Local Public Affairs Radio Program
The Community Spotlight Local Public Affairs Program airs on all six of the Media One Radio Group radio stations. The Chautauqua County Executive appears the first week of each month and City of Jamestown Mayor appears the second week of each month. The other weeks of the month feature a variety of community leaders and special guests. The program airs on the following stations at the following times: WJTN - Saturday at 8:45 A.M. | WWSE - Sunday at 7:00 A.M. | WHUG & WKSN - Sunday at 6:30 A.M. | WQFX - Sunday at 5:30 A.M. | WKZA - Sunday at 6:00 A.M..
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We get back on track this week with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist, who was unable to be with us during the usual second-week of the month. The mayor discusses several topics, including the upcoming series of four public input sessions on the 28-million dollars in American Rescue Plan funding the city is receiving from the federal government. Sundquist says they aren't required to hold the sessions, but, believes local residents, businesses and those interested should be allow to offer input before a final plan is put together, and voted on by City Council. We also discuss recently flooding in the area, and the impact on locations in the city. Sundquist says there were few big problems, including at Jamestown Police and Fire Headquarters in the basement of City Hall. The last time there was major rainfall and flooding, those areas got significant damage from leaks and high water.
Our Terry Frank speaks with 57th State Senate District representative George Borrello about the recently concluded State Legislative session, which he called disappointing because a number of pieces of legislation were not acted upon, and some may require a special session later this Summer. One key item in the legalization of recreational marijuana, says Borrello, is making appointments to the new Cannibis Control Board, which was not done during the regular session. We also discuss how changes in the law has hurt, small, independent pharmacies in the region. Borrello says much of that has to do with mail-order prescriptions, and became quite political. In addition, we discuss redistricting, and what may happen with Congressional district lines, and where Chautauqua County may wind up. The county was put back into a Southern Tier District, represented by Corning Republican Tom Reed 10 years ago. However, the latest Census numbers show New York state losing population, and thus one congressional seat. Borrello and some others have expressed concern that the county may again wind up in a South Buffalo-Erie County District which has fewer common interests with Chautauqua County.
We have no studio guest this week... so we present a recent press conference in Jamestown about a new legal initiative that would allow the city to get title to a Zombie Property, and get it rehabiitated, and back into single-family ownership. The press conference was held in front of a Zombie property at 18 Catlin Avenue. It was hosted by Mayor Eddie Sundquist, and involves the use of "Section 19-A" lawsuits to obtain those properties. Zombie properties are residential properties that have been abandoned by the homeowner, and have reverted back to ownership by the bank. City officials say about 43 of those such properties have been identified, and actions were already being filed regarding a dozen of those. Others at the announcement were city Development Director Crystal Surdyk, City Council Housing Committee Chairwoman Marie Carrubba, and Associate Corporation Counsel Ben Haskins... who focuses on housing court matters in the city.
Our Terry Frank talks with Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel this week on a number of topics, including the latest COVID-19 numbers, which look "really good." In fact... there were only a couple of handfuls of people who got the virus during that time. However, there is concern over the ongoing slow pace of COVID vaccines being administered. The number of people who have received at least one shot is nearing 57,000. However, Wendel is urging anyone vaccinated out-of-state, or by the V.A. to check the county website to make sure they are counted. The website is firstname.lastname@example.org. We also discuss the county receiving 2.1-million worth of additional road and bridge repair funding from NYS. Wendel also reflects on his long-time assistant, Dan Heitzenrater, moving on to become the new President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce... as well as Fourth of July safety.
National Comedy Center Executive Dir. Journey Gunderson
June 28th, 2021 12:00am | Duration:
This week, News Director Terry Frank speaks with National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson about the start of free "Summer Fun Weeks" at the comedy center on Jamestown's westside. Gunderson says their first weekend program -- featuring "Riverside Saturdays" at Comedy Center Park, behind the center near the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk, will feature entertainment at 7 p.m., and their feature film for the week will be "Wayne's World." She says the theme is "Buddy Comedy," and Wayne's World is the perfect film for that. Gunderson says there will be seven weeks to the Summer Fun Weeks with Comedy in the Workplace featured in the coming week... and, the final week will be Aug. 1 through 7 featuring We Love Lucy & Desi Week. The weeks will also take the place, in a way, of the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, which had to be postponed for another year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
This week... our Terry Frank high-lights the 22nd annual "Cents for St. Susan's" campaign with co-leaders Becky Robbins of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, and St. Susan's Director Bonnie Scott-Sleight. Once again this year, Robbins says they'll have bright yellow canisters out at about 70 businesses and locations in the Jamestown-area to raise money for the Jamestown-area's largest soup kitchen. Robbins says they're looking to raise at least 16,000 through donations of loose change, and what they receive from campaign sponsors. Scott-Sleight says they need the funds to help provide meals to a growing number of people in need. She adds that for each dollar they raise, they can purchase 6 worth of food from FeedMore WNY, formerly the Food Bank of Western New York. The campaign will run through mid to late-August. In addition to putting money in the canisters, people can also send in checks to Cents for St. Susan's, c/o the Board of Public Utilities, PO Box 700, Jamestown, NY 14701.
