Month: May 2014

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Posted 7 November 2020 at 7:00 am

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Travel Thoughts by Kim

By Kim Pritt, Contributor Posted 28 November 2020 at 1:28 pm

Let’s go on an adventure together….to Alaska!

Some of the stunning views you’ll see while cruising through the Inside Passage of Alaska.

I know you don’t really want to think about the cold, right now…neither do I! But, I’m still going to take you on an adventure to Alaska via a wonderful cruise I took with a friend in June 2016.

I always dreamed of going on an Alaskan cruise – in fact, when I got married in 1985, we talked about going on an Alaskan cruise for our honeymoon. Since that didn’t happen, this particular adventure was still on my Bucket List. So, when a friend from church asked if I’d go with her, I jumped at the chance!

There are a few different cruise lines that go through Alaska and a few different ways to experience the cruise. We heard that Holland America was the best when it came to Alaska, so that is the line we chose.

As far as ways to experience the cruise, here are the basic ones (there are some other variations, but these are the usual ways): 1) you can do just the “sea” part – a week long cruise with stops at various ports where you can get off the ship and explore.

2) “Land and Sea” – usually two weeks where you tour via land, first – typically parts of the Yukon and Denali and then you do the sea part as described in # 1.

Just a sample of the incredible views from the train ride through the Skagway area countryside and into the Yukon.

3) “Sea and Land” – same as # 2, but the parts are switched so you do the cruise part first and the land part second. There are several other variables, depending on which cruise line and which cruise within the cruise line you choose – I suggest you get books from all the cruise lines and review / compare each of the cruises each line offers.

I can say, though, that based on what I hear from others who have gone and from my own experience, that Holland America is likely the best cruise line when going to Alaska. Of course, that is personal opinion, but many I’ve talked to agree.

Another tip I picked up from talking to others who did the whole shebang is to pick a cruise that does the Land portion first – you do a lot of moving luggage and different hotels and modes of transportation, so it tends to be more tiring and then you get on the cruise ship for a week and it is a more relaxing way to end the trip. Something to think about, anyway.

After giving all the different ways to see Alaska, we decided to do just the Sea version. We gave it a lot of thought and, at the time, we liked only being gone for one week, instead of two or more, and we were happy with the areas of Alaska the trip covered. So, that was our choice, at that time, and it was wonderful. However, I do sometimes feel sad I didn’t get further into the Yukon and Denali, so I would love to go, again, and do the whole experience.

When you go is a big factor, too. If you pick peak season – mid to late summer – it can be more pricey. But, if you go too early or late in the season, you could run into bad weather and some places you might hope to see/do may be closed or inaccessible. We decided to go the end of June and that year it ended up being perfect. No matter when you go, pack for anything! We ran into rain, snow, super cold, and amazing sunny 80 degree days – all in the same week! We were so glad we packed everything from short sleeves to a winter coat!

But – the most important advice I can give you is that this may be one cruise where you consider paying a bit more for a balcony/veranda room. We did and were so glad we did. I’ll get into the specific times it was so well worth the price as this article goes on, but, for now, suffice it to say – I recommend you give it serious consideration and if your budget will allow – DO IT!

No photo will ever do justice to the spiritual beauty of Glacier Bay, Alaska.

Our cruise sailed out of Vancouver and was a round trip that also ended in Vancouver. And the first day was all at sea cruising through the Inside Passage. This was our first hint that we were glad to have chosen a balcony room. For most of this day, we cruised close enough to land to get stunning views from the comfort of our private balcony. We also spent a great deal of time exploring the ship and taking in some of the wonderful activities.

Our first port stop was Juneau – the capital and third largest city in Alaska. We chose an excursion that included whale watching tour and a hike through a rain forest to see Mendenhall Glacier. We saw LOTS of very active whales and even some playful sea lions – it was amazing!

It was my first whale watching experience – I have since gone whale watching in Hawaii and off the coast of Portugal, but the best one is still the one I did in Alaska. Mendenhall Glacier was awesome and the hike through the rain forest gave us sightings of several bald eagles, cute little mouse-like creatures we never did find out what exactly they were, and a huge porcupine sitting in the tree right above our heads just watching us walk by and posing for photos.

The next day was my second favorite day of the entire trip – Skagway. We fell in love with Skagway – a lovely, picture perfect little mining town. It was also my favorite shore excursion. We chose a train ride that took us through the Skagway area country side and two miles into the Yukon (so, we did get to see some of it, even though we didn’t choose the Land and Sea option) and back. If you go and have this train ride as an option, I highly recommend it. I also recommend you pay the extra money to get to ride in the luxury car – so worth it! Instead of the bench seats with two per seat, everyone had a comfortable high back leather swivel seat with unobstructed views of the scenery….and free mimosas – just sayin’! The views were spectacular as the train snaked through the country side along the edge of mountains with valleys, rivers, and waterfalls galore.

