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Medina cancels Memorial Day parade and ceremony due to Covid-19 concerns

Photo by Tom Rivers: These Girl Scouts greet many of the community members lined up on Main Street in Medina during the Memorial Day parade on May 27, 2019.

Posted 29 April 2020 at 11:31 am

Press Release, Medina Mayor Michael Sidari

MEDINA — The American Legion and VFW in the Village of Medina, with consultation from village officials, announce that the Memorial Day parade and remembrance ceremony scheduled for May 25th at State Street Park has been cancelled due to Covid-19.

The Honor Guard in the veterans’ groups will meet at 8 a.m. at the VFW to tour the village for a rifle salute at all the cemeteries for their fallen brothers and sisters who gave their lives for the United States of America.

They also ask that on May 25th everyone take time from their day to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice defending our country.

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Medina passes villages budget with tax rate up 13 cents

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 April 2020 at 12:49 pm

MEDINA — The Medina Village Board approved a $5,925,742 budget on Monday which will increase the tax rate by 13 cents, from $18.32 to $18.45, per $1,000 of assessed value.

The budget increases the tax levy, what the village collects in taxes, by 1.9 percent or by $58,865, from $3,138,194 to $3,197,059. That increase is under the state imposed tax cap, village officials said during a public hearing on Monday.

The budget decreases spending by $16,068, from $5,941,810 to $5,95,742. Although spending is down, the taxes are up because they village is estimating its revenues will be down nearly $80,000, from $2,578,616 to $2,498,683.

Mayor Mike Sidari and the Village Board are concerned the revenues could decline even more, with the uncertainty about local sales tax revenue and reimbursements from the state.

The village’s tax base grew nearly $2 million, from $171,265,416 to $173,229,062.

In other action during Monday’s Village Board meeting:

• The board established a permit fee for electric charging stations. Those fees will be $25 for a residential charging station and $50 for a commercial site.

Burger King has applied to have a charging station. It will need to pay a one-time $50 fee to have the application processed.

• The village is holding off a decision on the summer parks and swimming program. A committee with representatives from the Village of Medina, and towns of Shelby and Ridgeway will discuss the programs as summer gets closer. Mayor Sidari said he is waiting to see what Gov. Cuomo’s directives will be following the May 15 “Pause” for schools and non-essential businesses. The governor has said he is looking to reopen some businesses and activities incrementally, with some parts of the state opening before others where the Covid-19 cases are more widespread.

The Geneses-Orleans Youth Bureau has $2,000 to support the parks and swimming program in Medina. If the program doesn’t happen this summer, the village will have to return the money to the Youth Bureau.

• The Medina Department of Public Works will soon be returning to full strength. The village has been alternating four full-time workers each week. The DPW had been at 50 percent capacity to meet a guideline from the governor.

But work is piling up in the village with parks to maintain, tree work, street repair and other projects. The employees can work in different crews so they aren’t all together on different assignments.

• The village accepted $2,500 from the Town of Shelby towards a new skate park at Butts Park, a village-owned park.

The Medina Skate Society requested the $2,500 from Shelby as part of a local contribution that will be matched. The village is also contributing $2,500 towards new equipment and skate park upgrades.

Medina has been awarded up to $250,000 from the Tony Hawk & Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundations with a challenge to match that figure. The money from Tony Hawk & Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundations ultimately will be whatever the local community raises. The local funds are over $200,000 so far.

• The board approved spending $18,761 with Hartway Motors for a 2018 Chevy Equinox for the Medina Fire Department. It will replace a Dodge Durango.

• The board accepted Donato Rosario as a permanent career firefighter. He had been a probationary firefighter the past 78 weeks. Fire Chief Matt Jackson said Rosario “goes above and beyond” as a firefighter, and brings positive attitude to the job.

• Named firefighter Adam Fisher as Medina’s municipal training officer, effective June 1.

• The board announced it is working to renew a longer-term lease with the Senior Citizens of Western Orleans. That group uses the former railroad depot on West Avenue, paying $100 a month. The village also provides $1,800 a year to the group for programming.

The Senior Citizens of Western Orleans help with some of the maintenance on the building. The group, for example, is having the building repainted.

A 10-year lease was last signed in 2004 and has been renewed annually since then.

Village officials and the Senior Citizens leadership will meet soon to establish the responsibilities for both the Senior Citizens and the village, as well as the financial obligations of each.

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Medina church distributes more than 100 Foodlink boxes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 April 2020 at 8:02 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Andrew Lafave, a volunteer with Calvary Tabernacle Church, carries a box with food to a trunk of a vehicle on Monday afternoon during a Foodlink distribution at the church, which is at the old Medina High School on Catherine Street.

