The Village of Holley predicted big changes coming in the community in 2003. The NYSDOT’s Route 31 renovation project, new sewer line installation, road realignment and resurfacing would give the village a whole new look. The village’s historic public square would also undergo a face lift and downtown would get new lighting fixtures. The whole project was to be spread over two years. Photograph by Deb Day.

The Brockport Hockey Team was celebrated as NYS Champs in March. A Main Street parade and a reception at Ryan’s Big M gave the team a chance to relish their hard work.

The troops were never far from anyone’s mind and Hilton became bedecked with yellow ribbons in April.

Nora Tamblin, and her husband, Eric, owners of Gearings Store on Washington Street in the hamlet of Adams Basin, closed the store on June 27. A store had been at the site for over 50 years and the couple had operated one there for 19 years and closed with sadness. Reduced traffic caused by the seasonal closing of the Washington Street Erie Canal lift bridge made accessing the store from the hamlet and from the Salmon Creek Golf Course on the north side of the canal very difficult. Photograph by Walter Horylev.

A record number of visitors toured Homearama in Chili during its 16 day run. It featured several westside builders.

Three women planned a Jet Ski® trip around Lake Ontario beginning on July 31, a 550 mile trip. Participating were Susie Cotsworth, Gwen Comstra and Vicky Thomas.

Fire destroyed a portion of the old Duffy Mott plant in Hamlin. Lake Ontario Storage owner Jerry Rowell estimated the loss at a half million dollars, mostly cars and boats stored at his facility in the complex (July). Walter Horylev photo.

A new clock tower now graces the village of Churchville. It was dedicated in September. Photo by Walter Horylev.

Les Carr and many others in Parma put up NO RIP (No Rezoning in Parma) signs in disapproval of a proposed housing complex on Manitou Road. In Brockport, STAND (Sweden Taxpayers Against Needless Development) took a similar position against a proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Robert Radenather gets some good air as he does an “Indy Grab” on his skateboard on the Town of Sweden’s new Skate Park and BMX Track dedicated September 13. The skate park is the result of cooperative effort between the town and students at Brockport Central School under the direction of teacher Brett Handley and $40,000 donated by BISCO, the Brockport area service organization group. Senator George Maziarz helped secure an additional $50,000 in funding. The skate park and BMX track join other recent improvements to the Sweden Town Park located on Redman Road - a playground, pond and soccer fields. This fall, construction will start on a new restroom and concession stand facility. Photograph by Walter Horylev.

Westside News profiled WXXI radio personality and Brockport resident Brenda Tremblay. (September). Walter Horylev photo.

Members of the Buffalo, Lockport, Rochester (BL&R) Trolley Depot Restoration Committee work on the depot which was built around 1908, moved to Amity Street after the trolley line service ended and converted to a home. Part of the effort of the volunteers was the removal of a porch and added room in order to make the historic preservation authentic. According to Bud Nichols, the restoration will take about a year, after which the building will be moved to the Spencerport Village Plaza where it will serve as a community center, providing shower and toilet facilities, for a small fee, to travelers on the Erie Canal. Photograph by Walter Horylev. (November).

Reviewing 2003

This recap of the news in the readership during 2003 highlights some of the trends and issues with which community residents and elected officials were faced. Among those: housing developments; school district capital improvement projects; weather -- wind, snow, ice and beautiful skies, too; escalating school and town budgets; local elections; the creation of groups lobbying for or against particular local issues and their voicing of concerns in letters to the editor, town building projects and the opening of several new businesses and expansion of existing ones. Take a glance back at 2003 before we begin 2004.

January 2003
•Some residents of Holley were still displaced as a result of a valve malfunction at the Diaz Chemical plant in the village which occurred on January 5, 2002 and released a plume of steam and chemicals into the air. More clean-up in the area of the plant was expected, including interior cleaning and exterior painting of some homes in the area, according to Holley Mayor Dan Schiavone. Residents of Holley as well as the attorney general had filed lawsuits against the company.

•The public was invited to comment on a proposal to build a 203,622 sq. ft. Wal-Mart Supercenter on Route 31 (Brockport Spencerport Road) approximately one mile east of the Route 19 intersection. A conceptual design of the building was presented at a public hearing on January 13 at Brockport High School.

•The Town of Sweden received $19,450 in state aid for assessment record keeping.

