Thursday, November 18, 2021

By DN's Brian Quinn:
Community members ask town of Batavia to allow cannabis dispensaries

Two advocates for regulated, legal cannabis markets stepped forward to speak to town leaders during Wednesday’s public hearing. The hearing was about whether the town should opt out of allowing cannabis retail dispensaries and on-site consumption sites. Board members are considering a local law to opt out, but have not voted on the proposed law.


Kelly March, a mother of three teenagers and property owner in the town, said she is a medical marijuana patient and small business owner. She said she is also a member of NORMAL, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. “NORML’s mission is to serve as an advocate for consumers, patients and to (ensure) they have access to high-quality cannabis that is safe, convenient and affordable,” she said. “Now that our state has begun to regulate cannabis commerce, these local businesses will have to come into compliance with the New York state law in order to successfully apply and keep licenses here in our state issued under the New York state new cannabis law.”

That means, in order for them to keep their license, the businesses which dispense marijuana will have to show compliance and implement the new policies and procedures for checking ID at every sale, March said. They will have to keep track of inventory to prevent diversion or inversion and ensure all facilities are secured and monitored along with everything else a regular business needs to do to keep its license and permits, she said, adding the legal market will be regulated and have mandatory safeguards like ID checking. It will be the main, driving force in reducing the legacy market size.

“When you opt out, you’re not making our community safer, you’re actually making it easier for children to purchase illicit cannabis and enabling the legal market diversion and inversion to a legacy market,” March said. “You’re effectively giving the legacy market license to continue operating and serving its residents of the community. If there is no legal market to compete with the legacy market, it will flourish as it is flourishing already.”

These safeguards will exist in the regulated industry, but are not present in the legacy, or underground, market, March said. By banning the retail establishments, the town will increase cannabis use by youth, she said.

“We want the right to be able to pursue a license ... so we can grow our own businesses here in this community by using agritourism,” she said. “Just like the small, craft business breweries and distilleries that we have in the area. They have their own tasting rooms and retail shops right on their own properties and the licenses to do so, just like we would like to be able to do with craft cannabis in the future. Farms would host their own consumption lounges and have their own retail shops, just like farmers do today, in agritourism.”

March said she also wanted to talk to the board about patients.

“Those are the people you would be harming too, if you choose to opt out,” she said. “Patients are some of the people that are your friends, your family and your neighbors, and they are (our) most vulnerable community members.”

“Those are the people you would be harming too, if you choose to opt out,” she said. “Patients are some of the people that are your friends, your family and your neighbors, and they are (our) most vulnerable community members.”

“Those are the people you would be harming too, if you choose to opt out,” she said. “Patients are some of the people that are your friends, your family and your neighbors, and they are (our) most vulnerable community members.”


Penelope Hamilton Crescibene of Corfu said she is a state advocate for patients and social justice with the Marijuana Regulation Taxation Act (MRTA). Crescibene is the director of community engagement for The Cannabis Community and the medical cannabis advisor for Empire State NORML, acting director for Western New York NORML and a member of Start SMART NY.

“I am not actually a cannabis consumer recreationally. I am a medical patient, though,” she said. “I’m 50 years old, graduated in 1989. I’m a Nancy Reagan kid — petrified of marijuana and cannabis. I bought all the stigma, everything that was taught, and just boasted of how I never touched it, never tried it.”

Crescibene said she has an auto-immune illness and rheumatoid arthritis. She said she was misdiagnosed for many years.

“All of a sudden, over 16 years had gone by and I was on prescription opioids,” she said. “They just ravaged my body. I had gotten almost to 300 pounds. I’ve dropped 150. I was bedridden, using a wheelchair and walker in my 40s. I really didn’t know what to do. I had lost my mom. I was so ill, my father needed to care for me.”

Crescibene said she tried cannabis because she didn’t have access to medical marijuana.

“It was a little, infused chocolate blueberry. I had to be illegally healed. It worked. Within 30 days, I was off of all those and a myriad of prescriptions, I also have come off — all prescribed,” she said. “That got me to learn all about the science. I’ve been studying it for years now, got involved and decided to fight for medical patients,” she said. “I stepped over and also went for adult use after I learned about this plant and I learned about why people use it and the social justice problems that we have in New York state.”

