441 wreaths placed at veterans’ graves in Lyndonville

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 December 2022 at 5:52 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – A volunteer carries wreaths to be placed at veterans’ graves at Lynhaven Cemetery on Housel Avenue in Lyndonville.

Volunteers placed 441 wreaths at veterans’ graves on Saturday as part of the Wreaths Across America observance.

Of the wreaths, 420 were set at Lynhaven, with others put at veterans’ grave sites at Yates Center Cemetery, Robin Hill Estate, the Greenman Road Cemetery, Lott Cemetery on Angling Road and a cemetery on Marshall Road.

Steve Goodrich, right, is coordinator of the Wreaths effort in Lyndonville. He presents a wreath to Anna Stelianou, who pays for the wreaths in Lyndonville through an endowment. Stelianou funded the effort in honor of her five brothers who served in WWII and the Korean War.

She is joined by her nephew Richard Stelianou. They set wreaths by the graves at Lynhaven for her brothers: Peter, George and Fred “Fotius.”

Anna Stelianou traveled from the Buffalo area to help lay the wreaths, even in the cold weather.

“I wouldn’t miss it,” she said.

Lyndonville first joined the Wreaths Across America effort in 2019. Medina has been doing it since 2013. The Western New York National Cemetery in Pembroke also had a ceremony and wreath-laying on Saturday.

There were about 3,400 communities who joined Wreaths Across America on Saturday.

Carl Boyle, a long-time member of the Houseman-Tanner Post 1603 American Legion in Lyndonville, helped lay the wreaths on Saturday.

Steve Goodrich, site coordinator, welcomes the volunteers who helped place the wreaths. He led a short ceremony that included ceremonial wreaths set up in honor of POWs, MIAs, and branches of the military including the Space Force, Coast Guard, Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and Merchant Marines.

Herb Bohnet of Lyndonville was buddled up while placing the wreaths. The volunteers also retrieved flags at the veterans’ graves that have been out since close to Memorial Day in late May.

The wreaths are expected to be displayed for two to three months.

Jackie Lonnen joined the volunteers for Wreaths Across America on Saturday in Lyndonville.

Eric Harling carries wreaths to veterans’ graves at Lynhaven. He and his wife, Yates Town Clerk Shelly Harling, were among the volunteers.

Lyndonville, Medina will have noon ceremonies today for Wreaths Across America

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 December 2022 at 9:24 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: Steve Goodrich, commander of the American Legion in Lyndonville, and Anna Stelianou are pictured in December 2019 at the grave of her parents, Ary and Konstantina, who emigrated to Lyndonville from Greece after WWI. Anna Stelianou provided the funding for an endowment to pay for about 400 wreaths to be set at veterans’ graves each year in Lyndonville.

There will be ceremonies at noon today in Lyndonville and Medina as part of Wreaths Across America. After the ceremony, more than 400 wreaths will be placed on veterans’ graves in Lyndonville and 1,000 will be set at three cemeteries in Medina.

The American Legion Houseman-Tanner Post in Lyndonville is heading the Wreaths event in Lyndonville. The ceremony will be at noon at Lynhaven Cemetery on Housel Avenue.

In Lyndonville, the cost for about 420 wreaths is paid for by an endowment funded by Anna Stelianou. She gave the funding to the Lyndonville Area Foundation to create an endowment to pay for the cost of the wreaths every year long into the future. The wreaths are $15 each with the current cost for all the wreaths about $6,000 a year.

Stelianou funds the wreaths to show her appreciation for the community’s kindness to her parents, Ary and Konstantina. They emigrated to Lyndonville from Greece after WWI. Stelianou also donated the money for the program in honor of her five brothers who served in WWII and the Korean War.

Medina will have its ceremony at noon at Boxwood Cemetery, with the 1,000 wreaths to then be placed on veterans’ graves at Boxwood, St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart cemeteries. The 1,000 wreaths is up from 315 last year. Tom Snyder, a Navy veteran and owner of Medina Lumber and Hardware, is helping to fund the increase in wreaths this year.