Foodlink dropped off 300 boxes and the church distributed 110 from 3 to 5 p.m., including 85 in the first 40 minutes, said Donna Poore, coordinator of the distribution and the food pantry at the church.

Donna Poore helps the vehicles to line up. She was tasked by Foodlink to find out the zip code of each recipient and the number of people in the family.

Kurt Strickland helps with the food distribution on Monday. The church had nearly 200 boxes of food left over after the distribution. Those boxes will be used for the church’s food pantry, which is open Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Some of the boxes might also go to the food distribution Friday in Albion from 9:30 to 11:30 at the Main Street parking lot, across from Hoag Library. Community Action runs that food distribution. It went through all 300 of its boxes during the first distribution on April 17.

People don’t need to register for the food distribution. They are encouraged to clean out their trunks and keep their windows closed. Volunteers will put a box of food in the trunk and then close the trunk.

Daniel Tabor, another volunteer at Calvary, gets a box ready. The boxes included citrus.

The boxes on Monday were a little lighter than usual due to increased demand on Foodlink.

The bags of citrus were added to the other boxes of food.

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Takeform develops new signs, other products to help businesses during pandemic

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 April 2020 at 11:40 am

Company quickly retools with new floor markers, protective shields, sanitizer/PPE stations and other products

Provided photos, images: Takeform in Medina developed these and other products for healthcare facilities. Amplify wall posters including these floor decals at left allow for easy display of a message on any interior wall or floor. This one is 6 feet wide, the recommended space for social distancing. The amplify window cling at right applies directly to glass doors and windows and is intended for indoor and outdoor use. These window clings inform that Covid-19 testing is done at the site.

Provided photo: Ken McPherson of Takeform assembles one of the Assure Protective Shields manufactured by the Medina company. These shields are used to protect tellers and other in-person customer service employees from germs during customer interactions.

MEDINA – Takeform, a company with 200 employees in Medina, has quickly developed an array of products to help businesses, especially healthcare organizations, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Takeform has made numerous signs and floor decals about the 6-foot social distancing guidelines, and signs for Covid-19 testing.

The company has also developed protective shields for bank tellers and other employees in close contact with customers. Takeform also made sanitizer stations that can be mounted on walls and placed throughout buildings.

Takeform was able to design, engineer and manufacture these products in about two months. Normally it takes about six months or more to develop new products and make them available to their customers around the country.

Takeform works with 40 percent of the 100 largest healthcare systems in the country, said Michael Hungerford, a regional director for Takeform.

“Since we serve a lot of healthcare clients already, we’re in a position to help them adjust and reconfigure their facilities to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19,” Hungerford said.

“Over the span of about two weeks our engineers and designers developed a new line of products that do just that,” he said. “The fact that they were able to develop the products and then roll it out nationwide in a little over two weeks in such challenging times is amazing because it usually takes 6-plus months to do something like this.”

Takeform also has been busy working with colleges and businesses “who are all trying to figure out how to make their buildings safe for people to return to,” Hungerford said.

The floor markers, protective shields, and sanitizer/PPE stations are part of the reopening strategy for colleges and businesses.

“Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll introduce several more products that help these organizations open confidently and then stay open safely into the future,” Hungerford said.

Covid-19 notices and notice holders offer a simple, yet effective means of communicating hygiene and safety messages.

Hand sanitizer displays can be mounted on walls in five different finishes: Manitoba Maple, Wild Cherry, Silver Wings, Black Microdot and White Microdot. These displays can be mounted at critical points throughout facilities.

Takeform says, “At no time is communication more critical than during a crisis. Demands are more intense, emotions are high, and miscommunication can be dangerous. Have the right message in the right place, communicated professionally plays a valuable role in managing urgent situations.”

Takeform also has large banners to inform people of testing sites and quarantine zones.

For more information on some of the products at Takeform, click here.

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Sandstone Society delivers 30 sheet pizzas to healthcare workers in Medina

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 24 April 2020 at 10:28 am

Provided photos: From left, Rob Klino and Dave Miller, members of the Medina Sandstone Society, help Theresa Nottingham from Mark’s Pizzeria unload pizzas which the Sandstone Society donated to staff at Medina Memorial Hospital.

From left, Dave Miller, president of the Medina Sandstone Society, and Avanti’s employee Carrie Ribbeck present sheet pizzas to Martin MacKenzie, administrator of Orchard Manor, and Mary Luckman, director of marketing.

MEDINA – Since the Medina Sandstone Society founded its Sandstone Trust in 2010, they have been able to provide financial aid to members of the Medina community, but with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the Society has redirected the focus of its giving.

“In March, we were gearing up to have our annual meeting to discuss the recipient of our John Ryan Scholarship and the year of events to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Sandstone Trust ,” said Sandstone Society President Dave Miller. “Then the pandemic hit and we were forced to cancel everything. The board then started to discuss via e-mail if there was something we could do now for the community.”

