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Monday, October 29, 2007

New Chautauqua County Nature Preserve

Greystone Nature Preserve Off And Running
 County Executive Gregory Edwards, accompanied by his son, Bronson, opened a celebration marking two special anniversaries for Greystone Nature Preserve owners, Bill Moran and Diane Clark, shown with another visitor, left, Kay Barlow of Fredonia.
10/29/2007 - For Bill Moran and Diane Clark, nature is their thing. So, when torrents of rain recently threatened to halt an open house celebration there were no moans or groans. The couple simply moved the affair from lawn to garage, while the rain did what it is supposed to do — water gardens and fields.

The big event marked their wedding anniversary, and their adoption just a year ago, of an area of Bear Lake Road which establishes the pair as the official litter removers along that segment of the town of Pomfret's two-lane route.

Among the small group of ''country road'' visitors and entrepreneurs were Chautauqua County Executive Gregory Edwards, accompanied by his son, Bronson.

Edwards cut a ribbon signaling the official opening of the celebration. Nodding toward the pristine roadsides, Edwards urged others in the area ''to do the same thing. ... Just imagine how much cleaner it would be, if we all assumed the responsibility of keeping our roadsides and land free of litter,'' he said.

When they first met several years ago, it took only a ''litter'' time for the pair to realize they shared a passion for the earth and a mission to preserve the land, and to keep it clean.

Since tying the knot of matrimony eight years ago, they have established Greystone Nature Preserve, a rolling tract of more than 70 acres where flower and vegetable plants grow almost as high as Jack's magic beanstalk, and where they make their home at 8531 Bear Lake Road.

''Keeping the road clean,'' Mrs. Clark said, ''is really not that much of a chore. We usually take care of it, when we walk our dog.''

Trash, she said, is not merely dumped in a bag. The litter is weighed and the type of refuse recorded.

''Knowing what is being dumped, often helps us find ways of preventing types of litter,'' she said.

The two also work as nature activity coordinators at the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy.

''We love to share our love of the earth with the kids,'' she said.

Projects with students include recycling, and regular litter clean-ups along Glasgow Road, where the complex is located.

''It's wonderful to see the kids' reaction to camping, getting to know and understand nature,'' she said. ''For students from cities, the rural environment is a whole, new exciting world.''

''The preserve,'' she said, ''offers a wonderful place to introduce young people and others to birds, wildlife, plants, and trees. Greystone is our effort to preserve 72 acres just as it is ... so future generations may enjoy 200-year-old trees, and find sanctuary in a natural world, balanced and harmonic as nature intended.''
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Friday, October 19, 2007

Chautauqua Lake Erie Wine Trail

Chautauqua Lake Erie Wine Trail

Tickets are still available for both weekends! Chautauqua Lake Erie Wine Trail between Silver Creek, NY & North East, PA Three new wineries ! Nineteen participating !!

Holiday Wine Weekends 2007 You choose the weekend: Nov. 3 & 4 or Nov. 10 & 11

Order tickets online:

For more information: 1-888-965-4800

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Chautauqua Music

4x2: The Ying Quartet in Fredonia

Published: October 18. 2007 6:00AM

Can't get enough of young string quartets? Then make the short drive to Fredonia, N.Y., and catch the sensational Ying Quartet on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the 1891 Fredonia Opera House.

These four Grammy-winning siblings from Chicago will present a program of the familiar (Haydn's G-major Quartet, Op. 77, No. 1, and the Ravel Quartet) and the novel, the latter in the form of what the quartet calls "Musical Dim Sum," three short works by Chou Wenchung, Lei Liang and Vivian Fung.

General admission tickets are $15, $10 for students. For tickets and other information, call (716) 679-1891 or visit
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Holiday Valley

