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Albion mayor says Beaver Alley pavers won’t be removed

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 July 2018 at 2:10 pm

ALBION – The Village of Albion won’t be removing the Medina sandstone pavers on Beaver Alley, Mayor Eileen Banker said.

Village officials have been discussing how to maintain the alleyway off Main Street. Removing the pavers was mentioned, but Banker said the board wants to keep them.

Plowing the street, with the bumps from the pavers, has damaged DPW plow equipment and weeds require pesticide application.

The board is considering closing the street for the winter, but is checking with Fire Chief Harry Papponetti if that poses a fire safety issue, Banker said.

The DPW might also plow the alley with the sidewalk blower.

The village had the pavers put in 15 years ago after they were dug up during the reconstruction of routes 98 and 31 in the village.

The board in 2003 decided to have the alley resemble a street from the late 1800s.

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Albion considers removing sandstone pavers from Beaver Alley

Photos by Tom Rivers: Beaver Alley, a short one-lane street made of Medina sandstone pavers, is a half block south of the Erie Canal.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 July 2018 at 9:15 am

The sandstone pavers are pictured with a dusting of snow. The street has been hard on the village’s plowing equipment.

ALBION – The Village Board is discussing removing Medina sandstone pavers from Beaver Alley because the stone blocks have been hard on plowing equipment.

The village also has to contend with weeds that sprout up between the blocks. Pesticides are typically sprayed to battle the weeds.

The street was paved until 2003. When the Pike Company in Rochester, a contractor for the state Department of Transportation, tore up routes 31 and 98 in Albion about 15 years ago, there were sandstone pavers under the roads.

Ed Salvatore was the Albion mayor at the time and he negotiated having the Pike Company put 5,500 of the pavers in Beaver Alley.

Salvatore at the time said the pavers, made of Medina sandstone, provided a sharp contrast between the new style of road construction on Main Street with the style from a century earlier. He also wanted to preserve some local sandstone history and add another element to historic downtown.

Before asphalt and concrete, many of the streets were made of cut Medina sandstone blocks. Salvatore wanted Beaver Alley, a short one-lane street, to resemble a street from the late 1800s.

There have been complaints the street is bumpy and hard to drive on. The DPW says the pavers also damage snow plows.

If the sandstone blocks were removed, the village would repave the alley.

The Village Board discussed removing the pavers this past Wednesday and has tabled the issue until its next meeting at 6 p.m. on June 25.

The alley has been a popular spot for senior pictures and other portraits. Rhonda and Mark Parker, former Albion residents, used the street in a scene for their film, “Message in a Bottle.” They are shown shooting a scene in June 2015. Rhonda Parker, front left, and her husband Mark, kneeling with camera, have named their film business, Beaver Alley Studios.

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Carnival returns to Bullard Park in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 July 2018 at 4:22 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Peyton’s Express gives kids a ride through Bullard Park today on a miniature train. The ride was available as part of the children’s carnival at Bullard.

Today was the popular day for the Albion summer recreation program with carnival, which included a bounce house, numerous games, events, and activities.

Oliver Beach, 11, of Albion plays the milk can toss.

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Chamber of Commerce celebrates grand opening of 39 Problems in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 July 2018 at 9:52 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Orleans County Chamber of Commerce celebrated the grand opening of 39 Problems this afternoon. The restaurant and bar opened on March 1 at 43 North Main St., following extensive renovations. A larger site next door, at 39 North Main St., could be opened for expanded seating in the future.

Adam and Tina Johnson run the business, which gives Albion a draw in the downtown business district, Chamber officials said.

This group includes, from left: Becky Charland, Chamber of Commerce director; Cliff Thom, a Chamber board member; Madelyn Genovese, communications director for State Sen. Robert Ortt; Patrick O’Sullivan, 39 Problems chef and general manager; Jonathan Doherty, Albion resident; Adam Johnson, 39 Problems owner; County Legislator Ken DeRoller; Chamber board member David Gagne; and Kathy Blackburn, Chamber board member.

“I’ve been here to eat a couple times and it’s very, very good,” Charland said. “This is great for Albion. I love the look of it. It’s trendy.”

Johnson said the business has dedicated customers and new ones who are discovering the site. A Tuesday night trivia concert at 7 p.m. has been a surprising success.

“It’s growing and that’s what you want to see,” he said. “We have our footing under us. The building and the menu have come together.”

Last month, 39 Problems added a food cart that goes to local festivals and events.

