The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s Board of Trustees awarded $7.2 million to 12 communities - including Parma and Seven Hills - as part of the agency’s newly-launched Member Community Infrastructure Program (MCIP).
The Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) will host campus visits from 10 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m. on Presidents Day, which is Monday, Feb. 20.
The Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) will again offer free personal income tax filing services to qualified taxpayers filing simple returns for 2016.
SHOW KIDS YOU CARE: INTRODUCE THEM TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. February’s Asset Category: POSITIVE VALUES. You are what you believe
This month I am reporting to you on another of Parma’s many places of worship. In fact, in mid-January I had the honor of meeting with Fr. Robert Wisniewski, Jr., pastor of St. Bridget of Kildare Roman Catholic Church, located at 5620 Hauserman Road. Our meeting proved how important this parish is to the neighborhoods of Parma it serves, as well as to the community as a whole.
“I grew up in Willowick, which is ‘east side Parma,’" Fr. Wisniewski mentioned in our talk. He finds a lot of positive parallels between his hometown and his adopted home. He added that Parma is “super-neighborly.” He illustrated by recalling when he was still a seminarian visiting one of Parma’s famous block parties with a friend. “You could tell that Parma residents looked out for each other and I still see it today,” he explained.
A Lake High School graduate, Fr. Wisniewski felt a vocation to the priesthood from a young age and, after a weekend program at Borromeo Seminary, he made his decision to actively discern this vocation. During his tenure at the seminary, he spent a year as an intern at St. Bridget. “I remember peering out the window of the rectory one day thinking, ‘I could serve here,’” he reminisced. After serving as an associate pastor at several area parishes, as fate would have it, Bishop Anthony Pilla appointed him pastor at St. Bridget’s on February 1, 2005. He is only the third pastor of the parish in its over 60 year history.
As has been a theme in this column, the growth of Parma’s faith community mirrored the burgeoning population of the 1950s and 1960s. St. Bridget Church was born during this time of incredible growth. In fact, the parish was founded in 1956 as a sister parish to Parma’s St. Charles Borromeo. Prior to that, the property had served as a landing strip for small aircraft. The founding pastor, Fr. Theodore Blair, was serving as an associate pastor at St. Charles at the time.
Founded as St. Bridget Parish, Fr. Wisniewski explained that there are two St. Bridgets in the Catholic Church, one from Ireland and another from Sweden. Early in his tenure, knowing the parish was named in honor of Bridget of Ireland, he successfully petitioned Bishop Richard Lennon to have the parish officially named "St. Bridget of Kildare Parish."
The parish offers many services and events to its parishioners and the community, at large, including its kindergarten through eighth grade school. “St. Bridget is very mindful of the poor,” Fr. Wisniewski mentioned. “I continue to be inspired by how generous the parishioners are when called to help others in need, in the spirit of their patroness,” he added. He added that there are several examples where someone in the Parish was in need and the community came together to help with their time and/or treasure. Further, the Good Samaritan Ministry collects thousands of dollars every year to assist needy in the area, both Catholic and non-Catholic. Parish groups also hold several food drives, take meals to the ill, offer tuition assistance when families are experiencing financial distress, among other programs.
While many people have a day off work to reflect on the life and impact of Martin Luther King Jr., MyCom youth know it is a day of service. For our MLK Day of service, eight Tri-City MyCom youth eagerly gathered at the Parma Animal Shelter to give of their time and energy. Students from Normandy, Parma Senior, Valley Forge High School and Shiloh Middle School cleaned walls and wiped down cabinets and doors, raked leaves, assisted with recycling and cut fabric to make “cat pierogis” - catnip-filled toys shaped like pierogis! We all enjoyed this day of service and many of the youth want to make it a regular habit!
At 10:40 a.m. on Tuesday, December 14, 2016, and before hundreds of Parma team members, Plant Manager Lamar Rucker made the most important announcement in Parma’s recent history. “So it is my honor, and I am humbled at this, to announce that General Motors is going to invest with Parma and UAW Local 1005 an amount totaling $218 million.” That announcement was met with a thunderous round of applause from the Parma Team. It’s is the second largest investment in Parma’s 68 year history. “This will help us retain and secure jobs,” added Lamar. “And puts us in one heckuva position for the future.”
Recently, the First Suburbs Consortium (FSC) celebrated its 20th anniversary as an advocate on behalf of our city and other older suburbs surrounding Cleveland. The mayors of Cuyahoga County’s inner ring communities formed the FSC to change federal, state and county policies that, as noted by the Brookings Institution, have been keeping inner ring suburbs in a “policy blind spot.” Parma, Parma Heights and the other sixteen cities that are members of the FSC Council of Governments populate 38% of the county. This is more than either the City of Cleveland or the county’s outer suburbs combined. Both of us proudly serve on the First Suburbs Executive Board.