Pastors, volunteers from many Lyndonville churches make food distributions happen

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 December 2022 at 2:04 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Don Melfi gathers bags of oranges to give to people in this morning’s food distribution at the Lyndonville Presbyterian Church’s parking lot.

There were bags and boxes of food for about 250 families. The church has hosted the distributions for most of the Covid pandemic and has a food pantry for years before Covid hit in March 2020.

Kyle Sentiff, 27, collects squash and other vegetables for one of the vehicles. The distribution was scheduled to start at 8:30, but icy roads delayed the FoodLink truck until about 9:30. Many of the people showed up very early for the distribution and waited two hours of more.

Sentiff is an elder at the Presbyterian Church. He likes to volunteer at the distributions when he has a day off.

“I’m just here to help when I can,” he said. “It’s great to see the churches step up for the community.”

FoodLink will continue the distributions in Lyndonville until at least June. The upcoming schedule includes Jan. 13, Feb. 3, March 3, March 24, April 7, April 21, May 5, May 19, June 2 and June 23.

Craig Rhodenizer (in back with beard) is pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church on Route 18 in Yates. He leads the group in a prayer before the distribution. Rhodenizer asked for God’s blessing on the people lined up receiving the food, and for others who need the food but weren’t able to be there that morning. Jim Wells, one of the volunteers, is at right.

Other pastors at the distribution this morning included Lyle Drake of the Yates Baptist Church and Tim Schultz of the Lyndonville United Methodist Church. Martha Mitchell of the Presbyterian Church is usually at the events as well.

Schultz lives across the street from the Presbyterian Church and he some of the cars start showing up at 4 in the morning for the distributions. He is impressed the volunteers are so dependable, even when it’s cold and icy.

“It does amaze me how the volunteers just show up in the inclement weather,” he said.

Pastor Lyle Drake grabs bottles of salsa during the morning’s distribution.

Pat Wilcox lifts a bag of oranges for the distribution. She recently starting volunteering after retiring from LynOaken Farms.

“I enjoy it,” she said. “People need help and I can do something, and you meet a lot of other people.”

DeeAnn Diermyer, left, and her sister Denise Adams, both of Medina, were up early to help with the distribution. Diermyer has volunteered at the events since they started, and also has helped run the food pantry at the Lyndonville Presbyterian Church for 13 years. She attends the United Methodist Church.

Diermyer said many local residents are struggling to pay their bills and are relying on the distributions and food pantries.

“The people are more in need now,” she said. “The prices are so high right now.”

Gary Daum has been volunteering at the distributions for about two years. He was at the spot with potatoes grown by Triple G Farms of Barre. Daum said he sees many senior citizens at the distirbutions. They pick up food not only for themselves but for friends who don’t drive or who can’t make it in person.

Lyndonville students help keep local food pantry stocked for the holidays

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 13 December 2022 at 1:01 pm

Provided photo: Students from Lyndonville Central School pose with volunteer DeeAnn Diermyer and the food they collected for a food drive to benefit the Lyndonville-Yates Emergency Food Pantry. From left are Diermyer, Austin Gardner, Alex Wilson, Jack Nesbitt, Justin Higgins, Justin Pittler and Chris Mondoux.

LYNDONVILLE – Collecting food for the Lyndonville-Yates Emergency Food Pantry is an annual project for students at Lyndonville Central School.

Every year during Advent, the school’s Leo Club, under the direction of teachers Gina Marker and Teresa Pierson, encourage the entire school district to collect canned goods for the food pantry, better known as LYFE.

The food pantry is an ecumenical effort between churches in Yates and Lyndonville and is totally supported by local donations and help from Foodlink, said Martha Mitchell, pastor of the Lyndonville Methodist Church.

The school just completed its food drive and the boxes of food have been delivered to the pantry.

“This year our shelves were dangerously low, so the extra support from the school means a lot at this holiday season,” Mitchell said.

“I love that the Leo Club is teaching our youth how to embrace service in the community,” she said. “That is a mindset that, hopefully, will carry over into their adulthood.”

