Carlton doesn’t get enough votes to approve Monroe Ambulance contract

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 December 2023 at 11:10 am

CARLTON – The Carlton Town Board didn’t have enough votes to approve spending $22,350 in a contract with Monroe Ambulance for 2024.

The board is down a member following the resignation of Debbie Yockel, effective Dec. 1. She was appointed the town clerk on Tuesday following the resignation of Karen Narburgh.

The board needs 3 votes to pass a resolution, and contract proposal from Monroe was 2 votes in favor and 2 against.

Town Supervisor Gayle Ashbery and Councilman Dana Woolston voted for the contract while council members Brian McCue and Charlie Ricci were against it.

The vote followed public comments when several residents said they were concerned about not enough ambulances being available in the community, resulting in frequent delayed responses even in critical emergencies.

The $300,000 contract calls for Monroe to station an ambulance in Albion 24 hours a day, seven days a week and one in Holley for at least 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Monroe also will draw on ambulances in Monroe County if there is a need in Orleans County.

Carlton was the seventh of the seven towns in a consortium to vote on the contract. It was approved by the first six – Albion, Barre, Gaines, Clarendon, Murray and Kendall.

It’s unclear if the $300,000 contract among all seven towns is null and void. At least one town, Murray, made its commitment contingent on all seven towns approving the deal.

5 of 7 towns approve contract with Monroe Ambulance with last 2 voting next week

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 December 2023 at 10:59 am

Five of the seven towns in a proposed contract with Monroe Ambulance have approved a contract for 2024.

The remaining two towns, Gaines and Carlton, vote next week. The $300,000 contract requires all seven towns to ratify the deal.

The seven towns are divvying up the share for each municipality based on the call volume. That puts Gaines and Carlton among the lowest in expense. Gaines would need to pay $12,030 in 2024 while Carlton is at $22,350. (Gaines was at $24,600 in 2023 and Carlton at $14,800 this year.)

The town boards in the other municipalities have already agreed to their contributions for 2024 (with 2023 in parentheses): Albion at $155,820 ($84,400), Barre at $13,740 ($8,000), Clarendon at $25,350 ($18,800), Kendall at $17,850 ($0) and Murray at $52,860 ($30,600).

The Gaines Town Board meets at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Gaines Town Hall, 14087 Ridge Road West. There will be a public hearing on the ambulance contract and then a vote by the Town Board.

Carlton will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Town Hall, 14351 Waterport-Carlton Rd.

The towns started paying for ambulance coverage for the first time in 2023. In 2023, Monroe sought $200,000 from the seven towns. It was reduced to $181,200 after Kendall bowed out of the contract, claiming it didn’t need to pay because there already was an agreement with the local fire districts in Kendall.

In 2024, Kendall will be paying out of its town budget. The $300,000 contract calls for Monroe to station an ambulance in Albion 24 hours a day, seven days a week and one in Holley for at least 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Monroe also will draw on ambulances in Monroe County if there is a need in Orleans County.

Kitchen fire damages Carlton home on Vinecliff Street

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 November 2023 at 8:10 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – A kitchen fire damaged a home in Carlton this evening. Firefighters were dispatched to 931 Vinecliff St. at about 6 p.m.

The house is owned by Jody Sugar. She wasn’t home at the time of the fire. Her son was able to get safely outside, and so were the family’s dogs.

Firefighters were able to put out the fire with extinguishers, said Justin Niederhofer, the Orleans County Emergency Management director and a Carlton firefighter.

He said there is extensive damage to the kitchen. He suspects the stove may have been leaking propane gas, but the cause hasn’t been determined yet.

Carlton was assisted at the scene by several fire departments.

Archers Club finishes busy month welcoming fishermen from several states

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 November 2023 at 8:43 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

WATERPORT – These fishermen try to catch trout and salmon on Friday afternoon in the Oak Orchard River. They parked at the St. Mary’s Archers Club and fished in the oak Orchard.

St. Mary’s has room for about 50 vehicles to park each day at $10 a vehicle.

