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Holley school district looks to establish Bed Bug protocol

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 21 March 2017 at 10:39 am

Holley votes to restart marching band

HOLLEY – Holley Board of Education members had their first reading of a new Bed Bug protocol for the district during their regular meeting Monday evening.

The Elementary School battled a bed bug issue in classrooms this winter and at the February meeting of the Board of Education, President Brenda Swanger requested a protocol be put in place.

The protocol includes the response for a bed bug found on a student in school or in a classroom; response for a bed bug infestation in a classroom or school; and how to keep beg bugs out of the classroom.

“A protocol gives us more latitude than a policy,” District Superintendent Robert D’Angelo told school board members.

Swanger said she is glad the district will have something in place regarding the issue.

Board member Melissa Ierlan, who serves as the Town of Clarendon’s code enforcement officer, said during a recent code class she attended, she learned that the problem of bed bugs is becoming more widespread in public places.

In other issues:

• In her report, Holley Elementary Principal Karri Schiavone said that with assessment testing starting next week, the school will send a letter home to parents this week emphasizing the importance of parents allowing their children to take the tests.

“We are hoping to get as many kids as we can,” Schiavone said.

She explained that the state has made many changes to the tests following last year’s survey which included parental input.  “It’s more like the assessments students used to take,” she said, and explained New York State has veered away somewhat from Common Core in preparing the tests.

“The tests have changed,” Schiavone said. The results, “don’t count against the student.” She explained that students will now have unlimited time and students with documented needs will be accommodated.

Schiavone said teachers and administrators utilize results from assessment testing to help them focus on areas where students need the most help.

• Under consensus approvals, Board of Education members approved the formation of a marching band for students in grades 7-12.

Elementary band director Hannah Bock told Orleans Hub the district had a combined marching band with Kendall Central School a few years ago, but there had been a lack of student interest in a marching band.

Middle School/ High School band director Zachary Busch said that has changed, and 25-30 students have expressed interest in forming a marching band.

Busch and Bock are hoping to have the band ready to march at the Memorial Day Parade in Holley as well as other local festivals such as the Strawberry Festival in Albion.

“We’ve been trying to get up a marching band” Bock said. “We hope that this time is the charm.”

They added that interested Kendall Central students will be welcome to join, once an agreement between the two districts can be reached.

• School Board members also approved a trip to the State Capitol in Albany for students in the 11th and 12th grade Humanities Class.

Students in the class attended Monday’s meeting and told board members the trip, scheduled for March 26th and 27th, will include a visit to the New York State Museum, the floor of the New York State Senate and meetings with Senator Robert Ortt and Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

The students have prepared written statements regarding issues of interest to them, which they will discuss with local representatives.

Topics include improving opportunities for low-income families to access higher education; Common Core testing; and tuition-free college.

Students were invited to take the trip after meeting recently with Assemblyman Hawley’s Chief of Staff, Eileen Banker.

“It’s a great place to go and visit, especially at your age,” Board President Brenda Swanger said.

Board member John Heise said he supported the trip as did Board Vice-President Robin Silvis. Board members said students would find the experience inspiring.

“I can’t wait to have you share it with us,” Silvis said.

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Storm knocked down gravestone in Clarendon last known Revolutionary War soldier to die

Photos courtesy of Melissa Ierlan: One of Clarendon’s most revered residents, Lemuel Cook, is buried at a pioneer cemetery on Munger Road in Clarendon. His gravestone toppled over during the wind storm on Wednesday.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 March 2017 at 1:13 pm

Photo courtesy of Matthew Ballard: Here is how Lemuel Cook’s gravestone looked recently before the powerful windstorm knocked it over.

CLARENDON – Lemuel Cook lived to be 107, dying on May 20, 1866. He was the oldest pensioner of the American Revolution, considered the last surviving soldier from the war that gave the United States its independence.

Cook is buried in Cook Cemetery on Munger Road in Clarendon. His gravestone has been damaged over the year, occasionally pushed over by vandals.

The gravestone was knocked over again last Wednesday. This time the culprit was powerful winds from a storm that knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of people in Western New York and the Finger Lakes. Nearly the entire town of Clarendon went at least two days without electricity.

The town is proud of Cook, and has set May 20 as the dedication for a historical marker at the cemetery, noting Cook’s service in the Revolution.

The town will have to work to have the gravestone reset in time for the dedication, Town Historian Melissa Ierlan said this morning.

The gravestone doesn’t have pins to help holds the pieces together. One recent repair used caulk to help hold the stones pieces in place.

