Latest News

Capital campaign for playhouse renovation kicks off at BAYarts

BAYarts kicked off the next phase of renovations of the historic Huntington Playhouse with the announcement of a major donation toward their capital campaign of $100,000 by Joseph P. Carney of Westlake.

In the winter of 2019-2020, BAYarts was planning the expansion to respond to the growing need for more space to meet the strong demand for art classes, children’s art camps, and an ever-growing demand for more gallery and event space. Plans for fundraising and expansion were shelved in March 2020 as the popular and much-loved community art center shifted its classes to virtual instruction and "Art to Go" kits for students who were relegated to at-home remote learning.

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:01 AM, 06.21.2022

Westlake Fire Chief Jim Hughes retires after 29 years

Westlake Fire Chief Jim Hughes receives a plaque from Mayor Dennis Clough.

Westlake Fire Chief Jim Hughes celebrated his retirement June 8 at Fire Station #1 surrounded by colleagues, family and friends. 

Mayor Dennis Clough presented the outgoing chief with a Proclamation noting his 29 years with the City of Westlake. He became Fire Chief in December 2014. The Proclamation also detailed his previous experience as a firefighter and in the Air Force, where he received several decorations and attained the rank of Master Sergeant. Hughes also has worked as a part-time police officer for Olmsted Falls.

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:04 AM, 06.21.2022

Village Project wins $25K grant

State Senator Matt Dolan spent some time talking to Village Project Executive Director Meredith LaVecchia about the great work Village Project does for our community.

Of the more than 4,000 submissions nationwide, Village Project is honored to announce they are one of the top 100 winners of a $25,000 grant from the 2022 State Farm Neighborhood Assist program! 

“We can’t thank our supporters enough,” says Executive Director Meredith LaVecchia. “After we learned we made it to the top 200 organizations, it was up to our amazing supporters to push us into the top 100. Our volunteers, clients, supporters, donors, friends, family – everyone showed up to make sure we crossed the finish line. We are beyond grateful, blessed and are excited to use this funding to continue to provide nourishing meals and serve our communities.” 

In just 10 days this spring, 88,000 people cast more than 2 million votes to help decide the top 100 winning causes.

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:01 AM, 06.21.2022

WBVO honored as one of top Ohio newspapers

For the first time in our 14-year history, the editorial staff of the Westlake | Bay Village Observer decided to throw our hat in the ring for industry recognition by participating in the Press Club of Cleveland's 2022 All Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards.

We selected our three favorite issues from 2021 – it was hard to pick just three! – and sent them off to be judged by an out-of-state press club.

On June 10, the results were announced and WBVO took third place in our category: Best Non-Daily Newspaper in Ohio: Community Newspaper. Not bad for an all-volunteer writing staff!

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:14 AM, 06.21.2022

Everybody wins at the Westlake Intergenerational Prom

John and Pat Kalnasy of Westlake

Intergenerational relationships help strengthen individuals, and help strengthen a community. Everybody wins.

So, in 2020, when it seemed like nobody was winning ... Westlake Community Services staff created what is called the Westlake Youth Advisory Board (WYAB) to engage community youth with our mission, and to assist us with developing intergenerational opportunities within our Plus 50 programs.  

Being 2020, our first nine months of meetings were held virtually with severely limited opportunities for intergenerational interaction. Nevertheless, our youth members got busy creating hundreds of Christmas stockings and Valentine bags to be delivered to unsuspecting senior residents in need of some cheer.

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:02 AM, 06.21.2022

Summer playdates offered to incoming kindergarteners

Normandy Principal Dan Sebring welcomes incoming kindergarteners to attend an optional playdate this summer. Photo courtesy Bay Village Schools

Normandy Elementary School welcomes all Class of 2035 incoming kindergarteners and one parent to attend an informal playdate this summer to meet Principal Dan Sebring and other new Normandy Bees. This is an optional event, and you only need to sign up for one date. The two remaining playdates are: Thursday, Aug. 4, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. or Thursday, Aug. 4, from 6 to 7 p.m. Parents can register at:

The playdates take place on Normandy's "Whales" playground (on the west side of the school), or in the cafeteria if there is inclement weather. Normandy PTA members will also be onsite to answer questions and accept membership applications.

If you have any questions, please contact Normandy School at 440-617-7350, or email Principal Sebring at

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 9:59 AM, 06.21.2022

Porter Library dedicates donated trees

Westlake Porter Public Library trustees, staff and guests dedicated two donated trees on the library’s lawn on June 15. Pictured (from left): board member Bob Plantz, board member Jennifer Darling, Library Assistant Director CJ Lynce, Library Director Andrew Mangels, Herb Guild Garden Club President Shirley Swindell, board member Elizabeth Sheehe, board President Jason Nolde, and Library Fiscal Officer Jana Nassif.

