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Feast is celebration of Orleans County bounty, culinary talent

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 August 2017 at 10:42 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Two hundred people gather for dinner at The Gallagher, a barn that is an event center on North Gravel Road.

The second annual Farm-To-Table Dinner was moved from Main Street to The Gallagher due to threats of rain. The forecast proved accurate with a thunderstorm passing through the community this evening.

The dinner is a fund-raiser for the Canal Village Farmers’ Market. The Orleans Renaissance Group runs the farmers’ market and also organized the dinner.

Michael Zambito of Zambistro catered the meal along with Leonel Rosario of Mariachi De Oro, Medina’s popular Mexican restaurant. Here Zambito and his staff prepare the first tasting of the five-course meal – skewered shrimp with tomatoes, green onion, bell pepper, cucumber, salsa, sour cream, and micro cilantro.

Zambistro catered the first Farm-To-Table a year ago when Main Street was blocked off. The ORG had 100 tickets available but expanded it to 137 due to demand. This year, the event was expanded to 200 tickets and quickly sold out at $100 a ticket.

A Zambistro employee puts the finishing touch of crumbly goat cheese on a fried green tomato, which included roasted beet aioli, crispy bacon, and field greens.

The ingredients for the meals came from local farms, including many vendors from the farmers’ market.

The meal was also served with locally produced wine from Schwenk Wine Cellars, Schulz Vineyards and Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, beer from RG Brewery, and mead from 810 Meadworks.

Zambistro staff work on course one of the meal. They include sous chef Eric Richmond, left, and Mark Zambito, Michael Zambito’s brother who was volunteering at the event. Zambistro had 20 staff working on the meal.

Chris Busch, president of ORG, welcomes the crowd to The Gallagher and thanked Jenna and Martin Bruning, owners of the site, for making it available for the dinner. Busch said the Brunings “are young visionary entrepreneurs” who have created an “incredible venue” for the community. Since the barn opened about a year ago as an event center, it has hosted 20 weddings.

Leonel Rosario, chef at Mariachi De Oro, prepares plate of pork tamales. Rosario and Mariachi De Oro cooked the tamales, and the brisket for the main meal. Leonel’s wife also shared the recipe for the honey flan that Rosario and Zambito made together. The two restaurant owners are friends and often have meals at each other’s establishments.

“We have different restaurants and cultures coming together,” Zambito said. “This dinner is a platform to showcase Orleans County talent. The wineries, breweries, the mead and the harvest – the majority came right from here.”

Michael Zambito and Leonel Rosario worked together to prepare the food for the dinner.

The diners enjoy a five-course meal and lots of conversation inside The Gallagher.

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Hotel plan expected next month for Medina

Cobblestone Inn and Suites: This Cobblestone Inn and Suites hotel opened on May 19 in Greenville, PA. That hotel has 54 guestrooms, flat-screen TVs, pet friendly rooms, microwaves, refrigerators and a variety of suites.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 August 2017 at 10:41 am

 MEDINA – A project that has been a few years in the making could reach the Medina Planning Board next month.

Cobblestone Inn and Suites is expected to present a site plan for a three-story building that would have about 50 hotel rooms, Marty Busch, the village code enforcement officer, told the Village Planning Board on Tuesday.

Busch said he expects the company will submit a site plan in time for the Sept. 5 Planning Board meeting.

Busch said he has had numerous phone calls and emails with the company as it works on a design for the project. (The company has also been seeking bids for contractors on the project.)

The hotel is planned for Maple Ridge Road, next to Pride Pak. It would be on land owned by the Orleans Economic Development Agency.

The EDA has been working to bring a chain hotel to the county.

The Orleans Land Restoration Corporation, one of the EDA’s development arms, bought 5 acres of land on Maple Ridge Road for $50,000 in 2015. That property included an abandoned house and overgrown yard. The house has been razed and the land has been cleaned up.

The EDA hired a consultant in 2014 to study the market for a hotel in Medina. Interim Hospitality Consultants concluded that a small hotel with 41 to 49 rooms would be profitable in the community.

The EDA sees the land on Maple Ridge Road across from GCC as an ideal location because the site already has infrastructure – water, sewer and electricity – within the village.

The chain hotel would be a lift for the area, boosting bed tax for tourism, sales tax for the county and state, and other spending in the community, EDA officials said then.

Cobblestone Inn and Suites has built about 75 hotels with most of them in small towns, typically working with investors in the host community. Medina would be its first in New York.

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Takeform plans expansion in Medina, adding 50 new jobs over 3 years

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 August 2017 at 9:37 am

Courtesy of Village Planning Board: This shows how an addition to Takeform will look on the back of the current manufacturing site.

MEDINA – Takeform Architectural Graphics is proposing a 15,500-square-foot addition to its Maple Ridge Road manufacturing site in Medina.

The company presented the site plan for the addition to the Medina Planning Board on Tuesday. The board accepted the site plan as complete and set a public hearing for 7:05 p.m. on Sept. 5 for the plan. That hearing will be at City Hall.

