Holley, Kendall, Lyndonville school budgets approved by voters

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 May 2022 at 10:05 pm

Voters in Holley, Kendall and Lyndonville approved their school budgets today.

Holley’s proposed $26,982,000 budget passed with a 235-130 vote.

The budget increases taxes by 1.95 percent. The budget maintains all current educational programs and represents a 3.18 percent budget-to-budget increase.

Other Holley propositions also were approved by voters:

  • Capital improvements reserve fund at a maximum of $6 million – 233 yes votes, 138 no votes
  • Proposition to purchase new school buses as a maximum of $334,000 – 232 yes votes, 139 no votes
  • Proposition to collect $194,966 for Community Free Library – 274 yes votes, 100 no votes

Two candidates for two three-year terms on the Board of Education were elected. Tracy Van Ameron received 287 votes and Anne Winkley was backed by 281 voters.

In Kendall, the $19,822,921 budget was approved with a 123-26 vote.

The budget keeps the tax levy at $4,964,656, and decreases spending by $157,808 to $19,822,921.

Other propositions include:

  • Authorize $250,000 from a Transportation Bus Reserve Fund to replace transportation vehicles of the district – 130 yes votes, 19 no votes
  • Establish a capital reserve fund for up to $5 million for a future capital project – 129 yes votes, 19 no votes
  • Lisa Levett, current president of the Board of Education, received 137 votes for another five-year term. She was unopposed.

In Lyndonville, the $15,704,953 budget passed, 226-76. That’s 74.8 percent in favor.

The budget calls for a 2 percent tax increase, or by $90,564 to $4,618,740 for the tax levy. The budget maintains all current programs, including music, athletics and extracurriculars, and also keeps a school resource officer and on-campus space for a mental health counselor.

The district had a very close four-way battle for three seats on the Board of Education. The incumbents all won with Vern Fonda at 185 votes, Harold Suhr at 178, Kristin Nicholson at 171, and James Houseman at 168. The positions are for three-year terms that start July 1.

Other propositions include:

  • Collecting $119,183 for the Yates Community Free Library – 199 yes votes, 104 no votes
  • Authorization to spend up to $145,000 for a 64-seat passenger bus – 248 yes votes, 57 no votes.

Murray appoints 3 to boards at Town Hall

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 May 2022 at 1:10 pm

MURRAY – The Town Board filled three spots in the town government on Monday.

Scott Lang was appointed to the Planning Board, John Rich was named to Board of Assessment Review and Dan Seeler was appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The town advertised the positions but only had three people show interest, said Mike Mele, a town councilman.

The Town Board also authorized Highway Superintendent Dirk Lammes to spend $235,000 in highway funding for 2022.

The board also rescinded a resolution to borrow money for a $119,000 to purchase a new loader backhoe. The interest rate have changed from 2.9 percent to nearly 5 percent. The town has the money in its fund balance and will pay for the loader backhoe without borrowing.

Murray town justices urge opposition to district court

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 May 2022 at 9:38 am

Spada and Passarell say district court would cost much more, be less responsive to community

Photos by Tom Rivers: Murray Town Justices Gary Passarell, right, and Ted Spada speak against a district court in Orleans County, saying it would cost much more to operate with less local accountability.

MURRAY – The town’s justices, Gary Passarell and Ted Spada, said they are strongly opposed to a district court coming to Orleans County, saying it will be more costly to operate, driving up local property taxes.

A district court judge could cost close to $300,000 for salary and benefits, and that person would have to be an attorney, Spada said.

The clerks would also be paid about $80,000 in salary. There would be mandated costs for security, stenographers, language interpreters and computer and facility upgrades.

“It would be a very poor business decision and would defy common sense,” Spada said about a district court.

The possibility of a district court has been suggested by District Attorney Joe Cardone and Public Defender Joanne Best, who say those courts would provide more equitable justice throughout the county. State aid would pick up some of the higher costs to operate a district court, Cardone and Best have said.

Murray Town Justice Ted Spada said a district court would be far more costly with higher-paid judges, clerks and other personnel.

Spada and Passarell are two of 12 town justices in the county. Passarell is retiring on Dec. 31 after 33 years on the bench. They are members of the Orleans County Magistrates Association, where all 12 justices oppose a district court.

