January 30, 2017
Supervisor’s column January 30, 2017
The next hike sponsored by the Penfield Trails Committee is the ever-popular February “Indoor Hike” on Saturday, February 11 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM in the Penfield Town Hall Auditorium. This year’s featured speaker is Chris Costello, a professional land surveyor who will share information and photos in his presentation, Letchworth’s Portage Viaduct – New and Old. Lace up your boots and join our trails committee to learn the history and the future of Letchworth rails and trails, a topic that will draw both railroad and hiking enthusiasts! This is a FREE event and open to everyone, refreshments will be served. For more information on this hike and all others planned during 2017, please go to www.penfieldrec.org. I hope to see you at the Indoor Hike!
Is the up and down of the weather driving you crazy? Are you not a winter sports enthusiast? If so, consider joining Penfield Recreation most every Friday night through March at the Penfield High School pool! Come play, swim, and exercise while enjoying this spacious pool. The shallow end features a 4x4 tot dock for the little ones and the deep end is set up for water walking and lap swimming. Also, swimmers who pass the deep end test can also enjoy the one-meter boards in the diving well. The fee is $2.00 at the door. Go to www.penfieldrec.org for more information about this aquatic wellness program and other wellness activities.
Winter break is scheduled for the week of February 20–24. Penfield Recreation and the Penfield Library are hosting a number of activities and programs to occupy our younger residents. Please check out all of the offerings at www.penfieldrec.org and www.penfieldlibrary.org.
Fortunately, we rarely have to cancel programs due to weather. However, there are times when Mother Nature makes it necessary to do so. When that happens we post cancellation notices online at www.penfieldrec.org and on our program information phone line at 340-8655, option 2.
Please note: Penfield-Webster and Monroe County normally host a hazardous waste collection in late April to give residents an opportunity to dispose of old paints, cleaning supplies, fertilizers and more. Monroe County has notified us that this year’s collection is scheduled in the fall on Saturday, September 16 in Webster. The county would like to remind everyone that the ecopark facility, located at 10 Avion Drive near the airport, is available year-round during the week and most Saturdays for household hazardous waste appointments and recycling. Go to www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark to learn more. As we get closer to the September 16 collection I will make sure to cover it in this column. We will also post details on the town website including the number to call for appointments.
It is not too late to sign up as a driver for the volunteer senior transportation program to be known as Bri-Pen rides. Drivers, dispatchers, and transportation coordinators are needed for our pilot program. Drivers will be thoroughly trained through Lifespan’s “Give a Lift” program and will receive supplemental insurance. For more information about volunteering, please call Pam at 340-8664.
Temperatures are dropping and the snow is still blowing but don’t give up hope, spring is just around the corner. To help you take your mind off the winter weather, consider renting a garden plot to join a vibrant community of organic gardeners at the Penfield Community Victory Garden. Now is a good time to start planning for the upcoming growing season. If you would like more information about the garden, who is involved, and all the great things the group has done to date, please go to www.penfieldvictorygarden.org or call Penfield Recreation at 340-8651.
Until next week, be well and be safe!
January 24, 2017
Penfield's Annual 'Indoor Hike' Scheduled for February 11
The Penfield Trails Committee will host its annual ‘Indoor Hike’ on Saturday, February 11, 10:00 am at Penfield Town Hall Auditorium, 3100 Atlantic Avenue. There will be a presentation entitled “Letchworth’s Portage Viaduct – New and Old”, information on trails groups from around the Rochester area, and light refreshments will be served. This event is free.
Chris Costello, professional land surveyor, will speak about the 1875 Portage high bridge / railroad viaduct high above the Genesee River in Letchworth State Park. Costello will give an inside look at the construction of the new bridge in progress. Learn the history and the future of Letchworth rails and trails. Hikers, history buffs, and rail fans – lace up your boots and join us!
“This year’s speaker will give participants a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of the much anticipated construction of the new railroad bridge,” says Nels Carman, Penfield Trails Committee chair. “This iconic structure has an interesting past and a promising future.”
While the “hike” is free, participants are asked to pre-register by calling Penfield Recreation at 340-8655, option 0.
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.
January 23, 2017
Supervisor’s column January 23, 2017
This past weekend I had the honor and privilege of attending the Penfield Fire Company’s Annual Banquet honoring the retirements of Chief Michael DeBree and President John Papponetti. These two gentleman served in their respective positions in 2016, the 175th anniversary of this wonderful volunteer organization that supports the Penfield Community.
