Local Teacher Receives National Recognition

The National Association for the Education of Young Children featured Bonnie Sears in their Winter 2023 magazine Teaching Young Children. Bonnie is the lead teacher at Grace Preschool on Madison Avenue in Lakewood. An early childhood educator for 25 years, she has served the families of Lakewood for the past 15 years at Grace.

Bonnie wrote in the magazine, "My teaching style is relational, play-based, and focused on hands-on engagement. I believe that learning happens everywhere and that everyday moments offer opportunities for discovery and learning." And that is exactly what you find happening at Grace Preschool. Bonnie and her co-teacher, Lakewood resident Jessica Sackett, use themes to engage the interest of children while providing many learning opportunities around that theme using all their senses. One among many favorites was the study of bears. The gross motor room was set up to go on the ever-favorite "bear hunt." The children went through a tunnel representing the grass, rocked in a "boat" through the river, met up with a snowstorm where a fan literally blew "snow" around them while they put on winter hats and mittens, and eventually met up with the bear in the cave (a tent) where they took his picture and made their way back home.

One of Bonnie's greatest accomplishments is having had the privilege of mentoring interns (pre-service teachers). Currently Grace Preschool has two interns from Cuyahoga Community College associate degree program working with our staff. The interns receive excellent mentoring and our students benefit from having additional caring people to work with them.

Grace Lutheran Church through the Lutheran Development Ministry of Lakewood is blessed to be able to offer this opportunity for early childhood education to the families in Lakewood and beyond. We are grateful to the many families who have entrusted their children to us and have become part of our family over the last 42 years. We look forward to continuing to meet the needs of Lakewood families by caring for their children.

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Volume 19, Issue 3, Posted 11:49 AM, 02.01.2023

Starr Gazer


ARIES: The Ram likes it hot & spicy; they’re the adrenaline junkies; for Valentine’s Day, wear fire engine red, think of something daring the two of you can do together…be spontaneous.

TAURUS: The Bull likes to take it slow & steady; they’re more into fine wine, dark chocolates, and gourmet delicacies with a cashmere blanket laid out in front of the fireplace & a cozy night. 

GEMINI: The Twins need their minds stimulated on Valentine’s Day; plan a trip to the Science Museum, go to one of those crazy metal puzzle stores, & double it up; the more love, the better.

CANCER: The Crab loves a stroll down memory lane; plan a recipe together, something handed down from your grandmother, put on some nostalgic music, & couple it up in the kitchen, Bam!

LEO: The Lion/Lioness is all about royalty; the Jungle does share the crown with the King, limousines, fine champagne, a night at the theater, putting on the glitz, diamonds are forever.

VIRGO: Virgos need to do something practical & organic for Valentine’s Day; check out one of the electric organic herb, tea, or coffee shops Lakewood is loaded with; you can Vegan together.

LIBRA: Libras need to find the balance between too much and too little; roses fit the bill, romantic candlelight enhances the romantic glow, add some classical music, & love is in the air.

SCORPIO: The Scorpion puts the stinger away on this day made for lovers, & we know what you’re all about; chances are no one else will find out about your secret rendezvous, Shush.

SAGITTARIUS: The Centaur likes to go overboard, they love nature & the great outdoors, rent an Airbnb cabin in the woods with a bearskin rug and a fire pit, and make it a stargazing night. 

CAPRICORN: The Goat isn’t the warm & fuzziest Valentine; if you can get them to close their MacBook, head to the gym, get Chinese Take-Out & then go home & watch Wall Street together. 

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Volume 19, Issue 3, Posted 11:49 AM, 02.01.2023

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ARIES: The Ram’s great at starting things; you’ve got Jupiter in your 1st house & the Sun in your career sector for your NYResoulution; resolve to follow through & finish one damn thing 

TAURUS: The Bull, on the other hand, is great at follow-thru, but dammit Bull, this year, promise the world you’ll change something; yes, take a risk, shake the dust off of Steady Eddy

GEMINI: The Twin is the Zodiac’s version of the Road Runner, always on the move; for your NYResoultion, slow the hell down, especially with Mercury Retrograde & Mars Rx in Gemini

CANCER: The Crab’s focus, career & partnerships; moving forward into 2023; you like to stay in the security of your shell, do something this year that scares the living daylights out of you

LEO: The Lion/Lioness does elegant like no other, & you’re one of the most generous of the Zodiac, this year pick a cause that is close to your Lion’s heart, and donate your time or money

VIRGO: Virgos, we love you, we do; however, for 2023, maybe take the white gloves off a few times more often, lay off the criticism, & that includes the self-criticism, don’t worry-be happy

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Volume 19, Issue 1, Posted 2:15 PM, 01.04.2023

Barbara's Bests (Part Two) Lion And Blue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two Events, One Weekend

The Lakewood Historical Society has two not-to-be-missed events coming up this weekend: the final weekend for the Peek into the Past exhibit and the annual Fall Sale. Come to both, don’t miss either.

Peek into the Past is an exhibit of a wide variety of items from the Historical Society archive. In 1952, seventy years ago, Margaret Manor Butler was instrumental in establishing the Lakewood Historical Society and began the development of the archive. Since that time, the archive has continued to grow. This exhibit spotlights a small portion of the contents of the archive, including clothing items, photographs, home furnishings, books, toys, even Mrs. Ezra Nicholson’s trunk. See this ticketed exhibit on Saturday and Sunday, October 8 and 9, from 1:00pm to 4:00pm, at the Nicholson House, 13335 Detroit Ave.

The annual Fall Sale will take place at the Haber Center, 13314 Detroit Ave. on Thursday, October 6, 4:00pm – 7:00pm, Friday, October 7, 9:00am – 7:00pm, Saturday, October 8, 10:00am - 6:00pm, and Sunday, October 9, 11:00am - 3:00pm. There is a large selection of gift and decorative items, furniture (including many chairs), lamps, linens, window and door hardware, doors and other salvage items, even a fireplace mantel, and much, much more. There is something for everyone!

Don’t miss these two events and support the Lakewood Historical Society while you enjoy a look at the past and a purchase from the present. Proceeds from both events support the Lakewood Historical Society. More information about both events is available on the website:  lakewoodhistory.org.

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Volume 18, Issue 19, Posted 5:28 PM, 10.05.2022

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ARIES: It’s about the Ram this month; however, the Sun is shining in your 7th house of relationships, so instead of flying solo, think about taking your sweetie with you to the races.

TAURUS: Jupiter is lurking behind the scenes in the Bull Pen; nobody does it better than the Bull when it comes to chocolates, fine wine & romance (except Libra) – remember moderation. 

