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Chamber’s wine walk attracts 100 to nature preserve in Lyndonville
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 August 2019 at 12:20 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – David Bittner and his wife Krys McCarthy of Lyndonville were among 100 people who attended a wine walk on Thursday evening at the Robin Hill Nature Preserve in Lyndonville. Tricia Daluisio of 810 Meadworks gives them a sample of mead.

810 Meadworks was one of three wineries or meaderies at the event organized by the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce.

Bittner and McCarthy have lived in Lyndonville for 9 years and welcomed the chance to see the 45-acre nature preserve which includes 250 varieties of trees on Platten Road.

The Chuck Wagon, a food truck operated by 39 Problems in Albion, served food at the wine walk.

Valerie Pratt offered tours of the 45-acre nature preserve. She lives at the site with her father, Doug Pratt. She is pictured with a dawn redwood and metasequoia.

William and Mary Smith, Doug’s grandparents, built a Medina sandstone house from 1948 to 1952 at the property, and developed the nature preserve.

A group gathers at the wine-tasting stop by Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, where Kelly Kiebala, left, offered tastings from the winery on Ridge Road in Medina.

Paul Schwenk of Schwenk Wine Cellars in Kent serves wine at the Chamber event.

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Section VI Hall of Fame to induct Colella
By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 16 August 2019 at 9:57 am

Contributed Photo – Tom Colella

During the mid 1930’s Albion High had a string of outstanding football teams led by a very versatile player, Tom Colella, who earned the nickname “The Albion Antelope”.

Colella’s feats on the gridiron have earned him induction into the Section VI Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019. The induction ceremony will be held in early December.

Previously Colella, who passed away in 1992, was inducted into both the Canisius College and the Greater Buffalo Sports Halls of Fame.

Colella’s efforts as a running back, defensive back, punter and kicker helped Albion compile records of 6-0-2 in 1934, 6-1 in 1935 and 8-0-1 in 1936, a season in which he had 22 touchdowns, 5 extra points and a total of 137 points.

In all over his varsity career, Colella had a total of 33 touchdowns and 203 points.

Colella went on to star at Canisius College where as a two-way player he was a three time Little All America team honoree.

He then went on to star for eight years at the professional level playing with the NFL Detroit Lions from 1942-43, the NFL Cleveland Rams from 1944-45, the Cleveland Browns of the All America Football Conference (AAFC) from 1946-48 and the Buffalo Bills of the AAFC in 1949. He had 21 interceptions during his three years with the Browns including a team leading 10 in 1946.

The Niagara-Orleans League will be well represented in the Section VI Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019 which includes long time Barker coach and Athletic Director Bill Stedman, longtime Starpoint coach and Athletic Director Hal Rupert and the late Jan Williams from Akron who was a pioneer in getting the sport of field hockey going in Section VI. She founded the Akron program and guided the Lady Tigers to a number of N-O League and Section VI titles.

The Class of 2019 also includes a trio of Section VI athletes who went on to star in the NFL including Ron Jaworski from Lackawanna High, Joe Ehrmann from Riverside and Bill Bergey from Pine Valley.


Notable Neighbor: Kusmierczak of Medina has been active supporter for veterans for many years

Photo by Ginny Kropf: David Kusmierczak is active with the American Legion, VFW, the Honor Guard and the Orleans County Joint Veterans’ Council.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 16 August 2019 at 9:13 am

Provided photos: Congressman Chris Collins reads a proclamation honoring David Kusmierczak of Medina as Veteran of the Month in the New York 27th Congressional District. The ceremony took place Wednesday at the VFW in Medina.

MEDINA – David Kusmierczak didn’t think twice about joining the military as soon as he graduated from Medina High School in 1967.

He also didn’t hesitate to join the VFW (and later the American Legion) shortly after he finished his tour of duty and returned home in 1971.

