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Medina

Medina Senior Center showcases ‘Hall of Wreaths’ on Saturday

Staff Reports Posted 22 November 2017 at 3:28 pm

Provided photos

MEDINA – The hanging of the wreaths for the “Hall of Wreaths” at the Medina Senior Citizens Center is underway.  The event is being held in conjunction with the festivities planned at Medina’s Olde Tyme Christmas celebration on Saturday.

“This is the first year the Senior Center has sponsored the ‘Hall of Wreaths’ and they are looking forward to this being an annual event,” said organizer Sherry Tuohey, secretary for the non-profit organization.

She appreciates the “wonderful response” for donations of wreaths from individuals, organizations, and businesses throughout the community. Proceeds from this event go to the Senior Citizens of Western Orleans.

Public viewing of the wreaths at 615 West Ave. Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. During this time a wreath sale/silent auction will take place. The silent auction will commence at 3 p.m.

Other activities scheduled at the Senior Center on Saturday include a Holiday Basket Raffle, Christmas Gift Shoppe and Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen, serving chili, hot chocolate, coffee, cookies. A free Santa hat will be given to children while supplies last.

From 2 to 2:30 p.m. the Medina Police Department with K-9 “Kye” will be at the center for an informal meet and greet.

The Center is located within an Historic Train Station built in 1908. The public is welcome to stop in and look around.

The Senior Citizens of Western Orleans are always looking for new members who are 50 years or older. Dues are $10 per year.  The center provides services and activities that encourage social engagement for the senior population. For more information please call the Senior Center at (585) 798-4544.

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Medina man organizes one-day toy collection effort on Saturday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 November 2017 at 1:12 pm

Donate a toy or $5 and win a chance for a fun outing in Medina

MEDINA – The Old Tyme Christmas celebration on Saturday in Medina is packed with events to usher in the holiday season. It also includes a new opportunity to donate a toy for local children.

Andrew Satkowski has put together 20 packages to entice donations of toys or $5 that will be used to buy presents. The toys and funds will be turned over to Community Action of Orleans & Genesee and the Medina Area Association of Churches, which both do toy drives each year.

“In our county there are children that need toys,” Satkowski said. “I think it’s important as a community that we step up. There are children that need help.”

Satkowski wanted to do a one-day toy effort timed when about 8,000 people are expected in the Medina downtown for the Olde Time Christmas celebration on Saturday, which is capped by the Parade of Lights at 6.

People are urged to bring an unwrapped toy to Canalside Tattoo at 540 Main St., or donate $5. For each toy or $5 donated, people will receive a ticket for a chance to win one of 20 “Medina Experience” packages.

The local restaurants and other service businesses have all donated for the packages to help encourage people to give to the toy drive. People can pick which of the 20 packages they want to try to win.

Satkowski said the businesses were all quick to respond and donate to the raffle.

“The response has been great,” he said. “The energy in Medina’s business district is awesome.”

Satkowski, who works at Takeform Architectural Graphics, wants to see “a pile of toys” that are dispersed to children in the community.

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Julie Berry, award-winning author, inspires students in return to Medina

Posted 22 November 2017 at 12:08 pm

Provided: Author Julie Berry is pictured with senior Ethan Kujawa.

Press Release, Medina Central School

MEDINA – Multiple literary award winner and nominee, Julie Berry, recently stopped into the Medina Middle School and High School to give several workshops and talk about her craft.

Mrs. Berry, a native of Medina and a graduate from the school district, has written over 20 books and has received many accolades for her work in young adult fiction and children’s literature. In June, she released her newest book, “The Emperor’s Ostrich” which is geared towards children 8 to 12 years of age. She ended her day with a book signing at the Lee-Whedon Memorial Library.

At the Middle School, Mrs. Berry presented two types of workshops.

“One was inspirational about her life growing up in Medina and how thankful she was for the opportunity to go to school here with so many wonderful teachers,” said 7th grade teacher Melinda Hill.  “The second presentation was a writing workshop where Julie led the students through the type if decision-making she goes through when creating a story. She worked on a large board at the front of the room and students came up with their own ideas. They created a character, who wants something they can’t have, enemies and friends of the character and then plotted out how the character can journey to achieve their goal. My students showed they thoroughly enjoyed the writing workshop by bringing wonderful ideas back to class that they were proud to share with me and others.”

