Keeping Lakewood In The Lakewood Municipal Court by Judge Tess Neff

Unfortunately, summer is winding down, and we at the Lakewood Municipal Court must say goodbye to our amazing and steadfast college summer interns. Joshua Ferry and Nicholas Sinatra will be terribly missed. They demonstrated an impressive work ethic, and both are young promising individuals. Josh is a lifelong Lakewood resident and still lives in Lakewood today with his family. This was Josh’s second summer working for the court. He is embarking on his third year at Cleveland State University. We wish him and Nick a successful collegiate year with a little fun thrown in. Although Nick is not a Lakewood resident he meshed very well with the staff. Like Josh, his opportunities were abundant. Both worked with our criminal, civil, and probation divisions. Plus, with the assistance of the Lakewood Police Department, Nick received a tour of the jail and a ride along with the Lakewood Police Officers. Nick is a third year student at my alma mater, Bowling Green State University!

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Volume 19, Issue 17, Posted 3:28 PM, 09.06.2023

Cindy Strebig For Lakewood City Council Ward 3

My name is Cindy Strebig and I am running for Lakewood City Council Ward 3. I have lived in Lakewood for 25 years, including 23 years as a landlady. Originally from N. Ridgeville, I’m proud to call this city my home. 

John Litten, our current Ward 3 Council Member and Council President, has decided that this will be his last term. Let me tell you why I feel I am qualified to succeed him in Ward 3:

I’m an elected Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Central Committee member and I’ve served on the Executive Committee for the last five years. A strong advocate for democracy,  I volunteer with the Lakewood Democratic Club and the Lakewood chapter of the League of Women Voters.  

In addition, I’m on the board of the Lakewood YMCA to help fundraise for those in need, and on the board of the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, where I interview and educate candidates and inform voters about them. As an activist and member of GRR and the Cuyahoga Democratic Women’s Caucus, I promote equity and equality for all. 

I believe that joining and participating in local organizations helps maintain and support our democratic society.  If you aren’t volunteering for democracy, please consider joining and supporting a local group. We need your help.  

On City Council, I will be a strong voice for women, seniors, and the LGBTQIA+ community. I am concerned about housing; mental, emotional and physical health; and safety for all Lakewood residents. To get to know me better and voice your own concerns, please visit cindystrebigforlakewood.com. 


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Volume 19, Issue 14, Posted 1:59 PM, 07.19.2023

State Issue 1- An Undemocratic Attack On Ohio

ATTENTION  . . .  There is a statewide special election on Tuesday, August 8, 2023, in Ohio. Didn’t the Republican gerrymandered legislature pass a law at the end of 2022 to get rid of August special elections due to their expense and low turnout? Yes, legislation was passed to end August elections last December. Despite that 2022 legislation, the Ohio General Assembly reversed course months later and set a special election for August. This special election is estimated to cost taxpayers $16-$20 million. Voter turnout can be as low as 7.9 percent of registered voters. 

Why do we have a special election to amend the Ohio Constitution, known as State Issue 1? Because special interests seeking a power grab want a low voter turnout election to sneak through an amendment of our State Constitution. This power grab is funded mostly by out-of-state billionaires.

If enacted, State Issue 1 would end majority rule in Ohio by allowing 40% of Ohioans to decide the laws we live under, stripping away “one person, one vote.”  Currently, an amendment to our constitution can be adopted with a majority vote of 50 percent plus 1. Issue 1 would change the threshold to pass an amendment to 60 percent of the vote. For over 110 years, Ohioans have been entrusted with the right to pass ballot initiatives with a simple majority as a way to check an unresponsive state legislature, ensuring the people’s voices are heard.

Issue 1 is not only about changing the percentage of the vote to pass an amendment.  Passage of Issue 1 would make it nearly impossible for average citizens to propose an amendment. Under the current process, signatures must be collected from voters in at least 44 counties. Issue 1 would increase the requirement for signatures to at least 5% of electors of all 88 counties. In addition, it eliminates the 10-day cure period to collect additional signatures to place a measure on the ballot.

