City

LakewoodAlive Launches Webpage Devoted To Resources To Help Small Businesses During COVID-19 Crisis

LakewoodAlive announces the launch of a webpage (LakewoodAlive.org/COVID19) devoted to compiling resources for assisting Lakewood small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

This webpage is part of a collaborative effort with the City of Lakewood, Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and our private partners, including financial institutions, to demonstrate our commitment to helping small businesses citywide navigate this challenging situation. The page, which will be updated regularly, offers COVID-19 news, financial resources and other useful information for small businesses.

“During this time of crisis, supporting Lakewood’s vibrant small business community is more important than ever before,” said Ian Andrews, LakewoodAlive’s Executive Director. “Communication is essential in these difficult times. We are thankful to our partners for helping to make this webpage possible and hope it serves as a valuable resource for members of our small business community. We urge everyone to continue to support our small businesses in a safe manner during this difficult situation.”

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020

LakewoodAlive Launches “Light The Lakewood Night” Community Solidarity Event

LakewoodAlive announces the launch of Light the Lakewood Night, a community solidarity initiative designed to convey optimism and togetherness during the COVID-19 crisis.

Lakewood residents are asked to participate by decorating their front porch or apartment balcony railing with string lights as a vibrant display of solidarity.  Residents who do not have a front porch or who do not have string lights at their disposal at home can still participate by simply turning on an exterior light at dusk.

Participants are asked to share their decorated porch photos to the Light the Lakewood Night Facebook event, while including the hashtags “#LovingLakewood” and “#LighttheLakewoodNight.”

“Light the Lakewood Night represents a simple way for community members to demonstrate that we are in this together,” said Ian Andrews, LakewoodAlive’s Executive Director. “Lakewood has always been a community of front porches, and now’s a great time for us to put these porches to good use to offer fellow community members a sign of hope during challenging times.”

 

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020

LakewoodAlive’s Paint Lakewood Program Kicks Off 2020 Season

Looking to add a splash of color to your home’s exterior? 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 2020 season. The Paint Lakewood Program’s primary goal involves revitalizing Lakewood’s neighborhoods, while reducing lead hazards and educating residents on lead safety issues. 

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 16, Issue 7, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020

LakewoodAlive Unveils “Knowing Your Home” Schedule For 2020

When it comes to your home, you are never alone. There’s no better time than now to take proper care of this important investment, and LakewoodAlive is here to help you every step of the way.

LakewoodAlive announces the schedule for the 2020 edition of “Knowing Your Home,” a free educational series focused on sustainability and home maintenance best practices empowering homeowners to tackle necessary repairs and improvements. Orchestrated by LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program, this series is designed to benefit a wide range of residents:

  • Those considering a home DIY project
  • Those planning to hire a contractor
  • Those simply interested in better understanding how their home works

The seventh year of this popular home maintenance program features a collection of 14 workshops taking place from March through October led by experts within the industry. These workshops will cover a wide range of topics designed to educate residents regarding improvements and best practices for their homes. The best part? Each workshop is open to the public and free to attend.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 10:32 AM, 03.04.2020

Correction

In the last issue of the Lakewood Observer we incorrectly added Katie Ingersoll's title "Healthy Lakewood Foundation Secretary." Her letter in support of the School Levy Issue 28, was sent as a resident and parent, not in association with "Healthy Lakewood." Sorry for the mix-up.

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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 10:32 AM, 03.04.2020

2020 Kiwanis Pizza Bake-Off

The Kiwanis Club of Lakewood is calling all pizza lovers to the 8th Annual Pizza Bake Off. Kiwanis is again hosting the party of the year at Lakewood High Cafeteria on February 27 from 5:00 to 8:00pm. 

The plan is to have 12 or more of Lakewood’s finest pizza shop’s showcasing their best pizza for your enjoyment and vote.  Tickets are $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 6-12, 5 and under are free. This includes all your pizza samples and one beverage. Sorry, no carry-out containers allowed. The club will also be selling ice cream.  

For the raffle this year, which is always fun, they have a 3rd Gen. 256GB IPad Air to be awarded at the close of the evening. Raffle tickets are on sale now. Raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 4:27 PM, 02.18.2020

Swim-A-Thon To Benefit Lakewood, Rocky River Firefighters

Firefighters in Lakewood and Rocky River will be the beneficiaries of support raised at the Rotary Club of Lakewood-Rocky River’s Swim-a-Thon on March 1 at the Rocky River Recreation Center indoor pools from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Nearly $15,000 in funding is needed to purchase an infrared cycle sauna decontamination unit for the Rocky River Fire Department and a commercial grade Stairmaster for the Lakewood Fire Department. 

