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Social distancing is a phrase none of us really thought about until the past two weeks. It’s not a new concept, but before it referred to using manners and not getting within a person’s “personal bubble.” We all have relatives who are unaware of that bubble, often sticking their faces within…

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Dear Rusty: I turned 63 Aug. 12, 2019. I will be retiring June 30, 2020, from my current job. I will have made approximately $35,000 by then and am receiving severance pay of $19,000 on June 30. Will the pay I receive through June 30 affect what I can draw from Social Security? Also, how muc…

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I love to grocery shop and look forward to taking advantage of weekly bargains at Heinen's Marc's and Giant Eagle before winding up at Costco. Wow, has that changed.

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Dear Rusty: I am currently unemployed and drawing funds from my IRA. I am 62 years old. My financial adviser instructed me to not take Social Security because once I do that the percentage of increase would stop. He said to wait until the benefits increased to the point where I could then ta…

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I fully expected to be a bystander to the madness of COVID-19. Being a journalist, I knew the odds of exposure — we have covered them extensively already in West Life. But it was still an intangible when it came to my everyday life. Then came last week. First, my beloved Jazzercise classes (…

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As the shock wears off, toilet paper panic fades, and the new reality becomes more familiar, the best of all of us is coming to the forefront. The Westshore area is full of awesome, kind and compassionate people reaching out to help others. And we want to celebrate those who are thinking bey…

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Well, here we are, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. And everyone seems to be freaking out, which is understandable. For those of us with an anxiety disorder, the worry can be crippling. It’s hard not to panic when seemingly everyone around me is panicking. It’s hard to get my mind off …

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As with most people, my life is composed of a series of obsessive-compulsive moments all strung together by fate and happenstance. At various times, my waking moments have been filled with the desire to be a real estate agent, an award-winning crime novelist, an interior designer, a world tr…

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Dear Rusty: My husband is 70 and has been taking Social Security for several years. His benefit is $2,100 per month. I am 60 and will turn 61 in March. I have very little built up and my expected SS benefit at my full retirement age is $1163 and $829 if I choose to take it at age 62. We are …

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On Monday, three Cuyahoga County residents became the first Ohioans diagnosed with the coronavirus. Immediately, Gov. Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency. So how will out state handle this growing emergency? We hope with calm and common sense.

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The March 17 primary elections are right around the corner. Are you ready to be an informed citizen? In our region, there are several vital issues being decided, including Lorain County commissioner seats, a school levy in North Ridgeville, a library levy in Avon, a levy for Lakewood City Sc…

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My husband and I lived for more than 20 years in Lakewood, almost within walking distance of the phenomenal Beck Center for the Arts. We introduced our children to live plays at the center, on Detroit Avenue at the city’s western edge. I still remember my very young son walking up to the sta…

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Did you notice something lurking in the wings as Democrats rooted around for votes in South Carolina? Did you see it just off stage during the president's press briefings this past week?

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This weekend, dozens of firefighters from Avon, Bay Village, Fairview Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted, Rocky River and Westlake rushed to what certainly qualified as an inferno. A $7 million, nearly completed Rocky River condominium building on Hilliard Boulevard, just west of the Hilliard Roa…

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I’ve been stressing for a couple of months about my birthday, which I celebrated Saturday. I don’t really care about the number (well, I sort of do, but that’s another story). Rather, I have been worrying about renewing my driver’s license to the soon-to-be mandatory “compliant” license that…

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You might have heard that President Trump is proposing cuts to Social Security. He has insisted since he got on the campaign trail in 2015 that he would “not touch” Social Security or Medicare as president. He reiterated that pledge in a tweet last week after his fiscal year 2021 budget was …

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Fairview Park residents apparently hate being in the flight path for airplanes. The noise, noise, noise. It apparently drives them crazy. So much so, it seems that they want Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to fix the problem.

