Newton Twp. – The cemetery association held their monthly meeting on July 19, 2012, Thursday, at 6 o’clock at the Township Building. Twelve people attended including two new members; one new member   was  not in attendance. It is great to see the interest of the community in becoming involved! There is so much history in the seven township cemeteries that many do not realize. This would make a wonderful school history project; assigning the students each a grave to research.  There are so many very old markers and headstones of which many have been repaired by the cemetery association workers. This takes a lot of time and hard labor. Some of these repaired stones have already been damaged. We ask the public to please report any vandalism they notice. This is sad as these graves  are the final resting place for the deceased. They deserve to be treated with respect and pride. This is hurtful to the surviving families and to those who labor hard to repair them. 

On July 16th, the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary club was treated to a travelogue and a performance by Tyler Brady, a member of the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony, just returned from a tour of Hungary and Poland.   He described the logistics of the tour and many of the experiences shared by the ninety-some students on the trip, which had enjoyable scenery and side trips as well as  performances to appreciative audiences at several venues.  Of particular interest were the visits to Auschwitz, to Krakow, to the relics of Pope John Paul II, to the bath houses of Budapest, to the salt mines.  He had mementos of all sorts and a video of singing Ukrainians; he had memories of a lifetime.

Windham - Windham Village Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting last week with all but one council member present.  The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rob Donham. Council approved the amended agenda, finance report, and minutes from previous two meetings, with one meeting being a special meeting. The fiscal officer announced he would be unavailable for the August meeting, after some discussion council voted to change the regular meeting date to Wednesday August 29, 2012 at 7pm in council chambers.

Village Solicitor Michelle Stuck gives Rick Patrick the oath of office. Photo: Benjamin Coll

Garrettsville – Village council president, Rick Patrick, was sworn in as the mayor of Garrettsville last week after the unexpected death of his friend and mentor, Craig Moser.

Patrick, who “did not want to become mayor this way”, took the  official oath of office on Wednesday morning in a brief, tear-filled cermony. A second ceremony was held on Saturday morning at Village Hall to allow family members and the entire council to be present.

Patrick will serve in the capacity of mayor until the 2013 municipal  elections. Should he decide not to run for the mayoral position, he will resume his seat on council on January 1, 2014.

Village council will be accepting letters of interest through 2:30 p.m. Friday, August 3rd from residents interested in filling two vacant seats on council.

Garrettsville Village Council is accepting letters of interest for two vacant Council seats, terms expiring December 31, 2013. Submissions must be received at Garrettsville Village Hall, 8213 High Street, Garrettsville, OH, no later than 2:30pm, Friday August 3, 2012.

Village Council will be holding a special meeting on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 9:30am for the purpose of an executive session to consider appointments to the vacant council seats, and to generate a short list of potential candidates.

Garrettsville Village Council will also hold a special meeting on Tuesday, August 7, 2012, at 5:30pm for the purpose of an executive session to interview not more than four candidates for the two vacant council seats, and to consider appointments to those positions.

Covenant Bible Fellowship celebrated Christmas in July this month at their monthly Loaves and Fishes Meal.

Earlier in the year the ladies’ group from the church thought it would be cool to do a Christmas in July themed meal for their monthly free meal. The group had the Christmas tree set-up, decorated the hall in a Christmas motif, along with Christmas music and donned Santa hats and reindeer antlers while serving the public. 

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The James A. Garfield Historical Society, meeting in the historic Mott Building, Main Street, Garrettsville on July 16, 2012, began their proceedings by accepting several donations to their collection of documents and artifacts.

From former resident, Virginia Quale, an Underwood portable typewriter (Remember those?),  a Garrettsville H.S. graduation cap with  classmates’ signatures, postcards and a mystery object which will require investigation.  From Tony Scarl came a milk bottle and a jar of spices from the now-defunct Doc’s Restaurant on Main St.  Julie Fredrickson contributed a book of court records from the late 1800’s.  Jhon Kline’s donation was a 1949 Ford automobile advertisement from the Hecky-Pollock dealership in Garrettsville. A painting by local artist Celia Thomas was donated by Dennis Eberhart.

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Bicycles are more welcome now than ever in your Geauga Park District. After evaluating trail conditions for suitability for bicycles, the Board of Park Commissioners has decided on July 12 to expand access to bicycles on the trails in the following parks: Orchard Hills Park, Observatory Park, Frohring Meadows, Chickagami Park, Headwaters Park, Beartown Lakes Reservation, Sunnybrook Preserve and The Rookery.

Selected parks were chosen for their accessible aggregate and asphalt trails, Executive Director Tom Curtin said. However, pedestrians will continue to have the right of way on these trails, and bicyclists must yield to all others (skaters, walkers, etc.) while biking in a controlled, responsible manner.

Bicyclists must also travel no more than two abreast, keep right except to pass with caution, announce their passing so as not to startle others, and move off trails when stopped.

Signage with this trail etiquette will be added soon to the pergola at each of the above parks.

All bike-friendly trails are open only to non-motorized forms of transportation, with the exception of motorized wheelchairs, which are permitted. Call 440-286-9516 with questions.

