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Hawley, Ortt push for more state funds for Lake Ontario property damages

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 January 2018 at 6:52 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Part of the shoreline on Lomond Shores in Kendall is shown last month. The high Lake Ontario waters and pounding waves chewed away big chucks of backyards last year, with the lake getting closer to many houses. Many residents are trying to put in new breakwalls.

The State Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year approved $15 million for residents along Lake Ontario that suffered property damages.

Those funds have already been depleted, and more money is needed as part of the upcoming state budget, according to a letter from several state legislators to Gov. Cuomo.

“It is clear to us that although $15 million was a good start to help reimburse homeowners, unfortunately, it didn’t even scratch the surface,” wrote State Assemblyman Steve Hawley. “We need to get a clear understanding of the number of applications each of the not-for-profit housing organizations have approved and the dollar amount of damage. It is imperative that the funding for this program be increased to make good on the promise to make everyone whole!”

Hawley sent the letter today to Gov. Cuomo. Other legislators who signed it include Assembly members Michael Norris, Peter Lawrence, Angelo Mornello, Bob Oaks, William Barclay and Mark Johns, as well as State Senators Robert Ortt, Pamela Helming and Joe Robach.

In Orleans County alone about 500 people have been approved for funding for breakwalls and to fix other property damage. There 48 of those projects complete or under construction, according to PathStone, which is administering the program for the state in Orleans County.

Hawley and the state legislators said their offices field many calls from concerned residents who worry they won’t be reimbursed from the lake flooding.

The legislators asked Cuomo to determine how many projects need funding along the southshore and at what cost. The Legislature and governor should work to include the money in the 2018-19 state budget, according to the letter.

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Kendall celebrates grand opening of Dollar General store

Staff Reports Posted 6 January 2018 at 3:13 pm

Provided photos

KENDALL – Town of Kendall officials today joined Dollar General staff in celebrating the opening of a new store on Route 18. Town Supervisor Tony Cammarata, front right center, welcomed the new store and said the community anticipates a long-lasting relationship with the store. Barb Flow, a town councilwoman, joins Cammarata in front at center left.

The store opened for the first day on Dec. 18. Today was a grand opening celebration.

Many residents braved the cold weather to attend a robbon-cutting celebration at 8 a.m. The 9,100-square-foot structure is on Route 18, just west of the Kendall Road (Route 237) intersection.

This is the fifth Dollar General in Orleans County. Other stores are located on West Avenue in Albion, Route 31 in Holley, Maple Ridge Road in Medina and Ridge Road in Medina (just south of Lyndonville).

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Kendall town supervisor sees lots of progress in community

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 4 January 2018 at 9:40 am

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Kendall Town Board members work their way through 39 resolutions during their organizational meeting Wednesday evening. Pictured from left include: Councilman Wayne Martin, Jr., Councilwoman Lynn Szozda, attorney Andrew Meier, Supervisor Tony Cammarata, Town Clerk Amy Richardson, and Councilwoman Barb Flow. Councilman Bruce Newell arrived later in the meeting and is not pictured.

KENDALL – Town Board members met for their 2018 organizational meeting Wednesday evening and approved a number of resolutions.

Town Supervisor Tony Cammarata, who was re- elected in November to a third term as supervisor, reviewed progress made on his election promises to residents, including bringing public water to more residents, residential and commercial growth, and safety improvements to the town hall and highway garage.

Cammarata reported that two new water districts will be created in the town in 2018 and two additional water districts will be created by 2020.  He noted commercial growth with new ownership for the Bald Eagle Marina and the recently opened Dollar General store.

“We have had 20 new residential building permits issued since I took office as supervisor,” Cammarata said. “That’s about five per year.”

The town hall and highway garage will receive new roofs in 2018, and power assisted doors will be added to the town hall in the spring or summer. Additionally, the town will continue to pursue conversion to LED street lighting, Cammarata said.

He explained that taxpayers now have the option of making partial tax payments, and the town expects to adopt the tax exemption for Cold War veterans in the spring.

“I would like to congratulate the recently elected people and look forward to working with them,” Cammarata said.

Town council members Wayne Martin, Jr. and Bruce Newell were re-elected in November, as were Town Clerk Amy Richardson, Justice Debra Drennan, and highway superintendent Warren Kruger.

