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Month: May 2016

Sandstone Society seeks nominations for Hall of Fame structures

Staff Reports Posted 31 May 2016 at 11:00 am
St. Paul's Cathedral

File photos by Tom Rivers St. Paul’s Cathedral in Buffalo was named in the inaugural Medina sandstone Hall of Fame Class of 2013. St. Paul’s was built by the Episcopal Church from 1849-1851. The church used stone from a quarry in Hulberton. (The 274-foot-high spire was completed in 1870.) This church was Buffalo’s first major architectural landmark. It was designed by Richard Upjohn after he earned a national reputation for his design of the Trinity Episcopal Church in New York City.

MEDINA – The Medina Sandstone Society is pleased to announce that it is accepting nominations for the Sandstone Hall of Fame induction class of 2016.

he Sandstone Society started the Hall of Fame in 2013, and has inducted 14 structures so far. Plaques and pictures of the Hall of Famers are displayed in the main meeting room of Medina’s City Hall.

The Sandstone Society will accept nominations until July 15. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 20, 2016.

People from anywhere can send their choices for induction directly to the Hall of Fame Committee of the Medina Sandstone Society by mailing the nomination to The Medina Sandstone Society, PO Box 25, Medina, N.Y., 14103. Or, a nomination may be sent electronically using the on-line address (click here).

This year’s class will include nominations from previous years not already selected and any new nominations received by July 15.

St. Louis church spire

The top of St. Louis Catholic Church in Buffalo is an open work lattice spire that reaches 245 feet high. It is the tallest open-work spire ever built completely of stone in the United States, and it is also believed to be the only remaining open-work or pierced spire in the U.S. This church was inducted into the 2014 Class of the Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame.

The home of the Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame has been permanently established in the City Hall of Medina, a structure itself made of the same brownstone quarried in the Medina area for over 100 years.

Jim Hancock, chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee, along with Dave Miller and Don Colquhoun will research all nominations, including a site visit.

Criteria for consideration shall include age, beauty, longevity, whether the structure is still in use and architectural uniqueness.

If possible nomination information should have full background and documentation and, at the very least, should give a name and phone number to be contacted for further information or a web-site.

Tigers duo earns sectional honors

Contributed Story Posted 31 May 2016 at 12:00 am

Contributed Photos

Lyndonville varsity baseball Coach Shane Price, right, is shown here receiving his Section V Class D1 Coach of the Year Award from Section V representative Rich Gill. Price guided the Tigers to the Genesee Region League Division II title and into the semifinal round of the Class D1 playoffs. Price, who has coached the Tigers for 15 years, earned his 200th career victory during the season. The Tigers went 8-2 in the league and 15-5 overall.

Lyndonville junior Michael Wells here receives the Section V Class D1 Player of the Year Award from Section V representative Jim Smith. Wells, who pitched and also played third base and shortstop for the Tigers this season, hit over .500 and drove in 43 runs. On the mound he went 6-0 and had an earned run average of 1.20.

Sen. Ortt praised for ethics reform proposals

Posted 31 May 2016 at 12:00 am

Editor:

I have just finished reading the article about State Senator Robert Ortt’s ethics reform packageI commend him for this.

While there is still much more that can be done to clean up Albany, this package is a step in the right direction. Yes, Senator Ortt is a Republican and I am a Democrat, but we are New Yorkers first, and New Yorkers deserve better than what Albany is giving us.

Sincerely,

James C. White
Gaines

Sharp pitching in Albion Midget League

Staff Reports Posted 31 May 2016 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Damian Lattimer delivers a pitch for Carlton.

Carlton, Barre and Sandstone all got strong pitching performances in earning Albion Midget League baseball victories last week.

Carlton’s Damian Lattimer registered 16 strikeouts in a 14-2 win over St. Mary’s. Nate Olmstead led the offense with a grand slam home run.

Christian Swiercznski had a two-run single for St. Mary’s.

Barre pitcher Zander Meakin had 14 strikeouts in notching a 5-0 victory over Sandstone. Tyler Gibson drove in all the runs with a three-run homer and a two-run double.

Sandstone hurler Zach Colacecchi notched 15 strikeouts in earning a 5-1 win over Rotary. Nick Martino had a home run and Kyle Sidari a triple to spark the offense.