What is the Olympic Spirit? We recognize it when we see it in an athlete who excels in his sport through sustained training, discipline and competition. When he experiences struggles and setbacks, he refuses to give up. He keeps striving.

While the back story of every Olympic athlete will likely exemplify these characteristics, this story focuses on one of our own: Justin Rodhe, age 27. His road to the 2012 London Olympics has been long, winding and improbable. But due to that tenacious Olympic spirit of his, Rodhe now finds himself representing Canada in the shot put.

Home Instead Senior Care proudly announces the first class of CAREGivers to complete their new nationally recognized Alzheimer’s training program called CARE: Changing Aging through Research and Education.

“This training program is the best I’ve seen,” states Theresa Dash, Human Resources Manager for Home Instead Senior Care, “and really takes our belief, ‘To Us It’s Personal’ to heart.”  The classroom instruction includes hands-on and practical applications for Caregivers to better understand the many behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.  The techniques learned not only help Caregivers to manage these behaviors, but also build trust with the client, keep them safe and share their heart.

Troy Twp – Ken Zwolinski, owner of Ken’s Auto Body in Troy Township, prepares to spray painted rain barrels with a clear coat sealant at his shop.  Ken began donating this service to the Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District’s Rain Barrel Yard Art Campaign four years ago when his daughter, Taryn Zwolinski, painted her first barrel for the project.   The District truly appreciates the Zwolinski family’s dedication to water conservation and community education!

It’s been an exciting year for Hiram alumnus Scott Starkey.  In January, Simon & Schuster published his new novel, How to Beat the Bully Without Really Trying.  Geared to middle grade readers, this humorous “boy meets bully” tale has enjoyed strong appeal with parents and kids alike.  But for Starkey, one of the year’s highlights will come on Saturday, August 4, when he returns to Ohio for a special book signing and reading at The Village Bookstore on Main Street.

What makes the upcoming event particularly notable is that Starkey’s How to Beat the Bully takes place in Garrettsville.

Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regular scheduled meeting last week with all trustees, fiscal officer and twelve guests in attendance. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Jim Turos.  Fiscal Officer, David Finney presented the minutes from the last two meetings which were approved as presented. Mr. Finney also presented the proposed 2013 operating budget, after some discussion, the trustees approved the budget. Discussions were held on the Pierce Road Project. The road is now open but last weeks heavy rain has caused some erosion problems.  The trustees agreed that Snavely Excavating will need to come back and fix the erosion issue. In the meantime, the trustees voted (Jim Turos no, Joe Leonard and Tom Matota, yes) to retain 4% of contracted monies owed to Snavely Excavating until they are satisfied that they have met the contract’s requirements. Snavely sub-contracted out the paving to Ronyak paving who will also have to come back and fix a few things.  

The Geauga Lyric Theater Guild invites you to take an exhilarating journey past the second star to the right and straight on till morning. The Elementary School drama production of “Peter Pan” swoops onto the stage with the Lost Boys, Natives, Mermaids, Tink and Captain Hook’s swashbuckling Pirates. Led by the boy who refused to grow up, the Darling children find themselves intertwined into an adventurous land of mystery and wonderment. This cast of 37 talented young children , directed by Angela Miloro – Hansen, has been working hard for the last six weeks to learn lines, develop memorable characters and gain knowledge on all aspects of live theater.

The Northern Chapter, Ohio Region, of the Antique Auto Club of America (AACA), a non-profit 501 (c)3 organization, is planning a fun filled family summer event at the Patterson Fruit Farm in Chesterland, Ohio on Sunday August 19, 2012- a Genuine Antique Auto Show! The show, held on the grass at the Farm, at 11414 Caves Rd., 2.5 miles north of Mayfield Rd., will showcase vehicles that are a minimum of twenty five years old in 19 technically judged classes. There will be no participant judging. It is anticipated that 200 quality vintage and antique display vehicles will attend. Awards include: Best of Show, Children’s Choice, Patterson Fruit Farm Choice and 1st, 2nd., and 3rd. in each class. Gates open at 8 A.M., cars on the field by 10 A.M. and the awards ceremony begins at 3:30 P.M. It is anticipated that the awards ceremony will conclude at approximately 4:30 P.M. Pre-registration deadline is August 14, 2012

Just a month ago, Trumbull County-based daily newspaper, the Tribune Chronicle celebrated its 200th anniversary of publication. During the Founders’ Day festivities, community members were able to partake in a bit of history – and become a bit of history – as they strolled through Courthouse Square enjoying locally-themed lectures, quilt-making exhibits, and the opportunity to view vehicles from “the olden days” all to the sounds of a “newsie” calling out the day’s headlines in old-fashioned style.

Now residents and visitors are once again invited back in time as the traveling historical group, Ohio Chautauqua, comes to town full of characters and stories of the earliest days of our state. The theme for Ohio Chautauqua 2012 is “When Ohio Was the Western Frontier” and the event will feature a week full of workshops, musical entertainment, and “living history” performances involving some of the key players in Ohio’s beginning formation.

