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Safe Routes to Schools, Dog Waste, Sewer System Upgrades, Tree Donations Highlight Board Meeting

dog wastetd_shieldSRTSBy John T. Ryan

Children, parents and staff walking or biking to the Peru Central School should have a safer route to travel in a few months. On Monday, April 13, 2015 the Peru Town Board approved a $143,729 bid from Branon Construction Company Inc. of Plattsburg to implement a second Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) Project. Work will begin as soon as summer vacation begins and should be completed by September 5th.

The objective is to improve walking and biking safety to school, with a focus on students grades K to 8. There are 5 components to SRTS projects: encouragement, education, enforcement, evaluation and engineering (the 5 “E”s).

For the construction (Engineering) part, Branon Construction will install a new crosswalk across route 22B with push button activated flashing crosswalk beacons. They will also install additional sidewalks to improve the walkability of the campus on both the Route 22B side and the School Street side of the campus.

The encouragement, education and enforcement components are being coordinated by the elementary school’s physical education teacher Nancy Thompson and the School’s Wellness Committee.  Christa Vancour of the Clinton County Health Dept. and Sergeant Frank Mercier of the Clinton County Sheriffs Dept have given them additional support.  The Health Department funded bike racks to help the Town stay within budget for the project and the Sheriff’s Department conducted assemblies about pedestrian safety and set-up speed read-out equipment along Route 22B. A previous $85,000 Safe Routes to Schools grant financed the School Street sidewalk.

Dog owner respect for their neighbors continues to be an issue. The board asked Dog Control Officer David Drollette to step up enforcement of the dog waste disposal provisions of the Dog Control Law. Supervisor Peter Glushko and Counselor Brandy McDonald both reported seeing significant waste adjacent to sidewalks and roads in the hamlet. Counselor McDonald stated that a few residents appear to pick up waste when being observed, but they do not pick up waste when they believe they are out of sight. Dog Control Officer Drollette will offer these offenders a choice of accepting and using a free waste bag or being issued a ticket.

The board accepted the AES Engineering’s comprehensive grant-funded sewer system report. AES analyzed the system north of the Little Ausable River, much of which was constructed during the 1930’s. There are several reasons for upgrading the system. The 2013 NYS “Sewage Pollution Right to Know Law” requires that any sewage overflow be reported and published. Over time the sewer pipes and manholes have deteriorated, the pumping station is overtaxed and some trunk lines do not have sufficient capacity to accommodate community growth. AES estimated the total cost at $4 million, but Supervisor Glushko said that the project would probably be done in phases. The town will submit applications for grant monies or low interest loans. The extent of the project will be determined once fund availability is determined.

Peru’s walking trail should be even more attractive thanks to TD Bank’s tree planting program that has donated 275 trees of various species to the town. On May 2nd beginning at 10 a.m. volunteers are invited to help plant the trees along the walking trail. If would like to volunteer Adele Douglas would appreciate if you call her at 643-7863. She would like to know beforehand how many volunteers she will have on hand.

Personal safety is also a primary concern for everyone utilizing the walking trail. Highway Superintendent Michael Farrell reminded the board that a fence should be erected adjacent to the trail beneath the Route 22 Bridge. Farrell pointed out that someone could fall a considerable distance from the trail to the rocks along the Little Ausable River. He recommended that the fence be elevated to a high priority item.

A few weeks ago town representatives traveled to Albany to lobby for increased highway paving monies (CHIPS). They were optimistic when they returned, but their optimism appears to have been misplaced. Highway Superintendent Farrell said the town would only be receiving about $25,000 in additional CHIPS monies. He said, “That’s not even a half-mile of blacktop.” This summer Farrell plans to pave part of the Dashnaw Road, part of the Laphams Mills Road to Route 22 and the newer part of Washington Street. Holden Avenue might be paved, but only if funds are available.

The Board adjourned to Executive Session to discuss the ongoing Dashnaw vs. Town of Peru lawsuit and the work history of two employees.

Counselor Kregg Bruno was excused from the meeting. Since January 1, 2015, Bruno has been excused from at least seven town board meetings.

Congresswoman Stefanik Votes to Repeal “Death Tax”

Official PortraitWashington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) voted in support of H.R. 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015. This bipartisan legislation that Congresswoman Stefanik cosponsored would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the estate and generation-skipping transfer tax, commonly referred to as the “death tax”.

“Whenever I travel throughout our district, one of the key tax issues that I have heard about from small businesses and the agriculture community is the negative impact that the Death Tax continues to have on our economy,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “I remain committed to working to achieve comprehensive tax reform to make our tax code flatter, fairer and simpler, and repealing the death tax is one commonsense reform we can make to protect North Country small businesses and family farms.”

Under current law, the Federal Government takes 40% from taxable estates when a person dies. The death tax is a major reason why family farms and businesses are not able to be passed down from generation to generation. Repealing this tax would allow more North Country farms and businesses to stay in North Country families. This legislation passed the House by a vote of 240-179 and will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.

Peru School Budget Calls for Additional Principal

Winter to Summer

Each year our weather transition seems to be from winter to summer; spring no longer exists or if it does only very briefly.  Last Thursday morning, April 9, 2015 Peru had about 4″ of snow on the ground. Yesterday, the Peru High baseball team was playing a home game against Saranac in 74 degree temperatures.  The Indians won 9-2.  Thanks to Jim Neyenhouse for submitting these great photos. Click here for larger photo version.  

DSC_5463 DSC_5490 DSC_5518 DSC_5775 DSC_5827 DSC_5832

 

Service, Fun and Learning Over Spring Break

YG 3

Fabian Dopping, a German Exchange student at Peru Central

YG 1

Youth Group students and chaperones

WG 2

They couldn’t wait for the muffins to bake!

