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.
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.
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.”
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.
Some of you who have read this column and followed me over the years may recall my story of growing up. My dad left us when I was around nine years old. As a result, my single mother – God rest her blessed soul - lost the house and worked at May Company for slave wages and struggled to raise my sister and me. So, when it came time for me to go to college, luckily I was awarded some academic scholarships and was eligible for financial need scholarships, as well, including the federal Pell Grant. Let’s just say that I would not be where I am today without the help of Uncle Sam (U.S.) and other generous folks when things were rough.
Friday, September 13th, just may be your lucky day! Polish Village Parma, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is sponsoring a Pasta Dinner at the Southwest Italian American Club, located at 7510 Snow Rd, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Your $15 gets you a complete Italian pasta dinner, pasta, meat, salad, roll, bakery, and coffee/water. Other beverages will be available for an additional cost. These meals are prepared by the chefs at the Southwest Italian American Club, and boy are the tasty! For those of you who don’t know, the Southwest Italian American Club is housed in the historic Fire House on Snow Rd., near Ridge Rd. This is your opportunity to see the remodel and enjoy a fabulous meal. Seating is limited, but To-Go dinners are also available. For tickets and more information call Linda Cross at 440-885-8093. Proceeds benefit Polish Village and are used exclusively within the community.
Parma’s only art gallery, Prama Artspace Gallery, located at 5411 Pearl Rd., is one of the over 30 galleries and art spaces participating in the 1st annual Cleveland Photo Fest. TAKE A GOOD LOOK, an exhibition of creative personal photographs by 20 Brush High School Students, curated by their instructor Hadley Conner, opened on August 24th. This exhibit explores a wide range of subject matter, including underwater works, macro photos, and street photography. This is a very interesting and creative exhibit. It runs through September 18th.
On Saturday, August 3, 2019, a beautiful summer day with blue skies, no rain in sight and temps in the 70’s, We Are Parma Proud, Parma’s newest nonprofit, hosted their inaugural event, a Picnic in the Park. It was held at Anthony Zielinksi Park nestled by the Splash Pad, Parma Script Sign and Ridgewood Lake. As an inaugural event it was a huge success. They expected about 200 to attend and realized over 500.
Many of you may remember Dan Mihuta who retired from the Parma City Schools in 1978 after 31 years teaching art education. Or you may remember watching his televised art instruction classes, titled, Art Chest, Art Maker and Return of the Art Maker on WVIZ and other PBS stations.
All Saints Episcopal Church on W. Ridgewood Drive in Parma will be celebrating the fifth anniversary of its Pantry at All Saints series of monthly events on September 21, 2019. Every month 40-50 volunteers gather together at the parish campus to operate a soup kitchen and distribute food and clothing to struggling families in Parma and nearby communities. To date, this group of dedicated people has provided food for more than 300,000 meals.
Parma City School District Board Members and Administrators discussed during an August 15 meeting the next steps of the district’s Strategic Consolidation process.
Ohio’s largest Hungarian festival returns! Festivities include delicious food, live musical entertainment, colorful authentic folk costumes, folk dance lessons and more at the 64th annual Hungarian Festival, presented by the American Hungarian Friends of Scouting, on Sunday of Labor Day weekend, September 1, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the German Central Park, 7863 York Rd., in Parma, Ohio.
On July 5, a severe storm impacted the southwest portion of Parma in the afternoon, dumping a massive amount of rain. Local media reported 4.1 inches of rain in less than an hour, and the National Weather Service reported 5.5 inches in some areas. As a result, flash flooding occurred in Parma, Parma Heights, and North Royalton. Some residents reported that their basements flooded for the first time in homes where they have resided for more than 20 years.
Last week in Columbus, I voted yes on House Bill 166, the state’s two-year, $69 billion budget bill. Ultimately, I was pleased to vote in favor of this budget. Some concerns remain, especially regarding education measures that were not sufficiently addressed in this budget, including academic distress commissions, state report cards, and graduation requirements. Overall, this budget makes real investments in our communities. It also shows our commitment to the people of Ohio, as we continue working to make our state the best place for people to choose to live and raise their families.
