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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Chautauqua Lake Bemus Point Condos

Bemus Point Condos Flying Off Market
By JESSICA WASMUND

7/30/2007 - BEMUS POINT — After being available for little more than a month, nearly half of the Bemus Point condos have already been sold.

''We've already sold 14, and we're very pleased,'' said Steve Holt, of Howard Holt Hanna Real Estate, who is serving as project coordinator. ''They just put the foundation for the buildings in yesterday, so I'm very happy. They've sold faster than my expectations.''

As with many businesses in the area, the summer tourism season always plays a factor, and Holt feels his condos are no exception.

''The tourism here has definitely helped,'' Holt said. He originally predicted a half-and-half split in terms of buyers — whether they are local or vacationers — but so far two-thirds have been bought by out of town residents. ''I still think there will be more local purchases as well in the end.''

Those interested should act quickly, because according to Holt, pre-construction pricing ends today.

''We've been offering discounts so far, because up until this point we hadn't really built anything, but at that point the discount will end,'' Holt said.

The 40 condominium units are selling for between $370,000 and $595,000, with unit coming with a patio area as well as a private dock. A garage is also designated for each condo offering one covered and one open parking space.
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com

 

Chautauqua Lake Idol

Chautauqua Idol Down To Six After Holiday-Themed Evening
By JESSICA WASMUND

 Christmas In July

Remaining Chautauqua Idol contestants await the results of the judges' voting Monday evening in Bemus Point. P-J photo by Jessica Wasmund
7/31/2007 - BEMUS POINT — Christmas trees, Santa hats and snowmen were scattered amongst the sunglasses and T-shirts at Monday's Chautauqua Lake Idol competition.

For the competition's third-to-last week, the singing competition featured a Christmas In July theme, where contestants were asked to sing their favorite holiday carol.

Each musician brought a little something different to the competition, from Ben Blood's crowd-pleasing rendition of ''The Christmas Song'' to Lydia Marks' unique version of ''Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.''

''It's a beautiful night, and everyone is doing just great, but I've yet to be wowed,'' said judge Tim Edborg at intermission. ''All of these singers have potential, and they sing with such passion. Ben has done really well so far — they all have the ability, just not the consistency.''

Edborg got his wish after the first half, when Michael Valvo came out and gave a stirring rendition of ''Silver Bells.'' He explained that the song had meaning to him, and that he would be performing off of his grandmother's sheet music.

Judge Tom Torbjornsen started off the judging by praising Valvo for his outstanding performance.

''That right there is the definition of clothing one's self with one's song — everyone here needs to look, listen and learn,'' Torbjornsen said before standing up and bowing to an overwhelmed Valvo.

''This is definitely the top eight we've had in four years, it's the most talent I've ever seen,'' said Andrew Hill, master of ceremonies. ''I really hate to see any of them go, but we're offering them an opportunity to get better.''

Hill was offered the opportunity to host the event four years ago through his work at the contest's sponsor, WWSE 93.3 FM.

''The first year I just fell in love with it, and now this is my fourth year doing it,'' Hill said, who works as the on-air director of operations for Media One Group. ''We knew we had a lot of talent out there, and we wanted to give people a one-of-a-kind showcase.''

John Cross and the Babaloo Band, the four-piece backup ensemble, has been providing the sounds of Chautauqua Idol for the past four years, and Cross had an opportunity to shine Monday with a number of tenor saxophone solos.

Louann Dobmeyer, another of the judges, said she is excited to be hosting for her first year, after her son-in-law said, ''It was time I stepped out of my comfort zone,'' Dobmeyer said. ''I've really enjoyed the experience much more than I thought I would. The confidence level of the singers has really grown and we've seen each come into their own. We feel really awful at the end of the night — deciding who leaves is the toughest part.''

Contestant Paris Williams ended the evening's performances with a rendition of Marvin Gaye's ''I Want To Come Home For Christmas.'' However, nerves had gotten the better of Williams after waiting for his turn.

''There's a lot of pressure going last. I'm following so many good acts,'' Williams said.

Although he sang with a mellow and smooth song, Williams slipped and forgot a few lines of lyrics, but in the end was ''just glad it's over.''

After a vivacious round of applause from the audience, the six continuing finalists were chosen for the evening. Andrea Bragg, Blood, Valvo, Rich Beatty, Marks and Williams were chosen to continue, while Ashleagh Suber and Jaala Fish were sent home despite their best efforts.

Two nights of Chautauqua Idol now remain. At 6:30 p.m. Monday, the theme for the evening will be ''Remember When...'' when contests will sing a song from the year of their birth, or high school or college graduation. The final round will take place Monday, Aug. 20, when one winner will be selected from three remaining finalists.
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com
 

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Chautauqua Lake

Bemus Bay Event To Mark 10th Anniversary Saturday
By NICHOLAS L. DEAN

 A Decade Of Pops

The Bemus Bay Pops will mark its 10th anniversary on Saturday with a special celebration and fireworks extravaganza. Entitled ''A Night Under the Chautauqua Sky,'' the event will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Italian Fisherman. Submitted photo
7/26/2007 - BEMUS POINT — Even after a decade of programming, the Bemus Bay Pops is still seeing fireworks.

Discussing the annual entertainment series on Wednesday, Dan Dalpra, Bemus Bay Pops chairman, said the events are still as magical for him now as when the series first started in 1998.

A summertime tradition in Chautauqua County, the 2007 Bemus Bay Pops series began June 27 and will mark its 10-year anniversary this Saturday with an evening of music and special events.

''We're really excited about this,'' Dalpra said Wednesday. ''This is the big event for the year and it's open to the entire community to come out and enjoy.''

Entitled ''A Night Under the Chautauqua Sky,'' Saturday's event will feature the full Bemus Bay Pops Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Bruce Morton Wright. Additionally, the evening will feature a guest performance by six-year old trumpet prodigy Geoff Gallante and a fireworks finale.

''This young man is a remarkable little guy,'' Dalpra said. ''He's a little prodigy of Maynard Ferguson and seeing him perform is just an inspiration. He's just a delight. He and his family are from Virginia and they're coming in for the weekend to be a part of the festivities.

Since having started as a Labor Day performance of the orchestra on the roof of The Italian Fisherman restaurant in 1998, the Bemus Bay Pops has moved to The Floating Stage in Bemus Bay. Similarly, attendance has grown over the years from 4,000 people at the first summer series to an estimated 10,000 people in 2006.

In 2003, the organization built the Floating Stage — which now serves as a venue for world-class musicians and other performers throughout the summer. Located on Bemus Bay, the Floating Stage allows for viewers to watch events from land or by boat.

''It started as such a simple thing on the roof and it's grown so rapidly that it has become a destination point for events and activities all summer long,'' Dalpra said. ''It's really exciting for me to have watched this thing grow from what it started as in 1998. The fact that we've had such wonderful people believe in it and fund it has helped now make it a part of the community.''

In addition to celebrating a decade of the Bemus Bay Pops, Saturday will also mark the 25th anniversary of The Italian Fisherman. Following the fireworks display, The Italian Fisherman will host a post-party with champagne, chocolates and music by The Volks.

Like the Pops series, Dalpra said The Italian Fisherman started as a small eatery and has expanded over the years into the restaurant it is today. A Bemus Point staple, The Italian Fisherman maintains a number of staff during the summer months and runs a first-class, family-oriented operation, according to Dalpra.

''I think culturally, it has been very inspirational to a lot of people,'' Dalpra said of Bemus Bay Pops. ''I think a lot of young people have really had their eyes opened by these events and also, it has invigorated investors and developers who now want to participate in the region. I think it has made a lot of other people want to reinvest back into the community, which is priceless. Once you have that kind of attitude going, a lot of opportunities open up and people help to take this farther down the road.''

As the organization is a not-for-profit group, Dalpra thanked the many patrons and sponsors who have continued to make the series possible throughout the years.

