An update on Edna Struck Memorial Park

23 Oct

Just a week ago I posted a blog about Edna Struck Memorial Park, the grassy median where Lapham Park makes a slight jog at the corner of Elm St. It’s named in honor of Mrs. Struck, who made it her passion to tend the plants on the island for years.

In February of 2019, someone was driving down Lapham Park much too fast and — instead of navigating the jog in the road — decided to drive right through the park, pretty much destroying it.

Today I can offer a bit more detail about what the newly refurbished park will look like.

As illustrated in the sketch, which I received from the village’s Historical Preservation Commission, the redesign will include a nice mix of colorful annuals and perennials, and some whispy ornamental grasses, anchored at each end by Japanese lilac trees.

The boulder which holds the actual memorial plaque to Edna Struck will be replaced as well, pretty much where it was before.

Welch’s Greenhouse, on Rt. 250 south of town, will be providing the trees, grass and flowers, and will do all the planting.

Plans have been in the works for more than a year to fix and redesign the park, so it’s great to see that work has finally begun. Everything should be completed this coming spring.

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Webster community mailbag

21 Oct

There’s lots going on this autumn in and around the town. I’m going to start today’s mailbag with a few reminders about some fun events you will NOT want to miss.

This Saturday, Oct. 24, the Webster Health and Education Network is sponsoring a Fall Drug Drop-off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Webster Wastewater Treatment Facility, 226 Phillips Rd. This is an excellent opportunity to safely dispose of any unused or expired medications which are clogging up your medicine cabinet.

Registration is not required for this event, but if you sign up on their website, they can send you a reminder the day before the event.

And remember, there’s a pharmaceutical drop-box at Town Hall, 1000 Ridge Rd., in the police station’s foyer, where you can drop off your unused pharmaceuticals any weekday during regular business hours.   


Also this Saturday, the Webster Recreation Center will host its first ever Pumpkins on Parade.

From 6:30 to 8 p.m. this Saturday Oct. 24, you can stroll along the Chiyoda Trail behind the Rec Center and view a parade of brightly glowing jack-o-lanterns. Afterwards, visitors will be treated to free cider and donuts.

But don’t just come and see the jack-o-lanterns. Create one yourself!

Children, adults, businesses, organizations, pretty much anyone who wants to participate is encouraged to carve a pumpkin and drop it off at the Rec Center on Friday Oct. 23 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. OR Saturday Oct. 24 between noon and 2. The Rec staff will be sure to get your creation out on the path for everyone to enjoy.

Multiple carved pumpkins are allowed and encouraged. For each carved pumpkin, participants will get a raffle ticket for a chance to win a great prize.

Businesses who choose to participate can leave a business card with their pumpkin and the Rec Center will make up a little sign to accompany it on the path with your name and logo.

Everything will be ready for viewing from 6:30 to 8 p.m. This is a free event and will run rain or shine, so put it on your calendar, and get carving! The Recreation Center is located at 1350 Chiyoda Drive, off of Phillips Rd.


And don’t forget about the Village of Webster’s costume contest. It’s going virtual this year, but there are still some great prizes to be awarded.

Here’s how it works:

  • Email a photo of yourself in your costume to VOWcostumecontest@gmail.com no later than October 29 at midnight. Group costumes will also be accepted.
  • Judges will take a look at all the entries and award prizes. Winners will be announced on Oct. 31 (Halloween) by noon on the Village of Webster Facebook page (so make sure to “like” the page!) Winners will also be contacted via email and/or by phone, as long as you’ve included that information with your submission.
  • Winners will receive gift cards to a Village of Webster business of their choice.

All (appropriate) submissions will be featured on the Village’s Facebook page, so smile big! I’ll also post the winning photos here on my blog.

So go “like” the Village of Webster Facebook page, check back frequently for updates, and get working on those costumes!


Here’s another fun, albeit virtual, event for the whole family.

It’s a Halloween Magic Show, presented by the Webster Recreation Department.

It takes place online on Friday Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. Cost is $10 per family and pre-registration is required. Check the poster for more information, then visit the Rec Center website to register.


Looking forward to November…

Thanks to COVID-19, the Village of Webster can’t have its usual sit-down Veterans Day luncheon. Instead, they’ll be providing take-out meals for any interested veterans or service men and women on Wednesday Nov. 11.

