Month: June 2020

Our Letters Policy

Posted 7 November 2020 at 7:00 am

We appreciate input from our readers, and we publish letters to the editor without charge. While open speech and responsibility are encouraged, comments may be rejected if they are purely a personal attack, offensive or repetitive. Comments are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Orleans Hub. Although care is taken to moderate comments, we have no control over how they are interpreted and we are unable to guarantee the accuracy of comments and the rationality of the opinions expressed. We reserve the right to edit letters for content and brevity. Please limit the length of your letter (we suggest no more than 500 words) and provide your name, telephone number, mailing address and a verifiable email address for verification purposes. Letters should be emailed to news@orleanshub.com.

Posted 21 September 2020 at 7:00 am

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Jacobs embraces effort to disrupt Presidential transition

Posted 14 January 2021 at 9:29 am

Editor:

Joel Chandler Harris wrote about the tar baby in his Uncle Remus stories. If you touched it, you were stuck to it. By following Trump into the seditious area of trying to thwart a Presidential election, Congressman Jacobs has embraced the Trump Tar Baby.

This very specific type of tar cannot be cleansed by rhetoric, leaves a life-long stain, is likely a federal crime, and can be politically fatal.

Jack Capurso

Ashburn, Va

1960 Albion High School graduate

Medina awarded grant for kayak launch on Canal

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 January 2021 at 9:22 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: A dock is pictured in Medina’s Canal Basin in this photo from a recent fall day. Medina has received a grant to add a kayak launch at the canal.

MEDINA – The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor announced a $10,500 grant today to help develop and install an ADA-accessible kayak launch on the Erie Canal in downtown Medina.

This is one of 13 Erie Canalway IMPACT! grants for non-profit organizations and municipalities. The grants total $108,787 and will advance projects that preserve and showcase canal heritage, educate youth and welcome people to explore the canal in their local communities, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor said in a news release.

The grants range from $1,500 to $12,000 and will leverage an additional $146,630 in private and public project support.

“As the pandemic continues to present abnormal challenges it is especially gratifying to support diverse canal inspired innovations,” said Bob Radliff, executive director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. “We are so pleased to make these timely investments and contribute to the resilience of our canal communities.”

The organization now has made 96 grants to communities and non-profit organizations since 2008 that have spurred $2.49 million in additional investments in heritage preservation, recreation, and education, Radliff said.

The IMPACT! grants are made possible with funding support provided by the National Park Service and the NYS Canal Corporation.

“We are proud to support this year’s IMPACT! grant recipients as the winning projects will positively improve canalside communities while ensuring the New York State Canal System continues to drive economic growth while safeguarding the environment and preserving the history of the nation’s most iconic waterway for the next generation,” said Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton.

The 2021 Erie Canalway IMPACT! grant awards include:

