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July 4, 2015 - 12:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Kiwanis Club, 5K, batavia, sports.

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Nick Guarino won this morning's Kiwanis Club 5K with a time of 16:20. The first-place woman runner was Kimberly Mills with a time of 19:56.

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July 4, 2015 - 9:23am
posted by Kurtis Dunlap in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

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The Muckdogs were able to win their first series of the year behind 19-year-old Jordan Holloway’s strong start.

The 6-foot-4-inch righty kept the Mahoning Valley Scrappers off balance all night in route to a 7-4 Muckdog victory.

Most of the young players on the Muckdogs are not used to the grind of playing every day. With the unexpected day off on Wednesday because of rain, the Muckdogs look to have gotten some much needed time away because they are playing much better baseball as of late.

“When you aren’t playing as well as we were playing, time off of the field always helps,” Manager Angel Espada said. “Hopefully it helped us, but for some reason they are playing much better."

In the first inning, Holloway was able to work around a one-out walk to Scrappers left-fielder Ka’ai Tom by striking out DH Emmanuel Tapia and getting Nathan Winfrey to fly-out to left.

Holloway was able to work a perfect second inning while only throwing five pitches. The only trouble of the game for Holloway came in the third inning.

Connor Marabell led off the inning with a single and was moved to second by a Silento Sayles groundout to second.

Willi Castro doubled to right, scoring Marabell. Tom doubled, setting up runners at second and third with one out.

Holloway struck out Winfrey, but he was able to advance to first when catcher Blake Anderson couldn’t corral the loose ball in the dirt. Castro scored from third.

Holloway got out of the inning by getting Li-Jen Chu to fly-out to leftfield.

“We are talking about a 19-year-old kid who is learning how to pitch," Espada said. "It’s only his second year in pro ball and he is handling it pretty well. It’s just one day at a time, one start at a time with a young guy like him.”

Just like most of the season so far, the top of the Muckdogs lineup has carried them.

Anfernee Seymour and Stone Garrett combined to go 7-for-8 with four runs scored and three RBIs to lead the way for Batavia.

The scoring for the Muckdogs started in the first inning when Seymour knocked a single. Garrett beat out an infield single to short to set up first and second with one out.

A Korey Dunbar groundout to shortstop moved both runners up 90 feet. Seymour scampered home after a ball got by Chu, making it 1-0.

Batavia plated three more runs in the second all with two outs.

Ninth place hitter Joe Chavez and Seymour worked two-out walks. Giovanny Alfonzo doubled, scoring both Chavez and Seymour.

Garrett laced a ball in the gap for a triple, scoring Alfonzo making the game 4-0.

The Scrappers changed pitchers, bringing in 6-foot-6-inch James Stokes, who struck out Dunbar to end the threat.

Seymour would again be involved in Batavia’s scoring efforts in the fourth.

The speedy shortstop singled and stole second, even though the Scrappers called for a pitchout. He stole third and dashed home after the throw got away from the Scrappers' third baseman.

Seymour alone made the game 5-2. But the Muckdogs were not done.

In the sixth inning, Galvi Moscat singled up the middle, followed by Seymour and Alfonzo both getting hit by a pitch.

The hot hitting Garrett stepped into the plate and squeezed a ball down the first base line scoring two.

“They have been swinging well the whole season,” Espada said about Seymour and Garrett.

LJ Brewster and Steve Farnworth finished the game up for Holloway without allowing a run and only allowing three hits over three innings of combined work.

Garrett finished the day going 4-for-5 with three RBIs and two doubles. Seymour was 3-for-3 with four runs scored.

Holloway pitched six innings while striking out five and walking two in his first win of the season.

The Muckdogs improve to 3-11 on the season and look to continue their moment going into this weekend's games in West Virginia.

Batavia returns to Dwyer Stadium on Wednesday, July 8, against the Auburn Doubledays. 

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

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July 3, 2015 - 6:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, east pembroke, Darien.

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A motor-vehicle accident with entrapment is reported on Lovers Lane Road near Route 33. East Pembroke and Darien fire departments are responding.

UPDATE 6:45 p.m.: Mercy Flight is called to the scene and a landing zone is being established. Due to multiple incidents in progress, a second platoon from the City of Batavia is requested to headquarters.

