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August 31, 2010 - 11:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, Announcements, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

It’s a tribute to the men and women who flirted with harness racing immortality. And the Harness Racing Hall of Fame exhibit will be on display this weekend at Batavia Downs Casino.

It’s called the Drive to Win exhibit and it features drivers and trainers who through circumstance or fate, did not rise to stardom. Their stories are poignant and down to earth and highlight that through adversity, the one shining element that connects them all is their love of and commitment to the great sport of harness racing.

Huge portraits, many provided by The United States Trotting Association and the sport’s weekly magazine Horseman And Fair World, introduce the subjects of the exhibit who were all nominated by racing fans. Each includes the complete story of the individual and what made them noteworthy in the sport.

There are 27 drivers and trainers featured in the exhibit including former Western New York regulars Jim Rankin, Robbie Rankin, George Forshey, and Angus Allen. You will also be able to see the stories of Richard Baker, Hugh Bell, Edwin Bither, Harry Burright, Vernon Crank, Harold R. Dancer, Norman Dauplaise, Alfred “Bucky” Day, Bea Farber, Hilda Heydt, Maxie Lee, Joe Lighthill, Howard Parker, Ervin Samples, Forrest Short, Phyllis Smith Page, Harold Snodgrass, Colby Turner, Sacher Werner, John “Tic” Wilcutts, Lew Williams, and Mildred Williams. Their stories provide an illuminating glimpse into this Great American Pastime.

The exhibit was stationary at the Hall of Fame of the Trotter in Goshen, NY until 2009 when it became a traveling ambassador of the sport. Its presentation here this week was made possible through support from Hanover Shoe Farms and is co-sponsored by Batavia Downs Casino and the Upstate NY Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. It will be on display in The Paddock Room from 5:30 to 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from Noon to 4:00 p.m. Labor Day Monday. Evening post times are 6:40 with a 1:15 matinee post on Labor Day.

We will also have many hand outs from the museum including the colorful and informative Hall of Fame Journal from this past July 4th inductions at Goshen, NY.

Many thanks to Tim Bojarski, President-Upstate New York Chapter of USHWA for making this exhibit possible.

August 30, 2010 - 1:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Darien, darien lake resort.

Darien Lake Resort will host the inaugural WNY Emergency Services Appreciation Day on 9/11 -- to honor the heroic contributions of emergency services personnel on that day in 2001.

It will honor fallen heroes and raise funds for charity. Firefighters and their families are invited to enjoy the day together with fun activities and raffles that provide guests with the chance to win amazing prizes.

Free parking is included with each $20 admission ticket, along with delicious food and beverages. Admission includes the theme park and the new SplashTown water park.At 1:30 p.m., a 9/11 Memorial Ceremony will take place to pay homage to the fallen. All proceeds from the event will benefit local charities.

To order tickets or request more information, please call (716) 533-1800 or email [email protected]
For those wishing to stay on property, there are special hotel and camping packages available, which include admission to the theme park and water park. This year, Darien Resort is also pleased to offer brand-new Brown Bear Cabins that provide guests with all of the comforts of home.

For more information on WNY Emergency Services Appreciation Day or visiting Darien Lake Resort on Sept. 11, please visit or call (585) 599-4641.

August 30, 2010 - 12:52pm

In September, the Richmond Memorial Library is offering a new preschool program called “Eat, Read, Grow." It is in cooperation with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County.

Parents and children will participate in a variety of reading, nutrition/food prep, and gardening activities.

For more information, contact Judy at the Richmond Memorial Library, 343-9550, ext. 1510. A New York State Family Literacy Grant makes this program possible.

August 30, 2010 - 12:42pm

A special workshop for small businesses called "Stand out in the marketplace" is set for Thursday, Oct. 14 at the Generation Centre on Center Street in Batavia.

It features nationally recognized marketing expert Rick Segel and is presented by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and the Batavia Business Improvement District (BID).

It runs from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and includes lunch. Cost is $15 for BID and chamber members, $20 for nonmembers.

For more information or to register, call the chamber at 585-343-7440, ext. 26.

This event is "guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.....REALLY!" (Check out Segal's website:

Topics will include:

  • Ways to Differentiate and Stand OUT in a Big Box Community
  • Creating an environment to gain lifetime customers
  • Ways to get customers to NOTICE & FIND YOU
  • Using traditional and new media in innovative ways
August 28, 2010 - 11:56am

The Batavia Business and Professional Women's Club meets on the first Thursday of every month from Sept. through June. This month, the group will meet at the Cornerstone Church, at 2583 Main Road (at the corner of Slusser Road) in East Pembroke.

