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Westlake city officials sworn in during organizational meeting

From left: Mark Getsay (Ward 6), Amy Havelka (Ward 5), Michael O'Donnell (Ward 4), Mayor Dennis Clough, Dave Greenspan (Council President), Dennis Sullivan (Ward 3), Nick Nunnari (Ward 2), Duane Van Dyke (Ward 1) and Law Director Michael Maloney.

The City of Westlake formally welcomed its new and returning City Council representatives during an organizational meeting Monday, Jan. 3, at City Hall.

The meeting featured the swearing in of newly-elected President of Council David Greenspan, as well as the newly-elected representatives Duane Van Dyke (Ward 1) and Amy Havelka (Ward 5).

Returning Council representatives were also sworn in during the ceremony, including Nick Nunnari (Ward 2), Dennis Sullivan (Ward 3), Michael O’Donnell (Ward 4) and Mark Getsay (Ward 6). Clerk of Council Denise Rosenbaum and Law Director Michael Maloney were also sworn in to continue to serve in their respective roles with the City of Westlake.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:11 AM, 01.18.2022

Bay High School to celebrate centennial

Parkview School was built in 1922 on the site where Bay Middle School now stands.

Did you know that Bay Village has offered high school for 100 years? It’s true! Parkview School was completed in 1922, and served grades 1-12. The two-story brick building was built where Bay Middle School now stands, with land purchased from the Cahoon Park trustees. A third story was added to the building in 1925.

Here are some other historical snippets, as shared by the late Bay Village historian Kay Laughlin:

Blue and white started being used for Parkview athletic uniforms soon after the new school was built, and Parkview High School became Bay High School in 1947, thanks to a name-change petition by the Class of 1947. (The Class of 1947 graduated with Bay High School on their diplomas.) Then, in the fall of 1947, a Bay High School sports team took the field under the name Bay Rockets for the first time.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:12 AM, 01.18.2022

Planting a New Year's resolution

Are you still sticking to your New Year’s resolution?

Kind of? Well, I last stepped on the scale three days ago. But you know what: Tomorrow is a new day. 

But may I suggest adding another one? One that will halve your risk of heart attack, mostly by lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol, sugar and reducing inflammation.

Studies suggest it may also reduce your risk of many cancers, especially colon, prostate, and breast. They, my friend, are currently among the top five causes of cancer deaths in the U.S. Many health effects like lowering blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol are apparent in days to weeks. I’m going to stop now because you get the point.

So what is this new New Year’s resolution? A plant-based diet.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:06 AM, 01.18.2022

Turn individual acts into collective action

I wasn’t sure what I would write about to kick off 2022. To be honest, I have struggled lately to find new and exciting topics for you. However, just when I thought I didn’t have anything to write about, I read two different articles/columns from two sources: The New York Times Magazine and The Guardian.

The NYT Magazine piece caught my attention because it is titled “An Evangelical Climate Scientist Wonders What Went Wrong.” It interviews Katharine Hayhoe, the chief scientist for Nature Conservancy, a professor of political science at Texas Tech, and the author of a new book titled “Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World.”

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:14 AM, 01.18.2022

New artist opportunities at BAYarts

BAYarts' Annual Juried Show in the Sullivan Family Gallery in the Fuller House.

BAYarts' mission is to support professional and aspiring artists of all ages. By providing income and exposure for northeast Ohio artists through exhibitions, consignment and various events, BAYarts' roster of regional artists continues to grow and diversify. This year, along with BAYarts' signature events, many new opportunities are available.

For visual artists, BAYarts' Annual Juried Exhibition is now online with the opening and awards presentation in the Sullivan Family Gallery March 11; this exhibition has been a great way to discover new artists and also see the best new work of familiar artists.

BAYarts' annual Art & Music Fest returns on June 18 after being on hold for two years, offering affordable booth fees (juried selection) and live music – a great kickoff to summer.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:13 AM, 01.18.2022

Teachers strive for innovation, creativity in the classroom

Westlake Elementary School students challenge themselves while designing and building with KEVA blocks.

How do you engage students who have missed out on a year of “normal” academic learning? How do you foster a mindset of perseverance amid challenges? In this current Covid-impacted environment, these are the questions facing teachers everywhere. And for a group of Westlake Elementary School teachers, bringing creative and innovative learning techniques into the classroom is their answer to these questions.