It was this same dedication to veterans which has prompted him to step up and volunteer for any activity involving veterans in his community – a commitment which hasn’t gone unnoticed by his peers.

On Wednesday at the VFW in Medina, Congressman Chris Collins announced Kusmierczak as the Veteran of the Month in the New York 27th Congressional District.

The presentation was a complete surprise to Kusmierczak, who was told by Steve Johnson and Jim Freas there was going to be a veteran honored and they wanted all veterans to be there.

Kusmierczak wasn’t even suspicious when his wife Barbara and children Dan Taramasco and Jeanette Voelker showed up for the event. Another son, Matthew, had to work and couldn’t attend.

Barbara had been in on the award and provided Collins’ aide Alexandra Gould with his biography, which she read to the group gathered there.

Kusmierczak entered the United States Air Force in November 1967, because he didn’t want to be drafted into the Army. He completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, then became a security policeman, serving at many Air Force bases throughout the United States.

Then came his orders to go to Vietnam, and he was sent to Bien Hoa Air Force Base near Saigon. He was there two years, where he was in security at the bomb dump.

He arrived home in August 1971, and returned to his job at General Electric in Brockport, where he had worked the afternoon shift while still a junior in high school. After a year, he left and went to Harrison Radiator in Lockport, retiring from there after 33 years of employment.

A question about his life insurance policy led to a chance meeting with the woman who would become his wife.

Barbara sold insurance and he was put in contact with her when he had questions about his policy.

“She looked nice to me,” Kusmierczak said. “I used to call her up and pretend I needed to know how to cook something, when I really did know how to do it.”

They dated for two years before they were married in 2005. At one point, Barbara suggested maybe they should split and date other people, to make sure their relationship was going to work.

David Kusmierczak poses with his family after a surprise announcement by Congressman Chris Collins Wednesday, naming him Veteran of the Month in the New York 27th Congressional District. From left are Collins, Barbara Kusmierczak, David and their children Dan Taramasco of Rochester and Jeanette Voelker of Hamlin.

“I said, ‘No way.’ I threw down a calendar and told her to pick a date and that is when we would get married,” Kusmierczak said.

That was the fall of 2004 and the date she picked was June 25, 2005.

There were married by a justice of the peace at the Cobblestone Church in Childs, followed by a reception at the Village Inn.

After Kusmierczak retired from General Motors he stepped up his involvement in veterans’ activities.

“Frank Berger got me into the Honor Guard for a veteran’s funeral,” he said. “When their chaplain took ill, Dell Stork asked me to be chaplain. I still do that.”

He has been a member of the American Legion for 28 years and a chaplain at the VFW.

Then Berger introduced Kusmierczak to the Orleans County Joint Veterans’ Council, where he became their chaplain and has been president for four years. He has also been chaplain for the Orleans County American Legion for two years and for the Orleans County Legislature for three years. Whenever the Legion and VFW are placing flags on veterans’ graves, firing gun salutes at veterans’ memorial sites or marching in local parades, Kusmierczak is sure to be there.

He is actively involved in fundraising for the Butts-Clark American Legion and supports the Healing Presence Program, which gathers and distributes Christmas presents to homebound and nursing home veterans. Last year Kusmierczak distributed 69 packages to veterans.

He also participates in Wreaths Across America at Boxwood Cemetery and in any fundraisers for the VFW and American Legion.

He said when Gould started reading his biography, he soon realized she was talking about him.

He said it is a real honor and he has a spot all picked out on top of their curio cabinet to display the framed American flag which Collins presented him. The flag was flown over the U.S. Capitol in Kusmierczak’s honor on July 17.

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GCASA earns 3-year accreditation for opioid treatment program
Posted 16 August 2019 at 8:46 am

Press Release, GCASA

BATAVIA – CARF International announced that Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse has been accredited for a period of three years for its Opioid Treatment Program. This is the first accreditation that the international accrediting body, CARF, has given to GCASA.