  • Buffalo Maritime Center, Buffalo – Award: $12,000 to create an exhibit dedicated to the Haudenosaunee alliance of Native Americans and Erie Canal history to complement Buffalo Maritime Center’s building of the Packet Boat, Seneca Chief.
  • Canal Society of New York State, Port Byron – Award: $5,300 to install wayside signs to improve outreach and accessibility to cultural and natural resources at the Erie Canal Heritage Park at Port Byron.
  • Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum, Chittenango – Award: $9,967 to produce a virtual 3-D tour of the museum complex to expand outreach efforts and create new opportunities for education. In addition, develop a STEM-based distance learning program for youth blending concepts of robotics and canal infrastructure.
  • City of Amsterdam – Award: $11,757 to institute creative, place-based visitor enhancements at Riverlink Park and Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook.
  • Corn Hill Navigation, Pittsford – Award: $11,388 to implement a variety of educational initiatives aboard the Sam Patch, including a bird watching tour in partnership with the Montezuma Audubon Society, and hands-on learning for students in the Erie Canal Environmental Education program, which blends STEM, history, and environmental curriculums.
  • Erie Canal Museum, Syracuse – Award: $11,000 to partner with restaurants and other local businesses to offer public programming on the Erie Canal’s relationship to food, specifically as it pertains to agriculture, irrigation and transportation of goods.
  • Erie Canal Discovery Center/Niagara County Historical Society, Lockport – Award: $4,180 to support the development of five virtual lessons on the history, geography, engineering and national impact of the Erie Canal.
  • Lumber City Development Corporation, North Tonawanda – Award: $3,500 to install a historic mural near the dock area at Gateway Harbor Park in the City of North Tonawanda, enhancing the beauty of the park for visitors while establishing a strong sense of place and heritage.
  • Montezuma Audubon Center, Savannah – Award: $10,865 to organize a Canalway Conservation Corps to develop early detection invasive species management programs and STEM-based educational opportunities at the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.
  • Village of Brockport – Award: $4,830 to enhance Brockport’s self-guided walking tour by upgrading tour materials and interpretive panels.
  • Village of Medina – Award: $10,500 to develop and install an ADA accessible kayak launch located on the Erie Canal in the heart of downtown Medina.
  • Village of Newark – Award: $1,500 to repair vandalism damage to a prominent Erie Canal themed mural on the canalfront and guard against further damage or deterioration with protective coatings.
  • Western New York Land Conservancy, Inc., East Aurora – Award: $12,000 to transform an unused rail corridor into The Riverline, an iconic, innovative, and inspiring nature trail and greenway along the Buffalo River near the terminus of the Erie Canal.

County leaders in NY again push for federal aid for local governments

Posted 14 January 2021 at 8:44 am

Press Release, New York State Association of Counties

The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) on Wednesday called on the new Congress to pass a Coronavirus Stimulus Package that provides federal aid to state and local aid governments.

NYSAC’s call follows Tuesday’s announcement by incoming Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand supporting legislation that will assist New York State and its local governments.

The bi-partisan Direct Support for Communities Act provides local governments with direct federal relief that can be used to pay for essential services, retain frontline workers, and offset lost revenues and increased costs from the Covid-19 emergency.

Since March of last year, counties across New York have seen their revenues plummet by an estimated $1.5 billion. Sales tax losses could reach $325 million for counties through 2021, state revenue cuts represent a $645 million loss, potentially increase to $965 million through 2021, and Native American gaming revenues and hotel occupancy taxes amount to almost $220 million in losses for counties through 2021.

“For nearly 10 months, local governments have deployed every tool at their disposal to protect New Yorkers and provide the essential services as an economic crisis devastated local revenues. But time is running out,” said NYSAC President and Ontario County Board Chair Jack Marren. “Counties applaud the continued leadership of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and the NY House delegation on fighting for direct aid, and they should pass a bill within the first 100 days of the new administration. Our local governments need help to end this pandemic and get life back to normal.”

“This bill provides the direct, flexible and unrestricted aid counties need to make up for the unprecedented revenue shortfalls brought on by the pandemic,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario. “Without this direct aid, counties will be hamstrung to do the essential work necessary to end the pandemic, including setting up Covid-19 vaccination sites, providing contact tracing and testing, and delivering essential services to children, families and seniors who have been struggling during the pandemic.”

SBA webinar today details Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program

Posted 14 January 2021 at 8:38 am

Press Release, Congressman Chris Jacobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is announcing a webinar hosted by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to discuss the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.

“I first want to commend the SBA for their tireless work to support our small businesses and our communities,” Jacobs said. “One of my top priorities since taking office has been to deliver economic relief to support millions of American small businesses. When we passed the most recent Covid-19 aid package, not only did we deliver $284 billion to support the Paycheck Protection Program, but we also enacted additional provisions such as the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act that continue to represent our commitment to a strong American comeback.”

This legislation allocated $15 billion to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, which offers up to $10 million in grant funding to eligible organizations. The webinar will take place on January 14th, 2021 at 3 p.m. EST, and will cover eligibility, accessibility of grants, and the application process.

Please be advised this webinar will fill up fast, if additional sessions become available an update will be provided. To register for the webinar, click here.

