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NYC restaurants remain at 35% capacity
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that the state will allow restaurants to increase their indoor capacity from 50 to 75 percent beginning March 19. This is for restaurants outside New York City. In NYC, restaurants will remain at 35 percent capacity.
Cuomo said the declining number of Covid hospitalizations in the state and other progress in the pandemic shows that restaurants can operate safely with strict health protocols.
Cuomo today reported the positivity rate for Covid tests was 2.98 percent on Saturday and the number of Covid hospitalizations, at 4,789, was the lowest since Dec. 6.
“Our fight in the war against Covid-19 continues, but we are encouraged by the decrease in infection and hospitalization rates and the rise in vaccinations,” Cuomo said. “As we expand our vaccine distribution and celebrate the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, we have never been closer to defeating this beast once and for all. It is critical that New Yorkers not succumb to Covid fatigue and remain vigilant.”
Other states also are increasing restaurant capacity. Massachusetts went to 100 percent on March 1 and Connecticut will go to 100 percent on March 19.
“It’s not just good news for the restaurant owners,” Cuomo said. “Remember you have a lot of staff at restaurants, there are a lot of jobs, there are a lot of suppliers, so we’ll go to 75 percent. We also think that 75 percent is what the consumer is ready for. All the same safety capacities remain in effect but we will go to 75 percent.”
‘For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign.’ – Andrea Stewart-Cousins
ALBANY – The leader of the State Senate, one of the most powerful Democrats in the state government, has called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step down.
Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Senate Majority Leader, issued this statement this afternoon:
“Everyday there is another account that is drawing away from the business of government. We have allegations about sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, the loss of credibility surrounding the Covid-19 nursing home data and questions about the construction of a major infrastructure project.
“New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and is still facing the societal, health and economic impacts of it. We need to govern without daily distraction. For the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign.”
Many Republicans in the state Legislature, including Senate Minority leader Rob Ortt of North Tonawanda and Assemblyman Steve Hawley of Batavia, have urged Cuomo to resign. Many elected Democrats, however, have urged the public to hold off on condemnation until an investigation is completed by the State Attorney General’s office on the accusations against Cuomo.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie didn’t call for the governor’s resignation but said the allegations are “deeply disturbing.” Heastie followed Stewart-Cousins with this statement:
“The allegations pertaining to the Governor that have been reported in recent weeks have been deeply disturbing, and have no place whatsoever in government, the workplace or anywhere else. I too share the sentiment of Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins regarding the Governor’s ability to continue to lead this state. We have many challenges to address, and I think it is time for the Governor to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York.”
Cuomo in a conference call with reporters today urged the public to let the process go forward with the Attorney General’s Office. The state has a system based on due process and determining the credibility of allegations, he said.
“There are some legislators who suggest that I resign because of accusations that are made against me,” Cuomo said. “I was elected by the people of the state, I wasn’t elected by politicians. I’m not going to resign because of allegations. The premise of resigning because of allegations is actually anti-democratic and we’ve always done the exact opposite.”
$1,400 Stimulus checks; aid for small businesses, local governments and schools; and a focus on cutting child poverty
Press Release, U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Charles Schumer
Just back from Washington, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced today that “help is on the way” to New York and New Yorkers as he detailed specifics from the American Rescue Plan he just led to passage in the U.S. Senate.
Schumer detailed the plan’s tentative impact to New York as $100 billion. The deal includes an additional round of direct stimulus checks, extends enhanced unemployment insurance benefits, will help solve New York State and Upstate New York municipalities budget woes. The assistance marks a not-too-soon moment of relief for countless families, workers, restaurants, more independent venues and small businesses across the state. As part of the deal, more than $23.8 billion flows directly to New York State government(s) on top of increased education funding, transit funding and highways, vaccine distribution, Covid health funding, emergency rental and housing assistance and more included for New York in this bill.
“The deal we reached with the help of a new president, and a new democratic Senate marks real relief to the tune of $100 billion for workers, families, healthcare, small businesses, including our hard-hit industries like restaurants, and New York—the things we need to support to weather this crisis and then work to recover,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “This marks the second biggest stimulus bill in the nation’s history—second to the CARES Act—and it comes just in time, because Americans and New York still need real help to get through this.”
The details and the impact on New York appear in the breakdown below. These numbers are tentative.
STATE & LOCAL FISCAL RELIEF
$23.8 billion for New York – Total amount of funding provided to New York State through the state and local fiscal relief fund, to keep first responders, frontline health workers, and other providers of vital services safely on the job as states and local governments roll out vaccines and fight to rebuild Main Street economies.
Funding can be used for assistance to households, small businesses, nonprofits, aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality, investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, and to provide premium pay to frontline workers. Local governments of every size, including all counties, cities, towns, and villages, receive dedicated federal aid awards. A new $10 billion capital projects program also support state broadband deployment efforts. Funds are allocated in New York as follows:
- $12.569 billion for New York State Government
- $6.141 billion for New York’s Metro Cities
- $3.907 billion for New York’s Counties
- $825 million for New York’s Small Cities, Towns, and Villages
- $358 million for a New York State Broadband Investment Program
ADDITIONAL AID TO NEW YORK
- $3.1 billion: Medicaid FMAP increase ($2.1 billion already delivered from Schumer pushing President Biden to extend through the end of the calendar year, in addition to $1 billion from a targeted enhanced FMAP for home and community-based services from this legislation)
- $7+ billion: New York Area Transit ($6.5B to MTA) The New York State Department of Transportation will receive $12M directly to support rural transit systems. The remainder will support county bus services, and upstate transit agencies.
- $418 million: New York’s hard-hit airports to continue operating safely during the pandemic. Port Authority Airports will receive: $218M for JFK, $107M for LGA, $4M for Stewart, and $164M for EWR. This includes $60M in relief at the four airports for large and small concessionaire businesses that have been hard-hit by the pandemic and unable to pay minimum guarantees to airports.
