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October 13, 2016 - 11:57am
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, byron, playmates.
muglamagnascott2016.jpg mug_jonlamagna2916.jpg
    Scott Lamanga   Jonathan Lamanga

Two arrests have been made by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office following the investigation into an assault which occurred at 1:42 a.m. on Oct. 9 in the parking lot of Playmates, located on Route 237 in the Town of Byron.

The victim suffered several serious injuries and was listed in critical condition at Strong Memorial Hospital.

Scott M. Lamagna, 25, of Fairport, and Jonathan J. Lamanga, 18, of Webster, were arrested and charged with second-degree assault. The brothers were put in Genesee County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail. Scott was arrested Oct. 12; Jonathan on Oct. 11.

Investigators from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office were assisted by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and its K-9 after Scott refused to comply with direct orders to exit his residence on Oct. 12 in Fairport. After about three hours, Scott was taken into custody on an arrest warrant without further incident.

October 13, 2016 - 9:24am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, east pembroke, thruway.

A three-car accident with injuries is reported on the westbound Thruway at mile marker 397.7. One engine from East Pembroke Fire Department is called to the scene along with Mercy medics. Mercy Flight is on ground standby.

UPDATE 9:49 a.m.: The East Pembroke assignment is back in service.

October 12, 2016 - 3:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, corfu, batavia, pembroke.

Danielle Riley McMinn, 22, of South Cranberry Boulevard, North Port, Fla., is charged with: DWI; unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, 3rd; reckless driving, failure to keep right; and moving from lane unsafely. McMinn was stopped by Genesee County Sheriff's deputies shortly after midnight on Oct. 12 on R. Stephen Hawley Drive when she allegedly failed to keep right. She then allegedly fled from deputies in her vehicle, leading deputies on a short pursuit. The pursuit came to an end when McMinn crashed her vehicle at the intersection of R. Stephen Hawley Drive and Bank Street Road in the Town of Batavia. She was subsequently arrested and jailed on $500 cash or $2,000 bond. She is to reappear in Town of Batavia Court at a later date. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan, assisted by Deputy Andrew Hale.

Benjamin James Marien, 24, of Meadowbrook Terrace, Corfu, is charged with: operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or higher; DWI; speed in excess of 55 mph; and failure to keep right on a two-lane road. On Oct. 12 at 12:54 a.m., Marien was arrested following a traffic stop on Genesee Street in Pembroke. He was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Pembroke Court and is due there on Nov. 8. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer.

Matthew R. McQuillen, 33, of 38 Lathrop Ave. in Le Roy, was arrested on Oct. 10 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with one count of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged that at 4 p.m. on Oct. 8 McQuillen stole a DVD from a store located on West Avenue in Le Roy. McQuillen was released on an appearance ticket to appear in Le Roy Town Court on a later date.

Shawn Richard Porter Cuyler, 18, of Vendome Drive, Gates, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. At 8:53 a.m. on Oct. 11, the subject was pulled over on the side of the road on Oak Orchard Road in Batavia because his passenger had gotten out to retrieve glasses that fell from the vehicle. The subject allegedly possessed several smoking devices containing marijuana, along with two bottles containing marijuana. He was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Batavia Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Parker, assisted by City of Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack.

October 12, 2016 - 3:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Beechwood Wayne and driver Drew Monti (wearing helmet), winners of the "Run for the Cannolis" Italian drivers' race held on Columbus Day (Oct. 10) at Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The temperature was cool for the final matinee card of racing at Batavia Downs for 2016 but Drew Monti was red hot, winning five races on Monday afternoon (Oct. 10) including the special Columbus Day featured $5,000 “Run for the Cannolis” Italian drivers' race.

The Run for the Cannolis is an annual tradition at the Downs to honor the large Italian population in the City of Batavia. It was started decades ago and has continued each year on Columbus Day.

In this year’s edition, Monti drove Beechwood Wayne to a three-length win in 1:58.1. After getting away second, Beechwood Wayne followed closely as Goddess’s Justin (at the pylons) and First Of Fun (outside) battled side-by-side for the lead for over a quarter mile. When First Of Fun finally failed, Beechwood Wayne popped the pocket at three-quarters and blew right by Goddess’s Justin.

But the race wasn’t over.

Rock C. Vinci, who has won this race for the last two years, had tracked Monti’s move around the far turn and was now breathing down Beechwood Wayne back at the head of the lane. As both drivers went to the stick in the dash to the wire, “Drivin’ Drew” had the jump and got Beechwood Wayne there first to claim the cannolis for 2016.