In addition, the Paycheck Protection Program is currently open to both first time recipients and applicants seeking a second draw. The funding is being distributed through Community Financial Institutions. To be eligible for a second loan, a borrower must meet the following criteria: 1) received a first-time loan and has or will use the full amount for authorized uses 2) has no more than 300 employees, and 3) can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.

For more information on the Paycheck Protection Program, click here.

Gillibrand urges New Yorkers to apply for Covid rent aid by Feb. 1 deadline

Posted 14 January 2021 at 8:18 am

Press Release, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is urging New Yorkers to apply for rental relief through the New York State-administered Covid Rent Relief Program. The application deadline is February 1, and individuals can apply through the Covid Rent Relief Program portal (click here), which is available in multiple languages.

“Too many New Yorkers are still struggling to pay their rent due to lost income caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – we must ensure that folks understand and can access the resources available to help,” Gillibrand said. “I urge all eligible New Yorkers to apply for rental relief through the Covid Rent Relief program before the Feb. 1 deadline. To beat the economic and public health crisis caused by the pandemic, we must ensure every New Yorker has a stable roof over their head, and a safe place to call home.”

Background:

New York’s Covid Rent Relief Program is the remaining portion of New York’s federal CARES Act funding for rental assistance, which amounted to $100 million. Senator Gillibrand has fought for funding to support housing assistance for New Yorkers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

She co-sponsored the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act of 2020, which would establish an Emergency Rental Assistance program to provide $100 billion in emergency rental assistance in order to help families and individuals pay their rent and remain housed during the coronavirus pandemic, and to help families pay back rent once the crisis is over.

Gillibrand also cosponsored the Public Health Emergency Shelter Act, which would provide an additional $11.5 billion in critical funding to state and local governments to respond to the needs of families and individuals experiencing homelessness during this crisis.

Orleans working to set up Covid vaccine clinics

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 January 2021 at 9:03 pm

Not nearly enough supply as state expands priority groups, including people 65 and older

Orleans County officials are working to set up Covid vaccination clinics, possibly at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds later this month.

The county Health Department is being inundated with calls from residents who want the vaccine, but there is far too little supply so far, said Paul Pettit, the county’s public health director.

So far the Health Department, Orleans Community Health and Oak Orchard Health Center have been administering the vaccine mostly to Priority Group 1A. With the recent addition of Priority Group 1B and the addition of those aged 65 and older, the supply of vaccine is not meeting the demand.

“At this time, Orleans County would like to ensure the public that we are working tirelessly to administer the limited doses we have on hand immediately, and we will continue to get vaccine to the qualifying populations in the most efficient and equitable manner possible,” said Lynne Johnson, Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman.

“As the quantity of available vaccine doses increases and we begin to have some confidence in delivery amounts and timing from the state, the county will communicate with those in the priority groups and the general public to notify them of vaccination opportunities,” Johnson said. “In the meantime we are asking our residents, to be patient.”

The county is planning Point of Dispensing (POD) mass vaccination clinics for Priority Groups 1A and 1B. Residents can check their eligibility to either of these groups by clicking here.

Links for pre-registration are updated on a week to week basis based on vaccine availability.  If appointments become full, check the state vaccine web page by clicking here or go to the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments Health Vaccine web page (click here).

Due to high traffic volume, the registration links may temporarily become unavailable. Continue to try again if experiencing any errors with registration, the Health Departments advised.

The process of getting the vaccine out to priority groups and eventually the general public is going to take many weeks and months, the Health Departments said.

For more information about the vaccine and access for those who are 65 and older who do not have internet access, contact the Office for the Aging in Orleans County at 585-589-3191 between 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and leave a message.

In Genesee County, the Office for the Aging can be reached at 585-813-2457 for Covid-19 Vaccine assistance between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and leave a message and someone will return the call.

New Covid cases reported today include 39 in Orleans, 49 in Genesee

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 January 2021 at 6:43 pm

Orleans reports another death from Covid for 64 during pandemic

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments reported 88 more cases of Covid-19 today in the two counties.