The village is still working out the details, but so far we know that the meals will be paid for by the Village of Webster and made by Brimont Bistro.

The “luncheon” will be handed out at Village Hall, and a ceremony will still take place at Veterans Park, where everyone will be asked to adhere to social distancing guidelines unless you’re with family. Mayor Byerts will speak.

More details to come about this. But for now, if you’re a veteran or know of one, mark your calendar and spread the word.


The Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf is also looking forward to November, specifically their holiday dinner distributions.

Thanks to COVID, the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf has seen a dramatic increase in the number of families needing help with accessing food this year. There’s been a more than 30% increase since March, and the food shelf is now serving between 138-150 families weekly.

Very soon, frozen turkeys will start going on sale at local grocery stores. If you’re able to grab an extra and donate it to the food shelf, it would go a long way to help feed our neighbors in need. Smaller sized turkeys are fine, 8-12 lbs. if possible.


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Were you at Plank North in 1976? You’re in this time capsule.

18 Oct
The time capsule was actually a large Thermos cooler.

Do you remember 1976? Happy Days was one of the most popular shows on TV. A first-class stamp cost 13 cents. The $2 bill was introduced with great fanfare. Ross Willink was Webster School District’s superintendent.

And, of course, 1976 was the year of our nation’s bicentennial. It was probably that fact in particular which motivated Plank North Elementary School to create a time capsule, filled with items depicting world events, school life and pop culture of the time.

The school chose to “plant” its time capsule — actually a large, red, white and blue Thermos cooler — on June 14, 1976, where the event took center stage at the annual Flag Day ceremony. Each class had chosen a different object to include in the capsule. The objects were presented one at a time, along with an explanation of why each had been chosen.

Some of the more than two dozen items included in the time capsule. Click below to see a gallery of everything.

No one seems to know where the time capsule spent the next 25 years. But we do know that in 2001, on the appointed day, it was opened at a school-wide assembly to the delight of students and teachers alike.

That was not the end of its travels, however. Some time after that assembly, the time capsule found its way to the Webster Museum, where is has spent much of the last 19 years in the museum’s attic.

Last week, it came back home to Plank North again, courtesy Bill Schoff, a former Plank North second grade teacher, and currently a volunteer for the Webster Museum.

Schoff is part of the museum’s “attic and inventory” crew, who are working on clearing out a lot of stuff to make more space. When they came across the cooler, they thought Plank North would like it back, and perhaps share some of the items with today’s students.

Schoff was on staff at Plank North that day in 2001 when teachers and students gathered for the assembly to open the 25-year old time capsule.

He remembers, “When the poster of Fonzie was pulled out, we asked the kids if they knew who it was. One student replied, ‘One of the teachers?'” We adults got a kick out of that one.”

Sharing the cooler with the Fonzie posted was a TV Guide with Sonny and Cher on the cover, a Holly Hobbie doll, copies of the Democrat and Chronicle and the Webster Herald, and almost two dozen other items. Each class’s written description of their object was included in a folder with a class photo. And someone had compiled a scrapbook of playground photos, complete with captions.

I took photos of everything in the time capsule, so you can check them all out for yourself. CLICK HERE to see that photo gallery.

Please feel free to share this blog with anyone you know who attended or taught at Plank North back then (I was out of town, graduating high school). And if you have any stories to share about the assembly or the time capsule, drop me a line!

It’s very interesting to read the explanations of why each object was chosen and what children thought the world would look like in 2001.

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A parade of pumpkins comes to the Rec Center

18 Oct
This image comes from Victor, which holds a Jack-o-lantern Trail every year. Let’s make Webster’s just as spectacular.

Another great Halloween-themed event is coming to Webster this year, this one hosted by the Webster Recreation Center.

It’s called Pumpkins on Parade, scheduled for Saturday Oct. 24 along the Chiyoda Trail at the Rec Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive.

Basically, the Chiyoda Trail — which stretches for a mile around and behind the Rec Center — will be lined with brightly glowing Jack-o-lanterns. Visitors can walk along the trail and enjoy all the creativity and spookiness. Then afterwards, there’ll be free cider and donuts for all.

But before this can all happen, the Rec Center needs Jack-o-lanterns!

