City of Cleveland Announces Vaccination Campaign with Support from Cleveland Cavaliers and NBA

City of Cleveland Announces Vaccination Campaign with Support from Cleveland Cavaliers and NBA

By Office of the Mayor

Community Support and COVID-19 Protocols for NBA All-Star Ticketed Guests Unveiled; NBA All-Star Expected to Generate More Than $100 Million in Economic Impact to Cleveland 

Today, Mayor Justin M. Bibb announced a vaccination campaign developed in partnership with the recently announced citywide COVID-19 Taskforce, that will receive support from the Cleveland Cavaliers and the National Basketball Association (NBA) ahead of NBA All-Star 2022 on February 18-20, which is expected to generate more than $100 million in economic impact, according to the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

The efforts to encourage vaccination, boosters and health education include:

  • The city’s public education campaign featuring NBA and Cavs personalities;
  • Special incentives when residents receive a vaccine/booster, including NBA All-Star tickets, merchandise and special autographed items, tickets to Cavs games and more; 
  • Additional financial donations, resources and support to aid citywide testing and vaccine efforts, including:
    • A donation of 10,000 rapid antigen tests and 100,000 N95 masks or similar to the COVID-19 Taskforce for distribution to schools and community-based organizations.
    • Cleveland Foundation’s Funders Collaborative for COVID Recovery.
  • The creation of additional pop-up vaccine sites in partnership with the COVID-19 Taskforce.

In addition, in anticipation of thousands of visitors coming to Cleveland to enjoy NBA All-Star events, the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA and health officials worked in partnership to develop health & safety protocols for all ticketed guests attending NBA All-Star events. The protocols are guided by the most recent recommendations from the CDC and Cleveland Department of Public Health and are as follows:  

  • Before participating in any ticketed events, all guests aged five and up must show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or of having a negative COVID-19 test. Fulfilling the testing option requires either a negative PCR test 48 hours before their first event or a negative antigen test the day of their first event.  
  • Full vaccination is defined by the CDC as one dose of the J&J vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. The city’s mask advisory is expected to remain in place through the weekend.

“The health and safety of our residents and visitors is a top priority,” said Mayor Bibb. “We are excited to bring this global event to Cleveland and want to ensure that everyone involved in NBA All-Star has a great experience while following necessary precautions to minimize the spread of COVID-19.”

Beyond the health and safety measures and contributions, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have committed to provide additional support to the city throughout the year, including more than $3 million in social and community impact. Those details will be announced in the coming weeks.  

Guest Commentary: Let’s Rethink the Kmart Site

Guest Commentary: Let’s Rethink the Kmart Site, Cleveland, OH, West Park, Redevelopment, City Planning, News, West Park Times, Opinion, Column

By Mandy Metcalf

City planner and Ward 17 resident

The owner of the former Kmart site at West 150th Street and Lorain Avenue is proposing some new tenants for the site, but the vision for the redevelopment of the property should be bolder and more compatible with the historic neighborhood character of West Park than what is being proposed.

I’ve lived in the Kamm’s Corners neighborhood for 15 years. One of the things I love most is its traditional character. Originally a streetcar suburb, as it grew, the West Park area was built to accommodate cars, but not at the expense of people. Details like placing garages behind houses help to create its walkable feel. Preserved clusters of historic commercial and mixed-use buildings built close to Lorain Avenue create a unique neighborhood identity to take pride in. The Kmart development, in contrast, was a product of a different time, when car-oriented convenience took precedence over placemaking across the country.

These days, brick-and-mortar shopping centers are struggling with on-line competition. Those that are successful have once again positioned themselves as community destinations that contribute to neighborhood character, with spaces designed for people as well as for cars. The International Council of Shopping Centers report Envision 2020: The Future of the Shopping Center Industry calls for shopping centers to take on a role as cultural centers and fully integrate into surrounding communities by creating places that offer memorable experiences.

The City of Philadelphia published some helpful guidelines on reimagining shopping centers as community spaces in January 2021. Included are the following ideas:

·         Make them safer. Build walkways through the parking lot and separate them from traffic with trees and shrubs. 

·         Make them more welcoming. Turn areas outside store entrances into public open space that connects the street to the store. 

·         Make them more active. Allowing apartments, offices, and hotels will add more life – and more shoppers – to the centers. Adding small parks, benches, and outdoor dining will create spaces for people to stay instead of grab-and-go.

·         Make them greener. Trees and other plants separate pedestrians from cars, offer shade, and soak up stormwater.

·         Create “Main Streets.” Orienting buildings towards walkways, drive aisles, and green spaces can make shoppers feel like they are downtown.

