New York state briefs

Staff reports

Wal-Mart won’t build in Bath

BATH – Wal-Mart unexpectedly announced Tuesday it has withdrawn its plans to build a supercenter in the town of Bath.

Robin Lattimer, the town’s deputy supervisor, said the board had no indication the giant national retailer was stepping back from plans to build on State Route 54.

“I am disappointed, very disappointed,” Lattimer said. “This will disappoint a lot of people, too, I think.  The overwhelming majority of people in the area supported it.”

Wal-Mart made the announcement it would not build in Bath in a prepared statement.

“The decision is related to our continued plans to moderate growth of U.S.  supercenters,” said Philip H. Serghini, senior manager of Wal-Mart Public Affairs. “After re-evaluating the anticipated budget, a determination was made not to move forward with this project.”

While the proposal had strong support from local residents, opposition existed.

A number of local residents and businesses joined to protest building the 150,000-square-foot supercenter, primarily arguing it would hurt local retailers and drive some out of business. Others questioned the need to build a third store in Steuben County, with Wal-Mart outlets located in Erwin and Hornell, and a supercenter recently opened in Big Flats in Chemung County.

The announcement came the day after Fortune magazine announced Wal-Mart Stores continued its hold on the top spot on the Fortune 500 list. The price of Wal-Mart stock dropped sharply last September, but has risen since then to highs reported in 2004.

According to Fortune, Wal-Mart posted 2007 revenue of $378.8 billion, a 7.9 percent jump compared to 2006. Wal-Mart profits were pegged at $12.7 billion in 2007.

One teen arrested, another hospitalized after car-bicycle accident

IRONDEQUOIT — Irondequoit police and the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office are still investigating a car-bicycle acciden Tuesday, April 22.

Lt. Richard Tantalo said Wednesday morning that police were notified at 8:12 p.m. that a car had struck a bicyclist at the intersection of Titus Avenue and Cooper Road and that the car had left the scene.

The bicyclist, 15-year-old Jacob Martin of Irondequoit, was rushed to Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital where he was treated for multiple injuries. Tantalo said the teen remained at Strong Wednesday morning, with his condition upgraded to satisfactory.

After talking to witnesses, officers located the suspect’s car “in a short amount of time,”  Tantalo said. Nicolo Chirico, 17, of Biltmore Drive, Irondequoit, was subsequently charged with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor account of leaving the scene of an accident and a felony count of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.

Fiberdyne opens new energy division

FRANKFORT – Fiberdyne Labs has officially kicked off a new division, Fiberdyne Energy.

State, county and local officials were on hand Tuesday for the unveiling of the new division, which will be produced in the Frankfort facility.

Fiberdyne Energy is focused on supplying energy saving lighting products using leading edge LED technologies. The cornerstone offering is a line of products for parking lot and street lighting applications. It will include a unique line of LED based lighting products, which can be solar and/or wind powered. In the parking lot of Fiberdyne some of those innovative products are currently in use.

“Our mission is to create a green future. We are dedicated to developing renewable product solutions in the Mohawk Valley,” President and CEO, A. Peter Polus II said.

Congressman Michael Arcuri, Assemblyman Marc Butler, Sen. James Seward, and a representative from the Governor’s office, joined in during the announcement and all stated the importance of “Green” energy and what an appropriate day, Earth Day, to make the announcement of the new division.

Delores Caruso, the representative from Gov. David Patterson’s office, read a prepared statement from the governor, who states he places a high priority on eco-friendly technology.

“It is critical that we look at ways to conserve our natural resources,” Patterson says in the statement.

Fiberdyne Labs was established in 1992 in upstate New York and has a 22,000-square-foot manufacturing facility focused on passive and active networking components and services. Fiberdyne Labs services a customer base which includes AT&T, Time Warner, National Grid,  Comcast and the U.S. Government.

Also launched on Tuesday is the new Web site, where people can go to buy LED lights, which typically last 12 years.

