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June 22, 2018 - 8:00am

The Alexander Central School District is planning on instituting a fee structure for use of school facilities by community groups and that has a number of parents, especially parents of children who participate in sports, upset, according to Lisa Lyons, president of the Tri-Town Youth Athletics Association.

Lyons raised those concerns with the Board of Education on Tuesday night. School board meetings are generally sparsely attended and Tuesday dozens of district residents were in the auditorium for the meeting, though there's no way to say how many were there because of the fee issue.

The fees, at least as announced, would cost the association about $8,000 for football and basketball, according to Lyons (CLARIFICATION: Lyons provided a revised calculation of anticipated association costs after publication of this story) and she asked a number of questions, none of which were answered by board members after she spoke.

"As residents, we pay taxes that are among the highest in the state for a community our size," Lyons said. "Adding in $6,000 in fees, how is this not double dipping? As a nonprofit organization, these fees will close programs for us. The district parents of these children have stated this is unacceptable."

Besides Lyons, there were two other parents who signed up to speak but with the intention of ceding their allotted three-minutes to Lyons, a request Board President Reed Pettys would not allow. One parent, Mary Shepard, tried to read from notes prepared by Lyons once her three minutes were up but Lyons said after the meeting she really didn't get to express all of the concerns that have been raised to her by the parents.

Before the public comments section on the agenda, during what the board calls "roundtable," where each board member can speak on any issue they care to raise, Superintendent Catherine Huber took a few minutes to explain her view on why and how the fees are being initiated.

She said in the fall, the board appointed a committee to review and potentially rewrite the school district's facilities use policy. She said the committee was comprised of board members and school staff who are past and present parents and coaches involved with Tri-Town.

The board minutes for Oct. 18 list board members Rich Guarino, Molly Grimes, Lisa Atkinson, Shannon Whitcombe, Matt Stroud, Tim Batzel, Rob Adam, and Ben Whitmore as members of the committee. The minutes also list Board Member Brian Paris as a member of the committee but he said he declined the appointment because of other business commitments and never attended a meeting.

The policy was adopted by the board in December.

Huber said the prior policy also allowed for a use fee but no fees were ever charged.

"We believed that it was time to start charging a nominal fee to outside organizations, to community organizations to use our facilities," she said.

Huber said she has tried to communicate clearly and work collaboratively with Tri-Town, inviting Lyons in for a meeting, not only to inform them on the need for the new fee but letting them know that the district could be flexible.

"Our goal is all the same," Huber said. "Our goal is to provide a great experience for all the children of Alexander."

She called the fee nominal and said that Lyons continued the conversation in emails back and forth.

"This is the first year for fee structure, so I suggested that if what we were suggesting is not something Tri-Town could bear, I asked Tri-Town to bring to me what could be a manageable solution in terms of a facilities fee."

One issue raised by Lyons is the district's projections for the Tri-Town fees are much lower than Tri-Town's estimation of the fees, based on the documentation they've received.

Huber presented slides showing the fee structure.

The association, she said, would be charged $25 an hour for football, for example, and with four games, that would come to about $300 per game day with an annual cost of $1,200.

The district's costs, she said, is $56 an hour or $650 per game day, with a total of about $2,700 annual. That would still leave the district short its expenses by $1,520.

The cost for basketball, by Huber's numbers, would be $1,920 annually with the district's annual cost at $3,523, for a two-sport charge to the sports association of $3,120, which is less than half of what Lyons estimates it would cost the association. The association uses school facilities only for football and basketball. (CLARIFICATION: This paragraph added after initial publication).

Those numbers, she said, don't include all of the district's costs.

"I think it’s really important that we have those numbers in front of us because as a community, we all want the experience for our students but we also have to understand that it is the responsibility of the board and the administration of the school district to make sure that there are facilities for people to use," Huber said.

"This community has come to expect a certain level of facility maintenance and certain expectations of around our facilities. It would be irresponsible of the board to not have a certain cost-recovery measure in place in order to maintain those facilities long-term."

Lyons said Tri-Town is a 40-year-old organization. She doesn't know how long the association has been using school facilities but it has been many, many years, so it doesn't make sense to her why now, all the sudden, the district needs fees to maintain the facilities.

While Huber is saying the fees are in that $1,500 range (they change some, depending on the sport and facility), Lyons said based on the use application she's been provided and the belief that the two chaperones required for each event, at $18 per hour each, increase the cost, the range is closer to $6,000 per sport annually.

If that is true, use fees for parents per sport will likely double, which will lower participation and mean the end to some sports. The disparity is so great, Lyons said a counteroffer, which Huber said is welcome, is hard to even formulate.

"I understand a nominal fee," Lyons said after the meeting. "I get it. But for us to even try to offer them something at this point, the fees are so astronomical I don’t even know where to start."