“These are the courts closest to the people,” Passarell said about the town courts. “The town justices have a better grasp of common sense and their communities.”

A district court needs to include at least two towns. One district court could be enough for the entire county, or perhaps there could be two or three district courts, Cardone and Best have suggested.

Cardone and Best, during an April 27 meeting with the County Legislature and many of the town justices, said they are just trying to get a discussion going about the issue.

County Legislator John Fitzak attended the Murray meeting and he said the district court has a long way to go if it becomes a reality in the county.

“This is in its infancy beyond infancy,” Fitzak said. “Nothing is set in stone.”

If it moves forward Fitzak said there will be many public hearings and referendums in each for voters to have their say. Right now there isn’t enough information about the costs of the court and how it could work to have an informed discussion, he said.

He would like to see the town justices, district attorney and public defender get in the same room and discuss the issue at length.

“We’re all trying to make the system work,” Fitzak said.

Spada and the Magistrates have compiled a database on what the current town courts cost versus the costs of a district court.

Spada said a district court would cost $973,726 for one serving the four central towns of Barre, Albion, Gaines and Carlton. That’s four times the current expense of $245,235 for running the courts in the four towns, Spada said. This does not include the costs of infrastructure to bring the buildings up to regulations for a district court.

Two district courts at the west end (Ridgeway, Shelby and Yates) and the central towns (Barre, Albion, Gaines and Carlton) would cost $1,947,452 versus the $451,435 in the actual town budgets for 2022, Spada told county legislators on April 27 and again on Monday during the Murray Town Board meeting.

If there were three districts courts – west, central and east – The cost would be $2,921,177 compared to $562,127 to operate 10 town courts, and that doesn’t include the building upgrades that would be needed, Spada said.

If there were three district courts Spada said it would increase the county tax rate by $1.58 per $1,000 of assessed property or about 15 percent. The current tax rate is $10.09. The rate has gone up 60 cents in the past 10 years.

He said the local towns have worked to reduce their court costs. Eight of the 10 towns are down from two to one judge. Murray will go to one when Passarell retires.

“Orleans County is a relatively poor county,” Passarell said. “To burden them with the startup costs (and ongoing expense of a district court) would be an abomination.”

Sidonio again refuses to resign as Murray town supervisor after majority of board votes for him to go

Photos by Tom Rivers: Town Supervisor Joe Sidonio apologized his comments in private conversations with a local resident but won’t be resigning. Councilman Paul Hendel said Sidonio’s behavior sets a bad example for the community. “Leaders set standards,” Hendel said.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 May 2022 at 8:57 am

MURRAY – The majority of the Town Board voted on Monday for Joe Sidonio to resign as town supervisor, saying he has used racial slurs and demeaning language about women and town employees in recordings of phone conversations with a local resident.

Sidonio refused to resign on Monday, the second straight Town Board meeting where board members Paul Hendel, Randy Bower and Lloyd Christ voted for Sidonio to resign as town supervisor.

Mike Mele, a councilman and deputy town supervisor, abstained because he said he would become town supervisor if Sidonio resigns.

Sidonio apologized again for “unsavory language” but said he didn’t do anything illegal in what he thought were private conversations with a local resident. He said the effort to oust him from the board is “politics.”

Several residents spoke at Monday’s meeting, with some siding with Sidonio and others blaming the three board members for drawing negative attention on the town when they likely say things privately they wouldn’t want broadcast to the community.

Betty Passarell, mother of Town Clerk Cindy Oliver and former assessor Louise Passarell, called Sidonio “a disgusting human being” for his comments about her daughters.

She also said he was wrong to share discussions in executive session with the resident who was taping the phone conversations.

Louise Passarell said the taped conversations show “the real Joe” who body shames, harasses and bullies many of the town employees.

“It’s disgraceful and embarrassing to have him as a leader,” she said. “This isn’t one conversation. It’s multiple conversations over many months.”

Jeff Lipson said all of the board members, if fully scrutinized, have done embarrassing things.

Councilman Bower, a retired Orleans County sheriff, said Sidonio’s use of the N-word and other comments show him to be a racist who should not be in public office.

“I will never support a racist,” Bower said during Monday’s board meeting.

“I’m not a racist,” Sidonio responded.

