When the Parma Observer was born in 2009, the world was reeling from a number of momentous changes and dire financial issues associated with that particular time. There was a new Administration in the White House, digging out from a massive recession, the worst since the Great Depression itself, the result of the colossal collapse of Wall Street financial markets at the end of 2008. We were losing as much as 800,00 jobs per month during 2009, the stock market was in the basement and consumer confidence was dismal, to say the least. Most would say that this was not the optimum time to start a brand new business, but my timing has not always been in the proper step, so into the arms of fate I jumped. Many of the businesses and institutions we take for granted today were started in hard times.
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Demolition work is underway at the former Parmadale Orphanage as part of a redevelopment project to clear nearly 80 acres for greenspace, public park development and watershed conservation at the site. In late September, crews started to demolish 13 old dormitories at the site after Cuyahoga County awarded $1.35 million toward the project. The funding also includes the demolition of four blighted Parma properties at 7259 Ridge Road, 11599 Kader Ave., 4418 Pershing Ave. and 7407 Dorothy Ave. “The addition of the Parmadale land to the West Creek Conservancy also will create new access to the reservation for thousands of citizens,” said West Creek Conservancy Executive Director Derek Schafer.
Issue 7 Builds Stronger Schools, Stronger Communities - A Message From Parma City School District Superintendent Dr. Charles Smialek
What a start to the 2018-19 school year! From Normandy’s Band and dozens of cheering administrators welcoming back our teachers and staff in August to our district’s “Kick-Off” event celebrating the excitement inherent to our district, countless members of our school community have dedicated myriad hours to ensure a positive start to the 2018-19 school year. The social fabric and pride that have made this an iconic school district were so clearly on display throughout all of our opening activities. I feel privileged and, frankly, lucky to join the ranks of our Parma Schools.
Shred-It & Parma Food Bank Fundraiser ~ Goal to raise $2018 & collect 2018lbs food
PARMA, OH: Local land trust West Creek Conservancy invites you to its free ongoing series of guided walks and programs to learn about its conservation work in local communities and the progress being made to develop the 25-mile West Creek Greenway. Upcoming events include:
Parma Symphony Orchestra will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary with a concert on Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 3:00 PM at Valley Forge High School Auditorium located at 9999 Independence Boulevard in Parma Heights. Also celebrating: Dr. Randolph P. Laycock 40 Years as Music Director.
Program will include a world premiere of “Celebrations for Orchestra” to be directed by the composer Loris Chobanian to celebrate our two milestones: Our 50th Season and Rand Laycock’s 40th anniversary as Music Director. Also featuring Guitar Soloist Brian Reichert performing with the orchestra in “Three Romances for Guitar and Orchestra” also by Chobanian, and two numbers from Rand’s first concert with the orchestra Light Cavalry Overture by Franz Von Suppe and Symphony in D minor by Cesar Franck
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) is showcasing the three-dimensional works of two Northeast Ohio artists — Shannon Hines and Kortney Niewierski — at Western Campus.
A generation or two ago, children were taught that there was a Creator to whom they were responsible and to whom they had to answer in the afterlife. They were taught that a moral code was given to us to follow. A truly moral nation enacts policies that encourage personal responsibility and discourage self-destructive behavior by not subsidizing people who live irresponsibly and make poor choices. And because someone else pays the bill, the behavior continues and gets worse. Conversations in which people disagree yet respect one another are rare. Hopefully, God’s presence would be felt on both sides of the divide. Every day contains the possibility for a life-transforming encounter with God through some unanticipated new connection.
