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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Fund raiser will help village “worker bee”

1 Aug

FB_IMG_1498324941683Thank you to my friend Carol Klem for the following information about an important village fundraiser for a wonderful person.

This Saturday August 5, the village of Webster will come together to support Penny Swingly, whom Carol characterizes as “one of the hardest working folks in our village.”

Penny is a self-employed hair stylist in the village and former secretary of the Business Improvement District, and she helps at every village event that she can. Lately, Penny has been fighting some serious health issues, which have made it difficult for her to keep up with her business.

In March Penny went into the hospital for a routine surgery. But something went wrong, and she didn’t leave the hospital for  more than two months. Even then, it was only to be discharged to St. Ann’s home, which she then had to leave when her insurance ran out.

Frail and weak, Penny’s not going to be able to return to work for a long time. But we are Webster, and Webster rallies together when one of our own is in need.

This Saturday, the “Benny for Penny” will take place at 22 North Avenue, near Veterans Memorial Park and the gazebo. It’s a pig roast and chicken barbecue, with beverages and raffles, starting at noon and continuing all afternoon. Entertainment will be provided by Rochester-based cover band The Fallen. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to Penny.

If you’d like like to contribute a raffle item, or money to the cause, call Sherry at (585) 259-1619.

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Webster Tuesday Mailbag

31 Jul

mailbagLet’s start out today’s mailbag with a few fun events sponsored by our Webster Public Library. 

If you love LuLaRoe, you’ll want to attend the library’s pop-up boutique on Wednesday, August 2 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the meeting room. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the library.

On Wednesday August 16, learn how to make a rain barrel in a special one-hour workshop for adults, from 6 to 7 p.m.

Rain barrels help reduce storm water runoff to storm drains by collecting and storing rainwater runoff from rooftops. Connect your rain barrel to a gutter downspout on your house, collect rainwater, and conserve tap water by using the rainwater on your gardens and landscaping. You will make and take home your own 55-gallon rain barrel. All tools and materials will be supplied at the workshop.

These workshops are usually very popular, so make sure to sign up ASAP. The cost to attend is $15.00, payable at the time of the event. Please register by clicking here.

Webster Marching Band Bottle and Can Drive

The Webster Marching Band’s next Bottle and Can Drive takes place this Saturday August 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It’s pretty easy to help the band — just put all your returnables in a big bag, tie it up and leave the bag outside your home or at the end of the driveway no later than 9:30 a.m. Or, if you’re going to be out and about — or if the band folks If they happen to miss your pick up — you can drop off your donations at Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Road, by 4 p.m.

This is also your chance to get rid of all those old electronics cluttering up your garage. Drive them all over to Schroeder’s back parking lot between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and the friendly folks will even unload them for you.

Items accepted include desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, LCD monitors (not CRT monitors), laser printers (not ink-jet), and networking equipment. Please no CRT monitors, TVs or ink-based printers.

Annual Nick K 5K scheduled

nick K

The fourth annual Nick K 5K benefit race will take place on Saturday August 5 beginning at 8 am at the Webster Parks and Recreation Center.

Nicholas Kapusniak was killed on March 1, 2014 when a drive-by shooter fired into a group of college students in St. Louis, Missouri. Nick is a former resident of Webster and was attending school at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

The Nick K 5K hopes to draw attention to the violence that is becoming commonplace in our schools and cities. Part of the proceeds will go to local Crime Stoppers in Rochester and St. Louis, with the rest being put towards scholarships in his name at his high school in Waukesha, Wisconsin and the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

Runners and walkers can register by clicking here . Cost is $25, and includes a t-shirt and other giveaways. Walk-up registrations will be accepted the morning of the race beginning at 7:15AM.

Fun in the village

The next Webster Wine Walk hits the village on Saturday Aug 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. This one is sponsored by Family First Federal Credit Union.

Enjoy sampling wines while strolling in and out of local merchants. Tickets are $15 and available at Family First Credit Union, 850 Ridge Road, or online at www.websterbid.com.

