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The Fabric of the Neighborhood

When I moved into my home 20 + years ago, the neighborhood was much different then it is today.  What drew us to this house were its charm and character and wonderful yard.  Ya see, I love the homes of yesteryear, you know the ones that have the leaded glass, hardwood floors, a big old front porch and a story all its own!  We moved in on a chilly December weekend.  It would be several months before we emerged from our cocoons. 

Spring came.  The house next door was abandoned.  It was abandoned for seven years before a rehabber came and made it a home again.  A wonderful family moved in and we became fast friends and neighbors. They are still here.  My neighbors on the other side have been in Euclid for many years.   The wife had been a Euclid teacher all of her career and the husband loved to tend to his roses; He would sit on a bucket and carefully prune them.  They were always beautiful, and very fragrant. He has been gone for the better part of 15 years.

The neighbor that most have touched my life has lived here all her life, raised 5 children and weathered many storms.  She is the neighbor who reached out as new neighbors’ moved in.  She waned everyone to get to know each other as the neighborhood homes turned.

 One Sunday, she hosted an afternoon tea for the ladies of the neighborhood.  I attended the tea and had the best time, she had tiny sandwiches, bone china teacups and wonderful little desserts. 

She had a love for her neighborhood, and as the neighborhood turned and as people moved on or passed, she knew what it took to keep the fabric going.  That memory of that simple afternoon tea lives in my heart today.

On her last birthday, she turned 93.  She still goes to church every morning, sings in the choir for many celebrations and funerals.  She is an avid gardener and is my friend.  She is a pillar in this neighborhood. 

I had the chance to sit down with her a few weeks back to catch up and to talk about my re-election campaign.  She waned to know how it was going and what was happening in the city that she might not know.  We caught up on each others lives and after sometime, she indicated that she was getting up there in age and that her children thought it best for her to move into an assisted living facility.  They were worried about her, as they do not live close.  I did not like that news, but felt that maybe it was time.  We hugged and I went home.

Well as you can imagine, I saw a small white truck there at the house a few days ago, and after hustle and bustle, the house fell silent.  A few days later, I saw her in the driveway with her family at the house and by the time I stepped out, they were gone.  I plan to catch her next time.

The neighborhood is changing once again, our pillar has gone on to a place where she can be safe and can make new friends – I can only imagine her being the social butterfly of the facility – she now has a new chapter in her life, as do we.

Here’s the realization from this one person making a difference and loving her neighbors…. 
The fabric of a neighborhood is its people; people like this neighbor, who has woven each of us into it – the new with the old.
 
Now who will be the one to continue on in her spirit for offering friendship, inviting neighbors over, meeting the new ones who move in?  Looks like its up to me, and I’m up to the challenge for, and I too, love this neighborhood and my City. 

Now I have to go get the vacuum – I’m expecting company!

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 12:15 PM, 08.04.2017

Euclid Police Awards for 2016

Last evening at the Euclid City Council Meeting, Euclid Police awards for 2016 were presented to officers and civilians. This post acknowledges those whose actions aided victims of drug overdoses. Ms. Tiffany Smith was recognized for her actions in performing CPR on an overdose victim. She received the Civilian Service Award for her effort which revived the victim. Officer Nick Edington was recognized for saving nine lives by administering Narcan to overdose victims. He received the Meritorious Service Award. From January 2016 until today, Euclid Officers combined have administered Narcan in 56 incidents saving lives.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 11:11 AM, 07.07.2017

Dog Rescued from Euclid House Fire

At 4:50 pm on June 13th, the Euclid Fire Department (EFD) responded to a house fire at 19750 Naumann Ave. On arrival, heavy smoke was pushing out the second floor 

At 4:50 pm on June 13th, the Euclid Fire Department (EFD) responded to a house fire at 19750 Naumann Ave. On arrival, heavy smoke was pushing out the second floor windows. 
Crews immediately went to work taking hose inside the house to fight the fire while other crews provided outside ventilation and raised ladders.

