To the Editor:

The Marooners fully support Issue 11 on the May 4 ballot. The issue is a 4.9-mill operating levy for the schools. However, with 1.0 mill dropping off, the net effect is 3.9 mill, amounting to $11.74 per month per $100,000 of valuation.

The Marooners believe that this levy is crucial for the Rocky River City School District to maintain its stature as one of the top-rated school districts in Ohio and to continue its role of providing our kids with a solid academic foundation for future success. The RRCSD is without peer in providing students with the academic, emotional, and social support they deserve.

The Marooners is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that benefits Rocky River football players at all levels (Youth, RRMS and RRHS). Our programs and support benefit the players on and off the field, and in the classroom. Our Board of Trustees is made up of former Rocky River varsity football players. Most of us have or have had students in the RRCSD. In pursuit of our mission, we closely interact with players, coaches, and school administration. Our positive experience in these interactions is the underlying reason we believe in supporting Issue 11.

As an organization, The Marooners ask for your support of Issue 11. Not only for the benefit of our kids, but the benefit of the community itself. Award-winning schools support award-winning communities where residents prefer to live. Our kids deserve our support. Our community deserves our support.

Mike FitzGibbon

Rocky River

To the Editor:

During this National Library Week, I reflect on the importance of the Avon Lake Public Library in our community as it celebrates its 90th anniversary. According to Andrew Carnegie, “[a] library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.” As a patron and trustee of the Avon Lake Public Library, I wholeheartedly agree.

Having a vibrant public library is a direct reflection on the vibrancy of the community. The Avon Lake Public Library is a sanctuary for knowledge, resources and community gatherings (post-pandemic, of course). The ALPL not only has an expanding collection that includes digital media, musical instruments and equipment but also provides a hands-on learning environment for children in DiscoveryWorks. While I have always noticed the friendly and helpful staff as well as the well-maintained building, it was not until I joined its Board of Trustees in 2019 that I saw how much pride, diligence and community support go into making the Avon Lake Public Library a neighborhood gem. Just in the last five years, over 1 million people visited the ALPL and the ALPL circulated over 2 million items and offered over 2,000 programs!

In the upcoming May 4 election, I encourage all Avon Lake voters to show our support and pride in the Avon Lake Public Library by voting YES to approve the RENEWAL of its current 2.8-mill operating levy. The operating levy is a renewal and, therefore, ensures no additional taxes over what property owners currently pay and preserves the state’s homestead/rollback pickup of 12.5% for senior citizens. Therefore, join me in voting YES on Issue 19 in the upcoming election!

Deborah Yue

Trustee, Avon Lake Public Library

Avon Lake

To the Editor:

Like other surrounding communities, Avon Lakers see the extraordinary courage and fortitude of our local first responders, helping the community get through these turbulent times.

These men and women are here for us 24/7. Let's be there for them with a "yes" vote for the Ambulance and EMS Services levy on May 4, 2021.

Early voting has already begun at the Lorain County Board of Elections.

Ann Seltzer

Avon Lake

To the Editor:

Two of the many things that make Avon Lake a desirable place to live are the Avon Lake Public Library and the Avon Lake Fire Department (paramedic & EMT services). The library has served the community for 90 years and has continually made improvements to make it state of the art. Residents have a large selection of books and audio/video selections to choose from as well as educational programs for children and adults. The well-trained staff works hard to make the library a great place to explore the world.

Our firefighter/paramedics are the best of the best. The staff has excellent training and they serve with dedication and compassion. Whether fighting a fire or responding to a call for a health issue, residents can rest assured that they are in good hands. It's not just a job to them, it is a calling. These two RENEWAL levies are on the ballot for the May 4 election and will not raise taxes.

Avon Lake's library and Fire Department Emergency Medical Services are valuable assets that residents count on. In order to maintain and continue this quality of service, we need to make sure that they are funded adequately. The Avon Lake Democrats Club endorses both of these levies. We urge residents to do the same and keep Avon Lake the great community that it is by supporting these issues.

Early voting has started at the Lorain County Board of Elections. You can vote there in person or by mail prior to Election Day or you can vote in person on May 4 at your polling place. Don't miss out on the opportunity to support these services that we all enjoy and depend on.

Jean Sekulic

Chair Avon Lake Democrats

Avon Lake

To the Editor:

As a long-term resident of the city of Rocky River and a former member of the Rocky River Board of Education, I urge all citizens to vote Yes on Issue 11.

