For those who have kids or are just kids at heart, Free Comic Book Day is taking place on Saturday, May 2, at comic book shops all over the world. This year, there are up to 50 titles that may be available, depending on what each shop decides to offer. These titles include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Tick, Attack on Titan, The Avengers, Transformers, Pokémon, and Doctor Who!
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The greatness of a community lies in its people. We, here in the City of Parma Heights, experienced just how true that statement is following the November, 2014, arson fire at City Hall. City department phones were operational almost immediately and, despite the challenging circumstances, the 2014 Christmas Tree Lighting at the Gazebo scheduled for just days after the fire went off without a hitch and was the perfect start to the holiday season. In fact, I am proud to say that even with our departments dispersed to locations throughout the city, all services and events have continued without interruption. Residents and visitors alike have been patient and understanding; many have even called and emailed to express their support and we thank them for their concern. Please be reassured that all of us, department heads and staff members alike, are working hard to keep any inconvenience to the public to a minimum.
Parma City Council unanimously passed the city's 2015 $47.4 million budget at its meeting on March 23. Although the voice vote took about a minute, this was not a quick or simple task; city officials have been meeting, discussing, and planning for this vote since last October.
I have always held that the residents of Parma are a very faith-filled people. The plethora and diversity of places of worship in our community speak to this truth. This fact has moved me to begin a series this month I am titling Parma Places of Worship. I will begin this month with my own parish – St. Charles Borromeo located at 5891 Ridge Road.
Savor the best flavors in town as the City of Seven Hills hosts the 5th Annual Taste of Seven Hills on Thursday, April 16, 2015 from 6-9 p.m. at the Seven Hills Community Recreation Center, 7777 Summitview Drive, Seven Hills, Ohio. Tickets are just $30 per person or $240 for a table of 8. Giant Eagle is a participating Sponsor. The proceeds from the Taste of Seven Hills helps fund various programs in the City, including our ever popular Home Days.
Ridgewood Garden Club's Community Involvement Spring and Summer Project this year will be to bring the sparkle back to Stearns Farm, "The jewel in the heart of Parma." The 48 acre site is located right down the street from City Hall. It is a working farm, free and open to the public. It is home to many farm animals, Cleveland Crops, a farmers market, and is operated by the Parma Area Historical Society.
Tuesday, March 24th, was an exciting step forward the Parma Area Dog Park Association (PADPA). We met with Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter and Recreation Director Mickey Vittardi. During our meeting, we discussed some of the main concerns of the city leaders regarding the development of a dog park in the city. Those concerns are liability, safety, cost, maintenance, and location. I feel that we have addressed these concerns and we all agree that we need to perform our due diligence with this endeavor to make it a success.
On Friday, March 06, the Joseph J. Jacubic American Legion Post 572, State Rd., Parma, hosted a benefit to raise funds for the USO. Our original goal was $1,000. Thanks to our generous members and supporters, we raised $4,490.00. Many local businesses donated items for our raffle. Mr. Chicken, a lifetime supporter of active duty military and veterans, provided 100 dinners ($500) to our cause. Thank you to all who participated, donated, and supported this event.
The Parma Area Fine Arts Council is accepting applications for their annual Medley of Arts Show & Sale to be held on Saturday, May 16th. No residency requirement. Professionals and amateurs are welcomed. Cash and ribbon prizes, in 5 categories will be awarded. Categories include: Painting (acrylic, watercolor, and oil), Graphics (computer art, pen & ink, pencil, and wood burning), Photography, 3-D (sculpture, clay, ceramics, pottery, and woodcarving), and Jewelry (any medium). Deadline for entry is May 9th. For more information or to download the application visit www.parmafinearts.org, or call (440) 888-4514.
1861-1865 The total population of Cuyahoga County at the start of the Civil War in 1861 was around 80,000 people. There were about 9,000 men and women that served in the Civil War from Cuyahoga County between 1861-1865. This demonstrates the loyalty and dedication to the War efforts. There are many living relatives still in Cuyahoga County that may not know that a lot of the men that served in the Civil War are listed on the Walls of the Soldiers and Sailors monument in downtown Cleveland. If visiting the monument is not possible, you can view the names by looking at the Soldiers and Sailors website. It is a very beautiful and serene monument that was built in 1894.
The poorest man may, in his cottage, bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England may not enter; all his force dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement. — William Pitt, in the House of Commons, 1766.
The Parma Symphony Orchestra will perform a concert on Sunday, May 1, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. at Valley Forge High School Auditorium located at 9999 Independence Boulevard in Parma Heights.
Music Director Dr. Randolph P. Laycock will conduct Dvorak’s Symphony No. 6 in D major, Op. 60 and Engelbert Humperdinck’s Overture “Hansel and Gretel.”
We often see contests and businesses with advertisements “The Best.” This often has been puzzling to me because there were thoughts as to how this was determined, who determined it, and when it was determined. If it concerned food, for example, was it voted on by the entire area, city, state, country, or world? Was it a result of the most populated establishment getting the vote out or the establishment with the most relatives or simply the establishment with the most tech savvy individual to submit the vote electronically? Were there allowances for the different taste buds? As you search your memory, back in school wasn’t there a division between tasters and non-tasters? The “Best” advice is to let your taste buds decide for you.
