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November 25, 2013
Supervisor’s column: Week of 11/25

The Penfield Sport and Fitness club recently celebrated its 35th anniversary, which included a ribbon cutting on a new sport and fitness area as well as significant remodeling of the facility. I first met founder and owner Alan Hanford in 1977 when he came to the town planning department to develop a racquetball club and workout facility. What has happened over the 35 years since Alan opened the doors in 1978 is a wonderful story. The club grew not only in membership, the facility and business model expanded to support total fitness with Nautilus, an aerobic studio, free weights, cardio equipment, a swimming pool, gymnasium, cycling studio and much, much more! Congratulations to Alan and his team on their 35th anniversary and for making such a significant “wellness” difference in so many lives in and around our community!

I recently received a safety alert form the Office of Fire Prevention and Control regarding “sky lanterns.” These airborne paper lanterns, also known as Kongming Lanterns, wish lanterns, or fire balloons, are constructed from oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame and contain a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material. When lit, the flame heats the air inside the lantern causing it to rise into the air. Lanterns are known to travel significant distances from the point of release and have created a serious safety hazard by starting unintended fires on or off the property from which they are released. As we move into the holiday season and the New Year, please be aware of this safety concern. For more information on these lanterns and other safety tips, please log on at www.dhses.ny.gov/ofpc.

As the town board continues to struggle with the increasing costs of medical (“affordable health care”), pensions and insurances, we continue to review our workforce balance across the town with regular full time employees, part time employees, seasonal labor, and some added contractors to help manage mounting expenses. During the 2013-14 snow season we are looking to a pilot program in DPW to contract out one of our 17 plow routes and the plowing of municipal parking lots. We have built in checks and balances in the specs to ensure we receive the highest level of quality for this very important service and will critique service levels after every storm event to ensure compliance. This endeavor is new to many communities; however, as costs continue to rise, and with the majority of our residents not wanting to see taxes increase, we will continue to explore ways to manage and control costs and spending.

As we approach the holiday season I encourage all of our residents to consider shopping locally in one of our six business districts: Lloyd’s Corners (Routes 250/441); Panorama Valley; Browncroft Corners, the Four Corners; LaSalle’s Landing and North Penfield Cross Roads (yes the Empire Blvd area is in Penfield!). Also, let’s not forget our many farmers markets which may stay open through Christmas Eve. Please remember that “healthy businesses make a healthy community…shop locally.”

From time to time, the school district has a need to conduct half-day staff workshops. This can create some hardships to working parents as they look for alternative day care or after school program support. To that end, a partnership between the Penfield School District, Penfield Recreation, and the Eastside YMCA has been formed to offer an after school program for Penfield students in grades K-6 at Bay Trail Middle School. The first offering will be on the next scheduled half-day of school on Friday, December 6. Busing will be provided from your child’s school to Bay Trail and activities will run until 5:00 p.m. The cost is just $15 per child. You may register through the Penfield Recreation Department at www.penfieldrec.org.

Once again I close this column on a sober note. I would like to honor Bob Gentle, of Gentle’s Farm Market on Penfield Road, who passed earlier this month. Bob was a long-time Penfield Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow. I recently had the opportunity to have breakfast with Bob’s grandson Cody Robert Cappon at the Swan Market and he shared a number of wonderful stories about his grandfather with me. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gentle and Cappon families during this difficult time.

Until next week, batten down the hatches, it looks like the cold weather is coming!

Tony
supervisor@penfield.org


November 18, 2013
Supervisor's column: Week of 11/18

I would like to begin this week’s column by thanking Penfield residents for their support in the recent elections. I have been honored to be your supervisor for the last four years, and I look forward to serving you for the next two years. My goals remain consistent—they are to manage costs on all fronts, keep taxes stable, look for ways to provide services as efficiently as possible, and to continue to partner with school districts and local businesses on innovative ways to support our residents. Thank you!

As you can see, the “election blackout” period has been lifted and I am back to my normal routine of writing the supervisor’s column. I would like to thank all the department heads who jumped in to fill the void and provide a wonderful overview of their respective department duties and tasks to help you better understand town operations. Thanks to positive feedback from many residents on our guest writers, we will continue to feature guest columnists from time to time during 2014 to provide updates on special events or other major items going on in or around their area of expertise.

