Latest News

Rules changes described for May 2 Primary Election voters

Ohio’s voting laws changed considerably in January 2023, when Governor Mike DeWine signed HB 458 into law. Changes are outlined here for Westlake citizens who want to participate in the May 2, 2023, Primary Election. (Bay Village's Primary Election will be held on Sept. 12, 2023.) Some actions need to be taken before April 3, 2023, the deadline for new and updated registrations for voters in the May 2 Primary.

The main changes involve the documents needed to prove identity when registering and voting. Also changed are the deadlines for mail-in-balloting actions and the schedule for early voting at the Cuyahoga Board of Elections, 2925 Euclid Ave., Cleveland.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:13 AM, 03.21.2023

Bay Village appoints new Director of Community Services

Kathleen Messeri will take over as Director of the Bay Village Community Services Department on March 29. Photo by Denny Wendell

On March 13, Bay Village City Council confirmed the appointment of Kathleen Messeri as Director of Community Services.

Human Resouces Director Jennifer Demaline introduced her to Council, saying: “Kathleen recently has been working with the City of Brooklyn and has most recently been serving as their community services coordinator, which would be the similar job title to our community services director here. She has a lot of expertise and a lot of experience, and we’re really looking forward to having her come on board."

Kathy grew up in Massachusetts before moving with her family to California where she attended high school and earned a bachelor's degree in business and marketing at Cal State Bernardino. After graduation, she moved to Portland, Oregon, to begin a career in banking. Kathy continued working as a loan officer after moving to the Cleveland area and worked as a reporter for several years before being hired by the City of Brooklyn, Ohio, in 2014.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:13 AM, 03.21.2023

Help! Invasive Species Alert

A spotted lanternfly egg mass and an adult. Photo courtesy USDA.gov

The USDA and Ohio Department of Agriculture need your help: The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is in Ohio and help is needed to find and identify where they have spread in order to help stop infestation. On Feb. 21, the Bay Village Sea Scouts hosted Terri Nagao at the Bay Village Library. Terri is a Plant Health Safeguarding Specialist with the USDA. She came to speak with the Sea Scouts and interested residents about the dangers of the SLF. One of the Sea Scouts teams is doing their project on this species and its effects on our environment. 

First, what is the SLF? It is a planthopper insect that is native to China, India, and Vietnam.

How did it get to the United States? It was first found in a quarry in 2014 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. It is believed that insect eggs came over on imported stone. By October 2020, it was reported to have been found on the OH-PA border. Now, it has been seen and reported in Cuyahoga County, including our neighboring cities of Rocky River and Avon Lake.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:16 AM, 03.21.2023

Levy on May ballot for Westlake Porter Public Library

On May 2 Westlake voters will be asked to approve a 2.8 mill operating levy renewal and an additional 0.6 mills for Westlake Porter Public Library. The current levy, which provides 70% of the library’s operating funds, expires at the end of the year. Passage will ensure library funding for the five-year period of Jan. 1, 2024 to Dec. 31, 2028. The current operating levy millage has been in place for 15 years.

Currently the levy is the library’s primary source of operating funds, providing materials (books, magazines, digital/downloadable/streaming materials), resources (computers, software, digital databases, etc.), staffing, program support, supplies, and building operations (maintenance and utilities). The other major source of funding is the state’s Public Library Fund (PLF).

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:16 AM, 03.21.2023

Arts rule under new name and logo

This new logo has been adopted by the Westshore Arts Council.

As of March 1, 2023, the Westlake-Westshore Arts Council’s name has been changed to Westshore Arts Council, WAC, to reflect the width of its membership and influence. Completing its 2023 update, the WAC has also adopted a revised logo.

For nearly four decades, the WWAC successfully promoted and inspired all areas of art with programs, shows, and much more. While the group formed in Westlake, people interested in promoting easy access to art came from many surrounding areas to participate. And participation from these communities has increased over the years.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:15 AM, 03.21.2023

The Iíds of March

You know, I’ve been thinking lately (yes folks, a miracle unto itself) about all the things that I’d hoped would go in one direction during my lifetime, but ended up going contrary to what I had wished.

So, being the sharing kind of guy that I am, here are the types of things I’m referring to:

I’d have preferred that the Guardians were still the Indians.

