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July 29, 2013
Supervisor's Column: Week of 7/29

Department of Public Works crews have completed the town’s annual oil and stone program for 2013. Our goal is to perform this maintenance on 10 percent of our road systems each year. The concept is similar to sealing our own driveways every few years to help prolong pavement life. DPW crews will make several passes to sweep up any excess or loose stone over the next several weeks. Thank you for your patience!

I would like to recognize our employee Safety/Risk Management Committee members for their hard work over the past year. At a recent meeting with representatives from the Public Employer Risk Management Association (PERMA), the Town of Penfield’s workers’ compensation provider, we were informed that our costs are the lowest since 2007. So what does this mean? From my perspective there are two very important measures. First, employees are working safer and going home safer. I say to town employees on a regular basis, “I want you to go home in the same condition you came to work…free of injury or illness.” The second measure is reduced rates and pay-out for claims. This has a positive impact on our budget and costs, which benefits taxpayers. This is truly a win-win!

Budget update…as the 2014 budget continues to take shape I have challenged town departments to continue looking for ways to help offset state mandates that continue to grow year-on-year. This week I am going to pick on pension costs. As I have mentioned in the past, the New York State Legislature cannot continue “kicking this can” down the road. Locally, we look to keep a stable tax rate for our residents by implementing more quality improvement programs, greater use of technology, and improved efficiencies. New York State must step up to address runaway pension costs that will again this year be raised by 21 percent! Let me repeat…21 percent! We have a tax cap mandate from New York State of 2 percent, but pension costs are up 21 percent—this math does not work. The problem I see in Albany is that everyone is working harder to keep their job instead of doing their job! Many of us have been following the recent Detroit bankruptcy filing. I will predict that if the federal and state governments do not get their arms around reducing costs and cutting spending, the act of filing for bankruptcy will be the new norm rather than the practice of filing an annual budget!

I am asked on a regular basis if the last leg of the Motts Lane construction out to Route 441 will be completed any time soon. I am happy to report, after several years, the Town of Penfield has acquired the last small piece of property that was required by the Federal Department of Transportation to finish the project. Members of the Penfield Business Association need to be recognized for their assistance on completing this acquisition. We will be adding the Motts Lane project to our work schedule with hopes we may be able to begin this fall and complete it in the spring of 2014.

This past Saturday, Mother Nature had other ideas about the amphitheater concert series featuring “Gap Mangione and the New Big Band” going on as planned. Creative town staff, a willing Gap Mangione and his team of wonderful musicians, and a flexible audience regrouped and moved to the Penfield Community Center where more than 300 people were treated to a two-hour performance—and what a performance it was! People I spoke with had a wonderful time and appreciated everyone working together so the show could go on as planned.

The 2013 concert series is starting to wind down with just a few programs remaining, so mark your calendars…“Cool Jazz” Tuesday July 30 features the White Hots; “Kids Fest Thursdays” August 1 features Mike Kornrich, and “Saturdays on Stage” August 3 presents a very popular Mr. Mustard Beatle Review. All concerts begin at 7:00 p.m. Please note that the band “It’s My Party” will open for the August 3 concert; they will begin at 5:00 p.m.

I hope you have a great week. As always, if you have any topics that you would like me to address, please drop me an email at .



July 29, 2013
Guest Columnist week of 7/29: Bernadette Brinkman, Director, Penfield Library

I’m happy to be Supervisor LaFountain's guest columnist this week and share all the wonderful things that are going on—and ongoing—at our library.

We’ve had a busy summer hosting the Summer Reading Game for all ages. The game is an entertaining way to encourage reading. An exciting component has been added with this year’s theme, “Dig into Reading.” We have partnered with Water for South Sudan to allow participants to earn money to dig a well, in addition to earning prizes, through their reading accomplishments. The Reading Game is also serious fun. Players are combating the dreaded “summer slump”—the documented phenomenon of the tendency of students to lose facility in their reading skills when away from regular practice for an extended time. This results in the first few weeks of the new school year being dedicated to review to bring skills back up to the level necessary to progress. Programs like the Reading Game keep skills sharp during the summer months, so students can hit the ground running in the fall. We have anecdotal evidence from proud Penfield parents that engaging in the Reading Game has been a direct contributor to further higher learning and work successes for their children.

