Latest News

Arrest Made In Domestic Murder On Elmwood

Sunday morning around 9:30 am a call went into Lakewood Police that a woman had heard 5 shots, and then saw a man in a mask run east- bound on Madison. Around the same time a man bicycling by called police reporting that he had seen a man in a mask running down Madison getting into a dark blue Chevy Cobalt and taking off eastbound on Madison.

It was about that time the the first police were arriving at the scene. Entering the apartment building the police located a middle aged male (44) who had been shot in the head and was deceased. Meanwhile police had started looking for the alleged shooter, believed to be a family of the mur- dered man’s girlfriend. Within 10 minutes they had pulled over a gray car on Elmwood and Hillard being driven by a 19-year-old who was believed to be in the apartment at the time. The police detained him and then released him later that day.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 10, Posted 12:33 PM, 05.05.2021

Susannah Selnick Launches Candidacy for Lakewood City Council At-Large

Susannah Selnick, a local business owner and community leader, launches her candidacy for Lakewood City Council. Learn more at www.VoteSelnick.com. 

As a pledge to serve every resident of the diverse Lakewood community, I am announcing my candidacy for City Council, on the heels of a recent example of local officials failing to represent the community, as they removed basketball hoops at Madison Park – a move that I  protested.

There are so many inconsistencies that I see between what our City enacts and the reality of how it affects people’s lives, and the recent decision regarding the basketball hoops affirmed my calling to step up and make a difference. I spoke out and brought my own hoop to the Court - and I’m just getting started as I make the case that the way our Council operates must change. Lakewood has so much to offer, but that means working hard, having uncomfortable conversations, and seeing a vision for change. I am ready to do that work, to talk to our residents, and embrace a vision for a sustainable, equitable future for Lakewood.

I am running because I am proud to call Lakewood home, and I love everything it stands for – access, progress, and acceptance, too often; however, we only talk about these things, and I want us to actually be these things. The recent counter-productive decision to remove the basketball hoops at Madison Park was the last straw. Rather than search for equitable solutions, connect with the community, and truly engage, our City’s first instinct was to take away something that so many of our residents hold dear. This showed me that it is time for fresh leadership, and I’m committed to being the voice for ALL Lakewood.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 10, Posted 12:24 PM, 05.05.2021

Staff Spotlight Honorees: Corrigan & Sedlak

Katy Corrigan

Each month the Lakewood City Schools selects one or two staff members to be honored as part of its Staff Spotlight feature. The staff members are nominated by their peers. April's honorees are District Nurse Katy Corrigan and Lakewood High and West Shore Career-Tech teacher Bob Sedlak. Read below for more on each of these outstanding staff members:

KATY CORRIGAN

When life began to slow down for everyone due to restrictions necessitated by the pandemic, Katy Corrigan’s pace of life significantly ramped up. That’s because Corrigan, in her role as District School Nurse, suddenly became the expert on all things COVID for our district. She has been working non-stop ever since.

Corrigan’s job became guided by one simple mission: “What can we do in our school system to safeguard students and staff” during this pandemic. We all know that the strategies to contain the pandemic and protocols to stay safe and healthy have constantly evolved. It has been Corrigan's job to stay on top of all those changes and then advise District leaders on how to move forward with the District’s educational mission while maintaining the safety and health of everyone.

In her role, Corrigan keeps abreast of all the guidelines issued from national, state and local health organizations. She is the recordkeeper of all reported student and staff COVID cases. She conducts contact tracing and determines who must isolate or quarantine and then communicates that with those affected. She researches and shares the protocols for keeping the students and staff safe in the buildings. And she answers the continuous stream of staff and parent emails and phone calls at all times of the day, dispensing the latest guidelines for when to stay home and when to return to school. 

 

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Mayor's Corner: Advocating For Lakewood

The past several weeks have been a challenging time for Lakewood residents. Safety is always a focus of my time and energy, but there has been much discussion about how to approach safety in Lakewood. In response to this, I would like to discuss some of my efforts concerning recent advocacy work.

The City of Lakewood has been calling on our elected officials at the county, state, and federal levels for support on a variety of Lakewood-specific issues. In response to our own recent gun-related activity, we have reached out to our representatives and have urged them to support legislation that provides increased gun-safety measures. Unfortunately, rising gun violence is a problem everywhere across Ohio and the United States. The good news is that there are already groups of mayors and community activists coalescing into movements for gun reform and our state and federal governments are responding. 

I have also been meeting with our representatives to discuss these crucial issues and to advocate on Lakewood’s behalf. Just this past week, I had a very productive meeting with the White House’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs where we discussed some of Lakewood’s challenges and successes over the past year. Topics we discussed include Lakewood’s infrastructure and sewer projects, our COVID response efforts, racial equity, our need for a Community Health Needs Assessment and Climate Change Action Plan, and our police response to recent gun violence. The White House’s representatives were eager to discuss our efforts and offer their guidance for steps we should take moving forward.

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Tristan Rader Proposes Participatory Budget Process

I'm proposing that Lakewood set aside $1,000,000 for a participatory budgeting process. This is where residents of Lakewood propose projects and programs and then vote on what gets funded. Democracy in its purest form. Thank you Policy Matters Ohio for really leading this charge. 

Here is my letter to Lakewood City Council:
 
Dear City Council colleagues, 
 
I propose we allocate $1 million of the stimulus funds Lakewood is set to receive through the 
American Recovery Act for participatory budgeting. The pandemic has affected all of us, and we
as leaders have a lot of responsibility to shepherd resources to begin the hard work of recovery. I
believe strongly that some of these funds should be directed towards a participatory budgeting 
process whereby Lakewood residents can make decisions themselves on how their tax dollars
should be spent. When the community is empowered to make decisions in this way, they make
the right calls.
 

 

 

 

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Volume 17, Issue 10, Posted 12:15 PM, 05.05.2021

I Was Already Motorized: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 115

Lucky Pierre - Give It All You Got - no label - 9 songs - LP

One look at this record tells you that it's an unofficial release (a glovearm, if you will)– the black sleeve with the paper cover glued on, the crappy title, the bizarre track choices– but hey, if a boot is what it takes to get Lucky Pierre stuff out, I'm happy with it. This collects sort of the best of the original singles (the 1979-1983 stuff) and three outtakes from that era. Like I said, I'm a little bit baffled by some of what was excluded here (why leave "Match" off of here when the other two singles on the first side got to keep their b-sides?), but maybe (hopefully) the mysterious benefactor who has provided the world this release is just saving some of the good stuff for "Give It All You Got Vol. 2." As for what is here, it's all pretty great. Like some of the best early "punk" bands, Lucky Pierre could barely be called that except perhaps in attitude. "Fans And Cameras," their first single and the song that kicks this comp off, is as punk as they get (it is pretty punk, but it's sorta new wave too)– it certainly does rock. Kevin McMahon's snotty glam rock vocals on this one are particularly great, and the guitar solo (I think played by John Guciardo) totally shreds. Its b-side, "Idlewood" (perhaps named after the street in Lakewood, I'm not certain) immediately displays the other side of the band, in that it starts with a slow piano-driven intro that's sort of glam and maybe even a bit prog, then moves into a Gilbert & Sullivan kind of thing before going full glam. It's very reminiscent of Sparks, actually, and not just in that it's a little bit insane. Then there's a guitar solo that again is pretty great even though it's almost the same one as the previous song. The second single (track three on here) is "Into My Arms," absolutely one of the best Cleveland punk/new wave/power pop/anything songs of all time. The two guitars (played by Mr. McMahon and Denis DeVito, Guciardo having left at this point) play off each other very well and frankly, Denis kinda tears it up on the solo. Kevin's vocals throughout this whole album are perfectly theatrical– he's very into it, but never in a way that comes off as corny. The "Stetson's" and "Once A Child" twofer that closes out the first side again has the band's strange dichotomy at play, with the pretty straightforward "Stetson's" backed with the multifaceted movements of "Once A Child" (a lot of Sparks influence on this one too). The other half of this album has one more singles track, "Cool Summer Nights," and then three that have never been on vinyl before. "Summer Friends" reminds me a bit of the late '70s/early '80s Kinks material. "Cool Summer Nights" gets even more poppy but no less excellent– everybody loves power pop songs about the summer and here are two great ones right in a row! The final two tracks are from the "Fans And Cameras" lineup of the band with John Guciardo on lead guitar (none of this is mentioned on the release, by the way, I did my own research– you can't say I don't care about my work). They're both good tracks but they have more in common with "Idlewood" than anything else: they start slow, they have a lot of different pieces and parts, it's arty, it's punk, it's glam, "Pi Squared" has some vaguely baroque piano, "Don't Say Maybe" has an instrumental passage that I would've compared to Big Star had it not immediately gone into some kind of hard rock thing, it's all very intense, and I'm quite a big fan. Like most releases of its dubious ilk, it's not a perfect release, but it's pretty darn good. Really hoping there are some further releases of Lucky Pierre material soon. 4/5

(try a local record store)

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

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Volume 17, Issue 10, Posted 12:15 PM, 05.05.2021

Dr. G's Ranger Baseball Round-Up

MAY 3

After years of struggle, the young Lakewood Rangers Softball Team (10-9, 9-4 GLC) made another statement tonight, with a 14-0 win over Bay. Freshman Pitcher Mia Carroll-Greeves, with pinpoint control, allowed only 3 baserunners in her complete game shutout. Junior Inga Wilhelmy (#4) broke open a close game in the 4th with ringing bases loaded triple, and followed that up with another bases loaded blast, this time a base clearing double. Sophomore Jordan Rossen, who splits pitching duties with Caroll-Greeves, had two hits and two RBI. Sophomore Charlotte Beno trippled and was rock solid behind the plate throwing out a would-be base stealer early on.

