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News Archive

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July 30, 2018
Supervisor's column July 30, 2018

Many of you may have heard from news sources that the American Red Cross is in emergency need of blood. While the need is constant, right now they are desperately low on blood supply, and all of us can help! Donating blood is an easy way to be a hero. No one wants to imagine it, but at any time it could be you or a loved one that needs lifesaving blood.

There are two donation opportunities in Penfield in the coming weeks: Tuesday, August 7 at Harris Whalen Lodge and Wednesday, August 29 at Penfield Community Center. Schedule an appointment by calling 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Walk-ins are also welcome! Each presenting donor will receive a $5 Amazon gift card.

Look for ways to make supporting the Red Cross fun…challenge your friends and family, create a blood donor club, chronicle your donation on your favorite social media, or make blood donation an employee service project!

This is the last week of the summer concert series at the Penfield Amphitheater and Kiwanis Stage. Bring the whole family to enjoy the lineup: Matt Chase & Thunder Canyon are featured on Upstage Tuesday, July 31 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM; Thursday Kids Fest will feature the Dady Brothers on August 2 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM; and this week’s Saturdays on Stage presents “Mr. Mustard” on August 4, 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, snacks, and a cooler. Food will also be available from the PenRec food cart.

The final event of the amphitheater season is the annual “Tastin’ the Blues” on Saturday, September 15 from 12:00 to 4:00 PM. Steve Grills and the Roadmasters with Joe Beard will perform, and the ever-popular chili judging and beer sampling will be in full swing. I hope to see you there!

Congratulations to the Shepherd Home and Executive Director Ashley Tack on a very successful 8th annual Golf Tournament. The event raised very important funding for this community jewel that has provided compassionate end of life care to more than 175 residents since their doors opened in 2005. To learn more about this wonderful facility and how to further support their mission, please visit

Budget 2019 update: This week will be a deeper review of equipment needs and replacements for 2019. DPW equipment tends to be the most visible with large trucks that are used for plowing and salting in the winter and hauling dirt, stone, and other debris the rest of the year. These trucks are each a $250,000 investment and we tend to run them for 15 to 17 years. There is always a balance as to when to purchase a new vehicle versus repair to ensure we are not over-investing in repairs. I would like to recognize our mechanics team that performs some creative work to get the most out of our fleet while ensuring we are managing costs and keeping the equipment safe.

As I mentioned last week, the month of August is a time to tighten all of the expense and revenue lines as we prepare for presentation to the public. I indicated last week that we would be presenting to the public on Wednesday, September 19. I apologize for the error, but due to the Yom Kippur holiday, we will be presenting the Tentative Budget to the public the week before, on Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 PM at the town board meeting.

As we prepare for another upcoming school year, it is important to remind Penfield residents that the Penfield Public Library is a “Safe Place” community partner. Young people seeking assistance with housing, safety, or other crisis situations can come to the library to be connected with outreach workers from the Center for Youth who will assess the needs of the young person in question and access necessary services. 

Important dates and events in history: August 1, 1870 – Colorado is the 38th state admitted to the Union; August 2, 1964 – US Destroyer Maddox is attacked in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin, beginning America’s major involvement in the Vietnam War; August 3, 1492 – Christopher Columbus sets sail to find a westward route to the east; August 4, 1790 – US Coast Guard is established.

Until next week be well and be safe!


July 23, 2018
Supervisor's column July 23, 2018

I would like to share news that Senator Rich Funke will be hosting his 4th annual electronics recycling event on Saturday, August 11 from 9:00 AM to noon at Bishop Kearney High School, 125 Kings Highway. To learn what materials are being accepted for recycling, please go to Please note that there will be a limit of two CRT (tube) monitors or televisions per vehicle. The event will take place as scheduled or until they reach capacity of 10 to 20 trailers, whichever comes first. Collection must stop once trailers reach maximum capacity, so plan on getting there early because these events are quite popular. This event is scheduled rain or shine, simply drive through and your electronics will be unloaded! This event is sponsored by Senator Funke, Spectrum, and Sunnking Recycling.

Because of the unusual heat and humidity this summer, the Town’s Employees Wellness Team has asked me to pass along some thoughts on the importance of staying hydrated. Did you know that physicians and dieticians suggest that the average adult drink at least 64 ounces of water each day? Our bodies are made up of more than 60 percent water. This means that each time you lose fluids, through sweating for example, you need to fully replenish that water. When water is not replaced quickly and fully, dehydration may set in. Losing as little as two percent of your body’s water content can lead to fatigue and extreme body temperature swings in the form of fever or chills. It is important to hydrate before, during, and after exercise to avoid energy loss, cramps, and unnecessary muscle soreness.

