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Month: August 2016

Elected officials shouldn’t neglect talking with farmers about wind energy project

Posted 31 August 2016 at 10:48 pm

Editor:

I am disappointed to hear the rhetoric and misinformed claims of the people that I thought were my elected representatives: Senator Robert Ortt, Legislator John Syracuse, and Supervisor Dan Engert.

Reading the newspaper accounts of their support for the anti-wind group that has set up shop in our town, I wonder how they could have driven to last Thursday evening’s event  sponsored by Save Ontario Shores (SOS) without seeing the many signs of support on the agricultural lands being worked by us, the farmers.

Did they stop at any of these farms? No, they drove right past. That’s when I realized that it’s not about the farms. They are just fields that these politicians pass by, they cannot vote.

I guess I shouldn’t be at all surprised they didn’t stop to talk to us. Not a single one of my elected officials has ever initiated contact with me about the project, and, as far as I know, they haven’t initiated contact with any of the other larger land owners in the project area either.

I guess those people who are supposed to represent us have done the math. Given the acreage of land that we work and size of the families, it’s clear that the agricultural community does not have enough votes to count or even warrant stopping by for a discussion. This is despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the land owners are supportive of the project, based on the amount of acres that are presently under lease by Lighthouse Wind.

We have been the rural backbone of this town for generations, and those close to the business know that we don’t want this to disappear. That’s one of the reasons we choose to diversify and to host wind energy projects. These projects not only provide us with an opportunity to improve our agricultural business, but also allow us to participate in advancing renewable energy to help improve our environment and provide new revenue sources for our community.

We have contributed to the history of this town, and we want to make sure it has a thriving future. Senator Ortt, Legislator Syracuse, Supervisor Engert, and any other of my local elected officials, my door is open if you want to stop in.

Please don’t just pass me and my fellow agricultural community by. I may be working the farm, but I can make time for you.

Ben Atwater

Atwater Farms

Town of Somerset

Purple Eagle spikers down Attica

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 August 2016 at 8:50 pm

Albion scored a straight set 25-20, 25-9, 25-20 victory over host Attica this evening in a non league season opening volleyball match.

Chanyce Powell had 10 spiking kills and 3 blocks for Albion as Caitlynn Snook added 7 kills and 4 digs, Haley Smith 5 kills and 2 aces, Emilie Barleben 3 kills and 14 assists and Sierra Newton 2 kills and 3 assists.

Byron-Bergen 25-21-25-25, Medina 22-25-14-20
Molley Gross had 8 spiking kills and 10 digs for Medina in the Mustangs four set loss at Byron-Bergen this evening in a non league match.

Emily Kams added 13 digs, 6 assists and 3 kills, Je’ne Brown 5 kills and 3 blocks, Carley Schultz 5 kills, Grace Masse 12 assists and 11 digs and Alyssa Beyer 10 digs for the Mustangs.

Lauren Burke had 9 spiking kills, 19 assists and 12 digs for Byron-Bergen as Madison Farnsworh added 27 digs and 10 kills and Catherine Brumsted 17 assists and 6 kills.

Wilson nips Medina in key links match

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 August 2016 at 8:47 pm

Making it 30 straight league wins, two-time defending champion Wilson posted a key early season Niagara-Orleans golf victory this afternoon by nipping Medina 225-230 at Shelridge.

Wilson’s Jonah Miller and Medina’s Ian Wagner shared medalist honors with rounds of 40.

Connor Seeley added a 43 and Patrick Seeley a 45 for Wilson which improves to 3-0.

Mike Cardone and Andrew Fuller both carded 47’s and Carson Gates a 48 for Medina which is now 2-1.

Medina next faces Roy-Hart (2-0) at Shelridge Thursday.

Mustangs rally late to win opener

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 August 2016 at 8:28 pm
083116_CW_Medina boys soccer 1

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina/Lyndonville’s Krisitian Snyder attempts a sliding shot during today’s game against Tonawanda at Lyndonville as Warriors goalie Adam Moore comes out to make the stop.

A late two goal rally earned Medina/Lyndonville a 2-1 win over Tonawanda this afternoon in a non league season opening soccer game at Lyndonville.

The Mustangs, after having one shot rattle off the post and three others just miss on wide open net opportunities earlier in the second half, finally pulled even when Vassilios Bitsas scored off an assist from Ethan Leonard with 6:42 remaining.

Keeping the momentum, the Mustangs then scored the game winner with 2:30 remaining when Krisitan Snyder tallied on a breakaway off an assist from Bitsas.

“I’m just really proud of the guys for not giving up,” said Coach Steve Luksch. “We hit the post to open the second half and Tonawanda came right back down and scored but we didn’t quit. They just kept playing and showed a lot of heart.”