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On her birthday, July 3, Grace and her daughter Jeanne Ehresman (both of Ravenna) celebrated at one of her favorite places (Pizza Hut) with her double cheese pizza! Then on July 7- Grace celebrated at her son and daughter-in-laws (Ron & Donna Ehresman) home  in Olmstead Twp. The party was also for Grace’s great grandson, Isaac Pennock (15 on June 30) and son Ron (69 on July 10). Also in attendance for this celebration were Pam, Bob & Sam Pennock of Plymouth, MI; Kim, Mark, Alice, Ben & Max Ehresman of Dublin, OH and Anne Pennock & Ken Yeager of Olmsted Falls.

Garrettsville –  Proposed Ordinance 2012-15 that would create an exterior maintenance code for the Village was up for a second reading.  A Public Hearing on the proposed ordinance will be held before the August 8  council meeting.    If  passed, the ordinance will require that all properties within the Village be maintained to the code standards and will give the zoning inspector authority to investigate any observed or reported violations.

Nelson Twp – Local movie producer Tyler Davidson and crew were in Nelson Ledges this week filming scenes for his new coming of age movie “Toy’s House”.  The comedy centers around three teenage boys who head to the wilderness to escape conflict with their parents.  They attempt to build a makeshift house and live off the land, then mayhem ensues.  

The Kelly Miller Circus Clowns Carlee and Charlie were in town earlier this week to promote the circus that arrives in Windham on July 30th. Pictured above (left to right) are Kaylee Nichols and Zoey St. John with the clowns.

The Kelly Miller Bros. Circus, founded during the Depression, is marking another milestone this year as it celebrates its 74th anniversary. Founded in 1938 by Obert Miller and his sons, Kelly and Dores, this traditional tented circus has seen the passing of the millennium and still offers the same great family entertainment it presented in its humble beginnings. While the show in 1938 was little more than the Miller family, some ponies and a couple of monkeys, they still moved through the country, as they  do today, in trucks and went through the same route each day of setting up and giving performances in a new town.
The all new 2012 season will feature elephants, horses, llamas, camels, clowns, and a host of international circus stars, but each morning the public gets an altogether different kind of show as the circus lot comes to life. Circus trucks pull onto the lot in the early morning hours, animals are unloaded, stakes are driven and elephants lift the giant Big Top into the air. Best of all, the public is welcomed to watch the entire spectacle free of charge.

In fact, after the first of the four massive poles that support the Big Top are set in place, the public is invited to step into the tent and see men and beasts complete their work. A knowledgeable circus veteran will be on hand to explain the action and answer questions about circus life.

CIRCUS IS A CITY ON WHEELS

Facts about the Kelly Miller Family:
Number of people on the road with Kelly Miller Circus- 72
Personnel in the home office & marketing department- 15
Total number of animals- 24
The cast on the road includes a cook, a school teacher, and even a mayor (Kelly Miller’s president, David Rawls, was once mayor of Hugo, Oklahoma)

Circus Equipment
Show-owned semi-trucks- 6
Other show-owned trucks and vehicles- 9
Staff and performers vehicles-18
Size of vinyl roof of the Big Top- 11,824 square feet
Area of the vinyl wall of the big top- 3,912 square feet

Weighty Issues:
The Kelly Miller Performing Elephants
Viola- 9,540 lbs • Libby-7,820 lbs • Nina- 6,520 lbs
Tent material (vinyl only, no poles or cables)- 7,297 lbs

This season the Kelly Miller Bros. Circus will travel nearly 10,000 miles and give performances over 200 cities and towns as it winds across North America from March through October. The all-new edition promises a more exciting and extravagant exhibition than ever. Everyone is invited to step back in time as the Kelly Miller Bros. Circus brings the history and tradition of the old fashioned circus to Windham on Monday, July 30, 2012 thanks to the sponsorship of the Windham Historical Society.

Performances will begin at 4:30 & 7:30 p.m. on Monday at the KT School Grounds- 9032 Maple Grove Rd, and the tent raising will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m.

Advanced tickets available at Windham G & F Mini Mart, Monica’s Café, Renaissance Family Center, Cortland Bank & Circle K, At Garrettsville: Skylane Bowling, Tickets bought in advance are $10.00 for Adults and $6.00 for Children. Tickets purchased on show day at the Circus Box Office are $15.00 for Adults and $7.00 for Children.

 Monday just before 5:30pm cars began streaming into Village Park by the dozens for the first of the week-long divisional softball tournament games last week as Garrettsville played host to the Ohio Girls Softball Organization (OGSO) Divisional Tournaments.  The tournament had three divisions ( A, B & C) with four brackets A3, B1, C1 & C2.  Monday, A Division, bracket A3 began tournament play and Tuesday the B Division, bracket B1 and the C Division, brackets C1 & C2 began their quest for a state playoff spot.  Several teams forfeited before the games even got started but those who played, came and played hard.

Fans streamed in, and staked their claim; waiting for the coveted call from the umpire, “Play Ball.” Throughout the course of the week the fans saw the pitchers pitch, batters hit, the fielders catch, and the dust fly; it was a week of softball at its best. The tournament continued all week with the final round of divisional play being held on Saturday. There were four final games played on Saturday to determine who would advance to the quarterfinals of the state tournament held in Wellington next Saturday.