The Rangers are back to stay. Our roster is very young, and the middle school team is doing well. Coach Yousko and his staff bring energy, positivity and focus, and are clearly committed to program building. Great things to come this year and beyond.

MAY 2

On Alumni Day, the Lakewood Baseball team treated the Ranger Alumni, family and friends to an exciting come from behind win over Bay. Junior Will Hyatt delivered one of the best pitching performances in recent history with a complete game 2-1 decision over the talented Rockets, who entered the game in the 3rd place tie with the Lakewood Rangers (9-3) in the Great Lakes Conference—just one game behind Buckeye and Elyria Catholic. Hyatt scattered 4 hits, walked only one, and was supported by stellar defense, especially from senior shortstop Carlos Cintron, who made numerous outstanding plays. Sophomore Sully Stois also pitched in, knocking down a blistering line drive with one out in the 7th and converting a 4-6 double play to end the game.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 10, Posted 12:15 PM, 05.05.2021

Southern District Of Clifton Park Listed In The National Register

Clifton Park South has a wide variety of architectural styles.

The Historic Preservation Group, LLC and John S. Pyke, Jr. are pleased to announce that the southern district of Clifton Park has been listed as an historic district in the National Register of Historic Places, joining the northern district of Clifton Park listed in 1974.

Located in the northwest corner of Lakewood, Clifton Park was created in the early 1890s as a master-planned, single-family residential community. It featured curving streets, irregularly shaped lots, park areas and a beach on Lake Erie set aside for the exclusive use of Clifton Park residents. The plan included minimum investment requirements and uniform set-back lines for residences but allowed property owners freedom to design their residences.  The result in Clifton Park is an eclectic mix of architectural styles popular in the first third of the twentieth century.

In the mid-1960s Clifton Boulevard was extended through Clifton Park to the east bank of the Rocky River, and then across Rocky River Valley over a new bridge. This project divided Clifton Park into northern and southern districts.

The northern and southern portions of Clifton Park merited listing as historic districts in the National Register for the historic significance of its community planning and architectural quality and diversity.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 10, Posted 12:15 PM, 05.05.2021

Our Lakewood Progress: Community Action Reveals Need For Inclusive Madison Park Redesign

Everyone in Lakewood deserves a great, and safe, park. All people—regardless of race, ethnicity, age, income level, physical ability, sexual orientation, gender or religion—ought to be able to take advantage of quality programs, places and spaces that enhance their overall health and quality of life. In public health, we know that quality of life is more than just a check-up: Many factors affect the overall conditions that impact physical, mental, and emotional health. 

Lakewood’s parks are a vital community asset, serving a diverse population that includes both residents and visitors. Park usage adds vitality to Lakewood as a destination and supports the small businesses that drive our local economy. It also provides opportunities for people to come together, connect, and celebrate the diversity of our city. 

Disinvestment (taking away amenities or programs) in public assets like Madison Park can lead to decreased usage by residents. Studies by the CDC show that increased crime, and greater violent crime in parks are often associated with lower park usage and lack of investment in its upkeep. Conversations with residents have led to the realization that a redesign of Madison Park is needed to enhance safety near the Basketball Court, which is cut off from the main park area and out of sight from Madison Avenue. City leaders have pledged to include the community in its redesign plans.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 10, Posted 12:15 PM, 05.05.2021

Virtual Meet The Author Library Events In May

Lakewood Public Library is excited to host four virtual Meet the Author events this May. You can watch these programs on facebook.com/lakewoodpubliclibrary and twitter.com/lakewoodlibrary every Thursday evening of the month at 7:00 p.m.  

May 6

Cleveland’s bike attorney and avid cyclist Kenneth Knabe will discuss his new book Cycling Rights: Bicycles, E-Bikes & Micro-Mobility Devices. Knabe covers bike laws for cyclists and motorists, advice on how to be safe on the road, what to do if you are involved in an accident and more.

May 13 

Brad Ricca will talk about his latest book Olive the Lionheart: Lost Love, Imperial Spies, and One Woman's Journey Into the Heart of Africa. Drawing from Olive’s own letters and accounts from her travels, Ricca tells the bold and adventurous story of Olive MacLeod, who sets out to find her missing husband Boyd Alexander.

May 20

Watch local debut novelist Dan Hanson as he discusses the first book in his new mystery series "Murder in the Cultural Gardens."  The real life Cleveland Cultural Gardens is the setting for this fictional murder mystery where a body turns up near the bust of composer Franz Liszt in the Hungarian Cultural Garden.  

 

 

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Starr Gazer

May

Aries: The Ram is going to be singing to the tune of “show me the money” this month, with the Sun, Uranus, Venus & Mercury aligned in your 2nd house of finances, expect some surprises.

Taurus: It’s all about the Bull this month, get out of that Bull Pen, & strut your stuff, Jupiter has landed in your house of career along with Saturn, be disciplined & you’ll reap the rewards.

Gemini: The Twins are secretly working behind the scenes, although we know it’s hard for you to keep quiet about anything, there may be some deception in the career corner, keep ears open.

Cancer: The Crab’s focus is on groups, friends & associations, Mars is bringing more energy to your physical routine, get outdoors & enjoy, money may be coming from sources outside of you.

Leo: The Lion is definitely shining in the Jungle this month, career matters look promising, expect a surprise or two, relationships improve, spend some time behind the scenes reflecting.

Virgo: Travel is on your mind, along with higher learning, seems like a good idea to combine the two of them…health improves with a little discipline, more action coming from associations.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Lakewood Kiwanis Celebrates 100 Years

On May 14th, 2021, The Kiwanis Club of Lakewood will celebrate it’s centennial anniversary at the Lakewood Country Club. 100 years of community service to Lakewood and the world.

The attendees will include 2020-2021 Kiwanis International President, Art Riley, Kiwanis International Trustee, Kip Crain, Ohio District Governor, Jamie Kauffman, Lt Governor, Division 14, Kris Cornell and Past Intl. Kiwanis President and past Lakewood Kiwanian, A. Alan Penn. Local Lakewood officials from the city and school board will also be attendance to celebrate this organization’s milestone. 

On this momentous occasion, the Club will present the Lakewood Board of Education with a monetary donation for $15,000 to build an illuminated sign at the new Lakewood Board of  Education location on Clifton. #KidsNeedKiwanis

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Community Organizations To Benefit From Successful Rotary Fund Raiser

The members of The Rotary Club of Lakewood Rocky River Sunrise are pleased that they will be able to support several organizations that help needy families and seniors in Lakewood and Rocky River. Two local community organizations that will benefit from the recent Fundraising Raffle are the Rocky River Assistance Program of family food distribution of non-perishable food to over 300 families in Rocky River and the Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation program which delivers food to 300 needy families in Lakewood at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Recently, the Sunrise Club added the Trials for Hope program to the list of organizations it helps. This program provides food for the homeless and needy on the near west side of Cleveland.

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Students' Art Honored In Congressional Contest

Sadie Tabor's photo earned a runnerup award in the contest.

Congratulations to Lakewood High students Sadie Tabor and Rosie Lipka, whose artwork was honored in the annual Ninth Congressional District Invitational Art Competition, sponsored by Rep. Marcy Kaptur. Sadie earned a first runner-up award and Rosie won the Alice Louise Press Award in the Art to Market category. This event showcases high school artistic talent from the Ninth Congressional District.

