As we enter the month of March one can’t help but reflect on the last 12 months. March 2020 was the time COVID became front and center of our daily lives and the beginning of a long chain events that have been very trying on all of us. Heading into spring I hope the healing process soon begins on all fronts. After witnessing our community come together so many times, in spite of so many challenges, I have no doubt this will once again be the case.
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Carl Milano felt like a groom on the evening of his wedding day, anticipating the homecoming of his bride of 46 years. The Mayfield Village couple had survived COVID-19: he during a three-week bout at home, and Beverly during a marathon 76 days in two hospitals, including more than three weeks on a ventilator. They had missed Christmas and New Year’s together, and on a snowy February afternoon just after Valentine’s Day, he was taking his beloved home again. “We witnessed a miracle, and you all were a part of it,” said a tearful Carl, bowing in thanks to all the assembled caregivers cheering Beverly as she was discharged from University Hospitals Parma Medical Center.
A guy like me, who can't drive and doesn't even own a car, really notices where it is safe and easy to walk and where it isn't. Since moving back to Parma I've noticed a huge difference between the Parma side of Snow Rd. and the Parma Hts. side. Only a few property owners on the Parma side clear the snow from their sidewalks, and that includes the shopping center at the corner of Chevrolet Blvd. This makes trying to walk in the neighborhood a dangerous, sometime impossible thing. Many people who have no choice, including children, take to walking in the street - even more dangerous.
SWIAC Members, Every Friday during Lent we’re having a FISH FRY on the following dates, Feb 19, 26; March 5, 12, 19, 26 and April 2nd from 4:30 pm–7:30 pm at SWIAC Clubhouse. Pease call 216 308-0345 (our club; new number) to place an order; upon arrival at the club, call again for curbside delivery. Only members and spouses are permitted to enter the clubhouse, note: No more than 25 are permitted in the building. We ask that members call before entering to ensure adequate space is available.
We often don't really consider the place someone has filled in our lives until they are gone. So true that is for Wayne "Woody" Mesker, who passed away on February 1. A decade ago when I first met him, Woody was fronting Worldstock Entertainment his group dedicated to using Rock n' Roll to promote a variety of worthy causes and ideas. We discovered that he was quite a singer, and was always performing on stage somewhere. Up until the time of his passing, when he was the community Outreach Director for the Alive Inside Foundation and the Founder of Rock Against Dementia, Woody was always busy bringing attention to things that he felt needed to be front and center. Whether any particular endeavor was hugely successful or not did not matter to him; he charged ahead with the same exuberance and sense of optimism that only he could display. We will miss his enthusiasm and vision, always needed in the Greater Parma Area.
We're all looking to a warm and sunny Spring. Those first warm breezes refresh both the gardener and the garden, but many of us have a love-hate relationship with deer. No plant is impervious to deer browsing but the least damaged by deer have one or more traits that deer dislike. In general, ornamental grasses make a great deer resistant plant, because of their thin tough, sharp edged foliage. Pastel colors, such as pink, lavender and white create a classic Spring look. These soft colors are easy to mix and match, but swap out the tulips (deer love the petals) for daffodils and irises which deer shy away from. Hyacinths are one of the very few bulbs that can legitimately be called deer proof. The bulbs are poisonous to deer and squirrels. Typically, deer tend to stay away from eating peonies due to the strong flavor. Other plants deer tend to avoid include crocus, Glory-of-the-snow, Snowdrops, and Grape Hyacinths.
Parma barber Mario Innocenzi is known throughout our region for organizing charitable drives collecting everything from food to clothing to school supplies, and then getting them where they help people in desperate need. Hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters, Mario has himself driven trucks to stricken areas, as well as helping those who need assistance all over our local community. Recently Mario suddenly found himself facing serious challenges when he suffered a medical emergency that left him without the use of his lower extremities. Happily, after successful surgery at UH Hospitals, He is recovering nicely, faces a lot of physical therapy, and will miss a great deal of work while he recovers- up to 10 weeks. There has been a Go Fund Me account created- http://gofund.me/2f1d0fd7. Many people have already responded with donations, and hopefully many more will also, since a person like Mario who has helped so many certainly deserves a return of the many favors he has sent our way for all of these years.
Ailene Zaebst walked down the aisle at her wedding more than 140 pounds lighter from bariatric surgery, completing a weight-loss journey that began 18 months earlier at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. Her beloved, Adam, waited for her at the altar. But her unseen partners in this journey were an entire team of specialists at UH Parma, supporting her in positive changes to last a lifetime. Initially, Ailene was inspired by her Aunt Patty, who had pledged to lose 50 pounds before her 50th birthday and ultimately dropped more than 150 pounds. Losing 30 pounds before her 30th birthday should be quite achievable, she figured. Ailene met with Dietitian Dina Corrao, who put her on a 1,500 calorie per day diet and urged her to ramp up her exercise. She lost 40 pounds before she underwent surgery in September 2019 – and she’s lost 100 pounds more since. The pre-surgery routines have been critical in ensuring long-term life changes. “Ailene has been a true example of success,” says Anna Hazinakis, BS, RN, CBN, the clinical coordinator and assistant nurse manager of the Nutritional Health & Bariatric Surgery Center at UH Parma, who has been recognized as a Distinguished Bariatric Nurse by the American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, which accredits the program. “Ailene committed from day one to this journey and has been an inspiration to many around her.”
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 frog tried to look as big as an elephant and burst. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. A good life fears not life or death. A little lie is like a little pregnancy; it does not take long before everybody knows. A man there was and they called him mad; the more he gave, the more he had. Acceptance and tolerance do not necessarily imply agreement and/or approval. All wrongs will be righted and truth will come to light.
