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Pilot not injured after ultralight flips in field

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 July 2020 at 8:50 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – An ultralight plane is upside down in a squash field on Gaines Road in Carlton this evening. Orleans County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Marsceill is on scene with Carlton firefighters.

The pilot, James Retzlaff of Burt, needed to do an emergency landing after the engine stopped. He was able to circle the field and land the ultralight at about 7:30 p.m. However, the dirt was loose and the plane dug in and flipped over on the landing, said Sheriff Chris Bourke.

Retzlaff, 74, wasn’t injured from the incident. He was able to walk away and was checked out by Carlton firefighters. He declined to be transported by COVA ambulance.

Retzlaff had been flying for about 1 ½ hours before having to an emergency landing just north of the Gaines Valley Aviation Airport.

Provided photos

Members of the Sheriff’s Office help move the damaged ultralight to a trailer. Chief Deputy Jeff Gifaldi, center, Undersheriff Mike Mele and Sheriff Chris Bourke, back right, helped to move the aircraft.

Sheriff Bourke said further examination of the ultralight showed the plane most likely ran out of gas, which caused the engine to conk out.

The plane is hauled out of the field.

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Westbound lanes of Parkway between 237 and 98 to close for lakeshore erosion repairs

Staff Reports Posted 21 May 2020 at 11:10 am

CARLTON/KENDALL – The New York State Department of Transportation today announced that following Memorial Day, the westbound lanes of the Lake Ontario State Parkway, between Route 237 and Route 98 will close for approximately one month.

The closure of the westbound lanes in Kendall and Carlton is necessary to accommodate repairs being made to the Lake Ontario shoreline, just north of the parkway, by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation.

Westbound traffic along the parkway will be detoured at the Route 237 exit and use Route 18 to continue west.

The road is expected to re-open to vehicular traffic by the end of June, though work is weather dependent and subject to change, the DOT said.

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Youth Fishing Derby planned for July 18 is cancelled

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 May 2020 at 10:41 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Iyla Lilleby, 12, of Medina tries to catch a fish in the Oak Orchard Harbor during last year’s inaugural DC Outdoors fishing derby.

CARLTON – A youth fishing derby that debuted last July 13 has been cancelled for this year due to health concerns with Covid-19.

The derby had 60 participants last year. It was open to kids 15 and younger, with prizes for three age divisions.

After fishing at the Oak Orchard River and at the Oak Orchard Harbor at Point Breeze, participants had a picnic at the Orleans County Marine Park.

Organizers decided not to put children and the adult volunteers at risk with the derby planned for July 18. Dan Conrad, one of the leaders of DC Outdoors, said the Health Department and community members shared their concerns about the derby.

“I wish more than anything to still have it,” Conrad said.

It will also be difficult to get sponsorships and donated items for the derby because so many local businesses are struggling due to being shut down and restricted due to precautions against with the virus, Conrad said.

DC Outdoors encourages children and families to experience the outdoors. Conrad said he hopes to coordinate other outdoor activities later this year once some of the restrictions are lifted.

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OONA cancels summer concert series at Point Breeze

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Dave Viterna Group performs on July 2, 2019 at the Orleans County Marine Park to kick off last summer’s concert series. There were about 500 people at the concert. The park is located on Route 98 in Point Breeze along the Oak Orchard River. It has hosted the summer concert series since 2010.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 May 2020 at 10:31 am

CARLTON – The Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association has cancelled its summer concert series in Point Breeze due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

OONA has been organizing a summer concert series since 2010 at the Orleans County Marine Park. There are usually six bands that perform and those concerts draw about 400 people on average.

“After careful deliberation, the Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association has determined that the 2020 Summer Concert Series at the Orleans County Marine Park at Point Breeze will not be conducted this summer,” OONA said in a statement. “OONA officers based this decision on the fact that coronavirus continues to pose a serious threat to the health and safety of the community and may continue to do so well into the summer.”

The concerts are a big fundraiser for OONA. The organization used some of those proceeds to donate $5,000 back to community organizations last year. OONA isn’t sure if it will be able to donate funds to any local agencies this year.

Not only are the concerts cancelled, but OONA expects it will have to scale back or eliminate other social events that raised some money, said Tracy Wilmot Panczyszyn, OONA communications officer.

The OONA board will discuss if it can donate to other groups this year, even at a much reduced level.

The Clarendon Lions Club also raised money at the concerts by cooking food and serving refreshments. The 50/50 raffles and admission price also raised funds that were given back to the community.

