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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

"Lakewood Small": A Project To Celebrate And Support Small Businesses

Don't let their appearances fool you: even though the morning crowd is a lot smaller at the Place to Be, and Madison Square Lanes is a lot quieter on Saturday nights, Lakewood's small businesses are fighting to remain a part of the vibrant city we know and love -- they can use all the help they can get to win that fight.

"Lakewood Small" is an art project that serves as a charity effort and love letter for the heart and soul of Lakewood, Ohio — our small businesses. Featuring forty-eight of Lakewood’s oldest and most cherished shops and storefronts, this hand-drawn piece aims to celebrate each and every small business that makes our city special. 100% of the proceeds from this project will be either donated back to the small businesses featured on the print, or donated to the Lakewood Foundation per these business' request. If you're interested in picking up a $23 print, visit etsy.me/3gZFcEK or search for "manytinylines" on social media.

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Volume 16, Issue 16, Posted 3:41 PM, 08.19.2020

Community Meals In Lakewood Carry On And Carry Out Through COVID 19.

St. James Catholic Church sponsors a community meal on the Second Wednesday of every month, in Andrews Hall, regardless of weather, or any other circumstances.

St. Luke Catholic Church sponsors a meal the third Wednesday of each month. St. Edward High School covers the fourth Wednesday of each month. Each has weathered the COVID storm providing fresh hot meals on a carry-out basis since the health crisis broke in March. Heavy rains and bitter cold did not stop our volunteers from serving the community in its time of need.

These three institutions each prepare and serve over 100 hot meals per month. They are committed to providing a healthy meal including salad, vegetables, a fresh main dish, drink and dessert in a dignified setting with live music. They are committed to providing fellowship and engaging in good conversation while getting to know the people. Provisions beyond a good meal include wool socks, hats and gloves and providing information regarding free clothing and health screening. 

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Volume 16, Issue 14, Posted 4:19 PM, 07.15.2020

Lakewood Residents Earn Medical Degrees

Two Lakewood residents were among the students who received doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) degrees from Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at the college’s April 18 degree conferral.

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

COVID-19 And The Law

COVID AND THE COURTS

We all know that so much has changed over the last month. The impact of the Covid-19 has affected every part of our lives. This change has also affected the way our area courts are operating. As with every other business, most of the courts are closed; however there are some limited exceptions, as the courts are mandated to maintain a docket for certain cases. In Cuyahoga County and Lakewood, updated information can be found on their websites. Each court has issued its own directives, and each continues to maintain a strong online presence. An outline of some of the important directives are as follows:

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court:

https://cp.cuyahogacounty.us/court-information/covid-19/

By Order dated March 16, 2020, the Common Pleas Court, through its Presiding Judge Brendan Sheehan, adopted the March 9, 2020 Executive Order from Governor DeWine “Declaring a State of Emergency”. Based on the governor’s order, the Court created a set of rules by which the court would be operating.  Judge Sheehan outlined  that the court would be “Open with Restrictions,” meaning that the Court  would implement a reduced docket and only operate with essential personnel. For the time being, the focus would be on cases involving incarcerated individuals and emergency matters before the Court. 

 

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

State Senator Nickie J. Antonio Holds Virtual Town Hall

COLUMBUS- Last week, state Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) hosted a virtual town hall to provide Covid-19 updates to her constituents. She was joined by Cuyahoga County Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan and state Representatives, including Representative Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood).

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

Primary Voting Extended By Mail

Voting in Ohio’s March primary will continue in April. To take part, voters should request a vote-by-mail ballot from the Board of Elections, then complete and return it without delay.

That’s the simple update on the Ohio primary. All ballots already at the Board of Elections or there by the end of April will count. There’s still time to vote, and no reason to wait; local polling places in Lakewood won’t be opening.

Technically, March 17 remains the date of Ohio’s 2020 primary. Late on March 16, the Ohio Department of Health ordered polls closed, amid efforts to slow the COVID-19 pandemic. Errors and false steps by Secretary of State Frank LaRose and other state officials produced days of confusion, but legislators restored some clarity on March 25.

