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June 10, 2010 - 5:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, Announcements.

With summer less than two weeks away, farm-grown fruits and vegetables will soon be in plentiful supply at Batavia’s Genesee Country Farmers’ Market. The popular open-air market begins its 2010 season this Tuesday, June 15, in the parking lot at Batavia Downs Casino.

In addition to farm-fresh produce, the market will also feature home-baked goods like bread, rolls, pastries, pies and muffins.

Member wineries of the Niagara Wine Trail will once again offer a wide variety of local wines to taste and purchase. And a new addition this year is a lunch wagon serving sandwiches, drinks and desserts. About 20 vendors are expected to participate.

In making the announcement, Market Manager Paul Fenton said “We are looking forward to our third season at Batavia Downs Casino. It’s an easily accessible spot for all of our customers and is convenient for the many patrons of The Downs, too.

"We are proud of the fact that we are a grower’s market and everything we sell is grown by our vendors.”

The market will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Tuesday and Friday through Oct. 29.

June 4, 2010 - 1:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, BID, public market.

On Thursday, June 17,  the fourth annual Downtown Batavia Public Market opens at the corner of Ellicott (Route 63) and Center streets. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This year there are some new vendors, including two wineries which will sell wine and offer tastings. There's also a vendor selling homemade Italian cookies and treats.

Plus, the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County will offer free nutritional programs and information. The City of Batavia Police Department will provide free child car seat inspections. And other special events are planned.

Shoppers can expect to find a wealth of locally grown produce and foods. These include baked goods, fresh sweet corn, tomatoes, onions, berries, peaches, apples, cheese, honey, maple syrup, cut flowers, herbs, garden accessories and lots more.

Stop by and have lunch, served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Jackson Street Grill/Belladessa's will offer hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza for sale along with beverages.

"Support the downtown that supports our community," says the sponsor, the Batavia Business Improvement District's Public Market Committee.

For more information, call 344-0900 or visit this website <>.

May 31, 2010 - 4:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, music, downtown batavia.

The 13th annual "Friday Night in the Square" concert series begins June 18 and ends Aug. 27.

The free, public concerts take place from 7 to 9 p.m. in Jackson Square in Downtown Batavia, located in the alleyway of Jackson or Center streets. Bring your own seating. Food and refreshments will be available for sale. If it's raining, venue changes to Batavia City Centre, inside the mall.

"Friday Night in the Square" is sponsored by the Downtown Business Improvement District. For information on this or any other downtown event, contact BID Director Don Burkel. Visit on the web at <>.

Here's the lineup folks:

  • June 18 -- The Bedrock Boys (polka)
  • June 25 -- Jack Civietto (Sinatra)
  • July 2 -- Ramblers (variety)
  • July 9 -- Ghost Riders (country)
  • July 16 -- Bluesway Jam (blues)
  • July 23 -- Red Creek (rock)
  • July 30 -- Stone Row (Celtic rock)
  • Aug. 6 -- OHMS Band (rock)
  • Aug. 13 -- The Formula (Italian)
  • Aug. 20 -- Phoenix (country)
  • Aug. 27 -- John Cole Blues Band (blues)
May 20, 2010 - 1:25pm


This weekend, the Batavia Players will bring to the stage a much-loved play by one of Britain's wittiest writers: "The Importance of Being Earnest," which is among Oscar Wilde's best-known works. The satire is centered around the mistaken identities of best friends Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff after both assume the name "Ernest" for their own romantic advantages, and it backfires in a surprising plot twist.

"I like his literature," says director Justin Soble of Wilde. "He's famous for comedies in which he satirizes society. And I like British comedy. It's kind of my acting niche. So when the chance came up to direct it, I jumped." 

This is Soble's first time directing, although he is no stranger to the stage. This will mark his 20th theater production, many of which have been with the Batavia Players.

His first directing experience hasn't exactly been a perfectly smooth one, as several weeks ago the show experienced a surprising plot twist of its own: a change in venue. "Earnest" had been scheduled as the first show to be performed in the Batavia Players' new black box theater on Harvester Avenue, but the theater wasn't finished on time. The new venue is John Kennedy School.

"It's definitely different because a black box has three sides, and a proscenium setup only has one," explains Soble. "It was going to be the perfect size. But we realized two weeks ago that we weren't going to be able to do it there, and we started coming here last week. It's very different."

