Monday, June 27, 2011

Among those sorry to see Nagy leave

I don't know Doug Nagy well. In fact I've never met the man. Only interviewed him a couple of times by phone. But his reputation is such that I have formed an opinion of the Downtown Painesville Organization's executive director.

I live in Painesville Township a couple of miles from Painesville Square and lived in the city prior to that - a total of 15 years in that area now. I often tell people I really like living in the Painesville area, because of the old architecture downtown, diversity, pedestrian traffic, unique mom & pop restaurants and lack of traffic congestion.

Mr. Nagy may not have had a lot to do with those things, but the overall impression I get is he was good for the downtown and, consequently, the city. My co-workers who have dealt with him can attest to his zeal for getting the word out about goings-on.

I think the most telling thing was when I was covering a Chardon City Council meeting awhile back and there was talk of needing a director like Nagy (don't think his name was actually mentioned) to lead Chardon's fledgling Main Street Ohio program. It seems he is held in high esteem among others who are familiar with his work.

So I was sorry to see when he recently announced he would step down from the Painesville position at the end of August to continue his education in the MBA program at the University of Chicago.

In addition to helping Painesville gain certification as an Ohio Main Street community, Nagy led the organization's revitalization efforts and developed one of the largest college intern programs in the area, recruiting more than two dozen participants.

"Downtown Painesville is making a big comeback," he said. "Over the last three years, more than a dozen businesses have opened, including three new restaurants and a winery. We have taken a hands-on approach to preserving the neighborhood's history and helping our small businesses."

According to a Downtown Organization news release, the neighborhood marketing strategy Nagy implemented in Painesville has become a statewide model for the Ohio Main Street Program.

I am not surprised. I only hope whoever succeeds him has the same tireless work ethic and vision for Painesville.

Thanks, Doug.

-- Betsy Scott,

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Relay for Life brings hope to many in Chardon

Hope to fight cancer was a resounding message at Relay for Life at Notre Dame Cathedral Latin School in Chardon. The event began on 6 pm on Friday till noon on Saturday. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life, teams of people camped out at the local high school to take turns walking around a track. Each team was asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event because cancer never sleeps.

--Angela Gartner

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cleveland VA forces last minute scrub of wounded vets fishing outing

Members of the North Coast Fly Fishers are disappointed that the Veterans Administration nixed a fishing outing with wounded warriors that was scheduled for this morning.

The outing was set for 10:30 a.m. at Lake Metroparks’ Veterans Park/Grangers Pond in Mentor. It was to have included veteran patients with the VA’s Cleveland hospital on University Circle as a component of the national “Healing Waters” program that matches wounded armed forces veterans with volunteers.

All systems were “go” this morning when the Fly Fishers club received very late word that the VA could not find transportation for the wounded veterans.

“Very disappointed” is the word from the group, said one of its members, Andy Setlock, who helped organize the outing.

Setlock said the outing was planned months ago and several club members had arranged for time off, food was bought and even prizes were generated via Gander Mountain’s Mentor store, Setlock said.

The thing is, Setlock said, VA administrators had ample time to make arrangements and just as much time to notify the club that a transportation problem existed.

Instead, the VA waited until the last minute to inform the club that the agency had
no way to get the men to the fishing hole.

“We’ll try and reschedule it,” said Setlock.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Willowick kicks off summer program

On Friday, Willowick kicked off a new summer program centered around one main word – motivation.
During the opening ceremony at Manry Park’s Activities Center gym, the mayor spoke to all 235 kids between ages 5 and 12 about believing in themselves and knowing that they can do anything they want in life if they’re motivated enough, said Mike Necci, program coordinator for the recreation department.
“It’s a four-week program that we will be doing here and it’s one of the programs we implement with Recreation Department Director Julie Kless,” he said. “Two days a week, we will have a work-book day. This is the first time we’re doing this program and this company is called ‘I Believe,’ and is run by a teacher. It’s done in hospitals, they do this program all over, not just in schools.”
For more information on this program or others, contact Necci at 440-516-3011.

-- Cassandra Shofar

Monday, June 13, 2011

Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library gets creative with fundraising

Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library wove history in with fundraising this past week.
The library held a fundraiser at the Penfield House in Willoughby Hills last Thursday, which was designed by well known architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Lor Sebulski, communications and development manager for the library said all the tours were sold out and 72 people had the “rare opportunity to see the inside of a local architectural masterpiece.”
A grand total of $1,800 was raised to support the library’s adult summer reading program, she said.
Having written quite a few articles now about the financial cuts libraries across the state have taken, I can’t help but be glad to hear about something creative like this being done to help keep a program in place.
Wright designed more than 1,000 buildings, of which over 400 were built, Sebulski said.
She also shared said unlike other architects, Wright continued to design private homes while at the height of his career, which he termed, “Usonians.”
“(They) represent the culmination of his residential work,” she said. “Barely 100 were built ... the Louis Penfield House is one of these rare homes.”
While there aren’t any other fundraisers coming up on the radar just yet, Sebulski said people can always check for anything coming up by contacting her at or 440-944-6900 Ext. 112.