House Bill 197, passed unanimously by the Ohio General Assembly, allows voters to continue requesting and returning primary ballots until the end of April. The broad pandemic-response bill also instructs boards of elections to pre-pay the return postage for vote-by-mail ballots.

Limited in-person voting is to be available at the Board of Elections on April 28, only for voters with disabilities or no access to the postal service.

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020

Mayor's Corner

Dear Residents:

Safety and public health are my top priorities. Since the first confirmed cases in Cuyahoga County were announced on March 9th, the City of Lakewood has adopted all recommended protocols and followed all guidance from our public health leaders at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the Governor’s Office, and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. 

Safety and Public Health

The City’s Fire Department and Police Department are award-winning preparedness experts and have taken necessary precautions to ensure that the safety of residents is protected without compromising the ability for the staff of each department to protect its ranks from infection or quarantine.

Taking Action

I have convened a coronavirus task force who meet daily. We have been communicating to staff, partner organizations, and the community at-large about the goals for emerging from this crisis, the steps the City is taking, and the impact those steps will have on City operations. With these partners, our goal is slowing the spread of the virus, so our health care system is not overburdened.

Slow the Spread

The City has closed public access to City facilities, canceled or postponed non-essential meetings, instituted livestream public meetings where practical and appropriate, enforced federal and state mandates for closure of bars, restaurants, and other relevant businesses, and required all non-essential staff to work remotely. All staff have been informed of coronavirus protocol and advised to notify a manager and stay home if they are sick or have a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020

Mayor's Corner

Coronavirus. COVID-19. Social Distancing. Flatten the Curve. Community Spread. These are phrases that weren’t part of everyday vocabulary a month ago.  Now that these terms are our everyday reality, I want you to know that my administration is doing everything possible to save lives. 

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 3:06 PM, 03.19.2020

The Ohio Question

The great state of Ohio is the unquestionable forebearer of industry in the United States. We have given unto this country efficient rubber, strong glass, reliable steel, and the dedication of our men and women only found in the mid-west. And with that, the drive that ushered in the automobile phenomenon after the second World War. But before we built our cities and towns around the dependability of Ford, Chevrolet, and the once steadfast Plymouth, we relied upon the railroad.

Cleveland, Ohio was a city dedicated to its rail service. Our streetcars and inter-urbans spanned dozens of miles in every direction except north-- less than twenty years ago Lakewood still had streetcar lines that yearned for service again, but we declined. The automobile became popular, the city was bought out by Goodyear in favor of buses, the streetcar and inter-urbans passed along our thoroughfares for the last time-- and inconsequently or not, our population quivered.

In 1827, under President John Quincy Adams, the Tom Thumb became the first passenger train in the United States on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, ushering in a new era of industry on this continent. In 1869, Ulysses S. Grant accomplished what many believed to be impossible: connect the East and West coasts by rail. William H. Taft laid the groundwork for the greatest expansion of the railroad in history. And in 1970, President Richard Nixon saved national rail by signing into law the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. If these four presidents who believed so much in our railroad infrastructure had one thing in common, it would be their party, their Republican ideals. However, the modern party of these presidents has disbanded and abandoned their allegiance to this most critical of needs.

 

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

Jennifer O’Donnell For Judge: Experienced Public Defender Advocates Reform

Public defenders are entirely unrepresented in Cuyahoga County’s court of common pleas, general division, right now. Of 34 current judges, not one has a public defense background.

Jennifer O’Donnell is running for judge to change this, and improve a local justice system in need of reforms.

Conditions in Cuyahoga County’s jail have made headlines and prompted formal investigations, and O’Donnell says that real solutions remain incomplete. “We are still in a situation where it is incredibly overcrowded, we have inmates that are sleeping on the floor,” she notes.

O’Donnell advocates greater transparency and more efficient courts, along with bail reform and lasting solutions to the county jail’s problems.


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

Vote Issue 28 Support Our Schools

As a third-generation Lakewood resident and proud alumna of Lakewood Schools, I am proud to support Issue 28. I am grateful for the education I received as a student and wish for future Rangers to have that same high-quality experience. Voting for Issue 28 on March 17th will make that possible.