Fall Beer and Wine Festival, November 3
Holiday Valley and two of the area's best microbrewers, the Ellicottville Brewing Company and Southern Tier Brewing Company, are sponsoring a Beer & Wine Festival at Holiday Valley in Ellicottville on Saturday, November 3.
22 brewers from New York State and the US will be serving over 100 unique beers. Wine crafters will be featuring wines from New York State and around the world. Attendees will be given a commemorative glass upon entering the Festival, which entitles them to a 3 ounce sample at each vendor. Tickets are $30 presale and $35 day of the festival. Tickets will be available at Wegman's, Holiday Valley, the Ellicottville Brewing Company and Consumers Beverages starting September 20. You must be 21 years of age to purchase a ticket and enter the festival.
The festivities will take place at the Clubhouse Chalet AND a large heated tent next to Holiday Valley's signature clock tower (twice the space of last year). Each ticket includes a $5 voucher that can be used for food at the festival...seafood bar and German specialties! Live music will be provided by Good Fellows in the tent.
For all of you brewery memorabilia fans, there will be a "Breweryana" auction at 6 PM. The Festival will be held in the Clubhouse Chalet at Holiday Valley.
The Inn at Holiday Valley is offering a special lodging package for $181.00 per couple including two tickets and one night lodging. Make it a weekend with two nights at the Inn and two festival tickets for $312 per couple. The packages include shuttle service between the Inn and the the Clubhouse Chalet during the Festival and the Inn and the Village after the Festival. Reserve on line or call 800-323-0020 or 716-699-2345.
A delicious tappas style 5 course dinner will be served starting at 5 PM on Friday night. Each course features a different beer to compliment the flavors of the food. The cost of the dinner is $32 per person. Reservations can be made by calling our food and beverage office at 716-699-2010.
Location: Holiday Valley Resort Ellicottville, NY 14731 Time: 3:00pm until 8:00pm
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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Chautauqua County

Sauntering through scenic Chautauqua County

10/13/2007 - For years I've avoided the thruway and enjoyed Route 20's splendor on numerous trips to Chautauqua Institution.

And though there are many, I have never stopped to enjoy its villages' charms — the kind the Kinks' Ray Davies sings of in ''Victoria,'' ''stately homes for the lords, croquet lawns, village greens ... Victoria was my queen. Land of hope and Gloria. Land of my Victoria.''

While she may have been Davies queen, Victoria is definitely king in this country. And it was time to get out of the car and experience some of this royalty in a not exactly regal way — on foot.

First up was Silver Creek, where the sugar sweet smell from Petri Baking Products filled the air of its village green.

The Capello Arms, circa 1878, was the most notable home on Main Street, and the scenic view of Lake Erie is visible at both Jackson Street and Lake Avenue at road's end and lake's shore. Hideaway Bay offers lakeside dining. Afterwards grab a bag of freshly made cookies at Petri's, and you're set for the rest of the trip.

On to Fredonia — or Freedonia as the Marx Brothers called it in their movie ''Duck Soup'' — where that Victorian feeling begins to gather momentum. A walk down Main Street through village green Barker Commons and to the Fredonia Opera House — rumored to have played host to a quick performance by Groucho and gang between shows in Buffalo and Erie, Pa. — will testify to it.

Stop by or call and Director Rick Davis is happy to provide an impromptu, yet thorough, tour of the historic house, and the folks at Barker Museum stand ready to do likewise.

Duncan Hines discovered The White Inn in the 1930s and included it in his ''Family of Fine Restaurants.'' It's one of the few that remains operational still serving outstanding meals to those willing to enjoy its ambience and overnight accommodations today.

Pink Floyd's ''Comfortably Numb'' blared from BJ's speakers, its staff readying for the evening's imbibing — as Fredonia is the home of the State University of New York at Fredonia and provides many respites for its thirsty students.

For those willing to shop, the walk around town offers abundant opportunities from gourmet coffee at Intermezzo and baked goods at Upper Crust to eclectic gifts and antiques at Tower Gifts and Randy's. Summer Saturdays and through mid-October Barker Commons hosts a farmer's market, as well as the Fredonia Farm Festival every August.

Upcoming events include the ''Harvest Moon Cemetery Tour'' on Friday, Oct. 19 and Saturday, Oct. 20 and the ''Miracle on Main Street'' on Saturday, Dec. 1.

Motoring south through the Lake Erie grape belt, we came to Westfield known for its varied antique shops of which there are plenty along East Main Street.

The McClurg Museum, operated by the Chautauqua County Historical Society, is the centerpiece of Westfield's village green called Moore Park. Filled with artifacts from this historically rich county, several of its rooms are furnished in grand Victorian style.

Impromptu tours are available. Across the street is the outstanding Patterson Library, complete with its own art gallery displaying the works of regional artists and Westfield Revisited, the current exhibit.

Though many of the lords have left Westfield, William Seward generations ago and more recently Welch's, fortunately they left behind what to this traveler is Westfield's great treasure — stately homes.

Leading off on East Main is the Candlelight Lodge and its neighboring Victorians. Admire them from the automobile but fully appreciate them on foot.

And to all who enjoy the beauty of such homes, a South Portage Street, Route 394, stroll is essential. Victorian Christmas in Westfield, Nov. 16, 17 and 18 which includes the Holly House Tour, is an opportunity to get up close and inside several of these classics.

