Lyndonville/Yates

Yates officials share details about upcoming special election on land purchase for expanded park

The Town of Yates has posted this map on its website showing 153.3 acres of land the town wants to acquire to expand its park near Lake Ontario.

Posted 13 May 2024 at 5:26 pm

Press Release, Yates Town Board

LYNDONVILLE – The Town of Yates will be holding a special election to decide whether or not the Town Board should be authorized to purchase NYS Electric and Gas (NYSEG) land to expand the Yates Town Park on Lake Ontario.

The vote will take place on Thursday, June 20, from noon to 8 p.m., at the Yates Town Hall, 8 S. Main St.

The ballot referendum will read: “Utilizing grant funds, shall the Town of Yates be authorized to purchase 153.3 acres from NYSEG for $700,000 to expand the Yates Town Park?  YES or NO”

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to expand the town park as it was originally envisioned 25 years ago,” said Russ Martino, the former town supervisor responsible for obtaining the original 6-acres of the current park.

He emphasized that from the beginning the planning efforts have called for a much larger park.

“Our original 2002 Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) and our 2003 Western Orleans Comprehensive Plan (WOCP) strongly supported a 120-acre park,” he said.

According to Jim Simon, the current town supervisor, the updated LWRP is at the NYS Department of State for final review, and it includes the Yates Town Park expansion goal.  “In addition to the LWRP, our 2019 update to the WOCP, which included a survey of town residents and two public hearings, features a primary goal of expanding the Yates Town Park,” he said.

Only Town of Yates registered voters will be allowed to vote in the special election. The registration deadline with Orleans County Board of Elections is May 28.  Absentee ballot applications must be requested from the Yates Town Clerk no later than May 28, and absentee ballots must be postmarked to the Yates Town Clerk no later than June 20.

There will be two public meetings open to all and attended by town board members to discuss the proposal and to answer questions: Thursday, June 6, at 7 p.m. at the Yates Town Hall; and Saturday, June 15, at 10 a.m. at the Yates Town Park (north terminus of Morrison Road).

Details regarding the proposal – including an informational flyer, the final draft of the purchase agreement, and a map of the proposed expanded park – can be found at the town website: townofyates.org.

One of the important conditions in the purchase agreement is that the town has two years to obtain grant funding for the $700,000 purchase. If the town does not find grant funding for the purchase, the agreement is void and the town’s escrow will be returned.

“Even if we get the grant funding, does that mean there is no impact on the Yates’ taxpayers? No,” Simon said. “There will be some costs for environmental review of the land, for town insurance, and for upkeep.”

Many ideas have been suggested about what to do with the additional land, but according to Simon, two things are certain – that it will always remain parkland by virtue of the purchase agreement, and that any other development of the land (like a nature trail) would be based on the recommendations to the Town Board by a committee comprised of town staff and residents (to be formed should the voters approve the proposal).

Another factor town voters will need to weigh is whether or not the decrease in tax levy from NYSEG will be outweighed by the positive economic activities, the enhanced recreational opportunities, and the improved health benefits of people visiting an expanded park.

The Yates Town Board believes that increasing free public access to the wildlife, forest and natural Lake Ontario shoreline is worth the investment.

Supervisor Simon encourages people to attend the public forums, to email him (jamesjsimon11@gmail.com), or to call him (716-946-2075) to learn more about this proposal.

“This is not so much about us as it is about our children and grandchildren – it is a chance to preserve one of the last stretches of open space on Lake Ontario for all our current and future residents to enjoy,” he said.

Yates public referendum set for June 20 on land purchase by town park

Photos by Tom Rivers: This trio – from left Bill Jurinich, Steve Colon and Paul Lauricella – circulated a petition signed by about 200 town residents to force a public vote about a land purchase by the town park. The town will ask residents whether it supports using grant funds to acquire 153 acres for $700,000 from NYSEG.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 May 2024 at 2:18 pm

LYNDONVILLE – The Yates Town Board set June 20 as the day for Town of Yates registered voters to say whether the town can acquire 153.3 acres from NYSEG for $700,000. The referendum states the town will use grant funds for the acquisition of a land next to the 6-acre town park on Morrison Road.

