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News from the schools

14 Aug

Rod DeRose temp photo - uncroppedMore good news from the schools this morning.

First, the school district has announced that Rob DeRose will be the new assistant principal at DeWitt Road Elementary School.

DeRose currently serves as Webster CSD’s extended school year coordinator and instructional specialist for humanities/literacy. He will begin his new position effective September 1.

DeRose began his career in WCSD as a special education teacher at State Road Elementary School, and also served as special education department lead teacher for four years. He lives in Macedon with his wife, Carmella, and three children, Jacob (8), Benjamin (6), and Gracie (3).

The Webster Central PTSA has announced the winners of the organization’s 2018 Student Awards.

Each year the Webster Central PTSA recognizes six outstanding seniors, chosen by high school counselors in a blind selection process from the Common Applications. For each award, one student is chosen from each high school, Webster Schroeder and Webster Thomas. Each winner will receive $500.

Webster Central PTSA Pursue Your Passion Award

The Pursue Your Passion Award recognizes seniors working to make their dream a reality, who exemplify the principles of Webster Central PTSA and student CARE behaviors. This year’s winners are Brianna Jones (Schroeder) and Dominic Chiara (Thomas).

Webster Central PTSA Academic Excellence Award

This award recognizes seniors who have demonstrated excellence in academic achievement and are pursuing a college education. This year’s winners are Selena Zhang (Schroeder) and Sarah Fischer (Thomas).

Webster Central PTSA Ann Carmody Award for Outstanding Community Service

As its name suggests, this award is given to a senior who has demonstrated excellence and commitment to community service efforts in and/or outside of school, measured by volunteer hours. This year’s winners are Caitlin Glastonbury (Schroeder) and Katelyn Meredith (Thomas).

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Good food, good music courtesy the Webster Marching Band

7 Aug

webster marching band

A quick heads up today on a few upcoming events hosted by our very own Webster Marching Band.

On Thursday August 9, the band will host a Sticky Lips pulled pork BBQ fundraiser at Webster Schroeder High School, from 5 to 7 p.m.

For $11.50 your dinner includes a pulled pork sandwich, mac salad, beans and pickles.

On Saturday August 18, the band will hold a craft day at Webster Schroeder, a chance for area craefters to spend a day with like-minded people, working on their projects. Click here for more information about that.

The band’s 33rd annual Autumn Fanfare field show and competition is scheduled for Saturday October 6 at Webster Schroeder High School. This year’s show is called “Heart Strings Tugged & Torn.”

These are always outstandingly impressive shows. Gates open at 5:30, show starts at 7. Watch for pre-sale ticket information.

And if you missed the recent bottle and can drive which the band held last Saturday, no sweat. There are two other ways to get your empties to the band and clear out your garage.

First, you can call their hotline number anytime to let them know you have a bunch of empties to pick up. Just call 234-8684, leave a message, and someone will get back in touch with you to schedule a pick-up. OR, you can drop your returnables off at Can Kings, 1183 Ridge Road, and tell them you want to donate them to the Marching Band.

For more information about the band and these events, visit the Friends of the Marching Band Facebook page.

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The Tappan Zee is coming to Webster …?

6 Aug
Tappan Zee 2

The Tappan Zee Bridge construction site

Did you ever drive over the Tappan Zee Bridge? You just might have that chance before too long, because the bridge might be coming to Webster.

Sort of.

You may have heard that the Tappan Zee Bridge, which spans the Hudson River just north of New York City, was recently replaced. You can imagine the number of surplus girders and deck panels that resulted.  It would be a shame to have wasted them. Thanks to some outstanding foresight by the Thruway Authority and other Powers That Be, many of those salvaged deck panels may soon be part of a new bridge in Webster.

I got in touch with County Bridge Engineer Bo Mansouri, from the Monroe County Department of Transportation, who explained how this all came about. He wrote,

We recently accepted delivery of 31 bridge panels that we had requested from the NYSTA (Thruway Authority). We have them in our storage now. This process started back in October 2014, before the new bridge construction began. Back then, all municipalities in the State were asked for their interest in obtaining the salvaged deck panels for use in their future capital improvement projects!! They are only 7-13 years old, and in excellent condition.

It cost the County only $1 to buy, and have the 31 panels delivered and dropped off at our storage site, thanks to FHWA and NYSTA, the project sponsors. It was their goal to have as many of these panels salvaged, and put to good use, as possible. It is estimated that for every three panels that will be used in future Monroe County Capital Bridge Projects, roughly $150-250,000 will be saved.

