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November 21, 2016 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's, schools, education, batavia, news.


Photos and information provided by St. Joe's:

Throughout the month of October, St. Joe’s National Junior Honor Society held a fundraiser to collect items for All Babies Cherished. Items and monetary donations totaled more than $300. Some items collected included diapers, wipes, pacifiers and baby clothes. Co-advisers Mr. Landfried and Mr. Bowman along with the NJHS students were invited by All Babies Cherished Director Sue Sherman to visit the office to see how their organization operates and where the donations go.


November 21, 2016 - 3:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCASA, batavia, news.


Press release:

The Western New York Chemical Dependency Consortium held its annual Gold Key Awards and Holiday Luncheon in Buffalo on Friday, Nov. 18. Dr. Bruce Baker, currently a medical consultant for GCASA, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Dr. Baker graduated from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1959. He worked as the Genesee County Jail physician for 25 years, which is where he began addressing substance abuse issues with his patients. He also worked as the medical director of Hope Haven Alcohol and Chemical Dependency Inpatient Service at United Memorial Medical Center from 1963-2013. While Dr. Baker has been a physician for almost 60 years, he has worked in the addiction field for more than 35 years. 

Dr. Baker has been on the cutting edge of addiction medicine throughout his career. He was an early adopter of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). As the medical director at Hope Haven, he was responsible for the initiation of Suboxone treatment. He recognized early on, especially working at the Genesee County Jail, that individuals who suffered from addiction needed treatment, both medically and therapeutically. 

Dr. Baker is extremely knowledgeable about addiction. He shares his knowledge with others in a straightforward, uncomplicated way. He created an easy to understand document, Opioid Addiction and Medically Assisted Treatment, to share with his patients. In this document he describes what opiate addiction is, how the brain is affected, and how MAT can help. He truly wants to help people; and he does. Dr. Baker has helped thousands of patients in the WNY region recover from addiction. 

When asked about his greatest accomplishment in his career, Dr. Baker acknowledged his service of providing medical care to patients for more than 50 years. He adds that at 83 years old, he plans to continue practicing and loves the work he does at GCASA. Dr. Baker shared that of all the work he has done throughout his career, including delivering babies and working in his family practice, he feels most fulfilled in his work at GCASA. His compassion for his patients is exceptional. 

In addition to his career accomplishments, he’s very proud of his family. He and his wife raised six children and have a total of 21 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

November 21, 2016 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, batavia, Bethany, corfu.

Jerard L. Wilson, 18, of Roycroft Drive, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Wilson was charged following a complaint of excessive marijuana smoke coming from a vehicle in the parking lot of 337 Bank St., Batavia.

A 17-year-old resident of Shanley Street, Cheektowaga, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, inadequate exhaust, uninspected motor vehicle and unlicensed operator. The youth was stopped at 1:43 a.m. Saturday on Route 77, Darien, by Deputy Eric Meyer. Also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana was Megan Lynn Murby, 18, of Aurora Street, Lancaster.

Shawn P. Burns, 38, of Oak Orchard Street, Albion, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. Burns was charged after police responded to a disturbance complaint at 12:17 a.m., Nov. 10 at 301 North St. Burns is accused of having driven to that location while intoxicated. The incident was investigated by Officer Nicole Salamone.

Reginald C. Sampson, 50, of Ellicott Street, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Sampson allegedly stole a purse containing credit cards.

Brian J. Miller, 35, of Ellicott Street Road, Bethany, is charged with assault, 3rd, unlawful imprisonment and criminal obstruction of breathing. Miller was arrested following an investigation into an incident reported at 1 a.m. Saturday on Edward Street, Batavia.

Jordan R. Bradley, 23, of Colby Road, Corfu, is charged with petit larceny. Jordan is accused of shoplifting from Tops. Bradley was held on an alleged parole violation.