There were vehicles from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey, Virginia and Michigan as anglers made the trek to catch the big fish in the Oak. Some fishermen also came from Croatia and France.

Mark Wildschutz (left), a longtime St. Mary’s Archers Club member, and Tom O’Hearn, the club’s president the past 8 years, stand outside the clubhouse at St. Mary’s, where the wood was stained. The club also has sided a pavilion, done concrete work, and made other improvements to the property.

“It’s the camaraderie,” said Wildschutz. “You meet all kinds of people.”

He lived in Texas for about five years before moving back to Orleans County, with the Oak Orchard River one of the big attractions. Wildschutz lives right around the corner from the Archers Club.

“For what we have here we’re pretty spoiled,” he said.

The Archers Club welcomed the anglers from mid-October until Sunday. The club typically makes its space available to visitors for a month during the fall fishing season.

Club member Howard Palmer was there everyday to open the gate on Clark Mills Road by 5 a.m. People can then fish until about 4 p.m.

St. Mary’s closed access to visitors during the Covid pandemic in 2020 but has welcomed them back since.

The club normally serves breakfasts and lunches, but was short on help this season and made coffee and hot chocolate, bagels and peanut butter and jelly available. O’Hearn would like to bring back the bigger meals next year.

O’Hearn has been a member for 28 years, first drawn to the Archers Club so he could go camping by the water with his son.

The club has 125 members who pay a $100 annual fee for access to the property.

The club hosts weddings and many parties for its members.

The Archers Club has a setup in a prime area of the county’s world renown fishery. Visiting anglers are happy to pay for access to the river.

Anglers are grateful for a calmer experience while fishing near the Archers Club. Up closer the dam, the fishermen said tempers often flare in the closer quarters, with fishermen bumping into each other.

“It’s combat fishing up by the dam,” said one fisherman named Nate from Pennsylvania.

He and a friend made a 6-hour drive to fish at the Oak Orchard. He and a friend named Matt try to come to Orleans County about three times a year.

They appreciate the Archers Club sharing their space with out-of-towners.

O’Hearn said the club realizes they play a big role in the county’s tourism, welcoming fishermen who they visit other local businesses.

Anglers, many from out of state, make trek to Orleans for big salmon and trout

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 October 2023 at 7:18 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

WATERPORT – Lucas Bodinez of Pittsburgh stands in the fast-moving current of the Oak Orchard River on Friday, trying to catch a Chinook salmon or a steelhead (rainbow trout).

Bodinez traveled to Orleans County in a group of 10 of his friends.

“We’ve been coming here for years,” Bodinez said.

They venture down the stream where there are less people.

“We like to get away from the crowds,” he said.

Many fishermen converge near the Waterport Dam to try to land one of the big salmon and trout.

Orleans County sees a big influx of fishermen this time of the year, with many out-of-state license plates in the parking lots. They are trying to catch big fish that are in the Oak Orchard and other tributaries to spawn and deposit their eggs.

Dustin Cowen, 37, of Michigan made the trip to Orleans County for the first time. He joined his father.

“I’ve never seen this many fish in one spot,” Cowen said. “The fishing here is phenomenal.”

Cowden had already caught a brown trout, and had many fish on the line.

Fishing is big business in Orleans County, according to survey by the state Department of Environmental Conservation that put the total economic impact at $27,989,393 in 2017.

Out-of-state anglers account for 70 percent of the fishing economic output in Orleans County, $19,620,488 of the $27,989,393, according to the survey that was released in 2020.

County residents who fish accounted for $1,767,334 in economic activity while other New York state residents outside Orleans represented another $6,601,571.

Oswego which includes the Salmon River is the highest-ranked county with $192.7 million in total economic impact from fishing.

This angler from Pittsburgh enjoys a fall day in the Oak Orchard.

Lighthouse Museum hosting haunted event to highlight local Lake Ontario shipwrecks

File photo by Tom Rivers: A volunteer kept the Oak Orchard Lighthouse open on the evening of June 23, 2022 for people to climb to the top and learn about information at Point Breeze. The 35-foot lighthouse is a replica to one that toppled in 1916 after a storm.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 13 October 2023 at 9:22 am

POINT BREEZE – The Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum will celebrate its second haunting on Oct. 20 and 21.

