Readers' Opinions

A walk in the park

My great-grandson, Stephen, and I walked in Rocky River Reservation one day recently and for a while, returned to the America that once was.

Stephen saw his first gray squirrel as we walked along the river path toward the Nature Center. We passed it to climb the 155 wooden steps up to the top of a big hill overlooking the river. As we made our way up, we received encouraging words from people coming down. Once on top, Stephen, declared, “We did it! An 82-year-old man and a 6-year-old boy did it!” To the amusement and congratulations of others on top.

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Volume 12, Issue 18, Posted 10:23 AM, 09.15.2020

Bicyclists, ring your bell

I lived in a house on West 127th Street in Cleveland for 31 years. One day a former neighbor drove past and saw me outside doing yardwork. "You're still here?" she shouted. "Laurie," I replied, "they'll probably take me out of here in a pine box."

Well, life has a way of throwing you curve balls. Maybe not as wicked as Shane Bieber's tosses, but life-changing at least. In 2011, my wife and I bought a home in Westlake. We stay in the in-law suite, while my daughter, her husband and five children have the other four bedrooms.

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Volume 12, Issue 16, Posted 9:20 AM, 08.18.2020

How Westlake High School should reopen during a global pandemic

During the rise in COVID-19 cases, reopening school in the fall may force educators to integrate creative solutions. As a recent graduate from Westlake High School, I care deeply about our community, health and education. While I recognize that I am not a qualified health expert, I have outlined below some of my ideas of how our Westlake education system could adapt to the global pandemic. These changes would primarily entail: 1) a more centralized classroom model; 2) prepared lunch delivery service; 3) preservation of the most important values of education. 

I believe that a hybrid model that features both in-person and remote learning would be best. Many high schools are thinking about alternating days students come to school. In addition, I think more drastic changes should be implemented to limit the spread of COVID-19 transmission.

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Volume 12, Issue 15, Posted 9:51 AM, 08.04.2020

Remembering Aug. 6, 1945

This year we have been marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II – VE Day on May 8, 1945, and VJ Day on Aug. 15, 1945. Japan’s surrender was signed on Sept. 2, 1945, my 8th birthday. However, the dates Aug. 6 and 9 stand out most in my mind even today.

Back then my playmates and I were the East 154th Street army ready to protect our neighbors with our toy weapons. When the news broke that the United States bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs, we were beside ourselves celebrating our nation’s power that led to the Japanese surrender. We paraded about believing that we had the ultimate weapon to beat any enemy who tried to mess with America.

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Volume 12, Issue 15, Posted 9:49 AM, 08.04.2020

Career wisdom in the COVID age

In this challenging time of anxiety and discontent I have been reflecting on what I’d suggest to career counseling clients from my almost 40-year counseling experience that goes beyond the same repetition of resume writing, telling stories of your accomplishments, using LinkedIn – all the superficial techniques that ignore the reality of living a soulful life of purpose. So, in this time of lockdown let me propose some looking inward; as Socrates stated, “Know thyself.”

Several years ago a client of mine, Aaron, expressed his desire to “study bio-chemistry, find the  biological origins of disease, make a difference.” When I last saw a brief note about Aaron in an alumni bulletin he was a second-year medical student on the way to turning his vision into reality.

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Volume 12, Issue 14, Posted 10:05 AM, 07.21.2020

Pandemic Memories

I had two wonderful grandmothers growing up but no grandfathers. My father’s father, Frank, died when I was too young to remember him and my mother’s father, Adam Schramm, died decades before I was born. Frank died of old age; Adam died in the “Spanish Flu” pandemic in 1918.

Adam and Grandma Elizabeth had six children in 1918, the youngest just a baby. They lived in a house built by Adam, a carpenter, in 1900, in the Troy Hill community, a German community, overlooking Pittsburgh. My mother was 13 when her father died, her older brother was in training to become a priest, which he would be.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 AM, 06.02.2020

Covid Courtesy

In the midst of this very scary and uncertain time, we fill our days with projects, thoughts and worries about the unknown. Covid has robbed us of many things. I think the biggest thing is our freedoms. Freedom to walk, talk, socialize, travel, put kids on a bus, sit at a bar close to friends, sit in a pew at church, exchange a handshake, and have a good night's sleep.

