Archive | February, 2013

A visitor’s view of Webster

27 Feb

It’s the simple, unexpected moments in life that remind us that we live in a great town.

Jenny Flanery, from Michigan, discovers Toy Go ‘Round

The other day when I was visiting with Bonnie Reynolds at Toy*Go*Round, a customer entered the shop.  I struck up a conversation with her (because that’s the kind of thing I do) and was intrigued to find out that she was from out of town — specifically, the Detroit area. Naturally, I wondered what brought her into this little shop. Her answer warmed my heart.

Her name was Jenny Flanery, and her husband is a union representative whose job takes him all over the northeast states.  Jenny explained that she travels with him some of the time, but always tags along when he comes to this area.

“I love Webster,” she said. She especially likes all of the small shops in town, she added.  On that day, as she was driving down Ridge Road, she noticed Toy*Go*Round and thought, “I haven’t been there yet.”  So she stopped. And she shopped.

Sometimes it’s nice to see our hometown through someone else’s eyes to remember how special it really is.


“Footloose” kicks off spring musical season

26 Feb

The spring musical season kicks off — literally — this weekend, as Webster Schroeder High School presents Footloose! in four shows this Thursday through Sunday.

You undoubtedly remember the 1984 Oscar-nominated movie musical starring Kevin Bacon.  The story follows a city teenager who moves to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned.  The new kid and his rebellious spirit shake up the town as he tried to bring music back into their drab lives…and win the girl at the same time.

And I’m sure you remember the music. (I’ll bet the title song is dancing around in your brain right now.)  The production will revisit many of the songs in the Tony-nominated top-40 score, guaranteeing a high-energy, high-stepping good time.

Footloose! will be presented Thursday, Friday and Saturday February 28-March 2 at 7:30 pm, an Sunday at 2 pm at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Road.  Reserve seating tickets are $11, and are available at Wegmans or at the door. 

Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks about Webster Thomas’ spring musical, The Wiz, which will be presented in four performances March 21-23.  Tickets are also on sale now for that production, and are availableat Hegedorn’s, 964 Ridge Road, Webster, online at, and through the Webster Thomas Players’ ticket line at (585) 234-8248.


Residents came out early to meet the candidates

25 Feb

Open Party candidates Gerard Ippolito, Jr., John Cahill and Darrell Byerts

Last weekend provided an excellent opportunity to find out more about the candidates running in next month’s Webster village election. Candidates from both parties made themselves available to the public Saturday morning, fielding questions and talking about the issues.

The first event, and the bigger of the two, was a breakfast hosted by the Open Party at the Atlantic Restaurant on Ridge Road across from Schroeder High School. About 50 supporters paid $8 a plate for breakfast and a chance to meet with Open Party candidates John Cahill, running for mayor, and  Darrell Byerts and Gerard Ippolito Jr., running for trustees.

Beginning about a half hour after the breakfast, incumbent candidates Mayor Peter Elder, and Trustees Dave Kildal and Christine Reynolds were holding court across town at Barry’s Old School Irish in the village, buying coffee and shaking hands with anyone who wanted to stop in to chat. That event attracted about 30 residents.

Incumbents Dave Kildal, Christine Reynolds and Peter Elder

The coincidental timing of the two events was unfortunate for anyone who really wanted to get some quality time with all the candidates and dig more deeply into the issues. As it was, I think the only people who scurried to make both events were the local media.  For me, that meant having to cut out of the breakfast and head to the village before I heard all of the Open Party candidates’ prepared statements, which is something I was hoping to do.

Events like these are very important to help voters educate themselves. Fliers and yard signs, letters to the editor and print advertisements are all well and good, but voters need the chance to formulate their own questions and follow up on the information they’re being presented in political materials.  Meet-and-greets like these are a great way to accomplish that, and I hope others are planned in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, I encourage you to ask them all some questions through me.

A few days ago I posted this invitation on my blog Facebook page:  If you could ask any of the candidates a question (or two), what would it be?  Send me your questions, I’ll choose the best ones and present them to the candidates. Then I’ll run their answers in my blog.  Email your questions to


The Webster Public library needs your input

23 Feb

Our Webster Public Library is really neat. The staff there is always finding ways to keep things fresh. Every time I stop in there’s something new going on.

Friday, for example, I was heading toward the back of the library for a meeting with Library Director Terri Bennett and stopped up short at their awesome Hometown Heroes display, honoring firefighters, army and police personnel. It’s a very nice tribute, but the best thing about it?  Kids are invited to try on all the equipment (adults too, of course, if they feel so inclined.)