The Shoppes at Parma and retiring County Councilman Chuck Germana were honored as Business of the Month and Citizen of the Month for December. Germana was honored for his outstanding and tireless work for Parma over a number of years. He is retiring from his most recent public service as the District 4 Cuyahoga County Councilman (and will be replaced by Ward 8 Parma City Councilman Scott Tuma in January.) Despite his retirement from public service, Chuck, who has worked at Parma’s family-owned Four Star Insurance for 46 years, remains an important and respected community advocate. He is a product of Parma Senior High and Ohio University and attends St. Bridget parish. Chuck has led numerous community endeavors as their president, including Proud of Parma, Parma Jaycees, Boy Scout Troop 358 Committee, Valley Forge Boosters, Parma Area Chamber of Commerce, Parma City Council, Cuyahoga County Insurance Board and the Northeast Ohio City Council Association. Chuck and Anne have been married for 48 years and have four children and eight grandchildren.
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 2017 award season. In its tenth year, the Foundation will once again offer three to five scholarships with a minimum award of $1,500 each. One of these scholarships will be designated for an applicant exhibiting an exceptional commitment to community service. 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 2017 – 2018 academic year. Financial need, work ethic, community service, and accomplishments are among the selection criteria for the scholarship. The application deadline is March 31, 2017. For more information or to donate to the Foundation, please contact Parma City Council President and Board of Trustees Member Sean Brennan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 440-885-8091.
This month I return to my continuing series on Parma’s places of worship by reporting on Holy Spirit Byzantine Catholic Church. I have visited Holy Spirit, located at 5500 West 54th Street, many times over the years and have developed a close friendship with Pastor Reverend Father James Batcha. I have to say that I always feel welcomed into this special Parma holy space.
SHOW KIDS YOU CARE: BE CURIOUS WITH THEM. January’s Asset Category: POSITIVE IDENTITY.
Entrepreneur Adam Radogna has demonstrated his commitment to the Parma area with the purchase of a 7-Eleven® franchise store located at 6858 Ridge Road across from Parmatown Mall. The deal took place on December 5. This is Radogna’s second franchise store; he acquired his first store located at 7510 Broadview Road just last year at the age of 26.
We all know the importance of Lake Erie as a source of freshwater. A few years ago, run-off from farms in the western basin of Lake Erie caused major problems that prevented the Toledo area from drawing water for its use. But every action we each take, living in the Lake Erie watershed, affects the water we drink, the water for our crops, and the water we play in. It's amazing the effects we have on such a large body of water, an asset we should not and cannot take for granted.
The General Motors Foundation and GM’s Parma Metal Center have announced $25,000 in grants to Greater Cleveland nonprofit organizations through its Community Grants program. “Through the GM Foundation, these important community organizations are able to drive programs that continue to improve the quality of life in our communities,” said Lamar Rucker, Parma’s plant manager. “We are proud to be a part of a company and community that both work hard to support education, enhance community revitalization and help those in need.”
Are you your neighborhood Christmas lights master? Do you begin building blueprints in July — wearing a Santa hat and guzzling those bottles of Great Lakes Christmas Ale you stashed under the stairs from the year before? Do you sign up for new social media accounts just to have more places to post pictures and tout your self-granted bragging rights? If so, this contest is for you!
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) volleyball coach Mary Colovas, of Parma, has been named 2016 Coach of the Year by the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference after guiding the Challengers to their best season in more than a decade.
Parma City Council President Sean Brennan has again organized the annual Parma Peanut Butter Drive. Celebrating its 6th year, community partners will be collecting peanut butter throughout December for All Faiths Pantry, a Parma area 501(c)3 nonprofit group, that delivers groceries at no charge to local low income seniors and others with challenges to mobility.
In a coordinated campaign across Greater Lake Erie, northeast Ohio residents have likely seen the phrase “Lake Erie Starts Here’...or ‘with Me!” Although daunting to consider, every action we each take affects the water we drink, the water for our crops, and the water we play in.
Are you familiar with the following individuals: Bonnie Dunkelman, Carole DePaola, Mary Anne Christie, or Curt Braden? Like a great majority of Ohioans, probably not. However, if you voted in the Presidential election on November 8, chances are you voted for two of them. This month I explore the elusive Electoral College – the group of Americans who have the Constitutional power to elect the president.
Saturday, October 29th, was certainly a big day for the business community in Polish Village. Treat & Greet 2016, had the largest turnout ever. Mother Nature was certainly onboard with blue skies and unseasonably warm weather. All the kids, decked out in their various costumes, were impatiently waiting the kick off at 11:00 a.m. with some still going strong when it ended at 3:00 p.m.