By John T. Ryan

Spring Break is a time for many North Country residents to travel south to enjoy the warm of sun. Each year the Peru Community Church Senior High Youth Group also travels, but not quite as far south as most people. The group stops in Washington D.C. where they serve the homeless and take some time to experience the sites of Washington D.C. Based on the photos, this year’s trip appears to have been five days of hard work, fun and learning! (Click here on a PC for a slideshow with music.  Thanks to DonYo (Donald McBrayer) for compiling the music)

Each day the students worked at a different site preparing and serving lunches or evening meals. One day they set-up tables along sidewalks and parks for Mckenna’s Wagon, a program that serves the homeless from vans parked near sidewalks and parks. At Martha’s Table they chopped vegetables and mixed huge batches for muffins for the evening meal. At the Capital Area Food Bank they sorted and packaged over 15,000 pounds of food during their shift. At SOME (So Others Might Eat), a soup kitchen that serves over 1,000 meals daily, they served 700 lunches and participated in a social justice exercise where they put themselves in the place of a person who is facing the prospect of being homeless. Faith Long, one of the chaperons said, “Our group is always invited back each year because they are hard workers with a great attitude.”

The Youth Group is a mix of students from the Peru Community Church, St. Augustine’s Church and other churches including the Christian Alliance Church and St. John the Baptist Churches in Keeseville and Plattsburgh. This year’s Youth Group members include Abigail St. Louis, Alaina Bazzano, Andrew Thew, Benjamin Morgan, Brady Terry, Brooke Desautels, Cole Ives, Connor Douglass, Devin Wood, Erika Cross, Fabian Dopping, Gabrielle, Dion, Grace Sullivan, Hannah Osborne, Jack Dubay, Lucas Frenyea, Megan Zmijewski, Nathan Kennedy, Shauna Fliss, Tyler Andre. Chaperones included Cheryl Remillard, Faith Long, Brian Raymond, Lisa Zmijewski and Patrick Knight.

K of C Spaghetti Dinner Saturday and You’re Invited!

spaghettiPeru – St. Augustine’s Knights of Columbus Council 7273 will host a spaghetti dinner on Saturday, April 18th at the St. Augustine’s Parish Center. “ALL YOU CAN EAT” spaghetti, salad, Italian bread and a delicious dessert will be served from 4:30 to 6:30 PM for only $7.50 per person, $2.50 for children 6 to 12, free for children 5 and under and a $20 per family maximum. Take-outs are available.

St. Augustine’s Knights of Columbus Council 7273 donates to St. Augustine’s Parish and numerous local organizations each year including the North Country Mission of Hope, The Peru Community Church Youth Group trip to assist the homeless in Washington D.C., the Peru Youth Commission, the Ecumenical Choir Choir refreshments, “Keep Christ in Christmas” poster contests, and many more.  Community dinners are a very important part of its fund-raising program.

Historical Photo Needed

photo neededDo you or anyone you know possess a photo of the Peru Grange Hall which once located at the site of current Peru Town Hall? Town Historian Ron Allen needs the photo to complete the town’s historical collection and to include it on one of the historical signs to be placed along Main Street. Ron can arrange to copy the photo or he would be happy to add the photo to the town’s collection. Ron Allen can be reached at 561-0038.

Peru School Board Regular Meeting April 14, 2015

Peru Central’s Board of Education launches its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 5:30 PM at the school district’s Community Room, adjacent to the main entrance of Peru Jr/Sr High School. An executive session associated with particular personnel matters will take place immediately following the 5:30 PM start. The school board is slated to reconvene for public session business at approximately 7:00 PM. Anticipated topics include:

· 2015-2016 budget for voter consideration in May
· Athletics handbook
· Acceptable use policy
· 2015-2016 academic calendar

The full Board agenda is available on the District’s website at www.perucsd.org.
All are welcome.

A Great Way to Serve Children and Community

BOE Photo Updated 112114The Peru Central School District is seeking candidates to fill two (2) vacancies on the Board of Education, due to the expiration of the terms of Ms. Cynthia Mills and Ms. Jill Folsom.

Both seats are at large for a five-year term from July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2020.

The ‘Petition for Nomination of Candidate’ is available in the District Office at 17 School Street on Mondays through Fridays, except school holidays, or via the web at http://www.perucsd.org. Petitions must be directed to the School District Clerk, shall be signed by at least 25 qualified voters of the District, and shall state the name, residence and phone number of the candidate. Petitions must be returned no later than 5:00 PM on Monday, April 20, 2015.

The School Board Election will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2015.

Entrepreneur George Moore Dies

Bassett Won’t Seek Re-election

Young Man Dies in Ward Lumber Company Workplace Accident

Monday’s Board Agenda Includes Dog Waste Problem and Sewer System Repair/Upgrades

AGENDA TOWN BOARD REGULAR MEETING, April 13, 2015, 7:00 PM 

  1. Call Meeting To Order
  1. Pledge of Allegiance
  1. Roll Call
  1. MOTION: Approval of Minutes for the Town Board Regular Meeting of January 26, 2015 and for the Regular Board Meeting of March 23, 2015.
  1. DISCUSSION/MOTION: Reports from all Departments: (Water/Sewer/Valcour; Highway; Town Clerk; Dog Control; Youth Department; Code/Zoning; Supervisor’s Report; Court; Website; and Banking Reports)
  1. Community Input
  1. DISCUSSION: Student Angler Federation Presentation.

Read more »

Community Service is Their Way of Life

IMG_9065 IMG_9076By John T. Ryan

When the Peru Gazette arrived at the Peru Volunteer Fire Department on Monday, April 8, 2015 to take a photo of the department’s 2015 officers, firefighters John Stafford and Amelia Brelia were demonstrating ambulance and firefighting procedures to Tiger Scouts from Peru Cub Scout Pack 49. This is just one of the many, many ways the department’s members sacrifice their time and dedicate their skills in service of our community.