Attitudes are more important than facts.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
My father introduced me to many old expressions from his days. One of them was an old Army expression from the Second World War. It was SNAFU; which was short for “situation normal, all fouled up”. That expression from a bygone era clearly describes how our federal government has fouled up everything related to this pandemic.
Are you struggling to pay your sewer bills? Help is here.
As we embark on the new 134th General Assembly, I look forward to all that can be accomplished over the next two years. The first item on the agenda is the biennial state budget. Totaling nearly $70 billion, the state budget makes two-year appropriations for healthcare, early child through higher education, workforce development, local government, and more. During this process, I plan to prioritize funding programs which promote Ohioan’s health, education, and job security.
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!
In January Pleasant Lake Villa, 7260 Ridge Rd., conducted their first COVID 19 vaccination clinic, without issue. All participants received the Pfizer vaccination, and Pleasant Lake Villa was pleased to report no side effects. Many staff and residents received the vaccine, including Adminstrator Sharon Santoli, Director of Social Services Jessica Adams, and Aimee Simon from Central Supply. The next clinic is scheduled for February 4, where many more participants are expected to avail themselves of the vaccinations so critical to keeping everyone there safe and returing to their normal lives more quickly.
It has been one year since the first cases of COVID-19 in the United States. Since then, we all have had to make extreme changes in our lives. As vaccinations are beginning to be administered, we are very hopeful that we are turning the corner and moving closer to life as we once knew it to be.
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/
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A bodycam video is even more so; go to our Parma Observer Facebook page and judge for yourself after viewing it. Frank Q. Jackson has been in so many scrapes with the law that he has truly made himself a household word all around the Cleveland area. His latest incident in Parma has people wondering when and where this crime spree will end. On January 24, shortly after midnight, Jackson was stopped by Parma Police for an equipment violation. After he consented to a search of the vehicle, he was asked to step out. Instead, with two officers present, one having hold of him, Jackson pulled away. The officer was able to run along side of the vehicle before freeing himself. A chase ensued, reaching speeds of over 100 mph. Jackson was able to escape while fleeing. He later turned himself in to the Parma Police Department at 2:55 AM.
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.
Accountability is applicable to everyone because we reap what we sow. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Attitude dictates our behavior. Character is what we are and do when nobody is looking.
Christian Gospel is what only Jesus proclaimed. All other proclamations are false. Contentment is living the virtues.
Eating a high amount of natural, whole grains and low amounts of processed foods puts one on a path of optimal health. Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. Exaggeration tends to weaken whatever we exaggerate.
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.
There is an age-old philosophy that has been shared across the world since the dawn of civilization, a philosophy that has intertwined its immovable truth within all spiritual belief systems - from the monotheistic Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, to those of polytheistic faiths in the practice of Hinduism and the wide array of indigenous tribal social structures upon the earth. A word that has been distilled from common generational phrases and baked into our bones; sayings like: "what goes around comes around," and, "you reap what you sow"...
A word that epitomizes balance, instilling renewal and justice to those in its blessing, while equally exacting destruction to others in the same breath. That word is, karma, a word we have collectively accepted and understood for time immemorial, but merely in the tragically diminished context of a condition that we believe seems to only occur between people. Karma is however far more encompassing than that.
Last month we saw the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States and the changing of the nation’s head of state. This month we celebrate President’s Day. How many people realize that there are within an easy drive from Parma four presidential homes or museums that are open to the public?
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."
Chick-fil-A is awarding a year’s worth of complimentary meals to 18 local heroes at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, right across the street from its new Parma location. “It was such an amazing surprise!” said 25-year employee Maria Scheutzow, an RN in Infection Control who has worked non-stop behind the scenes of the pandemic to keep caregivers safe and implement protocols to protect our patients. “What fun it is to be given an unexpected and undeserved gift, especially in the midst of the pandemic fatigue we are all feeling right now.” Chick-fil-A typically awards a year’s worth of free meals to its first 100 customers at each new restaurant. To prevent crowds in advance of its Jan. 21 opening and honor local heroes during the pandemic, the Parma location at 6676 Ridge Road awarded one meal per week for an entire year to select employees of UH Parma.
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.
It's the 21st year of the 21st century. Time to reconcile that there can be no social justice or human rights without animal rights. When we choose to treat other beings with less than the right to exist for their own sake, we forfeit our own rights. This is not merely a call to veganism, though that would constitute a demonstrably huge step in the right direction. It is an awakening. A consciousness that informs, that is the bedrock of, ALL social justice. Until we can look into the eyes of other beings, great and small, from elephants and whales to ants and spiders, and honestly, humbly see ourselves looking back at us, we cannot call ourselves religious, empathetic or godly. It is impossible to love God while cherry-picking for whom we have mercy. When we witness tax funded police absolved of murdering and terrorizing people of color and feel outrage, we should also feel pain and grief for all the imprisoned, shackled, lynched, slain, impaled, hunted, chased-down, commodified and profited-off-of other beings.
This February sixteenth will mark the hundredth-year anniversary of the murders of Mabel Foote and Louise Wolf. The two teachers were beaten to death on Ridgewood Road, roughly a quarter mile east of its intersection with Ridge Road. Sadly, their murders were never solved. Where nearly forgotten today, the murders were the flash point of public umbrage. There were numerous citizen outrage meetings. Armed mobs of farmer “posses” roamed the streets, searching woods, farms, and homes while questioning all that they met.
From gifts and cards to cocktails and dinner, consumers are expected to spend an average $200 on Valentine's Day. If you are going to spend on the Day of Hearts, why not take the opportunity to shop locally? Parma Heights is home to creative and caring people who run thoughtful businesses. Many of them pouring money back into the community. So here's a few suggestions of purpose driven places to shop locally all across the city:
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.