A social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:15. The event is scheduled to last until 9 p.m. 

Dinner costs $10 and includes sliced ham, scallop potatoes, apple sauce, tossed salad, a vegetable, rolls and butter, dessert, coffee and tea.

The event program is "Touching Lives One on One, a training program for home visitations to shut-ins," by Mary Alexander.

For more information or to RSVP by Aug. 30, please call Carol Rowcliffee at 343-3457 or Doris Naegely at 343-2755.

August 27, 2010 - 5:37pm

The Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District wants people to know that more farmers are being “green” by demonstrating "product stewardship" -- recycling. And that in October, there will be pick-ups scheduled for recyclable plastic containers.

Farmers all around Western New York are recycling their triple-rinsed plastic containers from agricultural crop protection products such as specialty pest control, crop oils, surfactants, micro-nutrient/fertilizer, and/or adjuvant products.

USAg Recycling, Inc., offers agricultural producers and custom applicators an environmentally “green” convenient option for disposing of their empty containers.

USAg Recycling, Inc., will be picking up agricultural plastic containers in several locations throughout New York State from Oct. 18-29. The service is free to farmers and provides an environmentally friendly alternative to burning or throwing away agricultural containers.

Last year, USAg Recycling, Inc., collected 46,000 pounds of plastic containers from New York State.

It is a member company of the national Agricultural Container Recycling Council (ACRC), which in 2008 celebrated 100 million pounds of agricultural plastic containers recycled from across the United States.

Today, ACRC averages eight to 10 million pounds collected each year. Collected containers are ground into chips and recycled as corrugated plastic drainage pipe, railroad ties, fence posts, pallets, and many other products.

That’s farmers helping to keep plastic out of the landfills.

Containers accepted are HDPE #2 plastic containers only, ranging from less than one gallon to 55 gallon barrels. Larger containers such as 250 gallon shuttle totes must be cut into 2’x2’ pieces and free of any hardware. Cutting large containers in this manner facilitates proper cleaning and inspection, reduces storage area, and allows for direct feed into the granulation machine.

To be acceptable for recycling, plastic containers must be empty, clean, uncapped and dry. To help store containers until pick-up time, bags that hold up to 50 one-gallon containers are available for free upon registration.

Exact pick-up dates at local sites will be available within the first week of October.

Please contact Elizabeth Bentley-Huber at Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District at 585-343-2362 or at <[email protected].> for more information and registration.

August 27, 2010 - 4:30pm

Here's a news release sent today from Kevin J. Keenan, coordinator of Smoke Free NOW. One of the group's goals is to have "Tobacco Free Grocery" in Genesee County.

The tobacco industry currently spends more than $12.8 billion to promote their products throughout the United States. This includes payments to licensed tobacco retailers to put their products in the most visible locations inside the store.

As a result, New York State residents, including people under 18, are exposed to a substantial amount of tobacco marketing.

According to Smoke Free NOW, a recent survey of retailers selling tobacco products in Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans counties, found an average of 15 to 18 ads promoting those products in the stores. That range is in keeping with tobacco retailers' ad displays nationwide.

Other facts about the tobacco industry:

  • In 2006, tobacco companies spent $12.5 billion nationally on advertising, promotions, and price discounts for wholesalers and retailers. That is more than the amount spent to market junk food, soda and alcohol combined: junk
    food and soda companies spent $4.65 billion, and alcohol companies spent $3.13 billion (2005).
  • In New York State, the tobacco industry spends approximately $1.1 million per day to market its products.
  • Almost every licensed tobacco retailer displays tobacco product advertising, with an average of 18 ads per store.
  • Tobacco companies place most of their advertising where young people
    shop — in convenience stores, where 75 percent of teenagers shop at least once a week.

The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids maintains that such point-of-purchase advertising and promotion directly influences what products and brands kids buy and use.

More alarmingly, point-of-purchase advertising and promotions may have a direct impact not only on what brands of cigarettes kids buy, but also on the number of kids who buy cigarettes.

In New York State, there are too many kids getting hooked on tobacco; in large part due to the influence of tobacco marketing. It’s time to understand the real story, says Smoke Free NOW.

For more information, contact or call 585-815-1875.

August 26, 2010 - 4:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, Announcements, sports, harness racing.

Press Release:

(Batavia NY) --- The always popular Wiener Dog Races will be featured as part of the Family Fun Day matinee at Batavia Downs Casino this Sunday August 29. First post time is 1:15 p.m.

