A decade is an important milestone for anything or anyone. I will be the first to admit that it just doesn't feel like 10 years have gone by. It was only yesterday, it seems, that I was holding the very first Parma Observer in my hands, the headline reading "Building A Virtual Public Square For Parma", with a wonderful letter from then Mayor Dean DePiero, and an endorsement from Congressman Dennis Kucinich. When viewing that first front page I am struck by how much has changed since October of 2009, in the world, in Ohio, and most certainly in the Parma area. Our community has gone through a fair amount of change in the past 10 years. We passed through the recession and had to adjust to a certain amount of turbulence, but mostly we've learned to understand what it takes to survive in the 21st Century, although there are still substantial challenges to meet and major obstacles to overcome. From what I have heard and witnessed over the past decade after attending countless meetings in both the public and private sector, the people in leadership roles in Parma, Parma Heights and Seven Hills are aware of what their responsibility is and welcome more involvement from citizens concerned with the future of the Tri-City Area. There is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting that we need things which will improve our cities, and identifying exactly what these things are is the first step in making the crucial choices that will lead to a successful future for all. The Parma Observer is best thought of as a river, through which essential information can flow.
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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.”
The city has a new Director of Finance and Personnel. Katie Iaconis says she looks forward to working with the administration and Parma Heights residents in her new role. She replaces veteran Finance Director Terry Hickey, who retired this summer after 51 years with the city. “It’s exciting,” she said. “I really enjoy projects. There’s a lot of ways for us (the city) to save money and be more efficient.”
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.
In the last twelve months, Pathway received 2,400 referrals for Northeast Ohio children of all ages needing to be placed in a safe and nurturing home. Today, Cuyahoga County represents over 60% of our foster care referrals. There are children in our own community, who sit next to your child in school, who have been abused and neglected and are in need of a foster family.
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.
For the third year in a row, elected officials representing Parma’s Quarry District area, roughly the intersection of Snow and Broadview roads in Council Wards 4 and 9, held a free community picnic for residents living in the wards. The event was paid for and sponsored by Council members Kristin Saban (Ward 4), Roy Jech (Ward 9), and State Representative Jeff Crossman.
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.
A person needs to acknowledge his or her sinful nature before coming to Christ for salvation. Because time goes by so fast is all the more reason to enjoy the present moment. Character is everything. Christians can rejoice in tribulation because they have eternity’s values in view. Each of us is expected to be a servant in one capacity or another.
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.
On the first evening following surgery, an astounded Bill Roberts was standing, pain-free, bearing weight on his new hip. “It was the first time in well over a year that I stood up and I had no pain,” says Bill Roberts of Seville in Medina County. “They want you mobile again as soon as possible.” The retired Boy Scouts executive, who moved to Ohio from California three years ago, is used to an active lifestyle. The 71-year-old chose an orthopedic surgeon – Michael LoPresti, MD, with the Center of Orthopedic Surgery – with the same mindset.
October’s Asset Category: SUPPORT. Supportive, healthy relationships make a big difference
The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare will be ten years old next spring. Since the act was signed into law on March 23 2010, millions of Americans have become insured who would have previously been uninsured. But the act has been controversial and the Republican party has made repealing and replacing the ACA its top priority. But despite more than 60 votes in the House of Representatives to repeal the act and even with the election of Donald Trump on a promise to “repeal and replace” the act, it still stands.
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 city just got safer. Parma Heights has been awarded $538,350 in federal funding over a three-year period in a cost-sharing grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The grant, known as the Safer Grant, will provide funding to hire three additional firefighters for the city’s fire department. “It’s a great opportunity for us (the city) to get up to the proper staffing levels (in the fire department,” said Katie Iaconis, the city’s new Director of Finance and Personnel. According to Iaconis, the grant monies will not only boost the employee ranks by an additional three firefighters, but will also help the city “drastically reduce its overtime costs within the department.” “What this really does is provide additional safety and security for the residents of Parma Heights,” Iaconis said. “Congratulations to the fire department for being so diligent (in working with us to pursue this funding).” The city was notified of the grant award on September 10.
Cox Communications, the largest private telecom company in America, recently launched ‘Grandstories’ in tandem with the Grandparent’s Day observance. The initiative brings grandparents closer to their grandkids by teaching them how to make stronger connections with the people who matter most using social media. ‘Grandstories’ reinforces Cox’s new brand positioning, ‘Bringing Us Closer’, by demonstrating how broadband connectivity is most powerful when it creates more human connection.
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.
UH Parma Medical Center Announces Plans To Consolidate Delivery And Expand Women’s And Children’s Services
University Hospitals Parma Medical Center is shifting its focus from delivering babies to enhancing services that care for women and children throughout their lives. The hospital is expanding women’s services and UH Rainbow pediatric services as it transitions labor and delivery to other UH locations.
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.
SHOW KIDS YOU CARE: NOTICE WHEN THEY GROW. September’s Asset Category: COMMITMENT TO LEARNING. Education has improved immensely in the past 20 years. Today, more young people are taking high-level courses, fewer of them are dropping out, math and science scores are on the rise, and more students are entering college after high school. But that doesn’t mean a commitment to learning happens naturally in all young people. Instilling this important trait involves a combination of values and skills that include the desire to succeed in school, a sense of the lasting importance of learning, and a belief in one’s own ability. This commitment is strongly influenced by the school environment and relationships with family and peers. This column’s focus will be on…..Asset #24 – Bonding to School
With patient-centered care, innovation and enhancement as central principles, University Hospitals is re-envisioning and expanding end-of-life care for patients and families across Northeast Ohio.
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.”
Kim Monaco, BSN, RN, a longtime nursing leader at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, has been named its new Chief Nursing Officer.
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.