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June 30, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 6/30

I would like to give a shout-out to Laurel Tarcinale, president of the Nature Craft Garden Club of Penfield and co-chair of the "Garden on the Corner." Eleven years ago this garden club created the 1,500 foot community garden (located at the corner of Five Mile Line and Whalen Roads) under the guidelines of “Penfield in Bloom” in conjunction with Penfield Business Association. While the Penfield in Bloom program has not been as active in recent years, this particular garden has been, and it's still going strong. I enjoy passing through the intersection this time of the year to see the growth and color.

Last week the club planted 14 flats of annuals and a dozen new perennials, all donated by Penfield area greenhouses. These generous greenhouses have supported the garden since year-one and include Agway Gardens on Empire Blvd, Bauman's Farm Market, Edgewood Nursery, Inc., Rochester Lawn and Garden Center, Welch's Greenhouses, Wickham Farms, and Zaretsky & Associates, Inc. If you've taken time to enjoy the garden I think you'll agree it is an asset to our community. I would like to recognize all members of the Nature Craft Garden Club for creating and maintaining the beautiful garden they have designed for a summer stroll or a quiet moment on a nearby bench. Thank you for your service to our community!

The Penfield Recreation Department and 4th grade classes from Cobbles were recently part of the “World’s Largest Swim Lesson.” Cobbles’ 52 students walked to the pool where PenRec’s aquatic staff led the lesson. The event was documented and formalized by Betty Perkins Carpenter and Joe Picciotti (both Penfield residents) who served as “official witnesses.” This was the first time PenRec and the school district collaborated on this event; from the feedback I have received and the smiles on participants’ faces, I believe it will not be the last! Special thanks to Linanne Conroy from PenRec and Tracy Perkins, Physical Education teacher at Cobbles, for coordinating the event. There was an incredible amount of work to plan the program, from securing instructors and guards to getting all 52 children tested and ready for the lesson. Participants received certificates and information on PeRec swimming programs. Pre-event registration numbers were stronger than ever, with as many as 40,000 total participants this year. We hope to hear soon if a record was set!

Last week I had the honor of attending the St. Joseph’s School “Kindergarten Celebration” where 37 young ladies and men were recognized for their work during the year and upcoming move to first grade. Family and friends were entertained with songs and poems highlighting their kindergarten learning journey. Diplomas were presented to eager recipients by Fr. James Schwartz, Ms. Theresa Hanna, Ms. Ellen Wurz, and Mrs. Sharon Neu-Collins. I would like to recognize Sabrina Reyda and Adyson Larwood for receiving the Mary Beth Carey Memorial Scholarship. Mary Beth was a beloved kindergarten teacher at St. Joseph’s who passed in 2008. The Carey family has sponsored scholarships to students who display kindness to others, are joyful, portray a love of life, respect teachers and others, are cooperative, have a love of learning, live the Christian faith, follow the golden rule, play fair, and are willing to share. Congratulations to Sabrina and Adyson!

The Kids Miracle Making Club of Penfield is hosting its second annual team duathlon and family fun day on Saturday, July 12 from 9:00 a.m. to noon at St. John Fisher’s Polisseni Track and Field Complex. The event is a fundraiser for the construction of an adaptive playground in Penfield for kids of all abilities to play together. Learn more at or by calling Steve Pellow at 749-7515.

Here is one last shout-out for a free guided canoe/kayak paddle at Ellison Park on Saturday, July 5 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Meet at Ellison Park’s south entrance off Blossom Road and follow hike signs. You must provide your own canoe or kayak and a mandatory personal flotation device. While the guided paddle is free, participants are encouraged to pre-register by call PenRec at 340-8655, option 6.

Until next week, be well and be safe!


June 27, 2014
Recreation & Penfield Students Participate in World Record Attempt
On Friday, June 20, Penfield Recreation aquatics staff and Cobbles Elementary fourth grade students participated in The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ (WLSL) – an attempt to set a record in the Guinness Book of World Records. 