The winner of the competition earns a place in the national exhibit at the U.S. Capitol. As a runner-up, Sadie will have her artwork exhibited in one of Rep. Kaptur's offices. Rep. Kaptur has been presenting this opportunity to her district since 1983. High schools and student artists in Lucas, Ottawa, Cuyahoga, Erie, and Lorain counties are invited to participate. 

Congratulations again to Sadie and Rosie, and to their teachers, Dayna Hansen and Arline Olear.

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Million Dollar View

A "million dollar view" from her house across the street exclaimed my neighbor on Erie Cliff Drive. The Spring flowers are in full bloom bursting forth their best colors.

Walkers and drivers have been seen reappearing to take pictures of the garden.

A few years after we moved here in 1971, we cleared away a small grassy hill at the side of the house and started a rock garden. Year after year it became more beautiful and colorful. It is surrounded by various bushes and flowers.

An original 100 year old Japanese Maple tree sets off the Century Home. (celebrated in 2018)

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Children/Youth Events At Lakewood Public Library

Library Pen Pal

For children three years old through sixth grade

Do you miss the Library?  We miss you too! Write a letter to a Library staff member telling us about anything from the last book you read to your favorite animal or even include a drawing. A staff member will read your letter and write you back.

Send your letter to:

Children’s and Youth Services

Lakewood Public Library

15425 Detroit Avenue

Lakewood, Ohio 44107

Virtual Local Children’s Author Event – Denise Dufala

 

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Summer Reading Club For All At Lakewood Public Library

Soar through the air and swim beneath the sea with this year’s summer reading theme, “Tails and Tales.” From Monday, May 17 to Monday, August 16, children and adults can read their way through the wild world of animals at the Library. 

Get ready for some paw-some fun and scurry on over to either the Main Library or Madison Branch libraries to sign up for Summer Reading Club! Participants ages birth through twelfth grade will gather stickers and digital badges as they go, and a special reward awaits those who complete thirty books, ten hours, or thirty hours of reading by Monday, August 16.

To register for summer reading, scuttle by the Main Library or Madison Branch Summer Reading Club Desk starting Monday, May 17 or visit lakewoodpubliclibrary.beanstack.com.

Readers of all ages can participate in summer reading this year, including adults! Immerse yourself in the animal kingdom this summer and share stories with the Tails & Tales Adult Summer Reading Program. Your beach read or commute audiobook could win you a prize this summer, and participating is simple. Each time you enjoy a book, eBook, audiobook or graphic novel, log your book to be entered into our weekly prize drawing. Prizes have been donated by the Friends of Lakewood Public Library. 

For more information or to register, visit lakewoodpubliclibrary.beanstack.com

 

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

LakewoodAlive’s 2021 Virtual Front Porch Concert Series Performers Announced

LakewoodAlive's 2021 Front Porch Concert Series will feature nine live musical performances hosted virtually beginning on June 4.

Research shows that music can be a powerful healing tool, helping us to make memories, build community, and collectively elevating our spirits. Right now, in the midst of a period in which the need for social bonding is perhaps greater than ever, we’re excited to bring the community together through live music.

LakewoodAlive announces its 2021 Front Porch Concert Series sponsored by Bentley Wealth Management of Raymond James will feature nine live musical performances hosted virtually via LakewoodAlive’s Facebook page each Friday evening at 7 p.m. from June 4 through July 30.

Now in its 11th year, the popular music series is staying virtual to ensure health and safety during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, yet LakewoodAlive remains committed to enhancing Lakewood’s sense of community by offering free weekly concerts that families and all music lovers can enjoy. 

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Cheery Coffee And Crepes

We had a delightful crepe breakfast today, 4/22, at Brewella’s on Madison! There had been a bit more snow overnight, but the sun was out in all its glory; the blue sky was a delight. The kind preparer had produced 2 excellent banana crepes which had remained quite warm in their take-out boxes, and the coffees, both the drip and the cappuccino, were hot and comforting. As we requested, we ate at the little table just outside the shop on the sidewalk and watched the life of Lakewood slowly pass us by. So precious!

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Update And Overview On The Many Projects Underway In Ward 1

Tess Neff, Lakewood City Council Ward 1 Representative

Ward 1 is exploding with many projects that are in progress or close to taking off. We have a lot to be excited about with all the impending improvements, upgrades, and construction. I will highlight some of the changes we can expect to see this year and next. One major City venture is the Detroit-Sloane Improvement project. A May construction start date is in place. There is a focus on pedestrian safety, and a reduction of a traffic lane on Detroit will support this priority. The Metroparks parkway trail will be extended from the park along the south side of Detroit to Graber. Landscaping improvements will create softer green spaces on Sloane, Graber, and Detroit. In addition, public art will enhance the western gateway into Lakewood. The project provides an opportunity to upgrade the storm water system as well.  

The Beck Center for the Arts received a $50,000 grant to improve its open green space in front of the building. The green space enhancement will provide a tranquil area for the public and Beck Center patrons to enjoy. If you own an electric car, the electric vehicle charging stations expansion project will land a charger on the Detroit Extension near Rio Street. Lakewood received a combined total of $50,000 in funding from NOPEC and Ohio EPA to support the expansion of charging stations. Once the four new stations are installed, the City will have increased the total to seven city-wide.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Mayor George Thanks Representative Skindell For Supporit Of Background Check Measures

Re: Support Background Check Measures (HB 259)

Representative Skindell:

I would like to thank you for your support on the background check measures that have been introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives under House Bill 259. The background checks this bill would require would be an essential piece to Lakewood’s fight against gun violence.

Gun violence in Lakewood has been at the forefront of conversation for residents. Three incidents involving firearms have occured within our borders in recent weeks. We have taken the necessary steps at the local level to try to combat any further gun-related incidents, but more needs to be done at the state level to help facilitate local governments in their fight against gun violence. House Bill 259’s background check requirements would be a crucial element in this fight.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:23 PM, 05.05.2021

Quick Police Work Sees Shooter And Driver Arrested

Two weeks ago shots rang out at Madison Park back by the parking lot. A fight believed to be over a girl escalated to one of the protagonists going to his car and returning with a gun. He shot the other 18-year-old in the chest twice and took off in a car driven by a friend.

While the victim was rushed off to Metro Hospital, law abiding Lakewoodites stood around Madison Park in disbelief.

Outcry was immediate as it had been a couple rough weeks for crime in Lakewood, a city normally known for its community involvement, greatschools and parks.

While the community organized meetings, the police went to work solving the crime. By the next morning they had found the owner and driver of the car that took the shooter away, Corey M. Froberg. He was charged with Complicity to Attempted Murder, a first-degree felony.

The following morning the alleged shooter, Emmanuel M. Cedeno (18 years of age) of the City of Lakewood, was found hiding out at the Holiday Inn in Westlake. He has been charged with Attempted Murder, a First degree felony.

Thank you to everyone at the park that helped with the kids, families and bystanders. And thank you to Lakewood Police and Fire for another job well done.

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:39 PM, 04.21.2021

Senator Antonio Shares American Rescue Plan Details

President Joe Biden with Senator Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) in 2018. 

Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, lives have become upended as businesses, schools, and state and local governments have lost revenue for vital programs in our community. However, I am pleased to announce that as of March 11th, help is on the way thanks to the American Rescue Plan. I wanted to share the details of this legislation and what it means for Senate District 23.

First, the American rescue plan allocates over $5.6 billion to the state of Ohio. These necessary funds will assist in vaccinations, Covid-19 testing, education funding for schools to re-open, and the ability for the state to make up for lost revenue. The rescue plan will also provide over $200 million in essential capital improvement projects throughout the state. Additionally, the plan prevents more than 300,000 workers from losing benefits like unemployment compensation and pandemic unemployment compensation (PUA). This protection of worker benefits helps weather the economic storm due to the pandemic, and I commend the administration’s commitment to our social safety net.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

City Of Lakewood Responds To Gun Violence At Madison Park

April 14, 2021

Last night, one person was shot at Madison Park and transported to MetroHealth, where he underwent surgery. Lakewood Police are investigating.

At 6:45 pm on April 13, Lakewood Police received a call indicating gunshots had been fired near the south side of Madison Park. Lakewood Police officers arrived on the scene moments later and discovered an 18-year-old male with two apparent gunshot wounds being attended to by our Division of Parks Security Guard. Lakewood Fire Paramedics arrived to transport the victim to MetroHealth Hospital. Lakewood Police are investigating.