It was the ninth win of the year for Beechwood Wayne ($3.60) and third in a row during his current streak. The 9-year-old gelded son of Western Terror is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin.

Monti also won with Big unit ($7.50, 1:58), Quick Silver ($9.40, 1:58.4), Mystical Valentine ($4, 1:56.4) and Girls Luv Diamonds ($4.10, 1:57) to complete the five-bagger. His wins combined with a second and two thirds saw Monti’s UDR soar to .519 for the day.  

Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving triple on Monday and Kevin Cummings scored a double. And the wins recorded by all three drivers have made the dash competition at the meet extremely close. After Monday’s races, Cummings sits on top with 62 wins, Monti is second with 60 and Fisher is third with 56. With 28 racing days left, the driving crown is definitely up for grabs.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs tonight (Oct. 12) with post time set for 6:15.

October 12, 2016 - 3:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo of Beechwood Wayne and driver Drew Monti (wearing helmet), winners of the "Run for the Cannolis" Italian drivers' race held on Columbus Day (Oct. 10) at Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The temperature was cool for the final matinee card of racing at Batavia Downs for 2016 but Drew Monti was red hot, winning five races on Monday afternoon (Oct. 10) including the special Columbus Day featured $5,000 “Run for the Cannolis” Italian drivers' race.

The Run for the Cannolis is an annual tradition at the Downs to honor the large Italian population in the City of Batavia. It was started decades ago and has continued each year on Columbus Day.

In this year’s edition, Monti drove Beechwood Wayne to a three-length win in 1:58.1. After getting away second, Beechwood Wayne followed closely as Goddess’s Justin (at the pylons) and First Of Fun (outside) battled side-by-side for the lead for over a quarter mile. When First Of Fun finally failed, Beechwood Wayne popped the pocket at three-quarters and blew right by Goddess’s Justin.

But the race wasn’t over.

Rock C. Vinci, who has won this race for the last two years, had tracked Monti’s move around the far turn and was now breathing down Beechwood Wayne back at the head of the lane. As both drivers went to the stick in the dash to the wire, “Drivin’ Drew” had the jump and got Beechwood Wayne there first to claim the cannolis for 2016.

It was the ninth win of the year for Beechwood Wayne ($3.60) and third in a row during his current streak. The 9-year-old gelded son of Western Terror is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin.

Monti also won with Big unit ($7.50, 1:58), Quick Silver ($9.40, 1:58.4), Mystical Valentine ($4, 1:56.4) and Girls Luv Diamonds ($4.10, 1:57) to complete the five-bagger. His wins combined with a second and two thirds saw Monti’s UDR soar to .519 for the day.  

Ray Fisher Jr. had a driving triple on Monday and Kevin Cummings scored a double. And the wins recorded by all three drivers have made the dash competition at the meet extremely close. After Monday’s races, Cummings sits on top with 62 wins, Monti is second with 60 and Fisher is third with 56. With 28 racing days left, the driving crown is definitely up for grabs.

Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs tonight (Oct. 12) with post time set for 6:15.

October 12, 2016 - 2:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GCC, Announcements, fashion, style.

Submitted photo and press release:

His style is authentic and colorful. His fashion is Emmy Award-winning. His books have influenced followers all over the world to adopt his unique approach, and on Wednesday, Oct. 26, he will return to Genesee Community College as part of the Fashion Business Program's Fashion Speaker Series to give a presentation that will show exactly why he is a sought after authority on fashion and color in the media.

David Zyla, who spoke as part of the Series in 2014, has collaborated with some of the most recognizable faces of contemporary culture, including Neil Patrick Harris, Hillary Clinton, Susan Lucci, Tom Hanks, Carol Burnett, Amber Rose and Kelsey Grammar. A believer that "every person has the right to feel empowered and look fantastic," Zyla's lifelong passion is helping people discover their individual palette of flattering colors and unique style – the best version of themselves – through private and group style consultations all over the world.

Zyla started his Seventh Avenue evening wear label, which was featured at New York's Fashion Week and sold by luxury retailers, including Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel, at the age of 22. By 2001, he had already earned a reputation as a tastemaker with strong ties to the global fashion community and was recruited by ABC to reinvigorate the visual quality of its daytime programming. David has held position of head costume designer for various long-running television shows, including ABC's "All My Children" (2010 Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design Emmy Award), "General Hospital," and Lifetime's "Devious Maids."

