Westfield/Mayville Rotary has a busy summer

The Westfield/Mayville Rotary Club members had a busy summer. It welcomed five guest speakers and began preparations for the Oct. 19 Gold Rush event at Easton Hall.

In July, Don Dowling, membership chairman, spoke to members about the “Patriotic Songs of America.” He summarized the history of six patriotic songs: 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.

The second speaker was Beth Starks, executive director and founder of the Chautauqua Lake Child Care Center located in the Chautauqua Lake Central School building. Ben Spitzer, CLCS superintendent and Rotary vice president, introduced her to the group.

Staffed by nurturing teachers, the programs at the center fit the child-infant, toddler, preschool and after-school girls and boys. The staff encourage children to become actively involved in the learning process and to gain confidence to pursue his/her own interests. 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. The children come from all over we are the only care center in our area,” she said “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.”

Day care is available during the summer and some holidays. The center’s hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.. For more information, call 753-5851.

Cristie Herbst, retired editor of the Jamestown Post-Journal, spoke about changes in the newspaper. She was introduced by Ann Weidman, Rotary PR chairwoman.

Herbst worked at the P-J for 30 years. Her career began with rolling ticker tape and writing obituaries. She later became a reporter and in 1982 was named editor.

Under her leadership, 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.

According to Herbst, there are more changes on the way, not just for the local papers, but worldwide.

Readers can now get their information as it happens through the computer. One example given by Ms. Herbst was the Boston bombing. Everyone wanted to know everything about it and not all the information was correct. However, 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 with 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.

Rebecca Sileman, a Chautauqua Lake Central School graduate who was W/M Rotary Out-Bound exchange student to Mexico told the Rotary about her experiences. She stayed with three families during her time in Mexico She called members of these families, Mom, Dad, Sister, and Grandmother.

Introduced by Dan Smith, New Generations chair, Sileman highly recommended Rotary’s exchange programs.

Finally, Vince Horrigan, candidate for County Executive, spoke to the group. Introduced by Weidman, Horrigan laid out his proposals beginning with attracting new businesses as well as s 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,” he said. One of the many ways to do that, he said is to “get into schools and talk to students. We need (them) to go to college or BOCES (to learn about business).”

Finally, Horrigan said growth initiative is needed to assist small and medium-sized businesses. “We can grow jobs from these.”

After retiring from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of colonel, Horrigan and family decided to make their permanent home in Bemus Point where his parents had been summer residents.

Active in many county organizations such as Chautauqua Leadership Network, Rotary Club of Jamestown, and Chautauqua Lake Association, he was elected to the county legislature following his retirement from the position of executive director for the Southwestern Red Cross.