Saturday's event will begin at 7:30 p.m. For more on the Bemus Bay Pops or to view a complete listing of concerts, visit www.bemusbaypops.com.
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com


 

Chautauqua County NY

Not your average tractors
By TIM LATSHAW

 OBSERVER Photos by Tim Latshaw

Left: Driver Nick Herman and his crew pose after a successful first tractor pull Wednesday night at the Chautauqua County Fair. From left, back: Chase Winship, Evan Wightman, Tim Thorpe, Dylan Connor; front: Nick Herman, Zach Hillebert.

Right:Forestville driver Chris Johnson has an unlucky breakdown and sees his run go up in smoke at the Chautauqua County Fair tractor pull Wednesday evening.
7/26/2007 - OBSERVER Staff Writer

The entires at the Chautauqua County Fair meet of the Western New York Garden Tractor Pullers' Association (WNYGTPA) can't mow your lawn, but they might be able to drag your house to a better yard.

Pullers competed at the fairground grandstands Wednesday night in two rounds of standard tractor pulling in separate classes. The fair is one stop on a summer schedule that ranges throughout the region for the WNYGTPA.

The basic rules are relatively straightforward. A tractor is attached to a sled carrying a large weight. As the tractor moves down a dirt track, the weight travels up an incline, creating an increasingly more difficult load to move. When a tractor is no long able to move forward, the distance is marked electronically. Whomever travels the farthest is the winner.

Of course, a run-of-the-mill garden variety tractor would likely not provide much power for this type of sport. The machines are souped up and altered; in higher classes up to the point where they no longer resemble tractors as much as hot rods. But how else would you be able to call your John Deere "The Terminator" and get away with it?

Bob Mesmer of Grand Island has his own version of "souped up": a Club Cadet with a turbine engine. Although not qualified for official meets, Mesmer made a couple exhibition runs with the rare setup, carrying the load smoothly down the more than 200-foot track each time with the type of hefty whine normally reserved for jets.

The rest of the competition did not have as smooth a sound, yet they still had one as powerful as each tractor fought down the track.

Nearly every tractor was able to move past 100 feet, most managing more than 150 feet. There were some unfortunate breaks for some drivers, though, including Forestville native Chris Johnson, whose machine blew smoke and bled oil after breaking down beyond 50 feet.

Another local driver had much more satisfying results, especially for his first time participating in a pull. Nick Herman of South Dayton placed second and third in the two V-8 class runs, the most populated.

Herman said his results were better than what he expected since his tractor's engine recently had to be replaced with a less powerful one. His good first experience on the track, however, seems to have cemented a love of showing power in the lane.

"I don't even hear the motor running," Herman said. "I'm just like, 'Oh, it's so cool.'"
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com


 

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Chautauqua County Fair

Cannon Opens 126th Annual Event
By JOAN JOSEPHSON

 Fair Kicks Off In Dunkirk Photo by Joan Josephson
7/24/2007 - DUNKIRK — The 126th Chautauqua County Fair opened Monday morning with a bang, literally, as fair director David Wilson lighted the fuse to fire the cannon that stood by the Central Avenue main gate.

As the loud boom echoed across the fair grounds, board president Jim Tytka welcomed the gathering of guests for the opening day's events.

These included a host of political personages from New York State Sen. Cathy Young (R-Olean) to Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, and a number of county legislators and local government representatives.

But, the 4-H Teen Ambassadors were the stars of the show.

Pam Hoglin of Jamestown, Sarah Robinson of Silver Creek and Cali Johnson of South Dayton did an admirable job of singing an a capella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

And, although the midway rides didn't open until noon, District 5 Legislator Bob Duff decided to climb to the top of the extended fire ladder at the front gate from which the American flag was hung.

When asked why he attempted this, Duff said, ''I did it on a dare.''

The fair organizers, on the other hand, carefully plan each year's events.

Tyka said this planning starts as soon as the fair ends.

''It takes a year-long process to put on a successful fair,'' he said, adding, ''This is a great start to a great week of fun.''

Young said the Chautauqua County Fair is one of six she will attend this year.

Calling herself ''a farm girl from a way back,'' Young said she was raised on a dairy farm in Livingston County.

''This event is close to my heart, it reflects the tradition, the improvements and the advancements achieved in New York state agriculture,'' she said.

She also noted the benefits 4-H members gain through their involvement with the fair.

''Working together, we get results that help build the economy and confidence in the young 4-H people,'' she said.

This will be the last fair county legislator Fran Lus will be attending in an official capacity since he has said he will not be running for re-election to his Legislative District 23 seat.

But, that doesn't mean he'll give up going to the fair and checking out the exhibits, particularly those displayed by the 4-H.

''The 4-H offers youngsters a strong, admirable program that teaches responsibility and builds confidence,'' he said.

The Starceski family of Sherman reflects this with Joshua, Roberta and Emily all having cows entered in this year's judging event.

Emily said she intends to show her cow, which is named Gum Drop.

Under the direction of Cheryl Robinson, the 10 4-H Teen Ambassadors led the guests on a tour of the fair barns with stops at the pig, sheep, cow, goat, chicken and rabbit exhibits and concluding with a review of the 4-H handiwork displays.

When asked how the Teen Ambassadors are chosen, Robinson said they have to apply, with letters of interest and resumes accompanying the application.

Then, they must go through an interview process.

''We've had kids who had trouble talking in public become Ambassadors,'' she said. ''The process builds their confidence and prepares them for real-life job interviews.

''They are the cream of the 4-H crop of kids.''
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com
 

The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy

Watershed Raising Money To Save Wildlife Habitat
By DENNIS PHILLIPS

 ''We hope by piecing parcels together to have a large enough habitat to have eagles nesting in the area.'' <=John Jablonski III, Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy executive director
7/24/2007 - MAYVILLE — The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy needs $60,000 by Aug. 15 to preserve 300 feet of waterfront and 12 acres of wetland and forest wildlife habitat.

John Jablonski III, Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy executive director, said the group wants to protect the land because it's important conservation site located on the outlet of Chautauqua Lake that is home to a variety of species of birds and wildlife. Plus, the land is an important safety valve to protecting the lake from flooding lakeshore properties.

''We hope by piecing parcels together to have a large enough habitat to have eagles nesting in the area,'' he said.

The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy has led efforts to conserve more than 570 acres and 1.8 miles of shoreline around Chautauqua Lake and its outlet. The Conservancy's Outlet Greenway Preserve initiative has conserved 68 acres and 3,780 feet of shoreline along the outlet.

The potential outlet site that the Conservancy would like to conserve is accessible from Old Fluvanna Road and is currently under purchase contract. The Conservancy has raised $26,000 toward the $60,000 to purchase the property. Even though the group only has a month to still raise $34,000, Jablonski is confident the money will be raised.

''During the last couple weeks we've had several businesses and individuals make contributions, they've made some really nice donations,'' he said.

Jablonski also said the project is partial being funded through a $20,000 federal grant.

The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy is the only organization in the area working to conserve land, ensuring preservation to water quality, scenic beauty and ecological health of the lakes, rivers and streams. Established in 1990, the Conservancy has more than 3,000 members who support its work.

Donations can be sent to the Conservancy at 413 N. Main St., Jamestown, New York 14701 or donations can be made online at www.chautauquawatershed.org.
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com
 

Monday, July 23, 2007

Roger Tory Peterson Institute Chautauqua County, NY

Exhibit includes nearly 30 pieces detailing wildlife, landscapes and western art
By NICHOLAS L. DEAN

 'Impressions from nature'

P-J photos by Nicholas L. Dean

Pictured are pieces currently on display at Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown as part of ''Impressions From Nature,'' the organization's summer exhibit. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
7/21/2007 - A walking tour of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute's current exhibit will take a person through historic lands and include sightings of elephants, tigers and other exotic wildlife.

Opened on June 12, the exhibit, entitled ''Impressions From Nature: A Collection of Original Landscapes, Wildlife and Western Art,'' will be on display through October.

