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News Archive

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January 30, 2013
Local Events of the 1600s Will Be Explored at Discussion Sessions

Penfield Recreation’s Daytime Education at Recreation (DEAR) program will be hosting a lecture program entitled ‘Local Historic Happenings of the 1600s’ on February 14 and March 14 at 2:30 PM at Penfield Community Center.

Through these two discussion sessions local historian Dick Freitas will introduce participants to the Burning Springs of Bristol, which were viewed by early French explorers in 1669; talk about the Seneca Nation and the new Cultural Center plans at Ganondagan; review the lost journal of Rene Robert LaSalle by Father Galinee; and explore the life of early French explorer Etienne Brule, who is known as the first white man to map the Irondequoit Bay.

The program is $5.00 which includes both days of participation. For more information or to register for this program, please visit Registration can also be done in person at the Penfield Recreation Department at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd.

January 28, 2013
Supervisor's Column: Week of 1/28

Last week I had the opportunity to attend an Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony for Gunnar Walter Sorensen of Troop 312, located at Penfield Presbyterian Church, to present a certificate of recognition on behalf of the Town Board and the community of Penfield. For his Eagle Scout project, Gunnar built a new set of walkway stairs for the Little League fields located at Veterans’ Park adjacent to the Town Hall. I have personally used these stairs many times as I stroll down for a burger or hot and watch a few innings of baseball prior to our town board meetings on a Wednesday night. I have heard many residents comment on the ease of traversing the various field levels by using these stairs. Penfield has benefited over the years from the various Eagle projects completed in our parks, along our trails, and in schools. I would like to recognize Gunnar for his hard work in achieving the rank of Eagle, your family and friends should be very proud.

If you have recently visited the Town Hall and stopped in the auditorium to visit the Tuesday Mobile DMV, or attended various town meetings, you would have seen new wires being pulled through this area. Our Penfield TV team is in the process of updating our camera and video capabilities to provide even better service to our residents for coverage of meetings and events. Most of our equipment had reached its useful life and we have been experiencing breakdowns and poor quality. The new equipment will offer more flexibility for delivering live broadcasts via cable channel 12 and online streaming to keep our residents current on local government operations. Most of the installation work has been completed by town staff to reduce the cost of the project.

Mark your calendars for the next Penfield Symphony Orchestra concert on Monday, February 11, 7:30 p.m. at Penfield High School. The concert is “The Three R’s,” music by Rossini, Ravel and Respighi sponsored by Family First Credit Union. Tickets are $14.00 for adults and $12.00 for seniors. Live Symphonic Music close to home!

I have just been informed by the Genesee Region Clean Communities, Inc. (GRCC) that Penfield was selected for a grant to install our second EV Charging Station for electric cars. This station will be located at the Town Hall to support residents who are at the site for sports activities, the amphitheater, or visiting the Town Hall. Our first charging station is located at the Community Center. The ongoing cost of the charging stations will be off-set by the revenue received from excess power generated for our solar powered pump station located off Creek Street. GRCC of Rochester is a coalition that works with vehicle fleets, fuel providers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to reduce petroleum use in transportation. The grant will cover 100% of the cost of materials to install this new charger. We anticipate it will be operational by early June.

Last week the governor released the 2013-14 budget for New York. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. We have started to analyze what impact, if any, it may have on Penfield. The impact could be direct such as pension costs, insurances and other program costs; or it could be indirect via new costs or fees from the county. Over the next several weeks we will review and report back to you what we see that may affect Penfield operations.

Until next week, be well and be safe!



January 21, 2013
Supervisor’s Column: Week of 1/21

This time of year I receive several calls from residents asking about the policy or practice of plowing snow across the town, county or state roadways. The Vehicle and Traffic Law, as well as the New York State Highway Law, prohibit placing snow, ice or other substances upon the highway; this includes pavement, shoulders and ditches. Many residential plowing services push the snow from driveways they are plowing across roads, causing a hazard which could result in a serious accident. The Sheriff’s Department and State Police will ticket the responsible person or persons for this practice. If your plow service regularly pushes snow across a roadway you may want to encourage them to change their practice. Fines could be as high as $1,000.00. Thank you in advance for helping to keep all of our roadways safe for everyone.

Over the next several weeks the Monroe County Water Authority (MCWA) will begin the next phase of the eastside water supply project. The work will start at Atlantic Ave and proceed north to Plank Road with the installation of a 48’ transmission main. The main will run cross-country on permanent easements and the highway right-of-way. This work consists of four phases: survey work, main installation, testing, and restoration. Construction is expected to last through the end of August with restoration completed by September. If you have questions, contact the MCWA customer service department at 442-7200 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or call their dispatcher at 442-2009 at all other times. MCWA will have an inspector on site throughout construction. Their inspectors carry an ID badge and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the pipeline construction.

