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Thoughts on the First Responders 5K

2 Sep
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(Photo courtesy Mary White)

An amazing 625 people — both adults and children — participated in the second annual First Responders 5K on Friday night, which began on Sanford Street near Firemen’s Field and wound through the east side of Webster village.  It’s an impressive number considering it was the start of Labor Day weekend AND it was a Friday night, two very good reasons that race participants might have had other things to do or places to be.

But again this year, Webster and our surrounding communities showed how incredibly

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Before the race with my friend Holly. (Courtesy Mary White)

supportive they are of our first responders. And not only did the race attract a lot of runners, but the number of village residents who took the time to sit out front of their homes and cheer the runners as we raced by was heartening and very much appreciated.

Kudos to all of the firefighters and police officers who ran in their full gear; the weather was much improved over last year’s heat and humidity, but it must have still been a struggle to complete the 3.1-mile course while wearing many pounds of gear.

I took a few pictures, but not as many as our favorite Turkey Trot photographer Mary White. I’ve posted a few here, but if you’d like to see a lot more, click this link for an entire gallery.

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Village People

27 Aug

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My husband and I have met some wonderful people since we moved into the Village of Webster. It took very little time before we got to know a dozen neighbors, and the neighborhood began to feel like a family.

Now don’t get me wrong. I had some wonderful neighbors at our old house in North Penfield, and we still keep in touch. But somehow the connection is different — closer and more neighborly — in a village setting.

And that’s true even if the neighbors don’t even live here anymore, as evidenced by something that happened last night.

A couple — Joanne and Bob — were walking by our house, and had stopped to take a closer look. We got to chatting with them and Bob explained that he’d grown up in the house back in the ’50s, and his mother continued to live here for many years after, including after his marriage to Joanne.

So of course, we invited them in.

It was a no-brainer for me. For years I had dreamed of revisiting my childhood home in Owego, which I had left in 1976. Several years ago, when I was in town for a high school reunion, I finally marshaled the nerve to knock on the door, and asked a total stranger if she wouldn’t mind my coming in and looking around. She was kind enough to allow me to do just that. It was a walk back through memories I will always fondly remember.

I was delighted to be able to give Bob and Joanne that same experience. Their eyes lit up as they remembered Mom’s little kitchen, where our fireplace is now located. Bob pointed out where an archway was removed to open up the entire first floor. Our kitchen used to be a small back room where his mother typed up novels and magazine articles. The large bedroom upstairs where he and his brothers slept has been split into two rooms. And he pointed out that the porch light is the very same one he remembered from his youth.

It was a delightful walk through the past for us as well. We enjoy hearing about the history of our little home and the lives that were lived here.

Bob and Joanne now live up near the lake, and like to drive into the village to take their evening walks.  We look forward to the day that they stop again for a visit. They’ve promised to bring along a photo album, so we too can see our home as it used to be.

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Sharing Christmas joy in the village

19 Dec

The week before Christmas has become one of the most musical weeks of the entire year in the Village of Webster.

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On Monday night, Robyn Whittaker, hairdresser extraordinaire, special event organizer, village cheerleader and all around good egg, hosted her third annual Christmas Carol Debacle. Robyn provides pizza and assorted spiked and non-spiked beverages for the event, which drew a big crowd of about 20 people this year, despite the promise of bracing winter winds .

The tuneful group stopped first at Rubino’s to serenade the employees and diners there. Then they wandered through a few east-side village streets, stopping at perhaps a half dozen other houses before heading back to The Coach via Burke’s Grill and The Bistro.

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The following evening, the Chorus of the Genesee took to many of those same streets for their annual Soup and Carol Night. The group was quite a bit larger — numbering maybe 30 or more (I never got an actual count), the weather much more comfortable and the signing voices much more in tune.

The first stop, as it has been every year, was Webster Eye Care Associates, which is pretty much across the street from the Harmony House. The folks there have hosted the annual visit from the Chorus carolers for 24 years, and this year greeted the singers with doughnut holes, hot chocolate and gift bags.

A second regular stop is the Cataldi home, where there’s always hot cider for the Chorus carolers. These folks always have a holiday party that evening as well, complete with instruments, and gather on the porch to perform a carol of their own (this year it was Mele Kalikimaka, accompanied by ukuleles).

My running club, Barry’s Runners, also helped spread some holiday spirit Tuesday evening, with our third (maybe fourth) JACK Foundation Run.

