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New business in Clarendon thankful for community support

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 10 July 2020 at 10:15 am

Jeremy and Tracy Van Ameron opened Van’s Pit Stop right before Covid-19 pandemic hit

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Jeremy Van Ameron stands with his daughter Ali and wife Tracy in front of their store on Route 237 in Clarendon. Jeremy, who owns an auto repair shop in Albion, plans to move that business to Clarendon in the near future.

CLARENDON – An Albion businessman and his family are being welcomed into the town of Clarendon, and applauded for committing to a new business during the recent pandemic.

Jeremy Van Ameron and his wife Tracy purchased the convenience store and gas station on Route 237 in October. They spent months cleaning and remodeling, with plans to move his auto repair shop there.

“We started selling food and gas in February, and then the pandemic hit,” Tracy said. “We had to shut down our seating area inside.”

“Then gas prices dropped off because nobody was going anywhere,” Jeremy said. “But the Clarendon community helped us a lot. They provided a ton of support.”

Tracy said they were in awe of the amount of support the community provided.

“That’s what us locals do,” said Nyla Gaylord, coordinator of the Clarendon Farmers’ Market, which the Van Amerons invited to set up this year on their property. “We like to hang out and talk, and the Van Amerons put tables out in front for us.”

Gaylord commended the Van Amerons for not giving up when things were so difficult. She said Tracy, who is a software engineer for L3 Harris Corporation, not only had to work her job during the pandemic, as well as the new business, but she was faced with home schooling her children: Justin, 16 and Ali, 12. A son Zach was a student in college.

Jeremy grew up in Albion, but moved back to Clarendon in 1997. Since purchasing the convenience store they call Van’s Pit Stop, they have expanded the menu to include wings, chicken tenders, hot and cold subs, steakburgers, various sides and a pit plate of two hamburgers or cheeseburgers, fries or home fries, macaroni salad and meat sauce. A variety of breakfast sandwiches are also available.

A Friday night fish try has become very popular, Jeremy said. They use only fresh, skinless haddock, with comes with fries, cole slaw or macaroni salad.

They just recently added ice cream.

The store is open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The kitchen closes each night one hour before the store closing.

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Clarendon Farmers’ Market opens for season at a new location

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 10 July 2020 at 9:51 am

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Luchiya Zbanke of Holley, left, who displayed her paintings and hand painted Panama hats, at the Clarendon Farmers’ Market on its opening day Thursday, talks with Nyla Gaylord. Gaylord, who started the market, holds a dozen of her eggs, which she sells as a market vendor. The market will be open from 3:30 to 6 p.m. every Thursday at its new location, Van’s Pitt Stop on Route 237.

CLARENDON – The Clarendon Farmers’ Market opened for the season on Thursday at its new location at Van’s Pitt Stop on route 237, just north of Clarendon’s four corners.

Participation was light for the first day, because of a late growing season, said Nyla Gaylord, who is the market coordinator. Things will pick up as the season progresses, she said.

Vendors for the first day included Theresa Jewell of Holley with alpaca socks and boot liners, homemade masks and sunbonnets; Terry Garrison of Albion with handmade kitchen towels and crocheted baby blankets; Dawn Pulcino of Holley with baked goods, homemade jellies and lemonade; Luchiya Zbanke of Holley with paintings and hand-painted Panama hats; and Gaylord with eggs.

Gaylord originally started the market on the grounds of the Historical Society, but said they made the decision to move to Van’s Pitt Stop on Route 237, hoping for more traffic and to support the new local business.

“Together, it’s a win-win situation,” Gaylord said.

Elaine Ryan, left, and Theresa Jewell of Holley hold a mannequin wearing a sun bonnet and mask, which Jewell sold in her booth at the Clarendon Farmers’ Market on Thursday, along with alpaca socks and boot liners. Jewell and her husband Chuck are members of the Empire Alpaca Association.

The vendors who braved the hot temperatures to be at the market’s opening day were all happy to be able to participate and showcase their wares.

Jewell and her husband Chuck own Stoney Meadows Alpacas and Stone Mountain Looms at their farm on Glidden Road. They are members of the Empire Alpaca Association and support fiber growers from all over the area, who bring their fiber to the Jewells, who then send it to the mill. The Jewells also support Medina FFA and have donated animals for teacher Todd Eick and his students.