Direct democracy is the fundamental principle we all stand for. It is clear that the direct democracy provision to amend the Ohio Constitution was founded on the prominent notion of societal input by giving people the freedom to change things in the state, when it was no longer working for them. By limiting the power of citizen-led ballot initiatives and limiting the power of the people, democracy will be limited.


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Volume 19, Issue 14, Posted 1:59 PM, 07.19.2023

Announcing Second Annual Most Distinguished Tree Contest

Lakewood’s Tree Advisory and Education Board and the Lakewood Observer are holding the second Most Distinguished Tree in Lakewood Contest, launching on July 1, 2023. The contest is aimed at celebrating Lakewood’s status as one of the oldest Tree Cities in the USA and encouraging the planting and maintenance of the city’s tree canopy. The city has actively been planting trees throughout the city but in order to achieve our goal of increasing the tree canopy to 33% by 2035, we need more trees planted on private property. It also is focused on encouraging active participation by all residents in the appreciation of our trees. 

Nomination Process: The contest encourages all Lakewood residents to nominate their selections for the Most Distinguished Tree contest by submitting an entry form that identifies the location of the tree by address, one of 4 categories described below and comments on what attracted the nominating resident to that tree. The categories for this second contest are the following: 

  1. The most magnificent tree - this tree captures the imagination in many ways for its shape, size, great color, bark, fabulous leaves, etc.
  2. The most beautiful conifer - who doesn’t love Christmas trees of all types?
  3. The oddest tree - wow, what an odd tree! But so cool! 
  4. The right tree for the right spot - for this setting, this is it, the perfect tree!  The nominating resident does not need to be the owner of the tree. We encourage all tree-loving residents to participate in the contest. Nominations will be accompanied by a photo of the tree. Nominations may be submitted beginning on July 1, 2023, through August 15, 2023. The nomination form is available online at the Lakewood Observer website  www.lakewoodobserver.com and may be submitted electronically or via mail to Lakewood Observer, 14900 Detroit Ave. Ste. 304, Lakewood, OH 44107


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Volume 19, Issue 12, Posted 4:07 PM, 06.21.2023

Fried Banana With Easy No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes Freezing time: 4-6 hours

Try this delicious fried banana and 3-ingredient no-churn ice cream. The ice cream can be whipped up a day in advance, leaving the simple job of making the batter and frying the bananas.

The caramelized and fried banana is crisp on the outside and soft and creamy in the center. The dreamy vanilla ice cream contrasts beautifully with the warm, rich banana.


For the Fried Banana:

4 portions

• 4 ripe bananas
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup cornstarch
• 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• Pinch of salt
• Avocado oil, for frying (or your choice of oil)

For the No-Churn Ice Cream:

10 portions

• 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
• 1 can (14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Prepare the No-Churn Ice Cream:

1. Whip the chilled heavy cream in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. The cream can also be whipped by hand.
2. Gradually pour in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract.
3. Gently fold the mixture together until well combined and smooth.
4. Transfer the mixture into a lidded container or a loaf pan.
5. Cover and freeze for 4-6 hours or until firm.

Prepare the Fried Banana:

1. Combine the all-purpose flour, corn starch, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt in a shallow bowl.
2. Peel the bananas and slice them lengthways in half.
3. Heat avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat.
4. Dip each banana slice into the flour mixture, ensuring they are evenly coated.
5. Carefully place the coated banana slices into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
6. Remove the fried bananas from the oil and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

To Serve:

1. Arrange the fried banana slices on individual serving plates.
2. Remove the no-churn ice cream from the freezer and scoop a generous amount onto each plate alongside the fried bananas.
3. Serve and enjoy!