Last month I commenced a two-issue column about one of Parma’s most notable residents – Ronald M. Mottl. Following years of distinguished elected service on Parma City Council and in the Statehouse in Columbus, the voters rewarded Mr. Mottl’s hard work in 1975 by sending him to Washington, D.C. to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. In fact, he served for eight years in the nation’s capital.
Watercolor For Beginners Age 55+
More re: Human Trafficking Raising Awareness
Understanding the long-term impacts on HT survivors’ ability to access and maintain safe and well-paid employment opportunities is key to their successful placement and ultimate recovery. “Future Without Violence” has made available a copy of their Jun. 26th webinar: Human Trafficking and Its Impact Employment. It offers, among other things, insight into the unique types of education and employment-related challenges that survivors of human trafficking may face after they are no longer in the trafficking situation. If you’re in a position that may require you to counsel an HT survivor, or would just like to learn more about this issue, then this webinar is for you. www.futureswithoutviolence.org/htemploymentimpacts
Northeast Ohio SPCA has been a staple in the Parma neighborhood beginning in 2004. Since then, our shelter has helped over 35,000 dogs, cats, and small animals find their forever homes. We believe very strongly that no healthy animal should ever have to be put to sleep due to overcrowding. Unfortunately, not every shelter works this way and nearly 1.5 million animals are euthanized each year due to overcrowding. In our effort to combat this epidemic, we regularly rescue animals from kill shelters by transporting them and caring for them at our NO-KILL shelter until they are able to find their new families.
On August 24th, the Ukrainian Village Committee will hold its 10th annual Ukrainian Independence Day Parade in Parma’s Ukrainian Village. The Committee invites all to join them and celebrate this special occasion! The parade procession begins at 11 a.m. on Grantwood Drive, continues north along State Road, and ends at Ukrainian Heritage Park, located across the street from St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral (5720 State Road).
The Grand Marshal this year will be the Very Rev. John R. Nakonachny, pastor at St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, who was instrumental in the creation of Parma's Ukrainian Village district. Thanks to his involvement, a productive dialogue was initiated with Parma city officials and Ukrainian Village was formally established in September 2009.
There will also be a festival at St. Josaphat’s astrodome for all to enjoy! Festival admission and parking are free. It begins at noon and will feature a beer garden, authentic Ukrainian cuisine, live music, the Kashtan Dance Ensemble, and the Zorya Ukrainian Female Vocal Ensemble. There will also be games for kids, a petting zoo, hay wagon rides, balloon twisting, face painting, and more!
Questions? Email the Ukrainian Village Committee at email@example.com.
William Scheffler of Parma has been hired by The Illuminating Company after graduating from its utility worker training program at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®). Scheffler was among 24 graduates in the third class since FirstEnergy Corp. reinstituted the award-winning Power Systems Institute (PSI) training program at Tri-C in 2014. The Illuminating Company is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy.
On Tuesday, May 28th, seven student interns graduated from the Parma City School District’s Project SEARCH Career & Technical Program at our partners University Hospital’s Parma Medical Center.
We Are Parma Proud, Inc. is a newly created 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance, improve and develop the image of the City of Parma, by informing the public on subjects and events which are beneficial to the community. This organization modeled itself after the Proud of Parma, Inc., a 501(c)4 nonprofit, which was created in the 1970s. Proud of Parma, Inc. thrived for decades and brought many memorable projects to the City of Parma. This new nonprofit hopes to move forward in building upon those traditions of bringing together businesses, government, nonprofit groups, and individuals for the purpose of strengthening and promoting pride in our city, with fresh new ideas, enhanced projects, and community-wide events.
On Friday, June 28, 2019, the Parma Police Department, along with ATF special agents, and investigators from the State Fire Marshall’s Office, and the Southwest Enforcement Bureau (SEB) Bomb Unit, arrested the son of a local father and son duo for manufacturing and selling large quantities of homemade explosive devices. The father was later charged in Parma Municipal Court.
How well do you know your city? The Young Professionals of Parma is giving you the chance to put your knowledge to the test while having fun discovering Parma with a summer scavenger hunt.