Bernard Thomas, 57, of Whitney Avenue, Pittsburgh, is charged with sex offender failure to report an address change. Thomas, a Level One sex offender, reportedly moved to Pittsburgh without notifying officials of his address change within 10 days. After speaking with investigators, he returned to Batavia and was charged. He was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Brandon D. Delelys, 18, of Hartshorn Road, Corfu, is charged with burglary, 2nd, conspiracy, 4th, and petit larceny. Delelys is accused of committing a burglary on Hutchins Street in August. He was released under supervision of Genesee Justice. Also charged was Michael E. Welchman, 21, of West Main Street, Batavia.

Patricia A. Sand, 59, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th, and conspiracy, 5th. Also charged, Michael R. Ostrander. Sand and Ostrander are accused of stealing a wallet while at Aldi's. Sand was issued an appearance ticket. Ostrander was jailed without bail.

Cheryl M. Lyons, 51, of Tracy Avenue, Batavia, is charged with menacing, 1st, criminal possession of a weapon, 3rd, and criminal contempt, 1st.

Fawn Lynn Marie Kaczmarek, 28, of Thorpe Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Kaczmarek allegedly stole the tip cup of a waitress at Batavia Downs.

Williams T. Gibbs, 61, of West Main Street, Corfu, was arrested on a a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Gibbs allegedly failed to appear in City Court on traffic tickets. 

Kenneth W. Cook III, of Galloway Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt, 1st. Cook allegedly violated an order of protection.

Jacklyn M. Ganzhorn, 29, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with failure to appear. Ganzhorn was located by a Sheriff's deputy and transported to Batavia PD. He was jailed on $1,000 bail or $2,000 bond.

November 20, 2016 - 3:03am
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, batavia.

A person has reportedly been stabbed at 4 Tracy Ave. City police and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 4:45 p.m., Sunday (by Howard): We requested an update from Batavia PD. No new information. Still under investigation.

November 18, 2016 - 10:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, batavia, news, Wonderland of Trees.


Friday evening the Holland Land Office Museum hosted its annual Wonderland of Trees Gala.


Anne Marie Starowitz with the manger she grew up with, now on display at HLOM. The ceramic set was a gift to her family from a local priest. The photo on the table, lower right, is her as a little girl with the manger.








November 18, 2016 - 2:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in FoxprowlCon, batavia, business, news.


Bill Hume, his staff, and volunteers bring back Foxprowl-Con to the Clarion Hotel this week.

The premier event last year drew dozens of vendors and big crowds and Hume said this year's comic convention will be even bigger with more vendors, more stars, and more attendees.

The convention opens this evening and continues through Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, visit the event's website.




November 18, 2016 - 2:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, batavia, news.


Twenty Native American schoolchildren were at Jackson School this morning to share about their culture through dance and a presentation by an adult leader.





November 18, 2016 - 9:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in ARC Genesee Orleans, batavia, business, news.


Customer service is going to improve quite a bit with the new enclosed recycling center for ARC Genesee Orleans, just by the fact that people will no longer be forced to stand outside in the snow while visiting the center, said Donna Saskowski, executive director.

"It's just a little more customer friendly in terms of having it enclosed for our customers and our staff," Saskowski said.

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce joined the grand opening event last night for a ribbon cutting.

The entire ARC facility, located at 3785 W. Main Street Road, employs 26 clients of the nonprofit organization, which assists people with disabilities.

"That's 26 people who are able to earn a regular paycheck and feel good about themselves," Saskowski said. 'The fact they are employed and communicate and work in a community is really important to them, so it's important to us."

The facility recycles not only bottles and cans, but e-waste and documents and includes a document-shredding service.

"That’s why we call it a one-stop," Saskowski said. "People can come in and get all done in one place, all in one errand."

Photo: Scott O'Geen, Paul Saskowski, Donna Saskowski, Tom Turnbull and Scott Shea.

November 18, 2016 - 9:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Urology, healthcare, batavia, news, business.

Press release:

Batavia Urology today announced that its first patients have been treated with the UroLift® System, an innovative new treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate. The UroLift System is designed to relieve symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate, while preserving sexual function.

Delivered during a minimally invasive procedure, the UroLift permanent implants act like window curtain tie-backs to hold the lobes of an enlarged prostate open. Patients recover from the procedure quickly, and return to their normal routines with minimal downtime. The cost of the UroLift System procedure is covered by Medicare in New York.

