Members of the Albion High School Rotary Interact Club recently visited East High School in inner city Rochester as part of a student cultural exchange.
The students learned how life in an urban school is both similar and different than one in a rural district. Earlier in the year East High students visited Albion, enjoying both time at the school as well as a visit to a dairy farm and Mt. Albion Cemetery.
Tim Archer, advisor of the Albion Interact Club, called the activity an “enriching experience” for both sets of students. AHS Interact students who attended East High included Emily Blanchard, Nikki Eldred, Shannon Broda, Riley Seielstad, Evan Steier, Jarod Hollinger, Celeste Hoffman, Emilie Barleban, Haley Bader and Matilda Erakare.
Photos by Kristina Gabalski: Megan McAnn, a Soil and Water Technician, discusses the impact of soil erosion on the environment – both in farm fields and in cities and towns.
By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 25 May 2017 at 11:21 am
KNOWLESVILLE – Sixth-graders from all five school districts in Orleans County are taking part in the annual Orleans 4-H Conservation Field Days on Wednesday and today.
The event at Orleans County Fairgrounds in Knowlesville brings Cornell Cooperative Extension and many agencies in the community together. It’s a hands-on, outdoors event that allows students to interact with professionals and experts from many fields, including environmental conservation, wildlife management, energy conservation, horticulture and water/boating safety with the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department.
“The students get a lot out of it,” said Orleans County 4-H Program Coordinator Missy Call. “It sticks with them, many people as adults remember their Conservation Field Days experience. It’s a great tradition that we are proud to keep going.”
Bob Barrus and Tyler Barrus of the Orleans County Sheriffs Department, discuss water and boating safety with students.
Students visit the log cabin on the fairgrounds and learn about the use of hunting and trapping in wildlife management. Mark Gregoire discusses the need for wildlife management and how it effects the environment.
Meaghan Boice-Green of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation helps students learn about “energy contenders.” Students had a chance to see if their “energy company” could come out ahead in the battle for natural resources.
Siblings Andrew (back to camera) and Claudia Drechsel of Holley returned to Conservation Field Days with their heritage sheep. Both are 4-Hers and students at Holley Middle School/High School. They shared their knowledge of heritage breeds, what makes them unique and why it is important to preserve heritage breeds.
The Drechsels brought samples of the sheep’s wool for students to touch and hold. The Drechsels discussed how sheep’s wool is processed.
One of the most popular stations is station #10 – “Conserve electricity – turn off Xbox and play with a dog”. 4-Hers in the Orleans County 4-H Dog Program teach students about dog agility. Here “Gemma” runs through an obstacle course with the help of Amber Kiefer.
Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Judy Larkin shows students from Lyndonville Central School worms working to compost food scraps. Master Gardeners discussed backyard composting and vermi-composting (worm composting) – which utilizes a worm bin.
Other topics covered by educational stations included a wildlife habitat walk, green power/energy conservation, rabies with the Orleans County Health Department, mammal identification with the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Sunrise Bees with information on the importance of honeybees in agricultural production as well as the importance of beekeeping to human survival.
Students from Holley, Lyndonville and Medina Central Schools visited the fairgrounds on Wednesday. Students from Kendall and Albion Central Schools will participate in Conservation Field Days today.
HOLLEY – The newly formed Interact Club at Holley led a clean sweep of the canal park on Wednesday. The Interact Club opened the effort up to other students, and about 70 joined the effort with students from Baseball, Softball, Unified, Football, Cheerleaders, National Honor Society, Junior National Honor Society, Spanish Club, and both Student Councils.
“All wanted to do something nice for the community,” said Samantha Zelent, a school social worker and Interact advisor. “The Holley DPW was absolutely amazing in making this work for the kids.”
The students pushed for the clean up in time for the Holley June Fest set for June 3.
Senior Interact Club members Andi Carpenter and Katie Morgan use teamwork to get trash out of the pond.
Varsity Cheerleaders Maddie Rowley and Alessia Giancursio look for elusive trash at the park.