GEMINI: You couldn’t have written the script better Twins. Jupiter in the house of friends, the more, the merrier, the Sun shining on romance, creativity & fun, double the party, & the LOVE. 

CANCER: Home & Career is where the Crab rides the waves this month, flip a coin, who gets dibs on the home-cooking & who gets to nurture the Crab for a change, hint, by the Lake. 😊

LEO: Lady Luck is ready to take off for foreign lands; time to leave the Jungle for warm weather & tropical shores; take care of the community, tie up loose ends; then ROAR.

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Volume 18, Issue 19, Posted 5:28 PM, 10.05.2022

Cove Community Center Celebrates With Intergenerational Picnic

The first ever Cove Community Center Intergenerational Picnic was a huge success. We gathered together on a perfect summer day and had all ages present for bocce ball, cornhole, face painting, story time, and many other activities. Around 150 people attended this event.

The staff at Cove worked very hard the day before to prep enough homemade food to serve everyone. Our Director, Chad Berry, introduced us to his now famous Macaroni and Cheese, while Amy Chodzin from H20 made delicious Brussel Sprouts, and the secret BBQ sauce was made by our Maintenance Man James Williams.

All in all it was a great day and hopefully the first of many events like this. We thank you all for coming out to enjoy this event!

We invite you to stop by, and check out this beautiful new space. We are already offering a ton of fun and exciting activities and events... but you can expect a lot more! 


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Volume 18, Issue 17, Posted 5:29 PM, 09.07.2022

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ARIES: You’ve got the energy of the energizer bunny this month, Ram. Your health is looking great, and you’re looking good to the world. Do something bold, new & courageous…

TAURUS: This is one time the Bull should stay in the Bullpen; stuff is going on behind the scenes; it just may be a bit of romance; mind your Ps & Qs, and keep a lid on it; no red capes.

GEMINI: The Twins are the social butterflies of the Zodiac, and this month is no exception. The only difference is that you’ll be doing much more entertaining at home on the range this month.

CANCER: Lady Luck is still shining on the Crab’s career; get out in that community of yours & spread the word; if you don’t do it, who will?…Come out of that shell of yours and network, baby.

LEO: Looks like the Lion’s going to be leaving the familiar jungle to travel afar on foreign land, or maybe you’re just brushing up on your Italian to take a trip overseas, no time like the present.

VIRGO: It’s time to open your arms up to the Universe and say, “show me the money.” Yep, you’ve got money coming to you from another source; make sure you’re ready for it on all fronts.


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Volume 18, Issue 17, Posted 5:29 PM, 09.07.2022

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

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

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

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


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

LaLa Custom Cake Celebrates 6 Years In Lakewood!

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

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

LaLa Custom Cake Celebrates 6 years in Lakewood!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Look Inside Lakewood At The 2022 Lakewood House Tour

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

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

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

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


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

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ARIES: Jupiter is still in the Ram’s sign & in the 1st house. It’s your show, your engines are revved up & you’re ready to go. The Sun is shining on home/family…BBQ is Smokin’ HOT.

TAURUS: Mars is moving into the Bull’s sign of Taurus, behind the scenes. However, with the energy of Mars & the Sun shining its rays in the community, get the *%#^ out of the Bull Pen.

GEMINI: Jupiter is in the Twin's 11th house of friendships/organizations, mingle with the associations you have & tend to your finances, the spotlight is on the bank, double it up…

CANCER: It’s about to get better Crab, Jupiter has landed in the Career house, & the Sun is brightening things up in the first house of self.  All eyes are on you, shine immensely like the Moon.

LEO: It’s time to try another Jungle, maybe across seas, the Lion/Lioness are geared for higher learning & foreign travel this month. Keep your plans close to that lion-heart of yours though...

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Volume 18, Issue 13, Posted 12:21 PM, 07.06.2022

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ARIES: It’s all about you Ram, you’ve got the energy of the Energizer Bunny, with Jupiter in the 1st, watch the expansion of the waistline, however, you’ll burn it off with Mars in Aries also

TAURUS: The Bull is working behind the scenes on building its assets, that nest egg of yours is looking rather good, just keep the Bull lips tightly zipped & you’ll be celebrating your fortune

GEMINI: Keep those networking social skills of yours sharpened, that’s where the Twins find opportunities this month, the Sun is shining on you, work as a team, & soak up the rewards

CANCER: It’s about time Crab, Jupiter has landed in your house of careers, although the Sun is in your 12th house of secrets, & behind the scenes action, keep your plans close to your chest

LEO: It’s time for the Lion/Lioness to invite some of your friends from the other jungles overseas to your neck of the woods, there’s advantages to this, your associations are where it’s at

VIRGO: I might buy a lotto ticket this month, just don’t bet the ranch, Jupiter is shining on money coming from other resources, while the Sun is shining on career, time for a job…hmm


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Volume 18, Issue 11, Posted 12:29 PM, 06.01.2022

Lakewood Residents Lead International Concert Of Brazilian Music

Lakewood-based singer/songwriter, Luca Mundaca joins her neighbor, Kristopher Morron, Music Director and Conductor of the Contemporary Youth Orchestra for a celebration of Brazilian music on Saturday, June 4th at 7:00 pm.

A gifted artist with a stunning voice of great intimacy and emotion, Luca’s music is a glorious blend of her native Brazil with a touch of downtown New York. She mines deep melodic roots in her country’s heritage, creating musical gems that she polishes with the lightest of touches. Influenced by samba and bossa nova, themes in her songs often revolve around nature and our relationship with it. Her hit song “Ha Dias” has over 3.4million plays on Spotify alone. “CYO students will have the extraordinary opportunity to meet and rehearse with Ms. Mundaca over the five weeks before the performance,” said Kristopher Morron, CYO Music Director and Conductor. “Collaborating with professional composer/performers like Luca is just the kind of unique music-making experience we’re passionate about providing.”


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Volume 18, Issue 10, Posted 2:00 PM, 05.18.2022

Outdoor Animal Blessing Event To Be Held Saturday, May 21

West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church is excited to announce that it will hold its second annual outdoor Animal Blessing on Saturday May 21st from 2 – 4 p.m. located at 20401 Hilliard Blvd. in Rocky River.  For more information, please contact the church office at 440-333-2255.

