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My name is David Stalker. I currently have been serving on the Ridgeway Town Board as Ridgeway Councilman for seven-plus years. I have been endorsed through the Republican Party several times in the past presently gaining the Conservative Party endorsement running for re-election for the position Ridgeway Councilman.
During this time serving on Ridgeway Town Board, I have been involved in mediation resolution of many issues brought to the board’s attention.
During my first years serving there was talk of the Village of Medina dissolution. I was the first to speak out against this. I realize the enhance services within the village come at a cost, however not to the entire Town of Ridgeway.
I have been involved in more than one contract negotiations with the Ridgeway Fire Department that resulted in cost savings well worth the money taxpayers pay. There also have been solar projects with more in the works. The first solar project had an exceedingly small portion of distribution of funds going the Town of Ridgeway with larger amount of funds going to the School and County. I advocated for more money for the town as most of the work was performed by the town. Now the present and future solar projects are divided equally between the Town, County and School, creating more money for the Town.
I also was involved in the contract for the Town Highway Employees when it was brought to attention that Health Insurance came at no cost for Town Highway Employees. It was negotiated that all new hires would pay a portion towards those benefits. This then carried throughout to cover all newly hired Town Employees saving taxpayer money.
During the waterline project, I discussed how the engineering design created an uncompleted district. This project has since been completed by Town Employees with no engineering expense to the Town due to not being completed a few years ago as planned.
I served as a member of the Western Region Comprehensive Plan, which included representatives from the Towns of Ridgeway, Shelby, Yates and Villages of Medina and Lyndonville. We met for a little over two years with members from each municipality in the planning of protecting land use in all areas of the western region of the county.
As the Covid-19 pandemic arose, the Town had not anticipated this added expense to the budget as protocol required proper signage to be posted for the safety of employees and the community. This was going to come at a costly expense to the Town. I reached out to the local area Print Shop and all signage needed for the Town Buildings to ensure Covid -19 protocol safety was provided for free.
I have consistently looked at ways to save the Town of Ridgeway and the taxpayers money. As a local business owner, I understand the need to watch expenses and budgeting. As a former New York State Corrections Supervisor, I understand responsibility and dedication. As a former Union Leader, I understand employee rights.
I have long advocated to address the aging infrastructure at Town Hall. I say this in the involvement of upkeep to a more cost effective, efficient energy saving system. The town upgraded from oil heat with a buried oil tank to a more cost saving energy efficient natural gas system as the old system was 10-15 years old.
I have also advocated for Town-wide broadband and water. I agreed with refinancing several water districts to a lower rate of interest, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars. I was also in agreement of delaying Town-wide property assessments for another year.
I have always been your voice for the people. Thank you.
David M. Stalker
By Doug Farley, Cobblestone Museum Director – Vol. 2 No. 24
When thinking about the history of the Hamlet of Childs, one’s attention is quickly drawn to J. Howard Pratt (shown at right), who served as Town of Gaines Historian for over 30 years, active in forming the Orleans County Historical Association and one of the founding fathers of the Cobblestone Society.
Howard’s appreciation for all things historic led him to become known as Orleans County’s dean of local history, a moniker that stuck with him all throughout his 99-year life.
Mr. Pratt was born on August 15, 1889 to Mr. and Mrs. John Henry Pratt. He and his sister Florence (James) attended rural school on the Ridge Road. Howard was a member of the first agriculture class at the Albion High School, graduating in 1911. Following graduation he attended a training class and earned a certificate to teach in public schools.
Howard’s first teaching position was in 1911 at Riches Corners earning $11 per week. He then taught the upper grades in Barre Center earning $12 per week, a raise in pay he thought to be quite substantial at the time. Later schools where Howard taught included the Bullard District on Ridge Road, Oak Orchard-on-the-Ridge and finishing up his teaching career at Eagle Harbor in 1936.
Howard met the love of his life, Leola Budd, and the two were married in 1914. They had four children, Marjorie (Rustay), John, Beth (Nesbitt) and Roger. Pratt lived with his family at 12883 Ridge Road in Gaines for most of his life. The Pratt homestead was originally purchased by Howard’s grandfather in 1842. Howard’s wife Leola died in 1972.
For about 10 years, Pratt spent two weeks each summer at Cooperstown learning crafts. He later became known as the “Chair-Man” and taught chair caning classes in his home. Pratt was the organizer of the first 4-H Club, known as the “Potato Club” and during WWII, he became the Orleans County 4-H Agent. During the three years Pratt served as County Agent, he did 34 radio programs on WHAM.
