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7 characters will ‘fly’ in Albion’s production of Tarzan
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 March 2017 at 10:34 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Enoch Martin plays Tarzan and swings across the set during a rehearsal this afternoon. Enoch is one of seven characters who have harnesses and will fly on stage during the Tarzan shows later this week in the Middle School Auditorium.

Albion has had flying characters before with Peter Pan and Beauty and the Beast, but never with so many different characters.

“It’s awesome for the kids,” said Gary Simboli, the musical director.

Caleb Pettit, left, and Donato Rosario serve as the “flyers” for Joe Madejski, who is in a harness and ready to be hoisted high on the stage.

The school is working with D2 Flying Effects from Tennesee for the system. The company was on site in Albion last Thursday and Friday to give four “flyers” a tutorial on running the system. Caleb Pettit, Tess Pettit, Brennan Moody and Donato Rosario are all serving in the roles, helping to attach wires to harnesses, and run the tracking system. The flyers wear thick gloves while they pull the wires to move characters up and down, and to send them across the stage and back.

Using the flying equipment cost about $7,000. To make up for that expense, the gorilla costumes were are homemade, using pieces from about 1,000 donated T-shirts. Simboli said the drama department also made one set backdrop, using shopping bags from Wegmans, to reduce the cost for sets.

Caleb Pettit and Donato Rosario work together to send Joe Madejski flying out onto the set in Tarzan.

Enoch Martin uses his harness throughout the show. The sophomore took to the air for the first time Thursday.

“It was really fun,” he said.

The harness can be uncomfortable, Martin said. But he could sense the excitement among the cast and crew on Thursday, when the characters soared above the stage.

Besides Tarzan, other characters who get to fly include Riley Seielstad (Tarzan’s human mother), Connor Zicari (Tarzan’s human father), Angela Tarricone (Jane), Chase Froman (who plays a leopard), Kate Krieger (who plays a gorilla) and Joe Madejski (who plays Terk, a fun gorilla who is Tarzan’s good friend.)

Madejski is active in Boy Scouts and has been on high adventure ropes courses. Those experiences helped him to feel comfortable right away on stage with a harness and wire.

Joe Madejski is high in the air and upside down in this scene, where he plays Terk.

While Madejski felt at home in a harness, Riley Seielstad had the opposite feeling her first time flying on stage.

“It was the scariest experience,” she said. “You learn to trust your flyers.”

Moody and Tess Pettit run the wires and move Seielstad across the stage.

Seielstad said she feels much more comfortable after a few days of practice.

“Yesterday I had a flying breakthrough,” she said.

Rosario has homeroom with Kathy Winans, co-director of the show. She mentioned to her student that the stage crew needed a volunteer as a flyer. Rosario offered to give it a try, starting last week. It’s his first time as a part of an Albion musical.

“It’s cool to be part of something this big,” he said. “Everybody does their part. It’s awesome.”

Show times are Friday at 7 p.m., and Saturday at noon and 7 p.m.

Joe Madejski and six other characters in Tarzan are rehearsing scenes, including choreography, while ascended on stage. They added the flying dimension last Thursday.

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Holley students visit State Legislature in Albany

Provided photo: Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) talks with a group of students from Holley High School in Albany on Monday.

Posted 28 March 2017 at 5:48 pm

Press Release, Assemblyman Steve Hawley

ALBANY – Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) welcomed a group of students from the Humanities Class at Holley High School on Monday. The students were recognized in the Assembly Chamber at the State Capitol.

The purpose of the trip was to educate students on the inner-workings of state government and give them an exclusive peek at how the Legislature functions, especially during Albany’s busy budget season. The Humanities Class is unique in that it relies very little on textbooks and worksheets but rather questioning, student interaction, discussion and teamwork.

“I was proud to meet with such an impressive group of young men and women from a local high school in my district on Monday,” Hawley said. “It is extremely important to encourage future generations to become involved with and passionate about government and remind them that they are the leaders of tomorrow. Much of the work we do on behalf of taxpayers is often lost or never heard about, and I was excited to give an inside look at my day-to-day business and how budget negotiations are progressing here at the state Capitol. I wish these students success in the future.”

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NY, California reaffirm commitment to clean energy
Posted 28 March 2017 at 2:57 pm

‘Climate change is real and will not be wished away by rhetoric or denial.’

File photo by Tom Rivers: Wind turbines are shown in the Wyoming County town of Sheldon in this photo from October 2015. Each turbine generates 1.5 megawatts.

