In his third State of the City address on February 24, Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter unveiled two new programs the administration is developing: a first-time home buyers program aimed at attracting college graduates and a youth commission to encourage civic involvement among high schoolers. During his speech at the Parma-Snow branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library system, DeGeeter focused mostly on city efforts to bolster the economy, strengthen neighborhoods, provide efficient government, and maintain quality services to residents.
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They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We have that in mind when other area publications announce that they are seeking community columnists and would like area residents to send in photos of their events, special occasions, renovations, etc. After all, we have been focusing on those things since the very beginning, so it feels good to be noticed and makes us think that we must be doing something right. The demand for our paper is increasing every month and judging from the numerous calls we receive asking where the Parma Observer can be found (in over 185 locations throughout Parma, Parma Heights, and Seven Hills) we realize that in order to meet this demand, it has become necessary to expand by including additional key team members. A decision has been reached to add the position of Managing Editor. I have thought long and hard about this and I feel that our choice of Stefan P. Stefaniuk to fill this crucial role with the Observer is most definitely the right step at the right time.
Healthcare.gov – Open Enrollment Ends March 31, 2014 Remember: March 31st is the last day to sign up for health insurance. Do you need it? What happens if you don’t get coverage? The accompanying guide should provide answers to these questions. Here’s how to begin the enrollment process.
On February 12, Ward 8 Councilman Scott Tuma and myself, Ward 5 Councilman Allan Divis, hosted a joint safety meeting in Council Chambers at Parma City Hall. Despite the bitter cold, a good contingent of residents were on hand to receive valuable information pertaining to home security and telemarketing scams.The meeting included informative presentations by Sergeant Kevin Riley of the Parma Police Department and Law Director Tim Dobeck.
Like most of us this winter, I have spent a good deal of time in the house, unable to do the things that I like to do outside. There's only so much cleaning, dusting, and rearranging of items on shelves and in drawers that one can do. I try and get out to various places and engage in as many activities as I can, but I just miss the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. It's not as if I hate the winter; in fact, there are few sights as beautiful and peaceful looking as snow covering everything in a gorgeous blanket of white. Problem is, at my age and with an artificial hip as well, I can't risk walking around my neighborhood with all of that ice and snow.
This month I will continue a series of columns begun last month that are meant to inform you about the committee structure of Parma City Council. Last month I focused on why Council committees are formed and how they operate, as well as a synopsis about the Finance Committee. This month I hope to inform you about some of the other working groups of Council.
The first British Invasion began on April 18, 1775 when General Gage ordered 700 British soldiers to Concord to destroy the colonists' weapons depot. That night, Paul Revere and William Dawes were sent from Boston to warn colonists. Revere reached Lexington about midnight and warned Sam Adams and John Hancock who were hiding out there. Eventually the British were defeated.
Since the exchanges opened last October, there has been much criticism over the benefits that are required for policies available through the exchanges. Much of that criticism deals with why single men or women over age 50 must pay for things like pregnancy and maternity benefits or that why should women have to pay for prostate exams. At the same time many people complain that while tobacco users are required to pay higher premiums, why isn’t the same requirement applied to people who are obese?
An energized employee force clad in red and black welcomed University Hospitals (UH) leadership to the newly integrated UH Parma Medical Center for a special day of celebration on February 12.
The East Park Care Center in Brook Park hosted the Great Lakes Theater production of “Seven Ages” on Friday, February 14th. The event was free to the public and included a three-course meal complete with wine, coffee, and bakery, making it a mid-winter’s night dream for the 112 people who attended. This was the fifth year the center has hosted the event.
I am excited to report that the Third Annual Parma Peanut Butter Drive continued its tradition of success. Held during the last weeks of 2013 to benefit the patrons of All Faiths Pantry, we collected over $1,000 and well over 500 jars (890 pounds) of peanut butter. Needless to say, I continue to be amazed at the generosity of the Parma area’s residents, businesses, and non-profit organizations, all of which came together, once again, to help the senior citizens and other low-mobility residents on fixed incomes served by the Pantry.
SHOW KIDS YOU CARE: DISCUSS THEIR DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES. March’s Asset Category: SOCIAL COMPETENCIES Learning social skills is a lot like learning to play the piano in that you need to learn some basic competencies and you need someone to teach you those skills. You need time to practice, guidance as you gain experience, and feedback along the way. Social competencies are the skills and life perspectives young people need to develop into healthy, competent adults. These skills are important daily, but they’re even more crucial when young people encounter the tough times in life.
Crash! On Tuesday, February 18th, my mom's patio awning couldn't take the ice and snow anymore and collapsed on the patio. What a mess! Ice, snow, dirt, awning pieces and wood cover the patio. It makes it difficult for Harriet, my mom's 16 year old Yorkie Poo, to go to the bathroom.
