Month: November 2020

Our Letters Policy

Posted 10 June 2021 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.

Primaries: Candidates are welcome to send letters and are encouraged to include information about their background and goals if elected to public office.

Posted 21 September 2020 at 7:00 am

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After months of uncertainty, 4-H Fair gets started

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 July 2021 at 10:42 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

KNOWLESVILLE – Jenna Cecchini of Medina competes in the swine show this evening at the Orleans County 4-H Fair. It was one of the first livestock shows at the fair in two years.

The swine show participants use a whip and brush to help keep the pigs under control and walking in the right direction.

Last year’s fair was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions on crowd sizes. This year’s fair was in doubt until the state eased the restrictions in early May.

Paige Nesbitt, 11, of Albion washes this quarter horse named “Sam Roper.” Paige will be competing in horse shows from Tuesday through Friday.

Zack Welker, president of the board of directors for the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County, speaks during opening ceremonies for the fair. He said frequently changing guidelines from the state made it difficult to plan for the fair.

He thanked a big group of volunteers, as well as Extension staff for being so committed to the event, which continues through Saturday night.

Welker, 32, is a local beef farmer and a past 4-H’er. He wanted to see the fair tradition continue for the community.

“The board all along wanted to have some kind of event, from the bare minimum to doing everything,” he said about the fair. “But there were so many unknowns.”

This week’s fair will have the full gamut of livestock shows, food vendors, a midway and other activities.

Lynne Johnson, Orleans County Legislature chairwoman, stands and acknowledges the flag while it was raised during opening ceremonies. She is pictured looking through a salute by one one the veterans.

Johnson commended the 4-Hers and their leaders for preparing for the fair.

“4-H is truly a special program,” she said. “Here we teach youth about leadership, learning by doing, while focusing on theme: ‘Heads, Hands, Heart, Health.’”

She encouraged the community to come out to fair and see the 4-Hers work with the animals, and their arts and food exhibits.

“Rather than focusing on ribbons, we focus on impact,” Johnson said. “4-H has helped many of our youth come out of their comfort zones in beneficial ways.”

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley also spoke at the opening ceremony and said 4-H is a great leadership program.

These veterans were part of the flag-raising ceremony just after 6 p.m. They include, from left: Ron Ayrault of Holley, Navy; Mark Traxler of Lyndonville, Air Force; and Tony Vicknair of Lyndonville, Army.

Jim Freas from the VFW in Medina watches as the flag is raised.

The flag is raised during the opening ceremonies, which included a presence from local veterans.

Kendall Kidney, 13, and Joey Forte, 11, work together trimming the hair on this beef cow’s face and ears.

Aaron Preston volunteered in Farm Bureau’s milkshake booth, which has new windows and insulation. It was still hot inside the booth.

Construction starts on $2 million Lakeshore Road shoreline protection project in Carlton

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 July 2021 at 5:05 pm

State paying 95 percent, part of REDI erosion and flood protection projects

Photos by Tom Rivers: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said the project will protect an important road in the community, ensuring access for residents and visitors. It’s part of $300 million in projects along the south shore of Lake Ontario to make the shoreline more resilient to flooding and erosion in the future.

CARLTON – The shoreline along Lakeshore Road in Carlton was chewed away in 2017 and 2019 when there was flooding and erosion from very high lake levels.

The loss of land and soil has put the lake closer to the road, within about 15 feet in some spots. About 1,500 feet of the shoreline, going east from Route 98 in Point Breeze, will soon be fortified with massive rocks. The shoreline will also be regraded and will have a new vegetative cover to help stave off some erosion and damage from the waves. (The threat of flooding isn’t an issue right now with the water levels down about 3 feet from the highs in 2019.)

The $2 million project is 95 percent funded by the state. It is part of $300 million the state is spending through the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI).

A contingent of local and state officials, including Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, celebrated the start of the project’s construction today.

Hochul recalled the damaging flooding in 2017 and 2019, that ate away at backyards, roads and the shoreline. She was at Kendall on May 11, 2017, helping stack sandbags with the National Guard.

“This is a real hazardous situation with the road and infrastructure,” Hochul said about an encroaching lake during a time of high water levels. “When this project is done the residents won’t have to worry.”

Keeler Construction in Barre submitted the low bid of $1,321,858 to install the new breakwall. There are other costs for engineering and construction services.

Tim Walsh, DEC regional director, said that wall of rock will harden the shoreline. The new vegetation also is part of a softer and “greener solution” to protecting the shoreline, Walsh said.