Theresa Jewell said she and her husband will take their alpacas to a show in Syracuse in October, along with the Medina FFA, where they will explain fiber growing to the public.

Clarendon Town Supervisor Dick Moy visited the Farmers’ Market Thursday to show his support.

“He is very supportive of us,” Gaylord said. “He makes Clarendon ‘friendly’.”

Dawn Pulvino of Holley, left, sells a jar of her homemade jelly to Mary Ann Siembor at opening day of the Clarendon Farmers’ Market on Thursday. At rear is Pulcino’s dad, Alfred Pulcino III. Dawn, who runs a bakery, also sold crustadas, fudge, biscuits and lemonade.

Terry Garrison said she crochets all winter and her baby blankets and hand towels are a big hit. She prices her items reasonably, selling the hand towels for three for $5.

“I sell a lot of them,” she said.

Dawn Pulcino, who runs a bakery in Holley, said her first customer on Thursday bought all her homemade fudge, but she still had a large assortment of jellies, biscuits for 50 cents, lemonade, fruit crustadas and penny candy.

Her jellies included traditional strawberry, plum and orange marmalade, and combinations, such as strawberry rhubarb and raspberry habanero. She offered samples on crackers or pretzels. In the future, she will have homemade vanilla and orange extracts.

Luchiya Zbanke of Holley was thrilled to be part of the Farmers’ Market with her paintings, T-shirts and hand-painted Panama hats. A native of Romania, she has only been in the United States for four years and in Holley with her husband Marciel for the last two. She recently became a citizen, Gaylord explained.

The Clarendon Farmers’ Market will be open from 3:30 to 6 p.m. every Thursday.

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Scout Troop makes sure veterans’ graves in Clarendon, Holley have flags for Memorial Day

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 May 2020 at 6:28 pm

Photos courtesy of Jak Kohmann

CLARENDON – The Boy Scout Troop 59 and some community members this morning placed more than 600 flags at veterans’ graves at cemeteries in Holley and Clarendon.

Jak Kohmann, Scoutmaster of Troop 59 in Clarendon, thanked the following people for their help placing the flags at veterans’ graves:

Randy, Tyler and Lily Moore

Dave and Dawson Arnold

Chad, Chrissy, Hunter and younger brother Sommerfeldt

Heidi, Dalton and Jake Thurley

John and Jacob Crandall

Melissa Ierlan

Scott Galliford

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Clarendon family welcomes new adopted daughter after ceremony by Skype

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 May 2020 at 9:18 pm

‘She is funny and she keeps everybody moving. She is such a happy baby.’

Provided photos: Clarissa Bowen has been a part of the Bowen family in Clarendon since she was born. Her adopted mother, Crystal, delivered the baby with the biological mother on May 7, 2019. Clarissa officially joined the family after an adoption ceremony by Skype this afternoon.

Clarissa Bowen, 1, is a happy baby.

CLARENDON – A Clarendon family this afternoon officially welcomed a new member, Clarissa Rose Bowen, after an adoption ceremony.

Orleans County Family Court Judge Sanford Church presided over the proceeding with attorneys for the Bowen family, Clarissa and child’s biological mother. What was unusual? The ceremony was done through Skype.

Crystal Bowen, Clarissa’s adoptive mother, is thankful the court worked out the details through Skype so Clarissa’s adoption could be official and not have to wait for an in-person proceeding. The Bowen family said the attorneys said it was one of the first adoptions finalized in the state through Skype.

The courthouse is currently off-limits due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s cool they got it done with everything going on,” Mrs. Bowen said this evening.

Clarissa has been with the Bowen family since soon after she was born on May 7, 2019.

She joins Crystal and her husband Jason, and their five biological children: Jared, 14; Chelsea and Cassidy, who are Leap Year twins age 12; Chloe, 10; and Cheyanne, 6.

Crystal is friends with the baby’s biological mother. The mother, when she was six months pregnant, had already asked Crystal and her husband to adopt the baby. Clarissa’s birth certificate even includes the Bowen last name.

