There are some subjects that people talk about all of the time. Some never. Then there are other things that really need to be discussed, even if the discussion is uncomfortable. Our General Motors Parma Metal Center is one of them, I believe. When the recent announcements of plant closings by GM were made, I was disappointed for the places targeted for closure, while also relieved that our plant wasn't one of them- this time. The times that we live in seem to be increasingly uncertain, so one can't help but think of what is in fact our largest taxpayer and major regional employer. Just how important the GM Parma Metal Center is to our community cannot be underestimated. All of my life has been spent living in the shadow of this plant. When I went to school in the 1960's, it seemed like every other kid's Dad worked there. When shifts let out, there were Manhattan style traffic jams as far as the eye could see, as workers streamed out by the thousands. It was easy enough to take it all for granted.
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Business was booming this past Saturday for many small businesses in Parma. Nov. 24 marked the sixth year for the city’s Small Business Saturday when holiday shoppers were encouraged to shop local the day after Black Friday. Many council members visited small businesses in their wards the week before, giving owners “Shop Small Here” signs to post on their storefront windows. They also posted images on the Shop Small Parma Facebook page.
It's the most wonderful time of the year! The City of Parma, in conjunction with The Young Professionals of Parma, is hosting its annual Holiday Lights contest in an effort to honor the city’s holiday lights masters.
Entries will be accepted now through December 16. Hopeful contestants can submit photos or videos of their holiday lights displays to HolidayLights@ParmaYPs.com. Four winners will be selected. Winners for best showmanship, coverage and aesthetics will each receive $50 gift cards to Chuppa's Marketplace, and then one overall winner will receive a $100 gift card to Fast Eddy's.
Our neighbors and friends in the Parma area are known for philanthropy, giving spirit and volunteerism. We watch out for each other and support each other in tough times. The generosity of the community over the years is heartwarming. Last year alone, the response to the Family Collaborative’s Giving Tree program and ‘adoption’ of financially needy children was quite impressive. The Family Collaborative was able to give to just over 1,000 kids at Christmastime due to the kindness of those in our communities.
The Prama Art Space and Gallery held their first show on November 4, and the response was very encouraging indeed. Throughout the course of 4 hours that the show lasted, approximately 200 people showed up. That is a very good response, and once again proves for me that while Parma has been lacking in Arts activities for a city our size, this is a sure sign that there is indeed a demand for art here. It should be noted that while some may believe that residents in the community have a lukewarm preference for art, a turnout like this for an initial event seems to suggest that in fact, Parma residents are literally starving for art!
“Sunday, November 11 (6:39 pm): Dispatch Message – At 1631 hours PPD and PFD Responded to . . .Wexford Ave for a 74 YO Male with self-inflicted gunshot. House appeared to be secure and there was nothing suspicious about death - coroner has come to claim the body.” When I received this message from the Parma Dispatch Center last month, my heart sunk and it has been bothering me ever since. I did not know this gentleman, but I cannot help but be saddened knowing that he was, no doubt, suffering from loneliness and depression. His death awakened the memory of my Uncle Eugene who took his own life when I was a young teenager, as well as the students at the school where I teach that have either attempted or succeeded in ending their own lives. It also reminded me of the young man who shot himself last year in Parma soon after returning from serving our country.
O The Parma Heights PACT (Police & Community Together) Youth Group….
>> Congratulations to the PACT Unit Youth Group and co-facilitators, Ptl. Eric Taylor and Case Manager Kelly Latevola for being recognized & receiving a MyCom Network Agency Award for Youth Engagement. This is given to those organizations “….actively & authentically engaging youth in decision making about youth programming, community activities for children and young adults and/or community planning.” The award was presented during the 2018 Annual MyCom Youth Awards banquet held on November 15th.
>> For announcements & detailed information re. their bi-weekly (6:00 – 7:30 pm., Tuesday) meetings visit their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/parmaheights.police.