This tunnel in Ketchikan is in the Guinness Book of World Records because it is the only tunnel in the world where you can go through it, over it, around it, and when the tide is right, you can also go under it.

The next day was THE BEST day and the one day that absolutely makes getting a balcony room so well worth the extra cost, if you can manage it – Glacier Bay. I hear that not all cruises go through Glacier Bay – some of the bigger ships can’t go in. So, if there is one decision that takes your trip over the top, it is to choose one that includes going through Glacier Bay – seriously!

This is a bay that is full of glaciers and views that will literally take your breath away – I stood there and cried, it was so awe-inspiring. It is a National Park and state law prohibits ships to play loud music or make any loud noises, so everyone was encouraged to make as little noise as possible. It was perfectly silent as we cruised through the glaciers – even the seagulls weren’t making noise. The only noise was an occasional sound like a gunshot and crack and splash as a piece of a glacier broke off and fell into the water (called “calving”) to make small icebergs.

It was eerie, peaceful, reverent, and amazing. And, we got to experience it from the deck chairs on our balcony – not standing on deck with several hundred other people – and we could pop in the room every once in a while to warm up without losing our spot. And, we thought we might miss part of the views because we were only on one side of the ship, but the tour goes around one way and then goes back around, so both sides of the ship gets to see every inch of the bay.

Our last port was Ketchikan – Alaska’s First City and claims to be the Salmon Capital of the World. Ketchikan was an interesting and fun little town, but more commercialized and touristy than the other places we visited. We didn’t take a formal shore excursion in this port – we just explored on our own and took a trolley to a Totem Pole Park that was really nice.

Our last day was cruising through the Inside Passage back to Vancouver – a great way to wind down the trip.

Alaska is amazing! I really do want to go back and do the whole experience – Land and Sea. However you choose to do your visit, I’m sure you’ll find it to be magical.

Visit my blog post for more photos and info from my amazing Alaskan Cruise:

Happy Adventuring!

Historic Childs: Electricity powered many labor-saving devices in homes (Part 3)

Posted 28 November 2020 at 10:46 am

By Doug Farley, Cobblestone Museum Director

CHILDS – In the past two weeks, we have looked at how electricity first came to the Hamlet of Childs and the dramatic effect it had on changing how people lived their lives.

It was said, “Electricity is the only servant you will ever need!” Times had changed. In the early-1800s, if you were fortunate enough to have rugs in your home, the homemaker would probably clean them by hanging them over a line outdoors and then swatting them with a carpet beater.

Fast forward 50 years or more and the Victorian home might have the Eureka Pneumatic Cleaner as seen above in the Ward House in the Hamlet of Childs.

Actual operation of this vacuum was cumbersome at best. It was a heavy, two-person endeavor that required someone to pump the handle to create suction and someone else to direct the wand to the area to be cleaned.

Moving forward to the decade known as the Roaring ’20s, we find a much improved cleaner called the Airway as seen here at the Vagg House in Childs.  This upright electric vacuum cleaner was produced by the Air-Way Sanitizor Company beginning in 1920. Company advertising stated this revolutionary machine “could be found in modern homes the world over!”

Housewives throughout time have probably shared a distain for laundry day. Certain chores have been worse than others, but most folks would agree that ironing is a chore they don’t enjoy. Electricity changed that, at least to some degree.

Prior to installing electricity in the home, homemakers would have removed wrinkles from their family’s clothes and linens using a heavy iron made of cast-iron. The iron would need to be heated on a wood or coal stove before it was used. Controlling the temperature of the “appliance” was iffy at best. Certainly many a shirt was scorched in the process.

Electricity added a new level of convenience to the chore. Not only were the new electric irons lighter, they had switches to control the temperature of the iron. An early electric iron is shown above.  This model had another benefit in that the iron itself was cordless. The base unit held the electric cord and when used, it would heat up the iron to a suitable temperature.

If we move forward another 20 years to World War II, we start to see another appliance added to the home to help with ironing clothes, the electric mangle. Relatively speaking, this was a pretty large appliance compared to the simple iron. It consisted of a cloth covered roller inside a freestanding white enamel cabinet that heated up and pressed clothes by applying pressure between the roller and a metal plate. The model shown here was owned and used by Hamlet of Child’s resident, Nellie Vagg, wife of blacksmith Joseph Vagg.