The project was first suggested last year by board member Anne Martin to raise funds for continued operation of the lighthouse, and it was a big success, according to Lighthouse Museum board president Chris Manaseri.

“Anne has done her homework to investigate more about some of the local shipwrecks on Lake Ontario over the years, and has constructed a short story featuring the widow of a lost crew member on a steamboat that sank near Point Breeze,” Manaseri said.

Martin portrays the lost sailor’s widow in narrating the story to visitors. A few other board members also play roles to make the story come to life, Manaseri said.

“She’s done a very clever job of incorporating actual local history with the lighthouse and the ‘spirit’ of Halloween, spiced with a little humor as well,” he said. “It’s actually one more creative way to interpret local history through the lighthouse, one of the major missions in which we are involved. We wanted to create a safe venue where families with young children could do something together in the community around Halloween.”

Martin said she knew the Lighthouse board was looking for a new fundraiser and she thought it might be a creative way to drum up donations and, of course, more interest in the little neighborhood lighthouse.

“I read Jim Kennard’s book Shipwrecks of Lake Ontario and found it so fascinating,” Martin said. “I found the wreck of the Samuel F. Hodge and the Ontario, both located just off Point Breeze. I have some community theater experience and put it to use creating the story line and acting. I’m also a self-confessed Halloween freak and used to decorate my home in Indiana for Halloween prior to our move here three years ago, so I had a lot of Halloween decorations just sitting in my attic. We have no trick or treating in our isolated neighborhood, so this was a terrific outlet for me on both counts.”

Martin plays the role of the wife of Martin Deeley, the only fatality on the Samuel F. Hodge,  and the commander of the Ontario, where all 120 lives were lost. She also gives a nod to the original lighthouse keeper, John Kelly.

“My character Eileen Deeley, is creative license, but the stories I tell to visitors about the three gentlemen are historically accurate,” Martin said. “And I do work a sighting of the Lake Ontario serpent into the story, which was also creative license.”

The event is free, but donations will be accepted.

Cider and donuts will be offered and the lighthouse will be open from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

“This gives the lighthouse one last hurrah for donation opportunities before we close it for the winter,” Manaseri said.

He said they will have a large tent to protect visitors against rain or wind, which can be brisk at Point Breeze. They keep the event to the early hours for young children and families.

Kitchen fire damages mobile home on Route 18 in Carlton

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 October 2023 at 4:37 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – A kitchen fire in a mobile home resulted in extensive water and smoke damage to a mobile home owned by Terry Brooks at 14975 Roosevelt Highway.

Brooks said she moved a gas stove and was cleaning around it when she noticed flames. She promptly left and was able to get her dog “Raisin” out of the house. Raisin is a Pembroke Welsch Corgi. Her cat also scampered safely out of the home.

Brooks said she expects she will stay with her son in the short-term.

Andrew Niederhofer, Carlton’s assistant fire chief, said the fire was limited to the kitchen but there is smoke and water damage in the structure.

Firefighters were dispatched to the site at 3:06 p.m. Carlton was joined by Kendall, Albion and Medina firefighters in responding to the call.

Outside of Oak Orchard Lighthouse illumined in memory of Dick Anderson

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 October 2023 at 10:11 pm

Photo by Claire Squicciarini

POINT BREEZE – The Oak Orchard Lighthouse Association paid tribute to a key leader in the organization this evening by lighting up the outside of the lighthouse at Point Breeze.

The group wanted to honor the late Dick Anderson. He passed away just over a year ago on Oct. 3, 2022.

He was president of the Lighthouse Association for several years, and was instrumental in raising funds for the lighthouse and keeping it accessible to the community.

Carlton residents on private roads push back on dumpsters, two-tiered garbage collection

Photos by Tom Rivers: Dennis Moriarty, vice president of collection operations for Modern, speaks with about 125 residents from Carlton on Tuesday evening about garbage collection on private lanes or roads.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 October 2023 at 8:51 am

CARLTON – An issue that has lingered for years, even decades, was given a lengthy public airing on Tuesday when county officials and leaders of Modern Disposal met with 125 residents about garbage and recycling collection on private lanes and roads.

