Archive | June, 2020

Finding cheer amid adversity

27 Jun

These last few months have been difficult for everyone. The coronavirus has created an unending variety of challenges. It’s hard to see anything positive in what we’ve been dealing with.

But perhaps it’s just a matter of looking for it.

Case in point: there are a lot of really beautiful, interesting and whimsical things all around us, and it’s really fun to notice them. During the last week or two, as I’ve been out on my walks or bike rides, I’ve taken photos of some of these.

My husband and I came across this bench and tree, for example, along the canal path in Pittsford. Someone has been spending their down time crocheting, and using their creations to brighten up the path for riders and walkers who come by.

IMG_20200619_133821102_BURST000_COVER_TOP Closer to my home, this poor Rudolph, Santa and his sleigh made me laugh. Their next stop is the dump but I’m sure then enjoyed many happy holidays in front yard of this Penfield home.


I always appreciate it when homeowners take the time to do something extra special with their little front-yard gardens. Here, a mermaid patiently awaits the mailman every day.


Not far from the mermaid, this whimsical fairy garden just invites people to stop for a moment to say hi to the little people. It’s hard to appreciate the complexity of this presentation in this far-away photo. Try clicking on the photo for a closer look.


This was a spectacular stand of daisies in front of a North Penfield home.

These were  both taken in the village. On the left is a cute bird house recently attached to a tree on Main Street. On the right is something I’ve never seen before, a lawn Roomba (I actually looked it up — it’s called an “auto mower.”) It attacked us as we were riding along Pierce St. (Meaning it came right up to the street shoulder as I was riding by.) Scared me to bits. But it just patiently turned around and started heading the other way while I stopped to catch my breath, and this photo.

Finally, these two photos from my bike rides in and near North Ponds.


The first is a baby raccoon. A week ago I saw three of these babies on the Bird Sanctuary Trail. They’re about the size of a large kitten. This little one was wandering along Orchard St. all by himself (herself?). When I approached he slid into the grass and tried to hide. I’m just hoping that he didn’t wander out into the street again and get hit.

And finally, one happy family:


Next time you’re out and about, make sure to stop and smell the roses. Or at least notice them, and all the other beautiful and unusual things that make our neighborhoods great.

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Thank you, Friends of Webster Trails!

24 Jun

If you’re like a lot of us, you’ve been out walking or biking a lot more these last few months. If some of those treks have been along any of our beautiful Webster trails, this blog is directed to you.

Have you ever thought about why our trails are so plentiful and beautiful? We can thank the all-volunteer Friends of Webster Trails for that. These volunteers put in thousands of hours every summer planning, creating and maintaining these trails. It’s really a thankless job, since only a small percentage of the people who use our trails actually sign up as members of the Friends. (It really doesn’t cost much. Check out the membership page here.)

I was thinking about them as I was biking a few days ago along the Bird Sanctuary Trail, which runs northeast from Orchard Street to Rt. 250 and connects up with the Chiyoda Trail by the Rec Center. This is a beautiful, peaceful, well-maintained trail and an excellent example of the great work the Friends do. It reminded me of why I’m a dues-paying member of the organization and will be for as long as I live in this town.

If you’re not familiar with all of the terrific trails we have here in Webster, check out the Friends of Webster Trails website, then get out there and start exploring. If you ARE already a fan of our trails, please consider dropping $10 for a single membership or $15 for a family. Your donation will go a long way to helping these fine folks help US enjoy our town’s natural beauty for years to come.

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What’s new at your Webster Public Library?

23 Jun

webster library

It’s been a long time since I’ve devoted one of my blogs to our Webster Public Library. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t been busy.

For starters, for a while now the library folks have been offering their Drive-Up, Pick-Up service for everyone who needs a book fix.

It’s really easy to get book. Just email your requests to or call 872-7075. Include your name and library card number, and please limit to 10 items for now. Hours are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday – Saturday. .

The book drop is open, and accepting all returns. Nothing’s overdue yet; the due date for all items is June 29, so you still have some time to get them in. Items returned in the book drop will remain on your account for three to four days (under quarantine), then they’ll be removed from your account.

