Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 6 May 2016
ALBION – These tulips are out by the United Methodist Church on Platt Street in Albion.
The weekend weather shows mostly sunny and a high of 69 on Saturday, with a chance of showers after 3 p.m., according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.
Sunday also has a chance for showers after 1 p.m., partly sunny and a high near 55.
The extended forecast shows a high of 61 on Monday, followed by highs of 63 on Tuesday, 65 on Wednesday, and 73 on Thursday.
Chris Finney, an employee with the Orleans County Buildings and Grounds Department, trims the grass by trees on the Courthouse Square lawn on Friday.
2 are charged with selling prescription narcotics in Medina
Staff Reports Posted 6 May 2016
MEDINA – Two people were arrested on Thursday for selling prescription narcotics in Medina.
The Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force, Orleans County Sheriff’s Department and Medina Police Department executed a search warrant at 14 Edgewood Drive in the Applewood Trailer Park, where police seized prescription pills (200 MG morphine pills and Zanax), cash, packaging material, several rifles and shotguns, and other drug paraphernalia, The Major Felony Crime Task Force reported.
Police arrested Allen E. Snook, 33, of 14 Edgewood Drive. He was charged with two counts each of criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, which are class B felonies.
Police also arrested Betty J. Russell, 57, of 1004 West Ave., who allegedly was selling hydrocodone pills. She was charged with two counts each of both criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.
Both Snook and Russell were arraigned in Ridgeway Town Court by Town Justice Joseph Kujawa. They were both committed to Orleans County Jail on $25,000 bail. The investigation is ongoing and more charges are pending, the Task Force reported.
Senior citizens and students enjoy annual breakfast at Holley Elementary
By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 6 May 2016
HOLLEY – More than 100 senior citizens enjoyed breakfast and music with students at the Holley Elementary School on Thursday morning.
District Superintendent Robert D’Angelo said this is the 11th annual Senior Citizen Breakfast and it is one of his favorite events of the year.
“We started it to honor the individuals who do so much for our district,” D’Angelo said. “It warms my heart to do this.”
He noted the event is also an opportunity to provide community members with good information – the school nursing staff was on hand to provide free blood pressure checks, and the Orleans County Office for the Aging also attended.
D’Angelo invited those attending to stroll through the gardens, which are just coming into bloom on campus, visit the Family Fitness Center and, “feel free to enjoy the building, this building belongs to you.”
A breakfast buffet was served and Holley High School students and members of the Student Council assisted with the event. They poured coffee and made sure anyone needing extra help received it.
Holley Central Food Service Director Vicki Scroger worked to coordinate the menu, table settings - which included centerpieces of fresh flowers, and place settings with place mats featuring colorful student drawings.
Members of the High School Concert Choir, the 5th and 6th Grade Elementary Chorus and the Kindergarten class performed musical selections.
Clarendon Town Supervisor Richard Moy said he attends the event every year and enjoys the opportunity to visit with friends and neighbors.
“It's great,” he said. “There’s a lot of people from Clarendon. You get to see a lot of people you haven’t seen at other times of the year.”
D’Angelo agreed, telling those in attendance that, “as a community, it is important that we get together. We look forward to seeing you next year.”
Staff Reports Posted 6 May 2016
MURRAY – The Orleans County Youth Board will holds its 34th annual Youth Recognition Dinner at Hickory Ridge Golf and Country Club on May 12 and will recognize 20 young people for their commitment to community service and/or their impressive role in their family. Additionally, the dinner will recognize one adult youth worker and an adult volunteer.
The following young people will be recognized: Amanda Blackburn, Randal Eblacker, Evan Gaesser, Kenzie Galletta, Allyson Irwin, Dixon Keon, Jessica Mandigo, Natalie Mrzywka, Rose Pajek, Cassandra Sargent, Damian Schoonmaker, Zachary Shaffer, Ian Smith, Julia Smith, Kyle Thaine, Andrea Toussaint, Joseph Velez, Baylee VerCruysse, Austen Vroman and Angela Weaver.
Gerry Golden is receiving the Helen R. Brinsmaid Memorial Youth Worker Award from his position as a caseworker at Orleans County Department of Social Services for going above and beyond with the families he works with.
Robert Brice is receiving the Eileen Heye Adult Volunteer Award for all the work he does for the Holley community.
The keynote speaker for the evening will be Jeremy Babcock, an Albion volunteer firefighter who is currently is the Executive Director of Housing at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Babcock, 39, oversees a staff of 24, the residential halls and 1,000 apartments. He deals with everything from keys, pest control, furniture, laundry facilities and many other issues.
Babcock is also a talented golfer. He lives an active life despite being born with birth defects in both arms.
