Lucas Woronischtsche, age 4, is the City of Parma's Citizen of the Month for January. He came to the council meeting on January 22nd sporting his tie, vest, new police haircut and adorable smile. Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter and Ward 4 Councilwoman Kristin Saban presented Lucas and his mother, Rebecca Woronishchtsche, with the proclamation on Jan. 22 for his generosity toward the Parma Police Department and K9 Unit. Lucas was surprised when he saw that four of the K9 officers and their dogs attended the meeting to honor him. Two of his favorite K9, Dexter and Beny, were there to greet him with their tails wagging.
The Young Professionals of Parma, in conjunction with the City of Parma and the City of Parma Heights, hosted its inaugural Parma-Area Pizza Bake Off on Thursday, January 24 at German Central. The event attracted an overwhelming response, bringing more than three times the attendance the group originally expected. The large attendance helped generate more proceeds than expected, which enabled the Young Professionals of Parma to donate a greater amount to the Parma Hunger Center. The group is grateful for the pizza vendors, sponsors, volunteers, attendees and music group The Baker’s Basement for making the event a success. “We were amazed, but excited, by the turnout,” said Jackie Baraona, president of the Young Professionals of Parma. “We got a lot more people than we expected, especially those who bought tickets at door, but we are touched by the community support and plan on holding the event at a bigger venue next year. Thank you to all our sponsors, donors and pizza vendors for making the event possible!”
Parma Mayor Timothy J. DeGeeter will offer his 2019 State of the City address on Monday, Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. Continuing the trend started when he entered office in 2012, the mayor will showcase a community partner by taking his address outside of Parma City Hall. This year, the address will be delivered at Cuyahoga Community College’s Western Campus, 11000 West Pleasant Valley Road, Parma. The presentation will be in the Galleria, located in the center of the campus. The mayor chose Tri-C to highlight the college’s expansion, which includes the new STEM building, Advanced Automotive Technology Center expansion and second phase of the KeyBank Public Safety Training Center.
Happy 2019! Occasionally a resident will attend a meeting of Parma City Council and wonder why there is sometimes little discussion about the items upon which members of Council are voting upon and why most items pass unanimously. The reasoning for this is because members of Council have already discussed, debated and compromised on the items they are voting on in the Council meeting in their respective committee meetings. This month’s column is dedicated to making you aware of the various committees of Parma City Council and who serves on each of them.
The Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will host a visitation day for prospective students on Presidents Day (Monday, Feb. 18), with sessions starting at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The day provides an opportunity to discuss academic programs with faculty and counselors; learn more about enrollment, financial aid and scholarships; discover the variety of student services available; and explore the buildings.
O The Parma Heights PACT (Police & Community Together) Youth Group….
>> The group is alive & well, continuing its bi-weekly meeting schedule, alternating between an activity of some type one week with a group discussion of a consensus topic the next. Meetings are from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at Cassidy Theater.
>> For announcements & detailed information visit their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/parmaheights.police; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; ph: 440.884.1235
The Pleasant Lake Villa Chorale, a newly formed group of singing residents, debuted on Christmas Eve morning as part of a “living” Nativity program entitled A Precious Gift Given in Love enjoyed by fellow residents, family and friends. They joined volunteer children and adults to reenact the Christmas story in drama and song. The program ended with a visit from Santa who distributed candy canes with the help of the angels and shepherds. The choir is preparing for their Easter performance.
Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter and Ward 6 Councilman Larry Napoli presented On The Spot Dry Cleaners with the Business of the Month Award on Jan. 22. The family-run dry cleaners has been in business at its 7399 State Road building for 12 years. Its original location in Broadview Heights functions as plant operations. Owners Bernard and Kim Darusz have lived for 27 years in Parma, where they are raising their four children. Bernard graduated from Parma Senior High School in 1969. “Bernard and Kim are committed to their customers and the community. They provide dry cleaning for the Parma Area Family Collaborative, which helps families in need of winter coats and other essential items,” DeGeeter said. “They also clean band uniforms, choir robes and theater costumes for local and surrounding school districts, as well as support local businesses, such as nursing and rehabilitation facilities.”
Learn about the racialized settlement patterns that turned Cleveland into one of the nation’s most segregated metropolitan areas during an upcoming discussion at the Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). The free program — “Changing Neighborhoods Then and Now: Race and Suburbanization in Cleveland” — will take place from 12:30-1:45 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Tri-C’s Western Campus Theatre in Parma.
