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Month: July 2018

AnJo Bombers go 1-2-1 at Falls Tournament

Contributed Story Posted 31 July 2018 at 6:55 pm

The AnJo Bombers 16U  went 1-2-1 in the Battle at the Falls tournament this past weekend.

The Bombers lost twice to the Warriors out of the Saratoga area including a multi extra inning game on playoff Sunday where both teams struggled with pitching.

The Bombers played great against the Toronto Cardinals on Saturday winning 9-8 on a walk off by Mike DiCureia in the bottom of the seventh scoring Thomas Furmanski.

The Bombers racked up 11 hits. Joe Watson, Colin Fragale and Albee got it started in the seventh with singles.  Watson, Thomas Furmanski, and Karl Darling each managed multiple hits.  Darling, Furmanski, and Watson each collected two hits. Reed Albee earned the win.

The Bombers also played well against the  Hoosic Valley Rangers from the Saratoga area  tying 7-7.

The Bombers came from behind scoring in the bottom of the sixth off a single byDarling which drove in Fragale.

The Bombers totaled eight hits in the game.  Darling and Zeke Callicutt  collected multiple hits.  Darling led the way with three hits in four at bats.

Carson Tatro and Rylend Callicutt combined to strike out 10 in the effort.

Preservation League tries to rally support for historic canal vessels

Posted 31 July 2018 at 4:31 pm

Press Release, Preservation League of New York State

Photo by Tom Rivers: This photo from October 2015 shows the Tug Urger when it was in Albion.

ALBANY – The Preservation League of New York State is seeking support for its efforts to protect the historic Tug Urger and other Erie Canal vessels that provide an authentic link to the past.

The League recently learned that the New York State Canal Corporation, under the New York Power Authority (NYPA), has plans to beach the tugboat Urger, flagship of the Erie Canal and beloved “teaching tug.” This vessel has introduced thousands of school children and members of the public to New York’s navigable waterways, reinforcing the role of the Erie Canal in making New York the Empire State.

Tug Urger used to travel up and down the canal system for school field trips and public events. Now the Canal Corporation and NYPA want to pull it from the water and make it a dry-land exhibit at a NYS Visitor Center off the Thruway in Montgomery County. NYPA’s plans would permanently disable the Urger and prevent it from returning to service.

The League is launching an advocacy campaign to call attention to the plight of the Urger and to call on the Canal Corporation and New York Power Authority to work with stakeholders to develop a plan for the fleet of historic canal vessels, more than a dozen of which are slated to be scuttled off Long Island to create artificial reefs for sport fishing and recreational diving.

According to Jay DiLorenzo, president of the Preservation League, “The Erie Canal is an engine for recreation and tourism with significant economic benefits for canal communities, businesses, and New York State. The Preservation League has been working for years to help communities in the Erie Canal Corridor address their unique preservation challenges and revitalize canalside assets.”

Through more than $600,000 in grants, technical services, workshops, awards and the Industrial Heritage Reuse Project, the Preservation League has helped individuals, not-for-profits and municipalities throughout the canal corridor. Loans from the Endangered Properties Intervention Program (EPIP) have added more than $300,000 in support.

“As we mark the 100th anniversary of the Barge Canal, it seems like a remarkably poor time to remove historic resources from the National Historic Landmark NYS Canal System,” continued DiLorenzo.

“It’s hard to imagine the future of the canal system without Tug Urger and other significant historic vessels on the water,” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. “These vessels convey the sense of New York State pride, stewardship, and heritage that are integral to a thriving, living waterway.”

According to Dan Wiles, president of the Board of Directors of the Canal Society of New York State, “The 1901 Urger already had a storied career even before plying Barge Canal waters in the 1920s, serving as a fishing boat on Lake Michigan. As one of the State’s maintenance workhorses, its presence overlaps nearly all of the years of the Barge Canal, now celebrating its centennial. It has been appreciated by generations across these many years and across New York State. It is one of the essential links between that past and the future. We all need it to continue this mission on the waterway, being shared by communities throughout the canal corridor.”

In addition to the effort to save the Urger, the League is also calling on the Canal Corporation and New York Power Authority to work with stakeholders to develop a plan for the remainder of the fleet of historic canal vessels, which currently numbers 57.

More information and a petition is on the Preservation League’s website at

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Gillibrand announces bipartisan legislation to train students for high-skilled jobs is now law

Posted 31 July 2018 at 4:13 pm

Senator visited Albion’s high school shop class on Nov. 21 to promote legislation

Press Release, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Photo by Tom Rivers: U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand visited the shop class at Charles D’Amico High School on Nov. 21, 2017 to promote legislation that would allow schools to seek federal funding for 3D printers, laser cutters, computerized machine tools and other new equipment.