“Our society’s mission is to promote community pride and what we wanted was a way to do that now,” Miller said.

What they decided to do was to send pizzas to all the health care workers in Medina. This included staff at Medina Memorial Hospital, Applegate, Orchard Manor Nursing Home and the Willows.

On Thursday, Avanti’s delivered pizzas to Orchard Manor and the Willows, while Mark’s Pizzeria made deliveries to the hospital and Applegate.

The donation of 30 sheet pizzas fed a combined 200 staff members in the four facilities.

At the nursing home, administrator Martin MacKenzie and director of marketing Mary Luckman were very thankful for the donation.

“This is quite a gesture for staff to show up here every day,” Luckman said. “A lot of them are putting in double shifts.”

The nursing home employs 100 health care workers, maintenance people and administration.

At the hospital, Heather Miles, and X-ray technician, took delivery of the pizzas there.

“We can’t thank all the people who have donated enough,” she said.

A second pizza delivery was made to facilities to accommodate those on the night shift.

The Sandstone Society maintains a gift shop on its website, and has also added an icon which allows people to make a $25 donation, which the Sandstone Society will then give it to organizations which help those in need during the pandemic, such as food pantries. The icon is called “Support Your Community During Covid-19.”

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Medina Lions Club presents gift cards to Senior Center

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 24 April 2020 at 9:14 am

Provided photo: Billy Roman, right, president of Medina Lions Club, presents Tops gift cards to Lynn Creasey, president of the Senior Citizens of Western New York board. At left is Lions member Jim Hancock. Senior Center director Kelly Shaw was unable to attend the presentation, but distributed the cards to deserving seniors.

MEDNA – The Medina Lions Club continued its community service project this week with a donation of 20 Tops gift cards of $25 each to the Senior Center of Western Orleans.

The presentation was made by Lions president Billy Roman to the Senior Center board president Lynn Creasey.

“We really appreciate the Lions’ gesture,” Creasey said. “We definitely have people who can use a little help, especially widows and those living on Social Security.”

Senior Center director Kelly Shaw, who was unable to attend the presentation, later distributed the cards to seniors she knew have limited incomes and would appreciate the extra help.

Shaw considers members of the Senior Center “her family,” and was thrilled at being able to provide this gift to 20 of them.

“I know which ones can use the extra help and I know they will be very thankful,” Shaw said.

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Medina food pantries adapt to serve with social distancing restrictions

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 19 April 2020 at 8:33 am

Robin Dubai selects canned goods to fill grocery bags at St. Peter’s emergency food pantry in Medina. With the recent coronavirus pandemic, the pantry has added evening hours in order to accommodate more people.

MEDINA – With hundreds out of work and grocery stores selling out, food pantries have had to adjust their operations to meet the demand.

There are two food pantries in Medina – one at Calvary Tabernacle Assembly of God located in the former Medina High School, and the Emergency Food Pantry at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church on West Avenue.

The Emergency Food Pantry originated out of an adult Sunday School class meeting in 1982, when members discussed doing something for the community. Unlike a regular food pantry where eligible families can come and receive food every week, the Emergency Food Pantry packages up bags of food which Medina residents can get once every three weeks. The pantry has a requirement that recipients must live in the 14103 zip code and they much bring proof of residency and family size with them.

Robin Dubai is coordinator of the food pantry, which is overseen by a board which includes herself, Jim Hancock as treasurer, Sally Grimm as volunteer coordinator, Jane Stroyan, Mary Lou Rue, Michelle Capstick and Marilyn Drew.

The pantry is open from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and recently added evening hours from 5 to 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday and third Thursday of the month.

“We knew with so many people unemployed there might be a lot who would need extra help,” Dubai said.

The food bank gets supplies through a line of credit from Foodlink, where they also get a $4,000 a year grant. In addition, they receive surplus food from the federal government and the rest they purchase locally.

With the government demands for social distancing, both food banks have had to change their procedure. At St. Peter’s, Dubai and volunteers pack bags of food in the basement with assorted items, which are then taken upstairs and lined up by the door. Recipients come in one at a time, register and then exit out the side of the building.

Robin Dubai carries bags of food at St. Peter’s emergency food pantry.

With recent demands, Dubai said there is a shortage of some staples and she has had to substitute other items. Each person gets a bag containing three meals a day for three days for the size of their family. They cannot come again for three weeks, except in extreme emergencies, Dubai said.

Hancock said they normally see an influx of people on a fixed income at the end of the month. Their customers include families, single individuals and seniors.

At Calvary Tabernacle, Donna Poore is volunteer manager of the food bank. She and the Rev. Vincent Iorio think the food pantry has been serving the community for at least 25 years. They also receive food from a Foodlink grant, and personal and company donations of food and cash. Due to the concern for spreading the coronavirus, the pantry is not accepting donations from personal households at this time.