Also, working in hot and humid environments for extended periods can contribute to heat cramps, exhaustion, stress, and the most serious and possibly even deadly heat-related condition, heat stroke. It is important that you recognize the signs and symptoms of these conditions. When working outdoors: drink water regularly; wear light, loose-fitting, breathable clothing; take frequent short breaks in cool shade; eat smaller meals before work activity; and avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large amounts of sugar. Check with your health care provider about the risks associated with all medications taken; and watch out for the following signs and symptoms of heat exposure: confusion, dark-colored urine, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, headache, muscle or abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

This week at the amphitheater: “Teagan and the Tweeds” on Upstage Tuesday, July 24 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM and Thursday Kids Fest, July 26 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM featuring Mike Kornrich. We could be dodging a few rain drops this week, but we will be optimistic the shows will go on so bring a lawn chair or blanket, snacks, and a cooler. Food will also be available from the PenRec food cart. The summer concert series is fun for the entire family!

Budget 2019 update: This week, town comptroller Barbara Chirdo and I will complete the last of our department head reviews of initial budget submissions for consideration by the town board. We also continue to gather information on retirement costs from New York State, health care costs for 2019, workers compensation insurance premiums, costs/fees from other levels of government, and much more. The month of August is a time to tighten all of the expense and revenue lines as we prepare for presentation to the public at the town board meeting on Wednesday, September 19 at 7:00 PM.

Last week, I participated as one of six celebrity judges for the Atria Senior Living “Chef Showdown 2018.” Chef Paul Molisani of Atria took on Chef John Strakal of the Market at I-Square. Their secret ingredient…tomatoes!  Both chefs prepared wonderful dishes for this Iron Chef Competition that were judged for taste, plating, and originality. At the end, Chef Paul came out on top with his creation of a green fried tomato with a whipped guacamole/cream topping and sundried tomato reduction sauce to top it all off…it was a tomato-tastic time!

Until next week, continue to enjoy your summer, stay hydrated, and come join in on one of the summer concert series at the amphitheater! Also, if you see Mrs. LaFountain out and about in the community, please wish her a very happy birthday (Wednesday, July 25th), I know she would appreciate that!


July 19, 2018
A Message from Supervisor LaFountain: 2020 Comprehensive Plan Update and Shadow Pines Future Land Use committees established

At last night’s town board meeting, the board approved the 2020 Comprehensive Plan Update Committee and Shadow Pines Land Use Advisory Committee. Next, initial meetings for each committee will be planned in the coming weeks to share introductory information, establish goals, and set project calendars.

I encourage all residents to follow each project online (2020 Comprehensive Plan Update and Shadow Pines Future Land Use ) and attend future public meetings. I will also provide frequent updates in my weekly online column at

On behalf of the town board, thank you to all residents who expressed an interest in serving on these committees.

July 16, 2018
Supervisor's column July 16, 2018

Over the weekend, I had the honor of joining Margaret Gleasman, her family, and the residents of Legacy Willow Pond to celebrate her 102nd birthday. Margaret was born in Boonville, NY. She is an amazing lady who has seen a lot of change in the world. Margaret told me that at a recent doctor’s visit, her physician told her she is so healthy she will live another 10 years; now there are some great genes! Margaret, on behalf of the Town Board and the entire community of Penfield, happy birthday and many more!

Enjoy this week’s music at the Penfield Amphitheater and Kiwanis Stage: Upstage Tuesday features “Jumbo Shrimp” on July 17 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM, and Thursday Kids Fest will feature “Paulsen and Baker” on July 19 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM. Hopefully the nice stretch of weather will continue, so bring a lawn chair or blanket, snacks, and a cooler. Food will also be available from the PenRec food cart. The summer concert series is fun for the entire family!

The 2019 budget cycle is well underway; all department heads have provided their first submissions for review by the Finance Director and myself before we roll up to the town board starting in August. Consistent with what I have done in the past, I will report on the progress of the budget development each week until the Tentative Budget is released on September 19 at the board meeting and on the town website.

Progress continues at Shadow Pines with the removal of dead and near-falling trees on the front nine (property north of Clark Road). The first mowing of a meandering trail connecting the first hole tee box through to the ninth green was started last week. DPW crews continue to clean up around the Clark House and parking lot. The trees cut down along Whalen Road will be moved to an area north of the parking lot for grinding by the county’s tub-grinder in early August. Several trees on Clark Road that are cabled together will also be removed over the next week or two. Our goal is to open the front nine for walking and hiking in early August, I will keep everyone posted via this column and on the website.

After that, we will begin cleaning up the back nine (the property south of Clark Road) beginning in August and working through September, with a goal of opening that area late September or early October. Until the various sections of the property are officially opened, please stay off the property for your safety and that of your family, thank you!

Trying to beat the heat? Don’t have a pool? Come splash into family open swim and lap swim at the Penfield High School pool now through August 2. Come by 1:00 to 3:30 PM and join in on the fun for just $2.00 per person, payable at the pool. 