Lynne Johnson, Orleans County Legislature chairwoman, speaks during a ground-breaking today for a $2 million breakwall project along Lakeshore Road in Carlton.

Lynne Johnson, County Legislature chairwoman, thanked Gov. Andrew Cuomo for pushing for the funding for the shoreline communities, and for the REDI Commission for pushing through the projects during the Covid pandemic.

Johnson said the local and regional government officials spent many hours evaluating the damage, and developing projects to be considered by the REDI Commission.

“This is an example of what a true partnership looks like,” Johnson said. “And it is an example of what can be achieved when everyone comes together for the common good.”

Local officials join for a ceremonial ground-breaking this afternoon along Lakeshore Road. Pictured from left include Tim Walsh, DEC regional administrator; Jayleen Carney, representing Assemblyman Steve Hawley; County Legislator Fred Miller; Gayle Ashbery, Carlton town supervisor; Lynne Johnson, County Legislature chairwoman; County Legislator Bill Eick (barely visible in back); Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul; County Legislator Ken DeRoller; John Papponetti, Orleans County DPW superintendent; and County Legislator John DeFillipps.

The REDI projects total $17 million in Orleans County. The projects will improve public land and infrastructure, including roads, a new sewer system in Kendall and Hamlin, and an improved Yates Town Park.

The local projects include:

  • Wastewater Infrastructure for Kendall and Hamlin, $9,053,000 – This project will disconnect homes from the septic systems and connect them to a wastewater system. A privately owned facility (located at Troutburg in the Town of Kendall) will be turned over to the Town of Kendall, and approximately 125 residences in the towns of Hamlin and Kendall will be connected to the facility. The project will solve the problems for lakeside residences with septic issues west of West Kendall Drive, including along Lomond Shore West, Edrose Shore, Knapp Shore, Thompson Drive, and near Lakeland Beach Road and Bald Eagle Drive in the Town of Kendall, plus residences near Beachwood Park Road in the Town of Hamlin. This project will connect these areas to a sanitary sewer and convey wastewater to a treatment facility.
  • Yates Town Park, $2,531,000 – The Town of Yates plans to expand the town park with enhanced recreational and water access opportunities. This project seeks to further enhance the park’s environmental resiliency, protect and expand its natural and nature-based features, and increase public access to the area’s recreational resources.
  • Public Town Road Ends/Culverts in Kendall, $1,500,000 – Culverts adjacent to Ed Rose Shore, Knapp Shore, and Thompson Drive are impacted by high water levels resulting in culvert ends being clogged with debris. This project adds a more resilient box culvert concept. A culvert located at Lakeland Beach Road needs fortification, and riprap will be placed at the outlet of the culvert to provide protection.
  • Point Breeze Boat Launch in Carlton, $751,000 – The project will start after Labor Day. It will replace fixed elevation docks with floating docks and slips, inclusive of anchorage and posts to permit only vertical dock movement.
  • Lakeside Park Road East in Carlton, $385,000 – The bluff on which the eastern portion of Lakeside Park Road sits has been experiencing erosional impacts, creating a 30 to 40 foot drop that has become a hazardous condition for the road and public water line in the area. The project will protect the toe of the bluff with shoreline stabilization.
  • Lakeside Park Road West in Carlton, $235,000 – The shoreline on which Lakeside Park Road sits has been experiencing flooding impacts from both Johnson Creek and Lake Ontario, including the loss of an access road/lane, land protecting homes, and public water lines. West of the intersection with Lakeside Road there is approximately 300 feet of public water line at risk of being exposed and compromised. The project will construct an access road to place protective materials along the shoreline, and add riprap stone to protect the public water line during future high water level.
  • Thompson Drive turnaround changed to beach access in Kendall, $131,000 – The former Thompson Drive turnaround provides beach access to the Lake Ontario shoreline. There is an opportunity to turn the former turnaround into beach access, coupled with nature-based shoreline protection. The project will reduce shoreline erosion, protecting local infrastructure and maintaining access along the route.
  • Route 237 right-of-way in Kendall, $40,000 – The shoreline/waterfront area along the Route 237 right-of-way is experiencing significant erosion as a result of high water levels, flooding, and wave intensity. A project is currently ongoing to install riprap along the waterfront to protect the eroding shoreline associated with the right-of-way, abutting the riprap of two neighboring private properties. This project adds a berm to further stabilize the shoreline and protect the area from future flooding. It also fills the gap between existing shoreline protection features with additional shoreline protection.
  • Installing markers on submerged structures in Orleans and Niagara, $50,000 – In-lake structures throughout Niagara and Orleans counties, when underwater, may result in hazardous boating conditions. Installing temporary safety markers is a proactive approach to protect public safety. This project will install safety markers on submerged structures (piers). The structures will be clearly marked by installing temporary warning buoys.

