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March 4, 2015 - 1:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, business.

A social media workshop will be held at the BEST Center across the road from GCC from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 12. Cost is $49.

"Basic Level: Social Networking for Facebook & Twitter" will teach the basics of using these tools. Participants will leave with a working knowledge of how to use these tools and how to protect yourself. It is highly recommended that you have a web-based e-mail service that includes Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, etc.

This course is not about theory. It is hands-on. Get your feet wet and play with the different platforms in a safe environment with an instructor to help you every step of the way.

Call The BEST Center to register at 345-6868 or go online to

March 3, 2015 - 4:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Press release:

"Frolic in the Forest" this Spring At Genesee County Park and Forest!

Be part of the magic this spring with full moon hikes, adventures in amphibian life, and forays into the pond at Genesee County Park and Forest. Explore the forest by moonlight as we search for animals, see new growth, hear old stories, and discover the world waking up from a long, cold winter.

Long ago each full moon was given a name to mark the season of the year. Join us for the Full Worm Moon in March, the Full Fish Moon in April, and the Full Flower Moon in May.

Evening exploration begins on Thursday, March 5 from 7 to 8:30, and Saturday April 4 from 7:30 to 9, and Saturday May 2, from 7:30 to 9.

Listen to the chorus of spring and get to know your small, slimy singing neighbors with Amphibian Adventure on Saturday April 18, at 8:30 p.m. After we learn to identify our pest-eating pals, we head into the wetlands and woodlands to search for them, listen to them, and find out what we can do to help take care of them.

Delve into some wild creature encounters with Pond Discovery on Saturday, May 9, at 11:30 am. Be prepared to get muddy and wet, you will be using a net and sharing a bucket of water to catch animals, and then learn about them from a Naturalist Guide.

Pre-registration is required for all programs. Cost is $5/person, $10/family. To register call (585) 344-1122.

For more information visit our website at <>

February 21, 2015 - 3:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, elba.

Press release:

Last June we held the first Elba Alumni Reunion with more than 160 people attending. It was a wonderful success and we are not planning a second reunion. This is open to ALL Elba alumni or to anyone who ECS for several years and would like to see former classmates and friends again.

This year’s reunion will again be held at the Elba Firemen's Recreation Hall on Saturday, June 6th. It is located at 7143 Oak Orchard Road.

There will be a social hour at 5 p.m. with a buffet dinner at 6 preceded by appetizer and brunch. A cash bar will also be available. (A tour of the school at 3:30 p.m. will take place for those who are interested.)

As we are not able to contact all Elba alumni we would ask you to pass this information on.

Additional information and forms for the reunion can be obtained on Facebook under the group “Elba Central School Alumni” or you can contact Susan Berg Michalak at 585.343.7086 and a form will be sent to you.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to catch up with former classmates. Last year’s reunion was a fun evening of sharing so many wonderful ECS memories!

February 21, 2015 - 1:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Press release:

Join us for our 49th annual reunion to be held at the Tropic Isles Park Auditorium, 3100 10th St. West and 28th Ave., Palmetto, Fla., on March 4th. Coffee and donuts at 11 a.m.; lunch at noon. Please bring a dish to pass that will serve eight (8) and your own table service.

For further information, call Chuck at (941) 721-9748.

February 21, 2015 - 1:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Press release:

We are bringing nature inside with a fun and educational program from Wild Spirit. The program is designed to not only educate, but to spark the interests of the participants. With a visual and hands-on approach to nature education, the naturalists from Wild Spirit are trained to get the participants involved in the lessons.

On Feb. 28, from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m., the Wild Spirit Program will bring in birds such as owls, hawks and falcons for the audience to view and be educated on. The presentation will take place at the ARC Community Center located at 38 Woodrow Road in the City of Batavia.

The program is being sponsored by the Batavia Youth Bureau Youth Connection Program. This event will be fun and is appropriate for the entire family. For more information or to register call the Youth Bureau at 345-6420.

February 19, 2015 - 3:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Gardening.

Join the Genesee County Master Gardeners for their lunchtime garden series called “Garden Talk.”

On the first Tuesday of each month from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m., the Master Gardeners hold an informational workshop focusing on a specific gardening topic. Bring your lunch to the CCE office (420 E. Main St., Batavia) and think spring!

The next session will take place on March 3rd and the topic will be “New Plants for 2015.” We will take a look at a sampling of the new annuals, perennials, vegetables and shrubs that will be hitting the market this year.