December’s Asset Category: CONSTRUCTIVE USE OF TIME. The pace of everyday life varies depending on the activities young people participate in. These fluctuations are normal, even healthy. As long as young people don’t consistently have too much to do or not enough to do, they’re right on track. Problems arise when the balance begins to tip too far to one side or the other. Too much involvement can lead to stress or anxiety. Too little involvement can be a sign of depression or isolation. Ensure that young people constructively use their time for both fun and learning.
CAC ART GRANT: November 14th was a great day for the Parma Area Fine Arts Council. That was the day the announcement was made that they have been awarded a matching grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture for 2017. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture announced $14.5 million in grants to 241 Cuyahoga County Nonprofits that day. A matching grant is one where funds must be raised to equal the amount of the grant. The matching grant PAFAC will receive is one of the smallest, but it will help to fund free art classes in the Spring and Summer of 2017 for the Parma area community. Watch for details on upcoming classes and workshops in early Spring of 2017.
2016 MyCom Youth Voice Awards
It's not about the drinks. It's about family. And drinks! So here are tasty choices for those inclined to imbibe with the family kind. Our local Ohio winery Ferrante offers a few choices for the holidays. The Celebration Spice Red is a sweet festive red wine mulled with cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. The Ferrante Holiday Blush has medium sweetness, nice fruit, and some spices. A refreshing choice for the average family drinker who likes "Jester's Blush." It features mild sweetness with some spices since the season requires them spices! Both of these are great gifts for family and friends who enjoy wines on the sweeter side.
Mayor Tim DeGeeter, flanked by Parma and University Hospitals officials around his desk, recently signed a Parma City Council resolution supporting efforts to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The City of Parma honored an October Citizen and Business of the Month at a recent City Council meeting. The Citizen of the Month is a familiar face to many in Parma. Cheryl McIntosh, the executive assistant at the Parma Area Chamber of Commerce, began working at the Chamber over 33 years ago as a volunteer. After job-sharing for several years, she became the full-time executive assistant in 2002. She has worked at the Chamber for the past 25 years. She is a life-long resident of Parma and has an extensive volunteer history in town. She and her husband Jeff have been married nearly 44 years; they have a son, a daughter and three grandchildren. The Business of the Month is Mack's Beverage, located at 5358 Ridge Road. The store has been in business for more than 50 years and was recently named one of the 50 Best Beer Stores in America by Men’s Journal magazine. The magazine cited Mack's "massive selection, giant walk-in cooler and ridiculously friendly staff.” Mack's stocks more than 1,500 brands of beer. The store benefits from a very loyal customer base, and its Facebook page has followers from all over the world. Congratulations to owner Pete Patel and Mack’s.
When Ann George opened the Parma Heights Food Pantry in 2008, the depth of the Great Recession wasn’t yet apparent. The local food bank told her she would likely see about 50 families a month. Eight years later, with the recession long since officially over -- and recent census data showing years of high poverty easing in communities across the U.S. – the pantry supplies food to 280 to 300 families a month. “We’re seeing people that have gotten jobs again, but they’re not the good-paying jobs that they had,” George said. “I’ve actually had men come in here and cry. They say they never expected to see themselves in a place like this.”
SHOW KIDS YOU CARE: ASK FOR THEIR OPINION. November’s Asset Category: EMPOWERMENT. Young people are empowered when they feel valued, valuable and safe. They need to believe that adults like and respect them. Finally, they need plenty of opportunities to contribute to their communities through volunteering, working in paid jobs and sharing their ideas, knowledge and creativity. One of these days, the young people in your home, school, neighborhood and workplace will be in charge – in charge of their own lives and in charge of the world. You can help young people get ready for their future role by empowering them now.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, the nation’s largest free volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service is seeking volunteers to assist taxpayers in southwestern Cuyahoga County. Our tax preparation sites are in Strongsville, Parma (2), Brook Park, Broadview Heights, North Royalton, and Middleburg Heights. Volunteers do not have to be retired or members of AARP.
Tri-City Parma community members were invited to attend four community meetings (9/29/15, 10/20/15, 12/1/15, 3/15/16) to explore the resources and needs of youth in our communities. A diverse group of community members (youth, parents, families, schools, businesses, faith based organizations, civic organizations etc.) worked together to develop a three year neighborhood plan to help our youth become successful adults. The results are listed below.
Both U.S. and British statistics show that one in four of us experiences a mental illness in a given year. And if you aren’t affected directly, mental illness will have an impact on your life through a family member, friend, neighbor, colleague, or through a chance encounter in the grocery store or on the street.
Cuyahoga Community College has been awarded $80,000 to help establish a Veterans Services Center at Western Campus in Parma and expand existing programs for those who served the nation. The Kisco Foundation named Tri-C a recipient of its Kohlberg Prize, given annually to increase support for veterans attending community colleges. The grant was announced during a recent ceremony at the White House in Washington. “This support from the Kisco Foundation will have a major impact on the lives of thousands of veterans,” said Alex Johnson, president of Tri-C. “The Kohlberg Prize enhances the College’s ability to help more veterans secure rewarding careers and position themselves for successful futures.”