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Volume 18, Issue 10, Posted 2:00 PM, 05.18.2022

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ARIES: The Ram’s money house is shining this month…maybe spend a little extra on Mom…your luck behind the scenes couldn’t be better…you’ve got the initiative, go for it

TAURUS: You finally come out of that Bull Pen for the whole world to see, maybe a new look, change that appearance to something out of your comfort zone, your social circle also widens

GEMINI: What the Twins are working on behind the scenes is getting you a second look from your higher-ups, take that bonus, & buy Mom flowers, double the pleasure-double the gratitude

CANCER: The Crab’s associations are where you shine…the foreign emphasis is still strong, use your intuition, opportunities abound for you, capitalize on them, you’re everyone’s mom


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Volume 18, Issue 9, Posted 3:09 PM, 05.04.2022

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ARIES: It’s all about you this month Ram, strut your finest Easter bonnet & show the world who you are, you’ll definitely be the first one out of the starting gate, luck is behind the scenes

TAURUS: Come out of the Bull Pen, you’ll want to participate in the Easter Egg Hunt, networking in the community is where it’s at, keep things close to your chest until later

GEMINI: Luck is shining on the Twins career this month, we know you can be two places at once, so leave the office & help a local organization color Easter eggs, it’s a win-win for you

CANCER: The Sun is shining on the Crab’s career & Jupiter is waving its foreign magic wand, expand your horizons overseas…after all even the Easter Bunny comes out of its comfort zone


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Volume 18, Issue 7, Posted 9:33 AM, 04.06.2022

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ARIES: Jupiter & the Sun are lined up this month in the Ram's behind the scenes 12th house, keep the Leprechaun in you on the down-low, that’s where you’re likely to find your pot of gold.

TAURUS: The Bull is going to want to come out of his Bullpen on St. Patty’s day, get together with a group of your cohorts, for a wee little corned beef & a Guinness or two at a local pub.

GEMINI: The Twins may have to spend a little more time at the office this Irish holiday, there’s a lot of action in your career, but there’s two of you, so send one to the party till you get there.

CANCER: The Crab just might be hopping a plane to Dublin or Limerick City this St. Pat’s Day, your action is with foreigners and overseas travel this month, feeling lucky? Do it…


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Volume 18, Issue 5, Posted 12:26 PM, 03.02.2022

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ARIES: The Ram likes taking risks, the way to the Ram’s heart is doing something physical, how about snowboarding together, then afterward, let your animal instincts come out by the fire.

TAURUS: The Bull doesn’t want to leave the Bullpen on Valentine’s Day, they prefer the comfort of their castle, a home-cooked gourmet meal, wearing nothing but an apron? Hmmm…

GEMINI: The Twins love their intellect stimulated, they love books, try reading a few pages from Fifty Shades of Grey, while serving up a couple of Sicilian Kiss cocktails on the rocks.

CANCER: You’ll win an Oscar with this Crab if you cook up some homemade Chocolate Salted Popcorn, paired with a bottle of Moscato & Cary Grant’s "An Affair to Remember"…

LEO: The King/Queen of the Jungle loves the Royal attention, pull out all the stops, glamour & the glitz, serve up your best bubbly, paired with a filet mignon & then let out your best ROAR.

VIRGO: This one’s a bit more challenging, make a veggie pizza together with herbs you grew on your windowsill & homemade sauce you canned, with organic wine from your basement.


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Volume 18, Issue 3, Posted 7:12 PM, 02.02.2022

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ARIES: The Sun starts the year off in your career house, the Ram’s New Year’s Resolution: “Wouldn’t it be great if you could finish just one thing?” We know how many projects you have going.

TAURUS: It's time for the Bull to get out of the Bullpen, the Sun’s focus is on foreign travel, New Year’s Resolution: make a change, come out of your comfort zone for goodness sakes.

GEMINI: Jupiter, the benefic planet is in your house of career, slow down…the Twins are like the roadrunner, have a little patience this year, take time to actually see where you're going.

CANCER: For the Crab Jupiter & the Sun have aligned themselves in your house of relationships & foreign travel, this year…do something that scares the living hell out of you.

LEO: The Lion starts the year off with the focus on health & other people's money, take your generosity this year & make this the King/Queen’s year of the cause, donate to a charity or two.


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Volume 18, Issue 1, Posted 10:15 AM, 01.05.2022

Lakewood Dads Celebrate 10th Episode Of "Better Off Dad" Podcast

Months into their respective stay-at-home journeys, Tim Dewald and Matt Bixenstine have reached a milestone they did not necessarily plan for: ten episodes of the Better Off Dad podcast.

The thirty-something fathers and Lakewood residents launched their production six months ago as a passion project to embrace progressive parenting while developing a platform to help others in their journey.  Better Off Dad aims to offer dad jokes, self-deprecating learning moments and a fresh take on topics ranging from parenting to childhood development to progressive family issues.

Now 10 episodes into their podcasting careers, and having garnered more than 1,000 streams, this dad duo has had time to properly reflect on their transition from cubicle to caregivers, and they’re convinced neither fatherhood nor podcast were ill-conceived.

"When we started this project, I figured I'd spend a lot of time talking without anyone actually listening to a word I said - so basically just like parenting," said Tim. "But we've gotten a great response from dads and all kinds of parents that just want to share stories and a laugh. I knew it would be cathartic recording this podcast, but I've been so excited to see a community build as well."

Tim and Matt began recording in Tim's attic last summer and have since covered everything from childbirth (episode 4) to traveling with kids (episode 5) to insufficient paternity leave policies (episode 8).  In episode 9, the duo took on the particularly taboo topic of the urologist and shared personal experiences with infertility and vasectomy.  Each episode features coverage of topical news and updates on their ever-changing children. 



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Volume 17, Issue 24, Posted 10:15 AM, 01.05.2022

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Aries: If I know the Ram, you’ll whip through that Xmas list, saving time to take a trip to a foreign land, the hotter the better, Santa Claus is Coming to a Beach Town near you, get ready

Taurus: The Sun shines in the house of career & other people’s money this month, yep…buy those luxury gifts, don’t forget the chocolate shop, & go Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Gemini: The Twins are in for double the pleasure in the relationship sector, business & personal, just watch the Xmas eggnog at the office party, go on a Sleigh Ride for two, the stars are aligned

Cancer: Jupiter is lined up in other’s resources this Holiday, & the Sun is spending time in your daily routine & service to others, stay home baking Xmas cookies & Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Leo: Leo’s are King/Queen of the Jungle & Christmas is no different, that Jungle is rocking with love & romance, take a risk, shine like only you can do, you’ll be singing Under the Mistletoe


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Volume 17, Issue 23, Posted 12:10 PM, 12.01.2021

Never Too Old To Find Love In Lakewood Part 2

Part 2 of the love story of Ron and Lillie

“Were you looking for someone?" I said to Ron. "I mean, I think we’re always looking.” Ron stopped a minute, thoughtfully, and replied, “Well I was. I would never puff myself up or anything, but a lot of women approached me, they really did, and still did up until recently. I was just not interested in that kind of relationship. I wanted someone who was honest and she had to love the Lord, that had to be number one. And I could see that in Lillie, that she really loved the Lord. That was really the big attraction because other women I talked to, if I talked about the Lord, they seemed to shy away, or they’d say, 'My dad was a preacher, or I used to go to this church,' and all that kind of stuff. Lillie seemed to be the real deal in that respect and not only in just that respect but in everything else. She seemed to be as honest as the day was long, nothing pretentious, and was the real deal and still is that way. And one thing led to another." 