Fifty-two fourth grade students from Cobbles Elementary simultaneously participated in a swim lesson at 11:00 am at Penfield High School Pool, taught by Penfield Recreation aquatics staff. Tens of thousands of individuals from hundreds of communities around the globe all participated in the same lesson at exactly the same time. The event in Penfield was documented and formalized by Betty Perkins Carpenter and Joe Picciotti (both Penfield residents) who served as official witness.

“This was the first time our department and the school district collaborated for this event,” said Penfield Recreation Director Chris Bilow. “Based on the success of the program and the smiles on the participants’ faces, this will not be the last time we participate! Special thanks to Linanne Conroy, Penfield Recreation Assistant Director and Tracy Perkins, Cobbles Physical Education teacher, for coordinating the effort. There was an incredible amount of detail to coordinate from instructors and guards to getting all 52 children tested and ready for the lesson. We hope to hear soon if the record was set.” 

More than 800 other waterparks, pools, and aquatic centers across the world took part in this event. Results are not yet in as to whether last year’s record of 32,450 participants was broken. This was the fifth world record attempt at The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson. 

WLSL™ was created to send the message “Swimming Lessons Save Lives!”, and to build awareness about the vital importance of teaching children to swim to prevent drowning. According to WLSL™, drowning remains the leading cause of accidental death for children ages one through five and the second leading cause for kids under age 14. Research shows that the risk of drowning can be reduced by 88% if children participate in formal swimming lessons between the ages of one and four.

More information about WLSL™ is available on their website –

June 24, 2014
Parade Marshals Announced
The Town of Penfield will hold its annual Independence Day parade on Friday, July 4, 2014. The parade will begin at 2:00 pm at Penfield High School, 25 High School Dr., and end at Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd. The celebration will continue at Harris Whalen Park at 5:00 pm with music and food. Penfield’s renowned fireworks show will begin at 10:00 pm.

This year’s parade marshals have been chosen by Penfield Town Board as individuals and a community organization which have given many years of dedicated service to the Penfield community. The 2014 Independence Day Parade Marshals are George and Cathy Wiedemer and The Penfield Players.

“Each year the Town Board receives many nominations for parade marshal,” said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “The Board looks at many factors when making this very difficult choice and both the Wiedemers and Penfield Players represent what Penfield is best known for: family, volunteerism, community service and commitment. We are very proud of these members of our community.”

George and Cathy Wiedemer
George and Cathy became Penfield residents in 1974, at which time they quickly became involved in the community. Early involvement included St. Joseph’s Church and School, Penfield Little League, Penfield Republican Committee, Dimitri House, Girl Scouts, Birthright, and St. Joseph’s Parish Council. Currently George and Cathy are very involved in the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf. Both serve on the board, and Cathy has helped with food distribution every Wednesday for the past 10 years. 

For the past 25 years George has volunteered with Foodlink, and is presently Chairman of the Foodlink Foundation. He also serves on the board of Coordinated Care Services, Inc.  Cathy has served on the board of the Shepherd Home since it was founded in 2004. Currently she is the Chairman of the organization’s Annual Appeal.

Along with volunteering, they also found some time to work and raise a family. George worked in the family business (Cable-Wiedemer, Inc.) selling food service equipment from 1965 to 2001. Cathy also worked at Cable-Wiedemer from 1985 until 2001, when the business was sold. George was a Monroe County Legislator for Penfield’s 9th District from 1985 until he was elected Penfield Town Supervisor in 2003. George retired from the Town of Penfield in 2009, after serving 6 years as Supervisor.

George and Cathy raised 4 children, now all grown with families of their own. Three of them live in Penfield, while one lives with her family in Virginia.

In their “retirement” George and Cathy enjoy devoting much of their time to their volunteer work, as well as gardening, biking, tennis, bridge, and most of all, being involved as much as possible in their grandkids’ many activities and sporting events.