Bower said if the public could hear Sidonio’s demeaner and his words in the conversations there wouldn’t be support for him.

Jeff Lipson stood up and said all of the board members have transgressions and shouldn’t single out Sidonio.

“I know things about all of you,” he said.

Ron Vendetti, the retired town code enforcement officer, said all five members of the board should resign.

“He may have said stupid things but none of you will would work with him,” Vendetti said during the public comment part of the meeting. “Just do your jobs.”

He faulted the board for walking out of last month’s meeting before finishing town business.

“The bottom line is stop fighting and being a bunch of babies,” Vendetti said.

He said he is angry his name was included in an official resolution from last month, calling for Sidonio’s resignation.

Vendetti said he shouldn’t be “dragged through the mud,” especially now that he is retired and no longer working for the town.

He told Councilman Hendel he shows “amazing arrogance.” Hendel introduced the resolution last month and on Monday calling for Sidonio’s resignation.

Hendel during Monday’s meeting started the discussion about Sidonio by saying the Marine Corps recently relieved a two-star general who used the N-word.

Hendel said Murray should follow the Marine Corps example of taking “quick and powerful actions” and showing no tolerance for racial slurs.

Hendel said the mass shooting in Buffalo on Saturday, where 10 people were killed in a racially motivated attack, makes him more convinced there can’t be any tolerance for racial slurs.

“This is nothing about politics,” Hendel said. “This is about leadership. Leaders set standards. There is no place in the Town of Murray or Orleans County for the behavior of our current leader.”

Amy Machamer, Sidonio’s wife, spoke during the meeting and said her husband is a person who goes out of his way to help all residents, regardless of their background and circumstances.

She said the board has targeted her business, Hurd Orchards. One of the board members came to her farm the day before Easter and said she would have protestors at the business if Sidonio didn’t resign. If he stepped down, the board member told Machamer “it all goes away” without being made public, Machamer said.

One resident Anthony Peone, urged the board, if it is serious about having Sidonio resign, to start a petition to have him removed from office. But Peone said he doubts the board is serious about the issue and is instead grandstanding.

Town Clerk Cindy Oliver said she has tried to be fair with Sidonio.

“We all say bad things,” she said. “But to hear what he called me is disgusting. I’m not even comfortable being here.”

Holley second-graders return to historical society’s railroad depot

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 May 2022 at 2:01 pm

Photos courtesy of Dan Mawn

HOLLEY – This class of Holley second-graders wave tickets after visiting the railroad depot last week. The tickets were designed by the historical society to resemble original tickets from the New York Central Railroad.

Volunteers act as a conductor and ticket agents, punching the tickets for the students.

The depot was constructed in 1907. It was moved in 1988 to Geddes Street Extension and was turned into a museum about local history. Holley second-graders typically would visit the site each year to learn about Holley and Murray artifacts.

Students didn’t come to the museum in 2020 or 2021 due to Covid restrictions, but they are back this year. Four classes of second graders visited the museum.

These students try an old restored telephone inside the museum.

“The kids are amazed by it since all they know are cell phones,” said Dan Mawn, president of Murray-Holley Historical Society. “This one rings when the handle is cranked.”

Mawn and the historical society volunteers also showed the students a working telegraph, which is a precursor to the telephone.

Holley library celebrating 75th anniversary this year with art show, many events

Posted 12 May 2022 at 10:37 am

Press Release, Community Free Library in Holley

HOLLEY – To celebrate its Diamond Jubilee (aka 75th anniversary of service to the community), the Community Free Library is planning a variety of events to be timed to coincide with the Holley June Fest on June 4.

Ahead of the activities planned during June Fest is a raffle – a floral arrangement sprouting gift cards totaling more than $300. These gift cards are not only for Holley businesses such as Dustin’s and Sam’s, but include Lowes, TJ Max,  Sara’s Garden, Red Lobster,  Chili’s, the Outback, Wild Flour and more – something for every taste.

Need to fix something around the home? Want to go out to eat? Need flowers for your garden? All of these are possible for the lucky winner. Tickets are currently on sale in the library, and are $2 each or three for $5. The drawing will be held at the end of the day on June 4. Don’t miss your chance to win!

