The year in review...
a recap of the year 2001
2001 was a year that changed the country and the world forever. The national tragedy of September 11 will forever dominate our memory of this year. While New York City normally seems so far away from our little corner of the state, local residents and communities rallied together to prove that United We Stand.
Take a look back at the events that impacted this area over the course of 2001.
Preserves, jams, jellies and conserves from Holleys Hurd Orchards were making their way to homes around the world through a deal with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Their products were featured in four different gift baskets in the Martha Stewart catalog and website.
Nativity School in Brockport celebrated its 125th Anniversary. Bishop Matthew Clark helped commemorate the anniversary with mass at Nativity BVM Church.
Kevin Noon, owner of K&K Food Marts, and his wife, Kathy, donated over 40 acres of land to the Kendall Central School District to be used for a fitness facility, athletic fields, bus garage and parking lot.
Clarendon Supervisor Michael Bove resigned his position to pursue other interests. Long-time Zoning Board of Appeals official Allen Robinson was appointed to fill the position.
At age 25, Michael Sciortino was appointed as Parmas newest Town Justice, filling the position held by Honorable James Connelly who had retired.
Plans were underway to nearly double the size of the Parma Town Hall Park. The plan, which was unanimously approved by the town board, included six multi-purpose athletic fields, a concession stand, playground, and small boat launch.
Kendall firefighter Richard Buongiorne died of injuries sustained when he was stricken by two cars while directing traffic at the intersection of Routes 18 and 237. Buongiorne had been a member of the department since September, 2000.
Phillip Langton began his job as Spencerport Superintendent of Schools.
The landmark gold dome and most of the tower of Ogden Presbyterian Church was removed so that necessary repairs could be made to the deteriorating structure. The tower had been deemed unsafe and unable to support the heavy brass bell atop the church tower.
Environmental attorney Ed Masry and his staff, including the real Erin Brockovich, came to Brockport to conduct environmental sampling and testing and to review all records pertaining to the Oxford and Lyman Street contamination sites.
Senior Citizens of Riga/Churchville (SCOR) celebrated their 25th Anniversary with a dinner party at Gatherings at the Senators Mansion.
Monroe County Sheriffs Department Office of Professional Standards launched an investigation into accusations made against Brockport Police Department. Police Chief Gary Zimmer took paid administrative leave of absence durng the investigation.
Spencerport Rotary Club honored Maureen Granger with a Paul Harris Fellow for the work she has done with Cartons for Christmas.
The Department of Environmental Conservation met with Parma officials and residents to discuss plans for remediation at the Trimmer Road landfill site. The DEC classified the landfill a Class 2 site meaning it posed a significant threat or potential significant threat to human health or the environment. The DEC proposed the use of the evapotranspiration process to clean up the site.
Hilton Village Elementary School fourth grade teacher Beverly Thompson received one of 200 coveted Presidential Awards for Excellence in Teaching Science. With the award came a $7,500 grant for the school.
3M Company finalized a deal to purchase five Oxford Street residences in the village of Brockport. 3M also acknowledged some responsibility for the presence of hazardous waste in the vicinity of its former plant.
Residents of Hilton East Adult Care Community were learning how to use a computer and e-mail to keep in touch with relatives.
Volunteers in the skilled trades donated their time to expand the Hamlin Library into an empty retail space next door.
Riga residents urged the Riga Town Council to reconsider constructing a joint municipal building with the Village of Churchville rather than build their own $1.9 million facility on East Buffalo Street.
Churchville Chamber of Commerce held their annual awards dinner on March 8 to honor John Casey as Citizen of the Year, attorney Jim Fitzsimmons as Businessperson of the Year and Wendy and Andrew Catalina, owners of Babes Unisex Salon, with the Civic Beautification Award.
Students at Brockports Barclay Elementary School celebrated the completion of their new gymnasium, nearly double the size of their old gym facility. The new gym was part of the $19.1 million capital project approved by voters in 1998.
Churchville village trustees honored and thanked Trustee Marian Gowan, who retired after more than 10 years on the village board. She was presented with a clock featuring a Churchville Municipal Electric Department electric meter.