Mayor Meghan George said, “To the victim of this shooting, we wish you a full recovery. Lakewood’s Parks are a sacred place to our community and I am heartbroken to have violence like this occur anywhere in our community, but especially at Madison Park.”

“To Lakewood’s First Responders: Thank you. By all accounts, our Division of Parks security guard’s quick reaction saved this victim’s life. Our security guard is a retired Cleveland Police detective and was making his rounds last night at Madison Park when the incident occurred. Our security guard immediately called 911 and began administering first aid to the shooting victim until Lakewood Police and Fire EMS arrived. Our Police Department also reacted quickly and continues to investigate this crime. I was on-hand at the police station for hours last night, as leads were worked through and progress was made on the investigation. That work is not only important in providing justice for this victim, but in providing safety and restoring security for our Lakewood community.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Giant Inflatable Flowers To Take Over Lakewood

Hope Blooms Ohio

Hope Blooms Ohio is a creative marketing campaign developed by the Beachwood High School Marketing/Junior Achievement students to inspire hope and uplift our local and global communities through a pop art installation featuring five 20-30’ inflatable flowers that encourages visitors to walk through the inflatable garden.

In addition to the inflatable flowers, a 10'H x 15'W inflatable backdrop provides a colorful backdrop for photographs. Each location will have 200 die-cut signs that represent each flower and visitors are encouraged to take the yard signs home with them to continue to spread HOPE.

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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Community First: Announcing My Candidacy for Lakewood City Council At-Large

Over the past year, our country has faced insurmountable odds. COVID-19 has underscored the need to refocus on strengthening public health and our economy. The reckoning of racial injustice ingrained in our public systems calls us to walk a path toward equity and belonging for all people in our community.

A world where the COVID-19 pandemic is still present in our landscape leaves us with decisions to make about how to solve some critical issues -- how to prevent and prepare for future public health and economic emergencies, where unemployment and infection from COVID-19 already threaten the lives of our residents -- how to maintain and build confidence and equity into our city’s functional objectives and systems as our city moves toward a post-pandemic life where we are more conscious about the disastrous affects of racism, bias and discrimination --how to support, without further job loss, expanded economic growth benefiting all Lakewoodites--and how to give direction to our collective moral purpose as a city, engaging residents collaboratively in the work and opportunities that lie ahead.

These are among the critical issues of 2021. And it is based on these issues that Lakewood residents must make a choice for their future this fall.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Mayor's Corner: Zero Tolerance For Crime

As we move through the month of April, I would like to address the unfortunate incidents that have occurred in our community and update you on the measures my administration is implementing to ensure the health and safety of our citizens during this time.

On the evening of April 13th, an 18-year-old male was shot near the south side of Madison Park and transported to MetroHealth Hospital. Our first responders were quick to intervene, with our Division of Parks security guard immediately reacting and both Lakewood Police and Lakewood Fire Paramedics arriving soon after. I hope for a speedy and complete recovery.

Lakewood Police are currently conducting their investigation of this incident and are implementing measures to ensure that similar incidents do not occur, including increasing patrols throughout the entire community, enhancing and expanding our security cameras, providing seven-day-a-week police presence at Madison Park, and addressing our citizens' fears and trauma through community-wide response initiatives.

Lakewood has a zero-tolerance policy for violent crime. If you possess or try to use illegal firearms or other deadly weapons, you will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Lakewood High School Mock Trial 2021

This spring the Lakewood High School Mock Trial team competed in the District competition sponsored by the Ohio Center for Law Related Education (OCLRE). The trial case for this year was State of Buckeye v. Micah Opessa. The issue was whether or not Opessa could withdraw a guilty plea in the case from a year earlier due to misconduct on the part of the prosecution.

All in all the students worked hard for over three months, on their own, to prepare for this competition. They overcame a number of challenges to perform and thoroughly impressed the judges in both competitions.

For the first trial, the Defense team was led by Attorneys Cameron Wereb (co-captain, 9th) and Jana Evans (9th), with Emily Jarecke (9th) playing the role as the defendant Micah Opessa, and Leah Campbell (co-captain, 9th) playing the role as defense witness Corey Abrams. The second trial was conducted by Attorneys Grace Lamparyk (10th) and Meredith Wheeler (10th) for the Prosecution, with witnesses Alexandra Hodson (10th) as Prosecutor Justice Okafor and Mimi Nee (9th) as Detective River Foley. The bailiff and timekeeper for the 2021 LHS team was Sofia Rivera-Bitner (10th), who juggled both roles successfully for both trials.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

District Earns Best Communities For Music Education Award

Lakewood City Schools has once again earned the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education and support from the Lakewood community. Lakewood is one of 686 districts from across the country and only 46 in Ohio to earn the prestigious award.

The Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) recognizes outstanding efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who are making music part of a well-rounded education for every child in their communities. The District answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, and support for the music program. This year there were also questions about how our staff adapted instruction during remote instruction due to the pandemic.

This award recognizes that Lakewood City Schools is leading the way with music learning opportunities for all grades and that our Board of Education and community are committed to continuing the excellent legacy of music education in our schools.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Dr.G's Rangers' Baseball Round-Up

Wed April 14

Lakewood Baseball (7-2, 5-1 GLC) sweeps Parma 17-6, 9-3. Mason Ivinskas and Will Hyatt winning pitchers. Jameson Supinski with HR, multiple extra base hits and many RBI. Supinski's HR, and inside the park effort, came at a crucial time for the Rangers in game two, helping regain momentum. Great team effort today. Carlos Cintron played two excellent games at short, David Coleman got two hits in one inning, and Collin McCrone and Sully Stois pitched well in relief

Sun April 11

Every baseball game has a different rhythm. The 8-6 win by the Lakewood Ranger Baseball Team (5-2, 3-1 GLC)over North Olmsted was all about pitching, with senior Hubert Carlin notching the win (4 innings, 2 earned runs) in his first career start. Junior Lucas Winters threw 1 1/3 innings in his first appearance of the year (1 run) and sophomore Sully Stois closed for the Rangers, allowing 2 runs in an inning and 2/3. neither earned. Weekend non-league contests are won—or lost--in large part by pitchers that aren't among the top two or three on the staff. Each of these guys came through today—and Sully also chipped in with an RBI hit. Sophomore Lucas Jablonowski had the key hit that helped the Rangers.

It was a good day for Ranger Baseball, as the JV and Freshmen also won. The program is strong.

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Praise Bob Petric: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 114

Ley Lines - This Rock In My Kitchen Used To Have A Purpose - Sonnedecker Records - 3 songs - cassette, digital

As I've openly admitted before, I'm not a huge fan of freeform improvisational music for the most part (a category which Ley Lines definitely falls under), but I can appreciate it when it's well done and has some evidence of care put into it (see my review of Leaking from about a month ago– a group which also features Ley Lines' guitarist Noah Depew). This is not that. "Screen Damage" is aimless noodling for an aimless amount of time and goes absolutely nowhere. I would say that "Non-Essential" lives up to its title other than that would be the kind of tired joke people probably expect of me and that it's actually the most interesting track here. It's a very quiet one, with a vaguely eerie vibe provided by a far away noise that kind of sounds like a church bell but eventually turns out to be a guitar. There's a brief moment as well where there's a metallic rattling noise that sounds like a pull chain being dragged around a bowl. Those mildly interesting details aside, it also goes on far too long and nothing happens in it. "Peer-to-Peer Performance" is more undefined wandering that takes forever to start and even then you can barely call it a start. Eventually, something resembling music creeps in, with Noah playing a repetitive two-chord progression accented by Jayson Gerycz rolling the cymbals. Before this can build into anything cool, however, Jayson goes off into his own world again with little regard for any kind of structure or even interplay between musicians and the whole thing just devolves again– and that's the real problem here. For something like this to work well, there really has to be some aural evidence to the listener that the musicians are working together towards something, even if it is free improvisation. I don't hear it here. Both Noah and Jayson come up with some interesting things here and there on this tape, but instead of playing off one another it largely sounds like they're each only listening to themselves. I don't question either of their skills as musicians–- as show-offy as I may find Jayson's playing to be, I would never deny that he's a very good drummer. And Noah is an excellent musician as well–- given what I've seen and heard him play on a variety of instruments and in a variety of contexts over the years, I think that's absolutely unquestionable. He's really, really good. However, none of that comes through in this project. And maybe what's most weird about it to me is that both of them are definitely capable of making interesting music in the freeform improvisational context– I've seen both of them do it (and again, read my Leaking review for recent evidence that I do genuinely believe Noah knows what he's doing and also that he hasn't just lost his touch or something). That can't be found here, however. This sounds like a warmup rather than the actual content. And another thing: I looked up 'Ley Lines Bandcamp' to get the correct URL to put here and I couldn't even find it because too many other things came up with that or a similar name; I actually had to type out the title of this thing to find the right page. There's a saxophonist credited on here but I couldn't make out any saxophone on here. What gives? 1/5

(sonnedecker.bandcamp.com)

 

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:42 PM, 04.21.2021

Lakewood Citizen Susannah Selnick, And Friends Of Madison Park Speak Out Against Closure Of Basketball Courts

A Lakewood Citizen's Response to the City's Reaction to Recent Violent Crime

I, like all of my fellow Lakewoodites, am saddened and outraged by the string of violent crimes that have occurred in our City in the last few weeks. 

