In early April, Ward 5 Councilman Allan Divis gave Walter Pasela, an Army World War II veteran, a framed certificate from Parma City Council in recognition of Walter's 100th birthday. The City of Parma Police Department provided an escort for a 100-car parade that honored Walter at Vista Springs Greenbriar Assisted Living on Day Drive, where he celebrated his monumental birthday. His children organized the parade.
The non-profit, We Are Parma Proud, has been working hard behind the scenes to bring this project to life. The idea for a visitors guide came from Parma City Treasurer Thomas Mastroianni, during the first community meeting of We Are Parma Proud, back in June of 2019. It was one of several ideas put forth when the public was asked, “What would you like to see in our city?”
Slain Nemo opened on Earth Day, April 22nd at Prama Artspace Gallery & Boutique, located at 5411 Pearl Rd. This amazing exhibit was enhanced by the musical sounds of Dee Deprator and a lazer and light show outdoors in the back courtyard. Slain Nemo’s creations uses computer generated images, lazer burns, and oil paint on canvas. His very precise work shows no visible brush strokes. Words used to describe his artistic creations are sacred geometric forms, surrealistic, Sci-Fi, Shamanistic, and linear. This is a very exciting, high quality show. Exhibit runs through May 23rd.
More Re: Human Trafficking/Abuse
Exercise enthusiasts and athletes searching for a free rigorous outdoor fitness experience will like the new Warrior Fitness Course, expected to be installed in the southwest corner of James Day Park early this summer. The $169,000 exercise course is 45 feet wide and 120 feet long, has 10 workout stations and includes a 40-yard sprinting path. “It is a serious workout. Athletes, fitness instructors and exercise enthusiasts will like it,” said Recreation Department Director Mickey Vittardi. “I could see residents using it for training because each station focuses on different muscle groups. It is similar to a Ninja course. As far as I know, we’re the first in the area to have something like this.”
Saturday, April 24, 2021, a Parma non-profit created in early 2019, We Are Parma Proud, sponsored a Trash Crawl. This event coincided with the Earth Day weekend. Concerns during the week prior regarding the weather had been expressed by some, but Mother Nature blessed the day and approximately 30 people gathered at the Ridgewood Golf Clubhouse. Armed with buckets, grabbers, gloves and trash bags, donated by Cuyahoga County Solid Waste the trash crew traveled up Ridge Road towards The Shoppes At Parma. Rest stops included Fast Eddies, Bleachers, and ended at Legends Bar & Grill. The group filled 20 of the 50 gallon sized trash bags from our city streets. A total of 12 Door Prizes were awarded, including items from We Are Parma Proud, Kristen Saban, Prama Artspace Gallery, Ridge/Ridgewood BP and a financial donation from Thrivent Financial that was used for supplies and pizza for the trash crew. Spotted among the trash crew was Parma Mayor DeGeeter and family, plus 7 of the 9 Parma City Council members. In addition to cleaning up the streets, the trash crew had lots of fun and made new friends. Overall it was a successful day and plans are underway to do more of these throughout the city. We Are Parma Proud, are you? If you are interested in participating in an event such as this contact them through the We Are Parma Proud Facebook page. Follow them on Facebook for news about Parma and future events.
Happy Spring! We hope that our warmer months have started well for you and your family and that you are looking forward to creating many memories this summer! By the time you read this, Issue 10 will have been decided through the May 4 Election. If the verdict was positive, we will have already begun outlining our planning process, which will include continued opportunities for community input. If, on the other hand, our voters rejected our request, we will have started to contemplate our next steps which would include consolidation into existing schools in our near future. Regardless of the outcome of Issue 10, and despite the many difficulties that COVID presented to us this year, we have much to be proud of and many reasons to be excited about our district’s future.
The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter everyday in our COVID world. Personally, I am looking forward to getting out this summer, as I am sure you are. So, this month I am devoting my column to some of the venues in Parma that I plan to make a part of my summer plans. I hope that you will consider joining me. Best wishes for a safe, fun, and blessed summer.
The Parma Safety Fair and Shred Event will be split into two events this year and moved to late summer and early fall, due to the pandemic. Both events will be free, and no registration will be required. State Health Department guidelines permitting, the Safety Fair will run 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 28 at the Parma Justice Center, 5555 Powers Blvd. The Shred Event will run 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 25 in the rear parking lot at Parma Senior High School, 6285 West 54th St.
