Madsen, Watertown Daily Times, January 30, 2011
Jefferson County's growing wine
industry won another award Friday
when Coyote Moon Vineyards, Clayton,
was named New Business Venture for
2010 by the Jefferson County Job
humbled by the competition we've had
this year here," said owner Philip
J. Randazzo after the announcement
was made at the corporation's annual
membership lunch meeting.
"We all share one great
attribute," he said of the five
businesses nominated for the award.
"We were all smart enough or
not-so-smart enough to start a
business in the worse economic
climate since the Great Depression."
The winery, which opened in July
2009, won more than 40 medals for
its wine in its first year of
Mr. Randazzo runs the winery with
his wife, Mary S., and daughter,
"This is a retirement business
for us, so we did it to be
excellent," he said. "Our mission
and outlook has been promoting
grape-growing, which really started
a brand-new industry."
The local community, local and
state public officials and county
agricultural agencies all have
played a role in the fast growth of
"We have 50 growers and four,
soon to be six, wineries," Mr.
Randazzo said. "We're supported by
all the other businesses."
Other nominees included:
■ Carthage Family Chiropractic
Care, owned by Kelli Jo Thesier.
■ Instant Imprints, Carthage,
owned by Christian M. Lawler.
■ North Country Farms LLC,
Watertown, run by Kevin L.
■ North Croghan Outpost, Natural
Bridge, run by Teri L. Ellis.
The winner received a $1,000
"We had entrepreneurs from every
part of the county," JCJDC CEO
Donald C. Alexander said. "They
represent some very great success
stories we'll see materialize over
the coming years."
The corporation also gave
Business of Excellence Awards to two
businesses that "have proven a
commitment to Jefferson County and
its economic health."
LaClair Family Dental has three
dentists, led by Dr. Scott L.
LaClair, and 17 support staff at two
offices, 775 Graves St., Clayton,
and 111 S. Mechanic St., Carthage.
"He's put the time and interest
in our community," said Manager
Della Ramsdell. "I wanted him to be
here to get the recognition he
Conley's Rental Management, 451
Arsenal St., has six staff to manage
about 218 units around the county,
which represents 300 percent growth
over the last four years.
"It's due to referrals," owner
Michael J. Siptrott said. "This
award defines not the sole work of
just myself — I've got some
phenomenal employees. There's no way
I could do without them."
Grows in TI Foundation
Bock, Watertown Daily Times, January 29, 2011
CLAYTON — You don't have to look far
around here to see the community
support for the Thousand Islands
Often, that support just walks
through the door, which happened at
the foundation's September board
The foundation, which awarded its
first scholarships in 2002, keeps
adding new scholarships. They now
total 13 after two were added last
One of the new scholarships is
the Keith Brabant Music Scholarship.
Keith E. Brabant, 33, a Clayton
native, was the victim of a fatal
shooting last April in the town of
Money was raised on Memorial Day
weekend at a benefit held at
O'Briens Restaurant & Bar and at
"They came to our September board
meeting and presented a check for
$19,000 they had raised," said John
E. Slattery, the foundation's
"His friends and family decided
they wanted to remember him via a
scholarship to help people get
involved in music," said Mr.
Slattery. "We manage the money, but
the family does everything else,
even the selection. Most of the
groups don't want to make the
selection. They say, 'Here is our
criteria, you figure out who should
Potential scholarship recipients
fill out an application. The
selection process is blind.
"What we offer is a structure and
an organization in which people will
know their money will be taken care
of," said Mr. Slattery. "It will be
invested responsibly and we will
work with them to have that money
spent in whatever way they want it
to be spent."
The Brabant scholarship is
available to anyone between the ages
of 5 and 25. Recipients must
demonstrate how music is and will be
part of their lives. It can be used
for such things as college,
instruments, books and music camps.
The other new scholarship is the
Margaret Maser Scholarship. Mrs.
