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February 2, 2018 - 4:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in byron, bergen, Byron-Bergen High School, news, sports.

Submitted photo and press release:

This year, Byron-Bergen High School’s athletic department will recognize an alumnus who has demonstrated not only athletic achievement but also character, citizenship, success and leadership during and after their time at the school.

The department is proud to announce that this honor will be awarded to Clyde Bianchi in a ceremony at 6 :15 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9,  during the scheduled JV and Varsity basketball games at the Jr./Sr. High School gymnasium.

Bianchi, a 1987 graduate of the school, was an exceptional multisport athlete. He played on the varsity teams for basketball, baseball, and soccer, and was named to the Genesee Region All-Star Teams for all three sports during a stellar high school career.

In 1985, a motor-vehicle accident left the promising young athlete paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.

His spirit and perseverance continued to propel Bianchi forward, however. He graduated with a Regents degree in Math and Art, and worked full time to pay for higher education at Genesee Community College and The College at Brockport where he earned his undergraduate degree in Business, Math and Economics.

He attended the Rochester Institute of Technology from 1997-2000, studying information technology.

From 1994-96, Bianchi played professional basketball with the Rochester Wheels, winning the 3-on-3 Wheelchair Basketball Rochester Championship for all three years. He is also a professional power lifter, a billiards champion, and plays football.

Bianchi had a very successful career as a computer engineer, advancing to director of technology, a position he held for 10 years. Since 2013, he has been the CEO and president of the largest animal boarding facility in the Rochester area, Howlywood. Located in Bloomfield, the company is owned and operated by Bianchi and his family, including his wife and business partner, Kelly.

“Clyde Bianchi is an inspiring role model for our student athletes and for everyone at our school,” said Athletic Director Rich Hannan. “He set the bar on his life high and never compromised.

"He has always made sports and competitive principles an important part of his life and he has made significant contributions to his community. We are absolutely honored and proud to recognize his achievements, and add his name to our Athletic Wall of Fame.”

February 2, 2018 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, Farming, bergen, USDA NRCS, business.

Press release:

On Feb. 8th, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will be hosting a producer meeting from 9 a.m. to noon at Gillam Grant Community Center in Bergen. It is located at 6966 W. Bergen Road.

This informational meeting will feature producer workshops and question/answer sessions. It is free and open to the public. Donuts and coffee will be provided.

Anyone interested in agricultural planning, construction project management, manure application technology and/or funding opportunities is encouraged to attend. RSVP by Feb. 6 to Heath Eisele at  [email protected] or by phoning (585) 201-5633.

If you fall into any of these categories, you will want to attend this meeting:

1.      You are interested in applying for state and/or federal financial assistance programs in 2019 and beyond;

2.      Your farm is looking to construct a large manure storage and you’re wondering how to manage the project;

3.      You would like to improve the overall nutrient management on your farm with the use of manure injection/drag hose;

4.      You’re curious about the financial assistance that is available, especially for the Genesee River Watershed and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Focus Area;

5.      You’re interested in learning about the lending opportunities from the USDA-Farm Service Agency;

6.      You have never heard of the Soil & Water’s AEM program.

Workshop/Presenters will be:

Planning -- Heath Eisele, USDA NRCS

Contruction Management -- Gina Lathan, Lathan Equipment Co. LLC

Manure Application Technology -- Dan Athoe, Cuff Farm Services

FSA Loans / Other Programs -- Christen Trewer, USDA Farm Service Agency

AEM Grant Funding Opportunities -- Jered Elliott / Molly Cassatt, Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District

February 2, 2018 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCEDC, news, batavia, business.

From the GCEDC:

The annual meeting and luncheon of the Genesee County Economic Development Center will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 9, at Batavia Downs in the Paddock Room.

Co-keynote speakers are Thomas Kucharski, president and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara, and Matt Hurlbutt, president and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise.

According to the GCEDC, 2017 was a landmark year for Genesee County, and you are invited to learn more about how the center is connecting the "Buffalo-Rochester Metro Corridor" and advancing economic development regionally.

