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Kendall principal one of superintendent finalists at Geneseo

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 April 2019 at 2:53 pm

File photo: Sharon Smith, Kendall Elementary School principal, makes cotton candy on Family Night at the elementary school in April 2017.

GENESEO – Sharon Smith, Kendall Elementary School principal, is one of three finalists to be the next superintendent at Geneseo Central School.

The other finalists include Cindy Flowers, and Brian D. Schmitt, Ed.D. Flowers presently serves as the Special Education administrator for Geneseo Central School. Schmitt is the district superintendent of Genesee Valley Central School District in Belmont.

The finalists will visit the district on April 23, 24 and 30. Smith will visit on April 23, Flowers on April 24 and Schmitt on April 30. Meet and greet forums, which are open to the public, will be held each day at Geneseo Middle-High School in the Media Center from 4:15 – 5 p.m., Geneseo school district announced today.

Final interviews with stakeholder groups and the BOE will follow the meet and greet forums. The anticipated start date for the new superintendent is July 1. The new superintendent will replace Timothy Hayes, who is retiring.

Smith is currently the principal at Kendall Elementary. She also serves as the UPK Director, ESL Coordinator and grants writer and administrator. She’s held this position since 2012.

Some of her initiatives include changes in literacy and mathematics instruction with alignment to Common Core standards. This resulted in moving the student proficiency rate from 32 to 61.8 percent in 2018.

Previously, Smith served as Pre-K to 12 Education and Data Coordinator at Frontier Central School District from 2011 until 2012. Her experience includes four years as a school building administrator at both Royalton-Hartland and Newfane school districts.

In 1984, Smith began her work in education as a sixth grade Language Arts teacher at Perry Elementary School. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from SUNY Geneseo and a Master of Education degree from SUNY Buffalo. Smith earned a School District Administrator Certification from Canisius College in Buffalo. She has two permanent New York Certifications, as a Pre-K-6 School Teacher and a School District Administrator.

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Kendall Carnival will be earlier this year, June 20-22

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 April 2019 at 4:07 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers: Youngsters enjoy one of the rides at the Kendall Carnival in this photo from July 2014.

KENDALL – The Kendall Firemen’s Carnival, an annual summer tradition in Kendall since the 1940s, is moving this year’s event up two weeks due to the schedule for the company that provides the rides/midway.

The carnival is typically three days from Thursday through Saturday, the first or second week of July. This year it will be June 20-22.

The big parade also is typically on Friday. The parade this year will be on a Thursday. (Kendall’s commencement program is that Friday, June 21.)

About 50 volunteers help the Kendall Fire Department keep the annual carnival going. Many other fire departments in Western New York have ceased doing carnivals.

The Kendall carnival helps the fire department pay for the ambulance, and building maintenance, utilities and upkeep.

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Kendall Boy Scouts working on large war memorial at the town park

Provided photos: This model shows the design of a war memorial proposed for the Kendall Town Park on Kendall Road. The first phase is complete on the project with the rest expected to be finished by this summer.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 March 2019 at 10:45 am

KENDALL – Four Boy Scouts in Kendall’s Troop 94 are working together to build a war memorial at the town park. The four Scouts are each in charge of a different phase of the memorial for their Eagle Scout projects.

Ryan Barrett, Noah Rath, Jayden Pieniaszek and Brian Shaw have joined forces in the project. This is the first joint Eagle Scout project that Scoutmaster Ken Spohr is aware of. He praised the Scouts for working together on an ambitious effort. They have already given public presentations to about a dozen groups, with more planned.

“They’re reaching out to everyone in the community,” Spohr said. “It’s a very big ask that they’ve chosen to do, but they are well on their way to getting it done.”

These Kendall Scouts are leading the effort to build the war memorial. They include, from left: Jayden Pieniaszek, Brian Shaw, Noah Rath and Ryan Barrett.

The memorial includes a brick wall that will be 4 feet tall and stretch nearly 40 feet long. There will be concrete medallions on the wall for the five branches of the military and six plaques about different wars where Kendall residents fought, including the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War 1, World War II, the Korean War and Persian Gulf War.