135 panels are being distributed to 13 agencies across the State, with Monroe County accepting 31 of them, the most number by far! Monroe County aggressively pursued the opportunity to grab as many of these panels as we could store, to use in future maintenance and capital improvement bridge projects, The 12′ wide by 50′ long prefabricated concrete-deck-on-galvanized-beams panels are perfect for most medium span bridges in the County. Other local agencies have since heard about and now asking us for them. Monroe County will consider sharing them with other local government, a stipulation made in an agreement with the NYSTA. These panels will be for use in public works projects only and are not to be sold or given to private enterprises.

Tappan Zee 1

Typical panel being delivered to the county

Plans are currently in the works to replace the 1952-era Salt Road Bridge over Four Mile Creek, just south of Lake Road. The bridge has been identified as a possible site for using these former Tappan Zee Bridge deck panels. The project is still in the design and approval process, but if everything goes as planned, construction should begin in the summer of 2020.

What a great way to recycle perfectly good construction materials and save taxpayers a ton of money to boot. And how cool it will be driving over that bridge, knowing you might have driven over those same panels when they were part of the old Tappan Zee.

Many thanks to Bo Mansouri for this information and the great photos.

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Friends of Webster Trails need our help

1 Aug


Perhaps you’ve heard about the Friends of Webster Trails. If you’ve enjoyed ANY of the wonderful trails in Webster, then for sure you know about them, because they’re the ones largely responsible for making our tremendous trail system the treasure that it is.

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.)

Here’s a great way to show your love and thank the organization for their efforts, and get a little exercise while you’re at it.

The Friends often put out a call to their membership volunteers for their weekly work parties. But the project they’re working on now is a big one and they need a LOT of help. So I’m helping to spread the word to the greater Webster community.

The project is located in the Hickory Bark Woods, which is that stand of woods adjacent to the Webster Public Library. On the weekends of August 4-5 and 11-12 the Friends will be building an observation platform. The area will be used for outside programs and as a place to enjoy some solitude among the hickory trees.

If you can carry boards, dig holes, or do some light assembly work, they can use you. Bring gloves and water, wear pants and closed shoes (not sandals). Post hole diggers and shovels would be helpful, too. Cold drinks and snacks will be provided.

To see more details and/or sign up to help use this link.

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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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Webster community mailbag

20 Jul

Well, folks, I’m back in town after a 10-day trip with my daughter through Spain (with a side trip to Lisbon, Portugal thrown in for good measure). I tried my best to auto-post some blogs while I was gone, but finally I’m back at the keyboard to blog live and in person.

And to wade through about two dozen new emails I got in my absence.

First order of business, then, is a mailbag to pass along all that news that people passed along to me while I was in sunny Spain.

First off, don’t forget about the Webster Jazz Fest, which begins tonight (Friday) with Jazz in the Pubs, and continues Saturday night with Jazz in the Streets. This event features an incredible variety of great music, and I consider it one of the best events of the entire summer. Pretty much everyone in Webster comes out.

For more details about the Fest, including who is playing and when, click here.

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Also tomorrow (Saturday) July 21, grab your kids and make your way down to the Joe Obbie Farmers Market for their annual Christmas in July event, featuring (of course) Santa Claus.

The Webster Village Band will be there playing holiday music and the entire market will be decked out in holiday splendor with special treats for the kids.

The Joe Obbie Market runs every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Webster Towne Center Plaza (Kohl’s/Target Plaza) at the corner of Ridge and Holt roads.

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This is most definitely not Webster news, but it’s a great cause and you golfers out there will want to know about it.

The 23rd annual Leatherneck Open will take place on Monday July 23 at Greystone Golf Club in Walworth. Veterans, active duty and civilians are all welcome to participate in the event, which helps support Marines all across Western New York.

The event begins at 11 a.m. with a presentation of the colors in front of the Greystone club house, followed by a shotgun start. It’s not too late to register; for that matter, they’ll be taking registrations that morning at the event.

For more information, click here.

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Next weekend, July 28 and 29, the annual Waterfront Art Festival returns to North Ponds Park.

The event features artisans from all over Monroe County, who line the sidewalks with their tents, selling high-quality art and craft items. Food trucks and live entertainment will add to the fun.

Hours are Saturday July 28 and Sunday July 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is $3, with children 12 and under free. North Ponds Park is located on the Rt. 104 access road between Holt Road and Rt. 250 (use the Rt. 250 exit).

For more information click here.

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More news from the village:

The last Webster Wine Walk of the year is Saturday August 11 from 4 to 7 p.m. You’ll want to be at this one for sure, even if you’ve participated in these wine walks before, because there are different venues included this time around.

At 9 p.m. Kittelbergers Florists invites everyone down to their shop for fireworks to celebrate their 90th anniversary.

For tickets to the wine walk click here.

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Finally, this is news from the Town of Webster for folks who live on or near Gravel Road.’

Beginning the week of July 23, workers will be milling and paving Gravel Road between Regina Drive and Klem Road.