Adam Johnson is congratulated by Orleans County Legislator Ken DeRoller.

The Johnsons purchased the downtown building, which includes three storefronts, in 2015. They have been working diligently to renovate the site, while preserving its historic charm. In June 2017, they opened 39 Problems, selling pizza, grilled foods and “chill desserts.” The site didn’t have a dine-in option.

Now 39 Problems has a dine-in restaurant. The Johnsons have two of three storefronts done, and they would eventually like to expand the dining area to the remaining storefront.

Johnson continues to be involved in downtown projects, including Thursday cruise-ins. Those events are timed to coincide with the canal concert series from 6 to 8 p.m.

There will be a bigger cruise-in on Aug. 11 when a section of Main Street is closed off. Proceeds go to the Warrior House in Shelby.

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Village of Albion installs new waterline on West Academy Street

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 July 2018 at 7:50 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Village of Albion Department of Public Works on Wednesday installs a new 8-inch waterline on West Academy Street, south of Route 31.

The village started the job on Tuesday and expects to be done with the work on Friday. The waterline will service the new 13,000-square-foot transportation facility for the Regional Transit Service.

RTS has run a public transportation service in Orleans County since 2003. It has six buses in the county, and they are parked outside by the County Highway Department on West Academy Street.

The new $4 million facility will allow the buses to be parked inside. The facility will be behind the County Highway Department. The facility will include eight indoor bus bays, three bus maintenance bays, a vehicle wash bay, storage for parts and materials, administrative office space, a break room with kitchenette, and designated parking.

The new waterline is an upgrade from the 6-inch main that was used on the other side of the street. The village can now extend the bigger line in the future.

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Most local high school graduations will be nearly a week later next year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 July 2018 at 5:33 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: On June 22, 120 students graduated from Medina High School. Next year graduation will be six days later on June 28.

High school graduation will be almost a week later next year, compared to this year’s ceremonies, for most local high schools.

Albion, Medina and Lyndonville will hold commencement on June 28, while Holley has it on June 29. That is six days later than graduation last month for those school districts.

Kendall, however, has opted not to wait until June 28. The district typically has graduation the fourth Friday in June. It will have the service on June 21 next year.

The Albion Board of Education and school administrators on Monday discussed moving its ceremony to June 21 next year. That would be five days before Regents are done. Elementary and middle school students also have half days of school on June 24-25.

Albion has traditionally ended the school year with graduation.

The board decided to continue with graduation on the fourth Friday of June.

Students will have completed all of their final exams, including Regents, by then. That way high school staff can make sure students have the appropriate designation noted on their diplomas. Some of the graduating seniors might be taking a Regents exam after commencement if it was held on June 21. Their score could determine if it is an Advanced Regents or a different designation – or if they meet the standards for a diploma.

There is a drawback with having graduation on June 28. It doesn’t give much time off in June, board members said, especially for varsity athletes who have practices in mid-August. They will have a short summer vacation.

Albion also could hold graduation on Wednesday, June 26, or the Thursday the 27th, so there would be more vacation time in June. But the board decided that graduation on a Friday is a long-time tradition in Albion that should be preserved.

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Margy Brown will serve as Albion BOE president one more year

Photos by Tom Rivers: Margy Brown signs the oath of office on Monday evening after she was unanimously elected as president of the Albion Board of Education. Shawn Liddle, the district clerk and assistant superintendent for business, administers the oath.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 July 2018 at 11:25 am

Elissa Nesbitt signs the oath of office. She is a new member of the Board of Education.

ALBION – Margy Brown was unanimously elected as president of the Albion Board of Education on Monday, a role she has served in since 2011.

However, Brown said this will be her final year as president. She was re-elected to a five-year term in May as a member of the Board of Education. She intends to stay on the board after this year, but not as president.

The board also unanimously backed Steve LaLonde as vice president. Brown said she will work with him this year so he could take the reins and become president after her term ends June 30.

Brown said the district has pushed for excellence in academics and extracurricular activities while insisting on a program that is affordable to district taxpayers. In the past 12 years, Albion has either reduced school taxes or kept them in check 10 times.

“We have a great board and I look forward to working with all of you,” Brown said.

Brown is a certified registered nurse anesthetist. She co-owns and serves as managing partner of Anesthesia Care Associates, which provides anesthesia services for cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries.

She and her husband Eric have two sons in the district: Harrison and Jeffrey.

