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July 28, 2014
Supervisor's Column: Week of 7/28

If you haven’t been to a concert at the Penfield Amphitheater & Kiwanis Stage there is still time to enjoy this summer tradition. The last week of the 2014 concert series includes: “Cool Jazz” Tuesday, August 5 – Mark Cassara; “Kids Fest” Thursday, August 7 – The Hill Brothers; and “Saturdays on Stage” Saturday, August 9 featuring Mr. Mustard Beatle Review (opening act – It’s My Party at 5:00 p.m.). All performances are begin at 7:00 p.m. (with the exception of August 9). Great food is available each night and there is a wine tent at the Cool Jazz series. The amphitheater is located at 3100 Atlantic Avenue behind the town hall.

The final event of the amphitheater season is our annual “Tastin’ the Blues,” scheduled for Saturday, September 13 from noon to 4:00 p.m. This event, featuring the great blues music of Steve Grills and the Roadmasters, grows in popularity each. Chili contestants will serve hot chili samples for judging, and Dundee Ales & Lagers will provide a lineup of locally-brewed beer samples. This family event receives rave reviews and our PenRec staff promises this year’s event will be even bigger and better. I was squeezed out of the running for winning either the judges’ or crowd favorite chili last year; however, I have been cooking and tweaking my favorite recipe and plan on making a better showing this year! Mark your calendar, I hope to see you at all these wonderful events, it has been a wonderful season to date.

Bunny Brinkman, our Penfield Librarian, reminds me there are exciting children’s programs scheduled for the month of August. Many programs are sponsored by the Friends of Penfield Library, a group that provides funding to enhance your library experience. Both of our granddaughters have participated in the reading program this summer as they prepare for first and third grades. For more information and registration go to

I have neglected to mention the Penfield Victory Garden this season and realized that fact earlier in the week as I was driving past this wonderful facility on Five Mile Line Road. It appears the combination of sun and rain is producing a bumper crop and our gardeners should be pleased and proud. While many of the vegetables are enjoyed by garden members, it is important to note they donate much of their nutritious surplus to our local Penfield Food Shelf for distribution to the needy. This is another great example of community helping community!

I was recently asked by a resident to give a plug to the Family Open Swim and Lap Swim program offered by the Recreation Department at Penfield High School pool. This program runs Monday through Thursday from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m., and the current session ends August 7. The fee is $2.00 per visit, payable at the pool. A new open swim schedule will be out shortly and will cover the fall and early winter beginning in September. This resident’s comment to me was, “I have been involved with this program for 12 years and have made lifelong friends. Thank you to the Recreation Department for their many aquatic programs.”

The 2015 budget process is well underway. As expected, it is full of challenges similar to those we have seen over the past several years. As we all see in our own household budgets, costs on all fronts continue to rise with little relief in sight. We will need to make difficult choices balance costs and services. The town board’s commitment has been, and continues to be, to review and challenge all increased costs, look for ways to eliminate duplicate services, partner with other communities to share equipment and services, explore alternative revenue streams, and not automatically accept unfunded mandates pushed down to local government. The initial 2015 roll-up of costs is approximately $1.2 million over the current year’s budget. Now the hard work starts to make sure we are funding the right services, labor and equipment needs, and programs. I will be presenting the Tentative Budget to the town board on September 3. In the coming weeks I will close my column with a report on our progress. As always, I welcome your thoughts and ideas regarding the budget including ways to reduce costs, improve services, and address rising costs.

Until next week, I hope to see you out in the community. Please stop me and say hello, I always enjoy the opportunity to meet new residents and renew acquaintances!


July 21, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 7/21

This week’s special shout-out goes to the Penfield Little League Intermediate team for accomplishing what no other team has done since the league was formed in 1952—they won a state title! Penfield Intermediate (13-and-under) defeated South Orangetown 15-9 in Montgomery, Orange County, and now advance to the regional tournament in Long Island. Penfield finished the state tournament 4-0 and is 17-0 on the season. Good luck to manager Mike Baxter and all the members of the Penfield Little League Intermediate team for a successful tournament!

Summer is in full swing and I hope you're enjoying it. Do you know there are 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day? That's 2,400 hours of fun! Donating blood takes about one hour. Choose your day, your hour, and make an appointment today. What difference can an hour make? Having blood available at a moment's notice is critically important; especially in the summer when emergency situations arise. An hour can mean a glimmer of hope to someone in need, please give blood. You can schedule an appointment by visiting or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Next week’s concert series includes: “Cool Jazz” Tuesday, July 29 – Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra; “Kids Fest” Thursday, July 31 – Dinner Dogs; and “Saturdays on Stage” Saturday, August 2 – Gap Mangione New Big Band. All shows are at the Penfield Amphitheater & Kiwanis Stage starting at 7:00 p.m. Great food is available each night and there will be a wine tent at the Cool Jazz series. The amphitheater is located at 3100 Atlantic Ave. behind the Town Hall. I hope to see you there, all of the performances to date have been fantastic!