In the other reported game, Vets led St. Mary’s 11-10 after five innings when darkness halted play. The contest is expected to be completed when the teams meet again.

Barre family that lost house in fire still looking for dog

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 May 2016 at 12:00 am

Provided photos

BARRE – A Barre family on Burns Road is still looking for their beloved dog, Pepper, after a devastating fire on Saturday night destroyed their home.

One of their dogs has been found, but the other German Shephard hasn’t been located.

The property at 5581 Burns Rd. is owned by Allen Whipple. Family members have been looking in Barre and north Oakfield for the dog. Mathew Pribek, son of Mr. Whipple’s late wife Connie, said the family is willing to pay a reward to anyone who finds the dog, which has a reddish color.

“We are cautiously optimistic,” Pribek said. “We believe Pepper is out there.”

Anyone with information about the dog should call Pribek at 585-861-0211.

Student’s artwork wins district, advances to state competition

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 May 2016 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Janell Slomba, a sophomore at Roy-Hart, holds artwork she created free hand that won the High School Patriotic Art Contest at the Post and District level for the VFW. She was recognized during Monday’s Memorial Day service at State Street Park in Medina.

Janell’s artwork now advances to the state competition through the VFW. Janell thanked her art teacher Cristine Lucas for encouraging her to develop her talent.

The VFW this fall will have writing contests open to middle and high schoolers. For more information, stop by the Post at 216 East Center St. or check the organization’s Facebook page by clicking here.

Bloomfield tops Albion in U17 soccer

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 May 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion’s Noah Goudreau (15) splits two Bloomfield defenders during this evening’s U17 Division home field loss.

Avenging an earlier season 4-2 loss, Bloomfield downed host Albion 4-1 this evening in a Rochester District Youth Soccer League boys U17 Division game.

Breaking away from a 1-1 deadlock, Bloomfield scored three unanswered second half goals to key the victory.

Albion had jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Kendyll Hadick.

However, Bloomfield pulled even with a goal late in the first half.

Goalie Connor Zicari stopped a Bloomfield penalty kick opprtunity to highlight the Albion defense.

Now at 2-2, Albion will next host Genesee Valley at 4 p.m. Sunday and Kendall at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Albion’s Owen Foos (2) battles for control of the ball.

Department of Defense says Lighthouse Wind unlikely to impact Air Base

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 May 2016 at 12:00 am

YATES – A plan for up to 70 wind turbines in Yates and Somerset has received some of its strongest resistance, including public rebukes from Congressman Chris Collins and State Sen. Rob Ortt, because they see the project as possibly jeopardizing the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

Apex Clean Energy, developer for the project, countered last week saying the proposed project would not harm the base’s mission or the future for other military training plans.

H. David Belote, a retired Air Force colonel, now works as a consultant for Apex. He met last week with local officials, Save Ontario Shores members, landowners and supporters of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

Belote showed them a March 16 letter from the Department of Defense, stating the DoD doesn’t see a negative impact on the base from Lighthouse Wind.

“The project is unlikely to impact military testing and/or training operations in the area,” Steven J. Sample, chief of the Military Evaluation Branch for the Department of Defense, wrote to Taylor Quarles, development manager for Apex.

The DoD did an informal review of the project, and is awaiting locations and heights of the turbines. The DoD, as well as the Federal Aviation Agency, will take a more thorough review of the project once the final application is submitted, which is expected this summer.

Belote said the far western end of the turbines are about 25 miles from the base. “It’s not an impact,” he said in a phone interview.

The turbines won’t affect drone operations when those begin at the base, Belote said, and he doesn’t expect there will be issues with radar from the turbines, which could peak at more than 600 feet to the top of the spinning blades.

The radar issue will be reviewed by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, but that organization needs to know final locations and heights. Belote said he expects that review will be this summer or fall.

Belote served as the first director of the Pentagon office that approves or rejects wind and solar projects around military bases. He said in his current role as a consultant that he wouldn’t advocate for a turbine project if it would hurt a military operation.

If the mission of the base changes in the future to other planes, such as F-22 or F-35, Belote said Apex could put night-vision lighting on the turbines. He said other air bases, such as the Travis Air Force Base in California, have many more turbines closer than what is proposed for Somerset and Yates. Belote said there are nearly 900 turbines within 12 miles of Travis.

