Find us on Facebook

our communities

Medina sees proposals to improve safety, traffic flow for Maple Ridge Corridor

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 21 June 2019 at 10:39 am

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Jim Simon, right, associate dean of Genesee Community College’s Medina and Albion campuses, explains his concerns about traffic in front of the Medina campus to Laura Byer, planning manager for Alta Planning and Design.

MEDINA – There was an open house and presentation at Medina High School on Thursday to hear representatives from Alta Planning and Design outline proposed plans for improvements to the Maple Ridge corridor from Bates Road to Salt Works Road.

The improvements are designed to improve safety and traffic flow for vehicles, bikers and pedestrians along that two-mile stretch of road.

For Mike and Nancy Blount, who own property adjacent to Family Dollar, this would be fantastic. The couple is pleased to see a turning lane is among the proposals.

Mayor Mike Sidari welcomed the residents and explained why there was a need to address traffic issues along this stretch of road.

“Maple Ridge Road is getting crowded because of the growth of the businesses,” Sidari said.

He praised the efforts of those who have been serving on the committee of 10 since last fall, since the village received a $50,000 Genesee Transportation Council grant to study pedestrian and bicycle accommodations from Bates Road to Tops and the former Ames Plaza.

While the overall planning includes Maple Ridge Road from Bates Road to Salt Works Road, the core of the improvements focus on Main Street to Tops.

The first thing the planning committee did was put the proposal out for bids, awarding the contract to Alta Planning and Design, a company with headquarters in Portland, Ore., with offices in Albany.

Kristie Di Cocco, project manager, said the company focuses on vehicle and pedestrian transportation. The steering committee included representatives from Medina Business Park, Medina Central School, the village of Medina, Genesee Transportation Council, town of Shelby, Orleans County Department of Planning and Development, Orleans County Economic Development and state Department of Transportation.

Mike and Nancy Blount of Medina look over maps outlining proposed improvements to Maple Ridge Road.

They did an initial assessment in November and met with the steering committee in December. They also did a web survey and got a huge response, Di Cocco said. They received 560 responses, which she said was impressive, including almost 60 from Medina Estates (Ricky Place).

Di Cocco said they are looking at the concept of “complete streets,” which means they are not just looking at the fastest way to get vehicles from one destination to another, but rather streets which are designed to handle all forms of travel, including bikes, pedestrians and trucks.

In the future, she said Medina Business Park is going to blossom and other businesses continue to grow, adding to traffic.

Plans also include how they can connect the village’s historic district downtown with Maple Ridge Road. This includes a path from Ricky Place into the village.

They will recommend implementation of strategies which will make the project competitive for grants, Di Cocco said.

Their studies included seven intersections from Tops to Bates Road, and the one which experienced the longest delays in exiting to Maple Ridge Road was West Avenue.

A study of the crash history in the last five years showed accidents attributed to animals topped the list, with rear-end collisions second.

Laura Byer, project planner with Alta, said time lapse cameras were installed on Maple Ridge Road to see how people were walking, and they were walking in all conditions and at night.

“There is a precedent for establishing pedestrian and bike paths,” Byer said.

She also said a pedestrian bridge across Oak Orchard Creek is in the works.

Barriers to the proposed improvements include available funding, coordinating with NYDOT and roadway geometrics, i.e., a dip in the road west of Tops which hides oncoming vehicles.

Byer said Medina Central School officials are supportive of their measures and have shared their input.

Kristie Di Cocco, left, project manager with Alta Planning and Design, and Laura Byer, planning manager, discuss proposed improvements to Maple Ridge Road with Jim Lustumbo, owner of Lake Village Mobile Home Park. At left rear is Jim Bensley, director of Orleans County Planning and Development.

Mayor Sidari stressed the importance of the study, and said they are looking to make these improvements for the safety of motorists and pedestrians.

“This is something that needs to be done,” he said. “We are going to see increased vehicle traffic to the Business Park, with the new hotel and the college. Funding is our biggest obstacle.”

A portion of the evening was allocated for residents to share their concerns and ideas. There was a lot of discussion regarding safety of vehicles, especially school buses, exiting Mustang Drive. Di Cocco said they did a traffic analysis there and are going to recommend a traffic light.