Today, with modern blended fabrics and de-wrinkle settings on clothes dryers, we don’t pay a lot of attention to pressing clothes.  This was not the case during the Baby Boom years when an assortment of electrical appliances were created to help with the task. In the above photo we see two such devices, an electric tie presser and pants creaser.

The last item we will look at today, shown above, is an appliance you probably have not seen very often, if at all.  See if you can guess what it’s used for.  It was usually found in the kitchen, but could have been located in other rooms, too.

If you guessed a DE-FLY-ER Model 1600 by DE-BUG-ER INC., you win the Kewpie Doll!  This appliance was designed to rid your household of flying and crawling insects using invisible vapors. (Don’t breathe too deeply though, the device used benzene hexachloride, a known carcinogen, today!)  The patent date shown here is 1950, and at that date, electricity had finally become available in all of Orleans County.

Our next article of Electricity Comes to Childs (Part 4) will take a look at even more labor savings appliances that found prominence in the all-electric kitchen after World War II.

With Republicans powerless in NY government, turn to Libertarians

Posted 28 November 2020 at 10:11 am


Congratulations to the New York State Republican Party on becoming New York’s largest third party! With the incoming Democratic supermajority in the State Senate, the NYGOP has officially ceased to have any relevance whatsoever in state politics.

There is literally nothing they can do, now that the Democrats will be able to pass any and all legislation they want, including tax hikes on the middle and working classes, gun rights restrictions, and job-crushing regulations, all without fear of the Governor’s veto.

Democrats will also be able to redraw Assembly, Senate and Congressional districts however they please, since Republicans will no longer be able to obstruct the process or ensure a fair outcome, meaning more extreme gerrymandering to cement the Democrats’ gains and ensure Republicans never retake the State Senate.

The policies and tax burden driving residents away in record numbers will only get worse, forcing ever-increasing numbers of residents to move to other states.

How did this happen? It’s quite simple, really: the Republican Party has no values and nothing to offer this state. They have no ideas, no solutions, and no spine. They trot out a sacrificial lamb every four years to run against Cuomo and complain about how bad things are, then they disappear until the next election.

Worse yet, they voted with Democrats to give King Cuomo unlimited emergency powers to address the pandemic, which translated into a months-long lockdown that decimated small businesses and destroyed thousands of livelihoods. Republicans are just as responsible for this travesty as Democrats. If that’s how they legislate, then they deserve to be relegated to third-party status with zero influence on state politics.

Who then can stand in opposition to the Democrats’ disastrous policies that are driving New York State on a road to ruin? There is another party: the Libertarian Party, which is actually committed to making New York a better place to live.

America’s third-largest party is ready to emerge as the next major party and work with Democrats and Republicans alike to implement policies that will increase everyone’s access to the American Dream and achieve liberty and justice for all Americans.

Learn more about the Libertarian Party by clicking here or email to get involved today.

The Libertarian Party is New York’s best and last chance to avert a calamity unparalleled in this state’s history, so what are you waiting for? The Republicans aren’t going to save you!

Change your party, change your vote. Join the Libertarian Party today!

Chase Tkach


Chair of Orleans County NY Libertarian Party

Proceeds from #MedinaStrong shirts shared with OCH Foundation, Office for Aging

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 November 2020 at 9:09 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – The leaders of the #MedinaStrong shirt effort have shared the proceeds from sales of the shirts. The Orleans Community Health Foundation received $2,580 in the spring and then another $1,000 on Friday. The Office for the Aging received $1,000 on Friday.

Pictured from left include Melissa Blanar, director of the Orleans County Office for the Aging; Shawn Ramsey, owner of Canalside Tattoo; Scott Robinson, president of Medina Area Partnership and co-owner of the Shirt Factory Café; Chris Kozody, co-owner of Shirt Factory Café and originator of #MedinaStrong; and Heather Smith, director of the OCH Foundation.

Chris Kozody and Scott Robinson, co-owners of the Shirt Factory Café in Medina along with Scott’s wife Alix Gilman, were considering how to encourage the community back in late March. That’s when many businesses and the schools were closed to in-person learning or in-person customers due to the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions from the state to slow the spread.

Kozody and the Robinsons thought “#MedinaStrong” would be a good rallying cry for the community, encouraging residents and businesses to stay positive during a tough time.

The Shirt Factory hosted a #MedinaStrong cocktail party through Facebook live in late March with about 50 people tuning in, including former residents who moved to Washington, DC and Florida.

The #MedinaStrong message was connecting with residents. Kozody made an 8-foot-long “#MedinaStrong” sign that he put in the back of his pickup truck and used for deliveries.

Provided photos: Scott Robinson and Chris Kozody are pictured in the spring with an 8-foot “#MedinaStrong” sign Kozody had in his truck, which he used for Shirt Factory deliveries.

