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Jeff Bracken advocates stewardship through science

Planting the Seed William Henry Fouse Westerville Promenaders Taste of Westerville

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CityScene Media Group 1335 Dublin Rd., Suite 101C Columbus, Ohio 43215 614-572-1240 • Fax 614-572-1241

Gianna Barrett Vice President, Sales

Dave Prosser Chief Creative Officer

Nathan Collins Managing Editor

Mallory Arnold Assistant Editors Rocco Falleti

Amanda DePerro Contributing Editor

Laura Baird Contributing Writers Tessa Flattum Sophia Fratianne Marissa Smithinsky Taylor Woodhouse

Lydia Freudenberg Brand Loyalty Specialist 320 S. State Street, Suite M – Westerville, Ohio 43081 614.662.2811

Kathleen K. Gill President/CEO

Diane Trotta Advertising Director

Laurie Adams Advertising Sales Susan Curran

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Circulation 614-572-1240

City of Westerville

Christa Dickey Community Affairs



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● The comfort and familiarity of a residential home ● Higher staffing levels (1 caregiver per 2–3 residents) ● Fewer residents to reduce agitation and confusion “After my wife had spent a few months in a memory care unit of a local assisted living facility, I observed that she wasn’t getting the level of care I expected. I was paying for a nice building, amenities that she never used, and overhead expenses unrelated to her direct care. When she moved into The Mitchell House I immediately felt at peace” Rich 360 N. West St Westerville, OH 43082 CALL TODAY: (614) 506-2890 STATE LICENSED


CityScene Magazine Dublin Life Magazine Tri-Village Magazine Healthy New Albany Magazine Pickerington Magazine Discover Grove City Magazine The publisher welcomes contributions in the form of manuscripts, drawings, photographs, or story ideas to consider for possible publication. Enclose a SASE with each submission or email ncollins@ Publisher does not assume responsibility for loss or damage. The appearance of advertising in Westerville Magazine does not constitute an endorsement of the advertiser’s product or service by the City of Westerville. Westerville Magazine is published bimonthly in January, March, May, July, September and November. For advertising information or bulk purchases, contact Diane Trotta at No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publishers. Westerville Magazine is a registered trademark of CityScene Media Group. Printed in the U.S.A. ©2019


MAY/JUNE 2019 VOL. 18 NO. 5


CityReporter News and Information from the City of Westerville

06 community calendar 09 city reporter

News and Information from the City of Westerville

15 faces

Lawnmower Man

East Coast transplant aims to revolutionize lawncare

18 in focus

Basil, Butterflies and Bath Bombs Local chemistry teacher helps students succeed with hands-on projects

20 Breaking Barriers


The life and legacy of William Henry Fouse

24 Step it Up

Westerville Promenaders celebrate 61st anniversary

26 living

A Backyard Garden Oasis

Westerville gardens attract more than just the community bees

28 on the table


@westervillemagazine Read more online at

Around the World

Taste of Westerville celebrates 16th year with deliciousness from around the globe

30 Bookmarks This issue’s Around Westerville can be found at

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nie Con ski ow Sad

search for homes Westerville Expert YOUR DREAM REALTO R ®

Connie Sadowski, REALTOR®

RE/MAX Premierchoice #1 Mobile 614-943-0025 Office 614-436-0330

On the Cover Photo by John Nixon Photography Story on page 18

May/June 2019



SAT FRI THU 4 3 2 11 10 9 8 18 7 17 6 16 5 15 25 14 24 13 23 12 22 21 31 20 30 19 29 28 27 26


Mark Davanzo, MD


Board Certified

General, Laparoscopic & Oncologic Surgery Serving the Westerville community since 1985

May 1-Oct. 30

Westerville Farmers’ Markets Uptown Westerville Farmers’ Market: 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays, corner of North State and East Home Streets, May 1-Oct. 30, www. Westerville Saturday Farmers’ Market: 9 a.m.noon Saturdays, Grove St., May 18-Oct. 12., www.

Hernia Surgery Intestinal Surgery Breast and Colon Cancer Surgery Hernia repairs can be performed using mesh or no mesh Same day or next day appointments are available

380-898-5520 477 Cooper Road, Suite 440 Westerville, OH 43081 6 May/June 2019

May 5

May 16

St. Jude’s Discover the Dream 6 p.m., Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 4850 W. Powell Rd.,

May 19

Columbus Eagles vs. Cincinnati Sirens FC 7 p.m., Otterbein University, 1 S. Grove St.,

May 2

May 5

May 23

May 3

May 8

Westerville Community Prayer Breakfast 6:30-8 a.m., Westerville Community Center, 350 N. Cleveland Ave.,

Gallbladder Surgery

Inniswood Spring Plant Sale 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 4; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. May 5; Inniswood Metro Gardens, 940 S. Hempstead Rd., SpringFest 5K 8:30 a.m., Alum Creek Park North, 221 W. Main St.,

Taste of Westerville 6-9 p.m., The Lakes Golf & Country Club, 6740 Worthington Rd.,

Surgical Specialist

May 4-5


May 3

American Red Cross Blood Drive 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Westerville Public Library, 126 S. State St.,

May 3

The He’Art of Concord 5-8 p.m., Concord Counseling Services, 700 Brooksedge Blvd., www.

May 3-19

Curtain Players Theater presents Epic Proportions 8 p.m. May 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18; 2 p.m. May 5, 19; Curtain Players Theater, 5691 Harlem Rd., wwww.

