December Highlights: The NEW MYCOM website is up and ready to view! Check out what MyCom is and does on MyComCLE.org !!!!
Before you read this column, define the word “impeachment.” If you are like most, you may have answered something along the lines of, “to remove an official from office.” However, if that were the definition, then why did Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton – the only presidents to have been impeached - remain in office following their respective impeachments? The answer is that the word impeach means to accuse of wrongdoing. It is the equivalent of a criminal indictment, when a defendant is accused of a crime by a grand jury. Both Presidents were accused of breaking the law, but neither were found guilty of the crimes, nor, subsequently, removed from office.
The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program will be getting underway again this year starting the first week in February and ending the 15th of April 2019. This IRS-supported FREE tax service is offered on a non-discriminatory basis without consideration of race, religion, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. We give special attention to those with low or moderate incomes and/or aged 60 and older. Taxpayers do NOT have to be retired or a member of AARP.
Tax-Aide sites in southwest Cuyahoga County are located at:
Our neighbors and friends in the Parma area are known for philanthropy, giving spirit and volunteerism. We watch out for each other and support each other in tough times. The generosity of the community over the years is heartwarming. Last year alone, the response to the Family Collaborative’s Giving Tree program and ‘adoption’ of financially needy children was quite impressive. The Family Collaborative was able to give to just over 1,000 kids at Christmastime due to the kindness of those in our communities.
“Sunday, November 11 (6:39 pm): Dispatch Message – At 1631 hours PPD and PFD Responded to . . .Wexford Ave for a 74 YO Male with self-inflicted gunshot. House appeared to be secure and there was nothing suspicious about death - coroner has come to claim the body.” When I received this message from the Parma Dispatch Center last month, my heart sunk and it has been bothering me ever since. I did not know this gentleman, but I cannot help but be saddened knowing that he was, no doubt, suffering from loneliness and depression. His death awakened the memory of my Uncle Eugene who took his own life when I was a young teenager, as well as the students at the school where I teach that have either attempted or succeeded in ending their own lives. It also reminded me of the young man who shot himself last year in Parma soon after returning from serving our country.
O The Parma Heights PACT (Police & Community Together) Youth Group….
>> Congratulations to the PACT Unit Youth Group and co-facilitators, Ptl. Eric Taylor and Case Manager Kelly Latevola for being recognized & receiving a MyCom Network Agency Award for Youth Engagement. This is given to those organizations “….actively & authentically engaging youth in decision making about youth programming, community activities for children and young adults and/or community planning.” The award was presented during the 2018 Annual MyCom Youth Awards banquet held on November 15th.
>> For announcements & detailed information re. their bi-weekly (6:00 – 7:30 pm., Tuesday) meetings visit their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/parmaheights.police.
O Save the Date – The Ohio Association of Foodbanks, in partnership with the Ohio Dept of Education, will be hosting the 8th annual statewide Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Summit in 2019! When: Tuesday Feb 12, 2019; Where: Mid-Ohio Foodbank, Grove City (just south of Columbus); Target Audience: a returning sponsor or site, a partner, or an organization considering whether SFSP is a fit for you. Registration for the event will opens in early January 2019.
O From Parma City Schools….
>> IF YOU VOTED “NO” FOR THE SCHOOL LEVY, Supt. Smialek is inviting you to attend his next Town Hall meeting starting at 6:30, on Wednesday, December 5th at the Parma (Powers Blvd) Branch Library. Following a structured format, you’ll be given an opportunity to express the rationale for your vote….w/the request that folks discuss only matters within the district’s control.
>> Schools in the District are gearing up for the Holidays. Visit the district’s and/or your child’s school website to view their schedule of programs, events and please show your support for those that you can.
>> Consider a donation to help students from Valley Forge H.S. complete an on-campus memorial to 15 alumni killed during the Vietnam war. They’re hoping to set the actual memorial in May and complete landscaping work shortly thereafter. A check memo’d as “Vietnam Memorial” sent to Valley Forge H.S. or an in-kind donation, i.e.: landscaping and/or concrete services are specifically needed, would both be appreciated. Contact Amy Byrne, firstname.lastname@example.org or Mike Stringer, email@example.com for more information.
Henry Fambrough is the last original member of the Motown group, The Spinners, and has insight to share. Fambrough, who recently turned 80 years old, say he still feels the same as he did when he was 20. As an 80-year-old, Fambrough is able to share a depth of wisdom and experience with readers.
