Just before Christmas, Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter was searching for last-minute stocking stuffers at The Shoppes at Parma. A woman who knew the mayor approached him near the front entrance of Fast Eddie’s, where he was picking up gift certificates. “I just want you to know mayor – I’m doing all my shopping in Parma this year,” she said. DeGeeter smiled and thanked her. When at restaurants, or grocery stores, or other places, residents who recognize DeGeeter usually come up to him. “It’s a good way to take the pulse of the community,” he said. “People aren’t shy about expressing their opinions. I hear about issues they’re having in their neighborhoods, or listening as they express their frustrations. But I’m hearing more often than not about the pride people have in our city and the progress we’re making in Parma.”
Being Close Matters. MetroHealth has reimagined the hospital experience by opening two new hospitals in Parma and Cleveland Heights. The Parma facility is located at 12301 Snow Road and will open to patients on January 3.
With the year coming to an end, it's important to stop and recognize everything that makes Parma special. As the 7th largest city in the state, with nearly 80,000 residents, we have a lot to be proud of. How do we choose the best of the best? To ask our great citizens, like you!
The recession of 2008 plunged families in the Parma area into a financial crisis that, for many, lingers to this day. All Saints Episcopal Church, at the intersection of West Ridgewood Drive and Ames road in Parma’s Town Center, is at the leading edge of the fight to relieve the problem of food insecurity among low income households in the greater Parma area and, quite unexpectedly, across many other Cuyahoga County communities.
O The Parma Hts. Police And Community Together (P.A.C.T.) unit Youth Group will be celebrating the holidays at their meeting tomorrow, Wednesday Dec 27th starting at 6:00 pm at Cassidy Theater. The next meeting of the group is scheduled for Jan 10th & will focus on the importance of goal setting. Two additional core components of the P.A.C.T. unit include a police officer assigned to each of nine zones within the city. They’ll be knocking on doors, introducing themselves, sharing contact information & offering to answer questions, assist with and/or facilitate resolution of any non-emergency issue that might arise. A “Senior Knock & Talk” program is also part of the initiative. Find various sign-up documents and follow the unit’s progress at www.facebook.com/parmaheights.police
The ballroom of the Hotel Olmsted was once filled with the 'Ohs' and 'Ahs' of Cleveland's cat lovers. Cleveland Persian Society, CFA's second oldest club, put on it's very first show within the ballroom's elegant walls in 1918. Fifty of the most purr-fect Persians were on display, much to the delight of both exhibitors and spectators. In the following years, the show moved around visiting the Hotel Statler in 1924, but continued to delight all ages.
My father died of at the young age of 54, then his brother at 48. Both lived sedentary lifestyles and did not eat well. In late 2007, I had my annual physical and was told by my doctor that, because I was also relatively sedentary and overweight for my body type, he could not make me any guarantees that I would outlive them, if I continued on this trajectory. Needless to say, this put the fear of God in me and on January 1, 2008, I made the only New Year’s resolution that I have ever kept, as far as I recall. I decided to change my lifestyle.
SHOW KIDS YOU CARE: ADMIT WHEN YOU MAKE A MISTAKE. January’s Asset Category: Positive Identity Help young people bring out their best. The way people feel about themselves can fluctuate with circumstances. Depending on what’s happening, you may feel confident or unsure, optimistic or pessimistic, in control or not in control. What’s important is what a person’s identity is like most of the time. People who have a strong, positive sense of self maintain these qualities even when difficulties arise. They continue to be hopeful and optimistic, and believe they can make a difference. This column’s focus will be on…..Asset #38 - Self-Esteem
A record number of students graduated from Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) at the 2017 Fall Commencement in December, continuing an upward trend of academic achievement. Parma’s Nicole Vaughn was among those earning associate degrees. Here is her story:
The Women in Transition program at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will launch a new session at Western Campus on Jan. 16. 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…MyCom Quarterly Meeting. Our quarterly meeting was held at the Parma Heights Library on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. College Colleagues representative Ashley Kennedy presented on tutoring opportunities available to area youth. Patrolman Jack Darnell introduced Police and Citizens Together (P.A.C.T.), a grant funded program for Parma Heights and area youth.