UPDATE 6:48 p.m.: Town of Batavia Fire Department is called to the scene.

UPDATE 7:19 p.m.: Mercy Flight #7 is on the ground.

UPDATE: The blue sedan was southbound on Lovers Lane Road and came over the crest of a hill and an apparently high speed and the driver lost control of the vehicle. It crossed over the center line into the northbound lane of traffic where it struck a Ford pickup truck. The driver is believed to be approximately 18 years old. The driver and minor teen passenger were both transported by Mercy Flight, with the minor going to Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo and the driver being taken to ECMC. The pickup driver was taken by private vehicle to UMMC. Charges are pending. Alcohol is not considered a factor, said Deputy James Diehl, but distracted driving has not been ruled out.

UPDATE: The driver of the sedan is identified as Brandon Faucett, 17, of Rose Road, Batavia. His passenger was Bailey Faucett, 13. Charges are pending. The driver of the truck was Gloria A. Schafer, 52, of Pearl Street, Batavia.

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July 3, 2015 - 6:05pm
posted by Jess Wheeler in batavia, Ramble, music, entertainment.

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Paul Draper is used to being a musician for the Ramble, a musical event hosted in Batavia, but this year, he’s experiencing the event from another angle. Bill McDonald and the rest of the Ramble Posse have decided to pass the organizational and promotional torch on to Draper. He couldn’t be more excited.

“When Bill asked if I would like to be involved with the Batavia Ramble, my answer was, ‘yes. 100 percent,’ ” Draper said. “I’m the lucky one to take the hand-off.”

This year, Draper worked on filling the band rosters, organizing information and he even created a Facebook group.

“Batavia Ramble Facebook group is a local hub for all things Ramble,” he said. “In the group, you can find the band lineups, schedules for each stage as well as pictures from previous years.”

 Next year, he’s taking the lead on the event.

“This year was a lot of fun learning how everything runs and getting hands on,” he said. “I am also very much looking forward to next year where I'll be putting my PD3 twist on things and bringing the event to the next level.”

The first Ramble was held 10 years ago by the original Ramble Posse members Bill Pitcher, Mike Murray and McDonald. The Ramble aims to unite and reunite musicians and artists who have called Batavia and the surrounding areas home. The day is full of music, friendship and art.

This free event takes place Downtown on Sunday in Jackson Square and on Center Street. For the first time, three stages will be set up featuring musicians who live locally as well as those who are coming back to play the Ramble. Music starts at 11 a.m. and concludes around 9:30 p.m.

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Paul Draper, Jim Starkweather, Bill Pitcher, Tom Trescott, Mike Murray, Wally Kowalik, Kevin Mayler and Bill McDonald.

July 3, 2015 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, pembroke.

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A caller at the Log Cabin Restaurant requests assistance for a distressed person in the water.

A first-responder reports the person is in about a foot of water and "pretty beat up."

The county's rope rescue team is requested to the scene.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments dispatched along with Mercy EMS.

UPDATE 6:03 p.m.: A chief request a check on availability of Mercy Flight.

UPDATE 6:08 p.m.: Mercy Flight #9 out of Buffalo dispatched. Landing zone will be the Indian Falls church.

UPDATE 6:11 p.m.: A normal rescue on the northside won't work. The victim is on the southside and the water is moving swiftly. A rescuer has reached the victim.

UPDATE 7:16 p.m.: The patient is in stable condition and Mercy Flight was dispatched as a precautionary measure. The patient became submerged, then came up from the water, clung to a rock, then was pulled under again by the current. He re-emerged about 50 feet down stream and was able to swim to the south bank. He showed no physical signs of injury.

July 3, 2015 - 5:56pm
posted by Traci Turner in bergen, Fresh Air Fund.

This is the second summer Evan Francis, a 9-year-old boy from the Bronx, is experiencing country life in Bergen with the Rowland Family through the Fresh Air Fund’s program.

The Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit agency, provides free summer experiences in small-town settings to New York City children who come from low-income communities. Children ages 6 to 18 are selected to participate in the program based on financial need.

Host families volunteer to have a child stay with them and go through an extensive interview process. Fresh Air representatives match families and children based on common interests.

Rob and Maria Rowland decided to become a host family after they discovered the program when researching adoption online. They thought it would be a good opportunity for their two children, Vito, age 17, and Luke, age 8, to experience a different culture.

“Evan gets to experience a different lifestyle coming out here and we get to experience bringing him into our home,” Maria Rowland said.

Last summer, was the first year Francis stayed at the Rowland’s home. During the 10-day visit, the family took Francis boating, fishing and sightseeing at Niagara Falls.

Francis said his favorite part about living in the country is going fishing and swimming in the family’s pool. Although he enjoys going on day trips with the family, he is just as content playing outside with his buddy Luke Rowland.

“Fresh Air makes it easy for us because they just want him to experience our life just the way it would be normally,” Rob Rowland said. “Whatever we do he does.”

Due to the strong bond the Rowland’s have formed with Francis, he is staying six weeks this summer. He arrived on July 1.

In the future, the family plans on having Evan visit every summer through the program. According to Maria Rowland, it’s fairly common to have families host the same child every year because they become so close during the visits.

July 3, 2015 - 5:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in New York Craft Malt, batavia, business, Beer, agriculture.

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The effort to bring back malting to Upstate New York is a multi-year process.

Working with Cornell University, Ted and Patty Hawley, owners of New York Craft Malt on Bank Street Road, Batavia, are in their third year of running trials of malting grain in Genesee County Farm fields.

There's a plot on Hawley-owned farmland off Bank Street Road and another on Porter Farms, plus the Hawleys have some grain growing on other local farms.

The trial involves 34 varieties of barley, plus wheat and oats.

"We've got to look at all aspects of it, and it's a hard go," Hawley said. "Cornell won't really give their recommendation for four or five years."

The challenges in Western New York have to do primarily with weather -- the year-to-year variances, but more importantly the overall amount of moisture in ground and air.

Malting grains are highly susceptible to fungal diseases, so what researchers want to find are those varieties that grow well in this climate and stay health without sprouting two quickly (once the grain head sprouts, it can no longer be malted).

"Our region is very finicky," Hawley said.

The process involves two key sets of analyses.

First, researchers want to determine how well a variety grows locally, or its agronomics for a farmer. It's important to determine the quality and quantity of the protein, how it germinates and its yield (more yield, more profit per acre).

Second, the grain needs to be malted. The test isn't about taste or any subjective measurement. Researchers are looking at protein, enzymes and how well it malts.

Brewers are looking for good, locally grown grains because the farm brewery law requires locally produced, craft beers to contain a certain percentage of local agriculture product.

But Hawley said local brewers and growers are also looking to produce an interest among consumers to seek out totally local beers. They are working together on a marketing plan that would provide bars with a "Local" tap that would only be attached to kegs of locally brewed beer that uses only locally grown ingredients.

"I think once the consumer wants it, brewers are going to have to give it to them and then I think it's going to grow," Hawley said.

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A two-row variety and a six-row variety.

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July 3, 2015 - 4:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bike trail, biking, batavia, Ellicott Street Trail, Ellicott Street.

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Marie doesn't hold back when asked about biking in Batavia.

"It sucks," she said during a brief conversation outside of City Centre.

"I lived in New York City and I felt safer riding there than I do in Batavia," said Marie, who didn't want to give her full name (and Marie is her middle name), because she feared friends wouldn't like her talking poorly about their hometown.

Marie's opinion of the bikability of Batavia is not universal, but in our conversation she struck a common theme among local bike riders we spoke to over the past few days. There's a lot of displeasure with state of things and a recognition that with a little effort, Batavia could become more bike friendly.

Tony Mancuso, perhaps Batavia's most ubiquitous bike rider when the days are warm and dry, said he certainly can't describe Batavia as a great place to tool about on two, self-powered wheels.

"I ride my bike around town constantly," Mancuso said. "The people are friendly, but Batavia is not bike friendly."

By that, Mancuso means the roadways aren't set up well for bike riders, there are no bike racks and there aren't enough bicyclists to help raise the awareness of car drivers.

"There are few places in Western New York that you would call bike friendly," Mancuso said.

It's not like Western cities such as San Diego and Denver, or even Nashville, where most streets are shared by cars and bikes with little conflict.

John Roche, owner of Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, and obviously an avid rider himself, thinks the idea of sharing the roadway with bike riders is a common complaint of bikers.

"So many people yell at bike riders to get out of the road, but that's where they're supposed to be," Roche said.

Marie said she's been hit by a car in Batavia.

Another rider who said her name is Krystal, but didn't want to give her full name, said Batavia is just all right for bike riders.

She rides to-and-from work every day, she said, up and down West Main Street. 

"Drivers don't pay attention and they hit somebody and just don't care," Krystal said. "I've heard of several bike accidents."

Marie and Krystal both believe Batavia should be bike friendly because so many people locally don't ride just because it's fun or to get fit, but because it's an economic necessity. They can't afford cars, but still want to work and be able to get there quickly and safely.

But not everybody thinks Batavia is hostile to bike riders.

Kevin DeFelice, who rides professionally as a police officer and personally as an enthusiast, said he's never really encountered any problems while peddle-pushing around the city.

"I bike a lot professionally and personally and I'd say it's a bicycle-friendly city," DeFelice said.

He's including in that assessment recent efforts to provide bike helmets to local children and a clinic he will help with to teach bicycle safety to local children.

Yes, however, DeFelice, like many other riders, would like to see more dedicated bike lanes and bike racks.

It's dedicated infrastructure that separates Batavia from more bike-friendly environs, such as Denver and New York City, or even the Akron-Clarence area of Erie County.

More pavement markings signaling it's OK for bikes to be on the road would help send the right message, local bikers said. Bike racks would encourage more people to use bikes for going to and from work, shopping or out for dining. Bike trails would help riders cover greater distances safely and in comfort.

"You basically have to reward people who are making the trip on a bike instead of a car," said Felipe Oltramari, the county's planning director. "A lot of times it seems like you're not rewarding riders by not providing the proper facilities."

Yes, there's Ellicott Street, with its designated bike lanes, but not too many riders take that route. It's more common to see riders on the sidewalks, which is illegal in Batavia, than on the asphalt.

Many riders said they just don't feel safe in those bike lanes. Vehicle traffic is constant, the flow is heavy and big trucks rumbling by gives most riders a sense of insecurity.

DeFelice said he gets that, but he said he feels perfectly comfortable on Ellicott Street.

"Of course, I ride with the police department and I'm pretty visible, so I don't have a problem with it," DeFelice said.

Oltramari, who often rides from his home in the city to his office in County Building #2 on West Main Street Road, said just making the ride regularly has helped his comfort level riding alongside fast-moving, truck-intensive traffic on Route 5. He's gotten used to it and so feels safer.

With Ellicott Street, Oltramari said increased usage would improve the viability of the bike lanes, but there are other things the DOT could do to help that along.

More physical separation between bike and driving lanes would help, he said. There are small plastic markings available that could provide more of a visual separation. He said he's also seen in other communities where the bike lane is placed between parking and the sidewalk so that parked cars become a protective barrier for riders.

Julie Pacatte, economic development coordinator for the city, suggested the bike lane be painted a solid color, such as green, from beginning to end. That would provide a visual reminder to watch for bike riders and respect their space.

There's also a sense that Ellicott Street is a bike route to no where. It doesn't connect to anything -- no trails, not other paths.

"The DOT has of late jumped on the idea of complete transportation corridors," Oltramari said. "That is providing for all uses, vehicles, bikes and pedestrians, but that doesn't always address the comfort level of everybody as if they had their own space. The large number of trucks doesn't take into account the comfort level of the rider or even the walker. When we did our walking tour, the truck traffic was pretty loud and you couldn't hear the person walking next to you."

There is sometimes a misconception locally that the DOT reconfigured Ellicott Street to add the bike lanes. That is not really accurate, said Lori Maher, regional spokeswoman for the DOT. It's true only to the extent that the DOT is in fact now trying to provide for driving, biking and walking along the transportation corridors it owns, but there was a more primary goal for Ellicott Street than bikes, she said.

"We decided to go from four lanes to three, including the middle-turn lane, primarily to provide better left-turn access for the driveways along Ellicott Street," Maher said. "You're less likely to get rear-ended in a turn lane and you're less likely to hold up other traffic, and if you're turning, you can likely turn sooner because you're waiting on one lane of traffic instead of two."

The reconfiguration made room for bike lanes, given the existing width of the roadway, Maher said, so given the DOT's overall transportation goals, it made sense to add them.

"Whenever we go into a highway project, we look to see if bike and pedestrian needs are being met," Maher said.

Even with the skeptics decrying the value of the Ellicott Street bike lanes, Oltramari sees them as an overall benefit to the city and part of a long-term play to improve Batavia's bikability.

"I think it's a good thing for the DOT to put in," Oltramari said. "You have to start somewhere. It just seems silly to have it and have it go nowhere, but as it builds from there, it will make more sense. You hear a lot of arguments that we don't need a bike lane here or we don't need a bike lane there because nobody rides bikes, but it's a chicken-and-egg thing. You can't use that argument because maybe people would ride more if there were more facilities for riders."

The proposed Ellicott Trail could transform Ellicott Street from the bike route to nowhere to one that is part of an interconnected network of bike paths.

"The Ellicott Trail could draw more retail and recreational traffic into the heart of the city," Pacatte said. "Being bike-friendly expands the quality of life opportunities in the city, it goes along with our walkability initiative, it's an alternative form of transportation to and from work, it reduces our carbon footprint, addresses our urban growth efforts and means we're not just dependent on vehicle traffic. It's part of our friendlier city initiative."

The proposed trail, which has already been approved for $1 million in federal grants, will begin at Pearl Street in Batavia and extend east to Seven Springs Road in the Town of Batavia. The trail will be between 4.3 and 4.6 miles long and 10-feet wide.

Batavia could become a very bike-friendly city, Oltramari said.

"Luckily, there are a lot of things that overlap," Oltramari said. "The city has good bones for a really good bike infrastructure. There's a grid-style layout, so you don't have a lot streets that end in cul-de-sacs, and it's fairly flat. From east to west, there are plenty of nice streets, such as Richmond and North streets, and when the Ellicott Trail gets built, there will be a nice southside east-west way to get across the city."

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A lack of bike racks in the city means bikers must find whatever secure object they can to chain a bike two while parked.

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West Main Street Road has broad shoulders, but no visual clues for drivers to be on the lookout for bicyclists.

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In the Village of Akron, an old railroad line has been converted into a bike trail. The trail connects to trails in other communities and the Erie County network of trails is growing. It's a system Genesee County's own proposed trail system could eventually connect with.

July 3, 2015 - 1:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, batavia, Centennial Park, GO ART!, July 4.

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Big plans abound here for the Fourth of July weekend.

The Muckdogs kick things off at 7 p.m. with a game against Mahoning Valley. There will be a fireworks show after the game, and with the Muckdogs on the road tomorrow, that serves as your local Independence Day weekend pyrotechnics.

On the calendar tomorrow morning is the Kiwanis 5K, with a start time of 9 a.m. at Centennial Park. There's also a chance of rain in the morning, potentially the one blemish on the weekend weather.

In the afternoon, GO ART! hosts its annual Picnic in the Park at Centennial Park.

Sunday, it's time once again to ramble on down to Jackson Square (and School Street and Center Street) for the annual Ramble Music and Arts Fest.

July 3, 2015 - 8:47am
posted by Kurtis Dunlap in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

After being rained out on Wednesday night, the Batavia Muckdogs and the Mahoning Valley Scrappers met in two, seven-inning games on Thursday.

Cody Poteet, a fourth-round pick out of UCLA, started for the Muckdogs in game one.

Poteet opened strong by retiring the side in the first inning on just nine pitches. While Poteet looked confident, his defense let him down in the second.

Nathan Winfrey led off the inning with a single and would quickly move to second on a failed pickoff attempt to first.

Winfrey scooted to third on a ground out to second by Scrappers' third baseman Austin Fisher.

With two outs, Winfrey scored after the Muckdogs' third baseman threw a David Armendariz ground ball into the dirt trying to throw him out at first.

Poteet regrouped and fanned the next batter to end the inning.

The Muckdogs were able to score three runs in the fourth after some great situational baseball.

Eric Fisher started off the inning by smashing the first pitch he saw right back up the middle. Ryan Cranmer drew a walk, setting up first and second with no outs.

Brandon Rawe executed a perfect sacrifice bunt, moving Fisher to third and Cranmer to second.

Ninth-place hitter and left field Cameron Newell connected on a fly ball deep enough to center to score Fisher from third making it 1-1.

Leadoff hitter Anfernee Seymour ripped a ball just inside first base to score Cranmer.

The lighting-quick shortstop scored from second when Giovanny Alfonzo singled, making it 3-1.

Nestor Bautista replaced Poteet in the fourth and scattered three hits through the final four innings of the game.

Batavia added another run in the fifth when Brad Haynal doubled and then moved to third on a passed ball. He then scored on another passed ball by the Scrappers.

With solid pitching and timely hitting, the Muckdogs avoided the worst start in club history since 1953 by winning the first game of the doubleheader with a final score of 4-1.

The teams headed to the clubhouse to get ready for the next game and all the Muckdogs offense must have stayed in the locker room.

Three Scrappers pitchers were able to hold the Muckdogs to only two hits the whole game.

Jose Zapata got the start for the Scrappers in the second game and allowed only one hit while striking out three over his three innings of work.

Dominic DeMasi took over in relief in the fourth and allowed a mere one hit over three innings of work.

Billy Strode notched the save in the seventh for the Scrappers, working around a two-out error to keep the shutout intact.

Mahoning Valley scored all they needed in the sixth inning.

Silento Saylas started the inning with an infield single and then stole second. He advanced to third on a Willi Castro sacrifice bunt.

Saylas scored on a Fisher double just three pitches later. Winfrey drew a walk and Li-Jen Chu singled home Fisher making it 2-0.

The Scrappers added another insurance run in the seventh making it 3-0.

The Muckdogs got a runner on base in the bottom of the seventh but were unable to string any hits together.

The loss dropped the Muckdogs to 2-11 while the Scrappers improve to 5-8.   

Batavia currently sits in last place in the Pinckney Division and 10 games back of the first-place Williamsport Crosscutters.

The Muckdogs will finish up their short three-game home stand on Friday. The game is the annual Independence Day celebration and like all Friday night games, it will have fireworks following the conclusion of the game.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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July 3, 2015 - 8:32am

Whether one views them as weeds or wildflowers, they are colorful nonetheless and for the past month or more they have pleasantly tinted the roadsides of Genesee County. The red clover pictured above was one of the more prolific plants springing up along country roads, in some cases clusters of the red bud could be measured in acres. Said to be a good source of vitamin C, chromium, magnesium, niacin, potassium and more, fresh buds are great in a salad, while dried they are used to make tea. 

Daisy fleabane -- when dried -- was once believed to rid a household of fleas.

Canada thistle resembles a miniature version of bull thistle but its bud is not nearly as colorful as the magenta flower of the bull thistle.

Crown vetch interspersed with red clover.

Wood sorrel

July 3, 2015 - 5:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, accident.

A car has reportedly struck a mailbox and is now in a ditch just west of 2528 Bennett Road, Darien.

Unknown injuries.

Darien fire and ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 3:57 a.m.: Law enforcement on scene reports the driver has a possible head injury.

UPDATE 1 p.m.: William J. Bick was transported by Mercy Flight to ECMC with a head injury, according to the Sheriff's Office. Charges are pending against Bick, 26. His car struck two mailboxes. The Sheriff's Office is listing the accident as Dodgeson Road (both Dodgeson and Bennett are Highway 21).

July 3, 2015 - 12:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, accident.

A car has reportedly hit a tree in front of 8715 W. Bergen Road, Le Roy. 

No word on injuries. 

Le Roy fire and Le Roy ambulance dispatched. 

UPDATE 12:34 a.m.: Traffic being shut down at Randall Road.

July 2, 2015 - 9:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, outdoors.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“I am pleased to announce that today Gov. Cuomo signed my bill (A.4367-A) into law to legalize big game rifle hunting in Genesee County. This is a win for sportsmen who treasure hunting as a right of passage they share with their children and for the families who use hunting to help put food on the table in an effort to combat the costs of living in New York State. I want to thank my colleagues who supported this bill in the Assembly and Senate so it could make its way to the governor’s desk.”

July 2, 2015 - 4:00pm
posted by Traci Turner in pathstone, genesee county, housing.

Heidi Kollarik is one of the many people PathStone has helped to accomplish her goal of owning a home for her two children.

Kollarik, a single mom and hairdresser, had just moved out of her parent's house and into an apartment in Oakfield when she decided to look into a homeownership program ran by PathStone, a not-for-profit community development organization. She wanted to purchase a house but didn't have the funds for a down payment. To find out more about buying a home, she signed up for PathStone's pre-purchase education classes in 2011. Some of the skills she learned included budgeting, managing credit and home financing.

After completing the classes, counselors met one-on-one with Kollarik to help her with the rest of the purchasing process. She was able to secure a $105,000 loan and buy a house in Oakfield in 2014. She also obtained a $21,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HOME Investment Partnerships program to assist with the down payment and closing costs. The entire process took three years but it was all worth it in the end Kollarik said.

"I'm so thankful they were able to help me obtain my dream of having a home for my children because it would not have been possible to buy a house being a single mom," Kollarik said.

During her annual agency review for the County Legislature, Sue Boss, executive director of the housing council at PathStone, met with the Human Services Committee meeting Monday said the homeownership program has assisted 1,550 people purchase their first home in the county since 2010. Boss said approximately 95 percent of those people were eligible to receive grant funding. 

To be eligible, applicants have to be approved for a mortgage, meet income criteria and provide some of their own money for the transaction. Many of the applicants who have received assistance had a household size of two to three people with a female head and an average income of $33,000. 

The program is funded through federal, state, county and private aid. Some funds people can receive money from include New York HOME funds and Revolving Loan funds.

The program will also be offering additional funding after it receives a home grant for $200,000 through the New York Division of Housing and Community Renewal and a $300,000 grant through the New York Affordable Housing Corporation.

To determine if grant money is available, all their applicants receive counseling and given the option to take classes on purchasing a house.

"Anybody that comes to our program receives individual counseling from our certified counselors," Boss said. "We also offer group education classes. In the classes we cover everything from credit and debt management, how to shop for a realtor, home inspections and what the house purchasing process is from start to finish."

In addition to the homeownership program, PathStone offers a handyman program, an owner occupied rehab program and foreclosure and default program for Genesee County residents.

The handyman program runs in conjunction with the Genesee County Office for the Aging to help people over the age of 62 repair minor issues with their homes. Applicants can be renters or homeowners. All services are free if their income is 80 percent or below HUD's median-income figure. According to Boss, the program serves 240 households a year. 

The owner-occupied program provides homeowners with funds for structural and mechanical repairs. This program is currently on a hiatus but will back up and running as soon as a grant is released. 

The foreclosure and default program is ran by PathStone's affiliate the Housing Council to assist residents that are in default on their mortgage. Grants are available through the New York Mortgage Assistance Program, a new program that launched this year.

With all these programs, the organization aims to fulfill its mission to encourage individuals, families and communities to obtain economic resources for building better lives. PathStone has been providing services in New York since 1969.

To honor foundations and members of the community that support its mission, the organization will be having a community luncheon on July 10 at the Clarion Hotel. They also will present the PathStone Visionary Award to Jay Gsell, county manager.

July 2, 2015 - 3:56pm
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, bergen, public market, UMMC, Foodlink.

United Memorial Medical Center is partnering with Foodlink and New York Fresh Connect Farmers' Markets to offer fresh produce to Genesee County residents on wheels.

The produce truck will make two stops in the county every Monday. The first stop will be from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at the Gillam Grant Community Center in Bergen. The second stop will be from 11:15 a.m. to noon in the United Memorial Jerome Center parking lot in Batavia. The market will run through mid-September. 

The goal of the market is to make fresh fruits and vegetables easily accessible to the community at affordable prices. Cash, debit, EBT and WIC will be accepted as forms of payment. For every $5 SNAP purchase, people will receive a $2 bonus.

July 2, 2015 - 3:53pm
posted by Traci Turner in crime, batavia, Le Roy, pembroke.

A 17-year-old female from Batavia is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd. She allegedly possessed a quantity of crack cocaine and numerous items associated with the use of the drug. The incident happened on Lake Street in Le Roy. During the investigation by Deputy Joseph Corona, it was found that she had two active warrants out of the City of Batavia and was turned over to Batavia Police.

David W. King Jr., 34, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and endangering the welfare of a child. King allegedly choked a female acquaintance in the presence of her three children inside an apartment on State Street. He was put in Genesee County Jail on $2,000 bail.

Dustin J. Wilmet, 25, of Batavia, was arrested on three separate warrants issued by the Batavia City Court. The first warrant is for a DWI charge from 2014 that Wilmet allegedly failed to appear for. The second warrant is for petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property charges after he was accused of possessing property that had been reported stolen from an apartment on Franklin Street, Batavia. The third warrant is for criminal possession of a forged instrument, 2nd, and petit larceny charges after he allegedly stole and cashed forged checks. He was put in Genesee County Jail without bail.

Stephen M. Esposito, 25, of Folsomdale Road, Cowlesville, was arrested on a bench warrant issued by the Batavia City Court. Esposito allegedly failed to appear for a ticket for aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. He was put in Genesee County Jail on $1,000 bail.

Taylor L. Finnin, 22, of Myrtle Street, Le Roy, is charged with petit larceny. Finnin allegedly stole a $100 cash from a coworker. The alleged incident happened on Commerce Drive in Batavia.

Rachel S. Brockenshire, 29, of Lear Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Brockenshire is accused of stealing property from Dollar General in Batavia. 

Karen L. Cooper, 49, of North Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, 2nd, and failure to dim high beams following an incident on Lake Street in Le Roy. Cooper is accused of possessing a quantity of crack cocaine and numerous items associated with the use of the drug.

Kevin J. Palmer, 34, of Canandaigua Road, Walworth, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The incident happened on Alleghany Road in Pembroke.

Jonathan M. Wulfert, 42, of Lake Road, Ontario, Canada, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and driver's view obstructed after Deputy Kevin McCarthy pulled him over on Route 77 in Pembroke for an equipment violation.

July 2, 2015 - 3:29pm
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, Batavia Centennial, Vibrant Batavia, time capsule.

Press release:

The City of Batavia is celebrating its 100th anniversary! The Centennial Committee is planning to bury a time capsule in September; and we need the community’s help! 

Take part in the fun by writing a note to your family’s descendants or write a poem for people to read 100 years from now! Centennial notecards with envelopes will be available beginning July 1 at the Genesee Valley PennySaver, 222 E. Main St., Batavia. We encourage you to take part and contribute to the time capsule that will be opened in 2115.  

In addition to the above items, The Batavian will be conducting polls on Tuesdays beginning June 30 into the month of July, on which items will be placed in the Time Capsule. Be sure to visit The Batavian to vote on Time Capsule Tuesday!

 

July 2, 2015 - 11:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Concert Band, GCC, batavia, music, arts.

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The 90th season of the Batavia Concert Band got off to a soggy start Wednesday evening, forcing musicians and audience members to seek the warmth and comfort of the Stuart Steiner Theatre at GCC.

Here's the schedule for the remainder of the season:

  • July 4th at noon, Guest Conductor David Keller. Picnic in the Park sponsored by GoArt!
  • July 8 at 7 p.m., Conducted by John Bailey
  • July 15 at 7 p.m., Conducted by John Bailey
  • July 22 at 7 p.m., Conducted by John Bailey
  • July 29 at 7 p.m., Conducted by John Bailey, Annual Chicken Barbecue

All concerts are at Centennial Park, unless weather forces a relocation to GCC.

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July 2, 2015 - 10:42am
posted by Traci Turner in Jackson School, batavia, education.

jacksonschooltreesjuly12015.jpg

The landscaping in front of Jackson School is being ripped out this week to make room for a new bus loop that City Schools Superintendent Chris Daily said will improve transportation safety for students.

The project means some grand old trees in front of the school are now gone, but Daily said new trees will be planted as part of the project.

Besides the trees, so far, the sidewalks have also been jackhammered and hauled away.

The project should be completed by Sept. 1.

In addition to the bus loop, new locks and classroom bathrooms will be installed at the school.

The construction is a part of the district’s $3.8 million capital project that was approved three years ago. 

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Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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