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.
According to the Fair Trade Federation, fair trade is “an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system. Fair trade supports farmers and craftspeople in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized. These producers often face steep hurdles in finding markets and customers for their goods.”
This summer, Parma City Council and Mayor Tim DeGeeter honored Parma residents and a local business.
Seven Hills is conveniently located close to two major interstates (I-480 and I-77) that provide easy access to the 3 million people that reside within a 50 mile radius. Factors like this and other’s such as a great safety record make Seven Hills an exceptional location to reside and locate a business in.
September’s Asset Category: COMMITMENT TO LEARNING. Commitment to learning assets reflect how connected young people are to their schools, how motivated they are to achieve and whether they express their curiosity and work ethic in homework and reading for fun. A love of learning will take them far. The more committed a child is to education and learning, the more likely it is that he or she will grow up healthy, caring and responsible.
Parma is seeking to pass a 2-mill renewal levy this November that supports the city’s fire department.
“This five-year renewal levy, which is not a tax increase, will not only help the fire department’s operations, but provide our firefighters and paramedics with the latest equipment and technology they need to save lives,” Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter said. “I’m optimistic voters this fall will support the levy because they understand how critical it is for our city. Our residents also know our department provides great service while being responsible with our tax dollars,” DeGeeter added.
Parma City Council approved the measure for the fall ballot because the current levy expires at the end of 2018. In September, the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections will provide an issue number for when the levy appears on the fall ballot. “Each year, the fire department responds to more emergency calls,” Parma Fire Chief Mike Lasky said. “Passage of the renewal levy is important in helping us continue to provide quality service to our residents as we keep up with increased demands.” In 2017, the fire department responded to 11,782 incidents, a jump from 2016’s 11,062 calls. Five years ago, the department had 9,839. “Even with these increases, our response time to emergencies exceeds the national average,” Lasky said. “The renewal levy will help us maintain our high standard of service.”
Michelle Behal, Parma Fine Arts President, and acrylic painting instructor, demonstrated her pyrotechnical (wood burning) skills at the Cuyahoga County Fair. Michelle also won Best In Show for her Dragon Wood Burning. She also received first and second place in wood burning and second and third place for her pen and ink. Her winning entries are currently on display in the lobby of the Donna Smallwood Activity Center. To view more of her creations visit www.beartracksart.com, or follow Bear Tracks Art on Facebook page.
On Friday, September 14th, Polish Village Parma will be holding their Endless Summer Concert, at German Central Farm, located at 7863 York Rd. in Parma. Polish Village Parma is a nonprofit organization created to bring to the community such events as the ever popular Treat n Greet. Net proceeds from this event help to cover the costs associated with their various community events. This concert features three 60's music bands, Airchiefs, Custard Pie, and Liverpool Lads. Tickets are $20 each. Food trucks like Pierogi Joe's/Rudy's Bakery, Mother Truckin' Tasty, and P Jay's Pizza, will be there, plus beer, soft drinks, Polish Village tees and sweatshirts plus other fun items will be sold. Split the pot and side boards will also be available. Doors open at 6pm, concert starts at 7pm and ends at 11pm. This is a 21 and over event. Tickets are limited and selling fast. For ticket information call 440-845-1714. For additional information visit www.polishvillageparma.org, or follow on Facebook.
The Encore Campus Fridays program at the Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) in Parma begins a new session of classes Sept. 21 to enrich the minds and lives of those aged 55 and older.
O The Ohio Deparment of Education (ODE) & Job & Family Svcs have partnered up & are reminding parents to visit ChildCareSearch.Ohio.gov when searching for before- and after-school care for their children. Searching the database is intuitive and the information comprehensive – worth a look-see.
Parmadale Demolition Will Make Way For Greenspace, Public Park Development And Watershed Conservation
The plan to redevelop and re-envision the former Parmadale Orphanage took a major step forward in July when Cuyahoga County awarded $1.35 million to demolish 13 old dormitories at the site. The project will clear nearly 80 acres for greenspace, public park development and watershed conservation. It will also remove a significant amount of impervious surface, decreasing stress on local waterways and infrastructure. The funding includes the demolition of four blighted Parma properties at 7259 Ridge Road, 11599 Kader Avenue, 4418 Pershing Avenue and 7407 Dorothy Avenue. "The repurposing of the former Parmadale campus first came on our radar in 2016 when we learned of its potential sale," said West Creek Conservancy Executive Director Derek Schafer.