On December 12, the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission held the first of three public meetings regarding the future of the Parma City Center, also referred to as the Crossroads of Parma, in which information was presented and input was solicited.
Those who were unable to make the meeting can still provide their input into the process and have an opportunity to review the information provided via the County Planning presentation and display boards.
The information provided at the first public meeting can be viewed here:
To provide input, the Community Vision Survey can be accessed here:
The Community Vision Survey will remain open until December 22.
O Some FYI’s from Parma City Schools….
>> Focus on the Future – The group met again at 6:30 pm on November 16th in the Parma Sr. H.S. Cafeteria. To get a more personal appreciation for the state of our buildings a tour of the District’s oldest school. Thoreau Park, was included as part of the agenda. The tour generated considerable discussion as did a review of current finances and the steps planned for subsequent meetings that will define our strategy for the future. Go here for meeting details: https://tinyurl.com/ycv4ffqx .The next meeting has been scheduled for January 10th. Go here for www.parmacityschools.org/future for more information about this planning initiative.
>> Holiday Giving Tree – We are looking for Community Elves to “adopt“ a child for the Holidays. A community "Elf" will be assigned a specific child and be given a wish list for items to purchase for the child. Call 440.887.4865 with questions.
>> Stuff a Bus – In partnership with the PCSD Transportation Department we will be hosting our Annual Stuff A Bus Event on Saturday, December 2nd from 9:00am -1:00pm. We will have a bus parked at the Transportation Garage - 7600 Day Drive. Please join us and drop off an unwrapped toy, youth clothing, or monetary donation.
O From the Parma Area Family Collab….
>> The Collab has a whole slew of holiday projects currently in the works for which they could use some help. If you’re interested in volunteering this holiday season, the Collab's the perfect place & now’s the perfect time to give the Collab a call at 440.887.4873.
>> A new Parenting Partners class will be starting up beginning January 9th & run through February 27, 2018. Classes are every Tuesday morning from 10:00 am to noon; childcare is provided & refreshments are served. Cost for the entire program is just $20. For information or to register, visit their web site or call 440.887.4873.
>> The Collab's next Mobile Food Pantry will be Thursday, December 14th. During the afternoon distribution UH/Parma Medical Center, Community Health Nurses will be offering FREE blood pressure screenings and a representative from the Parma Health Ministry will be available to help folks apply for prescription assistance.
>> Visit the Collab’s web site at http://familycollaborative.com/ for additional details on services offered and volunteer opportunities. While there, make your voice heard & click on links to either or both the PAFC Satisfaction or Neighborhood surveys.
December’s Asset Category: CONSTRUCTIVE USE OF TIME All work and no play can be boring and stressful. 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.
10th Anniversary MyCom Youth Voice Award Winners!
The Young Professionals of Parma have again partnered with the City of Parma to declare the city's best holiday lights. The Young Professionals group has produced a welcome video that includes the contest rules; the video can be viewed on the group's website at www.ParmaYps.com and on the Facebook page of the Young Professionals of Parma and the Facebook page of the City of Parma.
Parma City Council President Sean Brennan, along with key community partners, including Lamar Advertising, Parma Animal Shelter, University Hospitals Parma Medical Center and the Parma branches of Cuyahoga County Public Library, present the 7th Annual Parma Peanut Butter Drive. Proceeds benefit All Faiths Pantry (AFP), an award-winning nonprofit organization that delivers groceries at no cost to low-income seniors in the Parma area.