Robinson, president of Medina Area Partnership, saw the momentum with the message.

Shawn Ramsey, owner of Canalside Tattoo, was shut down in the spring due to the state restrictions. He also saw power in “#MedinaStrong.”

Kozody, Robinson and Ramsey decided to have T-shirts made with the message with the proceeds going to a local organization that serves the community.

The first shirts were red and 200 went quickly. Ramsey sold many from his Canalside website. He made frequent trips to the Post Office, sending shirts to former residents who have moved out-of-state.

Those shirts were a sell-out and a second batch of shirts, in blue, were made and all 120 of those are gone. The proceeds from the first group of shirts went solely to the OCH Foundation with profit from the second group of shirts split between the Foundation and the Office for the Aging.

The OCH Foundation received $3,580 total from the shirt sales. Heath Smith, Foundation director, said the money will be used to help Orleans Community Health with some of its Covid-19 expenses.

The Office for the Aging received $1,000 and Melissa Blanar, director of the OFA, said it will be used for the Meals on Wheels program, which has seen a 15 percent increase since March.

Roy-Hart honors fall season athletes

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 28 November 2020 at 9:07 am

Putting the  finishing touch on a fine fall season, which saw Roy-Hart earned both boys and girls Niagara-Orleans League soccer titles, the Rams held their awards ceremony this past week.

Earning Most Valuable Player Awards were Jay Heideman (cross-country), McCarthy Lang and Carter Green (golf), Justine Laverty and Lexiss Diel (offense varsity field hockey), Becca Berner and Claire Halstead (defense varsity field hockey), Trent Choate (offense varsity soccer), Dominic Peracciny (defense varsity soccer), Kara Choate (girls varsity soccer), Ava DiGiacomo and Abby Glyshaw (modified field hockey), Jayden Swygert (defense boys JV soccer), Jack Johnson (offense boys JV soccer), Grace Trembley (offense girls JV soccer) and Emma Marsillo (defense girls JV soccer).

Most Improved Player awards were presented to Samantha McIntyre (girls cross-country), Lawson Wallworth (boys cross-country), Nate Beyer (golf), Alayna Kowalski (modified field hockey), Christian Lates (boys varsity soccer), Amelia Konstanty (girls varsity soccer), Braden Ricker (boys JV soccer) and Hannah Giroux (girls JV soccer).

The Coaches Awards were presented to Julia Miles (girls cross-country), Bryan Baes (golf), Miah Glena (field hockey), Dillen Giertz (boys varsity soccer), Brooke Livergood and Mya Quinn (girls varsity soccer), Cayla Burch (modified field hockey), Caleb Verratti (boys JV soccer) and Sophia Santella (girls JV soccer).

Five Year Awards were presented to McCarthy Lang (golf), Aidan Bligh (soccer), Clara Jones (soccer) and Mya Quinn (soccer).

Recipients of the Rampage Award were Jay Heideman, McCarthy Lang, Lexiss Diel, Justine Laverty, Kara Choate, Dom Peracciny, Nadia White, Peter Martillotta and Trent Choate.

Medina lights Christmas tree at Rotary Park to kick off holiday celebration

Photos by Tom Rivers: David and Trudi Schwert are pictured in Medina’s Rotary Park this evening after a tree-lighting celebration. The Schwerts will serve as grand marshals of the 12th annual Parade of Lights on Saturday, which this year will be a reverse parade at Medina Central School, with motorists driving by stationary floats.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 November 2020 at 9:02 pm

David and Trudi Schwert honored at tree-lighting, will serve as parade grand marshals on Saturday

MEDINA – The village held a low-key tree-lighting ceremony this evening at Rotary Park to avoid drawing a big crowd to the park at the corner of Main and East Center streets.

But the event was still a chance to show appreciation for David and Trudi Schwert. The couple moved to Medina in 2010 and immediately became involved in community causes, including helping to plan the annual Parade of Lights. They would raise money for the event, distribute cards promoting the event in the community, and help with staging the floats at the Olde Pickle Factory before they went on a route in front of several thousand people.

This evening’s tree-lighting was the first they had been to because that event is normally just before the start of the parade. They couldn’t be at those tree lightings because they were helping to organize the order of the floats and lighted fire trucks.

Mrs. Schwert served as a parade marshal, walking on the route on Park Avenue, helping to make sure the floats were moving at a steady pace before they turned onto Main Street.

The couple will serve as a parade grand marshals on Saturday, doing a ribbon-cutting at 5 p.m. and they driving the first car on the parade route through the Medina school campus, starting at the elementary school and going past six parking lots with floats until going past the high school. It’s a “reverse parade” that ends on Maple Ridge Road.