The initiative’s goal is to help firefighters and first-responders remove toxins from their bodies after fighting fires. After completing a five-year study of nearly 30,000 firefighters, researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) concluded that firefighters in the study had a greater number of cancer diagnoses and cancer-related deaths.

The infrared sauna, with moderate exertion from riding the bicycle, promotes sweating, which is believed to be an effective way to remove toxins (particularly metals) from the body. While located at the fire station, the sauna is expected to be available to fire and safety personnel within the community.

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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 4:27 PM, 02.18.2020

LakewoodAlive To Host “Knowing Your Home: Creating A Sound Investment” Workshop On March 12

Ready to think spring and tackle your home improvement projects? LakewoodAlive is here to help.

LakewoodAlive will host Knowing Your Home: Creating A Sound Investment on Thursday, March 12, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Sauced Taproom & Kitchen (14701-4 Detroit Avenue in Downtown Lakewood). This kickoff workshop features of a panel discussion addressing the process for completing major home improvement projects.

Our homes are 80+ years old, well-built, and just plain amazing structures. Sometimes the layout, design or aesthetics simply don't fit with the needs of the house and family. Larger projects can be daunting and oftentimes people don't know where to start or they get stuck. 

 

 

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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 4:27 PM, 02.18.2020

Cuyahoga County Tree Canopy Assessment – The Lakewood Story

On December 1, 2019, the Cuyahoga County Planning Department released a new Tree Canopy Assessment for all of Cuyahoga County. This latest assessment takes satellite data measured in 2017 to update the countywide canopy cover percentages from the first canopy assessment from satellite data gathered in 2011; for which that report was released in December of 2012.

What is tree canopy? Tree canopy is the layer of leaves, branches, and stems of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above. The countywide assessment shows an overall loss of tree canopy of 6% from 2011 to 2017 for all of Cuyahoga County.

The City of Lakewood saw its canopy cover decrease 27.96% to 22.77% canopy cover from 2011 to 2017, which equates to a loss of 182 acres of tree canopy cover citywide. To further explain the canopy loss, a change from 27.96% to 22.77% canopy cover represents a 18.55% lossof canopy calculated as follows: 27.96% – 22.77% = 5.19 / 27.96 = 18.55%. Although this is only 5.19 percent difference, the percent change for actual loss of the existing tree canopy itself is higher – 18.55%

It is worth noting as part of this assessment that Cleveland Metroparks had a loss of 5.8% of its canopy from 2011-2017, an indication that natural losses, and not development or urban sprawl, may play the largest role in the overall decline in tree canopy within our region.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 4:31 PM, 02.05.2020

LakewoodAlive’s Pride Fund Assists Lakewood Residents With Home Repairs

Last year LakewoodAlive launched the Lakewood Pride Fund with support from First Federal Lakewood. This innovative program leverages a collection of funds to secure home repair loans for Lakewood families who otherwise might not have access to conventional bank financing, helping families complete health & code compliance repairs.

This program has been designed to often be a last-resort option for folks who have nowhere else to turn. LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program works tirelessly to connect residents to available resources to keep their homes in good repair, and this program is now another tool in our organization’s tool box. The ideal candidate is someone who perhaps had a temporary job loss or a life change that made staying on top of their household bills difficult, but are now working to get back on track. The Lakewood Pride Fund will help these clients make essential health, safety and code compliance improvements ultimately enhancing their quality of life, one repair at a time.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 4:31 PM, 02.05.2020

LakewoodAlive Announces Award Honorees To Be Recognized At “Loving Lakewood: All-Stars”

Championship-caliber community vibrancy doesn’t happen by accident. Rather, it’s achieved thanks to strong leaders who routinely demonstrate qualities like passion, perseverance and commitment.

LakewoodAlive proudly announces Michael Bentley as the 2020 Founders Award recipient and fellow community leaders Robert BrillHeather RudgeRyan Sheldon & Brittany Graham, Eric Stephens and Michael Summers as award honorees to be recognized during Loving Lakewood: All-Stars taking place Saturday, February 22, from 7:30 to 11 p.m. at the Lakewood Masonic Temple. Each will be honored as part of the evening’s festivities in recognition of their exemplary service to LakewoodAlive and the Lakewood community.

