Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

batavia

April 29, 2016 - 4:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Vinyl Record Revival, business, batavia, downtown, news.

recordstoreapril292016.jpg

The sale of vinyl records has reached its highest level in 28 years and Batavia resident Richard Mistretta is betting that trend continues.

His own research and experience tells him vinyl, once considered a relic of history, has achieved its own kind of staying power.

"Last year, I first had a thought of opening a brick and mortar store," Mistretta said. "I wasn't sure what I'd be selling, but I started selling online and I noticed albums were selling well. I was selling a lot of vinyl, so with my online business, I switched over to exclusively selling vinyl and the sales numbers continued to go up."

Tomorrow he opens Vinyl Record Revival at 220 E. Main St., Batavia.

He's spent the past couple of weeks building bins for records, CDs, reel-to-reel, and he even has a couple of boxes of 8-track tapes, but vinyl is clearly where the action is. It attracts collectors of all ages these days.

"The big age group right now is young people, teenagers are getting into it," Mistretta said. "I've been hearing about it from a lot of people. They find it fascinating. They find it is something interesting to collect, and, also, the sound is different. That's the big thing, but, also, it's tangible. You can hold it, you can look at it, the artwork; it's easy to read. When something is digital, you don't get all that."

Clearly, vinyl records can't beat digital, especially in the age of cloud storage and streaming services, for convenience, but beside of the tactile and aesthetic appeal, most connoisseurs tip in favor of vinyl for the superior audio performance of analog, which doesn't suffer from the loss of dynamic range found in compressed sound files.

It might be surprising, but as Mistretta noted, when teenagers take an interest in The Beatles, they seek out vinyl, some becoming die-hard collectors.

That works out well for Mistretta, who is a lifelong fan of The Beatles and is stocking a full range of Beatles records, books and memorabilia. 

But the Beatles aren't the only hot seller from previous generations. There's also The Who, Queen, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, and, Mistretta noted, even before he died, he couldn't keep Prince in stock. When he put Prince records up for sale online, they would often be gone within hours.

Record stores in WNY are now few and far between, so he's hoping to draw clientele from throughout the GLOW region as well as Rochester and Buffalo. One of his goals is to get to know his customers, know what they're looking for and work with his wholesalers to find it for them.

Mistretta is 60 and recently retired after 20 years at the University of Rochester. He lived in Rochester when he met his wife, Michelle, and fell in love with her and fell in love with her hometown, Batavia. He's lived here for three years.

When he decided vinyl would be the speciality of his retail store, he started buying boxes and boxes of records, including one large collection from a seller in Pennsylvania. He said he's found some real gems among these big collections.

"The poor UPS drivers," he said. "Those poor delivery people probably have sore backs from carrying in boxes."

He's found the type of customers range from young to old, from those looking for just specific artists, to those who buy everything in a genre and those who are more interested in album covers or just exploring.

He has set up several listening stations in the store so customers can sample before they buy.

Right now, the store is strictly used records, tapes and CDs, but with most top current recording artists releasing their albums on vinyl again, he is hoping to find the right distributor so he can carry new inventory as well.

He also sees a need to supply area audiophiles with turntables, receivers and speakers.

"Manufacturers are starting to get back into making a nice receiver, making a nice phonograph and the big speakers, because everything did switch over to something that was more portable," Mistretta said.

Store hours will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. He's not settled yet on what his Saturday hours will be, but he will be closed Sundays and Mondays.

recordstoreapril292016-2.jpg

recordstoreapril292016-3.jpg

recordstoreapril292016-4.jpg

recordstoreapril292016-5.jpg

recordstoreapril292016-6.jpg

recordstoreapril292016-7.jpg

recordstoreapril292016-9.jpg

recordstoreapril292016-10.jpg

recordstoreapril292016-11.jpg

April 29, 2016 - 3:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ladder 15, batavia, City Fire, news.

newladder15_april292016.jpg

City firefighters got a first look at their new ladder truck today as it stopped by the fire hall on its trip to Hamburg, where it will receive final setup before being ready to go into service.

After that setup and training for fire crews, it will go into service, about a month from now.

The truck is a dealer's demo built in early 2015 and cost the city $912,000.

newladder15_april292016-2.jpg

newladder15_april292016-3.jpg

newladder15_april292016-4.jpg

newladder15_april292016-5.jpg

April 29, 2016 - 2:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in criminal justice awards, Batavia Kiwanis Club, batavia, news.

lawdaydinnerapril282016.jpg

Sheriff Gary Maha was honored for his 49 years in local law enforcement at the annual Criminal Justice Awards dinners sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Batavia and held at Batavia Country Club.