The Peru Volunteer Fire Department 2015 Leadership Team


Fire Dept
L-R Lt. Shawn Perkins, Captain Lloyd Provost, Asst. Chief Kevin O’Neil, Chief Tyler Williams, Asst. Chief Bryan Duprey, Lt. Sam Dimock, EMS Captain Cher Hanlon (Click photo for a close-up view) 

By John T. Ryan

Peru –  The Department’s 2015 officers include Chief Tyler Williams, Asst. Chief Kevin O’Neil, Asst. Chief Bryan Duprey, Lt. Shawn Perkins, Lt. Sam Dimock and EMS Captain Cher Hanlon.

Chief Williams, who is beginning his second year as chief, has been a firefighter for 19 years. He joined the department not long after his 18th birthday. Williams said the Peru Department is strong with 44 active members; however, more members are needed as older members retire or become less active.

Anyone interested in learning more about being a firefighter is welcome to attend the department’s April 25th Open House. Members will be conducting live fire and jaws of life demonstrations and will be available to answer questions. Applicants must be at last 18 years of age, out of high school and have a valid NYS driver’s license.  The Open House will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 2 p.m.

Correction: Spelling on “Hanlon.” Author’s name added. 

Congresswoman Stefanik Announces 2015 Congressional Art Competition

Official PortraitWashington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) announced the 2015 Congressional Art Competition for New York’s 21st district. The Congressional Art Competition is open to all high school students in the 21st District.

“The North Country is home to many gifted students and the Congressional Art Competition is a great opportunity for them to showcase their talents,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “The winner of this competition will have their artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol for a year where it will be seen by visitors from around the world. I look forward to seeing what our students can create!”

Artwork entered in the contest must be original in execution, may be up to 28 inches by 28 inches, 4 inches in depth and cannot weigh more than 15 pounds. The artwork may be:

Paintings – including oil, acrylics and watercolor
Drawings – including pastels, colored pencil, pencil, charcoal, ink, and markers
Collage (must be 2 dimensional)
Prints – including lithographs, silkscreen and block prints
Mixed Media – use of two or more mediums such as pencil, ink, watercolor
Computer Generated Art
Photography

Art submissions along with a Congressional release form must be submitted to one of Congresswoman Stefanik’s district office locations no later than April 24, 2015. The Congressional release form can be found here and more information about the competitions rules and guidelines is posted here.

The Strand Center for the Arts Announces Audition Dates for ‘The Last 5 Years’

AUDITIONSPLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (April 2, 2015) – The Strand Center for the Arts announces auditions for Jason Robert Brown’s musical ‘The Last Five Years’ at the historic Strand Theatre on Sunday, April 12 from 2 to 6 pm. The musical will be produced in association with Adirondack Regional Theatre.

There are two sides to every love story. From first date to final good-bye, ‘The Last Five Years’ chronicles the highs and lows of modern marriage in an intimate, honest and richly moving musical portrait. Read more »

Opening Reception for Susan Whiteman’s Exhibit at The Best Western Plus the Inn at Smithfield April 28, 2015

DSC_0924The Work GlovesDSC_0888SAspenWalk for CardPLATTSBURGH, NY – The Best Western Plus the Inn at Smithfield and the Strand Center for the Arts are pleased to announce that artist Susan Whiteman’s latest artwork will be on view at The Best Western Plus Gallery from April through the end of June, 2015. The public is invited to attend a free reception in the gallery located at 446 Route 3 in Plattsburgh, on Tuesday, April 28th from 5:00 -6:00 P.M.

Susan Whitman began painting when she was fifteen Read more »

Budget Workshops Continue

DistThe Peru Central School Board of Education will gather Thursday, April 9th at 5:45 PM in the Jr/Sr High School Community Room for their fifth public session budget workshop. An executive session associated with collective negotiations will take place immediately following the 5:45 PM start. The school board is slated to reconvene for public session business at approximately 6:00 PM. Anticipated topics include:

State Budget status.
Draft summary of proposed expenditure plan.
Proposed expenditures and revenue totals.

The full agenda is available on the Peru CSD website at www.perucsd.org.

The meeting is open to all.

It’s Time for Babbie Museum News

A Student Link to Business and Community

falcon

Lance Falcon tells the Peru Town Board about WEP’s

 

WEP's  3-17-2012 140By John T. Ryan

WEP’s: A student link to the businesses and non-profits; a guided hands-on environment; a tool for the community with no academic or income restrictions. Those are just a few of the words Lance Falcon uses to describe WEP’s (Work Experience Program). Falcon and a small group of volunteers have been working for over 3 years to launch WEP’s. The program has received its Not-For Profit Incorporation from New York State. Falcon is the CEO, Peru Middle and High School Teacher James Testo is the President. Other board members include Rick Laurin, President of the Adirondack Coast Cultural Alliance (ACCA), student Felica Duchene and Falcon’s wife Veronika.

Lance Falcon recognized the need for a work experience program while working as a volunteer farrier at the Babbie Rural and Farm Learning Museum. When students volunteered to assist with museum events two things stood out: they had great ideas and enthusiasm, but they needed training and confidence. He said, “We started an orientation program to teach the students to deal with the artifacts and the museum’s visitors. We got very good comments from the board members and we realized the great potential of the students.”

Falcon believes that WEP’s is a tool to build student confidence, respect and self-esteem while at the same time assisting local non-profits and businesses. The students will come up with project ideas, develop a project business plan including a budget and submit the plan to WEPs for review and approval. If a project has merit the students will be given a loan to conduct the event. Mentors will guide the students throughout the process. Falcon emphasized that student safety is WEP’s highest priority. All mentors will undergo background checks and will be properly trained.

James Testo has business experience as well as being a long-time teacher. He explained, “Students need help with their career choices. Employers want employees with work readiness skills. By participating in WEP’s, the students will be ready when they go to their first interview.”

