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                  Dr. Barnes' Statement On Racial Injustice

                  We are brokenhearted and saddened over the senseless death of George Floyd. Mr. Floyd’s death, and many like his before, is a painful reminder of the systemic racism that still persists across so many of our nation's institutions and society as a whole. We stand in solidarity with the fight against racial injustice.

                  However, we do not condone violence. We are committed to promoting a culture of respect, tolerance, and inclusion for all people. Our District is composed of students of all colors and creeds who come from more than 25 countries. Each of them deserves a future free of societal injustices that may impede them from reaching their greatest potential.

                  We all must be united in ensuring that justice, dignity, and respect for all are pillars of our value system. This unity is absolutely necessary. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Each of us must challenge ourselves to be part of the solution. To stand by idle is to perpetuate the problem.

                  As a public school system, it is our obligation to provide equity in education to every single student. We are blessed to have a Board, administration and staff that are focused on educating the whole child, with an emphasis on empathy and compassion. However, we can do better. We promise to examine our own practices that may have implicit biases embedded within them.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 10:36 PM, 06.03.2020

                  Latest News Releases

                  Lakewood City Council Elects New Leadership
                  - City Hall, January 7, 2020 Read More
                  State Names Roosevelt Elementary High Progress School of Honor
                  - Board of Education, January 7, 2019 Read More
                  DeWine Nominates Cabinet Heads for DAS, DSA, OOD, DRC, Taxation, Appoints Numerous Senior Staff members
                  - Government, January 3, 2019 Read More
                  District to Renovate Taft for Curricular Expansion, Central Office Home
                  - Board of Education, December 18, 2018 Read More
                  Lakewood’s Roosevelt Elementary Named High Progress School of Honor
                  - Board of Education, November 16, 2017 Read More

                  View more news releases

                  Lakewood Expands Outdoor Dining Facilities

                  On May 7, Governor DeWine announced that restaurants may resume outdoor dining service on May 15, 2020 and indoor dining service on May 21, 2020. The City of Lakewood is taking active steps to support the hospitality industry in Lakewood while protecting the residential community and public health and safety for all. The City will continue to follow all recommended protocols and guidance and comply with all orders and restrictions from public health leaders at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.

                  Mayor Meghan George said, “My administration is working together with City Council, the Planning Commission, and the restaurant operators, to move swiftly and enable businesses to emerge from this economic crisis. These modifications are a step in the right direction. We will continue to review other avenues to support our business community throughout this pandemic.”

                  The expansion of outdoor dining facilities into parking lots and the public right-of-way will enable restaurants to provide dining services in a safe and responsible manner for the community.



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                  Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 10:36 PM, 06.03.2020

                  Lakewood Responds To Outdoor Dining Announcement

                  The announcement that Lakewood will allow expanded outdoor dining is receiving mixed responses from Lakewood citizens. It's good news for restaurants who can make up for having less customers because of Covid 19 restrictions and for their patrons who will have shorter waits if there are tables outside. Those who feel the opening is coming too soon, is dangerous, and will promote an increase in Covid 19 cases, feel that this expansion will make a bad situation worse. Then there are those holding their breath (literally), being careful, and waiting to see what happens.

                  My own first reaction (posted on the LO Deck on May 25) might sound a little hysterical: 

                  "I’m sure they (City Council) don’t want Lakewood to get the reputation of being party city where people come from other towns to congregate and spread disease, then go home to their quiet safe communities. They don’t want a hot spot in Lakewood with their name on it."

                  The fact is Governor DeWine declared restaurants open, and our City Council has to deal with it, as do we. 

                  Another poster wrote: "As I drove down Lakewood streets yesterday they were filled with happy joyous people and one in a hundred wore a mask if that. Patios, bars, restaurants with packed tables." 

                  No matter how sensible the rules might be, without enforcement they are worthless.

                  Facts dispel fear, we hope. It seems that everyone agrees that council must have a solid plan for enforcement. And not "that's for the police or building inspectors"--a plan for this situation. These are extraordinary times, in which people's lives are at stake, ordinary enforcement plans can't be relied upon.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 10:36 PM, 06.03.2020

                  One important role in my job as mayor is to be the chief advocate for our community as a whole. In some cases, I approach businesses who might move to Lakewood from another county or state. Sometimes I talk to the media about the good stories we have to share of strong people in our community. I am regularly bringing our interests to our elected representatives at the county, state, and federal levels to ensure that Lakewood’s voice is heard and Lakewood’s people are getting what they need from every level of government. Recently, I have been calling on our congressional delegation to fight for you and me in Washington.

                  We are entering the third month of the coronavirus pandemic. We have seen Congress pass four stimulus bills totaling over $2.4 trillion. However, with the exception of a few dollars here and there to reimburse us for disposable masks and latex gloves, city halls across the United States have been left out. We need assistance from the federal government. This is not unique to Lakewood, all municipalities are facing serious financial implications due to COVID-19.

                  I’ve sent multiple letters to Congresswoman Kaptur, Senator Brown, and Senator Portman. I thanked them for all they have done on our behalf and implored them to do more. We need Congresswoman Kaptur, Senator Brown, and Senator Portman to prevail upon their colleagues and pass a bill that provides money to local governments. The City of Lakewood’s revenues are down but our responsibilities remain the same: to continue to provide the services that our community expects and deserves.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

                  The View From Ward 2

                  Outdoor Dining Resolution Passed

                  At a Special Council Meeting held on May 21st, City Council unanimously passed Resolution No. 2020-31, authorizing the Planning Commission to grant temporary conditional use permits for outdoor/seasonal dining facilities during this state of emergency to qualifying applicants.
                  The intent of the resolution is to allow bars and restaurants to expand their outdoor dining areas to allow for more room for social distancing. The thought is that adding more space will allow the restaurant to serve a similar amount of people they typically serve, while providing the required 6 feet distance between seating areas.
                  To understand the impact of the resolution it is important to understand the normal process for bars and restaurants to obtain conditional use permits for outdoor dining. Typically, for a restaurant to obtain a conditional use permit for outdoor dining they must apply and get approval from the Planning Commission. Additionally, the Architectural Board of Review must approve all design plans. The Planning Commission uses Lakewood Codified Ordinances 1161.03 SUPPLEMENTAL REGULATIONS FOR SPECIFIC USES and 1129.13 1129.13 SUPPLEMENTAL REGULATIONS FOR OUTDOOR/SEASONAL DINING FACILITY when determining if an applicant should receive a permit. The Planning Commission is also free to add any conditions that it deems appropriate. All applications are heard at a public meeting where residents can voice their concerns.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

                  Lakewood Observer's Victory Garden 4: Pruning, Feeding, and Planning

                  As the calendar flips to June, most of us have planted our gardens and are now tending to them diligently. Early crops are being harvested while summer crops are setting root and reaching for the sun. Now is the time when a little extra effort can make the difference between failure and filling your pantry and freezer for winter. The month of June should be dedicated to pruning, feeding, and planning. 

                  Pruning or pinching your plants encourages branching, builds stronger stems, reduces disease, and increases your harvest. Two plants that are fun to pinch to promote branching are peppers and rosemary. Pinch the top set of leaves once your pepper plant has 6 or 8 leaves. You should also pinch the first set of flowers on your peppers or at least harvest the first peppers a little early to promote much larger crops later in the season. Tomatoes should be pruned to promote air circulation and allow sunlight to the fruit. Greater air circulation in the garden helps fight blights and mildews. If you planted row crops such as radishes or carrots, your pruning now is also called thinning. Make sure you provide adequate space for your crops to reach maturity.