As students returned to in-person learning last year, Westlake Elementary School teachers noticed differences in how students dealt with being in a classroom with their peers and tackling daily educational assignments. When three of the teachers – Brandi Mattingly, Becky Kowalski, and Erin Vanek – heard about the opportunity to apply for a grant from the Westlake Educational Foundation, they applied and were ultimately awarded a grant to purchase KEVA Blocks.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 11:25 AM, 01.18.2022

League of Women Voters starts year by looking back

The Westlake-North Olmsted Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland will begin the new year by “looking back” even as it forges ahead on a busy election year agenda. Three sessions are scheduled for members to review the current advocacy positions of the League of Women Voters of the United States and to recommend changes for consideration at the June 2022 national convention. Members should register to attend one of the Zoom sessions (Jan. 22, Jan. 23, or Jan. 29) at Women and men interested in League membership can find more information and sign up on the website as well.

The chapter’s February meeting, Wednesday, Feb. 9, at 7:00 p.m., will have a book-club-discussion format, based on the 2017 book, “On Tyranny” by Timothy Snyder. The book is available in paperback and on Kindle and at most area libraries. Members and interested guests need request the Zoom meeting log-in information by sending names and e-mail addresses to

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:11 AM, 01.18.2022

Nature thrives at Concord Reserve

Bob and Cecile, the amazing tomato plant. Photo by Julie Feagler

A sprawling tomato plant lives in the Concord Reserve greenhouse. Its spread dominates one entire wall. Imagine Audrey from “Little Shop of Horrors” – only this plant doesn’t eat people, it feeds them.  Here’s the backstory for the extraordinary plant that Concord Reserve resident Bob Thompson decided to name Cecile.

When Bob and his wife, Della, moved to Concord Reserve Independent Living back in 2020, it didn’t take Bob long to spot the greenhouse. With a little attention and some new shelves, the greenhouse was opened for residents to house and protect their delicate plants over the winter.

Working on this success, Bob, along with the help of Events & Programs Coordinator Karen, came up with another plan for the greenhouse. A committee was formed to attempt fundraising for the Concord Reserve Foundation by raising and selling seedlings from scratch.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:14 AM, 01.18.2022

Greyhound of the air

The Northern Pintail Duck is an elegant traveler that visits Ohio between its breeding grounds in Canada and the upper plains states and its wintering grounds in our southern states. It is a fast and swift flyer that well deserves the nickname "greyhound of the air."

The male "drake" is easily recognizable by its white breast, long neck and distinctive long pintail. Pintail ducks can sometimes be found mixed in with other ducks on local ponds and lakes such as this one spotted at the Clague Park duck pond in Westlake on Jan. 10.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:13 AM, 01.18.2022

Westlake's Clark and Huldah Smith House, c. 1853

South elevation of the 1853 Clark and Huldah Smith House, 26904 Center Ridge Road. Photo by Will Krause

When constructed by the Smiths in 1853 this home at 26904 Center Ridge Road was on a 93.375-acre parcel, which was part of Original Lot 46 of Dover Township.

Clark Smith was the seventh child of Sylvanus Smith and Lydia (Clark) Smith. On March 9, 1827, he purchased 100 acres (less one-half acre reserved for a burying ground) for $500 from his father. This land was on the north side of Center Ridge, east of Dover Center Road. Between 1840 and 1850 he sold off some of the land in the emerging Dover Centre business area in three different transactions before building the house.

Sylvanus Smith was the original settler in Dover Centre. At one time he owned all of the land between Dover Center Road and Canterbury Road north of today’s Westwood Road and south of Dover Congregational Church.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:06 AM, 01.18.2022

Have Browns 'peaked' under Haslam?

Up until a few years ago, there was always one constant upon which we could depend when talking football in Cleveland: The Browns were hideous. And I don’t mean just plain old everyday hideous. I mean money-in-the-bank hideous. Hideous to the point of being comical.

The primary reason they’ve been the train wreck they’ve been is, without question, the ownership. For the greater part of the last quarter-century, the primary owners have been Randy “I’d rather watch my soccer team” Lerner and now Jimmy Haslam.

Randy Lerner was pretty much an imbecile running the Browns, but at least he had an excuse in that he never wanted to run the Browns. Randy merely inherited the task when his father, Al, passed. Randy spent a lot of time and money trying to make the Browns competitive, but with little success.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:06 AM, 01.18.2022

Sense of purpose guides Westlake students

When the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1, many of us set intentions for the year to come. Whether these are resolutions, personal goals or simply promises we make to ourselves, we commit to improving our lives. 

For Westlake students, the new year marks the second half of the school year and offers the potential for a new beginning. It provides an opportunity to take healthy risks and try something new. It is an excuse to give up old habits and create new ones. It is a chance to approach life with a renewed sense of purpose.

