Archive | January, 2013

Defunct gas station will come to life again

13 Jan

The long-vacant gas station at Five Mile Line and Ridge will finally come to life again.

A new Express Mart will be moving into that defunct Mobil gas station on Ridge Road at the corner of Five Mile Line. I was very excited to see the news in the local paper a few days ago, and I followed up with Webster Town Supervisor Ron Nesbitt to get some more details.

According to Nesbitt, the Express Mart will include a gas station and some sort of coffee house, like a Tim Horton’s or Starbucks, but exactly which one has not yet been finalized. The project has already received preliminary approval from the Planning Board and should get final authorization at this coming Tuesday night’s meeting. Construction could begin as early as this spring.

As what about all the traffic the new station will create on an already busy Ridge Road?  Nesbitt told me that Monroe County and the State of New York are planning some immediate improvements to that intersection, but most improvements to Ridge Road will not happen until at least 2014.

 

 

Should Webster create a memorial park on Lake Road?

12 Jan

Is it to early to think about a permanent memorial to honor the heroes we lost — and almost lost — on that terrible Christmas Eve morning?  Probably not. It’s a natural next step for a town which continues to grieve, but is slowly beginning to move beyond the tragic events of that day. The fire and the shootings, and the utter senselessness of it all, tore a hole in this community as nothing has ever done before.  And in the years to come, we all need something, or some place, to visit where we can show our respect and our love for those we lost, and — just as importantly — to remember how as a community we not only persevered, but became stronger.

There has been some talk about creating a memorial on Lake Road, at the site of the fires.  That’s an intriguing idea, but not as easy as it might sound.

For starters, the Lake Road families whose homes were destroyed are planning to rebuild, with assistance from the Town of Webster, which is waiving building fees, and local tradesmen and women who have offered their design and construction services.

But how about 191 Lake Road, where the shooter lived?  Webster Town Supervisor Ron Nesbitt explained in a recent email why that’s not an immediate solution, either.  He pointed out that the lot is small and there’s no room for parking.  Plus, the property is likely to be tied up in the courts for a while. “We still don’t know if it was the sister in the fire, and if it was, and she owned the house,” he said. If she did, it’s possible she left it to someone in her will, which would complicate matters further.

“We are waiting a little longer for things to calm down,” Nesbitt added, “then the town, police and West Webster Fire will sit down and plan a proper memorial.”

So eventually there will be a memorial, but the town is proceeding slowly. And that’s a very good idea, because this memorial, more than any other, has to be done right.

 

 

Walk for W. Webster Firefighters raised thousands

11 Jan

Just a quick follow-up this morning on a blog I posted earlier this week.  The folks at Operation Patriot Foundation have informed me that the Walk for West Webster Firefighters which took place last Saturday at Greece Ridge Mall raised $3,574.05.

Yesterday they presented a check for $3,600 (they rounded it up) to the West Webster Fire Department.

Operation Patriot founder Mark Rossney added in an email,

Combined with our initial donation of $1,000 made on Christmas Eve afternoon, we are pleased to have donated $4,600.00 in support of our heroes Lt. Michael Chiapperini, Tomasz Kaczowka, Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofstetter.

We will continue to offer t-shirts from the walk until Jan. 31 (they will no longer be available after that) and will donate those proceeds in early February. Anyone interested in ordering a t-shirt, you can do so online at http://www.OperationPatriot.org.

We are also pleased to announce that The American First Responder Institute of Heraldry out of Philadelphia, PA has asked us to deliver four “First Responder Service Medals” to the West Webster Fire Department.

It is our privilege and honor to do so.

The logo which appears on the Walk for W. Webster Firefighters t-shirt. Order one for $20 at http://www.operationpatriot.org

Time for kindergarten registration already?!

11 Jan

I was just reminded recently that kindergarten registration is upon us again.  Normally this is not very exciting news, but this year it’s different in a big way. This year, for the first time ever in Webster, parents will be registering their children for full-day kindergarten instead of half-day.

The move to full-day kindergarten for the 2013/14 school year was officially approved by the school board back in December, after the proposal drew strong community support.  The new schedule will mean some changes for families, and a lot of changes for the schools.

In anticipation of all those changes, kindergarten registration is taking place earlier than in previous years.  The process will begin the week of February 11, with each school handling its own registrations. Parent orientation sessions have also been pushed back to give schools more time to update materials. At least a few schools will hold these meetings in May.

Make sure to watch your mail for more information from your school if you have a kindergarten-aged child.  It’s also a great idea to sign up for your school’s electronic newsletter, if you haven’t already.  This is a great way to keep up on what’s happening in the school if you have kids there already, and a nice way to get acquainted if your child will be attending for the first time next year. You can sign up through the Webster School District website.  Look for this icon on the bottom right-hand portion of the page:

 

 

Kindergarten registration time again?!