                              Feed. Feed. Feed. Making sure your garden is well fertilized is essential to bountiful harvests. Regular feedings of an all-purpose fertilizer should be applied as recommended as well as any supplemental feeds. For the all-purpose consider Plant Tone or Happy Frog All Purpose, these organic granular fertilizers should be applied monthly for most vegetables. Additionally, for plants that bear fruit, consider a calcium supplement. Bone meal and lime are good choices for tomato gardeners looking to avoid blossom end rot. Do not spend all summer tending to your plants for little to no harvest, because you didn’t feed them. Container gardeners should consider more frequent feedings as nutrients are depleted from pots at a quicker rate than the ground.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 10:36 PM, 06.03.2020

                  PTA Awards Include Teacher Of The Year, Mrs. Rudy

                  The Lakewood Council of PTAs handed out its annual awards in a virtual presentation that included the award for the District Educator of the Year and scholarships to four seniors.

                  Teacher of the Year Award was given to Garfield Middle School art teacher Leah Roudebush. Mrs. Rudy, as she is known, began the Garfield Holiday Open House to provide holiday decor, toys, and clothes for families in the community. She is an inspiration and mentor to many and strives to help students meet their full potential.

                  The other PTA Educator of the Year honorees for their respective school buildings were also recognized: Lisa Blasko, Harding Middle School; Megan Coe, Lincoln Elementary School; Cindy Vullo, Roosevelt Elementary School; Jennifer Frank, Horace Mann Elementary; and Tracy Somoles, Grant Elementary School.

                  The PTA Council also honored the overall success of four seniors. Earning $1,000 scholarships each this year were Emma Hirsch, Mayfeh Mahmoud, Olivia Vuyancih, and Sydney Wilhelmy.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

                  Garfield To Receive $10K Cox STEAM Grant

                  Garfield Middle Schoo has been awarded a Cox Charities Northeast Community Grant for $10,000 for its STEM and art programs. Principal Robin Beavers, who submitted the grant application, said the money will be used to purchase equipment such as 3D printers and supplies for creative artwork. "We are excited and motivated to utilize these funds for the growth and development of our students innovative ideas," Principal Beavers said.

                  Lakewood City Schools has expanded its STEM programming across the middle school and elementary levels in the last couple of years and the recently passed levy will help with further additions to the programming at all levels.

                  Cox Charities Community Grants are given each year to deserving non-profit organizations dedicated to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education programming for youth in Cox footprints across Ohio, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

                  The Lakewood Girls Soccer Team is a program on the rise. As a coach during the COVID 19 pandemic, I'm very concerned that the incoming freshmen may not get all of the information they need and someone may fall between the cracks. I want to make an appeal to parents and players to get in touch with me if you are an 8th Grader (rising Freshman) thinking about playing soccer in High School. The team usually has Captain's Practices soon after school lets out for the summer. I am talking to the Captains, the Athletic Director and reading OHSAA guidance for how best to do that and when we can start. In the mean time, the team is doing physical and training challenges each week to stay in shape and stay sharp.

                  LHS Girls Soccer finished the season at 7-7-4 in a very tough Southwest Conference last year. We are moving (along with the rest of the school to the Great Lakes Conference (GLC) this Fall. This should make the team a little more competitive in conference play, increase friendly rivalries with our closest border cities and towns including Rocky River and Fairview and cut down on travel a bit. The GLC is still very competitive with perennial powerhouses Rocky River, Bay Village and Buckeye. We look forward to this new challenge.

                  You'll also be joining the smartest team in town. The Girls Soccer Team had the highest team GPA in Fall Sports in 2019. All of our team captains were on the LHS National Honor Society last year and this year. And 2020 grad Emma Hirsch recently passed the Presidency of the LHS NHS to returning Captain Aubree Nagel. You couldn't be joining up with a better group of role models. If you have a daughter interested in trying soccer either as a player who already loves the game or as an athlete interested in trying the game for the first time, please get your information to me, Coach Ted Nagel. You can contact me at TJNagel84@gmail.com or comment on the Facebook pages for "Lakewood Girls Soccer" or "Lakewood High School Girls Soccer." We are training already! Don't miss the opportunity to keep up with the team. Official tryouts are currently scheduled for August 1st. I look forward to meeting some new, dedicated soccer players. For you younger girls, get out there and join up with the Lakewood Soccer Association or the Lakewood United Football Club. The best way to make the team in the future is to join a team now! Check them out online or at the Lakewood Recreation Department.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020


                  Dear Readers:

                  A correction must be made to one of the song titles (70 total) woven into the body of my piece from May 20, 2020 ("Mama Mia! Here We Go Again!"). The line should have read "we won't get fooled again," not "be fooled." My apologies to all, especially to The Who and their fans!

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                  Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

                  Legal Aid’s Response to COVID19: Full Services Available + A New Resource

                  The COVID-19 pandemic has not only threatened the health of our community, but it has also magnified the needs of Northeast Ohio's most vulnerable residents. As a growing number of people struggled to secure basic needs such as shelter, income, and safety, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland mobilized its resources to continue fully serving Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, and Geauga counties. Since March 14th, Legal Aid attorneys have been working with clients remotely through emails, texts, phone calls, and video calls.

                  When Governor Mark DeWine closed all nonessential businesses in response to COVID19, many low-income workers faced layoffs, furloughs, or reduced hours. Legal Aid developed new supports for those affected.

                  On April 9th, Legal Aid launched the Worker Information Line, which provides clear, direct answers to questions about work or unemployment benefits. Those with questions can call at any time and leave a message clearly stating their name, phone number, and a brief description of their question. A Legal Aid staff member will return the call between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Calls are returned within 1-2 business days. Cuyahoga County residents should call 216-861-5899; Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga, and Lorain County residents should call 440-210-4532.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

                  It Ain't Over Til It's Over

                  Although we’re not even close to being out of the woods yet vis à vis COVID-19, some of us are acting like we already are - not keeping a safe distance, and not wearing a face mask. These risky behaviors emphasize the need to remember that we’re all interdependent. 

                  Much ado has been made of the perceived ‘need’ to “Make America smart again.” What we do need to do is to start thinking again. So, let’s think about some of the myths that are being used to justify the careless behavior that has emerged since Ohio and the rest of the world started reopening. 

                              “I’m young and COVID-19 won’t affect me.” While not everyone who’s infected by COVID-19 has symptoms or gets sick, if you’re infected you can still pass it to others – including your partner, children, parents, and grandparents -  if you don’t wear a face mask and don’t maintain physical distancing. 

                              “Wearing a mask doesn’t help because the virus is so small.” Virus particles are small, but a mask or face covering filters out droplets of your breath that may carry the virus if you are infected. Because not everyone who’s infected gets sick, you could be infected and passing the virus along without knowing it. Wearing a mask protects others. Physical distancing protects you and others. 

                               “Making me wear a mask violates my rights.” Do you really want to exercise your right to get sick, die – or infect or kill someone else? Everything we do affects others. The opposite of careless is caring


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                  Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

                  Lakewood Public Library Planning For A Safe Reopening

                  Since closing to the public in March, Lakewood Public Library staff have been maintaining phone and online reference, as well as closely monitoring and planning for the library’s eventual reopening. While a date to reopen the Library buildings has not been determined, a number of safety measures have been established and the Library is fully prepared to serve the community safely.