While we are putting our toes in the water and testing a re-entrance into normalcy, it's essential to remember courtesy and kindness.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:39 AM, 06.02.2020

Moral ambiguity

On Dec. 12, 2006, in a televised episode concerning violence against homeless people, television personality Dr. Phil brought on Ty Beeson as his first guest. Beeson, known for creating and making millions off of his video series "Bum Fights," where he tapes homeless people fighting each other for small sums of money, showed up on stage dressed at Dr. Phil himself, complete with a bald cap, a suit, and a fake mustache.

In a rare occurrence, the TV host refused to interview his guest, and had him escorted off the stage, calling him despicable for his exploitation of these people. However, as he was leaving the stage, Beeson enforced the point that Dr. Phil himself exploits people on his show too, leading vulnerable people to be exposed to a live television audience, and making their conditions known to the world. Ty Beeson is no saint, but he brought up an interesting point that day on moral ambiguity.

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 9:54 AM, 02.04.2020

The grocery game winners

Westlake High School senior Henry Levenberg is to be commended for having enough interest in our Westlake community to write his "Reader's Opinion" article about Aldi published in the Jan. 21 Observer.

However, from the perspective of a Westlake resident almost 60 years his senior I do wish to dispute some of his claims. True, when Aldi first appeared in our area people were skeptical of the quality of its offerings and low prices. Take a look now: One cannot stereotype the Aldi shopper as a "lower-class, cigarette-smoking consumer," as Henry wrote that the store's founders had a disagreement over. Aldi draws consumers of all categories: old, young, richer, poorer, immigrants, native-born, etc., precisely because of its lower prices and variety of offerings.

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 9:52 AM, 02.04.2020

Winners and losers in the grocery game

The retail chains Aldi and Trader Joe’s have always been competitors in the city of Westlake, but many aren’t familiar with these stores’ origins.

In 1946 Germany, brothers Karl and Theo Albrecht founded the grocery store Aldi. In a war-torn country, the idea of a low cost grocery store chain took off and they were soon able to expand. Within four years, their small chain had expanded to 13 stores and the business continued to grow.

As Germany’s economy continued to evolve, tensions began to rise between the two brothers. The final blow occurred in 1960, when the two brothers disputed on whether to sell cigarettes. Both brothers had different ideas on what kind of business – or what kind of problems – that the cigarette-smoking consumer would bring.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 9:46 AM, 01.21.2020

Proposed Bay Village fence ordinance raises concern

On June 3, two fence proposals were submitted to Bay Village City Council – one to keep the ordinance at 4-foot-high fencing for side or back yards (the way it has been for over 60 years), the other to increase the fence height to 5 feet with 75% transparency (chain link fencing or wrought iron with horizontal or vertical pickets). Four of seven council members, a majority, decided to move forward with 4-foot fencing. Within a week, however, one council member changed his mind and we are now back to the proposal for 5-foot fencing.

The proposal would affect the entire city, but was started because one resident complained her dogs kept jumping over her fence. However, the Board of Zoning Appeals has made it clear that the fence ordinance is not meant for animal control or neighbor problems, but to keep the character and charm of the city. Also questionable is that residents on the lake are excluded from the proposed changes, discriminating against the rest of the city whose views are just as important to them.

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Volume 11, Issue 12, Posted 9:40 AM, 06.18.2019

Bay Village City Council members' diverse backgrounds an asset

Bay Village City Council is 17 months into our current complement of members. I am very pleased with the overall legislative body of work completed by Council over this period of time. We've worked through a number of challenging topics and legislative items as a team. City Council reflects a tremendous diversity of skill sets, as my colleagues represent a variety of backgrounds, including private industry expertise, coupled with those having years of public experience.

Speaking of diversity, I am happy with the composition of Council's make-up, our gender balance, range of Council members' ages and seasoning, from those relatively new in their roles to those who have served multiple terms. We have worked very closely, and in open session, with the administration to support a relatively new Bay Village Master Plan and a wave of capital improvement projects, including a new library, newly proposed housing development and a large number of infrastructure road and bridge undertakings.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:21 AM, 05.21.2019

Bay Village in the spring

Spring is knocking on the door waiting to be invited in. It is a great time of year. You know it’s coming when you see bicycles! It represents a rebirth of many favorable, fragrant flowers that make our town scenic. It is a time to think about what a special place Bay Village is as a community.

Heinen’s has lined its entrance with wonderful choices of tulips and hyacinths. The fence at Bay Middle school is lined with bicycles. Soon the soccer fields will be full of different color teams, parents and family friends sitting in the elements in support. 

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:33 AM, 05.21.2019

Westlake looks to 'pave paradise and put up a parking lot'

Last March I was shocked and saddened over the trees cut down at Clague Park south of the pool. When I saw this destruction of trees, I recalled that Sophronia Clague loved her trees.

