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The Tastiest Coffee And Crepes In Lakewood

I always appreciate a good coffee shop. The strong coffee smell, tasty desserts, and the cozy atmosphere always make it an excellent place to unwind and enjoy your day. I recently found a cute little coffee shop called Brewella’s and it serves the best coffee and crepes in town. The enchanting vintage space (or should this say eclectic aesthetic space) and delicious coffee make Brewella’s the place to go!

Coffee and Snacks
There is nothing better than sipping on your coffee while enjoying a soft, authentic French crepe. At Brewella's, they serve plenty of unique coffees that fit the seasons. For instance, they have Merry Maple Latte during the winter, which is flavored with maple, cinnamon, and latte. I had iced coffee with vanilla syrup, a second one with hazelnut, and since fall is near I decided to try the pumpkin pie crepe and the iced Jack-o-latte drink with oat milk. With just one sip, you can appreciate the whimsical autumn vibes in these seasonal menu items.

Atmosphere
When it comes to coffee shops, the atmosphere is a major part of the experience. It sets the tone for how relaxed you are and how long you will stay. Brewella’s Coffee, Crepes, and Collectables has a wonderfully inviting atmosphere that makes you want to cozy up on the sofa and enjoy the day. The antique store vibes give it a sense of familiarity that can be comforting. The shop also always works diligently to remain seasonally relevant, and the decorations often reflect the upcoming holidays.

Overall Impression
All in all, Brewella’s is a great place for coffee lovers, readers, writers, and anyone with a sweet tooth. You can stop by for a quick coffee or spend a few hours getting inspiration from the décor and enjoying the atmosphere.

Brewella’s is at
16806 Madison Ave.
Monday & Tuesday ~ CLOSED
Wednesday to Sunday ~ 8a - 2p
216 - 712 - 4907

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Volume 18, Issue 19, Posted 12:38 PM, 09.21.2022

Rep. Skindell Opposes State Issue 2, An Attack On The Freedom To Vote

State Rep. Michael J. Skindell (D– Lakewood) issued a statement opposing State Issue 2 regarding voting qualifications. The proposed constitutional amendment would add restrictions to voter qualifications, potentially barring 17-year-olds from voting in primary elections. Rep. Skindell testified to the Ballot Board, expressing concern that the Board-approved ballot language does not accurately describe the new restrictions to voting that the constitutional amendment will impose.

“I strongly oppose State Issue 2, which will be on the ballot this November,” said Rep. Skindell. “Issue 2 would add new restrictions to voting for all Ohioans, taking our state backwards. Further, the Ballot Board approved language on a party line vote that does not accurately warn voters about what they are voting on. The people need to know the truth. This issue could take away 17-year-olds’ longstanding right to vote in primary elections. It also restricts voter registration for an entire month before elections, an unnecessary and deliberate obstacle to voter access. The voting restrictions proposed in Issue 2 are an attack on our freedom to vote. I oppose Issue 2 and encourage Ohioans to reject it by voting ‘No’.’”

The statute granting 17-year-olds the right to vote in primaries was enacted in Ohio back in 1981–over 40 years ago. Studies have shown that permitting 17-year-olds to vote in primaries increases youth engagement. In addition, once a person votes, that person is more likely to vote again.

Caitlin Robertson is the Legislative Aide to State Representative Michael J. Skindell.

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

Senator Antonio Shares Resources For Pet Owners

On August 18th, I had the opportunity to attend the ribbon-cutting and tour of the Cleveland Animal Protective League’s new, fully-renovated animal care and resource center in Tremont.

During the tour, I learned how the expansion would allow more pet owners around Cuyahoga County who cannot afford regular veterinary care to receive care for their pets instead of having to surrender them, so animals can stay with the people they love.

Sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic, economic instability, lack of pet-friendly housing options and rising costs have led to an increase in animal surrenders both in our state and nationwide. For pet owners in these situations, many shelters offer diversion programs where they can receive free or subsidized pet food and veterinary care, or where pets can be boarded for short amounts of time to prevent permanent surrenders.

Many organizations across Cuyahoga County offer pet food pantries, low-cost animal wellness clinics and surrender diversion programs. If you or someone you know is in need of resources, do not hesitate to contact my office at 614-466-5123 or antonio@ohiosenate.gov, and we will help connect you. Pets are a part of our families, and families must always come first.

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

Attachment Song

You love with attachment,

playfully like the laws of physics.

A green young branch that won't break,

or like a cloud attached to rivers along

blue rain,

Love is young and flexible,

hungry and strong.

Affection is a seed I bear attaching

yellow light

to orange fruit.

Or like a falling leaf attaching

brightly

back at the Root.

 

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

Senator Antonio Joins President Biden In Cleveland For Historic Announcement

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

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

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

 

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

Reduce, Reuse, REVAMP!

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

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

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

 

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

VOTE, VOTE, VOTE

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

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

Lakewood Loses A Beautiful Person

Matt Kuhns composed his own obituary for the Lakewood Observer.

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

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

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

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

Matt's writing appeared in The Lakewood Observer.

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

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

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

To read some of Matt's incredible  writing go to MattKuhns.com

 

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

Rotary International Elects First Female President

Jennifer E. Jones, a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, Ontario, Canada, will become Rotary International’s president for 2022-23, a groundbreaking selection that will make her the first woman to hold that office in the organization’s 115-year history.

Jones says she sees Rotary’s Action Plan as a catalyst for increasing Rotary’s impact.

“As we reflect upon our new strategic priorities, we could have never envisioned that our ability to adapt would become our North Star during what is inarguably the most profound time in recent history,” Jones said in her vision statement. “Silver linings rise out of the most challenging circumstances. Using metric-driven goals, I will harness this historic landscape to innovate, educate, and communicate opportunities that reflect today’s reality.”

 

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Volume 18, Issue 14, Posted 12:21 PM, 07.06.2022

New Children's Book By Local Author Helps Kids (And Adults!) Deal With Loss Of Loved One

Local author Gabe Goldman is on a mission. He wants to make the idea of death less scary for kids. And he’s just come out with a children’s book, called The Loving Wind: A Story About the People in Our Lives Who Must Find Out What’s Beyond the Sky,” which does just that.

“When my own mom died, my kids were young. I wanted them to feel that their grandma was going on to a new and exciting part of her own journey even though they would miss her.  I wrote The Loving Wind for them back then – and ever since dreamed of making it into a book that I could send out into the world.”

Now that dream is a reality. And Gabe is introducing the book to the world by donating copies to schools, libraries, grief support agencies, and literacy advocacy agencies. “We’ve given out upwards of a hundred books,” Gabe says, “including to the Cleveland Kids Book Bank, Cornerstone of Hope, Little Free Libraries, and LCSD elementary schools.”

Kids today have a lot to deal with – isolation from the pandemic, fear of gun violence, anxiety over school shootings – in addition to the normal problems of growing up. The Loving Wind is one tool to help families support kids as they navigate these challenges.

