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Holley proposes school budget with 2% tax increase

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 April 2018 at 10:55 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Holley Elementary School is pictured recently on North Main Street.

HOLLEY – The Holley Board of Education on Monday approved a $25,210,000 school budget that will go before voters on May 15.

The budget represents a 2.0 percent tax increase, with the tax levy going from $6,968,766 to $7,108,141.

The budget maintains the current programs in the district, said Sharon Zacher, the assistant superintendent for business.

Holley is reducing overall staff by 2.5 full-time equivalent positions, with two of those positions to be abolished through attrition.

The district’s enrollment is projected to hold steady, going from 997 in 2017-18 to 995 next school year.

The May 15 vote will include a proposition to approve the purchase of two school buses and a sport utility vehicle for replacement purposes during the 2018-2019 school year.

Eligible residents, 18 and older, will also vote on funding for Community Free Library.

There is also an election for the Board of Education. There are five candidates running for three positions, including incumbents – Mark Porter, Anne Winkley and Melissa Ierlan. Nancy Manard MacPhee and Anne Smith also are running for three-year terms on the board.

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After study of local law enforcement, no push to end village police

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 April 2018 at 12:23 pm

Agenda for shared services and consolidations doesn’t include radical change to local law enforcement

Photo by Tom Rivers: The sign for the police station for the Holley Police Department is shown on Thomas Street. Roland Nenni is currently Holley’s police chief.

ALBION – The village mayors, town supervisors and county legislators are talking about sharing more services and possibly consolidating some functions, including code enforcement, water service, grant writing, information technology and perhaps other services.

The group met on April 5 to discuss several possibilities that could reduce overall costs and perhaps result in better service.

Law enforcement, however, won’t be part of the discussion, right now. Village officials declined to even mention the issue at the April 6 meeting.

The village police departments and Orleans County Sheriff’s Department will continue to do some specialized training together, but there is no push to dissolve a village department and have the county Sheriff’s Office step up its patrols in a village.

“The leadership at the various villages have expressed reservations for a number of reasons,” said Chuck Nesbitt, the county’s chief administrative officer. “It has to come from the villages. They’re the ones who have to vote or not vote.”

The local entities worked with a consultant, CGR in Rochester, on a law enforcement efficiency study. CGR’s work showed there would be significant tax savings for the villages of Albion and Medina – about $6 to $8 per $1,000 of assessed property – if they dissolved their departments and then the county took over. (Doing so would also raise the county tax rate by an estimated $2 per $1,000 if all of the village police departments dissolved and deputies were hired to work in the villages.)

Holley, which also has a police department, wouldn’t see as much savings because it’s department is staffed with many part-timers. Having full-time deputies patrol the village ultimately wouldn’t reduce costs in Holley, according to the study. (Lyndonville only has one part-time officer.)

All of the villages joined the county in voting to do the study. However, the villages haven’t embraced the findings.

Medina Mayor Mike Sidari has told the law enforcement committee he wants to keep the village police. He said there hasn’t been a push by village residents to end the local department.

Albion had a village election last month and three candidates who made keeping the village police a focus of their campaign were all elected, although it was close.

Eileen Banker received 250 out of 614 votes to win election in a three-way race that included Joyce Riley, 211 votes, and Kevin Doherty, 153. Riley and Doherty said they were open to looking at all villages expenses and making tough decisions. That didn’t mean they favored dissolving the police department, but they said they were willing to give the department rigorous scrutiny. Although Banker won, she didn’t receive an overwhelming mandate. She received 41 percent of the vote.

The Republican duo of Gary Katsanis, 306 votes, and Stan Farone, 300, eked out a win over Democratic Party candidates, Jason Dragon, 274 votes, and Sandra Walter, 264. Dragon and Walter said they didn’t think the police department, which costs the village about $1.2 million annually, was affordable for the village. Having a county-wide force, doing the primary patrols in the villages, would spread out the cost for all taxpayers. Dragon said village residents pay for law enforcement in both their county and village taxes.

A state grant paid $36,000 towards the study while the county paid CGR $38,000 for its work. The county isn’t going to press the issue, Nesbitt said.

If village residents want to pursue the issue, they could always petition to have a police department dissolved. Ultimately, if a village wanted to consider a dissolution of the village police, residents would decide the fate in a public referendum.

To see the law enforcement study, click here.

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Holley woman survived Titanic disaster, 106 years ago

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 14 April 2018 at 8:14 am

“Overlooked Orleans” – Vol. 4, No. 15

April 14th marks the 106th anniversary of the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic and although I share a common surname, I can assure you that Dr. Robert Ballard is no direct relative of mine (that I am aware of). On that fateful day in 1912, the exquisitely decorated vessel struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. and was fully submerged within a matter of three hours. Of the 2,224 passengers, over 1,500 perished in the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean nearly 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, making it one of the most devastating maritime disasters in modern history.

Over the years, newspapers have recounted the stories of survivors while paying tribute to the victims as each landmark anniversary passes. Of the most notable local residents connected to the catastrophe, the story of Lillian Bentham of Holley is most frequently recalled. Of course, the story of May Howard (buried in Boxwood Cemetery) is also shared. So, I thought it best to thoroughly recount some of these recollections over the course of several articles starting with the story of Lillian Bentham.

On July 23, 1892 a baby girl was born to Henry and Mary Jane Bentham of Holley, New York. The Benthams were natives of Guernsey in the Channel Islands where Henry learned the trade of stone cutting and stone dressing before immigrating to the United States. Given the number of other immigrants from the same region of the British Isles, it is likely that Mr. Bentham was aware of job opportunities in the booming sandstone quarries scattered throughout Orleans County. When Lillian was born, Henry asked fellow quarryman William Douton to be his daughter’s godfather. Both men were active in Holley’s I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 42 and presumably good friends.

Henry and Mary Jane Bentham suffered the loss of their daughter Daisy in early March of 1903 as the result of a year-long illness. Her obituary read, “As a young girl, Daisy was an exceptionally beautiful and charming child, with winning and attractive ways that made her a general favorite with all who knew her.” This eloquent eulogy is reflected through the broken daisy that appears on the young girl’s headstone in Hillside Cemetery. Eight years after the passing of Daisy, the family mourned the loss of Henry on October 24, 1911 following a two-year long battle with tuberculosis. He was remembered as a “…man of very social, genial nature, generous, kindly, and sympathetic.”

It is possible that this tragic event was a reason for 19-year-old Lillian to travel to Guernsey to visit family, likely her older sister Annie who was living overseas at the time. Bentham and two others, including William Douton and fellow quarryman Peter McKane, returned to Guernsey where many of the men had started their careers as stone dressers. During their time away, Mary Jane Bentham and her son Walter relocated to Rochester. On the return trip, Lillian and the party she was travelling with were set to return aboard the R.M.S. Titanic. She had purchased a second class ticket, number 28404, for 13 pounds while Douton and McKane shared a joint ticket, number 38403, which cost 26 pounds.

It was well known by passengers that the Titanic’s crew was pushing the ship’s limits in order to break record timing on her maiden voyage across the Atlantic. On the evening of April 14, 1912, Lillian retired to her quarters and prepared for bed when she was suddenly jarred by the ship’s collision with the iceberg. The elderly woman sharing her berth was sleeping peacefully when the accident occurred and the impact caused the woman to fall out of bed. A crew member passed the cabin and calmly told the two women that the ship had struck a fishing boat, encouraging both to return to sleep. Lillian fell asleep for a period of 20 or 30 minutes before the sounds of screaming men and women woke her.

She quickly threw on her clothes and made her way up on deck. Lillian reported the following scene to the Holley Standard which was printed on April 25, 1912, “The women and children were crowded together on both sides of the ship and were being put over the sides into the lifeboats. There were some men among them, mostly helping the women along, bidding them a good-bye and cheering them up. The rest of the men were crowded together, some kneeling down and praying, others standing like statues.” As more people crowded onto the deck a number of men, many being immigrants, attempted to jump into the lifeboats; they were shot and killed by crewmen.

Photo by Tom Rivers: This gravestone for Lillian Bentham was installed on Oct. 1, 2015 at Hillside Cemetery in Holley/Clarendon. Brigden Memorials of Albion donated the stone. Bentham lived to be 85, and remained in the Holley and Rochester region until her death on Dec. 15, 1977. Bentham was buried in Hillside Cemetery next to her sister, Daisy Bentham, who died at age 16 in 1904. Lillian never had a headstone until Brigden donated one about four decades after her death.

Lillian was placed in Lifeboat 12, the third boat lowered on the port side and was allegedly within an earshot of the Captain Edward Smith as he shouted, “Now, every man for himself, she’s going down.” The band played sacred music for the duration of the ensuing commotion, playing “Nearer My God to Thee” as their final piece. Bentham recalled everyone praying on their knees as the ship’s deck dipped below water. As the vessel submerged the boilers exploded, scalding and killing many on deck and those locked below deck. She watched as the ship broke in two before disappearing below the waterline.

As the lifeboats bobbed atop the water, men and women were occasionally plucked from the water while others were struck over the head with oars to prevent panicked survivors from capsizing the tiny boats. Lillian recalled a tragic scene that remained with her for the rest of her life; an infant with its hands either crushed or cut off was thrown overboard to “put it out of its misery. It was very weak and would have died soon anyway.” The dead were thrown overboard to make way for those survivors floating in the freezing waters. Many died from shock, the result of exposure to extreme cold. Those in the lifeboats huddled together, most in their nightgowns, unprepared for the frigid temperatures of the cold Atlantic night.

When the R.M.S. Carpathia arrived at New York City, Mrs. Emily Douton was present and ready to welcome Lillian and her husband. Word was sent early of the survivors of the disaster, but Emily’s first question to Lillian was “Where’s William?” In the months following the disaster, the Holley Lodge I.O.O.F. purchased a cemetery monument for fellow members Douton and McKane, whose bodies were never recovered. The stone was dedicated in June of 1912 and reads “Erected in Memory of Wm. Doughton & Peter MacKain lost at sea with S.S. Titanic April 14, 1912 by Holley Lodge 42 IOOF.” Emily Douton remarried twice before her death on June 30, 1923 from stomach cancer.

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Local schools say far fewer students refusing state tests

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 April 2018 at 5:21 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: The percentage of students who are refusing to take state assessments has dropped significantly at Holley Central School.

The tests aren’t nearly as lengthy and the student scores are no longer tied to teacher evaluations. Those might be big factors in why fewer students are refusing to take state tests.

Two years ago, all local schools had at least 20 percent of their students in grades 3 to 8 “opt out” of taking state assessments for math and English language arts.

Today was the beginning of the testing for the ELA assessments. Those tests used to be over three days. Now they are over two days with the tests taking about 90 minutes each day, although students aren’t under a time limit as long as they are working productively. The math tests follow next week for some schools.

Lyndonville had 8 percent of its students, 17 out of 212, refuse the tests today. Last year it was closer to 25 to 30 percent, said Jason Smith, the district superintendent.

“As a school district, we have tried to not make these tests stand out as anything special, just another way to measure student progress, like any other assessment,” Smith said. “The tests are important, we don’t discount that, but we also tried hard to not elevate either, as we want students to take these tests to see where we are doing well and where need to improve.”

Holley has had the highest refusal rate among the Orleans County districts, topping 40 percent in 2015, and then 36 percent for Math and 32 percent for English in 2016. Today the district had near 90 percent participation, said Karri Schiavone, the elementary school principal.

Medina had about 10 percent of the students refuse the tests, while Kendall was less than 15 percent and Albion was 14 percent, according to school superintendents at those districts.

The students who refuse the tests aren’t penalized. They typically stay in the classroom and have reading materials.

Here are the opt out rates for the districts in 2015:

• Albion, 29.0 percent for Math; 22.0 percent for ELA

• Holley, 43.0 percent for Math; 40.0 percent for ELA

• Kendall, 34 percent for Math; 30 percent for ELA

• Lyndonville, 26 percent Math; 19 percent for ELA

• Medina, 30 percent for Math; 21 percent for ELA

These are the rates for 2016:

• Albion, 21 percent Math; 21 percent ELA

• Holley, 36 percent Math; 32 percent ELA

• Kendall, 23 percent Math; 23 percent ELA

• Lyndonville, 29 percent Math; 29 percent ELA

• Medina, 25 percent Math; 23 percent ELA

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Highs will get into the 40s this week

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 April 2018 at 9:39 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

HOLLEY – A blue heron takes off near the Holley Waterfalls on Saturday afternoon.

After about a half inch of snow on Saturday, there will be more scattered snow showers today before 2 p.m., and the high will only hit 33, according to the National Weather Service.

The other high temps this week include 38 on Monday, 40 on Tuesday, 43 on Wednesday, 49 on Thursday, 44 on Friday and 51 on Saturday.

The Holley Waterfalls is pictured on Saturday afternoon with a light coating of snow on the ground.

The Holley Waterfalls is one of the area’s nicest natural attractions. You can reach the waterfalls by turning onto Frisbee Terrace off Route 31 in the Public Square. Follow Frisbee Terrace past the former grocery store and the village’s DPW garage.

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Sign goes up for Holley bar and restaurant, with opening planned for this summer

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 April 2018 at 6:00 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

HOLLEY – Sean Seeler, in lift, installs a bracket this afternoon to hold a new sign for the Holley Falls Bar & Grill. Sean’s father, Dan, is looking out through the window of the business in Holley’s Public Square.

The Seeler family has been working the past five years to renovate the site, the former Tagg’s Tavern. The construction is “98 percent complete,” Mr. Seeler said. He expects the bar and restaurant will open this summer.

Provided photo: Dan Seeler made the sign with his sons, Sean and Jesse.

The sign was needed for the business to secure a liquor license. The Seelers know there is lots of interest from the community in the project, but they said they need more time before they are ready to open. Monica Seeler, Dan’s wife, said they expect to hire 25 to 35 people to run the bar and restaurant when it opens this summer.

In addition to the bar and restaurant, the Seelers renovated the upper levels to create apartments that are all rented.

The building used to have a wooden exterior when it was Tagg’s Tavern. The wood was removed to reveal cast iron columns in front. The Seelers needed to rebuild walls, paint them and make numerous other improvements for one of the most prominent buildings in Holley. They also added an awning.

They named the restaurant and bar for the Holley Falls, a popular spot that is located down Frisbee Terrace, a short walk from the restaurant.

Mr. and Mrs. Seeler said they feel positive momentum in the village with upcoming sidewalk and street projects, as well as a good chance for the redevelopment of the old Holley High School.

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Holley added to GlassBarge tour this summer

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 April 2018 at 5:12 pm

Provided photo from Corning Museum of Glass: A barge with mobile glassmaking equipment will be in Holley on July 24 and then in Medina on Aug. 11-12.

HOLLEY – A barge with glassmaking equipment will stop in Holley on July 24 as part of a summer-long tour along the Erie Canal.

The Corning Museum of Glass announced last month that the 2018 GlassBarge tour will visit Medina, docking at Medina Canal Basin on August 11-12. But after some negotiations with Holley village officials, a second Orleans County stop was added.

Mayor Brian Sorochty said the barge will be in Holley at the Canal Park on July 24.

The tour is the 2018 signature event for the statewide celebration of the Erie Canal Bicentennial. The GlassBarge will offer free public glassmaking demonstrations at each scheduled stop during its four-month tour.

GlassBarge commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company – now known as Corning Incorporated – relocating to Corning via the New York Waterways by canal barge.

In celebration of this pivotal journey, the Corning Museum is recreating the voyage with GlassBarge – a 30′ x 80′ canal barge equipped with Corning’s patented all-electric glassmaking equipment. In addition to sharing the story of glassmaking in Corning, the GlassBarge tour emphasizes the continued role of New York’s waterways in shaping the state’s industry, culture, and community.

GlassBarge begins it tour in Brooklyn on May 17 and will travel north on the Hudson River, then westward along the Erie Canal from Albany to Buffalo before making its way to the Finger Lakes. A ceremonial last leg of the trip will take place by land, concluding in Corning with a community-wide celebration on Sept. 22. (Besides stopping in Holley and Medina, GlassBarge will also be in Brockport from Aug. 17-19.)

A flotilla of historic ships will accompany GlassBarge, including the Lois McClure, a replica of an 1862 canal barge, and the C.L. Churchill, a 1964 tugboat, both part of the permanent collection of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. The museum will share the story of 19th-century canal life and how materials were shipped on New York’s waterways. On the Erie Canal, GlassBarge will be moved by an historic tug from the fleet of the South Street Seaport Museum, connecting upstate and downstate by water.