Our school district has reached a tipping point and our actions in the near future will shape our communities for generations to come. We are no longer a three high school district. Very soon, we need to choose the path we will follow to consolidation. Here, though, is where we face a critical fork in our road, formed by the meeting of two very different trails.
In celebration of Earth Day meet up with your fellow Parma residents on Saturday, April 24th, to Spring Clean Parma, while stopping off to rest and supporting local establishments for a cold brew or other refreshment (not included).
Connecting for Kids distributed more than 2,000 Sensory Awareness Kits to more than 50 preschools, daycare and community centers in Berea, Brecksville, Broadview Heights, Brook Park, Independence, Middleburg Heights, North Royalton, Parma, Parma Heights, and Strongsville during the month of February. The goal of these kits is to help area families identify sensory issues early. These kits have been generously donated by Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, Church of the Resurrection and the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
Baba’s Yard, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, gave away 150 tons of fresh produce in 2019 and 2020, and is organizing a collaboration of community partners for a third season. The mission of Baba’s Yard is to reduce epidemic diseases, by increasing fresh produce consumption. Consuming a variety of plant based nutrients is essential to maintaining healthy immunity, and is effective in preventing and managing diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more.
Lace up your running or walking shoes for the 10th Parma Run-Walk for Pierogies, sponsored by Perla’s Pierogies, former Mayor Dean DePiero, and First Federal of Lakewood. The now famous event will take place on Saturday, July 3 at 7:30 am at Cuyahoga Community College’s western campus. Those who know me know that running is my passion. So, ten years ago I combined my love for running, pierogies, and giving back to the community by creating what has become one of our city’s signature summer events.
In January, Donna Smallwood Activities Center and Parma Office on Aging purchased a white 2021 Buick Encore from Axelrod Buick GMC with grant funds from Cuyahoga County. That Encore and a 2010 silver GMC Terrain that the Axelrod family donated in 2020 are helping staff drive prepared meals to its eligible senior members. Since March 2020, nearly 25,000 homebound and community meals have been delivered.
O From Cleveland Rape Crisis Center (CRCC):
>> The next Ambassador Training Workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, April 20, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Register today. Click here to learn more about their community outreach initiatives and prevention & educations program offerings.
O From The Greater Cleveland Coordinated Response to Human Trafficking (GCCR2HT):
>> The “Collaboration Success Story” describes a recent recommendation successfully implemented in almost 80 police departments in Cuyahoga County. Our own Parma Hts. Police Department is highlighted as an example in its use.
>> The next “Human Trafficking 101 - The Basics”, virtual & free presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 7:00 pm to 8:00 p.m. (ET). Learn more about the realities of Sex and Labor Trafficking and how you can get involved. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvdumqqDwtHNP_nJAAp4rz-ngfHvwepIq1. Learn about upcoming programs and more about the HT Collaborative by clicking here: https://www.collabtoendht.org/
O From UH/Parma Medical Center:
>> Age Well, Be Well….a club for adults 55 & up offering virtual programs w/providers, online health talks & telehealth sessions.
>> This recently filmed, 5 minute video features the emotional AND hopeful experience of Parma Medical Center’s own Nancy Gallagher, BSN, RN, Manager of UH Parma’s Intensive Care Unit and the Heart Center. She and her team are on the front lines quietly caring for our neighbors and the community at large. It’s well worth the watch.
>> Save The Date – Watch for details coming soon regarding Parma Hospital Health Care Foundation’s bi-annual signature golf outing scheduled for Monday, August 30th. Proceeds will be used to support UH Connor Institute programs right here at UH Parma Medical Center including pain management, music therapy, therapeutic massage & more.
O From Ohio Dept of Education:
>> OhioMeansJobs K-12 web site—Ohio's no-cost career planning system that offers career exploration tools and resources specifically for students, teachers and school counselors—recently got a makeover. The Department is sharing tips for educators so they can easily explore the redesigned site’s many resources.
Parma City Schools returned to a five-day, in-person schedule as private schools are continuing their full schedules. With all students back to full days, their safety remains a top priority. The City of Parma has operated a school zone photo enforcement program since 2009. With students’ full return to classes, photo enforcement will resume in six city school zones. The zones have cameras mounted on poles about 12 feet above ground level that record vehicles traveling both directions. The cameras are for speed enforcement in the 20 mph posted school zones only. Photo enforcement tickets will be issued during designated times when schools are in session and school zone lights are flashing.