 

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

A Good Father

With the passing of Mother's Day I started to think about Father's Day and what makes a good or great father. I often have said at the end of my life would I want to be remembered as a great employee or great father. For me the answer was always a great father and husband.

My dad apologized to me shortly before he died for not being with me in the operating room for surgery I had when I was about 3 Years old. He said, "I am sorry for making you mad at me for not being in the operating room like I promised. The doctor would not allow me in." I replied, "I was never mad; I never knew you were not there they put me to sleep for the surgery and you were the last person I remember seeing  and the first when I woke up. I am sorry you carried that with you for twenty some years."

I thought how caring and loving that was to carry that for so many years and that may be part of what defines a good father.

What defines a good father: A good father makes you feel safe.

A PBC lists ten qualities of a good father.

1.) Dependability-Being avaliable to your kids in good times and bad.

2.) Involvement-Being engaged in your kids, lives, interests, hopes and dreams daily.

3.) Compassion-Hope and belief when your kids need it most.

4.) Validating of the mother-Show respect for your kids' mother, value and validate your partner. This shows your children how to treat each other.

5.) Empathy- Put ourselves in the shoes of others.

6.) Being verbally expressive-Uphold guidelines without being belittling or controlling.

7.) Being Human-Own mistakes:be open for feedback.

 

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Volume 18, Issue 12, Posted 12:51 PM, 06.15.2022

Ohio Heritage Camp Returns This Summer

Ohio Heritage Camp, a summer camp offered by Lakewood Recreation Department and Lakewood Historical Society, returns this summer! Participants will experience being a child in the early 1800s, including cooking, learning and playing like early settlers. Children will see what it was like to live in pioneer times by doing chores and completing school lessons with old-time materials.

Students entering 3rd to 6th grades are eligible to register for Ohio Heritage.

Ohio Heritage will be offered July 18--22, Monday through Friday. Choose the morning session (9 a.m. -- 12 noon) or the afternoon session (1 p.m. -- 4 p.m.). The class fee is $75 for Lakewood residents and $85 for nonresidents. 

The class meets daily at the Women's Pavilion, Lakewood Park, 14532 Lake Avenue. The class will visit the nearby Oldest Stone House daily during the camp.

Register at www.lakewoodrecreation.com or call 216-529-4081.

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

Lakewood Adopts 100% Clean Electricity As Default Option Through NOPEC

Starting January 1 of next year, electricity from 100% renewable sources will be the default electricity purchase option for Lakewood residents. That's thanks to Lakewood City Council's recent passage of a resolution authorizing Lakewood to participate in the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council's (NOPEC) Green Community Choice Program.

NOPEC is the local nonprofit energy aggregator that uses a bulk-buying approach to purchase electricity and natural gas to help local households and small businesses save on energy costs. NOPEC recently developed its Green Community Choice Program to allow cities to choose 100% renewable electricity -- through solar and wind generation -- as the default electricity supply choice for their residents.   

 

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Volume 18, Issue 11, Posted 1:56 PM, 05.18.2022

Kevin O’Boyle Memorial Scholarship For Former Foster Youth Now Accepting Applications For Fall 2022

Child and Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County (CFACC) is pleased to announce that the Kevin O'Boyle Memorial Scholarship for former local foster youth will be opening for applications April 1, 2022 for the Fall 2022 academic term. 

Kevin was a Cleveland native, CFACC and Ohio CASA board member, and active CASA volunteer for 15+ years when he suddenly and unexpectedly passed away in June 2020. Kevin worked as a CASA volunteer with more than 20 foster youth in Cleveland and Chicago, and directed many to higher ed and job training programs as well as direct employment.
 
CFACC is poised to offer initial awards for up to four students for the fall 2022 academic term. Eligible students must be:
    •    currently enrolled in a formal post-secondary degree, vocational training or job certificate program in Cuyahoga County
    •    have a documentable foster child history of at least one year with CCDCFS
    •    have achieved 50% degree or program/certificate completion
    •    have documented financial needs based on the FAFSA filing and/or advisor recommendation concerning unique financial circumstances
    •    referred by their school or program advisor to apply
Former foster youth who are eligible student candidates for this scholarship award should be referred by their program advisor. This scholarship is only open to former foster youth served by the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services for educational services provided in Cuyahoga County.
 

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

Lakewood Students Place First At Science Olympiad

On Saturday, March 6, Lakewood locals Yianni Gountis and Brian Milindi placed first in the "Simple Machines" category in the 2022 Science Olympiad competition held at Case Western Reserve University. They were a part of the Birchwood team, coached by Linda Brown, Michelle Bogden, Lauren Miller, Sam Miller, and Rana Bottino that have been practicing since October 2021. This team composed of fourth through sixth-grade students faced off with many local schools and this event and met with great results.

Ohio’s brightest middle and high school students attended the Ohio Science Olympiad regional tournament. Ohio Science Olympiad is the state’s premier competition that allows students in grades 5-12 to demonstrate their skills in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) areas. 

“Science Olympiad students went through a rigorous tryout process in October to be selected for Team 1 or Team 2 in November. Students have been working diligently since November each week after school for an hour on Wednesdays. Many teams also put in extra time over weekends testing, building, and studying. We are very proud of the hard work they put in and their ability to be flexible when changes needed to be made along the

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Volume 18, Issue 7, Posted 11:55 AM, 03.16.2022

Upcoming H2O Events

H2O “Help to Others” is a youth volunteer program that is part of the City of Lakewood’s Division of Youth. We have a couple of events coming up and we’d like to share some information:

  • HOME ALONE – This is an innovative course created by high school leaders, designed for youth ages 9-12. In the words of senior HOME ALONE designer Greta Frantz, this program “has been specifically created to address the concerns that were commonly expressed by children of the same age during our data collection period. Based on these concerns, we found that our focus should be centered around six main topics: First Aid, Emergencies, Tricky People/Street Smarts, Routines & Siblings, Internet Safety, and especially due to the recent effects of Covid-19, Mental Health. While children are presented with researched information from high school students, parents attend a similar presentation from safety professionals. After each Home Alone program, we ask for feedback from parents and their children on what they have just experienced. In response to being asked what the best part of HOME ALONE is, one parent said, “gaining knowledge on some serious topics through the experience of small groups and with older students allowed our student to learn and grow in a safe environment.” The next HOME ALONE event will take place on Thursday, March 31st at Lakewood High School. Registration will open on March 9th.
  • Breakfast With the Bunny – This annual family favorite is returning for an in-person event after being adapted as a drive-through experience in 2021. There will be four seating times to enjoy a pancake breakfast served by H2O volunteers, take photos with the bunny, and bid on raffle baskets. Breakfast with the Bunny takes place at the Women’s Pavilion at Lakewood Park on April 9th, four reservation times between 8:30-12:45; registration will open on March 21st.
  • H2O Summer Service Camp – This popular day camp will have four sessions to choose from and each will feature a balance of volunteer service learning, socializing, reflection, and fun. They will have opportunities to go to a variety of service sites to learn about different needs and how they can be part of strengthening their community. Camp maintains a 6:1 ratio of counselors to campers, which means each group has a high-quality experience. Camp has a choice of four sessions from June-early August and registration will open the first week of April.
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Volume 18, Issue 6, Posted 12:03 PM, 03.16.2022

Senator Antonio Announces Passage Of Bill To Allow Solar Panels In Condominiums

On January 26th, the Ohio Senate passed my bill, Substitute Senate Bill 61, to strengthen a number of consumer protection provisions for condominium owners and make changes to the law regarding solar panel installation in condo properties and planned communities.