Charles Smith (pictured above with Katelyn Rogers), who has the role of Jack, says that although it "took a couple rehearsals to switch over," overall it is "easier to do the proscenium style because people rarely do black box."

Smith, an 18-year-old Batavia homeschooled senior, is sharing the stage with his 16-year-old brother Matthew, who is playing Algernon. The two have appeared in numerous local theater productions, most of them being with Shakespeare in Springtime and Go Art! Summer Youth Theater. Both agree that they enjoy playing opposite each other onstage.

"It makes it a whole lot easier," says Matthew. "All the stuff we do all day, every day at home, we do onstage." 

What makes it even more natural is the similarity of their characters to their real life personalities.

"My character is very serious and reserved," says Charles. "He doesn't like to have fun."

"And I'm the opposite," adds Matthew.

"That's how it is in real life, too," explains Charles.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, at John Kennedy School, 166 Vine St. in Batavia. Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 for students and seniors. Tickets are available to purchase online at, at the door, or by calling 1-866-967-8167.

May 4, 2010 - 1:18pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in Announcements, Richmond Memorial Libary.

The Richmond Memorial Library's trustee election will continue until 9 tonight in the library's Gallery Room, 19 Ross St. in Batavia. Anyone who lives in the Batavia City School District and is registered to vote may participate.


  • Rosemary Surowka is seeking re-election as a trustee
  • Due to the absence of a proposed tax increase for the library this year, there is no budget proposition
April 24, 2010 - 8:57pm
posted by Gretel Kauffman in Announcements, elba, Elba Central School, Elba Music Festival.

Those in attendance at the Elba Music Festival Friday night certainly heard a wide variety of music. The 13 acts that performed ranged from a church choir to a punk-rock band to a barbershop quintet.

Featured performers were the Elba Concert Band, the Elba Presbyterian Church Choir, Dakota Hirsch, the Elba Saxophone Quartet, James Earl, the Genesee Chorale, the Elba Jazz Ensemble, Dixie Hirsch, Scene 7, Andrew Lacey and Michaela Stewart, M.A.C., Dillon Hirsch, and the Batavia Blue Belles. 

Here are two photos from the event: the Genesee Chorale; and the Batavia Blue Belles.


blue belles.JPG

April 20, 2010 - 3:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, business, Valle Jewelers, Sponsored Post.


valle.jpgIn spring and summer, well-crafted jewlery can really sparkle, so now is a great time to create something special for yourself or a loved one.

A world of dazzling possibilities beckons at Valle Jewelers this week during its semi-annual remounting and custom-design event. It takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, April 23, and from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 24.

Enjoy a personal consultation with the store's own custom-design specialist, Mark Berman of Manhattan, who will be there to help you design a special piece or re-craft something you already own. Make something old look new!

April 9, 2010 - 4:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, education.

Here's a notice from city school officials:

This is a very important message for parents of Batavia City School District students. Children in grades Pre-K through 8 will not attend school on Monday, May 10 so that teachers may score the NYS ELA Assessments. 

High School students must be in regular attendance.

New York State changed the schedule for administering and scoring the 3-8 ELA  and Math State assessments in July after the district had established its calendar for the year.

The window during which the ELA assessments can be scored is significantly shorter because the Math Assessment administration begins immediately after ELA. Therefore, the District is declaring May 10 a Superintendent’s Conference Day for elementary and middle school students.

The district apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

April 9, 2010 - 1:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, GCC, Earth Day, eco-fest.

The fifth annual Cool Kids ECO-Fest will take place at Genesee Community College from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 17 at the Batavia Campus.

The college's Earth Club, Student Activities Office and College Village are once again joining Cool Kids to collectively produce a fun-filled, yet educational event aimed at increasing awareness of important environmental issues and opportunities.

ECO-Fest 2010 will commemorate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with special activities. All portions of the event are free and open to the public. Most of the festival takes place in the central Forum or Clocktower Plaza. ECO-Fest is part of several activities celebrating Earth Day throughout Genesee County this month.

March 19, 2010 - 6:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Announcements, sports.

Three people from Genesee County will be honored by the Rochester Press-Radio Club at its annual sports awards banquent in May.

  • Mike Rapone, Notre Dame High basketball coach, will be named the High School Coach of the Year.
  • Batavian Katie Stack, an RIT hockey player, will be named Female College Athlete of the Year.
  • Lindsay Chatt, from Oakfield-Alabama, will receive the Jerry Flynn Award, for a high school student who excels in athletics, academics and community service.