- $1.7 billion – Relief for Amtrak to help maintain operations and other expenditures during the pandemic, especially in New York.
- $15 Billion – The CARES Act Airline Payroll Support Program which will save thousands of New York airline and airline contractor jobs by keeping workers on payroll without furloughs or reducing pay rates and benefits until March 31, 2021 New York will receive sizable share of these funds.
EDUCATION – K-12 SCHOOLS & INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER ED
- $9 billion to K-12 Schools: These flexible funds will support school districts in reopening safely for in-person instruction and addressing the many needs that students are facing due to the pandemic. A portion of the funds are targeted towards addressing learning loss, providing resources through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and implementing summer enrichment and afterschool programs.
- $2.6 Billion to Colleges and Universities: Institutions must distribute half of their allocation to students in the form of financial aid awards to address hardships caused by Covid-19. The remaining portion of the funds can be used on reopening costs, revenue losses, classroom retrofits, PPE, and other expenses.
- $257 Million to Private K-12 schools: These funds are administered by the state educational agency to provide public health and related assistance and services to private K-12 schools.
CHILD CARE & HELP FOR NY FAMILIES
- $1.8 Billion for Child Care: Through the Child Care Stabilization Fund and the Child Care Community Development Block Grants (CCDBG), these funds ensure that the child care sector will continue to assist working families, and to support child care providers in meeting their increased operation costs during the pandemic.
- $59 Million to Head Start: This is emergency funding that will continue to provide access of services for children and their families.
- $7.03 billion: Child Tax Credit payment to New York families
- $786 million: Earned Income Tax Credit payment to New York families
- More than $1 billion in additional Emergency Rental Assistance and assistance for preventing homelessness
- $575 million in mortgage and utility assistance for homeowners
- $1.07 billion: Nutrition Assistance ($810 million for Pandemic EBT Benefits, $227 million for SNAP)
UNEMPLOYMENT IINSURANCE AND DIRECT CHECKS TO NEW YORKERS
An estimated $21.7 Billion for NY in Enhanced Unemployment Insurance Benefits. This bill provides billions in additional federal relief for struggling New Yorkers – who are out of work through no fault of their own – by extending the historic unemployment insurance reforms established in the CARES Act, through September 6, 2021.
- Importantly, it continues the critical lifeline of the enhanced unemployment assistance, providing an additional $300 per week on top of all state and federal unemployment benefits. The bill extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for the self-employed, gig workers, freelancers and others in non-traditional employment, as well as the additional weeks of federal unemployment insurance for workers who exhaust their regular state benefits. Notably, this legislation excludes up to $10,200 of unemployment benefits received in 2020 from taxable income, providing much-needed tax relief for workers making less than $150,000.
- Over $22 Billion in Direct Payments for NY – The American Rescue Plan includes an additional round of Economic Impact Payments of $1,400 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year and $2,800 for couples making up to $150,000 per year. Eligible families will also receive an additional $1,400 payment per child and adult dependent, amounting to $5,600 for an average family of four. Nearly 9 million New York households will receive another round of direct payments, helping them to cover essential expenses like food, rent or mortgages, and medical bills during this crisis.
COVID VAX & TESTING EFFORT ACROSS NY
- Roughly $4 billion to support more vaccines, testing and healthcare in New York
NEW RELIEF AVAILABLE FOR NEW YORK SMALL BUSINESSES, RESTAURANTS, NONPROFITS, ARTS AND CULTURE VENUES, AND TOURISM SECTOR
- $28.6 billion for Restaurants – A new restaurant relief fund, modeled on the widely support, bipartisan RESTAURANTS Act, which will provide flexible grants through the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a lifeline for New York’s restaurant industry, one of the hardest hit by the economic effects of the Covid pandemic.
Food service or drinking establishments, including caterers, brewpubs, taprooms, and tasting rooms, that are not part of an affiliated group with more than 20 locations will be eligible. To provide comprehensive support to local restaurants, grants from the fund could be used alongside first and second Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance, and the Employee Retention Tax Credit.
The new restaurants relief fund will be designed to provide flexible grants of up to $10 million per restaurant group, $5 million per individual restaurant, that can be used to cover payroll, mortgages or rent, setup for outdoor seating, PPE, paid leave, food and other supplies, or debt and other expenses. Grants can be spent on eligible expenses from 2/15/20 through 12/31/21 and the SBA Administrator may extend the period through two years from enactment if conditions warrant. $5 billion of the $25 billion total is reserved for restaurants with less than $500,000 in gross receipts in 2019 for the first 60 days of the program. During the initial 21-day period, the administrator will prioritize awarding grants to eligible entities that are owned or controlled by women or Veterans or are socially and economically disadvantaged businesses.
- $1.25 billion and a Key Fix for Save Our Stages – The bill provides an additional $1.25 billion for hard-hit independent live venues, performing arts organizations, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions. The bill also includes a critical fix that allows venues to access a PPP loan and a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, deducting the PPP loan amount from the grant amount. Including access to both programs will provide a much-needed source of additional capital as these struggling businesses and nonprofits try to stay afloat during the crisis.
- $15 billion for SBA Targeted EIDL Grants – This funding will provide hard-hit, underserved small businesses with increased flexible grant relief. These grants will be particularly helpful for very small businesses and sole proprietors, which include over 90 percent of minority-owned businesses that have been disproportionately devastated by this crisis.
- Expanded PPP Eligibility for Nonprofits – This bill makes additional 501(c) nonprofits eligible for PPP. It also makes local offices of larger nonprofits eligible for PPP assistance as long as those locations are not larger than 500 employees for first PPP loans or 300 employees for second PPP loans, expanding access to vital relief for nonprofit organizations that are critical to local services and the economy.
