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News Archive

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October 31, 2014
Penfield's Fellows House stands tall

Designated a town landmark, the Henry Fellows Sr. House stands as a beacon of the past that was the beginning of the future of Penfield.
"When I look at the house, I just see a beautiful home and is so historically rich in its presence and history in town," said Kathy Kanauer, town of Penfield historian. "It really adds to the charm of our area, and I really hope it is a building that remains standing tall for centuries."  See the full stroy... 

October 29, 2014
Penfield Trails Comm. to Join Friends of Webster Trails for Free Hike
Penfield Trails Committee will hold a free guided hike on Saturday, November 8 in conjunction with the Friends of Webster Trails to explore the Gosnell Nature Habitat in Webster. This hike will begin at 10:00 am and is expected to last about 2 hours. 

This Town of Webster preserve includes majestic old growth forest, open field, and a small meadow. Maintained by the Friends of Webster Trails, a variety of trails offer beautiful views of grassland fields, wildflowers, and a spectacular old growth forest. Hikers may see turkey, deer, and a variety of birds.

Meet at the parking lot/trail head. Follow the “Hike” signs at the junction of Drumm and Vosburg Roads.

While the hike is free, participants are asked to pre-register by calling Penfield Recreation at 340-8655, option 6.

Penfield Trails Committee is always seeking volunteers to serve on its planning committee, as well as to do manual labor for trails maintenance. For more information, please call Penfield Recreation at (585) 340-8655.

October 27, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 10/27

As we all prepare for the upcoming heating season, RG&E has asked me to remind Penfield residents of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas that can quickly harm you and your family. Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms including headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea and loss of muscle control. Prolonged exposure to CO can lead to serious illness and even death. CO is produced by incomplete combustion from boilers, furnaces, water heaters, gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns and natural gas ranges. The incomplete combustion of charcoal, oil, wood or propane also can produce CO, which may reach dangerous levels in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces and poorly ventilated areas. To help keep you safe, RG&E recommends the following practices: Use CO detectors (New York state law now requires CO detectors in most residences); have a professional check heating systems, chimneys, flues and vents once a year; always read, understand and follow manufacturers’ instructions when using supplemental heat sources such as space heaters or fireplaces; never use an emergency generator indoors, including the garage; and never use a natural gas stove, oven or charcoal grill as an indoor heat source.

Last week I attended the dedication and ribbon cutting of the RTS Transit Center located between St. Paul Street and North Clinton Avenue downtown. This state of the art facility will help those using public transit make connections across the county and region. For more information, and to follow the progress, log on to

More than 900 residents came out last Friday for the annual “Family Halloween Fun” night to partake in games, trick-or-treat, hayrides, crafts, coffee and hot chocolate, personal pan pizza, the Historic Ghost Walk, and more. I would like to recognize the many community volunteers who help make this event so successful. Boy Scout Troop 312, Penfield High School Baseball Team, local farmers and their families (Woodward, Rothfuss), the Young Open & Honest Players, the Daytime Education at Recreation volunteers, Tim Hortons, Penfield Fire Company, and the Community Garden Club. Your dedication to the Penfield Recreation Department and the community of Penfield does not go unnoticed…thank you for the gift of your time, it made a difference in the success of this event!

The last program of the Environmental Discussion Series is scheduled for Monday, November 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Town Hall. To wrap up this sequence of events, Ram Shrivastava from Larsen Engineers will discuss Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems and how these systems can be designed to generate up to 100% of a site’s/home’s electrical load. The topics of costs and NYSERDA incentives will be covered as well as available tax credits. There will be plenty of time at the end of the presentation for questions. While the program is free, participants are asked to register by calling Penfield Recreation at 340-8655 or logging on to I hope to see you there!

The Penfield Business Association (PBA) will host its Annual Meeting and Economic Development Presentation on November 13 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. at the Penfield Country Club, featuring Jim Costello, Business Development Director for the Town of Penfield. Jim will present the current state of economic development in Penfield and share news about upcoming projects on the horizon. Each of Penfield's business districts will be discussed during the presentation and there will be an opportunity for questions. For more information about this program and others scheduled throughout the year, please go to

One last shout-out for the Penfield Rotary’s Fall 2014 Charity Euchre Tournament to be held Sunday, November 2 at The Legacy at 40 Willow Pond. Tickets are $20 per person if purchased by October 31 or $25 per person the day of the event. For more information or to purchase a ticket, contact Christian at 451-4143. All proceeds will benefit Camp Haccamo for children and adults with a wide range of disabilities and other Penfield Rotary programs.

Until next week…remember to set your clocks back one hour on Sunday, November 2 and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.


