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Friday, November 28, 2008

New York housing market

November 28, 2008

New York housing market prices stable amid typical seasonal activity

Existing single-family home sales in New York State decreased by 2.4 percent in October 2008 compared to September, while the median selling price remained stable at $210,000.

New York REALTORS sold 7,085 existing single-family homes in October 2008 with a median price of $210,000.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Chautauqua County & New York Housing Quick Facts

· Conditions are ideal for qualified buyers. Prices have moderated, interest rates are hovering near 40-year lows and the number of homes for sale is greater than it has been in 15 years.

· The new first-time homebuyer tax credit amounts to a 15-year, $7,500 interest-free loan, but it is only available through July of 2009, so qualified buyers have a window of opportunity now to to take advantage of this special program.

· There are a number of attractive and safe mortgage products available now, providing additional reasons for buyers to get off the fence and into the market.

· Every market is different. The national housing forecast is no more useful than a national weather forecast. It's important to consult with a REALTOR® to obtain accurate local market information.

· New York's housing market is seasonal, and sales slow between October and February, making the October market's slow down from September typical.

· October sales gains compared to September 2008 were reported in 28 of 57 counties for which NYSAR collects existing single-family home sales data.

· Twenty-three counties reported gains in median selling price in October 2008 compared to October 2007.

· A NYSAR-commissioned study of homeowners found the typical homeowner has been in their house for 7 years. The October 2001 statewide median sales price was $169,900, today it's $210,000. Sellers who have owned their homes for several years will still enjoy the benefits of increased equity and price appreciation when they sell.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Ski centers get an early jump on the season in western NY

Associated Press - November 21, 2008 3:15 AM ET

ELLICOTTVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - Lake-effect snow blanketing the Southern Tier has some western New York ski centers getting an early start on the season.

Holiday Valley opened Thursday, a week earlier than planned, after 28 inches of snow fell last weekend.

Cockaigne Ski Area opens today.

Peak-n-Peak plans to open next Wednesday.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Holiday Valley

Holiday Valley will be opening Thursday November 20th!!

The Slopes!

It's official. Holiday Valley Resort will open the slopes for the 2008-2009 season this Thursday November 20th. With 28" of fresh snow and great snowmaking conditions, this is the 3rd earliest opening in the resort's 51 year history. Holiday Valley will open the Yodeler Quad Chair with 6 slopes on Thursday and expects to open additional lifts and slopes by the weekend.
This is a great time to visit Ellicottville, with pre-season lodging rates and the Christmas in Ellicottville Festival scheduled for Novemebr 28th to 30th you can ski and Christmas shop all in one visit.
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Peek'n Peak Resort Chautauqua County

Sherri Rater, director of marketing for Peek'n Peak Resort in Findley Lake, N.Y., said she is expecting a modest uptick in business to the western New York ski area, about 90 minutes east of Cleveland.

"People may be canceling some of their trips farther away," she said.
To draw some of that business, Peek'n Peak is introducing several discounted programs, including the Peak Advantage Card, which entitles holders to a 40 percent savings every time they ski (the card costs $79 for adults, $59 for children 6-11).

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Oh deer! Shotgun season begins Oh deer! Shotgun season begins

POSTED: November 15, 2008

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek
Deer hunters will be roaming the woods beginning today for the next three weeks, looking for bucks like this one.