Last week the local chapter of USA Track & Field hosted the 2013 USATF Niagara Association Junior Olympics Cross Country Championships at Rothfuss Park. This event saw more than 125 students from Greater Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo regions compete in 2K, 3K, 4K and 5K races. Several Penfield students advanced to the next meet which will be held at Slippery Rock University. Congratulations to all those student athletes. This was the largest event in many years, and I’m sure the Rothfuss Park venue had something to do with that fact. I look forward to Penfield hosting these championships in the future.

While it is hard to believe, the holiday season is just around the corner. A very popular event is the Penfield Symphony Orchestra’s “Happy Holidays” concert which will be held on Monday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Penfield High School. This concert is a collection of music for the holiday season and is a perfect way to kick off your holidays. This year’s concert is sponsored by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust. For more information on this event and the rest of the 2013-14 concert series, please log on at www.penfieldsymphony.org.

Speaking of the holidays, mark your calendars for Penfield’s holiday celebration to be held Friday, December 6 at the Penfield Community Center. This year’s event will feature music, games, arts and crafts, special visitors from the North Pole, and much more. More details are available by logging on at www.penfieldrec.org. I hope you see you there!

I would like to recognize our Department of Public Works for going a full year without a lost-time incident. This group of men and women are out in the field every day working on highways, sewers, drainage, and more. They are out in all kinds of weather conditions, work with all kinds of electrical and mechanical hazards, and work all kinds of hours day and night. This type of accomplishment happens with everyone’s commitment to their own personal safety as well as that of their co-workers. Congratulations to the DPW team on this accomplishment.

I close this column on a sad note. Recently, Penfield lost a long-time resident whose family helped to make the Penfield community become the place we want to live and raise our families. Ona Embrey, co-owner of Embrey’s Drugstore in the Four Corners (now Angus Steak House) and Embrey’s Liberty Hollow Restaurant (now T-Bones Restaurant), was a wonderful and caring person who knew everyone in town and was always looking to help anyone she could. Ona’s smile was contagious and I am so glad I had an opportunity to chat with her just a few short months ago about different things going on in town. On behalf of the entire Penfield community, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Embrey family on their loss.

Until next week, be well and be safe!

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org


November 12, 2013
Guest columnist week of 11/11: Ronnie Williams, Director Dept. of Public Works

On behalf of the Town of Penfield Department of Public Works, it is a privilege to share many of this year’s activities and achievements.

The DPW continues to be the major focal point for many town-wide activities associated with stormwater drainage, sanitary sewers, facilities maintenance, park maintenance, and roadwork concerns.

We have been busy this year coordinating and executing many major projects along with routine seasonal maintenance activities. Recent activities include the reconstruction of Baird Road between Atlantic Ave and Whalen Road, where we installed under-drainage and a stormwater management system that will allow us to install a new road surface and shoulders in early 2014.

Another current project of community interest is the installation of a new park facility behind Tops plaza adjacent to Irondequoit Creek featuring a new park pavilion, a canoe and kayak launch, and trails. This will be a fun new destination for picnics, canoeing and hiking in 2014.

Do you know the DPW earns revenue for the town with community paving projects? This year we resurfaced and striped Harris Whalen Elementary School’s parking lot and installed paved walkways at Penfield High School.

In other areas of town, crews completed the Empire Blvd. sidewalk installation from Plank Road heading east towards shopping areas. We finished about three-quarters of the retrofit of town signs to meet the 2014 new high reflectivity road signage project, and we completed the new walking path along the outside perimeter of Rothfuss Park.

DPW performed a number of routine maintenance activities this year. We increased the reliability and service life of 12.5 miles of roads with an oil and stone road treatment process, flushed and cleaned 19 sanitary pumping stations and 7.9 miles of sanitary sewer lines, maintained 200 acres of parkland and baseball fields, processed 5,000 yards of mulch for use by town residents. In July, many families got a close-up look at trucks, diggers, plows and more at the Penfield Library’s “Dig it! Haul it! Construct it!” kids’ program and our DPW complex open house. The town’s Energy and Environmental Advisory Committee and DPW hosted “Penfield Recycling Day” in October resulting in secure shredding of 14,000 pounds of documents, recycling of 29,000 pounds of electronics, and the reclaiming of 10,000 pounds of metal.