Saturday morning at 10 am there were still four Garrettsville teams in contention for the state quarterfinals between the three divisions (A, B & C). Division A, bracket A3 game between the Garrettsville Eagles and Crestwood Victory kicked-off at 10 am and when the day was over Garrettsville clinched the divisional championship and advanced to the quarterfinals. They will face Amherst Wranglers in Wellington on field #1 Saturday July 21, 2012 at 10 am.

Division B, bracket B1 had two Garrettsville teams battling it out to see who would advance to the state tournament. When the dust settled — literally — Photos by Stacy defeated Sean’s Pub, clinching the state berth for the B1 bracket. Photos by Stacy will play the Columbia Crushers Saturday at 10 am in Wellington on field #2.

Two-time state winner Garrettsville JAGS took on the Mogadore Pink Panthers at 10 am to compete for the C1 bracket. The Pink Panthers took an early lead before the JAGS pounded out 11 runs in one inning taking control of the game and earning a spot at the state quarterfinals. The JAGS will face the Grafton Verizon Wireless on Saturday at 10 am on field #3 in Wellington.

In the last game of the week, Mogadore Wildcats challenged Crestwood Intensity for the Division C, bracket C2 championship. The game was a pitchers duel with the teams exchanging leads.   The game was never more than a one run game, with Mogadore Wildcats taking the lead in the 6th inning and closing the door on Crestwood Intensity’s season.  The Wildcats will face Bristol Blue Devils Saturday at 12:30 in Wellington on field#3.

Winners in this Saturday’s games in Wellington will advance to the State Finals, July 28th also held in Wellington.

Garrettsville – Garrettsville unveiled its $6 million expansion and improvement of the village’s 52-year-old wastewater treatment plant with public tours on July 14. The new extended aeration system went online in February, following a two-year period of final planning and construction.

The new system is 99.5 percent effective in removing bacteria and harmful microorganisms from the wastewater before it’s returned to Eagle Creek. (A water sample is taken prior to discharge of treated effluent back to Eagle Creek, ensuring that the water complies with safety standards.)

The state-of-the-art system utilizes numerous 19-foot-deep holding tanks at various stages of the decontamination process to aerate incoming wastewater from storm sewers, industry, business and household use. The water is oxygenated and decontaminated with the use of beneficial bacterial colonies and enzymes which feed on the pollutants; plus a mechanical system of screens, pumps, and filters; as well as ultraviolet light for disinfection instead of chlorine. By the end of the process, the sludge is safe to use as fertilizer on farmers’ fields.

The village is one mile square, but 16 miles of wastewater collection flows into the treatment plant. Treatment capacity has increased nearly five times the volume of the old system, to a half-million gallons of water per day. Considering the fact that the village generates about 180,000-300,000 gallons of wastewater daily, this expansion will accommodate robust future growth.

As water department superintendent Jeff Sheehan explained during the tours, the village allowed raw sewage to be discharged directly into Eagle Creek up until 1960, when it installed the initial wastewater treatment plant. Garrettsville was actually ahead of the curve among most municipalities, who didn’t recognize their role in preventing water pollution until after the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962.

The wastewater treatment plant was upgraded and improved incrementally every decade, but this most recent expansion was a major overhaul. During the boom years in the 1990s, 15-20 new homes a year were being built in Garrettsville. With that pace of growth, the water department realized they needed a larger footprint for adequate expansion. Eventually, the village was able to expand by purchasing the Clyde property through eminent domain to the west of their existing parcel along Water Street.

Residents have been helping to offset the $6 million project cost through 8% rate increases for three years in a row (a 36% total rate increase). Loan repayment estimates are $450,000 annually. But thanks to a $300,000 Issue One grant and a 0% interest loan from the EPA, the water department is saving $2 million in projected interest costs.

Although the official tour day has passed, Sheehan says he would be happy to take interested residents on tours of the wastewater treatment plant any time. Call (330) 527-2080 to inquire.

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For the 13th year, the Geauga and Portage Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) sponsored the Wonders of Watersheds (WOW) education workshops in June 2012.  A total of 20 workshop participants traveled to unique ecosystems including wetlands, bogs, a freshwater estuary and Lake Erie.  Pictured here, teachers and facilitators of the Advanced WOW workshop explored Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve and participated in water sampling research on Lake Erie.  The workshop was made possible through an ODNR Division of Soil and Water Resources watershed mini-grant.

Pictured Left to Right: front row – Pat Betteley (Madison), Nancy Speck (Ashland University), Ann Marie McDonnell (Columbus), Monica Chesla (Mantua), Dennis Versele (Bellefontaine). Back row – Lynn Vogel (Portage SWCD), Linda Perkins (Mount Gilead), Sarah Freundlich (Lexington), Michelle Lillo (Lexington), Molly Niese (Findlay), Valerie Kotlar (Ravenna), Stacy Jarvi (Mantua), and Ann Keefe (Old Woman Creek Estuary)

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Streetsboro – Just five minutes from the heart of Streetsboro, nestled within soft rolling hills, lies an oasis that few seem to know about, DayBreak Lavender Farm. The 14 acre farm boasts of colorful fields that contain 13 varieties of lavender, a 2 acre pond, woods to explore and an off- premises boutique.