The LYFE pantry is supported by the Lyndonville United Methodist Church, Yates Baptist Church, Lyndonville Presbyterian Church and St. John’s Lutheran Church.

The pantry is open from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday to Thursday for area residents. Every Christmas, LYFE provides boxes of food with turkeys and many food staples. The boxes also include gifts for children in the families.

In addition, the pantry hosts two Foodlink pop-up pantry deliveries a month.

Pier is finishing touch for Yates Town Park upgrades

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 December 2022 at 9:02 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

YATES – A new pier was built last month at the Yates Town Park on Morrison Road. Keeler Construction in Barre was the general contractor on the project.

The pier is 75 feet long. Yates town officials said people can use the pier to enjoy sightseeing and fishing. Boats won’t be allowed to tie up to the pier unless it’s an emergency.

The new pier is part of a $2.5 million upgrade at the park. The improvements include a pavilion with bathrooms, new playground equipment, a kayak launch, a crusher-run walking trail, and new parking lot with sidewalks.

The pier is the last major project at the park but some additional work remains to be completed in the spring: a cement pad and grill next to new pavilion, cement pad and water fountain next to playground, three bench sunshades around playground, security camera system, and staining of cedar of the pavilion, Town Supervisor Jim Simon said.

The projects are 95 percent funded by the state, which made $300 million available to southshore communities  through the state’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative or REDI.

That was in response to historic flooding along the shore in 2017 and 2019. That flooding destroyed part of the shoreline at the Yates park and the town used a separate $400,000 grant from the state to put in a massive breakwall.

The local share is about $126,000. The Lyndonville Area Foundation gave $100,000 towards the local portion, with the town highway department providing in-kind services to meet the remaining local contribution. The highway department has removed trees, hauled stone and milled the driveway.

A new concrete kayak launch also was recently completed by Keeler. The launch provides handicapped accessibility to the shore, instead of having to climb down the breakwall.

The launch is a sizable ramp, which was needed to withstand the waves from Lake Ontario that often can be 3 to 4 feet.

Youth group’s spaghetti dinner in Lyndonville raises funds for Veterans’ Outreach Center

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 4 December 2022 at 7:53 am

Photo by Ginny Kropf: From left are youth leaders Greg Nowicki, Amanda Nowicki, Taleana Farrell and Myra Seaman from the Lyndonville Presbyterian Church presenting a check to Steve Goodrich, commander of the Houseman-Tanner American Legion Post and a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church. The check represents proceeds from a benefit the youth group did for veterans. Standing at right are Tom Wenhold and June Seaman. Youth are Paisley and Dixie Nowicki. Missing are Brooklyn Seaman, Connie Lawley and Harriet Petrie.

LYNDONVILLE – When the youth at Lyndonville Presbyterian Church wanted to do something for the community, they decided to have a spaghetti dinner fundraiser and donate the proceeds to a worthy cause.

They had no trouble choosing a recipient.

Pastor Martha Mitchell said Steve Goodrich, commander of the Houseman-Tanner American Legion Post, is a member of the church and they approached him about making a donation to help veterans.

Because suicide is a big problem among veterans, it was decided to give the proceeds to Veterans’ Outreach Center in Monroe County, an organization which provides services and counseling to veterans in Monroe and Orleans County.

The dinner was a huge success and the food was delicious, Mitchell said. Four hundred meals were served, and as a result, a check for $550 was presented to Goodrich on behalf of the Veterans’ Outreach Center.

“We need to teach our children to do things for others,” Mitchell said. “The children felt the good of it, while also helping veterans.”

A portion of the proceeds was kept to help send the church youth to camp at Camp Whitman, where they attend every summer.

Lyndonville lights up 98 trees for annual Christmas celebration

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 December 2022 at 10:23 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – The Lyndonville community checks out the array of 98 Christmas trees that were decorated by families, business and local organizations.

The lights were turned on this evening by Santa. The trees are expected to be up until about Jan. 1.

Santa Claus arrives by a sleigh pulled by a fire truck. He went to an electric switch at the “North Pole” and pulled a candy cane to light up the trees.

