Chicken Barbecue tradition continues on Palm Sunday

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 29 March 2015
ALBION – The Knights of Columbus in Albion are serving 500 chicken barbecue lunches today at St. Mary’s Athletic Club on Moore Street.


The top photo shows Tom O’Hearn, Dusty DeCarlo and Mike Fischer. The trio and a bigger cooking crew arrived at 7 a.m. to prepare the chickens.

O’Hearn’s hand and a thermometer appear in the photo of all the chickens.


The chicken barbecues are a Palm Sunday tradition for the Knights, which plans to share proceeds of the event with Boy Scouts and Hospice of Orleans.

Inside St. Mary’s, volunteers prepare the meals with cole slaw, rolls, potatoes and desserts. Jean Smith is in front, followed by Mary Ann Tillman, Michele Grabowski and Joan Adduci.


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Hospice starts new program to help look after patients’ pets

Provided photos

Donna Coble, Hospice registered nurse, is pictured with Denzel, a beloved dog of a Hospice patient.


Press Release, Hospice of Orleans Posted 28 March 2015

ALBION – “No one wants my dog,” a Hospice of Orleans patient said sadly to his nurse.

A fall had made it necessary for him to move from home to the Martin-Linsin Hospice Residence where he could receive 24-hour care.

Donna Coble, a per diem RN, had been providing him home care services for several months and knew him and his dog quite well. She knew that Denzel, a friendly long-haired dachshund, had been his constant companion for more than 10 years and was the most important relationship in his life. A widower with no children, he frequently referred to Denzel as “Danny” or “my baby.”

“They were the best of buddies,” Coble recalled with a smile. “Denzel would stay by his side all day.”

Coble could hear the pain, fear and grief in her patient’s voice as he shared his worry concerning the long-term care of Denzel. Troubled by her patient’s distress, Coble thought about the situation and decided, “I’ll take Denzel if no one in the family can take him.”

She contacted her patient’s relatives who were relieved that she would take the dog as they were not in a position to care for him.

“I’m not really a dog person but I have dogs and, well, I felt bad that he didn’t have anyone to take Denzel,” Coble said. “He loved that dog so much and I loved them both so I decided I should take him.”


After Denzel came to live with her, Coble and her 11-year-old daughter Julie brought him to visit at the Residence twice a week.


Coble took Denzel to visit at the Residence two days before his owner died.

“‘Here’s my baby, here’s my baby,’ he said as he hugged Denzel,” Coble recounted. “I really think Denzel knew that his daddy was leaving him and that he was going to live with me because he seemed sad and then he came and sat by my side. The nursing staff told me that his owner was very much happier and relieved to know that ‘his baby’ was being taken care of and had a wonderful home on a farm.”

Denzel is a long-haired dachshund who found a home with a hospice nurse after the dog’s owner went into hospice care.


The story of Denzel and his owner illustrates the need for the new Pet Peace of Mind program that Hospice of Orleans has launched this month. Pet Peace of Mind allows people to complete their end-of-life journey without worrying about the current or future needs of their pets.

This initiative provides volunteer pet care services for pet owners who are unable to care for their pets while receiving Hospice services. During the first year of operation, services will include: dog and cat care such as walking, playing and waste clean-up; transportation to a veterinarian for medical care and check-ups; fostering; and providing assistance with pet care and pet exercise.


Education and counseling for patients and their families will focus on understanding pet needs and behaviors and planning for the pet’s future.

The program aligns with the Hospice of Orleans mission to embrace those facing advanced illness with optimal levels of comfort, compassion, and expertise. Hospice works with the patient, doctor and family to craft a detailed plan that provides dignity, relief, and strength to those with a life-limiting illness, and support to the ones who love them, including pet companions.


“The exciting thing about this program is that it is in direct response to needs identified by our nursing and aide staff who often encounter situations such as those experienced by our patient and Denzel,” explained Mary Anne Fischer, executive director of Hospice of Orleans. “Every day we see the importance of pet companions to the well-being of those receiving hospice services. Pets are allowed to visit in the Martin-Linsin Residence and pet therapy has been an integral part of our program for more than 10 years.”