In Orleans County, there are 39 new confirmed cases of Covid from Tuesday through earlier today for a total of 1,783 positive cases since March.

The positive cases reside in the West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby), Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre) and East Region (Kendall, Murray, Clarendon).

The individuals are in the age groups of 0-19, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s.

Of the new positive cases, one is a resident of Orchard Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Medina, which has now had 67 of its residents test positive during the pandemic.

The county is reporting 8 of the new 39 positive individuals were on quarantine prior to testing positive. The county has had 26 more people recover from Covid and be removed from the isolation.

Orleans currently has 14 residents hospitalized due to Covid.

The county also is reporting a resident has passed away due to Covid. The individual was younger than 65. This is the 64th resident to die from Covid during the pandemic.

• Albion Central School is reporting today that a staff member from the High School has tested positive for Covid-19.

The staff member was last in school on Jan. 8. Students and staff members deemed to have been in close contact with the individual have been identified by the district and will be notified by the Department of Health, the district stated on its web site.

• Lyndonville Central School is reporting today that a student and staff member have tested positive for Covid-19.

The student who tested positive was last present on district property on Jan. 11 and has immediately begun isolation at home. Contact tracing was completed in collaboration with the Orleans County Health Department. As a result, two students were placed under quarantine and no staff.

The staff member who tested positive was last present on district property on Jan. 8. Contact tracing was completed in collaboration with the Orleans County Health Department. As a result, no students or staff have been placed under quarantine.

• Medina Central School is reporting today that three students and two staff members have tested positive for Covid.

One of the students is in the high school but is 100 percent virtual. The Department of Health has determined that no further quarantines are required from school contact.

A middle school student also tested positive. The district is in the process of notifying the families of anyone who may have come into close contact with the student. Out of an abundance of caution, this student’s class will switch to 100 percent virtual during the quarantine period, Mark Kruzynski, the district superintendent, said in a letter on the district website.

An Oak Orchard Elementary school student also tested positive. The district is in the process of notifying the families of anyone who may have come into close contact with the student. Out of an abundance of caution, this student’s class will switch to 100 percent virtual during the quarantine period.

The two staff members are not based in a school building. The has notified anyone who needs to be quarantined.

In Genesee County there are 49 new positive cases Covid for a total of 3,184 cases since March.

The new positive cases reside in the West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke), Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield) and East Region (Bergen, Byron, LeRoy, Pavilion, Stafford).

The individuals are in the age groups of 0-19, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

Of the new cases, 4 are residents of Premier Genesee Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Batavia and 6 are residents of the LeRoy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility.

In Genesee, 47 more of the previous positive individuals have recovered and been removed from the isolation list.

Genesee has 16 residents currently hospitalized with Covid.

• Health Alert – People should monitor themselves for symptoms of Covid-19 if they were at Batavia’s Original from noon to 1 p.m. on Jan. 9.

If the symptoms develop, contact a primary care provider to seek testing immediately and self-isolate until the test results are received.

Symptoms of Covid-19 include but are not limited to fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

President Trump impeached a second time

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 January 2021 at 5:40 pm

10 Republicans join Democrats in voting to impeach for incitement of insurrection at Capitol

The House of Representatives voted 232-197 today to impeach Donald J. Trump for a second time, saying he cited an insurrection against the government a week ago when a mob stormed the Capitol, resulting in five deaths, including a police officer.

White House portrait of President Donald J. Trump

This time there were 10 Republicans to join Democrats in the impeachment vote, including John Katko, a congressman from near Syracuse.

Chris Jacobs, a Republican in the 27th District which includes Orleans, opposed impeachment said it was rushed without due process, and set “a dangerous precedent to further politically weaponize impeachment.”

Brian Higgins, a Democrat from Buffalo, was among those voting to impeach.

“The facts are clear and compelling – President Trump incited an insurrection against America’s democracy,” Higgins said.

Trump was first impeached in the House on Dec. 18, 2019 but acquitted in the Senate on Feb. 5, 2020 on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell, R-Kentucky, said there “is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week.”