O Save the Date – The Ohio Association of Foodbanks, in partnership with the Ohio Dept of Education, will be hosting the 8th annual statewide Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Summit in 2019! When: Tuesday Feb 12, 2019; Where: Mid-Ohio Foodbank, Grove City (just south of Columbus); Target Audience: a returning sponsor or site, a partner, or an organization considering whether SFSP is a fit for you. Registration for the event will opens in early January 2019.
O From Parma City Schools….
>> IF YOU VOTED “NO” FOR THE SCHOOL LEVY, Supt. Smialek is inviting you to attend his next Town Hall meeting starting at 6:30, on Wednesday, December 5th at the Parma (Powers Blvd) Branch Library. Following a structured format, you’ll be given an opportunity to express the rationale for your vote….w/the request that folks discuss only matters within the district’s control.
>> Schools in the District are gearing up for the Holidays. Visit the district’s and/or your child’s school website to view their schedule of programs, events and please show your support for those that you can.
>> Consider a donation to help students from Valley Forge H.S. complete an on-campus memorial to 15 alumni killed during the Vietnam war. They’re hoping to set the actual memorial in May and complete landscaping work shortly thereafter. A check memo’d as “Vietnam Memorial” sent to Valley Forge H.S. or an in-kind donation, i.e.: landscaping and/or concrete services are specifically needed, would both be appreciated. Contact Amy Byrne, email@example.com or Mike Stringer, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
PARMA HEIGHTS -- The Parma Heights Police and students involved in the Police and Community Together (P.A.C.T.) Youth Group met November 27 at the Cassidy Theatre to do something really important this holiday season. The kids and police officers helped make greeting cards and put together care packages for soldiers serving overseas who will not be home for the holidays this year. The cards and packages will be sent to arrive before Christmas through Operation Christmas Cards for the Troops Overseas. The organization was founded eight years ago.
December’s Asset Category: CONSTRUCTIVE USE OF TIME. 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. This column’s focus will be on…..Asset #18 – Youth Program
Henry Fambrough is the last original member of the Motown group, The Spinners, and has insight to share. Fambrough, who recently turned 80 years old, say he still feels the same as he did when he was 20. As an 80-year-old, Fambrough is able to share a depth of wisdom and experience with readers.
November Highlights The NEW MYCOM website is up and ready to view! Check out what MyCom is and does on MyComCLE.org !!!!
The spirit of Christmas, and decorating for the holiday has been in Mark Klaus’ blood since his youth in Seven Hills. It’s not surprising then that the Normandy High School graduate parlayed the purchase of a church, a school and two storefronts in Medina into Castle Noel, an enterprise he calls “America’s Largest Indoor, Year ‘Round Christmas Entertainment Attraction.” “Our home was a Christmas wonderland,” Klaus said. (Klaus sounds like “Claus,” as in "Santa.") “We always had ornaments in the ceiling and Santa flying over the house.”
As I continue my search for relatives from the distant past, I am curious as to where they lived, what were their values and traditions. Did they have substantial successes or failures? History repeats, be it déjà vu or memory cells passed along the gene pool from centuries ago, I sure would like to connect the dots! In my youth there was no need to ask questions, elders rarely discussed events from their past. Such inquiries were quickly hushed away. As one grows older, one becomes wiser with much more time for reflection, and time to complete the missing pieces of their life puzzle. Surprisingly, I recall events from the past, but have difficulty remembering what I served for dinner yesterday!
What comes to your mind when you think of Parma? There are many answers depending on who you ask. You have locations such as Stearns Farm, West Creek, or The Shoppes at Parma, and you have both Polish Village and Ukrainian Village. The first thing that comes to mind for many, however, isn’t a place at all, but a thing: pink flamingos.
