August 28, 2017
Supervisor's column August 28, 2017
This week I am dedicating my column to important and concerning issues that are growing at an alarming rate across this country and have no place in our lives: intolerance, racism, intimidation, and hatred. Sadly, I see these behaviors each day in how individuals speak to one another. I see it in public, in business settings, and sports events. I see and hear it in the daily news. I see it within families. In my 42 years in public service, I have seen toxicity expressed between neighbors and also directed at public employees working in extreme conditions to keep residents safe and secure. And I see these behaviors becoming “normal.”
I wish I could say that I always listened to everything my parents said and asked me to do while growing up. Well, we all know “kids will be kids,” yet we hope what was instilled in us at an early age carries through our entire lives.
My parents regularly talked about and practiced respect. My sister and I were taught to treat others how we wanted to be treated, to be kind and generous, and to consider others’ feelings. We were taught that honesty is the cornerstone of all relationships—necessary to build mutual trust and respect. This lesson has served me well for more than 63 years.
Now, as a grandfather, I anxiously watch as our two granddaughters ready for their fourth and sixth year in school. The love they have for school and their friends, and their excitement for what lies ahead of them, is refreshing to see. Their innocence is not darkened by hatred and intolerance; it is something for all of us to reflect upon and revisit.
I will share this one example. My wife recently came across this sentiment our youngest granddaughter jotted down in her notebook while coloring, “I shall not sit and watch war happen. I shall stand for peace and make the world a better place…quote by Adyson.” This is a nine-year-old going into fourth grade who has more love, acceptance, and civility than the many people connected to hate groups in our country and world!
As a long-time Penfield resident and public servant, I know our town has a well-deserved reputation as “a great place to live and raise a family.” I am reminded why every day. For many residents it’s because of our many neighborhoods, outstanding schools, parks and trails, active sports community, vibrant performing and visual arts, active volunteers, faith community, and our connection to the greater community of Monroe County. The list can go on and on.
Penfield is also known as a “wellness community.” The quick take on that theme is making healthy choices. However, the concept of “wellness” goes far beyond what we do to keep our bodies healthy. It means we work together to build a healthy community of tolerance and respect.
As supervisor, I witness neighbors helping neighbors, civility, acceptance, and the unity they bring to our community. I regularly see that how we treat one another—what my parents taught me—builds positive relationships within our community and out in the world at large.
We have come so far, yet we have so far to go. No one person or group can correct all of the current problems we face as a nation. I will say I am cautiously optimistic that there are more Adysons in the world trying to make it a better place than there are hate groups trying to tear us apart. We must extinguish the hatred. Let’s learn from history not repeat it!
Hate in all its forms, labels, and symbols is toxic—and hate is not welcome in our community.
“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”
― Maya Angelou
Until next week,
August 24, 2017
Penfield Library used book sale Sep 12-16
The “Friends of the Penfield Public Library” (FPPL) will host the group’s 41st Annual Used Book Sale September 12–16 at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road. Proceeds benefit the Penfield Public Library. All are welcome.
The sale features more than 85,000 items sorted into 50 categories in four themed rooms. Categories include books, audio books, videos, DVDs, CDs, vinyl records, games, puzzles, and software. Hardcover and paperback books are $1.00, mass market paperbacks and smaller are 50 cents. Many specials are individually priced.
“Participation in the Friends’ Book Sale is a great way for the community to show support for the library,” said Bernadette Brinkman, Penfield Library Director. “Funds raised in 2016 have been used to pay for programming for all ages and to support ongoing patron services such as provision of the public photocopier, distribution of the popular monthly BookPage review magazine, and discount passes that allow Penfield residents to attend local cultural attractions like the George Eastman Museum, the Rochester Museum and Science Center, and the Memorial Art Gallery.”
Book sale hours and daily specials are as follows:
MEMBERS ONLY ($5, join in advance or at door)
Tuesday, 9/12 2:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Wednesday, 9/13 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Thursday, 9/14 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Friday, 9/15 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, half-price day
Saturday, 9/16 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM, $3 bag, specials remain half-price
Shoppers should bring their own bags. (Wegmans/Tops reusable bags are appropriate.) Food and drink are not allowed. Aisles are narrow, please do not bring baby strollers or shopping carts.
