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DEC report recommends cleanup at former Bernzomatic in Medina

Staff Reports Posted 6 December 2018 at 7:15 am

This aerial map shows the former Bernzomatic facility on the east side of Medina.

MEDINA – A report about contamination at the former Bernzomatic site in Medina recommends cleanup of the property.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is reviewing the Remedial Investigation Report for the former Bernzomatic. The report was submitted by Irwin Industrial Tool Company, c/o Newell Brands Inc., which used to operate a manufacturing plant at the site.

The report lists the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface soils; metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in groundwater; Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) in sub-slab vapor; and metals in sediment.

The DEC said the data indicates that past manufacturing operations at the site appear to have resulted in the release of VOCs, metals, and PAHs. All impacts are contained on-site with the greatest concentrations found in the former machining area, according to the DEC.

The DEC will complete its review, make any necessary revisions and, if appropriate, approve the investigation report, the agency said.

Irwin Industrial Tool may then develop a cleanup plan, called a “Remedial Work Plan.” This plan describes how contamination will be addressed, with the DEC and the state Department of Health overseeing the work. The DEC will present the draft cleanup plan to the public for its review and comment during a 45-day comment period.

The DEC will keep the public informed throughout the investigation and cleanup of the site, the agency said.

The site is located at 1 Bernzomatic Drive in the Village of Medina. The property includes two connected buildings, approximately 160,000 square feet in size, paved parking lots, and a man-made pond on the southwest corner of the site.

The western building consisted of assembly, packaging, and warehouse/storage. The eastern building was used for machining, parts washing, and materials storage. Industrial use at the site began in approximately 1915 and included canneries, food processing, machining and manufacturing. The site was recently purchased and the proposed reuse is for warehousing and manufacturing.

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Medina’s A Capella Select Choir continues tradition of singing at Senior Center

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Jeremy Rath, who took over this year as director of Medina High School’s A Capella Choir, introduces himself and the Select Choir to the Senior Center of Western Orleans, where they performed after lunch today.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 3 December 2018 at 9:11 pm

Lynn Creasey, president of Senior Citizens of Western Orleans, reads a comical version of ’Twas the Night Before Christmas to seniors at their annual Christmas luncheon today.

MEDINA – A visit by Medina High School’s A Capella Select Choir has been a holiday tradition at the Senior Center of Western Orleans for many years.

That tradition was repeated today during the Senior Center’s annual Christmas luncheon.

There was a new face in the crowd this year, however, a new director for the choir.

After 34 years as its leader, Medina High School graduate Lisa La Machia Roessler has retired.

The group’s new director is Jeremy Rath of Brockport, a former music teacher at Kendall Central School.

Rath said he met Roessler several times at county music functions, and when she suggested he apply for her job, he did.

“I am honored, scared and intimidated to follow in her footsteps,” Rath said. “It is such a treat to make music with these great musicians.”

The 25 members of the A Capella Select Choir make up about one-fourth of the award-winning A Capella Choir, Rath said.

The seniors’ Christmas celebration began with a comical reading of ’Twas the Night Before Christmas by Senior Center president Lynn Creasey, followed by lunch.

Director Jeremy Rath accompanies Medina’s A Capella Choir in singing Christmas songs at the Senior Center of Western Orleans. Their visit to the Senior Center has been a Christmas tradition for many years.

The choir arrived by bus and sang a variety of holiday tunes, including traditional carols, special arrangements, such as Biddy Bum, So This is Christmas, Carol of the Bells and a medley from “Charlie Brown’s Christmas.”

Ray Paull of Medina has been a member of A Capella going on three years and has been in the Select Choir each year, he said.

“I’ve come here to the Senior Center every year, and I really enjoy it,” he said.

In a new twist this year, after their performance, the choir took copies of sheet music to the seniors and sang with them.

The entire A Capella Choir will be featured in its annual Christmas concert at 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

Alissa Blount turns the pages for director Jeremy Rath, as he plays a lively number at the Senior Center of Western Orleans.

After entertaining the seniors today at the Senior Center of Western Orleans, members of the A Capella Select Choir went into the audience and sang with the crowd.

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Santa has lots of fans at Medina library

Posted 30 November 2018 at 11:30 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Santa Claus visited the Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina on Friday evening for a pajama storytime. There were about 75 kids in attendance, who shared their Christmas wish list with Santa.

The library has hosted the Santa pajama storytime event for the past 36 years.

Jenna Snook, 5, of Albion shares a picture she colored for Santa.

Santa leads the group in some singing and exercises.

Zachary Smith, 4, of Medina was picked to hold one of Santa’s white gloves.

Santa reads ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Iszabella Eaton, 4, of Medina shares a wish list with Santa.

Santa asks the kids to leave out chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk on Christmas Eve.