The biological mother was home in her apartment when she went into labor at 7:30 a.m. on May 7, 2019. Crystal headed to her apartment to take the biological mother to the hospital that day. But there wasn’t enough time. Crystal called 911 and she delivered the baby in the apartment.

The Bowen family includes: Crystal and Jason Bowen in back, and children from left: Cassidy holding Clarissa, Cheyanne in front, Chloe, Jared and Chelsea.

The biological mother remains friends with the Bowen family, and she sees Clarissa often.

“Clarissa is a wonderful addition to our family,” Mrs. Bowen said. “We love her very much and couldn’t imagine life without her.”

Mrs. Bowen, 40, was adopted herself at age 10. She said she had a tough time before that in foster care. She grew up in North Carolina before being adopted by a family in Webster when she was 10.

Even with five biological children, she wanted to either be a foster or adoptive parent.

“I came from a rough past,” she said. “You can either let your past make you or break you. You can use it as an excuse to break you or you can better yourself.”

The family celebrated Clarissa’s adoption today.

Mrs. Bowen said her home in Clarendon has always been open to children in the community (except the past two months during the Covid-19 pandemic).

“People know they can come to our house and feel safe,” she said.

Her husband works as a truck driver for a roll-off company. Mrs. Bowen is a cosmetologist who does hair and nails. Hair salons are currently closed in New York because of Covid-19. The Bowen kids attend Holley Central School. They are missing their friends and teachers a lot after about two months of being home due to the pandemic.

Clarissa is well loved by her siblings.

“She has fit right in,” Mrs. Bowen said. “She is a beautiful baby. She is funny and she keeps everybody moving. She is such a happy baby.”

The Bowens may still pursue fostering other children. Mrs. Bowen encouraged others in the community to consider being foster or adoptive parents.

“I would be open to helping another child,” she said. “As adults, that’s our job. It takes a village to raise a child. People should ask themselves if they have that love to give.”

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Sending a message about social distancing

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 March 2020 at 10:15 am

Provided photo

CLARENDON – Courtney Campbell wore a dinosaur costume on Friday on Route 31A, sending a message that “Extinction Sucks #STAYHOME.”

Campbell wanted to encourage people to stay home as much as possible. If they must go out, practice social distancing, staying at least 6 feet apart from other people. Following those guidelines can help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“Non-compliance may prolong the spread of COVID-19 as well as increasing the spread which can overwhelm our healthcare systems,” the Orleans and Genesee County Health Departments said on Friday.

The Health Departments recommended people stick to the basics, limit exposure to the public, wash hands frequently, stay home if ill with any respiratory illness, and keep at least 6 feet from other people.

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Clarendon town offices also will close temporarily

Posted 16 March 2020 at 5:41 pm

From Susan Colby, Clarendon Town Clerk

CLARENDON – Due to the rapidly escalation of the COVID-19, coronarvirus, the Clarendon Town Offices, Court and Highway Department will be closed to the public until further notice. At this point, the Town Court intends to resume April 30.

Offices will continue to operate but will restrict exposure in order to provide essential government services.  If you have questions you may email us or call the appropriate office.

Please deposit any necessary payments/documents in the drop box, located to the west of the Town Clerk Office door.  Include your name and phone number so we can contact you if necessary.

We regret this decision. In the best interest of our community it has become necessary to help prevent the spread of the virus. This is a routine precautionary measure and not a cause for panic.  Thank you.

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Firefighters pay tribute to Clarendon fire chief at funeral

Photos by Tom Rivers: Firefighters from Holley and Clarendon served as pall bearers for Jon DeYoung’s funeral today. They are shown placing his coffin in a Clarendon fire truck. A caravan of fire trucks and firefighters then followed from Holley to Mount Albion Cemetery for DeYoung’s burial.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 March 2020 at 11:02 pm

Jon DeYoung led fire company while getting chemo, radiation treatments

Jon DeYoung

HOLLEY – Jon DeYoung’s friends and family, and many local firefighters said goodbye today to the long-time Clarendon volunteer firefighter, who served as fire chief and continued to answer numerous calls while undergoing chemo and radiation.

DeYoung, 55, died on March 10. He fought cancer for seven years.

He inspired many in the community with his dedication to the fire company, and also for his steadfast support of his three sons – Jeremy, Jon Jr. and Tyler – while they played sports at Holley and then when they followed his example in becoming volunteer firefighters in Clarendon.

