This rendering shows how the former Holley High School would look after $17 million in renovations.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 July 2017 at 10:31 am
ALBION – The clock is ticking and developers of the former Holley High School are trying to line up as much support as possible for a proposed $17 million renovation of the school.
Kim Russell, executive vice president of Home Leasing, met with the Orleans County Legislature on Wednesday, seeking the body’s official support for the project.
The Legislature approved a resolution in support of the effort to turn a building that has been vacant for nearly 30 years into residential apartments and offices that would be used for the village government.
Legislature Chairman David Callard said the project would be transformational for Holley – and the whole county.
“We are so favorably impressed with the presentation put forth,” Callard told Russell. “We give you our full support. It’s dynamic and would help improve the entire county.”
Home Leasing is working along with Edgemere Development, Glasow Simmons Architecture L.L.P. and Marathon Engineering – all Rochester-based firms – on the project.
The developers of the project were denied funding in the form of housing tax credits this spring by the New York State Homes and Community Renewal. Home Leasing is again seeking those tax credits to make the project financially feasible.
It also is seeking grants through the state. The applications for the grants are due on Friday.
Russell said the company is seeking $350,000 through Empire State Development, $300,000 through the Environmental Protection Fund, $150,000 through NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research & Development) and $100,000 through the NY Main Street program.
Russell said the project is costly partly due to the environmental contamination that needs to be cleaned up. If the state grants and tax credits don’t come through, Russell said the project may not work financially. Without a redevelopment, she said the building may need to be torn down.
Callard said the project, at the corner of routes 237 and 31, is ideally located near the downtown and the Public Square. The project would revive a historic landmark in the village center, and would bolster local housing stock for residents, including senior citizens.
The Legislature’s resolution notes the Orleans Economic Development Agency already has a PILOT agreement in place for Home Leasing to pay to support local government services. The EDA also has approved mortgage and sales tax exemptions, purchase contract, and its own resolution of support for the project.
Russell has encouraged community members to send letters of support about the project.
The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a flood watch for the Lake Ontario shoreline for 7 a.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday.
The watch includes Niagara, Orleans and Monroe counties. The high waters with waves may worsen flooding in low-lying areas along the shoreline, the Weather Service said.
A group of shoreline residents and business owners also is holding a rally at Hilton High School Auditorium on Friday at 7 p.m.
United Shoreline will be addressed by Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo, who share about the possibility of FEMA relief and help coming from the US Army Corps of Engineers as a result of her meeting with both groups in Washington, DC. She will be accompanied by Monroe County Emergency Management Director Tim Kohlmeier, who will also address the group, United Shoreline said in a news release.
The featured speaker will be Lake Ontario Riparians Alliance Director Dr. Daniel Barletta, who will give trends on what to expect going in the future with lake levels and further destruction.
Other speakers include State Sen. Joseph Robach and Parma Supervisor James Smith, who will talk about tax assessments.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 July 2017 at 9:28 am
Goal: Build ‘civic capacity’ for local municipal boards, organizations
Courtesy of Lynne Menz: This is the logo for the new Leadership Orleans program.
ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature approved spending $33,000 for the county’s contingency fund to help start the “Leadership Orleans” program, which will begin with classes in January for about 25 participants.
The program will be run through Community Action of Orleans & Genesee. The county approved the $33,000 to help with the startup costs for the new program.
Most other counties in Western New York have leadership programs. Genesee County, for example, has been running its program for at least 15 years through the Cornell Cooperative extension of Genesee County.
“It will build civic capacity in Orleans County,” said Chuck Nesbitt, the county’s chief administrative officer.
The local municipal boards and civic organizations all could use more people with a deeper understanding of the community, Nesbitt said.
The Leadership Orleans participants will all pay a tuition to be in the program, which has monthly day-long meetings. The monthly programs will give participants insight about the agencies and different sectors of the community, from local government, cultural organizations, volunteerism, community health, tourism and recreation, agribusiness, education and economic and workforce development.