- Community Navigator Program for Underserved Businesses – $100 million is included to fund community organizations and community financial institutions with a focus on and experience working in minority, immigrant, and rural communities to serve as community navigators to help connect small business owners in these communities to critical resources, including small business loans, business licenses, and federal, state, and local business assistance programs.
- $10 billion for Small Business Opportunity Fund – This funding available through the Treasury Department is modeled on the State Small Business Credit Initiative and will support state and local capital and technical assistance initiatives for small businesses responding to and recovering from the pandemic, which will be particularly beneficial to minority-owned and other underserved small businesses.
- $3 billion for Economic Development Grants, Including for Tourism and Travel — $3 billion is included for the Economic Development Administration to provide flexible grants for rebuilding the local economies of communities that have experienced significant job loss from Covid-19. A $750 million set-aside is included for assistance to states and communities that have suffered from job and GDP loss in the tourism, travel, and outdoor recreation sectors.
- Extended Employee Retention Tax Credit – The bill extends through the end of 2021 the refundable payroll tax credit designed to help employers keep more of their valued workers on payroll during this economic crisis. This tax credit is available to struggling New York companies and nonprofits of all sizes, and is equal to 70% of qualified wages up to $10,000 per employee per quarter.
CONNECTING MORE NY FAMILIES TO BROADBAND
- $632 Million – The American Rescue Plan includes $7.172 billion nationally to close the homework gap by providing internet and connected devices to vulnerable students and educators. New York is estimated to receive around $632 million in funding to help students and educators
REDUCING POVERTY FOR NEW YORKERS
The American Rescue Plan includes a significant expansion of two of the most powerful and effective anti-poverty tools the federal government has – the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit – for 2021:
- Makes the CTC fully refundable and increases the credit amount from $2,000 to $3,000 per child age 6 to 17 (and $3,600 per child below the age of 6). An estimated 3.56 million children across New York will benefit from this expanded tax credit, and it will lift 680,000 children in the state above or closer to the poverty line.
- Strengthens the EITC for childless workers, many of whom are in lower-paid but essential jobs on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response, benefitting 910,000 of these workers in New York.
PROVIDING FINANCIAL STABILITY FOR NY WORKERS AND RETIREES
The American Rescue Plan importantly delivers critical relief for ailing multi-employer pension plans – which have experienced significant additional challenges as a result of this economic crisis – without cutting the hard-earned benefits of retirees. In New York State alone, there are more than 1.3 million participants in multiemployer pension plans, and around 624,600 New Yorkers are participants in plans that are expected to receive relief directly through this legislation
MEDINA – Mayor Mike Sidari is concerned that redirected traffic from Route 104 through the village will result in damage to village streets.
The state Department of Transportation has hired a contractor, Union Concrete and Construction Corp. of West Seneca, to replace a bridge on Route 104 over Oak Orchard Creek. The bridge will be closed to traffic beginning April 26 and the new bridge is expected to open in early September.
Traffic will be re-routed to routes 63 in Medina and 98 in Albion and then to Route 31.
Sidari on Friday sent a letter to the DOT and the contractor, saying he is concerned the additional large vehicles, such as tractor trailers and farm tractors pulling implements, that will be using Route 63 heading north through the village. He worries the larger vehicles may go over a curb and onto grass and a sidewalk at the intersection West Avenue and Prospect.
“Also, with the extra several hundred cars and trucks a day driving on Rout 63 which is owed and maintained by the Village I believe there may be damage to our village streets,” Sidari wrote in his letter.
He asked for the DOT to record the portion of Rt. 63 that is owned maintained by the village of Medina, as well as the intersection of West Avenue and Prospect, to show the condition before the detour.
“At the end of the project any damages done because of the detour (should) be repaired to the specs of the Village of Medina DPW Superintendent,” Sidari wrote.
The mayor a portion of the state-owned section of 63 in the village – from the Oak Orchard Bridge to Village line east – “is in deplorable condition.”
“With the extra heavy traffic the pavement will break down considerably more which can result in vehicles going out of control,” Sidari wrote. “The NYSDOT must come out and inspect that section and make temporary repairs (before and during bridge work) as well as milling and paving once the bridge project is completed.”
HOLLEY – The Holley Police Department will have a public forum at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the village office as part of the requirement to meet Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order issued last June on police reform.
The governor mandated that law enforcement agencies review policies on use of force and de-escalation, and with policies on training of officers on bias in profiling. The governor urged each department to form a committee to review the policies and solicit feedback from residents.
Each department needs to submit a plan to the state by April 1, or they could be cut off from state funding.
Holley is having a public meeting to get feedback from residents. The session will be in the meeting room at the recently reopened old Holley High School at 1 Wright St.
District Attorney Joe Cardone and Public Defender Joanne Best are expected to attend the meeting to discuss recent changes in the criminal justice system.
Residents who want to speak at the meeting are asked to call the village office at (585) 638-6307 to be put on the agenda.
The temperatures will be on the rise this week. Today is forecast to be sunny with a high of 27 and then climbs to a high of 45 on Monday in Orleans County, according to National Weather Service in Buffalo.
Tuesday is forecast to be mostly sunny with a high near 50, and a mostly sunny Wednesday with a high near 60.
Thursday is forecast to reach 59, followed by a high near 47 on Friday and then a high near 37 on Saturday.
On International Women’s Day, thinking of a former boss who empowered women
Another year, another (IWD) International Women’s Day. Last year this woman decided to recognize her Dad for helping her become the woman she is today.
This year I am going to celebrate by thanking another man. Why? Because men are awesome too and often get little cred for what they do to support women, so I choose to revel in my day by honoring all genders. And sometimes I just like to be contrary.