This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a 3-year accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable and of the highest quality.

GCASA is a not-for-profit organization, providing substance use disorder treatment and prevention services in Genesee and Orleans counties for over 40 years.  The Opioid Treatment Program is licensed through NYS Office and Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and can serve up to 150 patients

CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of the persons served.

Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.

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Chamber of Commerce seeks nominations for annual business awards
Staff Reports Posted 16 August 2019 at 8:34 am

The Orleans County Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for the annual business awards. The deadline to nominate a business or person is Sept. 7.

The categories include:

• Business of the Year – This award is presented to a business that has experienced significant overall achievements/success throughout the year.

• Lifetime Achievement – This award is presented to an individual with a long-term record of outstanding business achievements.

• Phoenix Award – This award is presented to an organization or business that has successfully adapted or re-used an existing facility.

• New Business of the Year – This award is presented to a business or organization that has opened in the past year.

• Community Service Award – This award is presented to a business, organization or individual that has provided meaningful contributions to the community in either professional or non-professional spheres.

• Agricultural Business of the Year – This award is presented to an agricultural business that has experienced significant overall achievements/success throughout the year.

• Businessperson of the Year – This award is presented to an individual who has had outstanding accomplishments within their own business/businesses and who has made notable contributions to our local business sector.

• Small Business of the Year – This award is presented to a small business th555at has experienced significant achievements/success throughout the year.

Send a nomination to the OCCC, PO Box 501, Medina, NY or email it to director@orleanschamber.com.

The businesses and individuals will be recognized during an awards dinner on Oct. 17 at the White Birch in Lyndonville.

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Beth Parlato, a former Darien town justice, is running for 27th Congressional District

Photos by Tom Rivers: Beth Parlato met with leaders of the Orleans County Conservative Party on Tuesday evening at Hoag Library in Albion.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 August 2019 at 4:48 pm

Candidate says only 13 Republican women serving in House of Representatives

ALBION –Beth Parlato is joining what is expected to be a growing field of candidates for the 27th Congressional District.

Beth Parlato is pictured with Paul Lauricella, chairman of the Orleans County Conservative Party.

Parlato, a former Darien town justice for 12 years, said she differs from the field in that she is a woman and isn’t a career politician. She announced her candidacy last month and said she will force a primary against Chris Collins if he remains a candidate for the Republican Party.

But Parlato, 52, expects Collins won’t be running again. His federal trial on insider trading charges is scheduled for February 2020, a time when candidates are working to get petitions signed and party support shored up.

“You need a representative in Congress you can be proud of,” she told leaders of the Orleans County Conservative Party on Tuesday evening at Hoag Library. “It’s unfortunate our congressman is in the situation he is in.”

Parlato was the second Republican candidate to declare a candidacy for the 27th. State Sen. Chris Jacobs was the first. State Sen. Rob Ortt may also enter the filed, and Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw also is exploring a candidacy.

Parlato told the Conservative Party that David Bellavia remains a wild card, whether the recent Medal of Honor winner will run. If he does, she isn’t backing out of the race.

Nate McMurray, a Democrat who lost a very close race to Collins in November, announced he is running again for the seat.

Parlato said she is a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump , especially his views on immigration, protecting the border with a wall and growing the economy.

“Trump is a disrupter,” she said. “Everyone hates it, the Republicans and Democrats.”

Beth Parlato, seated next to Jack Lusk, says many career politicians are eyeing the 27th Congressional District.

She works as a family law attorney in Erie County. She is concerned about the breakdown of families and “the crazy stuff going on in our culture.” She said she wants to take her passion as an advocate for children and families to D.C.

The House of Representatives only includes 13 Republican women. Parlato said the Congress needs more voices from strong, conservative women.

“We need to have a seat at the table,” she said. “Right now, we don’t.”

Parlato has been an occasional guest on Fox News the past 3 ½ years. She said she is a “conservative activist” with Moms for America, promoting traditional conservative values.