As summer and fall seasons come to an end and activities shift to winter, I’d like to share some things that will help us all better manage the stress and challenges of winter.

Please remember to have your vehicles checked and maintained for winter so that your DPW crews can keep roadways plowed, salted and free of stranded vehicles that slow down the snow and ice removal process.

Check your tires for tread wear and windshield wiper blades for functionality and wear. Antifreeze and vital fluids should be kept at proper operating levels, and keep an emergency kit that includes a blankets and flares in your car.

Please commit to drive safely, without distractions, and use sensible driving speeds for road conditions. We work hard to keep our roadways, bridge overpasses and underpasses salted and clear of ice buildup, but wind factors and quick drops in temperatures often produce black ice on these structures, so drive carefully.

Here’s a big one—when crews are out plowing during a snow event, stay away from snow banks, the roadside, and the plow blade. This may seem obvious; but amazingly, many children and adults are tempted to interact with working plows by racing them, jumping into snow banks as snow flies off the plow blade, or hiding in existing snow piles. Please be sure children understand this is dangerous behavior.

Residents who attended our open house gained a new appreciation of the scale of plow vehicles when they climbed into the truck’s cab and stood inside the massive blade. Add speed, tons of snow, and poor visibility to the plowing experience and you can respect the need to stay clear. Drivers also need to use caution maneuvering near plows. Plows are not nimble; they are heavy, cannot stop quickly, and are typically working in poor visibility.

Please remember that all town roadways must be cleared of any and all vehicles starting November 15 through April 1 between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. Failure to adhere to this town ordinance could result in your vehicle being ticketed or towed at your expense.

Lastly, if you have your driveway plowed by a contractor, please remember that you or your snow removal contractor cannot deposit snow on any highway, ditch, culvert or shoulder of the road. This is the law.

Safety is our goal every day. If we all work together we can make this winter safer and less stressful.

If you have any questions, please contact our office at highway@penfield.org or 340-8710.


November 12, 2013
Supervisor's column: Week of 11/11

This week’s column in the “Penfield Post” will feature the last guest columnist, as the “election blackout” period has been lifted and I will return to my normal routine of writing the weekly supervisor’s column. I would like to thank all the department heads who jumped in to fill the void and provide a wonderful overview of their respective department duties and tasks. However, due to the very positive feedback from many residents, we will feature guest columnist from time to time in 2014 to update the community on special events or other significant projects and activities going on in town departments.

This week’s guest columnist, Department of Public Works Director Ronnie Williams, is covering the upcoming snow season…I know, I know, but it is just around the corner! I want to tie into Ronnie’s snow message by reminding our residents to check your car’s antifreeze; will it handle the upcoming cold temperatures? Inspect your tires for proper tread, replace your wipers, and check your windshield washer fluid level. When was the last time you replaced you battery? Will it make it through another winter season? Consider placing a blanket and other warm clothing in the truck in the event you are stranded, and pack a shovel too. Keep your cell-phone charged and make sure all your emergency numbers are stored in your phone including AAA or other emergency roadside service. For more information and tips on winter driving and preparation, as well as a short video, log on to AAA winter driving tips.

Winter parking reminder: winter parking rules are in effect from November 15 to April 1. No parking is allowed on all roads and highways between 2:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. to permit our highway crews to safely and effectively plow and salt the roadways. Thank you in advance for your understanding and support.

I would like to remind all of our residents about the wonderful service the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf (PEFS) provides to the Penfield community, especially this time of year. The volunteer staff is preparing for the Thanksgiving and holiday season for residents who may have lost their jobs, are ill and cannot work, or maybe just do not have the resources to make ends meet. There are three key ways to support this great community effort; you can become a volunteer, you can drop off non-perishable foods, or you can donate financially. For more information please call 234-0799 or email penfieldfoodshelf@gmail.com. Please consider supporting PEFS this year in any way you can, it does make a big difference in so many lives.