A guest speaker, panelist and lecturer on the transformative power of color and its application to wardrobe, home and lifestyle, Zyla is known for his engaging, educational and fun presentations on fashion. He has been profiled in People magazine and The New Yorker, and featured in publications including Life & Style, More Magazine, Real Simple, Women's Wear Daily, The Huffington Post, USA Today, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Traditional Home, and more. David often serves as a teacher and guest lecturer at major design institutions, museums, and schools, including New York University, Hofstra University, SCAD, LIM, Otterbein College and UC Davis. He is a faculty member at Marymount Manhattan College where he teaches a regular course on Fashion, History and Society.

Don't miss David Zyla at GCC on Oct. 26 in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building at the GCC Batavia Campus as part of the Fashion Business Program Speaker Series. The event is free and open to the public, however, seating will be limited. Those wishing to attend can RSVP by calling (585) 345-6830.

For more information on David Zyla, including services and contact information, visit his website at www.davidzyla.com

October 10, 2016 - 3:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in hlom, Foxprowl, news, Announcements, batavia.

Bill Hume, owner of Foxprowl in Batavia, will talk about popular culture collectables beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Holland Land Office Museum, 131 W. Main S., Batavia.
 
These aren't your grandfather's collectables. Hume will give an overview of collectables, which got their start in comic books and movies like Super Man, Bat Man, the X Men, Godzilla, Star Wars and Ghostbusters. You'll learn what's trending and what's not and what you wish your mom had not thrown out years ago. Hume will bring along plenty of his favorite items to show off.
 
This free presentation is open to the public. We do serve refreshments!
 
Reservations would be helpful, but not required. Phone 343-4727.
 
To see weird and wonderful collectables and more, visit Foxprowl at 97 Main St. in Batavia.
October 10, 2016 - 1:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Oakfield, byron, elba.

On Oct. 1-2, Barry Flansburg, Albion Future Farmers of America Alumni president, joined others throughout the region to help determine how they could better support agricultural education and their local FFA chapters. Flansburg is an assessor for the communities of Oakfield/Byron/Elba.

The National FFA Alumni Organization recently hosted a regional development conference in Rochester, which delivered professional, personal and alumni program development to local and state members. In addition, the conference was a time for alumni members to network and share local visions of innovation with other alumni chapters and state associations.

"As alumni, it is our responsibility to serve as a source of relief for our agriculture educators as well as attract new volunteers and supporters to help our FFA programs," said National FFA Alumni Executive Director Josh Rusk. "Our hope is that the regional development conferences will give alumni the tools and support they need to be successful in that endeavor."

This conference was one of six to be held this year. The other locations for the conferences include Oklahoma City, Okla., Burbank, Wash., Ankeny, Iowa, Oxford, Ohio, and Atlanta.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 629,367 student members who belong to one of 7,757 local FFA chapters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

October 10, 2016 - 1:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, bergen.

Blake Michael Toal, 18, of Old State Road, Covington, is charged with third degree criminal mischief. On Sept. 25, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office received a report of criminal mischief to a basketball backboard in the Village of Bergen Park. The deputy assigned to the Village of Bergen conducted a thorough investigation and numerous individuals were interviewed. The defendant was located and arrested and charged with the Class E felony. He was issued an appearance ticket and taken to jail for prints and photos. He is due in Town of Bergen Court at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong.

October 10, 2016 - 1:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, pembroke, dollars for scholars, news, Announcements.
Press release:
 
There will be a Corfu-Pembroke Dollars for Scholars fundraising event from 4 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at Denny's in Corfu.
 
It is located at 8484 Alleghany Road.
                    
Help provide college funds by purchasing a meal at the Pembroke Denny's during this event and Denny's will award 20 percent of the meal cost to the Corfu-Pembroke Dollars for Scholars for future college scholarships to Pembroke graduates.
 
There will be representatives from Dollar for Scholars present to talk with you about how to increase your chances of winning one or more of the 15 scholarships we offer.
 
Information on how to apply for scholarships will also be provided at this MEET, GREET & EAT event. As you know college isn't cheap.
 
If you value education, care about children or are preparing to send your son or daughter off to college someday this event is for you and your family!
October 10, 2016 - 12:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

(Photo of Foiled Again with driver Kevin Cummings courtesy of Paul White.)

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Although overlooked by many and sent off at a hearty 9-1, Foiled Again brought his A-game to Genesee County and exhibited the heart that has earned him over $7.4 million in lifetime earnings to win the 14th annual $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 8). 

Off the gate, Scott Rocks (John Cummings Jr.) and Mel Mara (Jim Morrill Jr.) argued for the lead and registered a swift :26.4 quarter in the process before Mel Mara relented and tucked in second. With Scott Rocks now dictating the proceedings, the field stayed in single-file around the far turn before Polak A (Shawn Gray) pulled first-over at the three-eighths to start the outer flow.

