Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

Billie Owens's blog

June 8, 2018 - 2:37pm

State Street Animal Hospital is hosting "The Bark-arrific Saturday Ice Cream Social" from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 23, at the hospital, located at 7950 State Street Road, Batavia.

Just show up with your friendly K9 friend and join the State Street crew for this special event.

All dogs must be leashed to attend. Dog-safe ice cream will be served, and there will be ice cream for human companions as well.

While this social is specifically for dogs, they love your feline friends, too, and treats will be provided for owners to take home to their kitty comrades.

Parasols, gloves and hats, strictly optional. Wet Wipes probably aren't.

June 8, 2018 - 2:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in art, news, Announcements, batavia, GO ART!.
Press release:
Four new exhibits are coming to GO ART! this summer and there will be a reception for each one and the bar will be open at historic Seymour Place, located at 201 E. Main St. in Downtown Batavia.
  • Ty's Painted Poles by Ty Dickey -- June 14 -- Aug. 4  /  Reception: June 21 6-8 p.m. 
Ty Dickey resides in Detroit, Mich. His works have been well received, in exhibitions at the Carr Cultural Center and the Baltimore Gallery in Detroit.

Dickey creates his works from a strong African-centered viewpoint, drawing inspiration from his surroundings. His latest works are decorative fabric spools, a mixed media form that incorporates recycled cardboard paper and acrylic paint. 

Each piece is elegant and unique; the same design is never painted twice. 

Several of the pieces incorporate Ghanaian adinkra symbols. Other pieces are freeform, with geometric shapes and doodles that are created in the moment.

  • Peru Children by Daniel Cotrina Rowe -- June 14 -- Aug. 4  /  Reception: June 21, 6-8 p.m. 

Daniel Cotrina Rowe is a native of  Cajamarca, Peru. He studied at the Fine Arts School of "Mario Urteaga." Rowe's artwork is included in the Latin American Artists Registry of the prestigious Latin American Museum of Long Beach, Calif. (MOLAA).

Rowe currently directs the Art Center called Archikwayra, in which he shares his experience as a painter with talented children from the community of Otuzco in Cajamarca. Because art is not taught in schools in the area this program is extremely important to bring art to children in their community.  All of the artwork is done by children who attend the programs at the Art Center and all pieces are for sale.

The sales from Rowe's show will be used to purchase supplies for the Archikwayra so the children can continue to learn and enjoy art!

  • "UNWORLDLY" Members' Challenge Show -- June 7 -- Sept. 8  /  Reception June 21, 6-8 p.m.


  • Framed by Lyn Kang -- July 12 -- Sept. 8  /  Reception: July 19, 6-8 p.m.
Lyn Kang is a painter, born in Seoul, South Korea, and currently resides and works in Western New York. Her artwork has been featured in Vienna, Virginia, New Zealand, and South Korea.
She says "I experience frames all over. The relationship between various elements in a frame is tolerated. They are interwoven within the frame. They are entrapped in colors, but do not find a way to feel sympathy. They are placed to live under one frame. No way out. What frame do you live under?"
343- 9313
Gallery Hours: Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.  Saturday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
June 8, 2018 - 2:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, batavia, START-UP Genesee.

If you are thinking about starting a busimess or have a great idea, or maybe you'd just like to see what entrepreneurship is all about, then take a tour of Downtown Batavia businesses on Thursday, June 21, and hear local stories about starting and operating a small business.

You're invited to a START-UP Genesee "Think & Drink" Entrepreneurial Series Event. Meet at Eli Fish Brewing Company. Walking tour is free. Food and drink will be provided.

Time is 4 to 6 p.m.

RSVP by contacting Rahcel Tabelski at 343-4866 or at  [email protected]

This event is hosted by the START-UP Genesee Business Assistance Team.

Great opportunity to network and take your ideas and business to the next level!

June 8, 2018 - 10:24am
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, news.

A power line and telephone line are down across the roadway, waist high and blocking traffic, at 9877 Colby Road in Darien. The location is between Richley and Sumner roads. Darien fire is responding and Corfu fire police are called for traffic control. National Grid has been advised.

UPDATE 11:35 a.m.: There is no power to the home and extensive repairs will need to be done to get it back on, says a first responder at the scene. Dispatchers exhausted their resources and could find no good phone number for the homeowner or resident there to let them know about the situation. National Grid is on scene.

June 7, 2018 - 2:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, Grand Jury, news, notify.

Pierre M. Humphrey and Asia N. Fedrick are indicted for the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a Class B felony. It is alleged that on Jan. 16 in the area of Park Road, Batavia, that they knowingly and unlawfully possessed a narcotic drug -- cocaine -- with the intent to sell it. In count two, they are accused of the same crime, except the drug was heroin. In count three, they are accused of the same crime as in count one, except the drug was tablets containing codeine and acetaminophen (such as hydrocodone). In count four, they are accused of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, a Class C felony, for allegedly possessing preparations, compounds, mixtures and substances containing cocaine and the aggregate weight of them was one-eighth ounce or more. In count five, the duo is accused of unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation. In count six, Humphrey alone is accused of criminal impersonation in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count six that Humphrey "did impersonate another and did an act in such assumed character with intent to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud another."

