More than 500 attend kick-off concert at Point Breeze

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 June 2022 at 8:08 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – Dave Viterna, right, and Marty Hobbs perform “Solitary Man” by Neil Diamond as part of the opening concert for the Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association’s summer concert series.

The Dave Viterna Group performed blues and classic rock for 2 ½ hours for a crowd of more than 500 people.

The attendance at the concert, are well over 500 people, is a record for an OONA concert, said one of the organizers, Tracy Panczyszyn.

The lineup for the rest of the series includes:

  • July 5 – The Brick Band performing country, classic rock and patriotic
  • July 12 – Old Hippies playing nostalgic rock and folk
  • July 19 – The Who Dats performing dance rock
  • July 26 – Feedback playing pop, motown and R & B
  • Aug. 2 – Mr. Mustard performing The Beatles, period

Kathleen Furlong sells 50/50 raffle tickets. OONA was able to give away $600 from the raffles and keep $600 to help pay for the concerts and support other community causes.

There is a $2 admission charge to attend the concerts.

Don Knapp of the Clarendon Lions Club cooks hot dogs. The Lions have been a long-time food vendor at the OONA concerts. There are several other food and beverage vendors at the concerts.

The Clarendon Lions Club teams includes, from left: Tom Persia, Vivian Ward, Kevin Johnson, Don Knapp, Beth Johnson in back, Roger Boynton, Melanie Adams and Randy Robishaw. June Knapp also was part of the Clarendon group on Tuesday evening.

Charter captains honor ‘King of the Oak’ with memorial troll

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 June 2022 at 10:29 pm

Paul Czarnecki was popular captain out of Oak Orchard for past 20 years

Provided photos

POINT BREEZE – About 15 charter boat captains filled with people this afternoon for a memorial troll from the Oak Orchard River to Lake Ontario. The charter captains were honoring their friend, Paul Czarnecki, a charter captain the past 20 years at the Oak Orchard.

An Erie, Pa. resident, Czarnecki passed away at age 57 on April 4. He was diagnosed with multiple melanoma on May 18, 2021. He continued to work full-time as a charter captain last summer at Point Breeze, despite almost daily medical appointments for chemotherapy, blood draws and other doctor visits, his wife Christie said.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Paul Czarnecki on Aug. 16, 2015 holds a 29-pound Chinook salmon that won the $4,000 grand prize at the Orleans County Fishing Derby. Czarnecki took a customer, Georgia Barkdoll of McConnellsburg, Pa., out fishing and she reeled in the 29-pound fish, which won the grand prize in the fishing derby.

To honor Czarnecki today the charter captains took their boats about 2 miles out into the lake, just north of the Oak Orchard Harbor. That is where the lake is about 80 feet deep. Czarnecki would use that spot to put the fishing line in the water. The captains today then went east about 4 miles, to a glass house that is a landmark near the Kendall town line. Czarnecki believed the best fishing was between the Oak Orchard Harbor and the 4 miles to the glass house.

Paul and Dylan Czarnecki celebrate winning the King of the Oak fishing tournament that concluded in September 2020.

The captains offered tributes to Czarnecki on a private channel.

Today was all about paying their respect to a man who loved Point Breeze and worked hard to build up the fishery to benefit other local businesses and charter captains.

“He believed this was the best fishing on the lake,” said David Bonnell, who worked for Czarnecki for the previous five years.

Czarnecki came up from Erie and had his 33-foot-long boat – “Free Spirit” – in the water on April 1. He fished the month of May out of Wilson before shifting the Oak Orchard from June 1 to just after Labor Day.

His customers came back year after year, including some from 35 years ago.

“Paul literally knew everybody,” Bonnell said. “He was the wittiest person.”

Czarnecki made sure his customers had a good time on the boat – and caught big salmon and trout. He would extend the charter and stay out later in the lake to make sure they caught fish, Bonnell said.

Czarnecki and his son Dylan won the “King of the Oak” fishing tournament in 2020. That competition is based on four series with points for the number of fish and their weight. Czarnecki accumulated the most points in taking the title. He and his son, now 12, celebrated by wearing Burger King hats.