Parma is home to a great many talented individuals, artists, and craftsmen, both professional and amateur, who specialize in a variety of mediums. This article is the tenth in a series which will showcase a Parma area artist and introduce you to many of your talented neighbors.
The Parma Heights Historical Society is looking for living relatives of the early settlers of what is now Parma Heights. The family names of interest are the following:
On Sunday, March 15, the Joseph J. Jacubic American Legion Post 572 hosted The American Legion 13th District (Cuyahoga County) Oratorical Speech Contest. Contestants gave speeches on the Constitution and what are the responsibilies of American citizens to the Constitution. The winning oration was won by Abhishek Bhatt, senior, Strongsville H.S. Runners up were Soren Gran, junior, St. Edward H.S., and Kirsten Pomales, junior, Brecksville-Broadview Heights H.S. Abhishek will compete in Columbus on March 22. The winner from Columbus will compete in Nationals in Indianapolis in April. The top prize is an $18,000 scholarship.
Parma High senior Nicholas Kundrat is getting used to being recognized for his excellence. And why not? Nick has received appointments to the United States Air Force Academy, West Point, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy. For the record, he's chosen to attend the Air Force Academy. Mayor DeGeeter is proud of the young man, too, and so he chose to make Nick the March Citizen of the Month. Nick is also a decorated swimmer and a volunteer at St. Leo. His parents, Mark and Tina, joined him as he was honored at the Parma City Council meeting. Also honored that evening was Gustave Julian Jewelers for being named the Mayor's Business of the Month for March. The business, located at the corner of West Pleasant Valley and State Road, has been in business in Parma for 65 years. Gustave Julian Jewelers was originally started by Gustave Julian at then-Parmatown Mall, and now is managed by his sons, Gus and Jim. Pictured here are Ward Five Councilman Allan Divis and Mayor DeGeeter with Jim Julian.
It was on March 23, 2010, that President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, into law. Since that date, just about all the provisions of the act have taken effect. The act has survived a Supreme Court challenge and the court upheld the act as constitutional. It has survived repeated attempts, 56 at the last count, to repeal it in congress. So after five years, how is the act working? Here is a five year report card on the ACA or Obamacare.
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.
As we approach the City of Parma elections, it's time to reflect upon the State of the City. Recently, Mayor DeGeeter addressed a roomful of citizens with his State of the City Address, which he discussed the city budget. I'm amazed when I hear a Mayor cutting safety forces to balance the budget. The Mayor's salary, plus total compensation, equals $147,422 (one of the highest paid Mayors in our area). Parma has 9 City Council members and a Council President, combined salaries of $205,400. Does Parma need 10 people on City Council? Eliminate 4-5 Council members' and the President's positions, a savings of approximately $134,982. Council President doesn't even have the ability to vote on issues unless there is a tie. We have 9 Council Members. Do the math.
Last month you got a bit of background on the Rock Against Dementia Project and our progress. This month after successful events here in Parma and in various locations in the United Kingdom and other countries, the Project has gained momentum enough to become a Movement with plans to hold a Global series of events on March 19, 2016 billed as The World Will Rock Against Dementia.
A person who can laugh at himself or herself will never cease to be amused.
A University Hospital’s nurse who retired March 20 is headed on a mission: a 2,183-mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail to raise money for Parkinson’s research. Delivered a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in 2012, Brian Butler RN chose to retire from his job in the Electrophysiology Lab at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and to fulfill his lifelong dream of completing a six-month trek along this scenic trail through 14 eastern U.S. states. He began on March 25 in Springer Mt., GA.
Colorectal cancer is 90 percent curable when detected early. So, during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March, UH Digestive Health Institute and UH Seidman Cancer Center encourages everyone over the age of 50 to be screened.
On Saturday, April 11, 2015, Parma Councilman, Jeffrey A. Crossman, will be hosting a free legal services clinic in partnership with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. Councilman Crossman, along with other volunteer attorneys, will offer free legal advice to low income seniors that have legal questions.
Throughout the winter there have been a number of sidewalks that have not removed snow. For the one who always drives, it is not such an inconvenience. They clear their driveways and ignore their walks that pedestrians use. Very considerate don’t you think? Along with clearing their driveways there is also the problem of the ones who plow and leave the plowed snow blocking the walk way. This is getting to the point of being ridiculous. There is no excuse for not removing the snow from the walks.
The buzzards returned to Hinckley Reservation on March 15th, as anticipated; the first sighting by the official spotter was logged at 7:44am, three minutes earlier than the first spotting in 2014. By nine o’clock, five of the turkey vultures had been sighted gliding over the Buzzard’s Roost location of the park. This year marked the 58th celebration in Hinckley for the vulture’s migratory habit and events scheduled began at 7:00am with a pancake breakfast at Hinckley Elementary School on Ridge Rd., arts, crafts and vendors throughout the town, and a guest appearance by Vinny, a live buzzard.