June 7, 2018 - 1:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Fontrick Door, batavia.

Press release:

National Grid has approved an economic development grant for Fontrick Door Inc., a Batavia-based custom window and hardwood door manufacturer that is undertaking a major expansion.

National Grid will provide up to $158,000 toward upgrades of Fontrick Door’s electric infrastructure.

The grant was made through National Grid’s Electrical Capital Investment Incentive program, which provides financial incentives to qualifying commercial and industrial customers who are expanding operations and need to upgrade electric infrastructures.

“We’ve been working closely with Fontrick Door on this project, which includes a major re- organization of manufacturing space, and will lead to increased production and efficiencies,” said National Grid Regional Manager Ken Kujawa.

The Electrical Capital Investment Incentive program is among a suite of economic development programs offered by National Grid.

More information about the programs can be found at www.shovelready.com.

June 7, 2018 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in paolo busti foundation, Italian Americans, news, batavia.

Submitted photos and press release:

The Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation of Genesee County will honor two “Outstanding Italian-Americans” and annual scholarships will be awarded on Wednesday, June 13th, at Terry Hills in Batavia.

This year's honorees are Lucille DiSanto and Larry Hale. Candidates for scholarships are: Lauren Leone, Jacob Gualtieri and Carli Piazza.

Tickets for the dinner are available at Ben’s Appliance, V.J. Gautieri Construction or from any board member.

Guests will be served a fabulous deluxe “Italian Plate” with dessert, and the works for $30 per person. This is the one of foundation’s only fundraisers and all proceeds go to our scholarship program.

Please come out and enjoy a wonderful evening and celebrate the contributions Italian-Americans have made right here in Genesee County and our scholarship recipients.

Any questions and for reserved seating contact Michele Fuller (585) 768-7016.

About the Honorees

Lucille DiSanto

Lucille DiSanto is married to Gary DiSanto, and they are the proud parents of four children.

Andrea (Jeremy Layton), Lisa LaFornara, Vincent and Joseph DiSanto. Her grandchildren Madison and Ethan always make her smile!

While growing up in Batavia, she attended St. Mary's Elementary School, Notre Dame High School, and Genesee Community College. While going to school, she worked for her father, Paul Messina, at the Buccaneer Restaurant. She calls those years the "School of Hard Knocks."

"That is where I honed my work ethic and learned the benefit of hard work and dedication," she said.

She is extremely proud of her Italian heritage. Her father's family came from Velalunga, Sicily. Her mother, Gilda Ruffalo Messina, was born in Regio, Calabria. Her father's family settled in Batavia and managed muck land in Elba for many years.

Lucille received her teaching degree at Oneonta College, a master's degree in Special Education at Binghampton University, and an administrative degree at Canisius College. She taught elementary school in Unadilla and Sidney, NY.

She returned to Batavia in 1998 and began teaching for the Batavia City Schools, where she remained for 20 years. She became an adjunct instructor for Genesee Community College and received the NISOD Award for Excellence in Teaching. (NISOD stands for the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development.)

A member of the Zonta Club, she began a teenage service group called the Z-Club. It is an organization that provides opportunities for youth to develop leadership skills, explore career alternatives and to improve international understanding through projects and advocacy.

The club has raised enough money to have four water towers built at schools in Uganda, educate women in Madagascar, and conduct a Salvation Army Food Drive as well as a Toy Drive for YWCA. Club members also run the Z-Closet at Batavia High School and they help various organizations in Batavia. They were recognized by the Batavia City Council for their work in the community.

Lucille also organized the Zonta Holiday Festival and is organizing a carnival at Batavia Downs that will benefit a variety of organizations that are seeking to raise money.

In proud honor of her Italian heritage, she volunteered at St. Anthony's, in the making of the St. Joseph's Table, an Italian tradition. The Paulo Busti Foundation is delighted to name Lucille an "Outstanding Italian American."

Larry Hale

Lawrence (Larry) Hale was born and raised in Batavia. He began working at 16 at the family business.

It was at Ficarella’s Pizzeria that he learned the value of family and hard work. He is a graduate of Batavia High School where he met his childhood sweetheart, Diane (Mazur) Hale; they’ve been married 27 years. They have five sons! Zachary, Alex, Dillon, and twins Tyler and Jacob.

His grandmother was an immigrant from Sicily. He credits his Italian roots for his work ethic and determination. He has had to work hard to raise his large family.

Larry graduated from the New York State Corrections Academy in Albany. It was there he began his career in corrections. After three years they moved back to Batavia, where they wanted to raise their family. He currently works at Attica Correctional Facility, where he will retire from, after 25 years.

In 2000 Larry began volunteering as a coach. Over the past 18 years he has coached teams at every age level. There were seasons when he coached three teams simultaneously! This included All Stars, Travel and Fall Ball. He served as Treasurer of the Batavia Minor League Board and Vice President and President of the Batavia Little League Board.