Both Mike and John have made a strong commitment to public safety while balancing successful business careers and families. Their involvement in our community is a shining example of why Penfield is such a great place to live, work, and raise a family. On behalf of the Penfield Town Board and town residents I want to recognize and thank Mike and John for their service.
The Penfield Fire Company also recognized the following service award recipients: James Trau and Ronald Welkley for 50 years; Ed Sexton, Jr. 45 years; David Sweet 40 years; Charles DeBree 35 years; Robert Ockenden 30 years; Jeffrey Ebmeyer, James Herko, Jr., and Joseph Palma for 25 years. We are indeed fortunate for the commitment of the men and women of the Penfield Fire Company who are out fighting fires, addressing HAZMAT incidents, providing support to motor vehicle accidents and medical problems, and handling technical rescue situations. Penfield is grateful for your protection and support each and every day, thank you!
Since June, Pam Gerace Mount from Penfield Recreation has been working diligently with Lifespan and a committee made up of residents from Penfield and Brighton to establish a volunteer transportation program for seniors for our towns. Penfield and Brighton are the last two communities in Monroe County that do not have such a service in place. The good news is the group has adopted a mission statement, policy, procedures, and completed a survey assessing the overall need in our area. The group is now in the process of recruiting volunteers to fill out a Lifespan application, receive driver training, and ultimately become a part of the driving team.
Yesterday, the group hosted an open house in Penfield at which thirteen people expressed an interest in driving. This is a great start; however, we need many more to make this program a success.
Bri-Pen will be a volunteer transportation service to provide rides to medical appointments and religious services. If you would like to volunteer as a good neighbor and friend to this transportation program please contact Pam at 585-340-8664. Thank you in advance for supporting this very much needed service for seniors in our community.
The Energy & Environmental Advisory Committee (EEAC) reminds us to clean out medicine cabinets and dispose of old prescriptions and other products at least once a year. Do not flush medicines down the drain or toilet and do not place them in the curbside blue box. Instead, you may take them to ecopark recycling center sponsored by the County of Monroe and Waste Management. Please visit www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark for details on hours of operation and what is accepted for recycling.
Important Dates and Events in History:
- January 23, 1933 – The 20th Amendment is added to the Constitution. The 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution moved the beginning and ending of the terms of the president and vice president from March 4 to January 20, and of members of Congress from March 4 to January 3. It also has provisions that determine what is to be done when there is no president-elect.
- January 27, 1973 – The United States and Vietnam sign a peace treaty, ending the Vietnam War.
- January 29, 1919 – The 18th Amendment is added to the Constitution. The 18th Amendment is the only Amendment to ever have been repealed from the United States Constitution–via the inclusion of the 21st Amendment. The 18th Amendment called for the banning of the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcoholic beverages. Known as national Prohibition, the 18th banned “intoxicating liquors” with the exception of those used for religious rites.
Until next week get ready for more of the snow and cold, we have a lot more winter weather to get through until spring is upon us!
January 18, 2017
Supervisor’s column January 18, 2017
This year marks the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in New York State in 1917, three years ahead of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920. To recognize and celebrate this milestone, Pam Mount from Penfield Recreation, Peggy O’Neil from the Penfield Library, and Kathy Kanauer, our Town Historian & Local History Room Coordinator, will co-sponsor programs throughout 2017. First up is a series entitled “SuffraTeas” that kicks off on Susan B. Anthony’s birthday, Wednesday, February 15 at 2:00 PM in the Senior Lounge at the Community Center. Pam and Kathy will discuss women getting the right to vote and the importance of this right. Please note that registration is not required for this event. As the rest of the schedule is firmed up details will be shared by Penfield Recreation, the Penfield Public Library, and also online at www.penfieldrec.org.
I received the following information from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC): Oak wilt, a deadly fungal disease affecting oak trees, was discovered in six new locations in New York last year. This disease can be spread by beetles that are attracted to freshly cut or injured trees. Protect your oak trees from deadly infection by pruning in winter instead of during the growing season. The oak wilt fungus clogs the trees’ transport vessels, cutting off water and food from leaves and the rest of the tree. Oak wilt spreads when fungal spores hitch rides on insects. Sap beetles, one of the main culprits, are extremely attracted to fresh tree wounds. Therefore, pruning oaks during the growing season greatly increases the chances of insects infecting them with oak wilt.
