Hi, can we meet?

15 Feb

As you might imagine, I have access to a lot of statistics about my blog posts.

I can see how many people click through to my blogs every day, on what platform they’re finding the blog, even when the most popular times of day are.

6794So I know there are a lot of people out there reading my blog. But I have met relatively few of you.

I’d like to change that this coming Friday February 21. That afternoon, from noon to 3:30 p.m., I’ll be hanging out in the Webster Public Library lobby, probably with my computer in hand working on some blogs. I’d like to invite one and all to stop by for a few minutes to say hi, maybe set a while to chat about all things Webster.

Bring along your questions, blog ideas, flyers for your group’s upcoming special event, or that clipping you have on the fridge of your favorite blog (I like to think someone has done that!). Bring along your suggestions and your complaints.

But most of all, bring you. Because while statistics tell me that you are one of my regular readers, statistics are, by their very nature, impersonal. I would like to meet you.

If the event is successful, I’d like to try to have more regular meet-and-greets (or as one friend called it, “office hours”). Perhaps I could schedule a session at the library once a month, for example. Maybe even branch out and have one at the museum, or the Village Bakery.

But let’s start next Friday, Feb. 21, at the Webster Public Library, 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of Webster Plaza.  I’ll be there from noon to 3:30 p.m. I hope you will, too.

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Diane McClure is Webster’s 2020 Business Person of the Year

14 Feb
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Diane McClure receives her award from Barry Howard, President/CEO of the Webster Chamber of Commerce

Congratulations to Diane McClure, a partner at Edge Advertising Group, who was just named Webster’s 2020 Business Person of the Year by the Webster Chamber of Commerce.

The Business Person of the Year is someone who is recognized as having set a standard of accomplishment in both business and the community. Nominations come from the Chamber’s business members who have made a significant impact on the role of business in the community.

A nominee must be an active member of the Chamber who is always willing to go above and beyond, be a leader who motivates others, and show a commitment to community building by participating their time, talent or money to our community via projects, clubs, churches, and not-for-profits.

McClure is a founding partner in the Edge Advertising Group, based in Fairport. In their press release, the Chamber describes her as

a very active Chamber member, a wife, a mother, a business partner, an Angel Mom, a passionate mentor, full of energy and digitally charged. She is a familiar face at Chamber breakfast, active in the Webster business community.

The presentation was made at the Chamber’s monthly breakfast meeting. Diane was presented with a plaque, and a contribution was made in her name to a charitable organization of her choice.

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There’s a new Webster Facebook page in town

13 Feb

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Have you seen the new Webster Facebook page that appeared just after the first of the year? In a Facebook landscape where much of the “news” and chatter you find on community groups is filled with vitriol, the new page offers a measured, informative and upbeat look at what’s happening in and around Webster.

It’s called Webster People, Places, News and Events. It was created on January 1 by Webster resident Bob Blind, a name many of you probably are already familiar with.  Bob moderates the very popular and informative Webster, Where Life is Worth Living group. As its administrator, Bob makes sure that the  group remains upbeat and informative. It’s a place where negativity is not allowed, where — unlike other Webster Facebook pages — people don’t think everything about our lovely town is broken, smelly, too loud, too political, or just basically the worst it could ever be.

There’s only one unfortunate thing about that page, however. Because it’s a private group, none of its posts can be shared directly (although you can always cut and paste posts). For many people, that puts a damper on their desire to spread the good news they find there.

With the public (not private) Webster People, Places, News and Events, Bob has created a work-around. He calls it a “shareable extension” of the other group, and explains,

I created this page to help communicate various things happening in our town… So it is just another outlet, so to speak, for me to share Webster news that I see on other Facebook pages or in the news media. I am basically out to share the positive news and stories about our town because nobody else seems to be.

Webster People, Places, News and Events is a bright corner in an often dark and stormy Facebook world for people who just want to find out what’s happening around town. It’s even alerted me to a few events I didn’t know about.

Check it out for yourself by clicking here: Webster People, Places, News and Events

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Thomas swimmer wins Section V scholarship

12 Feb
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Zoe Masters (photo courtesy sectionv.org)

And the accolades for our amazing Webster athletes just keep on coming.

Section V Athletics recently announced its fall 2019 scholarship recipients, and Webster Thomas swimmer/diver Zoe Masters was among the winners.

According to the Section V website,

Zoe started swimming on the modified team in seventh grade and has been swimming ever since. She shared that “my family says I’m happiest when I’m in the water and I have the great opportunity to be able to swim year round. Swim is my only sport.”