Students, parents and the community members can learn more about the WEP’s program on Wednesday, April 15th at 7 p.m. on the lower level of the Peru Town Hall. Lance Falcon can be reached at 534-0488 or lancefalcon@ymail.com

Cuomo Gets Timely New York Budget but Pays Price

Cuomo Official Lays Out Surplus Plan

State Budget to Include Logger Training Program

imagesSenator Betty Little today said the state budget will include funding to establish a logger training program at Paul Smith’s College. Little proposed the new program in response to concerns from paper and pulp mills and other wood product manufacturers about a logger labor shortage in New York.

“Sustainable forestry supports jobs, contributes millions of dollars in activity to our Adirondack economy and benefits the environment,” said Little. “A lack of qualified loggers is slowing the supply chain. As more biomass comes on line, that pressure will only increase. It’s very important we catch up with that curve.”

The 2015-16 state budget includes $300,000 to help establish the North American Logger Training School at Paul Smith’s College. Read more »

Ti Farmer, Wife Arrested for Animal Abuse

IT Provider Hired and Sewer Study Recommends $4.5M+ Improvements

town hall

Peru Gazette File Photo

By John T Ryan

To choose a large company or a small provider: that was the question before the Peru Town Board at its Monday, March 23, 2015 meeting. “Small” won out as the board voted 4-0 to select Simon Moore as the Town of Peru’s new IT provider. The Board interviewed five companies, which they characterized as “all well-qualified.” Simon Moore and SymQuest were the two finalists. SymQuest’s clients include Clinton County, medium-sized corporations and institutions. Simon Moore is a sole-proprietor who serves several smaller communities and clients. The choice was complicated when SymQuest offered the town a free system-wide IT assessment. Moore said he would match Symquest’s offer. Supervisor Peter Glushko felt a comparison of the assessments would assist the board in making its choice. Counselors Jim Douglass, Brandy McDonald and Donald McBrayer (Councilman Kregg Bruno was not present) didn’t feel comfortable requesting a free assessment if the company was not going to be selected. They were ready to make a hiring decision. They also liked Moore’s $45 per hour cost versus Symquest’s $17,000 to $24,000 annual cost (the cost would depend on the assessment results). After considerable discussion the board voted 3-0 against conducting the free assessments with Glushko voting in favor. Then they voted unanimously to hire Moore who will conduct his own free assessment.

Water-Sewer Department Superintendent Greg Timmons reported receipt of the long-range sewer system study. The voluminous report recommended in excess of $4.5 million in repairs and upgrades over the next ten years. AES Engineering would like to give a PowerPoint presentation on the project. Timmons said, “Our timing is good. Grant money should be available.” Supervisor Glushko told the Peru Gazette he anticipates that some of the cost will have to be paid by users.

In the public comment portion of the meeting this reporter asked about the cancellation of the Wednesday, March 18th Zoning Board Meeting. Zoning Board Liaison Donald McBrayer said only four of the seven board members would have been able to attend the meeting, therefore any vote to approve an agenda item would have had to be unanimous. Faced with those odds, the applicant chose to delay action until next month. The application involved the former log home sales office at 3085 Main Street. The property is zoned commercial; however, a party would like to purchase it as a residence. Councilman McBrayer noted that the zoning board does not have alternate members at this time and that they are needed. Delaying Zoning Board action can result in inconvenience and the loss of a property sale.

Non-Profits, local communities, museums and businesses may have more volunteers when the WEP’s (Work Experience Program) gets into operation. CEO Lance Falcon told the board that WEP’s has received a New York State non-profit designation. Falcon said the program would link high school students who are looking for work experience with local businesses, communities and non-profits. The program’s goal is to provide students with leadership and teamwork skills along with the opportunity to work alongside experienced people from all walks of life. Falcon is seeking board members and projects. (The Peru Gazette interviewed Lance Falcon on Thursday, March 26th. A story on the WEP’s program will be published in the next few days.) 

High School & Middle School Exhibition in Champlain Centre Mall

HS MS artPLATTSBURGH, NY – The Strand Center for the Arts is proud to announce that a temporary exhibition featuring artwork from the Annual High School & Middle School Exhibition will be on view at the Champlain Centre Mall in April. This temporary exhibit of High School and Middle School artwork will be on view at the Champlain Centre Mall Friday, April 10th from 5:00 to 9:00 pm and Saturday, April 11th from 9:30 am to 9:00 pm.

This year the High School & Middle School Exhibition features an additional benefit for students. Champlain Centre Mall has partnered with The Strand Center for the Arts to host a “Best in Show” Exhibition and sponsor scholarships for the first, second and third place winners. The winner of the first place award will receive a $200 scholarship while second place will receive $100 and 3rd place will receive $50 in scholarship money. Champlain Centre visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite work that weekend. The three pieces receiving the most votes will win the “Best in Show” scholarship awards. The “Best in Show” exhibit and voting will take place in the Center Courtyard just before the entrance to JC Penneys, in the middle of the Mall.

FULL LIST OF STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN THE “BEST IN SHOW” EXHIBIT AND SCHOLARSHIP COMPETITION Read more »

Tops Friendly Markets Named Independent Retail of the Year by “Grocery Headquarters”

TOPS_Friendly_Markets_cmyk-300x97WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – Tops Friendly Markets, a leading full-service grocery retailer in upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania and western Vermont has announced that the company has been awarded the Independent Retailer of the Year distinction from New York City-based industry publication, Grocery Headquarters. The title comes with a cover story in the publication’s February issue titled “Tops of the Town,” and an awards dinner in downtown Buffalo in late February. Read more »

Pre-emptive Strike Aims to Save Ft. Drum

Fort_Drum_signState’s legislators speak out against possibility of closing

Pre-emptive strike aims to save base – Times Union.