Tickets are on sale now for Loving Lakewood: All-Stars, LakewoodAlive’s winter fundraiser sponsored by Cleveland Property Management Group. Guests are invited to don their favorite jersey and bring their ‘A’ game for a sports-inspired celebration of the heart, hustle and teamwork that’s built Lakewood into a community of champions. This limited-capacity event is expected to sell out, so act faster than a sprint to the goal line to secure your tickets by visiting LakewoodAlive.org/AllStars.

Each member of this honoree group has made an indelible impact on LakewoodAlive and our community:

Michael Bentley – The Founders Award celebrates individuals who exemplify the vision of LakewoodAlive’s founding members through making exceptional contributions to our efforts to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods. During the last four years, Michael’s role with LakewoodAlive has been nothing short of remarkable. Michael joined the LakewoodAlive board of directors in 2017 and serves as chair of the Development Committee. Through his financial services firm, Bentley Wealth Management of Raymond James, Michael has served as title sponsor of our Front Porch Concert Series the last four summers. Michael regularly recruits coworkers and friends to complete volunteer housing projects on behalf of our Housing Outreach Program, and he sits on our Impact Team, a group focused on creating a social enterprise plan for LakewoodAlive. Ohio CDC Association recently honored Michael as its 2019 Community Leader of the Year based on his extensive contributions to LakewoodAlive. 

 

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 8:04 AM, 01.23.2020

Board Of Elections Hiring Thousands For March Presidential Primary At Job Fair

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is inviting the public to attend a job fair as part of our effort to hire over 4,000 individuals to assist voters on Election Day as Precinct Election Officials (PEOs). In addition, there are openings for Ride Along Officials, Drop-off Assistants, Rovers and over 300 openings for in-house full-time temporary Clerks.

The Presidential Primary Election falls on St. Patrick’s Day. “Competition with the holiday is making it a challenge to find all of the people we need to administer this very important Election,” said Anthony Perlatti, Director of the Board of Elections. “Attending the job fair is a great way to learn about our work and how easy it is to join our great team. There are openings for every skill level so we will seriously consider every individual who walks through the doors,” said Perlatti.

Precinct Election Officials earn $172.10 and clerks are paid $11.50 per hour for assignments that can last several weeks to three months dependent on the assignment. 

When: 

On Monday, January 6, 2020

Location:

The Cuyahoga County Garage, 2501 Harvard Avenue, Newburgh Heights, Ohio 44105

 

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 8:04 AM, 01.23.2020

Mayor George's Inauguration Remarks

Thank you. Let’s extend a round of applause for the LHS musicians and Cub Scouts that were a part of the ceremony this afternoon. Thank you for taking time out to be a part of this special day for Lakewood.

First, I’d like to say thank you residents of Lakewood. I am honored by the faith you have shown in me and am ready for the work ahead. There are so many that deserve a thank you but I wanted to specifically thank my family. They have been my constant support system and I could not have accomplished this without them.

I’d also like to thank Mayor Summers for his service to our community and wish you well on this next phase. I also want to thank my friend, State Rep Mike Skindell for his service to Lakewood first on City Council and State Senate and now as State Representative but also for his role today as our emcee. Also a heartfelt thank you to a mentor--Lee Fisher--for his leadership as Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General of Ohio and currently as Dean of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and for performing today’s swearing-in ceremony.

This is certainly a full circle moment for me. Many know that my father was an inspiration to me, but Lee was also. I have fond memories of working on his campaigns.
 
Sixteen people have served as Mayor since the City of Lakewood’s incorporation in 1910. To my knowledge, I am the first person in Lakewood’s history to have seen her parent carry the honor and burden of this office and then serve as a mayor in her own right. I would be remiss if I did not thank my father, of course for all he sacrificed so that I could get to this moment, but also for the example he set for me so that I can succeed on behalf of this community for the next four years. Thank you, Dad. 


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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 2:29 PM, 01.08.2020

Batter Up! Tickets On Sale Now For “Loving Lakewood: All-Stars”

Here’s your chance to come out to the ballgame and root, root, root for the home team.

Tickets are now on sale for Loving Lakewood: All-Stars, LakewoodAlive’s annual winter fundraiser taking place Saturday, February 22, from 7:30 to 11 p.m. at the Lakewood Masonic Temple. Guests are cordially invited to don their favorite jersey and bring their ‘A’ game as they take to the gridiron for a sports-inspired celebration of the heart, hustle and teamwork that‘s built Lakewood into a community of champions.