Trudi Schwert, right, said the Medina community has been very welcoming to her and her husband. She spoke during a tree-lighting ceremony this evening. Jim Hancock is second from right.

The Schwerts aren’t part of the parade committee this year. They praised the organizers for finding a way to keep the event going during a pandemic with restrictions on crowd sizes. This time there won’t be a crowd. Everyone will pass by the floats in vehicles.

“It really is a brilliant idea,” Mrs. Schwert said.

She and her husband have been married 55 years. They raised three children. They both worked at Alfred State College with Mr. Schwert a biology professor and Mrs. Schwert working as a director of academic advising.

When they retired from Alfred, they bought a campgrounds in Houghton. They ran that for 15 years before selling that business. They were looking for a small town near Rochester and decided on Medina.

“We came to visit on a Saturday and everybody who passed us said hello,” Mrs. Schwert said. “People were so friendly to us.”

The two wanted to involved in the community and joined the effort to put on the big parade. Mr. Schwert also has been active on the board of trustees for the Lee-Whedon Memorial Library and Mrs. Schwert is very involved at the First Presbyterian Church of Medina.

The tall Christmas tree was lighted up for the first time this evening for the holiday season. Takeform in Medina made the letters along the edge of the park with Christmas messages.

Jim Hancock, chairman of the Parade of Lights, said the Schwerts and other volunteers have been essential in the annual event.

“It takes a whole village,” Hancock said. “They have been with us from the very beginning.”

Saturday’s “reverse parade” will include about 20 floats and decorated vehicles. Hancock said the parade committee wanted to keep the event going, even though it will look different this year.

“It’s going to be a nice array of trucks and floats,” Hancock said. “It will be a nice diversion with so many things being cancelled this year.”

Albion businesses urge community to ‘shop small’ on Saturday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 November 2020 at 4:39 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: This group helped plan Small Business Saturday in Albion. They are pictured in Tara Thom quilt shop on East Bank Street. Pictured from left include Courtney Henderson (owner of Milk and Honey) and her daughter Lair Alchin, Maureen Bennett (owner of A Lil’ Cottage Chic), Tara Thom (owner of Town and Country Quilt Shop), Beth Schorer, (owner of Beth’s Sewing Box) and Cliff Thom, who assisted in planning the event.

ALBION – Many of Albion’s locally owned businesses are working together in a Small Business Saturday event, urging people to give the local merchants a chance and not spend so much money online with Amazon or through the Big Box stores.

The local stores tomorrow are offering a “shop hop” where people have a chance to win a $100 gift card through members of the Albion Merchants Association. That’s if people get a passport for the event stamped by 10 locations. If they get it stamped by five businesses they have a chance at winning a gift basket.

Many of the stores in the downtown, on Ridge Road and the Arnold Gregory Office Complex will have in-store specials and prizes.

The AMA wants the community to know the stores have been resilient during the pandemic, and together they offer a variety of merchandise and services.

“People say we don’t have anything in Albion but we literally have everything,” said Courtney Henderson, owner of Milk & Honey in Albion, a women’s and children’s clothing boutique.

She is one of the businesses offering discounts for Small Business Saturday, as well as exclusive “swag bags” for the first 10 customers who spend $100.

She is one of the 10 locations on the shop hop. The others include Laura Loxley Vintage Inspired Goods, Town & Country Quilter, The Flying Needle and Thread, Beth’s Sewing Box, The Olde Dogge Inn, How Sweet It Is Bakery (pop up shop at Tinsel), Downtown Browsery, Red Check Rustic and The Backroom – Pretty Sweet Bakery & A Lil’ Cottage Chic.

Saturday’s shop hop will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be a country fair at Arnold Gregory’s and Dubby’s Wood Fired Pizza will be at Tinsel’s from noon to 5 p.m.

$5.9 million upgrade to emergency radio system expected to be ready in December

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 November 2020 at 12:10 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Workers from Upstate Tower Inc. last week are shown doing final work and inspections on the new 180-foot-high radio tower by the Orleans County Public Safety Building on Route 31.

This is one of four new radio towers in the county. Upstate Tower also installed two other 180-foot-high towers in Kendall near the school’s bus garage and in Yates on Millers Road near the water tank.

The other tower is 150 feet high near the Holley water tank on Route 237.

Upstate Tower is doing final inspections on the 700/800Mhz L3 Harris P25 Digital Public Safety Radio System. The county received a $5,897,141 million grant from the state for the project, which includes access roads, antennas, microwaves, shelters, standby generators, propane tanks and security fences.

