Letters To The Editor

LWV encourages yes vote on Westlake Issue 64

Westlake fire and police departments have ever-increasing demands for the protections they provide as the city grows in both population and structures. Recognizing this, the Westlake/North Olmsted Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland urges Westlake citizens to join them in supporting Issue 64, the 0.9 mill renewal levy that is on the Westlake ballot for Nov. 3.

Voters have approved this 0.9 mill levy every 5 years since 1966. While the levy proceeds fund only 14 full-time employees, it has proved to be an important support to the safety services budget as state money for local governments has diminished. Fire and police operations and programs account for almost 40 percent of Westlake’s city budget.

– Janice B. Patterson, Chair, Westlake/North Olmsted Chapter, League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland

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Volume 12, Issue 19, Posted 10:17 AM, 10.06.2020

Trump supporters' signs snatched

We all knew that this would be a contentious election but I really thought that the vandalism, censorship and lack of respect for private property that we see in the news would never be seen in my lovely Bay Village neighborhood. Trump haters have struck and I am not surprised but I am totally disheartened.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 1:35 PM, 09.15.2020

Put health before 'perfect' lawn

I really appreciated Jennifer Hartzell's article on the importance of avoiding lawn chemicals in our yards ["Enjoy your own (healthy) lawn this summer," June 16]. I have often been baffled as to why people pay money to basically poison themselves, but I suppose that's a tribute to the power of peer pressure, a certain idealistic but outdated vision of the yard, and the heavy advertising of the lawn chemicals industry.  Thank you to Hartzell and the Observer for spotlighting the importance of keeping one's yard truly natural.
I offer two additions to Hartzell's article.

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:04 AM, 07.07.2020

Kudos to Westlake safety forces

I am writing to commend the Westlake fire and police departments.

One day several months ago as I had an appointment at Cleveland Clinic I fell ill and they called the rescue squad. The firemen who answered were very kind, professional and caring. They put me at ease and transported.

The police responded also and were excellent.

God bless them both and may they stay safe.

– Beverly Kosarko, Cleveland

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:08 AM, 07.07.2020

Protesters should step up

I hope that all these demonstrators volunteer to work with the black elementary kids – who have not been in school – because of the C-flu epidemic. Black lives matter – in our city – that's the true social justice – not this fascist organization sponsored by radical paid groups – who tried to destroy our cities and neighborhoods.

– Catherin Peter, Westlake

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:09 AM, 07.07.2020

The summer of 2020 (a child’s perspective)

“Every summer has a story.” This is going to be especially true for the summer of 2020. Hi, I’m Remy Harding and I’m 12 years old. I love summer so much and am wondering how different it’s going to be this year because of Coronavirus.

One of my favorite activities during the summer is riding my bike with my family to Huntington Beach. All 5 of us ride in a straight line like ducks and we wear helmets. When we get to Huntington, Honey Hut is our first stop. My favorite ice cream to order is chocolate with chunks of peanut butter. Sometimes they are so big, they are more like slabs of heaven. Nothing beats chocolate ice cream on a hot summer night.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:35 AM, 06.02.2020

What I am looking forward to this summer

Hello my name is Gabbie Harding and I am 13 years old.

I am looking forward to many summer activities this year. I will spend most of the summer with my family having fun. I'm also looking forward to going to summer camp.

Covid-19 has definitely changed some of our plans, however we are getting creative and resorting to some old fashioned traditions. We are spending more time creating games, painting outside on the driveway, baking and riding our bikes. We still get to barbecue and sit around a fire pit. I am looking forward to a Weenie Roast and making s'mores.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:35 AM, 06.02.2020

Clague Playhouse cancels season

Valued patrons of Clague Playhouse,

It is with a heavy heart that we must cancel all remaining shows for the season, and we will remain closed through July 8. Our 93rd season will begin in September and we will have more information for you soon. Please watch clagueplayhouse.org and our social media for updates.

Please stay home and stay safe! We appreciate your continued patience and support during these unprecedented times and look forward to seeing you all in September.

Best wishes,

Your Clague Playhouse family

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Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 9:03 AM, 04.21.2020

League website offers election information for voters

In every even-numbered year, Ohio ballots contain candidates for seats in the Ohio House of Representatives. There are three people running for this office on the March 17 primary election ballots. 

Typically, the League of Women Voters chapters in Ohio House District 16 seek to provide public meetings before a primary election to introduce contested candidates to the public. Regrettably, it was not possible this year to make mutually agreeable arrangements that satisfied the League’s nonpartisan policy and the legal requirements for state and federal candidates.  However, we will be seeking workable terms for a candidate forum before the general election in November 2020. 

