Find us on Facebook


Downtown Browsery says Medina proving a good fit

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 October 2019 at 4:33 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: Downtown Browersy President Liz Groat and vendor Erik Sinkora, who is the Medina site manager, are pictured today outside the forefront at 413 Main St.

MEDINA – The Downtown Browsery celebrated its grand opening in Medina today. The cooperative has 30 vendors who opened on Sept. 3 at 413 Main St., which was the long-time site of the former Journal-Register newspaper.

The Downtown Browsery started 15 years ago in Albion with a few vendors at 14 East Bank St. Now the Browsery has 40 vendors and has expanded to three storefronts on North Main Street in Albion.

The Medina site includes 10 of the vendors from Albion, plus about 20 new ones. The Medina site has benefitted from the busy foot traffic in downtown Medina, said Liz Groat, Browsery president.

“Medina is way cool,” she said this morning, as people crowded into the store.

The Browsery had a ribbon-cutting as part of the grand opening celebration today. Pictured from left include vendor Karen Ferchen, Medina Business Association President Cindy Robinson, vendors Erik Sinkora, Darlene Janas, Wes Hansen, Medina Mayor Michael Sidari, Dale Laubacher, Lucy Sackett and Browsery President Liz Groat.

Since the Browsery opened last month in Medina, the Albion site has experienced more customers with people from Medina wanting to check out the Albion store as well, Groat said.

That was part of the goal in expanding to Medina, to promote both Browsery locations.

“So far it’s been great,” she said about the Medina site. “We have no complaints.”

Some of the Browsery vendors were joined at the grand-opening celebration today by Medina Mayor Michael Sidari and Medina Business Association President Cindy Robinson.

Robinson said the downtown storefronts are nearly all full with nearly 100 businesses. The MBA welcomes the Browsery which offers another retail opportunity in the downtown.

Robinson said some professionals are starting to go in the second floor of the buildings because the first floor is at near capacity.

Wes Hansen and Dale Laubacher of Medina are among the new vendors in the Browsery. They sell knick knacks, pastel artwork by Hansen and other finds they pick up at garage sales. They are pleased with the response from customers.

They appreciate the low risk as a vendor. They contribute 10 hours a month in helping to run the store, while paying a small fee for space in the building.

Liz Groat said the Browsery has an eclectic mix of items. She said today was the first time pies were available from the Church of the Abundant Harvest in Knowlesville/Millville.

The Browsery in Medina is located in the location of the former Journal-Register newspaper.

Return to top

Downtown Medina building, which was being taken down, has front wall collapse on sidewalk

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 October 2019 at 6:03 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Medina firefighters climbed an aerial ladder to check on a building next to one that collapsed this afternoon.

The building a 331 North Main St. is being removed as part of a planned takedown. However, the front wall of that building toppled over onto the sidewalk at about 4:10 p.m.

The building wasn’t leaning towards the neighboring structure, said Medina Fire Chief Tom Lupo.

“The building did what it was supposed to,” he said. “It essentially collapsed onto itself and not on any other buildings.”

No one was injured when the wall fell over. The contractor, Durable Demoliton of Lockport, had the area fenced off.

Medina firefighters initially were concerned the owner of Durable Demolition, Ryan Plache, may have been onsite and perhaps trapped in the rubble. He was safe and had left for the day.

Plache returned to site at about 5 p.m. and was working to take down the other walls.

Rita Zambito owns the property, which will be cleared for parking. She and her family plan to open a party house next door.

The building being taken down follows the removal of the former Starlite Cleaners. That building was damaged in fire a more than a decade ago.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation paid to have Starlite removed in December 2016. That building was deemed by the DEC to be unsafe. It was torn down after the asbestos and other contaminants were removed.

Return to top

Kids enjoy new playground at Pine Street Park in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 October 2019 at 9:40 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – A new playground at Pine Street Park is a popular spot for kids to climb, swing, slide and play.

Cole Houseman, 3, of Medina, left, tests his balance on Wednesday. He is joined by Adalynne Fox, 2, of Medina.