Council members re-appointed Andrew Meier as town attorney, Patrick Bolton as chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals, Andrew Kludt as chair of the Planning Board, Michelle Werth as Director of Youth and Adult Recreation, Heather Banker as town historian, Eileen Grah as librarian,  and Paul Hennekey as code enforcement officer.

Town Councilwoman Lynn Szozda was re- appointed deputy supervisor.

The 2018 salary and wage schedule adopted by council members includes no pay increases for the supervisor, councilpersons, town justices, the town clerk or the code enforcement officer.

The Superintendent of Highways receives a $2,000 salary increase to $53,250. Highway Department employees also receive increases in hourly wages for 2018.  Full-time motor equipment operators will now make from federal minimum wage up to $20.60/hour, an increase from $20.20; part time motor equipment operators will receive from federal minimum wage up to $14/hour, up from $13.36; full time laborers will receive from federal minimum wage up to $12/hour, an increase from $11.74; and part time laborers will receive from federal minimum wage up to $12/hour, an increase from $11.70.

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Kendall author has 2 new books out

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 December 2017 at 11:24 am

Provided photo: Sharon CassanoLochman has two new books published with a third due out in February.

KENDALL – A Kendall resident has two new books out. Sharon CassanoLochman, a former teacher and motorcycle safety instructor, has written Stranded on Thin Ice and Man with the Sand Dollar Face.

CassanoLochman in February also expects to have a three-volume collection of spiritual verses published.

Last January she established her own publishing company, Ontario Shore Publishing, and has been working to write and publish her books.

CassanoLochman brings her life experiences into creating her characters. In addition to working as a motorcycle safety instructor and teacher in Penfield and Honeoye Falls, CassanoLochman has been a paralegal, and a stay-at-home mother who enjoys hunting.

In 2013, she started writing Stranded on Thin Ice. That book tells the story of Tanner Phillips, a 12-year-old who fishes the Oneida Lake Ice Fishing Derby every year with his father.

The competition turns disastrous when one of the competitors goes missing and another gets injured. Tanner’s father must leave Tanner and his new friend, Richie, alone on the ice. After their ice hut comes unhitched, Tanner and Richie find themselves blown across the frozen lake in a blinding snowstorm, according to a description of the book on Amazon.

“It’s about all the young boys like to read about and participate in,” CassanoLochman said.

Click here for more on Stranded.

Man with the Sand Dollar Face was published last month and focuses on a quirky widow in her early sixties who takes her first job in a private investigator’s office. Arriving early she discovers an agitated man waiting at the door. He insists he must see the PI immediately. In the midst of his anxious demands, he clutches his chest and collapses. Shocked, she runs for help. Upon returning, the man has disappeared. As the story unfolds the woman finds herself embroiled in an international drug trafficking ring. Everything hinges on finding the man with the sand dollar face.

Click here for more on Sand Dollar Face.

CassanoLochman said she enjoys the writing process.

“It’s like watching a movie unfold when I sit down to write and give life to these characters,” she said.

She has taken writing classes through the Institute of Children’s Literature. While she owns the publishing company, she outsources the book’s formatting and cover design.

She has the books available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online. The books are also at the Lift Bridge Book Shop in Brockport, where she had a book-signing last Saturday.

CassanoLochman lives by Lake Ontario on Lomond Shores. She is active with the United Shoreline group that has held several events and protests for residents effected by the Lake Ontario flooding this past year.

She said being by the water has been inspirational, especially for her spiritual verses.

“The Town of Kendall itself is a very beautiful place,” she said. “It’s a community in the very best sense where I know my neighbors.”

For more on CassanoLochman’s books, click here.

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State has approved 500 breakwalls for Orleans property owners after lake flooding

Photos by Tom Rivers: Spencer Pilon of Pilon Construction in Albion stands by a new breakwall in Kendall on Lomond Shores West. This is one of 30 breakwalls Pilon has put in this year after flooding tore apart many older breakwalls and eroded large chucks of the shoreline.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 December 2017 at 9:56 am

48 are complete or under construction with much work to be done in 2018

Pilon Construction has created this path to move heavy equipment to the shoreline to install a new breakwall in Kendall.

KENDALL – Pilon Construction went about the tricky task of getting heavy equipment in a narrow lane on Lomond Shores West in Kendall on Wednesday. The company put in swamp pads and steel plates to move an excavator and dump trucks to the shore, where about 600 tons of stone will be placed to protect property.