Starting June 27 and running concurrent with June Fest will be an art show presenting the works of three local artists – Tony Barry, Debra Mignano and Ken Claus in the library board room. Many of these art works are also available for sale. An exhibit of children’s art from the classes of Ken Claus – art works that reflect the joy children feel when working in different media – will be on view in the Library Children’s Room.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during June Fest, there will be an “Outrageous Book Sale” where participants can bring a bag from home and fill it to the top with books, DVDs and other items on sale – all for only $1. For those who want to add more to their home library, they can bring a box and fill it to overflowing for $3.

Holley students give towpath a clean sweep in big trash pickup

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 May 2022 at 9:22 am

Provided photos

HOLLEY – A group of about 75 people volunteered on Saturday to pick up trash along 9 miles of the Erie Canal towpath and many of the village streets and parks.

The Holley Rotary Club and Holley Interact Club met with other community members on Saturday morning to walk the canal the length that spans the school district.

The volunteers picked up litter as part of the annual Canal Clean Sweep.

They covered the stretch of the towpath from the public boat launch on County Line Road at Route 31 to Transit Road.

Teams went from bridge to bridge picking up trash.

Brendan Keiser, Holley’s director of Teaching and Learning, worked with students at this spot overlooking the Holley Waterfalls.

The volunteers tackled trash in many of the village neighborhoods as well.

Callahan Towing acquires Glenside in Holley

Photos by Tom Rivers: Nick and Sarah Callahan of Callahan Towing are the new owners of Glenside Sales and Service in Holley. Pictured from left include Nick Callahan, son James Callahan, Sarah’s son Travis Veazey, mechanic Hunter Fiegel, Sarah Callahan, and lead tow operator Gary Williams.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 May 2022 at 1:36 pm

HOLLEY – A husband and wife who run a towing business in Holley have found eastern Orleans County to be a very welcoming place for their operation.

Nick and Sarah Callahan say the doors keep opening for them to grow in the Holley community. For two years they ran Callahan Towing on Geddes Street. In January they shifted to a more prominent location on Route 31 when they acquired Glenside Sales & Service from Eric Smith, who ran the business for 36 years.

“I’m very grateful the community has accepted us as well as they have,” said Mr. Callahan, who started his towing business in 2014 in Genesee County.

The Glenside location at 56 State St. has space for the towing operation and also includes an auto repair business. Smith’s grandson, Hunter Fiegel, has stayed on site as the mechanic for the Callahans. He is a Toyota and GM certified technician.

“Eric is a very big part of the community,” Nick said. “Being connected to him has definitely made it smoother.”

He said the switch to the Route 31 location was good timing. They were renting from Stockham Lumber on Geddes Street and that business is expanding and needed the space that was being used by Callahan.

The Callahans are looking to add another mechanic and tow operator. They are also planning to have Car Cruise-ins at Glenside on Tuesday evenings beginning May 10. They welcome classic cars, custom builds, trucks and jeeps, and motorcycles. They plan to have music and food trucks in the events that could continue until November.

Nick and Sarah Callahan are pictured with Hunter Fiegel, left, their mechanic and grandson of previous Glenside owner Eric Smith, who owned and operated the business for 36 years.

Holley June Fest seeks sponsors, vendors

Staff Reports Posted 2 May 2022 at 10:10 am

HOLLEY – Organizers of the Holley June Fest on June 4 welcome vendors and sponsors for the community celebration.

The planning committee is holding sponsor and vendor sign up days at the Eastern Orleans Community Center at 75 Public Sq. Holley on May 7 and May 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Vendors and sponsors are asked to bring a copy of their business card with contact information and/or logo that they would like to have published.

The cost is $25 cash or check made out to The Village of Holley, with the memo: June Fest.

Vendor paper applications are available onsite. Those interested in submitting an application online beforehand can contact Keith Lutes at 585-354-6467.

To be a sponsor, call or text Rainey Losee at 912-334-6737.

Any information about the Scavenger Hunt: A Walk-Through History in Holley can be addressed to Amber Mesita at ambermesita@gmail.com.

The festival has social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram with updates on the June Fest.

The festival also includes a 75th anniversary celebration for the Community Free Library at 86 Public Square. The party will be from 4 to 6 p.m. People are encouraged to RSVP with library director Sandra Shaw at 585-638-6987.