As William Robishaw wrote in his book, "You've Come A Long Way Westlake": "One of Sophronia's wishes, expressed in her formal granting of the land to the Village, was that the trees in the "woodlot" should never feel the stroke of an ax. When Hilliard Road was extended through Westlake, Sophronia was nearly heartbroken when the southern edge of the virgin forest was removed to make room for the new roadway. This stipulation by Sophronia explains why a large part of the park bordering the western Hilliard Road entrance remains as natural growth."

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 9:49 AM, 04.02.2019

Rejection: a high school studentís life

First in a series on getting into college.

It was the third quarter of my junior year, inarguably one of the biggest vertical slopes any high schooler has to face. I remember sitting at my computer with four tabs open.

The second tab was Powerschool, my online report card. After getting a shocking notification on my phone, I decided to double check it on my computer. Maybe it’s a mistake. Perhaps my dreadfully cheap Android phone was playing tricks. But the notification was right – I flunked a physics test.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:49 AM, 03.05.2019

Emojis and Emotion

It is pretty standard to receive a message with a character or a symbol attached to it these days. The emblem suggests our mood and how we would like the message to be accepted.

It's pretty terrific when you think about it. In the past, we had to rely on the state of mind of the recipient, when the message was delivered. Today, we can attach a simple smiley face or thumbs up or even a personalized Bitmoji to convey our intent. The addition to the message can be beneficial.

When email first appeared as a form of communication, many messages were received out of context because of the wording, delivery style or the recipient's state of mind. Mistakes were made because communicating by email was used instead of a face-to-face conversation.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 10:03 AM, 02.19.2019

Westlake's growth has led to more deer sightings

When I was 14-15 years old (1949) we moved to Westlake. A big change from Lakewood. I had a .22 rifle when I was 10 years old, and a shotgun when I was 13, and did a lot of target shooting. 

In Westlake, which was still open country, one could go hunting pheasants, rabbits, and even squirrels in season. I became an excellent shot and never missed what I was shooting at. We had many meals of pheasants and rabbits.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 9:47 AM, 01.08.2019

The benefit of pretend plays

I have often seen children engaging in pretend plays. They pretend to be doctors examining their friends, who pretend to be patients, or young girls pretending to be princesses with everyone around their subjects. It always amused me as to what pleasure there could be in such play. Everyone has to come back to their realities, so how can such play for a small time bring joy to kids?

While working as a behavior therapist to kids with autism, I came across a 5-year-old girl who always used to pretend she was going to McDonald’s with her mom. When I talked to her mom, she revealed that her daughter likes going to McDonald’s with her but due to time constraints, she was unable to fulfill her daughter’s demands as frequently.

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Volume 10, Issue 24, Posted 10:05 AM, 12.18.2018

Stop killing our deer residents

I am 20 years of age and have lived in Bay Village all my life. I am extremely saddened to learn about culling being used as the means to decrease the population of deer. I do not agree with this.

Genesis chapters 1:26-29 tells us that God grants us dominion over all animals. When He created the animals, His intention was for us to never be alone. God gives us a choice between living with or harming His creations, but we are all held accountable in the end. We are to care for them, not treat them less than us, eat them or shoot them when they become too many. Pulling the trigger may not cause pain to you, but you are not the deer.

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Volume 10, Issue 24, Posted 9:53 AM, 12.18.2018

Is anyone dating anymore?

When I was young, we dated and the people before that dated and the people before them dated. It was how we got to know each other and decide if there was a connection. If there was a connection, we dated more until a decision was made to make it more permanent or to move on and date someone else. At times it was a bit uncomfortable and made us nervous but most of the time it was exciting and fun.

There was also an innocence to dating. Great stories came out of dating and it helped you narrow down what you wanted and what you didn't want in a partner.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:26 AM, 12.04.2018

Bay Village's dirty little secrets

I grew up making memories at Huntington Beach. The beach is home, and I feel a great sense of pride over it. I’ve traveled the world, yet I always come back to Bay Village as my favorite spot. Given my childhood, it is no surprise that I now spend my adult life working with the media to expose environmental issues that harm our water, air, wildlife and land.

Unfortunately, my sense of pride in Lake Erie is starting to be overcome with worry as I read about the algae bloom advisories. Not only are my favorite areas getting destroyed, but my family’s drinking water is at risk too. We do not need a scare like the one Toledo had.