The legislation, which is joint-sponsored by Louis W. Blessing, III (R-Colerain Township), will prohibit homeowners associations (HOAs) from blocking an individual’s ability to install solar panels as long as the HOA does not own or maintain the roof or exterior walls where the panels will be placed. The bill now heads to the Ohio House of Representatives for referral to a committee.

In Ohio, solar energy is one of the fastest-growing sectors, providing increased employment opportunities and supporting our economy. Homes with solar power systems are also more attractive to many potential buyers, which leads to increased property values and bolsters community growth. Substitute Senate Bill 61 strikes a balance between preserving the character of planned communities while enabling Ohioans to make clean, renewable energy choices on their properties.

Lakewood is home to a large number of condominiums, and I know there are so many in our community who are conscious of their impact on the environment. Not only does solar energy reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it also lowers utility bills, combats rising energy costs, increases a home’s value, and provides reliable backup power in the case of a widespread electrical grid outage. I am proud to do my part in ensuring solar energy is accessible for all Ohioans, regardless of where they live.

 

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Volume 18, Issue 4, Posted 8:36 AM, 02.16.2022

Local Volunteer Child Advocates Needed

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) Help to Change the Lives of Local Kids

Cuyahoga County CASA, a Northeast Ohio youth advocacy organization, seeks community-based and diverse Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers to work with children at risk for abuse, neglect and dependency who are involved in Cleveland’s child welfare and juvenile law systems. CASAs are caring adult volunteers to advocate for the best interests of vulnerable children, both in courtrooms and communities.

CASAs are legally appointed to children’s cases directly by the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court, and help to provide information the Court needs to make critical decisions in a child’s life. To be effective, CASAs get to know the child(ren), work with family members and caregivers, and interview other significant individuals associated with the child(ren), including relatives, doctors, therapists, teachers, social workers, and attorney Guardians ad Litem (GALs). CASAs review educational and medical records, attend Court hearings and make recommendations in court regarding how the child(ren) can achieve permanency, meaning a safe and loving permanent home.

Due to large numbers of local youth in foster care, many more community volunteers are needed to serve as child advocates. Each of these children deserves the individual support and advocacy that a CASA volunteer provides. CASA volunteer candidates must be age 21 and up, complete an application and interview, pass a background check, and complete 30 hours of Pre-Service training before being formally sworn in by the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court and being assigned to a child’s case. Once assigned, CASA volunteers are asked to invest 10 hours per month visiting their child at home or in school, collecting information, working collaboratively with case parties, and making best interest recommendations to the Juvenile Court.

 

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

Calling All Lakewood Republicans, Conservatives & Patriots

Our kickoff meeting of the Lakewood & West Park Conservatives was held on January 19th and was an overwhelming success. Over 50 people attended that evening and I would like to thank all of you who took time out of their busy schedules. It was so encouraging to spend an evening with like minded individuals that share common goals and values.

In an effort to continue the momentum of the group, we have scheduled our next meeting for Tuesday February 15th from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. It will be held at The Summer House located at 12900 Lake Avenue in Lakewood.

Our key note speaker that evening will be Frank LaRose, Secretary of State of Ohio. Several of our other local candidates will speak as well. It is a great opportunity to meet the candidates and ask them about the issues that are important to you and your family.

Please feel free to bring your friends and neighbors. All are welcome!

If you need more information or would like to discuss further, please email me at: kd44107@yahoo.com or call me at 216-385-8730.

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

What Is Love?

While shopping in the greeting card section of a local store, I was looking for a birthday card for a close friend.

You may be looking for the card that expresses exactly what you want to say, but cannot find it, so you settle for the best one you can find to show that special someone how much you care, support, love etc. you have for them.

While trying to accomplish this and Valentine's day being heavily promoted in the store, many of the cards expressed love for someone in one way or another. I found myself asking the question: What is love? Many cards tried to answer this but did not. Being a person of faith, I found myself looking in a Bible for the answer. I found the best answer in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, it always protects, always trusts, always hopes always perseveres."

                                                    "Love Never Fails"

Thinking about this a friend shared a post from (Positivity in Life) "When you have a friend that checks on you and wants nothing but the best for you without motive... keep them close. Such souls are hard to find." This shows the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

In o

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

Fishing With My Dad

While coming home through the park on a 40-degree December afternoon from completing some errands. I noticed many anglers out taking advantage of the nice weather. I particulary noticed what appeared to be a father with his young daughter fishing on the bank of the Rocky River. This  sight took me back 50 years to when I was a young boy fishing on the banks of the Rocky River with my own father.

My father, who passed away thirty plus years ago, liked to take us fishing in the evening, then for an ice cream cone, if neighbor kids or friends were around he would take them too.

My Dad worked two jobs but always seemed to find some time to spend with us doing an activity we enjoyed like playing Baseball, Bicycling or Fishing etc. Sometimes it was not a lot of time, but he was available for us.

As I got older my pastime became golf. My dad was not a golfer, but encouraged it. I still fish when I have time, which is not often due to career and golf coaching demands. When I do fish I head for Lake Erie for Perch or Walleye or an Ocean Fishing Charter trip to chase the big fish I dreamed about as a young boy, but what I do miss and remember is the life conversations I had with my Dad on those fishing trips along the riverbank.

 

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

Wishing Our Community A Wonderful Holiday Season

HAPPY PAWLIDAYS! No matter where life takes you, I hope that your adventures bring you home for the holidays. Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous and fun holiday season.

CHRISTMAS MORNING BAKED FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE (Neff family tradition)

1 loaf cinnamon swirl bread                        1 tablespoon vanilla extract

8 large eggs                                                     ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2-1/2 cups half-and-half                               ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup milk                                                        Praline Topping (below)

2 tablespoons sugar

Praline Topping: 2 sticks butter; 1 cup backed light brown sugar; 1 cup chopped pecans; ½ teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg (combine all ingredients in a bowl and blend well and spread over bread)

Arrange slices of bread in two rows, overlapping in a 9 x 13-inch flat baking dish that is prepared with non-stick spray.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 24, Posted 2:26 PM, 12.15.2021

The Picture

I have often heard it said a picture is worth a thousand words or beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to art. I never thought too much about it until the other day when having a phone conversation with a friend who is into art.