On a Saturday morning at 6 a.m. you could find him preparing the fields to play. He has a passion for coaching, and believes sports are important both mentally and physically. He said, “Sports are not about winning, they are about respect, overcoming hardships, discipline, hard work and camaraderie.”

Since its inception in 2007, Larry has volunteered for the Michael Napoleone Foundation. This foundation holds a special place in his heart. Michael was a classmate and special friend to his twin sons. His wife serves on the Board of Directors. Larry is instrumental in coordinating the annual Michael Napoleone Foundation Memorial Day Baseball Tournament, which is a huge success.

Larry is an excellent role model to the hundreds of children he has coached, and it is our honor to name him an “Outstanding Italian American.”

About the Student Scholarship Candidates

Lauren Leone, above, is a senior at Batavia High School, and the daughter of David and Lisa Leone.

Through all of high school Lauren has been very active in student government: serving as class president for three years; student government executive secretary for one year; lead attorney for the mock trial team for three years; hostess of the Mr. Batavia charity event in 2018; president of the National Honor Society in 2017; Link Crew leader for two years; and a student contributor to the A+ Batavia Communicator (school district newsletter) in 2017.

She has been on the varsity tennis team for three years, String Sensations for four years, Batavia High School Orchestra for four years, and GWMEA county and state solo festival participant for three years.

Lauren has received awards for perfect attendance from 2016 through 2018, varsity tennis scholar athlete for three years, Monroe County All-League Athlete award twice, Scholastic Bowl Rookie of the Year in 2017, American Chemical Society Achievement in 2016 and 2017 and the NSYEO Seal of Biliteracy in English and Spanish in 2018.

Lauren has also been a lector at Ascension Parish in Batavia once a month since 2014. She has volunteered for Linda Bartlett’s summer writing program, at the Holland Land Office Museum’s History Heroes program and for Crossroads House.

Lauren intends to major in both Journalism and Political Science at either Ithaca College or Syracuse University.

Jacob Gualtieri, above, is a senior at Notre Dame High School in Batavia, and the son of Michael and Deborah Gualtieri, of Le Roy.

He is a past member of Science Club and Junior National Honor Society and a current member of National Honor Society.

For all four years of high school Jacob has participated in varsity track and field, varsity cross country and the school chorus. He has also participated in his school’s productions of "Godspell" and "Beauty and the Beast."

He is very active in his church and has been an altar servant for the last six years, gone on a mission trip to help organize a refugee center and assist the elderly, and caroled at elderly living facilities during the holidays.

He is a scholar athlete, won the Computing Medal Award in 2017 and holds a black belt in Isshyn-Ryu Karate which he achieved in 2014. Jacob plans on attending Rochester Institute of Technology to major in Computer Engineering.

Carli Piazza, above, is a senior at Le Roy High School, and the daughter of John and Joele Piazza.

She has belonged to Rotary Club since 2017 and the Ecology Club since 2016. She has been on the honor roll for all four years of high school.

Carli played basketball for four years and has been on the soccer team since seventh grade.

She has volunteered for several events and organizations -- from helping teachers at Open House, to working an alumni basketball game, to a children’s roller-skating party, to the Hope Center of Le Roy.

She plans on attending either Monroe Community College or Genesee Community College to major in Interior Design.

June 7, 2018 - 1:43pm

Press release:

On the heels of new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) finding that the amount of crude oil moving by rail to Northeast refineries is on the rise, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer demanded the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Energy (DOE) propose and quickly finalize volatility standards.

***This will stabilize highly explosive crude oil before shipping it through New York.

Schumer said current law allows dangerous crude oil to be shipped by rail without being stabilized, making violent explosions far more likely.

In addition, Schumer explained that DOT and DOE should complete the ongoing formal process requesting comments from stakeholders and studying how crude oil properties affects its combustibility in rail accidents, which will inform this new rule.

Bakken crude barreling through local communities

“Every day across Upstate New York, oil railcars laden with Bakken crude pass through backyards and by schools and homes and near places of business putting communities in Upstate New York at risk if tank cars derail or puncture," Senator Schumer said. "It is clear to me that we need an all-of-the-above approach to safety, so I am urging the Federal Department of Transportation and the Department of Energy to finally publish and finalize standards that will stabilize highly explosive crude oil before shipping it through Upstate New York.

"These new regulations are an additional layer of safety that New Yorkers deserve and will help keep communities safer. We have tank cars barreling through communities throughout the state on a daily basis, and we should leave no stone unturned to further protect residents.”

According to a new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the volume of oil shipped by rail is again on the rise. Refineries in the Northeast, used about 3.1 million barrels of oil in March, a level not seen since early 2017.

Schumer said that this news in conjunction with the fact that next month is the fifth anniversary of the tragic explosion in Lac-Mèantic, which left 47 people dead in the Canadian Province of Quebec in July 2013; the issue of oil-by-rail safety is urgent.

Schumer said new crude oil volatility standards would make oil-by-rail safer. Schumer said existing efforts, including stakeholder comments collected by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) oil volatility study, should be quickly finished and used to create these new standards so shipment is safer. Schumer said is it vital the feds continue to address oil-by-rail safety concerns so that communities in Upstate New York and beyond are protected.