•Jose Carlos Hernandez-Saucedo was the first baby born in 2003 at Lakeside Memorial Hospital, but not until January 3 at 3:05 a.m. He weighed 7 lbs. 11 oz. and was 21 inches long. He and his parents received diapers donated by Tops in Hamlin and other gifts.

•After six months of work, Hamlin elected officials and members of a No Tower Committee had prepared a tower law -- 26 pages -- described by its authors as “extremely thorough.” In 2002, officers of Canandaigua Broadcasting, Inc., operators of WMJQ-FM, had applied to build a 340 ft. tower on leased land directly southwest of 65 Wiler Road. The proposal was met with heated opposition and the creation of the No Tower Committee. After several meetings, the committee was able to get town officials to place a moratorium on new towers to allow for more discussion. The new tower law eventually formulated set forth the application process, procedures for review, and promoted sharing of existing towers for communication transmission needs.

•Churchville leaders approved a budget for the village. The tax rate for 2003-04 would remain the same for the eighth year in a row. The $2.7 million budget included plans for new sidewalks.

•Members of a youth group from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hilton were the focus of a feature article about their trip to Pasadena, California, to work as “Petal Pushers” on Rose Bowl Parade floats.

•It snowed. It had every appearance of being a “real winter,” and villages and towns were beginning to wonder if their highway budgets were big enough to absorb overtime needed for plowing, sanding and salting. To save money, Brockport had enacted a policy of salting only intersections and hills in the village, Brockport Department of Public Works Superintendent Brad Upson said.

•Towns were revving up for November elections. Calls for candidates were beginning to be printed. Clarkson Republicans were first in the readership to post vacancies and application procedures.

•Sweden Clarkson Recreation planned a Monroe County certified day camp for June 24- August 8.

•Police and emergency officials were keeping an eye on the Brockport Industrial complex formerly home to Kleen Brite. Brockport’s Building Inspector Scott Zarnstorff said more than 1,000 drums located in one part of the facility were found to be flammable and corrosive and raised serious concerns for safety.

•The Village of Holley predicted big changes coming in the community in 2003. The NYSDOT’s Route 31 renovation project, new sewer line installation, road realignment and resurfacing would give the village a whole new look. The village’s historic public square would also undergo a face lift and downtown would get new lighting fixtures. The whole project was to be spread over two years.

•Retiring Brockport Public Safety Dispatcher Dave Smith was honored at a dinner for his over 30 years of service to the community.

February 2003
•Ogden officials scheduled a public hearing about the new town highway garage facility. Half of the funding for the garage, estimated to be $3.8 million total, had been saved in a reserve account. The remainder was to be bonded.

•North Chili’s The Glue Factory was chosen first runner-up in Country Business magazine’s retailer of the year award.

•Lady Victoria’s Tea Room, 138 Union Street, Spencerport opened for business. Owners Maureen Ruggeri and Maureen Becker offered tea, croissant sandwiches, pastries, scones, tarts and crumpets.

•Larry Quaranto opened Holley Karate at 50 Public Square in the village.

•Hilton Apple Fest Committee posted a call for entries for logos for the 2003 festival.

•Doug Hurlbutt, Hilton Dairy milkman, announced he would retire and sell the dairy. The lifelong Hilton resident also served in community activities and several elected positions, including village trustee, mayor and as a volunteer firefighter.

•Holley Central Schools announced staff cuts, a budget crunch blamed on skyrocketing costs for special education programs, contractual obligations, double digit health insurance increases and state mandates all played a part in the $1.2 million budget deficit the district was facing. Personnel cuts included an elementary level principal, three reading teachers, seven instructional aides, a part time cleaner/clerical position in the transportation department, as well as a cleaner position which was vacant at the time the cuts were announced. The staff reduction plan was developed by the administration and approved by the board in January.

•The Spencerport Board of Education approved a revised transportation plan for 2003-04. The new three-tier plan would have high school students on the first bus run, middle school students on the second run, elementary students on the third run. Using the three-tier system meant no additional buses or drivers would be necessary. School starting and ending times had to be adjusted for the new plan.

•There was plenty of new snow for Parma’s Snowfest. Sledding on piles of it, riding on snowmobiles on it, throwing balls of it at targets were part of the day of outdoor fun.

•A wall of the Erie Canal in Brockport was being repaired. The $535,217 construction project involved grinding down the old, soft concrete, adding reinforcing steel bars and finishing with a new concrete face which was to be one to two feet thick. Workers wanted the project done by April 5, well in advance of the April 15 date for canal filling.

