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Month: October 2017

Cuomo writes Trump, saying tax cut plan would be ‘death blow’ to NY

Posted 31 October 2017 at 10:58 pm

Governor says Congressman Collins is ‘Benedict Arnold’

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued a letter to President Donald J. Trump condemning the federal tax plan to eliminate or roll back state and local tax deductibility and calling on the President not to use New York as a piggybank for other states.

The text of the letter is below:

Dear President Trump,

I write to you on an issue that impacts every single American: pending federal tax legislation. I am not writing as a Democratic Governor to a Republican President, but rather as one New Yorker who cares about New York and the country to another. I often say to the New York State legislature, “we are Democrats and we are Republicans, but we are New Yorkers first.”

As you well know, the House is expected to release additional details of a “tax cut” plan this week that in reality amounts to a “tax increase” plan for states like New York. The current proposal primarily uses New York and California as the piggybank to make it possible to cut taxes for other states. By eliminating or rolling back state and local tax deductibility, Washington is sending a death blow to New York’s middle class families and our economy.

I understand the politics at play here. California and New York are “blue states.” I also understand that the political map dictates that most Republican members of Congress come from outside the Northeast and West Coast and their primary motivation is to help their states at any cost, even when it comes at the cost of middle class New Yorkers. But when the economies of New York and California suffer, and they will, the nation follows.

It’s clear this is a hostile political act aimed at the economic heart of New York with no basis on the merits. First, it is an illegal and unconstitutional double taxation that forces our middle class families to subsidize a tax cut for the rest of the nation, and it is contrary to every principle the Republican Party has always espoused. Second, it reverses all the bipartisan progress New York State has made in lowering taxes over these past few years. While we have lowered state income taxes, capped property taxes and are forcing local governments to consider shared services, this federal act would erase all those gains and in fact increase taxes. Eliminating state and local deductibility will result in a tax increase of $5,660 on average for one in three taxpayers in New York, or 3.3 million New Yorkers.

This backward tax plan has encountered much deserved resistance, including from Republicans in the Senate. Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch said “I don’t think that’s going to go anywhere,” adding that state and local tax deductibility is “a system that’s worked very well.” In the face of this pushback, Republican leadership is now trying to salvage their tax plan with a so-called “compromise.” Their scheme is to allow a property tax deduction, but do away with the deduction for state income taxes. For middle class New York families, the average tax increase attributable to losing that deduction would be $1,715.  And considering the original federal proposal would cost New York State taxpayers $18.6 billion, this “compromise” does little to help our state since it would still cost New York State taxpayers nearly $15 billion.

Another “compromise” that is being suggested, where only higher income individuals would lose the state and local deductibility, is a 3-card Monte game that could be played on 42nd Street in Manhattan. New Yorkers are not stupid. We know that if deductibility is eliminated on higher incomes it will have a ripple effect, forcing these New Yorkers to move out of the state, taking their tax revenue with them, thus increasing taxes on everyone else. New York will not be in a position to cut state taxes because both the original proposal, as well as the proposed compromise, will force the highest taxpayers from the state and deplete our revenue stream. As you know, five percent of New York State taxpayers account for nearly two thirds of our annual income tax revenue.

I understand why Paul Ryan would seek to hurt New York, but to ask New York Republican members of Congress to vote to raise taxes on their constituents is a betrayal against their state and their constituents. In fact, seven of nine Republicans from New York are against it. The two representatives who support it—Congressmen Collins and Reed—are the Benedict Arnolds of their time because they are putting their own political benefit above the best interests of their constituents.

Speaker Ryan’s only justification is that other states subsidize New York. He is just wrong. They don’t. The opposite is true. New York subsidizes every other state in the nation. We are the highest donor state which means we send $48 billion more in tax dollars to the federal government than we receive back in federal spending.