She said what I really want for Christmas is for my daughter to paint me a picture. I have saved a space on the wall above my buffet for it, but she says she is too busy with her career to paint, but I think she would have the time if she watched less TV.  We talked some more about the art in our homes and how mine is mis-matched and I was thinking about doing something different. and concluded or conversation.

I had a tough time sleeping that night as I frequently do since my wife passed away just over a year ago. I walked around the house looking at the different pictures none of which are a Rembrandt or Picasso and realized each one had a story of how it came to be in my home. Then I looked at the picture that hangs in my bedroom. I always thought it represented the ocean at sunset, over the last year I have found much peace and relaxation looking at it. I wondered what the artist was really trying convey, so I texted her the next morning and her reply was as follows.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 23, Posted 2:26 PM, 12.15.2021

Senator Antonio Presents Testimony On Bill Prohibiting Mandatory Nurse Overtime

Last week, I had the opportunity to join Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) as we presented sponsor testimony to the Senate Health Committee on Senate Bill 129, which would make Ohio the 19th state in the country to prohibit mandatory overtime for nurses as a condition of employment.

According to various studies done by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, excessive work and overtime can result in negative outcomes for both patients and nurses. A 2016 Johns Hopkins report found that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US, behind heart disease and cancer.

It's important to note that, under this bill, nurses would still be permitted to work voluntary overtime. Hospitals will simply be prohibited from terminating employment or taking disciplinary action because a nurse chooses not to work overtime. There is also a clause in SB 129 that allows hospitals to be exempt from the requirements of the bill if there is a health care disaster, emergency declaration, influx of patients with specified criteria, or an ongoing procedure the nurse is actively engaged in.

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

Book Review: New Deep-Cover-Cleveland Book Summons Lakewood Readers

I'm proud to add the latest book by local author/ historian Laura Peskin to my collection. This volume, "Topics in Depth," is the third in Peskin's series called "Deep Cover Cleveland" (2014-2021) Peskin explores and exposes forgotten, overlooked, significant regional developments around the Lakewood area and beyond. "Topics in Depth" features more interviews and illustrations.

As an artist and an arts supporter, I loved the series' chapters on 2,000-year old Native American jewelry and artifacts. "Topics in Depth" highlights include Cleveland favorite Victor Schreckengost (artist, sculptor, teacher and researcher). Detailed in the book are his equally deserving brothers: Paul and Don Schreckengost. Also included is Schreckengost nephew, illustrator Don Eckleberry, most noted for painting in the "Audubon Bird Guides" of 1946-57.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 21, Posted 3:04 PM, 11.03.2021

H2O Home Alone Fall 2021

Join our upcoming session of Home Alone!

HOME ALONE is a volunteer program designed and run by high school students to teach young Lakewoodites about how to stay safe when home alone. Our program is open to children of Lakewood between the ages of 9 and 12 and has been specifically created to address the concerns that were commonly expressed by children of the same age during our data collection period.

Based on these concerns, we found that our focus should be centered around six main topics: First Aid, Emergencies, Tricky People/Street Smarts, Routines & Siblings, Internet Safety, and especially due to the recent effects of Covid-19, Mental Health.

While children are presented with researched information from high school students, parents attend a similar presentation from safety professionals. After each Home Alone program, we ask for feedback from parents and their children on what they have just experienced. In response to being asked what the best part of HOME ALONE is, one parent said, “gaining knowledge on some serious topics through the experience of small groups and with older students allowed our student to learn and grow in a safe environment.” When asked about how the program impacted families in light of the pandemic, one parent responded “Yes - as we are coming out of the pandemic and can't always be home, it was important to use to have our son go through this course to be able to stay home alone for short spans of time.”

 

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Volume 17, Issue 21, Posted 3:04 PM, 11.03.2021

Candidates' Forum: Nora Katzenberger, School Board

Please describe your current job and past experience.

Currently I am a writer and community volunteer, much of my time spent in Lakewood Schools. I chaired the 2020 Lakewood School Levy. Previously, I worked in communications and public relations at the Bank of New York, New York University, University Hospitals of Cleveland and Progressive Insurance. 

1.) What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Lakewood City Schools? What will you do about it?

The pandemic is the most pressing issue facing the district today. Keeping students and teachers in school, safely, is the priority. With a lack of state and county guidance, our administrators and board must make the best decisions for the health and safety of our teachers and students. I support the mask mandate currently in place, and I applaud the vaccine clinics that have been scheduled. I would work with city leaders to expand these measures and provide more vaccine information and opportunities for our community. Our schools fare best when we partner with our community members for solutions. 


 

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Volume 17, Issue 21, Posted 1:25 PM, 10.20.2021

Lakewood Needs A Judge Who Can Connect To The People And Progress The Court

Please let me tell you what type of person you will get as judge if I am elected. I am the eldest of seven siblings. My father worked at the Brookpark Ford Plant. My mother was a waitress amongst other things. When I was twelve, I bussed tables at her job and have been working ever since. I was the first person in my extended family to go to college. I put myself through undergrad and law school without a dime of help from my family. I worked as a police officer for three years after college and saved and borrowed enough to graduate from law school.

My first jobs as an attorney were working for a law firm, representing clients in municipal and state courts, and then working as a staff attorney for two Common Pleas Judges. In 1997 Nancy McDonnell, a long time Lakewoodite, was a Judicial Magistrate here in the Lakewood Court. She was elected and became a Judge downtown. Judge Carroll appointed me to take her place in Lakewood. For 10 years I wore the judicial robe and served our community as a Magistrate, and many times Acting Judge of the very court I am seeking election. I was trusted to hear important cases and make difficult legal decisions on every type of case before the court. My ability to be fair and impartial was never questioned.

 

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

H2O Summer Service Camp - "When We Feel Heard"

H2O “Help to Others” hosted three sessions of in-person Summer Service Camp in 2021. Middle school participants enjoyed eight days of volunteer work, small group interactions with awesome counselors, reflection, speakers, games, and more! We adapted the program for Covid restrictions, opting to keep our service onsite or at local, outdoor sites. While we hope to return to trips to area agencies like the Greater Cleveland Foodbank and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, we found rich satisfaction in the work of this summer.

The camp theme, “When We Feel Heard” guided and unified the breadth of our experiences. Campers integrated their reflections on service, information from speakers we heard, and their own experiences to reflect on what it means to be heard. As one camper wrote, “This theme has so much depth and meaning. In service, it means listening to those in need and not only listening to their needs and helping them get what they need, but also making sure that they feel heard as people too.” (Shannon Katzenberger, 9th grade). Another camper expressed the need to hear others, but also to be heard in his own life: “If someone who hasn’t been able to express their views finally gets heard, it can change their life. Because of this, it is important as an organization or person to hear everyone in your community but also to strive to make yourself heard and not lose your voice.” (Alessio Matera, 8th grade). They demonstrated a balanced understanding of how critical it is to truly hear others and to cultivate one’s own voice to make a difference in the world.