November Highlights The NEW MYCOM website is up and ready to view! Check out what MyCom is and does on MyComCLE.org !!!!
The spirit of Christmas, and decorating for the holiday has been in Mark Klaus’ blood since his youth in Seven Hills. It’s not surprising then that the Normandy High School graduate parlayed the purchase of a church, a school and two storefronts in Medina into Castle Noel, an enterprise he calls “America’s Largest Indoor, Year ‘Round Christmas Entertainment Attraction.” “Our home was a Christmas wonderland,” Klaus said. (Klaus sounds like “Claus,” as in "Santa.") “We always had ornaments in the ceiling and Santa flying over the house.”
What comes to your mind when you think of Parma? There are many answers depending on who you ask. You have locations such as Stearns Farm, West Creek, or The Shoppes at Parma, and you have both Polish Village and Ukrainian Village. The first thing that comes to mind for many, however, isn’t a place at all, but a thing: pink flamingos.
Two national lists recently named Parma among the best cities for retirees and veterans to call home.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, the nation’s largest free volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service is seeking volunteers to assist taxpayers in southwestern Cuyahoga County. We have 2 tax preparation sites in Parma and additional sites in the neighboring cities of Middleburg Heights, Brook Park, Broadview Heights, North Royalton, and Strongsville. We also have sites Brooklyn, and Brooklyn Heights, and the Old Brooklyn and Puritas-Longmead neighborhoods of the city of Cleveland that are part of another Tax-Aide district. Volunteers do not have to be retired or members of AARP.
Parma City Council President Sean Brennan is again uniting community partners to collect peanut butter for local low income seniors throughout the month of December.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will honor the courageous men and women who served in the nation’s military during a Veterans Day observance at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at Western Campus.
The City of Parma is excitedly watching the $7 million expansion project taking place at Mount Alverna Village, located off OH-94/State Road. This premier senior living community, sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago, is adding 42 memory support apartments, expanding their current rehabilitation services, and adding a life enrichment center that will open in 2019.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will showcase the bold, colorful and humorous creations of three regional artists during a monthlong exhibit now on view at Western Campus. The exhibit runs through Nov. 21 at Gallery West, located on the second floor of the campus library. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
This summer, PetFix Northeast Ohio and local firefighters, teamed up to create the 2019 Firefighters and Furry Friends calendar. This much-anticipated calendar is now available for sale and features our local heros with owned and adoptable cats and dogs. The photographs were taken by local Pulitzer prize-winning photographer Amy Sancetta. The calendar makes a great holiday gift for animal-loving friends and family. All proceeds go toward PetFix Northeast Ohio's non-profit mission of offering high-quality, affordable spay and neuter sugeries to end pet homelessness and the need for unnecessary euthanasia due to overpopulation. Show your support for our local heroes and help PetFix create a world in which every pet has a loving home, by purchasing your calendar today for only $20 plus shipping. Calendars can be bought online at petfixnortheastohio.org.
Child and Family Advocates of Cuyahoga County (CFACC) welcomes Tricia Kuivinen as the new Executive Director. Kuivinen’s first day with CFACC will be Monday, October 29, 2018. Kuivinen is a seasoned nonprofit management professional and licensed social worker with over 25 years of broad experience in the nonprofit sector, with a specialty in marketing, external affairs, and organizational consulting. Kuivinen has worked in a wide variety of professional capacities throughout her career, including direct clinical work and case management, advocacy and government relations, healthcare marketing, maternal health program development, fundraising, and as an independent consultant. Kuivinen launched TKConsultingCLE in 2000 to serve a variety of nonprofit organizations through consulting and project development services. She most recently served as the Director of External Affairs at Linking Employment, Abilities and Potential (LEAP), a northeast Ohio disability services organization. In this capacity, she worked to create and advance a comprehensive external affairs strategy, including marketing, public relations, and annual fund campaigns, corporate and community outreach, and the creation of effective program and employment partnerships benefiting persons with disabilities. Prior to her role with LEAP, Kuivinen served as the Director of the Zechariah House in Cleveland, a transitional residence for homeless women, and as a Community Relations Manager with the Cleveland Clinic. Kuivinen also serves as an adjunct Nonprofit Marketing instructor with the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. She has a BA in Social Work, an MA in Practical Theology, and a Master of Nonprofit Management degree (MNO) from the Weatherhead School of Management at CWRU. In 2005, Kuivinen was a recipient of the Northeast Ohio Tobacco Control Coalition’s Distinguished Service Award and was also awarded the Dean’s Academic Medal from the Weatherhead School of Management during the same year. In May 2007, Kuivinen was recognized in the “At Work” column of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Kuivinen currently resides in South Euclid, Ohio with her two daughters. She enjoys travel, cooking, keeping up with current affairs, and volunteering with community-based organizations.