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Volume 10, Issue 14, Posted 9:54 AM, 07.17.2018

Who's running the zoo?

When I was in school we had a principal that had a presence. The sight of her made the hair on the back of your neck stand up! If you walked past her office and there was someone sitting in there, you knew he or she was doomed. It was many years ago; however, not that long ago. No one was walking 10 miles, uphill both ways, in rainstorms.

Recently, I have noticed some less-than-respectful behavior from our young people. For example, I watched 10 young men behave ridiculously at a coffee shop the other day. Business people, seniors and folks just wanting to enjoy a nice cup of coffee surrounded them. The boys were cracking plastic water bottles, clapping together (ridiculous) and screaming at each other. They knew where they were, so why did they think this was OK?

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Volume 10, Issue 13, Posted 9:26 AM, 07.03.2018

Houses and homes

There are boxes, cartons and packaging material lying all around my home at present. Yes, we are moving. From my current home to a new house. Everyone at home appears to be hassled by so much stuff on the floor. Even my 13-year-old seems frustrated when he walks with me and accidently brushes his foot against one of the boxes. He makes a hurtful expression at first then supposedly an angry one later on for all the trouble.

Surprisingly, I do not seem to mind any of this discomfort. Maybe because I am not seeing any of that stuff. All I see are the memories. Memories that are present in every inch and corner of my home. Memories of all the parties and fun we had, of all the beautiful moments, of all the get-togethers.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 9:29 AM, 06.19.2018

Our mother taught us that life is hard

Recently I had a conversation with my daughter that made me think about our mother. I asked her why she didn’t want to do something and she said because it was hard. As adults, we don’t like to do things that are hard either. Perhaps we are passing it on to our children. For example, it’s hard to get our kids to do things that are hard!

I look back on our childhood and wonder what our mother did about things that were hard. She seemed to encourage the completion of things that were hard a bit more. Personally, I remember going to a different school separate from my siblings because my grade was full at the other school. That was hard. Losing our dad at a young age. That was hard. Not making sports teams, not getting invited to parties, not being liked by a boy that I had a crush on. THAT WAS HARD! Things were not always “fair” back then.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 10:12 AM, 05.01.2018

Bernie's ready; Browns should bring him in as coach

I recently attended a book signing for former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar at the Parma-Snow Library. He discussed his new book, "Learning to Scramble," which chronicles his rise from Youngstown to prominence as the leader of the University of Miami’s first national championship team, and then to glory in the NFL. The library's promotion materials stated that "the book, which also explores Kosar’s personal battles, is a completely authentic account of a talented man’s ability to not only learn from his mistakes, but to evolve and develop new ways of approaching life."

This event included a question-and-answer period where I learned that Bernie had been spending the past number of years raising his children on his own as a single parent; which is something that I could totally relate to. He answered a number of questions about his career, concussions, playing surfaces and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 9:36 AM, 01.09.2018

Where has the time gone?

It seems like yesterday that the Knickerbocker Apartments was bustling with many activities of the season. Christmas is always special, living in a community where one has so many good friends and neighbors that participate in making the season a joyful one.

We still are gifted with the lovely display of lights in the courtyard, which many of the school children find fascinating when they come and visit during the holidays, and the gingerbread houses decorated by happy residents add a special flair of ambiance.

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Volume 9, Issue 24, Posted 10:01 AM, 12.19.2017

Taking time to make birthdays special

Residents of the Knickerbocker Apartments have been so fortunate in having our very own pianist, for many years now, who never forgets a birthday, and every single month makes sure that each person on the birthday list gets recognition. Frank Barkdoll has fought illness, been hospitalized many times, struggled with his illness, and by the grace of God just keeps on coming back to do his artistry on the piano, teach Bible study once a week, and show his courage to give others hope in recovery of their own problems!   

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Volume 9, Issue 23, Posted 10:36 AM, 12.05.2017

Former Bay auto parts store made lasting impression

In a past Westlake | Bay Village Observer recollection of the now-demolished Westlake Kmart, I mentioned automotive supplies being among the wide variety of products sold there. Indeed, in its original configuration the store stocked an impressive (for a discount department retailer) assortment of oils, fluids, cleaners, chemicals and parts employed in routine automobile maintenance.

As a recently licensed driver in the mid-70s doing his best to keep a more-than-10-year-old, hand-me-down 1965 Mustang on the road, I found myself in Kmart’s automotive department on a regular basis. Eventually, though, a Bay High School kid such as myself would have to visit an actual auto parts store to round up a more “hard core” item than could be purchased from Kmart.