The highlighted project this summer, which every camper contributed to, was the site we called “Parks and Rec” as a nod to the popular t.v. show. On the first day of each session, Dave Baas from the City’s Department of Planning & Development presented to campers, getting them to think about how the Lakewood community was formed and how it has changed over time. They learned how to use three key planning considerations: Big picture (how parks should grow and change), involving community (are parks safe, healthy, and accessible for all ages), and looking ahead to meet the needs of today while keeping the future in mind.  With fresh perspective and knowledge, they visited Lakewood parks big and small to document existing features and to propose new and additional features. Each small group had an iPad with a GIS app to pinpoint their observations on a map and then offered critical thinking with a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. They documented over 700 distinct elements of the parks. They recognized the value of both open space and recreational equipment. They noted elements that needed updates, proposed additional water bottle-filling stations and recycling cans. They expressed interest in new or expanded activities, like disc golf, gaga pits, and additional skateboarding facilities. Ultimately, the information they gathered will help begin the work to update Lakewood’s Parks Strategic Plan in the near future. The campers enjoyed feeling heard, having their opinions matter, and gaining understanding how communities are built and sustained.

 

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

A Thank You From Tess Neff

It is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank all the supporters who voted for me in the September 14 primary to be the next Lakewood Judge. Together, we put forth a tremendous amount of energy and effort that resulted in my first-place finish. Our work is not finished, and we have many more tasks to perform before the November 2 general election.

My appreciation extends to many dedicated family, friends, and neighbors who volunteered their spring and summer days to help me! Every job, whether big or small is important and it all matters.

In addition, it has been very rewarding to talk with my Lakewood neighbors, to answer their questions, articulate my vision for the court, and to tell them about my unique experience. Thank you for taking a pause in your day to listen to me. The show of support is magnificent and overwhelmingly humbling.  

 

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

Senator Antonio Shares Information On Redistricting

The General Assembly reconvenes this month, and of course our important work has continued with the process of redistricting.

Every ten years after the census, the Ohio General Assembly re-draws the boundaries of its state legislative and congressional districts. Fair representation for all Ohioans is my number one priority as we work through this process. People should be the ones to pick their policymakers, not the other way around, and I am committed to doing whatever I can for fair maps for all 99 House districts and 33 Senate districts in Ohio.

The bulk of the redistricting work is done by the Ohio Redistricting Commission. Created by an amendment to the Ohio Constitution in 2015, the Commission is composed of the Governor, State Auditor, Secretary of State, Speaker of the House, Senate President, one individual appointed by the House Minority Leader, and one individual appointed by the Senate Minority Leader.

The Commission will hold three public hearings on separate days in different cities for Ohioans to provide feedback once they decide on a map. Follow the Ohio Senate Democrats on Twitter for news and updates. For more information on upcoming opportunities for public input, resources, or to watch past meetings, visit redistricting.ohio.gov.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 18, Posted 2:53 PM, 09.15.2021

Shop + Eat + Unwind LKWD Event

We know that many in our community have been affected by the pandemic this year, including small businesses like retailers and eateries. While some were able to modify hours of service and decrease staff in order to stay open, others were forced to close temporarily. Some permanently. Despite the hardships all around, Lakewood residents have truly embodied eat local, shop local. And for that we are grateful. 

As a THANK YOU for your continued support of the local fare in our town, please join us between 16000 – 19000 block of Detroit Avenue for an evening filled with shopping, dining and plenty of unwinding. On Friday, September 10th, 2021, merchants on the western half of Detroit Avenue will be extending their store hours and have joined up with neighboring eateries to offer $5 off your purchases beginning at 6pm. Simply present your receipt of purchase from one of the participating locations (see below) and enjoy this sweet reward. 

All the Joy, Burning River Coffee, Cleveland Vape, Cleveland Vegan, CouCou Sentiment, The Designer Consignor, Eclectic Cleveland, GV Art + Design, Lakewood Antique Mall, Milo & Me, Sacred Hour Wellness Spa, Simply Sugar & Skincare … and more!

 

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

Rader And Rodriguez-Carbone: Let's Vote For Progress Together

Finding ways to work together is what we know will make Lakewood a better place, and as candidates for City Council, we want to express our commitment to a shared, inclusive vision.

Councilperson Tristan Rader has helped make local government more transparent through a reformed public records policy, and taken initiative on affordable housing, and renewable energy.

Laura Rodriguez-Carbone has been a community leader throughout her life, serving on the Federal Covid Response team, as co-chair of Lakewood’s Anti-Racism Task Force, and as chair of the Ohio Democratic Party’s Hispanic and Latino Caucus.

On Sept. 14, we hope you will vote to re-elect Tristan Rader, and vote for Laura Rodriguez-Carbone, who would be the first person of color elected to office in Lakewood’s history.

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

The Lakewood Family Room

Many years ago, I wrote an article about The Lakewood Family Room. Yesterdays, turned into yesteryears and now the families that I embraced have young adult children. Yes, they sleep through the night, and yes, they have found their words, and yes, they can do most things on their own. They are now starting and ending their college years, are working in our community, living on their own and dare I say some are on the verge of getting married.

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Volume 17, Issue 16, Posted 9:20 AM, 08.19.2021

The Rotary Club Of Lakewood-Rocky River Sunrise Sets Goals For The 2021-2022 Rotary Year

Newly installed Club President, Jason Pickering, has accepted the challenge of Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta, of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, to add members to Rotary. The R.I. Theme for his presidency is “Serve to Change Lives.” New members will join existing members to practice the motto of Rotary, “Service above Self.”

The Sunrise Rotary Club members work through committees such as Community, New Generations, Vocational and International Service. Service projects implemented by these committees can truly “Change Lives” in Lakewood and Rocky River.

At his installation on July 28, President Pickering challenged the Club members to reach out tfriends and business associates, particularly younger men and women, and give them an opportunity to help “Change Lives” by joining Rotary!

R.I. President Shekhar Mehta has been a Rotarian since 1985. He trained as an accountant and founded a real estate development company, Skyline Group, which he also chairs. Jason Pickering, Sunrise Rotary President, lives in Lakewood and is active in his family’s farm and retail market in Avon, Ohio.  The Sunrise Club has a Co-President, Marty Harris, a past president of the Club, who will assist Jason during peak farm work seasons and share work with the various committees.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 16, Posted 1:00 PM, 08.04.2021

Attorney Marc Dann Sues DeWine Over Unemployment

Attorney Marc Dann, a Lakewood resident, is suing the DeWine administration on behalf of unemployed Ohioans.

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program provides funds for an extra $300 per week, for eligible unemployed claimants. Governor Mike DeWine terminated Ohio’s participation in the program effective June 26, although the funds remain available.