'Tis the season for hunting with a shotgun, and local sportsmen are preparing to don seasonal colors - camouflage.
Sunrise today marked the start of the 2008 regular deer hunting season for the entire Southern Zone, which includes Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties - and a host of happy hunters - and extends through sunset Dec. 7.
According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Web site, nearly 700,000 state residents and over 50,000 out-of-state residents hunt within New York annually. In addition to the hordes of in- and out-of-state hunters, this year also marks the expansion of big-game hunting with a firearm in the Southern Zone to 14- and 15-year-olds if accompanied and supervised by an experienced adult hunter.
"We're not noticing a big jump, but people do start to come out here as close to the beginning of the opening of the season as possible every year," Andrew Nixon, executive director of the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, said. "... A lot of people hunt on land where they have a relationship with the landowner or landowners. They've come before; they know them. They go straight there and so that's how they first appear in the area ... It's often a multi-generational activity."
NYSDEC data states approximately 85 percent of New York state is private property and indicates such privately owned land, as opposed to the acres of available state land, is where most hunting occurs. While approximately 60 percent of private property is posted against trespass, NYSDEC officials assure area hunters many landowners will allow access if asked for permission.
Still, whether from local hunters stepping out of their back doors or urban enthusiasts migrating to the more rural counties of the Southern Zone, Nixon said many area grocery stores and diners - especially those open early in the morning - will benefit greatly this year, as they do each year, from shotgun season.
Similarly, local retail stores already reaped the benefits of the season. While the county visitor's bureau may not have recorded an influx of out-of-town hunters, local businesses that stock hunting equipment and supplies noticed an increase in the overall sale of those items.
"Shotgun season is the most popular hunting season of the year," Brad Balentine, manager of the Dunkirk-Fredonia Wal-Mart, said regarding sales.
Despite the current state of the local and national economy, he said sales associated with shotgun season remain steady, a fact he attributed to Wal-Mart's low prices on such items.
"The last week has been very heavy ... It has been very busy in sporting goods," Balentine confirmed. "... (Hunters) come in and stock up on shells; everyone needs the newest camouflage and stuff. It's been very busy, a good year."
Jeff Jankowiak, owner of JJ Guns on Route 20 in Sheridan, also indicated a tremendous increase in customers lately due to the start of shotgun season this year. However, a last-minute rush of hunters is typical of this time of year, he added.
In addition, Jankowiak said he caters to a diverse group of hunters who come in to purchase guns and supplies for hunting season.
"(We get) all different (types of customers), from ladies to men to young people," he said, talking over the din of customers which crowded his store Thursday evening.
While the Southern Zone deer hunting season opened this morning, big-game hunting is prohibited in certain parts of Erie County. This includes the area around the city of Buffalo bounded by Tonawanda Creek from the East Branch Niagara River to Route 78 to Greiner Road to Route 268 to Route 5 to Ransom Road to Route 33 to Route 78 to Route 20 to Route 20A to Lake Erie.
In addition, rifles are prohibited in Chautauqua County - though allowed in Cattaraugus County - and opening day in the Allegany bear hunting area of central and western New York isn't until next Saturday, Nov. 22.
The NYSDEC Region 9 office will operate only one deer check station in Western New York this season, which will be located on Route 16, northbound, approximately one mile south of the town of Holland. The station will be in operation today from noon to 9 p.m. and Nov. 16 from noon to 8 p.m. There will also be a wildlife technician at Allegany State Park to check deer today.
Hunters are encouraged to bring their deer to the check station in order for NYSDEC staff to record license data, determine the age of the deer, and make other biological measurements.
"Hunter participation at deer check stations is greatly appreciated and enables us to collect valuable data necessary for assessing the status of the deer population," NYSDEC Region 9 Senior Wildlife Biologist Tim Spierto said in a press release.
Hunters are also encouraged to donate a deer to the Hunters Helping the Hungry program sponsored by the Venison Donation Coalition. Deer can be dropped off at the check station before 7 p.m.
As shotgun season commences, the NYSDEC reminds hunters to always point their guns in a safe direction; treat every gun as if it were loaded; be sure of their target and beyond; keep their fingers off the trigger until they're ready to shoot; and wear hunter orange. For more hunting safety tips, visit
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Monday, November 10, 2008

