Letters To The Editor

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

One thank you isn't enough

The only way to say thank you, in my view, is to keep on doing the things one is being thanked for – so that is what I plan to do. Let me explain. Last year, I stepped down as president of The Bay Village Foundation. At the first meeting under the direction of our new president, Al Paulus, I was absolutely stunned into silence when I was presented with a bronze plaque commemorating my 19 years of work in helping to build the Foundation. I am rarely at a loss for words, as my friends know, but this time I truly couldn’t express my surprise and gratitude.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 9:34 AM, 06.21.2016

Bay Village officials to discuss animal ordinances

On Monday, March 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the committee room at city hall, the Bay Village Environment and Safety committee chaired by Councilman Paul Vincent will discuss animal ordinances and make recommendations to make the wording and fines stronger.

Specific topics will be tethering and proper sheltering of outside animals.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:00 AM, 03.15.2016

Thanking the first responders

Being a resident in Bay Village for years has been a wonderful experience! I love the beach, the people, the atmosphere, Lake Erie, its history. Life here is fun!

One day last month, I was driving south on Douglas and was involved in an accident. The police and firemen arrived quickly. The firemen so kindly checked me to see if I was injured. I want to give firemen Corey Gregg, Jason Goodwin, Dan Smith and Kevin Somerville so much credit for their gentleness. The police officers Pellagalli and Bronston certainly were compassionate and considerate. Kind words were spoken to me by Greg, who towed my car to Patton's 5 Star Towing.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 9:29 AM, 03.01.2016

Clean Power Plan gives states control

An expert analysis released last month found that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan will bring big saving to consumers by reducing electricity bills by an average of $17 a month by 2030.

In its report, Synapse Energy Economics found that by making strong investments in energy efficiency under the Clean Power Plan, states can put money back in consumers' wallets while also limiting dangerous carbon pollution. While Congressional climate deniers falsely claim that the EPA’s safeguards will turn the lights off and increase costs, these claims are patently untrue. The Clean Power Plan offers states the flexibility they need to implement customized and cost-effective solutions to cut carbon pollution.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:48 AM, 02.02.2016

Importance of an eye doctor

As the population is growing older, more eye problems are beginning. Macular degeneration can sneak up on you. The macula is part of the retina. With macular degeneration your vision is not as sharp as it was.

I recently had a problem with my blood pressure. My blood pressure went from being very stable to very high in a short period of time. As a result, my vision in one eye became very poor. My eye doctor has sent me to a local retina specialist whom I see regularly now. Unfortunately, my eyesight has not returned yet and it remains unknown if it will return.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:57 AM, 02.02.2016

Thinkin'

My cousin Marshall was 55 years old when he died of cancer in 1993.  By all appearances, he died a "rich man" per most peoples' standards.  He attended N.Y.U. and went on to make and lose his first million by his early twenties.  Through shrewdness and an ability to set aside soft emotion, he became owner of a well-known clothing manufacturing company by his thirties, established a comfortable life for his wife and daughters (later for a second wife).

Marshall was born and raised in middle-class surroundings in Brooklyn, spent time in Queens, then close-in New Jersey.  I lived in the Midwest and California but we were able to occasionally visit one another.  We shared similar interests as kids but grew apart as adults.  He was driven to "make" money;  I was driven to save others from themselves and their circumstances (and in so doing rescue a remnant of my own past).

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 11:23 AM, 12.15.2015

This is COW we do it!

A new fifth-grade Destination Imagination team from Bay Village that goes by the name Seven Amigos is happy to announce that they will be holding a carnival to raise money for Heifer International.

Heifer International is an organization that gives animals and crops to hungry people worldwide. The animals they give can provide eggs, milk, cheese and wool.

The carnival will be held on Saturday, Jan. 9, from 3-5 p.m. at Bay Village United Methodist Church, 29931 Lake Road.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 10:02 AM, 01.05.2016

World Day of Peace

Jan. 1 is significant for being the first day of the year, but it is also designated as a World Day of Peace for thinking about how we can bring peace and harmony into our lives.

Even as horrible violence and oppression are occurring in many parts of the world, we must not despair. As actors on this planet, there are ways we can create peace around us.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 10:01 AM, 01.05.2016

The article read around the world

This past May, I wrote an article for the Observer ("Pen pals for 70 years and counting") about my longtime pen pal, Annette, who lives in England. Since the article was printed, I have been surprised and pleased by the positive response I've received from friends and neighbors and some folks I didn't even know. Guess they recognized me from my picture in the article.

