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Month: July 2019

Furmanski helps Hamburg Post 527 capture state American Legion championship

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 July 2019 at 6:09 pm

Contributed Photo – Thomas Furmanski holds the Legion state championship trophy.

Thomas Furmanski, who will be a senior at Albion High this fall, has helped the Hamburg Post 527 baseball team capture the New York American League state championship.

Battling back out of the losers bracket, Hamburg claimed the title by sweeping a doubleheader victory from defending champion Rockland by scores of 9-8 and 1-0 today at Utica.  Furmanski scored a run in the 9-8 victory.

Furmanski helped Hamburg get off to a strong start in the tournament as he hurled a one hitter going into the seventh inning of a 3-2 victory over Maine-Endwell.

Hamburg then rebounded from a second round 5-0 loss to Rockland to defeat Rome 7-3 to stay alive as Furmanski banged out a two-run single.

Hamburg then defeated Saugerties 7-2 in the losers bracket finale to earn a berth in today’s title twin bill against Rockland. Furmanski had an RBI sacrifice fly in the win over Saugerties.

The state championship advances Hamburg to next week’s Legion national championship tournament in North Carolina.

Officials work to identify sites by lake in need of flood protection

Photos by Tom Rivers: Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson, Legislator John DeFilipps and County Highway Superintendent John Papponetti attended Tuesday’s meeting in Knowlesville for the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative Commission. About 50 officials from Orleans and Niagara counties attended the session at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 July 2019 at 4:26 pm

Orleans leaders have already identified 32 spots for consideration for state funding

KNOWLESVILLE – The state has $300 million to help Lake Ontario communities protect infrastructure, businesses, cultural assets and other important community sites.

Orleans County officials, and leaders in the towns of Yates, Carlton and Kendall have already identified 32 sites at the three lakeshore towns in Orleans that are vulnerable to flooding and erosion.

The state has formed the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative Commission – REDI – to work with municipalities to prioritize the sites for the funding.

New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid discusses the opportunities for funding through the new REDI program from the state.

The REDI Commission met in Knowlesville on Tuesday with about 50 officials from Orleans and Niagara counties.

The commission wants the municipalities to submit sites for consideration by Aug. 2. REDI will refine proposals on Sept. 12, and on Sept. 16 the commission will review regional proposals.

The REDI Commission formed after the second year of flooding and high lake levels on Lake Ontario. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he fears this is the “new normal” along the lake and wants communities to protect key infrastructure, cultural sites and businesses.

New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid spoke at Tuesday’s meeting, and praised the governor and State Legislature for allocating funds for help the shoreline communities.

The big task now is identifying the projects.

The REDI Commission will consider several factors in prioritizing funding, including public support for the projects, feasibility of implementation, level and scale of protection, flexibility, durability and long-term effectiveness, cost, economic development, environmental and ecological benefits, and whether alternative measures exhausted.

Orleans County Legislator John DeFilipps takes a photo of a map and list of projects listed for possible funding in Orleans and Niagara counties.

The group will also weigh whether sites are at risk for potential damage from flooding event, if they are a critical facility for public health and safety, capacity of asset to adapt, how long would asset be out of service if exposed to a damaging flood, if the soil underlying the asset is highly erodible, and whether the asset protected by natural features such as dunes, bluffs, barrier islands or trees.

“We want to identify real tangible projects,” Kulleseid said.

Officials in Orleans have identified 32 sites, including several roads, parking areas, water plants, stormwater systems, marinas, docks and other infrastructure.

Some of the sites include:

Carlton – Lakeside Bluff Road, Johnson Creek shoreline, Jones Beach shoreline, Brighton Cliff shoreline, shoreline east of Point Breeze Road, shoreline of Oak Orchard on the Lake Road, Rock Ledge Road shoreline, Lakeshore Road, Cottage Road shoreline, Park Road, peninsula near Oak Orchard, public town road ends and culverts, pumping stations and waterlines, and low-lying spots Lake Ontario State Parkway.

Kendall – Ed Rose Shore, end of Norway Road, Lomond Shore, Peter Smith Road kayak launch, Rout 237 right-of-way to lake, Thompson Road (eroded turnout) and low-lying spots on Lake Ontario State Parkway.

Yates – Town Park and expansion, multiple properties on fire lanes, and Lyndonville water plant.

In addition, the list includes these businesses – Bald Eagle Creek Marina in Kendall, The Cottages in Kendall, Point Breeze businesses and boat launches, and Green Harbor Campground and Marina in Carlton.

This map shows some spots along the shoreline in Orleans County that local officials say are vulnerable to flooding and erosion.

