Tag Archives: Veterans Memorial park

Webster community mailbag

8 Aug

There are several ways for you to help out your community — and environment — in today’s mailbag.

Bottle and Can Drive

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For starters, the Webster Marching Band will hold their next bottle and can drive on Saturday August 22 at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Rd. 

Bottles and cans can be dropped off at the high school from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day. If you have any that you’d like to have picked up before then, simply call the Bottle and Can Hotline at 234-8684, select option 1, leave a message, and someone will be in touch to pick up your returnables.

Food Drive

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That same day, Saturday August 22, Immanuel Lutheran Church at 131 West Main Street in Webster will host a non-perishable food drive. All donations will be used for the church’s Little Free Pantry and the WCSD Food Backpack Program.

Click on the poster above for more information about items they particularly need. The drive will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Blood Drive

blood drive

Another local opportunity for you to help save lives with your blood donation will take place on Tuesday Aug. 25 from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Webster Volunteer Fire Department Firemen’s Building, 172 Sanford Street. To set up your appointment, call 1-800-Red-Cross. 

Electronics Recycling

The next local electronics recycling event will be held at Xerox on Saturday August 29 from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

The last time one of these drives was held at Xerox, the line of cars stretched down Phillips Rd. So organizers are requesting that everybody pre-register for this drive. Click here to do that.

Items that will be accepted include cell phones, computers, monitors, printers, audio video equipment, and small devices. There’s a limit of four TV monitors per car.

Book Sale! 

The Webster Public Library will hold a pop-up book sale on Thursday August 13 from noon to 4 p.m. outside the library on Van Ingen Dr.

All books will be $1 each. Please bring cash, wear your mask, and follow the social distancing guidelines that are laid out at the sale.

Movies and Concerts Return!

The Village of Webster is squeezing as much summer out of this year as they can.

Movies in the Gazebo Park series will return with two showings in the coming week in Veterans Memorial Park on North Ave.

Monsters uniMonsters University will be shown on Tuesday Aug. 11, and Charlie Wilson’s War with Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman on Saturday Aug. 15.

Both movies will begin at dusk, around 9 p.m. To encourage social distancing, the park will be marked off with specific “family areas” spaced six feet apart in the grass. There will be plenty of room for chairs and/or blankets within each spot and facial masks must be worn when outside your family space. There will be room for about 60 family spaces and are first-come, first-served. You can place your chairs or blankets in a space to reserve it on movie or concert days anytime after 2 p.m. the day of the event.

No popcorn will be served so feel free to bring your own snacks and drinks.

And the (abbreviated) Friday Night Concert Series is back, too!

Friday Aug. 21 will feature Super Mini Prime Time Funk with Ronnie Leigh on vocals and sax, Dave Cohen on drums, Andy Calabrese on keys and Ron France on bass.

Friday Aug. 28, the Juday Sealy Band will take the stage. Recently Judah, a School of the Arts grad,  released his highly anticipated single called “Off The Charts” which spent two months on the Billboard Smooth Jazz chart. The group also features Webster HS graduate Deepak Thettu on guitar.

The Bill Tiberio Band returns Friday Sept 4, with Bill Tiberio on alto and tenor sax, Scott Bradley on trumpet and keyboards, Vinnie Ruggiero on guitar, Phil Lake on drums and Geoff Smith on bass.

The concerts are from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information visit websterbid.com.

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Movies in the Park are back!

29 Jul

The Village of Webster is trying its best to give our community something resembling a normal summer.

So in a few weeks, the Movies in the Gazebo Park series will return for kind of like a trial run. in Veterans Memorial Park on North Ave.

Monsters uniMonsters University will be shown on Tuesday Aug. 11, and Charlie Wilson’s War with Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman on Saturday Aug. 15.

Both movies will begin around 9 p.m. To encourage social distancing, the park will be marked off with specific “family areas” spaced six feet apart in the grass. There will be plenty of room for chairs and/or blankets within each spot and facial masks must be worn when outside your family space. There will be room for about 60 family spaces and are first-come, first-served.

No popcorn will be served so feel free to bring your own snacks and drinks. For more information visit websterbid.com.