"You bike, golf, play guitar, love music, and volunteer. Do you think that part of the reason you and Lillie hit it off so well is because she’s more the stay-at-home person? She was more interested in home and family events and things she was invited to join. So there’s no conflict for you to have the hobbies you have and Lillie isn’t the jealous or possessive type. Do you think, if you had met someone who had as many hobbies as you, a relationship would not have worked?" Ron replied, “Well I think you touched on the stability aspect. She’s fine with me doing my hobbies and stuff. Even when I do them I don’t neglect my part of housekeeping and sharing responsibilities. And she is very good at what she does and likes. She does more ministry than I do, does more with prayer, she's more behind the scenes than I am. She encourages me. I’m just the person that people see. Lilie agrees that she’s better behind the scenes because she is a little on the shy side, not as outgoing initially. That’s what tied the ties for me. If I had seen some kind of conflict, I may have hesitated." 


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Volume 17, Issue 22, Posted 12:10 PM, 12.01.2021

Coincidences-- An Interview With Dr. Stephen Sroka

Looking up, a memory floods my mind, and I exclaim. “Stephen, wanna hear something funny?”

Not giving him the chance to answer, I tell him what my mind remembered way back some fifty years earlier. My Mother was so creative, when she wanted us to do a good job dusting, she would hide pennies and dimes at the bottom of the furniture or tops of lights. I was her tallest daughter, and those crystals on the chandelier, well she paid me to clean them. Stephen laughed and responded, “That was probably the last time they were cleaned.” We both chuckled. We were sitting in Stephen’s house during our talk, and Stephen and his wife had purchased their home from my mother, some 35 years earlier. Here I was sitting across from Stephen Sroka in the home that I grew up in, now and for some time, his home. Coincidence?

Who is Stephen Sroka? To me he is a legend. Long before I began my journey into Mindfulness and Social Emotional Learning, Stephen was forging a trail pebbled in love, laced with wisdom, forged with clarity of focus on a theme he coined “The Power of One,” the concept that one person alone could have everlasting impact on an individual and our entire world.


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Volume 17, Issue 22, Posted 2:04 PM, 11.17.2021

Starr Gazer


ARIES: The Sun is shining on other people’s money this month for the Ram, & your Good Luck charm is hanging with your friends, associations & groups. Get about town, mingle & network.

TAURUS: The Bull is no stranger to relationships, business/personal use that Bull charm & schmooze those relationships this month, Lakewood’s got some great eclectic places for lunch.

GEMINI: The twins focus this month is in the health arena, check out some of those new healthy vegan/vegetarian places this town is known for, & start planning a trip abroad, ahoy.

CANCER: The Crab might be cooking up an affair this month, the romance flames are lighting up, not to mention your 8th house of other’s resources is being blessed by the magic wand, lotto?

LEO: Home is where the Lion’s heart is this month, you’ll be the King/Queen of the Thanksgiving spread, your relationships, including family will bring you much gratitude.


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Volume 17, Issue 22, Posted 3:04 PM, 11.03.2021

Starr Gazer


ARIES: The Ram’s focus this month is on relationships, luck is found with your friendships/groups, since you’re always on the run, & fast...go to a Halloween party as Man o’ War (horse)

TAURUS: Uranus is in the Bull’s house of identity, change it up a bit, come out of your comfort zone & show up at the office party as a down-n-out hobo, hitching a ride on the back of a train

GEMINI: The Twins are finding a bit of luck traveling to a foreign place this month, & romance seems to be following you, when in Rome…go to the party as a bottle of Chianti Classico

CANCER: Jupiter is lined up in your house of other people’s money, play the lotto, look for monies coming from other’s, inheritance maybe? Have a home party this year Crab, by the shore


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Volume 17, Issue 20, Posted 1:25 PM, 10.20.2021

West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church Celebrates 75 Years!

West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church proudly launched its 75th Jubilee Year Celebration on Sunday, September 19, 2021.  Look for banners to be posted soon on the streetlight poles in front of the Rocky River church announcing that West Shore is “Celebrating 75 Years!”

The Diamond Jubilee Celebration is a year-long event.  On November 14 at 2:00 p.m., West Shore will hold a celebratory Gala Organ Rededication Concert for our prized Holtkamp organ. Guest organist Christa Rakich will be the distinguished performer. Christa is an internationally renowned concert organist and is currently the Visiting Professor of Organ at the Oberlin Conservatory.

Founded in 1946, West Shore is Northeast Ohio’s largest “UU” church, with over 500 members. Our mission is to “help people lead lives of meaning and purpose” through a liberal faith tradition focused on the principle that we need not think alike to love alike. We are a Welcoming Congregation, open to all regardless of religious background, race, ethnicity, age, ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.


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Volume 17, Issue 19, Posted 5:16 PM, 10.06.2021

Municipal Court Judges Need Extensive Experience In Municipal Court

The role of a Municipal Court Judge is comparable to an emergency room doctor. The court moves quickly, can see hundreds of cases weekly, and is the only encounter many residents will have with the judicial system. Municipal Courts handle a variety of cases, civil, criminal, housing, felony arraignments/preliminary hearings, and misdemeanors. That is why it is so important to elect the person with the most relevant experience to the bench. 

Having served local communities in a variety of high-level legal positions including as a prosecutor or law director gives me the advantage of not just knowing how Lakewood Municipal Court operates, but also how courts operate all across Northern Ohio including Federal, State, and multiple Municipal Courts. Knowing in detail how a courtroom functions is critical to the fair and equitable administration of justice, 


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Volume 17, Issue 19, Posted 5:16 PM, 10.06.2021

Native Couple Live Mohican Dream

Halfway between Cleveland and Columbus in the heart of Ohio’s Mohican Valley, lies a magical oasis straight out of a fairytale. The Mohicans Treehouse Resort and Wedding Venue inhabits 77 private acres of beautiful indigenous landscape overlooking rolling hills and winding roads. 