For details on the awards, click here.

lawdaydinnerapril282016-2.jpg

Batavia Police Officer James M. DeFreze, nominated by the YWCA (Director Jeanne Walton, who is also this year's president of the Kiwanis, in the background) for his work with victims of domestic violence.

lawdaydinnerapril282016-3.jpg

State Police investigators Ronald Wilson and Michael Sims were honored for their work on a four-county burglary investigation. Also pictured, in the middle, Lt. Martin McKee, who presented the award.

lawdaydinnerapril282016-4.jpg

Chaplain Allen A. Werk, was honored for his countless hours of volunteer service to local law enforcement and the families he is sometimes called on to serve through the Sheriff's Office.

lawdaydinnerapril282016-5.jpg

Sarah Palermo received an Exceptional Service Award from GCASA for her volunteer work on the DWI Victims' Impact Panel.

lawdaydinnerapril282016-6.jpg

David Saleh was honored for his years of volunteer coaching with mock trial teams.

lawdaydinnerapril282016-7.jpg

The keynote speech was delivered by Thomas A. Belein, chairman of the NYS Commission of Corrections.

lawdaydinnerapril282016-8.jpg

Attorney Ben Bonarigo, president of the Genesee County Bar Association, was emcee.

lawdaydinnerapril282016ll.jpg

The Pembroke Mock Trial Team, which won this year's competition.

April 29, 2016 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in criminal justice awards, batavia kiwanis, batavia, news.

Press release:

Kiwanis Club President Jeanne Walton and Genesee County Bar Association Benjamin Bonarigo, Sr. announced the awards during an annual dinner held at Batavia Country Club on Thursday, April 28, 2016.  The speaker at the dinner was Hon. Thomas A. Belein, Chairman of the New York State Commission of Correction.

 

Kiwanis Criminal Justice Award

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia Criminal Justice Award is presented to a member or members of the community, law enforcement, or a criminal justice agency serving the citizens of Genesee County whose exceptional career achievements and conscientiousness to citizenship have demonstrated a spirit of selfless public service or demonstrated an act of exceptional valor or heroism.

THE 2016 AWARD RECIPIENTS ARE:

Sheriff Gary T. Maha, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Gary T. Maha has been a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office for over 49 years.  He started his law enforcement career as a dispatcher for the New York State Police in 1966 and became a Deputy Sheriff in 1967.  He was promoted to a Senior Investigator on July 16, 1969, and then promoted to Chief Deputy on June 4, 1977.  In 1988, he became Sheriff of Genesee County and has been ever since.  Sheriff Maha is very disciplined, beyond reproach, has served well as the commander in chief of a quasi-military organization, has adapted well to five decades of technological and other advancements in law enforcement and has been actively involved in his community as a member of the Kiwanis Club, serving as the Club President, a member of the Board of Directors and a pancake maker at the annual Pancake Days, along with many other projects.  He has earned the respect of his employees, the other professionals he works with in the Criminal justice System, his colleagues throughout NYS and the citizens of Genesee County.  Sheriff Maha was nominated for this award by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.

 

Police Officer James M. DeFreze, City of Batavia Police Department
Police Officer James M. DeFreze has been a member of the City of Batavia Police Department since 2010.  He serves as a Field Training Officer and Crisis negotiator while remaining very active with all of the department’s community events.  This past December, Officer DeFreze spearheaded and helped organize the department’s first ever Shop-with-a-Cop Event in conjunction with Wal-Mart of Batavia.  The event was a huge success and reached every school district in the county.  Officer DeFreze has gone above and beyond routine assistance to
not only respond to victims of domestic violence but to make them comfortable and secure with the way in which he treats them.  Officer DeFreze has demonstrated a depth of knowledge and understanding of the very dynamics of domestic violence.  This has enabled him to appropriately respond to each victim’s fragile emotions with amazing sensitivity, tact and patience.  His concern for domestic violence victims is unsurpassed.  Police Officer DeFreze was nominated for this award by Justina Garner, YWCA Program Manager for Domestic Violence, and Holly Baxter, YWCA Program Manager – Care & Crisis Helpline. 

 

Investigators Ronald W. Wilson and Michael D. Sims, New York State Police

In August of 2015, the State Police BCI (Bureau of Criminal Investigations) adopted a burglary investigation in the Town of Darien.  Throughout the following weeks, additional burglaries were reported to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office as well as the New York State Police.  Investigators Wilson and Sims worked diligently on all of the complaints in an effort to connect them and identify the perpetrators through evidence, interviews, and the sharing of intelligence with their counterparts at the Sheriff’s Office.  Similar daytime residential burglaries were occurring in Erie and Niagara Counties.  Wilson and Sims met with representatives of the agencies involved and together they formulated a plan to monitor and eventually arrest the suspects.  In October, four suspects were arrested and charged with more than 30 residential burglaries spanning four counties in Western New York.  Two of the defendants were additionally charged for their confession to an armed robbery that occurred earlier in the year.  Investigators Ronald W. Wilson and Michael D. Sims were nominated for this award by Major Steven A. Nigrelli, Troop Commander, Troop A.