Sponsored by Cleveland Property Management Group, Loving Lakewood: All-Stars features sports-themed food, drinks, décor and entertainment that will have you saying, “I don’t care if I never get back.” This limited-capacity event is expected to sell out, so act faster than a sprint to the goal line to secure your tickets by visiting LakewoodAlive.org/AllStars.

$100 Heavy Hitter Ticket
This grand slam opportunity includes all Big Leaguer Ticket offerings plus early entrance at 6:30 p.m., access to closer (first come, first served) free parking, open bar for the first hour, two drink tokens and a chance to claim victory in the VIP-only “Heavy Hitters Club” raffle drawing that will get you front-row access to the Lakewood big leagues.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 2:29 PM, 01.08.2020

Light Up Lakewood 2019 Spreads Holiday Cheer In Downtown Lakewood

Glittering lights illuminated Detroit Avenue, fireworks sparkled in the December sky and an aura of merriment filled the city’s downtown district. The holiday season is now in full-swing in Lakewood.

People from across the region visited Downtown Lakewood in droves on Saturday, December 7, to partake in the holiday tradition that is Light Up Lakewood. A large, festive crowd enjoyed LakewoodAlive’s 13th annual holiday community event celebrating the spirit of the season and the richness of the city’s vibrancy.

Sponsored by First Federal Lakewood, Light Up Lakewood 2019 kicked off with Lunch with Santa at Dewey’s Pizza followed by joyous musical performances at Lakewood Baptist Church. The festivities then shifted to Plantation Home, where Lakewood High School juniors Savannah Monroy and Mohamed Manaa were celebrated as Royalty Honorees of Light Up Lakewood. Savannah and Mohamed were both awarded $500 scholarships from owner David Stein in recognition of their outstanding service to the community.

Three features kicked off the evening’s main festivities. The Light Up Lakewood Beer Garden sponsored by Roundstone Insurance opened near the intersection of Detroit and Mars Avenues, welcoming guests to enjoy local craft beer in a unique, festive setting. The Holiday Market at the historic Lakewood Masonic Temple beckoned shoppers, and the Holiday Train sponsored by Laskey Costello and Paisley Monkey began offering rides aboard this beautifully restored classic trackless train.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 24, Posted 1:34 PM, 12.18.2019

Royalty Honorees Celebrated At Light Up Lakewood 2019

A pair of young Lakewoodites received the royal treatment at Lakewood’s signature holiday community event. LakewoodAlive and Plantation Home announced Lakewood High School juniors Savannah Monroy and Mohamed Manaa as Royalty Honorees for Light Up Lakewood 2019 sponsored by First Federal Lakewood.  

Students chosen for this honor have demonstrated their love for Lakewood through providing outstanding service to the community. In addition to reigning over the Light Up Lakewood Holiday Parade on December 7, Savannah and Mohamed were awarded $500 scholarships courtesy of Plantation Home in Downtown Lakewood. Both winners have agreed to provide at least 24 hours of service to the community during the coming year.

This is the eighth year that David Stein, owner of Plantation Home and Cotton, and president of the Downtown Lakewood Business Alliance, has sponsored the scholarship. Stein states, “It’s an honor for us to encourage the youth of our community, and to thank them for their commitment to volunteerism.”

Savannah and Mohamed received their checks and sashes at Plantation Home and were crowned by the 2018 Royalty Honorees, Yusra Abdi and Tristan Rumsey, during the Lighting Ceremony as part of Light Up Lakewood 2019.

About Savannah Monroy
Savannah’s extensive involvement at LHS ranges from Help to Others (H2O) to athletics to participation in various student organizations.  In addition to volunteering for the American Red Cross and competing as a member of three Rangers’ sports teams (cross country, gymnastics and track & field), Savannah plays an important role in the Race and Diversity Club and in Model United Nations. Said Savannah in her application: “Being a leader of a club where people come together to discuss pressing issues of our society has been a big source of my growth...We all volunteer, talk, and take action when we feel it most necessary. That’s what Lakewood stands for – community through diversity.”

About Mohamed Manaa
Mohamed exemplifies leadership in many ways at LHS, serving as president of the History Club and vice president of the Lakewood High School Camerata Orchestra. He’s a proud participant in The Lakewood Project and volunteers his time with the May Dugan Center by helping to serve food to less fortunate members of our community. Said Mohamed in his application: “Living in Lakewood has afforded me wonderful opportunities to contribute to my community in the sense of encouraging community engagement and entertainment. I will forever retain the lessons that living in Lakewood has given me, and my only hope is that I am to continue contributing to my community.” 

