Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter will give his 2020 State of the City address at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 25. The presentation is open to the public, and parking is free. Continuing the trend started when he entered office in 2012, the mayor will highlight a community partner by taking his address outside of Parma City Hall. This year, the address will be delivered at Cleveland Metroparks Watershed Stewardship Center in West Creek Reservation, 2277 West Ridgewood Drive, Parma. The presentation will be in the multipurpose room.
The Young Professionals of Parma (YPOP), in conjunction with the cities of Parma, Parma Heights and Seven Hills, hosted the Parma area’s second-annual pizza bake off last month. More than 600 guests attended the event at the city’s UAW hall enjoying pizza from a variety of local pizza shops and bars. A portion of proceeds benefited the Parma Animal Shelter.
“Representatives . . . shall be apportioned among the several states which shall be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers. . .The actual enumeration shall be made . . .within every subsequent Term of ten years.” This quote from Article I of the U.S. Constitution set up our decennial census in 1790 and we have been counting up the population every ten years since.
Ward 2 Councilwoman Debbie Lime and Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter recognized Dennis Gerlich as Citizen of the Month at a January council meeting. Lime nominated Gerlich because she said he is always looking out for his neighbors.
News You Can Use
(and where to find it)
More re: Human Trafficking
From The Polaris Project (https://polarisproject.org)
>> Understanding the federal law …. Action-Means-Purpose (AMP) Model:
Human trafficking occurs when a perpetrator, (the trafficker), takes an Action, and then employs the Means of force, fraud or coercion for the Purpose of compelling the victim to provide commercial sex acts or labor or services. At a minimum, one element from each category must be present to establish a potential situation of human trafficking.
Action = Induce, Recruits, Harbors, Transport, Provides, or Obtains
Means** = Force, Fraud, or Coercion
Purpose = Commercial Sex (Sex Trafficking) or Labor/Service (Labor Trafficking
**Minors induced into commercial sex are human trafficking victims – regardless if force, fraud or coercion is present.
O The Parma Heights PACT (Police & Community Together) Youth Group:
>> The group’s next bi-weekly meeting is scheduled for 6:00 - 7:30 pm, Tuesday, Feb 4th, at Cassidy Theater. The meeting’s discussion topic will be today’s “Vaping”.
>> All area students ages 12 -17 are welcome to join. For announcements & detailed information visit the PACT Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/parmaheights.police; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; ph: 440.884.1235.
O From the Literacy Cooperative-Imagination Library….As recently featured in the Plain Dealer, children from birth to 5 years of age, living in Cuyahoga County can now receive a brand new, age appropriate book, mailed directly to them each month. Funded by sponsors, organizations & individual donors the program is designed to instill a love of books & to facilitate/encourage family reading from an early age. Go here to register your child, learn more and/or to donate: https://www.literacycooperative.org/imagination-library/
Great Lakes Wood Carvers is celebrating their 45th anniversary year. Congratulations to a great group! The carvers meet every Tuesday evening at the Donna Smallwood Activities Center for an open carve night. This group welcomes new members, if you are interested stop in and say hello.
Learn how to look past sensationalized headlines and determine the legitimacy of news sources during an upcoming discussion at the Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). The free program — “The Media Bias Chart: The Importance of Rating News Sources for Reliability and Bias” — will take place from 12:30-1:45 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, at Tri-C’s Western Campus Theatre in Parma.
Robert Oravec from Sirl's Automotive of Parma, received the American Towman Trust Award in Atlantic City on December 6th, 2019 at the world's largest trade show for towing professionals, the American Towman Exposition. A towing company that receives the award was nominated by a third party organization in the towing trade who has a working relationship with that towing company and the towing company also scored high on customer reviews on the internet (Google, Yelp). The Trust Award is presented by American Towman Magazine, the towing industry's premier trade publication.
The GPD Group, a national architectural firm with local offices in Cleveland and Akron, recently presented their recommendation for Strategic Consolidation of the Parma City School District.
Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter swore in eight officers Dec. 16 to the Parma Police Department. The officers will fill positions opened due to police retirements. The new officers' family members had the honor of pinning on the badges during the ceremony in a full Parma Council Chamber. Family and friends, as well as the Safety Department Director Tom Weinreich and police department command staff joined the new officers at a brief reception in Parma Memorial Hall following the ceremony.