•The Mes-Sage Christian Book & Gift Store opened at 83 Main Street, Brockport. It is one of four Christian book stores in Monroe County. Anna Messore Tower is the owner.

•The area joined the world in mourning the deaths of seven astronauts of the space shuttle Columbia in an explosion during the ship’s return to earth. Hilton Fire Department’s outdoor billboard carried the message to remember the crew.

•Byron-Bergen’s girls basketball coach Tom Sherwood was named Class CCC Coach of the Year for Section V. It was the second year he had been recognized for his efforts with the team.

•Six inches of new snow on President’s Day, February 17, started the school break week off to a wintery start. The next day was bright and sunny and a good day for ice fishing, a photo essay created by Walter Horylev maintained. The 20 degree temperatures were characterized as “warm” compared to the deep chill of the previous weeks. The weather helped build up roof line icicles and drove up heating bills.

•Students at Spencerport’s Cosgrove School began eating lunch in the school’s new glass walled cafeteria. The new eating area was part of the district’s capital improvement project.

March 2003
•Homearama 2003, featuring 11 spacious homes built largely by westside builders, was to be in the Park Place Community on Union Street in Chili, across from the main entrance to Black Creek Park. In early March, snow covered the site where homes would be come mid-summer. The show hadn’t been staged on the westside of the county in several years.

•Brockport residents were asked to dial 911 for police emergencies. The fire department would continue to be dispatched locally.

•Area residents responded prolifically to a call for letters remembering long-time Spencerport veterinarian Dr. George McKinney and his wife, Monie. Two pages of letters and thank yous for the couple’s caring ways were printed in the March 3, 2003 Suburban News and Hamlin-Clarkson Herald, and more notes and memories were added in the following week’s issue.

•Brockport Blue Devils hockey team won their second straight Section V Division I high school hockey championship with a win over Greece Thunder 2-1. The Hilton Lady Cadets upset number one seeded Canandaigua in the Class A semi-finals in basketball. The Lady Cadets went on to beat Spencerport for the Section V title.

•Winners of the Churchville Chamber of Commerce’s 2002 awards would be honored at a dinner at the Johnson House on March 13. Recognized were Carol and Dean Arlidge as Citizens of the Year. A Touch of Country Class received the Business of the Year award and Larry Stubing, owner of the property at 9 East Buffalo Street, received the Civic Beautification award for his efforts to rehab that property. Also recognized at the dinner was 2002 Olympic hockey player Lyndsay Wall.

•Town of Albion residents and officials were studying a proposal for a landfill expansion in Orleans County. Waste Management of New York wanted approval from the state DEC to expand the existing Orleans Sanitary landfill and begin operations there. The site straddled three towns: Murray, Gaines and Albion. SPOC (Stop Polluting Orleans County) was lobbying against the project.

•A new state law requiring at least one carbon monoxide detector/alarm to be installed in all one and two-family homes, co-ops, condominiums built or sold after March 6, 2003 went into effect.

•Voters in the Village of Holley had two new candidates and two familiar ones from which to choose for village government in the March elections. Trustees Peter Dreher and Gail Sevor opted to not seek re-election. Newcomers Buffie Gleason and John Kenney and former mayors Louis Passarell, Jr. and Stanley “Skip” Carpenter were on the ballot. In other villages, candidates were unopposed.

•The NYSDOT was in the process of developing design studies for the rehabilitation of the Adams Basin Erie Canal lift bridge. A public information meeting at the Ogden Community Center offered all those interested in the project to voice their concerns. Due to structural problems and aging of the lifting mechanism, the Adams Basin bridge was raised for the entire boating season and lowered during winter months. That meant detours for motorists who were in the habit of using Route 36 as a commuter route.

•Jimmy Z’s opened at 53 South Main Street in Brockport, near Lift Bridge Book Store. The business is owned by James Zisovski and his father, Steve.

•The Navy Club of Lake Ontario celebrated their 11th anniversary in 2003.

•Softub Express/Pettis Pools won the President’s Cup from Softub Inc. at a dealers conference in California.

•The Brockport Blue Devils Hockey Team won the New York State Division I championship over Williamsville North in a game played in Utica. The Brockport area honored them with a parade down Main Street and cake provided by Ryan’s Big M.