There will be seven heats at the end of the 12-race harness card (about 4:20 p.m.) with a maximum of eight dogs each, followed by a “championship heat” between the winners of the seven qualifying events. The 100-yard event is staged on the track in front of the home stretch.

“The wiener dog races are very entertaining,” said Michael D Kane, Vice President of Operations and Live Racing. “We encourage the entire family to come out for this event on Sunday. It’s the perfect way to wrap up our family fun day of entertainment,” he added.

Mr Scribbles and Pringles the Clown will entertain the children from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in The Paddock Room. There will also be pony rides, $1 snow cones, Sahlen hot dogs and soda. A special clubhouse buffet will be featured for $7.95.

This year’s wiener dog race is sponsored by Petco on Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia.

The weekend begins with Italian-American Night Friday evening when Oakfield Attorney Raymond Cianfrini is honored by The Downs as its Italian-American-of-the-Year. A special clubhouse buffet with an Italian flavor will be featured along with live music by the Formula Band.

Saturday night, three race fans will be drawn at random to enter the Casino’s Cash Cube and the chance to grab up to $1000 in cash. Sign-up begins at 5:00 at Player’s Club.

Batavia Downs Casino is owned and operated by Western Regional Off-Track Betting, a public benefit corporation.

August 26, 2010 - 11:50am

Here's a news release from the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

Two well-known local artists are being featured on a website designed by the University at Buffalo and sponsored by the New York State Department of Labor.

Bart Dentino and Kevin Huber have been working together as "Bart & Kevin" for more than 20 years and have performed for thousands of school children across the state. They are musical and educational resident artists who have won numerous awards for their work with children.

Now the duo has completed a project which produced nine unique podcasts to help introduce science concepts to elementary students. The podcasts were created by UB and funded in part by the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

“The Sci Guys Show” is a collection of 10-15 minute podcasts that discuss topics like bioluminescence and echolocation in fun and entertaining ways.

“It’s a new style radio show with tons of sound effects and some over-the-top humor to help draw students in,” said co-creator Dentino. “And in the process, they will learn something about the sciences.”

They were piloted at Robert Morris Elementary in Batavia at the end of the school year and were well received by educators and students.

“It was great to hear positive feedback from both teachers and the kids,” said Huber said, who composed all the music heard in “The Sci Guys." The shows are free to download and include a lesson plan that can be used by teachers or parents.

The shows are available for download on the website. For more information visit:

August 26, 2010 - 6:41am
posted by Robin Walters in batavia, Announcements.
Event Date and Time: 
August 27, 2010 - 6:00pm to August 29, 2010 - 11:00am

The Prayer Room Church of God in Christ is holding a "tent revival" at Centenial Park, corner of State Street and Park. Worship together with the Prayer Room Choir, Care-A-Van Band and other Gospel singers.

On Friday night at 6:00 PM there will be spirit filled preaching and teaching by Elder Raymond Doward. On Saturday night at 6:00 PM 

August 25, 2010 - 2:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, charity, first presbyterian church.

The First Presbyterian Church of Batavia is holding a Community Clothing Giveaway on Sunday and Monday, Aug. 29 and 30.

Sunday's will be held from noon to 4:30  p.m. On Monday, it will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The church asks the public to drop of clean, gently used clothing at the church, located at 300 E. Main St., from noon to 3 p.m. today and Thursday (Aug. 26). (There were previous drop-offs, too.)

Donations of clothing for infants, boys, girls, men, women are welcome, including shoes, sneakers, purses and hats. Winter clothing and work/business clothes are especially welcome.

For questions or more information, contact the church at 343-0505.

August 25, 2010 - 2:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in baseball, Announcements, muckdogs, sports.

The Batavia Muckdogs will have two back-to-back double-headers on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 25 and 26 due to wet field conditions on Tuesday evening. Game time is 6:05 p.m. both days with gates opening at 5 p.m.

Any ticket purchased for Tuesday's game can be exchanged for two tickets to any future Muckdogs regular season game.
Wednesday is Homer’s Birthday Bash. In celebration, we will be giving out free ice cream bars to the first 250 fans courtesy of Hershey’s Ice Cream.

It’s also Drug Free Communities Family Four Pack where fans can get four general admission tickets, four hot dogs, four 12 oz. sodas and a 2010 Program for ONLY $30. Plus you’ll receive a FREE prize pack courtesy of Drug Free Communities.
Thursday offers the Knot Hole Game presented by Turnbull Heating and Air.
For tickets, call the Muckdogs Box Office at 343-5454, ext. 1005.