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Volume 19, Issue 11, Posted 2:20 PM, 06.07.2023

Re-Introduction Of The Ohio Patient Protection Act

On April 18th, Representative Michael J. Skindell (D- Lakewood) & Representative Latyna M. Humphrey (D-Columbus) announced the re-introduction of the Ohio Patient Protection Act, legislation designed to address patient safety by mandating safer limits on the number of patients a registered nurse (RN) may care for at one time in a hospital setting. The RN-to-patient ratios established in this legislation will be based on the seriousness of the condition being treated or the medical procedure in which the respective patient is undergoing.  

“Every single patient deserves to have the best care possible,” said Rep. Skindell. “Adequate nurse-to-patient staffing ratios benefit the health and well-being of the patients, while also protecting the nurses and improving healthcare overall.”

“A higher caseload for RNs can equate to lower quality of care for Patients. Lowering the RN-to-patient ratio would improve the quality of patient care and alleviate some of the stress on nurses,” said Rep Humphrey. “This bill is a win-win for all parties and brings Ohio closer to an adequate and quality healthcare system.”

The bill would do the following:

  • Establishes minimum, numerical nurse-to-patient ratios staffing requirements for hospitals
  • Require the hospital to post the staffing requirements (expressed as ratios) daily, on a shift-by-shift basis
  • Prohibits a hospital from violating the bill’s staffing requirements or taking adverse action against an RN who exercises a right conferred by the bill
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Volume 19, Issue 9, Posted 12:21 PM, 05.03.2023

Proper Disposal Of Food Scraps Can Help Keep The Earth Healthy

Recycling is what we've been encouraged to do for quite some time. Plastic bottles, aluminum cans and cardboard boxes most often come to mind. Consider what Mother Earth gives us repeatedly that can also be repurposed. Specifically, think of food scraps.

How many banana peels, watermelon rinds and discards from your chopped salads have gone into your trash? Approximately 25% of garbage consists of organic material and is often represented by unconsumed food or that considered inedible. Egg shells and tea bags are examples. Ever give any thought to what happens after that?

When placed in landfills, food waste eventually begins to rot and releases methane which is more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to harming our atmosphere and accelerating climate change. It also contaminates the soil around it. In fact, 40% of food grown for consumption ends up back in the ground.

Enter Rust Belt Riders. It was formed in 2014 by Daniel Brown and Michael Robinson who began collecting food scraps on the backs of their bikes. Their motto became, "Feed People, Not Landfills." Rust Belt Riders utilizes their partners to help process food scraps into compost. They then use this scrap based compost as their primary ingredient in tilth soil products. This high quality, nutrient rich substance ultimately supports local gardens and farms. Later, Nathan Rutz joined the RBR effort by incorporating coffee grounds into the blend of reusable food products.

What began as an attempt to engage commercial entities such as restaurants and grocery stores (imagine the excess from those sources!) led to participation from everyday people. Ordinary citizens can now have food scraps picked up from their homes or they can personally take them to a Rust Belt Riders drop off station. Collection bins can be found at Lakewood Park (along Lake Road just west of the Oldest Stone House) or Madison Park, adjacent to the basketball court.

When taking items to a bin, it is preferable that food scraps be dumped directly into the container. No metal, plastic or styrofoam should be deposited. Using recyclable paper grocery bags or BPI certified compostable bags are acceptable. At home, it is recommended that you use a large plastic bucket with a lid to house food waste until you make your delivery or have scraps taken away by a RBR representative.

If you want to be a part of this program, sign up at www.rustbeltriders.com. Be advised there is a minimal monthly fee. The number of members currently enrolled includes 403 who use Lakewood drop-off locations and 143 participating in pickup services.

If you have a home with a yard, you can also create a compost pile outside. Should you be a gardener, you will discover how valuable this can be to beautifying your outdoor space while doing something beneficial for the environment. For information on how to get started with your own composting, go to the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District website.

Let's face it. We cannot wait for governments alone to tackle these issues. Nor can we depend on big business to take the lead. However, with that in mind, we should acknowledge nearby establishments who are working with Rust Belt Riders in this important cause. Some commercial partners include: Phoenix Coffee, Rising Star Coffee, Noble Beast, Blackbird Baking Company, Gatherings Kitchen and Lakewood City Schools. Regional participants include Heinen's Grocery Stores, Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic.