She said she supports term limits for elected officials, with no more than 12 years in office.

“It’s time for new blood,” she said. “That’s why we have a swamp.”

Paul Lauricella, Conservative Party chairman in Orleans County, said the party won’t be making an endorsement for a while. He appreciated Parlato meeting with the local party leaders.

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Albion village asked to pursue charging stations for electric cars
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 August 2019 at 1:10 pm

ALBION – Charging stations for electric cars in the downtown business district could draw visitors to Albion, project an image of a progressive community, and also would be good for the environment, the Albion Village Board was told on Wednesday.

Representatives from the Albion Betterment Community said they want to put a dual-port charging station at the village-owned parking lot just north of the Presbyterian Church on Main Street.

The station would be mounted on a pedestal and could charge two vehicles at a time.

The state is offering incentives up to $4,000 per port tor $8,000 for a dual station. That should be enough for the full cost of acquiring the station, Betterment Committee co-directors Joe Gehl and Gary Derwick told the Village Board.

The Albion Betterment is willing to front the money and wait for the reimbursement through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Gehl and Derwick asked the Village Board for assistance in installing the station, with the DPW putting in a concrete pad for the station and the village then assuming the ongoing electric bills.

The ABC met with Brockport village officials recently, where there are four charging stations that result in a $140 monthly bill, Gehl said.

The stations help local merchants because electric car owners will visit businesses and local sites while their cars are being charged.

“Business owners are looking for help on bringing people in,” Derwick told the board. “While they are getting their cars charged, they are looking for things to do.”

The Betterment Committee also urged the Albion Village Board to pursue a second charging station through the NYSERDA program. That would result in four stations total in the downtown, with two ports on each site.

That village station could be near the canal or another location to be determined.

The state has $5 million in incentives through NYSERDA for the stations and about half the money remains available, Gehl said.

Mayor Eileen Banker said she wanted to check with Brockport officials first about the ongoing cost of the electric stations and if they have been an asset to the business district.

Banker and other village trustees were open to the electric stations. Banker said it might be better to do one first at the village-owned lot by the church and then pursue a second dual-port station.

Trustee Stan Farone said it might be better to pursue two locations while the state is offering the incentives. He said electric cars are an emerging technology that isn’t going away.

Banker said she would check with the village’s grant writer, Jean O’Connell and Associates, about preparing an application.

“If the money is available through NYSERDA, why not go for it?” she said.

Two village trustees, Stan Farone and Gary Katsanis, will work with the Betterment Committee to work on the issue.

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Medina man pleads guilty to DWI in high-speed chase
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 August 2019 at 12:25 pm

ALBION – A Medina man pleaded guilty in Orleans County Court this morning to felony driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

Jessy Miller, 32, allegedly led police on a three-county high-speed chase on March 4. He admitted in court today to drinking alcohol before driving that day.

Miller had five shots of fireball, cinnamon whiskey, that day. His blood alcohol content was 0.15 percent, about twice the legal limit, said Joe Cardone, the Orleans County district attorney.

Miller faces a maximum of 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison for felony DWI and AUO third. The time will likely be served with the sentenced in Genesee and Niagara courts.

Miller allegedly was driving a white Blazer on Main Street in Shelby on March 4. He was allegedly doing donuts in a yard on Main Street and hit a porch. He then took off with a passenger he refused to let out. He has to pay up to $2,797 in restitution for the damage to the porch.

Police followed him to Genesee County, where he was stopped. Miller refused to get out, but his passenger was able to get out of the vehicle. Miller then sped off, hitting the passenger with the door of the vehicle.

Miller then went to Niagara County, where he was found crashed on Mountain Road with injuries.

He is currently in Genesee County Jail on $25,000 cash and $50,000 bond.

Orleans is the first of the three county courts to accept a plea offer in the case. Miller will be sentenced in Orleans County on Oct. 24.