Founded in 1949, the Rochester Press-Radio Club raises money for local charities and its annual sports awards are one of the most prestigious regional award programs in the United States.

This year, the headliner for the dinner is New Orleans Saint and former San Diego Charger quarterback Drew Brees.

The dinner is May 12 and tickets are $125 per person, with group rates available.

March 8, 2010 - 1:08pm
posted by Genesee ARC News in awards, Announcements, Genesee ARC.

DONNA SASKOWSKI.JPGGenesee ARC Executive Director Donna Saskowski was named Social Worker of the Year by the Western Division of the New York State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

She was selected for her service to people with developmental disabilities, her leadership skills and commitment to community development. Her award nomination was submitted by Barbara Demerest, of Amherst, a former aide to New York State Senator Mary Lou Rath.

“Community leaders and families served by ARC continually note the major positive impact that Donna’s leadership has on the lives of the individuals and families her agency serves, and on the larger community," Demerest said.

During the awards presentation, Demerest said, “Donna particularly has forged partnerships and collaborations, not only strengthening services but integrating persons with disabilities into their communities and maximizing their opportunities for full participation.

"Among the many initiatives she has led are a recreational partnership with the YMCA and a major fundraising effort for the Genesee ARC Community Center (formerly St. Mary’s School).”

Saskowski, a lifelong resident of the town of Darien, received her bachelor's and master's degrees in Social Work from the University of Buffalo School of Social Work and has been on staff at Genesee ARC since 1989 and Executive Director since 2004.

In addition to her affiliation with NASW, Saskowski is a member of the Batavia Rotary Club and the Genesee County United Way Board of Directors. She is president of the Finger Lakes Collaborative, and belongs to NYSARC’s Executive Directors’ Association and Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York. In 2006, she was a member of the Community Health Foundation Leadership Fellows and she is a member of Leadership Genesee’s Class of 2005.

March 6, 2010 - 12:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

If you are going to be in the Sarasota, Fla., area on March 21 or you'd like to go there and enjoy a big party of people who graduated from Genesee County high schools, then this announcement is for you.

Nick and Mary Ann Figlow are hosting a Reunion Party at their home at 3617 White Sulphur Place in Sarasota. Starts at 1 p.m. and lasts as long as its lasts!

Bring a dish of something to eat and share plus your favorite beverages.

Grads from Batavia, Bergen, Elba, Le Roy, Notre Dame, Oakfield, Stafford, Corfu, Alexander, Bethany, Pembroke, Pavilion, Darien, Alabama and Attica are invited.

"This is going to be a blast!" the Figlows say.

Use Google Maps, or try Nick and Mary Ann's directions: The house is off Beneva Road, -- south of Fruitville Road, south of Bahia Vista Road, north of Webber Street -- head east off Beneva. It's the second house on the right, the one with 50 or 60 or more cars parked around it. (Again, just a suggestion...use Google Maps or Map Works online.)

Phone numbers to call are (home) (941) 922-2277 or (941) 376-1375.

February 26, 2010 - 3:10pm

The following article was submitted by Beverly Mancuso, executive director, Cornell Cooperative Extension Genesee County, and Brad Rogers, chairman, Genesee County Soil and Water.

This is Food Check Out Week, a nationwide effort begun by Farm Bureau to raise awareness that we have a safe and affordable food supply readily available in the United States. Thank you to our farmers!

The focus is “Stretching Your Food Dollar with Healthy, Nutritious Food." Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County can work with everyone to help achieve this goal. Just give us a call at 343-3040.

Feb. 21-27 is the week when the average American earns enough disposable income to pay for his or her family’s food supply for an entire year. Thanks to the hard work of farmers, U.S. consumers spend just under 10 percent of their disposable annual income on food. Compare this to the fact that most Americans work into April to pay their taxes.

More and more people are realizing how important food is to our quality of life, in fact, to our daily survival. This is great news!  Several local people were recently recognized for their efforts in this arena by the New York State Ag Society at its 178th Annual Meeting & Agricultural Forum held in Syracuse Jan. 7.

Batavia Daily News journalists Tom Rivers and Sharon Larsen were awarded the “Cap” Creal Journalism Award for telling the story of New York Agriculture. Tom also won last year with his farm labor story. This year, he won for the story “Raising Pigs.” Sharon Larsen was recognized for her editorial "Farm ‘omnibust’ bill."