Prama Artspace & Gallery, 5411 Pearl Road, is excited to present a show of artwork by long-time Cleveland abstract artist James Burnett. James Burnett is an alumni of the Cleveland Institute of Art and Holy Name High School. His abstracts are bold, with strong defined painterly shapes. This show runs from March 26th to April 18th. "The Female Soul", celebrating Women's History Month is also on exhibit at Prama Artspace & Gallery until April 18th. This exhibit can also be viewed virtually and includes pieces created by Liz Maugans, Laura D’Alessandro, June Hund, Samantha Vickers, Emma Anderson, Grace Wen, Terri Simons, Kole Robinson Brooks and Joyce Morrow Jones. Regular hours are S,W,S 2-7 and M 10-3. Please wear a mask. Masks are also sold at the gallery, along with some great fun and unique boutique items. Recently they received some great new merchandise, mugs, and tees for the Dyngus Day crowd. Visit at www.Pramaartspace.com, or follow on Facebook and Instagram.
Polish Village Parma is a volunteer group of people who formed a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Their mission is to to facilitate the development and revitalization of the Polish Village community (Ward 2) by uniting and empowering residents, businesses, and the city with plans and initiatives focused on enhancing the area’s business climate and long-term economic viability. They bring you events such as the Polish Constitution Day Parade and After Party, Ward 2 Wide Garage Sale, International Taste of Polish Village, which is a sampling of all the flavors the Polish Village businesses district offers, Adopt-A-Pot, those lovely large flower pots along Ridge Road, and the very popular Treat & Greet, which occurs the Saturday before Halloween, and in 2020 the Covid-19 Cash Mob which helped support small businesses in Ward 2. Sadly the pandemic has squashed several of these annual events for the time being, but, slightly different, additional family fun events are planned for 2021 and forward.
Prama Artspace Gallery & Boutique is honored to have the works of Raymond Swyers, a modern abstract artist, on exhibit this month. The exhibit has a “fluid energy”, is very colorful and has a celestial feeling. The show opened on February 26th and runs through March 21st. Raymond is a Cleveland Heights native, currently living in New York with French Canadian roots. He attended the Cleveland Institute of Art and graduated from Cleveland State University in 1996 with a B.F.A. He is contemplating a move to Europe where there is a growing market for his work. Please wear your mask, if you forget yours, they are available to purchase on site. Social distance please while in the gallery. Private appointments are also available upon request. Prama is located at 5411 Pearl Rd. in Parma. Follow Prama on Facebook and Instagram, or view the website www.pramaartspace.com.
O From CWRU School of Law, Human Trafficking Project….Learn more about how these folks help victims of sex & labor exploitation. Click here:http://bit.ly/3tfEFW2 If your organization needs a speaker for your next virtual meeting consider giving these folks a call.
A Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) student from Parma will continue his nationally recognized work on election participation with the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition. Sebastian Canales has been selected to serve on the 2021 Advisory Board for the coalition, a nonpartisan network dedicated to increasing college student voter participation in the United States. The 15-member board includes students and faculty members from campuses across the country. They will look to build on efforts that led to historic highs in young voter turnout during 2020 elections. “The 2021 Advisory Board and Executive Committee will help us continue this work as we move closer to a more equitable democracy,” said Clarissa Unger, director of the coalition.
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 2021 award season. In its thirteenth 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. 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 2021 – 2022 academic year. Financial need, work ethic, community service and accomplishments are among the selection criteria for the scholarship. The application deadline has been extended to May 14, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.
This month I want to introduce you to one of Parma’s own who recently joined my colleagues and me on Parma City Council. Recently, Parma lost a fine leader, Councilman Brian Brochetti, who decided to resign his position on city council to spend more time with his beautiful, growing family. Happily, his replacement is a woman I have known for years who is approachable, positive, and full of energy with a work ethic to match. May I introduce you to Kammy Coyle Shuman – Parma’s new ward seven councilwoman.
Are you struggling to pay your sewer bills? Help is here.
This month, Rumpke began collecting trash and recycled items from Parma residents while Republic Services, which formerly provided the service, continued removing its carts from the city.
