March 25, 2019
Supervisor's column March 25, 2019
Last week, I had the honor of attending the 52nd Annual Awards Banquet of the Penfield Volunteer Emergency Ambulance (PVEA). This 100-member organization responds to more than 4,000 calls annually and logs 55,000+ volunteer hours of service to provide high level emergency response to Penfield and surrounding communities for mutual aid support.
Many members were celebrated at the banquet; I would like to highlight a few special awards. Hugh Franklin received the 2018 PVEA Outstanding Service Award; Evan Fendt received PVEA Employee of the Year Award; Richard Sperduto was recognized for logging more than 979 volunteer hours in 2018; and Anne Krutell completed 35 years as a valued member of the organization.
We are so fortunate to have this amazing organization supporting and serving Penfield and our residents. On behalf of the entire community, I want to recognize everyone who is part of PVEA. Thank you for your service, you make a difference each and every day!
I recently reviewed the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf (PEFS) 2018 Annual Report and want to share some of the wonderful things they do to support Penfield residents in need. Last year, they distributed 35,100 pounds of fresh produce, provided 485 holiday “dinners with fixings” to families, served 98 families each week, and supported 103 children with additional summer food. PEFS could not do the work they do without a group of about 70 motivated volunteers. Their annual operating budget is $35,000. PEFS relies on private donations from local businesses and individuals to purchase foods including fresh meat, produce, eggs, cheese, and milk. Their local retail partners include Penfield Aldi’s, Penfield Wegmans, Schutt’s Apple Mill, Webster Target, Wickham Farms, and the Penfield Walmart.
If you would like to learn more about PEFS and the work they do for our Penfield Community, please go to www.penfieldecumenicalfoodshelf.org, check them out on facebook.com/penfieldecumenicalfoodshelf, or contact them at 234-0799. Thank you in advance for any financial or food donations you are able to provide in support their mission “to alleviate food insecurity in the Penfield community by providing nutritious food to those in need in a compassionate, respectful and non-judgmental manner.”
Penfield residents in need of a new or updated passport are invited to attend “Passport Night in Penfield” on Thursday, April 4, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM at the Penfield Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Avenue. This service comes to Penfield through a partnership of the Monroe County Clerk’s Office and the Town of Penfield. Please call Town Clerk Amy Steklof at 340-8629 to sign up in advance; however, registration is not required.
The Penfield Public Library is offering a number of children’s programs during spring break week (April 15-19). Please visit https://penfield.libraryweb.org/ for a complete listing of these programs and others offered by Penfield Public Library.
The next scenic trek hosted by the Penfield Trails Committee will be held on Saturday, April 13 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Channing H. Philbrick Park. Come celebrate Daniel Penfield’s selection of “The Hollow” as the best mill site in all 97,000 square miles of the Genesee lands in 1795. Meet at the kiosk on the north side of the bride and look for the hike signs.
Even though the weather has not yet been ideal for yard work, my office has received several calls asking about the availability of mulch. As in past years, we have placed mulch in the parking lot west of the town hall for Penfield residents to pick up. We will keep this pile stocked now through early summer…help yourself! The mulch pile gets many visitors when warm weather sets in, please supervise children and pets at all times.
Important dates and events in history: March 25 – Celebration of National Medal of Honor Day; March 29, 1973 – the last of American forces leave Vietnam; March 30, 1867 – the United States purchases the Alaska Territory from Russia for 7.2 million dollars; and on March 30, 1870 – the 15th Amendment is added to the Constitution. The 15th Amendment to the Constitution granted African American men the right to vote by declaring that the "right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
Until next week enjoy the start of some nicer weather, it is just around the corner!
March 22, 2019
Passport Night in Penfield April 4 (updated)
Penfield residents in need of a new or updated passport are invited to attend “Passport Night in Penfield” on Thursday, April 4, 6:00 to 7:30 PM at the Penfield Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Avenue. This service comes to Penfield through a partnership of the Monroe County Clerk’s Office and the Town of Penfield. Please call Town Clerk Amy Steklof at 340-8627 to sign up in advance, however, registration is not required.
“I am again pleased to work with the Monroe County Clerk’s Office to help local residents conveniently apply for their passports right here in Penfield,” said Amy Steklof. “We get a great turnout every time we host this service.”
Residents may also apply for a Passport Card, which is limited to land and sea crossing between the US and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. Some passport renewals may be eligible to renew by mail and save the $35 processing fee. County Clerk staff will review options with applicants on an individual basis.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Town of Penfield on providing this vital service to residents," said Monroe County Clerk Adam J. Bello. "Passport Night allows residents to have helpful one-on-one interactions with Clerk staff to ensure all of their questions are answered and their passport needs are met."