A $2 million investment in the renovation of a beautiful new UH Parma Medical Center office suite to house both General Surgery and UH Digestive Health Institute specialists streamlines care for patients and improves efficiencies for physicians and staff. “It's a genius idea to put surgery and GI doctors together," said Melinda Lakatos, BSN, RN, Nurse Manager of the CCU Stepdown, who was among the many employees and physicians who stopped by during a recent open house in Suite 309 of Medical Arts Center 2. “Our physicians consult with each other all the time on the floors. Now the patient doesn't have to go to several locations for appointments."
All stand to benefit when we are grounded and rooted in truth. Any person who endeavors to live a Godly life is bound to encounter opposition. Blaming God for our troubles is like being on a dead-end street. It doesn’t take you anywhere. Christianity grows with love, not violence. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Do not give me your list to live by and I will not give you mine; instead, follow God’s list.
The movie A Christmas Story about Ralphie’s quest for a BB gun for Christmas and growing up during the early 1940s has become a classic. But we all have our unique Christmas stories and here is mine from growing up in Parma during the 1950s. I grew up near the intersection of Pearl and Ridge Roads in Parma and attended Ridge Brook Elementary School. I walked to and from school because my family lived only two blocks from the school and my mother was usually home then. It was usually on a Friday during December that we had our big Christmas adventure. That was a shopping trip downtown to the big department stores and to see Santa Claus. During the Christmas season downtown Cleveland was a wonderland for a boy. When we went downtown, we dressed up. That meant that after coming home from school, we had to change out of our school clothes into our “church clothes” that were nicer. My mother never wore slacks shopping. She always wore a dress, especially when she went downtown.
The city of Parma will host a Christmas parade on Sunday, Dec. 2. The parade will step off at 4 p.m. at City Hall, 6611 Ridge Road, and travel south on Ridge to Stearns Homestead at 6975 Ridge Road. At the festively decorated Stearns Homestead, Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter and other elected officials will participate in the annual tree-lighting ceremony immediately after the parade ends. “We encourage Parma residents to come out and experience these holiday events,” DeGeeter said. “We hope Parma residents will watch the parade, join us for the tree lighting and help us kick off the holiday season.”
Two national lists recently named Parma among the best cities for retirees and veterans to call home.
It is no secret that I've often shared my dismay that to my knowledge, there is no commercial art gallery in Parma. Since it is so apparent that the Arts have brought impressive social and economic benefits to the various neighborhoods in the Cleveland Area where they have flourished, I have found it hard to understand why the seventh largest city in Ohio seems to have missed the boat when it comes to this aspect of modern life. Well, it is my distinct pleasure to report that now Parma has what I believe is the first commercial art gallery in our wonderful city.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, the nation’s largest free volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service is seeking volunteers to assist taxpayers in southwestern Cuyahoga County. We have 2 tax preparation sites in Parma and additional sites in the neighboring cities of Middleburg Heights, Brook Park, Broadview Heights, North Royalton, and Strongsville. We also have sites Brooklyn, and Brooklyn Heights, and the Old Brooklyn and Puritas-Longmead neighborhoods of the city of Cleveland that are part of another Tax-Aide district. Volunteers do not have to be retired or members of AARP.
Parma City Council President Sean Brennan is again uniting community partners to collect peanut butter for local low income seniors throughout the month of December.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will honor the courageous men and women who served in the nation’s military during a Veterans Day observance at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at Western Campus.
More than 1 million Ohioans have Type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control. This chronic condition affects the way the body processes blood sugar. What can you do to prevent this common disease?
PARMA HEIGHTS -- Parma Heights artist and the driving force behind the Greenbrier Art League, Susan Kiedio, won the 2018 Grand Prize from the Ohio Watercolor Society (OWS) -- the Gold Buckeye Leaf Award. Her winning artwork, a piece entitled, “The Ring,” was featured on the cover of the latest OWS magazine. It can also be seen on the groups’ website home page.