Before serving on City Council and becoming Mayor of Lakewood, I started my career as an educator. I've always valued the role that education plays in setting children up for success. Issue 28 will ensure our students are ready to succeed in life – whatever paths they choose. It will allow the Lakewood City Schools to increase mental health services for all children K-12, expand STEM classes to prepare students for their futures, keep educational technology and other learning materials up-to-date, help recruit and retain excellent teachers, and preserve our community’s investment by keeping all of our school buildings and other assets in good condition. Issue 28 will accomplish all of this while still being mindful of the taxpayer at less than $2 more per month based on a property valuation of $100,000.

I believe that strong schools mean a strong community. The basis for vibrant neighborhoods, strong housing values, and overall economic development is a strong education system. Issue 28 supports Lakewood families and our community by enabling the best possible educational outcomes for our students. Everything I do as Mayor remains focused on ensuring that Lakewood is one of the best places in the country to live. Issue 28 supports this effort.

 

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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 4:30 PM, 02.05.2020

The Lakewood Observer Digital Subscription

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 11:01 AM, 04.02.2020

Antonio To Deliver State Of The District

State Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) will give her annual State of the District address to discuss issues affecting the community such as health care, education and transportation on Saturday, February 1 at 11 am in Parma, Ohio. This presentation to the public will include an update on Antonio’s work at the Statehouse since the beginning of the 133rd General Assembly, and a Q&A period.

Immediately before the address, from 10 am to 11 am, the Senator will hold office hours to meet constituents. If you are interested in scheduling a brief one-on-one meeting, please contact Nicole Schneider in her office at 614-466-5123.

WHO: Senator Nickie J. Antonio
WHAT: State of the District address
WHEN: February 1, 2020, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (Office hours are by appointment from 10:00 a.m.- 11:00 a.m.)
WHERE: Parma-Snow branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, Conference Room B

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

Thank You Lakewood: Let’s Create A Positive Future Together

It is a profound honor to begin the work of serving our community, as Lakewood’s next mayor.

I want to thank the voters who entrusted me with this great responsibility. Accomplishing things together, as a city, depends on the trust of residents.

Earning this trust through a positive, grassroots-based campaign was important to me, and I am very grateful to those who made it possible. Anyone who has worked on a political campaign knows that it’s a team effort. Every vote mattered, so every phone call, every yard sign, every piece of literature left at a door made a difference.

Bringing this community together will be my mission over the next four years. There’s a lot of work to be done, starting with the transition planning which I have been giving much attention.

Thank you to everyone who encouraged the decision to run, and to everyone who supported this campaign. I also want to thank all candidates who put themselves out there. Running for office is not easy, but it makes representative democracy possible.

I look forward to working with new and old colleagues, and engaging input from throughout our community in a 360-degree approach to the challenges ahead.

We can work together on priorities of public safety and sustainable strong finances, on open government and an inclusive community, and on a clean environment.

The next chapter for Lakewood is starting, and I hope you will be part of it.

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

Sam O'Leary Is Unfit To Be Mayor--Here Is Why

In December 2015, Sam O’Leary was a defendant in a lawsuit brought on behalf of the residents of Lakewood alleging that he and other members of City Council held secret meetings and agreed to enact the so-called "Master Agreement" prior to any public meetings. 

This agreement, between the City of Lakewood, the Lakewood Hospital Association (LHA) and Cleveland Clinic, would close Lakewood Hospital and give away $120 million of taxpayer money and property belonging to the residents of Lakewood.

To conceal the non-public (i.e. illegal) meetings and decisions made in secret, O’Leary gave false testimony under oath that the Master Agreement “did not exist when it was announced”--even though this testimony contradicted his own statements made at a press conference held earlier that month in front of TV cameras.

Let's pause for a moment and reflect on the absurdity of insisting to a court of law that you held a press conference to announce an agreement that did not exist. 

The people of Lakewood didn't buy it either. 

The residents’ lawsuit against O’Leary was instituted, in part, because of his comments in support of the Master Agreement at that December 7, 2015 press conference which occurred before any public meetings were held concerning the terms of ANY agreement

O'Leary described the agreement in very particular terms, making statements before the cameras like: “This new agreement funds our future…. Specifically, this agreement means the Cleveland Clinic will…. Demolishing the old parking garage is part of the agreement.” 

