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.”
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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.
Tragic events such as the recent mass shooting at a Florida high school are difficult for anyone to comprehend and process. Locally and across the country, we collectively mourn the loss of life every time such a senseless tragedy occurs. In addition, our own sorrow, fear and despair can be heightened as we watch and hear about the plight of grieving students, teachers and the affected community on the nightly news.
March’s Asset Category: SOCIAL COMPETENCIES. Learning social skills is a lot like learning to play the piano in that you need to learn some basic competencies and you need someone to teach you those skills. You need time to practice, guidance as you gain experience, and feedback along the way. Social competencies are the skills and life perspectives young people need to develop into healthy, competent adults. These skills are important daily, but they’re even more crucial when young people encounter the tough times in life. Young people who can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations are more likely to avoid risky behaviors and focus on positive attitudes. Research shows the more personal skills young people have to interact with others and make decisions, the more likely they are to grow up healthy.
West Creek Conservancy announces the recent election of a new member to its Board of Directors and the re-election of four incumbent board members. New director John Daters is Director of Digital Strategy at Ripple Effect Interactive in Cleveland.
CASA of Cuyahoga County, a program of Child and Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County, recruits, screens, trains, and supports volunteers who act as independent fact-finders for the court in cases involving child abuse and neglect. CASAs collect information that helps the judge make the best decision for a safe, caring, and permanent home for children involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. CASAs are everyday citizens who are trained and appointed by the court to advocate for the safety and well-being of children who are victims of abuse or neglect. CASAs are assigned at the earliest stages of a case, and continue to be an advocate for the child through their time in the court system. CASAs work collaboratively with all parties on the case, for the best interests of children. CASAs are only assigned to 1-2 cases at a time and spend approximately 10 hours a month on a case.
Bill Veeck, Indians owner during the 1948 World Series championship season, understood passionate baseball fans. “There’s two seasons,” he once said. “Winter and baseball.”
Twelve year-old Parma resident Abdel Bashiti, an innocent bystander, was shot and killed in Cleveland on November 25, 2017. I did not know him or his family, and I saw very little in the news about Abdel himself. It seems he was shot, killed, and largely forgotten. The recent school massacre in Parkland, Florida, has generated a huge amount of national news about in-school safety. What is not being discussed is gun violence outside of schools.
The International Monetary Fund was formed in 1944 to ensure exchange rate stability. Today it consists of 189 member countries “working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.” Each member country has a seat on the Board of Governors which elects a 24 member Executive Board to oversee the organization. The Managing Director since 2011 has been Christine Lagarde who was previously Minister of Economic Affairs, Finance and Employment in France.
Innovative approaches to expediting care for stroke patients were shared by University Hospitals neurologists at the recent International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles. Neurologist John Andrefsky, MD, of UH Parma Medical Center, told the international audience about the success of the telestroke program piloted at UH Parma – the first program of its kind in Ohio. UH provided training and equipment to Parma Fire Department paramedics to livestream their stroke assessments from the field to the ER physician. By watching the pre-hospital assessment, the ER can alert pharmacy to mix clot-busting medicine and ensure the CT scanner is clear for the incoming patient.
The Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) will celebrate fashion with a five-week exhibit showcasing the work of Kent State University faculty.
A major benefit for our local community theatre is happening this spring and you’ll want to be a part of it. “A Night at Club Cassidy,” a benefit evening for the Cassidy Theatre will take place from 6-11 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at the Theatre, 6200 Pearl Road, in the Greenbrier Commons complex. The evening will raise funds to improve the theatre’s lighting and sound systems and finance future production design. Honorary co-chairs of the benefit are Parma Heights Mayor Michael P. Byrne and Cassidy Theatre Managing Director Bob Stoesser. The evening will begin with cocktails and a Silent Auction with food stations and heavy hors d’oeuvres at 6 p.m. in the newly-renovated community rooms on the lower level of the theatre, which will be transformed into a night-club atmosphere.
Impacting Stroke Guidelines
I decided to take a break from the political issues and write a different kind of column this month. This past week I have been enjoying a much needed break from winter and work along the coast of South Carolina at Hilton Head. I have come here often and this region, the “low country” of coastal South Carolina is rich in history as well as a unique culture. I spent a day in Savannah Georgia, just across the border. Savannah is where the colony of Georgia was founded. The city has preserved its old historic district and it was the setting for the movie Forrest Gump back in the 1990s.