Dann, a former Ohio Attorney General, filed suit July 6 in Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court, against DeWine and Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services Director Matt Damschroder.

Dann’s core argument is that Ohio law requires Damschroder to seek as much benefit as possible from programs like Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Ohio Revised Code Section ORC 4141.43(I) requires that he “…cooperate with the United States department of labor to the fullest extent…[and] take such action…as may be necessary to secure to this state and its citizens all advantages available under the provisions of the ‘Social Security Act’ that relate to unemployment compensation…”

Ohioans from across the state have detailed the harm caused by DeWine’s order, in correspondence shared with Dann’s lawfirm. One woman wrote “I am a psych nurse, my husband was a machinist for standard aero. Until planes start flying and families start placing dementia/Alzheimer’s loved ones back in facilities we won’t get our jobs back.” Many others related personal hardship, as well as ongoing problems with Ohio’s unemployment bureaucracy. Several people contacted Dann seeking help from other states where Republican governors have also turned away the additional funds.

Similar lawsuits are underway in some of those states, including Indiana where Indiana Superior Court Judge John Hanley ruled in June that the state must continue paying the benefits.

“Indiana’s statutory language is very similar to Ohio’s,” says Dann. “We believe we are right on the law and absolutely right as it relates to public policy that protects the interests of the people of the state of Ohio.”

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Volume 17, Issue 14, Posted 2:16 PM, 07.21.2021

Clark New Rotary President

Steve Clark has been installed as the ninety-sixth president of the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River for the Rotary year July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, succeeding Gina Gavlak.

Clark’s first exposure to Rotary was his family hosting a youth exchange student from Brazil. He joined the Lakewood-Rocky River Sunrise Club in July 2011 and transferred to his current club seven years later.

The installation took place at the club’s annual Past Presidents Picnic at Elmwood Park. Nine past presidents attended including 50-year Rotarian Thom Geist. Gavlak presided over the ceremonies and inducted Clark, who was joined by his children and their families.

Past President Marjorie Corrigan (2019-2020) thanked Gavlak for her year of service through the pandemic and gave her the past president pin. Past presidents Julius Skerlan, Larry Yunaska and Bill Huffman attended the grill.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 14, Posted 2:16 PM, 07.21.2021

Simple Acts Of Kindness, It Is The Little Things That Matter

My son, Steven, was walking our dog Bentley on our street when he came across Bill. Bill works with the Lakewood Public Works Department, and he was removing our street signs to replace them with new ones. Steven has always wanted our street sign. I recall one time he asked when he was in middle school if he could get in trouble if he unscrewed the sign. YES, I said! Our house on Narragansett Ave. is the only home he knows. Steven was born and raised on Narragansett. He grew up here, where he rode his bike and played on the street, he and his buddies took over lawns for their impromptu baseball games, and he met his best friends, George, and Luke. Narragansett Ave. is filled with memories that he will forever cherish. He will always consider it home. It is a special place to live and to be a kid. The neighbors are wonderful, inclusive, and caring.

Now back to Bill and Steven’s conversation. Steven asked how he may buy the street signs. Bill was kind and took the time to explain the purchase process. Steven took in every word and relayed what he learned to me with an excitement as if he were a little kid again (he is now 22). I left a voice message for Kim in the Finance Department to inquire about how we may purchase the two signs. She called me back the very next day and said she would notify the individual in charge to pull the two Narragansett signs and hold them for Steven. It was only one day later that Steven paid up the $50 ($25 per sign) and I met Kim and picked up the signs.

 

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

Sweet Designs Is Going To The Dogs With A BEST DOG Essay Contest

“We know how much people love their dogs,” said Carly Moran, General Manager, Sweet Designs Chocolatier, “so we thought it would be great fun to have an essay contest with a custom dog portrait as the top prize.”

Why is your pooch the most deserving canine pal on the planet to merit a portrait?  Tell us, in no more than 250 original words, and the portrait could be yours.  

The lucky winner will get a custom 16” x 20” portrait painted by Renee Fisher, whose day job at Sweet Designs is creating lovely decorations for the European-style chocolates. A graduate of the College of Art & Design in Columbus, Renee is also a working artist who specializes in dog portraits.

Key details for the contest:

  1. Your original essay should answer the question why your dog is the most deserving dog on the planet to win a portrait.
  2. Entries will be evaluated by a panel of dog-loving judges and the winner will be announced in the August issue of Truffles, the Sweet Designs newsletter.
  3. Entries must not exceed 250 words.
  4. Deadline for entries is July 24, 2021 (at 11:59pm)
  5. Please include your dog’s name and your name and phone number along with your entry.
  6. Send your entry and any questions to: Toby@sweetdesigns.com

xxx

Carly Moran is the General Manager of Sweet Designs Chocolatier in Lakewood.

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

It Is Okay Not To Be Okay

May was Mental Health Awareness month. If you know someone who suffers from mental health disorders, and chances are you do, the awareness of their own mental health is every day. Over the past 15 years I have learned about and experienced the effects of mental distress on various levels. Through my work as a magistrate at the Juvenile Court, I dealt with children and families who suffered from mental health disorders. If untreated, the disease can break a family and utterly ruin a life.

On a more intimate level, I have lived through my brother’s journey with mental health disorders. It has been a painful, devastating, frustrating, frightening, sad and sometimes happy ride. Our childhood was chaotic with seven kids in a small three-bedroom house. My brother and I have always been close and growing up he seemed “normal” to me. He was popular in school, a great athlete, and very intelligent. However, when I rewound the video of his life as a young adult, I realized I (and my family), missed all the signs that were readily apparent to anyone with a little education about mental health disorders.

We

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Volume 17, Issue 11, Posted 3:01 PM, 06.02.2021

Cancer Survivor To Juggle Soccer Ball 5K For TGP Fundraiser Race For The Place

On June 6th, National Cancer Survivor's Day, The Gathering Place (TGP) will hold their annual fundraiser event Race for the Place. To help promote and encourage participation, Lakewood resident and breast cancer survivor, Frances Inak, will walk 5K while juggling a soccer ball around Lakewood Park a few days before. If you are interested in donating or participating in the virtual race, you can register on The Gathering Place website: www.touchedbycancer.org.

The Gathering Place, which has two locations one in Westlake and one in Beachwood, offers free services to cancer patients and their families. The wide range of services include but are definitely not limited to physical, emotional, nutritional, and financial guidance, assistance with navigating complicated medical information for many different types of cancers, as well as group discussions and activities such as arts and crafts, cooking, Zumba, yoga, and tai chi.  They provide free wigs and have even offered personal massage and reiki sessions.  In general, they provide amazing comprehensive programming to uplift the body, mind, and spirit and support the needs of those touched by cancer in an inviting, friendly, warm, safe environment.