This program is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. Contact Brandie at 585-343-3040, ext. 101, for more information.

Future topics and other Master Gardener events will be posted on the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County Web site at and also on our Facebook page at

February 19, 2015 - 3:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Press release:

Independent Living of Genesee Region will offer free workshops on “Living Well with Type 2 Diabetes” from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 26, and March 4th, 12th, 19th and 26th at the Washington Towers Apartments, located at 1 State St., Batavia.

Pre-registration is required as seats fill up quickly.

Feel Better! Take Control of Your Life! Get Connected! Do you want to increase your energy and get relief from pain, fatigue and difficult emotions? Do you want to connect with others who have similar health issues and enhance your skills and ability to manage a healthy lifestyle?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then the "Living Well with Type 2 Diabetes" workshop is just for you. This peer-led health education program, also known as the Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP), was developed and tested by Stanford University and is designed to complement and enhance medical treatment and diabetes management.

You will learn several key strategies to help you manage your diabetes such as: Decision making and problem solving skills; planning for future health care; developing and maintaining a safe, long-term physical activity program; how to monitor glucose; skin care; food; and how to communicate effectively with family, friends and health professionals.

To register or if you have additional questions, please contact Patricia McAllister at (716) 836-0822, ext. 402, or email: [email protected]
About WNY Independent Living, Inc.:
WNY Independent Living, Inc. is a family of agencies which includes Independent Living of Niagara County and Independent Living of Genesee Region. The agencies are joined by a common philosophy of self-help, self-determination, and equal access. Within the past year, the WNYIL family of agencies has saved New York State taxpayers over $71 million by helping individuals to leave and avoid institutionalization. We have been practicing the principles of education, empowerment and equality for persons with disabilities for over 30 years.

February 19, 2015 - 2:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Genesee County’s annual “State of the County” address is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. in the Chambers of the Old Court House in Downtown Batavia. The Chair of the Genesee County Legislature, Raymond Cianfrini, will deliver the address. All are cordially invited and encouraged to attend.

February 19, 2015 - 1:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, education, mental health.

The Mental Health Association in Genesee County awards two scholarships annually to deserving students who are pursuing their education at an institution of higher learning in the fields of human or social services.

The mission of the MHA is to meet the needs of the community by promoting mental wellness through education, advocacy and support, thereby improving the quality of life and instilling hope.

The two scholarships to be presented at the MHA’s annual meeting in May are:

  • Constance E. Miller Scholarship Award in the amount of $2,000 (She founded the MHA in Genesee County in 1993.)
  • MHA Board of Directors Scholarship Award in the amount of $500.

Applicants must have their primary residence in Genesee County.

A copy of the application is available online at

Applications are due to the MHA no later than April 1.

Applicants must provide: Name, mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, name of college or university accepted at, course of study or program enrolled in; and it asks if you are a relative of a current MHA employee or board member.

These are the requirements:

  • Applicant must be accepted at an accredited college or university and enrolled in an eligible program by the time the scholarship is awarded.
  • Eligible programs include: Social Work, Mental Health Counseling, Psychology or Human Services.
  • Current MHA employees and board members are not eligible. Relatives of MHA employees and board members are also not eligible.
  • Applicants must provide: (1) Academic history such as high school or college transcripts. (2) Resume or personal biography including work history, volunteer experiences, extra-curricular activities. (3) Essay that addresses educational and employment objectives. (4) Two letters of recommendation in sealed envelopes from people who know your academic and work/volunteer history. Letters from relatives will not be accepted. 
  • Financial need, volunteerism, employment history and civic involvement will be given careful consideration.

Applications should be mailed to:

Scholarship Program

Mental Health Association in Genesee County

25 Liberty St., Batavia, NY 14020

Or send e-mail to:

[email protected]

February 18, 2015 - 4:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, byron, bergen.

On Feb. 7, the Singing Silhouettes, a select choir from Byron Bergen High School, were invited to sing at the Genesee Valley School Boards Association Legislative Breakfast. The students performed “Aquarius” for the assembly and it was conducted by Lawrence Tallman.

February 18, 2015 - 3:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Joanna Fisher, a PhD student at Cornell University in the Entomology department, will be giving a free interactive "First Detector" training on emerald ash borer (EAB), hemlock wooly adelgid (HWA) and Asian longhorned beetle (ALB); Tuesday, Feb. 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, 420 E. Main St., Batavia.