LaLonde was elected to the board two years ago. He has a doctoral degree in statistics, measurement and evaluation from Syracuse Univeristy. He is recently retired as a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology. He and his late wife, Kathy, raised three children who graduated from Albion.

The Board also welcomed one new member, Elissa Nesbitt. She was elected to a five-year term in May. She works as director of community relations for Xerox. She and her husband Chuck have two children in the district.

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Children’s Carnival is Friday at Bullard Park

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 July 2018 at 9:47 am

File photo: Xavier Byrd, then 9, of Albion gets a football painted on his cheek by Gabriell Struble, one of the park supervisors at Bullard Park, during a children’s carnival in July 2016.

ALBION – The carnival returns on Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Orleans Community Action sponsors and helps organize the event, which usually is attended by about 300 kids. There will be several games, events, and activities featured through the day.

The Albion Parks program this week is also running a baseball camp at Bullard from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. for children in grades 4 to 12.

On Wednesday, the park children will be bused to Oak Orchard Lanes for a day of bowling.

Hamlin Recreation Department will visit Albion on Thursday and the two departments will be having fun playing games with each other.

The Village of Albion Recreation Department run a free USTA Tennis Camp on July 23 to 27  from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Albion High School Tennis Courts. Tennis balls will be provided. Participants are encouraged to bring your own tennis racquet. Walk up registration will be on Mondays at the beginning of the session.  An adult needs to be at registration.

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Cyclists, travelling in big caravan, enjoy canal towns in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 July 2018 at 1:27 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Cyclists cross Main Street in front of the lift bridge in Albion at about 8:30 this morning.

About 650 cyclists left Medina this morning and headed east through Orleans County with Fairport the final destination for the day, as part of an eight-day Cycling the Erie Canal.

The 20th annual trip  is organized by Parks & Trails New York. The cyclists started in Buffalo on Sunday and will complete the trip this Sunday in Albany.

The cyclists cover about 40 to 60 miles per day. There are participants from ages 6 to 82 from 37 states and several Canadian provinces, as well as Australia and the United Kingdom.

Stan Farone (pictured), an Albion village trustee, is cycling the Erie Canal for the second year. The trip is showcase of the many canal towns in New York.

“There is a lot to see,” he said.

He praised the Albion Merchants Association and other volunteers for the welcome stop this morning. Farone said there aren’t too many stops with a warm welcome for the cyclists on the canal east of Rochester.

Mayor Eileen Banker and Trustee Gary Katsanis were among the contingent greeting cyclists in Albion this morning.

“Albion is one of the biggest and the best,” Farone, 68, said about the welcome stop. “It’s a long ride and when you see a welcome stop, it helps.”

One cyclist from Kentucky enjoyed seeing the big Medina sandstone churches and downtown buildings.

“When you think of New York, you think of the city,” she said. “People are very polite here, maybe even more polite than in Kentucky.”

Martin Frahme is a volunteer on the ride – “on call for bicycle and people breakdowns,” he said. He is shown at the top of the stairs to the lift bridge tower taking a photo.

His wife is one of the cyclists. She enjoys the 50 miles or more on her bike. The couple is from Morristown, NJ.

“We love these towns and the reception we get,” Frahme said. “New York State is a pretty nice place in the summer.”

Two Canal employees – Larry Marling (top left), a bridge operator, and Mark Standish, a bank walker – chat with two of the cyclists today on the stairs of the Main Street lift bridge.

These cyclists are headed east with the Ingersoll Street lift bridge in the background. There is another rest stop in Holley.

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Fundraisers set up after Albion teacher’s Hamlin home burned on Saturday night

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 July 2018 at 11:10 am

HAMLIN – An Albion teacher’s home was destroyed by fire on Saturday night, two weeks after she and her family moved in.

Deanna Richardson, a first grade teacher at the Ronald L. Sodoma Elementary School, had just settled into a new home on Monroe-Orleans County Line Road. She lives with her fiancé Ben Moore and their two children.

Richardson told WHAM she suspects sparklers that the kids were playing with likely started the fire. The family thought the sparklers had been completely extinguished. A fire broke out about 10 p.m.

Everyone was able to get outside safely, including two dogs. However, they lost their possessions, including Moore’s military memorabilia and their daughter Hannah’s medication for type 1 diabetes.

A GoFundMe has been established to assist the family. In addition, there will be a fundraiser today at Jimmy Z’s restaurant in Brockport from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with 20 percent of a food order going directly toward the family. There will also be a jar for people to make donations.

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