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Kendall Lions Club celebrate Earth Day with trees, trash pickup

Posted 22 April 2018 at 5:19 pm

Photos courtesy of Kendall Lions Club

KENDALL – The Kendall Lions Club celebrated Earth Day with two events. On Friday, members of the Lions Club presented the 53 fourth-graders in Kendall Elementary School with their own tree for planting.

The presentation of trees enhances the ecology lessons and activities done in the classroom. Before receiving their trees, Superintendent and Kendall Lion Julie Christensen spoke with students about Earth Day and the work of the Kendall Lions. The Lions Club has been participating in the 4th grade foresters program since 2012.

The Kendall Lions on Saturday sponsored the Kendall Community Environmental Cleanup Day, a long-standing tradition in Kendall. About 40 Lions, Leos, Scouts and community members joined forces to clean up the roadsides in the Town of Kendall. Kendall Lions provide safety vests to participants as well as refreshments following.

Thank you to the Town of Kendall Highway Department for their support in this endeavor and Lions Ken DeRoller and Eric Maxon for chairing the event.

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Service for Kendall mother, son will be Saturday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 April 2018 at 8:22 am

Provided photo: Richard “RJ” Gilman Jr. and his mother Joan are shown together in this photo.

The First Baptist Church in Albion will host calling hours and a funeral on Saturday (April 28) for Joan Gilman and her son Richard “RJ” Gilman Jr.

The mother and son were found deceased on Wednesday in a bedroom at their home on Center Road. The electricity had been turned off recently.

They likely died from carbon monoxide poisoning from fumes from a generator or a heater that used propane gas, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office said. The office is continuing to investigate.

Calling hours are from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the church at the corner of West Park and Liberty streets in Albion. A service will follow at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Christopher Mitchell Funeral Homes is handling arrangements for Joan and RJ Gilman. An obituary about Joan describes her as an avid reader, who loved to go bowling and was someone that all the children in the family could come to if they needed a reliable confidant. She was truly devoted to her family, especially to her son.

RJ, a ninth-grader at Kendall, was in the school chorus and performed in “Seussical the Musical” at Kendall.  He enjoyed fishing, video games, hanging with his cousins and collecting Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic The Gathering cards.

“RJ had a fabulous, twisted sense of humor!” according to his obituary.

A GoFundMe has been established to assist the family. Click here for more information.

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Woodworking business owner will serve as Kendall commencement speaker on June 22

Photo by Tom Rivers: Karl Driesel is pictured in December 2016 at Orleans Millworks, a business he opened in Kendall in July 2016.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 April 2018 at 3:41 pm

KENDALL – The Class of 2018 will hear from a Kendall graduate who was working as a college professor when he decided to devote himself fully to running a business in his hometown.

Karl Driesel, 32, opened Orleans Millworks in July 2016. He was working out of his home until committing to building a new 5,884-square-foot shop and showroom at 1750 Kendall Rd. He also was commuting to Morrisville State College, making a 2 ½-hour trip two to three times a week. He taught in the wood science department and showed students how to make cabinets. Driesel graduated from Morrisville State College, earning degrees in wood products technology and business management with a concentration in entrepreneurship. 

Driesel has been chosen by the Senior Class to give the commencement address on June 22. The Board of Education also gave its approval on Wednesday to have Driesel address students at graduation.

Driesel grew up in the community and was an Eagle Scout. He runs the sound for many school events and also lets students use his parking lot to prepare their floats during the homecoming parade.

“It’s nice to have a hometown guy,” said Nadine Hanlon, president of the Board of Education.

Carol D’Agostino, the high school principal, said Driesel is well known among the students.

“He loves Kendall and we love him,” she told the Board of Education.

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Proposed $14.5 million capital project at Kendall will be on ballot May 15

Staff Reports Posted 19 April 2018 at 1:59 pm

KENDALL – When district residents go to the polls on may 15 to vote on the school budget and a candidate for the Board of Education, they will also decide the fate of a proposed $14.5 million capital project.