Maser was the librarian at Clayton
High School, which became Thousand
Islands Central School. She worked
there from 1962 until retiring in
1982. She died on Feb. 28.
"Her heirs wanted to set
something up in her memory," said
The foundation has made a
provision for such "named
Anybody who donates at least
$15,000 can name it what they want,
and select such things as the
criteria and students' background
Since 2002, the foundation has
given out approximately $250,000 in
scholarships. The average award is
just under $2,000. Yearly amounts
given away range from a low of
$17,000 in 2002 to a high of $41,606
"The foundation serves students
in the Thousand Islands region, not
just the Thousand Islands School
District," Mr. Slattery said. "That
includes Alexandria, LaFargeville
It hosts two fundraisers each
year. One is "Give or Get," in which
board members are expected to donate
"You either donate it yourself,
or you go out and get it," Mr.
The other fundraiser is a
scholarship dinner at The Clipper
Inn, where owner Mike Simpson sells
meals to the foundation at a deep
discount and the foundation sells
them to the public for $10 or $12.
The foundation got its start with
a trip to Colorado.
Mr. Slattery, who retired in 2009
after 13 years as superintendent of
Thousand Islands Central School
District, received a mailing in 2001
about a two-day Snowmass, Colo.,
workshop on starting a scholarship
"It happened that our son was
performing at the Aspen Music
Festival at the same time," Mr.
Tenor Michael M. Slattery has
appeared at the New York
Philharmonic, the Philadelphia
Orchestra, the Los Angeles
Philharmonic, Lincoln Center's
Mostly Mozart Festival, the French
National Orchestra in Paris and
The school picked up the cost of
attending the conference for Mr.
Slattery. "They gave us a huge
notebook on how to start a
foundation," he said. "I came back
and contacted a few people to see
"Where do we go from here?'"
Some of the people he contacted
included Nancy C. Taylor-Schmitt,
now principal at Indian River Middle
School. "She had just moved to the
district and was a parent," Mr.
Slattery said. "She had been
executive director of the Rome YMCA,
so she had experience in nonprofits
and raising funds."
Everett G. Foster, who died last
year, and John F. Stopper also were
influential in getting the
foundation off the ground.
After a few organizational
meetings, Mr. Slattery received a
call from Mr. Stopper.
"He said, 'I'd like you to come
to lunch with a guy interested in
getting on board with the
foundation,'" Mr. Slattery said.
That person was Howard E. Lechler,
a former Clayton resident who had
experience with the Gouverneur
Foundation during his days at Cives
Steel Corp., where he was chairman
of the board.
"He said our foundation was a
good idea since higher education was
getting more expensive," Mr.
Slattery said. "He said he wanted to
help the kids and made a
Mr. Slattery said that
contribution was about $200,000.
Over the years, his contributions
have totaled $500,000, Mr. Slattery
said, usually in the form of Cives
Steel stock. The Lechler
Scholarship, at $4,000 a year for
four years, is the foundation's most
"I can't give him enough credit,"
Mr. Slattery said. "He put us in
touch with an attorney who had been
involved in doing the paperwork for
the Gouverneur foundation. That guy
did our application to become a
That first step is a doozy at the aptly named Just Room Enough Island, one of the Thousand Islands scattered across the St. Lawrence River between New York and Ontario.
The Village and
Town of Clayton are pleased to announce an Open House
will be held at the newly renovated Justice Court
Facility at the Clayton Municipal Building on Thursday,
June 17, 2010 from 5-7pm. The public is invited to
attend. Light refreshments will be served.
Finishes Cleanup at Frink America in
Comprehensive Cleanup Turns Polluted
Site into Community Asset
Media Release via Newzjunky.com
CLAYTON, N.Y., Feb. 5, 2010 — New
York State Department of
Environmental Conservation (DEC)
Commissioner Pete Grannis today
announced that the cleanup of the
former Frink America snowplow
manufacturing site in Clayton
(Jefferson County) is complete,
clearing the way for the 8-acre
parcel along the St. Lawrence River
to return to productive use.