Penfield Players 
The Penfield Players has been entertaining the Penfield community since 1965, making it one of the oldest continuing theater groups in the Rochester area. The group was formed in January ’65 in hopes it would become a cultural outlet for Penfield residents. The group’s initial Board of Directors included: President John Kinter, Vice President Maurice Peizer, Treasurer Earl Cooley, Recreational Secretary Marge Peizer, and Correspondence Secretary Elizabeth Haley. 

Three months after formation the group was already 75 members strong. In March 1965 the Players presented its first play, Janus, a romantic comedy, with a cast of charter members, including: Nelson Carman, Sheena Cator, Libby Haley, Keith Pomeroy, and Ray Spencer. Other charter members included Delores Clark, Harold Clark, Case Patten, Robert Stahley, and Charlie Struck. Currently members hail from all parts of Monroe County and the Greater Rochester area.

Current president Jeff Moon, and the group’s most senior member Garda Houston, 88, will represent the group in the 2014 Independence Day parade. Garda joined the group in 1965 to help with its second-ever production, Third Best Sport. Garda took on many roles over the years; she did everything from run errands to make phone calls, change sets and build sets, and act as prop manager, stage manager, and wardrobe mistress. Garda will tell you jokingly that her favorite thing to do was stage manage because she could boss people around, but she also loved the challenge of tracking down an authentic prop, such as a vintage telephone, or sewing a period garment to add to a production's authenticity.

In the early 1970s the Penfield Players came under the sponsorship of the Town of Penfield Recreation department, which has helped the group get to where it is today.

The Penfield Players mission is “to provide a welcoming and intimate theater experience for our ensemble and audience members.” It is the group’s hope that in carrying out this mission they will help to create a stronger, more vibrant and culturally aware community.

The 2013 – 2014 Penfield Players Board Members include President Jeff Moon, Business Manager Rosanna Palermo, Historian Liz Gill, Treasurer Stephen Wegman, Marilyn Sergent and Christopher Woods Marlin - Logistics, Andrew Cowen - Play Reading, Legrand Kirk - Publicity/50th Anniversary Co-Chair, Donald Bartalo - 50th Anniversary Co-Chair, and Richard Hughson and Susan Marino - Members-at-Large.

June 23, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 6/23

The Penfield Public Library was recently honored by a visit from Beau Beausoleil, a San Francisco poet and bookseller. He was shocked by the March 5, 2007 bombing of Al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad’s literary district and resolved to begin an art and writing project to express solidarity with Iraqi booksellers, writers, and readers. Beausoleil has assembled broadsides and 260 artists’ books (works of art in book form) which comprise a traveling exhibit called “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here.” The exhibit is currently visiting Rochester and occupies the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County. When he visited our library he discussed his inspiration for the project and brought examples of art works from the exhibit. Penfield Public Library is the only public library in Monroe County outside of Rochester to be associated with this distinguished project. Congratulations to Penfield Librarian Bernadette (Bunny) Brinkman and her staff for continuing to lead the way in Monroe County!

In recent weeks the town has had the opportunity to present certificates of recognition to three young men receiving the rank of Eagle. Introduced in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America organization. First congratulations go to Matthew Allchin from Troop 310. Matthew’s Eagle project was completed for the Penfield Central School District. He improved the athletic training room by re-upholstering the training table to remove fabric tears. While the table was out of the room, Matthew painted the walls and installed two hand-crafted sets of storage shelves. Next is William J. Haydanek II from Troop 260 who created a trail to the west side of the Tops in Panorama Plaza along Irondequoit Creek. He cleared a section of land, laid down landscape fabric, and mulched the trail. Our third recipient, Benjamin Arthur Thompson of Troop 363, organized a bone marrow registration drive and 5K race resulting in 110 service hours and a successful project. On behalf of the entire community, I congratulate Matthew, William, and Benjamin on attaining the rank of Eagle.

