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Lyndonville hires Kendall principal as new director of curriculum and instruction

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 July 2019 at 10:38 am

LYNDONVILLE – The school district this morning appointed Sharon Smith, the Kendall Elementary School principal, to serve as Lyndonville’s director of instruction and student services.

Smith was approved in a four-year contract that begins Aug. 12. She fills a vacancy created by the retirement of Anne Marie Holland, who was the district’s director of special programs, pupil personnel services, student support services and staff development.

The position has been modified with a bigger focus on curriculum, said Jason Smith, the district superintendent.

The position pays $125,000 a year.

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Lyndonville appoints new athletic director

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 July 2019 at 10:15 am

2 board members who supported Dillenbeck say they will help new AD, James Zeliff

Photos by Tom Rivers: A supporter for Lee Dillenbeck, Lyndonville’s athletic director the past 18 years, displays a sign in favor of him continuing in the role this morning outside the school. The Board of Education voted 5-2 to appoint James Zeliff to the role.

LYNDONVILLE – The board of education in a 5-2 vote this morning appointed James Zeliff to be the district’s new athletic director.

The appointment follows an uproar in the community with many people, including teachers and coaches, wanting Lee Dillenbeck to continue in the position. Dillenbeck was the athletic director for 18 years.

Zeliff will continue in his role as dean of students for the district. His part-time role as AD comes with a $3,000 stipend. He also is allowed two periods a day to work in the position.

“I think Jimmy is a wonderful person,” said board member Vern Fonda. “I think he can do the job. But if the recommendation is not for Lee, I can’t support it.”

Fonda and Steve Vann both didn’t vote for Zeliff, stating their support for Dillenbeck to stay in the position.

However, Fonda and Vann said they will back Zeliff now that he has been appointed and will try to help him succeed in the position.

Many of the Lyndonville coaches stated at a board meeting on July 1 they wanted Dillenbeck to stay. Fonda urged them to keep coaching and work with the Lyndonville student athletes.

“Let’s please not microscope and micromanage him,” Fonda said about Zeliff. “He’s going to need all the help we can give him.”

Zeliff has a Master of Science in Education, with a major in Physical Education and a major track of Athletic Administration from Brockport College. Additionally, he has coached volleyball, football, wrestling and track at the modified, junior varsity and varsity levels in Lyndonville and other districts. Zeliff has previous management/leadership experience at the Iroquois Job Corps.

About 75 people attended the meeting today that started at 7 a.m. in the school library. Many were angry when the vote passed for Zeliff, with Dillenbeck ousted from the position.

Residents wanted to hear reasons from board members for why Dillenbeck wasn’t reappointed, despite Jason Smith, the district superintendent, twice stated his support for Dillenbeck at a June 10 meeting and then on July 1.

About 75 people attended the 7 a.m. meeting in the school library.

Smith has interviewed Zeliff and the superintendent recommended him to the board before today’s meeting.

“Mr. Zeliff demonstrates the commitment, passion, knowledge and enthusiasm to be successful at this position,” Smith said in a statement. “We look forward to working with him moving forward in providing our students with exceptional and well-rounded athletic experiences, including both shared and district-based programs.”

Audience members continued to press for answers on why Dillenbeck didn’t have the support of the board.

Sue Hrovat, a board member who backed Zeliff, said Dillenbeck didn’t show enough backing for merged sports programs with Medina.

That drew an angry response from the crowd, with many saying Dillenbeck has been instrumental in establishing and maintaining that partnership with Medina.

Hrovat said Lyndonville has a declining student population and the merged programs with Medina is the best option for Lyndonville to maintain programs.

There was a push by some community to no longer have a merged boys varsity soccer with Medina. The board ultimately decided to keep the merged program and is now doing four-year commitments instead of looking at the shared sports each year with Medina.

“We are losing people in droves,” Hrovat said. “We need a vision for the future. I respect Lee. He is a good man. He did not buy into the merger.”

Vern Fonda, a DEC conservation officer, speaks by video conference this morning. He wanted Dillenbeck to stay as athletic director but said he would support James Zeliff in the position. Board of Education members Kristin Nicholson and Harold Suhr voted for Zeliff.

