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June 29, 2015 - 9:20am
posted by Lisa Ace in Independence Day 5K, batavia kiwanis, batavia, ny.
Event Date and Time: 
July 4, 2015 -
9:00am to 12:00pm

Batavia Kiwanis Independence Day 5K to be held on July 4th at Centennial Park at 9:00am. To register go to: Score-this.com

June 28, 2015 - 5:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Silver Shoe Farm, batavia, agriculture, horses, carriage driving, sports.

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Silver Shoe Farm, on Pratt Road, Batavia, hosted today its 8th annual carriage driving competition, drawing drivers from throughout the region.

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June 27, 2015 - 9:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Medics is being dispatched to an address on Lewis Place, Batavia, for a male who has been sprayed in the eyes by a skunk.  

June 27, 2015 - 11:28am
posted by Billie Owens in Event, batavia, richmond library.
Event Date and Time: 
July 23, 2015 -
6:00pm to 8:30pm

Sponsor:  Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia

Event:  Reel Discussions

Date & Time:  Thursday, July 23rd at 6 p.m.

Come view the movie and join us for a group discussion afterward. This month’s movie is “American Sniper." Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission to protect his brothers-in-arms. However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front. But upon returning to his wife and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.

June 27, 2015 - 11:25am
posted by Billie Owens in Event, comic books, batavia, richmond library.
Event Date and Time: 
July 22, 2015 -
7:00pm to 8:00pm

Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia

Event: History of Comic Books

Date & Time: Wednesday, July 22 at 7 p.m.

June 27, 2015 - 11:19am
posted by Billie Owens in Event, brisbane, richmond library, batavia.
Event Date and Time: 
July 20, 2015 -
7:00pm to 8:00pm

Sponsor: Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia

Event: Meet the Brisbanes: Talk by Larry Barnes

Place: Richmond Memorial Library

Date & Time: Monday, July 20 at 7 p.m.

City Historian Larry Barnes will present “Meet the Brisbanes,” a free talk at Richmond Memorial Library. The Brisbane Family was one of the earliest families in Batavia and was filled with interesting, although eccentric, personalities. As we “Escape the Ordinary” this summer, find out how these Batavians led extraordinary lives.

June 27, 2015 - 11:12am
posted by Billie Owens in events, batavia, richmond library.
Event Date and Time: 
July 16, 2015 -
2:30pm to 5:00pm

Event:  Children’s Room Summer Reading Club Movie -- "The Incredibles"

Place:  Richmond Memorial Library

Date & Time:  Thursday, July 16th at 2:30 p.m.

Come view the movie and join us for a group discussion afterward. The movie for this Children’s Room Summer Reading Club Movie is “The Incredibles.” An action-packed, animated adventure about the mundane and incredible lives of a house full of superheroes. For more information, call the library at 343-9550 or log onto www.batavialibrary.org

June 27, 2015 - 11:08am
posted by Billie Owens in events, batavia, richmond library.
Event Date and Time: 
July 9, 2015 -
6:00pm to 8:30pm

Sponsor:  Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia

Event:  Adult Summer Reading Club Edition of Reel Discussions

Date & Time:  Thursday, July 9th at 6 p.m.

Come view the movie and join us for a group discussion afterward. The movie for this Adult Summer Reading Club Edition of Reel Discussion is “The Avengers.” Marvel makes cinematic history as it unites the super hero team of a lifetime. For more information, call the library at 343-9550 or log onto www.batavialibrary.org

June 27, 2015 - 8:40am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accident.

A motorcycle accident is reported on the westbound Thruway at mile marker 387.6. The rider of the bike is conscious. Town of Batavia Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

June 26, 2015 - 9:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Stafford.

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When offered a ride in a Polaris Slingshot this evening, I accepted of course, as a matter of journalist obligation, a reportorial call of duty. 

The report: What a blast.

John G. (he didn't want to give his last name for publication) picked up his new trike in Rochester yesterday. He was parked near Tops talking with a friend when I happened by.

He took me for a spin down Main Street.

The three-wheeler is 1,500 pounds with a 180 hp engine, so it really moves. Like a mullet (business up front, party in the back), the Slingshot has the look of a sports car (if your car is a Starfighter) ahead of you as it zooms down the road with the feel of a motorcycle pushing from behind. On turns and acceleration (and, man, can it accelerate) it reminds you of a top-end sports car, but with the rumble and heft of a powerful bike pushing you along.