The West Park Shopping Center site design needs to be rethought to include public gathering places and more mixed uses. This would create a safer, more welcome environment for families and seniors. There are a number of ways this could be accomplished on the site while reusing the existing buildings.

Additional buildings on outparcels could”

A) be arranged around a community green or plaza, or

B) be oriented to create a traditional “Main Street” retail area within the site, or

C) be oriented toward Lorain Avenue in conjunction with roadway and streetscape enhancements to improve the pedestrian experience on Lorain Avenue. 

New buildings could incorporate mixed use, multiple levels, or rooftop dining. The outparcels could be leased by community organizations that would manage some buildings and spaces. 

Importantly, the historic mixed-use Marquard building needs to be saved intact and incorporated into the site. This building should be the inspiration for the character of the shopping center. If a redevelopment of the site cannot manage to include this building, then it is a development that is not able to be compatible with or contributing to the character of West Park.

TLM Realty is working with an architectural consultant, Onyx Creative, that has the capacity to create a high-quality design for the site. We need to raise the expectations for this project. It will have a lasting impact on the character of West Park. Attend the virtual public meeting on April 14 to express your concerns.

Mandy Metcalf is a city planner for Greater Cleveland RTA. She previously worked for Environmental Health Watch, Cleveland EcoVillage, and the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. She served on the Lorain Variety Design Review Committee and received a James Marston Fitch fellowship for independent study in historic preservation. Her views are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer, any organization or The West Park Times.

National retailer coming to Kmart site in West Park

National retailer coming to Kmart site in West Park, Cleveland, OH

By Jerry Masek   

“It’s exciting to know that a national retailer is coming to West Park,” Ward 17 Councilman Charles Slife says.    “Since I took office, the first question every resident asks me is — ‘What’s going to happen to the Kmart site?'”   

Today, Crain’s Cleveland Business and The West Park Times are releasing details of the project. Printed copies of Crain’s will be on newsstands Monday.   

The name of the retailer has not yet been released.   

Kmart, at 14901 Lorain Ave,, was a major player in West Park from 1982 until January 2018. That’s when Sears Holdings Corp, closed 45 stores, including 5 in Ohio. The store here had 89,000 square feet of selling space.    The store’s closing left a gap in West Park. The Kamm’s Corners Development Corp. (KCDC) and then-Councilman Marty Keane immediately began talks to bring a tenant to that site. Those talks continued last year with the West Park Kamm’s Neighborhood Development, and Slife, who replaced Keane on City Council. 

Project details

Crain’s talked with an attorney representing TLM Realty, owners of the site. He said TLM proposes:

  • Divide the vacant Kmart building’s 106,000 square feet among as many as three retail outlets.
  • Add retail uses in new buildings in the vast parking lot.
  • Demolish part of a largely empty building on the east side of the parking lot.
  • Demolish the Marquard Building. It contains first-floor retail space and apartments on Lorain Avenue.
  • Those moves would allow more space for free-standing retail buildings on the property.  

Two public meetings set

Residents will have two opportunities to learn about the project. At 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 7, the Far West Design Review Committee will hear four presentations, including one by Michael Oestreich of TLM Realty, The Committee is a neighborhood arm of City Planning Commission, which will hear the presentation later. The official agenda says the project will include “renovation and new additional buildings.” The project is still in the “conceptual” phase.    Slife said that although the Committee meeting is open to the public, there will be little or no interaction with residents.    That interaction will come a week later, in a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. April 14. Residents are encouraged to attend that meeting and bring their questions and comments. 


The Kmart site was formerly known as Herrington Farm. Before Kmart could build there, residents of a trailer park had to be evicted. 

Read Crain’s story, subscription needed

Register for April 7 meeting

Register for April 14 meeting

Der Braumeister celebrates Iconic 12 Beers of Christmas event featuring new exclusives and special three-course holiday menu – all available to-go

Der Braumeister Celebrates Iconic 12 Beers of Christmas Event featuring New Exclusives and Special 3-Course Holiday Menu - All Available To-Go, Cleveland, OH, West Park, neighborhood, community, news, events


Der Braumeister will kick off what promises to be their best ever 12 Beers of Christmas event on Wednesday, Nov. 25 at noon for a special happy hour and a dinner beginning at 4 p.m. This iconic tradition centers on the unveiling and tapping of 12 of the most unique and hardest to find seasonal beers from around the world.

For over ten years, this has become one of the most anticipated events on the west side of Cleveland. Today, in the era of an ongoing global pandemic, both the beer and food will be made available to-go.

Pre-orders for a limited quantity of the full set of twelve beers are available to order online for pick-up from Nov. 12 through 25. With four exclusive beers from Germany and Belgium, this is the perfect gift for beer lovers, connoisseurs, or small & socially distanced gatherings.

