Conference will highlight public art in canal communities

‘Mural Mania’ leader wants murals in every canal town

Photo by Tom Rivers
Orleans County’s canal towns already have many murals, including eight in Holley on an octagonal building by the Canal Park and lift bridge. Artist Stacey Kirby created these murals called Treasures of Holley. They were unveiled in the spring 2010.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 August 2014
An international conference focusing on the power of murals to beautify and educate will be in the Rochester region in 2016, and the leader of the local effort wants to see more murals in canal communities.

Mark Decracker, founder of Mural Mania, has spearheaded many murals in the Wayne County area. He pushed to bring the Global Mural Conference to the Rochester area in 2016. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced the international will be coming to highlight public art along the canal.

Provided photo
Arthur Barnes is pictured next to a 10-foot-long mural he installed in January at the corner of Presbyterian and Knowlesville roads at a former fire station. The mural highlights the nearby Widewaters section of the canal.

Decracker said there are now murals in every canal community for 75 miles heading east of Rochester from Macedon to Syracuse. He would like to see at least one mural in every canal community – all 363 miles of the canal – within two years.

“You can take an unsightly area and turn it around,” Decracker said. “People will come to see a corridor of art.”

Decracker is working to create an inventory of all of the public art along the canal trail. He also wants to encourage communities to add more. The conference can provide a goal to get the projects done by 2016, but Decracker said the murals will be a benefit long after the conference.

“We should do anything we can to improve the space,” he said. “Murals have a proven track record. They promote our heritage. They are a place to learn. Tourists will also stay longer if they can learn about local history.”

Photo courtesy of Mural Mania
This mural highlights the Battle of Sodus. It is one of several historical-themed murals in Wayne County.

Decracker pushed for his first mural in 2007 in the village of Lyons. The community continues to embrace the projects and more towns reach out to him for help with projects.

“It’s a new renaissance along the canal,” he said. “We are filling in the gaps pretty quick. We can really make this place (the Canal Corridor) pretty special.”

Gillibrand held a press conference with Decracker on Aug. 11, announcing her support for the region to host the murals conference. A week later, an official announcement was made that the conference would be coming to the Rochester area.

“This is great news for the Finger Lakes Region and for everyone along the Erie Canal Corridor,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “This convention will bring welcome attention to the wealth of murals along the Erie Canal, as well as highlight everything that the region has to offer. It will bring together international, national, and local artists and give greater visibility to the talented artists in the area. The conference will encourage community discussion about how the arts can help to narrate the story of the Erie Canal and showcase our history in unique ways.”

Decracker would like to work with schools to create individual art pieces that could be included in a larger mosaic. He would like that collective piece to then be showcased along the canal in a traveling boat.

Photo by Tom Rivers
Suzanne Wells, a retired Albion art teacher, created this Erie Canal-themed bench for downtown Albion. It is one of 10 benches painted as murals in Albion.

Gordon Prestoungrange, president of the Global Mural Conference, said Decracker and Mural Mania put on a compelling presentation, convincing the conference leaders to come to the canal communities.


“This location was chosen because we wanted to learn about all that this region has to offer, and we are excited to aid in the revitalization of the canal corridor,” he said. “The Global Mural Conference will bring enthusiasm about the arts to Western New York and inspire even greater creativity in the area in the future.”


For more information, click here to see the web site for Mural Mania.


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Something Different was a popular party band in the 1980s

By Bill Lattin, Orleans County Historian Posted 22 August 2014
This photo taken in 1982 shows the band, “Something Different.” This group played for parties and weddings, but disbanded in 1988.

Front row, from left: Gary Withey, keyboard and vocal; and Paul Churchfield, bass and vocal.

Back row: Larry Waters, light man; Dave Viterna, guitar and vocal; Tamie Mooney, guitar and vocal; John Wragg, sound man; and Tim Korff, drums.


Note the egg cartons in the background, which were on the walls of John’s studio located on South Main Street in Medina.


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Summer soaked up at Holley Canal Park

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 22 August 2014
HOLLEY – A resident is out with his dog for a walk on Thursday at the Holley’s Canal Park.

The village created the park in the late 1990s with some funds from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s Canal Corridor Initiative. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was HUD secretary at the time and Holley decided to name the canalway trail in his honor in 2000.