At the annual meeting, the GCEDC and its partners will be celebrated and highlights from 2017 will be reviewed; also, the economic landscape in New York State for 2018 will be discussed.

This is an excellent opportunity to network with economic and elected leaders from around the region. The GCEDC will unveil the "2018 Economic Development Partner of the Year Award."

Feel free to arrive an hour early, at 11 a.m., for an informal networking opportunity.

Batavia Downs is located at 8315 Park Road, Batavia.

To register for the event, click here.

For more information, contact Rachel Tabelski, Marketing & Communications director for the GCEDC, at [email protected] or phone 585-343-4866, ext. 12.

February 1, 2018 - 6:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, Culinary Arts, Valentine's Day.

Say "I love you" with a special homemade treat! The Batavia Career and Technical Education Center's Culinary Arts Club will host a pop-up bakeshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10.

Handmade scones, cherry pies, cookies, cakes and baked goods of all assortments will be for sale! 

This pop-up shop will be held in the Culinary Arts Dining Room at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center. The center is located at 8250 State Street Road, Batavia. Use side door 71 and find room a-124-B.

Any questions may be directed to Chef Tracy Burgio at (585) 344-7795 or [email protected].

This event is open to the public.


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 providing shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York state.

February 1, 2018 - 6:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news, women's cardiac health.

Press release:

In support of National Wear Red Day this Friday, Feb. 2, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is encouraging residents to join him in wearing red to support women’s cardiac health.

Heart disease and stroke cause one in three deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.

“National Wear Red Day is an important event that raises awareness for cardiac health and helps encourage individuals to live a healthy lifestyle,” Hawley said.

“Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, but education and action are integral parts of changing that statistic. I will be wearing red on Friday, and I encourage my fellow residents to show your support and do the same.”

Total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and Body Mass Index (BMI) are important numbers to be aware of and monitor for optimal cardiac health.

For more information, or to join the conversation and show your support, please visit

February 1, 2018 - 5:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in art, news, Announcements, GO ART!.

Press release:

GO ART! is offering the opportunity to participate in the Second Annual Juried Show. The theme is "ELEMENTAL." You can interpret it any way you would like. Any Media. No larger than 3'x3'.

Submissions will be accepted March 1-3.

The exhibit will hang from March 8 - May 5. The reception will be held on March 15, 6-8 p.m. Cash awards will be distributed at that time.

The awards will be based on the amount received from the submission fees.

GO ART! Members may submit up to 5 works for $30. $5 for each additional piece.
Non-members may submit up to 3 works for $30. $5 for each additional piece.

Contracts may be found at

February 1, 2018 - 5:43pm
Press release:

Premier Genesee Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation is pleased to announce that Kristina Ferrando, RN, has been promoted to the role of Director of Nursing for the facility.

Ferrando received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from SUNY Brockport and has been a registered professional nurse since 2003. She was previously employed by the Genesee County Department of Mental Health before coming to Premier Genesee in 2015. She brings a wealth of experience to her role.\

Assisting Ferrando in the role of Assistant Director of Nursing will be Jacquelyn Siverling, RN. She recently joined Premier Genesee as a Nursing Unit Manager. Siverling received her nursing education at Genesee Community College and also worked for the Genesee County Department of Mental Health before coming to Premier Genesee.

February 1, 2018 - 5:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news.

As a result of the decision by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to allow more than 51,000 inmates statewide to use electronic tablets free of charge, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has written a letter to Gov. Cuomo and DOCCS demanding that the program be shut down immediately.

Today, Feb. 1, Hawley wrote:

Dear Governor Cuomo:

I am distraught and dismayed relative to the news accounts that tablets will be made available to 51,000 incarcerated individuals within our state correctional facilities.

This policy decision to reward and furnish luxury items like these tablets to prisoners is an affront to our law abiding citizens. Our citizens, veterans, school districts and libraries all across our state, struggle to provide for their families, students and patrons. What message does this send to them!

We already have people moving to New York State for our lavish Medicaid programs and now criminals will also be moving here and if convicted and sent to a state prison will have access to luxuries not afforded in other out of state correctional facilities.