One thing that bewilders Lyons and other parents who joined a conversation outside the auditorium after the meeting is the requirement for two chaperones at each event.

"If something is broken, we’ve always paid for it," Lyons said during the hallway conversation. "If something happens, we try to take care of it. If they have a complaint, they’ve come to us and said there were kids running around the school, what can we do, OK we rope it off, we have volunteers wandering the school, making sure kids are in place, so again it’s not that we’re not trying to work with them, we are to the best of our ability."

In the parking lot after the conversation with parents, Huber said the chaperones were necessary because "we want to make sure our facilities are taken care of."

Asked if there were problems in the past that made chaperones necessary, Huber would only say, "We just want to make sure our facilities are taken care of.”

We relayed those comments to Lyons in an email and she said, "I would hope that if there were any issues that came up that I would’ve been informed. To my knowledge, I don’t recall there being anything that wasn't taken care of. Most issues that had come up were 'kid issues' and handled where both parties were satisfied. Issues with any property -- I only know of two and those were taken care of at the expense of Tri-Town and its insurance."

She said one property issue was recent and the other occurred many years ago.

The fees also don't make any sense, Lyons said, because Tri-Town volunteers take care of the facilities before, during and after events.

"The school puts on varsity games on Friday night," Lyons said. "When we get here on Saturday, that field is disgusting. It was lined but we set it up. We have to empty all the garbage cans. We have to get ready. We have our game. We clean up to the best of our ability. So you’re telling me as a school they have to ingest more fees when staff would have to do it on Monday?"

She added, "It’s not fair. When you really look at it, it’s not fair."

Students going through Tri-Town athletics makes the school district better, Lyons said. She said studies show that students who learn teamwork, discipline, and other life skills through sports do better academically.

The association also prepares young athletes to compete eventually at the varsity level -- a point Shepard also made during public comments after picking up the notes from Lyons.

"We have fed your school student-athletes for years," Shepard said. "We have helped put Alexander on the map with many individual wins, sectional wins, regional wins and many patches. How many athletic scholarships have been awarded compared to academic ones?"

Debbie Green said her daughter started with Tri-Town as a cheerleader when she was 5. After four years of cheer in high school, she earned a college scholarship. That is how Tri-Town benefits the school, the kids, and the parents, she said.

Green also noted that under the new fee structure, Girl Scouts, which she is involved with, will wind up paying $100 per meeting to continue meeting at the school.

The Batavian attempted to interview school board members after the meeting to get their indivdual takes on the association's feedback on the policy but we were only able to talk with two before the rest quickly left the building.

"When I’m outside the board and I’m not in session, I’m just an individual but I don’t give interviews," said Vice President Rich Guarino.

Asked if that was because of the district's "One Voice" policy, Guarino said, "Outside of the board, we’re just individuals and I don’t give interviews for anything. I don’t answer surveys on the telephone. I don’t give interviews."

Board Member Brian Paris did answer questions.

Paris said he believes the facilities policy is a work-in-progress, that it's really still in draft form and that the board is working on it.

"I’m not on the committee to develop it, so I don’t have tremendous insight but I do know that a lot of people put a lot of time behind it," Paris said. "I know this board. It’s a very reasonable board. Our goal is not to put any student in a position where they are not able to participate in any of these activities."

Lyons, Green, and Donna McArthur, who has been with Tri-Town for 42 years, said it's expensive enough being a parent of a student-athlete. Besides fees, there's equipment, training, travel, and other expenses that add up.

For the association, there are also expenses the district may not be considering, from insurance to recertifying football helmets every three years. And, McArthur said, the association has always made sure every kid who wants to play gets to play.

“We never have a child that does not play," McArthur said. "If they can’t pay as parents, we all kick in. We find them shoes, we find them a glove, no kid has ever been turned away.”

And community members help the school district in other ways. It was community members who did the fundraising in the 2000s for Chris Martin Memorial Field of Dreams, which is used by the district's football, softball, baseball and soccer teams.

For all these reasons, Lyons said, district parents aren't happy with what they see as astronomically high use fees.

"There has to come a point where, yes, there is that collaborative conversation," Lyons said. "But as a district, these parents are pushing back because they know that this organization cannot afford those fees. As parents, with that 99.6 percent of kids who are playing who are district kids, they’re already paying for this school. They don’t want to pay any more for it."

June 21, 2018 - 9:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, news.

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Photo by Sherry Walsh.

June 21, 2018 - 6:05pm

Press release:

Calling all eighth-11th graders, the Genesee County Youth Court is recruiting new members!

Youth Court is a voluntary alternative for young people who face disciplinary action through school or law enforcement. Youth who are referred admit to the charge and appear before a court of their peers.

Three youth judges listen to both sides of the issue and determine an appropriate disposition. The goal of youth court is to improve youth citizenship skills and decrease problematic behavior.  