Suzanne McAllister, the children’s librarian, passes out some Santa Dust for the kids to take home.

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Historian’s book takes a closer look at Boxwood Cemetery

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Todd Bensley, Village of Medina historian and member of the Boxwood Cemetery Commission, stands in the veterans’ section of Boxwood Cemetery. Bensley has written a book, Boxwood Cemetery: Where the Past is Present, and will have a book signing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Book Shoppe in downtown Medina.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 30 November 2018 at 7:29 am

The 314-page book tells the story of Medina’s cemetery that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

MEDINA – There’s no denying Todd Bensley’s fascination with history.

“As the Village of Medina historian and a history teacher at Medina High School, I guess you could say history is definitely my thing,” said Bensley, who has written a book on the history of Boxwood Cemetery.

Bensley will sign copies of his book Boxwood Cemetery: Where the Past is Present from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday the Book Shoppe, 519 Main St.

Bensley realized what a gem Boxwood Cemetery was when in 2015 he successfully wrote the application for the cemetery to be included on the National Register of Historic Places.

“As I delved into the cemetery’s history, I realized it is a great example of three movements in cemetery trends in the 19th and 20th centuries,” Bensley said.

These included being rural (on a hill), lawn/park areas and the memorial park.

For several years, Bensley brought his students to the cemetery to do research.

“It was most interesting how the cemetery reflects American history,” Bensley said. “People who are buried here made a name for themselves, locally, state-wide and nationally.”

Bensley said perhaps the most prominent person buried in Boxwood is S. Mainville Burroughs, who grew up and lived in Medina. He became involved in the pharmaceutical industry and his company became the giant GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals.

In addition to his students’ essays, Bensley has included in his book hundreds of obituaries, a listing of veterans buried in the cemetery and a compilation of other information related to the cemetery which cannot be found anywhere else.

The 314-page book includes 50 photographs. The books sell for $25. All proceeds will go to the Friends of Boxwood – an organization dedicated to the upkeep and promotion of the local treasure.

While this is Bensley’s first book, he has some ideas for another, but nothing definitive yet, he said.

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Generosity reigns in one-day toy drive

Posted 27 November 2018 at 6:57 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – A one-day toy drive on Saturday during Medina’s Olde Tyme Christmas celebration filled 12 bags with toys and also netted $1,001 to buy toys and food for families.

The toys were collected Saturday at Canalside Tattoo in on Main Street in Medina. The toys will go to the Medina Area Association of Churches for its Christmas Box Program and also to Community Action of Orleans & Genesee. People were welcome to drop off toys. For every toy donated or for every $5, people would get a chance to win one of 20 packages donated by local businesses.

Pictured, from left, include: Sherry Tuohey, coordinator of Christmas Box Program for MAAC; Annette Finch, Community Services director for Community Action; Michelle Figueroa, case manager for Community Action; Ronnie Barite, president of board of directors for Community Action; Andrew Szatkowski, toy drive chairman; and Shawn Ramsey, owner of Canalside Tattoo.

Andrew Szatkowski, the toy drive organizer, said this year’s drive passed the inaugural drive last year. He estimated there were about 10 percent more toys and an additional $200 donated.

The MAAC distributes toys to about 150 children and their families in the Medina area. The toys from the one-day drive will supplement the toys given in the 30 red barrels that are set up at Medina locations.

Community Action is collecting toys and food for 350 children in their families in Albion, Holley, Kendall and Lyndonville.

“It’s a tremendous help,” Annette Finch, Community Services director for Community Action, said at the toy drive in Medina.

Community Action welcomes more help with its Christmas effort for the 350 children and their families. For more information, call Finch or Michelle Figueroa at (585) 589-5605.

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Acclaimed concert organist will perform Sunday at Medina church

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Andrew Meier, organist at Trinity Lutheran Church in Medina, points to the loft where the newly-installed Holtkamp pipe organ will be played in concert Dec. 2 by noted concert organist Judith Hancock.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 27 November 2018 at 10:45 am

‘Nothing compares to the sound of a pipe organ’

Photo by Lisa Hancock: Judith Hancock will play the organ during a concert Sunday in Medina.

MEDINA – Dedication of Trinity Lutheran Church’s newly-expanded pipe organ in a concert Sunday will be like deja vu for nationally acclaimed organist Judith Hancock.

The 1968 Holtkamp organ, which was relocated from Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati, was played by Hancock’s late husband Gerre, who supervised its installation and performed when it was originally dedicated 50 years ago at Christ Church Cathedral. He passed away in 2012.

Judith Hancock is one of America’s leading concert organists, said Trinity Church’s organist Andrew Meier. Her husband was also revered for his skills with the instrument.

The organ is being expanded by the Timothy E. Smith Company.