This month I return to my series spotlighting Parma’s plethora of places of worship. Recently, I had the honor of sitting down with Fr. Mark Peyton, Pastor of St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church at the corner of State and Snow Roads. Below is a summary of what I learned.
If you’re a fan of old-fashioned ice cream parlors, read on.
The AVTT Traveling Vietnam Wall was on display at the Cuyahoga Community College's Western Campus the weekend of June 28 - July 1, 2018. With temperatures soaring in the upper 90's, I viewed the Livestream video from the comfort of my home. In spite of the oppressive heat, hundreds of visitors arrived to pay tribute to the 58,318 soldiers, casualties of war. As my eyes gazed across 360-foot-long wall, I was reminded of the two memorial plaques displayed at the entrance of my high school as a tribute to those many students who lost their lives in the Vietnam war. I knew these boys. They were my classmates, my friends. I remember their smiles. Their voices now fall silent at the wall. The impact of seeing the thousands of names left me overwhelmed.
Building On Four Decades Of Service: Women In Transition Program Opens Fall Registration At Tri-C Western Campus
The Women in Transition program at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) celebrates its 40th anniversary this fall with a new session of classes at Western Campus to empower women in their pursuit of education, training and a career.
The lights dimmed in the Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) studio and a sense of serenity filled art student April Graham. She gazed at her subject — a sleeping woman — and began sketching.
AUGUST’s Asset Category: INSPIRATION. Work together; build a network of support to make a difference for young people Adults expect a lot of young people: to learn to treat people fairly and with kindness, act responsibly, get good grades, and become successful. Of course, young people can’t learn everything they need to reach their goals without help from parents and other caring adults. Adults also expect a lot of themselves. Consistently modeling appropriate behavior, teaching values, and at the same time, striving for your own goals, can be challenging. That’s why it’s important to work together. If you know a parent with a troubled teenager or a teacher with a failing student, ask them how you can help. If you are having difficulty connecting with a young person, be sure to ask for the help you need. Sometimes there are concrete things people can do to help; other times listening is all that’s needed.
Anthony DeMarco, retired Parma art teacher, photographer, Parma High Alumni, and long time board member of Parma Area Fine Arts Council, is now volunteering his time as a docent at the Cleveland Museum of Art. He is excited to be participating in Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrors show. Kusama is an 89 year old Japanese artist. She left Japan at age 27 for the U.S., and became a leader in the avaunt-garde and pop-art movement. She is known for her use of polka dots in her art creations.
O Go to any of the links below to learn more, to volunteer, or to bring yourself up to date re: active projects, initiatives and/or events & activities.
>> Parma City School District:
https://www.parmacityschools.org/; https://www.facebook.com/parmaschools/ or https://twitter.com/ParmaSchools
>> Parma Area Family Collaborative for current programs and local resources: https://familycollaborative.com/ or https://tinyurl.com/PAFCollab
>> Young Professionals of Parma
https://parmayps.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/ParmaYPs/
>> Cuyahoga County Public Library Summer Reading Program: https://www.cuyahogalibrary.org/Events/Summer-Reading
>> Cuyahoga County Public Library Adult Education GED, Benefit Enrollment Assistance, etc.: https://www.aspiregreatercleveland.org/
>> Parma Hts. PACT (Community Policing Initiative): www.facebook.com/parmaheights.police
>> Ohio Means Jobs: https://jobseeker.ohiomeansjobs.monster.com/
>> Stearns Homestead & Parma Area Historical Society (PAHS): http://www.stearnshomestead.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/StearnsHomestead/
>> Constellation Charter Schools
https://www.constellationschools.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/ConstellationSchools
>> Parma Early Childhood PTA
For parents with children from newborn to age 6; part of the State and National PTA organizations and not affiliated with any preschool or church. Expectant parents and non-Parma residents are welcome to join!
http://www.pecpta.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/pecpta/
O 2018 PCSD Opening Kickoff at Byers Field - Saturday, August 18, 2018, starting at 9:00 am rain or shine…. As compared to last year, there’ll be more groups performing & most school programs will have demos & reps available to answer questions. Returning this year will be the “Drive for Your Students” fundraiser co-sponsored by Barry Axelrod GMC & PCS Education Foundation. Go to www.parmacityschools/kickoff for more information.
