Archive | May, 2021

Neighborliness transcends town borders

11 May
Julia Meyers and Sophia Elias ready to work.

Last Saturday May 8 was the Terry Rothfuss Memorial Good Neighbor Day in Penfield. This annual event, organized by Penfield Recreation, gathers volunteers to help Penfield seniors, veterans and those who are disabled do light yard work and spring cleaning.

The event honors the memory of Terry Rothfuss, a farmer in east Penfield who was always ready and willing to help anyone at any time. After he passed away in 2014, his friends and family wanted to carry on Terry’s legacy of friendship by continuing to help their community and inspire others to do the same.

The annual event has grown every year, and I was pleased to find out recently that its influence has even spread beyond Penfield’s borders, as neighborliness should.

Webster resident Linda Meyers read about Good Neighbor Day when I posted a blog about it in early April. That same day, Linda messaged me to tell me how much she loved the idea and was going to sign up with her daughter Julia.

I was so happy to hear her say that. I’ve written about Good Neighbor Day several times in my blog and when I was writing my column for the D&C. Never did I even consider that anyone outside of Penfield would want to take part. But of course, the event is all about neighborliness and community. And when it comes to both those things, town borders mean nothing.

When she first read about the event, Linda wrote, “I was super excited because I love yard work and weeding.” She even recruited her neighbors Chris Elias, Kim Mead and their daughter Sophia to join them.

(We) went to the opening at Rothfuss Farm on Salt Road and it was awesome to see all of the volunteers and meet Sabrina (Renner) the coordinator. We got Good Neighbor T-shirts, donuts and bags for our day and it was wonderful hearing more about Terry Rothfuss from his daughter Molly.

We were assigned to a lady’s home and raked a ton of pine needles and did some weeding in a few of her back gardens. She was incredibly appreciative and even had water bottles, bagged apples and cookies as treats for us.

After all the work was done, participants were invited to Rothfuss Park for some post-event activities sponsored by Browncroft Community Church, including food trucks, mini-golf, a pitching inflatable and other games.

“Overall we had a great experience,” Linda said. “My daughter says she wants to go back to the same lady’s house next year!”


So, this is an awesome story on so many fronts.

First, we’re talking neighbors helping neighbors, just for the fun of it. Second, it’s so heartening to see kids get involved. What a great way to help them learn about compassion and giving to others. (And a little hard work never hurts, either.) And seeing the even expand beyond the Penfield borders just warms my heart and gives me renewed confidence that maybe we can all work together and keep this world running for a long time.

Finally, on a personal note, I’d love to see this event come to Webster. There are certainly residents in our town who could use this kind of help. It just so happens that our current Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, Chris Bilow, was the former director at the Penfield Rec, and oversaw Good Neighbor Day for years.

So what do you say, Chris? Can we make this happen?

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The Cobblestone keeps getting better

7 May

On the happy occasion of my birthday yesterday, my husband and I had dinner at the Cobblestone on Main, Webster’s newest restaurant.

It was our second time there. A few weeks ago we were honored to be among the Cobblestone’s very first customers the evening before they officially opened, and we couldn’t wait to go back again. It was that good.

Last night we not only had a delicious dinner, but were pleased to see that the Cobblestone’s new front patio is already being installed. When I last talked to owners Dan and Sarah Bresnahan a few weeks ago, they told me about their plans for a patio, but I had no idea it would be happening so soon.

The new patio will accommodate five or six tables, Dan told me, and they hope to complete it by the end of May. They also have plans to put “comfy furniture” out on the side patio/porch by the main entrance where patrons can sit and enjoy cocktails while they wait for their table to become available.

The Cobblestone’s amazing wings.

So basically the Cobblestone, already an excellent addition to our village, is getting better every day. Make sure to check them out if you haven’t yet. The renovations are beautiful, the servers are friendly and super competent, and the menu offers delightful twists on some perennial favorites (like the huge chicken wings which are more like chicken legs, and the “pou-tots,” poutine made out of tater tots).

The Cobblestone on Main is located at 109 West Main St. in the Village of Webster. Click here to visit their Facebook page.

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On ducklings and merry-go-rounds

6 May

Today I bring you a short tale about a young Plank North family, a bully, and resilience.

The central characters of our story are Mama and Papa Duck. For at least ten years now, these two mallards (we assume they’re the same two) have been returning every spring to Plank North Elementary School to build their nest.