McConnell said the Senate has held three presidential impeachment trials and they lasted 83 days, 37 days, and 21 days, respectively.

The quickest path for a change in the presidency is for Biden to be sworn in on Jan. 20, McConnell said in a statement.

“In light of this reality, I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration,” McConnell said. “I am grateful to the offices and institutions within the Capitol that are working around the clock, alongside federal and local law enforcement, to prepare for a safe and successful inauguration at the Capitol next Wednesday.”


Here is Chris Jacobs’ full statement on impeachment:

“The events of last week were horrific, and the violence we witnessed has no place in our democracy. Those responsible must be held accountable for their actions. I want to thank the brave men and women of the United States Capitol Police who showed true heroism while protecting me, my colleagues, and thousands of staff members and aides.

“Our nation is clearly divided. Healing this division and moving the country forward should be our first and foremost priority. This rushed impeachment proceeding accomplishes none of these goals, especially given that the President has agreed to an orderly and peaceful transition of power on January 20th, 2021.

“Impeachment has been used rarely in our nation’s history, and when it has been used the House of Representatives has carried out a full and deliberate process complete with an investigation, hearings led by the Judiciary Committee, and a mark-up of the articles of impeachment before a vote is called. We witnessed none of that today. The process was rushed, avoided due process, and set a dangerous precedent to further politically weaponize impeachment.

“Because of the abbreviated process, the short length left in the President’s term, and his commitment to a peaceful transition, I voted against the articles of impeachment today. Our nation has significant challenges we still need to address – including the on-going Covid-19 crisis.

“Our focus should be on tackling these very serious and pressing issues while we work to heal a deeply divided nation. Now is the time to move forward, not take additional divisive action at a time when our country cannot bear it.

“The peaceful transition of power is a hallmark of our American democracy; it is what sets us apart. Now more than ever, I believe all Americans need to see that transition process occur, as it always has, to reaffirm that our democracy is still strong, healthy, and unbreakable.”


Brian Higgins, a Democrat from Buffalo, issued this statement:

“The facts are clear and compelling – President Trump incited an insurrection against America’s democracy,” Higgins said in a statement. “Through words and actions, Trump publicly broadcast the evidence in the lead-up to the attack. The outcome of his actions was on full display for the world to see with Members of Congress serving as both targets and first-hand witnesses. Efforts to minimize, accept or excuse this insurrection represents a failure by Members to live up to our oath and a failure to protect the democracy this country was founded on and other nations have aspired to model. Members who oppose impeachment are either wrong, weak or both.”


Elise Stefanik, a Republican from Northern New York who opposed impeachment, issued this statement:

“I am vehemently opposed to the snap impeachment of President Trump. It is a partisan ploy with no basis in the Constitution. The Democrats’ decision to impeach the President with one week remaining in his term further fuels the divisions in the country during this very trying time. As Members of the United States Congress, we should focus on unifying our country by delivering solutions to the American people.”


U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, issued this statement:

“Donald Trump deservedly becomes the first president in American history to bear the stain of impeachment twice over. The Senate is required to act and will proceed with his trial and hold a vote on his conviction.

“Despite the efforts of Donald Trump and violent insurrectionists, America is not a dictatorship. We have been and will forever remain a Democracy that respects and reveres the rule of law, including the bedrock principle that the voters choose our leaders — that just power can only derive from the consent of the governed.

“Now that the House of Representatives has acted, the Senate will hold a fair trial on the impeachment of Donald J. Trump for his role in inciting the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th and attempting to overturn a free and fair election.

“A Senate trial can begin immediately, with agreement from the current Senate Majority Leader to reconvene the Senate for an emergency session, or it will begin after January 19th. But make no mistake, there will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate; there will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanors; and if the president is convicted, there will be a vote barring him from running again.

“The president of the United States incited a violent mob against the duly elected government of the United States in a vicious, depraved and desperate attempt to remain in power. For the sake of our democracy, it cannot and must not be tolerated, excused, or go unpunished.”