Passport applicants must provide proof of U.S. citizenship in one of three forms: a certified copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal and their parents’ names; original naturalization papers, or an old U.S. passport issued in the person’s name. Children under 16 will still need to bring their raised seal birth certificate even if they have an old passport. Proof of identity is also required in the form of a valid NYS Driver License or non-Driver ID, a valid military ID, naturalization papers issued to the applicant as an adult, or an INS Alien Registration Card. People born in Monroe County may obtain a copy of their birth certificate by contacting the Bureau of Vital Statistics. Visit the department’s website at http://www.monroecounty.gov/clerk-records.php#band for details.
The fee for a new US Passport for an applicant 16 and older is $145 ($110 plus a $35 application fee). For an applicant under 16, the fee is $115 ($80 plus a $35 application fee). Passport cards—which may be used only for travel by land or sea between the US, Canada, and Mexico—are $30 for applicants aged 16 and older and $15 for applicants under 16. Passport card renewals are $30 and passport book renewals are $110. Passport photos are $7.00 for a set of two.
For application requirements, residents can visit the County Clerk’s website at http://www.monroecounty.gov/health-vitalrecords.php. Residents may download a passport application to complete in advance. Forms are available on the US Department of State’s Travel website at http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html .
Passport processing typically takes 4-6 weeks. Please call the Monroe County Clerk’s Office at 585-753-1600 with specific questions regarding the passport application process.
Please Note: Applicants between the ages of 16 to 18 must appear with a parent or legal guardian. Children under 16 must appear with both parents or legal guardians. One parent or guardian may appear, if and only if the parent or guardian that is not present completes and has notarized a DS-3053 Form, “Statement of Consent: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor Under Age 16” along with a copy of the absent parent or guardian’s driver license. If a parent has sole custody of a minor child, a certified copy of the custody report may be used.
March 18, 2019
Supervisor's column March 18, 2019
Penfield is home to remarkable people who have achieved incredible accomplishments in school, business, sports, and more. In this spirit, I would like to introduce you to Sung Kim. He is probably better known as Master Kim of Master Kim’s Tae Kwon Do Institute, located in the heart of Panorama Plaza.
In 1992, at the age of nineteen, Master Kim’s father (Grand Master Kim) told him to teach others what he knew. Heeding this advice, Sung Kim opened up his Tae Kwon Do Institute headquarters in Penfield, NY. He did this as he personally trained at a high level and also graduated from the State University College at Brockport. Today, there are three Master Kim’s Tae Kwon Do Institute locations in the Rochester area Penfield, Irondequoit, and Greece.
Families that attend classes at Master Kim’s are very familiar with “Super Cup,” “Kick-a-Thon,” “Bully Awareness,” “After School Care,” and other popular programs.
What many may not know is that Master Kim is an Olympic Medalist! Also, he and his family will travel to Seoul, South Korea in a few short weeks to test for his 8th Degree Black Belt at KUKKIWON, The World Taekwondo Headquarters. At 45 years old, he will be the youngest 8th Degree Black Belt in the United States certified by KUKKIWON, which is the only rank accepted by the International Olympic Committee.
So what is involved and what is required of Master Kim to purse his 8th Degree Black Belt? All of his documents have been received by KUKKIWON: an application, curriculum vitae of his taekwondo career, and his 10-plus page thesis on effective taekwondo teaching methods. I understand he is really looking forward to the physical exam, which begins with a four-hour training session with a KUKKIWON Grandmaster. All of the content will have to be demonstrated and he will have to pass an interview. Ultimately, this test is the culmination of 40 years of commitment to the art that has given him so much. I have heard Master Kim say that he has the greatest job in the world, and there hasn’t been a time that he did not have Taekwondo in his life.
On behalf of the entire community of Penfield, I would like to recognize Master Kim for his accomplishments and wish him well as he and his family travel to Seoul in April to be part of this history-making event. Thank you for everything you do to support our community and residents, you make a difference each and every day!
If you have been by the town hall and the Little League fields you may have noticed projects underway on fencing, back-stops, cutting in of a warning track, and other improvements. This work and more is being done in preparation for hosting the 2019, 2020, and 2021 New York State Championships for Majors 10, 11, and 12-year-olds. Penfield Little League and our community were honored to receive this award. This means that any team from New York State that wants to get to Williamsport for the World Series must come through Penfield. Many changes will be occurring this spring and summer to improve and upgrade this already wonderful facility. Now, if this is not a sure sign of spring, I don’t know what is! I am excited for the first pitch of the season and to hear the familiar call of “play ball!”
Please be on the lookout for the Summer 2019 Pen-Rec Brochure that is on its way to Penfield homes in the next few weeks. There are a number of new programs offered for all ages. I want to recognize the Recreation Team for another great job…thanks all!
