Archive | July, 2018

WCSD invites kindergartners to Strive for Five

31 Jul
strive

New kindergartners practice the proper way to line up for the bus at a previous Strive for Five program. 

August — and the start of the new school year — are just around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about buying supplies and getting up early again.

For our youngest students, getting on a big school bus on that first day of school can be a little bit scary. A great program called Strive for Five for School Bus Safety helps allay some of those fears.

The program, designed for 2018/19 incoming kindergarteners, provides children the chance to travel a short distance on a school bus with their parent(s) and to learn important safety procedures for riding the school bus.

The program will start at Willink Middle School, where the bus will pick up participants and bring them to (and from) the transportation department. The buses leave Willink at 6:00 p.m. and returns about an hour later.

While at the transportation department, students will rotate through five stations teaching them the following safety elements:

  • Loading and unloading the bus
  • Proper crossing procedures
  • Danger zones surrounding the bus
  • Appropriate behavior on the bus
  • Emergency equipment

Incoming kindergarteners and their parents (no additional children, please) should attend as follows, if at all possible. IF you can’t make your assigned evening, you can come on another, but they district really likes to spread everyone out as much as possible.

August 6 – Plank South
August 7 – Klem North and Schlegel Road
August 8 – Dewitt Road and State Road
August 9 – Klem South and Plank North

Private and parochial schools can attend any one of the four dates.

For more information on the program, please contact the transportation department at 265-3840.

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5K honors the memory of Fairport man

27 Jul

Mark Callanan

As you might have gleaned from the headline, this blog is definitely not Webster-focused. But one of my a Schlegel Elementary School colleagues is helping organize this race, so it’s near and dear to my heart. I want to let as many people know about it as possible, and hopefully drum up a lot of participants.

It’s called the Mark A. Callanan Memorial Run, scheduled for Saturday August 4 in the village of Fairport.

I wrote an entire East Extra column in the Democrat and Chronicle about this race a few weeks ago, in which I shared more about the race and Mark:

Mark Callanan grew up in Fairport, graduated from Fairport High School in 2005 and attended SUNY Geneseo. He served seven years in the Marine Corps, and settled in Washington D.C. There, in June 2015 in front of the Capitol Building, he proposed to his sweetheart Kristi Altieri. They set a wedding date for the following year.

On the morning of June 7, 2016, just two months before the wedding, Mark was warming up to play basketball and collapsed with cardiac arrest. He was 28 years old.

At 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, Mark Callanan was a very big man. And he had a heart to match. Fellow Sigma Nu Chi fraternity brother Mark Picardo called his friend “someone who I always looked up to as a young adult at Geneseo.”

“Mark was one of the major reasons that I decided to join the fraternity,” Picardo said. “He was very welcoming, loving, charismatic. (He) held an enormous presence, physically and figuratively, in the fraternity.”

In the eulogy she wrote for the funeral, Mark’s fiance Kristi recalled that he “had a deep reverence for brotherhood and what it means to take care of the people we love.” Then she reminded everyone about his mischievous side.

“Surely the brother who fell off the Sig Nu roof no less than three times and refused to buy a towel for his first week living in the house because he preferred to ‘air dry,’ could not also be the brother who served in Iraq and went on to complete an internship at the White House,” she said. “But that truly was Mark. Larger than life, in every sense.”

Proceeds from the run will be used to create a scholarship in Mark’s name at Geneseo.

I recently received an email update about the race which has made me even more excited about it. It’s going to be an incredible community event.