Dale Steffen was nearly finished remodeling the Kendall Inn. He hoped to re-open the inn as a family restaurant before Memorial Day.
Residents of Lyman and Oxford Streets in Brockport put up signs showing their frustration with the contamination clean-up efforts by 3M and General Electric. The residents were part of a $300 million lawsuit against the two companies.
Heartland Farm and Family Center opened less than a year after Hilton Agway closed its Gorton Avenue location.
The investigation into allegations made against the Brockport Police Department was completed. The sheriffs investigation determined that allegations of a criminal nature were unfounded, but revealed numerous procedural and administrative errors. Details of the investigation were not made public because they involved private personnel records.
The third annual Maxs Mardi Gras Parade was held in Brockport on April 28. This year the event included a festival at SUNY Brockport. Sponsored by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Lifetime Assistance, Camp Good Days and the United Cerebral Palsy Association, the event salutes all children with serious health issues.
American Legion Post No. 330 donated $14,000 to help offset the cost of the new playground at Pineway Ponds Park in Ogden.
Lions Club members from across New York State elected Churchville Lion John Rabideau their candidate for the International Board of Directors for Lions Club International. In July 2002 Rabideau will compete for one of seven open board seats at a Lions Club convention in Japan.
Village Plaza IGA opened in Spencerport under the ownership of Mike and Scott Ward and Doug DeFillips. The village had been without a grocery store since Jubilee closed in November of 2000. The new IGA featured one of the areas first self-checkout scanners for do-it-yourself check-out.
Western-Monroe Historical Society honored historian Eunice Chesnut with an open house celebrating her 21 years of service to the society.
150 year-old stained glass windows were removed from Union Congregational Church of Christ on North Main Street, Churchville. The windows were being sent to Bovard Studios in Iowa for cleaning and repair.
Brockport Police Chief Gary Zimmer was reinstated as chief pending his retirement on June 17. He had been on paid administrative leave since February. Zimmer had been a Brockport police officer for 33 years, the last seven as police chief. He is also president of the Brockport Board of Education and a former chief of the Brockport Fire Department.
Union Station Park on Union Street in Chili was dedicated on May 10. A donation of land from James Howarth of Earthborn Builders and a $300,000 grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation made the park possible.
Lift Bridge Book Shop and Lift Bridge Kids moved into the Brockport Main Street space vacated by Mark and Dales. For the first time ever, the two book stores were under the same roof, allowing them to better share staff and resources.
Ogden Skate Park hosted a Skate Jam fundraiser to inaugurate the park. The 15,000 square-foot blacktop surface was constructed by volunteers.
The Town of Parma received a $252,250 grant from Clean Water, Clean Air Bond Act, an EPA Fund, to expand the town park.
Phase II of Brockports canal revitalization plan began June 14 with a ceremonial groundbreaking at Harvester Park. Plans for revitalization included a small amphitheater, landscaping, park benches, lighting and a paved walkway.
Churchville-Chili School District held a groundbreaking ceremony for their new transportation facility to be built on the former Pengelly sheep farm at the corner of Westside Drive and Fairbanks Road.
Clarendon Historical Society opened a photo exhibit of pre-WWII Clarendon barns. Four local photographers captured the images of all 110 existing barns in Clarendon.
Monroe County Executive Jack Doyle proposed development of a 22 field soccer facility on county-owned land in Greece next to Greece Canal Park.
June 24 through June 30 was proclaimed Fletcher M. and Alice Garlock Week in Brockport. The couple was being honored for their lifetimes of generosity and commitment to the Brockport community, particularly in the areas of local history and preservation efforts.
The Village of Brockport held a reorganization meeting to deal with all the changes in Brockport village government. Assessor/Code Enforcement Officer Bill Weber and Planning Board Chairman Tom Hare resigned their positions one day before the June elections. Historian Bill Andrews and attorney Roy Heise resigned their positions the day after the elections in which Josephine Matela defeated incumbent Mary Ann Thorpe for the position of Mayor.
County Executive Jack Doyle announced that the proposed thruway exit in Chili would not become a reality based on the Preliminary Initial Findings Report that indicated limited economic development potential.
