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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

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PY Chronicle Express 2-22-12

Gwen Chamberlain from the Penn Yan Chronicle Express attended the 2nd emergency meeting on February 4, 2012, and the third meeting on February 18, 2012.  Her articles appeared  on February 7 and February 22.  Eelectronic versions are excerpted below, with the most recent article first: 

February 22, 2012

“Palmesano, O’Mara quiz state on Future of Middlesex Home.”  The compete story can be found on line at: 

 Tour of 6166 South Vine Valley Road:  “On Feb. 18 Assemblyman Phil Palmesano and a representative from Sen. Tom O’Mara’s office toured the empty rooms at the South Vine Valley Road house that nine people used to call home until last week.  … Palmesano is still wondering why the house can’t be made safe for the people who were living there up until last week. “While I certainly understand and support the need to make sure any facility is safe for the residents who reside there, I am not convinced the existing home could not have been improved to meet the needs of the residents who have resided there for so many years,” Palmesano wrote in an email…”

Community Concerns:  “…  new residents — most likely fromMonroeDevelopmentalCenter— will be moved into the home.  Some family members and community members have expressed their dismay that the people who calledVineValley their home for many years were uprooted with little notice, and they are concerned that the new occupants of the home could include individuals who are listed on the state’s sexual offender registry.”

Disappointed with OPWDD:  “…Saying he was extremely disappointed by the response from Burke’s office, Palmesano said, “It just seems to us this is not in standingwith their (OPWDD) model of putting people first.  Saying Commissioner Burke painted a “rosey” picture of the way people are adjusting to their new homes, he said he disputed some of her comments during their Feb. 15 meeting.”   … Palmesano and O’Mara asked the commissioner if the home can be renovated to meet the needs of the original occupants.  Palmesano said he challenged Burke when she commented that families were supportive of the moves. He showed her a letter he had received from Tracy Dunton, whose sister, Bonnie lived in the home for 17 years.

Next Steps:  Palmesano said he would like to talk to other family members about their experience with state officials, and he asked two women who volunteered in the home to document their experiences. One of the women, Lynn Lersch, who frequently  visited the home with her dog for pet therapy, described how sad one of the men appeared the last time she saw him.  Reflecting on Saturday’s meeting, Palmesano says, “Senator O’Mara and I will continue our communication with OPWDD on this issue while ensuring the community is informed of any new developments.”

The above are only excerpts; please visit the Chronicle to read all the details. 



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