GlassBarge will provide daily demonstrations. All demos are approximately 30 minutes long, and reservations are strongly encouraged through free timed tickets that will be available at Reservations will open 4-6 weeks prior to each stop. Demos can also be viewed from shore without a reservation.

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State approves $1 million grant for renovations of old Holley High School

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 March 2018 at 3:52 pm

This rendering shows how the former Holley High School would look after $17 million in renovations.

HOLLEY – The state is coming through with a $1 million “Restore New York” grant to go towards the renovation of the old Holley High School in Holley, a building that has been vacant for more than two decades.

Home Leasing LLC, a Rochester company, has proposed a $17 million renovation of the former school, to create residential apartments and offices that would be used for the village government. Home Leasing is working along with Edgemere Development, Glasow Simmons Architecture L.L.P. and Marathon Engineering – all Rochester-based firms – on the project.

“We’re definitely optimistic,” said Holley Mayor Brian Sorochty. “It’s tremendously good solid news for this project.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the $1 million for the effort today, one of 71 projects approved for $81 million in funding.

“Downtown communities are vital to keeping our economies thriving and to attracting businesses and families to put down their roots in New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Restore New York Communities Initiative recognizes communities teeming with potential and invests in their transformation and their future, and turns them into neighborhoods New Yorkers are proud to call home.”

Home Leasing proposed prject in Holley would transform the old school into the “Holley Gardens.” That would be a mixed residential/commercial facility to provide seniors with new, safe housing featuring senior focused amenities and updated, accessible office/meeting space for the community, according to the announcement from the governor.

“Traveling across the State, I see the many buildings in communities that have great possibilities to be restored with the charm they once had,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “With this Restore New York funding, we’re committed to ensuring that our localities have the resources they need to pursue new development projects and transform abandoned properties. The Restore New York initiative continues to work with local leaders and stakeholders to unleash the full potential of economic development opportunities across the State.”

The Holley project is part of $11.2 million awarded to ten Finger Lakes municipalities through Round 5 of the Restore New York Communities Initiative. Round 5 of the Restore New York Communities Initiative was enacted in the FY 2017 State Budget, and Empire State Development was designated to implement the program.

“Public investment in our small towns is inspiring and necessary to turn dilapidated and neglected areas into robust centers of community and commerce,” State Assemblyman Steve Hawley said. “I am pleased to hear that the old Holley High School will become a welcoming living community for our seniors, and I look forward to watching this project transform and progress as we move forward.”

Cities, towns and villages were all eligible to apply for support for projects that include demolition, deconstruction, rehabilitation or reconstruction of vacant, abandoned, condemned and surplus properties. Projects located in economically distressed communities were emphasized and encouraged.

The other Finger Lakes projects include:

• City of Rochester – $5,000,000 – The rehabilitation of eight vacant privately-owned properties, located in Center City on State Street and East Main Street. The plan includes interior and exterior building restoration and, when completed, approximately 145 new housing units will be created and approximately 64,572 square feet of commercial space will be renovated.

• City of Canandaigua – $1,000,000 – Rehabilitation of the abandoned former Labelon manufacturing facility at 10 Chapin Street into a mixed-use development with 52 residential units.

• Town of Irondequoit – $1,000,000 – The redevelopment of a former mall, the largest vacant property in Monroe County with nearly one million square feet of former retail space, into SkyView on the Ridge, a mixed-use multi-tenant space that will include office space, a community center, fitness facility and shared common area for tenants and customers.

• Village of Warsaw – $1,000,000 – The demolition of a former nursing home on North Main Street. Once the building is demolished, it will be combined with a neighboring parcel to create a two-story hotel.

• Village of Geneseo – $700,000 – The conversion of the former Livingston County Home into a multi-tenant commercial building.

• Village of Penn Yan – $500,000 – The rehabilitation of two buildings: the first will renovate the vacant top two floors of a multi-use building into market rate housing. The second building will be renovated into a mixed-use facility.

• Village of Webster – $500,000 – The rehabilitation of 22-42 East Main Street to create commercial and residential properties along a contiguous stretch of six storefronts.

• Village of Avon – $400,000 – Renovation of the Park Theater into mixed-use facility, including a community theater.