Splash Bash 2018, hosted by Sea Dragons Swim Club, is scheduled for Wednesday, August 15 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM at the Penfield High School pool. Children ages 6 to 19 are welcome (you must be able to swim a full lap of the pool). Come enjoy pool games, prizes, food, and the chance to dive into the world of competitive swimming. Club coaches and current members will be available to answer any questions you might have. For more information, please go to

Daytime Education at Recreation (DEAR) is wisdom at its finest hour! DEAR continues to grow and expand for lifetime learners who wish to engage in intellectual, socially viable cognitive activities to help keep their minds sharp and alert while reducing the risk—or delaying the onset—of age-related concerns. Come join the national movement to learn and share life experiences with others by exploring a multitude of free programs! For more information, please look at the PenRec Summer 2018 brochure or visit to view all the program offerings. 

Important dates and events in history: July 18, 1914 – the United States Army Air Corps is established; July 20, 1969 – American astronaut Neil Armstrong is the first human to walk on the moon; July 21, 1861 – Confederate forces win the first Battle of Bull Run; and on July 23, 1868 – the 14th Amendment is added to the Constitution, defining national citizenship and forbidding the states to restrict the basic rights of citizens or other persons. 

Until next week, enjoy the ongoing warm weather, drink plenty of water, and don’t forget about our pets who may mind the weather more than we do!


July 10, 2018
Supervisor's column July 10, 2018

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) have announced that New York State's fifth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) is July 8-14. ISAW is an annual campaign that encourages New Yorkers to help protect lands and waters from the negative impacts of invasive species. The theme of this year's campaign is "What YOU can do to help stop the spread!" focusing on simple actions people can take to keep these unwanted species from hitchhiking to new areas.

Invasive species are plants, animals, insects, and pathogens that are not native to an area and cause harm to the environment, the economy, or human health. These pests are one of the greatest threats to New York's biodiversity and residents can help to stop their spread. Managing invasive species after these pests become established is challenging and prevention is the easiest and most cost-effective strategy.

DEC, DAM, and New York State Parks are focusing on an early detection campaign to look for the invasive “spotted lanternfly” (SLF). SLF feed on more than 70 plant species and are a significant threat to New York's forests and agricultural and tourism industries. Invasive species, such as the spotted lanternfly, can cause significant damage to agricultural crops. Awareness and reporting is key to the efforts to protect New York's forest and agricultural industries from these harmful pests.

Invasive Species Awareness Week is a great opportunity to highlight the environmental threats that these species can pose within parks and communities as well as address the ways in which the public can assist in preventing their spread. For more information on SLF, including video, visit DEC's Spotted Lanternfly webpage.

I have received the final numbers from the annual resident spring drop-off the Town of Penfield hosts each May at the DPW facility on Jackson Road. This year we took in and landfilled 210,000 lbs. (105 tons) of debris including furniture, demo material, and non-refuse/garbage materials. We also collected and recycled 15,600 lbs. of tires, 31,630 lbs. of metal; and 8,820 lbs. of appliances containing Freon. 

The next free guided hike of the Penfield Trails Committee will be held this Saturday, July 14, at Abraham Lincoln Park from 9:00 to 11:00 AM. Come and explore the ups and downs of this county park from wooded uplands to the Bay Shore trail connections. Meet at the parking lot off Empire Blvd. just west and south of the Plank Road/Empire Blvd. intersection and look for the hike signs. For more information and to pre-register, please call 340-8655, option 0. Please wear appropriate footwear (hiking boots/shoes) and PLEASE no pets! 

This week, the summer concert series at the Penfield Amphitheater and Kiwanis Stage features “Keys to the Caddy” on Upstage Tuesday, July 10 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM; and Thursday Kids Fest features “Mr. Loops” on July 12 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM. We expect beautiful weather so bring a lawn chair or blanket, snacks, and a cooler. Food will also be available from the PenRec food cart…I hope to see you there!  

Bri-Pen Senior Rides continues to grow and that is good news! This is where you can help…volunteer to drive Penfield and Brighton seniors to their medical appointments, religious services, and town community centers. Drive at your convenience, any availability is a great help. If you are interested in volunteering or want to learn more about the program please call 340-8674.

Next is my annual summer request to remember to support the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf (PEFS). It seems from Labor Day to Memorial Day we are in a routine of work, school, sports, dance, Tae Kwon Do, and countless other programs including volunteering or supporting volunteer organizations like the PEFS. Then when summer vacations begin, families are busy traveling to visit relatives, taking trips to the wonderful lakes around the area, and many other adventures.

Yet the PEFS performs their amazing work of supporting more than 85 families in need 52 weeks a year. For more information on current needs and to learn more on how you can help support their important work in the Penfield community please visit

Until next week, enjoy the great weather and activities outside. This is what we wait for all winter and it only seems to be with us for a short time. Don’t forget about the summer concert series at the amphitheater over the next four weeks!



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