The 98 trees is a new record for Lyndonville. There were 26 the first year in 2013 and it has grown steadily each year to 88 in 2021 and now at nearly 100.

The community buys a tree and decorates it. The cost was up from $30 to $35. The increase would have been more but an anonymous donor picked up the rest of the increase.

Teri Woodworth, the village clerk/treasurer and one of the key organizers of “Christmas in Lyndonville, leads Santa from Veterans Park to the Village Hall.

Sierra Frasier, 10, and her sister Molly Frasier, 11, of Lyndonville are in good spirits while visiting with Santa.

Ariel Avery, 8, of Lyndonville shares a Christmas wish list with Santa.

Before Santa made it to the park, students from Lyndonville sang Christmas carols outside the Yates Community Library.

Logan Gerling, 13, pets a donkey after offering it a cracker. Daniel Porter of Lyndonville, next to Logan, brought the donkey, two sheep and two goats. He has brought animals to the annual event for nine years.

Kim Coon of Lyndonville makes Santa Claus crafts with her daughters, Rowe, 3, and Jade, 6. The library offered several activities for the day’s celebration, including a Christmas bingo, hot cocoa and other crafts.

The lighting of the trees was one of the highlights of the day.

This “Gnome for the Holidays!!!!” tree was decorated the Fiegl family.

Lyndonville sets new record-high with 97 Christmas trees to be decorated at Vets Park

Photo by Tom Rivers: These Christmas trees are reflected in the water of Johnson Creek near the dam on Dec. 7, 2019 when Lyndonville turned on the lights for 76 trees. The community has steadily grown the event each year from when it started in 2013 with 26 trees.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 November 2022 at 11:58 am

LYNDONVILLE – The Lyndonville community keeps growing the annual display of Christmas trees at Veterans Park.

This year there will be 97 trees decorated at the park, which is up from 88 last year. The 97 is a new record.

The community started the tradition in 2013 with 26 trees. It has grown each year since then.

Santa will be in town on Dec. 3 to flip the switch at the “North Pole” at the park and turn on the lights for the trees at 5 p.m.

The schedule is set for the annual “Christmas in Lyndonville” celebration.

  • 8 to 11 a.m. – Community Breakfast/Basket Raffle – Lyndonville Presbyterian Church
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Music Boosters Craft Sale – Lyndonville School
  • 11 a.m. until sold out –Music Boosters Beef on Weck Dinner – Lyndonville School
  • 2 to 4 p.m. – Petting Zoo – Library Parking Lot
  • 2 to 4 p.m. – Hot Chocolate – Library Parking Lot – M&T Bank
  • 2 to 4 p.m. – Catherine Street Bakery – Library Parking Lot
  • 2 to 4:45 p.m. – Horse-drawn carriage rides – Village Hall
  • 2 to 6 p.m. – Mr. Pix Popcorn – Library Parking Lot
  • 2 to 6 p.m. – Blue Groove Coffee/Bubba’s Loganberry – Library Parking Lot
  • 2 to 6:30 p.m. – NYS Child ID – Village Hall – Orleans County Sheriff’s Dept
  • 3 to 4:30 p.m. – Craft & Games at Yates Community Library
  • 3 to 6 p.m. – Hotdogs & Sodas at Library – Lyndonville Lions Club
  • 3 to 6 p.m. – Cup of Chili – Library Parking Lot – Champs
  • 4:30 to 5 p.m. – Caroling at Veterans Park
  • 5 p.m. – Santa’s arrival & Lighting of Trees at Vets Park
  • 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. – Visit with Santa
  • 7 p.m. – Christmas Concert at Lyndonville Presbyterian Church

The event is sponsored by the Village of Lyndonville, Lyndonville Fire Department, Lyndonville Lions Club and Lyndonville United Methodist Women.

Lyndonville’s Elizabeth Whipple sings with All-State Treble Choir

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 November 2022 at 9:32 am

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Trupo: The Senior High Area All-State Treble Choir sings at Gates Chili on Saturday.

