Posts in category Newsletter

Your Neighbor: Harriet Allen

Harriet Allen is an active member of the Lomond Association. She is a reporter for the newsletter and heads the “Gift Ad Hoc Committee” appointed to celebrate the Association’s 50th by giving gifts to the community and those who serve it. The next Association gift will be 52 bike helmets for Lomond School children who have bikes but no helmets. Harriett founded the organization “Caps for Kids” which is mentioned in the interview. The knitters in her group have kept many children’s heads warm for a number of winters. In addition, Harriett volunteers at Hope Lodge in Cleveland.

Below is a video interview with Harriet from Fox 8 news.

Your Neighbors: The Johnsons

P1040055Let’s meet the Johnson family. They came to the Lomond community because of the diversity and the wonderful school system. Emhonta Johnson is the father of this family. He was born in Akron, Ohio. Emhonta has a Ph.D. in molecular biology. He is a professor at the Tri-C Western Campus where he teaches microbiology and biochemistry. His favorite subject in school was genetics. Emhonta is on the board of the Cleveland Philharmonic and the Arc of Greater Cleveland.

Sabrina Johnson is the mother of the family. She was born in Toledo, Ohio. Sabrina has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education administration. She is a Facility Manager of the Summit Board of Developmental Disabilities. Her favorite subject in school was human development. Sabrina is the troop leader of Girl Scout troop 1967.

Ja’el Johnson is the oldest child. He was born in Columbus, Ohio. Ja’el is 15years old and attends the Shaker Heights High School. His favorite subject is English. Ja’el wants to be an Athletics Manager and a Sports Medicine Doctor when he grows up. Ja’el is in the orchestra and plays the violin. He also enjoys basketball and baseball.

Elijah is the middle child. He is 14 and attends Gahana Lincoln High School. Elijah’s favorite subject is language arts. He runs cross country for the Gahana Lions.

Jacqueline Johnson is the youngest child and the only girl. She was born in Omaha, Nebraska and attends Woodbury. Jacqueline Johnson is 11 years old and her favorite subject is math. When she grows up she wants to fill the shoes of her father and get a Ph.D. in biology. She is in Girl Scout troop 1967 and would love if you all buy her cookies. She enjoys basketball.

Emhonta likes to take the family bowling, skating, and likes to watch anime. He also takes the neighborhood boys to dodge ball at Gridley Park and also paintballing. The family has a dog named Zaraki Johnson. He loves hugs and kisses and also squeaky toys. He enjoys watching movies and running around and sleeping.

By Jacqueline Johnson (age 11)

Know Your Neighbors Series Continued…

Pam and John Addison and their Children

addison-familyWith a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology from Iowa State University in Ames, Des Moines native Pam (not yet Addison) moved to Cleveland to do graduate work at Cleveland State University. She had seen John Addison at educational events in Cleveland, but did not know him until he consulted the City of Cleveland Central Tax Collection Agency, where Pam helped him straighten out his taxes. From this unusual introductory encounter they got to know each other very well. On August 3rd they celebrated their twenty-ninth wedding anniversary.

John, who grew up in the Fairfax neighborhood of Cleveland, began his career in education teaching English at the Patrick Henry Junior High School in Cleveland and later Social Studies at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Junior High School. He was chosen to be the Director of “The Street Academy” for the Greater Cleveland Urban League. The Street Academy program helped school dropouts complete High School and prepare for college. This program was later taken over by the Cleveland Public School system.

John came to Shaker Heights to lead “Push Excel” at Shaker Heights High. This program, operated by the national Push Excel and the Shaker Heights School system, involved parents and the community in encouraging African-American students’ academic aspirations and achievement. When Dr. Peter Horoschak became SH School Superintendent, he made John his Administrative Assistant. During a career of more than thirty years in Shaker John also served as Assistant Principal at Woodbury, at the High School, Principal at the Lomond School twice, Interim Principal at the Boulevard School and at the Malvern School in its last year of operation.

addison-family2After retiring, John, whose volunteer activities had led him deep into Cleveland life and especially into meeting the needs of his church community, became an ordained Deacon of the Antioch Baptist Church this past July. John belongs to the “Bolton Buddies,” a group helping grandparents who foster their grandchildren. It tutors children and lends assistance in various ways to these families. Antioch is helping the Fairfax CDC develop and sustain a library and garden at the Langston Hughes’ home on 86th St. between Quincy and Cedar. Skilled in doing plaster work, dry wall repair and painting, John lent his talents to the restoration of “Mary’s House” on E 79th St., a place where women facing challenges can receive advice and resources. Eventually Antioch plans to renovate houses in Fairfax and undoubtedly John will take part in this project. As a Deacon, John keeps in communication with people who need spiritual counseling. He shepherds the elderly and shut-ins and he teaches Sunday school to six lively children from six to eight years of age.