The town has five pioneer cemeteries and Ierlan said two of them were damaged from the storm last week.

Besides Cook Cemetery on Munger Road, a cemetery on Hibbard Road, just off Route 31A, had a tree and big branches come down. That site on Hibbard Road includes the grave of Eldredge Farwell, the town founder.

Eldredge Farwell died in 1843. Farwell discovered Clarendon in 1810 while looking for his brother Isaac’s lost horse. He traced Isaac’s footprints along the border of Sandy Creek and was impressed with the town waterfalls.

Farwell saw the waterfalls as a potential source of power for business. He moved his family to Clarendon in 1811 and built saw and grist mills. The town was originally named Farwell’s Mills but was renamed to Clarendon. Farwell was from Clarendon, Vermont.

This photo shows some of the damage at Cook Cemetery on Munger Road in Clarendon after the storm on Wednesday.







Holley has kept the lights on after wind storm

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 March 2017 at 8:45 am

Alyssa Devault took this photo of a cracked tree on North Main Street in Holley on Wednesday. The Holley Electric Department was able to restore power not long after the big branch came down.

HOLLEY – While much of Orleans County has gone without electricity since the powerful wind storm swept through the area on Wednesday, knocking down trees and wires, Village of Holley residents haven’t been forced to endure lengthy power outages.

The village has its own electric department with about 1,100 customers. About 100 of those customers lost power short-term after the storm on Wednesday.

One tree came at the corner of North Main and East Union streets. There were 20-25 customers without power for abut 12 hours while village electric crews restored service.

There was another issue on Nelson Street that shut down a section of the village temporarily.

Matt Campbell, the Electric Department superintendent, said the village trimmed many trees last year, clearing branches from near power lines.

“We trimmed out our whole village and that definitely helped,” Campbell said. “We cleared are our lines back and I think that’s what saved us.”

Holley had help with the tree trimming from other municipal electric crews from Bergen, Churchville, Akron and Castile.

The village receives its power through a National Grid transmission line which remained in service after the storm.

Most of the eastern end of Orleans County – Clarendon, Murray and Kendall – have been in the dark since the power outages on Wednesday, except the Village of Holley.

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Holley High will perform GREASE on Friday, Saturday

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 9 March 2017 at 9:54 am

Photos by Kristina Gabalski

HOLLEY – Holley High School will present its annual musical this weekend and this year’s production is a trip back to 1959 with three performances of GREASE.

The Holley High school Theatre Department production is directed by Dan Burke and choreographed by Kellie Burke. Once again, a rotating cast is featured for the three performances: Friday at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Performances are in the Holley Middle School/High School Auditorium.   Tickets are available at the Holley High School front desk and at

Matt Skehan (center) stars as Danny Zuko, a hot-rodding gangster; joining him are the “Burger Palace Boys” –  Kenickie, played by Will Harrington (left) and Roger, played by Kory Puente (right).

Abrianna Kruger stars as Sandy Dumbrowski, the sweet new girl in town who strikes the fancy of Danny Zuko. Kruger plays Sandy for the Saturday matinee performance, Makenzie Ferranti plays Sandy for the Friday and Saturday night performances.

Storm Boyce as Doody, performs Those Magic Changes.

Callie Updike as Marty (front) performs Freddy, My Love, with other members of the “Pink Ladies” – (l-r in back) Michaela Williams as Jan, Jocelyn Cervone as Rizzo, and Anna Adams as Frenchy.

“Burger Palace Boys” Kenickie, played by Will Harrington (left) and Roger, played by Kory Puente (right), sing Greased Lightning.


Anna Adams as Frenchy and Nick Merlau as Sonny hang out in the park as members of the “Burger Palace Boys” and “Pink Ladies” pair up for the upcoming dance.

Kory Puente as Roger and Michaela Williams  as Jan sing We Go Together.

Marty, played by Callie Updike, dances with rock-n-roll radio DJ Vince Fontaine, played by Thomas Dobri during the dance contest.

Kenickie, played by Will Harrington, and Rizzo, played by Jocelyn Cervone, pair up for the dance contest.

Miss Lynch, played by Briana Colucci, lays out the dance contest rules.

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‘Holley Strong’ celebrates the many positives of school, community

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 4 March 2017 at 8:52 pm

Photos by Kristina Gabalski

HOLLEY – Cast members of this year’s Holley school musical production of Grease performed a number from the show on Thursday evening and encouraged everyone to attend the performances on March 10 and 11.

Holley Middle School/High School Principal Susan Cory welcomed those attending. She said students and community residents should show their pride in being from Holley and in being part of “Holley Strong.”