MRTA is designed for criminal justice reform and social justice, and to regulate the adult-use cannabis market that’s currently here, she said.

“We know that the previous laws have been ineffective. Minors have had access. We’ve had mass incarceration because of the racist cannabis laws that were there,” she said. “The existing laws have created the illicit market, which represents a threat to public health and safety.”

Crescibene held up a pack of Stoney Patch THC Gummies, which she said included packaging from the illicit market.

“It does look like candy and it angers me. I’m mad as hell to see this and I’ll be the first one to fight in Albany. They’ve already said, ‘We aren’t going to allow this.’ Albany does not want to hand this all out. They want to regulate and make it safe,” she said.

Crescibene said the illicit cannabis market did not ID minors or children. It didn’t have lab-tested products and wasn’t generating tax revenue.

“When you do decide, if you give the message of opting out, it is basically saying, ‘You’re welcome to stay and continue your illicit sales.’ That’s what we’re saying to the minors,” she said. “It’s untested, unregulated products to your community that’s already living here and already consumers.”

Crescibene said Batavia should bring legacy business owners over to the legal market, to give them real businesses, legitimatize cannabis, regulate and tax it.

“That tax money, if you opt out, is also what you’re opting out of,” she said. “That money is earmarked, specifically, for things like drug addiction problems that we do know that we do have.” Town Supervisor Gregory Post thanked everyone who participated in the hearing Wednesday.

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SILVER LAKE EXPERIENCE (SLE) - Registration now Open for this August 4-6, 2022's SLE. See:


Walter D. “Pete” Mairs, 81, died peacefully on July 23, 2021. Born in Avon, N.Y., on Sept. 3, 1939, Pete was a longtime resident of Geneva, N.Y., and these past many years in Buffalo, N.Y., as well as his beloved Silver Lake. Pete is survived by his wife, Linda Bergstrom Mairs, a loving and true companion; children, Mimi C. Mairs, Jonathan B. Mairs; sisters, June Huff, Helen Dole; brother, Thomas Mairs; stepchildren, Daniel Brinkworth, Jennie Ramsey; sister-in-law, Anne Bergstrom, eight beautiful grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. A service and celebration of life is planned for the fall when all can share the joy of Pete’s life together. Arrangements by Stephenson – Dougherty Funeral Home, Avon, N.Y.

Editor's Note: It was a privilege knowing and working with Pete Mairs during his presidency of the Silver Lake Institute. He was a kind and gentle man, but also firm in his leadership. I served as Treasurer and Chaplain of SLI during those years and I could always depend on Pete's presence in the worship service. He was a man of faith and a gem of a human being. May he rest in God's care.


Gerald C. Sahrle, 80, of Perry, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He was born on Oct. 10, 1941, in Wayland, N.Y., to the late Charles A. and Helen I. (Blowers) Sahrle. Gerry was a line foreman for 32 1/2 years for NYSE&G, working out of the Perry and Hamburg locations, and was a Town of Perry Councilman. He was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Constellation Lodge -404 in Perry. He was an avid fisherman, hunter and woodworker. He is survived by his wife, Valary A. (Conley) Sahrle; 1 son, Gerald (Pamela) Sahrle II of Silver Springs; 2 sisters, Millie Edmond of Greece, Bonnie Fink of Winston-Salem, N.C., 3 brothers, Ronald (Linda) Sahrle of Dansville, Robert (Susan) Sahrle of Springwater, Kenneth Sahrle of Dansville; 5 grandchildren, Bradley Musscarella, Stone and Winston Sahrle, Conley and Cooper Gayton; along with many nieces, nephews and friends. Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by a brother, Thomas Sahrle, who passed away in 2012. Services will be held at the convenience of the family. Gerry will be laid to rest in West Perry Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Perry Center Fire Department, P.O. Box 204, Perry, NY 14530. For more information, please call (585) 237-2626 or to leave a message of condolence, visit Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 North Main Street, Perry, NY 14530.

Editor's Note: Gerald and Valarie could always be seen in the family pew with Pamela, Stone and Winston at Perry First United Methodist Church and continue to be loved. Gerry will be sorely missed. Both were supporters of the Arts at the Silver Lake Institute and Valarie was active in painting and participating in the Annual Show in August. Valarie's presence was always valued and appreciated.


