Local News - Week of June 16, 2013
Village elections Tuesday, June 18 in Brockport and Holley
by Kristina Gabalski
In Brockport, Mayor Maria Connie Castañeda, who is running with the Taxpayers First Party, is being challenged for another four-year term by Trustee Margaret Blackman, who is running with the Revitalize Brockport Party.
Four candidates are vying for two, four-year term seats on the Brockport Village Board.
Richard Ross is running with the Taxpayers First Party as is Kristina Telles, who is a write-in candidate.
Trustee Carol Hannan is running for re-election with the Revitalize Brockport Party and Valerie Ciciotti is also running on the Revitalize Brockport Party line.
Trustee Kent Blair decided not to seek re-election.
Polls will be open in Brockport from 12 noon to 9 p.m. on June 18 at the Village Hall, 49 State Street.
In the Village of Holley, four candidates are running for two, two-year trustee terms on the Village Board.
Nancy Penna is running on the Peoples Party line; Stanley “Skip” Carpenter is running on the Independent Party line; William J. Quaranto is running on the Family Party line; and Trustee Brian Sorochty is running on the Taxpayer Party line.
Trustee Sorochty was appointed to the Village Board earlier this spring to complete the term of Lewis Passarell. Trustee Ross Gaylord decided not to run for another term.
Polls will be open in Holley from 12 noon to 9 p.m. on June 18, at the Village Hall Clerk’s Office, 72 Public Square.
by Kristina Gabalski
With the Monroe County Legislature’s approval June 11 of the re-location of the Monroe County Fair to Northampton Park in Ogden, County Legislator Robert Colby, who represents Ogden and lives and farms near the park, wants to reassure residents that the event that is coming to Northampton is, “... not what’s (been) in Henrietta. We are re-inventing the fair as a festival and celebrating agriculture and youth in today’s world,” he told the Suburban News and Hamlin-Clarkson Herald.
Colby said he regrets that more complete information did not reach residents earlier in the process, but the event will be on county park land - not town land - and park officials were adamant that the same procedures and format be used as are used for other festivals held in county parks, such as the Lilac Festival.
“The Monroe County Fair and Recreation Association (of which Colby is a member) did not challenge (the county’s procedure),” Colby explained, “but, the better people understand (what is planned)... those concerns do go away. It was a mistake not making sure people understood what went on in Henrietta is not coming here.”
Prior to the June 11 full legislature vote, Colby said 15 legislators from both parties toured the Northampton site.
“They were given the opportunity to ask questions and listen to Fair Association and county parks officials,” Colby said. “The legislature has done due diligence,” he added and, “... understood the whole project.”
The legislature’s Recreation and Education committee also held a public forum on the referral two weeks before the vote, Colby said. Two people spoke - one for and one against the move, he said.
The move has sparked significant concern and opposition by neighbors of the park who say they were kept in the dark about the move until just before it came before the legislature. Concerns focus on issues like noise, air and ground pollution, traffic and a continuing lack of trust.
Lack of trust that the fair would not expand to a carnival atmosphere, and “...as to the number of times the new park services will be used for events each year,” Monroe County Legislator Cynthia Kaleh told Westside News Inc. following a public forum June 5. Some residents opposed to the Northampton site have threatened to sue.
Colby counters that the fair is getting back to a family event and with the legislature’s approval, a formal agreement can now be finalized and signed between the county and the Fair Association.
The contract will set limits on things like amusement rides (which officials have said will be scaled back to kiddie-rides) and hours of operation of the fair.
The Fair Association won’t own or take over the site, Colby explained. The county will complete the improvements and, “... the Fair Association will reimburse the cost ... there will not be a cost to local taxpayers,” he said. New shelters will also be available to the public for rental, Colby added.
Improvements to the park this year include clearing of about five more acres of land - the fair will take up 25 of the 900 acres in the park; putting in a driveway for exhibitors, fencing-in an area for a horse riding arena with a prepared riding ground, and removing topsoil for the tractor pull.
Three lodges would be built in 2014, Colby anticipates, and says this year, tents will be used to house show animals, a stage for events like the 4-H clothing review and presentations, and also for showing additional 4-H projects.
He added that there will be no demolition derby and the fair will not affect activities in the park such as soccer, the ski slope, sledding, and similar park uses.
Because the fair will be set in a farming community, 4-Hers will be able to, “do a better job of interacting with their projects,” Colby said.