“The bottom line is – any time you are transporting volatile chemicals, there is a risk of explosion," Schumer said. "Things like safer tank cars, better braking, and lower speed limits – they all help make the rails safer.

"But when it comes to crude, one of the most powerful things we could do would be to set a good standard for the stability of what’s actually inside the tank cars.”

Additionally, according to a report published by the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in 2014, the Bakken crude oil that is transported on New York State rail lines is more volatile than most other types of crude oil and other products shipped by rail, and its greater volatility is linked to increased ignitability and flammability.

Schumer said this is particularly dangerous during derailments, punctures, and breaches and added that according to the PHMSA, this Bakken crude oil is primarily light and sweet, compared to heavier crude oils produced from conventional domestic reservoirs and imports. As a result, this lighter, sweeter crude oil is a higher quality and easier to refine into commercial products than the heavier crude oil.

However, this kind of oil is also easier to ignite because the flash point—the lowest temperature at which ignition can occur—is lower for Bakken than for other crude oils. This volatility is a measure of the tendency for the oil to vaporize or move from a liquid to a gaseous state. Because this Bakken oil is “lighter” and has a higher vapor pressure than most crude oils, it is particularly dangerous during rail transport, when derailments and breaches, and subsequent explosions, near communities are most likely to happen.

Although this kind of oil has been produced for decades, the recent boom in crude oil extraction in North Dakota, where a big portion of the Bakken oil emanates from, and similar deposits elsewhere has led to this dangerous and unexpected development in the industry.

Urging agencies to make a stabilization plan for highly flammable oil

Specifically, Schumer is calling on federal agencies to work together on a plan that would require oil companies to stabilize highly flammable and dangerous Bakken crude oil prior to transport. Stabilization technology is not a new concept and has been used previously in oil fields in other regions of the country and the world.

Schumer said that while North Dakota has attempted to address this issue on a state level, their regulations have not gone far enough. The North Dakota law requires that oil be stabilized to at least 13.7 pounds per square inch, a standard that the oil that caused a deadly explosion in the Lac-Mègantic disaster likely would have met.

Schumer said that because the oil in this disaster would have met this new requirement, it would have done little to prevent the disaster. Instead, Schumer said, the DOT and DOE must go even further. Schumer is asking these two agencies to work together to develop a standard for stabilization that would greatly reduce the risk of Lac-Mègantic-type disasters and require oil companies to follow it. Schumer said requiring that Bakken crude be stabilized prior to transport could help greatly improve safety.

The senator has long pushed for other key safety components in order to protect communities, including operational changes that enhance standards for new and existing tank cars, reduce train speed limits, and create reporting requirements so that first responder can be prepared in the case of a derailment or disaster.

Furthermore, in 2016 Schumer announced that, following his push, the DOT and DOE began collecting stakeholder comments and studying crude oil volatility as the first major step toward requiring oil companies to stabilize their highly flammable crude oil before shipping it by rail.

He highlighted that while that first step is important, USDOT and USDOE should not take their feet off the gas and should continue to advance the stabilization rule all the way through the regulatory process.

***For previous coverage about volatile products being transported across Genesee County, click here.

June 6, 2018 - 3:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, chamber of commerce, CUSTOMER SERVICE, news.

Press release:

“Customer Service that Wins Sales” will be the subject of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Workshop on Wednesday, June 13.

“Customer Service is the driving force in all of our businesses that can mean the difference between winning a sale and losing one”, said Tom Turnbull, president of the Chamber. “Customers today are pickier than ever and have more reach via social media, so it is imperative we keep them happy. Attend this workshop to learn more about how to win more and repeat sales.”

Among the subjects to be covered include tips to better serve your customer, how to win new customers with customer service, how to increase loyalty and repeat purchases and he importance of online customer service. Greg Lindberg of the Small Business Administration will conduct the workshop.

This is the one of a series of business workshops held in conjunction with the United States Small Business Administration and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. The workshops are open to all Chamber and non-Chamber businesses and their employees and will offer expert advice from experienced professionals designed to help small businesses succeed and grow.

The workshop will be held at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Road, Batavia. The session will run from 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. and includes a question-and-answer period.

Cost for non-Chamber members is $10 for each attendee. Chamber members and Batavia Business Improvement District members may attend all small business workshops free of charge but should make reservations to insure space.

To reserve a seat in any workshop or for more information, contact Kelly Bermingham at 585-343-7440 or by email at [email protected].

June 5, 2018 - 3:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, education, CTE, precision machining, welding.

Mike Pribanich from NYMAT Machine Tool Corporation, works with William Hammond, a Precision Machining student from Caledonia-Mumford High School, on the Haas TM-1P control machine in the Precision Machining shop at the Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center.

Submitted photo and press release:

Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center Precision Machining and Welding students celebrated the end of the school year with a visit with representatives from area manufacturing businesses.

The goal of the event was to introduce students to potential employers and for students to learn of the many career opportunities available in the manufacturing industry.