                  On May 4th, the Library resumed drive-up window service at Main Library, and started curbside service at Madison Branch, so that patrons could begin borrowing library materials again. In order to safely circulate items, library staff have their temperature checked daily, wear masks and gloves, and maintain a rigorous cleaning schedule. The Library asks that patrons return all items in the exterior book returns, so that the items can be quarantined for 72 hours before being checked in and put back into circulation, in accordance with a study conducted by the Institute of Library and Museum Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

                  The Library is also adhering to University Hospitals’ Healthy Restart Playbook, the Cleveland Clinic’s Getting Back to Work Safely and the State’s Responsible RestartOhio guidelines.

                  When the Library reopens to the public, face coverings will be required for all patrons and staff. The Library installed cashier guards at all public service desks, reconfigured seating to allow for social distancing and also placed hand sanitizer throughout the Library. Work stations and public areas are regularly cleaned and disinfected. Public computers will not be available to patrons when the Library first reopens, and when they are made available, patrons will be limited to one hour a day.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

                  Starr Gazer


                  Aries: Embrace your sensitivity this month Ram, with Mars, your ruling planet still in Pisces, scale down those combative energies of yours & help out your fellow Lakewoodites.

                  Taurus: The Bull has been a bit stubborn about coming out of its pen, good thing most people aren’t wearing red masks, or donning superman capes, go ahead & show some love instead.

                  Gemini: The Sun & Venus are joined in the Twins backyard, spread the gratitude, & watch the ripple effect spread through your neighborhood like Mr. Rogers, double your blessings.

                  Cancer: Mercury is in the Crab’s beach house, & goes Retrograde on the 18th, it’s time to accept yourself, pincers & all, then toward the latter end of June look in the self-reflection mirror.

                  Leo: The Lion spread so much kindness in that Jungle last month, it’s time to reap the benefits, your creativity is sky high, manifest whatever pleases you Lion/Lioness, then roar.

                  Virgo: You’re still working on that compassion muscle of yours, the peace you seek comes from the peace you create, practice finding one thing you like about everything in your day.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

                  Rotary Honors Speech, Visual Arts Student Achievement

                  Winners of Rotary’s Four-Way Speech Contest and visual arts competition have been announced.

                  Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River, the contest annually showcases the incredible talents of students attending one of five high schools – Lakewood, Lutheran West, Magnificat, Rocky River, and St. Edward.

                  Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood has been a valued partner of Rotary for this event, serving as the liaison to educators at the high schools and providing the venue and judges for various phases of the competitions.

                  Typically, the speech contest finals take place during a Rotary club meeting, and both the speech and music winners are honored at an award ceremony at the Beck Center where the visual arts pieces are displayed in the Jean Bulicek Galleria. Due to Ohio’s Stay at Home restrictions, none of these events, including the annual music competition, were able to occur.

                  The student winners were announced in a virtual awards ceremony video prepared by Beck Center. It was featured on Beck Center’s Facebook page and the Rotary club’s website.

                  Speech contest first place winner was Katy Spillsbury who spoke about “Gerrymandering.” Also honored were Mohamed Manaa, second place, “Human Rights Violations Against Muslins in China;” and Katie Healy, third place, “Genetic Modification.” Honorable mention awards went to Sara Jarecke, “Body Image,” and Madelyn Tumbleson, “Rape Allegations.” All students are from Lakewood High School.

                  Speeches must be of original content and be based on “The Four-Way Test of Rotary” which asks, “Is it the truth, Is it fair to all concerned, Will it build goodwill and better friendships, and Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”

                  This is the 75th year for the club’s speech competition, and the twenty-third year that the Beck Center has collaborated with the Rotary club for this student competition.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

                  LakewoodAlive's Warren Road Beautification Project Brings Public Art Mural to Wall of Fifth Third Bank

                  The first of two new public art murals at the intersection of Warren Road and Madison Avenue went up on May 27.

                  For this mural, located behind Fifth Third Bank, local artist April Bleakney was inspired by an encounter she had with a deer while in Yosemite National Park, and came to appreciate the peacefulness and serenity this animal symbolizes.

                  LakewoodAlive thanks April and its many terrific partners, including the City of Lakewood and Cuyahoga County, for making this collaborative project possible. Install for this mural was completed by Scherba Industries. LakewoodAlive looks forward to sharing more details about phase 2 of its Warren Road Beautification Project in the coming weeks.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

                  Registration Now Open For Virtual Meltdown 5K, 1 Mile Family Fun Run & Walk

                  Registration is now open for the inaugural Virtual Meltdown 5K and Virtual 1 Mile Family Fun Run & Walk taking place July 15 to July 31.

                  Ready, set, go! Registration is now open for the inaugural Virtual Meltdown 5K and Virtual 1 Mile Family Fun Run & Walk taking place July 15 to July 31.

                  In an effort to ensure health and safety for our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, these popular centerpieces of LakewoodAlive’s Lakewood Summer Meltdown sponsored by Melt Bar and Grilled will be orchestrated as virtual races this year, offering participants the opportunity to continue this long-held Lakewood summer tradition.

                  The Virtual Meltdown 5K serves as a fundraiser for LakewoodAlive. Lace up your running shoes and complete the race at your convenience anytime between July 15 and July 31. Participants can opt to conquer the actual Meltdown 5K course, or complete the race in another fashion of your choosing, such as by running through your neighborhood or using a treadmill.

                  In addition to supporting LakewoodAlive, your participation in the Virtual Meltdown 5K comes with the following perks:

                  • A special edition Virtual Meltdown 5K commemorative t-shirt
                  • Prizes for top finishers in each age category
                  • A voucher for a “buy one, get one free” beer token offer redeemable at the Beer Garden during the 2021 Lakewood Summer Meltdown (age 21+)

                  Race participants are encouraged to share their pride by posting a race-day selfie on Facebook and Instagram using hashtag #VirtualMeltdown5K for a chance to be featured on LakewoodAlive’s social pages.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

                  Lakewood Kiwanis Club Awards $100,000 In Scholarships To 10 Students.

                  Lakewood Kiwanis Scholarship Foundation is proud to announce our 2020 recipients for this year’s graduating seniors. The following 10 graduates are being awarded $10,000 over the next 4 years in $2500 increments for their academic, citizenship and leadership abilities.

                  This scholarship fund is funded through the efforts of The Kiwanis Club of Lakewood. The Lakewood Pizza Bake-off and Annual Scarecrow Festival are just two of our major fundraisers.

                  Congratulations.. Nate A. White, Lakewood H.S., Sydney Wilhelmy, Lakewood H.S., Annie P. Gallagher, St. Joseph Academy, Olivia G. Vuyanich, Lakewood H.S., Audrey Stahl, Lakewood H.S., Emma P. Hisch, Lakewood H.S., Mollie P. Gallagher, St. Joseph Academy, Sean P. Mahoney Lakewood H.S., Cameron Levis, Lakewood H.S.,  and Emily McIntire, Lakewood H.S.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 10:38 PM, 06.03.2020

                  Cuyahoga County Coronavirus Response Update

                  As we are nearing two months of isolation from the coronavirus, it seemed to be a good time to provide an update on County efforts to fight the virus. My highest priority is to help the County become more effective in saving lives, protecting health, and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the county. My second priority is helping businesses and social/recreational activities safely reopen. My third priority is dealing with the impacts of the crisis on county finances.

                  County Focuses on High Risk Populations

                  The county is focusing on preventing and containing the spread of coronavirus in high risk congregate settings, including primarily nursing homes, senior centers, developmental disability centers, group homes, jails and detention centers, and the homeless population. As the economy starts to reopen we will also have to focus on large manufacturing facilities.

