Photos by Tom Rivers: Pam Allen and her daughter Savannah left messages in these cards that will be sent to soldiers on a Naval ship.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 November 2018 at 2:10 pm
ALBION — The call went out for volunteers to send Christmas cards to soldiers overseas. Catherine Schmidt wasn’t sure what kind of response she would get.
On Sunday afternoon, about 40 people filled out about 1,000 cards. Schmidt had 500 with her, and needed to get more.
She said a card with a hand-written message goes a long way in making soldiers feel appreciated while they are deployed far away from family.
“It lifts the spirits of soldiers who can’t come home,” she said on Sunday at 39 Problems, an Albion restaurant and bar that hosted the card-signing.
Schmidt is the volunteer coordinator of the recently started PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer-to-Peer program in Orleans County. The program aims to connect veterans to services and social events.
She set a goal of 900 cards. That is how many are deployed on the Naval ship. The additional cards will likely to sent to other soldiers.
This group was among the volunteers sending cards to soldiers on Sunday. They include, from left: Fred Heschke, Jim Freas, Adam Johnson, Steve Johnson, Catherine Schmidt, Earl Schmidt and Lisa Mannella.
The volunteers added artwork, jokes and messages from the heart in their cards, Schmidt said.
Cards will be accepted until Nov. 30 and can be dropped off at the YMCA in Medina or the Orleans County Veterans Service agency on Route 31 in Albion.
Pam and Savannah Allen were happy to spend a couple hours on Sunday writing cards with a personal message for veterans deployed overseas.
Savannah Allen thanks a veteran in her message in the card.
Erica Miller, back right, brought her children and a friend to write messages to soldiers. Myleigh Miller is at right and her brother Garrett is in back. Zoe Cusson joined the family for the event. Zoe decorated her cards with reindeer and Myleigh added jokes to her messages.
Photo from Medina Fire Department: Medina firefighter Matt Jackson is at the scene of a fire on Sunday morning at Pleasant Street in Medina.
MEDINA – Firefighters from Medina, Lyndonville and Ridgeway responded to a fire call at abut 10 a.m. Sunday at Pleasant Street in Medina.
Medina’s fourth platoon arrived on scene to find heavy smoke coming from a two-story residence. Once inside, crews encountered a fire in a front room of the structure and the fire was extinguished in about 20 minutes, the Medina Fire Department reported.
Crews remained on scene into the afternoon hours checking for extension as well as assisting the fire investigators. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Orleans County Fire Investigation Unit. One resident, who was not home at the time of the fire, is being assisted by family at this time. No injuries occurred at this fire.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 November 2018 at 1:18 pm
Chris Collins’ lead has grown in Orleans County over challenger Nate McMurray for the 27th Congressional District.
After the votes were counted on Nov. 6, Collins had a lead of about 3,000 votes over McMurray out of abut 250,000 cast in the eight counties. In Orleans, the vote was 4,505 for McMurray and 7,269 for Collins from the polls on Nov. 6.
The closeness of the votes for all eight counties prompted McMurray to insist on a recount and that all absentee ballots be included before calling the race.
The Orleans County Board of Election counted the absentees, provisional and affidavit ballots on Thursday and Friday. Those 580 ballots increased Collins’ lead over McMurray. Collins, the incumbent seeking a fourth term, received 310 more votes, while McMurray picked up 257. (Larry Piegza, a Reform Party candidate, received 13 more through the absentees for 299 total votes in the county.)
McMurray, on Twitter today, urged patience while the Board of Elections counts all the votes.
“Man it’s simple, we haven’t even finished the first ‘count,’” he wrote on Twitter. “Let’s count them up properly and see what’s what. But if you think I’m going to let this crooked man and his lackeys, just slip into office, think again. No easy layups.”
There is zero tolerance when it comes to drinking and driving. Orleans County Stop DWI Coordinator Sheriff Randall Bower, NY State Police Sergeant Michael Notto, Medina Police Chief Chad Kenward and Albion/Holley Police Chief Roland Nenni announced they are joining forces in a zealous effort to stop drinking and driving during this Thanksgiving Crackdown (November 21-25, 2018).