Westerville Symphony presents Masterworks 3 5 p.m., Fritsche Theatre, Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St.,

Party at the Creek 6-8 p.m., Alum Creek Park North, 221 W. Main St.,

May 24

Meet the Author: Bob Shea 7-8 p.m., Westerville Public Library, 126 S. State St.,

Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Friday: Back to Nature 6-9 p.m., Uptown Westerville,

May 11

May 24-27

May 11

May 25-Aug. 18

May 11

May 26

Honor Flight Columbus Pancake Breakfast 7:30-10:30 a.m., American Legion Post, 393 E. College Ave., Westerville Garden Club Annual Plant Sale 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Masonic Lodge, 130 S. State St., Run for Heroes 9 a.m.-noon, Sharon Woods Metro Park, 6911 Cleveland Ave.

Field of Heroes 24 hours a day, Westerville Sports Complex, 325 N. Cleveland Ave., Selections from the Pizzuti Collection Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, 145 E. Main St., Field of Heroes 5K Westerville Sports Complex, 325 N. Cleveland Ave.,

May 16

College Funding & Planning Workshop 6:30-8:30 p.m., Meeting Room A, Westerville Public Library, 126 S. State St., Run for Heroes

Sponsored by the Westerville Visitors & Convention Bureau For more events, visit

June June 2

Jorgensen Farms Spring Open House Noon-4 p.m., Jorgensen Farms, 5851 E. Walnut St.,


June 7

Westerville Lion’s Club Annual Fundraiser Dinner 4-8 p.m., American Legion Post 171, 393 E. College Ave.,

June 8

Taking Tea with the Civil War Herb Lady 10 a.m.-noon, Hanby House, 160 W. Main St.,

June 9

Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk 8 a.m., Westerville Sports Complex, 325 N. Cleveland Ave.,

June 9

Community Band Festival Noon-9 p.m., Alum Creek Park, 221 W. Main St.,

June 14

Arts in Uptown 6-7:30 p.m., Uptown Westerville,

Photos courtesy of USO Central and Southern Ohio and Westerville Area Chamber

June 14-Aug. 9

Sounds of Summer Concert Series 6:30 p.m. Sundays, Alum Creek Park North, 221 W. Main St.,

Taste of Westerville

June 15

Columbus Children’s Festival 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Westerville North High School, 950 Country Line Rd.,

June 22

Relay for Life of Westerville 3 p.m., Westerville North High School, 950 County Line Rd.,

June 28

Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Friday: Safety Fest 6-9 p.m., Uptown Westerville,

June 29

The Pride and Spirit of America 6 p.m., Westerville Central High School, 7118 Mt. Royal Ave.,

June 30

Columbus Eagles vs. AAFC Lumberjills 4 p.m., Otterbein University, 1 S. Grove St.,

We’re Just a Smile Away! Stephen R Malik, DDS –General Dentistry– Dr. Malik has more than 25 years of experience.

OFFERING: Gentle Caring Staff Same Day Crowns Botox® Juvéderm® Nitrous Oxide Saturday Appointments

June 15

Columbus Foam Fun Runs @ Columbus Children’s Festival 10 a.m.-noon, 950 County Line Rd.,

Accepting New Patients!

614.882.6741 180 Commerce Park Dr. Westerville, OH 43082 Located in office complex, last building on the left by the bike path.

May/June 2019


You Play. You Conquer. You Claim the Cup.

Join Us on the Field Sept. 28 at Otterbein University Build camaraderie. Get outside the office. Collaborate and compete against Central Ohio companies. The Community Cup 2019 Sports Challenge, presented by The Columbus Foundation, is a one-day challenge that rallies organizations to compete in contests for all skill levels.

This adult field day includes 13 events: • One-mile walk • 5k race • Basketball Shooting Competition • Cornhole

• • • • •

Dodgeball Hockey Shot Football Toss Frisbee Toss Golf Chipping

• • • •

Lacrosse Passing Soccer Kick Tug of War Wiffle Ball Home Run Derby

Visit for more information.



Westerville Residents Weigh In on City Services Westerville residents continued to indicate high levels of overall satisfaction with City programs and services, according to the results of the 2018 Community Survey. The biennial survey acts as a report card of sorts, providing Westerville leaders and staff important feedback with which they can examine the delivery of City programs and services. The 2018 Survey saw the community’s best participation with 2,081 respondents. The web-based survey was available from Dec. 1, 2018 - Jan. 2, 2019. Strategic Research Group, a Columbus-based survey research firm, was selected by the City to conduct the community poll. While feedback to the City through, social media and traditional communication channels is encouraged year-round, the next formal community survey will be sent to residents in late 2020.



friendly safe family/family-friendly Terms most commonly used by residents when asked to describe their City.

public safety & emergency management Top priority among respondents, replacing “Fiscal Management and Responsibility,” referenced as the primary area of importance over the past two cycles.


of residents say they are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the overall quality of City services.


of respondents agree that the City is doing a good job of managing retail and business growth.

The full summary of 2018 results, as well as prior years’ survey results, can be found at

May/June 2019



Staff Profile

Westerville Construction Manager Nate Lang work with the building structure, I’m involved with all of the public improvements that come along with those types of projects such as new subdivisions, whether it be coordinating with other departments or working through plan changes. What is the most rewarding experience you have had in your years with the City? I really enjoyed working on the green space in front of City Hall. It was a great project and it’s rewarding to see how much it is being used for public events throughout the year.

