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Webster community mailbag

6 Feb

I’m going to lead today’s mailbag with some good food.

To thank the community for supporting their missions throughout the year, St. Martin Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Rd., will host a free Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on Tuesday Feb. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The menu will include sausage and applesauce, unlimited pancakes and syrup. Beads will be handed out, and you can even make your own masks. You’re invited to come dressed in Mardi Gras style, too.  

This is an event for the whole family, and while the dinner is free to all, a free-will offering to support the church’s Little Free Pantry can be made, or bring boxed and canned goods.  

The Village of Webster Historic Preservation Commission needs you

The Village of Webster Historic Preservation Commission is looking for new members to help further their mission to identify, register and protect the historic resources in the Village of Webster.

Among their responsibilities, commission members   

  • highlight homes, business and sites by recognizing them as a Site of the Month
  • protect buildings
  • conduct historic-related programs
  • oversee the Edna Struck Memorial on Lapham Park and the Pioneer Cemetery on East Main

Meetings are held once a month, so the time commitment isn’t even that onerous.

If you’re a Village of Webster resident and are interested in joining the Historic Preservation Commission or would like to find out more, call 585-265-0671 or email .

Kindergarten Registration is open

Webster CSD kindergarten registration for the 2023-24 school year is open. 

Families that currently have other children attending Webster CSD are asked to register via the Infinite Campus Parent & Student Portal by selecting More, then Student Registration and completing the 2023-24 registration completely online. All registrations completed via the portal are streamlined by accessing the current information on file.

Families registering their first child with Webster CSD are asked to go to the Student Registration web page to fill out an online registration form. Families that do not have access to a computer may call Student Registration at (585) 216-0029. 

It’s important to register kindergartners as soon as possible to help the district properly plan for the incoming students. It will also help assure that your child can attend your neighborhood school. If there’s not enough space for a child to enroll at their home elementary school, registrations will be processed in the order in which they are received.

For more information and to register online, click here.

Learn more about the Webster Highway Facility Project

If you’d like to hear more about the plans to renovate the Webster Highway Facility, here’s a great opportunity:

On Thursday, February 9 at 7 p.m., Highway Superintendent Pat Stephens will give a presentation on the estimated costs and timeline for the proposed new highway facility. You can attend the presentation in person at the Town Board Meeting Room, 1002 Ridge Rd., or watch the event live on Spectrum Channel 1303, the town website or the town Facebook page.

This is not a public hearing. Residents will be able to offer comments at future meetings, as well as use the online comment form at any time. You can also learn more about the project, sign up for an in-person tour, view a virtual tour and view meeting presentations on the website here.

I took the tour a few weeks ago. You can read about my experience here.

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s happening at the Webster Public Library this month:

  • Healthy Eating on a Budget, Thursday Feb. 9, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. (via ZOOM) for adults. Learn how to make good choices and plan for your trip to the grocery store so you can get organized, save money and choose healthy options. Registration is required.
  • Scrapbooking Fun, Friday Feb. 10, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Paper and tools will be provided and as much inspiration as you want. Bring something you’re working on, and spend an afternoon crafting and sharing ideas. Registration is required.
  • Pal”entine’s Day Celebration, Tuesday February 14, 6 to 7 p.m. celebrating Valentine’s Day and the love you have for all your friends. For grades 4 through 12. Registration is required.
  • Picturing Loss: Art and Bereavement, Wednesday Feb. 15, 3 to 4 p.m. (via ZOOM) for adults. Joyce Raimondo presents how she and famous artists express grief through painting. Registration is required.
  • String Pull Painting Art, Friday Feb. 24, 11 a.m. to noon, for grades 4 to 12. Make some beautiful string pull painting art. Registration is required.

And make sure to check out the Webster Public Library website for information about all of their outstanding February Break programs and events designed to keep your kids busy and their minds active.