Today, Dylan steered his dad’s boat during the memorial troll. Dylan is 12. His younger sister Piper is 8.

Czarnecki was well regarded among his peers for sharing his knowledge and for being a “straight shooter.”

“He was full of knowledge but he didn’t stretch the truth,” one the captains said this evening during a cookout at Ernst’s Lake Breeze Marina.

Czarnecki was built like a lineman. He was 6 foot, 3 inches, a big presence.

“But he was full of heart,” Bonnell said.

Czarnecki was fishing out of Erie but tried the Point Breeze area after salmon and cohoes weren’t being stocked in Erie.

At Point Breeze, he found a fishery that lasted for months with Chinook salmon, steelhead (rainbow trout), brown trout and lake trout. He also discovered a friendly community among the charter boat captains and other local businesses.

“He fished at many places but he really thought this was the best place in the world,” Bonnell said.

The charter boat captains are out lake remembering their friend.

9 swans, maybe more, hang out at Point Breeze

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 June 2022 at 10:17 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

POINT BREEZE – A swan takes off for a short flight in the Oak Orchard Harbor on Wednesday evening at Point Breeze.

This was one of nine swans my family and I counted at the harbor. I didn’t realize there were so many at The Point.

This photo shows five of the swans. There were more but they weren’t close together. They were spread out in the channel.

The area is known for Chinook salmon, brown trout and other big fish, but we should expand the Point Breeze branding to include these majestic birds.

Here are some more photos of the swans at about 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

Officials celebrate opening of Point Breeze boat launch

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 May 2022 at 5:34 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

POINT BREEZE – Officials from the Town of Carlton, Orleans County and state Office of General Services and Department of State joined for a ribbon-cutting this morning for the new boat launch at Point Breeze.

The new boat launch opened on April 27. The old one was closed just after Labor Day.

The project was $627,000 and was 95 percent funded through the state’s Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI).

During the historic flooding of 2019, the previous boat ramp was submerged, preventing access to the floating docks, and forcing the boat launch to be closed.

The new launch is raised about 2 ½ feet and will be more resilient in case of flooding and higher lake levels. The steeper ramp also can better accommodate launching boats when the water levels are low.

“It can handle the two extremes,” said John Papponetti, the county’s commissioner of the Department of Public Works.

The project was designed by Wendel, an engineering firm, with CP Ward the contractor.

The boat launch also has a new boat ramp and abutment above high water level, a sloping roadway to the new boat ramp; and regraded remaining portion of roadway.

County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson said the boat launch is important for recreational boaters and also for the county’s sportsfishing industry, which has a $28 million annual economic impact on the county.

“This is really the eye of Lake Ontario for Orleans County,” Johnson said about Point Breeze.

She praised the state leaders for making the REDI funding available. There are $17 million of projects in Orleans County that are part of the $300 million REDI program.

Other projects include wastewater infrastructure for Kendall and Hamlin, $9,053,000; Yates Town Park and expansion in Yates, $2,531,000; Lakeshore Road breakwall in Carlton, east of Point Breeze, $2,062,000; Public Town Road Ends/Culverts in Kendall, $1,500,000; stabilizing Lakeside Park Road East in Carlton, $385,000; Fortified shoreline along Lakeside Park Road West in Carlton, $235,000; Thompson Drive turnaround to become beach access in Kendall, $131,000; erosion mitigation at Route 237 right-of-way in Kendall, $40,000; installing markers on submerged structures in Orleans and Niagara, $50,000.

The REDI funding also includes dredging many harbors along the southshore, including Oak Orchard and Johnson Creek in Orleans County.

Jeanette Moy, acting commissioner of the state Office of General Services, praised the local town and county officials for pushing many of the projects along.

The local leaders identified assets “that were damaged repeatedly by high waters,” she said.

The REDI projects show local and state officials working together, Moy said. There are 134 of the REDI projects across the southshore of the state.

Stephanie Wojtowicz, director of division planning for the Department of State, praised the partnerships at the local and state levels to get the infrastructure upgraded and protected.

“You can’t have a resilient economy without resilient infrastructure,” Wojtowicz said.