Orleans County Legislator Ken DeRoller holds a shovel signed by Kathy Hochul after today’s groundbreaking. “We are REDI,” Hochul wrote.

State needs to rethink bail reform, or community remains vulnerable to repeat offenders

Posted 26 July 2021 at 4:34 pm

Editor:

On May 19th after working a 15-hour day we were woken up at 3:30 in the morning by our security system which observed a person with a flashlight in the farm market.

My husband and son were able to restrain the criminal until the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office could respond. They responded in record time (many thanks to them!). The criminal was taken to Brockport Police Department, fingerprinted and then was released. This is the second time since August 2020 that we have been broken into by career criminals and this time it was a face-to-face encounter. In this situation we were fortunate that no one was harmed. It could have very easily turned out much differently.

It is very disheartening after working 36 years, 7 long days a week, to have someone try to take what you have worked so hard for. We employ people and give back to the community. We have also spent a lot of money for security.

The repeat offender does not go to jail, but keeps committing crimes, which cost everyone. We have had to spend thousands of dollars on security, many sleepless nights, and the police respond to the same criminals instead of being able to help other people. The crimes these criminals are committing are getting worse and worse because there are no consequences. Bail reform enacted by New York State is a failure. All it is doing is promoting criminal behavior.

Now there is talk of our elected state legislators voting to release convicted murderers and rapists.

Something needs to be done! If you do not agree with the current system of bail reform contact your state representatives. If you do agree with the current system, let the criminals come to your home at 3:30 am.

Lora Partyka

Partyka Farms in Kendall

Jacobs, speaking at Corfu farm, says Canadian trade practices hurting WNY dairies

Posted 26 July 2021 at 2:34 pm

Press Release, Congressman Chris Jacobs

CORFU – At a press conference this morning at Reyncrest Farms, Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) highlighted the need for full enforcement of the USMCA. Specifically, he is calling for Canada to adhere to their agreement as it relates to their tariff-rate quota (TRQ) policies.

“One of the major victories of the USMCA was the provisions that expanded Canadian dairy markets for American producers. However, now over a year after its implementation, Canada is still denying our farmers the access they are entitled to,” Jacobs said. “Specifically, Canada is setting aside a percentage of each TRQ for Canadian producers, in turn blocking American farmers from accessing these markets and millions of dollars in sales.”

Under the United States Mexico Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) Canada is required to allow increased market access to U.S. dairy products in 14 different categories, ranging from milk to cheese to ice cream. Currently, Canada is setting aside a percentage in each of these categories solely for Canadian producers, effectively blocking American ones from the market and preventing them from realizing their full market share in Canada.

The tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) are a system that places one tariff rate on a quantity of an import under a certain level. After the quantity exceeds the set rate, the tariff increases. Canada’s work to set aside a percentage of their TRQs for Canadian processors undermines the ability of US producers to fully access Canadian markets as they are allowed under the USMCA.

Jacobs sent a letter to former United States Trade Representative (USTR) Lighthizer calling for a dispute panel to be convened to settle this issue. USTR Lighthizer initially convened the United States and Canadian governments in December to attempt to settle the dispute, this was unsuccessful. In June, the new USTR, Katherine Tai, convened a dispute panel – the most aggressive legal action taken to date to settle the trade dispute. The process can take months and is currently underway. Today, Jacobs sent a letter to Canadian Ambassador to the United States, Kirsten Hillman highlighting the issue and the need for a resolution.

“Canada adhering to the USMCA and allowing for its full implementation will have a huge impact on American dairy producers. In fact, the US International Trade Commission has estimated it could be over a $220 million gain,” Jacobs said. “With dairy representing a massive portion of the agriculture in my district, and the state of New York, swift enforcement of the USMCA has the potential to bring new economic opportunity and prosperity – I’ll keep fighting until our farmers are given access to what they deserve.”

FMC awards 2 scholarships to Roy-Hart graduating seniors

Staff Reports Posted 26 July 2021 at 2:29 pm

Provided photo

MIDDLEPORT – Brent Sensenich (right), FMC Middleport Agricultural Sciences Plant manager, presents $1,000 scholarship checks each to Royalton-Hartland graduating seniors Rebecca Berner (middle) of Gasport and Thomas Ragonese (far left) also of Gasport. The scholarships were awarded based on their winning essay submissions on the theme: “picking an experience from your life and explaining how it has shaped you for the career you have selected.”