As Thanksgiving Eve is known as one of the biggest drinking nights of the year, it is vital that law enforcement presence be at its peak on this night. Although STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol related fatalities, there are still too many lives lost due to DWI crashes.
You can help save lives, by not drinking and driving and having a sober plan for getting home.
• Plan a safe way to get home.
• Call for a ride from a sober friend, family member, taxi, public transportation, or Uber.
The STOP-DWI Crackdowns are promoted by New York State STOP-DWI Association with additional funding from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and implemented by the STOP-DWI Foundation.
Provided photos: Bob Miller, the Murray town supervisor and a neighbor of the Valentine family, reads a letter from Diane Valentine thanking the community for its support the past month since her son Evan was diagnosed with leukemia.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 November 2018 at 8:15 am
600 buy dinners, 220 donate baskets at fundraiser
Evan Valentine makes a surprise visit to the Clarendon Rec Hall on Sunday for a fundraising dinner.
CLARENDON – There was a big turnout from the Holley community on Sunday for a spaghetti dinner and basket raffle to support Evan Valentine and his family.
Evan, 15, was diagnosed with leukemia on Oct. 19. He has completed his first round of chemotherapy. On Sunday morning, his cell counts were high enough where doctors encouraged him to leave the hospital and attend the fundraiser.
The parking lot at the Clarendon Rec Hall was nearly full before the doors opened for the fundraiser at 1 p.m. Inside there was a sea with people wearing orange T-shirts, many saying “Evan Strong.” There were about 600 dinner tickets sold, 160 pounds of pasta cooked “and trays and trays of meatballs,” said Trina Lorentz-Lang, a family friend.
The community also donated 220 baskets and 10 silent auction items. So far, 800 orange shirts have been printed by B&T Creations with all profits donated to Evan.
Local businesses and organizations that contributed to the dinner include Sam’s Diner, Jimmy Z’s, the Albion Running Club and many other community members, said Lorentz-Lang.
Sue Rowcliffe was instrumental in organizing the dinner and volunteers. Jennifer Morgan and Kerry Lonnen organized the basket raffle, and Troy Kingdollar arranged the use of the Clarendon Rec Hall, secured donated food for the benefit and spent several hours in the kitchen. Clarendon firefighters also cooked food and donated the space for the benefit.
“We literally have an army behind us,” Diane Valentine said in a letter read by family friend and neighbor, Bob Miller. “Without all of you, your kind words of support, your love, your prayers, all of this here tonight, we would be lost. You have helped us more than you know. The doctors and staff at Golisano are second to none. We are so very fortunate to have such incredible health care so close to where we live. A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting with Evan and I told him that a lot of people go through their entire lives and never know all the people they have touched. I told him that he has been given a gift because at 15 he definitely knows the people he has touched. You are a gift he will carry with him.”
Heather and Steve Kelley and their children attended the benefit on Sunday. Frank and Sharon Gurzynski are seated next to them.
The Valentine family – Neil, Evan and Diane – are pictured with Breanna Girgangaya, who helped out at the dinner. Many people also signed a board to support Evan.
The Clarendon Rec Hall was a busy place on Sunday for the benefit dinner.
KENDALL – The Kendall Lions Cub on Thursday welcomed the 2018 Class D state champion girls soccer team. The Kendall girls won the first team state title in the school’s history last Sunday, defeating Fort Ann 1-0 in a game at Tompkins Cortland Community College.
Players and parents were welcomed to the Lions Club on Thursday for dinner. Coach Barchet, pictured above, recapped the season for the Lions Club members.
The players introduced themselves and their family in attendance.
Julie Christensen, the Kendall school district superintendent and a member of the Kendall Lions Club, said the community is proud of the state champion team.
Lions Club member Bob Ryan sang a rousing version of “We are the Champions” by the band Queen.