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(posted 2/6/2023)

Webster community mailbag

7 Nov

Do you still have some candy left over from Halloween? Consider trading it in at Webster Pediatric Dentistry’s Candy Buyback, happening through this Thursday Nov. 10.

Turn your candy in for a prize, and they’ll make a donation to the Webster Community Chest. You can also enter to win an Amazon gift card.

Webster Pediatric Dentistry is located at 39 West Main St. in the Village of Webster.

Two — count them, TWO — craft fairs are coming your way.

The first is this coming Saturday Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Webster Recreation Center, 1350 Chiyoda Drive.

More than 30 vendors will be there, and proceeds will benefit the Webster Association of Senior Program Supporters. Check out the flier below for more information.

The second craft fair is being held at Schlegel Elementary School on Saturday Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will benefit the Schlegel PTSA. More information on the flier below.

The Village of Webster will hold a Veteran’s Day ceremony this Friday Nov. 11 in Veterans Memorial Park on North Ave.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m., after which the Village Board will host a free takeout lunch for all veterans, current military personnel and their families, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in the parking lot behind 29 South Ave.

Absentee ballots are now available for the Webster Central School District Capital Project Vote on Dec. 13.

Qualified voters of the district who will be unable to attend the polls on the day of the vote, for reasons outlined on the absentee ballot application, may wish to use an absentee ballot. Voters must apply for the ballot in advance. Absentee ballot applications are available from District Clerk Cynthia Cushman, 119 South Ave., Webster.

All absentee ballot applications must be RECEIVED by the district clerk at least seven business days prior to the vote if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or the day before the vote if the ballot is to be picked up personally by or for the voter.

The Webster CSD Capital Project Vote takes place Tuesday, Dec. 13 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Webster Schroeder High School gymnasium, 875 Ridge Rd., Webster.

Here’s a look at what the Webster Public Library has going on this month:

Do you know about Naloxone? This is an emergency medication, a nasal spray, that can save the life of a suspected opioid/heroin overdose patient.

An upcoming FREE online Naloxone training session, hosted by the Webster Health & Education Network (WHEN), will teach local residents how to administer Naloxone. The class will be held via Zoom on Monday Nov. 14 from 6 to 7 p.m. You can get more information and register online here.

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(posted 11/7/2022)

Webster community mailbag

6 Sep

Get out your calendar, ’cause this mailbag is a packed one.

The annual Webster ROCKS Music Festival is back in town this weekend.

The festival is held to raise awareness for ALS in memory of Kacie Jones. Proceeds will benefit organizations that fight to change the standard of case and empower people with ALS. (Visit or for more information.)

The festival will be held on Saturday Sept. 10 at the Webster Firemen’s Field on Ridge Rd. There’ll be food trucks and plenty of liquid refreshment. Doors open at 2 p.m. and an incredible music line-up starts at 3 p.m., featuring State Line, Brass Taxi, Jumbo Shrimp, Judah and M80s. (Check the Facebook event page for more details about the schedule.)

Tickets are $20 in advance (available from the Coach Sports Bar, 19 W. Main in Webster) and at Eventbrite (but they charge fees, so stop by the Coach to save money). Cost is $25 the day of the festival. Admission is free for ages 12 and under.

The Village of Webster would like YOUR opinions on how the village can be improved.

The Webster Economic Development Alliance, in conjunction with the Webster Business Improvement District, is competing for a $4.5 million grant from the NY Forward community revitalization program. As part of the competition process, Webster must submit an application on how we intend to spend $4.5 million in our community.

So the coalition is asking for community input. They’ve put together a quick, 5-minute survey, hoping to gather thoughts about things like

• your vision for the downtown area
• where you’d like to see the money invested
• how projects should be prioritized

But if you’d like to present your ideas in person, stop in to the Main Street Revitalization Open House on Tuesday Sept. 13 in the Village Board Room, 29 South Ave. Representatives will be there from 6 to 8 p.m. to hear what you think!