''This is our main exhibit for the summer,'' said Jane Johnson, RTPI marketing and public programs coordinator. ''It's all from the same private collection and there are nearly 40 pieces on display. What's exciting is that the exhibit includes pieces from the Hudson River Valley School.''

A mid-19th century American art movement led by a group of landscape painters, the Hudson River School's aesthetic vision was influenced by romanticism. Thomas Cole is widely recognized as having founded the school and pieces by such painters as Albert Bierstadt and Raymond Yelland are included in this RTPI exhibit. Three themes of early America run through the work of the Hudson River School — discovery, exploration and settlement.

''This is sort of a big deal for us because it marks the first time we have had paintings of this caliber here,'' said Johnson. ''With the Hudson River Valley pieces, they are paintings you tend to see at bigger museums. I actually saw some in June when I was in Denver, so it's pretty exciting to have them here.''

Wildlife paintings on display include works by Raymond Harris Ching and Robert Bateman as well as two recently purchased watercolors by Roger Tory Peterson. The Peterson pieces were painted in the 1950s and have never been on display at the Institute. Other wildlife artists showcased in the exhibit include Charles Frace', Dino Paravano and John Seery-Lester. Paravano, a native of South Africa, highlights the importance of wildlife and the natural environment. His work is considered as trying to preserve on canvas what is fast diminishing in the world.

Rounding out the exhibit is a selection of Western Art by such artists as Thomas Lovell and Howard Terpening. According to a description of the exhibit from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute staff: ''The art of native peoples, whether of them, or by them, is symbolic of their ability to live in harmony with their environment. These paintings commemorate the rituals, beauty and the hardships of the American West.''

Spanning the mid-19th century to present day, the works on display blend art and nature together in an attempt to capture and hold onto spirit, essence and subtleties for the viewer to examine.

''We just want people to know about this exhibit and to understand that, for this area, it's kind of a big deal,'' Johnson said. ''We're very excited to have these paintings here.''

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. For more information about this exhibit and other aspects of the Institute, visit RTPI.org or ENaturalist.org.
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com
 

Chautauqua County Fair for its opening today.

Family fare: County Fair prepared to open its gates
By TIM LATSHAW OBSERVER Staff Writer

 OBSERVER Photo by Tim Latshaw

Ben Nickerson and his sons, Aden (left) and Brandon (right), work to prepare a bovine, born last December, for show at the Chautauqua County Fair.
7/23/2007 - Everything was moving at a fair pace Sunday as directors, volunteers, vendors, carnival workers and entrants all worked to ready the Chautauqua County Fair for its opening today.



"I think it's going extremely well," fair board president Jim Tytka Sr. said. "Rides are moving in, a lot of the vendors are up. Their joints are up; a lot of them are ready to do business."

Most of the fair's biggest stars, the animals, had already arrived by Sunday afternoon. Many arrived a day earlier and some judging had already been completed before spectators walk through the gates.

"We're actually a day or two ahead because we have to be in order to get all the animals in order and papers in order — identifications made — so when we open, everything is legit and legal and on track," Agriculture Chairman Larry Brown said.

Denise Saxton, owner of Saxton-Hill in Cassadaga, and her crew brought six cows and four heifers for competition and display. Their area is decorated with red trim — their farm color — and lights, along with photos of some of their past champion bovines.

Saxton said her planning for the fair began one month in advance given the amount of paperwork that needs to be completed to clear an animal through health and agriculture regulations.

"You try to pick out the ones that will look and show best at the time of the show," Saxton said, adding she began with a pool of 27, which was narrowed down to 20 and finally the 10 currently on show. Above all cows on are signs that tell of their pedigrees, production figures and other facts.

Floral Hall was closed off most of Sunday for judging of 2,842 entries into the fair's arts and crafts competitions. As expected, it took some time; judges began at 10 a.m. and ended around 5 p.m.

Beckie Huber-Ross, general superintendent of Floral Hall, said that of the 11 different categories of entries, two have become increasingly popular this year.

"Photography is huge, and collectibles," she said. "They just blew out of their department areas and we had to create more display area and everything, but those two are very big."

Although there has been a bit of a decline in entries for more traditional crafts, such as preserves making, the skill that goes behind those entries has not diminished.

"We have tons of talented people, really," Huber-Ross said. "The needlework is amazing. We have homespun yarn, and it's kind of awesome that those things are still done; that someone still knows how to do that."

To put all of the above elements and more together into one fair takes a coordinated effort and lots of planning. After one fair ends, the board is back that September to begin planning for next year. Events are booked, drills are run, codes are updated and backup measures are organized to help make sure the fair will be hit with as few surprises as possible.

A few convenient and secure additions to the fair this year include a Webcam for those who live farther away to monitor the weather before deciding to come out, bilingual signs on the midway and added fire safety equipment in most barns.

"When the event comes together well and the weather cooperates, it's terrific," Brown said. "It's kind of nerve-wracking and unsettling, but when it starts to roll on successfully, then you're like, 'Yep, we did well.'"

Those who bring their handiwork or prize animals for display also find the fair a satisfying result for all the hard work they put into it as well. Ben Nickerson and his sons, Brandon and Aden, worked cooperatively to prepare a young bovine for show.

"We wouldn't do it if it wasn't a little bit of fun," Ben Nickerson said.

Fair gates will open today at 9 a.m. However, the midway rides will not open until 1 p.m. or after the state inspection of all of the rides is completed.
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com
 

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Chautauqua Lake Bemus Point Village Casino.

New Heights
Take A Seat Auction Soars With Old Favorites, Additions
 This chair will be auctioned off at the Take A Seat event to benefit the Reg Lenna Civic Center this Wednesday night in the Casino ballroom.
7/22/2007 - The annual Take A Seat Auction, an event which benefits the Reg Lenna Civic Center, will be held on Wednesday at the Bemus Point Village Casino.

The auction is scheduled to begin at 8:07 p.m. under the call of auctioneers Chuck and Kathy Ludwig who, for the last 12 years, have generously volunteered their time and expertise to the event. Viewing of the live and silent auction items begin at 6 p.m.

This year's auction offers something for everyone. The customized painted furniture that has been Take A Seat's signature item will be there — in spades. Buyers and browsers can choose from over 60 pieces of unique furniture decorated and restored by local artists.

''We have a wealth of one-of-a-kind items this year,'' said Kristina Benson, event chairwoman. ''Some items, such as a vintage dentist's chair, restored and painted by artist Ed McFadden, are sure to be a hit. The chair pays homage to Dutch artist Piet Mondrian, the 'Father of Neo-Plasticism,' and its design is complemented by the minimalism and geometry of Mondrian's work. It is a piece that is more modern than Take A Seat's usual offerings and it certainly stands out.

''The Board of the Civic Center hopes that all art lovers plan to join this fun and festive event. Last year's addition of ''Engage an Artist,'' where the pubic bid on an artist creating something especially for them, generated such a success that we have expanded it this year. Not only can patrons bid on splendid furniture, they can also purchase the services of any of the 13 artists who have donated their talents to Take A Seat.

''Consider a four-hour glass blowing session/lesson for two people by Deborah and Dennis Brent at The Block House Hot Glass Studio,'' she said. ''How about a customized landscape design of your property by Stone Hill Landscape and Design? Artist Jenny Brown will be commissioned by one lucky bidder to complete a portrait of someone's favorite pet. There is truly something for everyone and it's a marvelous way to help the Civic Center continue to offer great entertainment and a world-class performance venue to the community.''

This year's event also offers a chance for young people and developmentally disabled artists to participate as part of the ''Emerging Artists'' category. Simple wooden trays were purchased and distributed for decoration to local students and to Aspire of Western New York's iXpress arts program. Fourth grader Mackenzie Taber is one such artist who did a free-hand acrylic painting of a beach scene on her wooden tray. It showcases her favorite color — robin's egg blue. The items from the ''Emerging Artists'' will be available for silent auction.

Attendees are also invited to try to win the exquisite hand-restored antique trunk donated by local artist Skid Proctor — an auction favorite every year.