At my last monthly update with Monroe County Sheriff’s Department Zone “A” I learned there has been an increase in break-ins in the parking lots of the YMCAs, fitness centers, and various local parks. Valuables left exposed on seats such as purses, laptops, and other electronic devices, make them easy targets for thieves. Please make sure everything is out of sight and locked up. Also, if you get to one of these locations and place valuables in the trunk, be aware thieves may be watching and know which vehicle to target. The Sheriff’s Department reminds us all to be aware of our surroundings and who may be watching. Do not leave valuables in plain sight, lock car doors, and report suspicious persons or activity to 911 immediately. Please do everything you can to protect yourself and your valuables so you do not become a victim!

I would like to recognize Barbara Quinn, Coordinator of the Daytons Corners School/Museum, and her group of volunteers for a very successful “Pie Social” held earlier this month. The weather was perfect and children enjoyed free pony rides, music, and the playground. Many of us especially enjoyed the pie, lemonade, and fellowship. This annual fundraiser supports supplies for approximately 1,300 students from more than 55 area fourth grade classes that visit the school to experience an academic day in 1857. Thank you to all who stopped in to say hello and visit this very special school/museum in Penfield.

One more shout-out for the Penfield Independence Day Celebration to be held on Friday, July 4. The parade will begin at 2:00 p.m. The route runs from Penfield High School to the Penfield Community Center via Route 441. Parade Emcee: Mr. Don Alhart, Associate News Director, WHAM-TV. Parade Marshals: Penfield Players & George and Cathy Wiedemer. Featured musical groups include the Penfield Fire Company Band, Towpath Volunteers Fife & Drum, Webster Marching Band, Downbeat Percussion, and more. A celebration at Harris Whalen Park from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m. features music, food, and fun! Music this year will be provided by: 441 and Dog House. Fireworks are at 10:00 p.m. For more information or to participate in the parade, please call (585) 340-8651.

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


June 16, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 6/16

Members of the Friends of the Penfield Library hosted their annual recognition for the many volunteers who give so much to make our library the best in the Central Library System. The Friends tied their luncheon together with “National Best Friend Day” which was Sunday, June 8 to join “best friends” at this very special event. I would like to recognize Librarian Bernadette (Bunny) Brinkman and her entire staff for the work they do for all of our residents each and every day!

It would not be spring in Penfield if I did not host the Cobbles second grade class at the town hall to discuss local history and government! It is hard to believe that I started this tradition when our oldest daughter, Jennifer, was a seven-year-old second-grader; now 27 years later, I still look forward to seeing the students’ smiling faces and discussing everything going on in our great community. I continue to be impressed with their knowledge of Penfield. I would like to wish them all the best as they prepare for third grade. These children represent our future, and I will say our future looks very bright.

This past Saturday was opening day for the Penfield Little League (PLL) Challenger program. This is the fifth year I have had the opportunity to participate in the pre-game ceremony. Dedicated PLL members, parents, and buddies provide opportunities for boys and girls with physical and developmental challenges to enjoy the benefits of participation in Little League. All who participate are winners. I would like to thank Steve Pellow from PLL who was the catalyst to start the Challenger Program in Penfield…you have made a big difference in so many lives!

Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low assembled 18 girls from Savannah, Georgia on March 12, 1912, for a local Girl Scout meeting. She believed that all girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually with a goal of bringing girls out of isolated home environments and into community service and the open air. Within a few years, Daisy's dream for a girl-centered organization was realized. Today, Girl Scouts of the USA has a membership of over 3.2 million girls and adults. In fact, more than 59 million women in the U.S. today are Girl Scout alumni. This past Sunday I had the privilege of recognizing 17 young ladies who have earned Girl Scouting's highest honors—Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards—for making a lasting difference in our community and the world at large. Please join me in congratulating these young ladies on their accomplishments.

This year’s Gold Award recipients are Catherine Mary Catapano, Charlotte Kurzweil, Meaghan Hoitt, and Katie Yorko. Silver Awards went to Jordan Egger, Elizabeth Yorko, Rachel Peterson, Logan Savitcheff, Karis Halley, Emiliana Martinez-Nobrega, Carly Fanning, Amanda Vick, and Hannah Seppala. Bronze Awards were earned by Grace Kurzweil, Julia Pelletier, Gabriella Talia, and Sophia Vigneri.