School classes were canceled with dipping temperatures prompting authorities to ground all airline flights. Alerts flashed crossed the television screen urging residents to stay indoors. The polar vortex had arrived. Interestate highways were starting to close. My husband and I would have to travel back roads to pick up our daughter from college. “What is that noise?” I asked. “Oh, it's probably just ice on the tires. We're fine.” my husband assured me. As we drove further into the darkness of a desolate rural area, the noise became louder and the car began to intermittently stall out. I made a frantic call to my brother. Upon relaying the last mile marker I recalled seeing, he was sure there was a gas station not too far down the road. As the blizzard continued to obscure our vision, we finally caught sight of a brightly lit area just ahead. My brother arrive as our car stalled out for the very last time.
Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter and council members presented proclamations to standout citizens at the Dec. 17 council meeting. Parma native Nicholas Celebrezze was recognized for his years of service as a state representative, councilman and civic activist. In 2006, he formed a small family-owned law firm. From 2006 to 2012, he served as Parma Ward 3 councilman. Since 2012, he has been an elected member of the Ohio General Assembly. He has served as the assistant minority leader of the Ohio House of Representatives and was appointed commissioner of the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood. He recently was selected as a Super Lawyer Rising Star of Family Law in Ohio.
Did you know that the Parma area has more than 20 pizza shops, not even counting chains or bars that serve slices of everybody’s favorite pie? With that many shops, The Young Professionals of Parma thought if smaller areas like Lakewood and West Park hold bake-offs, why shouldn’t Parma? The non-profit organization is proud to announce it has partnered with the City of Parma, City of Parma Heights and the City of Seven Hills to host a pizza bake-off Thursday, January 24, 2019. The event will take place from 5:30 p.m to 8:30 p.m. at German Central at 7863 York Rd. Attendees will be able to sample pizza slices from various vendors and vote for their favorite.
Two major projects will be beneficial to Parma’s economic development and will offer more job opportunities for residents. Pitt Ohio, a transportation and logistics company headquartered in Pittsburgh, is building a new complex in Parma that will bring nearly 200 jobs to the city. The 100,000-square-foot trucking terminal on Chevrolet Boulevard will rely heavily on wind energy produced from its eight newly constructed vertical wind turbines. The trucking company’s $3.3 million complex will also include solar panels in an effort to make the facility independent of the energy grid. Pitt Ohio prides itself on sustainability. “Anytime you have a great company like Pitt Ohio wanting to locate in your city, you want to partner with them on projects of this magnitude, and that’s what we’ve done,” Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter said.
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 2019 award season. In its twelfth 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 2019 – 2020 academic year. Financial need, work ethic, community service and accomplishments are among the selection criteria for the scholarship. The application deadline is April 1, 2019. 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 440-885-8091.
Homes and residences in Cox Communications’ serviceable areas in Parma now have access to gigabit Internet speeds, providing ultra-fast connectivity for the latest online technology advancements, including video-chatting, gaming and movies and TV shows.
I attended the PAWS (Performing Animal Welfare Society) Conference in Burbank, California, November 9,10,11. I attended in 2010 when it was held at their San Andreas Sanctuary where the tigers and elephants reside. They have another sanctuary in Galt, which houses all other rescued species.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) is presenting a retrospective of artworks created by the late David Wilder, a former adjunct instructor of art, during a two-month exhibit at Western Campus. Drawing and paintings by Wilder — who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Cleveland in March 2017 — will be on sale throughout the show to raise money for a scholarship created in his memory.
The Women in Transition program at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will launch a new session at Western Campus on Jan. 14. The free program empowers women in their pursuit of education and professional training. Participants build confidence and self-esteem through classes on personal development, career exploration and financial and computer literacy. The course is designed to assist women in transitional periods of their lives, such as a career change or return to the workforce. The eight-week, noncredit program is free and open to the public.
December Highlights: The NEW MYCOM website is up and ready to view! Check out what MyCom is and does on MyComCLE.org !!!!
Before you read this column, define the word “impeachment.” If you are like most, you may have answered something along the lines of, “to remove an official from office.” However, if that were the definition, then why did Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton – the only presidents to have been impeached - remain in office following their respective impeachments? The answer is that the word impeach means to accuse of wrongdoing. It is the equivalent of a criminal indictment, when a defendant is accused of a crime by a grand jury. Both Presidents were accused of breaking the law, but neither were found guilty of the crimes, nor, subsequently, removed from office.
The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program will be getting underway again this year starting the first week in February and ending the 15th of April 2019. This IRS-supported FREE tax service is offered on a non-discriminatory basis without consideration of race, religion, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. We give special attention to those with low or moderate incomes and/or aged 60 and older. Taxpayers do NOT have to be retired or a member of AARP.