Chaplain Allen A. Werk, Genesee County Sheriff’s Offic

Charles L. Mancuso Mock Trial Award

The “Charles L. Mancuso Award” was presented to the members of the Pembroke High School Mock Trial Team as winners of the 2016 GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties) District Competition in the New York State Bar Association High School Mock Trial Tournament.  The award reads “Dedicated to the Memory of an Outstanding Attorney-Citizen”, Mr. Mancuso, a Batavia lawyer, served as coordinator of the local competition until his untimely death nine years ago.  The Pembroke High School team members honored at the dinner include:  Alison Reiner, Kilian Lewis, Matthew Reeb, Sophia Zwolinski, Samuel Lang, Kassandra Sanner, Seth Librock, Tyler Wood, Johnathon Doud, Bethany Zwolinski, Eli Fox and Coach Paul L. Schuler, Jr.  Coordinator of the local Mock Trial Program, Kristie DeFreze, and Genesee County Bar Association President Benjamin Bonarigo, Sr. presented the award.

 

Genesee County Bar Association SPECIAL PRESENTATION

David Saleh

Attorney Mary Ann Wiater made a special presentation to David Saleh on behalf of the Genesee County Bar Association.  Mr. Saleh has been a mock trial coach at Pembroke since the high school first started to compete.  The success of a high school team many times is determined by attorney coaches who dedicate valuable time, spending innumerable evening hours and countless weekends to assist the team of students.  The students of Pembroke high school are very fortunate to have had the dedication from David who is one of the finest advocates in the legal profession.  He coached his children when they attended high school, and even though his children have long since graduated, David continues to coach.  David believes in the Mock Trial program and in the value it provides to the students of Pembroke.  Because of David, Pembroke has never been without an attorney coach, and under his tutelage, Pembroke has made it to the regional competition twice. 

Genesee/Orleans Council on Substance Abuse (GCASA) Award

Exceptional Service Award – Sarah Palermo

Sheila Harding, Prevention Educator/VIP Coordinator for GCASA, presented the Exceptional Service Award to Sarah Palermo.  Sarah attends almost every monthly DWI/Victim Impact Panel as a member where she shares her experiences and personal story of her daughter being a victim of a drunk driving crash.  Sarah not only speaks on the Genesee County Panel but on other surrounding county panels.  She demonstrates respect and genuine kindness towards GCASA staff and the offenders who attend the panel.  Sarah is always willing to volunteer her time to speak for the panel, and speakers like her are the true reason why our DWI/Victim Impact Panel makes an impact in our community.  

April 29, 2016 - 1:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, schools, education, batavia.

gccgroundbreakingapril282016.jpg

Officials from throughout Genesee County were at Genesee Community College yesterday afternoon to join in a celebration of the college's continued growth -- groundbreaking for the Student Success Center and Event Center.

The Student Success Center will provide a sleek new entrance to the Campus and the Event Center will be the area’s largest indoor event arena with 25,000 square feet of open multipurpose floor space.

One man was instrumental in envisioning the expense and is being memorialized in the Event Center.

GCC’s President Jim Sunser unveiled the Event Center's official title, in honor of a man he was proud to call his friend, Richard C. Call.  

"The Board of Trustees has also given me the great privilege of announcing that at the boards May meeting the Trustees' intent to dedicate the Event Center to Dick Call and forever inscribe his name above the doors to this wonderful new building that's helping to create our future. The Richard C. Call Arena will be a tribute to the remarkable legacy of a man that has given so much to our college and community. And as we look ahead to the future the Richard C. Call Arena will symbolize the strength of our community and the power that we all have to make a difference in other people’s lives.”

Craig Yunker, chairman for the GCC Foundation "Creating Our Future Together" Campaign, tied the entire endeavor together with a childhood memory of GCC’s foundation.  

“Fifty years ago I was 15; I remember my parents talking about this at the dinner table and going out and joining some other people in trying to get this referendum passed, and some of those people are here tonight.”

The celebration was as much about the community’s collaboration as it was about the facilities themselves. The college was asked to match $5 million of State funds and with many generous donations by local supporters it surpassed that amount raising $5.4 million.

Work on both facilities is expected to be complete sometime around July of 2017.