Several local farm market vendors have been invited at no charge, to sell their wares and produce at the fair, further strengthening the tie between local agriculture and the event, Colby said. Additionally, local service organizations and community groups such as Kiwanis and the Lions Club, will have first access to food vending spots, enabling them to fundraise by running a booth at the fair. Local food vendors will also have priority.
“We are trying to support local community groups and local vendors,” Colby said. “We want to engage the community.”
The fair is set for August 1 through 4.
Ogden judge dismisses criminal charges against Brockport mayor
by Kristina Gabalski
Brockport Mayor Connie Castañeda says she is “happy with the decision” of Ogden Town Justice David Murante to dismiss criminal charges against her.
Judge Murante handed down his decision June 11, which stated there was not enough evidence to support criminal charges of official misconduct and falsifying business records, all misdemeanors.
“Justice has prevailed thus far,” Mayor Castañeda said. “This has weighed heavily on the community.”
The mayor says she hopes charges still pending that she violated village codes will also be dropped.
Mayor Castañeda was arrested by Brockport Village Police in March 2012 and charged in connection with allegedly illegally renting out an apartment in her home between 2010 and 2011.
The District Attorney’s office could appeal Judge Murante’s decision, Mayor Castañeda said.
Brockport Police Chief Daniel Varrenti said that in fairness, he would defer all comments to the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, “since they reviewed and recommended the charges that were dismissed,” he said.
In June of 2012, Mayor Castañeda filed a notice of claim, stating her intent to sue the village for, “false arrest, abuse of process, humiliation, defamation, attorney’s fees, out of pocket expenses, aggravation and the value of time wasted by this prosecution.”
She was scheduled to return to Ogden Town Court June 13.
Bid awarded for Seymour Library roof replacement
Board hears status of Ash Borer in village trees
by Kristina Gabalski
The Seymour Library will be getting a new roof. Brockport Village Board members May 28, authorized the utilization of $72,645.00 in funds from the V. Shafer Trust Fund to pay for the roof replacement.
The Shafer Trust benefits both the library and the Emily L. Knapp Museum and Library of Local History.
The contract for replacing the library roof has been awarded to Harvey Strassner Contracting, LLC of Rochester.
Also at the May 28 regular meeting, Trustee Margaret Blackman discussed the threat the Emerald Ash Borer poses to trees in the village.
Trustee Blackman said 54 of the 94 ash trees on village property are in Corbett Park. “If those trees go, it will change the character of the park and will cost the village to remove (affected) trees,” she said.
The Ash Borer has not yet been detected in the village, but Blackman said the issue has been discussed by the village Tree Board which will try to, “....target certain trees to be treated.”
The College at Brockport has offered to loan the village its equipment for treating the trees to prevent damage, and the village might be able to employ the person at the college who is certified to treat the trees, Blackman said.
“We need to think about this and do something soon,” she advised.
She also had advice for residents with ash trees in their yards. They can contact the Monroe County Cornell Cooperative Extension office for assistance, Blackman said.
Finally, following a public hearing on the abandonment by the village of a portion of Kenyon Street to The College at Brockport, village board members decided to hold off their vote.
No one spoke during the public hearing, but afterward trustees discussed the fact that the village has no memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the college regarding compensation for the village.
Trustees said they wanted an MOU in place first before they vote on a resolution.
The college would like to take ownership of the portion of Kenyon St. in the area between Monroe Ave. and Residence Drive for proposed public use in order to facilitate the College’s accomplishment of its “Facilities Master Plan” for capital improvements.
Ogden plans to rebuild Boetcher Lodge at Pineway Ponds Park
by Kristina Gabalski
Sometime this fall, Ogden residents should be able once again to enjoy Boetcher Lodge at Pineway Ponds Park.
The original lodge burned down in November 2012, the result of an arson fire. Supervisor Gay Lenhard says no arrests have been made in connection with the blaze and police continue to investigate.
She worked over the winter and this spring with Ogden Director of Parks and Recreation Andrea Hansen to decide what the new lodge will look like and to make sure it is in compliance with recent codes and be ADA compliant.
In early May, the town board put out a request for sealed bids for construction of the new lodge, and Supervisor Lenhard says a bid will likely be awarded June 12.
It will take approximately 90 days to build the new lodge, once a contractor can begin, Lenhard says, meaning that the new lodge should be completed in the fall.
The process has taken longer than expected, she notes, because the new lodge must meet new and updated codes and be ADA compliant.
“People are asking, ‘When is it going to open?’ ” Lenhard says.