“We are committed to providing patients with the highest-quality, most effective options to address their urology needs,” said Jason Donovan, P.A., who was present for the first procedure. “The UroLift System has an excellent safety profile and provides men suffering from an enlarged prostate a beneficial first-line treatment alternative to drug therapy or more invasive surgery. Importantly, the UroLift System provides fast and meaningful relief from BPH symptoms, improving overall quality of life for our patients.”

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate, affects more than 37 million men in the United States alone. Twelve times more common than prostate cancer, BPH occurs when the prostate gland that surrounds the male urethra becomes enlarged with advancing age and begins to obstruct the urinary system. Approximately one in four men experience BPH-related symptoms by age 55, with 90 percent of men over 70 symptomatic.

Data from clinical trials showed that patients receiving UroLift implants reported rapid symptomatic improvement, improved urinary flow rates, and sustained sexual function. Patients also experienced a significant improvement in quality of life. Most common adverse events reported include hematuria, dysuria, micturition urgency, pelvic pain, and urge incontinence. Most symptoms were mild to moderate in severity and resolved within two to four weeks after the procedure.
November 18, 2016 - 8:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Livia Beauty & Spa, batavia, business, news.


Already a successful proprietor in the nail business -- he and his wife own L.J. Nail's on East Main Street, Batavia -- Johnny Dinh has opened a new, full-service salon at 5176 Clinton Street Road, Batavia.

The new business is called Livia Beauty & Spa.

Dinh has gone all out to make the new salon into a top-end place for not just nails, but hair styling, massages, and skin care.

"This is a place where people can come one-stop," Dinh said. "They can get everything done here. You don't have to stop somewhere else to get hair done or nails done, you know."

The impression Dinh wants customers to get from his new business is that it's high quality with great service.



November 17, 2016 - 7:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, batavia.


A car vs. pedestrian accident with injuries is reported at 215 E. Main St., in front of the Continental School of Beauty. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 7:59 p.m.: The location is actually just east of Liberty Street in front of the First Presbyterian Church.

UPDATE 8:08 p.m.: The adult male victim is conscious and alert and being transported to UMMC for evaluation. He was struck by a vehicle that was making a left turn from Summit Street onto Main Street as he crossed south. The investigation is continuing.

November 17, 2016 - 5:09pm

In an effort to more effectively and efficiently deal with vacant and abandoned properties, the city, the county and the counties of Livingston and Orleans are considering the formation of land banks.

Land banks have been around for just this purpose since 1971 but didn't start to get traction for county and municipal governments until the early 2000s when Genesee County, Mich., started a successful land bank.

Land banks, which are nonprofit corporations formed by local governments, are able to acquire tax-foreclosed property on a streamlined basis and then more quickly get that property back into residential or commercial use.

Typically, land banks are self-funding, generating revenue from real estate sales that is reinvested in the process of moving more property from unproductive use to productive use.

They're particularly popular in rust-belt communities where populations have declined and industry has left hulks of buildings vacant. 

The proposed agreement between the three counties and the city has a provision for the land bank to hire an executive director and potential staff members.

The board of directors would be appointed by the government bodies and those members would serve without compensation.

The corporation would be known as the GLO Regional Land Bank.

County Manager Jay Gsell introduced the potential agreement to members of the County Legislature on Wednesday evening. The Legislature has not yet been asked to take action on the proposal.

Currently, when a property owner allows a parcel to pass into tax foreclosure, the property is sold at auction. Each local government would have the option to let a property go up for auction or transfer that parcel to the land bank.

November 17, 2016 - 4:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Joe Gerace, batavia, news.

Batavia -- Joseph Richard Gerace, 80, proprietor of Gerace's Hair Care Center and along with his wife owned the former Bob Harris Realty Company, died on Thursday (Nov. 17, 2016) at the New York State Veterans Home in Batavia.

Mr. Gerace was born March 15, 1936 in Batavia, a son of the late Joseph A. and Sarah (Gazzetta) Gerace.