Coach Barchet also spoke of the positive impact this win has had on the community. Principal Carol D’Agostino also addressed the club thanking them for their support of the students at Kendall. She also spoke to the girls about the impact on the community and the pride the club has for how well the team represented Kendall.
The winner of the 2018 Orleans County Tourism Photo Contest has been announced. Sharon Gavenda won with her picture, “Summer Morning on Lake Ontario.”
This is the third year the Orleans County Tourism Department has sponsored the contest. There were 11 judges who picked their top five photos, and five honorable mentions from 45 images. Those photographs captured the essence of Orleans County – including 11 sunsets, landscapes, wildlife and architecture.
“Blue Heron” by Ann Kimmel came in second.
Judges were asked to consider:
Does the subject have a tourism draw? Is this an interesting attraction worth traveling to? Is it current?
Quality: Is the photographer skilled in using interesting design elements such as depth-of-field, perspective, texture, symmetry or contrast? Is this image “Magazine Cover Worthy”?
“Only in the OC” – Is the image iconic to Orleans County or could this picture be taken anywhere? Does it represent Orleans County’s character?
The WOW Factor: Does the image spark a positive emotion in you?
The I-GOT-IT! Factor: Was the photographer in the right place at the right time?
Photographer’s identities were not disclosed to the judges. Results were based on responses the judges ranking the images from 1 to 10 and the highest score determined this year’s winners.
Photo by Tom Rivers: This photo from last week shows a line of tree stumps along the Erie Canal towpath just week of the Brown Street bridge. A year ago, the Canal Corp. cut down trees along the towpath.
ALBANY – The New York State Canal Corporation has announced that work has begun on the latest phase of an embankment maintenance program for the Erie Canal in Monroe and Orleans counties that will enhance the canal’s safety and security.
Crews have begun surveys to mark canal property lines and wetland areas. That will be followed by clearing and brush mowing of the embankment as well as stump removal, packing and grading. That work is scheduled to begin Nov. 26. In some areas, drains will be added and the outboard slope strengthened with stone and filter blankets to capture water seepage. The work is expected to be completed next spring.
“The safety of those who live and work near the Erie Canal is our top priority,” said Brian U. Stratton, Canal Corporation director. “This program can provide property owners with the peace of mind that they deserve.”
The work is being done along the canal from Medina in Orleans County, east to Brockport in Monroe County. It follows the removal last year of vegetation in that area along the embankment, which holds in the water over elevated stretches of the Erie Canal.
Vegetation was removed in accordance with guidance from the Federal Emergency Management Administration, Army Corps of Engineers and Association of State Dam Safety Engineers. The consensus among these experts is that trees have no place on embankments, as their root systems can cause seepage and potentially lead to erosion and potential embankment failure that can cause catastrophic damage and loss of life.
Following up on sessions that have been held in Albion and Brockport, the Canal Corporation will hold public meetings early next year to gather input from the public on the final phase of the embankment maintenance program, the best ways to maintain a visual aesthetic along the embankment and to provide property owners with vegetative screening for privacy. The Canal Corporation will soon hire a consultant to provide options for how that can be accomplished without compromising the embankment’s structural integrity.
The embankment surveys are being done by Ravi Engineering and Land Surveying of Rochester. The stump removal, packing and grading will be done by Hohl Industrial of Tonawanda and Tioga Construction of Herkimer.
Photos by Tom Rivers – Pictured front row from left: Deputy Joe Laudico, Sheriff Randy Bower, Deputy Adam Hazel, Albion police officer Robert Wagner, Albion police officer Christopher Glogowski and Dr. Don Kamin, a clinical psychologist and instructor in the Crisis Intervention Training Program. Back row: Orleans County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. John Doyle, Medina police officer Richard Messmer, Deputy Joshua Martek, Orleans County Jail Superintendent Scott Wilson, Medina police officer Stephen Gross, Medina Police Chief Chad Kenward, Albion police officer Will Francis and Albion police officer Sean McElhinny.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 November 2018 at 5:04 pm
Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower congratulates Sgt. John Doyle for completing the week-long class in crisis intervention training. In back are Danielle Figura, mental health clinic coordinator for Orleans County, and Medina Police Chief Chad Kenward.
MEDINA – About a dozen law enforcement officers in Orleans County took a week-long class last week in crisis intervention, learning techniques to de-escalate situations with people suffering a mental health issue.
This is the second time the class has been offered in the county. The first was about two years ago. There are now about 30 officers trained through the program, which was funded with a state grant by the New State Office of Mental Health. State Sen. Robert Ortt is chairman of the Senate’s Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee. Ortt has been a strong supporter of the program, which has been offered throughout the state.
Medina had two officers take the class last week. Police Chief Chad Kenward said the techniques have been used in the field, and have helped officers recognize a person with a mental health issue and better respond to the crisis.
“It has helped us to talk them down from hurting themselves and others,” Kenward said after the class’s graduation ceremony on Friday afternoon.
The state has been funding a Crisis Intervention Training Program for law enforcement officers to better understand the myriad of mental health issues, and to learn strategies to de-escalate a potentially volatile situation.
A goal of the training is also for police to connect people in crisis with treatment, rather than jail, when appropriate.
Sheriff Randy Bower said the skills through the program has helped reduce the inmate population at the county jail, and better connect people to the help they need.
“It has helped us to better serve the people we are tined to protect,” Bower said.
Dr. Don Kamin, a clinical psychologist and instructor in the program, shared many scenarios and strategies with officers to help them identify if a person if in a mental health crisis and how to lead them to accept help and not be combative.
We went over different disorders and how officers can recognize those and respond to people in distress. The class reviewed behavioral health issues such as trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide assessment and intervention, excited delirium, anxiety and emotional distress. Officers learned communication skills with a focus on de-escalating the crisis.
Photos courtesy of Diane Valentine: Evan Valentine met Jim Kelly, the Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback, on Nov. 12 when Kelly stopped at Golisano Children’s Hospital.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 November 2018 at 9:07 am
Evan Valentine has completed first round of chemo
Evan Valentine is shown on Nov. 4 with some of the get well cards he has received. These cards were from Boy Scouts in Holley and the First Presbyterian Church of Holley.
HOLLEY – Evan Valentine, 15, of Holley has completed his first round of chemotherapy and his blood cell counts are high enough where he should be able to go home soon, before beginning another round of chemo.
Valentine was diagnosed with leukemia on Oct. 19, just a day before he expected to join the Holley soccer team for a Sectional playoff game.
The community will have a benefit for Evan and his family today from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Clarendon Rec Hall, 16169 East Lee Rd. There will be a spaghetti dinner, basket raffles and 50/50 drawings.
Evan is the son of Neil and Diane Valentine. The family appreciates the support from the family, including numerous get well cards, prayers and frequent visitors from Evan’s friends.
“We’re just incredibly grateful for all the support from the community from our friends and family, the school and the church,” Mrs. Valentine said on Saturday night. “It feels like we have an army behind us.”
Evan has completed the first round of 10 chemo treatments. He faces at least three more rounds. A bone marrow biopsy on Monday will help determine how much more chemo is needed.
He has fought through many fevers the first round, and his hair has fallen out. But Evan is staying strong and positive, with his spirits lifted by visits from friends and family.
He also has had several surprise visits, including one from Holley native Freddie Kimmel, who is a cancer survivor at age 32 and a Broadway actor.
“The community has just been phenomenal,” Mrs.Valentine said.
Provided photo: Many of the career and technical education programs have made crafts to sell today. Shown here are the Landscaping Program students with some of the items they made: Josh Allen (Lyndonville), Bryon Gow (Orleans Learning Center), Josh Calus (Medina) and Ernest Gursslin (Albion).
Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES
MEDINA – The SkillsUSA students at the Orleans/Niagara BOCES Orleans Career and Technical Education Center are holding their annual holiday craft show today.
The doors at the center, located at 4232 Shelby Basin Road in Medina, open at 9 a.m. More than 50 vendors will be showing their crafts until 3 p.m.
There is a $2 donation at the door that goes to the SkillsUSA students’ fund that helps them with community projects throughout the year.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 November 2018 at 9:36 am
Albion and Holley PDs also recognized by AAA
Photo by Tom Rivers: Medina Police Chief Chad Kenward, shown on Friday, has pushed several traffic safety initiatives.
MEDINA – The Medina Police Department received the top award for the first time from the America Automobile Association.
AAA on Wednesday presented Medina with a Platinum Award for its traffic safety initiatives. The department has won two gold awards, a silver and a bronze. Now it has won the highest recognition from AAA.
“We’ve stepped up our game over the last few years,” said Police Chief Chad Kenward.
The department has participated in initiatives for stepped up enforcement for driving while intoxicated and “Click It or Ticket” for motorists not wearing seatbelts.
Medina police officers also do a bike rodeo for local children and have two pedal cars with simulators for impaired driving. Officers also have been going to Medina health classes to discuss traffic safety.
AAA presented awards on Wednesday to law enforcement agencies in Orleans and Niagara counties.
Albion also was recognized with the Platinum Award. The Holley Police Department was presented a Bronze Award.
The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office won a Silver Award. The Sheriff’s Office hadn’t applied for the award before from AAA. Sheriff Randy Bower said the Sheriff’s Office has several programs to promote traffic safety, including the addition of a STOP DWI Driving Simulator. That simulator made its debut in April and has been taken to local schools and also to community events.
The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office used a grant from the New York State STOP DWI Committee to purchase a driving simulator where students and other users can see the effects of driving while texting, drowsy or if they are impaired or intoxicated.
File photo courtesy of David Klafehn: Jeremy Browe, a kendall student, drives the new STOP DWI Driving Simulator on April 27 at Kendall during the Senior Bash. Sheriff Randy Bower, front left, Chief Deputy Michael Mele and other Kendall students and parents get a close look at the simulator.
A 1857 map of the Village of Albion shows Beaver Alley.
By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 17 November 2018 at 7:27 am
“Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 4, No. 45
ALBION – Toponymy, the study of place names, origins, meanings, and use, is an area of focus often overlooked locally. The history of Orleans County is a mixture of the ordinary and the extraordinary, so it is no surprise that the origins of place names in our area would follow a similar pattern.
A recent influx of questions regarding name choices for various hamlets, towns, and streets sparked an interest in digging deeper beyond the brief notations found within the files of the Department of History. A file marked “Place Names” reveals very little about the variety of titles affixed to points of interest in our area, so I thought it would be worthwhile to delve into a few examples over several articles.
Beaver Alley is perhaps the most notable local street oddity and is likely to arouse a chuckle or two on occasion. Neil Johnson described several street name origin stories in his column “Albion, Oh Albion” (no. 1195, 14 SEP 2006). Of course, Bank Street was named for the Bank of Orleans that sat on the southwest corner of Bank and Main Streets, Clinton Street was named in honor of New York Governor and Erie Canal supporter DeWitt Clinton, and East and West Academy Streets were named for the nearby Albion Academy. As for Beaver Alley, he wrote, “It is clear, from early maps and deeds, that there was a little canal basin or canal right behind the stores on Main Street that extended to Beaver Alley. Whether that influenced the name or not I have no idea.”
On occasion, historians dig deep into the available information to develop an educated guess as to why something, a street in this case, was named in a particular manner. In most cases, documentation describing the process of officially accepting or designating a place name exists within local records. However, rarely do those records provide any insight into the discussion that surrounded the selection of the name in the first place, or who generated the idea in the first place.
Harvey Goodrich, a native of Herkimer County, New York, travelled to Albion in the mid-1820s after spending several years as a hat maker in Auburn. According to Arad Thomas, Goodrich “having been successful in accumulating property…with his brother-in-law, George W. Standart, took a job of work in making the Erie Canal, and leaving Auburn after his canal work was completed…located permanently at Albion in the year 1824, and engaged in selling dry goods and groceries…” Thomas also noted that after the death of his brother-in-law, Goodrich discontinued his dry goods business and commenced in the manufacturing of hats and dealing in furs.
The production of hats using beaver fur was quite common up into the 1850s, so popular that by the mid-1600s, the beaver’s natural breeding ground in Europe was nearly exhausted. From that point forward, North American became the primary supplier for hat fur in both the Old and New World. At the time Goodrich was operating his business in Albion, beaver fur was still a common material used in the manufacture of hats, but the addition of wool or hare fur was used in the production of less-expensive headgear.
Isaac Signor provides one other piece of information that is helpful in tracing the origin of the Beaver Alley name. In Landmarks of Orleans County, Signor writes, “The west side [Main Street] consisted of a warehouse on the dock, which was afterward burned, and one or two brick stores, extending as far as Beaver alley, on the corner of which Harvey Goodrich kept a hat store.” This information would suggest that Goodrich’s business became the source of the Beaver Alley name.
It may be worth noting, as a humorous side-note, that mercury was used to manufacture hats though it was generally understood that the chemical caused damage to the nervous system. While hat makers labored in poorly ventilated areas, the exposure to mercury would cause trembling and aggressiveness, symptoms of insanity. This is believed to be the origin of the phrase “mad as a hatter.”
Photo from Medina Central School: This year two names were added to the Medina High School Wall of Fame. Warren Beeton, center, and Binh Hua were recognized as distinguished alumni. They are pictured with Medina High School Principal Michael Cavanaugh, left.
Posted 16 November 2018 at 4:50 pm
Press Release, Medina Central School
MEDINA – Two distinguished alumni from Medina were recognized on Nov. 8 and inducted into the school’s Wall of Fame.
The Distinguished Alumni Award was created to honor alumni, promote school spirit, foster pride in Medina High School, and serve as an incentive for current students.
Warren Beeton is a graduate from the Class of 1960 where he was the valedictorian. He went on to graduate from Cornell University with a master’s degree in Engineering. He had a successful career as an engineering manager, culminating as Vice President of Engineering for Emerson Climate Technologies, a leading manufacturer of air conditioning and refrigeration compressors. In this role, Beeton and his organization developed cutting-edge, high-efficiency compression technologies now common in air conditioning and refrigeration equipment around the world.
He also assumed worldwide responsibility for government affairs at Emerson Climate Technologies. In his role, he provided leadership for Emerson on the Board of the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy, where he worked with the US Environmental Protection Agency, State Department and Congress on energy efficiency, stratospheric ozone depletion, and climate change.
He also worked with Congress on the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which included a Cap and Trade provision to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009. Although it later failed in the Senate, it brought attention to the need for climate change action.
He has published numerous papers and is a frequent speaker on the topic pf energy efficiency and climate change. He is the recipient of the Richard C. Shultze Distinguished Service Award. He is the co-founder of the Prince William Virginia Chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby and teaches the science of energy and climate change to continuing education students in Northern Virginia.
Binh Hua is a graduate from the Class of 1992 where he served as class president and was a member of the football, wrestling, lacrosse and soccer teams. He graduated from the University of Rochester (majoring in Economics) and was the recipient of the Xerox Award in the Humanities. He received his MBA in Finance from Georgetown University.
He worked on Wall Street and was one of the few students in the world to be hired by both Goldman Sachs and Soros Fund Management. Through his work in finance, he has advised the most powerful companies in the world, including Exxon, Mobil, Goldman Sachs, General Electric, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Bank of America.
He is currently the Managing Director for Falcon Capital Advisors, where he develops the strategy and execution plans for the development of public and private client companies, as well as U.S. government institutions. He is also the co-founder of a private equity company called Boca Capital Group and a former Board Member and Committee Lead for Bethesda Cares, a non-profit organization with over 500 volunteers. Their mission is to prevent, ease and end homelessness in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Mr. Beeton and Mr. Hua graciously took time out of their schedules on Nov. 8 to talk to students before the ceremony.