Penfield Recreation will hold its second themed dinner fundraiser for the DEAR program on Wednesday, August 13 at 6:00 p.m. A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream Dinner in the Woods will bring the fairy world of William Shakespeare to life in a secret location for a magical dinner in the woods (a map with trail directions will be sent to you). The evening will include a scavenger hunt through the “fairy trails,” live music, a delicious cool summer feast prepared with locally farm-fresh organic food, and an abridged progressive fifteen minute performance of the timeless classic as you journey through the woods. A limited number of tickets are available and can be purchased for $40 at PenRec by phone 585-340-8655, or online at with a credit card.

Mark your calendar for the Penfield Trails Committee’s free guided hike at Monroe County’s Ellison Park on Saturday, August 9, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Discover the off-beat pathways in the 447 acres of Ellison Park and see the natural vistas carved by 10,000 years of Irondequoit Creek flow. This guided hike will drop steeply down the Coyote Den Trail into the more familiar section of Ellison Park with a side trail that will lead to a scenic overlook. Participants should meet at the south entrance to the park at 1008 Penfield Road and look for the “Hike” signs. While the hike is free, participants are asked to pre-register by calling Penfield Recreation at 340-8655, option 6.

At this time of the year many of our residents are enjoying the summer weather, traveling to cottages on nearby lakes, or vacationing with families. One thing that is not seasonal and remains constant is the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf’s (PEFS) need of our generous donations. The time between July 4th and Labor Day is especially difficult for PEFS to keep shelves stocked with food and supplies as donations diminish due to summer activities. Please consider helping out during this critical time. Log on at to see what the current food needs are or donate using the PayPal link on the “giving help” page. Making a small donation to PEFS pays big dividends to members of our community in need. Thank you in advance for anything you can do to support the great work of this organization.

Until next week, be well and be safe!


July 14, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 7/14

I would like to recognize the Penfield Recreation team for making our 2014 Independence Day Celebration one of the best in recent years. The weather was perfect, the parade was fantastic, and the music, food and fireworks at Harris Whalen Park topped off a perfect day. Great job on another successful event for the Penfield community!

I recently participated in a ground breaking ceremony for a 33,000 sq. ft. expansion the Eastside Family YMCA. This expansion brings together a relationship between the YMCA and the University of Rochester Medical Center to better serve the community in overall fitness, recovery from chronic illness and injury, and other wellness programs. Their goal is to open in the spring of 2015. Go to for details.

The town’s Employee Wellness Team reminds us to ditch sugary drinks and turn to water this summer. Families can make drinking water a fun, competitive game by tracking family members’ daily water consumption. Strive for eight cups each day. Without water, our bodies would stop working properly. Why? Water makes up more than half our body weight and a people cannot survive more than a few days without it. Along with being an important part of body fluids, each cell depends on water to function normally. Water also helps our immune systems fight off illness. We need water to digest food and get rid of waste, and you can bet water is the main ingredient in perspiration. Help your body feel great by drinking water when you're thirsty, and be sure to drink extra water when it's warm out.

Next week’s concert series at the Penfield Amphitheater & Kiwanis Stage: Monday, July 21 – Penfield Pops Band; “Cool Jazz” Tuesday, July 22 – Dan Schmitt & the Shadows, and “Kids Fest” Thursday, July 24 – Mike Kornrich. All shows begin at 7:00 p.m. Great food is available each night and there will be a wine tent at the Cool Jazz series. The amphitheater is located at 3100 Atlantic Ave. behind the Town Hall. I hope to see you there!

The Penfield Players will perform a staged reading of the provocative comedy “Why Torture is Wrong, and the People who Love Them” on Saturday, July 19, at 2:00 p.m. at the Penfield Community Center. A staged reading is a style of theater in which the actors, rather than memorizing the lines, interpret them while holding their scripts. Like storytelling, staged readings can create images by suggestion that could never be realistically portrayed on stage. Readers’ theater frees audiences from the physical limitations of conventional theater, letting imaginations soar. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. This will be the only performance, so mark your calendars.

The town’s 2015 budget process is underway. All department heads have submitted their initial plans and we are gathering data on pension costs, medical premiums, insurance rates, workers compensation figures, and more. As has been my practice, I will update everyone as to how things are shaping up for 2015. Our goal is to adopt the budget on October 15 and file it with Monroe County and New York State. The town board is committed to stay under the state mandated tax cap which will require holding the line on costs and reducing overall spending.

Until next week enjoy the beautiful summer weather!