The clear implication of O’Leary’s statements was that an agreement existed and he was in favor of it. 

Each of the other 6 councilmembers made similar statements referencing the “agreement” and their support of it. (The complete press conference can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lChNMhrAXCk)

On December 21, 2015, O’Leary gave the following testimony in Court:

The agreement that was announced on December 7th did not exist when it was announced and, therefore, it is correct to say the council had not deliberated on the definitive agreement that wasn’t in existence yet, absolutely.” (From the Court Transcript at page 63; lines 18-22).  

Public records prove that this testimony was false, and O’Leary knew it was false.

 

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

Rotary Celebrates Eradication Of Polio With World Polio Day October 24

The members of the Rotary Clubs of Lakewood Rocky River join are joining with 1.2 million Rotary members, in nearly 34,000 Rotary Clubs around the world, to celebrate the eradication of the crippling disease of polio. It all started in 1979 by Rotary with the administration of the first dose of an oral polio vaccine in the Philippines; 6 million children in the Philippines have been vaccinated. Rotary has been working to eradicate polio for 40 years, and the goal of ridding the earth of this disease is in sight.

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

Candidate Questions For Meghan George

Occupation: Senior Account Manager

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

You deserve a mayor that understands the unique needs of our community and as a third-generation resident, I have called Lakewood home for nearly 38 years. My experience goes beyond serving as your current at-large Councilwoman. I have served the community as a supervisor for the Lakewood Recreation Department and I’ve worked for our schools. Additionally, I am a workforce strategy/benefits consultant for employers throughout Ohio. I assist CEOs with creating a competitive environment, mitigating risk, and establishing budgets. This combination of community service and practical experience has provided me with the skill set necessary for the role as Mayor.

2.) What are the top 5 issues you see for Lakewood? (One sentence each)

1)            Fiscal Stability. Long term fiscal planning geared toward ensuring we provide the quality services Lakewood residents deserve without burdening lifelong homeowners with undue tax increases by not appropriately planning for the future.

2)            Public Safety. Not only should residents feel safe in their homes, they should feel safe from speeding traffic and we need to be sure our Police Department has the resources it needs to enforce our traffic codes.

3)            EPA Mandate. The financial burden of the overhaul of our 100 year old sewer system is a massive undertaking that will impact every household for decades to come.

4)            Transparency and Ethical Governance. It is crucial we are conducting business ethically by transparently and honestly sharing information with the residents of Lakewood.

 

 

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

Candidate Questions For Linda Beebe

1.). Why do you want to be elected, or re-elected, to the Lakewood Board of Education? Why should we vote for you? (100 words or less)

I bring some distinctive contributions to board considerations. My connections to Lakewood Schools are strong. My children Aaron and Megan are Lakewood graduates. My husband Dr. Bruce Beebe taught in Lakewood for 30 years. As one whose children are now grown, I can focus the needs of all children. As a former teacher both in Lakewood and Scotland,  I bring classroom experience into policy discussions.  I love reading about learning theories and best practices. As an older person I bring a different perspective to policy discussions.  As an attorney, I can bring my knowledge to considerations with legal implications.

2.) What do you see as the three biggest issues facing the Lakewood School District? Explain how will you address one of them? (100 words or less)

I will continue to seek to lower expenses by reducing staff in line with declining enrollment and to seek out opportunities for group purchasing. I will support the district’s efforts to lobby for effective state support for the district to relieve the burden on local taxpayers. I will encourage the district leadership to look for creative ways to increase programming at reduced cost, while maintaining a talented and strong teaching staff and without cutting arts or extra-curricular education.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 20, Posted 6:17 PM, 10.02.2019

Police Union Endorses Jeff Wise for Lakewood Council

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 25 has endorsed Jeff Wise for Lakewood City Council, Ward 3.

The union’s endorsement is a powerful statement of support for Wise, a first-time candidate facing an incumbent city council member in November.