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NY won’t let teachers be armed in schools

Posted 31 July 2019 at 2:23 pm

Cuomo also directs State Police to strengthen gun buyback programs

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation limiting an educational institution’s ability to authorize any person who is not primarily employed as a school resource officer, law enforcement officer or security guard to carry a firearm on school grounds (S.101/A.1715), and directing State Police to establish statewide regulations aimed at strengthening existing gun buyback programs and create new programs for the safe removal of illegal, unsecured, abandoned or unwanted firearms (S.2449/A.2685).

This legislation builds on New York’s strongest in the nation gun laws, including the Red Flag Bill signed in February that prevents individuals who show signs of being a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing a firearm, legislation Governor Cuomo signed July 29 extending the background check waiting period and banning bump stocks and legislation signed yesterday banning undetectable guns and expanding firearm safe storage laws to protection children.

“The answer to the gun violence epidemic plaguing this country has never been and never will be more guns, and today we’re expanding New York’s nation-leading gun safety laws to further protect our children,” Governor Cuomo said. “These measures will help slow the proliferation of guns by keeping unneeded firearms out of school zones and helping to ensure unwanted or illegal guns don’t fall into dangerous hands.”

Preventing School Districts from Arming Teachers

In the wake of a rising number of deadly school shootings occurring across our nation, many have suggested that teachers and other school employees should be trained and armed to help deter and prevent future school shootings, even though educators nationwide have disapproved of the idea of carrying guns.

Additionally, introducing guns into schools could create the potential for accidental shootings or other acts of violence. This legislation stipulates that educational institutions can’t issue written authorization to carry a gun to any teacher, professor, administrator or other person who is not primarily employed as a school resource officer, law enforcement officer or security guard. The bill takes effect immediately.

Statewide Regulations for Gun Buyback Programs

There are many different gun buyback programs across the state that allow individuals to dispose of illegal, unsecured, abandoned or unwanted firearms. While these programs are increasing in popularity, they currently lack a consistent set of standards and do not occur everywhere in the state.

This legislation directs the State Police to work with the Department of State to establish regulations for gun buyback programs so that all buyback programs across the state are operated consistently with uniform best practices, and that these programs take place in every county in the state. These standards will help ensure that gun buyback programs accomplish their stated goals of reducing the proliferation of guns in our neighborhood and that the programs are easily accessible to the public. The bill will take effect 180 days after becoming law.

Rebecca Fischer, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, said, “Our children deserve safe schools and neighborhoods. Keeping guns out of our classrooms and off of our streets is essential for the future of our kids, our educators, and our communities. I applaud Governor Cuomo for signing these bills and our New York legislators for passing these common sense gun safety measures.”

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Cuomo signs law allowing emergency responders to remove distressed animals left in motor vehicles

Posted 31 July 2019 at 12:26 pm

Press Release, Gov. Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.5054/A.7053) authorizing firefighters and other emergency medical responders to remove animals in unattended motor vehicles under conditions that endanger their health or well-being. This legislation will help reduce wait times when calls are made to 911 that a pet is in danger, especially in areas and at times when law enforcement or animal control availability is limited. The bill goes into effect immediately.

“Leaving a pet in a stifling hot or freezing cold car is inhumane and potentially dangerous, and emergency responders should have the ability to remove them if necessary,” Governor Cuomo said. “As a dog owner myself, I am proud to sign this measure into law to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of animals.”

Senator Kenneth P. LaValle said, “By authorizing emergency medical service personnel and firefighters to remove animals from cars in extreme heat or cold situations, we reduce wait times saving critical minutes and the lives of innocent animals. In areas with limited police resources, this new law becomes even more important as it expands the number of emergency personnel who can respond to a desperate situation where a helpless animal is in imminent danger and the owner cannot be located.  Too often we hear stories about an animal who has died due to the reckless behavior of its owner.  This measure will offer greater protections to our precious pets and penalize those who put them in harms way.”

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele said, “In the summer months, we are reminded of the danger that the confinement of pets in motor vehicles can pose when temperatures inside vehicles can soar to life-threatening extremes within minutes. This important measure will result in the saving of beloved pets’ lives in these dangerous situations by substantially expanding who can respond to a pet in distress. Firefighters and EMS personnel are equipped and trained to act in these situations. This will allow our firefighters to put that training to good use when a pet is threatened by extreme temperatures in a motor vehicle.”