Trapped fish freed from overflow pool at Waterport Dam

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 May 2022 at 2:12 pm

Provided photos

WATERPORT – Orleans County Tourism received assistance from Brockport State College students and Brookfield Renewable Power to free 18 mature steelhead from one of the overflow pools at the Waterport Dam on Tuesday.

The group was able to electro-fish and seine or net the mature steelhead.

“They were spawned out fish primarily and we did capture at least two smolts that were likely earlier spring stocked Coho salmon,” said Ron Bierstine, owner of Oak Orchard Tackle & Lodge. “The effort was spearheaded by SUNY Brockport Environmental Science and Biology Departments with about 20 of their students.”

Brookfield Renewable Power, owner of the power-generating site, was on hand for a safety briefing and was ready with a fish transfer culvert apparatus that didn’t need to be used.

“We were able to just cradle the fish in a net or seine and I quickly released them back into the turbine (tailrace) channel,” Bierstine wrote in this week’s fishing report from the Orleans County Tourism Department. “Some fish were certainly in rough post spawn state, but every fish I released swam away under its own power – with the chance to get back to the main Lake and recoup.”

Bierstine thanked Brookfield for the allowing access and for the assistance from SUNY Brockport and students.

The group wasn’t able to capture any fish in the main plunge pool at the base of the falls with the equipment they had and the allowable access.

“But I’d count it as a success showing that it can be done and that likely with what we found in the one pool that there are a goodly amount more fish in the other plunge pool,” Bierstine wrote. “So hopefully we can collectively think of ways to capture those fish in the future and can work towards and consider a better remedy to keep fish out of that channel or give them some passage out of there when flows recede so that they don’t become stranded.”

New boat launch opens at Point Breeze

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 May 2022 at 9:21 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

POINT BREEZE – Carl Miller of East Aurora takes his boat out of the Oak Orchard River at the new boat launch at Point Breeze. The site opened to the public on Tuesday, April 27.

“It’s a dream,” Miller said about the new boat launch. “The ramp is well drained. The ramps are longer. It’s so much better.”

The project was $627,000 and was 95 percent funded through the state’s Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI).

Carl Miller pulls his boat out of the water. He went fishing with two others and they caught a few brown trout and a lake trout on Saturday.

During the historic flooding of 2019, the previous boat ramp was submerged, preventing access to the floating docks, and forcing the boat launch to be closed.

The new launch is raised about 2 ½ feet and will be more resilient in case of flooding and higher lake levels, said John Papponetti, the county’s DPW commissioner.

Other resiliency measures implemented in this project include:

  • Installation of new boat ramp and abutment above high water level;
  • Sloping of roadway to the new boat ramp; and
  • Regrading remaining portion of roadway.

Captain’s Cove gets county support to take down store, build new one in Carlton

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 April 2022 at 9:36 am

CARLTON – The Orleans County Planning Board on Thursday voted in favor of the site plan and a special use permit for a new 2,200-square-foot pole barn for Captain’s Cove on Route 18, overlooking the Oak Orchard River in Carlton.

George Lacey, owner of the business, plans to demolish a building that is currently used for a store and replace it with a 55-by-40-foot pole barn that would be set farther away from Route 18.

Lacey said it will be an upgrade for the business, and also be safer for traffic and customers by creating more parking and moving those spaces farther from the road.

He modified the site plan for the new building since it was originally presented in November to now meet setback requirements for the town of Carlton. The setbacks include 75 feet in the front, 80 feet in rear, 80 feet on left and 240 feet on right.

Lacey plans to disturb half an acre of a 3-acre lot. The building will meet the state energy code requirements by having an updated heating system and some solar arrays, the Planning Board said.

Lacey, owner of Captain’s Cove since 2015, used to have the store down by the Oak Orchard River but that building was flooded and badly damaged in 2017 when the water levels were at all-time highs. Lacey took down that building and raised the parking area by the river. He relocated the store to a house that is more than a century old on the upper bank.

The former house isn’t well suited to be the store, which is why Lacey is taking it down and building a new structure.