I wanted to share with you how that little article in the Observer took off. I sent two copies to Annette in England. Annette has a brother, Ron, four years her junior who was 9 years old when we began writing. When he was in his 20s he immigrated to Western Australia in the general area of Perth. He would occasionally ask Annette if we were still "at it." So I asked Annette to send Ron the second copy of my article.

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:19 AM, 11.17.2015

Passage of Issue 8 will ensure continued arts and culture vibrancy

If you've visited a museum or gallery, attended a performance, or taken a class from an arts and cultural organization in Cuyahoga County in the last decade, chances are good that arts and cultural organization receives funding from a penny-and-a-half tax on cigarettes the voters approved in 2006. Since the tax went into effect in 2007, $125 million has been disbursed in operating and project support grants throughout Cuyahoga County allowing the county's arts and culture sector to survive (and now thrive) through one of the most difficult economic periods in recent memory. The tax is up for renewal on the Nov. 3 ballot, and it is important that we continue that critical support for this asset by voting yes on Issue 8.

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Volume 7, Issue 20, Posted 10:06 AM, 10.20.2015

Tough decision will allow hospital to grow

The Sisters of Charity Health System recently announced a decision to allow St. John Medical Center to become part of UH as a Catholic hospital.

St. John Medical Center is a gem, and is successful today because of the foresight and commitment of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine. I'm proud to have been a founding board member of this hospital. I saw firsthand how the Sisters – under leadership of Sisters Mary Patricia Barrett, Mary Ann Andrews and Judith Ann Karam – exemplified courage and respect as they brought partners together to create St. John Medical Center as a preeminent health care provider in Westlake. They are visionaries.

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Volume 7, Issue 18, Posted 9:02 AM, 09.15.2015

The right to govern ourselves

In response to Mr. Conover’s opinion letter [in the July 21 issue] celebrating the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling: The issue is not do you or I approve or disapprove of same-sex “marriage,” the issue is do we have a Constitutional republic or do we have a tyranny – a majority of nine unelected judges making law for 330 million American citizens? Don’t think for one millisecond that because they did it this time, they won’t do it again and again.

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Volume 7, Issue 16, Posted 9:47 AM, 08.18.2015

West Side arts rely on CAC funding

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) is the public funder of arts and culture organizations in Cuyahoga County. Established by voters in 2007, CAC has awarded more than 300 cultural organizations over $125 million in grants helping make events like Parade the Circle, the lighting of Playhouse Square and Ingenuity Festival possible. In Bay Village and Westlake, it has been the largest funder of many organizations including BAYarts, Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, Clague Playhouse, Westlake Chinese School and Youth Challenge.

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Volume 7, Issue 14, Posted 9:26 AM, 07.21.2015

Following the rules

The one thing that most structures have in common is doors and windows. Which side you are on makes a huge difference in safety. The fire alarm in our building was ringing and the light was flashing brightly in all of the hallways. The firemen were on the way, smoke was in the hallway, and some of the ladies told me someone was still in the apartment.

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Volume 7, Issue 14, Posted 9:25 AM, 07.21.2015

Nan Baker announces candidacy for state senator

State Representative Nan Baker announced on May 7 her candidacy for state senator representing the 24th House District. 

It has been an honor to serve as State Representative at the Ohio House since 2009. Most of my work has been focused on creating the environment to retain, create and bring jobs to Ohio. I have chaired the Economic Development Committee over the last several years. 

In this 131st General Assembly, the committee has evolved to the Economic and Workforce Development Committee as we have jobs to fill and we find our Ohioans needing the workforce skills to qualify for those jobs.

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Volume 7, Issue 10, Posted 9:52 AM, 05.19.2015

Bay dog attack renews call for animal control

As I write this today, a member of our community is in a day-by-day mode for updates regarding her loving canine companion. Her dog was recently viciously attacked by a neighbor dog in the western end of Bay Village while out on an evening stroll. 

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:21 AM, 05.05.2015

Thank You, Key Club!