Leadership Orleans will run for a year with members of the group meeting monthly on the third Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program will focus on civic responsibility and community stewardship, Kelly Kiebala, the Orleans County Job Development director, told county legislators during a presentation last month.
Kiebala graduated from the Genesee program in 2010. She is helping to run the Orleans effort.
The tuition in the program could range from $750 to $1,500, depending on the size of the class.
The program wants to draw from a cross section of the community, including business, labor, education, arts, religion, government, community-based, ethnic and minority groups.
Leadership Orleans is looking for people to share their expertise and engage in “courageous conversations.”
The program will be open to adults at least 18 years old. They should be open be flexible and adaptable, open to different roles, including a student, beginner, learner, organizer, director, boss, volunteer, teacher and “servant leader.”
The program will soon begin an outreach effort.
Besides Kiebala, the Leadership Orleans program was developed by the following committee members: Laura Bentley, co-owner of Bentley Brothers and graduate of LEAD NY; Diana Fox, assistant clinic coordinator for Orleans County Mental Health and graduate of Leadership Genesee in 2002; Gary Graber, Darien Town Justice, terminal manager for Teal’s Express and Leadership Genesee graduate in 2005; Chuck Hoover, sales and marketing for Batavia Turf/CY Farms and Leadership Genesee graduate in 2013; Kim Pritt, retired Albion resident who was part of Leadership Sanford, North Carolina; Thad Thompson, golf course superintendent for Terry Hills and LG grad in 2013; Patrick Weissend, vice president and branch manager for Bank of Castile and LG grad in 2002; and Peggy Marone, director of Leadership Genesee and LG grad in 2002.
Photo by Tom Rivers: Justin Robinson, 17, of Albion and his uncle Jody Neal, right, clean a dairy animal on Tuesday evening at the Orleans County 4-H Fair.
Posted 27 July 2017 at 8:03 am
Daily Feature: Orleans County Flower Show – Lartz Exhibit Building
Orleans County Quilt Show – Trolley Building
The Governor’s Mystery Challenge, 12 to 9 p.m. Play and win!
8 a.m. Senior Council Stand Opens
8 a.m. Western Horse Show and Ranch Division. Carlos Marcello Arena
10 a.m. $7 Admission per Car Starts
10 a.m. All Buildings Open
10 a.m. Poultry Knowledge Bowl. Wachob Pavilion
Photo by Kristina Gabalski: 2-year old McKenna Richardson (center) of Barre gets some help from mom, Kerri, and 4-Hers during the Little Britches Cattle Show on Tuesday morning. Young members of the public are invited to walk a young calf around the Show Arena just like 4-Hers.
10 a.m. Wildlife I.D. Contest. South Side of Lartz Building
12 p.m. Leader’s Pie Stand Opens
12 p.m. Calf Feeding and Care Demonstrations. Cattle Barn
12 p.m. Llama Show. Show Arena
12 to 6 p.m. WNY Prism: Stopping the Invasion! Flower Show Area
2 to 4 p.m. Family and Consumer Science Knowledge Bowl. Center Stage
2 p.m. Magic Joe: Tricks, Illusions and Wonder. Orleanshub.com Stage
2 to 6 p.m. Dog Show Grooming and Handling/Showmanship, Classes 1-4 and C1. Show Arena
3 to 8 p.m. Blood Drive by American Red Cross. ($10 Visa Gift Cards will be given to all blood donors. Walk-ins are welcome.)
Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Izzabelta McCoy and her cavy dressed as princesses during the Rabbit and Cavy Costume Contest on Tuesday.
3 to 10 p.m. Midway Rides by Main Event Amusements $20 Unlimited Ride Wristband. Midway
4 p.m. Live Chalk Art. South Side of Lartz Building
4 p.m. Magic Joe: Tricks, Illusions and Wonder. Orleanshub.com Stage
4 to 8 p.m. Vision Screenings Sponsored by Medina Lions Club – Buzz Hill Education Center
4:30 p.m. Chicken BBQ Sponsored by Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension – No Presale. Curtis Pavilion
5 -8 p.m. P.Raising Kids Children’s Activity Center with Face Painting, Crafts and Art Projects. Trolley Building
5:30 p.m. The Creature Teacher and friends live show. Log Cabin Lawn
6 p.m. Sheep Show (Costume class at end) Sponsored by Kirk and Alice Mathes. Knights Building
6 p.m. Registration for Small Fry Pedal Tractor Pull Ends. Fair Office
6 -6:30 p.m. Cow Juice Café: Milk Tasting with Orleans 4-H Dairy Club – Fair Office Portico
Photo by Tom Rivers: Megan Moore, 11, of Albion competes in the miniature horse showing competition on Monday.
6 p.m. Live Chalk Art. South Side of Lartz Building
6 p.m. Master Gardener Presentation. Lartz Building
6 p.m. Magic Joe: Tricks, Illusions and Wonder. Orleanshub.com Stage
6 -7:15 p.m. Meet and Greet with the Creature Teacher and Friends – Log Cabin Lawn
6:30 p.m. Small Fry Pedal Tractor Pull Sponsored by Lance Mark and Empire Tractor. Pedal Tractor Course: Fair Office
6:30 p.m. Horses, Horses, Horses! World Champion Performing Horses – Lawn South of the Knights Building
7 -9 p.m. Magic Joe: Street Magic. Throughout Grounds
7 p.m. Calf Feeding and Care Demonstrations. Cattle Barn
7 -8:30 p.m. Local Entertainment Variety Acts. Orleanshub.com Stage
Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Some of the participants in the Rabbit and Cavy show line up for Best of Show judging for rabbits on Tuesday.
7:30 p.m. The Creature Teacher and friends live show. Log Cabin Lawn
Legislator from Staten Island will visit Orleans County 4-H Fair today
Press Release, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley
In his continuing quest for bipartisanship, rare in today’s political climate, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) will be hosting Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Staten Island) in Hawley’s Assembly district to demonstrate the concerns and needs of Western New Yorkers.
In return, Hawley will visit Cusick’s home, Staten Island, at some point in the future.
“I am excited to host Assemblyman Cusick and show him how our lives are different in another region of the state,” Hawley said. “I am pleased that he accepted my invitation to travel the many miles to our area and his acceptance illustrates the bipartisanship and common bond we all have as state lawmakers despite the quarreling and vigorous policy debates we have in Albany. I hope other lawmakers follow our lead and remember that our common goal is to make all of New York a better place to live.”
Cusick is scheduled to be in Genesee and Orleans counties today and will see the NYS Veterans Nursing Home in Batavia, Post Farms in Elba, O-AT-KA Milk Products in Batavia, Oliver’s Candies in Batavia and the Orleans County 4-H Fair in Knowlesville.
“Although I have long represented a district in one of New York City’s greenest boroughs known fondly as ‘The Borough of Parks,’ I believe my trip to Genesee and Orleans may challenge what I have always thought of as ‘green space,’” Cusick said in a statement. “Very much looking forward to taking up Assemblyman Hawley on his kind offer to tour these beautiful counties.”
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 July 2017 at 9:03 pm
Photos by Tom Rivers
ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature this afternoon presented a Special Recognition Award to James Punch, who is retiring Friday after nearly 27 years as Orleans County Court judge.
Punch accepted the award from Legislature Chairman David Callard, left. The judge received a standing ovation and applause from the legislators and others at the meeting, including Clerk of Legislature Nadine Hanlon, back left, and County Treasurer Susan Heard.
Prior to being elected judge, Punch served as the district attorney for nearly five years.