Get your German on at the Challenger Miracle Field Oktoberfest, Friday and Saturday Sept. 16 and 17, also at Webster Firemen’s Field.

This two-day event will feature entertainment from the Auslanders, the Adlers Band, the Frankfurters, and yodeler Richard Brandt, who comes straight from Germany. Swan’s Market and Helmut’s Strudel of WNY will be serving up some authentic German food, along with Nancy’s Fried Dough and beer and wine from Cobblestone on Main.

The event will run from noon to 10 p.m. each day. Admission is $9, free for children 12 and under. Proceeds will benefit Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester.

The next St. Martin Lutheran Church’s Drive Thru Chicken BBQ will be held Saturday, Sept. 17 beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the church, 813 Bay Road, Webster.

Dinners of a half chicken, salt potatoes, coleslaw, roll, and butter are available for $12.00 – cash or check only. The event is drive-through only, and there will be no advance sales.

Dinners will be served first come/first served. Cars will enter the parking lot, follow signs, and purchase dinners using exact payment. Cars will then proceed to the side entrance to pick up boxed dinners.

Proceeds will St. Martin’s Christmas Stocking Project reaching over 500 local youth in Monroe and Wayne counties.

Here’s a preview of a pile of Webster Rec programs that you and your family are going to love:

  • Saturday Sept. 17: Family Mud Run, from 10 a.m. to noon, a non-competitive run/walk through mud and obstacles, concluding with snacks and swag. Much fun guaranteed for all ages. Cost is $5 per person, which includes lunch. Registration is required. (Program #301202)
  • Saturday Oct. 29: The ever-popular Pumpkins on Parade returns from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Drop off a carved pumpkin and then come back to walk the trail of illuminated Jack-o-lanterns. Free cider and donuts at the end. No charge.
  • Friday Nov. 18: Pajama Party, from 6 to 8 p.m. Dress in your favorite jammies and come hang out for a night of games, music, dancing and more. Bring a blanket and a pillow and get ready for the weekend. No charge.
  • Saturday Dec. 10: An Evening with Santa, 6 to 8 p.m. Get your picture taken with Mr. Claus himself, enjoy a sweet treat and make a holiday craft. No charge.

More information to come about all of these family-friendly events.

Finally, this isn’t an event, but an FYI.

For a long time now, there’s been an pharmaceutical drop-box location at the Webster Police Department, a convenient place to dispose of unused or expired prescriptions, instead of flushing them down the drain.

The remote drop box was supported by CVS Pharmacies, but the conmpany has discontinued that support.

So as of Sept. 1, there’s no longer a drop box at the Police Department. However, the CVS store at 935 Ridge Rd. will have an in-store collection bin. So please, keep being good citizens and continue to dispose of your expired medications properly.

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(posted 9/6/2022)

Historic Preservation Committee recognizes Lapham Park home

22 Jun

The Village of Webster’s Historic Preservation Committee has begun a new initiative, recognizing “Sites of the Month” throughout the village.

This month’s site is the home of Al and Michelle Abraham at 57 Lapham Park.

Known as the Knight House, it’s a three-story Victorian built in 1900 and purchased by the Knight siblings. According to the Abrahams,

In 2000, we had the great luck of moving in right next door to then Webster Town Historian Richard Batzing, who gave us a very different picture of what the house looked like before going through its many updates.

Slowly and deliberately, we have rehabilitated every room and added a 600-square-foot addition to the back of the house to include a new kitchen, entryway, and a four season room within the Victorian style. Plaster and lathe has been replaced and new windows put in with the exception of one in the front hall which still has the original glass. The trim throughout the downstairs, which had been removed and/or changed when remodeled previously, was replaced with the help of a craftsman from Newark who milled all new trim to match the original. In 2003, a red brick patio was done and a pergola built to support an existing Wisteria which has been growing there for over 50 years.