Our news partner, WBTA contributed to this story.

gccgroundbreakingapril282016-2.jpg

gccgroundbreakingapril282016-3.jpg

GCC President Jim Sunser.

gccgroundbreakingapril282016-4.jpg

Retired, longtime GCC President Stuart Steiner in the middle, then Craig Yunker and GC Legislature Chairman Ray Cianfrini.

gccgroundbreakingapril282016-5.jpg

Diane D. Torcello, chair of the College's Board of Trustees.

gccgroundbreakingapril282016-6.jpg

Eunice A. Lewin, SUNY trustee.

gccgroundbreakingapril282016-7.jpg

Craig Yunker, chair of the GCC Foundation's Creating Our Future Together Campaign.

April 29, 2016 - 10:45am

From our news partner WBTA:

A bomb threat was e-mailed this morning to Independent Living of Genesee Region, according to Rae Frank, director of the Batavia location at 113 Main St. downtown.

It is not clear, Frank said, whether the threat was intended for the Buffalo office or the Batavia office, or both, but as a precaution staff was told within the past hour to leave for the day and Batavia PD was alerted.

The person who made the threat allegedly has a history of complaints with the nonprofit agency.

Independent Living of Genesee Region (ILGR) is a multicultural, grassroots, peer-directed, civil rights organization that provides a full range of assistance, programs and services to enhance the quality of life for all individuals with disabilities. "ILGR assists persons with disabilities to realize their life choices through information and referral, independent living skills, community and systems advocacy and peer counseling."

It provides: adaptive aids/equipment, advocacy, benefits advisement, counseling/support groups, health insurance information, information & referral, library of disabilities, independent living skills instruction, community disability education.

UPDATE 11:29 a.m.: David Boyce, CEO of the building's owner Tompkins Insurance Co., said the agency's staff on the second floor was also evacuated as a precautionary measure. He said police indicated they do not believe there is an imminent threat.

UPDATE 11:41 a.m.: The "indirect threat" was made by an employee recently let go from the Buffalo office of Independent Living and the person has no known ties to Genesee County, said Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis. "We've checked the (Batavia) building and we've found nothing," Davis said. Adjacent businesses were notified of the situation and any decision to evacuate staff was their option. A bomb-sniffing dog from State Police Troop A is en route to go through the building and if nothing is found, officers will give the all clear.

UPDATE 11:59 p.m.: State Police and their bombing-sniffing dog just completed a sweep of the building and found nothing. The building is clear and police are clearing the scene.

indielivingdogapril292016.jpg

April 29, 2016 - 10:16am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

From a Batavia PD press release:

A registered sex offender who allegedly failed to register his address as required by law was the subject of a manhunt in the city on Thursday in the area of Walnut Street.

Marlek E. Holmes, 42, no permanent address, was arrested after he fled from officers who were attempting to arrest him on a bench warrant out of City Court for the violation.

After being located on Walnut Street, he fled from officers and a foot pursuit ensued. A perimeter was set up in the vicinity and the Sheriff's K-9 unit with "Destro" assisted Batavia PD in finding the suspect, who was hiding on a porch at a residence in the area. Holmes was jailed without bail. Additional charges are pending.

April 28, 2016 - 1:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.

Press release:

The New York State Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges (NYSMATYC) held its 49th Annual Conference earlier this month in Kingston, hosting professionals from throughout New York State for a three-day event themed, "Three Days of Peace and Math."

Among the order of business was the presentation of the organization's scholarship awards, which honor high achieving students at two-year colleges across the state. Genesee Community College is pleased to congratulate student Rebecca "Becca" Sheets, of Batavia, who was awarded the coveted Helen Siner Scholarship Award, reserved as the NYSMATYC's highest honor.

"I recommended Becca for the award because she has been one of the strongest students in Calculus III, Discrete Math and Differential Equations this year," said Phillip Pickering, GCC professor of Mathematics. "They are the three hardest mathematics courses currently offered at GCC. She has no shortage of supporters among the math and science faculty, and all of us who have had the pleasure of having her in class are equally impressed with her work ethic, attitude, personality and intelligence."

Helen Siner taught mathematics at Staten Island Community College, which later became the College of Staten Island, a four-year City University of New York (CUNY) unit. In 1975, Siner was honored by NYSMATYC for Outstanding Contributions to Mathematics Education. During the 1970s and 1980s, Siner chaired the Scholarship Committee almost continuously. After her death in the early 1990s, the top NYSMATYC Scholarship was named in her honor, which includes a $1,000 incentive.

A 2010 graduate of Batavia High School, Sheets is a double major at GCC, studying Mathematics and Chemistry. She served in the Air Force from 2011 until 2014 as an air traffic controller and spent time in Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma. Becca was awarded the Waste Management Scholarship in the spring of 2015 and the Veterans Scholarship in the fall of 2015.