“Trinity Medina is honored to have Dr. Hancock perform on the 50th anniversary of the Holtkamp’s original dedication,” Meier said.

Hancock has degrees from Syracuse University and Union Theological Seminary. She previosuly held positions of associate organist at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, and organist/director of music at St. James’ Church on Madison Ave., New York City. She has performed all over the world in solo performances, in concert with St. James Church choir and with her late husband.

Meier has been organist at Trinity Lutheran Church since 1995, when they had a small pipe organ. In 1998, they switched to an electronic organ, but returned to a pipe organ in 2015.

“Nothing compares to the sound of a pipe organ,” Meier said. “It is really authentic.”

Meier explained the Holtkamp organ is a rare instrument. The company, founded by Walter Holtkamp in Cleveland, only made about 300 of them. It’s probable he worked on Trinity’s organ himself, Meier said.

Meier said the Trinity church is honored to have Judith Hancock coming to perform in concert for this re-dedication of the Holtkamp organ.

“She is an exceptional organist, acclaimed nationally and internationally,” Meier said. “When her husband was named music director at St. Thomas Church in New York City, she became associate music director with him. She has extraordinary performance ability.”

Meier said it is amazing that 700 miles and 50 years later, she’s playing at the Holtkamp’s re-dedication.

The concert will begin at 3 p.m. and a reception will follow at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1212 West Ave.

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Medina’s big parade is a crowd-pleaser

Photos by Tom Rivers: The ladder truck for Medina Fire Department is a aglow as its head down Main Street on Saturday evening for the 10th annual Parade of Lights. There were 45 entries in the parade.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 26 November 2018 at 8:25 am

ARG Disposal disguised this truck as Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer for Medina’s Parade of Lights Saturday night. ARG used recycled materials it reclaimed at its Albion business to make the display.

MEDINA – It was a night to remember in Medina.

Saturday’s 10th annual Parade of Lights unfolded before a crowd of thousands who packed Main Street to view the spectacular event.

Earlier in the day, a light rain was reason to worry whether the parade should be canceled. But after a meeting of the committee with village officials, the decision was made the show would go on, said parade chairman Jim Hancock.

The day began with the arrival of Santa Claus at noon. All day in the village, vendors lined the streets and merchants offered special deals to shoppers.

The dinner hour found Megan McGraph and her children, Aiden, 15, Owen, 10 and Brinn, 4, taking a break from shopping to have supper at the Country Club Restaurant.

“Although I live in Albion, we come to this every year,” McGraph said. “I work in Medina and have a lot of friends here, and this event is so phenomenal. I’m so impressed with all the businesses who participate.”

The family arrived early so the children could see Santa. Brinn told him she wanted building blocks and a baby that cries for Christmas.

Fireworks were a spectacle in the sky before the start of the parade.

Former Medina mayor Adam Tabelski, his wife Rachel and two children came to spend the day and watch the Parade of Lights.

“I’ve been back several times for the parade,” said Tabelski, who now lives in Batavia. “We’ve had hot chocolate at the Shirt Factory Café, chocolates at Della’s and now supper at the Country Club and then the parade.”

Tabelski was excited about seeing the statue of the World War I-era soldier which was going to be introduced to Medina for the first time in the parade.

“I was mayor 10 years ago when the pedestal for the monument was dedicated,” he said. “I’m anxious to see it completed.”

The statue of a doughboy was a lead float in the parade, having just been delivered from the foundry at the University of Buffalo, where it was fired. It is the culmination of a dream by the late Bill Menz to pay tribute to the men who trained for four world conflicts at the Medina Armory – in Company F and later Company C.

A bronze statue made its public debut during the parade with a message, “Thank you veterans!”

Menz died in July, just four months before the statue was completed.

Bill’s widow Betty and daughter Mary Beth Germano had front row seats for the parade.

“This is going to be so emotional,” Betty said. “Once Bill started this project, everything took a back seat. He may not be here physically, but his spirit is all around us.”

Daughter Lynne Menz picked up the ball where her dad left off, and saw the project to completion. She rode in the parade with Cathy Fox and Cathy Whittleton Iorio, both daughters of Company F veterans.

Also at the event were Bill and Betty’s daughter Teresa Menz, son and daughter-in-law Tim and Karen Menz and granddaughters Alissa, Meghan and Natalie.

As the statue was removed from storage at the Pickle Factory to head to the parade, the family took a minute to offer a toast to Bill and all those whose support resulted in completion of Bill Menz’ dream.

The Mark Time Marchers performed in the parade.

Donna Johnson of Medina volunteered in the Santa House in Rotary Park, working with the scavenger hunt. Children had to find certain items in the stores and then bring their results to the Santa House.

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Prime Time Brass of Rochester plays Christmas music in Rotary Park as the giant Christmas tree is lit.