In other cases in County Court this morning:

Kyle Allport, 34, of Medina was arraigned on charges of first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. Allport in August 2016 allegedly inappropriately touched a 6-year-old girl.

He pleaded not guilty to both charges today. The judge set bail at $10,000.

Stephen W. Miles, 56, was sentenced to 1 ½ years in state prison for attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. Miles allegedly had cocaine.

Miles has struggled with drug addictions for many years and already has served four state prison terms and been in the county jail several times.

His attorney, Mark Young, said Miles has worked to change the direction of his life through treatment programs.

“He is making a concerted effort to refrain from using drugs and I hope he continues on that path,” said Cardone, the district attorney.

Holly Bevins, 23, of Irondequoit was sentenced to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison for violating her probation by using drugs, missing probation appointments and leaving the county without permission of the probation department.

Judge Sanford Church urged Bevins to enroll in treatment programs in the state prison system.

Kayla Rowling, 28, of Medina was sentenced to a year in the county jail for attempted possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree.

She admitted previously to having cocaine on Nov. 28, 2018. She is a first-time felony offender.

Candido Candelaria III, 27, of Albion admitted to several probation violations including using cocaine, multiple times drinking alcohol and law enforcement contact on three occasions, including an arrest for aggravated harassment.

He faces up to 1 to 3 years in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 3.

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Holley church will be filming location for documentary on reformers who changed the world

Photo by Tom Rivers: The sanctuary at the First Presbyterian Church of Holley is shown July 14 during a special service for the 200th anniversary of the congregation.

Staff Reports Posted 15 August 2019 at 8:54 am

HOLLEY – The documentary, “I Am Rochester,” will film the climactic scene at First Presbyterian of Holley on Saturday.

This scene features a prominent historical figure of Rochester’s history, abolitionist preacher Charles G. Finney. The filming also includes a surprise historical celebrity whose identity will be revealed when the film is released.

“I Am Rochester” highlights the spiritual history and revival fires that burned in our region, once known as the “Burned-Over District,” an area made up of the six counties of the Greater Rochester Metropolitan Area of the Genesee River Valley.

The film presents rarely shown perspectives of local people who became global change agents of freedom and justice, such as Charles G. Finney, Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. Saturday’s filming will include more than 40 extras in costume, including local Civil War re-enactors. The story being filmed occurred on Sunday, Aug. 14, 1853, and tells the true story of a dire situation which ends in supernatural renewal.

The public is welcome to peek behind the scenes and attend a short prayer at 11:30 a.m. Major filming is a closed set and scheduled from noon to 6 p.m.

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Barre to begin talks with Apex about PILOT revenue
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 August 2019 at 8:00 am

BARRE – Representatives from the Town of Barre, Albion school district and Orleans County are expected to soon sit down with Apex Clean Energy to discuss a payment in lieu of taxes plan for how much revenue the wind-energy company will give the three tax entities to have 33 turbines in Barre.

The Town Board on Wednesday voted to invite representatives from the school and county to join the town in negotiating a PILOT with Apex. The Orleans Economic Development Agency will also be part of the discussion and will administer a PILOT if a deal is reached.

Sean Pogue, Barre town supervisor, said the vote was just an invitation to start negotiations and doesn’t mean the town is supporting the project. Pogue and Town Councilman Richard Bennett both said Apex needs to “put more money on the table” for the community.

The company wants to build 33 turbines that would peak at 650 to 680 feet high. The company has said it would pay $8,000 per megawatt annually in a PILOT. At 4.8 megawatts each per turbine or 158.4 MWs total for 33, that would add up to $1.27 million.

In a typical PILOT in Orleans County, the money is divvied up based on the percentage of the tax rates in the taxing entities. In Barre, in the 2019 the town tax rate is $9.18 per $1,000 of assessed property, while the county is $9.96 and the school district, $15.10. That is $34.24 total.