Youth Court members learn about the judicial process & law enforcement; develop group decision making, leadership and public speaking skills; participate in all roles of the courtroom: judge, prosecution, defense, and bailiff.  

Genesee County eighth-11th graders who are interested can go online to download an application from the website www.co.genesee.ny.us , where you will find a link on the Youth Bureau page.

Applications are due by Aug. 1st. Interviews of potential candidates will take place in August and September with the training to begin in October.  

For more information on the Genesee County Youth Court, please contact Chelsea Elliott at the Genesee County Youth Bureau, 344-3960.

June 21, 2018 - 4:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in picnic in the park, batavia, FOURTH OF JULY, GO ART!, news.

Press release:

The Original Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in Stafford presents GO ART!'s 40th annual Picnic in the Park on Wednesday July 4, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Centennial Park. It is located at 151 State St. in the City of Batavia. 

It kicks off with a Kiddie Parade. At 10:30 a.m., kids can decorate their bikes, scooters, strollers in red, white and blue (decorations provided). At 11 a.m. the Kiddie Parade will travel down Ellicott Avenue led by Uncle Sam and Betsy Ross, and Rosie the Riveter.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  -- Batavia Concert Band

12:45 to 1:15 p.m.  --  Batavia High A Cappella Group

1:30 to 3 p.m.  --  Bill McDonald’s Old Hippies

3:15 to 4:45 p.m.  --  Kelly’s Old Timer’s

12:30 to 12:45 p.m.  --  Buffalo Aerial Dance

1:15 to 1:30  --  Buffalo Aerial Dance

3 to 3:15 p.m.  --  Buffalo Aerial Dance

Throughout the day there will be children's activities.

  • M. Geoffrey Clough -- Cookie Song writing
  • Explore Art Tent: Making Recycled Instruments and Music

FOOD VENDORS

Original Red Osier Landmark Restaurant Food Truck

Abbott’s Ice Cream

Lonsberry Concessions Lemonade Stand

Kernel Cravin’ Kettle Corn

Lori’s Cookies

GO ART!  Oliver’s Candy Bars, New York Chips, Beverages, GO ART! Tee shirts

ARTISANS' ALLEY

More than 30 arts & crafts vendors

Demonstrations by Local Artisans

Chris Mc Gee: Mixed Media Painting

Lydia Zwierzynski: Caricatures

Chris Hummel: Cartooning

Rick Platt & Family: Chainsaw Artist, Mixed Media Painting, Wood Working, Fabric Arts

LOCAL NONPROFITS

Batavia 1st UMC
Batavia Healthcare Center
Genesee County CASA for Children
Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern
Arc of Genesee Orleans
Oakfield Betterment Committee
Knights of Columbus
City of Batavia Democratic Committee
Acorns (County Park)
GLOW Region Solid Waste Management Committee
MHA of Genesee and Orleans Counties
Out Alliance
Friends of Batavia Peace Garden

 

June 21, 2018 - 4:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chis collins, NY-27, agriculture.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today voted for the 2018 Farm Bill that will strengthen and grow the Western New York dairy economy.

In recent years, the dairy industry has faced significant challenges, including an overall decline in milk consumption due to unfair trade practices with nations like Canada. Provisions in the Farm Bill make commonsense reforms to safety net programs put in place to help farmers during a downturn.

Collins has been a staunch advocate for expanding the current H-2A visa program that has not met the need of dairy farmers to find a legal, experienced workforce. Provisions to address issues with visas were not included, although Collins was assured by House Leadership that a separate bill to solve these problems will be considered in July.

“Our nation’s dairy farmers are struggling and we have to do everything we can to keep this industry alive in Western New York,” Collins said. “I’ve met with local farmers who have told me on numerous occasions that the Margin Protection Program was simply not working and was based on flawed logic.

"The reforms passed in today’s bill are going to help these farmers better utilize this program as we continue to make reforms that will boost this industry.”

This legislation would provide greater coverage to dairy farmers through the Margin Protection Program (MPP) and will allow a farmer to participate in both the livestock and dairy protection programs. Additionally, the program will be relabeled the Dairy Risk Management Program (DRMP).

The newly created DRMP eliminates the current 25-percent minimum coverage level and allows producers to elect levels in 5-percent increments. It will also add higher coverage levels of $8.50 and $9 per CWT, a provision Collins advocated for in a 2017 letter to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (TX-11).

The legislation will also require the United States Department of Agriculture to study the accuracy of milk and feed costs used to determine the margin. This was implemented in response to the large number of farmers that were unable to utilize the program because of ineffective calculations.

Collins added: “Since I have gotten elected to Congress, our region’s agriculture industry has been a main priority and I’m committed to continuing to do what is best for our farmers. While we still have work to do to turn this industry around, I’m pleased with the reforms we passed today.”

For more information on H.R. 2, Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, click here.