•Nearly 200 people attended a Candlelight Vigil at Chili American Legion Post 1830 on March 25. Organizer and Post Commander Sue Philips said she was upset by all the negative talk about the War in Iraq and decided to get a group of people together to show support for the troops. Prayers, patriotic music, a spirited singing of “God Bless America” were part of the program.

•Doug Hurlbutt was recognized as Hilton’s Citizen of the Year.

•Hilton School District Superintendent Dr. John Cooper joined five students from Hilton’s Quest School for one of several ceremonial groundbreaking ceremonies outside the Hilton Elementary School. The district’s $57.9 million capital project was underway.

April 2003
•Ice coated trees and everything else as April got off to a wintery start April 3. As trees were weighed with heavy glaze, branches broke and electrical wires came down. Readership residents were without power for varying amounts of time. At Westside News, a generator provided enough power to run a couple of computers and a couple of printers. Copy was pasted up with glue stick rather than with wax and coats were the fashion of the day, but the staff met the deadline for pickup by the press courier. Crews came from as far away as Tennessee and Missouri to help repair RG&E power lines. Following the ice storm, and just as workers were making progress with the clean-up, the area was hit with about seven more inches of snow in an April 7 storm.

•Brockport prepared Max’s Mardi Gras celebration. Plans were for more beads, more games and more floats than ever.

•The Soapbox Race was set for June in Clarendon.

•Orleans County planners said no to landfill expansion plans.

•Parma residents were upset about a proposed housing project that would require re-zoning. Fairfield Place, 599 units including apartments, condominiums, single adult units and single family units. The project borders Ridge Road West, Manitou Road and Peck Road, behind Braemar Golf Course, covering more than 140 acres of land, proposes 36 apartment buildings with eight units per floor, 100 single adult units, 66 condominiums and 147 single family units. A committee formed in opposition to the project took the name NO RIP (No Rezoning In Parma).

•Holley school district’s budget for 2003-04 showed an increase of 16.95 percent over the previous year. Preliminary tax figures put the tax rate at $27.55 per $1,000 assessed valuation, up from $23.51. It was later rejected by voters.

•Spencerport Canal Days organizers issued a call for entrants in the festival’s end of July canoe race.

•Spencerport Kiwanis Club sent 822 children and chaperones to the Shrine Circus.

•Four Erie Canal bridges were added to the list of bridges to be repaired: Butts Road on the east side of Albion; Marshall Road on the west side of Medina; Groth Road in Murray and Trimmer Road in Ogden. Concrete approach spans, pier columns, and steel trusses were replaced in the $1.6 million plan.

•The NYSDOT held a public meeting in North Chili to present plans to reconstruct the Route 33 (Buffalo Road) and Route 259 (Union Street) intersection.

•Westside News Inc. received the General Excellence award for 2002 from the Free Community Papers of New York Association at the conference held in Syracuse. The recognition was based on the publications’ visual quality, content and advertising design.

•The Brockport Varsity Club once again hosted the Senior Citizen Prom at Brockport High School. Seniors were invited to dance the evening away and enjoy other entertainment and refreshments. The BPOE Brockport Lodge No. 2110, the Lions Club of Brockport, Brockport Rotary and the Brockport Kiwanis Club joined the Varsity Club in supporting the event.

•Hilton showed its support for the troops in Iraq by tieing yellow ribbons ‘round village trees, light posts and on the village gazebo. Debbie Bausch had the idea; Carol Deuel, owner of The Creator’s Hands Florist, created the bows.

•Wal-Mart Supercenter proposal discussion included environmental scope documents presented by Wal-Mart to the Town of Sweden officials. A public hearing was held April 21 at the Brockport High School and Wal-Mart officials presented their thoughts on what they believed needed to be studied to put together a plan for town officials to consider. STAND (Sweden Taxpayers Against Needless Development) lobbied against the proposal for the super store citing traffic congestion, variances which exceeded local standards, and quality of life issues.

•Bill Gray’s Restaurant added a new location in Greece, bringing the number of eateries in the chain to 12.

•Riga began construction on the town hall/courthouse, a 12,000 square feet municipal building on Buffalo Road. Snowy weather contributed to a late start on the project but work was expected to be completed by the end of the year.

•Churchville’s new gazebo was close to completion.