Her highlight of the season was being “a co-captain this season. Having that opportunity allowed me to interact with everyone on the team and not just the varsity girls.” After high school she is planning to study Mechanical Engineering at RIT, where she also plans to continue swimming. One word that best describes her is “intentional.”

Winners were chosen based on a letter of recommendation from their coach, their high school transcript and activities sheet, and their responses to application questions. More than 80 athletes applied for this season’s scholarships, and only 13 were chosen across the entire Section V.

Winners in each sport receive a $250 scholarship for each sport to be used toward future academic endeavors. To read about all of the other scholarship winners, click here

Congratulations, Zoe!

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Officers + autism community = awareness

11 Feb
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Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy Mike Ottley and his K9 companion Peak.

An adorable and oh, so droopy and cuddly bloodhound puppy recently paid a visit to the Jujitsu Buddies class at Strike Back Martial Arts in the Village of Webster.

Accompanied by his handler, Deputy Mike Ottley of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the four-month old bundle of floppy skin and monstrous paws happily played with a crocheted dragon and endured much petting while Ottley chatted with the students about his role as a deputy.

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Sheriff’s Office SCUBA Commander Lt. Chris Fay helps Colton Sprague into a SCUBA suit at a recent No Gi Jujitsu class. 

It was a fun event for the students in class that day, but it had a serious purpose. It was one of a series of visits by law enforcement officers organized by Strike Back Martial Arts owners Dave Nicchitta and Mike Palmer.

Over the past several weeks, Nicchitta and Palmer have invited local law enforcement officers to visit the studio’s jujitsu classes for special needs children and adults. Officers visited three of the studio’s classes: Strike Back Fitness for kids and teens with Down syndrome, No Gi Jujitsu for teenagers with autism, and most recently, Jujitsu Buddies for younger children with autism.

The goal of the visits has been to give both students — especially those with autism — and officers a chance to ask questions get to know each other a little better.

“Autism is one of the fastest growing disabilities in America,” said Nicchitta, who is himself a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy. “The way it presents itself can be misinterpreted as inappropriate or criminal behavior.”

“Data tells us that one in five teens with autism will be stopped and questioned by police before age 21, and people with disabilities, including autism, are five times more likely to be jailed than those without disabilities.”

Those with autism in particular often have a hard time looking people in the eyes or following multi-step directions. They can also become extremely agitated in the presence of flashing lights, sirens and loud radios, and may not like being touched. In a high-pressure situation, an officer might misinterpret such behaviors as combative or non-compliant.

Nicchitta hopes that through programs like these, and through additional opportunities he’s offering to the Rochester-area law enforcement community, he can help raise awareness.

“When an officer encounters someone who is acting unusually, we hope we can get the officer to just take a moment and think, is there something else going on here?”

The class visits are as beneficial for the students as they are for the officers.

“I wanted to create a non-stressful environment where our students can interact with law enforcement in a positive way,” Nicchitta said. “That way the students can keep that experience in the back of their heads if a situation occurs where they have to interact with officers.”

Strike Back Martial Arts is located at 55 East Main St. in the Village of Webster. The studio offers offers adaptive jujitsu classes designed for children and adults with autism, Down syndrome and other physical and emotional disabilities, as well as non-adaptive jujitsu classes.

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Students in Strike Back Martial Arts’ Jujitsu Buddies class listen — and watch Peak — as Deputy Ottley talks about his job.  

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CPD, CPR and more at the library

10 Feb

Here’s a quick notice of a few adult programs at the Webster Public Library coming up this week:

On Tuesday Feb. 11, explore Italy with librarian Colleen Hernandez. She’ll present a travelogue from 2 to 3 p.m. in the community room. Light refreshments will be served, and no registration is necessary.

On Wednesday Feb. 12, find out exactly what CBD is and what it can do for you to help with pain, inflammation and anxiety. The program will he held in the community room from 7 to 8 p.m., and registration is required for this one.

Friday, Feb. 14 is Valentine’s Day! What a great day to learn how to save a heart, with CPR for Seniors, a class designed especially for those 60+. It will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the community room, and registration is required.

To register for programs, call 585-872-7075 and press 3 for the reference desk or log onto the library website and go to Events and Classes.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of Webster Plaza.

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Spry and Thomas to present Fiddler and The Music Man

10 Feb

Congratulations to the Webster Schroeder Drama Club for their outstanding production of Chicago over the weekend! The incredible talent that takes the stage every spring for Schroeder musicals continues to astound me.