For tickets and information, call the Civic Center Box Office, located at 116 E. Third St., at 484-7070. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door at the Casino the evening of the event. Admission is $10.
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com
 

Chautauqua Lake Bemus Bay Condos

Bemus Bay Condos Already 30% Pre-Sold
 
Sales of new condominium homes just minutes from historic Chautauqua Institution in the Western New York village of Bemus Point have been brisk and 30% of the units have already been pre-sold. The developer says the strong demand was anticipated for the homes that offer year-round lakefront living accommodations and boat docks on Chautauqua Lake.
Bemus Point, NY (PRWEB) July 22, 2007 -- Sales of new lakefront condominiums under construction in the historic village of Bemus Point have been brisk according to the project developer with 30 percent of the units already pre-sold.
"We anticipated strong demand for upscale, year around, lakefront living accommodations in the area and that clearly has proved to be the case," said Lee Chilcote, co-developer of the 40-home Bemus Bay condominium project located on the north shore of Chautauqua Lake.
First and foremost, we have a very high-quality product to market
The development company, Bemus Point Investments LLC, chose Howard Hanna Holt Real Estate as the exclusive marketing agent for the condominiums and company broker-owner George W. "Pete" Holt said he is "extremely pleased" with the success the promotion effort has achieved to date.
"First and foremost, we have a very high-quality product to market," Holt said. "To be nearly one-third pre-sold just two months into the marketing program attests to the attractiveness of the project, the reputation of the developers and the demand for quality homes on Chautauqua Lake. I am extremely pleased with the results of our efforts thus far."
The Lakeside Drive property being developed by Bemus Bay Investments LLC will feature two condominium buildings, named Browning and Columbian, with architecture reminiscent of the two proud old hotels that once stood there. The low-rise building construction and site plan configuration have been designed to blend into the surroundings of the village that was founded in 1806.
Each of the homes at Bemus Bay, www.bemusbaycondos.com, will offer a private boat slip on Chautauqua Lake and owner conveniences including secured entry, handicapped access, elevator service, a covered garage and reserved parking spaces.
Four different floor plans with three bedrooms and two or three baths will include air conditioning, granite countertops, master suites and a whirlpool bath and easy access to the property's heated swimming pool.
All homes feature a private balcony or porch with stunning views of Chautauqua Lake, and the world renowned Chautauqua Institution is just a short trip away by car or boat.
The village of Bemus Point is conveniently located just 1½ hours from Buffalo, 2¼ hours from Cleveland, 2½ hours from Pittsburgh and 3 hours from Toronto. Chilcote noted the area offers relaxation and recreation year around with golf courses, plenty of hunting and fishing and several winter ski resorts all nearby.
Introductory pricing on the condominium homes remains in effect, according to Holt, and complete offering terms are available by calling the real estate company toll-free at 1-888-269-7460.
Construction of the Bemus Bay condominiums is projected for completion in early 2008.
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com
 

Friday, July 20, 2007

Chautauqua Lake Bike Ride

WESTERN NEW YORK: Cyclists will 'Loop the Lake for Charity'

[Diocese of Western New York] On August 4, St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Jamestown, New York, will sponsor Loop the Lake, the parish's 6th annual recreational bicycle ride to benefit Episcopal Community Services of Western New York. The Loop's route around Lake Chautauqua encompasses 43 scenic miles.
There is no cost to ride; however, all registrants are asked to obtain sponsors. Proceeds from sponsorships will be donated to Episcopal Community Services, which through its 15 member agencies provides food, shelter, counseling and other services to western New Yorkers in need.
Loop the Lake riders receive a free t-shirt, free water and snacks during the ride, and a free lunch at the end.
"The most important benefit," says the Rev. Eric Williams, rector of St. Luke's, "will be knowing you have helped those in need."   
Anyone wishing to register to ride all or a portion of the route may download a registration form here (http://www.wingedox.com/tour.htm).
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com

Chautauqua Lake Floating Stage Bemus Point

Media One Radio Adds To Bemus Bay Summer Series
By NICHOLAS L. DEAN

 The first ''Dancing Under the Stars'' event was held last week at The Floating Stage in Bemus Point. A new addition to the Bemus Bay Pops summer series, ''Dancing Under the Stars'' is presented each week by WJTN, WKSN and the DeMarco Sisters School of Dance. Submitted photo
7/11/2007 - BEMUS POINT — Though they started out in daylight, participants in the first round of Dancing Under the Stars ended up doing just that last week.

A new event being held weekly as part of the Bemus Bay Pops summer series, Dancing Under the Stars features instruction from the DeMarco Sisters School of Dance and is presented by WJTN and WKSN — both Media One Group radio stations.

Held on The Floating Stage in Bemus Point each Thursday night, the event is free and open to the public. In addition to being open to all skill levels, Dancing Under the Stars is an all-ages event and last week had participants ranging from 18 years old to 70.

According to Josette Cromey, a WJTN representative, Dancing Under the Stars is a local take on the television show ''Dancing With the Stars,'' much like Chautauqua Lake Idol is a take on ''American Idol.''

''Last week was very good,'' Cromey said of the event's inaugural night. ''The sisters brought some of their dancers on and they did a routine to warm everybody up. There's going to be a different dance taught each week and then on the final night, somebody will win a trophy and prizes.''

Continuing tonight, Dancing Under the Stars begins at 7 p.m. with an hour of instruction from the DeMarco sisters. Open dancing will continue from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on The Floating Stage. In addition to tonight, Dancing Under the Stars will continue on July 26 as well as Aug. 2, 9, 16 and 13.

Tonight's theme will be country dancing. Future lessons will include latin and ballroom dancing. Sound for the event is provided by Muzz Mobile Sound.

''Everyone should come out and enjoy the fun,'' Cromey said. ''Come on stage and learn to dance or, if you already know how to dance, it's good for tuning up.''

For more on Dancing Under the Stars and Bemus Bay Pops, visit BemusBayPops.com. Now in its 10th year, the 2007 Bemus Bay Pops will feature music, movies, dance and comedy events this summer.
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com

 

Chautauqua Lake Championship Regatta

Fourth Annual Chautauqua Lake Championship Regatta Is Saturday
By PATRICK L. FANELLI

 Setting Sail
7/20/2007 - BEMUS POINT — With the fourth annual Chautauqua Lake Championship Regatta set to take place Saturday, event organizers are optimistically eyeballing the weather forecast and hoping for a strong breeze in Bemus Bay this weekend.

''Right now, the latest forecast was that Saturday is supposed to be a beautiful day,'' said Steve Schiavone, Sam's Club business development director and event co-chairman. ''Of course, it's three days out so we don't know what the wind is going to (do). That's the most important ingredient.''

Al Nottage, who founded the event four years ago as a member of the Chautauqua Lake Yacht Club in Lakewood, expects the wind to be just as strong in Bemus Bay as it is in the south basin of the lake between Lakewood and Ellery, where the event has been held the past three years.

''We're looking at an absolutely gorgeous day,'' Nottage said, adding the wind usually comes down the lake and sweeps into Bemus Bay from the north. ''It should be excellent.''

As the annual sailboat race nears, Nottage and Schiavone have been happy with the response, both from sailboat captains and from local businesses who have donated to the event's silent auction, which will take place all day Saturday.

''We're hoping to have a couple dozen boats. Last year, we had about 15 ... so we're hoping to get near double that,'' Schiavone said. ''We're hoping to have lots of participants. We're going to have wonderful prize drawings, which are donations from plenty of area merchants. I'm super pleased about that.''

This year's race could prove to be more of a spectator's event than it was in previous years since Ron Mavity of the Chautauqua Lake Power Boat Club will be on hand with others from the club, and they will be holding water skiing demonstrations, according to Schiavone.

''There is a lot going on,'' Schiavone said. ''We're trying to give folks an appreciation for water sports, whether it's sailing or motorboating.''

For sailboat captains, a meeting will take place at 8 a.m., and the harbor gun, which signifies one hour to go before the race begins, is tentatively scheduled to go off at 9 a.m. But it all depends on the conditions, according to Schiavone.