                  We are working in each of these settings to facilitate greater social distancing and to provide protective equipment and sanitizer. Through collaboration among the judges, County Prosecutor, County Defender, and County Sheriff, we have been able to reduce the population in the County jail by almost half, from about 1900 to about 1000, particularly by releasing people to remain at home while awaiting trial. This has allowed us to properly isolate inmates and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed.

                  We are doing testing, contact tracing, and isolation with all of these congregate settings as cases of COVID-19 arise. The County recently found an additional source of testing materials and is purchasing $5 million worth of testing equipment which will allow us to do more testing with these high risk populations. This should particularly help with the homeless population, where we are currently doing primarily medical screening, rather than actual testing, which is a weakness in our current program.

                  The average number of new cases and new fatalities per day appears to have leveled off in Cuyahoga County at this time; however, we are not yet in a clear downtrend, and as the economy starts to reopen, the risk of a return to higher coronavirus activity remains high.

                  County Starts to Re-open for Business

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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

                  Sweet Designs Chocolatier In Lakewood Offers Window Shopping Option

                  “We are excited to launch Sweet Designs Window Shopping with the installation of our full menu in our storefront windows, says Ines Rehner, founder and owner.“ In addition to our online shipping and curbside pickup, we can now serve customers at a safe distance, right from our front door. You simply make your selections outside, and we will prepare them and bring them right to you.”

                  “While we’re aware of Ohio’s small business reopening dates per Governor DeWine, we have decided to take a more conservative approach,” adds Rehner.

                  In addition to this new service, Rehner says Sweet Designs will treat customers with free (individually packaged) samples for all walk-up and curbside pick-up orders and will strive to give customers the Sweet Designs experience they have come to know and love.

                  “For over 25 years, we have been delighted to serve our customers and meet all of their chocolate needs, Rehner adds. “In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, our mission has not changed.”

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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

                  Lakewood Observer's Victory Garden 3: Pests In Your Garden

                  A woman approached the checkout at the garden center last week and asked if there was anything we offered that would successfully repel squirrels from her vegetable garden. Another lady, six feet away at the closest, chimed in, “You know how we got rid of them at our church?”

                  “No Ma’am, how?” I inquired wondering where this was going.

                  “We made them members, now they only show up on Christmas and Easter,” she answered as the room broke into laughter.

                  If you have fought critters in your vegetable garden, you understand how maddening it can be getting to harvest. The suburban garden is under relentless attack by the animals and insects around it as well as the families that grow them. Properly preparing for such an invasion can save hours of frustration and countless profanities.  

                  Squirrels are consistently the pest we seem to be helping customers fight off at the shop. Although we have tried numerous approaches over the years, the best defense against squirrels is always an enclosure. Some sort of frame with a chicken wire wrap is the best defense. In our own experience a combination of repellants paired with aromatic herbs around the edge of the garden has been the most effective approach. One approach we are excited to test this year is hanging Christmas ornaments on tomato plants that have yet to fruit. The idea is to use a red ornament in the shape of a tomato, the squirrel comes to claim its prize and finds out this tomato is not appetizing and avoids your plants for the duration of the season.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

                  Mama Mia! Here We Go Again! Reeling In Another Election Year

                  With COVID-19 dominating the news cycle, we should not forget that before it all began the 2020 presidential election was THE ongoing story. It went from the Democratic debates to now wondering how we will be able to vote. Given the gravity of what has recently transpired, here is a light-hearted reminder of the upcoming contest brought to you via song titles (and a few lyrics) from the 1970's! See how many are woven into the narrative.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

                  The View From Ward 2

                  Since being elected as your Ward 2 City Councilmember, I have written a weekly newsletter to keep you informed. The View from Ward 2 is delivered to subscribers’ inboxes every Monday morning. For those of you who do not want to clutter your inbox, I am now providing a version for the Lakewood Observer. Below is a combination of Issue #17 and Issue #18. They cover the weeks of April 27th and May 4th.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

                  Harding Students' Work Honored

                  Several sixth graders from Kevin Spooner's class at Harding Middle School earned honors recently for their outstanding work.

                  Six students earned recognition for their position papers as part of the Jr. Model UN Spring Conference, which was held virtually. Conference officials said all the students' work was "really high quality...and they were full of new ideas." The following students and their work were honored with best position paper in their category:

                  United Nations Environment Program:
                  The Philippines: Alessio Matera & Ursula Rosen

                  Human Rights Council:
                  France: Maya Trempe & Rhea Tabor

                  World Health Organization:
                  Spain: Zachary Carnovale & Rian Fetting

                  Congratulations to these students and their advisers, Kevin Spooner and Donna Tomlin.

                  Students Ella Clasen and Audrey McNulty both had their poetry selected to be published by Creative Communications in a hard-bound anthology of students' poetry from across the nation. Creative Communications has helped to inspire and encourage student writers with their national writing contests for over 20 years.

                  The selected poems:

                  Where I'm From
                  By Ella Clasen
                  I am from crumbled sketchbooks and broken crayons
                  I am from the crooked treehouse
                  That smelled of moss and sawdust
                  From skits we conducted ourselves
                  I am from the spicy smell of latkes and fresh apple pie
                  From Ms. O. saying "Be more specific"
                  And Mrs. B. starting a quiet game,
                  Just to complain about the silence
                  I am from true friends
                  From Amaiya being her over-enthusiastic self
                  And Reese keeping her under control
                  (At least, attempting to)
                  From Mateo driving everyone insane
                  And Amelia being...Amelia
                  I am from soccer games in the yard
                  And daydreaming in window sills
                  From playing dreidel and betting gelt
                  And from afternoons of poker
                  (No chips, we used pineapple scented
                  markers and strawberry taffy)
                  I am from those memories

                  New School
                  By Audrey McNulty
                  Going to a different school
                  Will not make you blue
                  It could make you smarter
                  And make you work harder
                  Although it might be your first day
                  You'll still find a way
                  You will get in sticky situations
                  And learn new locker combinations
                  You will play sports
                  On all new courts
                  Going to a new school is a choice that is bold
                  But you never know what your future will hold

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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

                  Students Earn Top Awards In Beck/Rotary Contest

                  Audrey Warren's winning art piece.

                  Lakewood High students were the top award-winners in the 75th annual Rotary Club of Lakewood & Rocky River Speech, Music, and Visual Arts Contests sponsored by Beck Center for the Arts. Lakewood students Audrey Warren (far left) was awarded first place in the Visual Arts category and Katie Spilsbury earned the top spot in the Speech contest, in which LHS students captured the top five places.

                  Contest participants are students from the five Lakewood and Rocky River high schools including Lakewood High School, Lutheran High School West, Magnificat High School, Rocky River High School, and St. Edward High School. In Visual Arts, awards are given for first through third place and then Honorable Mentions are awarded at the judges' discretion for the music and visual arts categories. The speech contestants earned first through fifth places. The place winners were all awarded cash prizes of varying amounts.

                  The music portion of the contest was unfortunately canceled due to the stay-at-home order. The Speech contest was based on judging from the preliminary round, which took place before the order.

                  In addition to Audrey and Katie's top awards, the following students also earned recognition:

                  Mohammed Manaa, 2nd place, Speech
                  Kate Healy, 3rd place, Speech
                  Jennifer Ngo, 3rd place, Visual Arts
                  Sara Jarecke, 4th place, Speech
                  Madelyn Tumbleson, 5th place, Speech
                  Sara Corbin, Honorable Mention, Visual Arts

                  Congratulations to all the talented students and their teachers!