MAKERS WANTED! Looking for artists, crafters, bakers for a Holiday Boutique Pop Up, hosted by Parma Area Fine Arts Council, to be held November 3, 2018 from 10am to 4pm at the Donna Smallwood Activities Center. This boutique is for handmade artisans only. 8 foot spaces available from $20 to $30. Space is limited so don't wait. Call Michelle Behal at 216-618-0956, call Parma Fine Arts at (440)888-4514 and leave message for call back, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
The city of Parma and American Legion Post 572 are promoting a new Hometown Heroes street banner program to honor the service and sacrifice of Parma’s veterans. The 2-by-4 foot patriotic banners will line the road that leads to Veterans Memorial Park at 6328 State Road. The city is purchasing the brackets and will install the banners. When American Legion Post 572 approached the city to partner on the banner program, Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter thought it was the perfect fit. “Putting the banners in Veterans Memorial Park is a fitting tribute for those who sacrificed so much for us,” DeGeeter said. “It’s a way to honor our Parma veterans and neighbors.”
When Brett Kavanaugh was nominated recently to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court due to the retirement of Justice Anthony, it appeared that his confirmation by the Senate would be a slam dunk. Now two women have come forward and accused Mr. Kavanaugh when he was in high school at an exclusive prep school of trying to take advantage of them at a party where they were drinking. His supporters are saying that this was long ago and he was a young man doing what young men often do. But really? Should he get a pass on this because that was more than 36 years ago?
O From ODE/Ohio Means Jobs….Designed for middle & high school students, this new tool can help determine their “best fit” career/job, the effort needed to become qualified for the position & its potential earnings/salary. Go here to give it a try: https://tinyurl.com/OMJWorkValueTool
Saturday, October 27th, 2018, Polish Village will hold their 8th Treat & Greet from 11am to 2pm. Treat & Greet is an extremely popular event. Each year it seems to attract more and more participants from our area and the surrounding communities. This is a great, safe, fun family event.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will host Fall Visit Days at Western Campus in October to introduce prospective students to academic and career opportunities. The hour long sessions provide a chance to learn about enrollment, financial aid and scholarships; discover the variety of student services available; and explore the buildings. Western’s Fall Visit Days will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, and 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 12. Registration is requested. Western Campus is located at 11000 Pleasant Valley Road in Parma. Fall Visit Days will also be offered at Eastern Campus in Highland Hills, Metropolitan Campus in Cleveland and Westshore Campus in Westlake. For more information, or to register, visit www.tri-c.edu/visit or call 216-987-6000.
This month I am writing to encourage you to get out and vote. Particularly, I am going to make the case to vote YES on Issues 7 and 70. Back in August a gentleman called me and stated that he and his wife were thinking about purchasing a home on Charles Avenue in Parma. He had many good questions about Parma, including what I thought about the Parma City School District (PCSD). “My wife and I are planning to have a family and want a great education for our future children,” he explained. After serving as a teacher and a Parma resident for over 25 years, I shared with him several stories of students I personally knew who attended our public schools in Parma and went on to become very successful. Some pursued further education at the collegiate level, other served in the military, and others used the skills and knowledge they gained in high school to launch their career after graduating. A few days later, he called me back to excitedly tell me that they closed on the house! This is a perfect example of how good schools attract young families, which translates into demand for homes and bolsters property values. At the end of the day, this benefits all property owners, whether or not they have children who attend the schools.
It’s usually so easy to get comfortable with repetition of things. Our daily habits are performed with positive results and not much thought. We are creatures of habit without worry or concern. Most of the time. But, there are times when we must disturb the usual and change the course of habit. Such is the event that now caused me some concern. It was just a little change that was necessary. It would only take me a few minutes to process the transformation that was at hand. But, I was not prepared for the personal conflict that ensued.
In the March issue of this publication my brother Corbin published an article titled Doing What's Right. What he said in that piece is much more important today so I asked him to update it and resubmit it. He declined saying he no longer wanted to spend his “valuable time” exposing the spin, innuendo, half-truths and lies that come from liberals because the vast majority of people are smart enough to see through what they say without his pointing out how ridiculous most of their nonsense is. When I questioned how valuable his time really is he promptly ended the conversation by telling me if I thought it was so important I should devote my own time to it. Corbin can be an obstinate cuss, especially when he disagrees with me, but I do think it's important so....