Last reminder…the Veterans Resource Picnic will be held this Saturday, June 21 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Veterans' Memorial Park. There will be food, music, games for the kids, and an antique car show! All veterans are entitled to a number of benefits and services. Veterans and their families are invited to join us for an afternoon of community, fun, and opportunities to speak with local representatives from veterans’ services such as Monroe County Veterans Agency, Veterans Administration, and local social organizations. Lunch is free for veterans and $3.00 for all others. Please register by calling 340-8664. Veterans please be sure to bring your DD214 form with you.

Until next week enjoy the summer weather!


June 9, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 6/9

Last week I had the honor and pleasure of providing greetings and opening remarks for the Penfield Art Association’s (PAA) 50th Anniversary Spring Show. This week-long event featured more than 160 artworks that were judged by Sarah Morgan, assistant professor of Fine Arts at Finger Lakes Community College where she instructs drawing, painting, and printmaking. Co-chairs of this year’s show were Nancy Colsman and Thinh Nguyen. Many awards were presented, and I would like to congratulate the following artists on receiving the top awards: Best of Show – Norma Weber “Rockport”; Best Small Work – Joy Argento “Fortune Cookie; Best Portrait – Erika Hutch “Portrait of a Young Girl”; and Penfield High School student Molly Mayfield was the winner of the PAA Memorial Scholarship. Also congratulations to the many artists receiving Juror’s and Merit Awards. Finally, I would like to recognize and thank outgoing President Doris Hooker for her service to PAA and to welcome incoming President M. Kathleen Wagner. The Town of Penfield looks forward to working with PAA for the next 50 years!

The Kiwanis Club of Penfield–Perinton Foundation will be holding its 22nd annual charity golf tournament on Monday, June 16 at Shadow Lake Golf Club with an 11:45 a.m. shotgun start, followed by dinner. Several years ago the Town of Penfield was invited to assist this effort in support of the local community food shelves, Golisano Children’s Hospital, Penfield High School Scholarship, Shepherd Home, Bethany House, and Daystar. Openings are still available and you can reserve a position for yourself and/or your group by contacting John Hanratty at 671-4314 or Jim Costello at 340-8642. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child at a time…please join them to help local charities.

I would like to thank everyone for making the “Music & Food Rodeo” last Friday a huge success, more than 800 individuals attended to enjoy the music and partake in the food trucks’ offerings. This was the kick-off of our very busy and popular concert series. Please mark your calendars for the following dates; “Cool Jazz” Tuesday’s July 15 – Bill Tiberio Band; July 22 – Dan Schmitt & The Shadows; July 29 – Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra; August 5 – Mark Cassara. “Kids Fest” Thursday’s July 17 – Dady Brothers; July 24 – Mike Kornrich; July 31 – Dinner Dogs; August 7 – The Hill Brothers. “Saturdays on Stage” August 2 – Gap Mangione New Big Band; August 9 – Mr. Mustard Beatle Review. All music starts at 7:00 p.m. with the exception of the August 9 concert when the local band “It’s My Party” opens for Mr. Mustard Beatle Review at 5:00 p.m. Great food is available each night and a wine tent will be at all Cool Jazz performances. I look forward to seeing you at one or more of these great community events.

At the June 4 Town Board meeting a proclamation was read into the record, declaring June 2014 ‘Wellness Month’ in Penfield. The Town is excited to offer programs and activities to encourage wellness in our community. Residents are encouraged to participate in several initiatives to celebrate wellness in June, including ‘Getting Healthy is a Walk in the Park’ and a Veterans Resource Picnic, as well as ongoing award-winning programs, such as Wegmans-Penfield Passport to Family Wellness, Penfield Recreation’s DEAR program, and countless others offered through Penfield Recreation. Each Penfield resident can benefit from becoming more aware of their lifestyle choices and habits, and by adopting an active and healthy lifestyle. Living well may possibly improve the quality of life and well-being of all our residents and with our many scenic parks, trails, waterways, and recreation areas, Penfield is already an ideal place to live well and be active. The town board is also supporting wellness education for town employees and encouraging them to strive to maintain a positive, active, healthy lifestyle. Town employees are our best advocates for wellness. They are joining walking groups, encouraging each other, and preparing healthy snacks to share with co-workers. If you are already involved in a wellness program, congratulations and keep up the great work. If you are not but have been thinking about it, now is a great time to get involved with one of the many program offerings from the Recreation Department. Please log-on to for all the wonderful programs!