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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

                  Far West Center Mental Health Is Here To Help Lakewood With Changes

                  The Covid-19 pandemic has changed daily life for everyone living in Lakewood and all over the world. Changes came so quickly and most times without warning. Concerns for our safety, health and the health of our loved ones has added emotional pressures. Stress, worry, anxiety, and depression can overwhelm any of us at any time. It is very important to keep in mind that there is help and mental health services available for residents of Lakewood at Far West Center.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

                  One Million Acts Of Kindness Duo Stops By To Thank Hospice Staff

                  Lakewood resident Bob Votruba and his dog Bogart are on a mission to spread joy throughout the area through their organization, One Million Acts of Kindness. Recently, they visited David Simpson Hospice House and Hospice of the Western Reserve Headquarters to thank staff for providing compassionate care during the COVID-19 crisis in our community.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

                  COVID-19 From A Child's Viewpoint

                  These times have certainly been scary, everything in most of everyone’s lives has been affected. People who get groceries are at risk, people who go to the hospital for a personal need are at risk, everything we do is a risk. Things that you may have taken for granted are now dangerous.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

                  Lakewood Residents Earn Medical Degrees

                  Two Lakewood residents were among the students who received doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) degrees from Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at the college’s April 18 degree conferral.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

                  Feverish: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 104

                  Glenn Schwartz Four - Glenn Schwartz Four - not on label - 8 songs - LP

                  Alright, so the story with this one is that it's the late Glenn Schwartz and several of his students and kind of functions as a showcase of the styles they played. There's a lot of undeniably good guitar playing on this thing– and Glenn taught these guys well, because a lot of the time you can't even tell when it's Glenn and when it's not. Generally, all the songs are in the blues rock realm, and with the exception of "I'm So Glad," are all instrumentals. Some ("Water Street," "Fear N Doom") are in a more psychedelic style, some are more traditional ("Hound Dog"). Personally, I prefer the former. I don't really spend a lot of time listening to this kind of thing, but those who do (and, obviously, Glenn Schwartz fans in particular) will like this. And again, unquestionably good guitar all over the place here. 3/5

                  (try a local record store?)

                  Xanny Stars - What Next? - self-released - 8 songs - cassette, digital

                  This is the debut release by Xanny Stars, who play a kind of hooky pop-punk/indie rock mix– almost in the same area as The Missed (with whom they share a member, Mickey), but slightly more towards the indie rock side than that band. It's decent stuff; they pull off both sides of their style pretty well– the power pop of "Make Up Your Mind" or the alternative stylings of "Spinning." There are good, catchy songs on here for sure. My issue is with the mix: I'm not quite sure what it is about it, but it just doesn't pop at all. Which is kinda weird, since Paul Maccarone recorded this and he definitely knows how to make things sound better than this, so maybe it was the choice of the band to have it sound this way? Maybe it was just laziness? Not sure, but since (as I understand it) this is essentially a demo anyway, there's room for improvement. The vocals at times are murmury to the point of being unintelligible, but that one I'm pretty sure is a stylistic choice– Xanny Stars would not be the first or the last to do this. Overall, a decent tape, good songs, worth checking out an up-and-coming local group and all that. 3.5/5


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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

                  A Conversation With Scott MacGregor And Gary Dumm

                  (The following is a discussion with Lakewood author, Scott MacGregor and Cleveland artist, Gary Dumm, the creators of a new graphic novel, “Fire On The Water." A Cleveland story, the graphic novel is about the sacrifices and lives lost building Cleveland's water delivery infrastructure-specifically the deadly creation of man-made water tunnels underneath Lake Erie. Scott and Gary discuss what the book is about and the creative processes that went into making it. "Fire On The Water" is available everywhere. Please consider buying a copy from your nearest independent bookseller. They need the business!!) 

                  Scott: The experience of writing this story began with the recollection of childhood memories. Cleveland is an Eastside/Westside kind of town and I grew up on the West side. We’d pile into the car on special occasions and drive to the Eastside to visit my grandmother or some other relation. I was always on the lookout on the way over to see certain landmarks that I loved seeing; like the Terminal Tower and the huge, animated Dairymen's Milk Bottle sign that sat on the Westinghouse curve. Going to and coming back from the East Side, I’d always looked out in the Lake and I saw this little structure out there. It was some little round thing that looked like a boat but was really a “Lake Crib” where all of our water came from. After I’d learned that my great grandfather had once worked on it, I’d felt very proud. 

                  Gary: The story on Fire On the Water inspired me to take on this really huge project. I’d worked on "American Splendor" with Harvey Pekar for a number of years, but this was inspiring to me…the idea of simple ordinary men, unsung heroes, who were trying to do a job just to feed their families. 

                  Scott: Cleveland is one of those Great American cities that grew up during the second industrial revolution personalized by self-made tycoons. The smoke belching industries that they created had polluted the air and water around Cleveland with impunity. By the late 1880s the mayor of Cleveland had declared the Cuyahoga River to be an “open sewer” and it was contaminated with all sorts of matter that used to clump together in the middle of the River and catch fire. Not just once, either. The river has actually caught fire over a dozen times since the 1860s.  


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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

                  LakewoodAlive To Host “Knowing Your Home: Universal Design?Virtual Workshop On June 11

                  LakewoodAlive will host its "Knowing Your Home: Universal Design" virtual workshop on June 11.

                  There’s a growing movement within our society toward realizing better universal design in our homes, and now is your chance to learn more about this quality of life concept.

                  LakewoodAlive will host Knowing Your Home: Universal Design on Thursday, June 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. as a virtual workshop. The seventh workshop of 2020 for this popular home maintenance educational series will cover how to incorporate the seven principles of universal design into your home.

                  Led by our friends at Maximum Accessible Housing of Ohio, this unique workshop will offer clear examples of features you can add and improvements you can make to increase the accessibility and safety of your home so that people of all ages can enjoy it.

                  Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Because of universal design, people in all stages of life can all enjoy the same home, and that home will be there for all its inhabitants even when their needs change.

                  To reserve your free spot for our “Knowing Your Home: Universal Design” virtual workshop, visit LakewoodAlive.org/UniversalDesign or call 216-521-0655. 


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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

                  Since taking office on January 1, 2020, my administration has been focused on redeveloping the former Lakewood Hospital site into an asset for our community. The prior administration entered into a Development and Use Agreement (“DUA”) with Carnegie Management and Development Corporation (“Carnegie”) to develop this site. My administration has faithfully fulfilled its obligations under the DUA, including completing the demolition and site preparation work contemplated by the DUA.

                  The work was completed, and, on February 7th, the City delivered the final certification letter to Carnegie verifying completion of the City’s work at the Lakewood Hospital site. Additionally, the City obtained a No Further Action (NFA) letter from a certified environmental professional confirming abatement at the Lakewood Hospital site in accordance with standards under Ohio’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP). 

                  On March 10, 2020, my administration submitted detailed deal points to Carnegie to continue negotiations. Instead, Carnegie has taken the position, articulated in letters to the City on April 3rd and April 10th, that they are terminating the DUA.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  State Senator Nickie J. Antonio Holds Virtual Town Hall

                  COLUMBUS- Last week, state Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) hosted a virtual town hall to provide Covid-19 updates to her constituents. She was joined by Cuyahoga County Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan and state Representatives, including Representative Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood).

