Archive | September, 2012

Red light, green light

27 Sep

Last weekend I found myself driving home along Ridge Road a few minutes after midnight. Believe it or not, the Powers That Be in the state believe it is still necessary at that time of night to have the light at the Webster Square/CVS intersection change to red on a regular cycle. This, despite the fact that those businesses had closed up shop hours ago and there are no cars in the parking lots. You can imagine how frustrating it is to sit there at that light at midnight, waiting for… nothing.

C’mon, New York State. Wise up.

Explore Webster, win prizes!

24 Sep

I love a good challenge. So when I heard about this upcoming event sponsored by the Webster Health and Education Network, I immediately jumped on board.

It’s called the  All-Around Webster Scavenger Hunt. As the name implies, the hunt will guide participants to locations all around our fair town, where they collect clues, and possibly win prizes.  The idea is to give people a fresh look at the many parks and recreational sites in our community, and in some cases, help them discover places they’d never been to before.  And if you have a good time with your family while you’re doing it, all the better.

Clues will be found at the following locations:

* Bay View Family YMCA
* Abraham Lincoln Park
* The Big Woods
* Veterans Park, Webster
* Webster Skate Park
* Bird Sanctuary
* North Ponds Park
* The Webster Arboretum
* Kent Park
* Webster Parks and Recreation Center

This three-day event kicks off on October 6 and will run through October 8.  The cost is $5 for each team (up to 6 people on a team, including at least one adult). You can register and pick up your Scavenger Map at the Bay View Family YMCA on Saturday October 6 from 7 am to 7 pm, Sunday from 9 am to 9 pm, or Monday from 5:30 am to 10 pm.  Return you completed registration form to the Y, the Webster Parks and Rec Center, or the health office at any of the school buildings.  Correctly completed forms will be entered into a prize drawing.

Click here for  more information.




23 Sep

If yesterday morning’s inclement weather kept you from coming into town for Village Days, I am sorry to inform you that you missed a pretty good time.  There was some rain in the morning, for sure, which made it difficult for the vendors to set up, and actually kept many of them from showing up at all. But by 11:00 or so, the last of the puddles were drying up, and the sun even dared to break through the clouds every once in a while.  So the event pretty much proceeded as planned.

Still, it was obvious that many people had indeed been scared away by the gloomy weather forecast.  The crowds were rather sparse, especially in the morning hours.  That was good news for the young participants in the model plane flying contest; fewer entrants meant it was easier to win.  I was pleased to see that that both the museum and the fire station had some good foot traffic for their open houses.

As always, the best part of Village Days was walking through town, and seeing so many old and new friends, neighbors and business owners I have come to know in the past few years.  As always, it was a very nice event, celebrating all that is great about Webster.

Click here or on any of the images to redirect to a gallery of photos from Village Days 2012.


Village Days, rain or shine

22 Sep


So the weather doesn’t look really promising this morning, but Village Days will take over Main Street today, rain or shine. With any luck, the worst of the rains will move off by mid-morning, and we’ll just have cloudy and cool weather this afternoon.

In any case, I will most certainly be there, snapping pictures of all the people and action, so stay tuned for one of my patented Facebook galleries.  (Maybe you’ll be in it?)


Is it Friday yet?

18 Sep

Just before the school year began a few weeks ago, one of my Webster Thomas colleagues posted an interesting comment on Facebook. When I read it, I immediately realized that it had some validity.  Now, two weeks into the new school year, I recognize how wise it really was.

The comment said something to the effect of, “It’s nice to get back on a school schedule because you can start looking forward to the weekends again.”

How true that is, at least for me. During the summer, when I don’t have my regular school-day schedule to keep me grounded, I kind of flounder.  You’d think that having all sorts of free time would encourage me to get a lot of things done.  Instead, it encourages me to be lazy, to spread out all my tasks throughout the day — or week — so that things never seem to get done.  And when I don’t have to get up and go anywhere every morning, one day is pretty much like the next — even Saturday and Sunday.

But when school is back in session and I’m back at work, I have to get focused.  I accomplish in a few hours after school what might have taken days over the summer. Laundry. Housekeeping. Cooking. Ironing. All because I simply don’t have the time to putz around.

And of course, being so focused during the week means the weekend’s relative freedom from workday time restraints is that much sweeter.  So by Tuesday, thoughts of the upcoming weekend are already helping me get through the workday.  This week, for example, I’m already looking forward to enjoying some music and lifting a pint at my favorite pub on Friday night, wandering around Village Days on Saturday to snap some photos, and putting my feet up in front of the Bills game on Sunday.

And if I have the time to get some housework done, I might just do that as well.  But on the weekend, laundry and ironing are on MY terms.


Village Days hits town this weekend

17 Sep

Village Days has returned.

Some young aviators ready their planes before last year’s Model Plane Flying Contest.

The event, which has in years past been scheduled in mid-August, took a skip-step this year and has landed on a brand new weekend, this Friday and Saturday September 21 and 22.  The village decided to move the festival to get away from what has traditionally been a VERY busy summer weekend for vendors.  Being up against five other festivals that weekend made attracting vendors to Webster a difficult proposition.  It was also always really, really hot.

So what used to be a celebration of summer is now a celebration to welcome autumn, with even more vendors and more entertainment than ever before.  They’re also combining Saturday’s sidewalk sale activities with the Main Street Farmer’s Market.