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

School Supplies And Clothes Delivered To Nicaragua By Rotary Fundraising

Support of the fundraising activities of The Rotary Club of Lakewood Rocky River Rotary Sunrise enables the Club to not only fund local community projects, but also to help with joint Rotary International projects. Last year, the Sunrise Club joined with 24 Rotary Clubs in northeast Ohio to send 695 boxes and 25 layette bags plus an assortment of handmade dresses and other items that are desperately needed to Chinandega, Nicaragua. 

The “Children of the Dump Project” started several years ago when a Rotary delegation visiting Chinandega noticed that children were going through a large local dump to salvage clothing and other items. Past Rotary District Governor, Jack Young of the Rotary Club of Conneaut, came up with an idea for an International Service Project. Rotary Clubs and Rotary members collect items needed by the children and families in this area of Nicaragua and pack them in boxes about the size of a large shoe box. Items are either purchased by the individual Club Members and/or the Clubs purchase the items using funds raised through their various fundraising activities. Items include school supplies, personal items like soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and tooth paste, an outfit of clothes and some toys.

Several years ago, the purchase and packing of layettes for mothers of new born children was added to the project. Blankets, towels, and personal items for the babies and mothers are packed in special Layette bags and are now shipped with the shoe boxes. They are distributed to a maternity center near Chinandega. Packing of both the shoe boxes and layettes often become a Club social family activity, with children joining in to get experience in service work.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 5, Posted 4:13 PM, 02.17.2021

Introducing H2O’s Newest Project: A COVID COLLAGE: Capturing Lakewood’s Story

2020 was quite the unique year. Using the pandemic’s communal effect and differing experiences of the community, H2O is working diligently to turn these experiences into a creative project for the Lakewood community to take part in. “A COVID COLLAGE: Capturing Lakewood’s Story” will be Lakewood’s own time capsule to be used as a record for future generations. It will illustrate not only COVID-19, but also the numerous historic events of 2020. The goal of this project is to bring people together to create a resource that not only shows how it looks to live during this time, but also how it feels.

In order to capture an accurate picture of life during a pandemic, H2O will need help from everyone. This will be done by collecting your experiences in a creative way. The first opportunity to share your story will be provided in the upcoming weeks: a photo contest with several categories. The categories will guide the direction of the photos, such as the category “Together 6’ Apart.” The winners of each category will be selected by a panel of judges and have their artwork placed into the physical time capsule, with other submissions uploaded to a virtual time capsule. Other events will include art contests, writing contests, artifact collections, and more! More details about the photo contest and other events will be released at a later time.

Even before the photo contest begins, you can start participating by reflecting on your experience thus far. Brainstorm where you are interested in showcasing your talents: Will you submit a work of writing? Will you take pictures of what lockdown looks like to you? Will you paint an art piece about how COVID felt to you? Anything you contribute will help to paint a more accurate picture of life during 2020.

 

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Volume 17, Issue 4, Posted 4:13 PM, 02.17.2021

The Epiphany: January 6, 2021

The wise men did not come to this one.

They stayed home.

It was as if hell had released a swarm of madmen (mostly)

And they would not be stopped until they had trespassed

And trampled

And beaten

And stolen

Killed

They took away our innocence

Our trust that

Respect for this holy place

Would prevail and prevent pandemonium.

It did not.

And now we are left

Shaken

Supremely saddened

And wondering

Why was it allowed to come to this?

How many times did we say,

“If anyone else said that, they couldn’t get away with it!”?

Shame on all of us

And especially on you

Who was guided by self promotion

Rather than love for your country.

Jean Brinich is a retired Family Nurse Practitioner who spent her very early years and a few later years, so far,  in Lakewood.

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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 3:37 PM, 01.20.2021

Citizen Map-Makers Invited To Join Redistricting Process

The perfect project awaits a civic minded technology buff who is able to redraw Ohio's state legislative district and congressional district maps. In 2015 and 2018, Ohio voters passed two state constitutional amendments that established rules that are designed to make a fair redistricting process more likely for the decade beginning 2021.

The current congressional district map of Northeast Ohio is often described as "the snake on the lake." That map joins the City of Toledo to the western suburbs of Cuyahoga County and includes part of the City of  Cleveland. This map would not meet the criteria approved by the voters in Article XIX of the Constitution of the State of Ohio.

The Constitutional criteria for the drawing of both types of maps is specific. The criteria requires "contiguity" and "compactness" which means that the new maps must honor established county, municipal or township boundaries. The criteria also considers existing population density to avoid fragmentation of neighborhoods, towns and cities. This strong language is intended to prevent gerrymandering and allow voters to cast ballots in congressional and state legislative districts that are drawn so that communities of interest are kept together. 

 

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

Mayor's Corner: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Lakewood! 

2020 was a challenging year by any measure. In spite of all those challenges, we have accomplished so much over the past twelve months that we should be proud of. We were awarded a 2020 Vibrant NEO Champion Award for our affordable housing strategy. We made progress on our stormwater management program with our state and federal regulators. We provided grants for small businesses and residents who were struggling due to COVID-19. The City of Lakewood was recognized by the Auditor of State as having attained the highest level of public transparency (4 stars) in the new STaRS rating program. The list goes on and on.

Now 2021 has arrived and we have so much to look forward to. Major developments in Lakewood are underway. The Cove United Methodist Church renovation into our City of Lakewood Human Services Center has received a $250,000 grant from the State of Ohio. Kauffman Park will get a major overhaul this year. Clifton Prado Park will also be improved. We have turned the page on our downtown development project and are working with a new developer team to create the right project for Lakewood. We will have a major investment at the intersection of Detroit and Sloane and the surrounding area to improve the western gateway into Lakewood. Be on the lookout--there are many other exciting projects under discussion or underway.

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 1:03 PM, 01.06.2021

2021 Brings Some Glitches...

It's not the best way to start off a fresh new year, but the Observer website is experiencing some glitches today. Visitors to the site may notice that the bank of links that normally appear in the left sidebar, and the calendar in the right sidebar are missing. 

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Volume 17, Issue 1, Posted 12:50 PM, 01.01.2021

One Lakewood Progress: New Year, New Opportunities For Progress In Anti-Racism For Lakewood

Late last year, I was appointed by Mayor George to sit on Lakewood’s newly formed Anti-Racism Task Force. As a Latina, it is not an appointment I take lightly. The work being done by the Anti-Racism Task force is a first for this community, and is critical to ensure that Lakewood continues to grow and progress towards a future where inclusion and equity is a cultural and societal norm: Where acceptance of all races and ethnicities is intrinsic rather than a by-product of tolerance, which by itself, lacks true equity. 

I thank the George Administration for committing to doing this work, which may, at times, make folks feel uneasy. The work being done now will bring to the forefront community conversations which are long overdue. It is important to remember that looking at some hard truths regarding the past, whatever they may be, need not define who we are: it is only what we do with that information that is definitive - especially for our future. 