Fischer said the Hospice staff has long recognized the importance of the human-pet bond and has wanted to start a pet care program.

“However, without independent funding, that has not been possible,” Fischer said. “Now, with start-up funding we are finally able to offer needed services and recruit volunteers to meet this important need.”


Pet Peace of Mind is a national program developed and funded by the Banfield Charitable Trust. Hospice of Orleans is only the second hospice to start the program in New York State, placing it among a select group of hospice providers across the country that are ensuring this important patient need is met.

“The human-pet bond is incredibly special. If we can help keep a patient and their pet together, we’ve accomplished what we set out to do,” said Dianne McGill, executive director and CEO of the Banfield Charitable Trust.

Volunteers are needed to help provide Pet Peace of Mind services. Applications to be a Hospice of Orleans volunteer are available by clicking here or by calling 585-589-5809.


Schools clubs and service groups are encouraged to contact Hospice of Orleans to assist with fundraising for this important program.


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Planners support bed and breakfast in Ridgeway

County board also supports small wind turbine in Ridgeway, food service at Carlton business

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 March 2015
ALBION – Orleans County Planning Board members supported a plan for a bed and breakfast in the Town of Ridgeway at the southeast corner of the Telegraph and Bates roads intersection.

Rodelle Mammano and Sunshine Charters want to open the bed and breakfast at the location, a 70-acre site of mostly brush/woodland. The house is a single-family dwelling with an in-law apartment and garage.

Planners on Thursday recommended Ridgeway officials approve the site plan and a permit for the project. County planners said the exterior sign advertising the business should not exceed 2 by 2 feet.

In other actions, the Planning Board:

• Supported a Ridgeway resident’s plan for a 153-foot-high “small wind energy conversion system” at 2693 Townline Rd.

William Sills wants to erect the wind energy project that would generate 10 kilowatts of power. He will need a variance for the height beyond 120 feet. The Planning Board supported the variance, saying an accessory building and stand of mature trees along the frontage of the property help conceal most of the turbine from motorists.

The tower would be freestanding lattice construction, and set back 252 feet from the front (west) lot line, 280 feet from the north lot line, 686 feet from the south lot line and 415 feet from the rear (east) lot line. Those setbacks are far enough to avert any significant impacts on neighbors, Planning Board members said.

Sills is working with Sustainable Energy Developments from Ontario, NY, for the project.

• Backed the request for a permit to serve food at the Vintage Apple Garden at 1582 Oak Orchard Rd., Carlton.

Paula Nesbitt started the business at the site last year. The business had been Bertsch’s Good Earth Market.

Nesbitt wants to add a lunch menu and coffee bar to the greenhouse and seasonal farm market at the corner of Route 98 and Park Avenue.


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Participants brave cold in first ‘Run for Wayne’

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 28 March 2015
ALBION – Lisa Burlsion, wife of the late Wayne Burlison, welcomes runners and walkers to the first “Run for Wayne,” which started at 12:01 p.m. today on Clarendon Road by the elementary school, where Mr. Burlison was a music teacher for 12 years.

Lisa’s and Wayne’s son Adam holds balloons, which he released to start the race.


Mrs. Burlison thanked the community for their support, and for attending the event today.


"I am so grateful for your help in carrying on Wayne's legacy," she said.

Brian Krieger, executive director of the Albion Running Club, helped organize the first “Run for Wayne” today in memory of Burlison, one of the founders of the Running Club. Burlison was 36 when he died from colon cancer on March 26, 2014.


Krieger and Burlison were close friends and running partners.

There were about 125 people who ran a 3.17-mile course or walked a mile. These runners are along Route 31, headed east to Mount Albion Cemetery.

These volunteers, members of the youth group at Albion Free Methodist Church, hand out water and Gatorade at the 1-mile mark. The group includes Tess Pettit, Trinity Allen, Zachary Moore and Caleb Pettit.