Newly appointed Executive Chef Jason Quinlan will also be dishing up a special three-course menu that will also be made available for carryout and will run through the end of the year.

On the night of the official kickoff event, the recently renovated restaurant will be decked out in traditional German Christmas décor where guests can sample full fights of the exclusive Christmas beers and shop for fresh Christmas trees out on their beer garden, courtesy of CleTrees. Special gift baskets will also be available for purchase for that special beer-lover in your life. 

“After enduring one of the hardest years I can imagine for our restaurant, I’m so excited to still be able to commemorate our most beloved tradition,” said Wirtz. “We’ve put in hours of planning to make sure everything we’re doing for this event is conducive for both dine-in and carryout/pick-up so that our customers can celebrate comfortably and safely with us.”

Seating for the kick-off event is limited and the restaurant is requiring a credit card for reservations. The restaurant will also be open that Friday (Nov. 27th) and Saturday (Nov. 28th) where customers can pick-up their beer orders and enjoy a new, special brunch menu that will be available until early January, 2021.

For more information on all the event details, including reservations and placing orders visit:

River’s Edge makes important announcement regarding its future

Rivers Edge makes important announcement regarding its future, Cleveland, West Park, OH
Rivers Edge makes important announcement regarding its future, Cleveland, West Park, OH

River’s Edge sent this out via e-mail today:

I am reaching out to you to share an important update about the future of River’s Edge.

River’s Edge’s Center is housed within the living space of the Sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph. This is a connection that many of us have found to be deeply enriching. However, as we step into a new world reality amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we have realized that there are great risks associated with this model for the health of our clients and especially the Senior Sisters in residence.

After much discernment, it has become clear that it will not be possible for River’s Edge to return to the building or property that has housed our Center, either now or in the future.

This is a very difficult decision to make. This property has been our home and the Sisters have been our friends. This sacred space has held our community and has been a hub of healing, spiritual connection and transformation.

What does this mean for River’s Edge?

* For the time being, River’s Edge does not have a physical center.
* We continue to offer a full slate of virtual programming that you can access safely from your home.
* We are exploring possibilities for a new home off campus.
* It is our clear intention to continue to actively invest in the vibrant spiritual community that we have all built together in Cleveland.

What if I am pre-registered for an event?

* We plan to reschedule as many events virtually or at partner locations as possible
* We will reach out to you as soon as a plan is in place for your event
* If you are not able to make it, you may redirect your registration fee as a donation or receive a full refund.

What if I have purchased a wellness pass?

* Did you know that we have a full wellness class schedule online? Your pass can be easily applied to online classes and you will even receive two bonus classes on your existing pass!
* If you are not able to attend virtual classes, you can redirect your remaining pass fee as a donation or request a full refund.

How can I help?
Now, more than ever, we need your support. Here is how you can help:

* Attend River’s Edge classes and programs
* Invite your friends and family to attend River’s Edge classes and programs
* Follow us on social media, like our posts, make comments on our pages
* Hold with us in prayer the intention that River’s Edge will have a physical Center in which we all can gather again
* Make a donation to help us stay up and running through this period of suspended in-person operations

While we do not yet know how the future will unfold, I find myself returning to the image of the river – our namesake. Rivers are not predictable; they aren’t always smooth. They don’t always lead where we expect. It is this very resiliency that enables the river to continue to survive and to give life and nourishment to all those it touches. A healthy river is not stagnant – it is moving and breathing and full of life. It changes course in response to the obstacles that new terrain presents.
I invite you to come to the River’s Edge with me. Drop into the current. Let’s forge a new course together.

In gratitude, Sarah Widener, Executive Director

Coping with being cooped up

Coping with being cooped up during the coronavirus, ROYALTY FREE PHOTO

By Ayanna Cash 

Golden sunlight seeps through the cracks of Cade Cook’s blinds, illuminating the dust that dances through the air. The faint but frantic vibrations of his cellphone alarm buzz against his nightstand. It’s nearly 3 p.m. and Cook has accidentally slept through all his lectures for the fourth time since the University of Akron switched to remote learning due to COVID-19. 

Dazed and defeated, Cook takes a swig from one of the many half-empty water bottles that litter his night stand, gets up only to turn on his gaming system, and then quickly settles back into bed. The faint hum of the gaming system’s fan whirs as it boots up. This has become a typical day for Cook during quarantine. 

Without his traditional routine of attending classes on campus, playing basketball at the recreation center, and grabbing food with his friends at the dining hall, Cook is struggling to get through his day in a way that he barely thought about before quarantine. Typical tasks such as completing assignments on time, eating nutritious meals, maintaining a sleeping schedule, and, on some days, even showering have become difficult. 