The Encore Campus Fridays program at the Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) begins new sessions of classes in January and March to enrich the minds and lives of those aged 55 and older. The winter program begins Jan. 24 and runs every Friday for seven weeks at the campus, located at 11000 Pleasant Valley Road in Parma. Age-eligible students can enroll in one to six courses for a $99 fee. The 50-minute classes take place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
When a group of volunteers with boundless love for Christmas and Parma gets together, Christmas magic happens.
West Creek Conservancy, formerly West Creek Preservation Committee, formed in 1997 when several concerned Parma citizens began meeting at a local library to discuss preserving the area’s greenspace and improving its accessibility to the public. Following the creation of West Creek Reservation, now managed by the Cleveland Metroparks, the organization recognized the need for its land conservation and watershed restoration services. Over the past 22 years, West Creek Conservancy (WCC) has expanded its reach into five Northeast Ohio counties, yet its mission has remained the same: protection, restoration and connection. “We acquire land to protect it, restore its functional integrity, and then we connect it to the people,” said WCC Executive Director Derek Schafer.
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 2020. 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.
Reintroducing MyCom! A network that collaborates, advocate, navigate and connect Youth!
Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter, Ward 6 Councilman Larry Napoli and members of council honored Normandy Drama Workshop students in December for the dramatic 9/11￼ presentation they gave in the Parma Council Chamber on Sept. 11. Additionally, the council recognized the graduates of the Fall 2019 Citizens Police Academy. These Parma residents received a behind-the-scenes look at Parma police work and saw firsthand what officers do to keep citizens safe. The academy also helps cultivate a stronger relationship between police and residents.
Education/training opportunities & options
From Cleveland Rape Crisis Ctr:
>> For Students: Up to 11 programs/events spread over these three categories, > Classrooom & After-School Programs for Children & Youth, > Gender Specific Programs, > Youth Leadership Development
>> For Teachers and Staff: Three programs /events
>> For Parents: Five programs/events
Visit https://clevelandrapecrisis.org/prevention-education/ for details on these programs plus more.
AG’s Human Trafficking Summit coming up on January 9, 2020 in Columbus.
Go here: https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Human-Trafficking-Summit for information and/or to register.
Watch for more information re Human Trafficking in the next issue.
Compliments of the Imagine Foundation.
2020 will be an important year in the history of our nation, and we can all play a role in making that history through exercising our civic duty to vote. This year we will be voting for President of the United States, our respective member of the U.S. House of Representatives, state representative, state board of education member, county council member, county prosecutor, several judge positions, the county health and human services levy, and a Parma City School District renewal levy. It is especially important that we here in Cuyahoga County vote, as our county determines in large part how our state and nation goes in the Presidential election.
The Cuyahoga County Boaard Of Elections Is Holding A Job Fair And Hiring Thousands For The March, 17 2020 Presidential Primary Election
The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is inviting the public to attend a job fair as part of our effort to hire over 4,000 individuals to assist voters on Election Day as Precinct Election Officials (PEOs). In addition, there are openings for Ride Along Officials, Drop-off Assistants, Rovers and over 300 openings for in-house full-time temporary Clerks.
In the Spring of 2019 a handful of people met to discuss the creation of a new nonprofit, We Are Parma Proud, based on, Proud of Parma, an organization that served Parma well for a great many years. The mission is to advance, develop and improve the image of Parma. A mission that is as viable today as it was back in the day, when Proud of Parma was created.
The Young Professionals of Parma (YPOP), in conjunction with the cities of Parma, Parma Heights and Seven Hills, is excited to host the Parma area’s second-annual pizza bake off on Thursday, January 23, 2020, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Parma’s UAW Hall (5615 Chevrolet Boulevard). This indoor, family-friendly event will benefit the Parma Animal Shelter. Last year's inaugural event was a huge success. More than 750 guests enjoyed pizza from nine vendors in addition to live music and raffles. Four vendors were honored with awards: First place, Giovanni’s Pizza; Second place, Master’s Pizza; Third place, a tie between Napoleon’s Pizza and Fratello’s Pizza. “Last year’s event was a hit,” said YPOP president Jackie Baraona. “We’re taking what we learned last year and applying it to make this year’s event even better. We’re looking forward to an event that is not only fun but helps promote our local pizza vendors.”