Following his term with 4-H, Pratt joked that he “retired” to farming. He recalled the days he worked as a farmer and drove cattle from Williamsville near Buffalo to his pasture land on the Ridge, a distance of about 50 miles. The trip took three days to complete. All of that followed a trip to Chicago by train to buy cattle, and then a return ride with the animals in the freight car back to New York. Howard took pride in his prize winning herd of Guernsey cattle. He accumulated about 1,500 ribbons from county and state fairs for his animals.
Pratt remarked that most retellings of the American Experience, fail to mention just how hard it was, and how much sweat it took, to make a living by farming. He also remembered something as simple as the odor that lingered when his mother baked fresh muffins with honey and molasses. Or, he remembered something more specific like the clothes President McKinley wore for the parade at the Pan American Exhibition in 1901 on the day before the president was assassinated.
About the time that Howard retired from farming, the Cobblestone Society was being formed and Pratt was asked to take charge of the Society’s Cobblestone School, a position he proudly accepted and continued for much of his later life. Pratt joined forces with retired cobblestone schoolhouse teacher, Ruth Applegate (shown with Pratt above) and the two were often seen leading school tours at the District #5 Cobblestone Schoolhouse.
Howard Pratt’s efforts greeting visiting students and leading the “typical day” tour at the one room schoolhouse were cherished moments for hundreds of school children over several decades. Pratt is shown here in the Cobblestone School with students from Barnard Elementary School near Rochester in 1967. He was 78 years old at the time.
Howard, very interested in Abraham Lincoln, would often dress in Lincoln costume and whiskers and lecture groups of school children about the Great Emancipator. Pratt recalls that this “impersonation” first began when he was Historian for the Town of Gaines and he decided to pose as the nation’s 16th president during the town’s Sesquicentennial Celebration in the 1959.
Later, in June 1962, he even made a trip to Washington, D.C., where he was asked to give a talk on the life of A. Lincoln. His convincing first-person presentation at the time was described as “nothing short of startling!” Howard recalled the trip with interest, “At the Lincoln Memorial my resemblance to Lincoln created such excitement that the guards came over and told me I’d better move along. I was getting more attention than the statue.”
Similar excitement erupted at the White House during Pratt’s living history visit. “Everyone wanted to get a picture with me,” he said. Over his many years, Pratt enjoyed presenting Abraham Lincoln to thousands of grade school children throughout Orleans County and beyond.
Throughout his life Howard developed a keen insight into local history. He was first appointed historian for the Town of Gaines in 1957. In 1959 he was appointed Co-Chairman with Cary Lattin for the Gaines Sesquicentennial. In 1960, he was elected to the Cobblestone Society’s first board of directors.
In 1968 Howard received a Certificate of Commendation from the American Association for State and Local History. Howard was instrumental in establishing the Orleans County Historical Association in 1979 to continue the work which was begun for the celebration of the nation’s Bicentennial in 1976.
As a historian, Pratt turned his story telling ability into writing books on the subject. “Memories of Life on the Ridge” was his first of three books that would tell the autobiographical stories of his life His first book actually followed a five year stint writing a series of articles entitled, “Saga of the Ridge,” which were published in the Medina Journal-Register from 1964-1969. Pratt recalled that while writing those earlier articles, many folks asked him when he was going to compile the stories into a book. He responded to that with, “Now I finally have.” He said, “I never wanted to be a writer, but I always liked telling stories.” Later publications authored by Pratt included “Saga of the Ridge” in 1983, and “Life on the Ridge,” written in 1987 when Pratt was 98 years old.
When he wasn’t working on authoring one of his books about local history, Howard Pratt enjoyed his hobbies of painting (two of his paintings shown above), caning chairs, and restoring antique furniture. Howard also liked to travel and took several trips to Europe. On his third trip to Ireland he said, “I finally kissed the Blarney Stone when I was over there this summer. I love to travel and meet people because I learn so much. And, I love to talk.”
Pratt, even into his 90s, was always seen, out and about. At the age of 90 he took a nasty tumble, and fell off his roof while cleaning his gutters. After nursing his bruises, he was seen later that same year helping with repairs while standing on top of the roof at Pullman Memorial Church. Also at age 90, Howard was seen planting several peach trees in the back of his house.