Terri told me it’s been quite popular with the young ones. Not so much with one young man, though, who had this conversation with this Dad (and I quote very loosely):

Son: “I want to be a fireman when I grow up.”
Dad: “Well c’mon then, son, try on the helmet.”
Son: “No, Dad, I’m not a fireman TODAY.”

The youngsters below had no such qualms:

Library fans Jack Fitzsimmons and Alyssa Doody

The display will be up through the end of the month, so bring the kids on by.

Now back to the real reason you clicked into the blog. Why does the library need your input? Simply because they’re going to have to make some big decisions in the coming years about their collection, their services, even how they use their space. But before they do all that, it would help to know what the community really wants.

Let’s face it: libraries are facing the two-fold challenge of adapting to rapidly changing times, and steadily decreasing funding. Our own Webster Public Library has formed a long-range planning committee charged with addressing those challenges.  They started by asking the community for feedback to guide their discussions. But so far they’ve had limited success.

You might remember, for example, a survey which was distributed several months ago asking for public input. But then again, you probably don’t remember it, because only 29 people responded.  I’m pretty sure more than 29 people in this town have opinions about our library.

So consider this a personal invitation. Webster Public Library Director Terri Bennett would love to hear from you.  What do you like about the library? What don’t you like? What would you like to see more of? What do you think of the children’s area…the teen area…the periodicals?  Do you like the cafe? Are there enough computers? Do you use the Quiet Room? (Did you know there was a Quiet Room?) Is the carpeting too dull? No opinion is too frivolous.

And just think about it. If you’re the only one who responds, and you ask for a water slide for the children’s room, who knows?

Email Terri Bennett at with your thoughts and suggestions.  Or call her at (585) 872-7075. Or just stop by to see her. She’s really nice.


Recycled toys: Best. Idea. Ever.

22 Feb

I readily admit it. I’m a cheapskate. Anytime, anywhere I can save money, I’m there.

It was no different when I was raising my young children. If anything, money was even tighter back then. So when it came to clothing my kids, and providing them with toys and the necessary accoutrements of baby and toddler-hood, I was always on the lookout for a good deal. I relied a lot on hand-me-downs, garage sales, and the grandparents.

So basically, I would have killed for a store like Toy*Go*Round.

You’ve probably seen this shop as you’ve driven by it on Ridge Road in Webster. It’s the pretty blue house with pink shutters (I love that for a children’s shop) at the corner of Ebner Drive.   It’s owned and run by Bonnie Reynolds and her daughter Sarah, and they’ve just celebrated the store’s one-year anniversary.

I visited the other day on the advice of a friend, Beth Brasser, who absolutely loves the place.  From her description and the sign out front, which advertises “gently used toys and kid gear,” I had some sort of idea of what I’d find. Basically, it was a consignment shop for toys, I thought.

Basically, I was wrong.

Sorry, Bonnie, but that slogan on your sign? It’s woefully inadequate.  I would suggest changing that to “A Young Mother’s Paradise.”  Try to imagine walking into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Room, and all the chocolate bushes, trees and flowers, even the walls, are made of toys.

To give you a better idea, here’s a partial list of the different things I saw as I walked through the shop: strollers, toddler toys, stuffed animals, outdoor toys, musical instruments, car seat covers, infant toys, books, kitchen sets, table and chair sets, mobiles, race cars, transformers, action figures, board games, basketball hoop and building kits. Plus all sorts of clothing, even maternity wear (they think of everything). Or, in Bonnie’s words, the selection includes “Just about everything for mom and baby up to age 6.”

My friend warned me in her email that it might be overwhelming. She wrote,

The decor is bright and charming — though you may miss the hand-painted walls and sparkling chandelier because your eyes will be dazzled by a wonderland of colorful toys.”

There was a chandelier?!

Everything, by the way, was clean, sorted, bagged, and very inexpensive. We’re talking toys and baby equipment of all shapes and sizes — including strollers and bouncy chairs — for a fraction of the cost you’ll get at a big box store. I dare say, it was hard to find anything that even looked used.

But what I liked more than anything was the idea of recycling perfectly good toys.  As the kids grow up, we all collect countless toys and closets-full of baby needs that, if we give them away, eventually get tossed in the trash. Thanks to Bonnie and Sarah at Toy*Go*Round, many of them can now be passed on to someone else who will love them all over again.