She also said there had been a lot of talk about lowering speed limits, but although it is a state road, the village owns that stretch of Maple Ridge Road.

Placing medians in front of Aldi’s and Medina Bowling Lanes to discourage left turns is another proposed option.

Jim Simon, associate dean of the Medina and Albion campuses of Genesee Community College, was concerned about the fact the speed limit changes from 45 to 55 mph right in front of the college. He said when the new hotel goes up, this developing corridor is going to get a lot busier.

He also suggested a pedestrian bridge installed at the back of Ricky Place would create an easy route for employees of Pride Pak, for instance, who want to go downtown for lunch. It would also be a direct line for students who want to walk home in the village. A pedestrian bridge has already been funded, he said.

Other traffic issues included the problem for residents of Lakewood Village who want to exit onto Maple Ridge Road, especially those making a left turn.

Park owner Jim Lustumbo said a 75-foot right-of-way between McDonalds and his storage buildings was established several years ago and agreed to by the landowner. A roadway there would allow residents to drive behind McDonalds and into the former Ames parking lot, where they could then exit onto Maple Ridge Road at the traffic light.

Copies of three concepts for the Maple Ridge Road improvements were made available for residents to vote on, and those who did not attend Thursday’s presentation are encouraged to pick one up at the village hall and fill it out.

Residents can not only pick their favorite concept, but can indicate if there is one or more thing they don’t like about a concept or something they would like to keep.

The public comment period will close July 4.

Return to top

Kendall Carnival, earlier than usual this year, gets a big welcome back

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 June 2019 at 8:25 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

KENDALL – Joey Cooper, 5 months, has his ears covered during the Kendall Fireman’s Parade on Thursday. He is held by his grandmother, Debbie Rockow. Joey’s parents are Ben and Amanda Cooper.

The family enjoyed an hour-long parade to kick off the Kendall Fireman’s Carnival. Normally the carnival is in July, but the date was moved up due to the schedule for the company that provides the rides/midway.

Despite the change in the schedule, a big crowd of community members watched the procession of floats, marching bands and fire trucks. Lloyd Christ of Murray brought his big tractor to promote the Murray Tractor Pull on June 29-30 on Groth Road.

Ken DeRoller, an Orleans County legislator from Kendall, acknowledges friends in the crowd on Kendall Road. Many local elected officials and candidates were part of the parade, many making a pitch for votes at the June 25 primaries.

Kendall Town Councilwoman Margaret Lynn Szozda is in the 1959 Thunderbird with former Town Supervisor Jack Gilman.

Aiden Barnard, 9, joined his grandfather Warren Kruger in the parade. Kruger is the Kendall highway superintendent who displayed many campaign signs on his 1929 Ford pickup.

Kim Corcoran and the Kendall Lawn Chair Ladies performed to “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra. They have been a crowd favorite for several years.

A member of Head Over Heels Acrobatics & Dance in Holley impresses the crowd with a handstand during the parade.

Kendall youth baseball players tossed candy to the crowd. The players were given a ride in the parade by Lake Ontario Shore Development.

Vietnam Veterans of America based in Rochester marched near the front of the parade. They received a standing ovation from many in the crowd.

The Alexander Fireman’s Band plays for the crowd.

Callie Updike, center, performs with other members of the Holley-Kendall marching band.

Karen Jensen, a member of the VFW auxiliary in Hamlin, had fun in the parade.

The honor guard for the Kendall Fire Department leads the group in the parade.

To see a schedule of events at the carnival, click here.

Return to top

Opening day for Clarendon Farmers’ Market pushed back a week due to rain

Staff Reports Posted 20 June 2019 at 10:28 am

CLARENDON – The opening of the second season of the Clarendon Farmers’ Market, scheduled for today, has been postponed until next Thursday because of the weather.

The market will now open at 3:30 p.m. on June 27, featuring the Fox Den Bluegrass Band and several new vendors.

The market started last year on the grounds of the Clarendon Historical Society at 16385 Church St. next to the Town Hall.

The market is open from 3:30 to 7 p.m. every Thursday with the season expected to continue through the end of October.

Return to top

Fire damages Medina home on Park Avenue

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 June 2019 at 12:12 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – A fire with extensive smoke damaged a house at 414 Park Ave. this morning.

Mark McNeil owns the house and lives there with five other people. No one was injured in the fire.