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Volume 9, Issue 22, Posted 10:01 AM, 11.21.2017

Cabbage rolls and jazz make for special evening at the Knickerbocker

If you happened to be one of the fortunate visitors last week who came to sample Miss Lydia's cabbage rolls and mashed potatoes, you left the Knickerbocker wishing you could take the whole kettle home with you! She is a straw boss in the kitchen, and informed activities director Cheryl, and all the wonderful volunteers, that she wanted it "her way or no way"! However the result was perfection.

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Volume 9, Issue 22, Posted 10:00 AM, 11.21.2017

Halloween capers at the Knickerbocker

Casper the friendly ghost, little ghouls, big ghouls, pretty princesses and lovely witches presented themselves when the Knickerbocker Apartments in Bay Village held their yearly Halloween Bash. Residents and staff members alike volunteered their time and talents to make this a really special and fun evening!

Two of our talented folks made delicious cotton candy and little ones were extremely happy. There were many refills of candy containers, a story lady, fun and games, and the kitchen was open if a very busy and tired mom and dad were accompanying their children and had not taken the time to eat dinner.

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Volume 9, Issue 21, Posted 9:58 AM, 11.07.2017

California fire victims in need of help

My son Mac, his wife Jaime, their two daughters and their two dogs and two cats escaped from what is being called the worst fire in the history of California. They had what I thought was an idyllic life in Redwood Valley, a small rural town near Ukiah. The weather is temperate and their neighbors included the Frey Vineyards and people who brought pies over to welcome them to the neighborhood. Isabella started kindergarten this year and was thriving; Lourdes was attending nursery school at the college where Mac works.

But on Monday morning, Oct. 9, at 1:30 a.m., a fire roared down the mountain behind their home.

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Volume 9, Issue 20, Posted 9:49 AM, 10.17.2017

Whatever happened to writing?

I am blessed with many grandchildren but it troubles me to see them, all thumbs pounding their dainty little computer phones. I wonder, "Is this all there is? Will they be able to actually sit down and write a letter, using appropriate letters?"

And I fondly think of a simpler time, when most of today's seniors were learning their reading, writing and arithmetic, and we had to take those homework pages home and practice making circles, vertical lines, pronunciations, etc. Yes, indeed, times have changed, and yes, we need to " keep up with the times" and yes, I am computer friendly – because I did not want to be left behind with the many who decided not to change the format of their lives!

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Volume 9, Issue 19, Posted 10:11 AM, 10.03.2017

Big changes underway at West Bay Plaza

Seemingly reflecting the times, the shell of a formerly popular and important retail establishment in Westlake is in the process of being demolished as this is written.

In the first of a multi-phase modernization and redevelopment of the West Bay Plaza by owner DDR Corp., the large vacant building capping the north end of the shopping complex, which housed a Kmart store two separate times, is coming down (or has come down). The space created will then find a Sierra Trading Post and Fresh Thyme occupying it. Reportedly, at a time in the future, a second phase of the plaza’s redevelopment will focus on updating the western row of retail spaces. It’s also been reported the plaza's newer eastern row of shops will be made-over, but during which remain open and intact.

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Volume 9, Issue 17, Posted 9:44 AM, 09.06.2017

Recollections of a past Bay High School tech-ed student

Perusing a recent online story regarding the Bay Village School District’s three-week STEM-Enriched Summer Study camp both interested me and launched yet another nostalgia trip.

Bay’s STEM-Enriched Summer Study appears to be a terrific opportunity for the district's students to gain valuable insight into potential careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics related fields. Owing to the camp’s technology component, the story almost instantly caused me to reflect back on two school years in which I attended both metal shop and technical drawing classes at Bay High School back in the '70s.

Metal shop teacher, George Meyers, had first-year Metals 1 students fabricate small parallel-bar clamps using only pieces of steel stock and hand tools as their primary project. A great deal of challenge was added to this project by requiring key surfaces of the parallel bars be perfectly square to their adjacent sides, or in the case of one end surface, perfectly round in profile. This was to be achieved by carefully hand-filing said surfaces.

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Volume 9, Issue 13, Posted 9:30 AM, 07.05.2017

In appreciation of Westlake's 90th & Over Birthday Celebration

Having had the privilege of accompanying my mother, Melba Wojcik, at the recent 90th & Over Birthday Celebration held at the Westlake Recreation Center on April 25, I was reminded of the wealth of talent and experience possessed by our older Westlake residents, as well as their friends and family members.