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced that following her push, the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act was signed into law today.

The legislation includes provisions based on two of Gillibrand’s bipartisan bills that would promote technical skills training and prepare students for high-demand, good-paying jobs in the 21st century economy. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act reauthorizes funding for career and technical education programs.

“I am very excited to announce that important provisions from my bipartisan Computer Science Career Education Act and my bipartisan 21st Century SHOP CLASS Act have just been signed into law as part of the Career and Technical Education reauthorization,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Companies across New York have many high-tech jobs available, and these provisions will help train students with the technical and computing skills they need to fill these jobs. This is great news for our state, and I will continue to do everything I can to make sure that our schools have the resources they need to better prepare students for high-quality jobs, no matter where they are in the state.”

Gillibrand’s provisions were included in the larger Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which was signed into law today. Her bipartisan Computer Science Career Education Act would help provide more opportunities for students to learn computer science skills, especially for women, minority, rural, and low-income students across New York State who are underrepresented in STEM careers, in order to prepare them for in-demand careers in computer science. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2024, one in every two STEM jobs will be in computing, and there will be 1.3 million job openings in computing occupations due to growth in the field. However, fewer than 50,000 students graduate each year with bachelor’s degrees in computer science.

The legislative package also included provisions from Gillibrand’s bipartisan 21st Century Strengthening Hands On Programs that Cultivate Learning Approaches for Successful Students (SHOP CLASS) Act, which would prepare teachers to offer expanded training for students across New York State in advanced manufacturing technologies like 3D printers, laser cutters, and computerized machine tools. Modern manufacturing is increasingly high-tech and creates complex technical jobs that require technical-skill training.

The Computer Science Career Education Act is cosponsored by Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), and the 21st Century SHOP CLASS Act is cosponsored by Senator Todd Young (R-IN). Both provisions from Gillibrand’s bipartisan legislation would help train the future workforce for the 21st century economy and give more students the training needed for high-demand, good-paying jobs.

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Nearly 25,000 attended Orleans County 4-H Fair

Photos by Tom Rivers: Kaitlyn Johnson, 14, of Basom teams with her dog, Poirot, a Rough Collie, to compete in the agility drills on Friday morning.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 July 2018 at 2:19 pm

KNOWLESVILLE – There were about 24,500 people who attended the Orleans County 4-H Fair for six days last week, not including the vendors and exhibitors.

That attendance is about average for the fair, said Robert Batt, executive director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County, which runs the fair.

However, Batt said the 24,500 is impressive given the rain early in the week and threats of bad weather later in the week.

“We consider it a big success because of the forecast and threat of the storms,” he said.

The parking lot off Wood Road was sold out or nearly full on many of the evenings, which pushed more parking to two parking areas off Taylor Hill Road.

Parking per vehicle was increased to $7 this year. The fair estimated the carloads were bigger this fair, averaging about 3.75 people per vehicle.

The Orleans fair is a youth fair where alcohol isn’t allowed. There also isn’t a demolition derby or big-name bands.

The focus is on 4-H exhibitors, with other entertainment, including midway rides.

These nine 4-H’ers competed in the grand master showmen competition on Friday, featuring the top showmen from nine different breeds of animals. They include, from left: Emma Mathes, master showman for meat goats; Kaylee Nesbitt, beef cattle; Jamie Schieber, llamas; Rylie Lear, swine; Will Trembley, sheep; Nicole Mryzwka, dairy goats; Liz Jurs, dairy cattle; Madison Bale, horse English; and Morgan Bakutis, horse Western.

The master showmen had to show nine different types of animals. Lear won the competition as grand master showman with her cousin Mryzwka the reserve champ.

Andrew Uderitz of Albion leads his dog Tank through agility tests on Friday morning, including passing through a tunnel.

Colette Randolph, 5, of Knowlesville gets ready to do the small fry pedal tractor pull.

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Gaines supervisor says town moving forward with zoning updates after inaction in recent years

Posted 31 July 2018 at 1:48 pm


I am saddened by the letter of Mike Grabowski that was published recently. I also find it utterly ridiculous. Let me tell you why:

The Town Board, as a group, unanimously passed a resolution at the February meeting directing the ZBA conduct a review of the current configuration of planning and zoning in the Town of Gaines, including a report on what changes are needed to the zoning ordinance, why we only have a Zoning Board of Appeals and no Planning Board, and how we comply with zoning best practices in New York State. Rather than take a measured approach and provide recommendations, Mr. Grabowski used the March meeting to berate the board about the resolution, tell us the entire zoning ordinance needs to be rewritten, and throw accusations at the board, supervisor, and town attorney.