At this training session you will learn how to detect and identify these destructive invasive pests. We will also discuss EAB, HWA and ALB biology and management, and talk about how you can get involved in your community to slow the spread of these invasive species. An optional field trip to Darien Lake State Park will follow the workshop. Free and open to the public. Lunch will be on your own.

Hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension and WNY PRISM. For more information and to RSVP, contact Andrea Locke, WNY PRISM coordinator at [email protected] or (716) 878-4708.

February 11, 2015 - 1:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Press release:

Are you a parent looking for some help in understanding your child or teenager? The Salvation Army of Genesee County is offering a 13-week course which offers practical advice and helpful information on how to promote positive family relationships.

Discussion topics include: rest and comfort, money, emotional stability, talking and listening, setting goals and expectation, and conflict and resolution. The final session focuses on parenting issues faced by single parents. Each session has a short DVD presentation, group discussion, and time to take notes in a workbook.

The sessions are held on Mondays through April 27 from 10 a.m - 12 p.m.; there will be no class on Feb. 16. There is no charge for the classes.

Individuals can register Monday-Wednesday by calling 585-343-6284.

February 10, 2015 - 6:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Announcements.

Information and photo submitted by Marsha Geiger

Pack 112 of Batavia held it annual Pine Wood Derby on January 30th at John Kennedy School. First place was Brien Tyoe, Second place was Shawn Schwartzmeyer, and Third place was Nicholas Grover.

February 5, 2015 - 3:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements.

Press release:

Jeanne Graber, a Batavia resident, knows first-hand how hard it is to quit smoking. She stopped smoking three years ago after 55 years of being addicted to the deadly habit. She is now encouraging others, including her neighbors at Washington Towers where she lives, to quit with the help from their doctors.

Jeanne will be among four women at Washington Towers who will be recognized by the American Heart Association. They will receive an iconic red dress pin at a special event to support the GoRedforWoman campaign.

The other women to be recognized are Patricia Epple, Margaret Hughes and Jeanette Johnson.

The event will take place at Washington Towers from 2-4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 13th. Management and residents also will celebrate the third anniversary of the adoption of the smoke-free policy at the apartment complex, located at 1 State St. in the City of Batavia. This policy benefits non-smokers and supports those who want to quit smoking.

"I know quitting has changed my life and made me appreciate my health more than ever," Graber said. "I'm the master of my ship now, not cigarettes. Unfortunately, before the building went smoke free, residents really could not avoid secondhand smoke because it came through the vents, outlets, windows and cracks. I want everyone who lives here to be able to breathe clean air and have healthy hearts. I'm so glad we made the decision to go smoke free."

"Smoke free policies and laws are an easy, affordable and cost effective way to prevent heart disease and help to create healthier communities," said Kevin Keenan, Community Engagement coordinator for Tobacco-Free Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming. "Most renters, including smokers, want smoke-free housing as it supports their efforts to quit."

February is American Heart Month, an opportune time to remind New Yorkers that tobacco use and secondhand smoke are major causes of heart disease, America's number one killer. Frequent exposure to tobacco smoke has been found to nearly double the risk of having a heart attack and creates an unhealthy environment for children. Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease, increases the risk of stroke and the severity of heart attacks when they occur.

New Yorkers can be protected from smoking-related illnesses such as heart disease by creating more smoke-free housing. In addition, smokers need resources to help them quit.

Valerie Tidwell, property manager at Washington Towers said, "More than 80 percent of our residents supported making the apartments smoke free. They now realize that this was a sensible policy since there's no fool-proof way of protecting residents from secondhand smoke unless you go completely smoke free inside. For management and tenants, it has worked out well."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year nearly 33 million nonsmokers in the U.S. may be exposed to secondhand smoke coming from other units and common areas. Each year secondhand smoke causes more than 3,000 deaths in nonsmoking adults in New York State, most from heart disease and lung cancer.

Tobacco-free apartment buildings save money in addition to many lives. According to the CDC, prohibiting smoking in subsidized housing alone would result in annual cost savings of nearly $125 million in New York State. Cost savings of $100 million would come from unneeded secondhand smoke-related healthcare.

"Smoking is one of the leading risk factors for coronary diseases and quitting smoking is one of the most important steps you can take to reduce your risk of coronary diseases," Keenan said. "I hope more people join Washington Towers' residents in loving their hearts by ending this deadly addiction."