His name was Chris and he was my boss. He was a big city, big wig and his office was in corporate. He saw something in this small town girl and allowed her to sparkle. It was the mid 1990s and the glass ceiling was being cracked. At first he was a bit intimidating because he was a big guy with strong facial features and other men were a bit scared of him… but I held my own.
It was a ride up the corporate banking ladder that was spurred by his belief in me. I was nearly in my mid-20s and heading for managerial titles and officership. Many times I did feel like a minnow in a sea of sharks and jellyfish. However he always helped to bring me back to believing in myself.
It wasn’t too difficult because my parents taught me that I was not going to use my gender as an excuse to not succeed. My brain was programmed to believe that we are the only ones that create victimhood within our own minds. The kind of victim mentality that allows us to believe that others are holding us back or we can not do something because we are a certain age, gender, race, religion, political affiliation or whatever. These are limits we put onto ourselves, not by others.
If you have grit and passion and belief in yourself you can overcome. Often I expressed to Chris that I felt a bit insecure being of a young age and the youngest officer in my large building filled with many officers and “Suits”. Being a small town girl with freckles on my face, 5’ 2” and using words like “Zeepers”. With his encouraging words let me know that I was only doing myself a disservice allowing my mind to believe such things.
While traveling for business he shared stories of his wife and how he admired her strength. When they were in a sticky situation he allowed her to handle it. He was a strong person, but he trusted in the equality and strength of the women in his life. He was a bit older than me, well traveled, educated and I valued his opinion and truly appreciated him being a cheerleader in my growth of becoming a businesswoman.
I still have some insecurities at times, but I remember his words of faith in me and it helps to propel me forward. No matter who you credit for helping you to pave your path in life, give them a shout out into the universe today, because without these “Believers” who knows what we might have become. I have not heard from Chris in over 30 years but his kindness and support will never be forgotten. Who believed you could?
I would like to dedicate this post to my Aunt Ann Burgoon Wood. She was an exceptional woman.
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Blanked for the first 6:45 of the fourth quarter, Albion rallied to score three baskets in the final 1:15 to nip host Lyndonville 34-32 this evening in a non league girls basketball game.
A layup by Honesty Little with 1:15 remaining ended Albion’s lengthy drought and knotted the contest at 30-30.
A jumper by Aly Knaak then put the Purple Eagles up 32-30 with 57 seconds to go but the Lady Tigers answered with a layup by Ashley Hughes 10 seconds later to retie the contest for the final time at 32-32.
However, the last basket and the win belonged to Albion as Knaak connected on a baseline jumper with just nine seconds to go to put the Purple Eagles back on top to stay.
Little finished with 13 and Knaak 10 to lead Albion as Sydney Mulka and Abby Scanlan each added 4 and Madison Hughson 3.
Ella Lewis scored a game high 14 and Lorelei Dillenbeck had 11 to pace Lyndonville as Hughes added 3 and Prezli Silversmith and Kaylee Nesbitt 2 each.
Albion jumped out to a 12-6 first quarter lead as Little, Mulka, Knaak and Scanlan all contributed baskets.
Lyndonville though put together a big 15-0 run in the second quarter to rally into a 21-16 lead at the half.
Two threes by Dillenbeck and three free throws by Lewis ignited that uprising which also included layups by Silversmith, Dillenbeck and Lewis.
Albion rebounded with a 12-6 scoring edge in the third period including six by Little to regain a 28-27 lead.
Lyndonville did regain the lead at 30-28 on a three by Dillenbeck to open the decisive final period but the Lady Tigers could manage only two more points the rest of the way as Albion rallied in the final 1:15 to claim the win.
Lyndonville closes the season with a 2-9 record.
Albion, which is now 5-6, will return to Niagara-Orleans League action on Tuesday with a game at rival Medina.
The $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” that passed the U.S. Senate today includes nearly $8 million for the Orleans County government. The plan now goes to vote to the House of Representatives next week and then President Biden for his signature.
The New York State Association of Counties is praising the Senate for approving the funding, which includes $2.2 billion for 57 counties in the state. The funding is divvied up to counties based on population.
NYSAC said the funding amounts for local counties includes:
- Orleans, $7,887,187
- Genesee, $11,195,927
- Livingston, $12,297,147
- Wyoming, $7,790,825
- Niagara, $40,905,985
- Monroe, $144,986,083
- Erie, $179,569,145
The New York State Association of Counties issued the following press release this afternoon:
After a year of fighting on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, counties applaud the Senate’s passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan and encourages swift adoption by the House of Representatives, according to the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC).
The package, passed today, includes $350 billion in emergency funding for state, local and territorial governments, including $65 billion for counties, a restoration of $5 billion as championed by the Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer. This emergency funding provides direct aid to counties, supporting the essential local government workers who have been on the front-line of the pandemic response.
“We commend our great Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and many members of the New York Congressional Delegation for fighting to ensure that our local governments get the help they deserve. This historic legislation supports the local heroes who have been fighting this pandemic on the front lines and also makes key investments in the future prosperity of our communities,” said NYSAC President Jack Marren, chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors.
The American Rescue Plan includes $3.8 billion for the 57 counties ($2.2 billion) of New York State and New York City ($1.6 billion) based on population. New York City will receive another $4.0 billion through CDBG formula funding.
This funding can be used to respond to the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus as well as address the economic devastation that came with it, including assistance to households, small businesses and nonprofits, aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel and hospitality. The funding may also be used to help governments provide services and make investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.
“This is a victory for all of the counties in the State of New York and the residents we serve. In a time when so much of our politics is bitterly divided, county leaders from both ends of the political spectrum advocated for this package because it will help them help their communities recover from this pandemic,” said NYSCEA President and Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro.
“We acknowledge the leadership of Senator Schumer and the members of New York’s Congressional Delegation who supported our local governments throughout this pandemic. Without our Senator Schumer, this package would not have included the federal assistance to counties and local governments. He has always been there for New Yorkers, and his resolve has only been strengthened during this this pandemic,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario.