This is shaping up to be one of the best of the wine walks; there will be live entertainment at the gazebo from 6:30 to 8:15, followed by a showing of the classic movie Casablanca. So basically, you can make an entire date night out of it!

Penfield First Baptist Vacation Bible School

The Penfield First Baptist Church has sent me notice of their Vacation Bible School, scheduled this year for August 14 through 18.

This year’s program, for children ages 4 to 11, is called “Taking Root,” and helps children make connections between growing their faith in God and practicing their faith in the world by serving our neighbors.

Classes run from 9 am to noon, and feature games, crafts, songs, snacks, and of course Bible lessons! The week will conclude Friday night with a spirit-filled celebration by the children followed by refreshments.

Cost is $25 per child, with a maximum of $50 per household. Contact the church office to register, and email communication@fbpenfield.org with questions.

Miracle Field ribbon cutting

challenger field

Don’t forget about the ribbon cutting ceremony for Miracle Field on Saturday August 26 at 11 a.m. Be one of the first to see the completed field, built especially to give differently-abled children and adults the opportunity to experience the benefits and joy of play!

This special celebration, which is free and open to the public, will include a delicious ballpark lunch, courtesy of Wegmans.

Click here to see the blog I recently posted about how great this field is going to be.

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Finally! Repairs to the bike path

30 Jul

bike path 2

There’s happy news from the bike trail! The Town of Webster has finally decided to do something about fixing it up.

You know the bike trail; it’s the six-mile long path that runs from Bay Road to Salt Road, adjacent to Rt. 104. It’s well-traveled by bikers and walkers alike, and offers a scenic off-road route to and from the village.

As a frequent user of the bike path, I’ve been distressed for a long time about the condition of this trail. Lately, my husband and I have been avoiding it, mostly because we now have expensive bikes, and there are several places on that path that are in such disrepair — mostly from tree roots heaving the asphalt — it’s dangerous to bikes and bikers.

I took to my blog last August to decry the situation, with a posting I titled “Town of Webster: Please fix the bike trail.” In that blog, I described the various states of disrepair of each of the path’s sections (and included a few photos of some of the worst parts).

That blog did not sit well with Supervisor Nesbitt, to put it mildly. But perhaps it did have some effect, because last week as I was driving along Rt 104, I saw several pieces of construction equipment working on part of the trail between Hard and Holt roads.

My husband and I hopped on our bikes to investigate a few days later. Sure enough, several areas in that one-mile section have been smoothed out and patched.  The town workers had clearly been working on it for a while; as we continued to ride east toward Holt we saw many areas with long stretches of new asphalt. Plus, there were several other places where white markings on the path seemed to indicate repairs to come.

So thank you, Town of Webster, for finally paying some attention to a long-overdue problem. And when you’re done with the Hard to Holt Road section, please don’t stop there. There’s so much more work that needs to be done.

bike path 3

The Hard to Holt Road section now has long patches of new asphalt

bike path 1

Signs of more good things to come?

And by the way, while we’re talking trails, I want to give another shout-out to the amazing volunteers of the Friends of Webster Trails. My husband and I took a bike ride on the Hojack Trail today, from Hard Road all the way to Lake, and enjoyed every minute of it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you again, Friends, for all the work you put into creating and maintaining our trail system.  You bring us all such joy. I am proud to be a member, and if you ever use any of Webster’s trails, I suggest you become a member and support this fine organization as well.

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Bygone Blog: Cats in Collusion

29 Jul

This is the third in my series of Bygone Blogs, in which I am re-posting some of my favorite blogs from the last 8 years. This one was originally published on February 2, 2009. 

scheming cats

(Not actually my cats but they look like the ones I had. This photo courtesy weruletheinternet.com)

Yesterday I found myself standing in K-Mart, staring at a selection of kitchen trash cans, analyzing their various features, while simultaneously trying to estimate my cats’ intelligence.