Howard and his family were long time members of the Pullman Memorial Universalist Church which was dedicated in 1895. Local historian Bill Lattin recalls one time that Howards’ sister, Florence, was asked if she was present at the dedication of the church with George Pullman in attendance. She allowed how both she and her father attended. The inquisitor asked next, “Florence, did your brother Howard attend, too?” Florence replied with a droll little smile, “No. He was naughty and had to stay home.”
Sadly, Howard died at age 99, just a few months shy of his 100th birthday. He did however reflect earlier about his long life and said, “There’s no real secret to longevity. Stay active and keep working at what you enjoy.” Another typical Pratt witticism was “Everything comes to him who waits, if he works while he waits.”
I had the pleasure of training Hannah Hill, a Ridgeway resident, for the position of Second Deputy to the Town Clerk.
This position involved most aspects of the daily functions and responsibilities of a Town Clerk. Hannah was efficient, organized and professional in all the tasks she was asked to perform.
Hannah’s delightful personality and work ethic made it evident that she could stand strong in this position while serving the residents of the Town of Ridgeway or anyone who came to the Town Hall needing assistance.
Retired town clerk in Ridgeway
I am writing this letter to express my support for Karen Narburgh as Town of Carlton Clerk in the primary election.
I have had the luxury of working alongside Karen for 5 years now. She is someone who demonstrates integrity and passion every day in the workplace.
Karen Narburgh, not only knows her town’s values and standards, but she is also well educated on the states laws for clerks.
Aside from her knowledge and competence of the normal clerk duties, she knows the town, and the people of the town. She not only works for them, but she cares for them. She goes above and beyond to make sure people get answers, even when it is outside her department.
People see the hours posted and assume that is all she works, but she is constantly taking work home and arranging her schedule to meet people after hours as needed.
She has proven herself successful as a town clerk for the last seven years.
I highly encourage my fellow Republicans to vote for Karen Narburgh for Carlton Town Clerk, at the primary election, on June 22nd.
Thank you for your support.
(Ames is the town assessor for Carlton and Kendall.)
In a letter Posted June 15, 2021 Louise Passarell starts out with “this is not a letter I wanted to write.” In fact she has written before with letters September 12, 2017, November 5, 2017, September 11, 2018, and 29 October 29, 2020. All express the same position in opposition to Joe Sidonio.
This isn’t a campaign letter, I have issues with both candidates. What concerns me is that the employees of the Town of Murray are trying to impact who their bosses are, without disclosing their relationships.
Randy Bower is Louise’s cousin. As she has shown in her previous correspondences, she doesn’t like Joe.
I have found her rude and combative in meetings and in dealings with her. How the Board could make the clerk the highway superintendent was puzzling.
To be fair Joe has been pointing out the water losses for years now. Louise as well as the Board first denied then minimized the losses, which amounted to hundreds of dollars a day. The losses are still too high, but they do seem to be working on it. Nobody thought Joe would be in the ditch fixing the leaks.
I am equally concerned about the direction and changes that Joe has pushed in the Town’s zoning. I have watched Planning, Zoning Boards and the code enforcement suffer losses of members and employees because there is not clear direction or someone is attempting to influence decisions.
As I started to review the changes in zoning it became painfully clear that the review of the changes by the board had been lacking and while they have corrected the first glaring error I found, there are more and I am not their consultant, they need to review it.
I am not advocating for any candidate, I hope that the residents will start to take notice of what’s happening and register their concerns with the elected officials.
(Vendetti is a former code enforcement officer in Murray.)
Finally, we have Louise Passarell’s greatly anticipated letter.
I have attended Town meetings in Murray for 21 years and have witnessed enough good old boy back slapping to make me sick. Politicians tend to praise each other continually.
Joe Sidonio is not a politician. He is a determined and focused leader who doesn’t have time to sit around the break table stirring up gossip and complaining about insignificant issues unrelated to town business.
I find it interesting that you and Dennis Mandigo are very proud of yourselves and are quick to list your achievements after Ed Morgan’s resignation. Remember he already retired years before and was double dipping. You state that Mr. Sidonio belittled the crew. When? I have witnessed him saying thank you even after your constant attacks on him which were videotaped on YouTube. Supervisor Sidonio has publicly stated he makes himself available to work with you. You refuse.
There was a comment made about the said water pipe Sidonio analyzed. Sidonio did the right thing. Without any accusation he looked into the pipe based on the strong allegation made by a current town hall member. I commend him for doing so in light of the calamity in the water department.
