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June 9, 2014 - 11:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, city council, downtown, BID.

WBTA contributed to this story.

It took the City Council 20 minutes to debate whether the city should reimburse the Business Improvement District $1,900 for flowers.

In the end, the resolution passed 5-4, but not before some sharp words where shared in the council chambers.

Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian looked around the room during the debate and wondered why Don Burkel, BID director wasn't there, "so we could rip his ass."

The request for the reimbursement didn't quite come from Burkel, however, it came from Councilman John Canale, who invited Burkel to submit a request for reimbursement. Canale saw it as a symbolic gesture to show common cause between the City Council and the business community. 

Councilwoman Kathy Briggs said the city already does enough for Downtown. The sidewalks are clean, the medians are beautiful and city crews hang the flower baskets.

"The fact is, we just saw this for the last time in our last packet and I'm like, 'oh, what's this,' " Briggs said. "The fact that a few council people were talking about it beforehand, planning it, then why didn't we know about it in a committee report? Why weren't we told about it. I got it in my packet and I'm like, 'what's this?' They didn't come to us at budget time. If you want this done, come to us and let's talk about it, but for me to find it in my packet and then decide it, no."

Councilman John Deleo also opposed the idea.

“I promised voters I would be financially responsible with their money,” Deleo said, “but flowers don’t rise to that level.” 

“It’s not just about making Downtown pretty,” countered Councilwoman Patty Pacino, “it is about making Downtown attractive to new and existing businesses.”

The BID fronted about $3,900 for the hanging baskets.

"I supported Vibrant Batavia because I wanted to bring pride back to the city," said Councilman Pier Cipollone, who spoke at length about the need to restore pride in Batavia. "If more people have pride they'll have a better feeling about being Downtown."

Also Monday: 

The city spent a total of $10,700 during the last fiscal year defending itself against a lawsuit filed by the City Centre Mall Association.

The figure was obtained by resident John Roach through a Freedom of Information Request. Roach complained that the bills he obtained were not “itemized.”

City Manager Jason Molino countered that Roach only requested a total amount for mall litigation and if an itemized accounting was requested, it could be provided.

The legal services summarized in the 2012-2013 fiscal year were incurred before the city filed a countersuit against the Mall Association earlier this year.

June 9, 2014 - 10:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Medina.

A casket bearing the body of Sgt. Shaina Schmigel, the Batavia native and Medina High School graduate, was escorted through Orleans and Genesee counties today by State Police and the Patriot Guard motorcycle group.

At about 7:30 p.m., the procession reached Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel, on West Main Street Road, where it was greeted by a gathering of family friends and supporters.

In a solemn event, Schmiegel's casket was carried into the funeral home, where it will lie in state until Sgt. Schmigel's funeral at 11 a.m., Wednesday. There will then be a funeral procession to Corfu for burial at noon.

Calling hours for family and friends are tomorrow from 2 to 8 p.m.

Sgt. Schmigel's awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (2), Army Good Conduct Medal (2), National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with one Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the Parachutist Badge.

She will be buried with full military honors.

A paratrooper, Sgt. Schmigel died of an as yet undetermined cause during a training exercise at Fort Bragg, N.C.

UPDATE: Very nice coverage of the procession through Medina by Tom Rivers at OrleansHub.com.

June 9, 2014 - 6:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, pembroke, Medina.

Flags have been placed on both sides of West Main Street Road, Town of Batavia, adjacent the Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel, to honor Sgt. Shaina Schmigel, a paratrooper who died during training last week.

Schmigel is a decorated Iraq War veteran.

Born in Batavia, Schmigel went to high school in Medina.

The Patriot Guard escorted her casket into Genesee County and then to Medina. The procession is expected in Batavia around 7:15 p.m.

Rita Towner helped organize an effort to use flags from Redfield Parkway to line West Main Street. She's asking that any residents along the route today and Wednesday (when the funeral procession will travel from Batavia to Corfu) to put out any flags they have in the parkway or along the roadway.

Below is a video from Route 77 in Pembroke that was submitted by a reader.

UPDATE: Also participating in the flag placement: Kathy Owens, Dennis Altman, Spencer Towner, Laura Mullen, Quinton and Michelle Taylor, the Browns, Lynn Conroy and her cousins.

June 9, 2014 - 4:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, horseracing, belmont stakes.

Press release:

Representatives from Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (WROTB) announced today that total wagering at WROTB on Saturday’s Belmont Stakes totaled $1,246,239. This beat WROTB’s previous record set in 2004 of $853,578. That year, Smarty Jones nearly completed the Triple Crown.

The 2014 handle number for WROTB is a 59-percent increase over 2013’s $786,062.10. Belmont handle nationwide was up 35 percent from last year. This new record comes on the heels of WROTB’s best day ever, which happened on Kentucky Derby Day, along with a record handle number on the Preakness Stakes. WROTB celebrated its 40th year of existence in May.

“It’s encouraging to see our corporation out pacing the national numbers," said WROTB CEO and President Michael Kane. “California Chrome’s story certainly inspired an excitement not seen since Big Brown had a shot in 2008.  Hopefully his story will generate more interest in the sport of horse racing.”