“We regret taking the year off,” OONA said in a statement. “However, we encourage your support of our local sponsors who have made our fundraising efforts possible.”

OONA will display signs of past sponsors of the concert series on a fence at the park along Route 98. OONA urges support of those businesses during these challenging economic times.

“And, last, we would be remiss not to extend our gratitude to the bands, vendors, attendees and volunteers who have made this event a success over the years, and wish nothing but the best to you all at this difficult time,” OONA said in a statement. “We hope that this pause will be temporary and we can practice social distancing at a concert in the Marine Park in the very near future.”

The playground at the park is currently off limits to the public due to Covid-19 concerns.

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New restaurant opens Friday at Point Breeze

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 April 2020 at 6:20 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: Tiffany Keiffer poses next to the sign for Hayden’s Diner, which is named for her 9-year-old son. Keiffer opens the restaurant on Friday, beginning at 8 a.m. She plans to open at 4:30 in the morning later in the season.

POINT BREEZE – It’s opening day on Friday for a new restaurant at Point Breeze. Tiffany Keiffer will be serving take-outs at 928 Point Breeze Rd.

Keiffer named the restaurant for her-9-year-old son, Hayden. The diner was most recently the Breeze Inn Again.

Tiffany Keiffer has repainted the interior of the diner and looks forward to customers being allowed to dine in. Right now, restaurants are limited to take-outs or deliveries.

Two items on the menu are also named for Hayden. There’s Hayden’s Skillet, which is like a garbage plate, and Hayden’s Stuffed Shakes, a milkshake that includes topping of candy, cookies or Nutella.

Keiffer said the diner is at a great location at the end of Route 98, one of the last buildings before Lake Ontario. While she has worked in recent months to get the building ready, repainting the interior, replacing floor tiles and doing an extensive cleaning, she saw lots of traffic with people coming to the lake.

“I’m looking forward to serving the community and getting more business to the area,” she said today.

The fishermen, in particular, are up early. Keiffer plans to open the diner at 4:30 in the morning later in the season to accommodate that crowd. She will have a hot breakfast ready to go, even before the sun comes up.

For now the hours will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Except on Fridays, when she will stay open until 8 p.m. Those days she will be serving fish fries, in addition to the regular menu for breakfast and lunch.

Hayden’s Diner also serves ice cream from a side of the building. Keiffer will have the ice cream window open from 4 to 8 p.m. each day.

Keiffer also works as a bar tender at the Elk’s Lodge in Albion and is the bar manager Lures Restaurant in Kendall.

For more information on Hayden’s, call (585) 682-6074.

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Late-night fire displaces 2 Waterport residents

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 April 2020 at 9:24 am

Provided photo from Jamie Hollis

CARLTON – Firefighters work to contain a fire in Waterport last night at 1965 Main St. Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at about 3 a.m.

The fire was mostly contained to back of the house but there is significant smoke and water damage in the home, said Justin Niederhofer, Carlton fire chief.

The fire displaced the two residents, who had been remodeling the house. They are being assisted by the Red Cross. One of the residents, Thad Nauden, works for the Red Cross.

Niederhofer thanked firefighters for responding to the call in the middle of the night and preventing more extensive damage. There were firefighters from Carlton, Albion, Lyndonville, Kendall, Medina, Shelby and Ridgeway, as well as the county fire investigators and director of Emergency Management Office. COVA also was on scene with an ambulance in case there were any injuries.

Firefighters stayed on the scene until 6:30, and then had to clean and disinfect the fire trucks and fire hall.

“I thank all the department for coming to help us and we’re sorry for the family’s loss of their house,” Niederhofer said this morning.

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Enjoying a sunset while social distancing at Point Breeze

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 April 2020 at 10:46 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

POINT BREEZE – Les Kenward of Medina drove out to Point Breeze last evening to enjoy the sunset.

Kenward brought along his camera and welcomed the chance for fresh air. Point Breeze only had a few people at the Oak Orchard Harbor on Monday evening, making it easy to keep 6 feet of distance from others.

Kenward captured the scene of the sun setting on Lake Ontario.

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Carlton, Ridgeway town offices closed to public

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 March 2020 at 12:09 pm

Ridgeway and Carlton town offices are closed to the public until further notice.

Any tax payments in Carlton can be made online though the link provided on the town website.

Any other payments can be made by using the drop box located in the zoning enforcer’s door.  Please put any payments in an envelope with a name and phone number. If there are any questions or concerns please call the Town Hall at 585-682-4358.

In Ridgeway, the Town Court will be closed to the to the public in cooperation with the directive sent by Governor Cuomo, said Town Supervisor Brian Napoli.