Board President Ted Lewis several times had to insist on order from the crowd this morning, which shouted angry responses.

Vann, one of the two board members who favored keeping Dillenbeck, faulted the board for how it communicating its displeasure with Dillenbeck. Vann said Dillenbeck was meeting the expectations set out by the superintendent and board for the athletic program.

But Vann said the majority of the board believes Zeliff is a better candidate for the position.

“I don’t feel that way,” Vann said in support of Dillenbeck.

Vann offered that Zeliff “is a great guy” and Vann will now give him his “full support.”

Fonda said the board didn’t follow the “correct path” for picking a new athletic director. Fonda said if there  was unhappiness with Dillenbeck, the board should have given him a chance to address it. Fonda said the district also should have planned for a mentor to help Zeliff adjust to the new role with the district.

Fonda also urged the community to now rally around Zeliff in the position.

“Jimmy is enthusiastic. He is selfless,” Fonda said. “I feel terrible for Jimmy now. He is going to be under a magnifying glass. It is not fair to him.”

Lewis, the board president, issued a statement in support of Zeliff as athletic director.

“We are excited to work with James to continue expanding athletic opportunities for Lyndonville students including supporting our merged programs,” Lewis said. “We have confidence that James will help improve athletic performance of our teams and help to further develop our coaches.”

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IJC will continue record outflows to lower lake level

Posted 8 July 2019 at 2:43 pm

Provided photo: David Nichols sent in this photo looking out at Lake Ontario on July 4 from his cottage on the shore of Lyndonville.

Press Release, International Joint Commission

At its meeting on July 5, the Board for the International Joint Commission reached consensus to maintain the current outflow, which is 200 m3/s (7,060 cfs) higher than regulation Plan 2014 and the maximum safe navigation limit that would normally apply at these lake levels. The Seaway Corporations have implemented mitigation measures to allow safe navigation to continue at these higher flows, which will continue to lower Lake Ontario levels and provide relief to those impacted by this year’s high water event.

The Board deliberated several outflow strategies above 10,400 m3/s and considered both the additional decline on Lake Ontario and impacts to other stakeholders. These scenarios included incremental increases all the way up to maximum outflow capacity of the St. Lawrence River. At present, any additional increase in flow would require the Seaway Corporations to shut down shipping on the St. Lawrence River between St. Lambert and Cape Vincent.

The economic costs for disrupting the supply chain of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence economy is estimated at $50 million per day. Additional impacts were also expected for recreational boating and downstream shoreline property owners, including resumed and additional flooding in areas of the lower St. Lawrence River just upstream of Montreal. Additional environmental impacts were also expected due to sustained high flows, including impacts to fish, wildlife and waterfowl habitat and breeding grounds.

Outflows at maximum system capacity for 4 weeks would hasten the recovery of Lake Ontario in the short-term; however, when compared to maintaining the current record high outflow strategy both options converge to within 1 inch by Dec. 31.

This is because the amount of water that can be physically passed down the St. Lawrence River is directly related to the level of Lake Ontario. As the lake declines, so does maximum river capacity. Maintaining the current major deviation strategy will provide comparable benefit by the end of the calendar year, without creating $1.4 billion in economic damages.

The Board has also agreed to maintain the flow at 10,400 m3/s (367,270 cfs) for a longer duration than in 2017, until water levels on Lake Ontario drop more than 30 cm (1 foot) and fall below 75.50 m (247.7 ft). Current forecasts suggest this may occur around mid-August, depending on water supplies.

In addition, the Board has notified the Seaway Corporations that it will continue to set outflows at approximately 200 m3/s (7,060 cubic feet per second) above the normal safe navigation flow limit into the fall to continue lowering Lake Ontario levels at an accelerated rate. The Seaway Corporations will maintain mitigation measures to ensure safe navigation can continue during this period.

These enhanced outflow measures will help to provide both immediate and longer-term relief to all impacted upstream shoreline residents and property owners due to the high water levels. The intent of the Board is to lower water levels as much as possible prior to winter. It should be noted that the Board can only control outflows and not the water supplies to Lake Ontario. While the higher outflows will accelerate the rate of lowering that would otherwise occur, it is not possible, this year or any other, to lower Lake Ontario to a predetermined “safe” water level by the onset of winter.