Lenhard and Hansen also teamed up to visit other lodges in communities around the area, gathering inspiration and information.
“We did a lot of research preparing plans,” Hansen says. “We went to different facilities and (included) what we wanted.”
One idea they hope to utilize is installing ceiling panels that will absorb sound, Lenhard says.
Aesthetics of the building have been very important to both Lenhard and Hansen. “We wanted a lodge-look,” Lenhard says, “not brick or cement.”
The decision not to go with a more fire-proof construction material has surprised some, she says, but cement block was ruled out because, “It is cold, not welcoming. We’re trying hard to make it look better,” Lenhard says, “It’s going to be a much classier lodge.”
The new building will be situated at an angle towards the driveway, something Lenhard says will also be more attractive. The exterior will have a natural color scheme and a mix of textures. A dark brown steel roof is planned and shake siding will surround the entrances. Some ledge stone may be used to accent the entrances.
The front entrance will be bumped-out and the inside will feature a place to hang coats before entering a 1,482 square foot meeting room which Supervisor Lenhard says is larger than the original lodge.
One end of the lodge will feature a covered deck area with French doors. A cupola (if it fits into the budget) will add charm and interest to the roof.
Inside, the lodge will be heated for year-round use and will have two ceiling fans and windows along both sides for warm-weather ventilation. There will be restrooms, a full kitchen and a handicapped accessible drinking fountain.
It will continue to be called Glenn Boetcher Lodge and Supervisor Lenhard says she hopes to have a free-standing sign with the lodge name on it installed next to the building. The late Glenn Boetcher was a director of Ogden Parks and Recreation who built the department into an extensive program for youth and adults and augmented the program with many facilities.
Insurance is expected to pay less than $100,000 towards the cost of rebuilding, she says, but, “we may get more because (the new lodge) will be ADA compliant.”
Additional funds are available in town reserves. “We are hoping to have enough to do exactly what we want,” Supervisor Lenhard says.
Security will be a priority at the new lodge, Lenhard adds. The town plans to install cameras at the site.
Boetcher Lodge has been a popular place for Ogden residents to hold weddings, anniversaries, graduations, birthdays and other celebrations over the years, Lenhard notes.
“Many people still don’t know the lodge is currently unavailable,” Hansen adds.
“When we tell them it was burned down in an arson fire, they are saddened,” she says. “They ask, ‘Are you going to rebuild?’”
Residents are very excited, Hansen explains, to hear that the town plans to construct a new lodge.
There’s a lot of sentimental value attached to Boetcher Lodge, she notes, so for the rebuild, “We want to do it and do it great.”
by Kristina Gabalski
“It’s a match made in dairy heaven, combining one of the largest milk producing regions in the country with one of the fastest growing milk based products in the world,” U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said during a celebration held Monday, June 3, to mark the opening of the Muller Quaker Dairy yogurt manufacturing facility in Batavia.
Senator Schumer called the opening celebration a “great day for the whole region, New York State and our country.”
The facility is a joint venture between PepsiCo and the Theo Müller Group and is the second yogurt plant to open in Batavia in the past eight months. Alpina Foods of Bogota, Columbia, opened their facility last October. Both yogurt plants are located in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park just east of the City of Batavia.
“All fluid milk (used by the facility) will come from local Upstate Niagara Co-Op dairy farmers,” Schumer said. He noted the bottom line of the plant opening means, “... jobs, jobs and more jobs.”
The Muller Quaker facility will employ slightly more than 180 people and Senator Schumer said more jobs will also be created in the local dairy farming industry. “It’s an amazing shot in the arm for the economy here in Western New York - the Rochester and Buffalo areas,” Schumer said.
He noted that when the Agri-Business Park has full capacity, 1,200 more people could be employed there. He invited other food processors to “come here to Genesee County and see what a great (agri-business) park we have.”
Currently, three production lines are running at Muller Quaker, which can produce more than 120,000 cups of yogurt per hour. Eventually, Muller Quaker hopes to have eight lines running.
The facility in Batavia will produce Müller® FrutUp™, Müller® Corner®, and Muller® Greek Corner® yogurts and will allow Muller Quaker the opportunity to store and distribute to retailers nationwide from the plant in Batavia.
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said Danny Wegman had suggested to her that PepsiCo become involved in yogurt production - as long as the plant was located in Western New York.
Nooyi took Wegman’s advice and said she has “delivered on the promise” she made.
Danny Wegman told the Suburban News and Hamlin-Clarkson Herald during a tour of the facility, that he found the more than 350,000 square feet, $200 million plant “amazing.”