“I’m really fortunate with what I can do,” Babcock told the Orleans Hub in a previous interview. “My family and friends always pushed me.”
As the suffragette movement was taking off, she was in Savannah, Ga., developing a global organization for girls. (Editor’s Note: Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts in 1912 in Savannah, Ga.)
Question: When you say Girl Scouts were advocating for women on currency, what were Scouts doing?
Answer: At first 40,000 Girl Scouts reached out and basically wrote to advocate on behalf of our founder that she be considered as one of the individuals on the currency. But the larger message was it’s time to show that women have played a significant role in this country’s history and impact, and what better way to here directly from girls.
I just spoke to the Treasurer of the United States, Rosa Rios, and she has been one advocating for this for several years. They are going to start with the $10 bill and the $20 bill, and the focus is both on the back sides of the currency and to have someone on the front side.
Harriett Tubman is a prime candidate for that. (Editor’s Note: Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20, and Alexander Hamilton will stay on the $10.)
The larger discussion continues around how else can we memorialize the amazing impact of women and girls in this country. It’s a continuous conversation we are having.
Question: People might wonder how the Girl Scouts, now in their 104th year, are changing because I think there are perceptions it might be a baking club. I know from my son being in the Lego group in Albion that the Hippie Pandas (a Girl Scout team in Rochester) is a dominant team, beating the boys. They are a major STEM program.
Answer: The Girl Scouts are more relevant than ever. We are looking for opportunities to share that story. We’ve been in every zip code in the country for a hundred years. We’ve been part of our communities.
The story is we are based on very concrete values around service, around empowering girls to be self reliant, to serve others and most importantly to prepare for leadership at the age of 12 and the age of 20.
So we talk about our history but we also talk about how we are relevant today. I’ll give you a couple of examples. One of the biggest issues facing the economy right now is a strong workforce in particular based on STEM. We run the largest empowerment program for girls in the world. People don’t know that.
We also run the largest entrepreneurial program for girls in the world: It’s the cookie program. You talk to all of the major CEOs who were Girl Scouts, and I can name them all for you, and they will tell you they started their business acumen by selling Girl Scout cookies – 8-year-old girls doing cold calls. How to take no and still persevere. What is her delivery model? How is she going to invest her revenue? We have now the ability to take girls from that platform. We have digitized it for the first time in a hundred years.
I love the stories that I hear where they are taking that cookie revenue and investing it in non-profits. They are funding your local animal shelters, your congregate meal sites, your senior centers, your local parks. That is the story we want to tell.
When you invest in a local Girl Scout, you’re actually investing in your local community. Our data shows that our girls are definitely more resilient. If you look at our alum, when you look at their path – and we have 59 million living alumni – and they are doing amazing things. They are making more money than non-Girl Scouts, $12,000 more a year. They are bringing back more resources to their families. They are much more culturally, community and civically engaged. We even looked at our Girl Scout mothers and they volunteer more in their kids’ schools than our non-alums.
Girl Scouts also go on to get higher levels of education. They go on to not only get their BA’s, but their JD’s, their MBAs, their PHDs, and they are voting. They are very actively involved in the economic and political systems, both regionally and nationally.
And, when you ask them about their life choices, the decisions they’ve made in their own life whether family, career, or their own opportunities, they are happy. They have made decisions that resonate with their values and they see the impact they are making.
For $15 a year investment in membership, this is what a girl can get. For the local community it costs about $300 a year to serve a girl and that’s why we really have to talk to our community members about investing in our local council to ensure that they can reach all girls.
Question: What are some of the challenges – maybe money and having enough dedicated adult volunteers?
Answer: What we have found over the years is it is taking more for families to succeed in life. Parents are having to work. Our model was built where someone could stay at home 100 percent of the time. That is no longer the case. You have grandparents raising grandkids. You have single-parent households. We had to reformate our sort of infrastructure in the field to support all types of volunteers.
There are episodic volunteer opportunities or there are troop leaders who are going to be with girls consistently year to year. We’re doing that through technology.
Question: STEM sounds like a great thing, but is it harder to find volunteers to lead those more technical programs?
Answer: The other thing is we’re trying to talk to the men. You may think it’s only for female volunteers. But the reality is our research has shown – and we have our own Girl Scout research here in New York – that 75 percent of girls love STEM. They resonate to math and science, and they’re really good at it. But they stop taking those courses because they’re getting different messages from their peers, from their teachers and from the community that STEM is not for girls to do.
The number one factor for girls whether they continue their STEM education and go into a STEM career is the male figure in her household. The father, the uncle who is mentoring her, who is taking her to the local lab – girls are looking for those mentorship opportunities from both women and also from men in the field.
Question: Why are you here visiting Rochester and Buffalo?