Alyce Miller, left, and Sarah Graham, cheer the runners on in Mount Albion. The two were in the elementary band with Burlison as their teacher.

Runners passed by Wayne Burlison's gravesite at Mount Albion Cemetery.


Burlison lived 3 months and 17 days after his diagnosis of Stage 4 colon cancer. That's why the course was 3.17 miles.

Burlison played in many community bands, including the Mark Time Marchers.


"Run for Wayne" started at 12:01 in recognition of Hebrews 12:1 as one of Burlison's favorite Bible verses.

Randy LeBaron, pastor of the Albion Free Methodist Church where Burlison was a member and participant in the praise band, completed the 3.17 miles today. LeBaron ran a half marathon in September 2011 with Burlison.

Mike Thaine, the high school band director in Albion, hands a medal to Pat Crowley after she crossed the finish line. Burlison was assistant director for the marching band.

Stephany Austin of Albion finishes the "Run for Wayne" with sisters, Michkayla and Riley Eaton.


Proceeds from the race will be directed to a scholarship to be given out in Burlison's memory to a graduating Albion senior.


The Running Club plans to make the "Run for Wayne" an annual event in late March.


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New historian’s debut column features Albion’s Polish Band

The Polish Band from St. Mary’s Assumption Parish is pictured in 1904 or 1905 and includes, front row: Alexander Rytlewski, Frank Kwiatkowski, John Jasniewski, Frank Jaworski, John Nayman, James Kaniecki, D. Jaworski, Frank Smith, Frank Furmanski, Stanley Rice and Ignatius Rice.


Middle: Joseph Zwiefka, Joseph Rytlewski, Reynolds (Bandmaster), August Mager and Stanley Rutkowski.


Back: Max Waclawski, C. Kaminski, ? Kaminski, John Gurzinski and Stephen Cichocki.

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 28 March 2015
ALBION – While addressing the first meeting of the Orleans County Pioneer Association more than 150 years ago, Arad Thomas remarked, “…we shall teach our children the story of their labors and success, as examples to be imitated…”


Of course Thomas was referring to the men and women who journeyed hundreds of miles into the wildness that was Orleans County, risking their lives to start a new life.


When Theta Hakes Brown assumed the role of Orleans County Historian in 1938, she worked diligently to preserve the accomplishments of our forefathers and set in stone the importance of local history. Some 45 years later, C. W. Lattin continued that legacy of education and historic preservation for 35 years.


It is a remarkable feeling to receive the honor of serving as the next Orleans County Historian, a responsibility that is often overshadowed or taken for granted within our communities. Our county has a long, rich, and expansive history that has been overlooked outside our boundaries and it is my goal to continue to share that history within our community and with others across the State of New York.


Local history has been a deep-rooted passion of mine since I was all but 12 years old; I suppose you can say that I’ve dedicated more than half my life to the history of this area. That interest is what inspired me to study history at the College at Brockport and my passion for research and education is what drove me to pursue a degree in Library Science from the University at Buffalo.


I can think of no better way to start a weekly column than to share two of my favorite photographs. This is a two-for-one special to start! This image on top shows the Polish Band from St. Mary’s Assumption Parish in Albion standing on the front steps of the church at Brown and Moore Streets, taken sometime around 1904 or 1905.


Led by Bandmaster Reynolds (believed to be Cassius M.C. Reynolds) of Albion, the young men wore dark green uniforms lined with gold braiding and performed at ceremonies and parades throughout the area.

This image shows the band standing at the intersection of Brown and Moore Streets. Looking north, you can see several people standing along the bridge crossing the west branch of Sandy Creek. Also visible on the southwest corner at the intersection of Caroline and Brown Streets was a saloon owned and operated by Frank Majewski.


The house, second from the right, was razed several years ago. The center of the Polish community and Albion existed at this intersection and many of these houses were home to multiple immigrant families during the late 1800s and early 1900s.


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It may be spring, but cold creeps back

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 28 March 2015
Spring may have arrived but it’s still below freezing today, with temperatures forecast for a high of 25 and a low of 15.