The house was sided with Hardie Board, again in keeping with the original style of the house. The original front porch was removed in the 1960s due to structural issues. In 2020 a new one was added and finished this past January.

There is still some work to be done here and there but it has been our greatest pleasure to bring this beautiful old home back to its original glory. 

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(posted 6/22/2022)

Webster BID Easter Egg Hunt a great success

19 Apr

Cold and drizzly weather didn’t deter more than 500 kids and their parents from attending last weekend’s Easter Egg Hunt, sponsored by the Webster Business Improvement District (BID).

The event was held Saturday April 16 at the Firemen’s Field. Excited children and their parents started arriving shortly after 9 a.m. and were split into three age groups. At 10 a.m. everyone was released to the field to hunt for plastic Easter eggs and various other surprises. Not that there was a whole lot of “hunting” required; business owners had donated so many eggs (about 5,000) and prizes that they simply had to be scattered around the grassy field for the children to find.

Two lucky children in each group found tickets which could be redeemed for special prize baskets. But all of the other eggs held something pretty great, too, because the participating businesses were very creative and unbelievably generous with their donations. There were gift certificates and coupons, dental floss and lapel pins, small toys and rings, and Kelly at Burke’s Grill even stuffed $1 bills into her eggs. There were even a lot of prizes that were too big to hide in eggs, like toothbrushes, sunglasses and fidget spinners.

The Easter Bunny himself was even there to greet the children.

The event was a terrific follow-up to February’s Fall in Love With Webster festivities, demonstrating how committed our business owners are to collaborating on outstanding community events. More than 45 businesses participated in the hunt by providing filled Easter eggs and/or items for the grand prize baskets.

An event like this cannot be pulled off without a lot of help. A huge thank you to:

  • the team of dedicated volunteers, led by Lisa Scholnski and Jody Laurer, including Rhonda Gefell, Ray Gefell, Evan Gefell, Karl Laurer, Steven Schlonski and Stephen Vitello
  • Dennis Montgomery and the Webster Volunteer Fire Department
  • Jake Swingly, Superintendent of Public Works
  • Jake’s son Kyle (“Mr. Bunny”) Swingly
  • Brian and Nolan Bernardi and Robyn Whittaker

Kudos to everyone who helped organize and run this event, and gave our young people a special Easter memory.

Here’s a short slideshow of more photos from the morning, courtesy Jody Laurer:

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New month-long event encourages everyone to “Fall in Love With Webster”

26 Jan

We all know there’s a lot to love about the Village of Webster, but next month there’s going to be dozens of reasons to fall in love again.

Beginning Tuesday Feb. 1, the Webster Business Improvement District (BID) will host a month-long “Fall in Love With Webster” community celebration, a brand-new event highlighting all of the businesses and activities that our village offers.

The celebration is being organized by Lisa Schlonski, owner of Lala Gift Shop on East Main St., and her able assistant Jody Laurer. The idea actually came from Jody’s daughter Maddie. She’d recently visited small-town Ridgefield, CT, which held a “Fall in Love With Ridgefield” event in October. “It’s a little village like Webster,” Jody remembered her daughter saying, adding that it would be fun to do something similar here.

So she and Lisa got out their calendars and started planning. February, the month of Valentines and sweethearts, seemed perfect. It also helps that the month holds other quasi-holidays they could incorporate, like Groundhog Day and Random Acts of Kindness Day.

What they’ve put together is an entire month of merchant discounts and special events, all embracing the theme of love. There’s even trivia (read more about that challenge at the end of the blog). Almost three dozen business owners are participating; many of them will be decorating their windows, and even Village Hall has gotten into the act, hanging heart-emblazoned banners along the light poles on Main Street.

The goal is to promote a fun way to unify the village residents and business owners. But it’s also all about helping community members get to know our village a little better, find out more about our many fine businesses, and encourage everyone to get more involved in all of the activities found here.