Poet and novelist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, "Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean." If we all, as individuals, do our small part, collectively we can make a big impact on the health of our planet. Closer to home, we can keep Lakewood beautiful too! Joining Rust Belt Riders is one way to begin.

Now that this has given you food for thought, you may never look at that avocado pit or squeezed lemon the same way, will you? Do what you can to keep it safe for everyone for years to come.

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Volume 19, Issue 9, Posted 12:21 PM, 05.03.2023

Carpenter Song

A musician moves her hands today

over the wood where yesterday,

her maker -- her instrument maker --

moved her own hands

and her carpenter's plane

in that same rhythmic

human way.

Ralph Hutchison is a simple computer programmer, living in the city.

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Volume 19, Issue 9, Posted 12:21 PM, 05.03.2023

Modern Parenting: The Importance Of Sleep


In today's world, very few of us pick up a hard copy of a newspaper! We get all of our content on the internet and through the various social media platforms. However, I wanted a place for parents to have a few minutes a week to unplug yet still have a space to learn, grow and laugh when it comes to this season of life! 

Like myself, I'm sure many of you find yourselves trying to survive the day, with endless to do lists and what feels like a zillion tabs open in your brain. That mental load can become exhausting! Know that you are not alone! My first tidbit of support to pour into this article, is sleep! Sleep for you and sleep for your little one(s)! 

As a parent, you know how important it is for your child to get enough sleep. Good sleep habits are essential for your child's health, development, and overall well-being. However, healthy sleep habits are important for you too and mimicing those will support you and set your little ones up for healthy sleep hygine.

It's important to establish a consistent sleep routine for your child, including a regular bedtime and wake-up time (same goes for adults;)). Doing such helps regulate the body clock and promotes healthy sleep patterns. For your kids, creating a calming bedtime routine, such as a warm bath, story time, and a lullaby, can also help your child wind down and prepare for sleep.

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Volume 19, Issue 9, Posted 12:21 PM, 05.03.2023

Summer Time, Pool Time

Since it it almost outdoor pool, beach and lake season in Northern Ohio, it can be an exciting time for everyone. We are lucky to have many communities that are considered  "lakefront," along with water sources including ponds, pools, rivers and lakes. With all of the beauty and excitement in these options there are always some rules and considerations that should be learned and respected. It really does not require a lot of water for a drowning incident to happen.

Just because someone is wearing a life jacket does not always mean that they get to have access to everything at the facility involving water. Life jackets are sized by weight and should be US Coast Guard approved. An acceptable option for the smaller children are the floaty vests with a zipper in the back and attached arm bands. Any inflatable water wings, rafts, tubes are not always the best or safest option. If they get a hole in them and deflate, they are not going to work. Slides and play structures usually have height requirements and weight limits. Check these out before it is assumed that everyone is eligible to use them. Diving boards are attached to a deeper water area. Safe diving should be happening in about 9 feet or more of water. Everyone needs to be able to swim to access these. Most facilities request or require a swim test before the diving boards can be used.

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Volume 19, Issue 8, Posted 1:06 PM, 04.19.2023

Lakewood Kiwanis Spring Swing Dance April 22

Join us for the second annual Spring Swing Dance fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club of Lakewood. Swing City Big Band will entertain from 7:30 to 10:00 at the Masonic Temple (15300 Detroit). Light snacks will be served and there will be a cash bar for beer and wine, along with other beverage options.

Last year everyone had a great time on that smooth floor dancing to all the music selections or just kicked back and listened to the great songs. So put on your dancing shoes and have some fun. Tickets can be purchased ahead at wwwLakewood Kiwanis or our FB event page. 50/50’s and sideboards will be offered that night. 
Lakewood Kiwanis Foundation uses this fundraiser to help distribute over 10,000 books to kids in Lakewood. Help us make our goal to serve the families in Lakewood.