“Everything in his life had to do with making a real connection to real people,” said the Rev. Aleka Schmidt, who led his service today at Christopher Mitchell Funeral Homes in Holley.

She praised DeYoung for living out four tenants – courage, honor, commitment and duty.

DeYoung was known by many in the community as a dedicated firefighter. He was also a devoted family man, who loved to hunt, go camping and spend time on the golf course. (He had more fun finding other peoples’ lost golf balls than actually playing the game.)

The ladder trucks from Clarendon and Bergen were extended to make an arch at Mount Albion Cemetery.

When his sons played baseball, DeYoung would take them to the field early and throw them batting practice. He was eager to help the coaches with the team, and offered lots of encouragement to all the players.

His sons also played soccer, basketball and ran cross country. DeYoung would bring a bike to games and meets, and ride along the 3.1 mile cross country course at different check points to cheer on the runners.

He made all the games, while working full-time in Rochester as a tool-and-die designer for Acro Industries, and responding to hundreds of fire and EMS calls.

“He was a superhero, a magician,” said his son Tyler, 25. “I don’t know how he did it.”

His brother Jon Jr., 28, is a captain in the fire company. He said his father had a drive to help other people.

Jeremy, 30, is a life member in the fire company. He said his father enjoyed being a mentor to the firefighters and Holley’s young athletes. He was patient in teaching skills and providing motivation.

The flag was lowered at the Clarendon fire hall in honor of Jon DeYoung, and his helmet and turnout gear were set by a memorial for firefighters.

DeYoung was well regarded among the fire departments in the county, especially in the eastern battalion – Holley, Clarendon, Fancher-Hulberton-Murray and Kendall. DeYoung didn’t see those departments as rivals. He saw them as one unit, said Bob Freida, a past Clarendon fire chief and one of DeYoung’s close friends.

Today at the funeral, firefighters from Holley and Clarendon served as pallbearers. Freida said DeYoung would have appreciated that, without any one department being singled out.

He supported a firefighter youth group for children, with the hope they would eventually join a fire company. That youth group mostly includes students in Clarendon, Holley and FHM fire districts.

Dan Campbell, past fire chief, and another close  friend for DeYoung, shared the firefighter’s prayer at the funeral home. Campbell also said DeYoung had a great sense of humor and was a fun person to be with.

“No words can do justice to his sacrifice,” Campbell said during the service today. “We lost one of our bravest. Jon battled this disease the past seven years and never gave up.”

Several fire trucks from the eastern battalion as well as Barre were part of the funeral processional for 10 miles to Mount Albion Cemetery.

DeYoung was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in April 2013. In October 2014, he had surgery at the Cleveland Clinic to remove his colon, prostate, bladder and stomach. That kept the cancer away for more than three years. It was back in December 2017.

That meant more chemo and radiation. Through it all, DeYoung kept going to fire calls.

Last April 27, the Fire Company’s Board of Directors presented DeYoung with the Firefighter of the Year award.

At that time, DeYoung was fighting cancer for the fourth time, and continued to put on the turn-out gear and respond to many of the fire calls and accidents. He also attended committee meetings and training sessions.

“Regardless of everything going on he stays very active and is at the fire scenes, the trainings and all the committees,” Freida, president of the fire company, said then. “He is truly doing the job as fire chief. We wanted to recognize him for his determination and fight to continue to give back to his community.”

Despite having a rough day with his illness, DeYoung made sure to attend the banquet last April so he could present the Chief’s Award to his son, Jon DeYoung Jr., who worked three years to get new rescue tools for the fire company.

DeYoung also was able to recognize his other sons for milestone anniversaries of service to the fire company. Jeremy in 2019 reached the 15-year milestone as a volunteer firefighter while Tyler reached 10 years.

“As the Chief and father of these young men I couldn’t have been more proud,” DeYoung posted on his Facebook page after the banquet.

Firefighters including Troy Kingdollar, front left, and Bob Freida, front right, served as pallbearers for DeYoung. They are shown at Mount Albion Cemetery.

Freida was one of the pallbearers at the funeral today. He presented a folded American flag to DeYoung’s wife of 31 years, Brenda, a former EMT.