Two ZBA secretaries have quit. That’s true. You’ll have to ask them why, but the overarching reason is that they did not feel the treatment they received from the Zoning Board was worth the pay. Not being told meetings were cancelled or having no feedback on meeting minutes until the day before a meeting, with no other communication from the chairman, tends to frustrate people.

Mr. Grabowski told us at the March meeting that the zoning ordinance isn’t in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan that was done in 2015 and needed to be heavily revised. My question for Mr. Grabowski and everyone else is: Why wasn’t this done in 2016? Why wasn’t this done in 2017? The proverbial can was kicked down the road. I am not sure why, but it needs to be fixed. Indeed, Mr. Grabowski demanded it be fixed.

Since the beginning of the year, Mr. Grabowski has not returned a single email or phone call to me. Not one. I tried multiple times (precisely, 2 separate emails and 2 attempts at phone calls) to inform him of the plan to move forward with the consultant. None were returned. Whose fault is that?

The Town Board and the attendees at the last board meeting enjoyed a very informative presentation and discussion by LaBella Associates. Some questions were asked  by both the board and the audience, but there was absolutely zero negative feedback. Once again, the board unanimously voted to move forward with using the services of LaBella to help the Town revise our planning and zoning processes.

Mr. Grabowski’s letter is a perfect example of what’s wrong in Gaines. I don’t have any allegiances to anyone on “the other side” of the zoning and planning argument. I’ve had Gaines residents express to me that the board should have immediately formed a planning board in January to go back to the way it was before 2012 when that board was eliminated, and they aren’t happy that hasn’t happened. Rather than do that, I feel the proper approach is a measured and thoughtful one. It is very clear to me, and is certainly evidenced by the venom in Mr. Grabowski’s letter, that the Town of Gaines absolutely needs an outside party to advise us on a path forward. Not only do we have a Comprehensive Plan that was never used to update our zoning ordinance, we have new topics of importance, such as solar farms, that must be addressed properly.

All of this information is available on the town website. Meetings of previous minutes, the remarks made by Mr. Grabowski at the March meeting, the discussion about the consultant at the July meeting, along with the actual proposal from LaBella Associates to do the work. Please take the time to look them over if you have interest.

It is time for all interested parties to stop throwing accusations and talking about conspiracy theories and start working together to get this project completed. There will be a call for Gaines residents to be involved in the process that LaBella Associates will walk us through, and I would encourage anyone with interest to get involved with this.

I am excited that we are taking this project on, and that we are proceeding like we are with assistance from professionals. Together we can prepare the Town for the future, and with teamwork, start to bury some of the ridiculous animosity that exists over actions taken by previous elected officials.

Thank you!

Joseph Grube

Town Supervisor

Town of Gaines

County’s Ag District adds 116 acres

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 July 2018 at 11:00 am

ALBION — The Orleans County Consolidated Agricultural District is growing by 115.66 acres.

The County Legislature last week held a public hearing on the additions for the countywide district. The Legislature then approved the acreage for the Ag District.

The changes go for a final OK in Albany by the State Department of Agriculture and Markets. That is expected in September or October.

The additions include:

• 4.10 acres on Greenman Road in the Town of Yates, which are owned by Sandy Knoll Farms

• 44.10 acres on Gray Road in the Town of Barre, owned by the Barre Sportsmen’s Club

• 0.86 acre on Gaines Waterport Road in Gaines, owned by Robin L. Root

• 54.80 acres on Gaines Waterport Road in Gaines, owned by Robin L. Root

• 11.80 acres on Horan Road in Ridgeway, owned by Timothy D. Marker.

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Town Supervisor in Gaines leaves ZBA in dark on changes affecting the board

Posted 31 July 2018 at 10:42 am


It’s been said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Are you aware that’s exactly what’s occurring in the Town of Gaines on a regular basis?

Prior to being elected, Supervisor Grube stated that he had no allegiances to anyone but the residents of Gaines, claiming he wouldn’t stand for anything but honest, open government and civil, respectful debate on topics of importance.

It is my experience as Chairman of the Gaines Zoning Board of Appeals, that communication has not been honest, open or respectful. Many concerns expressed the ZBA have gone unaddressed, and responsibilities delegated to the ZBA have been taken away and intentionally, selectively trampled.