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                  Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 8:02 PM, 05.19.2020

                  LHS Pair's Artwork Chosen for Governor's Exhibit

                  Congratulations to Lakewood High senior Natalie Costello and junior Nola Williams-Riseng, who each had their artwork selected to be part of the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition. The works are two of 275 from students across the state chosen for the exhibit, which due to the coronavirus pandemic will be a virtual exhibit this year.

                  Regional judges received more than 1,000 entries from high school students across Northeast Ohio and from those, 126 (including 21 from LHS) were selected to join winners from the other Ohio regions to be judged at the state level to determine which pieces of art would be part of the exhibit. 

                  The Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition, now in its 50th year, is open to all of Ohio's high schools, both public and private. Its purpose is to provide all budding young artists of the state with opportunities to advance their talent, whether that be through scholarships or simply experiencing the process of entering their work in a competition. 

                  Congratulations again to Natalie and Nola as well as their teachers, Dayna Hansen and Arline Olear.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  Good Work Lakewood High Academic Challenge Team

                  Congratulations to the LHS Academic Challenge team of seniors Evan Bell, Aidan Bohac, and Tristan Rumsey for finishing as runners up in the Nordson Academic Challenge competition!

                  The Rangers finished second to Brunswick High School. Lakewood's team earlier in the season had won its episode versus Valley Forge and Garfield Heights high schools, earning the season's top score at the time. Way to go, Rangers!

                  The team is advised by LHS teachers Peter Petto and Bob Sedlak.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  The View From Ward 2

                  Jason Shachner, Ward 2 City Councilmember

                  Since being elected as your Ward 2 City Councilmember, I have written a weekly newsletter to keep you informed. The View from Ward 2 is delivered to subsribers' inboxes every Monday and as of April 20th we have sent out 16 issues! For those of you who do not want to clutter your inbox, I am now providing a version for the Lakewood Observer. Below is a combination of Issue #15 and Issue #16.

                  If you are interested in subscribing to the newsletter please visit https://mailchi.mp/shachnerforlakewood/newsletter. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to e-mail me at Jason.Shachner@lakewoodoh.net or call me at (216) 714-2150.

                  City Council Meeting

                  At the beginning of the City Council meeting held on April 20th, Peter Rancatore and Claudia Dillinger were officially sworn into office as the Director of Finance and the Director of Human Resources, respectively. At a previous Committee of the Whole meeting we had an opportunity to have thorough conversations with them both. Ms. Dillinger shared her past experiences, including her part in creating the Human Resource Department for the City of Elyria. Ms. Dillinger also told us of her support for paid parental leave policies and explained her strategies for recruiting a diverse workforce. Mr. Rancatore told us that he was raised in Fairview Park and attended St. Eds. He shared with us his extensive experience and said that he was impressed with our award-winning Finance Department’s history of excellence. They both bring a wealth of experience to their positions and I look forward to working with them.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  COVID-19 And The Law

                  COVID AND THE COURTS

                  We all know that so much has changed over the last month. The impact of the Covid-19 has affected every part of our lives. This change has also affected the way our area courts are operating. As with every other business, most of the courts are closed; however there are some limited exceptions, as the courts are mandated to maintain a docket for certain cases. In Cuyahoga County and Lakewood, updated information can be found on their websites. Each court has issued its own directives, and each continues to maintain a strong online presence. An outline of some of the important directives are as follows:

                  Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court:


                  By Order dated March 16, 2020, the Common Pleas Court, through its Presiding Judge Brendan Sheehan, adopted the March 9, 2020 Executive Order from Governor DeWine “Declaring a State of Emergency”. Based on the governor’s order, the Court created a set of rules by which the court would be operating.  Judge Sheehan outlined  that the court would be “Open with Restrictions,” meaning that the Court  would implement a reduced docket and only operate with essential personnel. For the time being, the focus would be on cases involving incarcerated individuals and emergency matters before the Court. 


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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  Go Buddha Meals Come Home To Lakewood

                  Kitchen staff for Go Buddha Meals (photo courtesy of Emily Christescu)

                  If you had to launch a new business from Lakewood just ahead of a pandemic and general shutdown, you could do much worse than plant-based meal delivery.

                  Go Buddha Meals has fed people—and employed people—even as unemployment has soared. Husband and wife team Joshua Ingraham and Emily Christescu say they’re encouraged by their experience so far, but it’s certainly not what they anticipated or planned for. Ingraham says that supply chains have been disrupted, and Christescu adds that promoting a new food business without meeting people in person or offering samples poses obvious challenges. “It’s still nerve-wracking,” she says.

                  People finding Go Buddha, and placing orders anyway, may have to do with the importance of accessibility to the original concept.

                  Ingraham says his work as a chef and dietary manager often revealed gaps, particularly while working with the Cleveland Clinic. Patients asking for healthy diet suggestions, after a health crisis, demonstrated one gap; the limited options in a “food desert” near the Clinic main campus was another.

                  Concern to bridge gaps and make healthy meals more accessible defined Go Buddha’s model in multiple ways. The startup prepares meals, and delivers them; the minimum order is a single bowl, at $10, no membership or subscription required.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  Lakewood Victory Garden #2

                  So, you have found a spot for the installation of your victory garden and now it’s time to decide what it will look like. There are countless options when choosing your garden style, three of the most common in Lakewood are in-ground gardens, raised garden beds, and container gardens. Whichever style you choose, pick a spot with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. The important part is choosing a style that fits your life, gardening expertise, and your expectations.

                  An in-ground garden is probably the easiest and most cost-effective way to get started. To begin, mark the perimeter of the space you plan to cultivate. Remove any unwanted grass, plants, or weeds and turn the soil once. After you have turned the soil, gauge the health of the actual soil. Is your soil heavy in clay? Is it saturated with water? Is it rich in organic material and loaded with worms? If you think you have an issue with your soil, consult a knowledgeable gardener or professional to remedy the issue. The next step is to amend the soil. A few bags of manure or peat should be spread throughout the bed and then turn the soil one more time, mixing the amendment in as you go. After grading the soil, the last step before planting would be forming raised rows of soil to plant in. Be sure when creating the rows to space them appropriately for the mature size of the crops you want to grow. Some of the negative aspects of in-ground beds are that they are labor intensive to install, and they do not always drain well.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  One Lakewood Progress: Breaking Down The New Stay Safe Ohio Order From The Ohio Department Of Health

                  Most circumstances by which public policy is developed are not glamorous or ideal. And this is certainly a challenging time in America. Regardless of how we feel about the development of a given policy, they are essential: Much of public policy is written to solve problems and provide a guide to the steps and actions needed to secure a desired outcome. 

                  In Ohio’s case, that outcome is to save the lives: Something that I am asking folks to remember as they slowly start to venture out to stores and work.

                  In fact, most public policy takes on a form not that much unlike Ohio’s new Stay Safe Ohio policy, which expires on May 29th and supersedes the order that expired on April 30th. The 14 page document lacks flash, but more than makes up for that in the delicate balance it endeavors to strike between protecting the lives of Ohioans, trying to stabilize a fragile economy, and incorporating the anguished cries of Ohioans who have been separated from loved ones and the clash of public opinion about personal freedom and what that means in light of, or in spite of, Coronavirus. 

                  So what does the new Stay Safe Ohio order say? The new order amends the original policy to extend some stay-home protocols (namely social distancing and limiting gatherings to ten people or less) while lifting restrictions on consumer interactions with businesses. 

                  What’s Open?