The JACK Foundation, formed in memory of young Jack Heiligman who lost his life in a tragic accident in October 2016. The foundation’s goal is to remember Jack’s giving spirit by passing on random acts of kindness.

Tuesday night, the Barry’s Runners did that — literally. We collected $200 in gift cards from places like Dunkin’ Donuts, Yolickity, CVS, the Apple Store, Wegmans and of course Barry’s Old School Irish, and while we ran through the village neighborhoods, we handed them to strangers or hung them on doorknobs and mailboxes. Perhaps you were one of the lucky people to find one this morning. If so, please make sure to pass on the kindness.

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Make a rain barrel — be an H20 hero

5 Jul

shipbuilders creek

Early last week I attended a Town of Webster meet-and-greet at the public library, where I met Sydney VanWinkle, who was representing an environmental organization called H20Hero.org. They’re working hard to protect our local water supplies, a precious natural resource.

One of their primary focuses right now is an area called Shipbuilders Creek Watershed, which encompasses (very roughly) the area from Bay Rd. east to Five Mile Line Rd., and Plank Rd. north to the lake. (See the map for specifics.)

When she found out that I live in the watershed, Sydney’s eyes got really big. It’s homeowners like me, who live in the watershed, that she’s particularly interested in reaching, because if we each do a little bit, together we can help their cause immensely.

Here’s a little background information from the brochure I picked up:

Shipbuilders Creek is an eight square mile watershed…discharging into Lake Ontario.

Over the years, the original land use of the watershed has gone from primarily agricultural to a mix of residential and commercial use, including relatively heavy commercialized areas along Empire Boulevard and Ridge Road.

Unfortunately, as the community developed, the value of the Creek as a resource was not always recognized, Sections have been piped, and water quality declined because of pollution from storm runoff.

And this is what we can do:

You can help restore Shipbuilders Creek by making your home part of the solution to storm water pollution. Storm water runoff from roofs and driveways transports pollutants including fertilizers, herbicides, grass clippings, sediment, automotive fluids and bacteria to the Creek.

Downspout connections, rain barrels, rain gardens and streamside plantings are easy ways you can capture and reuse rainwater, or soak it into the grounds, so that it does not become storm water runoff.

rain barrellThere’s a really good opportunity for you to find out more about all of this, and make a rain barrel for your own home, coming up at the Webster Public Library.

On Tuesday July 17, the library will host a Rain Barrels and Rain Gardens Workshop beginning at 6 p.m. Any and all town residents — especially those who live in the Shipbuilders Creek watershed — are encouraged to attend.

In addition to learning about rain barrels and rain gardens, participants will build their own rain barrel which they can then take home with them and start putting to good use.

All tools and materials will be supplied at the workshop. Workshop fee is $40/rain barrel. Pre-registration is required. To do so, click here.  Residents from the watershed area will also receive a $30 gift card for plantings.

If you can’t wait until then to find out more, Sydney will be at the Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market this Saturday July 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Webster Towne Center (Kohl’s/ Target Plaza) on Holt Road.

In the meantime, you can read more about the project by clicking here, or email Sydney directly at srv7357@rit.edu.

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Helping keep the neighborhood clean

26 Aug

Capture

This is a great idea.

My husband and I were taking a morning walk the other day when we happened across this wonderful little dog poop receptacle that someone had placed next to their mailbox.

Perhaps they’ve been having trouble with people leaving dog waste bags in their front yard. Perhaps they’re just friendly neighbors and dog fanciers looking to make life easier for other dog fanciers.

Whatever the story behind it, I think it’s an inspired idea.

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Portion of Hard Road to close Monday

2 Aug

hard road map

Chances are you’ve been seeing the warning signs posted near Hard Road recently regarding road closures there beginning Monday August 7. It’s basically the start of something we’ve all wanted for a long time: improvements to Ridge Road to help reduce the congestion.

Here are the details, pulled directly from the Emergency Alert posted to the Town of Webster website:

Beginning Monday, August 7, a roughly 400 ft stretch of Hard Road, between Ridge Road and the entrance to Hegedorns Market…will close in both directions for three weeks.

Crews will flatten the approach to the Ridge Road intersection, improving visibility.
The driveway to the grocery store on Hard Road will remain open. An official detour will direct motorists a mile and a half to the east on Route 104 or Ridge Road to Holt Road.

This is part of the ongoing $2.9 million highway project to upgrade two intersections on Route 404 (Ridge Road.) When complete, the expanded intersections of Route 404 at Five Mile Line and Hard roads will provide turn lanes, bicycle space, (and) new traffic signal systems with accommodations for pedestrians. Additionally, modifications to sidewalk ramps will be made at the intersections of Black Cherry and Webster Commons boulevards and Holt Road to bring these locations into compliance with the Americans with Disability Act.