Like many, I was spurred by the death of George Floyd and other unarmed black men while in custody of law enforcement to put forth my skills and interest in serving on the Task Force. My father and brother, who are dark skinned, have repeatedly been victims of racial profiling and police brutality through unwarranted traffic stops. Neither fought back against these injustices because they knew their voices wouldn’t matter. And to me, the mere fact that a human being’s voice, or life, may not matter as strongly or as equitably as the voices and lives of others is not only antithetical to the ideals of equality this country was founded upon, but is unconscionable. 

 

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Volume 16, Issue 24, Posted 12:59 PM, 01.06.2021

Need Help Paying Bills? Financial Assistance Is Available For Limited Time

This year has been especially challenging for our customers. Throughout the year, The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has been advocating to federal, state, and local officials to seek financial relief to customers who are struggling with their sewer and stormwater bills.

Money provided by Cuyahoga County is available to residents affected by COVID-19 who need assistance with utility bills. Eligibility criteria include being at or below 120 percent of Median Household Income and have been affected by COVID-19 through income loss, childcare needs, or illness. Funds are only available until December 31, 2020 so apply early at chnhousingpartners.org/utilityassistance/ or call 216-350-8008. Rental assistance is also available at neorenthelp.org or 833-377-7386 (RENT).

Additional funds are available to Cuyahoga County residents who are at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. If you are struggling with sewer, stormwater, or other bills then you are encouraged to apply with the Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland (CEOGC). Applications must be approved by the end of the year, so we urge anyone looking for assistance to apply as soon as possible. To apply or learn more, please visit ceogc.org/covid-19-emergency-assistance/ or call 216-370-3480.

 

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

COVID-19 Scams

First Federal Lakewood is issuing this notice to alert customers to potential indicators of imposter scams and money mule schemes, which are two forms of consumer fraud observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many illicit actors are engaged in fraudulent schemes that exploit vulnerabilities created by the pandemic. This notice contains descriptions of imposter scams, money mule schemes, and financial red flag indicators to help keep you and your money safe.

Imposter Scams


In imposter scams, criminals impersonate organizations such as government agencies, non-profit groups, universities or charities to offer fraudulent services or otherwise defraud victims. While imposter scams can take multiple forms, the basic methodology involves an actor (1) contacting a target under the false pretense of representing an official organization, and (2) coercing or convincing the target to provide funds or valuable information (social security number, bank account numbers, etc.), engage in behavior that causes the target’s computer to be infected with malware, or spread disinformation. In schemes connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, imposters may pose as officials from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), other healthcare or non-profit groups and academic institutions.

 

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

Thank You To State Senator Nickie Antonio

I am wrting to express my sincere thanks to State Senator Nickie Antonio for her leadership at Lakewood Park on Veterans Day, November 11, 2020. It was very disappointing to the many veterans, veteran family members and other respectful citizens who assembled at the Lakewood Park Veterans' Memorial to honor those courageous members of our military who served and sacrificed that there was no Lakewood city-sponsored event to honor our brave men and women, some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice.

Senator Antonio took the personal initiative to welcome those in attendance and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance at 11:00 A.M. in honor and remembrance. All in attendance welcomed and appreciated her gesture of community, patriotism, and appreciation. Thank you Senator Antionio and thank you to all those who visited the memorial, shared their personal stories with others and demonstrated such respect and reverence for our fallen heroes.

Stephen LaMantia is a 48 year resident of Lakewood, a retired hospital pharmacist and past member of Citizens Advisory Committee. All four children attended Lakewood Public Schools. 

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.18.2020

Lakewood Rocky River Sunrise Rotary Named Shelter Box Hero

ShelterBox USA Ambassador and Past Rotary District Governor, Jack Young, announced that the Lakewood Rocky River Sunrise Rotary Club has been designated a ShelterBox Bronze HERO for Rotary Year 2019-2020. The Club donated funds from its Foundation to support this worthwhile program. 1.6 million people have been sheltered since 2000, and this year alone ShelterBox USA has provided aid to over 87,000 people. This could not have been achieved without the support of clubs like the Sunrise Club. 

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 11:35 AM, 11.18.2020

The Rotary Clubs Of Lakewood Rocky River Celebrated World Polio Day October 24

When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. We’ve made great progress against the disease since then. Today, polio cases have been reduced by 99.9 percent, and just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Rotary remains committed to the end.

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Volume 16, Issue 21, Posted 10:20 AM, 10.22.2020

Senator Antonio Commemorates Women’s Suffrage By Voting

Election Day 2020 is only a couple weeks away, but with early and mail-in voting, you can submit your ballot today. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is open for early in-person voting now through Monday, November 2nd at 2:00 p.m. You can also request your absentee ballot up until three days before the election. Once you have received and completed your ballot, it must be postmarked and sent to the BOE or placed in the ballot drop box prior to election day; however, voters should submit or send their ballots as soon as possible. 

This year has been momentous for numerous reasons, but one significant milestone worth commemorating is the 100-year anniversary of the ratification of Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which gave women the right to vote. This allowed women to make their voices heard and represented one ballot at a time. In 1920, only about 36 percent of eligible women voters cast their ballot, compared to 68 percent of men. Now, women voters outnumber men at the polls 63 percent to 59.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.22.2020

Election 2020 Process Outlined By Senator Nickie J. Antonio

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our daily lives; what we wear, where we go, and who we can visit--but it does not change your vital role in our democracy. With the 2020 General Election right around the corner, it is important to be aware of upcoming deadlines and processes to make your vote count and your voice heard.

Before heading to the polls on November 3, 2020, you must be registered to vote. The deadline to register to vote for this election is October 5, 2020. To register, you will need your Ohio driver’s license or Ohio identification card number, name, date of birth, address, and the last four digits of your social security number. If you have recently moved, you will need to update your voting address. Last year, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office purged thousands of citizens from voter rolls. Some of these names were removed in error, so even if you have not moved and you have previously voted, you should verify your voter registration out of an abundance of caution.

The unpredictable nature of a global pandemic makes the possibility of in-person voting unclear for many. To be safe, you can vote by mail. To do so, you will need to complete and mail an absentee ballot application to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections at 2925 Euclid Ave Cleveland, OH 44115. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is three days before the election, but it is highly recommended that requests are submitted as soon as possible. Once you receive your ballot in the mail, you will need to return it to the Board of Elections, which can be done by mail or in person. When mailing the completed ballot, it must be postmarked no later than the day before the election (November 2, 2020) and received no later than ten days after the election. You can also deliver your ballot in person prior to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

Election Day 2020 will look different, but you too can help the process run smoothly by signing up to be a poll worker if you are less vulnerable to the virus. Many of our older Election Day volunteers will be unable to help in November due to Covid-19 related risks, so it is a great time for young people to sign up as paid poll workers through the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

While this election will present new challenges, we must remember that our foremothers and fathers fought for our right to vote and make our voice heard. This is an important time to participate in our democracy.

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Volume 16, Issue 18, Posted 4:58 PM, 09.02.2020