October’s Asset Category: SUPPORT Many studies over the years confirm that caring, supportive relationships with adults are critical for raising young people who are healthy and resilient. Support means freely giving young people love, affirmation, and acceptance; surrounding young people with caring families, guardians, friends, teachers, neighbors, and other adults; and helping young people know they belong, are not alone, and are both loved and lovable. This column’s focus will be on…..Asset #2 – Positive Family Communications
You won’t want to miss this one! The Parma Area Chamber of Commerce will host its October 25 luncheon at Holy Spirit Hall on West 54th Street. Keynote speakers will be the Mayors of Parma, Parma Heights and Seven Hills – Tim DeGeeter, Mike Byrne and Richard Dell’Aquilla. Networking begins at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served at Noon by WalTam’s Catering. Cost is $18 per person, and you can R.S.V.P. to Cheryl McIntosh at 440.886.1700 or via e-mail to email@example.com. Holy Spirit Church and Hall is located at 5500 West 54th Street, south of Brookpark Road.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) will rev up its automotive technician training program with an expansion of the Advanced Automotive Technology Center at Western Campus. The 13,300-square-foot addition will feature lab space with 10 automobile lifts, offering more opportunity for hands-on training. The space will also include additional classrooms, a conference room and a student lounge. A groundbreaking ceremony for the $7 million project took place Sept. 25. Construction is expected to be complete by next summer. “The expansion provides room to grow for an in-demand program that trains and connects students to high-paying jobs,” said Alex Johnson, president of Tri-C. “The Advanced Automotive Technology Center represents an investment in the workforce of tomorrow in Northeast Ohio.”
The city and the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission are still seeking public input through online surveys to help them craft a master plan for the town center concept. In August, officials wrapped up the last of three public meetings over the past nine months to solicit feedback from residents on their ideas surrounding what the city has branded as the town center – the area around the Ridge Road and West Ridgewood Drive intersection and the Day Drive corridor. While the public meetings seeking input for crafting the master plan are over, the county planning commission through mid-September is looking for additional residential input via web surveys, which can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/ParmaPM3 and www.countyplanning.us/projects/parma-master-plan/ Throughout the public input process, residents have been invited to complete the online surveys. “We truly want the public’s input as we try to harness this vital part of our city where tens of millions of dollars have been invested in The Shoppes at Parma, the UH Parma Medical Center and the Cuyahoga County Public Library’s Powers Boulevard branch,” Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter said. “All of the pieces are in place to make this a real focal point.” Of the surveys filled out at public meetings or online, residents have submitted nearly 400 surveys and about an equal number of comments.
University Hospitals Parma Medical Center will invest $27.5 million to completely renovate and expand its Department of Surgery, in the largest construction project to be done within the main hospital in 33 years. The project will begin with a new addition to the building and will proceed in multiple phases over a two-year period to avoid disruption to surgery operations.
Spending so much time on our “thrones” may sometimes lead our minds to wonder: What happens after the flush? Where does it go? How does all that dirty water get clean? On September 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., find out answers to all these questions and more at the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s Open House and Clean Water Fest.
As many of you who read this column know, a few years ago I began a series of articles that spotlights the many places of worship in Parma. This month I continue that endeavor by reporting on my visit with Father Anthony Suso, Pastor of St. Columbkille Roman Catholic Church, at 6740 Broadview Road.
Local land trust West Creek Conservancy continues its 2018 series of free guided walks to explore areas seldom seen by the public. You are invited to come on out and enjoy! Most outings have been held on properties that the Conservancy owns outright or protected with the help of partner organizations. Walks in September highlight two of the group’s projects.
India Festival USA (Not-for-profit organization) mission is to bridge cultures, generations and communities through one-day of togetherness. It is a day when visitors are encouraged to participate in a thematic display of the rich culture and diversity of two of the greatest nations on earth – India and USA. India Festival USA promises an immersive environment that salutes history, embraces globalization, celebrates communities, and embraces diversity.