Today’s weather is forecast for a high of 78 degrees with a slight chance of showers. On Saturday, it will reach 75 with a slight chance of a thunderstorm. It will be mostly sunny on Sunday with a high of 78, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.


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Nursing Home hosts first concert

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 22 August 2014
ALBION – The Villages of Orleans, a county-owned nursing home on Route 31, hosted its first outdoor concert on Thursday for residents and their families. The band Sophisticats entertained.


In the top photo, Jessica Condes and Gary Deiboldt perform for the crowd.

Residents attended the concert in a garden and patio area by The Villages of Orleans.

Brittaney Anderson, an activities aide at the nursing home, fills a bag of popcorn, which was served for free. Residents were also treated to ice tea.


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Summer reading program ends with ice cream

Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 21 August 2014
ALBION – Hoag Library capped its summer reading program this evening with an ice cream social on the front lawn.

Local clergy members and Friends of the Library scooped out ice cream and served up toppings to 225 people. Father Richard Csizmar, pastor of Holy Family Parish, is pictured serving ice cream at front left with Ken Braunbach, a Friend of the Library, next to him. The Rev. Jack Laskowski, pastor of the First United Methodist Church, is in back putting on a rubber glove and getting ready to take a turn in the lineup.


The library had 400 people participate in the summer reading program. Collectively they read about 1,300 books.


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GOP governor candidate details economic plan

File photo by Tom Rivers
Rob Astorino, the Republican Party candidate for governor, is pictured in this photo from May when he stopped in Holley at Precision Packaging Products.


Staff reports Posted 21 August 2014
Rob Astorino asks New Yorkers if the state is winning or losing under Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Astorino, the Westchester County executive, says the state ranks near dead last for having the worst business climate in the state.

Astorino, the GOP candidate for governor, on Tuesday unveiled a plan to improve the state’s economy and business climate. He and his running mate, Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss, welcome “fracking” for natural gas, and want to cut taxes and regulations, and increase high-tech and agriculture.

Key components of the economic plan, as released by Astorino’s campaign, include:

1. Regulatory Reform

• Sign executive order on first day instituting a moratorium on any new regulation and a thorough review of the approximately 750,000 regulations currently on the books.

• Adopt the 2,219 regulatory reforms proposed last January and thoroughly vetted by a bipartisan Senatorial working group that conducted nine industry-specific forums across the state.

• Repeal the Scaffold Law

• Reform the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) by reducing costly delays and redundancies and increasing timeframe predictability.

• Reform the Workers Compensation system to include adopting American Medical Association guidelines and American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine treatment protocols to cut down on costs.

• Require agencies to publicly post approval timeframes for permits and licenses and if not adhered to, compensate the applicant for permit and licensing costs.


• Eliminate the incorporation fees for LLCs and Partnerships.


• Allow small businesses with less than 50 employees the option of self-insurance that would allow numerous exemptions from ObamaCare mandates.


2. Tax Relief

• Reduce or hold flat state spending in each of the next four years to begin to get state expenses and costs under control.

• Make permanent the property tax cap.

• Reduce property taxes and strengthen the effectiveness of the property tax cap by passing mandate relief, including reforms to the Medicaid program and Pension system.

• Repeal hidden taxes on health insurance premiums levied through HCRA.

• Eliminate the 18a tax assessment on utility ratepayers.

3. Invest in New York’s Infrastructure


• Start by investing the $3.6 billion BNP Paribas bank settlement money into the most desperately needed repairs to our roads, bridges and mass transit.

• Use portion of BNP settlement money to pay Canal Corporation debt, separate Canal from the Thruway budget and free up money that would otherwise have gone for Canal debt service to pay for infrastructure projects like the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

• Dedicate sales tax revenue from gasoline purchases to pay for investments in roads, bridges and mass transit.

4. Accelerate Energy Development

• Move forward with natural gas exploration and drilling in Upstate.

• Use SBC (System Benefit Charge) funds now at NYSERDA to help pay for the cost of bringing natural gas distribution lines to communities where the service currently doesn’t exist.

• Renew the Indian Point Energy Center license, support Massena in their efforts to be approved for a new plant.

• Alleviate transmission congestion and upgrade the power grid.

• Support other renewable energy sources like Solar, Wind and Hydro and provide grants and low interest loans to farms and businesses that make energy efficient improvements.

5. Accelerate Technology Start-Up Creation

• Offer individuals a state income tax credit to encourage private investing in qualified start-up ventures.