''We post a schedule. We post a course. All that is finalized prior,'' he said. ''But it's a function of Mother Nature.''

If all goes according to plan, the first race will take place at 10 a.m. and another race will take place after that. Schiavone and Nottage are also hoping to hold two or three additional races in the afternoon.

When the races are finished, the party will move to the Village Casino, where the auction results and race results will be announced at 10 p.m.

Judges will employ the handicaps set out by the Portsmouth ratings established by U.S. Sailing, the sport's governing body, when having to judge sailboats of different classes.

There will likely be two classes, according to Schiavone — just one-designs and cruisers since many local E-Scow sailors will be participating in a race on Keuka Lake near Hammondsport during the weekend, and E-Scows typically make up the third class.

The silent auction will take place next to the Italian Fisherman, which will serve as event headquarters, and in the park nearby.

When Nottage, a resident of Lakewood, founded the regatta three years ago, he was motivated partly out of his love for sailing and partly out of his desire to help the American Cancer Society, and he hopes for a strong showing Saturday both from captains and spectators.

''It's a fun thing. It's not a cutthroat race. Anybody who wants to come in with a sailboat last minute are more than welcome,'' Nottage said. ''This is for fun, and for profit for the Cancer Society — and it all stays in the county.''
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com

 

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Things to do in Chautauqua County


VISIT a Farmer's Market for fresh, local produce including apples, cherries, corn, blueberries, tomatoes, as well as herbs, meats, cheeses, and more. 
 
-Jamestown Farmers Market is held on Third Street every Friday from 10 am to 4 pm until the end of October. 
 
-Chautauqua Institution, shop the market near the Main Gate, Monday – Saturday from 7 am – 11 am, for fresh baked goods, jellies, honey and sauces, flower, produce, and readymade salads and entrees. 
 
-Mayville Marketplace on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 am – 2 pm find sandwiches and food from the Brick Village Gourmet in addition to fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, maple syrup and flowers. 
- Westfield and Fredonia - From 8 am to 1 pm on Saturdays , find a variety of fresh produce, eggs, organic meats, baked goods, soaps and handcrafts. 
 
-Westfield, visit the Crossroads Country Craft Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm, May through December for over 40 vendors of arts, crafts, collectibles and specialty food products.

TAKE a cruise on Chautauqua Lake aboard the Summer Wind or the steamboat Chautauqua Belle.  Enjoy the open upper deck or relax in the climate-controlled comfort of the interior salon aboard the Summer Wind, a 130 passenger yacht-type cruise ship. Choose from Lunch, Brunch or Dinner cruises as well as sightseeing, special event, and chartered cruises. For a more historic excursion, climb aboard the Chautauqua Belle, a steamboat replica commissioned in 1976 as part of Mayville's celebration of the nation's bi-centennial. The S.S. Chautauqua Belle is 98 feet long, 18 and 1/2 feet wide, and is one of only six 100% high-pressure steam powered public vessels operating in all of North America.
Summer Windsmall
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com
 

Mike Randall is Mark Twain Live @ Fredonia Opera House

Mike Randall as Mark Twain Mike Randall as Mark Twain
General Admission $15
Victorian Dazzle Festival
Mike Randall has been bringing America's greatest humorist and author to life for more than 35 years and in more than 2,000 performances.  Three hours of make-up combined with Twain's own words and mannerisms create a startlingly realistic portrait of "America's original stand-up comedian."
Attending from out of town?  Consider staying at one of the area's beautiful inns or bed & breakfasts as part of an overnight performance package.
Sponsored by ECR International
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com
 
 

Chautauqua County Fair

A Fair substitute: Wild West Show gunning to replace Survivor Team Derby
 Submitted photo

Wild Bill and the Wild Bunch.
7/19/2007 - OBSERVER Staff Report

The Chautauqua County Fair's "Survivor" team demolition derby scheduled for Thursday night of fair week hasn't been able to survive high gas prices and will be replaced at the Budweiser Grandstand with a show by Wild Bill and the Wild Bunch.



"Several demo team drivers said they couldn't participate this year because they are already running in our other derbies and the cost to bring in cars for the team competition had become prohibitive," said James Prince, co-chairman of the fair's entertainment committee. "The fair board decided that rather than having a small event, we wanted an alternative, full-scale show for people to enjoy. The wild west show will be a lot of fun for everyone."

One driver informed the OBSERVER there were only four teams available to participate Thursday and the fair needed a minimum of six teams.

According to fair officials, Wild Bill and the Wild Bunch will "dazzle the Budweiser Grandstand audience" with quick drawing and rope spinning, whip cracking performances as they re-create events from the Old West including an old fashion shoot-out.

Part of the show includes a mounted cowboy balloon shoot in which riders steer their horses through a trail while attempting to shoot out balloons along the way. The competition is open to experienced competitors and more information is available by calling Wild Bill (Frost) at 962-5168.

The Wild West Show will start at 7 p.m. and is included in the Fair's pay-one-price admission that offers unlimited mechanical midway rides and all Arthur R. Maytum Family Theater and Budweiser Grandstand shows except reserved seating for the championship demolition derbies on Tuesday and Sunday nights.

Purchase of a full-price admission ticket to the Fair, either advance sale or at the gate during fair week, is required for entrance to all Budweiser Grandstand events.

Survivor Team Demo sponsor Robert Basil Chevrolet-Oldsmobile-Cadillac will now sponsor the Figure 8 Auto Racing program at the fair on Saturday night.

"We greatly appreciate Robert Basil's continued support for the fair," said Randall J. Brown, the fair's director of promotions and public relations. "The Robert Basil dealership has been a terrific sponsor of our motor sports events for many years and the Figure 8 auto racing is a great show."
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com

 

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Peek'n Peak Chautauqua County

Culinary competition at Peek'n Peak July 21

Posted by Susan Glaser July 16, 2007 13:29PM

Categories: Breaking News
Local gourmetLoretta Paganini is one of three chefs who will compete this Saturday for the title of Premier Chef at Peek'n Peak Resort in western New York. Paganini, owner of the Loretta Paganini School of Cooking in Chester Township, will compete against Tim Murphy of Brick Village Gourmet in Mayville, N.Y., and Kurt Carmen of the Pufferbelly restaurant in Erie, Pa. The three will have an hour and a half to develop a main dish and two side dishes, using a pantry of staples (rice, oils, mustard, vegetables, etc.), plus one secret ingredient to be revealed just before the event.

The event begins with a food and beverage tasting from 3-5 p.m. and culminates with the competition from 5-7 p.m. Tickets are available at three price levels: $15 for the food-tasting, with limited seating for the competition; $25 for the tasting, plus reserved seating for the competition; and $50, which also includes tastings of the chef's creations. Tickets are available at pknpk.com or by calling 716-355-4141, Ext. 2525.
-- Susan Glaser, travel writer
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com
 

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Clay Aiken, to perform at Chautauqua Institution

Former American Idol star Clay Aiken, to perform at Institution July 20
 
7/15/2007 - CHAUTAUQUA — Clay Aiken, former American Idol star, will make his debut performance at Chautauqua Institution on Friday, highlighting the schedule during the fourth week of the institution's season.



The pop singer's performance will be at 8:15 p.m. in the Amphitheater. Week Four, which runs from July 15 to July 21, will include performances by the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and the Chautauqua School of Dance, as well as debut performances by the Chautauqua Opera and the Chautauqua Theater Company. In addition, the arts and entertainment schedule includes a Family Entertainment Series production.

The lecture series theme is 21st Century Cities and features Marilyn Taylor, partner in charge of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and chairman of the Urban Land Institute speaking at 10:45 a.m. Monday; Lev Gonick, Case Western Reserve University vice president for information technology services, speaking at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday; and Geoffrey Canada, Harlem Children's Zone president and chief executive officer, speaking at 10:45 a.m. Thursday.