June 21, 2018 - 3:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Kennedy School, batavia, schools, education, news.

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Teachers and aides at John Kennedy School yesterday made signs and gave students a celebratory send-off for the summer on the last day of school.

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June 21, 2018 - 3:00pm


Just a wonderful home; lovingly maintained super solid three bed, bath & a half, all brick home on almost 1/2 acre lot in the Town! Truly a place you will want to come home to -- bright and cheery, warm and inviting.

This home features gorgeous woodwork, hardwood floors, with a spacious floor plan. Awesome kitchen that will make you want to hang out! It's just that homey!

Three year tear off roof on the house and barn. Electrical and plumbing all upgraded. New bath fitter shower and many other updates. The home was just freshly carpeted and painted, as well as exterior and barn!

Two story barn has amazing storage but also finished rec room upper everybody will want to claim for their own private hangout! Back yard is extra deep and fully fenced for privacy, has a pool and landscaping/flowers are spectacular! LOOK now!

Call Lynn Bezon today at Reliant Real Estate, 585-344-HOME or click here for more information on this new listing!

June 21, 2018 - 2:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, elba, Oakfield, Alabama.

Cynthia L. Gardner, 33, of 1/2 Swan St., Batavia, was arrested after she allegedly left her 3-year-old daughter in the care and custody of a defendant at 14 1/2 Swan St., Batavia, at 8 a.m. on June 18. The defendant is named in a court order with a directive to specifically stay away from Lardner's 3-year-old daughter. Lardner was issued an appearance ticket and released, and is due in City Court at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26. Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence handled the case.

Adam D. Smart, 35, of Buell Street, Batavia, is charged with first-degree aggravated criminal contempt, with a previous conviction. He was located at 8 a.m. on June 18 on Swan Street at the address of a protected party, whom he has an active court order to stay away from. He was jailed without bail and is due in City Court at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Officer Christopher Camp.

Gerald A. Mattison, 25, of Cary Avenue, Oakfield, is charged with: DWI -- common law; speeding; aggravated unlicensed operation; unlicensed operation; and open alcohol container in a motor vehicle. He was arrested at 1:16 a.m. June 16 on North Street in Batavia following a traffic stop. He was allegedly speeding on Richmond Avenue and found to be intoxicated at the time of the stop. He was arraigned and jailed and was due in City Court on June 18. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Jeremy C. Goodell, 44, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, is chraged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested following an investigation into an allegation that he damaged the side of a vehicle that was driving past him in the Batavia Commons parking lot (444 W. Main St., Batavia) by striking it at 4:56 p.m. on June 3. Goodell was transported to GC Jail and processed and released with an appearance ticket for June 19 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice, assisted by Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Carlton L. Beardsley, 23, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested after a domestic incident shortly after midnight on June 21, wherein he allegedly damaged a vehicle. Beardsley initially fled the scene prior to Batavia PD's arrival but was located at the residence a couple hours later and was arrested. He is jailed on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond and was due in City Court this morning (June 21). The incident was handles by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

Donald Wills Stahl Jr., 37, of Knowlesville Road, Alabama, is charged with petit larceny and sixth-degree conspiracy. At 3:50 p.m. on June 1, Genesee County Sheriff's deputies responded to a larceny complaint at Walmart in Batavia. Following an investigation, the defendant was arrested on June 17. He allegedly stole a pair of headphones and assisted a female suspect with stealing additional property at the store. He was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Batavia Court on July 9, then he was turned over to the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office for a pending larceny case in Warsaw. GC Sheriff's Deputy Erik Andre handed the case.

Leon W. Johnson, 34, of South Main Street, Albion, is charged with second-degree criminal trespass -- dwelling. He was arrested June 19. The domestic incident related to his arrest allegedly occurred at 6 a.m. on March 4 on Edward Street in Batavia. He is due in City Court at a later date. Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence handled the case.

Janet L. Grossman, 51, of Ellsworth Avenue, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny following a shoplifting investigation a local business. The incident occurred at 9:13 a.m. June 15 at Tops Market, 390 Main St., Batavia. She was processed at the Genesee County Jail, then released. She was issued a computer-generated appearance ticket and is due in court on June 26. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Nancy L. Lawrence, 66, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, was arrested at 9:44 a.m. on June 14 and charged with trespass. Following an investigation, she was found on property she was previously banned from. She was released and due in City Court on June 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Alexis R. Chavez, 19, of Transit Road, Elba, is charged with failure to appear. Chavez was arrested June 20 on a warrant out of Batavia City Court. He faile to appear in court after being issued an appearance ticker for driving while impaired by drugs. He was jailed in lieu of $2,500 cash or bond and was due back in court today (June 21). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer James DeFreze.