Answer: I’m so excited to be her. First of all this council has done amazing things for many, many years. They are also a great example of how we are really re-energizing and looking at using technology to almost bring a new renaissance to Girl Scouts in this area. They are combining the great DNA that we have around outdoors – because we know that girls need to be outdoors, they need to be out there exercising and out in the wilderness without a cell phone to connect with nature – but they also need to understand there are other opportunities for them to get ready to exceed in school and also to excel in soft skills that we consider very important in the workforce: how to work on teams, how to collaborate, how to express your opinion in a group environment. So this team (The Girl Scouts of Western New York) has done an amazing job creating local Girl Scout programming and also embracing our national Girl Scout leadership experience that is focused on getting girls outdoors and other leadership opportunities.
Question: Is this a fire-up-the-troops visit?
Answer: I work for the field. The average age of my boss is 8 years old. So for me it’s getting out and listening to our girls, to our volunteers, and supporting our amazing local leadership and staff, and also to talk to community members about the importance of investing in girls.
Today with all of the billions of dollars that are donated in the philanthropic area only 7 percent go to women and girl causes. Think about that, only 7 percent. So we clearly need to tell the story why it is so important to invest in women and girls.
We are the pipeline. We are the largest prevention program in the world. We are helping girls to see their potential to build resiliency, to really think through their life so when they are met with other choices at 12 and 13 years old they are picking the right path for a brighter future and opportunity.
In addition, we are serving girls across the country who may not have opportunities due to a financial situation. We are serving girls in foster care. We actually have a program where we take troop meetings behind bars where mothers are incarcerated. We have troop meetings in prisons. Our data shows we have cut down the recidivism rate for that family. We have allowed those mothers who are incarcerated to continue to have that bonding with their daughter.
We are opening the eyes of people around the country who may think of Girl Scouts in a certain way. The fact is we’re multidimensional, we’re in 90 countries in the world and it’s a girl-led organization.
A day to pray for community, country
Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 5 May 2016
ALBION – About 30 people gathered outside the Orleans County Courthouse at noon for the National Day of Prayer, which was created in 1952 by Congress and signed into law by President Harry Truman.
The Rev. Tim Lindsay, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Albion, leads the group in a prayer. Many of the prayers were directed towards the community and country’s leaders.
Some of the prayer participants lifted their hands in seeking God’s direction and blessing for Orleans County and the United States.
The Rev. Dan Thurber, right, is pastor of the Oak Orchard Assembly of God in Medina. His father, Stanley Thurber, is next to him. The elder Thurber also led Oak Orchard as pastor for many years.
DEC says remediation to start at FMC in Middleport
Press Release, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Posted 5 May 2016
MIDDLEPORT – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that Phase Two of the soil remediation effort will begin on June 27 on the grounds of the Royalton-Hartland (Roy-Hart) High School and on May 3 at residences located on the K and M Blocks in the Village of Middleport, Niagara County.
This remediation is part of the overall 14.4-acre remediation effort required under the Final Statement of Basis (FSB) issued by DEC in May 2013 regarding the cleanup of the FMC Corporation Middleport facility site.
The 2013 FSB requires the removal of arsenic contamination exceeding the 20 part per million soil cleanup objective from the Roy-Hart High School property. To date, approximately 8,000 cubic yards of material has been excavated from the school property by DEC due to FMC's refusal to implement the remedy.
During phase two, DEC will excavate and remove approximately 900 cubic yards of arsenic-contaminated soil from the Roy-Hart High School inner courtyards and grass areas adjacent to the southwestern side of the high school during the summer of 2016.
DEC is currently working with the Royalton-Hartland Board of Education and school district officials to develop a construction schedule for all remaining soil remediation activities at the school.
Remedial work will also restart this month to complete the excavation and removal of arsenic-contaminated soil from three residential properties within the K and M Block areas as well as the remaining 28 residential properties within the K and M Block areas that have signed on to the project.
DEC and partnering contractors have worked closely with the Village Mayor and public works staff to coordinate this work on the K and M blocks. The DEC project team has also engaged in extensive outreach with residential property owners in this area and will continue these activities until the project is complete.
The FSB identifies a total of 182 properties in the Village of Middleport for cleanup and DEC will continue its cleanup activities until all impacted properties have been addressed, as required by the FSB. Any property owners within the K and M Blocks who have not already responded to DEC to schedule remediation of their properties are encouraged to contact Dave Chiusano at 518-402-9813 or David.Chiusano@dec.ny.gov.
Additional information regarding the cleanup of the FMC Middleport Facility and a map of the K and M Blocks can be found at DEC's website by clicking here.
First Fridays art shows will shift to Cobblestone Museum this year
Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 5 May 2016
GAINES – Taylor Daughton, director of the Cobblestone Society & Museum, is pictured in the Proctor Room at the Cobblestone Universalist Church, the site of a reception on Friday for an art show.