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Volume 19, Issue 8, Posted 1:06 PM, 04.19.2023

We Are Off To The Races Again: Dinner, Silent And Live Auction Fundraiser

The Members of the Rotary Club of Lakewood Rocky River Sunrise invite you to join them at the Second Derby Themed Fund Raiser on Friday May 12, 2023 from 6:00 to 9:00pm at The Umerley Hall of the Rocky River Civic Center behind Rocky River City Hall. Last year there were many winners, as the event raised over $20,000 from nearly 200 attendees! Many local community agencies and organizations benefited from the proceeds. The Trials for Hope food pantry in Ohio City on Bridge Avenue was a major beneficiary with a new walk-in refrigerator to allow them to serve more people in need within our community and neighboring communities. Another major beneficiary was the H2O Program at Lakewood High School to help send some of their students to th (AYF) summer camp.

This year, in addition to support for the Trials for Hope, funds raised will also go to the Lakewood and Rocky River Charitable Assistance programs, 3rd Grade Dictionary Distribution, Youth Exchange Programs (sending dozens of youths to experience other cultures and welcoming dozens of youths into our homes and schools), birthday bags and school backpacks for foster children, Emergency Shelter Boxes and more. 

For only $30 per person, or $240 for a table of eight, attendees will be treated to a served dinner and have the opportunity to win valuable and attractive art and entertainment items. There will be a silent and live auction, as well as several raffles! A cash bar will be available throughout the evening. Individual ticket price: $30 or a Table of Eight: $240

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Volume 19, Issue 8, Posted 1:06 PM, 04.19.2023

The Night Of The Twister

June 8th 2023 will be the 70th anniversary of the deadliest tornado on record that hit Cuyahoga County. After several deadly tornadoes formed that day, back in 1953 in western Ohio, the storm system moved north-easterly towards the Cleveland area. Soon, another twister was seen over the City of Vermilion. The National Weather Bureau issued a 45 minute warning to the Cuyahoga residents of the approaching storm. However, because of the number one show, “I Love Lucy”, was playing on the televisions, the network refused to cut in on the program to alert the viewers. The only warning Clevelanders received that day was when all the electricity suddenly went out and by then it was too late.

The twister arrived at Cleveland Hopkins Airport, over the northern runway, with an eerie greenish glow at the base of the funnel. After passing over the airport, it veered off into Cleveland’s west-side neighborhood. The storm devastated a new development, between the Streets of West 130 and West 117, lifting up homes off their foundations and scattering the occupants blocks away. One infant was sucked out of its father’s arms and right out of the bedroom window, and was subsequently thrown up against a garage wall, several lots away.

The twister then proceeded to cut a diagonal path of destruction across the city before jumping over the Cuyahoga River and into the downtown Cleveland area. The twister hopped and skipped around the downtown area, destroying several buildings, before flipping over a tractor-trailer at East 55th Street, which seemed to be an act of defiance, before dissipating out over Lake Erie. The following day, that same storm-system produced an F5 twister in Worcester, Massachusetts, killing close to one hundred people.


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Volume 19, Issue 8, Posted 1:06 PM, 04.19.2023

Legislation To Strengthen Ohio’s Earned Income Tax Credit

On February 15th, State Reps. Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) and Dani Isaacsohn (D-Cincinnati)  introduced legislation to strengthen the State’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), making it partially refundable (Ohio House Bill 39).

The refundable federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the nation’s most effective anti-poverty program. The federal EITC in 2018 reduced the burden of poverty for 16.5 million people and lifted nearly 5.6 million people out of poverty, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Ohio implemented a state EITC in 2013 and expanded the credit in 2019. Low to middle income Ohioans are eligible for the state EITC if they receive the federal credit and have earned income within the set guidelines. Unlike the federal EITC, the state credit is not refundable, making it one of the weakest in the nation. The introduced bill provides that 10 percent of the tax credit be refundable for state EITC recipients.

“By not offering a refundable Earned Income Tax Credit in Ohio, we are behind most states in the nation”, said Rep. Skindell. “Making the EITC partially refundable would be a significant start to lessening the burden on our working families.”