"It's just as much fun to drive slow as drive fast," John said.

We turned a lot of heads -- including a couple of police officers on patrol -- going down Main Street.

When we parked back at Tops he said, "If you wait around 20 minutes, we'll have 20 people here, about one arriving a minute."

The words were barely out of his mouth when two people on motorcycles pulled up beside us, and a minute later, two more people walked up, as I pulled away, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw more people walking up.

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June 26, 2015 - 6:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

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A truck bearing a wide load caused a traffic snarl on Ellicott Street shortly after 6 p.m. when the driver found it more difficult than anticipated to maneuver his rig onto Harvester Avenue. The cargo was apparently intended for a business on Harvester. The driver eventually got the load moved enough to allow traffic to pass, but no word on whether the puzzle of how to get it down Harvester was eventually solved.

June 26, 2015 - 5:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, Batavia Downs, business, batavia.

Dealing just with hard numbers -- setting aside speculation on hoped-for new revenue and "the multiplier effect" of jobs created -- the tax abatement plan approved Thursday by the Genesee County Economic Development Center Board for a new hotel at Batavia Downs should be profitable for taxpayers, according to data obtained by The Batavian from a GCEDC staffer.

The abatements will save developers about 11.5 percent on their $5.49 million investment, and the new taxes the project generates will be about a 100-percent return to taxpayers, if you accept the notion that the project doesn't get built at all without the tax incentives. If not, it's at least 42-percent return.

By law, the developer must certify that the project requires a tax break to be feasible, according to Rachael J. Tabelski, marketing and communications director. That is a requirement for all projects considered by the GCEDC.

"We have to trust the applicant that when they say this project won't be a viable project without the tax incentives," Tabelski said.

ADK Hospitality, the hotel's developer, will save $638,000 in taxes over the next 10 years, but it won't be getting off totally free. The hotel's owners, over the next 10 years, will pay $1.1 million in various taxes.

Tabelski was quick to point out that the $638,000 in tax breaks is not money taken from taxpayers. It's just money that isn't paid to the government; money that doesn't exist if the project isn't built. Thus, the $1.1 million in taxes ADK will pay over the next decade is all new revenue for schools, the county and the state (but not the Town of Batavia, which doesn't have its own tax on property).

That figure doesn't include sales tax generated by the hotel, or any anticipated increase in sales tax generated by the hoped-for increase in business at Batavia Downs. It also doesn't include employment taxes generated by the anticipated $600,000 in payroll for 25 full-time equivalent new hires at the hotel. 

The developers told the GCEDC Board that the project would generate a total of $2.8 million in tax revenue between now and 2025, but there isn't a breakdown available on what categories of taxes comprise that total. It likely covers fire district, property, bed tax, sales tax and payroll tax.

The $1.1 million in hard numbers we have includes:

  • $56,000 paid to the Town of Batavia Fire District;
  • $550,000 paid in county bed taxes;
  • $500,000 paid in property taxes over the life of the PILOT.

A PILOT is a tax break given to developers of projects that industrial development agencies, such as GCEDC, believe will create or retain jobs. It is a reduction in taxes on the increase in assessed value of a property.

Let's say a property is valued at $100,000. A business ads a new wing to its building and increases the assessed value to $150,000. The business continues to pay all property taxes on the initial $100,000 in assessed value, but gets a reduction in taxes on that additional $50,000. PILOT agreements vary, but typically, there would be no taxes due the first two years of the increase, and then taxes would be incrementally increased every two years until the 10th year, when the property owner is paying the full tax bill on the increase in assessed value.

In the case of the hotel property, the developers are buying land from Western OTB, which is currently tax-exempt and has no assessed value. It will be assessed next year, and its assessed value will go from zero to whatever that assessed value is, and the PILOT will be calculated based on that increase, unless the project is not yet completed, in which case there will be only a partial assessment with a full assessment to come during the next annual assessment period after the project's completion.

The PILOT on this project is worth $300,000. The remaining abatements are for the mortgage tax on the purchase and on the sales taxes due on material purchased during construction.

As for the multiplier effect, that's a controversial notion to some, but the idea is that if you create a new job and pay that person money, they will spend some amount of that money locally, and the churn of that money will help pay other people's wages, lifting everyone's boats. That $600,000 in new payroll could be worth millions in economic growth locally.

These figures also don't include wages paid to construction workers and purchases made from local vendors -- if any -- during construction.

