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August 28, 2009 - 12:38pm
posted by Gretel Kauffman in Announcements, elba, Porter Farms, CSA, organic.

porter 001.jpg

If you're looking for fresh, locally grown produce, look no further than Porter Farms on Edgerton Road in Elba.

I stopped by the farm on Tuesday morning to talk to Katie Porter (pictured above with her three-legged dog, Milo) and get a tour of the family farm, which is one of the top models for organic growers and Community Supported Agriculture in the nation.

Porter, a 2004 graduate of Elba High School and a 2008 graduate of Cornell University, says that she has worked on the farm as far back as she can remember.

"When we first started the CSA, it was my dad, my sister and I," Porter says.  "We helped him with the newsletter and the produce."

Today, as the manager of the program, she writes the newsletter, does presentations to promote the farm, makes phone calls, sends out emails, and oversees distribution of the produce.

"Basically what the CSA is, is people buy a share and we use the money to pay for seeds, labor, equipment repair, stuff like that. Then in return we give them fresh, locally grown produce. Since their money goes right into the farm, they really get to feel what it's like to be a farmer."

Porter says that she thinks this is a big part of the CSA's appeal. It is growing rapidly, with approximately 860 members, which is about 760 members more than it started with in 1996.

"If we have a bad season, the members see the results. Like this year our tomatoes weren't too good, so they didn't really get tomatoes. Or if we have an abundance of onions, they'll get a lot of onions. I think people like it not only because they get their vegetables, but because they learn a lot about farming."

The program usually begins in June and ends in November and is either $310 or $340 a share, depending on whether you choose to pick up your produce at the farm Saturday mornings, or have it delivered if you live in the Rochester area. 

"It's so funny how everyone comes here on Saturday mornings and seems to know everyone else. They just hang out and talk."

The farm, which was started in 1956 by Jack Porter, began as a beef-feeding operation.  In the 1970s the Porters decided to grow the crops they needed to feed the cattle, such as hay, corn and wheat. Eventually pigs and sheep were added to the farm. 

In 1990, due to economic downturns in the livestock market, Jack's sons Steve and Mike switched the focus to crops and began experimenting with organics. Today, the 500+ acre farm is entirely organic and, since the deaths of Jack and Steve, is run by Katie's uncle Mike Porter with assistance from Katie, her sister Sarah and the rest of the family.

"It's definitely beneficial to the environment, It gives us healthier soil and helps with biodiversity.  We're farming the way people used to farm."                                

                  porter 003.jpg 

August 26, 2009 - 6:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, genesee county casa.

Genesee County CASA for Children is seeking volunteers to speak out on behalf of abused and neglected children that come to the attention of Genesee County Family Court.

Its trademark is its goal: “A powerful voice in a child’s life.”  ™

It only takes 8 to 10 hours a month, but it could mean a world of difference to a child in need!  Help CASA reach its goal of advocating for all abused and neglected children in Genesee County.

For more information call 585-344-2550 x2331, Executive Director Tara Pariso.

August 26, 2009 - 6:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Historic Batavia Downs Casino has more than $1 million in stakes money this season, including four New York Sire Stakes races, six Late Closer events and the Robert J Kane Memorial Invitational Pace.

New York Sire Stakes races will be held on Aug. 28, Sept. 2 and 4, and the Robert J Kane Memorial Invitational Pace will run on Oct. 10.

Racing is on Monday (except Aug. 31), Wednesday, Friday and Saturday through Labor Day and then Wednesday, Friday and Saturday until closing day Dec. 5 with nine added Tuesday dates from Sept.15 through Nov. 10. Post time is 7:05 each evening and 1:15 on Sunday, Aug. 30, and Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7.

Family Fun Day is set for on Sunday, Aug. 30, with proceeds to benefit the Batavia branch of Mercy Flight of WNY.

Last season, Batavia Downs Casino opened Grandstands Bar and Grille, its $1.5 million sports restaurant on the second level. Appointed with a distinct retro décor, the facility features many historic photos of America’s Oldest Lighted Harness Track.

Grandstands is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and boasts a full menu and wide selection of beer, wine and mixed drinks. It also features self-vending terminals for wagering and 37 high-definition flat panel TVs.

The schedule can be viewed at (click on the Batavia Downs icon).


August 26, 2009 - 6:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Richmond Memorial Libary.

Lots of fun options for little ones are in store this fall at the Richmond Memorial Library. Registration begins Monday, Sept. 14 and Fall Story Time sessions start the week of Sept. 28.

