Albion doctor has license revoked

Dr. Jamal Janania worked at Albion Urgent Care Center
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 December 2014
ALBION – A doctor who joined a new Albion healthcare site when it opened in November 2012 has had his medical license revoked by the state Department of Health.

Dr. Jamal Janania no longer works for Orleans Community Health and its Albion Urgent Care site, OCH officials said today. They said they would not comment further on the matter.

Janania had his medical license revoked last month after state DOH officials deemed he was guilty of professional misconduct for fraudulent practice, filing a false report, and violations of education law.

Janania has had a license in New York since Nov. 2, 2009. He began work at the Carthage Area Hospital in June 2009. He was twice suspended for failure to complete patient records. He was terminated from Carthage on Sept. 7, 2011 for record keeping, tardiness and absences, according to the DOH report on Janania. (Click here to see the report.)

He then worked at Mountain Medical Services in northern New York from January 2012 to May 2012 and was terminated for record keeping, “and time and attendance issues,” the DOH said.

He also sought a medical license in Kansas in 2006 but was denied in March 2008 for failure to meet licensing requirements, the DOH said.

When Janania sought work at Lewis County General Hospital on April 30, 2012, and then at Oswego Hospital on June 11, 2012, he did not disclose his past terminations, nor did he reveal his medical license application had been denied in Kansas, according to the DOH. Janania also was licensed to practice medicine in Florida in 2012.

When he applied to Orleans Community Health in October 2012, he disclosed in his application he had prior employment suspensions, but did not disclose he had been terminated.

In a hearing with DOH officials, Janania said he was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder in 2005, and that ADD affected his record keeping. He said the ADD did not affect his performance in practicing medicine.

The DOH also faulted Janania for not disclosing he had a license in Florida in his job applications in 2012. He called that an “oversight,” according to the DOH report.

The DOH hearing committee ruled that Janania committed fraudulent practice. “(Janania) intentionally and repeatedly misrepresented and concealed information from potential employers in an effort to mislead them about his professional history and qualifications.”

The doctor was found to have filed a false report based on lies in his employment history on job applications, the DOH said.

Janania was found guilty of violations in education law for failing to disclose his employment terminations and the reasons for those dismissals when he applied for other jobs.

The DOH committee said misrepresentations in a job application “brings into question his reliability in matters more directly related to patient care.” The committee also said poor record keeping is poor patient care.


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Albion Police honored by AAA

Staff Reports Posted 16 December 2014
ALBION – The Albion Police Department has been awarded the 2014 Community Traffic Safety Platinum Award by the America Automobile Association.

The nationally recognized AAA Platinum Community Traffic Safety Award is the highest award AAA can bestow on any police department. The award is given to police departments that have developed and maintained traffic safety initiatives in their communities and who have shown success in those initiatives.

The Albion Police Department has used programs such as Buckle Up New York, Selective Traffic Enforcement Program, Stop DWI and the Child Passenger Safety Seat Program to enforce vehicle and traffic laws as well as to educate and assist motorists.

Throughout 2014 the Albion Police Department conducted several targeted details that focused on specific areas of safety for both motorists and pedestrians.

“These details were done in non-traditional ways to increase their effectiveness,” said Roland Nenni, Albion police chief. “Several more details are planned using techniques that have never been done in our area and will increase awareness and effectiveness with the end goal of making our community safer.”

This is the fourth consecutive year that the Albion Police Department has received the Community Traffic Safety Platinum Award.

“The Albion Police Department is dedicated to making our highways and streets safer for all who use them,” Nenni said. “Throughout the holiday season we will continue our efforts by adding more patrols and details and we urge motorist to make responsible decisions.”


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Albion village and town talk joint projects, services

Photo by Tom Rivers
Officials from the Town of Albion at left met with officials from the Village of Albion at right during a joint session this evening at Hoag Library.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2014
ALBION – Officials from the village and town of Albion had a rare joint meeting this evening and they talked about ideas to make local parks and the downtown business district stronger, while also sharing services for highway projects.

The Town Board said it would give $8,000 toward the village parks program. The village currently spends about $50,000 annually on parks. The town officials said they want the village to specify where the town money will go for parks.

Village officials said it was a reasonable request. The attorneys for the town and village will discuss how an agreement should be written for any town funding at the parks.

The town also said it would be interested in helping pay towards an event coordinator. Sid Beaty has been serving in that part-time position. She helped plan a debut downtown concert series on Thursdays last summer, as well as other events.


The village is debating bringing her back at about $10,000 a year. Trustee Stan Farone said the Village Board is pleased with her work, but the village budget is a challenge.

