Find us on Facebook

Month: March 2020

Orleans County Legislature urges residents to ‘Take 5’ and reach out to neighbors

Posted 31 March 2020 at 9:31 pm

Press Release, Lynne Johnson, Orleans County Legislature chairwoman

ALBION – Take 5 for New York is a new county-wide campaign that is being launched to encourage Orleans County residents to take five minutes out of each day to call a friend, loved one, or acquaintance who may be alone and feeling isolated during this period of social distancing.

Lynne Johnson

It is part of a state-wide effort promoted by the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC).

“Participating county officials are calling on their residents to take just five minutes of everyday to call on a loved one, friend, neighbor, acquaintance to say hi, check on them, see if they need anything, lift their spirits, and tell them they are not alone, “ said Stephen Acquario, NYSAC Executive Director. “It doesn’t matter what you talk about. You can talk about this crisis or the latest show you are watching. The point is connecting with people in our community who could use it the most.”

This statewide campaign is being launched with the hashtag #Take5ForNY.

The New York State Association of Counties is a bipartisan municipal association serving all the counties of New York State, including the City of New York.


You’re here checking the site, so you know: Orleans Hub is a vital resource for our community. Day in and day out, we share information and insights that matter to those who live and work in the towns, villages and hamlets of our county. Local advertisers help make the Hub possible, and so can you.

Donate today to keep Orleans Hub healthy and accessible to all. Thank you!


2,000 lose power after utility pole sheared in Murray accident

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 March 2020 at 8:56 pm

Provided photo

MURRAY – A utility pole on Telegraph Road in Murray was struck by a truck at 7:06 p.m., causing a power outage for about 2,000 National Grid customers in the Murray and Brockport areas.

The company is estimating the power will be back on at 9:15 p.m.

The driver was walking outside the truck after the accident and doesn’t appear to have suffered any serious injuries.

No other information is available.

Return to top

Orleans County will delay any foreclosures for 90 days

Staff Reports Posted 31 March 2020 at 6:55 pm

ALBION — The Orleans County Treasurer, who is tax enforcing officer for the county, will stay the enforcement of any foreclosure on residential or commercial property for 90 days, Kim DeFrank, the county treasurer, announced today.

She is adhering to the Governor’s Executive Order 202.8.

Information about the 2016 Tax Foreclosure proceedings and 2020 County Tax Foreclosure Auction can be obtained by contacting the Treasurer’s Office at (585) 589-5353.

The Treasurer’s Office remains open at 34 East Park St., Albion, and is accepting all delinquent tax payments with a safe and secure drop box, DeFrank said.

Any cash payment can be made by calling the office in advance and making an appointment.

Return to top

NY tops 1,500 deaths from coronavirus, 75,000 confirmed cases

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 March 2020 at 5:06 pm

‘Everyone is subject to this virus. It is the great equalizer. I don’t care how smart, how rich, how powerful you think you are. I don’t care how young, how old. This virus is the great equalizer.’ – Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Photo by Mike Groll/Office of the Governor: Andrew M. Cuomo provides a coronavirus update during a news conference at Albany today. He also shared his brother Chris Cuomo, a journalist with CNN, tested positive for Covid-19.

New York State today reported its biggest daily jump of confirmed Covid-19 cases with 9,298 new positives. That brings the state-wide total to 75,795 confirmed cases of Covid-19 since the first case was reported a month ago.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also shared during a news conference today that more than 1,500 people have now died from the virus in the state. The number of deaths increased in one day from 1,218 to 1,550.

The governor said experts predict the apex, the high point of the crisis, to hit in 14 to 30 days, but no one can be sure.

“The number of cases still going up,” Cuomo said at a news conference today. “We’re all in search of the apex and the other side of the mountain. But we are still headed up the mountain.”

The governor announced hospitals state-wide will be working together to respond to the cases so patients get treated without any one hospital or system being overwhelmed.

The state is launching an online portal that will help connect hospitals and healthcare facilities across the state with the nearly 80,000 healthcare workers who have volunteered to work on a temporary basis during the COVID-19 pandemic. The portal will prioritize the deployment of workers to hospitals with the greatest need. Some of the volunteers are expected to be deployed as early as this Thursday.