The free event will also be a chance for the public to meet Daughton, who was hired in February to serve as the museum’s director.
The show is part of First Fridays, which for the previous seven years was organized by Kim Martillotta Muscarella at her home at 229 North Main St. Muscarella is continuing to run the events, which this year will shift to the Cobblestone Museum. There will be new art shows each month until the museum closes for the year in October.
Tony Barry, a Holley artist, painted a tugboat on the Erie Canal. The art show on Friday also features artists Tom Zangerle, Pat Greene, Kim Martillotta Muscarella, Connie Mosher and Suzanne Wells.
The reception on Friday will be free from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the museum, 14389 Ridge Road. The museum also opens for the season on Sunday, Mother’s Day, although the buildings will be available for tour on Friday for an admission price.
The Proctor Room is named for John Proctor, a prominent pioneer on Ridge Road in Gaines.
The Cobblestone Museum is the only National Historic Landmark in Orleans County. For more on the museum, click here.
Union says all employees currently live within county
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 May 2016
The vice president of the Orleans County Sheriff's Employees Association says all of its members currently live within the county.
The union represents about 60 employees – correction officers, jail cooks, civil clerks, and dispatchers. They ratified a three-year contract with the county providing 2 percent annual raises. The contract also requires residency within Orleans County for workers hired after April 27, 2016.
Chris Caufield, vice president for the union and a corrections officer, said the union members supported the residency requirement because they already live within Orleans.
“The union was of the opinion that New York State Public Officers Law allows the county to require us to maintain residence in the county without negotiation,” Caufield said today. “That notion, coupled with the fact that every member currently resides in Orleans County, the union membership did not have a problem with agreeing to this contract with that requirement included. We viewed this as something the county could enforce anyway, regardless if we agreed to do so. Essentially, we didn’t feel like we were giving anything up.”
County officials pushed for the residency requirement because they wanted more community commitment for employees to county taxpayers.
Chuck Nesbitt, the county chief administrative officer, said the county will likely push for the residency requirement in other county contracts.
Orleans, NY counties want state to pay for DA salary increase
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 May 2016
District attorneys in New York State will get about $30,000 a year raises after the state followed the NYS Commission on Legislative, Judicial and Executive Compensation recommendation for salary increases.
The state had previously agreed to pick up salary increases for district attorneys, but the recent state budget didn’t include those increases that account for an extra $1.6 million throughout the state.
Counties already had their budgets in place, and they continue to have limited room for additional costs due to the state-imposed tax cap, Orleans County legislators said.
They joined counties around the state in passing a formal resolution for the state to pick up the increase in salary.
Many state legislators, including State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, support the state paying for the increase.
“Our hard-working district attorneys deserve this recognition, the invaluable work that they provide make our communities safer and better places to live,” Hawley said. “Mandating that counties pick up this cost however is a direct burden on our middle-class families and I’m glad my bill will provide the proper compensation for our public servants while also protecting the hard-earned money of our taxpayers.”
Hawley says ex-Assembly leader shouldn’t get pension while in prison
Staff Reports Posted 5 May 2016
Sheldon Silver, the leader of the State Assembly for about 20 years, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Tuesday after being convicted on Nov. 30 of corruption, including honest services fraud, money laundering and extortion.
“I am glad to finally see Sheldon Silver meet the fate he deserves,” said State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia. “I am extremely dismayed to hear that he will be receiving a near six figure taxpayer-funded pension behind bars. No one who purposely betrays the public for decades and denigrates his/her office like Silver should receive any form of taxpayer-funded pension.
“The Assembly Majority promised us comprehensive ethics reform months ago. Since then they have ignored the desires of New Yorkers in exchange for protecting one of their own. Corruption in Albany should not be business as usual and I will continue to beat the drum for a return to integrity here in the Capitol.”
Other former state legislative leaders also await sentencing on corruption. Dean G. Skelos, the former Senate majority leader, will be sentenced on May 12. John L. Sampson, a former leader of the Senate Democrats, will face his own sentencing on May 19.
Apex will focus on Barre for Heritage Wind project
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 May 2016
BARRE – Apex Clean Energy last week announced its plan for Heritage Wind, a 200 Megawatt project, the same power proposed for Lighthouse Wind in Yates and Somerset.
Apex put out a map that showed the project focused in Barre but also spreading out into surrounding towns, as far northeast as Fancher and south into Elba.
Apex said today the project will be focused entirely in Barre. Ben Yasman, Heritage Wind project developer, said Barre’s elevation is about 200 feet higher than most of the county. It has access to transmission lines and state roads.
It also is the least populous town in the county with lots of open farmland.