Rebecca Berner was an active participant on the varsity girls’ basketball, field hockey and track and field teams. She will pursue a career as a nurse family practitioner when she enters St. John Fisher College in Rochester this fall.

Thomas Ragonese was captain and MVP of the boys’ varsity basketball team at Roy-Hart. He plans to pursue a career in agriculture while attending Cairn University in Langhorne Manor, PA. His life experience in working on local farms was supplemented by the agricultural and food science studies he undertook at Roy-Hart.

“As a company dedicated to our local community, FMC is proud again to honor two outstanding Roy-Hart graduates by providing them with scholarships as well as best wishes as they undertake their career studies in college,” said Brent Sensenich, FMC Middleport plant manager.

Troop 35 scouts attend camp in Pennsylvania

Provided photo – Fourteen scouts and four leaders from Troop 35 attended BSA Camp Mountain Run, located in Penfield, Pennsylvania, this past week.  In the picture from left to right are Bryson Costich, Nicholas Reese, Mike Reese (leader), Gideon Pask, Jason Roush (leader), Jackson Moreland, Ryder Jones, Jimmy Dieter, Vinny Gray, Colton Smith, Michael Chisler, River Jones, Joseph Reese, Brayden Lewis, Will Roush, Mason Moreland, John Dieter (leader), and Shaun Smith (leader). 

Posted 26 July 2021 at 10:54 am

Submitted by John Dieter, Scoutmaster of Troop 35 in Medina

In 2020 going to summer camp for Boy Scouts was not possible due to Covid, and 2021 summer camp guidelines in NYS were not well defined until late June causing concerns of another year without summer camp.

With our local council camp deciding not to open, Troop 35 leadership started the search in late May for a camp within a few hours radius that would work for the week we selected to go to camp. We found BSA Camp Mountain Run 3.5 hours away in central Pennsylvania in the Allegany Region of the state.

The scouts had a great experience at camp earning over a combined 50 merit badges, two scouts (brothers) Jackson & Mason Moreland both earned the mile swim award, and the troop competed in the volleyball tournament and won the championship by beating the staff in the final game.

Medina scouts in Troop 28 learn lots during week at their own camp

Provided photos: Scouts in Troop 28 last week went canoeing and did many other activities that typically would be at a Scouting camp.

Posted 26 July 2021 at 9:19 am

Respectfully submitted by the communications merit badge scouts, Joseph B., Brandon B.,  Aidyn J.,  Jake J., Roman V., Nathaniel M., AJ H., David V. and Matthew J. 

The scouts did a lot of hiking during the camp experience.

MEDINA – Summer camp is something that all Boy Scouts look forward to and for the second year in a row when our troop got the news that camp will be canceled we were pretty disappointed.

That’s when the parents and leaders of Troop 28 rallied together and were able to put on a great week of scout camp for us to work on skills merit badges and make so many memories.

When we found out camp would be canceled we had the option to go to camp out of the area. However, our scout troop is trying to raise funds to go to Florida Sea Base next year so that would not of been feasible, especially so last minute and in the end we are really happy about how things worked out as we all had a great week.

It took a lot of work and all of our parents and leaders chipped in to put in the extra effort to make everything come together. We had a camp store with all the essentials, and first year boys participated in the Brownsea program completing rank requirements. We were also able work on nine merit badges throughout the week including hiking, fishing, orienteering, swimming, lifesaving, cooking, athletics, public speaking and communication as wells as take a canoe trip. We also completed a CPR course.

One of the requirements for our communication merit badge was, “write to the editor of a magazine or local newspaper to express your opinion or share information on any subject you choose.” We decided to share what makes Troop 28 special, why scouting is so important and what we loved about summer camp.

First of all, what makes our troop special: We feel that  Troop 28 is special because although it is not always easy. Electronics have no place at camp and we can really appreciate what is around and learn important skills. We feel that our leaders do everything they can to help us succeed and really care about us.

The scouts studied maps in one project. The group worked on nine merit badges during the week.

Boy Scouts is important because it teaches us how to take care of ourselves, do fun things and we get to do merit badges to learn what we may want to do when we grow up. Another thing that makes scouting important is you help each other, meet new people and friends.