Here are some details:

  • Racers will gather at Potter Memorial Park, 53 West Church Street, between 8 and 9 a.m. to pick up race bibs and t-shirts. You’ll also want to take a moment to find Mark Callanan’s brick in the Veterans’ walk there.
  • Opening remarks will take place from 9 to 9:15, after which participants will walk three blocks to the s=race start on Pleasant Street
  • The out-and-back race course will be well marked, but not timed. Feel free to turn around at any point, especially if it’s really warm and muggy.
  • After the race, around 11 a.m., everyone is encouraged to walk back to Potter Memorial Park for Gatorade, fruit and snacks. From noon to about 4, Mark’s family invites everyone to join them at the Inn on Church, 11 West Church Street, where there will be a food truck and dessert truck.
  • I’m looking forward to sharing some lovin’ that Saturday, and I hope a lot of my runner friends (or even walkers) will join me.

Cost to register for the race is $30 in advance, $35 the day of the race. For more information and to register, click here.

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Waterfront Art Festival returns this weekend

26 Jul

art fest

The Waterfront Art Festival returns to North Ponds Park this weekend, July 28 and 29.

This popular festival features artists from all over Monroe County, who line North Ponds’ scenic and shaded walkways, displaying an incredible variety of hand-made craft items in all price ranges.

What’s really nice about this particular festival is that all of the artisans’ work is juried beforehand, which is why it is all so different and so high-quality. I remember picking up several unique Christmas gifts last year.

Plus there are food trucks live entertainment, demonstrations and a wine, beer and cider-tasting tent. There’s plenty of free parking right on the grounds, and an expanded handicapped parking area.

The festival runs from 10 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday at North Ponds Park, off of Rt. 104 between Rt. 250 and Holt Road (you’ll wan to take the Rt. 250 exit off of Rt. 104).  Admission is $3, no charge for kids 12 and under. For more information, click here for the Waterfront Art Festival website.

 

You’re the artist at this new Webster business

25 Jul

diy studio sign

The Village of Webster’s newest shop wants you to do it yourself.

No, really. That’s actually a big part of the name. It’s called Reclaimed DIY Studio, and it’s going to be opening up in just a week or two at 21B East Main Street.

Reclaimed DIY Studio, owned and operated by husband/wife team Tracy Brucato and David Zoyack, is a locally-owned studio (Tracy is a Penfield native) specializing in wooden signs and decor which patrons make themselves.

The idea is simple, fun and creative. Individuals or groups can sign up for one of the weekly pre-scheduled classes or schedule a private class, and in two hours create a rustic piece of artwork from start to finish.

Participants start with bare, recycled pallet wood, sand it, stain it, place a pre-scored lettering sheet on it, “weed” the letters (which basically means prying them off the vinyl sheet), then paint it. At the end of the class, they take with them a unique piece of artwork they’ve made themselves.

Tracy said the idea to open the studio came to her about two years ago.

“I was a stay-at-home mom with two little girls 13 months apart,” she said. “I was constantly trying to keep them busy. We made many trips to the craft stores; that’s kind of where I got the idea to start.”

She noticed how pallet wood signs had become fashionable, popping up all over department stores and home stores and how rustic items were becoming popular for weddings, baby showers, birthday parties and bachelorette parties.

“I noticed a lot of (the signs) for the price were either very flimsy wood or cheaply made where the letters would peel off,” she said. “I thought…I can do this myself and with much better quality.” Teaching others to do it as well seemed like a natural next step.

Tracy encourages her participants to bring their own beverages and appetizers, and simply enjoy an evening (or afternoon) of fun and laughs, while creating something beautiful they can take home with them. It’s a perfect activity for a “girl’s night out” or even a children’s party, and in the future Tracy hopes to start offering theme nights for groups like nurses, teachers or church clubs.

Reclaimed DIY Studio isn’t open quite yet, but plans are to be up and running by the first week of August. In the meantime, you can find out more about them and start signing up for classes by visiting their website or Facebook page. You can also find them on Instagram at reclaimed_diy_studio.

By the way, when they do open, don’t be confused by the address. Although it’s 21B East Main, the entrance to their shop is on Lapham Park, across from Tom’s Garage and the Webster Museum. They’ve settled into the back half of what used to be the Singh Mart (and well before that, Mac 5 Bikes). Another new shop, The Press on Main is in the front half. (Click here to read my blog about that new business.)