Holley schedules power outage on May 14 to replace high-voltage insulator

Posted 2 May 2022 at 9:00 am

Press Release, Village of Holley

HOLLEY – The Village of Holley will have power outage on Saturday, May 14, starting at 8 a.m. a.m. and will last approximately five hours.

This is to replace a high-voltage insulator in the electric substation.

South of the railroad underpass, the remediation site on Jackson Street and the Industrial Park will not be affected by this power outage.

Murray board demands town supervisor resign, claiming he used racial slurs

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 April 2022 at 8:32 pm

Sidonio apologizes, says he faces ‘hostile environment’ at Town Hall

MURRAY – The majority of the Murray’s five Town Board members are demanding that Joe Sidonio resign as town supervisor due to his use of racial slurs and “inappropriate language” in how he describes female employees.

Joe Sidonio

Board members Paul Hendel, Randy Bower and Lloyd Christ all called for Sidonio’s resignation at Monday’s board meeting. Hendel, Bower and Christ voted for Sidonio’s resignation with Michael Mele abstaining because as deputy town supervisor he would take over if Sidonio resigned.

Sidonio said this evening he doesn’t plan on resigning and did nothing illegal. He did say he regrets his language in private conversations with a resident that were recorded without Sidonio’s knowledge.

The board went on the record saying he should resign.

“Elected officials should exhibit behaviors that are held to a higher standard than others,” Councilman Hendel said during the meeting, according to draft minutes posted on the town website. “Mr. Sidonio’s behaviors demonstrate a total lack of leadership, lack of morals and lack of ethics, and when taken together prohibits his ability to continue to lead this Town in an effective manner focused on the best interests of the residents of the Town.

The draft minutes on the town website say the resolution calling for Sidonio’s resignation, states:

“The reasons for this motion are as follows:

  1. Mr. Sidonio has consistently fostered a working atmosphere of ridicule and intimidation with the elected and non-elected individuals working for the Town.
  2. Mr. Sidonio has consistently used vulgar and inappropriate language to identify and describe both elected and non-elected individuals working for the Town. For example: In recorded messages that have been obtained by the Town Board, he refers to our town Clerk as a “F—ing C—“; and our court clerk as “a clone of Ron Vendetti and a F—ing C—“! Mr. Sidonio said the full words, Mr. Hendel would not.
  3. Mr. Sidonio has consistently manipulated facts, information and individuals to ensure that he would achieve what is in his best interest with little or no regard to the truth. Direct evidence of this behavior is again revealed in audio recordings.
  4. Mr. Sidonio has multiple accusations of harassment to both elected and non-elected individuals since his tenure began as supervisor.
  5. Mr. Sidonio has consistently violated the confidentiality of Town Board executive sessions by revealing the contents of those discussions with town residents outside of executive sessions. Again, in recorded messages he is revealing specific personal matters; results of personal interviews; and other such matters that must be kept as confidential executive session discussions.
  6. Mr. Sidonio has used the most vile words often used to slander and degrade persons of color when describing work tasks. Again, he is recorded using the “N” word in statements such as: “I’m not going to be doing your N—– work”! Mr. Sidonio said the full word, Mr. Hendel would not.

Sidonio, during the meeting on Monday, said the board’s vote is non-binding and a moot resolution.

He issued this statement this evening:


I am sorry and embarrassed for the emotionally charged, regrettable language I used in private conversation. That language does not reflect the person I am and has no place in our discourse today.

“While this is not an excuse, I made these remarks in unguarded moments during the course of private conversations with a person whom I thought was a friend. These private conversations were recorded without my knowledge or consent, and then shared with, and used by, members of the Town Board in an attempt to coerce my resignation as Town Supervisor.

“In fact, before the April 18, 2022 Town Board meeting, a member of the Board, Michael Mele, told me that ‘if I resigned, this would all go away.’ I refused to resign, and, sure enough, these recordings were released to the media.

“While I am sorry for the words I used, my unguarded expressions of frustration reflected my discouragement and disillusionment with the business-as-usual corruption and waste I routinely encountered in Town government. In fact, the words I used in frustration are not the real story here.  I invite you to get to the truth of how the people of Murray have been betrayed by their elected officials.