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 10:04 AM, 03.03.2020

Bay High students unite to fight cancer

Hello, my name is Ava Ransom, and I’m a senior at Bay High School. I am excited to announce that Bay High School will be a part of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) “Students of the Year” campaign!

From Jan. 25 to March 13 high school students in Northern Ohio will engage their community in raising funds for LLS in order to support and fight for patients with blood cancer. Bay has been a part of this campaign for the past two years, and this year our team of 15 Bay High School students believes that with the support of our amazing Bay community, we can reach our goal of $100,000!

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 9:53 AM, 02.04.2020

Dangerous dog laws must be enforced and followed

I would like to comment on the article published in the Nov. 19 issue regarding dog bites in Westlake. I believe statements made in the article need clarification.

As mentioned in the article, my golden retriever, Chelsea, was involved in an unprovoked attack by two dogs on Sept. 11, as I was walking her in my neighborhood. The attack involved multiple puncture wounds to her neck and hip. Prior to this incident, at least two people were bit by one of the dogs (Lester) and several neighbors have reported seeing both dogs leaving their property and even chasing children riding their bikes on the road.

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Volume 11, Issue 23, Posted 10:06 AM, 12.03.2019

League of Women Voters supports Westlake infrastructure levy

The Westlake-North Olmsted Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland voted on Oct. 22, 2019, to support Issue 71, the 0.375% levy request proposed by the City of Westlake as it appears on the Nov. 5, 2019, general election ballot.

In its review, based on the League’s positions on taxation, it was noted that the City Council has carefully evaluated the methods available to it for appropriating tax dollars and has made long-range plans for infrastructure improvements. In addition, the City Council has worked to ensure taxpayer understanding of this levy by providing detailed spending plans in a Special Edition of the Mayor’s Newsletter that has been mailed to residents and is readily available online.

– Janice Patterson, Chair
Westlake-North Olmsted Chapter
League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland

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Volume 11, Issue 21, Posted 6:34 PM, 10.28.2019

Bay Village, a great American town

Many years ago in Houston, I met the woman I fell in love with and married. She was from Ohio, and I was from Michigan. I knew little of Ohio, except there were some cousins, near Ashtabula.

As I got to know my wife, I visited her family in the town where she graduated from high school and her parents resided, Bay Village. At first, it seemed like just a nice name. I met her mom. Within half an hour, she told me how proud she was of living in Greater Cleveland, saying many times that day (later, too): "Cleveland, the Best Location in the Nation." I was open to that and felt welcomed and loved.

The purpose of this essay, is to celebrate a special place which, from the perspective of a visitor here, is amazing. Though, I have been here many times in the past 29 years, this year I was struck how simply incredible this small town really is.

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Volume 11, Issue 16, Posted 9:23 AM, 08.20.2019

Phil Bova Baseball Camp closes after 45 years

It is with a grateful heart that we officially announce our youth baseball camp, held at the Westlake Recreation Center for the past several years, will come to a close after a 45-year run. A tradition like no other, the Bova camp became a summer tradition for many area families and was voted the No. 1 camp of its kind in Northeastern Ohio.
As this successful run comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank former campers, their parents and all the communities that trusted the Bova name for over four decades, and to acknowledge all of the businesses that proudly displayed the "Bova Baseball Camp sign" each year.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:24 AM, 05.21.2019

Letter to the editor

On Tuesday, March 19, my husband and I attended the “State of the City” address by Mayor Dennis Clough at the Westlake Rec Center. I found out about this event by reading it in The Observer newspaper.

I found out our city is in “very good hands,” but I also found out that The Observer had sponsored the event and is a 100% volunteer publication. I am in awe of the talent and dedication of Tara Wendell and her father and all the other volunteers who put together such a great publication.  

I want to publicly thank them for their time, talent and community dedication. 

– Judy Budoi, Westlake

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 9:44 AM, 04.02.2019

Understanding occupational therapy

When I tell people that I am a college student, their first question is often, “What are you studying?” No matter who is asking me, I almost always have to explain my answer. I am an occupational therapy student at the University of Findlay.

Occupational therapy is a profession that many people do not understand. My professors have taught me the importance of advocating for our profession, which starts with educating others on what occupational therapy is and its many uses.

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Volume 10, Issue 19, Posted 9:54 AM, 10.02.2018

Picnic brings area veterans together

Three local veterans groups (VFW Post 9693, American Legion Post 385, and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 249) wish to thank everyone that joined us for our second annual All Veterans Picnic at the Legion Lodge on Aug. 25. In spite of a quick rain shower, it was a wonderful day and all had plenty to eat and great company to share. Various games provided some great gifts for our members and a 50/50 raffle netted a profit of $70. This will be added to our Veterans Honor Wall budget as will all future net proceeds from this event.