TV Ratings showed that Buffalo Ranked 8th nationally among viewership in major cities posting a 15.9 rating and a 36 share.

“The hope for a triple crown winner comes up every few years,“ said Ryan Hasenauer, director of Marketing of Batavia Downs and WROTB. “This was the first real Triple Crown shot in the modern social media era. We saw not just sports fans, but nearly everyone talking about the Belmont Stakes in the days leading up.”

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Regional OTB is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia, NY. WROTB owns and operates 30 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility.

June 9, 2014 - 2:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in byron, accidents.

A two-car accident with possible entrapment is reported at Route 237 and Cockram Road. A pole is also involved. Byron and South Byron fire departments are responding along with Mercy medics.

UPDATE 2:53 p.m.: Fire police are requested to the scene.

June 9, 2014 - 2:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, Milestones.

Talisa Marie Marchese, Pharm.D., of Corfu, earned a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy on Sunday, June 1, 2014 at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pa.

Dr. Marchese was one of the recipients of the School of Pharmacy Award for Exceptional Community Service, given to the members of the graduating class who have demonstrated dedication to providing exceptional service to the local and/or college community through educational or volunteer experiences.

The Doctor of Pharmacy degree prepares pharmacists committed to providing high-quality, ethical, and compassionate patient-centered care. The LECOM School of Pharmacy in Erie offers a year-round curriculum that enables students to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in just three years.

The nation’s growing dependence on pharmaceutical care is creating rewarding career opportunities in pharmacy. LECOM pharmacy graduates will get jobs working in community pharmacies, hospital/clinical pharmacies, or in long-term care facilities. Others will move on to specialized residency programs.

June 9, 2014 - 2:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, health.

Press release:

The Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming county health departments are encouraging county residents to “Choose Health.” Taking small steps in our day-to-day living and making positive health choices will lead to healthier outcomes. Is this a step you can take?

With warmer weather finally here many of you may have started or are planning home renovation projects, if you are, make sure you are being lead safe.

If your home or apartment was built before 1978 and there is chipping/peeling paint you could have a lead paint hazard. According to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, approximately 24 million housing units have deteriorated leaded paint and elevated levels of lead-contaminated house dust. More than four million of these residences are homes to one or more young children. With lead exposure having the ability to affect nearly every system in the body, it is important to put in place protective measures.

You can still work on your house but you need to take some easy steps to make sure that you and your family, especially young children and pregnant women, are not exposed to lead dust and paint. Follow these basic principles (from "Lead Paint Safety, A Field Guide for Painting, Home Maintenance, and Renovation Work") when doing any work on your home or apartment:

  • Assume: Paint in homes built before 1978 contains lead, unless a lead-based paint inspection shows it does not. Exposing anyone to dust, especially children and pregnant women can be harmful.
  • Check: Federal, State and Local regulations. Check OSHA rules for worker safety and EPA and your local community rules for proper waste disposal.
  • Avoid: Creating dust – Use low dust work practices (for example, mist surfaces with water before sanding or scraping, NEVER use heat). Also avoid spreading dust – cover and tape the area under work and around air vents with durable protective sheeting (plastic or poly) and keep dust contained to the immediate work area.
  • Protect: Occupants, particularly children and pregnant women. Keep them away from the work area; clean up the work site as you work and before they return. Workers need to wear proper respiratory protection for lead dust, keep clean and don’t take dust home if working elsewhere or to other areas of your home. Keep work clothes / shoes separate from family clothes. Wash work clothes separately. Don’t wear work shoes around the house.
  • Clean Up:After all work, clean-up is particularly important if painted surfaces were broken or wall cavities were opened. Take dust wipe samples (contact your local health department for more information) to make sure that it is safe for children and pregnant women to return. Use a HEPA filter vacuum to capture the finest dust.
  • Maintain: A dry building – moisture problems can cause paint failure, building wear and tear, and encourage pests and mold. Well-maintained paint generally does not pose a health risk; all painted surfaces are to be checked regularly for dust or paint chips. Clean and cleanable surfaces are to be damp mopped/dusted often, keep floors and painted surfaces smooth and clean rugs and carpets well.

If you are planning on doing any homes repairs and have questions regarding whether or not you have a lead paint hazard, call your local county health department. Keep your family lead safe, your home should be a safe environment. To ensure a child has not been exposed to lead, a test for the toxic metal is necessary at ages 1 and 2.

For information about this topic or health department services contact:

June 9, 2014 - 2:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in elba, brian shuknecht.

Press release:

Brian Shuknecht, son of Dave and Peggy Shuknecht, was recently burned in an accident and is in Strong Memorial Hospital with an expected stay of three to four weeks. A spaghetti dinner benefit is planned for him from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 14, at Elba Firemen's Rec Hall, located at 7143 Oak Orchard Road.

With burns covering a large portion of his body, he will be enduring at least five skin-graft surgeries with extensive recorvery time. Plus, the family is still recovering from the effects of Dave being seriously injured at work late last year.