Here is a summary of how you can protect your oak trees:
- Prune oaks between October and February, NOT during the growing season.
- Follow existing regulations and quarantines meant to protect trees and forests.
- Don’t move firewood. Firewood can transport oak wilt and other deadly pests and diseases to new areas.
Learn to identify the symptoms of oak wilt which include discoloration around the entire leaf edge and sudden loss of a substantial portion of leaves during the summer. Direct your questions to the DEC Forest Health office at 1-866-640-0652 or email photos of tree symptoms to email@example.com. Visit the DEC website for more information on oak wilt.
Waste Management of New York is reminding residents to recycle cardboard, especially after the holidays. Cardboard used for shipping has become one of the most disposed of household materials with the increasing popularity of online shopping. It is important to remember to recycle materials properly, as Waste Management continues to see cardboard in our landfills, which could instead be recycled into new products. Almost 20 percent of annual retail purchases are made during the holiday season, resulting in a spike in recyclable materials. Cardboard can be recycled through curbside recycling pickup or at the Monroe County Ecopark, 10 Avion Drive. To recycle curbside, cardboard must be flattened down or cut into small pieces and placed in or under the recycling container. Greeting cards, gift boxes, wrapping paper and wrapping paper tubes can all be placed in recycling bins as well. Please note that the Monroe County Ecopark is open Wednesdays from 1:00 to 6:30 PM and Saturdays from 7:30 AM to 1:00 PM. For information on recycling visit www.monroecounty.gov/ecopark.
The AARP Foundation Tax Aide Program will once again be offering free income tax preparation on Wednesday and Friday mornings at the Penfield Community Center by appointment only, beginning February 1, 2017. The AARP Foundation Tax Aide Program was designed to provide free income tax preparation services for low to moderate income households. While the program is available to anyone, its intent is to help those with limited resources who cannot afford to have their returns prepared by a private person or company.
This year AARP is migrating to a new software program which means that your return may take a little longer to prepare. Please keep this in mind when booking your appointment. One important thing to note is that preparers will NOT have access to any prior year carryover information. It is important that you bring last year’s tax return and supporting documents with you to your appointment—even if prepared by the AARP Tax Aide program.
Other information that MUST be brought to your appointment:
- Photo ID
- Social Security cards for yourself and dependents
- Checkbook or a voided check if you want to direct deposit any refund. AARP cannot take routing numbers or account numbers verbally or from any other documents.
- Proof of health care coverage
To help you book your tax appointment, please review the following list of mailing deadlines for tax information you will need to bring with you to file your taxes. (Keep in mind that it will take several days before you actually receive documents from providers.)
- W-2, 1099INT, 1099DIV, 1099R forms must be mailed by February 1
- 1099B and consolidate brokerage investment accounts have a mailing deadline of February 15, but many companies are granted an extension to March 15
- K-1s have a mailing deadline of April 15
To make an appointment contact Penfield Recreation beginning January 17 at 340-8655, ext. 0. Appointments are available February 1 through April 12.
Until next week, enjoy the mild weather. Because of recent rain and snow melt, please take a moment to clean the road drain in front of your home of leaves and other debris to ensure proper drainage.
January 9, 2017
Supervisor’s column January 9, 2017
Over the weekend I had the honor of attending an Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Konrad Osterwinter of Troop 31 to present a certificate of recognition on behalf of the Penfield community. For his Eagle project, Konrad built four bookcase storage units for classrooms at his elementary school, Seton Catholic School. Troop 31 has a long history of preparing scouts for their Eagle; since 1928, a remarkable 171 scouts from this troop achieved this rank. On behalf of the entire town I would like to recognize and thank Konrad for his accomplishment, he and his family should be very proud…congratulations!
Throughout the year I am asked about various properties and developments in Penfield. Here is an update on properties that have received the most recent inquiries:
- The service station at the corner of Route 250/Atlantic Ave. has finally been demolished!
- Popeye’s will remain Popeye’s and re-open over the next month or two.
- The Clean-Town property opposite Panorama Plaza near the ESL ATM will be before the Planning Board on January 12 for a proposed office building.
- A number of businesses have been looking at the old Panorama Theater site (Dollar Store/Panera). Planet Fitness is very interested in the site.