Apex is just beginning the public outreach process. The company expects to have many meetings with town officials and residents in a siting process that could take several years. Yazman said feedback from residents, landowners, town officials and other stakeholders will determine the location and size of the turbines.
“The locations will be dependent on the landowners who want to participate,” he said.
Apex has been meeting with Yates landowners for about two years. The company has fielded questions about the Lighthouse Wind project at its booth at the 4-H Fair. Apex officials were told by several Barre landowners said they would a support a project in Barre, said Taylor Quarles, Apex’s development manager.
The company sees the potential in Barre, which was eyed for a project by Iberdrola before the company withdrew its effort about a decade ago after concerns by the Pine Hill Airport.
Yazman said he wants to alleviate worries from community members, including the airport. It will be part of the company’s public outreach plan and later environmental studies and scoping documents.
“We want to involve the town in this potential project,” said Cat Mosely, Public Affairs manager for Apex. “We see it as a community owned project."
Apex has already done its public outreach plan for Yates and Somerset, and also submitted a Preliminary Scoping Document. It is working to address environmental concerns and other issues raised for the Yates-Somerset project.
Mosely and Yazman said today the company remains committed to Lighthouse Wind.
The intent to develop the Heritage Wind project shows the company’s commitment to Orleans County and the region, Mosely said. (Apex is also working on a project on Galloo Island near Watertown.)
Yazman said the projects will take years of work. He welcomed residents and government officials to reach out to him. He can be contacted through the Heritage Wind website. Click here for more information.
Staff Reports Posted 4 May 2015
ALBION – An Albion woman who was injured in an April 22 car accident on Route 31 near Knowlesville has died from those injuries, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office has reported today.
Sue “Sue Ellen” E. Ryan-Sauer, 66, died on April 29 at Buffalo General Hospital Neuro Intensive Care Unit.
Ryan-Sauer was a passenger in a vehicle driven by her granddaughter, Sara Secore, 20, of Medina. Secore made a right turn from the south shoulder of the highway in an attempt to enter a private driveway. While making the turn, Secore’s action caused a westbound pickup truck, driven by Jack Bower of Waterport, to strike the passenger side of the Secore vehicle, Undersheriff Chris Bourke said in a news release.
Ryan-Sauer was taken by Mercy Flight helicopter to Erie County Medical Center. Bower was transported to Medina Memorial Hospital. Secore was not injured.
No charges are being filed at this time, Bourke said. Orleans County deputies R. Flaherty, J. Gifaldi and J.J. Cole conducted the investigation.
Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office Posted 4 May 2016
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is launching the “No Excuses” campaign aimed at curbing underage drinking in New York. The statewide education campaign includes the distribution of more than 15,000 display materials, in Spanish and English, to restaurants and liquor stores across the state.
“Far too many times we’ve witnessed the dangers of underage drinking and the tragic and life-altering consequences that come with it,” Governor Cuomo said. “With prom and graduation season just around the corner, this campaign sends the message that this reckless behavior just isn’t worth it.”
The New York State Liquor Authority in conjunction with the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility kicked off the statewide campaign ahead of prom and graduation season and began the distribution of thousands of display materials to liquor licensees throughout New York. The groups are hosting launch events with spirits retailers in Albany, Buffalo, New York City and Rochester, with participation by local law enforcement officials, who are on the front lines in combating underage drinking.
Members from all levels of the spirits industry came together for the “No Excuses” effort. Responsibility.org represents the country’s leading distillers, and wholesale partners include Southern Wine & Spirits and Empire Merchants. The following retail associations are also involved in the campaign:
· The New York State Liquor Stores Association
· Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association
· Metropolitan Package Store Association
· Retailers Alliance
“Keeping alcohol out of the hands of underage youth is a top priority at the New York State Liquor Authority,” Vincent G. Bradley, Chairman of the New York State Liquor Authority said. “Therefore, we are committed to working on the front lines to ensure alcohol is sold and purchased responsibly by adults only.”
The SLA has dramatically intensified enforcement actions to crack down on sales to minors in addition to providing education to licensees on their responsibilities. SLA prosecutions for underage sales are up 50 percent since 2010, while the number of licensees and their staff completing the Alcohol Training Awareness Program to prevent underage sales has increased by over 150 percent over the same time period.
“One bad decision, like using a fake ID at a bar or getting behind the wheel of a car after a few drinks, can have lifelong consequences, which is why it’s important we continue to work together to raise awareness and keep alcohol out of the hands of young adults,” NYS DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner and Acting Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Terri Egan said. “DMV and GTSC are proud to partner with SLA on the ‘No Excuses’ campaign, and in other events and joint investigations throughout the year, with the common goal of deterring underage drinking and keeping New Yorkers safe.”