A recent trip to Alaska proved to be a remarkable experience for me. Invited by my son, Mike and his two teenage children, Jessica and Joey, we flew to Anchorage where our wonderful journey began. We spent two days in this flowering city where the environment seemed to welcome us. We enjoyed the visitor center and went to watch a movie to acquaint ourselves with this marvelous state. The important message we heard was to stay still if coming upon wildlife if in the open.
February Highlights Three area youth attended Advocacy Day 2018 at the Statehouse in Columbus on February 22.
Giving children allowances is one way to begin teaching them how to save money and budget for the things they might want. It is not what we do not understand about the Bible that is a problem. It is what we do understand and do not do. Morality (rules of right and wrong) is indispensable to the maintenance of America; without it our country will collapse. Not all disabilities are physical or visible. It doesn’t hurt to assume that everyone is hurting in one way or another.
Mayor Tim DeGeeter will offer his 2018 State of the City address on Monday evening, Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m. Continuing the trend started when he entered office in 2012, the mayor will showcase a community partner by taking his address outside of City Hall. This year, the address will be delivered at the offices of the Sheet Metals Workers Local 33 at 12525 Corporate Drive. “I am grateful for the Sheet Metal Workers’ accommodation for the speech, and I look forward to Parma residents seeing this impressive facility,” the Mayor said.
Due to increased seasonal influenza activity, University Hospitals Parma Medical Center has temporarily revised its visitor policy. Effective immediately, we will restrict visitors to all patient areas, including the emergency and maternity departments. The restriction applies to anyone under the age of 18, or anyone (of any age) who exhibits flu-like symptoms. This policy will remain in effect until further notice.
Police Chief Daniel D. Teel has announced his retirement effective April 1, 2018. He was appointed Chief of Police for the Parma Heights Police Department in August 2006. Teel graduated from Brooklyn High School in 1981 and began his law enforcement and Air Force ROTC studies at Akron University. In 1985 he started serving the City of Brooklyn as a part time police officer where he remained until his appointment in 1987 as a full time officer with the City of Parma Heights. After serving as a patrol officer, sergeant and captain, Teel was chosen as acting chief January, 2006. He was named Chief of Police on August 3, 2006.
Our efforts to implement various capital improvement projects in the city are continuing. One prominent example is the work to both maintain and upgrade the Cassidy Theatre which has been an important part of the community since its opening in 1974. Work recently was completed to install heavy duty commercial grade vinyl siding on the entire exterior of the building. The project was paid for using a $50,000 grant from the Cuyahoga County Supplemental Grant program. A portion of those grant funds additionally paid for the purchase of a much needed new main stage curtain. Earlier in 2017, a separate grant, also in the amount of $50,000 from the State of Ohio, allowed for the completion of a major renovation to the community rooms on the lower level of the theater. This included upgrading the lighting, electrical system, floors and ceilings of both lower level rooms. Both rooms are now available to Parma Heights residents to rent. One has the capacity for 50 guests, and the other, 100. The rooms are adjoining and can also be rented together for functions with up to 150 guests. If you’re interested, contact our recreation department at 440.884.9606 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now in its second year, the Young Professionals of Parma is looking to increase participation and awareness of the group and its mission. To achieve these goals, the group will host a meeting, which will take place Thursday, February 22 at 7 p.m. at the Parma Ridge library. Attendees are invited to enjoy paczkis from Rudy's Strudel and Bakery while learning more about the group and opportunities to participate in its various committees, including Volunteering & Philanthropy, Business Engagement, Political Advocacy & Community Development and Social & Events.
The group invites anyone interested in learning more about its mission or interested in getting involved to attend. The group focuses on engaging with people ages 20 to 40 but all ages are welcome to come to the meeting. In conjunction with the Parma Area Chamber of Commerce, Young Professionals of Parma looks to serve the interests of young professionals in Parma and the Parma area including Seven Hills and Parma Heights. Living or working in Parma is not a requirement to attend the meeting or become involved in the group. Anyone who has a passion for Parma or interest in the city is encouraged to attend.