Pilon has put in 30 breakwalls this year and expects to do at least that many next year.

“We’re trying to give the residents some peace of mind,” Spencer Pilon said on Wednesday, when waves pounded the shoreline.

The historic flooding from Lake Ontario this year has chewed away large chunks of backyards along the shoreline. Spencer Pilon has been heading the breakwall effort for Pilon Construction. In some cases this year, he gave an estimate for a homeowner and had to come back a couple days later after more feet of property was lost.

He and a crew from Pilon have been building break walls full-time since May. While they were working, detached decks and other large lumber sometime floated by.

Pilon said his father and grandfather put in many of the breakwalls on the shoreline about 40 years ago. This year the lake has been punishing the shoreline since April, prompting a “state of emergency” declaration by the towns of Kendall, Carlton and Yates, as well as Orleans County and New York State.

The State Legislature approved a $15 million fund to provide assistance for lakeshore homeowners with property damage, capping the grants at $50,000. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is looking to increase that amount due to demand.

In Orleans County, about 500 applications have been approved. The governor has said all of the approved applications should be funded.

So far, 48 projects are complete or under construction in the county, said Chris Raymond, deputy for Housing Rehabilitation Programs for the PathStone Corporation. PathStone has been hired by the state to administer the program in Orleans County.

In addition to the 48 projects, 57 homeowners paid for their projects with their own money or loans and are waiting for additional funding from the state for reimbursement, Raymond said.

The top photo shows a property on Lomond Shores West in Kendall without a breakwall. Pilon Construction has the site prepped for about 600 tons of stone. The bottom photo shows a complete breakwall that Pilon recently put in.

Of the applications submitted, 10 were denied. The state set a threshold for income if the damaged property was a secondary home. If the total annual income of the occupants exceeded $275,000, they weren’t eligible for a grant.

The state has given priority to funding for senior citizens and disabled residents, with higher emphasis given if the projects involved septic systems or flooding in the house. Damage to the shoreline is considered less of a priority.

Many of the houses are located on narrow roads like Lomond Shores. The houses are close together and the yards are muddy. That makes it difficult to move the heavy equipment needed to do the jobs.

“Half the battle is getting in,” Pilon said on Wednesday.

The swamp pads and steel plates create a temporary path that helps to minimize damage to the yards and septic systems, while allowing the excavator and trucks to get near the shore.

Pilon brings in some big boulders that are 3 to 6 tons each. Those are used as the exterior wall and as the base. Smaller rocks then fill in the breakwall. Pilon doesn’t just aimlessly drop big stones by the edge of the lake. He said the tiered approach – big stones on the exterior wall and as the base with smaller stones on top – help the wall to absorb the hits from the waves.

Pilon said the company expects to be busy with the breakwalls in 2018 and perhaps beyond.

PathStone said there are many properties awaiting work.

“It looks like a year-plus to address every property,” Raymond said. “PathStone is presently concentrating our efforts and the state’s money on properties close to the lake with no/minimal shoreline protection, low lying homes or eroded, undercut cliffs.”

The deadline to apply for the residential projects passed in September, but there is still time for businesses and non-profits to seek state and federal assistance for damages from the flooding. Click here and here for more information.

Big stones are part of a new breakwall at left in Kendall.

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Dollar General opens in Kendall

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 December 2017 at 4:49 pm

Provided photo

KENDALL – The Dollar General store opened today in Kendall. The 9,100-square-foot structure is on Route 18, just west of the Kendall Road (Route 237) intersection.

This is the fifth Dollar General in Orleans County. Other stores are located on West Avenue in Albion, Route 31 in Holley, Maple Ridge Road in Medina and Ridge Road in Medina (just south of Lyndonville).

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Kendall Community Band plays many favorites at Christmas concert

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 December 2017 at 10:37 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Lori Cyr, director of the Kendall Community Band, passes out bells so the audience could participate while the band played “Jingle Bells” during a concert at Hoag Library this evening.

The Kendall Community Band played many holiday classics during an hour-long Christmas concert.

Many of the band members wore Santa hats during the concert. These musicians include, front to back, Paul Rider on clarinet, Don Bishop on tenor sax, and Mike Metcalf on tuba.