Hawley announces work on 2 state-owned bridges moving forward in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 January 2021 at 4:11 pm

Projects includes 237 in Murray over canal and 31 in Ridgeway over railroad

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, announced plans the state is working to finalize plans for bridge deck maintenance on two bridges in Orleans County.

One of the projects includes the bridge on Route 237 over the Erie Canal in the town of Murray. The work will be completed either this year or in 2022 depending on public safety factors and contractor resource availability, Hawley said.

The bridge will need to be closed for six weeks as maintenance work takes place, at which point a detour will be established directing motorists to use NY-31, NY-387 and NY-104.

“This maintenance work will help insure this bridge continues to safely serve our community for decades to come, and I am grateful to everybody at the Department of Transportation involved in making this much-needed project a reality,” Hawley said.

The DOT also is planning maintenance work on the bridge deck of the Route 31 bridge over the Falls Road Railroad in the town of Ridgeway, near the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds. The work will be completed either this year or in 2022 depending on public safety factors and contractor resource availability, Hawley said.

The bridge will need to be closed for six weeks as maintenance work takes place, at which point a detour will be established directing motorists to use NY-63, NY-31A, and NY-98 . Both lanes of traffic near the bridge will be open during the annual Orleans County 4-H Fair at the end of July.

“I am glad to see that this project will be able to move forward in the near future without disrupting the annual Orleans County 4-H Fair,” Hawley said. “This maintenance work will keep this bridge safe and operational for years to come, and I’m grateful to everyone at the Department of Transportation involved in planning this important project.”

Repainted historic markers reinstalled in Gaines

Posted 13 January 2021 at 4:00 pm

Photos and information courtesy of Tim Archer, Albion Central School teacher

ALBION – Renzo Tomasi, a seventh grade Service Learning student in Albion, is shown with Melissa Ierlan, Clarendon town historian, today after a historical marker was reinstalled at Union Cemetery on Route 98. This sign is by the Watt Farms Country Market.

This was one of three historic markers that were reinstalled today, with assistance from Mark Radzinski, the Gaines town highway superintendent.

Ierlan worked with students to repaint the markers. She has given a facelift to many of the markers in Orleans County in recent years.

Service Learning teacher Tim Archer said the project has allowed the students to connect with the community during a school year when there hasn’t been any field trips.

“These are civic-minded projects that help students appreciate their community’s past history and to participate in maintaining our heritage,” Archer said. “The students enjoy the hands-on aspect of learning.”

The other two historical markers are on Ridge Road, including one for the First Academy.

The marker for the First Church also was reset after getting a fresh coat of paint.

Nick Prest works on repainting a cast iron road sign from Gillette Road in Barre. Isaiah Riley also is working to restore the sign with assistance from Mrs. Kami Feder’s eighth grade art class.

Here is how the road sign looked before students started working on it.

Archer works with town officials to get approval and then has the highway superintendent take down the sign for restoration. Once completed, the sign will go back up on West Barre Road near the West Barre United Methodist Church.

“Periodically my 7th grade Service Learning classes restore local historic markers or historic road signs,” Archer said. “This is the second ‘West Barre’ area sign we’ve done.”

Archer asked Middle School Art Teacher Kamie Feder to include her eighth-grade art class, which includes Prest and Riley, to help with this second West Barre sign as part of an “interdisciplinary partnership.”

“Since it involved painting, and her room was more conducive to doing it, I asked Kamie if she would take some of her regular art class time to paint the sign,” Archer said. “She was kind enough to accept. Nick and Isaiah are in a small class with her and I had both Nick and Isaiah in class last year. This is an extension of the service-learning instruction that they were part of previously.”

Additionally, the three signs from the Town of Gaines that seventh-graders Brynn Dugan and Renzo Tomasi were working to restore this past September are finished and reinstalled roadside.

Since September, Town of Clarendon Historian Melissa Ierlan has been working on the fine lettering work on the signs.

As for the West Barre sign, it should be back up later this year.

