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.
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.
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.”
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.
February Highlights Three area youth attended Advocacy Day 2018 at the Statehouse in Columbus on February 22.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The recession of 2008 plunged families in the Parma area into a financial crisis that, for many, lingers to this day. All Saints Episcopal Church, at the intersection of West Ridgewood Drive and Ames road in Parma’s Town Center, is at the leading edge of the fight to relieve the problem of food insecurity among low income households in the greater Parma area and, quite unexpectedly, across many other Cuyahoga County communities.
Just before Christmas, Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter was searching for last-minute stocking stuffers at The Shoppes at Parma. A woman who knew the mayor approached him near the front entrance of Fast Eddie’s, where he was picking up gift certificates. “I just want you to know mayor – I’m doing all my shopping in Parma this year,” she said. DeGeeter smiled and thanked her. When at restaurants, or grocery stores, or other places, residents who recognize DeGeeter usually come up to him. “It’s a good way to take the pulse of the community,” he said. “People aren’t shy about expressing their opinions. I hear about issues they’re having in their neighborhoods, or listening as they express their frustrations. But I’m hearing more often than not about the pride people have in our city and the progress we’re making in Parma.”
Being Close Matters. MetroHealth has reimagined the hospital experience by opening two new hospitals in Parma and Cleveland Heights. The Parma facility is located at 12301 Snow Road and will open to patients on January 3.
With the year coming to an end, it's important to stop and recognize everything that makes Parma special. As the 7th largest city in the state, with nearly 80,000 residents, we have a lot to be proud of. How do we choose the best of the best? To ask our great citizens, like you!
O The Parma Hts. Police And Community Together (P.A.C.T.) unit Youth Group will be celebrating the holidays at their meeting tomorrow, Wednesday Dec 27th starting at 6:00 pm at Cassidy Theater. The next meeting of the group is scheduled for Jan 10th & will focus on the importance of goal setting. Two additional core components of the P.A.C.T. unit include a police officer assigned to each of nine zones within the city. They’ll be knocking on doors, introducing themselves, sharing contact information & offering to answer questions, assist with and/or facilitate resolution of any non-emergency issue that might arise. A “Senior Knock & Talk” program is also part of the initiative. Find various sign-up documents and follow the unit’s progress at www.facebook.com/parmaheights.police
The ballroom of the Hotel Olmsted was once filled with the 'Ohs' and 'Ahs' of Cleveland's cat lovers. Cleveland Persian Society, CFA's second oldest club, put on it's very first show within the ballroom's elegant walls in 1918. Fifty of the most purr-fect Persians were on display, much to the delight of both exhibitors and spectators. In the following years, the show moved around visiting the Hotel Statler in 1924, but continued to delight all ages.
My father died of at the young age of 54, then his brother at 48. Both lived sedentary lifestyles and did not eat well. In late 2007, I had my annual physical and was told by my doctor that, because I was also relatively sedentary and overweight for my body type, he could not make me any guarantees that I would outlive them, if I continued on this trajectory. Needless to say, this put the fear of God in me and on January 1, 2008, I made the only New Year’s resolution that I have ever kept, as far as I recall. I decided to change my lifestyle.
SHOW KIDS YOU CARE: ADMIT WHEN YOU MAKE A MISTAKE. January’s Asset Category: Positive Identity Help young people bring out their best. The way people feel about themselves can fluctuate with circumstances. Depending on what’s happening, you may feel confident or unsure, optimistic or pessimistic, in control or not in control. What’s important is what a person’s identity is like most of the time. People who have a strong, positive sense of self maintain these qualities even when difficulties arise. They continue to be hopeful and optimistic, and believe they can make a difference. This column’s focus will be on…..Asset #38 - Self-Esteem
A record number of students graduated from Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) at the 2017 Fall Commencement in December, continuing an upward trend of academic achievement. Parma’s Nicole Vaughn was among those earning associate degrees. Here is her story:
The Women in Transition program at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will launch a new session at Western Campus on Jan. 16. The free program empowers women in their pursuit of education and professional training. Participants build confidence and self-esteem through classes on personal development, career exploration and financial and computer literacy. The course is designed to assist women in transitional periods of their lives, such as a career change or return to the workforce. The eight-week, noncredit program is free and open to the public.