Also, Ted Ginn Sr., an award-winning high school football coach whose son was chosen in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft, will speak at 2 p.m. Thursday while Jane L. Campbell, former mayor of Cleveland, and Byron W. Brown, mayor of Buffalo, will participate in a panel of mayors at 2 p.m. Friday.

The Chautauqua School of Dance Student Gala will be at 2:30 p.m. today, while the Music School Festival Orchestra will be at 8:15 p.m. Monday. The Chautauqua Music School Festival Orchestra is a major component of the curriculum and attracts musicians from leading music programs across the United States and around the world. A single ticket costs $16.25.

At 4 p.m. Monday, the Chautauqua Wind Quintet will perform in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall. Formed in 2005, the Chautauqua Wind Quintet is made up of Richard Sherman, Jan Eberle, Eli Eban, Roger Kaza and Jeffrey Robinson. For Monday's performance, they will be joined by pianist Kim Schmidt, staff accompanist in the Chautauqua School of Music.

Free tickets, two for each person, are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, on the steps of the Colonnade Building at 8:30 a.m. each Monday. The line begins around 7:30 a.m. Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall opens at 3 p.m., and ticket holders are then admitted until 3:50 p.m. After that time, all empty seats become available on a first-come basis. No seats may be saved.

The Pendragons will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the amphitheater as part of the Family Entertainment Series. Since its last appearance on the Chautauqua Institution stage in 2003, they have been included in the 2005, 50th anniversary edition of the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest transformation illusion in the world. They have starred in 14 prime-time magic specials, made appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and on a recent edition of NBC's World's Greatest Magic, they made 25 showgirls vanish from the stage of Caesars Palace. Tickets are $16.25 each.
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com

 

Chautauqua Watershed

Watershed Conservancy To Meet
 
7/12/2007 - The public is invited to attend the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy's annual meeting on Sunday, July 22 at the Captain's Table at Webb's Lake Resort, Route 394 in Mayville. All Conservancy members and persons interested in maintaining healthy lakes and ecology of the region are encouraged to attend. The annual meeting will begin with a reception at 5:00 p.m., a business meeting and awards presentation at 5:30 p.m., a buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. followed by a keynote speech. The guest speaker for this year's annual meeting is Paul Lord, a Cornell University Research Ponds and Chautauqua Lake scientist/researcher, who has been studying the use of insects to control nuisance plants in Chautauqua Lake. His presentation will be entitled: "Land Use and Fishery Impacts on Lake Plant Growth." In addition to his plant-insect research on Chautauqua and other lakes, Mr. Lord has a study underway using game fish to control nuisance Eurasian watermilfoil plant growth on a lake in central New York. A dynamic speaker, Mr. Lord brings a wealth of lake and watershed management experience to this presentation. He is the president of the Otsego Lake Association, serves on the board of directors for the Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Association, is the chairman for the Town of Otsego planning board, and is a regular presenter at annual New York State Federation of Lakes conferences. He has performed aquatic plant surveys across New York State. Mr. Lord was the featured speaker on a Conservancy watershed video distributed to local officials and aired numerous times on public access television over the last four years.

At the annual meeting, attendees will: 1) learn about and celebrate the Conservancy's watershed land conservation and education accomplishments, as well as other efforts addressing the root causes of the lake's sedimentation and nuisance plant and algae growth; 2) recognize the important people and organizations who volunteer to deliver the CWC's mission; and 3) have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the Conservancy's initiatives and programs.

The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy is the only not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization in the area working to conserve land in order to preserve and enhance the water quality, scenic beauty, and ecological health of the lakes, rivers and streams of the Chautauqua region. Established in 1990, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy has led efforts to conserve more than 570 acres and 8,816 feet of shoreline around Chautauqua Lake and its outlet. Currently the Conservancy has more than 3,000 members and distributes its quarterly newsletter to 8,000 households, businesses, and organizations.

There is a cost per person and reservations need to be received in advance. Persons who choose not to attend the dinner must make reservations for the business meeting and/or keynote presentation. For more information please call the CWC office at 664-2166
 
For more information on Chautauqua lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com
 

Friday, July 13, 2007

Buying Your Chautauqua Home

Buying A Home? Now's The Time

If you are the kind of person that watches the real estate market closely then this is no secret; now is the time to buy a home. As many of us have noticed, the real estate market has generally cooled off compared to what it was for the last decade. Over the last years America experienced a real estate boom the like of which had never been seen before. There were so many houses being constructed but that was just fine as there were just as many people in the market for a home so the whole thing worked out. However as with all such things, it never really lasts. For some time industry professionals have been fearing the "bubble bursting" and while this has indeed happened in some areas, the whole scale crash that was expected did not happen. What we have seen instead is the gradual cooling off of the market and its movement into a buyer's market. As you may have guessed this bodes well for home buyers.
For many years the sellers enjoyed their time in the sun and finally the time has come for the buyers to enjoy the same advantages. With this in mind, it's not time to go crazy buying up properties. As the move from a seller's to a buyer's market is a gradual one there are still sellers who will not understand that their homes have to compete more than they did before. Also, this does not change the actual process at all, buyers will still have to qualify for loans, plan their purchases and so on. They should also be ready to look at multiple homes. With fewer buyers in the market, sellers will be trying to create deals that are attractive to buyers so take some time and weigh your options. Remember that a buyer's market means that there are fewer buyers and a wealth of available homes. You should have no trouble finding a great deal an a nice home and sellers will soon realize that they have to make a few concessions on their sale to stay competitive in their market if they really want their home sold in quick and stress-free manner.
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com
 

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Chautauqua Lake Idol

The final countdown
By NICHOLAS L. DEAN Special to the OBSERVER

 Photo by Nicholas L. Dean

Aletha Walters, pictured above, was one of five more finalists selected to complete the field of 10 in the Chautauqua Lake Idol contest.
7/10/2007 - BEMUS POINT — With both preliminary rounds now completed, Chautauqua Lake Idol has its 10 finalists for 2007.

Of the 10 contestants who sang Monday night, Stephanie Blake, Aletha Walters, Michael Valvo, Been Blood and Jaala Fish were selected by judges to move forward to ''Disco Night'' on July 23.

''I'm just really happy to be doing this,'' said Blood, a Busti resident who works as a landscaper and describes himself as more of a bar band singer than anything else.

Not limited to one style, Blood said he is looking forward to competing in Chautauqua Lake Idol's upcoming theme nights.

''I'm not just about rock,'' Blood said after Monday night's show. ''My versatility hasn't been seen yet.''

Like Blood, Chautauqua Lake Idol's nine other finalists will display their range in two



week's time when forced to sing disco songs as part of the competition's first of three theme nights. Joining last night's winners for ''Disco Night'' will be Andrea Bragg, Parris Williams, Rich Beatty, Lydia Marks and Ashleagh Suber — who won Idol's first preliminary round last week.

A regional vocal competition, Chautauqua Lake Idol was created and is organized each year by WWSE 93.3 FM, a Media One Group radio station.Bigger and better as each year goes by, Chautauqua Lake Idol is now in its fourth season and regularly draws thousands of people from throughout Western New York and Northeast Pennsylvania to its Monday night competitions. The competition feature many community partners and sponsors, including The Post-Journal.

''There's only one word to describe how I feel, and that's ecstatic,'' said Michael Valvo, a Kennedy native, after making the cut Monday night. ''It's just an honor. I'm an 'American Idol' fan all the way and to do this is kind of like being a part of that.''

Currently majoring in musical theatre at Fredonia State University, Valvo has performed at Sheas Performing Arts Center and has been involved with Little Theatre Musicals.

''I've sang at Jammers games and though the crowd can get pretty big sometimes, it's nothing like this,'' Valvo said of Chautauqua Lake Idol. ''The word to describe it is phenomenal.''

Echoing Valvo's sentiments, Aletha Walters, a Randolph native, said performing on The Floating Stage was ''a lot of fun'' and that she is looking forward to singing at all three theme nights.

