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Sunday sees start of Family Promise Week

CANANDAIGUA — Starting tomorrow, Family Promise of Ontario County will participate in Family Promise Week, a national event to raise awareness of the issue of family homelessness and the challenges low-income families face during the COVID-19 pandemic. The nonprofit is one of 200 Family Promise Affiliates nationwide.

“We have seen the number of families reaching out to us increase, and we know it will grow even more as eviction moratoriums end…The spirit of giving is strong in this community. We will continue to help underserved families in our neighborhoods achieve sustainable independence,” said Melanie McGuire, President of Family Promise of Ontario County Board of Directors.

Those who wish to support these efforts can donate to Family Promise of Ontario County at www.fpgives.org/organizations/family-promise-of-ontario-county.

For information on Family Promise Week, reach out to Brenda Spratt, Execute Director, at fpocdirector@fpocny.org or call (585) 905-3988.

Operation Merry Christmas begins

GENEVA — The Geneva Center of Concern has announced the official start of Operation Merry Christmas. Since 1972, The Geneva Center of Concern has provided a complete holiday meal, age-appropriate gifts for children ages birth — 18, family games and books, hats and mittens and personal care items to Geneva residents in need.

Applications for food and gifts will be taken in the Center’s thrift store from Nov. 2-12 with weekday hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Applicants will need to bring proof of a Geneva Address, proof of household income, and proof of family members.

Donations are also encouraged. The Center is need of new, unwrapped gifts, as well as turkeys, hams, and assorted holiday foods for the boxes. For more information on Operation Merry Christmas, call (315) 789-1117 or email genevacoc@gmail.com.

Lodi resident celebrates 107th birthday, commemorated by Senator Helming

LODI — State Sen. Pam Helming visited local resident Alta Boyer to celebrate her 107th birthday.

Boyer was born on Oct. 18, 1914 in Lodi. World War I had started just a few months before.

In commemoration, Senator Helming presented Boyer with a New York State Senate Proclamation recognizing her contributions and achievements over the years. Alta dressed up in her favorite jacket for the visit.

A graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Boyer has two Master’s degrees, in library science and medical science, and is known for her encyclopedic knowledge of the area. She also worked for many years at Willard Psychiatric Center as a librarian and medical librarian.

Boyer was also instrumental in preserving the Lodi Presbyterian Church which is now home to the Lodi Historical Society. She is a longtime journalist, dating back to her teens when she wrote high school news for the Ovid Gazette and then a column on hometown news. In addition, she has also authored two books, on the history of Lodi Point and of early settler Silas Halsey.

The farm where Boyer lives has been in her family for over a century. Her family originally acquired the 100-acre property as part of the state’s Land Grant program. She has made significant improvements to the property, including adding solar panels to help offset the cost of heating her home, which was built in the 1800s. Alta is extremely knowledgeable about solar power.

During the visit, Senator Helming asked Alta about her secret to living a good life. She said: spending time with family, working outdoors, and volunteering in the community. A family member added that it could be all the bacon Alta enjoys, almost every day.

Local orgs collaborate for silo rescue demonstration

Agriculture is the No. 1 industry in Ontario County. Harvesting of corn and soybeans is happening at full throttle this time of year. Thus, safety is always a concern, but not an easy topic to discuss with family. That’s why a free family friendly evening of a movie and a live rescue demonstration was recently held at the Carriage Barn on the Ontario County fairgrounds.

A collaboration between Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County, Ontario County Farm Bureau, Marcus Whitman FFA, Ontario County Fair Society, and several local grain farmers brought the national acclaimed movie “SILO the Film” to Ontario County for a special viewing.

Prior to the movie the Ontario County Ropes Rescue Team presented a demonstration using the grain rescue equipment obtained with a grant from Nationwide Insurance in July of 2019. At that time, a training was provided by the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety Course Instructor, Director Dan Neenan to local firemen.

At the event, Bill Colburn, Assistant Chief Bristol Volunteer Fire Department + Team Leader of the Ontario County High Angle Rope Rescue, John Bolonda, Bristol Volunteer Fire Department, Doug Kostyk, Assistant Chief, Ionia Volunteer Fire Company and Todd Statt, Richmond Volunteer Fire Department conducted the rescue with our volunteer Alex Boock acting as the entrapped victim. The team explained the procedure as they worked the equipment to keep the victim safe and were able to extract him safely. The audience of 35 were impressed as to how fast an entrapment can happen.

This demonstration was followed by a special viewing of the movie “SILO the Film” for farm families, FFA members their families and local fireman.

“This grain rescue tube—along with the necessary training—is a terrific asset available to all of Ontario County. Not only does it have the potential to save the lives of possible victims, but it will also make performing these types of rescues SAFER and more efficient for all our first responders,” said Bill Colburn, Assistant Chief of Bristol VFD and county rope team member as he was awarded this equipment.