Albion’s first mat title season was perfect

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 13 January 2021 at 3:20 pm

Photo Courtesy of Bruce and Associates – Albion’s first ever Niagara-Orleans League champion wrestling team in 1983 included, in front, Rawn Mitchell, Joe Walls, Eric Johnston, Darrin Hillman, John Snell, Tim Bourke, Aron Conn (manager), John Pahuta, Bill Swan, Todd Spencer, Shawn Conn, John Sacco and Eric Knaak. Standing are Coach Keith Piccirilli, Jeff Harding, Joe Christopher, Bill Hiese, Dwight Fowlks, Edmond Vandergenalht, Walt Passmore, Dave Coville, Mike Conn, Scott Mattice, Scott Burnside, Bob Rice, Chuck Persons, Carmine Calabria, Dean Sevor and Coach Al Johnson.

Albion captured it’s elusive first Niagara-Orleans League wrestling championship during the 1982-83 season in impressive fashion as the Purple Eagles went 7-0 during the duel match portion of the campaign and then rolled to a 73 point victory at the All-League meet.

Coach Keith Piccirilli’s Purple Eagles placed a total of nine wrestlers in the finals at the All-League tournament which saw Albion garner 190 points to easily out duel runner-up Roy-Hart which had 117.

Albion emerged with six individual N-O champions including Todd Spencer (94), Mike Conn (101), Darrin Hillman (108), Rawn Mitchell (115), John Snell (141) and John Sacco (158).

The Purple Eagles also had Bill Swan (138), Joe Walls (148) and Eric Knaak (180) all earn second place honors.

In compiling the 7-0 duel match record the Purple Eagles defeated Newfane 57-3, Starpoint 57-4, Medina 53-12, Barker 52-3, Akron 45-12, Wilson 45-14 and Roy-Hart 35-18.

The match against Roy-Hart was the highlight of the regular season as the Purple Eagles and Rams both brought undefeated 4-0 records into the match.

Sparked by a pin by Hillman, a major decision win by Spencer and a major decision win by Mitchell, Albion jumped out to an early 18-4 lead which the Purple Eagles never relinquished.

Roy-Hart did close the gap to five at 18-13 after a pin by Vince Roselli and a decision win by Mike Lang but the Rams would get no closer.

Decision wins by Bill Swan, Snell and Sacco vaulted Albion out to a 29-13 lead with just three bouts to go and a decision win by John Pahuta then put a lock on the victory.

Orleans County Jail population less than 50% from year ago

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 January 2021 at 12:05 pm

County in talks with ICE, U.S. Marshals to hold federal detainees, defendants

Photos by Tom Rivers: This photo from 2013 shows two cells inside the Orleans County Jail, where the inmate population has dropped from an average of 49 inmates a day in December 2019 to 22 last month, a decline of 55 percent.

ALBION — The jail population significantly dropped in 2020 locally and statewide. The inmate population in the Orleans County Jail was down to 22 inmates in December, a drop of 55 percent from December 2019 when the average daily inmate count was 49.

The jail on Platt Street has a capacity for 82 inmates. The jail population is operating at only about a quarter of the available beds.

Sheriff Chris Bourke said the county is negotiating with two federal agencies to house Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees and U.S. Marshal’s Service defendants.

Bourke advised local elected officials during a Tuesday conference call that the county is negotiating with the two federal agencies. The jail will be inspected by ICE and the Marshals next week, Bourke said. The county DPW is working to clean and paint the jail in time for the inspection, Bourke said.

The contracts if approved would bring much-needed revenue to the county, the sheriff said.

Bourke said changes in criminal justice laws, including bail reform, is a big factor in the inmate population drop. He also said Covid-19 restrictions which have local courts operating at reduced levels, with cases be adjourned and sentences put off.

According to a report from the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, the Orleans County average daily inmate population was much higher from 2010 to 2019: 73 in 2010, 76 in 2011, 75 in 2012, 62 in 2013, 61 in 2014, 65 in 2015, 63 in 2016, 68 in 2017, 60 in 2018 and 58 in 2019.