"Purpose" is a pillar of our Portrait of a Lifelong Learner, and one that Westlake students demonstrate time and again, year after year. A Westlake student with Purpose commits to future goals and pursues them continuously. They display determination in all aspects of life, not just at school. They make decisions that help them achieve self-fulfillment and recognize that while academic success is important, it’s only part of the formula for becoming the best version of themselves.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:13 AM, 01.18.2022

Westlake Historical Society announces cutest pets for 2022

Maggie May

It is once again time to announce the winners of the Cutest Pets in Westlake for 2022!

Our impartial panel of judges reviewed quite a few entries to choose from, but after much deliberating, have made their choices.

The winners are: "Oliver" in the Feline Division, and "Maggie" in the Canine Division.


Oliver, aka “Ollie,” got his name because his mom believes he looks like an Oliver. He’s an orange tabby domestic short hair with the possible heritage of a Maine Coon cat since he weighs 23 pounds, is tall, long bodied with long legs and a big head. He is a lover, not a fighter, and fancies himself a lap cat; sturdy build and all.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:07 AM, 01.18.2022

Coming together as a caring community

Volunteers sort donated pantry items and office supplies.

For a while, we felt like Old Mother Hubbard over here at Village Project. Our kitchen shelves were looking pretty bare. Thank you so much to all of our friends and neighbors who answered our call for help and generously donated much needed pantry items and office supplies.

“I’m so grateful for the compassion and generosity our community continues to show us at Village Project,” said Executive Director Meredith La Vecchia. “These donations help us serve our clients while they’re going through one of the toughest times in their lives. No two cancer journeys are the same and we’re proud to walk with our clients through theirs.”

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:14 AM, 01.18.2022

Westlake veterans to lead the Pledge

The City of Westlake prides itself on its efforts to frequently recognize the contributions of our local veterans.

In that spirit, the City has initiated a new tradition inviting one of these brave individuals to lead the Pledge of Allegiance before each Westlake City Council meeting.

The first veteran-led Pledge of the year was performed by Navy veteran Thomas Boll and his son Ethan during the Jan. 6 City Council meeting at Westlake City Hall. 

If you are a Westlake resident and a veteran or know someone who meets that criteria, please contact Lydia Gadd, director of Westlake Community Services, at 440-899-3544 or to help the City to continually honor our community’s veterans throughout the year.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:08 AM, 01.18.2022

Bay Village Board of Education swears in new members, appoints new officers

Bay High School seniors Angelica Jameson (at podium) and Milan Oppewall attended the Jan. 11 Bay Village Board of Education meeting to honor members during National School Board Recognition Month.

During its Jan. 11 Organizational Board Meeting, the Bay Village Board of Education swore in newly elected Board members Amy Huntley and Dr. Andrey Stojic, as well as retained Board member Dr. Scott Schulz. The oath was delivered by District Treasurer Meghan Rohde.

Upon completion of the swearing-in ceremony, the Board’s first matter of business was electing officers for the 2022 calendar year. Paul Vincent was voted President and Dr. Scott Schulz as Vice President.

“This year’s Board has such a vast array of skills, talent and experiences to bring to the table,” said President Vincent. “As a Board, we are all motivated to continue pursuing student-focused academic excellence for our learning community.”

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:12 AM, 01.18.2022

Zooming without the visuals

We're only halfway through January, or about 3.8% of 2022 as I pen this, but I have already read several articles about the likelihood of the COVID-19 pandemic becoming an endemic – i.e. a disease that we live alongside like a flu – this year. I can't wait for the pandemic to be over!

In the last column of 2021, I wrote: "Frequent use of video chat apps like Duo and FaceTime, or attending Zoom events, stimulates our sense of 'seeing' and combined with 'hearing' can help isolation and loneliness from setting in." When isolation and loneliness are kept at bay even with the current physical distancing recommendations, I believe we also maintain "connectedness" to our family, friends, and the community.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:06 AM, 01.18.2022

Westlake patrolman John Jereb retires after 28 years

Westlake patrolman John Jereb hangs a plaque on the wall alongside the names of many other retired Westlake police officers.

Westlake Police patrolman John Jereb retired after 28 years of service to the people of Westlake. He received a proclamation from Mayor Dennis Clough during a send-off on Thursday, Jan. 6, attended by colleagues and family. 

Police Chief Kevin Bielozer recounted Ptl. Jereb's multiple accomplishments over his career, including being named the Westlake Police Officer of the Year in 2003. 