Our Terry Frank talks with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist about a number of topics this week, including the fact the city has received it's first payment or "traunch" of money from the federal COVID-19 American Rescue Plan. Sundquist say it's just over 14-million of the nearly 30-million the city is to receive from the stimulus program. However, he says they are still awaiting guidance from the U.S. Treasury Dept. on what specifically it can be used for. Sundquist attended the New York State Conference of Mayor's annual June conference, where he hoped to hear more about what the funding can be used for. The mayor was also looking forward to NYCOM to hear more about fiscal issues facing state municipalities, and more on efforts to change the bail reform law passed a couple of years so judges have more discretion on suspects who need to be jailed unless they post bail. We also discussed new marijuana laws, including the one that allows for the growing, production and manufacturing of cannibis in a community. Sundquist says the city is not able to opt out of that part of the program, but, would be able to for sales and direct distribution. The city recently announced that it was welcoming cannibis warehousers to come and take advantage of the city's unused factory space, and low-cost electricity.
Our Terry Frank speaks with Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel this week on a number of topics regarding Chautauqua Lake and the COVID-19 pandemic. On COVID-19... Wendel says the county appears to be "turning the corner" with infections rates at their lowest level in several months. He says it's good to see life returning to somewhat normal. As for the lake... Wendel discusses the recently proposed Memorandum of Understanding that all 16 or so entities that are part of the effort to maintain the lake can sign onto. He says it's "imperative" that we work together... and, and respect each other. We also talk about where things stand on a proposal to implement a "Lake Taxing District" where a fee would be charged to property owners around the lake pay for a "dedicated funding source" for lake management and clean-up.
Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown-Area Exec. Director Barrie Yochum
May 30th, 2021 12:00am | Duration:
Our Terry Frank speaks with Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown-Area Executive Director Barrie Yochum, who is also on the board of directors for Feedmore Western New York, about the joint food collection drive next Saturday called "Spread the Love." Residents can help out by bringing unopened 16 oz. containers of peanut butter to the Chautauqua Mall between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to help Feedmore help local food pantries and other organizations feed those in need. We also discuss Meals on Wheels, which Yochum says has faired pretty well during the COVID-19 pandemic. He says what their volunteers, and the people they serve have missed most during that time is the ability to visit and have direct interaction. He says they are doing pretty well with volunteers right now, but can alway use help to fill in on occasion. Call Meals on Wheels for more information at 488-9119.
NYS School Boards Association Exec. Director Bob Schneider
May 24th, 2021 12:00am | Duration:
The recent school board, and school board votes were in the spotlight this week across New York state, and Chautauqua County. With that our Terry Frank speaks with NYS School Boards Association Exec. Director Bob Schneider, who updates the number of passed budgets in the state as being 99.3-percent. Schneider says there were some additional results they received after their initial release, and only five budgets statewide failed. He says the big reason was those spending plans required 60-percent supermajority public votes to pass. Of the 21 that needed 60-percent, a record 86-percent (18) were approved. I also include a short segment with Jamestown School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker about the overwhelming votes in favor of the district's 89.9-million dollar budget, and 86-million dollar capital improvement projects. We also talk with Schneider about the effort to get students back in the classroom full-time, hopefully before the end of the school year -- or at least by the beginning of class next Fall.
Our Terry Frank talks with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist about a number of items and issues this week, including the Board of Public Utilities beginning distribution of new garbage containers for Solid Waste Division customers. Sundquist says the containers, which will include lids, are designed to keep trash from getting strewn around neighborhoods, and will be picked up by the trucks and tipped into the haulers. We also discuss the city's nearly 150 street and road projects for the Summer -- the largest number in many years -- due mainly to increases in NYS aid. We also talk about the city and BPU receiving a 3-million grant to help replace water mains that need to be taken out of service. We also discuss a special work session-retreat on Monday night at 6:30 for the City Council at the National Comedy Center, and Northwest Arena.