Empire State Development Awards $17 Million Downstate

image003The Empire State Development (ESD) Board of Directors recently approved over $17 million in funding for 17 projects that are spurring economic growth and opportunity throughout New York State. These targeted investments are leveraging over $195 million in private and other public funding to support local businesses, workforce development, downtown revitalization, and projects that are building a strong foundation for future economic growth and job creation. The projects approved by the Board will directly create 387 new jobs and retain 485 existing New York jobs. Read more »

Saturday Afternoon Enjoyment

Pure Country Music for your Listening & Dancing Pleasure

Saturday, March 28th 1 – 4 p.m.
Kitchen Open for lunch & snacks

VFW event proceeds benefit local veterans & their families.

Peru Memorial VFW
710 Pleasant St, Rt 22B
Peru, NY 12972

A Mountain Ministry: Peru Native Reverend Philip Allen

Yes! Spring is Coming

Even if it’s only 32 degrees in Peru this morning, seeing Melvin Irwin pruning his McIntosh orchard made us believe that springtime weather can’t be far away!

Melvin Irwin pruning at Irwin's River Rd. Orchard

Melvin Irwin pruning at Irwin’s River Rd. Orchard

Economic Council Supports Ft. Drum’s Viability

image004The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) today held its public meeting in Watertown in a show of support for the long-term viability of Fort Drum ahead of the scheduled rally and listening session about the military base’s impact on the region. The meeting provided the Council with the opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to helping to retain and grow Fort Drum as a national defense asset and the region’s largest employer. Council co-chairs Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, and Tony Collins, President of Clarkson University, shared a joint statement of solidarity with the Fort Drum community during the meeting. Read more »

Youth Program Sign Ups

YCThe Peru Youth Commission will be holding sign ups for all Town of Peru Youth on Friday March 20th from 6-9 pm and Saturday March 21 at from 9 – noon. Sign ups will include Baseball, Softball, Summer Activities and Fall Soccer. Employment opportunities will also be offered for youth ages 14. -18. All youth must reside in the Town of Peru and a copy of a Birth Certificate is required.

For any more information please contact John Flynn Youth Director at 593-0935.

New York’s 2014 Voter Turnout 49th Best in the US

Janet Duprey: “It’s Time to Shed Sunlight on Our House”

DupreyAlbany – Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (R,I – Peru) today reiterated her support for a more open and transparent state government in light of an ethics reform agreement between Gov. Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. Duprey, a longtime advocate for ethics reform, was appointed to a bipartisan search committee earlier this year for an executive director for the new Office of Ethics and Compliance by Heastie.

“I’m passionate about enacting meaningful ethics reforms to the Assembly, and I’m determined to work with my colleagues across the aisle to earn back the trust of the people,” said Duprey. “This week, we started taking small but critical steps toward making the state Legislature more transparent. We passed legislation that strengthens the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), and now, Gov. Cuomo and Speaker Heastie have an agreement on ethics reform. I’m encouraged by these developments, but there is still much more work to be done to give New Yorkers the open, accountable, and transparent government they deserve. Now that ethics reform is finally on the agenda, we need to take further action and shed some much-needed sunlight on our house.”

Gov. Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie yesterday outlined an agreement on reforms to New York State’s ethics laws and rules. The agreement includes Read more »

School Budget Formulation Continues

Form the Office of Superintendent of Schools Dist

The Peru Central School Board of Education will gather Tuesday, March 24th at 6 PM in the Jr/Sr High School Community Room for their fourth public session budget workshop. At its budget workshop, the School Board is expected to:

  • Review Budget Timeline.
  • Receive a series of Recommendations from the Budget Advisory Committee.
  • Receive a First Draft Summary of Proposed Expenditure Plan for the 2015‐2016 school year.

    The full agenda is available on the Peru CSD website at www.perucsd.org.

    The meeting is open to all.

Flames Consume Giroux’s Poultry Barn in Chazy

Fujitsu Frontech Branch Headed to Tennessee

Craig Allen’s Photos On Display


ca
Shared Responsibilities

Shared Responsibilities – 1st Place Winner Nature/Wildlife Category – Professional Division, Best in Show – Professional Division, and People’s Choice Award for the 2014 Annual Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s Through The Lens Juried Photography Exhibit

By John T. Ryan

“The Jewels of Lake Champlain,” “Snowy Owl,” Minimalist Sunrise,” and “Shared Responsibilities” are just four of the twenty photographic works by Craig Allen on view through March 31st at the Best Western Plus Inn at Smithfield. The display is part of the Strand Center for the Arts Off-Site Gallery Program. A Peru native and Peru High School graduate, Craig Allen has been a New York State Corrections Officer for 34 years.

The works on display feature landscape and wildlife photography. Anyone viewing Allen’s photographs will likely agree with his remarks in the show’s pamphlet. “Sharing intimate perspectives of the nature that surrounds us all, everyday, is a quiet satisfaction that is not easily expressed in words, nor is it meant to be. It is the photographer’s hope, and vision, that his images simply speak for themselves.”

Allen travels throughout the northeastern United States to practice his skills. Photos from as far away as Maine’s Acadia National Park are on display. Still as Allen explained, “Most of my photographs are right here in our own back yard. Some are taken on the Vermont side of the lake; others are taken as far north as the Chazy and Champlain area.” The Ausable Point State Park on Lake Champlain, not far from Allen’s boyhood home, is one of his favorite locales. Allen 2

The Jewels of Lake Champlain – 1st Place Winner Still Life Category – Amateur Division, Best in Show – Amateur Division for the 2013 Annual Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s Through The Lens Juried Photography Exhibit

Allen’s interest in photography began in his youth. At about 8 years of age his father, Peru High School Counselor Ron Allen, introduced him to a black and white Polaroid camera. At Peru High School he learned darkroom techniques from teachers John Hotchkiss and Judy Corigliano. Several years later he took a semester-long course at Clinton Community College. A local professional photographer has also been a longtime friend and mentor.