During our closing campfire we listed some of our favorite things from scout camp and we want to share what they were. We loved doing the morning polar bear swim, going fishing and canoeing, playing games, hiking 6 miles, hike-in movie night, and watching scouts that are normally quiet, smile or open up. We had a great week at Troop 28’s summer camp and can’t wait to do it again.

The scouts also completed a CPR course.

Today’s Fair Schedule (July 26, 2021)

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 July 2021 at 7:48 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: Owen Collyer, 11, of Kendall was on manure duty Sunday afternoon in the dairy cattle barn. He will be showing an angus in the beef show this week at the Orleans County 4-H Fair.

Opening Day: Gates open at 4 p.m.

Midway will not be open today.

Party Animals Exotic Animal Petting Zoo – All Day

By noon – Dairy Cattle must be in by noon at the Dairy Cattle Barn

9 a.m. – Senior Council Stand opens

8 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Commercial Exhibits in place

9 to 1 p.m. – Orleans County Open Flower Show entries accepted at Lartz Building

9 a.m. – Cloverbud Horse Show followed by Walk/Trot Horse Show at Carlos Marcello Arena

9 a.m. – Small Animal Department Meeting for all exhibitors at Wachob Building

9:30 a.m. – Cattle Barn Department Meeting for all exhibitors at Cattle Barn

9 a.m. – Dog Show Grooming and Handling at Show Arena

10 a.m. – Goat/Sheep Department meeting for all exhibitors at Livestock Barn

Izzabella McCoy made a creative display for Nugget, an animal she will be showing at the fair this week in the cattle shows. Many of the 4-Hers made signs to introduce their animals to the public.

10:30 a.m. – Market Auction Weigh-In

10 a.m. to noon – Common Garden Vegetables, Market Packages, Cut Flowers, Indoor Gardening, Fruits and Nuts, Plant Collection (Preserved and Scrapbook), Landscape Pictures and Plants, Experiments, Horticulture Methods judged at Trolley Building

11 a.m. – Field Crops judged at Trolley Building

1 to 3 p.m. – Group Exhibits, Food Preservation, Baked Goods and Visual Arts judged at Trolley Building

3 p.m. – Fair Official Meeting at Fair Office

4 p.m.  – Paid admission begins and free public parking opens at Wood and Taylor Hill Road Parking Lots

4 to 10 p.m. – Synchronistic Psychic Services (Free Rune Readings) at Lartz Building

4:30 p.m. – Chainsaw Carvingat Log Cabin Lawn

5 p.m.  – Indian River Olde Time Lumberjack Show at Curtis Pavilion Lawn

6 p.m.  – Opening Ceremony, Presentation of Colors by Orleans County Veteransat Flag Pole on Education Center Lawn

6 to 7 p.m. – Ag Stories with Orleans County Libraries (Hoag Library) at Cattle Barn

6 p.m. – Leader’s Pie Stand Opens

Adele Mathes, 10, of Barre gives her a goat a wash on Sunday, on moving in day at the fair. Adele will be showing animals at the fair this week for the first time after last year’s fair was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions and concerns.

6 p.m. – Swine Show at Show Arena

6:30 p.m. – 4-H Clothing Revue at Orleans Hub Stage

6:30 p.m. – Chainsaw Carving at Log Cabin Lawn

6:30 p.m. – Mini-Horse Show and Horse Driving Classes and demoCarlos Marcello Arena

6:30 p.m. – Trolley Building Youth Exhibits Open at Trolley Building

7 p.m.  – Indian River Olde Time Lumberjack Show at Curtis Pavilion Lawn

8 p.m.  – Orleans County 4-H Fair $1,000 Karaoke Contest at Orleans Hub Stage

8:30 p.m. – Chainsaw Carving at Log Cabin Lawn

9 p.m.  – Indian River Olde Time Lumberjack Show at Curtis Pavilion Lawn

10 p.m. – Buildings Close

The food vendors get set up on Sunday. Many of the long-time vendors are back and there are some that are making their debut at the Orleans County 4-H Fair.

Albion Raptors blank Genesee United

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 26 July 2021 at 6:43 am

Building up a 3-0 halftime advantage, the Albion Raptors went on to blank Genesee United 5-0 Sunday evening in a Rochester District Youth Soccer League girls U19 Division game at Genesee Community College.

Abby Scanlan opened the scoring for the Raptors with an unassisted goal.

Nikki Creasey then scored off an assist from Claire Squicciarini and before the half ended they revered their rolls as Squicciarini scored off a free kick by Creasey.