Freida and DeYoung both have about 35 years as volunteer firefighters. They are buddies and long-time leaders for the fire company. DeYoung was fire chief seven years, and was the deputy chief during Freida’s eight years as chief.

“He was just a good, wholehearted person,” Freida said. “No matter what you threw at Jon, he was always there.”

Freida said the two responded to many difficult calls together – serious car accidents and fires.

Bob Freida has a black stripe on his badge to symbolize the mourning among firefighters at the funeral today.

“I truly consider him a brother,” Freida said.

An Orleans County dispatcher gave the last call for DeYoung today at about 11:30. It was the final call for DeYoung and badge number 171.

“Thank you for 35 years of unwavering dedication to your family and community,” the dispatcher said in a message broadcast at the funeral home. “Your legacy will never be forgotten.”

DeYoung grew up in a firefighting family. His father, the late Richard DeYoung, was a firefighter in Rochester and then joined the Clarendon Volunteer Fire Company. His son Jon joined 35 years ago when he was 20.

Jon was the fire chief right up until Jan. 1. He was succeeded by his brother, Jim.

Jon was a long-time leader for the fire company. He could be counted on to do the training needed to respond in many emergency situations, from interior firefighting, motor vehicle accidents and extrications, to medical calls. He knew what to do and kept a calm head.

DeYoung lived on Brown Schoolhouse Road, 2.8 miles away from the fire hall. He was determined to get to as many calls as possible, even when he was camping with his wife Brenda in Byron at Southwoods RV Resort, where he made many friends.

If it was a major holiday, and the family was sitting down for dinner, DeYoung would still respond to the fire call. When his sons became teen-agers and young adults, they joined him on those calls.

He knew all families of firefighters sacrifice when there is training, committee meetings, parades and fire calls.

In one of his last public acts, DeYoung attended the most recent fire company banquet on Feb. 15. This time he was in a wheelchair. He insisted on being there so he could present the Fire Chief’s Award to his wife of 31 years. He wanted to acknowledge Brenda’s support behind the scenes for so many years and for her love and care in his cancer fight.

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Swanger gets sendoff after 30 years as Clarendon highway superintendent

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 January 2020 at 7:59 am

Provided photos

BROCKPORT – Larry Swanger, in blue shirt, was given a  surprise party on Saturday at the Tap Room in Brockport for his 30-year career as Clarendon highway superintendent. Swanger retired on Dec. 31.

His wife Brenda planned the party, which was attended by about 75 people. Swanger is pictured with Highway Department employees – Eric Collyer, Danny Scroger, Larry Swanger, Jamie Steffen and Pete Surowy.

The highway crew made Swanger this diorama, which includes the Clarendon water tank. That was built in 1998. The town did a major expansion of public water lines during Swanger’s tenure.


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3 highway superintendents retiring after century of service

Photo by Tom Rivers: These town highway superintendents – from left, Larry Swanger of Clarendon, Mike Fuller of Shelby, and Ron Mannella of Gaines – are pictured at Tillman’s Village Inn on Wednesday. They were honored at the monthly meeting of the Orleans County Town Highway Superintendents Association.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 December 2019 at 8:45 am

Swanger, Fuller and Mannella led their towns through major waterline expansions

GAINES – Three town highways superintendents in Orleans County are retiring, with the trio serving 106 years combined as highway workers, including 70 years as the highway superintendents.

Larry Swanger of Clarendon, Ron Mannella of Gaines and Mike Fuller of Shelby have each put in many new miles of water districts, in addition to leading their departments in maintaining and plowing roads.

The superintendents were honored on Wednesday at the Orleans County Town Highway Superintendents Association. They received citations from State Assemblyman Steve Hawley and the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways. That group’s president, Joel Kie of the Town of Dickinson near Binghamton, attended the meeting and praised the three local highway chiefs for their service.

Larry Swanger, left, is presented with citations for his service by Joel Kie (center), president of the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways; and Michael Neidert, Albion town highway superintendent and president of the Orleans County Town Highway Superintendents Association.

Swanger is retiring after 30 years as Clarendon’s highway superintendent. When he started, there was one water district in Clarendon, and it was privately owned and served Thomas Estates. Now, Clarendon has 13 water districts spread over 50 miles with 830 customers. About two decades ago, the town built a water tower.

