The celebration begins with a Wing Ding, Friday, May 4th, at RAXX located at 5513 Pearl Rd. Net proceeds from this event benefit Polish Village Parma, a qualified 501(c)3. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $20. Saturday, May 5th, at 6:00pm is the Polonia Ball in the St. Charles Social Hall. Junior Miss Polonia (ages 15-17) and Miss Polonia (ages 18-24) will be chosen at this event.
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In light of seeming proliferating accidents and attacks involving guns, Parma City Council and the Parma Police Department have partnered to create a program to enhance gun safety in their community by providing residents with free firearm safety kits. The program is intended to be a proactive approach to preventing gun violence in the community.
O From the Ohio Dept of Education…. In-Demand Jobs Week is scheduled for May 7 – 11, and communities throughout Ohio are gearing up to host events to inspire students and job seekers about local career opportunities. More than 30 events are planned to date and the list is growing.
Access the In-Demand Jobs Week web site here: http://omj.ohio.gov/indemandjobsweek and scroll down to access both the Event Map and the Business-Education Partner Search Map. While there click on the link to view details of Ohio’s 200+ in-demand occupations. It contains some really great information.
When you talk to Ridge-Brook Elementary principal Steve Perry about his building and his PTA, you would think he was talking about his own family. The connections that Perry has built over the last two years at the tight-knit school are undeniable. In recognition of his dedication to the children and families at Ridge-Brook, Perry was named the Parma Council of PTA Educator of the Year for 2018. In addition to being named as the Educator of the Year in Parma, Perry was first nominated for and then later awarded the Ohio PTA District 12 Educator of the Year. District 12 serves the communities of Bay Village, Berea, North Olmsted, North Royalton, Olmsted Falls, Orange, Parma, Rocky River, Solon, Strongsville and Westlake.
On April 13, high school seniors from throughout the Parma City School District were awarded scholarships during an annual day of recognition known as Winners Circle. Organized entirely by the Parma Council of PTAs, Winners Circle assemblies are held at Normandy, Parma and Valley Forge High School throughout the entire day. This year, 115 scholarships were awarded, totaling just over $96,000. “Seeing the students come through elementary school all the way up now to graduation, and how successful they’ve become through our school system is, of course, a brag point,” Angela Revay, Parma Council of PTA president said.
On May 8, the Parma City School District will have Issue 5 on the primary ballot. Issue 5 is a 7.4 mill operating levy request which will help protect and safeguard many academic programs and opportunities for all students in the Parma Schools.
April Highlights Four youth council members participated in Global Youth Service Day at the MetroParks West Creek Reservation on April 21. Patrick from the MetroParks talked about his expectations. The youth learned a valuable life lesson as they went around picking up debris and trash. They all said they would never smoke (due to all the cigarette butts) and all said they had never been to West Creek and wanted to come back. After lunch, we went to the Watershed Stewardship Center. One of the naturalists, Matt, came out and took us into a classroom and let the youth compare possum, raccoon, coyote and deer skulls. Both Patrick and Matt spoke about their education and career paths. All in all, it was a wonderful, educational opportunity.
Take a Hike at West Creek Reservation (Various Dates/Times)
Earlier this month, I volunteered at the Cleveland International Film Festival and while I was there I saw many movies. The film festival showcases many movies from independent film makers, documentaries and foreign movies. This year’s film festival featured almost 500 full length movies and shorts from 72 different countries. It also attracted more than 105,000 people during its 12 day run at the Tower City Cinemas and several neighborhood screenings, making it one of the largest film festivals in the world.
MAY’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.