I am reminded by the town’s Employee Wellness Committee to encourage all residents that are able to receive a flu shot to make an appointment with your doctor’s office or stop in one of the many pharmacies in town that offer vaccinations. The flu can cause pneumonia, bronchitis, and even lead to hospitalization and death. More than 200,000 people across the U.S. are admitted to hospitals every year because of the flu. That's why public health educators are reminding people of the importance of receiving a flu vaccine. And now, there's an egg-free vaccine for people who previously couldn't get the shot because of allergies. Please consult your doctor’s office with any questions or concerns you might have about the vaccine.

Please take note: rental of Harris Whalen Lodge or Dolomite Lodge for 2014 dates will begin Wednesday, December 4 at 10:30 a.m. You may do this online or in person at the Penfield Recreation office. You will need a username and password to reserve a lodge online. Please make sure to set this up with our office before December 4 if you do not already have one established.

Important dates and events in History: November 10, 1775 – US Marine Corps was founded; November 11, 1918 – The Allied and Central Powers sign an Armistice, ending World War I, now celebrated as Veterans Day; November 17, 1869 – The Suez Canal opens for business in Egypt, linking the Mediterranean and Red Seas.

Until next week, be well and be safe!

Tony

340-8630


November 4, 2013
Guest columnist week of 11/4: David Renner, Cable TV/Website Coordinator

I would like to begin this week’s column with a reminder of Time Warner Cable’s (TWC) relocation of Penfield’s access channels to digital 98.3, 98.4 and 98.5. If you utilize a TWC set top box (cable box) or a digital adapter (DA), you will continue to view your local access channels at their original channel lineup of 4, 12 and 15. But, if you own a digital television that is directly connected to TWC coax cable, you will need to re-scan your DTV’s channel lineup to access channels 98.3, 98.4 or 98.5. Please contact TWC customer support at (585) 756-5000 or 1-800-756-7956 for channel assistance or to report poor picture quality.

Residents frequently ask me, “What alternatives to cable TV do I have to view the town’s access channels?” My answer at this time is “the Internet!” We are witnessing a rapid change from traditional video delivery methods to Internet with IP delivery to computers, mobile devices, and media streaming devices. Our Penfield TV department is embracing this change and working to provided viewers with additional options to its existing live web stream that is available 24/7 at www.PenfieldTV.org and at www.Penfield.org during live meeting coverage. The web stream can be viewed by any device that can view a Windows Media stream. We are working to make this stream compatible with Apple devices.

We often hear from residents who are “snow birds,” traveling, and college students living away from home, who regularly follow town programming via web stream to stay up to date on their hometown. If you haven’t tried this yet please check it out so you can stay informed wherever you may be. The opportunity to view live and on demand programming from a streaming media device connected to your TV or any mobile device is near.

In addition to audio and video communications, Penfield TV manages the town’s Internet communication systems and services including three websites: www.penfield.org, www.PenfieldRec.org, and www.PenfieldTV.org. Each site provides residents with a wealth of community news, information, and resources.

Penfield.org is an information and resource site connecting visitors with news and operations at the local government level. Nearly 300 pages and more than 3,500 documents are available to visitors including agendas, minutes, forms, plans, studies, and more.

PenfieldRec.org is your source for town-sponsored events and activities. All of the Recreation department information is available there, including hundreds of wellness programs for every age, parks information, lodge and shelter information, the latest news updates from the department, and much more.

PenfieldTV.org provides AV and event promotion services for both town and community groups. Visitors will find previously recorded meetings, events, lectures and a community calendar showcasing events and announcements.

Each website contains links to Twitter and Facebook, making it easy to follow official town communications on social media.

So please tune in and log on. Explore our various media and discover your favorite way to stay up to date on town news, events and activities.


November 4, 2013
Supervisor's column: Week of 11/4

I was honored to participate in the ribbon cutting for the new Tim Hortons located at 2230 Penfield Road (next door to Urgent Care) last week. The restaurant owners are Randy McKay, and his son Sean and his fiancé Jamie. In speaking with Randy, his plan is to have several more Tim Hortons in the Rochester area over the next four years. Stop in for a cup and a bite, and welcome Randy, Sean and Jamie to Penfield. I did also hear that Sean and Jamie will be married on December 21—what a year for the McKay family, congratulations on all fronts!