In the second half, Halee Passarell scored off a corner by Creasey and Alezya Brown tallied off an assist from Scanlan to round out the scoring.

Sydney Mulka made two big one on one saves in goal to earn the shutout

The Raptors improve to 5-1 with the victory while Genesee slips to 4-3-1.

Animals move in for a busy week at the fair

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 July 2021 at 9:30 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

KNOWLESVILLE – Kaitlin Bennett (left), 12, of Barre and Anna Grillo, 12, of Albion bring buckets of water to their animals at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds this afternoon. Today was moving in day for most for the animals.

Kaitlin will be showing two dairy animals and Anna will be in the show ring with a dairy and beef cow during the busy week.

Monday is opening day for the Orleans County 4-H Fair. Admission for the fair is $3 for adults and $2 for kids, with a $5 pass available for the week. There isn’t a parking charge.

Adele Mathes, 10, of Barre gives one of her goats a rinse after Adele brought a menagerie of animals for the fair, including sheep, rabbits and goats.

She is excited for her first year showing animals as a 4-Her at the fair. Last year she should have made her debut, bought the fair was cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns and restrictions.

Rebecca Scharping, 14, of Clarendon checks in two white silky chickens. Bill Gerling is the co-superintendent of the barn. There are about 90 rabbits/cavies and 80 of the chickens, guinea hens and waterfowl registered.

Rebecca has five chickens in the fair. She is glad to be back and is looking forward to “hanging out with friends.”

Joey Forte, 11, of Hamlin brings a wheelbarrow of straw bedding for his goats. His brother Jacob, 14, is at left and their mother Colleen is in back. The brothers also will be showing beef cows.

Adam Dresser of Medina fastens a sign up high for Romania, a Holstein calf that will be shown during the fair by his daughter Elizabeth. Adam also showed animals at the fair when he was a kid.

Marti’s on Main art gallery reopens at former Cooperative Extension in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 July 2021 at 3:42 pm

Building turned into art showcase by Kim and Neal Muscarella

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Marti’s on Main celebrated its grand opening on Friday evening at the former Cornell Cooperative Extension building at 20 South Main St. About 125 people attended the three-hour open house.

Kim Martillotta Muscarella, third from left, and her husband Neal Muscarella (second from right), greet guests David Purdy and Monica Beck at the grand opening.

The Muscarellas transformed the interior of the building into an art studio and gallery. The open house was by invitation only for local artists and known art appreciators. Mrs. Muscarella said other tours are available by appointment. She can be reached at (585) 589-6715 for more information.

“Mr. Anderson” is a portrait of cat by Chris Versteeg that is displayed on the stairway. Muscarella has work from about a dozen artists on display.

Muscarella likes to showcase artwork throughout the building, including the stairway leading to the top floor.

Kim Martillotta Muscarella has many of her own pieces on display, including the large acrylic painting of “Tall Flowers.”

Monica Beck and David Purdy take a look at artwork — “Green Fun” and “Succulent Girl” — by Kim Martillotta Muscarella.

Purdy, a former professional interior and exterior painter for 22 years, said the Muscarellas did top-notch work in painting the rooms with such vibrant colors.

“They did a phenomenal job,” Purdy said. “It’s nearly flawless.”

One of the guests checks out the art in a room inside the historic building.

Muscarella wanted to open the site to the public sooner, but waited due to concerns and restrictions with Covid-19.

The former Cornell Cooperative Extension building was most recently used an outreach center for the Episcopal Church in Albion. The building was originally a house built in the 1830s.

Muscarella watched the site decline for many years, with little activity inside the doors of one of the prominent buildings in the historic Courthouse Square.

For about a decade she ran Marti’s on Main, an art gallery and studio at her home at 229 South Main St. But that site, which was half of her house, was cramped to display art and accommodate groups of people.

On a whim in December 2019, she decided to look at the old Extension building, which had been for sale for years and was listed by her friend Jim Theodorakos of Morrison Realty. Muscarella and her husband, Neal, were given a tour of the building. (The Extension moved in 2007 to a new building at the 4-H fairgrounds in Knowlesville.)

The walls in the old building were all painted a very pale yellow. The floors covered in green and red carpet or asphalt tiles.

The couple also noted the high ceilings, big rooms and lots of wall space. They decided to take on the building, and give it a new life as an art studio and gallery.

Joe Martillotta (who is Kim Martillotta Muscarella’s brother) and Jim Babcock chat while in a room with many of Muscarella’s unusual sculptures.

