Want to improve Holley?

The Village of Holley is interested in applying for the New York State Main Street (NYMS) grant through the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation and is currently gauging interest of local businesses and property owners in participating in the program. The purpose of this program is to stimulate reinvestment in properties located in mixed-use commercial districts in small towns within New York State.

Specifically, the NYMS program provides matching funds to assist communities with their downtown revitalization efforts to:

  • Stimulate economic revitalization of mixed-use business centers in small town areas
  • Foster small business development
  • Expand affordable housing opportunities in mixed-use districts
  • Address issues of code enforcement, energy efficiency, Americans with Disabilities Act, and fair housing

Click here for the full contents of Mayor John Kenney’s letter. If interested in participating in this program, contact the Village of Holley Offices at (585) 638-6367.

If you know of a treasure that needs to be unburied, contact me at Theresa@tothewhitelight.com. Or, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my customers knew…”, visit www.tothewhitelight.com to find out how I can help.

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Art on Display at Strong National Museum of Play

Don’t know how to spend your upcoming spring break? Be sure to visit the Strong National Museum of Play, where Holley’s third grade classes have an impressive work of art on display. Recently, students spent a number of weeks  working with artist/teacher Kyoko Roszmann in creating a mural depicting four of the earth’s ecosystems: mountain, ocean, rainforest, and desert. To add a 3D effect, students used traditional origami techniques in creating and arranging animals, plants, and people on the mural.  Using playful teaching methods, Roszmann not only  educated, but entertained students too. Inspired by her recent trip to Bhutan,  located in the Himalyan Mountains, the mural included monks atop a mountain. In addition, the mural featured men in white and women dressed in saris to represent the people of India and people dressed in plaid to depict Americans from the Blue Ridge Mountains. What’s more, I’ve been told that if you look really close, that you may even spot Elvis!

The project, which is part of the Holley Central School District’s Empire State Partnership with Young Audiences of Western New York, also includes poetry written by students under the direction of artist-in-resident, Sherry Robbins.  Both the mural and the poetry are on display near the circular window at the Strong National Museum of Play from now until April 9th.

If you know of a treasure that needs to be unburied, contact me at Theresa@tothewhitelight.com. Or, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my customers knew…”, visit www.tothewhitelight.com to find out how I can help.

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Holley’s Song

I wrote the following poem awhile back. It was inspired by the following photo. I found it laying on the ground near my car after I spent some time at Holley Falls.  It was at a time when I had doubts about being able to revitalize Holley. I found myself asking, “Why am I really doing this? Who would notice or really care?” When I saw the photo, I realized young mothers like the one in this picture would notice and would care. While I do not know who this young woman is, I would say upon meeting her, “I am revitalizing this small village for you and others like you. For you are Holley to me.”

Holley’s Song

Young Mother

Young Mother

As I gaze into my son’s bright, blue eyes
Awakened by the song of early morn
I close my eyes carefully listening
For its familiar song to return to me

Pushing my son in his stroller
Along the canal where joggers jog
That soft, familiar tapping of feet starts to return to me

Hearing young boys cast their fishing lines
With their splish-splashing in nearby SaltPort pond
The lively giggles of youth start to return to me

Seeing three generations, walking hand-in-hand
Wading barefoot to catch up to the waterfall’s mist
Their breathless whispers of joy start to return to me

Listening to the neighbors’ chatter
Of the latest town news at Sam’s
The muffled chatter of friendship starts to return to me

Watching Fireman Frank outside the firehouse
And Officer Bill walking his beat
The shrill of mid-day sirens start to return to me

Listening to the storyteller aptly weave her story
To the library’s eager story time listeners
The oohs of wide-eyed wonder starts to return to me

Gazing at the couple as they walk down St. Mary’s steps
Dressed in white-laced confetti and well-wishes
Peeling church bells start to return to me

Waving hello to Grandma on her front porch swing
And to the passers-by along the way
The rhythmic sliding of the swing starts to return to me

Gathering at the local school hall in town
Where former music students perform
Their angelic voices in song start to return to me