• Streamline the tech-transfer process at state colleges and universities so students and professors can more easily commercialize their inventions.

• Pass a law that bans the enforceability of “non-compete agreements” – keeping more top talent in New York as it would open up greater opportunities for hi-tech workers and entrepreneurs by eliminating unnecessary restrictions on the flow of talent between companies.

• Support entrepreneurial networks with technical assistance to encourage collaboration across communities and organizations that support start-ups.

6. Increase Availability of Skilled Workers

• Create regional councils comprised of local educators and employers to help high schools tailor vocational education programs to match the needs and demands of local employers.

• Make job-training investments directly to community colleges to streamline the training of new workers for local industry needs.

• Increase coordination between community colleges, local school districts and local industry so students can be properly counseled on the present and future availability of jobs, the types of jobs, their pay and benefits, and the skills needed to do these jobs.

7. Strengthening our Agricultural Heritage and Economy

• Create a New York Farmer’s EZ-Pass that eliminates Thruway tolls for New York farm-based trucks transporting farm-to-market products.

• Support the Ritchie/Magee legislation (S.4260/A.6024) that reduces taxes, fees and regulatory burdens on New York’s family farmers.

• Support a pilot program where beginning farmers receive tax incentives to start a farm in New York State.


For more on Astorino and Moss, click here.


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Holley man, 18, makes up hoax about homicide in Hamlin

Mason Requa is charged with falsely reporting an incident

Mason Requa


Staff reports Posted 21 August 2014
HAMLIN – A Holley resident had law enforcement officers searching for several hours last night for perpetrators of a homicide in Hamlin, until Mason Requa admitted it was a hoax.

He told police he made up the story after he was late delivering a pizza and didn’t want to get fired.

Requa, 18, of Holley called 911 to report he witnessed a homicide at about 9 p.m. Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies, the U.S. Border Patrol and State Police searched the area for about four hours until Requa admitted the incident did not occur, Cpl. John Helfer of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office told reporters today.

Requa has been charged with falsely reporting an incident. He was arraigned in Hamlin Town Court and jailed in lieu of $1,000 cash or $2,500 bond.


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Holley school taxes will be smaller

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 August 2014
HOLLEY – With school tax bills soon to go out, Holley district residents can expect to see smaller tax bills. The Board of Education approved a tax levy on Monday that cuts taxes by 10.6 percent.


The school district in 2013-14 set a tax levy for $7,541,779. That will drop by $800,000 to $6,741,780 for the new school year.


“We are very happy to provide our residents with some tax relief and we are grateful for the support that our community has provided and continues to provide the district,” said Robert D’Angelo, the district superintendent.


Holley moved to cut taxes after a state comptroller’s report said the district had too much money in its reserves.


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Canal inspectors say lift bridges in great shape

Photos by Tom Rvers

The Tug Syracuse carries inspectors and officials from the State Canal Corporation after checking the lift bridge in Holley this morning. The hydraulic, mechanical and electrical systems all passed inspection. The seven lift bridges in Orleans County all passed the Canal Corporation’s review on Wednesday and Thursday, part of a canal-wide inspection of the locks, guard gates and lift bridges.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 August 2014
HOLLEY – They may be 100 years old, but the lift bridges in Orleans County were all given strong passing grades during inspections on Wednesday and Thursday.

Canal inspectors checked the electrical, mechanical and hydraulic systems, and also rated the lift bridges for appearance.

“Everything is in good working order,” John Callaghan, deputy director of the Canal Corp., said about the lift bridges. “They have held up wonderfully after a century of service.”

The Canal Corporation began its annual inspection of the canal system began on Tuesday in Buffalo when the Tug Syracuse departed from Canalside to assess the historic waterway.

The legally mandated inspection takes place over the next two months in two- and three-day segments. The Canal Corp. will assess the overall condition and capital needs of the nearly 200-year-old Canal system, which supports $380 million in tourism-based and $6.4 billion in non-tourism-based economic activity, Canal Corp. officials said. The canal also provides a vital resource for drinking water, agriculture, industry and hydroelectric power generation, officials said.

Don Brace works in the control tower at lift bridge in Holley. State Assemblyman Steve Hawley stopped by to see the inspection of the Holley lift bridge. He said he is working on inviting several state legislators from New York City for a boat ride on the canal where they could then see farms, historic downtowns and other local attractions.
“New York’s Canal system is one of our greatest treasures, as a historical resource and an engine that supports economic activity throughout the Empire State,” Thruway and Canal Executive Director Tom Madison said in a statement earlier this week.  