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 10:18 a.m. and arrived to see smoke coming out of the windows.

Firefighters knocked out windows and made holes in the roof to ventilate the building.

Firefighters from Medina, Lyndonville, Shelby, Ridgeway, East Shelby, Hartland and Middleport all responded.

Fire investigators are on scene to determine the cause. No other information is available.

Return to top

Holley will miss retiring teachers and staff

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 June 2019 at 8:22 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

HOLLEY — The Holley Board of Education recognized retiring teachers and staff at the board meeting on Monday. Pictured from left include Maureen Christian, an instructional aide in fourth grade for 23 years; Toni Barber, kindergarten aide for 30 years; Dan Orbaker, chemistry and physics teacher for 34 years, as well as varsity boys soccer coach; Jolynda Elsenheimer, second grade teacher for 33 years; and Denise Johnstone, special education teacher for 28.5 years.

The board also recognized Tim Rogers, who is retiring as the technology teacher.

Barber joined the staff as a kindergarten aide when her daughter, Jenna, started kindergarten. Barber decided to work for the school after 18 years as a secretary at a Brockport manufacturing plant.

She is sad about retiring full-time at the school, and expects she will stay on as a substitute next year.

“I just love the kids,” Barber said. “I focus on the kids who need me the most.”

Orbaker joined Holley after a year at Lyons. He was praised by district superintendent Brian Bartalo for helping students to excel in the classroom and on the sports field. Orbaker-led team won two state championships and have had a winning record every season the past 30 years.

“I have no regrets,” Orbaker said. “I never had a day I didn’t enjoy here.”

He said 135 of his Holley players went on to play at the next level in college.

The Board of Education also recognized Brenda Swanger, who is retiring from the board after 15 years, including the past six as president.

She praised the retirees, the other teachers and staff, and her colleagues on the board.

“I’m really proud of everything you’ve done,” she said. “You’ve all been working very hard.”

Return to top

DeFilipps, Moroz re-elected in Holley

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 June 2019 at 10:20 pm

HOLLEY – Two incumbent village trustees, Jim DeFilipps and Rochelle Moroz, were re-elected to two-year terms as village trustees today, while three write-in candidates also had a good showing at the polls.

DeFilipps led all candidates with 98 votes, followed by 81 for Moroz.

Shawn O’Mara, who ran for mayor a year ago, had 56 write-in votes, followed by 40 for Alexa Downey, who was on the ballot for village trustee a year ago.

Kerri Neale also received 23 write-in votes for village trustee.

The new terms start on July 1.

Return to top

Loss of Albion student leaves community devastated

Photos by Tom Rivers: Brennan Moody played the role of John the Baptist in Albion’s production of Godspell in March 2018. That musical started with Brennan singing, “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord.”

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 June 2019 at 4:34 pm

ALBION – Brennan Moody’s friends sought comfort in the chorus and band rooms today. Brennan, 17, was killed in a car accident just after midnight last night.

Many of his friends woke up to the sad news today.

Brennan Moody plays the trumpet with the Albion marching band during the Memorial Day parade on May 27.

Brennan was to graduate next Friday. Three of his classmates were also injured in the accident, including one with very serious injuries.

Brennan attended the high school band awards program on Monday evening. Last Friday he won the “Golden Performance Award” at Class Night for a senior heavily involved in the music program.

Brennan has been one of the biggest stars on the stage in the school musicals the past two years.

It wasn’t long ago when he was reluctant to sing solos or draw any attention to himself.

“He didn’t realize what a good musician he was until he got brave and put himself out there,” said Mike Thaine, the high school band director.

Brennan developed confidence and made many friends through the music program.

“He found his niche in music and really blossomed,” Thaine said.

Today was the first day of Regents in the high school. There was no band or chorus, but Thaine welcomed about 80 students in the band room to share their grief.

Gary Simboli, the chorus director, encouraged Brennan’s friends to sign Brennan’s chorus robe and write a message to Brennan.

The loss has been devastating, Thaine said.

Brennan played the trumpet in the marching band, and was section leader in the brass ensemble. He played in the jazz band, and sang in the chorus, including in the men’s select and mixed choirs.

He sang solos at the Senior Tea, at Baccalaureate and in talent shows. Last month he sang with his father, Erin Moody, in the talent show, performing, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me.”