“If any story or report of this juncture in our town is printed without full context and clarity one and all are enabling the cruel practices of the Town of Murray Board to continue unimpaired and giving validity to the tactics of conspiracy, bullying, threats, fear mongering and corruption that have overshadowed our community for too long.

“At the outset of the Murray board meeting on Monday April 18th the four other members of the town board hijacked the town meeting in a coup attempt to get me to resign the Supervisorship.

“When the meeting was forced to be quickly adjourned many, many people who believe in good government vocalized their support for the honest, equal, welcoming, fair governance for which I stand. I stand up against bullies and against self-interested mismanagement of town government.

“With respect to all previous allegations made and the opinions proffered about me by the other town board members and employees – both verbally and in print – each has been thoroughly investigated and found to be unsubstantiated, warranting no action.

“Yes, a hostile work environment exists in the Town of Murray. Each day I face board members and long-term employees who work hard to concoct schemes to dislodge me, disgrace me, foil my earnest work, frame me and in addition do not speak to me.

“The most egregious example is the horrific text sent between three women, both elected, appointed and employed, which outlined a conspiracy to falsely accuse someone, potentially me, of a crime. These same individuals then proceeded to investigate me for wrongdoing in objecting to their scheme. Their claims were found to have no merit. I objected then and I object now.

“It is worth noting that we have one board member who allegedly took early retirement from the Sheriff’s Office to avoid embarrassment. We have one town board member who allegedly has no permit to operate a septic business from his property and was found to have been using public water from a fire hydrant allegedly without either a water meter nor a back flow preventer on the hydrant. Another board member championed the unlawful healthcare benefits paid to an employee’s girlfriend.

“I was elected by voters to create an efficient and effective government delivered in an accountable and transparent manner. I had to challenge the status quo step on toes and be tough. I stated from the beginning I am not a politician. I am not perfect. But I try and work hard to learn and move forward.

“I declined the town board’s backroom offer to resign and ‘make all this go away.’

“I will not be coerced, blackmailed, bought or co-opted.

“I began the effort of helping Murray by reaching for a vision of a beautiful community.

In my vision there was no oppression and no persecution. Each citizen was treated with equality and had a voice that was heard.  Governance was fair, spending was conservative, and procedures were followed.  In this vision the energy of the town was focused on creating a beautiful place to live, a place for everybody, where people want to be, businesses want to be and where people want to be involved without fear of repercussion.

“Sadly, the citizens of the Town of Murray have been robbed of access to this vision, this promised democracy in America.” – Joe Sidonio

Holley newspaper set standard in covering eastern Orleans

Posted 23 April 2022 at 8:36 am

The Clarendon Softball Team from 1961 – Back row, from left, Melvin Burch, Leonard Ruggles, Ronald Moore, Wesley Potter, Cecil Moore and Gordon Ferguson; front row, Laverne Webster, Tommy Cook, Larry Wood, Paul Keith, Clifford Moore and William Crawford. Not pictured was Lloyd Tipton. Jimmy Snell was the scorekeeper.

By Catherine Cooper, Orleans County Historian

Illuminating Orleans – Vol. 2, No. 14

HOLLEY – This energetic photo of the Clarendon Championship Softball Team on the front page of the October 26,1961 edition of the Holley Standard caught our attention.

An accompanying article notes that the team was newly organized in the spring of 1961 and was sponsored by Duryea Motors. The league was composed of eight teams.

In the season playoffs, Clarendon defeated Bergen in two games, 17-3 and 6-3 in the semi-finals and won two out of the three in the final round against General Electric and Brockport. Clarendon won the first game of the series, GE won the second and the third game was a tie. Clarendon won the makeup game and thus the series and the championship.

The masthead notes that the Holley Standard had been established in September, 1870.

The Holley Standard building on Thomas Street in the village. The building was constructed in the early 1900s.

According to a history of paper written in 1964, it was started by Cyrus Marsh, publisher of the Brockport Democrat, and his son George F. Marsh. The first issue was dated September 17, 1870.

The newspaper used this promo to solicit local news.

A fire on July 23, 1874 destroyed the entire south side of the Holley Square, including the Standard office and its contents. Remarkably, the paper just missed one issue as it was printed temporarily at the publisher’s Brockport location.