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Volume 10, Issue 17, Posted 9:10 AM, 09.05.2018

Hilliard gardens legacy

It was great to have both Jean Povinelli and Jackie Crosier in the SAME garden at the SAME time! For both of them, gardening is a labor of love.

Jackie is now part of the Westlake in Bloom judging panel and recently had the opportunity to stop and see Jean’s yard. Jean and her husband, Lou, received the third place award in the "Residential Landscaping – Entire Yard, Large" category for the Westlake in Bloom competition this year. 

Jean and her dear friend and neighbor, Mim Blair (deceased), started the garden boxes on Hilliard Boulevard back in 1982.

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Volume 10, Issue 16, Posted 8:44 AM, 08.21.2018

Dogs can help people

When people adopt a dog, their life changes. It helps people who don't get that much exercise, get more by their dog. Dogs can also help people have a buddy when you're lonely. I mean, I'm not forcing you to get a dog – but it can really help.

Dogs help you have a better life. I know, you're probably thinking, I can just exercise more and spend more time with friends. That's right, you can. I don't have a dog, and I do get lonely sometimes. And since I don't go to the gym every day, I started a business where I get to walk dogs. Just think, dogs can change your life.

– Sam Viskocil, Avon Lake

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Volume 10, Issue 14, Posted 10:02 AM, 07.17.2018

Congratulations to the 2018 Westshore Montessori School graduates

Westshore Montessori School would like to congradulate its 52nd graduating class of kindergarteners. We wish them well in all of the future endeavors. 

Looking ahead, our students are very well equipped to take on the next part of their educational lives. They have a strong foundation, they have learned many priceless lessons, and most importantly they have learned that they can do it.

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Volume 10, Issue 13, Posted 9:22 AM, 07.03.2018

Bay Village Foundation thanks outgoing president

A new chapter is upon the Bay Village Foundation. Many in Bay Village know the organization, especially after the recent overhaul of Play in Bay, but what a lot of people don't know is the man behind the helm. Al Paulus has recently completed his term as president and what a wonderful term it has been. 

Founding member and past President Eileen Verrnon recently stated, "Al joined the board in 2004, before we had term limits. We managed to keep him for 14 years. Even though his newly applied term was up, he agreed to serve as vice president. As that three-year term ended, he was nominated and accepted the presidency. How lucky were we? Al served very actively on the grants committee, chairing the group, and was a very involved and active member of the Run committee. His major contribution, in my view, was to serve on the finance and develop committees, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to that important, growing base of our organization. As president he was a godsend, as we jelled as a formal, growing community asset and organized board with term limits. We needed a leader; Al filled that role beyond expectations. He prepared us to move forward as a growing, dynamic organization."

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 9:28 AM, 06.19.2018

Bay VFW raises funds for veterans

The members of Bay Village VFW Post 9693 want to thank the West Shore residents that contributed to our recent Buddy Poppy drive for veterans. We raised over $2,700 to provide ongoing support for West Shore veterans, families, youth and community.
We also wish to thank Java Bay, Discount Drug Mart, Giant Eagle and Walgreens for allowing our members and friends of the Post to use their facilities.

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 10:02 AM, 06.05.2018

Porter trustees encourage Yes vote

The Board of Trustees of the Westlake Porter Public Library wholeheartedly endorses a YES vote for Issue 6, our five-year renewal operating levy on the May 8 ballot. 

Since passing an operating levy 10 years ago the library has carefully managed its resources and operated without any increase in taxes. Issue 6 is also a renewal with no increase in taxes to Westlake voters.

With an extensive and ever-changing collection of over a quarter of a million items in a variety of digital, electronic and print formats, the Westlake library serves all segments of the diverse Westlake community. Open 70 hours each week and with over 66,000 square feet of collaborative space the library offers the latest in technology and media resources with little or no cost to patrons.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 10:01 AM, 05.01.2018

Porter levy plans for the future

What will libraries be like in the future? I hope they will be a lot like what we have right here, right now, at the Westlake Porter Public Library.

Our library has a large, high quality collection of books and other materials. It has creative spaces for children and teens to learn and grow, and places for quiet study or noisy activity. It has the latest technology, and many opportunities for meetings large and small. Our library is a great place to connect with your family, with your friends and neighbors, or your community organization.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 9:46 AM, 04.17.2018

Thank you for supporting the Bay Village Kiwanis pancake breakfast

The Bay Village Kiwanis and Bay High School Key Clubs held their annual pancake breakfast with the Easter Bunny and the Fairytale Foundation Princesses on Sunday, March 18, in the Middle School Cafetorium. We would like to thank the local community for their generous support without which the Bay Kiwanis Club could not continue their community service efforts.