Lars Christensen, from Autodesk, a multinational software corporation that makes software for the architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media, and entertainment industries, attended the event and spoke with students.

“I came to the United States in 1999 from Denmark and worked as a mold maker at a manufacturing facility in Rochester, New York," Christensen said. "I moved into the software industry and today I work for Autodesk, one of the biggest CAD-CAM companies in the world.

There are many prospects in this industry that students can pursue. I hope to encourage these students to do that.”

Erik Schwenzer works for NYMAT Machine Tool Corporation, a Haas Factory Outlet. He also attended and met with students.

“We are looking for summer employees as well as summer interns," Schwenzer said. "We like to be involved with the schools as much as possible because there is a real shortage of workers and many jobs are available in the manufacturing industry.

"Manufacturing is a great business that offers a host of opportunities. You make a very successful living and we need to show this to students.”

At the event, Christensen announced that he is funding a scholarship for Precision Machining and Welding students called the Master Manufacturing Scholarship. This scholarship will be presented tonight at the Batavia CTE Awards Night (June 5).

“This $500 scholarship will be presented to a student who is pursuing a career in the manufacturing industry or who is furthering his or her education.  It can be used by the student for educational purposes or to purchase tools or whatever the student might need to be prepared for work,” Christensen said.

About CTE

The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

June 5, 2018 - 2:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, news, Announcements, magic show.

Press release:

Greg Phillips -- AKA "Mr. Magic" -- has been performing since the age of 7.

He is a Le Roy High School graduate and is returning to his hometown for a FREE Libraries Rock! Magic Show!

It will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20, at Woodward Memorial Library.

Mr. Magic's unique and “FUNBELIEVABLE” style has come from years of real world experience in front of thousands of audiences of all kinds.

He has studied magic, clowning, mime and performance with some of the world’s greats to make his presentations the best they can be. You’ll be entertained with lots of styles of magic, comedy and storytelling. His infectious personality and style will draw you in!

Registration is appreciated by calling 768-8300. This program is for all ages!

Woodward library is located at 7 Wolcott St. in Le Roy.

June 5, 2018 - 2:47pm
Press release:
The Batavia City School District Foundation Inc.'s Board of Directors is excited to unveil the Foundation's new logo.
This logo was designed by JanMarie Deni Gallagher at Visu-ation Graphic Design LLC in Spencerport. Gallagher is a 1988 graduate of Batavia High School.
The logo coincides with the mission of the BCSD Foundation Inc. which is to develop, procure and manage resources, contributions, and educational funding and ensure that these will be used to directly support the City of Batavia School District, its student population, programming, property development and student scholarship funding.
Community members who are interested in joining the Board of Directors of the BCSD Foundation Inc. are asked to email us at [email protected].
You may also check out our page at www.bataviacsd.org and find us under Quick Links.
June 5, 2018 - 2:36pm

Assemblyman Steve Hawley invites you to join him at a free electronics recycling event from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 23, at the parking lot of the East End Business Center, 5130 E. Main St., Batavia.

Enter off of Ag Park Drive; it's next to National Grid.

This E-waste event is in conjunction with Spectrum and Sunnking.

***There is a limit of four television tubes per vehicle.

Bring your old broken cell phones, computers, monitors, printers, audio and video equipment, small devices, other electronic equipment.

For more information, contact Hawley's office at (585) 589-5780 or email  [email protected]

June 5, 2018 - 2:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, batavia.

The University of Rhode Island is pleased to announce the Spring 2018 dean's list. The students represent nearly all of Rhode Island's cities and towns, all six New England states, New York and New Jersey, and many other states and countries.

To be included on the dean's list, full-time students must have completed 12 or more credits for letter grades during a semester and achieved at least a 3.30 quality-point average. Part-time students qualify with the accumulation of 12 or more credits for letter grades earning at least a 3.30 quality-point average.

Emily Fischer, of Batavia, was named to the dean's list.

Note: Students who qualified for the Dean's List, but have restricted access to their information under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines, are not included on this public listing. Students may adjust these restrictions on eCampus.

The University of Rhode Island's pioneering research extends the University's influence well beyond its coastal borders, while its unique interdisciplinary courses provide its 16,637 undergraduate and graduate students with global opportunities in an intimate environment.

In May 2018, more than 3,300 undergraduate and about 700 graduate degrees were awarded. The University now has more than 120,000 alumni worldwide.

June 5, 2018 - 1:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, The Manor House, Alzheimer's.

Press release:

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease makes planning for the future a very important task for families. Concerns about care planning and programs that can help offset costs mean that families need accurate information about legal and financial matters specific to the disease.

"Legal and Financial Planning for Alzheimer’s Disease" is an opportunity to learn about important legal and financial issues to consider, how to put plans in place and how to access legal and financial resources in the community.

The Alzheimer’s Association WNY Chapter is offering the program at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13, at the The Manor House at 427 E. Main St. in Batavia, which is also providing an American Sign Language interpreter and a light meal.