According to the Fair Trade Federation, fair trade is “an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system. Fair trade supports farmers and craftspeople in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized. These producers often face steep hurdles in finding markets and customers for their goods.”
This summer, Parma City Council and Mayor Tim DeGeeter honored Parma residents and a local business.
Seven Hills is conveniently located close to two major interstates (I-480 and I-77) that provide easy access to the 3 million people that reside within a 50 mile radius. Factors like this and other’s such as a great safety record make Seven Hills an exceptional location to reside and locate a business in.
September’s Asset Category: COMMITMENT TO LEARNING. Commitment to learning assets reflect how connected young people are to their schools, how motivated they are to achieve and whether they express their curiosity and work ethic in homework and reading for fun. A love of learning will take them far. The more committed a child is to education and learning, the more likely it is that he or she will grow up healthy, caring and responsible.
In 2017 in the U.S., at least 39 people lost their lives to attacks by dogs. Of those 39 reported cases, pit bulls contributed to 74% (29) of these deaths. This shocking statistic comes from the website dogsbite.org, which has conducted extensive research into media reported fatal attacks from pit bulls in order to advocate for victims of these attacks and to provide a factual counterpoint against pit bull apologists. From extended research into the 13 year period from 2005 to 2017, dogsbite.org has found that pit bulls were involved in 65% of 433 deaths in the U.S. alone. These statistics, as well as my personal experience having to defend my dog from a sudden pit bull attack, are why I support Parma's existing ban on pit bull dogs.
When President Donald Trump recently declared that the some news media is an “enemy of the state”, he was echoing the words of dictators. One of the first things that a dictator does upon assuming power is to shut down any opposition press. Autocrats and dictators cannot tolerate any criticism of their rule.
Nestled in the arms of a suburban mall in Michigan, we found our afternoon enjoyment at the “Ultimate Indoor Lego Playground.” This visit was sure to capture the attention of grandkids, eight year old Sam, and six year old Abigail. Their mom and dad invited me along to share in the discovery of what can be created with one’s imagination and a handful of Legos.
Parma is seeking to pass a 2-mill renewal levy this November that supports the city’s fire department.
“This five-year renewal levy, which is not a tax increase, will not only help the fire department’s operations, but provide our firefighters and paramedics with the latest equipment and technology they need to save lives,” Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter said. “I’m optimistic voters this fall will support the levy because they understand how critical it is for our city. Our residents also know our department provides great service while being responsible with our tax dollars,” DeGeeter added.
Parma City Council approved the measure for the fall ballot because the current levy expires at the end of 2018. In September, the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections will provide an issue number for when the levy appears on the fall ballot. “Each year, the fire department responds to more emergency calls,” Parma Fire Chief Mike Lasky said. “Passage of the renewal levy is important in helping us continue to provide quality service to our residents as we keep up with increased demands.” In 2017, the fire department responded to 11,782 incidents, a jump from 2016’s 11,062 calls. Five years ago, the department had 9,839. “Even with these increases, our response time to emergencies exceeds the national average,” Lasky said. “The renewal levy will help us maintain our high standard of service.”
A nation without means to reform is without means of survival. All of us should have the equal opportunity to develop our talents. American politics would be elevated by a renewed commitment to the common good. Authority comes not by telling others what to do, but from doing the things you want others to do. Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. Behind and beyond events we cannot comprehend is God, who cares for us personally and passionately. Being mean to others might make us feel good for a while, but it is bad for all in the end. Belief comes before understanding and on this foundation understanding grows.
Michelle Behal, Parma Fine Arts President, and acrylic painting instructor, demonstrated her pyrotechnical (wood burning) skills at the Cuyahoga County Fair. Michelle also won Best In Show for her Dragon Wood Burning. She also received first and second place in wood burning and second and third place for her pen and ink. Her winning entries are currently on display in the lobby of the Donna Smallwood Activity Center. To view more of her creations visit www.beartracksart.com, or follow Bear Tracks Art on Facebook page.