Those looking for help quitting, should talk to their doctor and for additional support, call the New York Smokers' Quitline.  The Quitline provides free coaching, information and a free starter kit of nicotine patches to eligible New York residents. All callers to the Quitline in February will receive a red dress pin or bracelet. Wearing a red dress pin is a tangible reminder that better heart health begins with quitting smoking.

For more information about smoke-free properties, contact Kevin Keenan at 585-219-4064 or by e-mail at [email protected]

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter at tobaccofreewny.

February 5, 2015 - 3:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Put a spring in your step and hop on over to Genesee Community College to explore ways you can shape your future. All six GCC campus center locations are hosting a "Catch the Wave" educational opportunity providing enrollment and registration services to community members Tuesday through Thursday, March 31, April 1 and April 2 starting at 9 a.m. and continuing through the day as needed.

Student services including academic and financial advisement, application assistance, financial aid, course registration and other technical assistance will be provided. Potential students can take the placement test and register for summer and fall courses if they bring official transcripts from their high school. The staff at each campus center will be ready to assist students of all ages, all career interests and all walks of life.

Scholarship opportunities are among the dynamic opportunities for local residents to explore. The Genesee Promise Plus program offering summer scholarships for GLOW-area high school graduates and juniors, as well as adults who have never attended college before.

New students will be assisted in starting their online FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), and are encouraged to bring photo ID, record of high school graduation or GED, and their most recent tax return.

For door-to-door driving directions to the campus centers go to:

February 4, 2015 - 4:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, CASA for Children.

Press release:

A $2,500 grant that provides extracurricular activities for abused and neglected youngsters has been given to GC CASA for Children for the second year in a row.

The donation announcement was made this afternoon. The Kelly for Kids Foundation presented the check to CASA for Children Executive Director Ashley Hausfelder last month.

Genesee County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) is a 501 c (3) nonprofit organization that trains members of the community to become volunteers who advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children that come before the attention of family court.

“While advocating for these children’s most basic needs, CASA volunteers have quickly found that these children need so much more than that," Hausfelder said. "These children all lack self-esteem and a feeling of belonging. Some have not known where their next meal would be coming from and quickly had to learn how to be a parent to their younger siblings. Genesee County CASA would like to give these children a chance to be kids, a chance to feel like they belong in this world and a chance to feel pride."

Last year was a successful one for the children who received services from CASA because of the Kelly for Kids Foundation grant.

“In 2014, our program was able to provide family memberships to the YMCA, karate lessons, dance classes, soccer camp expenses, a trumpet for a child to play in his school band, as well as the purchase of swimming lessons, etc.," Hausfelder said. "Thankfully, in 2015, we will be able to do the same, if not more."

For more information about the Court Appointed Special Advocate program or to become a volunteer you can visit the Web site at <> or contact Ashley Hausfelder, executive director, by phone at (585)-815-7809.

February 4, 2015 - 3:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, business, GCEDC.

The Genesee Economic Development Center will hold its annual meeting and luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 6. It will be in the Paddock Room at Batavia Downs, 8315 Park Road, Batavia.

To register, contact Rachael Tabelski, marketing and communications director, at 343-4866 or e-mail at  [email protected]

Press release:

2014 has certainly been an exciting year from an economic development standpoint as unemployment was at a historic low of 4.8 percent in August, per capita income grew 6.16 percent, and businesses invested more than $50 million in our community. The food industry across the region, and especially in Genesee County, continues to flourish while investment and developments at the WNY STAMP project occur on a daily basis.

The GCEDC Annual Meeting is an opportunity for you to find out what has been achieved in Genesee County over the last year and to get a exclusive preview of what the economic landscape will look like for 2015. The Annual Meeting is also an excellent opportunity to network with economic and elected leaders from around the region. At the event the GCEDC will also unveil the "2015 Economic Development Partner of the Year Award."

February 4, 2015 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, St. James Episcopal Church.

Press release:

St. James Episcopal Church, Batavia, is celebrating its 200th Anniversary this year. Bicentennial celebration events will take place throughout the year beginning with a special 1815-style church service at 10 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 8. The service will consist of liturgy and music most likely used 200 years ago at St. James, whose parishioners included many of Batavia’s founding families.