Westerville Construction Manager Nate Lang inspects progress along Cleveland Avenue in October 2018.

Spring is in full swing and that means improvement projects are underway in Westerville. For the past two-and-a-half years, these projects have been overseen by the City’s Engineering Division Construction Manager Nate Lang. With 11 years in the engineering field, Nate is a true problem solver, spending his days hopping from construction site to construction site to ensure things are going well. As a resident, Nate says he is personally invested in the success of improvement projects. When he’s not on the clock, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Lisa, and two young daughters, Anna and Claire. Why did you choose this career path? I always enjoyed building and working on things while growing up. I knew going into college that I wanted to follow a career path that would allow me to be around that type of environment. 10 May/June 2019

What’s the best thing about your job at the City? Why? I live in Westerville, so I use the facilities that we are improving. I really enjoy being able to see our work come to fruition and how it impacts the community. What Westerville improvement project has been the most memorable for you? I have really enjoyed working on the Cleveland Avenue and Schrock Road Improvement Project. It is a multi-agency effort that was almost entirely grant funded. It had its fair share of challenges, but in the end, I think it has been a great effort for the community that has really improved congestion. What’s something about your job that might surprise people? I think most people would be surprised by the amount of involvement I have with private development projects. Although I don’t necessarily

traffic alert

The City of Columbus began the widening of Polaris Parkway, between I-71 and Olde Worthington Road, on Monday, April 1. This work will require single-lane closures along westbound Polaris Parkway, just west of Worthington Road from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. This project also includes improvements for Orion, south of the Polaris intersection. Please plan for increased traffic in the area. Learn more from the City of Columbus: www. project-information/Polaris-Parkway/

Mark Your Calendars Looking for fun upcoming events in the City? Check out p. 6!


Public Safety Profile

Partnership Brings Safe Haven to Westerville for Victims of Domestic Violence

The Center for Family Safety and Healing at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in partnership with the City of Westerville opened a local facility in March, expanding their adult services, providing counseling and related supportive and advocacy services for adult victims of domestic violence in the community. The facility will allow the Center to reach more adults experiencing domestic violence. Center staff assist those in need by increasing safety, decreasing isolation and providing mental health treatment for trauma recovery. The organization also offers training on an initiative called “Where’s the Line?” which increases awareness of family violence and helps change behaviors of those who may witness such acts so that they take action. Find more information at If you are in need of assistance, call the central intake line at (614) 722-8293. This is not an emergency line. If you are in an emergency, call 911 immediately. For more information about The Center for Family Safety and Healing at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, visit www.

WHERE’S THE LINE SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING Emergency: 911 City of Westerville Non-Emergency: (614) 882-7444

Report suspected abuse directly to an Information Coordinator at The Center for Family Safety and Healing (Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.) CALL: (844) 234-LINE TEXT: 87028 LIVE CHAT: visit

City Working With Columbia Gas to Facilitate Uptown Improvements May/Early June 2019 to Oct. 31, 2019 ➜Late Columbia Gas completes line replacement work in phased approach

The heart of Westerville is in need of upkeep to ensure its continued viability. While the City has a list of improvements it plans to make to help improve Uptown Westerville’s walkability and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and more, Columbia Gas intends to replace the low-pressure gas line currently located beneath State Street with a medium-pressure service to improve service and safety. In the interest of minimizing the impact on Uptown merchants, visitors and residents, the City has agreed to the following schedule to accommodate both projects:

Aug. 2019 to Nov. 15, 2019 ➜Early City performs work not affected by Columbia Gas

Utility relocation, including signal equipment and improvements south of Park Street

1, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2019 ➜Nov. Construction zone secured*; no work 1, 2019 to late Sept. 2020 ➜Jan. City completes remaining work *Secured means all equipment removed, parking restored, sidewalks in place and full access to all properties.

City staff continues to work with Columbia Gas and Uptown stakeholders to plan logistics. Find the latest updates at www.westerville. org/uptown. May/June 2019



Economic Development Profile

Entrepreneurs Find Place in Westerville’s Coworking Spaces

Elevate Westerville

The City's economic strategy calls for the cultivation of a vibrant business ecosystem that can support and sustain the growth of companies from one to 5,001 employees (and beyond). Take a drive through Westerville and you’ll find proof of a thriving business community just about anywhere you turn. Longstanding household name companies and construction of new corporate headquarters all stand as billboards of sorts for the success of the City's intentional business development strategy. Westerville’s business community is not limited to corporate big-hitters. From freelancers to remote workers, startups and

more, the entrepreneurialtypes housed in less obvious coworking spaces are flourishing just the same. Here is a sampling of the newest coworking spaces across Westerville. Elevate Westerville Office Suites, 670 Meridian Way Expected to open in May, Elevate Westerville is the first standalone, purpose-built coworking space in the region. Featuring WeConnect fiberbacked internet, the two-story building consists of 151 individual office suites, four “high-tech” conferencing spaces and an open coworking area. elevatewesterville WestCo, 9 E. College Ave. Located in the heart of Uptown Westerville, WestCo boasts a community of designers, entrepreneurs, developers and more in what was Westerville’s first Masonic temple. The historic location features private offices,

WeConnect fiber-backed internet, 3D printers, whiteboards and lounge-style seating. The Nest Coworking, 1245 S. Sunbury Rd. A women-owned coworking space, The Nest Coworking offers private offices, coworking memberships, event space and “Masterminds” groups, where members can meet, discuss business and brainstorm. www.thenest The Point at Otterbein University, 60 Collegeview Ave. The City made a substantial financial commitment to the establishment of The Point at Otterbein University, an innovation center partnership with the University. The Point offers a unique collaborative environment where academics and innovation converge to support entrepreneurs and existing businesses. Also featuring secure WeConnect fiber-backed internet, The Point offers a number of coworking packages.