Wise has emphasized a record of public service for Lakewood, demonstrated during his years working in the Ohio Statehouse. Along with this experience, his campaign has offered a positive vision of inclusive representation and practical problem-solving.

Following a committee interview and recommendation, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 25 members voted to endorse Wise’s candidacy.

“Our law enforcement officers are on the front lines each and every day working to keep Lakewood safe,” says Wise.

“Their endorsement shows my strong commitment to public safety and support for those who serve our city. I am honored to have their confidence.”

The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest organization of law enforcement professionals in the United States, and Lodge 25 represents more than 500 members on the west side of Cuyahoga County.

The FOP joins a broad coalition of endorsements for Jeff Wise, including the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund PAC, State Representative Michael J. Skindell, Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, and national advocacy groups Democracy for America and Our Revolution.

Lakewood voters will elect city council representatives for the city’s four wards, along with other local offices, on November 5. Early voting begins October 8. For more information visit wiseforlakewood.com.

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

Gabe's News: First Browns Home Game, Legos And More

(First) Browns home game and the Browns lost. It was really sad. First game of the season and they lose.

I saw that Game On and Plank Road (Tavern) were packed with people. I bet Buffalo Wild Wings would be packed in downtown Cleveland and Westgate and anywhere else Buffalo Wild Wings is (located). Also there are new Lego figure packs for the Lego brand top blox at the Dollar Tree in Lakewood. At Bee Clean Car wash express they have free vacuums if you don't already know. 

Gabe Macdermott, age 8, loves writing and drawing. He loves Lego and reporting the news.

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

Starr Gazer

OCTOBER

Aries: Nature is calling The Ram to have a sense of adventure, during this fall month, what better time to take a walk on the wild side into the night, and do a Cemetery Crawl…

Taurus: The Universe is serving Abundance Pie & the Bull is in line to grab a piece, splurge on a red cape for Halloween & show up at that party donning your finest Matador apparel.

Gemini: Beauty is the Twins theme this month, grab that magic wand, conjure up a pumpkin carriage, go to a vintage shop for the perfect gown, your Prince Charming is waiting at the ball.

Cancer: Keywords this month Crab, divine timing, get under that Full Moon, find a Mermaid outfit & do your best rendition of Daryl Hannah in Splashserve up your best witches’ brew.

 

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

Lakewood Medical Building Turns One Hundred Years Old

Lakewood recognizes Century Homes, so this year take a moment to notice this "Century Office Building" too. The Lakewood Medical Building was new construction at Detroit and Westwood 100 years ago, courtesy of Dr. C. Lee Graber, who also founded the city's hospital a dozen years before. Graber practiced medicine at this building until shortly before his death in 1954. Today the former Medical Building is part of the Rosewood Place Development, owned by North Coast Capital Partners.

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

11th Annual Zombie And Monster Walk

The 11th Annual Zombie and Monster Walk set off from the Five O'Clock Lounge this past Saturday. Admission was five dollars and two cans of food.  Participants could get their make-up done by professional FX make-up artists for $10 if they wanted to. All proceeds go to the Cleveland Food Bank.

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

Safety Requires A 360 Degree Approach

Public safety and fiscal responsibility should always be top priorities of local government. Without a city that is fundamentally safe, and responsible with its finances, we simply do not have the ability to reinvest in parks, infrastructure, or other needs, because safety is a bedrock necessity of any dynamic community. As a nearly 38-year resident of Lakewood, I am committed to supporting the top-notch personnel we have working to maintain that foundation.

My professional experience in helping CEOs structure their businesses has taught me to look at solutions in a 360 degree manner. From the immediately apparent, by ensuring we reinvest in our shooting range so that our officers remain prepared and well-equipped, to understanding that safety includes making sure our streets are designed for children walking to school as much as for the hard working parent commuting to their job. As a part of this approach, last year I approved the purchase of additional digital speedometers to address speeding on our side streets, however there is definitely more we can do. We need to be active in responding to the changing traffic on Lakewood streets, including bike traffic.

 

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Volume 15, Issue 17, Posted 6:27 PM, 09.04.2019

Use Food To Stay Healthy This Fall

Have you noticed that summer's heat is gradually fading? You step outside during the evening hours and experience a cooler night. When you breath in the cool air, something inside of you knows that the seasons are shifting.