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Veterans Memorial Park will also be host to a return engagement by comic Rudolph Valentino this Friday July 31.  He’ll be joined by his co-host and funny friend Kevin Markman.

gazeboThis is a family-friendly show. There’s no admission, and water and snacks can be purchased, if this show will be anything like the last. And you’ll laugh a lot.

Bring your quad chairs and a cooler if you like, and bring a mask in case you have to sit too close to anyone or want to hit up the vendors. But it’s a spacious area, so there shouldn’t be any problem social distancing. The show is slated to start at 7 p.m. But it started late last time so don’t worry if you’re running late.

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Webster community mailbag

20 Jul

 

garlic festival

You’ve probably already seen this news, but in case you haven’t: the 2020 Rochester Garlic Festival, scheduled for Sept. 12-13, has been canceled.

The news, which comes on the heels of the cancellation of pretty much everything else this summer, certainly comes as no surprise. But after the festival’s strong return in 2019 after taking a year off, I was looking forward to seeing what it had in store for this year.

But we’ll have to wait until next summer.

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gazeboDid you miss out on attending the terrific, family-friendly comedy act that came to the gazebo a few Fridays ago? (Click here to read the blog I wrote about that show.)  Well, your next chance to enjoy some laughs is coming up on July 31.

Rudolph Valentino will return to the gazebo in Veterans Memorial Park on North Ave. on Friday night July 31. He’ll be joined by his co-host and funny friend Kevin Markman.

There’s no admission, and water and snacks can be purchased, if this show will be anything like the last. And you’ll laugh a lot.

Bring your quad chairs and a cooler if you like, and bring a mask in case you have to sit too close to anyone or want to hit up the vendors. But it’s a spacious area, so there shouldn’t be any problem social distancing. The show is slated to start at 7 p.m. But it started late last time so don’t worry if you’re running late.

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Finally, some news from the schools.

Congratulations to my former Webster Thomas teaching colleague Carol Saladzius, who was recently hired as assistant principal at Hilton High School. Carol and I worked together for several years at Thomas — me in the library and she a Spanish teacher — and I am happy for her new adventure.

Congratulations also to the Webster Thomas Best Buddies program, which last week was named the most outstanding high school chapter in New York State for 2020.

Best Buddies is a nationwide program which matches special education students with peer buddies who have similar interests.  The peer buddy makes a commitment to reach out to their buddy once a week outside school via email or telephone, and to get together and do something outside school with their buddy once a month.

The program came to Western New York four years ago and Webster Thomas was one of the first high schools to sign up. To read more about the program here in New York State, click here.

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Have you signed your school-age child up for school yet?

Our students will be going back to school one way or another this September, and the district really needs to know how many students to expect. So if your child isn’t already registered for the 2020-21 school year, please do so ASAP.

The New York State Department of Education requires all school-age students age 5-6 (in the given school year) and older be registered in some sort of education program in the district in which they live. This includes students who will be attending public school, those who will be going to private and parochial schools, those who have moved into a new school district, and those who will be home-schooled. (These can be changed at any time, but prior registration is still required.)

If you have a child who will be 5 years old on or before December 1, that child is eligible for kindergarten enrollment. Families new to Webster CSD with children grades 1-12 may also enroll their children at this time. For more information and to download registration packets, click here.

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A pleasant reminder of what normal looked like

11 Jul

One of the main reasons I wanted to move into the Village of Webster was the convenience of being able to walk into town for parades and festivals, and to the gazebo for concerts and other musical events.

This summer has been a bust, of course, with just about every special event you can think of being cancelled. We haven’t been able to enjoy our regular Friday nights at the gazebo at all.

Until last night.

Last night the Village of Webster welcomed comic Rudolph Valentino to the gazebo in Veterans Memorial Park, where he — and his funny friends Yolanda Smilez and Kevin Markman — offered up almost a full hour of clean stand-up comedy to an appreciative audience.

no laffing matterThe event was organized as a release show for Valentino’s new comedy album, “Ain’t No Laffing Matter.” 