These middle school students helped with the clean up.
Members of the Varsity Baseball Team also were out hunting for trash in the park system.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 May 2017 at 9:49 am
ALBION – Orleans County remains a holdout in changing its fireworks law to make it legal for residents to let off “sparkling devices” – ground-based fireworks that spew sparks, colored smoke or crackling noises.
More than 40 of New York’s 62 counties have changed the law since New York state gave counties the option in 2014 for sparkling devices.
The County Legislature on Wednesday was asked by TNT Fireworks, based in Alabama, to change the local law.
“Just over 40 counties have opted in for sparkling devices,” said Matthew Jones, an attorney for TNT.
Most of Western New York allows sparkling devices. Niagara County is the top-selling county for TNT in the state, Jones said.
Right now there is a “patchwork of laws” in New York, which makes it difficult for law enforcement, he said.
Orleans County residents, for example, could buy sparkling devices in Niagara County, but it would be illegal to set them off in Orleans County.
The sparkling devices raise sales tax revenue for counties, and also can be used for fundraising options in a program through TNT.
Because TNT already sells its products at WalMart and other well-known stores, Jones said the company could quickly have its sparkling devices available in Orleans County if the Legislature allows the items.
Lynne Johnson, vice chairwoman of the County Legislature, said she wants to first hear from the local fire departments and Public Safety Committee before the Legislature votes on the issue.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 May 2017 at 8:20 am
Photos by Tom Rivers: Orleans County Legislator Lynne Johnson speaks during the news conference at Point Breeze on July 2, 2014, when local officials and Congressman Chris Collins spoke out against a new plan for regulating Lake Ontario water levels. The following week she travelled to Washington, D.C. to speak with State Department officials about Plan 2014 and its potential havoc on the southshore counties. Her concerns about the lake level plan are coming true as the shoreline is eaten away by erosion. “This is definitely one of those, ‘Told you so’s,'” she said on Wednesday.
ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature is calling on President Trump to fire the current U.S. commissioners who serve on the International Joint Commission, the binational group that regulates Lake Ontario water levels.
The IJC pushed a new lake level plan through the Canadian and US governments. Former President Obama approved the plan near the end of his administration.
The southshore counties, including Orleans, railed against the plan for several years, with Orleans legislators travelling to Washington D.C. to voice their concerns to the State Department that property would be flooded and eroded from a higher Lake Ontario.
“We told them it would harm us,” said Lynne Johnson, vice chairwoman of the Orleans County Legislature. “The International Joint Commission has failed us and they failed all the southshore counties along the lake.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency for the southshore counties, now in its 36th day due to flooding and erosion. More than 135,000 sandbags have been distributed in Kendall, Carlton and Yates to help property owners stave off some of the flooding and erosion.
Many property owners have lost 10 feet or more of land to the lake, which is creeping closer to homes.
“I think we’re in for a long haul,” said Dale Banker, the county’s emergency management director.
Ken DeRoller, speaking on Wednesday, said the new lake level plan has been harmful to property owners on the southshore of the lake.
He told county legislators on Wednesday that Kendall, Carlton and Yates highway departments would each have 5,000 more sandbags available for residents this weekend. The lakeshore remains under a flood warning today.
The County Legislature on Wednesday passed an official resolution calling on President Trump to rescind “Plan 2014” and appoint new IJC commissioners. Plan 2014 was called “an absolute disaster” for Orleans County, legislators said in the resolution.
The Legislature wants the three U.S. and three Canadian commissioners on the IJC to all resign. The Legislature also wants Congress to hold hearings on the IJC’s culpability “in a manmade disaster on a financial scale comparable with the contamination of the Flint, Michigan, water supply.”
County Legislator Ken DeRoller, R-Kendall, moved the resolution.
“The changed the rules of the game for lake levels,” DeRoller said. “We are asking for aggressive actions from the president to appoint new members to the board.”
