Webster Eye Care celebrates 25 years

5 May

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Shari and Mike Gustin, owners of Webster Eye Care Associates, who on Thursday celebrated their business’ 25th anniversary.

Webster Eye Care Associates is located on Main Street in the Village of Webster. On May 2, 1994, they took over the practice from Dr. Robert Brennan and have been a proud part of the village community ever since.

25th anniversay 1

Dr. Shari Gustin is a doctor of optometry and Mike Gustin is a licensed optician. As they grew the practice, they brought on additional licensed professionals including optometrist Dr. Jason Hochreiter, optician Brad Cadwell, optician Sarah Collins and administrative staff members. Mike and Shari are both strong village supporters who enjoy taking part in the village’s many special events and projects.

The Gustins are marking their silver anniversary with several specials: They’re raffling off one pair of Maui Jim and one pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses every Thursday in the month of May; giving away a brand new pair of Maui Jim sunglasses in a social media contest; and are offering a buy one/get one 50% off special for all patients, current or new (please make an appointment first!)

For more information on Webster Eye Care Associates, visit their website here, their Facebook page here or call them at 585-265-3710.

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Webster Community Mailbag

4 May

You might want to warm up your coffee before you read today’s mailbag, because it’s a pretty long one.

jakeJake Gorski, the son of one of my Plank North teaching colleagues, is working on his Eagle Scout project and is looking for some help collecting supplies. He explains in this letter:

My name is Jake Gorski and I am a senior at Fairport High School. I am also a Scout in Fairport Troop 207 in the final stages of my Eagle project. 

My Eagle project is to create and distribute packets of essential hygiene items for those in need at the Blessed Sacrament soup kitchen, where I have been volunteering for the past 12 years. They are located on the corner of Monroe Avenue and Oxford Street in the city of Rochester, and serve dinner to a large and diverse population of homeless and needy individuals five nights a week.

I am looking for donations of socks, tooth paste and tooth brushes, deodorant, baby wipes, and razors. I will accept both travel or regular size items. Blessed Sacrament serves many individuals in need, so I am trying to make around 80 packs. Any donations are greatly appreciated.

If you think you can help out, contact Jake at jwgorski22@gmail.com.

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swan lakeThe students of Willink Middle School will present their student-run production of Swan Lake on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 at the school, 900 Publishers Parkway.

Two of the school’s our 8th grade students, Mayli Nitsch and Shanna Smith are directing the play, which involves nearly 40 cast and stage crew from grades 6 through 8. Their hard work has been impressive, and the show will surely be outstanding.

Tickets are only $5 and can be purchased online here. They will also be available at the door.

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Just in time for spring planting and Mother’s Day, the Webster Arboretum Association will host their annual Plant Sale on Saturday May 11 from 8 a.m. to noon.

The sale features beautiful, live, healthy plants offered by locak commerial growers and local garden clubs. Garden Club members will also share their favorite plants from their own gardens.

The sale will take place at the Arboretum, 1700 Schlegel Road in Webster.

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These next items are from the schools:

The Webster Teachers Association (WTA) has secured approximately 25,000 free books for Webster schools via the First Book program. In order to get these books distributed before the end of the year, the WTA is partnering with the Webster Central PTSA to get books unpacked, sorted and organized by age group for delivery to all of our 11 schools.

Lots of volunteers are needed. The WTA is looking for a minimum of 2 adult volunteers per school, per time slot to help on Saturday, May 18 from 8 a.m. to noon in the Thomas Field House. Click here for more information and to sign up.

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Speaking of the PTSA, they’re in urgent need of sponsors for next year’s PTSA calendar. Here’s the plea:

It’s community that makes Webster so special. We’d like to thank the local businesses and organizations, past and present, who have supported WC PTSA with generous donations, sponsorships and member benefits, making our work possible.

We are asking for your support once again. Please consider sponsoring our special edition 60th Anniversary 2019-20 calendar!

Whether it’s your first year, or thirty-first year sponsoring our calendar – your support is needed and appreciated more than ever. We’ve made it even easier this year, you can do it all online if you choose! Click here to learn more.

All donations are tax-deductible, and you’ll receive a receipt along with a sample copy of the calendar by September.  Families or individuals may become sponsors too.

Your donation funds community-wide programs supporting students and their families on critical topics like mental health and substance use prevention, annual scholarships to outstanding graduating seniors, annual Oak Tree Awards for exceptional educators, and helps us support the PTSA committees in all eleven WCSD schools, so they can provide services unique to their school population.

Questions? Email SponsorHelp@websterptsa.org.