A high velocity auger would make grain removal easier and more efficient. Donations towards this additional equipment are now being accepted by Bristol Volunteer Fire Department, located at 4350 Rt. 64. Canandaigua, NY 14424. Should you wish to donate, make checks out to Bristol Fire Department, Attention Bill Colburn and with a notation of: For Grain bin Rescue Auger donation.

Girl Scout fall products return with veteran support option

Girl Scouts of Western New York’s Fall Product Program has returned.

Girl Scouts across Western New York will put their entrepreneurial, e-commerce, and cyber-safety skills to work as they use an online digital platform to engage friends, family, and the general public to order candies, nuts, and magazines. The Fall Product Program runs until Oct. 30.

The Fall Product program along with the spring Cookie program help girls to raise funds for their participation; financial aid is also available to any new families interested in joining. Volunteers are also needed and members of the community interested in volunteering can also join.

Items available include Peanut Butter Bears, Dulce de Leche Owls, English Butter Toffee, Dark Chocolate Mint Penguins, and more. New this year are Caramel Apples and Sweet & Salty Mix. Prices for these range from $6 to $40.

Through the Fall Product Program, girls gain practical money smarts and the knowledge of how to navigate selling products in a digital environment, which are skills that will last girls a lifetime. Learning by doing gives girls a sense of accomplishment and pride in their abilities.

Customers can elect to help the local military and veterans. Through the Fall Product Program’s Operation Gratitude, customers can choose to purchase items to benefit local military personnel and veterans. Customers can either choose the option through the online platform, or chose the option on a girl’s order card. Operation Gratitude’s mission is to forge strong bonds between Americans and their military and first responder heroes.

For more information on how to support a local girl through the Fall Product Program or for more information on joining Girl Scouts, visit gswny.org.

Waterloo Library seeking winter clothes donations

WATERLOO — The Waterloo Library & Historical Society is participating this year in The Great Give Back.

They are accepting gently used or new warm coats, gloves, mittens or hats for donation at the Library, located at 31 E Williams St., Waterloo, during regular business hours through the end of the day. Items will be donated to Ashia’s closet in honor of Domestic Abuse Awareness Month and the Seneca County Coat Project. All clothing sizes and gender are welcome.

Started in Suffolk County, the mission of The Great Give Back is to provide a day of opportunities for the patrons of the Public Libraries of New York State to participate in meaningful, service-oriented experiences. To find out what other Libraries in the Finger Lakes Library System are doing, visit thegreatgiveback.org/index.php/finger-lakes/

For more information on other events hosted by the Waterloo Library & Historical Society, call (315) 539-3313.

Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association's annual meeting rescheduled

GENEVA — Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association’s annual meeting, which is being held virtually in 2021, has been rescheduled from tonight to Oct. 20.

The meeting, available on Zoom, will begin at 6 p.m. Oct. 20.

It was delayed because several SLPWA members wanted to attend a hearing related to Greenidge Generation’s air-quality permit renewal scheduled for today.

The guest speaker Oct. 20 will be local author and journalist Michael J. Fitzgerald.

Yates' Henry Martin receives NYCAMH 2021 Hero Award

YATES COUNTY — Yates County farmer Henry Martin has received the 2021 Hero Award from the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health.

The award was created to recognize extraordinary accomplishments of an individual or community partner whose work has enhanced agricultural safety and health in New York.

“Mr. Martin’s dedication to the agricultural community in and around Yates County has had a profound impact on the well-being of countless farm families,” said NYCAMH Agricultural Safety Specialist James Carrabba, who presented the award with NYCAMH Deputy Director Erika Scott on Sept. 30 outside Martin’s home.

Martin has a long history of promoting farm safety awareness in Yates County, where he is a member of the Groffdale Conference, an Old Order Mennonite community comprised of about 450 families in the area.

The past year, however, presented a particularly difficult challenge when an 11-year-old child in his community was fatally entangled in a sweep augur. In hopes of preventing such incidents in the future, Martin worked with Carrabba to facilitate an investigation of the incident by NYCAMH and the state Department of Health’s Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program. FACE investigations seek to identify factors that contribute to fatal work injuries. Comprehensive recommendations for preventing similar incidents are then developed and disseminated. For NY FACE, this is its first investigation of a youth incident as well as an incident involving an Anabaptist farm.

“From such tragedies come opportunities to spread knowledge and prevention,” said Carrabba. “We would not have been able to arrange that FACE investigation without Henry facilitating that for us.”

That event alone, however, did not earn Martin the fifth annual NYCAMH Hero Award. His dedication to promoting farm safety trends years back.

Leading by Perseverance

Martin is a founding member of the Yates County farm safety committee, formed more than 13 years ago. In 2008, the committee launched a schoolhouse farm safety training program for youth. Presently, 40 schools participate in the trainings. NYCAMH has assisted with developing the content and has conducted formal evaluations of the trainings’ impact.