Voting will be from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the elementary school gym.

Kendall school leaders say they already have the local share for the work in a capital reserve fund so there wouldn’t be a local tax increase if the project is approved.

The project follows a series of other improvements at the district campus in recent years.

The project would include addressing health, safety and code issues as well as preservation of infrastructure and enhancement of the instructional environment.

The scope of the capital project includes:

• Proposed improvements to the Elementary School include improving ventilation on the second floor of the quad and auditorium; renovation of the multi-purpose room for technology, agriculture and consumer science programs; replacement of the original gym bleachers and the gym floor, renovation of locker rooms, and a re-design of the cafeteria and serving line.

• Improvements proposed for the Jr./Sr. High School include renovation of the art, technology and music rooms which would address accessibility, storage and ventilation; replacement of gym floors and bleachers; renovation of the girls’ locker room; renovation of music practice rooms; renovation o the lavatory in the arts hall; update of the public access system; ventilation in the office and gym; improving light and sound and providing fly space for set productions in the auditorium; addition of a vestibule at the entrance to the art and music wing.

• Site improvements could include lighting and traffic flow at the Elementary School front loop; improvement of traffic flow at the Jr./Sr. High School bus loop; drainage in the athletic fields, addition of bathrooms and storage by the track and sidewalks from the High School cafe to the tennis courts.

• The bus garage is in need of roof repairs, an update to the fuel system and outside lighting as well as improvements to the water line. The old bus garage behind the Elementary School is in need of replacement windows and doors, Julie Christensen, district superintendent, said at a January community meeting about the project.

If approved by district voters, the construction could begin in 2019 and be completed by 2020.

Detailed plans and design work will not begin until the project is approved, Christensen said.

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Kendall has grief counselors at school after death of student

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 April 2018 at 10:40 am

KENDALL – The school district has trauma and grief counselors available today and Friday following the death of Richard J. Gilman Jr., 14, and his mother, Joan C. Gilman. They were discovered Wednesday evening in an upstairs bedroom, deceased after a propane gas leak at 2245 Center Rd.

The Sheriff’s Office said that electrical power had been turned off at the duplex a few days ago and a portable generator was being used along with some propane powered appliances, Undersheriff Chris Bourke said.

“It is with great sadness that I share the news of the sudden death of one of our students, Richard (RJ) Gilman Jr., and his mother, Joan,” Julie Christensen, superintendent of Kendall Central School, said in a statement on the district website. “RJ was a ninth grade student at Kendall Junior/Senior High School (JSHS). He displayed an infectious sense of humor and an endearing personality.”

Counselors will be at the school today and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. If people need support after these hours, they are encouraged to contact the Orleans County Mental Health Care and Crisis Hotline at 585-344-4400.

“Each one of us copes with loss and grief differently,” Christensen said.

The district also has posted strategies to cope with loss (click here).

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Kendall’s proposed school budget includes school resource officer

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 April 2018 at 8:16 am

District won’t be increasing taxes in 2018-19

KENDALL – The Board of Education approved a $17,367,477 school budget on Wednesday that will go before voters on May 15.

The budget reduces spending and doesn’t increase taxes. It also includes $100,000 for a school resource officer. Kendall will keep its security staff and wants to have a deputy from the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office devoted to the school.

Julie Christensen, the district superintendent, said Kendall is seeking $50,000 in state funding to help offset the cost of the resource officer. If the district doesn’t receive the grant, Christensen said school officials still plan to have a deputy working full-time out of the district. Kendall will be the second district in Orleans County with a full-time resource officer. Medina contracts with the Medina Police Department to have an officer assigned to the school district.

Overall spending in the Kendall budget is down from $17,415,783 in 2017-18. The tax levy, what the district collects in taxes, will remain the same at $4,715,842. However, the tax rate will decrease from $17.04 to $17.02 per $1,000 of assessed property due to a boost in the tax base.