High School English teacher, Karen Jones, was a classmate of Mrs. Berry’s and has been reading Mrs. Berry’s “All the Truth That’s In Me” with her classes for the past three years. Publisher’s Weekly calls it, “Suspenseful and haunting.”

“The fact that Julie graduated from Medina shows them this is what an author looks like,” Jones said. “This is what you can grow up to be. That is encouraging, even to someone like me, a teacher, who has hopes of being an author. I want them to think, maybe I can do that too, no matter what I do.”

The senior students had many questions for Berry about her writing process, what inspires her stories and what advice she would give anyone who wanted to be an author.

“She is just so energizing and encouraging,” Jones said. “She comes all the way from Los Angeles to talk to the students and it means so much to all of us.”

The dedication to her new book says it all: “To the thousands of children who brainstormed with me in creative writing workshops. To answer the question you frequently ask me; yes, this is really how I write a story. This one is for you.”

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State Street Park gets decorated for the holidays

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 November 2017 at 6:05 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Pete Kaiser secures an angel to a tree at State Street Park in Medina this morning. Kaiser heads up the decorating effort for the Medina Lions Club.

For about 30 years, the Lions have been decorating State Street Park. They display Christmas trees, set up a Nativity scene and put out other signs of the upcoming holiday season.

“It is our gift to the village,” said Lions Club member Don Colquhoun.

The Lions Club was helped by local churches this morning, and also received money from the Decorate Medina Committee to spruce up some of the decorations at the park.

Pete Kaiser climbed a ladder to tie the angel to the tree. Many of the cut-out animals and other decorations face the angel, which has a light on it at night.

Lions Club members Bernie Froman, left, and Don Colquhoun secure some of the decorations to the ground.

These volunteers carry a large decoration of a Christmas present near the front of the park by Route 31.

These Lions Club members set up a big Advent wreath. They include, from left: Bob Holtz, Ross Thompson and Ken Dunham.

Many Christmas trees with lights are set up in the park on the east side of the village.

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Frank Berger will serve as grand marshal of Parade of Lights

Staff Reports Posted 16 November 2017 at 10:20 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: Frank Berger is shown during Medina’s Memorial Day observance on May 29.

MEDINA – The committee organizing the 9th annual Parade of Lights on Nov. 25 has named Frank Berger as grand marshal of the event.

“We are excited to have Frank serve in this honorary position,” said Jim Hancock, the parade chairman. “Frank has a long history of community involvement in the village of Medina along with several committees in Western New York.”

Berger is a Korean War veteran and has been active in the Butts American Legion Post 336. He has served as commander at both the local and regional levels.

He also has been involved in local Scouting since 1946 and is currently serving as Assistant Director of the Towpath District/Iroquois Trail Council. Besides working 30 years as an Industrial Arts teacher in the Medina School system, Berger has served 14 years in Ridgeway and state governments, and worked diligently on behalf of the local Medina Historical Society.

He also served over 30 years in the local Mason’s Lodge and has organized many Memorial Day Parades here in Medina.

“It will be nice that Frank will finally be able to see a Parade in full,” Hancock said. “The Committee is very pleased to be able to have such an active supporter of the village be this year’s Grand Marshal.”

Berger, as part of his duties, will light the Community Christmas Tree in Rotary Park at 5:30 on Nov. 25. He will then take his place of honor by riding in the Parade at 6 p.m.

Medina may have collection agency go after unpaid parking tickets

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 November 2017 at 10:25 am

MEDINA – There are 31 people with unpaid parking tickets in Medina, totaling about $3,000.

The Village Board is considering an offer from a collections company to have that business pursue the parking violators. Medina would get its full amount due, and the collections company would tack on an additional $40 or a 40 percent fee.

Medina Mayor Mike Sidari said the village should pursue the unpaid tickets.

“It’s not fair to the people that pay them to not going after the people who don’t pay them,” he said.