To be fair, this is not a new idea to pillage New York and California and send their wealth to other states. Congress tried it under President Reagan, but the gross injustice of it caused all but the most partisan and callous officials to drop support. Today’s proposals are no different. Our Congressional representatives should be saying it’s time New Yorkers get their money back. Instead, the current proposal would be taking even more revenue from the number one donor state. How unfair.

There is no middle ground here. Any of the proposed “compromises” will still destroy New York’s economy and harm the middle class. There can be no elimination, no “compromise,” and no cap on state and local tax deductibility.

New York needs your help.  You can stop this. And you should not just as an American, but as a New Yorker.


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

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Ortt, Hawley tout proposal for local control for setting speed limits by schools

Photos by Tom Rivers: The speed limit by the Kendall Junior-Senior High School on Route 18 is 50 miles per hour. Kendall school and community leaders would like that speed limit reduced in the school zone. This photo was taken west of the school entrance.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 October 2017 at 9:36 pm

‘It’s just unbelievable that a school zone would have a speed limit of 50 miles per hour.’ – State Sen. Robert Ortt

Local officials discuss their desire to have the speed limit reduced by the school. Pictured from left include: Town Supervisor Tony Cammarata, County Legislature Chairman John DeFilipps, State Sen. Rob Ortt, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, County Legislator Ken DeRoller, and Nadine Hanlon, president of the Board of Education.

KENDALL – A community-wide push to lower the speed limit in front of Kendall Junior-Senior High School has included 858 letters of support, and official government resolutions at the town, school and county level.

But the decision ultimately lies with the state Department of Transportation because Route 18 by the school is a state road. The DOT has declined to lower the speed limit. The state agency recently notified town and school officials that flashing beacons would be the best way to improve safety of the road by the school.

Kendall Central School has purchased the flashing beacons and district superintendent Julie Christensen said the Town of Kendall Highway Department has offered to help install them.

The school and town believe the speed limit should be reduced from the 50 miles per hour in front of the school. State Sen. Robert Ortt in pushing legislation that would give the county shared authority with the DOT in setting speed limits in school zones. That legislation has 13 co-sponsors in the Assembly, including Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia. They held a news conference at the school today.

“This should be a common sense thing,” Ortt said. “It’s just unbelievable that a school zone would have a speed limit of 50 miles per hour.”

A school zone tends to have clusters of traffic in the morning and afternoon, and oftentimes there are new student drivers pulling in and out of the entrance. Kids also are walking by or across the busy spot with traffic going 50 miles per hour or more. The situation at Kendall “is inviting disaster to happen,” Ortt said.

Hawley said many rural districts are located on state roads. City and suburban districts are often on city streets, or town and village streets where local officials can set the speed limits.

Hawley thanked Ortt for backing the legislation. Hawley said he and other Assembly members have been trying to push the legislation for a decade. There wasn’t someone in the Senate to lead the cause until Ortt backed it. The state senator from North Tonawanda said Starpoint faces a similar problem with a high speed limit by its school.

“This would allow those of us who live here to take care of ourselves,” Hawley said about the speed limit proposal.

Here is how Route 18 looks just east of the school entrance. This is looking back west today at about 11:30 a.m. There is a dip in the road near the entrance of the school.

The assemblyman said Kendall faces added pressure on Route 18 because of the deteriorating condition of the Lake Ontario State Parkway, which pushes more traffic on 18. A new Dollar General will also soon be opening in Kendall on Route 18, bringing more cars and trucks by the school.

Kendall school officials say there are a few fender benders by the school most years. Sometimes there are fatalities. Nadine Hanlon, the Board of Education president, recalled Kendall losing a student in a fatal accident at the intersection in the 1980s. That accident “devastated the community,” she said.

“Even the students know it is too fast here,” Hanlon said. She said many of the petitions were signed by students.

The road also has a dip by the entrance leading to the school, adding to Hanlon’s worry about the safety.

John DeFilipps, chairman of the Orleans County Legislature, supports the proposal from Ortt and Hawley, saying there should be more “home rule” for local communities.