After her time at GCC, Sheets plans to move on to the University of Rochester or the State University of New York at Buffalo to continue her studies in hopes of becoming a professor or research scientist. She has already been accepted into the SUNY Geneseo Summer Engineering Research program (SURGE) and was named to the GCC President's List in the fall of 2014 and 2015 and the spring of 2014.

She is married to Jacob Sheets and has two daughters, Lillyan and Isabella. She is the daughter of Evangeline and Edward Canty and has one sister, Danielle.

April 28, 2016 - 11:59am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, sports, news, Milestones.

Submitted photos and press release:

Last week, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) honored four local high school sports teams for winning championships in their respective conferences. Hawley presented Assembly proclamations, the house’s highest honor, to the Batavia Notre Dame Hockey Team, Batavia Girls Basketball Team, Batavia Boys Basketball Team and Batavia Girls’ Indoor Track and Field Team.

Hawley spoke to the teams about the value of teamwork, perseverance and strength and offered his advice and good fortune to the teams for next year. 

“Batavia is my hometown and I appreciate the strong tradition in athletics that is perpetuated by these gifted athletes,” Hawley said. “Non-professional athletics is one of the purest forms of sport out there because athletes do not have hidden agendas or are distracted by salary requirements.

"Lessons learned in high school sports such as leadership, the strength to fight through adversity and mental fortitude will have profound impacts on these young men and women and help them succeed after high school. I wish these teams the best of luck for next season.”

April 28, 2016 - 11:39am

Press release:

The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) is looking for a few good architects (we really need those!), historic district residents (and these!), historians, or volunteers who have significant interest in the commitment to historic preservation.

If this sounds like you, and you are a City resident, submit your application today.

The HPC works toward the protection, enhancement, and perpetuation of landmarks and historic districts in the City of Batavia. For about an hour a month you can help preserve our historic community.

Volunteer today to see the difference you can make! Applications are available at the City Clerk’s office or online at www.batavianewyork.com in the documents section.

April 28, 2016 - 11:35am
posted by Billie Owens in washington avenue sewer project, news, batavia.

Press release:

The Washington Avenue Sewer Project is expected to impact traffic in that area and will start on or about May 2. Once construction begins, Washington Avenue will be limited to “local traffic only” in the specific section of Washington Avenue that is being worked on. The expectation is that the first section to be closed off would be Bank Street to Summit Street, followed by Summit Street to Ross Street.

During this time, thru traffic will not be allowed, only access for residents/deliveries/emergency services. It is expected that sidewalks will always be open and passable, but caution should be observed as it is a construction zone.

Once completed, construction will then shift to the Jefferson Avenue – Bank Street block of Washington Avenue. An additional notice will be provided for work on State Street which is also part of this project.

Work is expected to be completed on the entire project, including pavement resurfacing from Ellicott Avenue to Ross Street, by Aug. 19.

Construction updates, schedules and traffic plans will be posted on the City Web page, and should be available by the end of the week. You can access it here.

For additional information contact:

April 28, 2016 - 11:17am
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia.

Brandon Smart, 2016 graduate of Batavia High School, current undergraduate at the University of Rochester, has advanced to the finals in the Tibetan Innovation Challenge.

This is an intercollegiate social entrepreneurship business plan contest. Top universities from around the world compete in this challenge.

The ideals submitted from this contest are  meant to improve the lives of Tibetans living in refugee camps in India.

Brandon and his team, along with the other four finalists, will present their business plan to the Tibetan partners June 3 for the final round of the competition. The winner will get to meet the Dalai Lama and hopefully improve the lives of many Tibetans with their plan.

You can view the team's submission at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AubLB5zlfc  What a great honor to have made it this far.

April 28, 2016 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Emily Helenbrook, Genesee Chorale, batavia, arts, entertainment, music, news.

choraleapril282016.jpg

Press release:

The Genesee Chorale, under the direction of Ric Jones, is excited to offer a performance of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 29th, in the beautiful sanctuary of St. James Episcopal Church, located at 405 E. Main St. in Batavia. 

“Performing this amazing work will truly be a memorable experience for us and for the audience,” said Jones, director of the large, talented community chorus based in Batavia. “This performance will run the gamut of human emotion; excitement, intrigue, humor, and love all rolled into one amazing work."

“Carmina Burana” is a scenic cantata composed by Orff and based on a collection of 24 medieval poems. You might recognize the exciting “O Fortuna,” which was first introduced to mainstream media in the 1981, John Boorman film, "Excalibur." Other appearances in movies include "Glory" (1989), "The Hunt for Red October" (1990), "The Doors" (1991), "Natural Born Killers" (1994), and "The General’s Daughter" (1999).