Polak A drew alongside Scott Rocks at the half, stalked him around the turn and then passed the tiring leader before crossing over at three-quarters in 1:22.4. At this point Foiled Again (Kevin Cummings) who had been tracking the race from fifth, tipped three-deep around Southwind Amazon (Shawn McDonough) and caught up to the leader by the top of the stretch. Then as they came down the lane, Foiled Again swelled up under mild urging from Cummings and paced right by Polak A to win by a length in 1:52.2.

Polak A hung on for second and Mel Mara overcame road trouble to grab third.

It was the third time Foiled Again has won the Kane Memorial, having also scored victories in the 2009 and 2013 editions and the second time Kevin Cummings has won it after taking the 2006 race with Michael Scores.

“He went real well tonight” said Cummings. “He was a little lazy early but he did a good job tracking the field. He knows his business and I was confident at the three-quarters that he could win this. It was great to win the Kane tonight.”

It was the 90th career win for Foiled Again ($20.20) who now sits just $13,492 short of $7.5 million lifetime. The 12-year-old Ron Burke trainee is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and the JJK Stable.

(Photo of Serious George (#2) with driver Shawn Gray courtesy of Paul White.)

In the co-featured $15,000 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot, Serious George (Shawn Gray) got away fourth before pulling first-over at the half to pound out an arduous journey and overtake the front-running BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) to win in a new lifetime mark of 1:57.2. Serious George ($23) is owned by James Palladino and trained by Rich Mays.

Driver Shawn Gray was red hot on Saturday, winning five races on the card. He scored with Studio City ($3.90, 1:58.1), Surfer’s Paradise ($8.60, 1:55.4), Serious George ($23.00, 1:57.2), Gallant Major ($5.40, 1:56.2) and Life’s Lessons ($4.40, 1:56.1).

Kevin Cummings and Jim Morrill Jr. both had driving hat tricks and trainers Ron Burke and Gerry Sarama each claimed three wins apiece.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on this afternoon (Oct. 10) for the last matinee card of the season. The Columbus Day special gets underway at 1:15 p.m.

October 8, 2016 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Middle School, news, batavia, Announcements.

Starting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, Batavia Middle School will host its annual Open House for parents and students. The school is located at 96 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

Participants may visit classrooms and other learning areas in a relaxed manner, meeting with any or all of their child’s teachers.

In addition, the Library Media Center will host the Book Fair, which is sponsored by our Parent Teacher Group.

Open House is focused on teachers and parents becoming acquainted and for parents to learn about the curriculum for their child(ren) this year. Each teacher will have materials on display and be available to meet and greet parents and answer general questions. Individual conversations about the progress of your child should be held at a parent-teacher conference, which can be set up at any time by calling the Counseling Center. 

There will be refreshments in the cafeteria, along with a Parent Portal table to sign up to be able to view your child’s electronic grade book. In addition, there will be table displays with information about various clubs.

October 8, 2016 - 2:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Le Roy, Pavilion, corfu, news.
park_thomas_amug.jpg
      Thomas A. Park

A five-month investigation into three residential burglaries in the West Main Street area of the Village of Le Roy concluded on Oct. 4 with the arrest of 48-year-old Thomas A. Park by the Le Roy Police Department. Park is from the Le Roy/Pavilion area but is currently living in the City of Rochester. It is alleged that during the months of April, May and June, Park unlawfully entered three different residences in Le Roy and stole items from each consisting of cash, jewelry and a crossbow. It is further alleged that Park then pawned some of the property in Batavia. Park was charged with three counts of burglary in the second degree, a Class C felony, and three counts of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor. Park was arraigned before the Le Roy Town Court and released RUS as he is being overseen by Genesee Justice and the Rochester City Drug Court. 

A 17-year-old who lives on Myrtle Street in Le Roy is charged with two counts of third-degree burglary. Following an investigation in the Town of Le Roy, it is alleged that at 12:45 p.m. on July 20 the defendant entered a garage in the 8000 block of Route 5, without the owner's consent, and stole a 17-caliber long gun. It is further alleged that on the same day, the defendant entered another garage in the vicinity on Route 5, without the owner's consent, and stole a pellet gun. The defendant was arraigned in Le Roy Town Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. The investigation was conducted by Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Hale and Investigator Bradley Mazur.