Nadine Hanlon, president of the Kendall Board of Education, was a student in the 1980s when a student was killed in front of the school in a car accident. She said she worries about student safety with the speed limit at 50 miles per hour.

Ken DeRoller, a county legislator from Kendall, was on the Planning Board for the town about two decades ago when the community was successful getting the DOT to reduce the speed limit by the school from 55 to 50 miles per hour.

Tony Cammarata, the Kendall town supervisor, said he “totally supports” the legislation giving locals shared authority with the DOT in setting speed limits in school zones.

“I can’t understand why any elected official would not support this legislation,” Cammarata said.

Ortt and Hawley have sponsored various pieces of state legislation to lower speed limits within their district, but expressed frustration with the unnecessary length and difficulty of the current process.

Ortt and Hawley said they are hopeful the legislation could pass next spring and take effect in time for next school year.

“It’s a state-wide issue that has repercussions throughout New York,” Hawley said.

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Newfane tips Akron to retain Class B title

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 October 2017 at 8:27 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Newfane’s Kayleigh Daniels heads for the goal against Akron defender MacKenzie O’Brien during the Lady Panthers Class B title win over the Lady Tigers this evening at Williamsville South.

A two goal scoring burst midway through the second half earned Newfane a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Akron in an all Niagara-Orleans League Section VI Class B girls soccer championship game this evening at Williamsville South.

Trailing 1-0, Newfane pulled even when Meghan Mietlicki scored on a rebound off a direct kick shot by Sarah Milczarski with 27:48 to go in the second half.

The Lady Panthers then had a shot hit off the crossbar three minutes later before netting the game winner four minutes after that when Kayleigh Daniels got past the Akron defense and tallied with 20:02 remaining.

Akron had grabbed an early 1-0 lead when Jenna Robnett scored just 3:33 into the game off a nice centering pass from Kara Sequin.

The Lady Tigers later had a shot hit the crossbar with 4:45 to go in the opening half.

The victory earns Newfane a second straight Class B title and trip to the state playoffs. The Lady Panthers will next face Section V champion Aquinas in the Far West Regional on Friday evening at Williamsville South.

Last year Newfane defeated Palmyra-Macedon 2-0 in the Far West Regional to advance to the state semifinals where the Lady Panthers dropped a narrow 1-0 decision to Chenango Forks.

Newfane advanced to the sectional final by edging past Albion 1-0 in the Class B-1 championship game last Saturday while Akron blanked Wilson 3-0 in the Class B-2 title contest.

Newfane and Akron had split a pair of regular season N-O meetings by the identical score of 2-0.

Akron’s Kara Sequin looks to go up the sideline as Macy White comes in to defend for Newfane.

Kendall’s deputy town clerk says Amy Richardson has been dedicated as town clerk

Posted 31 October 2017 at 7:02 pm


If you’ve ever had the opportunity to stop in to the Kendall Town Clerk’s Office to utilize one of the many services offered to its residents, you most likely have been greeted by Amy Richardson, Kendall Town Clerk. Her friendly smile and laughter brightens the day of many who walk through the door. She is always willing to take as much time as needed to serve the residents of this town. Whether someone needs assistance or a compassionate ear, Amy is always there to help.

In addition to being a friendly face, Amy has spent the past ten years learning and improving the position of town clerk.  She is very knowledgeable in all the facets of her job. Being a small town, the town clerk wears many hats – tax collector, comptroller, records keeper, registrar, DEC agent , and clerk to the Town Board, just to name a few. Where larger towns might have several different departments, here in Kendall we have one, the town clerk.

Another important part of Amy’s job is being accessible to all constituents. During business hours she can be found at the counter helping her deputies, chatting with residents or working hard at her desk. However, sometimes those hours are not convenient for everyone. Amy has made appointments after hours to accommodate others’ schedules. She even has opened the office on weekends for couples needing a marriage license or hunters wanting last minute doe permits.