News Director Terry Frank speaks with Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel on a number of topics, including the just signed Chautauqua Lake Memorandum of Understanding for the more than one-dozen stakeholder groups, such as the Chautauqua Lake Association, and the Chautauqua Lake Partnership. It replaces the former Memorandum of Agreement that expired in April, and included 20-plus tenats that each agreed to. However... Wendel says the new MOU eliminates the tenats, and says the groups will work together, not snipe at each other in the media, and so forth. He's hoping most if not all the groups will sign on by the end of May. We also discuss the decision to cancel the Chautauqua County Fair again this year due to the pandemic, economic development, and commercial air service at the County Airport near Jamestown.
Our Terry Frank talks with Lakewood Village Mayor Randy Holcomb about his first-term has gone, and the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Holcomb says it's made budgeting difficult, and points to the fact on-going expenses are a big reason for the 26-cent per 1,000 assessed value tax rate increase in the 3.86-million budget for 2021-22. The village board approved that this past week. It includes an 81,000 spending increase due also to loss of property tax assessments. Originally, Holcomb was proposing a budget with a 22-cent per 1,000 increase. We also discuss the two Chautauqua Avenue reconstruction projects taking place simultaneously, and, the decision to cancel the July 4th Summerfest again this year due to the pandemic.
Board of Public Utilities General Mgr. Dave Leathers
April 25th, 2021 12:00am | Duration:
Our Terry Frank speaks with Jamestown Board of Public Utilities General Manager Dave Leathers about a number of topics, but, the main focus is on the Solid Waste Division's new container program. The BPU has announced it will begin leaving new, 95-gallon garbage containers at individual residences, beginning the week of May 10. Leathers says this will allow residents to have their own container to put trash in, which has a lid on it.
That's in line with the city's code on leaving garbage curbside. However... Leathers say only about 40-percent of residents were doing it the correct way. He says the program will take full effect on July 1. We also discuss electric power, and the fact the just over 20 year old gas turbine continues to be very reliable when the additional power is needed. Leathers says the BPU, though, is set for most of it's power coming from the Niagara Power project, through the New York Power Authority. We also discuss a new green energy program taking place in conjunction with local companies.
Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services Director Mary Ann Spanos
April 18th, 2021 12:00am | Duration:
This week, our Terry Frank speaks with the head of what was the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging. Director Mary Ann Spanos explains the name change to Office for Aging Services as being one that better describes what they do. The department mainly connects seniors with various agencies and programs that provide direct services, and that's a big part of what they've been doing during the pandemic. Dr. Spanos says it's been a "challenging time" but adds they've been checking in on local senior with phone calls, e-mails, and other on-line methods. She says they're beginning to do more now as more and more people are vaccinated against COVID-19. Spanos adds they hope to again have their Senior Picnic this year, possibly later in the Summer.
Our Terry Frank discusses a number of topics with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist this week, including the recent passing of sitting City Councilwoman Vickye James. Sundquist says James was an amazing icon in the city... having served on both the City Council and Chautauqua Co. Legislature. He says she got him involved in public service by asking him to be on the Youth Services Board when she was director of Youth Services for the city. We also discuss replacing James for the near and long-term. Sundquist will appoint a new member from Ward-3, and that person will likely run again this Fall. We also discuss the recent visit by U.S Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer for the first time in that role. We further discuss how Jamestown can take advantage of the American Rescue Plan, and a new proposed infrastructure bill. We also discuss the city's parks reopening in the coming week. Some level of opening has already taken place, but a full re-opening is slated for Apr. 15. The parks remained closed last year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Our Terry Frank talks with Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel on a number of topics this week, including the final figure of what federal aid will come from the recently approved 1.9-trillion, American Rescue Plan. Wendel says there are few limitations on the 24.6-million the county will receive. He also says the county's Industrial Development Agency will be announcing the third and final round of funding from the 10.5-million in CARES Act funding the county received last year. We also discuss where the county is in relation to COVID-19 numbers and vaccinations. He says the county is doing well after the spike earlier this year. He says he's frustrated over the fact the county remains in Phase-Four of the reopening. We also discuss drug overdose issues in the county, as those have spiked during the pandemic. In addition... we talk about his recent announcement that he's running again for the office this November.
