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Lyndonville

Many contested races for the Board of Education in Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 April 2018 at 2:28 pm

Lyndonville has the most candidates, 8, seeking election on May 15

Monday was the deadline to submit petitions to run for the Board of Election at the five school districts in Orleans County. Four of the five districts have contested races for the election on May 15.

Here is a breakdown for each school district:

• ALBION– Margy Brown, the current board president, and Linda Weller are both seeking re-election to five-year terms. Elissa Nesbitt also will be on the ballot. She is currently on the board for Hoag Library.

• HOLLEY – There are five candidates running for three positions, including the incumbents – Mark Porter, Anne Winkley and Melissa Ierlan. Nancy Manard MacPhee and Anne Smith also are running for a three-year term on the board.

• KENDALL – The district has one candidate running for a five-year term. Jason ReQua is currently serving on the board.

• LYNDONVILLE – There are eight candidates seeking four open seats on the board. Three incumbents – Ted Lewis (board president), Kelly Cousins and Susan Hrovat – are seeking election. Russ Martino, who was recently appointed to the board to fill a vacancy when Penny Barry resigned, also is running for a board seat.

Other candidates include Stephanie Hargrave, Bill Jurinich, Tara Neace and Steven Vann. The top three vote-getters will be elected to three-year terms, while the fourth-leading candidate will be elected to a two-year term.

• MEDINA – Voters last May approved shrinking the board from nine to seven seats. The reduced board takes effect on July 1 so this will be the first election since the change. Medina normally has three board seats up for election. This time there will only be one spot as the district eliminates two seats.

Two incumbents, Brian Koch and Dr. Ann Bunch (current board vice president), are seeking re-election. Renee Paser-Paull has decided against another term on the board.

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Kendall, Yates will share $812,450 in state funds for flood protection

Posted 17 April 2018 at 12:52 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers: This photo from last December shows waves bearing down on a new breakwall along Lomond Shores in Kendall.

Press Release, Gov. Cuomo’s Office

Two towns in Orleans County have been approved for state funding for flood relief projects.

The Town of Yates has been awarded $414,500 in Community Development Block Grant Lake Ontario Flood Relief Program funds to make repairs and reconstruct approximately 700 feet of Lake Ontario shoreline that was damaged as a result of the 2017 Lake Ontario flood event at various locations.

The Town of Kendall has been awarded $397,950 in Lake Ontario Flood Relief Program funds to mitigate future shoreline erosion along Lake Ontario as well as stabilize the existing shoreline with the use of stone rip rap and other geotextile material.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Monday the funding of $2.9 million in Lake Ontario Flood Relief funds to local governments in Wayne, Orleans, Niagara, Cayuga, and Jefferson counties. The projects are dedicated to restoration resiliency and recovery efforts following last year’s flooding and to protect the community from the damage of future storms. The state has committed $95 million to recovery efforts to support homeowners, small businesses, and community infrastructure, Cuomo said.

“The Lake Ontario shoreline experienced historic and damaging flooding last year, and we continue to stand with New Yorkers whose communities are still recovering,” Cuomo said. “This funding supports our mission to build back stronger and smarter and help every impacted town and resident get back on their feet.”

The window for applications for the recovery program has closed. The deadline for homeowner applications for assistance in relief and recovery was September 29, 2017. The deadline for municipality applications was December 29, 2017 and the deadline for small businesses was December 31, 2017. Homeowners wishing to appeal a determination regarding eligibility should email LakeOntario@nyshcr.org.

“Our state made a promise and a commitment to the residents, small businesses, and local governments of Orleans, Monroe and Niagara counties that we would help them rebuild,” Senator Robert G. Ortt said on Monday. “Today, we’re taking an important step. Significant work remains, especially for recovering homeowners, but these funds will help municipalities rebuild critical infrastructure damaged in last year’s flooding and upgrade moving forward. We’ll continue to advocate for relief funding until residents, businesses, and municipalities receive the resources that they need to rebuild.”

“This support represents an important step in the state’s ongoing commitment to shouldering the burden of recovery brought on by last year’s devastating flooding,” said Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson. “With the lake already high, we are thankful to Governor Cuomo for his leadership in delivering these funds, which will help our communities reinforce their shorelines so that we are prepared for the next flood.”