October 20, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 10/20

Elizabeth McDade, MFA, Program Manager for the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning, Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, has asked me to remind the Penfield community that October 19 to 25 is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week ( As we enter the fall season many of us start to plan for those “inside” remodeling projects that will add pleasure to our time spent indoors in the coming months. Projects may include anything from major interior remodeling to repainting a room. If your home was constructed prior to 1978 there is no doubt that lead based paint was used. Have you tested or considered testing your home for lead? We now know that lead based paint commonly used before 1978 is highly toxic. Children exposed to lead based paint are at greatest risk for poisoning. If you have not done so, you can test your child for lead poisoning by asking your pediatrician to do a simple blood test at your next visit. Lead poisoning is a serious health problem; you can learn more about it and the associated risks at:

The town board adopted the 2015 Final Budget at the October 15 legislative meeting. The budget of $15.9 million is $278,000 lower than the 2014 budget, keeping the 2015 town tax rate flat at $2.64 per $1,000 assessed property value, marking the sixth consecutive year at the $2.64 level. Penfield’s property tax rate remains one of the lowest in Monroe County. The Town of Penfield receives approximately $0.08 of each tax dollar (8 cents). I would like to thank all of the department heads, the comptroller, and the town board for their efforts in preparing a fiscally responsible budget that reduces spending and maintains services for our residents.

Join us for the Monday, October 27 Environmental Discussion Series presentation “Butterfly Gardens & Wildlife Habitats” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the town hall auditorium. This program will help you create your own butterfly-attracting garden using the plants right outside your door! Butterflies are beautiful and important to your garden and our environment, and they are an essential part of our ecosystem. Bruce Zaretsky, Zaretsky & Associates, Inc. will be on hand to present information and answer questions on how to create butterfly gardens and wildlife habitats. While the program is free, participants are asked to register by calling Penfield Recreation at 340-8655 or go to I hope to see you there!

The Penfield Rotary Club and R Community Bikes, Inc. thanks the Penfield community for donating 202 bikes at their 4th annual Bike Drop two weeks ago. Over the four years, this event has collected more than 1,000 bikes from our community. R Community Bikes repairs used bicycles for distribution free of charge to Rochester’s most needy children and adults. This is a win-win for everyone…thank you for your generosity, it makes a difference in so many ways!

The Penfield Players are commencing their 50th season with the production of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man. This production will run from Saturday, November 1 through Saturday, November 15. Directed by David C. Woodworth, Vidal's play tells the story of two politicians vying for their party’s nomination for president of the United States. William Russell, the ex-Secretary of State, is a wit and scholar with high liberal principles, beloved of the eggheads and suspected by practical politicians. Joseph Cantwell is a ruthless and hard-driving young man, a dirty fighter who will let no scruples stand in the way of his ambitions. Throw in the candidates' advisers and wives, as well as the former president eager to hand-pick his successor, and what you have is a biting portrayal of American politics in all its ugly glory. There is a special “50th Anniversary” opening night dessert and coffee reception at 7:00 p.m. prior to the performance sponsored by Starbucks Coffee in Penfield. Show dates and times are as follows: November 1, 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 8:00 p.m., and November 2 at 2:00 p.m. All performances will be held at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. To order tickets, please call the box office 585-340-8655 between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to charge by phone or go to, and choose “Registration & Reservation” then the “Browse Tickets” link and search by date. Select a performance and follow the prompts. Advance tickets ($12) must be purchased online or by phone by 4:00 p.m. of the Thursday prior to each show date. Availability cannot be guaranteed after 4:00 p.m.

Until next week, be well and be safe!


October 16, 2014
2015 Town Budget Adopted

Penfield Town Supervisor Tony LaFountain and the Penfield Town Board adopted the town’s 2015 Final Budget at the October 15 legislative meeting. The budget of $15.9 is $278 K lower than the 2014 budget, keeping the 2015 town tax rate flat at $2.64 per $1,000 assessed property value, marking the sixth consecutive year at the $2.64 level. Penfield’s property tax rate remains one of the lowest in Monroe County. The Town of Penfield receives approximately $0.08 of each tax dollar (8 cents).

Major impacts on 2015 expenses include the full funding of retirement cost at 20 percent of salary, a 12 percent increase in workers compensation cost, a 12 percent increase in medical cost, and a 10 percent increase in general liability insurance cost.

“The town board continues to work very hard preparing the annual budget by balancing increased unfunded mandates from the state and federal governments along with residents’ interests and need to keep taxes stable,” said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “A week does not go by without residents stopping by my office asking that all government taxes be reduced. The Penfield Town Board has heard that message loud and clear and continues to maintain a flat tax for the town’s budget in 2015.”