 

 

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So many things happening in the village

24 Jul

This time of year is packed with so many village events, it’s hard to keep up with them. But here’s a quick run-down:

Movies

toystoryTONIGHT (weather permitting) is the next family-friendly Movies in the Parkfeaturing the classic favorite (can we call it a classic yet?) Toy Story. Tonight’s movie will begin around 8:45 in Gazebo Park on North Ave. Hegedorn’s will be on hand to provide free popcorn, but feel free to bring your own picnic baskets, and don’t forget chairs and blankets. You can get up-to-the-hour weather updates here.

The upcoming movie schedule includes Early Man on July 31, Cars 3 on August 7, Coco on August 14, and Disney’s Big Friendly Giant on August 21.

Music

The Friday Night Concert Series heats up again this weekend when The Industrial Blues Band takes to the gazebo stage this Friday July 27 beginning at 7 p.m., with their mix of contemporary blues and classic rock.

Upcoming concerts feature Escape Terrain on August 3, the Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra on August 10, and Travis Fitch on August 17. PLUS there’s a bonus concert on August 9, when Kittleberger Florist hosts Rochester Brass and Electric to help celebrate their 90th anniversary.

Wine Walk

The last Village Wine Walk of the summer takes place on Saturday August 11 from 4 to 7 p.m.

These are really fun events. For $15 you get a wine glass and a map, and enjoy an evening with friends strolling through the village, sampling wines at lots of local businesses.

New venues have been added for this final summer walk, and after it’s done, hang around and enjoy some fireworks, hosted at Kittelberger Florist to celebrate their 90 years in business.

Wine not your thing? The village’s second Beer Walk is scheduled for September 15, and a Bourbon Bash on November 10. More details to come about those.

village band

More Music

Finally, don’t forget about the Webster Village Band! They host concerts almost every Thursday during the summer at the band shell on Phillips Road.

The concerts begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Feel free to bring a lawn chair and blanket and some snacks and beverages.

The next concerts are scheduled for this Thursday, July 26, then August 2, 16 and 23. In the event of rain, concerts are moved to Cherry Ridge Senior Center, across the street from Webster Schroeder High School on Ridge Road.

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Construction and deconstruction in the village

23 Jul
gateway

WHAT is going on at the intersection of North Ave. and 104?

If you’ve driven by the intersection of North Ave. and Rt. 104 lately, perhaps when you came into town Saturday for the Jazz Fest, you noticed there’s quite a bit of construction going on along North Ave., especially at the intersection with 104.

It’s all part of the North Ave. revitalization project, which will mean a little bit of a mess for a while, but in the end will make our village’s primary access point much more attractive.

A big part of that project is the gazebo and sign-like thing going up at the bottom of the 104 east exit ramp. That’s all part of what the village is calling the North Ave. Gateway Project. Photos of what the finished project will look like are posted below.

 

According to Village Mayor Darrell Byerts, “The land was given to the village by the state and will be a park and rest stop along the bike trail.”

Specifically, it appears from the drawings that drivers and pedestrians who approach Webster will encounter a handsome gazebo, water fountain, and a sign welcoming them to the village. The electronic billboard that was down there at the intersection for a while announcing upcoming events will be replaced by something less tacky, but equally informational.

While I was at Village Hall taking photos of these drawings, I popped into the office of Superintendent of Public Works Jake Swingly and asked him if there’s been any movement in plans to purchase and install bike racks in the village. (Click here to read more on that issue.)

He was able to tell me that they’ve come up with a tentative design (which he wasn’t able to share with me yet), and it sounded like the village is considering purchasing four custom-designed racks.

Mayor Byerts added in another email that “Some ideas regarding the bike racks have been put forward. How to pay, since they were not in the budget for this year, is the question.”