The top photo shows icicles by the water in Johnson Creek, near the waterfalls in Lyndonville. The photo was taken on Tuesday.


It will be warmer on Sunday, with temperatures at a high of 40 and a low of 34.

These geese were out on Friday along Lattin Road in the Town of Gaines.

Geese and seagulls were out Friday on Densmore Road north of Kast Farms.


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‘Tale’ continues to draw following in 3 rural counties

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 27 March 2015
MEDINA – Laura McBride, author of “We Are Called To Rise,” led a book discussion about her novel tonight at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina.

McBride of Las Vegas wrote the 13th book to be featured as “A Tale for Three Counties,” a community reading project in Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming counties.


McBride led presentations on Thursday in Batavia at Genesee Community College and Richmond Memorial Library. She had lunch today with winners of a writing contest through The Daily News of Batavia.


She met with readers at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library for two hours today. On Saturday she will lead a discussion at 2 p.m. in Perry at the elementary-middle school auditorium.

Jan Albanese of Albion, left, gets her picture taken with Laura McBride.

“We Are Called To Rise” focuses on an immigrant boy whose family struggles to assimilate in Las Vegas. A woman wrestles with an imploding marriage and troubled son. A wounded soldier recovers from an injury.

The book was used in 18 classes at GCC.

The topics in the book – returning veterans and PTSD, domestic violence, refugee family adjustment, police brutality and child advocacy – may all sound grim, but McBride writes a story that is “remarkably tender, touching and ultimately optimistic and uplifting,” said Catherine Cooper, the director of the Medina library. She introduced McBride to about 75 people for tonight’s presentation.

McBride, a community college teacher, took a sabbatical to write the book. She wanted people to see beyond the stereotypes of Las Vegas as a gambling mecca and to see the shared humanity of people across different backgrounds and cultures.


She praised the “Tale” community for its hard work in organizing the reading initiative. Leslie DeLooze, a community services librarian at Richmond Memorial, is co-leader of the effort.

She said organizations, businesses and individual sponsors keep the program, which costs about $15,000, going strong. She was pleased to see the enthusiastic turnout so far for McBride. That includes about 125 people for each of her talks in Batavia, and then about 75 in Medina.

For more on the “Tale” program, click here.

About 75 people attended McBride's discussion at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library tonight.


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Bridge removal begins on Clarendon Street

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 27 March 2015
ALBION – Keeler Construction has begun demolition of the Clarendon Street bridge in the Village of Albion.

The company has torn off some of the pavement and moved the concrete barriers on the approaches leading to the bridge.

The bridge was originally built in 1976 over the railroad tracks. It will be torn out, the highway embankments will be lowered and the street will be blocked off at a 90-degree angle at Crimson Drive. On the north side, it will also be blocked off with a turnaround spot near Childs Street.

The project is expected to take about three months.


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Planners say $5M expansion at H.H. Dobbins needs more information

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 March 2015
LYNDONVILLE – Orleans County Planning Board members voted to kick back an application to the developer and Yates town officials for a $5 million project that would add controlled-atmosphere storage for apples.

Empire Fruit LLC (H.H. Dobbins) wants to construct a 26,240-square-foot metal building with ancillary facilities for CA storage at 10775 Millers Rd. The company wants to get started on the project soon and have it ready for the fall harvest.

The project has support from the Orleans Economic Development Agency for tax incentives.

The problem, planners said on Thursday, was the project disturbs more than 1 acre of land. When that happens, the developer needs to provide a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan. That hasn’t been done for the project.

That prompted planners to deem the application incomplete. Dobbins needs to provide the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan for the application to move forward.


County planners said 3 acres of land would be disturbed for the project, when parking spaces, the driveway and the building footprint are all factored.


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Company offered $1.3 million in tax savings to come to Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 March 2015
ALBION – The Orleans Economic Development Agency approved a plan today that would save a Canadian $1 million in property taxes over 20 years.