“We have two missions overall that we are pursuing. One is the front line of this battle is our hospital system,” Cuomo said. “That’s where this is going to come down to.”

“The second is social responsibility. Stay at home. Don’t get infected in the first place. Don’t get infected in the first place because it goes back to your creating a burden on our health care system that our health care system cannot handle.”

The governor said he doesn’t expect life to return to normal anytime soon. He strongly urged people to stay vigilant in practicing social distancing, washing hands frequently and staying home. He knows it’s difficult for many people to stay inside and not be out enjoying their lives.

“It’s not just about you,” the governor said. “It’s not just about your health and your life that you’re playing with here, my friend. You can infect other people. So I’ve been trying to communicate this many different ways for many days.

“We still see people coming out who don’t need to be out. Even for essential workers, people have to be careful. And again, I’ve been trying to communicate that. Everyone, everyone is subject to this virus. It is the great equalizer. I don’t care how smart, how rich, how powerful you think you are. I don’t care how young, how old. This virus is the great equalizer.”

Return to top

Hawley seeks continuing resolution to fund state government

Posted 31 March 2020 at 4:34 pm

Press Release, Assemblyman Steve Hawley

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is calling on his Assembly colleagues to consider passing a continuing resolution, a bill that sets aside money for government agencies, in order to ensure the state government continues to operate at the fullest capacity until a clearer image of what state expenses will look like appear.

“The fact of the matter is the state has no idea what its expenses and revenue will be tomorrow, let alone for the entire year,” Hawley said. “To try to vote on a budget that can anticipate state revenue in the middle of this crisis is impossible. It makes sense to give the state government a little wiggle room in order to stay functioning during this time.

“A continuing resolution was implemented under Gov. David Paterson’s tenure,” Hawley said. “It makes sense that, under these circumstances, a similar policy could be implemented to keep everyone healthy and keep the state running.”

Return to top

Orleans, Genesee each report 1 new Covid-19 case

Posted 31 March 2020 at 4:15 pm

Information from Orleans and Genesee County Public Health Departments

There is one new confirmed coronavirus case in both Orleans and Genesee counties, the Public Health Department reported today at 4 p.m.

The new case in Orleans is an individual under age 65 from the central part of the county. Orleans now has six confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Genesee’s latest case is under the age of 65 residing in the central part of the county. Genesee now has 13 confirmed cases.

• None of the new positive cases were under precautionary or mandatory quarantine when they became symptomatic and are not believed to be connected, the Health Department said.

• Contact tracing has been initiated for all the new cases. Known contacts have already been placed under mandatory quarantine and will be swabbed if indicated (if symptoms becomes present).

If a person is identified as a contact, they will be notified by the Health Department, quarantined and if warranted, swabbed if indicated.

“Limited information is provided to the public in compliance with HIPAA regulations and out of the respect of those impacted by this virus,” according to a news release from the Health Department. “When, and if, there is a situation where potential contact is made in a public location where contact tracing doesn’t have actual names we will send out a media announcement to help seek contacts.”

Community Spread

Means you can get it from respiratory droplets from infected people and on any surface as long as the virus is still viable. If you touch a door handle, counter, etc. that has the virus on it, then touch a mucous membrane (nose, mouth, eyes) you can introduce the virus into your body.

Identifying a store or business where people may have been doesn’t help because the virus is everywhere and can give a false sense of security that the virus isn’t somewhere else. Limiting trips to the store and designating only one person for shopping can lower the risk of spreading the virus.

With the rising numbers, it is important to know the social distancing guidance will work but it takes time before we can see the results. The coming weeks are most critical in determining how many lives can be saved in our communities by staying safer at home, social distancing, and having good hand (wash often) and cough (do not cough in your hand, but in a disposable tissue or your elbow) hygiene.

Nature Breaks and Parks

We are getting reports of groups not practicing social distancing. Many parks have roped off areas of their parks to discourage group play (basketball, football, soccer, using shared equipment or frequently touched surfaces such as the playground equipment). This is not a time for playgroups. Parents remind your children they are to keep their distance from non-household members to limit the spread of disease.