Until next week…be well!

June 4, 2014
2014 Memorial Day Essay Winners
The Town of Penfield and VFW Post 820 sponsor an annual Memorial Day essay contest for Penfield students in grades 6-8. You can read the 3 winning essays here.

June 2, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 6/2

There is a structure at 1600 Jackson Road known as the “white house” which is part of the Veterans’ Memorial Park at the town hall complex. More than a decade ago this house was acquired as part of a land acquisition to expand the park for rectangular fields for soccer. The house was used for some town programing, most recently by the US Department of Agriculture as a field office as they were testing for the plum pox virus of fruit trees in Wayne County. Due to the house’s age, structural concerns, and an opportunity to reduce this asset from our insurance coverage, we plan on demolishing it in the coming weeks. We also identified multiple training exercises working with the Northeast Joint Fire District that will demo the building at no cost to the town and provide necessary training to assist the district in meeting state requirements for certified firefighters. The week of June 9 the Northeast Joint Fire District will conduct various exercises of simulated roof venting and search and rescue. That will be followed on June 14 or 15 (depending on weather) with a controlled burn exercise. Please make note of these dates and activities, and do not be alarmed by the exercises or controlled burn. This training opportunity is beneficial for the fire company and all of our residents who count on their services.

I would like to thank everyone who joined us for the Memorial Day Ceremony of Remembrance and Parade of Roses. This very popular program continues to grow and we had record attendance on a beautiful sun-filled day to recognize our veterans and active military personnel who have given so much for our freedom. I would like to recognize and thank our keynote speaker Richard Stewart, president of Honor Flight, for his inspirational words and the Penfield Pops Band for their reflective music. Also, I would like to acknowledge Boy Scout Troops 310 and 312 for their participation of set-up, leading us in the pledge, and the lowering of the flag. Finally, the three essay winners were fantastic and helped us all reflect the true meaning of the holiday. We will plan to post their essays on our website for all our residents to enjoy. You can view the complete ceremony at

Rothfuss Park Farm Walk for Kids…hey kids here’s something just for you! Rothfuss Park’s agricultural history makes it a fun place to explore. The Farm Walk is one way to learn about the tools, animals, and crops that were once the life of this former farm. Pick up a Farm Walk Passport at the red box near the playground and follow the instructions inside. Complete all three walk themes and bring your book to Penfield Recreation for a special prize. The program will begin on June 6 and runs June, July, and August. Getting healthy learning about history, a great combination!

I would like to remind all residents of the “Penfield Farmers’ Market” located at Grossmans Garden & Home, 1801 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road. The market runs every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Vendor spaces are still available but are filling up quickly. This season promises to be a wonderful experience to shop for local fruits, vegetables, breads, preserves, wine, eggs, dairy and meat products, homemade foods, and much more. If you have home grown or homemade products and want to be part of this growing farmers’ market in Penfield, please contact the market manager, Rebecca Ward at 377-1982, X-224 to reserve your spot!

Last week the town board held a public information meeting on a proposed solar array project at the Department of Public Works facility at 1607 Jackson Road. The Town of Penfield has a goal of achieving long-term energy cost reductions and price predictability using clean, sustainable energy that could support a high percentage of the town’s electricity needs. As a result of the meeting and the positive feedback from residents and other interested parties, the town board has elected to take the next step in the process to review available funding through NYSERDA, a power purchase agreement, local funding, or some combination thereof. I will keep you updated on the progress and we will hold future information meetings to keep neighbors and residents updated on the project.

Until next week, enjoy the nice weather and many activities in our great community!



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