“Through your extreme professionalism serving as our County Judge and as our past District Attorney, our county has benefitted from your extensive knowledge and service,” legislators stated on the certifiate. “Your pledge to protect Orleans County and beyond is widespread and long lasting. The Orleans County Legislature does hereby wish you success and happiness in all of your future endeavors, along with thanking you for your allegiance to the county you were raised in.”
The award is signed by legislators David Callard, Don Allport, John DeFilipps, Lynne Johnson, Fred Miller, Bill Eick and Ken DeRoller.
Punch grew up in Medina and graduated from Medina High School in 1973. Callard said he remembers the judge as a kid riding around the community on his bike.
Judge James Punch praised county officials and other departments for their service to the community.
Punch is retiring on July 29. His final court sessions will be on Friday.
“It has been an honor to serve,” Punch told legislators. “I’m proud of the county and I’m proud of the Legislature.”
He praised the Legislature and county officials for moving forward with an addition to the historic county courthouse a decade ago that made the building handicapped accessible, allowing it to continue to be used for a courtroom and for offices.
“That preserved what I think is the most beautiful courtroom in Western New York,” Punch said.
He also praised the Department of Social Services, Probation and the Mental Health Department for their work trying to help families in crisis.
In addition to leading County Court, Punch also has served as judge for Family Court, Surrogate Court, and Supreme Court, as well as judge for Drug Court and Domestic Violence Court.
“We have an awful lot to be proud of in this county and a lot of it is what you do in this Legislature,” Punch said.
Photos by Kristina Gabalski: Participants in the Dairy and Fiber Goat Show Champion Showmanship competition line up in the Knights Building today. Nicole Mrzywka, far right, was chosen Master Showman and Brilyn Rebisz, second from right, was chosen Reserve Master Showman.
By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 26 July 2017 at 3:46 pm
KNOWLESVILLE – Olivia Kroening of Knowlesville participates in the Champion Showmanship portion of the 4-H Dairy Goat & Fiber Goat Show Wednesday morning at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds. Olivia is a Novice Showman this year.
Bailey Schubmehl of Holley answers a question for judge Jessica Socha during the Championship Goat Showmanship competition.
Participants in Dairy and Fiber Goat Cloverbud Showmanship are given guidance by judge Jessica Socha – a 4-H alumna – as they make their way around the show ring in the Knights Building for the first time.
Eli Pask of Barre handles his Rhode Island Red chicken during the Showmanship competition at the 4-H Poultry Show.
William Trembley of Barre holds his Croveucoer mix bantam hen from Barnfield Farm outside the Wachob Pavilion during the 4-H Poultry Show. William says the Croveucoer is a rare breed.
Photo by Pearls Pics on behalf of the American Angus Association: Jayne Bannister of Kent represented New York at the 2017 National Junior Angus Showmanship Contest, held in conjunction with the National Junior Angus Show on July 9-15 in Des Moines, Iowa. Forty-five youth from across the country competed for top honors in the 51th annual event.
Jayne Bannister of Kent was one of 45 college students from across the country who participated in the 2017 National Junior Angus Showmanship Contest.
The show was held in conjunction with the National Junior Angus Show on July 9-15 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Jayne studies Animal Science and Agricultural Education at Kansas State University. She represented New York at the national show.
National Junior Angus Association members have one opportunity in their junior career to represent their state in the National Junior Angus showmanship contest. This year at the National Junior Angus Show hosted in Des Moines, Iowa.
During the 2017 National Junior Angus Show, 45 junior members competed for the title of champion showman. Claudia Hissong of Greencastle, Pa., claimed the honor of top showman.
Three judges evaluated the juniors on their skills while handling an animal, their ability to follow instructions, and evidence of courtesy and sportsmanship in the showring.
The 2017 NJAS in Des Moines, Iowa, was a record breaker for the Angus breed. More than 1,260 head of Angus cattle were shown — the largest number since the last record was set 10 years ago.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 July 2017 at 2:19 pm
ALBION – A Holley woman was sentenced to three years in state prison today.