In the wake of millions of wailing patriots exhibiting their concerns across the nation around gun legislation, I find it even more challenging to digest opposition overtures decrying their two driven points: to not 'tread' on their 2nd amendment rights, and that guns don't kill people, 'people' kill people...I have however yet to experience any active solutions to follow their impassioned words, words that I recognize are valid to them and I do not discredit, but words that I nonetheless fundamentally disagree with, for the following reasons:
Call For Entries Medley Of The Arts Show & Sale The annual spring art show and sale, sponsored by Parma Area Fine Arts Council, will be held on May 19, 2018, from 10:00am to 4:00pm, at the Donna Smallwood Center. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available. Monetary prizes are awarded for the first place in each of the following six categories: 1)Watercolor 2)Oil & Acrylics 3)3 Dimensional (pottery, carving, jewelry, sculpture) 4)Computer Graphics/Pencil/Pen & Ink/Pastels 5)Photography 6)Fiber Arts, as well as a Best In Show and People's Choice Award. If you are interested in entering this unjuried show and are over the age of 16, please contact Michelle at (216)618-0956 or visit the web site at www.Parmafinearts.org, for an application and more information. No residency or membership requirements. Drop off date for entries is May 19th.
According to research, people benefit when their positive emotions outnumber negative ones by three to one. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good work. An important step in a young person’s life is when he or she changes from parental dependence to Godly dependence. This point in one’s journey of life will vary from person to person. Blessings may be in plain sight or hidden behind clouds of anxiety and despair, but they are always part of our lives. Change occurs from the bottom up. It takes concerned, inspired, and dedicated individuals to make it happen.
Sometimes the quiet days of our golden years are sprinkled with the visits of our grandkids. These occasions bring smiles to our hearts and awaken the positive results that stem from interaction with our kin. I look forward to sharing time and space with each of them whenever they have time for a visit. I've been blessed with grandkids of all ages that are equipped with varying degrees of talk and action. They keep me busy with questions, sharing, concerns, serious talk, achievements and challenges. Their sensitive accolades provide sniffles as well.
Two new local businesses are certain to keep you well fed. Hani Mikhail, a native of Alexandria, Egypt, and his business partner Moe, have opened Nile Seafood Restaurant and Market in the strip shopping center at 6863 West130th Street. The combination restaurant and market which opened Saturday, April 21, has seating for 36.
As spring blooms around us, so does the arrival of home improvement season. Projects that have been contemplated and discussed all winter long are now ready to be addressed. Most Cuyahoga County residents don’t know about an extra tool that they may have in their tool belt. That tool is called the Housing Enhancement Loan Program, or HELP loan for short. All residents in communities on the west side could be eligible for this great program. I also encourage contractors and home improvement companies to learn about this program so they can share it with their clients.
The Parma Heights Historical Society is working on a project to identify all of the veteran graves in the Parma Heights Cemetery next to the Reservoir on Pearl Road with a plaque imbedded in cement at each individual grave. There are 60 known veterans of all wars dating back to the Revolutionary War. The latest veteran to be buried in the cemetery was Steve Santner Born 1916, Died 2018. He was the oldest World War II veteran to be buried here. He was 102. We will have 11 grave markers finished in time for the Memorial day celebration. These 11 grave markers will be implanted at the graves in the general area of the American legion Post 703 podium stand in the Cemetery for all in attendance to see. The remaining 49 graves will be completed by Labor Day of this year. This is one of many projects that are planned for this year. If you are interested in joining our group then call Barb Pacino at 440-885-9767.
A staggering 88 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home, according to the American Heart Association. If your loved one or a visitor collapsed in cardiac arrest, would you know what to do?
The Parma City School District is stronger when we all work together. We have several initiatives, programs, opportunities and plans in place that are making a positive impact on our students and our community. And, we have already accomplished so much, together.
For many Parma residents, June 30, 2017 will never be forgotten due to the tremendous rains, some of which ended up in their basements. Parma’s Ward 9 Councilman Jeffrey Crossman is among those that will not soon forget, “I wasn’t so much driving in the rain that day-I felt like I was white water rafting home,” said Crossman. “Parma had a tremendous—seemingly biblical amount of rainfall, as did surrounding communities. I was just trying to get home safely while it was raining like I’d never seen before.” The rains ultimately caused widespread flooding in Parma and throughout Northeast Ohio, as storm water exceeded the capacity of sewers, rivers, and creeks to absorb the water. In addition to flooded homes, the Ridge Road exit off I-480 was temporarily closed and the Sam's Club on Brookpark Road in Brooklyn was literally under water as the adjacent creek overflowed its banks. Residents subsequently appeared at City Council meetings to ask what the City was doing to address their flooding concerns and the City engaged its partner agencies to address resident concerns.