Before the village approves an agreement with Lakeview Processing of Medina, the Village Board wants to know if the business will be charging Medina for bills that are sent out, but continue to not be paid. Sidari doesn’t want to have Medina be billed by Lakeview for work that doesn’t lead to paid tickets.

The Village Board discussed the issue Monday during a board meeting.

Sidari said Medina should pursue the unpaid tickets or else other people may decide they don’t need to pay the fines.

In other action at Monday’s meeting, the board:

• Approved spending $7,500 for a 4-yard sander box for the Department of Public Works. The state will cover $5,900 of the cost with CHIPS funding, with Medina using $1,600 from equipment reserve for the remainder.

The sander box will allow Medina to have three plow trucks out instead of two, which should reduce overtime and allow the DPW to clear village streets faster, DPW Superintendent Joe Perry said.

• Approved a $7,500 contract with Wendel for a Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which will create a database of infrastructure, trees, cemetery plots and other village assets.

• Accepted the resignation of career firefighter Ashton Lang, who is joining the Gates Fire District.

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Medina inducts 2 into Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame

Posted 14 November 2017 at 8:40 am

Provided photo: David Miller, Gabrielle Calandra Barone and High School Principal Michael Cavanagh are pictured at last week’s ceremony.

Press Release, Medina Central School

MEDINA – Gabrielle Calandra Barone (Class of 1960) and David Miller (Class of 1966) were inducted into the Medina High School’s Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during a ceremony on Nov. 9.

The award was created to honor alumni, promote school spirit, foster pride in the Medina School District and serve as an incentive for current students. Alumni must have graduated at least 10 years ago and demonstrated success in one of the following: attained excellence in their chosen career, made outstanding contributions to their community or profession, or made outstanding contributions to humanity.

After graduation from Medina High School, Mrs. Barone continued her studies at Endicott College and Medaille College.  While working part-time, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies. She then moved to San Francisco, California with a career in retail, but moved back to the Medina area where she married and started a family. She managed women’s ready-to-wear retail locations throughout Western New York.  She later became employed by Modern Corporation in Lewiston where she worked for ten years and then in 2002 began working with the Orleans Economic Development Agency.

Mrs. Barone has been extensively involved in the Medina community with her work with the Orleans Economic Development Agency, Medina Business Association, Boxwood Cemetery and Chapel, Job Corps Advisory Council, GLOW Workforce Investment Board and the Medina Sandstone Association. She was also an active member of the former League of Women Voters chapter of Orleans County. She is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce.

She has been a tremendous asset to the Orleans Economic Development Agency and has been instrumental in bringing many new projects to the county in her role as Vice President. She has also assisted in upgrading established businesses such as Western New York Energy, Brunner International, Hinspergers Poly, CRFS, Cottages at Troutburg, Precision Packaging Products and Pride Pak. She helped guide both state and local support for several county projects from upgrading infrastructure to securing tax credits or grants and has proven to be invaluable in all aspects of economic development.

“I am very, very honored to be here today,” Mrs. Barone said. “I am the fourth member of the Class of 1960 to receive this award.  My classmates are here and it’s a wonderful day.”

Mr. Miller went on to earn his Bachelor of Science in Photographic Science from R.I.T. in 1970. He continued his education and in 1982 and earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration. He began working for St. Regis Paper Company in 1974 and worked in the paper industry for 26 years as a manager before retiring in 2000. He was awarded the prestigious Quality Award for Excellence for a “Process Improvement Project” which he initiated. He moved back to Medina after he retired and started Nuvisit Communications, a company that designs websites for non-profit and small businesses.

Mr. Miller has definitely immersed himself in the community of Medina since returning. He has served as a volunteer, site manager, board member and president for Habitat for Humanity. Because of his passion for history and his pride in his hometown, he is involved in the Medina Sandstone Society. He was instrumental in the fundraising and erection of the beautiful clock tower in Medina’s Rotary Park, a gift from the Class of 1966.

He is also involved in the Medina Lions’ Club, Medina Sandstone’s Hall of Fame, the Parade of Lights, the Medina Historical Society and the Genesee Community College Planning Committee for historical events. He and his wife, Gail, also began the Canal Village Farmers’ Market.