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The school district has announced the hiring of four new assistant principals:

Jill Doyle

Jill Doyle is the new assistant principal at Plank South Elementary School. Doyle is a WCSD graduate and former Plank South student herself. She is currently a fourth grade teacher at the school, a position she has held since 2016.

Matt Mietelski

Spry Middle School White House welcomes new assistant principal Matthew Mietelski, who is replacing Interim Assistant Principal Jim Vitale. Mietelski is currently assistant principal of cooperative summer school for Monroe #1 BOCES and a literacy specialist at Johanna Perrin Middle School in Fairport CSD, where he has taught since 2013.

Two new assistant principals will greet students at Willink Middle School in September: Ashley Socola in the Blue House and Jason Simoni in the Green House.

Ashley and Jason comboSocola is currently an assistant principal at Merton Williams Middle School in the Hilton Central School District, a position she has served in since 2016. She is replacing interim Blue House assistant principal Annette McCabe.

Simoni is a WCSD alum who is returning to the district from Bishop Kearney HighSchool, where he has served as principal since 2015. He replaces Jeremy McBride who will be a new assistant principal moving at Webster Thomas High School.

All four new administrators will begin their positions on July 1.

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Stay tuned for upcoming blogs I’m still working on about new developments at Knucklehead Craft Brewing; special events at the Webster Museum; May programs at the Webster Public Library; a look at the new Spiedielicious restaurant in town; this summer’s special events schedule in the Village of Webster; a big anniversary for Webster Eye Care, and OH! the village is getting BIKE RACKS!! Start thinking about where you might like to see them installed.

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Good Smoke is good stuff

3 May

good smoke

I took a while, but I have finally tried out one of the Village of Webster’s newest restaurants, Good Smoke BBQ on Main Street.

Good Smoke opened in January, the third location for the restaurant, which is also located in East Rochester and Chili. I’d been hearing good reviews and was in the mood for barbecue, so it was a good choice after a long week of house cleaning as we prepared our former home to go on the market.

So my husband and I (new village residents that we are) walked down there last night for dinner. My first thought as I scanned the menu was that things were a bit pricey. Not exorbitantly so, but above average from what I would expect from a BBQ place. (Admittedly, I haven’t been in many.) Hoping that it would be a large enough serving for two, we decided to split a three-meat combo platter, priced at $22.99, comprised of 1/4 rack of ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, a piece of corn bread and two sides (we chose mac salad and baked beans).

It was a great decision.

I needn’t have worried that there would be enough for two people. Both the meat servings and the sides were generous, and by the time we had plowed through them and the corn bread, we were plenty full.

And everything was delicious. The rib and pork sauces were pretty sweet, which I loved. The beans were also very tasty and my husband enjoyed the mac salad (although I prefer my mac salad a bit more vinegar-y). I also give high marks to the corn bread, which was nicely moist.  The servers were friendly and the service was fast.

So bottom line, I definitely recommend Good Smoke, and we will definitely be back. The meat combo platter was a good choice this time, but knowing how generous the servings are, I wouldn’t hesitate to try one of the sandwiches or BBQ bowls next time, maybe for lunch.

Good Smoke BBQ is located at 5 West Main Street in the Village of Webster. Check them out on Facebook here, on their website here.

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Strike Back Martial Arts wins again

2 May


Congratulations to Strike Back Martial Arts, a jujitsu and self-defense studio in the Village of Webster, which was recently awarded the 2019 Best of Webster Award in the martial arts category. What’s especially cool about this is that this is the second year in a row the dojo has received the award.

The “Best of Webster” program recognizes companies which have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category, and looks to highlight companies that enhance the positive image of small business in local communities.

I’ve had the honor of working with the staff at Strike Back on a volunteer basis for four years, so I know firsthand why this dojo is so special. In addition to offering adult and youth jujitsu and self-defense classes, Strike Back also offers martial arts classes for children and young adults with autism and with Down syndrome.

The Jujitsu Buddies program for children on the autism spectrum is the one I lend a hand with, and I see every week what these classes do for these children.  I’ve seen anxieties melt away and self-confidence bloom. I’ve seen unbridled delight on the face of a child who accomplished a skill for the first time. I’ve seen children start to believe in themselves and learn that if they just try, they will succeed.

That is why Strike Back Martial Arts received — and deserves — this award, now two years in a row.

Strike Back Martial Arts is located at 55 East Main Street in Webster.  For more information, log onto www.strikebackmartialarts.com, find them on Facebook, or call (585) 236-1083.


A typical Jujitsu Buddies class at Strike Back Martial Arts. Instructors are (L-R) Dave Nicchitta,  me, Pam Wright and Mike Palmer. 

