Last May was a game changer for the Parma City School District. It was in May that we discovered we would have a $2,000,000 budget shortfall in the 2015-2016 school year and then a $7,000,000 shortfall this school year.
Town Hall Meeting
Recently, I had the honor of meeting one of Parma’s religious patriarchs, Fr. Dale Staysniak, who has served as Pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish for almost 24 years. This month in my continuing series on Parma’s places of worship, you are provided with a glimpse into this religious rock of the community located at 6750 State Road.
Enroll Now – Youth Art Classes
Scott Slack was named the Mayor’s Citizen of the Month, and the Business of the Month is Charm Thai Restaurant, 7462 Broadview Road.
Parma’s annual Safety Fair, a community family event for area residents to learn valuable safety information, is scheduled for Saturday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Parma Justice Center, 5555 Powers Blvd.
The event is a cooperative effort of the Parma Fire Department, Parma Police Department, City of Parma and Parma City Council. The highlight of the Safety Fair is the medical chopper landing, which is scheduled at noon, after which kids and their parents can explore the chopper. The Fair also includes a grease fire demonstration, a K-9 demonstration and information about gun safety, fingerprinting, Internet safety and much more.
Robert Oravec started working at Sirl's Automotive February 1st, 1977 when he was 18 years old. He has become the manager of the towing department and has been granted the Order of the Towman award, the highest honor a towman can receive. Since receiving the Order of the Towman award he has become a Captain of the Order of the Towman and has also received the ACE award twice. His boss, Dale R. Sirl Sr., has expressed how proud he is of the work that he has done and the time that he has committed to the company. He stated that Robert has "given the most dedication that any one person could give" and that he is the "heart and soul of the towing department." Robert has dedicated his life to being a tow truck driver and has dutifully given up many weekends and family functions to perform the duty that is required of a tow truck driver. Congratulations Robert on your 40 years of hard work at Sirl's Automotive.
North Coast Needlers Quilt Guild presents its 15th biennial quilt show "My Favorite Chix are Quilters!" Over 250 quilts will be featured, ranging from traditional and contemporary to modern and art quilts, offering something for everyone to enjoy. Many of our members are award-winning quilters!
Quilts will be exhibited in the airy rotunda of Westlake High School, 27830 Hilliard Boulevard, Westlake, on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23. Show hours are 10-5 both days. A beautiful red and white guild-made quilt will be raffled off on Sunday afternoon.
Rounding out the show will be a boutique offering handcrafted items for sale, a quilt-side cafe', and a vendor mall featuring local and regional dealers. Admission donation is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, ages 10 and under free. More information can be found on the North Coast Needlers website www.ncnquilt.com.
The Parma Symphony Orchestra will perform a concert on Sunday, March 12 at 3:00 PM at Valley Forge High School Auditorium located at 9999 Independence Boulevard in Parma Heights. General admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. Family passes of $20 are available for families of up to 2 adults and their children. All tickets are available at the door beginning at 2:30 PM.
Summer is right around the corner – what are you going to do when school’s out? Most teens would probably like to have their own job and earn their own money. MyCom partners with Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) to match teens to summer work experiences in their neighborhood. A summer job provides more than a paycheck – it builds your resume with work experience, teaches you new skills and helps you explore different careers. Below is an interview with a student, Ebony, who has had a job through Y.O.U. for the last four summers. Last summer her job led the way for a year-round part time job.
At Royalton Woods’ Annual Valentine’s Day Party on February 14, 2017, Milton Jennrich and Hattie Gray were crowned King and Queen of Hearts, as voted by our residents and staff. Hattie and Milton were both surprised to receive the news of their victory at the polls. While Hattie couldn’t thank everyone enough, Milton simply welcomed the opportunity to serve with “his beautiful queen” with a quick kiss. Both would like to thank the residents and staff for the kindness and thoughtfulness shown to them. Milton, a WWII Army Veteran, and Hattie, a soon-to-be centurion, love living at Royalton Woods. Aside from the wonderful parties and musical entertainers they love so dearly, they “are honored to share their lives with such wonderful people” and look forward to “all the fun we have.” Congratulations, Hattie and Milton! We know you will serve Royalton Woods admirably in 2017!
Now that my wife and I are empty-nesters, we have been doing things together that we never had time for or just did not think about when the kids were home. As we enter the season of Lent, we are going to make it our goal to hit as many different fish fries in Parma as we can. So, this month I am going to give you a rundown of all that Parma has to offer regarding Lenten fish fries. As you can see, there is no need to leave town to keep this tradition going. Incidentally, if I leave any events out, please do not take offense – it was not intentional.
SHOW KIDS YOU CARE: TELL THEM HOW MUCH YOU LIKE BEING WITH THEM.
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. Young people who can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations are more likely to avoid risky behaviors and focus on positive attitudes.
The Parma Area Fine Arts Council (PAFAC) is celebrating it's 55th anniversary this year. Their mission is to bring art to the community for the enrichment and enjoyment of the residents by providing affordable classes, art education, entertainment and special events.
2017 is the 60th Birthday of the Pink Plastic Flamingo! Capistrano has Swallows. Hinkley has Buzzards. Parma has Pink Flamingos!
Cuyahoga Job and Family Services and Polaris Career Center will be hosting the 2017 Polaris/Cuyahoga County Career Fair, at Polaris Career Center at 7285 Old Oak Blvd in Middleburg Hts, Ohio, 44130, on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to noon.
A Thousand and One Journeys: The Arab Americans, a documentary on the contributions of Middle Eastern immigrants to the United States, will be screened March 28 at the Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C).
Learn how teens can earn college credit at no cost while in high school or middle school during a College Credit Plus Information Night from 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, at the Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C).
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 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!
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.
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.