“I am very excited about being part of the Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame,” he said. “I am very pleased. It’s a fantastic thing.”

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Medina considers new name for alley off Main Street

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 November 2017 at 9:10 pm

MEDINA – The Village Board is considering a new name for an alley off Main Street by Mark’s Pizzeria. The alley was recently made one-way leading into a parking lot.

The Village Department of Public Works recently installed the one-way sign. It also put up a street name sign for “Proile Alley.” That name caught village officials off guard. They had never known the short street as Proile Alley. There hadn’t been a sign up for Proile, although it was in the village records by that name.

Village Trustee Todd Bensley is also the Medina historian. He said he would research how that alley was named Proile.

Mayor Mike Sidari said he is open to another name for the alley. He suggested Merchants Way in appreciation for the efforts of the many small business owners in the community.

Trustee Owen Toale suggested possibly naming the street for the late Vincent Cardone, who owned the Medina Theatre next to the alley.

Other prominent Medina residents to recognize with the street name could be the late Mayor Marcia Tuohey, former First Lady Frances Folsom, and perhaps others.

Village officials first want to know the origin of Proile and the significance of that name to the community.

The village has additional street naming opportunities soon in the future. The two new roadways by Pride Pak off Maple Ridge Road will soon be turned over to the village.

Medina will likely have a public hearing to accept those roads, which were built to public road standards as part of the Pride Pak project.

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Auction proceeds will go towards upgrades to Medina hospital’s surgical wing

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 November 2017 at 6:02 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MURRAY – Bill Bixler of Medina looks over some of the items up for bid on Saturday at the 24th annual benefit auction for the Orleans Community Health Foundation.

There were 160 items up for bid at the auction, which was formerly known as Treasure Island. The event usually raises about $32,000 to $39,000 for the foundation. The proceeds from Saturday’s event will go towards upgrading the surgical unit at Medina Memorial Hospital.

Matt Prawel and his mother Tina Prawel of Medina check out some of the items up for bid at the Hickory Ridge Golf Resort in Holley.

A jersey of Buffalo Sabres star, Jack Eichel, was among the many desired items at the auction.

Janice Strianese considers bidding on some of the times at the auction. She is the mother-in-law of Kim Gray, head of outpatient services at the hospital.

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Father and daughter celebrate 40 years of Art Hill Excavating

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 November 2017 at 4:58 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

RIDGEWAY – Jennifer Hill-Young and her father Art Hill are pictured on Saturday evening at the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company. They threw a party to celebration 40 years of Art Hill Excavating.

The bash was attended by long-time customers, vendors and employees. Hill and his daughter wanted to express their appreciation for the people who have made the business a success for four decades.

“This is a celebration to thank everybody,” said Hill-Young.

Art Hill was 33 when he started the business. It has diversified and grown to 14 employees. Art Hill specializes in excavation for residential and commercial properties. The company also does blacktop and paving, demolition, landscaping and other services, including storage units.

“It seems like the time has just flown by,” Mr. Hill said. “It’s been quite a ride.”

Art Hill is happy to see Bob Varley of Medina. The two worked on many projects together.

Mr. Hill’s daughter joined the business nine years ago after working a corporate job in Charlotte, NC. Hill-Young wanted to work in her hometown with her father.

“I told her she would be a woman in a man’s world,” Hill recalled. “She told me, ‘I can do this.’”

Hill-Young has impressed her father, the employees and customers.

“She has brought a total coordination of the company, from bookkeeping to scheduling of clients,” Hill said.

Jennifer Hill-Young is now the business’s owner. Art Hill Excavating is a certified Women Business Enterprise.

Art Hill is now his daughter’s employee. Art is still the first one to arrive at work, and he enjoys operating a bulldozer and managing crews, Hill-Young said.

“He still guides us,” his daughter said.

Art said many of the workers have been with the business for 30 years or more. Their dedication and talent has been critical in Art Hill Excavating’s success.

“We have many long-term dedicated employees,” Art Hill said. “I love them all.”

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