Making the state EITC refundable would boost family income and assist lower income communities by stimulating local economies.

The legislation was assigned to the Ohio House Ways and Means committee and now awaits a first hearing.

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

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Volume 19, Issue 5, Posted 8:21 PM, 03.01.2023

City Salutes Peter Viglianco For Achieving Eagle Rank

City Council saluted Peter Viglianco for achieving the Eagle rank in scouting at a recent meeting.  Peter, a senior at St. Ignatius H.S., is surrounded by his family. He is a member of BSA Troop 287, which is sponsored by and meets weekly at St. James Catholic Church. He is the 61st Eagle in the history of Troop 287.

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Volume 19, Issue 4, Posted 12:20 PM, 02.15.2023

Senator Antonio Assumes Senate Minority Leader Role & Shares Legislative Priorities

As we embark on the new 135th General Assembly, I look forward to the work ahead. I'm pleased to report that I have been elected to serve as the upcoming Senate Minority Leader. I will continue to represent Senate District 23 which includes Lakewood, Parma, Parma Heights, Cleveland, and Bratenahl. As I reflect on the activities of the state legislature this past year, I'm proud of the work that we have done on behalf of our communities, with so many members of our communities.

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

Lycamobile Gorkhali Grocery

I was recently craving Indian food and decided to check out a store called Lycamobile Gorkhali Grocery. This store is known for its variety of Indian and Nepalese food, ingredients, seasonings, and snacks, and I wanted to experience it for myself. From the moment I entered the store, I was impressed with the variety of products which got my mind wondering and wandering. Which products would be best for my favorite recipes? Which snacks would satisfy my tastebuds? My imagination was sparked.

Although I came armed with a list of things to shop for, I appreciated the help offered by the shop’s employee, who helped me make the best decisions. I was very glad to have encountered him, as he provided exceptional customer service and a lot of valuable information about my purchases. He shared authentic recipes with me and helped me to pick out key ingredients. For instance, he guided me as I selected dry yellow noodles, fried paneer, chowmein masala, paneer masala, lychee drink, and Badam drink with almond bits, a mixture of cow and buffalo milk known for its sweet taste.

In addition, he assisted me in choosing some traditional snacks. I picked up Rumpum Furandana and Bhungra (some very popular, spicy snacks in Nepal and India). The way he described them made me excited to try them. As I shopped, the employee told me all about the puja nut which is often used in traditional ceremonies and offerings in many cultures. If anyone is interested in the puja nut, you can find it here in the freezer! I was thrilled to learn and immerse myself in a new cultural experience while picking up a few essentials.

All in all, I was satisfied with the items I bought, but especially with the fantastic service I received. If you’re a fan of Indian and Nepalese food and looking for a place to buy quality, authentic ingredients from a caring grocer, I recommend visiting Gorkhali Grocery. I’d absolutely encourage you to ask questions, as they are more than happy to help you make excellent selections, introduce you to new foods, and teach you something valuable about their culture.

Lycamobile Gorkhali Grocery- 216-526-3167
13413 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107

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

A Taste of Mexico In The Heart of Lakewood Ohio

As soon as I took a bite of the delicious meal I ordered at Cilantro Taqueria, the word “real” immediately popped into my head. If you are craving true Mexican cuisine, this is seriously the place for you!

Despite the popularity of Mexican cuisine across the United States, you might be surprised that few restaurants offer an authentic taste of this iconic fare, especially in the Midwest. That's why the owner of Cilantro Taqueria has set out on a mission to bring bold Mexican flavors to the heart of Lakewood Ohio, and the results speak for themselves.

I was incredibly pleased to see that Cilantro Taqueria focuses on creating memorable flavors by using freshly sourced ingredients that pack a powerful punch with every dish. For guacamole lovers, their homemade dip is a must-try, thanks to its notable hints of cilantro that give you a refreshing, creamy bite with each dip.