Swanger is the water superintendent, in addition to the highway leader. Mannella and Fuller also serve in both roles.

“I’ve liked the people and the other highway superintendents,” Swanger said. “It’s the people that you get involved with.”

Swanger said the job is more complicated than people realize.

“People don’t see the behind-the-scenes paperwork, the contracts you have to deal with,” he said.

Swanger didn’t seek re-election in November. Tracy Bruce Chalker was elected to the position and starts Jan. 1.

Ron Mannella is presented citations for his service by the president of the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways and the president of the Orleans County Town Highway Superintendents Association.

Ron Mannella is retiring after 26 years as the Gaines highway superintendent. Before working in Gaines, Mannella was a motor equipment operator for six years with the Town of Albion Highway Department.

When he started with Gaines, the town had 8 miles of waterlines. Now there are more than 50 miles with 750 to 800 water customers. The expansion of public water is a big accomplishment for the town, Mannella said.

Gaines also used a grant to cover most of the costs of a salt storage shed. In 1999, the town highway garage collapsed after a heavy snow storm. A rebuilt garage opened in 2001.

Although Mannella is retiring as the highway superintendent, he will stay in public service as a new member of the Gaines Town Board. He received the most votes in November among four candidates. Mark Radzinski was elected in November to succeed Mannella as the highway superintendent.

“It was a good run,” Mannella said about the 26 years as highway superintendent. “The people of Gaines are really nice.”

Mike Fuller smiles after receiving his citations for a 44-year career with the Town of Shelby Highway Department.

Mike Fuller has worked 44 years with the Town of Shelby Highway Department, starting as a motor equipment operator when he was 21. The past 14 years he has been highway superintendent.

The town built its first water district in 1972 with 125 customers in the hamlet and on South Gravel Road. During Fuller’s career, the town expanded to 12 water districts serving 800 customers. Shelby also built a salt storage shed.

“We put in a lot of waterlines,” Fuller said. “Those are big projects.”

Shelby used to have its town building on Maple Ridge Road, where ALDI is located today. That site had contaminated soil from fuel. Fuller led the effort to have the soil removed from the site and relocated to the town property on Salt Works Road. The town used a bio-cell where micro-organisms improved the soil, which was cleared by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Fuller said that project was an interesting challenge for the Highway Department.

He also is pleased with the town’s efforts in helping to put in infrastructure and clear land for the Medina Business Park. Shelby teamed with the Medina Department of Public Works and Orleans County Highway Department for projects at the Business Park.

Fuller lost a close election last month to Dale Root for highway superintendent. Fuller said he will remain active in the community. He is past chief and current president of the East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company. He also serves with the Knights of Columbus and has a part-time job with Mercy EMS in Batavia.

“I’ve enjoyed serving the people,” he said.

Mike Neidert, president of the Orleans County Town Highway Superintendents Association, is finishing his first four-year term as Albion’s superintendent. He said the local highway leaders embraced him when he started. He urged the group to continue that approach with the three new highway superintendents.

“Everyone took me under their wing and welcomed me in and I encourage everyone to do that with the new guys coming in,” Neidert said.

Joel Kie, president of the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways, attended the meeting, driving from near Binghamton. He said the town highway departments will need to press the state legislators to maintain funding for road maintenance. Kie said he is concerned about the state funding, especially with the state facing a shortfall.

He urged the highway superintendents to attend lobbying days in Albany on March 3-4.

“This year will be extra tough because of the deficits,” he said.

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Clarendon convenience store will add auto repair shop

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 October 2019 at 4:00 pm

CLARENDON – A mini-mart at 4530 Holley-Byron Rd. will add an auto repair shop, a proposal that has the support of the Orleans County Planning Board.

The county board has recommended the Town of Clarendon approve a special use permit for Jeremy Van Ameron to operate the Van’s Auto Service on the rear side of the store, which includes a gas station.

Van Ameron will have separate parking for the auto repair shop. The hours for the repair shop will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday through Saturday.

The building currently has one bay door for vehicle access. Van Ameron plans to add two additional doors.