I call on you to reconsider this misguided policy and urge JayP Inc. to work with our school system, libraries and veterans organizations to furnish tablets to law abiding citizens instead of those who are currently incarcerated.


Steve Hawley

Member of Assembly

139th AD

February 1, 2018 - 4:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in YMCA, charity, news, Announcements, Strong Communities Campaign.

Press release:

Part of the Y’s charitable mission is the philosophy that we never turn away someone with an inability to pay for membership or programs. To that end, we raise funds annually through the Strong Communities Campaign to help subsidize scholarships for youths, teens, adults, families and seniors in our community.

  • This year’s campaign runs from Feb. 1st  – March 31st; 
  • Our goal is to raise $45,000;
  • We want to positively impact at least 800 people’s lives in the Greater Genesee Community;
  • Reaching our goal will insure that children and families regardless of their socioeconomic status will have the chance to benefit from the important lessons of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility through YMCA programs and services.

We need your help! Please consider a gift to support us in achieving this goal and making our community stronger for all.

To make a gift, contact Jeff Townsend, executive director, at (585) 344-1664 or online at under the “giving” tab.

February 1, 2018 - 4:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in alexander, news, Milestones, Emily Helenbrook, soprano, opera.

Press release and submitted photo:

On Saturday, Jan. 20, the Houston Saengerbund presented its Third Annual Saengerbund Awards at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Midtown.

The eight finalists, selected from over 70 preliminary entries, competed before a distinguished panel of judges including professionals from the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera in the Heights, and university professors from Texas State University and Baylor University.

A total of $7,500 in prizes was awarded.

The winner of the Richard E. McGinty Director Emeritus Award of $1,200 was Alexander native Emily Helenbrook (soprano, pictured above left), who performed "Spiel ich die Unschuld" by Johann Strauss II and "Schweig’ einmal still" by Hugo Wolf.

Helenbrook is a student at Rice University pursuing her Masters in Vocal Performance with Stephen King, Ph.D. She has performed several times as a featured soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic under the direction of JoAnn Falletta. She recently won the Getting to Carnegie Competition, which was held at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall.

About the Houston Saengerbund: Founded in 1883, the Houston Saengerbund is the oldest continuously active musical association in Houston, Texas.

The purpose of the Society is to cultivate and promote German singing and music, to preserve the German language, and to continue good German customs. The Houston Saengerbund has a Maennerchor (men's choir), Damenchor (women's choir), and Gemischter Chor (mixed choir).

For more information, please visit

February 1, 2018 - 3:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Milestones, assemblyman steve hawley.
Submitted photo and press release:
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced Wednesday that he has been honored as one of the Assembly’s most conservative legislators; being awarded a 92-percent ranking, according to the Conservative Party of New York State.
The legislation considered for the award covers a wide array of topics, including: spending, pro-life issues, crime, education and big-government issues, among others.
“Public service and representation are about channeling the thoughts, ideas and desires of one’s constituency into an effective legislative platform,” Hawley said. “Frequently traveling around the district and holding weekly office hours allow me to best represent my neighbors in Albany and this award is a reflection of their feelings toward state government.
"I am proud and honored to accept this distinction and will continue to fervently represent residents in my district in an accurate and robust manner.”
Assemblyman Hawley represents the 139th District, which consists of Genesee, Orleans and parts of Monroe County. For more information, please visit Assemblyman Hawley’s Official Website.
February 1, 2018 - 3:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in Valentine's Day, veterans, NY State Veterans Home, 4-H, news.

Submitted photos and press release:

The Genesee County 4-H Program hosted a community service card making event on Jan. 30.

4-H Staff Jessica Reisdorf and Brandie Waite along with 4-H Volunteer Julie Keller, helped coordinate and lead the event. They spoke to 4-H’ers on the importance of community service and volunteering and how they relate to citizenship.

More than 20 4-H’ers ages 7 to 15 volunteered their time to create over 50 beautiful and thoughtful handmade cards that will be distributed to the New York State Veterans’ Home in Batavia.

The youth worked together on this project with the common goal of brightening the residents' Valentine’s Day and to let them know that the community cares about them.