Children, adults, businesses, organizations, pretty much anyone who wants to participate is encouraged to carve a pumpkin and drop it off at the Rec Center on Friday Oct. 23 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. OR Saturday Oct. 24 between noon and 2. The Rec staff will be sure to get your creation out on the path for everyone to enjoy.

And don’t just stop at one pumpkin. Multiple carved pumpkins are allowed and encouraged. The more the spookier! And for each carved pumpkin, participants will get a raffle ticket for a chance to win a great prize.

Businesses who choose to participate can leave a business card with their pumpkin and the Rec Center will make up a little sign to accompany it on the path with your name and logo.

Everything will be ready for viewing from 6:30 to 8 p.m. This is a free event and will run rain or shine, so put it on your calendar, and get carving!

My personal thanks to the Rec Center for coming up with this great event. It will add a little bit of fun to an unusual Halloween season.

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Town and village leaf pick-up details

17 Oct

As the leaves are just beginning to fall with conviction, both the Town and Village of Webster are ramping up their leaf pick-up schedules.

Here’s the information in a nutshell for the town, taken from the Town of Webster website:

The Village of Webster also plans to begin its full leaf pick-up runs on Monday Oct. 19, and continue with weekly passes through the week of Dec. 14.

The plan is to complete a full pass through the village each week, weather permitting. As I recall, the weather last year did not necessarily permit that, so don’t be surprised if the schedule gets a bit messed up one week. Especially later in the season, the runs might take 8 to 10 days.

The Village reminds everyone to :

  • not place brush, rocks, pumpkins, wood, plastic, or other foreign material with your leaves
  • not bag your leaves for Village curbside pickup
  • not place leaves in roadway, or on top of drainage structures, concrete, in gutters, or drainage ditches

The village brush pick-up schedule will continue through the winter months, usually on the first Monday of the month. Click here for guidelines and dates.

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Edna Struck Memorial Park is getting fixed

16 Oct

You may think you have no idea what the Edna Struck Memorial Park is, or where it’s located. But if you live in the village, chances are very good you’ve passed by it many a time, especially if you live on the east side.

Edna Struck Memorial Park is the grassy median where Lapham Park makes a slight jog at the corner of Elm St. It’s named in honor of Mrs. Struck, who made it her passion to tend the plants on the island for years.

In February of last year, someone was driving down Lapham Park much too fast and — instead of navigating the jog in the road — decided to drive right through the park, mowing down the trees and plants, and inflicting significant other damage.

Since that unfortunate incident, the village has been tossing around ideas about how to refurbish the median, including reinstalling the two memorial plaques honoring Edna Struck.

On my walk yesterday afternoon, I saw that work had begun. A handful of village employees were busy putting down and smoothing out some new topsoil. Jake Swingly, the village’s Superintendent of Public Works, told me the next step will be to plant some trees, then finish up the rest of the gardens next spring (as seen in the project proposal below).

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Trick-or-Treat Trail a no-go, but the costume contest is on!

14 Oct

It was sad news when we heard that the Village of Webster’s very popular Trick-or-Treat Trail was canceled this year. But perhaps this will help soften the blow: The costume contest will still go on!

It was actually County Legislator Matthew Terp who approached the village and suggested they try to hold the contest, one way or another.

“I helped judge it last year, and I was amazed by how much people put into their costumes and how excited people were for the event,” he said. He thought that bringing the contest back would be fun when everyone could really use some fun right about now.

The costume contest will, of course, look different this year (just like everything else). This year’s Village of Webster Costume Contest will be completely virtual, which means you can participate from the comfort of your own home.

Here’s how it works:

Email a photo of yourself in your costume to VOWcostumecontest@gmail.com no later than October 29 at midnight. Group costumes will also be accepted.

Judges will take a look at all the entries and award prizes. Winners will be announced on Oct. 31 (Halloween) by noon on the Village of Webster Facebook page (so make sure to “like” the page!) Winners will also be contacted via email and/or by phone, as long as you’ve included that information with your submission.

Winners will receive gift cards to a Village of Webster business of their choice.

All (appropriate) submissions will be featured on the Village’s Facebook page, so smile big! I’ll also post the winning photos here on my blog.

So go “like” the Village of Webster Facebook page, check back frequently for updates, and get working on those costumes!

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Got unused and expired drugs?