A 1955 graduate of Batavia High School, he served with the Army from 1957 to 1959. Prior to the hair care center he operated the Trailways Diner.

The lifelong Batavian was a member of many organizations, including: the Batavia Rotary Club, where he amassed 33 years of perfect attendance, served on the Board and also was the Sergeant at Arms; Knights of Columbus Fr. Vincent Capadanno Assembly 0755; Msgr. Kirby Council #325; City of Batavia Republican Committee, which he chaired for many years; Batavia Muckdogs Board of Directors and was on the team's Wall of Fame; Genesee Cancer Assistance program, where he served on the Board since its inception and founded the Simply Beautiful Hair Service; Resurrection Parish; former St. Nick’s Social Club; Batavia Youth Bureau; and a past president and co-chair of the Festival of Hope; Genesee Cancer Assistance golf tournament committee; and was on the city of Batavia zoning board for 12 years.

He was an avid New York Yankees and Buffalo Bills fan. He proudly attended each Super Bowl the Bills appeared in and was on the Founders Wall at the New Era Stadium tunnel entrance, recognizing season ticket holders since the beginning of the Buffalo Bills in 1960.  A favorite activity of his was the large selection of Christmas lights he displayed each year at his home.

Among the recognition and awards he received over the years included the two-time recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award, which is Rotary’s Club highest award, 2008 Humanitarian Award presented by the United Memorial Medical Center Foundation and the Jerome Foundation, 2006 Volunteer of the Year Award for the city of Batavia, Italian-American of the year awarded by the Batavia Downs and a similar award from the Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation, 1993 Geneseean of the Year and the Batavia Lions Club Italian American Award.

Surviving are his wife, Lois (Wagner) Gerace, of Batavia, whom  he married July 16, 1960; two sons, Robert J. Gerace  and  John P. (Rhonda Saulsbury) Gerace, both of Batavia; one daughter, Karen A. (Scott) Rowland, of Perry; one brother, Alfred J. (Patricia) Gerace of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and one sister, Theresa (late Joseph) Irrera, of Batavia. He is the grandfather of Ashley Gerace, Chelsea (Josh) Smith, Justin Gerace and Kirsten Rowland, Lindsey Rowland and David Rowland. Several nieces, nephews and cousins also survive. 

He is a brother of the late Louis Gerace and Sarah Bateman.

Family and friends may call on Saturday and Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Bohm-Calarco-Smith Funeral Home, 308 E. Main St., Batavia. The Knights of Columbus #325 will hold a prayer service on Sunday at 5 p.m. His Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. on Monday at Resurrection Parish -- St. Joseph’s Church, 303 E. Main St., Batavia. Burial with full military honors will be at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Batavia.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Crossroads House, P.O. Box 403, Batavia, NY 14021 or online at, or to Genesee Cancer Assistance Inc., c/o United Memorial Medical Center, 127 North St., Batavia, NY 14020 or online at to the New York State Veterans Home, Attention: Activities Fund, 220 Richmond Ave., Batavia, NY 14020.

Please leave a condolence, share a story or light a candle at

November 17, 2016 - 4:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, entertainment, Christmas, Batavia HS, batavia, news.

The Batavia HS choir plans on competing in a chorus competition in Washington, D.C., next year and they need to raise $50,000 to make the trip, so a novel fundraising idea they hit on is to sing Christmas carols for the community.

Local businesses can hire them to sing Christmas carols and other holiday songs on Dec. 19. The cost is $15 for two songs and $5 for each additional song.

The choir will also go to private homes on a date yet to be determined. The price is the same.

Director Jane Hagett said the group would also be happy to hear from service clubs, such as Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary or Zonta to sing at one of their gatherings in December.

The school's phone number is (585) 343-2480, ext. 2000.

November 17, 2016 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.