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Thomas student play opens Thursday

1 May

IMG_6942Laughs, love, and the kind of family drama we all have experienced all take the stage Thursday night when the students of Webster Thomas High School present the comedy Things My Mother Taught Me by Katherine Savino.

The story follows Olivia and Gabe, a young couple moving into their first apartment together. They’ve just packed up all of their belongings and driven halfway across the country to start a new life together in Chicago. Their moving day doesn’t go exactly as planned, though, and things become slightly more complicated when all of their parents show up to help! Things get a bit crazy as everyone tries to squeeze into their new two-bedroom apartment.

Things My Mother Taught Me will be presented Thursday, May 2 and Friday May 3 at 7:30 pm in the Webster Thomas auditorium, 800 Five Mile Line Rd.  Tickets are $7 and will be available at the door.

Director Chelsea Muller (12th grade) is supported by a small but mighty cast, including:

* Alexander Ramirez (9th grade) as Gabe Lawson
* Isabelle Nitsch (10th grade) as Olivia Keegan
* Nico Pantojas (12th grade) as Wyatt Lawson
* Haley Warren (10th grade) as Lydia Lawson
* Brynn Smith (10th grade) as Maxine Mirowski
* Celia Darling (11th grade) as Karen Keegan
* Tim Dudinski (10th Grade) as Carter Keegan

Here are a few photos from a recent rehearsal:

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Golden Apple Award follow-up

30 Apr

CindyAs I ramp my blogging back up from my newly situated dining room table/office, I’d like to begin by posting a long-overdue follow-up.

Back on April 8, my good friend and Plank Rd. North teaching colleague Cindy Barnard was surprised with a Golden Apple Award from WROC-TV channel 8. She was in the school’s library with her kindergarten class when the news crew arrived to present the award. You can read more about that happy event in this blog I wrote.

It took a few weeks for film of the presentation to make it to the newscast, but WROC did finally run it last week. Click here to see it.

It was a fitting tribute to an excellent teacher and an even better person.

film of Cindy

Click here to see video of Cindy Barnard’s Golden Apple award presentation. 

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Hello from Webster!

29 Apr

cropped-welcome-to-websterThere’s a lot more significance to that headline than meets the eye.

If you were one of the very first people to read this Webster-centric blog when I began it 11 years ago, you may remember that in my very first posting — and several times thereafter — I  admitted that I was not, in fact, a Webster resident. I actually lived in Penfield, just south of the Webster/Penfield line.

That distinction had always been a mere tax formality, however, since our mailing address, schools, grocery store, and other shopping concerns were in Webster, and the Village of Webster — not Penfield’s four corners — was my adopted home town.

But today, for the first time in my blogging history, I am writing from my WEBSTER home.

My husband and I recently down-sized and moved into the village, something we had wanted to do for a long time. After what seems like weeks of buying and selling homes and the myriad details that entails, I’m finally settled in enough to get back into blogging (not having Internet for several days kind of put a damper on things, for starters).

I apologize for having been out of touch for so long, but in my downtime I’ve been keeping a list of blogs that I want to write. In between unpacking boxes, filling out change of address forms, trying to figure out how to use the gas fireplace, wondering what that unusual new sound is, and all the other delights of owning a new home, I promise to start picking away at them.

And now that I live literally within walking distance the Village of Webster, I look forward to being more in tune with all of the outstanding events and activities offered here.

So stay tuned and thanks for your patience!

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Webster community mailbag

16 Apr

I need to start today’s mailbag with something of an apology.

Many of you may have noticed that my blogs of late have been somewhat sporadic. I have not been my normal loquacious self. But I do have a good excuse. My husband and I are in the middle of purchasing a new house, and selling our family home of almost 23 years.

So naturally, I’ve been a little distracted. But there is light at the end of the tunnel with regards to both deals, and the move itself should commence sometime next week. So hang in there and I’ll soon be my normal, annoying self once again.

In the meantime, here’s what’s happening around town (and sorry again, some of these are repeats; I’m taking a few shortcuts even today).

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mailbag iconIf you’re interested in running for the Webster Central School District Board of Education, you’re reminded that petitions are due this Monday April 22. Packets can be picked up from District Administrative Offices at their new temporary location in Towne Center Plaza (Target/Kohl’s Plaza), at the former Paychex location.

For more information, visit the WCSD website.

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Earth Day 2019 is this coming Monday April 22. You can help the Webster Public Library celebrate the occasion by lending a hand on Saturday April 20, as they clean up their outdoor space and plant their garden.

The entire family is invited to join in from 1 to 3 p.m. Crafts and activities will be provided for the kids, and there will be information about the seed library. Don’t forget to dress for the weather!