If you would like to learn more about Bay Village Kiwanis and what we do, join us for dinner on Tuesday nights, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Bay United Methodist Church at the corner of Lake and Bassett roads. Visit bayvillagekiwanis.com for more information, or visit our Facebook page, Bay Village Kiwanis.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 9:51 AM, 04.17.2018

VFW seeks local veterans

Feb. 28, 1991, was the official Cease Fire to the Gulf War. This year marked the 27th anniversary. There are not many tributes to this event, but the VFW wants to ensure that all those who served are not forgotten. Thank you for your brave and dedicated service to our country.
I want to ensure that if you are not a member, you are aware of the existence of our Post and may consider joining and serving the community and continue your unselfish service to our country. We meet the second Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m., at the Bay Village Police Station Community Room. Hope to see you there!

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 9:31 AM, 03.06.2018

NRA must do more to promote public safety

The National Rifle Association (NRA) cares not for the well being of you or your family.

According to a Politico report, the NRA bans the use of the “bump fire” device used in the Las Vegas massacre from the NRA headquarters' gun range because it effectively changes an AR-15 into an unsafe automatic weapon. Public use of this device, however, has not been banned.

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Volume 9, Issue 21, Posted 9:51 AM, 11.07.2017

Former Bay candidate explains decision

I am no longer a candidate for Bay Village City Council, but this decision wasn’t about winning the election. In fact I felt the general election was probably winnable given a little luck.  

Politics is a messy business, and I’ve seen friends who got involved battered and vilified. Worse, they weren’t able to achieve their objectives. Some tried to “go along to get along” and this approach was unsuccessful because they’d sold their political soul. I became convinced that my historically contentious relationship with City Hall would thwart my efforts, and in some cases the very fact that I was the one pushing an issue would doom the effort. I was in for a frustrating and unproductive two years.

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Volume 9, Issue 19, Posted 10:12 AM, 10.03.2017

Our Century Home

Recently we gathered our friends and family to celebrate our home’s 107th birthday with the placing of our Bay Village Century Home plaque. We view the plaque as a salute to a big old house that has been our home for so long. We aren’t sure what the future holds for any of us or for our home, but for the time being, we’re together enjoying our life and looking forward to making more memories.

Owning a Bay Village Century Home comes with its wonderful history which is sadly, incomplete to us. Several families lived here before us and there was a doctor’s office operating on the second floor at some time. We do know this is where St. Raphael’s started in 1947 before it moved to its present site on Dover Center Road.

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Volume 9, Issue 19, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.03.2017

Westlake renewal levy will fund new senior center, improved rec options

Prompted by such a desirious school system, our young family moved to Westlake 33 years ago; it was a wise decision. What we came to appreciate very quickly in addition to the schools were the many city services that our sons participated in throughout their school years: soccer, t-ball, baseball, tennis, golf, swimming and the parks. All these amenities were generously provided right in what they came to call their hometown of Westlake. When we became empty nesters, we determined we would move from the family home but came to the conclusion that Westlake was the community of choice so we stayed.

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Volume 9, Issue 19, Posted 10:09 AM, 10.03.2017

A taste of fall

Isn't it awesome to be able to smell the air, feel the fresh fall breezes surround you, and no matter your age, sample the tastes of autumn? A friend and I recently spent a day enjoying the season, being lazy, not missing any sights or sounds around us, and visiting areas alien to us.

We started out with a leisurely breakfast, slowly savoring our food, and taking time to talk about things we had done a few weeks ago, and opportunities for adventure in the future. As we made a tour of some shops, the trees already had begun to wear their fancy fare of oranges, yellows and golds.

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Volume 9, Issue 18, Posted 10:18 AM, 09.19.2017

The keeper of our courtyard

Every one of us has a gift to share. Our own special expertise, that no one else can take credit for. At the Knickerbocker Apartments, we have a gentleman who has a gift for turning thorns into beautiful roses. His name is Chuck, and he is our volunteer gardener.  

The courtyard in the center of our building was a shambles, and now is filled with flowers, shrubs and delicate little lights, as if to light the path for angels seeking out a comfortable place to rest their wings.

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Volume 9, Issue 16, Posted 10:18 AM, 08.15.2017

Project Pedal brings neighbors together

The Village Project's annual "Project Pedal" fundraiser on June 17 was a tremendous success. Hundreds of people gathered in the Bay Middle School parking lot to participate in the event, part of the Destination Bay slate of activities.