Craig Lindsley a Parma Area Fine Arts Council board member, recently told me of a project he is participating in. Graphic artists, comic book creators and digital illustrators are volunteering their time and talents to work with children and teens that have serious medical issues. Children facing serious medical problems have many challenges and medical personnel often refer to them as superheros. This project hopes to help them face those challenges. The participating youth complete a questionnaire involving questions that help to describe them in a superhero persona. Questions like, what they would stand for, how would they make the world better and the type of costumes they'd like to wear. Using information obtained from those questions, the artists create a unique, one of a kind superhero character specific to that child. The families receive a 11” by 17” print, plus digital copy to share or duplicate, and a bio of the artist. Craig's first assignment was a teen who had suffered a stroke. The Superhero Project is provided to families free of charge. For more information on this amazing project go to www.sidekicksohio.org.
Come join us and celebrate summer on Sunday, August 5th, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the parking lot at Parma City Hall. This promises to be a fun filled event. Prizes and surprises!
On August 25th, the Ukrainian Village Committee will hold its 9th annual Ukrainian Independence Day Parade in Parma’s Ukrainian Village.
The Grand Marshal this year will be Oleh Mahlay. Mr. Mahlay is the artistic director and conductor of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus - a world-renowned musical ensemble celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
This year’s parade will showcase more than 40 marching units. Parade participants will include Ukrainian church communities, Parma area social clubs, local businesses, the mayor and city council representatives, city school officials, police honor guards, Veterans organizations, floats, and more! Spirited musical numbers will be performed by local high school marching bands.
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!
Throngs of people are expected to line Ridge Road to watch Parma’s annual Fourth of July Parade – one of the city’s biggest events each year. Marching bands, local organizations, and public officials will be part of the more than 1,500 participants who will trek the one-and-a-half mile parade route, which starts at Snow Road and ends at West Ridgewood Drive at The Shoppes at Parma. “It’s a rite of passage for so many of our kids,” Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter said. “I enjoy seeing them run as close as possible to the parade route as they grab as much candy as they can – or their parents allow.” Said DeGeeter: “But perhaps the best aspect of the parade is watching and hearing the bands march down Ridge Road. This is just a great event, and I truly appreciate the community spirit that makes the parade what it is today.”
Elected officials and community representatives joined Cox Communications to award the 2018 Cox Charities Community grants to the Parma City School District and Rocky River Public Library. Cox Charities, the company’s charitable giving initiative, supports after school and summer learning programs focusing on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) learning.
Christopher J. Yurosko of Parma, Ohio, was among the students who received a doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) degree from Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at the college’s May 12 commencement exercises.
Hemlock Creek Trail construction begins in Independence; will help link Parma’s West Creek Reservation to Towpath Trail.
Rob Telecky, of Parma Heights, Ohio, outshined more than 300 local contestants to win the district-level competition of the Toastmasters International Speech Contest. Telecky advances to the semifinal rounds of the contest, vying for one of 10 spots in the World Championship of Public Speaking® to be held at the Toastmasters International Convention Saturday, Aug. 25 in Chicago, IL.
Nicholas Ricci, Jr. of Parma and Jacob Theobald of Parma Heights have been hired by The Illuminating Company after graduating from its utility worker training program at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). Ricci and Theobald were among 27 graduates in the second 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.
Many Parma residents, including myself, have been curious about the caravan of children often being towed up and down the Ridge Road area just south of Snow Road in recent months. The children, as many as 18 or 20, are being pulled by a series of three or four wagons – accompanied by music - by a young father who is in excellent shape – seemingly because of all of the weight he is pulling. This mystery will be solved in this month’s column.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) will elevate first responder training with the construction of Simulation Village at the KeyBank Public Safety Training Center at Western Campus. A streetscape with buildings representing commercial and residential spaces will serve as the center of Simulation Village. The mock town will allow for training drills that more closely reflect real-life settings faced by police, firefighters and rescue workers.
The Western Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) will host its annual Bicycle Safety Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 14, to promote and encourage safe riding habits.
College Club West is pleased to announce its 2018 scholarship recipients. The club provides tuition grants for women age twenty-five and older. The four winners this year will each receive $3,000 tuition grant for the 2018-19 school year towards a bachelor’s degree or higher.