The farm is owned by Jody Byrnes and Michael Slyker, who just happen to love lavender. They started the farm in 2000 after planting a test field of 150 lavender plants. The couple planted several varieties to see what would do well here. Now, 12 years later, they have thirteen varieties of organic lavender, growing on the rolling hills of their farm that was declared Ohio’s first lavender farm.

The farm is opened to the public on Wednesdays thru Saturday noon until 5 pm and on Sundays from Noon until 4pm.  It is located at 2129 Frost Road and admission to the farm is free.

During the harvest season, when one exits the car and inhales they will think they have been transported to France where fields of lavender are a commonplace. The aroma is intoxicating, yet brings a sense of peace and tranquility to one’s soul while strolling through the breathtaking  sea of violet.

DayBreak Lavender Farm’s harvest time is usually from the middle of June through early August, however this year it will be winding down in the next week or two due to the early, warm spring and massive heat wave we have experienced as of late. During harvest time, folks are welcome to pick bouquets to take home for a small charge. The bouquets run between $5 and $15, depending on size. They also have lavender plants for sale, and dried lavender at the farm.

Although Michael and Jody love lavender, the farm offers a lot more. It is a peaceful, serene, oasis where one can come to meditate, draw, paint, read or just hike the trails. It is also a place for shutterbugs. The farm has a small pond where one can kick back on a lounge chair, relax, daydream, watch the clouds or do nothing.  Bring a picnic and the kids; spend the day communing with nature.  Children and well-behaved, vaccinated pets on a leash are welcome to visit the farm. Michael and Jody love seeing children exploring their farm, along with their furry friends.

Michael is always on hand to talk lavender. He will educate you on the herb so you can create your own lavender garden at home. He also shares his knowledge of other purposes for the herb. Did you know that lavender is more them just an aromatic?  Lavender has many uses today besides bouquets and fragrances. More recently, folks have begun using lavender for its culinary qualities and have realized that it is great in truffles, scones  or other baked goods.  Besides baked goods, it is often used as a tea, in jellies, honey, salads, soups and more. Many of the culinary mixes, jellies, honey and teas are for sale in their off-premises boutique located five minutes away at 9292 Market Square in Streetsboro. Besides food items, one can find DayBreak’s line of natural, organic lotions, oils, soaps and spa items and more at the boutique. The boutique hours are Wednesday thru Saturday Noon until 5 pm Sundays noon until 4 pm. For more information on the farm and boutique one can visit them on the web at www.daybreaklavenderfarm.com

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Kirtland – Discover the many styles and techniques of woodcarving at this free indoor show featuring the art and artistry of the members of The Western Reserve Woodcarvers Guild.  The Woodcarvers Show, July 29 at Penitentiary Glen Nature Center features carvings ranging in size from miniature to life-size. Meet and chat with carvers and watch as they create works of art right before your eyes.  The Woodcarvers Show is open 9 am to 5 pm.

Artists in Northeast Ohio are invited to enter their two and three dimensional art work to the juried art show sponsored by the Geauga Council for Arts & Culture and held at the Geauga West Public Library.  The categories are Oil or Acrylic, Watercolor, Photography, and Other.  Cash prizes will be awarded in each category.

Items should be brought to the Geauga West Public Library, 13455 Chillicothe Rd., Chesterland on Monday, August 6 between 12:00 and 4:00.  Entry fee is $15 for the first piece and $10 for an additional two items.  Checks should be made payable to the Geauga Council for Arts & Culture.  Pieces not accepted into the show should be picked up on Tuesday, August 7 between 5:00 and 7:00.  

Southington –  On Sunday Aug 5, 2012 the descendants of the first pioneers to settle in Southington, Ohio, will honor their heritage with a family day of fun, games and a picnic at noon.

The first pioneers were David Viets, Luke Viets and his wife Hannah, James Chalker and his wife Mercy and their two year old son Orrin, Roderick Norton and his seven years old brother Horace. Mercy, Hannah, Roderick and Horace were all siblings.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians continued their planning for the coming year by reviewing program prospects, including a visit from the GSETeam–a feature of a Rotary exchange program for young adults in business careers, Tyler Brady of the Cleveland Youth Woodwind Symphony–lately returned from a European tour, a send-off(July 30) for Jessica Lyons who will be leaving for Norway as part of a Rotary exchange program for high school students, Jim Frame and his connection to the Gift of Life program, reports from the local RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Assembly) attendees –with an invitation to current Interact members, the annual steak-fry to be held at the home of Ed Perdian of August 27.

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The Geauga County Retired Teachers Association will meet on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 for their annual picnic.  The location is Observatory Park, 10610 Clay Street, Montville, OH.

Note special time!  Gathering time at 5:30 PM, followed by the business meeting at 5:45, and dinner at 6:00 PM.  The menu will consist of our annual Summer Picnic fare!  Please bring your place setting and a dish to pass.  Nancy Speck’s famous pulled pork sandwiches and beverages will be provided.