The Town Board on March 14 voted to buy 153.3 acres of land from NYSEG for $700,000. Town officials envision the site to stay undeveloped with walking trails.

But town residents Paul Lauricella, Bill Jurinich and Steve Colon circulated petitions wanting the matter to go to a public vote. On April 11 they turned in petitions signed by 200 residents.

Town Supervisor Jim Simon said the petitions and signatures met the threshold to force a public vote. On Thursday he commended the effort of the local citizens to bring the issue to a referendum.

The public vote will be from noon to 8 p.m. at the Town Hall. Simon and the board will have public information meetings about why the board wants to acquire the land for pu lic use. Those meetings will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 6 at the Town Hall and then 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 15 at the town park.

“This is about our kids and grandkids and an opportunity that won’t come around again,” Simon said during Thursday’s board meeting.

The land owned by NYSEG was at one time eyed for a power plant. That project ended up at Somerset.

Town Supervisor Jim Simon is shown near the shore of Lake Ontario at the Yates Town Park in August 2022. He would like to expand public access to the lakefront.

Simon said the land purchase is contingent on grant funds covering the purchase. He acknowedged there will be some ongoing expense for the town with some maintenance and insurance.

The sale would also take about $25,000 in property taxes – town, county, school and fire district – off the tax rolls.

One resident, Bob DeMallie, said he doesn’t see the need for the town to own the NYSEG property.

“I’m opposed to it because I think the cost will be too much,” DeMallie told the Town Board about the ongoing maintenance.

He also thinks the location is isolated and could attract crime.

“I think it will bring out an unwanted dimension of people who will do who knows what,” DeMallie said.

Simon said the land has long been eyed by the town for recreation near the waterfront. It was included in a local waterfront development plan from 2002, Simon said, and a more recent town comprehensive plan.

“We didn’t willy nilly pull this out of a hat,” Simon said.

Paul Lauricella, a Yates resident and the Conservative Party chairman for the county, said he spent about three weeks talking to residents, and collecting signatures for the petition. He worries about the ongoing cost to taxpayers.

“This is pure legacy-building at the taxpayers’ expense,” Lauricella said after the meeting on Thursday evening. “The public has hand enough of politicans taking tax-paying properties off of the tax rolls. The bottom line is this: your taxes will go up to maintain this forever.”

Lyndonville extends deadline for BOE candidates after 1 drops out

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 May 2024 at 11:47 am

LYNDONVILLE – The school district has extended the deadline for candidates to be on the ballot for the Board of Education election on May 21.

Six people already submitted petitions, but one of the candidates notified the district on Tuesday he would have to withdraw. Matt Heinsler won’t appear on the ballot for the BOE election.

Five other candidates remain, including Megan Bruning, Patrick Whipple and incumbents Ted Lewis, Susan Hrovat and Steve Vann.

When a candidate withdraws his or her candidacy, New York State Education Law requires the district to extend the time for filing nominating petitions, said Sharon Smith, the district superintendent.

Lyndonville will accept nominating petitions for BOE candidates through Tuesday, May 14, at 5 p.m.

All candidates for BOE need to submit petitions signed by at least 25 qualified voters of the district. The signees need to state their residence, and the name and residence of the candidate.

Petition packets may be obtained from District Clerk Tanya Marek from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A “Meet the Candidates Night” is scheduled for May 13. Candidates who would like to participate in that event must submit a completed petition no later than 3 p.m. on May 13.

The annual budget vote and BOE election will be from noon to 8 p.m. on May 21 at the Stroyan Auditorium Foyer. The three candidates receiving the highest vote totals will be elected to three-year terms commencing July 1 and ending on June 30, 2027.

Lyndonville teachers’ union announces support for 3 candidates for BOE

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 May 2024 at 8:16 am

Provided photo: Lyndonville Teachers Association President Shane Price, left, is shown with candidates endorsed by the LTA, including Megan Bruning, Patrick Whipple and Matthew Heinsler. LTA Treasurer Tammy Mallon is at right.

LYNDONVILLE – The Lyndonville Teachers Association has announced its support for three candidates for the Board of Education who are challenging incumbents in the May 21 election.

The teachers’ union is backing Megan Bruning, Patrick Whipple and Matthew Heinsler.

The incumbents seeking re-election include Board President Ted Lewis and members Susan Hrovat and Steve Vann.

Lyndonville Teachers Association issued a statement, saying it endorses Bruning, Whipple, and Heinsler “who are pro-teacher and are willing to collaborate with teachers, staff, students, parents and the community toward overall student and district success.”

The LTA said the three endorsed candidates “are committed to an atmosphere of teamwork where all constituents play a role in decision making and achievement of the district vision for the present and the future.”

The Lyndonville district newsletter includes statements from all six candidates.

Megan Bruning works full-time and two kids in the district. She works as a technical writer for Baxter Healthcare in Medina.

“I represent so many families in this district that battle the balance of work, life, school, finances, parenting and all the other dramas that come with being alive,” she states in the school newsletter. “I have a perspective that I feel is not currently represented at the district level.”

Bruning would like to see more efficient communication from the school district, rather than parents “digging through backpacks to find crumpled up papers of school events.”

She wants to see Board meeting agendas, minutes and highlights more conveniently available and accessible to all of the community.

“There are some frustrations within the district,” she said. “Although, I may not have the magic to fix it all, I have a perspective and experience that can help us drive toward improvement.”

Matthew Heinsler is a squadron commander for the U.S. Air Force. He said he embraces the core values of “Integrity First, Service Before Self and excellence in all I do.”

He writes in the newsletter he wants to serve the people of the school district, and help create a better future for the district.

Patrick Whipple, PhD, is director of Professional Learning Services at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. He also is a board member for the Lyndonville Area Foundation and a member of the Lyndonville Music Boosters.

Whipple wants more transparency, clear communication and “an unwavering dedication to continuous improvement.”

“Our educational landscape is ever-changing, and we must adapt and innovate to meet the evolving needs of our students, and prepare them for the challenges of the future,” Whipple said. “This means regularly evaluating our policies, practices, and outcomes, and being open to change when it serves the greater good.”

Hrovat, Vann and Lewis said they are looking to reduce the cost to the school district for health insurance.

“Together, we continue to learn about and find ways to improve the current system, which has locked the school into an expensive and difficult to change insurance plan,” Hrovat, a senior state parole officer, said in a message to voters in the school newsletter.

If the district’s health insurance plan was modified, Hrovat said it could enhance the current insurance and “save the community extensively, despite pushback from major players.”

Lewis has been the board president for the past 11 years and has been on the board for 15 years. He is retired as an Environmental Research Scientist and Associate Faculty member in the at SUNY Brockport.

Lewis said he is proud of the high-quality education at Lyndonville, including the district’s ability to continue in-person classes when some restrictions were eased in the Covid pandemic. Many districts had a hybrid schedule with students in-person some days and at home on others. Lyndonville was able to offer in-person all five days of the week for everyone during the 2020-21 school year.

“This achievement took strong local leadership from our Board of Education and Administrative team, as well as commitment and sacrifice from our teachers and staff,” Lewis said. “This is a shining example of what small town education with strong local control can accomplish.”

Steven Vann works as a president of J.S.C Management Group which operates many Burger King restaurants. He sees the small-school atmosphere as a great asset for the community and the top reason for the Lyndonville community to grow. However, Vann said the district needs to be sustainable for years to come.

Vann said his experience in business is an asset to the district in his role on the board – “from HR, construction, budgets, and ability to hold people accountable and ask tough questions.”

Vann pushed for changes in health insurance carriers, which he said would have saved the district $571,000 a year, reducing the tax levy by more than 10 percent.

“While my efforts failed to get this across the finish line, the efforts exposed the resistance of the administration to review other options,” Vann writes in the district newsletter. “The administration purposely delayed the endeavor, which ultimately could have cost us even more money.”

Voting for the board members as well as the district budget and funding for the library will be from noon to 8 p.m. at the Stroyan Auditorium Foyer.

Lyndonville sees 10-cent cut in village tax rate

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 May 2024 at 9:01 am

New reassessments won’t take effect until 2025-26 budget

LYNDONVILLE – The Village Board has approved an overall $1,351,115 budget for 2024-25 that reduces the tax levy by 0.7 percent and cuts the tax rate from $15.94 to $15.84 per $1,000 of assessed property.

The amount of money to be collected in property taxes will decrease from $488,066 to $484,658.

The board approved the spending plan on April 11. The budget includes the following three funds:

  • General fund increased from $636,918 to $642,612
  • Water fund up from $464,828 to $476,814
  • Sewer fund down from $237,244 to $231,689

The total for of three funds shows an increase in spending by $12,125 or 0.9 percent from $1,338,990 to $1,351,115.

The village’s tax base is down slightly from $30,605,653 to $30,597,571. The tax base should see a jump in the next village budget in 2025-26 when new assessments take effect. The Town of Yates is doing a town-wide reassessment this year, and that includes the village.

The new village budget takes effect June 1 and runs until May 31.

Baby swans hatch behind library in Lyndonville

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 30 April 2024 at 7:17 am

Bryan McDowell of Lyndonville, lead pastor at Oak Orchard Assembly of God on Ridge Road, submitted this photo his wife Whitney took of two swans and their newly-hatched babies behind the Yates Community Library in Lyndonville.

LYNDONVILLE – Bryan McDowell, his wife Whitney and their children often take walks down to the pond behind Yates Community Library.

They have been keeping an eye on a mother swan, which has been sitting on her eggs for a number of weeks, while the male swan keeps a close watch from nearby.

On Monday, Pastor McDowell was working when his wife and kids walked down and discovered some of the eggs had hatched.

“Our 3-year-old daughter Aurora said, ‘They are so cute, I wish I could pet them,’” McDowell said.

Eye glass clinic draws about 100 to Lyndonville for free glasses

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 April 2024 at 12:53 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – People check out some of the frames for glasses available at an eye glass clinic Saturday at the White Birch Golf Course in Lyndonville.

The Lyndonville Lions Club organized the event for the third straight year. Lions Club members from Medina, Lewiston, Kenmore, Tonawanda, Grand Island and Niagara Falls assisted in the event.

People were able to get a vision screening, fitted for glasses and a glaucoma screening.

Several optometrists and ophthalmologists were on hand to assist with the clinic.

Joe Shiah, a member of the Kenmore Lions Club, checks how a pair of glasses fits one of the people at the clinic. Shiah is a key leader in the Lions Club pop-up eye clinics in Western New York.

The frames were collected by Lions Club in Western New York, with some also given by the Lakes Plains Eye Center in Medina.

The lenses will all be new. The glasses are expected to be ready in about three weeks with pickup at the White Birch.

There were 80 people at the clinic in the first hour of the five-hour event, with people coming from Lyndonville, Albion, Gasport, Appleton, Middleport, Waterport, Kent, Kendall, Lockport, Barker. Newfane and Medina.

The Lyndonville Lions Club recently purchased a iCare 200 tonometry machine with support from the Lyndonville Area Foundation. That handheld machine measures intraocular pressure.

The tonometry machine will allow for glaucoma screenings. Glaucoma is one of the most common forms of preventable blindness in the United States.

The Kenmore Lions brought a trailer to help promote the eye glass clinic in Lyndonville on Saturday.

New assessments coming soon in Town of Yates

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 April 2024 at 1:37 pm

‘There’s going to be numbers that people aren’t used to seeing. The assessments are going to go up.’

YATES – The notices should be in the mail soon for about 1,800 property owners in the Town of Yates.

Town Assessor Trisha Laszewski said next week she will be done with a town-wide revaluation, the town’s first in five years. Laszewski said the notices will then be printed and mailed out.

There may be some shock with higher assessments that reflect a marketplace that has been climbing about 15 to 20 percent a year.

“There’s going to be numbers that people aren’t used to seeing,” Laszewski told the Town Board during Thursday’s town meeting. “The assessments are going to go up.”

She said the assessor’s job is to have the property values match sale prices.

“I have to try to make it as equitable as possible,” she said.

The higher assessments should result in lower tax rates. The actual tax bills shouldn’t see a dramatic change for property owners, as long as the town stays within or close to the 2 percent tax cap.

Town Supervisor Jim Simon said he expects town taxes won’t see more than a minimal increase. So the town tax bills should have a smaller tax rate with the higher assessments for the 2025 town budget.

Property owners can meet with the assessor to challenge their assessed values, and also bring those disputes to a Board of Assessment Review.

Laszewski said the state says about 10 percent of properties typically go through the grievance process when there is a town-wide reassessment. She is setting aside time to meet with 150 property owners, and can do more if needed.

She also was the assessor for Shelby and Ridgeway for their reassessments last year.

Besides Yates, Gaines and Albion are also doing the revaluations this year.

Laszewski said the town hall in Yates will be a busier place in May after the assessments come out.

“Next month we will be in the thick of everything,” she told the Town Board.

Petitions submitted in Yates to force referendum on $700K land purchase to expand town park

File photo by Tom Rivers: Yates town officials walk by a new concrete kayak launch and access point at the Yates Town Park off Morrison Road by Lake Ontario in August 2022. Pictured from left include Town Councilman John Riggi, engineer Jon Hinman of the MRB Group, and Town Supervisor Jim Simon. The town wants to acquire 153 acres next to the town park.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 April 2024 at 9:51 am

YATES – The Yates Town Board on March 14 voted to buy 153.3 acres of land from NYSEG for $700,000. Town officials envision the site to stay undeveloped with walking trails. It is next to a 6-acre town park on Morrision Road by Lake Ontario.

But town residents Paul Lauricella, Bill Jurinich and Steve Colon want the sale to have voter approval. They submitted petitions signed by 200 residents on Thursday.

That should meet the threshold to force a public referendum, Town Supervisor Jim Simon said. The petitions are being reviewed for valid signatures, and town officials are checking the local law for how soon the referendum will be held. It may be before the Nov. 5 election day.

“This is the American way,” Simon said Thursday after the Town Board meeting, responding to the petitions filed that morning at the town hall.

Lauricella, a Yates resident and chairman of the Orleans County Conservative Party, said he wants the community to have the final say in whether the land is purchased, and to be aware there will be ongoing maintenance and costs beyond the purchase.

“We thank the people for entrusting us with their signatures,” Lauricella said after Thursday’s Town Board meeting. “This gives them a voice.”

The town’s purchase is dependent on Yates receiving grants to cover the purchase of the land, Simon said. Yates has two years to line up grants and state funding for the acquisition. The town had to put down $5,000 to hold the land, and that money will be returned if the town ultimately doesn’t go forward with the project.

Simon said there are no immediate plans for the land, except to develop nature trails and possibly add a gazebo or a pavilion. The best use for the property may be keeping in a mostly wooded state without development, Simon said.

Town officials have eyed the land for years, and wanted to use state funds through the REDI program to acquire the land and make it more accessible to the public.

The state created the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative or REDI in response to historic flooding along the shore in 2017 and 2019. Yates received a $2.5 million grant from the state to make improvements to the 6-acre town park, including a playground, pavilion with bathrooms, a kayak launch, a crusher-run walking trail, a new parking lot with sidewalks and a pier that extends into the lake.

The town initially sought $4.5 million in REDI and that would have included buying the NYSEG land and doing some improvements, but NYSEG wasn’t ready to sell it in 2019, when the REDI funds were approved by the state.

Simon said the town’s local waterfront development plans include expanding the town park to the NYSEG site.

When the board voted March 14 to acquire the land for $700,000, there was then a 30-day window for a permissive referendum to file petitions to put the purchase to a public vote. Lauricella, Jurinich and Colon had voiced concerns about the purchase for several months.

They say it will take $25,000 in property taxes – town, county, school and fire district – off the tax rolls, and also result in increased costs for the town with maintenance and insurance.

Jurinich said he’d like to see a portion of the land be available to develop houses. That would boost the town’s tax base.

The town will have public meetings about the purchase leading up to the referendum, looking at the pros and cons, Simon said.

He sees an expanded park, open and free to the community, as a big asset for local residents that would also likely bring visitors to the community.

“This would preserve a beautiful stretch of land,” Simon said.

Local teen Jake Jackson wins state junior billiards championship

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 8 April 2024 at 9:26 pm

Jackson, 15, advances to national competition in July

Provided photos: Jake Jackson, 15, studies a shot during the New York State Junior Billiards Championship Saturday in Endicott.

Jake Jackson knew the competition would be tough, but that didn’t deter the 15-year-old from giving it his all.

On Saturday, Jackson won the state title at the New York State Junior Championships in Endicott, qualifying him for a free spot in the national competition in July in Quincy, Ill. Five from that competition will be chosen to represent the USA in the world championship in New Zealand.

Jake Jackson of Lyndonville holds his trophy as he poses with certified billiards instructor Kim Young after winning the New York State Junior Billiards championship Saturday.

Jake’s toughest competition on Saturday were two brothers, 17 and 18, said his father Roger. His first match ended with a score of 5-4. Then he won 5-2 and 5-1, scoring 5-0 in the final game against an 18-year-old.

Roger said Jake,a Lyndonville ninth-grader, had been battling flu and a sinus infection for two weeks, but his fever had dropped to normal on Thursday after a week of antibiotics. He hadn’t even been well enough to practice all week, Roger said.

“Jake was still very tired, and slept all the way there and all the way home,” Roger said. “He was not himself, but he knew he needed that win to get to the nationals in Quincy. There are several qualifiers throughout the country, and if he lost Saturday he would have needed to go to Pennsylvania to try.”

This week the family is heading to the Super Billiards Expo at the Philadelphia Expo Center, considered the largest billiards event in the country. There are 64 players entered in the 18 and under division, in which Jake will be playing. He finished third in the event last year at the age of 14, his first major tournament.

Roger said the event also draws nearly 200 vendors, one of whom he hopes will be interested in sponsoring Jake.

The junior division at the event will have players from coast to coast.

“All the best will be there,” Roger said. “Some of these kids are already ranked pros and will also play in the open events at the Expo.”

There will be 500 pool tables there, and $82,000 in total prize money, he said.

He added all the pro tables will have live stream on them, and Roger will be live streaming Jake’s matches.

‘Lyndonville Reads’ features book on Sioux Code Talkers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 April 2024 at 2:45 pm

Andrea Page will discuss her book about the Sioux Code Talkers of World War II during a visit to Yates Community Library on May 14.

LYNDONVILLE – The Lyndonville community has an opportunity to hear from the author of a book about the seven Sioux code talkers of World War II.

Andrea Page of Rochester, an author and educator, will give a talk and sign books during a 7 p.m. presentation on May 14 at the Yates Community Library.

Her program will cap a community reading effort at the library. “Lyndonville Reads” previously featured Marlies Adams DiFante’s “Queen of the Bremen” in 2017.

Many library patrons read “Sioux Code Talkers of World War II” last month. There is still time to check out the book, which is available at the library at 15 North Main St., Lyndonville. Other libraries in the Nioga system also have it.

Page researched seven Sioux soldiers, whose native language ensured secrecy of the strategic messages from the U.S. military as they served in the Pacific Theater under General MacArthur.

Page is the grand-niece of the one of the seven Sioux code talkers, John Bear King.

There will be a book discussion with refreshments at 6:30 pm. on April 29 at the Yates Community Library.

The Elisabeth Dye Curtis Foundation provided funding for the project, including author fee, copies of the book for circulation and for giving one to each 8th grader at Lyndonville Central School.