With the 2021-22 budget deadline fast approaching, our Terry Frank speaks with State Senator George Borrello about the status of the new spending plan, which totals about 200-billion dollars. Borrello says talks have been complicated by the multiple-scandals and controveries surrounding Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo insists that he's discussing the budget with Legislature leaders. However, Borrello says, in reality, both the Senate and Assembly are working on their own budgets with little in the way of talks with the governor's office because Cuomo's credibility is in doubt. He also says that it's looking like this budget will be late, but, not by more than a few days. Borrello again takes issue with the legislature's push to legalize recreational marijuana, mainly because he feels all police officers would have to become trained "drug recognition expects." He's also concerned because people would be able to grow a limited number of plants in their homes. We also talk about farm legislation he's introduced with Democratic Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz of Queens to better connect farm goods with local food banks and pantries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chautauqua County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler
March 21st, 2021 12:00am | Duration:
We reflect on the past year of the COVID-19 Pandemic with Chautauqua County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler, who speaks with our Terry Frank on the one-year anniversary of the county's State of Emergency, and first case of the novel coronavirus. Schuyler says she is hopeful that, with cases mainly down to low, daily numbers the past few weeks, that we may be coming out on the "other side" of the pandemic. She says the county has done a lot right... but, no one knew how big this was going to be. She was also critical of how New York state has handled it, because the state's pandemic response plan... which the counties have to respond to locally... was essentially thrown out. Schuyler says she is pleased to see people locally are going out and getting one of the three vaccines that's now available. Once people are fully-vaccinated, Schuyler says people can begin seeing their children, grandchildren, and others.
The recently-approved, COVID-19 American Rescue Plan is the main focus of this week's program with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist. Sundquist tells our Terry Frank the city is slated to receive 29.87-million dollars from the plan for a variety of COVID-related expenses, including the cost of cleaning and other operational items. Sundquist says the city will also be able to pay off expenses related to lost revenues. The funding can also be used to help economic development, including businesses severely hurt by the pandemic. We also discuss the reopening of the city's parks this Summer, and bringing back the city's Parks and Recreation Coordinator's position part-time. Thirdly, we briefly discuss the end of the public comment period on the city's Police Reform and Reinvention Plan to be submitted to the state by the end of the month.
This week, our Terry Frank talks on a variety of issues with Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel, first about the much improved COVID-19 numbers in the county the past few weeks. Wendel says not long ago, in January, the county's seven-day infection rate was 13.2-percent, and recently has fallen to 1.1 to 1.3-percent. He again praised residents, and businesses for adhering to County Health Dept. and CDC guidance. He also addresses the issue of vaccination clinics... with larger one's being held at Jamestown Community College's city campus, and Steele Hall at the SUNY College at Fredonia. We also discuss COVID-19 vaccine scams -- which there have been few reported in the county... and, the latest round of COVID-19 Heroes recognition. We also do a quick look back on Wendel's State of the County Address.
Our Terry Frank updates the many issues in Albany with State Assemblyman Andy Goodell. The Republican says the efforts to strip at least some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Executive Powers is continuing after failing last week. The effort comes in the wake of the state's nursing home controversy where COVID-19 positive adults were sent into homes, and spread the disease. The state Attorney General recently issued a report that as many as 15,000 nursing home residents died of COVID contracted in those homes. Goodell says majority Democrats in both the Senate and Assembly would not allow bills to come forward that would strip Cuomo's executive powers. However, he says there are a couple of possible ways to do it during the budget process. We also discuss where the budget is... with Goodell saying the process has been moving forward slowly. He says there may not be an on-time budget if the issue of striping some of the governor's powers away comes up. Goodell says there's just a minority number of Democrats looking to take away the governor's powers, and, they aren't a loud enough voice yet. Goodell also talks about being Minority Floor Leader again this year, and a couple of task forces he's been appointed to.
Chief Clinical Officer Jeremy Rutter of Heritage Ministries
February 22nd, 2021 12:00am | Duration:
Our Terry Frank gets the nursing home perspective on the on-going controversy over COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes from the Chief Clinical Officer with Heritage Ministries, Jeremy Rutter. Rutter says the way adult homes in New York state report such deaths is complicated by whether a patient, who goes into a hospital for treatment, has what's called a "bed-hold" -- meaning they have a bed in the home to return to. Rutter says the situation has improved at Heritage's three nursing homes... including the recent closing of one COVID unit to keep those who are infected away from the general population. He says they've also had 85-percent of their residents vaccinated, and one-third of their staff. Rutter says they are hoping to see the state approve visitations for their residents soon. Nursing home visitation guidelines are expected to be released early this week.
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist joins our Terry Frank this week to discuss his recent bout with COVID-19. Sundquist tells us that he apparently got it from one of his management team members when COVID was going through those members of his administration. He's now fully-recovered. We also discuss the decrease in the number of new cases in the city and Chautauqua County, and he's optimistic that -- with the new vaccine -- the trend will continue. He also says he's pleased to see the city of Jamestown appears to be in line for about 28-miilion dollars in COVID-19 relief monies from the federal government. Right now, Sundquist says that would be general aid, given to Jamestown because the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development has given the city "entitlement status" for the Community Development Block Grant program. He also reflects on his recent State of the City Address.
Our Terry Frank gets the latest update on the COVID-19 situation with Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel. Wendel expresses frustration over the fact that there will be no more county, or state-run vaccination clinics announced until Mon., Feb. 8. He also takes issue with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who he says is "micromanaging" the response to the pandemic, including adding such people as Uber and other private drivers, and restaurant workers to those who can now receive vaccines. The problem is, there still aren't enough vaccines to give everyone in the first groupings the Pfizer or Moderna shots. We also discuss the county's new COVID-19 Heroes program to recognize those on the front-lines of the pandemic. We also preview his upcoming State of the County Address, set for the end of February.
Deputy Chautauqua Co. Executive for Economic Development Mark Geise
January 31st, 2021 12:00am | Duration:
Economic Development in Chautauqua County during the COVID-19 Pandemic is the focus of this week's program. Our Terry Frank talks with the county's Deputy County Executive for Economic Development Mark Geise, who talks about the most recent round of funding from the county's 10.5-million dollar CARES Act grant. Geise says there are a wide variety of businesses and organizations that have demonstrated both need and hardship that qualified for the 2.6-million dollars that was doled out. A total of 16 entities received funding. He says a third round of funding will be announced in late April, and applications are now being accepted. We also discuss the legislature's approval of transferring between 8 and 9 acres of land at the former Roblin Steel site for development by Fieldbrook Foods, as well as plans for the county's two airports. For information, call the county's Industrial Development Agency at 661-8900
Our Terry Frank interviews Jamestown City Council President Tony Dolce about his first-year as head of the panel, and the challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dolce feels the council and Mayor Eddie Sundquist, while disagreeing at times on policy, were able to work well together for the most part. Heading into the new year, he says the city will continue it's efforts to help local businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic through loans, and loan forgiveness. Dolce says the city is facing a deficit, but, not likely the 1-million one announced recently -- due mainly to better than expected sales tax revenues from on-line sales. He says they're also discussing making an anticipated 2-percent pay increase from a few years ago to the city's policeman's union after an appeals court dismissed their case.
This week, our Terry Frank speaks with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist on a number of topics, including the ongoing increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city. He emphasized the need for people to avoid large gatherings, wear a mask, and socially distance from people outside your family. He did note that with a vaccine being rolled out, there is optimism... and, he says there will likely be vaccination points in the city, once there's more supply. We also talk about the city's Police Reform plan, which is being developed by the City Council's Public Safety Committee, and Jamestown Police. He says they've just wrapped up several stakeholder group sessions, and all that information is being put together into a final proposal for the community to look at. Sundquist says they expect to be completed before the April 1st deadline. He says having more police on the streets is a common theme. With the Biden Administration taking office this Wednesday, Sundquist speaks optimistically about the possibility of local, and state aid being included in a new COVID-19 Stimulus bill.
This week, our Terry Frank talks with Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel about a number of topics... including last Wednesday's storming of the Capitol, and rioting in Washington, D.C. Wendel says he was "appalled" by what he saw, and says historicially there had not been anything like it since the British burned down the capitol building in 1814. He adds, though, that this is not like 1775-76 when we were trying to break away from a tyrannical empire. We also discuss the most recent COVID-19 numbers, and, the fact they are spiking. Wendel says we are going in the wrong direction, and says people need to make sure to wear masks in public, socially distance, and avoid large gatherings. Wendel says, while the vaccine is here, the rollout and distribution has been spotty. He adds that part of the problem is having enough qualified people to administer the two doses people need to be fully immunized.
This week, our Terry Frank and Noel Blackhall take a look back on the top stories of the past year. 2020 started on an optimistic note with the swearing in of a new, Interim Chautauqua County Executive, P.J. Wendel, and new Jamestown Mayor, Eddie Sundquist. However, by early March, it became evident that the new coronavirus, COVID-19, was taking hold in the country in both New York City, and Washington State. States of Emergency were put in place in NYS and the county. A number of local events and activities, including the County Fair, Babe Ruth World Series, and the Gerry Rodeo, had to be cancelled. To date, Chautauqua County has exceeded 3,700 confirmed cases, and 32 deaths from the virus. In late November, there was great news with new vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna in New York state, and the vaccines are being distributed at UPMC Chautauqua, the Heritage Ministries nursing homes and others. We also look back on economic development, and notable people who passed away in 2020.