New Machine Helps CLA Clean Lake

By The Post-Journal Staff,
POSTED: November 10, 2008

LAKEWOOD - When Dora Cicchini of West Ellicott discovered a mammoth willow tree had fallen into an area of Chautauqua Lake in front of her home, she called several state agencies for help.
She was informed the tree's removal would be her responsibility. She then called the Chautauqua Lake Association for advice. Not long after, a large orange harvester with hydraulic arms and clam-shell graspers arrived and removed the tree before sunset.
Thanks to a grant from the Sheldon Foundation, a new piece of heavy equipment called a Hydro-Mate is now part of the association's fleet of harvesters.
''This machine will provide us with the power to remove and haul fallen trees, sediment and other debris from the lake,'' said Paul Swanson, Chautauqua Lake Association general manager. ''It will be of great service for lakeside residents, boaters and tourists because it will help us keep the lake clean and safe.''
The Hydro-Mate went into the water in August and has been hard at work ever since, Swanson said.
''Our crew is a lot more efficient with this equipment when it comes to removing unsightly debris from the lake,'' he said.
In addition to the Sheldon Foundation, the Chautauqua Lake Management Commission also played a vital role in obtaining the equipment for the Chautauqua Lake Association, according to board member Terry Turner.
''The CLMC identified a need for shoreline clean-up equipment and worked with the Sheldon Foundation to provide the proper funding for the CLA,'' Turner said. ''We were very happy with the end result.''
Lakeside residents appear to be happy as well.
''Removing that willow would have been a huge and expensive undertaking for me,'' Mrs. Cicchini said. ''I am grateful to the CLA for providing this wonderful service for those living near and on the lake.''
The CLA is a not for profit organization and relies on money from private donations, foundations and grants. They also depend on town, village, state and county funding administered through the Chautauqua Lake Management Commission. For more information, call the association at 763-8602.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Folk Legend To Perform At Opera House

POSTED: November 4, 2008

FREDONIA - Folk legend Jonathan Edwards, best known for his 1971 No. 1 hit, ''Sunshine,'' will make a rare Western New York concert appearance at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House at 8 p.m. Friday. He will be joined by Stuart Schulman on keyboard, violin and bass, and Taylor Armerding on mandolin and guitar.
The word ''legend'' is often used to describe veteran folk/rocker Jonathan Edwards, whose 1971 million-selling song ''Sunshine'' (''go away today...'') brought him instant fame. He was born in Minnesota and detoured into blues and rock before realizing he was hooked on folk music.
''My inspiration came from the soul of people, not so much the technique,'' Edwards said. ''My influences came from Ray Charles, Gladys Knight, Van Morrison and even some of the more popular folk people like the Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary. But there's no one I ever tried to sing like.''
Edwards' most recent CD, ''Live in Massachusetts'' was released in December 2006. Media Artists also released a 90-minute documentary of his career, ''That's What Our Life Is.''
Tickets to Jonathan Edwards at 8 p.m. Friday November 7 are $18 general admission and $15 for Opera House members. They may be purchased in person at the Opera House Box Office or by phone at 679-1891. They also may be purchased online any time at

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Chautauqua County Tax Auction





Saturday, November 8, 2008 * 4-6 PM

Bidder Registration @ 2:30 AM


Chautauqua Lake Central School

100 North Erie Street

Mayville, NY 14757


Real Estate-Appraisals-Auctions

10438 Main St.

Findley Lake, NY 14736

716-769-7300 / FAX: 716-769-7341


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Holiday Valley Invests In Groomers, Water Lines, Trail Work

Roger Leo, Associate Editor

Happy at Holiday Valley, N.Y. Happy at Holiday Valley, N.Y.

This year's work brings the 17-year reinvestment at Holiday Valley to $50 million.
Holiday officials report they have purchased two new groomers, one of them a winch cat used on the steepest trails, such as The Wall, Eagle, Edelweiss, and Yodeler. The second groomer will perform the less glamorous, but much-appreciated work of restoring trail surfaces to corduroy each night.

The resort reports its snowmaking enhancements include replacement of 4-inch water lines with 6-inch lines on the Chute and other locations. The snowmaking pump house controls will be automated so that crews can control and balance all three pump houses from one location.

Holiday's trail crews spent much of the summer preparing slopes and trails for a new high speed quad on Morning Star to be installed for the 2010-11 season. The Foxfire slope, home of the 42/78 Terrain Park, has been widened. Clean up work will be conducted in The Glades, located between Ego Alley and Champagne.

Other work includes launch of a new Web site, construction of a 2,000-square-foot picnic/wedding pavilion adjacent to the Yodeler Lodge, implementation of a "Single Stream" recycling program throughout the resort and the purchase of several new rails for the terrain parks.