Barre represents 26.8 Percent of the total tax rate, with the county at 29.0 percent and the school district at 44.1 percent. Divvying up $1.27 million based on those percentages would result in $340,360 for the town, $368,300 for the county and $560,070 for the school district.

However, town officials say they are looking for a PILOT where Barre gets a bigger percentage of the revenue, where it isn’t shared based on the tax rates.

Kerri Richardson, president of Clear Skies Above Barre, urged the town to tax the turbines at full value and not do a PILOT where Apex pays the local governments at a discount.

Richardson urged the Town Board to not let Apex drive the process. She urged the board to insist on the standards in the local laws that limit turbines to 500 feet.

She said insisting on health and safety protections for residents won’t chase the developer away. She pointed to the towns of Somerset and Yates, which have stronger laws than Barre for setbacks and anti-turbine candidates in office. That opposition hasn’t caused Apex to cancel the proposed Lighthouse Wind. The company announced it isn’t submitting an application this year for the project, but it isn’t abandoning its plans for Lighthouse. Right now the company is focused on Barre.

The Town Board on Wednesday voted to accept $50,000 from Apex so the town can hire an expert to help Barre consider concerns about the turbines and what would be reasonable for height, noise and setbacks. The town will hire an expert without input from Apex, said Lance Mark, the town attorney.

Residents questioned if the vote had enough support on the board because two members, Larry Gaylard and Tom McCabe, abstained. That left only three voting members. Richard Bennett voted against the reimbursement agreement while Pogue and Lynn Hill voted for it.

Some residents questioned if only two votes in favor was enough for the motion to carry. Mark said it was two out of three voting members and was enough for a majority.

Robin Nacca, a town resident, said she would seek a legal opinion about the vote. She said three votes should be needed to pass a resolution on a five-member board.

She also said she is concerned about conflicts of interest among board member who are involved in the process when they should be fully abstaining. She thinks there should be a moratorium on any discussions until there are officials in place who don’t stand to benefit directly or indirectly from Apex.

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CO union wants tougher laws for inmates who spit in face of officers
Posted 14 August 2019 at 3:36 pm

Press Release, New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association

ALBION  – An officer was elbowed in the side of the head and another spit on by an unruly inmate at the medium security correctional facility in Albion on Gaines Basin Road, according to a news release from the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association.

Officers were conducting a cell frisk on Friday, Aug. 9, at approximately 10:45 a.m. An inmate was removed from the cell and was pat frisked. He became belligerent and unruly and would not listen to staff directions. Several officers grabbed the inmate in body holds and removed him from cell block. During transport,  he took his left elbow and struck an officer in the right side of the head, NYSCOPBA said.

Once under control the inmate was placed in another cell. As an officer was closing the cell door, the inmate turned and spit directly into his face, eyes and mouth.

The officer who was struck in the head sustained minor abrasions to the side of the face. He was treated at the facility and remained on duty.

The officer who was spit on was treated at Rochester Medical Healthcare for exposure. He did not return to duty.

The inmate, 39, is serving a 14-year sentence after being convicted for criminal possession of a weapon in the 2nd and criminal sale of a firearm the 3rd degree in Sullivan County in 2012. He faces internal disciplinary charges.

“This type of incident is exactly why NYSCOPBA pursued legislation that would amend the current law that makes it a Class E Felony if an inmate throws any type of bodily fluid or contents of a toilet bowl onto an officer,” said Joe Miano, NYSCOPBA Western Region Vice President. “Spitting on an officer, especially in the face, eyes and mouth, can be extremely hazardous to the officer’s health and that act should be prosecuted as a felony and nothing less.”