Ian J. Blake, 31, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. He was arrested at 4:15 p.m. on June 19 on Liberty Street after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana at a residence. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in City Court on June 26. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Timothy J. Corke II, 31, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. He was arrested at 4:15 p.m. on June 19 on Liberty Street after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana at a residence. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in City Court on June 26. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Oscar Lee Brewer, 18, of St. Paul Street, Rochester, was arrested on a bench warrant June 18 for failure to appear in court as directed on April 19. He pled guilty to fourth-degree criminal mischief and was released on his own recognizance. He is due in court on Sept. 20. Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison handled the case.

Brooke L. Brumber was arrested at 5:49 p.m. on June 14 on West Main Street, Batavia, on a bench warrant issued for failure to appear in court as ordered. The defendant was released and ordered to return to court on June 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

June 21, 2018 - 10:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, batavia, baseball, sports.

Press release:

The Muckdogs (2-4) dropped the third game in the series against West Virginia (2-4) on Wednesday night. The first two innings went as fast as the blink of an eye with neither team collecting a hit. In the third inning, however, that would change for the Black Bears.

West Virginia scored three runs in the third inning. The Black Bears loaded the bases in the top of the third with two outs, then Edison Lantigua ripped a two-run single to right field. Lantigua took a big turn at first base, and the ‘dogs tried to pick him off on it.

In doing so, the throw to first was wide and therefore scored the third run. After that bases-clearing single by Lantigua, it would take until the fifth inning for another run to cross the plate.

West Virginia manufactured a run in the fifth by bunting Michael De La Cruz to second. Afterward, he tagged up on a fly ball to right that almost got him thrown out by Jerar Encarnacion. Lantigua then ripped another single to the right side that scored De La Cruz and gave Lantigua his third RBI of the game.

The Batavia bats were held to minimal output through the first six innings, then the Muckdogs scored three in the seventh inning. Two runners found their way on by way of a walk (Sean Reynolds) and a single (JD Osborne). Then, in an attempt to break a skid that was 1-21, Gerardo Nunez made it a one-run game by sending a three-run shot over the left field wall to make the score 4-3.

Ryan McKay came in relief in the seventh inning and was excellent, striking out five in only three innings of work. He gave Batavia a chance at the comeback in the bottom of the ninth. A leadoff single from JD Osborne brought on Matt Brooks to pinch-run.

Unfortunately for Batavia, Harrison White hit a fielder’s choice to second that got Brooks out. After that, the early hero Gerardo Nunez grounded into a 6-3 double play to end the game.

Williamsport comes to Batavia for a three-game series from Thursday to Saturday, then Batavia travels to State College to play the Spikes for three games.

June 20, 2018 - 5:29pm

The Genesee County Human Resources Department announces an open competitive examination for Police Officer, O.C. #65-746.

SALARY

City of Batavia -- $49,654 to $63,057, annually (2018)

Village of Le Roy -- $22.80 per hour full-time, $21 per hour part-time (2018)

Village of Corfu -- $16 per hour (2018)

VACANCY

This examination is being held to establish an eligible list to fill future vacancies as they occur. An eligible applicant may receive only one permanent appointment from this list. Once appointed, there will be a probationary period of 8 to 78 weeks based on performance of duties. During this probationary period the department head has the ability to terminate employment without cause.

Residency Requirements to Participate in the Examination

Candidates must be legal residents of Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans or Wyoming county at the time of the examination and for at least two months prior to the date of the examination.

Preference in Certification for Residents for Apppointment -- Section 23(4-a) of the Civil Service Law

When preference in certification is given to residents of a municiplaity pursuant to subdivision 4-1 of Section 23 of the Civil Service Law, an eligible applicant must have been at least two months prior to the date of the certification, a resident of the City of Batavia, the Village of Le Roy or the Village of Corfu in order to be included in a certification as a resident of such municipality.

Last Filing Date --- July 18, 2018

Examination Date --- Sept. 15, 2018

To find out about the minimum qualifications, filing fees and other requirements, see the full Police Officer listing here.

June 20, 2018 - 5:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in lead poisoning, public health column, news, Announcements.

Public Health Column from the Genesee County Health Department:

Is your child or grandchild at risk for lead poisoning? If you live in a home with peeling paint that was built before 1978, this may be something to consider.

Most commonly, kids get lead poisoning from lead-based paint, which was used in many U.S. homes until the late 1970s, when the government banned the manufacture of paint containing lead. That is why kids who live in older homes are at a greater risk for lead poisoning.

Lead poisoning is caused by swallowing or breathing in lead dust. Lead is a metal that can harm children and adults when it gets into their bodies. In addition to lead based paint in the home, there are many sources of lead including, but not limited to: paint on old toys, furniture, and crafts, dust, soil, drinking water, air, folk medicines, cosmetics, children’s jewelry and toys, workplace and hobbies, lead-glazed ceramics, china, leaded crystal, pewter, imported candies and/or food in cans, firearms with lead bullets, foreign made mini-blinds, car batteries, and radiators.