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Volume 15, Issue 24, Posted 1:34 PM, 12.18.2019

Cox Communications Partners With Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corp. To Deliver Thanksgiving Meals To Local Families

$1,000 grant from Cox Charities provided to help LCAC deliver more holiday meals

With the Thanksgiving holiday drawing near, Cox Communications employees chose to partner with the Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corp. (LCAC) to help bring meals to local families in need. Cox employees helped sort food for 300 Lakewood families, and helped deliver meals to those in need.

The LCAC is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of under-privileged Lakewood residents. This has traditionally been accomplished by collecting food, raising funds, and providing volunteer services in support of our Thanksgiving and Christmas food basket events.

Cox employees live in the communities they serve, so it was a logical step to make to help ensure those families in need were cared for and supported during the Thanksgiving holiday. In addition, with plans to provide similar support in December, Cox issued a $1,000 Cox Charities grant to help acquire more food for the upcoming holiday season, and supplied fliers on Connect2Compete, a low-cost, high-speed internet program available to families with school-aged children who are enrolled in low-income assistance programs. 

 

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Volume 15, Issue 23, Posted 12:41 PM, 12.04.2019

LakewoodAlive’s “Transportation For A 21st Century City” Community Forum Tackles Challenges, Opportunities

They gathered as residents, neighbors and community leaders to discuss the present and future of transportation within our ever-evolving society.

More than 50 attendees ventured to Harrison Elementary School on Thursday evening, November 14, to participate in a community forum entitled Transportation for a 21st Century. Hosted by LakewoodAlive with assistance from the Lakewood City School District and Lakewood Public Library, this community forum offered insightful dialogue regarding how we can improve our transportation system to address today’s unique challenges, capitalize on changing lifestyle preferences and enhance quality of life for individuals without adequate access to transportation.

After introductory remarks from LakewoodAlive Executive Director Ian Andrews, moderator Michael P. Summers, Mayor of the City of Lakewood, oversaw a discussion covering a variety of topics, including the evolution of transportation within our society, best practices for urban mass transit, and transportation solutions ranging from expanded public access and walkable neighborhoods to biking alternatives and rideshare options.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 23, Posted 12:41 PM, 12.04.2019

Light Up Lakewood 2019 To Illuminate Downtown Lakewood On December 7

Light Up Lakewood returns to Downtown Lakewood for a 13th year on Saturday, December 7.  Sponsored by First Federal Lakewood and presented by LakewoodAlive, Light Up Lakewood celebrates the season and the richness of our city’s vibrancy. This free, family-friendly event features a holiday parade, lighting ceremony, winter fireworks, Beer Garden, Holiday Market, Holiday Train, live music, ice carvings, hot chocolate, food trucks and children’s games. Visit LakewoodAlive.org/LightUpLakewood to learn more.

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Volume 15, Issue 23, Posted 12:41 PM, 12.04.2019

Give A Gently Used Coat To The Homeless; Get A $25 Gift Card From Geiger’s

FrontLine Service and Geiger’s are asking Lakewood to donate “gently used” coats to the homeless. Coats can be dropped off at Geiger’s store, 14710 Detroit Avenue, from November 1 through November 10. Everyone donating a coat will receive a $25 Geiger’s Gift Card, good on the purchase of a new coat.

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Volume 15, Issue 21, Posted 12:59 PM, 11.06.2019

Phone Scam Targets Lakewood Voters

A Texas-based company has begun calling Lakewood residents, to present false information in the format of a survey. Paid callers from Dynata Global present a series of false statements about mayoral candidate Meghan George, then ask voters how they would react "assuming the statements are true."

The American Association for Public Opinion Research has stated that calls like this are not surveys at all, but rather unethical telemarketing designed to push respondents for or against a candidate. That say that such “push polls” are “an insidious form of negative campaigning disguised as a political poll.”

Multiple residents have reported identical calls attacking George, beginning Tuesday, October 8. Two have provided recordings of a call, confirming other reports.

In a statement, Meghan George said that "These intrusive, inaccurate calls are the complete opposite of what I stand for, and Lakewood deserves better. Our campaign has focused consistently on positive messages of public safety and sound policies to protect affordability for seniors and working families.

"I assure you that you will not hear those kinds of attacks or dirty tricks coming from my campaign. I am running to bring inclusive, collaborative and transparent government to City Hall."

One of the paid callers identified her employer as Dynata Global, based in Texas, but the company has refused requests to reveal who is paying them.