Tax-Aide sites in southwest Cuyahoga County are located at:
Our neighbors and friends in the Parma area are known for philanthropy, giving spirit and volunteerism. We watch out for each other and support each other in tough times. The generosity of the community over the years is heartwarming. Last year alone, the response to the Family Collaborative’s Giving Tree program and ‘adoption’ of financially needy children was quite impressive. The Family Collaborative was able to give to just over 1,000 kids at Christmastime due to the kindness of those in our communities.
“Sunday, November 11 (6:39 pm): Dispatch Message – At 1631 hours PPD and PFD Responded to . . .Wexford Ave for a 74 YO Male with self-inflicted gunshot. House appeared to be secure and there was nothing suspicious about death - coroner has come to claim the body.” When I received this message from the Parma Dispatch Center last month, my heart sunk and it has been bothering me ever since. I did not know this gentleman, but I cannot help but be saddened knowing that he was, no doubt, suffering from loneliness and depression. His death awakened the memory of my Uncle Eugene who took his own life when I was a young teenager, as well as the students at the school where I teach that have either attempted or succeeded in ending their own lives. It also reminded me of the young man who shot himself last year in Parma soon after returning from serving our country.
O The Parma Heights PACT (Police & Community Together) Youth Group….
>> Congratulations to the PACT Unit Youth Group and co-facilitators, Ptl. Eric Taylor and Case Manager Kelly Latevola for being recognized & receiving a MyCom Network Agency Award for Youth Engagement. This is given to those organizations “….actively & authentically engaging youth in decision making about youth programming, community activities for children and young adults and/or community planning.” The award was presented during the 2018 Annual MyCom Youth Awards banquet held on November 15th.
>> For announcements & detailed information re. their bi-weekly (6:00 – 7:30 pm., Tuesday) meetings visit their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/parmaheights.police.
O Save the Date – The Ohio Association of Foodbanks, in partnership with the Ohio Dept of Education, will be hosting the 8th annual statewide Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Summit in 2019! When: Tuesday Feb 12, 2019; Where: Mid-Ohio Foodbank, Grove City (just south of Columbus); Target Audience: a returning sponsor or site, a partner, or an organization considering whether SFSP is a fit for you. Registration for the event will opens in early January 2019.
O From Parma City Schools….
>> IF YOU VOTED “NO” FOR THE SCHOOL LEVY, Supt. Smialek is inviting you to attend his next Town Hall meeting starting at 6:30, on Wednesday, December 5th at the Parma (Powers Blvd) Branch Library. Following a structured format, you’ll be given an opportunity to express the rationale for your vote….w/the request that folks discuss only matters within the district’s control.
>> Schools in the District are gearing up for the Holidays. Visit the district’s and/or your child’s school website to view their schedule of programs, events and please show your support for those that you can.
>> Consider a donation to help students from Valley Forge H.S. complete an on-campus memorial to 15 alumni killed during the Vietnam war. They’re hoping to set the actual memorial in May and complete landscaping work shortly thereafter. A check memo’d as “Vietnam Memorial” sent to Valley Forge H.S. or an in-kind donation, i.e.: landscaping and/or concrete services are specifically needed, would both be appreciated. Contact Amy Byrne, firstname.lastname@example.org or Mike Stringer, email@example.com for more information.
Henry Fambrough is the last original member of the Motown group, The Spinners, and has insight to share. Fambrough, who recently turned 80 years old, say he still feels the same as he did when he was 20. As an 80-year-old, Fambrough is able to share a depth of wisdom and experience with readers.
November Highlights The NEW MYCOM website is up and ready to view! Check out what MyCom is and does on MyComCLE.org !!!!
The spirit of Christmas, and decorating for the holiday has been in Mark Klaus’ blood since his youth in Seven Hills. It’s not surprising then that the Normandy High School graduate parlayed the purchase of a church, a school and two storefronts in Medina into Castle Noel, an enterprise he calls “America’s Largest Indoor, Year ‘Round Christmas Entertainment Attraction.” “Our home was a Christmas wonderland,” Klaus said. (Klaus sounds like “Claus,” as in "Santa.") “We always had ornaments in the ceiling and Santa flying over the house.”
What comes to your mind when you think of Parma? There are many answers depending on who you ask. You have locations such as Stearns Farm, West Creek, or The Shoppes at Parma, and you have both Polish Village and Ukrainian Village. The first thing that comes to mind for many, however, isn’t a place at all, but a thing: pink flamingos.
Two national lists recently named Parma among the best cities for retirees and veterans to call home.
