On August 21st, the Ukrainian Village Committee will hold its annual Ukrainian Independence Day Parade in Parma’s Ukrainian Village. This year marks the 30th Anniversary of Ukraine's Independence! The Committee invites all to join them and celebrate this special occasion. The parade procession begins at 11 a.m. on Grantwood Drive, continues north along State Road, and ends at Ukrainian Heritage Park, located across the street from St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral (5720 State Road).
The Parma Safety Fair and Shred Day have returned but are two events and occuring later in the year. Both events are free, and no registration is required. The Safety Fair is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 28 at the Parma Justice Center, 5555 Powers Blvd., Parma. The fair will take place rain or shine. The Shred Day is 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 25 in the rear parking lot at Parma Senior High School, 6285 West 54th St.
On Saturday, August 7th, from 11 AM to 3 PM, We Are Parma Proud will be hosting the second annual “Picnic in the Park” at Ridgewood Lake in Anthony Zielinski Park, by the Splash Pad. For your convenience four food trucks, Jimbo’s Concessions, Cookie Dough, Barabicu Smokehouse, and Brayson’s Ice Cream will be parked nearby. Pack your lunch or a snack or buy from these great vendors. Extra tables will be placed in the park for your convenience. For your listening pleasure, music will be provided by Tequila Wagon. Lots of games and prizes for the kids. And there’s a hog calling contest! Yep you read that right, a hog calling contest! Several Parma non-profits will have tents set up, passing out literature about their organizations, some with raffle baskets, and other merchandise for sale. Visit with members from organizations such as Stearns Homestead, Parma Animal Shelter, Ridgewood Garden Club, Parma Police and Fire and more. Admission is free. Great family fun event! Come celebrate summer in Parma at “Picnic in the Park”!
Those of you who regularly read my column know that for months I focused on Parma’s places of worship. In part, due to COVID, I put the series on hiatus. However, this month I bring it back. In fact, I recently met with Pastor Joel Dieterichs who leads the flock at Calvary Lutheran Church located at 6906 West Pleasant Valley Road, just east of Ridge Road. I was impressed as I walked into the “A” framed shaped church which seemed to reach to the heavens it is so high. I was kindly welcomed by Pastor Joel, Deacon James Hurst, and Office Manager Lisa Klein. Pastor Joel told me about his life growing up in the St. Louis area in a very spiritual family. After receiving a B.A. from Truman State, he was a copy editor. “It was horribly boring and I made a lot of mistakes,” he explained. Then, one day, a tall colleague looked over him and said “go to the seminary already.” “My entire life flashed before my eyes and I knew my calling,” Pastor Joel said. So, he entered Concordia Seminary and went on to serve churches in St. Louis, Springfield (Illinois), and Colorado Springs. He was called by the congregation at Calvary to serve them here in 2019. As I viewed Pastor Joel’s biography on the church’s website, the quote he selected from Ephesians 3:20-21 struck me as very appropriate for him on many different levels: “And now to God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. . .”
O From The Greater Cleveland Coordinated Response to Human Trafficking (GCCR2HT):
Mayfield Heights, OH – July 14, 2021 – Apex Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center was recently named as one of the 2021 Best Employers in Ohio by Best Companies Group in partnership with Crain’s Cleveland Business and Crain’s Content Studio-Cleveland.
Prama Artspace Gallery & Boutique - “Summer of Protest 2020” runs through August 22nd. This exhibit showcases the photographs from the Cleveland protest that occurred in the Spring of 2020, as seen through the lens of the photographer. Featured in this exhibit are photos taken by Anastasia Pantsios, AJ Almy, Anderson Rush, Nico Pico Train, No Numbers, Arron Bound and Denyce Renee, and artwork by Joyce Morrow Jones. Opening night, July 23rd, featured poetry readings by Siaarra Freeman, Krystal Sienna and Kevin Latimer.
The Christmas in July Food Drive returns this summer with in-person donations. The City of Parma will launch the month-long drive at its Independence Day Parade, 10 a.m., Saturday, July 3.