The agency is offering an aggressive tax incentive proposal to try to sway Pride Pak Canada Ltd. to move into the former BernzOmatic property. Pride Pak officials are weighing other sites in Western New York and Pennsylvania for a new vegetable processing, packaging and distribution facility.

The site in Medina was vacated last year by Worthington Cylinders. The site is a 180,000-square-foot facility at 1 BernzOmatic Drive.

In addition to a discount on property taxes, Pride Pak would receive a sales tax exemption for equipment and building materials, an estimated savings of $280,000.

The total benefits – sales tax and property taxes – are calculated at $1,273,014. The EDA projected the company would spend $136,890,650 in Orleans County over 20 years. That translates into $107.50 spent in Orleans for every $1 given back as an incentive.

If the company chooses Orleans for the project, it is expected to hire 80 people the first year, then be up to 136 in year 2, and 206 after three years. The positions are expected to pay an average of $27,500 after the first year, $28,000 the second year, and $28,500 after the third year.

Pride Pak would buy some local produce, and package it to be distributed to grocery stores. The company wants to expand its operations from Canada and better serve a large northeastern US grocery chain, Orleans EDA officials said.

“It’s perfect for Orleans County,” said Jim Whipple, the Orleans EDA chief executive officer.

The EDA has worked to finalize the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) plan to eliminate that uncertainty in its taxes for the company.


Generally, the EDA and local governments approve 10-year tax-savings deals for companies where they pay a sliding scale of the tax burden, adding 10 percent increments over 10 years.


Pride Pak would get a 20-year deal and see the increments rise 5 percent annually. The tax savings would help offset the costs needed to renovate and retrofit the manufacturing space into food grade specifications and other company needs, EDA officials said.


Pride Pak is looking to invest $10 million into the site, by acquiring the building and installing new machinery and equipment. The EDA is proposing the company be spared from paying sales tax on up to $4 million worth of equipment and materials.


The complex is currently assessed for $2.4 million. The EDA plan would have the company pay a fraction of the taxes on a reduced assessment, starting at 0 percent of a $1.2 million assessment in year 1.


The payment in lieu of taxes plan raises the assessment by 3 percent each following year until it’s at $2,104,207 in year 20.

The PILOT plan also sets the tax rates at a combined $45 per $1,000 of assessed property. That is below the combined tax rates of $54.21 for the Village of Medina, Town of Ridgeway, Orleans County and Medina Central School. Those entities will receive PILOT payments on a percentage of their overall share of the combined tax rate.

Should the tax rates fall below a combined $45, perhaps through a dissolution of the village and/or a significant increase in state aid, the PILOTs would then be based on whatever the combined rates are below $45.

Whipple said the EDA wanted to show Pride Pak the community wants them in Medina. He is hopeful the company will soon announce a commitment to Orleans County, but he said it’s not a done deal.


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Albion students get a taste of farm life

FFA students bring in animals, farm equipment

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 27 March 2015
ALBION – FFA member Aaron Burnside shows students a farm tractor, which he told them cost $450,000.

The FFA is hosting its annual Mini-Farm Day today, with elementary students visiting 12 stations of equipment and animals. The event is held the last day of school before Easter break.

This year’s Mini-Farm includes chicks that hatched through an ag science class. Shelby Restivo holds this 7-day-old chick.

These chicks hatched 28 days ago.

Geddy Morgan, an FFA member, shows a baby duck.

Jayne Bannister, a senior, sips a cup of cappuccino while chatting with Janie Schutz. Jayne talked with students about the two beef cattle in the pens: Eva Encore, born Feb. 25, 2013, and Saint Nick, a calf born this past Christmas.

Mackenzie Luft introduces students to Cheerio, a Nigerian Dwarf goat.

Andrew Moore provides tidbits about Oops, his family's miniature horse.


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Some Swan artifacts find new home at Hoag Library

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 27 March 2015
ALBION – Diane Morrell of Albion works on a project at Hoag Library. A large oil painting that was at Swan Library was added to the loft area in the Hoag, one of many paintings from Swan that are now at the Hoag.