They usually choose a different location on the school grounds every year to settle down. Twice they’ve nested near the second grade classrooms on the west side of the building, once under the pear tree by the receiving doors, and once in front of the office window. One year they even made their nest on the school’s roof, which became obvious when staff members saw the ducklings jumping off the roof one day.

Second grade teacher Sheila O’Hanlon has kind of become the ducks’ overseer, keeping an eye out for them every year, and making sure everyone knows where they are so students don’t get too near the nest and spook Mama and Papa.

“It’s always about this time of year” that the ducks return, Sheila said. “The eggs take about 28 days to mature, and they usually stay for a few days until the babies are big enough to waddle off. We think they head down Scribner to a little pond by the side of the road.”

Sure enough, about three weeks ago, Mama and Papa Duck returned, this time tucking their nest under the merry-go-round on one of the school’s playgrounds. As soon as the new nest was discovered, staff members put up signs and yellow warning tape to keep kids away.

For a couple of weeks, Mama could be seen every day sitting on her nest, protecting what we all suspected was a clutch of eggs.

Then, one day, a fox was spotted on the school grounds. Not long after that, Mama and Papa Duck were gone and the nest was empty.

For a while the ducks were nowhere to be seen. But recently, we saw Mama and Papa again, exploring the school grounds. The nest is still empty, but at least the young parents are still around. We all hope they’ve made another nest somewhere, better hidden from Mr. Fox. Maybe it’s down by that little pond.

In any case, we fully expect these resilient young parents to return again next year to raise an adorable family of fluffy ducklings. Perhaps they should go back to the roof…..

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Thanks for the love, PTSA!

4 May

When I arrived at Schlegel Rd. Elementary School yesterday morning, I found a scene that just made my whole being smile.

Colorful pinwheels and hand-lettered thank-you signs lined the walkways into school, and half a dozen thank-you messages were scrawled on the walls. The messages were almost certainly the work of the Schlegel Elementary School PTSA, no doubt assisted by students, and they marked the beginning of Teacher Appreciation Week.

I’m certain this scene was duplicated at every elementary school in the district yesterday morning, and that we at Schlegel were not the only ones treated to danish, donut holes and coffee in the faculty lounge.

This has been an especially difficult year, and there are a lot of people out there who actually think it’s been a cake walk for teachers because kids were only attending half days. When you’re on the front lines like I am, it’s easy to see how off-base that perception is.

Our teachers and staff members are doing an amazing job, especially given the hoops they’ve all had to jump through. They know that. But it’s always nice when others recognize that, too. Because our schools are chock full of superheroes.

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Webster community mailbag

2 May

Grab a cup of coffee and settle in. This is a long one.

Webster Arboretum Plant Sale returns

The Webster Arboretum Association, together with local growers and local garden clubs will host the 2021 Webster Arboretum Plant Sale on Saturday May 8 from 8 a.m. to noon.

A tremendous variety of beautiful, healthy plants from standard to uncommon will be available including annuals, dwarf conifers, hostas, geraniums, tomatoes, and more. It’s a great way to celebrate spring and get some live plants perfectly suited for your garden. And don’t forget … Mother’s Day is Sunday!

The sale will be held at the Webster Arboretum, 1700 Schlegel Rd. Webster.

Museum’s Websterscapes Gallery needs you!

The Webster Museum’s Websterscapes Gallery is looking for photos of skyscapes, landscapes, waterscapes or artwork depicting the many beautiful places in Webster. Your photos will be featured on the museum website alongside other works of photographic art from your Webster neighbors.

The gallery is getting everyone’s art appreciation juices flowing for the Ward Mann exhibit, being readied for when the museum can safely open again.

Send your photos to the gallery by email to photos@webstermuseum.org or upload directly on the museum website.


Speaking of art…

The Webster Art Club’s Spring Art Show is now on display at the Webster Public Library through May 27. Stop in during the library’s normal business hours to view the nice variety of artwork created by your fellow Webster community members.

Pop-up Book Sales

Also coming soon to the Webster Public Library, the Friends of the Library will be holding Pop-up Book Sales in the parking lot beginning next week and running for several weeks this summer and even into the fall, weather permitting.