The blood trail, some say, leads all the way to Governor Kasich’s office. Kasich is at the top of the heap of Ohio’s government agencies, not the least of which is the topic of this article: Ohio Division of Natural Resources (DNR), recently under fire for two blatant, wide-ranging scandals. The first involves Ohio Inspector General’s office investigation into 16 to 18 Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) officers - and those who supervise them - who allegedly fudged timesheets while illegally killing deer. DNR oversees the DOW, the very agency paid to regulate hunting and issue poaching penalties.
I will admit, when it comes to pedestrian and walkability issues, I am completely biased. Being a strident advocate for walking, I believe having been struck by an auto while in a crosswalk and bouncing off of the windshield grants me that right. Walkability is a key word these days when the discussion centers on communities. When people are searching for a place to buy a home, walkability is a rating category in real estate listings, especially important to young professional couples - a group most sought after by cities. Our community is no exception. Parma has over 30,000 homes with a busy and vibrant real estate market as a result. Walkability should be relevant all year long, not just in the good weather. Suppose I were a prospective home buyer in Parma during the winter months and I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood, perhaps to have a look at the school my Realtor told me was only a few blocks away? One look at the two foot snowdrifts covering the sidewalks in my possibly new neighborhood would not only discourage me from venturing any further; I would most likely get in my car and go to another city, where better walking conditions exist.
So, you think you know Parma? Like most residents, you probably know that Parma, with over 80,000 residents, is the seventh largest city in Ohio and Cleveland's largest suburb. You may even know that Parma is commonly considered to be the pierogi capital of Ohio and that plastic ornamental flamingos, especially those of the pink variety, seem to decorate many of Parma's neatly maintained front lawns. But here are five things you may not know about Parma, Ohio.
Students from Padua Franciscan High School got some expert advice on how to improve their public speaking to help them ace the regional Ohio Mock Trial competition. Juel Leonard, president of the Chardon Toastmasters Club, visited with the school’s Mock Trial competition team January 30. A Toastmaster who has received several top honors, Mrs. Leonard gave students pointers on how to hone their speaking skills in preparation for the regional competition which will be held February 21 at the Cleveland Municipal Court. “I was there in my capacity as an experienced toastmaster and they also had a lawyer there to help with the legal aspects of a trial,” said Mrs. Leonard. “It was a great experience.”
I am Vice President of Animal Guardians for a Prosperous Parma. We are a group of concerned and compassionate individuals, coming together to urge the Parma Administration not to prohibit specific dog breeds. This practice is not ensuring public safety, but rather encouraging a false sense of security for Parma residents.
No matter how you look at it, 35 years is a long time. Back in 1979 Larry Axelrod opened his business, Axelrod Pontiac at the corner of Brookpark and Pearl Rds. Flash forward to 2014 and this Parma landmark is still thriving in the automotive sales sector so crucial to our local and national economic vitality. Now known as Axelrod Buick/GMC, the dealership celebrated a major transformation in January. Barry Axelrod, along with his brother Phil, have maintained this family business now well into the new century, and this is definitely a major step forward in our crucial local industry of automoticve dealerships. "We are just thrilled to be in Parma, and the strength of the city gives us the confidence to make an investment like this" said Barry Axelrod.
Parma Community General Hospital became part of University Hospitals Health System on January 1, following approval from state and federal government regulators. The hospital, founded in 1961 at Ridge Road and Powers Boulevard, is now known as University Hospitals Parma Medical Center.
On the first Monday of every month at Jordan's Family Restaurant in Parma, a remarkable group of veterans assembles for breakfast. They are part of the National Association of Destroyer Veterans, better known as "Tin Can Sailors". I had never heard of this group or their monthly meetings until Jordan's owner Mike Dolan told me about them, but after some fascinating research I will never forget them. The role that Destroyers played in the history of our nation is one of those incredible untold stories.
Parma Heights – The Council Chambers were packed on New Year’s Day as Mayor Michael P. Byrne and three members of Council took their respective oaths-of-office.
This month I will begin a series of columns informing you about the committee structure of Parma City Council. Like many organizations, legislative bodies form committees to allow members to specialize in certain areas of the law in which they have a special set of expertise or interest, for a legislator simply cannot be an expert on all of the issues that arise. It also allows the workload to be spread out so that no one person or group is overwhelmed with legislative duties. I will also argue that the innovative way in which our Council runs its committees is superior to that of most other legislative bodies.
Parma Heights has been named one of the safest cities in Ohio according to a study completed by SafeWise, a community-focused security organization. Public safety is a critical marker of the quality of life in a community and I have continually said that safety is, and always will be, my top priority. I am proud to announce that we are ranked #20 in the state on the SafeWise 50 Safest Cities in Ohio list. The full list can be viewed at: http://www.safewise.com/blog/50-safest-cities-ohio.
On February 11, 2014 at 9:30 a.m., Zounds Hearing of Greater Cleveland celebrated the grand opening of its first store, at Ridge Park Square, with a ribbon cutting performed by Mayor Richard Balbier of Brooklyn and Zounds franchise owner Glenn Harbold of Cleveland. “The city of Brooklyn is proud and honored to have Zounds Hearing here to serve our community,” stated Mayor Balbier.