Kendall’s spending is down because it has less costs with BOCES next year, and also will be spending less in transportation.

In addition to the school resource officer, Kendall is adding a Lego team in the FIRST Lego League (there will be an information meeting May 10 at 6 p.m.). The Lego teams use robotics to program a robot to do tasks. Kendall also has added a trap shooting team this spring.

Christensen and the Board of Education will go over the budget during a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. on May 2 at the Kendall Jr/Sr High School Library.

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Cancer survivor from Kendall finishes Boston Marathon

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 April 2018 at 7:49 am

Jim Baker battled freezing rain, hypothermia to finish in 3:45

Photos courtesy of Jim Baker: Jim Baker, 55, of Kendall is pictured near the start of the Boston Marathon. He toured the city with his family over the weekend before the prestigious race on Monday.

BOSTON – Jim Baker’s second try running the Boston Marathon felt like redemption, and euphoria despite 26.2 miles in cold rain and wind.

Baker, 55, of Kendall ran the prestigious marathon on Monday and finished in 3 hours, 45 minutes.

“What a great feeling,” he said Tuesday evening. “I really enjoyed it this time.”

He ran the race two years ago and was a minute shy of 5 hours. That day it was hot and humid and Baker said he was in distress quickly into the race and had to struggle to get to the finish line.

The soreness and the slower-than-expected time two years was more than a tough day of running. Baker found his times didn’t rebound in races after that marathon. He went to the doctor and was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Baker had surgery to remove a plum-size tumor. He started chemotherapy in June 2016. After seven months of treatment, his doctors declared him cancer-free on Jan. 13, 2017.

Baker kept running during chemo. It wasn’t his usual 8-minute mile pace. It was much slower, but he kept going, fighting nausea.

When he completed his treatments, he set a goal to qualify again for Boston and have a better experience there on race day.

Last Sept. 17, when he was 54, he finished the Rochester marathon in 3 hours, 35 minutes. That was 5 minutes faster than he needed to qualify for Boston. Baker has been training all winter, with some long runs at 18 to 20 miles.

He was ready for Boston. But Monday the weather was horrible, with hard rain throughout the race and temperatures in the 30s. There were giant puddles throughout the course that soaked sneakers.

Jim Baker was in good spirits at mile 18 of the Boston Marathon despite running in the freezing cold.

Baker felt good, really good during the first half of the race. He reached the halfway point in 1:45:05, which had him on pace for a 3:30 marathon. But the cold weather took a toll. At the 15-mile mark Baker started to cramp from the hypothermia. Many runners had to leave the course for medical treatment.

But Baker pushed onward.

The crowd still came out despite the onslaught of rain, and they were loud along the course. Baker said they lifted his spirits and helped keep him going. His wife Stacey and their daughter Megan also were there cheering him on. His son Kyle and many of his friends followed his progress on-line. The Boston Marathon posts updates on a runner’s times about every 3 miles. Baker was slowing down a little after the halfway mark but was still posting a good time, much faster than the race in 2016.

Before the final right turn, Baker could hear the roar of the crowd.

“It was so cool,” he said. “I have to give the crowd credit.”

He crossed the finish line in 3:45:25, an 8:36 pace per mile.

He was drenched when it was over and suffering from hypothermia. He didn’t stop shaking until an hour and half after crossing the finish line.

He met up with many of his running friends from the Rochester area when it was over. Baker said he has made many good buddies since he started running 11 years ago when he was 44. He works as a chemist for Kodak. He would go for walks during lunch breaks at work more than a decade ago, but Baker said that walking didn’t do anything to chip away at his extra pounds. He initially couldn’t run more than 200 yards without stopping. But he didn’t give up.

Conquering 2 miles while running was a milestone. He ran his first race at a 10K (6.2 miles) and enjoyed the energy and people at the races. He signed up for more races and joined the Bagel Bunch, a running group in Greece.