Community members raised the money to upgrade the playground. The improvements will also include a new splash pad and a pathway that will include flowers and butterfly gardens.

Jay Houseman, 1, of Medina tries a climbing wall at the new playground.

While the park is getting about $150,000 in improvements, one favorite is staying. The Snail remains a popular piece at the park, which is located off Park Avenue.

Return to top

Hospital Foundation sets open house for Oct. 24

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 11 October 2019 at 8:34 am

MEDINA – Orleans Community Health will sponsor an open house Oct. 24 to educate the local community about the future of the Orleans Community Health Foundation and the status of the hospital.

The day will include lunch and a presentation at noon in the first floor board room. Tours of the hospital will begin at 1 p.m.

The hospital hopes to generate interest among potential new board members, said Foundation director Heather Smith.

The Foundation will also lead tours of the facility and visitors will have the opportunity to meet and greet some of the hospital’s doctors and other staff.

“There is such a huge population of elderly and diabetic who need these kind of doctors,” Smith said about the hospital’s urologist, podiatrists and other specialists. “It is important to make their services available locally.”

Smith said when the Foundation was asked to participate in an open house, they jumped on board.

“We are excited to see this type of growth,” she said.

Smith would appreciate RSVP’s to her office at 798-8426.

Return to top

Construction starts soon for Medina’s dog park, splash pad

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 October 2019 at 9:49 pm

MEDINA – Construction is expected to start tomorrow (Wednesday) on Medina’s dog park on North Gravel Road by the village’s former compost plant.

The Friends of the Medina Dog Park raised  $15,000 for the park, which will be on North Gravel Road by the village’s compost plant.

The first phase includes fencing for three enclosures – for small dogs, large dogs and an agility area. There will also be benches and waste stations with bags for dog poop.

A ribbon cutting is tentatively expected for Oct. 26.

With the second phase, The Friends of the Medina Dog Park wants to add agility equipment, and water and rinse stations. The Medina Village Board agreed to set aside about 1 acre of the land for the dog park, which will be the first in Orleans County.

Construction is also expected to start next week on another citizens-led project. A new splash pad will be constructed at Pine Street Park. A group of residents have raised more than $150,000 for park improvements, including the splash pad. The park will also have new playground equipment and pathway that will include flowers and butterfly gardens.

Mayor Michael Sidari said the community is fortunate to have local residents spearheaded projects to improve the quality of life in the village.

Return to top

500-plus attended Ronan Tynan concert Saturday in Medina

Photo courtesy of Michael Sargent: Ronan Tynan sings during Saturday’s concert at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. He is accompanied by William Lewis.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 7 October 2019 at 1:00 pm

MEDINA – Based on Ronan Tynan’s newfound love for Medina, Orleans Renaissance Group president Chris Busch wouldn’t be surprised to see the Irish tenor return in another two or three years.

Tynan was very verbal in his appreciation of the amenities in Medina during his performance Saturday at St. Mary’s Church. He poked fun at Medina sandstone, which he learned Medina was famous for, and praised his accommodations.

Tynan, a medical doctor, internationally acclaimed Irish tenor and motivational speaker, first appeared at St. Mary’s Church during a concert Sept. 17, 2016, with his accompanist William Lewis. It was Tynan who reached out to the Orleans Renaissance Group requesting a return visit, which was attended by about 520 people.

“Dr. Tynan and Mr. Lewis have expressed both publicly and privately their love for Medina and their desire to return,” Busch said. “From St. Mary’s to the Hart House, Zambistro’s and the Shirt Factory, they had a wonderful experience and said as much many times. I can tell you those comments are genuine. They are two of the most kind, thoughtful and generous people with whom any of us at ORG have ever had the pleasure of working with.”

Photo courtesy of Chris Busch: A nearly packed audience filled St. Mary’s Church on Saturday for the performance of Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, who can be seen at the front of the audience.

Tim and Catherine Cooper, who were instrumental in bringing Tynan to Medina both times, couldn’t stop smiling during Tynan’s performance.

“It still amazes me he is in Medina,” Tim said.