Lead can harm a young child's growth, ability to learn and may be linked with tooth decay / cavities, hearing loss, and behavior problems. Lead can also be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy.

There are generally no symptoms or signs to help you know if your child has lead poisoning. A person with lead poisoning usually does not look or act sick. The best way to find out if your child has lead poisoning is by testing. The most common test is a quick blood test. It measures how much lead is in your bloodstream.

Because children continue to be at risk, New York State requires health care providers to test all children for lead with a blood lead test at age 1 year and again at age 2 years. At every well-child visit up to age 6, health care providers must ask parents about any contact their child might have had with lead.

If there's been a chance of contact, providers are required to test for lead again. Parents can ask their child's doctor or nurse if their child should get a lead test, and what the lead test results mean.

Brenden Bedard, director of Community Health Services of Genesee and Orleans counties, commented on why it is important for pregnant women to be tested for lead, too.

“Mothers who live in an older home and are exposed to lead dust can inhale the particles, and pass it on to their baby," Bedard said. "Some of the effects that lead can have on their unborn child include: delayed growth and development, premature delivery, low birth weight, and in some cases may result in a miscarriage.”

If you are pregnant, talk to your provider about getting tested for lead.

Although lead poisoning is preventable, lead continues to be a major cause of poisoning among children. Thousands of children are still at risk. Here are some simple things parents and caregivers can do to reduce a child’s exposure to lead:

  • Find the lead in your home. Most children get lead poisoning from lead paint in homes built before 1978. It is important to find and fix lead in your home as soon as possible. Have your home inspected by a licensed lead inspector;
  • Before purchasing an older home, ask for a lead inspection;
  • Get your child tested. Even if young children seem healthy, ask your doctor to test them for lead;
  • Learn about drinking water. Water pipes in some older homes may contain lead solder where lead may leach out into the water. Let cold water run for one minute before drinking it, especially if it has not been used for a few hours;
  • Give your child healthy foods. Feed your child healthy foods with calcium, iron, and vitamin C. These foods may help keep lead out of the body. Calcium is in milk, yogurt, cheese, and green leafy vegetables like spinach. Iron is in lean red meats, beans, peanut butter, and cereals. Vitamin C is in oranges, green and red peppers, and juice.
  • Clean up lead dust. When old paint cracks and peels, it makes lead dust. Lead dust is so small you cannot see it. Children get lead poisoning from swallowing dust on their hands and toys. Use a damp cloth and a damp mop to reduce the spread of dust;
  • Understand the facts! Your local health department can provide you with helpful information about preventing childhood lead poisoning.

For information about Health Department services contact:

  • Genesee County Health Department at: 344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit their website here.

June 20, 2018 - 4:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in APB, missing pets, animal rescue, batavia, news.

APB -- ALL-PETS BULLETIN: "Gambit" the cat is missing from the corner area of Vine Street and East Avenue in the City of Batavia.

The male tabby, 1 1/2 years old, is gray and white, neutered and very friendly. He wears both a pink and a silver collar with a bell, and a name tag with phone number.

If you see Gambit, please call Mike Columbo at (585) 297-0241.

A gambit as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as: a chess opening in which a player risks one or more pawns or a minor piece to gain an advantage in position; a remark intended to start a conversation or make a telling point; and/or a calculated move, a stratagem.

Let us hope this sudden and unexplained disappearance by Gambit is not a "stratagem" of his to have sneaky summer fun at the expense of his poor owner's well-being.

UPDATE (By Billie) Thursday, June 21, 4:42 p.m.: Just spoke with owner Mike Columbo who laments that his cat has still not turned up. He's hopeful and plans to put fliers up in the neighborhood. Please keep your eyes peeled for Gambit, readers; it's a calculated move calculated to bring him home!

June 20, 2018 - 3:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in immigration, chris collins, NY-27, news, notify.

This afternoon, The Batavian contacted the office of Congressman Chris Collins and asked for a statement on the current controversy over reports of children being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Statement from Rep. Chris Collins:

“Last night, House Republicans had a very productive meeting with President Trump. I am pleased to hear he signed an executive order and is supportive of also fixing this crisis legislatively by closing the loopholes in our immigration laws and significantly increasing our border security.

It is very sad to see children without their parents at our borders, and as a compassionate country we are taking action to keep families together while making sure we won’t be faced with a similar crisis in the future.”

June 20, 2018 - 2:52pm

The Batavia Blue Devils Youth Football Camp will be held on Monday and Tuesday, July 16-17, behind Batavia High School, located at 260 State St. in the City of Batavia.

Time is 9 to 11:30 a.m. both days.

Cost is $40.

It is for students entering grades one through eight in the fall.