“Seventy-five percent of high school seniors in New York State have used alcohol,” NYS OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “This underage use puts our young people at risk for addiction later on in life. Delaying alcohol use can help prevent substance abuse and addiction down the road.”
The SLA and DMV are integral members of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, which funds initiatives to deter underage drinking and keep New York’s roadways safe. This includes Operation Prevent, which is aimed at reducing underage drinking and the use of fake IDs.
During Operation Prevent sweeps, DMV investigators work year-round with local law enforcement and in targeted details with the SLA to check identification documents and keep underage patrons from obtaining alcohol at bars, drinking establishments, convenience stores, concerts, and events. Governor Cuomo announced in January that Operation Prevent efforts in 2015 resulted in nearly 760 arrests and the seizure of more than 750 fraudulent documents.
The GTSC also recently spearheaded the “No Empty Chair” teen driving safety education and enforcement campaign to raise awareness of the highway dangers associated with teen drinking.
By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 4 May 2016
HOLLEY – The proposed Holley Central School budget for 2016-17 includes a 1.99 percent increase in the tax levy, which school officials say falls below the tax levy cap of 2.219 percent.
Members of the Holley School Board of Education held their annual meeting Tuesday evening, which included a presentation on the proposed budget by Assistant Superintendent for Business Sharon Zacher.
Zacher said the $24.4 million proposed 2016/2017 budget is 4.73 percent higher than the current year budget. The nearly 5 percent budget-to-budget increase is due to the district’s share of the Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Capital Project, she said.
“We pay our portion as an expense item,” Zacher said, and explained this is the first of a three-year contribution. A portion of the expense will be aided on the revenue side of the budget, she noted. Without the BOCES Capital Project, the budget-to-budget increase is 2.32 percent.
The 1.99 percent increase in the tax levy brings the average tax rate to approximately $22.81 per $1,000 of assessed value.
The proposed budget maintains current staffing and programs, District Superintendent Robert D’Angelo said.
Zacher said on the appropriations side, health insurance costs have increased 6 to 7 percent over the current year.
On the revenue side, the district will receive $15.87 million in state aid. The district will collect $6.86 million with the tax levy.
Zacher noted the ending of the Gap Elimination Adjustment in the state budget will mean a restoration of $284,309 for the district. Foundation Aid increased 1.48 percent to $141,880.
The proposed budget uses $1.3 million of appropriated fund balance, Zacher said.
Voters will see three propositions on the ballot May 17.
Proposition 1 is the $24.4 million annual district budget; Proposition 2 regards authorizing the purchase of schools buses – two full-sized and two 30-passenger school buses not to exceed $339,000; Proposition 3 is the budget for the Community Free Library in Holley of $116,061.
Additionally, three candidates are running for two 3-year term seats on the School Board. John Heise and Brenda Swanger are running for re-election, and Christine Klafehn is also running for an open seat.
Before the annual meeting Tuesday evening, a meet the candidates forum was held. All three candidates discussed their desire to run for the School Board and also answered questions.
Both Heise and Swanger, who currently serves as School Board President, said they would like to continue serving the district. They have both been board members for 12 years.
“I’m proud of our district,” Swanger said.
Heise noted the district is seeing positive results of its programs with higher test scores. He currently serves as the Holley representative on the BOCES 2 Board of Education.
Christine Klafehn is a retired special education teacher and a former member of the Kendall Central School Board of Education, serving part of that time as president. She is also a former Kendall Recreation and Hamlin Recreation soccer coach. She noted her experience in Kendall would be helpful as the two districts plan to look into ways to work together.
“I know the district (Kendall) quite well,” she said.
Klafehn said she has been very happy with the education her children have received in the Holley Central School District. “I’m excited to put my name in the hat,” she said of her candidacy.
Voting will take place May 17 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the foyer of the Holley Middle School/High School.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 May 2016
ALBION – A new contract that gives 2 percent annual raises to about 60 employees in the Sheriff’s Department will also require any new employees live in Orleans County.
The County Legislature approved the contract for 2016-2018 last week, following ratification by a union representing workers in the county jail, civil clerks and dispatchers at the Sheriff’s Department.
This is the first contract where the county is making new hires to live in the county, although some department heads currently have that requirement.
“We feel we will get a better product for the community if the employees are invested in the community,” said Chuck Nesbitt, the county chief administrative officer.
County officials pushed for the residency requirement because many of the corrections officers and other civilian staff live outside of the county. The existing employees won’t be required to move within Orleans to keep their jobs. The contract includes employees hired beginning on April 27, when the Legislature approved the deal.
Nesbitt said the county may implement the residency requirement in other union contracts.
“It will probably be a continuing theme,” he said today.
