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Medina mulls ways to reduce tractor trailer volume on Park Avenue

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 July 2017 at 4:20 pm

MEDINA – The tractor trailers rumble down Park Avenue early in the morning through the evening. They are beating up the village streets and bothering neighbors, village officials said on Monday.

Medina wants them to stay off village streets, and instead take Maple Ridge Road to Salt Works Road to then go to Associated Brands and companies in the Olde Pickle Factory.

Many of the truckers who are stopped by police for violating the 5-ton weight limit say their GPS leads them through the village streets, Police Chief Chad Kenward told board members.

“We need to do something to protect village property and the residents,” said Mayor Mike Sidari.

Trustee Owen Toale said the heavy truck traffic forces the village to mill and pave sections of Park Avenue every year “because it gets beat up so bad.”

Toale said he often gets emails from residents on Park Avenue before 8 in the morning, informing him that “four tractor trailers have gone by my house.”

Toale suggested raising the fine to $1,000 and impounding trucks that use the village streets.

None of the other village officials supported that. Sidari and Trustee Marguerite Sherman said more signage should be posted for trucks, directing them to Maple Ridge and Salt Works. The signs should also note fines for using village streets at perhaps $500 per infraction, Sidari said.

Resident Michael Maak suggested the village talk with the companies that have tractor trailers stop for deliveries. Those businesses could work with the trucks’ dispatchers to inform them to stay off the village streets.

Sidari liked the idea of reaching out to businesses for help with directing the trucks to the right roads that can better handle the weight.

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Medina gets some pushback over dog park

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 July 2017 at 3:43 pm

MEDINA – The Village Board held a public hearing on proposed regulations for a dog park on Monday, and heard some resistance to setting aside space in a public park for dogs.

Village officials said they were eyeing Gulf Street Park, north of the canal, for the dog park. The whole park wouldn’t be used for dogs. There would be a section with a fence that would be 4 to 6 feet high. The park would be open dawn to dusk, according to the proposed ordinance.

The enclosed area would allow dogs to be off-leash, with the area exclusive to dogs and their handlers.

Three residents near that park said it should be used for children and their families only – not dogs.

“I don’t want to listen to dogs barking,” said resident Art Washak. “I don’t want to look at it or smell it.”

A Stork Street resident said the park, the only one on the north side of the canal, shouldn’t have space set aside for animals.

“We’re taking away a park for kids and giving it to dogs,” the resident said. “That’s wrong.”

Village Trustee Owen Toale said the board has no intention of giving up an entire park for dogs. Trustee Tim Elliott said the village proposed the ordinance to have some rules and keep up with a community need.

“Medina has many rental places and dogs need a place to go,” Elliott said.

Alaina Wilson suggested the village create a dog park in February. She offered to lead a fundraising effort, and a committee of volunteers to help care for the site.

Cindy Davis runs a business, walking dogs. She does it some days for 15 hours.

“I can’t keep up,” she told the board during Monday’s public hearing.

The demand for her business shows people value their pets and want them to have exercise and social interactions, she said.

The dog park would help build a stronger community, helping people to make friends. The dogs would also become better behaved and friendlier with exercise and social outings at the park, Davis told the Village Board.

“We are animal lovers,” she said. “We want to do things with our dogs.”

Village resident Mike Maak suggested the board consider Butts Park for the dog park. That park has more parking. A spot at the park near the creek also has a buffer away from residences, Maak said.

Mayor Mike Sidari said the village isn’t focused on any site right now. It wants to hear form the community about regulations for the park.

Some requirements in the proposed ordiance from the village include requiring dogs to have a current dog license, vaccinations and must have tag on the dog collar.

Handlers also need to insure dogs demonstrate safe behavior and social interaction at all times toward people and other dogs. (Dogs displaying aggressive behavior need to be immediately leashed and removed from park.)

Handlers must also pick up dog’s fecal matter and dispose in trash receptacle. Handlers also can’t leave a dog unattended.

