Latest News

TAEB/LO Most Distinguished Tree Contest 2022- SUCCESS!

#1 Tree - Holly & Tommy Vinkovich ($100 Lakewood Garden Center)
Dawn Redwood

Year 1, it’s a wrap.

It started with members of Lakewood’s Tree Advisory and Education Board, TAEB, giving a call asking for an idea to raise awareness of Lakewood's tree canopy. The LO as is so often the case said “sure, let’s do it.” After all Lakewood for decades was known as “The City of Trees” with massive Oaks and Silver Maples towering over a canopy that lined every street with shade. If Lakewood was known for something it was trees and front porches. After all in Lakewood, we all have trees, while only 1% of us can legally touch the lake.

So the ideas were hatched at a meeting off all of those interested, tallest, best trimmed, most exotic. Over the course of a couple meetings, ideas were thrown out for discussion then thrown out. The GOAL: Make Lakewoodites aware of our trees and the TAEB. How could we include everyone-- since including everyone is a hallmark of a LO contest and giveaway.

Then it hit us like a wave. “Most Distinguished Tree in Lakewood.” instantly it put the contest in reach of nearly everyone, at least everyone with a tree. "Distinguished" as an adjective allows for a little room for what each person thinks it means. Webster’s says: “successful, authoritative, and commanding great respect.” Okay, but how about the rest? We offered prizes for people to nominate and vote on the trees they believed fit the bill as well. So everyone in the city had three ways to win.

Was it successful? Overwhelmingly! Not only did we receive a large entry for this first contest, but the the trees ranged in height from 12’ to 40’, and all could lay claim to being distinguished.

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Volume 18, Issue 17, Posted 12:39 PM, 08.18.2022

LHS Senior Lydia Kress Backs Up Machine Gun Kelly

Fun to find out that one of our LHS orchestra students, Lydia Kress (in red tights), was part of a Cleveland Contemporary Youth Orchestra quartet that backed up Machine Gun Kelly for two songs during his epic concert last night at FirstEnergy Stadium.

MGK is just one of a number of famous musicians our orchestra students have played alongside as part of CYO over the years.

Well done, Lydia!

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Volume 18, Issue 17, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Healthy Lakewood Foundation Accepting Applications For Neighborhood Opportunity Grants Funding

The Healthy Lakewood Foundation is excited to announce that it is accepting online application requests for Neighborhood Opportunity Grants funding starting on Monday, August 15, 2022. 

Neighborhood Opportunity Grants are small, accessible, and community-based grants that support organizations’ and groups’ drive to initiate and expand meaningful projects at the hyperlocal level. The funding seeks to increase engagement, creativity, and connection by addressing any social determinants of health

Funding is for projects in Lakewood that:

  • Support community building and ways of caring for each other.
  • Address community issues through innovation and trying new ideas.
  • Advance learning and understanding by doing.

Neighborhood Opportunity Grants funding ranges from $1,000 – $10,000. Applicants can find information and resources to guide them through the steps for applying. The site also offers ways to get support from HLF’s staff in the process.

HLF’s Executive Director, Kate Ingersoll, explains, “This is the first round of these particular grants, and the HLF Board is eager to learn how community groups and residents envision opportunities to build and strengthen our community. We look forward to supporting many meaningful projects."


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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Mayor George Recognizes Lakewood Alive With $10,000 “Tech Boost” Award From Cox Communications

Despite the important work nonprofits and community organizations do in the communities they serve, many are lacking the modern technology tools needed to perform their missions to the fullest. To bridge this technology gap, Lakewood Mayor Meghan George today announced that Cox Communications has awarded grants to nonprofit groups committed to investing in technology equipment for the betterment of its patrons and mission. In Ohio, the company awarded a $10,000 “boost” to LakewoodAlive.

This marks the fifth year of the Cox Communications Tech Boosts program, and the goal remains the same: to help nonprofits invest in technology equipment and services that enrich the lives of community members while fulfilling their missions to the fullest.  Last year’s recipient in Ohio was the Olmsted Community Center.

“I am excited to share that LakewoodAlive, an organization committed to building more vibrant and connected communities, is going to drive even more impact in the near future with the Tech Boost grant from Cox Communications,” said Mayor George. “If you live here, you know how much good LakewoodAlive does every day, from its housing outreach and small business support programs to public beautification efforts and hosting large scale events. We are grateful for partnerships with companies like Cox that help organizations like LakewoodAlive fulfill its mission.”


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Volume 18, Issue 17, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Contactless Payment System Added To All Public Meters

The ParkMobile contactless payment system is being added to all public metered parking spaces.

This service adds the option to pay by text, website, or mobile app to the existing coin system.

There is no change in the fee to park and the first 15 minutes will remain free.

For more information on the ParkMobile system and how it works, please visit:

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Volume 18, Issue 17, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Lakewood Ranger Football Hall Of Fame

With high school football season getting closer, it's a good time to look back on some of our Lakewood Rangers.

Bob Funk was the LHS Male Athlete of the Year in 1962 for excellence in Football and Track, garnering 1st Team All-LEL Honors in both sports (6 total letters).

Bob went on to be a field goal kicker at Ohio State, and made the game winner vs Michigan in the 9-7 Buckeye win in 1965.

He made similar last minute game-winning fields goals that same season vs Washington and Minnesota.

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Volume 18, Issue 17, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Lakewood Ranger Magic

Class of 2012 alumni tour.

Magic is found in little things, and sometime in their combination. This morning, I had the unusual honor of giving an alumni tour to students that I taught. In fact, the Lakewood High School class of 2012 was the 1st group for which I was the APUSH 9 teacher. (They seem to have forgiven me).
As the memories came flooding back, I was struck by how different it was to be a relatively new teacher. I wasn't fully aware of the wonderful times ahead, of all the classes, students, games and concerts that would enrich my life. As an added bonus, class couple Wayne Majcher and Courtney Shaw brought future Ranger Keegan along for the ride. So fond of this group.

After the tour, it was time for the annual LHS Volleyball Car Wash fundraiser up on Madison behind the stadium.
It was a busy time, but the girls sprung into action, swiftly and efficiently transforming my grimy red car into a shiny new toy. The group had many of my current and past students, as well as a few that will be in my Freshman APUSH Class this year.
I can only imagine how many fond memories I will have when they come home for their tenth reunion. The juxtaposition of these two events did indeed create some Lakewood Ranger magic, but also served as a reminder that life proceeds in circles and the community is paramount.
Long Live Lakewood.

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Volume 18, Issue 17, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Welcome, New Teachers!

Our dozen new teachers have been busy learning the ins and outs of being a Lakewood Educator during orientation these past two days.

So glad to have them aboard!

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Volume 18, Issue 17, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Welcome Back, Lakewood Students!

What a great first day of LHS Jumpstart! Students were able to get their IDs, Chromebooks, textbooks, yearbooks, and even walk their schedules to get acclimated. Parents could sign up for booster groups and PTA.

It's gonna be a great year!

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Volume 18, Issue 17, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Legal Aid’s Annual “Jam For Justice” Cncert Is Back, With A New Format For 2022

There is nothing like a great summer concert – and this year, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland’s annual summer fundraiser returns with a new format with three opportunities to rock to local bands headlined by local attorneys, judges, and law students. 

Don’t miss your chance to support a great cause and enjoy live music from greater Cleveland’s best attorney/judge/law student-led bands.

The main event will be held at the House of Blues Cleveland on September 8 at 6 p.m. Two neighborhood jam sessions will be held beforehand: an East Side Jam Session at BottleHouse Brewery on Wednesday, August 24 at 7 p.m., and a West Side Jam Session at The Brothers Lounge on Wednesday, August 31 at 7 p.m.