-- Cassandra Shofar

Lake Metroparks campout filling fast but family dog can't attend

Though only 14 camping spots remain in Lake Metroparks' annual camp-about in Kirtland, one item won't be permitted: The family pooch.

Dogs are not allowed, says the parks system as it continues to field inquiries about the June 24 to 26 event.

The camping experience is slated for the parks system's Penitentiary Glen Reservation in Kirtland. It will include an entire package of family friendly activities from guided nature hikes (including one into the park's deep gorge) to story telling by a professional to, well, making the traditional sweet camping favorite treat, s'mores. Yum.

Camp setup and activities begin at 6 p.m., June 24 and will conclude at noon, June 26.

So far no one with a hard-sided camper had signed up, only tenters, says Lake Metroparks' registration manager, Nancy Adams.

Among the perks is that the agency will keep open all night the restrooms inside the park's Nature Center.

Adams also just answered a question not asked by anyone before, that being, "can I bring my pet?"

Her short answer is "no."

"We've adjusted our web site to show this," Martin said.

Even so, if you are new to camping or have the itch to stay close to home for a fun-filled weekend, contact the agency's registration office at 440-358-7275 or 800-669-9226.

One can also register online or seek additional information at

Note that there is a $50 fee per campsite though each site can accommodate up to two tents and a total for six people.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ohio's two expanded concealed carry proposals set for hearings

On Tuesday, June 14, the House State Government and Elections Committee will hear Senate Bill 17, concealed carry reform, at 1:00 p.m. in Room 116 of the Capitol.

Also on Tuesday, June 14, the Senate Judiciary Committee on Criminal Justice will hear House Bill 54, which would provide individuals a pathway to restore firearm rights, at 4:00 p.m. in the North Hearing Room of the Senate Building.

Senate Bill 17, sponsored by state Senator Tim Schaffer (R-31), would eliminate the current confusing standards of carrying a firearm in a motor vehicle.

In addition, this bill would also allow permit holders to carry a firearm for self-defense in a restaurant that serves alcohol, provided the individual is not consuming alcohol, thus eliminating another “victim zone” in Ohio.

SB 17 passed in the state Senate by a 25 to 7 vote on April 13.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Friday, June 3, 2011

Chardonites open wallets for bigger boom

Dave Jevnikar, one of the organizers of the Chardon Area Fireworks show, reports that donations are "streaming in" since a story ran this week on the front page about dwindling funds.

However, he reports that there's more to be done if upcoming shows are to be as good as past years.

"We have about $6,000 in hand at present," he said. "That will go to this year’s show, so who knows about next year. The problem is, without any, or only a little, carry-over, you can’t really commit as you would like to. In the past, we had a carry-over that provided some level of comfort. That may not happen this year, if there is any at all, and, thus, there isn’t any way to know about next year."

This year's show is July 2 on the high school grounds.

Jevnikar noted that he and Ed Babcock weren't alone in founding the event in the early 1990s. Jim Heighway also helped to launch the tradition.

"Jim made a considerable contribution to the event while he was involved," he said.

-- Betsy Scott,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Willowick Students Go Green While Battling Bullies

Willowick city and schools have been battling The Hulks of school bullying for awhile, but now they’re working a different kind of green.
Starting Thursday, Royalview Elementary’s fifth grade class will be planting a tree at Manry Park and mounting it with a plaque dedicated to the class for standing up against bullying.
“What’s neat about this is, for years to come, even if they come into that park as adult, they’re going to see their tree,” said Mayor Richard Bonde. “We’re going to continue this every year, so from the parking lot all the way down past the activities center, there will be a new tree planted each year.”
The initiative is in collaboration with DARE officer Carol Ice, Bonde said.
At the onset of next year’s DARE program, both Bonde and Ice will talk to the new fifth grade class to figure out what it is they want to stand up for, the mayor said.
“We’ll want them to think of a theme, something that is important to them that they want to stand up for and we’ll come up with a way they can show it,” he said.”
If you’d like to watch the kids in action on Thursday, check out the planting – between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. – at Manry Park, 30100 Arnold Dr.

-- Cassandra Shofar