In our final program of 2020, our Terry Frank speaks with Ellicott Town Supervisor Patrick McLaughlin about how the town has been faring during the year -- especially with COVID-19. McLaughlin says they've been able to continue the needed services for town residents with little or no interruption. However... he says finances are tight. He adds town residents have also been dealing with the uptick in cases, as demonstrated by the spikes reported in recent days in the Jamestown 14701 zip code. McLaughlin says that includes West Ellicott, where the late Summer outbreak at Tanglewood Manor and Memory Garden senior and assisted-living facilities occured. We also talk development with Honest John's looking to open a second location on East Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott, and what's happening on Fluvanna Avenue just outside the city of Jamestown.
Deputy Dir. of Housing and Community Development, Amanda Straight of COI
December 20th, 2020 12:00am | Duration:
Our Terry Frank talks this week with the point-person at Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc., Amanda Straight. She is the Deputy Director of Housing and Community Development at COI. Straight says she's been with COI for eight years, and is in her fifth position before transitioning to housing and working with the homeless. She says it's "more of a problem" than most people think. Straight says most homeless here are out during the day, but, have to find a place to stay at night. For the past year, Straight says 777 people sought homeless assistance last year. However, she says there is a potential problem at the end of the month if a moratorium on evictions is not continued. Straight says there are a number of local shelters in Chautauqua County... the largest being the UCAN Mission in Jamestown, which is a men's homeless shelter.
Our Terry Frank talks with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist about his two vetoes in the city's 2021 budget. The first would restore the City Parks and Recreation Coordinator's position to the budget at a cost of just under 54,000 dollars. The second would add that amount of money to the amount of money the city would use from it's undesignated fund balance to balance the 34.8-million dollar spending plan. However... lawmakers will need a 2/3rds majority to override the veto at this Monday night's Special City Council Meeting. That would mean six of the nine members would have to approve the overrides. The amendment furloughing the position was approved Nov. 30 by an 8-1 vote. We also discuss the decision by City Arborist Dan Stone to take down 43 of the remaining 46 "Cathedral Oak" trees on West Third St. due to their age and root deterioration. We also look back on Sundquist's first year in office after being elected in November 2019 to replace the retiring Sam Teresi.
This week, our Terry Frank discusses a number of topics, mainly COVID-19 related, with Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel. We ask him about the county's change in reporting COVID-19 cases, tests, hospitalizations, ete. Wendel explains is provides as much information as the daily updates they had been doing, and lessens the pressure on staff in the Department of Health and Human Services Dept. We also discuss the county's low infection rate, which he says is a credit to local businesses and individuals. We also discuss vaccine distribution, but, Wendel says there has been no further information given, other than there will be 174,000 doses from the initial distribution. We also discuss the county's move to acquire the Jamestown Hub for the Chautauqua Area Transit System's bus service. Wendel says the city had been renting the location... which is across the street on East Third St. from City Hall.
Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Pres. and CEO Todd Tranum
December 3rd, 2020 12:00am | Duration:
Due to technical issues earlier in the week, we were unable to immediately upload this past weekend's program. Our Terry Frank talks about a number of business matters with county Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum. We discuss the start of their new website, call "ShopLocalCHQ..." which ties in more than 50 county businesses, and offers people the chance to do their holiday -- and other shopping -- done on-line. We also talk about the need for another round of COVID-19 stimulus funding because many businesses, and area residents, are struggling during this holiday time period.
With no guest scheduled this week, we present comments from members of Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel's COVID-19 Response Team, including Sheriff Jim Quattrone, Health Department Epidemiologist Breeanne Agett, Public Health Director Christine Schuyler, Public Health Physician Dr. Robert Berke, and other Physician Dr. Brian Walters. They discuss a number of areas, from enforcement of current restrictions, and those being imposed for Thanksgiving Day holiday gatherings, county COVID-19 numbers, isolation and quarantine facts, and the fact that two vaccines are now in the process of getting FDA approval.
Our Terry Frank speaks with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist this week about a number of matters, including Monday (11/16) night's public hearing on the proposed 2021 budget. The 34.8-million dollar spending plan includes a slight tax rate decrease. However, it may not include total elimination of free parking. Sundquist outlined his compromise measure that would re-install meters in the current free zones. However, all metered parking spots would have the first 20-minutes be free, and the motorist would pay 1.00 an hour after that. We also discuss the city's Christmas Tree being in place on Tracy Plaza, and a new "Downtown Holiday Crusin" the city will be holding with the Jamestown Renaissance Corp., and others, instead of the annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration. This would be a "reverse" parade with people in their cars driving east on Third Street to Tracy Plaza to see the lighted Christmas Tree, and Santa. Businesses would be able to decorate a parking space on the street for residents and their children to see. The event will be held on Friday, Dec. 4th from 6 to 7:30 pm. We also give the latest on the search for a new Police Chief/Director of Public Safety.