Muscarella has art from many local artists on display, including an abstract painting at right by Jim Fiegel. He uses a combination of acrylic, enamel, and water-based paint. He paints on Plexiglass and his paintings are curved. He also creates his own wooden frames and has LED lights behind the Plexiglass.

Muscarella prefers art that is outside the norm.

Youth football practice set to begin Monday

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 25 July 2021 at 9:20 am

Unable to compete last year due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, local youth football players will be back in action on Monday for the first day of practice in preparation for the upcoming season.

In all 11 area communities will be fielding teams for competition in the Niagara Orleans Football Association (NOFA) this year.

Those communities include Albion, Medina, Holley, Roy-Hart/Barker, Akron, Newfane, Batavia, Oakfield/Elba, Pembroke, Attica and Tri Town.

Competition will be held in four age group divisions – Beginner, Mini, JV and Varsity.

The first games are scheduled for Saturday August 21 with Akron at Roy-Hart/Barker, Pembroke at Batavia, Attica at Newfane, Tri Town at Holley and Oakfield/Elba at Medina as Albion draws the bye.

Following the nine week regular season the top four teams in the Mini, JV and Varsity divisions will advance to the playoffs. The semifinals are scheduled for October 23 and the finals for October 30.

Historic Childs, Recreation (including the Gaines Grange), Part 2

Posted 25 July 2021 at 9:07 am

By Doug Farley, Cobblestone Museum Director – Vol. 2. No. 29

GAINES – Much of the recreational activities of citizens in the Hamlet of Childs and Town of Gaines focused around an organization known as the Grange, or more formally, The Patrons of Husbandry.

While the organization was founded to provide valuable services to farm families, it grew to become a center of community engagement for numerous social activities such as dances, box socials, and even a choir.

The Gaines Grange #1147 was formed on Nov. 30, 1908. In May 1909, 40 people were initiated into membership. The first meeting site was in a building known as White’s Hall, shown above.  The building, located on the southwest corner in Gaines, dated to the turn of the century. Albert Anson Appleton ran a store there, but it also served as headquarters for town meetings, post office, Good Templars, and eventually served as the Grange Hall.

White’s Hall suffered a disaster fire on May Day in 1910, disrupting the lives, in one way or another, of most people in the community.  The hall was rebuilt following the fire and the Grange continued to meet there until 1915.

In the spring of 1915 the Grange purchased Thurber’s Hotel next to the Congregational Church and transformed it into a new Grange Hall. The third floor was fixed up for a dance hall with a superb hardwood floor being installed at the time. This was considered one of the best dance floors around at the time and one of the largest Grange Halls in the region.

A local resident, Fay Hollenbeck, reflected on the Grange dance floor in 1984 at the celebration of the Town’s 175th anniversary celebration. “In Gaines, this little village has got one of the best dance floors in Orleans County. It’s all narrow boards, laid around, across the end and down the other side, and across the other end. So on a Round Dance you are always dancing with the boards never across them. In those days dances would alternate, first a Round Dance and then a Square Dance.”

Photo Courtesy Orleans County Historian

Here we see officers of the Gaines Grange #1147 posed in front of the Gaines Congregational Church in the 1930s. The women in the picture, from left to right, include: Elinor Cooper, Sarah Bacon, Octavia Mather (chaplain), Kate Crowley, Alice Hatch (secretary), Alma Appleton and Wilhelmina Taylor.  The men in the photo include, from left: William Grinelle (trustee), Charles Thompson (trustee), Fred Derisley, Winton Hatch (master), Ronald Spinks, Lewis Reed and William Crowley (trustee).

Local farmer, Charles Thompson (shown in photo above) and his wife, Hannah, were very active in the local Grange. Their daughter, Gail (Johnson) remembered, “My mother used to sell donuts at the Grange square dances on Saturday evenings.”  The Gaines Grange formed the basis of much of the Saturday night social life in the community for decades.

WWII presented many challenges to everyday life in the community and the Grange suffered a decline in membership in the 1940s. One local Granger, Sylvia Ball, recalled the trying times. “The war was on its terrible move and soon the boys were leaving in the service. Most of the women in Gaines began working at one type of work or another in the war effort. Help became scarce and even busy farmers worked a four hour swing-shift at some essential plant. With sickness in my home, the war on, I too began working which gave me no time for picking up where I left off in the Grange. When it was so I could return to Grange it was well under way, there was an active membership, the war was coming to a close all about and people could relax.”

