Art by the Falls ‘stunning success’

The sun shone on Valley Art Center’s 36thAnnual Art by the Falls and all reports are that it was a stunning success! The event attracted more than 10,000 visitors to Chagrin Falls June 8 and 9. This year’s festival featured over 120 artists from throughout the country, demo tents, talented musicians, delicious food, a non-profit village, pop-up performances and stilt walkers from the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Parade the Circle.We are grateful to all those who made our event such a stunning success, especially our patrons who come out every year to support the arts, rain or shine.

Special thanks to the generous funding and support of our major sponsors who make the event possible – Presenting: Chemical Bank; Platinum: Cleveland Magazine; Gold: All American Gutter Protection, Central Window Cleaning, South Franklin Circle, W F Hann & Sons; Silver: Home Savings; Bronze Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce, Dominion Energy, First Federal Lakewood, Hamlet of Chagrin, Heinen’s Fine Foods, Signs by Tomorrow, The Chagrin Falls Family Health Center, Warren Henry Music, Chagrin Falls Panini’s Bar and Grill, Chagrin Pet & Garden, Drone Ohio, Fred Astaire, Highway Garage, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Master Pizza, Ohio Ceramic Supply, Party Safari, PODS, POP Culture CLE, Tame Rabbit; Media Sponsors: Ideastream, WKSU, CAN Journal-Collective Arts Network and Chagrin Valley Times. All our programs are supported in part by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and Ohio Arts Council.

Kudos to the dedicated VAC staff: Jeni Yonker, Kate Bruner, Dan Simone, Linda Merchant and Becky Frazier. Your organizational skills and can-do attitude made for an upbeat vibe and a smooth process. We are grateful for our engaged and committed Board of Trustees, patient zone leaders and nearly 200 amazing volunteers who carried artwork, sold raffle tickets, painted faces, assisted artists and kept the park clean. The artists could not say enough kind words about your assistance and positive energy, especially after setting up in a slightly soggy park!

Thank you to the Village of Chagrin Falls for assisting us with our park needs and the Chagrin Falls Police Department and Chagrin Valley REACT for maintaining security. Thank you to Chagrin Falls Schools for taking care of our parking needs. We appreciate our Riverside Park neighbors at Chagrin Hardware, Bell & Flower, Cuffs Clothing, the Chagrin Falls Library and the supportive, patient residents on Orange Street.We are especially grateful to the Chagrin Valley Jaycees who helped with our signage and onsite needs at the park.

Last but not least, we acknowledge our skilled artists, nonprofit exhibitors, stage performers and food vendors. Thank you for bringing great talent to our community!

Mary Ann Briesch

VAC executive director

Allyson Dean

Art by the Falls volunteer coordinator

Issues are the point

In response to the Rev. Morris Eason’s recent letter to the editor, I would like to say no to the good reverend,  I do not hate Judge Timothy Grendell. To those not reading Mr. Eason’s letter he stated that I must hate the good judge.

Judge Grendell is actually a very charming and likeable person when he tries to be charming and likeable. I have had a number of conversations with him in the past and we have gotten along just fine. What I dislike fervently is the way he has run the park systems he has appointed commissioners to since his appointment and later election as probate judge in Geauga County. The good judge has not been at all shy about firing park board commissioners whom he has not agreed with. In fact, he has probably fired or not reappointed more commissioners than any probate judge in recorded history. So one can easily assume that what the commissioners and the Geauga Park District Executive Director John Oros do is in agreement with the good judge.

The latest comments by Geauga Parks Board of Commissioners President Andrej Lah at the May park commissioners meeting well illustrates the wrong direction the park district has been going. Mr. Lah expressed his enthusiasm about selling wetland mitigation credits in the future ostensibly to provide funding for the park district while at the same time they are reducing the millage on a park levy up for renewal this autumn. To those not familiar with wetland mitigation credits let me explain:

An organization like the park district can sell wetland mitigation credits to a broker for cash. Those credits that the park has sold prevent the park wetland from being destroyed.    Funny, I thought we started park districts to protect wetlands and other natural areas.  Why should the park district owned wetlands need protection?  Well, to proceed, those credits can then be bought from the broker by some so-called developer who wishes to destroy  some pristine wetland somewhere to put up, say, a Walmart or a soccer stadium for example. In essence the park district is getting paid to destroy some wetlands elsewhere. Is that why we have park districts, to facilitate the destruction of wetlands?

After Mr. Lah’s proposal none of the other commissioners had any related comments to make.  Perhaps they had no idea what wetland mitigation credits were and did not wish to look stupid by asking questions. Several of us at the May meeting would gladly have commented but citizens are not allowed to ask questions or make comments at commissioners meetings. You can see an unedited video of the entire May commissioners meeting and listen to Mr. Lah’s comments by going to protectgeaugaparks.us.

Once again Rev. Eason, in the words of the Donald, “So sad.” 

John G. Augustine

Parkman Township

Vets fair makes impact

Congratulations to the Geauga County Department of Veterans Services on its successful Veterans Fair, and thank you for providing the Geauga County Probate Court with the opportunity to participate in this great event.

Geauga County veterans had the opportunity to obtain helpful information from numerous government offices and veterans agencies and organizations.

The Veterans Services Board and staff did a great job. As they say in the military, “hoorah!”

Timothy Grendell

Geauga probate judge

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