August 22, 2017
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Sep 16 BY APPOINTMENT
Household Hazardous Waste Collection for Penfield and Webster residents is Saturday, September 16 from 7:45 AM to 1:00 PM at the Webster Highway Garage, 1005 Picture Parkway.
This appointment-only service is hosted by the Monroe County Department of Environmental Services (DES) and the towns of Penfield, Webster, and the Village of Webster. For details on permitted materials or to make an online appointment go to http://www.monroecounty.gov/hhw, or call Penfield DPW at 340.8710 through Friday, September 15 at 3:00 PM.
“Many people seem to have an old partial container of a chemical product in their garage, shed, or under their sink that they want to dispose of—yet they know it should not go in the weekly trash,” said Penfield Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “Collections like this one offer an environmentally safe solution to that dilemma at no cost. Now’s the time to gather and safely dispose of all those unwanted known and ‘mystery’ chemicals.”
Residents may bring up to 30 gallons of liquid and 75 pounds of solid HHW materials per appointment at no charge. No 55-gallon drums will be accepted. Waste from businesses will not be accepted.
August 21, 2017
Supervisor's column August 21, 2017
Many residents have asked me about the electronic message boards on Panorama Trail and want to know why the road is being closed this Monday (today) through Wednesday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The answer: this is a public works project to replace a deteriorated metal pipe that collects stormwater and carries it over the bank and down into Panorama Valley and Irondequoit Creek. The existing metal pipe will be replaced with a 280 feet of continuous plastic stormwater piping to minimize erosion and maintain proper drainage for this very active roadway. The road closure affects Panorama Trail between Huntington Meadow and Mountain Road.
The 2018 budget continues to take shape as we prepare for the Tentative Budget presentation to the town board on September 6. The information will also be posted at www.penfield.org for residents to review. I would like to recognize and thank all of our departments for their work to ensure we present a fiscally responsible budget that continues the same level of services we have provided in the past. This is always a challenge to achieve due to overall increasing costs in all aspects of operations including labor, benefits, materials, and equipment.
Steady sales tax receipts have assisted in managing some of the increased costs along with additional revenue gained from programming and work we have done for the state and county. It is always a balance of resources when performing outside work for these agencies as we look to generate revenue yet not fall behind in our normal required seasonal work. My compliments to DPW and other departments for making these opportunities work for all.
I would like to thank Senator Funke for the recent grant we received to construct a turf box field at Rothfuss Park that will be used for lacrosse and soccer. We are hoping to have it completed by the end of the year and ready for play in 2018 and beyond.
Speaking of Rothfuss Park, we have been informed that the official ribbon cutting for the JACK Foundation playground will be this coming Sunday, August 27, at noon. Last week saw a flurry of activity that included the installation of the last components of the playground, spreading of 340 yards of special playground mulch, and installation of the arch, walkway, and curbing around the entire site. The town’s DPW will be completing the final grading and seeding this week as plans for Sunday’s event take shape. There will be a DJ on hand along with food trucks and many other activities for our youngest residents. I hope to see you at this very special dedication on Sunday!
Last week I had the honor of attending the 55th anniversary celebration of the Penfield-Perinton Kiwanis Club to make remarks about this amazing group, its members, and all the good work they do in our community including support and donations to many local food shelves, school scholarship funds, Golisano Children’s Hospital, hospice groups, and much, much more! I would like to recognize Robert A. Calabrese, charter member of this local organization. Bob is a committed member and a friend of Penfield. On behalf of the Penfield community I would like to recognize him and the entire organization for all they do each and every week. Kiwanis International brings the world together—one community at a time!
Save the date! The 41st annual Friends of the Penfield Public Library used book sale will take place September 12 to 16 at the Penfield Community Center. Proceeds benefit the Penfield Public Library. This sale features more than 85,000 items sorted into 50 categories in four well-organized rooms. Do not miss this wonderful annual event!