Finger Lakes Communications, a contractor for L3 Harris, will be doing final hookup and system testing from Nov. 30 through Dec. 11, with the final cut-over expected in late December, said Dale Banker, director of the Orleans County Emergency Management Office.

The $6 million upgrade will strengthen communications between multiple jurisdictions and agencies.

“This project will greatly improve radio system coverage for the 1,300 system users and improve public safety for all residents of Orleans County,” Banker said.

The NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provided the nearly $5.9 million grant through the Office of Interoperable Communications. Banker, who serves as 700/800 MHz Radio System Administrator, also credited the support and efforts of the Orleans County Legislature, Orleans County Treasurer’s Office, Emergency Management staff and grant personal, Orleans County DPW, the Orleans County Radio Advisory Board and County Attorney Kathy Bogan.

“I also want to thank the Village of Holley, Kendall School District and Village of Lyndonville for their great partnership and cooperation allowing Orleans County to have ground lease agreements to co-locate our tower sites on their properties,” he said.

Medina will be busy on Saturday for Olde Tyme Christmas celebration

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 27 November 2020 at 9:25 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: Cobblestone The Girl Scouts in the Cobblestone Service Unit won the “Littlest Elf Award” for their float in the Nov. 24, 2018 parade.

MEDINA – In spite of the Covid pandemic, the village of Medina has found ways to celebrate their annual Christmas in Medina, scheduled on Saturday.

While the annual Christmas in Medina will have a different look this year, there will be a celebration on Saturday, which will conclude with the Parade of Lights in a reverse format.

Cindy Robinson and Kathy Blackburn are the annual chairs of the day-long event in Medina, which will begin with the Home for the Holidays 5K at 9 a.m. That event is sold out.

Residents are invited to join merchants for Shop Small Saturday, with specials being offered by many local small town merchants.

One local shopper is Karen Sawicz, owner of the Orleans Hub and Lake Country Pennysaver, who prefers to shop as much as possible with small local merchants in Orleans County, because she believes they are the backbone of the county in providing jobs as well as goods and services.

Shopping local and supporting small town businesses is crucial to their existence, especially with the hardships caused by the pandemic.

Due to Covid restrictions, visits with Santa on Saturday will be at the Senior Center on West Avenue this year. Children and parents can enter through one door and exit through the other, thereby adhering to social distancing. Masks will be required and there will be no sitting on Santa’s lap this year.

Santa and Mrs. Claus’ schedule for their appearances at the Santa House in Rotary Park throughout the holiday season will be posted on Medina’s Olde Tyme Christmas Facebook page and in store windows.

Here is map for the “reverse parade” on Saturday at the Medina school campus. The floats will be stationary and people will pass by them in vehicles. The entrance is on West Oak Orchard Street at the Oak Orchard Elementary School drive. Vehicles will exit on Maple Ridge Road near the high school.

The fourth annual Parade of Lights Toy Drive, led by Andrew Szatkowski, also had to adapt this year, and instead of collecting toys downtown, they are hosting a “Santa Hat Drive” at the start of the parade. Volunteer elves with Santa hats, much like a fireman’s boot drive, will be at the parade to collect spare change. All donations will go directly to local groups to help make a brighter Christmas for kids in Orleans County.

The Cutest Little Elf contest has gone virtual this year. Pictures can be submitted to Medina’s Olde Tyme Christmas Facebook page from this Saturday through Dec. 12. Winners will be based on how many “likes” a photo receives. Prizes will be provided by hometown businesses.

The Children’s Window Scavenger Hunt theme this year will be “The Night Before Christmas Mouse.” Entry forms are available online at and at the English Rose Tea Shoppe, 527 Main St.

The Canal Village Farmers’ Market will take on a Christmas theme every Saturday until Christmas. The market is located at the corner of West Avenue and West Center Street.

The traditional children’s activities offered by downtown merchants will be available this year for two weeks – on Saturday through Dec. 12 (unless otherwise noted) during each business’s regular hours. This is to avoid large crowds which might violate Health Department recommendations.

Shoppers can enter to win an electric toy train by dropping off a non-perishable food item at the English Rose Tea Shoppe and receiving one raffle ticket for each item donated. Donations will be given to the Medina Food Pantry. Also at the English Rose Tea Shoppe, kids can pick up their special Santa Claus stationary to write their letter to Santa. Letters can be mailed in a special mail box in front of Rotary Park. The Tea Shoppe will also be handing out free samples of their most popular teas.

Alexandra Peracciny Photography on the second floor at 519 Main St. will be offering a holiday photo card/frame kit. Also, a complimentary photo booth will be set up in the studio from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.