Louise, who gave you the authority to sign up your fellow employee’s girlfriend for health care benefits without any town approval? Now the Town is in legal jeopardy and your actions have increased costs to the taxpayer in health care expense and legal fees.
You credit everyone including yourself for the budget reductions. If the budget savings were so readily available why hasn’t any town official made any attempt to reduce our taxes in the past?
Since you seem to be the center piece of the Town Hall you neglect to reveal one important fact. Randy Bower is your first cousin, and your sister is the town clerk.
Lastly, shame on you for the attack on Joe for his hard work on the Fancher War Monument. Although Mr. Fiorito made the contribution it is Joe who assembled the “Team” and is organizing its rededication with the help of Marsha DeFilipps, Danny Mawn and Mike Bower. Shame on you for bringing politics into such a great tribute for our fallen heroes.
Building up a commanding 18-5 halftime advantage. No. 3 seed Akron went on to defeat visiting No. 6 Medina 27-6 this afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Section VI Class D lacrosse playoffs.
Mitchell Silversmith had two goals for Medina as Zaric Boyce, Josh Wilson, Mark Reigle and Dylan Lonnen each chipped in with one.
Akron jumped out to a 9-3 lead after the opening period.
A big late inning scoring burst keyed Clarence to a 9-2 win over visiting Medina this afternoon in a regular season ending non league baseball game.
Breaking away from a 2-2 deadlock, Clarence erupted for seven runs in the fifth inning aided by three hits, three walks and an error.
Medina scored twice in the second inning on an RBI single by AJ Seefeldt and a fielders choice play off the bat of Brian Fry. A double by Corey Saj set up the threat.
Zach Fike had a pair of hits for Medina.
The loss was the first of the season for Medina which will take a 13-1 overall record into the sectionals.
The Mustangs will be seeded No. 1 in the Class B2 sectionals which begin Monday. The playoff pairings will be announced on Saturday.
Medina will face a very familiar foe in the opening round of the Section VI Class B2 softball playoffs on Monday as the Mustangs will visit Niagara-Orleans League champion Akron at 5:30 p.m.
Akron scored a pair of wins over Medina during the N-O season in route to posting a 12-0 record.
The victor will face the winner of Monday’s No. 6 Roy-Hart at No. 3 Fredonia game in the semifinals on Tuesday. The Roy-Hart game is slated for 5 p.m.
The other B2 quarterfinals will have No. 8 Cleveland Hill at No. 1 Eden and No. 5 Wilson at No. 4 Olmsted.
Today’s final regularly scheduled N-O game matching Albion at Newfane was postponed.
The Albion boys and girls track teams both placed second at the Section VI Class BB track meet held this afternoon at Olean.
East Aurroa emerged as the team champion in both the boys and girls competition.
The Albion boys got wins by Chris Shabazz in the High Jump and by the 400 Relay team of Shabazz, Ozzie Matos, Jahmeek Riley and Tony Freeman.
Shabazz also placed second in the Triple Jump as did Freeman in the 400 Hurdles, Dominic DiGiulio in the Shotput and Jahmeek Riley in the 100.
Albion’s 1600 Relay team of Freeman, Shkwe Riley, Junior Morales and Matos placed third as did Shkwe Riley in the 800.
The Albion girls had Saleya Williams win the Triple Jump.
The Purple Eagles also got second place finishes from Bri Haines in the Pole Vault and by the 400 Relay team of Abby Scanlan, Claire Squicciarini, Anna Zaczek and Honesty Little.
Squicciarini also placed third in both the 100 and 200 as did Williams in the Long Jump and Olivia Krenning in the 400.
MEDINA – It was 30 years ago when one of Pat Fox’s friends asked if she could use Fox’s backyard for photos before the prom.
Fox loves to share the space, and said yes. That friend brought her daughter, and many of her daughter’s friends. About 40 Medina students showed up with the ladies in gowns and the gentleman wearing suits or tuxes.
“That friend invited her friends and they just kept coming,” Fox said.
That was the start of a Medina tradition. Now Pat and her husband Bob have a steady stream of Medina prom attendees stop by. A week ago about 175 were in her backyard from about 3:45 to 6:15 p.m.
There was only one year the students didn’t come over. It was a major downpour that day.
Fox and her husband are grateful to host all of the students on the special day.
“It’s a tradition in Medina to come here,” Fox said this morning at her garden. “It makes me feel good. It’s a way that I can give back to the community.”
Fox is retired banker who worked with Fleet Bank in Albion and Medina. She also was a staffer for former State Assembly David Seaman of Lockport.