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If you haven’t done so yet, you HAVE to check out the Webster Library’s YouTube channel. It’s absolutely PACKED with informative and fun videos for everyone. There’s Storytime with Jason, book reviews, music, crafts, experiments, puppets, library program information and lots, lots more.

The library staff is particularly excited by their “Let’s Explore Webster” video series.  These are entertaining and informative video tours of some of Webster’s best features. So far the videos have featured Webster’s Farm Markets (you can check that one out below), the Arboretum, and the Webster Museum.

Click here to go directly to the YouTube channel then search for “Let’s Explore Webster” to find the videos.

The library building itself still isn’t open for business, but an incredible variety of classes and activities are still being offered online. imagine your storyThis summer’s reading program, for example, is in full swing. It’s called “Imagine Your Story.” You earn points by reading or listening to books, completing “missions,” and playing online games. Prizes are being awarded every week. There’s still plenty of time to sign up.

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This Friday, June 26 beginning at 6:30 p.m., the library will host a Family Disney Trivia Night via Facebook Live.

The event will be streamed live, and there’s no need to register. Just log onto the Webster Public Library Facebook page at 6:30 to have some fun!

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In just a few weeks, the Webster Public Library is will host “Blaze’s Great Adventure” community-wide scavenger hunt of the parks in Webster. The library’s Summer Reading Dragon, Blaze, is exploring a new park in our area each week, and it will be your job to find him based on the riddles he leaves.

blzeThe scavenger hunt will be 4 weeks long, starting July 6 and running through August 2. Blaze will release his riddle each Monday morning on the library’s Facebook page and emailed to the registered participating teams. You’ll have until the following Sunday at noon to find where he is hiding in each park. Once you find him, take a picture with him and email it to

Teams who complete the challenge will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize, a $100 gift card to Barnes & Noble, and Blaze himself.

For more information and to register, click here.

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Kids entering grades 4 through 12 are invited to join the Virtual Fantasy Camp: Fantasy Dragon Painting Online.

15922370322020’s Summer reading theme is “Imagine Your Story” so the library has created a series of fantasy-themed crafts through the month of July.

Most materials will be supplied, and available to be picked up at the library via curbside pickup (or in person if they are open to the public) the week before each program. Any additional supplies you will need to provide yourself are listed below.

Wednesday, July 8: Fantasy Dragon Painting. Provided supplies: Canvas, dragon silhouette, paintbrushes. Other required supplies: Paint, tape, scissors

Wednesday, July 15: Goddess Bracelets
Wednesday, July 22: Dragon Eggs
Wednesday, July 29: Fairy Terrariums

All programs will be held virtually via Zoom. Please register for each session individually. Click here to register.

For more information about all these events and programs, visit the Webster Public Library website.

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Patriotism on Parade in Penfield

22 Jun

This summer’s Fourth of July celebrations have all been put on ice, but Penfield has devised a fun way to celebrate the holiday … virtually.

Here’s the notice they’ve sent out to everyone:

Hey Penfield! There won’t be a formal parade this year, but we can still celebrate and show our patriotic spirit! Join your friends and neighbors for a little friendly competition: Penfield’s Patriotism on Parade!

American patriotic house with striped flag logo icon vectorDress up your home/property in its patriotic best and send your address to Penfield Recreation at Be sure to let us know if your display is best viewed during the daylight or in the dark. We will add your location to a list of  addresses that the public can drive by to enjoy a dose of patriotism. They will vote on their favorite display and the house with the most votes will win this year’s coveted award along with town-wide, year-long bragging rights!

We encourage you to use recycled/upcycled materials in your displays, and choose a theme such as honoring America’s heroes, or a unique patriotic theme of your choice. All entries must be non-political, non-discriminatory, and appropriate for all ages.

Displays should be ready for public display and voting July 3-5. Voting will end at 12:00 midnight Sunday, July 5.

Voting link can be found on the Quick Links section of and beginning July 3.

Way to go Penfield! How about we do something like this, Webster? Even if the town and village don’t organize a similar event, feel free to send me a photo of your decked-out house and we’ll have a mini-contest right here on my blog.

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Webster community mailbag

19 Jun

As summer kicks into gear, thanks to this stinkin’ virus, there’s not a lot happening in our town and village. But I have a few items to bring to your attention today.