Photos by Tom Rivers: Laurence’ Walker was among 37 honor grads recognized during an Academic Honors Convocation Dinner on Monday at Hickory Ridge Country Club. The honored students are all graduating with cumulative grade point average at 90 percent or higher. Walker is shown shaking hands with members of the Board of Education and school administrators.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 May 2017 at 7:08 am
Jamie (Chappius) Edwards served as keynote speaker Monday during the dinner. “Don’t be afraid of what comes next,” she said.
FANCHER – The 37 students from Albion graduating with a 90 percent of higher grade point average all have big plans for the future.
However, they shouldn’t think success is only possible following a narrow path. Jamie Lee (Chappius) Edwards, a 2007 Albion graduate, told the soon-to-graduate seniors that she went to college to become a kindergarten teacher.
The job market was tough for teachers a decade ago so she switched her major to nursing. But she didn’t feel like that was the right career for her.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Buffalo and then a master’s in higher education administration. She works for Genesee Community College in Batavia as a career services specialist.
She showed pictures of her closest classmates from 2007, with their career goals at the time and what they are currently doing. Everyone of her closest friends found a career that differed from what they were expecting at the end of their senior years in high school.
One classmate, Jeremy Reamer, is a New Hampshire police officer. Kit Lyman wrote a book and is working in Boston as an inbound consultant. Morgan Eastlack started her own wedding videography business. Joshua Kirby started his own health and wellness company in Washington. Kerri McKenna Richardson runs an agriculture program for the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership in Batavia.
“Be open to whatever comes next,” Edwards said.
Katie Mann receives her honor cords from her mother Christine Mann and father Scott.
The honor grads include: Nicholas Arieno, Rose Arnold, Kari Ashworth, Emilie Barleben, Lauren Becht, Kastriot Bela, Emily Blanchard, Shannon Broda, Sierra Chudy, Jillian Doyle, Nicole Eldred, Owen Foos, Elizabeth Furmanski, Celeste Hoffman, Jared Hollinger, Megan Leight, Mackenzie Luft, Joseph Madejski, Bailey Maier, Katherine Mann, Isabella Prest, Jacqueline Quintana Aragon, Shelby Restivo, Vivian Rivers, Donato Rosario, Karina Rosario, Katherine Rustay, Yasmeen Shabazz, Samuel Slick, Skyler Smith, Clara Stilwell, Angela Tarricone, Catherine Thom, Emma Wadhams, Laurence’ Walker, Savanah Wirth and Stephen Zayac.
Owen Foos is congratulated by his parents, Sherrie and John Foos.
Nikki Eldred shakes hands with the Board of Education members. This is the eighth time Albion has done the convocation dinner. Students and their families like the special dinner that is off campus, district officials said.
Up to $20K for repairs to small businesses or replacement of damaged property
Provided photo: Captain’s Cove is shown flooded after the big downpour on May 1. The business’s docks and marina building have all been flooded by rain and a high Oak Orchard River.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced up to $5 million in grants available for small businesses that have experienced physical damage or loss as a result of the flooding in communities along Lake Ontario.
The program provides up to $20,000 to small businesses to support the repair or replacement of damaged or destroyed real property and other tangible assets, including equipment, furniture, fixtures, supplies and inventory. Funding will be provided through Empire State Development and applications will be made available in June.
Governor Cuomo also announced that DEC permitting offices and the state’s Emergency Response Mobile Command Centers will offer weekend hours throughout the summer to assist residents and businesses.
“We are doing everything in our power to help New Yorkers impacted by flooding,” Governor Cuomo said. “Small businesses are the backbone of communities across the state, and these grants will help businesses and residents rebuild and get back to their everyday lives. By offering weekend hours at our Emergency Response Mobile Command Centers and DEC permitting offices, we are also making it easy for impacted communities to access information and resources at their convenience.”
The grant program is open to eligible applicants in the counties identified in the Governor’s state of emergency declaration announced on May 2: Cayuga, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Wayne counties. Grants will be provided for flood-related costs that have not or will not be compensated by any other federal, state or local recovery program or any third-party payers.
Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo announced $10 million in state funding will be available to assist eligible local municipalities that have been impacted by the recent flooding.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul meets with members of the National Guard during a visit in Kendall on May 11 when she also saw some of the shoreline erosion.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, “During my visits to the affected Lake Ontario communities over the past few weeks, I have seen the devastation to property as well as to the livelihoods of countless small businesses. This $5 million in small business grants will hopefully bring much needed relief to alleviate the damages and assist in recovering their losses. I was also proud to announce the $10 million Governor Cuomo provided to assist municipalities with infrastructure repairs. We are committed to continuing our ongoing support to the affected communities.”
To continue the state’s efforts in helping residents and businesses recover from flooding and damage, the NYS Emergency Response Mobile Command Centers and DEC permitting offices will offer weekend hours throughout the summer, starting Memorial Day weekend.
In addition, those who are not able to visit the Emergency Response Mobile Command Center can call the Lake Ontario Flood Assistance Hotline at 1-866-244-3839, seven days a week, from 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. for help with insurance-related issues, assistance with flood mitigation measures such as sandbags, and for technical guidance regarding on-site repairs to their property.
The NYS Emergency Response Mobile Command Center will be back on Orleans County this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Carlton at the Orleans County Marine Park, Point Breeze Road (Route 98).
As part of the Lake Ontario Rapid Response Team, DEC staff will be available at the Mobile Command Centers to help answer questions in addition to deploying a team of experienced coastal engineers to Lake Ontario to meet with property owners, conduct site visits and offer technical assistance. DEC’s engineers stand ready to work with property owners so that protective structures can be repaired and homeowners can take appropriate actions expeditiously. To date, DEC has issued 286 permits.
State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, was pleased to see the state make grants and resources available to businesses hurt by the flooding and erosion.
“While thousands of residents have been affected by this terrible flooding and weather as of late, we mustn’t forget our local campground, marina and yacht club owners who will struggle to survive this summer,” Hawley said. “These businesses rely on tourism and traffic as their lifeblood during the warmer months, and helping them repair and recover is one of my top priorities. I look forward to helping business owners access these funds when applications become available and I encourage them to contact my office with questions and concerns.”
BASOM – Let’s Go Fishing! To celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is hosting its 26th Annual Youth Fishing Derby, on Saturday, June 3.
The event will be held at Ringneck Overlook, on Oak Orchard Ridge Road. Onsite registration begins at 7:30 a.m. There is no pre-registration or reservations required. Fishing is from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The event is free and open to youths 17 years old and under, with no experience necessary. If this is your first time, some fishing gear will be available to borrow. Certificates will be awarded for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place participants in three age categories: 7 years and under, 8-12 and 13-17 years. Derby rules are available on our website (click here) or by calling 585/948-5445. Participants and helpers must comply with New York State license requirements.
This event is one of the many ways the Refuge offers to connect people with nature. Connecting People with Nature: Ensuring the Future of Conservation is a national priority of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the mission of “working to ensure that all Americans have enjoyable and meaningful experiences in the out-of-doors and develop strong life-long connections with the natural world.”
The Youth Fishing Derby is sponsored by the Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Inc., a nonprofit organization whose sole purpose is to support the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.
Individuals with disabilities and any other person who may need special assistance to participate in this program should contact the Refuge at 585/948-5445 or at the Federal Relay No. 1-800-877-8339.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 May 2017 at 11:11 am
Photo by Tom Rivers
ALBION – Students the Albion AP Biology class this morning helped plant and water flowers in 17 planters that soon will be set in downtown Albion. The top photo shows Shelby Restivo, right, and Brandon McGuire working on the project.
The students are in Sandy Climenhaga’s class. The bio students learn about flowers as part of their class. They study photosynthesis and dissect flowers to learn about plants.
“I want them to have an appreciation for their small downtown,” Climenhaga said. “Now they are invested. They can go by the flowers and know they helped do that.”