He is also buying the property from Vijay Gupta, who has been operating Twin’s Mini Mart at the location. Van Ameron will continue the store and gas station.

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Clarendon woman again collecting socks to be given to homeless

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 September 2019 at 3:22 pm

Tammi Bale delivered 1,583 pairs to Open Door Mission in 2018

Provided photo: Tammi Bale, left, of Clarendon is pictured on Nov. 26 last year when she delivered 1,583 pairs of new socks to the Open Door Mission in Rochester.

Tammi Bale has kicked off her fourth annual “Just Socks, Ma” program. She collects socks in honor of her late son, Robert, and gives them to a homeless shelter in Rochester.

Last year just after Thanksgiving she delivered 1,583 pairs of new socks to the Open Door Mission in Rochester.

Bale collects the socks in honor of her son, Robert Bale. He had a good job as a HVAC technician, often working 50 hours a week. He also had a secret addiction. He used heroin. His family didn’t know it, nor did his roommate or close friends. On March 10, 2016, he had a fatal overdose at age 28.

Robert was a hard-working young man who didn’t want to burden other people, even at Christmas, his mother said. When Tammi Bale asked her son what he wanted for a present, he responded: “Just socks, Ma.”

She has collection boxes for the socks at several locations in Orleans and Monroe counties.

In Orleans they are at Dustin’s Pizzeria in Holley, Avanti Pizza in Albion and Tim Hortons in Albion.

In Monroe County, the drop-off sites for socks include: Galaxy Auto Parts, 4974 W Ridge Rd., Spencerport; Cam’s Pizzeria, 336 East Ave., Rochester; Snuggery’s, 380 S Union St., Spencerport; and ROCovery Fitness, 1035 Dewey Ave., Rochester.

The boxes will be out until Nov. 19.

Bale will also accept socks at a collection box on her porch at Thomas Estates, 327 Sunset Drive, Clarendon.

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Firefighters pay tribute to Paul Wagner at his memorial service

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 July 2019 at 6:51 pm

Photos courtesy of Tina Reed

CLARENDON – The Holley and Clarendon ladder trucks held a giant American flag high on Saturday during the memorial service for Paul Wagner at the Clarendon Fire Department Recreation Building.

Wagner was active in the local fire service for a half century, including 14 years as director of the Orleans County Emergency Management Office. He retired on July 18, 2014.

Wagner was 73 when he passed away on June 21.

A contingent of firefighters from the Kendall Fire Department pay their respects to Wagner during the service in Clarendon, where Wagner is a past fire chief. He started as a firefighter in Shelby.

Dale Banker, the current EMO director, praised Wagner for his accomplishments, including his leadership with a $7.1 million overhaul to its emergency radio communications system.

Lynne Johnson, the chairwoman of the Orleans County Legislature, also commended Wagner for his service as the EMO director.

Wagner handled a high-stress job with his laid-back manner. He didn’t get ruffled and his calm demeanor helped other people keep their cool in some difficult circumstances.

Wagner retired as a chemist from Kodak and then worked full-time as the director of the Emergency Management Office. He joined the Shelby Fire Department when he was 18. When he moved to Clarendon, he joined that department and eventually became Clarendon’s fire chief.

The flag stands tall at the entrance to the Clarendon Fire Department Recreation Building, where firefighters from throughout the county gathered Saturday to honor Wagner.

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Clarendon Farmers’ Market opens for the season

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 29 June 2019 at 8:18 pm

Vendors will be at Historical Society on Thursdays

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Suzanne Stymus shows of a quart of tomatoes in her booth at the Clarendon Farmers’ Market, which opened for the season on Thursday.

Nyla Gaylord, manager of the Clarendon Farmers’ Market, sits by her banty rooster, which she brought to opening day of the market on Thursday, along with frozen roasting chickens to sell.

CLARENDON – Clarendon Farmers’ Market opened for the season on Thursday afternoon, with a handful of vendors and music by the Fox Den Band from Brockport.

Nyla Gaylord is not only the market manager, but a vendor also. She brought frozen roasting chickens, which she raises.

Opening day saw a few vendors, but Gaylord said it will pick up as the season progresses.

In fact, she was excited about one local grower who said he will have fresh corn on the cob next week.