The Town Board’s regular meeting today will go on as scheduled.

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2 harbors in Orleans picked for dredging by state

Staff Reports Posted 12 February 2020 at 12:36 pm

Johnson Creek, Oak Orchard among 20 channels to get attention

File photo by Tom Rivers – A boat passes through the Oak Orchard Harbor. Sediment builds up in the channel which can make it difficult for larger boats to use the harbor.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that 20 harbors on the southshore of Lake Ontario will be dredged, including Johnson Creek in Carlton near Lakeside Beach State Park and the Oak Orchard Harbor at Point Breeze.

The Oak Orchard Harbor dredging is scheduled to start in June 2021 and the Johnson Creek Harbor will get attention in July 2021.

The $15 million regional dredging initiative is part of the State’s $300 million effort to repair and build resiliency in communities recovering from damage caused by high water levels and flooding.

The governor made the announcement during a stop at Sandy Pond in Oswego County, where a $600,000 REDI award for the North Sandy Pond Resiliency Project will help the Town of Sandy Creek strengthen the barrier bar dividing Sandy Pond and Lake Ontario. The next round of dredging to commence at Blind Sodus Bay, Wayne County, in April, Cuomo said.

“New Yorkers living and working along the shorelines of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are still reeling from last year’s record flooding that devastated their communities,” Cuomo said.

The full lists of harbors to be dredged includes:

Orleans County: Oak Orchard Harbor, Johnson Creek

Niagara County: Wilson, Olcott Harbor

Monroe County: Sandy Creek, Braddock Bay, Long Pond Outlet, Irondequoit Bay

Oswego County: Sandy Pond Inlet, Salmon River/Port Ontario

Wayne County: Port Bay, Blind Sodus Bay, Bear Creek Harbor, Pultneyville, East Bay

Cayuga County:  Little Sodus Bay

Jefferson County: Clayton French Creek Marina, Henderson “The Cut”

St. Lawrence County: Ogdensburg “City Front Channel,” Morristown Navigation Channel

The first REDI project completed is at Mexico Point State Park in Oswego County where record-high water levels at Lake Ontario in 2017 and again in 2019 caused devastating damage to the shoreline.

In just four weeks, 435 linear feet of shoreline was stabilized with the placement of 3,200 tons of stone. The project, which was completed ahead of schedule on Feb. 6, will preserve public access to Lake Ontario at Mexico Point Park and protect the local economy through the continued attraction of visitors.

At a Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative Conference in Albany in November 2019, Cuomo introduced the $15 million Regional Dredging Project to the representatives of communities slated to receive REDI grants, letting them know that later that month field teams would be identifying areas to be dredged and developing a timeline for implementation.

Each dredging project is targeted to be complete no more than four months from its start date, with dredging expected to commence in:

• April 2020 at Blind Sodus Bay

• September 2020 at East Bay and North Sandy Pond Inlet

• October 2020 at Braddock Bay, Pultneyville and Little Sodus Bay

• April 2021 at Sandy Creek

• June 2021 at Olcott Harbor, Oak Orchard Harbor and Wilson

• July 2021 at Irondequoit Bay, Long Pond Outlet, Bear Creek Harbor, Henderson “The Cut,” Johnson Creek, Salmon River/Port Ontario, Ogdensburg “City Front” Channel, Morristown Navigation Channel and Clayton French Creek Marine.

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Group will discuss Parkway future at meeting today in Kendall

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 January 2020 at 8:45 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: The western end of the Lake Ontario State Parkway runs along 12.7 miles in Orleans County.

KENDALL – The Lake Ontario State Parkway Steering Committee will meet today in Kendall to discuss the future of the recreational route.

The 7 p.m. meeting at the Kendall Town Hall will include a review of alternatives for the Parkway. The public is welcome to attend the session.

The Genesee Transportation Council in Rochester and Orleans County have been studying the future of the Parkway, looking at possible alternatives for the westernmost 12.7 miles of the Parkway that runs along the lake through Kendall and part of Carlton. Altogether, the DOT spent about $14 million on the paving projects.

At today’s meeting, some of the alternatives will be presented as well as estimated costs of implementation. The committee will evaluate some of the future concepts for the Parkway.

Today is the committee’s first meeting in about two years. Since the last meeting, the state Department of Transportation has repaved stretches of the Parkway near Kendall and Hamlin.

The committee has mulled some ideas for the Parkway, including closing the northern side, currently the western lanes, and have the Parkway be a regular two-lane state road on the south side.