According to the press release from the Town,

During construction, traffic will be maintained with daily lane closures as needed. Flaggers will be used to guide traffic around the work areas. Continuous access to driveways and side streets will be maintained, except when work is occurring directly in front of these access points. In these situations, the delay will only be for a brief time until construction personnel indicate that it is safe to cross the work zone.

The work will progress rapidly and is expected to be completed by mid August. All work will be performed during the day.

For more information and a map, click here.

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My thoughts on the proposed new school start times

15 Jul

clockI’ve been giving some thought recently about discussions the Webster school district has been having about changing our schools’ start times.

I have to admit (rather sheepishly) that I haven’t really been paying very close attention to the process. I didn’t attend any meetings, didn’t follow the reports posted to the district website. Because the main focus seems to be on the secondary schools (based on adolescent sleep needs), I guess I really didn’t think it would affect me much, since I work in elementary.

That was my bad. It will definitely affect a lot of people, and as the blogger I should have followed it all more closely.

But not long ago a Plank North colleague of mine pointed out that the proposed changes will definitely affect us — and every elementary school — as well.

Allow me to back up a bit and fill in some long overdue details.

Based on the results from study groups and a community forum, a recommendation has been placed on the table that the board consider changing the district’s school start times to approximately 8:45 for secondary schools and 7:45 for elementary schools.

My colleague, and others, believe that this radical change in the start time for elementary students (whose school day now starts around 9 a.m.) will pose some challenges, especially with day care, after-school programs, breakfast programs and very early busing concerns.

There’s also some question about how well these young students will be able to adapt to the much earlier time, as they haven’t quite developed the self-management skills to stay focused and engaged that early.

There’s a lot to think about. I don’t know the answer, and I trust that the smart minds who are working on it are considering all the angles. It’s definitely a sticky problem, the solution to which will not make everyone happy. But I hope that the district plans another community forum in the near future, specifically to address some of these concerns from elementary school parents and teachers.

You can find a lot more information about this issue including a video from the June 5 community forum at this link.

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The carnival is back in town!

10 Jul


Let’s hope the weather keeps holding, because there are a lot of fun events coming up.

This week, of course, is when the Webster Firemen’s Carnival returns to town, kicked off with the huge Firemen’s Parade which will take over Main Street in the village on Thursday evening beginning at 6:30 p.m.

You can find all the details here on Facebook and here on the North East Joint Fire District website  about the Kiddie Parade, the Firemen’s Parade, and the carnival, but here are a few highlights:

  • Wednesday: Carnival opens at 6 pm at Firemen’s Field on Main Street. Featured attraction is a Craft Beer Night with wine and local breweries.
  • Thursday: The Firemen’s Parade kicks off at 6:30 p.m. , starting at Phillips Road and continuing down Main Street to Firemen’s Field. The carnival is open from 6 pm till late.
  • Friday: Carnival opens at 6 p.m., featuring live entertainment by Stateline from 8 to 11 p.m. in the beer pavilion.
  • Saturday: The Kiddie Parade will be held beginning at 12 noon. Registration begins at 11 a.m. at Spry Middle School on Sanford Street. The carnival runs through midnight with live entertainment, rides, games, food and drink, a bike raffle, and fireworks to end the night.

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marching bandAnd don’t forget about the Webster Marching Band Boosters’ thurd annual Food Truck Rodeo, scheduled for Friday July 20 from 5 to 9 pm in Webster Schroeder High School’s front parking lot.

The Marching Band Boosters sponsor various fundraising events throughout the year to help pay for the Webster Marching Band’s equipment, show productions, and competition-related trip expenses.

Organizers promise 15 food trucks including Macarollin’, Tuscan Wood Fired Pizza, Bob’s Kabobs, The Meatball Truck Co., Street Eats, Abbott’s, Kona Ice, Smoothies Plus, Eat Greek, Whole-E Roasters, Sweet Sammie Jane’s Pastry Shop, Chef’s, East Coast Toast Truck, Marty’s Birdland, and Brunch Box Rochester.

There will also be face painting for the kids, a visit by a West Webster Fire Department truck, and live music. Admittance to the rodeo is FREE, and all proceeds will benefit the Marching Band Boosters and Webster Marching Band members.

Webster Schroeder High School is located at 875 Ridge Road.

Webster community mailbag

8 Jul

mailbag iconThere’s a lot of good eating and great family fun in today’s mailbag.

The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 1130 Webster Road (at the corner of State Road) will host a drive-thru takeout chicken dinner sale on Thursday July 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. Dinners will be cooked up by Heintzelman’s BBQ Pit of Ontario. They cost $12, and include a half-side of chicken, salt potatoes, cole slaw and cornbread.