"As we enter our second year, we really want to reignite interest in the group and make sure people understand what we're about and what our goals are," said Jackie Baraona, YPOP president. "We want to be more than a social group. We're trying to become a non-profit and we've established committees to launch some of our other initiatives. But we need more people to support our efforts to take the group to the next level."
Young Professionals of Parma's mission is to strengthen the community of Parma through networking, activism and local pride. Wife and husband Jackie and Bill Baraona founded the group in July 2016. Learn more about the event and group on parmayps.com
O The Parma Hts. Police And Community Together (P.A.C.T.) community policing unit is alive and well. Officers are making progress knocking on doors, introducing themselves to residents and where appropriate informing/offering to enroll folks in a “Knock and Talk” seniors’ welfare check type program; the Youth Group continues to grow & meets on a regular basis for fun events/activities or for discussion of relevant topics. Find various sign-up documents for these programs and follow the unit’s progress at www.facebook.com/parmaheights.police.
You may be thinking you still have several months of learning ahead of you before your next progress report or report card. You can take it easy for now since most of the projects are due in May. Well, think again…because Spring Fever is right around the corner. The weather will begin to warm up, the birds will chirp again, and the days will become longer.
The Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will host a visitation day for prospective students on Presidents Day (Monday, Feb. 19), with sessions starting at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
This month I return to my long-running series on Parma Places of Worship by spotlighting St. Andrew Ukrainian Catholic Church located at 7700 Hoertz Road. To prepare for this piece I had the honor of meeting with Pastor, Rev. Ihor Kasiyan and Church Secretary, Anna Lukasik.
Veterans and active members of America’s armed services travel great distances and make great sacrifices to preserve and protect freedom and liberty. Now you can honor and show your respect for their contribution by visiting the American Veterans Traveling Tribute and AVTT Traveling Wall and/or donating to defray costs of bringing the Traveling Wall to Parma.
Mayor Michael P. Byrne is pleased to announce that Police Officer Stephen Lindh has been promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) ushered in a new era in academic instruction and workforce training with a January groundbreaking ceremony for its new Western Campus STEM Center.
February’s Asset Category: POSITIVE VALUES.
He is not just a teacher. He is not just a twentysomething looking for a purpose in life. Brian is a gifted, dedicated and fun loving architect of minds, aspirations and guidance for those lucky enough to be in his classes. He not only makes learning a treasured pleasure, but leaves an imprint on all those he touches.
Many interesting events have been held in Parma Heights Village. One event was the Ohio field hunting championship trials for pointer dogs. On October 29, 1936 a four-day event was held beginning at the Parma Heights (horse) Riding Academy located at 6321 Pearl Road. Area Judges, dog owners along with spectators rode horses across rural farm land in Parma Heights, Middleburg, and Brookpark Villages on a nineteen mile course. It was very common for area farmers to allow hunters to track small animals that lived on their property.
The shutdown has come and gone. However, we're still hearing a lot of spin, innuendo, half-truths and lies about it. And since the shutdown was ended with temporary funding that expires February 8, it will undoubtedly rear its ugly head again. Consequently, it's time to lock and load some facts about shutdowns in general and this one in particular.
Recently some members of congress suggested requiring “able bodied” adults whose income makes them eligible for Medicaid should either be working, engaged in a full time job search or pursuing education that would lead to gainful employment. Such an idea may have a great appeal; but in practice it would be an administrative nightmare and will not remove many from the Medicaid rolls.
That first step is always the hardest to make when you begin any journey, as we all know. I myself have experienced this first hand recently as I go about making an important change in my life. What I found is that it is really not as difficult as I feared it would be once I actually decided to begin and the time for excuses was over. My friend Dan McCarthy is fond of saying "Can't lives on Won't Street" and this simple truth has guided me in my own personal journey. The Parma area is in a similar situation. All cities face a moment in time where they need to embrace new ideas that will keep them moving forward into an uncertain future where they will need to be ahead of the curve and have the most successful outcomes possible. The need to avoid unnecessary risk goes without saying, but being frozen in place as the world changes is simply not an option for anyone, anywhere.