Those summer moments are warm memories now. School will start soon and daylight hours slowly begin to shorten. As nature shifts from late summer to early fall, we too naturally follow the seasonal change. We ease into the change by becoming less active, going to bed earlier, and adjusting the foods we eat.

In preparation for cooler temperatures, we can no longer rely on the summer sun to warm us. Instead, we must being to rely on our own internal heat and those found in food to keep us warm. The theory of foods having temperature (cold, warm, hot, and neutral), and eating seasonally dates back thousands of years. This practice was adapted due to seasonal crop availability. Before refrigeration, canning and pickling were used to preserve foods. 

Now that most foods are available during any season, it’s even more important to choose seasonal foods. When we eat in accordance with the season, our body is able to avoid excess stress and maintain homeostasis. While we shift from late summer to early fall, it is best to enjoy meals that are baked, sautéed, or cooked over several hours. Yes, soup season is in!

 

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Volume 15, Issue 17, Posted 6:27 PM, 09.04.2019

Lakewood Mayor Talking Our Of Both Side Of His Mouth

After lying to Lakewood citizens that Lakewood’s hospital was losing money and had to be shut down when he knew full well that the Clinic had a contractual duty to run the hospital at no loss to the City until 2026, Mayor Summers has now connived the City into another giveaway contract. 

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Volume 15, Issue 16, Posted 3:23 PM, 08.21.2019

City Workers Endorse Meghan George For Mayor

The union which represents nearly half the City of Lakewood’s employees has endorsed Meghan F. George for mayor.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) represents more than 150 public works and administrative employees in Lakewood.

Local 1043 President Mike Satink, who works for the streets department, says that, “Councilwoman George respects the hard work we do every day. All residents of the city can expect that same respect from their mayor, with her leadership.”

Satink says that straightforward, honest respect is the main object of workers he represents in Lakewood’s streets, refuse, building and other departments. “Respect for fairly bargained contracts, and respect for people,” he says.

A Lakewood employee for 12 years, Satink says that he has gotten to know George very well during her time on city council, and that she has impressed him with her interest in the details of city services and the people who keep them running.

“We have been meeting with any and all candidates” in this year’s local elections, Satink says, but George distinguished herself through months of dialogue about ways the union can help improve local services in the years ahead.

“She’s here for life and loves the city of Lakewood,” Satink says of Meghan George. “In my opinion, Meghan is the right person to lead this diverse city.”

George says she is especially grateful for the endorsement from local city workers.

"Administrations come and go, but the hard-working employees of Lakewood are the backbone our residents rely upon year in, year out, decade after decade. I am deeply appreciative of the support of these hard-working employees.”

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

Supporting Meghan George For Mayor

When Lakewood elects a new mayor, on November 5, Meghan George will have my vote.

I have gotten to know Meghan as a person and as a professional. In my experience, she is an inherently genuine and principled individual. I have seen her embrace tough challenges with strength, and make difficult decisions with poise.

On City Council she uses her knowledge and awareness to make a positive difference for our city. Meghan studies the issues and does what’s right for Lakewood residents.

Meghan appreciates Lakewood’s significant history. She takes a long-term view of development and other proposals, recognizing that today’s decisions need to make sense in years to come. This is the thoughtfulness and maturity we need at City Hall.

I strongly believe Lakewood’s future will be bright if we elect Meghan George as Lakewood’s next mayor.

Claire Vincent

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

Appreciation For Our Nurses And Teachers

A downtown Lakewood massage studio will be offering nurses and teachers half off massages in celebration of both National Nurses Week and Teacher Appreciation Week (both being celebrated May 6-12).

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 8:01 PM, 05.08.2019

Little Free Indoor Libraries

Lakewood has embraced the Little Free Library concept, with at least 20 now scattered around our city. This pair, including one of the city's newest, is found indoors. The Lakewood Policy recently added a Little Free Library to their lobby inside City Hall, at 12650 Detroit Ave. It's actually the second police-themed design among Lakewood's little libraries, however, joining the "Dr. Who" police-box-shaped library inside Fear's Confections at 15208 Madison Ave.