“I see a lot of potential there,” he said about the Point Breeze area. “But we need to be forward-thinking. I’ve been trying for 18 months to build a simple pole barn.”

Lacey said he hopes to see others invest in the Point Breeze community.

“The area needs improvement,” he told members of the County Planning Board. “Small business feeds on small business.”

In other action, the Planning Board:

Recommended the Town of Murray approve a special use permit and the site plan for a 27,500-square-foot building at 15631 Lynch Rd.

Sam and Son wants to use the building with nine truck bays and 33 parking spaces for employees, customers and guests. Sam and Son primarily works with constructing and expanding electrical substations and installing transmission line poles.

Recommended the Town of Clarendon amend its zoning text to allow more than two travel trailers, campers and recreational vehicles on a private lot but only for special events – weddings, graduation parties, family gatherings. Those vehicles can be parked overnight for a period not to exceed 14 days in a calendar year.

Voted in favor of a request from the Town of Gaines for a 6-month moratorium extension on the installation of freestanding and ground mounted solar energy systems.

Yacht Club renovates clubhouse, will debut shared boat program this year

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Members of the Oak Orchard Yacht Club gathered for conversation following a day of spring cleaning on Saturday. At left, vice commodore Phil Abel chats with Tracy and Frank Panczyszyn. Members have done extensive renovation to the club house, including painting the dark wood white, some of which is visible at left and installing a smart TV.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 25 April 2022 at 5:07 pm

Bob Hodgins, left, commodore of the Oak Orchard Yacht Club; Phil Abel, vice commodore; and John Brown, past commodore take a break during spring cleaning day Saturday at the Yacht Club on Archbald Road.

CARLTON – Summer is just around the corner, and members of the Oak Orchard Yacht Club are getting ready.

Grass is getting green, days are getting longer and the Yacht Club had its spring cleanup day on Saturday, during which Commodore Bob Hodgins of Bethany shared plans for the sailing season.

This is Hodgins’ second year as commodore, during which he will continue to encourage new members and increase relations with the community.

Hodgins and his wife Mary Lou have been involved in the Yacht Club for more than 30 years, when their children were in the first youth sailing program. The Hodgins are avid sailors and have sailed their boat all over, from the Caribbean to Figi.

Last year, Hodgins started Thursday night races, inviting everyone living on the Oak Orchard River to participate.

“People on the creek came up and used the club, and we plan to do it again this year,” Hodgins said.

One thing Hodgins is particularly excited about is the Yacht Club purchasing a boat, so they can offer a shared boat program. He said he has been meeting with all the commodores on the south shore of Lake Ontario and several of them have a shared boat program.

The Yacht Club now owns a 28-foot sloop with an inboard engine. Anyone who wants to learn to sail or doesn’t have a boat can share the boat with up to four others. Each will pay $400 for the year.

From left, Patty Moorhouse and Bob and Kayleen Muscarella enjoy camaraderie at the Oak Orchard Yacht Club Saturday. A day of spring cleaning was followed by a potluck supper.

Hodgins expects the boat to be in the water in two weeks.

One big change they made was how the club functions. Previously everyone was encouraged to go through all the positions, which sometimes pushed someone into a position he was not qualified for or didn’t want. To change that, they rewrote the constitution.

“We will try to recruit people with skill sets for each position,” Hodgins said.

They have also added a technical director, website technician and marketing director. They also eliminated the second secretary’s position.

Officers of the club, with Hodgins, are Phil Abel, vice commodore; and the late Bill Wymyczak, rear commodore. Wymyczak was diagnosed with cancer in January and died March 24. His memorial service was Sunday at Sacred Heart Club in Medina.

Hodgins said a new rear commodore will be chosen soon.

Dave Soehner of Lyndonville is IT director with his wife Cinnamon. Jeff Thuman of Barker does the  website. The marketing position still has to be filled. Kim Hoffman of Albion is membership chair, and John Zimmerman is director of the youth sailing program.

Hodgins added in the future they will encourage the board’s officers to work as a team with their spouse.

Sandy Chappius, owner of Chap’s Diner in Elba, will again run the kitchen at the Yacht Club.