Let me explain. My cats — to be honest, I think the older one is the ringleader — have become very adept at knocking our kitchen trash can over in the middle of the night and having a feast. It’s the only time they actually get along, so the camaraderie they show in this endeavor is touching. However, that being said, we got very tired of cleaning up trash every morning. So we started chocking the trash can against the wall at night so they couldn’t tip it.

They figured out how to open the swinging lid and fish things out from above.

Which brings me back to K-mart, the kitchen can aisle and my cat-IQ calculations. It was more complicated than you think. One can, for example, had a “quick-release” lid on the front which only had to be lightly touched and the lid would spring up. I was convinced they’d figure that out, either by accident or by design. Another had a foot-pedal mechanism which would have befuddled them, but it wasn’t big enough for our needs.

I finally decided on one with a latch on the side. I figured the cats would have to stand on top of the lid to press it, and their weight would ultimately keep the lid in place.

Believe it. These thoughts actually went through my head.

So I brought that one home and it now sits in our kitchen, where I debriefed my family on the whole trash can-purchasing, cat-IQ thought process. Someone wondered if, when the cat stood on the lid and pressed the latch, the lid might propel the feline into the opposite wall like a kitty projectile.

I do believe they failed to appreciate my efforts.

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Bella’s Bumbas creators featured on CBS News

28 Jul
bella

Rebecca Orr with her niece Bella in a Bella’s Bumba

A Webster couple who have dedicated their lives to helping children in need have just received some national exposure.

For the last year, Rebecca Orr and her husband Marty Parzynski have been building miniature “Bella’s Bumba” wheelchairs for children throughout the country who suffer from spina bifida, a congenital defect in which part of the spinal cord is exposed through a gap in the backbone. The condition commonly causes paralysis of the lower limbs.

Their passion to help was sparked when their niece Bella was born in July, 2015. When she and her siblings came for a visit last summer from their Buffalo home, Rebecca and Marty were troubled by Bella’s inability to move around and interact with other children. Basically she had no other choice but to sit and watch everyone play.

Insurance doesn’t pay for wheelchairs, and the commercial versions of the Bumba wheelchair can cost more than $1,000. So, assisted by plans they found on Pinterest, they decided to build one for Bella.

Word spread, orders started pouring in for the life-changing chairs, and they have built hundreds for children around the world. To this day, Rebecca and Marty still don’t charge anything for the chairs aside from shipping. That generosity and dedication are probably what caught the attention of the national news.

Last week, CBS News came to town to interview Rebecca and Marty and Bella’s parents, and took some great video of a very happy — and mobile — Bella, wheeling around in her Bumba.

The story ran this morning. Check out the video here.

cbs

Bella’s Bumbas are built totally free of charge using donated parts. Monetary donations, or donations of Bumbo chairs, 12-inch tires, and hardware are gratefully accepted. For more information on how you can help, or to request your own Bella’s Bumba, connect with Bella’s Bumbas on Facebook or email bellasbumbas@gmail.com.

You can also stop by the First Annual Bella’s Bumba Family Picnic on Saturday August 26, from 11 am to 3 pm at Webster’s First Responder’s Park, 1350 Chiyoda Drive (next to the Webster Recreation Center).

You can also read more of this story in the column I wrote back in March.

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Challenger Baseball is a hit with kids

25 Jul

 

challenger 3

It’s ‘batter up!” for Challenger team member Drew Ricci.

A few days ago, I went to pretty much the most enjoyable kids’ baseball game ever. Thing is, nobody made any outs, nor did I see even one fly ball caught or grounder cleanly fielded. But I did see a lot of smiles and heard a lot of laughter, cheers and applause.

The occasion was a game of the Webster Challenger Baseball League. The league is designed for children and adults with different abilities, and fields two age groups, a minor league and senior league. The goal is to provide these differently-abled athletes with the same kind of fun sports experiences that typical children have.