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Lyndonville man who has battled cancer will hike in Iceland for multiple myeloma research

Photo by Tom Rivers: John Klatt has his hiking gear on in this photo on Townline Road, where he lives not far from the farm where he grew up on Alps Road. He heads to Iceland next week for a fundraiser for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 July 2019 at 11:36 am

LYNDONVILLE – A Lyndonville man who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma three years ago will do rigorous hiking next week in Iceland to raise funds for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

John Klatt, 66, is a retired Lutheran pastor and served congregations for 35 years in the Thousand Islands, Western New York and Herkimer. He grew up on a farm on Alps Road and graduated from Lyndonville in 1971.

Provided photos: John Klatt and his sister Mary Schlabach participated in a training hike on the Shortoff Trail in Asheville, NC.

Three years ago he moved close to home and was working on renovating a house on Townline Road with his wife, Bonnie.

He was feeling over-tired and realized he fractured 10 vertebrae in his back due to the multiple myeloma, which is a cancer of the blood plasma that weakens the bones.

He endured chemotherapy and a stem cell treatment. He hasn’t had any active cancer the past two years.

Klatt is thankful for the treatments at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. He has raised nearly $8,000 which he said will aid in more research for people battling multiple myeloma. (Click here for more information on Klatt’s fundraising page).

“Roswell was a life-saver,” he said at his home in Lyndonville. “I received great treatments. It was just what I needed.”

Multiple myeloma is currently an incurable blood cancer. Klatt said his treatments have made the myeloma manageable.

He walked on a treadmill to help in his recovery. He also finished many of the projects around his house.

John Klatt and about 10 others headed to Iceland spent a day bonding and hiking on a training hike on the Shortoff Trail in Asheville, NC.

Klatt has long enjoyed walking and hiking, going on journeys in the Adirondacks, Appalachians and Catskills.

He was thumbing through the CURE magazine, when he read about the opportunity to hike in Iceland. His sister, Mary Schlabach, and 10 others will join him. All have been affected by multiple myeloma as survivors, caregivers or loved ones of those with the disease.

“I am honored that one of those participating on the 12-person team to Iceland will be my sister Mary Schlabach who was one of my caregivers following my stem cell transplant in 2016,” Klatt said.

Klatt and the other hikers will trek for five days of challenging and spectacular hiking. The hike is often called “Fire and Ice.” Hikers on a single will cross lava fields and volcanoes, and then be by stunning glaciers.

Klatt and the hikers have prepared for 7 to 8 hours of daily hiking, going about 6 to 8 miles each day. They will be staying in mountain huts.

The event is organized by Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma in a collaboration between CURE Media Group, GSK and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Since its creation in 2016, MM4MM has raised nearly $2.5 million, which 100 percent going directly to cancer research.

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Onion growers on muck honored for pest management, environmental-friendly practices

Photo courtesy of Dan Starowitz: The Elba Muck Donut Hour is a 20-plus year tradition. It is the “heart” of Cornell vegetable onion programming. From left to right: Leo Starowitz Jr., Onion specialist Christy Hoepting, Emma Long, Matt Mortellaro, Chuck Barie, Guy Smith and Max Torrey.

Posted 31 July 2019 at 10:24 am

Press Release, Cornell University, NYS Integrated Pest Management Program

ELBA – Local onion growers – Matt Mortellaro, Guy Smith, Chuck Barie, Emmaline Long and Mark and Max Torrey – received an Excellence in Integrated Pest Management Award from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program.

The six are muck onion farmers in Elba who meet weekly during the growing season for what is known as Muck Donut Hour, to discuss crop protection tactics. The state’s IPM develops sustainable ways to manage pests and helps people use methods that minimize environmental, health and economic risks. The award honors individuals who encourage the adoption of IPM in their businesses, schools, communities, and farms, and who develop new tools and tactics for sharing these practices.

Onions grown in muck soil—organically rich former swampland where production practices are unique and intense—are one of the most valuable crops in New York, with an average value of $34.6 million. In the Elba muck and surrounding pockets in Orleans, Genesee, and Livingston counties, eight farms produce 40 percent of the New York onion acreage on 3,000 acres. Mortellaro, Triple G, CY, and Big O (Torrey) farms account for almost 75 percent of that production.

In 2005, onion thrips infestations were nearly uncontrollable in New York. Populations of the vegetable-loving insect were resistant to multiple insecticides, and the hot and dry conditions created a worst-case scenario, causing crop losses exceeding 30 percent.

The Elba muck growers helped Cornell researchers conduct dozens of research trials and host large-scale demonstrations on their land, in an attempt to understand the biology, ecology, and management of thrips.

“The result culminated in a practical thrips management program, which includes regular scouting of onion fields followed by sparing use of insecticides designed to minimize resistance,” said Brian Nault, Professor of Entomology at Cornell AgriTech.