Calvary Tabernacle is slated to receive food donations every other year from the Boy Scouts annual food drive.

“This is our year to benefit from the Boy Scouts’ drive, but we don’t know how the pandemic is going to affect that,” Poore said. “That drive provides a lot of canned goods and shelf-stable foods for our pantry.”

During the first two to three weeks of the government-mandated shut-down, the food pantry saw an increase in demand of more than 50 percent, Poore said.

“But that has since leveled off,” she said.  “I think people realize we are going to be here and they can come back in three weeks.”

The Calvary Tabernacle food pantry is open from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday and Thursday. Like St. Peter’s, they have had to implement safe procedures for greeting residents and delivering their food.

Bags are packed inside by volunteers, who watch the parking lot for people to pull in. Then a volunteer greets the person on the back porch by the parking lot, gets their name, the number in their family and inquires if they have been there before.

No one is allowed in the building, the Rev. Iorio said.

The food pantry serves an average of 30 families a week, Poore said.

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Medina woman has made 1,200 masks, many for healthcare workers and COs

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 18 April 2020 at 8:34 am

Hannah Pollard has turned shutdown into a mission

Provided photos: Hannah Pollard sits at her sewing machine, where she makes 50 to 75 masks a day for local residents and organizations.

MEDINA – When the government ordered the shutdown of all non-essential businesses, Hannah Pollard was no longer able to sell her crafts at her booth in Filomena’s Favorites.

So she turned her talent for sewing into making masks, which are now required when social distancing isn’t possible.

To date, she has made 1,200 masks for men, women and children.

Pollard, who retired in 2016 from Pollard Insurance, learned to sew from her mother Jane Pollard 20 years ago. Jane was a quilter and taught Hannah how to quilt by hand.

“I really enjoyed sewing and quilting so much, I opened a craft booth at Filomena’s,” Pollard said. “A day after the store was forced to close, someone said I should make masks, because people were going to want them.”

Pollard made a pattern and she was in business.

The first masks she made she offered for free to any healthcare worker, and they came in waves, she said.

The next ones she offered to corrections officers, and those masks also were in demand.

Then she started dealing with businesses and she was soon selling out of masks for $6 each.

She now has a four to five-day wait to fill orders for her masks. She has hit a roadblock, however, with not being able to buy any more elastic.

She ordered 400 yards online and tracking shows them at a post office in Rochester, but they can’t find them.

These are some of the children’s masks which Hannah Pollard is making in whimsical patterns.

“So now I’m using ribbon,” Pollard said.

Pollard is making between 50 and 75 masks a day, which she ships all over the United States, although her focus is on local orders. She has also shared her pattern with others.

She said she has other friends who are sewing caps and gowns for healthcare workers.

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Easter Bunny spreads some joy in local appearances

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 12 April 2020 at 9:55 am

Director of child care center delivers treats to Medina families

Provided photo: Kim Southcott, director of Praising Kids Child Care Center, dons Easter Bunny ears to deliver Easter goodie bags to the homebound children from her daycare. Southcott delivered almost 50 bags Thursday and Friday.

MEDINA – The hardest part of Kim Southcott’s job is not being able to go to work.

Southcott is director of Praising Kids Child Care Center, the facility run by Medina United Methodist Church in their former church building on West Center Street. The center has been closed for three and one-half weeks due to the government-mandated shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Even though we can’t be open now, I wanted to do something to show the children I care,” Southcott said. “Even when I’m home, I never stop working. The first thing when I wake up in the morning, I think of the children and how I can help them.”

She thought it was important to do something to give the families a little bit of hope in this trying time.

Southcott contacted the board and got permission to compile Easter bags for the children. Several of the child care center’s dozen teachers and board members made donations and Southcott footed the bill for the rest. She purchased bags, candy bunnies, chocolate eggs, Nerds, crayons, paints and Peeps for the children to paint, on which Brushstrokes gave her a deal.

She also wanted to make sure each family had food and included food items, such as tuna fish, noodles and peanut butter in each bag. Some of the board members contributed encouraging notes.

Then she texted or contacted each family she felt wouldn’t be home and set out Thursday and Friday to deliver nearly 50 bags.

“The children were excited and the parents were very grateful,” Southcott said.

She said she left each of the bags on the family’s porch, and her reward was seeing the children’s smiling faces as they waved to her through the window.

“Even though we can’t be open now, this was a way to show the children and their families we care,” she said.

Easter Bunny pays a visit in Middleport

Provided photo: Kelsey Huwley dressed up as the Easter Bunny and rode in the back of a truck around Middleport on Saturday.

“Just trying to bring some Easter joy to the people in my community,” Huwyler posted on Facebook.

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