Tonawanda had grabbed the 1-0 lead just 1:02 into the second half on a breakaway goal by Aaron Holler.

083116_CW_Medina boys soccer 2

Medina/Lyndonville’s Trenton Jones, right, advances the ball up field against Tonawnda’s Nick Bitter

“Tonawanda made it to the sectional semis last year and they return most of that group,” said Luksch. “They are a good team so this was a good opening win for us.”

Medina/Lyndonville next visits Park on Tuesday in another non league contest.

Holley Tournament
A thunderstorm forced the postponement of this evening’s Holley boys soccer tournament semifinal game between Roy-Hart and the host Hawks.

The game has been rescheduled for Thursday evening following the 6:30 p.m. Holley vs. Albion girls tournament semifinal.

Alden did defeat Batavia 6-1 this evening in the first semifinal which was halted by the thunderstorm with 13 minutes to go.

Albion booters blank Akron in N-O opener

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 August 2016 at 8:19 pm

Scoring a goal in each half, Albion opened the Niagara-Orleans League boys soccer season on a high note by blanking host Akron 2-0 this afternoon.

Hayden Pecoraro gave Albion a quick lead by scoring five minutes into the first half off an assist from Kendyll Hadick.

The Purple Eagles later netted a big insurance goal when Pecoraro tallied on a penalty kick eight minutes into the second half.

Devin Gaylord earned the shutout in goal for the Purple Eagles whose defense was anchored by Donato Rosario, Nick Reed, Joe Madjeski and Nate Smith.

“Overall it was a solid team effort,” said Albion Coach Keith Akers. “We played well and the kids were excited to start the league season off on a positive note.”

Newfane 4, Wilson 1
Newfane opened defense of its N-O title by downing rival Wilson 4-1.

Trevor Moreland scored 2 goals for the Panthers as Nick Koziol and Caleb Russell each netted 1.

2 towns, Carlton and Murray, cited by Health Department for backflow prevention

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2016 at 7:37 pm
This photo which was widely shared on Facebook shows a hose for irrigation connected to a fire hydrant without a backflow prevention device by the hydrant. It shows a hydrant on Fancher Road in Murray.

This photo which was widely shared on Facebook shows a hose for irrigation connected to a fire hydrant without a backflow prevention device by the hydrant. It shows a hydrant on Fancher Road in Murray.

(Editor’s note: This article was updated from the original to state the towns could face a $100 fine, although that likely would be waived once the towns assure the Health Department they are in compliance.)

ALBION – Two towns in Orleans County were sent violation notices last week for not having backflow prevention devices by a fire hydrant when farmers were using water for irrigation.

Carlton and Murray both allow farmers to use water from hydrants, just like most towns in an agricultural community. However, the Orleans County Health Department saw instances in the two towns where backflow devices were not by the hydrants.

It is the towns’ responsibility to ensure backflow devices are by the first point of connection, in these cases the fire hydrants, said Paul Pettit, public health director in Orleans County.

“It’s not the farmer or any other end user that are in violation,” Pettit said today. “It’s the towns that are responsible for the water districts.”

The towns could face a $100 fine by the Health Department. That fine likely would be dropped if the towns respond by next week and ensure the Health Department they are in compliance by not allowing hook-ups to the system without backflow devices by the hydrant, Pettit said.

Water with bacteria or contaminants from a hose could get in the main water system without a back flow device, he said. In the case of a fire where there could be a big draw or change in pressure in the water system, water from a hose could be pulled into the main waterlines if there isn’t a backflow device, possibly contaminating the public water supply, Pettit said.

The Health Department sent letters to all 10 towns, reminding them to use backflow devices by hydrants for outside users.

“We have a great working relationship with all of the towns,” Pettit said. “But we wanted to make sure they all are doing their due diligence to protect our water supply.”

Weather Service says strong thunderstorm could bring hail this evening

Staff Reports Posted 31 August 2016 at 7:03 pm
Photo by Tom Rivers: A sunflower is pictured in Albion this morning after it rained.

Photo by Tom Rivers: A sunflower is pictured in Albion this morning after it rained.

The National Weather Service has issued a special weather statement for a strong thunderstorm. At 6:52 p.m. the storm was located in Albion, and moving southeast at 20 miles per hour.

The Weather Service said it could hit southern Orleans, southwestern Monroe and northeastern Genesee counties. Winds in excess of 40 MPH and a half inch of hail are possible.

Frequent cloud to ground lightning is occurring with this storm. Lightning can strike 10 miles away from a thunderstorm. The Weather Service urges the community to seek a safe shelter inside a building or vehicle.