May 2003
•The Village of Bergen Planning Board considered the application of Budvale Construction Corporation to develop a triangle of property formed by Route 19, Route 262 and Route 33 just south of the village center. George “Bud” Filowick of Churchville was the owner. He proposed 40 single family homes, 40 townhomes and 40 luxury apartments for the site, formerly the Mayne family homestead. The company had recently finished a similar project in Churchville which is called Village Park. Bergen Mayor Tom LeSage said the project was still in the planning stages.

•Churchville-Chili school district officials were preparing a nearly $53 million budget to put before voters. The projected increase in expenditures was 2.9 percent. The district expected to lose $1.4 million in state aid due to state aid cuts.

•Work started on major repairs to the Gallup Road bridge and realignment of a curve on Canal Road.

•Hilton Board of Education adopted a nearly $48 million spending plan for 2003-04 and put it before voters May 20. State aid funds had been cut by $1.24 million. The budget included a 1.92 percent increase in operating costs with a 7.49 percent tax rate increase per $1,000 valuation.

•State lawmakers’ decision to delay school district votes reset the date to June 3.

•Town politics were beginning to heat up. In Hamlin, 16-year town board member Ed Evans was not designated by the Republican Committee for the November election. Endorsed were incumbent George Todd and Hamlin Water Superintendent David Rose. It was just the start of a fiery election year in Hamlin, and a tumultuous few months for elected official Evans. Republicans said an earlier decision by Evans to not seek re-election caused them to look for other candidates, even when Evans rescinded his letter stating he did not wish to run.

•Kendall Schools ranked first in Orleans County and was listed as one of Business First magazine’s 50 Best Public School Districts in Western New York. The magazine graded 99 public schools in a nine-county area using 32 statistical indicators established by the NYS Education Department.

•Two bald eagle nests were under watch for hatching eggs at Iroquois Wildlife Refuge in Alabama.

•Chili Supervisor Steve Hendershott announced he would seek a third term. Monroe County Legislator Tracy Logel announced she would challenge him for the Republican endorsement.

•A call for volunteers came from the Spencerport Canal Days Committee which desperately needed members to assure the festival would go off as planned.

•A microburst that was part of a severe thunderstorm on Mother’s Day, May 11, uprooted several trees in the Spencerport area. Wayne County, still recovering from extensive damage to trees from the April 2003 ice storm, was once again hard hit with winds, strong enough to be ranked an F-1 tornado, the lowest level.

•Brockport native Mark Fenton returned to town to meet with residents and talk about how to make the community walker friendly.

•Names were approved by the Spencerport Board of Education for new roadways through the main campus: Trowbridge Road, Bernabi Road, Ranger Road and E.J. Wilson Road would be identified on signs once construction was completed.

•Boaters traveling between the U.S. and Canada had to follow new procedures to cross the border. The new regs were put in place by the Department of Homeland Security to ward off the threat of terrorists entering the country.

June 2003
•The Ogden Historical Society celebrated their 40th anniversary with an afternoon of tours of the Pulver House, demonstrations and refreshments.

•Holley school district cut their tax levy to 8.77 percent from 17 percent projected because the state legislature passed a preliminary budget which restored some state aid to schools.

•Don and Bobbie Grentzinger of Brockport hosted the convention of members of the Cream Separators and Dairy Collectors club.

•Residents were asked by county health officials to report dead crows to help determine the level of risk to humans posed by West Nile Virus (WNV). Crows are thought to be the most susceptible to the virus and serve as an early warning sign of the level of the virus in the community.

•The Spencerport school district announced the approval of new start times for the coming school year. The times were set to accommodate the district’s new three-tier transportation plan. The high school was to start at 7:25 a.m. and end at 2:10 p.m. The middle school start time was to be 8:12 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. The elementary school start time was 8:55 a.m. with dismissal at 3:40 p.m.

•Hilton school district voters passed a nearly $48 million budget for 2003-04 1,142 to 915.

•Spencerport school district voters approved the $52.8 million 2003-04 budget by a vote of 1,891 to 1,170.

•The Galley Restaurant, 51 Market Street, Brockport, had new owners. Ross and Gail Gates planned an expanded menu and more operating hours.

•The first piece of firefighting apparatus purchased by the Hamlin Fire Department in 1931 would be restored by the Engine 55 Club. Members estimated it would cost $40,000 to spruce up the truck.

•Sgt. Lewis DuSett returned home to Adams Basin, arriving to a community-wide celebration. He’s been gone since January. A Marine reservist, the call to duty was his first. He had served in Kuwait, about 35 miles from the Iraqi border.