Finally it is on to Mayville, the county seat as locals say, down Route 394. As I drive through, I am always thrilled at the sight of Chautauqua Lake while descending Erie Street, Route 394.

It is as though I were on a roller coaster having reached the summit, and when beginning the descent — at that tipping point with the lake in view — my entire nervous system responds with the sensation that I have entered my ''Land of hope and Gloria'' — Chautauqua. And from on foot, the views are more varied and just as magnificent.

At the hill's bottom, alongside the lake, lies the largest of our trip's green spaces — Mayville's Lakeside Park where a walk along shore is most refreshing. If you're so inclined you can launch your boat here or catch a cruise on the recently renovated Chautauqua Belle, an authentic replica of a Mississippi River steam powered paddle wheeler which runs through October.

Just a bit down 394, the Red Brick Farm offers a variety of retail outlets, beautiful gardens and landscaped grounds. And while Mayville annually hosts a morning Fourth of July parade, evening fireworks and ice and bluegrass festivals, there is a new game in town — cuisine.

While Webb's and Dick's Harbor House are reliable old standbys, fine dining has made its way on shore. It starts with the Watermark, where you can literally tie up your boat and jump ashore for dinner.

Just above the Watermark is the House on the Hill, open for breakfast and lunch. Back at the Red Brick, La Fleur specializes in fine French dining. In the heart of Mayville, a rather unlikely sight has appeared, a French bakery called Bonjour. Also in the village, Olive's is a popular and good choice.

And while walk-ins are always welcome at these spots, I might add that reservations are recommended as is a trip for you to this beautiful ''Land of hope and gloria. Land of my Victoria.''

For additional information contact the following Chambers: Fredonia, 679-1565,; Mayville, 753-3113,; Westfield, 326-4000; Chautauqua County: 366-6200,;

When you go from Buffalo/Niagara take the thruway west to Irving, exit 58. Go west on Routes 5 and 20, into Silver Creek, take a left onto Route 20.

Preferred routes: Take Route 5 until it merges with Route 20 in Irving, take them into Silver Creek and make a left onto Route 20 or take Route 20 all the way into Westfield and take a left onto Route 394 in Westfield, for the last part of the trip into Mayville.
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Friday, October 12, 2007

Chautauqua County Business

Spotlight on business s
 OBSERVER Photo By Michael Rukavina

Back row from left: CCCC Board Chairman Bruce Erickson; Person of the Year winner Mike Lyons; Italian Fisherman owner and Economic Development award winner Dan Dalpra; CCCC Chair-Elect, Doug Mahany. Front row from left: Fredonia community service award winner, Minda Rae Amiran; Jamestown award winner, Randall Sweeney; Westfield-Barcelona award winner; state Sen. Catharine Young; and Mayville-Chautauqua award winner, Charles Kelsey. Not pictured is Silver Creek-Irving award winner, Mary Richir; and Dunkirk award winner, David Doino.
10/12/2007 - Chautauqua County Chamber holds
annual banquet


OBSERVER Staff Writer

More than 400 people, including county and local officials, business owners, and community members, gathered together to celebrate the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet at the Williams Center Thursday evening. The elegant event placed the spotlight on eight individuals who have been recognized for their community efforts, economic efforts or for representing the chamber.

This year's guest speaker was Stan Lundine, who was appointed as the chairman of the Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness. Lundine gave a progress report to chamber constituents regarding the outlook of municipal consolidation.

"Our property taxes in New York are too high and we'd like to find a way to lower our taxes but not impair services. The governor believes, and I agree, there are just too many layers of local government. We have too many governments, we have too many school districts, and we'd like to see consolidation," Lundine said. "It's wonderful that the chamber has honored some people who are advocates of shared services. It's great to hear Dunkirk and Fredonia cooperating, or Jamestown and the Sheriff's Department. But that doesn't go far enough."

Lundine's opening remarks looked to encourage business and community leaders to continue to aid this consolidation process, from the state to the local level.

"We're just at the fact-finding stage now. We need to have incentives for consolidation, and actually some penalties for those local communities that say, 'we're special, we want to stay separate, we don't want to affiliate or work with others,'" he said. "I think there has been too much of a sense of entitlement by local government. I say all this having come from originally being a mayor (of Jamestown) and someone who believes in local government. I just think we need more efficiency."

For a county seeking sustained economic development, the chamber chose to give this year's economic development award to the Italian Fisherman, which was accepted by owner Dan Dalpra.