The program will be about Observatory Park.  Please wear comfortable walking shoes.

Call Nancy and Carl Speck at 440-286-3864 to make your reservation.

Bring a newly retired teacher, school personnel, or someone who may need a ride.

Our association welcomes any person who was employed by a school district anywhere in the United States.  For further information about membership, please contact Jean Paine at 440-286-4992.

Remember to bring paper products or canned goods for the Geauga County Hunger Task Force.  There is currently a need for canned fruits.

Also, please remember to bring SCHOOL SUPPLIES for Geauga Job and Family Services.

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Burton – The Historical Engine Society will be holding their 42nd Annual Antique Power and Steam Exhibition July 27, 28, 29, 2012, at the Geauga County Historical Society’s Century Village Museum in Burton,Ohio.  On display will be various types of antique machinery, such as steam engines, gas engines, tractors, excavating and construction equipment, cars, and trucks.  There will be demonstrations of the machinery, including sawmilling, grain threshing, and shingle making.  There will also be a parade of machinery through downtownBurton Saturday and Sunday morning, children’s rides on Murphy’s Railroad, and open house tours of CenturyVillage’s restored homes and shops. Friday, July 27, is a preview and set-up day with reduced admission.  Show hours are 10:00AM – 5:00PM each day.  Admission is $2 Friday and $6 Saturday and Sunday. For more information please contact (440) 669-2578, (330) 544-4438, or www.historicalengine.org

photo: Michelle Zivoder

O.K., so it was the Nautica Queen, not the clipper ship Cutty Sark( I don’t know what was in the thermoses in the back of the bus), and it was tootling along from the mouth of the Cuyahoga River out to the breakwater protecting the shoreline at Cleveland from the wilder exuberances of Lake Erie but it definitely was a trip worth taking on a perfect summer day.  Sunny, warm, dry…with a breeze…off the portside or starboard…forward or aft or something…what more could one want?

So part of the fun is the bus ride itself; you get to see the stuff that you don’t see while driving yourself because you’re busy watching the road–and from up high!–AND you get to comment on the route that the bus driver is taking to get to wherever it is you’re going–particularly if you’ve actually been there before and can’t BELIEVE he’s going on the Turnpike instead of shooting directly for I-480.  Where do they GET these directions?  And you can do all this while whizzing along talking to people in the other seats, never once having to worry about some (unprintable) idiot on your tailpipe or turning from the wrong lane.

It’s a great look at some of the history of Cleveland too.  You can see the old industrial sites and the new bridges, “The Flats” and the General Sheave Company, advertising for Cruzan Guava Rum, the Bingham luxury loft apartments and the Wm. Edwards Company on the brick walls down by the waterfront, which once upon a time was a much more down-and-dirty commercial/industrial site.  You can see new construction going up as well–bright blue bridge, red swinging crane. It’s a different world now.

You can also see “sea”gulls, although they’re not necessarily from the sea.  Popular belief is that they started coming to the Great Lakes after the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959 but they may very well have been here for quite some time before that since they’re all about looking for food and following boats–lake boats or ocean boats– is usually a good bet for scavengers seeking tasty tidbits.  At least they’re not zebra mussels.

A sculler goes by, skimming his dart of a boat across the brown river, heading for adventure.

So, cast off and head out.  Pass the movable black iron bridges–clever, really, raising the railroad tracks so boats can come through, then lowering them so the ore from the boats can be shipped out in the train cars–affectionately known as the “Iron Maiden” or the “Iron Curtain” (As many as 60 trains ran here in a day in good times.  There are about 330 bridges over the Cuyahoga, in total).  Pass the abandoned Coast Guard station.  Spot the 1911 lighthouse out past the breakwater; it went solar in 1966.  Whiskey Island(actually a peninsula since the relocation of the river mouth) once the site of extensive industrial development, now, partly parkland–and Cleveland’s second hospital, the Pesthouse,  after the cholera epidemic of 1832– in view as the buffet lunch is announced.  Good food good service.  The gulls get none of this.

A flotilla of Canada geese…a parasail…a chick on a Ski-Doo closely pursued by a dude in an even flashier craft–plenty of sights to see.

What can be seen as the boat cruises along?  Well, a lot of the attractions that Cleveland boasts of–not the orchestra, “lake effect” is hell on stringed instruments–including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Great Lakes Science Center (big windmill generator there), Browns Stadium, Progressive Field, the Cleveland Cliffs ore boat Wm. S. Mather, Burke Lakefront Airport…not hard to figure why the Shoreway is so named.  Like the man said, “Green City, Blue Lake” (He forgot “Brown River”, although anyone would have to admit that the Cuyahoga is certainly better than it used to be, back in the days of the “burning river” episode.  We’re still working on it.).

Consider it a successful trip as long as none of the Red Hat Ladies fall over the rail while boogie-ing  near the stern to the piped-in music.

Exit down the gangplank, exchanging pleasantries with the crew encouraging us to return soon.  Two of the crew members are local good kids, Emily and Brent Marshall, who are swabbing decks, toting beverages, being exemplary sailors for the summer, before college kicks in again ( They didn’t even make me walk the plank.).  You can even pick up a commemorative photo made on the way ON to the boat…to impress all of your landlubber friends.