Catherine said it was particularly moving for her to realize many in the audience had parents and grandparents who were connected to the church, through significant events in their lives. She and Tim have previously been to performances of Tynan at Kleinhans Music Hall and the University of Buffalo.

“His voice is so magnificent,” Catherine said.

Busch called the concert “simply breathtaking.”

“People who attended were awestruck by his voice,” Busch said. “He truly connects with the audience. They laugh, they cry and they gave a rousing standing ovation. This was a world-class event all the way.

Proceeds from the evening will be used by ORG to fund other arts, culture and preservation projects, Busch said.

Photo courtesy of Michael Sargent: Ronan Tynan gave a powerful performance on Saturday at St. Mary’s.

Return to top

Medina FD welcomed community for annual open house

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Medina firefighters Steve Miller, left, and Sergio DiCenso started to roll up the hose when it began to rain Sunday afternoon during the Medina Fire Department’s annual open house.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 7 October 2019 at 8:33 am

Event is kickoff of Fire Prevention Week

MEDINA – The Medina Fire Department held its annual open house Sunday, featuring a display of firefighting equipment, activities for children, training for adults and a visit by Mercy Flight. The open house is in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week.

Firefighter and paramedic Steve Miller said they had a good turnout of visitors before rain in the early afternoon brought activities to a close.

The fire department had all of its equipment on display, including ambulances, fire trucks and the new small rescue truck and boat.

Steve Miller, left, Medina firefighter and paramedic, and Jason Bessel, deputy chief of Ridgeway Fire Department, watch Bessel’s children Olivia, 8, and Jonathan, 4, climb out of the fire safety trailer at Medina Fire Department’s annual open house on Sunday.

Jason Bessel, deputy chief with Ridgeway Fire Department, drove Ridgeway’s antique fire engine, a 1977 Pierce, and stayed throughout the day with his two children. Another antique truck on display was Medina’s old No. 10, a 1946 Mack owned by Timothy Cooper.

Boys Scout Troop 28 had a booth set up to serve refreshments. Activities included checking out a fire safety trailer and hose competition, where youth could try their hand at aiming a water hose at a target.

Inside the fire hall, there were games and treats for children, and Stop the Bleed training and CPR for adults.

Families head inside the fire house during Sunday’s open house at Medina Fire Department. In addition to activities and displays outside, there were games and treats inside for children and Stop the Bleed training and CPR for adults.

Devin Kinne, 13, of Medina stands by the fire safety trailer on display at Medina Fire Department’s open house Sunday. Devin visited the fire department, where he tried his hand at hitting a target with a fire hose. He also went through the fire safety trailer, where he learned how to put out a fire.

Justin McAdoo, 15, took this picture of Medina Fire Department’s ladder truck during the fire department’s open house on Sunday. Justin can’t wait until he turns 16 in April, so he can join Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department, where his mother is a paramedic and assistant chief.

Return to top

Medina FFA expects to make toy show a new annual event

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Les Segrist of Waterloo unpacks part of his collection of farm toys at the toy show Saturday morning sponsored by Medina FFA in honor of Medina farmer, the late Lee Roberts.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 6 October 2019 at 4:53 pm

MEDINA – The first toy show sponsored by Medina FFA on Saturday morning will most likely become an annual event, according to FFA adviser Todd Eick.

The show at Medina High School was held in honor of lifelong Medina farmer, the late Lee Roberts, who was an avid collector of farm toys.

The day began with a pancake breakfast, during which Eick presented Ginny Roberts with number one in a set of 50 collectible Steiger Panther 111 PTA-310 tractors. The remaining 49 will be sold, Eick said. He plans to obtain a set every five years and then auction them off.

“All the money will go to benefit FFA,” Eick said.

Todd Eick, adviser of Medina’s FFA, presents Ginny Roberts of Medina with number one in a series of 50 toy Steiger Panther 111 PTA-310 tractors during a pancake breakfast Saturday at Medina High School. The remaining 49 will be sold to benefit FFA projects. Roberts’ late husband Lee was a collector of farm toys.

