Headlines that sparked interest highlight a turbulent year | News, Sports, Jobs

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Stateline Speedway was offered for sale by its owners. The track, located in the town of Busti, opened in 1956 and was last sold in 2015. File photo PJ

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth of five stories highlighting some of the most read stories in The Post-Journal over the past year. Today’s story focuses on local news.

There has not yet been a buyer for Stateline Speedway, the venerable Busti circuit that has provided motor racing fans with track action since 1956.

Among the thousands of local news articles published this year, the announcement of Stateline’s relaunch was among the most read by readers.

The list for the 1/3 mile oval clay race track by Team ERA Vice President was released in early September. Michael McVinney, a Jamestown-based real estate broker, said talks to market the 65-year-old runway began a few months ago.

“The most important thing is that they are not currently planning to close at this stage”, McVinney told the Post-Journal. “They want people to take it over and pursue it and maybe add it on for other events. This is really the most important thing.

This photo, which is from the Chautauqua Lake Pops Facebook page, shows one of their summer concerts. The Pops owe the village of Mayville $ 4,000 for shows presented in 2021 and do not yet have a contract in place for next summer.

The current owners are part of JJB Holdings Inc. They finalized the purchase of the Kortwright Road track in late summer 2015 after previously operating the facility under a lease with Seamens Speedway Inc .

Improvements were made to the track after it was purchased about six years ago. In addition, McVinney believes that a new owner would have the opportunity to expand the events held on the track, including motocross and BMX races.

Stateline Speedway opened on July 21, 1956, thanks to the efforts of Len Briggs, Lloyd Williams, Marv Thorpe, Don Frank and Jerry Frank. Mother Nature had pushed back the opening by two weeks and although the rain had cast a shadow on that day as well, the sun finally came out and the race began. Fritz Seamens bought Stateline Speedway in 1984.

UNCERTAINTY CONCERT SERIES

An ongoing scenario this year is no closer to resolution as 2021 draws to a close.

In June, a group filed for an injunction banning Chautauqua Lake Pops’ concert season from taking place in Mayville this summer, claiming the necessary New York state permit has not been granted and its presence on the lake creates a private and public nuisance.

These issues were ultimately addressed with the help of State Assembly Member Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, and State Senator George Borrello, R-Sunset Bay, all while sparking a petition that ended. by boasting hundreds of names. Concerts did eventually take place, but after the season questions arose regarding Chautauqua Lake Pops’ lease with the village of Mayville.

At a recent Mayville Village Board of Directors meeting, Mayor Ken Shearer said he and administrator Jim Warner spoke to Dan Dalpra, founder and CEO of Pops, and offered several options, including postponing payment of the $ 4,000 due to the village. “They had to go back to their board and then come back to us, which they didn’t. I contacted them this morning just to make sure to see if they still had the opportunity to do so, but I did not get a response ”, Shearer said.

On the Chautauqua Lake Pops Facebook page, Dalpra wrote a thank you letter to sponsors, supporters and volunteers. “At this early date, we are uncertain of our future plans for the future. However, we know we can count on your continued support as we work to keep the Pops program afloat. We will keep you updated on the progress of our plans and are confident that new and exciting opportunities will arise ”, he said in the letter.

In November, the Mayville Village Board of Directors held a special meeting to discuss Pops. Dalpra brought the Pops to Mayville in 2019 after spending 18 years at Bemus Point. He had a three-year contract that expires at the end of 2021. In the first and second year of the contract, Dalpra owed the village $ 1 and in the third year he would pay around $ 4,000 based on ticket sales. Because there was no Pops season in 2020 due to the pandemic, he requested that the 2021 season be considered the second year of the contract. While Shearer and administrator Ben Webb appeared to be in favor of this, the rest of the board did not. Village lawyer Joe Calimeri recommended that council form a committee to negotiate a new contract with the Pops.

Although the Pops didn’t have a season in 2020, it was one of many organizations to receive funding from the federal government. According to the Small Business Administration website, Bemus Bay Pops Inc. (company name of Chautauqua Lake Pops) received a grant of $ 42,334 for a shutter room operator.

THE SIGN CAUSES A HISTORY

A few residents of Liberty Street in Fredonia feel concerned about their place of residence while at 140 Porter Road an individual continues to display political signs of a questionable nature.

“It is offensive and inappropriate for the school buses passing by as well as a horrific representation of our village” Resident Melissa Leffel wrote to the village board and was shared at a board meeting in March. “It seems to be above the size limit authorized by the village decree. Also in the barns at 160 Porter Road there are large signs these are less of a concern as they are further away from the road and harmless but if I call a house I should be consistent. Coincidentally, they both belong to the same person.

Chuck LaBarbera, the village code enforcement manager, said several violation letters were sent but the courts were closed at the time, nothing more could be done.

THE HISTORY OF THE MASCOT CONTINUES

2022 could be the year of the end of the story for the Jamestown High School mascot.

Earlier this year, thousands of readers clicked on the story from the Jamestown Public Schools Board of Education where JHS athletic director Ben Drake said the district would stop using any Native American imagery as part of the district logos. – which means block “J” feathered would be retired.

Drake told council members that the “Red Raider” the cartoon did not appear in the neighborhood until the 1970s. Its use ended in 2014 when the neighborhood began using a block “J” logo with feathers.

“Over the past six years it’s a slow death” Drake said of the caricature. “You don’t really see it. Most of our current student-athletes don’t even really know we were the Red Raiders as Indians, they just know him as the “J” with the feathers. And the committee has at this point recommended that we stop using the “J” with the feathers and adopt a new logo. And that’s where we are. We plan to meet on this over the summer and into the next school year to continue to make further recommendations.

The issue surrounding the district mascot is not new: An April 6, 2001 article in The Post-Journal noted that Richard Mills, the state’s former education commissioner, had urged school board presidents and school districts to change their school’s mascot and nickname. if it uses Native American symbols. This effort was unsuccessful, but the district began to phase out the portrayal of a Native American figure from 2012. In 2015, all sports teams in the district began using the capital. “J” with a quill under the direction of former Superintendent Tim Mains.

The latest initiative to change the school’s mascot began in June 2020 with a petition from area residents. District officials have created a committee to look into the matter.

In December, the board received versions of a “fat cat” mascot with historical ties to JHS. A decision on the new mascot is expected in early 2022.

“They asked graphic designers to come up with renderings and decided to follow the recommendation around a big cat”, said Superintendent Kevin Whitaker. “The big cat was based on the original story. There has been a deep dive into the history of Jamestown imagery. The committee discovered that originally, over 100 years ago, the imagery was red and green with a large panther-like feline. The thought process that followed was that going back to our roots and moving into the future would be a good connection. “

“WELCOMING DIVERSITY”

The potential benefits of Jamestown becoming a resettlement location for refugees were discussed in December at a well-attended meeting at St Luke’s Episcopal Church.

The meeting included representatives from a multitude of nonprofits and local and regional organizations and lasted for several months. The discussion focused on refugees – people who have fled war, violence or conflict and seek safety in another country – and whether Jamestown has the resources available to welcome them.

City officials have been in contact with Journey’s End, a refugee resettlement agency in Buffalo. Sundquist said that on average, Journey’s End hosts around 500 refugees per year; this year they are also expecting 500 more refugees.

“Since they could not even find accommodation, many refugees are actually staying in hotels in the Buffalo area until they are able to find suitable accommodation,” Sundquist said.

Another community meeting could be organized if officials in the region decide to go ahead.

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