The crowd wasn’t as big as I expected it to be, numbering perhaps 50 to 75 people. I expected a lot more people, like me, would jump at the opportunity to enjoy some free outside entertainment again, something we haven’t been able to do in a long time. I was disappointed for the entertainers and their staff who had clearly taken some time to also put together raffles and some concessions.

Rudolph himself, however, was not disappointed. “The crowd was great,” he wrote on the Webster Neighbors Facebook page. “Especially since we put this together in 10 days.”

That was the kind of positive attitude we saw last night from the comics and audience members alike — who all did a great job, by the way, maintaining social distancing.

It was great to pull out the quad chairs again and enjoy a summer evening at the gazebo. I look forward to more events like this to help keep us all sane this summer.

If you’d like to check out Valentino’s new album, “Ain’t No Laffing Matter,” click here.

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One more chance to vote on the bike racks

10 Jun

A few weeks ago I posted a blog about how the Village of Webster will be installing four new bike racks this summer. Village Board members will have the final decision on where they’ll be placed, but have invited input from the community to help them guide their decision.

I created a survey suggesting nine different locations throughout the village. Thank you to everyone who has taken a minute to fill it out (and it really only takes a minute). To date I’ve received 44 responses, but would love to get some more.

Here’s an update on what people have been telling me so far:

bike rack 1

The top two most popular locations so far for the bike racks with the Town of Webster logo are 1) in front of Barry’s Old School Irish/The Garage Sale Store and 2) in Veterans Park. Running a close third is a spot in front of Village Hall.

bike rack 2

The top two most popular locations for the racks with the bike insignia are 1) in the parking lot somewhere near Village Bakery and 2) in front of Barry’s/The Garage Sale Store. Those two spots are tied for first, and there’s not a close third.

I will be presenting my findings at the Village Board meeting later this week, so now’s the time to weigh in with your opinion if you’d like to. To read more about how the bike racks came to be, click here to go to my original blog. Or click here to go directly to the survey. It really only takes a minute.

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An update on the bike racks

17 May

A little more than a week ago I posted a blog about how the Village of Webster will be installing four new bike racks this summer. Village Board members will have the final decision on where they’ll be placed, but have invited input from the community to help them guide their decision.

So I created a survey suggesting nine different locations throughout the village. Thank you to everyone who has taken a minute to fill it out (and it really only takes a minute). I’ve gotten 36 responses so far, but would love to have a lot more before I present my findings to the Board in a few weeks.

Here’s an update on what people have been telling me so far:

bike rack 1* The top two most popular locations so far for the bike racks with the Town of Webster logo are 1) in front of Barry’s Old School Irish/The Garage Sale Store and 2) in Veterans Park. Running a close third is a spot in front of Village Hall.

bike rack 2

* The top two most popular locations for the racks with the bike insignia are 1) in the parking lot somewhere near Village Bakery and 2) in front of Barry’s/The Garage Sale Store. There is not a close third in this race yet.

If you’d like to weigh in with your opinion, there’s still plenty of time. To read more about how the bike racks came to be, click here to go to my original blog. Or click here to go directly to the survey.

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Village schedules 9/11 ceremony

6 Sep

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One of the most solemn anniversaries in our nation’s history comes around again next week. The two simple words by which we all know it belie the horror of the day: 9/11.

The Village of Webster always does a very nice job commemorating the occasion, with a ceremony held at the gazebo at Veterans Memorial Park, on North Ave.

Scheduled for next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., the event usually lasts around 45 or 50 minutes, and includes first responders, and local and regional political representatives who offer some comments. Last year the Chorus of the Genesee also participated, performing some patriotic tunes.

Members of the Webster Fire Department are planning to congregate at the station on South Ave. at around 6:15 and march as a group to the ceremony. You won’t want to miss that.

Click here to see the blog I wrote about last year’s 9/11 ceremony.

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Village looks to upgrade two of its parks

30 Jun

If you’re a fan of our village parks, here’s something that might interest you:  Our village administrators are looking to make improvements to two of them, Schantz Park on State Rd. and Veterans Memorial Park (Gazebo Park) on North Ave.