On the other hand, I’d have preferred that I didn’t become so crotchety in my old age, because the “Indians” who were so near and dear to my heart, were awful in the '60s, '70s, '80s and into the '90s, and I seem to recall wanting to sell my soul (dirt cheap) simply for a competitive baseball team. (If you’re wondering, I did have several offers for my soul, which I turned down as I felt the little devil was low-balling me. However, some of my advisors have suggested that I’d have been better off taking the first thing he offered.)

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:14 AM, 03.21.2023

Aaron and Elizabeth Aldrich House, 30663 Lake Road, c. 1830

The fifth in a series of articles to be published as a walking tour of Lake Road by the Bay Village Historical Society in 2025.

It was in 1816 that Aaron and Elizabeth Aldrich and a son moved from Rhode Island to Dover to live near Elizabeth’s brother Henry Winsor. In 1822, they moved to New York for Aaron to take charge of a cotton factory.

In seven years, Aaron earned enough money to move back to Dover and purchase a 140-acre farm, extending from Lake Erie south to what is now Wolf Road, and build this very fine frame house (in 1830).

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:19 AM, 03.21.2023

The doís and doníts of baby wildlife

Spring is here, which means baby season for our local wildlife. As wildlife rehabilitators prepare for their busiest time of the year, here are some do’s and don’ts for helping baby wildlife.

DO: Allow wildlife to grow up in their natural environment

Baby animals are vulnerable, but resilient. Predators and other threats are a natural part of their environment. While it can be tempting to take and care for babies to try to protect them from danger, they cannot learn necessary survival skills in captivity. The only way to prepare baby animals for life in the wild is to let them grow up there.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:17 AM, 03.21.2023

Celebrating a state champ and other state-qualifying athletes

Bay High School senior swimmer Nina LaRosa was crowned state champ in the 100-yard breaststroke. Photo courtesy Bay Village Schools

Bay High School celebrated a great winter sports season with a state swim champ and several state qualifiers in diving, wrestling and indoor track.

Congratulations to swimmer Nina LaRosa who won first place in the 100-yard Breaststroke at the recent 2023 Swimming & Diving State Tournament in Canton. This senior state champ broke her own school record with a time of 1:02.57. Nina also placed 6th in the State 100-yard Butterfly.

We also congratulate divers Charlie Vatolin (5th place), Bennett Bourn (21st place) and Belle Dent (24th place), who also represented Bay High School at the Canton state swimming and diving tournament.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:19 AM, 03.21.2023

My first presidential order: Pay to exercise

Cartoon by Megan Stewart

I’m thinking about running for U.S. president in 2024.

We, the biggest healthcare spender in the world, have little to show. For one, we have the highest death rate in avoidable and treatable conditions.

Today I’ll give you my first declaration: "I will pay everybody $30 per hour to exercise."

How do I justify this?

Exercise delays and mitigates 40 chronic diseases – anything from diabetes to depression to dementia to cancer. The question really is “What doesn’t exercise benefit?”

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:19 AM, 03.21.2023

Upcoming events at Bay Village Branch Library

WIth March Madness in full swing, you won't want to miss legendary official Phil Bova when he speaks at the Bay Village branch library, 27400 Wolf Road on Wednesday, March 22, at 7 p.m. Join us to hear his about his days as an NCAA and Big Ten official with untold stories and experiences of working with iconic coaches like Bob Knight, Tom Izzo, Gene Keady and more. His new biography, "Throwing Back the Chair," written by Nino Frostino, will be available for purchase and Phil will sign copies after the presentation.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:16 AM, 03.21.2023

BAYarts juried show raises the bar

"At the Easel," a painting by Tricia Kaman. Photo by Nancy Heaton

On March 10 the BAYarts Annual Juried Exhibition opened. This exhibition features regional artists in all disciplines. Artists were invited to submit online, and the work was reviewed by judges selected by Artistic Director Karen Petkovic.

The judges this year were Adrian Eisenhower and Chad Cochran. Eisenhower, primarily a painter, focuses his work on landscape and the human figure working out of the Walton Avenue Atelier located in Cleveland’s Hildebrandt Building on Walton Avenue. Cochran, a photographer, describes himself as a late bloomer; he didn’t own a camera until he was 40 and started with landscape. Now, 10 years later after being asked to take a photograph of a musician, he travels back and forth between Cleveland and Nashville.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:16 AM, 03.21.2023

Westlake Porter Public Library's March calendar of events

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

Tuesday, March 21 (7-8 p.m.) Young Adult Book Club: "Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist" by Rachel Cohn – Those unable to attend in person can join us simultaneously via Zoom. Please register. Books available in Youth Services.