Of the five contestants selected to move forward after last night's round of competition, Jaala Fish is a New Castle, Pennsylvania native who recently moved to Jamestown and Stephanie Blake is a Jamestown native who sings in the Bruce Peterson Blues Project, Midas and was involved in the 10,000 Maniacs 25th Anniversary tribute band.

Described as a ''tough choice'' by Andrew Hill, Media One Group program manager and host of the event, the four Chautauqua Lake Idol judges had to cut five of Monday night's 10 performers and in the end decided to eliminate Katie Jacobs, Jeff Sanders, Amanda Oleshak, Eric Schwob and Margaret Dickerson.

Chautauqua Lake Idol takes place on six Monday nights over the course of eight weeks.

With both preliminary rounds now completed, only four Mondays remain.

Following ''Disco Night'' on July 23 will be a ''Christmas in July'' event on July 30 and a ''Remember When ...'' theme night on Aug. 6. The final night of competition is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 20, where one winner will be chosen from three finalists.

Idol events begin at 6:30 p.m. and typically run for two hours. For more information, visit ChautauquaLakeIdol.com or contact SE93 by calling 487-1151.
 
 
For more information in Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com

 

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Chautauqua Lake Idol

Chautauqua Lake Idol Selects Five More Finalists
By NICHOLAS L. DEAN

 Ready For Round Two

Andrew Hill, right, Chautauqua Idol host, introduces contestant Amanda Oleshak on Monday in the preliminary round of the Chautauqua Idol at Bemus Point. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com. P-J photo by Nicholas L. Dean
7/10/2007 - BEMUS POINT — With both preliminary rounds now completed, Chautauqua Lake Idol has its 10 finalists for 2007.

Of the 10 contestants who sang Monday night, Stephanie Blake, Aletha Walters, Michael Valvo, Been Blood and Jaala Fish were selected by judges to move forward to ''Disco Night'' on July 23.

''I'm just really happy to be doing this,'' said Blood, a Busti resident who works as a landscaper and describes himself as more of a bar band singer than anything else.

Not limited to one style, Blood said he is looking forward to competing in Chautauqua Lake Idol's upcoming theme nights.

''I'm not just about rock,'' Blood said after Monday night's show. ''My versatility hasn't been seen yet.''

Like Blood, Chautauqua Lake Idol's nine other finalists will display their range in two week's time when forced to sing disco songs as part of the competition's first of three theme nights. Joining last night's winners for ''Disco Night'' will be Andrea Bragg, Parris Williams, Rich Beatty, Lydia Marks and Ashleagh Suber — who won Idol's first preliminary round last week.

A regional vocal competition, Chautauqua Lake Idol was created and is organized each year by WWSE 93.3 FM, a Media One Group radio station. Bigger and better as each year goes by, Chautauqua Lake Idol is now in its fourth season and regularly draws thousands of people from throughout Western New York and Northeast Pennsylvania to its Monday night competitions. The competition feature many community partners and sponsors, including The Post-Journal.

''There's only one word to describe how I feel, and that's ecstatic,'' said Michael Valvo, a Kennedy native, after making the cut Monday night. ''It's just an honor. I'm an 'American Idol' fan all the way and to do this is kind of like being a part of that.''

Currently majoring in musical theatre at Fredonia State University, Valvo has performed at Sheas Performing Arts Center and has been involved with Little Theatre Musicals.

''I've sang at Jammers games and though the crowd can get pretty big sometimes, it's nothing like this,'' Valvo said of Chautauqua Lake Idol. ''The word to describe it is phenomenal.''

Echoing Valvo's sentiments, Aletha Walters, a Randolph native, said performing on The Floating Stage was ''a lot of fun'' and that she is looking forward to singing at all three theme nights.

Of the five contestants selected to move forward after last night's round of competition, Jaala Fish is a New Castle, Pennsylvania native who recently moved to Jamestown and Stephanie Blake is a Jamestown native who sings in the Bruce Peterson Blues Project, Midas and was involved in the 10,000 Maniacs 25th Anniversary tribute band.

Described as a ''tough choice'' by Andrew Hill, Media One Group program manager and host of the event, the four Chautauqua Lake Idol judges had to cut five of Monday night's 10 performers and in the end decided to eliminate Katie Jacobs, Jeff Sanders, Amanda Oleshak, Eric Schwob and Margaret Dickerson.

Chautauqua Lake Idol takes place on six Monday nights over the course of eight weeks.

With both preliminary rounds now completed, only four Mondays remain.

Following ''Disco Night'' on July 23 will be a ''Christmas in July'' event on July 30 and a ''Remember When ...'' theme night on Aug. 6. The final night of competition is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 20, where one winner will be chosen from three finalists.

Idol events begin at 6:30 p.m. and typically runs for two hours. For more information, visit ChautauquaLakeIdol.com or contact SE93 by calling 487-1151.

Send comments to ndean@post-journal.com.
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com

 

Monday, July 09, 2007

Chautauqua County Fair

Traveling zoo highlights Fair attractions
7/8/2007 - The Two-by-Two Traveling Zoo highlights the midway attractions at this year's Chautauqua County Fair scheduled for July 23-29 at the fairgrounds in Dunkirk.



Presented by Horizon Wind Energy, the zoo is open throughout each day of the fair with an array of mammals, reptiles and birds displayed in their simulated natural habitats.

"We are not your typical petting zoo," said owner Peter Iannucci. "We provide the public with personal and educational information about our animals to make everyone's visit a memorable one. A trip to our zoo is a great experience for young and old alike."

Animals scheduled to be at the fair's zoo include ring-tailed lemurs, kangaroos, leopards, bears, pythons and parrots.

Iannucci noted that the Two-by-Two zoo is licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture. "Our animals are not pets. They are friendly, clean and sociable, but they are still wild," he said. "They have either been placed with us voluntarily or adopted."

J & J Amusements is co-sponsoring the appearance of the traveling zoo and will again bring its monster midway to the fairgrounds for the weeklong event.

Advance sale tickets are available through July 22 at many area retailers and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the fair's Central Avenue ticket office. The fair's Web site, www.chautauquacountyfair.org, provides ticket outlet locations and fair event information.

There has been no increase in the fair's pay-one-price admission tickets this year. Advance sale tickets are $6 per person and daily gate tickets are $8 per person Monday-Thursday and $9 per person Friday-Sunday. Senior citizens can purchase tickets at the gates at half price any day of the fair.

The fair's pay-one-price admission includes unlimited mechanical midway rides, all Arthur R. Maytum Family Theater and Budweiser Grandstand shows except demolition derby reserved seating, and all other events and exhibits at the fair. Purchase of an advance sale or daily gate admission ticket is required to attend all Budweiser Grandstand events.

This year marks the 126th year of the Chautauqua County Fair.
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com
 

Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy

Understanding Good Weeds Vs. Bad Weeds
For the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy

 The delicate, native Star duckweed takes center stage in a small collection of Chautauqua Lake plants.

Photo by Jane Conroe
7/8/2007 - Weeds in the garden, weeds in the lake, weeds in the lawn — those of us who are fairly vigorous gardeners can get a little crazy about the darn things. They seem to always be where they are not wanted. In fact, an education colleague of mine explained the difference between soil and dirt in a similar context. Soil is a valuable, needed resource that provides plants and the food we need. Dirt is misplaced soil, like on the kitchen floor. I've used the same analogy for weeds; they are misplaced plants. Plants are a valuable, needed resource, while weeds are plants that are in an unwanted place.

The weeds in the lake have acquired considerable attention and press coverage. Among them, know that there are both ''good weeds'' and ''bad weeds.'' This oversimplified division requires the further understanding that aquatic plants come in three main categories. Emergent plants show some of their growth above the surface of the water like cattails and rice. Floating plants lay on the surface of the water like lotus and pond lilies. Submersed plants, also called submersed aquatic vegetation, grow almost entirely underwater. It is this last category that is sometimes referred to as ''seaweed,'' often with a negative adjective included. An additional division is applied to plants, whether they are native or exotic. Native means the plant originated in the area. Exotic means it was brought to the United States.