Callaghan, the deputy canal director, while in Holley today praised the canal employees.

“They take their job seriously,” he said. “They’re out greasing, prepping and painting. It’s a constant when you have 100-year-old infrastructure.”

While the bridges mechanical, electrical and hydraulic components are working well, at least one of the lift bridges – Knowlesville – has a weight reduction due to structural issues and is limited to one-lane traffic. Callaghan said the Department of Transportation inspects the spans for structural integrity. The canal inspectors are focused on other issues with the bridges.

The Tug Syracuse heads east from Holley to check the two lift bridges in Brockport.

Darren McGuirk, assistant canal equipment specialist, headed the inspections today, which started in Albion and headed east. He marveled at how well the lift bridges are holding up.

“The employees are dedicated,” he said. “They know these bridges are the center of these communities. They keep them going.”


The inspection tour is a tradition dating from Oct. 26, 1825, when Gov. DeWitt Clinton departed from Buffalo aboard the Seneca Chief to mark the opening of the Erie Canal after eight years of construction.


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Bouie, Buffalo Bills help raise money for Ministry of Concern

Provided Photo Posted 21 August 2014
Several sports celebrities joined the Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern in raising money for the agency during its golf tournament last month at the Batavia Country Club.

In this photo, Roosevelt Bouie, left, is pictured with two former wide receivers for the Buffalo Bills, Lou Piccone and Ed Rutkowski. Bouie starred on the basketball court for Kendall High School, Syracuse University and then in pro leagues overseas.


About 50 people played in the tournament and raised about $1,000 for the agency. The Ministry of Concern is selling raffle tickets for the Nov. 9 Bills game against the Chiefs as well as for a chance to win a football signed by members of the 1995 Bills team. Call 589-9210 for more information.


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BOCES students partner with Medina for new bike racks

Provided photo
Medina officials dedicated this new bike rack and two others on Aug. 9. Pictured, from left, includes: Mary Lewis (Medina Business Association), Dawn Meland (Medina Tourism Committee), Rene Schuner and James Hancock (both from the Village of Medina Tourism) and Orleans Career and Technical Education Welding teacher Eric Farrell and his daughters Addison and Charlotte.


Press release, Orleans-Niagara BOCES Posted 21 August 2014
MEDINA – Last year students in Eric Farrell’s Welding Program at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center made creative welding sculptures at the request of the Village of Medina Tourism Committee. Those sculptures that resemble apples have been installed in Medina’s downtown as bike racks.


“We wanted some bike racks in downtown Medina,” says James Hancock, chairman of the committee. “The apple is Medina’s symbol because of all the fruit we produce and the students decided to make that their theme and made some gorgeous pieces. We were all impressed how beautiful they are.”

Mr. Farrell’s class designed the bike racks and made each individual part in AutoCAD and then used a CNC machine and a plasma cutter to bend the material and then weld and grind it. They were then delivered to F&H Metal Finishing Company who painted them. The Medina Department of Public Works placed two of them on Main Street and the third by the canal.

The bike racks were officially dedicated on Aug. 9 by the Medina Tourism Committee with Mr. Farrell being the honored guest.

“We are just thrilled to have them for our riders to use and so thankful to the Orleans/Niagara BOCES Welding students for the amazing job they did,” Hancock said.


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Hawley applauds new law assisting veterans and their families

Press release, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley Posted 21 August 2014

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia), a veteran of the National Guard and Army Reserves and ranking member of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee, is applauding Gov. Cuomo for signing a military assistance bill into law that the assemblyman wholeheartedly supported in the Assembly. 
“Our state and our country are forever indebted to those who have served us at home and abroad,” Hawley said.  “This law tackles the red tape that hampers professional certification for family members of active duty officers who are moved from station to station.  We have also expanded New York’s supplemental burial allowance to include those who were injured on the battlefield, but died here at home − an oversight that was far too tragic to continue.”


Hawley added, “Another great aspect of this newly-signed law is how it assists children affected when their families move from station to station.  Every state has its own difficult requirements for high school graduation, and that is often overlooked in legislation that attempts to honor our servicemen and women.  Through this much-needed law, we have cut the red tape affecting children’s academic well-being and enrollment issues.  This is one law we can all support, and I’m proud to have helped pass it.”