Hopefully the village will discover that they’re not too pricey. As long as we’re spiffing up the village and trying to make it pedestrian and bike-friendly, they would be a natural addition and well worth the cost.

water tower

The deconstruction to which I referred in the headline is the dismantling of one of the two water towers just south of the village on South Ave.

Mayor Byerts told me in an email that,

The little tower, “Top Hat,” is not needed by the MCWA. When we removed the cell antennas, they were ready to take it down. The remaining large tower is all they need as a reserve. MCWA will be scraping and painting the outside with a MCWA and Village of Webster logo as well as relining the inside of the tank. This would have been a huge expense for the village a few years ago.

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2018 Webster Jazz Fest: Music, dancing, and rain

22 Jul

IMG_9016

Well, we’ve had better weather for the annual Webster Jazz Fest, but we definitely have had much, much worse.

For most of the afternoon and evening on Saturday for Jazz in the Streets, cloudy weather remained just that: cloudy.  But just about when Bill Tiberio was finishing his set and Prime Time Funk was setting up, the thousands of music lovers who packed the streets and sidewalks started feeling some sprinkles. Most were undeterred.

That is, until the rain got a little heavier about an hour later. That’s when people started packing up their quad chairs and umbrellas were raised. And Prime Time Funk played on, his drum-beats heard even beyond Phillips Road (This is actually true. Someone who lives down there told me so.)

By all accounts, the 2018 Webster Jazz Fest was another rip-roaring success, and the rain really didn’t do much to dampen that. My daughter Erin (who, as you know, writes for the Webster Herald) and I were out there taking photos, which I have compiled into a gallery which you can see here.

If you didn’t make it this year, you missed out on something special. Put it on your calendar right now for 2019, because it WILL be back.

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Photos from the Firemen’s Parade

21 Jul

parade01

It took me a while to get around to this, but I wanted to make sure to post this gallery of photos from last week’s Webster Firemen’s Parade.

I was actually out of town and tasked my daughter Erin to take photos for me that evening, and she did a wonderful job. Sorry it took so long for me to share them all.

Here are a few of her shots. Click here to see more.

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Christmas in July at the market

21 Jul

IMG_8994

So it was, like, 80 degrees outside this morning, and people were out in their tank tops and shorts. Still, it looked like Christmas at Webster’s Joe Obbie Farmers Market, held every Saturday at Webster Towne Center Plaza.

It was the market’s annual Christmas in July celebration. Today, in addition to the market’s normal assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, cheeses, baked goods and more, shoppers found the sales tents draped with sparkling garland; the farmers and crafters wearing Santa hats and antlers; snowmen (albeit made of wood) and even a big reindeer (also made of wood). And at the far end of it all, Santa sat in his big chair to welcome children, offering them the chance to get their gift requests in early.

The Webster Village Band was scheduled to play some holiday tunes; I wasn’t able to get there early  enough to see them, so if anyone has a photo of that, please send it along!

Here, in the meantime, is a small gallery of photos from the day.

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Work means play at the elementary schools

20 Jul
plank north 2

A view of the work happening at Plank North Elementary (photo courtesy H. Balsamo) 

School’s out, the teachers are taking a much-needed break, and students are spending their days riding bikes, traveling and hitting the pool.

Nevertheless, there’s exciting stuff happening at the elementary schools.

If you drive by your school in the next few weeks, chances are you’ll see a lot of work going on near one of the playgrounds. Each one of the district’s seven elementary schools is getting new equipment this summer.

At Plank North, principal Craig Bodensteiner said the installation should take only about two weeks. “It’s been so long since we provided our ‘wish list’ of the additional equipment, I’m not sure of all the details,” he said, but he thinks the project includes some additional swings and “green/gold fun stations for our kiddos.”

Bodensteiner added that each of the seven buildings asked for different equipment to add some variety throughout the community.

Click here to see several more photos from the Plank North and Plank South work.

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