The town would consider helping pay towards Beaty’s position, but Town Supervisor Matt Passarell would like a list of projects Beaty would work on. Town Councilman Jake Olles also would like to have Beaty or whoever serves in the role possibly be available for projects in the town.

The town is also open to helping fund the downtown concert series, but Passarell said he would like to see a plan for promoting the event.

When Olles asked the village how the town could help with the concert series, Farone was quick to respond.

“Money,” Farone said.

Farone and village officials said they want the concerts to return in 2015. The village is open to another venue for the concerts besides a closed off East Bank Street.

Bobby Skrzypek And The Pedestrians performed last July in the Albion concert series.


Farone said the canal bank area is being considered. Town Councilman Todd Sargent said the green space by a village parking on Main Street, between the Presbyterian Church and El Gallo restaurant, also might be a good possibility.

The town and village officials were praised for their service by Carolyn Ricker, owner of Bindings Bookstore and president of the Albion Merchants Association.

Ricker was unable to attend the meeting this evening, but Lisa Stratton, owner of the Hazy Jade Gift Shop, handed each official a letter from Ricker.

Ricker said many of the downtown merchants are struggling as many shoppers are “Walmart-minded.” The Merchants have organized many events and promotions. Ricker asked the elected officials to shop at the locally owned businesses and attend many of the downtown events.

“If the leadership in our town shopped locally and supported the downtown businesses and talked about that, others may follow suit,” Ricker said.

The two boards talked about an idea to have speakers in the downtown playing music and broadcasting announcers at local parades. Wireless speakers could be added to Main Street and the downtown for about $10,000, village officials said.

Olles initially proposed the idea last year. He said he would continue to support the effort with town funds.


The village and town also committed to working out any issues to get the final pieces installed in the downtown from a Streetscape grant. Some concrete planters with trees still need to be introduced to the downtown as part of the grant.

The village and town have stepped up their efforts with shared services for highway projects in recent years. Todd Sargent, a town councilman, also works for the village DPW. He said the village, towns and county have done far more road work and other projects together recently than 20 years ago.

“We’re doing more now than ever before,” he said.

About once a week the municipalities work on a project together. Passarell said the municipalities should document that work to show the state the shared services at the local level.

Passarell said he would be open to more shared services. He would like to discuss the village maintaining town water and sewer lines. The town has nine water districts that the town highway workers maintain. The village provides the water for the districts.

The two boards said they would like to continue the joint meetings, perhaps once every six weeks to two months. They want to identify ways to reduce costs.

“We all have a responsibility to deliver services to taxpayers and try to keep taxes down,” said Town Councilman Richard Remley.


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Owner of NYSEG building seeks zoning change in Albion

After sitting vacant, building reclassified as residential

Photo by Tom Rivers
The former New York State Electric and Gas building at 366 Washington St. had its zoning changed from commercial to residential after the building sat empty for more than a year. The new owner wants the zoning to be changed to allow for business uses.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2014
ALBION – Charles Maloy sees a vacant building on Washington Street as a site with potential for employees and business, all generating economic activity in the village.

Maloy recently purchased the former New York State Electric and Gas building at 366 Washington St. The 4,215-square-foot building is in good shape and Maloy said it would make for an ideal site for businesses that do auto repair, construction, HVAC, roofing/siding, distribution, storage, landscaping as well as other uses.

There is a big obstacle to the site’s reuse: the location’s zoning. It is zoned residential. The site was zoned for commercial use but after it sat vacant for more than a year, the zoning was changed to residential.

Washington Street is considered a residential street. However, Maloy noted the Albion Correctional Facility is down the street and the Village DPW garage is at the corner of King and Washington streets. There are several vacant lots on the street. A new house hasn’t been built on the street since 1992, he told the Village Board last week.

Maloy said there is little chance the NYSEG building would be redeveloped for housing. The site is assessed for $192,000.

“Without a solution this property will be obsolete,” Maloy told the Village Board. “It is well built, very versatile and would lend itself to commercial uses.”

The village doesn’t want to spot zone properties, assigning zoning to sites that don’t match neighboring properties.

Code Enforcement Officer Ron Vendetti sees two viable alternatives that avoid spot zoning. The former NYSEG property backs up to a commercial district on Route 31. The back of the NYSEG property touches the railroad tracks and a district that is zoned commercial. The village could zone the property commercial and there wouldn’t be spot zoning.

Vendetti has also suggested an adaptive overlay district for some of the vacant commercial sites in the village in residential neighborhoods. Many of the sites had their zoning reverted to residential, which makes it difficult for the buildings to be reused, Vendetti told the board.

The adaptive reuse proposal would allow for special permits to be issued from the village for some of the sites. Vendetti said the special permits would require more oversight and control from the village than if the sites were zoned commercial.