Elizabeth Whipple

GATES – Elizabeth Whipple, a soprano from Lyndonville, was selected to sing with the Senior High Zone 2 Area All-State Treble Choir at Gates-Chili over the weekend.

This was the first senior high Area All-State festival NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) zone 2 has hosted in several years because of Covid.

To be accepted into these select groups students must perform a NYSSMA solo at solo festival and receive a top score. They are selected from a pool based on their score and teacher recommendations.

Zone 2 covers schools from Lyndonville to the other side of Wayne County. Whipple was the only student from Orleans County to sing in the festival.

Lyndonville elementary students performing Moana Jr.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 October 2022 at 9:47 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Lyndonville elementary students are performing Moana Jr., a musical based on the 2016 Disney film Moana.

The first show was Friday night with another today at 1 p.m. at the school’s Stroyan Auditorium, 25 Housel Ave. Admission is free with donations accepted.

The top photo shows Moana (right) played by Madelyn Ingersol and Maui, played by Fatima Lieberman. In this scene Maui receives his hook as a gift from the goddess Te Fiti. Moana, right, sails the ocean looking for Te Ka.

There are 33 students in the hour-long production. The fifth- and sixth-graders have been rehearsing for about seven weeks.

“They are a great group of kids,” said Jennifer Trupo, director. “They have worked very hard.”

“Right Claw” Landon Buffin, Tomatoa as Adrianna Vanderbilt and “Left Claw” Thalia Heinsler perform in Moana. Tamatoa sings all about themselves “in song form.”

Maui (Fatima Lieberman) and Moana (Madilyn Ingersoll) to fight Te Ka.

Moana is an adventurous young Pacific Island girl who embarks on a daring mission across the Pacific Ocean to save her people. Moana, a princess, has always felt connected to the ocean. Despite her parents’ wishes, she follows her calling and sails out to sea in order to return the long lost heart of the goddess Te Fiti, the mother island.

Along the way she meets Maui, a fallen demigod with an ego problem. Despite his attitude, Maui agrees to accompany Moana on her journey. They sail far across the waters together and work through many tough situations, from the Realm of Monsters to the Demon of Fire, Te Ka. Through all of this they finally are able to complete their journey and return the Heart.

Harli Crawford, in green, portrays the The Goddess Te Fiti. In this scene Moana restores the heart of Te Fiti and Te Ka transforms into Te Fiti.

Villagers and Ancestors sing about setting a course, knowing the way and being wayfinders at the end of the production. Form left include Janelly Garcia Cruz, Liliana Nye, Harli Crawford, Robin Botsford and Emily Kroll.

Moana and her parents sing about being wayfinders. From left include Chief Tui (Leah Casanova), Moana (Madilyn Ingersoll) and Sina (Karalyn Klotzbach).

Yates celebrates 200 years as town of good neighbors

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 September 2022 at 5:05 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

YATES – The Town of Yates hosted a bicentennial celebration on Saturday at the Yates Town Park, which has received $2.5 million in upgrades.

The top photos shows Town Supervisor Jim Simon cutting a cake with Mary Scarlett, the town’s oldest resident at age 96; and Sandra Houseman Gapa, who is descended from George Houseman, one of the town’s first residents in 1809. He was Gapa’s great-great-great-great grandfather.

Saturday’s event was the third and final bicentennial party for the town. The “Grand Finale Lake Fair” followed the “Family Fair” in July and the “Street Dance” in August.

Sandra Houseman Gapa, 63, said George Houseman moved to Yates in 1809 and died in 1814. (Yates was originally part of the town of Ridgeway before forming its own town in 1822.)

Houseman Gapa said she is grateful her family has stayed in the town for more than 200 years. She raised three children in Lyndonville and Yates.

“It’s a great school system,” she said. “We’re all neighbors here.”

Town Supervisor Jim Simon tries some of the new playground equipment with his granddaughter, 2 ½-year-old Adelaide.

The new playground was designed by Parkitects, which is owned by Lyndonville native Ben Frasier, a 1988 Lyndonville graduate. The playground equipment includes several handicapped accessible features. The playground is on a rubber surface.