Topics to be discussed during the 90-minute program include:

  • Making legal plans that fit individual and family needs;
  • Legal documents and what they mean;
  • How to find legal and financial assistance;
  • Practical strategies for making a long-term plan of care;
  • Government programs that can help pay for care.

The program is free and open to the public, but seating reservations are requested by calling 1-800-272-3900.

June 5, 2018 - 1:46pm

Press release:

The Batavia Concert Band will be returning for their 93rd season of public concerts in Batavia’s Centennial Park (rain venue is the Stuart Steiner Theater at Genesee Community College).

Concerts will be held at 7 p.m. on June 27, July 11, July 18, July 25, Aug. 1, and Aug. 8, as well as the ever-popular July 4th Picnic in the Park sponsored by GO ART!

The July 25th concert will feature percussionist Christopher Taylor, Alexander Central School District Music teacher, as part of the Pam Frisby Memorial Concert Series.

The band will also perform a special tribute concert on Aug. 1st in memory of Neil Hartwick, made fully possible with memorial donations. Hartwick was a longtime and beloved music teacher at Batavia and Brockport whose former students have and continue to play in the Batavia Concert Band.  In addition, he was a good friend of the Batavia Concert Band, and his former students have been invited to join the band for this tribute concert.

The Batavia Concert Band’s repertoire has something for everyone: marches; Big Band and swing numbers; popular songs from musicals and movies; rock favorites; classical adaptations, and everything in-between.

The Band consists of 45-55 brass, woodwind and percussion players ranging from talented high school students to 60-year veterans. Many have professional experience, others are advanced amateur musicians, but one thing is for sure -- all love to play!

Returning for his sixth season as conductor is John Bailey, Instrumental Music teacher at Lyndonville Central School.

The July 4th Picnic in the Park concert will be conducted by Joshua Pacino.

Founded in the early 1920s, the Batavia Concert Band has brought musical pleasure to the region every year except World War II.

Concerts are currently supported and funded in part by GO ART!, local businesses, program advertisers, and individual patrons. The City of Batavia graciously supplies chairs for musicians, while Genesee Community College generously donates rehearsal space and a rain venue.

The Band also sponsors 50-50 raffles at every concert, bake sales, and other fundraisers. Individuals or businesses interested in supporting the Band should contact a Board member at any concert.

The Batavia Concert Band is also excited to announce WBTA 1490 as the Official Media Sponsor for our 2018 summer concert series! Be on the lookout for appearance by band members on WBTA’s “Main & Center” program, where we will go into some depth about the band’s makeup and its history. Also be listening for weekly radio ads promoting the musical selections for the upcoming concerts, and announcing our weekly sponsors.

Downbeat for regular season concerts is 7 p.m., Wednesday evenings, in Centennial Park, Batavia. (* In the event of rain, concerts will move to Genesee Community College’s Stuart Steiner Theatre. Notices will be posted at the NW corner of Centennial Park, announced on WBTA radio AM1490, posted on http://TheBatavian.com, and on the Batavia Concert Band’s website http://bataviaconcertband.net.

All concerts are fully funded by local businesses and sponsors and are open to music lovers of all ages. Light refreshments are available. Bring your family and friends, lawn chairs or a blanket, and enjoy. We’ll meet you in the park!

This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by GO ART!

For more information on the Band, how to sponsor, etc. see http://bataviaconcertband.net

June 5, 2018 - 1:28pm

Press release:

As part of the $2 billion Smart School Bond Act that was approved by voters in 2014, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that both Pembroke and Oakfield-Alabama Central school districts will be receiving funding to make technology and security upgrades in their schools.

“Technology is ever-changing and that means the way our students learn must be ever-changing and adaptable as well," Hawley said. "The whole idea behind the Smart Schools Investments was to provide a higher quality of education for our students and bring every classroom up to par with the digital age of tablets, laptop computers, whiteboards and high-speed wireless Internet access.”

In addition to technology and Internet capabilities, a portion of the funding will be allotted to high-tech security upgrades.

Hawley wrote Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie earlier this year asking for $50,000 per school statewide to hire armed resource officers. Furthermore, he recently introduced legislation that would make it easier for school districts to hire armed security personnel.

“The safety and security of our students is preeminent and I am glad some of this funding will go toward technological security upgrades,” Hawley said. “Our students, teachers and faculty deserve to feel safe and protected from the moment they step inside a school and that starts with taking a proactive approach.”

June 5, 2018 - 1:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, cheesemakers, agriculture, dairy, trade, news.

Press release:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today joined their Senate colleagues in urging United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to continue to ensure Mexico honors its existing trade commitments.

They want Lighthizer to fight back against the EU’s recent proposal to exclusively use common cheese names, like “parmesan,” “feta,” and “asiago” in Mexico.

According to the senators, through a recent trade agreement with Mexico, the EU is seeking to prevent cheese producers from exporting their products using common cheese names or geographical indications.

Schumer and Gillibrand argued that this would be a huge hit to Upstate dairy farmers as they look to continue to export cheese and compete for new markets.