The cleanup of the site was made
possible by $1.5 million in grants
from the Environmental Restoration
Program (ERP). The DEC-run program
helps municipalities stuck with
cleaning up abandoned industrial
sites when the former site owner or
other responsible party cannot be
forced to pay for remediation, and
developers willing to take over the
cleanup cannot be found.
“The contamination of this site took
decades. But by working in close
collaboration with local officials,
we completed a comprehensive cleanup
in a few short years,” Commissioner
Grannis said. “The former Frink
America site – attractive because of
its location on the St. Lawrence
River, near the town docks and with
beautiful views of the islands – can
now return to productive use. That’s
good news for the environment,
public health and the local
Local officials have proposed
mixed-use development for the site.
This may include park areas, green
space and light commercial
“Any time a small local government
like the Town of Clayton takes on a
major project like this,
collaboration is essential,” said
Clayton Supervisor Justin A. Taylor.
“We've benefited from the help of
many partners, including the Clayton
Local Development Corporation, the
Village of Clayton, Jefferson
County, the Development Authority of
the North Country, the state
Department of Health and the DEC on
this project. All of those involved
were positive and pro-active and
that has brought the task at hand to
a successful completion. The Clayton
community and the region will
benefit from this for decades to
“This project provides a great
example of how we can work together
at the state and local level to
ensure contaminated properties are
made safe and productive once
again,” said Sen. Darrel J.
Aubertine. “This cleanup project has
created the conditions needed for
private investment on this site to
create jobs and contribute to the
local tax base for generations. As a
cornerstone in this village, a
redeveloped Frink site will be a
welcome addition here, where town
and village officials have done a
great job fostering development
along the beautiful St. Lawrence
River. I want to thank the DEC for
its role in the process and
Commissioner Grannis for recognizing
the significance of this project.”
“The return of this site to
productive use will greatly benefit
the local economy,” said
Assemblywoman Addie Russell. “Our
river frontage is one of our best
assets and the proposed mixed use
will provide wonderful opportunities
for everyone while preserving the
viewshed. I commend all of the local
officials who worked so hard to
complete the site cleanup in such a
relatively short period of time, and
to Commissioner Grannis and the DEC
for understanding the importance of
this project for Clayton and the
The site, located at the
intersection of Webb Street and
Riverside Drive, historically had
been used as a rail yard and an ice
house, and at times served as a
storage area for lumber and coal,
among other uses. It became the home
to Frink America in the 1920s when
Carl A. Frink moved his burgeoning
snowplow business to the property.
Previously a local tire shop owner,
Frink launched his new company after
he successfully constructed a steel
snowplow to clear a bus route from
Clayton to Watertown. Frink America
operated at the site until 2000.
The snowplow fabrication process
involved the cutting, welding,
rolling and painting of raw steel.
Unfortunately, the process resulted
in soil and groundwater
contamination that included metals,
non-chlorinated solvents (toluene
and xylene) and petroleum (releases
from on-site fuel tanks and a
petroleum bulk storage operation).
While DEC was negotiating the
remediation of these issues, the
facility was sold to a Quebec
company that abruptly closed the
factory. The town later acquired the
site through foreclosure and applied
for ERP assistance in 2005.
The comprehensive cleanup included
demolishing structures that
contained paint waste and asbestos,
digging out petroleum tanks and
waste-storage tanks and removing
contaminated soils – approximately
20,000 tons of soil were excavated
at depths ranging from two to eight
feet below the surface.
Following the completion of these
actions, the town conducted a
follow-up investigation of soils,
surface water and groundwater, and
soil vapors. Based on the results,
DEC, in consultation with the state
Department of Health, determined
that the site no longer poses a
threat to human health or the
Official: Senator Aubertine
honors Clayton restaurant
Madsen, Watertown Daily Times
January 31, 2010
maker, chairs and dishes.
how Lyric Coffee House & Bistro
owner Katalin I. Danielson said
she'll spend the $1,000 prize from
the New Business Venture Award she
won Friday afternoon.