Important dates and events in history: August 24, 1814 – The British set fire to Washington, D. C.; August 25, 1916 – The United States National Park Service is established; and August 25, 1944 – Allied troops liberate Paris.
Until next week enjoy the last few week before the Labor Day holiday, the summer has once again flown by!
August 14, 2017
Supervisor's column August 14, 2017
In recent weeks some residents have asked me if there is any news to share regarding Dolomite/Oldcastle’s sale of Shadow Pines Golf Course. Many have also expressed their opinions on what they think the town should—or should not—do regarding the future of use of that property. The quick answer is that, as of right now, there is no news to share.
As you may recall the town board extended the golf course moratorium through March 2018 to allow more time for discussion between the property owner Dolomite/Oldcastle and the town. While this process has been active and ongoing it has also been slow and methodical. The town board and town staff have done their work to evaluate Dolomite/Oldcastle’s announced sale of the property. The Moratorium Committee has done its work and made its recommendations to the town board regarding the best future use of that property, including their recommendation that the town purchase Shadow Pines. For the past five to six months the town has been exploring the possible purchase of the property with Dolomite/Oldcastle. Discussions have included pricing, environmental considerations, uses, and the like. Should this move forward, there would still be many legal steps along the way including a public referendum for residents to weigh in on funding to make the purchase.
As of now, Dolomite/Oldcastle is considering the most current volley from the town and we await their comments and feedback. You can see this has been a lengthy and complicated process. I have attempted to share a high level snapshot of where we are.
As we have done throughout the process, when we have news to share we will update the Moratorium Committee directly and also post that information on the project page at www.penfield.org.
The American Red Cross will hold a Blood Drive on Wednesday, August 30 from 1:00 to 6:00 PM at the Penfield Community Center. Blood donors are needed now to meet the needs of hospital patients locally and across the country. This is a time of emergency need due to summer vacations when many are traveling and not able to donate. We ask all eligible donors to give blood at this upcoming local event to help offset a critical blood shortage that could leave patients without potentially lifesaving support.
To schedule your life-saving appointment, please contact 1-800-Red Cross, or visit www.redcrossblood.org and use sponsor keyword “penfieldcommunitycenter.” Thank you in advance for providing the gift of life!
Planet Fitness recently held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at their newest facility located in Panorama Plaza (formerly the home of Panera Bread and the Dollar Store, and for those of us who remember, the Panorama Movie Theater). Also on hand was NASCAR driver and Dayton 500 Champion Joey Logano, who signed autographs for more than two hours for eager fans, many of whom braved a rainy downpour to catch a glimpse of this star. Planet Fitness is another wonderful wellness facility in Penfield helping to grow our town as a wellness community for all ages.
If you think you recently saw many truckloads of dinosaurs—including a T-Rex—at Rothfuss Park you were not dreaming! Last week several more components of Jack’s Place, the new dinosaur-themed playground sponsored by The JACK Foundation in memory of Jack Heiligman, were delivered to their new home. Please check in at www.jack-foundation.org for the upcoming grand opening and dedication schedule. This one-of-a kind playground will draw interest from all of our youngest residents!
The 2018 budget process is well under way, with the Tentative Budget due to be presented to the town board by our town comptroller and myself at the September 6 town board meeting. As has been the case in past years, we are seeing an increase in medical coverage costs. For 2018, costs are projected to be up by approximately 10.5 percent. Workers Comp insurance will remain relatively flat due to going out for bid and selecting a new carrier, while other general insurances are slightly up.
Several pieces of heavy equipment are being proposed for replacement in 2018. To give you a sense of the cost of some of this equipment, a new fully-equipped snow plow costs about a quarter of a million dollars! I will provide a weekly update on how the budget process is going from now through budget adoption on October 18.
This past Saturday I had the honor of being part of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program entitled “BossLift.” ESGR is the link between members of the National Guard and Reserve and their civilian employers. With almost half of our nation’s military strength residing in the National Guard and Reserve, the Department of Defense developed this program to assist the Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers to provide information, resources and assistance to resolve issues.