                  Effective May 1, healthcare facilities started conducting non-essential medical procedures. Dentists and Veterinarians reopened their practices. People started to seek out and get these procedures scheduled and performed. Retail businesses who can offer curbside pick up, appointment only interaction, and are able to limit customers to 10 people or less at at time were also allowed to reopen on this date.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  LakewoodAlive to Host “Knowing Your Home: How to Contract a Repair?Virtual Workshop on May 14

                  We’re known as the “City of Beautiful Homes,” yet as many residents have discovered, maintaining our renowned-yet-aging housing stock requires more than some basic elbow grease on the part of homeowners.

                  LakewoodAlive will host Knowing Your Home: How to Contract a Repair on Thursday, May 14, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. as a virtual workshop. The fifth workshop of 2020 for this popular home maintenance educational series will focus on the process of working with a home repair/improvement contractor.

                  Led by Allison Urbanek, LakewoodAlive’s Housing & Internal Operations Director, this free workshop will cover the basics of understanding your repair, including navigating the process of obtaining estimates, scheduling the job and ensuring the project is completed properly in a timely manner. 

                  The goal of this presentation is to help remove the guesswork from the daunting task of home repair and improvement projects. When your project is done correctly the first time, you save precious time, money and sanity.

                  To reserve your free spot for our “Knowing Your Home: How to Contract a Repair” virtual workshop, visit tiny.cc/ContractARepair or call 216-521-0655. 


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                  Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  Lakewood Pride Fund Helps Families Complete Essential Home Repairs

                  We take tremendous pride in the uniqueness of our neighborhoods and the onus is on us, as a community, to preserve our historic housing stock to improve quality of life for current and future Lakewood families.

                  The Lakewood Pride Fund is an innovative program of LakewoodAlive that leverages a collection of funds to secure home repair loans for Lakewood families who otherwise might not have access to conventional bank financing, helping families complete health and code compliance repairs.  It is designed to often be a last-resort option for folks who have nowhere else to turn.

                  The Lakewood Pride Fund will improve access to bank financing for those who are unable to qualify for conventional bank loans through financial and home repair education.  LakewoodAlive launched this program with support from First Federal Lakewood and the City of Lakewood.

                  LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program works tirelessly to connect residents to available resources to keep their homes in good repair, and this program is now another tool in our organization’s tool box.  This program will not only help to maintain our homes, but it will also improve the client’s credit score with each on-time payment.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  Healthmarkets Insurance Agency - Carl Lishing Receives 2020 Best Of Cleveland Award

                  Cleveland Award Program Honors the Achievement

                  Healthmarkets Insurance - Carl Lishing has been selected for the 2020 Best of Cleveland Award in the Insurance category by the Cleveland Award Program.

                  Each year, the Cleveland Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Cleveland area a great place to live, work and play.

                  Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2020 Cleveland Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Cleveland Award Program and data provided by third parties.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  Thank You, Lakewood Voters

                  Once again the Lakewood community showed that it values its public school district and the education it provides for our city’s children!
                  In the April 28 election, the Lakewood City Schools' 4.9 mill operating and permanent improvement levies passed 76.66% to 26.34%, according to unofficial results.

                  Said Superintendent Mike Barnes: “During this extremely trying time in our community, we are extremely grateful for their support and commitment to keeping our schools strong and stable.”
                  Plans for the new funds include:

                  • Providing more mental health services and counseling for our students;
                  • Retaining and recruiting high-quality teachers by paying them competitive salaries
                  • Expanding STEM offerings;
                  • Keeping educational technology and other learning materials up-to-date;
                  • Expanding career tech educational opportunities for middle and high school students;
                  • Expanding early childhood programs; and
                  • Keeping all of our buildings, athletic fields, and other assets in good condition.
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                  Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  A Message From Superintendent Barnes

                  Hello Lakewood. I want to say thank you for showing your faith and support at the ballot.

                  Issue 28 is very important for the future of the Lakewood City Schools and you showed up and demonstrated your commitment to the continuation of the excellence in education that we intend to provide for our children. 

                  My mother used to say that faith is like a muscle: the more you exercise the muscle, the stronger it gets. You exercised a tremendous amount of faith in the Lakewood City Schools. And I am personally thankful and grateful for that generosity. 

                  With it comes an awesome responsibility to plan for the future of our students and we’re committed to that expectation. 

                  Thank you.

                  One heartbeat. One Lakewood.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  GV Art + Design Is Utilizing Its Unique Creative & Artistic Abilities In The Effort To Support Local Front-Line Professionals During The COVID-19 Pandemic

                  GV Art + Design is utilizing its unique creative and artistic abilities in the effort to support local front-line professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently we teamed up with both University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic with the launch of our “Heroes” t-shirt with 50% of the proceeds benefiting each health system’s Caregiver Funds which support their healthcare professionals currently working on the front-lines.

                  Last month GV Art + Design released our “Overcome Together” t-shirt which also includes a portion of proceeds being donated to The Greater Cleveland Rapid Relief Fund which was set up to deploy resources to nonprofit organizations serving on the front-lines of the pandemic in our region.

                  We feel very blessed to be in a position to give back to a community that has done so much to support our business over the last several years,” explained the Vlosich family. “These are tough times for everyone and we just want to do our part in showing appreciation for those who are on the front-lines fighting this pandemic.” Both t-shirts are currently available for purchase on GV Art + Design’s website at https://gvartwork.com/.

                  While you are shopping to support these local organizations make sure you don’t miss the chance to see GV Art + Design’s “One-of-a-Kind” Etch A Sketch artwork which has been featured on numerous national TV programs such as Oprah, David Letterman, The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Fox Sports, PTI and more plus world wide newspapers and magazines.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  Cox Communications Extends Coronavirus Response Offer For Connect2Compete With Free Service For Students Until July 15 Nationwide

                  Recognizing that students will remain home to finish out the school year, Cox has extended free Connect2Compete service, the company’s low-cost internet offer for families with a K-12 student at home until July 15. Remote service support is also extended to ensure ease of implementation while students continue to learn at home during the Coronavirus pandemic. Customers that sign up between March 13 and May 15 are eligible for this offer and will receive free service until July 15. 

                  “Distance learning is critical during this time and Cox wants to ensure digital equity so that all kids have the ability to learn and advance from home,” said Pat Esser, president and chief executive officer of Cox Communications. “By extending Connect2Compete to July 15, we keep kids connected to their studies through the end of the school year, and account for additional virtual learning that may be required into the summer.” 

                  Cox temporarily doubled download speeds for its Connect2Compete customers from 25 to 50 Mbps in mid-March.This increase will also continue through July 15. 


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                  Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  Starr Gazer


                  Aries: Ram,you’ve had plenty of time to develop your creative gifts, it’s time to share them with the world, check out Lakewood Alive, they’re always looking for innovative souls.

                  Taurus: The Sun has moved into the Bull Pen’s home for the month of May, and love is your tool of choice, struggling with conflict, love always wins, give it a shot.

                  Gemini: Mercury & Venus are visiting the Twins this month, & it’s all about integrity…tell the truth, even to you, quit denying what you know in your heart, an old flame may show up.

                  Cancer: Listen with those elephant ears of your Crab, we all know you love to talk, but it’s time to shut the jaw & open the ears, you’d be surprised at what you may be missing.

                  Leo: The Lion is one of the most generous of the Zodiac, it’s time to offer your love, who in that Jungle of yours could use a little kindness, what about your Momma?