Memorial bricks will be placed along a sidewalk at the memorial. The bricks are available for $100 each.

Ryan Barrett and Jayden Pieniaszek presented the idea of the memorial to the Troop. They both have family who have served in the military and they wanted to town to recognize the community’s veterans. Noah Rath and Brian Shaw also wanted to be part of the project.

“They sketched it out,” Spohr said about the Scouts’ plans for the memorial. “It was amazing to watch. “These four are always looking for ways to help their community.”

They have divvied up the project into four phases.

Ryan Barrett is in charge of the first phase, which is complete and includes putting in the foundation for the wall, a stone memorial and three flag poles.

Jayden Pieniaszek is leading the second phase which includes construction of the brick wall, which is 36 feet long, 3 ½ feet wide and 4 feet tall.

Noah Rath is heading up phase three which includes the medallions for each five branches of military. Rath will also lead the efforts to have two 25-foot flag poles and get the electricity set up so the memorial and sidewalk can be lighted up at night.

Brian Shaw is coordinating phase four which includes final grading and planting cedar trees behind the memorial, which will provide a buffer for the neighbors and also enhance the site. Shaw will also manage getting the six plaques on the memorial for the different wars where Kendall soldiers served.

Spohr said organizations and residents have joined the effort to build the memorial with in-kind services and financial donations.

For more information about the project, check the Facebook page for the Kendall War Memorial, or email

Checks to support the project can be made out to Kendall Troop 94, and sent to c/o Ken Spohr 1928 Moscow Rd. Hamlin, NY 14464.

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Kendall restaurant teams up with Cobblestone Museum in fundraiser

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 22 March 2019 at 12:24 pm

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Anna Migitskiy, who manages Lure’s Restaurant at Bald Eagle Marina with her husband Andre, chats with Doug Farley, director of the Cobblestone Museum. On Thursday, Lure’s donated a portion of their sales to the Cobblestone.

KENDALL – Lure’s, a new restaurant which opened late last year at Bald Eagle Marina on Lake Ontario, hosted a fundraiser Thursday to benefit the Cobblestone Museum at Childs.

Cobblestone director Doug Farley came up with the idea and approached Anna and Andre Migitskiy, managers of Lure’s.

Farley first learned about Lure’s when he went there with Leadership Orleans in 2018.

“I fell in love with the place,” Farley said. “I have done this concept of fundraising successfully at other places, and asked if Lure’s would be interested. I was eager to offer this to Cobblestone country, too.”

Farley said he saw the huge investment the ownership of Lure’s was making in this region and thought they were a rising star. He not only appreciates their willingness to donate to the Cobblestone Museum, but hopes the exposure will help the restaurant, as well.

“The museum depends on a lot of different income streams to continue its work, like memberships, grants or successful on-site events, and also, as demonstrated on Thursday, through partnering with community organizations to achieve a great result than either can achieve on its own,” Farley said. “A raising tide lifts all boats.”

Lure’s Restaurant at Bald Eagle Marina in Kendall is located in this structure overlooking Lake Ontario, where a fundraiser took place Thursday for the Cobblestone Museum at Childs.

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Kendall teachers, local law enforcement play charity hoops game

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 March 2019 at 8:16 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

KENDALL – Morgan Marcello, a Kendall social studies and special education teacher, reacts after scoring 2 points during Thursday night’s basketball game at Kendall, with teachers playing local law enforcement officers.

The teachers fell behind early, made the game close, but the law enforcement came away with the victory. Proceeds from the game go to the Kendall Class of 2022.

The teams joined for a group picture in the Kendall gym at halftime. Local law enforcement earlier this school year also played a charity volleyball game against Lyndonville faculty.

Brandon Annable, a sergeant with the Albion Police Department, passes the ball during the game. Mark Driesel, left, and Mike Yaskulski are on defense for Kendall.

Justin Ryan, a junior at Kendall (wearing the Lakers jersey), cheers on the Kendall team. He was on his feet after one of the teachers made a 3-pointer.