The cedar pavilion was named in honor of Russ Martino, a former town supervisor who led the town government when the 5 acres was acquired 25 years ago for the park.

State Sen. Rob Ortt is speaking in this photo. He said the park’s location by the lake offered a striking location for residents and families to get some recreation and respite.

“This has to be one of the most beautiful views from a park in all of New York State.”

The Simon brothers – John Paul, Elijah and Sharbel – sang the first and fourth verses of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.” Their father is the town supervisor.

American Legion members Scott Goetze and Bob Burtwell, left, were part of the Honor Guard for the ceremony.

State Sen. Rob Ortt presents a proclamation to Simon in honor of the town’s 200th anniversary. Eileen Banker, right, is chief of staff for Assemblyman Steve Hawley who also had a proclamation for the town’s bicentennial from the State Assembly.

Ortt also praised Simon and the Town Board for pushing for the park upgrades which were 95 percent funded through the New York State’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI).

Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature supported the $300 million in REDI projects along the southshore to help fight erosion and flooding, and also boost tourism and recreation opportunities for residents, Ortt said.

The Yates projects at the park also include a kayak launch, bolstered shoreline, pier and walking trail, as well as the playground and pavilion.

Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson, a Yates resident, presents a proclamation from the County Legislature on behalf of Yates’ bicentennial.

Governor praises $2.5 million park, shoreline upgrade in Yates

Photo by Tom Rivers: Town of Yates, Orleans County and state officials join in a ribbon-cutting celebration today at Yates Town Park in front of a new pavilion. Pictured from left: Hannah Hinman, daughter of town engineer Jon Hinman of the MRB Group; Father Steven Soares, pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lyndonville; Town Councilman Harold Suhr; former Town Supervisor Russ Martino; Councilwoman Sue Hrovat; Kisha Santiago-Martinez, deputy secretary of State for Development, Planning, and Community Infrastructure at NYS Department of State; Jim Simon, Yates town supervisor; State Sen. Rob Ortt; Eileen Banker, chief of staff for Assemblyman Steve Hawley; Lynne Johnson, Orleans County Legislature chairwoman; and Jon Hinman, town engineer with MRB Group.

Posted 24 September 2022 at 9:18 pm

Press Release, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced construction is complete on a $2.5 million resiliency project awarded to the Town of Yates, Orleans County, as part of New York State’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative.

The Yates Town Park serves as the Town’s only public recreation space with direct access to Lake Ontario, with more than one acre of open space for recreation, including a pavilion and picnic area, and the new project will be instrumental in helping prevent future flood damage to the park and safeguard the local economy.

“Many of New York’s communities continue to be at risk of the effects of climate change, and projects like these better protect our shoreline communities,” Governor Hochul said. “The Town of Yates Park expansion project will increase flood protection measures and enhance shoreline resilience to help protect businesses and residents, enhance public safety, and spur economic development.”

The park is a popular destination for both residents and visitors and during the historic flooding of 2019, the park experienced substantial erosion along the shoreline. The recreational space was inundated with water due to poor drainage, posing safety risks for parkgoers and inhibiting use of the park. The resiliency project completed through the REDI Program will stabilize the shoreline, mitigate future flooding, and ensure continued access to Yates Town Park during periods of high water. Resiliency measures and park improvements in the project include:

  • Upgrades to the parks drainage and stormwater management systems to resolve the serious drainage and ponding challenges;
  • Shoreline stabilization at the boat launch;
  • Installation of a cartop boat launch;
  • Construction of an ADA compliant fishing/water access pier;
  • Installation of new playground equipment, a walking trail, new pavilion, and bathroom facilities;
  • Expansion of the park’s parking area; and
  • Improvements to landscaping and greenspace.

New York State Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez said, “Making our waterways accessible to residents and tourists is vital to any local economy. Thanks to the REDI program, the improvements and upgrades to Yates Town Park will ensure the shoreline is protected from future flooding but also make for a better recreational experience to all its visitors for generations to come.”