Jim Baker enjoys a post-race celebration with Jason McElwain, another Rochester area runner. The two often went on training runs together as part of the Bagel Bunch. McElwain is one of the Rochester’s top long distance runners. He ran Boston in 3:10:28.

He wants to lower his time at Boston next year. He would like to run the race when the weather is ideal, about 50 degrees without punishing rain. Two years ago it was way too hot, and Monday was a freezing deluge.

“It’s been either end of the extremes,” he said. “I’d like a 50-degree day and I’d like to do a 3:25.”

Despite the difficult conditions on Monday, Baker said he will cherish the memory.

“The first time I did it, it was a disaster,” he said about the race two years ago. “But I will remember this one because I had so much fun with it. I just want to improve on it.”

Baker’s upcoming running calendar includes the Shoreline Half Marathon on July 14 in Hamlin, the Metro 10 race in Albion (a 10-miler on Aug. 18) and the Rochester marathon in September.

Baker is an Albion native. He has lost 40 pounds since he started running. He credits the sport with saving his life. Running made him more in tune with his body. When he was running slower than his usual pace two years ago, he went to the doctor and was diagnosed with cancer. He had no other warning signs. He had no loss of appetite.

He was able to have the tumor removed and completed chemo before the cancer spread.

He wasn’t the only local finisher at Boston. Roger Bolton of Albion finished in 3:20:48 and Evan Dumrese, a Scottsville resident who grew up in Albion, completed the course in 3:25:33. Mike Conn, an Albion native and graduate of the Class of 1985, finished the Boston Marathon in 3:31:32. Conn currently lives in Rochester.

Any other local finishers are welcome to send a note to

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Kendall, Yates will share $812,450 in state funds for flood protection

Posted 17 April 2018 at 12:52 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers: This photo from last December shows waves bearing down on a new breakwall along Lomond Shores in Kendall.

Press Release, Gov. Cuomo’s Office

Two towns in Orleans County have been approved for state funding for flood relief projects.

The Town of Yates has been awarded $414,500 in Community Development Block Grant Lake Ontario Flood Relief Program funds to make repairs and reconstruct approximately 700 feet of Lake Ontario shoreline that was damaged as a result of the 2017 Lake Ontario flood event at various locations.

The Town of Kendall has been awarded $397,950 in Lake Ontario Flood Relief Program funds to mitigate future shoreline erosion along Lake Ontario as well as stabilize the existing shoreline with the use of stone rip rap and other geotextile material.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Monday the funding of $2.9 million in Lake Ontario Flood Relief funds to local governments in Wayne, Orleans, Niagara, Cayuga, and Jefferson counties. The projects are dedicated to restoration resiliency and recovery efforts following last year’s flooding and to protect the community from the damage of future storms. The state has committed $95 million to recovery efforts to support homeowners, small businesses, and community infrastructure, Cuomo said.

“The Lake Ontario shoreline experienced historic and damaging flooding last year, and we continue to stand with New Yorkers whose communities are still recovering,” Cuomo said. “This funding supports our mission to build back stronger and smarter and help every impacted town and resident get back on their feet.”

The window for applications for the recovery program has closed. The deadline for homeowner applications for assistance in relief and recovery was September 29, 2017. The deadline for municipality applications was December 29, 2017 and the deadline for small businesses was December 31, 2017. Homeowners wishing to appeal a determination regarding eligibility should email

“Our state made a promise and a commitment to the residents, small businesses, and local governments of Orleans, Monroe and Niagara counties that we would help them rebuild,” Senator Robert G. Ortt said on Monday. “Today, we’re taking an important step. Significant work remains, especially for recovering homeowners, but these funds will help municipalities rebuild critical infrastructure damaged in last year’s flooding and upgrade moving forward. We’ll continue to advocate for relief funding until residents, businesses, and municipalities receive the resources that they need to rebuild.”