Lyndonville churches, for second year, mark Good Friday with Cross Walk

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 March 2024 at 6:17 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Ian Kingdollar, 14, carries a cross down the sidewalk on Main Street today with about 40 other people during a Cross Walk. Ian attends the Lyndonville United Methodist Church.

The Lyndonville Yates Ministerial Association led the Cross Walk for the second year. It included four stops where pastors shared a reflection about Christ’s crucifixion. Afterwards they gathered to sing hymns.

Craig Rhodenizer, pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, shares a messages about Easter during a stop in front of the Yates Community Library.

Ian Kingdollar and the group of Christians head down Main Street in Lyndonville today. The walk started at noon.

Lyle Drake, pastor of the Yates Baptist Church, stands next to Ian Kingdollar and shares a reflection about the solemn Easter observance.

Lyndonville Lions will offer eyeglass clinic for community on April 13

File photo by Tom Rivers: About 250 attended an eyeglass clinic on March 19, 2022 at the White Birth Golf Course. The event was organized by the Lyndonville Lions Club with help from others Lions Clubs in the area, as well as a team of eye specialists.

Staff Reports Posted 28 March 2024 at 5:46 pm

LYNDONVILLE – The Lyndonville Lions Club will be hosting a pop-up eye clinic for the third straight year on April 13.

The clinic starts at 10 a.m. at the White Birch Golf Course in Lyndonville.  There will be volunteers and eye specialists at the site to evaluate about 125 individuals for visual acuity, early signs of glaucoma and glasses fitting, if needed.

Given the high attendance in previous years, people are encouraged to sign in early to reserve a spot. Keep an eye out for upcoming advertisements regarding this event, the Lyndonville Lions Club advised.

The club also recently participated in a community Easter Egg Hunt in Lyndonville, supplying complimentary hot dogs and beverages to those in attendance.

Additionally, in the near future, the club will announce details of the upcoming 50th anniversary July 4th celebration put on by the Lions Club.

An even bigger fireworks display, additional marching bands for the parade, and a day-long music festival are just part of the enhancements for this year’s festivities.

75 students at Lyndonville bring Joseph to stage this weekend

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 March 2024 at 10:24 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Noah Fox plays the role of Joseph in Lyndonville’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

Here he is singing about his coat of many colors. Fox is one of about 75 students in the cast, crew and pit orchestra for the production.

Shows are 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday at Stroyan Auditorium, 25 Housel Ave. Tickets are $5 at door or can be purchased online (click here).

Fox, a junior, made his debut in Lyndonville musicals last year when he was The Tinman in the Wizard of Oz.

“There are many emotional songs,” he said about Joseph. “It should be fulfilling for the audience. People are really pouring their hearts out on the stage.”

Elizabeth Whipple, a senior, plays the role of the narrator, helping to explain the scenes and story. She also gives high-energy performances with the cast.

She tells how Joseph is one of 12 sons of Jacob. Joseph is his father’s favorite and Jacob doesn’t hide his feelings for Joseph, giving him a multi-colored coat.

That causes jealousy and anger from Joseph’s 11 brothers. They become more bitter when Joseph has a dream suggesting he will one day rule over them.

Amber Grabowski plays the role of Reuben, one of the brothers. They pretend to be saddened by Joseph’s departure, and tell their father he was attacked and killed. They sing, “One More Angel in Heaven.”

Joseph wasn’t killed by his brothers. He ends up taken to Egypt to be a slave for the wealthy Potiphar. Mrs. Potiphar, played by Laci Giarla, makes advances to Joseph, who rejects them. However, Potiphar sees the two together, jumps to the wrong conclusion, and throws Joseph in jail.

Joseph wins make the respect of Potiphar by interpreting a dream that helps the country build up supplies and food to withstand a famine.

The cast sings “Go, Go Joseph” as Joseph is encouraged to follow his own dreams.

Maximus Hilton is Potiphar and sings in an Elvis style, “Song of the King.” He describes his dream involving seven fat cows, seven skinny cows, seven healthy ears of corn, and seven dead ears of corn.

In interpreting the dream, Joseph declares that Egypt will see seven years of plentiful harvests, followed by an equal period of famine.