Along with the Reading Game, we’ve hosted many well-attended events. A highlight was the exhibition of the town’s big construction equipment, courtesy of our Public Works Department. Children thoroughly enjoyed seeing the huge vehicles and interacting with workers who operate the equipment. The workers had fun, too, and asked to return next year.

Looking ahead, our Friends of the Penfield Public Library will again hold their popular annual used book sale September 10 to September 14. Shoppers can find great bargains for home libraries and know that money collected from this effort funds programs at the library as well as enhancements to our services, such as our wireless internet access.

As much as we enjoy our annual seasonal events, we are equally proud of the services we offer year-round. Here are some that might surprise you:

The library loans ebooks and eaudiobooks, and we provide one-on-one assistance to borrowers, in person or over the phone, with the devices necessary to use digital materials.

We offer two community rooms free to non-profit organizations to use for meetings when not in use for library programs. We require two months lead time.

With the increase in distance learning, exam proctoring is becoming a desirable and expensive service. We offer free exam proctoring on request.

For readers with visual challenges, we have an extensive collection of large print materials and a Video Eye device to magnify regular print. Audio books on CD and cassette are also a popular choice; patrons without visual challenges enjoy them for entertainment on long car trips or commutes.

You can also borrow from a large collection of DVDs and Blu-Rays of recently-released popular films and television series, or games for PlayStation II, PlayStation III, Wii and XBox360.

Is literature your cup of tea? Try our monthly book discussion group. Everyone is welcome.

On the technology side, patrons may use computers featuring internet access, Microsoft Office Suite and CD and DVD drives. Coin-operated, self-service black-and-white and color printing is also available. We provide a low-cost black-and-white and color copier and a free scanner for converting hard copy documents to digital format. You can borrow a laptop for use in the library or bring your own and tap into our free wireless service.

Need a quiet place to study? We have rooms for that. Need a typewriter? We have one you can use in the library. Need a notary? We have one on site.

If you read Russian you will find a collection of popular titles in the library.

Of course, our biggest asset is our knowledgeable staff, who are eager to help visitors find the information they need or use the services the library provides.

-Bernadette Brinkman, Director, Penfield Public Library

July 22, 2013
Supervisor’s Column: Week of 7/22

Last week I was passing through the Four Corners at noon to stop for a slice of pizza. This, by itself, was not unusual. What was unusual was this: As I approached the intersection, I saw that left-hand turn arrows were operating for the northbound and southbound lanes of Five Mile Line Road—a fantastic sight!

Here’s a little history on the subject. Back in the mid- to late-1980s, former Supervisor Don Mack had the vision that this busy intersection warranted turn arrows in all four directions. His idea began an almost quarter-century quest of letter writing, petitions, traffic studies and more. Persistence has paid off! Through a lot of effort from the NYS Department of Transportation, local businesses, and many Penfield residents, we have finally realized the turn arrows which I believe will make this intersection safer and flow more effectively. I would like to thank the contractor, Caccamise Electric Co., for recognizing these improvements needed to be completed sooner rather than later for the safety of all vehicular traffic passing through this intersection. Congratulations and thank you to all who helped make this early vision for turn arrows a reality, they will make a big difference in our community!

The Department of Public Works (DPW) recently held two events for Penfield residents. The first was at the Community Center in conjunction with the Penfield Public Library’s “Dig it! Haul it! Construct it!” program for children. DPW brought in several trucks, back hoes, excavators, and more to help with show and tell for the children. The word back from DPW is that the adults had as much, if not more, than the kids! There’s something about big equipment and digging in the dirt that seems to bring the kid out in all of us!

The second event was an open house at the DPW Operation Center on Jackson Road. DPW employees had an opportunity to showcase various types of equipment including plows, loaders, sewer flush and TV camera truck, specialty mowers, excavators, and loaders. There were also discussions and demonstrations on our energy management system, electric charging stations, rain gardens, street sign replacement, solar power, and various types of recycling. I want to thank everyone for stopping by to meet our employees and learn more about what Penfield DPW does to support our residents day in and day out.