Parma’s annual Safety Fair, a community family event for area residents to learn valuable safety information, is scheduled for Saturday, April 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Parma Justice Center, 5555 Powers Blvd.
A mother cannot unlock all of life’s doors for her children, but she can help them find the keys. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve one’s looks. A train is free to travel only when it remains on the tracks. An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
O The Parma Hts. PACT Unit’s Youth Group is active, doing well and continues to meet every other Wednesday from 6:00 – 7:30 pm usually at Cassidy Theater. Their next meeting will be April 4th. Find various sign-up documents for PACT Unit programs, i.e.: the Senior Knock and Talk service, and follow its progress at www.facebook.com/parmaheights.police
O Saturday, April 28th from 9 – 4 pm -Baldwin Wallace University Center for innovation & Growth in Berea will be hosting “Girls In Motion” – a free, fun filled day of empowerment for young ladies grades 8 – 12. Questions: Contact Teresa Stafford at firstname.lastname@example.org, ph: 216/658.2786.
O College Colleagues is offering free tutoring for 9th – 12th grade students. This local, for-profit tutoring business has stepped up to offer two free hours of walk-in tutoring/coaching on a first come-first served basis on Thursday evenings from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, now through May 10th. Call 216.978.6524; email: email@example.com. Also, keep in mind that Homework Help is available Mon – Thurs from 4 to 5:15 & 5:15 – 6:30 at the Parma Branch Library (Powers Blvd) for students in grades K – 8….for details: http://www.cuyahogalibrary.org/homework.aspx
MARCH HIGHLIGHTS - PACT Town Hall in Parma Heights: Tuesday, March 6 was a great informational night for residents of Parma Heights. The town hall meeting, sponsored by PACT (Police and Community Together), focused on opportunities available in the Parma Heights area. Representatives from PACT, Parma Heights Library, Tri-City MyCom, Parma Area Young Professionals and the Parma Area Family Collaborative shared about their programs.
The city of Parma Heights was well represented at the annual Parma Area Chamber of Commerce President’s Gala, March 10 at Holy Spirit Party Center. Among the notables attending were semi-retired Plain Dealer Sports Columnist and WJW-TV Sports Anchor Dan Coughlin with his son, Joe Coughlin, owner of Kwik Car Wash at West 130th Street and Pearl Road. Coughlin shared that he is working on his fourth book, which is to be titled “Last Call,” and is due out November 4. It will feature many of the “great characters” that Coughlin said he’s encountered in his more than five decade career covering Cleveland sports. Coughlin, who resides in Rocky River, turns 80 on September 17. His son, meanwhile, continues to be considered an up-and-comer in our community because of his civic involvement.
I am very impressed with the passionate protests and actions by the students at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. On Valentine’s Day, a troubled young man entered the school armed with an AR-15 semi automatic assault weapon and killed 17 of their classmates and teachers. Rather than mourn the dead and comfort the families, many students have taken to political action demanding sensible controls on guns so this action is not repeated.
APRIL’s Asset Category: EMPOWERMENT. Young people need to feel valued and valuable. This happens when youth feel safe and respected. As a parent, you are already one of your child’s key asset builders. Letting your kids be responsible for their own outcomes (even if they’re not necessarily what you want) is challenging, but remember that empowerment is important. This month’s column will focus on: Asset 7: Community Values Youth
Recently, I was contacted by my friend Jeff Fowler, who is a dedicated member of All Saints Episcopal Church. Jeff and I have known each other for several years, often crossing paths in our various volunteer activities. He kindly invited me to his church where I was inspired to write this latest rendition in my running series on Parma’s wonderful places of worship.