But, I am equally saddened and outraged at the response of our City leaders in the wake of these tragic events.

Basketball courts do not cause gun violence. Guns cause gun violence. The City’s response to close only these courts, sends a very clear message: Keep “others” out, so long as we are protected. And if this is not the intended message, then why did the City not also force the closure of Game On or the Metro PCS store where two other violent crimes occurred in the last month? Or why not close the roads to cars where individuals have recently been carjacked at gunpoint?

Basketball courts provide a welcoming, free, recreational space for children and adults to exercise, socialize, and have fun. It just so happens that two of these violent crimes in Lakewood in the last month have occurred on a basketball court.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

City Public Art Funding Available

The City of Lakewood is providing up to $5,000 for artists to be matched with businesses and building owners to install permanent murals and up to $2,500 for temporary lighting installations that help activate spaces. Applications are due no later than April 29.

The application is very simple and the city already has artists signed up and ready to work with businesses and building owners . All you have to do is take a photo of the wall on your building that you'd like to see a mural, fill out a few questions on page 3 of the application app and send that with the photo to City Architect Allison Hennie at allison.hennie@lakewoodoh.net. You can also call Allison with questions at 216-529-7679. If you are do not own your building, you can still apply! You simply need permission from the building owner.

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Approach To Violence In Lakewood: Intersectional & Holistic Safety Approaches From Council Members Kepple, Neff And Shachner

The following communication was submitted to Lakewood City Council on April 19, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Recently, a confluence of events and circumstances has led many community members to express fears about their safety. We too share your concerns and feel the anxiety associated with the recent violent crimes. We hear and share worries over rising gun violence, vehicle thefts and car jackings, harassment and violence against women, racial violence and health inequities, substance abuse, and speeding and reckless driving. Research indicates that many of these crimes and behaviors are interconnected and have been exacerbated across the nation by the stress and economic hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet we cannot rely on the reduction of COVID to diminish them. We must be proactive and forward thinking. While these safety issues may not be unique to Lakewood, our response to them can and should be unique and rooted in our community’s values. As we look toward a post-pandemic future, we recommend the following intersectional, preventative measures to augment the work of our traditional safety forces and ensure the safety of all Lakewood residents, workers, and visitors.

1. We recommend the formation of an Intersectional Safety Task Force, or Safety 360 Task Force, made up of diverse members of the Lakewood community with a combination of lived experience, social services knowledge, mental health training, anti-racist expertise, and public safety background to engage with City leadership including the Police, Fire, Human Services and Planning Departments to consider safety from a holistic lens together and to recommend preventative and proactive measures that Lakewood can take such as education and awareness campaigns, hiring personnel such as a separate Public Safety Director, community stewards, or park ambassadors.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

The View From City Council

April 5th City Council Meeting Rundown

Lakewood will be receiving $50.29 million in emergency funding from the American Rescue Plan signed by President Biden last month. We will discuss the possible uses for these funds at a future Finance Committee meeting. I am interested to know if these funds can be used for such things as mitigating the necessary future water rate hikes per our Integrated Wet Weather Improvement Plan, providing rent or down payment assistance, and providing home improvement assistance.

Director of Planning & Development Shawn Leininger, on behalf of the Administration, requested that Council formalize the Public Art Task Force as the Public Art Advisory Board. The Public Art Task Force was established in 2015 and subsequently provided guidance on the City’s public art strategy which resulted in the Spectacular Vernacular Public Art Program, numerous partnerships with local organizations, and the incorporation of public art in our facilities, parks, and streetscape projects. Formalizing the Public Art Task Force will ensure that we are able to continue to sustain the City’s public art program.

Mayor George informed Council that NOPEC awarded Lakewood $147,149 in grant funds to assist us in achieving greater energy efficiency and to expand energy infrastructure. We have previously used funds from NOPEC to replace streetlights with energy-efficient LED lights. A portion of these funds are from the Community Event Sponsorship Program and such funds will be provided to LakewoodAlive to support its Front Porch Concert Series.

Curtis Block Building Roof Repair

The City awarded Sibley Inc. a $40,000 contract to repair the roof of the Curtis Block Building. The contract is to be paid out of the Economic Development Fund. This necessary repair should slow the water infiltration, while the City continues to work with stakeholders

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Volume 17, Issue 9, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

LHS Students Sweep Rotary/Beck Speech Awards

Lakewood High juniors swept the top four spots of the Speech category in the 76th annual Rotary Club of Lakewood & Rocky River Speech, Music, and Visual Arts Contests sponsored by the Beck Center for the Arts. Leading the way for the talented talkers was Eva Strazek, who earned $700 and moved on to compete in the District competition April 10. Rounding out the top four contestants were Andre Hallenburg ($500), Abby Hirsch ($300) and Sidney Bacon ($250).

Contest participants are students from the five Lakewood and Rocky River high schools including Lakewood High School, Lutheran High School West, Magnificat High School, Rocky River High School, and St. Edward High School. The speech contestants were asked apply the principles of Rotary international’s Four Way Test to a current ethical issue. Students are challenged to identify a topic they feel passionate about and to adopt a point of view from which they will seek to persuade others. The Four Way Test includes the questions:

 

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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Outstanding Career-Tech Students Recognized

Congratulations to the 14 West Shore Career-Tech students that were recognized in an April 15 ceremony as the Lakewood/Rocky River Rotary Outstanding Students for 2021. Each of these students were chosen for their exemplary accomplishments in the classroom, school activities, clubs, athletics and service in the community. Each student exemplifies traits of leadership, dedication, responsibility, caring, community involvement, and initiative.

West Shore Coordinator, Bill DiMascio praised the students, saying, “This year has been a year like no other in our lifetimes and in education. To be named as an "Outstanding Student" this year says just a little more about you as a student and a person. You are able to adapt and overcome. So many in our community, state, and nation are in need. I hope you will use your talents--your ability to rise above adversity to help and serve others. Look for opportunities to serve others in your future educational experiences, careers, and communities. We need you to continue to be "outstanding"! We are so proud of you!” 

This year’s recipients are:

Auto Technology: Ryan Duffy, Bay High School

Construction Trades: Matt Dacek, Bay High School

 

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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Superintendent Barnes' Message On Incident At Madison Park

April 14, 2021

Dear Families:

As many of you already know, last evening there was a shooting incident at Madison Park that happened at a time when many of our students were there enjoying the park with their families or practicing with their teams. We are extremely thankful that nobody besides the gunshot victim was hurt. Thank you to the adults present who helped move the children to safety.

We know that this is a traumatizing event for those who were at the park and to a lesser degree for those of us in the community as well. If you think you or your child need to speak with someone to process what happened, please reach out to your building principal and he or she can connect you with the Bellefaire JCB, Ohio Guidestone or Cleveland Clinic therapists that are in the building or one of our own school counselors/psychologist trained in crisis response. Listed below and in the files attached are some resources that may be helpful for your family. The Mental Health section of our Family Hub on the District website will continue to be updated.

As we have always done, we will work closely with the City of Lakewood and the Lakewood Police Department moving forward to keep our students safe and our community secure.

Respectfully,

Mike Barnes

Superintendent

 

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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Honoring The Vibrant Anne Wise On Her 100th Birthday

Ann Wise holding Mayor George's Proclamation celebrating her 100th Birthday, surrounded by her three sons.

Proclamation

WHEREAS: A Proclamation to honor and recognize Anne Wise on the occasion of her 100th birthday.