The City of Parma is excitedly watching the $7 million expansion project taking place at Mount Alverna Village, located off OH-94/State Road. This premier senior living community, sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago, is adding 42 memory support apartments, expanding their current rehabilitation services, and adding a life enrichment center that will open in 2019.
Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later. Ask God each day to give you the thoughts, words, and actions to help you along the way. Be to other’s virtues very kind; be to their faults, a little blind. Correction does much; encouragement does more. Healthy relationships require clear boundaries.
The Pantry at All Saints celebrated its 50th monthly food distribution on Saturday, October 20th. It was a crisp autumn day for our 34 volunteers and hundreds of guests as we distributed the food.
We distributed 12,647 pounds of perishable food to 264 households (inhabited by 657 residents) in 18 northeast Ohio zip codes. Seniors lived in 68% of the households. Thirty-three new households were served this month.
Year-to-date we have distributed 112,789 pounds of perishable food to 2,265 households (721 unique) in 35 northeast Ohio zip codes.
Several students from the cosmetology program at Normandy High School, accompanied by teacher Casey Lehky, gave manicures, light makeup, and braided hair to dozens of our guests. It is a wonderful service that we hope to continue offering at future events. Many people said that they weren't used to being so pampered. Thank you Parma City School District and Normandy's cosmetology students and teachers!
Also, our friend Heiderose Holodnak returned this year to give away her handcrafted hats and scarves, as well as gloves. Heidi crochets these items throughout the year, and they are beautiful. She will be back next month to continue to distribute her wares. Thank you Heidi!
Our next event is scheduled for Saturday, November 17th at 9:00 am.
As always, our thanks to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, the cities of Parma and Parma Heights, and to our loyal volunteers for their steady support. We couldn't do this without you.
We are thrilled to be able to serve our community in this meaningful way.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will showcase the bold, colorful and humorous creations of three regional artists during a monthlong exhibit now on view at Western Campus. The exhibit runs through Nov. 21 at Gallery West, located on the second floor of the campus library. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
This summer, PetFix Northeast Ohio and local firefighters, teamed up to create the 2019 Firefighters and Furry Friends calendar. This much-anticipated calendar is now available for sale and features our local heros with owned and adoptable cats and dogs. The photographs were taken by local Pulitzer prize-winning photographer Amy Sancetta. The calendar makes a great holiday gift for animal-loving friends and family. All proceeds go toward PetFix Northeast Ohio's non-profit mission of offering high-quality, affordable spay and neuter sugeries to end pet homelessness and the need for unnecessary euthanasia due to overpopulation. Show your support for our local heroes and help PetFix create a world in which every pet has a loving home, by purchasing your calendar today for only $20 plus shipping. Calendars can be bought online at petfixnortheastohio.org.
Child and Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County (CFACC) welcomes Tricia Kuivinen as the new Executive Director. Kuivinen’s first day with CFACC will be Monday, October 29, 2018. Kuivinen is a seasoned nonprofit management professional and licensed social worker with over 25 years of broad experience in the nonprofit sector, with a specialty in marketing, external affairs, and organizational consulting. Kuivinen has worked in a wide variety of professional capacities throughout her career, including direct clinical work and case management, advocacy and government relations, healthcare marketing, maternal health program development, fundraising, and as an independent consultant. Kuivinen launched TKConsultingCLE in 2000 to serve a variety of nonprofit organizations through consulting and project development services. She most recently served as the Director of External Affairs at Linking Employment, Abilities and Potential (LEAP), a northeast Ohio disability services organization. In this capacity, she worked to create and advance a comprehensive external affairs strategy, including marketing, public relations, and annual fund campaigns, corporate and community outreach, and the creation of effective program and employment partnerships benefiting persons with disabilities. Prior to her role with LEAP, Kuivinen served as the Director of the Zechariah House in Cleveland, a transitional residence for homeless women, and as a Community Relations Manager with the Cleveland Clinic. Kuivinen also serves as an adjunct Nonprofit Marketing instructor with the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. She has a BA in Social Work, an MA in Practical Theology, and a Master of Nonprofit Management degree (MNO) from the Weatherhead School of Management at CWRU. In 2005, Kuivinen was a recipient of the Northeast Ohio Tobacco Control Coalition’s Distinguished Service Award and was also awarded the Dean’s Academic Medal from the Weatherhead School of Management during the same year. In May 2007, Kuivinen was recognized in the “At Work” column of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Kuivinen currently resides in South Euclid, Ohio with her two daughters. She enjoys travel, cooking, keeping up with current affairs, and volunteering with community-based organizations.