As its name indicates, Eurasian water milfoil was brought from Europe and Asia in the late 1800's where it was used as an aquarium plant. Its scientific name, Myriophyllum spicatum which means many spiked leaves, clearly describes its appearance. Open any single leaf and you will count more than 14 pairs of pointed leaflets with clusters of leaves called whorls piled closely together on the stalk. This leaf density, plus the plant's ability to grow quickly in cool water in the spring, cause it to shade any slower growing native plants. Its longer growing season (it can flower in both spring and fall), re-rooting ability and density have earned it one additional adjective — invasive. This is one bad weed.

Curly-leaf pondweed, Potamogeton crispus, is another exotic submerged plant. This plant reproduces from buds, called turions, and has been known to produce 1600 turions per square meter with a 60 to 80 percent germination rate. Even though this plant has more delicate leaves, it roots easily on soft sediment and tolerates low sunlight and cloudy water. These abilities would earn it an ''invasive bad weed'' title, only this dominant plant dies back to dormancy in mid-July due to warmer water temperatures. If weeds are unwanted plants, these plants are very cooperative and get out of our way during the warm summer months.

Let's now look below the surface at an amazing underwater forest filled with ''good weeds.'' Here that term ''weed'' just does not apply, because this ecosystem is brimming with a variety of delicate native plants that are performing their roles to perfection. Other than the water-thread pondweed and the Eurasian water milfoil, the small collection of plants seen in the photo were gathered by two rake tosses into Whitney Bay on Chautauqua Lake. The Small pondweed, Potamogeton pusillus (Latin for ''very small'), is fairly tall with slender leaves. It is native and is a food source for ducks and geese. It is also a food source and cover for fish. Elodea, Elodea Canadensis, has whorls of three leaves that are fairly crowded on the stem. This native plant provides excellent shelter and grazing for fish. It is also a food source for muskrats and waterfowl and additionally is a habitat for many invertebrates. Coontail, Ceratophyllum demersum, is often misidentified as water milfoil. It has stiff leaves arranged in whorls from five to 12 at a time. The whorls are more closely spaced at the tips of the plant giving its raccoon-tail appearance. This more rugged structure makes this native plant vital to the underwater forest. It provides habitat during the winter for invertebrates and fish when many other plants are reduced to roots. In the warmer months it provides good shelter and food for fish along with a host of ducks including the beautiful Wood Duck and teals.

Then there is the ''star'' of this small collection, star duckweed, Lemna triscula. Its identification was made through the assistance of Robert Johnson, aquatic plant specialist from Cornell University Research Ponds. Star duckweed is not just good; it is amazing. Its delicate leaves are spring green in color and it is here that the active cells contain twice as much protein, fat, nitrogen and phosphorus as other vascular plants. This occurs because there is little structural fiber or root system; each leaf absorbs nutrients directly from the water. Thus, this wonderful plant has a high nutrient value for fish and waterfowl and is good habitat for aquatic invertebrates. Its high-nutrient value has seen this plant used as feed for cattle and pigs in Africa, India and Southeast Asia. It has also been used to remove nutrients from sewage effluent. This diminutive, gentle, native plant could be one of the most hard-working giants of our underwater forest.

Appreciating the beauty of this underwater forest can be added to our list of amazing discoveries made right here in the Chautauqua Watershed. Understanding the multiple roles of the submersed plants in the ecosystem enhances that appreciation. So when we hear ''weeds,'' there are many underwater plants that are far better than good — their contributions to the ecosystem are stellar.

The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy is a local, not-for-profit grass roots land conservation, watershed education and advocacy organization. Its mission is to preserve and enhance the ecology, water quality and scenic beauty of the lakes, streams and watersheds of the Chautauqua region with 1,400 individuals, families, businesses and organizations as members. Its 2007 membership drive is underway. Donations of cash, securities and real estate may be tax deductible. For membership information call 664-2166 or visit the CWC online at www.chautauquawatershed.org.
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com
 

Chautauqua Institution Lecture Series

Speakers at Institution to focus on China and India
 
7/8/2007 - CHAUTAUQUA — The third week of lectures at Chautauqua Institution will explore the theme, ''The Meteoric Rise of China and India.''



Chautauqua Institution hosts the weekday Morning Lecture Series at 10:45 a.m. in the Amphitheater. Tickets can be purchased at the Chautauqua Box Office in the Turner Community Center on Route 394. They may also be ordered by phone at 357-6250 or on the Internet at tickets.ciweb.org.

The morning lecture series will include guest speakers that will address the question, ''Is the world really flat and if so how do we navigate it?''

In the last 20 years, more than 500,000,000 people have risen out of poverty in China and India combined. China, with the world's fastest growing gross domestic product and energy demand, and India, with the largest educated middle class and democracy, are global economic forces. Speakers throughout the week will discuss the economic development of India and China, its global repercussions and future impacts on politics, economic competition, and resources used to analyze the navigation of these forces in globalization.

On Monday, Ronnie Chan, Hang Lung Properties chairman, a family-owned, professionally-managed company with more than 57 years of experience in property development in Hong Kong and now, increasingly, in mainland China, will speak. Chan joined the group in 1972 and became chairman in 1991. He is also a vice president of the Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong, a vice chairman of the Asia Society and chairman of its Hong Kong Center, and an advisor to the China Development Research Foundation of the State Council of the People's Republic of China.

Richard Celeste, Tuesday's speaker, has built a 40-year career of service in federal and state government and now in the private sector. Now the president of Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Celeste is the former two-term governor of Ohio following terms as state representative and lieutenant governor. Celeste also served as the U.S. Ambassador to India from 1997 to 2001 and is the former director of the U.S. Peace Corps.

Elizabeth Economy, the speaker on Wednesday, is the C.V. Starr senior fellow and director of Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Her areas of expertise include Chinese domestic and foreign policy, Sino-U.S. relations and global environmental issues.

She has published widely on both Chinese domestic and foreign policy. Her most recent book, ''The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China's Future'' was published in 2004. She also co-edited ''China Joins the World: Progress and Prospects,'' and ''The Internationalization of Environmental Protection.'' She has testified before Congress on numerous occasions, and regularly speaks at international conferences such as the World Economic Forum in Davos and the Fortune Global Forum.

On Thursday, Shashi Tharoor, chairman of Dubai-based Afras Ventures and former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, will speak. He was the official candidate of India for the succession to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2006, and came a close second out of seven contenders in the race. He serves as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. His career began in 1978, when he joined the staff of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, and includes key responsibilities in peace-keeping after the Cold War and as a senior adviser to the Secretary-General.

Dr. Tharoor is also the award-winning author of nine books, as well as hundreds of articles, op-eds and book reviews in a wide range of publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the International Herald Tribune, Time, Newsweek and The Times of India.He has served for two years as a contributing editor and occasional columnist for Newsweek International. Since April 2001 he has authored a fortnightly column in The Hindu and since January 2007 in The Times of India.

Jeffrey Bader, director of the John L. Thornton China Center and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, will close the week's speakers on Friday. Bader joined Brookings in April 2005 after a 27-year career in the U.S. State Department, National Security Council and office of the United States Trade Representative, and three years in the private sector.

He joined the State Department in 1975. His assignments as a Foreign Service Officer included Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, Zaire (Congo); Taipei, where he studied Chinese; Beijing; the U.S. Mission to the United Nations; Deputy Chief of Mission in Lusaka, Zambia; Deputy Consul General in Hong Kong; and several tours in Washington in the State Department's Bureau of East Asian & Pacific Affairs. He served as Deputy Director of the Office of Chinese & Mongolian Affairs from 1987 to 1990 and Director of the same office in 1995-1996.

In 1996 Bader was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian & Pacific Affairs, with responsibility for the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, and Laos. In August 1997 he was named Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, with responsibility for U.S. relations with the PRC and Taiwan, in which capacity he served until 1999.
 
For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com