Visitors to the Smithfield Boulevard display should enjoy Allen’s close-up, often-dramatic photographs of birds. Photography of this nature requires an intimate knowledge of animal habitats. Allen explained, “The more you study the biology of animals the more you realize that they’re telling you things. More clues are revealed to you about when something magnificent is about to happen.” Allen often waits five or six hours in freezing temperatures for that memorable magnificent happening.

While Craig Allen will undoubtedly always love landscape and wildlife photography, he plans to expand into portrait photography. He possesses all the needed professional equipment and accessories. He would like nothing better than seeing his work in a local publication.

Latest Inspection Turns Up Railroad Tanker Defects

The Strand Center for the Arts Announces its Annual High School & Middle School Exhibition

StrandPLATTSBURGH, NY – The Strand Center for the Arts is proud to announce that its Annual High School & Middle School Exhibition will be opening in the SCA Main Gallery at 23 Brinkerhoff Street in Plattsburgh. The opening reception for this exhibition will be held March 20th, 2015 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The exhibition will be on view from March 20th through April 24th, 2015 and is open to the public.

Yearly, The Strand Center for the Arts invites schools from Clinton, Essex, and Franklin Counties to participate in this juried show. Participating schools for the 2015 competition include Ausable Valley Central High School & Middle School, Beekmantown Central High School & Middle School, Brushton Moira Central High School, Elizabethtown-Lewis, Peru Central School, Northeastern Clinton Central School, Seton Catholic High School, Saranac Central High School, Saranac Lake High School, Willsboro Central School, and a number of home school students.

Awards will be given to students in the media categories of drawing, painting, sculpture (3D), ceramics, mixed media, photography/design and printmaking. Jurors for the awards are well acquainted with the arts and include Judy Guglielmo, local artist and business professional; Louise Pattinelli, retired art therapist and local artist; David Monette, Clinton Community College professor, illustrator, and writer; and Karen Blough, art historian and professor at SUNY Plattsburgh.

This year the High School & Middle School Exhibition features an added incentive for students. Artwork placing first and second in each of the media categories will be featured in a satellite exhibition at the Champlain Centre Mall in Plattsburgh. This satellite exhibit will be on view at the Champlain Centre Friday, April 10th from 5:00 to 9:00 pm and Saturday, April 11th from 9:30 am to 9:00 pm. Mall visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite work that weekend. The piece receiving the most votes, and thus earning the “Best in Show” award, will receive a scholarship sponsored by Champlain Centre Mall.

The Annual High School & Middle School Exhibition will be opening in the SCA Main Gallery at 23 Brinkerhoff Street in Plattsburgh in March. The opening reception for this exhibition will be held March 20th, 2015 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The exhibit will be on view at the SCA Main Gallery from March 20th through April 24th, 2015 and is open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more information on this and other events, please visit The Strand Center for the Arts website at www.plattsburgharts.org or email gallery@plattsburgharts.org.

In Peru, Even a Moose Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day!

Moose

Hope Coryer Receives Distinguished Citizen Award

Hope CoryerFrom the United Way of the Adirondack Region

At the United Way of the Adirondack Region, Inc. Annual Meeting and Recognition Dinner on Friday, March 13th, 2015, Hope Coryer was the recipient of the 31th Annual Dorothy & Alan Booth Distinguished Citizen Award.

She is truly deserving of this most coveted award. There is hardly a community event that she does not get involved in. She served on the United Way of the Adirondack Region, Inc. campaign team and was chair for the 2002 campaign. But it is not just the United Way that has benefitted from her community minded spirit and generosity. She serves for numerous other organizations.

Coryer blends in perfectly with the quality of past winners of this prestigious award. Her dedication to volunteerism and willingness to help improve the quality of life of others fits nicely with the legacy that Dorothy and Alan Booth provided this area.   She is someone who chooses to stay in the background and work hard to make the Adirondack region a better place to live. According to John Bernardi, Executive Director of the United Way of the Adirondack Region, Inc., “Hope’s generosity, compassion and selflessness are a fine example for all of us.”

Hope just recently retired from ETS yet continues to serve the community in many aspects.

“Career Jam”

DistFrom the Office of the Superintendent of the Peru Central School

Does education meet the needs of the 21st century workplace? Students will be able to find out on Thursday, March 19, 2015, when seniors and juniors from Peru and Beekmantown Central School Districts embark on a new opportunity for post-secondary career planning.

The Career Jam, which was created as a collaborative effort among area school districts, ETS, Inc. and the Development Corporation will be held at Clinton Community College. Students will be introduced to a variety of exciting opportunities available right in their own community. Representatives from Camoplast, Spencer ARL, Plattsburgh Animal Hospital, Swarovski and several others will network with the next generation of hard working, energetic and eager future employees to introduce current and future job opportunities. Our Career Jam will provide alternatives to traditional post-secondary options and build up enthusiasm for a strong workforce to support our regional economy.

60 students are anticipated to attend Career Jam this year with the goal of expanding to include additional districts and more students next year.

Budget Advisory Committee to Meet Tuesday Night

The Peru School District Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) is tentatively scheduled to meet in the Jr/Sr High School Community Room at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, March 17th. In addition to these informational sessions, the BAC will be invited to share their recommendations with the School Board on Tuesday, March 24th during a public budget development workshop.

If you wish to participate in any of the meetings of the BAC, please register by calling 643-6004.

For the past nine years, Peru CSD has organized a Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) that has served to inform and promote school-community discussion concurrent with the school district budget development process.

The BAC typically meets 3-4 times to develop an understanding of revenues and expenditures, components of a balanced budget, and particular challenges that face the school district. Traditionally, the BAC has formulated recommendations for Board consideration to assist the Board and administration.

Rep. Stefanik, North Country Chamber of Commerce Applaud U.S./Canadian Pre-Clearance Agreement

From the Office of CoOfficial Portraitngresswoman Elise Stefanik

Washington – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) applauded the announcement that Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney today signed the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Canada.