I hope by now you’ve already heard about this great league and what it’s accomplishing in Webster. The organization that has brought us Challenger Baseball has been working hard for years to build the Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester right in our hometown, at Ridge Park, behind Town Hall on Ridge Road.

The game I was watching last Sunday was being played a few fields over from where Miracle Field is being built. Construction officially began  with a groundbreaking celebration last year, and had been continuing apace since. The fencing and rubberized grass surface are in place, so you can really start to see what the final facility will look like.

There’s still plenty to do, though. After the field itself is complete, plans are to build handicap-accessible restrooms, a concession stand, a pavilion and a handicap-accessible playground.

The first phase should be complete soon, and organizers are planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 am on Saturday August 26.

There are plenty of ways to help out. Volunteers are needed in many capacities. Donations — which can be made through the website — are always appreciated, of course. And if you’re into running, the 3rd annual Run, Walk & Roll fun run and 5K is scheduled for Sunday October 8 beginning at Webster Thomas High School. Pre-registration is just $20, and you can sign up here.

If you’re not sure yet about how important it is for these children and adults to have a field of their own, you need to attend one of their games. Just seeing the smiles when their bat connects with the ball — no matter if it only rolls a few feet or out of bounds — is all the convincing you need. You’ll see some of those happy faces in the slideshow below.

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For more information about Webster Challenger Baseball and the new Miracle Field, visit the Facebook page or website .

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Third annual Waterfront Art Fest hits North Ponds this weekend

25 Jul

art fest

The Waterfront Art Festival returns to North Ponds Park this weekend, July 29 and 30.

This popular festival features artists from all over Monroe County, who line North Ponds’ scenic and shaded walkways, displaying an incredible variety of high-quality, hand-made craft items in all price ranges.

Plus there’s food, live entertainment, wine, beer and cider tasting, and other exhibits.

Also new this year, the parking plan has been improved — in previous years, shuttles were provided from the Xerox parking lot down the road, but people really didn’t like that. So starting this year, parking will be provided on-site for free. Signs along the North Ponds Park access road will guide the way. Plenty of handicapped parking will still be available in the paved parking lot.

The festival runs from 10 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday at North Ponds Park, off of Rt. 104 between Rt. 250 and Holt Road. Admission is $3, no charge for kids 12 and under. For more information, click here for the Waterfront Art Festival website.

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Successful Jazz Fest 2017 in the books

24 Jul

IMG_5542

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that the Webster Jazz Fest keeps getting bigger every year. Pretty soon they’re going to have to move the stage another couple hundred feet down West Main to fit everyone.

It’s hard to believe that this year’s event was the 10th annual, and in that time, our little Jazz Fest has really grown into something that’s pretty well respected. Sure, it’s no Rochester Jazz Fest, but the two-day event features high-quality entertainment, great food courtesy our increasing variety of village restaurants, and — at least two years in a row now — nice weather.

Here are a few photos from the evening. Click here to see more in a gallery.

 

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Santa and Christmas music at the market

22 Jul
IMG_5527

Santa and his helpers at Christmas in July at the Farmer’s Market

The crowds were quite big today at the Webster Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market for the market’s annual Christmas in July event.

There were plenty of reasons to visit the market today. Santa was there with candy canes, cookies and toys for the kids. the Webster Village Band played some favorite Christmas tunes, and it’s pretty much peak time of year for fresh fruits and vegetables.

Santa was definitely the main attraction. He arrived at about 10 am in a Webster Fire Department vehicle accompanied by a handsome firefighter, of course (my son), settled into his very fancy Santa throne, and reported that sometimes the line of children waiting to visit with him was quite long.

If you didn’t get a chance to see Santa, don’t worry. He’ll be back next July. But the farm market WILL be back next week at Towne Center Plaza (Target Plaza) by the gazebo, and every Saturday morning through the first week of November, 8:30 am to 1 pm.

Thank you to Amy Weetman and Sarah Rosenberry for being my photographers, and providing some of these photos:

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