Improving to 4-3, Roy-Hart bested visiting Newfane 46-31 this afternoon in a Niagara-Orleans League girls basketball game.
Shelby Wolf scored a game high 19 to lead the way for Roy-Hart as Claire Halstead added 7, Ava Owens 6 and Miah Glena and Kara Choate 5 each.
Hannah Hambruch scored 8 and Jensen McGhee 7 for Newfane which trailed 25-21 at the half.
Wilson 49, Barker 34
Bulding up a 27-14 halftime advantage, defending champion Wilson went on to defeat Bareker 49-34 to remain unbeaten at 7-0.
Julia Faery scored 13 and Bella Lemke 12 to lead Wilson while Chloe Lee had 9 for Barker.
Akron 59, Medina 22
Ten players contributed to the point production as Akron downed visiting Medina 59-22 to improve to 5-2.
Ella Hill scored 11 and Naya Lomayestewa 10 to lead Akron’s balanced attack.
Faithann Vanderwalker had 13, Anya Bloom 5 and Lily Carpenter 4 for Medina.
N-O Standings: Wilson 7-0, Akron 5-2, Roy-Hart 4-3, Albion 3-4, Newfane 2-2, Barker 2-5, Medina 0-7.
Surviving a late scare, Medina edged past visiting Akron 57-56 this afternoon to maintain a share of the Niagara-Orleans League boys basketball lead.
Medina improves to 7-1 and remains deadlocked for first place with Newfane which downed Roy-Hart 57-44.
A three point play by Joe Cecchini, a three by Christian Drisdom and a free throw by Tyler Chinn gave Medina a seven point, 54-47, lead midway through the decisive final quarter.
Two free throws by Jarin Rhim then helped to offset a three by Akron’s Josh Mazza to keep the Mustangs up by six, 56-50, with 2:20 remaining.
Akron though battled back to within two at 56-54 with 1:27 remaining after a pair of free throws by Adam Mietz and a layup off a turnover by Jake Mazza.
A free throw by Chinn put Medina back up by three, 57-54, with 13 seconds to go for what proved to be the game winning point.
Akron did slice the deficit to one, 57-56 with five seconds to go after a pair of free throws by Mietz. The Tigers got the ball back one more time after a missed Mustangs free throw opportunity but misfired on a long half court shot at the buzzer.
Brian Fry finished with a game high 17 and Drisdom had 16 to lead Medina as Chinn and Rhim each added 6, Cecchini 5 and Matt Henning 3.
Mietz led Akron with 16 as Holtz added 13, Jake Mazza 10, Josh Mazza 8, Jack Fowler 5 and David Kalinowski 4.
Akron jumped out to leads of 11-8 after the first period and 36-27 at the half.
Holtz had 11, including two threes, Mietz 8, including two threes, and Jake Mazza 8 over the first two periods for the Tigers. Drisdom tallied 10 to pace the Mustangs during that stretch.
Medina though came storming back in the third period outscoring Akron 20-5 to take a 47-40 lead at the three-quarter mark.
Fry spearheaded the Mustangs rally with 11 points in the stanza on two layups, a jumper, a three point play and a layup off a steal.
That set the stage for the exciting stretch run as the Mustangs held off a late Tigers rally to claim the slender win and maintain a share of the N-O lead heading into Tuesday’s game at rival Albion. Click here to view the last 30 seconds of the game.
Newfane 57, Roy-Hart 44
Newfane kept hold of a share of the N-O lead by downing visiting Roy-Hart 57-44 as Sam Capen scored 21 and Zach Snow and Jeremy Foltz 10 each.
Rhett Goodwin scored 14, Aiden Petrie 12 and Gavyn Boyle 10 for Roy-Hart which trailed 17-15 after one quarter, 28-21 at the half and 40-35 at the three-quarter mark.
Wilson 54, Barker 41
Trailing by eight, 44-36, after three quarters, Wilson rallied to outpoint Barker 18-7 in the decisive final period to claim the narrow 54-51 victory.
Ben Lyman hit two threes and Michael Miller had a three and a two to lead the late surge by the Lakemen. Miller finished with a game high 21.
Brad Cantrell scored 19 to lead Barker as Joey Brandt and Nicholas Guevara both had 8 and Devonte Hill 7.
N-O Standings: Medina 7-1, Newfane 7-1, Akron 4-3, Albion 4-3, Roy-Hart 2-6, Wilson 2-6, Barker 1-7.
$300 billion approved for state and local government
The U.S. Senate today, in a 50-49 vote, passed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill.
The bill includes $1,400 checks for Americans with household incomes less than $150,000 or individuals earning less than $75,000 a year.
The legislation goes before the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote next week.
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, issued this press release after the Senate voted in favor of the package, without any Republican support:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Aided by aggressive action by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the Senate today passed the American Rescue Plan to support American families and small businesses, and deliver critical resources for public health, health care, economic recovery and essential services.
Gillibrand successfully negotiated the inclusion of several provisions in the relief package—she authored legislation to create a Health Force to aide vaccine distribution and deliver funding for cash-strapped state and local governments, and pushed for the inclusion of legislation that will strengthen small businesses, reopen schools, renew emergency paid leave provisions, and help families weather the ongoing economic crisis.
“The American Rescue Plan delivers comprehensive and robust relief to New York families. I’m proud it will provide more resources to New York’s health care system, workers, small businesses and families facing financial strain due to the public health and economic crisis,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I’m particularly proud that this bill includes a nearly $8 billion down payment for Health Force, my legislation to create a robust public health workforce to strengthen vaccination efforts.
“My colleagues and I fought hard to support our front line workers, strengthen vaccine rollout, help our schools safely reopen, bolster small businesses, and provide relief to the millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet. While there’s more work to be done to help America fully recover, this bill is a huge step to further address this crisis and I will continue working with my colleagues to help rebuild our economy.”