"Kathy P." passed November 8, 2021, of Hamburg and Boston, NY. Beloved daughter of Joseph and Barbara Michalak; loving sister of Daniel Michalak; devoted wife of the late Jeffrey Praczkajlo; cherished mother of Jennifer (Shawn) Jump; loving babcia of Lily Jump; also survived by many beloved family members and friends who became her family. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Editor's Note: "Kathy P." as she was better known to us at Silver Lake was an annual summer visitor for most of the last number of years at the invitation of Silver Laker Julia Hoffner. She stayed at the Hoffner Cottage, and became known as both the fun visitor with the vivacious smile to the neighbors at the intersection of Haven Ave. and the Ames Walkway. Kathy P. and Julie could be seen walking and talking between the cottage and the Hoffner boathouse where they could be close to the water. She was also occasionally seen at the Saturday morning breakfasts at Stoody Hall. Her stay was anywhere between 4 days and a week where she had the opportunity to develop a love for Silver Lake. She was not yet eligible for retirement when late last week she developed "a cold" and had to remain home from her job. She did not update her condition over the weekend so the local police made a wellness visit and found her deceased on Monday. She was one of those many people who found Silver Lake and friendship for brief respites where she also found new strength and energy to return to work. She is being particularly mourned by those in the Haven/Ames neighborhood. She will be memorialized next summer at the annual Celebration of Life Memorial Service at Epworth Hall.


Brenda Joan Paddock, 82, of Perry, born April 15, 1939, now resides in heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Brenda met Jesus as her Savior in 1965. She met him in person on Nov. 14, 2021. She had a beautiful homecoming with music, singing and praying, leading her into Glory. Her last words were “I am well, I am well.”

Brenda’s greatest loves were her family and friends. Brenda had five children with her husband Roger: Don and Daelene Paddock of Florida, Jody and Tim Von Sanden of Pavilion, Bradley and Jeanie Paddock of Warsaw, Jennifer and Paul Guy of Massachusetts, and Nathan and Jill Paddock of Perry.

Brenda dearly loved her grandchildren: Jessica Morillo, Nikki and Clint O’Brien, Luke Paddock, Paul Paddock, Ian and Brooklyn Paddock, Joe and Louana Paddock, Burke and Megan Paddock, Aaron Paddock, Ellen Paddock, Andrew Paddock, Rachael Paddock, Abigail Paddock, Erik and Cassandra Von Sanden, Jacquelyn and Michael Jones, Tim Von Sanden, Brandon and Brandee Paddock, Jamey and Laura Paddock, Peter and Kara Guy, Candy and Jay Waitkevich, Marlo and Ryan Bolger and Jenna and Rory Peterson.

Brenda was blessed and loved her great grandchildren: Chloe, Olivia and Nicholas Von Sanden, Joshua and Jaxon Morillo, Jameson and Cassandra O’Brien, Atlas Paddock, Noah and Ezra Jones, Colton, Brantley and Charlotte Guy, Cameron Waitkevich, Amelia Bolger and Brennen Leonard.

Brenda is also survived by her brother and sister in laws; Frank and Emma Paddock, Viva and Jim Phillips-Richardson and Kurt and Lynn Paddock.

Brenda first started working as a secretary at Perry Central School. She then assisted her husband building Paddock’s Breeding Service. Roger and Brenda together built and ran the Sandsabarn teenage nightclub. Brenda was owner and operator of Serendipity Travel. Brenda’s pleasures included playing organ and piano. She played at a number of area churches along with performing for her loved ones. UPDATED -- Brenda also played with conviction at both indoor and outdoor services at the Silver Lake Institute where her grandson, Luke, sang at Epworth Hall on several occasions and was appreciated by all who heard his inspiring voice.

Brenda was preceded in death by her parents Noble and Freda Buckland, her husband Roger and son Bradley.

A Committal service at West Perry Cemetery will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, November 17 at 11 a.m., followed by a Celebration of Life at LaGrange Baptist Church at 4 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made in Brenda’s honor to the LaGrange Baptist Church 7092 LaGrange Rd. Perry, NY 14530 or to the First Congregational Church P.O. Box 156 Perry, NY 14530. Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 N. Main St., Perry, N.Y. 14530. For more information or to sign the online guest registry please visit

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