The Gaines Grange #1147 received three plaques from the Sears Roebuck Foundation, along with two $25 War Bonds, for outstanding community service. The awards recognized the Grange’s community service at the time when the Congregational Church burned in 1959.  The Grange allowed the church to use their hall for services during the rebuilding. The usage included scout meetings, auctions, dinners and home bureau. The Grange also assisted with construction of the church and a community playground, baseball field, and water supply pond.

The Grange Hall, seen in 1959, when Dean Sprague had a store there and also the Town Clerk’s office.

In the 1950s, membership in the Grange reached 105 people. Changing times in the 1960s and 1970s saw membership drop to just a handful of members. The building was then sold in 1979 and the last official act of the Gaines Grange #1147 was its own dissolution in 1979.

The Gaines Grange Hall is currently occupied by Americana Unlimited Antiques, Robin Stelmach, proprietor.

Sunday Morning Positive Perks from your Sassy Small Town Missus

Posted 25 July 2021 at 8:00 am

Plain Eastern Scorpion proves itself to be a ‘Power Animal’ in Tennessee

The Plain Eastern Scorpion of Tennessee on the Cumberland Plateau – respect and coexistence.

It was quite a shocker when my husband informed me he unearthed scorpions in our pop-up garage in the middle of our new home away from home.

In Albion, these creatures, with pincer claws, don’t skulk under cardboard. For a split second, panic set in. Then I decided there was no need to panic unless Google told me to. Google informed me that the TN Scorpion is a native breed of TN and is not poisonous. Their sting is no worse than a bee sting. Phew, that was good news. I hope to never find this out first hand.

Days passed and as most of us do, when we put caution to the back of our mind, we get complacent. So down to the pop-up I go. My chore for the morning is to situate rain barrels for showers and relocate the wood pile to the top of the property.

First, I spotted a lizard on the wood pile. Awe, he’s so cute. I decided to leave that log behind so he could continue his morning meditation. I reach through the rest of the wood and, yikes! – a scorpion. It was daytime and the scorpion is nocturnal. Once she woke up and we did our due diligence on each other, she moved right along. I faced down the scorpion and lived to tell the tale, but my husband’s story took a turn, more than once.

It was the middle of the night and he started doing some kind of jig around the room in the dark. What in the world?? One of those nocturnal little crawlers was laying in wait under our nice warm covers and was pinching on his toe. They use their pincers to hold their prey before they give them a good zap with their curly tail.

After that, we learned to adapt and adjust to our new environment by checking all shoes before putting them on and shining a flashlight under the covers each night. I tried a natural scorpion repellent by sprinkling cinnamon around the bed. This sent me on a 3-hour sneezing fit. We moved our bed away from the wall, removed any climbable objects from under the bed, and bedding never would be allowed to touch the floor again. Don’t walk around barefoot at night either. I spied a rusty brown, low-crawling creature moving quickly in the dark on the floor. I read they travel in pairs so I kept a look out for her buddy, and she did turn up.

Scorpions are moisture lovers. While enjoying my outdoor shower one crept onto my shower mat! My husband picked up a branch in the woods, grabbed a scorpion and she back handed him with her stingy tail. I read when trying to evoke a “Power Animal” you should call on the scorpion because they represent a good dose of determination.

So in that spirit, when striving for a dream puts you living outside your comfort zone and in a new reality, this dose is greatly appreciated! I hope to harbor the craftiness, grit and self preservation that my tangos with scorpions taught me.

What is your “Power Animal”? Head back to my home page to join my blog and receive new post updates and visit the main menu to read previous posts of positivity! To see a lizard meditate visit my blog  (click here) and catch up on weekly photo perks and previous Sunday posts. Like and share your comments.

Truly,
Debbie Burgoon London 

Vets hosts Albion vs. Medina All-Star contest

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 24 July 2021 at 10:32 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Medina’s Brylee Allen, left, and Albion’s Colin McMullen deliver pitches during 12U All-Star game under the lights at Vets Park this evening. Albion emerged with a 10-7 win in the contest which was halted in the bottom of the fifth inning. Albion scored four times in the first inning as Liam Leader had a two run single and Gavin Boyce an RBI single and four times in the fourth on singles by Logan Scott-Grager, Oliver Tobias, Elliot Trapiss and a two-run double by Bing Zuber. Medina had a four run third inning capped off by a two-run single by Carlos Doval. Medina took the first game of the series by a 9-7 margin on Wednesday at Sandstone Park in Albion.