Genesee County 4-H members will be continuing this service project at the Batavia JOANN Fabrics store in the Valu Home Plaza on West Main Street from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 3.

To learn more about the Genesee County 4-H Youth Development Program visit our website at:

February 1, 2018 - 3:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in american red cross, Blood Drive, Matthew Kota, news, Milestones.

Matthew Kota

Submitted photos and press release:

Giving back and saving lives 10 years later. Jason and Nancy Kota lost their son, Matthew, 10 years ago but they continue to honor his memory by giving back to the community and by helping save lives with the American Red Cross.

The Kota Family will be hosting the 10th Annual Matthew Kota Memorial Blood Drive on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Notre Dame High School in Batavia. It is located at 73 Union St.

Due to blood drives canceled due to winter weather and illnesses such as the seasonal flu, there is a critical need for blood donations. Eligible donors are urged to give now. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged.

Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to make an appointment. Presenting donors will receive a $5 Dunkin Donuts card.

From left: Sara Kota, Jason Kota, Nancy Kota, Sean Kota, Chuck Marra and Tyler Kota.

February 1, 2018 - 2:56pm

Press release:

Have you ever thought about the role of a school board? Have you considered running for a seat on your school board? The Genesee Valley School Boards Association (GVSBA) will host two informational meetings for community members to learn more about the roles, responsibilities and election process.

These meetings will be held on March 7 at the Charles G. May Center, 27 Lackawanna Ave. in Mount Morris, and March 14 at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, 80 Munson St. in Le Roy. Registration is required; please sign up with your school district board clerk by Feb. 16. Both sessions will run from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Pizza will be provided.

It is important for prospective members to understand that, while the board elections are held in May there are timelines regarding filing petitions that must be met. Details regarding this election process will be explained.

GVSBA Executive Director Tom Cox will present this program based on information provided by the New York State School Board Association. It is vital that prospective members understand the roles and responsibilities and expectations of the position of a board member. There are ample resources provided through various sources to help board members learn and grow.

Taking on the responsibility of a school board member is a tremendous way to serve the students and adults of your community. The time commitment is something that will also be outlined in these workshops.

For more information please contact Tom Cox, GVSBA executive director, at [email protected] or Sandra Lee James at [email protected]

February 1, 2018 - 2:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, housing needs.

The results are in for the 2017 Genesee County Comprehensive Housing Needs Assessment and Market Analysis. LaBella Associates will be sharing these results with the public at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Old Courthouse, Third Floor, 7 Main St., Batavia.

No reservations necessary.

Attendance may qualify for 1 hour of training credit for planning and zoning board members.

Questions may be directed to Felipe A. Oltramari, director, GC Department of Planning, 815-7901, [email protected]

February 1, 2018 - 2:32pm

Press release:

Please plan to join us for an evening of famous St. James desserts! The church’s Outreach Committee is hosting the first “Just Desserts” event: an evening of sweets and treats to raise funds in support of Community Health and Education for Rural Africa foundation (CHERA).

This project will encourage self-sufficiency through the development of a community maize milling cooperative. 

“Just Desserts”
Chocolate for CHERA
St. James Episcopal Church
405 E. Main St., Batavia
Friday, Feb. 2nd

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.: Dessert -- take-out only

7 – 9 p.m.: Eat–in, Basket and “Mystery Bag” Silent Auction

$5 Donation = 5 tickets                       

$5 Each Additional Strip of 5 tickets      

Desserts and Sweets for both enjoying here and taking home will range in price from 1 to 4 tickets.

Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and milk (both plain and chocolate) will be included in the admission price.

A basket and “mystery bag” auction along with music will be provided.

Questions: call the church office at 343-6802.

January 29, 2018 - 2:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Le Roy, Alabama, batavia, Grand Jury, crime, news, notify.

Michael S. Ryan is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Aug. 25 at the Premier Genesee Nursing Home on Bank Street in Batavia, he knowingly possessed stolen property -- a credit or debit card belonging to a client of the Le Roy Federal Credit Union.