The proposed ordinance urges handlers to be considerate of neighbors and try to keep the park a “bark-free zone.”

The village has no responsibility or liability for injuries at dog park, according to the proposed ordinance.

The proposal also bans puppies under 4 months old, female dogs in heat, and unattended dogs.

Children under age 12 aren’t allowed in the area set aside for the dog park. Children 13 to 18 are allowed if accompanied by an adult.

Sidari said the board will continue to discuss the issue and consider spots for the dog park.

“It may not be at Gulf Street Park or even if we have it,” he said.

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Medina welcomes nominations for distinguished alumni

Posted 21 July 2017 at 11:38 am

Press Release, Medina Central School

MEDINA – The Medina Central School District is accepting nominations for their prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award.

This award was created to honor alumni, promote school spirit, foster pride in our school, and to serve as an incentive for current students.

Any former member of the school community can nominate alumni who graduated at least 10 years ago. We are looking for nominees who have achieved one or more of the following: Excellence in their chosen career, outstanding contributions to their community or profession or made outstanding contributions to humanity.

Nominations must be submitted by July 31 to Michael Cavanagh at Medina High School. The application can be found on the district’s website at under the Community section, and then click on the Alumni link.

All nominees will be reviewed by a committee comprised of present and former teachers, administrators and alumni. Nomination forms will remain on file for a period of three years.

The induction ceremony will be held on Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. in front of the student body and guests.

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Job Corps students make memorial bench in honor of Jeff Evoy

Staff Reports Posted 20 July 2017 at 8:32 am

Provided photos

MEDINA – Carpentry students from the Iroquois Job Corps in Shelby created a memorial bench in honor of the late Jeff Evoy, who served as Medina Central School superintendent for five years.

Evoy passed away at age 50 on June 22, 2016 after battling a serious illness.

The bench was presented on Tuesday during the Medina Board of Education meeting. The bench is in front of the district office next to the high school.

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6,000 surveys being sent to residents in western Orleans

Provided photo: The elected officials from the western Orleans County municipalities are working together on a comprehensive plan and survey. Pictured, from left, include Medina Mayor Michael Sidari, Ridgeway Town Supervisor Brian Napoli and Yates Town Supervisor Jim Simon. The Town of Shelby and Village of Lyndonville also are part of the effort.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 July 2017 at 7:41 am

Residents asked to assess quality of life issues, rank priorities for community development

Residents in Western Orleans County are urged to fill out a survey asking them to rank priorities in the community and give their views on other quality of life issues.

The towns of Ridgeway, Shelby and Yates, as well as the villages of Medina and Lyndonville are working together on a comprehensive plan for the western end of the county.

The surveys are being sent out to about 6,000 households and landowners. They are asked to complete the questionnaire by Aug. 4.

“The survey is a critical step in the update of the Western Orleans Comprehensive Plan,” said Yates Town Supervisor Jim Simon, chairman of the committee responsible for revising the comprehensive plan. “It is through our stakeholders – the residents and landowners receiving the survey – that we gain insight into their values and priorities for formulating public policies affecting quality-of-life issues for the next 10 to 15 years.”

The eight-page survey seeks input on many issues, including economic development, youth programs, where people shop,  views on development (heavy industrial, commercial, residential and light industrial), condition of streets and sidewalks, drug abuse in community, affordable housing, walkability of communities, public safety and many other topics.

Residents in western Orleans County were last surveyed in 2002 when a comprehensive plan for the five municipalities was prepared.

“My fellow chief elected officials and I strongly encourage all to complete and return the survey,” Simon said. “The greater the response rate, the more the results represent the entire community.”

The survey can be dropped off at any one of 17 different locations in western Orleans County, all of which are listed on the first page of the survey form. Additional survey forms can be obtained at any town or village clerk’s office in western Orleans County.

“Those who participate in the survey do so anonymously,” Simon said, “and the collective results will be presented publicly and reported in both the Comprehensive Plan and on-line.” Questions about the survey can be directed to the Orleans County Department of Planning and Development, which is assisting in the preparation of the Comprehensive Plan, at (585) 589-3198.