Westlake Porter Public Library’s Board of Trustees and Director dedicated two trees in a ceremony at the library on Wednesday, June 15. The trees replaced two of those lost in 2019 during the city’s Center Ridge Road widening project.

One replaced a tree originally donated in memory of the daughter of former Board President Tom Fox, Linda Fox Lustenberger, who died in 1992. The other was provided by the Herb Guild Garden Club in partnership with the library as their part of the Holden Forest and Gardens’ People for Trees initiative, which aims to have more than 15,000 trees planted in our region by 2025.

Both trees are “Autumn Brilliance” Serviceberry trees, which are native to Ohio, fast growing, and can be 15 to 20 feet tall at maturity. The trees will offer year-round interest with spring blooms, summer berry fruit for birds to enjoy and brilliant fall foliage. They are located on the library lawn facing Center Ridge Road.

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:02 AM, 06.21.2022

Can history repeat itself? Donít ask.

I knew it was only a matter of time before it would happen. Just a couple of days ago a co-worker asked me the inevitable question – the one I just knew would be asked sooner or later. You know, the one question that is always asked in sports when a team that’s not projected to be very good gets off to a surprisingly good start.

The question was, “Are these guys for real?” The “guys” in question are, of course, the Cleveland Guardians who, as of this writing, boasted an impressive 32-27 record and trailed the division-leading Minnesota Twins by only a couple of games.

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:00 AM, 06.21.2022

'Tumor just vanished': Facts and hype

After months of bird flu, monkeypox, the never-ending COVID-19 omicron variants, we need great news:

“Small cancer drug trial sees tumors disappear in 100% of the patients,” Washington Post headlined.

“Rectal cancer drug trial of dostarlimab cures all patients,” Fox News.

“Tumor just vanished,” CNN.  

You’re excited, I’m excited, but I’m sure at the back of our heads, we’re all thinking: What’s the catch?

Here’s the big happy picture without the hype.

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:01 AM, 06.21.2022

Bay UMC to host patriotic concert

The TrueNorth Chorale and Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Richard Fortney, will present their annual Patriotic Concert on Saturday, June 25, at 7:00 p.m. at Bay United Methodist Church, 29931 Lake Road. The concert will be inside in the sanctuary. The concert is open to all, there will be a love offering to help offset costs. 

A special tribute will take place for our Armed Services asking all who have served to stand and be recognized. The concert will recognize the men, women and family of the armed services, our local police and firefighters, and our scouts. The evening will serve as a time of reflection and hope, celebrating the past, praying for our future, as we celebrate our freedom.

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:03 AM, 06.21.2022

Bay High grads polished like sea glass

A note for the Bay High School Class of 2022 ...

Just down the road from us resides the Bay Boat Club, which is home to waves, and sea glass. Sea glass are tiny shards of chemically and physically weathered glass from the tumbling waves that are found along our Bay Village coastline. These pieces of glass are all so different. Different shapes, shades, sizes. Different. And beautiful because they are so different. We live in Bay. All of us, like sea glass, are different in so many ways. But, the memories inside us create lasting impressions in our minds forever.

Here is my story of how we became sea glass throughout our time at Bay Schools.

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:05 AM, 06.21.2022

Just in time for summer

Two second-grade girls learned about the power of determination and saving at Orchard STEM School in Ohio City. By exercising "earning power" developed by Assistant Principal, David Funk, these young ladies earned “dollars,” or points, through positive human interaction and community involvement.

Earned school “dollars” afforded them with their wish. They were able to earn their own bikes, something they could only hope for in the past.

The Village Bicycle Cooperative was thrilled to recondition and donate the two bikes they now possess. While other students might have used those “dollars” for candy, as an example, this learning process educated these young ladies in understanding the benefits of earning and owning through helping others. Just in time for summer!

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:03 AM, 06.21.2022

Westlake Porter Public Library's late June calendar of events

Following is Westlake Porter Public Library’s late June 2022 calendar of events. All programs are subject to change. Please check or follow the library on Facebook and Twitter (@WestlakePorter) for the latest updates.           

Wednesday, June 22 (6-8:30 p.m.) HeartSaver CPR/AED – Get certified for adult, child, and infant CPR and AED. Class led by certified instructors from UH St. John Medical Center. Visit to register. Email account required. Participants under the age of 14 must have a parent or legal guardian in class. If any questions, contact the instructors at 

Wednesdays, June 22 and 29 (7-7:30 p.m.) Family Storytime – Join us for rhymes, songs and play! For families with children ages 2-6. Siblings are welcome. Registration begins one week before each session.

Thursday, June 23 (2-3 p.m.) Teen Crafternoons – Join us for in-person crafting this afternoon. For teens in grades 7-12.

Thursday, June 23 (4-5:30 p.m.) Art Walk – Enjoy a low impact walk in Clague Park and take nature photographs. Meet at the parking lot off Roman Lane, closest to the pond. Dress for the weather and bring water! The library will provide devices for participants. You may use your own camera, phone, or other device, if you prefer. Photography will be featured in the library gallery in September 2022. For adults with disabilities and caregivers. Please register.