July 8, 2014
DEC Reminds New Yorkers of State Law Restricting Use of Lawn Fertilizers Containing Phosphorus

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding New Yorkers not to use lawn fertilizers that contain phosphorus. The 2012 Dishwasher Detergent and Nutrient Runoff Law prohibits the use of phosphorus fertilizers unless a new lawn is being established or a soil test shows that the lawn does not have enough phosphorus.

"Too much phosphorus is harmful to the state's water resources," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "Rain and snow runoff carries phosphorus to ponds, rivers, lakes and streams. Once in the water, phosphorus can cause algae that turn waterbodies green, degrading drinking water and using up vital oxygen that fish need to breathe. We are asking New Yorkers to continue to exercise good environmental stewardship."

Consumers should review bag labels for phosphorus content when shopping for fertilizer. Fertilizer labels have three bold numbers. The number in the middle is the percentage of phosphorus in the product, such as: 22-0-15. The law requires retailers to display phosphorus fertilizer separately from phosphorus-free fertilizer and post signs notifying customers of the terms of the law.

The 2012 Dishwasher Detergent and Nutrient Runoff Law does not affect agricultural fertilizer or fertilizer for gardens.
Additional provisions of the nutrient runoff law include: applying any fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium on lawns or non-agricultural turf is prohibited between December 1 and April 1, and applying any fertilizer on lawns or non-agricultural turf within 20 feet of a waterbody is restricted and application on paved surfaces is prohibited.

Find the full text of the NYS Dishwasher Detergent and Nutrient Runoff Law, Frequently Asked Questions, and a downloadable sign for retail display on DEC's website.

July 7, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 7/7

Last week Penfield experienced a significant loss with the passing of Terry E. “Bub” Rothfuss. Many residents of the town knew and loved Terry, and I dedicate this week’s column to him and his family. Hopefully, for those who may not have had the honor or pleasure of knowing Terry, you will better know the man and what he meant to Penfield and what Penfield meant to him.

Family – Terry was a loyal and dedicated husband (to Mary Lou), father (to Brent, Heidi, Scott, Molly and their spouses), and grandfather (to Peyton, Jordan, Sydney). The sun rose and set on his family, he could not have been more proud of all their individual accomplishments. The fact they all lived on or adjacent to the farm was of very special importance to him. On a working farm there is always a lot of hard work and endless chores to be done; however, this farm was always a center of activities for family and friends, the neighborhood, East Penfield, and many other parts of our community for coffee, dinners, parties, and gatherings too many to list.

Friend – Once you met Terry you were good friends forever. I’m not sure if it was his big smile, his teddy bear stature, the trademark bib-overalls or a combination of them all. To have known him was to love him. As a friend his focus was on you and never about him! If you needed help, Terry was the first one there to loan a hand, a piece of equipment, or maybe just an encouraging word. Any problem, issue or emergency was solved without the need of recognition or compensation.

Farmer – Farming was bred in Terry’s bones. He was in his glory plowing a field, cutting/raking/baling hay, tending to a newborn calf, or repairing one of many tractors and other equipment necessary to complete a planting or harvest. Farming is as much a mentality or lifestyle as it is a profession. Most farmers face numerous setbacks, and they are really good at problem-solving. It may not be the best, prettiest, safest, or most effective solution, but at the end of the day farmers are incredibly resourceful. Farming is not only a very difficult job, it is arguably the first stepping stone towards an advanced society. When men put down spears and picked up plows, it allowed communities to stop wandering and to become established, as we see in Penfield.

This brings me to my last dimension that I so much admired about Terry, and that is community involvement. This can be as simple as saying hello or waving to a neighbor, attending church or other place of worship, belonging to a service organization, participating on a school PTA, shopping locally, attending a pancake breakfast for one of the many community sports teams, serving on a town committee, or helping out a friend, neighbor, or stranger.

So how did Terry live and define community involvement? Certainly everything I mentioned above was considered basic table-stakes for him; however, observing Terry over the years working on events, committees and many community interests or just helping others, being involved in the community meant much more to Terry. It meant making a great community even better. It meant building relationships with everyone; individuals, groups and organizations. He believed those relationships were the very things that bridge the gaps between barriers that could become “sticky issues” in the future. It meant spending the extra time during the day, night or weekends helping others out, knowing he had more than enough things to get done on the farm before his day was done. It meant taking an active interest in community problems and looking for ways to solve them. It meant getting personally involved and encouraging others to participate as well. It meant not turning your back on anyone! In Terry’s eyes, that is what community involvement was really about and that is how he lived each and every day.

It is important to mourn a loss, especially the loss of a great man. It is equally important for us all to follow the example that Terry has set around family, friends, and community involvement. We should all challenge ourselves to look for ways to make a difference each and every day in whatever we do—that would be a celebration of Terry’s life and would help to keep his legacy alive and growing in Penfield. To the Rothfuss family, thank you for sharing Terry with all of us!

Tony LaFountain


Town of Penfield
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