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9 bands will perform Saturday to raise money for Bullard Park

‘Rock the Park’ will showcase musicians

Provided photo
Albion native Jim Benedetti plays the drums and sings for The Bad Hands in New Jersey. The band is coming to Albion to perform in Saturday’s event.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 August 2014
ALBION – Organizers of a first-ever music jamboree in Albion this Saturday hope the power of music generates money to rebuild the community’s largest park.

Nine bands will perform at the Elks Lodge at 428 West State St. The bands start rocking at noon with Whiskey Rebellion and continue to 11 p.m. with Zero the last act.

The lineup includes new local bands and well-established ones, such as The Who Dats. An Albion native, Jim Benedetti, is returning home to perform with his blues band, The Bad Hands, from New Jersey. They will perform from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

“This isn’t a battle of the bands,” said Ron Albertson, one of the event’s coordinators. “It’s a music festival for a good cause.”

Albertson is a member of the Albion Lions Club. The service organization is leading an effort to raise money for Bullard Park upgrades. The Lions have already pledged $10,000 to park improvements. It would like to raise significantly more. Saturday’s event is jointly sponsored by the Lions and the Elks Club.

The music fest won’t lose money because all of the bands are playing for free. Tickets are $5 and proceeds from the food and beverages will go towards Bullard.

“Every nickel will go to Bullard Park,” Albertson said.

Provided photo
Zack Burgess of Albion and the band Zero are scheduled to perform in the final slot on Saturday from 9:45 to 11 p.m. at the Elks Club on West State State Street. Burgess helped coordinate Saturday’s music festival.

Two local musicians also helped plan the “Rock the Park” event. Zack Burgess and Dylan DeSmit are both members of the band Zero.

“I’ve been in Albion all of my life,” Burgess said. “I have a niece and nephew and I’d like to have nice things for them to play on that are safe.”

He expects a big crowd to watch the entertainment Saturday. He thanked Mark’s Pizzeria and Uncle Sal’s Pizzeria for putting flyers on their pizza boxes this week, helping to promote the music fest.

The Village of Albion twice applied for state funding to upgrade Bullard but was denied.

A committee identified about $600,000 in possible improvements, including a spray park, new playground equipment, a walking trail, reseeded ball fields, a concession stand with new bathrooms, and other improvements.

The lineup of musicians on Saturday includes:


12:00-12:30: Whiskey Rebellion
12:45-1:15: Painted Silence
1:30-2:30: Route 98.
2:45-3:45: Delano Steele
4:00-5:00: Rock Of Love
5:15-6:15: The Who Dats
6:30-8:00: The Bad Hands
8:15-9:30: Terrible Ideas
9:45-11:00: Zero

File photo courtesy of Michael Whiting
This photo from August 2013 shows the final concert for the band Above the Fog. Dylan DeSmit, left, and Taylor Whittier gave an enthusiastic performance during the band’s final concert. DeSmit will perform with three different bands Saturday during the Bullard Park benefit while Whittier will perform as lead singer for the band Terrible Ideas.


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Second-graders from former Waterport school pose for picture in 1958

By Bill Lattin, Orleans County Historian Posted 20 August 2014
WATERPORT – In June 1958, Mrs. Phoebe Beales sat with her second grade students at the Waterport School for this class picture.


Front row, from left: Jason Jeffords, Sandra Peruzzini, John Jurs, Kathleen Woolston, Susan Peruzzini, Janet Brown, Kenneth Kuhns, and Linda Garrod.


Middle row: Robert Canham, Ronald Gurrslin, Frank Gould, Karen Van Wycke, Michele Nesbitt, Ronald Marek and Graig Milliman.


Back row: Michael Budynski, Lynn Miller, Thomas Taber, Rosemary Pinson, Michael Kuhn, David Thomas, Curtis Beam, Bertha Walker, Sue Batt, John Mack and Lynn Gursslin.


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Collins wants NY to allow fracking to lower energy costs, create jobs

Press release, Congressman Chris Collins Posted 20 August 2014
LOCKPORT – During a press conference at the Crosby’s Gas Station in Lockport, Congressman Chris Collins, R-Clarence, released the following remarks on Tuesday about current energy policies.