Kevin G. Viehdeffer is indicted for the crime of bail jumping in the second degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that he did not personally appear in Genesee County Court on the required date of March 27, or voluntarily within 30 days thereafter. It is alleged in the indictment that Viehdeffer was released from custody or allowed to remain at liberty upon the condition that he would subsequently appear in Genesee County Court.

Ryan P. Isham is indicted for the crime of driving while intoxicated, as a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 10 in the Town of Elba that Isham drove a 2011 Chevrolet on Route 262 in Elba while intoxicated. In count two, the defendant is accused of DWI, per se, as a Class E felony. It is alleged in count two that he had a BAC of .08 or more. In Special Information filed with the indictment by the District Attorney, Isham is accused of having been convicted of DWI as a misdemeanor on Nov. 15, 2015, in Cambria, Niagara County. That conviction is within 10 years of the crimes alleged in the current indictment.

Danielle N. Webster is indicted for the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 6 in the Town of Alabama that Webster drove a 2005 Chevrolet on Bloomingdale Road while knowing, or having reason to know, that her driver's license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle was suspended in New York on Aug. 25 pending prosecution. It is further alleged that she was under the influence of alcohol or a drug at a time. In count two, the defendant is accused of driving while intoxicated as a misdemeanor. In count three, she is accused of failure to keep right. In count four, the defendant is accused of moving from lane unsafely. In count five, Webster is accused of moving across hazard lines on the roadway. In count six, the defendant is accused of consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages in a motor vehicle.

January 26, 2018 - 11:15pm

Press release:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Thursday called on the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to complete final acquisitions for two 60-acre and 77-acre parcels in Pembroke and then swiftly act to begin construction of the New Western New York National Veterans Cemetery.

Currently, the VA parcel is 132 acres devoted to a veterans' cemetery. The acquisitions of the two new parcels would effectively double the size of the cemetery and would clear the way for construction of a new veterans’ cemetery in Genesee County, which will be the first and only of its kind in the Buffalo-Rochester area and will save thousands of military families from having to travel upward of 100 miles to visit their loved ones at what is now the closest vet cemetery in Bath, NY.

Schumer said it is vital the VA complete these acquisitions and commit to begin the cemetery’s construction this year.

“The acquisition of these two land parcels clears the way for the construction of the newest veterans’ cemetery in Pembroke. Making this cemetery a reality has been and remains one of my top priorities, and I will keep fighting to ensure that this project comes to fruition,” Senator Schumer said.

“It is now time for the VA to do its part to clear these final roadblocks so we can move to the construction phase ASAP; this cemetery's construction guarantees Western New York’s military veterans will have the proper burial, at a site close to the homes, families, and the very communities they dedicated their lives to defend and serve.”

Schumer explained the new cemetery design calls for the main entrance to be built through this 60-acre parcel of land so that veterans, their families, and cemetery visitors can access the cemetery from Indian Falls Road, rather than via the busy State Route 77 corridor. Schumer said both parcels are located adjacent to the existing 132-acre cemetery site were purchased by the VA in 2014.

The VA had advised last year that before the VA’s could acquire these two parcels needed to begin the cemetery’s construction, a buried gas line that traversed the 60- and 77-acre parcels needed to be plugged and then relocated. With this gas line work completed in December 2017, Schumer said it is time for the VA to finalize these acquisitions so that cemetery construction can begin this year.

Schumer added the 60- and 77-acre parcel will greatly expand the cemetery’s operational life and enable the VA to construct a cemetery more aligned with the Department’s initial vision for a 200-acre site. Per the timeline provided by the VA to Schumer’s office in June 2017, the VA aimed to begin construction approximately six months after purchase of the parcels, followed by the opening of the early turnover area for burials a year later in 2019.

Schumer has long fought to make this project a reality. In 2016, Schumer announced that following his push that $36 million in federal funding for the construction phase of the cemetery in Western New York had been included in the final continuing resolution (CR) package.