The Batavia plant is one of the largest in the country for yogurt production. It is the first manufacturing facility for Muller Quaker and is the world’s largest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified dairy facility, Nooyi said.
“We’re going to need a lot of milk,” she told Senator Schumer.
Stefan Müller, board member of the Theo Müller Group, said the opening of the Batavia facility and his company’s entrance into the U.S. market is “the turning of a page in the book of (his) family history. We’re here to stay, we’re here to win,” he said.
The Theo Müller Group has become Germany’s largest privately held dairy business and one of Europe’s most well known yogurt producers.
Muller Quaker Dairy CEO Sam Lteif said Müller is a brand with a “rich heritage.” He said production at the Batavia plant will “ramp up” this summer with the production of new summer flavors like mango, orange and passion fruit/mango yogurts.
Muller Quaker officials said Americans consume less than half the amount of yogurt that Western Europeans consume (per capita), meaning there is tremendous growth potential in the U.S. market. Since 2007, the U.S. yogurt market has grown from $4.2 billion to $6.2 billion in 2012. By 2017, it’s expected to top $8.5 billion.
Photos by Kristina Gabalski
Public meetings set for Genesee Valley Greenway management plan
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will hold a series of public meetings to gather input regarding the creation of a management plan for the Genesee Valley Greenway.
The purpose of these public information meetings is to invite public participation and involvement in the creating of a Management Plan for the 90 mile Greenway which runs through Monroe, Livingston, Wyoming, Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties. The meeting schedule is as follows and all will begin at 6 p.m. with a one-hour workshop and a formal meeting starting at 7 p.m.:
•June 18, 2013 - Crossroads Conference Center, 6087 NYS Route 19 North, Belmont, NY 14813.
•June 19, 2013 - Mt. Morris Dam Visitor Center, 6103 Visitor Center Road, Mount Morris, NY 14510.
•June 20, 2013 - Wheatland Senior Center, 22 Main Street, Scottsville, NY 14646.
An information packet for the meetings is posted on the agency website at http://www.nysparks.com/inside-our-agency/master-plans.aspx. Those unable to attend in person may submit written comment until Friday, July 19, 2013. Please send them to: Salim Chishti, OPRHP, Planning Bureau, Albany, NY 12238. Genesee-Greenway.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monroe County Fair’s proposed move raises concerns
by Kristina Gabalski
The potential move of the Monroe County Fair to Northampton Park in Ogden, may result in a lawsuit.
According to media reports following a well-attended public forum at the park held Wednesday, June 5, a group of residents retained a lawyer and threatened a lawsuit against the county if it goes ahead with the plan.
Monroe County Legislator Cynthia Walker Kaleh, who attended the June 5 public forum, said Monroe County and the Monroe County Fair and Recreation Association have done a poor job of informing residents about the move.
“There is no reason why the residents shouldn’t be concerned, annoyed and mistrusting of anything put forth at this time,” Kaleh told the Suburban News and Hamlin Clarkson Herald. “The lack of information by the county is astounding, but not unusual by any stretch of the imagination.”
Kaleh said concerns voiced by residents included traffic, noise, air and ground pollution and lack of trust that the fair would not expand to a carnival atmosphere.
She noted some people spoke in favor, but mostly regarding the type of fair the Association is proposing. “They did not state the location was the best, but left that open. There is a feeling that this type of event is needed, to continue to inform, excite and promote agricultural expansion and growth,” Kaleh said.
“The overriding theme was that no one knew about it before it was announced and coming before the legislature for approval. The county should have made this an open process with feedback from the residents as soon as possible to waylay or address them,” Kaleh said.
The Monroe County Legislature meets Tuesday, June 11, and Kaleh says the Democratic Caucus will attempt to table the referral, but she says Republicans, at this point, appear to approve. She said the administration could pull it off the table before the legislature can, and urges residents to sign up for the public forum for next week’s Legislature session.
Officials from the Monroe County Fair and Recreation Association and Monroe County Parks have said the new location was chosen because it is in the middle of farm country and offers many opportunities to improve Northampton Park.
The Suburban News and Hamlin-Clarkson Herald will have more complete and continuing coverage in the next issue, June 16, 2013.
Former Holley High School building one of “Five to Revive”
by Kristina Gabalski
The former Holley High School is part of the first “Five to Revive” preservation priorities list determined by the Landmark Society of Western New York.
Landmark Society officials say the list, which was announced during a news conference May 16, will call attention to five properties in Western New York which are all in need of targeted revitalization.