Charles C. Hayden bought the paper in 1882 and was publisher for more than thirty years, until his death in 1914. Another fire in January 1885 destroyed the office and equipment again. This time, the paper was temporarily printed at the Orleans American office in Albion until a Holley location was available, over the State Exchange Bank.

In 1903, Charles Hayden bought the Weller property on Thomas Street, sold part of it to the Village of Holley as a site for a new village building and constructed the one-story building which housed the Standard for many years.

The Bartlett-Turner Company owned the paper from 1914-1936 when it was purchased by long-time employees Gerald McVay and Jessie Cole. It was purchased on October 30, 1945 by W.K. Hovey, a former General Motors engineer who was interested in rural journalism. It was purchased by the Suburban Record in Spencerport in 1971, and in 1974 by Robert Nagel, publisher of the Batavia Daily News, at which point it was combined with the Brockport Republic-Democrat and the Hamlin Herald to form the Erie Canal News which ran until 1979.

The masthead of the 1961 Holley Standard announced that it served: Clarendon – Kendall – Murray – Fancher – Hulberton – Kendall Mills – Kent – W. Kendall – W. Sweden – Morton.

The October 26, 1961 issue included the following items of interest:

  • A tragic accident in Kendall which claimed the life of one teen and resulted in the injury of four others.
  • Duffy-Mott reported increased sales.
  • The Kendall Fire Department acquired a new fire engine.
  • Fred DePhillips was a candidate for Town Clerk.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Robert Miller of Morton celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

The Orleans County History Dept. owns some early issues of the paper. From the July 5, 1878 issue we learn that:

  • Dr. A.G. Henry and Miss Mary F. French were married in Sacramento.
  • A tramp narrowly escaped lynching for assaulting a young girl.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Odell of Kendall and their ten intelligent looking children had their photograph taken by Amos Belden.
  • Mr. M. Hoffman of Kendall Mills was recovering from typhoid fever.

Advertisements from 1878

The eventual demise of the Holley Standard was part of a national trend. As readers gravitated to television news, rural newspapers faced increasing competition for advertising dollars, their main source of income.

Fortunately, access to this wealth of local information is still available. It is on microfilm at the Hoag Library in Albion, at SUNY Brockport, from the Town of Clarendon historian and at the Murray-Holley Museum.

Holley school budget would increase taxes 1.95%, maintain programs

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 April 2022 at 9:30 am

HOLLEY – The Board of Education has approved a $26,982,000 proposed budget for 2022-23 that would increase taxes by 1.95 percent.

The budget goes before voters on May 17. The budget is below the district’s allowable tax cap of 2.793 percent, said Sharon Zacher, the district’s assistant superintendent for business.

“We kept this the same as last year with hopes that a moderate increase will not burden our taxpayers while assisting the district with an increase in expenses,” Zacher said.

The budget maintains all current educational programs and represents a 3.18 percent budget-to-budget increase. Zacher said contractual obligations and inflation of supplies and materials are the main reasons for the budget going up.

The vote on May 17 includes a proposition to establish a capital improvements reserve fund at a maximum of $6 million. Zacher said the fund is needed as the district begins to prepare for the next capital improvement project.

Holley currently receives state aid of 92.4 for capital projects. The remaining 7.6 percent is the local share.

“The capital reserve would allow us to pick up that difference without a tax impact on our community,” Zacher said.

Proposition 3 is to authorize purchasing new school buses as a maximum of $334,000.

Proposition 4 would be authorizing the district to collect $194,966 for Community Free Library, which is up from the $189,287 for 2021-22.

There are two candidates for two seats on the Board of Education. The deadline for submitting petitions to be a candidate was Monday, April 18. Tracy Van Ameron and Anne Winkley, current board members, are running unopposed for three-year terms on the BOE.

Sweater donated 12 years ago at Holley center remains symbol of hope

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 16 April 2022 at 7:50 am

Provided photo: Ashley Farrell’s granddaughter Annalaya wears the little blue sweater Farrell passed on to her. The sweater has special meaning for Farrell, who was living in Holley 12 years ago and found it at the Community Center.

HOLLEY – This is a tale of a little blue sweater, a tiny piece of clothing which had the power to lift and encourage one individual.