Bri-Pen Senior Rides is very active in supporting Brighton and Penfield seniors by getting them to medical appointments, religious services or to town recreation centers. If you need a ride or would like to volunteer, please call 340-8674.
Until next week, be well and be safe; I hope to see you out in the community!
March 12, 2019
DEC Announces Brush Burning Prohibited in New York State March 16 through May 14
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today reminds residents that with spring approaching conditions for wildfires will become heightened and residential brush burning is prohibited March 16 through May 14 across New York State.
"While many people associate wildfires with the western United States, the start of spring weather and the potential for dry conditions increases the risk for wildfires in New York," Commissioner Seggos said. "New York prohibits residential burning during the coming high-risk fire season to reduce wildfires and protect people, property, and natural resources. The ban has been extremely effective in reducing the number of wildfires, and we're encouraging New Yorkers to put safety first."
Even though much of the state is currently blanketed in snow, warming temperatures can quickly cause wildfire conditions to arise.
DEC posts daily a fire danger rating map and forecast during fire season on its website and on the NY Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife App available on DEC's website. Currently, wildfire conditions in the state are low risk.
Historically, open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York State. When temperatures are warmer and the past fall's debris, dead grass, and leaves dry out, wildfires can start and spread easily and be further fueled by winds and a lack of green vegetation.
New York first enacted strict restrictions on open burning in 2009 to help prevent wildfires and reduce air pollution. State regulations allow residential brush fires in towns with fewer than 20,000 residents during most of the year, but prohibit such burning in spring when most wildfires in New York occur. Since the ban was established, the eight-year annual average number of spring fires decreased by 42.6 percent, from 2,649 in 2009, to 1,521 in 2018.
Campfires using charcoal or untreated wood are allowed, but people should never leave such fires unattended and must extinguish them. Burning garbage or leaves is prohibited year-round.
Wildfires can be deadly and destructive, and the national annual cost of their consequences can range anywhere from $71.1 to $347.8 billion, according to recent study by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Last year's Camp Fire in northern California destroyed the city of Paradise and killed more than 80 people, making it the nation's deadliest wildfire in more than a century. This year, the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters, and the Ad Council are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the launch of the Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign, the longest-running public service advertising campaign in U.S. history.
"Smokey Bear has educated generations of Americans about their role in preventing wildfires," Commissioner Seggos said. "Smokey's words are still an urgent and relevant reminder for all of us to follow-'Remember, only YOU can prevent forest fires."
Some towns, primarily in and around the Adirondack and Catskill parks, are designated "fire towns." Open burning is prohibited year-round in these municipalities unless an individual or group has a written permit from DEC. To find out whether a municipality is designated a "fire town" or to obtain a permit, contact the appropriate DEC regional office. A list of regional offices is available on DEC's website.
Violators of the state's open burning regulation are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense. To report environmental law violations call 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332), or report online on DEC's website.
March 11, 2019
Supervisor's column March 11, 2019
As the weather begins to warm up in the coming weeks and we see signs of spring, the town will begin to receive calls regarding lawn damage from our road and/or sidewalk plows. It is our policy and practice to go throughout the town and repair this damage. Please allow time during March and April for us to complete this work as weather permits. If you have any questions you may contact our DPW at 340-8710.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) would like to remind residents that there are individuals who like to “shop” our vehicles for valuables such as loose change, purses, computers, cell phones, GPS, radar detectors, and more. In many cases, as officers are taking reports following a theft, they discover the vehicles were unlocked! To protect yourself, do not leave valuables in your car. If for some reason you feel you need to leave valuables in your vehicle, keep them hidden and lock your doors. Also, do not put valuables in your trunk in open view at the gym or shopping center—you never know who is watching. The Sheriff’s Department has had great success in arresting a number of these individuals; however, it seems as though there are others willing to take up this illegal occupation…please do not make yourself a victim!
If you are senior in need of tax help please note that the AARP/Tax Aide is offering FREE income tax return preparation to seniors once a week on Wednesdays at the Penfield Community Center through April 3. Appointments are required. Their goal is to provide FREE services for low to moderate income households with an emphasis on assisting seniors 60 and older. (AARP membership is NOT required). To make an appointment you must call 340-8655, ext-0.
The Recreation Department has asked me to remind parents and campers that the 2019 Pen-Rec Summer Day Camp 2019 is filling up quickly. If you have not signed up, please consider doing so before all your favorite dates and locations are taken. New items to summer camp 2019 include one-week sessions, a weekly bounce house, special theme days, and the former 10 percent online-only discount is now built into the fee for all! Our summer camp is certified by the NYS Department of Health and participants must provide current immunization records. The participant’s up-to-date records must be sent via email to email@example.com, faxed to 585-340-8617, or be mailed/hand delivered to the Penfield Recreation Department on or before your child’s first day of summer camp.