Many of Brennan’s classmates have opened their homes this afternoon so the Class of 2019 and Brennan’s other friends can be together during this difficult time.

“He was very laid back with a gentle personality,” Thaine said. “He had a lot of friends. He was one of those kids who fit into every social group.”

Brennan just earned a spot in this summer’s production of Oklahoma by the Lake Plains Players. Lance Anderson is the Players president. He also teaches voice lessons to Brennan.

“I am devastated by the death of one of my voice students, Brennan Moody,” Anderson said on Facebook today. “I watched him grow as a singer and as a person over the last two years. An amazing talent and a genuinely great guy who really loved theater and singing. I will miss our weekly lessons and talks of his future and dreams. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

Return to top

2 village trustees will be elected today in Holley

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 June 2019 at 11:07 am

HOLLEY – Village residents will go to the polls today from noon to 9 p.m. to elect two trustees to the Village Board.

Jim DeFilipps and Rochelle Moroz are the incumbents. They are the only names on the ballot, although resident Kerri Neale has been running a write-in campaign.

Candidates don’t run under a major political party. They can pick an independent party. DeFilipps chose the “People Party” and Moroz picked the “Rochelle Moroz Party.”

Voting is at the Village Office at 72 Public Square.

Return to top

Brennan Moody, star of school musicals, dies in Albion car accident

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 June 2019 at 9:40 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Brennan Moody performs as Cinderella’s Prince in March during Albion’s production of Into the Woods.

ALBION – The Albion High School senior killed in a car accident last night has been a prominent performer in school musicals and other concerts.

Brennan Moody was killed in a one-car rollover accident at about 12:15 a.m. on Eagle Harbor Road. There were three other students in the vehicle and one sustained serious injuries. All are at hospitals, according to a message to parents from the school district.

Counselors, staff and clergy are at the school today for classmates and parents to drop in.

Moody, 17, of Kent was a passenger in the vehicle. A 2008 Chevrolet Impala had four males in the vehicle. The Impala left the east shoulder going into the ditch and becoming airborne, striking a utility pole with the roof, State Police said.

The 18-year-old operator and front passenger were treated for injuries at Strong Memorial Hospital. Mercy Flight took the other 17-year-old rear passenger to Erie County Medical Center for serious injuries. Excessive speed is believed to be a factor in this collision, State Police said.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation, NYSP Collision Reconstruction Unit and the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office assisted in this investigation, which is ongoing.

Provided photo: An Albion High School senior was killed and three of his classmates injured during a rollover accident last night on Eagle Harbor Road, between the railroad tracks and Erie Canal.

Return to top

Holley will use state funds to provide laptops to students in grades 1, 5 and 9

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 June 2019 at 9:29 pm

HOLLEY – State officials have approved about $540,000 in the first phase of Holley’s technology upgrades through the Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014.

Holley has $1,311,463 in state funds through Smart Schools. The district was notified today that the state approved Holley’s plan to offer touch-screen laptop computers to about 225 students in grades 1, 5 and 9.

Holley also will replace SMART boards with 33 touch-screen flat panels that are “Smart TVs.”

The district will also upgrade existing security cameras and add more of them, as well as updating software for the cameras.

The district is working on its plans for phase 2 and 3 of Smart Schools, and wants to eventually make laptops available for students in grade 1 through 12. For now, Holley is focusing on grade 1, 5 and 9. Those computers will be available in 2019-20. The students will be assigned computers for four school years.

The plan is to offer laptops to students in grades 1, 5, and 9 each of the following three years. That way, after four years, all students in grades 1 to 12 will be covered, said Karri Schiavone, the elementary school principal.

The schedule could go faster if the state approves the Smart Schools plans in a timely manner or if other funding becomes available. Holley had to wait more than a year for phase 1 to be approved.

The district will provide training for teachers in grades 1, 5, and 9 over the summer, and the district will develop a plan and policy for student use of the laptops.

Schiavone said she would like to see the laptops stay at school for the elementary students, while Susan Cory, the high school principal, backs 9th-graders having the option of bringing the laptops home.

One issue for some students is a lack of high-speed internet access at home, Schiavone said.

The district will likely try to determine how many students don’t have internet access at home, and see how that issue can be addressed.

Return to top