John is involved with the NAACP’s ACTSO program, which encourages talented African-American students with a broad range of talents to develop and utilize their gifts. As a member of the Lomond Association, he has served as Vice President for Community Affairs and has been involved in exploring possible programs which might help Shaker youth in need of out-of-school programming. He is presently serving in an advisory capacity for the “Youth Center” and is on the Board of “Impact,” the after-school program for Middle School children at the First Unitarian Church. John is especially happy about his role as Treasurer for the “Ebony Bobcats”, the alumni group of his alma mater, Ohio University. In three years it has raised $38,000 toward a goal of $300,000 for the President Rod McDavis Urban Scholars Endowment Fund. This scholarship will support an African-American student for four years of college. The University has recently joined this group in raising money to endow this scholarship.

John’s concern for others and his dedication to community service and to social justice are shared by his family. Pam, a Deaconess at Antioch, where she sings in the Gospel Choir and belongs to the “Antioch Ringers”, the bell choir, has served on the “Friends of the Shaker Library Board” and has co-chaired book sales. She also was active in the PTA. As a stay-at-home Mom, her friends would complain that they could not reach her by telephone because she was rarely at home. While in college their daughter, Bishara, volunteered for “Towards Employment”, a non-profit in Washington, D.C., which helps the unemployed and former felons obtain jobs. She is Project Manager for “Strategy Implementations at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.” Her younger brother, Asim, who, not surprisingly, also is interested in people, is pursuing his undergraduate studies in psychology at Cuyahoga Community College. Together and individually the Addisons are engaged in making this a fairer and better world in which to live.

Get to Know Your Neighbors: The First in a Series of Profiles of Lomond Residents

Patti Golden: Preserving and Enhancing Lomond’s Beauty
Patti GoldenIt should come as no surprise to those who know her that Patti Golden, whose home and garden exemplify her appreciation of beauty, would generously volunteer her time to enhance the quality of Lomond’s natural environment. She serves on the Lomond Association’s “Beautification and Preservation Committee,” chaired by David Thal, the committee responsible for the hanging flower baskets on Lomond Blvd., the plant exchanges in spring and fall in Sussex and at Gridley Park, the renovation of Gridley Triangle Park, and other projects which have helped to improve and sustain the beauty and livability of our Lomond neighborhood. Patti takes pleasure in seeing Lomonders walking and jogging along Lomond Boulevard with its baskets overflowing with red begonias and families happily gathering at Gridley Triangle to visit and play.

Patti, husband Bob Bonthius and their two daughters Becca and Liza moved here from Cleveland Heights fifteen years ago to benefit from the Shaker Heights public school system, Shaker’s cosmopolitan blend of residents, and the convenience of the neighborhood. Bob, a lawyer with Legal Aid, is able to ride to work quickly on the rapid, while Patti works nearby at the Shaker Heights Main Library. Both daughters, now young adults, feel comfortable in a wide world of differing cultures. Becca resides in Paris, France, while Liza lives in Cleveland.

Patti with her fondness for the wildlife in our neighborhood feeds the birds and squirrels with peanuts and seed. If she might want to sleep late on weekends, the blue jays station themselves on the wires by her window and squawk to wake her if the feeding stations are empty. Goldfinches, red throated grosbeaks and even a hawk visit the Bonthius garden. During this interview friendly squirrels were happily munching on peanuts.

It should be noted that Bob’s mother, Betty, formerly a Counselor at the High School, had also lived in Lomond and that Bob’s brother, his wife and their children live catty corner from Patti and Bob also on Lomond Boulevard. The Lomond Association appreciates the contributions of Patti and her family to the quality of life in our community. Thank you, Patti!