For those who are Time Warner Cable (TWC) customers, we have recently received correspondence about the company’s initiative to convert analog channels to digital-only format on or around July 23. So what does this mean for Public, Education and Government (PEG) channels 4, 12 and 15? Will you still be able to tune in to meetings for town, planning and zoning boards? What about community special events, school board meetings and information meetings? What we can tell you is we are working with TWC to try and make sure our residents still have full access to these channels. PEG access may be moved to the digital channel 98 series, or they may require special equipment or adapters depending on television equipment. After nearly 40 years of PEG channels being located on 4, 12 and 15, we are committed to helping residents watch community programming as best we can. We will learn together, and we will be providing you with additional information, updates, links and diagrams on our Penfield Community TV website at Log on and provide us your questions and thoughts about these changes; I’m sure TWC would welcome your questions and comments as well. They can be reached at scroll down and click on ‘contact us’ or call 800.756.7956.

Please note…this will be my last column to appear in the Penfield Post for the next sixteen weeks to respect the upcoming 2013 local election blackout period and ensure no one political party is receiving an advantage or disadvantage between now and Election Day. That doesn’t mean news from the town will stop coming your way! I have asked town staff and department heads to be your guest columnists to share information about their many projects and programs. You can expect to hear updates regarding the Penfield library, planning and zoning, drainage, traffic safety, code enforcement, recreation, local history, community television and more. While I cannot have my column published in the paper, it still will be available online at I look forward to this column resuming in the newspaper the week of November 11.





July 17, 2013
NYSEG and RG&E Remind Customers to Be Safe, Use Energy Wisely as Heat and Humidity Persist
With scorching heat and oppressive humidity expected to continue for much of the state through the end of the week, NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA, today reminded customers to be safe and to use energy wisely. With the hot humid weather continuing, NYSEG and RG&E expect extremely high electricity demand to continue through the week.

“First and foremost, we want our customers to be safe: avoid the heat as much as possible and stay hydrated,” said Mark S. Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E. “We are closely monitoring the weather and the stress on our electricity delivery system, and we are prepared to respond to any issues. While we do not anticipate any problems in meeting our customers power needs, we encourage them to use energy wisely.”

How to Use Energy Wisely This Summer

  • Keep curtains or blinds closed on hot, sunny days.
  • Close windows and doors during the hottest parts of the day to keep heat out.
  • Use fans instead of air conditioners.
  • When you do use air conditioners, keep the thermostat set at 78 degrees or higher.
  • Turn off air conditioners when you leave home.
  • Turn off unused lights, TVs, computers and other electronic equipment.
  • When weather permits, dry laundry outside instead of using a clothes dryer.

For more information on using energy wisely, visit  or

Always Be Prepared for Power Interruptions

Summer also means the likelihood of occasional strong thunderstorms that can cause lightning-quick damage to electricity delivery systems. NYSEG and RG&E encourage customers to always be prepared for power interruptions. More information is available in the companies’ Weathering Storm Emergencies information sheet at and


How NYSEG and RG&E Prepare for High Electricity Demand

To get ready for higher summer electricity demand, NYSEG and RG&E accelerate reliability practices including:

  • Vegetation management. (Trees coming into contact with power lines are a leading cause of power interruptions.)
  • Ongoing comprehensive maintenance.
  • Visual and infrared inspections of equipment.
  • Helicopter patrols of key facilities.
  • As warranted, high-tech inspection and testing of substation equipment.


NYSEG and RG&E Records for Electricity Demand

“Load” is the total electricity demand by all customers at a point in time, and it is a good real-time indicator of how much electricity is being consumed. Peak loads are usually driven by weather and economic conditions. Below are NYSEG’s and RG&E’s summer 2012 peak loads and all-time record peak loads. (Note: A megawatt serves approximately 800 to 1,000 homes.)