In December 2015, Schumer launched his push to get the VA to include this critical funding in the VA’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget request, to safeguard against needless delays between phases. In February 2016, Schumer announced the inclusion of this funding in the previous President’s Budget Request was a good sign for Rochester, Buffalo and all of Western New York. Schumer vowed to continue pushing for this critical federal funding to be included in the final appropriations bill. In April 2016, Schumer announced that, following his push, the $36 million in federal funding had been included in the final Senate Military Construction Appropriations Bill for the construction phase of the cemetery.

Schumer said the establishment of the nation’s newest Veterans’ Cemetery in Western New York is a long-sought and well-deserved opportunity to honor the more than 96,000 veterans and family members in this region who will have a proper military burial at a site close to their homes, families, and communities they served and defended.

This veterans’ cemetery will be the first and only of its kind in the Buffalo-Rochester area and will save thousands of military families from having to travel more than 100 miles in some cases to visit their loved ones at what is now the closest veterans' cemetery in Bath, NY. Schumer said the initial difficulties in acquiring this Western New York property took an unusually long four years and, that the final acquisitions will be needed for construction to begin.

According to guidance provided by the VA on cemetery development timelines, it can typically take up to 24 months to complete the cemetery master planning and design process. Following the completion of that phase, the construction phase typically requires 24-30 months to compete, with early-use burial areas made available approximately 12 months after the start of construction.

A list of Schumer’s actions appears below:

·         In February 2016, Schumer announced that the just-released President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 included $36 million in funding for the construction phase of the newest National Veterans’ Cemetery in Pembroke.

·         In December 2015, Schumer launched his push to secure federal funding for the construction phase of the cemetery.

·         In May 2014, Schumer announced that the VA had selected a site for the long-awaited Western New York Veterans’ Cemetery on a 132-acre parcel at 1232 Indian Falls Road in the Town of Pembroke, Genesee County.

·         This was the culmination of years of work beginning in 2009 when Schumer, together with various veterans' groups, led the charge to bring a much-needed veterans’ cemetery to Western New York arguing that a lack of a national veterans’ cemetery within a 75-mile radius of Buffalo and Rochester meant that it was long-past time for the 96,000 underserved veterans and family members living in Western New York to have a fitting burial option closer to home.

·         In 2010, the VA responded and announced it would establish a new veteran’s cemetery in Western New York. An updated VA policy dictated the construction of a national cemetery in areas where there are at least 80,000 veterans that reside at least 75-miles from an existing cemetery. In Western New York, there are 96,000 who live up to 100 miles away from the closest National Veterans Cemetery in Bath, NY.

·         In March 2012, after the VA failed to find suitable land to purchase following two separate solicitation attempts, Schumer wrote to then-VA Secretary Shinseki to urge that the VA put forth a clear timeline and path forward to avoid another protracted process that could come up empty. In response, the VA dispatched personnel to Western New York to conduct site visits at several sites in WNY, issued a final solicitation for sites, and developed several candidate sites for evaluation, of which one was the 132-acre site in Pembroke that the VA subsequently acquired.

·         In April 2013, Schumer organized a meeting at Daemen College with local veterans and VA officials to update Veterans on the VA’s timeline and in order for veterans to provide input to the VA.

·         In Sept 2013, Schumer wrote to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (SHPO) to urge the agency to complete an archeological cultural-resource study required in order for the VA to complete the required approvals needed to close on the purchase of the preferred Indian Falls Road site in Pembroke.

·         In May 2014, Schumer announced that the results of the archeological cultural-resource study determined a finding of “no significant impacts,” thus allowing the VA to move forward on the purchase of the preferred site on Indiana Falls Road later that month.

·         In July 2014, Schumer called on the VA to move forward on plans to acquire the adjoining 60-acre parcel that abuts the current 132-acre site. This would immediately make the cemetery nearly 50-percent larger, increase capacity, and provide better access to the cemetery for veterans’ funeral processions and visitors.

The 132-acre site on Indian Falls Road in Pembroke is located approximately 30 miles from Buffalo and 48 miles from Rochester. The cemetery will provide a fitting burial option to approximately 96,000 currently underserved veterans and family members living in Western New York. Veterans with a qualifying discharge, their spouses, and eligible dependent children may be buried in a VA national cemetery.