Modern said many of those roads are too narrow and don’t have turnarounds for the larger garbage trucks. The company uses pickup trucks with a hopper and lift to get the garbage and recycling from many of those sites. Those trucks only hold enough garbage for about 12 to 15 of the sites, and the driver then has to go find a larger garbage truck to transfer that trash – and then they go back to the private road for another fill. The big trucks can hold enough garbage from about 800 residential sites.

“We need to get smarter on how we do things,” Dennis Moriarty, vice president of collection operations for Modern, told the crowd of residents at the Carlton Rec Hall. “Unfortunately times change and we have to think of different ways of doing things.”

Moriarty said the current system, using three pickup trucks with hoppers on the private roads, is labor intensive, inefficient and proves costly.

Dennis Moriarty said Modern Disposal is open to options to serve residents on narrow private roads.

Modern has been discussing the issue with Carlton and Yates as well as county officials, looking for a better way to serve those residents. The county has about 15,000 residential customers served by Modern, and about 1,000 are on the private lanes and roads, mostly in Carlton and Yates.

Jack Welch, the county chief administrative officer, said those residents may need to be charged more because of the added expense in serving them.

But many of the Carlton residents at the meeting on Tuesday strongly pushed back on that, saying they are already grossly over-assessed for their property near the lake.

Some residents asked the town and county to upgrade the private roads to better accommodate the larger garbage trucks and add turnarounds. But Welch said the local governments can’t spend money to improve private property.

One of the residents, Marlene Seielstad, said the Carlton community on private roads should get a discount on their local taxes because they don’t get the same level of services as other residents.

“What resonates with me is the amount of taxes the waterfront people pay and the lack of services we get,” another resident said.

Marlene Seielstad said Carlton residents on private roads should get discounted tax bills because they receive less in local government services.

Moriarty said Modern is proposing to have about a dozen dumpsters for the private road residents in Carlton. The residents would need to bring their garbage and recycling to the site. If a property owner agreed to have the dumpster on their property, they would get free garbage and recycling.

The current fee for solid waste and recycling service is $216 a year, with properties classified as seasonal paying half that.

Many residents didn’t like the idea of dumpsters, saying many of the residents are elderly or disabled and it would be a hardship for them to have to bring it from their homes to the dumpsters, which could be 1,000 feet or more for some of the residents.

Moriarty said the proposal isn’t finalized. Modern is just putting it out as option and he welcomes more dialogue on the issue.

“We’re not trying to force this down,” Moriarty said about the dumpsters. “It’s an option.”

Modern officials are willing to meet with residents on a case-by-case basis to look at alternatives for serving them, he said.

Modern will meet with residents and would like to have another public meeting in the future to discuss how to best pick up the trash and recycling on the private roads.

Moriarty said there isn’t a deadline for reaching a decision.

“Let’s explore all options so everyone’s opinion can be heard,” he said.

Modern’s contract with the county was recently renewed for two more years and runs until the end of 2025. The company will be having a similar meeting with private road residents in Yates. That forum hasn’t been scheduled yet.

Moriarty thanked the Carlton residents for their input during the 1 ½ hour meeting on Tuesday.

“I thought it was a good conversation,” he told the group. “I love the passion about garbage.”

Meeting about garbage pickup moved to Carlton Rec Hall on Tuesday

Posted 2 October 2023 at 11:36 am

Press Release, Orleans County government

CARLTON – Due to the interest from our Carlton residents, the informational meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. tomorrow evening has been moved to the Carlton Fire Company Recreation Hall, 1853 Oak Orchard Rd.

Orleans County with officials from the Town of Carlton and Modern Disposal Services will be holding an informational meeting on Tuesday.

We are fortunate to having a countywide solid waste program for all of our residents. We are challenged providing this service on private roads with commercial vehicles that weigh 33 tons and require a turning radius of 31 feet. For everyone’s safety, these vehicles should not be traveling more than fifty feet in reverse.