The Holley Middle School/High School auditorium was a sea of red and black and full of excitement and enthusiasm Thursday evening as students, parents, faculty, staff and community members came together to celebrate “Holley Strong.”

“I’m proud to celebrate the good things about Holley,” Middle School/High School Principal Susan Cory said in opening up the event which included a teaser of the upcoming school musical, Grease; presentations on the Holley community; the importance of assessment testing to students and the district; and an epic “Teacher Lip-Sync Battle” which pitted Elementary teachers against Middle School/High School teachers.

Cory said Holley Central School is the heart of the Holley community and that it is important to “celebrate more of the positive” aspects of the school.

The district ran out of red T-shirts with the new Holley Strong logo and Hawk. Cory said more will be available.

“Bubbles” of facts about the Holley community asked those attending, “Did you know….” and included information promoting community and school pride.

Teacher Nick D’Amuro, “Mr. D.” discussed all the pieces of the “puzzle.” “We want to see the entire piece of the puzzle,” he said regarding student performance. “Students are not just test scores.” D’Amuro teaches 8th Grade Social Studies and Contemporary Issues at the Middle School High School.

D’Amuro discussed how all the pieces of the student puzzle fit together and noted that Grades 3-8 assessments are part of completing that puzzle.

Seniors Kayla Thrower, left, and Jessica Sedore discussed challenges they have faced in their academic careers, particularly regarding mastering Chemistry during the “Holley Talk” portion of the event.  They stressed students should see challenges as opportunities and that failure can be managed, as it is only, “one part of the puzzle.”

Thrower hosted the Holley Strong event. “Holley (Central School) is a home full of teachers who care,” she said.

The Holley Strong event concluded with a Lip Sync Battle between Elementary and Middle School/High School teachers. Here, Elementary teachers perform during the first round.

Teacher Nick D’Amuro wowed the crowd during the Middle School/High School teachers lip sync performance during the Holley Strong event at the school on Thursday.

Middle School/High School and Elementary teachers performed together for the lip sync finale. Students voted on the winner and Elementary teachers were victorious by a narrow margin of 96-88 votes.

Teachers invited students to join them on stage during the lip sync finale.

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Holley cheerleaders deliver ‘House That Love Built’ to Ronald McDonald House

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 March 2017 at 8:15 am

Provided photos

Holley cheerleaders traveled to the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester on Thursday evening to deliver “The Little House That Love Built,” a fund-raiser that netted $2,050 for the Ronald McDonald House. Cheerleaders also turned a discarded doll house into a refurbished mini-house that will be displayed at the Ronald McDonald House.

Families stay at the Ronald McDonald House while children are hospitalized in the Rochester area. The house from Holley, which includes 780 roof tiles with names and messages from the Holley community, sends a message that the families at the Ronald McDonald House are loved, said Penny Cole, co-coach of the cheerleaders.

Cheerleaders and their coach, Penny Cole (back center left), present the house to the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester.

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Holley cheerleaders create Ronald McDonald House of love

Photos by Tom Rivers: Holley cheerleaders are pictured with a discarded dollhouse that was repurposed as a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 March 2017 at 10:26 pm

Project raised $2,050 for Ronald McDonald House Charities

Penny Cole and her daughter Heather Kelley, the co-coaches of the Holley varsity cheerleading team, are pictured with ‘The Little House That Love Built.’ The house was taken to the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester today.

HOLLEY – A discarded doll house proved a popular fund-raiser that also touched the hearts of many in the Holley community.

Holley cheerleaders led the effort to repurpose a toy dollhouse into “The Little House That Love Built.” The house was given today to the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester, along with $2,050, the fruits of the fund-raising effort.

Cheerleaders sold tiles on the roof for $1 each. There are 780 tiles and most of them include names of the donors.

The cheerleaders are pictured above with the house at about 4 p.m. today before they took it to Ronald McDonald House in Rochester.

“I hope people see the names and draw strength from it,” said Penny Cole, co-cheerleading coach.

Cole thanked the community for supporting the fund-raiser which started in November. Cheerleaders sold tiles at basketball games and school events. Many of the donors gave more than $1 for a tile.

This is the third year that Cole and the Holley school have raised money for the Ronald McDonald House. This is the first time the effort topped $1,000.

It took 780 tiles to cover the roof of the house.

The tiles include hundreds of names of community members, as well as visiting fans from other teams that played in Holley.