The 90th & Over Birthday Celebration is a recognition of the contribution of Westlake's nonagenarian citizens, very ably co-sponsored and produced by the Westlake Community Services Department and the Westlake Women’s Club.

Held in the recreation center’s Community Room, Westlake citizens aged 90 and over, along with one guest if they wished, were invited to attend the event. Tables seating eight were arranged throughout the large room and all tables appeared to be filled.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 9:35 AM, 05.02.2017

Cleveland Browns and the quarterback saga

Since January, I have been writing about The Cleveland Browns and the upcoming draft. I have gone over why it would be a mistake to waste the first pick in the draft on a quarterback; along with the debacle of drafting Tim Couch in 1999 and the futility that has been with the Browns ever since. Additionally, I have reviewed the moves made (and missed) via free agency and have provided a defense-laden mock draft that could significantly improve the Browns' record this year and for years to come.

The one area that I did not address was the position of quarterback, although in some ways I did, by reminding everyone that offense wins games but it is the defense that wins championships. This means that the Browns shouldn't "force" a quarterback to be drafted, especially in the first couple of rounds in this year's draft. If one were taken that high in the draft, the fans and the media would be expecting him be the opening day starter... whether he was ready or not. This has been the proverbial broken record in Cleveland, happening over and over again. Focus on improving the team.

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Volume 9, Issue 8, Posted 9:56 AM, 04.18.2017

Browns draft: Time to build foundation

The NFL Draft is rapidly approaching and the Cleveland Browns have a great opportunity to obtain some cornerstones for their future. Browns left tackle Joe Thomas recently commented that he did not want to see the Browns use the first pick on a quarterback and that when you draft a quarterback who fails, you have wasted a pick. He went on to explain that if a position player fails, he still gets on the field for first downs or third downs or special teams. This means that he can still help the team and isn't a total wasted pick; whereas a failed quarterback won't make it on the field at all or possibly as the holder for field goals and extra points at best.

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Volume 9, Issue 7, Posted 9:20 AM, 04.04.2017

Noticing ham radio antennas years ago

A recent drive on Lorain Road in Fairview Park managed to spark a feeling of nostalgia in me (not terribly difficult to do).

Traveling westbound on Lorain Road from Cleveland I happened to recall a very large amateur radio antenna, now long-gone, had once proudly presided over the northwest corner of Lorain Road and one of its intersecting side streets, near Fairview Park’s eastern limit.  On my recent drive I didn’t recall the exact side street.  Clearly recalled from a significant amount of time ago was the fact the amateur radio call sign of the antenna’s owner was prominently displayed on its support structure.

Using the same sort of research techniques I’ve employed in writing previous Westlake / Bay Village Observer submissions, I found just where the antenna once stood and that the amateur radio operator who owned it was once a very well known ham and long serving Fairview Park Fire Chief, of which I had no idea.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:14 AM, 03.21.2017

Browns continue improving via free agency

In the last issue, I explained that the Browns were headed in the right direction by adding high-round picks in this year's draft. Since then, free agency has been in progress and once again, the Browns have made a move that will enhance their draft positioning. This time it is for next year, 2018. They have added another second-round pick from the Houston Texans with a creative move. They used a technique that happens frequently in the NBA of absorbing an under-producing, high salary player contract and being compensated for it with the high-round draft pick. They now have their own first- and second-round picks for 2018, along with the second-round picks obtained from both the Texans and the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Browns do seem to have some problems in free agency though. This would be with their own players that they could have and should have re-signed. Last year it was offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz and this year it was wide receiver Terrelle Pryor. The loss of Mitchell Schwartz last year played a role in the numerous injuries to Cleveland quarterbacks and the resulting 1-15 record. Terrelle Pryor was one of the few bright spots on the team last year. He is sure to be missed this year.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:17 AM, 03.21.2017

Browns heading in right direction, finally

A few issues ago, I wrote that the Browns shouldn't waste the first pick in the 2017 draft on a quarterback. Now, it's time to look back to the year 1999, when Cleveland re-entered the NFL and used the first pick in the draft on – what else – a quarterback.

Tim Couch was the first pick in that draft for the Cleveland Browns. It was a pick that was the start of the futility of the Browns going forward to current day. The issue wasn't with Tim Couch. He may have been a premier quarterback under better circumstances, but he was coming to an expansion team that had a horrible offensive line, no running backs to speak of and only one wide receiver that was any good, Kevin Johnson. KJ, as he came to be known, was the Browns second-round pick in that same draft.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 10:21 AM, 03.21.2017