The hotel is owned by husband and wife team, Kevin and Laura Mooney whose childhood memories of spending time on the Mohican River and its surrounding woods left an indelible impression. In 2005, they took a leap of faith and purchased a portion of wooded land in the village of Glenmont. The couple has deep roots in our community. Kevin grew up in Lakewood, went to St. Edward High School, and Laura went to Lakewood High. Later on, Kevin ran a successful financial consulting business for 15 years right in our backyard on Madison Avenue. 

The couple built several cabins in their newly purchased acreage but then changed focus after seeing a book about treehouses. In 2011, they collaborated with Pete Nelson, the host of Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters, on early treehouse designs. The family business has since expanded significantly to include cabins, treehouses, and a breathtaking wedding venue which quickly became the property's crown jewel and one of the most sought-after wedding venues in the Midwest. Their most recent addition -- Treehouse Provisions, is a virtual/ghost kitchen in Cleveland's West Park neighborhood that specializes in gourmet fast food and catering.

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Volume 17, Issue 18, Posted 2:41 PM, 09.01.2021

Starr Gazer


Aries: Let up on the gas pedal this month Ram…we know you’re always driving in the fast lane, the Sun is shining on your house of Health…just want to make sure you make it to the finish line

Taurus: Some action in the Bull Pen’s romantic corner this month, throw that red cape out the window, & opt for some red roses instead, your creativity is in full force, along with children

Gemini: Lots of activity around the home front for the Twins, you may be considering a trip overseas, or some involvement with foreign affairs, career is a bit foggy, keep your eyes open

Cancer: Networking is the name of the game for our Crabs, hit the books, the PC, create a Zoom class, you’ve got the green light, buy a lotto ticket, luck with money coming from another source

Leo: Your finances are getting a boost this month, throw a huge party in that Jungle of your Lion/Lioness, Lady Luck has also landed in your house of relationships, personal & business

Virgo: Take care of your physical being this month, with the Sun shining on Virgos, you’ve got some extra energy coming your way, just because you feel like Superman though don’t try flying


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Volume 17, Issue 18, Posted 2:41 PM, 09.01.2021

Cuyahoga Democratic Women's Caucus Comes To Lakewood

The Cuyahoga Democratic Women’s Caucus (CDWC) is a caucus within the County Democratic Party dedicated to encouraging and supporting women as they engage in the political process and run for office at every level of government. 

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Volume 17, Issue 15, Posted 2:41 PM, 09.01.2021

Starr Gazer


Aries: The Ram is King of the Mountain this month, the sun is shining in your House of Romance, Manifestation is the Name of the Game…You’re first out of the gate, go get ‘em Ram.

Taurus: Let Go Bull, we know that’s not an easy assignment for you, however, you’ll be seeing red if you don’t loosen the reins a bit, luck is in the career arena for you & focus is on family.

Gemini: Communication, education & travel is in the Twins corner this month, it’s your story, write as you see fit, make yourself the STAR of your own movie, you’ve got the green light.

Cancer: Money, money, money is shining on the Sea of the Crab, your finances & other’s money…go spend some time in nature, & let the creative juices flow, you’ve got the potential.


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Volume 17, Issue 15, Posted 1:01 PM, 08.04.2021

Supporting Residents, Communication, The First Step During Blackouts

Power outages seem to be a perennial issue in Lakewood. Residents can usually expect outages after thunderstorms, due to fallen powerlines, or fallen tree limbs. But a few weeks ago, in over 90 degree heat and on a cheerfully sunny day, the lights went out for reasons that are still a mystery to most Lakewood residents like me on the West End. 

During the outage, my phone, social media and email were almost immediately filled with messages - some from neighbors wondering what was going on, others calling for help for refrigerated items like insulin and perishable foods, and others from seniors who worried about heat exhaustion with the loss of A/C. I spent the next 8 hours coordinating resources, putting residents in touch with local organizations and trying again and again to reach someone at FirstEnergy who could provide some answers. At 2am, I was finally able to get a representative from FirstEnergy’s Facebook page to give me a direct line I could call in the morning. At 9am,  I was told by First Energy that they had no idea why the lights went out in the first place.

Residents have continued to experience power outages since. The power even went out during a recent city council meeting (though quickly restored). Though city council was able to keep on track during the outage, tweeting photos, and continuing the people’s business, many residents say they wish local leaders would notify them as soon as outages occur and keep them updated throughout these events. 


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Volume 17, Issue 15, Posted 1:01 PM, 08.04.2021

Mamaliga, Here We Come (Again)

The 2021 version of St Mary's traditional Romanian Festival awaits you with outstanding foods delivered to your car. You will be able to enjoy some of your favorite Romanian foods at home or at a picnic table by the lake.

Starting Friday, August 20, from 4-8 pm, continuing Saturday, August 21, from 2-8 pm, and winding up Sunday, August 22, from noon-6 pm, you can order your selections from the modified menu being offered in this second year of the pandemic: stuffed cabbage, chicken paprikash, our famous mamaliga (polenta baked with cheese), sausage and sauerkraut, mititei (our Romanian mighty burgers) grilled on the spot, hot dogs and fries for the kids, plus the ever-popular elephant ears (langosi) and dessert delivered right to your car

"It was a difficult decision to continue with a second year of drive-thru, but, according to Father Remus Grama, parish priest, "We decided to remain cautious, and we hope this decision will be seen as a valuable substitute for our successful yearly summer festival.  All appropriate safety precautions are in place for the food preparation and drive-thru serving process."

This year experience a smaller "taste of Romania" through the good foods being cooked and offered with love by St Mary Romanian Orthodox Cathedral, located right up the street at 3256 Warren Rd in the Kamms Corners neighborhood. Call 216-941-5550 for further information or visit our website www.smroc.org


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Volume 17, Issue 15, Posted 1:01 PM, 08.04.2021

Edgewater Sidewalk Fest Brings Art, Music, Play To Clifton Boulevard On August 8

This free event will be within walking distance of many Lakewood residents and we are also encouraging attendees to try RTA's upgraded 55 Cleveland State Line. 

On Sunday, August 8, Edgewater Sidewalk Fest will celebrate Cleveland’s coastal summertime with leisurely fun along Clifton Boulevard. This refreshing return to revelry is produced by Northwest Neighborhoods CDC and its predecessor, Cudell Improvement, Inc., and will feature exceptional local businesses and spur explorations of the beautiful Edgewater neighborhood.

Free and open to all, Edgewater Sidewalk Fest will be centered along Clifton Boulevard between W. 115th and W. 117th Streets with outdoor activities and live musicians from 12pm to 6pm. Come unwind with volleyball, face painting, and oversized tabletop games. Take snapshots at selfie stations, bring your puppy for a stroll, or keep your hands free for treats from Cleveland Cookie Dough, Scoot! Cold Brew, and other food pop-ups. Printed passports will guide your afternoon and give you chances to win prizes.