Orff’s Carmina Burana is based on 24 of the 254 poems found in the medieval collection Carmina Burana, a manuscript composed of 11th – 13th century poems and dramatic texts, believed to be written by clergy in Italy and Western Europe for traveling scholars, universities and theologians. The collection of texts was discovered in 1803 in the Benedictine monastery of Benediktbeuern in Bavaria (Germany).

The Chorale will consist be accompanied by several three outstanding soloists: Emily Helenbrook, soprano; John Clayton, tenor; Joe Finetti, baritone.

Hellenbrook is a senior at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Carol Webber. Helenbrook has performed several times as a featured soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic and in several appearances with Ars Nova Musicians in the Viva Vivaldi Festival. She also appeared twice on the nationally acclaimed show, From the Top, recorded at the Chautauqua Amphitheatre and Kodak Hall at Eastman.

Clayton is a tenor based in Buffalo. He has been described as “One of Buffalo’s top vocalists” who performs “gallantly.” He studied music and voice at SUNY College at Buffalo and has worked with vocal coaches from across America and Europe. Clayton is a frequent soloist with choral ensembles in Western New York. He has also been featured in concert with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Nickel City Opera. Clayton has sung the National Anthem for Buffalo Bills' home games and is a current member of the Harmonia Chamber Singers.

Finetti, bass – baritone, enjoys various performing opportunities in the Rochester area. He recently appeared as the beleaguered Herr Schlendrian in Bach’s Coffee Cantata at Nazareth College, interpreted the Bass role of Haydn’s "Creation" in several performances with the Finger Lakes Chorale, and sang Broadway favorites as a guest of the Irondequoit Chorale. A longtime member of the baroque ensemble The Publick Musick, he has sung solo roles in numerous Bach cantatas and masses as well as period performances of Handel’s "Messiah." Finetti performs regularly with the Renaissance group Musica Spei, the annual sponsor of the Rochester Early Music Festival as well as the well-known local chamber choir Madrigalia. He has a practice of family medicine in Greece, NY, and lives with his wife Maria Mastrosimone, also a family physician, in the Highland Park neighborhood of Rochester.

The performance will also feature two talented pianists, Doug Hanson and Howard Spindler. Five percussionists from the Batavia and Rochester area will accompany the work.

Tickets for the performance at St. James are available on the Genesee Chorale Web site, www.GeneseeChorale.com, from any Chorale member, or at the door. For more information please contact the Chorale president, Heather Lovelace at (716) 531-8986.

The Genesee Chorale is directed by Ric Jones, owner of Imagine Music Publishing. In addition to being the musical director of the Genesee Chorale, he also serves as musical director of the Brighton Symphony Orchestra and The Middleport Community Choir. Jones is also the organist at St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church in Medina and Trinity Lutheran Church in Wolcottsville.

The Genesee Chorale is a community choir comprised of singers from all walks of life. It draws membership from Genesee County and seven surrounding counties. The repertory of the Genesee Chorale encompasses a wide variety of music in various styles from motets and madrigals of the Renaissance, to folk, musicals and jazz. Over the years, the Chorale has championed contemporary works for choir as well as larger liturgical settings including Bach's St. Matthew's "Passion," Charpentier's "Midnight Mass for Christmas," the Mozart and Brahms requiems, and several masses by composers such as Schubert and Mozart. Additionally, the Chorale has performed "Die Fledermaus," Mendelssohn's "Elijah," Handel's "Solomon," Haydn's "Creation," Vivaldi's "Magnificat," and Vaughan William’s "Hodie."

This concert is made possible in part with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered by the Genesee Regional Arts Council.

April 27, 2016 - 6:40pm
posted by James Burns in Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, genesee.

untitled_shoot-9814.jpg

Tuesday evening the Richmond Memorial Library celebrated a new program, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, providing free books to children from birth to up age 5 (but not including age 5). The library hosted a special story time featuring a certain librarian imitating Dolly Parton and guest storytellers.

Leading off story time was Tim Richter (pictured in red below) from the Richter Family Foundation. The foundation is funding the program is assisting with the launch of the Batavia Imagination Library, which is only available to children age 4 and under in the Batavia City School District.

Each participating school district funds and sponsors its own Imagination Library, under the auspices of, and with the assistance of, the Richter Foundation. To date, the foundation has helped launch Dolly Parton's program in Oakfield, Elba, Pavilion and Pembroke.

(Previous Coverage) To sign a child up get free books visit the library or apply on line

untitled_shoot-9799.jpg

untitled_shoot-9801.jpg

untitled_shoot-9807.jpg

untitled_shoot-9823.jpg

April 27, 2016 - 3:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Jacquetta Simmons.

simmonscourtapril27206.jpg

After being among Batavia's wanted for 18 months, Jacquetta Simmons, 30, appeared in court today following her arrest in Rochester last night, to answer to a charge of harassment 2nd.

Simmons, out of jail on $300 bail, asked for an adjournment of her case because on short notice, her attorney, Ann Nichols, could not appear in Batavia today.

The case was docked for May 25. 

In the meantime, Judge Durin Rogers issued an order of protection, which Simmons signed, barring her from any contact with the alleged victim in the harassment case, a 54-year-old woman.

Simmons was allegedly in an altercation of some sort with the woman back in October during a meeting at the YWCA. A couple of weeks later, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Simmons on the harassment charge. The warrant was reported by local and regional media in January.

The former Batavia resident gained international notoriety after punching a 70-year-old Walmart cashier on Christmas Eve, 2011. In August, 2012, Simmons was found guilty of assault in the second degree by a jury and later sentenced to five years in state prison. The sentence was later ruled too harsh by an appeals court and Simmons was resentenced to one year in jail.

Also in City Court today, 54-year-old Darlene M. Callan, charged with arson, 3rd, for allegedly starting a fire inside her home Monday at 189 South Main St., Batavia. Callan is being held on $25,000 bail and her attorney asked for her to be released under supervision given her lack of criminal record and ties to the community. Citing a low score on a bail review worksheet and concerns over recent substance use issues, Rogers declined to reduce the bail.

April 27, 2016 - 2:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A person was reportedly outside his vehicle at John Kennedy School when another vehicle struck it, causing the man's vehicle to strike him.

The man reportedly suffered a minor injury.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

April 27, 2016 - 12:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, Le Roy, news.

Shawn Thomas Rushok, 17, of Church Road, Le Roy, is charged with first degree criminal sexual act. He was arrested on April 26 for allegedly engaging in oral sexual conduct in the afternoon of July 20 with a person less than 11 years old. He was arraigned by Town of Le Roy Justice Welsh and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. The case was investigated by Sheriff's Deputy Timothy Wescott, assisted by Deputy John Dehm.

Brian K. Dyer, 49, of North Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree assault, third-degree menacing, and criminal obstruction of breathing. He was arrested at 12:14 a.m. on April 23 as the result of an investigation into a domestic incident that occurred at a North Street residence a short time earlier. He was put in jail on $2,500 bail and was to be in court on April 25. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels, assisted by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Ryan James Wetsell, 22, of Walden Creek Drive, Batavia, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and second-degree harassment. He was arrested at 5:30 p.m. on April 21 following an altercation with another male in the area of 335 Bank St., Northside Meadows Apartments in Batavia. It is alleged that Wetsell went after another male at that location, striking him several times and then attempting to choke him. He was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on May 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Marc Lawrence.

Timothy Jerome Stump, 44, of Montclair Avenue, is charged with: obstructed view; broken windshield; aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree -- having a prior driving while intoxicated conviction; felony common law DWI; and felony DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or more. Stump was arrested at 5:51 p.m. on April 22 following a traffic stop on Porter Avenue. He was allegedly found to be operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and doing so on a suspended NY driver's license. He was to appear in City Court April 25. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Rebecca N. Bethune, 27, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, is charged with trespass and illegal disposal of items. The charges stem from a complaint in which Bethune was alleged to have disposed of a mattress at 679 E. Main St., the Batavia Gardens Apartments, leaving the item against a dumpster at that location at 3 p.m. on April 21. She is not a resident of the complex. She was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on May 3. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards.

Patrick A. Dudley, 18, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of marijuana, 5th. Batavia police conducted a traffic stop at about 12:30 a.m. on April 24 and Dudley was a passenger in the vehicle. During the course of the traffic stop, police allegedly disovered 28 grams of marijuana on Dudley's person. He was subsequently arrested and released with an appearance ticket for May 10 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

April 27, 2016 - 11:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, crime, batavia, news.

southmainfireapril272016b.jpg

callan_darleneapril2016.jpg

    Darlene M. Callan

A 54-year-old South Main Street woman has been charged with arson in the third degree for allegedly setting a fire in a bedroom of her home around 5 p.m., Monday.

The bedroom had fire and smoke damage but city firefighters were able to put the blaze out before it spread.

Interim Fire Chief Dan Herberger said that the actual cause of the fire cannot be released yet because it's still under investigation. 

City fire was dispatched after a woman ran to a neighbor's house and said her bedroom was on fire.

After an investigation, it was determined the only person at home at 189 S. Main St. was Darlene M. Callan and police say evidence indicates she started the fire.

Several subjects at the scene were interviewed, police say.

Callan was held on $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond.