Jessy Cruz and Bryce Pritchard water the flowers, which will be placed on Main Street and in the downtown later this week.
The bio students are pictured this morning. The group includes, front row, from left: Elizabeth Furmanski, Yasmeen Shabazz, Shelb Restivo, Brandon McGuire and Leah Shildt. Back row: Sandy Climenhaga, Kirsten Wroblewski, Chanynce Powell, Kastriot Bela, Kirk Ellison, Bryce Pritchard, Jessy Cruz, Kaitlin Zwifka, Jessica Schleede, and Lisa Stratton, president of Albion Merchants Association and coordinator of the flower project.
The Village of Albion, Town of Albion and Merchants Association all shared in buying the flowers.
Kastriot Bela and Yasmeen Shabazz plant flowers this morning behind the DPW garage on Washington Street.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 May 2017 at 8:26 am
File photo: A Kendall backyard, with a concrete breakwall, is battered by Lake Ontario in this photo from May 7.
The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a lakeshore flood warning for Orleans, Niagara and Monroe counties for most of Thursday. The warning is in effect from 6 a.m. Thursday to 2 a.m. on Friday.
“The combination of high lake levels, brisk northeast winds and higher waves will result in flooding and shoreline along the Lake Ontario shoreline,” the Weather Service said.
Lakeshore property owners already have been suffering erosion and flooding the past month from a high Lake Ontario.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 May 2017 at 7:04 am
ALBION – A Ridgeway man admitted in Orleans County Court on Monday to selling cocaine.
Richard C. Turrell, 61, of Angling Road could face a maximum of 2 years in prison when he is sentenced on July 17. He was arrested in September. Turrell said in court that he had the cocaine and it was shared by some of his friends. “We all went in on it,” he told Judge James Punch.
Sharing it with friends fits the legal definition of selling. Turrell pleaded guilty to criminal possession of controlled substance in the fifth degree, which normally carries a maximum of 2 ½ years in prison.
As part of a plea deal, he will face up to 2 years and will spend time at the Willard drug treatment campus run by the state prison system.
Turrell, owner of the Rick & Ron’s automobile business, has been very cooperative in the investigation, said Joe Cardone, the district attorney.
In another case in County Court,
• An Albion man was ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor after he allegedly stole cylinders last May 27.
Christopher M. Bescherer, 35, of Lattin Road was given 30 days to pay the restitution. He has a job with a landscaping business and said he can make the restitution.
His case was handled on Tuesday by Sara Sheldon of Niagara County. Bescherer completed counseling while in jail and said he wants to live a better life.
Sheldon said she would give him a chance.
“Jail doesn’t seem to work,” she said. “Maybe the light bulb went off.”
She said Bescherer will need to come back to court on July 17 to show he paid the restitution.
No one seeking county office sought Conservative backing
The Orleans County Conservative Party Committee announced its endorsements of the following candidates for the 2017 local elections.
The Conservatives didn’t endorse anyone for a county position, because none of those candidates asked for the party’s backing, said Paul Lauricella Jr., vice chairman of the Conservative Party in Orleans County.
The town endorsements include the following for town supervisors:
• Town Supervisor of Barre – Robin Nacca
• Town Supervisor of Gaines – Carol E. Culhane
• Town Supervisor of Murray – Joseph Sidonio
• Town Supervisor of Shelby – Edward A. Houseknecht
• Town Supervisor of Yates – James Joseph Simon
Town Council positions
• Councilman of Albion – Matthew John Passarell
• Councilwoman of Gaines – Susan Marie Smith
• Councilman of Murray – Michael Whalen
• Councilman of Yates – Paul Lauricella Jr.
Other town endorsements
• Highway Superintendent of Carlton – David Krull
• Town Clerk of Gaines – Debra S. Mitchell
• Town Clerk of Kendall – Amy Richardson
• Town Clerk of Ridgeway – Karen L Kaiser
• Town Judge of Barre – Richard Decarlo Jr.
Lauricella issued this statement about the endorsements:
“We evaluate not by what you say but by how you vote. Our incumbents have displayed time after time fiscal restraint, reducing taxes and standing up against the status quo. Restraint of regulations that hurt the ordinary citizen and stifle business while protecting the integrity of our towns and county. Putting the taxpayer before the party machine and one’s own gain. Being a public servant instead of self serving. Respecting and understanding the constitution that they swear their oath of office to.
We feel that those new who we have endorsed for the first time will be instruments of change that this county sorely needs. Not going along to get along and controlling spending. As President Trump said, ‘What have you got to lose?’ You have been voting for establishment Republicans every election and what have you gotten? Tax increases , excessive spending, excessive regulations and a mass exit of people out of Orleans County. Time for change. Vote the Conservative endorsed candidate. ‘Say No to the Status Quo.'”
Photo by Tom Rivers: The waves have taken chunks of land along the shoreline, including this spot on Ed Shores Road owned by John Procopio. He has lived by the lake on Ed Rose Shores for 32 years. On May 7, when this photo was taken, Procopio said he expects to lose about a foot a year to the lake, but had already lost about 10 feet in early May.
Posted 23 May 2017 at 3:39 pm
Proposal would have state cover lost revenue to local governments
Press Release, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley
In response to the massive property damage caused by flooding across the Lake Ontario shoreline, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) will be sponsoring legislation in the Assembly that will allow municipalities to reevaluate and reduce a resident’s tax burden if property was damaged due to erosion and/or flooding.
Included in the bill are provisions to help local governments recoup lost property tax revenue by subsidizing them with state funds.
“It has been commonplace that many areas of the shoreline have completely eroded many feet inland, swallowing entire homes and businesses,” Hawley said. “As tragic as this is, it is important that these residents’ tax liabilities reflect what they have left and that the state step up to provide the difference to our local governments. I will fervently push this legislation in the Assembly and I am hopeful that it can be passed by the end of session in late June.”
Provided photos: The Albion High School Marching Band took top honors in both events they competed in at the Seneca Falls Pageant of Bands this past weekend. The top photo shows part of the band entering the judging area at Saturday’s competition in Seneca Falls.
The AHS Jazz Ensemble earned the 1st Place trophy in Class B, scoring 96 out a possible 100 points. The Purple Eagles also came home with the first place award in Open Class, after receiving a score of 91 for their 2017 show, “Bond….James Bond,” which is based on the music of that iconic spy film series.
Both the jazz and marching bands continue their competition season this coming weekend at the Darien Lake Music Festival. As always, the band will also march in Monday’s Albion Memorial Day parade.
From left: Jerico Chudy, Matt Kovaleski and Sierra Chudy play snare drums with the AHS Marching Band in Seneca Falls on Saturday.
Provided photo: The Medina Mustang Band traveled to New York City and New Jersey to perform in competition in the Music in the Parks Festival in Jackson, NJ.
This festival was started in 1981 and is a day-long event for students of choral, orchestral and band ensembles, held annually across the US. Music groups perform before adjudicators who rate the ensemble and then awards are issued at the end of the day.
There are many different categories in the Parks Festival, such as band, orchestra and choir. Each of these has a high school and junior high category. In parade, Medina won 1st place with a Superior rating and a score of 97. In Concert, they won 1st place with a Superior rating and a score of 95.5, competing against six other bands which came from larger schools. The jazz band took 1st place with a Superior rating and a score of 94. They competed against five other bands which also came from bigger schools.
Jim Steele, Medina band director, said the students did a great job in their performances. In addition to the competitions, the students and chaperones went sight-seeing around Midtown, took a boat tour around Manhattan and attended performances of “Wicked” and “Miss Saigon”. The chaperones are also to be commended for all of their diligence in keeping everyone on track with their busy schedule.
The next opportunity for the community to see the band perform their street show will be the Memorial Day parade on May 29th in Medina.