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

With the announcement that the United States will begin to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and California Governor Jerry Brown today issued the following statement reaffirming their ongoing commitment to exceed the targets of the Clean Power Plan and curb carbon pollution:

“Dismantling the Clean Power Plan and other critical climate programs is profoundly misguided and shockingly ignores basic science. With this move, the Administration will endanger public health, our environment and our economic prosperity.

“Climate change is real and will not be wished away by rhetoric or denial. We stand together with a majority of the American people in supporting bold actions to protect our communities from the dire consequences of climate change.

“Together, California and New York represent approximately 60 million people – nearly one-in-five Americans – and 20 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. With or without Washington, we will work with our partners throughout the world to aggressively fight climate change and protect our future.”

New York and California lead the nation in ground-breaking policies to combat climate change. Both states – which account for roughly 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States – have adopted advanced energy efficiency and renewable energy programs to meet and exceed the requirements of the Clean Power Plan and have set some of the most aggressive greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in North America – 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. New York and California will continue to work closely together – and with other states – to help fill the void left by the federal government.

New York’s Climate Leadership

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions: Established ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets to reduce emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. These targets have made New York a leader across the country in fighting climate change.

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI): Spearheaded the formation of the successful RGGI cap-and-trade program between northeast and mid-Atlantic states, led effort to reduce RGGI’s carbon emission cap by 45 percent in 2014, and recently called for an additional cap reduction of at least 30 percent between 2020 and 2030.

Reforming the Energy Vision: Established a comprehensive energy strategy to make the vision for a clean, resilient, and affordable energy system a reality, while actively spurring energy innovation, attracting new jobs, and improving consumer choice.

Clean Energy Standard: Established the most comprehensive and ambitious clean energy mandate in the state’s history, requiring that 50 percent of electricity in New York come from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2030.

Clean Energy Fund: Established a $5 billion fund that is jump-starting clean-tech innovation, mobilizing private investment, capitalizing the nation’s largest Green Bank, and helping eliminate market barriers to make clean energy scalable and affordable for all New Yorkers.

Coal-Free New York: Committed to close or repower all coal-burning power plants in New York to cleaner fuel sources by 2020.

Offshore Wind: Approved the nation’s largest wind energy project off the Long Island coast in 2017 and made an unprecedented commitment to develop up to 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030.

California’s Climate Leadership

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions: Established ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets to reduce emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. These targets have made California a leader across the country in fighting climate change.

Cap-and-Trade: Established the most comprehensive carbon market in North America, investing more than $2.6 billion from the Cap-and-Trade program in programs and projects that reduce emissions and support communities disadvantaged by pollution.

Renewable Energy: Established landmark targets that require at least 33 percent of California’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources by 2020, and 50 percent by 2030.

Energy Efficiency: Established targets that double the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings and require residential buildings to be Zero Net Energy by 2020, and all commercial buildings to be Zero Net Energy by 2030.

Super Pollutant Reduction: Established the nation’s toughest restrictions on destructive super pollutants, such as methane, black carbon, and hydrofluorocarbon gases.

Low Carbon Fuel Standard: Established requirements for producers of petroleum-based fuels to reduce the carbon intensity of their products, helping drive the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable natural gas and diesel, low-carbon ethanol, and clean electricity, giving consumers more clean fuel choices while driving significant clean fuel investment and creating new economic opportunities.

Zero Emission Vehicles: Established a program requiring increased sales of zero emission vehicles – a policy adopted by 10 states – resulting in more than 30 new models of clean and affordable vehicles that are reducing consumer gasoline and diesel costs. California also adopted North America’s first greenhouse gas emission car standards – later adopted as a national program – and adopted the nation’s first heavy-duty vehicle and trailer greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements, which led to similar national requirements.

These efforts complement New York and California’s ongoing efforts to broaden collaboration among subnational leaders on climate change, including through the Under2 Coalition – a pact among cities, states and countries around the world to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius in order to avoid potentially catastrophic consequences. New York and California are among the Under2 Coalition’s 167 jurisdictions representing more than one billion people and $25.9 trillion in combined GDP – more than one-third of the global economy.

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DEC says no new deer cases of Chronic Wasting Disease for 11th straight year
Posted 28 March 2017 at 2:15 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers: These deer are pictured in March 2015 on Route 98 in Gaines, south of 104.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced today that of the more than 2,400 white-tailed deer tested last season, none tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.

Since 2002, DEC has tested more than 40,000 wild white-tailed deer for CWD.