The Rocky River City School District has been an excellent steward of resources entrusted to it by the community. The school board members, the school administration and teaching staff have operated the district efficiently, consistently stretching voter-approved levy funds beyond the original projections. Further, using those resources; our school district’s record over the past decade in the state of Ohio academic rankings has been exemplary. This past year Rocky River received an overall “A” on the state report card.

The passage of Issue 11 will assure the children of the Rocky River community will continue to receive the same level of resources, services and opportunities we have always made available to our children.

The Rocky River City School District has been a faithful community partner. The district’s efforts working together with Mayor Pamela Bobst, members of Rocky River City Council and civic and service organizations has made our community a great place to work, to live and raise a family.

Let’s keep our community strong and our children well educated by supporting Issue 11.

Fred M. DeGrandis

Rocky River

(Note: Fred DeGrandis was a member of the Rocky school board from 1992 to 2003)

To the Editor:

I write at this time to urge the voters of Avon Lake to continue their support for one of its community treasures, Avon Lake Public Library. The library is on the May 4 ballot as Issue 19, asking for a renewal of its 2.8-mill operating levy. This straight renewal ensures no additional taxes over what the property owner currently pays, and also preserves the state’s homestead/rollback pickup of 12.5% for senior citizens. The owner of a $100,000 home pays $7.02 per month for the library – roughly the equivalent of a half-pound of my favorite coffee beans from Rio Café.

I was director of Avon Lake Public Library when the library was last on the ballot in 2016. At that time, we also asked the community for a straight renewal of the 2.8 millage. Much has happened in the ensuing five years, including new library leadership, and a pandemic with its resulting economic challenges. But not unexpectedly, the library has responded to patron needs during this unique time while continuing its good stewardship of public funds.

As the library celebrates 90 years of serving the community, over the past five years it has expanded its partnerships with community organizations and businesses; introduced curbside service, online programming, and curated book selections; prioritized literacy; maintained the integrity and sustainability of its building; and circulated over 2 million items, offered 2,000 programs, and had over 1 million visitors.

Please support Issue 19 on May 4 – your public library, an outstanding community resource.

Mary P. Crehore, Director (retired)

Avon Lake Public Library

residing in Amherst

To the Editor:

On Tuesday, May 4, the Rocky River City School District will ask voters to support Issue 11, a 4.9-mill levy that would help maintain high-quality academics and social-emotional support for all students. With 1.0 mill set to expire, the net effect of this levy is 3.9 mills.

If approved, the combined operating (4.65 mills) and permanent improvement (0.25 mill) levy would help maintain class sizes; extend tutoring and summer programming; expand K-5 nutrition services for students; ensure a technology refresh program; and maintain school resource officer programs and a nurse in each school.

The district last passed a levy in 2017. Since then, its leadership has been aggressive in containing costs. Approving the levy would ensure the district has a balanced budget for at least four more years.

Please remember that strong schools help build strong communities.

Dr. Kathy McFarland, Deputy Chief Executive

Ohio School Boards Association

Columbus OH

To the Editor:

I would like to thank the staff of West Life for including photos of nature in the issues. I was particularly fond of the owl that was pictured a few weeks ago and enjoy the eagle updates. The Cleveland area is very fortunate to have the Cleveland Metroparks System, the many metro parks in our suburbs and being on the western edge of the Atlantic Migratory Flyway. Getting out for a walk in nature is a great way to de-stress, enjoy the spring wildflowers and observe our feathered friends who are increasingly depending on us for their survival.

Our small perching bird populations have been plummeting for several decades; loss of habitat is one of the major factors. You do not have to be a metro park to help them! Making changes in your own backyard will make your property a haven to birds like the Northern Oriole (migratory flying distance, 1,000 miles).

Outdoor cats kill billions of birds every year. Cats and birds are a disastrous combination (disclaimer I own two indoor cats). When you cut down a tree, you take away someone’s home! You may think the birds are able to move to the next tree, but that would be like you losing your home and moving in with your neighbors permanently. Animals have their own territory just as we do especially during nesting and breeding seasons. So planting native trees, shrubs and perennials, putting out a birdbath and keeping your feline friends indoors would all be helpful and appreciated. If you want to go the extra mile and put out seed, suet and mealworms, good for you.

Westlake has been awarded the title of a “Tree City USA.” Let’s try to do our part in helping to keep the forest canopy healthy. Trees reduce stormwater runoff, air, water and noise pollution. They increase the rental rates of business properties and the sale prices of homes. Pay it forward for future generations – plant a tree this Earth Day.

Suzanne Rusnak

Westlake

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