10 Jan

I was just reminded recently that kindergarten registration is upon us again.  Normally this is not very exciting news, but this year it’s different in a big way. This year, for the first time ever in Webster, parents will be registering their children for full-day kindergarten instead of half-day.

The move to full-day kindergarten for the 2013/14 school year was officially approved by the school board back in December, after the proposal drew strong community support.  The new schedule will mean some changes for families, and a lot of changes for the schools.

In anticipation of all those changes, kindergarten registration is taking place earlier than in previous years.  The process will begin the week of February 11, with each school handling its own registrations. Parent orientation sessions have also been pushed back to give schools more time to update materials. At least a few schools will hold these meetings in May.

Make sure to watch your mail for more information from your school if you have a kindergarten-aged child.  It’s also a great idea to sign up for your school’s electronic newsletter, if you haven’t already.  This is a great way to keep up on what’s happening in the school if you have kids there already, and a nice way to get acquainted if your child will be attending for the first time next year. You can sign up through the Webster School District website.  Look for this icon on the bottom right-hand portion of the page:

 

Wednesday Webster Mailbag

8 Jan

Time again for another riveting installment of the Webster Blog Mailbag, a potpourri of interesting items that find their way to me through my various email accounts.

A special Family Fun Night at the Bay View Family YMCA this Friday January 11 will benefit the West Webster Fire Department.

From 6-8:30 pm, the Y will have activities set up throughout the building for family members of all ages to enjoy, including the huge inflatable climbing thingy, swimming, crafts, games, snacks and more. Cost is $20 per family, and all proceeds will support the fallen and recovering firefighters of the West Webster Fire Department.  All active first responders, firefighters and their families will be given free admission.

The Bay View Family YMCA is located at 1209 Bay Road, Webster.

* * *

All this month, the Webster Museum is proud to host the Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Traveling Exhibit.

This is a beautiful exhibit of 26 quilts newly-made, but true to 1812-period quilting patterns, fabrics and colors.  It includes 20 American-made “cot-to-coffin” quilts from 11 states and six Canadian-made quilts from three provinces. The 30-inch-wide by 70-inch-long sizing represents the average height of a man during the war.  Story cards with each quilt share the factual history represented by the quilt or the imagined tale of a family sending a loved one off to the war.

The exhibit is traveling to quilt shows, museums and historic venues all along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, which follows the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie in New York and Pennsylvania. Much of the War of 1812 was fought along this strategic freshwater shoreline.

Check out the exhibit yourself from January 6-20 at the Webster Museum. They’re open from 12-4 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. If you’d like to see the exhibit at some other time, call (585) 265-3308 to arrange a tour. There is no admission cost, but donations will be gratefully accepted, a portion of which will be donated to the West Webster Firefighter Fund of the Webster Community Chest.

* * *

The Webster Thomas Titans Hockey Team is hosting its first “Honor our Heroes” game on Friday Jan. 11 against division rival Victor. Thomas players will wear unique camouflage jerseys as a part of the team’s effort to honor all service members (including women and men in the military, first responders including firefighters, police officers, and EMTs).

The action starts at 5:30 pm at the Webster Ice Arena, 865 Publisher’s Parkway, Webster. Tickets are $4 for adults, $2 for seniors and students. Current military and veterans, as well as first responders will be admitted free of charge with ID. The team will also be running a 50/50 raffle, selling the team’s camouflage jerseys and collecting donations. All proceeds will benefit the CDS Monarch Warrior Salute program.

* * *

Finally, I wanted to pass along my personal congratulations on the engagement of one Webster’s nicest young couples, Jonathan Smalter and Kristine Rinebold of Yesterday’s Muse Books.  They officially announced the happy news in the shop’s most recent e-newsletter.

I’d like to sign off with the following, which Jonathan also wrote in that newsletter in response to the terrible events of Christmas Eve. I thought it was poignant and beautiful and perfect; words we should all live by.

Objectively, one might think that tragedies like these leave one feeling empty, in doubt of humanity, or frightened of the future. That’s certainly understandable. But having gone through this as part of the Webster community, I must say that I don’t feel that way at all. This has shown me how strong we are as a society. We show our greatest strength in the times of greatest adversity. Each time we are knocked down, we pick ourselves up and stand taller. With loss comes a greater understanding of what we have, and what is truly important.

Loss also helps us realize how lucky we are. … I gave several toasts during Christmas and New Year’s celebrations with family, acknowledging how fortunate we were to be together for the holidays, and to have these happy moments to look forward to. I’m not generally one for New Year’s resolutions, but this year I think I’ll resolve to alter my perspective a bit, whether that means realizing my problems are small in the grand scheme of things, or that the simple pleasures which sometimes seem small are actually among our greatest possessions.

 

More fun with words

7 Jan

So, did you have a little fun on Sunday trying to guess those idiom sculptures?  How did you do?

Yesterday morning at school, Webster Thomas art teacher Sue Toomey showed me a handful of other sculptures which weren’t part of the original collection because they were on display at District Office.  So to be fair, I figured I’d better post a second blog with the additional sculptures.