The project is anticipated to be complete by Spring 2018. Traffic will generally be maintained on-site with morning and afternoon time restrictions. Access to driveways will be maintained during construction except during the three-week closure on Hard Road to flatten the roadway.

Hard Road Intersection

A right turn lane, bicycle lane and sidewalk will be added on Route 404 in the westbound direction at the intersection of Hard Road. A new traffic signal system, including protected left turn arrows in all directions, pedestrian crosswalks and countdown timers will be installed.

Five Mile Line Road Intersection

Right turn lanes will be added on Route 404 in both directions at Five Mile Line Road. A right turn lane will also be provided on Five Mile Line Road in the northbound direction.  The left turn lanes will be longer to provide more vehicle storage.  A dedicated bicycle lane between the travel lane and the right turn lanes will be added on Route 404.  A sidewalk will be provided to accommodate pedestrians. A new traffic signal system with pedestrian crosswalks and countdown timers will be installed.

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WCSD urges new kindergartners to Strive for Five

21 Jul
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Children practice walking carefully near buses at a previous Strive for 5 event. (M. Rosenberry)

This is an awesome program, and I highly recommend that if you have a young’un entering kindergarten in Webster this fall, that you put this on your calendar.

(The only thing I DON’T like about this program is that it means that September is not too far away, and I am kind of enjoying my summer.)

The Webster Central School District Strive for Five for School Bus Safety event is coming this August. The program, for 2017-2018 incoming kindergarteners, provides an opportunity for the district’s youngest riders 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.

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 7 – Plank South
August 8 – Plank North and Dewitt
August 9 – State and Klem North
August 10 – Schlegel and Klem South

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

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Summer fun in the neighborhoods and village

19 Jul

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On the theme of summer fun, Jill Nelson sent me these photos from a street party her Creekbend Lane neighbors enjoyed last weekend, complete with a bounce house and an ice cream truck.

(I’m thinking I need to move to that neighborhood.)

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They don’t LOOK like kids, but….

Thank you to Sylvia Hungerford for this delightful photo of one of my favorite bands ever, whom she called a “ragtag group of musicians.” It was taken at this year’s Webster Kiddie Parade during the Firemen’s Carnival weekend.

band

This group, led by Jeannette Altavela leads the kiddie parade every year, and just have tons of fun. Sylvia wrote,

 

It is a fun event where we dress in costumes and let our hair down. The antithesis of formal parade guidelines, there are none. You can be out of line, out of step, mingle with the crowd and enjoy the children parading the route with their costumes. What fun it is.

For the first time in years I had to miss the kiddie parade, so I appreciate Sylvia sending along this photo. I also got several other photos from some of my readers, which I’ve put in a slideshow below. The first two are from Amy Weetman and the three others from Rebecca Parzynski and her amazing Bella’s Bumbas.

If anyone else has some photos you’d like posted, please send them along!

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More outdoor summer fun!

17 Jul

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You’ll remember my recent blog in which I took a few photographs of my neighbors and their daughters having some fun in their driveway. In invited others to send me photos of their kids having some simple outdoor fun.

I received this photo from Webster resident Britt G of her daughters Sophia & Emilia having a bit of driveway fun of their own.

Thank you Britt! And everyone else please consider sending along some photos of your kids enjoying the warm weather!

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Summer fun the way it should be

10 Jul

I LOVE it when I see kids and their parents outside playing together in the summertime. It means they’re not inside watching TV or playing on a iPad, and their parents are enjoying some of the simple, yet very special times that pass all too quickly.

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Enjoying the outdoors (L-R):  Jessica Ellsworth (holding Calista), Annalise, Tim and Amelia. 

 

This scene, which I captured earlier today at my neighbor’s house, is a good example. Jessica and Tim Ellsworth were both out in the driveway with their three daughters, watching the two older ones ride circles.  Minutes before I took these photos, Tim had even hopped on one of the miniature bikes and did a lap of his own.

One look at how much chalk is on the driveway tells you how much they’ve been having these last few days of nice weather.

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Annalise Ellsworth (front) takes great care to follow the arrows on the driveway bike route. (While avoiding her little sister.)

What are YOUR kids doing this summer? Why not snap a photo or two and email them to me at missyblog@gmail.com, and we’ll make a Summer Fun in Webster gallery!

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

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