DECEMBER HIGHLIGHTS…MyCom Quarterly Meeting. Our quarterly meeting was held at the Parma Heights Library on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. College Colleagues representative Ashley Kennedy presented on tutoring opportunities available to area youth. Patrolman Jack Darnell introduced Police and Citizens Together (P.A.C.T.), a grant funded program for Parma Heights and area youth.
On December 12, the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission held the first of three public meetings regarding the future of the Parma City Center, also referred to as the Crossroads of Parma, in which information was presented and input was solicited.
Those who were unable to make the meeting can still provide their input into the process and have an opportunity to review the information provided via the County Planning presentation and display boards.
The information provided at the first public meeting can be viewed here:
To provide input, the Community Vision Survey can be accessed here:
The Community Vision Survey will remain open until December 22.
O Some FYI’s from Parma City Schools….
>> Focus on the Future – The group met again at 6:30 pm on November 16th in the Parma Sr. H.S. Cafeteria. To get a more personal appreciation for the state of our buildings a tour of the District’s oldest school. Thoreau Park, was included as part of the agenda. The tour generated considerable discussion as did a review of current finances and the steps planned for subsequent meetings that will define our strategy for the future. Go here for meeting details: https://tinyurl.com/ycv4ffqx .The next meeting has been scheduled for January 10th. Go here for www.parmacityschools.org/future for more information about this planning initiative.
>> Holiday Giving Tree – We are looking for Community Elves to “adopt“ a child for the Holidays. A community "Elf" will be assigned a specific child and be given a wish list for items to purchase for the child. Call 440.887.4865 with questions.
>> Stuff a Bus – In partnership with the PCSD Transportation Department we will be hosting our Annual Stuff A Bus Event on Saturday, December 2nd from 9:00am -1:00pm. We will have a bus parked at the Transportation Garage - 7600 Day Drive. Please join us and drop off an unwrapped toy, youth clothing, or monetary donation.
O From the Parma Area Family Collab….
>> The Collab has a whole slew of holiday projects currently in the works for which they could use some help. If you’re interested in volunteering this holiday season, the Collab's the perfect place & now’s the perfect time to give the Collab a call at 440.887.4873.
>> A new Parenting Partners class will be starting up beginning January 9th & run through February 27, 2018. Classes are every Tuesday morning from 10:00 am to noon; childcare is provided & refreshments are served. Cost for the entire program is just $20. For information or to register, visit their web site or call 440.887.4873.
>> The Collab's next Mobile Food Pantry will be Thursday, December 14th. During the afternoon distribution UH/Parma Medical Center, Community Health Nurses will be offering FREE blood pressure screenings and a representative from the Parma Health Ministry will be available to help folks apply for prescription assistance.
>> Visit the Collab’s web site at http://familycollaborative.com/ for additional details on services offered and volunteer opportunities. While there, make your voice heard & click on links to either or both the PAFC Satisfaction or Neighborhood surveys.
December’s Asset Category: CONSTRUCTIVE USE OF TIME All work and no play can be boring and stressful. The pace of everyday life varies depending on the activities young people participate in. These fluctuations are normal, even healthy. As long as young people don’t consistently have too much to do or not enough to do, they’re right on track. Problems arise when the balance begins to tip too far to one side or the other. Too much involvement can lead to stress or anxiety. Too little involvement can be a sign of depression or isolation. Ensure that young people constructively use their time for both fun and learning.
10th Anniversary MyCom Youth Voice Award Winners!