Cole is co-cheerleading coach with her daughter, Heather Kelley. Cole said Heather was a preemie when she was born before there was a Ronald McDonald House. Cole said she was in anguish having to leave her newborn at the hospital after she was born. Cole wishes there had been a home then for families with children receiving healthcare.

While selling tiles for the mini-house, Cole and cheerleaders heard from families who have stayed at the Ronald McDonald House, and how that option made a difficult time more bearable.

The house was initially for the daughter of a kindergarten teacher. When the daughter outgrew it, the teacher brought it to her classroom. But it was too big for the classroom and was going to be tossed in the garbage.

Cole rescued it, and had it repainted, furnished with toy furniture and a new roof put on with tiles listing hundreds of names. It is now, “The Little House That Love Built.”

Cole has been the cheerleading coach at Holley since 1989. After her daughter graduated from high school in 1997, she joined her mother as co-coach. The two lead a dynamic team which won the Genesee-Region title last month. Cole and Kelley were named the league’s coaches of the year for the second straight year. The two also praised Corrida Shepherd, the JV cheerleading coach.

The house has been decorated inside and even includes furniture.

Cole organizes the varsity team and her daughter is in charge of choreography.

“She is the head train that keeps everything running smoothly,” Kelley said about her mother.

The state in January 2015 made cheerleading an official sport. That designation has resulted in more tumbling and jumping, and less emphasis on dancing. Cole and Kelley said the team starts practicing in August and competes until late February. They cheer for fall and winter sports, and also compete in five of their own events.

“It’s hurtful when people say they’re not athletes because people don’t realize what cheerleaders do,” Cole said.

Holley cheerleaders Kelsey Daniels, left, and Madeline Rowley are pictured with the house and the fund-raising result.

The cheerleaders support their school, and also cheer for other cheerleading teams at the competitions. The Holley cheerleaders also embrace community service, including visits to The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center in Albion (the former county nursing home). The cheerleaders visited residents for the Christmas holiday and were back on Valentine’s.

Two of the Holley cheerleaders, Kelsey Daniels and Madeline Rowley, were selected to cheer in the senior showcase, the annual Ronald McDonald House All Star basketball games in Rochester.

Kelsey said the community responded to the Ronald McDonald house fund-raiser, enjoying a new approach to raising money and awareness.

She praised Cole and Kelley for their dedication to the cheerleaders.

“They think of us as their own children,” Kelsey said.

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Judge tells Holley FD to get a lawyer in Squirrel Slam lawsuit

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 February 2017 at 1:53 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Attorneys from Winston & Strawn LLP in New York City – Ross Kramer, back left, Anup Misra and Alexa Perlman (back to camera) – speak with environmental activist Richard Brummel after a court appearance today at the Orleans County Courthouse.

ALBION – The Holley Fire Department was strongly urged to hire a lawyer in a case against the department with the annual Squirrel Slam hunting contest.

The Fire Department has been sued in a case brought by Lauren Sheive of Williamson in Wayne County. She is being represented pro bono by the Winston & Strawn LLP firm in New York City.

Three attorneys from Winston & Strawn appeared in court today in Albion.

Francis Gaylord, president of the Holley Fire Department, appeared in State Supreme Court without an attorney.

Judge James Punch urged Gaylord to have a lawyer check the legal filings in the case and prepare a response.

“It’s very advisable to have counsel for any legal proceeding,” Punch told Gaylord in court. “This can get very complicated.”

Gaylord said the department has reached out to Jeff Martin of Holley. Punch said Martin would have two weeks to respond to the court filings from Winston & Strawn LLP. The next court appearance was scheduled for 11 a.m. on April 10.

Today was the first court appearance in Albion for the case since Feb. 19, 2015. That was the day Punch dismissed the lawsuit. He said then the paperwork wasn’t properly filed.

But an Appellate Court ruled on Dec. 23 the case shouldn’t have been dismissed and the arguments should be heard in court.

Punch referred to the first filing as a “do-it-yourself petition” that contained “glaring deficiencies.”

The Squirrel Slam just happened last Saturday, but Gaylord said the Holley Fire Department did not sponsor that event. Hunters brought their squirrels to the Brockport Elks Club. The Holley Fire Department, however, sponsored a squirrel hunt in September.

Gaylord said after today’s court appearance that the fire department hasn’t broken any state laws with the squirrel hunt. He was disappointed the fire department would have to spend money on an attorney.

Winston & Strawn attorneys said they want the fire department to do an environmental impact statement on the squirrel hunt to determine the impact on the local squirrel population.