“Quarantine has drained all my energy,” said Cook, 20, a sophomore education major from Sheffield, Ohio. “Which is weird because I’m not even doing anything.” 

Cook is one of many college students trying to cope with quarantine and the transition to remote learning. 

According to CNBC, Bryan Alexander, a professor at Georgetown University, estimated that college closures have impacted at least 14 million students. These students now must make the switch to remote learning while being quarantined in their homes — an unprecedented adjustment for millions of students. 

Gene Cash has worked in the mental health field for 29 years and is the CEO of Counseling Alliance of Virginia. Cash says a drastic change in routine can be taxing on one’s mental health. 

“COVID-19 has pushed a lot of individuals into a ‘new normal or abnormal’ situation,” Cash said in an email interview. “This radical shift can cause individuals to exhaust or maximize their current functioning and coping capabilities — bringing on an increase in suicidal ideations, hopelessness, depression, chemical use and domestic violence.” 

Along with being mentally draining, Cash says quarantine can disrupt sleeping schedules, which can have a negative impact mental health. 

“[Quarantine] could also challenge one’s biological clock if sleep patterns become out of sync with the real world,” Cash said. “Inadequate sleep only further burdens the psyche.” 

Cash says the drastic change of students’ learning environment — from the classroom to the home — can make accomplishing responsibilities, such as school assignments, more difficult. 

“Students are trying to complete assignments while dealing with the distractions that come with being in their own home rather than a classroom,” Cash said. “Students now have full and constant access to cellphones, video games and TV. These can distract from school work as well as sleep.” 

Cash suggests reducing these distractions as best as possible in order to create an environment that is more suitable to focus in. 

“Working from home is a new to a lot of students, and their current home environment is likely not appropriately set up to focus in,” Cash said. “Reducing distracting stimuli is the first step. Turning off the cellphone, changing the lighting, and even closing the blinds to block the view of pedestrians and cars can make the environment more apt to work in.” 

Alyssa Tirabassi is a college student at Cleveland State University who is also being negatively impacted by quarantine. Her usual sleeping schedule has changed since quarantine began. 

“Pre-quarantine, I always woke up before 9 a.m,” Tirabassi, 21, a junior psychology major from Chesterland, Ohio said. “Now, it’s a good day if I’m out of bed by noon.” 

This new sleeping pattern has had an impact on Tirabassi’s academic performance. 

“I’ve noticed I’m missing deadlines and doing worse on assignments,” Tirabassi said. “This never used to happen.” 

Courtney Kelley has been a professor of psychology since 2006 and has been teaching at Cuyahoga Community College since 2012. To combat the negative effects of quarantine and improve mental health, Kelley suggests communicating with loved ones. 

“We are currently living in a time when social-distancing is vital for our health and the health of our community,” Kelley, 38, said in an email interview. “Ironically, as a result of social distancing, many of us may need to feel that social support, even more, to feel connected and less distressed.” 

As an alternative to face-to-face interactions, Kelley suggests digital communication. She says the unique qualities of technology are more appropriate for social distancing beyond communicating from a distance. 

“Research that has been conducted over the past decade suggests that opportunities to communicate with friends and loved ones through technology can strengthen the quality of those relationships,” Kelley said. “It can definitely help people maintain an emotional connection to loved ones and feel less isolated.” 

Back at his Akron apartment, Cook puts on his chunky, neon green gaming headset. He hopes that social distancing ends sooner than later so he can reunite with his friends. 

“I hope this is all over soon,” Cook said. “I miss actually being able to see my friends, but, for now, all we can do is talk over Xbox.” 

Bulk pick-up for Ward 16 residents (ONLY)

Ward 16 Residents, do have excess bulk but don’t want to go to Ridge Road? With the City’s temporary suspension of bulk pick up, Councilman Brian Kazy will be providing a dumpster for the ward on May 15th and the 29th for bulk disposal. Please either give him a call at (216) 664-2942 or see the attached flyer for further information.

Survey finds teens feel financial anxieties because of COVID-19

By Jessie Schoonover 

The process for student lending has not changed. However, the conversation around going to college and borrowing certainly has. 

A recent survey completed by 1,000 of our nation’s teens, between ages 13 and 18 (not currently attending college), found many feel mounting anxieties related to their family’s financial situation, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Citizens Bank and Junior Achievement USA conducted a survey with Wakefield Research Group, titled “The JA COVID Impact Survey.”