While admitting that balancing the 2015 city budget keeps him awake at night, Mayor Tim DeGeeter said on 2/23 that he is confident that Parma has a bright future because it is filled with residents who care enough to get involved. “Whether it’s working on projects … or on city policies to move Parma forward – I know this to be true: We either go up or down together as a community,” he said in his annual State of the City address. “It’s always a privilege to talk about Parma, the place we have chosen to live and raise our families. I appreciate your continued belief in our collective future.”
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a special enrollment period (SEP) for individuals and families who did not have health coverage in 2014 and are subject to the fee or “shared responsibility payment” when they file their 2014 taxes. This special enrollment period will allow those individuals and families who were unaware or didn’t understand the implications of this new requirement to enroll in 2015 health insurance coverage through the Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM)
While tornadoes can occur at any time, late spring and summer are the prime tornado season in Ohio. To remind and prepare residents for the danger of tornadoes, the Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management is encouraging all communities to participate in the Statewide Tornado Drill at 9:50 am on Wednesday, March 4, 2015.
Although the weather is cold now, the warmth of spring will soon be upon us. With the warmer weather will also come the call of peddlers and solicitors in our Parma neighborhoods. In my several years on City Council I have received an untold number of complaints from residents about these two types of door-to-door “funds seekers.” Therefore, I, like my Council colleagues, was pleased to support the “do-not-knock” ordinance crafted by the Parma Law Department and its director Timothy Dobeck. Sponsored by Councilman Brian Day, the legislation was modeled after the “National Do-Not-Call Registry” and has been adopted by cities throughout Ohio. Further, it has become an effective deterrent for residents who do not wish to be interrupted by wraps on their door from solicitors and peddlers.
The Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, Branch 12 in Cleveland, Ohio will honor the bard of Ukraine, Taras Shevchenko, in the month celebrating his birth and commemorating his death. Discover the art and poetry of this gifted visionary poet, thinker, and accomplished painter. Born into serfdom, he experienced firsthand the neglect and brutality of the repressive regime under the Russian tsar. Despite being exiled and ostracized, his life came to symbolize a universal will for human freedom. Shevchenko’s prophetic poetic images have direct relevance to the events occurring in territorial-occupied Ukraine today. His work resonates with the current national struggle of Ukrainians to sever themselves from the vestiges of Russian imperial hegemony.
After a long hard winter, like we've had, with mounds of snow, brutal cold, and slippery walks and driveways, as mailboxes begin to fill with those colorful garden catalogs, we long for the warmth of the sun, the chirping of the birds, the lush green of the grass, and the multicolors of a floral garden. When that happens I also think of lawn ornaments, gnomes, gazing balls, ducks and geese, but most of all I think about pink plastic flamingos. So I spent an afternoon researching these flamboyant feathered friends, and here is what I discovered.
Parma is home to a great many talented individuals, artists and craftsmen, both professional and amateur, who specialize in variety of mediums. This article is the ninth in a series which will showcase a Parma area artist and introduce you to many of your talented neighbors.
Although I may not walk with kings, let me be big in little things.
Cuyahoga County and the Cuyahoga Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Coalition are hosting free tax preparation services as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. Last year in Cuyahoga County, the VITA Program served 11,950 people and brought back more than $14.8 million to the community. County VITA sites are at the County’s Westshore Neighborhood Family Service Center (NFSC) and at the Southgate NFSC. Westshore NFSC is located at 9830 Lorain Ave, Cleveland Ohio 44102; the tax site will be open Monday evenings and Saturdays. Southgate NFSC is located at 5398 ½ Northfield Rd, Maple Heights Ohio 44137; the tax site will be open Wednesday evenings and Saturdays. To schedule an appointment go online to www.211oh.org or call 211/United Way First Call for Help.
On February 21 at the Astrodome Event Center in Parma, the Parma Area Chamber of Commerce held their 2015 Gala and celebrated their 60th. Anniversary. Parma Municipal Court Judge Timothy Gilligan was the Master of Ceremonies, and the 35th annual Pride Award Presentation honored The Illuninating Company for the Business Category, the Parma ABLE Program for the Organization Category, and past President of the UH Parma Medical Center Terrence Deis in the Individual Category. As You Like It Catering and the Astrodome Event Center supplied dining that can only be described as wonderfully delicious. The Chamber welcomes a new Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ken Burdzinski, who thanked the outgoing Chairman Barry Axelrod, as well as everone else in the Chamber for their hard work and dedication. He has promised to dedicate himself to the role of increasing opportunities for business in the Parma Area to grow and be in the best position to profit in the future. This was a great celebration of 60 years of organizing and representing the interests of businesses in the 7th. largest city in Ohio, and the next 60 years will undoubtedly offer Chamber Members the same environment that has allowed business organizations to thrive here.
This month students in Ohio’s public and private schools will be taking the state proficiency tests (now part of Common Core) to measure their academic achievement. Those test scores are then used to measure the effectiveness of the individual school those students attend as well as the public school district as a whole. The results of the public school effectiveness rankings will be published in the Plain Dealer sometime this spring showing how well the public school districts in the northeastern Ohio region fared as far as academic achievement.
Lili G. Kaplan, MD
February 5, 2015 - FEBRUARY IS AMD AWARENESS MONTH!