Support First Responders Park in May Work to expand First Responders Park, 374 W. Main St., is underway. Thanks to generous support from the state of Ohio, construction began in March and is expected to be complete this fall. The Westerville Parks and Recreation Department is working with corporate friends and partners that are interested in being a part of the project that will forever honor our first responders. Their help of funding the project will be recognized in various elements inside the site. Now residents, visitors and anyone interested in having a family or individual presence in the park can get involved. These special opportunities to leave a mark of support at the newly expanded First Responders Park will be available the month of May only. Large or small, each contribution to the park brings the community closer to its completion. Donations will be collected through the Westerville Parks Foundation. Your contribution in one of the three following categories may be submitted by May 31, 2019. For corporate donation opportunities and more information about supporting First Responders Park, visit 12 May/June 2019

Selfless Donation ($249 and below) Print recognition in park dedication brochure Bravery Donation ($250-$999) Name on plaque placed at park entrance, print dedication in park brochure and digital recognition on Westerville Parks Foundation Website. Dedication ($1,000 - $4,999) Name on plaque placed at park entrance, print dedication in park brochure and digital recognition on Westerville Parks Foundation Website.


Looking Ahead: 4th of July Festivities in Westerville The Rotary Club of Westerville has again planned a day of patriotic festivities for the Fourth of July. The theme for this year’s event is “God Bless the USA.” Here’s what to expect. The 5K Walk/Run and Children’s Run Registration for the Westerville Rotary July 4th 5K Walk/Run is now open at www. Day-of registration will begin at 6:30 a.m. at Alum Creek Park North (221 W. Main St.) The 5K Run/Walk will begin at 8 a.m., followed by the Children’s Fun Run at 9:15 a.m. and the award’s ceremony at 9:25 a.m. The Parade Organizations wishing to participate in the parade should turn in applications to the Westerville Rotary by Friday, June 14. Apply through the organization’s website at The parade will begin at St. Paul’s Catholic Church at 1 p.m. and head south on State Street to Electric Avenue. With improvements taking place in Uptown, be sure to check the City’s website at www. for updates as the event approaches. Family Fun Zone with Live Music, Food Trucks and Inflatables Held at Westerville South High School (303 S. Otterbein Ave.), the Westerville Rotary hosts an evening of live music, food trucks and fun activities before the fireworks show. Visit the Westerville Rotary’s website for the full schedule. The Fireworks Fireworks simulcast with 104.9 The River. For timing updates, follow the City of Westerville on Twitter, www. If fireworks are canceled due to weather concerns, they will be rescheduled for Friday, July 5 at dusk. Photos by Westerville residents Jim Richardson and Kevin Craiglow

May/June 2019


CityReporter This Day in History

100 Years Ago, The American Issue Publishing Company Incorporates

The American Issue Publishing Company once stood where the Westerville Public Library parking lot is now. Image courtesy of the Westerville Public Library.

A century ago, if you were walking along State Street in Westerville, perhaps you would have been able to feel the excitement of change in the air. In 1909, Westerville residents rallied to sell land (where the Westerville Public Library’s parking lot now stands) to be used by the Anti-Saloon League of America for their printing plant. The organization moved its operations to Westerville, The American Issue Publishing Company was incorporated in June 1909 and, as they say, the rest was history. This and hundreds of other fascinating facts, materials and artifacts are on display at the Westerville Public Library’s Local History Center. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., closed Sunday. Visit to learn more.

Westerville Community Contacts FIRE/MEDICAL/POLICE EMERGENCY. 9-1-1 Gas/Carbon Monoxide Leaks. . . . . . . . . . . 9-1-1 Mental Health Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-1-1 Fire, non-life threatening emergency. 882-2213 Police, non-life threatening emergency. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 882-7444 City Website. . . . . . . . . . . . . Community Affairs .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... 901-6400 Animal Control. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6863 Animal Removal (dead at roadside). . . 901-6740 Cemeteries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6740 City Manager’s Office. . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6400 TDD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6413 Clerk of Council. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6410 Digging (Ohio Utilities Protection Service). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-362-2764 Economic Development. . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6403 Electric Division . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6700 Electrical Outages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6700 Street Lights. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6700 Tree Trimming Near Electric Lines. . 901-6700 Finance Department . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6440 Fire Division Headquarters. . . . . . . . . 901-6600 CPR/First Aid Training. . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6600 Human Resources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6406 Income Tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6420 Leaf Collection. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6740 Mayor’s Court. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6419 TDD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6418 Parks & Recreation Department. . . . 901-6500 Inclement Weather Hotline . . . . . . . 901-6888 Administration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6530 Community Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6500 Everal Barn & Homestead . . . . . . . . 901-6570 Parks Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6591 Highlands Park Aquatic Center. . . . 901-7665 Recreation Program Center. . . . . . . 901-6531 Senior Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6560 Shelter Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6515 Urban Forestry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6598 Permits Building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6650 Burning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6600 Parade/Block Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6410 Security Alarm. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6482 Zoning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6650 14 May/June 2019