In spite of rain most of the afternoon, Johnson said there were good crowds, and everyone was having a wonderful time.

“People were wet but happy,” she said.

The rain had subsided by late afternoon, and crowds gathered near Rotary Park at 5 p.m. to hear the Mark Time Marchers from Churchville play Christmas songs and some old favorites. This was followed by lighting of the giant Christmas tree in the park and then fireworks over downtown.

Shortly after 6 p.m., the parade led off from the Pickle Factory, and down Park Avenue to Main Street, where people filled the sidewalks.

The 45 floats featured entries by fire companies, service groups, churches and local businesses.

All entrants were asked to incorporate the number “10” in their float, honoring the 10th anniversary of the parade.

Bentley Brothers of Albion entered 10 RVs, all named for reindeer. In addition to the eight original reindeer and Rudolph, the 10th was “Kubota,” a reindeer in training.

ARG Disposal was hardly recognizable as a garbage truck, adorned with lights to look like a reindeer.

Interestingly, according to Hancock, almost 40 percent of the entries were first-timers. Judging was very close for all the awards, he said.

“We thank all groups who entered a float in our 10th anniversary edition of the most spectacular parade in all of Western New York,” Hancock said. “See you next year.”

Velocitii was one of the Medina businesses who decorated a float for the parade.

Dunkin’ Donuts and Grace Baptist Church put together festive displays.

The Medina Marching Band, including some alumni, showed their holiday spirit.

Santa Claus and Buddy the Elf greet their many fans along the parade route.


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Take a closer look at the grand champion float

Posted 25 November 2018 at 5:00 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Takeform Architectural Graphics defended its title as the grand champion in Medina’s Parade of Lights on Saturday.

The company won the $1,000 top prize in the 10th annual parade that included 45 entries.

Takeform created a Tropical Christmas themed float with Santa on a surf board riding a giant wave. The float also includes a candy bar instead of a tiki bar, palm trees and many other Christmas characters wearing Hawaiian shirts and shorts.

The float passes by in about a minute on the parade route, making it difficult to appreciate all the details.

These photos show some of the features on the float.

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Winning floats announced in Parade of Lights

Posted 25 November 2018 at 3:15 pm

Takeform repeats as grand champion

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Takeform Architectural Graphics repeated as the grand champion in the 10th annual Parade of Lights on Saturday.

The Medina business created a float with a Tropical Christmas theme. There were 45 entries in the parade. Takeform won $1,000 for winning the top award.

Looking closely at the sign with the Santa on a Jet Ski, you see see iconic Medina scenes, including St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Bent’s Opera House, Thomas the Train Engine and the Big Apple .

Other winning floats picked by the judges include:

Best in Class (Religious) – Community Fellowship Church from Middleport

Best in Class (Service Clubs) – Albion FFA

Best in Class (Fire Company) – Lyndonville, with its fourth consecutive win in this class

Best in Class (Commercial/Business) – ARG Disposal from Albion

Best in Class (Not-for-Profit) – Knights-Kaderli Memorial Fund

Community Spirit Award – Company F Memorial Statue

Littlest Elf Award – Cobblestone Girl Scouts

Star Award – Bentley Brothers

Santa’s Pick Award – 4-H Heelers Dog Club

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Medina hosts another spectacular Parade of Lights

Photos by Tom Rivers: A crowd stands in awe watching floats, including this Lyndonville fire truck, pass by while glowing with numerous lights. There were 45 floats in the 10th annual Parade of Lights.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 November 2018 at 11:45 pm

Takeform Architectural Graphics followed up last year’s grand prize float with one celebrating a Tropical Christmas.

Fireworks burst over Main Street just before the parade.

Fire trucks, including one from Middleport at left and one from Medina at right, were decorated with lights. They are in the staging area at the Olde Pickle Factory on Park Avenue just before the parade.

Members of the Albion FFA pose for a photo before the parade. They used 11,500 lights in their float, “10 Reasons to Farm.” Participants in the parade were encouraged to use the number 10 in their floats in recognition of the the 10th anniversary of the parade.

Laura Bentley of Bentley Brothers joins 10 Kubotas from Bentley Brothers in the parade. The Kubotas were all decorated and some were named for reindeer.

Cub Scout Pack 18 gets a wave from the crowd, including Frosty the Snowman.

The 4-H Heelers Dog Club made a big effort with its float.

Two girls on the Knights-Kaderli Memorial Fund float see someone they know in the crowd along Main Street.

The Medina youth football team soaks up a warm reception from the crowd.

The Medina FFA had a Wizard of Oz theme.

Prime Time Brass of Rochester plays for the judges in front of the review stand on Main Street.

Mary Lou Tuohey, left, and her daughter Nicole served as grand marshals of the parade.

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