It’s story began at a very bad time in the life of Ashley Farrell, who decided recently to write about it and post it on Facebook. Nyla Gaylord of Clarendon, event coordinator and fundraiser for United Way of Orleans County, saw the post and forwarded it to Renee Hungerford, director of Community Action of Orleans and Genesee.

Hungerford asked Farrell to share her story.

Farrell, who now lives in Batavia, was down and out 12 years ago and frequently visited the Holley Community Center for food and donations of clothing.

“I went to the Center two or three times a week for lunch so I didn’t have to use up the little food I had in my house,” Farrell said.

On one of those days, someone had dropped off a box of clothing, and Farrell started to go through it. In it she found a little blue sweater.

“I grabbed it,” Farrell said. “My daughter Riley was 3 and she wore the sweater for two years, until she outgrew it. Then I passed it on to my niece Haidynn, who also wore it for three years. Then it came back to me. I had four daughters by then and the two youngest, Jaidynn and Jetta, wore it.”

The sweater was still in great condition, Farrell said. Through all the play dates, spilled juice, trips and tumbles, the blue sweater remained resilient. Many walks to the park and always the extra layer of clothing at school on those chilly days, the blue sweater became priceless. But its  life didn’t end there.

Farrell now has a granddaughter Annalaya, 2, who is going to get the sweater.

It’s only a small piece of clothing, but it’s sentimental value is overwhelming to Farrell.

“I found it when I needed help the most,” Farrell said. “It’s become a big piece of my family’s history. I look back now on the day I was rummaging through that box at the Community Center and I thank God, I thank the universe and all the powers you can’t see, but most importantly I thank myself.”

Hungerford stressed how a simple donation of that box of clothing impacted one family’s live.

“Everyone who donates or volunteers in any way has no idea how it can change somebody’s life,” she said.

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Ashley Farrell holds the little blue sweater someone donated to the Holley Community Center 12 years ago. She has passed on from her children to her niece, and now her granddaughter will get to wear it.

“The person who gave it away probably thought they were getting rid of clutter, but had no idea what it would mean to my family,” Farrell said.

Farrell often came to the Community Center for help in the past. She not only was fed there and found clothing for her family, but coordinator Debbie Rothmund used to help her out with money for gas and Annette Finch, recently retired director of Emergency Services, has given Farrell gas cards. When Farrell got a job at the Le Roy Village Green, she got her scrubs at the Community Center’s thrift room.

“Our mission is to help people become self sufficient and Ashley is a shining example,” Hungerford said.

Farrell said it has come full circle.

“I’ve been in homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters, and this little blue sweater reminds me of a time I don’t want to go back to,” Farrell said. “But it also reminds me of how far I’ve come. I’m on my feet now and any way I can help someone, I try to do it. I always try to inspire people and urge them not to give up. Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”

She recalls how people would look at her when she was asking for food and clothing.

“Don’t let your situation define you,” Farrell said. “If I can do it, you can do it.”

Rothmund said anyone who needs a support system is welcome at the Holley Community Center.

“I tell people, ‘I promise you in six months you’ll feel differently if you just keep going,’” she said.

Hungerford said Community Action needs volunteers, and she hopes people will take from this story how important it is to volunteer and donate.

From left, Renee Hungerford, director of Community Action; Debbie Rothmund, coordinator of the Holley Community Center; and Katrina Chaffee, director of Community Services and Reporting at Community Action, look at the little blue sweater Ashley Farrell found there 12 years ago. The sweater has become a symbol of hope and inspiration for Farrell’s family.

Holley senior citizens invited to breakfast at school on May 12

Posted 13 April 2022 at 9:00 pm

Provided photo: A Holley student helps serve the senior citizens attending the 2019 Senior Citizen Breakfast.

Press Release, Holley Central School

HOLLEY – Please join us for the annual Senior Citizen Appreciation Breakfast on Thursday, May 12 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the Holley Elementary Café.

The Holley Central School District would like to thank the senior citizens in our community for all they’ve done to support our students and schools over the years, and for all they continue to do.

You must be age 55 or older and a resident of the district to attend. RSVP by Monday, May 2 to Connie Nenni in the District Office at 638-6316, ext. 2003.

Transportation is available! Please let us know when you RSVP if you need a ride.