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Medina library adds defibrillator with state funds from Ortt

Staff Reports Posted 11 July 2017 at 3:59 pm

Provided photo

State Sen. Robert Ortt is pictured with Catherine Cooper, director of Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina, with a new automated external defibrillator (AED).

Ortt helped to fund the life-saving device by securing $5,000 for the library as part of the 2016-17 State Budget.

A defibrillator aims to prevent death from a cardiac arrest. Defibrillators shock the heart to restore a normal rhythm in individuals suffering from a heart attack or other heart irregularities.

Lee-Whedon Memorial’s defibrillator is located behind the circulation desk at the library’s front entrance. The library purchased the defibrillator to ensure public safety.

Cooper said there is an increase in the number of people visiting the library during the summer months.

Last year’s state funding was also used to implement a computer coding class and a Music for Tots program this summer.

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Medina student athletes earn School of Excellence Award

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 7 July 2017 at 9:52 pm

Medina High has earned an inaugural New York State Public High School Athletic Association School of Excellence Award for having at least 75 percent of its varsity teams earn a state Scholar-Athlete Team Award.

In all 15 of Medina’s 19 varsity squads earned the Scholar-Athlete Award over the past academic year. To earn a Scholar-Athlete Team  Award 75 percent of the team’s roster must have an average of at least 90.

“It’s pretty impressive,” said Medina Athletic Director Eric Valley. “It was a pretty impressive year both academically and athletically.”

The Medina squads which earned Scholar-Athlete Team Awards include Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Girls Volleyball, Field Hockey, Golf, Cross-Country and Football Cheerleading during the fall season; Girls Basketball, Girls Swimming and Boys Swimming during the winter season and Baseball, Softball, Lacrosse, Girls Track and Tennis during the spring season.

One other N-O school, Wilson, also earned the School of Excellence Award.

Hydrobikes make debut on canal in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 July 2017 at 2:13 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

 MEDINA – Pedal and Paddle Medina opened at noon today in Medina, renting out Hydrobikes and kayaks.

This trio was among the first customers to use the Hydrobikes.

Victor and Heather DiGiacomo of Middleport (pictured) own the new business. They said Medina is ideal for the Hydrobikes and kayaks because of the big Canal Basin, the available docks and energy in the downtown business district.

“We think Medina has a growing social vibe,” Mr. DiGiacomo said. “We think our business complements the other activities on Main Street.”

Mrs. DiGiacomo is the former Heather Schlegel, who grew up in Medina.

The Hydrobikes and kayaks drew many onlookers to the docks in the Canal Basin.

Pedal and Paddle Medina plans to stay open until the canal closes for the boating season in mid-October. There are currently four kayaks and four Hydrobikes for rent.

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Medina increases capacity to 200 for dinner on blocked-off Main Street

Photos by Tom Rivers: Main Street was closed off last Aug. 4 for the first Farm-To-Table dinner, which included a five-course meal on Main Street. The event returns on Aug. 3.

Posted 3 July 2017 at 11:34 am

Zambistro and Mariachi De Oro will team to serve five-course meal

Press Release, Orleans Renaissance Group

MEDINA – Preparations are in full swing for Medina’s second annual Farm-to-Table Dinner. The event is hosted by the Orleans Renaissance Group as part of the annual activities of the Canal Village Farmers’ Market, a Medina enterprise also sponsored by ORG.

“It’s hard to believe that nearly a year has past since our first Farm-to-Table Dinner in historic downtown Medina.” said Chris Busch, president of the Orleans Renaissance Group. “The event generated ‘Medina buzz’ from Rochester to Buffalo for weeks.”

Medina’s event delivers not only a sensational meal in a historic and memorable setting, but also a chance to see and learn firsthand how farmers and local chefs capitalize on Orleans County’s number one industry: agriculture. Medina is literally surrounded by fields and orchards brimming with agricultural bounty at this time of the year.