•Bergen Fire Department added a 2003 nine passenger Chevy van to its fleet of vehicles. It was paid for with non-tax funds and was to be used for transportation for training, funeral details and some types of emergency calls.

•Volunteers in Brockport were organizing “Bienvenida,” a celebration of welcome for migrant workers.

•The EPA and DEC were conducting site assessments at the abandoned former Kleen Brite Laboratories facilities at 200 State Street and 100 Fair Street in Brockport village. The agencies were determining if any hazards existed due to manufacturing wastes left at the sites.

•Fire department volunteers from Hilton and five area communities fought an early morning blaze that started in the wooden office portion attached to the southern end of the Hilton Cold Storage building on Canning Street in the village.

•Nora Tamblin, and her husband, Eric, owners of Gearings Store on Washington Street in the hamlet of Adams Basin, closed the store on June 27. A store had been at the site for over 50 years and the coupled had operated one there for 19 years and closed with sadness. Reduced traffic caused by the seasonal closing of the Washington Street Erie Canal lift bridge made accessing the store from the hamlet and from the Salmon Creek Golf Course on the north side of the canal very difficult.

July 2003
•Spencerport physician Mike Mazza retired. At the time of his retirement, he was a doctor in the Spencerport Family Medicine practice.

•Heritage Furniture helped furnish a Homearama home. Westside builders were showcased in the dream home community on display in Chili.

•Readers helped Westside News Inc. celebrate the 50th anniversary of the naming of the Suburban News. Once the Country Shopper, the publication was renamed in 1953 to reflect the changing nature of the suburban communities.

•Distinctive Designs by Kelli celebrated its grand opening at 2139 North Union Street in the Barefoot Landing Plaza. Kelli Ophardt is the owner.

•Byron-Bergen Central Schools hired two new varsity coaches -- William Fitzpatrick for boys soccer, and Scott Schleede, a sixth grade teacher in the middle school, for boys basketball.

•Construction and renovations were in full swing in Hilton as contractors were working on projects at Hilton Elementary. Gymnasium, classroom and cafeteria improvements were underway, part of the district’s $57.9 million project begun in March.

•Spencerport businessman John Marello suggested a carousel might be just the attraction for an empty lot in the village, located next to his Canalside Abbott’s.

•Parma officials decided to tear down the popular 14 year old wooden playground at the town park and replace it with new play equipment funded in part by a $50,000 Monroe County Development grant. The pressure treated wood used in the playground was thought to be a health hazard. Plans for the new play area included features such as a mega rock mountain climb, tube slides and a log roll.

•Hilton village officials proposed a new form based design code to revitalize existing sectors of the business area. Board members hoped a fresh approach would encourage new businesses to come to the village center.

•Malcolm Perry was appointed to the Ogden Town Board to fill a seat made vacant with the death of Tom Vandertang. Another town position, Director of Parks and Recreation, was also open following Glenn Boetcher’s sudden death. Eric Bacon was named to that job.

•Three women planned a Jet Ski® trip around Lake Ontario beginning on July 31, a 550 mile trip. Participating were Susie Cotsworth, Gwen Comstra and Vicky Thomas.

•A fire at the former Duffy Mott site in Hamlin destroyed a part of Lake Ontario Storage. A hundred firefighters from seven area departments fought the blaze which resulted in the loss of boats and vehicles stored in the building.

August 2003
•During its 16 day run in July, Homearama in Chili drew a crowd of 27,680, a larger total than previous years in other venues.

•Ground was broken at the Parma Town Hall for a multi-purpose building designed, funded and built by the Hilton Raiders Football and Cheerleading organization and the Hilton Parma Soccer Club.

•Westside News Inc.’s Spencerport Canal Days Canoe Race team decorated their canoe with a 50th anniversary theme, complete with a three-tiered cake. Ten teams participated in the race, with a team from St. John the Evangelist School placing first. The Westside News team placed second.

•Spencerport Volunteer Ambulance added Medic 28 Fly Car to its fleet of emergency response vehicles. The 2003 Chevy Tahoe replaced the 1992 Crown Victoria. The First Response vehicle has advanced life support equipment on board.

•Oak Orchard Community Center in Brockport celebrated 30 years of community service.