The program began bright and early with an aerial excursion provided by the US Army 642nd Aviation Support Battalion located off Scottsville Road. Briefings were provided by an active Lt. Colonel and a retired Major General about the ESGR program and the employer resource guide. It ended with a sumptuous lunch of MREs—that’s Meal, Ready-to-Eat—an experience all its own!
Rochester and Monroe County are fortunate to have so many members of the Guard and Reserve in the workforce. Why do they make good employees? Because they have a global perspective; are on-time, all the time; first class image; calm under pressure; can-do attitude; physical conditioning; and they understand diversity, responsibility, professionalism, and leadership. To all the men and women of the Guard and Reserve, thank you for your service, be well and be safe!
Until next week enjoy the summer, we are starting to see the fall approaching.
August 7, 2017
Supervisor's column August 7, 2017
Mark your calendars for a new and exciting program to be held on Sunday, August 13, from 1:30 to 4:30 PM at the Penfield Public Library. They will be hosting a “How-To Festival” where attendees can learn 20 things in just three hours. Among the topics to be covered are finding missing money, tracing a family tree, making wine at home, arranging flowers, decorating cupcakes, and much more. The Wegmans Zoo-mobile will be on-hand, and a monster truck will be on display. Cyndi Corrigan from The Art Stop will demonstrate painting tiles with alcohol inks, and Jody B’s Studio of Dance will have everyone moving to the beat. This event is family-friendly; all activities are free and no registration is required.
ATTENTION…many residents and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) have reported that a number of vehicles in Penfield and surrounding communities have been entered by individuals looking for valuables like loose change, phones, laptops, purses, and wallets. Unfortunately, most of those vehicles were easy targets because they were left unlocked. The MCSD encourages us to keep our vehicles locked—even in our own driveways. Never leave valuables exposed even if it your car is locked. Also, when heading into a fitness center, do not exit your car then place wallets and purses in the trunk. You never know who is watching for an opportunity to help themselves to your possessions. There have been many incidents of thieves breaking into trunks after watching people hide their valuables away before going in to work out! Lock valuables away out of sight before you leave home.
As a member of the Crime Stoppers board of directors, I can assure you that our organization is always looking for ways to help law enforcement solve crimes across our region and, at times, across the country. This past Saturday the 4th Annual Nick K 5K was held to support the Nicholas Kapusniak Memorial Scholarship Fund and Crime Stoppers.
Nick Kapusniak was a 20 year old student at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. He was killed on March 1, 2014 in a senseless act of violence as a drive-by shooter randomly fired gunshots into a crowd of pharmacy students. Nick grew up in Webster and is greatly missed by his family and his many, many friends all across the country. For more information on Nick, please go to www.KappysKampaign.org. I also encourage you to learn more about Crime Stoppers and the work they do to help keep our community safe at www.roccrimestoppers.org.
If you have not been by Rothfuss Park lately you will be amazed at the progress of Jack’s Place Playground. The BEAR playground equipment has been placed and the other pieces are due to arrive this week. Installations are scheduled over the next several weeks to complete the project. Stay current with the construction process and the planned ribbon cutting by visiting www.jack-foundation.org and follow JACK Foundation on Facebook.
At this time of year many organizations apply for selling permits through the Town Clerk’s Office to allow them to go door-to-door throughout Penfield. All applicants go through a background check and those who are approved are credentialed. If someone comes to your door to sell anything or provide information about their services please ask to see their permit. If they do not have a permit, please contact our Town Clerk’s Office at 340-8629 or call 911.
For a listing of all approved permits and authorized dates please go to www.penfield.org, click on departments on the left side, then on Town Clerk. On the Town Clerk’s page click on “selling permits” on the right side.
One last shout-out for the Penfield Trails Committee’s Ellison Park guided tour this coming Saturday, August 12 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM. Meet at the south entrance, 1008 Penfield Road, and look for the hike signs.
Important dates and events in history: August 8, 1786 – The Continental Congress adopts the “dollar” and decimal coinage; August 9, 1945 – The United States drops the 2nd atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan; August 14, 1945 – Japan surrenders “unofficially” ending World War II.
Until next week, be well and be safe!