The fine dining experience on Main Street last August had to be expanded from 100 tickets to 137 due to the demand. This year’s event has room for 200 people.

This year’s dinner event will be held on Thursday, August 3, at 6 p.m., with a rain date on Aug. 10. Due to the demand for tickets – the event is expanding from 100 to 200 seats and the table will stretch nearly the entire length of North Main Street.

This year’s event will a few changes. In addition to a 200-seat table, arriving guests will be treated to a complimentary glass of champagne, courtesy of Fitzgibbons Public House. Their full bar will also be open for cocktails.

The dinner again will deliver a locally-sourced meal, served in the middle of Medina’s Downtown Historic District. The meal itself will be a full five-course dinner, prepared by renown Medina chef, Michael Zambito of Zambistro.

The 2017 dinner will see Chef Zambito joined by Chef Lionel Rosario of Mariachi De Oro, Medina’s popular Mexican restaurant. Mariachi De Oro has received rave reviews from area metro publications and attracts patrons from across WNY.

“Last year’s event was amazing and we are working to surpass expectations in every way,” said Cindy Robinson, chairman of the Medina Business Association. “The total experience last year was indescribable. We are going to have another epic dinner event.”

Each course prepared by Zambito and Rosario will feature pairings from Niagara Wine Trail wineries, 810 Meadworks of Medina and RG Brewery of Brockport. All ingredients will be locally sourced and farm-fresh, provided almost entirely from the vendors at Canal Village Farmers’ Market in Medina.

A glass of water is pictured on a table on Main Street, which the Fitzgibbons Public House in the background.

An official live music event “after-party” will be hosted by Brian and Larissa Degraw at 810 Meadworks on West Center Street in Medina.

“We are thrilled to be able to present this exceptional culinary event yet again,” said Busch. “But it’s something we could not do without our generous, community-minded sponsors.”

Corporate sponsors of the 2017 Farm to Table Dinner include Zambistro with chef Mike Zambito; PridePak Inc. with Mr. Steve Carr, CEO; and Takeform with Mr. William Hungerford, President.

Limited tickets are on sale now and are $100 each. They are available online at; at (585) 210-9674; the English Rose Tea Shoppe, 527 Main St., Medina (585) 798-4410 and at Zambistro, 408 Main Street, Medina (585) 798-2433.

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Orleans seeks state grant for plan to develop 300-acre business park in Medina

Courtesy of Orleans EDA: The 300-plus acre Medina Business Park is the largest shovel-ready business park in Western New York. The site includes land north and south on Maple Ridge Road, just west of the Bates Road intersection.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2017 at 8:34 am

MEDINA – To take the Medina Business Park to the next level, the Orleans Economic Development Agency needs a plan for putting a turning lane on Maple Ridge Road by the park, managing wetlands, removing trees, and getting infrastructure deeper into the park.

Jim Whipple, Orleans EDA chief executive officer, said it will cost about $70,000 for a study that answers questions on the park’s 300 acres for infrastructure and other issues.

The agency, through Orleans County, will be seeking a state grant for $50,000 for the project. The County Legislature on Wednesday agreed to seek the Community Development Block Grant through the state community planning program.

The study is needed to advance bigger projects for getting water and sewer lines into the interior of the Business Park, which is the largest shovel ready site in Western New York, Whipple said.

Last year, Pride Pak opened a new vegetable processing facility at the site. A developer is looking to open a new hotel next to Pride Pak, and a Chinese company has the Medina Business Park as one of its two finalists for a project in New York, Whipple told county legislators on Wednesday.

The Medina site, with its access to low-cost hydropower and village water and sewer, is attractive for companies. The Medina Business Park is conveniently located between Buffalo and Rochester, and is also within 45 minutes of the Ontario, Canada border.

But the EDA needs a detailed blueprint for developing the site, which has parcels ranging from 5 to 125 acres.

If the state grant is approved, Whipple said the EDA and its local partners will need to chip in $20,000 for the study.

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