Wednesday, March 22-29 (9 a.m.-9 p.m.) Discovery Box (Sign Up) – Register for WPPL’s personalized subscription box service. For teens in grades 7-12. Registration begins on March 22 and must be done by Wednesday, March 29. Pick up begins April 5.

Wednesdays, March 22 and 29 (4:30-6 p.m.) Bow Wow Books – Stop by Youth Services to sign up for a 10-minute reading time with a therapy dog. Sign up starts at 4 p.m. Recommended for grades K-4.

Wednesdays, March 22 and 29 (7-7:30 p.m.) Family Storytime – Join us for rhymes, songs and play! For families with children ages 2-6 with a caregiver. Siblings are welcome.

Friday, March 24 (4-4:45 p.m.) Fun Science Friday: Our Solar System – Join Mrs. K as we explore our sun’s family of planets. Discover the rocky inner planets and outer gas giants through hands-on experiments, active participation and a simple take-home project. Ages 4-6, up to Kindergarten. Please register.

Saturday, March 25 (10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) Why Technical Analysis? – Learn how TA (technical analysis) creates a context for viewing and understanding current market behavior, which is most useful for trend-following strategies. Presented by Lou Floyd, AAII (American Association of Individual Investors) Cleveland Chapter Leader. Please register.

Saturday, March 25 (3-4 p.m.) Illustration Creation – Learn about a featured illustrator and then create a project inspired by their art. Grades 1-3. Please register.

Sunday, March 26 (2-3 p.m.) Art Smarts – Explore some works of a well-known artist and then use what you’ve seen to create an art piece of your own! Grades 4-6. Please register.

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Volume 15, Issue 4, Posted 9:55 AM, 03.07.2023

Hit by nostalgia, loving new discoveries

One of our favorite Sunday morning pastimes of the 1990s was to buy the Sunday newspaper and head out to the nursery-turned-cafe on Lake Road. I love coffee and I always prefer independent coffee houses if I had a choice; something about the ambiance I like instead of the cookie cutter architecture of a chain.

I would order a cuppa joe, my wife a cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate, and spend hours reading the Sunday newspaper. Sometimes I would treat myself to a second cup or even third – the latter giving me a buzz and jitters – what fun times! The Sunday paper was thick and fat back then because of the advertisements and the coupons we clipped religiously.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:14 AM, 03.21.2023

Innovation is driver of success at Westlake City Schools

Of all the things we have learned over the past three years, one of the most important lessons has been the commitment to innovation. It has been essential for us to stay resilient and adaptive as we navigate the new landscape of education. We have come up with fresh perspectives on formidable challenges. Our resourcefulness has become our ultimate ally in tackling complex issues that arise.

To put it simply, we have been driven to innovate. Our Westlake students, teachers, and administrators show resilience when new challenges arise. They confront every obstacle with astounding grace and conviction.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:16 AM, 03.21.2023

FYI: Opera proves some of the best things are free

Morgan Wolfe

Three talented voices from Oberlin Conservatory will present an FYI: Opera program on Tuesday, March 28, at 7 p.m. at Westlake Porter Public Library in the library’s Porter Room. This programming by the Westshore Arts Council continues a three-decade free vocal gift to the community. 

Oberlin Opera Theater Director Jonathon Field said selections from the operas "Candide" and "Elixir of Love" will be performed. 

Morgan Wolfe, a soprano, from Suffern, New York, studying in her fourth year at Oberlin, will sing a solo aria, "Glitter and be Gay" from "Candide" and a duet, "Oh Happy We Duet," also from "Candide." From "Elixir of Love," she will sing the aria "Prendi."

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:15 AM, 03.21.2023

Demon Drama Club to perform 'Legally Blonde'

The WHS production of "Legally Blonde" is double cast, with Audrey Morrison, left, performing as Elle Woods on Thursday and Saturday, and Reagan Imwalle, right, performing Friday and Sunday.