This week, our Terry Frank speaks with Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel... who loses the "interim" moniker after winning last Tuesday's election. Wendel says he's both excited and humbled by the results, and thanked county voters for coming out in such large numbers. He also discusses his decision to sign the 2021 County budget, which includes a 4.6-percent tax increase, which amounts to a 5-cent per 1,000 full value rate increase. He says the legislature wanted to be "more cautious" than he was -- given the on-going COVID situation. We also discuss the loans doled out to nearly 30 businesses from the 10.5-million dollar CARES Act loan funds. More than half of that has been given to local businesses. We also discuss the idea of a three-state "wine, craft beer and distillery" trail from Northeast Ohio to the Finger Lakes.
Our apologies that, due to technical issues, we were unable to provide the past weekend's program. However, we do have it now. Our Terry Frank takes a look at the two candidates vying for the 23rd Congressional District seat in the waning days of the campaign. Incumbant Republican Tom Reed and Democratic Challenger Tracy Mitrano criss-crossed the district over the final few days before Election Day on Nov. 3. Both candidates tout their record, and, the tone of the campaign, which has gotten nasty at times. Reed claims Mitrano is an extreme left-wing candidate who wants to defund police, while Mitrano says Reed has run nothing but a smear campaign.
Incumbant Chautauqua Co. District Attorney Patrick Swanson
October 25th, 2020 12:00am | Duration:
Our Terry Frank concludes Media One's programs focusing on the candidates for local and regional office in Chautauqua County and Jamestown this week. He talks with Democrat Patrick Swanson, the incumbant District Attorney. Swanson discusses his background, and defends his record against criticism by Republican challenger, Jason Schmidt. Schmidt has attacked Swanson for having a 17.4-percent success rate of convicting accused Felons last year. Swanson says his office's overall conviction rate remains better than the statewide average, and, has done so having to navigate new and changing laws -- especially bail reform this year. Swanson also says his very understaffed office has been able to do that with only 12-and-a-half staffers. He also touted having the New York State Police Trooper union's endorsement in his re-election bid.
Republican County District Attorney candidate Jason Schmidt
October 19th, 2020 12:00am | Duration:
Our Terry Frank begins a two-part look at the candidates for Chautauqua County District Attorney with an interview of Republican challenger Jason Schmidt. It's a rematch of four-years ago when Schmidt ran against Democrat Patrick Swanson for the seat. Schmidt says most recent statistics show the county has only a 17.4-percent conviction rate on Felony cases. He also rebutts Swanson's argument that the county's conviction rate is better than most others in New York state. Even though the county D-A's office has a staff of less than half the state average, Schmidt says the county is not doing as well as it should be. Schmidt has been endorsed by the Dunkirk Police Officers organization in his run for D-A.
Our Terry Frank talks with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist about his proposed 2021 budget... which totals 34.8-million dollars, and includes a slight tax decrease. Sundquist says, though, that it was an "extremely challenging" spending plan to put together. However... he believes people will be pleased with the 70,000 tax levy decrease, and 17-cent per 1,000 dollar cut to the tax rate. City Council will soon begin discussing the proposal. We also discuss the city's Parking Ticket Amnesty Program, which has already brought in a large number of donations of canned goods, and school supplies for local agencies and schools. We also discuss pending changes to Freedom of Information applications, and a second downtown restaurant, Labrynth Press Co. and Brazil, applying for a Parklet for outdoor dining.
Interim County Executive P-J Wendel joins our Terry Frank again this week... this time in his official capacity. We mainly talk about his 2021 budget proposal... which includes about a 3-percent increase in the tax levy, but, has a 5-cent per 1,000 dollar reduction in the tax rate to 8.41. Wendel says actions his administration took earlier this year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic have helped them in getting this budget in place. While it exceeds the state's 2-percent property tax levy, it does not use any undesignated fund balance. We also discuss the need for people to complete the Census, as Monday is the deadline. Wendel also says the county has already received a lot of interest in the 10.5-million dollar CARES Act funding to help small businesses locally that have been hurt by the COVID-19 shut-downs.