“This landmark agreement is welcome news for our North Country community,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “In addition to helping increase efficiency along our northern border, this agreement will help increase trade with our Canadian neighbors. This is good for our North Country economy and for hard working North Country families. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to pass the legislation necessary to implement this plan.”

“The Beyond the Border process has provided an important opportunity for the U.S. and Canada to jointly build our economic connections while valuing and supporting the flow of legitimate travel and commerce at ours hared border,” states Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “And today’s agreement on pre-clearance is nothing short of historic as it sets the stage for a number of advances in the years ahead.”

According to Douglas, the North Country Chamber and other partners on both sides of the border have been supporting an agreement that would specifically facilitate three long sought advances for the North Country:

1) The agreed terms for the pre-clearance of New York bound Amtrak trains in Montreal by U.S. Customs & Border Protection personnel, eliminating the current long stoppages at the border.

2) The possibility of Canadian Border Service Agency operations in Massena on the U.S. side of the Massena-Cornwall crossing, addressing space limitations on the Cornwall side and enhancing flow at this important North Country gateway.

3) Agreement on how U.S. and Canadian personnel can jointly staff and operate small, rural crossings from one side or the other without two separate operations. thereby saving resources for both countries while securing the future operation of many small crossings in the North Country and elsewhere which, while low volume, represent important connections between rural U.S. and Canadian communities.

“We thank both governments for this historic agreement, as well as our representatives in Washington who have been steadfast advocates, including Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and a continuity of engagement and attention from fromer Congressman Owens and now Congresswoman Stefanik,” added Mr. Douglass.

New Program for Children with Special Needs

TP1Thera-Pets, Inc. will begin the Jonathon’s Journey program for children with special needs on Sunday, April 15th from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. The group will meet every Sunday for nine weeks, excluding Memorial Day Weekend, at the Butternut Ridge Farm, 648 Calkins Road, Peru.

Jonathon’s Journey is a newly structured program that still gives the children free time to explore the farm. Activities include learning to care for the animals, walking donkeys, games, crafts, gardening, show & tell, scavenger hunts, and various chores. There are also plans to visit Kickin Up Dust Farm and the Babbie Rural and Farm Learning Museum.josh and donkeys

The program is free, however Thera-Pets, Inc., a not-for-profit organization, does ask for a commitment to attend. 
The registration deadline is April 6th. New volunteers are welcome to assist with the program.

For more information contact Holly Besaw 518-643-2577 or email therapets@yahoo.com. 
To download an application for the JJ Program go to our web site page. 
http://www.butternutridgedonkeys.org/jjgroup.htmlTP 3

Photos Capture Spirit of the Mission of Hope and the Nicaraguan People

 

Departure 4 PeruL-R Nathan Kennedy, Abigail St. Louis, Gabrielle Dion, Shauna Fliss, Megan Mazzella, Chris Mazzella 

By John T. Ryan

The North Country Mission of Hope’s February 17-24 mission to Nicaragua included nine high school students and adults who either live in Peru or attend Peru High School. They included Chris Mazzella, Megan Mazzella, Shauna Fliss, Samantha Bashaw, Nathan Kennedy, Gabrielle Dion, Abigail St. Louis, Sally Kokes and Mary Hensel.  Approximately 1,500 photos taken by the volunteers were compiled, placed on a memory stick and given to each volunteer. Sally Kokes was kind enough to share her memory stick with the Peru Gazette. The task was difficult, but we selected 75 photos that we believe capture the spirit of the mission journey. Please watch the slideshow on a PC, where the slide show is accompanied by music. Click here to view.

MH3

L-R Samantha Bashaw of Peru and Grace Leader of Gouverneur

MH4

L-R Mary Hensel and Sally Kokes

Trooper Donald Fredenburg Dies at NY State Police Academy

Cuomo raising campaign cash again

Highway and Pedestrian Safety Highlight Town Board Meeting

town hall

Peru Gazette File Photo

By John T. Ryan

Highway safety was the primary topic at the Monday, March 9, 2015 Peru Town Board meeting. The board appears to be determined to do its best to curtail accidents at the Brand Hollow Road – Military Turnpike Extension intersection. The board will request that the Clinton County Highway Department conduct a traffic study at the intersection and recommend a course of action. The board discussed installing improved signage, flashing lights or a traffic light. Some improvements are already underway at the town’s request. NYSEG is installing improved streetlights in close proximity to the intersection. More complex lighting would be expensive for the town. Installing flashing lights would cost at least $30,000 while a traffic signal would cost more than $130,000. The board’s actions follow a serious January 31st accident and several previous accidents. A four-way stop was introduced a few years ago; nevertheless, many motorists continue to ignore the stop signs.

Superintendent Farrell spoke to the New York State Department of Transportation regarding safety concerns expressed by Peru resident Michael Blaine about the Main Street- Maiden Lane intersection. Route 22 is a state highway; therefore any changes would have to be approved by New York State. The State Police have stated that any vehicle proceeding west on Route 22 past Stewart’s should signal left prior to proceeding on to Maiden Lane. Motorists unfamiliar with the confusing intersection are undoubtedly at greatest risk.

The next phase of the Safe Routes to School Program should proceed in the near future. Bids were solicited for the second time and came in at $143,729, much less than the last time bids were sought. The project, which is totally funded by the Safe Routes to Schools Program, will proceed as soon as NYS Department of Transportation approval is received. A pedestrian activated electronic crossing signal from Lafleur Lane to the school campus is one of the project’s major improvements.

Increased school bus traffic on McIntosh Drive resulted in a complaint being made to Supervisor Peter Glushko. Approximately nine buses are traveling to the Peru Central campus via McIntosh Drive, a significant increase over past practice. Holden Avenue is wider and is the most direct route to the school entrance. Counselor Brandy McDonald said the buses are trying to avoid Holden Avenue’s dips and heaves. Supervisor Glushko will be calling School Superintendent Grimstein to discuss the situation. Highway Superintendent Farrell agreed that the street needs to be improved. He would like to repave Holden Avenue, narrow the street and install an asphalt sidewalk. Cement sidewalks have become almost prohibitively expensive.