Group homes hit hurdle

CHILI — A proposal by Heritage Christian Services to build two group homes at 1125 Westside Drive has some neighborsconcerned. About a dozen spoke at the Tuesday, April 8 Planning Board meeting, and some are distributing a petition against the project.

Heritage wants to subdivide the property into three lots and to build two group homes. Future plans will likely include converting the farmhouse in the front of the property into a day center for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Neighbors John and Fiona Wischmeyer said the property is natural and should be kept that way. Fiona Wischmeyer said the property boasts an old farmhouse, mature trees, a big old barn and a “stunning” meadow.

“It’s special, and they’re going to concrete it over ... for housing,” she said. “It’s not fit for that purpose. This is a busy road. There’s going to be so much traffic coming on and off the site. Everything screams at you: You should be valuing this as a heritage property, not doing something like this.”

Ron Little, vice president of finance and agency advancement for Heritage Christian Services, said the agency hopes to bring the proposal back to the Planning Board for another look June 10.

ATV trails closed due to safety reasons

BOLYSTON – The Department of Conservation (DEC) announced last week it was shutting down 40 ATV (all terrain vehicles) trails in Oswego, Lewis and Jefferson counties, citing safety as the reasoning behind the closings.

Judy Drabicki, regional director of the DEC, said the trails were closed because they violated a portion of the state’s Vehicle and Traffic Law. She stated that the “legislation is for safety reasons. The law requires that there’s no ATVs on the road with vehicles.”

Drabicki noted that recreational clubs are allowed to apply to reopen trails. The Recreation Association of Winona Forest in Bolyston has taken that route.

Dave Cronk is the ATV chairman for the Winona Forest Recreation Association in Bolyston and is also on the board of directors. Cronk confirmed that his association has applied to have two trails reopened. If they are reopened, Cronk hopes to connect “Oswego County to Jefferson via Winona Forest.”

 “I think that as a taxpayer (with) registered and insured ATVs that New York state owes us a safe place to legally ride and a trail system,” he said.

Drabicki responded to the assertion made by Assemblyman Will Barclay, R-Pulaski, last week that the closing of these trails would negatively effect the central New York economy. “It’s a little disingenuous to suggest they’re going to hurt the economy,” she said. “We’re not killing ATVs.”

Drabicki pointed out that in other states, people ATV on private land or in designated state forest areas. She also stated that the DEC tries to set up a trail system for ATVers to use in New York state.

Village wants to put its best foot forward

FAIRPORT —A committee is being formed, whose members will come up with a suggested plan for how the village of Fairport’s main entranceway should be developed.

Mayor Fritz May announced at the April 14 Village Board meeting that the group would review the Route 250/31F intersection, which brings the most traffic into town.

 It’s also where Walgreens wanted to build a new store, but withdrew its application early this year for the second time in the wake of public opposition. May said he expects Walgreens to return with a new proposal at some point.

The not-so-quiet library

PENFIELD — Kyra Liebson jumped around, followed patterns shown on a large screen and stomped on a couple of arrows, a la “Dance Fever.”

She joined a handful of kids in the Penfield Public Library as they played Dance Dance Revolution on Friday, April 18. A few rounds of Guitar Hero and some Nintendo Wii games were also planned.

Over the last several years, video games and other forms of technology have popped up in the library. Every couple of weeks, Lyla Grills, the young adult librarian, will schedule sessions where kids can play the games in the library.

What about the noise? The programs are held in the Ruth Braman room, away from other library activities.

All of the items have been purchased through the Friends of the Penfield Public Library, Grills said. The Wii cost about $400 and the PlayStation cost around $150.

“We’ve been doing video game programs for about two years,” Grills said. “Kids just drop in any time, typically.”

Overall, use of new technologies and games is certainly on the rise.  According to the American Library Association, hundreds of libraries across the United States hosted gaming programs on April 18.