"We're excited about it and we're proud and privileged to accept such an award. We've enjoyed playing an active roll in the future development of the Chautauqua County region and we think we're on a tremendous threshold of things to open up and become even more active," said Dalpra, who also operates the Bemus Bay Pops Organization. "It's a tremendous asset to the region and being able to put something back into the community that makes the community a better place for all of us. I think it opens up many door of opportunity for our young people for the future and for future development and growth. It's just a win-win on both sides."

This year's person of the year award was given to Michael Lyons who has participated with both national and international YMCA programs, and also served as chairman of the Shared Services Committee for 10 years.

There were local chamber awards handed out as well.

On hand to accept the community service award from the Westfield-Barcelona Chamber of Commerce was state Sen. Catharine Young.

"I'm very honored to be receiving this award from Westfield. The people of Westfield are the real heroes because they had a vision, and they had an idea, and they were able to develop it into a farmers market," Young said. "My hat is off to the chamber as well, they are heroes to. These are the people who are investing in our communities, the people who are providing jobs and making our communities more vibrant, and we can't thank them enough."

David Doino was nominated by the Dunkirk Chamber of Commerce for a community service award. Doino was the first Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation executive director following its formation in 1986 and held leadership roles in the Dunkirk Rotary Club, Progress Park, and the Dunkirk Chamber Board of Directors.

The Fredonia Chamber of Commerce nominated Minda Rae Amiran for a community service award. Amiran continues to volunteer with literacy volunteers, and tutors inmates at the Lakeview Shock Incarceration. She is also an active member in the League of Woman Voters to Chautauqua County.

In Jamestown, Randall Sweeney was nominated for his community service efforts. Sweeney, since 1997, has served as executive director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Robert H. Jackson Center, serving as secretary.

Mayville-Chautauqua honored Charles Kelsey for its community service award nomination. Kelsey is the executive director and station manager of Access Channel 5.

And in Silver Creek-Irving, Mary Richir was nominated for her community efforts. Richir coordinates meals on wheels efforts which is held daily at the Mount Carmel Auditorium, and is active with the Silver Creek Festival of Grapes.
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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

$81M complex proposed near Ellicottville

An indoor water park and hotel is the centerpiece of an $81 million development proposal for a site near Ellicottville in Cattaraugus County.

Amherst-based Ross Wilson & Associates Inc., through its Great Valley Resort Development LLC affiliate, is proposing the project for Great Valley, south of Ellicott-ville. In addition to the waterpark and a 300-room hotel, the proposal includes a network of equestrian and exercise trails.
Once municipal approvals are secured and financing details are in place, the project could begin construction by early 2009 and be ready to welcome guests the following year.
"This is something we have needed for a long time," said Brian McFadden, Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce executive director. "Conceptually, we love the project. It is a great plan and we have every reason to believe they'd be great neighbors."
Great Valley Resort Development and Ross Wilson officials are presenting preliminary plans for their project to a number of Cattaraugus County agencies, including the industrial development agency and Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce. The county IDA is expected to hold a public hearing on an incentive package for the project by early November. Developers are seeking an IDA inducement package that could save up to 20 percent of the project cost through sales tax exemptions. The project will be privately financed.
It is being shepherded by Kevin Greiner, a former top economic development aide to then-Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello and later an executive with Ciminelli Development Co. Greiner is the son of former University at Buffalo President William Greiner. The proposed site is a 122-acre parcel on Route 219 south of the Holiday Valley Ski Resort,
Plans show the project anchored by the hotel connected to the waterpark. Other components of the proposal are a conference center with 1,500-person seating capacity that can double as an entertainment venue; a series of restaurants; sculpture park; horseback riding trails; and, in a future phase, an outdoor amphitheater.
"There's still a lot of entitlements and steps they have to take," said Corey Wiktor, IDA associate director. "This sort of project will certainly add to our overall tourism base and will definitely help in some of the shoulder seasons. We remain cautiously optimistic, with an emphasis on cautiously."
Ross Wilson & Associates is no stranger to the Southern Tier. The company is building the upscale, 54-unit Morningside Estates townhouse project in the heart of Ellicottville.
The project continues a trend of new hospitality and entertainment-themed developments in Cattaraugus County -- particularly along the axis between Ellicottville and Salamanca. They include the opening of the Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca and plans by local developers to construct a Microtel hotel in that area. Meanwhile, both Holiday Valley Ski Resort and the neighboring HoliMont Ski Resort are making a series of off-season improvements to their operations.
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