The Bay High School Key Club recently served breakfast to the elders at the Knickerbocker Senior Center at 8 in the morning, in the dining room of the "Knick." Someone had gotten up at 6 in the morning to put the strata into the oven. I understand the husband of a teacher did this wonderful thing.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:21 AM, 05.05.2015

League of Women Voters urges passage of Westlake levy

The Westlake-North Olmsted Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland endorses Issue 5, a 1-mill levy for the Westlake City Schools. We urge Westlake voters to vote “YES” on May 5 (or by absentee ballot before that date) to protect their already-substantial investment in the schools and to assure that technology needs and building repairs are adequately funded. The issue should bring in about $1.3 million per year, with an annual cost to homeowners of $35 per $100,000 of valuation.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:37 AM, 04.21.2015

Issue 5 necessary for school, community success

Westlake City School District has a 1.0 mill Permanent Improvement Levy (PI), Issue 5, on the May 5 ballot. A PI Levy raises funds for capital usage only. PI monies will be spent on items such as:

  • Buildings & Furnishings – Fixed Equipment: roofs, windows, masonry, plumbing, electrical, furniture, security cameras, security and access systems, etc.
  • Site Development: asphalt, concrete, landscaping, drainage, field repairs and upkeep, security fencing, lighting.
  • Technology Improvements: computers, wireless access, switches, printers, projectors, servers, etc.
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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:43 AM, 04.21.2015

Police station leaves officers in the cold

It has come to this writer's attention that during the recent cold snap (temperatures of 0 degrees actual and -20 degrees with wind chill) Bay's relatively new police station was totally without heat.

Built with a considerable cost to local taxpayers, the new building is poorly designed. The heating unit is housed in the attic area which is unheated and receives the full brunt of cold weather, ditto the air conditioning units with an extremely hot spell.

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 9:55 AM, 01.20.2015

Westlake Meals on Wheels thanks the community

In the spirit of the holiday season, Westlake Meals on Wheels would like to thank the community for the generous personal and corporate donations that allow our organization to provide essential meal delivery service to those who are unable to shop for or prepare meals for themselves.

Monetary donations subsidize the reasonable fees recipients pay and enable a dedicated team of more than 75 weekly volunteers to prepare and deliver daily meals to Westlake residents who are ill, elderly, disabled, homebound or convalescing. Together we are able to improve the quality of life for our recipients by prolonging independence.

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Volume 6, Issue 24, Posted 10:07 AM, 11.25.2014

Thank you, voters

Thank you to the voters of District 16 – Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River and Westlake – for their overwhelming support to re-elect me on Election Day. Thank you also to my campaign team that worked tirelessly walking door-to-door with me, making phone calls, attending festivals, walking in parades, planting yard signs and volunteering at our wonderful October Pancake Breakfast in Rocky River.

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Volume 6, Issue 23, Posted 9:55 AM, 11.11.2014

Drive for Westlake Assistance

Mary’s Food Friends, aka St. Paul Lutheran Thrivent Hunger Ministry Service Team, has organized a special supplemented Hunger Campaign for donations received through Sept. 15 to assist the Westlake Assistance Program.

This supplement is made possible by the Northwest Cuyahoga County Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ Care Abounds in Community Program and will really help fill the cupboards of Westlake Assistance.

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Volume 6, Issue 17, Posted 9:46 AM, 08.19.2014

Fireworks raffle winner thanks volunteer committee

As the winner of Freedom Boat Club raffle prize offered by the Bay Days Fireworks Committee, I'd like to express my gratitude to this group of dedicated volunteers. I cannot express adequately how deeply appreciative I am for the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

They have worked so hard to make sure that Bay Village residents have the fireworks they have enjoyed year after year. It would have been easy to just turn away, but out of the goodness of their hearts, they set themselves to the task.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 9:19 AM, 06.10.2014

When parties become a bore

Next week, the absentee ballots will be going out for the May primaries. On the ballots will be candidates for the Democratic and Republican state central committees, the parties' top-tier leadership. There are 33 State Senate districts in Ohio and each district gets one man and one woman for the committee, per Ohio rules, for both the Democratic and the Republican parties.

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Volume 6, Issue 7, Posted 9:20 AM, 04.01.2014

Let the sun shine in!

March 16-22 is Sunshine Week, an annual nationwide discussion about the importance of access to public information and what it means to each of us and to our communities. It is a time to remember the important role that we all have in keeping our towns healthy, vibrant and strong.

We all have the right to know what our government is doing – both its successes and failures. Exercising our right to know gives power to us, the public. It allows us to hold elected officials accountable on Election Day and beyond.

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 9:25 AM, 03.18.2014

Waterboarding Westlake

The leadership of any community has every right to do what Westlake has done to get the best products and services for its residents. And it has the right to do this without threats and intimidation by its suppliers. 