Martin also has been a key coordinator of the Yates Farm Safety Days for Families. Every other year the farm safety committee holds this event at the Benton firehouse. Started in 2010, the event draws about 300 people, mostly Mennonite families but also some “English” (non-Anabaptists) too.

In addition, opposite the years that the safety days are held, the farm safety committee hosts evening presentations called “Farm Safety for Families.” Martin was primarily responsible for starting these in 2009, and he has advocated to keep these going ever since, according to Carrabba. Typically held in the winter, these events consist of two evening sessions, one held at the Benton firehouse in the north part of Yates County and the other held the following week at the Himrod Fire Department, in the southern part of the county. Each evening attracts anywhere from 100 to 150 attendees.

Collaborating with others to expand impact

In 2014-15, Martin and other farm safety committee members worked with Yates County’s Soil Water and Conservation District to conduct manure gas testing on farms that use gypsum bedding. Martin and SWCD went on to acquire a grant that paid for meters that measure hydrogen sulfide, a potentially deadly gas that is released when farm manure pits are agitated. The meters are available for area farmers to borrow. The Benton Fire Department also has used the meters to host a number of events on farms to educate area farmers as to the significant increase in H2S produced by farms that use gypsum products.

Martin also was instrumental in having the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety bring a manure pit rescue and safety simulator and a grain bin rescue and safety simulator to the Benton Fire Department to train fire fighters and community members. Inspired by the grain rescue training, a local grain farmer bought a grain rescue tube and gave it to the Benton Fire Department. Martin then helped to get all of the other equipment needed for the fire department to perform grain rescues, such as body harnesses, lifelines, shovels, helmets, a rescue auger and brushless drill, according to Carrabba.

Martin also was instrumental in the Yates farm safety committee’s acquisition of a grant to build a farm safety hazard display board. Mahlon Hurst, another key safety committee member, built what is an impeccably detailed hazard board or miniaturized version of an operating farm that depicts typical hazards throughout for children to identify.

Given his years of dedication to promoting farm safety, it’s no wonder that, despite Martin’s hesitance to be the focus of praise, he was selected for NYCAMH’S fifth annual Hero Award. His accomplishments, in partnership with the Yates farm safety committee, the Yates Fire Department and NYCAMH, have been extraordinary and enduring.

NEIGHBORS: Peach Pit Pitch — tradition continues

LODI — A very special and traditional Lodi celebration — known to loyal attendees as the Peach Pit Pitching party — was held on a recent Sunday at the Mill Street home of Jess Youngquist.

Jess, in addition to a full-time contracting business also participates with a group of talented musicians of country music, popular at weddings and reunions.

Among the guests were members of the country music combo, daughter Kelly and two children from Florida, neighbor Alta Boyer, and Dr. Susan Herring of Purdue University, a research designer of robotics. Guests gathered on the expansive deck built around a tall shade tree, featuring a gas fire pit.

The Peach Pit Pitch involved pitching peach pits into a target area. Each contestant received 10 pits to toss per turn. No definite rules are given to the game, although it took an amazing amount of skill to be a successful peach pit pitcher. Jess remarked “specificity needed for the 3P’s in Lodi.”

This is a special once a year event for Lodi and definitely a celebration worth continuing.

Halloween window decorating set to begin

GENEVA — Final preparations are being made for a favorite Halloween tradition that is returning to downtown Geneva this month.

Geneva students in grade 5-12 will be decorating windows in colorful Halloween scenes. Students must register between 9 a.m. and noon at the Recreation Dept. on Monday in order to participate. Paints and supplies, as well as window assignments, will be made.

Original sketches are welcome but must be approved that morning. Alternative sketches also will be provided. Organizers ask each student to bring an old sheet or newspaper to cover the sidewalk.

They also ask parents who drop off their children to assist in getting their kids to their location, if possible. Participants must commit to window cleanup one week after Halloween.

Winners will be announced after the parade at a location to be determined.

Breathing is vital, just like drinking water, eating or sleeping. But we don't really count how many breaths we take a day, right? What if humans came with a limited amount of breaths and you had to count how many you take or how many are left? What could you do to take the most of each breath?

Waterloo’s iconic Connie’s Diner, which was damaged in an August fire, reopens the morning of Oct. 19. What is your favorite diner in the four-county area?

You voted:

News In Your Inbox!

FLT News Extra

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PENN YAN — The proposed 2022 Yates County budget shows a sizable drop in the property tax rate, although tax bills largely will reflect assessment changes in municipalities.

GENEVA — Complaints about the city’s web page — including a weak search engine and an intuitive-challenged navigation system — have been lodged for years.

FLT Sports Extra

GENEVA — The Hobart and William Smith Colleges sailing team won the David Lee Arnoff Trophy on Seneca Lake this past weekend, Oct. 16-17. It’s the fifth-straight time the Colleges have won the trophy. In addition, William Smith sailors were in Cambridge, Massachusetts for the Women’s Atlanti…

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