SMS Fiddler on the Roof Poster V4Next up for theater lovers, Spry Middle School’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof, which will be presented Friday, March 6 and Saturday March 7 at 7:30, with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

Because of construction at Spry, the performances will be held at Willink Middle School. Stay tuned to websterschools.org for ticket pricing and purchase information. These Spry shows always sell out, so make sure to get your tickets as soon as you can.

The Webster Thomas Players will present the beloved classic The Music Man Thursday, March 26 through Saturday, March 28 nightly at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased by visiting  www.websterthomasplayers.com.

2020-Music-Man-Large-Color

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Bowling tournament to benefit scholarships

8 Feb

bowlingDust off those bowling balls and shoes and save the date for an enjoyable afternoon of bowling, all for a great cause!

On Sunday, April 26, Webster’s Special Education Parent-Teacher Association (SEPTA) will hold its annual bowling fundraiser to raise scholarship funds for graduating Webster Schroeder and Webster Thomas High School seniors who are part of the district’s special education family.

The event takes place at AMF Empire Lanes, 2400 Empire Blvd., Webster. Check-in and lane assignment will be 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. with squad time from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Details are still coming together, but right now organizers are looking for teams to show off their hidden bowling talents. This is always a hugely fun event where teams dress up in theme costumes to win some awesome prizes. Cost is only $30 per person (teams of four or five), which includes two hours of bowling, shoe and equipment rental, pizza, unlimited soft drinks, two raffle tickets toward prizes, gratuity for AMG Empire staff, and (of course) money toward the scholarships.

For more information and/or to reserve a spot for your team, email Christine Schotthoefer at Christine_Schotthoefer@webstercsd.org. Registration ends April 15.  To sponsor or donate prizes, email Dina Malboeuf at Dina_Malboeuf@webstercsd.org.

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Your mug on a mug of Guinness?

7 Feb

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So I was at Barry’s Old School Irish last night (I see that shocked and surprised look on your face) and was talking with Jess about plans for tomorrow’s Great Guinness Toast. (If you’re a Guinness lover and haven’t heard about this event yet, read more here. You don’t want to miss it.)

One of the highlights of the evening will be a visit by Guinness representatives, who will have what Danny and Jess called a “Guinness design machine.”

When I was there last night I had to ask her what the heck that was.

Apparently, Guinness has this machine that can imprint a sepia-toned photo on the foam of your freshly-poured Guinness. They call it a “STOUTie.” It’s created with a natural malt extract that’s added to the top of the beer, and since it’s malt, it won’t alter the taste of the beer.

Guinness only introduced this technology in November at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin when they hosted the International Stout Festival. So it’s just now making it over to this side of the pond, and chances are, Barry’s is one of the first pubs to experience it.

And that’s because Barry’s — our little corner pub in our little village — sells more Guinness than any other pub or restaurant in the Greater Rochester area and beyond.

So you can be one of the first to get your head on a head of beer.

Tomorrow’s Great Guinness toast will also feature free Guinness for everyone, entertainment by Billy Herring and other fun stuff. Click here for more information.

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SparX blazes into the 2020 robotics season

7 Feb

Copy of Team Photo 1

Webster’s Team SparX is off and running with this year’s FIRST Robotics challenge,  called “Infinite Recharge.”

The challenge was described as

Two alliances work to protect FIRST City from approaching asteroids caused by a distant space skirmish. Each Alliance, along with their trusty droids, race to collect and score Power Cells in order to energize their Shield Generator for maximum protection. To activate stages of the Shield Generator, droids manipulate their Control Panels after scoring a specific number of Power Cells. Near the end of the match, droids race to their Rendezvous Point to get their Shield Generator operational in order to protect the city.

The moment the contest was announced, teams around the nation went to work creating 120-pound robots designed to tackle the challenges of the game. Teams have just six weeks to build, test and practice with an operating robot capable of completing the tasks (hopefully) faster than any other team, using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. The first big tests for their finished robot will be the Rochester Regional, scheduled for March 12-14 at RIT, and the Buckeye Regional in Cleveland, March 26 to 28.

Community members are welcome to attend the competitions free of charge. But if you can’t make it out to RIT, you can meet the team members and see their robot at a SparX Open House on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 1:30 p.m. in the Webster Thomas High School café, 800 Five Mile Line Road.

Webster’s team 1126 is comprised of 38 students from Webster Schroeder and Webster Thomas high schools plus 16 adults. For more information about the robotics program, visit www.FIRSTInspires.org, and to learn more about our local team, visit www.GoSparX.org.

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