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Retiring Medina codes officer called ‘catalyst’ for downtown renaissance

Photo by Tom Rivers: Marty Busch, Medina’s code enforcement officer the past 24 years, is pictured on Main Street in Medina on Tuesday. Busch helped the village of Medina craft regulations for design standards and property maintenance that have helped with the look and upkeep of the downtown business district.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 August 2019 at 2:04 pm

MEDINA – Marty Busch is being praised for helping the Village of Medina implement several local laws and policies that have encouraged investment in the downtown business district, Maple Ridge Corridor and some of the struggling residential neighborhoods.

Busch had his last day in the office on Tuesday after 24 years as code enforcement officer. Medina Mayor Michael Sidari has declared Sept. 28 as “Marty Busch Day” in the village. That is Busch’s last official day working for the village.

In a proclamation on Tuesday, Sidari said Busch has made Medina a safer community by enforcing the instruction and building codes.

Busch helped Medina pass several local laws for property maintenance, sign standards and a vacant house registry, laws that Sidari said “will have a long-lasting positive influence on the village.”

Early in his career with the village, Busch was at a conference in Saratoga, where he was wowed by the community’s thriving historic business district.

“They passed historic preservation standards and they stuck with it,” Busch said.

He brought that message to Medina, and the Planning Board and Village Board implemented similar standards.

Buildings owners took on ambitious projects, breathing new life into buildings from the 1800s. The investments spurred more investments, and now the downtown is a destination and an envy of many small canal towns.

“People saw someone take on a building and bring it to its potential,” Busch said.

The community is fortunate to have many people with a vision for businesses and buildings, he said.

Marty Busch accepts a proclamation declaring Sept. 28 as “Marty Busch Day” in Medina. That is Busch’s last official day of work. The Village Board hosted a retirement for Busch on Tuesday afternoon, which was attended by Kathy Blackburn of the Medina Business Association and Jim Whipple, chief executive officer of the Orleans Economic Development Agency.

Busch has been the code officers while new businesses built in the Medina Business Park or along the Maple Ridge Corridor. Busch and the village officials often pushed chain stores to up the ante with their proposed buildings, going for brick and some extensive landscaping.

“We really do have a gem of a village,” Busch said at a retirement party on Tuesday at the Village Office. Our Main Street is second to none. We have outstanding parks. I think the best is yet to come. We’ll keep rolling and Medina will be incredible in a very short time.”

Mayor Sidari credited Busch with working well with property owners and businesses while they developed plans for projects, and then did the construction.

“Marty was the catalyst for the transformation of downtown Medina,” Sidari said. “Not only the downtown, but the entire village as well. Between the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals, they brought several ideal laws to pass.”

Sidari said a recent law establishing a vacant building registry, which includes fines, has encouraged those property owners to either fix up the houses or sell them. It has reduced the number of vacant homes from about 80 to 45.

Busch admitted the codes officer is a job “where you never make everybody happy.” People usually don’t like being told what to do with their property, or if there are violations.

Cindy Robinson, the Medina Business Association president, said Busch was fair and helped people understand the zoning ordinances.

“If you did things right, there was never an issue,” she said. “Marty never scared anyone away (from investing) in Medina.”

Dan Gardner of Lyndonville is following Busch as code enforcement officer.

Medina firefighter Jeff Tuohey shakes Marty Busch’s hand on Tuesday, Busch’s last day in the office. Busch said h has had a great working relationship with Medina firefighters and police officers.

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$16 million in Fed funds to expand broadband in upstate doesn’t include Orleans
Staff Reports Posted 14 August 2019 at 12:12 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $16,183,329 in federal funding to expand high-speed, broadband internet access throughout Upstate New York.

The money goes to expand high-speed internet in 14 counties, but doesn’t include Orleans.

The federal funding was administered through the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Connect America Fund, which works to expand broadband deployment in underserved rural areas.

The number of locations that broadband internet will be expanded to 8,088 locations, including the following counties:

Allegany, 3,005; Cattaraugus, 2,883; Chemung, 162; Chenango, 1; Cortland, 4; Delaware, 519; Erie, 26; Livingston, 42; Otsego, 192; Schuyler, 36; Steuben, 693; Steuben, 164; Tioga, 285; Tompkins, 16; and Wyoming, 60.

