And, it’s time to avoid Ridge again

24 Apr

So, the corner of Five Mile Line and Ridge Road is a mess. I mean a REAL mess in all four directions. Like at most times of the day it’s best to find a completely other way around rather than drive through it.

I know that this is just a temporary situation and eventually the aggravation will be worth it. After all, we’ve been whining about Ridge Road improvements for a long time.

But frankly, I have some nagging doubts that all the work will alleviate the traffic problems. That’s mostly because when they upgraded the traffic lights at that intersection last year, they managed to make things worse by eliminating at least one of the right turn arrows that facilitated turns from Five Mile Line.

And the DOT in their infinite wisdom STILL doesn’t realize that pretty much every light on Ridge Road between the village and Hatch Road can afford to be on blinker after midnight. I can’t believe I’m the only one who’s been stuck waiting for all the traffic to come out of the Kmart plaza and CVS at 2 a.m.

I can’t wait until the construction moves to Hatch Road, which will really flummox my drive to work.

Enjoy spring and construction season, everyone! (Just stay off of Ridge.)

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Beyond Cuts holds grand opening

22 Apr

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The sun was shining brightly (finally) and the temperatures were reasonable (finally) on Saturday, making it a perfect day for a celebration.

The occasion was the grand opening for Beyond Cuts Salon at 33 North Ave. The salon itself is well known in town — it’s been owned and operated in the village by Robyn Whittaker for ages. But after 15 years at a small location on West Main Street, Robyn finally was able to move up and out in January to her beautiful new location, directly across North Ave. from Gazebo Park and the Waffle Factory.

Dozens of well-wishers were on hand to take part in the official ribbon cutting, and afterwards enjoyed all sorts of snacks and beverages. Robin also had baskets of giveaways for both children and adults, and a raffle.

I had never been in the salon until Saturday, and I have to say it is a thing of beauty, and very sunny. It’s basically huge — at 1500 square feet, it’s five times bigger than the space she had before. All that extra space has allowed Robyn to add lots of services and amenities, including:

  • a style station where people can try out curling irons and blow dryers while they wait
  • a children’s play area
  • a private body waxing room
  • an expanded manicure area, and more
  • and a huge bathroom (“the last one we had was about as large as this sink,” Robyn laughed.)

Even with all these new services and amenities, Robyn finds something else entirely most exciting: her on-site laundry room. “For 17 years I dragged the towels back and forth to  my house.” she said. “Now I can do them in the back room which is super exciting.”

Robyn also likes the history of the building, which used to be the old Webster Cleaners. .

“People come in here and say, ‘I used to bring my dry cleaning here.’ It’s kind of cool being in a building that people actually came to all the time.”

Check out the new Beyond Cuts Salon for yourself. You’ll find them online here and on Facebook here.

ribbon 2

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Q&A about being a volunteer firefighter

22 Apr

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My Our Towns East Extra column today highlights our very own Webster Volunteer Fire Department. I am proud to know many of these men and women, and pleased to be able to help them in their cause to recruit new members.

So if you’ve ever thought about it — even a bit — and ever had questions like “Do I have to get up every night in the middle of the night to run into a burning building?” you shodl read this column.

wvfd

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Thoughts from the trail

21 Apr

In honor of Earth Day, I decided to bring several Wegmans bags with me today on my regular Barry’s Runner’s Saturday fun run/walk, and pick up trash as I ran.

I don’t run the bike path much anymore since I’m afraid of turning an ankle, but I do enjoy running along the Hojack Trail and through North Ponds Park. I’m sorry to say I was able to fill five bags with trash along that almost 3-mile route. (And I had run out of bags before I made it back to North Ave. in the village, or I could have filled three more.)

Here are a few thoughts from my trashy run:

  • There was less trash along the Hojack than I expected, which either means 1) someone had already been by there and picked up a lot or 2) people who hike the Hojack are generally nature lovers who choose not to trash it. (I hope it is the latter.)
  • I didn’t find any cigarette butts, which was a real surprise. Usually when I do these trash collections, I find them all over the place.
  • I did, however, find enough returnables to buy a six pack of my own.
  • Thank you to the three dog owners who were kind enough to clean up after your dogs. Maybe next time DON’T throw the bag into the woods.

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Webster community mailbag

20 Apr

Let’s start today’s mailbag with a unique event being hosted next Wednesday April 25 by St. Ann’s Community on Ridge Road, which will be of special interest to anyone with a loved one who is dealing with memory impairment.

From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., people are encouraged to visit The Lifestyle of Rainier Grove, the memory care neighborhood at Cherry Ridge. Staff members will be on hand to demonstrate how they use sensory stimulation to bring enjoyment to residents and increase their social interaction.

Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be available. Please RSVP by calling (585) 697-6701

Rainier Grove at St. Ann’s is located at 900 Cherry Ridge Blvd. (across from Webster Schroeder High School). The event is open to the public. For more information, click here to see the Facebook event posting.

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29595506_1997052513657004_6508532490232657654_nThe Webster Central PTSA will present a wellness night on Monday April 30 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Willink Middle School cafetorium, 900 Publisher’s Parkway.

The event, called Coping with Stress and Anxiety in Family Life, is in response to PTSA survey results. It will explore stress and anxiety in our daily lives, provide tips on how to identify it and tools to cope with it.

Facilitators will include Erica Ebert, WCSD instructional specialist and mindfulness coach; and Keith Greer, WCSD social worker, progressive recovery coach, speaker, trainer, and advocate at Recovery Coach University.

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St. Martin Lutheran Church will host its bi-annual Spring Chicken BBQ and FunFest on Saturday, May 5 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Dinners will include a half chicken, salt potatoes, cole slaw, roll, butter and beverage, for $10. Pie slices and other desserts will also be available for purchase.  A hot dog dinner for kids is just $2.

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

St. Martin Lutheran Church is located at 813 Bay Road, Webster.

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The Webster Arboretum Association’s spring plant sale is back, scheduled for May 12 from 8 a.m. to noon.

This sale is just blooming with beautiful, healthy live plants which are grown by local garden clubs and local commercial growers in local soil, so they’re going to grow in your garden, too. Garden Club members will also share their favorite plants from their own gardens.

Check it out at the Webster Arboretum, 1700 Schlegel Rd., Webster. It’s a perfect opportunity to grab a Mother’s Day gift.

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News from the schools

18 Apr

My email box has been overflowing of late with good news from our Webster schools. Allow me to regurgitate some press releases for you.

There’s a new AP in town

Callahan cropped (1)Congratulations to Chris Callahan, who was named the new assistant principal at Webster Schroeder High School.

Chris is a Webster graduate who began his teaching career at Webster Thomas in 2010. At the same time he began his career, he was commuting to Canisius College to complete his Masters of Science degree in Special Education. He took a brief leave from his teaching assistant position to complete his student teaching assignments at Schroeder.

I had the pleasure of working with Chris for several years at Thomas, and can attest to his enthusiasm and dedication to students.

Chris is replacing current assistant principal Shawn Strege, who was recently named director of physical education and athletics for Webster Schroeder High School and Spry Middle School.

Webster’s music program is tops — AGAIN 

NAMMF_18_BCMEThe Webster Central School District music program has once again been honored as a Best Community for Music Education from The NAMM Foundation, for its outstanding commitment to music education.

The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. This is the 13th time Webster CSD has achieved this honor. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the district answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

Give us your drugs

 

 

The Webster Health and Education Network: Drug Free Community Coalition (WHEN: DFCC) is partnering with the Webster Central School District, Town of Webster, and Webster Police Department to hold Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 28.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day, the public is invited to bring unused/expired over-the-counter and prescription medications to the Webster Wastewater Treatment Plant, 267 Phillips Road to be disposed of in a safe manner. Sharps/needles will NOT be accepted.

Domino’s Pizza will be sponsoring the local event, and each person dropping off medications will receive a coupon for a Domino’s item.

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Love your library

18 Apr

logoChances are you didn’t realize this, but last week was National Love Your Library Week.

But don’t worry; all is not lost. If you get right on it, you can nominate our Webster Public Library as the best of the best public libraries. Just click here to fill out the nomination form, but do it quickly, because they’re due no later than midnight this Saturday April 21.

While we’re talking about our amazing library, let me get into a few more details about some of their upcoming events.

The Friends of the Library’s Spring Book Sale will be back next week. Members of the Friends get a sneak peek Wednesday night April 25 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. (if you’re not a member, you can sign up on the spot!)

The sale will then be open to the regular public on Thursday April 26 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday April 27 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday April 28 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday fill a bag for $4.00 or get all books half price.

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If you’ve been doing some spring cleaning and have a couple of boxes of stuff to bring to Savers, wait until Saturday May 5. All donations dropped off that day from 9 a.m. to noon will benefit the Friends of the Library.

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The Friends of the Library are looking for generous people to make hats, caps and head-warmers of all sorts for sale this coming fall to support Webster Public Library programs.

Crafty people are encouraged to knit, crochet, sew, weave or felt hats — infant through adult, beanies to head warmers, of any fiber or make (please include care instructions). Drop off your creations at the library, 980 Ridge Road, by October 1. The entire value of every hat sold will be used to benefit programs offered at the library.

Questions: email FriendsWebsterLibrary@gmail.com.

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Stay tuned for details about a terrific new photography exhibit coming up in May, called “We All Have a Story.” Webster Central School District teaching assistant Linda Hayes has created a series of portraits of several of her WCSD colleagues, including narratives of their life stories.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Road. The entrance is in the back of the plaza off Van Ingen Drive. You can connect with them via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest.

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Barry’s isn’t #1 (yet), but……..

17 Apr

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The accolades just keep on coming for Barry’s Old School Irish. And this time, our little Irish pub has been recognized internationally.

A recent ranking published by the London-based Irish Post has ranked Barry’s Old School Irish #17 on a list of the “Top 32 Irish Pubs in America.”  Our lil’ Webster pub shares space on that list with ones in cities the likes of Atlanta, Houston, Honolulu and Las Vegas.

According to its website, the Irish Post is the “biggest selling national newspaper to the Irish in Britain.” It boasts 80,000 print circulation and 800,000 social media followers. I couldn’t figure out what the criteria were for pubs to make the list, but it’s a pretty impressive accomplishment nonetheless.

You can check out the listing yourself here. But if you’re just curious about which pub ranked #1, it’s McSorley’s Old Ale House in New York City.

Barry’s Old School Irish is located at 2 West Main Street in the village of Webster. If you haven’t been there yet, you’re missing out on something special.

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What I found out at Community Arts Day

16 Apr

I mentioned in a few of my previous posts how much I look forward to Community Arts Day every year, in large part because I get to check in with a lot of community agencies and visit with some people I only see once a year — at this event.

As usual, this year I came away with a whole bunch of flyers about upcoming events, most of which I will be developing into individual blogs in the near future. But for now, let me give you a teaser:

  • The Webster Public Library is sponsoring an unusual fund-raiser. Well, actually, a HAT-raiser. They’re looking for generous people to make hats, caps and head-warmers of all sorts for sale this fall to support library programming. You can knit, crochet, sew, or weave the hats (whatever!) and make them any size or design, then drop off your creations at the pubic library by October 1.
  • The Webster Library’s Spring Book Sale is scheduled for Thursday April 26-Saturday April 28. You can get more details by clicking here.

TROUBLEINP

  • Willink’s fourth annual student-run play will hit the stage on Friday May 4 and Saturday May 5. It’s called “Trouble in Paradise Junction,” which they describe as a “love letter to small town life.” Tickets go on sale Wednesday April 18. For more information visit willinkstudentrunplay.club.
  • The Friends of Webster Trails reminded me that there’s a new trail in town! The new Yellow Trail has recently been completed at Four Mile Creek Preserve, at the corner of Phillips and Lake roads. It’s an extension of an already existing trail system which itself is one of the newer jewels in Webster’s outstanding trail system. Find out more at www.webstertrails.org. And while you’re there, drop them a few bucks and become a member.

Stay tuned for more details about these and other upcoming Webster events, including the Chorus of the Genesee’s annual spring concert, which this year will welcome the Core, and the Yellow Jackets. I just got a flyer in the mail, and will tell you more about that shortly.

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Photos from Community Arts Day 2018

15 Apr

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I think we’re all feeling grateful that the messy weather expected earlier in the day Saturday waited until the evening to arrive. That meant that Community Arts Day 2018 could proceed with nary a hitch.

As expected, I spent more than three hours there yesterday, doing lap after lap of the halls, seeing a new batch of friends, students and colleagues every time.

As expected, I took SO. MANY. PHOTOS. It’s hard to be in three places at once, which would have been required to see everything that goes on at Community Arts Day, but I tried to capture as many highlights as possible. I wish I could have taken photos of all the incredible artistic pieces on display, but I’ve tried to at least provide a nice representation of the incredible talent our students have. And it was fascinating to see the progression from elementary school to high school and see that talent blossom.

Click here to see a full Facebook gallery. (I apologize in advance for it being a little firefighter-heavy. Since my son and daughter-in-law are both firefighters, I’m kind of drawn to that table.)

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