This week, we discuss the race for Chautauqua County Executive with Interim Executive P-J Wendel, who has been in the seat since Jan. 1 of this year. Wendel says 2020 has been a huge challenge, but, says he's made the best of a difficult situation. He further explained the county's response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, which has seen significant upticks since the beginning of September. He says the outbreaks at both Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk, and the SUNY College at Fredonia, have now been pretty much contained. He says the county was also able to get New York State to keep Rapid Testing machines in the county to deal with hot-spots. We also discuss economic development, which the Lakewood Republican feels will be aided by the recent announcement of 10.5-million dollars from the federal CARES Act to help local businesses that have been heavily-impacted by COVID-related shut-downs. We heard from his Democratic challenger, Richard Morrisroe on last week's show.
Democratic candidate for Chautauqua Co. Exec. Rich Morrisroe
September 19th, 2020 12:00am | Duration:
This week, our Terry Frank speaks with the Democratic challenger in the race for Chautauqua County Executive, Rich Morrisroe of Dunkirk. Morrisroe has been Dunkirk City Attorney for the past three years, and has worked in a variety of capacities during his life. He says the county should have been quicker in it's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially regarding the announcement of the outbreak at Fieldbrook Foods. Morrisroe says he and his family came to the north county area a few years ago from Buffalo. He says he wants to work to improve economic opportunities here, and, bring back more young adults, and attract new residents. He says the move to attract an Amazon warehouse is a positive, but, questions what kind of incentives it may take, and how many real jobs will be created versus robots. We'll hear from current interim Executive, Republican P.J. Wendel, next weekend.
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist joins our Terry Frank this week to discuss a number of topics, including the announcement that 10.5-million dollars in federal CARES Act funding it coming to Chautauqua County from the U-S Economic Development Administration to help small businesses struggling in the COVID-19 pandemic. Sundquist also revealed that the city was receiving another 300,000 dollars in CARES Act funding from HUD to do more for both small businesses and renters, in addition to the 705,000 the city received earlier in the pandemic. We also discuss contract negotiations, the latest project in the city's illumination program, and that city council will hold it's work session this Monday night in the lobby of City Hall to allow social distancing, but, the public is not invited to attend. It will be streamed on-line.
Our Terry Frank gets an update from Interim County Exec. P-J Wendel on the COVID-19 numbers from the two clusters of cases in the North County. Wendel says the numbers have eased up at both Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk, and the SUNY College at Fredonia. He says the number of actual employees at Fieldbrook testing positive was 58 by the weekend, with 21 "Close Contact" cases. At SUNY Fredonia, the cases over the weekend increased 56. Wendel also says the county has been successful in having four of the "Rapid Testing" machines left by the state here during the outbreaks... along with up to 1,000 test kits. We also discuss the tentative county budget, which Wendel says is done. He says they still have some unknowns to work on, but, believes people will be happy with what he and his administration has been able to craft. The spending plan is due by Sept. 25th, and the County Legislature meets on Wed., Sept. 23rd, which is the likely date the budget will be presented.
Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy Exec. Dir. John Jablonski, and Board Pres. Rebecca Nystrom
August 30th, 2020 12:00am | Duration:
Our Terry Frank high-light's the 30th anniversary of the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy with Executive Director John Jablonski, and Board President Rebecca Nystrom. They discuss the beginnings of the organization, which a group of people began work on after seeing the rise of invasive weed growth, and other issues stemming from run-off into the lake. They say the conservancy first started with an emphasis on Chautauqua Lake, but, has also done work to preserve natural shorelines along Cassadaga, and Findley Lakes. The conservancy uses grants to acquire available land to act as natural buffers to keep sediment from getting into the lakes. The Conservancy's 30th anniversary program was held last Thursday night via Zoom conferencing.
Our Terry Frank speaks with Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone this week about a number of topics and issues, including the need for local police and sheriff's departments to put a reinventing, and police reform plan with community input. Quattrone says they've been able to meet with local entities and discuss that. He believes they will have a plan by next April, as ordered by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. We also discuss the number of calls received this year, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Quattrone says they've seen definate increases in mental health, domestic violence, and drug overdose calls. He adds all five lakes in the county have been very busy this Summer. We also discuss bail reform impacts, and county jail population, which is down drastically with it.
This week, our Terry Frank discusses a number of topics with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist, who discusses his first half-year in office, and that it's been nothing like he expected, due mainly to COVID-19. However... he says he enjoys the challenge. We also discuss budget discussions, and how soon city lawmakers may have to look at a second-phase of cuts. Sundquist says they are waiting for the state to tell how much they'll be getting in municipal aid first. He also discusses the first business to take advantage of the new Food Truck Pilot Program in the downtown-area, along with the process of getting a new Police Chief/Director of Public Safety in place, as well as a new Human Rights Commission.