• Village of Newark – $100,000 – The rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the former St. Michael’s Parish Elementary School into 28 affordable apartments for seniors age 62 and over.

A complete list of projects throughout the state can be found by clicking here.

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Albion, Holley students hear from community members about leadership

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 March 2018 at 10:28 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: PACT Founder and Pastor Tim Lindsay was among the panelists last Thursday during a leadership forum at Albion High School.  Clarendon Code Enforcement Officer Melissa Ierlan, left, and Michael Bonnewell, Albion school superintendent, also served on the panel, as well as two others. They addressed about 60 students from Albion and Holley.

ALBION – About 60 student leaders from Albion and Holley high schools heard from five community members last week on how they can make a positive impact on Orleans County and the country.

The students don’t need to wait until they are settled in careers to start making a mark on the community.

“The world is yours,” said Michael Bonnewell, the Albion school superintendent. “It is yours now, and it is yours to shape.”

Bonnewell was among the panel speakers during the Rotary Interact Leadership Seminar with a focus on “Service Above Self.” Bonnewell is the current president of the Albion Rotary Club.

Other speakers at the forum included Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower, Melissa Ierlan (Clarendon code enforcement officer, historian and Holley Board of Education member), Charlie Nesbitt (former State Assemblyman who remains active in several community projects), and the Rev. Tim Lindsay, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship and one of the leaders of PACT – Pastors Aligned for Community Transformation.

Lindsay has been a pastor in Albion since 1987. He urged students to be character driven in their lives, especially ages 16 to 26. Lindsay said the decisions made during this decade will affect the students’ trajectory in life.

“Live for something bigger than yourself,” Lindsay said. “You can leave a great legacy behind when you live for others and for something bigger than yourself.”

Sheriff Randy Bower urged students to have a strong moral compass.

Bower, the local sheriff, shared how he was paralyzed at age 18, four months after he graduated from Holley.  Bower was working a full-time job at the time as a line technician for a cable company.

On Oct. 10, 1983, he was driving home from a friend’s house at about midnight. He fell asleep at the wheel. Clarendon firefighters saved his life that night, Bower said.

He credited a neighbor named Jason for coming over to help him in those months after the accident. Bower would find a career as a public safety dispatcher. He married and has a family.

Bower urged the students to have a “strong moral compass” to guide their decisions and actions in life, and to help them overcome the challenges that await.

He shared other advice: look people in the eye and make eye contact.

Many teens and young adults today seem overly distracted by their phones, too quick to check them instead of engaging in conversation. Bower said.

“Eye contact and a firm handshake, you don’t see that as much,” Bower said.

Charlie Nesbitt urged all of the students to give back to their community, throughout their lives. “It’s within any individual to make a difference,” Nesbitt said.

Charlie Nesbitt, a retired state assemblyman, was a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. On Nov. 14, 1968 he was tasked with extracting a Special Forces unit out of Laos. Under enemy fire after one chopper crashed in the jungle, Nesbitt picked up the crew of the downed aircraft and left. Then the crew discovered that one man, John Grimaldi, had been left behind. Though low on fuel, Nesbitt turned his helicopter around and successfully rescued Grimaldi under intense enemy fire. Nesbitt was 20 at the time.

When he returned home after the war, he joined the family’s car dealership. He would be elected state assemblyman in 1992 and served until 2005. He then served decade as president and commissioner of the state Tax Appeals Tribunal. He also has been active in the Albion Alumni Foundation, and in local service groups, the Rotary Club and Masonic Lodge.

Nesbitt said leaders can identify a problem and develop a strategy to solve it. It often takes tenacity to get job done.

“With leadership the key element is vision,” he told the students. “You have to understand the situation and imagine the outcome.

Students and the panelists discussed leadership and challenges in the community during a 90-minute program last Thursday.

Tim Archer, an Albion teacher and Interact advisor, referred an article from Time magazine that said today’s generation of teen-agers are “lazy, entitled narcissists” who are obsessed with their social media “likes.” The article calls them the “Me, Me, Me Generation,” Archer said.

Samantha Zelent, a school social worker at Holley and the Interact advisor, believes there are stereotypes depicting today’s young people as self-absorbed, but she doesn’t see it that way.