“We are thrilled to bring a free, all-ages event to our Edgewater community again,” said Adam Stalder, Executive Director of Northwest Neighborhoods. “You’ll be delighted as you meet our creatives and entrepreneurs who call Edgewater and the nearby Cudell neighborhood home.”


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Volume 17, Issue 15, Posted 2:16 PM, 07.21.2021

H2O’s HOME ALONE Events Return In July! Register TODAY!

Don’t miss this chance to help your child be more prepared and confident in situations that could arise at home or traveling to and from school.

HOME ALONE events are designed by H2O high school leaders and staff to convey critical safety information to younger students in an engaging, meaningful way.  HOME ALONE also stimulates important conversations between parents and children about safety concerns.

HOME ALONE is for students 9-12 years of age who are Lakewood residents. In order to attend, children  must be  accompanied by at least one parent or guardian.  

During each 2-1/2 hour training, students will rotate through six interactive safety presentations led by H2O high school leaders. HOME ALONE event topics include:

* Emergencies – How and when to Call 9-1-1

* Basic First Aid – What to do if accidents or injuries occur

* Tricky People & Street Smarts – How to avoid potentially dangerous situations


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Volume 17, Issue 13, Posted 3:01 PM, 07.07.2021

Starr Gazer


Aries: The Ram finds their good fortune this month behind the scenes…home & family is where you’ll shine, get creative to find romance, go find those hidden gems Lakewood is known for.

Taurus: The Bull will find the pot of gold hanging with friends & groups, you’ll be a networking bonanza this month, get out in your neighborhood, save the romance for home.

Gemini: The Twins are shining on the financial front this month, your career receives a mega-boost, higher-ups are noticing…you’ll find love & romance in networking & the neighborhood.

Cancer: The Crab is on fire to get motivated on your physical well-being, find a walking or workout buddy, love & money can be found together, maybe a foreigner is in the stars, hmm.

Leo: The Lion/Lioness is lighting up the Jungle with Venus & Mars swinging from vine-to-vine, get out & meet the animals in that forest you rule, finances are shining on his/her royal self.


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Volume 17, Issue 13, Posted 3:01 PM, 07.07.2021

The Case for Diversity, Equity And Inclusion In City Government

Our local government has something no other entity has: the unique mission of service to its residents. Our city government is responsible for ensuring our food is safe to eat, our water is drinkable, and our streets are safe, plowed, and paved. No other organization is responsible for these community missions. This is exactly why local governments must be diverse, equitable and inclusive.

Bringing diversity to our city leadership must be a deliberate act - a step on a path to build a future where residents from different backgrounds, bringing their own unique qualities, experiences, and viewpoints feel like they matter. The existence of racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia, ageism, xenophobia, transphobia, ableism, classism and other forms of discrimination towards our residents make the need for equity critical. As a culture, city and society, we must be prepared to take that first step and place a chair at the table of opportunity.

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Volume 17, Issue 12, Posted 1:55 PM, 06.16.2021

Keep Sarah Kepple On Lakewood City Council

Hi neighbors! I’m your friendly Lakewood City Councilmember at Large Sarah Kepple, and I’m running to continue to make your local government accessible and responsive to you. I was honored to be unanimously appointed to complete the term vacated by then newly elected Mayor George. I felt called to serve then as I am now because my experience and expertise as a small business owner, volunteer community organizer, and longtime public servant working for and with diverse populations make me uniquely suited to unite our community to take on the challenges facing our city together.

I began my career in public service at Lakewood Public Library where I met my husband Andrew Harant. At the Cuyahoga County Public Library, I worked in a number of communities throughout the county, and I had the opportunity to notice that children attending lower funded schools were not getting enough access to vital technology skills to help them prepare for 21st Century higher education and job markets. I began teaching technology classes for kids and eventually moved to the Library’s Administration building where I developed curriculum, trained staff, and coordinated county-wide efforts including coding camps, robotics classes, and music and video recording studios. Having experience connecting people through technology was extremely helpful in my first term on council during the global pandemic! I wrote my first ordinance less than a month after being sworn in to allow council to meet remotely to continue the people’s work, and I worked with our IT department to enable and encourage public participation through new and convenient technology such as our eComment platform. I also kept residents informed via timely video updates and social media posts.


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Volume 17, Issue 12, Posted 1:55 PM, 06.16.2021

League Of Women Voters Of Lakewood Create The Mary Warren Impact Scholarship

Mary Warren is a super hero among community activists. 

A true defender of democracy, Mary is a 58-year-member of the League of Women Voters.  To honor her activism, the Lakewood Chapter of the League of Women Voters Greater Cleveland will award several $1,000 scholarships to Lakewood High School seniors in her name.

“We thought this was a wonderful way to honor Mary Warren, who has worked tirelessly for more than five decades,” said Cindy Strebig, Lakewood Chapter active member. “At the same time, we know how important civic education and engagement are for today’s student. This is a great way to tie the two together and introduce students to the resources of the League. We are working to increase our student members.”


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Volume 17, Issue 10, Posted 11:40 AM, 05.19.2021

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

Starr Gazer


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

A Lakewood Anchor Servicing Our Most Vulnerable Residents

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

Lakewood Kiwanis Celebrates 100 Years

A celebration is in order. The Kiwanis Club of Lakewood will be celebrating 100 years of service to the community and the world. Starting in 1921 with 83 of the leading business men of Lakewood, this service organization began a lengthy legacy to children and the Lakewood community.

You may have seen or participated in some of the Kiwanis projects and activities around town --  the many hot dog sales, the Kiwanis Picnic Pavilion at Lakewood Park, where many families congregate all year long, the building of the all-weather track at Lakewood Stadium, the illuminated community sign in front of the old Board of Education Building on Warren Rd., the famous Lakewood Pizza Bake-off at Lakewood High, the many pancake breakfasts, and who can forget the donut sales every fall.

Also, service to the needy throughout the world happened when the club raised thousands of dollars to complete its commitment to the IDD Project, a Kiwanis International Project in the ‘90’s that resulted in putting iodine in the water supply in areas of Africa to eliminate mental retardation in children.  In recent years the club again participated in a new International Kiwanis Project – “The Eliminate Project” which led to the club financially supporting the vaccination of 20,000 mothers in Africa and Asia to protect their babies from early death from neonatal tetanus.  


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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 3:04 PM, 03.17.2021

Trinity Lutheran At 100: A New Role Awaits

The cornerstone of Trinity Lutheran Church has overlooked Detroit Avenue for a century, as of 2021.