Senator Gillibrand fought for the following priorities for New Yorkers in the American Rescue Plan:
- $7.66 billion for a new public health workforce based on her landmark “Health Force” legislation to expand the nation’s public health jobs and infrastructure and aid the country’s vaccine distribution campaign. Grants will be awarded to state, local, and territorial health departments in order to recruit, hire, and train individuals to prevent and respond to future public health emergencies, and respond to ongoing and future public health and health care needs. Senator Gillibrand authored the Health Force, Resilience Force, And Jobs To Fight COVID-19 Act, re-introduced it this year and has championed the proposal throughout the pandemic.
- Expansion of federal emergency paid leave and paid leave tax credits. The American Rescue Plan provides $570 million in additional funding to support an additional 15 weeks of paid leave at $1,400 per week to all federal workers, including USPS employees, for COVID-19 related reasons for themselves and their families through September 2021. This includes vaccine appointments and complications, and school closures due to the pandemic. The bill also provides tax credits to employers that voluntarily offer two weeks of paid sick leave for COVID-19 illnesses and 10 weeks of paid family leave for pandemic related reasons through October 1. As Senate lead on the FAMILY Act, Senator Gillibrand has fought fiercely to enact emergency paid sick and family leave provisions that have prevented workers from having to choose between their paycheck or their health when they needed to stay home to care for themselves or a loved one during the pandemic.
- More than $300 billion for state and local governments. Senator Gillibrand, alongside Majority Leader Schumer, has fought for months to deliver vital funding to New York’s state and local governments, which have had revenues slashed due to the pandemic. The funding will be used to pay for essential services, retain vital frontline workers, and offset lost revenues and increased costs from the COVID-19 emergency. Gillibrand and Schumer authored the Direct Support for Communities Act.
- Extension of emergency SNAP increase and P-EBT benefits and $1 billion in nutrition assistance to Puerto Rico and territories. To address the hunger crisis caused by the pandemic, Gillibrand pushed the Senate to provide temporary increase in maximum SNAP benefits by 15% and extend the benefits through September, and extend the P-EBT program through the summer and expand eligibility. Gillibrand also pushed for and secured $1.135 billion in funding for state administration expenses associated with SNAP. Additionally, Gillibrand led Senate colleagues in a push to provide expeditious and fair implementation of the P-EBT Program in Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories.
- Emergency increase in Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Cash Value Vouchers up to $35 per month for women and children. Senator Gillibrand successfully fought for the inclusion of a vital CVV increase to support women and children for a four-month period during the pandemic.
- More than $1.4 billion in funding to strengthen Older Americans Act (OAA) programs, including $775 million in funding for the OAA Nutrition Services and $460 million to support providers’ efforts to vaccinate older adults in the next coronavirus relief package. Senator Gillibrand led Senate colleagues’ request for $1.4 billion in funding for Older Americans Act (OAA) programs, including $750 million in funding for the OAA Nutrition Services and $480 million to support providers’ efforts to vaccinate older adults in the next coronavirus relief package. She also cosponsored the Continued Funding for Senior Services During COVID-19 Act, to deliver more than $1 billion to the aging network to continue providing essential services, such as meal delivery, vaccine outreach and programming and caregiver support.
- $170 billion for K-12 schools and higher education to help implement CDC guidelines, repair and upgrade ventilation, hire more staff, purchase PPE, and cover budget holes for higher education. Senator Gillibrand cosponsored the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act of 2021 to invest more than $100 billion in grant funding to schools with facilities that pose health and safety risks to students and staff, allocate funding for updates to combat the spread of COVID-19, and expand access to reliable, high-speed broadband to continue digital learning.
- Support for small businesses including an additional $7 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), $25 billion for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, and $1.25 billion for shuttered venue operators grant program. Throughout the last year, Senator Gillibrand has fought to support hard-hit small businesses, restaurants, and the hospitality industry across New York. Gillibrand successfully pushed for the inclusion of the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act of 2020 to create the Revitalization Fund.
- $40 billion in federal funding to stabilize child care providers as they work to safely reopen, including $25 billion to create an emergency stabilization fund for child care providers, $15 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant program, and $1 billion for Head Start funding. With nearly half of all child care providers closed due the pandemic, Gillibrand has stood with local leaders in Upstate New York to call for the inclusion of a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization Fund.
- $3.5 billion for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment and Community Mental Health Block Grants. Senator Gillibrand fought to deliver resources for New York’s growing substance use epidemic throughout the COVID-19 crisis. She repeatedly pushed leadership to include robust funding for substance use disorder and mental health care services as Congress negotiated the last relief package, including a bicameral in support of $10 billion in funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Senator Gillibrand introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Family Support Services Act to create a $25 million grant program over five years to help nonprofits and community organizations provide support services to families with loved ones seeking addiction treatment.
- $7.6 billion for Community Health Centers (CHCs), including federally qualified health center look-alikes and Native Hawaiian Health Centers. Throughout the pandemic, these health centers have provided their communities with testing, tracing, vaccine preparedness, and other health services with limited resources. Earlier this year, Senator Gillibrand called for $13.5 billion in federal funding to help CHCS prepare for and respond to public health crises.
- $4.5 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Senator Gillibrand has repeatedly pushed for resources to ensure New Yorkers can afford their utilities and urged Senate leadership to maintain House negotiated funding for LIHEAP. When millions of workers were laid off at the beginning of the pandemic, Senator Gillibrand fought alongside her colleagues to deliver $900 million in LIHEAP funding in the CARES Act. Gillibrand also successfully pushed the Trump administration to immediately release the emergency funding and send a vital lifeline to New Yorkers.