Once again, each sculpture is a physical representation of a a common idiom. Your challenge is to figure out what that idiom is. Each artist’s name is shown in the caption. Once you make your guess, scroll your mouse over it to check your answer.

If you didn’t see the original 16 photos I posted on Sunday, click here to go directly to that blog. Have fun!

 

by Jessie James

 

by Natalie Montoya

 

by Dan Brown
by Megan Ziegler
by Jamie Menaldino

 

Mall walk benefited West Webster firemen

6 Jan

A charity walk drew an estimated 300-400 people from all over the county to the Greece Ridge Mall on Saturday morning to raise money for West Webster firefighters.

The walk was organized by the Operation Patriot Foundation, a group dedicated to paying tribute to first responders, and to raise funds to support them.

The event was intended to bring the community together for a one-lap walk around the mall to honor firefighters Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka, who lost their lives on Christmas Eve; and Ted Scardino, Joe Hofstetter and John Ritter, who were injured.  It was also designed, of course, to raise money for the West Webster Volunteer Fireman’s Association. The effort raised funds through walker registrations and t-shirt sales.  A final total is not yet available, since donations are still coming in, but the folks at Operation Patriot expect it to be more than $3500.

If you’re still interested in purchasing a t-shirt, by the way, you can order one for $20 through the Operation Patriot website.

I could not attend the walk myself, so am very grateful to Kim Runnells for acting as my blog photographer for the event. She took some great photos. A few of them are posted here, and the rest are posted in a gallery on my Facebook page. Just click on any of the photos to go there.

By the way, if you haven’t heard the news yet, Joe and Ted have both been released from the hospital. May they have a speedy recovery.

 

Fun with words!

5 Jan

OK, I thought we all deserved to have a little fun today. So I present you with this mind-teaser.

You will find below a series of photographs of sculptures created by students in Sue Toomey’s Sculpture class at Webster Thomas High School.  Most of them were crafted this year (and so I know the artists’ names), but a few are from last year’s class.  Each one of them is a manifestation of a common idiom or phrase.  For example, the first one below, by Jaycob Sanchez, depicts the phrase “Mind on my Money.”  There are 16 different sculptures; your challenge is to see how many of them you can figure out.

Each artist’s name (if known) is shown in the caption.  After you’ve made your guess, scroll your mouse over the photo to see the sculpture’s title and check your answer.  Be forewarned: some are harder than others.  Good luck!

Jaycob Sanchez
Artist unknown
Veronica Speer
Madison Goodwine

 

Katelyn F-Thompson
Ally Bilow
Austin Deuschle
Artist unknown
Hailey Frank
Artist unknown
Nicole Meynadasy
Artist unknown
Marley Morrill
Kelsey Chippero
Alexa Cunningham (the word surrounding the knight is “SOMEONE”)
Aubrie Isaac

A heartfelt thank you from the West Webster FD

4 Jan

West Webster Fire District Chief James Deisenroth posted this blog yesterday. If you haven’t seen it yet, I am pleased to share it with you now. I am so very proud to be a part of this community, and proud to call Webster my home.

Thank You Message from Chief Deisenroth

The West Webster Fire District family would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to our loving and caring community. We are enormously overwhelmed with the generosity of each and every one of you and as unbelievably amazing as you have all been, we should not be surprised. We have witnessed the true meanings of honor, community, brother and sisterhood, and family. Our family extends well beyond our firehouse and our community well beyond Webster!

To thank you all for each and every gift of love you have given would be impossible as we are still learning of the many ways people have shown and continue to show their support. You have visited our home with cards, monetary gifts, food and drinks, flowers, candles, teddy bears, plaques, hand-crafted crosses, drawings, and even coffee and treats from Abbott’s. Facebook Groups have been formed by many to show support, share comforting words and pictures, and even arrange for transportation and housing for the funeral services. We notice signs in front yards and we see your flags are lowered. We notice when you tell us to be safe and we know those words hold more weight than anyone could ever explain. We appreciate each and every person who stood outside to watch the funeral processions and every vehicle that stopped on the side of the road. We saw flags waving, people saluting, hands over hearts, and we have seen so many tears. Each and every one of you not only reminded us but also taught us what it truly means to be a strong and loving community.

Brothers and sisters came from all over, including other countries, to pay their respects and to share in our grief. Each and every one of you not only reminded us but also taught us what Brotherhood/Sisterhood truly means.

You have prayed for us and with us and we know that you will continue to pray, as will we.

“Thank you” doesn’t begin to express our appreciation to all of you. Please know that the good you have all shown will always be remembered and cherished by all of us. You have truly honored our brothers!

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the various media outlets for respecting the wishes of the families through this difficult time. We appreciate them working with us to make sure the highest level of respect was shown during all of the events that they attended.

May you all have a safe and happy 2013.

James Deisenroth
District Chief
West Webster Fire District