Archive | April, 2012

Time to start putting this summer’s village events on the calendar

29 Apr

We have two months’ worth of calendars on our refrigerator — this month and next month, of course. Today my husband noted, with something that sounded like disbelief in his voice, that we can officially erase April and replace it with June.

As busy as the end of the school year is for all of us (especially this year when I have a high school senior, college senior and graduate student all graduating), summer is even worse. I’ve already got half a dozen June events scribbled on various pieces of scrap paper, waiting to take their spots on the June calendar.  I have to get them written down somewhere fast or they’re going to start pushing each other out of the corners of my brain.

I’m sure many of you understand. So as a community service, here is a (fairly) comprehensive list of this summer’s village events so you can get them on your calendars ASAP and not miss any of them. I’ll write more about each one as the dates approach, but in the meantime, here are some basics:

* This Saturday, village merchants will be out in force for the first-ever Spring Sidewalk Sale. Look for sale tables all along Main Street from 11 am to 2 pm, and get some great bargains. Rumor has it there will also be some sort of street entertainment to keep things hopping while you’re shopping.  And make sure you wear your best purple fashions while you’re there, because Saturday is also the village’s Paint the Town Purple Relay For Life kick-off event. This annual celebration helps raise awareness for Relay For Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. You’ll be hearing lots more about this soon.

* Memorial Day Parade and ceremony at Webster Rural Cemetery: Monday, May 28. The parade usually starts at 9 am.

* Village of Webster Farmer’s Market opens on Saturday June 9, and continues every weekend through october 13, from 8 am to 12:3- pm. I’ve heard talk that the location might be changed this year, so stay tuned.

* Jazz Festival, Saturday July 7.  Word from the village is that this year’s festival will be expanded, so it should be better than ever. And it’s already pretty awesome.

* Firemen’s Kiddie Parade: Wednesday July 11 beginning at 7:00 pm.

* Firemen’s Parade: Thursday July 12, beginning at 6:30 pm, and Firemen’s Carnival, July 11-14

* Movies in the Park begin on Tuesday July 10 and run every Tuesday through August 14.

* Village Days this year will move to September 21 and feature a German Oktoberfest theme. It will be a three-day event and include a fall sidewalk sale and the Soap Box Derby on North Avenue.

Some other events for which I do not yet have exact dates are the Friday Night Gazebo Concerts at the gazebo on North Ave., and the Village Band Concerts at the band shell at Harmony Park on Phillips Rd. They both begin in the middle of June and run through August, but I don’t think the schedules have been finalized yet.

Silver Woods now developing … garbage?

29 Apr

My husband and I were taking our after-dinner stroll through the neighborhood last night when we came across this pile of garbage alongside the road:

What was interesting about this pile was it was deposited nowhere near any residence, but in a common green space at the entrance to the Silver Woods development off of Hatch Road.  I asked a passing neighbor about it, who said she first saw it there on Friday.  As of this morning, when I took these photos, it was still there.

So here are my questions: Did some inconsiderate blockhead dump it there because they missed their own garbage pick-up day? I prefer to think that maybe someone had cleaned up the nearby woodlot and left the results there to be picked up. You’d think that whoever had agreed to do that (Silver Woods management?) would have done so by now.

Whichever the case, whoever is responsible for that land (Silver Woods management?) should get on the ball and pick up the garbage. If I lived across the street from it, I’d be rather annoyed.

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Thoughts from the Ridge

29 Apr

Heading to and from Barry’s Old School Irish last night for our weekly visit with good friends, good music and good drink, some thoughts came to mind:

The Firestone Store at 901 Ridge, between Five Mile Line and Hard roads, looks brand-spanking new. I remember getting a “Grand Re-opening!” advertisement in the mail from them recently. Might be worth checking out.

ESL Credit Union has apparently recently replaced their drive-up ATM machines. Make sure you get close enough, because otherwise you’ll have to be a contortionist to do everything.

There’s a house on the edge of the village that still has Christmas stars lining its eaves. Time to take them down, folks. With this week’s 30-degree temperatures, I can understand their confusion. Perhaps they should have taken them down in January when it was 80 degrees.

The gas price at the Sunoco at the corner of Five Mile Line is down to $4.00, while the village price is still $4.11.  WHY would anyone get their gas there?

Play It Again Sports has been gone from that little plaza for, what, many months now? Why does their sign still burn brightly at night?

And why, at 11:30 at night, why does the traffic light at the K-Mart Plaza/CVS still change to red for Ridge Road traffic without provocation? C’mon folks, that one needs to be taken off the timer.

I had the real pleasure of meeting Pat and Debbie Bush last night at Barry’s, the new owners of Webster Hots. I’ll be stopping by their place in the near future to see what they’ve been up to since buying the restaurant in December, and very soon will hopefully be able to help them spread news of some exciting changes they have in store. So stay tuned.

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Extreme artistic talent

27 Apr

Today I offer a follow-up on a blog I wrote a few days ago.