November’s Asset Category: EMPOWERMENT Feeling valued and appreciated is important to all of us. For young people, this means feeling safe and believing they’re liked and respected. These feelings can go a long way toward empowering children and youth. Providing opportunities and recognizing accomplishments helps young people build self-esteem. This in turn, gives them the confidence to share their ideas, knowledge, and creativity by volunteering and working in paid jobs. By paying attention to young people, you show that you value them. This column’s focus will be on…..Asset #9 – Service to Others
Over the years I have written quite a lot about religion in this column, as my own faith is very important to me and I have always been fascinated with other faiths. As I pen this article, I am listening to our local public radio station (90.3 FM - WCPN) report about the disastrous attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. It is reported that 11 Americans have died practicing their First Amendment right of free exercise of religion. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that I write this piece.
The City of Parma and the Parma City School District are partnering on a pilot program at Parma Senior High School to teach students essential leadership skills for future careers and personal development. The Parma Youth Leadership Academy, launched last week, identified 30 Parma Senior High School students who will receive leadership training this fall and winter. Later in the spring, those skills will be utilized through a project focused on helping the schools or the city.
O The Parma Heights PACT (Police & Community Together) Youth Group….
Demolition work is underway at the former Parmadale Orphanage as part of a redevelopment project to clear nearly 80 acres for greenspace, public park development and watershed conservation at the site. In late September, crews started to demolish 13 old dormitories at the site after Cuyahoga County awarded $1.35 million toward the project. The funding also includes the demolition of four blighted Parma properties at 7259 Ridge Road, 11599 Kader Ave., 4418 Pershing Ave. and 7407 Dorothy Ave. “The addition of the Parmadale land to the West Creek Conservancy also will create new access to the reservation for thousands of citizens,” said West Creek Conservancy Executive Director Derek Schafer.
Issue 7 Builds Stronger Schools, Stronger Communities - A Message From Parma City School District Superintendent Dr. Charles Smialek
What a start to the 2018-19 school year! From Normandy’s Band and dozens of cheering administrators welcoming back our teachers and staff in August to our district’s “Kick-Off” event celebrating the excitement inherent to our district, countless members of our school community have dedicated myriad hours to ensure a positive start to the 2018-19 school year. The social fabric and pride that have made this an iconic school district were so clearly on display throughout all of our opening activities. I feel privileged and, frankly, lucky to join the ranks of our Parma Schools.
Shred-It & Parma Food Bank Fundraiser ~ Goal to raise $2018 & collect 2018lbs food
PARMA, OH: Local land trust West Creek Conservancy invites you to its free ongoing series of guided walks and programs to learn about its conservation work in local communities and the progress being made to develop the 25-mile West Creek Greenway. Upcoming events include:
Parma Symphony Orchestra will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary with a concert on Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 3:00 PM at Valley Forge High School Auditorium located at 9999 Independence Boulevard in Parma Heights. Also celebrating: Dr. Randolph P. Laycock 40 Years as Music Director.
Program will include a world premiere of “Celebrations for Orchestra” to be directed by the composer Loris Chobanian to celebrate our two milestones: Our 50th Season and Rand Laycock’s 40th anniversary as Music Director. Also featuring Guitar Soloist Brian Reichert performing with the orchestra in “Three Romances for Guitar and Orchestra” also by Chobanian, and two numbers from Rand’s first concert with the orchestra Light Cavalry Overture by Franz Von Suppe and Symphony in D minor by Cesar Franck
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) is showcasing the three-dimensional works of two Northeast Ohio artists — Shannon Hines and Kortney Niewierski — at Western Campus.