Shawna N. Weis, 29, of Holley admitted in a previous court appearance to selling heroin on Feb. 6 when she was a resident of the Holley Hotel.
She pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree and faced a maximum of 1 ½ to 4 years in state prison.
Weis has a prior felony and two misdemeanors.
“She does have a serious drug problem,” her attorney Michael O’Keefe said during sentencing this morning.
Orleans County Court Judge James Punch told Weis she not only has a drug problem, but was selling drugs in the community. He ordered her to pay $200 in restitution to the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force.
Her sentence also includes two years of post-release supervision.
The judge also said he would recommend she receive drug addiction treatment at the Willard program through the state Department of Corrections.
• A Ridgeway man who was sentenced to state prison last week was resentenced today and received intermittent jail time, as well as probation.
Judge Punch had wanted to sentenced Richard C. Turrell, 62, to local jail and probation, but Turrell and his attorney requested the state prison and its drug treatment program through Willard.
Punch said a “legal impediment” required him to resentence Turrell, the owner of the Rick & Ron’s automobile business.
He was arrested last September. Turrell on May 22 admitted in court to selling cocaine. He pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree.
Turrell has “no substantial criminal history,” Punch said during sentencing last week. The judge said he didn’t think Turrell had reached the criminal level of going to state prison.
Turrell doesn’t qualify for Willard because he isn’t a second-felony drug offender or a first-time offender convicted of a B felony. Turrell pleaded guilty to a D felony.
The new sentence requires Turrell to spend two days a week in jail over four months, and be on probation for five years. Punch said the sentence allows Turrell to keep working and be in a drug treatment program.
• Andrew Coley, 19, of Platt Street in Albion was sentenced to six months in jail for endangering the welfare of child after he allegedly had drugs in the presence of two underage girls at a motel in Albion.
Coley faces additional drug charges for allegedly selling crack cocaine in Orleans County. He has been arraigned on criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, as well as criminal sale in the fifth. Those charges are pending.
• A Hamlin man was sentenced to intermittent jail over eight months, spending two days a week in jail.
Daniel F. Heberle, 45, of Lakeshore Road was charged with driving while intoxicated on Jan. 28 and allegedly had a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.14 percent and was driving without a license. He was stopped on Norway Road in Kendall.
He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree.
The judge said Heberle’s crime warranted some incarceration, but Punch also wanted Heberle to be able to continue working.
He will be required to install an interlock ignition device when he starts driving again. That device measures his BAC.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday signed legislation (S.750 / A.611), which will immediately ban the use of electronic cigarettes on all public and private school grounds in New York State.
“Nicotine use in any form has shown to be damaging to teens and this measure will close a dangerous loophole that allows e-cigarettes to be used in New York schools,” Cuomo said. “This measure will further this administration’s efforts to combat teen smoking in all its forms and help create a stronger, healthier New York for all.”
Prohibiting electronic cigarettes on all school grounds will diminish youth access to electronic cigarettes and help bolster New York’s commitment to preventing childhood and teenage smoking. School grounds includes any building, structure and surrounding outdoor grounds contained within a public or private pre-school, nursey school, elementary, or secondary school’s property, and any vehicles used to transport children or school personnel.
In March, the Governor announced a survey released by the New York State Department of Health, which found that e-cigarette use by high school students nearly doubled in the last two years, from 10.5 percent in 2014 to 20.6 percent in 2016. Additionally, a recent U.S. Surgeon General’s report shows the number of high school students using e-cigarettes soared 900 percent between 2011 and 2015, becoming the most commonly used form of nicotine among youths.
Electronic nicotine and vapor delivery systems, which include e-cigarettes, vaping pens, e-hookah and similar devices, typically contain nicotine. Nicotine exposure during adolescence can cause addiction and harm the developing adolescent brain.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 July 2017 at 8:32 am
Photos by Tom Rivers
KNOWLESVILLE – Dennis Mathes, 8, of Barre leads a steer through the show arena during Tuesday’s beef show at the Orleans County 4-H Fair.