These sales are full of surprises and unexpected treasures. Hardcover books are $1, and paperback books are 2/$1. Cash and checks will be accepted, and please bring your own bags.

The first pop-up sales will be Thursday May 13 and Saturday May 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, masks and social distancing will be required. All monies raised will be used to support library programs and initiatives.

Brighten your mood, borrow a lamp

The Webster Public Library never ceases to amaze with the variety of things you can borrow. They now have portable light therapy lamps available for borrowing for up to three weeks.

The Verilux light therapy lamps (or “Happy Lights”) imitate outdoor natural light and are intended to improve mood and overall sense of well-being. It’s amazing what a little bit of light can do. Sunlight improves our mood, makes us feel more optimistic, gives us energy, and promotes better sleep. And we all know how little sunlight we get here in Rochester.

Ask for the lights at the circulation desk, and borrow a little sunshine.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of the plaza.

Absentee Ballot Applications Available for Budget Vote, BOE Election


The Webster CSD’s Annual Budget Vote and Election of Board of Education Candidates is slated for Tuesday, May 18. All voting is scheduled to take place in-person, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Webster Schroeder High School gynmasium, Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Road.

Qualified voters of the district who will be unable to attend the polls on the day of the vote may wish to use an absentee ballot. Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the district clerk at least seven days before the vote (if the ballot is being mailed to the voter) or the day before the vote if it’s being picked up in person.

Absentee ballot applications are available online at or from District Clerk Cynthia Cushman, 119 South Avenue (third floor of the Spry Middle School), Webster.

Spry Student Council Donates to Dream Factory of Rochester

The Spry Student Council recently made an impressive donation to the Dream Factory of Rochester.

COVID didn’t stop these middle school go-getters from hosting two fundraisers to benefit the local non-profit. They tapped into people’s taste buds by having a fundraiser at Chipotle, netting $1,123.41. Then they challenged their peers and the Spry faculty and staff to take part in a fun Jar Wars competition during Spirit Week. Participants put coins (and larger bills) in jars to earn points for their team or take away points from another team. The spirited competition raised another $1,505.41.

Student Council representatives Jack Frenzel (co-president), Maya Pascuzzi (co-president), Lauren Roberts, Sarah Hellems, and Jayna Zimmerman presented an oversized check (and a real one) in the amount of $2,628.82 to Laura Walitsky, area director of the Dream Factory of Rochester. Also on hand were Michelle and Brian Schilling with their children Ella, a Dream recipient, Matt, a Spry seventh grader, and Nathan, a Webster Schroeder freshman.

The Spry Student Council donation is enough to enable one child to have her entire dream fulfilled.

Webster Marching Band seeks members


The Webster Central School District’s highly respected marching band will begin its 36th year competing in the New York State Field Band Conference during the summer and fall of the 2021-22 school year. The Pride of Webster is currently recruiting dedicated 7-11 th grade WCSD students who play a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. The band is also looking for dancers and color guard members.

Interested students and their parents/guardians are invited to attend a new member night on Monday May 3 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Webster Schroeder High School auditorium. Current 7-11th graders can sign up by scanning QR codes that can be found on posters in all four middle and high schools or by emailing Jerbrel Bowens, Webster Marching Band Director, at jerbrel_bowens@webstercsd.org.

For more information about the Webster Marching Band, click here.

Webster CSD Updates School Calendars


The Webster CSD has made several changes to the calendars for the current school year and next year.

For the 2020-21 (this year’s) school calendar:

  • Regents exams will take place June 17, 22-24 but there will be changes in attendance on these days. On June 7, 21, and 22 ALL secondary students will have school, be it in-person, asynchronous, or remotely depending on the choice parents/guardians previously made for them. On June 23 and 24, students will attend according to their individual Regents exam schedules.
  • The last day of classes for ALL students (grades UPK-12) will be Tuesday, June 22. This is a change for secondary students and UPK students.
  • Graduation ceremony dates have been set. The Webster Schroeder Class of 2021 will graduate Wednesday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Webster Schroeder Stadium. Rain date is June 17 at 7:30 p.m. The Webster Thomas Class of 2021 will graduate Thursday, June 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Webster Thomas Stadium. Rain date is June 25 at 7:30 p.m.

For the 2021-22 school year (next school year), only one change has been made. The start of the school year will be Wednesday, September 8. The full calendars are available on the district calendar web page found here .

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.