Happy 2021! We are hopeful that vaccinations and continued focus on health measures such as masking and social-distancing will allow us all to enjoy a much more normal year than 2020 presented!
O From The Collaborative to End Human Trafficking in Greater Cleveland….Learn of upcoming programs and more about the organization by clicking here: https://www.collabtoendht.org/
Drive-thru COVID-19 testing will be offered Thursday, Feb. 25, at the Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) through a partnership with Care Alliance Health Center.
Recently, I met with Tom Lix at Panera at the Shoppes at Parma for coffee. I wanted to learn more about this fascinating man who has made Parma his home. You see, Tom knows what you and I know about Parma – it is a great place to live. I am happy to report that, like me, Tom is a huge cheerleader for Parma, specifically, and the Cleveland region, in general.
The pandemic forced sweeping changes last year to school sports and community recreation programs and continues to challenge coaches and recreation directors as they grapple with how to keep athletes active and safe.
The City of Parma Tax Department is offering online filing through Tax Connect Online, which will make filing city taxes for Parma residents easy and safe. The online service allows residents to see what payments and credits they have for the current year or past years. Parma residents are able to prepare their taxes, e-file and, if needed, pay their taxes online when they visit www.cityofparma-oh.gov, go to the Tax Department page and then click on the Tax Connect Online link in the right blue column under "Quick Links."
Riverside Cemetery Calendar - The year certainly started out right for Sean Mabin, owner/operator of Prama Artspace Gallery & Boutique, when he won first place in the photo contest for Riverside Cemetery. The contest ended 12/31/20 and he was notified on 1/2/21. Riverside Cemetery is located at 3607 Pearl Road in Cleveland. It was conceived in 1875 and opened in 1876. In 1876 the Riverside Cemetery Association purchased 102.5 acres of land from Titus N. Brainard. Riverside was the first garden style, large park, cemetery on the west side of Cleveland. The winning photo was of the Riverside Cemetery Gatehouse which was completed in 1897. The building is constructed of red brownstone. The Gatehouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. The cemetery is park-like and very beautiful. Notable families buried there are Brainard, Lamson, Sessions, and Rhodes. For more information on Riverside Cemetery, visit their web page, www.riversidecemeterycleveland.org, or follow them on Facebook. Both have many beautiful photos of the grounds, statues and monuments.
We have previously announced that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the in-person AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program will not be offered in the Southwest Cuyahoga County District this coming tax season. Our usual sites in Cuyahoga County libraries at Parma Snow Road, Parma Powers, North Royalton, and Middleburg Heights, and the Brecksville Human Services Department, Broadview Heights Human Services Department, Brook Park Methodist Church, and the Strongsville Senior Center are not available to prepare tax returns on site. We also do not have leaders and volunteers necessary to implement virtual tax preparation methods developed by AARP Foundation, which use only preparer-taxpayer contact over the internet. However, other northern Ohio districts are offering these methods.
General Motors Co. plans to invest more than $6 million in the Parma metal stamping plant. The Parma investment will be used to construct four new metal assembly cells to support increased truck production of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. “GM continues to invest to strengthen our core business and respond to growing customer demand for our full-size pickups,” said Phil Kienle, GM vice president of North America Manufacturing and Labor Relations. He added that the company's investment reflects its confidence in the Parma plant. "This is great news for our GM stamping plant, UAW Local 1005 employees and plant management. GM is one of largest employers in Parma. This investment shows the hard work that is being done at the plant and its continued long-term growth," Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter said.
Rumpke Waste & Recycling will be the new waste and recycling service provider for the City of Parma beginning Feb. 1, 2021 and over the next five years. Under the new service agreement, Rumpke will provide weekly trash, recycling and bulk-waste collection for residents, including the use of Rumpke trash and recycling carts. The company is delivering around 60,000 new carts starting Jan. 4, 2021. Residents should not use the new carts, however, until Feb. 1. Rumpke is mailing instructional information to residents prior to its service beginning. “The current garbage provider, Republic Services, will be collecting rubbish throughout January,” said Service Department Director Brian Higgins. “In order to make this transition as seamless as possible, we are asking residents to use only the Republic Services carts in January. Although they will already have their Rumpke carts, they should not begin to use those carts until February.”