Key findings of this survey indicate the following: 


  • More than half of the teens surveyed (57%) are concerned about how COVID-19 will impact their plans for the future.
  • Forty-four percent of high school juniors and seniors say COVID-19 has impacted their plans to pay for college, with a majority of those affected (58%) saying they are now likely to take out student loans to help pay for college.


“A lot of what Citizens (Bank) has been about is encouraging families to talk about their finances with their teenage kids in order for them to be prepared for how much money they have to spend for college; how is the family going to be able to afford this and what does it mean from a financial standpoint,” says head of student lending at Citizens Bank, Christine Roberts. 

“What’s very encouraging from this survey is that over 70% of the students that responded said that they are having this conversation with their parents, that they are actively having conversations around the family’s finances— how COVID-19 has affected their family’s finances— and then they are actually taking that and thinking about it in terms of now what does that mean for the next round of decisions that I need to make,” she says. 

Roberts says this can translate to the following: 

  • Do I go to a different school, public vs. private? 
  • Am I going to go someplace that is less expensive but still really good? 
  • Am I going to go closer to home? 
  • Is it better for me to stay close to home to save money and avoid any pandemic issues related to travel in the future? 
  • Do I take a gap year and wait it out since I do not necessarily want to change the school of my choice? 
  • Do I need to take out additional money or more than expected in loans to cover college costs? 

“It is a lot in some ways, but I think it’s great that these families are having these conversations,” Roberts says. 

According to Joe Faulhaber president of Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland, “our hope was to shed a light on some of the anxieties and challenges these kids have identified, as they think about their next steps in their educational journey. But, also, in the way they think about work and summer jobs and paying for college, and whether or not they go to college right away, if they are a graduating senior, or take a gap year. That was really the crux of it,” he says regarding the survey. 

“In general, really what we’re seeing is a not insignificant amount of teens that are either being relied upon already to financially contribute to their household— and given mass layoffs that we’re seeing in the news every day; our continued negative job outlook for the broader economy overall— teens are being asked and really forced to take on a more active role in the finances in their household.” 


*Survey conducted April 2020.


Virtual visits now at Neighborhood Family Practice


Telemedicine appointments are now available via Neighborhood Family Practice (NFP). 

A telemedicine appointment allows a patient to utilize video and/or audio to meet with an NFP provider virtually or remotely. 

Originally, say officials from NFP, restrictions made it difficult for urban providers to offer telemedicine. 

“A lot of focus has been expanding this broadband to rural areas,” says NFP’s Assistant Medical Director of Medical Informatics Chad Garven, MD. “It was originally used to get access to more rural patients…” 

However, in light of COVID-19, things have changed― and fast. 

“What happened in mid-March is, it became alarmingly clear that just about any in-person interaction is going to be not only unsafe for patients, but potentially for our staff.” 

As officials at NFP began looking at how a digital platform could work for them, laws in place regarding telemedicine changed as well. 

“The laws became a lot less restrictive. There was not a distance qualifier, as far as ‘could the provider be near a patient but on a virtual platform?’ That was one of the ones that made a lot of sense for our urban population, particularly where our clinics are located,” says Garven. 

“It was a combination of safety concerns but then sort of our mission, which is to care for this near-West Side that otherwise often goes uncared for or underappreciated. We said we have to do something. And by virtue of necessity, sort of jumped at that opportunity.” 

“We completed a strategic plan about six months ago,” says NFP President and CEO Jean Polster. “We looked at telemedicine and what we were really thinking about is that the laws were super restrictive in terms of being able to bill for telemedicine.” 

“We were thinking about it more as how are we going to get patients connected with specialty care? And maybe ways that they would be able to stay in our offices but still see a specialist because our patients are most comfortable in our location.” 

In July reimbursement opened up, says Polster, loosening some of those restrictions. But even then, she says, restrictions still remained when it came to urban vs. rural access. 

“I just have to give a shout out to the handling of the crisis by our Governor DeWine and his director of the Department of Health Dr. Amy Acton. One of the first things they did, when they saw this happening, is, not only did they open up the ability to do remote access for appointments― and not only for behavioral health, which is really where there had been the most telehealth in the state going on prior― but they just threw all the regulations aside and said go for it. Serve your patients in the best way that you can.”

It was about helping patients while maintaining their safety, which meant keeping them out of public spaces as much as possible. 

“Within a week we were able to develop these applications and teach folks how to use some of the applications,” says Polster. “But it was a pivot. It took us a week to make the pivot and it would have taken us months, if not years, to make that pivot in a non-crisis situation.” 

According to Garven, around 90-percent of NFP visits are now telemedicine based. 

“It is a video platform and it visually looks like what a Facetime or Skype or Zoom call would look like,” he says. 