Hodgins is excited about the interest in the youth sailing program, which is in its 30th year. Last year they ran two classes, and they are already half filled up for this year. It would be possible to add a third session if the demand is there, he said.

Mary Lou is hoping with Covid restrictions lifted, visitors will again come from Canada.

Information on the Oak Orchard Yacht Club is available on their website at and on Facebook.

Carlton, Kendall will delay town-wide reassessments for a year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 April 2022 at 10:53 am

The towns of Carlton ad Kendall will wait a year for town-wide reassessments to see if the market settles down and the impact of inflation.

Lisa Hewitt, the assessor for both towns, made the announcement about the postponement.

“It has been decided that additional time is needed to responsibly inform property owners of assessment changes and the potential impact to taxes,” Hewitt said in a public notice. “Both towns have agreed, that given the recent rise in inflation across the area, that they do not want the changes in assessment adding extra stress to property owners.”

Many towns in Orleans County and in the region are doing reassessments and the numbers have been a shock to property owners with a wild real estate market pushing housing values up significantly.

In Clarendon, for example, the average assessment for the 1,000 properties in the town increased 25 percent since the last reassessment in 2019.

The median price for homes in Orleans County is up 68.5 percent in four years, jumping from $81,000 in 2017 to $136,500 in 2021, according to data from the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors.

Tony Cammarata, the Kendall town supervisor, said he supports olding off on a town-wide reassessment for a year.

“To do a re-val this year would create a lot of uncertainty and that’s not the objective of the town,” Cammarata said. “We want to work with factual data and the factual data we don’t have.”

Cammarata said he expects the real estate prices will come down now that interest rates are going up.

“Let’s see how the market changes,” Cammarata said. “And it’s changes. In order to do a fair assessment of the situation, it is in the best interest to hold off and see how the market levels off. Hopefully the market will calm itself down and hopefully it will be better to residents.”

Cammarata said he expects the Town Board will approve a resolution of support of the assessor’s decision during its meeting on Tuesday.

Waterport resident develops travel website to help people see all regions of New York offers many “daycation” trips for people to experience the state.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 13 April 2022 at 10:17 am

WATERPORT – Spending the summers at the family’s cottage on Lake Alice proved to be the guiding factor on deciding where Peter Bartnik would spend his retirement, while continuing to pursue his entrepreneurial interests.

Peter Bartnik

Bartnik, who grew up in the Rochester suburb of Chili, went to Potsdam State College and got his bachelor’s degree in computer science, followed by a master’s in innovative marketing at Syracuse University.

He invented contact management software for an insurance company, and when he left there, he went into business on his own. He borrowed $7,000 from family and friends to start his business and his first sale was one copy of his software for $99.

At one point he didn’t want to be a programmer anymore and went to live with his brother in Massachusetts, where he got a job as a telemarketer.

“I became good at it,” he said.

He decided to move back to Rochester in 1991 and went to work for the Sutherland Group, a computer re-seller.

“I began to envision myself in the position I wanted to be,” Bartnik said. “I envisioned myself at the top of the board. In three months, I was there.”

Several other jobs followed, one with a company in Buffalo for 20 years. He ran their Rochester office until 2018. Lincoln Financial Group was their biggest customer, selling them more than 1,000 computers a year, he said.

“They asked me if we had an asset disposal company to take their old computers,” Bartnik said. “We do now,” was his answer.

He formed Computer Systems Asset Disposal and it grew rapidly. They did $100,000 worth of business the first year, and in five years hit $5 million.

Bartnik sold the company in 2020 for what he said was “enough money to retire comfortably.” And he did just that at the age of 55.

“June 2020 was the best month of my life,” he said. “I got married to the love of my life, sold my business and got a recording contract.”

Bartnik explained he also writes country music and his songs have been pitched to Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban.

The song he wrote for his dad is titled “The Man I Hope to Be.”

He has 13 songs under contract with Merf Records.

It was also 2020 when Bartnik bought the house next to his family’s cottage.

His current endeavor is an online venture called “,” in which he goes to places, such as restaurants, museums, wineries, cideries and distilleries.