At Case-Nic Cookies at 439 Main St, kits to “Frost Your Own Cookie” will be sold for $1, with the proceeds going to the Medina Food Pantry.

Creekside Floral at 509 Main St. will offer a surprise “take and make” craft to complete at home.

Children can pick up a picture at Blissetts, 449 Main St., for a coloring contest. Pictures should be returned to blissetts by Dec. 12 to be entered to win a prize.

At the Book Shoppe, 519 Main St., there will be a take and make snowman bookmark craft.

Upscale Overstock at 339 North Main St. will offer a different take home kids’ craft each week.

Also at 339 North Main St., Mandeo’s Candy Shoppe will have cups of hot chocolate (with surprise ingredients, such as a peppermint stick or chocolate spoon) to make at home. Cost is $3 and proceeds will be donated to Anchoring Hope of New York and Buffalo Sabres Warriors Sled Hockey Program.

The Downtown Browsery at 413 Main St. will offer a take and make Santa ornament and a letter to Santa on which children can put their wish list. It can be returned to the Browsery and put in the Letters to Santa mailbox. The Browsery is also one of the locations for the MAAC collection barrels, and shoppers are encouraged to drop off a new toy to help make Christmas special for those less fortunate.

Since Canalside Tattoo can’t host the toy drive this year, they got together with Erin Townsend Photography to make 2021 calendars which they will sell for $30.

A variety of take and make crafts will also be available at Lyric & Lizzy Boutique, 335 North Main St.

Santa and Mrs. Claus make their way to the Medina Theatre after a parade through the downtown last year on Nov.30 when they rode in an old Medina fire truck. This year they will be at the Senior Center on West Avenue. Children and parents can enter through one door and exit through the other to adhere to social distancing. Masks will be required and there will be no sitting on Santa’s lap this year.

Anyone who brings a small baby item to Herbalty Collage will receive a “Stress-Free Holiday Bath Soak.” Baby items will be donated to Care Net of Greater Orleans.

Shoppers can drop off a gift for children and/or teenagers in the MAAC barrel at Ashlee’s Place, 116 East Center St.

As is the tradition, the day will be topped off with the spectacular Parade of Lights, which definitely has a different look this year. There will not be the traditional fireworks, but Instead of the parade passing by the spectators, the parade will be stationary and the spectators will drive by it. This is to eliminate the big crowds which usually gather on Main Street.

This year, cars will enter the parade route on West Oak Orchard Street at the Oak Orchard Elementary School drive near Genesee Street. Genesee Street will be closed to traffic. Cars are to proceed to the parade entrance and follow the route through the school campus, exiting at the high school on Maple Ridge Road. The parade will start promptly at 5 p.m., immediately after a ribbon cutting near Vets Park with parade marshals Dave and Trudy Schwert. Parade floats will be on display until 8 p.m., according to parade chairman Jim Hancock.

Lyndonville honors fall sports athletes

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 27 November 2020 at 8:54 am

Capping off the season Lyndonville High honored its fall sports athletes in a ceremony this past week.

For girls varsity soccer, Lily Jo Carpenter received the Coaches Award while Ella Lewis was named Most Valuable Player and Erin Kiefer the Most Improved Player.

Lewis, who led the Lady Tigers in scoring with 14 goals, has also earned Genesee Region League All-Star honors. Carpenter, Kaylee Nesbitt, Brooklyn Brown, Carina Kingsbury, Emma Roush and Gracie Cogovan all received Honorable Mention.

For boys variety soccer, Russell Stephens was named the Defensive MVP and Nathan Dillenbeck the Offensive MVP.

Dillenbeck, who led the team in scoring with 23 goals, has also earned first team All-League honors as have Stephens and Casey Winiecki. Jack Whipple was a second team honoree while Anthony Moule and Alex Barry were Honorable Mention selections.

For cross-country, Michael Marker was named the MVP and Austin Gardner the Most Improved runner.

For boys JV soccer, Owen Mank was named the Defensive MVP, Sebastian Temich the Offensive MVP and Mason Nicholson the Midfield MVP.

Temich led the team in scoring with 17 goals and 3 assists. Nicholson had 4 goals and 6 assists and Trenton Muck 1 goal and 1 assist. Owen Mank provided strength on the defensive side and Payton Grabowski in goal was 5 for 5 on stopping penalty kicks.

Albion residents urged to ‘Deck the Town’ and decorate their homes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 November 2020 at 8:29 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: This home on South Clinton Street is pictured on Thanksgiving in Albion. The Albion Merchants Association wants to see more houses decorated for the Christmas holiday.

ALBION – The Albion Merchants Association is offering $900 in gift cards to homeowners who decorate their houses for the upcoming Christmas holiday.