Toddler Time: held Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. (walkers to 36 months)
Tiny Tots: held Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. (1 to 3 years)
Preschool Party: held Thursdays at 10 a.m. (3 to 5 years)
Pajama Primetime: held Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. (all ages)
Baby Bounce: held Fridays at 10 a.m. (pre-walkers)

Register online at <> or parents may call the library at 343-9550 x4. Register early, as group size is limited.

The library is located at 19 Ross St. in Batavia.

August 26, 2009 - 11:48am
posted by Melissa George in batavia, Announcements, business, chamber of commerce.

GeneseeCounty Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting on
Thursday, October 22, 2009


Registration begins at 11:15 am 
Buffet Lunch begins promptly at Noon
Bohn’s Restaurant
5256 Clinton St. Rd., Batavia, NY 14020
$20.00 per person

Ken Adams, Chair of the Business Council of NY
This year’s keynote speaker will be Kenneth Adams, the President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State.  The Business Council is the state's largest and most influential business association representing more than 3,000 member businesses, chambers of commerce and professional and trade associations.  The mission of the Business Council is to create economic growth, good jobs and strong communities throughout New York State by shaping public policy to improve New York's economy. Insight on the inner workings of Albany and what we can do to improve the Upstate economy will be Ken’s topics.
Chamber of Commerce: 09 Year in Review
Chamber of Commerce: 2010 Board Members
Please complete the reservation form below and return it to the Chamber office by Oct. 14, 2009. 210 East Main Street, Batavia NY 14020 Attn. Annual Meeting
If you have special dietary needs, please call Melissa at the Chamber at 585-343-7440, ext. 27.
RSVP’s without payment will be invoiced - $20 per person
Amount Enclosed:
August 24, 2009 - 1:19pm
posted by Kim Gloskowski in Announcements.
Event Date and Time: 
August 24, 2009 - 1:15pm to September 19, 2009 - 7:00pm

8th Annual Public Swiss Steak Dinner

All You Can Eat

September 19th   Serving 5-7 p.m.

Emmanuel Baptist Church (handicap accessible)

190 Oak Street  Batavia

Adults-$8.50   6-12-$4   5 & under-Free

For reservations call 219-4855

August 22, 2009 - 12:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Announcements, Daily News.

Congratulations to Scott DeSmit, Tom Rivers and Joanne Beck of the Batavia Daily News for their Associated Press writing awards.

DeSmit won a first place award for three of his columns.

Rivers won three awards. He will receive a second-place award for his columns, a second place for beat reporting, and an honorable mention for his series on farm labor.

Beck receives a second-place award for columns and a third-place for continuing coverage of the city ambulance service issue.

The awards will be presented Sept. 23 in Syracuse.

August 20, 2009 - 8:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, events, east bethany.
Event Date and Time: 
August 22, 2009 -
2:00pm to 5:00pm

A fundraiser to benefit Patsy Rapone is set for 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22 at the East Bethany Firehall.

The hall is located at 10440 Bethany Center Road. The event will feature a dice run, food, drinks, live music, a Chinese Auction, 50/50 and other raffles.

August 20, 2009 - 3:45pm
posted by Tara Pariso in Announcements, news.
Every year in Genesee County hundreds of children are abused and neglected and end up without a home to call their own. On average, these youth spend more than two years in the child welfare system and can be moved as many as 15 times, wreaking havoc on their education, friendships and sense of belonging. Although the number is staggering, the Genesee County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program is helping to make a difference. The CASA program makes a positive impact in the lives of these children by training volunteers to advocate on behalf of their best interest in court. CASA volunteers help to secure safe, permanent homes where foster youth can thrive.
Currently our local CASA program has nine volunteer advocates. But there is a great need for more volunteers. With your help, we’ll be able to make sure these children can safely be returned home or, when that can’t happen, be released for adoption.
Our vision is to have a volunteer advocate for every abused or neglected child that comes to the attention of Genesee County Family Court.
To learn more abour CASA, becoming a Volunteer, or making a donation, please call (585) 344-2550 ext. 2331. 
You can help ensure that the children in Genesee County are placed in safe, permanent homes.  Volunteer to help one child at a time.


August 20, 2009 - 1:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, events, East Prembroke.
Event Date and Time: 
August 23, 2009 -
4:00pm to 6:00pm

At 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 23 there will be a spaghetti dinner and Chinese auction in remembrance of the late Rev. David J Scheider at Holy Name of Mary Church in East Pembroke.

Dinner costs $7 and all proceeds will benefit the newly made scholarship at Notre Dame High School. Spend an afternoon among family and friends and help make his memory live on and make this dinner a success!