Rylie Lear won the master showmanship award with Nicole Mrzywka the reserve master showman for beef.
The dairy show is today at 4 p.m.
Jackson Nesbitt, 11, of Waterport waits to lead this animal into the show arena. Jackson helped show Nathan Woodworth’s beef animals after Nathan got sick on Tuesday. Nathan, 9, of Lyndonville won the grand champion award for best overall beef animal.
Jayne Bannister of Point Breeze leads the grand champion beef animal that is owned by Nathan Woodworth of Lyndonville.
Lillian Mathes, right, of Barre and other 4-Hers get ready with their beef animals to head to the show arena.
Kaitlynn Basinait, 8, of Barre has this beef animal under control during Tuesday’s show.
Homer Mathes, 9, of Barre leads a beef animal in the show arena. Ribbons are set on a table for the top animals and leading showmen.
Kaylee Nesbitt, 13, of Waterport shows a beef animal.
Jayden Neal, 14, of Albion keeps up with some of the barn chores, which are critical for keeping the animals clean for their moments in the the show arena.
5 -8 p.m. P.Raising Kids Children’s Activity Center with Face Painting, Crafts and Art Projects. Trolley Building
5:30 p.m. The Creature Teacher and friends live show at Log Cabin Lawn
6 p.m. Donut Eating Contest Sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts at Orleanshub.com Stage
Logan Woodcock, 7, of Newfane competes in the small fry tractor pull on Tuesday. The event returns at 6:30 p.m. today by the fair office.
6 p.m. Registration Ends for the Small Fry Pedal Tractor Pull Fair Office
6 p.m. Live Chalk Art. South Side of Lartz Building
6 p.m. Master Gardener Floral Design Contest (Open to public) at Lartz Building
6 p.m. Magic Joe: Tricks, Illusions and Wonder Stage Act at Orleanshub.com Stage
6 -7:15 p.m. Meet and Greet with the Creature Teacher and Friends at Log Cabin Lawn
6:30 p.m. Dairy Cattle Show. Show Arena
6:30 p.m. Small Fry Pedal Tractor Pull Sponsored by Lance Mark and Empire Tractor. Tractor Pull Course: Fair Office
Cora Clark of Kendall shows a Polish rabbit during the rabbit Show on Tuesday. She is joined by friends Brian Shaw of Kendall, left, and Lydia Scharlau of Medina. There are 152 rabbits registered at the fair from 22 breeds.
6:30 p.m. Horses, Horses, Horses! World Champion Performing Horses at Lawn South of the Knights Building
7 -9 p.m. Magic Joe: Street Magic. Throughout Grounds
7 -8:30 p.m. Open Mic with Oak Orchard Review. Orleanshub.com Stage
7:30 p.m. The Creature Teacher and friends live show. Log Cabin Lawn
8 p.m. Live Chalk Art. South Side of Lartz Building
8:30 p.m. Horses, Horses, Horses! World Champion Performing Horses at Lawn South of the Knights Building
9 p.m. Orleans County 4-H Fair $1,000 Karaoke Challenge at Orleanshub.com Stage
10 p.m. Buildings Close
10 p.m. Greased Pole Climbing Contest (Teams must pre-register at the Fair Office) Sponsored by Big Ash Fireplace and Stoves at Greased Pole
Hugh Gabalski, center, waits for the judge to look over his rabbit. He is joined by Naomi Mathes, left, and his sister Peggy-Jo Gabalski. They were all showing American Fuzzy Lops.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 July 2017 at 4:20 pm
MEDINA – The tractor trailers rumble down Park Avenue early in the morning through the evening. They are beating up the village streets and bothering neighbors, village officials said on Monday.
Medina wants them to stay off village streets, and instead take Maple Ridge Road to Salt Works Road to then go to Associated Brands and companies in the Olde Pickle Factory.