Display cases, book shelves and other artifacts from the Swan have been brought to the Hoag, including this display case. Library Director Betty Sue Miller, left, and reference librarian Cheryl Mowatt look over some of the items in the case.

A 1897 graduation program for Albion High School is among the artifacts featured in the display case.

Library staff and volunteers aren’t sure who is pictured in this portrait. Betty Sue Miller said there are other mysteries in portraits and relics discovered at the former Swan Library.


That building has been sold to Chad Fabry of Holley. Library staff, volunteers and professional movers cleared the library of most of the items, with many of those pieces moved to a 24-by-36-foot storage unit.

The book case in memory of Simon Adler used to be behind the circulation desk at Swan Library. Now it's just around the corner from the circulation desk in the new library.


"We're trying to bring some of what was Swan Library here," Miller said.

This portrait of Abraham Lincoln was discovered stashed away in the former Swan Library.


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Run/walk will honor memory of Wayne Burlison

Music teacher helped start Albion Running Club

Photo by Tom Rivers
Participants in Saturday’s “Run for Wayne” in Albion will receive a medal for completing the 1-mile walk or the 3.17-mile run. The event begins at 12:01 p.m. at the elementary school, where Burlison was a music teacher.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 March 2015
ALBION – Wayne Burlison was 36 when he was diagnosed with colon cancer in December 2013.


An Albion elementary music teacher, Burlsion lived 3 months and 17 days after his diagnosis. Thursday (March 26) was the one-year anniversary of his death.

On Saturday, his friends have organized the first “Run for Wayne,” a 3.17-mile run or walk to raise money for a scholarship in his name. Participants also have the option of a 1-mile course.


Organizers will post signs along the course route with some of Burlison's favorite sayings, including "Can’t isn’t a word, try again."

The event will begin at 12:01 p.m. at the elementary school and participants will head east on Route 31 to Mount Albion Cemetery. They will pass Burlison’s grave and then head back to the school.

“It seems very poignant to honor Wayne in this way because running was very important to him,” said Mark Moore, the race director and member of the Albion Running Club.

Nearly 150 people have already registered for the event. Registrations are open up until 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Participants will receive a shirt and medal, with proceeds going to a scholarship in Burlison’s memory. (Click here for more information.)

Provided photo
Wayne Burlison runs in a race. Once he took up running and a eating more nutritious foods, he lost nearly 150 pounds. He became a long-distance runner and also led running programs for beginners in Albion.

Burlison was an active musician performing with many community bands and also participated in many groups at the school district. A concert in January with many of those musicians raised about $7,000 for the scholarship.

Brian Krieger, executive director of the Albion Running Club, expects the Run for Wayne will push get the scholarship funding past the $10,000 goal, including the fund-raising from the concert.

Krieger trained for a marathon with Burlison. The two were close friends. They led the “Run for God” program at the Albion Free Methodist Church, which helped beginning runners go from the couch to a 5K in about three months.

Burlison once weighed nearly 300 pounds and lost about half that weight. He became a big proponent for a balanced life with family, friends and faith, while also embracing fitness and healthy eating.

Krieger and Moore want the “Run for Wayne” to honor their friend, and also provide fitness motivation for people during the winter. The event can give people a training goal during the cold-weather months of January, February and March.

“We want to promote fitness earlier in the season and help kick off the running season,” Moore said.

The run/walk on Saturday will include opening ceremonies with a prayer and message from Lisa Burlison, Wayne’s wife.

"Run for Wayne" is set for a 12:01 start to represent one of Wayne’s favorite Bible verses, Hebrews 12:1: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”


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Firefighters respond to smoky fireplace in downtown

Photo by Tom Rivers Posted 26 March 2015 11:58 p.m.
ALBION – Firefighters were dispatched to an upstairs apartment in downtown Albion at 11:11 p.m. on Thursday. A fireplace was smoky and smelly, perhaps from melting crayons, firefighters said.

The Albion Fire Department ventilated the apartment at 28 East Bank St.