Construction of the church concluded in 1922, and the congregation held its final service on this site 96 years later in 2018, before moving to a new home on West Clifton. The City of Lakewood acquired the property including church building, classrooms, storefronts and parking.

After a search for reuse options, the city settled on Scalish Construction’s proposal in 2019. Scalish is to move into the church building as its headquarters, renovate the storefronts, and convert other portions of the property to housing.

Planning Commission member Jeff Wise calls Trinity Lutheran a “historic preservation success story.” Wise says that Scalish is pursuing preservation tax credits, and that this and COVID-19 have meant that the site is quiet for now, but he’s hopeful that redevelopment will begin this year.

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Volume 17, Issue 6, Posted 3:04 PM, 03.17.2021

Reps. Skindell, Denson Testify On Legislation To Repeal Corrupt Price Gouging Budget Amendment Benefiting First Energy, HB 58 Puts Money Back Into Ohioans’ Pockets

State Reps. Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) and Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati) testified today on House Bill (HB) 58, previously introduced as HB 740 in the 133rd General Assembly, which would repeal a provision in state law allowing First Energy to keep excessive profits rather than returning the money to electric customers through a rate adjustment. The pricing provision was added to the state two-year budget, HB 166, which was signed into law in July 2019.

In Ohio, electric distribution utilities are entitled to earn monopoly profits from the electric services they provide to customers. Ohio's allowance for profits is larger than most other states. Prior to the HB 166 amendment, electric utilities were allowed to earn excessive profits but "significantly excessive profits" were required to be returned to customers through an adjustment in prospective rates. HB 166 changed how "significantly excessive profits" are calculated, benefiting FirstEnergy by amending Revised Code Section 4928.143. 


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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 7:38 PM, 03.03.2021

Democratic Lawmakers Testify On Bill To Repeal House Bill 6

House Democratic lawmakers Reps. Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) and Michael O’Brien (D-Warren) testified before the House Public Utilities Committee today on House Bill (HB) 57, their legislation to repeal HB 6. The Democrats urged lawmakers on the panel to act swiftly to repeal the controversial corporate bailout legislation at the center of an FBI investigation into an alleged $60 million public corruption scheme led by then-Republican Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford), the largest corruption and money-laundering scheme ever in Ohio.

“Electric customers are on the hook for paying for legislation adopted because of a $60 million corruption scheme. House Bill 6 must be immediately repealed to protect Ohioans and restore confidence in state government,” Rep. Skindell said in his testimony.

The Democratic legislation would repeal HB 6, a $1 billion bailout for Ohio's two nuclear power plants, which was signed into law in July 2019. Then-Speaker Larry Householder and several associates were allegedly paid tens of millions of dollars to pass HB 6 and to prevent a referendum against the law from coming before Ohio voters. Householder was arrested on July 21, 2020 for his role in the alleged racketeering scheme.

“Often referred to as the worst energy policy legislation passed by any state, HB 6 is an example of how a corrupt system can pass legislation hurting average working families to benefit large corporations,” said Rep. O’Brien in his testimony.

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 7:38 PM, 03.03.2021

Reps. Skindell And Upchurch Seek $150 Million Annually For Public Transit, Lawmakers Say Governor’s Budget Significantly Defunds Transit In Ohio

State Reps. Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) and Terrence Upchurch (D-Cleveland) today filed legislation to introduce the funding of public transit in Ohio at $150 million annually, using a mix of State and Federal revenues. The legislation seeks $100 million from Ohio’s General Revenue Fund and $50 million in revenue from Federal Highway dollars, known as Federal Flex dollars, annually over the two-year budget to go to transit.

In his proposed state budget, Governor DeWine outlines a small appropriation of approximately $7.3 million annually from the General Revenue Fund for public transit. Neither the state operating budget nor the state transportation budget earmarks federal flex dollars for transit. The existing state operating budget passed in 2019 appropriated $70 million annually for public transit from the General Revenue Funds. Transit systems have received less than this amount due to budget cuts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am extremely discouraged that Gov. DeWine and his administration do not understand the importance of public transit for many working individuals in this state, said Rep. Skindell. “I was pleased that the Ohio General Assembly made a significant commitment to greater public transit funding in the last transportation bill. Our legislation today recognizes that we need to create a transportation system that addresses Ohio’s changing demographics and transportation preferences, links people to jobs and training opportunities, and provides access to businesses and healthcare.”


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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 7:38 PM, 03.03.2021

Starr Gazer


Aries: The Ram’s focus is behind the scenes, maybe a little flirtation with a leprechaun, keep your eyes open, all it not as it seems, there may be surprises in the finances, watch the green.

Taurus: The Bull finally ventures away from the Bull Pen, lots of social activity going on in the area of friends & associations, Uranus is front in center in the Bull’s Pen, try out a new look.

Gemini: Career is on the mind of the Twins, work your wit & charm & you’ll impress even the most caustic of bosses, plan that trip to distant lands, the Blarney stone & a Guinness…hmm.

Cancer: The Crab loves the Seashore, it’s not too late to plan, Greece, Italy & France all have seashores last time I checked, your four-leaf clover is in other’s money, lotto, IRS refund?

Leo: The Lion/Lioness may have stumbled upon the pot o’ gold, your lucky star is shining on your business/personal relationships, & surprises are in store in the career arena, do an Irish jig.

VirgoThe Luck of the Irish is sprinkling its fairy dust in the area of health & service, stay within moderation when eating all that corned beef & cabbage, quit worrying to reduce stress.


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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 7:38 PM, 03.03.2021

Councilwoman Tess Neff Announces Candidacy For Lakewood Judge

It is with great enthusiasm that I announce my candidacy for Judge of the Lakewood Municipal Court. Lakewood has been my home for over 32 years, and it is where my husband Rich and I raised our three children. I am deeply invested in our great community. Over the years, I have engaged in several civic opportunities such as the Lakewood Preschool PTA, serving on both the Lakewood YMCA Board and Beck Center for the Arts Community Engagement Committee and most recently, proudly serving on Lakewood City Council representing Ward 1.

My extensive public service makes me uniquely qualified to serve as the Lakewood Judge. As a magistrate for 10 years in the Lakewood Municipal Court and 12 years in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Juvenile Division Court I have made many difficult and important judicial decisions on criminal and civil cases that directly impact individuals’ lives. Like a judge, a magistrate must apply the law, consider community safety and victims' rights, all while ensuring equal and fair treatment to the individuals appearing in court.