Chief Bielozer presented him a plaque and a display case containing the various badges Ptl. Jereb wore during his tenure as an officer.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:11 AM, 01.18.2022

Westlake Porter Public Library's late January calendar of events

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

Tuesday, Jan. 18 and 25 and Thursdays, Jan. 20 and 27 (10-10:30 a.m.), Wednesdays, Jan. 19 and 26 (7-7:30 p.m.) and Saturdays, January 22 and 29 (10-10:30 a.m.) Family Storytime (Virtual) – Join us on Zoom for rhymes, songs and play! For families with children ages 2-6. Siblings are welcome. Please register. Zoom instructions will be sent by email.

Wednesdays, Jan. 19 and 26 (1-1:30 p.m.) Preschool Storytime (Virtual) – Join us on Facebook or YouTube for rhymes, songs and play!

Wednesday, Jan. 19 (2-3 p.m.) Wednesday Book Discussion (Virtual) – This month’s title is "The Good Neighbors" by Sarah Langan. Please register for Zoom information.

Friday, Jan. 21 (11-11:30 a.m.) Adapted Storytime (Virtual) – Join us on Zoom for this storytime designed for children who may not be successful in a typical storytime. Content is geared toward ages 3-7 years. Registration begins one week before each session. Zoom instructions will be emailed.

Tuesday, Jan. 25 (6-8:30 p.m.) Heartsaver CPR – Get certified for adult, child, and infant CPR and AED. Email required for certification. Participants under the age of 14 must have a parent or legal guardian with them in class. Instruction provided by certified instructors/paramedics from UH St. John Medical Center. If any questions, contact the instructors at Please register.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:11 AM, 01.18.2022

Protect Lake Erie this winter!

Learn more about proper salting at

Just beyond our backyards lies one of the world's greatest resources, Lake Erie! With such an abundance of fresh water in Northeast Ohio we sometimes take our rivers and Great Lake for granted. But don’t forget, everything we do on the land affects our waterways. This winter here are some tips to protect your local streams and our Great Lake!

  1. Don’t dump leaves and yard debris near the lake, a stream, natural area, or storm drain.
  2. Leaves and yard debris should be composted or mulched into smaller pieces to decompose over the winter. This adds organic material to your lawn and gardens.
  3. If you use salt on your driveway/sidewalks, salt sensibly! One coffee cup of salt is enough for 10 sidewalk squares.
  4. Purchase deicer products that are lower in ammonia. Check the ingredients!

Take the Sensible Salting pledge to learn more here: Remember: Only rain down the drain!

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:14 AM, 01.18.2022

Tri-C Westshore names Learning for Life Series for Dr. Robert Searson upon his retirement

Dr. Robert Searson says a few words after the announcement that Tri-C Westshore named the lecture series he created after him.

Faculty and friends of longtime Dean of Learning & Engagement Dr. Robert Searson gathered at the Tri-C Westshore Campus to celebrate his retirement on Wednesday, Jan. 12.

Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough recorded a virtual proclamation presentation expressing sincere appreciation for his dedication and commitment to the community.

Dr. Searson has worked at the Westshore Campus since it opened in 2011 and initiated the Learning for Life Lecture Series, offering academically enriching programming for not only staff, faculty and students but also the broader community.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:07 AM, 01.18.2022

Clague Playhouse stages 'Foolish Fishgirls and The Pearl'

What if the Little Mermaid didn’t get her happy ending? Coral, Oceana and Marina, three aging ex-mermaids who are struggling with their mortgages, bills, the weather and above all – their men. Into this mundane world swims Pearl, a young, beautiful and innocent mermaid. Will she believe the elder mermaids and go back to the ocean or will she make her grab for happiness with Nathan, a young and handsome Coast Guardsman?

Featured in our cast are Donna Case as Marina, Jenny Erbs as Oceana, Caitlin Hathaway-Morgan as Pearl, Margaret Hnat as Sheila, Cat Kenney as Coral, Zack Mitchell as Nathan and Craig Stadden as Floyd, directed by Douglas A. Farren. 

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:07 AM, 01.18.2022

The good ol' Bay center

I loved riding my bike through the Bay center in the '60s and '70s, especially visiting Nickles 5 and dime and getting a bag of penny candy. I enjoyed the bowling alley and Arthur's Shoe Tree and the Bay Pet Corral. While attending Bay Middle School, in the early '70s, I used to skip class and go to Bay Bakery and buy a sugar doughnut. Yummy.

– Colleen Neary, Bay Village resident from 1958 to 1978

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 10:12 AM, 01.18.2022

We need your help!

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

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

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

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

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

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