We Are Parma Proud and The City of Parma are proud to bring to the public Parma’s Independence Day Parade which will be held on Saturday, July 3rd, 10am to noon. Staging begins at 9am at Snow and Ridge Roads. Ridge Road will not be open to traffic during the parade. The parade will march South on Ridge Rd beginning at Snow Road and ends at W Ridgewood Drive. Bring your lawn chairs, family and friends to watch the parade from the tree lawns on Ridge Road. Over 60 organizations will be participating, military units, politicians, businesses, non-profits and two marching bands. Join us in celebrating Independence Day!
O From The Greater Cleveland Coordinated Response to Human Trafficking (GCCR2HT):
One evening in June, my wife and I attended a fundraiser at Mount Alverna Village, a senior living community on top of State Road Hill. While there, I spoke with a young man who was surprised to learn in our conversation that Day Drive is named after former Mayor James W. Day. My wife and I had the honor of dining with James W. Day II and his lovely wife Linda, which is how we happened on the subject. This article is dedicated to educating those who may not know after whom some of our streets are named in Parma. I credit much of the information in the article to my friends former Mayor Day and his son Jim, as well as The Best Kept Secret of Parma by Robert Horley (1998).
RSD - Record Store Day & Rudy’s Strudel Day – Side A was held Saturday, June 13th. I attended and it was a blast. Check out the video and photos on The Current Year Facebook page. Marie from The Current Year stated “It was the biggest RSD event in the world” and Matador Records even promoted it on Twitter. It was a party in the parking lot, in Polish Village, at 5580 Ridge Road. The Current Year sells new and used vinyl, music memorabilia, art, stickers and more.
Prama Artspace Gallery & Boutique, 5411 Pearl Rd is now showing a Cleveland Photo Fest Volunteer Exhibit. This exhibit opened Friday. June 25th, and includes the works of the numerous artistic Cleveland/Parma area volunteers that worked hard behind the scenes to bring you the successful CPF Photothon 2021 events. The show will be on exhibit through Saturday, July 17th. Live music by Gamma Ray Jazz Blast will climax the celebration of another successful year.
Stearns Homestead is a 48 acre jewel located in the center of Parma, at 6975 Ridge Road. It was the last working farm in Parma. It was purchased in 1980 from the Gibbs Family by the City of Parma to preserve this unique historic remnant of Parma’s heritage.
Holy Name High School Student Photography Exhibit, “Take Another Look”. Cleveland Photo Fest & Prama Artspace and Gallery is proud to present this exhibit, which runs through June 20th. Prama is located at 5411 Pearl Rd. Gallery hours are Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday 2 to 7 PM, Monday 11 AM to 2 PM, and Friday 2 to 5 PM. On Friday, May 28th a Special Opening Reception was held with food donated by Rudy’s Strudel & Bakery, honoring the participating students. Coming June 25th, Cleveland Photo Fest Volunteers Show. Follow Prama on Facebook and Instagram or check out the web page pramaartspace.com for more information.
As you may have read, in recent weeks my colleagues and I on Parma City Council have had the honor of meeting several residents who have attained the impressive age of 100. Personally, I think this is testament to our community whose residents are hearty, law-abiding, hard-working folks who live clean and value family, friends, and neighbors. For example, recently, I had the honor of meeting Sue Peterchalk at her home, along with several of her family members. Mrs. Peterchalk has seen and experienced much during her very productive life. She was one of eight born to Eastern European immigrants. Her father began his career as a coal miner in central Pennsylvania. When the Great Depression set in, he bought a farm to feed his family. Mrs. Peterchalk spent her formative years growing up on the farm in Portage, Pennsylvania, where she slept in a hay bed with her five sisters. She and her sisters made their way to Cleveland for the post-war years where she eventually settled in Parma in 1976. “I grew up in Pennsylvania, but Parma is my home,” Mrs. Peterchalk emphatically told me. Before I left, after our hour-long talk, I told her I cannot wait to be there for her 101st.