Friday, June 24 (9:30-10 a.m.) Summer Yoga with Ms. Jen – Calm your body, mind and spirit in this yoga class taught by Ms. Jen, certified yoga instructor! Wear comfy clothes and bring your own mat or towel. Ages 2-6, siblings welcome. Please register.

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:03 AM, 06.21.2022

Dealing with data collection

This is part of the series on privacy in the digital world.

More often than not, the popular-culture idiom "what you don't know won't hurt you" still rings true with your real world adventures but the same idiom is debatable at best when it comes to your digital world dealings.

I use the word "debatable" because on one hand the internet-based services, aka the cloud services, have and continue to provide benefits to our everyday life. On the other hand the business processes in place, i.e. data collection and related processes, fuel privacy debates.

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:00 AM, 06.21.2022

Bay Village Garden Club installs new officers

Bay Village Garden Club's officers for the 2022-2024 term, from left: Past President Holly Colleran, Treasurer Elaine Meyer, Corresponding Secretary Kari Eckel, Recording Secretary Elaine Hoke, Past President and new Vice President/Programs Eileen Ernst, President Erika Mittermeier. Photo by Julie Feagler.

Bay Village Garden Club celebrated the installation of their new officers for the upcoming 2022-2024 season. Following the ceremony, members enjoyed their annual tradition playing Perennial Bingo. Like regular bingo, but with flowers in the playboard squares instead of numbers, the game is a learning tool as well as just plain fun.

The club looks forward to inspiring programs and fellowship with fellow gardeners when meetings convene again in September. They hope for ease from the pandemic so they may invite guests again to share learning about the joy of working with plants and ecology.

For more information about Bay Village Garden Club visit, like us on Facebook, or email

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:00 AM, 06.21.2022

Westlake Porter Public Library receives clean audit

Westlake Porter Public Library has passed its recent audit, which means auditors found no weaknesses or deficiencies in the library’s financial management and record-keeping. In addition, the library was found to be in compliance with the laws, regulations, contracts and other agreements it is required to meet. This continues the library’s longstanding record of successful audits.

“I am not at all surprised by this result,” said Library Director Andrew Mangels. “Our Finance Department works very hard to make sure the library is a good steward of the funds entrusted to us by the community, and the rest of the staff do a great job following the fiscal procedures Finance has put in place.”

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:03 AM, 06.21.2022

Elks Lodge donates use of facility to raise money for Connecting for Kids

Carlos Mendoza high fives his son, Michael Mendoza, at the event.

Lakewood Elks Lodge #1350 once again generously donated the use of its facility at 24350 Center Ridge Road in Westlake to Connecting for Kids for a bowling fundraiser, which raised more than $5,000 for the Westlake-based nonprofit. In all, 60 bowlers participated in the event held on April 23. All funds raised will allow Connecting for Kids to further its mission of educating and supporting local families.

“The bowling event last year was such a success that we jumped at the chance to do it again,” said Mike Sheehan, Exalted Ruler of the Lakewood Elks Lodge #1350. “It is a win-win for all involved as our Elks members can combine their love of bowling with the opportunity to raise money and help out a local organization that does so much for families in our community.”

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:03 AM, 06.21.2022

Westlake Goodwill store seeks donations

Goodwill is asking the communities of Westlake and Bay Village to make a special effort to donate items as they are in urgent need of donations.

Goodwill opened its Westlake store/donation center in March providing an opportunity for the community to shop thousands of books and specialty wares for a fraction of retail prices, as well as donate their unused items.

While the retail portion is a bookstore, Goodwill accepts more than books at the convenient drive-up donation center. Think everything from household goods like kitchen wares, small appliances, pots & pans, home decor & knick-knacks to clothing, electronics, toys, baskets, furniture, and more! These items ultimately support a comprehensive network of outreach programs that help thousands in the community.

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 9:59 AM, 06.21.2022

We need your help!

Since 2009 the Observer has strived to fulfill our founding mission – to strengthen our community by informing and engaging Westlake and Bay Village residents. 

Times are tough, and the pandemic has presented an added challenge at a time when emotional connection and togetherness matter so much. Please help us continue to provide a free medium where the community can share news, share stories and share laughs.

If you’d like to keep the Observer serving the community, please send a cash or check donation along with your name for recognition in a future edition of the Observer. Donations may also be made via credit card using the links in the left column of the website. All supporters will be recognized in a future edition of the Observer.

Please make checks payable to WBV Observer and mail to: 451 Queenswood Drive, Bay Village, OH 44140.

The Observer is an independent, community owned publication. Please note that charitable contributions are gratefully accepted but not tax-deductible. For questions about donating or more information on how to get involved, contact publishers Denny Wendell or Tara Wendell at 440-409-0114,

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Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 12:43 PM, 04.21.2020