Together we will be exploring how we may provide a safe and efficient collection of our solid waste and recycling material. Over the past five years, these private lanes have narrowed in their right-of-way for a variety of reasons.

Our goal is to provide a safe, efficient and economical service for our approximately 15,000 customers. Many of us are aware of the challenges we have been having and it is time to come together and explore solutions to improve our service.

In the near future, we will also be having an informational meeting for the residents of the Town of Yates.

Volunteers picked up 148 pounds of trash from waterways at shoreline cleanup

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 September 2023 at 10:41 am

Provided photos

POINT BREEZE – This group picked up trash, including a busted kayak, from Point Breeze on Sept. 9 during the annual shoreline cleanup.

The Orleans County Soil and Water Conservation District would like to thank all those who participated including Girl Scouts from Troop 82007, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation staff and local residents.

The 17 volunteers collected 148 pounds of garbage from Glenwood Lake, Canal Widewaters, Waterport Dam, and Point Breeze.

“Most of these dedicated volunteers come back year after year, and we were so glad to have a few new faces join us this year,” said Judy Bennett, secretary and treasurer for Soil & Water.

 She urged people to keep the waterways free from garbage. Anyone interested in participating in the shoreline cleanup next year can contact Soil & Water at (585) 589-5959 ext. 5.

Carlton meeting on Oct. 3 will focus on challenges of garbage collection on private lanes

Posted 25 September 2023 at 9:24 pm

Press Release, Orleans County government

CARLTON – Orleans County with officials from the Town of Carlton and Modern Disposal Services will be holding an informational meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall located at 14341 Waterport Carlton Road for the residents of Carlton.

We are fortunate to having a countywide solid waste program for all of our residents.  We are challenged providing this service on private roads with commercial vehicles that weigh 33 tons and require a turning radius of 31 feet.  For everyone’s safety, these vehicles should not be traveling more than 50 feet in reverse.

Together we will be exploring how we may provide a safe and efficient collection of our solid waste and recycling material. Over the past five years, these private lanes have narrowed in their right-of-way for a variety of reasons.

Our goal is to provide a safe, efficient and economical service for our approximately 15,000 customers. Many of us are aware of the challenges we have been having and it is time to come together and explore solutions to improve our service.

In the near future, we will also be having an informational meeting for the residents of the Town of Yates.

Orleans honored with state-wide tourism award for extending fishing season with canal water

Photo by Tom Rivers: A fisherman from Brooklyn was in the Oak Orchard River last October trying to catch salmon. Canal water has been used the last three years to supplement tributaries until mid-December.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 August 2023 at 1:05 pm

WATERPORT – Orleans County’s Tourism Department has been honored for an initiative where Erie Canal water is released into tributaries until mid-December. The effort has resulted in a better, extended tributary fishery.

The New York State Tourism Industry Association has recognized Orleans County and the NYS Canal Corporation with a “Tourism Excellence Award.”

Ron Bierstine, the county’s sportsfishing coordinator, presented the concept, “more water = more fish” when he was sitting on a governor task force committee for NYS Reimagine the Canal Initiative.

Bierstine, owner of Oak Orchard Tackle & Lodge in Carlton, presented the idea of using canal water to bolster the flow of tributaries late into the fall. He shared it with the Canal Corp. and New York Power Authority.

The initiative started in 2020 and has continued for three seasons.

“By allowing more water into our tributaries it allows for a longer fishing season in the fall and attracts additional anglers to experience our world-class fishing destination, found right here in Orleans County!” said Dawn Borchet, the county’s tourism director.

Orleans, the Canal Corp. and other recipients will be honored Sept. 14 during an awards ceremony at Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester.

Genesee County also is among the winners for its tourism campaign on the barn Quilt Trail in Le Roy.

Author highlights ‘Keep the Light On’ fundraiser set for Aug. 19

Photo by Tom Rivers: A sailboat heads up the Oak Orchard Harbor channel past the Oak Orchard Lighthouse last Thursday.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 6 August 2023 at 6:40 pm

WATERPORT – The Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum is sponsoring a “Keep the Light On” fundraiser Aug. 19 at the Carlton United Methodist Church, 1196 Archbald Rd.