On two occasions this year, the Town Board, led by Supervisor Grube has hired and shortly afterwards accepted the resignation of two secretaries and failed to notify the very board that was served, leaving us without coverage for regularly scheduled meetings. This fundamental lack of communication and understanding the implications of your decisions demonstrates an absence of attention to detail and a commitment to provide quality services to the residents of the town.

What should be more concerning to the residents of the Town of Gaines, is that that Supervisor Grube has attempted to personally propose changes to and modify specific Zoning Ordinance language without the assistance, input or having any dialog or discussion with the very board that is responsible for enforcing the rules, the Gaines ZBA.

It’s also inconceivable, and fiscally irresponsible, for a Supervisor to solicit one, single proposal for professional services for updating zoning/land use regulations in the amount of $27,700 of taxpayers’ money, and after a short discussion requests a motion from his board to adopt. The Town’s very own procurement policy was side-stepped and ignored. Most municipal procurement policies, including those followed by our very own Orleans County, recommends a written request for proposal with response from three sources for items over $20K.

It is extremely important to acknowledge that Supervisor Grube has led an effort to ignore his own town’s ordinance that requires the ZBA to prepare and amend as necessary the comprehensive land development plan for the Town.

Early in his new role as supervisor, he requested and was informed of the role the ZBA has played in its current comprehensive plan and all the work that has been invested to bring the current ordinance into compliance. Back in March a resolution was passed to have the ZBA Chairman and Town attorney research possible next steps. That all changed at July’s town board meeting. No explanation or discussion for the change in direction. The whole process was discarded and course of action changed when Supervisor Grube chose to personally present one option to the board and go forward.

Do you make your own rules, or follow sound, known, established procedures? I ask the residents in the Town of Gaines to decide……honest, open or just insane.

Michael Grabowski

Gaines ZBA Chairman

Holley wins best-tasting water at Rochester competition, advances to State Fair

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 July 2018 at 9:47 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: The top of the Holley water tank on Route 237 is shown in this photo from Sept. 2, 2017.

HOLLEY – The Village of Holley won the 2018 Western Region Tap Water Taste Contest on Saturday at the City of Rochester Public Market.

Holley finished first, followed by the City of Rochester in second, Village of Albion in third, City of Jamestown in fourth, and Village of Arcade in fifth.

Holley advances to the State Finals which will be held Aug. 30 at the State Fair in Syracuse.

Last year the Village of Lyndonville won the state title for best-tasting water.

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LOYAL soccer’s newest group caps 1st season

Contributed Story Posted 31 July 2018 at 8:39 am

Contributed Photos – Saturday was the final session for LOYAL Soccer’s new 2-3 year old division. In all, 47 parents with kids came out for the four 30 minute Saturday sessions during July to learn skills and games. Here volunteer instructor Coby Albone chats with some of the kids after their final activity.  The kids took part in stations of games or specific skills such as dribbling, trapping, shooting etc. One station was the conditioning station with hurdles and ladder drills. Each player received a sunny yellow LOYAL Soccer t-shirt, a soccer ball and an ice cream coupon. LOYAL Soccer will continue this age group next year due to the overwhelming positive response!

Practicing at the ladder conditioning drill.

Working on dribbling the ball.

Surging M-L United U17 tops West Seneca

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 July 2018 at 8:32 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Nate Dillenbeck drives the ball up field for Medina-Lyndonville United U17 during Monday night’s win over West Seneca at Lyndonville.

Continuing a big late season surge, Medina-Lyndonville United edged past West Seneca 4-3 Monday evening in a Buffalo and Western New York Junior Soccer League U17 Division game at Lyndonville.

Matt Hess on a rush up field for Medina-Lyndonville.

Evan Silversmith scored 2 goals and Matt Hess and Nate Dillenbeck both netted one as Medina-Lyndonville United improves to 3-1-1 over the last five games after a slow 0-4 start to the season.

Medina-Lyndonville United jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first 8 minutes as Hess scored off an assist from Brandon Heschke and then Silversmith tallied from Devin Rounds.

West Seneca though cut the deficit to 2-1 before halftime and the netted a pair of quick goals early in the second half to take a 3-2 lead.

However,  Medina-Lyndonville United came battling back.

First a penalty kick goal by Dillenbeck tied the game at the 65th minute and then Silversmith netted what proved to be the game winner at the 73rd minute off an assist from Dillenbeck.

The Medina-Lyndoville United defense, which was anchored by Jack Whipple and Evan Horn, then turned back a late West Seneca surge to preserve the narrow victory.

Now at 3-5-1, Medina-Lyndonville United closes out the season at Cheektowaga on Friday.