MAKERS WANTED! Looking for artists, crafters, bakers for a Holiday Boutique Pop Up, hosted by Parma Area Fine Arts Council, to be held November 3, 2018 from 10am to 4pm at the Donna Smallwood Activities Center. This boutique is for handmade artisans only. 8 foot spaces available from $20 to $30. Space is limited so don't wait. Call Michelle Behal at 216-618-0956, call Parma Fine Arts at (440)888-4514 and leave message for call back, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
O From ODE/Ohio Means Jobs….Designed for middle & high school students, this new tool can help determine their “best fit” career/job, the effort needed to become qualified for the position & its potential earnings/salary. Go here to give it a try: https://tinyurl.com/OMJWorkValueTool
Saturday, October 27th, 2018, Polish Village will hold their 8th Treat & Greet from 11am to 2pm. Treat & Greet is an extremely popular event. Each year it seems to attract more and more participants from our area and the surrounding communities. This is a great, safe, fun family event.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will host Fall Visit Days at Western Campus in October to introduce prospective students to academic and career opportunities. The hour long sessions provide a chance to learn about enrollment, financial aid and scholarships; discover the variety of student services available; and explore the buildings. Western’s Fall Visit Days will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, and 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 12. Registration is requested. Western Campus is located at 11000 Pleasant Valley Road in Parma. Fall Visit Days will also be offered at Eastern Campus in Highland Hills, Metropolitan Campus in Cleveland and Westshore Campus in Westlake. For more information, or to register, visit www.tri-c.edu/visit or call 216-987-6000.
This month I am writing to encourage you to get out and vote. Particularly, I am going to make the case to vote YES on Issues 7 and 70. Back in August a gentleman called me and stated that he and his wife were thinking about purchasing a home on Charles Avenue in Parma. He had many good questions about Parma, including what I thought about the Parma City School District (PCSD). “My wife and I are planning to have a family and want a great education for our future children,” he explained. After serving as a teacher and a Parma resident for over 25 years, I shared with him several stories of students I personally knew who attended our public schools in Parma and went on to become very successful. Some pursued further education at the collegiate level, other served in the military, and others used the skills and knowledge they gained in high school to launch their career after graduating. A few days later, he called me back to excitedly tell me that they closed on the house! This is a perfect example of how good schools attract young families, which translates into demand for homes and bolsters property values. At the end of the day, this benefits all property owners, whether or not they have children who attend the schools.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) will rev up its automotive technician training program with an expansion of the Advanced Automotive Technology Center at Western Campus. The 13,300-square-foot addition will feature lab space with 10 automobile lifts, offering more opportunity for hands-on training. The space will also include additional classrooms, a conference room and a student lounge. A groundbreaking ceremony for the $7 million project took place Sept. 25. Construction is expected to be complete by next summer. “The expansion provides room to grow for an in-demand program that trains and connects students to high-paying jobs,” said Alex Johnson, president of Tri-C. “The Advanced Automotive Technology Center represents an investment in the workforce of tomorrow in Northeast Ohio.”
The city and the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission are still seeking public input through online surveys to help them craft a master plan for the town center concept. In August, officials wrapped up the last of three public meetings over the past nine months to solicit feedback from residents on their ideas surrounding what the city has branded as the town center – the area around the Ridge Road and West Ridgewood Drive intersection and the Day Drive corridor. While the public meetings seeking input for crafting the master plan are over, the county planning commission through mid-September is looking for additional residential input via web surveys, which can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/ParmaPM3 and www.countyplanning.us/projects/parma-master-plan/ Throughout the public input process, residents have been invited to complete the online surveys. “We truly want the public’s input as we try to harness this vital part of our city where tens of millions of dollars have been invested in The Shoppes at Parma, the UH Parma Medical Center and the Cuyahoga County Public Library’s Powers Boulevard branch,” Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter said. “All of the pieces are in place to make this a real focal point.” Of the surveys filled out at public meetings or online, residents have submitted nearly 400 surveys and about an equal number of comments.
Spending so much time on our “thrones” may sometimes lead our minds to wonder: What happens after the flush? Where does it go? How does all that dirty water get clean? On September 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., find out answers to all these questions and more at the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s Open House and Clean Water Fest.
As many of you who read this column know, a few years ago I began a series of articles that spotlights the many places of worship in Parma. This month I continue that endeavor by reporting on my visit with Father Anthony Suso, Pastor of St. Columbkille Roman Catholic Church, at 6740 Broadview Road.
Local land trust West Creek Conservancy continues its 2018 series of free guided walks to explore areas seldom seen by the public. You are invited to come on out and enjoy! Most outings have been held on properties that the Conservancy owns outright or protected with the help of partner organizations. Walks in September highlight two of the group’s projects.
India Festival USA (Not-for-profit organization) mission is to bridge cultures, generations and communities through one-day of togetherness. It is a day when visitors are encouraged to participate in a thematic display of the rich culture and diversity of two of the greatest nations on earth – India and USA. India Festival USA promises an immersive environment that salutes history, embraces globalization, celebrates communities, and embraces diversity.