Hilton Village Board chose Al Howe its 2001 Citizen of the Year for his many volunteer activities.
Ferris Goodridge Post 330 of the American Legion dedicated the grounds west of the Legion post on Trimmer Road in Spencerport as Jerry Peck Memorial Field in honor of Pecks many years of service to the post.
Mulkin/Courtesy GM was purchased by the Spurr family of Brockport and became Spurr-Courtesy.
Holley marked the 150th anniversary of its incorporation with a Sesquicentennial Celebration on August 4 that included a parade, pageant, fireworks, band performances and arts and crafts show.
Parma held its annual Park It in Parma Town Celebration on August 4. New this year was the Worlds Largest Egg Drop. Children in the Hilton-Parma Recreation Summer Playground worked to construct a giant chicken made of foam, paper mache and duct tape into which an egg was placed and dropped from 70 feet.
Retired Spencerport teacher Mildred Snyder celebrated her 100th birthday. She received many honors for her years of dedicated service to education as well as more than 300 birthday cards.
Area residents raised concerns about the proposed soccer complex between Manitou Road, the Erie Canal and Erie Canal Park. Residents concerned about increased traffic and saving the park from commercial exploitation formed Citizens for the Integrity of Greece Canal Park. Lawn signs put up by the group were stolen.
Lakeside Memorial Hospital was awarded a $300,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation in support of their Building for the Next Generation capital campaign.
Ogden Skate Park was dedicated to Rotarian Pete Bacher, who initiated the project before his death in December, 1999.
A Farewell Open House was held to say goodbye to the White Churchs pastor Rev. Harold Skip Lloyd. He had served at the Spencerport church for 10 years. Lloyd conducted his last service on September 2 before moving to Massachusetts to serve at Athol United Church of Christ.
Spencerport Ambulance was searching for per diem workers because volunteers were not readily available.
Dragon Boat races were part of the Brockport Summer Art Festival for the first time this year. The annual Duck Derby was successful again, raising $20,000 for community projects chosen by BISCO and Lifetime Assistance.
Local communities and residents reached out in support of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania. Flags were flying high across the area as vigils, rallies, blood drives and fundraisers dominated local events. More than 300 people attended a candlelight vigil at the Hilton Gazebo. Local emergency service and law enforcement personnel volunteered time on September 20 to Pass the Boot as part of a county-wide effort to raise funds for the families of emergency service workers lost at the World Trade Center. Boy scouts held a rally for patriotism at Frontier Field. Members of St. John Lutheran Church in Hamlin hosted the Lift Up America! Ham Dinner with proceeds going to relief efforts. Seven members of Spencerport Ambulance covered two 12 hour shifts working near Ground Zero.
A Grand Opening was held for the newly expanded Pearce Memorial Church in North Chili. The 38,000 square foot expansion was handicapped accessible and included new classrooms and a Family Life Center for athletic activities.
The Town of Murray was awarded a $775,000 low-interest loan under the U.S. Department of Agricultures Rural Development program. The town decided to use the funds for a new Town Hall.
Residents of Ballard Avenue in Spencerport were upset about a plan by Home Pride Builders to construct five homes on a one-and-one-half acre lot owned by Citizens Communications at the end of the dead end road.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held September 28 at the Hamlin Town Hall to kick off the renovation of a recreation storage building into a new town justice court.
Special Olympics of Monroe County named Churchville native Linda Burlingame and her family Family of the Year for her 22 years of involvement in Special Olympics and providing foster care.
Spencerport resident and prominent local writer Paul Humphrey died on September 28 at age 86. He was a frequent contributor to the Suburban News and Hamlin Clarkson Herald. His works known as The Lighter Touch had appeared in the Westside News publications since the mid-1980s.
Village of Spencerport building inspector Scott Zarnstorff resigned his position to become building inspector/assessor of the Village of Brockport.
Monroe County entered into an agreement to lease the day-to-day operations of the Mill Seat Landfill in Riga to Waste Management.
Benjamin Griffiths of Hilton was called to serve as Bishop of the Brockport Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The Town of Sweden began construction of a skate park at its Redman Road facility.