Many of the truckers who are stopped by police for violating the 5-ton weight limit say their GPS leads them through the village streets, Police Chief Chad Kenward told board members.
“We need to do something to protect village property and the residents,” said Mayor Mike Sidari.
Trustee Owen Toale said the heavy truck traffic forces the village to mill and pave sections of Park Avenue every year “because it gets beat up so bad.”
Toale said he often gets emails from residents on Park Avenue before 8 in the morning, informing him that “four tractor trailers have gone by my house.”
Toale suggested raising the fine to $1,000 and impounding trucks that use the village streets.
None of the other village officials supported that. Sidari and Trustee Marguerite Sherman said more signage should be posted for trucks, directing them to Maple Ridge and Salt Works. The signs should also note fines for using village streets at perhaps $500 per infraction, Sidari said.
Resident Michael Maak suggested the village talk with the companies that have tractor trailers stop for deliveries. Those businesses could work with the trucks’ dispatchers to inform them to stay off the village streets.
Sidari liked the idea of reaching out to businesses for help with directing the trucks to the right roads that can better handle the weight.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 July 2017 at 3:43 pm
MEDINA – The Village Board held a public hearing on proposed regulations for a dog park on Monday, and heard some resistance to setting aside space in a public park for dogs.
Village officials said they were eyeing Gulf Street Park, north of the canal, for the dog park. The whole park wouldn’t be used for dogs. There would be a section with a fence that would be 4 to 6 feet high. The park would be open dawn to dusk, according to the proposed ordinance.
The enclosed area would allow dogs to be off-leash, with the area exclusive to dogs and their handlers.
Three residents near that park said it should be used for children and their families only – not dogs.
“I don’t want to listen to dogs barking,” said resident Art Washak. “I don’t want to look at it or smell it.”
A Stork Street resident said the park, the only one on the north side of the canal, shouldn’t have space set aside for animals.
“We’re taking away a park for kids and giving it to dogs,” the resident said. “That’s wrong.”
Village Trustee Owen Toale said the board has no intention of giving up an entire park for dogs. Trustee Tim Elliott said the village proposed the ordinance to have some rules and keep up with a community need.
“Medina has many rental places and dogs need a place to go,” Elliott said.
Alaina Wilson suggested the village create a dog park in February. She offered to lead a fundraising effort, and a committee of volunteers to help care for the site.
Cindy Davis runs a business, walking dogs. She does it some days for 15 hours.
“I can’t keep up,” she told the board during Monday’s public hearing.
The demand for her business shows people value their pets and want them to have exercise and social interactions, she said.
The dog park would help build a stronger community, helping people to make friends. The dogs would also become better behaved and friendlier with exercise and social outings at the park, Davis told the Village Board.
“We are animal lovers,” she said. “We want to do things with our dogs.”
Village resident Mike Maak suggested the board consider Butts Park for the dog park. That park has more parking. A spot at the park near the creek also has a buffer away from residences, Maak said.
Mayor Mike Sidari said the village isn’t focused on any site right now. It wants to hear form the community about regulations for the park.
Some requirements in the proposed ordiance from the village include requiring dogs to have a current dog license, vaccinations and must have tag on the dog collar.
Handlers also need to insure dogs demonstrate safe behavior and social interaction at all times toward people and other dogs. (Dogs displaying aggressive behavior need to be immediately leashed and removed from park.)
Handlers must also pick up dog’s fecal matter and dispose in trash receptacle. Handlers also can’t leave a dog unattended.
The proposed ordinance urges handlers to be considerate of neighbors and try to keep the park a “bark-free zone.”
The village has no responsibility or liability for injuries at dog park, according to the proposed ordinance.
The proposal also bans puppies under 4 months old, female dogs in heat, and unattended dogs.
Children under age 12 aren’t allowed in the area set aside for the dog park. Children 13 to 18 are allowed if accompanied by an adult.
Sidari said the board will continue to discuss the issue and consider spots for the dog park.