Jefferson County Job Development
Corp. presented the restaurant with
the award during its annual
membership meeting at the Black
River Valley Club. Ms. Danielson
credited her employees and customers
for the award.
feel that a business is only as good
as its employees," she told a crowd
of JCJDC members. "And the customers
are the ones that direct us in what
coffee house and restaurant opened
in 2006 at 246 James St., Clayton.
Ms. Danielson renovated the former
Lyric Theatre using her background
as an interior designer. Putting the
energy and investment into the
renovations and restaurant has made
the eatery successful, she said.
once said to me, 'Find a need and
fill it and you will be
successful,'" she said. "I think our
customers have told us what to do
and we've done that."
Coffee House & Bistro and three
other nominees also receive a year's
membership in JCJDC and entry fees
waived for the Creative Core
Emerging Business and Agribusiness
Competitions, which have a $200,000
nominees were Cross Island Farms,
Wellesley Island; Chiropractic
Wellness Center of Northern New
York, Evans Mills and Sackets
Harbor, and Vision Center II,
nominees this year were from all
over the county," said Mary Anne
Hanley, JCJDC director of marketing.
"For us, as a county economic
development agency, this is huge."
nominees must be in Jefferson
County, in operation for two to four
years and show how the business has
implemented its business plan and
we're looking at here is the
future," JCJDC Chief Executive
Officer Donald C. Alexander said.
"Folks like them can overcome a lot
of issues that businesses
traditionally face. Businesses can
be successful in Jefferson County."
Coffee House will continue to grow.
The restaurant will add more events,
including wedding receptions and
rehearsal dinners, Ms. Danielson
said. She also will expand the
outdoor seating area.
want to be better at what we do,"
Clayton Community Band Concert Dec. 1 to Benefit Hospices of
Jefferson & St. Lawrence Counties
Community Band to Play Benefit
Concert for Local Hospices
Clayton’s week of pre-Christmas
holiday excitement, the Clayton
Community Band will fill the
Clayton Opera House with the
joyous sounds of holiday music
on Tuesday evening, December 1st
at 7 PM, as the Band presents
its “Bringing in the Holiday
Spirit” concert. The Clayton
Community Band, Resident
Ensemble of the Clayton Opera
House, will present their annual
holiday concert as a dual
benefit for both Hospice of
Jefferson County and Hospice of
St. Lawrence County.
direction of Gloria Hvizdos
Musser, the Clayton Community
Band has prepared a program of
upbeat and exciting wintertime
and Christmas holiday favorites
for its December 1st
program. Included in the concert
will be two Mannheim Steamroller
arrangements: “Carol of the
Bells” and “O’ Little Town of
Bethlehem”; Leroy Anderson’s
well-known “Sleigh Ride”;
vocalist Rick Badour (who also
plays trumpet, tuba or baritone
saxophone with the Band) singing
“White Christmas” with the Band;
husband and wife duo (Band
members Tom and Mary Eder)
performing a cornet - flute duet
arrangement with the Band for
"Baby, It's Cold Outside";a
lively jazz waltz arrangement of
“God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen”;
“Carol of the Night” based on
the familiar “Silent Night”; and
many selections which are
medleys packed full of seasonal
Christmas favorites, including
“Rudolph’s Christmas Overture”,
“A Most Wonderful Christmas”,
“Snow!” and “A Christmas
Festival”. The Band will once
again invite the audience to
join them for a joyous Christmas
Shown here is a recent concert
picture of the Clayton Community
Band under the direction of
Gloria Hvizdos Musser.
Community Band continues its
tradition of performing its
concerts as benefits for
charitable organizations. On
Tuesday, December 1st at 7 PM,
the Clayton Community Band
invites you to come and enjoy
its “Bringing in the Holiday
Spirit” concert at the Clayton
Opera House, and at the same
time, to support Hospice for the
invaluable, compassionate care
for the December 1st
Hospice Benefit Concert at the
Clayton Opera House is $5.00.
Students will be admitted free
if accompanied by an adult. The
program is open to the public,
and the Opera House is both
heated and handicapped
accessible. Tickets are
available at the Opera House.