Details are still being finalized and new events are being added every day, but following are some highlights from JUST THE FIRST WEEK. Click on the hyperlinks for more information, and make sure to “like” the Fall in Love With Webster Facebook page for a complete list (It’s updated regularly!)

Finally, let me tell you about the trivia challenge! Each of the participating businesses will be placing a trivia fact about their business or product in their front window. Your challenge is to collect all the trivia answers and on Wednesday Feb. 23, bring them to Barry’s Old School Irish for the weekly trivia contest. The week’s theme? WEBSTER! The questions will be based on all the trivia posted around town.

Remember to “like” the Fall in Love With Webster Facebook page for the latest updates on all of the 50 or more events scheduled throughout the month. Then get ready to … fall in love with Webster.

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In memory of a village treasure

21 Nov

On March 3, 2018, the Village of Webster lost one of its most precious people, Carol Klem.

I had known Carol for less than 10 years, but we shared a passion for local journalism, and a love for the village. When we first met — I don’t remember when or where it was, but it was probably at some village event — we immediately hit it off.  Aside from bonding over our love of writing and journalism, we recognized in each other the same determination to live life fully, not take life too seriously, and never completely grow up.

For more than ten years, Carol penned the Village Focus column in the Webster Herald, and was basically the village’s biggest cheerleader. On November 21, 2017, the Webster Village Board returned the favor. To show Carol how much her efforts were appreciated, they presented her with a proclamation and named the day after her. Every year hence, November 21 would officially be Carol Klem Day in the Village of Webster.

Given that today is Carol Klem Day 2021, I wanted to post something in memory of my friend. What follows is an article I wrote for the Webster Herald which ran the week before the proclamation.

If you’ve lived in the Village of Webster for any length of time, chances are very good you know Carol Klem — or at least know about her.

It helps that for the last 12 years, as Village Focus columnist, Carol’s smiling face has appeared every two weeks on the village website and in the Webster Herald.

But even if you don’t regularly read her column, you’ve almost certainly seen Carol around town, chatting with fellow journalists at Barry’s Old School Irish or at Golden Boys, visiting with local business owners, or darting back and forth during parades, festivals and other special events, snapping photos for her column.

Basically, the name Carol Klem has become synonymous with all things good about the Village of Webster. For years, she’s been the eyes and ears of Webster, like a town crier, using her column to cheer accomplishments both big and small. She has introduced us to new businesses and old businesses. She has written tender obituaries, announced births and anniversaries. She has told us about upcoming special events and charmed us with personal musings about small-town life. And every Christmas she has delighted us all with her epic holiday poem.

Carol was born in Rochester in 1938, the oldest of three children, and lived with her family in the Beechwood section of the city. While she was attending high school at Nazareth Academy, her parents decided to move to Webster, in a home they built on Basket Road.

At that time, Webster was very rural, and was really considered the “boondocks.” Moving from the city to farm country was a big adjustment, but it gave Carol lots of handy excuses for being late for school. One of them, her daughter Mary Kay remembers, was “the Schreiber cows were loose on Basket Road.”

Carol attended Nazareth College, where she studied English and music, and was hired at Holy Trinity School, where she taught first through third grades.

Carol was the school’s first lay teacher. “It was mom and all the nuns,” Mary Kay said. “It was really quite funny. I think she was very different from the nuns. I can’t imagine a bunch of nuns and my mom!”

It was while she was teaching at Holy Trinity that she met Gene, her husband of 57 years. They were introduced by then-pastor Fr. William Kalb in 1959, married the following year, and immediately started a family. Mary Kay was born in 1961, followed closely by Tom, Greg and Doug. Many years later, in 1978, little sister Meg joined the family.

Carol worked through her first pregnancy, then became a stay-at-home mom. It was only after all the kids had all grown and moved on that she re-entered the workforce, finding part-time work with the Webster Post, writing wedding announcements and obituaries.

At 47 years old, Carol Klem the journalist was born.