State Parks are free with limited services available. They are encouraging New Yorkers to recreate locally, practice social distancing, and use common sense to protect themselves and others. Contact your local park for specific information on any changes to their operations in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Return to top

Ortt seeks added protective equipment for COs, parole officers during pandemic

Posted 31 March 2020 at 3:41 pm

Press Release, State Sen. Robert Ortt

State Sen. Rob Ortt (R,C,I,Ref-North Tonawanda) sent a letter today to Gov. Cuomo requesting that further measures be put in place to protect officers working in our state’s correctional facilities as well as parole officers.

According to a New York Post article, only officers who are dealing with sick inmates are provided PPE masks, while other officers are forced to work in close quarters with inmates who may have COVID-19, yet show no symptoms of the virus.

“The density of correctional facilities makes them a highly contagious environment, and keeping our law enforcement officers safe should be a top priority during an outbreak of an airborne communicable disease,” said Sen. Ortt.  “Our corrections and parole officers’ inability to wear PPE puts both officers and inmates at risk and opens the door to the possibility of these officers bringing the virus home to their families. The state has designated them as essential; we know they’re essential; let’s treat them as essential.”

According to the New York Post, as of last Monday, 56 officers and sergeants tested positive for the virus — including the president of the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, Michael Powers. There are also currently hundreds more in quarantine.

Return to top

Holley accepting PreK and kindergarten registration

Posted 31 March 2020 at 3:04 pm

Press Release, Holley Central School

HOLLEY – If you are interested in enrolling your child in Holley’s universal pre-kindergarten (UPK) or kindergarten program, please complete the form (click here). This enables us to mail you the appropriate registration packet for you to complete.

Please note: If your child currently attends Holley Central’s UPK, you do not need to register for kindergarten. Your student will be automatically enrolled.

Once completed, applications can be mailed back to the school or dropped off by appointment only. Please contact Karen Bower (Kbower@holleycsd.org or 638-6318, ext. 2580) to set up an appointment.

Copies of birth certificates, proof of residency, immunization records and any applicable custodial paperwork will be collected at a later date. The mailing address is Holley Elementary School, 3800 North Main St., Holley, NY 14470.

Screening dates for UPK and kindergarten will be announced at a later date.

Return to top

Pandemic Perspective: Missing hugs, friends and vinyl records at Friday gatherings

Posted 31 March 2020 at 2:49 pm

(Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing series on how the coronavirus has impacted life locally. Send a submission to news@orleanshub.com.)

Provided photos: Thom Jennings leads Friday’s vinyl nights at 810 Meadworks, where customers are encouraged to bring in records while enjoying conversation.

By Thom Jennings

It’s 6 p.m. on a Friday, and the regular crowd shuffles into 810 Meadworks for vinyl record night. On most nights, Steve is at his usual place at the bar with a small stack of albums sipping on a glass of his favorite mead. We usually share a hug not long after I arrive for my regular shift. Then we sift through each other’s albums, looking for something unique, and we usually find something.

By March 13, schools were already closed, and restaurants and bars were limited to 50 percent of capacity. The Monkees Greatest Hits was already spinning on the record player when I reported for my shift at 6 p.m.

The records are an important part of the evening. Some evoke memories because many of the songs provided the soundtrack to people’s lives. Other records introduce new music to people. Unlike digital tracks played through headphones, the listening experience is communal.

As important as the records are, what really makes Friday nights so special is the people. There are some nights when the music is barely audible over the talking, and that’s fine. All of us regulars have been accustomed the ebbs and flows of people. They are just as likely to get drink recommendations from the customers as they are the employees, it doesn’t get more communal than that.  And whether they come in or alone, we will likely get their first name before they leave.

Friday’s vinyl nights at 810 Meadworks are a unique combination of the characters described in the Billy Joel classic “Piano Man” and the iconic television show “Cheers.” It is the antithesis of “social distancing.” The topics range from grandkids to current events, and even dating advice. We laugh together, cry together and if it’s your birthday we will sing to you at top volume. There are no topics that are taboo, but some will make you blush a little.

The staff and customers at 810 Meadworks keep a log of the music played on vinyl nights.