Proceeds will benefit the church’s Outreach Committee which supports local charities in the greater Rochester area.

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Here are a few fun notes from our friends at the Webster Public Library:

  • First, keep an eye out for them in the Webster Firemen’s Parade on Thursday July 12. One of the librarians will be riding the Book Bike and be giving out free books at the end of the parade. (What’s not to love?) Don’t know about the parade? Check out my previous blog.
  • Did you get a chance to see the terrific “We All Have a Story” photography exhibit at the library in May and June? The display highlighted images by local portrait photographer — and school district staff member —  Linda Hayes and was very well received.

On Thursday July 19 from 6 to 7 p.m. you can meet Linda herself as she discusses her process as a photographer. What motivates her? What inspires her? How did she get those great images!? You’ll hear about the project and her work from start to finish.

Registration is requested by visiting the Webster Library website. Date:

  • And one final note from the library: They’ll be at the Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market on Saturday July 28, and hosting a Cookbook Swap. Bring a cookbook you don’t use much anymore and you can swap it out for another one.

The Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. every Saturday through October 27, rain or shine, in Webster Towne Center (Kohl’s/Target plaza). Check out the Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market website and Facebook page for details.

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St. Martin Lutheran Church is holding a Pulled Pork Drive Thru BBQ on Saturday, July 21 from 4:30 until gone at the church on 813 Bay Road, Webster. Pull into the parking lot, place your order, and the dinner will be delivered to you in your car.

The take-out dinner includes pulled pork, roll, salt potatoes, cole slaw and cookie for $9. Proceeds support the church’s annual Christmas Stocking Project reaching over 500 children and teens in Monroe and Wayne counties.

St. Martin Lutheran Church is located at 813 Bay Road in Webster.

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Finally, the First Baptist Church of Penfield would like me to tell you about their upcoming Vacation Bible School.

This year the week has a superhero theme, with activities to help children have “super speech, fantastic conduct, to share incredible love, lightning fast faith and magnificent purity.”

The First Baptist Church of Penfield’s Vacation Bible School is August 6 to 10, form 98 a.m. to noon, and is open to children ages 4 through 11. Cost is $25 per child, or $50 per family. To register call the office at (585) 586-2876 or visit the church’s website.

The First Baptist Church of Penfield is located at 1862 Penfield Road.

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New East Main shop caters to artists

7 Jul

One of two incredible murals which grace the walls of Press On Main.

East Main Street is beginning to come alive again, at least a little bit, and Press On Main is leading the way — very colorfully, I might add.

The new screen print shop/artists’ corner, owned by Noah Calieri and Cory Ward,  opened in May in the old Singh Mart at 21 East Main Street. They even hosted a soft opening celebration on June 22, complete with food, live music and raffles.

But all of that actually happened so quietly that I didn’t even know about it until last week, when a friend of mine noticed the shop and told me about it.

But despite its low-key introduction to our village, I think Press On Main is going to make a splash very soon.

Walk into the new shop on the corner of East Main and Lapham Park and the first thing you notice is an explosion of color. Aside from a few t-shirt racks and Calieri’s desk, the front of the shop is still rather bare. The walls, on the other hand, are bursting with color from murals and art pieces. But you probably won’t recognize any of the artists’ signatures, and that’s by design.


Noah Calieri in his shop

Calieri says the main purpose of his shop is as a “showcase for the amateur artist, somebody that’s not already selling their art….It’s awesome that people just make art and nobody looks at a lot of it. I want that to be where the spotlight is.”

So he envisions having a lot of “little” art shows to highlight these occasional artists and help them celebrate their work. He’s even playing around with the adorable idea of having an art show for toddlers or maybe a stick-figure competition. He’d hang their “art” on the walls, and have all the kids come together for an art-themed play date.

But as much as Press On Main is about artists, it’s mostly about screen printing. Calieri is first and foremost a graphic designer and screen printer. His services are geared especially for businesses and organizations who need smaller lots of t-shirts, like for staff members or 5K races. But what he’s really hoping to do is use his screen-printing expertise to help artists recreate their art, duplicate it and display it on a variety of media.

“I’ll give (artists) a service to do posters, t-shirts, just about any media that we can put a print on,” even including things like canvas or wood. The options are really endless. Just check out the rainbow-colored cowboy hats in the front window.

Calieri is still finishing up some paperwork with the town, so he can’t sell anything from his storefront quite yet. And he doesn’t even have any regular hours; they’ll be established when he has his grand opening, tentatively planned for early August.

But when you see the front door propped open, make sure to stop in and say hi to Noah. Then keep an eye on this little shop, because I think it’s going to do big things for our village.

Press On Main is located at 21 East Main Street in the village of Webster. They’re not on Facebook or have a website yet, but you can connect with them on Instagram at 21EMainArt.

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