The attempted “waterboarding” of Westlake by the Cleveland Water Department with its planned imposition of outrageous fees is now before a judge with a decision expected in February.

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Volume 6, Issue 3, Posted 10:21 AM, 02.04.2014

Bay Schools superintendent urges parents to take pledge

Dear Bay Village Parents/Guardians,
 
I urge all Bay Village parents to participate in a very important initiative of our Bay Village PTAs – the Bay Village Parent Pledge.

Whether you have children enrolled in the Bay Village City Schools, other schools, or even if you think your children are too young to be involved in drug and alcohol abuse, this is an important step we can take together to fight substance abuse by children within our community.

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Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 10:16 AM, 01.21.2014

Incoming councilman eager to serve

I would like to thank my neighbors in Ward 2 for their vote of confidence to elect me as their representative for Westlake City Council. I also want to express appreciation to everyone who endorsed me and worked tirelessly on my campaign. No one wins an election by themselves. It requires grassroots supporters and a team effort. I look forward to continuing to build strong relationships with my neighbors, Mayor Clough, City Council President Michael Killeen and fellow city council members.

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Volume 5, Issue 25, Posted 10:48 AM, 12.10.2013

Friends of the Bay Village Kennel thank supporters

Due to continuing support, generous donations and dedicated volunteers, the last six months have been extremely productive and rewarding for the Friends of the Bay Village Kennel who have come to the financial aid of 30 animals in our community.

The Friends of the Bay Village Kennel remind residents that Cuyahoga County Dog License tags go on sale in December. Landmark Lawn and Garden Supply on Dover Center Road in Westlake will have them available for purchase. You may also purchase them on the county's website at www.cuyahogadogs.com. Also on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m.to 3 p.m., pet photos with Santa will be taken by a professional photographer along with free giveaways and surprise guests at the Westlake Landmark store.

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 9:50 AM, 11.26.2013

Mayoral campaign brought issues to forefront

To the residents of Bay Village,

I'm so very proud of the hard work that so many people provided during my Bay Village mayoral campaign. I'm proud of the issues we brought to light and the needed recognition that transparency, safety, and public involvement received during this election season. I'm confident that the days of executive sessions and emergency measures will be much fewer and farther between because of our work.

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Volume 5, Issue 23, Posted 10:14 AM, 11.12.2013

Bay kennel advocates seek public meeting

Regarding the ongoing conversation about the status of the Bay Village kennel, the Friends of the Bay Village Kennel (FOBVK) would like to point out a few things that may not be known to many members of our community.

Members of the FOBVK met with Mayor Sutherland and another city representative in June 2011 to discuss possibilities for the kennel and its operation. While the meeting seemed encouraging, the mayor did not offer a proposal at that time, instead remarking that it looked like the city and FOBVK could work together at an appropriate site within the city. One week later, city administration eliminated the position of Animal Control Officer and, in essence, closed the kennel. Since then, dogs are admitted, but only until they can be picked up by the county kennel or returned to their owners. Cats are not permitted in the Bay kennel.

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Volume 5, Issue 21, Posted 10:14 AM, 10.15.2013

In memory of a friend

On Sept. 19, 2013, the Knickerbocker community lost one of its own. Clara J. Cuthbert was a longtime resident who was very active in the kitchen and the many events held at the Knickerbocker. She was well known for her potato salad. She spent many volunteer hours cooking for the Knickerbocker family with a smile.

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Volume 5, Issue 20, Posted 9:38 AM, 10.01.2013

Thanks, Partner!

When I opened the last issue of the Observer, tears came to my eyes. There in living color was the League of Women Voters logo announcing Bay's Primary Election Voters' Guide. Our last Voters' Guide, for the 2009 election, was mailed to every Bay Village household. Increased postage and production costs made it impossible to do that in 2011 – or 2013. Yet Voters' Guides and candidates' forums are the League's most basic services.

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Volume 5, Issue 17, Posted 10:07 AM, 08.20.2013

Drive for Westlake Assistance

Mary’s Food Friends, a.k.a. St. Paul Lutheran Thrivent Hunger Ministry Service Team, has a $1 supplementation for every $3.85 donated through Sept. 15 to assist the Westlake Assistance Program.

This supplement is made possible by the Northwest Cuyahoga County Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ Care Abounds in Community Program and will really help fill the cupboards of Westlake Assistance.

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Volume 5, Issue 17, Posted 9:57 AM, 08.20.2013