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Holley

Holley student shares highlights from her year as exchange student in Hungary

Photos by Kristina Gabalski: Holley “inbound” exchange student, 15-year old Lara Braun of Switzerland, poses with Nina DiLella, a Holley senior who spent last school year as a Rotary exchange student in Hungary. Lara is also a member of the Holley 2018 Senior Class and is currently staying with the DiLella Family.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 20 September 2017 at 8:04 pm

Nina DiLella, a senior at Holley, talks about her “memory jacket” from her year in Hungary as a Rotary Youth Exchange student. The students exchange pins as they meet during their travels as well as various souvenirs they collect along the way.

HOLLEY – Nina DiLella, a Holley senior, spoke to members of the Holley School Board of Education Monday evening, giving them details of her experience during last school year as a Rotary Youth Exchange student to Hungary.

DiLella said she learned that, “you can’t stereotype cultures,” and that not all things are black and white – “there is a lot of in between.”

DiLella said she loved her time spent in Europe and attended a language-focused high school while in Hungary. She studied Spanish.

“I had 16 Spanish classes each week all school year,” she said.

She enjoyed sharing her American culture with new friends including carving pumpkins for Halloween and enjoying a Thanksgiving party.

“It was the first time they had snow in 30 years,” she said of the region of Hungary in which she stayed. “I told them I brought the snow with me.”

DiLella said she was about 40 minutes outside Budapest and was able to visit much of Europe as part of her stay including Italy, France and Germany.

Nina DiLella included the Hungarian language with photos of her Rotary Exchange trip to Hungary. She was sponsored by the Holley Rotary Club.

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Holley schools near completion of final phase of capital project

Photos courtesy of Holley Central School: A new bus loop has been added by the elementary school. A new bus loop was created in front of the ES, near the District Office entrance, to separate car traffic from school bus traffic. This helps keep students safe as they get on and off the bus at this entrance.

Posted 20 September 2017 at 6:42 pm

Press Release, Holley Central School

HOLLEY – Holley students are reaping the benefits as final touches are being made to the campus during the last phase of the Capital Project this fall.

The elementary school playground was redone.

A new Pre-K playground added to the elementary school campus. Students will enjoy using brand new equipment on both playgrounds this fall.

New tennis courts were installed at the Middle School/High School while the existing courts were repurposed as tennis, pickleball and basketball courts.

This photo shows the tennis courts being worked on. The transformation adds outdoor physical education stations for students. When school is not in session, all of these areas are available for community use.

Structural changes have been made to both schools, too. Heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) units were replaced in both buildings. The ES also had windows and doors replaced. The new windows allow more light into classrooms. These upgrades allow the district to use their energy more efficiently and save money on utility costs.

By the end of this project, over $30 million of improvements will have been made to the district facilities, at zero impact to local taxpayers.

“The entire project has provided the district with one of the finest facilities in Western New York,” said District Superintendent Robert D’Angelo. “I’m pleased to be able to bring these benefits to our students and community. Our long-term goal for the campus is to maintain it as a state-of-the-art school facility and learning environment. We thank the community for their patience and continued support of this project as we’ve completed each phase.”

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Fire District voters approve up to $950K for new ladder truck in Holley

Photos by Tom Rivers: Holley firefighters practiced a bail-out drill tonight on Thomas Street across from the fire hall. They used the ladder truck to get to the second floor window.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 September 2017 at 11:03 pm

HOLLEY – Voters in the Holley Joint Fire District approved spending up to $950,000 for a new ladder truck this evening.

The vote was from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the fire hall and the resolution passed, 43-2.

The new truck will have a 100-foot ladder. It will replace a truck that is about 20 years old with a 75-foot ladder. Holley bought the current ladder truck as a used fire truck in 2008.

These blueprints show the new fire truck for the Holley Joint Fire District. The new truck would have a 100-foot-long ladder, compared to the 75 feet on the current one.

The truck has been plagued with electrical and hydraulic problems in recent years, as well as rusted structural components, said John Totter, chairman of the Fire District’s board of commissioners.

“We had to put a big chunk of change into it last year to keep it going, to increase the sale-ability and to make it safe,” Totter said about the current ladder truck.

The Fire District is working with the Rosenbauer Group on the new fire truck. The district needs to wait 20 days to make sure no objections are filed with the election. Totter said he is hopeful the district can sign a contract with Rosenbauer before the end of the year. It will take about a year from then for the truck’s delivery. Totter said December 2018 is a reasonable target date for the truck.

The bays in the firehall don’t leave much room to get in a fire truck. The new truck will have to be customized in height and length to fit in the fire hall.

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Safety trailer seen as big boost for fire prevention efforts at local schools

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Pete Sidari of the Albion Fire Department shows Holley Board of Education members the exterior of the Orleans County Fire Safety Trailer. It will eventually have educational illustrations covering the exterior.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 September 2017 at 10:36 am

HOLLEY – Young people across Orleans County will be able to learn the fundamentals of fire safety in a very hands-on way once a new educational trailer and staff are ready.

Peter Sidari of the Albion Fire Department and Dale Banker, director of Orleans County Emergency Management, spoke to members of the Holley School Board of Education Monday night to give them an understanding of the educational opportunities the trailer will provide to elementary students through on-site visits and assemblies at local schools. Sidari is also the fire safety educator for the North Greece Fire District.

The county was able to obtain the trailer through $75,000 in grant funding obtained by State Senator Robert Ortt.

The Fire Safety Trailer (house) was delivered Aug. 24 and its interior is designed to look like a typical home with a kitchen, hallway and bedroom. With special effects, presenters are able to mimic what it would be like to be in a burning building and guide students on the safe way to escape, meet up with other family members outside, and call for help.

“It helps us to teach fire escape planning,” Sidari explained.  “It’s a hand-on approach to teaching fire safety. Our hope would be that students take the information home to their families.”

He elaborated on the special effects in the trailer which include smoke alarms, a fog machine (utilizes theater fog), a simulated burning trash can, a hot door (not hot enough to cause injury, Sidari noted) and an exterior phone system which will allow students to call and speak with emergency officials just as if they were reporting a real blaze.

The trailer helps students practice what they would do if they ever found themselves in a burning building. Different styles of windows are also part of the trailer design, allowing students to see how varying styles of windows open.

Sidari said it may take some time to get the program fully up and running. Emergency Management hopes to have the trailer at the Orleans County 4-H Fair in the future as well.

He told Orleans Hub the trailers have been effective teaching tools in other locations and recounted two success stories: a young boy who went through one of the programs was able to save his grandparents during a fire, and a college student was able to safely get out of her housing during a fire by remembering what she had learned from a fire safety trailer program while in grade school.

The fire safety programs will be available at no cost to local school districts, Sidari said.

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Absentee ballots give Bob Miller win in GOP Primary for Murray town supervisor

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 September 2017 at 10:04 am

MURRAY – Robert Miller was behind Joe Sidonio by 7 votes after the polls closed on Tuesday for the Murray town supervisor. But after the absentee ballots were counted this morning, Miller emerged as the victor for the Republican line.

Miller dominated the absentees, getting 19 to 5 over Sidonio. (There was another absentee that didn’t have a vote for town supervisor.)

Miller was the endorsed Republican candidate, but Sidonio, a frequent critic of the Murray Town Board, forced a primary.

Miller, a retired state trooper, will face Sidonio again in the Nov. 7 general election because Sidonio has the backing of the Conservative and Independence parties.

Miller ended up with 274 Republican votes to 267 for Sidonio. John Morriss, the incumbent town supervisor, isn’t seeking re-election.

The absentee ballots have been under lock and key until they were presented this morning just before 9:15 a.m.

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Akeley Fox gets big welcome home

Photos by Kristina Gabalski: Melissa Ierlan, Clarendon town historian, holds a photo of a fox mounted by Carl Akeley taken before its restoration. Heat from being stored in an attic had led to severe deterioration. One eye had fallen out, the tail had "melted," the paws were void of hair and bugs had found their way inside. "It was in bad shape," Ierlan said. "We thought we would have to replace it, but we didn't." The fox is depicted eating a bird it has caught. The paper mache work on the bird included newspaper from the Holley Standard, dated Dec. 4, 1879. Ierlan brought a copy of the original pages to the reception on Saturday.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 17 September 2017 at 6:13 pm

Cobblestone Museum, Clarendon Historical Society celebrate ‘world-class restoration effort’

CHILDS – Calling it a “world-class restoration effort,” Cobblestone Museum Director Doug Farley opened a reception at the Cobblestone Church on Ridge Road Saturday afternoon to officially welcome home an early example of the work of famed Clarendon taxidermist Carl Akeley.  The reception was held in conjunction with members of the Clarendon Historical Society.

The work – a red fox mounted by Akeley in 1879 at the age of 16 – was recently restored by George Dante, a taxidermist and conservator of Wildlife Preservation in New Jersey.

Farley said the restoration resulted from an “amazing grass-roots effort to secure funding” for the project. Private donors, a grant from the Elizabeth Dye Curtis Foundation and a donations from the Orleans County Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Clarendon Historical Society made the project possible, Farley said.

Bill Lattin, retired Orleans County Historian and Cobblestone Museum Director, has a family connection to the fox. He spoke during the reception and explained that his great-grandfather, Francis Harling of Albion, procured the fox for Akeley. Lattin explained that the fox, enclosed in a framed diorama, is a precious artifact.

“In the world of taxidermy, it’s like owning a Rafael,” Lattin said.  “It’s very, very special.”

Akeley, (1864-1926), is known as the Father of Modern Taxidermy.  He devised a method for fitting an animal’s skin over a meticulously prepared and sculpted form of the animal’s body.  The process included the animal’s musculature and details such as wrinkles and veins and produced a very realistic result.

Akeley made many trips to Africa to collect specimens and created the African Hall at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.  Akeley also liked to place the mounted animals in settings that reflected their native habitat.

Lattin said his great-grandfather wanted the fox diorama to display in the family’s home on East County House Road in Albion.

Harling was a middle-class dirt farmer and blacksmith, Lattin explained, but noted it is interesting that, “common ordinary people (of that time) had a sensitivity for aesthetics.” Harling had gone out of his way to procure the fox, Lattin said, so that something beautiful could be made to decorate the family’s home, “that’s remarkable,” he observed.

Now that the fox – which Lattin said was found to be a vixen during the restoration work – can help people today to, “appreciate what our ancestors saw as beautiful.”

Matthew Ballard (Orleans County Historian), Bill Lattin and Melissa Ierlan (Clarendon town historian) pose with Carl Akeley’s fox diorama. Cobblestone Museum officials said those visiting the Cobblestone Church will be able to see the diorama on the lower level where the Museum gift shop is located.

Ballard, the county historian and former Cobblestone Museum director, explained that the effort to have the fox diorama restored was fueled by a celebration held in 2014 by the Clarendon Historical Society for the 150th anniversary of Akeley’s birth.

Jay Kirk, the author of Kingdom Under Glass about Carl Akeley and his work, attended the celebration as did Akeley expert John Janelli.

“We wanted to bring (the fox) to the attention of people who would appreciate Akeley’s work,” Ballard said. “The fox is part of a transitional phase for Akeley.”

Ballard noted the legwork done by Ierlan, the Clarendon historian, to have the fox restored as well as the local fundraising effort.

“It’s surreal to see it come to fruition,” Ballard said of the restoration project.  “It’s a piece of national significance.”

Carl Akeley wrote his name and Clarendon in the bottom left corner of the diorama.

Ierlan discussed Akeley’s life and work from his humble beginnings on Hinds Road in Clarendon to the jungles of Africa.

“He was the original Indiana Jones,” Ierlan said.  She noted his early work preserving the pet canary of his aunt, his training in taxidermy by David Bruce in Brockport and his apprenticeship at Ward’s Natural Science Establishment in Rochester.

She explained that the taxidermy work done before Akeley often made animals look like stuffed toys – “freakish and scary…. (Akeley) wanted to make them look as real as possible,” Ierlan said.

In addition to his taxidermy work, Akeley was an accomplished sculptor, biologist, conservationist and inventor with over 29 patents.  Akeley improved the motion picture camera for filming animal movement, Ierlan said.

“He had a remarkable life….. he was one of America’s greatest men,” she said.

Melissa Ierlan brought copies of photographs of Akeley’s work including diorama’s from the American Museum of Natural History and the entourage that accompanied Akeley on his African trips to collect specimens (far left), as well as the condition of the fox diorama prior to restoration.

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Sidonio has 7-vote lead in Murray with race to be determined by absentee ballots

Staff Reports Posted 12 September 2017 at 10:01 pm

Sean Pogue wins primary for Barre Town Supervisor

MURRAY –It’s too close to call for Town Supervisor in Murray. Joe Sidonio has a 7-vote lead over Robert Miller, the Republican-endorsed candidate.

Sidonio has 262 votes to 255 for Miller. There are 23 absentee ballots out. They will be counted on Sept. 18 at the Orleans County Board of Elections in Albion.

Supporters of Sidonio gathered at Holley Middle School/High School Tuesday evening to hear the results of the vote.

Sidonio said both he and opponent Miller have the best interests of the Murray community in mind.

“We still need to come together as a community and work for the common ground,” Sidonio said. He is hopeful that he will prevail when the final votes are counted.

The campaign has been contentious. Sidonio called it, “heated and nasty.”

Turnout for the primary was impressive with 520 ballots cast.  Party officials said there are 1,240 registered Republicans in the Town of Murray.

Sidonio noted that the interest in the race and the closeness of the vote shows that, “change is what is needed…. we need a clean slate change” in the town. He said he is grateful for the support of his family including his wife Amy and daughter Amelia, as well as friends and community members.

“I thank all supporters in the community for their interest in this election,” he said.

In Barre, Sean Pogue won the Republican Primary, getting 141 votes to 87 for Robin Nacca. The two will square off again in November because Nacca has been endorsed by the Conservative Party. (Pogue also won the Independence primary, 10-7, versus Nacca.)

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Firefighters put out car fire in Clarendon

Staff Reports Posted 12 September 2017 at 4:36 pm

Photos courtesy of Kurt Wannenwetsch

HOLLEY – Firefighters responded to a vehicle that burst into flames just before 1 p.m. today on Bennetts Corners Road near the intersection with Taylor Road.

Holley and Clarendon firefighters worked to put out the fire. The vehicle was being towed to a scrap yard. No one was injured.

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Back to School Night is a fun time at Holley

Photos by Kristina Gabalski: Holley Elementary School teachers line up in teams by grade level during Tuesday evening's Back to School Night assembly in the intermediate gym.

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 5 September 2017 at 11:10 pm

HOLLEY – Parents, students, teachers, staff and administrators gathered Tuesday evening at Holley Central Elementary School and Middle School/High School for Back to School Night.

The evening provided an opportunity for students to drop off their supplies and meet with teachers the evening before the first day of school.

The Elementary School held a special assembly/pep rally at 5:30 pm which included “star teacher” performances by teaching teams from all grade levels.

“We are thrilled to have you back with us, it’s been a long boring summer,” Elementary Principal Karri Schiavone said.

She invited families to get a first-hand look at new windows and playgrounds which were installed over the summer as part of the capital improvement project.

Schiavone told students that the school would be looking for “star students” all year long – students who show exemplary character traits.

Each grade level teaching team performed a short number as part of the “star teacher” search.  Here, the 1st Grade teachers get down as the “Dancing Grannies.”

Holley Elementary Assistant Principal Tim Artessa acted as master of ceremonies.  Here, he oversees the volunteer student panel of judges for the “star teacher” competition.  The students provided a “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down” for each performance.
Artessa said the assembly showed the students were excited to start a new school year.  “The students were super respectful, even though there were some technical difficulties,” Artessa said. “They are ready to have the school year start on a positive note.”

4th grade teachers made crowns out of balloons and passed out balloon sculptures to students.

4th grade teacher Karin Richards hands out balloon animal sculptures to students.

6th grade teachers got the gym rockin’ with an air band performance of music by Journey.

The largest group of faculty and staff included music, art, and phys. ed. teachers as well as librarian Julie Bader. They performed to “YMCA” by the Village People.

One-half of the kindergarten teaching team performed as the Lullaby League from the Wizard of Oz.

The other half of the Kindergarten teaching team performed as the Lollypop Guild from the Wizard of Oz.

Families attending the Back to School Night at Holley Elementary School were able to see the latest improvements completed as part of the Capital Improvement Project, including the new bus loop.

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St. Rocco’s Italian Fest fights off rain and draws crowd to Hulberton

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 September 2017 at 3:39 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

HULBERTON – Angelo Fiorucci of Niagara on the Lake in Canada plays in the bocce tournament at the St. Rocco’s Italian Festival in Hulberton. There were 30 teams signed up to play in the tournament, which includes a grand prize of $600.

One of the teams cancelled due to the rain, but everyone else played, despite the rain in the morning. The sun came out later in the morning and the typical big crowd for the festival descended on the small hamlet by the canal in the Town of Murray.

Fiorucci said he has been playing in the tournament for about 20 years.

“We have a good time over here,” he said. “We have made a lot of friends over the years.”

These women helped organize the basket raffle, which includes a record 54 baskets this year. The ladies include, from left: Ann Dellaquila, Joyce Potote, Ingrid Lestorti, Kathy Clarke and Katie Trupo.

The festival goes until 6 p.m. today with the drawing for the baskets at 5 p.m.

Jacob Bower watches his shot in bocce with his father Randy Bower, who organizes the annual bocce tournament.

Elizabeth Jubenville and Luci Welch get fried dough ready for the crowd. The annual festival is a fund-raiser for the Catholic parish in Holley and Kendall, which includes St. Mary’s Church in Holley and St. Mark’s in Kendall.

Maggie Skehan, 10, spins the raffle tickets, which included 1,400 sold as of about noon today. The prizes ranged from $100 to $300.

Rick Gill of Lockport takes his turn in the bocce tournament. Gill has played in the tourney several times.

“It’s good time and it’s good cause,” he said.

Andy Sweeney of Newline measures to see which of the balls is closest to the small ball. The closest one earns that team a point. The games are played to 16.

Sweeney said he competes in bocce tournaments around the country, and was most recently playing in Cleveland.

“This is a very well-run tournament,” he said. “There is great camaraderie and it’s family-oriented with great people.”

A building that was once used by a quarry company turns into a dining hall with an Italian theme for the festival. Volunteers, including Della Morales and Dorothy Morgan (up front), served spaghetti dinners.

The festival has been an annual event for about 40 years.

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