Statewide the average daily inmate count in county jails has dropped from 25,059 in 2016, 24,457 in 2017, 22,821 in 2018, 19,920 in 2019. Statewide, the jail population is down 19.5 percent from December 2019 to last month, dropping from an average daily inmate count of 16,872 to 13,575.

The inmate population in county jails statewide hit a low in 2020 in July with 11,090 inmates in county jails. It has been rising since then to 11,583 in August, 12,266 in September, 12,824 in October, 13,392 in November and 13,575 in December.

The Orleans County Jail is located on Platt Street in Albion.

Orleans residents eligible for scholarships thru Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Posted 13 January 2021 at 10:04 am

Press Release, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

BUFFALO – The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo scholarship application process for the 2021-22 academic year is now open. Applications are due by May 1, 2021, and must be submitted online.

All students, including Say Yes Buffalo applicants and scholars, that meet the following eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be a current resident of one of the eight counties of Western New York (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming)
  • Have a minimum of a “C” average or a GPA of 2.0 or greater
  • Be admitted to a nonprofit 501(c)(3), U.S. Department of Education accredited school for full-time study beginning in the fall 2021 semester.

Scholarship awards typically range from $1,000 to $6,000. Over 200 individuals, families, foundations and organizations have established scholarship funds through the Community Foundation. In 2020, the Community Foundation remained as one of the region’s largest scholarship providers, awarding scholarships totaling $3 million to more than 3,000 Western New York students.

For more information on the Community Foundation’s scholarship program, including application instructions, click here or text SCHOLARSHIP to (855) 213-4426*.  (*By taking this action you are affirming that you will receive recurring Scholarship Deadline alert text messages from the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Please click here for our Privacy Policy. Text STOP to opt-out, HELP for more information. No purchase necessary. Message & data rates may apply.)

Don’t be so quick to make assumptions about people based on their political affiliations

Posted 13 January 2021 at 9:32 am

Editor:

I had to read a recent letter a couple of times – I could not believe what I was reading! Robert Shaw, you sit in judgement of people you don’t even know?

You state, “I have lived here my entire life and know enough to know that many of my neighbors consider themselves good, Christian folks. Yet, on houses throughout the county, houses belonging to these same self-styled Christian folk, there is hoisted the flag of a man. A vile, repugnant man who is antithetical to Christ’s message but held in higher regard. Our modern worship of power, punishment and celebrity is laid bare.”

Your thinly veiled notion that one’s political affiliation can negate or effect that person’s relationship with God is outrageous, offensive, divisive, and reflects a “holier than thou” attitude.

You then go on to say, “Not much has been happening in Orleans County for a long time. Without expanding job opportunities, strong social organizations and the general belief that one can better one’s circumstance we are left feeling empty, powerless and hurt.” You conveniently forget that NY’s woes belong to Andrew Cuomo (#57 out of 62 in per capita income). I’d add that my friends and neighbors do not walk around feeling empty, powerless, or hurt. Neither do I. I’m sorry if you do.

Then you correctly state, “Now, I don’t know how many of you know or are friendly with a millionaire, much less a billionaire. But here’s something that’ll hold water: they don’t know about you, they don’t care about you and they can’t possibly understand what you’re going through. They’re in it for them. Period. The old saying goes, ‘you don’t get rich by giving away money.’”

The natural extension of that euphemism is, “you get rich by separating fools from theirs.” I am surprised that you speak so negatively about the likes of Pelosi and Cuomo! Or have you been “duped by celebrity politicians”?

You go on, “shut off cable news, delete all of our social media (especially Facebook), and take down those silly flags while opening up our minds and our hearts.” Mr. Shaw, I will decline your advice to bury my head in the stand. Those of us who keep our heads up have the ability to research issues from multiple sources including cable news, social media, etc. and form our own opinions.

I will close in saying that it is disingenuous to quote the Bible out of context. First Peter 3 is focused on the relationship between man and wife.

Also, you refer  to another letter to the editor written from a former Orleans County now living in North Carolina. I wonder if he moved “because of the weather” as Coumo claims.

Bob Harker

Clarendon