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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Presutto Demonstrates Professional Experience Needed For City Council

My career started in the financial sector where I specialized in creating and delivering training programs for new hires, existing employees, and leadership development. While I was training staff members in a variety of financial roles, I also achieved a wide variety of financial licenses, HR certifications, and project management experience. In addition to training, I managed teams as small as two to as large as sixty across multiple cities and countries. It is this experience that has me best suited to interact with different demographics and will allow me to communicate the issues and solutions to Lakewood residents.  

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

8th Annual Welcome to Lakewood on Wednesday, October 23rd

The City of Lakewood’s Community Relations Advisory Commission is sponsoring the 8th annual Welcome to Lakewood event on Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at Garfield Middle School, 13114 Detroit Avenue. 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 4:59 PM, 10.16.2019

Presutto Candidate Question Answers

Occupation:  Owner - Level Up Employment LLC


1.) Why should we vote for you and not the other candidate? (100 words)

I can be trusted to be responsive to your everyday concerns, support sustainable development to help attract good paying jobs, and to keep Lakewood affordable for everyone by addressing our rising water/sewer costs.  

The 15 years I have called Lakewood my home with my children have allowed me to get to know our businesses, our families, our schools, and our community. It is this life experience along with my educational background that makes me the best candidate for Ward 2. I know what Lakewood’s concerns are because I’ve lived it with you, as your neighbor.


2.) Name two things you have learned while walking around talking to residents, first: what are their biggest concerns about their ward, and second, what are their biggest concerns about Lakewood in general? How will you address these concerns as their councilperson? (100 words, or less, for each)

Residential streets get used as cut throughs by drivers in a hurry. I am committed to working with our local police and overall city design to make sure traffic laws are enforced, to utilize speed tables as appropriate, focus on multimodal transportation, and bring back a Lakewood controlled circulator. We need to make sure our streets are safe for children to play in front yards or walk to school, sidewalks clear and wide enough to allow accessibility for all residents (including providing snow removal to those in need), and road traffic studied and timed for maximum efficiency. 

The broadest concern about Lakewood is affordability; water bills and housing. When I announced in March, my platform made the water/sewer infrastructure upgrade a centerpiece of our campaign. Water bills are already reaching more than $80 a month for residents. With them forecast to exceed $200 by 2030, this will price homeowners and renters out of Lakewood. We need to reevaluate how we will fund these upgrades without putting it on the backs of residents.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 6:16 PM, 10.02.2019

Debunked: O'Leary's Pretend Endorsement

Two campaign mailings have now alleged that "The Lakewood Democratic Party" has endorsed Sam O'Leary for mayor.

"The Lakewood Democratic Party" doesn't exist, though. There's no such group.

The only formal organization of Democrats local to Lakewood is The Lakewood Democratic Club, which made no endorsement for mayor at its September 26 meeting.

O'Leary's campaign sent out two mass mailings before the club even voted, however, inventing a "Lakewood Democratic Party" endorsement out of thin air. One mailing even featured a made-up logo.

As these misleading claims have hit mailboxes, The Lakewood Democratic Club has stated directly that no formal Democratic organization specific to Lakewood has endorsed a candidate for mayor this year.

The Democratic Club considered applications from various Democrats, including candidates for mayor O'Leary and Meghan George. No mayoral candidate reached the threshold for endorsement when the club voted on September 26, and no 2019 candidates had any basis for claiming or implying endorsement by the club prior to its September meeting.

Voters should rate O'Leary's invention, of a "Lakewood Democratic Party" to endorse him, as "definitely false."

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 5:57 PM, 10.02.2019

Letter To The Editor: What Are People Breathing?

I have been concerned whenever I have go by the Lakewood Hospital demolition site, wondering what the people in the neighborhood are having to breathe. Spraying some water hardly suffices in these hot dry days to keep down particulate matter.

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Volume 15, Issue 19, Posted 5:59 PM, 10.02.2019

Ward 1 Primary Results: Neff And Rodriguez-Carbone Look Ahead To November

A very busy municipal election season in Lakewood saw its first set of results on Tuesday, September 10 in the Ward 1 primary. There were four candidates on the primary ballot, Matthew Fredrickson, Lindsey Grdina, Tess Neff, and Laura Rodriguez-Carbone. The top two candidates continue on to the general election in November. The results were as follows:

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Volume 15, Issue 18, Posted 3:47 PM, 09.18.2019

Birdtown Flower Boxes

Have you seen the new flower boxes in Birdtown?

This has been an exciting project years in the making by the dedicated members of the Birdtown Beautification Committee.