It is not too early to sign up for the Penfield Recreation summer day camp program. This very popular program has four sessions that run from June 24 to August 9. The Community Center location has an extended hours option. You can save 10% on day camps by registering online. For more details, please check out page 19 of the winter/spring Penfield Recreation brochure or log-on to . Please note session dates, playground sites and registration fees (per child) for each session. Also, please indicate second/third choices on the registration form should you be closed out of your first choice. Lastly, the community center option does fill up quickly!

I was recently informed by the director of the Penfield Library, Bunny Brinkman, that our library was selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities to receive its Muslim Journeys Bookshelf, part of their Bridging Cultures initiative. This collection of twenty-five books and three DVDs will provide information to the community on the many facets of Islamic culture. More information will be available on their web-site at .

I will be presenting the “Wellness of our Community,” or what is commonly referred to as the “State of the Town,” on Wednesday, January 30 at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Town Hall. Everyone is welcome to attend. If you cannot make it out consider tuning into Penfield TV or log on to  to watch the streaming video.

Important dates and events in history: January 23, 1933 – The 20th Amendment is added to the Constitution. The 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution establishes the beginning and ending of the terms of the elected federal offices. It also deals with scenarios in which there is no President-elect. January 27, 1973 – The United States and Vietnam sign a peace treaty, ending the Vietnam War.

Until next week stay warm, winter is back!



January 16, 2013
Penfield Rec Partners with The Barn Owl

Penfield Recreation has teamed up with one of Penfield’s newest businesses–The Barn Owl–to offer nature programs to kids and adults.

The Barn Owl is a nature and birding store with a gift shop and classroom space, located at 1807 Penfield Road. Owner Sarah Conley offers nature classes and programs for all ages. Penfield Recreation has a listing of affordable children’s programs at The Barn Owl that will be offered in the winter and spring. This list can be found in our winter/spring program brochure.

Upcoming programs include learning about snowflakes, beginning birding, learning about all sorts of animals, maple sugaring, programs for school breaks, and several opportunities to meet the resident creatures of The Barn Owl—Pickles, the African Pygmy Hedgehog; Stanley, the Red-Eared Slider; Ceres, the Malaysian Box Turtle; Nullah and Blue, the Bearded Dragon Lizards; and some live insects. These are just a few of the many programs The Barn Owl will be offering in the upcoming months.

Residents can browse all of the upcoming programs at The Barn Owl and more and register for them with ease on the Penfield Recreation website.

“As we consistently look to offer residents quality programming, we are constantly seeking partnerships which will allow for affordable programming opportunities,” said Recreation Director Chris Bilow. “New partnerships such as the one with The Barn Owl are a perfect example of a collaborative effort between the Recreation Department and Penfield businesses.”

Penfield Recreation has also partnered with the following Penfield businesses to offer programs to residents for this winter and spring season: Wegmans, Mathnasium, Penfield Fitness and Racquet Club, Gymnastics Training Center, Legacy at Willow Pond, TrueNorth Equestrian Center, KB Dog Training, Shadow Lake Golf Club, and Shadow Pines Golf Club.

January 14, 2013
A Message from Public Works

Town Public Works crews will be trimming trees and inspecting ponds throughout the winter months as weather permits. They will also begin the process of lawn restoration as permitted by weather, however full lawn restoration will begin in the spring of 2013. Crews will be wearing brightly colored clothing for visibility and recognition. If you have any questions about work being done in your neighborhood please call the Public Works Dept. at 340-8710.

January 14, 2013
Supervisor’s Column: Week of 1/14

Penfield resident and coordinator of Senior Consumer Network for Lifespan, Jim Lynd, has asked me to make our community aware of recent concerns targeting homeowners and the elderly. A “well dressed man” has been in neighborhoods knocking on doors telling homeowners he believes you are over-paying for your energy supply. He asks to see your monthly bill so he can confirm his claim. He also suggests you sign a form to switch your account over to the plan he is offering so you can save money. Jim Lynd wants to remind us all, especially our senior population, to never open your door to strangers, keep your storm door locked at all times—and no matter how cold it is outside, never invite a person into your home! Also, never give or show anyone documents with your personal information. Better yet, don’t even open your door unless you are expecting a known visitor.

If you have any safety concerns call 911, a Sherriff’s Deputy will respond to take a report. For more information on tips to protect yourself and your family from door-to-door or telephone scams, log-on at . Also, I have recently become aware that there are a number of telephone scams taking place. Individuals are calling our residents soliciting funds for the state police and other law enforcement agencies. The New York State Police and other law enforcement DO NOT solicit funds via the telephone. If you receive any suspicious calls just hang up—do not discuss or explain— just hang up.

Maggie Hession, a former town board member and a very active volunteer in the community, asked me to remind all residents of the importance of getting a flu shot. The flu can be deadly, especially among our youngest and oldest residents. Even with record numbers of flu cases already being reported, it is not too late to receive your vaccination. If you have received your shot we hope you have had a healthy season thus far; if you have not received your shot because you have been busy with work, family and the holidays, please consider making time to do so. Maggie, I thank you for this important health reminder and for your continued service to the Penfield community.