WHEREAS, Anne was born on April 10, 1921 on Plover Avenue and grew up in Lakewood's Birdtown neighborhood and,

WHEREAS, she and her husband Bill got married in 1946 and later moved to Westpark to raise their three sons, Tom, Bill, and Dave; and,

WHEREAS, she was a loving mother who worked hard to care for her family. When her kids went to school, she always managed to keep herself busy. She spent some time as a school bus driver and worked with a catering business; and,

WHEREAS, a few years after her beloved husband passed, Anne moved to the Richard Hilliard House in 1998. During that time, she worked for the Cleveland Hopkins Airport transporting cars. She was also quite involvedwith her community at the Richard Hilliard House, where she was secretary on the Board of Managers for a few years; and,

WHEREAS, Anne has always been a real party girl and never needed much of an excuse to socialize! She is always there, whether she is playing cards with friends, attending seasonal get -togethers, or spending time with family; and,

WHEREAS, her friends will tell you that she is vivacious and smiling all of the time. She once really enjoyed swimming, but now you can find her walking, at least 2-3 times a day; and,

WHEREAS, Anne has shared many great moments with family and friends, and we wish her many more vibrant years spent with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

NOW, THEREFORE, I Meghan F. George, Mayor of the City of Lakewood so hereby deem it an honor and pleasure to extend this Proclamation to Anne Wise for the occasion of her 100th Birthday.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of Lakewood to be affixed this 1st day of April 2021

signed Meghan F. George, Mayor Lakewood, Ohio

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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

It's Déjà Vu All Over Again

As Covid-19 ravaged the world this time last year and physicians and scientists urged us to wear masks and to keep at least six feet away from others, conspiracy theories and misinformation abounded. A year and over 500,000 American deaths later, it’s déjà vu all over again as many people hesitate to get vaccinated against Covid-19 because they’ve heard it will damage their DNA. 

            The vaccines do not use DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) and they do not affect or damage DNA. The Covid-19 vaccines use fragments of mRNA (messenger Ribonucleic Acid), which is not DNA. The mRNA fragments in the vaccines stimulate our bodies’ immune systems to develop antibodies against the Covid-19 virus because those are genetically identical to the mRNA in Covid-19. Those antibodies will remember how to fight the virus if we are infected in the future. 

            Another objection to getting vaccinated is that stem cells are used in the vaccines. However, while the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine was produced by growing the virus in fetal cells during vaccine development and manufacturing using the PER.C6 line, the vaccines themselves do not contain stem cells or pieces of DNA. The vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna did not use a fetal cell line to produce or manufacture the vaccine.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Traffic Noise In Lakewood

The city of Lakewood has a lot to offer its residents. Good schools, beautiful parks, excellent library, great city services, vibrant downtown, wonderful restaurant scene, the list goes on. These things make Lakewood a desirable place to live and create a good quality of life. However, that good quality of life has been diminished in recent years by excessive traffic noise.

Illegal and defective exhaust systems on cars, trucks and motorcycles have increased dramatically over the last few years and have reached a point where it has become a nuisance at best and a health hazard at worst. In 2011, the World Health Organization released a report titled, “Burden of Disease from Environmental Noise” “The authors concluded that ‘there is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population’ and ranked traffic noise second among environmental threats to public health (the first being air pollution). The authors also noted that while other forms of pollution are decreasing, noise pollution is increasing.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Max Close And Alejandro Mercado Memorial - Stories And Photos

Max carrying Alejandro on Graduation Day

Max’s and Alejandro's Parents Thank The Lakewood Community

by Johany Mercado and Brock Close

At this time the Mercado family would like to join with the Close family to thank the Lakewood community, schools, teachers, friends, family and strangers for your support, prayers and donations. Words are not enough to describe how thankful and proud we are to be residents of this awesome community.


Lakewood Mourns The Loss Of Two Of Our Children

by Betsy Voinovich

On Sunday, February 21 2021, Lakewood lost two of its children in a car accident. Max Close and Alejandro Mercado were both 19 years old, and Lakewood High School graduates from the class of 2020. A joint funeral was held Monday March 1st with both families, including a public webcast of the service to accommodate the many famiies who wanted to honor the memory of the boys and pay their respects to the families. GoFundMe pages can be found here for Alejandro: https://www.gofundme.com/f/alejandro-mercado-funeral-fund?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unknown&utm_campaign=comms_yb6g+alejandro-mercado-funeral-fund
 and here for Max: https://www.gofundme.com/f/2ae40ki05c?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unknown&utm_campaign=comms_yb6g+2ae40ki05c
Memorial contributions may be forwarded to the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, 9500 Sweet Valley Drive, Valley View OH 44125. 
Godspeed.

Close And Mercado Memorial And Scholarship

by Brian Siftar, Lakewood Schools

In the early morning of February 22, Lakewood High School tragically lost two of our Class of 2020 graduates. As the parents, families and community continue to grieve the loss of Max Close and Alejandro Mercado, Lakewood High School and the West Shore Career-Technical District have been planning a tribute to our former students whose lives tragically were cut too short.
     With the support of many, we plan to create a living memorial at LHS with benches and trees in remembrance of Max and Alejandro. Additionally, a scholarship in their names will be awarded in conjunction with the Lakewood Council of PTAs and the Project Lead the Way Engineering Program. 
For those wishing to make a donation to the scholarship fund, please make your check out to Lakewood High School and send to 14100 Franklin Blvd. Lakewood, OH 44107. You can also donate by credit card by calling 216-529-4047.
Our thoughts continue to be with the families and friends of Max and Alejandro.



Alejandro, Our Shining Star

by Johnny Mercado

On February 8th, 2002 we welcomed our firstborn son Alejandro Ramon Mercado. He is and will always be our shining star. He is the oldest brother to Antonio and Alfonso. Alejandro enjoyed and loved to spend time with friends and family. He enjoyed trying all kinds of new foods especially if it was spicy. He enjoyed his grandmother and mom’s cooking. He was willing to try anything and appreciated everything. Gratitude is his legacy. Building others up is how he expressed that gratitude. He was proud of his family and friends. He never held grudges and friends describe him as the mediator, the rock, setting a example of forgiveness as he would point out the good in people. This was the kind of engineer he hoped to be, someone who sees a challenging situation and has an idea for a solution. Alejandro wanted to help and focused on ways to develop resources and assistance to underserved populations. He had a vision of improvements to basic infrastructure that would upgrade living conditions as well as the quality of life for folks globally. We will continue to carry his dreams and goals.
 

Max, The Kindest Silliest Guy

by Brock Close

Max was the kindest silliest guy I knew. I loved hanging out with him, he was an amazing son and one of my best friends. I am so proud of him. I will miss our projects, games, road trips, and most of all his happy go lucky way of approaching life. He brought so much happiness and joy to the world. His legacy of kindness will live on in us forever.
    Max, I love you buddy. I know you and Hondro are out there having a blast in the great beyond. Take care of each other and know that I love you so much.

Memories Of Max And Alejandro

By Joseph Kelly

Alejandro was a close friend of mine. He was a quick witted and intelligent guy with a good heart. He was also kind of a pistol too. I would always laugh and laugh after he tore into someone in an online game and then proceed to politely ask how I was doing. He was always up to being with me and other people. We would always play games or watch tv as one big group. He had always had something clever to say whatever the situation. If it were in person or over the internet, I could always expect a good time to be had if he were around. 
     Max was a man with a great sense of humor. If I could pick a word to describe him it would be “class clown”. He would always wear these silly matching sweatshirts and pants every Friday. I know he took pleasure in making us laugh. He also had this little voice he would do sometimes that always cracked me up. His voice would get low, and he would say something like “oooooooOOOOOOOOoooh”, or “mmmmmmhhh yeah”. I know that sounds a bit silly but if you knew him personally, you would know exactly what I am talking about.
     They were two of the best guys I ever knew. They never did anything wrong to me and they always treated me with respect from the beginning. I keep telling myself that I have gotten over it and moved on. However, whenever I stop and realize that they are never going to talk to me again a little part of me dies inside. I hope that all the people who read this treasure life. It is not worth losing loved ones over something like an argument because they can be taken away from you so easily. It is important to always be nice to others, it’s even more important to respect life. Never assume it is okay to do something you know is dangerous to others or yourself. Thank you for reading, have a nice day.

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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 10:11 AM, 04.08.2021

Ready To Start Your Quit And Begin Your Life?

There are always hard life decisions that have to be made throughout life. Making the decision to quit smoking and vaping for good is a tough one to make. There are many reasons to quit such as the impact that it has on your body and the impact on your pockets. Not only is it bad for your health but it is very financially draining which could be a reason to quit. But taking that first step is crucial to succeeding in goals such as this. 