“As New Yorkers struggle with some of the highest energy rates in the country, it is clear they deserve significantly better when it comes to our energy policies,” Collins said. “Due to burdensome regulations by the Cuomo Administration, Western New York has had to sit on the sidelines and watch as states with similar resources have been able to capitalize on technologies like hydraulic fracking to provide thousands of jobs and new revenue streams. It is time for Gov. Cuomo to stop hiding behind continuously delayed studies and provide a definitive answer on when the people of New York can expect a decision on fracking.

“It is essential that going forward we pursue the many energy opportunities available. These include exploring hydraulic fracking, protecting of our state’s coal industry, and utilizing a variety of other energy production methods. I will continue to ensure that when it comes to energy, Western New Yorkers will have every opportunity available to benefit from our state’s resources.”


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BOCES receives $400K grant to reduce some student testing

'Teaching Is The Core' to strengthen assessment practices

Press release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES Posted 20 August 2014
MEDINA – The Orleans/Niagara BOCES has been approved for a $400,000 grant from the State Education Department for the “Teaching is the Core” initiative, said Dr. Clark Godshall, BOCES Superintendent.

The grant, funded through New York’s Federal Race to the Top grant, will support the 13 component school districts and the BOCES in their efforts to eliminate locally adopted tests that do not contribute to teaching and learning. In addition, the funds will help the districts identify and improve high-quality assessments already in use that can be included as a component of multiple measures of student learning and school and educator effectiveness.

“The recent outcry over too many school assessments belies the need for quality assessments that are an integral part of teaching and learning,” Godshall said. “While tests provide useful feedback to teachers, parents and students, they must be of high quality and informative.”

Some of the tests do not always support good instruction and sometimes even crowd out time for student learning, Godshall said.

“Testing should be the minimum necessary to inform effective decision-making in classrooms, schools and districts,” he said. “This grant will help reduce non-essential local testing in our region. And, more important, they’ll help teachers teach more and test less, which is exactly what our students need.”

The grant will also support professional development throughout the districts to maintain educational excellence. Albion, Medina and Lyndonville are part of the Orleans/Niagara BOCES.

The “Teaching is the Core” funding will allow the 13 districts and BOCES to:

• Determine which assessments support the instructional goals of the district;

• Determine an appropriate action plan that will eliminate unnecessary assessments and increase the use of diverse and quality assessment;

• Support the use of diversified assessment strategies by encouraging a review of local assessments currently in use for teacher evaluations (APPR); and

• Establish a professional development program that will aid teachers in identifying high-quality assessments and improving assessment practices.


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Medina man sentenced to prison for break-in

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 August 2014
ALBION – A Medina resident who broke into a convenience store last October was sentenced to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison.

Michael Bauer, 28, of 730 S. Main St. pleaded guilty to attempted burglary in the third degree during a June 9 court appearance. He was sentenced to state prison on Monday by James Punch, Orleans County Court judge.

Bauer admitted he broke into The Corner Store in Medina last October and stole items from the South Main Street location. Medina police said he stole the convenience store’s cash register, an undetermined number of scratch-off lottery tickets, cigarettes and other store merchandise.

Bauer had been drinking before the crime but he wasn’t so intoxicated he didn’t know what he was doing, Punch said, based on Bauer’s recall of the crime.

Punch told Bauer he could try to use the defense that he was so drunk he didn’t know what he was doing. Bauer chose not to pursue that as a possible defense and accepted the sentence on Monday.


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Medina school will auction off numerous supplies, equipment and furniture from primary building

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 August 2014
MEDINA – Many of the contents of the Towne Primary School, a building has been closed for more than two years, will be up for auction this Saturday.

The lineup of items includes 252 student desks, 27 round cafeteria tables, 945 chairs and numerous other school-related items, such as projectors, drinking fountains, shelves, computer carts and cleaning equipment.

The district is trying to get the building cleaned up to make it more attractive for potential buyers or a tenant for leasing.

Towne was built in the late 1960s. The district closed the building after the 2011-12 school year and shifted the primary grades to the Oak Orchard Elementary School.

“It is a solid building,” said Jeff Evoy, superintendent of the school district. “It is a wonderful building. If someone decides to be a tenant, they would have an excellent building.”

The auction Saturday will last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the school, 181 Bates Rd. Lynn Hill is running the auction.

For list of items up for bid, click here.

Evoy said there has been some interest in the building, but “nothing has materialized.”


"We've had a couple groups show interest, but there has been nothing as of yet," he said.