Dolores M. Urban, 50, of Goodrich Road, Clarence, is charged with first-degree aggravated unlicensed operator, a felony, misdemeanor DWI, misdemeanor aggravated DWI (with a BAC of .21 percent), and having an inadequate muffler. On Oct. 6 at 114 Route 77 in Corfu, Urban was stopped for having an inadequate muffler. According to the report of the Viilage of Corfu Police Department: "Upon activating patrols emergency lights to affect the stop, the driver pulled off the east shoulder of the roadway, striking the bridge over the creek." After interviewing Urban and having her perform field sobriety tests, she was arrested. She was released on appearance tickets and is due in Village Court on Oct. 24.

Dean D. Root, 35, of 40 Main St., Apt. # 2, Le Roy, was arrested on Oct. 7 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with one count of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged that on that day Root shoplifted an item from a pharmacy in the Village. Root was issued an appearance ticket and is to appear in the Le Roy Town Court on Oct. 17 to answer the charge.

October 8, 2016 - 1:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in Stafford, Announcements, Fall Harvest, news.
The Annual Fall Harvest Auction of the Stafford Historical Society will be held beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26, in the Court Room of the Stafford Town Hall.
 
The hall is located at 8903 Route 237.
 
Produce and usable items for the auction will be gratefully accepted. Please call Sue at 344-0834.
October 8, 2016 - 1:07pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Department of Planning will present and gather comments on the draft revisions to the Smart Growth Plan as part of its 2016 triennial review in a series of public meetings. There will be three meetings, all beginning at 7 p.m., as follows:

Monday, Oct. 24 -- Oakfield Community and Government Center 3219 Drake Street Road, Oakfield

Tuesday, Oct. 25 -- ​Genesee County Building 2 – Large Conference Room, 3837 W. Main Street Road, Batavia

Wednesday, Oct. 26 -- Le Roy Town Hall, 48 Main St., Le Roy

On May 9, 2001 the Genesee County Legislature adopted the Smart Growth Plan. The Plan is a mitigating action of potential significant environmental impacts of the Genesee County Water Supply Project upon the viability of agriculture in Genesee County.

Smart Growth Development Areas throughout the county were designated based on their access to transportation, minimal conflict with County Agricultural districts and State regulated wetlands, feasibility of extending public water service, and the potential for extending public infrastructure to support development.

The Plan requires that it be reviewed every three years by the Legislature and that recommendations for its revision be made at that time.

During this review, the towns of Alabama, Darien, Le Roy and Oakfield proposed changes to the Development Area Boundaries. The meetings will focus on the modifications being recommended to the County Legislature by the Planning Department, County Planning Board, County Agricultural & Farmland Protection Board, and County Water Resources Agency.

For individuals with disabilities, requests for reasonable accommodations should be made with at least five days’ notice. Call The Genesee County Planning Department at (585) 815-7901 or email at [email protected]

October 8, 2016 - 12:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia city school district, education, batavia.

Pictured from left: BHS Principal Scott Wilson, Business Administrator Scott Rozanski, Board of Education (BOE) Student Ex-Officio Member Madison Moore, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Molly Corey, Citizen Action Member Eddie Jones, BHS teacher and Batavia Teachers Association President Mark Warren, Citizen Action Member David Cates, and Board of Education President Patrick Burk. (Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey was in Albany on school business so was unavailable.)

Submitted photos and press release.

The Batavia City School District welcomed Citizen Action of Western New York activists David Cates, Eddie Jones, and Samantha Nephew as they made a stop at Batavia High School this week on their way to Albany with an important message about education.

New York State has reneged on its constitutional and court ordered obligation to students, particularly students in high needs* districts such as Batavia, and it is payback time.

Board of Education President Patrick Burk presented Cates and Jones a “Past Due” invoice for $3.5 million to be delivered to the Governor’s Office on behalf of the Batavia City School District.

The trio is collecting other such invoices and statements from school districts as they travel to the state capital where they will meet up on Tuesday with like-minded activists and, they hope, lawmakers. Cates and Jones -- who both work in the educational field and whose inspiration for the trip comes from their own children as well as from working with other young people in their community -- are biking the Buffalo to Albany route with Nephew following by car.

Other affiliates of Citizen Action of New York from various parts of the state are walking to Albany.

The group’s intention is to spur lawmakers to pay the money owed to school districts in New York, as dictated by a 2006 court ruling which then was translated into the Education Budget and Reform Act of 2007. The court ruling affirmed the State’s constitutional obligation to provide essential resources for a quality education to all public school children in the state in order to graduate college-ready or career-ready citizens, regardless of their zip code. Subsequently, the legislation established a formula, to be phased in over a four-year period, designed to ensure adequate and equitable funding for all schools by calculating state aid based on students' needs and a district’s ability to raise revenue.