“We don’t tell them we’re reviewing them,” Bartnik said.

He had met Kellie Schrader a few years ago and reconnected with her as videographer.

“She is a terrific videographer,” he said.

After reviewing a site, Bartnik puts together a “Daycation” and posts it on his website. He recently finished Medina, then started on a feature of the Buffalo waterfront and plans to do Cooperstown, Corning and Lockport next.

His website is on track to have 150,000 followers by the end of the year, and he projects one million followers next year.

His website is designed in a way that anyone with a smart phone can open it up, type in a location and up pops a map for everything to do in that area.

Bartnik has visited 26 countries and 39 states.

“I highlight all the great things to do in an area – small towns and big towns. I just love helping people have the best possible travel experiences,” he said.

Big response from community expected today at benefit for BJ Aina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 April 2022 at 10:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – About 140 baskets are ready in the Cartlon Rec Hall for a benefit today for BJ Aina and his family. Doors open at 1 p.m. and the raffle ends at 6 p.m.

Provided photo: BJ Aina and his wife Amy are shown with their sons, Hank and Hoyt.

The 500 tickets for a pulled pork dinner have already sold out but people are still welcome to try to win a basket or stay for the four bands that will be performing from 6 to 11 p.m. No one under 21 will be allowed inside after 6 p.m.

Aina, 42, suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on Feb. 9 from a medical condition called AVM (arteriovenous malformation). Aina was unaware he had the condition.

He is currently in a rehab facility run by Strong Memorial Hospital that gives speech, occupational and physical therapy.

He and his wife Amy have two sons, Hank and Hoyt. Mrs. Aina showed her husband a video of all the baskets in the raffle, and other items and food. He was stunned.

“All of this for me?” he told her.

Aina is part of a big family and he well connected locally as an enthusiastic hunter and outdoorsman. He works at Flower City Glass.

“He knows so many people,” said his brother, Tyler. “It’s amazing to see how everyone came together.”

BJ looks forward to coming home. He has been hospitalized or in the rehab unit for care for nearly 60 days.

“He is doing a lot better,” his brother said.

BJ’s wife said he is making progress. She said she appreciates the response from the community.

Legislators authorize emergency replacement to Townline Road culvert, but could take months

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 March 2022 at 7:33 am

YATES – The Orleans County Legislature has authorized an emergency replacement of the culvert on Yates-Carlton Townline Road over Johnson Creek.

The culvert suffered a structural failure on Feb. 20 due to high water flow in the creek. The culvert – a corrugated pipe – already was rotted on the bottom, said John Papponetti, the county’s DPW commissioner and engineer.

The fast-moving water pushed the pipe, and caused a shoulder to collapse. That instability has now spread to near the center line of the road, Papponetti said.

He wants the culvert to be replaced with precast concrete. There is currently a shortage of materials which could keep that section of the road closed for a few months. Or there is a chance the county could locate an available precast concrete culvert the right size.

“There is no set schedule,” Papponetti told county legislators on Wednesday. “We’re getting the survey work done to properly size the culvert.”

The emergency designation from the Legislature allows Papponetti and county officials “to procure all materials, labor and equipment necessary to complete the work in an expedited manner.”

Carlton firefighters, in first banquet in 3 years, celebrate service to community

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 March 2022 at 12:47 pm

84-year-old firefighter again leads Carlton in responding to most calls

Photos by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – Richard Brakenbury, left, is congratulated by past Carlton Fire Chief Andrew Niederhofer after Brakenbury won the Chief’s Award for 2021.

Brakenbury, 84, is one of the Carlton Volunteer Fire Company’s primary drivers. He has led the fire company for responding to the most calls for at least the past two years, and has been among the most active firefighters for decades.

He responded to 168 calls in 2020 and more than 50 percent of the department’s 300-plus calls in 2021. He lives next door to Station 1 in Waterport on Waterport-Carlton Road and is often the first at the fire hall for a call.

“I just like doing it,” Brakenbury said. “It gives me something to do.”

He still gets up in the middle of the night for some of the calls. He drives the fire company’s pickup truck for emergency and fire calls.