CY Farms, Batavia Turf, CY Heifer Farms received the Business of the Year Award, an award developed to promote the state’s food system and recognize the quality, leadership and innovation demonstrated by New York agribusinesses. Carl and Craig Yunker were present to receive this award.

Many organizations in Genesee County support and promote agriculture in our area. This is important to each of us because we all depend on agriculture for food, fuel, clothing and shelter. Agriculture is the number one economic driver in our community. Genesee County Farm Bureau, the Ag Committee of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, Genesee County Ag Farmland Protection, Genesee County Soil and Water and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County are just some of the many groups that continually reach out to our Community. The Genesee County Legislature is also very supportive of agriculture, and for that, we are all very appreciative.

Frankly, it’s easy to take agriculture for granted. Our food is readily accessible and safe. For this, we’re unbelievably fortunate. Before you know it, Farmer’s Market will be operating, and this represents just one opportunity to buy local. Visit this website for more information:

February 9, 2010 - 3:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, h1n1, flu, Genesee County Health Department.

Here's important information for parents and guardians from the Genesee County Health Department:

In response to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, the local health department has coordinated H1N1 vaccine distribution to numerous physician offices throughout the county. In addition, we have conducted several Points of Dispensing (POD’s) in order to assist the medical professionals in protecting our community against this virus. A large number of these clinics were established directly at schools within Genesee County prior to the holiday recess in December.

On Jan. 23, a clinic was held at the Batavia City Centre to target the child population requiring a second dose. Children less than 10 years of age need to receive two .25 ml doses of the vaccine at least 28 days apart, to provide the proper immune protection against the H1N1 Virus.

If your child has not received their second dose, we ask you contact the Genesee County Health Department or your primary care physician to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. The vaccine is FREE. Some physicians may require an administrative fee.

For more information on the H1N1 virus and for a schedule of H1N1 clinics in Genesee County, please visit: HYPERLINK "" or call the Genesee County Health Department for an appointment at: 585-344-2580 ext. 5000.

February 1, 2010 - 4:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, jobs.

Got work? Here's a government press release about temporary jobs only offered every 10 years.

The U.S. Census Bureau is preparing to launch a major recruitment effort to fill hundreds of positions in Genesee County to work on the 2010 Decennial Census.

The newly opened Batavia office of the U.S. Census Bureau has a goal of screening approximately 3,000 applicants between now and April for jobs in suburban and rural Erie County, eastern Genesee and Wyoming counties, and all of Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties. 

Anyone interested in signing up for the 30-minute qualifying test can call 1-866-861-2010.

The majority of the jobs involve going door-to-door to interview residents who do not send in their 2010 census questionnaire. The starting salary for entry-level field positions is $13 per hour.

For more information regarding census jobs you can go to

January 20, 2010 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Announcements, Churches, Haiti.

Area residents are coming together at 7 p.m. at St. James Church to hold a community prayer and vigil for the people of Haiti.

St. James is located at 405 E. Main St., Batavia.

This is a non-denominational service and the entire community is invited to attend.

Singers who wish to join the choir are asked to arrive by 6:30 p.m.

For more information call the church office at 343-6802.

William F. Brown, Jr. Earns Honorary Status in Batavia Rotary Club

Long-time Batavia Rotary Club member, William F. Brown Jr. has been recognized by the Batavia Rotary Club for his commitment and dedication to "service above self."  Bill earned Honorary status by distinguishing himself through "meritorious service in the furtherance of Rotary ideals." Bill joined the Batavia Rotary Club in January, 1960.  He is a past president (1974-75) and was one of the first Batavia Rotary members to be awarded a Paul Haris Fellow.  Bill was chairman of Rotary Radio Days for 35 years and was a popular participant of the annual Rotary Comedy Show. 

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 
January 18, 2010 - 3:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, business, agriculture.

The distinction of Conservation Farm of the Year 2009 has been awarded to John and Shelley Reynolds of Reyncrest Farms.

The Genesee County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors made the selection and will present the award at the "Celebrate Agriculture" dinner on March 13 at the Alexander Fire Hall.

Reyncrest Farms is located on 9666 Alleghany Road in Corfu. It grows feed crops on 1,500 acres and has more than 600 dairy cows.

The longtime family business was chosen because of its environmentally friendly ways, including crop rotation, growing grass buffers along streams and ditches and installing an extensive and sophisticated drainage system.

The Reynolds family also tries to be a good neighbor when it comes to spreading manure -- they limit it to dry days and will postpone the chore if a neighbor has a party.