Legislators obeyed the law for two years, but when the economy took a downturn, they stopped obeying it and have not looked back. According to the Education Law Center, first, aid was frozen in 2009 at 37.5 percent of the four-year target. Then for the next two years, aid was cut by $2.7 billion in the name of Gap Elimination Adjustment that used school aid to balance the state’s overall budget. The GEA money has recently been restored, but the Reform Act has yet to be rekindled.

Thus, the bill for $3.5 million.

Batavia administrators, teachers, and Board of Education trustees agree that $3.5 million could provide a lot of “more and better” for our students, and ideas of how to spend it abound: reinstate courses; reduce class sizes; provide a greater variety of courses; offer multiple sections of selected courses so more students could take advantage of opportunities; hire more aides for classrooms; increase individualized instruction; increase professional development opportunities; and/or lower taxes.

“It’s important to make sure all of our students have their needs met,” said Burk as he thanked Cates and Jones for highlighting the issue. “This could do a lot.”

*“High needs” is typically defined as having a high percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced-priced meals.

October 7, 2016 - 4:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, restaurants, fab fajita & pita, business.

An array of fresh, healthy, tasty salads, wraps, fajitas, pitas and "fun food" like Jersey Shore "Disco fries" is offered at a new eatery on West Main Street in Batavia's Valu Plaza.

Fab Fajita & Pita is a place where you can "Wrap up some WOW!" The menu boasts a moveable feast that spans the globe: Mexico, Italy, Sicily, Greece, Asia with options to build your own or suit to your liking.

If you have a sweet tooth, you'll appreciate the flaky, honey-laden baklava, moist cookies and hefty brownies -- all made from scratch.

"What we offer is fresh, high quality, afforable food," said owner Victor Canastraro, who lives in East Amherst and would like his first foray into the restaurant business to be successful enough to grow into several locations.

Crafting the menu and trying out different combinations and flavor profiles took time. The result is a range of uncommon fare prepared in a spotlessly clean kitchen for diners in a spotlessly clean, spacious eating area.

Some menu items that "just hit" and just right, too:

One appetizer is the Red Eye Fries ($4.25) -- fries topped with two eggs sunny side up and a spicy Sriracha sauce that "will make your eyes pop!" The Asian Salad ($5.95) is made up of a fresh spring lettuce mix with mandarin oranges, Roma tomatoes, fresh strawberries, sliced almonds, served with sesame ginger vinagrette, topped with crispy Asian noodles.

"The Greek" ($5.95) is a traditional pita filled with gyro meat -- a mixture of beef and lamb perfectly seasoned, with lettuce, tomato and feta cheese, topped with a snappy Tzatziki sauce. "The Sicilian" ($6.50) features succulent calamari, wrapped with lettuce, tomato, lemon juice and topped with a special homemade sauce.

At Thanksgiving time, they plan to offer a wrap and/or pita that will include turkey, stuffing and gravy.

"We experimented," Canastraro said. "We wanted something that explodes in your mouth. I enjoy making flavor. I pride myself on being creative."

He has some experience in the flavor department. For the better part of the last decade, he has grown a successful chain of electronic cigarette shops, and flavor is mighty important to e-cig consumers. He has two stores in Rochester, one in Irondequoit, one in Gates, one in Depew, and two in Florida.

The 43-year-old also knows the food business can be "a nightmare" -- his dad was in the restaurant business. But he's up to the challenge of building something from the ground up after an official with Valu Plaza convinced him that a specialty restaurant would be a good fit for the location.

Getting it ready to open was "a hell of an awakening."

He spent $80,000 on new equipment that included refrigerators and freezers, new paint, new tables and chairs. He took some solace in at least not having to buy a new heat and fire-suppression system. That was, until an inspector came out and found two holes on the sides of the existing system (used at this former restaurant site) and said it, too, would have to be replaced.

Done.

A week ago Monday, some friends and family and a few others stopped by for a training day, which ended up being quite busy and prompted some additional equipment purchases. Fab Fajita & Pita officially opened Sept. 30.

His credits his father, the son of Sicilian immigrants, with teaching him the value of hard work.

"My father was the kind of guy who always had a full-time job, plus a part-time job," Canastraro said. "He always told me 'If you want anything in this world you have to work for it.' "

One lesson was learned when the younger Canastraro became a new father at age 20 and money was tight. His utility bill came due and he needed money to pay it. He asked his dad for help. His dad said "Are you hungry? Come over and I'll feed you a bologna sandwich. You need a loan? Go to the bank."