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. We have 2 tax preparation sites in Parma and additional sites in the neighboring cities of Middleburg Heights, Brook Park, Broadview Heights, North Royalton, and Strongsville. We also have sites Brooklyn, and Brooklyn Heights, and the Old Brooklyn and Puritas-Longmead neighborhoods of the city of Cleveland that are part of another Tax-Aide district. Volunteers do not have to be retired or members of AARP.
Parma City Council President Sean Brennan is again uniting community partners to collect peanut butter for local low income seniors throughout the month of December.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will honor the courageous men and women who served in the nation’s military during a Veterans Day observance at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at Western Campus.
The City of Parma is excitedly watching the $7 million expansion project taking place at Mount Alverna Village, located off OH-94/State Road. This premier senior living community, sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago, is adding 42 memory support apartments, expanding their current rehabilitation services, and adding a life enrichment center that will open in 2019.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will showcase the bold, colorful and humorous creations of three regional artists during a monthlong exhibit now on view at Western Campus. The exhibit runs through Nov. 21 at Gallery West, located on the second floor of the campus library. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
This summer, PetFix Northeast Ohio and local firefighters, teamed up to create the 2019 Firefighters and Furry Friends calendar. This much-anticipated calendar is now available for sale and features our local heros with owned and adoptable cats and dogs. The photographs were taken by local Pulitzer prize-winning photographer Amy Sancetta. The calendar makes a great holiday gift for animal-loving friends and family. All proceeds go toward PetFix Northeast Ohio's non-profit mission of offering high-quality, affordable spay and neuter sugeries to end pet homelessness and the need for unnecessary euthanasia due to overpopulation. Show your support for our local heroes and help PetFix create a world in which every pet has a loving home, by purchasing your calendar today for only $20 plus shipping. Calendars can be bought online at petfixnortheastohio.org.
Child and Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County (CFACC) welcomes Tricia Kuivinen as the new Executive Director. Kuivinen’s first day with CFACC will be Monday, October 29, 2018. Kuivinen is a seasoned nonprofit management professional and licensed social worker with over 25 years of broad experience in the nonprofit sector, with a specialty in marketing, external affairs, and organizational consulting. Kuivinen has worked in a wide variety of professional capacities throughout her career, including direct clinical work and case management, advocacy and government relations, healthcare marketing, maternal health program development, fundraising, and as an independent consultant. Kuivinen launched TKConsultingCLE in 2000 to serve a variety of nonprofit organizations through consulting and project development services. She most recently served as the Director of External Affairs at Linking Employment, Abilities and Potential (LEAP), a northeast Ohio disability services organization. In this capacity, she worked to create and advance a comprehensive external affairs strategy, including marketing, public relations, and annual fund campaigns, corporate and community outreach, and the creation of effective program and employment partnerships benefiting persons with disabilities. Prior to her role with LEAP, Kuivinen served as the Director of the Zechariah House in Cleveland, a transitional residence for homeless women, and as a Community Relations Manager with the Cleveland Clinic. Kuivinen also serves as an adjunct Nonprofit Marketing instructor with the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. She has a BA in Social Work, an MA in Practical Theology, and a Master of Nonprofit Management degree (MNO) from the Weatherhead School of Management at CWRU. In 2005, Kuivinen was a recipient of the Northeast Ohio Tobacco Control Coalition’s Distinguished Service Award and was also awarded the Dean’s Academic Medal from the Weatherhead School of Management during the same year. In May 2007, Kuivinen was recognized in the “At Work” column of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Kuivinen currently resides in South Euclid, Ohio with her two daughters. She enjoys travel, cooking, keeping up with current affairs, and volunteering with community-based organizations.
November’s Asset Category: EMPOWERMENT Feeling valued and appreciated is important to all of us. For young people, this means feeling safe and believing they’re liked and respected. These feelings can go a long way toward empowering children and youth. Providing opportunities and recognizing accomplishments helps young people build self-esteem. This in turn, gives them the confidence to share their ideas, knowledge, and creativity by volunteering and working in paid jobs. By paying attention to young people, you show that you value them. This column’s focus will be on…..Asset #9 – Service to Others
Over the years I have written quite a lot about religion in this column, as my own faith is very important to me and I have always been fascinated with other faiths. As I pen this article, I am listening to our local public radio station (90.3 FM - WCPN) report about the disastrous attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. It is reported that 11 Americans have died practicing their First Amendment right of free exercise of religion. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that I write this piece.
The City of Parma and the Parma City School District are partnering on a pilot program at Parma Senior High School to teach students essential leadership skills for future careers and personal development. The Parma Youth Leadership Academy, launched last week, identified 30 Parma Senior High School students who will receive leadership training this fall and winter. Later in the spring, those skills will be utilized through a project focused on helping the schools or the city.