“It may not be at Gulf Street Park or even if we have it,” he said.
By Nola Goodrich-Kresse and Kristine Voos, Genesee-Orleans Public Health Education Team
RABIES ALERT! STOP! and THINK! Do NOT touch! It can kill!
Any mammal is able to get rabies, it is very important to get your pets vaccinated and not to touch or handle any stray or wild animals including bats, deer, and baby animals.
Rabies is a virus that attacks the nervous system of mammals, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. There are over 4,000 different species of mammals, all of which are vertebrates (they have a backbone or spine), are endothermic (“warm-blooded”), have hair on their bodies, and produce milk to feed their babies. Humans are mammals.
Transmission of the rabies virus usually begins when infected saliva of a host infected with the virus is passed to an uninfected mammal. The most common way rabies is transmitted is through the bite and virus-containing saliva of an infected host.
“The only way to know for sure if an animal or person has rabies is by testing the brain tissue,” stated Sarah Balduf, Director of Environmental Health for Genesee and Orleans counties. “Therefore, if a wild animal bites or it is determined there may have been an exposure; it will have to be put down (euthanized) to rule out rabies.”
It is illegal to possess any wild animal that naturally lives in the state. Not only do these animals have the potential to spread rabies, but they often carry parasites, ticks or may carry diseases that can be spread from animal to human.
It is important to leave wild animals alone! More times than not baby animals are not orphaned but are kept hidden while the parents can hunt for food or stay away to protect them from predators. Nature will take care of nature.
Wild animals have had to be put down because humans have interfered in their lives. Leave them alone! For more information about young wildlife visit the Department of Environmental Conservation web site at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6956.html
If you are bitten or get saliva on you from an animal, (wild, stray or domesticated but not known if it has been vaccinated against rabies) it is important to wash the area carefully with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately. Report all animal bites to your county health department, even if they seem minor. If treatment is initiated promptly following a rabies exposure, rabies can be prevented. If a rabies exposure is not treated and a person develops clinical signs of rabies, the disease almost always results in death.
By avoiding contact with stray or wild animals, saving the bat/animal that may have had contact with humans/domestic animals, and reporting an incident to your local Health Department, we may be able to avoid unnecessary medical treatment that averages over $3,000 per person.
Rabies is 100% preventable! Here are some ways to protect your families and animals.
Don’t feed, touch or adopt wild animals, stray dogs or cats, including the babies.
Be sure your pet dogs, cats and ferrets as well as horses and valuable livestock animals are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. Vaccination protects pets if they are exposed to rabid animals. Pets too young to be vaccinated (under 3 months old) should be kept indoors and allowed outside only under direct observation. Keep family pets indoors at night. Do not leave them outside unattended or let them roam free.
Do not attract wild animals to your home or yard. Keep your property free of stored bird seed or other foods that may attract wild animals. Feed pets indoors. Tightly cap or put away garbage cans. Board up any openings to your attic, basement, porch or garage. Cap your chimney with screens. Bats can get in spaces as small as the width of a pencil.
If nuisance wild animals are living in parts of your home, consult with a nuisance wildlife control expert about having them removed. You can find wildlife control experts, who work on a fee-for-service basis, in your telephone directory under pest control.
Teach children not to touch any animal they do not know and to tell an adult immediately if they are bitten by any animal.
If a wild animal is on your property, let it wander away. Do NOT feed it, do NOT touch it! Bring children and pets indoors and alert neighbors who are outside. You may contact a nuisance wildlife control expert who will remove the animal for a fee.
Report all animal bites or contact with wild animals to your local health department. Do NOT let any animal escape that has possibly exposed someone to rabies. Depending on the species, it can be observed or tested for rabies in order to avoid the need for rabies treatment. This includes bats with skin contact or found in a room with a sleeping person, unattended child, or someone with mental impairment. Bats have small, sharp teeth and in certain circumstances people can be bitten and not know it.