Ross Kramer said a one-day hunting event like the Squirrel Slam can result in “the massive killing of a single species at one time.” The fire department should provide details on that impact, Kramer said.

Gaylord and fire department officials have previously said the hunt doesn’t wipe out squirrels. The hunting isn’t limited to the Holley area. Hunters pursue squirrels in several counties.

The Holley event has been capped at 600 tickets or 300 two-person teams. Each team can enter up to five squirrels.

The hunting season for gray, black and fox squirrel runs from Sept. 1 to Feb. 28 and there is a daily bag limit of 6. Red squirrels may be hunted anytime and there is no limit, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Kramer said the Holley lawsuit is the first to insist an environmental impact statement should be required for a hunting contest.

Richard Brummel, an environmental activist from Long Island, filed the initial legal papers in the case. He drove to Albion today. Brummel said he worries the Earth’s resources, including wildlife and squirrels, are being depleted.

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NY Times does feature on Squirrel Slam

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 February 2017 at 10:23 am

Provided photo: Richard Brummel, an environmental activist from Long Island who opposes the Squirrel Slam, was in Holley on Feb. 18, holding signs in the Public Square against the hunting contest.

The New York Times has a big feature story today on the Squirrel Slam hunting contest, profiling environmentalists who oppose the annual hunt and also including the perspective of local hunters.

Click here to see “Squirrel Hunt in Western New York Draws Ire of Animal Lovers.”

The controversial hunting contest has been sponsored by the Holley Fire Department in recent years. The hunt was back on Saturday, but this time the Holley Fire Department wasn’t part of the Squirrel Slam. The Elks Lodge in Brockport hosted the event.

Dennis Bauer of Hamlin has organized all 11 of the Squirrel Slams, beginning in 2007. He was interviewed by The New York Times.

Bauer has previously told the Orleans Hub he puts on the Squirrel Slam as a motivation to get friends and family out together on the last day of the hunting season.

“My thought was it was one more time to get buddies and families out together,” Bauer told the Orleans Hub for an article on Feb. 28, 2015. (Click here to see that article.)

A lawsuit about the hunting contest was given new life in December when an Appellate Court reversed a decision by James Punch, acting Supreme Court justice in Orleans County. Punch on Feb. 19, 2015 dismissed a lawsuit “in its entirety.”

The case was formally brought by a Wayne County woman, Lauren Sheive, who said the “Slam” wiped out thousands of local squirrels. The lawsuit contended the event required an environmental impact review to assess the impact on the squirrel population.

Punch on Feb. 19, 2015 compared the Squirrel Slam to fishing contest. He said no laws were being broken.

The Appellate Court on Dec. 23 reversed Punch’s decision, and sent the case back to Orleans County. The Appellate Court didn’t give an opinion on the “Squirrel Slam” itself, but said Punch should have allowed the case to be presented in court instead of dismissing it.

Associate Anup Misra from Winston & Strawn, a New York City law firm, is leading the legal effort. The firm is taking the case pro bono.

The Squirrel Slam attracted a media frenzy in 2013, drawing national and international attention from animal rights’ activists. But by last year, environmental activist Richard Brummel of Long Island was one of the few protestors in the Public Square when hunters brought their bags of squirrels to be weighed. Brummel was back in Holley on Feb. 18 to protest the slam, which didn’t occur that day.

The hunting season for gray, black and fox squirrel runs from Sept. 1 to Feb. 28 and there is a daily bag limit of 6. Red squirrels may be hunted anytime and there is no limit, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Brummel has said the hunt happens at a time when many squirrels are pregnant. He said thousands of squirrels are eliminated with the Squirrel Slam and that kind of environmental impact should be addressed.

Arguments in the case are scheduled for today at the Orleans County Courthouse.

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Holley library celebrates Art Week during winter break

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 25 February 2017 at 8:10 pm

Photos by Kristina Gabalski

HOLLEY – February Break week once again this year provided an opportunity for creativity at the Community Free Library in Holley. The annual Art Week wrapped up on Friday. Retired Holley Central School art teacher Laurence Dabney guided participants through projects each day.

One of Friday’s projects featured large colorful flowers made from tissue paper. Here, 9-year-old Peyton Wright prepares to fluff the black inner petals of his turquoise creation. The program is open to youth in grades 3, 4 and 5.

Nine-year old Max Pilon also created a large tissue paper flower.

Laurence Dabney assits participants in making snowmen from paper mâché.

Sadie and Luke Gregoire, both 9, concentrate on their snowmen creations. Art Week participants met in the children’s room at the library. The sessions ran for one hour every day.

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