In addition to Holley High School, the list includes the Pulaski Library on Hudson Avenue, the Eastman Dental Dispensary, the Pedestrian Bridges in Genesee Valley Park - all three in Rochester - and the Sampson Theatre in Penn Yan.
“The heart of the Landmark Society’s preservation efforts is community revitalization,” says Executive Director Wayne Goodman. “Beginning this year, we will annually publish Five to Revive - whether buildings, landscapes, or structures, they are significant historic properties whose rehabilitations can become catalytic projects for the neighborhoods and communities that surround them.”
The former Holley High School was built in 1931 and occupies a prominent site in the village at the central intersection of Routes 31 and 237. It served as the community’s high school into the mid-1970s and there has been only intermittent use of limited sections of the school in the intervening years. The Neo-Classical Revival building is located within the Holley Village Historic District, which has been declared officially eligible for listing in the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
Landmark officials say the former Holley High School is a highly visible anchor in the village business district. The structure was selected because it is one of the most important civic buildings in Orleans County.
“It’s notable historic and architectural significance, combined with its prominent location and scale of design, make it an important candidate for rehabilitation and re-use after nearly 30 years of vacancy,” Landmark Society officials said.
“Historic preservation isn’t just about the past,” Wayne Goodman explained. “Preservation is revitalization Preservation creates local jobs, stimulates investment, increases tax revenues and builds sustainable communities.”
The Five to Revive initiative was launched as part of the Landmark Society’s 75th Anniversary and will enhance the organization’s ongoing efforts to support revitalization in Western New York, Landmark officials said.
The “irreplaceable” historic resources listed in Five to Revive will become priority projects for Landmark Society staff and programs. The Landmark Society will work collaboratively with owners, municipal officials, and developers to facilitate investment and foster rehabilitation so that these structures can again play an active role in their communities, Landmark officials said.
Two CERT training classes offered
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes will be offered by the Homeland Security Management Institute of Monroe Community College through grants to the Monroe County Office of Emergency Management. These are the 31st and 32nd classes to be offered.
The focus of these two offerings will be to train residents of Monroe County and the Rochester Region Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) which includes Wayne, Ontario, Livingston and Orleans counties. There are 25 seats available in each class (50 total) for candidates who are at least 18 years of age. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for each class until seats are filled. Early registration is encouraged.
Training consists of three-hour modules, taught over an eight-week period with classes meeting from 6 to 9 p.m. CERT #31 classes with be held on Wednesday evenings. CERT #32 classes will be held on Thursday evenings. The CERT #32, classes will be American sign language (ASL) interpreted. For CERT #32, first preference will be given to participants who are deaf requiring ASL interpreting services.
•May 1/2 - Preparedness, Local Emergency Ops, Module #1 - Disaster.
•May 8/9 - Suppression/Safety, Module #2 - Fire.
•May 15/16, Medical Operations 1, Module #3 - Disaster.
•May 22/23 - Medical Operations 2, Module #4 - Disaster.
•May 29/30 - Operations, Module #5 - Search & Rescue
•June 5/6 - Psychology, Module #6 - Disaster.
•June 12/13 - Simulation, Final Exam, Graduation, Module #7 - Disaster.
•June 19/20 - Pulmonary Resuscitation & Automated External Defibrillator (CPR/AED), Module #8 - Optional.
•Personal protective equipment (PPE): Participants will be issued a backpack containing PPE and should wear comfortable, weather appropriate clothing and durable footwear (e.g. no open toed shoes or sandals) to each class. Some modules (e.g. Fire Suppression/Safety and Disaster Stimulation) involve an outdoor practical exercise so we request everyone please dress accordingly for the weather. The first evening will be spent entirely indoors.
All training, equipment and supplies including CPR/AED certification, will be provided free of charge. All classes will take place at the Monroe Community College Public Safety Training Facility (PSTF) located at 1190 Scottsville Road. Signs will be posted in the hallways each evening indicating the specific classroom training location. Here is a link that may be helpful: http://www.monroecc.edu/depts/pstc/pstfdir.htm.
•Graduation requirements: Participants must successfully complete the first seven modules, the disaster simulation exercise and final exam to graduate. Makeup sessions are not planned.
Contact Glenn V. Greibus, Program Coordinator, Homeland Security Management Institute, Monroe Community College, 1190 Scottsville Road, Room 220, Rochester, phone: (585) 753-3784 to discuss potential scheduling conflicts.