The investigation was conducted by Officer Jamie Givens, Sgt. Dan Coffey, Det. Kevin Czora and Capt. Craig Williams.

southmainfireapril272016-2.jpg

April 27, 2016 - 11:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jacquetta Simmons, crime, batavia, news.
 Jacquetta Simmons

More than a year after a warrant was first issued for her arrest, Jacquetta Bernadine Simmons, who first made international news after punching a Walmart cashier on Christmas Eve in 2011, is back in custody.

Simmons was picked up by Rochester PD last night and turned over to Batavia PD on a warrant for an alleged incident at a church meeting in Batavia in October, 2014.

The warrant was issued Oct. 20, 2014, but information wasn't released until January. 

Simmons, 30, allegedly made some sort of physical contact with a 54-year-old woman.

She is charged with second-degree harassment.

The meeting reportedly involved church members at a business meeting being held at the YWCA, 301 North St., Batavia.

Simmons was convicted in August 2012 of assaulting a 70-year-old cashier at Walmart and later sentenced to five years in prison, but that sentence was later overturned on appeals and she was given a year in jail. She was also ordered to pay restitution, which became the subject of several court appearances as she appealed the amount and sought modifications to the payment plan.

Simmons, held on $300 bail, is scheduled to appear in City Court at 1 p.m. today to answer to the harassment charge.

April 26, 2016 - 6:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Joe Gerace, Genesee Cancer Assistance, batavia, news, charity.

Throughout his life, Joe Gerace has helped so many people in our community, and now it's our turn to help him, but he doesn't look at it that way.

"I'm a little humble," Gerace said. "I'm humble because I'm not looking for somebody to pay me back. I've done everything from my heart, and, yeah, now it is payback time, but I'm not looking for it that way. I'm not that way."

Gerace was diagnosed earlier this month with lung cancer and bone cancer, at the same time, he also suffered a broken femur. He's currently staying at the State Veterans Home but plans on attending his annual spaghetti dinner Thursday in Stafford, which is a fundraiser for Genesee Cancer Assistance, a local organization he's worked tirelessly for since 1995.

"I'm looking forward to going to my spaghetti dinner Thursday," Gerace said. "I'm not going to get to put my hands in the sauce. I'd like to, but they all know what to do. I gave them all instructions."

He thinks just being there is important, not for him, but for others who need the support.

"I did it for 20 years and I want to be there to root other people on," said Gerace, who is 80. "I'm not the only guy who has cancer. There's a lot of people out there. I don't want no one to feel sorry for me because I'm going to fight this. I'm going to fight it."

Gerace has been deeply involved in our community for decades. He was the first person selected for the Italian-American of the Year Award at Batavia Downs in 2008. That year he was also Humanitarian of the Year for United Memorial Medical Center and the Jerome Foundation. In 2006, he was named City of Batavia Volunteer of the Year and Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Genessean of the Year in 1993 and was honored for his community service by the Paolo Busti Foundation Scholarship Committee.

He has long been active in Rotary and Knights of Columbus. He's a former president of the Batavia Youth Bureau, co-chair of the Genesee County Cancer Society's Festival of Hope and a director of the Genesee County Baseball Club (co-owners of the Batavia Muckdogs).

"I've got the urge to help," said Gerace, who served in the Army from 1957-59. "I call myself a public servant for Christ. I'm not a very religious guy, but I believe in God."

For two decades he's devoted a lot of time and effort helping people afflicted with cancer, but he never had it himself until now.

"It's so easy to tell somebody, you're going to be OK," Gerace said. "Well, you know, you experience it and then you'll know what they're going through. It's not only the cancer. It's the treatments. It knocks the heck out of you. It makes you tired. I want to go faster, but they slow me down, my wife slows me down all the time."

Gerace has received hundreds of get-well cards and countless bouquets of flowers over the past couple of weeks. He knows hundreds of people are praying for him and he says his own prayer every time he goes into treatment. 

"I say, 'dear God, those people prayed for me. Please answer their prayers.' "

He vows to beat cancer.

He said the other day he was doing a little religious reading and came across the story of a woman who got cancer and asked, "why me?"

She told people, "I have the Big C."

"Another gentleman wrote a letter," Gerace said, "and wrote her back and said, 'It's OK to have the Big C. The Big C is Christ and Christ is bigger than cancer.'

"That's what keeps me going," Gerace added. "I'm going to have a fight and I'm going to win. I will win. I've got a lot of spirit."

The dinner Thursday is from 4 to 7 p.m. Gerace vows he'll be there for at least some of the time. It's at the Stafford Fire Hall. Adults $10 (includes a 50/50 raffle ticket), children $5. Takeouts available.

Pages

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 
 
 

Upcoming

Copyright © 2008-2016 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
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

blue button