Press Release, Medina Central School Posted 4 May 2016
MEDINA – Medina junior Marissa Pecorella took first place in the Esthetics category at the New York State SkillsUSA competition.
Marissa competed against eight other BOCES cosmetology students from across the state for creating a makeup look that incorporated a bird theme. It was the first time that the New York SkillsUSA competition has held this particular contest.
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry that work together to ensure America has a skilled workforce while encouraging students to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.
Marissa, who attends the Cosmetology program at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center, designed the makeup look on her model around the New York State bird, the bluebird.
Marissa is already working freelance as a makeup artist and says she will continue to do so to put herself through law school after graduation. She will represent New York State in Louisville, Kentucky at the National SkillsUSA competition at the end of June.
Press Release, Medina Central School Posted 4 May 2016
MEDINA – Medina High School English teacher Karen Jones recently had an honored guest in her classroom. Medina High School alumni and author, Julie Berry, paid a visit to Mrs. Jones' 7th and 9th period seniors to discuss her book, "All The Truth That's in Me." The students had just finished reading it for an assignment.
The book is about a young woman named Judith and what happens to her after her best friend and she disappear from their small town. She returns permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those around her and eventually finds her voice again.
The book has won critical acclaim and has an Edgar Award nomination, A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Top Ten Title, A Junior Library Guild Selection, A School Library Journal Best Book of 2013, A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book for 2013, A Horn Book Fanfare 2013 title, a 2014 TAYSHAS Top Ten Pick and was on the short list for the Carnegie Medal.
"It was such a pleasure to have Julie in my class. We went to school together," says Mrs. Jones. "It was a great opportunity for my students to be able to discuss the book with her. She also shared with them her new book that has recently been released. I am very appreciative she came in and spent time with all of us."
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 May 2016
ALBION – The Town of Gaines agrees it needs to pay more for fire protection, but town officials don’t believe it should be three times what town residents are currently paying the Village of Albion in a fire protection contract.
“We have acknowledged the rate is low,” said Andrew Meier, the town attorney.
The Village Board on April 13 voted to terminate the contract with Gaines, effective 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 31. Village officials said the town has rejected Albion’s offer for the fire contract.
Albion was seeking $100,000 from Gaines for fire protection. That is the same as the Town of Albion pays the village for fire protection outside the village.
That contract resulted in a fire protection tax rate of $1 per $1,000 of assessed property for the Town of Albion. In Gaines, where the town pays the village $33,860, the rate is 32 cents per $1,000 of assessed property, by far the lowest in the county. The Town of Yates is next lowest at 49 cents with Carlton at 75 cents. Every other town pays at least $1 for fire protection.
Meier and the Gaines Town Board have asked for the fire department’s budget, and then want to discuss how to fairly share those costs among the two towns and the village.
The village has wanted to share the costs with a formula based on assessed value. Gaines has suggested a hybrid approach that would include the call volume per municipality.
The gross assessed value for the Town of Albion (outside village) is $109.7 million, nearly the same as the gross assessed value in Gaines ($112.2 million.) The village’s gross assessed value is $189.6 million or about 46 percent of $411.5 million total.
The village in 2013 accounted for 66 percent or 193 of the 269 emergency calls, while the Town of Albion represented 52 calls or 17.9 percent with Gaines accounting for 46 calls or 15.8 percent.
In 2014, the village represented 167 of the 291 emergency calls for 67.1 percent, with the Town of Albion at 64 calls (23.8 percent) and Gaines at 38 calls or 14.1 percent, according to data provided by Meier.
Given the shares of gross assessed value and call volume, Meier said Gaines should pay a small percentage of the fire department budget. He agrees Gaines should pay more than the current rate, but he wants to dissect the fire department’s budget and determine a fair system for sharing the costs among the village and towns.
Meier said the village’s breakdown of fire department expenses show a total cost of $243,839 for June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017. It wouldn’t be fair if Gaines and the Town of Albion each paid $100,000, with the village only paying $43,839, Meier said.
John Gavenda, the village’s attorney, said in correspondence to Meier that the budget is actually closer to $300,000 to $350,000. Meier has sought clarification on the total expenses.
The village’s $243,839 budget for the fire department breaks out the following expenses: $80,000 for approximate bond payment for new fire truck: $16,216 for approximate bond payment for AFD roof: $65,512 for budget; $1,500 for AFD building repairs; $7,043 for chief’s vehicle payment; $7,899 for AFD pickup; $6,512 for Engine 31 repairs; $6,367 for worker’s compensation; $20,458 for vehicle insurance; $4,063 for life insurance; $1,459 for fire accident coverage; $5,000 for electric; $1,500 for heat; $599 for Internet and $19,707 for insurance.