Escape room in Medina is chance for bonding with a break from technology

Posted 31 August 2016 at 1:05 pm
Photos by Thom Jennings This group tried to solve the clues in the Medina escape room last week. They include, from left: Tracy Jennings, Terry Stephens, Laura Stephens, Chris Dix and Megan Dix.

Photos by Thom Jennings This group tried to solve the clues in the Medina escape room last week. They include, from left: Tracy Jennings, Terry Stephens, Laura Stephens, Chris Dix and Megan Dix.

By Thom Jennings, Correspondent

MEDINA – Medina’s burgeoning Main Street has added another unique stop, Orleans County’s first escape room, Into the Enigma.

For those who are not familiar with what an escape room is, it is a live action adventure game where groups of people try and solve a puzzle and “escape.” The rooms are popular attractions for groups of friends and corporate team building activities.

Into the Enigma is located at 525 Main St., Medina.

Into the Enigma is located at 525 Main St., Medina.

Into the Enigma follows the standard model and starts with a narrative before you enter the room to look for clues.

While there are some rules of thumb, just about anything in the room could contain a clue so players must examine everything.

If players get stuck there are opportunities to receive additional clues to help get everyone on track. There are time penalties when you use an additional clue.

Into the Enigma houses one room, and for the sake of reviewing the room I gathered up a group of six players. I was the only person that had ever experienced an escape room.

From my perspective the room was well thought out and extremely challenging. As a group we were able to work together to find clues and while we were stumped on occasion it was never frustrating. The 60-minute time limit went by very quickly because we were having a great time and enjoying the twists.

Facebook: Myke LaVoice, Tim Elliott, and Joe Gould worked together to develop the escape room at Medina. The trio tried other escape rooms in the region. They are pictured after getting out of the Queen City Escape Room on Louisiana Street in Buffalo.

Facebook: Myke LaVoice, Tim Elliott, and Joe Gould worked together to develop the escape room at Medina. The trio tried other escape rooms in the region. They are pictured after getting out of the Queen City Escape Room on Louisiana Street in Buffalo.

The new business is the brainchild of three people: Mike LaVoice, Joe Gould and Tim Elliott.

The three of them started discussing the idea of creating a Medina based escape room back in May and tried out a number of them in Western New York to understand the model and develop their own room.

The business opens to the public on Thursday and will have one room for patrons to try and escape from, a second room is in the works and should be open by early October and then two more will be developed next year.

Rooms will be revamped periodically, anywhere from eight to ten months.  Each room can accommodate from three to ten people at a time.

The number of people does not give you any major advantages, but larger groups will force people to work together, and there are more than enough clues to keep a large group busy.

Whether or not you are good at puzzles really does not matter, the rooms are meant to entertain and engage.

In an era where people are chasing Pokemon with their cell phones, Into the Enigma offers a great opportunity for people to disconnect from technology and have a great time.

Yates should seize opportunity presented by Lighthouse Wind

Posted 31 August 2016 at 12:09 pm

Editor:

I would like to make a couple of observations concerning the Lighthouse Wind Project.  In Mr. Riggi’s letter in July about the Lighthouse Wind signs being posted in The Town of Ridgeway, Riggi writes: “Has Apex now also targeted Ridgeway for Industrial Wind Turbines?” Much to his surprise, there are wind project supporters throughout Orleans County.

I have also seen Save Ontario Shores signs in the Town of Ridgeway and Village of Middleport. It’s called freedom to support for or against. However, I do find it presumptuous of Mr. Riggi to assume that Apex is targeting the Town of Ridgeway for wind turbines.

This is the kind of intimidation moves that Mr. Riggi, and SOS have pushed on a lot of people with their un-substantiated facts.

At the Yates Town Board meeting on August 11, Mr. Barth (anti-Lighthouse Wind) suggested that our town utilize the Town of Somerset’s Attorney (anti-Lighthouse Wind) as it  would be cheaper for the towns moving forward. In other words, fire the attorney who is representing us. Is this another rail road job to the Town of Yates residents who are fighting so hard for the wind project to become a reality?

The Town of Yates has done a wonderful job taking care of our town for the betterment of our town, way before Mr. Simon and Mr. Riggi were elected. I think it would be a big mistake to join forces with the Town of Somerset.

We are two separate towns with two different ideas on what is best for our Town. We should not turn over our town’s decisions to the Town of Somerset’s attorney concerning a project of this importance for the Town of Yates.

Many years ago, the Town of Yates let the Somerset power project slip through our fingers. The residents of this town should band together and not let this project slip by us.

With the rising taxes, bringing a few new businesses into the town is not going to solve our problems. Take a hard look at the towns with wind farms and how they have benefited. This could be us.

When I look out across my yard, what a beautiful sight it would be to see a wind turbine against God’s beautiful sunset.  One I truly hope becomes a reality for our town’s success.

Donna Bane

Town of Yates