Mike Yaskulski, supervisor of the Buildings and Grounds for Kendall, applies the defense in the game versus local law enforcement.

Sheriff Randy Bower coached the law enforcement team. Bower used to be the coach of the Holley girls varsity team.

Jeff Cole, a Kendall graduate, is now a deputy with the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office. He played with the law enforcement team.

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Kendall puts on most ambitious show yet with The Addams Family

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 March 2019 at 8:32 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

KENDALL – Ryan Barrett stars as Gomez and Olivia Reed is his wife Morticia in Kendall’s production of The Addams Family. Hanna Hofstra is their daughter, Wednesday. Morticia is upset that Wednesday is wearing a bright yellow dress, a break from the color black. Wednesday also is engaged, which further troubles her mother.

Kendall will perform the show 7 p.m. today, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday at Kendall Jr./Sr. High School Auditorium.

Kody Roese is Fester, who declares his love for the Moon. The Ancestors join this song.

The drama department, Studio K, has been attempting more ambitious shows in recent years and The Addams Family is the most challenging so far, said Michael Billotti, the school’s drama director the past eight years. He also is an English teacher.

Last year Kendall did Shrek the Musical, which was preceded by Once Upon a Mattress and Seussical the Musical.

“We’ve building up to shows like this the last few years,” Billotti said.

Several seniors have been with the program since seventh grade. Ryan Barrett, who plays Gomez, says the group has a strong bond and appreciates the program has been trying more difficult shows.

Hunter Menze, who portrays Lurch, also is a senior. He said the cast was excited to to an edgy show like The Addams Family with lots of dark humor.

“It definitely pushes the envelope,” he said.

Sara Whalen is Grandma and Seth Pray is Pugsley, her grandson. Grandma is one of the more zany characters in the musical.

The Beinekes head to the Addams’ family home for dinner. Joseph Nettles plays Lucas, left, who is in love with Wednesday. Anna Oakley is Lucas’s mother, Alice, and Brian Shaw is his father, Mal.

Wednesday and Lucas urge their parents to just act normal for the dinner, but tensions mount between the families.

Wednesday, Hanna Hofstra, urges her family to act normal for a simple dinner. She sings, “One Normal Night.”

The families gather for dinner and Gomez announces they will play “The Game,” where each person at the table confesses something. That leads to the group singing, “Full Disclosure.”

Alice, Anna Oakley, accidentally drinks a potion resulting in brutal honesty and declares that her marriage is devoid of passion.

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Holley, Kendall plan to take the Polar Plunge on Sunday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 February 2019 at 12:06 pm

Photo from Holley Central School: A polar bear mascot tries to rally support for a team from Holley, including students, staff and superintendent Brian Bartalo. Holley has raised $1,295 so far towards its goal of $2,000.

Holley and Kendall schools are both sending groups to the Polar Plunge this Sunday in Lake Ontario. They will be at Ontario Beach Park in Charlotte at noon to jump into the cold water.

Holley and Kendall have participated in the Plunge for several years. The event typically raises more than $200,000 for the Special Olympics.

Holley and Kendall are both trying to raise $2,000 for the Special Olympics. Kendall has raised $550 so far towards its goal. (Click here for more on Kendall’s fundraising page.) Holley is up to $1,295. (Click here for more on Holley’s fundraising page.)

Last year Holley students and their teacher and Student Council Advisor Jim Di Sessa raised just under $1,100. That passed the group’s fundraising goal of $1,000. Holley has doubled its goal this year.

Last year Kendall raised $1,875 at the Polar Plunge.

File photo by Tom Rivers: This photo from Feb. 12, 2017 shows a group of people jumping into Lake Ontario for the Polar Plunge in Charlotte at Ontario Beach Park.

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After tragedy last year, Kendall making sure every home has CO detector

Photos by Tom Rivers: Kendall firefighters are pictured on Saturday morning before some members of the Kendall Fire Department visited local houses, installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Pictured from left include Sue Maslyn, Rich Breslawski, John Becker, Steve Giverson, Fire Chief Bryan Hardenbrook and Paul Jennings.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 February 2019 at 11:23 am

Steve Giverson, coordinator of the program for the Fire Department, holds one of the new smoke detectors.