Besides Orleans County, the funding approved includes:

• Wayne County $1 million

The Town of Wolcott has been awarded $1,000,000 in Lake Ontario Flood Relief Program funds to make construct an approximately 200-foot revetment along the Lake Ontario shoreline that will mitigate future flood damage and protect the most critical Town infrastructure.

• Niagara County: $558,440

Niagara County has been awarded $199,865 in Lake Ontario Flood Relief CDBG Program funds to reimburse themselves for necessary emergency repairs and expenses incurred as a result of the 2017 Lake Ontario flood event. The expenses incurred included funds for shoreline restoration and reconstruction, from Youngstown to the Niagara County line, as well as funds related to materials and labor.

The Village of Wilson has been awarded $10,263 in Lake Ontario Flood Relief CDBG Program funds to reimburse themselves for necessary emergency repairs and expenses incurred, including the purchase of a new trash pump for the Village’s wastewater treatment plant, as a result of the 2017 Lake Ontario flood event.

The Town of Porter has been awarded $348,312 in Lake Ontario Flood Relief Program funds to mitigate future shoreline erosion along the Town’s Fort Niagara Beach as well as stabilize up to 300-feet of the existing shoreline with the construction of stone rip-rap and rubble.

• Cayuga County: $400,000

The Village of Fair Haven has been awarded $400,000 in Lake Ontario Flood Relief CDBG Program funds to make repairs to village infrastructure that was damaged as a result of the 2017 Lake Ontario flood event at various locations. The Town will reconstruct protective seawalls surrounding several public parks along the Lake Ontario shoreline and will also make necessary infrastructure repairs around and adjacent to the shoreline.

• Jefferson County: $215,468

The Town of Lyme has been awarded $215,468 in Lake Ontario Flood Relief CDBG Program funds to both reimburse themselves for necessary emergency repairs and expenses incurred as a result of the 2017 Lake Ontario flood event and to make future repairs to the Town’s public infrastructure. The expenses incurred included funds related to materials and labor. The future repairs include the reconstruction of roads and culverts.

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400 lose power in Lyndonville after tree falls on Main Street

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 April 2018 at 2:09 pm

Photos courtesy of Amy Lewis

LYNDONVILLE – There were 400 National Grid customers without power in the Lyndonville area after a tree fell on South Main Street near the village line this morning around 11.

National Grid is estimating power will be restored for the affected area by 3:15 p.m. By 2 p.m., the number without power was down to 142.

National Grid has more than 2,000 line, tree and service workers on alert due to the ice storm in upstate. The company reports there are 1,525 customers without power in upstate out of 1.6 million customers.

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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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Lyndonville and Medina students will perform The Addams Family

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 March 2018 at 10:49 am

A zany cast of characters hits the stage in Lyndonville

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Qasim Huzair stars as Uncle Fester in the upcoming production of The Addams family by Lyndonville and Medina students. Huzair is shown at rehearsal on Wednesday. The people in the back are the “Ancestors.” Uncle Fester sings about his love for the Moon.

The show features 38 students from the two schools, plus another 17 in the stage crew. In addition, the superintendents from both school districts are playing in the pit band. Jason Smith of Lyndonville is playing the trombone and Mark Kruzynski of Medina is on the drums.

The performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 and Sunday at 2 pm. The shows are at Lyndonville High School’s Stroyan Auditorium, 25 Housel Ave. Tickets are available at the door.

Shelby Green plays Grandma, who is 102. She calls out to a 90-year-old man in the crowd and welcomes a get together.

Jennifer Trupo is director of the musical. She held auditions in November and students have been rehearsing for about four months.

She wanted to do the show because it is zany and features several character actors. She knew the cast had the talent to pull off the show.

“They have embraced it and they are having fun with it,” Trupo said. “We have a lot of phenomenal character actors. Most of the leads are in 9th or 10th grade. They’re very young but they are very amazing.”

It’s a love story, really. There may be some dark themes and an obsession with death, but the latest musical by Lyndonville and Medina students is also a love story between Wednesday Addams (Layna Viloria) and Lucas Beineke (Jacob Corser), who come from two very different families.

Christian Hahn portrays Gomez Addams, the patriarch of the family. He is shown while the Addams family welcomes the Beineke family for dinner. The Beinekes increasingly grow alarmed by the ghoulishness of the Addams family.

Cora Payne plays Morticia Addams, the family matriarch who fears, with her daughter’s engagement, that Morticia is less needed to her family. She is shown with two Dancing Ancestors, Sawyer Wilson (left) and Trenton Crews.