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Bay Village residents made it very clear two years ago they did not like plans for their new $7.5 million library. Too modern. Not practical. As a result, Cuyahoga County Public Library officials scrapped the plan, hired a new architect firm that did a deep dive into the city’s history, and,…

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Put politics aside, if you can, and consider the noble and inspiring history of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. It is given to individuals who have made “especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, t…

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Like many people, I have a “budgeted amount” based on usage that is automatically deducted each month by Dominion Energy. But because I have trust issues, I still open the bill each month to make sure the budgeted amount matches the bill. In January, I noticed a second pay envelope was inclu…

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On Jan. 21, a 24-year-old man was speeding down Interstate 90 in his 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan. Seconds after crossing from Lakewood into Rocky River, he got pulled over by Rocky River police doing 77 mph in a 60 mph zone. He had an open bottle of vodka in a Browns backpack in the car and poli…

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Kobe Bryant's awe-inspiring impact on the game of basketball will always be remembered. Even his retirement announcement in 2015, titled “Dear Basketball,” exacted the same control he showed on the court. It told a story about the love a 6-year old kid had for the game and how he dreamed of …

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A pro-life march was held in the snow and sleeting rain Saturday in front of the Planned Parenthood office in Rocky River. Both sides had their say. Nothing was solved. No one’s mind was changed. And everyone went home, probably to clear their walks and dry off with a nice hot beverage, feel…

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At 22 years old, Alison Donahue is among the youngest reporters covering Michigan's statehouse. She's held the job since last August.

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Seems like Christmas brings out the good in most. Donations and acts of kindness tend to tick up this month. Following a steady diet of news stories that are depressing, infuriating and frightening, it's good to press the pause button and think a bit about all the good people doing good thin…

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It seemed like the lead-up to the holidays took… for …. ever…. And then, suddenly, it was Thanksgiving and everything kicked into high gear. We blinked, the meal was over and Black Friday was upon us. Actually, Black Friday now starts on Thanksgiving, with stores like Target, Walmart and Koh…

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Many of us will spend the coming days at a local Christmas tree lot, or hauling an artificial tree out of an obscure space in the basement or storage room. The really ambitious will load kids into the car or van and drive to the country to chop down their tree.

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It is inevitable — and right — that this time of year we consider our blessings. As I was considering a topic for my column this week, I was drawn to writing down the many things for which I am grateful. Here is my humble assessment of what makes my life fulfilling.

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Every year, as the air chills, the skies turn a semi-permanent gray and life grinds into winter mode, I compose a long seasonal to-do list. Some are simple indoor projects. Some are about achieving life goals. Usually, there’s very little in between.

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I recently drove to Shaker Heights, a trip I make about once a month. While I was growing up on the West Side, my only trips east involved University Circle and … well, University Circle. For this recent trip — and, indeed, all my trips outside of my comfort zone — I use Waze, the phone app …

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My husband and I spent Saturday helping our daughter move into a room in a large, Athens, Ohio, century home. She is about to start a yearlong gig working for AmeriCorps. Her duties will include working on conservation and biology educational programs, as well as working with other AmeriCorp…

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We noticed something was wrong with our refrigerator the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend. It just didn’t seem cold enough when we opened the door. Mid-morning it became apparent something was seriously wrong. There was a puddle of water pooling near its base, the result of all the ice i…

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Let's start with some basics: Ohio law requires the state legislature to pass a budget every two years. It must be passed by both the House and Senate by June 30. It also mandates that the budget be balanced, so no deficit spending.

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The time between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July is what I’ve always considered the “sweet spot” of summer. You know that luxurious feeling of pure happiness just before you open your eyes and face the day? That’s the feeling I have for pretty much the whole month of June. Azaleas, dogwo…

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Most of us push away from the table three times a day full and satisfied. While we might debate whether some food we consume is good for us, the point is most of us do not go hungry.

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We are now in the fourth week of the expanded, new West Life. We merged our three papers — West Life, The Press and The North Ridgeville Press — into one entity that covers 12 West Side communities. So far, it seems as if people are loving it! Email, letter and phone responses have been abou…

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I’ve been a journalist and writer for a very long time. I’m not going to be specific because, well, that would make me seem old. And I’m not. Old that is. In the course of those oh-so-many years, I have developed trigger reactions to certain words, phrases and platitudes. And because I care …

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Former Rocky River Mayor Earl Martin passed away Mar. 28 at age 88. He will be remembered for decades of dedicated service to his beloved hometown. I will remember him for another reason. Earl was my neighbor.

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My husband and I lived for more than 20 years in a nice Lakewood bungalow-style house. We moved there when our oldest was 1 year old. Our son was born while we lived in that house. It was home.