With wide-eye stillness a distant child’s day draws to a close
Desperate to keep the tapping, giggling, whispers alive
With its shrilling, peeling chatter and oohs long still

Its quiet, relentless song still beckons
This restless soul’s bright eyes blue now closed
Startled by the gazing reflection looking back

Of the quiet song that awakens me at morn
It is I who long for the song of Holley,
Singing of the days gone by

My eyes of bright blue once closed,
Now open, embraced in song
A song that welcomes me home

If you know of a treasure that needs to be unburied, contact me at Theresa@tothewhitelight.com. Or, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my customers knew…”, visit www.tothewhitelight.com to find out how I can help.

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Public Forum on Land Use in Holley

What makes you proud to call Holley home? What do you want to see changed in Holley in 20 years? How can we breathe life into our downtown? Where is new development appropriate and what should it look like? How can we capitalize on the tourist potential of the Erie Canal, Holley Falls, and surrounding trails? What should the Village be doing to attract more jobs, stores, and services? If any of these topics interest you, then join us on Monday evening March 22, 2010 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Holley Elementary School Cafeteria when the Village of Holley in cooperation with the Holley Business Association will be hosting a public forum on land use. The Village of Holley is currently developing a Comprehensive Plan, with feedback received at this meeting integrated into this plan. Facilitated by Bergmann Associates, a Community Planning Consultant from Rochester NY, this workshop will feature guest speaker, Fleurette Pelletier of Angelica NY, who will share her inspiring story of one community’s revitalization efforts. Refreshments served!

In addition, there are a number of ways in which you can get involved. Attend the Public Workshop on March 22, 2010. Review the project documents on the Village website at http://villageofholley.org and provide comments/suggestions. Attend the Public Hearings in May/June. Last, but not least, talk to local officials about volunteer opportunities for implementing the Plan!

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If you know of a treasure that needs to be unburied, contact me at Theresa@tothewhitelight.com. Or, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my community knew…”, visit www.tothewhitelight.com to find out how I can help.

Visions of Holley Newsletter

I am very pleased to announce the premiere edition of “The Visions of Holley ” newsletter, which picks up where the “SaltPort Press” left off.  While the “SaltPort Press” helped residents discover the area’s many assets,  this publication promotes  these assets. As the name implies, “Vision of Holley”, is where the past, present, and future converge. It’s where we honor Holley’s rich history as part of the Western Erie Canalway; celebrate the good works of its diverse people; and promote local businesses and services in and around the Public Square. With its pristine landscape (which includes Holley Falls and the nearby Canal Park), along with its charming, small town atmosphere, Holley is full of potential and home to possibilities! It is hoped this newsletter along with this blog become THE meeting place for all of Holley’s community-focused news.   ~ Theresa Fischette, Publisher

Visions of Holley newsletter.

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If you know of a treasure that needs to be unburied, contact me at Theresa@tothewhitelight.com. Or, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my community knew…”, visit www.tothewhitelight.com to find out how I can help.

Grease is the word…

During the weekend of March 11-14, Holley High School turns back time to the 1950’s as the popular musical Grease comes to life.  The show tells the story of a high school romance between greaser Danny Zuko and wholesome Sandy Dumbrowski. Written in 1972 by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, the musical captures the rock n roll spirit of the 1950’s with a score that includes songs such as “Summer Nights”, “Beauty School Dropout”, “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” and “We Go Together”.

What makes this musical truly unique though is Dan Burke who has directed Holley musical productions for the last 19 years. He purposely casts a different set of students in the lead roles for each of the performances. That way, as many students as possible can participate in the show, making the musical a school-wide event.

Don’t be left out. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 7:00 pm and Sunday March 14 at 2:00 pm. Advance tickets may be purchased at the Holley High School Main Office for $6.00. Or, you may purchase tickets at the door for $7.00.  Seniors 60 years of age and older residing in Holley Central School District can receive a free ticket with their Gold Card, which are available in the High School Main Office.