“To build the vibrant Upstate New York economy of tomorrow that creates and sustains the jobs of the future, we must invest in high-speed internet access today, so that every Upstate home, school or small business gets—and stays—connected. This federal funding is a major victory for rural communities across the state and the over 8,000 businesses and homes that will be served by it,” said Senator Schumer in a news release. “With this multimillion-dollar investment, rural counties Upstate will finally have the resources needed to close the far-too-large digital gap. I’ll always fight tooth and nail to secure funding that brings our rural economies Upstate into the 21st century.”

“Everyone deserves reliable and fast internet access,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Families, workers, and businesses who can’t access broadband are cut off from critical services and economic opportunities – it’s a necessity in the 21st century economy. I was proud to fight to make sure this funding to expand broadband access for our rural communities would stay in New York. This funding is great news and it will help give more communities throughout Upstate New York greater ability to get online and stay competitive. I will continue working to ensure our communities have the resources they need to thrive.”

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The Pillars in Albion is focus of season premiere of Ghost Hunters TV series

Photo courtesy of Dawn Allen: The Pillars on West Countyhouse Road is pictured during the holiday season in 2014.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 August 2019 at 9:28 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Tony McMurtie is pictured in April 2015 during the annual Titanic Ball at The Pillars. He started the Titanic Ball on the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s fateful voyage in April 2012. The inaugural gala also launched the opening of the grand ballroom at the Pillars.

ALBION – The season premiere of the popular Ghost Hunters television series next Wednesday will feature The Pillars in Albion.

The paranormal detectors will try to find evidence of “the lady in the window” who seems to appear in some photographs, looking out from the attic.

A crew of about 25 spent two weeks in Albion and at The Pillars on West Countyhouse Road in May.

Tony McMurtie, owner of The Pillars, said he had lots of questions for the Ghost Hunters. He was stunned by their discoveries, although he said he can’t discuss it publicly.

“When you see this episode it will blow your mind away,” he said.

McMurtie restored the property with Scott Root and turned it into a business that hosted special events and parties for several years. The 7,000-plus square foot Victorian home is now just a residence.

“The Pillars is a hidden gem for Albion,” he said.

McMurtie said he has heard things in the house over the years. He sent his father a picture of The Pillars and Tony’s dad is the one who asked about a woman looking out the attic window.

The Ghost Hunters initially ran for 11 seasons on SyFy from 2004 to 2016. It is now on A&E, with the season premiere at 9 p.m. on Aug. 21. Click here to see a teaser of the episode on The Pillars.

McMurtie said he hopes the show will shine a positive light on the Albion community.

“It puts Albion on the map,” he said about the upcoming episode. “There hasn’t been a lot of focus on Albion.”

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Medina gateway sign is restored
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 August 2019 at 7:55 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Medina Village Clerk Debbie Padoleski, left, and Deputy Clerk Jada Burgess are pictured with a Medina community sign that was recently installed by the Village Clerk’s Office at 119 Park Ave.

The sign was found in the third floor of City Hall in storage about a year ago. For many years it had been a gateway sign at the entrance of the village.

The sign was given a fresh coat of paint with the art work touched up by students in Jennifer Scott’s art class in Medina. It was a project as part of Make An Impact Day at the high school in May.

“The art department made it look brand new,” Padoleski said.

Once the sign was done, there was the question of how to hang it. The DPW heard the Ridgway Highway Department had a sign post that had been knocked over at the corner of Salt Works Road and West Center Street. That is a gateway to the village and where one of the Medina community signs used to be placed.

Joe Perry, DPW superintendent, and the DPW workers repaired the sign post and mounted it by the Village Clerk’s Office, with the sign.

It’s been up about two months and Padoleski said it has been popular with village residents, who are glad to see the sign back on the landscape.

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