The Inn at Holiday Valley has received several upgrades in the guest rooms and common areas. The Holiday Valley Tubing Company will be improving their snowmaking system, purchasing new tubes and installing an outdoor music system.

Construction of the Tamarack Club, four-star 79-unit hotel-condominium project, is under way next to the Clubhouse Chalet base lodge. The Tamarack Club is projected to be completed for the winter of 2009-10.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

DJDC Prepares To Host ‘Toyland Christmas’ In Jamestown

By Kristen Johnson,
POSTED: November 3, 2008

This year, Christmas in Toyland is coming to Jamestown.
The theme for this year's Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration will be ''A Jamestown Toyland Christmas,'' according to a recent announcement made by the Downtown Jamestown Development Corp.
''There are a variety of toy-related activities and events that are held in Jamestown during the holiday season - Toys for Tots, Santa's Family Workshop and The Nutcracker performances,'' Tiffani Reynolds, DJDC special projects manager, said. ''The theme name was just a natural fit.''
Every year, thousands of people line the streets in downtown Jamestown to watch the Christmas parade. This year, the parade is set for Dec. 5. Last year, an estimated 18,000 people came out to watch a parade that included 250 organizations from Jamestown and Chautauqua County.
This year, parade lineup will begin promptly at 5 p.m. along the Third Street Bridge, Porter Avenue and on Third Street from Porter Avenue to Hallock Street. Participants should be at the lineup area early.
The parade will step off at 6:30 p.m. and will travel east on Third Street to Tracy Plaza for the traditional tree-lighting ceremony and fireworks extravaganza.
Those who wish to participate in the parade should register with the DJDC.
Registration forms are available online at the DJDC's Web site, In the upper right hand corner of the page, click the ''2008 Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration'' link, then scroll down.
Hard copies of the parade registration forms are being automatically mailed to last year's parade participants.
Registration forms are also available by calling 664-2477.
Parade participants may represent toys of all kinds that are both traditionally and currently given at Christmas.
''It is always exciting to see how each unit interprets the theme differently each year,'' Ms. Reynolds said. ''This really adds to the aesthetics value of the parade.''
As a fundraiser for this year's parade, the DJDC will sell tickets to any individual who wants to ride with Santa Claus during the Christmas Parade.
Tickets will be $5 each or 3 for $10. Ticket locations will be released by the DJDC at a later date.
The drawing will be held at the Lost Neighborhood tree-lighting ceremony and the Light Up Downtown events held on Nov. 28 in Brooklyn Square.
The DJDC has invited all area businesses and organizations to participate in the Jamestown Snowball Drop, which takes place in conjunction with post-parade activities.
In 2007, 400 white ping-pong balls, donated by the Jamestown Cycle Shop, were distributed to local businesses. Business owners were encouraged to decorate the balls with special promotions. The decorated ''snowballs'' were dropped from a Jamestown Fire Department ladder truck after the parade. Those lucky enough to catch a ball were able to redeem it at the business where the ball had been decorated.
''We're aiming for 2,000 to 3,000 ping-pong balls this year,'' Ms. Reynolds said. ''Four hundred was great, but thousands would be even better.
Businesses interested in participating should contact the DJDC at 664-2477.
The DJDC will kick-off the holiday season with its second communitywide light display in conjunction with the Lost Neighborhood Tree Lighting ceremony on Nov. 28. All businesses and residents in downtown Jamestown are encouraged to decorate their storefronts, windows, buildings and doors for this event.
Also this year, as a fundraiser for the Christmas parade, the DJDC will sell $1 holiday window decals. The decals will soon be available at a number of businesses throughout Jamestown.
Additional holiday celebration events will include the Jamestown YWCA MistleToe Mart, a Christmas Parade Pre-Show, Christmas Tree Give-A-Way, Free Downtown Parking in December, Toys for Tots, Santa's Family Workshop, various holiday productions at the Reg Lenna Civic Center, and a Christmas parade fundraiser.
The DJDC will also put on a free Christmas movie on Dec. 6. This year, the movie will be Babes in Toyland or March of the Wooden Soldiers. The location for this year's movie has not yet been determined, though DJDC officials are searching for a venue somewhat larger than last year's.
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