Joseph is the second musical performed by Lyndonville since a partnership ended with Medina after 2022.

Last year Lyndonville performed The Wizard of Oz and that showed Lyndonville, the smallest school district in the county, that they could pull off a full-length musical on their own.

Elizabeth Whipple, the narrator in Joseph, said last year’s show gave the Lyndonville students added confidence they could produce a top-quality musical.

She said she is grateful Lyndonville offers the program with so many dedicated teachers and staff working with the students.

“It’s been so fulfilling for many years,” Whipple said. “It’s a safe space for everyone. The friendships built here will last for years.”

She said Joseph brings a strong message of forgiveness, and to be grateful for what you have before it’s too late.

The cast of 75 is mostly students in grades 7 through 12. Director Jennifer Trupo for the second year has elementary students in the show. There are 17 in grades 5-6 in the chorus.

Trupo said the musicals bring together many students from different backgrounds and interests.

“Theater makes such a big change in people,” she said. “I’m proud of these students. The grow so much and they really love each other.”

Lyndonville topped in voter turnout for village elections with 25%

Photos by Tom Rivers: Village of Medina election inspectors count 488 paper ballots after the polls closed at 9 p.m. on Tuesday night at the Senior Center. It took about 1 ½ hours to count the votes. The election inspectors included Norma Huth, front right, and Mary Ann Ander, Judy Szulis and Linda Deyle.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 March 2024 at 3:47 pm

Voters turnout was up in two out of the three villages that held elections in Orleans County compared to their most recent elections.

Lyndonville had the highest percentage of voters cast ballots at 25.4 percent, followed by 14.3 percent in Medina and only 3.3 percent in Albion. (Holley, the other village in Orleans County, has its election in June.)

  • Albion: 3,160 registered voters, 105 voters – 3.3% turnout
  • Lyndonville: 552 registered voters, 140 voters – 25.4% turnout
  • Medina: 3,419 registered voters, 488 voters – 14.3% turnout

Medina in recent years has had unopposed candidates and typically drew less than 100 voters on election day.

In Medina, the turnout was only 1.2 percent in 2022 with 39 voters out of 3,389. The three candidates were all unopposed.

Last March’s election two trustee candidates were unopposed with Jess Marciano getting 53 votes and Diana Baker, 49.

Judy Szulis, one of Medina’s election inspectors, was pleased to see a steady flow of people during the nine hours of voting on Tuesday. She said she saw many new people at the polls, including younger adults.

Medina had seven candidates on Tuesday for three positions. Marguerite Sherman was elected mayor with 330 votes, and new trustees were elected with Debbie Padoleski receiving 267 votes and Mark Prawel, 198.

Medina’s biggest turnout in recent memory remains Jan. 20, 2015 when nearly 1,500 people voted to determine whether the village should be dissolved. There were 949 “no” votes that day and 527 that said “yes.”

Voters who ventured to the polls on Tuesday were battered with chilly weather and some blasts of snow.

A year ago in Lyndonville, two candidates ran unopposed with Kimberly Kenyon receiving 19 votes and Terry Stinson, 23.

Tuesday there were only two names on the ballot for three positions on the Village Board. But write-in campaigns helped bring out 140 voters. John Belson was re-elected mayor with 66 write-in votes. Danny Woodward Jr. was on the ballot and was re-elected trustee with 94 votes. He also got 33 for mayor. Anne Marie Holland also was re-elected as trustee with 62 as a write-in.

The election was quieter in Albion on Tuesday compared to two years ago when the village had three people running for mayor and four candidates for two trustee positions. More than 700 people voted in that election.

Albion only had two names on the ballot on Tuesday for trustee, but two people mounted write-in campaigns, and one was successful in getting elected.

Greg Bennett, was endorsed by both the Democratic and Republican parties. He led all candidates with 87 votes. William Gabalski also was elected with 44 votes as a write-in, nipping Jeff Holler, who had the line Republican line and received 38 votes. Faith Smith was close with 36 write-in votes.