Hilton students presented a Musical Salute to America on October 25. All Hilton school musical groups as well as other local groups, including church choirs, performed. More than $3,000 was raised at the event and added to the $16,500 already contributed by Hilton Schools and distributed to the New York City Police Foundation Heroes Fund, New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund, The United Way and New York Community Trust September 11th Fund.
Passport services came to ten town halls across Monroe County as part of the County Clerk Mobile Units. This was the first time that the mobile units branched out beyond DMV services.
Five Oxford Street homes in Brockport were demolished by the 3M Company which purchased the homes due to hazardous waste contamination levels that made them unsafe for human habitation.
More than 20 years after Vroom Road residents began trying to obtain public water, some funds became available through a grant from Senator Maziarzs Strategic Investment Program. A public meeting was held in mid-October to form a water district.
Some members of St. John the Evangelist Church in Spencerport were opposed to a major renovation project proposed by the churchs Renovation Study Committee. While most members agreed that the church needed some refurbishment including handicapped accessability, many opposed a large scale renovation that would dramatically alter the appearance of the church.
B. Thomas Golisano, owner of Paychex, donated $5 million to Roberts Wesleyan College for a new library facility. It was the largest personal gift in the colleges 135-year history.
On November 1 it became illegal to use hand-held cellular phones while operating a motor vehicle in New York State.
Churchvilles new 4,700 square foot, $600,000 Village Hall opened. The new building has a tiled entranceway lit by colonial-style brass chandeliers, and French doors open from the entranceway into the large meeting room lined with tall, multi-paned windows. Members of Boy Scout Troop 133 provided the landscaping as part of Jason Mindlers Eagle Scout Service Project.
While most area political candidates were running unopposed, Paul Kimball defeated Christa Filipowicz to retain his position as Clarkson Supervisor and newcomer James Maley Jr. defeated incumbent Kathleen Mullaly for Parma Town Justice.
On November 5, Dolomite, leasor of the Manitou Sand and Gravel pit, conducted a blast to open a new lift (or level) in the quarry floor. That blast, as well as an earlier blast on September 17, resulted in flyrock. Rocks as large as 30 pounds were blasted out of the pit onto adjacent property. Representatives of Dolomite stressed that these incidents were accidental.
The area code for Orleans, Genesee, Monroe and Wyoming counties changed from 716 to 585 effective November 15. The Buffalo area retained the 716 area code.
The Village of Brockport announced the selection of Irondequoit Police Department Lieutenant Daniel P. Varrenti as the next Brockport Police Chief. Varrenti will assume the position on January 1, 2002.
Falcheck Veterinary Clinic merged with Hilton Veterinary Clinic in order to provide more convenient hours, more complete care and better service.
The Spencerport Zoning Board of Appeals held a special meeting November 29 to discuss the proposed controversial renovations of St. John's Church in Spencerport. The application for variances needed for construction of an addition to the masonry at the corner of Martha and Amity Streets in the village was denied.
The holiday season began with unseasonably warm temperatures. The sixth annual Christmas on the Canal was held in Spencerport on December 2. That same day, the second annual Candlelight Walk was held in Brockport to raise awareness that there are needy folks in the community, to raise money to help them, and to strengthen the bond of community in the holiday season.
Walter Cronkite shared stories from his long history of covering the news for CBS at the Lakeside Foundation 2001 Annual Gala Dinner on December 7.
Hilton School District voters approved a $58 million capital project. School officials said the district-wide project will focus on three main issues: safety, security and the ability to meet increased academic standards. It also includes an all-weather competition track, lacrosse field, fitness center and swimming pool.
A reception was held at the Morgan-Manning House on December 9 to honor Clarkson Town Justice Stanley H. Pogroszewski on his retirement after 32 years of service.
On December 11, the Town of Murrays proposal to construct a 5,200 square foot office building was defeated by a margin of 244 to 177. The building would have carried a price tag of approximately $548,000. An earlier and more expensive proposal was also turned down by voters in October.
Over 250 individual toys, games and sports equipment were donated by Hilton Central Schools staff and students as part of their Angel Project for children served by the Society for the Protection and Care of Children (SPCC) in Rochester. Donations were valued at over $7,500.