The International Joint Commission has asked the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management (GLAM) Committee to expedite their ongoing review of Plan 2014. The Board will release a statement later this week describing the extents of the GLAM assessment.

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Lyndonville’s Class of 1979 holds 40th reunion

Staff Reports Posted 7 July 2019 at 6:16 pm

Provided photo

ALBION – The Lyndonville Central School Class of 1979 held their 40th Class Reunion on Friday, July 5, with many of the graduating class attending. It was held at Tillman’s Village Inn in Albion.

The evening was emceed by Student Council President Michael Polite. Speakers for the evening included Dawn (Dix) Fraser, Class of 1979 president, and Salutatorian Brenda (Woodworth) Lindsay.

The re-crowning of Homecoming King Larry Bakeman and Queen Dawn (Dix) Fraser was complete with crown and tiara.  Guests from out of town came from Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia. Many of the class members still remain in Orleans County or surrounding areas of the state.  The next reunion is scheduled in five years for 2024.

Pictured, from left, in front row, include: Brenda (Woodworth) Lindsay, Kathy Kage, Cathy (Whipple) LaBrecque, Dolores (Petrie) Armbrust, Renee (Eddy) Broadwell, Judy (Eddy) Preedom, Tammy (Foss) Toma and Ann (Barry) Kay.

Standing: Dawn (Bale) Marciszewski, Dawn (Dix) Fraser, Tim Feldman, Marcia (Eberle) Merritt, Bruce Sentiff, Pam Turner, Steve Fraser, Candy (Osborne) Jones, Kenny Knight, Delbert Young, Mike Polite, Larry Bakeman, Alfred (Buddy) Bickle, Jackie (Dennis) Petrie, Jim Robinson, Steve Wilklow, Dave Hydock and Dan Rutherford.

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Bellavia’s whirlwind continues as he opens Stock Exchange, throws out first pitch at Mets game

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 July 2019 at 2:50 pm

Photos from New York Mets

NEW YORK – David Bellavia winds up to toss out the first pitch on Wednesday during the game between the New York Mets and New York Yankees.

Bellavia, a Lyndonville graduate and local resident, received the Medal of Honor on June 25 from President Donald Trump during a ceremony at the White House. Bellavia was recognized for his actions on Nov. 10, 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq. He led an infantry squad clearing houses of insurgents.

Bellavia had a busy Wednesday, when he rang the opening bell for the New York Stock Exchange.

After his appearance at the Stock Exchange, Bellavia headed to Citi Field to throw out the first pitch.

He is pictured with, from left, New York Mets players Todd Frazier, Jacob deGrom and Dominic Smith.

Mets catcher Wilson Ramos poses with Bellavia after the ceremonial first pitch.

The Mets posted the photos on their social media accounts with the hashtag: “🇺🇸#BiggerThanBaseball.”

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In parade, group seeks to shatter the stigma of drug addiction

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 July 2019 at 2:04 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – The local organization Orleans – Recovery Hope Begins Here carried portraits of people who have died from drug addiction.

Tami Ashton, right, and her mother Linda Fisk both carried the photo of Tami’s daughter, Christina, who died of an overdose at age 34 on June 27, 2016. Christina’s daughter, Hayley Farewell, carried the banner for Orleans – Recovery Hope Begins Here during the Lyndonville parade on Thursday.

“Our goal was to open peoples’ eyes,” Tami Ashton said today. “That’s the message that it can affect anybody. It crosses all races, income levels. Addiction does not discriminate.”

The group carried the photos of about 30 people who have died from addiction, including 14 in Orleans County.

Ashton said many people clapped or touched their hearts and thanked the group for bringing awareness to the issue, while other people expressed disproval for the group’s message during the Fourth of July parade.

Ashton participated with a group from Monroe County in the Lilac Festival parade in May, where they carried portraits of people who died from addiction. Ashton shared that experience with the local Orleans – Recovery Hope group and they wanted to do it for the Lyndonville parade.