Music Director Randolph P Laycock presents Parma Symphony Orchestra performing two very different concerts this December. On Sunday, December 3 features: Alexander Wasserman performing: Piano Concerto No. 3 by Rachmaninoff. Also on the programs is Adagio from Spartacus by Khachatarian, Spanish Dances by Moszkowski and a collection of Holiday Favorites. General admission for the December 3rd concert 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.
Parma and the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission are hosting a public meeting later this month to solicit residential ideas surrounding the city’s developing Town Center. The meeting – which will be one of three to seek public feedback – will be held 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 12 in Large Meeting Room B of the Cuyahoga County Public Library’s (CCPL) Powers Boulevard Branch. This event will kick-off the effort to create a Parma Town Center Strategic Master Plan to harness the on-going development around the Ridge Road-West Ridgewood Drive intersection – spurred on by millions of dollars in investments into The Shoppes at Parma, the University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, and the CCPL’s Parma Branch. “This area is about as close to a downtown as we have in Parma,” Mayor Tim DeGeeter said. “All of the pieces are in place to make this a real focal point by incorporating all that is offered in this vital part of our community – the Shoppes, the hospital, the library, Parma City Hall, Byers Field, Ridgewood Golf Course, Stearns Farm and Homestead, and the Day Drive Corridor.”
This year will be Robert Oravec’s 40th year working at Sirl’s Automotive. However, that is not the only achievement that he has had this year. On Saturday, November 18th, Robert was awarded his second Order of the Towman award in Baltimore, Maryland. He was pinned by his daughter, Kristyn Oravec, who was there alongside her mother, Laura Oravec, and close friend, Paige Clark, to witness the momentous occasion. Since Robert already was sworn into the Order of the Towman once, he is considered to be a captain of the order and helps swear in new honorees who are getting their first award.
On December 7, 1941, 2,403 Americans died at Pearl Harbor. On September 11, 2001, 2,996 Americans were killed. In 2015, the United States lost over 33,000 – about 2,750 souls per month - to the opioid epidemic that is plaguing our nation. In fact, Parma has lost many residents this year, not to mention the lives saved daily by Parma’s safety forces who revive opioid addicts from overdoses. This growing problem is costing our nation, our state and our city many lives and taxpayer dollars. Someone has to pay for this attack.
Shortly after the commencement of my first term on council in 2014, the City was named in a lawsuit accusing one of our officers of excessive force. After hearing the details of the case, it seemed likely that the accusations were false. However, the taxpayers still got stuck paying for the cost associated with the lawsuit. It also gave the city as well as our fine police department a black eye. I began to research and found that the city had paid nearly $200,000 over the previous ten years on similar cases. Through my research I started to read more and more about police body cameras. To me it was a common sense approach to not only save the taxpayers money, but also to protect the reputation of the city and the police department.
For the fifth consecutive year the City of Parma - along with Parma City Council and the Parma Area Chamber of Commerce - will celebrate Small Business Month, which culminates on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25. Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter and Parma City Council have embraced the nation-wide designation of Small Business Saturday and will continue this year to educate residents about the Saturday after Thanksgiving - the day after Black Friday – and to encourage them to participate.
Like many cities around the country, Parma and its residents were hit hard by the “housing bubble” and impending economic downturn of 2008-2009. Sadly, many families lost their homes and neighborhoods were left with vacant structures that fell into disrepair. The impending blight was of great concern to citizens and elected officials, alike. I am pleased to say that Parma weathered this storm and has emerged strong. One of the programs utilized by the City to address this crisis was our Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) in which homes no longer safe for human habitation are demolished, thereby eliminating blight and enhancing property values, as well as the quality of life of Parma’s residents.
Though a popular recreational pursuit, drones are not just fun and games. The Parma Police Department is putting two newly purchased UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to use as an important part of its crime-fighting efforts. Officers demonstrated use of the drones to city council members and members of the public in attendance at a local council meeting recently.