The band played the following selections: Yankee Fanfare, Joyous Christmas Spirit, Hogan’s Heroes March, Christmas from the ’50s, Fantasia on an Irish Hymn, All I Want For Christmas Is You, An American Christmas Portrait, Fantasy on ‘The Minstrel Boy’, Grease!, American Christmas Festival and We Need A Little Christmas.

Kay Metcalf plays the clarinet and Skip Scroger plays the trumpet.

The band started five years ago for Kendall’s 200th anniversary celebration and has continued with musicians from throughout the county and western Monroe.

The band welcomes more members. For more information on the band, click here for its Facebook page.

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Kendall district plans ‘Evening of Healing’ on Jan. 16

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 10 December 2017 at 4:03 pm

KENDALL – An “Evening of Healing” is planned for Jan.16 and will include a table discussion where participants will gain knowledge of local resources to support and understand those who may be struggling with the sudden and traumatic loss of a loved one, Kendall Central School administrators said in a news release.

Discussion will address mental health issues and touch upon loss from suicide and unexpected loss, such as from accidents or unforeseen health issues.

“Sadly, so many of our families are in crisis and the holiday season can add additional stress,” said Julie Christensen, Kendall Central School superintendent.

Kendall has invited other local school districts to take part.

The event is open to anyone who wishes to attend and not limited to Kendall residents, she said.

The Evening of Healing will facilitate conversation in support of, “one another in our efforts to learn positive ways to cope with sudden, traumatic loss and to foster resiliency and mental wellness,” the release said.

Education on how to support oneself or others who may be struggling with challenges associated with sudden loss will be a part of the event as well as a panel of experts engaging in conversations on healing, support, education, hope and recovery. Those attending will also be able to familiarize themselves with available resources.

The event is appropriate for ages 12 to adult and is a collaborative effort between state, local community leaders and the Kendall Central School District. Pre-registration is preferred, but not required.  To pre-register, contact the Kendall Central Schools District Office at 659-2741 or email your intent to Refreshments will be served.

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Kendall holds annual holiday tree lighting at gazebo

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 7 December 2017 at 9:21 am

Photos by Kristina Gabalski

KENDALL – The Kendall community held its annual holiday tree and gazebo lighting Wednesday evening. Residents gathered at the gazebo to listen to holiday music and sing carols. Activities were held earlier at the Kendall Elementary School with the annual Dinner with Santa and book sale.

Following the tree and gazebo lighting, hot cocoa and cookies were served at the Kendall Fire Hall.

Kendall Elementary students play holiday carols following the lighting of the tree.

Kendall Supervisor Tony Cammarata welcomes Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves to the Gazebo.  Children were able to visit Santa at the fire hall following the outdoor festivities.

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Kendall school district approves trap shooting team

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 16 November 2017 at 10:39 am

KENDALL – Members of the Kendall Board of Education have approved the formation of a trap shooting team for students in grades 7-12.

Board President Nadine Hanlon on Wednesday evening called the formation of the team, “very exciting.” High School Principal Carol D’Agostino said the new program is a “great idea.”

The team will likely be ready to begin competition in the spring of 2018, district administrators said.

Students must possess league-approved firearm safety certification (NYS Hunter Safety Course) and meet all school curricular activity and eligibility requirements to participate.  The hunter safety training may be provided at the school, the trap shooting team proposal indicates.

The team will meet at the North Star Sportsman Club on Walker Lake Ontario Road in Hilton on Saturdays and/or Sundays. Each spring and fall season will last seven weeks. There is a NYS tournament in Cicero for spring seasons, which team members must qualify for.

Students will also have the ability to shoot all year and/or during the off season if there is interest.

Students attending the Board of Education meeting indicated they felt there would be interest in the team from many students. The proposal passed unanimously.

“I’m very excited to offer this opportunity to our students and kudos to Jack Keenan for all of his work and research,” Superintendent Julie Christensen said. Keenan worked on drafting the team proposal for the board and is named as club advisor and coach.

Board member Lisa Levett noted the success of the trap shooting team at Holley Central School and said the team there has provided an opportunity for students who may not typically become involved in team sports.

Students will need to transport themselves and their firearms to and from North Star Sportsman Club. Team members will shoot each week with a member of the North Star Sportsman’s Club.

The district will set a stipend cost once participation numbers and other details are determined. The stipend will provide for coaching and instruction of students.

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