“This support represents an important step in the state’s ongoing commitment to shouldering the burden of recovery brought on by last year’s devastating flooding,” said Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson. “With the lake already high, we are thankful to Governor Cuomo for his leadership in delivering these funds, which will help our communities reinforce their shorelines so that we are prepared for the next flood.”

Besides Orleans County, the funding approved includes:

• Wayne County $1 million

The Town of Wolcott has been awarded $1,000,000 in Lake Ontario Flood Relief Program funds to make construct an approximately 200-foot revetment along the Lake Ontario shoreline that will mitigate future flood damage and protect the most critical Town infrastructure.

• Niagara County: $558,440

Niagara County has been awarded $199,865 in Lake Ontario Flood Relief CDBG Program funds to reimburse themselves for necessary emergency repairs and expenses incurred as a result of the 2017 Lake Ontario flood event. The expenses incurred included funds for shoreline restoration and reconstruction, from Youngstown to the Niagara County line, as well as funds related to materials and labor.

The Village of Wilson has been awarded $10,263 in Lake Ontario Flood Relief CDBG Program funds to reimburse themselves for necessary emergency repairs and expenses incurred, including the purchase of a new trash pump for the Village’s wastewater treatment plant, as a result of the 2017 Lake Ontario flood event.

The Town of Porter has been awarded $348,312 in Lake Ontario Flood Relief Program funds to mitigate future shoreline erosion along the Town’s Fort Niagara Beach as well as stabilize up to 300-feet of the existing shoreline with the construction of stone rip-rap and rubble.

• Cayuga County: $400,000

The Village of Fair Haven has been awarded $400,000 in Lake Ontario Flood Relief CDBG Program funds to make repairs to village infrastructure that was damaged as a result of the 2017 Lake Ontario flood event at various locations. The Town will reconstruct protective seawalls surrounding several public parks along the Lake Ontario shoreline and will also make necessary infrastructure repairs around and adjacent to the shoreline.

• Jefferson County: $215,468

The Town of Lyme has been awarded $215,468 in Lake Ontario Flood Relief CDBG Program funds to both reimburse themselves for necessary emergency repairs and expenses incurred as a result of the 2017 Lake Ontario flood event and to make future repairs to the Town’s public infrastructure. The expenses incurred included funds related to materials and labor. The future repairs include the reconstruction of roads and culverts.

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DOT details work on Parkway paving that will include part of Kendall

Posted 17 April 2018 at 12:31 pm

Press Release, NYS Department of Transportation

New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas today announced that construction has begun on a $5.2 million paving project to rehabilitate nearly 30 lane miles of the Lake Ontario State Parkway between Route 19 in Hamlin, Monroe County and Route 237 in Kendall, Orleans County.

The project will significantly improve the existing pavement conditions through a multi-course resurfacing in both eastbound and westbound lanes. Work on the project is beginning nearly one month earlier than anticipated and will minimize the impact on tourism drawn by nearby Hamlin Beach State Park.

“Thanks to the commitment of Governor Cuomo, the State Department of Transportation continues to make smart investments in our local infrastructure,” said Acting Commissioner Karas. “This significant rehabilitation work along Lake Ontario will enhance safety and make it easier for the traveling public to utilize this asset in the summer months and beyond.”

Consistent with Governor Cuomo’s Drivers First initiative, the project has been designed to minimize impacts to the traveling public. The Lake Ontario State Parkway will remain open to traffic throughout construction, with at least one lane of traffic maintained in each direction. Short-term ramp closures will take place during paving of the on and off-ramps at the Route 237, Route 272 and Hamlin Beach interchanges. These ramps will be kept open Friday through Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

The eastbound ramp at Hamlin Beach State Park will close in early May for approximately 7 days for concrete repairs to the bridge deck over Yanty Creek.

Work will consist of overlaying the existing deteriorating concrete pavement, the installation of new wrong-way signs, upgraded pavement markings and striping, along with narrowing the existing shoulder of the Parkway from 12 feet to 8 feet in width.