“I remember her starting with a portable typewriter,” Mary Kay said. “I couldn’t imagine she would ever be computer-literate, and Word proficient. Although she still has a knack for losing files.”

In 2005 Carol left the Post and was asked to join the Webster Herald as the Village Focus columnist. She had finally found her true calling: writing about the village she loves so dearly.

And she does love Webster dearly. In September 2015, in an interview she recorded for the non-profit Webster Together organization, Carol called the village “the heart of Webster.”

“I just love our town. I love the people in it, and I love the spirit,” she said. “I’d love to see the village definitely take off. I think that whatever happens, we have the right people to make the decisions.”

I think Carol would be happy with the direction the village is going. She’d be sad to see long-standing businesses like The Music Store close, but happy about all of the new shops that have moved into the village. And given the social butterfly she was, this COVID stuff would have driven her up a wall. I don’t think it would have slowed her down too much, though. I can picture her in a mask, swinging her little digital camera as she chronicled life getting back to normal.

I miss her ever-present smile, boundless energy and joie de vivre. I’ll be raising a glass to her today.

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Announcing some Webster on the Web improvements

12 Sep

In an effort to make Webster on the Web an ever more valuable source of local news and information, I’ve decided to try something new.

You’ll see that at the top and in the side rail of my Webster on the Web homepage I’ve posted links to two brand new sub-pages, titled “Local Links” and “Village Directory.” (If you’re reading this on your phone, you’ll find the links in the “Menu” button on top, or all the way at the bottom of the page.)

The Local Links is separated into three sections: Local Government, Community Agencies and Churches. Each listing within these sections has a hyperlink leading straight to that organization’s website (or at least that’s what I tried to do).

On the Village Directory page, I’ve made the effort to map as many village businesses as I could. To make the maps less cluttered, I’ve separated them into three categories: Retail Shops, Professional Services, Eat and Drink and Park. When you click through to the map (using one of two links), and hover over a dot, it will tell you what the business is and its address.

I did my best to be as accurate and inclusive as possible, but after you’ve had a chance to poke around a bit, if you see anything you think I should add, please email me!

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Edna Struck Memorial Park is looking beautiful again

12 Aug

Edna Struck Memorial Park is the charming little grassy median where Lapham Park makes a slight jog at the corner of Elm St, on the east side of the village. It’s named in honor of Mrs. Struck, who made it her passion to tend the plants on the island for years.

In February of 2019, someone was driving down Lapham Park much too fast and — instead of navigating the jog in the road — decided to drive right through the park, mowing down the trees and plants, and inflicting significant other damage.

For two years now, the village has been working to refurbish the median, including planting more trees and flowers and reinstalling the large stone and memorial plaque honoring Edna Struck. The repairs began in earnest last fall when workers leveled the plot and put down some new topsoil. Then the trees were planted, and finally this spring, flowers and a new boulder.

The work is finally nearing completion. About the only thing left to do is reinstall the memorial plaque, but that, too, should be happening soon.

So, the little pocket park is looking nice again. I think Edna herself would be pleased.

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The Village is blooming!

28 May

In anticipation of some beautiful summer weather and an influx of downtown visitors, the Village of Webster’s Main Street is looking spiffy.

Up and down the street, flower beds have been planted with hundreds of annuals which already look nice, but will be spectacular once they’ve had a chance to grow.

Things are looking especially flower-ful in front of Village Hall, where Village Clerk Heather Halstead has been coordinating several planting projects, the results of which can be seen in these photos she’s provided. Before long, some luxuriant light-pole hanging baskets will be added to the display, so the entire village will be bursting with color.

I think the effect is charming.

That charm continues into the evening as well. I love that the trees up and down Main Street still sparkle after dark. This might be the first year the Village chose not to remove the white twinkly lights after winter (I can’t remember). In any case, I love them and they give our village a very welcoming, small-town feel.

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