A merry crowd of smiling area seniors, in a festive array of colorful costumes, gathered together at the Donna Smallwood Activities Center in October to welcome the spirits of Halloween! The Center was ablaze with colorful leaves, cornstalks, scarecrows, grinning pumpkins, witches, and autumn decorations, as the joyful senior trick-or-treaters sang and danced in their costumes, laughing and sharing stories of their elaborate attire at the Center’s Annual Halloween Party.
Trailblazing fighter pilot Harold Brown flew 30 missions during World War II before the Nazis shot his P-51 Mustang out of the sky in May 1944. The Tuskegee Airman lived to tell his story.
Soon you will be able to walk or drive on Ron Mottl Sr. Ave. - the part of York Rd from Independence Blvd. to the Southern border of Cuyahoga Community College. Mr. Mottl was at City Hall recently to receive proclamations from Parma City Council, presented by co-sponsors of the resolution, Brian Brochetti and Allan Divis, and also a proclamation from Cuyahoga County Council, presented by Parma's representative, Scott Tuma. Mr. Mottl was first elected to Parma City Council in 1960 and also served as City Council President, in the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. He also served as a U.S. Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975-1982. He served on the Parma School Board and as its president. A veteran of the U.S. Army and Army Reserves, he was also a star athlete in football, basketball and baseball, which led to his being a charter member of the Parma Senior High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Street signs will be made to replace the York Rd. signs on the appropriate parts of the street. Congratulations, Mr. Mottl.
October was a busy month for Tri-City MyCom!
O If you’re a parent of a child in a Parma City School, PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports) is the acronym that refers to the District’s anti-bullying initiative implemented several years ago and it s/b familiar to you. If not, or if you’d like more information go to any of these sites: https://www.parmacityschools.org/pbis, http://education.ohio.gov/Media/Ed-Connection/Oct-16-2017/Addressing-bullying-what-parents-want-to-know, https://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Other-Resources/School-Safety/Safe-and-Supportive-Learning/Anti-Harassment-Intimidation-and-Bullying-Resource/Anti-Bullying-Resources-for-Parents, http://www.pbis.org/
O If your organization has a safety focus or component of any kind & you’re looking for programs, information or material visit: http://www.injurypreventioncenter.com/. The initiative is a service of University Hospitals Rainbow & Children’s Hospital with the Rainbow Injury Prevention Center working with local, state and national legislators to advance the health and safety of children and families. Their web site contains a host of links to information and resources of all kinds. It’s well worth a visit. Also, membership in the coalition is Free to anyone wishing to volunteer to promote safety in NE Ohio. Meetings are bi-monthly, generally the first Tuesday of the month @ 10:00 am at changing locations across the county. Questions or requests for more info can be directed to Cyndee Bratz @ 440-888-8889 or email@example.com.
O From the County Library…..
>> ASPIRE Greater Cleveland - What used to be PCSD’s Adult Education program is now part of this service available as a result of a collaboration between CCPL, Cleveland Public Library and the County’s Dept of Job & Family Services. For more information call 833-ASPIRE2 (833.277.4732) or visit: https://www.aspiregreatercleveland.org/.
>> Benefit Navigators - All CCPL branches offer residents the ability to submit the documentation needed to maintain benefits by fax and/or apply online for services. Library staff are trained "Benefit Navigators," and can help residents find the online programs and applications that meet their needs.
>> After-School Homework Help - Students in grades K - 8 don't just do their homework in our branches. They receive free homework assistance from trained staff through our Homework Centers and Homework Mentors programs. 90 percent of parents surveyed said their child's grades improved after coming to our Homework Centers. Learn more at: http://cuyahogalibrary.org/homework
O Some FYI’s from Parma City Schools….
>> Focus on the Future – The first group meeting of all seven of the FOTF committees took place on Monday, Oct 16th at Parma Sr. H.S.Attendance was strong as was participation and feedback. Additional meetings are being scheduled w/the next one set for Thursday Nov 16th. Go here to follow their progress: https://www.parmacityschools.org/Domain/1707.