Tending to her garden has always been a labor of love. She has stone walkways, and flowers that are an explosion of color. The gazebo is a very popular spot for pictures. People also like the rose arbor and her llama barn.
Fox grew up on a farm and she said she likes the hard work of keeping up a garden.
“I still do all of the gardens,” Fox said. “It takes me a lot longer than it used to, but I enjoy it. This is my life and I love it.”
She relishes sitting in the back yard and watching canal boats pass by, or the cyclists and joggers. She can also see farmers planting and harvesting crops in the distance, depending on the season.
She has a gift for hospitality and is well known for her brownies. Fox and her husband 20 years ago opened the Garden View Bed & Breakfast, opening up two rooms in their home. Customers have now filled six guestbooks.
The Foxes didn’t have any guests for about a year, from March 2020 to only a few months ago. The bed & breakfast is another way to share her home and property with people.
“We have met so many wonderful people over the years,” Fox said about her customers at the bed & breakfast and the students and their families who stop by for photos. “God has given me a good life and I want to give back.”
A Governor drowning in scandals. Streets awash in the blood of innocent crime victims. An economy battered by the Covid pandemic and hollowed out by New York’s oppressive business climate. Despite our state’s so-called “full reopening,” we are seeing thousands of New Yorkers fleeing to more affordable places across the country.
The Empire State has no shortage of serious problems, and this year’s 2021 Legislative Session gave lawmakers the perfect opportunity to tackle these challenges.
But instead, Democrats who control all the levers of state government in the Governor’s Office, the Senate and the Assembly chose to do the opposite. One Party Rule in Albany made these problems even worse.
They began by passing the biggest, most irresponsible budget in state history, further cementing New York’s reputation as the most heavily taxed state in the nation. They increased taxes on New Yorkers by billions of dollars, while simultaneously approving a $420 million giveaway to Hollywood fat cats. They failed to restore property tax rebate checks for New York homeowners, but gave cash payments of more than $15,000 apiece to non-US citizens.
Once their reckless budget was done, Democrats devoted the rest of the legislative session to “criminal justice priorities.”
During a crime wave like we’ve been experiencing in this state, most New Yorkers would imagine “criminal justice priorities” to include toughening penalties for criminals, providing funding and support for law enforcement, and doing everything possible to help crime victims. But not in this town. Instead, Senate Democrats did the exact opposite, pushing radical proposals to put even more violent criminals back on our streets while making it even tougher for cops and District Attorneys to do their jobs.
Under One Party Rule, we now have a state government that doesn’t view hardworking, law-abiding taxpayers as a priority. Instead, radical left-wing causes are the priority. Criminals who have broken the law and victimized New Yorkers are the priority. The reelection campaigns of Democratic legislators who live in fear of powerful leftist interest groups are the priority.
Our government in Albany considers police, corrections officers and District Attorneys to be the enemy rather than dedicated professionals who keep our communities safe. They see the business community as adversaries, or merely as sources of revenue, instead of critical foundational assets that bring prosperity and opportunity to millions.
Time and again throughout this year’s session, our Senate Republican Conference offered practical solutions to Reset New York by revitalizing our economy, making our state safer and more affordable for millions of New Yorkers, and reforming state government. Sadly, under One Party Rule, these sensible proposals were blocked over and over again.
Critically missing from this year’s session was any sense of accountability over those in power. In fact, as the allegations against Governor Cuomo began piling up – from covering-up the 15,000 nursing home deaths, to his outrageous $5.1 million dollar book deal, to the many credible claims of sexual harassment and abuse – Senate Democrats repeatedly and shamelessly blocked our efforts to get the truth and hold the Governor accountable. They also proudly concluded the Legislative Session and left Albany without stripping the Governor of his “emergency” powers – powers that he has used and abused for far too long throughout this pandemic.
What does this mean for law-abiding New Yorkers?
Expect your taxes to go up, the chaos to continue, and your quality of life to remain in jeopardy. This year’s disastrous legislative session made one thing crystal clear: the radicals who now dominate the Senate Majority Conference do not care about you. They are completely out-of-touch with the needs, concerns and priorities of everyday New Yorkers.
Hardworking, law-abiding, taxpaying New Yorkers must join together and continue fighting back – harder than ever before – to restore balance, accountability and common sense to our state government.
Ortt is the State Senate Republican leader and his Senate district includes Orleans, Niagara and part of western Monroe counties.