Unfunded mandates continue to be the source of most local government budget problems along with an increase in the costs of goods. For example, the cost of road salt has increased 27 percent for the 2015 budget cycle. Supervisor LaFountain achieved the flat tax rate with ongoing cost-reductions that include selective replacement of retiring employees; use of more seasonal contract labor; forming more and broader partnerships with other communities to leverage cost reductions; further technology upgrades and process improvements; and exploration of more aggressive outsourcing of tasks and duties. Additionally, for the sixth year, all elected and appointed officials will receive no pay increase in 2015.

As of October 16, print copies of the 2015 Final Budget are available at the Penfield Public Library, 1985 Baird Road or by contacting the Office of the Comptroller in the Penfield Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Avenue, in Penfield. The 2015 Final Budget is also available online at (go to ‘Quick Links,’ ‘Town Budget’).

April to September 2014 - Town Supervisor, Finance Director and staff conduct budget work sessions; prepare 2015 Tentative Budget
September 3, 2014 - Town Supervisor, Finance Director present a summary of the Tentative Budget to Town Board and community; document made public for review (during this period, Tentative Budget becomes the Preliminary Budget)
September 4-October 10, 2014 - Public comment period
October 1, 2014 - Public Hearing on 2015 Preliminary Budget; public comments received
October 1-10, 2014 - Town Board reviews comments, develops a Final Budget
October 15, 2014 - Town Board Legislative meeting, adoption of a Final 2015 Budget; Adopted Budget made public
October 16, 2014 - Town presents Penfield Adopted 2015 Budget to County of Monroe

October 14, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 10/13

Please mark your calendar for the next American Red Cross Blood drive in Penfield to be held Thursday, October 23 from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. the First Baptist Church of Penfield, 1862 Penfield Road in the Four Corners. Individuals who are 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more depending on height), and are in generally good health, may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate. Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to schedule an appointment or for details on this drive and others in the area. Your donation makes a difference in many lives, please consider donating!

At the last meeting of the town board the Penfield Fire Company recognized five Penfield students who were winners of an annual Fire Prevention Week essay contest. These students were presented a certificates of recognition from the Town of Penfield for their accomplishments. The winners were: Jessica Santiago, second place (grade 8) Monroe County Volunteer Firemen’s Association and third place (grade 8) Western New York Volunteer Firemen’s Association; Gabrielle Noyes, ninth place (grade 7) Monroe County Volunteer Firemen’s Association and fourth place (grade 7) Western New York Volunteer Firemen’s Association; Julia Bell, fifth place (grade 6) Monroe County Volunteer Firemen’s Association; Noah Rogoff, tenth place (grade 5) Monroe County Volunteer Firemen’s Association and first place (grade 5) Western New York Volunteer Firemen’s Association; and Zachary Tilkins, fourth place (grade 6) Monroe County Volunteer Firemen’s Association and third place (grade 6) Western New York Volunteer Firemen’s Association. We have requested copies of these essays to post on our website in recognition of their work and to share their public safety message with all residents. Congratulations to Jessica, Gabrielle, Julia, Noah and Zachary for your efforts!

The Penfield Rotary’s fall 2014 charity Euchre Tournament is Sunday, November 2 at The Legacy, 40 Willow Pond Way starting at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person if purchased by October 31, or $25 the day of the event. Admission includes water, coffee, and snacks. Other beverages and pizza will be available for purchase before and during the games. The top 10 players will receive prizes based on scores from eight games. All proceeds will benefit Camp Haccamo for children, adults with a wide range of disabilities, and other Penfield Rotary programs. Find more at or contact Christian at 451-4143.

The first three programs of the Environmental Discussion Series have been well attended, and a lot of great information has been shared by our subject experts. The next program is scheduled for Monday, October 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the town hall auditorium. This program is entitled “Ten Things: Practical Steps for Lower Carbon Living” to be presented by Cynette Cavaliere, Environmental Engineer and a member of the town’s Energy & Environmental Advisory Committee. The programs are free, participants are asked to pre-register by calling Penfield Recreation at 340-8655. Also mark your calendars for the last two programs in the series: Monday, October 27 is “Butterfly Gardens & Wildlife Habitats” and on Monday, November 3 learn about Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems. I hope to see you there!

If you are a regular visitor to the Penfield Community Center for the library, recreation department or senior program you will see some remodeling work that has begun on the main hallway floor. We ask that you observe all hazard signs and barricades for your safety. This work should be completed in approximately two weeks, thank you for your patience.

This time of year mornings are darker and is more difficult to see children at bus stops. Please take extra time during your daily commute, use your headlights, and watch for stopped school buses and children crossing the road. Let’s make sure everyone makes it to school and work safely!

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


October 6, 2014
Family Halloween Celebration Oct 17!