Some parents or siblings of people who died of addiction asked that their loved ones’ portraits be in the parade, while the family didn’t think they could emotionally march in the event.

Wayne Litchfield, an Orleans – Recovery Hope volunteer, holds the portrait of the late Maya Colombo of Webster.

Gates to Recovery, which is based on Buffalo Road in Rochester, brought its vehicle to the parade which includes images of people who have died from addiction. S.O.A.R.S. (Substance Overdose Awareness Recovery Services) in Rochester also joined in the Lyndonville parade.

The Gates to Recovery van included the messages: “It’s in my family, too” and “Recovery is possible.”

“Thank you S.O.A.R.S, Gates to Recovery and everyone that walked & pitched in,” Orleans – Recovery Hope posted on its Facebook page after the parade. “We will continue to work to shatter the stigma of this horrendous disease, addiction.

“We will continue to shout from the mountain tops that addiction has no boundaries. We will continue to help anyone that needs it, whether you are a family member, someone in active use, in recovery or lost a loved one to this horrendous disease. We are here for you.”

Kim Lockwood, center in back, holds the portrait of the late Gabby Dusett. Lockwood said participating in the parade was the most powerful thing she has ever done. She wants to help change the way people look at addiction. The portrait of Mark Kinsey is carried at left. The Clarendon resident died at age 35 of an overdose on June 1.

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Parade is patriotic celebration in Lyndonville

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 July 2019 at 9:50 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – People lined Main Street for the annual Fourth of July parade in Lyndonville, which lasted more than an hour an included many fire trucks, floats for businesses and organizations, and marching bands.It was another hot parade with temperatures near 90 degrees.

Girl Scouts in Troop 82040 in Lyndonville wore red, white and blue and had a display of local soldiers as part of their float.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley wore a patriotic shirt while passing out candy on Main Street.

Lyndonville had a big turnout from the band for the parade that started at LynOaken Farms at Platten and Alps roads.

Greg Dugan, left, and the Knights of Columbus recognized the different branches of the military.

A member of Save Ontario Shores was decked out in red, white and blue. She took a selfie during the parade.

Brandon and Stephanie Scholes promoted an axe-throwing business that is expected to open next month or September by Dubby’s Wood Fired.

Wayne Teaven served as the parade emcee. Tom Mazerbo of Stafford served as the parade emcee and DJ for about 25 years. He passed away on March 1 at age 67. Heaven acknowledged Mazerbo’s long tenure of service. Teaven also commended the late Richard Pucher for his years of work on the Fourth of July festival in Lyndonville.

Michael Haight of Albion brought a top dragster to the parade. He races it at Empire Dragway in Leicester. The veicle can go 0 to 137 in 5 seconds. Haight calls it “Raisin Hell” in honor of his mother, who loved California raisins.

The Lyndonville Fire Department had a display of three soldiers from Lyndonville, including two who won the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award.

David Bellavia, a Lyndonville graduate, received the Medal of Honor on June 25 from President Donald Trump during a ceremony at the White House. Bellavia was recognized for his actions on Nov. 10, 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq. He led an infantry squad clearing houses of insurgents.

Bellavia had a busy Wednesday, when he rang the opening bell for the New York Stock Exchange and later threw out the first pitch during the Mets game against the New York Yankees at Citi Field.

Forrest Vosler of Lyndonville was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War II. He was a technical sergeant serving as a radio operator-air gunner on a heavy bombardment aircraft in a mission over Bremen, Germany, on December 20, 1943.

Vosler was severely injured in the mission but kept firing his guns and declined to take first-aid treatment. The radio equipment had been rendered inoperative during the battle, and when the pilot announced that he would have to ditch, although unable to see and working entirely by touch, Vosler finally got the set operating and sent out distress signals despite several lapses into unconsciousness, according to his Medal of Honor citation.

Sgt. Trevor T. Cook of Lyndonville was 25 when he was killed in a helicopter crash during a training exercise on July 6, 2011. Cook joined the Marines and served two tours overseas. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton in California and was a skilled crew chief and marksman.

Pudgie’s Veggies has fun on the float during the parade.