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Volume 15, Issue 3, Posted 3:56 PM, 01.22.2019

LOooooking Back

2006 - LO_2/1- Lakewood Is Ohio’s Newest Main Street - Hospital Ribbon Cutting
Headlines were all about Downtown Lakewood, Ohio. After submitting paperwork and dues, LCPI had been told that we were a “Mainstreet City.” Also was abuzz about the ribbon-cutting at Lakewood Hospital for the new Belle Avenue entrance and waiting area. Bob Seelie was elected to a 5th term as President of Lakewood Council, and continued his updates in the paper. A look at Lakewood Police’s canine Officer Obrock. A hard look at “No Child Left Behind” by Dr. Greanoff. “Young Woman’s Vision for Lakewood Park: ‘A Place To Grow’ A 4 page color spread on one of the most innovative, and cost-effective ideas ever for Lakewood Park. It was discovered the Nicholson House was actually older than Oldest Stone House! Gordon Brumm’s amazing series “Intelligent Design: Skeptical Thoughts about the Skepticism (2)” “Beauty and the Beast” and Verb Ballet covered at Beck Center. Hot Topics On The Deck: 1) First Rockport Square resident by Thomas J. George 2)Status of CitiState Program by Rhonda loje 3) The Eminent Domain Spectator by Mark Timieski

2007 - LO_3/1- City Councilman Edward FitzGerald Announces Race for Mayor
while Mayor George was being announced as the Vice Chair of the National League of Cities. Then Councilman FitzGerald grabbed the headline with his announcement that “Lakewood needed stronger Leadership.” Hogsback Lane repair announced. With the announcement of Dollar Tree coming to Lakewood we take an in-depth look at phenomenon of what it means in Lakewood. LO Photographer Ivor Karabatkovic had just won Scholastic Awards for his photos. LHS Cheerleaders collecting to send cheer to soldiers in Iraq. Lakewood Hospital Newly Renovated Cornary Care Unit examined. Gary Rice looks at Lakewood Treasure Trove of Churches. One of the most infamous cartoons in the LO ran. “Krazy Kenny and the Wrestlin Fools” by Scott MacGregor (Rockport Mircles) and Gary Dumm. Of course people were outraged, not at FB levels but upset. Kenny’s family called from Florida. They had gotten a copy of the cartoon and cried. They couldn’t believe the city of Lakewood still remembered or cared about their brother known to all as “Crazy Kenny.”  


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Volume 15, Issue 2, Posted 5:11 PM, 01.08.2019

Decking The Halls

Lezlee Patten likes to make people happy and see them smile. That's why she puts up an elaborate Christmas display every year at the end of the hall outside her suite at Lakewood's Westerly Apartments.

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Volume 14, Issue 24, Posted 3:48 PM, 12.18.2018

Lakewood's Bridget Lyons Finds The Fire To Succeed At Tri-C

As a kindergarten teacher, Bridget Lyons was quite comfortable with many sets of eyes staring at her as she began a new school year. But her first day at the Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) Fire Training Academy felt different.

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 1:35 PM, 08.07.2018

Food Not Lawns

Food not lawns is a great movement aimed at turning the world into an edible neighborhood to promote sustainability. While I am not personally affiliated with this organization I feel so strongly about this movement that I wanted to raise awareness to our wonderfully diverse city.

Having the ability to grow your own food is something we should all aim to at the very least learn. It is a gift that we can give to our future generations as an extremely practical skillset. There is something to be said for being able to do things yourself. We are seeing less of the traditional “factory farms” and more of the small organic farmers which is fantastic for sustainability and our environmental footprint we are leaving behind. 

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 1:35 PM, 08.07.2018

Where Does It Go? Sewer District Open House Sept. 15

Spending so much time on our “thrones” may sometimes lead our minds to wonder: What happens after the flush? Where does it go? How does all that dirty water get clean? On September 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., find out answers to all these questions and more at the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s Open House and Clean Water Fest.

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Volume 14, Issue 15, Posted 1:35 PM, 08.07.2018