Katie Ong-Landini: Profile of another Neighbor Who Is Making a Difference

Katie Ong-LandiniWhen Katie and her husband, Michael Landini relocated from Washington, D.C. to the Cleveland area, they found a lovely house on a hill in Lomond. They moved to Shaker because of its reputation as a great community and its access to rapid transit, which Katie used to commute to her job in downtown Cleveland. After growing up in Hudson, Ohio and graduating from Amherst College with a degree in history, Katie spent six years in Washington, D.C. where she worked for the National Alliance of Business and The US Conference of Mayors. In 1994, Katie accepted a job in government affairs for the Greater Cleveland Growth Association, where she worked until her son was born the following year.

While working on infrastructure projects in Cleveland, Katie became interested in and involved with issues related to the sustainability of the environment and serving others. These interests translated into her activities as a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Shaker. As a church member, Katie runs youth ministry, worked with the City to start a church community garden, works with other volunteers to host homeless families for “Family Promise” three times each year, and volunteers for many church activities. Recently, Katie was one of the organizers for the Beating of the Bounds ceremony at Christ Episcopal Church, in which the members of the church, joined by our vice mayor, Rob Zimmerman, blessed the Van Aken-Warrensville redevelopment area, offering prayers for the construction workers, the businesses, the neighborhood residents, the City and the developers as they reconfigure this district.

In 2010 while attending a convention for the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, Katie heard the Bishop propose that a camp and retreat center be established where families and young people could learn about growing and preparing food, as well as about protecting the environment for future generations. Katie offered to help. She is now employed as the project director of the Camp and Retreat Ministry for the Diocese which includes 48 northern counties and 86 Episcopal parishes in Ohio. Katie is currently traveling to every parish in the Diocese to raise money for the camp. The Diocese expects to break ground for the camp in Wakeman Township, Huron County in late 2015 or early 2016. The camp will offer experiential learning opportunities on the farm and in the kitchen. In addition to nature study, it will have recreational activities such as swimming in the five acre lake on the property. The Diocese will open the camp to members of the community at large since part of the church’s mission is to serve people outside the church community.

For more information about the camp, please contact Katie at kong-landini@dohio.org.

Good Neighbors and World Citizens: the Simpson-Vlach Family

Simpson-Vlach-Family-v2Even with a family of four (parents, Rita and Alan; children, Andrew (6) and Marguerite (3)) with six pet hens, the Simpson-Vlachs’ “carbon-footprint” is small. Alan bicycles to Laurel School where he teaches mathematics. Rita, an “English as a Second Language” (ESL) teacher at CSU and Tri-C, when feasible, also commutes by bicycle. They even cut their grass with an old-fashioned reel push mower. While being interviewed for this article, Rita was painting a rain barrel to catch water for their garden. The family also composts and grows organic vegetables. In keeping with their wish to be self-sustaining and “green,” they were inspired by an Ann Arbor friend who raises chickens. They commissioned Cleveland Heights artist and carpenter, Tim Riffle, the owner of “Hive and Coop,” to design and construct a state-of-the-art chicken coop for their backyard. Meyer Hatchery supplied them with two Barred Rock hens, two Black Australorps, and two Buff Orpingtons, all winter hardy and good layers. Rita mentioned that when the family was driving home from the hatchery with their newly acquired chicks, Andrew, a preschooler at that time, expressed concern that because chicks have beaks, they would not be able to blow out their birthday candles. Of course Rita picked up on this idea and invited neighbors to the chickens’ first birthday party. The children blew out the candles while the hens happily wandered about the yard pecking at the grass.

Rita Simpson-Vlach with rain barrelAlthough born in Painesville, Rita, the daughter of a military intelligence officer, has lived in
many places in the United States and abroad. After graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in German, Rita spent two years in Thailand with the Peace Corps. Her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan is in linguistics. Alan, who also has lived in a number of different places, received a mathematics Ph.D. from Notre Dame University. When researching where to settle their family, they drew on their broad knowledge. Happily for this community Alan and Rita selected Lomond for its neighborliness and racial diversity. Since moving here Alan and Rita have started the “Weaving Cultures Family Camp” for multiracial families with adopted children such as they have. The proceeds from Rita’s recent neighborhood garage sale will help to support the camp. Lomond is indeed fortunate to have this talented, engaged, and interesting family.

(While being interviewed, Rita mentioned that she has a friend who is willing to conduct a rain barrel workshop for a small fee on top of the cost of a prepped rain barrel. Those interested can contact Rita via email: rsimplach@gmail.com)