- $49.5 million for the Family Violence Prevention Services Act programs to support domestic violence shelters and services for families and $250 million for child abuse prevention. In a bipartisan push, Senator Gillibrand urged Congressional leadership to provide support for domestic violence providers and organizations. Senator Gillibrand previously secured $45 million in funding in the CARES Act.
- Extension of enhanced unemployment benefits. States across the country continue to report record high unemployment rates. As enhanced unemployment benefits were set to expire at the end of last year, Gillibrand called on Senate leadership to extend critical Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs.
- $30 billion in federal transit funding. Due to the sharp decrease in ridership and the economic shutdown, public transportation is in desperate need of relief to address devastating revenue losses. With public transportation services facing massive budget shortfalls, Gillibrand advocated for robust transit funding and sent a letter to Senate leadership to push for its inclusion in subsequent relief packages.
- $45 billion for Homelessness and Affordable Housing Assistance, including $20.25 billion for Emergency Rental Assistance, $5 billion for emergency housing vouchers, $100 million for housing counseling, $100 million for rural housing emergency assistance, $9.961 billion for the Homeowner Assistance Fund, and $4.75 billion for Homelessness Assistance. 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 to help families and individuals pay their rent and back rent and the Public Health Emergency Shelter Act to respond to the needs of families and individuals experiencing homelessness during this crisis.
By Doug Farley, Cobblestone Museum Director
GAINES – Every community is enhanced by the presence of a grocery store providing the basic essentials for its residents. Throughout the 20th century, that presence was found in the hamlet of Childs in the H&A Superette. This longstanding enterprise owed its existence to Henry & Agnes Radzinski who were, of course, the namesake “H” and “A” in H&A Superette.
Their story begins in 1950 when Henry and Agnes purchased the former Balcom Brothers market at the intersection of Routes 104 and 98 in Childs. Ortis and Walter Balcom’s enterprise in Childs went back deep into the early history of Childs, and set the stage for the presence of a community store at that location that continues even to this day.
In reality, the Radzinski family’s mercantile experience goes back much earlier than 1950. Agnes (Daniels) Radzinski’s father, Adam Daniels, operated Daniels Provisions, a meat business that was located at 337 Caroline Street in Albion. Henry, and later his son Ron, born in 1934, trained in meat cutting at Daniels, a skill that would carry them both forward to form the basis of their own successful business together. Henry, was one of twelve children, which certainly provided him with a strong work ethic.
The H&A operated for its first decade in what family members now call the “old store.” It was similar to Balcom’s, but with a change in merchandising to create a “self-service” grocery store with an emphasis on fresh cut meats. Ron Radzinski is seen here pumping Texaco gas from the front porch of the old store.
Agnes Radzinski is behind the counter at the old store with her sister, Gertrude Kaniecki. At the time the old store was torn down, it was discovered that it actually had cobblestone walls. Historian Bill Lattin recalls, “Hank got in touch with me and told me to come see the discovery.” The old cobblestone walls had been covered with stucco at some point in the buildings early history. Bill said, “Henry felt bad but it was too late to save it.”
In 1961, after ten years of operation, the Radzinski’s reinvested into their business, to create what became known as the “new store.” The transition was nothing less than amazing. The change essentially involved building a new one-story building behind the earlier store, and then removing the old two-story building.
Painting by Roy Bannister of Carlton, 1983
The new store was built with concrete block construction with large glass windows in the front. The inside was painted in pastel shades of peach and green. A large meat case extended across the end of the store. A frozen food section and produce coolers ran along the sides. Besides groceries and meat, the store was well equipped with hardware, clothing and other necessities. The Radzinskis really wanted to provide a “one-stop” shopping experience in Childs.
Local contractors involved with the construction of the new store included Grillo & LaMartina, Ralph’s Plumbing & Heating, Canham Electric, Donald Rorick, Docks’ Flooring, Richard Shepard, and Maine Lumber.
The official grand opening of the new store took place on June 1, 1961 as demonstrated by the newspaper ad as shown above. The new store had two cash registers, several aisles of grocery staples, a full service meat department, produce, as well as beer and cigarettes. The store purchased local whenever possible, including a longstanding arrangement with Bob Kelsey of Carlton to provide local fresh strawberries in season.
The grand opening staff, shown here in 1961 in their grocers’ white aprons, proudly recall that the store suffered no down time in the transition. One store or the other was open every day during the changeover. Bottom row: Ronald Radzinski, Agnes and Henry (Hank) Radzinski, and Daniel Radzinski. Back row: Gertrude Kaniecki and her son Roger Kaniecki, Pauline Radzinski and Marilyn Mack. Ronald and Daniel are sons of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Radzinski.
Henry and Agnes, seen here in 1959 on their 25th anniversary, transferred ownership of the store to their sons Ronald (Butch) and Danny in 1986. Ron continued to run the store until 1999. The H&A grew in popularity, largely due to the friendly neighborhood service it provided. A culture of service was the hallmark demonstrated by every member of the team that worked there.
The Radzinski family loomed large in the enterprise. In addition to Henry & Agnes, other family members included son Ron who cut meats, Ron’s son Mark who was taught to make Polish and Italian sausage, and Ron’s daughter Gayle who served as cashier. Ron’s wife, Pauline, though she was a career nurse, was sometimes seen running cash register when others were not available. The family connections at the H&A went on to include sons, sisters, brothers, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and more.
Anyone familiar with a “mom and pop” grocery store can attest to the fact that everyone in its employ has to learn to be a “jack-of-all-trades.” If not trimming produce or cutting meats, any employee may be called on to unload truck, stock shelves, run cash register, clean floors, shovel snow, and on-and-on.
