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09 Brighter Side/md

Mayo High’s wizard disappearing

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Mayo High School teacher Steven Brehmer, 57, is teaching his last physics and science classes today. The well-known instructor is retiring after 33 years in classrooms, the last 21 at Rochester public schools.

Students say that Brehmer’s zeal and enthusiasm for physics kept them engaged, even while discussing difficult material.

A long goodbye

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Much like Jay Leno or Johnny Carson doing their final shows, the owners of the soon-to-close Chardonnay restaurant are saying a long goodbye.

Reservations from fans are pouring in at the fine-dining eatery, which opened in 1991 shortly after owners Mark Weimer and Lisa Michel got married.

"The response has been overwhelming — I would never have anticipated it," Weimer said.

They’re closing in order to spend more time with their children, ages 6 and 2.

Crossing for the Red Cross

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Paul Scanlon and his daughter Kelsey plan to ride 450 miles across Alaska to raise money as well as awareness for the local Red Cross.

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But they know that unpredicatable weather, insects and animals await them.

"There are a lot of unknowns," Kelsey says. "And the closer it gets, the more nervous I am getting. There might be black flies, bears."

Green saving green

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The effort by Rochester’s government to save energy and money is paying off. Energy-efficient traffic lights are saving the city about $60,000 a year, and an updated refrigeration system for the ice rinks at the Recreation Center is saving about $53,000 a year.

The energy initiative sought to replace lights, boilers, ventilation systems, insulation — anything that might conceivably save on electricity or heating and cooling costs over the long run.

Based on current rates, payback will come in about nine years.

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