KENDALL – The Kendall Fire Department, Kendall Lions Club and American Red Cross have teamed to make sure every house in Kendall that needs smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have them.

The groups have worked together and will be putting new detectors in about 200 homes in Kendall. They are pushing for the new detectors after a mother and her son died on April 18 from carbon monoxide poisoning. Joan C. Gilman, 38, and her son, Richard J. Gilman Jr., 14, lived in an a duplex at 2245 Center Rd.

The Red Cross has donated 600 smoke detectors, while the Kendall Lions Club gave $5,000 towards the purchase of the 200 CO detectors. The Kendall Fire Department also paid towards the CO detectors which cost $31 each. Rochester Gas & Electric also is contributing $750.

Kendall firefighters have been out three weekends so far this year, going to homes and installing the detectors. They expect they will be out three or four more weekends to get the job done.

Long-time Kendall firefighters John Becker said the death of the mother and son was preventable if there had been a working CO detector.

“We were like how the hell did that happen?” Becker said. The deaths last year were the first time he could recall a carbon monoxide death in the community.

The fire department and other community volunteers are installing these carbon monoxide detectors.

However, he stressed carbon monoxide is a lethal gas that can kill someone quickly. CO is often called “the silent killer” because it is colorless, odorless and tasteless. If the early signs of CO poisoning are ignored, a person may lose consciousness and be unable to escape the danger.

The Kendall Fire Department and Lions Club did an outreach campaign and realized many people didn’t have detectors.

The have been signing up people at community events and through information sent to parents through the school district.

Visiting the homes and installing the detectors also has been a good chance to go over fire prevention and urge residents to have a fire escape plan, Becker said.

Firefighters typically install one CO detector per residence and may put in three or more smoke detectors. It’s important to have them in spots where air circulates. Smoke detectors are up high on the ceiling while the CO detectors should be on a wall, about a foot from the ceiling.

The detectors will be good for about a decade. Firefighters are putting a date on them for when they were installed. They also urge the residents to dust the detectors every two months or so.

Steve Giverson, a Kendall firefighter, has been organizing the effort, and the installation plan. He calls the residents to schedule the installation.

Besides the 200 homes getting new detectors, Giverson said many other residents have replaced detectors on their own. He said residents of all ages, from young families to senior citizens, have signed up for the new detectors.

Giverson said there may be some additional detectors if Kendall residents missed the signup. They are encouraged to call the Fire Department at leave a message at (585) 659-8082.

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Chicken barbecue today in Kendall will benefit teacher’s wife fighting cancer

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 February 2019 at 11:06 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

KENDALL – Charlie D’Agostino, left, and his brother Phil carry chicken halves to be cooked today for the Kendall Lions Club barbecue. Their father, Phil, is the chairman for the event.

About 1,000 meals will be served from noon to 2 p.m. at the Kendall United Methodist Church, 1808 Kendall Rd.

The Lions Club has been doing the chicken barbecue the Saturday before the Super Bowl since 2004. The proceeds are usually given to a local family facing a significant health issue.

Today’s dinner will benefit Teresa Leicht and her family. Teresa has been battling cancer. Her husband Peter is a physical education teacher at Kendall Jr.-Sr. High School and has made a big impact on the lives of Kendall students in his teaching and in his roles as coach and athletic director, the Kendall Lions Club said.

The Lions Club members were up early getting the chicken ready for the barbecue.

The Lions Club has sold 960 presale tickets for $10 each and will have about 40 meals available without presale tickets. The meal also includes potatoes, cole slaw and rolls.

Wendy Becker, front, and Janet Herman empty a bag of potatoes into the sink. Larry Rowles also is washing potatoes. Rowles is a long-time Kendall Lions Club member who now lives in Canandaigua.

He likes the camaraderie with the other members, and doing the projects that help the community.