Big Dog BBQ from Holley was also a nice addition to market, Gaylord said. Owner Ed Rice said this was his first time at the market and he is looking forward to increased participation by vendors and customers.

Suzanne Stymus was doing business selling tomatoes, broccoli, beets and cucumbers. The Barre resident said her family farm, run by her husband Dennis and his father Edward, likes to sell locally.

Gary and Rita Casale of Clarendon had their homemade beef jerky. They heard about the market from the town historian, Melissa Ierlan.

“And we love Nyla and wanted to support the market,” Gary said.

Another vendor was set up with plants and handmade items.

The market will be open at 3:30 p.m. Thursdays throughout the summer at the Clarendon Historical Society at 16385 Church St. next to the Town Hall.

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Paul Wagner remembered as friend to firefighters, driving force behind emergency radio upgrades

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 June 2019 at 5:16 pm

‘He lived and breathed public safety in Orleans County. That was all he thought about.’

Photo by Tom Rivers: Paul Wagner, the former county emergency management director, is shown on May 28, 2014 when the county celebrated a $7.1 million overhaul to its emergency radio communications system. Wagner is pointing to a rack that transmits signals from the radio towers to the consoles and the radios.

CLARENDON – Paul Wagner handled many emergency situations in his career, from major weather events to massive fires.

Wagner did it all in a laid-back manner. He didn’t get ruffled and his calm demeanor helped other people keep their cool in some difficult circumstances.

Wagner, 73, died on June 21. He served as director of the Orleans County Emergency Management Office for 14 years, until retiring on July 18, 2014.

“He didn’t get all bent out of shape,” said Pat Eick, who worked as secretary for Wagner in the two-person office on County House Road. “Paul was very calm and easygoing. He was a great man to work for. He was very much respected.”

Wagner spent more than 50 years in the fire service. He started working for the county as a deputy fire coordinator in 1979. He became EMO-1 on July 3, 2000.

The initially was focused on coordinating services and training with fire departments and EMS providers, but grew to emergency preparedness with big weather events and the possibilities of terrorist attacks.

The office also administers the emergency radio communications system. Wagner pushed through a $7.1 million upgrade.

“He was essential with the new emergency communications system,” said Lynne Johnson, chairwoman of the Orleans County Legislature. “Public safety was his number one concern. He lived and breathed public safety in Orleans County. That was all he thought about.”

Wagner was highly regarded by firefighters, EMTs and all the first responders in the county, she said.

“He’ll be missed throughout the ranks,” she said. “He had a leadership quality that spanned all the ranks.”

Wagner retired as a chemist from Kodak and then worked full-time as the director of the Emergency Management Office. He joined the Shelby Fire Department when he was 18. When he moved to Clarendon, he joined that department and eventually became Clarendon’s fire chief.

Dale Banker followed Wagner as EMO-1 for the county and has worked in the job for nearly 5 years. Banker said it is a demanding position, with lots of coordinating among local, state and federal agencies.

He praised Wagner for pushing through the $7.1 million upgrade of the radio system.

“That was a monumental task,” Banker said.

The county is working on another $6 million upgrade of the system to improve coverage in the county and have interoperability with neighboring counties.

Wagner also was successful in advancing the county’s fire investigation unit and he established the firefighter accountability system at a fire scene, Banker said. Firefighters’ tags are kept at a fire scene when a firefighter goes inside a structure. Fire officials keep track of who goes in and comes out.

“He was a people-person,” Banker said. “He was very easygoing and he got along with everybody.”

Wagner’s memorial service will be at 2 p.m. on July 6 at the Clarendon Fire Department Recreation Building, 16169 E. Lee Road, Holley.

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Opening day for Clarendon Farmers’ Market pushed back a week due to rain

Staff Reports Posted 20 June 2019 at 10:28 am

CLARENDON – The opening of the second season of the Clarendon Farmers’ Market, scheduled for today, has been postponed until next Thursday because of the weather.

The market will now open at 3:30 p.m. on June 27, featuring the Fox Den Bluegrass Band and several new vendors.

The market started last year on the grounds of the Clarendon Historical Society at 16385 Church St. next to the Town Hall.

The market is open from 3:30 to 7 p.m. every Thursday with the season expected to continue through the end of October.

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