Entertaining the crowd at each event will be:

• East Side Jam:
     o   Luke Lindberg & The Hung Jury 
     o   Case Western Reserve University School of Law’s Razing the Bar
     o   Emcee: Stephanie Haney, digital anchor and legal analyst at WKYC Studios

• West Side Jam:
     o   The No Name Band
     o   Out of Order
     o   Emcee: Stephanie Haney (WKYC)


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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Young Filmmakers Academy Gives Latest Film The Red Carpet Treatment: LHS Senior Marshall Vargas In Title Role

See "Star Player" on August 18

Young Filmmakers Academy in Lakewood is at it again. The internationally recognized, award-winning film program for kids and teens, now in its sixth year will premiere its new film titled "Star Player" on August 18 at the Sari Feldman Auditorium at Cuyahoga County Public Library's Parma-Snow Branch.

The film, which was written, directed and edited by area middle and high schoolers from Lakewood and surrounding areas, is about a teenage alien who crash lands on earth in 1987, joins the local baseball team and quickly becomes an all-star. But once his secret identity is revealed the town just might turn against him.

Produced by Young Filmmakers Academy and Executive Produced by Eric Swinderman, the Emmy nominated writer and director of the film "The Enormity of Life" starring Breckin Meyer and Emily Kinney, the short film will have its red carpet premiere alongside several other short films produced by YFA this year. Other films include "With Great Power," the story of two students at a school for Super Hero kids in the making, who are having a bad day, as well as several scenes shot by the students of the after school 8 Week Film School.

Star Player features performances from Lakewood student, Marshall Vargas, who plays the title role as well as Sofia Castellanos, Jayson Skudrin Jr., Aidan Benjamin and Victoria Sequera. The cast is rounded out by professional adult actors Andrew Gordon and Angie Prohaska.

The event is open to the public which starts at 6pm and is followed by a Q&A with the teen filmmakers and cast. Tickets are on sale now at

Proceeds benefit Lakewood Young Filmmakers Academy, a nonprofit organization located on Madison Ave.


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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Attachment Song

You love with attachment,

playfully like the laws of physics.

A green young branch that won't break,

or like a cloud attached to rivers along

blue rain,

Love is young and flexible,

hungry and strong.

Affection is a seed I bear attaching

yellow light

to orange fruit.

Or like a falling leaf attaching


back at the Root.


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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Story Time Programs - Children’s And Youth Services

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, September 13- October 4, 2022
10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. 
11:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. 
Wednesdays, September 13- October 5, 2022
11:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Madison Branch- Thursdays, September 14- October 6, 2022
10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

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


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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Second Annual Car Show At Church of The Ascension - September 11

The Church of the Ascension at 13216 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood is hosting their Second Annual Car Show on September 11th, (Rain Date the 18th) from 10AM until 3PM. There wil be Cars, Raffles, Food and Music,Trophies and Dash Plaques! The Car Exhibitor donation is $10.

Join us as Church of the Ascension prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2025 on the very same property where it all began in 1875. In 1875 Church of the Ascension was a small wood frame church, known as “the Little White Church,” on property purchased from Lakewood’s pioneer family, the Nicholsons. 

The Church of the Ascension is an Episcopalian Church which embodies the motto “God Loves You, No Exceptions.”

Little did our first parishioners whose names were Kirkland, Fry, Hird, Beach, Hall, and Nicholson, know that the church they built, consecrated in 1875, would evolve into the dynamic church it is today.

Today Church of the Ascension serves three community meals each month and hosts 10 weekly AA meetings. The congregation welcomes the community for a shared Thanksgiving Meal and Christmas Luncheon. Clothes are collected for the ministry at St. Luke’s church on the near westside of Cleveland as well as school supplies. A Shawl Ministry supports those going through transitions in their lives. This year we even hosted a community bike rodeo with free bicycle repairs, partnering with Bike Lakewood, the Ohio City Bike Co-op and the Lakewood Police Department.


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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Community West Foundation Announces West Side Catholic Center As Award Recipient: Lakewood Councilmember John Litten Accepts Award

Left to Right: Marty Uhle, President and CEO, Community West Foundation, David & Martha Hessler, John Litten, Executive Director, West Side Catholic Center, Michael Bernot, Director of Advancement, West Side Catholic Center.

Community West Foundation announced West Side Catholic Center as the 2022 recipient of the David and Martha Hessler Illuminating Hope Award. Since 1977, the West Side Catholic Center has offered hot meals, hospitality, clothing and household goods, emergency services, advocacy, a family shelter, housing solutions, and workforce development training to those in need at no charge, regardless of religious affiliation. They also happen to be Community West’s longest continuously funded nonprofit organization.

The announcement was made during Community West Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration held at Market Square in Crocker Park on Thursday, July 28th. John Litten, Executive Director of West Side Catholic Center, was called to the stage to accept the award and gave moving remarks. John is one of several very effective leaders at West Side Catholic Center during the shared history with Community West; others included Aggie Hoskins and Jerry Skoch.

The award itself is a replica of the Homeless Jesus statue by Canadian artist, Timothy Schmalz, creator of the Matthew 25 Collection installed in Cleveland by the Foundation. In addition, the winner receives a $10,000 unrestricted grant. The award is named after long-time Community West supporters and philanthropists, David and Martha Hessler, and was created to recognize a local nonprofit with a deep history and commitment to our community that is truly Illuminating Hope.

About Community West Foundation:

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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Changing Times, Changing Styles: Look Inside Lakewood 2022 House Tour

1520 Grace

From an 1890s Queen Anne Victorian to a 1960s Contemporary and a wealth of styles in between, you’re invited to explore some of Lakewood’s architectural treasures during the Lakewood House Tour: Look Inside Lakewood, Sunday, September 11, from 1:00pm to 6:00pm.

Eight superb homes are yours to discover, including a home that was built before Lakewood was Lakewood (we used to be East Rockport Township) and a bank that was transformed into a personal residence. Rounding out your tour experience is a lakefront mid century modern, a charming colonial, a vernacular featuring an impressive garage workshop, an American foursquare and a Tudor style, complete with tower. 

It’s been four years since the last House Tour so if you can’t wait one day longer, plan to attend the Patron Party, Saturday, September 10th. The party will be hosted in a home you won’t see on Sunday’s tour – a 1916 traditional style masterfully integrated with 21st century appointments. Mingle with friends, enjoy fine food and plan your tour experience. Tickets for the Patron Party are $85 and include Sunday House Tour tickets. 

Tickets to the House Tour are $30 and are on sale now online at and at the following Lakewood retailers. Your ticket purchase benefits Lakewood Historical Society and their many programs designed to preserve our community’s past for the future. 


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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Healthy Lakewood Foundation 4th Annual Community Meeting - September 21

Please save the date for the Healthy Lakewood Foundation's 4th Annual Community Meeting on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 from 7:00 - 8:30 PM. 

The meeting will be in person at the Woman's Pavilion at Lakewood Park. After two years of virtual meetings, the HLF Board is excited to be back in person with the community and share its recent grantmaking and work over the past year.

The Healthy Lakewood Foundation Board holds a community meeting each year to demonstrate its stewardship of the funds entrusted to it to advance the health and well-being of the community.

All community members are warmly welcomed to attend to learn and engage with the Board and its community partners. The meeting is free but pre-registration is required at  


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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Mayor's Corner: Crisis Intervention

We’re fortunate to have top notch safety forces in Lakewood, where our fire, EMS, dispatch and police do an excellent job every day protecting our community. I appreciate the partnership I have with our police department that allows us to consider new and innovative ways to approach the job and make a difference. Alternative methods to law enforcement that still maintain our city’s high level of safety are a priority for my administration. One way that Lakewood has had success is through our commitment to crisis intervention training (CIT) and implementation within our police department.

Our police force currently has 27 personnel specifically trained in crisis intervention tactics and interactions, which help safety personnel recognize when they are dealing with someone facing mental illness and helping to stabilize that person. City of Lakewood personnel who have specific CIT training include 16 of our patrol officers who interact daily with the community – but other members of our police also have received the training, from the detective bureau and our dispatchers to many of our supervisors. We also continue to train additional officers in this highly beneficial field and expect five more to complete CIT next month. Our overall goal is to steadily increase the number of officers who have taken the courses and are fully trained in CIT techniques.

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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

"Infamous" The Musical, Written By Lakewood Native, Debuts In Staged Concert

Promotional flyer for the staged concert of Infamous

"Infamous," a musical about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth, will debut as a staged concert this September at St. Edward High School. 
Writer and composer David Michaels grew up in Lakewood, living here for the first 30 years of his life before moving to Fairview Park with his wife Adriana and 3-year-old daughter Maddie. He’s currently the orchestra and choir director at St. Edward High School, his alma mater. “I’ve been a musician ever since I could remember," David said. "I come from a very musical family.” He said that he had long held passions for both music and theater.
“I’ve always wanted to write a musical since I was a little kid,” Michaels explained. “So I’ve always been waiting for that idea to come and kind of stick with me.”
Inspiration struck while Michaels was on a family vacation to the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan, where the chair that Lincoln was assassinated in is on display. David thought, “You know what? That would be a really interesting play.” He read the book "Killing Lincoln" by Bill O’Reilly as well as works by historian James L. Swanson about Lincoln’s assassination and the manhunt that followed. Michaels followed up with a research trip to Washington, D.C. to see Ford’s Theater in person.
Staged readings of "Infamous" began in 2021. Developmental workshops followed at Cleveland State University, and a staged concert at St. Edward High School will follow in just a few weeks with lighting, scenery, and a full pit orchestra. Michaels wrote the book, lyrics, and music of the show himself. Two-time Tony-award-winning producer Ken Davenport is the production coach for "Infamous," Beck Center’s Scott Spence directs, and most of the cast and crew are Cleveland natives.
Two members of Abraham Lincoln’s former church in Washington D.C. are in talks to bring the show there. Michaels’ dream is to have it land on Broadway, and believes the musical has the legs to get it there, though he knows that there’s a long way to go in the development of the show. “We’re hoping that the sky’s the limit, and that this thing flies as high as it can go.” Lin-Manuel Miranda himself sent the production team his well-wishes.
When asked what he’d say to critics who may think that the plot sounds reminiscent of the musical "Assassins" by Stephen Sondheim, Michaels responded, “Assassins covers every single assassin for every single president of the United States of America. Not to mention the musical stylings are highly different. This is a narrowed focus on that one singular event in history. So just because John Wilkes Booth is a character in Assassins doesn’t mean that they are equitable. They are highly different. This is a nod to history, and it really dives into the psyches of John Wilkes Booth and Abraham Lincoln, and what was going on in their minds during that chaotic time."
David feels "Infamous" is a “very timely” show. “It deals with division. It deals with a divided nation, which we currently are. It’s a parallel, a big mirror. When we look at history through the lens of today, we realize that we’re still divided.” Michaels mentioned Lincoln’s famous quote, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Of the production, he said, “It’s a show that preaches a message of unity. It seeks to show how what happened is not the answer, and that we are Americans, and that we can come together and unite.”
The show runs September 9th through 11th at St. Edward High School (13500 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, Ohio 44107). On September 9th and 10th, the curtain is at 7:00 pm, and on September 11th, the curtain is at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at There will be a limited number of tickets available at the door.

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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Cupcake Wars Goes To The Dogs (And Cats) August 28th

This is Cupcake. She says get your tickets now!

What is sweeter than a summer afternoon of tasting cupcakes and sipping champagne? Doing it for the benefit of the animals at Lakewood’s Animal Shelter!

The Citizens Committee for the Lakewood Animal Shelter (CCLAS), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, will be hosting its 1st Annual Cupcake Wars on August 28th from 1-3PM at The CoLab at 17008 Madison Avenue in Lakewood.

Local bakers will be pitted against each other in a competition of their culinary skills and creativity to present delicious DOG and CAT themed cupcakes. Event guests will taste and vote for their favorites while sipping champagne, coffee and tea.

Winners will be crowned and reign as the 2022 Cupcake Wars Champion in two categories:
Lakewood’s Best Tasting Cupcakes
Best Presentation of the DOG and CAT Theme

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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Lakewood On Track To Receive Two ARPA Grants

I am pleased to report that Lakewood is on track to receive two grants through Cuyahoga County's American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. These proposals will be considered for final passage at County Council's next meeting on Tuesday, September 13th, 2022. The first grant would provide $1,500,000 for the City of Lakewood for its $12.375 million project that will create a new refuse and recycling center and a new animal shelter. The project is expected to be completed in two phases by the end of 2025. By relocating facilities that are currently in the way, the project will also create necessary space to complete a major storm water retention project. The second grant would provide $500,000 to the Beck Center for the Arts for HVAC, roof, and and foundation improvements as part of the Beck Center's ongoing capital campaign, which has a total size of about $6.7 million. Work related to this grant is expected to be completed by the middle of next year.

The City of Lakewood's proposal helps our environment in multiple ways by improving recycling services and making the storm water retention project possible. The project also enables local, humane animal care for Lakewood residents through construction of the new and improved animal shelter. The Beck Center is the premier arts and culture institution on the west side of Cuyahoga County for both performance and arts-related education. This grant will help the Beck Center continue and expand its 90-year record of excellent community service.

Cuyahoga County has been allocated $240 million in ARPA funds. County Council and Executive Budish reached an agreement that $66 million of these funds would be set aside for community grants, allocated at $6 million for each of the eleven County Council districts. The Council developed a standard application form for community grants, but each Councilperson was given latitude to develop a process for receiving and evaluating proposals and making recommendations to the full Council. No individual Councilperson may approve a community grant application. All proposals must be approved by the full Council following a full legislative process, including three readings and consideration and favorable recommendation from the appropriate Council Committee.

I developed a formal application and scoring process to consider applications and make recommendations to the full Council. An announcement and request for proposals was issued on Wednesday, May 11th and proposals were due on Friday, June 10th. Thirty-three applications requesting a total of over $21 million were received for the $3 million first round of District 2 ARPA community grant funds. The proposals were then evaluated by an eight-member review committee consisting of four members of the County Council staff, three experienced leaders from executive departments, and me.

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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Winners Of The TAEB/LO Most Distinguished Tree Contest 2022

Back on Arbor Day we started to receive nominations for the Most Distinguished Tree in Lakewood. The nomination process ended June 30th.
For the entire month of July, the public had a chance to vote on the 25 nominated trees. Congratulations to all who were nominated. They ranged from super old and majestic to perfectly shaped. Some were a little odd, but that's what made them special. Beauty they say is in the eye of the beholder. After tabulation of the 113 votes received, here are the WINNERS!

1st place, earning 30 votes is the majestic tree at 2110 Olive Avenue.

2nd place, earning 25 votes is a beautiful Evergreen at 1317 Chase Avenue, which is fondly called "Sammy the Spruce."

3rd place, with 11 votes goes to 2367 Woodward Avenue, another magnificent old shade tree.

The three randomly selected nominators/voters are:

Sharon Gazdick
Jim Dickens
Marcia Abbadini

Property owners of the winning trees, along with the voting/nominating winners should contact the Lakewood Observer @ 216-339-2531 to claim your prize and arrange a time to drop off.

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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 3:16 PM, 08.17.2022

Mayor's Corner:Refining The Budget

As we enjoy everything that summer has to offer in Lakewood, this season is also a time of planning, preparation, and prioritization at City Hall. It’s when I begin meeting with the directors of our departments to begin working on our city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year, both for our ongoing operations and capital needs and improvements.

My goal continues to be preparing a budget that is fiscally realistic and responsible while also ensuring that Lakewood maintains the excellent level of service that our residents, businesses, and visitors have come to expect and enjoy. Reaching that goal involves in depth conversations with our directors at City Hall, but also conversations with you – our residents – on what is possible and what is a priority.

This thoughtful budgeting process allows Lakewood to keep top notch services – things like safety, public works, and human services – while also maintaining our core infrastructure and adding or updating assets. With careful planning, we can take on projects that have been completed this year – like the Cove Community Center – or that are now underway or in the bid process – like the major upgrades coming at Foster Pool and the new Recycling Center and Animal Shelter facility.

As we refine the budget, we will also continue our dialogue with City Council to share the analysis and thinking that drives my administration’s recommendations while also understanding council input and priorities. Through this collaborative conversation, the City is able to best position itself for long-term financial health while also moving ahead with our future vision for Lakewood. I look forward to fine tuning the budget and presenting it to Lakewood City Council in the coming months.


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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

Fire Station Renovations

On the afternoon of July 22nd, Mayor George, Councilmembers Litten, Baker, Shachner, Marx, & Bullock, Fire Chief Dunphy, and members of the Lakewood Fire Department participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly renovated Fire Station #2, 18124 Detroit Ave.

The renovations include a 2800 square foot addition to the apparatus bay, interior updates with some added safety features, and a public art mural.

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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 7:58 PM, 08.03.2022

Senator Antonio Joins President Biden In Cleveland For Historic Announcement

Senator Antonio with President Biden.

On July 6, I was honored to meet President Biden during his visit to Max S. Hayes High School in the 23rd Senate District. President Biden came to announce the final step in implementing the American Rescue Plan’s Special Financial Assistance program, which will protect union workers facing cuts to their benefits in multiemployer pension plans.

Before the American Rescue Plan, multiemployer pension plan insolvencies were expected to impact millions of hardworking Americans and their families. Now, with the American Rescue Plan’s Special Financial Assistance Program, pension plans can apply for assistance to remain solvent through 2051. Not only will this protect workers facing a reduction in benefits, but it will also fully restore pension cuts for more than 80,000 retirees in 18 multiemployer plans across the country.

We were joined at the announcement by U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Representatives Shontel M. Brown and Marcy Kaptur, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, State Representative Michael Skindell, Executive Secretary of the North Shore AFL-CIO Dan O’Malley, Lakewood City Councilmember Tristan Rader, Lakewood Mayor Meghan George, Judge Terri Jamison, as well as hundreds of union workers and retirees to celebrate this historic success.


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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

HLF Awards Over $250,000 To Advance Health In Lakewood

The Healthy Lakewood Foundation (HLF) Board of Directors awarded $253,455 in funding for its Community Grants program at its July Board meeting. Twelve area organizations were granted funds to advance programs that address social determinants of health and support populations historically under-resourced in the community.

HLF believes that the economic, structural, and social conditions of the Lakewood community have a profound impact on the health of its residents. HLF’s Board President Khalilah Worley Billy explains that “Through our Community Grants Program, HLF’s funding is targeted to address food insecurity, housing and neighborhood conditions, access to high-quality educational programs, and social and community connections.”

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

Funding included awards to:

  • Lakewood Community Services Center for its Summer Lunch and Enrichment Program that addresses food insecurity during the summer months and creates socialization, education, and recreational opportunities for children.
  • Emerald Development & Economic Network, EDEN, Inc. (EDEN), to improve resources for and relationships with Lakewood landlords with the goal of increasing affordable housing options for residents experiencing housing insecurity.
  • Madison Court Community Coalition (MC3), a newly formed organization in Lakewood seeking to address gun violence, community connections, and increase youth engagement through planned community events.
  • Lakewood Public Library to reinstate Connecting for Kids programming at the Main and Madison branches.
  • Additionally, two previous grantees, Asian Services In Action (ASIA, Inc.) and the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, were awarded funding to continue their important work supporting Lakewood residents over the next two years.
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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

LHS History Club Celebrates Its Founder And Members

Student community builders are invaluable to any school, and Lakewood High School has many great leaders, classmates, organizers and teammates. They work to learn, get good grades and for other individual achievements, of course, but also think of ways to elevate the educational atmosphere of the school.
An exemplary community builder, the founder of our History Club, Alex Manaa ('18) graduated from Northwestern in June and will be in the Graduate Theatre Writing Program at NYU this fall.
Alex has a legacy that keeps growing: 21-22 was a fabulous year thanks to the energy, creativity and engagement of our students. Upon their initiative, they tackled issues from the cute and light (Dogs vs Cats) to deadly serious (The Ukraine-Russia Conflict). We were hyper local (the "Suburban Experiment") and International (the History of Bangladesh).

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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 7:58 PM, 08.03.2022

LHS Hosts ASM International Teacher Camp With Grad Nicole Hudak

Last week Lakewood High School served as host to ASM International's teacher camp, designed to introduce teachers to the material sciences field of engineering.

A special guest of the camp was Class of 2020's Nicole Hudak, currently an OSU materials science major. Nicole's interest in material science engineering was sparked when Project Lead the Way teacher Bob Sedlak encouraged her to attend ASM's student camp while she was at LHS.

Since then, she has served as a counselor at the camp and was named to ASM's Board of Trustees as a student member. She is interning at The Oatey Co. this summer in Cleveland. We are so proud when we see how the seeds of a passion started as a Ranger blossom into a life path!

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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 7:58 PM, 08.03.2022

Where Is The Progressive Commitment To End Homelessness in Lakewood?

Many progressive minded communities enjoy patting themselves on the back for holding the correct political views. There is a certain, dare I say, smug, satisfaction in some quarters over the abudance of rainbow flags, Black Lives Matters posters, and other progressive decorations in this city. I have no objection. Having lived in the southern suburbs, I am used to such open and proud displays of political affilation. In North Royalton and Brunswick, for instance, there is no shortage of blue and red porch lights, blue line flags, MAGA yard signs, and other conservative emblems. However, as a relative newcomer to Lakewood, I must confess that I find most of this self-conscious progressivism to be quite shallow. But it doesn't have to be that way. People are free to live up to their rhetoric, if they so choose. If Lakewood's progressivism is to amount to more than an exercise in vanity, it must protect human dignity, not surrender it to misery.

Anyone who actually bothers to walk along Detroit Avenue and West 117th Street can't help but notice the inceasing numbers of homeless persons. Many, if not most, of these destitute unhoused individuals are African American. Few are the helping hands or acts of compassion extended toward these men and women, many of whom must pass the time on benches or in bus shelters in the intense heat and unforgiving sun of July and August. Yet Black lives are supposed to matter, right?

It's no coincidence that quite a few businesses have posted "no public restrooms" notices. The Lakewood Public Library prohibits sleeping and bringing in blankets and changes of clothes, according to its patron handbook. As there is no homeless shelter or drop-in center in Lakewood or the western edge of Cleveland, such policies of exclusion have resulted not only in the unavoidable sight of unwashed uncomfortable people (unavoidable yet easily ignored by passers by), but in noxious odors not easily ignored in various spots where the poorest of the poor must relieve themselves. Situations like this don't exactly proclaim social justice.


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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 7:58 PM, 08.03.2022

LakewoodAlive Announces Return Of Spooky Pooch Parade On October 15

Get ready for a doggone good time! Spooky Pooch Parade will bring the bark to Madison Park once again. LakewoodAlive’s 15th Annual Spooky Pooch Parade takes place on Saturday, October 15, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Madison Park in Lakewood’s Birdtown neighborhood.

LakewoodAlive’s family-friendly Spooky Pooch Parade consists of a free-to-attend festival at Madison Park, a parade along Madison Avenue and surrounding streets and an awards presentation. A favorite autumn tradition for Northeast Ohio dog lovers, this community festival represents a one-of-a-kind event within the region, providing a tail-wagging good time for canine and human guests alike.

Registration for the parade will open on Wednesday, August 24. Pre-registration is $10 per dog and day-of registration is $15 per dog. Multiple dog discounts are available with pre-registration only. Humans are free. This community event takes place rain or shine, and proceeds from the parade benefit LakewoodAlive, a community centered nonprofit organization.


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Volume 18, Issue 16, Posted 7:58 PM, 08.03.2022

Nation’s First Smart-Tech Trial-Basis Apartments For People With Developmental Disabilities

People with developmental disabilities who are ready to live more independently now have an innovative new housing option in Lakewood from the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Cuyahoga DD) and North Coast Community Homes (NCCH).

TryTech at the Cranford Apartments in the heart of Lakewood offers a unique opportunity for people with developmental disabilities (DD) to live in a smart apartment in an integrated building on a short-term lease, to try tools and technology they might want to use in their future daily home life for mealtimes, entertainment, security, wellbeing and self-care, and more.

This trial housing option provides an immersive independent-living experience for people with DD to gain confidence and determine what technology works best for them as they move toward living as independently as they want.

Nationwide, about 76% of adults with Developmental Disabilities live at home; in a quarter of those homes, the family caregiver is older than 60 (Family Caregiver Alliance). Creative housing options like TryTech are vital as the Boomer generation ages and the lifespan of people with DD increases.


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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

District Offers Strong Student Mental Health Support

As we soon head into another school year, the District wishes to share how over the past several years Lakewood City Schools has worked to grow its existing services that support student mental health and wellness. Access to these supports is available to all our elementary, middle school and high school students.

The passage of the last levy in 2020 has allowed the District to intentionally allocate funds to support student mental health and well being. At the elementary level, the District now has five full-time student wellness specialists that support the social-emotional learning needs of our youngest learners. The District also employs an independent licensed social worker, Tina Karp, to support the mental health needs of students in our district and coordinate services delivered by our community partners. The District also employs an administrator, Dr. Merritt Waters, whose focus is student wellness and who serves as our student wellness coordinator. 

All 11 of our schools have school-based mental health services and support through either OhioGuidestone or Bellefaire JCB. The District also has partnerships with Recovery Resources and with the Cleveland Clinic Children’s school-based clinic, based at Lakewood High School. Through the LHS clinic, students and families have access to a Cleveland Clinic social worker, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, and a student/patient navigator (partially funded through the Three Arches Foundation). The navigator helps students and families in crisis, particularly those students transitioning back to school from a mental health hospitalization. Lakewood also partners with the Cleveland Clinic for a mobile unit. The mobile unit team includes a child psychologist and serves the District once a month and travels to various schools. 

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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

LaLa Custom Cake Celebrates 6 Years In Lakewood!

LaLa Custom Cake has been creating scratch made cakes and cupcakes for 6 years in Lakewood!  Since opening our doors in August of 2016, we have been known for creating unique custom flavors and, of course, as our name suggests, custom cakes. LaLa Custom Cake is a made from scratch shop, meaning just about everything including batters, buttercream, compotes and fillings are all made in-house under my guidance. I am the owner and cake chef, Leah Gourlie.

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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

What Lakewood Means To You

In celebration of the opening of Lakewood’s Cove Community Center and in partnership with SLA Video Productions the Department of Human Services invites you to create a short video message describing “What Lakewood means to you” inspired by music that bridges the generations. Help us showcase the diversity and commonality contained within our hometown!

Make your own video or stop by Cove Community Center during the month of August for one of four separate opportunities to have your experience professionally captured and your video directly entered into the contest!

Each individual video will be edited into a montage and showcased at a premiere event at Cove Community Center. 

One lucky winner will receive a $250 gift card, and a Motown record box set!

Please join us at Cove Community Center (12525 Lake Ave) to have your Lakewood Experience captured between 10AM - 2PM on any of the following days:

Thursday, August 11th

Tuesday, August 16th

Wednesday, August 24th

Monday, August 29th

Would you like to know more? Please visit the promotional website at to learn more details and participate. The promotion will go live at 12:00 on August 3rd and run through August 30th.

Laura Jaissle has been a Lakewood resident since 2007 and is current Assistant Director of Human Services for the City of Lakewood.

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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

Virtual and In-Person Programs- Children’s And Youth Services

In-Person Family Weekend Wonders

Looking for weekend entertainment for the whole family? Look no further! Drop in to the Library's special weekend story time. Your whole family will enjoy these programs full of enthusiastic stories, engaging activities, entertaining music and clever crafts. Family Weekend Wonders Drop-In Story Time is offered every weekend throughout the year and features a different theme each week to keep things engaging. No registration is required.
Main Library- Fridays- 10:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. 
Saturdays- 10:30 a.m. 
Madison Branch- Fridays- 10:30 a.m. 

Virtual Meet the Authors

Mary Cole Watson Reads Her Book, "Wisdom Warriors"
Cleveland Heights author Mary Cole Watson shares her book, a culmination of more than twenty short stories, to provide wisdom to all who may need it when faced with a crucial conversation. Mary Cole Watson made it her life goal to ensure the next generation of learners understand their designated place in African American heritage.


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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

Back On The Streets Of Lakewood After Pandemic Pause

Jehovah’s Witnesses Resume Public Ministry Two Years After Going Virtual

If you happen to be walking through City Center Park in Lakewood, OH, you may notice that a pre-pandemic fixture is back on the sidewalks: smiling faces standing next to colorful carts featuring a positive message and free Bible-based literature.

Thousands of these carts will be rolling down the streets of communities like Lakewood across the world as Jehovah’s Witnesses recommence their global public preaching work some 24 months after putting it on pause due to the pandemic.

Public Information – Jehovah’s Witnesses 1

For more information, call (718) 560-5600

“We are so happy to be back in our Public Ministry!” said Brad Parsons, local spokesperson for Ohio. "While we never stopped reaching out to people through phone calls and letters, nothing compares to seeing and talking to people in person. That’s the reason it has been our hallmark for more than 100 years.”

While the organization is not yet back to knocking on doors, local congregations have also resumed free in-person Bible studies along with personal visits to those who have invited them back to their homes.

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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

August Events At Lakewood Public Library

Meet the Author- Ten Ohio Disasters

Book by Neil Zurcher 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. 

Main Library Auditorium 

Revisit the devastating Xenia tornado, the statewide Blizzard of ‘78, and an ill-fated group parachute jump over Lake Erie in "Ten Ohio Disasters." Author Neil Zurcher combines firsthand accounts and local lore to showcase the tragic lessons and inspiring examples of heroism in Ohio history. Neil Zurcher is a retired journalist and original host of One Tank Trips on Fox 8. He has won multiple awards for his travel writing and is the author of nine books.

Meet the Author- A Penny’s Thoughts: Sometimes All You Need Is A Change of Perspective

Book by Tommy O’Sionnach

Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.


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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

LaLa Custom Cake Celebrates 6 years in Lakewood!

I am excited that Lala Custom Cake has been creating scratch-made cakes and cupcakes in Lakewood for 6 years! We opened our doors in August of 2016 as a local cake shop known for creating custom flavors and of course as our name suggests, custom cakes. We at LaLa Custom Cake are a scratch shop, meaning just about everything including, batters, buttercream, compotes and fillings are all made in house using some of the techniques I learned in culinary school long ago.

I graduated from Johnson and Wales University in 2003 where I studied Culinary Arts, and specialized in fine dining savory foods. After working in several fine dining restaurants in Cleveland, OH and Santa Barbara, CA, I wanted to leave the fast paced restaurant life for a slower pace but still with a food focus. In an unexpected twist, my career brought me to The Sisters of Saint Joseph convent in Cleveland where I cooked and baked for the sisters there for several years. I used this time to hone bak- ing skills that I didn’t use as much in the savory food industry and develop a passion for cakes and desserts. Fast forward a few years, I started LaLa Custom Cake in my home kitchen. During those first months, I would bake and create decadent cupcakes for local farmers markets and elegant cakes for local wedding clients.

After taking a leap of faith, I opened our first brick and mortar shop, LaLa Custom Cake in 2016. Six years later the shop is going strong with a full staff of dedicated, passionate cake lovers who aim to make not only the most delicious cake but to celebrate our clients along the way. way. Our mission is to celebrate indi- viduals through service, high quality desserts and artistic designs as they celebrate all of life’s ordinary and extraordinary events. We have the privilege of partnering with our cli- ents for their most important life events and we couldn't have picked a better city to start our shop in! LaLa Custom Cake is located on Madison Avenue in a deliciously sweet stretch of Lakewood that includes; Fear's Confections, Malley's Chocolate, Tommy's Pastries and Elmwood Bakery.

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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

Starr Gazer


ARIES: It’s all about you Ram, with Jupiter still in Aries, & in your 1st house, strut your stuff, the Sun is in your 5th house or Romance, light up your fire at the Arts Festival…hmmm.

TAURUS: Jupiter is in the Bull’s 12th, behind the scenes, but the Sun is shining its rays on home/family…whatever you’ve got cooking, you’re keeping your lips zipped, a new recipe?

GEMINI: The Twins are living their dream, Jupiter in your 11th of social organizations, Sun in the 3rd of your community, time for you to be the social butterfly, & head to the arts festival.

CANCER: Lady Venus is in the Crab’s sign, Jupiter in the 10th of career, & the Sun in the 2nd house of money, keep climbing that ladder of success Crab, look for love on the way up, wink.

LEO: Lion you are King/Queen this birthday month, Sun/Mercury in Leo, you are shining on all fronts, intellect & personality, share some of your generosity in the area of foreign affairs, travel.

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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

Rotary Grant Funds Library's StoryWalk

The Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River was recognized for awarding Lakewood Public Library a grant for its StoryWalk by Julie Strunk, LPL manager, children's and youth services. The story is located on the west side of the Library on Arthur Avenue. 

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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

Lakewood Arts Festival Real Art, Real Music, Real Food Saturday, August 6, 10 AM-6 PM

For one shimmering summer day, Lakewood closes Detroit Avenue, between Belle and Arthur Avenues, to bring artists of all disciplines together along with 15,000 collectors and art lovers. The juried festival hosts over 160 regional and national artists and makers displaying paintings, prints, photography, art glass, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, fiber and more.  

Returning to the festival this year will be Brett Mason, a Pittsburgh native, who brings evocative landscapes in both oil and watercolor. “The Lakewood Arts Festival always gets a great crowd who are really receptive and supportive of my work. For this, I make it one of my very few shows out of Pittsburgh.”  Additional fine artists include prints by Michael Brabant, paintings by Paul Fletcher and ceramics by Mark Yasenchak. Phillippe Laine from Palm Beach, Florida, a festival favorite, offers one-of-a-kind hand-painted silk fabric. Posch and Gulyas, fine jewelers, hand fabricate original designs from sterling silver sheet and wire, often featuring gemstones, gold, and enamel for color.

Originally founded in 1978 to bring artists to the city for a street festival, in 1981 the Board of the non-profit decided to fund an annual scholarship for Lakewood seniors continuing to art school. After the Festival, the Board will present $4,000 to the 2022 recipient, Inga Wilhelmy, who will attend the Rhode Island School of Design this fall.

The event also funds grants for arts education and programming in the city. Recent awardees include the Lakewood High School Photography Club, The Barton Center (senior arts activities), The Beck Center for the Arts (Saturday programs) and Lakewood High School Art, Theater and Photography programs.


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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

Lakewood League Of Women Voters Mary Warren Impact Scholarship Winner Emma Hart's Winning Essay

Emma Hart and Mary Warren

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

The earth, the climate, the environment, the place every living creature calls their home is in peril. Our seven oceans, coral reefs, land, ozone layer, and our way of life is in jeopardy. We as humans have yet to heed the warnings that the earth has been sending us. The ozone layer has been depleting for years. The oceans have been trashed and are unrecognizable and aren’t comparable to what most of us believe them to be. They are no longer iridescent blue pools full of beautiful life and are instead aquatic landfills full of the leftovers of human consumption and waste. These landfills are full of materialistic aspects of life that are no longer housed on dry land in order to let individuals forget this unavoidable problem. The climate crisis is the single most important issue facing all young individuals on this planet today and it is still not being addressed by politicians as it should be. 

I propose that Congresspeople that receive contributions or have connections to the fossil fuel industry should be barred from voting on any issues regarding the climate crisis. Yes, this is an extreme solution. An extreme solution, however, is necessary for such a perilous situation that all young people will be facing in fifty years. American politicians are greedier than ever before and this is seen in how many representatives frivolously vote on climate-related issues. The irresponsibility and overall disregard for younger Americans are blatant when so many politicians refuse to vote for the extreme and drastic measures that are needed to save our planet. By 2070, more than 3 billion people are expected to live in extreme heat which will cost many lives. We need a drastic change. We need young people more than ever before to be able to control their future and this will be done by only allowing unbiased congresspeople to vote on climate-related legislation instead of leaving it to older representatives who will not be on this earth to face the consequences of climate change. 


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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

Look Inside Lakewood At The 2022 Lakewood House Tour

12223 Madison Avenue is a must see inside.

Too much time spent looking at your own four walls? The Lakewood Historical Society invites you to discover some of the community’s finest architecture during the Lakewood House Tour: Look Inside Lakewood, Sunday, September 11, from 1:00pm to 6:00pm. The eagerly-anticipated event is back after a four-year hiatus.

Eight historic homes provide a glimpse into Lakewood’s past with a contemporary twist. These beautiful residences include a one-of-a-kind home in a converted bank building, an iconic mid-century landmark, a property with commanding views of Lake Erie, plus Tudor, Victorian, and Colonial gems. These are the homes you’ve driven past and wondered what they look like on the inside; now’s your chance to find out. 
Touring gives you a glimpse into history, where meticulous craftsmanship and quality materials were uncompromising building standards. The featured homes, all of which were chosen by community nominations, were built between1894 to 1965. While some have had recent additions and refinements, the owners have maintained their dwellings’ architectural integrity, making these residences true showcases of yesteryear.

Can’t wait to tour? You can start the House Tour weekend a day early at the Patron Party, Saturday, September 10th. The party will be hosted in a home not featured on Sunday’s tour so it’s a great opportunity to visit yet another lovely Lakewood residence. Enjoy fine food while you mingle with friends and plan your next day’s exploration.

Tickets for the Patron Party are $85 and include Sunday House Tour tickets.


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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 8:09 PM, 08.03.2022

Fourth Of July In Lakewood

Lakewood Project rocks Lakewood Park on the Fourth of July.

Parachute into thousands of places in the US and you will be blitzed by a mind numbing sameness of subdivisions, strip malls and chain stores. The causes of this boring homogeneity are varied and complex, but one element—the emergence of the automobile industry—is at the center. Want to escape the dullness? Find a community that developed before the dominance of automobiles.

This is why if you spend the day in Lakewood, especially on July 4th, you will know where you are. We are lacking many things. You wont find subdivisions or cul-de-sacs (save those that dead end into Lake Erie), big box scores are absent, there is an identifiable downtown, and the family-owned business is not a faint memory. Century homes are everywhere, and front porches and sidewalks are the norm. The parade is hometown all the way, led by my favorite element—the Lakewood Ranger Marching Band—followed by a blend of community groups, Military Veterans, politicians, etc.
The Lakewood fireworks are spectacular, but there is nothing particularly unique about them—but a festive, full Lakewood Park is quite the scene, especially 7pm the incomparable Lakewood Project takes the stage. You know immediately that you are experiencing a one off—nothing like it anywhere else. Thirty plus LHS students, who practice hour upon hour as part of an extra-curricular activity, led by Dr. Hankins and her crew, bang out nearly 3 hours of high energy songs. The eclectic blend of musicians create local magic starting with the National Anthem and ending with Crazy Train. Younger music campers, mentored by high school students, get in on the act, testing their wings and providing some good music along the way. It's a total community effort—parents, teachers students and Lakewood citizens (the most supportive of public schools)—all make this happen. Everyone pitches in, and everyone wins.

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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 6:58 PM, 07.20.2022

Supplies4Success Drive: Donate Today

It's that time of year, Lakewood Friends. School supply donation boxes are out around town. If you are able to pick up an extra item or two or just like shopping for school supplies, Supplies4Success would be happy to receive your donations.

We welcome a few new businesses to our collection sites this year. Jana's Deli, Cleveland Vegan, and The Blue Cafe.

We thank our returning sites for their continued support: Becks/Foster Pools, The Beck Center, Blackbird Baking, Breadsmith, KB Confections, Lakewood Family YMCA, Lakewood Garden Center, Nature's Oasis, Pet's General Store, The Root Cafe, and Stem Soaps, as well as the following church's: Lakewood Congregational, Lakewood Presbyterian and Lakewood United Methodist.

If you know of a location that would like a collection box, please let us know. Thanks, Lakewood!

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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 6:58 PM, 07.20.2022

Roosevelt Elementary Wins PBIS Recognition Award

Congratulations to Roosevelt Elementary, which has won an Ohio PBIS Bronze Recognition Award for 2022! PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) refers to a set of ideas and tools that schools use to improve student behavior and school culture. Award winners' PBIS efforts were evaluated in the areas of student expectations, behavior and discipline; teacher expectations; faculty, student and family involvement; and evaluation processes.

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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 6:58 PM, 07.20.2022

New Track Records Set At LHS

Mayor George recently presented proclamations to Lakewood High School athletes Kaydence Doxley and Charieon Doxley. Both broke school records during the 2021-2022 track season.
Chareion Doxley broke the Lakewood High School Indoor Track & Field record in the Long Jump at 16’01” as a freshman.

Kaydence Doxley is a rising Junior and finished the 4x20 meter race in 3rd place setting a new school record of 1:44:59. Kaydence also competed at the New Balance Nationals for Outdoor Track in Philadelphia in June of 2022 representing Lakewood High School.
Congratulations Kaydence & Charieon!

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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 6:58 PM, 07.20.2022

Bicycle And Scooter Share Pilot Program

Wondering what these green and white boxes are all about? Starting on July 18th, as part of an expansion of the existing county program, we will be piloting a Bicycle and Scooter Share System in Lakewood over the next few months. These temporary markings indicate the pilot stations where devices can be found and should be parked whenever possible.

During the last half of 2022, Lakewood will be conducting a Bike & Scooter Share Pilot as part of a broader Cuyahoga County program. This pilot follows study, public survey, and system planning that began in 2019. During the fall of that year, Ordinance 47-19 was enacted to update our traffic code to account for and regulate the operation, parking, and other aspects of the electronic scooters and bicycles provided by the vendors licensed under the County program.

The initial pilot in Lakewood will be limited to 90 devices spread across 12 share stations. The distribution of stations and number of devices has been deliberately set low to introduce – and gauge community demand for – this type of alternative transportation while seeking to avoid the clutter and issues that other municipalities have experienced by allowing a higher number of devices at launch. Our approach is to start small and, if appropriate, grow the share system to meet the observed level of demand. Each station is positioned adjacent to or near existing bicycle infrastructure and routes. Once underway, analysis of device use, parking, and other operational issues will inform a direction that our local bike & scooter share system will take following this initial pilot run.

A few key points:

  • This pilot is intended to provide both electric scooters (e-scooters) and electric bikes (e-bikes) – although the provision of e-bikes is subject to vendor availability.
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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 6:58 PM, 07.20.2022

Dr G's Ranger Roundup: Football Practice

It looks like a youth football camp-and it is-but above and beyond this is team/community building.

Kudos to Aidan Maxwell, Gabe Constantine and all the current Lakewood Rangers for their Passion, Dedication and Commitment to our community and future Lakewood Rangers.

80 youth campers are learning football skills, meeting high school players, and developing habits of discipline, teamwork and leadership (directly or via observation). The former will help with competition on the field, but the later will endure as core elements of effective citizenship.

Another great day in the 44107.

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Volume 18, Issue 15, Posted 6:58 PM, 07.20.2022

Mayor's Corner: Neighborhood Paramedic Program - New Ways For Lakewood To Stay Healthy

The City of Lakewood is always exploring ways to help our residents stay safe and healthy. This is a goal that demands our city to be innovative and use a number of approaches. I’m excited to announce that we will soon begin implementing our new Neighborhood Paramedic Program, which will address key health and safety needs across the community by prioritizing proactive, preventative care and interventions.

For those unfamiliar with the concept of neighborhood or community paramedics, it is a growing field across the U.S. that is designed to address health needs in a flexible way that focuses on preventing injuries and addressing healthcare needs before they become emergencies. In Lakewood, our Neighborhood Paramedic Program will fill a serious gap in our local health and wellness environment. My administration sees this as a wise investment that will have immediate and long-term benefits for some of our most vulnerable populations, including seniors and lower income individuals and families. I also expect the program to reduce overall costs for the City by limiting our safety forces need to respond to immediate calls for help by preventing injuries and emergencies.

Our initial focus will be a fall prevention program for senior citizens that uses paramedic home visits to prevent trip-and-fall situations within residences. For context, consider that in 2021 alone, Lakewood EMS responded to more than 650 calls for senior citizens experiencing injury from a fall. More than half of those situations were serious enough to require our EMS team to transport a patient to a hospital or emergency room. We think this program can help significantly reduce those numbers.


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Volume 18, Issue 14, Posted 7:00 PM, 07.20.2022

Lakewood League Of Women Voters 100th Anniversary, 100 Pillars Spotlight: Cindy Marx

Cindy Marx has been a pillar of the Lakewood community since she and her husband, Jake, moved here in 1985. Born in Cleveland and raised in West Park and North Royalton, Cindy lived in a variety of area towns and suburbs. After a brief sojourn in Texas, she and Jake returned to Ohio and chose Lakewood as their permanent home. “We loved the feeling of community, the diversity, and the walkability of the city.”

A longtime supporter of the Democratic Party, in 2012 she became the Ward 4 Neighborhood Team Leader of Barack Obama for President. “I was introduced to the intricacies of running for office and met some wonderful people: Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and Madeline Albright. Along the way, I realized I wanted to know more. My husband, long an advocate of women’s issues, suggested I join the League of Women Voters. Mary Louise Madigan, Mary Osborn and Pam Smith all helped me to look at the issues in new ways”

In 2013 Cindy decided to run for Lakewood City Council at Large and won her seat. Among her accomplishments she helped write and pass the Lakewood Human Rights Ordinance, expanding the city’s nondiscrimination policies for LGBTQ+ citizens, and wrote and introduced legislation that allows citizens to keep chickens in their backyards. But her four years on City Council were a contentious time for the city involving the closure of Lakewood Hospital. She lost her bid for reelection by just a few votes. “This triggered an automatic recount for which I was present. Two things stand out: every vote counts! And the Board of Elections makes sure that every vote is counted. They even used a magnifying glass to check smeary post marks on absentee ballots. And did you know that if you have mobility issues and have trouble accessing your polling place, the Board will send a Democrat and a Republican with your ballot to your car so you can vote. The same is true if you are in the hospital and want to vote.”


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Volume 18, Issue 14, Posted 7:00 PM, 07.20.2022

Memories Of My Harbour View Apartment

Not long ago, I had a very nice apartment at Harbour View on Sloane Avenue in Lakewood. Not only was the apartment nice, it had a feeling of peace I have never experienced in any other apartment. Its best feature was its location. It overlooks the Rocky River, and I was close enough to Lake Erie to see the waves. And, this apartment has balconies all across the building; front and back! Only the back of the building faces the river, but the front still has balconies. 

                                       No one ever enjoyed living there more than I did!

                                       There is a long list of things I enjoyed! 

      First, it’s very pleasant to live near the water; it’s peaceful and soothing. I was on the fourth floor, so I couldn’t hear the river, but I enjoyed watching the ripples, and on windy days, small waves. I also enjoyed the shimmer and reflection of the river. It was especially beautiful at night, with the lights of the buildings across the river, and boat dock lights reflected in the river. 

        Second, its location.  It’s almost next to the Lakewood side of the Detroit Avenue Bridge that spans the Rocky River into the city of Rocky River. I enjoyed the best of both worlds. 

        Third, the activity I got to watch. There were boats on the river both at their docks, and cruising. There were also kayaks and paddle boards. Watching the kayaks from my balcony inspired me to try it. I kept saying, “That looks like fun! Well, go do it.” I said to myself. I discovered that IT IS FUN. And then there is the bridge activity. And trains coming across the trestle; I loved counting the engines. And, the putting-in and the taking-out of the boat docks.


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Volume 18, Issue 13, Posted 9:48 AM, 07.21.2022

Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor In Chief:

This letter aims to acknowledge the divide bogging down our democracy and offer a way to open a dialogue between liberal and conservative Ohioans. Through a grassroots organization called Country First, I believe Ohio can serve as a role model to show Americans in other states that there's hope for healing.  

Our district, US OH-9, is consistently gerrymandered and a seat that Marcy Kaptur (D) has held since 1983. Her opponent is J.R. Majewski (R), a Trump-endorsed QAnon election denier who proudly boasts about his involvement in the January 6th insurrection. I’m a conservative Ohioan who believes sending Majewski to the US House of Representatives would be dangerous.

An organization like Country First allows me to express my beliefs and fears to a wide range of people with whom I know my views are valued, even if they're not the same. Focusing on common ground, I can turn to my team and devise a plan of action to support Kaptur and weed out toxic candidates.

I see Ohio bringing back manufacturing and other industry jobs to a state with laws that help us live the American dream in a way WE define together. I hope we can grow Country First in Ohio as a place where we put our heads together as one big community and position Ohio as the BEST state in which to live no matter who you are.


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Volume 18, Issue 14, Posted 7:00 PM, 07.20.2022

Reduce, Reuse, REVAMP!

Elliot Olsen, H2O “Help to Others” high school volunteer, is offering examples on how to minimize the environmental impact of clothing production AND have fun with fashion. She is walking proof that second-hand purchases can be an inexpensive gateway to self-expression, and it’s something that is also deeply meaningful to her:

“Did you know that the fashion industry alone releases more carbon emissions than all global flights and maritime combined? All around the world, energy and resources are being used up to mass-produce cheap clothing in response to trending fashion. It takes 3,000 liters of water to produce a single cotton shirt. Not only that, but when the current trends are replaced by new ones, many people won’t think twice about throwing out their old clothes and buying newer, trendy clothing, thus repeating the cycle. That’s a lot of waste, and it’s taking a toll on our planet. So what can we do to try and offset that?

Many people fail to see the potential that second-hand and thrifted clothing has. Instead of sitting in a landfill, this clothing is being given a second chance. It’s an opportunity to save money and the environment– but it’s also a great way to get creative. There are tons of ways you can take an old t-shirt and turn it into something cool and fashionable. While it may seem like just an old shirt and not really something you think could fit your individual style, try to look at the shirt in a new way. By painting, dyeing, sewing, or cutting the shirt, you can turn it into a one-of-a-kind piece of art that you can wear!


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Volume 18, Issue 14, Posted 7:00 PM, 07.20.2022

The Party's Over

The party supply store known as "It's A Party +" was a fixture in Lakewood for a number of years. Now all that's left at 14526 Detroit Avenue are fixtures.

The store fell victim to the nationwide shortage of helium, which is used to fill the balloons that are a staple of so many parties. 

The current shortage is the fourth since the Helium Privatization Act of 1996 resulted in the phasing out of the National Helium Reserve.

Helium is also used for medical purposes, tech products, and weather forecasting, so party balloons are a low priority.

There was no going-out-of-business sale. Everything was donated, mostly to churches, which are now floating ideas about what to do with all those empty balloons.

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Volume 18, Issue 14, Posted 7:00 PM, 07.20.2022

Lakewood Women's Club Awards Scholarship

Teegan McGann

The Lakewood Women’s Club is excited to share that we’ve awarded a $3,000 scholarship to a graduating high school senior. Applications were reviewed by a group of Club volunteers, and the student winner was selected based upon her academic achievement, financial need, and other eligibility requirements.

“This year we saw a deep field of scholarship applicants filled with students on their way to doing great things. It was an amazing process to participate on the scholarship review team, and I am grateful to the rest of our volunteers for taking the time to learn about each applicant and make some tough decisions. Each applicant embodied the traits of a student empowered to soar. We are proud to support our winner, Teegan McGann, as she takes the next steps on her education journey.”
—Carla DePhillips, LWC Volunteer

This year’s winner, Teegan McGann, graduated from Lakewood High School with a 4.545 GPA. Teegan plans to major in business at Miami University beginning in the fall. She is leaning toward business economics or analytics, as she has a high aptitude for math and enjoys working with equations and solving problems. Teegan was very active in her four years at Lakewood High School, as a member of the National Honor Society, the all-girl Symphonic Treble Choir, the Concert Choir, and Help 2 Others. She also ran with the Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track Teams, and was a team captain for all three teams. Outside of school, Teegan found time to participate in parish life at St. Luke’s Church, Young Life, and volunteer with organizations including The Ronald McDonald House, Home Alone and the Lakewood Youth Running program. On top of all of those extra-circulars, Teegan also worked at Ennis Court, and babysat.

Teegan’s personal statement was a compelling element of her application. The volunteers who reviewed her application commented on the maturity and enthusiasm with which she wrote.

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Volume 18, Issue 14, Posted 7:00 PM, 07.20.2022


This article is for all US citizens. Since retiring from NASA Glenn Research Center at the end of December, I have become a volunteer at the LGBT Community Center. I am also a member of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland. The Greater Cleveland League has local chapters like Lakewood and Shaker Heights. All these chapters are under the League of Women Voters Ohio. The League of Women Voters is a national nonpartisan, grassroots organization working to protect and expand voting rights and ensure everyone is represented in our democratic republic. The League empowers voters and defends democracy through advocacy, education, and litigation, at the local, state, and national levels. I invite all US citizens to become members.

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Volume 18, Issue 14, Posted 7:00 PM, 07.20.2022

Lakewood Observer Celebrates Its 17th Year In Print

Seventeen years ago, The Lakewood Observer after a two year start online, hit the streets of Lakewood in its printed form.

At the time we had no idea how the city would accept us. A community paper written completely by the citizens of Lakewood, for the citizens of Lakewood? Let’s just say the printed newspaper was an instant success.

Now seventeen years later, we are still going strong, and looking forward to the next 7,000+ Lakewoodites who will take the time to share their stories, photos, illustrations and observations with their neighbors in the city of Lakewood.

The fun, excitement and positive actions that have flowed out of this project make me love it more and more every day.

The Lakewood Observer gave birth not just to the print version, but through it many of Lakewood’s most loved programs took shape, like the Lakewood Earth And Food Group, Bike Lakewood, Lakewood Is Art (LPL Front Porch Concerts), MAMA, which became Uptown Lakewood and many more.

Through our dedication to highlighting worthwhile endeavors in Lakewood from Lakewoodites, to digging into the facts and the truth, no one has done a better job than the Observers collectively.

I want to personally thank everyone that has contributed or will. To all of our readers and supporters. To our advertisers who make it all possible and to my wife Deb O’Bryan for keeping the ship headed in the right direction. Thanks and a tip of the hat to our Editors, Betsy Voinovich and Editor Emeritus Margaret Brinich.


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Volume 18, Issue 14, Posted 10:30 PM, 07.06.2022

Lakewood Loses A Beautiful Person

Mr. Kuhns goes to testify in favor of Congressional redistricting reform at a statehouse hearing in 2017.

Matt Kuhns composed his own obituary for the Lakewood Observer.

Matt Kuhns was born July 15, 1978 and passed away June 18, 2022.

He was the son of Joan Husmann and the late John Kuhns; brother of Bret Kuhns.

He was born in Monticello, Iowa, raised in neighboring Anamosa; was a 1996 graduate of Anamosa High School and a 2000 graduate of Iowa State University.

Matt lived in Lakewood, Ohio, since 2008, where he was active in local politics and civic affairs.

Matt's writing appeared in The Lakewood Observer.

Professionally, Matt made his career in graphic design, most recently in independent practice. He was also the author of four books: Brilliant Deduction, Cotton's Library, Hancher vs. Hilton, and Nemesis.

"I would like there to be a brighter future in which all of you will be safe and well. I wish with all my heart that this will be so. And I wish, in such event, you will think of me with a little kindness, a little forgiveness, if you have it in you." --Matt Kuhns

There will be a memorial for Matt Kuhns on August 4, 6 pm at the Women's Pavilion in Lakewood Park.

To read some of Matt's incredible  writing go to


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Volume 18, Issue 14, Posted 12:27 PM, 07.06.2022