>> NYSEG’s summer 2012 peak load: 3,078 megawatts (mw) on July 17

(NYSEG’s all-time record peak load: 3,346 mw on July 21, 2011)


>> RG&E’s summer 2012 peak load: 1,678 mw on July 17

(RG&E’s all-time record peak load: 1,752 mw on July 21, 2011) 

About NYSEG, RG&E and Iberdrola USA: NYSEG and RG&E are subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA. NYSEG serves 879,000 electricity customers and 262,000 natural gas customers across more than 40% of upstate New York. RG&E serves 370,000 electricity customers and 306,000 natural gas customers in a nine-county region centered on the City of Rochester. Iberdrola USA, a subsidiary of global energy leader Iberdrola, S.A., is an energy services and delivery company with more than 2.4 million customers in upstate New York and New England. We are a team of dedicated individuals working as one to deliver value to our customers, employees and shareholders. By providing outstanding customer service and exceptional reliability, while holding safety and the environment in high regard, we aspire to be a world-class energy company. For more information, visit, and

Follow Us on Twitter:               @NYSEandG, @RGandE and @IberdrolaUSA   


July 17, 2013
Dept of Public Works Open House July 18
The town’s Department of Public Works will host an open house for all residents on Thursday, July 18 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. 
The DPW will welcome visitors at the town’s Public Works Complex, 1607 Jackson Road. DPW will showcase a range of specialty vehicles from the Highway, Sewer, and Parks departments including the vehicles mentioned above. DPW staff will also highlight systems that promote sustainability including the town’s Energy Management System, solar power, electric vehicle charging stations, oil recycling, and the stormwater filtering rain garden and bat house adjacent to the Sewer Department building. Visitors of all ages are welcome; families, daycares, and senior living communities are encouraged to attend. Registration is not required.
Town Councilwoman and Public Works liaison Paula Metzler comments, “This is the first time we have hosted a public works open house for the community. Public Works Director Ronnie Williams has consolidated highway, sewer, parks, facilities, and security into one strong organization that has lowered costs for the town by about $500,000. His experience in the private sector has elevated the quality, efficiency, knowledge and safety procedures of DPW. This is a chance for residents to see first-hand the excellence of Penfield’s public works department.” 
Ronnie Williams, Public Works Director, adds, “Our DPW team manages drainage systems, keeps our roads safe, sewers flowing, parks and sports fields safe and ready for the community, and so much more. People who come to our open house will learn more about the work we do every day to make Penfield a great place to live.” 
For more information contact DPW at 340.8710. 

July 15, 2013
Supervisor’s Column: Week of 7/15

I have received many calls and emails asking why the Department of Public Works seems to be behind in its work schedule this summer for drainage projects, catch basin and gutter repairs, and sidewalk installations. Many projects have been started but delayed due to the frequency and unusually high amount of rainfall this spring and summer. To give you an appreciation for the amount of rainfall we have had, which was a real eye opener for me as well, please note that June’s total rainfall was 6.27 inches. By comparison, the normal monthly average for June is 0.27 inches! For the year-to-date totals we have seen 21.32 inches of rain through June 30, this is nearly five inches above average. Further, the July 3 “micro-burst” storm raised the level of Irondequoit Creek an amazing five feet at Blossom Road and two feet at Allen’s Creek in a matter of an hour. And on a final note…the Town Engineer informs me that in a typical year, the month of August brings us our highest rainfall totals. So please bear with us; we will finish all the work we have started by the end of the construction season come “heck or high water”!

The July amphitheater series is underway with the start of “Cool Jazz” Tuesdays and “Kids Fest” Thursdays. Please join us each Tuesday and Thursday for great music and entertainment on the Kiwanis Stage throughout the month of July. I would like to recognize and thank this year’s sponsors of the concert series: Dick Ide Honda, Family First, Baker Commodities, M&T Bank, Brown & Brown Insurance, Synergy Global Solutions, and the Penfield Perinton Kiwanis Club.

On July 1 the governor signed legislation which, effective immediately, creates new penalties for texting-while-driving for young and new drivers to better protect New Yorkers on the road. The new law imposes the same penalties on drivers with probationary and junior licenses for texting-while-driving and using a hand-held cell phone as are issued for speeding and reckless driving. Penalties are 60-day suspensions for first convictions and revocations of 60 days (junior licenses) or six months (probationary licenses) for subsequent convictions incurred within six months of license restoration following a suspension. Also, the number of points has been increased from three to five upon conviction.

