Parma Symphony Orchestra will perform a Halloween Themed Concert on Sunday, October 13 at 3:00 PM at Valley Forge High School Auditorium located at 9999 Independence Boulevard in Parma Heights performing: Dia de Los Muertos, Evil Eye and the Hideous Heart, Pit and the Pendulum, Dvorak -The Noon-Day Witch Overture accompanied by Valley Forge High School String Students. Also featuring: Soloist Roma Bandza performing Mozart Piano Concerto No. 12.
Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter and Fire Chief Mike Lasky recentlyannounced that the Parma Fire Department will be awarded nearly $1.7 million in federal grant money to hire eight new firefighters and purchase 103 portable radios, three station exhaust capture systems and one filling station. The more than $1 million to hire eight firefighters was awarded through the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. The SAFER grant is a 90/10 cost-share. The fire department will spend $147,000 annually over the next two years to help cover salaries. “We need a fully staffed fire department to keep pace with the safety demands of a city our size,” DeGeeter said. “This grant provides us with critical funding to help us replace firefighters who retired or transferred to other departments. This will reduce overtime and allow us to continue to provide the quality service our residents have come to expect and deserve. I appreciate the support we received from ourU.S. representatives and our U.S. senators to help us secure this grant money. Our fire, police and engineering departments, as well as our Grants Coordinator Shelley Cullins, are proactive at applying for grants.”
More re: Human Trafficking
>> From the Human Trafficking Hotline - https://humantraffickinghotline.org/
Myths & Facts:
Myth: Only women and girls can be victims and survivors of sex trafficking
Reality: One study estimates that as many as half of sex trafficking victims and survivors are male. Advocates believe that percentage may be even higher but that male victims are far less likely to be identified. LGBTQ boys and young men are seen as particularly vulnerable to trafficking.
Myth: Human trafficking involves moving, traveling or transporting a person across state or national borders.
Reality: Human trafficking is often confused with human smuggling, which involves illegal border crossings. In fact, the crime of human trafficking does not require any movement whatsoever. Survivors can be recruited and trafficked in their own home towns, even their own homes.
Recently, Parma City Council approved and Mayor Timothy DeGeeter signed Resolution 108-19: “A RESOLUTION DETERMINING TO PROCEED WITH THE LEVY OF A PROPERTY TAX FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONSTRUCTION, RECONSTRUCTION, RESURFACING AND REPAIR OF THE CITY OF PARMA’S STREETS, ROADS AND BRIDGES, AND TO SUBMIT THE QUESTION OF THE TAX TO THE ELECTORS AT THE NOVEMBER 5, 2019, ELECTION.” This resolution will appear as Issue 53 on your November ballot. If the issue passes, the owner of a $100,000 home will contribute about $53 per year – less than $4.50 per month – for street improvements in our city. The 1.5 mil, 5-year renewable levy would raise about $2.2 million dollars per year, which must be used exclusively on streets.
Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter presented a proclamation in September to Pastor Karen Wolcott to recognize Ridgewood United Methodist Church's 150th anniversary. "I congratulate the church on reaching this milestone year," DeGeeter said.
One day in late 2018, I sat and spoke with Laura D’Alessandro at an art exhibition at Prama Artspace Gallery, in Parma. We talked about lots of things, art, our families, and what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives. Laura told me she dreamed of bringing to Cleveland a photography festival similar to, PhotoNOLA, an event she participated in while living in New Orleans. Laura is a Cleveland born fine art photographer, writer and educator, who has returned home to Cleveland. Her dream, the 1st Annual Cleveland Photo Fest was realized this year and it is a huge success. Events like this one, usually start small and grow, but not this one. Through lots of hard work, very little sleep, and the help of friends, Laura, Herbert Ascherman Jr., founder and director of Cleveland Photographic Workshop and Jim Szudy, freelance photographer and founder of Gemini Developers, have attracted the attention of a great many, and not only local, national and international photographers.
Pre-Holiday Arts & Craft Show – October 12, 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Donna Smallwood Activities Center, 7001 W Ridgewood Drive. Start your holiday shopping early, shop for unique one of a kind items at this sale. Free admission. Net proceeds benefit Parma Area Fine Arts Council’s free or reduced art classes offered to the community throughout the year.
This is a must see event! Beyond The Camera is an exhibition of a wide variety of photographic images where the photographers have used their creativity to push through the boundaries of a traditional photo. It runs through October 24th at Prama Artspace & Gallery in Parma. Beyond The Camera is part of the 2019 Cleveland Photo Fest. Prama is proud to have the opportunity to present this to the public.
We Are Parma Proud, the newly created 501(c)3 nonprofit, will be hosting the inaugural Frosty’s Fest at the Ridgewood Golf Course, located in the heart of Parma, at 6505 Ridge Road, on December 8, 2019, immediately following the Christmas Parade. The parade begins this year at 2:00 PM and marches north on Ridge Road to Ridgewood Golf Course. Frosty’s Fest promises to be a nice ending to the annual parade and includes family oriented planned events such as snow tubing, tree ceremony, kids craft, games, refreshments, Parma Cookie Walk, adult Ugly Sweater Contest, and of course Santa!