Ron (Butch) Radzinski worked about 50 years in the grocery business. He only left it for about two years for military service in Germany after WWII. He built up a reputation as a friend to everyone that crossed his path. He even extended credit to his customers, if they needed it. He made sure no one went without. During and following his many years in business, Ron served as Town of Gaines Councilman, then Town Supervisor, and eventually Orleans County Legislator, where he served as Vice Chairman. Sadly, Ron passed away in 2020.
Mark Radzinski, born in 1959, got started working around his grandparents’ store as a young child, stocking shelves, cleaning up, and many other tasks. At age 16, he got an actual “job” at the store, even though he didn’t have an official paycheck to show for it, because, he said, “My Dad paid me cash.” He left the store for two years to attend college and then returned and worked at the H&A until 1999 when it closed.
Mark recalled, “My grandfather taught me to make sausage. Every year at Christmas I would make about 800 pounds of sausage for the holidays.” Following his years as a grocer, Mark worked for the Orleans County Highway Department for a year, followed by working for the Town of Gaines Highway Department, where he currently serves as Highway Superintendent.
Ron and Pauline’s daughter Gayle (Radzinski) Ashbery, born in 1958, worked in the store growing up, and then followed her father’s footsteps into public service, becoming, first, a Town of Carlton Councilmember and currently serving as Town Supervisor. Gayle recalled, “I worked at the store as a cashier, but also stocked shelves and swept the floor. The favorite memory I have is just talking to people and enjoying their company.”
Talking to people seemed to be what made the store so successful. It was the personal interactions between staff and customer that made the store a friendly place where folks enjoyed shopping and catching up on the latest news of the day. Former Cobblestone Museum Curator Bill Lattin offered, “You couldn’t ask for a better neighbor than the H&A and the Radzinski family.”
Bill recalled that on more than one occasion, Ron Radzinski went out of his way to help the Cobblestone Museum in its historic preservation mission. Bill said, “Ron tipped the balance and helped the museum acquire the brick bulding which had originally been part of the H&A property for many years.”
Both Mark and Gayle reflected on the many sights, sounds, and smells that provided customers a sensory experience in addition to a shopping experience at the H&A. Gayle said, “Agnes had a kitchen in the store and she always made lunch for the workers. I still remember the boiled hotdogs. Somehow, they tasted better then.”
The H&A owned the neighboring brick house, built in 1836, seen here in the 1950s. Ron and Pauline Radzinski used the house as their residence from 1957 to 1965, at which time they built a new house on Oak Orchard Road in Childs. Following that period, Henry and Agnes moved into the house. Its proximity to the store must have been a mixed blessing, close to the store when attention was needed, and conversely creating a 24-hour, 365 days a year, on-call situation when troubles developed.
Gayle Ashbery, on a recent visit to the brick house remarked, “This is the wall that Mark and I scribbled on with crayon as kids. I think my parents must have forgiven us by now.”
In later decades, the Radzinski’s remodeled the brick house, removing the porch and awning and building an addition at the front of the building seen here. With this addition, they opened the H&A Liquor store, as an adjunct to their successful superette. The photo shows a square dance in the H&A parking lot for the “Farmers’ Parade” in 1980.
The H&A legacy came to an end in 1998 when the business was sold to Dennis Piedmonte, who removed 18 feet from the front of the building and changed the format to a convenience store. The downsized market was known as “JP One”, and a second store opened later in Holley that was called “JP Two.” The store in Childs is currently operating as part of the “Crosby’s” chain.
The Brick House (1836) became part of the Cobblestone Museum in 1998, after Ron Radzinski agreed to save the historic structure from the wrecking ball. The museum removed the liquor store and side addition, returning the building to its original 1836 configuration. Currently, the Museum’s office and Resource Room are located here.
In another family connection to Childs, Mark Radzinski and his wife Brenda, purchased the wood framed house directly behind the H&A as their first residence, early in their marriage in 1986. The young couple lived in that home until 2000, when they purchased a residence on Oak Orchard Road in Childs, near the home of Mark’s parents. Later, the Cobblestone Museum purchased the house, as seen here behind the Cobblestone Church, to provide rental income, additional museum parking and access to Route 98.
Mark Radzinski and his sister, Gayle, offered their thanks to many of the longtime employees at the H&A who went “over and above” to make the store a treasured community staple over the years. They thanked everyone, and specifically mentioned Gert (Daniels) Kaniecki, cashier; Jim and Bob Wells, who cut meat and made deliveries; and Patty Avino, cashier.
Also, they thanked the many, many customers that patronized the store for decades that made it all possible.
The Roy-Hart/Barker/Medina Club Hockey team made the long journey to Jamestown Friday evening for a 9 p.m. game and dropped a 12-1 decision in the Western New York Club League contest.
The contest began well enough with Jamestown taking a 2-0 lead in the first eleven minutes, but RBM made it 2-1 on a power play goal by Joel Harris (Barker) with the assist going to Dominic Peracciny (Roy-Hart).
However, Jamestown went on to take a 5-1 lead at the end of one period.
The home team would go on to score six goals in the second period and one in the third.
This was RBM’s fourth game in six days (three away) with their next contest tomorrow at 1 p.m. in Lockport against ELPS.
RIDGEWAY — The bridge on Route 104 over Oak Orchard Creek in Ridgeway will be closing to traffic on April 26 with an anticipated reopening in early September.
The bridge is being replaced by Union Concrete and Construction Corp. of West Seneca. The company advised Town of Ridgeway officials this week of the impending closure.
A detour will send larger trucks to Route 98 in Gaines-Albion, Route 31 from Albion to Medina and Route 63 from Ridgeway to Medina.
The $2.65 million bridge replacement is 80 percent funded by the federal government with the state paying the other 20 percent.
The new bridge will replace one from 1954. The new bridge is a single span multi-girder bridge featuring two 12-foot-wide travel lanes and two 6-foot-wide shoulders. New approaches will also be constructed as part of the project. The new bridge is expected to last at least 75 years.