He sees the plan as a way to get more vacant structures as a contributing assets to the community. He noted the village has struggled in recent years with a shrinking tax base.


Village Board members said they want to consider the options and will get back to Maloy soon.

“I took a chance on it,” Maloy, a Rochester resident, told the board. “The highest and best use for it is as a commercial building.”


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About 500 attend Hometown Christmas show in Albion

Photos by Tom Rivers Posted 14 December 2014
ALBION – The fellowship hall at Holy Family Parish Lyceum was transformed into a stage and performance venue on Saturday for the 5th annual Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas.

About 50 performers were part of the cast for three shows. About 500 people attended the event, which is a fund-raiser for a memorial scholarship in honor of Nicholas Kovaleski. His sister Michayla (top photo) performs as the Sugar Plum in a dance from The Nutcracker.

Nicholas’s mother Kelly Kovaleski shared reflections about her son, who died from leukemia at age 15 on June 29, 2011. He was a popular student at Albion, excelling at football, swimming and tennis. He would have graduated last June. She said her son wanted to join the military.

She said her Nicholas “lived with purpose.” The scholarship in his memory honors graduating seniors who “Live with Purpose.”

Marcy Downey sings "More Than Wonderful." She also sang a duet – "How Great Thou Art" – with Joise Waverly.

Several dancers, including Madeline Bilicki (center), perform "Waltz of the Flower."

Rose Allen sings "A Baby Changes Everything." Santa Claus is in the background.

These dancers, including Katie Rustay at right and Michayla Kovaleski at left perform "You Wouldn't Cry." There were 18 differents acts for the show.


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22 farms and businesses give to FFA food drive

27,000 pounds of food goes to several food pantries

Photos by Tom Rivers
Albion FFA delivers produce donated by local farmers to Community Action and other local food pantries on Saturday morning. Community Action was the drop-off point in Albion, with several food pantries coming from Albion, Holley, Lyndonville and Medina.


By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 December 2014
ALBION – When the Albion FFA first organized a food drive for Community Action during the holidays in 2010, the student organization was able to secure 3,000 pounds in donations. That jumped to 9,000 pounds in 2011, 17,000 the following year and 19,000 in December 2013.

This holiday season, the FFA and local farmers shattered the previous efforts with 27,000 pounds. That was too much for one tractor trailer.

The FFA and FFA alumni put the calls out to agriculture community, seeking food donations. This year, 22 farms and agriculture organizations shared from their harvest.

“It’s getting bigger and better every year,” said Anni Skowneski, case manager at Community Action of Orleans & Genesee.

There lots of boxes or bags of apples, cabbage, potatoes, squash, eggs and ham. Those are staples from past FFA food drives. This year there were new products for the pantries, including yogurt, bread, cheesecakes and beets.

Adam Krenning, the FFA advisor, said students work hard on the food drive for weeks. They spent most of the past week, collecting and arranging the food for Saturday’s delivery to Community Action. Students and FFA alumni go to about half of the farms to collect the food, while the other half is delivered at the FFA’s ag shop at the high school.

Students make many connections in the farm community as well as with local agencies with the annual food drive. They also see the giving nature among the farmers, Krenning said.

“The farmers in the area are incredibly generous,” Krenning said. “They know there is a need.”

The FFA serves as the middle man, connecting farmers with the agencies and food pantries.

Rachael Escobar works in the kitchen at the Eastern Orleans Community Center in Holley. She and other volunteers brought two pickup trucks and filled them with food for 160 food boxes that will go out just before Christmas.

FFA member Elizabeth Bentley hands a box of squash to volunteers on Saturday morning.

“This is absolutely wonderful,” Escobar said Saturday outside Community Action in Albion. “We’re going to be sure our families have fruits and vegetables for Christmas.”


Farmers and businesses that participated in this year’s food drive include Call Farms, Costanzo Bakery, Barry Flansburg, Kast Farms, Kirby Farms, Kludt Brothers, Kreher’s Egg Farm, L. Brooke Farms, Müller Yogurt, Nesbitt Fruit Farm, Orchard Dale Fruit Farm, Orleans County Farm Bureau, Panek Farms, Partyka Farms, Pawlak’s Save-A-Lot, Rich Products, Dale Root, Root Brothers, Starowitz Farms, Torrey Farms, Triple G Farms, and CY Farms.

“We donate to this project because we have been so blessed,” said Kerri Panek of Panek Farms in Albion. “It is our privilege to be able to give back to help others.”

Clayton Stanton, a member of the FFA, spent several hours Saturday morning lugging 50-pound boxes and bags. Stanton, a senior, said he and the FFA students look forward to the food drive each year.

“It helps people and it makes you feel good,” he said.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley helps move some of the produce from a tractor trailer to vehicles for local food pantries.


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