The phone is ringing and family is coming over within weeks! What will you serve? What will you drink? Fortunately I have the latter covered for you. Stress not. Pinot Noir and sparkling wine is traditional, but this year is better than all others. Let's get fancy now that we are a city of champions! Not just any Pinot Noir will do this year! Perhaps a Pinot Nero would be good if you are Italian or would like to pretend to be Italian if only for the holidays. Pinot Nero red is an Italian produced Pinot noir which can be found at a few wine shops or select grocery stores with a well stocked wine section. If no Pinot Nero is found look for anything from Willamette Valley and you will have fodder for great conversation. "Willamette Valley produces great Pinot Noir because it shares the same latitude as one of the most historic regions of Pinot Noir grapes on the planet, Burgundy. For champagne, I recommend G.H Mumm which can be found locally for $35 approximately and isn't your family worth it? No? Well, then you'll have to offer up some exquisite Cava or California sparkling which may be more agreeable to your family members who may not have yet discovered the wonders of such affordable sparkling wine as of yet! A good Cava can be bought for $10-15 and a California sparkling for about the same. If neither of these delicate offerings are suitable go for whatever the visiting family members usually drink. Everyone feels at home with what they are used to. Comforting wine and comforting family. Nothing could be more precious and more enjoyable! Happy Holidays! Cheers.
The Parma Symphony Orchestra will perform a Holiday Pops concert on Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 3:00 PM at Valley Forge High School Auditorium located at 9999 Independence Boulevard in Parma Heights.
Music Director Dr. Randolph P. Laycock presents a pop concert featuring: Franz Lehar’s Overture to the Opera “The Merry Widow”, Highlights from “Show Boat” by Jerome Kern, “George Gershwin in Concert”, as well as a collection of Traditional Holiday favorites including Arthur Harris’s “Medley of Well-Know Christmas Carols”, “Christmas at the Movies” selections from Miracle on 34th St, The Polar Express, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Home Alone, and Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride”
Help Cleveland Metroparks keep stormwater runoff out of West Creek! Learn more about a stormwater project and lend a hand maintaining rain gardens installed in the right-of-way of this neighborhood-scale project on Wednesday, November 2 in Parma. Volunteers will be removing leaves and weeds, trimming back grasses, and removing sediment to prepare the gardens for winter. Volunteers should meet at Parkhaven Drive. Clean-up will start at 5:30 p.m. and end at 7:00 p.m.
I am writing this month to appeal to my fellow voters in the Parma City School District (PCSD). As a homeowner, public schoolteacher of 22 years (in a neighboring district), an elected official and as someone who loves this community and the people in it, I want to urge you to vote YES on ISSUE 118 – the PCSD renewal levy. Passage of this issue WILL NOT RAISE TAXES.
I totally understand the concern that many residents have regarding the recent controversies involving our school district. However, we cannot simply throw gasoline on the fire and make matters worse. Our children, our property values and our ability to attract new families depend upon our continued support of the PCSD. Failure of this levy would only serve to further damage a challenged district.
As a community, we must stand united to fight for the cities that we love and the children who depend upon us to fund their schooling so that they can receive a world-class education that will prepare them for success in the 21st century. Today's youth will not only be competing against their peers here in northeast Ohio, but against those throughout the ever-shrinking and interdependent world. China reportedly has more honors students, for instance, than we have students in America. We have a responsibility to equip our youth for success in this hyper-competitive work environment. America's exceptionalism and continued superpower status depends upon everyone doing their part.
If you are still not convinced, maybe the Founders can appeal to you. Despite the fact that they were political enemies, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were both fierce advocates of publicly funded education for the masses. In fact, Adams wrote, "The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it...Education of youth, especially of the lower class of people, are so extremely wise and useful, that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant." Jefferson added, "The tax which will be paid for this purpose [education] is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance."
Please VOTE YES ON ISSUE 118 on November 8 – "An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest" (Benjamin Franklin).
Cuyahoga Job and Family Services and the Home Heating and Weatherization Task Force will be hosting a Utilities Resource Fair, at Lakewood United Methodist Church at 15700 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, Ohio 44107, on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Everyday 8,000 people turn 65 in America. Today older adults live longer in reasonable health, longer with more health issues, and longer in a home alone than ever before. Most Older Adults say they want to live in their own homes as long as possible, but 50% of them say they haven’t planned for their own future as an aging person. Additionally, 73 % of their adult children say they have neither thought about nor planned for the care of their aging parents. This raises serious challenges for anyone hoping to maintain their independence throughout the aging process. Staying in their own home and preventing hospitalization then placement into a nursing home requires planning. That’s what the free course, “Staying Independent Through Aging – Building Your Independence Took Kit” is all about.