Planning & Development Department. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6650 Planning, Engineering & Zoning. . . 901-6650 Traffic Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6670 Code Enforcement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6816 Police Division Headquarters. . . . . . . 901-6450 Administration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6470 Detectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6475 Patrol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6482 Recorded Information Line. . . . . . . . 901-6879 Records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6450 Service Department. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6740 Sewer Emergencies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6740 Sewer Line Maintenance. . . . . . . . . 901-6740 Stormwater Hotline. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6740 Street Emergencies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6740 Street Maintenance Repairs. . . . . . . 901-6740 Trash/Recycling Collection. . . . . . . . 901-6740 Water Emergencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6740 Water Line Maintenance. . . . . . . . . . 901-6740 Traffic Violations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6419 Tree/Storm Damage (in right of way). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6591 After hours. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6790 Tree Trimming (in right of way). . . . . . . 901-6598 Utility Billing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6430 Water Plant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901-6770 Other Community Service Contacts Airport—Port Columbus. . . . . . . . . . . . 239-4083 Concord Counseling Services . . . . . . . 882-9338 COTA Bus Service. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228-1776 Delaware County General Information. . . . . . . . . 740-548-7313 Franklin County Board of Health. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 525-3160 Property Taxes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 525-3696 Voter Registration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 525-3100 Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital. . . . . 898-4000 Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 882-8917 Westerville Area Resource Ministry. . . 899-0196 Westerville City Schools. . . . . . . . . . . . 797-5700 Westerville Historical Society. . . . . . . . 891-0821 Westerville Library. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 882-7277 Westerville Visitors & Convention Bureau. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 794-0401

All area codes are 614 unless otherwise noted.

Westerville City Council (Front left-right) Mayor Craig Treneff, Chair Mike Heyeck, Vice Chair Diane Fosselman (Back left-right) Alex Heckman, Valerie Cumming, Tim Davey, Vice Mayor Kathy Cocuzzi

City Manager Dave Collinsworth Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter: All-City news and information: @tellwesterville Westerville Electric Division: @WvilleElectric Westerville Parks & Recreation: @WestervillePark Westerville Division of Police: @WestervillePD Westerville Division of Fire: @WestervilleFire


By Taylor Woodhouse Photos courtesy of Jeff Lattimer


eff Lattimer’s life is a classic success story. He is proof that a spark of inspiration can actually take you places – in this case, to Westerville. Lattimer and his family made the move from the East Coast to the Midwest almost seven years ago when his wife took a new job. They quickly found many of the Midwest tropes to be true: things were cheaper, people were nicer. Lattimer was also surprised to find that Columbus was becoming a hotbed for technology start-ups, fueled by the city’s innovative economy and strong foundation of education. Little did Lattimer know, he would end up utilizing those same factors when he started his own business. Lattimer initially worked for a large corporation, leveraging double majors in Industrial Systems Engineering and Technical Theater as a project manager. Somewhat accidentally, he encountered an automated lawnmower at a trade show. Just like that, he was hooked. Lattimer learned that while automated lawnmowers – often described as a Roomba for your yard – had been successful in Europe, there was a massive gap in the market of U.S. Industry-leading companies like Honda and Husqvarna. Enter Lattimer. He built a company, Autmow Robotic Mowing, that acts as a liaison between the manufacturer and the consumer, eliminating barriers by providing face-to-face installation and training services on the new technology. No one else is doing quite what he’s doing and his brainchild company has tripled in the last year alone, seeing increases in customers in central Ohio, in locations and employees. He is one of only eight companies in the U.S. that sits on Husqvarna’s roundtable for development, and regularly meets with Honda to discuss customer feedback. “It’s an adventure,” Lattimer says about starting his own business. “It’s the scariest, but most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. To leave the office cubicle and try to create something from scratch is incredibly rewarding. We’re really making the rules, because this industry doesn’t exist yet.” It certainly hasn’t been easy, though. In the span of just a few short years, Lattimer and his wife both underwent job transitions. At the same time, they’re raising a family. Lattimer recalls one incident in particular that was the breaking point, where

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the impact of working both his day job and new business took affect on his family. In response to this, he quit his corporate job to focus solely on his business and family. He’s learned valuable lessons along the way, such as when to lean on people and how to know when to ask for help. “The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to listen to what customers are asking, but also to my employees,” Lattimer says.

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Lattimer quit his corporate job, instead focusing solely on his business and family.

It’s clear that Lattimer is a non-stop person, evident in the time investment and hard work he’s put into his business. He’s the first to say that his mind is often in several different places at once, jumping constantly from one idea to another. He credits his employees for helping him remain focused at times. Getting to be out in the field instead of a cubicle helps too. He’s also always on the go outside of his business, spending time with family and engaging in active, healthy hobbies. Fitness is his outlet and a constant in his life. He has always strived to live a life filled with activity and philanthropy. Prior to the business, Lattimer volunteered as an EMT and rescue scuba diver. Most recently, he participated in Pelotonia. One of his favorite parts of running his own business is the people he can help. Automated mowers, it turns out, are ideal for the physically impaired. That can mean freedom and help to keep a person independent in their home. It’s something he feels strongly about and is happy to provide. “I’ve never called myself a sales person,” Lattimer says. “It’s about educating the person on what the product can do for them. Customers are family too. Everyone names their mower!” Lattimer’s mower is named Moe. A couple of his favorites have included Moses and Moana. This success story certainly won’t stop here. With Lattimer’s motivation and drive, we’re sure this businessman is “mowing” places.

“Eateries, entertainment and fitness options right outside my door!”