And then, “Home again, home again, jiggity jig.” (It’s from a nursery rhyme; I left off the first part about “To market, to market, to buy a fat pig.”  No porkers on this trip).  Did you notice that the air conditioning vents on the bus are in the window wells?  Much better distribution; no hot spots or icicle corners.  Something to remember in this weather…or not, if the cold fronts don’t behave themselves.

Have you heard the big news? Our hometown heroine, Bridget Franek, has qualified to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics, July 27 through August 12 in London.
Bridget finished second in the 3000-meter women’s steeplechase U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in Oregon on June 29. For those unfamiliar with steeplechase, the race consists of nearly two miles of running around the track, which is punctuated by 28 hurdles and seven water jumps. Franek ran it in 9:35.62, less than three seconds behind first-place finisher Emma Coburn. The top three finishers move on to compete in the Olympics.

Time once again to offer thanks to Century 21 Goldfire Realty for the flags lining Garrettsville’s principal thoroughfares on the Fourth of July–Independence Day.  Whether or not the passer-by is a citizen of the village, it’s more than likely to give a little lift of the heart and spirit to see the waving of the red, white and blue on either side of the roadways in and out of town.  

Garrettsville –  People want to know what’s going on along Liberty Street. At first, when the trees and brush were cleared, and a wide gravel drive was laid, the assumption was that someone must be building a new house. But then unfamiliar signs went up and big trucks were seen coming and going.

As it turns out, this is a drilling site, not a construction site. With a 500-foot setback, the rig hasn’t been visible from the street. (By now, the initial drilling rig has been removed; replaced by a production truck rig.)

Could it be fracking?

Geauga Lyric Theater Guild’s Youth Workshops begin their summertime performances with the teen production of Stephen Schwartz’s and John-Michael Tebelak’s “Godspell”. This energetic production, directed by Karen O’Baker Porter, kicks off the Geauga Theater’s live productions  for the summer on July 19, 20th at 7:30pm and July 21st at 2pm. Featuring a variety of  contemporary music styles explaining the parables of the Bible, Godspell follows Christ and his disciples through a lighthearted yet thought-provoking spiritual journey.

Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce announces its third car cruise night scheduled for this Saturday July 14, 2012 on Main Street with a rain date of July 15, 2012. The cruise will begin at 5 pm and run until 8pm. the event will feature classic cars music, door prizes and a 50/50 raffle. The featured band for this cruise night is “The Boys are Back,” and they will play a variety of music throughout the evening.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club is looking for a few good members.  If you like interacting with other like-minded, convivial, connected community members…if you are interested in making your local community and your world a better, more caring and interconnected place…if you’d like to be involved in projects and programs supporting education, health care issues worldwide as well as national, cultural exchanges of many kinds at many levels…check out the Rotarians, meeting Monday evenings in the Kennedy Center at Hiram College–dinner at 5:30, meeting at 6:00.  They’ll be looking for you.

Have you ever wished you could spend the day in another place and time? Perhaps desired to just simply close your eyes and be whisked off to a land where you can have a few hours to yourself in a place very much unlike your own? (But you haven’t quite figured out where to find a working model of the time machine mentioned in H.G. Wells’ classic story?) Thanks to the Great Lakes Medieval Faire, you can do just that and leave behind your 21st century life for a day, a weekend, or even a midsummer night’s season as you step through the gates of Avaloch and into the world of the romantic 13th century.

West Farmington Assembly #116 of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls has been hard at work this spring with several activities and service projects, under the direction of their Worthy Advisor, Miss Haley Spangler, of W. Farmington.
Service projects for the term included marching in the Memorial Day parade and having a team in the Warren Relay for Life where the girls raised $1328.68.  They received a plaque for 2nd place for the most luminaries sold and 3rd place best educational topic as well as a 2nd place ribbon for our team t-shirt. We also donated to Hospice House, the Make a Splash Foundation, and Wounded Warrior as our charity projects. Social activities included:  holding the  annual valentine party, attending the District #5 roller skating party & sleepover, participating in the Tri-Youth Day and Grotto Dance in Cleveland, participating in an Easter Egg Hunt and go-to-church Sunday, having a hair and beauty tips day, selling doughnuts and sub sandwiches for Grand Assembly, having a car wash and selling Daffin’s candy.

Newton Falls – Fans of Pixar’s “Cars” movies would have been delighted to visit Newton Falls this weekend as the small town’s streets were filled with street rods, convertibles, trucks and all manner of eye-candy on four wheels. Although the automobiles presented were not actually the characters from the films, car lovers of all ages were treated to a tantalizing display of vehicles in every shape and size, some even resembling the likes of Lightning McQueen (a Chevy Corvette), Sally Carrera (a light blue roadster) and a sparkling representation of supporting cast members. As onlookers perused and cruised through the 26th Annual Car Show, registrations continued to file in at a steady pace and the number of cars vying for any one of an array of over one-hundred glittering trophies in various general and specialty classes had passed the 200-mark by lunchtime.