The Penfield Volunteer Emergency Ambulance (PVEA) will be holding a blood drive this Friday, March 15 from 1:00 to 6:00 PM at their base, 1585 Jackson Road. Every day, blood donors help patients of all ages: accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer. In fact, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. To schedule your life saving appointment please call 1-800-RED-Cross or visit www.redcrossblood.org and use sponsor keyword: PVEA.
Mark your calendars: the Town of Penfield will be hosting Passport Night in Penfield on Thursday, April 4 from 6:00 to 7:30 PM in the town hall auditorium. Please contact the Town Clerk’s office at 340-8629 to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome.
One last reminder…the next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Penfield (FBP) will be held this Saturday, March 16, from 8:00 to 10:00 AM at 1862 Penfield Road. FBP invites you for delicious pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, and more…all for just $5.00 per person. All March proceeds will go directly to benefit Habitat for Humanity. For more information and details, please visit www.fbpenfield.org.
Until next week, enjoy the longer days. It looks as though we are starting to see some glimmer of spring!
March 5, 2019
Supervisor's column March 5, 2019
Reminder…”It’s your lucky day,” the next Flapjack Saturday Community Fundraiser sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Penfield (FBP) will be held on Saturday, March 16 from 8:00 to 10:00 AM at 1862 Penfield Road. FBP invites you for delicious pancakes, pure maple syrup, scrambled eggs, sausage, and more…all for just $5.00 per person. All March proceeds will go directly to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Fellowship Hall is handicapped accessible and the breakfast is outstanding! For more information and details, please go to www.fbpenfield.org.
Last week I had the honor of attending the first annual pasta dinner fundraiser for the Penfield Community Victory Garden at the Penfield Community Center. This dedicated group of gardeners and friends worked with about a dozen businesses to have all the food goods donated for this event and they prepared a wonderful dinner complete with trimmings. Despite some foul winter weather, the group was able to raise approximately $1,800 that they will put back into this community resource by way of a building, fencing, and other improvements to add value to the program. Congratulations on a very successful fundraiser, I look forward to next year’s event.
The Penfield Rotary Club held another successful Brew & Dinner Pairing at the Penfield County Club with proceeds benefitting Camp Haccamo and Honor Flight Rochester. Chef Matthew Lott and his team prepared four amazing tapas style courses inspired by and paired with K2 Brothers craft beer. Bach to Rock Music School provided some wonderful entertainment and Iron Smoke Distillery was on hand providing samples. Congratulations to Marie Cinti, Club President; Steve Lawrence, Membership Chair; and Keith Rose, Event Coordinator on another great event in support of two very special and deserving organizations.
Yesterday, the town of Penfield hosted an eastside “town hall” style presentation about the ongoing opioid crisis affecting our neighborhoods. The presentation was informative and eye-opening but also gave practical advice to employers on how to best respond to the needs of employees who may be dealing with opioid addiction or the challenges of a loved one with addiction issues.
During this 90-minute presentation we heard from local dignitaries, business leaders, treatment professionals, and law enforcement on ways we, as town and village leaders, can address and help with the crisis, not only in the workplace but in our communities and personal lives. Attendees were provided with resources and strategies as well as a “Toolbox to Recovery” that can be used in our town and village offices and beyond. The opioid crisis has a significant impact on workplaces, the local economy, families, and our communities but we can all play a part in helping those in need.
Are you looking for some fun activities with your youngest Penfield resident? If so, come join in on “single servings” on March 21, April 25 and May 16. This program is for children ages 2-6 with an adult. March 21 is entitled “Something Good.” Is your family brave enough to sign up for a mystery class? We will read Mrs. Murray’s favorite children’s book, make her favorite snack, and participate in some of her favorite crafts and activities, registration # 112413-03. April 25 is “Messy.” Come have fun and leave the mess here! We’ll listen to the book “Pigsty” and explore paint, fizz, foam and shaving cream together. Everyone will make a messy snack and have some fun projects to take home, registration # 112413-04. May 16 is “Celebrate the USA.” Let’s have a night of red, white and blue! Our snack and all of our projects will revolve around the colors of the flag. Let’s be patriotic and have fun together, registration # 112413-05. All programs are at the Penfield Community Center and run from 6:00 to 7:00PM. The fee is $15.00 per session.
Reminder…set your clocks ahead this weekend. Sunday, March 10 is the beginning of daylight savings time. This is a sure sign of spring, and with the weather we have experienced in recent weeks I think we will all happily take the longer daylight hours to help move us closer to spring!
Until next week…stay warm, turn your clocks ahead, and think spring!