"It was the best thing he could have taught me," Canastraro says in hindsight.

Eventually, the grandson of Sicilians got into the mortgage and finance business and succeeded. He's lived in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Fla., and in Colorado.

In sensing the economic climate and the state of the real estate business in 2007, he convinced his wife, Dawn, to sell their assets in 2007 and move back to Buffalo in 2008. It was a fortuitious move.

"I like Buffalo," says its native son. "People drive a Chevy Impala if what they can afford is a Chevy Impala, not a BMW."

Dawn is the baker in the family. He credits her with the ability to make "50-pound brownies" that will have you "grinning from ear to ear."

"It's all about love," Canastraro said, noting he is "blessed with an unrivaled faith in God." "Take care of people. If you do that -- the guy upstairs -- whatever you want to call it -- takes care of us."

To that end, he said he hopes to grow with the community in Genesee County, which he believes is uniquely poised for growth, and be charitable, especially to first responders, the disabled and veterans.

Fab Fajita & Pita is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. Closed Sunday. The address is 4125 W. Main Street Road. (www.fabfajita.com).

October 7, 2016 - 1:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, business, Announcements, news, healthcare.

Press release:

Genesee Community College continues to demonstrate a commitment to student success and community connections on Thursday, Oct. 27, when more than 25 of the area's top healthcare employers and four-year universities will attend the ninth annual Fall Nursing Job & Transfer Fair to explore career and educational opportunities.

The event is open to the public and will be held from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Batavia Campus of Genesee Community College in the Forum. Parking and attendance are free.

The fair is designed to introduce potential new employees and/or transferring students to four-year nursing colleges or a future employer, and also provides healthcare businesses an opportunity to present their trade and services to the local community. It is free and open to all community members.

As of today (Oct. 6), the following employers and universities represented will include:

ArnotHealth, Elmira

Elderwood, Williamsville

Nursefinders Inc., Rochester

The Arc of Monroe County, Rochester

GreenField Health & Rehab Center, Lancaster

Visiting Nurses of Rochester

Guthrie Healthcare System, Sayre, Pa.

Jewish Home of Rochester

Campanion Care, Rochester

Livingston County Center for Nursing, Mt. Morris

Kaleida Health, Williamsville

Medical Staffing Network, Rochester

Newfane Rehab & Health Care, Newfane

Air Force

Highland Hospital, Rochester

Rochester Psychiatric Center, Rochester

Lifetime Care, Rochester

HomeCare & Hospice, Warsaw

Chamberlain -- College of Nursing

The College at Brockport

D'Youville College -- School of Nursing

Grand Canyon University

Keuka College

Nazareth College -- Nursing Dept.

St. John Fisher College -- Wegman's School of Nursing

Roberts Wesleyan College

SUNY Alfred State

SUNY Delhi School of Nursing

Trocaire College

Participants are encouraged to dress prepared for an interview and to bring their resume. Students will have the opportunity to access real jobs, promote themselves and get their "foot in the door" at several local health centered organizations. This is also an opportunity to obtain information about furthering their education to obtain their BSN. For a full list of attendees, please visit www.genesee.edu/career and log into and/or create an account with Purple Briefcase.

For directions and additional details, please contact the Career Services office at 585-345-6888.

October 7, 2016 - 1:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports.

(Photo of Luck Be Withyou courtesy of Curtis Salonick) 

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Seven horses with a combined lifetime earnings of over $11 million comprise the field for the 14th annual $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace which will be contested at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 8).

The Kane Memorial is dedicated to the former chairman of the board of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (which owns and operates Batavia Downs), Robert J. Kane. Kane worked on the board for 26 years and had the vision to see the value in purchasing the track in 1998, that had been shuttered for three years after having its license revoked. The facility has gone through a complete turnaround since then and WROTB has developed the property into the premier entertainment destination spot in Genesee County.

The 2016 edition of the Kane (which goes as race seven) is also a homecoming of sorts for trainer Chris Oakes who is originally from nearby Akron. He started his career at the Downs in the 1980s and conditions two horses in this year's Kane, with his stable star Luck Be Withyou installed as the 5-2 morning line choice.

Luck Be Withyou has faced Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki many times this year and has always been formidable competition for those two dominant aged pacers. Luck Be Withyou took a lifetime mark of 1:47.4 at Pocono Downs on July 2 and has also been race-timed under 1:50 on seven other occasions this year. His best effort on a half-mile track was a 1:51.1 win at Saratoga Raceway in July, but he was race-timed in 1:50.3 at Harrington Raceway just two weeks ago.  