Many of the telemedicine health processes are the same as an in-office visit. There is a registration process, and a medical assistant will talk to the patient about their medications and acute issues. 

It is also convenient, as there is no driving to the facility or hanging out in the waiting room. 

“The no show rate has rapidly declined,” says Garven. 

“We are excited to accept new patients,” says Polster. “We definitely want to serve more people in the community. We do have the capacity to serve more people, and we are able to do appointments on a same-day basis. We welcome new patients and hope that we can keep more community members healthy and safe at this time.”

“We do have some face-to-face visits available when it’s urgent,” Polster adds. “If we are very concerned about something we are seeing, we are bringing you in the office. Or if there’s care that you need that can only be delivered in person, like a shot, like a birth control monthly shot, we’ve created an environment that’s safe for folks to come in― widely spaced; only certain hours. We’re giving people access to the care that they need. Most of it is delivered while you’re still in your home but if things are needed, we do have the ability to see you safely in six locations.” 

Stay-at-home order aims to protect the masses: But how does this impact those looking to gather at their place of worship?

By Jessie Schoonover

The West Park Times reached out to various faith leaders in this area to see how they are maintaining services, connections, faith, and more during these challenging times.

“The building is not the church,” says Rev. Jason Thompson of the West Park United Church of Christ (UCC), 3909 Rocky River Dr. “That is something that is hard for us to remember.”

In fact, worshipping in private homes is not a new concept, Thompson says. 

“It was the tradition of the early church to worship in private homes, and we still embrace home worship,” says Thompson, adding that for some, this can feel ‘less holy,’ so to speak.

“We also have historical records of home worship during the Spanish influenza pandemic right here in Cleveland (circa 1918),” says Thomspon. “When local churches were under order to close. Our pastor at the time, the Rev. J.P. Reidinger, instructed the congregation on how to hold worship services in their own homes.

“Today, of course, we have technology that these earlier communities could have only imagined.” 

According to Thompson, these activities of West Park UCC have been moved to an online format: 

  • Sunday worship
  • Children’s meetings 
  • Prayer shawl 
  • Board meetings 
  • Coffee hour 

Everyone is welcome to attend these online events. 

“These connections are vital in allowing us to maintain a relationship with each other and with God. And that is the church. The church is the relationship we have with God, with each other, and with our world,” Thompson says. (To access services, visit  

According to Rabbi Enid C. Lader of Beth Israel- The West Temple, 14308 Triskett Rd., ‘meeting’ has taken on a different meaning, but celebrations of the Shabbat, learning of the Torah, preparation for Passover and movement through the Passover seder continue. 

“Since the outbreak of the coronavirus,” says Lader, “my congregation has offered our services online. Each service has been led in ‘real-time,’ giving people the opportunity to see each other, participate in the service by reading various parts of the service, and share wishes and blessings with each other at the end of each service.” 

Lader says: “We have ‘met’ together for a special service of mourning and healing. Our religious school families have ‘met’ together for song and prayer. Our Hebrew school students have ‘met’ together to continue their learning.” 

In addition, around 40 families from the religious school sent letters and cards expressing smiles and holiday wishes to 110 other temple households. Passover foods were also delivered by members of the congregation to other members who were unable to go out and shop for themselves.

“We continue to reach out to our members with calls to touch base and make sure all is well,” says Lader. “If people are in need, we try to make the connections to help them out.” 

Pastor Rob Plain of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, 12826 Lorain Ave., says, “Yes, we livestream all our services on YouTube at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. Anyone can find us online by searching my name, Rev. Rob Plain.” 

He also provides this passage: Joshua 1:9 tells us this; “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 

“While this is an unprecedented event in our lives, this is not unprecedented in history,” says Plain. “Noah was quarantined on an ark with his family and all the animals for 375 days; the Israelites were quarantined in the wilderness for 40 years before they entered the promised land; Jonah was quarantined in the belly of a fish for 3 days, just to name a few examples…” 

According to Plain, staying connected with your ‘church family’ can provide strength, and can be done via phone, text, email, and online livestreaming. 

“People miss each other,” says Father Doug Koesel of Blessed Trinity Church, 14040 Puritas Ave. “They miss the connectedness that we have made and the ways we collectively reach out to the neighborhood and the world.” 

“Two phrases we hear over and over during this crisis are that ‘we are in this together,’ and that ‘one day this will end.’ Those are two fundamental aspects of religion,” Koesel says. 

“For those who are not church/temple/mosque attenders, the coronavirus probably has no impact. They can still pray at home, read scripture on the Internet, and even watch spiritual TED talks. But for those of us Christians for whom weekly worship is an essential ingredient in life because we believe Jesus’s call to community, there is no substitute for gathering together as God’s people.” 