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Taylor Woodhouse is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at

May/June 2019


in focus

By Sophia Fratianne

Basil, Butterflies and Bath Bombs

Local chemistry teacher helps students succeed with hands-on projects


xcitement is growing at Westerville North High School. Jeff Bracken, chemistry teacher of 25 years, has been doing amazing things with the school hydroponics program since it began in 2007. With the help of his students, Bracken has been growing plants and produce which are then donated to the Westerville Area Resource Ministry, a local Westerville food pantry.

18 May/June 2019

Hydroponics is the unique method of growing plants without soil. With traditional growing methods, the soil is what provides the plants with the nutrients needed to thrive. However, plants grown in hydroponic gardens receive their nutrients from a water solution that the roots are exposed to. This method has its advantages, as plants are grown faster and produce more in the same amount of space as plants grown in soil. Bracken adds that the method reduces worry about insects or droughts but can be very labor intensive. After each harvest, the equipment must be cleaned and sterilized perfectly or else future plants run the risk of contamination by fungus. As to be expected, this method requires more supervision than the conventional method of growing plants in soil. Fortunately, Jeff Bracken Westerville North High School has plenty of helping hands, with many AP and first year biology students participating in the hydroponics program. What started as a donation of grow lights from the Westerville police has become a program of imaginative projects to keep the Westerville North students inspired. Over the years, Bracken has helped students grow lettuce, pineapple, tulips, hyacinths, strawberries, oregano, cherry tomatoes, peppers, marigolds, daffodil and basil, to name a few. When growing basil, Jeff reports hav-

Westerville North High School’s outdoor garden space.

ing approximately 840 plants at one time. After six months of delivering 11 pounds a week to local Italian restaurants, they were able to save enough money to purchase a commercial-grade cotton candy machine for studying the chemistry of food science. Another exciting project was hydroponically growing tropical milkweed for the purpose of raising monarch butterflies from eggs. In their first year, students raised 135 monarch butterflies. Using hydroponics, students were able to turn 30 milkweed plants into 300 in no time. Having a preference for this particular plant, the butterflies would eat and lay their eggs on the milkweed. After tracking the migration of the butterflies, organization Monarch Watch informed the high school that one of their butterflies had made it all the way to Mexico a couple of years ago. The high school has been fortunate to receive a number of grants, with approximately $16,000 being dedicated to

ing hydroponics alone. The students and staff enjoy giving back to the community by donating food grown at school to W.A.R.M. The faith-based social service organization provides a range of programs, such as HOPE, for the elderly and those with disabilities, and lunch clubs for children. The organization provides individuals with what W.A.R.M. describes as, “the tools necessary to promote family stability, improved selfesteem and increased self-sufficiency.” The nonprofit also offers food and financial assistance, as well as a jobs assistance program. In one year, students planted 24,000 carrot seeds for W.A.R.M. They also found that W.A.R.M. was receiving an abundance of tomatoes but not enough green beans so they set themselves the goal of growing more green beans to donate. A particular highlight for Bracken is how he and his students are always looking for their next challenge and how one project often rolls into another. He enjoys making discoveries, such as what works well for basil that also works for strawberries, but not for lettuce. The joy comes in figuring it out, and as Bracken says, “finding out things in real time together.” The most recent project Bracken and his students have been working on is their soap and bath bomb business, Chem Gems. The team has focused a lot of their attention on this new endeavor of growing lavender and wave-style petunias. Recalling projects like these, Bracken adds, “I still get a smile coming in to work every day.” To learn more about Chem Gems, visit Sophia Fratianne is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at

Photos courtesy of Jeff Bracken

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Breaking Barriers The life and legacy of William Henry Fouse


s the first African American to graduate from Otterbein University, the achievements and impacts of William Henry Fouse are still celebrated 126 years later, both at the university and in the Westerville community.

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A Dedicated Student “William Henry Fouse was a Westerville native and his parents were freed slaves who came to Westerville after the Civil War, setting up housekeeping in the former Hanby House,” says Stephen Grinch, an archivist at Otterbein University. Spending his early years in Westerville, Fouse was the first graduate of the two-year Westerville High School in 1884. Highly intelligent and incredibly motivated, he was determined to expand his horizons at Otterbein University. However, as many college students do, Fouse worked numerous jobs to support his studies. “He was one of the prototypical college students of his era in that he worked his way through school, serving as a bus boy and shoe shiner at the Holmes Hotel in uptown Westerville,” says Grinch. In the 19th century, college programs were labeled by specific tracks taken by students. Fouse took the classical track, setting him up for the roles he would later assume in education. Aside from his studies, Fouse was a clarinet player in concert and community bands. Graduating in 1893 with a bachelors degree, Fouse is remembered for his powerful words, both written and spoken. His commencement speech, A Plea for the Afro-American, highlighted his vision of a world in which equality and freedom were among all people. “He was not only amazing enough to get up and give this speech on commencement day, but his story and the way he dealt with adversity and overcame it is a good lesson