That would free up the northern side for possible housing development. Except, in many places, there wouldn’t be enough room north of the road to accommodate new development because the Parkway is too close to the lake.

The Transportation Council also is considering closing off either the north or south sides to traffic and designating one side for cyclists and snowmobiles. But County Legislator Ken DeRoller has said snow doesn’t seem to “stick” too well on the Parkway surface.

And the state would need to modify the interchanges if traffic was allowed on only one side. The cost of redoing the interchanges might negate any maintenance savings from closing off one side to traffic, DeRoller said.

The committee looking at the Parkway also is considering a reduced speed of 40 miles per hour for the Parkway, or perhaps an elevated speed limit to make the road faster for motorists.

DeRoller has said he favors more maintenance and paving in the current Parkway setup. He thinks the roadway should be better marketed as a connector to popular state parks at Lakeside Beach in Carlton and Hamlin Beach. Those two state parks together draw 443,000 visitors annually, DeRoller said. They each have about 250 camp sites.

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After 2 years of study, Albion woman earns American citizenship

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 January 2020 at 9:15 am

Mother of 4 works as supervisor at Intergrow Greenhouses

Photo by Tom Rivers: Rosa Santiago, in back, is joined by her daughters during a celebration on Monday after she passed her American citizenship test. Rosa’s daughters include, from left: Tiffany, Michelle and Alexis.

WATERPORT – Rosa Santiago was celebrated on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, for earning her American citizenship.

Santiago, an Albion resident the past 13 years, passed the citizenship test last Wednesday. She will be sworn in as a new American during a ceremony on Feb. 27 at the U.S. Courthouse in Buffalo.

Santiago, 38, started taking English classes at the World Life Institute in Waterport about two years ago. She also studied American history and prepared for the civics test she needed to pass to become an American.

Her teachers and classmates threw a party for her at the school on Stillwater Road, where she has taken classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings the past two years.

Santiago, a supervisor at Intergrow Greenhouses, said she was motivated by her four children to learn English and pass the test. She has a son, 18, and three daughters, ages 9, 12 and 14.

She has been in the area for the past 13 years, working in agriculture. She was at Lake Ontario Fruit, an apple packing facility in Albion, before going to Intergrow.

A native of Mexico, Santiago said earning her American citizenship gives her security to stay in the country with her family. She also looks forward to voting and having a US Passport.

Cheryl Lieberman, one of Santiago’s teachers, praised Santiago’s persistence in learning English and preparing for the citizenship exam.

“Do not be fooled by this tiny, shy, young lady,” Lieberman said during a celebration for Santiago on Monday. “She has tremendous strength inside of her and a determination.”

Santiago went to her classes on the two evenings each week after a full shift at work.

“Rosa maintained the strong desire to pass this test and she let nothing discourage her from achieving that goal,” Lieberman said. “She fought for it and never gave up.”

Santiago is the 12th student from the World Life Institute to earn American citizenship since 2010. She said seeing the other students reach that goal was a strong motivator and encouragement for her.

WLI runs the program with support from the Orleans-Niagara BOCES Continuing Education. Sue Diemert, a literacy specialist for the program, said the World Life Institute staff are dedicated and caring teachers. She praised Santiago for her success with the program.

“We celebrate out students and our new citizens,” Diemert said.

Provided photo: The staff at the World Life Institute in Waterport celebrated Rosa Santiago on Monday evening. Pictured from left include Linda Redfield, a teacher at WLI; Monica Beck, a teacher; Rosa Santiago; Rosa’s daughters, Tiffany, Michelle and Alexis; and teachers, Gejlana Carter, Harris Lieberman and Malvy Rivera.

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Modern will resume trash pickup on fire lanes beginning today

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 December 2019 at 8:49 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Garbage and recycling on Lakeside Park Road in Carlton hasn’t been picked up the past two weeks. The service is to resume this week.

CARLTON – Modern Disposal has told county officials the company plans to resume garbage pickup on fire lanes this week.

The company didn’t pick up garbage the past two weeks after notifying town officials in Yates, Carlton and Kendall it had safety concerns with employees bringing the big garbage trucks on the narrow roads, which are privately owned.

“Modern will resume service to all residents along Fire Lanes including Sunset Island and Park Ave Extension, the two most critical areas of the Fire Lanes issues,” Joe Hickman, Strategic/Municipal Sales Manager for Modern, said in an email to county officials. “To continue service in these areas, Modern will deploy smaller collection vehicles (collection bodies on a 1 ton chassis platform) which provides our driver improved maneuverability and visibility than that of tradition refuse and recycling collection vehicles.”