“No matter how you slice it, Upstate New York’s cheese producers could lose a big chunk of their business if the EU successfully convinces Mexico to place geographic restrictions on cheese labeling,” Senator Schumer said.

"From Western New York to the Hudson Valley, cheese production is an important industry in Upstate New York, which is why I'm urging Ambassador Lighthizer to hold nothing back and use every tool in his disposal to protect U.S. cheese producers and ensure that Mexico continues to honor their existing trade commitments."

“This harmful proposed trade agreement between the EU and Mexico could hurt our farmers and rural communities by taking away export opportunities for New York cheese producers,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

“We need to do everything possible to protect and promote New York’s dairy industry, which is already struggling in the face of historically low milk prices and other challenges, and I’m urging U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer to fight against any proposal that would hurt local cheese producers.”

Schumer and Gillibrand pointed out that Mexico is the largest export destination for American cheese, accounting for virtually one-third of the $1.3 billion in dairy products the United States exported to Mexico last year and that implementing geographic indications on cheeses could devastate New York’s cheese industry.

The senators explained that this is not the first time the EU has tried to claim cheese names based on geographic locations, in the same way, that the EU has argued that champagne can only be sold as "champagne" if produced in the Champagne region of France.

Among the labels sought by EU are muenster, feta, parmesan, fontina, gorgonzola and others. Schumer warned that if the EU succeeds in claiming those names, New York producers will no longer be able to export cheeses with their current names. They would have to export the cheese under a different name, meaning that producers could lose market share they have spent years fighting for.

A copy of the joint Senate letter to Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer appears below:

Dear Ambassador Lighthizer:

We write today expressing our concerns about Mexico’s recent trade negotiations with the European Union (EU) and the devastating impact these actions could have on American cheese exports to Mexico. On April 21, 2018, the EU and Mexico reached an agreement in principle to modernize their current trade agreement.

A summary of the agreement provided by the European Commission notes that Mexico agreed to protect 340 European geographical indications. While the final text of the agreement—and the full list of restricted names—has not been released, media reports indicate that Mexico has agreed to restrict food imports with names—most notably of cheeses—considered generic in the United States.

As you work to re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), we urge you to engage with your Mexican and Canadian counterparts to ensure that future trade policies do not limit export opportunities for American dairy farmers and processors. In light of Mexico’s proposed agreement with the EU, we are deeply concerned that American cheesemakers will be harmed by a reversal of their current access to the Mexican market, and will be denied the opportunity to sell products to Mexican consumers using common cheese product names that have been marketed for decades.

In addition, this threat to American dairy exports underscores and reaffirms the need for a renegotiated NAFTA that ensures strong market access for dairy exports to Mexico and Canada and addresses Canada’s trade-distorting Class 7 dairy pricing scheme.

Geographical indications link a product to a particular region, implying that the product possesses a certain quality or reputation associated with that locale. The EU has aggressively pursued restrictions for cheeses, such as feta (Greece), muenster (France), and parmesan (Italy), in their domestic and international trade policies. While these names are covered as geographic indications within the EU, they are generic in the United States and in numerous other countries around the world.

Mexico is the largest export destination for American cheese, accounting for roughly one-third of the $1.3 billion in dairy products the United States exported to Mexico last year. If Mexico grants European cheese producers exclusive rights to use common cheese names, as reports indicate it has agreed to do, American producers will lose market share they have spent years developing.

This policy change will have a detrimental impact on American cheese and dairy producers, who are already adversely impacted by Canada’s trade-distorting policies.

The 2015 Trade Promotion Authority statute—which is currently in force—included a principal negotiating objective on geographical indications:

“The principal negotiating objective of the United States with respect to agriculture is to obtain competitive opportunities for United States exports of agricultural commodities in foreign markets substantially equivalent to the competitive opportunities afforded foreign exports in United States markets and to achieve fairer and more open conditions of trade in bulk, specialty crop, and value-added commodities by [. . .] eliminating and preventing the undermining of market access for United States products through improper use of a country’s system for protecting or recognizing geographical indications, including failing to ensure transparency and procedural fairness and protecting generic terms.”

In order to meet this objective, the United States should engage with Mexico on geographic indication restrictions to ensure Mexico honors its existing trade commitments with the United States. American cheese exporters should be allowed to continue using common food names that Mexican consumers are familiar with.

Anything less would grant European producers access to the market share that American producers have developed over decades and unjustly award them the future growth opportunities of those products. We appreciate your attention to this matter and stand ready to work with you to protect American cheese exports.

June 5, 2018 - 12:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, Announcements, veterans, Flag Day.

Press release:

This Sunday, June 10, the public is invited to the Batavia VA Medical Center for a special ceremony to honor the American flag.

The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. honoring those service men and women who have fought to protect that flag and our country.

There will be a motorcycle procession, Special Presentation of Colors, and a special thank you from the Batavia Middle School to honor Mr. Leo Pelton (98 years young) for his service in World War II.

"Let's Ride" -- motorcyclists carrying the names of our fallen warriors listed on Batavia's memorial wall -- will gather at Stan's Harley-Davidson, 4425 Saile Drive, Batavia, at 11:30 a.m. for the noon memorial ride to the Batavia VA Medical Center. They will present those names to the veterans in the hospital to let them know they are not forgotten and present a new American flag on their behalf to the hospital.