The Bogan and Tuttle Funeral Home debuted a carriage hearse the funeral home recently acquired, and then repainted and refurbished.

Earl Schmidt, director of the Orleans County Veterans Service Agency, passes out flags to people along the parade route.

Diane Thurber of the Oak Orchard Assembly of God Church in Medina helps promote the church’s Vacation Bible School from July 7-10. The church’s display included a banner of David Bellavia and also highlighted veteran David Riviere who is in the back of the pickup truck.

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Another crowd-pleasing fireworks show at Lyndonville

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 July 2019 at 8:17 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – It was another spectacular fireworks show to cap the Fourth of July celebration at Lyndonville last night.

Young Explosives was cheered by the crowd on the school lawn many times during a nearly 40-minute show that ended with a crowd-pleasing finale that lit up the sky.

A big crowd of people brought blankets and lawn chairs to watch the show behind the school on the athletic fields.

Before the fireworks, Aniyahe Schurr, 8, of Lockport had fun with sparklers.

David Davey Jr., 5, of Lockport joined his sister Aniyahe with some sparkler fun. Their mother said the Lyndonville fireworks are worth the drive from Lockport.

The fireworks show is one of the largest in Western New York. Last it was only topped by the fireworks displays in the cities of Rochester and Tonawanda.

Skylyn Johnson, 7, of Lockport also had fun with sparklers before the big fireworks display.

The Who Dats once again played before the fireworks. They normally perform in the school parking, but with a school construction project, they moved their performance site next to the softball field. The band includes Aaron Robinson on drums, lead singer Lonnie Froman, John Borello on guitar, Ed Hilfiker on guitar, and Marty Hobbs on guitar.

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Lyndonville welcomes big crowd for the Fourth

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 July 2019 at 4:34 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Today is Lyndonville’s day to shine as the community welcomes an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 people for the 45thannual Fourth of July celebration sponsored by the Lyndonville Lions Club.

It was about 90 degrees during the parade, which prompted this group from the Middleport Fire Department to spray water on people along the parade route.

A group waves from a fire truck for the Hartland Fire Department. The parade at noon lasted more than an hour.

This kid tries to get close to some of the parade participants, which were generously tossing candy and treats.

James Wolfe helps serve potatoes as part of the chicken barbecue dinners prepared by the Lyndonville Lions Club. James, a Lyndonville native, came home to help with the meals. His father Roger is the Yates highway superintendent. James’ sister, Melissa Stinolis, also helped with the meals.

Bruce Schmidt, the Lions Club president, helps serve the chicken dinners. Lions Club members from other clubs helped the Lyndonville Lions with the big meal today.

Two people on bicycles pedal hard on Platten Road when the rain came at about 2 p.m. It was just a passing storm.

The fireworks will be later at 10 p.m.

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48 celebrated graduation from Lyndonville on Friday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 July 2019 at 5:43 pm

Provided photos

LYNDOVILLE – Natalie Ostrowski, valedictorian of the Class of 2019 in Lyndonville, accepts her diploma from Jason Smith, the district superintendent, during last Friday’s commencement ceremony at the school’s Stroyan Auditorium. (Courtesy of Lyndonville Central School)

The class included 48 graduates. They are pictured during the commencement program. (Courtesy of Aimee Chaffee)

These five students were all in the AVID program, which helps prepare students for college and a career.  They include from left: Natalie Ostrowski, Carlie Russo, Jonathon Scroth, Hannah Despard and Joyce Stamp. (Courtesy of Aimee Chaffee, the AVID coordinator)

Noah Heinsler accepts a  Frank B. Housel Jr. Scholarship from Darren Wilson, president of Lyndonville Area Foundation, which manages the scholarship. (Courtesy of school district)

These three are all smiles after graduation. They include Emalee Houseman, Carlie Russo and Grace Hayes. (Courtesy of school district)

Tamara Huzair, the class salutatorian, accepts one of the Frank B. Housel Jr. Scholarships from Darren Wilson, president of Lyndonville Area Foundation. (Courtesy of Daniel Hochstine and Leylah Hochstine)

These five graduates are pictured before the commencement program. (Courtesy of school district)

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