The Young Professionals of Parma have again partnered with the City of Parma to declare the city's best holiday lights. The Young Professionals group has produced a welcome video that includes the contest rules; the video can be viewed on the group's website at www.ParmaYps.com and on the Facebook page of the Young Professionals of Parma and the Facebook page of the City of Parma.
Parma City Council President Sean Brennan, along with key community partners, including Lamar Advertising, Parma Animal Shelter, University Hospitals Parma Medical Center and the Parma branches of Cuyahoga County Public Library, present the 7th Annual Parma Peanut Butter Drive. Proceeds benefit All Faiths Pantry (AFP), an award-winning nonprofit organization that delivers groceries at no cost to low-income seniors in the Parma area.
Music Director Randolph P Laycock presents Parma Symphony Orchestra performing two very different concerts this December. On Sunday, December 3 features: Alexander Wasserman performing: Piano Concerto No. 3 by Rachmaninoff. Also on the programs is Adagio from Spartacus by Khachatarian, Spanish Dances by Moszkowski and a collection of Holiday Favorites. General admission for the December 3rd concert is $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. Family passes of $20 are available for families of up to 2 adults and their children. All tickets are available at the door beginning at 2:30 PM.
Parma and the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission are hosting a public meeting later this month to solicit residential ideas surrounding the city’s developing Town Center. The meeting – which will be one of three to seek public feedback – will be held 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 12 in Large Meeting Room B of the Cuyahoga County Public Library’s (CCPL) Powers Boulevard Branch. This event will kick-off the effort to create a Parma Town Center Strategic Master Plan to harness the on-going development around the Ridge Road-West Ridgewood Drive intersection – spurred on by millions of dollars in investments into The Shoppes at Parma, the University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, and the CCPL’s Parma Branch. “This area is about as close to a downtown as we have in Parma,” Mayor Tim DeGeeter said. “All of the pieces are in place to make this a real focal point by incorporating all that is offered in this vital part of our community – the Shoppes, the hospital, the library, Parma City Hall, Byers Field, Ridgewood Golf Course, Stearns Farm and Homestead, and the Day Drive Corridor.”
This year will be Robert Oravec’s 40th year working at Sirl’s Automotive. However, that is not the only achievement that he has had this year. On Saturday, November 18th, Robert was awarded his second Order of the Towman award in Baltimore, Maryland. He was pinned by his daughter, Kristyn Oravec, who was there alongside her mother, Laura Oravec, and close friend, Paige Clark, to witness the momentous occasion. Since Robert already was sworn into the Order of the Towman once, he is considered to be a captain of the order and helps swear in new honorees who are getting their first award.
On December 7, 1941, 2,403 Americans died at Pearl Harbor. On September 11, 2001, 2,996 Americans were killed. In 2015, the United States lost over 33,000 – about 2,750 souls per month - to the opioid epidemic that is plaguing our nation. In fact, Parma has lost many residents this year, not to mention the lives saved daily by Parma’s safety forces who revive opioid addicts from overdoses. This growing problem is costing our nation, our state and our city many lives and taxpayer dollars. Someone has to pay for this attack.
Shortly after the commencement of my first term on council in 2014, the City was named in a lawsuit accusing one of our officers of excessive force. After hearing the details of the case, it seemed likely that the accusations were false. However, the taxpayers still got stuck paying for the cost associated with the lawsuit. It also gave the city as well as our fine police department a black eye. I began to research and found that the city had paid nearly $200,000 over the previous ten years on similar cases. Through my research I started to read more and more about police body cameras. To me it was a common sense approach to not only save the taxpayers money, but also to protect the reputation of the city and the police department.
For the fifth consecutive year the City of Parma - along with Parma City Council and the Parma Area Chamber of Commerce - will celebrate Small Business Month, which culminates on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25. Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter and Parma City Council have embraced the nation-wide designation of Small Business Saturday and will continue this year to educate residents about the Saturday after Thanksgiving - the day after Black Friday – and to encourage them to participate.