Before being brought under control, the fire extended up to the third floor but flames were knocked down in less than 10 minutes. While fighting the fire, crews rescued a dog that was soon reunited with its owners.

No one was home at the time of the fire, but the occupants returned soon after the arrival of the EFD. The Red Cross was called to assist the family of six. In addition, there were no injuries to any of the 17 EFD personnel at the incident.

The second and third floors sustained significant fire and heat damage with water damage to the first floor. The preliminary loss estimate for the building and contents is $40,000.

After an investigation, the fire was ruled accidental and resulted from an unattended candle in a second floor bedroom. We urge everyone to use extreme caution when using candles. Keep combustible materials away from any open flames and extinguish the candle before leaving the room.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 11:11 AM, 07.07.2017

Share a Smile and a Hello ~ You Just Never Know!

Many years ago, I was involved in Girl Scouts.  My troop was filled with school classmates, girls that I already knew and had relationships with.  Each summer, I went to Girl Scout Resident Camp for two weeks where I had to meet new girls and live in a tent with 3 other people that I would come to know.  The first couple of days at camp were a bit rough as I was a bit shy, hoping that I would have a really good time and meet some really nice people. The memories of Girl Scout camp and the fun summers had were one of the best I carry with me today.  I tell you this because this memory came back to me the other day as I was talking to a resident that moved to Euclid 6 years ago.  She indicated that she really knew no one here in Euclid and that her friends were a city or two away.  I have to say that this truth really made me a bit sad.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 11:11 AM, 07.07.2017

Remembering Veterans Day

I would like to thank the Euclid Joint Veterans Council for once again organizing an amazing tribute in honor of all Veterans and specifically the Veterans from our City of Euclid.

 I am proud to come from a military family and am thankful that, at a very young age, my parents instilled a strong and deep-seated patriotism, respect for service and country within me

 Clearly this day of remembrance strikes each of us in different ways and it brings back memories from years ago. Each of us has our own stories and memories.  Here is one of mine that came to mind as I embarked on the journey of the day…..

 My younger self was taught to appreciate our servicemen and our veterans.   I was a mere child during the Vietnam War. My earliest memory is of Eddie, a family friend who was called to service, a call that he bravely answered.  I remember my family receiving letters that came to my house in those very decorative red, white and blue-rimmed airmail envelopes.  Envelopes that one-day abruptly stopped coming, they just stopped.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 5:55 PM, 06.13.2017

Euclid’s Special Projects Division

Have you been cited for peeling paint and are having a hard time finding the funds to pay for it? Are you in need of a wheelchair ramp but are unable to afford it? Do you have a dead tree on your property that you are afraid will fall on you, your family or your home and do not have the income to remove it? The City of Euclid’s Planning & Development Department may be able to help.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 5:55 PM, 06.13.2017

EFD assists EPD

It's not unusual for the EFD to assist EPD and other law enforcement agencies. However, one recent encounter was unique. This letter of commendation was submitted to the EFD administration from Lt. Scott Svonovec about FF Kevin Shea and FF Brian Caimi:

"On the morning of April 26, 2017 at approximately 10:30 am, the above-mentioned members (while on duty) entered Simon's grocery store at 25831 Euclid Ave. and witnessed a theft attempt. Upon entering the store, Kevin and Brian observed a store employee attempting to stop a patron from exiting the store with two bottles of liquor hidden under his clothes. The female employee removed the bottles of liquor and tried to keep the patron from leaving the store. It was obvious to the two members that the employee required assistance. Kevin and Brian stepped in and kept the patron from fleeing the scene while EPD responded.

The action taken by these two members exemplify what being a member of the Euclid Fire Department is all about. Due to their high level of situational awareness, this matter came to a safe ending."

Svonovec continued, "I would like to commend these two members for their dedicated service and commitment to keeping our community safe."

We couldn't agree more. Strong work, gentlemen!

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 5:55 PM, 06.13.2017

Interested in Repairing or Rehabbing you Euclid Home?