Whether individuals participated in the Cucumber, Carrot, Kale or Lettuce race, they all found a good time. Many thanks to the volunteers and sponsors who supported us. I was even pleased to see a neighbor of mine heading up one station.

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Volume 9, Issue 14, Posted 9:52 AM, 07.18.2017

Appreciating amazing women

I have been a resident at the Knickerbocker Apartments in Bay Village for seven years, and there has not been a day that goes by that I do not sit in wonderment listening to wonderful ladies who are also residents here. Every woman has her own story to tell.

We all have opinions, love, sadness, happiness, families and friends who are a part of who we are. With the world seemingly in turmoil at the moment, it is encouraging sometimes to hear the stories of women who are survivors. Women who have had turmoil in their younger lives, but used that to make themselves stronger, able to take on the world. 

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Volume 9, Issue 13, Posted 9:34 AM, 07.05.2017

Concealed carry bill poses risks

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R.38) is a terrible idea. This bill would allow those with concealed carry permits from any state to legally carry a concealed handgun in any other state (including currently protected school zones). 

To many, this may not seem like a radical idea, but scratch beneath the surface and you find that concealed carry requirements can vary immensely from state to state. For instance, Florida is a “mail-in” state that doesn’t even require residency. All you need to obtain a Florida concealed carry permit is to attend an NRA-sponsored class, get fingerprinted on site, mail in a form to the Florida Department of Agriculture (which doesn’t have a complete database from which to run background checks) and eight weeks later, you receive a concealed carry permit in the mail. It should come as no surprise that Florida has granted concealed carry permits to 1,400 convicted felons.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 10:18 AM, 06.06.2017

Warning sirens could save lives in an emergency

On March 15, 2007, I presented a letter to Westlake City Council requesting that the City install warning sirens to give Westlake residents and visitors/shoppers a chance to get to a potentially safe place in the event of a tornado or citywide disaster.

At the April 5, 2007, Council meeting, I asked what City Hall’s intentions were regarding the warning sirens and was told that the idea was in the Safety Committee. This isn’t rocket science – the towers/poles are there – please install the sirens! Heaven forbid a tornado strikes while this issue is “still in the Safety Committee.”

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 10:03 AM, 05.02.2017

'Continue the Excellence' by voting yes on Bay schools issue

If a hypothetical school district achieved a ranking in the top 6 in Cuyahoga County, top 9 in the NE Ohio region, and top 18 in the entire state of Ohio, all while spending less per pupil than 22 other districts and having their teacher salaries rank 14th out of all 31 districts in the county, one would – hypothetically – consider such a district a rousing success.

We are pleased to write there is great news for the tax paying residents of Bay Village this school year – each of the above measurements are neither hypothetical nor merely a goal. They are the factual achievements of the Bay Village School District and our extraordinary educators, administrators and staff in 2016.

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Volume 8, Issue 21, Posted 9:59 AM, 11.01.2016

Thank you, Westshore community

There’s a well-known radio commercial for a motel chain in which the host always concludes with the phrase, “We’ll leave the light on for ya.” 

Such phrases conjure up in our minds the thoughts and memories of “coming home.” Those of us who have been through various job assignments, schooling, military service etc., know the importance of coming home. Home is the place where we are always welcome as we are, well-known, and supported.

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Volume 8, Issue 20, Posted 10:23 AM, 10.18.2016

Westlake Schools' 4-to-1 consolidation is a bad idea

Westlake’s proposed 4-to-1 school consolidation plan is a mistake. My wife and I moved our family to Westlake this past January and chose our neighborhood based on its proximity to a local neighborhood school. My strong suspicion is that many young families move to specific parts of Westlake for the same reason.

Smaller neighborhood schools provide close-knit, nurturing environments that foster confidence and critical relationships between students, educators and staff. In many ways, neighborhood schools mimic small, private school environments; and enjoy the advantages of such schools. Centralized mega-schools, on the other hand, often resemble cold, disconnected learning factories.

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Volume 8, Issue 16, Posted 9:46 AM, 08.16.2016

Congressman Renacci & Social Security

This upcoming national election is shaping up to be quite an interesting contest. Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton. But more than just these the two strong personalities, there is a host of issues to consider. For example, items like terrorism, immigration, the economy and controlling ISIS, are all factors to consider when voting for Trump or Clinton.

And then there is, of course, the issue of Social Security, which is highly important to a lot of people here in northeastern Ohio. Social Security is important because, frankly, many people depend on it for their living.

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Volume 8, Issue 15, Posted 9:12 AM, 08.02.2016