Join us on Friday, October 17 at Penfield Community Center for a family-friendly Halloween celebration! From 6-8 pm your little one(s) can enjoy Trick-or-Treat, games, crafts, music and more – all for FREE!

Parents – BRING YOUR CAMERA! New this year we will have a PHOTO ROOM set up with a Halloween background for spooky, fun family photos. Woody Acres will also have a HAY MAZE set up for the little ones.

There will be a PIZZA DINNER available for $5 per person from 5:30 until 7:30 (or gone). Dinner will include a personal pizza, salad, chips and a beverage. To purchase tickets in advance, please call our office at (585) 340-8655, or come in to our office at 1985 Baird Rd, Penfield. Tickets also available at the door.

October 6, 2014
Supervisor’s column: Week of 10/6

I recently spoke with a good friend and longtime Penfield resident Betty Perkins-Carpenter regarding an important project known as “Snapshots from The Korean War.” Betty is a Korean War veteran who is involved in this effort to pass on original photos taken by the U.S. Department of Defense documenting our country’s involvement in the Korean conflict. The Democrat and Chronicle has teamed up with Kodak Alaris to digitize and share photos that have been published on a website so the public, especially people with ties to the era, can browse the gallery and help connect the photos to people and places. Betty would like to pass the original photos to the men and women pictured in them, or give photos to their families, in hope the images will rekindle memories of what has come to be known as the “Forgotten War.” Betty is an amazing lady who has a special passion for all she does, and she does a lot! Her goal with this project is to connect families to their loved ones. Please go to to view the photos and see if you recognize anyone. A brother? An uncle? A grandfather? Betty, thank you for all you have done in our community and for our country!

The next Penfield Trails Committees free guided hike is Saturday, October 11, 10:00 a.m. to noon at Monroe County’s Lucien Morin Park. The hike will be primarily through the heavily wooded area along Irondequoit Creek. It will traverse slopes and ravines as well as some creek banks. Away from the creek you will see elements of the old rifle range, the location of the clubhouse, the restored gazebo, and shooting range pits. This hike will also overlook Irondequoit Creek and adjacent wetlands and meadows. You will stop at the narrows to observe and learn about the low-flow barrier. You may also see the autumn colors creeping into the woods. Participants are asked to meet at Empire Blvd. at the south end of Irondequoit Bay. There is a Monroe County Parks sign and driveway entrance just east of MacGregor’s Grill & Tap Room. Park in graveled parking area and look for the “hike” signs. The hike is free; however, participants are asked to pre-register by calling Penfield Recreation at 340-8655, option 6.

The 2014-2015 Penfield Symphony Orchestra (PSO) season begins Monday, October 20 with the program “Out of this World” featuring When You Wish Upon a Star, Star Trek Through The Years, Adventures on Earth from E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, The Planets, Op 32, and more. The PSO has been bringing great music to our community for 59 years. Dr. David Harman, Music Director for 15 years, promises another wonderful season. The concert will be held at the Penfield High School Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. For more information on all upcoming concerts, logon to This program is sponsored by the Ide Family of Dealerships.

Mark your calendars for the free Family Halloween Fun night on Friday, October 17 at the Penfield Community Center at 6:00 p.m. Enjoy games, trick-or-treat, hayrides, crafts, and more! There will also be a Historic Ghost Walk that requires a reservation and a $5.00 ticket. Register by calling 340-8655 (option 6) and reserving with a credit card. For more details on all the evening’s activities please go to

The third and fourth of six sessions in the free Environmental Discussion Series are Monday, October 6 featuring "Rain Gardens and Storm Water Management" and Monday, October 20 with the theme “Ten Things: Practical Steps for Lower Carbon Living.” All progrmas in the series are held in the town hall auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Bruce Zaretsky of Zaretsky and Associates and Mark Valentine, Planning Dept. head and rain garden engineer, will present October 6. Environmental Engineer Cynette Cavaliere will share 10 simple things we can all do to reduce emissions, energy use, and waste on October 20. I hope to see you there!

Important dates and events in history: October 12, 1492 – Christopher Columbus was the first European to set foot on the New World (in what is now the Dominican Republic); October 12, 1892 – “Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag” was first recited by millions of school children across America as part of the first “Columbus Day” celebration; and October 13, 1775 – the U.S. Navy was established.

Until next week, be well and be safe!


October 2, 2014
Got a thing for swing? Penfield Rotary Band Oct 7, just $1.00!
The Penfield Rotary Band brings swing dance to the Penfield Community Center the first Tuesday of each month September through June. For ONLY ONE DOLLAR at the door you can enjoy a great night of big band swing and dancing. Next up is Tuesday, October 7. All are welcome. Call 340-8655 for more info.


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