From installing the flower boxes along Madison Ave. in Birdtown, to painting them, lining them, working with the small business owners in the area to plant and maintain beautiful flowers and foliage, to the final step of adding these fun and unique decals that represent our great city of Lakewood. They are a great addition to the neighborhood and truly beautify the city! 

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Volume 15, Issue 18, Posted 3:47 PM, 09.18.2019

It’s Time To Make Kauffman Park A Priority

Kauffman Park, named for Lakewood’s longest serving mayor, Amos Kauffman, is tucked behind Drug Mart and occupies the space between Lakeland and Andrews Avenues. The park has captured the imaginations of our neighbors and sparked the creation of Friends of Kauffman Park. For years, the organization’s membership has been working to improve the park, so that it can attain its full potential as a city-wide destination with amenities that everyone can enjoy. The time is now to make investment in Kauffman Park a priority.

Lakewood has fewer acres of park space per person than Cleveland or Chicago, according to the Park System Strategic Plan of 2010. This means we must make the green space we have really count and carefully consider a design that serves many different constituencies.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 18, Posted 3:47 PM, 09.18.2019

How To Use The Lakewood Tool Box

Lakewood is a city of beautiful old homes. Thankfully, it’s now easier than ever before for Lakewoodites to give their homes the TLC they deserve.

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Volume 15, Issue 16, Posted 3:00 PM, 08.07.2019

Labor Lines Up For Tess Neff, Candidate For Ward 1 Lakewood City Council

I am honored to be endorsed by the dedicated and hard-working men and women in labor. The members of the Cleveland Building & Construction Trades Council, AFLCIO, Laborers' Local 310, AFSCME Ohio Council 8, and Electrical Workers Local 38 have placed their trust and confidence in me to represent their values as a member of Lakewood City Council. Having some type of job since I was twelve years old I understand and appreciate the importance of maintaining a strong work ethic. As an attorney, a former police officer and magistrate in both the Lakewood Municipal Court and the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court, I have always conducted myself with integrity and transparency. Open and honest conversations with the new mayor, the City's partners including police, fire, public services and community members will unite Lakewood and drive our City on its continuous progressive path. We are a successful inner ring suburb that is accepting and inclusive. It is critical we stay this course and strive to improve on our accomplishments because the alternative is unacceptable.

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Volume 15, Issue 15, Posted 2:59 PM, 08.07.2019

Matthew Fredrickson For Ward 1 Lakewood City Council

I am running for Ward 1 Lakewood City Council and look forward to combining business acumen and an acute understanding of politics and issues along with compassion to serve the residents of Lakewood.

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Volume 15, Issue 15, Posted 2:59 PM, 08.07.2019

It’s About To Get Hot: Lakewood Summer Meltdown Returns July 13

The biggest block party in the neighborhood is fast approaching. Lakewood Summer Meltdown 2019, sponsored by Melt Bar and Grilled and presented by LakewoodAlive, returns to Downtown Lakewood for its 10th year on Saturday, July 13 from 4 to 10 p.m.

The Summer Meltdown is one of the region’s most highly-anticipated street parties. This community event is a free summertime celebration of our city’s vibrancy. It draws more than 10,000 attendees from across northeast Ohio to the heart of Lakewood each July.

This Lakewood summer tradition takes place on Detroit Avenue in Downtown Lakewood between Arthur and Marlowe.  The Summer Meltdown offers an afternoon and evening jam-packed with seemingly endless activities for one and all, including the Meltdown 5K race, 1 Mile Family Fun Run and Walk, street festival, outdoor activities, games, food vendors, beer garden, live music and more.

Families will love the street festival, which features more than 100 vendor tents, many of which offer interactive opportunities. Activities range from the “Water Moose” sprinkler park to the Summer Meltdown Bike Raffle sponsored by Beat Cycles to a skateboard park sponsored by West Side Skates.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 13, Posted 6:32 PM, 07.03.2019

Lindsey Grdina Announces Ward 1 Bid; Endorsed by Cuyahoga County Democrats

On June 15, 2019, I was honored to have received the endorsement of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. The endorsement reflects my deep commitment to seeing Lakewood and its citizens continue to thrive. I understand that we are called to help those who are struggling, and our policies must ensure that we are creating a Lakewood that works for all its residents. I am also committed to seeing Lakewood continue as a haven for independent and small business, a place where entrepreneurship thrives, supported by both the community and the local government. I believe that my brand of compassionate, informed leadership can ensure that Lakewood continues to thrive and grow for this generation and beyond.