Leaving from post one, Luck Be Withyou will be driven by the Downs leading reinsman, Kevin Cummings.

Mel Mara is the second choice at 7-2 and is one speedy pacer. On June 4 at the Meadowlands, he beat a very talented Open class field and equalled the all-time race record for an older pacing stallion on a mile track when he stopped the clock in 1:47. In his 21 starts this year, Mel Mara was race timed under 1:50 15 times and his best effort over a half-mile track was a 1:50.1 win at Harrington Raceway three starts ago.

Jim Morrill Jr. takes the reins for trainer Dylan Davis and starts from post three.

Scott Rocks comes in sharp as a tack and knows this oval well. He just raced at Batavia Downs on Sept. 24 and jogged in 1:52. He was a wrapped up winner with a lot left in the tank and he did it after being off for three weeks. He took a lifetime mark of 1:48 at Pocono Downs on May 28, but he also won in a phenomenal 1:49 clocking at Northfield Park on Sept. 3.

Leaving from post two, John Cummings Jr. will once again team Scott Rocks, who is the other entrant for trainer Chris Oakes.

Southwind Amazon is fast on any surface. He took a lifetime mark of 1:49.2 at Pompano Park on March 13, but was also race timed in 1:49.2 at Northfield Park in a second place finish to Scott Rocks on Sept. 3. He has also won in 1:50.3 at Northfield and 1:50.4 at Saratoga Raceway. Southwind Amazon is having a career year with 11 wins and $109,599 earned and looks to add to those numbers in this event.

Shawn Mcdonough gets the nod from trainer Paul Holzman and will depart from post five.

The entire field is as follows:

1 Luck Be Withyou      Kevin Cummings       5-2

2 Scott Rocks              John Cummings Jr.   5-1

3 Mel Mara                  Jim Morrill Jr.             7-2

4 Polak A                     Shawn Gray              4-1

5 Southwind Amazon  Shawn McDonough   9-2

6 Foiled Again              Jack Flanigen           8-1

7 Rockin In Heaven      Drew Monti               6-1

The current all-time pacing track record at Batavia Downs is 1:51.1 set by Aracache Hanover in 2011 when he won the Kane Memorial that year. In recent weeks, the track at Batavia Downs has been lightning fast and with favorable weather forecast, this field has the ability to demolish that standard.

There is also an outstanding undercard on Saturday night’s 11-race schedule and it includes the $15,000 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot, to go as race five.

Local favorite BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) is the 5-2 pick to hit against Yonkers Raceway invaders Lady’s Dude (Kevin Cummings, 3-1) and Auspicious Hanover (John Cummings Jr., 4-1). 

Post time for the first race is 6:15 p.m.

October 7, 2016 - 12:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in mental health, hollywood beauty salon, GCC, news, Announcements.

Information provided by Mental Health Association of Genesee & Orleans Counties:

The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Genesee County is hosting a film screening on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the Stuart Steiner Theatre at Genesee Community College.

The docu-film is "Hollywood Beauty Salon" and it is part of a film series about mental illness called the Reel Mind.

The film portrays life at an intimate beauty parlor inside the NHS Germantown Recovery Community, a nonprofit mental health program iin Philadelphia, where staff and clients alike are in the process of recovery. By gathering together to get their hair done, share stories, and support one another, they find a way to rebuild their lives.

It was work-shopped at the Salon over the course of four years and is also part of the recovery process, and the subjects of the film played an active part in shaping their own narratives and determining their unique individual styles.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the movie starts at 6:30.

There's a suggested donation of $5.

There will be a Q & A session afterward with Rachel "Hollywood" Carr, owner and operator of the Hollywood Beauty Salon in Philadelphia, filmmaker Glenn Holsten, and Rochester Psychiatric Center's Dr. Lawrence Guttmacher, who is co-director of the Reel Mind Film Series. Genesee County Suicide Prevention Coalition Chair Vern Saile will facilitate the discussion.

The screening at GCC is sponsored by: Living Opportunities of DePaul; Indepnedent Living of Genesee County; GCASA; Care + Crisis Helpline -- a program of YWCA of Genesee County; Mental Health Association of Genesee and Orleans Counties.

Genesee Community College is located at 1 College Road in the Town of Batavia.

For questions or more information, please call the Mental Health Association of Genesee & Orleans Counties at (585) 344-2611.

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