He said the kids will decide what is needed most for the miniature farm the FFA maintains on the southwest side of the high school property.

In the high school gymnasium, nearly a dozen vendors were set up with their massive collections of farm toys.

Les Segrist of Waterloo has been collecting toys since 1985.

“I got started after seeing a friend customize a piece of equipment, and the bug bit me,” he said.

John Seifert of Lyndonville started collecting farm toys about 10 years ago, after retiring as a farmer. His favorites are four-wheel drives, and he said his collection fills his basement and den. He attends four toy shows a year, including those in Brockport, Pavilion and Geneseo.

Nick Adams of Medina goes all over to toy shows. He has been collecting for the last 15 years and his collection includes race cars and semi-trucks. Two of his favorites are a 1965 and 1969 Mustang convertible.

William Nice of Medina got started collecting toys in 1979 because of a joke.

“I had a 50-acre farm across from the fairgrounds, but I didn’t have any equipment,” Nice said. “I had to borrow from other farmers, and I started telling everybody it would nice if I had some equipment of my own. So for Christmas that year, everyone gave me toy tractors.”

His collection includes John Deere, International, Allis-Chalmers and Massey Ferguson. A favorite of his is a Farmall Super M.TA tractor.

Nice owns a construction business, and spends six months in Florida and six months in Medina. He transports his collection back and forth and attends a four-day event in Florida which features 240 acres of vendors.

Donna Wolfe is one of the few women vendors. Her collection includes railroad cars, miniature buildings, army tanks and airplanes. She has been collecting for 10 years.

Saturday’s event also spilled over into the high school parking lot, where several vendors from the weekly farm market were set up. A display of antique vehicles included Farmall and John Deere tractors, a Jeep and fire truck.

The toy show was the result of a lot of work and planning by Eick, the FFA students and FFA alumni, including Cliff Barber, who one vendor said was instrumental in lining up vendors for the show.

William Nice of Medina was one of the vendor’s at Medina FFA’s first toy show Saturday. Nice holds a Farmall Super M.TA, his favorite toy in the collection.

Return to top

Medina FFA to hold first ever Toy Show on Saturday

Posted 4 October 2019 at 12:19 pm

Provided photo: Pictured form left include Camryn Eick, Alexandria Strong and Kennedy Eick, preparing mini tractors for the FFA Toy Show.

Press Release, Medina Central School

MEDINA – The Medina FFA will have its first ever FFA Toy Show and Sale on Saturday. Doors at the High School open at 7 a.m. for a pancake breakfast until 11 a.m. The cost of the breakfast is $5 and that includes entrance into the toy show.

The actual toy show is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the cost of admission is $3 if breakfast is not purchased.

“We have quite a few collectors and sellers that will be there,” says FFA advisor/agriculture teacher Todd Eick. “Some will have antiques, some will have toys that are brand-new and never been out of the box. Some might be older and used toys, but they will still have the box.  One guy is coming just to set up his display and show off his collection.”

Mr. Eick says he has been wanting to have a toy sale for over the past 10 years and with the help of Medina and FFA alumni, Bill Nice and Cliff Barber, they decided this would be the year that they start it.

“Bill and Cliff know the value of this sort of thing for our FFA kids,” Eick said. “We also decided that our inaugural show would be in memory of Mr. Lee Roberts, he was an avid toy collector, Medina farmer and a huge supporter of agriculture in the community.”

The Toy Show is also being tied into National Alpaca Farm Days. “We have extended it by a week so that our attendees can come and check out our model farm and meet our alpacas,” Eick said.  “We also have a free antique truck and tractor show in our high school parking lot and the Medina Canal Village Market tent will be set up for samples as well. We are hoping that people think it is a pretty cool venue for this.”

Since there are some other great events going on Saturday in Medina such as the Knights-Kaderli Memorial 5K Run/Walk and the Scarecrow Festival hosted by the Medina Lions Club at Forrestel Farm, Eick hopes that people will spend the day in the community enjoying all of it.  “We are hoping people start the day with us for breakfast and go to the other events, then come back, have a snack and check out the farm, the displays and the show.”