During Lent, sheltering at home was a time to reflect on suffering and death, and what a real Lenten penance that is. Now that we are in the Easter season, we look forward in hope. We pray for our scientists to find a cure/vaccine/treatment, and we pray that we listen to scientists first and foremost.”  


The story doesn’t have to end here! If we’ve missed you or your church, congregation, or other place of worship, write to us at



WEST PARK UCC, 3909 Rocky River Dr. ― Food pantry operates every Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon. The church has offered hundreds of bags of food to West Park neighbors over the last six weeks.  

BLESSED TRINITY CHURCH, 14040 Puritas Ave. ― The Hunger Center, called the Bountiful Basement, continues to serve people. It is open Tuesday 9:30 a.m.-noon, and Wednesday 5-6:45 p.m. Stay in your car. If you walk to the center, follow strict guidelines of those in charge. The produce giveaway also continues the first Wednesday of the month, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Again, stay in your cars and follow the directions given to you when you arrive.

Visit some parks, not playgrounds, CDC recommends

While getting outdoors is important any time of the year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says do not visit playgrounds.

“Do not use playgrounds, including water playgrounds, located within local, state, or national parks,” says the CDC. 

The CDC states: “Using playgrounds might lead to the spread of COVID-19 because:

  • They are often crowded and could easily exceed recommended guidance for gatherings.
  • It can be challenging to keep surfaces clean and disinfected.
  • The virus can spread when young children touch contaminated equipment and then touch their hands to their eyes, nose, or mouth.”

Visiting a playground is advised against until further notice. However, select state and local parks remain open. Remember to practice safe social distancing practices no matter where you are, including at all public parks which remain open.

According to the Cleveland Metroparks, its ’18 reservations’ currently remains open and golf course hours are limited (9 a.m. to 5 p.m), depending on the weather. Find information regarding their updates here. To protect employees, they are asking individuals to ‘pack in, pack out.’ This means bring your own garbage container (bag) and bring any garbage with you when you leave.

The Cleveland Metroparks website does note: “Avoid playgrounds: all playgrounds and outdoor fitness stations are closed for safety.”

Swimming for now appears to be safe, given individuals continue taking appropriate measures to avoid shared spaces, etc. According to the CDC, there is no proof that currently exists indicating COVID-19 can be transmitted via water or swimming.

“There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the water. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (with chlorine or bromine) of pools should kill COVID-19,” states the CDC’s web page.

It is NOT recommended to use water parks or playgrounds, or hot tubs, says the CDC.

Getting out isn’t impossible during COVID-19 but it is still important to continue safe social distancing; practicing adequate hygiene habits, and additional precautions such as wearing a mask.

Find information from the National Parks Service regarding individual parks here. 


Reminder: Bulk pick-up suspended throughout April & May in Cleveland

Cleveland, OH bulk-pickup suspended throughout April, West Park, News

Bulk pick-up is typically during the first full week of the month, on your regularly scheduled pick-up day. However, in light of the coronavirus, bulk pick-up has been suspended throughout the month.

“For the safety of our waste collectors, bulk pick-up has been suspended for May. Bulk pick-up requires multi-person teams that interact in close proximity while roll cart collection is automated. In addition, we sadly announced that Senior Day 2020 has been canceled in order to protect to those most vulnerable to the coronavirus,” announced Mayor Frank G. Jackson.

Find more information here.

Current coronavirus cases in Ohio

Coronavirus in Ohio increases by 837 in 24 hours, Ohio, Cleveland, Coronavirus



05/16: Today’s 24-hour increase= 487. Today’s total= 25,836. Yesterday’s total= 25,349.

05/15: Today’s 24-hour increase= 549. Today’s total= 25,349. Yesterday’s total= 24,800.

05/14: Today’s 24-hour increase= 555. Today’s total= 24,800. Yesterday’s total= 24,245.

05/13: Today’s 24-hour increase= 436. Today’s total= 24,245. Yesterday’s total= 23,809.

05/12: Today’s 24-hour increase= 409. Today’s total= 23,809. Yesterday’s total= 23,400.

05/11: Today’s 24-hour increase= 509. Today’s total= 23,400. Yesterday’s total= 22,891.

05/10: Today’s 24-hour increase= 331. Today’s total= 22,891. Yesterday’s total= 22,560.

05/09: Today’s 24-hour increase= 591. Today’s total= 22,560. Yesterday’s total= 21,969.

05/08: Today’s 24-hour increase= 837. Today’s total= 21,969. Yesterday’s total= 21,132.

05/07: Today’s 24-hour increase= 507. Today’s total= 21,132. Yesterday’s total= 20,625.