And Cilantro takes extra care to ensure that each of its protein options is seasoned to perfection, whether you choose traditional Mexican options like carnitas and barbacoa or a more modern choice like their flavorful vegan chorizo. I personally ordered three shredded chicken tacos, which were loaded with lettuce, cheese, and hot sauce. Of course, I couldn’t leave without getting a traditional Elote, Mexican street corn. One fan favorite, the grilled shrimp tacos, is known for their deliciously charred flavor that keeps guests coming back for more.

Although Cilantro Taqueria focuses on serving authentic Mexican cuisine, that doesn't mean you can't customize your own experience. Cilantro offers a broad menu, including tortas, tacos, fajitas, burritos, quesadillas, and bowls, which give you the freedom to pick your toppings from the freshly made selection. And if you're looking to end your meal on a sweet note, their classic Mexican desserts like Chocoflan and Tres Leches Cake are guaranteed to satisfy your sugary cravings.

Thankfully, you won't have to travel far to sink your teeth into the flavors of Mexico. Cilantro Taqueria is proudly serving up authentic Mexican cuisine at 5 locations across the greater Cleveland area, with each location featuring a dedicated and friendly staff who deliver lightning-fast service. If you're in a rush, you can grab your grub to go with their convenient online ordering options.

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Volume 19, Issue 2, Posted 12:31 PM, 01.18.2023

Remembering Bill Hixson

I was sad to hear that Bill Hixson from Hixson’s in Lakewood died yesterday at the age of 93.

I visited the store just two weeks ago and we had a real conversation. He was half-Ukrainian just like me and we discussed the war going on now over there, sharing our personal feelings about it.

Hixson’s was a magical place and it was all because of him. He sold memories and he’s definitely given me many over the years. My son’s Christmas tree is full with just some of them.

These were some photos from that visit.

I asked him if I could take his photo which I did but when I showed it to him he didn’t like the fact that his arms were up so he asked me to take another.

Bill Hixson…ever the consummate arranger!!!

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Volume 19, Issue 1, Posted 2:14 PM, 01.04.2023

Happy Holidays From Tom Bullock And Family!

To our neighbors in this wonderful community we call home—

With gratitude for the chance to serve you in 2022, we wish you a joyful holiday season, peace and good health, and a happy new year!


The Bullock Family,

L to R: (A camera shy) William, Tom, Tommy, Molly, and Bridget

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Volume 18, Issue 24, Posted 7:26 PM, 12.21.2022

How To Manage Stress This Holiday Season

Many people are gearing up for the winter holidays. And while the impending activities are exciting and can bring a sense of joy, the season can also become overwhelming and stressful. Stress is unavoidable, but for some, it can be debilitating. According to the World Health Organization, stress is the body's response to anything that requires attention or action. Everyone experiences stress to some degree, but the way we respond to stress makes a big difference to our overall well-being.

To help those coping with stress during the holiday season, here are some of the best strategies for destressing during this holiday season:

•Move your body. You can stretch, go for a walk, or even jump up and down. Whatever you can do to get your body moving to increase blood flow.
•Take time for yourself. We all need a little time to ourselves to do something we like to do. Having the opportunity to step away will allow us to be more present, focused and relaxed when we come back.
•Delegate tasks. You do not have to wrap all the presents, organize every holiday activity, or cook the whole holiday meal. Seek help from those around you to help take some of the responsibility off your plate.
•Prioritize exercise and eating right. Exercise has been proven to relieve stress and boost your mood. A nutrient-dense diet has been associated with lower stress. However, caffeine has been shown to increase cortisol and, therefore aid in moving your body toward a stressed state.
•Connect with friends and family. Pick up the phone and meet someone for lunch.
•Work on reframing your problems. Reframing is a strategy that people can use, either on their own or in therapy, to help adjust their mindset. It often involves focusing on more positive thoughts, but it can also be centered on changing excessively high expectations to be more realistic.
•Visit healthy stress-relieving atmospheres. For many people, a place to go like the YMCA provides many stress relievers, from exercise, to socialization, to community engagement and more. To learn more about our local Y, visit www.clevelandymca.org.