Saturday, October 26, 2019, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Ridge Road in Polish Village will be teeming with young trick-or-treaters and their parents for the 9th Annual Treat & Greet. This much anticipated family oriented annual event has grown by leaps and bounds over the years.
U.S. Bank opened a new branch in the former Eat’n Park building at 2075 Snow Road. In April, U.S. Bank closed its nearby branch at 5659 Broadview Road so it could double its space at the new Snow Road location, which has 3,600 square feet. U.S. Bank senior executives said the new branch also offers customers more convenience with services such as wealth management, business banking and home mortgage loans all located in one branch. One feature the new branch offers that Branch Manager Sabrina Hinton takes great pride in highlighting is the conference room. "Any community or nonprofit group can use our conference room," Hinton said.
More than half of community college students across the nation wonder whether they’ll have enough money for their next meal. Nearly one in five don’t know where they’ll sleep night to night. These statistics serve as a starting point for discussions at the upcoming Conference on Confronting Poverty Among College Students, held at the Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). The third annual conference will take place 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, in the Western Campus Health Careers and Sciences building. The event is hosted by the College’s Institute for Poverty and Urban Education.
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 2020 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 2020 – 2021 academic year. Financial need, work ethic, community service and accomplishments are among the selection criteria for the scholarship. The application deadline is April 1, 2020. 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.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will host Fall Visit Days at Western Campus in October to introduce prospective students to academic and career opportunities. The hourlong sessions provide a chance to learn about enrollment, financial aid and scholarships; discover the variety of student services available; and explore the buildings.
Feel the burn at the Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) Autumn Blaze 5K while running past a blazing fire simulator on a course highlighting the KeyBank Public Safety Training Center at Western Campus. Proceeds from the one-of-a-kind race benefit 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.
You can “Change a Child’s Story” on Oct. 24th at the annual CFACC GALA to help support children in foster care. Did you know that more than 3,000 children in Cuyahoga County live in foster care or are in supervised custody because it is not safe for them at home? Child and Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County (CFACC), a Northeast Ohio nonprofit organization serving abused and neglected children involved with the Juvenile Court, invites you to learn how you can “Change a Child’s Story” at their annual GALA benefit set for Thursday, Oct. 24 at Sausalito on Ninth in downtown Cleveland. Change a Child’s Story will take place from 5:30- 9:00 PM and will feature a buffet dinner, live entertainment, the chance to bid on dozens of unique auction and raffle packages, and a 50+ bottle wine pull. Tickets are $50 each; $40 for guests who bring a child’s toy, book(s) or winter clothing item worth $10 or more. Valet parking is included in the ticket price. All proceeds benefit the child-centered intervention programs offered by CFACC. Advance tickets available online: https://conta.cc/2Kb7opn.
The 10th Annual Chagrin Falls Documentary Film Festival is welcoming Cleveland-born filmmaker Todd Thompson back home with a sneak peek of his much-anticipated film, Woman In Motion. The feature documentary chronicles the life of Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols and her daunting task to launch a national blitz for NASA, enlisting 8,000 of the nation's best and brightest astronaut recruits, including the first women, African Americans, Asians and other minorities, to fly in space.
Saturday, August 24th was a spectacularly beautiful day for a parade in Parma's Ukrainian Village to celebrate Ukrainian independence, just as it was 10 years ago in the Fall of 2009 when the Ukrainian Village neighborhood was dedicated. We were there back then to cover the event for the very first issue of the Parma Observer, so I feel a personal connection, as Ukrainian Village and the Parma Observer have grown together. The success of this neighborhood in Parma since 2009 is more than obvious, and I am proud to live in a city where dedicated people like those in Ukrainian Village demonstrate their ability to create such an attractive district.
Parma got its turn on the “Ohio Promise” tour recently, as State Representative Jeffrey Crossman conducted a Town Hall event at the Parma Library on Snow Road. The Ohio Promise tour this summer, led by Democratic legislators from the Ohio House of Representatives, has focused on explaining the legislative wins from the state’s $70 Billion biennium budget for Ohio House Districts like Parma.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) will showcase the work of two evocative Northeast Ohio artists — Justin Brennan and Dana Depew — during a month long exhibit at Western Campus.
Eight students from Parma Observer communities have been selected for Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) Honors Program Fellowships, which offer high-achieving students scholarships to cover tuition, fees and books as they work toward an associate degree.
For years, Parma residents have driven past a blank fence on Brookpark Road near the exit ramp of 176 North and probably have not paid much attention to it. Now the fence beams with a colorful design and social media-inspired message: “#MeetmeinParma.”
HIAS and their affiliate, US Together, a refugee resettlement agency in Cleveland, are partnering with Airbnb’s new Open Homes program to provide temporary housing for refugees. The program is designed to help individuals and families who need temporary housing for several reasons, one of which being refugee resettlement. The temporary housing is provided while the refugees’ permanent housing is finalized. Usually, housing for refugees is secured before they arrive. However, extenuating circumstances occasionally happen, and gap housing becomes necessary. This partnership with Airbnb aims to address the need for gap housing by connecting refugee resettlement agencies to volunteer hosts.