The event will run from 7 to 9 p.m. and feature a dessert buffet, Lake Ontario author Susan Peterson Gateley and an old time hoedown by Kathy Vandemortel and Steve Bland.

Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased Tuesday evenings at OONA concerts in the park, Fridays through Sundays at the Oak Orchard Lighthouse or by calling Chris at (585) 315-9799 or Larry at (585) 230-7829.

Susan Peterson Gateley, an author about Lake Ontario, will speak during an Aug. 19 fundraiser for the Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum.

A lighthouse at Point Breeze initially was pushed by Peg Wiley, who discovered shortly after she moved there in 2002 that there used to be a lighthouse on the pier at Point Breeze. The original lighthouse was toppled in a windstorm in 1916.

That summer she set up a table to solicit donations at the Wooden Boat Festival, and soon strong community support rallied towards the cause.

In 2004 she met the late Dick Anderson, who had a replica of the lighthouse and she created an exhibit at the Chamber of Commerce office in Albion, along with 1,000 copies she had reprinted of an 1890 book on Point Breeze. The Lighthouse Museum operated under the wing of the Chamber of Commerce until they could get their own certification.

Wiley and Cheryl Staines worked months to obtain a 501 3c designation, which was approved in 2004 and the Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum was officially formed.

Wiley and the lighthouse group met a $300,000 goal for the structure which was built in 2010. The lighthouse is an iconic symbol for the Orleans County featured in tourism guides. The lighthouse also includes a small museum telling the history of the original lighthouse.

Wiley and the lighthouse group are still raising money for the lighthouse – for ongoing maintenance and expenses. The Aug. 19 fundraiser features author Susan Peterson Gateley.

Gateley has written multiple books about Lake Ontario. She writes a blog about Lake Ontario. Click here to be directed to her website.

She believes you should write what you know and she knows “We live in a state with the greatest variety of water of any place in the U.S. New York is bounded by a salt water coast and contains shorelines of fresh water ponds, lakes, rivers and streams. We have shorelines of two Great Lakes and, between us and Vermont, we share a Pretty Good Lake. No other state has more diversity of water for those who like to float on boats than we do. So that’s what I write about.”

Gateley continues to say, “To explore the world of water properly you need a boat. In my view, a slow quiet boat is best. For 40 years I sailed Lake Ontario, first solo, then with a spouse. I cruised around the lake for 17 years solo with Ariel, a 23-foot sailboat. With her I discovered that our Great Lake has another nation on its northern border. I learned a lot about Ontario Province with that boat.”

More recently, Gateley and her spouse have begun exploring the Erie Canal and her latest book, just released by History Press, “Beyond the Erie,” is a history of the current version of the New York canal system that helped make this nation.

Currently, Gateley and her spouse are trying a new way to travel on the canal. They’re going to attempt a cruise powered solely by sunshine. They have equipped their 23-foot sailboat with 1,500 watts of solar panels mounted on a canopy over the deck and cabin.

“We’re leaving the mast at home and will cruise the canal for two weeks using our previously installed electric motor and batteries,” Gateley wrote in her Chronicle. “The batteries, we hope, will be charged totally from the panels.”

During her appearance at the Lighthouse fundraiser, Gateley will share more of her experiences.

Sailors keep up summer tradition of racing on Lake Ontario

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 August 2023 at 10:17 am

Oak Orchard Yacht Club has organized the events for more than 30 years

Photos by Tom Rivers

POINT BREEZE – A group of sailors raced sailboats on Thursday evening on Lake Ontario near the Oka Orchard Harbor.

The race has been a tradition on Thursdays going back at least 30 years for the Oak Orchard Yacht Club.

The sailors typically race for 4 miles and have to change directions frequently. The team on the sailboats frequently need to reset the sails to slow down, speed up and change directions.

I watched the action from the western pier at the Oak Orchard Harbor. This is accessible by going through the Oak Orchard Marine State Park on Archibald Road.

Here are more photos from the race: