Chautauqua County Community Source

Chamber of Commerce Chautauqua Business Weekly

Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and
Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier
State Budget is a Mixed Bag
By Todd J. Tranum, President & CEO
As we see almost every year, the New York State budget for this new fiscal year contains some pluses for business and some minuses. It’s a traditional mixed bag.
One very positive item contained in the stacks of legislation for this year is a move that makes permanent a two percent cap on property tax increases for municipalities and school districts. We are very pleased to see this. Since the tax cap was implemented in 2012, local property tax increases have averaged 2.9 percent, compared with the 5.3 percent average increase from 2000 to 2010. The Business Council of New York State points out that business properties account for about 40 percent of all real property taxes paid statewide. So this is a significant move that will benefit not only businesses, but also residents, as we all work towards making New York a more affordable place to live, work, and do business.
All employers will be required to provide three hours of paid time off for the purpose of voting. This is an increase from the current two paid hours allotted, but employees will no longer have to demonstrate that they are unable to vote outside of normal working hours.
The state budget allocates $750-million for distribution through the annual regional economic development process, which has results in substantial benefits to Chautauqua County in the Western New York region. It also creates a new searchable public database of projects receiving economic development assistance, in a move towards accountability and transparency that leads the state in the right direction.
Some infrastructure funding is included in the new budget, including $150-billion to support projects statement, plus a $500-million plan to invest in clean water projects.
Environmentally, the state’s new ban on single-use plastic bags is sound, but it may pose some challenges to the retail and grocery industries.
An overall increase of $1-billion for school aid is designed to prioritize funding needs for schools in economically challenged areas. Education is fundamentally linked with workforce development, and we welcome important additional funding for schools that helps to build the workforce of our future.
MAST to Welcome Bob Roitblat
TED Talks speaker and consultant Bob Roitblat will be the keynote speaker for the Annual Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier, to be held Thursday, May 2, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Jamestown.
Mr. Roitblat is the CEO of Mainsail Consulting Group, where he has combined his experiences in business and as a competitive sailor to draw parallels between winning a yacht race and building a winning business. He has more than 30 years’ experience running companies from all phases of their existence, from start-up to sale. He also has consulted with and supported enterprises across a broad range of industries including technology, distribution, manufacturing, NGO’s, and professional services.
“Innovation is your only insurance against irrelevance, the only antidote to margin-crushing competition, and the only guarantee of enduring customer loyalty,” Mr. Roitblat says.
During his talk he will discuss how businesses can harden themselves against potential economic downturn, enabling them to not only survive, but to become more resilient and thrive during periods of turbulence; how they can develop innovative practices that enable members to more easily adapt to changing market conditions; and how to apply innovation beyond just new products and services but to dig deeper into operations and communications.
The MAST Annual Meeting is sponsored by Media One Radio Group, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, and Univera Healthcare Southern Tier. Additional sponsorships are available and include an opportunity to attend a round table discussion with Bob Roitblat prior to the dinner and annual meeting. For information, please email Guy Ditonto.
The cost to attend is $50 per person. Meal selections are an eight ounce center cut sirloin, pan seared salmon, or pasta primavera. The social hour begins at 5:30 with dinner at 6:30. Reservations are required by April 25. To register, please call the Chamber/MAST office at (716) 484-1101. You may also register online. Credit card payments will be accepted at the door.


National Comedy Center Adds Second John Mulaney Show; Largest Lucille Ball Comedy Fest Ever

Ticket Pre-Sale for New Mulaney Show Starts Wednesday, May 1 for National Comedy Center Members; Public On-Sale Begins Friday, May 3

Jamestown, New York – April 8, 2019 – The National Comedy Center, the country’s official cultural institution dedicated to comedy, announced today that it has added a second show for John Mulaney after his initial show – as well as Sebastian Maniscalco’s first show – broke all festival records by selling out in the first day on sale to the public for the 2019 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival.

Called “one of the best stand-up comics alive” by Entertainment Weekly, John Mulaney will perform a second show on Friday, August 9 at 9:30 pm, following his sold-out 7:00 pm show. Tickets for the 9:30 pm performance will go on pre-sale for National Comedy Center members only starting Wednesday, May 1 at noon ET and on sale to the public on Friday, May 3 at noon ET at  

This follows the recent addition of Sebastian Maniscalco’s second show at 5:00 pm on Saturday, August 10, following the sell-out of Maniscalco’s 8:00 pm show.

The National Comedy Center’s 2019 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is expected to be the biggest ever — never before has the festival scheduled four headliner shows to take place over two days at Jamestown’s Northwest Arena, which is adjacent to the 37,000-square-foot National Comedy Center museum complex that opened as a new, seven-day-per-week visitor attraction last August.

To ensure first access to the best available seats for the new John Mulaney show during the 48-hour pre-sale period, comedy fans are encouraged to join the National Comedy Center or renew their membership by visiting or calling the National Comedy Center at 716.484.2222 before May 1. Memberships start at $50 and provide benefits including a full year “season pass” for visiting the National Comedy Center an unlimited number of times.

Limited tickets to the Sebastian Maniscalco 5:00 pm show on August 10 are still available, and additional festival events are also currently on sale, while many more have yet to be announced, in a lineup that will celebrate comedy’s contemporary stars, rising voices, and historic legacies.

“With an unprecedented four arena shows, it’s clear that this will be the biggest Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in its 27-year history. We’re so pleased that we can bring thousands of comedy fans to Jamestown, who will visit the National Comedy Center and experience everything that Jamestown and Chautauqua County has to offer,” said Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director.

“Our festival audiences love great comedy, and John Mulaney and Sebastian Maniscalco are two of the highest-regarded stand-up comedians performing today. We are thrilled that we can accommodate the incredible demand by adding a second John Mulaney show, in addition to the second Sebastian Maniscalco show we added recently,” said Malachi Livermore, National Comedy Center Director of Programming and Guest Experience. “We look forward to these four incredible shows this August, and there’s more still to come.”

Comedian and writer John Mulaney hosted Saturday Night Live last month to rave reviews and high ratings, with media and fans calling it one of the best SNL episodes in years. Mulaney began writing for Saturday Night Live in 2008, where he also appeared as a “Weekend Update“ correspondent and co-created memorable characters such as “Stefon” with Bill Hader. He has spent the past year touring the United States with his most recent show, “Kid Gorgeous,” which was released as a Netflix original special last year and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Variety Special.

In addition to John Mulaney, comedian, actor and best-selling author Sebastian Maniscalco headlines the festival. Maniscalco has been called “one of the funniest comedians working stand-up today,” by Esquire Magazine, “one of the hottest comics,” by Newsday and “the comedian’s comedian” by People Magazine.

Maniscalco broke records in January with four sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden, selling the most tickets in a weekend for any comedy engagement in the history of the Garden. In 2018, Maniscalco broke similar comedy box-office records for Radio City Music Hall.

Additional Lucille Ball Comedy Festival events, including more than five comedy showcases, Late Night Comedy events, National Comedy Center Dialogues, and Lucy legacy events will also be announced at in the coming months.

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is presented by the National Comedy Center and embodies Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown — Jamestown, New York, to be a destination for the celebration of the comedic arts and to showcase new comedic talent from around the country. The festival attracts more than 10,000 attendees annually from nearly every state in the country, who come together to share laughter while honoring the craft and contributors on stage at dozens of venues throughout Jamestown, including the National Comedy Center and the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum.

Last year’s festival headliners were Lily Tomlin and Amy Schumer. Over the past 27 years the festival has featured comedy’s greatest stars and rising young comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Trevor Noah, Jay Leno, Paula Poundstone, Brian Regan, Lewis Black, W. Kamau Bell, Jim Gaffigan, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, the Smothers Brothers and more than one hundred other comedic artists.

About the National Comedy Center

The National Comedy Center is the United States’ official cultural institution dedicated to presenting the vital story of comedy and preserving its heritage for future generations, as formally designated by the U.S. Congress in 2019. Opened in August 2018 in Jamestown, New York, the museum complex offers an unprecedented visitor experience using state-of-the-art technology, interactivity and personalization to create the first true 21st Century museum environment.

The National Comedy Center was recently voted #2 “Best New Attraction” in the country, out of 20 new attractions, by USA Today readers, and chosen as the #1 museum and #1 ticketed attraction in this USA Today poll. Condé Nast Traveler called the National Comedy Center “One of the best museums in the country,” while comedy website The Interrobang named the design team second on its list of “Innovators Who Changed Comedy” in 2018. Visitors from all 50 states and nine countries have given the Center a rare 5/5 rating on TripAdvisor, ranking among the highest in the attraction and tourism industry.

Based on the vision of Jamestown native Lucille Ball for her hometown to become a destination for comedy, the National Comedy Center showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices in ways that engage, inspire, educate and entertain. As a non-profit institution, the National Comedy Center was funded by a mix of federal, state and private philanthropic support, including partnerships with I LOVE NEW YORK ™, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State’s Empire State Development.

Featuring exclusive collections, world-class exhibits and leading-edge technology, the National Comedy Center presents an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look at the time-honed creative processes that have elevated comedy entertainment to an art form. Over 50 innovative exhibits within the 37,000-square-feet facility enable visitors to take an interactive journey through comedy history, from early vaudeville to the latest viral memes. Throughout their personalized experience, visitors gain a profound appreciation for comedy icons and innovators, as well as for the tremendous influence of humor on how we think, live and laugh.

Design for the National Comedy Center was led by the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world, whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial Museum, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, The College Football Hall of Fame, SNL: The Experience, and more.

The National Comedy Center has been embraced by the entertainment industry, with props, costumes and archival material provided by many of the most revered names in comedy. The National Comedy Center’s exhibition partners include Carl Reiner, George Shapiro and Jerry Seinfeld, Kelly Carlin and the George Carlin estate, Dan Aykroyd, Alan and Robin Zweibel, Joan Dangerfield, The Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner, The Harold Ramis Family, The Garry Shandling Estate, George Schlatter, Bill Marx and the Harpo Marx Family, the Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams estate, Desilu Too, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Corporate Archive, and many more.

The National Comedy Center also operates the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, which explores the lives, careers and legacy of the “First Couple of Comedy,” and the incredible impact they had on the world.

Stay connected to the National Comedy Center: 




Follow on Twitter and Instagram at @ntlcomedycenter


2019 County Health Rankings

Health Report Card Shows Need for Action

MAYVILLE, N.Y.: – Among 62 New York State counties, Chautauqua ranks 59 in the category of Health Outcomes and 55 in the category of Health Factors, according to a report released this week by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This year’s Health Factors rank is slightly better than the ranking of 57 in 2018, and the Health Outcomes ranking is slightly worse than the ranking of 58 in 2018.

“These rankings are a call to action- an opportunity for not only our department, but for leaders across the county and region to consider the role we all play in creating healthy spaces for our residents to thrive, regardless of race, ethnicity, or income level,” said Christine Schuyler, Director of Health and Human Services for Chautauqua County.  “It’s my hope that leaders thoughtfully and systematically create opportunities to make our communities healthier.”

The Health Outcomes category focuses on length and quality of life and looks at factors such as premature death, number of poor physical and mental health days, and occurrence of low birth weight among babies. A higher rate of premature death was seen compared to many other counties in New York State (Chautauqua rank= 62), which looks at the years of potential life lost rate (deaths prior to age 75). Premature death in Chautauqua County is primarily due to heart disease, cancer, suicide, and fatal drug overdoses. Deaths to younger people impact the rate greater than deaths of older people, such as 65 year olds who have heart attacks.

The Health Factors category consists of subcategories including health behaviors (smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption, etc.), clinical care, social and economic factors (unemployment, education, crime, etc.), and the physical environment (built environment and quality of environment).

In the Health Behaviors subcategory, Chautauqua County ranked as 59 out of 62 counties, largely due to elevated rates of adults who smoke (24 percent) and adults who are obese (33 percent), according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveys. The County’s high teen birth rate of 27 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19 (compared to 16 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19 in New York State) also factored into the poor rank.

Chautauqua County’s best rank was as number 22 in the Physical Environment subcategory. The absence of public drinking water violations, short commute times, and a lower severe housing problem rate contribute to this good ranking.

Chautauqua County’s second best rank was in the Clinical Care subcategory, ranked 28 out of the 62 counties. Contributing to this positive measure were a lower percentage of individuals uninsured, a relatively high percentage of female Medicare enrollees who had received an annual mammography, and an above average percentage of Medicare. This rank also considers patient to provider ratios and diabetes monitoring.

The subcategory of Social and Economic Factors is an area for improvement, with a rank of 56 out of 62. High rates of children living in poverty, unemployment, and a relatively high injury death rate (which includes death by overdose and suicide, for example) negatively influenced our ranking in this subcategory, while a high rate of social associations and a relatively low violent crime rate benefitted the county’s rank.

“Addressing poverty is a long-term approach that will ultimately improve our rankings in a number of different areas,” said Schuyler. “In the short-term, we need to continue to address the drug epidemic, adopt evidence-based policies that impact access to tobacco and nicotine products and deter poor food choices among residents.”

The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services is currently examining local health outcomes in their community health assessment, and will be updating the Community Health Improvement Plan this year with many community partners.

“Many collaborative efforts to help us positively impact the health and welfare of all are underway throughout our communities,” said Schuyler. “Along with that, individuals need to take responsibility for their own health and well-being and that of their loved ones – this includes making good lifestyle and behavior choices.”

As a snapshot of Chautauqua County, the 2019 report says:

  • 24 percent of adults smoke, compared to 14 percent statewide.
  • 33 percent of adults are obese, compared to 26 percent statewide.
  • Premature death (measured as years of potential life lost before age 75 per 100,000 population) – 8,000 years compared to 5,400 years statewide.
  • 81 percent of adults have access to exercise opportunities, compared to 93 percent statewide.
  • 28 percent of alcohol impaired driving deaths, compared to 22 percent statewide.
  • 37 percent of children are raised in a single-parent household, compared to 34 percent statewide.
  • 28 percent of children live in poverty, compared to 20 percent statewide.
  • 81 percent of people drive to work alone, compared to 53 percent statewide.
  • 19 percent of people who drive alone have a long commute, compared to 38 percent statewide.
  • 6 days with high levels of particulate matter in the air (air pollution), compared to 8.5 days statewide
  • 6 percent uninsured, compared to 7 percent statewide.
  • The ratio of patients to primary care providers was 1,770:1, compared to 1,200:1 statewide.
  • The ratio of patients to dentists was 1,770:1, compared to 1,230:1 statewide.
  • The ratio of patients to mental health providers was 670:1, compared to 310:1 statewide.
  • 47 percent mammography screening rate, compared to 41 percent statewide.
  • 7  percent of babies were low birthweight, compared to 8 percent statewide.
  • 27 teen births per 1,000 females aged 15-19, compared to 18 statewide.
  • 1 cases of Chlamydia (sexually transmitted disease) per 100,000 population, compared to 552.8 statewide.
  • 83 percent graduate from high school, compared to 82 percent statewide.
  • 1 percent unemployment rate, compared to 4.7 percent statewide.
  • 271 violent crime rate per 100,000 population, compared to 379 statewide.
  • 66 injury death rate per 100,000 population, compared to 47 statewide.

The Chautauqua County Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan update for 2016-2018 are available online at: .  The online County Health Rankings report is available at


Residents can safely dispose of hazardous waste items used around their homes, garages and yards

ELLERY, N.Y.:– The Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities Division of Solid Waste has announced its first Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Day of 2019 will be held on Saturday, June 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the City of Dunkirk Department of Public Works, 19 Lucas Ave. in Dunkirk.

The event allows residents to safely dispose of hazardous items for free. Among some of the items that will be accepted are used antifreeze, nail polish, fluorescent light bulbs, hobby glues, non-empty aerosol cans, furniture and floor polishes, stains, turpentine, sealants, oil-based paints, chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and pool chemicals.

Please note that businesses cannot participate in this event as it is only offered to households. In addition, the following materials will not be accepted: motor oils, electronics, latex paint, prescription drugs, sharps, smoke detectors and waste oils.

Residents taking part in the Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Day must complete a registration form that lists all of the materials they are dropping off. Registration forms are available online at:  and will also be available at the events.

Two other collection events will also be held on Saturday, July 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Town of Chautauqua Highway Garage, 50 Patterson St. in Mayville and Saturday, September 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Chautauqua County DPF Building, 454 N. Work St. in Falconer.

The 2019 collection events are sponsored by Chautauqua County, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Storer’s Container Services, and Chautauqua County Hazmat.

For more information about the Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Days and accepted materials, please visit or call the landfill at (716) 985-4785.


Maria Esposito performing during the competition (photo by Dr. David Wells).  

State University of New York at Fredonia alumna and bassoonist Marisa Esposito, who is also an adjunct lecturer in the School of Music, won the prestigious 2019 Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition, held in January at The Colburn School in Los Angeles.

The annual competition and bassoon symposium is a three-day event dedicated to bassoon master classes, presentations, performances, and the live semifinal and final rounds of a competition for women bassoonists. The competition is for women bassoon players who are citizens of the Americas (North America, Central America, South America), or who are enrolled in school in the Americas during the year prior to the competition.

Ms. Esposito graduated from Fredonia in 2015 with a Mus.B. degree in Music Education, then went on to the Cleveland Institute of Music for a master’s degree in Performance and is currently finishing an Artist Diploma, studying with Barrick Stees. At Fredonia, she is a bassoon instructor teaching private lessons, conducting reed making class and leading the beginning bassoon class. She also leads many music classes for young children and families at local preschools, day care facilities and family centers.

Esposito is also Acting Second Bassoon with the Erie (Pa.) Philharmonic Orchestra, and holds substitute positions with the Canton (Ohio) and Youngstown symphony orchestras, CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra and the New World Symphony. Esposito recently won first place at the National Society of Arts and Letters Competition for Winds, Ohio River Valley Chapter.

School of Music Associate Director Laura Koepke, who is head of the bassoon area and Esposito’s former teacher, noted that the Quigley competition is a highly competitive event, including three rounds of competition with “a spectacular panel of judges.” The final round repertoire required of all participants included Vivaldi’s Concerto in F major, RV 485 and Alexandre Tansman’s “Suite.”

As winner of the competition, Esposito received $9,000. For more information on the competition, go online.