In addition to my magistrate experience, I understand the operations of running a large court. This is essential in a single judge court like Lakewood. In September 2015, I was unanimously appointed by the six judges of the Juvenile Court to serve as the Court Administrator and since have held that position. I believe the appointment is reflective of my strong work ethic, integrity, reputation for treating individuals with respect and dignity, and my ability to solve complex issues. Some of my current responsibilities include overseeing court operations, a budget exceeding $50 million, and managing approximately 550 employees. I will bring all these critical skills and essential experience to the Lakewood Court if elected to the position on November 9, 2021.


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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 11:15 AM, 02.03.2021

Starr Gazer


Aries: The Ram has never been a shy one, this month try finding love amongst the groups and associations you belong to…Tip: accept compliments, this may lead to love on that mountain.

Taurus: The Bull knows all about love, Venus just so happens to be all lit up in your sign this month, the Goddess of love points to your career, hang out at the water cooler just little longer.

Gemini: 'I believe in magic' is the Twins theme song this month, try some log-distance flirting, maybe even hang out at the travel agency, foreign love is waiting to communicate with you.

Cancer: The Crab is in love with love, sometimes a little too much, let your natural beauty shine this month, any dealings with taxes just might leave you with more than money in your account.

Leo: The Lion/Lioness has command over his/her jungle, pay extra attention to your relationships this month, business & personal, simply “be present” it’s not all about YOU.

VirgoIf there’s anyone who has closed their mind to love, it just might be you…try putting a lid on that criticism, create some healthy culinary surprises, & invite that Yoga instructor over.


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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 11:15 AM, 02.03.2021

Independent Salon Owners Call Phenix Salon Suites Home

Phenix Salon Suites, a new and exciting concept in the beauty and salon industry, has been located in the heart of Lakewood at 15314 Detroit Avenue since late 2018. Phenix’s upscale salon and spa provides fully equipped, private suites for independent salon professionals to operate their own salon. Each salon owner runs their business independently, selects their hours, sets their pricing and sells beauty products of their choice.

The Lakewood Phenix includes over 40 independent local, salon owners who provide a variety of services including hair, nails, skin, lashes, barbering and teeth whitening. Each of the salons inside the Phenix location is a private suite allowing for built in social distancing and one-on-one service. Phenix found Lakewood to be a desirable location because of its creative energy, walkable neighborhoods, business friendly environment and central location in the Cleveland area.


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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 3:43 PM, 01.20.2021

Starr Gazer


Aries: The Ram is always the first one bolting out of the starting gate, for 2021 why don’t you take up something that allows you to channel all that fire energy like kick boxing, or racing?

Taurus: 2021 says get the heck out of the Bull Pen, come out of your comfort zone, Uranus & Mars are in your sign, experiment, take a cooking class, try painting, do something different.

Gemini: The Twins are great at communication skills, use 2021 to learn a new language, go to an international party & charm everyone with your new language skills, you’re always a hit.

Cancer: OK Crab, it’s no secret you’re super sensitive, you cry at everything, let 2021 be the year you put a lid on those emotions of yours, wean yourself from clinging to those you love.

Leo: The Jungle will survive if you take a few days off here & there for some “me time,” you are after all King/Queen, 2021 is calling you to roar over to the beach for some much needed R & R.

Virgo: 2021 is screaming for the Virgos to CHILL OUT, yeah, put your critical voice to rest, we all know you’re perfect, no one will ever make the mark, so let up on your fellow human beings.


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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 12:59 PM, 01.06.2021

The HOME ALONE Effect - Help H2O Keep it Growing!

When the pandemic hit last March, sixty-two H2O high school leaders had just finished presenting their last HOME ALONE event to a total of 221 children and their parents/guardians.  

The high school leaders spent nine months and over 1,800 hours meeting with safety experts and researching online to create interactive presentations for their 9-12-year-old peers. They covered topics including household emergencies, first aid, cooking safety, resolving sibling conflicts, internet safety, street smarts, and more.

While the high school students instructed the young participants, their parents/guardians received valuable safety information presented by experts from Lakewood’s Fire, Police and EMS departments.

HOME ALONE helps children gain confidence by acquiring life skills and knowledge from teen mentors.

HOME ALONE fosters critical conversations between parents and children surrounding safety issues that may arise as their child matures and assumes more personal responsibility.

HOME ALONE builds leadership in our high school youth.

In their own words:

“The best part of Home Alone was giving our presentations. We were able to directly help children by providing them with the tools that need to be safe and feel safe.”


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Volume 17, Issue 1, Posted 12:59 PM, 01.06.2021

Thoughts Of Stephen Davis

I put down a book I was reading and called Steve Davis.

The book was “The Happy Islands of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific” by the travel writer Paul Theroux. I had just read a mention of canned corned beef, which in the South Pacific went by the name of “pisupo.”

I knew this already, thanks to Steve, who had spent part of his childhood in American Samoa. He relayed to us the island pidgin for several words and phrases such as “party” and “I’m gonna kick you in the mouth.” I forget the island translation for those undoubtedly helpful phrases, but I told Steve that I had just read Theroux’s account of the etymology of “pisupo,” which corresponded with Steve’s account. The first canned food to reach the happy islands was pea soup, which was not well received. The second, however, was canned corned beef, which was an immediate and lasting hit. But since it came in the same sort of can as pea soup, corned beef became known as pisupo. Actual pea soup, presumably, was forgotten.

“So. Did you think I was lying to you?” Steve asked when I called him. I admitted that the whole thing seemed improbable, but I was happy to find out that it was true.

“Improbable, but true,” is a good descriptor for Stephen M. Davis, whom we lost on [need exact date] in the already-horrible year of 2020. I met him when I worked in the publications office at Case Western Reserve in the mid-1980s. He was a print sales rep for Sherman Litho and called on us from time to time.

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Volume 16, Issue 24, Posted 12:20 PM, 12.16.2020

Starr Gazer


Aries: The Ram is always first for everything, in your rush to get there, take time to enjoy the journey, go ahead & Deck the Halls & let the festivities begin, you’re good at starting things.

Taurus: The Bull does a lot of thinking in that Bullpen of yours, since every request is granted, there’s no need for you to feel any competition, go Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Gemini: The Twins are always the life of every office party, even if you have to Zoom the party this year, you’ll be able to come up with something lively, Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

Cancer: I’ll Be Home for Christmas at the Crab’s house, take time to rest & let someone else pitch in, you’re the nurturer of all holiday gatherings, spread the baking & cooking chores.

Leo: You are the King/Queen of the Jungle & Christmas is no different, do it up in high Leo fashion, light up that Jungle, Roar like you’ve never roared, Jingle Bell Rock that Jungle.


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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020