If you have any questions about our town clerk’s attendance record, work ethic, professionalism or commitment to the residents of Kendall, I challenge you to do your own research to find out the truth, not listen to rumors and hearsay. Or better yet, come in and say Hi. You will be greeted with a smile, a kind word and prompt, professional service.

On November 7th, vote for who you know will do a better job serving the residents of our town.

Jennifer Banker

Deputy Town Clerk, Kendall

22 students from Orleans Career and Tech into the National Technical Honor Society

Provided photo – First row (from left): Destiny Satkowski, Alexis Stratton, Kennedy Smelski, Alisha Scroger and Samantha Lawson. Middle row: Heaven Flood, Madeline Kraus, Carly Eldridge, Catherine Fleischhut, Tristen Johnson, Richard Miles and Desereé Brewer. Back Row: Skyler Christopher, Jamasen Johnson, Steven Schumacher, Porter Bellan, Malik Abdulghani, Jordan Klosin, Elijah Klosin, Matt Steves and John Reed.

Posted 31 October 2017 at 3:44 pm

Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES

MEDINA – Congratulations to the 22 students from the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center who were recently inducted into the National Technical Honor Society.

Congratulations go to Malik Abdukghani (Lockport/Building Trades), Caleb Bellan (Medina/Welding), Desereé Brewer (Lockport/Security and Law Enforcement), Josephine Capen (Royalton Hartland/Allied Health), Skyler Christopher (Royalton Hartland/Early Childhood Ed), Carly Eldridge (Royalton Hartland/Allied Health), Catherine Fleischhut (Roylaton Hartland/Early Childhood Ed), Heaven Flood (Lyndonville/Cosmetology), Jamasen Johnson (Royalton Hartland/Electricity & Electronics), Tristen Johnson (Newfane/Electricity & Electronics), Jordan Klosin (Barker/Building Trades), Madeline Kraus (Medina/Allied Health), Samantha Lawson (Barker/Cosmetology), Richard Miles (Royalton Hartland/Early Childhood Ed), John Reed (Lockport/Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering), Destiny Satkowski (Medina/Allied Health), Steven Schumacher (Royalton Hartland/Welding), Alisha Scroger (Medina/Culinary Arts), Kennedy Smelski (Lyndonville/Allued Health), Elijah Sones (Medina/Building Trades), Matthew Steves (Royalton Hartland/Building Trades) and Alexis Stratton (Barker/Cosmetology).

The students were honored at the Orleans/Niagara BOCES’ technical education center in front of their teachers, families and school district representatives.

The students had to maintain an 89.5 average in their career and technical education programs and an 84.5 average at their high schools, have superior attendance, exemplary behavior, be a member in good standing with SkillsUSA and have a recommendation from a faculty member.

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Haunted Trail owner donates to 3 groups

Staff Reports Posted 31 October 2017 at 3:18 pm

Provided photo

ALBION – George Perrin, the owner of the Haunted Trail on Ridge Road in the Town of Murray, came to the Public Safety Building today and presented the Orleans County Deputy Sheriff’s Association with a donation of $400. Perrin is shown handing a check to Jeff Gifaldi, president of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association.

Perrin said the Haunted Trail is in its 11th year. He likes to make local donations every year. This year the Haunted Trail donated to the Eastern Orleans Food Bank in Holley, the Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Wilmot Cancer Center.

The donation to the Deputy Sheriff’s Association will assist with scholarships that the OCDSA provides each year at every school district in the county, Gifaldi said.

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Dollar General store taking shape in Kendall

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 October 2017 at 2:59 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

KENDALL – Contractors have been busy building the new Dollar General store in Kendall. The 9,100-square-foot structure is being built on Route 18, just west of the Kendall Road (Route 237) intersection. The site is shown in a photo taken this morning.