Reminder that the Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale happens Thursday April 25 through Saturday April 27.

Hardcover books are just just $1 each, paperbacks only 50 cents, and credit cards are accepted. Shopping hours are Thursday April 25 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Friday and Saturday you can fill a whole bag for just $4.

Visit the Webster Public Library website to get more information about these and lots more April programs. The library is located at 980 Ridge Road, on the back side of the plaza off of Van Ingen Drive.

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The next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser at the First Baptist Church of easter rabbit in egg clipartPenfield, on Saturday April 20, is going to be a special one.

From 8 to 10 a.m., enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs, sausage and more for just $5 per person. Plus, at 9 a.m., children up to fifth grade can also participate in an Easter egg hunt, rain or shine.

April proceeds will benefit the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf, a supplemental food relief organization serving the 14526 and 14625 areas and families of children in the Penfield school district since 1997.

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St. Rita School will be hosting a Sticky Lips fundraiser on Saturday April 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the school, 1008 Maple Rd., in Webster.

On the menu that night will be BBQ chicken, pulled pork, fresh cornbread, two homemade sides as well as a coupon for a free appetizer card when you visit the restaurant.

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the school, or through the school’s website.

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It must be chicken BBQ season.

St. Martin Lutheran Church on Bay Road will host its Spring Chicken BBQ and kids’ FunFest on Saturday May 4 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The dinner will include a half chicken, salt potatoes, cole slaw, roll, butter and beverage. Pie slices and other desserts will also be available for purchase. A hot dog dinner for kids is $2.00.

Dinners are eat-in or take-out. Tickets are $10 and can be reserved by calling the church office at 671-1899, or purchased at the event while supplies last. Proceeds support St. Martin’s Christmas Stocking Project, which reaches more than 500 youth in Monroe and Wayne counties.

St. Martin is located at 813 Bay Road in Webster.

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Finally, here’s a reminder about the free English classes being offered the Pickled Paintbrush in the village, for adults looking to improve their English language skills.

The classes will run on Monday evenings from April 29 through May 20. Each session is 90 minutes long, and are designed to help adults improve their English skills through interactive activities, while getting to know people living in your community.

One of the best parts of the program is that childcare will be available during these sessions, for potty-trained children ages 4 and up. The Pickled Paintbrush will provide an art program for children while the adults are in class.

logoAll skill levels are welcome to join the classes. There’s no charge, but participants are asked to register in advance so they know how many adults and children to expect. Click here for more information and to register. You can also call The Pickled Paintbrush at (585) 704-8809 or email thepickledpaintbrush@gmail.com.

If you’d like to check out the Pickled Paintbrush ahead of time, owner Marissa Birke is hosting an open house on Monday April 22, where prospective students can meet the instructor and kids can check out our studio space. The adults will complete a brief questionnaire to get a better feel for their English needs. We’ll also provide an art project for the kids while their parents are meeting with the instructor. If they’d like to enroll, registration will also be available that day.

The Pickled Paintbrush is located at 36 East Main St. in the village of Webster.

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Oak Tree Award recipients announced

12 Apr

oak leafCongratulations to this year’s Oak Tree Award recipients, announced earlier this week.

This year’s winners were JoAnn Hamm, an English teacher at Webster Schroeder High School, and Jennifer Gunerman, a third grade teacher at Klem Rd. North Elementary.

Hamm was nominated by Schroeder senior Hannah De Chalais. Schroeder principal Paul Benz, WTA Representative Scott Richlin, and Oak Tree Award coordinator Wendy Sardella interrupted one of Hamm’s morning classes to announce the award.

Gunerman was nominated by Klem North parent Laura Blair. She was surprised by the news when it was announced on the school’s Morning Show, a move designed to allow the whole school to celebrate with her. Klem North principal Laura Ballou then joined Sardella in Gunerman’s classroom for the obligatory photo opportunity.

Both recipients received a celebratory cookie cake and cheers from their classes. Formal presentation of the Oak Tree Award will take place at the Board of Education in May.

The annual Oak Tree Award is designed to recognize teacher excellence in Webster Central Schools.

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Music is in the air

9 Apr


This Thursday is National Barbershop Quartet Day, and Webster’s very own Chorus of the Genesee will be celebrating with a concert this Thursday April 11 at the Harmony House, 58 East Main Street in the village.

This is a great opportunity to have an evening out, enjoy some incredible music and really get to know the guys who make up one of Webster’s lesser-know treasures, the Chorus of the Genesee. Make sure to ask them how YOU can get involved as well!  

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. There’s no charge, but a free-will donation will be gratefully accepted! Refreshments will be served.

For more information about the Chorus, visit www.chorusofthegenesee.org.

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