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Ravenna – The Adult Basic and Literacy Education Program at Maplewood Career Center recognized GED graduates on Thursday, June 7th at 7 p.m.   The adult GED graduates held their heads high with smiles as they entered the room and the ceremony in their honor began.   Doris Schoning, the Adult Basic and Literacy Education Coordinator and Portage County Literacy Coalition Director, took center stage by welcoming the GED graduates, their families, and friends to the ceremony.   She mentioned thanks to all of her staff, volunteers, and those that partner with the Adult Basic and Literacy Education Program.  Doris Schoning then presented the Outstanding Community Partner Award to the Community Action Council.  David Shea, the Executive Director of the organization, accepted the award.    She then continued introducing special guests in the audience, which included:  Kathleen Chandler, Former State Representative; Kathleen Clyde, State Representative; and Michelle Seckman, the Treasurer of Maplewood Career Center.   

Tuesday, July 3
7:30 p.m. Pre-Fireworks Concert and Family Fun
Hiram College Football Field
Before the fireworks, listen to great rock music from the local band Muffinslap.  Once again you will be able to see a helicopter land/take off at 7:30 and tour it. Swifty the Clown, and hopefully, his friend Joe will be there to make lots of balloon animals for the kids !

9:30 p.m.  FIREWORKS!
Hiram College Football Field.
Come and enjoy Hiram’s version of this Independence Day tradition.
Donations will be requested to pay for fireworks.  Funds for the fireworks provided by local business and the Hiram Community Trust.
Rain Date for fireworks—July 6th

Wednesday, July 4
9:00 a.m. Softball Games at Bicentennial Field Park
Everyone 16 and older invited to play softball.

12 – 1:30 p.m.  Family Activities and Bike Decorating.  Meet at the Hiram Christian Church in front of the Hiram Village municipal building. Face painting, sidewalk chalk drawing, and bike decorating for the parade.

11:30 –2:00 p.m. Display of Classic Cars & Fire Department Vehicles

1:30 p.m.  THE GRAND PARADE
Once again the route goes north on Hayden and Dean Streets, left on Hinsdale Street, south on to Peckham, and then down State Route 82 then back to the church.  Call Willard Greenwood 330-569-5331 if you have questions.

2 – 3 p.m.  Bicycle Rodeo at the Hiram Christian Church parking lot. Come learn the ins and outs of bicycle safety after the parade. Sponsored by Hiram Police Department.  Lots of prizes donated by local businesses will be awarded !

2 – 3 p.m. Basketball Knock-out
Gather on the Hiram village park basketball courts at 2pm for an individual basketball shooting contest.  Boys and girls all ages are welcome although children and youth under 18 have priority.  Prizes for the top four will be awarded.

2:00-3:00  p.m. Kids games on the village green near the  Hiram Play Park! Potato sack races, water balloon toss, parachute fun, other fun games — and the annual boys vs. girls tug of war.  All participants get a prize!

3:30 PM  Old-Fashioned Contests on the Village green near the Play Park! Contests for kids and adults of all ages, including bubble gum blowing contest, pickle-eating contest, donut-eating contest, and more.
4:00-5:00 PM Hiram Community Band – 36th ANNIVERSARY!
Dean Street by Frohring Music Building
A Hiram tradition since 1976.  You can participate or come and listen to your friends and neighbors play fabulous patriotic music!

5:30 – 6:30 PM  Pie Contest – Gerstacker Science Hall
Whip up your best pie and enter it into our Sixth(?) Annual Pie Contest.  Independent judges will determine a winner and award a fabulous prize during the Big Band Dance and Ice Cream Social Wednesday evening.  Drop off your pie at Gerstacker Science Hall (under the arch) on Dean Street between 5:30 and 6:30 pm.  All pies will be sold by the slice at the Strawberry Social.  Winners will receive cookbooks! For more info contact  Brenda Smith @ 330-569-7664 or Willard Greenwood 330-569-5331

8:00 – 10:00 PM  ICE CREAM STRAWBERRY SOCIAL AND BIG BAND DANCE
Martin Commons (near Gerstacker,  Hiram college’s science building)
Enjoy big band entertainment and dancing in an outdoor setting!  Live music once again provided by the Garretttones.  Ice cream sold by the Hiram Christian Church. .  Enjoy starry skies and candlelit tables.

Rain location for family activities, the Community Band concert, and the big band dance is Frohring Music Building on the college campus.  The parade is rain or shine!

Garrettsville SummerFest lived up to all that it was billed to be and more this past weekend as the festival committee put on a smashing event. The weekend kicked off Friday night with record-breaking crowds, as the opening ceremonies paid homage to our Armed Forces. Representatives from the Air Force, Army National Guard and Army were on hand to greet the crowd. SummerFest honored Col. Michael Chinn for being one of Garrettsville’s highest ranking service members. Chinn was awarded a plaque for his achievement and service.  James A. Garfield’s Marching Pride also paid homage to the troops by playing a medley of patriotic songs and the theme songs of  each military branch. The band was awesome as usual.  Col. Ed Meade from Camp Ravenna and Air Force representative Randi Baum unfurled the “Thank You for your Service Banner” as the weekend festivities began.