The list of albums spun is written on the tissue paper that is used to wrap up bottles of mead. The silver sharpie seems to be missing all night, but eventually turns up so we can keep a complete record of the records. You are as apt to find a classic Beatles album as you are an obscure progressive metal band on the list. Some of the albums smell like a musty attic, or stale cigarettes, and others have never been played. Some are black, and some have intricate patterns and beautiful colors. Some crackle and pop, others are crystal clear and warm. They all find their way to the turntable eventually.

The evening filled a void in my life by combining a love of music along with a love of people. Even our next-door neighbors over at The Shirt Factory have become an integral part of the evening. Customers often shuffle back and forth, and we have even engaged in some good-natured pranks with their bartenders. (They plowed my vehicle in one evening and we retaliated with a fake $5,000 winning lottery ticket in their tip jar. We are still waiting to see how they pay us back for that.)

It could be weeks, or even months before we reconvene. Sure, we could all listen to a stack of vinyl records at home and even write a list, it just isn’t the same.

The core group of us stay connected via text or social media, and that is the best we can do for now. We aren’t the only group facing the same dilemma. Houses of worship, sports teams, fitness communities small and large businesses are all the same boat. We all find community in unique places, and some of us have multiple groups we are detached from as this situation unfolds.

Like any challenge, there are lessons to be learned. Inasmuch much as I miss my communal experiences it gives me a greater appreciation of the need to stay connected and to be around people. There are no electronic devices that are an ample substitute for a hug, and a thumbs up on social media will never be a good substitute for a live audience. My situation, like many others, is temporary and necessary.

Thom Jennings even misses some of the pranks at 810 Meadworks, like the time his vehicle was barricaded in by snow.

It reminds me of the people that can’t get out in the community or have limited human interactions due to a disability or because they don’t have family in the area. I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to making the occasional phone call to check-in, or the trips to the hospital or a nursing home. Even though there are times we all need to unwind and disconnect, humans are social creatures, and most of us long to be in the presence of other people.

Even in the direst circumstances, there are lessons to be learned. One day we will all be sitting around listening to our records and laughing and showing off pictures of kids and grandkids. The music will sound a little sweeter, and the hugs will offer a little more comfort. That day will be like music to my ears.

(Thom Jennings lives in Albion and is a music enthusiast, writing about artists and doing concert reviews for The Niagara Gazette.)

Return to top

Sidari, Sherman and Elliott deserving of re-election in Medina

Posted 31 March 2020 at 11:15 am

Editor:

I want to go on record as endorsing Mike Sidari for the office of Mayor for the Village of Medina, as well as Village Trustees Marguerite Sherman and Timothy Elliott.

Mr. Elliott was my first point of contact in the Village government when I began the pursuit of funding a new concrete public skate park in Medina in early 2018. Tim provided a wealth of information to set myself and the Medina Skate Society on the proper path for gaining local support and fundraising for a new skate park.

Mrs. Sherman has been a proud supporter of the efforts of the Medina Skate Society both on the Village Board and out at our local events over the past year of fundraising. Marguerite has spoken positively of the Skate Society and the new skate park during Village Board meetings and has attended many of the skate park fundraising events even with family members in tow.

Mr. Sidari has been most helpful to the efforts of the Medina Skate Society and has been integral in progressing the project forward over the past two years. Mike has voiced his support for the project to other Village Board members even before the Village secured the Tony Hawk & Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Skate Park Grant. Mike has kept the lines of communication open, answering calls, providing documentation and keeping correspondence between Medina Skate Society members, the Tony Hawk Foundation, the Department of Public Works and the Village of Medina to ensure the skate park project is on track to become a reality.

Mayor Sidari has also made it a point to attend every event he was able to and has been a familiar (and friendly) face to our local skaters and Skate Society members.

I would encourage any and all Village residents to cast a vote for positive community engagement and development and re-elect Mike Sidari, Marguerite Sherman and Timothy Elliott.

Sincerely,

Alex Feig

Medina Skate Society President

(Editor’s Note: The village election was moved back from March 18 to April 28 and now has been moved again to a date to be determined in June.)