Spring is the perfect time to work on your home. Most residents have or will receive a letter from the Mayor to make you aware of several programs that the City of Euclid, in partnership with several community organizations, has made available to assist you in repairing and rehabbing your home.  

The Cleveland Restoration Society’s Heritage Home Program offers free advice, personalized site visits and access to a low interest loan to complete your project. Your home must be 50 years old or older. This program is available to owner-occupied and investment properties and is available to people of all incomes.

EDCOR offers a no fee, 3% rehab loan to income eligible homeowners. EDCOR assists with identifying code violations, writing specifications and choosing and paying your contractor. Special terms are available to seniors and the disabled.

The City of Euclid’s Special Projects Division offers certain services to income qualifying homeowners  free of charge. These services include: exterior painting, vinyl siding, wheelchair ramps, and dangerous tree and limb removal. Wheelchair ramp construction is also available to investment properties in rare circumstances. Please be aware that there is a waiting list for most services.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 5:55 PM, 06.13.2017

Don't be a Stranger, Be a Good Neighbor

You might often hear the phrase that Euclid is a community of communities.   Ever wonder what that means?  Strictly by the old dictionary on my desk, community can mean people having common interests, common work or other similarities.   Communities just don’t happen by chance.   They rest upon another similar word: communication.  Again, that old dictionary defines communication in part as giving and receiving as in giving and receiving information.

No matter where in live in Euclid, the strength of our individual communities and Euclid in general rests upon this very basic task of sharing and learning from an with your neighbors. 

Euclid is blessed with many wonderful street and block clubs and more informal clubs that serve to bring neighbors together to share information and ideas and to just get to know someone.    But it is even more basic that that.   A simple wave, or smile or a hello can do wonders to turn strangers into someone you see, someone you help, and someone you are considerate of.

Notice I have not mentioned the government of the City.   We have plenty of ordinances that govern behavior:  loud music; when to put out and take in your trash carts; fireworks prohibition; how to feed birds; wearing bicycle helmets; overnight parking, and on and on.   All very important in keeping our neighborhoods strong, desirable, etc.   It’s important that if you see something, say something.

So, as summer approaches and we all enjoy the good weather let’s each one of us commit to these words:  “don’t be a stranger, be a good neighbor.”   

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 5:55 PM, 06.13.2017

Euclid Honors Its Veterans at the 87th Memorial Day Parade

Euclid's 87th Memorial Day Parade, which was held on Monday, May 29th, again upheld the city's proud tradition of honoring veterans and active military personnel.  Many entities were gathered including community groups, businesses, churches, and a plethora of neighbors and guests.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 5:55 PM, 06.13.2017

Charlene Mancuso, Ward 5 Councilwoman

It is with great enthusiasm for what can occur in this city as a whole and how we can best represent the residents in our individual wards that make being the current Ward 5 Councilwoman an honor.  This is a different role than when I was twice elected as a Councilperson-at-Large.  My current role puts me more in touch with individuals and the specific issues impacting them.  Many times a single issue is brought forward by several different residents.  This requires not only addressing the individual issue, but in many cases, council members from all wards can then come together to address as a city wide concern or issue.

It is refreshing to work with the many facets of the downtown district redevelopment.  It is becoming more pedestrian friendly with shops and restaurants that folks can enjoy.  The Lakefront which borders much of Ward 5 is also being actively developed to encourage more waterfront access.  We are beginning to see home values slowly rise again. And of course we cannot forget the lovely cranes that are currently on Lakeshore Blvd., a part of development for our future clean water needs. All of these projects must be developed and implemented while assuring fiscal accountability for our city’s future.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 4:01 PM, 05.07.2017

City of Euclid Hydrant Flushing

The Euclid Fire Department will be flushing hydrants throughout the city in the coming weeks. Areas to be flushed will be posted at least one day in advance. Please make sure to run cold water through your faucets to clear any dirty or rusty water through your system prior to consumption or use for cleaning. 

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 4:01 PM, 05.07.2017