                  Virgo: You’re your own worst critic, take that lead foot of yours off the gas, & let up on yourself, it’s time to be gentle as a baby fawn.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  Community West Foundation Grants $100,000 to Cleveland Clinic COVID-19 Response Fund to Support Fairview Hospital Caregivers

                  Community West Foundation is issuing a $100,000 grant to the Cleveland Clinic COVID-19 Response Fund to help Fairview Hospital employees who are on the front lines of the pandemic. The grant will cover expenses like temporary housing for caregivers, many of whom are staying away from home to reduce exposure to their families, gift cards for meals, and comfort stations. Access to these self-care resources will support them as they care for current COVID-19 patients and prepare for any potential surge to come.

                  Formerly known as the Fairview/Lutheran Foundation, Community West has been supporting these Cleveland Clinic hospitals as well as many community non-profit agencies since 1997. “Many people don’t know about our deep history with Fairview and Lutheran Hospitals,” said Marty Uhle, President and CEO of Community West Foundation. “We are responding to COVID-19 emergency needs to support all of our partners during this crisis. Supporting Fairview Hospital is a no-brainer for us,” he said.

                  “The gift from the Community West Foundation is significant and meaningful to us. We are grateful for the foundation’s support of our Fairview Hospital caregivers at this time when our caregivers are giving so selflessly to our community,” commented Lara Kalafatis, Chair, Cleveland Clinic Philanthropy Institute.
                  Since the pandemic struck, area non-profits are feeling the financial pressure that comes with increased demand, volunteer shortage and canceled fundraising events due to physical distancing requirements. In addition to establishing its own emergency response fund, Community West joined as a voting partner in the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to make emergency grants available to area non-profits. They also joined a similar collaborative being led by the Community Foundation of Lorain County.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  The Legal Aid Society Of Cleveland Calls For Pro Bono Help Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

                  The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland is calling on attorneys, paralegals, law students, and law graduates to use their expertise to support the many people made vulnerable by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to COVID-19, due to limited resources, Legal Aid had to turn away nearly half of the people who sought help. As the need in the community skyrockets, additional resources are more critical than ever.

                  Legal Aid remains open and fully operational to represent clients, empower individuals with information and expert guidance, and advocate for justice at the policy level. While all four physical offices are closed, Legal Aid’s entire staff is working from home. Online intake is open 24/7 and phone intake is available during select business hours. Even so, Legal Aid will not be able to meet the needs of a growing client population without pro bono assistance from Northeast Ohio’s legal community.

                  Due to the pandemic, Legal Aid expects an increase in cases related to debt and bankruptcy, employment law and unemployment compensation, wage theft, housing stability, and domestic violence. Legal professionals can help those struggling with these issues in a variety of ways, at various levels of time commitment. Opportunities include: taking on a case; providing brief advice over the phone, participating in a “virtual” advice clinic, and helping Legal Aid with a project.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  Rotary Awards Scholarships To Five High School Seniors

                  Five graduating seniors have been awarded college scholarships by the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River. They are (from left) Kim Banak, Johana Guci, Nayfeh Mahmoud, and Nathanial White from Lakewood High School, and Youssef Salama from Rocky River High School.

                  Five students have been awarded college scholarships by the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River.

                  They are graduating seniors Kim Banak, Johana Guci, Nayfeh Mahmoud, and Nathanial White from Lakewood High School, and Youssef Salama from Rocky River High School. Each will receive a $3,000 award from the Lakewood-Rocky River Rotary Foundation. The $15,000 scholarship program is part of over $60,000 that the Rotary club donates to the community each year.

                  In addition to demonstrating academic achievement and potential, these five Rotary scholarship winners were chosen for their character, as well as extracurricular and community involvement.

                  Kim Banak was a four-year member of the Ranger Marching Band. She was recognized as the Outstanding Student in Health Careers at Lakewood High School’s West Shore Career Technical Center. She was a leader in the school’s Home Alone program in which high school students help younger students learn how to be safe at home while parents are still at work. Kim will pursue premedical and biology studies at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA.

                  Johana Guci has expressed her appreciation for opportunities as a recent immigrant by being deeply involved in her high school’s “Help to Others” (H2O) service club. Her scholastic achievement at Lakewood and at Tri-C has earned her membership in the National Honor Society. Johana will study biochemistry at Case Western Reserve University.

                  Nayfeh Mahmoud has taken advantage of Ohio’s College Credit Plus program to satisfy her high school requirements and earn nearly two years of college course credit. At the same time, she volunteers at numerous charity and cultural events. Nayfeh will study nursing at Cleveland State University.


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                  Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.06.2020

                  LHS Students Shine In Solo Porch Performances

                  Lila Wright performs a solo show on her front porch.

                  Last week numerous Lakewood High School musicians stepped out of their cozy houses and onto their front porches in the middle of an frigid arctic blast and delivered musical therapy to friends and neighbors. To all the musicians and teachers that organized and prepared for these concerts—thank you! You represent the essence of public education and a core mission of the Lakewood City Schools. As we help students develop individual talents and skills, we recognize that the ultimate purpose of education is engaged, productive citizenship-- to make our nation and communities all the better. With these concerts, you succeeded on both counts, and then some. I attended a violin concert by Senior Emma Carson, who will be continuing her education at Case Western Reserve University, majoring in music education. (Her freshman sister Audrey was assisting her.) In these bleak times, today was great day. 

                  This is quintessential Lakewood—we take care of each other in good times, and bad. Thank you LHS Students and Music teachers, and of course all the parents and citizens of Lakewood. Long live Lakewood.

                  More info from Lakewood City Schools:

                  Porch concerts began on Thursday, March 9 when LHS performing arts students stepped out between 5 and 5:30pm and played the LHS Alma Mater and then music of their choice. 

                  This week, April 16th the students from Harding and Garfield will also step out on their porches in conjunction with LHS students. They will play the Alma Mater between 5:00 and 5:30 and then music of their choice. 


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                  Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020

                  The coronavirus crisis continues and I recently recorded a video address for the City’s website to provide my perspective on how your city government and your community are adjusting. In case you missed it, I’d like to summarize that video address for you here. 

                  First, and this can’t be said enough, my top priorities are safety and public health. Our goal with this crisis is to slow the spread of the virus. Every action we are taking is in service of those priorities and that goal.  

                  I watch Governor DeWine’s press conferences daily with my team and I am encouraged by the progress we are making in Ohio. I also want you to know that Lakewood is managing this crisis well. We continue to deliver thousands of meals to our seniors. We continue to pick up your trash. We are making adjustments or total changes to our way of doing things--to our way of life. Governor DeWine said yesterday that we have reason to be optimistic and I agree with him. We’re making necessary changes. We’re physically distancing. But we’re doing it together.

                  As we’ve heard, the peak is still ahead of us. No one is certain when it’s going to hit Ohio or Lakewood, but we do know that we have confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lakewood and there will be more. By sticking to the plan, we are protecting ourselves and giving anyone who catches this disease in the coming weeks access to the world-class health care we have in Northeast Ohio.   

                  We know that we’re #InThisTogether. I challenge you, Lakewood-- Let’s DO this together. Let’s tackle this once-in-a-century challenge. Dr. Acton called on us to “double down on our commitment” and “fight this together.”  Lakewood is the most densely populated community in Ohio. Nowhere else--not in Cleveland, not in Columbus or Cincinnati--is a community as tightly packed as we are here. This means we know how to live close to each other with respect.  

                  We’ve got this, Lakewood. We’re ready. Let’s show the rest of Ohio how to win this fight. 

                  Thank you and be well.

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                  Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:45 PM, 04.15.2020