Tobacco companies want to get people addicted to their product, especially teenagers. They want to hook teenagers to get long term customers so they advertise these products to make consumers more likely to buy their products. By producing colorful packaging, different flavors, and good advertising on many different platforms like social media it intrigues the younger generation. This is the main reason why teens start using tobacco. Teens’ brains are not done fully developing so it has a greater impact on these young users, even worsening their anxiety. The dopamine that is released when using nicotine is what makes people crave more. Nicotine has a great impact on learning and memory since not only does it affect the brain, but it affects your lungs by making it difficult to breathe. With people that already have respiratory problems vaping could make it worse and affect your lungs sooner than later in life. Looking at all the negative consequences that come from starting to vape you should think before taking that first hit. 

 

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

The Effects Of Nicotine On The Teenage Brain

We are seniors in the West Shore Health Careers Program at Lakewood High School. We are writing to educate and inform teens about the harmful effects of vaping on the development of the teenage brain. In December 2018, the U.S. Surgeon General declared youth vaping an “epidemic.” So what may seem like a once-in-a-lifetime decision will affect your body and brain permanently. As a teenager you finally have some freedom or control over life, you can make decisions for yourself, but sometimes those decisions will leave a long-lasting impact on your body. As vaping has become more and more popular in youth, we have been seeing negative long-term effects on the developing teen brain. 

While nicotine may feel good at the moment, long term it negatively affects your body. Your brain becomes hooked and addicted leading to the use of more serious drugs in the future. Once you are addicted your mood and personality may start to change. You may be cranky or stressed because your brain is craving that sweet taste of nicotine while the rest of your body is screaming for help. Nicotine has mood-altering effects that can temporarily mask the negative symptoms of mental illness, putting people with mental illness at higher risk for cigarette use and nicotine addiction. 

 

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 12:32 PM, 04.21.2021

Kyle Baker Announces Candidacy For Lakewood City Council At Large

It is with an abiding sense of pride and belief in Lakewood that I am formally announcing that I am running for Lakewood City Council at Large in 2021.  The theme of my campaign is From Lakewood, For Lakewood, Forward Lakewood. In line with that, I am eager to get out and meet with residents and local businesses to discuss how we can continue to move Lakewood forward. 

By way of background, I am a proud product of the Lakewood City Schools.  My experience in this community and the Lakewood City Schools has been foundational for me as a person and professional. After graduating from Lakewood High, I left for college (Miami University) and law school (The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law); but knew I would come back to raise my family. Growing up in Lakewood, I fell in love with the diversity of backgrounds of my friends, classmates, and neighbors. I’m the youngest of 7 kids and come from a blue-collar tight-knit family. I’m proud of the fact that I was the first in my family to earn a college degree. I married the love of my life (Allison) in 2012 and we are raising our two young boys and dog (Champ) in the Lakewood home we bought in 2013. 

I have a profound respect for public service. In 2014 I left a large law firm to join Cleveland Metroparks because I wanted to be a public servant and make my community better. This occasion is no different. Lakewood is at a critical juncture. We are currently experiencing a fragile prosperity and need to continue to position ourselves as a community of choice, while at the same time investing in our aging infrastructure, nurturing a safe community friendly to every person, and welcoming appropriate development that fits and advances the community while at the same time preserving affordability. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been experiencing some tough times. We must continue working to make Lakewood more resilient after the pandemic is over, and I believe that a strong City Council is necessary to help guide and provide vision to ensure that outcome.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

Big Tree Watches Over Lakewood Rangers

Anyone who has played for Lakewood Rangers Head Baseball Coach Mike Ribar knows about the tradition of “The Big Tree” which looms over the right field fence on Bunts. This years’ squad—led by senior ace Jameson Supinski—will be likewise schooled on hitting at “The Big Tree”—Coach Mike Ribars’s way of making sure right-handed hitters “stay on the ball.”  More than ever, the Rangers will need a smart approach at the plate, with so many younger players lacking the experience and size of most varsity squads.  

The Big Tree, which has seen Ranger Varsity home games since the Kennedy Administration, will be overseeing many young sophomore varsity players this year, perhaps the most ever. On the mound, however, the Rangers will rely heavily on two upperclassmen. Leading the way will be southpaw Jameson Supinski, a Findlay recruit who also plays center and first base. According to Coach Ribar, Jameson “leads from the mound, outfield, plate, and dugout, and pitches/plays with awesome emotion.” Junior Will Hyatt, a hard-throwing right hander, plays 3rd and 1st and will be expected to log many innings for the Rangers as a starting pitcher.

The sophomore class (’23) will look to make its mark this year. Luke Jablonoski and Eli LaDue are slated to start at the key infield positions of catcher and shortstop respectively. LaDue, a good contact hitter, will lead off and provide speed at the top of the line-up. Sophomore Sully Stois will play first and pitch, while Luke Jablonoski will be called upon to fill multiple infield roles. The versatile Mason Ivinskis will pitch—perhaps as the number three starting pitcher—and play outfield and infield spots.  

 

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 10:34 AM, 04.09.2021

Palumbo Named Next Asst. Superintendent

The Lakewood Board of Education at a special meeting March 31 approved Lakewood City Schools Director of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Christine Palumbo, as the District’s next Assistant Superintendent effective August 1, 2021. Palumbo will replace Maggie Niedzwiecki, who in February was named the successor to departing Superintendent Mike Barnes.

Palumbo brings a wealth of administrative and teaching experience to her new position. She spent her first 14 years as an educator with the Lakewood City Schools as a special education teacher and coordinator for special education services. In 2006, Palumbo moved on to become North Ridgeville City Schools’ Supervisor of Special Education and eventually Director of Special Education and Family Services for the Region State Support Team. She returned to Lakewood City Schools as the Director of Student Services in 2011. Palumbo stepped into her current role as Director of Teaching and Learning in 2016.

“Dr. Palumbo brings a wealth of leadership experience across a number of areas and during her long history with the Lakewood Schools she has exhibited an absolute devotion to protecting and nurturing all of our students,” said Board President Betsy Shaughnessy. “She and future Superintendent Niedzwiecki will be an excellent team and will be able to hit the ground running in providing for our students, staff and families. We are very fortunate to have her in this very important role.”

 

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

Mayor's Corner: Safety And Recovery

March was a busy month for Lakewood, and much of it was focused on safety. We began the month with discussions about how to improve traffic safety in light of February’s horrific car accident on Clifton Boulevard that took the lives of two young men. We marked the one-year anniversary of the pandemic’s economic shutdown. We responded to unfortunate gun-related incidents. I would like to provide you with a short update on the safety initiatives we are taking in the aftermath of these events.

In response to recent gun-related incidents, please be assured that safety continues to be our number one priority. On March 25th, we hosted a virtual community safety meeting to address recent criminal activity in and around Lakewood. If you wish to watch the meeting, a recording is posted to the City’s website. As discussed in the safety meeting, all resources have been deployed to address and investigate these incidents. These include increasing patrols in our parks, expanding policing and patrol efforts citywide, and scaling up our camera systems. These are short-term solutions to address the immediate safety concerns. However, to address the ongoing and long-term issues it will take a community-wide effort that addresses safety through an equity lens in a post-Covid world. Gun violence has increased nationwide and we need to work together as a community to address the long term impacts of Covid on mental health combined with easy access to guns.

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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

Breakfast With The Bunny

H2O hosted its annual spring tradition, Breakfast with the Bunny, as a drive-through experience on March 27, 2021. Almost 200 young children enjoyed donuts, juice, seed planting kits, activities, and pictures with the bunny (featured in the slideshow below). Our H2O high school volunteers were truly delighted to host this event; their excitement was contagious! It was a true pleasure to see our community have fun and support youth volunteer service.

Thank you to event sponsor, First Federal of Lakewood, and to the Root Cafe for donating coffee to the event. While we weren’t able to feature beautiful raffle baskets on display, the event did raise additional funds by raffling three gift baskets. Thank you to The Jablonski Family, Angelo’s PizzaSweet Designs Chocolatier, and the Gelsomino Family for contributing those baskets. Thank you to H2O’s dedicated volunteers for attending numerous crafting sessions and showing up with pride and joy to welcome the community to Breakfast with the Bunny.

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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

Win For Rangers Softball Team

Photo by Jacob Chabowski/Lakewood Observer

Joy.
 
That's the word to describe the Lakewood Rangers Softball (2-1, 1-0 GLC) experience today, as the home team won both the Varsity and JV games in front of many chilled but happy fans, who were also rewarded with free hot dogs and hamburgers.
 