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for all of us,” says Nina Thomas, local history manager at the Westerville History Center and Museum. An Esteemed Educator With degree in hand, Fouse quickly began changing the lives of students. Following graduation, Fouse helped found a school in Corydon, Indiana, where he taught for 11 years. He spent numerous years as a high school principal in Gallipolis, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky and eventually accepted a position in Lexington, spending the majority of his time at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. “He did what we hope all our graduates do – he went into the world and made a difference as an educator,” says Grinch. Fouse was not only an advocate for education, but played a pivotal role in advancing and expanding the interests of his students. “He was involved in founding the Bluegrass Oratorical Association and Athletic Association, Pennies Savings Bank and High School Insurance Project,” says Thomas. Along with these organizations, Fouse took leadership roles such as president of the Kentucky Negro Education Association and vice president for the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools. In his Kentucky school district, he was among the first to create a scholarship for African American students looking to further their education. “You can look at his picture and say that this man was a true, passionate educator,” says Grinch. 8 8 8 . 8 01.1666

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Lasting Impacts Always looking to distinguish honorable residents, Fouse is still commemorated throughout Westerville to this day. “We honor him because he was the first African American to graduate from this institution,” says Grinch. “He seemed to know what he wanted and went out and did just that – considering the era in which he lived, that’s saying something.” Fouse has two buildings in the community named after him. At Otterbein University, the William Henry Fouse House of Black Culture is an honors home where students are able to live and work. Fouse’s picture is also displayed on the second floor of the library and more recently, in a computer lab on campus. In Westerville’s school district, Fouse Elementary, built in 2002, was named to honor his achievements as an educator. “They had chosen other school names after authors and famous individuals, but he was a writer, educator and ahead of his time, so I think he’s a natural to name something after,” says Thomas. As for his contributions to community history, Fouse’s time at the Hanby House didn’t end when he left the Westerville community. When the Hanby House, a former stop on the underground railroad, struggled with preservation, he extended a helping hand because the original buyers could no longer afford the upkeep. “Fouse, a principal in Kentucky at that time, raised a collection of $150 from his students to donate to fundraising efforts,” says Thomas. “That is probably my favorite fact about him, as $150 was a lot in those days, but this was part of his contribution to Westerville because this house tells the story of slaves just like his family and their hardships.” Additionally, Fouse was honored in his later years with a number of awards from the university, including an honorary degree in Pedagogy in 1937 and induction into the Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. All in all, both Grinch and Thomas believe that the Westerville community has made great strides in achieving Fouse’s dream and honoring his legacy, but there is always more work to be done. “We talk a lot these days about needing heroes, whether it’s through gender or skin color, and we are fortunate to have someone who went out into the world and made such a large splash,” says Grinch. “He is certainly someone we can look up to.”

Laura Baird is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at

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Step it Up Westerville Promenaders celebrate 61st anniversary By Marissa Smithinsky and shortly after, Paul Moore founded The Promenaders Club. Moore realized the importance of dance and taught the neighborhood children square dancing. The parents of those children also became involved and established the official club in 1958. At the time, classes were open to couples only and were held in basements, school houses and the famous Grange Hall in Westerville. While classes aren’t held in basements or old school houses anymore, the meaning and reason for the club has stayed the same – to make dance fun and accessible for everyone.

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Held from September through the first week of June, the Promenaders has remained the only square dancing club in Westerville. For many members, Promenaders means much more than just square dancing. “All of the members, my wife and I consider ourselves a big family,” says Bill Uhl, a member of the club. “My wife and I started back in the ‘70s and we have been with the Promenaders since 2002.” Not only do they focus on individual improvement, but dancers perform at street fairs, local schools and art fairs. With this club, you no longer need to dance alone – you can have a whole band of people to rely on and call family. “Dancing releases endorphins, which reduces depression and anxiety,” says Paige Shwab, a member and nurse. “There are many that have had joints replaced, open heart surgery and cancer, but they continue to dance.” Shwab even says that some members have found their spouse with the Promenaders. “There are a few couples who have gotten married and some who have lost a spouse, but I do believe that square dancing is improving their quality of life,” she says. Although some members have passed on, retired, moved to other interests or relocated, the club’s moto and sense of belonging stays the same: square dancing is friendship set to music. Still not convinced? The Promenaders promise to help you reach your wellness goals. Can’t dance? No time? The club has answers for all of that. So, maybe it’s time to experience the Promenaders in their pursuit for a fun and healthy life. Marissa Smithinsky is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at

Photos courtesy of Bill Uhl


o you find yourself avoiding the gym at all costs? How many times have you pushed a workout to next week? The time for excuses is long over now that exercise can be fun and good for you. Who would have thought you could actually have both? With the Westerville Promenaders – you can. For almost 60 years the Promenaders have been a home away from home, offering fellowship, exercise and fun for its members and guests. In the early 1950s, square dancing made its way from California to Ohio

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By Mallory Arnold

A Backyard Garden Oasis Westerville gardens attract more than just the community bees


he WesterFlora Garden Tour turns 28 this year and – garden pun absolutely intended – continues to grow in interest and size within the community. While the planning begins in January, the tour is set for July 21. The event encompasses 10 to 12 gardens and is predicted to attract 300–500 visitors this year. It’s planned by a diligent and passionate committee of 12 members. The WesterFlora’s publicist Linda Laine can’t say enough about the amazing gardens in the tour. She, along with several others, will select the lucky homes that will be included.