August 24, 2010 - 7:41pm

John Hatch, pastor of Batavia's United Pentecostal Church, will be hosting a Chicken Barbeque with Clor's Meat Market, at 4169 W. Main St. Road in Batavia, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday. The proceeds will benefit the family of Matthew Ware, a 22-year-old Oakfield resident who was killed in a car accident earlier in the month.

Ware was a graduate of Oakfield-Alabama High School and a member of the Pentecostals of Genesee in Batavia. His pastor and family hope for a generous response from the community.

The cost is $8.50 per dinner. For more information, please call Clor's at 343-5122 or The Pentecostals of Genesee at 345-0925.

August 24, 2010 - 1:16pm

The search is on for Oliver! The 2010 Batavia Rotary Club Production of "Oliver!" is calling all actors and actresses between age 6 and 14 to audition for the title role and 35 other roles, which portray orphans and/or pickpockets.

Throughout August, Laurie Mastin, show chair, and Director Patrick Burk, are scouting Western New York for 36 young thespians for the 62nd Rotary Show Musical Production.

"Oliver!" will be performed Nov. 4 – 7, with rehearsals starting Sept. 13.

Auditions will take place at Batavia High School, 260 State St., at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 31.

All young people will learn a song, sing in small groups, work on choreography and present a monologue from the show. No experience is necessary.

Batavia Rotary is looking for a great cross section of young actors and actresses to be a part of the largest Rotary Show in recent memory. Joining in the selection process will be past cast members of "Oliver!" and a long list of guest judges in the areas of dance, music and acting.

At the conclusion of the Oliver Search 2010 evening, the top 36 -- who will be cast in the show -- will be announced, along with several runners-up.

The announcement of who will play the title role will happen after the adult and ensemble auditions. These will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 and 8 at Batavia High School. All 36 youngsters will be asked to attend those evenings as well.

Parents of young actors and actresses interested in Oliver Search 2010 are asked to call and register their Oliver hopefuls with Burk at his office (585) 343 9721.

All pre-registered actors and actresses will be given audition numbers and be asked to show up at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 31.

Walk-in auditions that have not pre-registered are also welcome. They will be added to the audition process on a first-come-first-serve basis and will receive audition numbers upon arrival.

For more information, please call Patrick Burk at (585) 343-9721 or Mastin at (585) 344-5880.

August 22, 2010 - 3:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, GCC, education, costa rica.

Next spring, Genesee Community College will offer an immersion trip to Costa Rica to study the Central American rainforest.

The tour is open to all students as well as community members who are interested in learning and studying the ecology and conservation methods of Costa Rica.

Participants will have the chance to earn college credit while learning about ethnobotany, elementary botany, ecology and earth science during this nine-day ecological tour.

The tour is led by Genesee biology professor Maureen Leupold, who has traveled to and studied the rainforests of Costa Rica on two previous college trips.

Students who enroll, will earn three college credits while studying the stunning ecological terrain of Costa Rica, including volcanoes, rainforests and beaches.

Genesee continues to attract students from around the globe to study and earn a wide array of different degrees. Last year, the college had 101 students from 27 different nations.

"A decade ago, studying aboard was primarily the domain of baccalaureate and graduate level institutions -- but today, forward thinking community colleges are fully engaged in the global network of teaching and learning," said Eunice Bellinger, Ed.D, executive vice president for Academic Affairs.

"Genesee has always been, and continues to thrive, at the cutting edge, and it is exciting to see those edges in all four corners of our globe."

To find out more about any of these global learning opportunities please contact James Goodwin, director of Genesee's Curriculum Development at 585-343-0055, ext. 6322 or <http://[email protected]>.

August 22, 2010 - 3:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, GCC, education.

An international photography exhibit featuring photographs taken by students who traveled to the Netherlands in May will kick off the 2010-2011 gallery schedule for Genesee Center for the Arts.

The exhibit reflects the students' study-abroad course, which focused on Dutch culture.

Genesee partnered with SUNY Brockport to develop the GCC faculty-led study-abroad program that took students on a month-long cultural journey through Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Genesee faculty members, Josephine Kearney and Heather Jones, led 20 students from Genesee and SUNY Brockport on a study tour to document culture through photography, writing, group discussion and experiential observations.

August 22, 2010 - 3:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Genesee Community College, education.

Three Genesee Community College faculty members recently returned from an English language cultural program in Sao Paulo, Brazil. And the college is getting ready for several more global education and study-abroad opportunities this academic year.

Connie Boyd, Charley Boyd and Susan Drexel spent three weeks teaching English language and cultural immersion to students at FATEC Americana in Brazil.

"I really felt like I was taken in and was a part of a family when I was there," Sue Drexel said. "The people were so protective and we knew we could trust them to show us around their beautiful country."