Takeform moved to the former Trek building in Medina as part of an expansion about four years ago at 11601 Maple Ridge Rd. The company continues in growth mode and is looking to add 50 jobs over the next three years, village officials said.

Takeform specializes in signage design and architectural graphics, including wayfinding design and interior & exterior signage for healthcare, offices, educational institutions and other customers.

As part of the site plan, Takeform would put on an addition and add 40 parking spaces, as well as at least four trees.

The company’s plan was presented on Tuesday by BME Associates, an engineering firm in Fairport. Takeform is eager to get started on construction, BME said.

The Medina Planning Board referred the site plan to the Orleans County Planning Board for its review on Aug. 24.

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Medina, Orleans County both seeking state grants for canal waterfront plans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 August 2017 at 7:57 am

The Village of Medina and Orleans County both are seeking state grants to develop waterfront plans along the Erie Canal.

Orleans County asked Medina to join the county effort for about 25 miles of waterfront in Orleans along the canal.

Medina opted instead to pursue its own plan. The Orleans plan will focus on the villages of Albion and Holley, and towns of Murray, Albion, Gaines, Ridgeway and Shelby.

“I hope we’re both successful,” Medina village trustee Owen Toale said during last week’s Village Board meeting.

The village has been working on its waterfront development plan for nearly a year and didn’t want to start at the beginning of the process.

“I think we’re miles ahead of where the county is,” said Marty Busch, the village’s code enforcement officer. “We’re at different points and that makes it hard to mesh it all together.”

The Village Board approved a letter of support for the county application. Medina lined up support from local state legislators, and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, among several key officials and organizations, Busch said.

Medina wants a plan that stretches beyond the canal, including State Street Park, and downtown and neighborhood revitalization.

A waterfront revitalization plan would include public input to identify assets along the canal and identify projects and strategies to enhance the canal waterfront.

County legislators said they are willing to align and coordinate the county planning efforts with Medina’s plan.

A plan is critical for the municipalities to then receive larger state grants to support business projects and public improvements. The county and Medina both submitted applications by Friday’s deadline through the state Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process, where about $800 million is available through dozens of state agencies.

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Farm to Table Dinner moves from Main Street to Gallagher barn

Staff Reports Posted 31 July 2017 at 7:49 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: The inside of the Gallagher is pictured last summer for a wedding reception.

MEDINA – With a chance for rain on Thursday evening, organizers of the second annual Farm to Table dinner have decided to move the event from a closed off section of Main Street to the historic Gallagher barn on North Gravel Road.

The Orleans Renaissance Group organizes the event as a fundraiser for the Canal Village Farmers’ Market.

“The weather for Thursday is too risky – 60 percent chance of thunderstorms,” said Chris Busch, the ORG president.

The group had considered Aug. 10 as a rain date, but the Lois McClure schooner will be stopping of in Medina that evening as part of the 200th anniversary celebration of the Erie Canal.

As organizers discussed the logistics of a rain date, they took into account not only potential weather problems but the impact of the McClure event, issues with rescheduling equipment rentals and the difficulty in notifying dinner attendees on short notice.

All things considered, they arrived at the conclusion the most ideal solution would be to have an alternative site… but where?

“As we pondered the problem, someone suggested The Gallagher” said Cindy Robinson of the ORG. “It seemed like the perfect solution so we enquired and they have generously consented to serve as the dinner’s rain site.”

The Gallagher barn, pictured on July 2, 2016 when it hosted its first wedding, is an iconic landmark on North Gravel Road.

Martin and Jenna Bruning opened the Gallagher as an events center last year, hosting several weddings and receptions.

“The Gallagher is a stunning historic farm in Medina,” said Kara Zambito of Zambistro, which is catering the meal. “You couldn’t ask for a better alternative location than that for a farm to table event. We’re grateful to Martin and Jenna Brunning for this wonderful kindness.”

Martin and Jenna Brunning purchased the historic William J. Gallagher barn on North Gravel Road in 2015. Built in 1882, it is a well-known local historic landmark, 40’ x 110’, with a pasture ringed by iconic cobblestone fence posts. The Brunnings have spent the last two years restoring and transforming the site into an event facility.

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Architect will take ideas at Medina farmers’ market today

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 July 2017 at 7:28 am

MEDINA – Today’s Canal Village Farmers’ Market will include a special guest today who will take ideas from the public on how to design a better market for the future.

The market is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 127 West Center St., across from the Post Office.

The Orleans Renaissance Group, which operates the market, is looking to upgrade the site to better serve vendors and customers.

Carl Schoenthal, an architect, is expected to spend several hours at the market, taking ideas from the public.

In addition, the market will be drawing two winning tickets for the chance to have dinner at the Farm-To-Table dinner on Aug. 3. That includes a five-course meal on a blocked-off section of Main Street. (In case of rain, the dinner will be at The Gallagher barn on North Gravel Road.)

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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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