Hosted by Head Coach Brennan Briggs and the BHS Football staff.

Bring shorts, T-shirt, cleats and water bottle.

Register by July 5 to guarantee correct T-shirt size.

Make checks payable to:  Blue Devils Touchdown Club

Mail payment and the following information to Brennan Briggs, 103 Oak St., Batavia  NY 14020 OR  to: Batavia Middle School, 96 Ross St., Batavia NY 14020, ATTEN: Brennan Briggs.

  • Name of Camper
  • Camper is entering Grade ___
  • Emergency Contact Name and Phone Number
  • T-shirt Size: ADULT ___ Or  YOUTH ___

The camp will feature: speed challenge; flag football games at the end of each day; current BHS football players, as well as alumni will speak and work with campers; T-shirts distributed and pizza after Tuesday's camp.

Here's the breakdown of what will be taught for each position; all drills will be modified for age groups:

  • Quarterbacks -- Hand placement, 3-step, 5-step, footwork drills, throwing mechanics, and ball-handling drills;
  • Wide Receivers -- Stance, start, footwork drills, hand drills, route running;
  • Running Backs -- Stance, start, footwork drills, run blocking, pass blocking;
  • Offensive Line -- Stance, start, run-blocking drills, pass-blocking drills;
  • Linebackers -- Stance, start, footwork drills, tackling-form drills, run stopping, pass defending;
  • Defensive Backs -- Stance, start, footwork drills, man coverage, zone coverage, pass defending;
  • Defensive Line -- Stance, start, 1 v. 1 drills, speed and quickness off the ball.

The Batavia Blue Devils are 3-peat Section V Class B Champions.

June 20, 2018 - 2:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in district attorney, news, notify.

As technology changes, as society changes, the workload for individual assistant district attorneys in Genesee County continues to grow, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman told members of the County Legislature on Monday during the Public Service Committee meeting.

Friedman was joined by First Assistant DA Melissa Cianfrini to make the case for adding a new ADA position to their staff in 2019.

In 21 years as DA, Friedman said he's never asked for additional DA staff, but it's starting to become impossible for ADAs to juggle town courts, county court, case preparation, and specialty courts.

"Assistant district attorneys have been coming to me and saying there is too much going on and I acknowledge there is," Friedman said. "We’ve held off as long as we can but we need help."

On the technology front, evidence to review now includes police body-worn cameras, video surveillance -- not just from the city but from private homeowners and business owners, recorded inmate calls from the jail, and recorded stationhouse felony-case interviews.

That substantially increases the amount of time an ADA works on many cases.

"The thing is, it's time-consuming," Friedman said, speaking specifically about body-worn camera video. "We have to review all that video. When we’re lucky it can be a matter of minutes, but it’s not unusual to have literally hours of video because the police officers are doing their job and they’re running the cameras."

All the video related to a particular incident may include the hours that an officer is just working on his paperwork but every minute must be reviewed.

"The thing is, we can’t take the chance," Friedman said. "We’re turning this over to the defense. We need to know what’s on there. It’s a huge time drain."

Even the most seemingly mundane video minutes though can turn out to be valuable, Cianfrini said.

"We’ve saved statements because the police didn’t recognize, maybe, that was a statement that should have been noticed or it was a statement that was not made because of questioning, so reviewing body-worn cameras are fruitful and something that we can’t just skip doing," Cianfrini said.

Both Friedman and Cianfrini noted they are not complaining about new avenues for evidence, just noting how they change the nature of the job.

"All of these technological advances are positive things overall but they’re very time consuming," Friedman said.

The caseload for ADAs is also no longer limited to just town and county courts, what Friedman and Cianfrini referred to as justice courts. Many cases are now often referred to specialty courts, such as drug court, veterans court, mental health court, family court, and integrated domestic violence court.

Cases referred to those courts often last longer and involve more dedicated time.

For example, a specialty court case might include regular meetings with the ADA, defense, the judge, counselors, and others to discuss progress on each individual case and how the court should proceed that the defendant's next appearance. 

The time spent on specialty courts also means there are fewer ADAs available to cover a town court when another ADA is tied up on a felony trial in County Court.

"It's getting to point where don’t have enough bodies to cover the courts we have," Cianfrini said "If I’m trying a felony case, we have a hard time finding the bodies to cover form me in my other courts while I’m trying a felony case in County Court and vise versa for everybody in the office."

The way laws and crime both have changed also takes up more time for ADAs.

Take DWI for example -- stricter punishments, whether it's losing a license through a criminal proceeding for life or getting a five-year suspension through the DMV on a DWI conviction, encourage more defendants to take cases to trial rather than settle for a plea agreement.

“So we’re having a lot more DWI trials, across the board, misdemeanors and felonies," Cianfrini said.

Even shoplifting ain't what it used to be. Crime rings make shoplifting cases, usually at the big-box stores on Veterans Memorial Drive, are more complex and more time-consuming.