The three instructors taught students aged 17 all the way to adults in their 50s. They focused on teaching American culture to the students through video clips, show-and-tell style activities and group projects.

Each night they taught a different topic, including holidays, food, families, music and sports. During the sports night, the Batavia Muckdogs were shown to the Brazilian students through YouTube clips to teach them about American baseball.

The Boyds and Drexel were amazed at the dedication of the students, who many times worked all day then attended the cultural immersion classes from 7 until 11 p.m.

 "The students were incredibly dedicated to the program," Connie Boyd said. "They wanted to know about our culture and were very open with us. The Brazilian people are very gracious and have such pride for their country."

Genesee and FATEC Americana hope to expand and develop the program throughout the next academic year.

This fall, director of Curriculum Development, James Goodwin, will visit FATEC and the first group of Business faculty members will travel to Brazil in January to teach business and culture to FATEC students.

August 22, 2010 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Genesee Community College, education, rotc.

Rappelling down a 50-foot climbing wall was all in a day's work for Genesee Community College's executive vice president of Academic Affairs.

Eunice Bellinger, Ed.D, recently returned from a four-day excursion to Fort Knox near Louisville, Ky, where she joined 80 other college administrators for the annual Army ROTC Leader's Training Course.

Professors, deans, administrators and faculty members who traveled from colleges and universities across the nation were arranged into platoons. They were provided Army uniforms, taught marching techniques and given a taste of the physical and mental demands of an ROTC cadet.

They were exposed to tactical problem solving and team-building with their platoons and even had to eat M.R.E.'s (Meals Ready to Eat) just like real cadets.

Along with rappelling, the educators also got to test their physical endurance at the obstacle course and rock wall at the Forest Hills climbing complex, and worked on team-building at the teamwork development course and stream-crossing. The stream-crossing featured single- and double-rope crossing techniques, which the platoons used to race against each other.

"The stream-crossing was a really big deal to me," Bellinger said. "I can't swim!"

College administrators climbed walls, participated in a high ropes course, sat in on leadership lectures, attended a semi-formal event and "graduated" from the program in a ceremony on the last day.

"Overall, it was a great experience. The ROTC program has wonderful scholarship opportunities for students looking to serve their country and further their education. I'm looking forward to next year's training course in Seattle!"

Bellinger is no stranger to military life. She was born at West Point Military Academy and has taught U.S. military personnel through the University of Maryland's European Division while living and teaching in Kuwait in the 1990s.

This firsthand experience for college educators was designed to develop advocates for the Army ROTC program. Genesee Community College now has a new ROTC office in its Career Center at the Batavia Campus, which is managed under the direction of SUNY Brockport's ROTC program.

Starting this fall, SUNY Brockport ROTC students will have the opportunity to take four classes at Genesee's Batavia campus. All four classes are offered on Fridays and are leadership focused. Fall classes include Leadership and Personal Development (MSC 101), Military Fitness and Conditioning (MSC 103), Military Conditioning Lab (MSC 104) and Innovative Tactical Leadership (MSC 201).

For further information about the ROTC programs offered at Genesee, please contact Major Daniel Fletcher at 585-395-2769 or e-mail: <http://[email protected]>.

The ROTC Leader's Training Course website is: <>.

August 22, 2010 - 2:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Here's an opportunity to learn about birds of prey. You'll meet a live hawk, an owl and turkey vulture, too.

Join Ron Walker, of Friends With Feathers, who'll give a presentation about these fascinating creatures on Saturday, Sept. 11.

It places place from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Genesee County Park and Forest Nature Center, located at 11095 Bethany Center Road in East Bethany.

Pre-registration is required by calling (585) 344-1122. Cost is $5 per person or $10 per family.

August 20, 2010 - 4:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, muckdogs, New York-Penn League.

Melissa Levins, who just graduated from Batavia High School, was a finalist in the New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation's scholarship contest.

She and 10 other finalists statewide received $250 for college textbooks.

A total of $10,000 in scholarships were awarded to graduating high school seniors by the league’s philanthropic arm, the New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation, as part of its 2010 Scholarship Program.

Three grads, none of whom are from Genesee County, received the grand prize of $2,500 each in scholarship money.

The New York-Penn League and its 14 member clubs created the New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation (a 501(c)(3) charitable organization) in 2003. Its mission is to provide focus and support for the collective and individual charitable and community efforts of the New York-Penn League, its clubs and their staff.

In 2009, the total contributions by the league and its clubs exceeded $827,000 and included contributions of cash, food, game tickets, merchandise, and other goods and services.


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