Cox Communications $5,000 Donation Ensures Civic Engagement Program Continues To Impact Local Students
With an increased interest in the government process during an election year, the City of Parma’s Leadership for Tomorrow program takes on new levels of relevance in its goal of educating Parma City School District fourth graders about the importance of civic engagement. This year, Leadership for Tomorrow has partnered with the offices of State Representative Jeff Crossman and State Senator Nickie Antonio, which issued proclamations of support for the program’s mission. A $5,000 donation from Cox Communications provides an additional boost by covering the entire cost of the program, which encompasses nine visits by eight public schools in the district. As students explore different functions and features of their local government offices, Representative Crossman and Senator Antonio will provide an extra layer of insight into what it means to perform the duties of an elected official in a close-knit community like Parma. “The City of Parma and Cox Communication’s commitment to providing students with unfettered access to their local government operations represents a tremendous opportunity for our young people,” Representative Crossman said. “Senator Antonio and I are excited to participate and help Parma students gain an appreciation for what it means to be engaged in the civic process.”
Celebrate the holidays Parma style, on Sunday, December 8, 2019! The 2019 Parma Christmas Parade kicks off at 2 PM at Ridge Road and Selwick Drive, near The Stearns Homestead. The parade travels north this year to Hollywood Drive and the Ridgewood Golf Course, which was designed in 1925. Immediately following the parade, We Are Parma Proud, a newly created 501(c)3 nonprofit organization is hosting the first annual Frosty’s Fest.
Parma Symphony Orchestra will perform a Holiday Concert on Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 3:00 PM at Valley Forge High School Auditorium located at 9999 Independence Boulevard in Parma Heights. Music Director Dr. Randolph P. Laycock will feature “Les Preludes” by Franz Liszt, “A Musicological Journey Through the Twelve Days of Christmas” by Craig Courtney accompanied by the combined choirs of Parma, Valley Forge, Normandy and Padua Franciscan High Schools and CCC-West Collegiate Choir. Also featuring a transcription by orchestra member Everett Brandt and cartoon video of “Corny Concerto” shown with music performed by the orchestra. Christmas favorites to be featured are the Robert Bowden arrangement of “A Christmas Treat”, “Christmas on Broadway” arranged by John Higgins and everyone’s favorite “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson.
More re: Human Trafficking
Visit the State of Ohio’s Human Trafficking Task Force Web site for Related Information and Available Resources….. https://humantrafficking.ohio.gov/
>> Go here: https://humantrafficking.ohio.gov/response.html to review a Toolkit for Serving Survivors of Trafficking in Ohio
>> Go here: https://humantraffickinghotline.org/nhth-hhs-online-trainings for an extensive list of available, free online training modules from NHTH & HHS
>> Go here: https://humantraffickinghotline.org/resources/human-trafficking-awareness-educators to view the training video on Human Trafficking Awareness for Educators.
Watch for more information re Human Trafficking in the next issue.
Nine years ago I read an article about rising peanut butter prices. The article made me think about growing up the son of a single-mother, following my father abandoning us. As a young boy I never thought about why I ate so much peanut butter, but the article made me realize that it was our main source of protein in those lean years due to its relative affordability. The article made me concerned for families like mine growing up.
Gary G. Nass, a Parma Area Fine Arts Board Member, is a participant in the Scatterings: 3-Dimensions On the Wall & Off Show, brought to you by Cleveland Photo Fest at Doubting Thomas Gallery located at 856 Jefferson Avenue in Tremont. This event is also a part of the Tremont Artwalk. The show features sculptures and assemblages incorporating photo-based imagery from 13 creative individuals. You may remember reading an artist profile of Gary’s work in the March 2019 issue of the Parma Observer, which detailed his unique and lengthy process, involving wood, handmade paper and photographs. This event opens Friday, December 13, 2019 6 to 9 PM. Closing reception is January 3, 2020 from 6 to 10 PM with a Multimedia performance by Jim Szudy and Shawn Sloburn.
On November 20th my son Bill and I traveled to Pittsburgh to meet Jay Allen where we witnessed a very special performance of his song Blank Stares. Jay had been watching his mother fight her battle with Early-Onset Alzheimer's for the last 5 years seeing her memory and her personality continue to slip away. Sadly at the young age of 55 she lost that battle this past February. Jay wrote Blank Stares to honor his mother and to share some of the pain that families and Care Partners face. The video of Jay singing this song with his mother on stage has been viewed Millions of times around the world. His performance at the Transform Aging Town Hall was more a Prayer than a song and it touched me on a personal level. I applaud his courage as he continues to perform this tribute because I felt his sadness and realized that it must break his heart every time he does. I know it broke mine.