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Albion code enforcement officer to retire within year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 March 2015
ALBION – Ron Vendetti, the village’s code enforcement officer since 2001, has announced his intention to retire in the village’s 2015-16 fiscal year, which begins June 1.

Vendetti had to notify the village of his intentions by the end of March that he would retire within the next fiscal year.

When Vendetti was hired, he was tasked with pursuing unlicensed cars, property maintenance issues and neighborhood decline. The village has made strides in his 14 years on the job, he said today.

“When I started here we had unlicensed cars in front yards and a lot of property maintenance problems,” he said.

Residents often complained to Village Board members that Vendetti was abrasive and unfair in ticketing residents for infractions. The board even tried to fire Vendetti, but he prevailed in court.

Vendetti acknowledged the code enforcement officer makes many enemies. But he said he also has made friends, working with developers on new projects and reconstruction in Albion, in particular the many new buildings that went up on routes 31 and 98.

He also has pushed the village to create an LDC to focus on distressed properties, and has worked on the downtown concert series and other community projects.

Vendetti also is the code enforcement officer in Murray and Holley, and is managing Holley’s grant program. After he retires, he said he would like to continue in a part-time role in Murray or Holley.

Vendetti said Albion has benefitted in the past 14 years with a strong police department, stepped up efforts for street maintenance and overhauled neighborhood parks, which have helped the quality of life in the community.


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Rubble remains 2 years after demolition started on downtown building in Albion

Neighbor asks village to clean up site

Photos by Tom Rivers
A sandstone building from 1840, one of the oldest in downtown Albion, has been reduced largely to rubble. However, the site hasn’t been cleaned up after demolition started two years ago.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 March 2015
ALBION – Mary Anne Braunbach said two years is long enough for the village to move on cleaning up the rubble and remains of a sandstone building originally constructed in 1840.

Braunbach owns a building near the ruin at the corner of Beaver Alley and Liberty Street. She said the “pile of rocks” drags down the appearance of the entire downtown historic district, which is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Two years of patience is more than any taxpayer should have to bear,” Braunbach told the Village Board on Wednesday evening.

Dan Dunn of Ridgeway started removing the building in April 2013, but work was stopped because Dunn didn’t secure an asbestos removal permit from the state Department of Labor.

Dunn contested he needs a certified asbestos removal company for the work. Dunn, owner of salvage company, believes he could handle the job.

The DOL’s Asbestos Control unit tagged the building as a “suspended action.”

The building, once used to manufacture carriages more than a century ago, was deemed a “dangerous building” when it was standing and the village wanted it to come down. Dunn needed a permit from the DOL before removing the 5,000-square-foot building that was last used as a furniture warehouse about a half century ago.

Dunn took down some of the structure and removed some of the stone. But some of the rubble and his equipment remain on site.

Village Attorney John Gavenda said the village has taken Dunn to court to have him clean up the site, but the rubble remains.

Village officials say it would cost abut $16,000 to pay a contractor to remove the remaining debris. Braunbach urged the village to hire a contractor to get the job done, and try to recoup the costs from Dunn or by selling the land.

“It comes down to the village’s budget. Do we have the money?” Gavenda asked the board.

Village trustees are working on the 2015-16 budget, which must be approved by May 1.

“My personal opinion is that is a mess and we should clean it up,” Trustee Gary Katsanis said.

Here is how the building looked about two years ago before demolition started.

Trustee Eileen Banker didn’t want to see the village expend public resources cleaning up sites and buildings that are abandoned. She said there are 47 vacant houses in Albion and she worries the village could be stuck with some of them.

David Snell, a local real estate broker, said neighborhoods and the community suffer from buildings and sites left to rot.

“We’re suffering,” Snell said. “These homes are a cancer on our village.”

The Village Board said it would know more on May 1, after its new budget is in place to see if it has money to address the clean up of the Dunn building and address any of the housing issues.

Braunbach said putting off the cleanup another year isn’t an option. She wants the village to address it soon – or she may take legal action.

“We may include it in the budget,” Banker said. “We’ll do our best.”


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