Gaines officials have contended that Gaines should simply pay the same contract as the Town of Albion, even if they have similar tax bases with both at about $110 million.
Meier, in a letter to Gavenda on Feb. 1, 2016, said Gaines is almost entirely residential, although it does have several businesses and a museum on Ridge Road, and two large agricultural processing/production facilities.
The Town of Albion in contrast has higher-risk businesses, offices and institutional properties, such as two correctional facilities, Wal-Mart, the nursing home, car dealerships and county offices.
“We extended requests to keep talking about this,” Meier said in an interview. “We haven’t agreed upon a methodology for a number. So far we’ve only been presented with a demand to triple our contribution.”
Press Release, GCC Posted 3 May 2016
ALBION – People who live in Orleans County know that it is a special place and they work hard to preserve their precious heritage. They enjoy a wealth of extraordinary assets from historic buildings with magnificent architecture to the Erie Canal that did so much to create the town and villages along its banks.
Even the stone in the ground – Medina sandstone, and the soil sustaining the farms – the muck lands, are appreciated. Beginning in September 2016, a county-wide festival will celebrate these many cherished treasures.
Organizers are proud to announce the first Orleans County Heritage Festival, Sept. 9-11: a weekend dedicated to spotlighting the many historic assets of Orleans County. For this year's festival, four themes will be highlighted – Agriculture, Transportation, Historic Cemeteries and Historic Gems.
Now in development, a high quality brochure will highlight all the participating museums, places and organizations. A passport system will encourage participants to visit six historic sites over the course of the weekend and prizes will be awarded for those who complete the task.
In addition to the many historic sites in Orleans County, Genesee Community College will participate in the festival as headquarters for the passport system and with special events. The Medina Campus Center will host a timeline festival featuring re-enactors from various American wars – from the French and Indian War down to 20th century wars. Artisans demonstrating period crafts and special music will contribute to the sensation as visitors walk through time.
The Albion Campus Center will host a program on “Death Ways” through the years featuring talks on Victorian mourning art and the famous murders that occurred in Orleans County.
Many other exciting details of the 2016 Orleans County Heritage Festival will be shared in the coming weeks, but planners are asking everyone to mark their calendars now – September 9-11, 2016. Make plans to join the fun and explore the many historic assets Orleans County has to offer!
For more information or to be involved as a volunteer, please contact:
• Derek Maxfield, associate professor of History at GCC
email@example.com, 585-343-0055 ext. 6288.
• Jim Simon, associate dean at the Medina and Albion Campus Centers,
Provided Photo Posted 3 May 2016
KENDALL – Damian Morfin Howes was awarded his Eagle Scout rank during a celebration on Sunday. Damian is from Troop 94. For his Eagle project, he built four large flower boxes.
Two boxes were placed in the front of Kendall United Methodist Church. The second two were placed on the side of the church barn under the barn quilt.
The flower boxes allow the congregation of the church to plant flowers on both sides of the church's front entrance, thus enhancing the front of the church. The boxes on the side of the barn allow for the planting of flowers and easier upkeep for the church property. This was Damian’s way to give back to the church community that has supported him.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 May 2016
ALBION – Residents elected Kevin Doherty, the Hoag Library president, to another four-year term on the library board of trustees on Monday.
Doherty has served on the board for seven years and has been president for six years, leading the library through a capital campaign and construction of a new facility that opened in 2012.
Voters also elected Holly Canham to a four-year term on the board. Canham is a frequent library user, utilizing the local history resources. She is founding president of the Orleans County Genealogical Society, and remains the group’s president after 16 years.
Canham is retired from working at Chase in Albion. She leads “Family Tree Fridays,” classes on genealogy on the first and third Fridays of the month at Hoag.
“I felt it was my turn to help out,” she said about running for the library board.
She wants to promote the local history resources and help people use those materials in researching their family histories.
Doherty has been an active community member for many years with the Strawberry Festival, 4-H Fair and Albion school district. He owns Doherty Communications.
The new library and a push for programs at Hoag that best serve the community are important as a quality of life issue for the Albion area, Doherty said.
A vibrant library with technology and other resources is part of making the community viable long-term for many young families and other residents when they consider moving or staying in the Albion area, Doherty said.
He is thankful the library has completed the new site, which opened in 2012. Now the focus is on providing the best services to the community, he said.
“The job isn’t done yet,” he said about why he sought another four years on the board.
The nine member board has three vacancies. Two will be filled by the board and Mayor Dean London also can appoint a representative.
Residents in the Albion school district will vote on May 17 whether the district can collect $687,211 for Hoag Library. That is up 1 percent from the $680,411 for 2015-16.
Voting for the library funds is part of the May 17 school vote from noon to 8 p.m. at elementary school.
Copyright Albion-Holley Pennysaver, Inc.