“Preventing the introduction of Chronic Wasting Disease in New York State is among DEC’s top wildlife priorities,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “We’re working hard to ensure the health of our deer herd and to protect the recreational and viewing opportunities deer provide. We recognize that hunters play an important role in keeping CWD out of New York, because the most effective way to protect New York’s deer herd is to keep out CWD.”

CWD is a highly contagious disease that affects deer, elk, moose, and reindeer. CWD is always fatal and there are no vaccines or treatments available. CWD is caused by a misfolded protein called a “prion” that can infect animals through animal-to-animal contact or via contaminated environments.

In 2005, CWD was found in captive and wild white-tailed deer in Oneida County. After intensive disease response efforts, no subsequent cases have been detected. In the 2016-2017 surveillance period, 2,447 samples were tested from hunter-harvested deer and 102 clinical deer that appeared sick or abnormal. DEC partners with meat processors and taxidermists to obtain samples each year.

For wildlife diseases like CWD, prevention is the most effective management policy. There are several recommendations for both hunters and anyone that encounters deer that will prevent introduction of infectious prions, including:

  1. Do not use deer urine-based lures or cover scents. Prions are shed in a deer’s bodily fluids before the deer appears sick. Prions bind to soil and plants and remain infectious to deer that ingest contaminated soil. There is no method of disinfection.
  2. Dispose of carcass waste, even from New York deer, into a proper waste stream either by putting butcher scrap in with your household trash or otherwise assuring it ends up in a licensed landfill. Landowners may dispose of their own deer on their property, but it is illegal for businesses such as butchers and taxidermists to dispose of waste generated from their business in any way other than a landfill or rendering facility.
  3. Debone or quarter your deer before you bring it back to New York. This practice removes “high risk” parts such as the brain and spinal cord that could potentially spread CWD. If a whole intact carcass is brought in from a prohibited state, province, or any high-fence shooting facility, the person will be ticketed and the entire animal, including trophy heads, will be confiscated and destroyed. Meat, hide and cape, antlers, cleaned skull cap with antlers attached, finished taxidermy mounts, tanned hides, and clean upper canine teeth are permitted.
  4. Do not feed wild deer or moose. Animals concentrated together can spread disease quickly.

In the event of a CWD outbreak in New York, state agencies are prepared. DEC has an Interagency CWD Response Plan with the Department of Agriculture and Markets if the disease is detected in either captive cervids or wild white-tailed deer or moose. There are no documented cases of CWD infecting humans, but DEC urges caution when handling or processing CWD-susceptible animals.

For more information on CWD, click here.

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Community continues to rally in support of Kendall boy, 16

Chester Photography: This collage shows Payton Walters of Kendall playing hockey, one of his life’s passions since he started at age 4.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 March 2017 at 12:57 pm

A concussion on Jan. 22 revealed a more serious health concern for Payton Walters

Provided photos: Payton Walters and Steven Balka are both junior firefighters with the Kendall Fire Department.

KENDALL – Payton Walters was knocked out on Jan. 22 during a hockey game. An opposing player checked him hard along the boards, a brutal shot to the chin.

Payton, 16, couldn’t get up off the ice without assistance. He had a seizure and was rushed to Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong.

The concussion proved to be a blessing in disguise, Payton’s family said. Two CT scans, 2 MRI and an MRA later, doctors gave Payton and his family scary news that he had an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in his brain. This is a leading cause of stroke in younger people.

Payton’s mother, Dawnn, describes an AVM as a tangled up network of blood vessels. The family is visiting a specialist in Boston at the Massachusetts General Hospital, looking for the best treatment.

Payton could have proton beam radiation. The family worries a craniotomy could lead to paralysis of his right leg and hand. The future is very much unknown. (More than 90 percent of patients survive with appropriate treatment.)

The Kendall community and “the hockey family” have all rallied around Payton, a junior at Kendall. There have been several fundraisers to help with medical and out-of-pocket costs.

This group of Kendall school teachers and staff played a basketball game on March 16 against a team of Holley staff. The game ended in a tie, 52-52, and proceeds going to Payton Walters and his family. Payton is in the front row. The Masonic Lodge also held a bowling tournament with proceeds going to help Payton.

The Kendall Fire Department is planning another event this Saturday, a pasta dinner and Chinese auction from 5 to 8 p.m. That benefit is at the Kendall Fire Hall, 1879 Kendall Rd. Payton is a Kendall junior firefighter with the department.