Not that Bonnie can take everything. Things like breast pumps and car seats really can’t be re-sold. But owning your own business does mean there’s some wiggle  room on other things.

When I was there chatting with Bonnie, a mother and her teenage son came in carrying a box with about a dozen Webkinz animals. I stepped aside to let her talk with them, but kept a close ear to the exchange. Bonnie explained to them that stuffed animals don’t sell very well, and she doesn’t normally accept them. But it was obvious to her that the young man “really needed a little extra money.”  So in the end a deal was struck.  “As long as I can make him happy, I’ll make him happy,” Bonnie said.

You’d never find that kind of service at a big-box store.

Toy*Go*Round is located at 1197 Ridge Road, Webster, at the corner of Ebner Drive.  They’re open 10-2 on Monday, 10-6 Tuesday through Saturday, and Sunday 12-4. Call (585) 545-4904. Check out their Facebook page by clicking here.

P.S. They’ve got a nice selection of Webkinz, just in!


This is the wonderland of toys that greets customers when they walk in the door.

I call this the boys’ room.

The smaller baby and toddler toys are cleaned and bagged.


Have coffee with the (incumbent) village candidates on Saturday

21 Feb

Incumbent candidates Dave Kildal, Christine Reynolds and Peter Elder

Here’s another great opportunity to become an informed voter for this spring’s village election season.

The incumbent village board candidates will host a coffee-with-the-candidates event this Saturday morning, February 23, at 9:30 at Barry’s Old School Irish Pub & Bakery, 2 West Main Street in the village.  Mayor Peter Elder, Trustee Christine Reynolds and Trustee Dave Kildal will all be there, buying coffee, and visiting with and answering questions from any village residents who’d like to come by.

It’s a busy Saturday morning for our village politicians, and for anyone who’d really like to find out more about the issues and candidates.  Simply get up early enough to have breakfast with the Open Party candidates at the Atlantic Restaurant at 9 am, then drive into the village for coffee with the incumbents.

The village election will take place on Tuesday, March 19.

Second Time Around is going out of business

21 Feb

Owner Pat Moss helps a customer at Second Time Around

I’ve been wanting to stop by Second Time Around consignment shop for a long time now; people have told me great things about it. When I finally got around to doing so, though, it was almost too late.

Next Thursday, February 28, Second Time Around will close its doors for good.  The little consignment shop has been an institution in Webster for 32 years, nestled in that little row of rear-facing shops on West Main across from the gazebo. Joan and Pat Moss have owned it for the last ten years. Lately, though, other life responsibilities have begun to take precedence, and they’ve decided to move on.

So through next Thursday, everything in the shop is 50% off, which means that the already rock-bottom prices are even rock-bottom…er.  What you’ll find there is a very eclectic collection of mostly clothes, but also books,  fashion accessories, jewelry, home decor items, shoes and boots, and more.  You’re pretty much guaranteed to find something you need.

Being such an integral part of the Webster community all these years has been “wonderful,” Pat told me. “We’ve had a tremendous amount of good customers and an even greater amount of good consigners. They’ve been very supportive.”

Second Time Around consignment shop is located at 5 West Main Street (in the rear). Call (585) 872-5810 for store hours.


Meet the Open Party candidates

19 Feb

This spring’s village election season is shaping up to be a bit more interesting than most. Mayor Peter Elder and Village Trustees Christine Reynolds and Dave Kildal are facing a challenge from three village residents.

John Cahill, running for mayor, and Darrell Byerts and Gerard Ippolito, Jr., who are running for village trustees, have formed a brand new, independent party which they call the Open Party.  With the slogan “Fresh Water, Fresh Ideas, Fresh Start,” the party’s stated objectives are to bring softer water to village residents by switching to the Monroe County Water Authority, and to bring more transparency to village government.

Village residents are invited to meet the candidates at a breakfast this Saturday February 23 at 9 am at the Atlantic Restaurant, 888 Ridge Road.  The $8 breakfast cost includes meal, beverage, tax and tip.  Several breakfast options will be offered.

RSVP by Thursday, February 21.  Call Nancy Theis at (585) 265-0449.


Time to get a scone and restock my story ideas

18 Feb

Anyone who thinks I know a lot about the village and town of Webster has not met Carol Klem. Carol writes the “Village Focus” column for the village website, which you may have also seen when it’s cross-posted in the Webster Herald.   She is the eyes and ears of Webster, much more than I will ever be. To steal an oft-used phrase, Carol has forgotten more information about the people and places of Webster than I will ever know.

