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Rotary Reflections

September 26, 2013
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

As it was with just about everyone, the Westfield/Mayville Rotary Club members have had a busy summer welcoming guest speakers and now preparing for their Oct. 19 Gold Rush event at Easton Hall.

Don Dowling, Membership chairman, started things off on the right foot by telling club members about the "Patriotic Songs of America." You can guess which month this was. "I love American history," he noted, as he summarized the history of six patriotic songs. They included Hail Columbia, The Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America, America (My Country Tis of Thee), America the Beautiful and Woody Guthrie's This Land is Your Land.

Child care offered in Mayville

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Submitted photo
Beth Starks, executive director and founder of the Chautauqua Lake Child Care Center located in Chautauqua Lake Central School building, was introduced by Ben Spitzer, CLCS superintendant and Rotary vice president. The center is open year-round for infants up to after-school boys and girls.

Starting off the 2013-14 school year, Beth Starks, executive director and founder of the Chautauqua Lake Child Care Center located in Chautauqua Lake Central School building, was introduced by Ben Spitzer, CLCS superintendant and Rotary vice president.

Staffed by nurturing teachers, age programs are arranged to fit the child - infant, toddler, preschool and after school girls and boys. The courses encourage children to be actively involved in the learning process and each child is given confidence to pursue his/her own interests in the context of life in the community and the world.

After-school programming, as well as pre-school, is conducted all summer. "We look at all facets of experience; the hands-on learning includes everything from self-control to how to express themselves," Starks said.

"The children come from all over we are the only care center in our area," she noted. "Most families work and struggle to make payments, but we help with that. We write grants and hold fundraisers or are given assistance from the county."

Starks noted that day care is available during the summer and some holidays. Its hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.. For more information, call 753-5851.

Changes in the news

One of the greatest changes in today's newspapers is that readers want information immediately after it happens. So said Cristie Herbst, retired editor of the Jamestown Post-Journal introduced by Ann Weidman, Rotary PR chair. Having served the P-J for 30 years starting with the task of rolling ticker tape and writing obituaries she worked her way up the ladder, first as a reporter, and was named editor in 1982.

Under her leadership through the years, the P-J added a Sunday edition, converted to morning publication and moved from hand paste-up of pages through photo composition to fully digital production and online publication. And, there are more changes on the way, not just for the local papers, but world wide.

The printed word now has competition called "the computer." And, that's how readers can get their information as it happens. One example given by Herbst was the Boston bombing; everyone wanted to know everything about it rather than the Boston Marathon. Further, she said, not all the information was correct, if several websites reported the same thing, "It must have been true."

"Many papers don't publish what readers want," she said. "The P-J online doubled the marathon and the murder of a Frewsburg couple. The P-J's Web site receives 15,000 visits daily," she added. Although free now, eventually, all will pay for online subscriptions, she predicted.

Out Bound Exchange student

By now, Rebecca Sileman is most likely settled in at Nazareth College, however, she had a traveling tale to tell in July. A Chautauqua Lake Central School graduate, she was a W/M Rotary Out-Bound Exchange student to Mexico. She visited Rotary after her return to tell about her experiences.

Greeted by a family who lived two hours from Mexico City, her family members were referred to as "brothers and sisters," about which she exclaimed, "I absolutely love my family."

During her stay, of the three families she lived with, appetites stood out with two: the first ate very healthy food; the second "eats everything." In addition, members of all were referred to as mom, dad, sister, grandma, etc.

All in all, Sileman, who was introduced by Dan Smith, New Generations chair, highly recommended Rotary's exchange programs.

A county business plan

Three aspects should lead Chautauqua County to growth in businesses and a positive healthy future, according to Vince Horrigan, who presented his plan to W/M Rotarians.

Introduced by Weidman, Horrigan laid out his proposals beginning with attracting new businesses. This also includes paying attention to existing companies to prevent their closure or departure.

Next on Horrigan's list was opportunity, "We need to increase the number of employable employees." One of the many ways to do that, he continued, is to "get into schools and talk to students. We need (them) to go to college or BOCES (to learn about business)."

Last, growth initiative is needed to assist small and medium-sized businesses.

Having retired as a U.S. Air force colonel after 27 years, Horrigan and family decided to make their permanent home in Bemus Point where his parents had been summer residents. Active in many county organizations Chautauqua Leadership Network, Rotary Club of Jamestown, Bemus Point village trustee and Chautauqua Lake Association, to name a few he was elected to the county legislature following retirement from 10 years as executive director for the Southwestern Red Cross.



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