Press release:

Tiffani Brown receives Outstanding Student Award. She was nominated by BMS teacher Sarah Gahagan, who wrote, Tiffani is an eighth-grade student who shows dedication, perseverance, dependability, and a positive attitude in everything she does. She is one of 19 original founders of the BMS Girls on the Run team, hasn’t missed a single session, and always arrives on time and prepared. She partakes in every race, volunteer activity, and community-sponsored Girls on the Run event. Tiffanie has become so much more confident over the course of three years and many of her teachers think it’s because of this club. She is a great role model to her peers for her positive attitude and has developed her natural talent of working with others.

Maria DiMartino receives Outstanding Employee Award. She was nominated by Assistant Principal Maureen Notaro, who wrote, Maria DiMartino is a very special person. She is a classroom aide, often helping some of our most difficult students, and she goes above and beyond to make every child successful in school. She develops close relationships with the students and also supports them emotionally. The Board and Middle School are very fortunate to have such a dedicated employee.

Muriel Burns receives Outstanding Community Member Award. She was nominated by Assistant Principal Maureen Notaro, who wrote, Recently, one of our students from BMS was walking in the rain, late to school, and with no coat. A woman pulled over and offered him her umbrella. She asked him where he went to school and he said Batavia Middle School. She called the school, spoke to Julie Tybor, and asked us to get his sizes. Ms. Tybor called her back after the counselor provided his sizes. The next day Mrs. Burns returned to school with a brand new coat, three pairs of gloves, a back pack, and a blanket. The next day she returned with boots, hats, and nearly a dozen pairs of socks for him. The smile on the child’s face was priceless. This child does not have it easy, and she truly made his day.

Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey was invited to become a member of the National Center for Education Research and Technology (NCERT), an organization comprised of a maximum of 85 prominent school district superintendents as well as select corporate leaders from education-related industries. NCERT’s goal is to network creative and innovative thinkers who are leaders in education with the leaders of the industries they depend upon for products and services, technology, and research. The group focuses on contemporary issues of interest to school districts.

School Board Recognition: In honor of NYS School Board Recognition Week (celebrated this year from Oct. 24-28), several District organizations made donations to local charities in the Board’s honor. The JK Parent Teacher Group made a $50 donation to the Michael Napoleone Foundation, the Jackson Home School Association made a $50 donation to United Way – Community Action, the Batavia Clerical Association made a $50 donation to the United Way for the BCSD Backpack Program for BCSD students, and the Batavia Teachers’ Association made a $200 donation to the Salvation Army’s Backpack Program for the BCSD students. The New York State School Boards Association sponsors School Board Recognition Week to recognize school board members for their commitment to New York public school children and the crucial role they have within a school district.

Photos by Kathy Scott.


November 17, 2016 - 10:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia MS, batavia, schools, education, news.

Press release:

Batavia Middle School is hosting a Family and Community Night from 5-6:30 on Thursday, Nov. 17.  This year’s theme is “Warm the Night” and FREE hats, mittens and scarves will be distributed. Enjoy a FREE light supper of soup and bread with Timbits and coffee, courtesy of Tim Hortons.

There will also be a FREE bicycle raffle and you’ll also receive a FREE basket raffle ticket at the door, one raffle ticket for EVERY family member!

Prepare to be dazzled by former Harlem Globetrotter, Corey “The Dribbler.” Plus, the Batavia Police Department will be on hand to license bikes in the gym and give you a coupon for a FREE bike helmet from Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle.

Gain insight into the opportunities to learn how to support your child this year and help your children succeed. See you there!

Event Date and Time: 5-6:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17.

November 16, 2016 - 6:39pm


The 15th Annual Wonderland of Trees Gala opens this Friday Nov. 18th at 7 p.m. at the Holland Land Office Museum at 131 W. Main St., Batavia.

Featuring decorated trees by local area businesses, food, music, a basket raffle and silent auction with proceeds to benefit the museum. The trees will be on display until Jan. 4.

The costs are $25 per ticket or $40 per couple. R.S.V.P. is required to attend. Tickets are available in person at the museum, by phone 585-343-4727 or online at

Pictured above is the Batavia Business Professional Women's Club tree.


Batavia Girl Scouts Tree


Robin Weinstein is pictured with a menorah, "The Festival of Lights."


The ARC of Genesee Orleans tree



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