“These kids will change this world when they are asked and motivated,” Zelent said.

Melissa Ierlan said there are many ways students can help improve their communities.

Melissa Ierlan is the code enforcement officer for Clarendon. She also is town historian and a member of the Holley Board of Education. Ierlan urged the students to get a job and work hard, and not ask for handouts.

“Parents are part of the problem,” she said. “Do you pay for your own car, your car insurance or for phone? When your parents keep giving you something, I think that’s part of the problem.”

The panelists were asked how students can volunteer and help the community.

Ierlan said there are numerous ways to give back to the community. She urged them to call their village and town clerks for ideas, as well as through the historical societies.

She praised community members for stepping up recently with projects at Hillside Cemetery in Holley/Clarendon. Scouts have done Eagle projects at the cemetery. Community members have raised money to save the historic chapel.

“We have tons and tons of people who model it everyday,” Ierlan said about “Service Above Self.”

Bower said the local youth sports leagues need coaches. Student athletes, including recent graduates, would be welcomed to work with younger kids on the teams, Bower said.

There are also numerous service clubs, churches and fire departments that need new members.

The group was asked how many plan to leave Albion or Holley after they graduate, and most kids raised their hands.

Nesbitt said the perception of little opportunity in the county remains a big barrier to overcome. Bringing job opportunities to the county was a top priority during his 13 years in the Assembly. (There is a road named for him in the Holley Business Park, which welcomed several projects during his tenure.)

Lindsay sees poverty and drug addictions as the two biggest challenges for the community. PACT, which includes several local pastors, has been engaged in those issues.

Tim Archer takes a photo of the panelists with some of the students after the forum last Thursday.

“Do you want to be part of the solution?” Lindsay said. “Identifying the problem is easy.”

Ierlan sees advantages with smaller school districts, where students know and have access to their teachers. Holley, like many local districts, has a shrinking enrollment. The school only has 57 students in next year’s graduating class, when it recently had 90 to 99.

Nesbitt said he had 214 in his graduating class about a half century ago. Today’s Albion class in just over half that size.

“Things have not stayed the same and they won’t,” he said.

Archer, a character education for Albion seventh-graders, urges his students to not just talk about a problem.

“You have to do something about it,” he said. “Talk doesn’t cook rice.”

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Holley is switching to 8 man football

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 20 March 2018 at 12:46 pm

In recent years a dwindling number of participants has caused problems for many small football playing high schools across the state.

In order to keep their football programs going some schools have turned to merging with neighboring districts, such as Medina and Lyndonville have done for the past several years. Others have turned to another alternative – 8 man football – and that is the direction Holley is taking.

“It’s a done deal. We’re going to play 8 man football this fall,” said Holley Athletic Director Dan Courtney. “Our numbers have been low so this came around at the right time for us and we’re going to give it a try. It’s nothing new. Eight man football has been around for a long time and is played in many states. We want to give our kids the opportunity to continue to play football and this provides us the chance to do that.”

Section V has given its approval for 8 man competition, a decision which follows the Section III (Central New York) move to form an 8 man division last year. That division included Cooperstown, South Lewis, New York Mills, Bishop Grimes, Oriskany and Pulaski.

“Our coaches and players are excited that we will have football,” said Hawks head Coach Wil Prince. “We’re really excited. We’ve done our research and have talked to the Section III people and they have nothing but positives to say about it. I think it will really help us. It really was going to 8 man or nothing so it is a way for us to not only keep football but to build the program.”

Some of those Section III schools likely loom as possible opponents for Holley this fall as to date CG Finney is the only other Section V school to indicate its plans to go to 8 man football though Courtney notes several other districts have expressed interest.

“Schools have until August to make a decision to switch from 11 to 8 man football so we will have to see what schools choose to do so but playing some of the Section III schools is something we’re looking at,” noted Courtney.

Played on a regulation field 8 man football requires a minimum squad of only 12 players as opposed to the 16 which the state requires for an 11 man team.

Interestingly, for Holley the switch to 8 man football is almost going back to the Hawks gridiron roots as when Genesee Region League (then Genesee Orleans League) schools formed football teams after World War II they were 6 man teams. Holley in fact played 6 man football from 1948-1955 before dropping the sport until it was reinstated as 11 man football in 2002.