05/06: Today’s 24-hour increase= 553. Today’s total= 20,625. Yesterday’s total= 20,072.

5/05: Today’s 24-hour increase= 463. Today’s total= 20,072. Yesterday’s total= 19,609.

5/04: Today’s 24-hour increase= 515. Today’s total= 19,609. Yesterday’s total= 19,094.

5/03: Today’s 24-hour increase= 557. Today’s total= 19,094. Yesterday’s total= 18,537.

5/02: Today’s 24-hour increase= 575. Today’s total= 18,537. Yesterday’s total= 17,962.

5/01: Today’s 24-hour increase= 677. Today’s total= 17,962. Yesterday’s total= 17,285.

4/30: Today’s 24-hour increase= 684. Today’s total= 17,285. Yesterday’s total= 16,601.

4/29: Today’s 24-hour increase= 473. Today’s total= 16,601. Yesterday’s total= 16,128.

4/28: Today’s 24-hour increase= 429. Today’s total= 16,128. Yesterday’s total= 15,699.

4/27:Today’s 24-hour increase= 339. Today’s total= 15,699. Yesterday’s total= 15,360.

4/26: Today’s 24-hour increase= 377. Today’s total= 15,360. Yesterday’s total= 14,983.

4/25: Today’s 24-hour increase= 402. Today’s total= 14,983 . Yesterday’s total= 14,581.

4/24: Today’s 24-hour increase= 439. Today’s total= 14,581 . Yesterday’s total= 14,142.

4/23: Today’s 24-hour increase= 533. Today’s total= 14,142 . Yesterday’s total= 13,609.

4/22: Today’s 24-hour increase= 359. Today’s total= 13,609 . Yesterday’s total= 13,250.

4/21: Today’s 24-hour increase= 734. Today’s total= 13,250 . Yesterday’s total= 12,516.

4/20: Today’s 24-hour increase= 1,224. Today’s total= 12,516. Yesterday’s total= 11,292.

4/19: Today’s 24-hour increase= 1,353 Today’s total= 11,292. Yesterday’s total= 9,939.

4/18: Today’s 24-hour increase= 1,081 Today’s total= 9,939. Yesterday’s total= 8,858.

4/17: Today’s 24-hour increase= 619. Today’s total= 8,858. Yesterday’s total= 8,239.

4/16: Today’s 24-hour increase= 611. Today’s total= 8,239. Yesterday’s total= 7,628.

4/15: Today’s 24-hour increase= 475. Today’s total= 7,628. Yesterday’s total= 7,153.

4/14: Today’s 24-hour increase= 272. Today’s total= 7,153. Yesterday’s total= 6,881.

4/13: Today’s 24-hour increase= 363. Today’s total= 6,881. Yesterday’s total= 6,518.

4/12: Today’s 24-hour increase= 331. Today’s total= 6,518. Yesterday’s total= 6,187.

4/11:Today’s 24-hour increase= 351. Today’s total=6,187. Yesterday’s total= 5,836.

4/10: Today’s 24-hour increase= 324. Today’s total=5,836. Yesterday’s total= 5,512.

4/9: Today’s 24-hour increase= 364. Today’s total=5,512. Yesterday’s total= 5,148.

4/8: Today’s 24-hour increase= 366. Today’s total= 5,148. Yesterday’s total= 4,782.

4/7: Today’s daily increase for #Ohio is 332 confirmed cases. This is up from 4,450 reported yesterday, for a total of 4,782 cases.

4/6: Today’s 24-hour increase is 407; numbers of coronavirus cases in Ohio have increased from 4,043 to 4,450.

4/5: Since yesterday, #coronavirus cases in Ohio have increased by 304; from 3,739 to 4,043.

4/4: Confirmed #coronavirus cases in Ohio have jumped to 3,739, according to numbers released by the Ohio Department of Health.

4/3: Since last reported on March 31, the total #Coronavirus count for #Ohio has risen to 2,902, according to information released by the Ohio Department of Health. The average daily rate of infection is on the rise statewide. (Avg. 323 per-day).

3/31: In 12 days, the total #Coronavirus count for those in #Ohio has risen from 119 to 1933. That means there are an average of 151 new cases developing throughout the state, per day. In retrospect, states like New York are reporting increases per-day by the thousands.
If you have a story to share concerning how the virus has impacted you, email the West Park Times​ at, or feel free to send us a direct message.

*All data extracted from the Ohio Department of Health.

If you currently live in the West Park neighborhood of Cleveland, OH, we’d love for you to contact us. Tell us how you’re making it through the coronavirus, closures, and more by emailing

Whether your wedding has been cancelled or you are temporarily out of work, your story matters and we want to hear it from you!