- In addition to the U of R Urgent Care on Penfield Road, the EyeSite offices next to Summit should be completed soon (they are moving from the plaza behind their new building).
- The church across the street from Mark’s Pizzeria was purchased and renovated for Aspenleiter Sewing & Vacuum, a Penfield resident moving his business from Monroe Ave. to Penfield.
- The Hampton Inn on Panorama Trail is slated to open in March.
If you have questions about a particular property, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop me to ask if you see me out and about in our great community.
Please mark your calendars for the next Penfield Symphony Orchestra (PSO) concert “Operatic Gems” on Monday, February 13 at the Penfield High School Auditorium at 7:30 PM. Free rides to all concerts are available from Lifespan by calling 872-0774. For more information about this concert and the PSO, please go to www.penfieldsymphony.org.
The Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind all residents with fireplaces and wood stoves of the following safety practices:
- Have a professional chimney sweep inspect chimneys annually for cracks, blockages, and leaks and have them cleaned and repaired as needed
- Burn seasoned hardwood only—no trash, cardboard, Christmas trees, or other materials
- Use a sturdy screen or doors to keep embers inside the fireplace
- Ensure all of your smoke alarms are functioning properly
We do not want to see any of our residents injured or displaced from their homes because of a chimney fire from a fireplace or woodstove this winter season.
One last reminder as we wind down the holiday season…Christmas tree recycling will continue at the DPW facility, 1607 Jackson Road, through the end of the month. All trees will be ground up and become part of the free mulch pile available at the town hall.
Note: Town offices will be closed on Monday, January 16 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. All offices will re-open Tuesday at normal times, including the mobile DMV that will operate from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM in town hall auditorium.
Until next week enjoy the longer days and milder weather!
January 4, 2017
Supervisor’s column January 4, 2017
Happy New Year!
This week’s town board meeting is the organizational meeting for the year. At this meeting all the appointments are made for boards and committees, salaries are established, various contracts are authorized, banking arrangements are confirmed, consultants are named, and other annual actions are taken.
As a reminder, you can watch town board meetings live on PCTV channel 12. You can also log on at www.penfield.org for live streaming video or to view recorded video of past meetings of interest. Please tune in and be part of your local government.
Christmas tree recycling is underway at the DPW facility, 1607 Jackson Road. All trees will be ground up and made part of the free mulch pile available at the town hall complex from early spring until we run out of material for the year. Thank you in advance for choosing to recycle your tree and keep it out of the landfill.
My next comments are fall and winter reminders. First, with the mild winter and recent rains, I have cleaned off a number of road catch basins in my neighborhood to minimize flooding. If you have a drainage basin in front of your home that is covered with leaves and debris, please clear the grate to ensure proper water flow. Secondly, we know the next round of snow is just around the corner! Please remember that snow plow rules are in effect through April 1. This means no parking is allowed on Penfield roads and highways between 2:00 and 7:00 AM so our DPW crews can safely and effectively maintain the roadways. Thank you for assisting our crews in making the roads safer for everyone traveling to work, school, and other activities. And please don’t forget about neighborhood fire hydrants – keep them clear of snow to save valuable time for emergency responders in the event of a fire. It’s the small things at times that make the most difference for the safety of others.
During the course of any given week I receive calls and emails from residents regarding unsafe conditions on our roadways, vehicle speed, traffic flow, and parking. Penfield has an excellent working relationship with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, and I meet monthly with Zone A Commander Captain Ott to address these and another police matters that impact the town and Penfield residents. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sheriff O’Flynn and his entire staff at Zone A for their support of this great community and for the work they do to help keep Penfield safe.
One last reminder, registration began Tuesday, January 3 for most Penfield Recreation programs. Many of these programs fill up quickly due to their popularity. If you have not yet registered for a program you are interested in you may want to do so quickly!
In the New Year, the town’s Employee Wellness Team encourages us all to “know our numbers” for blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, cholesterol, and BMI (body mass index). Knowing your numbers is a key first step to improving your overall health and wellness.
By now you should have received your 2017 combined Town and County Tax bill that was mailed December 31. If you have not yet received your bill, please contact the tax office at 340-8626 for a duplicate copy. My annual letter explaining items on the tax bill can be found online at www.penfield.org in the tax receiver section. Hard copies are available at the tax office.
Until next week, be well and be safe!