Essays will be read by the student winners from BMS who won the essay contest on “What the American Flag Means to Me.“ 

St. Joseph’s of Batavia Brass Ensemble will perform its patriotic/military set for the VA patients and the general public.

It promises to be a great afternoon! Come on out and be part of this special celebration. Help us make this a very special Thank You to our veterans and service people!

The Batavia VA Medical Center is located at 222 Richmond Ave. in the City of Batavia.

Next week is National Flag Week. Flag Day is Thursday, June 14. The National Flag Day Foundation holds an annual observance for Flag Day on the second Sunday in June, which includes a ceremonial raising of the national flag, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, singing of the National Anthem, a parade and other patriotic events.

June 4, 2018 - 6:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

Three suspects were arraigned this afternoon in Genesee County Court for crimes stemming from a May 17 incident on Central Avenue in Batavia in which one man was stabbed to death and another man shot with a handgun. All pled not guilty to the charges.

Nathaniel D. Wilson Jr., 30, was ordered held without bail. He is charged with second-degree murder, which carries a maximum prison term of 25 years to life, and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.

He was in court represented by criminal defense attorney Fred Rarick, who made routine demands for discovery of evidence and the "bill of particulars" for the crimes alleged.

Motions in the case are scheduled for July 19; answers July 26; oral arugments at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 6.

Wilson made no statement in court.

He is accused of stabbing 41-year-old Jerry J. Toote to death in the confrontation between a group of people on Central Avenue.

Jennifer Urvizu-Hanlon, 48, was granted $50,000 cash bail or bond by Judge Charles Zambito.

She allegedly handed her revolver, which she is licensed to carry, to 17-year-old Samuel Blackshear that night and he, in turn, allegedly shot Wilson in the leg. The owner of La Mexicana store in the Valu Plaza is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, both Class C violent felonies.

The District Attorney's Office asked that no bail be granted in her case and First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini told the judge the defendant was harboring Blackshear in her home at the time of his arrest.

Urvizu-Hanlon's counsel, public defense attorney Marty Anderson, told the court his client is a 20-year resident of Genesee County and has been a small business owner here for six years. He noted further that she has no substance abuse issues and no criminal history.

Wearing bright lemon-lime jail clothes, Urvizu-Hanlon smiled wanly as she entered the courtroom with hands shackled at her waist. Petite, about 5' tall, she softly pronounced her name for the judge when prompted to do so.

Anderson asked that she be released into the custody of Genesee Justice.

Zambito said he would not release Anderson's client to Genesee Justice but allowed that bail was appropriate and he asked the people what bail they would prefer for Urvizu-Hanlon. The people suggested $50,000 and the judge agreed to that sum.

The judge also ordered Urvizu-Hanlon to surrender her gun(s) and informed her that her license to carry a concealed weapon in New York State was suspended.

"My client's ex-husband was in possession of a gun, both their names were on the permit, and he sold it," Anderson said. "I will provide documentation to the court as soon as possible."

Motions are set in the Urvizu-Hanlon case for July 19; answers July 26; oral arguments at 2 p.m. Aug. 6.

Blackshear is charged with attempted assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, and two counts of criminal possession in the second degree. He facees up to 15 years in prison.

A private attorney hired by his sister appeared with Blackshear in court, James Hinman.

Hinman asked for "reasonable bail" to be set for his client. He said he received the bail evaluation from Genesee Justice, provided to him by public defense attorney Michael Locicero, and noted that Blackshear has a misdemeanor case (criminal possession of a controlled substance) pending in Batavia City Court and two failure to appear citations.

Blackshear, tall and lanky with a prematurely furrowed brow, has extended family here and is a lifelong resident, his attorney said. About eight family members were in the gallery in a show of support for their kin.

Hinman disputed Cianfrini's claim that Blackshear was being harbored by Urvizu-Hanlon and said his client had been staying with his mother for a couple of days at a motel at the time of his arrest.

The teenager, if he is able to bail out of custody, would live with his father, Hinman said.

"He has no violent history," Hinman told Zambito.

The District Attorney's Office suggested bail be set at $100,000 and said Blackshear actually failed to appear on the misdemeanor in city court on three occasions not two -- March 28, April 17 and May 11 -- and the current charges are way more serious.

Hinman said his client witnessed the individual he is accused of shooting, stab his uncle, Toote, to death so "his behavior is not as egregious as Mr. Friedman would have the court believe." He suggested bail should be set at $25,000.

Friedman said it's not a matter of what he believes -- he reviewed the evidence and viewed the video of the incident -- and maintains there is "no valid self defense claim here."

Zambito said he is concerned about where the youth would live, his young age, his failure to appear three times on a misdemeanor charge.

The judge agreed to set the higher bail as requested by the people of $100,000 cash or bond.

Motions are due by July 20; answers by July 27; oral arguments at set for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 13.




Copyright © 2008-2018 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