act swiftly to leverage opportunities for new trees while addressing threats to our existing trees. This year, we also strategically staffed the Forestry Division to increase our capacity to care for the more than 13,000 trees in our parks and on our treelawns.

One of our current areas of focus is ensuring that the tree presence in our parks is maintained and expanded. You can see this at Madison Park, where four mature trees were planted recently. The goal is for these trees to grow to large scale and provide a century or more of value to the community.

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Volume 18, Issue 21, Posted 11:55 AM, 10.19.2022