August 19, 2009 - 6:04pm
posted by Gretel Kauffman in batavia, Batavia Players, Announcements, Summer Youth Theatre.


This weekend, fans of Oz can see local children and teens sing and dance their way through the Batavia Players Summer Youth Theatre production of The Wiz.

The show, which tells the well-known story of Dorothy and her adventures in the magical land of Oz, features familiar characters such as the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, Glinda and the Tin Man.

However, The Wiz is a far cry from the original Wizard of Oz. There are several twists, such as Dorothy's magical shoes being silver instead of red, and an extra witch named Addaperle (played by Katelyn Rogers, above left). But the main difference is that the music and dialogue are in an African-American style.

"It's a much more lively show," says Maureen Edwards (above right), who has the role of Dorothy. "You just want to get up and dance. It's like the funky motown version of the Wizard of Oz."

Edwards, who is 12, is one of the 85 cast members that range in age from 3 to 22. This is her third Summer Youth Theatre production and her ninth production overall.

"Everyone is super supportive," she says. "I've been really lucky because in every show I've been in, I've been treated with a lot of respect. But I do think that with the younger cast, the friends I've made are a lot closer."

Director Patrick Burk says that he tries to give the cast members experience not only onstage, but behind the scenes as well:

"I want them to have a full experience. So they learn about acting, singing, choreography, etc., but they also help with props and sets and cleaning up. It's very important to teach them about tech roles, too."

Burk, who has directed the past 14 summer shows as well as numerous other local community theater productions, says that the cast began rehearsals in mid-May.

"Mr. Burk has a great vision for the show," Edwards says. "He yells sometimes but it's because he loves us and wants us to be the best that we can be. He's a lot of fun to work with."

The original Broadway stage production of The Wiz debuted in 1975, winning seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It has had revivals in New York, London, San Diego and the Netherlands, and a film adaptation starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and Nipsey Russell was released in 1978.

"Everyone should come see it," says Edwards.  "It's going to be a great show."

Performances are Aug. 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 22  at 2 p.m.. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors. They can be purchased online at link to or at Batavia High School, 260 State St., during evening rehearsals and prior to each performance. For more information call 585-343-9721.

August 19, 2009 - 5:35pm
posted by Darrick Coleman in Announcements, books, Present Tense, bookstore.
Event Date and Time: 
September 26, 2009 - 10:00am to October 3, 2009 - 4:00pm


Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982. The challenges have occurred in every state and in hundreds of communities. Stop in at Present Tense during Banned Books Week and see if YOUR favorite book is a banned book!

August 19, 2009 - 5:23pm
posted by Darrick Coleman in Announcements, books, Present Tense, bookstore.
Event Date and Time: 
September 18, 2009 -
4:30pm to 5:30pm


We will be reading Jackaroo by Cynthia Voigt for our September meeting. Anyone ages 12+ is welcome to join us for a fun hour of discussion!

August 19, 2009 - 5:18pm
posted by Darrick Coleman in Announcements, books, Present Tense, bookstore.
Event Date and Time: 
September 9, 2009 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm


We will be reading The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd for our September meeting. Bring your lunch and enjoy a lively discussion!

August 19, 2009 - 3:49pm

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County has announced the date of the Annual Meeting and Volunteer Recognition Event. This year the celebration will be held at the Kennedy Building located on the Genesee County Fairgrounds on Route 5 in Batavia on October 8th at 5:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and in lieu of payment, Extension is asking the public to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to a local food pantry. 
Donna Morrill has been named the 2009 “Friend of Extension”. The “Friend of Extension” award is an honor bestowed upon an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to aid in the success of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County. Donna has been an avid supporter of Extension, has served on the extension board for the past five years and is a graduate of the Leadership Genesee Program.
Other highlights of the evening include a tribute to Extension’s many dedicated volunteers, elections to fill positions on the board of directors, recognition of retiring board members Andrea Aldinger, Eric Adams, Mike Stroll, and Shelley Stein, as well as celebration and recognition of 4-H youth. Light hors d’oeuvres and desserts will be available.  
For more information or to reserve a seat please call Barb at 585-343-3040 ext. 101 or stop by the Extension office by October 1st.

August 18, 2009 - 7:38pm
posted by Gretel Kauffman in Announcements, elba, Patricia Burr.

When asked how old she is, Elba artist Patricia Burr has to think about it a minute.

"Well," she says, "I was born in 1918, so that would make goodness, that would make me 91. But," she adds with a laugh, "I don't feel it."