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If you know of a treasure that needs to be unburied, contact me at Theresa@tothewhitelight.com. Or, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my community knew…”, visit www.tothewhitelight.com to find out how I can help.

Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration

On Wednesday March 17th,  the Holley Central School District is holding registration from 1:00 to 7:00 pm in the Elementary School Library classroom for children starting pre-kindergarten or kindergarten in September 2010.  Be sure to bring your child’s birth certificate, immunization record, and proof of residency such as a utility bill as you will not be allowed to register your child without these documents.  No appointment is necessary to register. Note though that no registration is allowed prior to March 17th.

To register for pre-K, your child must be four years of age by December 1, 2010, or to register for kindergarten, your child must be five years of age by December 1, 2010. In addition, physicals are required by September 1, 2010.

For more information, contact the Holley Elementary School Office at (585) 638-6391 extension 2580.

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If you know of a treasure that needs to be unburied, contact me at Theresa@tothewhitelight.com. Or, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my community knew…”, visit www.tothewhitelight.com to find out how I can help.

Village Elections

Three positions are up for the June election, including trustees Ross Gaylord and John Heise in addition to the mayor’s position currently held by John Kenney. Petitions for candidates will be available in the Village Office during the month of March.  Interested people are asked to check with the Village Clerk for necessary dates and deadlines.

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If you know of a treasure that needs to be unburied, contact me at Theresa@tothewhitelight.com. Or, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my community knew…”, visit www.tothewhitelight.com to find out how I can help.

Erie Canal Bike Tour Set for July 11-18

The 12th annual “Cycling the Erie Canal” is scheduled for July 11 to 18. This cross-state bicycle tour is an 8-day, 400­mile, recreational bicycle tour from Buffalo to Albany along the Erie Canal. During the tour, cyclists pass through historic canal villages and rural country sides with canal historians and local experts introducing participants to the people, places, and things that make the Erie Canal and its history so unique to New York State and the country as a whole. Three-quarters of the ride is off-road and on level ground, following the traffic-free Canalway Trail. Several days are spent in the Finger Lakes with a few rolling hills and two long gradual climbs in the Mohawk Valley. The remainder of the ride is on rural roads with good shoulders. The oldest cyclist rider at last year’s event was in his 80’s while the youngest was 3 years-old!

Two weekend ride options are available, from Buffalo to Pittsford on July 10 to July 12 and from Canajoharie to Albany on July 16 to July 18. A shuttle will be available at the beginning of the ride to transport riders and their bicycles to Buffalo. Non-cycling friends and family of riders with their own transportation are welcome. Youths under 18 enjoy a special half-price rate. For more information, call (518) 434-1583. e-mail eriecanaltour@ptny.org, or visit www.ptny.org/canaltour.

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If you know of a treasure that needs to be unburied, contact me at Theresa@tothewhitelight.com. Or, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my community knew…”, visit www.tothewhitelight.com to find out how I can help.

Panel 4: The Old Canal Path

Stacey Kirby painting one of eight mural panels

The old canal loop through Holley is one of few still visible along the original line of the canal. The state bypassed the loop in 1860 for a number of reasons: to make a larger canal, to create a more direct route for traffic, and to alleviate problems caused by the original high banks and early construction. At the time, state laws did not allow them to shut off the loop completely. As such, it remained with shallow water and was hardly used for years. Finally, with the modernization of Public Square around 1913, local people complained about the stench from the stagnant water in the canal bed. The canal loop was then closed off.

During this same time, Frisbie Terrace crossed the old canal loop via a small bridge, which crossed the canal next to what is now the Hair Affair Salon. The bridge gave access to the Frisbie Mansion, The Charles Frisbie House, and the stone house, which formerly housed the Cramer Canal Store. Once the canal loop was shut off, with portions of it filled in, the bridge was removed and the roadway was created.

Many thanks to Town Historian, Marsha Defilipps for sharing some village history with us.

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If you know of a treasure that needs to be unburied, contact me at Theresa@tothewhitelight.com. Or, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my community knew…”, visit www.tothewhitelight.com to find out how I can help.