The presentation from Apex didn’t allay concerns by the project’s opponents. Save Ontario Shores met with Quarles and Belote last week at Apex’s Barker office. SOS said it wanted more information about how the turbines could impact the base.

“This was really more of the same,” said Pam Atwater, president of Save Ontario Shores.  “Apex makes vague statements and then refuses to give the public access to the data that they were based upon. We did not hear anything that has changed our position. Apex will use every option available to them, including using high-paid D.C. lobbyists, to try and force this project upon communities that have legitimate concerns about the impact of the project on local employment and have clearly expressed they do not want the wind turbines installed.”

Atwater also said the letter from the Department of Defense was just an informal or preliminary review.

“SOS is deeply concerned with the next Base Realignment and Closure Commission process,” she said. “If the DoD, which is under extreme pressure from the Obama Administration to engage in green energy initiatives, were to rule that the Apex project is not an encroachment into the MOA (Military Operating Area), there would be nothing preventing a future BRAC, under a different administration with different priorities, from overruling the decision and concluding that some level of encroachment does exist.  Sacrificing what is now an encroachment free MOA could place NFARS, which has already faced closure recommendations from the last two BRAC’s, in jeopardy.”

Apex is working to develop clean energy projects that don’t hamper military facilities

Posted 31 May 2016 at 12:00 am

The Department of Defense is actively pursuing renewable energy projects, and while reducing carbon emissions and cost savings are considered important, the driving force for the military is energy security supporting mission accomplishment.

All four branches are progressing toward a cleaner, safer, and energy-independent future, with Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy recently signing the largest U.S. military renewable project to date with Apex Clean Energy: 65.8 Megawatts of off-base wind and on-base solar at Fort Hood, Texas.

Apex Clean Energy, the parent company for Lighthouse Wind, has been engaged in ongoing dialogues with the Department of Defense on commercial projects around the country. While these conversations are not always in the headlines, our nation’s Department of Defense has worked closely with Apex Clean Energy on multiple projects, several of which have included determining mitigation strategies to ensure the safety and viability of military operations centers. There is a process with DOD to ensure unhampered operations of their facilities on a case-by-case basis.

It was my pleasure to visit with various stakeholders in and around the Lighthouse Wind proposed project area last week to share information and clear up some misperceptions regarding the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

As we described to multiple groups last week, the Department of Defense’s Siting Clearinghouse has stated in writing that the Lighthouse Wind project is “unlikely to impact” operations at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, and Apex Clean Energy will work shoulder to shoulder with DOD and the community to support the mission now and in the future.

Based on a thoughtful suggestion from a local Reservist, Lighthouse Wind will install night-vision-compatible lighting to facilitate low-altitude training for the life of the project. Take it from the retired colonel who oversaw close air support for the Battle of Fallujah:  you couldn’t find a better partner than Apex Clean Energy to both provide clean energy and support the local military mission.

Dave Belote

Mr. Belote is a retired colonel with the U.S. Air Force, and is currently Senior Vice President of Cassidy & Associates in Washington, DC. Belote is a former F-16 pilot who earned two Bronze Stars during Operation Iraqi Freedom and is the former commander of Nellis Air Force Base. He is also working as a consultant for Apex.

Resident is skeptical of claims turbines would have no impact on Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station

Posted 31 May 2016 at 12:00 am

Editor:

Please allow me to respond to today’s article regarding Apex and their upcoming proposal for wind turbines, and in particular to their claim that the military has no issue with their project.

I find fault with multiple points they’ve made, and I hope you’ll allow me to respond point by point by quoting the original article and then responding to that section:

Article Excerpt:
“Apex Clean Energy, developer for the project, [said] the proposed project would not harm the base’s mission or the future for other military training plans. “H. David Belote, a retired Air Force colonel, now works as a consultant for Apex. He met last week with local officials, Save Ontario Shores members, landowners and supporters of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. Belote showed them a March 16 letter from the Department of Defense, stating the DoD doesn’t see a negative impact on the base from Lighthouse Wind.”

My response:
We’re talking about a letter that was written to a consultant.a consultant who likely has friends at the DoD, seeing as he’s a retired officer of the Air Force. Not a letter, mind you, written to the community or to the local government. Big difference. The letterhead is real; however, that does not make it official in terms of how the community ought proceed.