The pavement’s newly enhanced rideability will prove beneficial for motorists travelling to and from businesses in Monroe and Orleans counties, along with tourists visiting nearby Hamlin Beach State Park during the summer months. Access to the park will be maintained throughout the duration of the project.

“Today’s news that Department of Transportation has begun rehabilitation construction work on the Lake Ontario State Parkway from Hamlin to Kendall is certainly a relief to those living in the adjacent communities and those who use the roadway on a daily basis,” said State Senator Joe Robach. “I have consistently heard from my constituents just how needed and important this work is and I am glad that the state has made a commitment to ensure the entirety of the Parkway is a modern and safe thoroughfare for all who use it.”

“The counties of Monroe and Orleans are home to some of the most beautiful scenery in our state, but unfortunately the state of the Lake Ontario Parkway developed notoriety as an aggravating stretch for motorists and residents,” said State Sen. Robert Ortt. “This significant investment will repair 30 miles of the Parkway and provide residents with safer and more manageable commutes. It will also allow visitors to experience the beauty that Lake Ontario has to offer with minimal congestion as the summer travel season commences.”

Assemblyman Steve Hawley: “This scenic byway is crucial to local tourism, travel and recreation as a main artery through Western New York that hosts numerous campers, travelers and fishermen. I am proud to be a part of this project’s success, and I look forward to smoother and safer travel in the near future.”

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo: “I’m excited to see improvements being made to Lake Ontario State Parkway, especially along this stretch. The Parkway improves accessibility in northwestern Monroe County and enhances our efforts to attract and retain jobs here in our community. This project, in concert with Monroe County’s previously announced $32 million investment in infrastructure, will help support jobs, strengthen our economy and enhance our world-class quality of life.”

Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson: “I am very pleased to be seeing some progress on this long-standing issue. My hope is that this is just the beginning of a larger effort to restore the Lake Ontario State Parkway to a condition fitting the beautiful scenic drive along Lake Ontario.”

During the paving project, detours will be posted for all ramp closures at Hamlin Beach Park. Motorists will be informed of construction work and detours using variable message boards and temporary work zone traffic control signs. Work will continue through the end of summer with a targeted completion date of early fall.

Motorists are reminded that fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. In accordance with the Work Zone Safety Act of 2005, convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual’s driver’s license.

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Parkway paving starts on Monday

Photo courtesy of Ken DeRoller: The state Department of Transportation has a sign by the Lake Ontario State Parkway, telling drivers that road work will start on Monday. That is a welcome sign for users of the Parkway who have been pushing for improvements for several years.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 April 2018 at 11:37 am

$5.2 million project will address ‘worst section’ of road

KENDALL – The long-awaited paving of the Lake Ontario State Parkway along a rough section in Kendall and Hamlin will start on Monday.

The $5.2 million project includes both the eastern and western lanes of the Parkway for 7 miles from Route 19 to 2 miles west of the Kendall town line.

“We’re very happy about it,” Ken DeRoller, Orleans County legislator, said at this morning Orleans Economic Development Agency meeting. “This is the worst section of the road.”

DeRoller, a Kendall resident, has been one of the loudest voices in recent years seeking upgrades to the Parkway.

The state last year spent about $9 million paving a section of the Parkway from Route 19 east to Payne Beach. Now the paving will stretch into Orleans County.

The bumpy road has deterred traffic, especially people with campers, local officials say. In March 2016, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley delivered to the Governor’s Office nearly 2,000 petitions signed by local residents asking for state support to better repair and maintain the highway.

“This is humungous,” Carol D’Agostino, Kendall High School principal and EDA board member, said about the paving work. “That road is horrible. People have damaged their cars.”

DeRoller said the improved Parkway should draw more visitors to Orleans County, especially to the upgraded Bald Eagle Marina, which expects to open a restaurant next month near one of the Parkway exits.

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