The county manages the garbage and recycling contract with Modern. The contract will need to be modified to reflect the company’s increased costs with using smaller trucks for the service, Hickman said in his email.

“Modern recognizes that Fire Lanes are private property maintained by residents and private contractors,” Hickman said. “If the conditions of any Fire Lane become compromised due to weather or other factors, Modern’s drivers will decide on a ‘go or no go’ to service.”

Any “no go” situations will be reported to Modern’s Customer Service Department who will share the information to both county and town officials, Hickman said.

Modern will meet with town and county officials on Dec. 9, with a goal to have an agreement that satisfies all parties’ concerns and requirements. Hickman said the goal is to have a new program serving residents on the fire lanes by March 1.

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County approves $300K contract to fix bridge in Carlton

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 November 2019 at 10:24 am

CARLTON – The Lakeside Bridge in Carlton, north of Kuckville, will get significant repairs over the winter and will be closed to traffic several hours during work days.

The Orleans County Legislature on Thursday approved a $308,126 construction bid from C.P. Ward in Scottsville.

The Lakeside Bridge will get new deck panels, expansion bearings on the east end and underside truss bearings.

The federal government is paying 80 percent of the costs, with the state paying 15 percent and the county the remaining 5 percent.

The bridge is the only way across Johnson Creek in the area known as the peninsula by Lake Ontario. The contractor can’t close off the bridge for months while the work is done because residents and service vehicles need to get across.

John Papponetti, the county highway superintendent, said he expects work to start next month and be complete in early April.

The contractor will likely have the bridge closed to traffic from 8 to 11 a.m. and then from noon to 3 p.m. on days when the contractor is on site. That will keep the bridge open to traffic for most of the day, and still allow contractors to get work done.

Papponetti said the contractor will develop a schedule – which is dependent on weather – and that will be communicated with residents in the community.

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Garbage pickup on most fire lanes to resume by lake

Photos by Tom Rivers: Vince DeWind of Park Road in Carlton stands with a garbage can where the road intersects with Lakeside Park Road. The community didn’t have its garaged picked up on Monday when Modern Disposal said it would no longer do curbside pickups during the winter on many fire lanes in Carlton, Kendall and Yates.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 November 2019 at 3:41 pm

CARLTON – Residents on many of the fire lanes and narrow roads by the lakeshore in Carlton were surprised to discover on Monday that Modern Disposal wouldn’t be picking up their garbage or recycling.

The company had notified the lakeshore towns – Carlton, Kendall and Yates – it had concerns over the narrow roadways. The company is using bigger trucks and Modern told residents in an email they had concerns for employees’ safety on the narrow roadways. Many of those are privately owned and aren’t maintained to the standards of a public road. There are more potholes and overheard limbs to contend with.

Modern told residents to take their garbage and recycling to collection points at the end of streets.

Town and county officials have received numerous phone calls and emails about the matter. The garbage and recycling contract is negotiated by the county.

Carlton Town Supervisor Gayle Ashbery said today she was caught off guard by the change that started this week.

After discussions with Modern, the company has agreed to resume garbage and recycling pickup on the seasonal roads, except for three – Erway Tract, Park Lane Extension and Sunset Island (by the peninsula north of Kuckville).

Garbage and recycling was left out Monday in Carlton on Lakeside Park Road but still hadn’t been picked up this morning.

Modern officials said their evaluation was fair about the safety of sending their trucks down the fire lanes. However, the company was “abrupt” in implementing the plan and didn’t allow enough time for the communities to review the plan and communicate the changes to residents, Joseph Hickman, strategic/municipal sales manager for Modern, said in an email to county officials today.

“In order to provide these community the required time to review, discuss and inform residents, we are suspending service changes and resuming normal collection,” Hickman wrote in the message.

Ashbery said Modern will likely be putting dumpsters for residents on those three streets to leave their garbage. The company is working on how to handle pickup on those three streets during the winter months.

The company said it would go back through Carlton today and Thursday to grab the garbage and recycling that was put out for Monday.

Vincent DeWind is one of the homeowners on the seasonal Park Road. He acknowledged it’s tough terrain for the garbage trucks.

“It’s very tricky backing up for them,” he said.

He faulted the local government and Modern for not communicating with residents about the changes.

He worries now that garbage could pile up at the collection spots, and could be a big cleanup effort if the trash blows around. He also said it will take much more effort for the residents to take it to the collection spots, especially for the senior citizens.

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