“We, as a group, all look for different things when considering a garden,” Laine says. “We look for diversity and also try to find gardens that aren’t completely finished, so that people can see them grow overtime.” Because the tour is ongoing, gardens can be included year after year. Laine’s own home has been included 12 times and admirers have approached her to compliment how much they loved watching its progression. Past participating gardens have boasted tree houses, vegetables, single-color themes and even one chicken coop. The

While no garden is the same, Laine’s contains a flourishing growth of Dalias. She and her husband specialize in the flower and have over 180 different types growing in their yard.

tour hopes to show off the variety of creativity and beauty Westerville has to offer, clearly exemplified in the beautiful gardens and yards on the tour. While it’s not meant to be a competition, attendees can vote on which home and garden they enjoyed the most for the People’s Choice Award. Along with that, critics come to judge gardens on the tour and then a celebratory dinner is held where each homeowner receives feedback on how to further diversify their oasis. Laine was the one who thought of implementing music throughout the tour, giving each home and backyard a fantasti26 May/June 2019

Garden décor and art can give your natural area a flair of personality and life. Garden Club judges say you should have an item that pulls you into the area, like a focal point.

Arches within a garden are often homemade and are encouraged by judges, as it promotes a creative, inviting feel into the area.

cal, fairy-tale-like atmosphere. She hopes people come on the tour to enjoy the beauty, learn more about how to sculpt nature into art and even become inspired to start their own gardens. Laine’s garden will continue to grow, as will her passion for the WesterFlora Garden Tour.

WesterFlora is sponsored by Westerville Parks and Recreation, the Westerville Garden Club and Hoover Gardens. To purchase tickets for the 2019 tour, which begins on July 21, please visit www. Mallory Arnold is an assistant editor. Feedback welcome at

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on the table By Tessa Flattum

Around the World Taste of Westerville celebrates 16th year with deliciousness from around the globe


ating just got a lot more entertaining. The Westerville Chamber will host its annual Taste of Westerville extravaganza on May 2 to celebrate the area’s culinary talent. Guests will be able to sample food from different vendors, vote for their favorite dishes and enjoy craft beers and wines from local breweries. Matt Lofy, director of marketing and community outreach for the Westerville Chamber, says the event started as a way to showcase chamber member businesses that work in the food and hospitality industry. Now, 16 years later, the event has grown to become a spring hallmark tradition.

28 May/June 2019

“Taste of Westerville is a community event that highlights the best of Westerville and our Chamber members,” Lofy says. “It’s an excellent reminder that we don’t always have to drive downtown to enjoy a night out, because Westerville has some of the best places to eat.” Some of the vendors participating this year are 101 Beer Kitchen, Asterisk Supper Club, and Eddie Merlot’s. In addition to

returning restaurants, Taste of Westerville will also feature new vendors including The Chicken Salad Chick, Coppa Gelato, Hilton Polaris, City Barbecue, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Fat Girl Bakery and the Renaissance Columbus Westerville. New vendors and cuisine types are added every year to include the best that Westerville has to offer. This year, the event also has several breweries and wineries participating in the fun. “For the first time we are featuring wines from chamber member wineries, Camelot Cellars and Good Vibes Winery,” Lofy says. “We are excited to showcase the worldly flavors and blends from right here in our community.” But that’s not all. This year, Taste of Westerville will also come with a few new changes to make guests’ experiences better, including online bidding for the silent auction and raffle items. The new technology makes bidding easier than ever – guests never have to leave their seats. Local celebrity judges will be awarding restaurants Westerville’s Tastiest, Best

Presentation, and other culinary awards. Guests will also have the opportunity to join and vote for their favorite restaurant to win the People’s Choice Award. Polaris Grill, a fan-favorite, currently holds the title, but according to Lofy, the competition increases every year. “There is always one food vendor who just knocks it out of the park with presentation,” Lofy says. “Last year, it was Giordano’s giving out six-inch deep dish pizzas, another year it was a huge burrito from Yabo’s and this year, who knows?” While it’s clear Taste of Westerville has something for everyone, for first-time attendees, the main goal is to experience Westerville and its community members. “First-time Taste attendees can expect to walk away knowing that they just attended one of the most fun networking events around. Between the mix of good people, diverse foods and a wide spectrum of craft beers, local wines and spirits, there’s no better way to enjoy a Thursday night,” Lofy says. “Guests can also walk out at the end of the night feeling stuffed and if you don’t… you didn’t do it right.”

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Taste of Westerville will take place at The Lakes Golf and Country Club from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are currently priced at $60 and includes the 22 restaurants, wine, beer and liquor tastings at no additional fee. To learn more about the Taste of Westerville, visit: For pictures from this year’s event, visit

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Tessa Flattum is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at




From the Westerville Public Library

Recommended Reads

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We Don’t Eat Our Classmates! By Ryan T. Higgins (picture book) Young T-Rex Penelope is shocked that the students at her new school are children. Penelope must learn that she should not eat her classmates, no matter how yummy they may be.

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Andres and Desmond’s school cafeteria has a big secret—it is run by monsters! The members of the ghost patrol are on the case.

Leonara wants to help her family as they prepare for the Dia de los Muertos festival, but she is too young. After sneaking into the family bakery, Leonara learns that the Logrono women can do magic – and so can Leonara!

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Diet for a Changing Climate: Food for Thought By Christy Mihaly and Sue Heavenrich Learn why weeds, wild plants and bugs may be the future of ecologically sustainable food in the wake of climate change.

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Why You Eat What You Eat: The Science Behind Our Relationship with Food By Rachel Herz, PhD The author helps you discover the psychology behind why we eat what we do, in the hopes that you can make healthier decisions while more engaged with your food.

The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the GlobeTrotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats By Daniel Stone David Fairchild was a botanist and explorer whose worldwide adventures and experiences introduced a broader assortment of foods to the American palate.

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Westerville Magazine May/June 2019  

Westerville Magazine May/June 2019