In situations in which the stressor is overwhelming and cannot be resolved, stress becomes chronic. If you have felt in a heightened state of stress for a prolonged time, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help. Talk to your loved ones and let them know that there is too much on your plate and you need some relief or help. And don’t be afraid or ashamed to seek professional help if your symptoms worsen.

Listen to your body to acknowledge when you’re under stress, use these tips to help lessen the effects and enjoy the holidays!

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Volume 18, Issue 24, Posted 7:26 PM, 12.21.2022

Lakewood Municipal Court Is Recipient Of Top Grant Award Of $425,000

I am thrilled for our community and the court to have received $425,000 in grant money through the Office of Criminal Justice Services, a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, in partnership with the Ohio Supreme Court.

It is an amazing opportunity for me to significantly advance many facets of the court: from providing more efficient operations, to improving technology, modernizing, decreasing case backlog, and allowing broader access to the court and its services. This award benefits the court, and more importantly the users of the court, which I will explain later in the article.

In July 2022 the grant application process began. It was stressful, tedious work, with very significant obstacles. We were able to overcome the challenges to meet the grant application deadline of July 29, despite the short turnaround time from the date we were made aware of this opportunity. I was determined because I knew an award would greatly impact the court on many levels.

Having never been intricately involved in the granular details required to write a robust grant, I had to scramble to pull a team together to assist in the endeavor. A special shout-out to my court administrator, Maria Russo, who worked tirelessly, and to the city’s Finance Department for connecting us with experienced and court knowledgeable grant writers. Together we pulled it off, and the application, with supporting documents, was submitted on July 29 a few hours before the deadline.


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Volume 18, Issue 23, Posted 5:06 PM, 12.07.2022

Of Shifting Standards And Contesting Contests

It seems there’s been

A shift

In thinking in this country….

The idea, fairly recent,

Of some contestants (politicians)

Deciding before a contest

That they have already won!

They are ready to contest

The contest’s results, (if not in their favor),

Before it even happens!

So why bother with elections?

Don’t take part in something you regard

As flawed to begin with!

At least have the decency to protest

By staying out of it!

Did you not learn by third grade

That losing happens?

And when you lose, you need to 

Step aside?

So disturbing that minds have again been corralled

To think the unthinkable.

It has happened before

With horrific results.

Jean Brinich is a retired family nurse practitioner and a Lakewood returnee.

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

Why Vote?

Access to reproductive healthcare. The right to choose. Our children’s education. Freedom to learn and think. Safe, healthy communities.

These are not just buzzwords. These issues are all on the ballot this November.

After the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June, we have seen attacks on reproductive rights and abortion access like never before. Ohio Republicans have made it clear that they intend to insert themselves into the private healthcare decisions of women, pregnant people and their families by banning abortion in our state. In Kansas, we saw voters answer these attacks with a resounding no. It’s our turn to do the same here in Ohio.

But the attacks don’t end there. Both around the country and in Ohio, some GOP politicians have introduced bills to prohibit the teaching of “divisive concepts,” which they define as anything from slavery and racism to LGBTQ+ issues. These bills would silence and censor our teachers and our children. As our kids grow, I believe it is important to nurture their curiosity and assist them in becoming intelligent, critical-thinking adults - not stifle their education and ban books in their schools. Access to a comprehensive public education for our children is on the ballot.

More than that: our children’s future is on the ballot in the state of Ohio. 

This year alone, Republicans in the Statehouse passed dangerous legislation to allow individuals to carry concealed firearms without a permit and to arm teachers in the classroom with no minimum training requirement, which will only worsen the gun violence epidemic in our state. We Democrats support commonsense gun safety reforms like increased background checks, red flag laws and raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm, measures that we believe would make Ohio safer for families and children.


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Volume 18, Issue 20, Posted 11:56 AM, 10.19.2022

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.

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


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


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.


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