•Sweden Republicans endorsed candidates for town offices. All seven were also endorsed by the Conservative and Independence parties. Nat Buddy Lester - supervisor, Patricia Connors - town board; Tom Ferris - town board, Tom Coapman - town justice, Mark Depferd - police justice, Shirley Mercer - receiver of taxes, Fred Perrine - highway superintendent.

•Sue Henderson retired as head librarian at the Parma Public Library after 31 years.

•Lakeside Foundation announced that former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani would be the speaker at their December gala.

•The Spencerport Architectural Review Board voted 4-1 on the proposal to install a carousel on a vacant lot in the village next to John Marello’s Canalside Custard. Marello then had to go to the village planning board for site review, lighting and the discussion of other concerns.

•Sweden put a limit on how long garage sale signs could be up and how many sales could be held during one year.

•No Loitering on Main Street is what Brockport Police Department would enforce in the downtown area and in other areas of the village. Large groups congregating in front of downtown churches and stores could be intimidating to shoppers and walkers, it was determined.

•Construction on the Sweden Skate Park at the town’s park was progressing.

•A broad section of the northeastern United States went powerless on August 27 at 4:45 p.m. or so as grid after grid of electrical lines went down in the Great Blackout of 2003.

September 2003
•Every Holley elementary school student would receive free breakfast during the 2003-04 school year. Holley was one of only 19 districts in upstate New York to be awarded Academics & Breakfast Connection (ABC) pilot funding by the Nutrition Consortium of New York state to establish the breakfast program.

•Some capital improvements were ready for students in the Hilton school district’s capital improvements project. Bus loops and traffic safety aspects were among changes incoming students and staff noted.

•Primary candidates were campaigning in Hamlin and Chili.

•GE and Black & Decker, former owners of the 200 State Street facility in Brockport, offered to replace a substantial portion of the village’s storm sewer pipe downstream of the facility. The work would remove tar-like material containing PCBs, though the two companies said their testing did not determine a source of the materials. Also, remedial work was continuing on stream segments north of the village. 3M was also involved in the soil removal work.

•Brockport fire companies held a 12-hour vigil to commemorate September 11.

•Churchville held a September 11 tribute at their new village clock which was officially dedicated a few days later.

•Holley Mayor Dan Schiavone resigned his office citing personal reasons.

•A group in Spencerport was organized to rehabilitate and relocate a building which once served as the trolley station.

•Citizens concerned with the proposed Fairfield Place housing project on Manitou Road in Parma, just north of Ridge Road West, attended a public hearing to offer comments about the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Many residents were concerned with traffic volume and density of the proposed project which includes apartments, town homes, patio homes, senior housing and single family homes planned for a 140 acre site.

•Roberts Wesleyan College dedicated a portion of a newly redesigned road through the campus in honor of alumnus and area public servant Ronald Starkweather.

•The Town of Sweden’s new skate park at the town park was dedicated.

•The Holley Board of Trustees appointed village trustee William Quaranto mayor to replace Dan Schiavone who had resigned. Skip Carpenter, a former mayor and trustee, was appointed to fill Quaranto’s seat on the board.

•The majority of letters to the editor focused on campaign issues in several towns, and away from the two hot topics of the second half of 2003 -- Wal-Mart Supercenter in Brockport and Fairfield Place in Parma.

•Some parents of Spencerport elementary students were upset by the late hour their children returned home from school. With the three-tier transportation system, elementary students are dismissed at 3:40 p.m. and some don’t reach their homes until 4:30 p.m.

•The new sidewalks were in, the road was paved and the construction of Route 31 was almost done, and downtown Holley was ready for business. A big community-wide celebration was planned for the end of the month.

•Roberts Wesleyan College announced it would receive a $1 million Hastings Foundation grant. The money would be used to create classrooms and other instructional areas in the library building.

•A new Riga Town Hall was under construction. The move-in date was set for December.

•Groundbreaking for capital improvements at Hilton’s high school and middle school and transportation buildings was set. Coming in Phases II and III of the capital improvement project were a new aquatic center, 64 classrooms, improved security and technology.

•Westside News and the community paid tribute to Spencerport baseball coach and volunteer Steve Schockow who retired from Spencerport Junior Baseball after 30 years of involvement.

•The Clarkson Historical Society announced plans to refurbish and reopen the Clarkson Schoolhouse. A fund was started to help pay for the work needed.

•The Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows at St. Luke’s Church in Brockport were featured in an article.