A new kayak launch is part of the improvements at the Town Park. The launch also provides easy pedestrian access to the shoreline.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and REDI Commission Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, “With Governor Hochul’s support, New York’s REDI investments are successfully reimagining and reconstructing flood-damaged infrastructure, helping to promote tourism and developing new economic opportunities in Lake Ontario shoreline communities. The improved Yates Park will provide years of enjoyment for residents, while also attracting new visitors to the region.”

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “This is great news for the Yates community. I congratulate the state and local partners for working to make Yates Town Park safer, more resilient and more accessible for the community.”

Economic Development Initiative Co-Chair and Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Placemaking is an important pillar of New York’s economic development strategy. Making Yates Town Park more resilient not only enhances this magnificent public space for residents and visitors to access Lake Ontario, but also ensures the region’s waterfront continues to contribute to the local economy.”

A 60-foot-long pier will soon be built extending out into the lake and providing fishing access.

State Senator Robert Ortt said, “As we celebrate the bicentennial of the Town of Yates, we also celebrate the completion and opening of a wonderful new greenspace for the families in our community. Not only will the Yates Town Park serve as a great location for residents to gather and spend time together, but it will also provide protection against Lake Ontario flooding thanks to the shoreline stabilization incorporated in this REDI project. The completion of this project is a great example of how the REDI Commission can implement shoreline stabilization while combining it with a great community-use project.”

Assemblyman Steve Hawley said, “These upgrades to Yates Town Park will help it be a more accessible, safe and fun family destination than ever. I am glad that these projects will soon be completed for people near and far to enjoy and hope they’ll encourage locals to spend a day at the park with people they love sometime soon.”

Orleans County Legislature Chairman Lynne Johnson said, “As we continue to wrap up REDI projects in Orleans County, I want to thank the Governor and the REDI Commission for their continued support as we fortify our lakefront infrastructure to make it more resilient to future Lake Ontario high water events. This project not only improved our resiliency to high water events but improved the quality of life for the members of our community by providing reliable and useable recreational infrastructure for everyone to enjoy.”

Town of Yates Supervisor James Simon said, “What better way to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Town of Yates than to cut the ribbon at our beautifully renovated town park on Lake Ontario? We are grateful for the partnership and support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the REDI Commission as we navigated this project from design to completion.”

State Sen. Rob Ortt speaks at today’s celebration at the Yates Town Park for the town’s 200th anniversary and for the park improvements. Town officials also announced the pavilion would be named in honor of former Town Supervisor Russ Martino, who pushed to acquire the land for the park by Lake Ontario 25 years ago.

In response to the extended pattern of flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, New York State established REDI to increase the resilience of shoreline communities and bolster economic development in the region. Five REDI Regional Planning Committees, comprised of representatives from eight counties (Niagara and Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Cayuga and Oswego, and Jefferson and St. Lawrence) were established to identify local priorities, at-risk infrastructure and other assets, and public safety concerns. Through REDI, the State has committed up to $300 million, to benefit communities and improve resiliency in flood prone regions along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

Since the creation of the State’s REDI program in the Spring of 2019, 134 REDI funded local and regional projects are underway, including 52 projects in the design phase, 40 projects in the construction phase, and 42 projects completed.

Yates names new pavilion in honor of Russ Martino

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 September 2022 at 5:37 pm

Martino served as town supervisor when Yates acquired land for Town Park by Lake Ontario

Photos by Tom Rivers

YATES – Russ Martino, a former Yates town supervisor, speaks at today’s bicentennial celebration for the Town of Yates at the town park by Lake Ontario on Morrison Road.

The event also was a celebration of $2.5 million in upgrades to the park. One of the big additions to the park is a new pavilion. Town officials announced the pavilion will be named in honor of Martino.

Russ Martino thanks the town officials for honoring him with the “Russ Martino Pavilion.”

Martino served as town supervisor from 1996 to 2009. He was the supervisor when two members of the Planning Board – Jeanne Whipple and Chairman Lou Salen – urged him to acquire the land for the park in 1997. It was for sale and the town used $100,000 from the state to acquire 5 acres of waterfront property, Martino recalled.