Child and Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County invites you to become an advocate for abused and neglected children. What is a CASA volunteer? A Court Appointed Special Advocate is a trained community volunteer appointed by the Juvenile Court to represent the best interests of an abused or neglected child. Join us to learn what it means to be a CASA volunteer in our community. Invite a friend or coworker to come with you! Find out how you can help end the cycle of abuse. Please RSVP to Michele Blazina at email@example.com. The session will be held at the Lakewood Public Library (Main Branch) at 15425 Detroit Road, Lakewood, OH 44107 on Thursday, January 30, 2020, from 6:30 - 7:30 PM.
The talent of eight emerging Northeast Ohio artists who work in a variety of mediums will be highlighted during a monthlong exhibit at the Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C).
Parma mayor and council members honored an exceptional business, coach and citizen during the month of October.
I am contacted often by senior and disabled residents in our community who are seeking financial and other assistance. I find that, all too often, they are not aware of the programs offered by the local, state and federal governments or non-governmental organizations. That is why I recently reached out to Stacey Boycik, Manager of the Parma-Snow branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, to ask if she and her staff would consider partnering to put together a Senior Benefits Fair. Always willing to sponsor programs that benefit the community, she excitedly agreed.
Parma engineers met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Buffalo, N.Y., late this summer. They were seeking section 205 program funds to address surface-flooding concerns. The meeting stemmed from the city’s 2018 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers application regarding targeted flooding areas: Antoinette Drive, Thoreau Drive and Rousseau Drive; Regency Drive and Ridge Road; West Ridgewood Drive; and York Road and Pleasant Valley Drive. City engineers also discussed other areas that experienced flooding during a July 5 downpour: Bonnie Banks and Stormes Drive. Any awarded funds would be a 65/35 split with all the neighborhoods. “We keep pushing for these critical funds. We’ll do whatever they ask us on our end to seek these federal dollars for our city,” said Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter. “We continue to look at different areas that got hit hard. We have had meetings with West Creek Conservancy and Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District searching for solutions to our storm water management challenges.”
Cleveland’s cycling community is once again gathering food for disadvantaged families and senior citizens this holiday season! Bike Cleveland and Bike Parma are hosting Cleveland’s seventh-annual Cranksgiving, a food drive by bicycle that begins and ends at the Parma Hunger Center. There is no cost to join the event, but cyclists usually spend about $15 (or however much you can) on food and supplies for others. Last year the event raised over $2000 worth of food and supplies for the Euclid Hunger Shelter and we are hoping to crush that goal this year. This event has historically been the largest single-day donation of the year for all of the food banks involved and Bike Parma is honored to be co-hosting this year.
How does Cranksgiving work? Riders of all ages and skill levels receive a map of nearby grocery stores and are challenged to ride their bikes – regardless of weather — to about four of the stores to purchase one or more food items specified for each. Everything purchased must be hauled by bicycle, either in a bag, pannier, rack, or trailer. You will return to donate the food you collected to benefit the Parma Hunger Center. You can ride anywhere from a few miles to 15 during the event.
Want to contribute even more? Clean out your pantry and bring nonperishable food items to the event. Organize a mini-food drive at your work or in your neighborhood. Or, if you cannot attend, you can make a donation to Bike Cleveland or Bike Parma (specifying that it is for Cranksgiving) and a Bike Cleveland or Bike Parma board member will fetch groceries on your behalf.
Here’s the timeline for the event:
Event Date: Saturday, November 23rd 2019
Event Home Base: Parma Hunger Center 5280 Broadview Rd, Parma, OH 44134
10:30AM – Registration, plus coffee and donuts
11:00AM – Brief program and send off
1:00-1:15PM – Return to Parma Hunger Center and donate food
1:30PM – Closing program and traditional group photo
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.
LRC Realty is in the midst of an $8.5 million overhaul of Midtown Plaza, giving the shopping center a modern look and a new name, Quarry Square. The project includes a 20,000-square-foot Aldi and a new Planet Fitness. The redevelopment will add energy-efficient LED lighting, improvements to the parking lot and an update to the façade.
From vibrant pink patches on their uniforms to trendy beards, police officers are making a fashion statement this fall. In October, many of the officers donned vibrant pink police patches on their sleeves in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They also collaborated with University Hospital’s Seidman Cancer Center to bring awareness about breast cancer detection during Polish Village’s Treat & Greet, passing out literature at the event with UH staff. Furthermore, they raised money through City of Parma dress-down Fridays to help cover transportation costs for cancer patients traveling to and from treatments. The money was donated to the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery transportation program.