The Ancestors make many appearances during the show.

Brian Cunningham plays Pugsley Addams. He steals a potion from Grandma and intends to give it to his sister, hoping she wouldn’t go through with the wedding. The potion is supposed to bring out someone’s dark nature.

Tamara Huzair stars as Alice Beineke, the mother of Lucas. She drinks the potion intended for Wednesday and in front of everyone declares her marriage is passionless.

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Darren Wilson elected trustee in Lyndonville

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 March 2018 at 10:51 pm

LYNDONVILLE – Darren Wilson won a close race for village trustee, 33-30, over Anne Marie Holland in today’s village election.

Darren Wilson

Holland was appointed to the board in September. The election was to fill the remaining year of the term as trustee.

Holland and Wilson are both friends who said good things about each other.

Wilson serves as president of the Lyndonville Area Foundation, and Holland is a member of that board. She is also president of the Lions Club and director of special programs, staff development and pupil services at Lyndonville Central School.

Wilson is a Florida native who works as a graphic and industrial designer with a focus in the automotive industry. His office is on Route 63. His wife Wendy is general manager of LynOaken Farms and president of Leonard Oakes Estate Winery.

He sees lots of potential for the community, and is pleased to see progress on Main Street with a new grocery store opening and a new owner for the Pennysaver building. Wilson, in his role on the Village Planning Board, favored a tax exemption for the downtown that would not increase a building’s assessment for five years if there were upgrades, and then would phase in the assessment 20 percent from years 6 through 10.

Lyndonville has 485 registered voters. The 63 who voted represents 13 percent of the registered voters.

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2 running for trustee have proven commitment to Lyndonville community

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 March 2018 at 8:30 pm

Anne Marie Holland and Darren Wilson seek one-year on Village Board

LYNDONVILLE – Two candidates running to fill a one-year term on the Village Board are well established leaders in Lyndonville.

Anne Marie Holland

Anne Marie Holland, who was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board in September, is currently president of the Lyndonville Lions Club. She is also a Lyndonville school administrator, serving as director of special programs, staff development and pupil services.

She is challenged in the village election on Tuesday by Darren Wilson, who is president of the Lyndonville Area Foundation. Wilson is a Florida native who works as a graphic and industrial designer with a focus in the automotive industry. His office is on Route 63. His wife Wendy is general manager of LynOaken Farms and president of Leonard Oakes Estate Winery.

Holland, in her role as Lions Club president, also is a member of the Foundation board of directors. Wilson has been a member of Foundation since 2002. As president, he leads the board’s meetings. The Foundation distributes about $100,000 to the community each year for scholarships and projects.

Wilson is also on the Village Planning Board and is a member of the Lions Club.

Neither Holland or Wilson has anything bad to say about the other. In fact, they both say the other candidate is well qualified and would be a good choice.

Darren Wilson

Both say they want to serve the community in another way by being on the Village Board.

Holland has worked in education for 33 years, including the past 25 at Lyndonville. She and her husband Roy moved to the community when they bought the Green Harbor Campground and Marina. They sold the business about 15 years ago but have stayed in Lyndonville. Their two grown children have also moved back to Lyndonville.

“We were made to feel very welcome in the community,” Holland said about when they first moved to Lyndonville. “I want to be able to contribute and give back to the community.”

She said bringing more vitality to Main Street is a priority. She supported the recent decision to offer a tax exemption to downtown buildings. If the owners upgrade the sites, they wouldn’t see their tax assessments go up for five years, and then the taxes would be phased in from years 6 to 10. Wilson also pushed for that exemption and presented it to the Village Board as an alternative for enticing projects to the downtown.

“I want to see some life on Main Street again,” she said. “I want it to stay a positive place to raise children. I think it’s a beautiful community.”

She is pleased the Pennysaver building has recently been purchased and the owner has plans for utilizing the building. Ultimately, she said local residents need to support the businesses for them to succeed in the community.

Holland also praised the efforts of the Lions Club, library, the town, village and other community groups for bringing concerts to the downtown, the Fourth of July festival and other events. The Lions Club last week voted to purchase new patriotic banners for Main Street.

“I have the best interests of the community at heart,” Holland said. “I’m willing to listen and work hard. I’m running to keep Lyndonville a nice place to live.”

Wilson moved to Lyndonville about 20 years ago. He sees lots of potential in the community. The school district is a source of pride, and so are the nearby apple farms.