Brakenbury is a Kodak retiree and a Carlton firefighter for 65 years. He takes annual driver training.

He said Carlton has many long-time dedicated firefighters. He also is encouraged by a new group of younger members.

Orleans County Legislator John Fitzak, left, presents a commendation to Martin VanWyke in honor of his 60 years as a member of the Carlton Volunteer Fire Company. VanWyke remains an active member as one of the primary drivers.

His sons are also long-time members with Kurt at 35 years and Gary at 30 years. VanWyke also received certificates from the offices of State Sen. Rob Ortt, Assemblyman Steve Hawley and the Firefighters Association of New York State.

David Starkweather, right, receives the President’s Award from Ed Cooper, the fire company president. Starkweather was praised for his efforts leading recent renovations to the Carlton Rec Hall. He manages the kitchen and bar for the site that hosts about a dozen events a year.

Starkweather said new windows will be going on the west side of the building as part of an exterior remodel.

He volunteers about 40 hours a week at the rec hall. He is recently retired as a tugboat captain for the Canal Corp.

“He always has great enthusiasm,” Cooper said about Starkweather. “He is willing to tackle any job.”

Carlton line officers and other officials are sworn in for 2022.

Fire Company Officers for 2022: Ed Cooper, president; Richard Brakenbury, vice president; Valerie Niederhofer, secretary; Tom Yockel, treasurer; and the following as directors – Martin VanWycke III, Jocelyn Yockel, David Starkweather, Jacob Marks, Robin Hughson and Robert Brown III.

Line Officers for 2022: Dale Niehaus, chief; Andrew Niederhofer, first assistant chief; Seth Dumrese, second assistant chief; James Fisher, captain; Matt Hughson, first lieutenant; Noah O’Kussick, second lieutenant; George Snell, Jr., chief mechanic; Ed Cooper, chaplain; David Bertsch, EMS coordinator; Robin Hughson, EMS captain and Terry Williams, Fire Police captain.

Ladies Auxiliary: Debbie Yockel, president; Liz Janus, vice president; Cindy Micalizio, secretary; Gayle Ashbery, treasurer; and trustees – Pam Boyer, Cheryl Denson and Jenna VanWyke.

This was the first Carlton Volunteer Fire Company banquet since 2019 after the events were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions and concerns.

Debbie Yockel, president of the Ladies Auxiliary, presents a check for $1,000 to Fire Chief Dale Niehaus to be used for the fire company.

Matt Hughson receives a gas card in appreciation for responding to calls in 2021. Andrew Niederhofer presents the card. Other firefighters also received gas cards for their service.

County accepts $1.4 million bid for new bridge on Yates-Carlton Townline Road

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 January 2022 at 9:05 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature on Wednesday accepted a $1,397,885 bid submitted by Union Concrete and Construction Corp. of West Seneca for a new bridge on Yates-Carlton Townline Road over Johnson Creek, just south of Route 18.

This is the low bid on a project that will be 80 percent funded by the federal government. The county cost will be $279,577.

Union Concrete and Construction did the work last year on the new bridge on Route 104 in Ridgeway, a project which just won an award as “project of the year” from Genesee chapter of the American Public Works Association. That honor is for “Structures less than $5 million.”

Church in Waterport distributes toys and food to local families

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 December 2021 at 9:20 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: Pastor Eddie English of the Lord’s House hands a present to a member of the congregation during a celebration on Saturday evening.

WATERPORT – The Lord’s House held a celebration on Saturday evening after a busy day of distributing toys to more than 100 children.

The Lord’s House since 2008 has partnered with Toys for Tots to have gifts for local children.

The church also shared 41 boxes of food this Christmas season with local families.

The church on Saturday had dinner with about 50 people to thank them for supporting the ministry the past year.

Some of the presents are under the Christmas tree inside the church.

The celebration included music and a dance from youth in the church.

Eveyln Brady, right, and her granddaughter Jayla Brady present gifts to people who attended the celebration service on Saturday. Pastor Eddie English and his wife Rose, the church’s first lady, are at left.

A member of the youth group presents a card to Rose English.