The Walters family moved to Kendall about 3 ½ years ago after living in the Flint. Mich. Area. Scott and Dawnn Walters both work in healthcare. The shrinking of the Flint community has led to many downsizings.

“The Flint economy collapsed,” Mrs. Walters said.

Her husband works in Buffalo making prosthetics and Mrs. Walters is employed in Rochester. Kendall is in between their jobs. They wanted to live in a small town with a high-quality school district. They say they found that in Kendall.

Jimmy Zs in Brockport held a fundraiser for Payton on Feb. 6 and many local hockey players were in attendance, including Payton in front row near center.

Payton has been playing hockey since he was 4, starting as a mini-mite. He joined a team in Brockport through Tri-County Youth Hockey.

He struggled with nausea for weeks after the concussion and has just now begun to feel back to normal, his mother said.

Payton’s teammates put his No. 6 on the back of their helmets after he was sidelined from hockey after a concussion on Jan. 22.

However, he can’t play contact sports, including gym. It’s been difficult to be on the sidelines, not able to play a game he loves, his mother said.

The response from the community, after Payton’s injury and diagnosis with AVM, has been deeply appreciated by the family, Mrs. Walters said.

Besides the fundraisers, many friends in the community have dropped off meals and been supportive in many ways.

“It’s been such a blessing,” she said. “The community we live in is amazing. If we lived in the city, it wouldn’t be happening. In Kendall, everybody cares about everyone.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family. Click here for more information.

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Education Day gets gardeners ready for spring

Photos courtesy of Katie Oakes: Jena Buckwell from Orleans County Soil and Water Conservation District demonstrates the effects of tillage on soil.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 28 March 2017 at 10:07 am

Master Gardener Alex Greene demonstrates how to make a bird/butterfly water bath using recycled materials.

KNOWLESVILLE – Gardeners from around Orleans County gathered this past Saturday at the Education Center on the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds to celebrate the start of spring and get prepared for the upcoming growing season.

Master Gardener volunteers hosted their annual Spring into Gardening Education Day and led several sessions on growing healthy plants.

“This fun-filled educational event featured presentations on eight different gardening topics taught by volunteers from Cornell Cooperative Extension programs as well as local non-profit organizations,” said Katie Oakes, Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator/Master Gardener coordinator.

Oakes said participation numbers this year were significantly higher than last year.

“Spring Ed Day is a fantastic start to our event season,” Oakes said. “We are really excited about what 2017 will bring for our volunteer group.”

Participants were able to select four sessions from the eight offered. Topics this year included gardening basics such as soil health led by Soil and Water Conservation District representative Jena Buckwell, Garden Composition with Master Gardener Karen Cavanaugh, Outdoor Mushroom Production with Wyoming County CCE Educator Don Gasiewiscz and pest management strategies with Master Gardener Michael Klepp.

“Everyone enjoyed the day,” Master Gardener president Barb Linhart said. “Many people had a hard time deciding which class to attend because all the topics were so interesting.”

Participant Susan Persia said she walked away with new and valuable information to start the gardening season.

“I think it was an excellent day,” she observed, “very well planned (and) something we can’t get every day.”

For more information on upcoming Master Gardener events for 2017, visit

Pat Bono from NY Bee Wellness poses with demonstration information following her presentation on honeybees.







Lots of highs in 40s this week
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 March 2017 at 8:22 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

More than a dozen deer were out on Monday evening in a backyard on Moore Street in Albion.

The high for today will be 49 with areas of fog before 3 p.m. and a 30 percent chance of rain, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

The highs for the rest of the week include 46 on Wednesday, 44 on Thursday, 47 on Friday and 48 on Saturday.

The morning started off with fog in Orleans County. This photo shows a truck on East Park Street in Albion.

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Orleans Legislature presses state, federal governments for more job training funds
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 March 2017 at 5:15 pm

ALBION – There are currently 225 full-time jobs open in the county, from entry level to more high-tech positions, said David Callard, the chairman of the Orleans County Legislature.

Many good jobs go unfilled in the county because the job demands don’t match the available skill sets, Callard said.

The County Legislature last week urged the state and federal governments to invest in job training, to help unemployed or underemployed Americans boost their skills to fill needs in the economy.

Callard worries Orleans County will miss out on attracting new businesses and expansions because business leaders may not have confidence there are enough skilled workers locally to do the jobs.

“There are 225 full-time jobs available and we’re having trouble filling them for whatever reason,” Callard said. “We need a trained workforce to have businesses come.”

The Legislature approved a resolution last week seeking more federal funds for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The county used $100,000 in those funds last year to train 50 residents for skills in demand locally.

The Legislature is asking Congressman Chris Collins, R-Clarence, and U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to fight any funding cuts in this job training program.

The County Legislature also passed a resolution asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature to fund a state-wide workforce strategy to ensure a pipeline of qualified workers for businesses.

The state should invest in more job training , weighing local, regional and state priorities, the Legislature said. That may include investments in community colleges, adult basic education and other worker training.

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New Girl Scouts patch celebrates 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in NY
Posted 27 March 2017 at 2:32 pm

New patch program teaches Girl Scouts about NY history and encourages girls to be advocates

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a new Girl Scouts patch celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage in New York.

Women in New York gained the right to vote in 1917, three years before the 19th amendment granted suffrage to women across the United States.

The patch program is a partnership between Girl Scouts councils and the New York State Women’s Suffrage Commission, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. All seven Girl Scouts councils in New York will participate in the patch program, giving girls across the state an engaging way to learn about the history of the women’s movement in New York and envision how they can lead for justice.

“From the birth of the women’s suffrage movement with the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 to the strongest in-the-nation paid family leave and the Women’s Equality Act, New York has remained on the forefront of the battle for women’s rights and gender equality,” Cuomo said. “This new patch is a great opportunity for girls across New York to learn about the importance of the fight for women’s suffrage as they become the next generation to lead the movement for equality and justice for all.”

Lieutenant Governor Hochul was joined by representatives from the seven New York Girl Scouts councils and Girl Scouts from across the state at a ceremony celebrating the patch program, held at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City.

“This year marks a great opportunity to celebrate women’s accomplishments and contributions to our history, including fighting for the right to vote,” Hochul said. “The women’s suffrage Girl Scouts Patch is the next step in the Girl Scouts’ history of advocacy and empowerment on behalf of girls and women, and I look forward to joining with these girls throughout the coming year to learn and share about women’s equality. The patch is a key part of the Women’s Suffrage Commission’s work to inspire the next generation of young women who want to rise up and achieve great things themselves.”

The patch program, developed by the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York, asks New York Girl Scouts to think about what justice means to them, how the Women’s Rights Movement is a part of their lives today, and encourages them to make advocacy a part of their lives.

They must learn the names of key suffragette leaders and the definition of civil disobedience, visit (virtually or in person) key sites in the women’s rights movement, create a suffrage banner, and play games popular for girls 100 years ago, among other things.

The seven New York Girl Scouts Councils participating in the patch program are: Girl Scouts Council of Greater New York, Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, Girl Scouts of Nassau County, Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York, Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways, Girl Scouts of Suffolk County, and Girl Scouts of Western New York.

The Women’s Suffrage Commission, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, is organizing statewide programs to commemorate women’s suffrage between 2017, 100 years from when women won the right to vote in New York State, and 2020, which will be a century after the 19th Amendment was ratified. The Commission’s programs will celebrate the accomplishment of women’s suffrage and the central role of New Yorkers and New York State in this milestone, while also helping shape the future to ensure a more just and equitable society for all. To get involved, visit

“New York has long been a leader in the women’s rights movements, and I am thrilled to work with the New York State Women’s Suffrage Commission to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote,” said Judith Cranston, CEO of Girl Scouts of Western New York. “The new Girl Scout suffrage patch will ensure our scouts learn about women’s history in New York, and follow in the footsteps of women like Susan B. Anthony to become future leaders in the process.”

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Medina center offers many holistic health services

Photos by Tom Rivers: These four women are working together at The Missing Peace, a site at 510 Orient St. in Medina. From left include: Sharon Houseknecht, holistic life coach; Anna Cichocki, owner of The Missing Peace who sells non-toxic personal care products; Katie Crooks massage therapist; and Beth Joy, a personal trainer who leads pilates classes and serves as a fitness coach.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 March 2017 at 1:09 pm

4 businesses working together at ‘The Missing Peace’

Anna Cichocki sells non-toxic personal care products.

MEDINA – Four women who have developed their own businesses in holistic health have joined forces in Medina at The Missing Peace. The site, in a dramatically renovated former Medina sandstone warehouse, has been repainted and decorated to facilitate feelings of calmness.

Anna Cichcocki is the owner of The Missing Peace, and she recruited the other businesses to join her in a one-stop location.

“We have multiple services in one location,” Cichocki said at 510 Orient St., which is about on block from Route 31 on the east side of the village.

Cichocki sells soy-scented candles, Shakeology by Beachbody (nutrition supplements), Richway BioMats, and Pure Haven Essentials – safe, non-toxic personal care products. She also does astrology card readings.

She wanted The Missing Peace to offer more holistic wellness options for the community and reached out to people with other skills and services.

“Anna has pulled us all together,” said Sharon Houseknecht, who does nutritional consultations, Reiki, ear coning, foot spa detoxifications and energy balances. She also offers smoking cessation services to help people with their addiction to nicotine.

Sharon Houseknecht has been working in holistic health for three decades.

Houseknecht was one of the first in the area to promote holistic health about 30 years ago. She used to drive into Rochester and Buffalo for most of her clients. Houseknecht said there is increasingly demand for the services.

“I think Medina is ready,” she said. “When I started 30 years ago, I was criticized. Now we are more accepted. I’m not against medicine, I just think we can use both.”

Houseknecht works with a lot of people seeking relief from muscle pains, allergies, stress and sinus issues. Her client was once predominantly women. Now, she is seeing more and more men for the services. She is certified as a natural health professional, Reiki master and as a herbalist.

Beth Joy is a personal trainer who runs pilates and PiYo classes.

Beth Joy offers nutrition advice and leads fitness classes, including pilates and PiYo. She is a personal trainer and Beachbody coach.

She likes the space at The Missing Peace and the easy connections for her clients with the other businesses on site.

“We all feed off of each other,” she said.

Katie Crooks has worked as a massage therapist since 2008, based out of a site on Main Street above Blissett’s.

Crooks is a licensed massage therapist who offers Swedish massage, medical massage, pregnancy massage, hot stone massage, and Young Living Essential Oils. She also can work off site at events and parties.

“People want more natural health,” Crooks said. “If you take care of your body, it can last.”

Katie Crooks has worked as a massage therapist since 2008.

Cichocki became more interested in natural health after her youngest daughter was diagnosed with autism. Cichcocki said her daughter responded to a modified diet with a focus on healthy foods. Cleansing and detoxing, which removed heavy metals from her body, also have helped her daughter.

Cichocki, Joy and Houseknecht all took a class for small businesses run by the Orleans Microenteprise Program. The MAP class helped them see a growing market for their services, and a strength in working together.

They initially were looking for a site on Main Street, but couldn’t find a spot with enough space and with adequate parking. They are using about 2,000 square feet out of the 24,000-square-foot building, which gives them room to expand.

Cichocki likes how they repurposed the building, which was constructed in 1914.

“We took something that was old and gave it a new purpose,” she said.

For more on The Missing Peace, click here.

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Orleans has one of biggest population declines among NY counties since 2010
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 March 2017 at 11:13 am

The population is down in New York in the latest population estimates form the Census Bureau, which shows declines in 46 out of 62 counties.  Orleans County has one of the steepest drops, according to the data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Orleans County had 42,883 people in the 2010 Census. It is down by 1,538 residents to 41,345, based on the 2016 population estimates. That drop of 3.57 percent ranks as the 55th most out of 62 counties.

The biggest population losses have been in upstate rural areas: Hamilton (down 6.22%), Delaware (5.12%), Tioga (4.48%) and Schoharie (down 4.36%).

The net migration for Orleans was down 1,497 since 2010. The Census reports that 1,762 people left the county and only 265 moved in since 2010. The change in natural increase (the difference between the number of deaths and births) was also down by 41 people.

In Western New York, only two counties saw population increases: Erie and Monroe, which are the largest counties in the region.

Monroe, which includes Rochester, was up 0.45 percent or by 3,325 people, while Erie County, which includes Buffalo, increased by 1,916 people or by 0.21 percent.

The smaller, rural counties in WNY all decreased in population since 2010. They include, from highest percentage of loss:

• Chautauqua, down 4.00 percent or by 5,400;

• Allegany, down 3.76 percent or by 1,842;

• Orleans, a decline of 3.57 percent or 1,538;

• Cattaraugus, a drop of 3.32 percent or 2,666;

• Wyoming, down 3.25 percent or by 1,371;

• Genesee, a decline of 2.43 percent or 1,462;

• Niagara, down 2.18 percent or 4,729;

• Livingston, down by 1.47 percent or by 960.

The Empire Center has an analysis of the latest population estimates, which show an overall decline in the state. The losses upstate were more than the gains in the New York City area. Click here for more information.

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Wine Trail will push to have 150 new signs out this year
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 March 2017 at 7:48 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: The current road signs for the Niagara Wine Trail don’t stretch into Orleans or Monroe counties. This photo shows the sign of Route 104 near the Orleans/Niagara countyline.

More than three years after the State Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended the Niagara Wine Trail through Orleans County and into Rochester, road signs will be erected to note the trail extends east of Niagara County.

The state set aside money for the signs in 2011. But securing permits from the state Department of Transportation has taken some time. The Niagara Wine Trail has been working across three counties, and with two different DOT zones.

“There are a lot of new locations and some replacements,” said Cate Banks, executive director for the Niagara Wine Trail.

She expects 150 new signs will in place this year. She said State Sen. Rob Ortt’s office has been helpful working through the approval process with the the DOT.

The new signs will highlight the expanded Wine Trail. The Governor in October 2013 approved the extended trail. The new boundaries include:

• Route 104 between the Ferry Avenue/Route 62 intersection in Niagara Falls and Route 390 in Monroe County. That will be known as “Niagara Wine Trail Ridge.”

• The complement to the Ridge route is the “Niagara Wine Trail Lake,” which follows Route 269 north from its intersection with Route 104 at the Niagara-Orleans County Line to Route 18. It then runs west to Route 425, then south to Route 62 and along that route until its intersection with I-290 in Amherst.

The Orleans County Legislature on Wednesday read a proclamation declaring April as “Wine Month” in Orleans County. Cate Banks, executive director of the Niagara Wine Trail, and Bryan DeGraw, owner of 810 Meadworks in Medina and vice president of the Wine Trail, are pictured with Ken DeRoller, a county legislator.

There are 21 wineries on the Niagara Wine Trail, with 15 in Niagara, four in Orleans and two in Monroe.

The four in Orleans include:

• 810 Meadworks, 113 West Center St., Medina

• Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, 10609 Ridge Rd., Medina

• Schwenk Wine Cellars, 1456 Bills Rd., Kent

• Salamaca Estate Winery, 2660 Hindsburg Rd., Albion.

The Orleans County Legislature last week issued a proclamation, declaring April as “Wine Month” in the county.

The proclamation states New York is the country’s third largest grade and wine producer with 1,631 family-owned vineyards that generate 25,000 jobs. More than 5 million people visit those vineyards and wineries annually, according to the proclamation.

“The Legislature recognizes that our wine and craft beverage industry helps to showcase the county’s agriculture, beauty, promote numerous quality of life activities, and bolster tourism and the local economy,” the proclamation states.

For more information on the Niagara Wine Trail, click here.

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H.S. spring sports season set to begin
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 26 March 2017 at 5:44 pm

Weather and field conditions permitting, the area high school spring sports season is scheduled to get underway this week.

The competition is slated to begin Monday as the Medina lacrosse team hosts Lockport in a non league game at 7 p.m. at Vets Park.  The Mustangs will then host Gowanda at 5 p.m. Wednesday and visit Salamanca at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Class D contests.

The Medina baseball team has two games scheduled as the Mustangs will host Maryvale on Thursday and Williamsville South on Friday, both non league contests at 4:45 p.m.

Also facing a bust three game week of non league competition is the Albion softball squad which is slated to visit Lew-Port Wednesday, Lockport Thursday and then host Spencerport on Saturday.

Week’s Schedule

Lacrosse: Lockport at Medina, 7 pm.

Softball: Albion at Lew-Port, 4:45 p.m.
Lacrosse: Gowanda at Medina, 5 p.m.

Baseball: Maryvale at Medina, 4:45 p.m.
Softball: Albion at Lockport, 4:45 p.m.; Cheektowaga at Medina, 7:30 p.m.

Baseball: Lyndonville at Barker, Holley at Albion, 4:30 p.m.; Williamsville South at Medina, 4:45 p.m.
Lacrosse: Medina at Salamanca, 5:30 p.m.

Baseball: Alden at Albion, 12 p.m.
Softball: Spencerport at Albion, 1 p.m.

Tuberculosis remains a concern in United States
Posted 26 March 2017 at 3:21 pm

By Nola Goodrich-Kresse, Public Health Educator/Public Information Officer for Orleans County Public Health

World TB Day was Friday, March 24th. This annual event pays tribute to the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB).

This year’s theme: “Unite to End TB”. To that end the Orleans County Health Department Public Health Nurses will be offering TB tests at two migrant camps.

Although TB is preventable and curable, many people in the United States still suffer from this disease. Anyone can get TB, and our current efforts to find and treat inactive (sleeping) TB infection and TB disease are not enough.