Also eligible are military personnel who die on active duty, their spouses and eligible dependents. Burial benefits available for all eligible Veterans, regardless of whether they are buried in a national cemetery or a private cemetery, include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate, and a government headstone or marker.

Schumer said more than 96,000 veterans and their families across Western New York from Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region to Buffalo deserve to have this cemetery constructed as soon as possible and without further impediments or unnecessary delays. Schumer said the VA must do its part to overcome the final impediments to this process for the benefit of veterans and their families who call Western New York home.

A copy of Senator Schumer’s letter to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary appears below:

Dear VA Secretary Shulkin,

I write to request that the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) work to overcome a last remaining impediment to construction of the new Western New York National Veterans Cemetery. Namely, I urge you to complete the acquisition of the 60 acre and the 77 acre parcels in Pembroke, NY that are located adjacent to the existing 132 acre cemetery site purchased by the Department in 2014 and then swiftly act to begin construction this year. As you know, buried gas line work was requisite to VA’s acquisition of these parcels. I understand that this work was completed in December 2017, and I urge you to finalize these acquisitions and commit to begin the cemetery’s construction this year.

The cemetery design calls for the main entrance of the new cemetery to be built through this 60 acre parcel of land so that veterans, their families, and cemetery visitors can access the cemetery from Indian Falls Road, rather than via the busy State Route 77 corridor. Additionally, the 60 acre parcel and 77 acre parcel will greatly expand the cemetery’s operational life and enable the VA to construct a cemetery which more aligned with the Department’s initial vision for a 200-acre site. According to a timeline the Department provided to my office in June 2017, the VA aimed to begin construction approximately six months after purchase of the 60 and 77 acre parcels, followed by the opening of the early turnover area for burials a year later in 2019.

More than 96,000 veterans and their families across Western New York from Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region to Buffalo deserve to have this cemetery constructed as soon as possible without unnecessary delay. I urge you to immediately overcome the final impediments to this process for the benefit of veterans across the region. I thank you in advance for your attention to this matter and appreciate your consideration of my request.


Charles E. Schumer

U.S. Senator

January 26, 2018 - 11:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in onion growers, Farming, crop insurance, agriculture, business, RMA.

Press release:

The USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds onion growers that the final date to apply for crop insurance coverage for the 2018 crop year is Feb. 1. Current policy holders who wish to make changes to their existing policies have until Feb. 1 to do so.

Federal crop insurance is critical to the farm safety net. It helps porducers and owners manage revenue risks and strengthens the rural economy.

Coverage for onions is available in select counties.

The 2018 price election, per hundredweight, for red onions is $24.90; white onions is $18.50; yellow onions is $11.80. Additional information can be found on the Actuarial Information Browser page on the RMA website.

Growers are encourage to visit their crop insurance agent soon to learn specific details for the 2018 crop year, including insurance for onions, which may be eligible for coverage under a written agreement.

Crop insurance decisions must be made on or before the sales closing date.

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of agents is available at all USDA service centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator.

Producers can use the RMS Cost Estimator to get a premium amount estimate of their insurance needs online.

For more information about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net visit

January 26, 2018 - 10:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, batavia police department, news, Announcements.

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department announced on Thursday that it has joined the SafeTrade initiative for safer completion of online transactions.

SafeTrade is a simple program for police and sheriff’s departments to encourage transactions at their facilities; for classified sites to strengthen their safety and security initiatives, and for users to insist on “SafeTrade” by conducting their transactions only at a local police or sheriff’s office.

The Batavia Police Department is excited to partner with SafeTrade to provide a safe location for the residents of Batavia when conducting online transactions. Our goal is to make Batavia a safe community, and to provide unique services to attain that goal. Partnering with SafeTrade is one of those programs. 

The SafeTrade logo can be used (without charge) on any ads posted; by classified websites, newspapers and publications to promote safety and security, and by police departments to indicate they are hosting SafeTrade online transactions.

In the past few months, a number of U.S. police departments have offered to host online transactions, most of them referring to Craigslist as the reason. Participating police departments can now post banners or use logos referring to their facilities as SafeTrade Stations.

Additional information is available at




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