Follow the link to the Google Form at parmayps.com/events/ to see the list of hints. Then, throughout July drive around the city on your own time snapping photos of the items and places described. Then, simply upload the photos on the Google Form and submit before July 31.
Maybe you've seen them on your Facebook news feed or heard about them from a friend. Local Yang Gang chapters are already cropping up all over the country, which include the Cleveland, OH Yang Gang, Parma, OH Yang Gang, and other nearby chapters.
Recently, I had an opportunity to meet up at Tremont's Civilization café with fellow members of the Cleveland, OH Yang Gang, who support 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. At the meeting, the Cleveland, OH Yang Gang, whose members span the political spectrum, engaged in an energetic discussion about Yang's policies, the looming threat of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, the best ways to best promote his many ideas, and upcoming events to raise awareness about his candidacy to potential voters.
In a crowded field of two dozen Democratic presidential candidates, Yang, founder and CEO of Venture for America and author of The War on Normal People, seems to have distinguished himself in a way few other candidates have. Yang describes himself as the opposite of Donald Trump - an Asian man who likes math - and proposes as his flagship policy a Universal Basic Income (UBI) of $1,000 per month, $12,000 a year for every American adult over the age of 18. As it turns out, UBI is very much an American idea and, in one form or another, has found advocates over the years in the likes of Thomas Paine, Richard Nixon, Milton Friedman, Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama.
Premature birth is one of the biggest causes of death in the United States. The babies that do survive are faced with a lifetime of serious health problems. March of Dimes is an organization that leads the fight for the health of all babies by using research, advocacy, and education to find out why premature births happen. The 6th Annual Heels & Wheels fundraiser benefiting the Northeast Ohio Division of March of Dimes will be held on Friday, July 26th at the Axelrod Collison Center 4850 Brookpark Road. The past chair of the board for the NE Ohio Division of the March of Dimes Sara Costanzo reached out to Mayor Tim DeGeeter six years ago about this mission. Mayor DeGeeter had this to say about the event and mission, “Anytime our city can help and raise awareness about premature births with the ability to make a difference we feel honored.”
Take a moment to contemplate who the most influential resident has been in Parma’s history. Maybe some famous folks who called Parma home come to mind like John D. Rockefeller who lived here for a short time, Ettore Boiardi (A.K.A. Chef Boy-Ar-Dee) who lived here later in life and died here, or astronauts Jim Lovell or Michael Good who also lived here for a time. Certainly, they all made their marks on our nation, but they’ve got nothing on the subject of my column this month - a man who lived much of his life here, served in so many different capacities, and has had such an impact on our community. That man is Ronald M. Mottl.
Child and Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County (CFACC), a Northeast Ohio nonprofit organization serving children involved with the Juvenile Court, invites you to “Get Your Irish On” at the Hooley House Hoedown-a benefit concert featuring eclectic live music with an Irish twist!
More re: Human Trafficking. Raising Awareness. Futures without Violence (https://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/) is a nationally recognized resource for information and support for victims of human trafficking and sexual abuse/assault. A recent focus is on workplace harassment…how to recognize gaps in equity, safety, respect, & what to do about it. From their home page above, click on the #CheckYourWorkplace graphic to learn more.
He’s a Jersey boy who went country, and while that is unusual, it's not the most compelling part of his story. Richard Sterban took a colossal risk and called it the most important decision he has ever made. He left singing backup for the King of Rock and Roll — Elvis Presley — to join the dual-genre band (country and gospel), the Oak Ridge Boys, a group he was always a big fan of.
Congratulations to Bob Pohm, board member of the Parma Area Fine Arts Council. Bob Pohm will appear in a show with Polina Yavorsky at the Beachwood Community Center Art Gallery, located at 25325 Fairmount Blvd., in Beachwood Ohio, in July.
State Representative Crossman And Senator Antonio Propose Oversight Reform To Address County Jail Issues
The two Ohio Statehouse delegates representing Parma recently proposed legislative initiatives seeking to reform how the Ohio Department of Corrections provides oversight and enforces compliance with state standards.
At Cleveland Water, we work hard to provide safe, quality drinking water at a fair and reasonable rate. We know that’s not always enough though.