A few weeks ago, my daughter, Kathy, invited me to stay the weekend at her new residence. Her move to a recently developed area of new homes proved to be the catalyst for quite an entertaining experience. The mood was set when the early evening arrived. She called me to watch ten wild turkeys select their high perch in the edge of the forest adjacent to her back yard. I sat like a little kid waiting for Santa. This breathtaking occurrence has happened about three evenings every week since she moved in. Thick vegetation and tall trees provided a panorama of wildlife as we watched the turkeys select their haven for the night.
The Young Professionals of Parma (YPOP) held a public meeting at the Parma library branch on Powers Boulevard on February 22. The group invited the public to come and learn about its newly formed purpose and initiatives, including committees and becoming a non-profit.
Jessica and John Griffin tried cutting calories, restricting carbohydrates and limiting their food intake. At more than 300 pounds each, the young couple were held hostage by obesity and its accomplices of weight-related health problems like numbing foot pain, sleep apnea and diabetes.
Before she tried to fly around the world in 1937, Amelia Earhart’s family wanted her to study medicine. The woman who would become everyone’s favorite lady pilot actually enrolled in Columbia’s pre-medicine program before taking a plane ride at a California air show. Shortly after, she began flight lessons and bought a used plane.
In his seventh State of the City address Monday evening, Mayor Tim DeGeeter touted Parma as a great location for people looking for a safe community and a good quality of life. During his speech at the Sheet Metal Workers Local #33, DeGeeter also highlighted Parma as a city on the rebound and highlighted rising housing values. “Over the past three years, our housing values have increased by 25 percent,” he said. “In 2017 alone, those values jumped 6.6 percent. The median sales price is now nearly $107,000 – up from a low of $85,000 in 2015.”
As I mentioned in last month’s issue, I have a huge announcement to make about a project I have had in the works for months. This project illustrates my deep love for Parma and everything about it. It will also give everyone who feels the way I do a space to illustrate our deep pride for our community.
The calendar tells us that spring officially arrives later this month on Tuesday, March 20. It’s also a time when things naturally get more busy in our community. People start spending more time outdoors in our city parks and in the Cleveland Metroparks which run right through the middle of Parma Heights. We start actively planning for our many summer activities like the annual “Kids in the Commons” weekend, held each August, along with the Ohio Flags of Honor program, which honors those who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention beginning to prepare for our Youth and community recreation programs, including baseball, softball, tennis and learn-to-swim lessons.
Pleasant Lake Villa, is a 5 star, deficiency free skilled nursing facility that offers physical, occupational and speech therapy. Along with respiratory therapy, cardiac and nephrology programs are available for short term and long term patients. A medical model assisted living provides compassionate and individualized care tailored to meet the unique care and daily living needs of each resident. Pleasant Lake Villa is proud to be serving the Parma community and schools for the past 30 years. Throughout the years, Pleasant Lake Villa has offered various opportunities for students from Normandy, Padua, Valley Forge and Strongsville High Schools help enrich the lives of our residents.
O For residents of Parma Hts., plan on attending the Parma Hts. Police And Community Together (P.A.C.T.) community policing Town Hall meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 6th, from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm at Cassidy Theater. Officers will report out on progress and representatives from the Parma Area Family Collaborative, Tri-City Parma Area MyCom, Young Professionals of Parma & the Parma Hts. Library will share information & answer questions regarding the many services they provide to residents (adults & youth) of our community. The next meeting of the PACT Unit’s Youth Group will be 6:00 – 7:30 pm, Wednesday, Mar 7th at Cassidy Theater. Find various sign-up documents for PACT Unit programs and follow its progress at www.facebook.com/parmaheights.police
O If you’re a local organization looking for data to support your program or justify a position, consider visiting NEOCANDO (http://neocando.case.edu/) for a suite of innovative data tools of CWRU’s Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development (the Poverty Center). There’s no charge to access the site but you do need to register. The site has recently been redesigned and is well worth a visit.
In this edition of the Parma Observer, we are offering our readers something different: a new column from Rick Haase, a name familiar to many of you for his many years as a print journalist in the communities we serve. Haase will bring his inimitable writing style as a columnist to our pages each month, where he is already a regular contributor in his job handling public relations and special projects for the city of Parma Heights.