The fun starts Friday night with an Octoberfest theme, featuring a Super Food Court and a concert by The Krazy Firemen at the gazebo. On Saturday, Main Street will be closed for a street festival from 9:30-4, including lots of food, kids’ activities and live music. Here are some details:

Friday September 21:

Super Food Court from 5-10 pm, featuring German specialties from Nancy’s, Joe’s Push Cart, Hatter’s Pub, Coach Sports Bar and Brimont Catering.  The Krazy Firemen, “Rochester’s original Octoberfest band,”  plays in the gazebo from 6:30-9:30 pm.

Saturday September 22:

Street Festival from 9:30 – 4, featuring craft and food vendors, bounce house and slides for the kids, face painting and live music. Performance Hobbies will hold their annual Model Plane Flying Contest at 1 pm at the gazebo.  The Super Food Court will once again be in full swing, and live music at the gazebo begins at 4 pm.

Hope to see you there.



Cheap entertainment at the gas station

16 Sep

If you tend to get a bit bored while pumping your gas, I recommend you take a closer look at the warning sticker on the pump for entertainment. I had occasion to do that yesterday as I was gassing up at Delta Sonic. The grammar nerd in me could only laugh at some of the things it said. Here are the two worst:

“Turn off cell phones or other electronic devices while fueling. Leaving them in your vehicle.”


“Do not fill a containers that is inside or on a vehicle.”

There’s a lesson here: Kids, learn proper grammar in school. You’ll need it for pretty much every job — even a job writing stickers.

* * *

I was also at BayTowne Plaza yesterday, and noticed that they finally put some blacktop down on the north side of the plaza in front of the old Tops store.  That finally allowed them to re-line that area, greatly improving the very confusing and contradictory mess of driving lane markings that was there.  Even so, the lane configuration they have chosen still defies explanation, and from what I saw, people are still ignoring the lines and driving wherever they please.

Do you think the people who designed this lane configuration were the same people who painted the lines at Plank and Empire?


Trucks for the Tower a success, despite the rain

16 Sep

Rodeo volunteers doubled as canopy-holders to keep the tents from flying away in the winds. (Click on the photo to see more.)

If you were one of the thousands of people who came out to the Trucks for the Tower Food Truck Rodeo on Friday evening, thank you! If you didn’t… well, I don’t blame you for a second.

Mother Nature chose to play a very cruel trick on the event, sending gale-force winds, pounding rains, and even a threat of hail Friday night, all of which arrived — coincidentally — right when the rodeo was scheduled to begin, and ended — coincidentally — right when the the rodeo was scheduled to end.  As a result, a good percentage of the event’s very well-laid plans never happened. The bounce house and obstacle course the YMCA brought for the kids could not be used. The hundreds of chairs neatly set up in the dining area were never sat on.  Volunteers originally scheduled to man ticket tables, sell concessions and pick up trash were reassigned to hold down the pop-up canopies so the wind wouldn’t turn them into big blue kites.

Not rain nor wind nor dark of night could keep these young ladies from having a good time in the dining room. (Click on the photo to see more.)

When it became clear that it wouldn’t simply be a matter of waiting the storm out, as many activities as possible were moved inside the Shriner Center, including the raffles, concessions, entertainment and dining.  And so the festival continued.

And thanks to this incredible community, the event did very well, despite the weather. The parking lot was filled, the dining room was packed most of the night, and even though people looked like wet rats when they came into the building, they were smiling and having fun.

And the Shriners.  What a wonderful bunch of people they are.  Without blinking an eye, they allowed us to invade their facility at a moment’s notice. If they had not been so accommodating, the Trucks for the Tower fund-raiser would have been a huge failure.

So thank you again to everyone who helped pull this event together. To the individuals and businesses who donated services and prizes. To the Shriners for their hospitality. And to the Webster community as a whole for your unwavering support.  Thanks to you, we’ll have the Bay View YMCA climbing tower rebuilt before the start of next year’s summer camp.

Click here to see more photos from the event.

Parking problems at the preserve

14 Sep

The Friends of Webster Trails have made some amazing progress in the last year in creating a brand new set of trails at the Four Mile Creek Preserve, corner of Phlllips and Lake roads.   Thanks in large part to help from some Eagle Scout bridge-building projects, the preserve’s west-side trails will be ready later this fall.

Now the Friends would like to create a parking area at the trail head/fishing access point on Phillips Road. Problem is, the Town of Webster does not have the funds this year to accomplish that.

As a result, the Friends are looking for someone who knows someone who would be willing to donate some bulldozer work at cost. The work would involve clearing tree stumps and top soil, boxing out the lot and grading the millings which will be supplied by the highway department.

If you know anyone, email Hal Harris at halmharris@


All the most important phone numbers in one place

13 Sep

Do you remember in the movie The Jerk, the scene where Steve Martin jumps around with great excitement, exclaiming, “The new phone book is here! The new phone book is here!”  Well, that’s how I feel whenever that little local Webster phone book appears in my mailbox, as it did yesterday.

I just love this little phone book. Not only is it a much easier size to manage, the listings don’t bother including anybody I don’t want to call anyway.  It saves me a lot of time when I want to look up someone or some business here in Webster, without having to sift through  a thousand pages and hundreds of thousands of names.  Cute and to-the-point.

It’s also nice to have a Webster/Penfield pull-out map at my fingertips, and the directories of municipal phone numbers and school information are very convenient.

I mean, let’s face it. Webster is the center of our universe. This is a great publication to use when you need to find you way around. If you didn’t get one, they’re usually available at several local businesses, so keep an eye out for them.