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Albion town supervisor says Culhane helped bring community leaders together

Posted 31 October 2017 at 2:53 pm


No longer can local governments function efficiently without forming and maintaining solid working relationships with neighboring municipalities. This is particularly applicable for town supervisors who lead their respective town councils to better provide for the health, safety, and welfare of their constituents.

I have had the good fortune to know and work with Carol Culhane since I was elected as Town of Albion Supervisor four years ago. Most people do not know that Carol regularly gathered her fellow supervisors to discuss the unique challenges towns face. It was invaluable to meet and talk with other supervisors in a purely informational manner about how we better serve our respective towns. All of us came from different professional backgrounds, yet benefited immensely from our shared experiences. Each of us walked away more capable to serve as supervisors because Carol made it a priority to bring us together.

Despite what some candidates new to local government say, no one truly knows how to handle a town supervisor’s responsibilities in their first term. This is especially so if they have, for example, not been a regular participant at meetings, served on a planning board or on town council. We simply do not show up on January 1st of our first term knowing it all or even most of the job. It is a continual learning experience and no incumbent supervisor or candidate understands this better than Carol.

I cannot vote in the Town of Gaines, but if I could, there is no doubt my vote would be for Carol Culhane. She is everything you could ever ask for as Town Supervisor. And she is everything I could ask for as a friend.

Matthew Passarell


Town of Albion

N-O rivals Akron and Barker to meet again for Class C field hockey crown

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 October 2017 at 10:53 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Akron and Barker will renew their rivalry for the Section VI Class C field hockey championship for the fourth year in a row on Wednesday. Akron’s Kayla Wdowka and Barker’s Haleigh Mason are shown here battling for control of the ball during a recent regular season meeting between the teams.

Perennial Niagara-Orleans League field hockey title contenders Akron and Barker are also perennial Section VI Class C title contenders as the Lady Tigers and Lady Raiders will meet for the crown for the fourth straight year and the eighth time in the last nine years at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Williamsville North.

Akron is seeded No. 1 and Barker No. 2 as the result of a coin flip after  the teams finished the N-O season as co-champions with identical 11-1 records having split a pair of 2-1 decisions.

Both teams advanced to the finals with one goal wins in the semis, Akron 1-0 over No. 4 Holland and Barker 2-1 over No. 3 Roy-Hart.

Barker scored a narrow 1-0 win in a shootout in last year’s Class C title contest to avenge a 3-1 loss to Akron in the 2015 final.  The Lady Raiders in fact have taken 7 of those last 8 title meetings with the Lady Tigers and have captured the sectional crown 12 of the last 15 years.

Barker has featured a balanced attack this season with six players having scored at least 5 goals including Katrina Clare (12 goals 2 assists), Ciara Gregoire (9g, 4a), Natalie Menz (8g, 10a), Lena Fazzolari (6g, 2a), Rachel Hurtgam (5g, 2a) and Casey A’Hearn (5g, 1a).

The Akron attack has been led by the trio of Abby Stone (17g, 9a), Rebecca Breymeier (14g) and Alexis Bell (13g).

Albion wins title to cap 11-0 football season

Contributed Story Posted 31 October 2017 at 10:42 am

Contributed Photo – Completing a perfect 11-0 season, Albion defeated Tri Town 40-6 in the Niagara Orleans Football Association (NOFA) Varsity Division championship game Saturday at Medina’s Vets Park. In front are Luke Cornick, Bryden McMurray, Amilcar Moralas Jr, Kaiden Yeargin, Shakarion Drisdom and Coach Tyler Rotoli. In the middle row are Coach Luke Cornick, Michael White,  Javon Jones,  Jacob Hughson, Amari Jones,  Sh’kwe Riley, Bryce Froman, Jorden Ostrander and Head Coach Shawn Callicutt. In the top row are Ricky Lilly, Braxton Zarpentine, Jahmeek Riley, Chris Porter, Zaire Reid, Aquil Gaffney and Jabari Johnson.