•The Hamlin Town Board fired the town building inspector, Larry Gursslin.

•Ogden, Sweden, Parma and other towns were faced with making announcements of town tax increases, due in large part to the loss of state revenues and the increase of state mandates.

•The Hilton Board of Education granted a leave of absence to Superintendent Dr. John Cooper. In November, the board would accept the school leader’s resignation.

•Sweden Democrats were challenging Republicans for town posts. Gary Skoog sought the office of supervisor; Bob Capo and Jennifer Skoog-Harvey were on the ballot for town council seats.

•Holley schools planned to update gymnastic equipment and the village expected to construct a skate park with nearly $400,000 awarded from the U.S. Physical Education Department.

•Incumbent Republican Parma Town Supervisor Rick Lemcke was challenged for the post by Tina Brown on the Democratic line.

•Cindy Olds, Hamlin’s assistant building inspector, was filling in since the departure of Building Inspector Larry Gursslin.

•Republican incumbent Gay Lenhard was challenged for re-election by Democrat Garry Cranker.

November 2003
•For the third year in a row, Clarkson taxpayers would see no increase in their town taxes. The proposed total budget for 2004 is $2,273,982, an increase of $163,022 from 2003. The increase was due to state increases in retirement benefits and insurance costs, Town Supervisor Paul Kimball said.

•At the polls in Hamlin, residents were offered a full ballot of choices. Democrats Peter Tonery - supervisor, Nancy Pierce - town board, Jim Martin - town board, and Matt Turcotte - town justice were challenging Republican incumbents Austin Warner III - supervisor, David G. Rose - town council, George Todd - town board, Paul Rath - town justice. Republican Kathi Rickman was unopposed for town clerk.

•Earlier in the year, Hilton added a new 110 ft. ladder truck to the fire department fleet. It replaces a 1974 truck. An article featured specs on the new truck.

•The Trimmer Road Erie Canal bridge was closed for the winter on November 6. It’s slated to reopen in April 2004. All concrete features of the bridge are to be replaced; approaches and the main steel truss replaced.

•Three candidates sought election to two Murray board seats -- Lloyd Christ, Jr. and Edwin Bower, both Republicans, were challenged by Democrat Dan MacIntyre. Christ was an eight year veteran of the board, Bower had served five years. Unopposed incumbents were Republicans Henry Lehning - supervisor, Gary Passarell - town justice, Nicholas Quaranto - assessor. Democrat Americo Gifaldi was unopposed for assessor.

•Supervisor races favored Republican incumbents in Ogden (Gay Lenhard), Hamlin (Austin Warner III), Sweden (Nat Buddy Lester), Parma (Rick Lemcke). Republican Tracy Logel was elected in Chili. Other area races were unopposed. Republicans also took town council seats in towns where there were contests.

•A new NYS law required dog owners provide adequate outdoor protection and shelter for their dog(s).

•Diaz Chemical in Holley was the subject of an EPA meeting to discuss with residents procedures of getting rid of toxic chemicals contained in the closed facility. Eleven families were still displaced as a result of the January 5, 2002 release of chemicals.

•Westside News Inc. launched a new publication, The Super Saver, which is to be printed quarterly and is distributed with the company’s newspapers.

•Residents, elected officials, school district leaders, merchants, travelers -- just about everyone in the Spencerport area went into shock when two mobile digital signs appeared at both ends of the Route 259 (Union Street) bridge announcing a November two-week closing. Emergency personnel and elected officials had no advance notification of the closure and worked feverishly to get the New York State Canal Corp’s work postponed to a time when truncating the village’s main artery would have less economic impact on downtown merchants than it would have had at the beginning of the holiday season. State and local officials promised a meeting at which those affected could share their concerns. The meeting has not as yet been scheduled.

•Parma resident Joe Reinschmidt donated an evergreen tree from his property to the village of Spencerpport. It was planted near the Clyde Carter Memorial Gazebo and was decorated and lighted for the holiday season during Christmas on the Canal events in December.

December 2003
•The Brockport Planning Board voted not to accept the Wal-Mart scope document, stating the board needed more environmental data.

•Ogden Highway Department was about to move into their new quarters, a 55,000 sq. ft., $3.8 million headquarters.

•Steve Beauvais was appointed to the Hilton Board of Education to fill Dale Beehler’s seat. Beehler resigned in July.

•A proposed Hamlin housing project was the topic of a great deal of discussion from residents.