Don’t judge a city by its rating
Local officials can get pretty glum when Cleveland Magazine releases its “Rating the Suburbs” edition, particularly if they don’t fare so well in the annual rankings.
But Avon Lake Mayor Rob Berner was all smiles at his golf outing Friday, because Avon Lake ranked fourth out of 66 suburbs.
“It’s a reflection on the quality of the community,” Berner said.
While the magazine ranked all communities in the various categories such as education, crime, home values and property taxes, it announced overall rankings for only the 20 top communities.
Avon, which ranked 14th, was the only other Lorain County community to make the top 20.
The ratings always brings complaints, but that doesn’t mean that suburbs who rank lower on the lists aren’t great places to live, said the magazine’s editor, Steve Gleydura.
“If you love your community, it’s the right community for you,” he said.
Four Lorain County communities were in the top 20 in separate rankings based on the increase of median home values — Avon was third, North Ridgeville fourth, Lorain 10th and Avon Lake 14th.
New housing developments in those areas probably account for the increases, Gleydura said.
As far as lowest property taxes, Amherst ranked second and Elyria fifth, he said.
— Cindy Leise
Operation Support Cavs
He’s doing his duty in Iraq, and now Master Sgt. Steve Jirousek wants the Cleveland Cavaliers to do theirs.
Things for the North Ridgeville native are going good; he’s carrying on his day-to-day missions supporting the U.S. military and coalition forces. Although doing the job means working 12- to 16-hour days in scorching triple-digit temperatures.
But between all that, Jirousek and several fellow Cavs fans took the time to don some jerseys and grab some noisemakers to cheer on their home team.
“All the way in Iraq and we still support our Cleveland teams,” Jirousek said in an e-mail Friday.
Notice the smiles.
This picture was taken as the group was getting ready for Thursday’s game — hours before the Cavs had a less than stellar debut in the finals.
Nonetheless, Jirousek said he is still smiling today.
Jirousek and wife, Paula, celebrated their fifth anniversary Friday.
“Happy anniversary, Paula,” Jirousek said. “As the sticker on my wife’s van says: ‘Military wife, the hardest job in the Army.”
— Lisa Roberson
The British are coming … and they’re bringing some friends.
About 75 members of the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain, most of whom call England home, will invade Cedar Point for their biannual, two-week cross-country “Coaster Heaven” tour of American amusement parks.
“They always like to end on a bang, so they finish up at Cedar Point,” said park spokesman Bryan Edwards. “They’re just here to ride coasters for two weeks, and we’ve got what they love.”
The Sandusky park, home to a record 17 roller coasters, is the clear favorite of the club’s members.
“There is no point visiting America on a roller coaster tour if you don’t stop by Cedar Point,” said Andy Hine, chairman of the 1,200-plus member club that represents 15 countries.
The group will get some special perks such as exclusive early morning rides on the park’s new $21 million Maverick, and late-night trips aboard Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster after the park closes.
The 4,450-foot-long Maverick accelerates riders up to 57 mph before propelling them over a 105-foot, 95-degree lift hill, through a series of sharp twists, banks and hairpin curves, and through a 400-foot tunnel in which they accelerate to 70 mph.
Delayed two weeks for replacement and testing of an over-stressed section of steel track, the early verdict on Maverick has been resoundingly positive.
“Some people say it combines the best parts of all our coasters … the fast launch of Wicked Twister, the smoothness of Millennium Force and the air time of Magnum,” Edwards said.
More roller coaster buffs will get their say next weekend when 1,200-plus people descend on Cedar Point for the 19th annual CoasterMania!
— Steve Fogarty