The 13-1 varsity win was a complete team effort, with every starter either scoring runs, collecting RBI or advancing runners with sacrifices or hits. The young Rangers (no senior starters) were led by freshman starting pitcher Mia Carroll-Grieves, who pitched all 5 innings and was in command the whole way. Also starting today for the Rangers were: juniors Addison Miller (LF), Inga Wilhelmy (RF), Alesha Hanna-Kotula (SS) and Mia Condosta (3B); sophomores Jordan Rossen (1B), Charlotte Beno (C) and Lauren Barber (CF); and freshman Emily Potoczak (2B).
 

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Volume 17, Issue 8, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

Celebrate National Poetry Month With Lakewood Public Library

Author Quartez Harris will discuss his poetry collection "We Made It To School Alive." 

From favorite poems to workshops and author events, celebrate National Poetry Month this April with the Library.

This year Lakewood Public Library is participating in the Favorite Poem Project. Created in 1997, The Favorite Poem Project is dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in our lives. Share a sonnet, haiku or free verse with our community in an ongoing virtual open mic. Film a video of yourself reading your favorite poem. Poetry lovers of all ages are invited to participate. Share your video to our Facebook or Twitter and be sure to use the hashtag #favoritepoemproject.

Leanne Hoppe will lead two virtual poetry workshops this month. Hoppe is a local poet, writer, editor and college instructor. Each workshop will provide prompts to create your own poetry using personal myth, forty word meditation and other methods. Grab a writing utensil and a notebook and create your own poetry. Workshop videos will premiere on Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. and Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

District 'Spring Into STEM' A Success

Students enjoy the hands-on projects that made up much of the programming for Spring into STEM.

While most students were relaxing and taking a hiatus from school over Spring Break the week of March 15, more than 100 K-8 students signed up for the District’s first three-day Spring into STEM program to engage in some fun project-based learning and enrichment activities. 

Emerson school building was bustling with classrooms full of students from each elementary grade for the three hours of instruction each day. Keeping the focus on fun, teachers assigned creative projects that helped students grasp concepts related to science, math and engineering with a dose of literacy integration as well.

For example, shaking a structure built out of toothpicks and mini-marshmallows atop a pan of Jell-O was one class’s fun way of learning about civil engineering and building an earthquake-proof (or not) building. Another class learned about buoyancy and built pirate ships and fifth-graders worked on an egg-drop project where they learned about force of gravity and aerodynamics. A program highlight entailed testing out the creations the fifth-graders built to protect and carry their eggs when dropped from the roof of the building! All classes were able to watch as program administrator Bridgette Firstenberger dropped the transport vehicles from the school roof. All cheered as the creations made their way down to the pavement followed by a classmate excitedly recovering the egg (or not).

 

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

LHS Students Reap Recognition For Writing And Art

Nola Williams-Riseng's artwork, "Respite," was honored as one of the top 25 pieces in the Governor's Youth Art Exhibit.

Congratulations to a number of Lakewood High students who recently had their writing or artwork honored in statewide competitions.

On the visual arts front, senior Nola Williams-Riseng's art was honored with an Award of Excellence as one of the top 25 pieces entered in the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibit competition. Also earning a spot in the 300-piece exhibit with their artwork are juniors Grace Hoppel and Inga Wilhelmy. Judges received more than 1,000 entries from high school students across Northeast Ohio. From those entries, 126 were selected to join winners from the other Ohio regions to be judged at the state level to determine which pieces will be part of the exhibition.

From the 6,000 regional entries from across Ohio, approximately 1,000 are selected to enter the state judging. State jurors then select 300 for the actual exhibition, with 25 of the 300 chosen to receive the Governor's Award of Excellence. Scholarships are offered to seniors by over 30 universities and colleges of art.

The Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition, now in its 51st year, is open to all of Ohio's high schools, both public and private. Its purpose is to provide all budding young artists of the state with opportunities to advance their talent, whether that be through scholarships or simply experiencing the process of entering their work in a competition.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

Senator Antonio Commends Passage Of Transportation Budget

Senator Antonio speaks on the floor of the Ohio Senate. 

Last week, the state’s transportation budget, House Bill 74, was passed unanimously by the Ohio Senate and concurred by the Ohio House of Representatives. As the highest ranking Democrat on the Transportation Committee, I am pleased to have participated in this bipartisan process that will fix Ohio’s roads and bridges, keep public transit as a priority and move Ohio into the 21st Century with regard to electric vehicle supports.
 
H. B. 74 includes almost $6 billion over the biennium to fix Ohio’s roads and bridges, adds an additional $70 million per year over the Governor’s budget for public transportation as well as $8 million for Electric Vehicle charging stations. 

It also requires the Ohio Department of Transportation to have a policy to make the purchase and replacement of rail lines used for public passenger transportation eligible for funding, subject to approval by the Transportation Review Advisory Council, which will benefit RTA. 
 
The bill also modernizes and expands the possibilities for Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA), something in the works for years. 

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

A Lakewood Anchor Servicing Our Most Vulnerable Residents

Tess Neff, Lakewood City Councilwoman Ward 1

In 2019, I visited and toured Lakewood Community Services Center (LCSC) and afterwards I felt like I just visited with friends in their home. Recently, I spoke with Executive Director Trish Rooney who leads LCSC, a nonprofit organization in our city. Our conversation inspired me to write this article because Trish’s passion for our community’s vulnerable citizens is infectious. For 39 years LCSC has been supporting our residents during their most difficult times. Trish is supported by a dedicated staff, several of whom have been with the center for over ten years. Trish deflects all credit and accolades to her staff, volunteers, and community partners. She and her team are tireless advocates for the center’s clients. LCSC is like a one stop shop that prides itself on delivering personalized care. Think customer service at its finest.

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

LakewoodAlive Unveils "Knowing Your Home" Schedule For 2021

Tackling a home improvement project doesn't need to feel intimidating. This virtual workshop series is designed to educate and inform first-time or long-time owners and anyone in-between. The series, focused on best sustainability and home maintenance practices hopes to empower residents to tackle necessary repairs and improvements.

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

Cavani String Quartet To Join LHS Chamber Orchestra

In the District's first live concert of the school year, the LHS Chamber Orchestra will join with The Cavani String Quartet in a performance of the powerful Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8. The event will include a discussion of the life of Shostakovich, the art depicting life under Stalin, and the power of music to heal. The concert will take place on Thursday, April 8 at 7 pm at the Civic Auditorium. The concert is free but guests must register at https://tinyurl.com/3wbszemk. Masks and social distancing are required.

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

New Pre-Kindergarten Option Available At Lakewood Child Care Center

Operating on the Lakewood City Schools’ calendar, this new option offers a small class size and high-quality education and care

Lakewood Child Care Center, among only a few five-star Step Up To Quality child care providers in the city, is expanding its programming to offer a pre-kindergarten class that operates on a typical school schedule.

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

LakewoodAlive’s Paint Lakewood Program Kicks Off 2021 Season

Applications are now open for the 2021 season of LakewoodAlive's Paint Lakewood Program designed to help make it more affordable for qualified Lakewood homeowners and residents to beautify their homes through exterior whole-home painting.

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for making your home look fresh and sharp. If your home is in need of an update, a fresh paint job may be more affordable than you think.

LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program announces the return of its Paint Lakewood Program for the 2021 season. The Paint Lakewood Program’s primary goal involves revitalizing Lakewood’s neighborhoods, while reducing lead hazards and educating residents on lead safety issues. The Paint Lakewood Program is available to low-to-moderate income residents.

This innovative program is designed to help make it more affordable for qualified Lakewood homeowners and residents to beautify their homes through exterior whole-home painting, ultimately making their homes safe for their families and the community.

Paint Lakewood will provide a grant of up to $4,500 to qualified Lakewood homeowners and residents for exterior paint, supplies and professional labor costs to paint their home. The program has been designed to offer a grant on a sliding scale to help reduce the cost of an exterior paint job.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021

Lakewood Rangers Beat Fairview Warriors

Led by senior Jameson Supinski and junior Lucas Winters, the Lakewood Rangers (2-1, 1-0 GLC) broke open a tight game with a 3 run 5th inning rally and went on to 12-4 win over Fairview.

Supinski started, pitched 2 scoreless inning, and blasted a 2-run Home Run that hit the iconic "Big Tree" which looms over the right center field fence. Winters provided 2 key hits, including a fifth inning thrill that spark the Ranger rally. Sophomore Sully Stois pitched three strong innings for the Rangers to get the win. Junior Hubert Carlin, sophomore Eli LaDue (2 hits) and junior Will Hyatt made fine defensive plays for the Rangers, while sophomore Ben Jablonowski was solid behind the plate.

The Rangers travel to Fairview Monday for a 1pm rematch with the Warriors.

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Volume 17, Issue 7, Posted 7:32 PM, 04.07.2021