Town Historian Ron Allen informed the board that the Mason family is donating a painting to the town. It depicts the Little Ausable River Falls and adjacent buildings as seen from Heyworth Mason Park. Phil Mason Jr. said the painting had hung in his father’s office for many years. The artist was Harold Lapham (1878-1919) who worked at the A. Mason and Sons lumber mill. The painting is being restored at this time, but it should arrive in a few weeks. The board plans to hang the painting in the town hall’s main meeting area.

The painting is being restored at this time.

The painting is being restored at this time.

The Board approved Local Law #1 of 2015, otherwise known as the Revised Dog Control Law. No one testified on the proposed changes at the public hearing that preceded the board meeting. LOCAL LAW #1 OF 2015 DOG CONTROL

Councilman Brandy McDonald encouraged Peru residents to attend the Oil Train Task Force’s monthly meetings. Rail shipments through this region have doubled raising public concern. Counselor McDonald is working on Wednesday and unable to attend the meetings.

In other actions or news the board:

  • Designated the law firm of O’Connell and Abramowitz as the town’s Zoning and Planning Board legal counsel, replacing the law firm Stafford, Piller, Murnane, Plimpton, Kelleher and Trombley. O’Connell and Abramowitz is also the legal counsel to the Town Board.
  • Discussed an insurance claim by Champlain Boat Works which occupies space underneath Dana’s Rusty Anchor Restaurant at 4016 Route 9. A control fuse in the town’s sewer system blew on a Friday evening last summer resulting in a sewage backup and damage at Champlain Boat Works. Sewer Superintendent Greg Timmons said the town’s insurance carrier would not cover the damage. The board left the matter for the town’s insurance company to resolve with the property owner’s insurance company.
  • Approved the 2015 fuel agreement with the Peru Central School.
  • Scheduled interviews with the five parties submitting applications to become the town’s new IT maintenance provider.
  • Received a ‘Thank-you” letter from Life Flight for the town’s longtime support of the Life Flight Air Ambulance program. This year the town donated $750 to the program.
  • Received a letter from William O. Morgan requesting reimbursement for replacement of a mailbox which he said was damaged by a highway department plow. Supervisor Glushko will respond to Mr. Morgan outlining the board’s mailbox policy; the town will pay for repair or replacement of a damaged mailbox, but only if the property owner can prove that the mailbox was installed in conformance with U.S. Postal regulations. The highway superintendent should be called to inspect the situation prior to performing repairs or erecting a new mailbox.

Counselor Bruno was not present at the meeting.

Enjoy Corned Beef, Cabbage, Irish Music and a Great Time

CBSaturday, March 14, 2015 

3 to 6 PM at St. Augustine’s Parish Center 

Corned beef, cabbage, ham and all the trimmings. $9.00 adults, $4.00 child 4-12, 3 and under Free. Traditional Irish music, songs and dance. Sponsored by the Catholic Daughters of the America’s. 

Public Encouraged to Support our Vets

Bacon4th Sunday Breakfast,  Peru Memorial VFW
710 Pleasant St, Rte 22B
Peru, NY 12972
March 22, 2015 @ 9:00 a.m. – Noon
Bacon, scrambled eggs, biscuits & sausage gravy, corned beef hash, pancakes with “real” maple syrup, juice and coffee.
ONLY $8.00
Proceeds to benefit Veterans and their families.

Steffany Farrell of Peru Named to Medaille College Dean’s List

Medaille College in Buffalo has named Steffany Farrell of Peru to the Dean’s List for the Fall 2014 semester.
Students who take a minimum of 12 credit hours and who earn a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for all credit hours carried during that semester are placed on the Dean’s List.

With campuses in Buffalo, Rochester, and Online, Medaille College (www.medaille.edu) is a dynamic, private college committed to serving the higher education needs of western New York. Medaille is known for its flexible delivery systems, offering master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees through day, evening, weekend, and online programs.

Please Take Clinton County Trail Survey

wtThe Clinton County Health Department and the Action for Health Consortium are working to increase healthy opportunities for Clinton County residents. We’d like to better understand what people want and need for the local trails in Clinton County. We ask you to take our 5-minute survey (see link below). Answers will help us carry out the Community Health Improvement Plan and our work towards a healthier Clinton County.

To take survey visit: surveymonkey.com/r/gotrails

Duprey Fights to Pass Reform Package

DupreyFrom the Office of Assemblywoman Janet Duprey

Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey (R,I – Peru) joined Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C – Canandaigua) at a press conference yesterday to present a 17-point reform package that would bring openness and accountability back to state government. The 17 rules reform proposals include measures such as term limits for legislative leaders, committee chairpersons, and the Speaker of the Assembly.

“These common-sense proposals are exactly what the Assembly needs to rebuild the public’s trust in state government,” said Duprey. “There is a great urgency for greater transparency, openness, and accountability in the Assembly. I hope my colleagues across the aisle will commit to joining us in enacting these necessary reforms immediately. It’s our job as elected officials to best represent the needs of the people; we must give the public a reason to trust state government again.”

Duprey has long supported ethics reform and has repeatedly co-sponsored legislation that would require convicted public officials to forfeit their state taxpayer-funded pensions, impose term limits on legislative leadership positions and committee chairs, and create harsher penalties for those who violate the public’s trust.

One Dead in Dannemora House Fire

Lawmakers Call For More Local Road Funding in State Budget

Lobby

L-R Rob Wright, Supervisor Peter Glushko, Highway Superintendent Michael Farrell and Counselman Donald McBrayer traveled to Albany Wednesday, March 4th, to lobby for increased state highway aid or CHIPS monies.

Capitol Confidential » Lawmakers call for more local road funding in state budget.

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