Mr. Eick says the FFA students have been really stepping up to the plate to help make this event a success.

“We also want the public to know that there will be basket raffles and that we are also selling tickets for $5 apiece for the chance to win a John Deere Fire Truck pedal car with a display case,” he said. “We were fortunate enough that someone donated the money for half of it and the FFA put in the other half. We are getting a great response to that. We are hoping to see a lot of people there. It is going to be a very family fun event.”

Return to top

4,000 attended art show at former Medina High School

Photo by Tom Rivers: Claire Ashley of Chicago created the large inflatables in the gym at the former Medina High School during the PLAY/GROUND art show from Friday to Sunday. There were also art stations and family activities available to try in the gym. Ashley calls her installation piece, “Celestial Boulders (Unseen Organs).” She likes to transform mundane materials into inflatable painted sculptures and performative props.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 September 2019 at 12:29 pm

MEDINA – The PLAY/GROUND art show at the former Medina High School attracted 4,100 people from Friday through Sunday, more than double the attendance during the event’s debut last year.

The immersive art experience included works by 34 artists, who encouraged people to interact with the pieces.

Talis Equity and the Hungerford family worked to put on the show with Resource: Art in Buffalo. The school is currently mostly vacant and will be turned into apartments. Right now Talis and the Hungerford family are working to redevelop Bent’s Opera House.

The preview party on Friday was sold out with 750 people, many coming by shuttle from the Hotel Henry in Buffalo.

“There is excitement in the air,” said Medina artist Tom Zangerle, who attended the show on Saturday afternoon. “This is just fantastic.”

In “Newton’s Clock,” artist Michael Bosworth used the elements of a pinball machine to create a series of interactive works.

Amanda Besl set up “Persphone,” an ethereal forgotten greenhouse at the bottom of the stairs. “Are the contents languishing within or bursting to escape their confines?” participants were asked.

In “Rolling Thunder,” by Tom Holt and Quincy Koczka, skateboarding ramps were painted and turned into artwork.

Sara Di Donato painted life-size images of girls from different eras for “If These Walls Could Talk.” The installation was in a bathroom. Di Donato, a painting and drawing professor at Brockport State College, wanted to show “the performance of girlhood in the present is a reverberating echo of the past, yet constantly fluid and changing.”

Kari Achatz made “Betwixt,” patterned passageways and shadows. She wanted participants “to be seen and unseen at the same moment.”

“Into the Void”  was a popular installation, with many people posting images of the space on social media. William Quintana and Christa Trautman made a set of six telescoping, brightly colored boxes to replace the traditional four walls. “The bright hues are meant to entice users to explore the space further and immerse themselves in the unknown well of color.”

People check out “Medina Green,” by artist Nate Hodge of Brockport, in a former locker room in the school.

The art show included a Medina artist, Kathryn Granchelli. She created a Zen garden-like  installation. She filled the room with sand and paper-clay sculptures. She said the exhibit was inspired by her travels in the deserts. She runs a nanny referral agency for families in New York City, Los Angeles and abroad. She is also is an accomplished artist.

Granchelli welcomed the chance to be part of PLAY/GROUND in her hometown.

“I really think it’s great for Medina to experience something outside the norm,” she said.

Ani Hoover created the “Shade Garden” in a stairwell. She made the display out of plastic bags, thrifted lampshades and lighting hardware. She sought to take neglected materials and transform them into “an unconventional oasis of light and shadow.”

Julian Montague expanded on the murals in the hallways he started last year.

People check out “Safe Space,” created with cardboard and white plaster by Rich Tomasello with help from 150 students at Kenmore, Town of Tonawanda and Starpoint schools. The installation addresses the anxieties of growing up in American schools where lockdrown drills are commonplace.

Marquis Burton and Tara Sasiadek’s “Wave and Shore” installation was popular. The artists encouraged participants to pause and take in fresh sensations.

Carina and the Six String Preacher perform in the auditorium at the school on Saturday afternoon. Musicians performed in the space over the weekend.

Return to top