June 26, 2015 - 5:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia.

An oven fire is reported at 4 Evergreen Drive. City firefighters are responding. The location is between North Spruce and Vine streets.

June 26, 2015 - 3:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, batavia, City Schools, education, schools.

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It was a big day for the students at Jackson School. They moved up a grade, receiving certificates of continuation from administrators during a ceremony in the Batavia High School auditorium.

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June 26, 2015 - 12:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, batavia.

A grass fire is reported behind 20 N. Spruce St. City firefighters are responding.

UPDATE 12:21 p.m.: Fire is out. City assignment is back in service.

June 26, 2015 - 11:47am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia.

A car vs. bicycle accident is reported at 8400 Lewiston Road. The bicyclist "is down in the road, blocking traffic, not moving." Town of Batavia Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. The location is in front of Tops Market.

June 26, 2015 - 11:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in IAFF Local 896, batavia, City Fire.

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Members of City Fire, IAFF Local 896, are in the midst of their annual fundraising effort on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association this morning, asking passing motorist to "fill the boot."  The firefighters are on Main Street and Ellicott Street around Court Street and will be in place until 1 p.m.

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June 25, 2015 - 4:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in picnic in the park, GO ART!, batavia.

Press release:

The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GO ART!) presents the 37th annual “GO ART! Picnic in the Park” this Independence Day. The festivities run from noon until 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 4th, in historic Centennial Park on Richmond Avenue in Batavia. As is tradition, this year’s “Picnic in the Park” is a free, family-friendly event that will once again include all-day live musical entertainment, an arts and crafts show, folk arts programs, food vendors, children’s activities, and much more!

Introduced just last year to great response, the event will be preceded by a “Kiddie Parade” kicking off the day. Families with children ages 12 and under are invited to bring their bikes, scooters or strollers to the northwest corner of Centennial Park – between the Main Stage and Richmond Avenue - at 11 a.m. to decorate them for an old time “kiddie parade.” Decorations will be provided, and the parade will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Ellicott and Park avenues.

Live entertainment is presented on two separate stages, the Main Stage and “Stage II,” which has traditionally featured performances that engage kids and families. MAIN STAGE entertainment commences at noon with the “Picnic” staple Batavia Concert Band playing its traditional mix of Sousa-style marches and Big Band numbers.

Founded in 1924, the Band has brought musical pleasure to the region every year except during World War II. The Concert Band itself consists of 40 to 50 brass, woodwind and percussion players ranging from advanced high school musicians to 50-year veterans. Many have professional performance experience; the rest are advanced amateurs. All love to play. The Band's musical repertoire is wide-ranging in origin, style and period, and includes marches, Broadway show tunes, favorites from hit musicals and movies, pop, jazz and even rock numbers arranged for band. Join the Band for weekly concerts during the summer on Wednesday evenings in Centennial Park.

Directly following Batavia Concert Band’s performance, Vibrant Batavia’s Centennial Committee will do a short presentation honoring the City’s 100th Birthday which will include cupcakes to be distributed to all who attend. 

A wide variety of bands featuring local and traditional music will follow on the Main Stage through the rest of the afternoon:

1:30-2:30 p.m. – Henrie Brothers: Old-time music has been a family matters since the early 1970s, when Bill, the oldest, tookd up the fiddle and helped his younger brothers John (mandolin), Bob (guitar), and Doug (bass) learn their instruments. Since then they have performed at leading music festivals and venues throughout the Northeast, performing bluegrass, old time, contradance, swing and jazz, all to consistent critical acclaim. At Picnic in the Park, the brothers will return to their roots in old time, early country and Irish music that gave them their start. 

2:45-3:45 p.m. – The Niagara River Dancers combine students at the Tuscarora Indian Elementary School located at the center of the Tuscarora Nation, with members of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) tribes from throughout NYS.  Many of the students stay after school for an extra hour to learn traditional dancing on a weekly basis. They not only learn the Haudenosaunee dances, but also dances from other Native communities around the country. The dancers wear beautifully beaded outfits, many in the Tuscarora raised-beadwork style, which are often made by their parents or other relatives. Traditional musicians accompany the dancers, who include explanations of the dance patterns, stories and history.