The Elba growers are now able to successfully manage their thrips infestations. They average between 1- 4 fewer insecticide applications and have saved an average of $113/acre, which is approximately $6,000-$226,000 per farm per year. In addition to regular scouting, the other key tool in the IPM arsenal is information exchange and discussions at the Muck Donut Hour, which Christy Hoepting, Senior Extension Associate with the Cornell Vegetable Program, describes as a way she keeps her “finger on the pulse” of the pest complex each year.

A CCE tradition for over twenty years, the Muck Donut Hour is held weekly during the growing season. There growers and researchers discuss the latest research findings, scouting and spray reports. Hoepting notes the willingness of the muck onion farmers to entrust their crops to Cornell’s research, and their transparency in sharing spray records.

“The Elba growers are undeniably brave,” Hoepting said. “To so wholeheartedly adopt IPM practices demonstrates the extent of their faith in Cornell’s research on their farms. The risk of a pest spiraling out of control in a high-value onion crop is frightening. Clearly, these growers believe in solid science and go above and beyond to support it.”

Steven Beer, Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology at Cornell University, says, “without the cooperation of the Elba onion growers, it is not likely that so many IPM-themed tactics would have been adequately tested under real grower conditions. They set the standard for other growers.”

The Elba muck onion farmers are: Matt Mortellaro, a third generation muck farmer and co-owner of G. Mortellaro & Sons, with his brother Paul.

“Matt is a fearless leader in adopting IPM strategies,” Hoepting said. “He is committed to sustainable onion production and environmental stewardship, and is a strong advocate of onion IPM.”

Guy Smith, a fourth generation muck farmer, owns Triple G Farms with his brother Greg and nephew Gary. Guy represents the Elba growing region on the board of directors for the New York Onion Research and Development Program.

Chuck Barie and Emmaline Long are Crop Production Managers for CY Farms LLC, which grows 120 acres in Batavia and Elba. Chuck has been responsible for planting, spraying, irrigating and harvesting the onions for over twenty years. Emmaline joined the farm in 2014 after graduating from Cornell. She scouts CY’s entire onion acreage weekly, including counting thrips, to implement IPM. Together, she and Chuck make pest management decisions. CY has the ability to micro manage every 5-20 acre onion field based on each area’s precise pest management needs.

Mark and Max Torrey are a father and son onion growing duo, and 11th and 12th generation farmers with Torrey Farms Inc. Max serves as the General Manager for Torrey’s onion operation, Big O Farms. As the largest grower in Elba, the Torrey’s pest management practices affect everyone.

“Their commitment to implementing resistance management strategies and following IPM spray thresholds has been instrumental in preserving the longevity of insecticides remaining effective against thrips,” Hoepting said.

The award was presented to the growers during their Muck Donut Hour on Tuesday.

Chili upends Albion U15 in playoff semifinal

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 July 2019 at 8:14 am

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Albion catcher Caden Uderitz tries to get the tag on a Chili runner at home during Tuesday’s semifinal game at Barre Park won by Chili.

Coming from behind twice, Chili upended the Albion U15 baseball squad 10-9 in the semifinal round of the Brockport  Pony League playoffs Tuesday evening at Barre Town Park.

Albion did jump out to an early 6-0 advantage by scoring three quick runs in the first inning on an RBI single by Caleb Fox, a wild pitch and a fielders choice play off the bat of Caden Uderitz and three times in the third on an RBI single by Chris Sacco, a fielders choice play off the bat of  Fox and an error.

However, Chili came battling back to knot the contest by scoring 6 times in the top of the fourth inning on the combination of 4 walks, 2 hits, a wild pitch and a hit batter.

Albion did regain an 8-6 lead by scoring once in the home half of the fourth on a fielders choice play off the bat of Pom Siebert and once in the fifth on a wild pitch but could not hold the advantage.

Chili again came rallying back this time with what proved to be a decisive 4 run sixth inning uprising on a combination of 3 singles, 3 errors and a hit batter to regain the lead for good at 10-8.

Albion did mount a last ditch rally in the bottom of the sixth scoring once on a single by Bryce Wilson, a walk and a wild pitch to cut the deficit to 10-9. However, the potential tying and winning runs were left stranded at second and third as Chili closed out the win on a pair of strikeouts and an infield line out.

Albion finishes the season at 11-2 while Chili advances to the playoff title game against the winner of the Hamlin vs. Spencerport Gold semifinal.

Albion’s Jack Ludwig, who had two hits, beats the throw to home to score.