November’s Asset Category: EMPOWERMENT Feeling valued and appreciated is important to all of us. For young people, this means feeling safe and believing they’re liked and respected. These feelings can go a long way toward empowering children and youth. Providing opportunities and recognizing accomplishments helps young people build self-esteem. This in turn, gives them the confidence to share their ideas, knowledge, and creativity by volunteering and working in paid jobs. By paying attention to young people, you show that you value them. This column’s focus will be on…..Asset #9 – Service to Others
There are times in my life when I silently check my favorite numbers to see if something I’m considering is okay. It’s similar to approving bingo and raffle ticket digits, even a potential address or sale price can come under scrutiny. Over time I have relied on the numbers 2 and 8 to satisfy my confidence. Because I have eight children, that number is a no brainer. It has become my favorite in many appropriate instances. The number two stems from the fact that all of my kids have a “2” in their birth date. Yes, when each of them was born, a two appeared in the day of their arrival. It’s an amazing occurrence that will forever join all eight of them in a common bond. Especially since their arrival date was not chosen by me, this seemed remarkable .
Two months ago, I visited the JFK Museum and Library in Boston. There I saw a short movie about the Cuban Missile Crisis which included conversations from the President with his generals and advisors.
On Wednesday May 23rd, George Mastrobuono, and Rob Lippucci from SWIAC attended the annual awards ceremony for the Italian American Cultural Foundation (IACF) Italian Literature and Language programs, held at Padua High School, 6740 State Road, Parma. Over 40 students, parents, family and friends attended the event held in the 3rd floor library at Padua. Of course there were some good refreshments including pizza and Italian Pastries! The Library has a special section of Italian Culture related books, many of which were procured using donations from SWIAC. The Padua Italian Language program is one of the largest in the area with over 100 students enrolled.
Over the years I have written quite a lot about religion in this column, as my own faith is very important to me and I have always been fascinated with other faiths. As I pen this article, I am listening to our local public radio station (90.3 FM - WCPN) report about the disastrous attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. It is reported that 11 Americans have died practicing their First Amendment right of free exercise of religion. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that I write this piece.
The City of Parma and the Parma City School District are partnering on a pilot program at Parma Senior High School to teach students essential leadership skills for future careers and personal development. The Parma Youth Leadership Academy, launched last week, identified 30 Parma Senior High School students who will receive leadership training this fall and winter. Later in the spring, those skills will be utilized through a project focused on helping the schools or the city.
Due to the generosity of Cox Communications, the Leadership for Tomorrow field trips will continue for Parma City School District fourth-graders. The program, which teaches local students about municipal government, again faced termination due to budget cuts but will be fully covered with Cox Communications’ most recent donation of $5,000.
Andy Novak’s heart was shocked six times to restore its beat on a January morning earlier this year. At the Parma Hospital Health Care Foundation’s glittering gala on Sept. 15, Novak stood on the stage, flanked by the Parma Heights paramedics and UH Parma Medical Center Emergency Department team that brought him back to life. His emotional story detailed a massive heart attack, intensive care stay on full life support and dramatic recovery, thanks to a strong “chain of survival” that included bystander CPR delivered by the family. Novak’s story launched a flurry of giving at the black-tie celebration at the Embassy Suites in Independence.