The lovely setting provided by the College Club of Cleveland will be the scene of the 2nd Annual Maggie’s Place Ohio “Wine & Dine” benefit set for Thursday, February 13 from 6:30-9 PM. Delicious food and wine samplings from Mia Bella Restaurant in Little Italy, live music and the auction & raffle of unique packages will round out the evening designed to support the continued operation of The Zechariah House.
The Northeast Ohio Areawide Transportation Agency (NOACA) announced that the City of Parma Heights was one of only seven cities awarded a highly-competitive Transportation for Likeable Communities (TLCI) grant. The city will use the $75,000 award to conduct a “Pearl Road Complete and Green Streets Initiative” study.
A fireplace can provide warmth on a cold winter evening, but if not maintained and operated properly, can become deadly. Keep your family safe by following these suggestions.
On Monday, December 16th, I attended my first Parma City Council meeting. Why? Because I recently found out that meetings are held on the first and third Monday of each month. I know what you must be thinking, "How could you have not known this?" The truth is I, like many residents, didn’t know. But now that I am aware of when the meetings are held, I plan on attending so I can stay informed about what is happening in the City of Parma and how it’s moving forward.
The month of February usually has 28 days; however,
The Board of Trustees of the City of Parma Andrew Boyko Memorial Scholarship Foundation is pleased to announce that applications are being accepted for the 2014 award season. In its seventh year, the Foundation will once again offer three to five scholarships with a minimum award of $1,500 each. Applications are available on the City of Parma website at http://www.cityofparma-oh.gov. Applications may also be obtained at Parma City Hall, any of the Parma Cuyahoga County Public Library branches or any high school located within the Parma City School District. The Scholarship is intended to provide financial assistance to high school seniors or equivalent who are residents of the City of Parma wishing to pursue post-secondary education during the 2014 – 2015 academic year. Financial need, work ethic, community service and accomplishments are among the selection criteria for the scholarship. The application deadline is March 31, 2014. For more information or to donate to the Foundation please contact Parma City Council President and Board of Trustees Member Sean Brennan at email@example.com or (440) 884-0489.
Anyone considering a hip or knee replacement can count on University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, rated among the best in the country by Consumer Reports for how patients fare both during and following elective procedures like knee replacements.
Last month I explained how 401(K) plans have replaced the old fashioned defined benefit company pension plan that our fathers relied on for their retirement security. I also explained some of the advantages of a 401(K) plan over the old defined benefit pension. This month, I will explain the pitfalls and problems of 401(K) plans which I fear outweigh the advantages. Here are the major pitfalls of a 401(K) plan:
SHOW KIDS YOU CARE: CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR COLLECTIONS. Developmental Assets – 40 individual assets in 8 Categories….February’s Asset Category: Positive Values You are what you believe Values shape young people’s relationships, behaviors, choices, and sense of who they are. Although positive values help young people avoid risky behavior, they also help guide their day-to-day actions and interactions. Thus, values inspire, not just prohibit. Young people who have positive values are more likely to listen to their conscience, help others, be independent, tell right from wrong, and feel happy. Ultimately, positive values help young people make their own decisions rather than imitate friends or follow trends.
As we approach Valentine’s Day, a day where we express our love to family, friends & that Special someone, I’d like to express my own affection for the City Of Parma. It was just over a year ago that I was an average “Parmaranian” like many of you & I went about my business relatively uninvolved in most things that didn’t personally concern myself or my loved ones. Somewhere along the line I decided to become more informed, more active & more engaged in the community & much to my surprise have discovered that in this city of 82,000 plus citizens that “We Are Family” from City Hall down to business owners & private citizens.
CUYAHOGA COUNTY AND THE EARNED INCOME TAX COALITION OFFER FREE TAX PREPARATION Cuyahoga County Vita Tax Sites located at Southgate and Westshore Neighborhood Family Service Centers
Parma, Ohio: West Creek Conservancy will host its second annual gala Blues for Greens, a night to benefit the conservation work of West Creek Conservancy in Greater Cleveland. Featuring fine food, great live music by Colin Dussault, local beer and wine, and chances to win fabulous raffle prizes, the event will help support the ongoing efforts of the organization as it strives to protect local natural areas, open spaces, streams and waterways right here in our Greater Cleveland communities! Dedicated to local conservation efforts, West Creek Conservancy believes that clean streams and rivers, abundant natural areas, neighborhood green space and beautiful walking and biking trails are an important part of healthy, vibrant, successful communities.
Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter enjoys looking back proudly at the accomplishments of his administration. “We’re all working hard to move Parma forward,” he says. “It’s nice to see the things we’ve done. But we don't want to live in the past, we are looking ahead to our future as well.” So when DeGeeter takes the stage on Feb. 24, 2014 at the new Snow Road Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, he will share accomplishments, yes, but he will also look ahead to what residents might expect from his administration in the coming year. The Mayor will deliver the speech in the new, state-of-the-art, 400-seat auditorium at the library; the address is scheduled for 7 p.m.