4-5 p.m. – Steel Alchemy Community Steel Band was formed in 2001 by Director Ted Canning as the Livingston County Community Steel Band, with assistance from the Decentralization grant program of the NYS Council on the Arts.  Several members have been playing with the band since its inception, including the Palermo family from Mt. Morris. In 2007 the band released its self-titled CD recording, which prompted them to come up with their current name, Steel Alchemy. They perform a variety of music including Caribbean traditional and popular songs, American pop, and music written especially for steel bands. The band is open to people ages 13 and older, with no prior experience required. Anyone interested in learning more can contact Ted at panloco@rochester.rr.com.

STAGE II:

12:30-1:30 p.m. -- Cut Off (A cappella Group) will perform their first performance of the day. The group was founded in the summer of 2010 by recent college graduates looking to continue performing in a contemporary a cappella setting. This co-ed group’s debut performance was in January 2011 at Lovin’ Cup in Rochester. The group participated in the first ever Boston Sings A cappella Festival (BOSS) in April 2012, where they took part in a workshop with Canadian-based group, Cadence. They were also proud to have performed at the Rochester Fringe Festival in September of 2013 at the TheatreROCS Stage at Xerox Auditorium. Cut Off just released their first CD, "Get Cut Off," in March of 2013 with Liquid 5th Productions (Raleigh, N.C.) and in 2014, the group was nominated for 2 Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards (CARAs) for Best Country Song (Good Girl) and Best CAL Song (LaserLight). 

2-2:30 p.m. -- Thai Kwon Do Demonstration by Refuse 2 Lose Martial Arts

3-4 p.m. -- Cut Off (A cappella Group) -- Second Performance

THROUGHOUT THE DAY in Centennial Park, other activities include horse-drawn wagon rides by Hartland Carriages, pony rides and petting zoo by North Forty Pony Express and the Wildlife Educators Coalition returning with its wide assortment of animals. Geoffrey Clough offers his popular interactive program of children’s songs called “Cookie Songwriting,” and of course juggling and other roving entertainment in the park.

The GLOW Area YMCA will have its bounce house and inflatable obstacle course on site, and the Explore Art! Tent invites kids and families to do their own hands-on art activity, all materials provided, and free caricatures will be available near the tent. The Genesee County Park will be featuring a larger display this year with interactive activities and they will also have their resident turtle on hand to visit. The Park is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year!

Along the Richmond Avenue side of Centennial Park, artists and crafters representing an amazing diversity of arts and crafts are featured in an ARTS AND CRAFTS SHOW AND SALE. Additional attractions consist of booths by community nonprofit organizations, including Genesee County ARC information & recycling education, Genesee County Historians Association, Batavia Assembly of God dunk tank and sand art, Batavia Players pizza & show info, GO ART!’s Picnic in the Park 50/50 Raffle and many others.

“Picnic” always offers up tantalizing food by a variety of vendors, such as Abbott’s cones, sundaes, milkshakes and root beer floats, Lonsberry fresh-squeezed lemonade and soft pretzels, and, of course, the Batavia Jaycees’ famous ‘dog and burger stand in its traditional location.

The event is funded, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts Folk Arts Program with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Picnic Level sponsors ($500 and up) include Batavia Rotary Club, Turnbull Heating & Air, Batavia Jaycees, Steve Hawley, CY Farms, The Batavian, and The Daily News.

Admission is free to the “Picnic in the Park.” Please call GO ART! at 585-343-9313, e-mail info@goart.org or visitwww.goart.org for more information.

June 24, 2015 - 5:13pm
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, volunteers of america.

The Volunteers of America Thrift Store in Batavia's Eastown Plaza is one of 11 thrift stores closing in the region.

Volunteers of America Upstate New York announced the closings yesterday. All of the stores will be closed by the end of September.

Six employees currently work at the Batavia store. The organization is working with local employment agencies to assist them with finding another job.

JoAnne Ryan, president and CEO, said increased competition in the resale industry is one of the main reasons for closing the thrift stores.

"The competition in this arena has gotten extremely expansive and that has created a huge challenge for us to maintain at that level of competition," Ryan said. "Mainstream resale companies have a greater latitude with discounting. Their prices would press against our prices and that compression factor really made it hard to compete."

The harsh winter also led to a steady decline in sales.

With the closing of its thrift stores, Volunteers of America is looking to expand their programs that help families, children and the homeless. The organization doesn't offer child care or housing services for Genesee County residents. But according to Ryan, Genesee County residents can take part in their residential re-entry program, a program that helps individuals completing a federal prison sentence transition back into their community.

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Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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