“It’s not just the shoplifters who go in and swipe a mascara or a T-shirt," Cianfrini said. "These are organized shoplifting rings that come in and take thousands of dollars at one time. They have complex teams that they use to try and avoid detection. I just had a trial plead out today where three people stole over $3,000 worth of merchandise. They stole 12 Sonic Care toothbrushes and a ton of Nike apparel because that has a high retail value in the pawnshops and in the black market."

There's also been a lot of turnover the past three years in both the Sheriff's Office and Batavia PD. Friedman stressed all the new officers are outstanding individuals but they still, like anybody in a new, complex job, have things to learn. That means more time working with officers in the field for ADAs, such as Cianfrini.

"I get more calls because they want to do the right thing," Cianfrini said. "Those calls now take longer. Calls that were under five minutes now take longer. Sometimes I have to get up and do research in the middle of the night make sure they're accurate in what they’re telling me and that I’m getting them the best advice because it’s their first time dealing with a situation."

One of Friedman's ADAs is retiring at the end of the summer, which means replacing an experienced attorney with a new attorney who will also take time to train. He's warned the candidates that being an ADA isn't just a 9-to-5, weekends-free type of job.

"We were just explaining to a job candidate on Saturday, during an interview, you are expected to be in the office or in court between regular business hours, 8:30 to 5," Friedman said. "Then you’re going to be in justice courts in the evening, and you’re on call 24-7. That’s what these jobs are.  Nobody in our office only works 37.5 hours a week. Not even close."

June 20, 2018 - 1:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, wbta, batavia, The Visual Truth Theatre Ensemble.

First Presbyterian Church of Batavia along with The Visual Truth Theatre Ensemble presents a special literary event called "Good Bread in the Darkness" on Thursday, June 28.

It will be hosted by Lucine Kauffman from the WBTA Radio Show Genesee Life (FM 100.1 and AM 1490) and will feature local and regional writers with a focus on nature, spirituality and community.

The event will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Batavia. It is free and open to the public.

Readers include: Terry Abrams, Sue Briggs, Byron Hoot, Bill Kauffman and Eric Zwieg.

"You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water," ~ Rabindranath Tagore.

Good Bread in the Darkness

Thursday, June 28

7- 9 p.m.

The First Presbyterian Church

300 E. Main St., Batavia

June 20, 2018 - 12:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, news, John Kennedy School.

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Students at John Kennedy Intermediate School, members of the BHS Class of 2026, were congratulated by teachers and administrators on Tuesday as they ended the school year prepare to move up to middle school.

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June 20, 2018 - 12:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Mill Street Park, Le Roy, free lunch, Announcements.
Press release:
 
The ninth annual Summer Lunch at Mill Street Park in Le Roy starts on Monday, June 25.
 
Free, kid-friendly lunches are served Monday-Friday from noon to 12:45 p.m. for children and teens through age 18. The food service program ends Friday, Aug. 17.
 
Rain location is St. Mark’s Church, side entrance on the corner of Church and Main streets.
 
The Summer Lunch is a community effort organized by St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
 
More information at www.stmarksleroy.org or 585-768-7200.

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Website and Marketing Consultant RFP

Attention potential website and marketing consultant, Under Genesee Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc. (GCASA) as fiscal agent, the Genesee-Orleans-Wyoming Opioid Task Force would like to develop and implement a branding and marketing campaign in addition to a redesign of its current website. If you are interested in being considered for this project, please respond to this announcement by emailing a written letter of interest to Allison Parry-Gurak at [email protected]

Part-Time Clerk Typist

PART-TIME CLERK TYPIST The City of Batavia, New York seeks a part-time Clerk Typist. SALARY: $11.56/hour. This position entails working M-F with a maximum of 19.5 hours per week. The candidate will be responsible for, mail processing, dealing with customers and processing their payments, answering phones and general clerical work within the City Clerk’s office. Word and Excel experience helpful. Candidate should be able to multitask and work in a fast-paced environment.

Apartment for Rent

Apartment for Rent
For Rent: 1 BR Apt. in country setting on Indian Falls Rd. 3 Miles from the thruway entrance. Fully furnished all appliances plus washer/dryer included. $975 a month. includes utilities. Security deposit and credit check required. No pets and No smoking. Available July 1st. Call 585-409-9762

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F/T Lot Specialist

Generous PTO package after 30 days, Benefits and 401k with match - eligible 1st of month after 30 days Reporting to the Commercial Accounts Manager, plan, implement and coordinate the outside operations and functions of one or more of the following departments: Consignment, Factory, Fleet/Lease, Commercial Accounts and/or E-Commerce in accordance with corporate guidelines to ensure maximum dollar sales volume in the most profitable way possible. Perform all duties assigned by the General Manager or designated manager.

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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