“It’s a great service organization,” he said.

Kludt Brothers Farm in Kendall donated 350 pounds of cabbage for the cole slaw. Tony Cammarata also donated the trays for the takeouts.

Dorrie Hardenbrook makes the sauce for the chicken and Carol D’Agostino makes the juice for the cole slaw.

“It’s quite a town effort,” Phil D’Agostino, the event chairman, said.

He expects the event will raise about $3,000 for the Leicht family.

Jeff Miller spreads out charcoal before the chickens would be cooked over the fire.

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DOT says $5.8 million paving complete of Parkway in Hamlin, Kendall

Posted 11 January 2019 at 2:47 pm

Press Release, NYS Department of Transportation

KENDALL – The State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas today announced that work is complete on a $5.8 million project that repaved and rehabilitated 7.2 miles of the Lake Ontario State Parkway between Route 19 in Hamlin, Monroe County, and Route 237 in Kendall, Orleans County.

The work improved rideability and enhanced safety along the four-lane Parkway, which provides access to Hamlin Beach State Park, a major summer tourist attraction.

“Improvements and upgraded pavement quality along this section of the Lake Ontario State Parkway will smooth the way for area travelers for years to come,” Karas said.  “Pavement rehabilitation projects like this are just one of many ways Governor Cuomo and the State Department of Transportation are working to move the Finger Lakes Forward.”

The project laid new pavement over the Parkway concrete and rehabilitated ramps at several interchanges. It also added new wrong-way signage, pavement markings and striping. In addition, the highway shoulders were narrowed from 12 feet to 8 feet in width.

Consistent with Governor Cuomo’s Drivers First initiative, the project was designed to minimize impacts to the traveling public. The project started in May 2018 and the Parkway remained open to traffic throughout construction, with at least one lane of traffic maintained in each direction. On and off ramps to the interchanges at Hamlin Beach State Park were kept open between Memorial Day and Labor Day to limit impacts to the summer tourism season. Access to the park was maintained throughout the project.

Senator Joe Robach said, “The completion of the Lake Ontario State Parkway road improvement project is great news for our region and the people who use this highway every day. While we are still a few months away from camping and enjoying the beautiful beaches at Hamlin State Park, these improvements will benefit the thousands of tourists who visit every year. I was pleased to help advocate for these needed repairs and improvements that will improve safety for commuters and pedestrians in the area.”

Senator Rob Ortt said, “The completed paving of over seven miles of the parkway is a welcome development for residents of the area and visitors alike. I hope this is just one of several significant improvements we are able to make on the Parkway.  Not only will the rehabilitation of this parkway help improve driver safety for those who utilize this road daily, but improvements in access to Hamlin Beach will make viewing our beautiful lakeshore easier for tourists that wish to experience some of the beauty our region has to offer.”

Assemblyman Steve Hawley said, “I am extremely proud to announce that such a large stretch of the Lake Ontario State Parkway has been repaved and rehabilitated. This is a crucial scenic highway in Western New York that provides an avenue for sightseeing, fishing, tourism and travel to the Midwest and Canada. I would like to thank local officials, residents and state lawmakers for their help in delivering this long-awaited project and I look forward to smooth and safe travel for years to come.”

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, “Investments in infrastructure projects not only modernize our local roads and bridges, but also help spur economic development. Building a strong, efficient infrastructure network is incredibly important as we seek to attract new investment and more jobs to Monroe County, and the Lake Ontario State Parkway project is no exception. Monroe County is proud to be investing $33 million in road and bridge projects in 2019 and we thank the New York State Department of Transportation for sharing our commitment with this community.”

Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson said, “We are pleased to see some significant progress on the Lake Ontario State Parkway and we are hopeful that this is the start of an ongoing effort by the DOT to preserve and maintain an important piece of Orleans County’s transportation system.”

The stretch of Lake Ontario State Parkway west of Route 98 in the town of Carlton, Orleans County, has closed to vehicular traffic until spring. A detour is in place for motorists to exit at Route 98 and take Route 18 to continue west.

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