The Westlake High School spring musical, "Legally Blonde," will hit the stage for four shows beginning on Thursday, March 23. Based on the popular film starring Reese Witherspoon, the musical follows a sorority girl's attempts to overcome stereotypes.

Elle Woods appears to have it all. However, her life is turned upside down when her boyfriend Warner dumps her so he can attend Harvard Law. Determined to get him back, Elle perseveres and is accepted into Harvard as well. While there, she struggles with peers, professors and her ex. With the support of some new friends, though, Elle quickly realizes her potential and sets out to prove herself to the world.

Performances will be held on March 23, 24, and 25 at 7 p.m., with a matinee on Sunday, March 26, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10. The Westlake Performing Arts Center is located at 27830 Hilliard Blvd.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:14 AM, 03.21.2023

Westlake High School hosts annual Prom Assembly & Fashion Show

Photo by Samantha Wohleber

Prom season is right around the corner and the Westlake High School class of 2023 is gearing up. Fourteen boys and 14 girls participated in the annual event which showcases the latest prom fashions. Sponsored by local tuxedo and dress shops, a hair salon and a florist, the students had the opportunity to not only model dresses and tuxedos, but wear corsage and boutonniere flowers. Each of the girls had their hair done by salon staff.

Westlake's prom is scheduled for Saturday, May 13, and will be held at the Western Reserve Historical Society. After prom will be hosted on the same evening at Westlake's Urban Air Adventure Park.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:15 AM, 03.21.2023

Easter Cantata performed on Palm Sunday at Bay Methodist

Bay United Methodist Church's Chancel Choir

Leading up to Easter celebrations, the Bay United Methodist Chancel Choir, directed by Ron Muth, will perform their annual Easter Cantata at the 10 a.m. worship service on April 2, Palm Sunday.

The mixed choral ensemble blends voices in four-part harmony to Pepper Choplin’s “The Body of Christ.” Accompanied by a 10-piece orchestra, the performance will inspire with its balanced and unified musical presentation of the Easter story. Ron Muth has been the Director of Music for Bay United Methodist since 1977 and continues to thrill with his ambitious and beautifully arranged holiday cantatas.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:14 AM, 03.21.2023

Canals into the Great Lakes

There are two canals in the Great Lakes system.

The Welland Canal is an important waterway in the Great Lakes region. It is a man-made canal that connects Lake Ontario to Lake Erie, allowing ships to bypass Niagara Falls. The canal is an important part of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which is a system of locks, canals, and channels that connect the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.

The Welland Canal helps to improve shipping in the Great Lakes region by giving ships to access to valuable cargo in the Midwest. However, the major canal is in the St. Lawrence Seaway that is managed by The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) that was established in 1959 as a joint venture between the governments of Canada and the United States. The system supports thousands of jobs and generates billions of dollars in economic activity. This cargo includes iron ore, coal, grain, limestone, cement, salt, sand, steel, petroleum products, and other commodities.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:13 AM, 03.21.2023

Musical about Jesus' life features local performers

The cast and crew of "The Answer," a story based on Scripture, would like to invite you to special performances at St. Joseph Church in Amherst on March 18 and 19, St. Clarence Church in North Olmsted on March 24 and 25 and Crossroads Church in Mansfield on March 31. The shows all begin at 7:30 p.m. The  cast and crew members are looking forward to presenting to you the story of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus set to contemporary music. The production is a wonderful way to devote time and prayer during the time of Lent.

The Answer takes place in the Holy Land and focuses on the last 3 years of the ministry of Jesus including His death and resurrection. Throughout the musical, questions arise about the ministry of Jesus with the answers being revealed throughout the production.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:13 AM, 03.21.2023

Concert celebrates African-American classical music legacies

The Music Settlement returns to West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church on Sunday, March 26, at 3 p.m. for another collaborative concert series led by Chris Jenkins. The concert is free and open to the public. It will be held in the church Sanctuary, located at 20401 Hilliard Blvd., Rocky River.

While Northeast Ohio's rich legacy of African-American classical music performance and composition is not nationally well-known, during the late 19th and 20th century, it was a hub of activity and training for young Black musicians. During this period, musical training was available to them at only a select number of schools, such as Oberlin Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, and Howard University.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:11 AM, 03.21.2023

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, staff@wbvobserver.com.

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