The AMA is hosting its first “Deck the Town” contest, with a goal to spread joy and make the community shine bright, the group said.

The contest includes a $500 gift card to AMA businesses for first place, a $300 gift card for second and a $100 gift card for third. Voting will be done by the public through Facebook. People are welcome to submit photos of exterior of their decorated homes through the Albion Merchants Association’s Facebook page or by email,

Voting will be done through a Facebook album. All submitted entries will be posted with photo and address (no names, but address for public viewing). The winners will be chosen based on the most likes. Winners will be announced December 25th and receive a gift card redeemable at AMA businesses.

The eligible houses need to be located between Route 31A and 104, and between Lattin Road and Eagle Harbor Road.

The photos need to be submitted from Nov. 28 thru Dec. 15. Winners will be announced Dec. 25 and receive a gift card redeemable at AMA businesses

DWI arrests far fewer in multi-agency saturated patrol by local law enforcement

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 November 2020 at 8:31 pm

Law enforcement agencies in Orleans County worked together in a county-wide DWI saturation patrol from 7 p.m. Wednesday until 3 a.m. today.

This year’s detail involved the same amount of patrol officers yet the amount of vehicle stops that were conducted was nearly half of what we have seen in past years, said Roland Nenni, police chief in Albion and Holley.

“This is attributed to the early closing of establishments that sell alcoholic beverages and persons taking safety precautions as a result of the ongoing pandemic,” Nenni said in a news release. “At times during the detail vehicular traffic was nonexistent. The reduction in persons utilizing highways on what is typically one of the busiest nights of the year also shows that people are taking the threat posed by Covid-19 serious.”

There was one person charged with driving while intoxicated during the patrols. Past details have resulted 15 in more arrests for driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.

“This is positive news in our efforts to reduce accidents caused by intoxicated drivers,” Nenni said. “The reduction of DWI arrests is a positive and motivating factor when these types of details are conducted. Many believe that law enforcement want to make more DWI arrests during these details, however we like to see the opposite.”

The agencies involved in the detail included the Albion, Medina and Holley police departments; Orleans County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police.

In the past the detail has included logistical support from the Orleans County Probation Department, New York State Parole, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Border Patrol. But due to the risk posed by Covid-19 on officers, the detail only utilized law enforcement road patrol personnel for this year’s detail.

This is the seventh year a Saturation Patrol was conducted and the 10th year a focused detail was done. Nenni said the local law enforcement agencies are committed to making the roadways safe for all who travel upon them.

Police release name of mother, 31, who died in Royalton accident

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 November 2020 at 6:44 pm

ROYALTON – The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of a 31-year-old mother who was killed in a car accident in Royalton on Wednesday evening.

Danielle Dujenski of Machias was driving a vehicle on Lewiston Road with her husband Garrett Dujenski, 30, and their five children, ages 1 to 11. They were struck by a vehicle driven by Daniel Verratti, 65, of Royalton. The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office said Verratti was traveling on Griswold Road and failed to stop at stop sign at 7:33 p.m. on Wednesday.

Mrs. Dujenski and one of her children, 2 ½, both died from injuries sustained in the accident.

Four other children remain in intensive care with two children in critical condition in the pediatric intensive care unit at Oishei Children’s Hospital. Another child is in guarded and critical condition in the PICU, and the fourth child is in guarded condition, but stable in the Intermediate Care Unit, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Mr. Dujenski is listed in stable condition in the trauma ICU at ECMC.

Mr. Verratti was treated and released from Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital.

Several fire departments responded to the scene, including Medina, Middleport, Alabama, South Lockport, Rapids, Terry’s Corners and Wolcottsville. Mercy EMS, Tri-Town Volunteer EMS and Mercy Flight also responded.

Second person in Royalton accident dies from injuries

Staff Reports Posted 26 November 2020 at 1:45 pm

ROYALTON – The driver of one of the vehicles in fatal collision in Royalton on Wednesday evening has died, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office reported today in an update from this morning.

A child was also killed in the accident, and four other children remain in intensive care with two children in critical condition in the pediatric intensive care unit at Oishei Children’s Hospital.

Another child is in guarded and critical condition in the PICU, and the fourth child is in guarded condition, but stable in the Intermediate Care Unit, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The driver of the vehicle with the children was pronounced dead at ECMC, and the front passenger is listed in stable condition in the trauma ICU at ECMC.

The sole occupant of the other vehicle was treated and released from Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. That vehicle was southbound on Griswold Street and failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of Lewiston Road and Griswold Street.

That caused the collision with the other vehicle with seven occupants that was eastbound on Lewiston Road, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

Names of all the parties involved are not being released at this time.