She doesn't look it or act it, either. Burr, who has resided in Elba for the past 68 of those 91 years, is still a working artist.  

"I've enjoyed drawing for as long as I can remember. But in fifth grade, my teacher noticed that I would always draw in my books after I finished my homework. She called my parents and said, 'You know, it would be nice if your daughter could go to the art school.' Of course, I was all atwitter. I think that was really the beginning of it all."

The art school that her teacher recommended was the Albright Art School, now the Albright Knox Gallery. It was there that she took lessons every Saturday throughout grade school for 50 cents a week.

In 1939, after graduating from Buffalo State College, Burr was hired as Elba High School's first art teacher. Two years later, she moved from her native Buffalo to her current home.

Her love of art is evident just by opening up one of her 14 "fun books," which are filled with photographs and sketches of everything from carefully arranged fruit to strangers seen in restaurants. 

"Always bring a pen or pencil with you wherever you go," Mrs. Burr advises, pointing out to me an impromptu drawing of the back of a friend's house. "You see a lot of different, interesting things."

She says that one of her greatest influences was Don Getz, a well-known Ohio watercolor painter from whom she took some classes.

"He was always very well-prepared for everything. We would all watch him and say, 'Wow, this guy knows how to do it!'  We all hoped that someday we could be as good as Don. My friends and I would go on short road trips to find interesting things to draw, and sometimes Don would come with us. We all had a blast."

Now, Burr paints about three days a week and it usually takes her two days to finish one painting. She tends to work with acryllics and paints mostly landscapes and portraits, although she has been known to paint everything from pets to whiskey bottles, as pictured below.

"There's nothing I don't like to draw," she declares.



August 17, 2009 - 2:50pm

rescue_cletus.jpgI'm Cletus, an adult, neutered, male hound mix. They found me wandering around a dog competition. I was the wrong breed for the show, but I didn't care. I have a sweet personality and would make a great member of your family. Although I have tested positive for heartworm, I will be treated for it by Volunteers for Animals.

rescue_lucky.jpgI'm Lucky, an orange and white female whose family had to move. They couldn't take me. I'm the kind of cat that needs very little to make me happy -- a soft bed, a sunny spot in the window. I'm a loving companion with much to offer. Please stop in and see me soon.

Adoption fee is $30

Unspayed/unneutered animals also require a $35 refundable deposit

The animal shelter is located at 3841 W. Main St. Road in the Town of Batavia. Visit Volunteers for Animals on the Web at <>

Hours are:

Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.

Wednesday 1 to 3 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

August 15, 2009 - 12:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, GCC, education.

Modern Think, a national research firm, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, have named Genesee Community College as one of the nation's "Great Colleges to Work For." 

GCC was the only community college in the State University of New York system to be included in the "Great Colleges to Work For" list.

As part of the "Great Colleges" project, faculty and staff members at Genesee and almost 250 other leading colleges and universities across the nation described their attitudes toward their positions and their institutions in a lengthy survey.

Modern Think, the research firm, tabulated the results on behalf of The Chronicle of Higher Education, the nation's leading higher education professional periodical. As part of the survey process, the college also had to complete a detailed institutional profile.

Chronicle editors used the survey results and institutional profiles to identify several dozen colleges and universities as "great places to work." Genesee scored exceptionally high in the quality of facilities, and the safety and security of the campus environment.

Genesee faculty and staff ranked the college highly in numerous categories, including institutional pride, relationships with supervisors, and overall job satisfaction.

Six members of the College's Buildings and Grounds staff were on hand, and applauded, at the Board of Trustees meeting last month to hear the survey report given by Associate Vice President of Human Resources Gina M. Weaver.

They included: Timothy Landers, director of Buildings and Grounds; Martin Cross, senior custodial worker; Jason Reardon, senior groundskeeper; Erik Will, senior custodial worker; Diane Marchese, Buildings and Grounds secretary; and Wayne Gruendike, Buildings and Grounds supervisor.

Board of Trustees Chair Laurie Miller said that she was pleased with the survey results. 

"We know we're a great college, but it's very nice to be recognized nationally," she said.

August 14, 2009 - 6:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, events, V.A. Medical Center.
Event Date and Time: 
September 15, 2009 -
6:00pm to 8:00pm

Seventy-five years of activity at the V.A. Medical Center will be highlighted during the Holland Purchase Historical Society's monthly dinner at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15. 

The public is invited for a full turkey dinner and dessert at the Elba Methodist Church. Tickets are $8 and are available by telephoning (585) 343-4727 or at [email protected]. RSVP by Sept. 10.


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