A special shout out to the Friends of the Penfield Public Library for being designated a “Community Champion” in a contest sponsored by Fairport Savings Bank. This honor comes with a $1,250 award that I am sure the “Friends” will use to further support programming and equipment for use in the library. On behalf of the entire Penfield Community, congratulations on this very special recognition of your hard work throughout the year and your legendary annual book sale.

As I mentioned several columns ago, we have begun the 2014 budget process. As we start to roll up the cost projections for next year, several components will once again present some real challenges. The first is health care—by leveraging our twelve-community consortium, we were able to hold our cost increase at 9 percent. With new mandatory health care requirements kicking in on January 1, added taxes and fees amount to another 3.5 percent; therefore health care costs for 2014 will increase 12.5 percent. The next big cost is for pensions. New York State has informed us to budget for a 21 percent increase. My goal is to present a fiscally responsible budget to the Penfield Town Board in September, seeking ways to offset these increases through reducing costs, managing spending, and increasing productivity. As the numbers continue to roll up for 2014, I will keep you updated via this column and our website.

Important Dates and Events in History: July 18, 1914 – The United States Army Air Corp is established; July 20, 1969 – American astronaut Neil Armstrong is the first human to walk on the moon; July 26, 1788 – New York is the 11th state admitted to the Union.

Until next week, enjoy the nice stretch of dry weather!





July 15, 2013
A Message from Supervisor LaFountain: Public Works Projects
Please be advised that many tasks on the Department of Public Works schedule including drainage projects, catch basin and gutter repairs, and sidewalk installations are delayed due to the frequency and unusually high amount of rainfall this spring and summer. June’s total rainfall was 6.27 inches. By comparison, the normal monthly average for June is 0.27 inches. Year-to-date totals show 21.32 inches of rain through June 30, nearly five inches above average. Further, the July 3 “micro-burst” storm raised the level of Irondequoit Creek an amazing five feet at Blossom Road and two feet at Allen’s Creek in a matter of an hour. The Town Engineer informs me that in a typical year the month of August brings us our highest rainfall totals. Please bear with us; we are eager to complete the work we have started and will finish projects by the end of the construction season.

July 9, 2013
Penfield Amphitheater & Kiwanis Stage Summer Music Series Begins July 9

Penfield’s popular summer amphitheater series will begin Tuesday, July 9 with Cool Jazz featuring Mark Cassara. Kids Fest begins Thursday, July 11 with Bart & Kevin. All music begins at 7:00 pm. 

Penfield Amphitheater & Kiwanis Stage is located at 3100 Atlantic Avenue, behind Penfield Town Hall.

See the complete summer schedule.

July 8, 2013
Supervisor's Column: Week of 7/8

A portion of Penfield’s Independence Day Celebration was impacted by the record rainfall we have seen this spring and early summer. The parade had to be cancelled after a successful 25-year run; “mother nature” had other plans this year. Many residents have asked me about a make-up or rain date. As you may imagine, communities throughout the region compete for the same participants and entertainment, making it practically impossible to coordinate a rain date with all groups. We look forward to starting a new 25-year run next year without rain! All the activities at Harris Whalen Park went according to plan featuring music by “Dang” and “Dog House,” great food, bounce houses for the kids, and a fantastic fireworks display. I would like to recognize Penfield Recreation staff for their hard work to make this event so successful…thanks team for all your effort despite the foul weather at the beginning of the day.

At this time of year I like to remind residents of the critically low levels of blood supplies in our community. During the summer, vacations and other activities conflict with donation appointments for many regular donors, but the need remains constant. Please consider joining the American Red Cross at their next Penfield event to be held Monday, July 15 at the Browncroft Community Church, 2530 Browncroft Blvd from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. Call Rhonda at 586-0930 to schedule your appointment. For more information on donating and a listing of available sites, please log on to And remember…the need is constant, the gratification is instant, give blood!

Stay current and up-to-date with Penfield Recreation’s E-News. Once a week you can receive the latest news and updates from our Recreation Department. Learn about new programs and upcoming events. Be one of the first to know what’s going on! To sign up for this newsletter, please visit today.