13 Oct

It’s time to clean out your medicine cabinet and get rid of all of those expired and unused pharmaceuticals that have been hanging around for years.

You especially want to do this if you still have children at home; the statistics about children abusing prescription drugs and overdosing are frightening, and much of that is happening because they can often easily find these drugs in their own bathrooms.

Here are some facts:

  • More than 160 children go to the ER every day from accidental overdose
  • Most people who abuse prescription opioids get them for free from a friend or relative
  • Kids as young as 12 are trying prescription drugs to get high
  • OTC cold, allergy and cough meds can cause serious harm in large doses

WHEN, the Webster Health and Education Network, is sponsoring an event next week to make it easy for you to clean out your cabinets.

It’s the Fall Drug Drop-off, on Saturday Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Webster Wastewater Treatment Facility, 226 Phillips Rd.

Registration is not required for this event, but if you sign up on their website, they can send you a reminder the day before the event.

And remember, there’s a pharmaceutical drop-box at Town Hall, 1000 Ridge Rd., just inside the doors to the police station, where you can drop off your unused pharmaceuticals any weekday during regular business hours.   

Items accepted at the drop box include any unused, unwanted or expired medication such as prescriptions, prescription patches, prescription medication, prescription ointments, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, samples and medications for pets. Items that are NOT accepted include hydrogen peroxide, inhalers, aerosol cans, ointments, lotions or liquids, thermometers, needles (sharps) and medication from businesses or clinics.

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The Town Times has gotten an upgrade

12 Oct

That glossy new magazine you recently got in the mail, with the gorgeous photo of the lake on the cover, wasn’t the latest AARP magazine, Wegmans circular or insurance flyer. It was Webster Today, the Town of Webster’s quarterly newsletter.

Webster Today is a new, improved version of the Town Times. Like the old Town Times, this new magazine format is packed with useful information. But the new clean and uncluttered, four-color glossy layout is a vast improvement.

Here are the things I particularly like:

  • a table of contents right on the front cover
  • a complete town government directory on the inside cover, perfect for tearing off and putting on the fridge
  • photos of the town board members
  • LOTS of information about the Rec Center
  • handsome photo illustrations and colorful charts

In this particular issue you’ll also find the 2021 budget laid out in detail. I’m talking 17 pages of detail.

The Town Times was OK, and provided a lot of information. But kudos to the Town of Webster staff members who envisioned and designed this new publication. It’s a breath of fresh air.

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More great Webster Village business news

11 Oct

It’s been a long time coming, but Yesterday’s Muse books is finally reopening. However, they’re counting on their loyal customers to follow what have become some normal COVID guidelines, of course.

Here’s the email I got from owner Jonathan Smalter:

We are excited to announce that, beginning Monday October 12th, our shop will officially reopen to the public during our usual business hours! ALL shoppers MUST wear a mask; NO EXCEPTIONS. If you are unable to wear a mask, please shop with us online. Our full stock is available to search and browse on our website, and orders can be shipped to you, or retrieved via curbside pickup.

Please continue to practice social distancing while shopping with us. The floor is marked with arrows encouraging one-way traffic flow, and markers to denote appropriate social distancing positions in high traffic areas. In addition, hand sanitizer is available at the checkout counter, and we encourage you to wash your hands in our public restroom upon your arrival and your departure.

BOOK BUYING SERVICES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. Please continue to expect some delays for book buying and special orders. One third of our staff is still working from home, and new protocols we have in place for keeping you safe do take some time each day to implement. You can call us at 585-265-9295 or email us at yesterdays.muse@gmail.com. If we are not available when you call, please provide a detailed message and we will get you in the queue to reply to your inquiry. Thank you for your patience and continued support.

While this pandemic has affected how we are able to do business, it has not impacted us getting our hands on loads of new acquisitions! We have been hard at work during these past months cataloging our fingers off. So what are you waiting for? Come on in or shop with us online and see what’s new! And remember, you can still order new books and pre-order upcoming releases on our Bookshop page.

Even if you’re not a bibliophile, if you’re wandering by Yesterday’s Muse in the next several days, pop in just to say hi and welcome back. We all need to support our local businesses during these trying times, even if it’s just saying “we missed you.” 

Yesterday’s Muse is located at 32 W. Main St., next door to the Village offices. 

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