It's not the first time Reyncrest has received the Conservation Farm of the Year award. It also won it in 1982 when the farm was operated by John's father, the late Ed Reynolds.

Reyncrest Farms built a new barn in 2008 and a new milking structure in 1997. The big, old red barn -- plainly visible on Alleghany Road -- was spruced up last year thanks to about $5,000 from the Campbell's Soup Co. The barn was one of only five chosen nationwide for refurbishment as part of Campbell's "Help Grow Your Soup" campaign.

January 14, 2010 - 2:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Genesee Community College.

Genesee Community College Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services Virginia Taylor reported to the board of trustees this week that as of Jan. 5, a total of 636 prospective students applied for admission on a full-time basis for the spring semester.

That's up 11.8 percent from the 569 prospective students who applied a year ago.

President Stuart Steiner said that as of this morning, 3,868 students had registered for classes, up 7 percent from the 3,615 students who registered a year ago.

Those registering for courses on a full-time basis numbered 2,813, an increase of 9.3 percent from last year's registration of 2,573 students.

Vice President for Finance and Operations Kevin Hamilton reported that work on the Genesee County Economic Development Center's Bruce Holm Med Tech Park is proceeding on schedule. He said if work continues to be on track, the GCEDC should receive a certificate of occupancy about June 15 and that the college's Nursing Program can move into the facility July 1.

January 6, 2010 - 11:40pm
posted by Gretel Kauffman in Announcements, High School Musical, encore theatre arts.

Jocks. Brainiacs. Skaters. Cheerleaders. It may sound like a typical high school experience, but this weekend the spectacle won't be in the Batavia High cafeteria, it'll be on the stage. 

Starting Thursday night, Encore Theatre Arts will be performing "Disney's High School Musical." The play, which is based on the smash-hit movie, follows nerdy Gabriella and jock Troy as they sing and dance their way through falling in love and discovering their place in high school.

Director Lynda Hodgins says that the play is very similar to the movie, with only a few changes, such as a new character and a slightly different setting. Some of the original characters were cut out completely, and others' parts were slightly adjusted.

"The Taylor in the musical has a bigger part than in the movie," says Maureen Edwards, 12, of her role as Gabriella's best friend. "You see her friendship with Gabriella more."

The show will also differ from the movie when it comes to dancing, says choreographer Tara Kaczorowski, who also has the part of mean-girl diva Sharpay Evans. 

"The only dance that's the same as in the movie is for 'We're All in This Together,' because we thought kids would be expecting that. Surprisingly, this has been one of the easiest shows I've choreographed so far, because the music has a good beat and it's fun to dance to," says Kaczorowski.

So is it difficult taking on the roles of some of the most beloved actors in recent 'tween media? 

"Well, I based some of my character off of Zac Efron's," says Brian Bodgan, who plays jock-turned-actor Troy Bolton. "I try to give him the same passion and pizzazz that Zac did, but I'm definitely a different Troy."

Bogdan, 24, says he was attracted to the role right away because of similarities between him and his character. 

"I was a lot like Troy in high school. I grew up playing sports year-round, and also doing theater. They always went hand-in-hand for me, and Troy is trying to find the balance between them. So I see a lot of myself in the character."

Justin Ryan, 22, who plays Sharpay's equally attention-loving sidekick, brother Ryan Evans, also has no trouble getting into his role.

"I basically am Ryan in real life," he laughs. "You know, theater geek, classy dresser. I actually used a lot of stuff from my own closet for my costumes." 

The cast, which is mostly composed of high school and college students as well as twenty-somethings, is proof that the story is popular among all ages, not just children.

"I love the movie," Edwards confesses. "I used to listen to the soundtrack every day."

"When it first came out, I thought it was fantastic, and I was in college!" says Ryan.  "There was so much hype for it, and I thought it was really great."

When asked if it was his favorite movie, Paul Teresi, 16, replies, "Duh!"

And Bogdan said "It's a story I think everyone can relate to. The characters are going through this journey of discovering themselves, and everyone goes through that in high school. It's a time for finding who you are. I think that's what makes the show so successful and recognizable."

"Encore is a new company," says Hodgins, "and they wanted to do something with a wide appeal that's a big ticket seller."

Sell tickets it surely will. After all, everybody loves a high school musical.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 7-9 and 2 p.m. Jan. 10 at Batavia High School. Tickets are $10 when purchased at Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles and $12 at the door.




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

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