First, a reminder about tomorrow’s “Summer Celebration, Re-Imagined” at the Webster Recreation Center. Naturally they can’t hold the usual celebration this year, so the folks at the Rec Center have come up with a fun alternative.

Here’s the information again:

2020 is the year of thinking differently – and town festivities are no exception. While we have made the tough call to cancel Summer Celebration this year, the Town of Webster Parks and Recreation Department is bringing our Webster community together that day…in a different way!

Introducing “Summer Celebration Re-Imagined”! On Saturday, June 20 from 12 p.m. to  – 2 come to the Rec Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive, to pick up a FREE bag filled with surprise items to celebrate summer at home!

The bag distribution will be a drive-thru party in a parking lot! We can’t tell you everything we have in store for you… but we are encouraging you to pack up the family and come pick up a bag! (*Bonus points if your car is decorated in fun summer gear!*) So, even though we can’t be together this year, we can still celebrate!

**PLEASE NOTE** There is a limit to ONE (1) BAG PER CAR. Bags are available to the first 1000 cars from 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm or until supplies run out. Please wear a mask, remain in your car at ALL times and follow the traffic pattern.

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narcanHere’s a great opportunity provided by WHEN, the Webster Health and Education Network and other local agencies.

It’s a virtual Narcan training. Participants will learn how to administer Naloxone in the case of a drug overdose, perhaps saving a life. Only 50 slots are available, and you can register online here. Check out the poster for more information.

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As you have probably heard by now, the Webster CSD 2020-2021 school budget was passed by an overwhelming margin.

As a teaching assistant in the district, may I add my personal thank you for supporting your teachers, staff members and students during this very difficult time. It’s going to be hard enough trying to figure out how to keep everyone safe this fall while still delivering the quality education that Webster has come to be known for. Having to do that while worrying about where funding will come from would make that even harder.

Here are the details:

Budget = APPROVED       YES = 6,197 (62%), NO = 3,808 (38%)

Proposition #1 for purchase of school buses = APPROVED     YES = 6,037 (60%), NO = 3,950 (40%)

Board of Education Election (THREE positions):

    • Janice Richardson = 4,430
    • Mike Alt (incumbent) = 4,304
    • Mike Suffoletto (incumbent) = 4,239
    • Jennifer Birdsong-Ng = 4,067
    • Shanna LaDelfa = 3,811
    • Maria Cortes = 3,706
    • John Hutchings = 1,727

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Way to go, Webster!

13 Jun


Saturday afternoon, hundreds of Webster residents came together at Veteran’s Memorial Park on North Ave. to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The peaceful gathering featured several speakers, and an 8 minute, 46 second period of silence to represent the length of time a police officer kneeled on the neck of George Floyd.  There were also petitions, and a huge poster for people to sign and pledge to be an anti-racist.

It was a very meaningful, moving and inspirational ceremony, and I’m proud to be a part of a community that supported it so strongly. Thank you also for the special police who helped manage the traffic to make sure all of the attendees were safe.

I apologize to my readers for not letting you know about this event in advance. I didn’t even have any idea it was happening until a friend mentioned it to me, and that was a full hour into the ceremony. Still, I was able to quickly head on down there (another benefit to living in the village) and snap some pictures.

Ironically, I found out about it just after I had returned from a similar event in the Village of Pittsford. There, the Rochester Anti-Racism Action Coalition had organized a march from the community center to the Port of Pittsford gazebo. That event also drew many hundreds of people, a testament to how serious people are about the Black Lives Matter movement. Hopefully, participation in these rallies will turn into commitment to help bring about real change this time.

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The village is open for business!

13 Jun

Things are far from being back to normal, but our village businesses are showing some signs of life.

Especially now that we have reached Phase III, village businesses are beginning to open their doors to retail sales again. What’s different is that staff members will be wearing masks (and customers should be as well), and there might be one-way tape marks on the floor and in front of the registers encouraging proper social distancing.

However, what hasn’t changed is that the same friendly owners and staff members will be there to welcome you, and they’ll be very happy to see you.

Frankly, I’m relieved to see that most of our village businesses were able to weather the pandemic. The one notable exception is The Pickled Paintbrush, which closed for good about a month ago. (But even that unfortunate news has a happy upside, which I’ll mention later.)