I have had the pleasure of calling Lakewood home for over a decade. After graduating from Cleveland Marshall College of Law, I knew I wanted to stay in Lakewood. In 2013 my husband, Ed, and I  bought our home on Woodward Ave., just a block away from where Ed grew up. In 2016 we welcomed our first child, Julia, and Oliver joined us in February of 2019.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 13, Posted 6:32 PM, 07.03.2019

Meghan George Endorsed For Mayor Of Lakewood

The Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus (CCPC) has endorsed Councilwoman Meghan F. George for Mayor of Lakewood, following a candidate forum at the Lakewood Public Library on Tuesday, June 25. Only Lakewood members of the CCPC were permitted to vote on this endorsement.

After opening remarks, Councilwoman George put her command of Lakewood’s issues on full display in a town hall style, question and answer format. She noted, “My professional experience creating solutions for some of Ohio’s largest organizations and businesses has prepared me to manage the challenges we face in Lakewood.” 

“Meghan’s private sector work, coupled with her achievements on council, made the conclusive case that she’s the candidate with the experience we need as our next mayor,” said Emily Christescu, a Lakewood resident who attended the forum.

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Volume 15, Issue 13, Posted 6:32 PM, 07.03.2019

Renewed Focus On Community Development And Health Essential To Lakewood’s Future

It is my belief that a renewed focus on community development and health in Lakewood is integral to our future.

As a public health professional working with communities all across northeast Ohio, it is readily apparent that public health intersects all aspects of public life. The key to our resilience in Lakewood - our ability to effectively meet future challenges as a community - hinges upon community health and development. Community development, and policies and processes that support it in all its facets, is imperative in determining how we address emerging issues.

As part of the Lakewood Wellness Foundation Planning Task Force,  we discussed at length the change in Lakewood’s health landscape and the opportunities for health improvement through community development. When considering the challenges that are impacting health and information access for Lakewood’s diverse array of residents,  what is clear is that more ought to be done to identify, organize, guide and strengthen community networks. This is something that will be the central focus for me as your council person in Ward 1.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 13, Posted 6:32 PM, 07.03.2019

Why Does The Lawsuit Matter?

I have had more than one person come up to me over the past two weeks asking, “Why is the lawsuit so important?” Or, “Why does it matter? The hospital is gone.”

To me the answer is simple. What Brian Essi and his team of lawyers proved beyond a shadow of a doubt was: 1) The Mayor, Law Director, Finance Director, Council President and some on council were knowingly lying to Lakewood residents and voters going back as far as 2010. Not just lying, but misrepresenting the facts of the single largest transaction in Lakewood’s long and wonderful history.

Why does this matter? Without transparency and accountability we cannot reasonably judge the honesty of our elected officials. Elected officials without honesty and accountability are a cancer to a city, a community and democracy. Our entire government process is based on voting, transparency, and accountability. Allowing an elected official to lie is just wrong. Allowing them to lie about the largest deal in Lakewood’s history borders on being complicit. No matter where you fall on the hospital debacle, one would hope you believe in fair, honest, accountable government.

Now as the Mayor gets ready to step off of his throne, and “will it” to Sam O’Leary, we really need to ask ourselves, can we walk Lakewood back to the days of Sunshine and free speech? Can we walk back from the edge of this civil war caused 100% by the secrecy of City Hall, and their willingness to sow the seeds of hate and divisiveness? Lakewood’s cure is easy: Transparency, Honesty and Accountability from all of Lakewood’s politicians, and elected officials.

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Volume 15, Issue 13, Posted 2:58 PM, 06.19.2019

Lakewood Hospital Public Records Case Comes To A Close

A three-year civil appeals case against the city of Lakewood came to an apparent end May 10 when a Cuyahoga County Appeals Court judge ordered the payment of statutory damages and attorneys' fees to resident Brian Essi, who'd urged for tens of thousands of pages of city records about the decision to close Lakewood Hospital to be released to the people. The judicial opinion brings one front of the contentious debate over what happened with the hospital to a tentative denouement.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 6:03 PM, 06.05.2019

Councilmembers George And Rader Propose Improved Public Records Policy

Public records policies can work better for Lakewood. I recently introduced legislation to help achieve that goal, along with my council at-large colleague Tristan Rader.

Our goal is to de-mystify the records request process for the average resident. Members of the public have a right to transparency from their government—but the process for a record request, itself, can and should be more transparent.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 6:03 PM, 06.05.2019