If you happened to click through to the gallery of photos I posted as part of my blog on Community Arts Day on Saturday,  you saw this one:

I was so impressed with this piece, my caption simply said, “This. Is. Awesome.”

Since that blog, I’ve gotten quite a few comments about that photo, and it has racked up several “likes.”   Turns out, the student who painted that piece, is a Thomas High School Advanced Placement art student, so found out a little more about it, and about the artist himself, from Webster Thomas art teacher Todd Stahl.

The artist is Austin Frank, and he is so good at what he does that he’s been offered the Presidential Scholarship from the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Art, where he’ll be studying Industrial Design this fall.  The award is offered to only a few incoming freshmen every year, and will cover his entire tuition for all four years.

But, proud art papa that he is, Todd didn’t want to talk only about Austin. He pointed out that several of his students have received impressive scholarships. Like Beth Peterson, who “received a major scholarship from almost every major art college in the country east of Chicago — every school she applied to.”

Other outstanding students from the program include Dennis Moore and Jessie Schnall. Todd gave me the actual figures, and so far these four students alone have pulled in a total of $863,000 in art school scholarships so far.

Webster Schroeder also has its share of top-notch art students.  Schroeder AP art teacher Bill Stephens told me that his students Tristan Cannan, Briana Jewell, Michaela Jewell, Danielle Capizzi and Katie Papas have also scored some big bucks. Check out some of their artwork below.

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Katie Papas
Michaela Jewell
Tristan Cannan

Four years later and you’re STILL reading? Cool.

26 Apr

An anniversary of sorts slipped quietly by the other day.

Exactly four years and one week ago, I posted my first blog for the Democrat and Chronicle. I never dreamed back then that I would still be doing this four years later, and still be having so much fun.  It gives me an excuse to seek out the best that Webster has to offer, meet some great people and attend all sorts of great events.  I have made so many new friends since I began blogging that I cannot even begin to count them.

For someone who loves to write, this is the greatest hobby in the world. Not only do I get to write about the things I like to write about, it’s definitely fun to see my posts published, and very gratifying to know that a lot of people actually DO read them and DO enjoy them.  I’m particularly excited that I’ve almost reached 300 “likes” on my blog Facebook page.  That’s pretty cool if you think about it.

So thanks to the folks at the Democrat and Chronicle for allowing me to continue to blather on all this time. And of course thanks to all of my readers who enjoy what I write and who keep feeding me good ideas.

These Thomas High kids don’t complain about their homework

26 Apr

Mary Heveron-Smith, a teacher colleague of mine at Webster Thomas, told me a funny story the other day which I just had to pass along.

It was the day before Spring Break, and Mary was working late at school, finishing up some last-minute tasks before leaving for a week’s vacation in Tennessee. They included collecting her students’ writing folders so she could grade papers while they drove (do teachers EVER take real vacations?) and posting the following week’s vocabulary homework onto her classroom website.  When everything was packed up, posted and ready to go, she and her husband headed off for a much-anticipated visit with their son and daughter-in-law.

Jump ahead to the Monday after break. Mary’s AP Language students were settled into their seats. Standing at the front of the classroom, Mary started discussing the vocabulary words she had posted, which her students were to have worked on over break.

But the lesson came to a halt when one of her most soft-spoken students interrupted, and said almost inaudibly from the front row, “You didn’t post vocabulary. You posted a cookie recipe.”

In her haste that Thursday afternoon before break, Mary had mistakenly posted not a vocabulary lesson, but a recipe for chocolate-orange cookies which was located right next to it in her computer directory.

“I was mortified,” Mary said, “completely embarrassed that I had posted a recipe instead of their homework.”

But she didn’t have anything to worry about. It became immediately clear that her students had taken her goof in stride, when one of them revealed a batch of chocolate-orange cookies she had made the night before. Five more students in her next two classes had also done their “homework” and presented Mary with plates filled with chocolate-orange cookies.

“I couldn’t believe what I’d done,” she  said, “but I loved my students for having a sense of humor about it.”

She added,

I am impressed that some students figured, well, when in doubt, just bake. And I was equally impressed with their baking skills. This recipe even called for orange zest, a step that puts this recipe out of the league of beginning bakers. Students improvised, using whatever did the job — substituting cheese graters for zesters and Clementine rinds for orange rinds! The cookies all tasted delicious and looked just elegant, with threads of orange running through the dark chocolate. All in all, this made for a wonderfully fun first day back for me.”

Naturally, the student bakers all suggested they receive extra credit for their efforts, something which Mary says she’s “mulling over.”

I am TOTALLY jealous that I never had a teacher who assigned cookies for homework.

Community Arts Day in photos

26 Apr

Judging from the crowds which filled the Webster Schroeder hallways Saturday, this year’s Community Arts Day was a success yet again. I spent the afternoon making laps of the school, reacquainting with old friends, making new ones, talking with community representatives, checking out the artwork, and taking lots and lots of photos. If you were there, you know how much fun it was. If not, check out these photos of some of the kids I met, and make sure to make a point to attend next year, because it’s a terrific event.

(Click here or on any of the photos below to see a gallery with lots more.)