Some of you who have read this column and followed me over the years may recall my story of growing up. My dad left us when I was around nine years old. As a result, my single mother – God rest her blessed soul - lost the house and worked at May Company for slave wages and struggled to raise my sister and me. So, when it came time for me to go to college, luckily I was awarded some academic scholarships and was eligible for financial need scholarships, as well, including the federal Pell Grant. Let’s just say that I would not be where I am today without the help of Uncle Sam (U.S.) and other generous folks when things were rough.
Friday, September 13th, just may be your lucky day! Polish Village Parma, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is sponsoring a Pasta Dinner at the Southwest Italian American Club, located at 7510 Snow Rd, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Your $15 gets you a complete Italian pasta dinner, pasta, meat, salad, roll, bakery, and coffee/water. Other beverages will be available for an additional cost. These meals are prepared by the chefs at the Southwest Italian American Club, and boy are the tasty! For those of you who don’t know, the Southwest Italian American Club is housed in the historic Fire House on Snow Rd., near Ridge Rd. This is your opportunity to see the remodel and enjoy a fabulous meal. Seating is limited, but To-Go dinners are also available. For tickets and more information call Linda Cross at 440-885-8093. Proceeds benefit Polish Village and are used exclusively within the community.
Parma’s only art gallery, Prama Artspace Gallery, located at 5411 Pearl Rd., is one of the over 30 galleries and art spaces participating in the 1st annual Cleveland Photo Fest. TAKE A GOOD LOOK, an exhibition of creative personal photographs by 20 Brush High School Students, curated by their instructor Hadley Conner, opened on August 24th. This exhibit explores a wide range of subject matter, including underwater works, macro photos, and street photography. This is a very interesting and creative exhibit. It runs through September 18th.
On Saturday, August 3, 2019, a beautiful summer day with blue skies, no rain in sight and temps in the 70’s, We Are Parma Proud, Parma’s newest nonprofit, hosted their inaugural event, a Picnic in the Park. It was held at Anthony Zielinksi Park nestled by the Splash Pad, Parma Script Sign and Ridgewood Lake. As an inaugural event it was a huge success. They expected about 200 to attend and realized over 500.
Many of you may remember Dan Mihuta who retired from the Parma City Schools in 1978 after 31 years teaching art education. Or you may remember watching his televised art instruction classes, titled, Art Chest, Art Maker and Return of the Art Maker on WVIZ and other PBS stations.
All Saints Episcopal Church on W. Ridgewood Drive in Parma will be celebrating the fifth anniversary of its Pantry at All Saints series of monthly events on September 21, 2019. Every month 40-50 volunteers gather together at the parish campus to operate a soup kitchen and distribute food and clothing to struggling families in Parma and nearby communities. To date, this group of dedicated people has provided food for more than 300,000 meals.
Parma City School District Board Members and Administrators discussed during an August 15 meeting the next steps of the district’s Strategic Consolidation process.
Ohio’s largest Hungarian festival returns! Festivities include delicious food, live musical entertainment, colorful authentic folk costumes, folk dance lessons and more at the 64th annual Hungarian Festival, presented by the American Hungarian Friends of Scouting, on Sunday of Labor Day weekend, September 1, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the German Central Park, 7863 York Rd., in Parma, Ohio.
On July 5, a severe storm impacted the southwest portion of Parma in the afternoon, dumping a massive amount of rain. Local media reported 4.1 inches of rain in less than an hour, and the National Weather Service reported 5.5 inches in some areas. As a result, flash flooding occurred in Parma, Parma Heights, and North Royalton. Some residents reported that their basements flooded for the first time in homes where they have resided for more than 20 years.
Last week in Columbus, I voted yes on House Bill 166, the state’s two-year, $69 billion budget bill. Ultimately, I was pleased to vote in favor of this budget. Some concerns remain, especially regarding education measures that were not sufficiently addressed in this budget, including academic distress commissions, state report cards, and graduation requirements. Overall, this budget makes real investments in our communities. It also shows our commitment to the people of Ohio, as we continue working to make our state the best place for people to choose to live and raise their families.
Last month I commenced a two-issue column about one of Parma’s most notable residents – Ronald M. Mottl. Following years of distinguished elected service on Parma City Council and in the Statehouse in Columbus, the voters rewarded Mr. Mottl’s hard work in 1975 by sending him to Washington, D.C. to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. In fact, he served for eight years in the nation’s capital.
Watercolor For Beginners Age 55+
More re: Human Trafficking Raising Awareness
Understanding the long-term impacts on HT survivors’ ability to access and maintain safe and well-paid employment opportunities is key to their successful placement and ultimate recovery. “Future Without Violence” has made available a copy of their Jun. 26th webinar: Human Trafficking and Its Impact Employment. It offers, among other things, insight into the unique types of education and employment-related challenges that survivors of human trafficking may face after they are no longer in the trafficking situation. If you’re in a position that may require you to counsel an HT survivor, or would just like to learn more about this issue, then this webinar is for you. www.futureswithoutviolence.org/htemploymentimpacts