“We know some people are more at risk of becoming infected with TB,” said Brenden Bedard, Director of Community Health Services at the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “People who have conditions that make the body weaker, such as those with HIV infection, those who have been recently infected with TB, those who inject illegal drugs, elderly people and others who have weakened immune systems may find it harder to fight TB germs. Testing is important so we can identify those who have the infection and treat them early on.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) up to 13 million people in the United States are estimated to have latent tuberculosis infection.  Latent TB infection is a condition in which a person is infected with the TB bacteria, but does not currently have active TB disease and cannot spread TB to others.  However, if these bacteria become active and multiply, latent TB infection can turn into TB disease and able to spread to others.

TB is spread through the air from one person to another.  The TB germs are passed through the air when someone who is sick with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, speaks, laughs, sings, or sneezes. Anyone near the person who is sick with TB disease can breathe TB germs into their lungs. The germs can live in your body without making you sick and you will not be able to pass the germs to others. If the germs wake up or become active in your body and multiply, you will get sick with TB disease.

If you have been around someone who has TB disease, you should go to your primary care provider or local health department for tests. There are two tests to help detect TB infection: a small TB skin test or TB blood test.  The skin test is used more often. A small needle is used to put some testing material, called tuberculin, under the skin. In 2-3 days you return to the health care worker who will check for a reaction to the test.

In some cases, a TB blood test is used to test for TB infection. This blood test measures how a person’s immune system reacts to the germs that cause TB. Other tests may also be used to see if someone has TB disease and they may include a chest x-ray and/or a sample of sputum (phlegm that is coughed up from deep in the lungs).

If someone has TB infection, he or she may need medicine to prevent getting TB disease later. It is important that any medicines prescribed by your primary care provider are taken exactly as you are told. TB disease can also be treated by taking medicine. It is important that all medicines prescribed for TB disease are finished, even if you are feeling better.  If you stop taking the drugs too soon, you can become sick again and it might be harder to treat the infection.

It is important to follow your primary care provider’s instructions in order to fight the spread of TB.

For more information about TB, talk with your primary care provider or visit

For information about Orleans County Health Department, call 589-3278 or check out our website at:  Visit Facebook and Twitter: the user name for both is OrleansCoHealth.

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Students on Kendall’s Code of Conduct Committee suggest end to banning hats in school
By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 26 March 2017 at 1:55 pm

School will look to add more healthy options at ‘Eagle’s Nest’

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Ninth grade students Skylar Ammerman and Garrett Sheffield present to Kendall Board of Education members during a public hearing on the Code of Conduct.

KENDALL – The Kendall Board of Education is currently considering annual updates to the district’s Code of Conduct. During the board’s regular meeting on Wednesday, board members heard from two students who have been part of a committee preparing recommendations.

“We love to have student support,” Kendall Jr./Sr. High School Principal Carol D’Agostino said.

Garret Sheffield and Skylar Ammerman, both ninth-graders, are student members of the Code of Conduct Committee.

“They volunteered,” D’Agostino said of the students. “They had ideas for making the code stronger.”

During their presentation, which was part of a public hearing on the Code of Conduct, Sheffield and Ammerman said they felt the code’s ban on students wearing hats during the school day should be removed.

“We think it’s a great way to express yourself,” they said regarding hats. “We know that some people feel headwear can be offensive, but we feel students should have the right to express who they really are.”

They also said they felt the “Eagle’s Nest” – an in-school cafe which provides beverages and snacks before and after school hours – should provide more nutritious flavored waters and juice drinks instead of coffee drinks and sodas.

The students also felt they should be able to use their phones for calls during lunch periods.

D’Agostino reported to board members following the public hearing regarding the changes that have been proposed in the code. She said the committee worked to reflect student input in the process and that there is still some work to be done.

“There will be no hats,” D’Agostino said regarding headwear, but efforts will be made provide more healthy options at the Eagle’s Nest.

“We will strive to be more health conscious,” she said.

Board President Nadine Hanlon noted that the in-school cafe was created to give students choices for snacks outside of school hours as an alternative to walking to a convenience store.

In other business, board members approved the creation of a library club. Jr./Sr. High School librarian Alicia Charland told the Orleans Hub she hopes to create a “maker space” in the library for students. The maker space allows for student creativity through up-cycling and recycling projects. It is a space for participants to create something and explore their interests.

Charland said she already has two sewing machines which have been donated for the program.

D’Agostino commended Charland for her enthusiasm.

“She has so many ideas about how to get kids excited about reading, we are blessed to have her,” D’Agostino told board members.

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