What is going on with all this talk about social media? What’s this Facebook everyone is talking about? All you have to do is develop a personal profile, add others as friends, then you’re “liked” —what’s going on? Relax, PenRec can help! On Saturday, July 20 we are introducing a new program entitled “Getting Started on Facebook.” This two-hour program from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. will help you get started. We will walk you through the basics including privacy settings and common “netiquette,” answer your questions, and provide time for one-on-one help. You’ll be Facebooking and enjoying it before you know it! Log on at to sign up.

The Penfield Trails Committee will be hosting two upcoming hikes. The first is at Abraham Lincoln Park on Saturday, July 13 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Explore the ups and downs of this county park from wooded uplands to the bay shore trail connections. Meet at the end of Smith Road cul-de-sac off Empire Blvd. The second hike will be held at Ellison Park on Saturday, August 10 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Discover the off-beat pathways that reveal the natural vistas carved by 10,000 years of Irondequoit Creek flow. Meet at the south entrance, 1008 Penfield Road. Both hikes are free, please pre-register at No pets are allowed on these hikes, and be sure to wear appropriate footwear (hiking boots/shoes).

Our Employee Wellness Committee asked me to remind residents that walking 10,000 steps a day will help to lower the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast cancer. Walking also helps prevent weight gain, reduces depression, and improves cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness. Get WALKING!

Until next week, I hope to see you out in our great community!



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

I recently had a conversation with Andy Strawhand, commander of VFW Post 820, regarding membership at the Post. As you may image, the Post has lost many members due to age over the years. Andy asked that I remind the Penfield community that they welcome all former military to consider becoming members of the VFW. For more information, please contact Andy at 671-2613.

The Penfield Amphitheater & Kiwanis Stage heats up in July with many exciting and popular concerts planned for all ages. “Cool Jazz” Tuesdays features Mark Cassara on July 9, River Dogs Dixeland on July 16, Tritone Jazz Camp Faculty on July 23, and the White Hots on July 30. The wine tent will be open at all “Cool Jazz” events. “Kids Fest” Thursdays features Bart and Kevin on July 11, Dady Brothers on July 18, the Dinner Dogs on July 25, and Mike Kornrich on August 1. And to round out July, we have “Saturdays on Stage” starting with Ruby Shooz on July 20, the always exciting Gap Mangione New Big Band on July 27, and Mr. Mustard Beatle Review on August 3 (It’s My Party opens the show at 5:00 p.m.). All programs begin at 7:00 p.m., and great food is available each night. I look forward to seeing you at this summer’s concert series.

In recent conversations with Penfield Librarian Bernadette Brinkman, she has reminded me there are still openings for many of the summer programs so don’t delay, learn more at .

On Saturday, June 22 Penfield was honored to temporarily retire the current American flag at Rothfuss Park and replace it with a flag that was flown for four months over a Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan during the winter and spring of this year. Lt. Daniel P. Murphy, whose hometown is Penfield where he attended St. Joseph’s School then Siena, McQuaid Jesuit and the US Naval Academy, returned from his deployment with this flag that was given to him by his parents. The flag is being flown over Rothfuss Park in memory of all the men and women who have served during the war in the Middle East. The flag was given new to the Murphys by the Freedom Flag Company located in Penfield. Owner Dick Burgey, a veteran of the Vietnam War, will build a protective display case for the Murphy’s flag so that when it is retired, it can be returned to Dan. When you go by Rothfuss Park and view the flag, please think of all the members of our military and their families and the great sacrifices that are being made for our freedoms.

‘Tis the season…most of Penfield’s farm markets and farm stands are filled with fresh products for your gardens and refrigerators. We are fortunate to have such a wonderful selection of fresh —and in many cases—Penfield-grown plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables available throughout the town for your enjoyment. Please consider supporting our local farmers and farm stands, it makes a difference and it’s good for our community.

Important dates and events in history: July 3, 1863 – Union forces win the Battle of Gettysburg; July 4, 1776 – The United States declares its independence from Britain by approving the Declaration of Independence; July 6, 1775 – the Second Continental Congress passes the “Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms;” July 7, 1898 – The United States annexes Hawaii.

I hope you and your families have a wonderful and safe Independence Day holiday.





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