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Quick Questions with Lora Partyka

Kendall woman has grown roadside stand to multi-faceted farm market, and community hub

Photos by Tom Rivers

Lora Partyka is pictured on a tractor at Partyka Farms, 1420 County Line Road (Route 272). Behind her is a quilt block, Farmer’s Daughter. Partyka has maps for the Country Barn Quilt Trail of Western New York.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 August 2014

KENDALL – Lora and Jeff Partyka have built a popular farm market in Kendall at the corner of routes 18 and 272. They have been farming together since they were married in 1985.

Their two sons, Scott and Steve, are now partners in the business. They sell sweet corn and fruit from their farm market, and also go to several farmers’ markets and supply Wegmans.

Mrs. Partyka grew up on a beef, cattle and hog farm in Niagara County. Her husband grew up on a dairy farm in Churchville. A friend introduced the two.

Mrs. Partyka spearheaded the barn quilt trail in Kendall, and has a block, The Farmer’s Daughter, at Partyka Farms. The business also has maps and hosts bus tours for the barn trail.

The family is involved in numerous community events, and will host a “Sundae Smack Down” on Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. Teams from the Town of Kendall will square off with eaters from the Town of Hamlin. The winner is the town that finishes a 7-scoop ice cream sundae in the quickest time. Proceeds will go to charities in the towns.

Lora Partyka is pictured with her sons, Steve, 28; and Scott, 25. They are partners in the business with their mother and father, Jeff.

Partyka was interviewed recently by Hub editor Tom Rivers inside the farm market.


Q: This started when you had a wagon by the road. Did you ever think it would turn into this?

A: I didn’t really think about it. I was originally from Niagara County. I worked at a beauty salon. I grew up on a family farm, my parents’ farm in Barker. Then I worked at a beauty salon in Lockport. Then I worked a night job because I was young and wanted to make money.

Jeff and I met through mutual friends. He worked for a farm in Knowlesville. That’s where I met him. He had just purchased this farm (in Kendall). We were going to get married. I moved over here. I didn’t know anybody or even where to start to go back to work.

Within a few months I was pregnant so it wasn’t like I was going to go out and get a new job. I grew up selling produce. My father had a big beef and hog farm and we sold tomatoes and sweet corn by the road. My grandparents went to market in North Tonawanda. Their farm was in Ransomville. Growing up, sometimes I went to market with grandma. We all did that.

So we had some produce here from the all of the fruit. I had a table under a tree first. Then Jeff built me a wagon and then I needed another wagon. This used to be orchard all up to the road. We needed to get cars off the road so we took out some trees.


A: The community responded to the Partyka produce?

Q: We had a good year in ’91. Jeff wanted to build an apple storage to store some of our apples so in ’92 we put up this building as an apple storage. I said to Jeff, ‘Why don’t you put a front on it and I can put the produce under there?’ I never thought we’d go any further with it.


We are very conservative. We had just enough money for the building. The next year we laid a little cement and I put tables out there. And in here was just dirt. Our boys were babies. They dug ponds and played with their Tonka trucks. I had a little cooler in here to feed them, and I worked out of the front. That’s how they grew up.

My husband said, ‘Why don’t we put ice cream in?’ I didn’t want ice cream. I wanted greenhouses. But we went with the ice cream. It was smaller then. We made our own cider and that was here. Over the years we just did a little bit more. We never wanted it to get real big because we don’t feel in our area you could maintain it. You’d have to have so much labor and everything else.

We’re at a nice size where everything just kind of flows together.

Partyka added these signs showing the distance of Kendalls and Holleys in other states, as well as other distant towns that share names with local communities.


Q: You’ve steadily grown?

A: We just did a little bit at a time as we had money. It’s grown into a solid business but we’re very diversified. You’re not going to live off ice cream. You don’t make a lot of money with ice cream. But we have the grills and the gift shop and the produce. As far as produce, there is a wagon on every corner now. People have to like your stuff. We’re kind of known for our sweet corn and peaches. For our little area in the middle of nowhere, we’re doing pretty good. But we have different events. We have Christmas in July. On Father’s Day we had a beef on weck with 230 people. We’re trying to do a different event to be a little different.


Q: You also have a nice playground here.

A: It’s the same thing where we’ve done a little bit at a time. The pavilion we just put up three years ago. We’ve had different birthday parties here, and wedding receptions and showers. We make it really relaxing.