Article Excerpt:
” ‘The project is unlikely to impact military testing and/or training operations in the area,’ Steven J. Sample, chief of the Military Evaluation Branch for the Department of Defense, wrote to Taylor Quarles, development manager for Apex.”

My response: Ladies and gentlemen, this is almost certainly what we English Teachers call a logical fallacy called “cherry picking” which means only saying the part that’s useful, instead of providing the whole scope of the quotation’s intent. Testing and traininghmm, okay. But what was the whole quote? What if it were, “We don’t know yet if the Base will be affected, seeing as we don’t have any firm numbers as to actual height, but we can say that the project is unlikely to impact military testing and/or training operations in the area. And hey presto! Great Quote!

Article Excerpt:
“The DoD did an informal review of the project, and is awaiting locations and heights of the turbines. The DoD, as well as the Federal Aviation Agency, will take a more thorough review of the project once the final application is submitted, which is expected this summer.”

My response: Yes, we’re all of us waiting. My guess? They’ll submit at the last possible minute so as to give people the least amount of time possible to research the application’s efficacy. (Best bet? Fourth of July weekend. Less people reading the paper! Perfect!)

Article Excerpt:
“Belote said the far western end of the turbines are about 25 miles from the base. “It’s not an impact,” he said in a phone interview.”

My response: Wait, who’s Belote? Oh, right. The consultant (fancy talk for person who gets lots of money to tell their employer what they want to hear and to encourage Congress to do the same; sometimes they even help write the legislation! Hooray for money! (I wish I were kidding. I am not.)

Article Excerpt:
The turbines won’t affect drone operations when those begin at the base, Belote said, and he doesn’t expect there will be issues with radar from the turbines, which could peak at more than 600 feet to the top of the spinning blades.

My response:
English time again. Let’s inspect that sentence more carefully: “when those begin at the base” Got it. Drones can launch just fine When They Begin at the Base. In Niagara Falls. Nothing on how they’ll do once they drift on over to Somerset.

Article Excerpt:
The radar issue will be reviewed by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, but that organization needs to know final locations and heights. Belote said he expects that review will be this summer or fall.

My response:
In other words, Belote is not the person in charge of giving us the answer, nor is his firm (of, ahem, consultants) responsible to even provide an answer yet. Seeing as they don’t know final locations and heights and such.

Article Excerpt:
“Belote served as the first director of the Pentagon office that approves or rejects wind and solar projects around military bases. He said in his current role as a consultant that he wouldn’t advocate for a turbine project if it would hurt a military operation.”

My response:
Hmm, wonder what would happen if I google Mr. Belote? Why look at that: A website for Virginia Democrat Dave Belote, retired Air Force Colonel, looking for donations to support his run for Congress. And there’s more: Quote from the website: “After retiring from the military, Dave wrote energy policy for the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, then was vice president of a Virginia-based wind and solar developer.
Now, Dave assists businesses with energy projects that relate to national security
and the military.” (Want to see for yourself? http://www.votebelote.com/dave-belote/)

My response:
I Wonder If It’s The Same Guy? I’m thinkingthe odds are in his favor!

I will admit I put that one sentence in bolder type. I thought it was relevant. And distressing. I feel like he used his military credentials to convince and to build his credibility, but I have to say, it had quite the opposite effect, on me at least. He is a man who, once he retired from the military, made money on wind turbines, and who now works for the same kind of folks at Apex.

Read between the lines, neighbors, and you’ll find the same things I do: People from other places trying to wreck what we have here and using any means necessary, including deceit. Also, I’ve got to say: While I might have some sympathy for a real homeowner who lives lake side and might even need to make a little money, I’ve got a lot less sympathy for some politician from Virginia who’s got no real stake in this. It’s not his home. And if we lose this battle? What does he care? He just got another Wind Energy Paycheck, desecrated countryside or not.

We need to keep on keeping on, neighbors. It’s ours. Lake Ontario and all her gorgeous shores. Oak Orchard River. The Wildlife Refuge. They are ours, and some of Western New York’s greatest and most valuable assets. I’d like my children’s children and theirs to know the same wonders that I do.

Respectfully,

Karen L. Jones
Shelby