I was reminded of that when I read her most recent column on the website, in which she included a very nice review of the new Prime restaurant on East Main Street.  Not only did she write a terrific article, but she did a heck of a lot better job with it than I ever would.  So good that any blog I would write would be redundant (so click here to read all about the Prime and its new owner).

The reason I happened by Carol’s column was that I’m planning to meet her this morning for scones and coffee at Barry’s Old School Irish. I’m trying to make this a monthly event partly because we have so much fun together. Nothing like sitting two crazy-lady local journalists across the table from one another. We hardly take a breath for the stories we tell, and laugh so hard my side hurts.

But I have another, more selfish reason for meeting:  To restock my story ideas.

Guaranteed when I walk out of Barry’s this morning, my reporter’s pad will be overflowing with news of the town and its businesses and people just begging to be blogged about.  Basically, Carol knows so many things about what’s happening in this town, she can’t write about them all, so she tosses some my way.  I buy her scones. It’s a win-win.


Benefit pasta dinner kicks off busy month

18 Feb

It’s fortunate that many of us have this week off to rest up, because this Saturday kicks five straight weeks packed with special events (and I haven’t even started to look at April yet).

Today, though, I’d like to highlight one in particular.  It’s a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser hosted by Katy Corpus of Webster, to support her upcoming trip as a People to People Ambassador to France, Italy and Greece in July.

People to People was founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 with the goal of educating youth to interact with people from other nations respectfully through full cultural immersion.  The students travel without their parents, which allows them to take charge of their own learning and education while overseas.

Katy explained in an email what the trip is all about and why she decided to take on this challenge:

Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to travel the world. I’ve always believed that there is more to see, more to learn, more to discover in the world than what is just in your surroundings. I also believe that in order for one to be knowledgeable enough to help change the world, one must first see it. This trip will help me start my journey of seeing the world.

I will be going to France, Italy, and Greece (not necessarily in that order) for 19 days in July 2013. I will be learning about intercultural relations, cultural history, leadership skills while seeing the sights and cultures of European countries. I will also take part in a home stay, where I stay with a host family for a few days to truly learn about culture by actually living it.

Here are the details:

Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser
Saturday 23, 4–7 pm
Webster Thomas High School, 800 Five Mile Line Rd, Webster
Cost: $9.00 for adults, $6.00 for children or seniors
Desserts will be available for purchase.

The dinner will feature vegan and  gluten-free options, and diners can eat in or take out. There’ll be entertainment, silent auction and raffles, and vendors.  Call Ken at 585-347-4950 for more information.

Tickets can be  purchased at Computer Works Pro, 1991 Empire  Blvd.,  Webster; Barry’s Old School Irish Pub, 2 West Main St., Webster; or click here to order online.

I’ve only known the Corpus family for the last few years — I first met them when I did a blog about the new Computer Works Pro business which Ken owns (it’s in the gingerbread plaza at the corner of Empire Blvd. and Terrel Drive).  I can assure you this is a great Webster family and a very worthy cause.  I’ll be there early.

* * *

Now, here’s a preview of the exciting things coming up in the next installments of What to Do in Webster?

* Webster Thomas High School presents Footloose, Feb. 28, March 1 and Marh 2 at 7:30, and Sunday March 3 at 2:00. Tickets are on sale now at Wegmans and will be sold at the door.

* The annual Spry vs. Willink Benefit Basketball Game is Friday, March 1 at Schroeder High School. Proceeds will benefit the West Webster Fire Department, and he firefighters and families of those impacted by the Christmas Eve tragedy.

* Also on Friday March 1 is a Neighbors Helping Neighbors Benefit Pasta Dinner sponsored by the Forest Lawn community residents which will also benefit the Lake Road families. Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for children.

* Spry Middle School will present Alice in Wonderland in three shown on March 15 and 16. General admission tickets will be $6 and can be purchased at the door.

* Webster Schroeder High School presents The Wiz on March 21 and 22 at 7:30, and March 23 at 2:00 and 7:30.  Tickets are $10 each,and can be purchased at Hegedorns on online at the Webster Thomas Players website.

* The second annual Schlegel Road Beautification Fair will be held on Saturday March 23 from 10-4.  They’re still looking for vendors and raffle prize donations. Check the event’s Facebook page for more information.

More details will be forthcoming about all of these events … and even a few others in March I didn’t get to yet.