His service on the Foundation has given him insight into the assets of the community and some of the challenges and budget shortfalls. The Foundation can often bridge a funding gap for a program. The Foundation’s board includes many community leaders, including representatives from the school, the village mayor and town supervisor, and several others.

Wilson said his 30 years of business experience would be an asset to the Village Board. He said the village has been struggling in recent years, particularly with increased vacancies on Main Street.

We wants to be part of the solution. That’s why he favored the tax exemption in the downtown. He wants to do more to assist business owners with projects.

“I’m willing to do the hands-on with these owners and help them jump through hoops,” he said.

Holland said Wilson is “an excellent candidate” for the board. Wilson also praised Holland’s skills and commitment.

“We both have a vested interest in the community and we’re probably both running for much of the same reasons,” Wilson said.

The election on Tuesday will be from noon to 9 p.m. at the Village Hall. Holland is running under the “Lyndonville Party” while Wilson is under the “Main Street Party.”

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Store with discounted groceries opens in downtown Lyndonville

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 March 2018 at 5:18 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Mike Boring and his daughter Shelby are pictured Saturday at Discount Groceries and More, which opened on March 1 at 11 South Main St.

Boring wanted to bring a business to downtown Lyndonville, which has experienced an increasing number of vacancies in recent years.

“I remember when all of these buildings were filled up,” he said about Main Street. “Hopefully we can get more businesses down here.”

He sells many grocery items at deep discounts. Many of the groceries are past their “best by” date, but Boring said they are still fresh and good to eat.

Boring works with suppliers at Amish-owned stores in Ohio and Mennonite-owned stores in Pennsylvania. He has established many relationships with those communities through his work as a driver for local Amish and Mennonite, who return to their home communities in Pennsylvania and Ohio for weddings, funerals and other events. Boring has driven the local Amish and Mennonite about 100,000 miles a year.

He has 25 years in the trucking business and also runs a small farm in Lyndonville with beef, sheep and horses.

He will be looking to expand the inventory at the new store, adding bread, dairy products and soda, and possibly more in the future.

Discount Groceries and More is currently open six days a week, Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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American Legion in Lyndonville selects delegates for Boys’ State

Staff Reports Posted 11 March 2018 at 8:18 am

Provided photo

LYNDONVILLE – The Houseman-Tanner American Legion Post 1603 in Lyndonville selected delegates for the American Legion Boys State which will be held at SUNY Morrisville from June 24 through June 29.

Kane Flynn and James Wachob will be the two delegates. They are currently juniors in high school and will be seniors next school year at Lyndonville Central School.

Pictured, from left, include: John Follman, Post Chairman Joe Hausler, delegates James Wachob and Kane Flynn, Post Commander Steve Goodrich and Carl Boyle.

At Boys’ State, students learn about government operation and structure. The delegates run for government offices in the different levels of state government. They operate the level of state government which they are elected. The draft legislation, vote on bills, and make and pass budgets.

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County and village approve tax exemptions for Main Street in Lyndonville

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 March 2018 at 11:19 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: Main Street in Lyndonville is pictured in late November when the downtown was decorated for the holiday season.

LYNDONVILLE – The Orleans County Legislature and Lyndonville Village Board have both approved tax exemptions for building projects in the downtown business district.

Both governing boards passed new local laws where property owners who invest in the historic commercial buildings would not see the assessments increase for five years, and would then see 20 percent increases over the next five years for the improvements, until the sites are at full assessment after a decade.

The County Legislature passed the exemptions last week and the Lyndonville Village Board approved the incentives on Monday. The Yates Town Board is expected to discuss the issue at its meeting this evening, and the Lyndonville Board of Education may also consider it.

John Belson, mayor of Lyndonville, said the exemptions will spare building owners from a big tax increase if they upgrade their buildings. Properties on Main Street, from Eagle Street to Riverside Drive, are eligible for the exemptions.

The village tax rate is $13.86 per $1,000 of assessed property while the county rate is $10.06. Together they are $23.92. If someone did a $50,000 upgrade to a building in the downtown, raising the assessment by $50,000, the tax bill would increase $1,196 without the tax exemption.

The school tax rate is $16.31 and the town rate inside the village is $2.57.

Belson, the village mayor, is hopeful the town and school will join in offering the exemptions for the buildings in the downtown to help attract more businesses and investment to Main Street.

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