Muckdogs win on combined one hitter

Contributed Story Posted 31 July 2019 at 8:07 am

Contributed Photo –  Eli Villalobos earned his second save of the year, throwing a perfect inning with two strikeouts as the Batavia Muckdogs defeated the Tri City Valley Cats, 1-0 in a game called after six innings because of rain. Batavia is 26-18 and in first place. 

TROY – The Batavia Muckdogs have won a lot of close games this season. Tuesday night, the Muckdogs won not only a close game, but a game that was stopped because of rain after six innings.

Jackson Rose and Eli Villalobos combined on a “perfect” 1-hitter as the Muckdogs defeated the Tri-City Valley Cats (Houston Astros), 1-0.

Rose, a 35th round draft pick of the Miami Marlins in 2018 out of Minnesota, improved to 5-2 on the season as he went five innings, struck out four and did not allow a walk or a run. He gave up a single in the third inning.

Villalobos, a 14th round pick of Miami in 2018, threw the sixth, striking out two and getting a ground out to Nic Ready at third topic up his second save of the season.

After that play, the rains came down and the thunder and lightning were closer and the game was called.

Batavia improved to 26-18, and remains in first place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.

Julian Infante, who joined the Muckdogs Tuesday from the Gulf Coast League, singled and scored the only run of the game.

Infante, a first baseman, was a 36th round draft pick of Miami this year and played at Vanderbilt. he is a Miami native.

Catcher Andres Sthormes singled in Infante for the game-winning RBI in the fifth inning. Another new Muckdog (who has played Batavia), Harrison Dinicola, had a single and Jack Strunc also singled.

After Batavia took a 1-0 lead, Rose had a seven-pitch inning thanks to the defense of Muckdogs left fielder J.D. Orr. The first batter, Joe Perez hit a low-liner to left and Orr made a running, diving catch and rolled twice, holding on to the ball. With little time to enjoy the grab, C.J. Stubbs then hit what appeared to be a base hit and again made a great catch.

Batavia is at Tri-City today and Thursday.

The team returns home to Batavia on Friday to play the Connecticut Tigers.

NY law now allows candidates to use campaign funds for child care expenses, enabling more women to seek public office

Posted 31 July 2019 at 7:14 am

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday signed legislation (S.2680A/A.1108B) to allow state and local candidates to use campaign funds to pay for child care expenses, enabling more parents to run for public office.

“Women face too many barriers when it comes to running for office and frankly child care expenses shouldn’t be one of them,” Governor Cuomo said. “By signing this measure into law, we will build on the historic progress we’ve made toward gender equality and empower more parents – and mothers in particular – to seek public office to ensure the decision makers in Albany reflect the people they are elected to represent.”

Specifically, the bill amends state election law to allow campaign funds to be used to pay child care expenses that are “incurred in the campaign or in the execution of the duties of public office or party position.” The bill’s provisions are effective in 60 days.

“We are committed to continuing to break down barriers for women in New York,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the NYS Child Care Availability Task Force. “I know firsthand the challenges mothers, and all parents, face running for office and balancing responsibilities at home, work, and on the campaign trail. Despite more women being elected in the state and nationwide, women are still underrepresented at all levels of public office. This legislation will make it easier for women to run for office and advances our efforts to achieve full equality for all.”

In New York, about 33 percent of the state’s executive and legislative officials are women, compared with a national average of 29 percent of state executive and legislative officials, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.

State Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, “I am thrilled that my bill allowing state and local candidates to use campaign funds for child care expenses was signed into law. Child care expenses are a heavy burden for many families across the state, and these expenses should not prohibit qualified parents from seeking public office. This new law will allow more young parents to run for public office, and we need their experiences represented in government. Thank you to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his leadership, and thank you to former congressional candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley for spearheading this important issue nationally.”

Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal said, “‘Run, momma, run,’ is the rallying cry for the cadre of women and mothers who are considering and running for elective office. This law will encourage more women to run, ensuring that legislators begin to look more like the communities they represent. By making child care an allowable campaign expense, we pay more than mere lip service to that reality, and begin dismantling some of the institutional barriers that women and mothers continue to face.”

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Wagner shares second at WNY Jr. PGA event

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 30 July 2019 at 9:50 pm

Ian Wagner, who will be a senior at Medina High this fall, finished in a four-way tie for second place at a Western New York Junior PGA Tour event held today at the Buffalo Tournament Golf Course in Lancaster.

Wagner fired a two over par round of 74 to gain a one-fourth share of second place a shot behind tourney champion Anthony Delisanti of Sanborn who had a 73.

Wagner is currently third in the WNY Jr.PGA Player of the Year standings which is led by Delisanti.