Some of the other events planned for the year include:

  • April 12th -- A talk about early Batavia by local historian Larry Barnes.The focus of the talk will be about the founders and early Vestrymen who played a prominent role in the formation of our city. Mr. Barnes will also enlighten us on the accomplishments of Mary Elizabeth and Robert Wood. Along with being a member of St. James Church, Miss Wood was the first director of Richmond Library. Rev. Wood was an Episcopal missionary in China. Miss Wood followed her brother to China and began her life’s work of establishing libraries in China.
  • April 24th  -- A musical presentation by Vox Lumine
  • May 2nd  --  Thanksgiving in May Dinner
  • May 9th --  Period Tea and Fashion Show
  • June 6th  --  Festival Eucharist Celebration with Choral singing and Brass accompaniment with celebrant William Franklin, Bishop of Western New York
  • June 13th -- A Live Batavia appearance and presentation by Suzanne Oliver, co-author of “The Faith Club.” Her book weaves the story of three women, their religions (a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew) and their quest to understand one another. There will be several studies relating to this book throughout the community prior Ms. Oliver’s appearance.

The St. James Bicentennial meshes well with the concurrent City of Batavia Centennial Celebration.

February 3, 2015 - 6:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Press release:

Get out and take in a winter wonderland of snow-covered trees, ice-covered ponds, and winter wildlife activity with a snowshoe hike at Genesee County Park and Forest, offered every Saturday in February.

Daytime hikes cost is $15 per person. Snowshoes are provided, or you may bring your own.

Hikes begin at 1 p.m. at the Nature Center with a brief history of snowshoeing and a lesson on walking in snowshoes. No previous experience is needed. On the trail, your Naturalist guide points out signs of wildlife activity in the woodlands as you take in your surroundings.

Listen for the sounds of birds at the feeders, and watch for deer bounding through the snow. Hikes conclude with refreshments back at the nature center at 3 p.m.

Enjoy the tranquil beauty of twilight with our nighttime snowshoe hike for adults on Saturday, Feb. 21st from 7:30 – 9 p.m. Naturalists introduce snowshoeing with a brief lesson, then lead you on a trip through the forest. The evening concludes with refreshments by a warm fire in Pavilion A. This hike is for ages 18 and over; cost is $10 per person. Snowshoes are provided, or bring your own.

For your own self-guided experience, snowshoes are available for rent at the Genesee County Park and Forest Interpretive Center 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays; 12 – 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Fee is $5/pair and all proceeds go to the ACORNS organization supporting the park.

For more information visit our Web site at, or contact Shannon Morley at [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

February 3, 2015 - 5:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, charity, Ascension Parish.

Ascension Parish will hold its annual St. Joseph Table at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 15.

This year the event is open to the general public and the funds raised will be used to feed and care for the poor residing within the City of Batavia. During these difficult winter months this need is visible on our streets and in our warming shelters. As a parish we seek to give back to the community for the goodness the Lord has shown to us by caring for the poor in our midst.

WHO:  Ascension Parish
WHAT:  Saint Joseph Day Table
WHEN:  Sunday, March 15th at 3 p.m.
WHERE:  Slomba Hall, 17 Sumner St., Batavia
WHY:  Raising Awareness and Funds for the Poor in the City of Batavia
EVENT DESCRIPTION:  A traditional Italian feast catered by Bing’s Restaurant of Amherst. A seven-course meal will be served family style to include: antipasto, artichokes, frittata, lentil soup, Caesar salad, lemon sorbet, pasta con sardi, pasta & peas, baked fish, greens, bread & butter, coffee/tea and homemade Italian desserts.

Cash Bar and wine available for your table.

Music and Entertainment by Steve Balestreri.

Theme Baskets and 50/50 split club will be provided for your enjoyment.

COST: $25 DONATION/Per Person (Cash/Check) Seating limited to 300!

HOW TO OBTAIN TICKETS: Call the Parish Office at 585-343-1796 to reserve your table; families and businesses welcome. You may also pre-pay and buy your tickets online at:

Please note: There is a $1.75 service fee for the online payment option.

Ticket cost $26.75 per person. Tickets are Pre-Sale only. There will be NO SALES the day of the event or AT THE DOOR!  Cash or Check ONLY.

Make Checks Payable to:  Ascension Parish/St. Vincent de Paul Society Ascension Parish
19 Sumner St.
Batavia, NY 14020

Phone:  585-343-1796
Fax:  585-343-0919




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

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