I was pleased to see the non-profit feature article about The Kids Miracle Making Club, Inc. (KMMC) in the Rochester Business Journal recently. The KMMC is a Penfield-based service learning organization seeking to teach children the value of community service and philanthropy. I would like to recognize the Board of Directors lead by president Steve Pellow, secretary Amy Pellow, treasurer Patricia Mady, and Christa Knaak. The KMMC is celebrating five years in the community. They group works closely with the Golisano Children’s Hospital, Mary Cariola Children’s Center, and CP Rochester. For more information about this club and how you can join or support them, please call 749-7515 or log on to www.kmmclub.org.

Do you have an elderly parent, neighbor or friend who has concerns about falling? A program sponsored by Lifespan entitled “A Matter of Balance” is designed to help reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity levels of older adults who have concerns about falling. Participant satisfaction from the 2012 Lifespan classes is outstanding: 93% report they are more comfortable talking about fear of falling; 92% feel comfortable increasing activity; 94% plan to continue exercising; and 91% would recommend the program to others. For more information about this program and many others sponsored by Lifespan, please call 244-8400 or log on at www.lifespan-roch.org.

It is not too late to sign up for Veterans’ Resource Day on Thursday, November 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 pm. at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. This free event provides an opportunity for veterans to speak with representatives from local and state veteran organizations and agencies. The Legacy at Willow Pond is providing a free lunch for all veterans and their spouses. While the program is free, registration is required and can be made by calling Penfield Recreation at 340-8664.

The Penfield Players theatre group began their fall production and 49th season with “Born Yesterday” by Garson Kanin on Friday, November 1;the play will run through Saturday, November 16. “Born Yesterday” spins a tale of Harry Brock, a junk dealer millionaire on the rise, who heads to Washington with ex-chorus girl Billie Dawn in tow, hoping to “influence” a senator into promoting laws in favor of his business. He quickly acts on the advice that his seemingly dim-witted girlfriend needs a little polish to fit into D.C. society only to discover just how dangerous a little bit of learning can be! All performances will be at the Community Center, 1985 Baird Road, and will start at 8:00 p.m. Remaining show dates are Fridays November 8 and 15, and Saturdays November 9 and 16. Tickets are $12 in advance by calling the Recreation Department at 340-8655, option 6, or $15 at the door. Please note: advance tickets ($12) must be purchased by 4:00 p.m. of the Thursday prior to each show date. Visit the Penfield Players website at www.penfieldplayers.org for more information.

The Penfield Recreation Department is working in conjunction with the local chapter of USA Track & Field to host the 2013 USATF Niagara Association Junior Olympics Cross Country Championships on Sunday, November 10 at Rothfuss Park, 1648 Five Mile Line Road. This event is for students age 8 to 18 and will include 2K, 3K, 4K, and 5K races. Complete information on this event is available at USA Track & Field website or on their Facebook page.

A reminder to all our residents, the Penfield town offices will be closed on Monday, November 11 in observance of Veterans’ Day. We will open again on Tuesday, November 12 at 9:00 a.m., and the mobile DMV Office will also be at the Town Hall from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to support your licensing and registration needs.

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

Tony

supervisor@penfield.org

 

 


November 1, 2013
Turn the Clocks Back; Change Batteries & Check Your Kit

ChangeYouClock1.gifWhen you turn your clocks back, use it as an opportunity to test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and change the batteries. It’s also a good time to get prepared for fall and winter by checking your emergency preparedness supplies by:

Making sure your kit still includes at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food items and water (one gallon per person per day), a flashlight, a battery-powered or crank radio, can opener, first aid kit, copies of important documents, and special items such as medications, diapers, and infant formula.

Checking your kit for expired food items. If there have been changes in prescriptions or dietary needs, add new foods and medications as needed.
When you turn back the clock, take a few extra minutes to ensure that you and your family are better prepared for the unexpected.




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