I am encouraged by several of the Governor’s initiatives that were spelled out in his recent 2013 State of the State address, specifically his remarks concerning continued focus on growing the economy in Upstate New York; reforming workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance to reduce business costs; achieving equality for women through a 10-point plan to break down barriers that perpetuate discrimination and inequality based on gender; the launching of OPEN NY to increase government transparency and allow on-line access to government data, reports, statistics and other information; and making New York a national leader in building a clean tech economy program. All governments across this state must work to have New York appear at the top of lists of positive qualities rather than at the bottom, where we seem to be today. I am cautiously optimistic that we may be moving in a good direction, the proof will be in the overall results.

The Penfield Heritage Association will hold its regular meeting on Sunday, January 27, 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. in the Braman Room of the Penfield Library at the Community Center. This month’s topic is “Penfield’s Planning Board.” Mark Valentine, Director of the Planning Department, will be discussing the history of the board, how members are chosen, current projects, and more. This board has been in operation for more than 80 years. Town Historian Kathy Kanauer will also be on hand to help answer questions from the audience. Looking for something different to do on a Sunday? Come join in on this discussion you will be amazed on the number of visuals Mark and Kathy have to share. There is no cost to attend and refreshments will be served!

Until next week, enjoy the mini January thaw, there is still a lot of winter ahead!




January 7, 2013
Supervisor’s Column: Week of 1/7

Over the holidays we saw our first large snow storm in a very long time. I, for one, have enjoyed our long stretch of mild weather and modest snowfall. I have often said that I would rather cut grass than shovel or plow snow.

Following the storm and throughout last week I spoke to a number of our DPW employees who are called upon to remove snow in the worst conditions. They told me of a number of accidents and near misses they witnessed in the course of their plowing duties. I was disturbed by what I learned and I am motivated to offer these winter safety reminders to all drivers, parents and children:

You cannot expect to drive at the same speed in snow and ice conditions as you do with dry pavement. Please allow extra drive time for work, school or other travel activities.

Piles of plowed snow in cul-de-sacs attract our youngest residents to build snow forts and dig tunnels. While these huge snow piles are tempting, playing in them is risky business. Last week while cleaning up cul-de-sac snow with a front loader, we had multiple situations in which children “popped up” from the snow pile. Parents and children, we do not want any of our youngest residents injured or buried in snow. Please resist the lure of that snow and play only in yards away from roadways.

Plow operators have seen children and adults lying atop snow banks along roadways so that snow spray from the plow blade could bury them with snow. This is a dangerous idea; a moving 10-ton truck with a massive plow blade throwing snow is not an opportunity for play. You cannot judge the edge of a blade or the weight of snow, and mixed in with the flying snow are ice chunks and all kinds of debris.

Drivers, never pass a plow on the right. We have had drivers run into the right side wing plow or end up in a ditch once they realized the wing was operating. It is very difficult for drivers to see a plow wing with the snow spray.

If you cannot see a plow’s left or right side mirrors you are following the plow too closely, please maintain a safe driving distance.

Plow trucks weigh between 10 and 15 tons. With plow blades and loads of salt they cannot stop on a dime, take wide turns or easily vary their speed. Please respect the work these DPW employees do to keep roadways, drivers and families in our community safe.

I would like to offer anyone a ride with one of our drivers during a storm to see what they face each time they are out on the roadways; I believe you would gain a better appreciation of the difficult conditions in which they work. To take me up on this offer, please contact Ronnie Williams, Director of Public Works at 340-8632. Thank you in advance for sharing the road with our drivers!

If you would like to recycle your Christmas tree you may bring it to the Public Works Department at 1607 Jackson Road. There is a marked pile between the Highway and Sewer Buildings. Trees will be mulched up in the spring with the rest of the brush residents drop off during the year. Mulch will be made available for residents in the spring and early summer.

Animal Control and the Sheriff’s Department are reporting an unusually high number of dogs off leash and owners not picking up after their pets. Several tickets have been issued to pet owners. Penfield has a leash law and requires dogs to be on leash outside of their property. Also, in fairness to all that use our parks, please do your duty to pick up your pet’s duty. Thank you!

By the time you reading this column you should have received your 2013 Town/County Tax Bill in the mail. If not, please contact the Tax Receiver at 340-8626. I also encourage you to take a look at my letter to the ‘Penfield Property Taxpayer’ dated January 3, 2013 that addresses the various components of the bill. Copies are available at the Town Clerk’s office or by logging on to  and choosing ‘Departments’ then ‘Taxes.’

Town Offices will be closed on Monday, January 21 in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

I will be presenting the “State of the Town” address on Wednesday, January 30 at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Town Hall. Everyone is welcome to attend or you can tune in to Penfield TV or log on at  to watch the streaming video.

Until next week, be well and drive safely!




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