Q: Besides this market, you go to farmers’ markets as well?

A: I go to Batavia two days a week and North Chili one day a week.


Q: You physically do it?

A: Oh yeah. I load the trucks and go with my help. I always feel when your owners get off the trucks, they go in half. The customers want to know what’s coming next. I’ve seen people get off their trucks and the trucks go down.

On Thursday nights Jeff goes to Irondequoit and on Sundays he goes to Brockport. I’d like to see him not go anymore because he’s busy and I’m busy. On my trucks people are so used to me being there. I have some customers who will wait for me to wait on them.

Partyka Farms includes a gift shop with ice cream and baked goods.


Q: What is the secret to making this work over 25 years?

A: I was born one of 8 children and I had fantastic parents. They never handed us anything. We were pretty much on our own. We’ve all done pretty good. I don’t need material things to say I’ve done good. I feel I’ve done good with my family and my business. I feel very blessed with everything.

You’ve got to believe it and go after it. You have to try.

Q: You’re involved in many community projects, including the barn quilt trail. Wasn’t that initially just going to a block on your greenhouse but it definitely grew from there?

A: It’s grown. I think it’s up to 90. I read an article about another community doing it and I decided we needed to do it in Kendall. It’s worked out well. It’s kind of quieted down because they have been around for a while. However, we printed 250 maps this year and we’ve gone through that many. It’s amazed me from the beginning that so many people are interested in it.

I think ours was the first one done out in the country. Now a lot of them are. The people picked out their own things and meanings. In other places they were picked out by committees. It’s been good for the community and Kendall.

I give Kendall so much credit for being supportive of it. They didn’t make us get permits. I told them to let the people clean up their properties. It’s not a written word. It’s not a sign. Let them enjoy their town.

Steve Partyka, 28, works the land at the corner of routes 18 and 272 in Kendall.

Q: It’s great that it worked.

A: I hate to say I never sat down and planned it all out. They say you should have a business plan and this and that. I would be driving in my market truck and would think, ‘This thing is getting crazy and I think we need a headquarters. Well, the Town Hall won’t work because they’re not open on weekends and that’s when most people would be out. Well, we’re open seven days a week so I guess it’s us.’


The first time a bus company called me I said we could put a guide on for them. Jean Hart and Cathy DeMarco said they would do it. They went around and took pictures and got a book together. It wasn’t all planned but it worked out.


Q: Did you design and paint the blocks?
A: The people picked their own design. We painted them. I painted them, my employees painted them. Any time we had extra time we went back and painted them. I’m not a gridder as far as putting the design on. Cathy DeMarco, Kathy Kast and Jane Ferris took their time to come and do it. They were awesome. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them or my employees.


Q: What else do you want to say?
A: I feel really blessed to have such an incredible family and to live in a great town. I have great employees. I couldn’t ask for better employees. I was given a chance so I went with it.


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Hospice hosts Holley author on grief and loss



Press release, Hospice of Orleans Posted 20 August 2014
ALBION – Hospice is well known for caring for seriously ill patients in their final months, weeks and hours of life. What might be less well known is the care Hospice also provides to the families of those who have passed away.


Hospice social workers, chaplains and volunteers offer support, and bereavement services are made available for the first full year following the loss of a loved one.

As part of the ongoing training of its respite and bereavement volunteers, Hospice of Orleans is hosting Holley author Lindsay Collier at 1 p.m. this Saturday at Hoag Library. The public is welcome to attend this free talk.

The day after Lindsay Collier lost his wife of 40 years to ovarian cancer, a huge rainbow surrounded the couple’s Rochester home. This occurrence inspired Collier to write “Jan’s Rainbow,” a book containing his own accounts, as well as his family and friends’, about ways they have taken comfort through signs in nature and coped with their grief in creative ways.

“Writing this book was a major factor in my own recovery from the loss of my wife Jan,” Collier said. “But what makes me feel really great is the fact that this book and the presentations I've made to many groups have helped hundreds of people who have lost spouses and other loved ones.”

Collier was a Kodak engineer, developing expertise in creativity and innovation. He retired early to write and pursue other adventures. He now divides his time between Holley and The Villages in Florida and has published several books, in addition to “Jan’s Rainbow,” including: “Organizational Mental Floss,” “Organizational Braindroppings,” “Quotations to Tickle Your Brain” and “How to Live Happily Ever After.”


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