A lot of changes are being proposed, all of which can be seen in the photos I’ve included above. You can also click here to see a detailed .pdf document:  2018.06.26 DRAFT Webster Parks Public Meeting. But here are some of the highlights:

Improvements to Schantz Park would focus mostly on the southeast portion of the park, adjacent to State Road. The tennis courts, which are infrequently used and are in very poor repair, would be removed entirely. Replacing them would be a much larger parking lot, a pavilion and a natural play area. All would presumably make the park more comfortable and welcoming for families and fans who come to watch ball games played there.

Plans for Veterans Memorial Park are much more extensive.

The biggest change would be the addition of a sidewalk encircling the entire grassy area of the park, expanding into a larger paved area directly in front of the gazebo. The idea here is to encourage better circulation and additional seating area, with the added benefit of providing easier access for those with disabilities.

The veteran’s memorial itself and its gardens would be moved from the southeast corner of the park to the northeast. And fear not, the park will still have a clock, although chances are very good it’s going to be replaced with something as handsome, but a lot less troublesome.

Sculptures, additional plantings, a rain garden, and a decorative gateway will make things look pretty.

While plans have been sketched out for both parks, right now the village is only planning to try for a state grant to work on Veterans Park, and focus on Schantz Park some time in the future.

The proposed upgrades come from recommendations provided by a six-member advisory committee comprised of village and local business representatives. Matt Chatfield, Executive Director of the Webster Economic Development Alliance, explained that the public meeting was the next step in the “quick concept phase” of the proposal.

“The grant application is just the first of many steps in this process,” he said. “If the Village is awarded funding, there will be several additional public involvement opportunities prior to any final design and construction.”

Of course this is going to be a long process (anything involving government administration usually is). The grant application isn’t due until the end of July, and we won’t know until December if we’ve been awarded any funds. If so, then there’s an entire year-long park design process. Construction wouldn’t even begin until late 2020.

No other information/comment gathering sessions are planned at this point. However, if you’d like to share your opinions about the planned improvements, you can fill out this form here. (It only asks your thoughts about Veterans Memorial Park because it’s the only one on the table for now.)

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Webster remembers

12 Sep

IMG_6116

The Village of Webster gathered Monday night to pay honor to the men and women who lost their lives during the horrific events of September 11, 2001. About 100 residents convened in Veterans Memorial Park for the 50-minute ceremony, joined by more than 30 Webster fire fighters and first responders, Village Mayor Darrell Byerts, a handful of other state, town and village representatives, and the Chorus of the Genesee.

Mayor Byerts acted as emcee, sharing the podium with many of those representatives who added their thoughts and personal recollections from the day.  Many of those comments were directed at the ranks of first responders who stood proudly near the edge of the park. And those were the comments I considered most meaningful.

We must never forget what happened that day and the brave people who lost their lives. But it’s also important to appreciate those who still keep up safe every day.

Mayor Byerts was the first to sound that call. He asked us to remember what it was like in the hours and days after 9/11. We were a country united, helping strangers in the street, showing our patriotism by flying flags from every pole we could find. We mourned the loss of 2,977 innocent lives. Among them were 412 emergency workers, including 343 FDNY firefighters.  We publicly thanked them for their efforts.

The same thing happened when Webster suffered the loss of two of our own firefighters at the hand of a madman on December 24, 2012. We came together again as one, and showed how much we love and respect our local firefighters.

But, as Byerts noted, that public outpouring of emotion didn’t last.

“As time passes, memories fade and those appointed to protect us are forgotten,” he said. “The words ‘thank you’ are rarely spoken.”

Syed Ahmed Mustafa, president of Northeast Quadrant Advanced Life Support, further reminded us that “People don’t become heroes because of what they do one day, but because of what they do every day.”

Those are powerful thoughts. What I took from them was this:

We must never forget September 11 and keep those who lost their lives close to our hearts. But one of the best way to honor them is to appreciate those who continue to race to the scene of a horrific accident or run into burning buildings, not knowing what exactly they’re going to find.

Or, by the way, WHO they’re going to find. Because, as Ahmed said, what 9/11 taught us is that “no matter where we work, pray or play, we are all American.”

Here are several more photos from the evening:

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