Cox Communications and the West Creek Conservancy (WCC) are pleased to announce that the James M. Cox Foundation has awarded WCC a $120,000 grant to support the acquisition and reclamation of two parcels of land to expand the West Creek Reservation and create greater connectedness between community residents and the greenspaces West Creek preserves and protects.
The pandemic prevented live outdoor concerts last summer, but this summer will start on a higher note as many communities, including Parma and Parma Heights, bring back the music. As in the past, both cities are collaborating on the Summer Band Concert Series. The free concerts start at 6:30 p.m. every Sunday beginning June 13. The Parma concerts will be at Anthony Zielinski Park, and the Parma Heights concerts will be held at Greenbriar Commons. Residents should bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. Concerts will be canceled if there is rain. “Parma has hosted outdoor concerts for more than 30 years,” said Recreation Department Director Mickey Vittardi. “I am happy to bring back an outdoor event for our seniors. It’s also a fun activity for families to enjoy.”
The City of Parma has received grant funding for streetscaping in Polish Village and Ukrainian Village. The funding comes from a 2021 Federal Community Development Block Grant for $175,000 and a Community Development Supplemental Grant in the amount of $50,000 from Cuyahoga County. This is the third year of a five year plan to improve and beautify the two districts.
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Recently, I had the honor of riding along with a couple of Parma’s finest. On Friday, May 14 from 8:00 pm until around 3:00 am the next day, I spent the evening and wee morning hours observing what Officers Rick Morgan and Marshall Gallo and their colleagues deal with on a daily basis. Needless to say, I came away even more impressed with the finest police department in northeast Ohio. The professionalism, patience, empathy, and knowledge of law and best practices of our officers is second to none.
Last week, the state’s transportation budget, House Bill 74, was passed unanimously by the Ohio Senate and concurred by the Ohio House of Representatives. As the highest ranking Democrat on the Transportation Committee, I am pleased to have participated in this bipartisan process that will fix Ohio’s roads and bridges, keep public transit as a priority and move Ohio into the 21st Century with regard to electric vehicle supports.
H. B. 74 includes almost $6 billion over the biennium to fix Ohio’s roads and bridges, adds an additional $70 million per year over the Governor’s budget for public transportation as well as $8 million for Electric Vehicle charging stations.
It also requires the Ohio Department of Transportation to have a policy to make the purchase and replacement of rail lines used for public passenger transportation eligible for funding, subject to approval by the Transportation Review Advisory Council, which will benefit RTA.
The bill also modernizes and expands the possibilities for Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA), something in the works for years.
We Are Parma Proud and The City of Parma are gearing up for Parma’s Independence Day Parade! This year we hope to make it bigger and better than ever before! Businesses and non-profit organizations, here is an economic way to promote yourselves. Enter the float competition, sign up as a marching unit, sign up as a musical unit, promote your business. Join us and celebrate Independence Day, Parma style, on Saturday, July 3rd, from 10 AM to 12 PM. The parade begins at Snow and Ridge Road and ends at W Ridgewood Drive. Contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application for details.
The Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Lois Club (NEOLois Club) had its first meeting on November 14, 2003, at the Olive Garden Restaurant at Parma Town. The first hostesses for the event included Lois Knaflich, who headed up the group for 15+ years, until passing in 2021 at the age of 95. There were 11 women named Lois at this first event. Since then, the group has grown to its current membership of just under 50 members!
Romeo’s Pizza, the award-winning pizza franchise with 47 operating locations is proud of our Local Pizza Champions in Parma, Ohio who have donated pizzas to the Pleasantview Care Center and Parma Early Childhood PTA.
At Cleveland Water, we know our drinking water is essential to the quality of life of more than 1.4 million people in 80 communities. That’s why we are committed to providing our customers with safe, high-quality, drinking water that is available at the turn of a tap any hour of the day.
Cuyahoga County Resource Box Available At 14 Locations Provides Much-Needed Information For Area Families
With quarantine mandating time away from the classroom and usual activities, many children have struggled over the past year. Connecting for Kids aims to help local families find resources for a child who may have regressed socially, emotionally, academically or physically during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
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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.