>> If you have any used/slightly used adult sized baseball gloves collecting dust in the basement consider donating them to Shiloh Middle School. As part of their observance of Veterans Day Shiloh students will turn over donated gloves to A1 Glove Repair to be refurbished and forwarded on to military men & women serving overseas. Deadline for donations (gloves or check) is Friday, November 10. Contact Heidi Dzur at firstname.lastname@example.org w/questions or to schedule a pickup.
O From the Parma Area Family Collab….
>> The Collab is once again coordinating the community’s Holiday Adopt-a-Family Program, soliciting donors (both individuals & organizations) to adopt a family/s. If you’re interested, please contact the Collab by Friday, November 10th at 440.887.4873 or email@example.com.
>> The Collab's next Mobile Food Pantry will be this Thursday, November 9th. During the afternoon distribution UH/Parma Medical Center, Community Health Nurses will be offering FREE blood pressure screenings and a representative from the Parma Health Ministry will be available to help folks apply for prescription assistance.
>> Visit the Collab’s updated web site at: http://familycollaborative.com/, for details about the Adopt-a –Family as well as other programs & available services. While there make your voice heard & click on the the links to either or both the PAFC Satisfaction or Neighborhood surveys.
SHOW KIDS YOU CARE: PRAISE MORE; CRITICIZE LESS. November’s Asset Category: EMPOWERMENT
As a resident of Polish Village, and one of the Polish Village Volunteers, I wanted to share with you, the many reasons why I love living here.
CASA of Cuyahoga County, a program of Child and Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County, recruits, screens, trains, and supports volunteers who act as independent fact-finders for the court in cases involving child abuse and neglect.
Formerly found under the “AROUND TOWN” section of the ASSET CORNER column, included here is summary information about upcoming programs, services, events & opportunities offered primarily by local non-profit organizations having a youth, health and/or safety focus. Contact information and/or web site addresses (URL’s) will be referenced, if available.
The Parma Symphony Orchestra will perform a concert on Sunday, October 15, 2017 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: Schubert Mass in G featuring the combined choirs of Parma, Normandy, Valley Forge, Padua Franciscan High Schools and Cuyahoga Community College Choir. Also Jolly Robbers Overture by Suppe and Passacaglia in C minor by Bach/Stokowski
Dash through the fall colors while doing some good this October during the third annual Autumn Blaze 5K or new mile fun walk at the Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). Proceeds from the run/walk will be divided evenly between Greater Cleveland Community Shares, the United Negro College Fund and United Way of Greater Cleveland. Tri-C launched the event in 2015 as part of its annual giving campaign to benefit the community. Last year’s race raised $10,000 for the nonprofit agencies. This year’s goal is $12,000.
“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Lotte E. Scharfman former League of Women Voters President of Massachusetts
The Anti-gerrymandering Movement Needs You! Gerrymandering is the process of manipulating district boundaries to give an unfair advantage to the governing political party over the opposing party. In so doing, gerrymandering predetermines the outcome of our elections and negates the voting power of the people. In Ohio, we have had our votes manipulated to give the best possible result to the governing party. Ohio would have one or two more Democratic representatives in Congress and an extra five Democrats in the Ohio House had our congressional districts not been gerrymandered. In another election cycle in which Democrats were in the majority, this situation could easily be reversed. Now is the time for action.
Many people know that I’m one of Parma’s biggest cheerleaders, but a lot might not know that wasn’t always the case. I actually used to have a bad impression of Parma. I grew up in Independence, and when it came time to get my own place, like many young people I looked no farther than Lakewood. Cities like Lakewood and Tremont are known around Cleveland for being vibrant, popular places to live. Parma, unfortunately, doesn’t have this reputation (yet!). So when I got married and moved into my husband’s home in Parma, I was less than thrilled. I liked to say I was dragged there “kicking and screaming” from Lakewood.