By Gary Towner
Although the ice fishing season has been plagued by warm weather, ice conditions were safe to hold a fishing derby Jan. 26 and 27 on Silver Lake, said Jeff Snyder, owner and director of the North East Ice Fishing Circuit.
Snyder, who believes in the importance of teaching kids ice fishing, opened the derby Saturday with a contest just for youngsters. Sixteen children competed to bring in a mixed bag of five blue gill, crappie and/or perch.
First place went to Riley Kowasz with a weight of 2.24 lbs. Kowasz’s prize was a HT two-man hut.
Determining second and third place was controversial, because there was a tie between Chase Lewis and Alyssa Kersch, each with a total weight of 2.05 lbs. The tie is usually broken by weighing each contestant’s biggest fish, but again, there was a tie at .43 lbs. Judging the weight of each contestant’s two biggest fish placed Lewis second place with a weight of .90 lbs. and Kersch in third with .85 lbs.
By Gary Towner
When the New York Secure Ammunition and Enforcement Act of 2013 (NY SAFE ACT) was passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, questions immediately arose concerning the law’s effect on gun owners.
But gun dealers also are feeling the effects, such as Silver Trail Outfitters in Perry, co-owned by Kyle Slocum and Jeff Fiorito, and K & K Guns in Varysburg, owned by Keith Kraft.
The Courier also reached out to Walmart for comment, but a call was not returned before press time.
Both Slocum and Kraft have felt the effect of low inventory, caused by the run on guns and ammunition after the Newtown, Conn. massacre and Webster shootings. Both told the Courier that most distributors are sold out so dealers can’t restock. Also, manufacturers cannot keep up with demand on anything dealing with hunting and shooting.
Kraft said he invested in building a new store last year, and because he is a small independent dealer, there is the possibility that he might go out of business for lack of inventory. Some customers have even told him that they were considering moving out of state.
“I would do it myself,” he said, “but I built a store so I’m stuck here for a while.”
By Amy Mosiman
Patient and persistent petitioning paid off as Letchworth middle school students played a pivotal role in government change at the local level.
Their efforts led to a designated tobacco-free pavilion in Gainesville Park, clearly marked with a sign.
The process began last year, when fifth grade teacher Angela Buttles turned a friendly letter-writing lesson into an authentic and impactful experience that resulted in the change to the Village of Gainesville’s local park policy.
Throughout April and May, Letchworth students learned about the negative effects of tobacco during a Towards-No-Tobacco educational program put on by Partners for Prevention youth specialist Erin Pataye. Over the course of the program, students were surprised to learn that Wyoming County’s local parks did not offer tobacco-free areas.
Since the program coincided with her persuasive writing unit, Buttles decided to encourage her students to dig a little deeper to unearth additional information regarding the effects tobacco has on the environment, the economy and individuals. Armed with research, students began formulating letters to Village of Gainesville Mayor Kip Falkner and the Board of Trustees, requesting a tobacco-free park.
By Bryan Jackson
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sprawling road map for New York’s future laid out in his Jan. 9 State of the State Address boiled down to four core elements: jobs, education, fiscal responsibility and progressivism.
Sam Hoyt, regional president of Empire State Development Corporation, hammered home those foundational points during a Jan. 18 presentation hosted by the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce. Several Wyoming County business, government and cultural leaders attended Hoyt’s State of the State update at the Wyoming County Business Services Center in Perry.
After Hoyt highlighted Cuomo’s vision in a 30-minute slideshow presentation, he opened the floor for questions, which facilitated earnest discussion about the economy, education, workers’ compensation reform, the newly-passed state gun laws and mandate relief.
Speaking on behalf of the county, Eagle Town Supervisor Joseph Kushner said unfunded mandates continue to severely limit Wyoming County’s potential and represent one of the county’s main concerns.
“Our concern, and my concern, is the county tries to provide to our businesses roads, public safety, bridges, etc., and our major concern has been we haven’t heard anything about mandate relief,” said Kushner, who chairs the Board of Supervisors Finance Committee.
By Gary Towner
Many of those who attend the summer or Christmas concerts at St. Michael’s Church in look forward to a solo performance by Joanne Privitera, who closes the program by playing a medley of songs on the piano. What makes her talent so unique is that Privitera composes the arrangements and plays the songs entirely by ear.
Privitera’s parents first recognized her talent when she was between 6 and 8 years old.
Her father was always humming popular songs of the time, and she was able to copy them on the piano. Her parents decided she should have a piano teacher, and after learning a few scales and basic mechanics of playing, her teacher had her listen as she played Home on the Range so Privitera could hear what it should sound like.
“In the playing and practicing, I did not realize what I was doing, but I was putting in stuff that I heard within (my mind) along with the written score,” Privitera said. “Mom recognized it was a lot different than what she heard the teacher do, and she encouraged me.”
However, when Privitera played her arrangement for the teacher, the teacher slapped her hands and told her that she would never be able to read music if she kept playing by ear. Her lessons soon ended, and to this day, she still cannot read music.
Privitera carried her talent into high school, where she played for school musicals. Privitera would listen to a recording of the music, and then copy it, adding her own embellishments.
“I look over the music with my eyes and I can hear it. I listen to tapes I am given or a CD and I learn it that way,” she said.