You, the loyal customers, are the main reason these businesses are still here. John Bucci, owner of The Music Store, 18 E. Main St., was blown away by the support his shop received while he was closed, making purchases via email, phone calls or online.

John Music Shop

John Bucci behind the counter at The Music Store

“Everybody was just being amazing,” he said. “People who needed a set of guitar strings, buying three or four, saying ‘We gotta keep you here, I gotta do what I can.’ Whatever they wanted, if I was even close to what they needed they were fine.”

He’s been in business for 31 years, he added, and always wondered “Does it matter? Then to hear the phone calls and the people going ‘Yeah, we got to keep you in business.'”

I also stopped by Nest Things, 11 E. Main, where owner Gail Maier took a few minutes to show me the beautiful garden she’s created behind her shop. Stop by for yourself and she’s be happy to give you a tour.

The Village Quilt Shoppe, 21 East Main, one of Webster’s newest shops, is also back in business after staying busy helping craft thousands of face masks for healthcare workers and social agencies.

Chandeliers and Performance Hobbies are also up and running again, and I’ve seen people popping in and out of The North Bee on North Ave.

But probably the most exciting news comes from LaLa of Webster, at 38 E. Main. After only a little more than a year and a half in business, LaLa not only weathered the storm, but is expanding.

Owner Lisa Schlonski will be expanding into the former Pickled Paintbrush space, which is right next door to her current shop. It will more than double the floor space she already has, including adding a third floor, which will become a clothing boutique.

Lisa hopes to finish renovations in just a few weeks, so watch for notice of a grand reopening party.

Plus, of course, the restaurants are opening up. I saw some brand new, beautiful patio seating at The Filling Station, and Barry’s outdoor patio is getting so busy that they’re taking reservations.

So let’s keep supporting our local businesses and show them how much we appreciate them.

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A day of celebration for our seniors

12 Jun


June is packed with a lot of fun days as we celebrate the last days of school, and especially those students who are moving up to new schools. Tops on that list of fun days for me is the day our high school seniors — in their gowns — parade through the halls of their former elementary schools.

That couldn’t happen this year, but the district was able to come up with something pretty darn close.

This morning, our Webster Thomas and Schroeder seniors were invited to drive through their high schools’ bus loops, where they were cheered and congratulated by their teachers. They they spread out throughout the district to their elementary schools, where they were cheered again by their former elementary school teachers. Most of the cars were decorated to the max with streamers and balloons, and signs indicating the student’s future college or life plans.

The event is always a very touching moment for these teachers, many of whom haven’t seen these kids since they were in 5th grade.


Plank North teachers lined the bus loop to celebrate their former students.


Across the “street,” Plank South teachers welcomed their former students at the same time.

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Marching Band bottle and can drive is June 13

8 Jun


The Webster Marching Band could REALLY use your returnables this year.

Due to the pandemic and the schools’ being closed, the band hasn’t been able to do any of their usual fundraisers this year.  But they’re planning to at least resurrect their bottle and can drive by turning it into a drop-off event this year.

On Saturday June 13, instead of putting your bottles and cans outside of your home, the band is asking that donations be dropped off at one of three locations, between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.:

  • Can Kings in Webster across from Eastway Wegmans,
  • Can Kings in Fairport, 1276 Fairport Rd.
  • Xerox Building 128 Parking lot off Phillips Road

If you can’t make it to any of these locations, you can call the Bottle and Can Hotline at 234-8684 (choose option 1) and someone will pick up your donations.

For more information, visit the Friends of Webster Marching Band event page on Facebook.

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Neighbors come together for a special birthday parade

7 Jun

How about a little happy news for a change?

A very special birthday parade was held this afternoon for a very special young man, Jack Frank, who turned 9 years old today.

Jack’s mother Alana said that she put the word out to her neighbors — many of whom own some real hot-rods —  and a few of Jack’s teachers at Plank North that she’d love to brighten his day with a parade. It kind of morphed into something much bigger than she ever expected or hoped for.

Even our local first responders answered the call, leading perhaps 50 or so cars, motorcycles and bicycles down the street, to Jack’s utter delight.

Check out this short video from the beginning of the parade and you can see how much fun he was having. (The fire trucks are kind of loud, so get ready to turn down your speakers!)

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