Martino also served the community as an industrial arts teacher at the high school for 16 years, beginning in 1964. He then was the elementary school principal for 17 years.

Russ Martino sits with family and friends during today’s celebration at the town park.

Town Supervisor Jim Simon praised Martino for his community service of nearly 60 years.

Martino during his remarks congratulated the Town Board for seeing the many projects to completion at the town park. The state is paying 95 percent of the costs, with the Lyndonville Area Foundation chipping in $100,000 and in-kind services from the highway department covering the remaining local share.

The park upgrades also include a new playground, walking trail, kayak launch and parking lot. A new pier going about 60 feet out into the lake will be installed in the next couple weeks.

Martino marveled at how the park has been transformed from a grassy area to so many amenities.

“We’ve come from nowhere to this,” Martino said. “And they did it the correct way.”

Yates will close out 200th anniversary celebration on Saturday with Lake Fair at Town Park

Posted 19 September 2022 at 9:04 pm

Press Release, Town of Yates

YATES – On Saturday, the Town of Yates will celebrate its bicentennial with the last of its three fairs – the “Grand Finale Lake Fair.”

The event will be from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Yates Town Park at the northern terminus of Morrison Road on Lake Ontario, and will be free to all.

After the “Family Fair” in July and the “Street Dance” in August, this final event of the bicentennial year for Yates will feature the unveiling of the newly renovated town park.

“We are very grateful for the NYS Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative and the Lyndonville Area Foundation grants,” Yates Town Supervisor Jim Simon said.

The $2.5-million dollar upgrade to the park includes a new pavilion, playground, kayak launch, pier and walking path.

The event will begin at 1 p.m. under the new pavilion with proclamations and brief speeches from state and local officials, followed by a ribbon and cake cutting.

Throughout the afternoon, food will be provided by the Polish Cadets and Mrs. Ribs food trucks (pay as you go), and free cake and cookies from Case-Nic Cookies will be available. There will also be several craft vendors.

The new pavilion features handicap accessible bathrooms, and the new playground for kids ages 2-12 will be officially opened.

There will be several scavenger hunts with bicentennial commemorative prizes. There will also be chalk drawing on the new kayak launch. Weather permitting there will be stone skipping competitions on the lake. Eagle Creek band will be playing live music from 3 to 5 p.m.

The event will take place rain or shine and, although there are a number of picnic tables available, organizers recommend bringing lawn chairs.

“Our 200th Anniversary Committee has worked hard for over a year to provide these three events, and we are very excited to see the culmination of our efforts,” Simon said.

Members of the committee are Brad Bentley, Kelly Cousins, Cindy Grabowski, Susan Hrovat, Ginny Hughes, Russ Martino, Dawn Metty, Jim Simon, Cal Stinson, Georgette Stockman, Joanne Suhr, Valerie Wells, Tom Wenhold and Katie Whipple.

Simon also acknowledged the important contribution of the town government, especially the Highway Department, and the Yates Town Park Task Force including Linda Fisk, Jon Hinman, Ann Marie Holland, Paul Lauricella, Russ Martino, John Riggi, Jim Simon, Georgette Stockman and Roger Wolfe.

For more information go to the Town of Yates website:, or call Town Supervisor Jim Simon, 716-946-2075.

Mr. Mustard performs Beatles tunes on Friday at Yates library

Staff Reports Posted 1 September 2022 at 5:12 pm

Provided photo: GateSwingers’ vocalist Allison Eberhardt performs the 1954 hit, “Teach Me Tonight,” on the patio of Yates Community Library on Monday evening.

LYNDONVILLE – The Yates Community Library hosted a rescheduled concert on Monday featuring GateSwingers, a19-piece dance band from Rochester.

The group played crowd favorites from eras’ past. The final concert of this summer’s “More Than Just Books” series will happen on Friday evening, when the popular all-Beatles group Mr. Mustard will perform from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

The concert is free, and support for the series provided from the NYS Council on the Arts, through a regrant program administered by the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.

Mr. Mustard was scheduled to perform on Aug. 22, but was rescheduled due to rain.