The community would like to help the family defray travel costs and any other costs associated with such an extended hospital stay.

Saturday's benefit will include spaghetti dinner, entertainment, 50/50 raffle, trip raffle, tool box raffle, basket raffle, silent auction, Chinese auction, a wine draw and more!

Cost is $10 adults; $6 under 12; under age 3, free.

Tickets are available at Chap's Elba Diner, M&T Bank, Elba Yellow Goose, Val's Hair & Nail Emporium, Torrey Farms, and the Elba Central School District office.

Call 993-2065 or e-mail [email protected]

If you would like to help, here are some additional ways to do so:

  • Donate a basket for Chinese auction and/or a gift certificate for silent auction -- Contact Kim Perl at 716-474-3879
  • Donate a bottle of wine for the wine draw -- Contact Heather Dillon at 813-1632
  • Donate cookies, brownies, cupcakes for the dinner's dessert -- Please bring to the Rec Hall by 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 14
  • If you can't attend the benefit, stop in Friday night, June 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. and place your chance on a Chinese basket.
  • Make a cash donation -- Checks may be made out to Elba Sports Boosters, Inc.

For questions, please call Maureen at 716-560-4925.

June 9, 2014 - 12:51pm
posted by Andrew Crofts in GCC, sports, golf.

 

Adam Baumeister (Lancaster, NY) and Chris Mandia (Highland, NY) capped off the 2014 golf season at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III Golf National Championships held at the Chautauqua Golf Club last week and both golfers finished in the top-40.

Baumeister ended the four-round tournament in 11th place and earned a spot on the All-Tournament team. He shot a combined +15 (303), which was 18-strokes off the lead. He began the week shooting a 78, followed with a 74 on day two, shot a 78 on day three and fired his low round of 73 on day four.

Mandia shot +35 with rounds of 82, 79, 82 and 80 (323). He finished tied for 38th place.

The 76 player field was paced by Nick Thompson of Sandhills Community College (N.C.), who finished the tournament at three-under par (285). Sandhills CC won the team title.

 

Full tournament results: http://bit.ly/1oNsc3S

June 9, 2014 - 11:58am
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, agriculture, diary.

The Genesee County Dairy Princess, 17-year-old Kayla Wormuth, of Elba, will officially proclaim June as Dairy Month and hand out free ice cream at the next local legislators meeting on Wednesday, June 11, starting at 5:30 p.m.

As always, the public is welcome. The meeting takes place in Batavia's Old County Courthouse downtown.

June 9, 2014 - 11:48am
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, Batavia Rotary Club, Milestones.

Press release:

Genesee Community College salutes its director of Development and External Affairs Richard Ensman Jr. who has been recognized by Batavia Rotary Club as a Paul Harris Fellow. Ensman was among five local citizens who received the honor this past week. He was joined by Gregg McAllister, of Tompkins Investment Services, Carol Grasso, a community volunteer, New York State Assemblyman Stephen M. Hawley, and Susan Schuler, of First Niagara Bank.

"Batavia Rotary wanted to recognize Rick's outstanding commitment to the Club and to the community," said Rosalie Maguire, who presented his award.

The awards ceremony was Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at the Rotary Paddlewheel Awards Event held at Terry Hills. Ensman was caught off guard when he was called to the podium. Recipients are not notified in advance. He was chosen for his overall Club participation and his leadership on the Paddlewheel Committee.

Mike Hodgins, chair of the Batavia Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellowship Committee, shared the history of this prestigious award beginning with the founding of the Rotary by Paul Harris in Chicago in 1905. Named after the founder, the Paul Harris Fellowship was established in 1957. Rotarians and members of the community who are not Rotarians can receive the honor. Those recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow are presented with a certificate signed by the president of Rotary International and the chairman of the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation, as well as a lapel pin and medallion. The local Club also makes a $1,000 contribution to the Rotary Foundation in the awardees' names.

There are more than one million Paul Harris Fellows worldwide, which is the highest distinction Rotarians receive for their service to the club and/or the community.

June 9, 2014 - 9:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Alabama.

Pauline J. Hensel, 61, of Lewiston Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, leaving the scene of an accident and refusal to take breath test. Police officers responded at 6:39 p.m. Saturday to Lewiston Road for the report of an erratic driver involved in a property damage accident. A vehicle was located at 8351 Lewiston Road and Hensel identified herself as the driver, according to Batavia PD. She was arraigned and jailed on $3,000 bail.

Marquis D. Flowers, 22, of Carter Street, Rochester, is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, 3rd. Flowers was arrested by Rochester PD and turned over to Batavia PD on an arrest warrant. Flowers was wanted for alleged unauthorized use of a motor vehicle May 8 in the City of Batavia. Flowers was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Shane Allen McMurray, 34, of Lancer Court, Depew, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater. McMurray was arrested following a report at 8 a.m., Sunday, of a vehicle parked on a residential lawn on Alleghany Road, Alabama, with an apparent intoxicated driver. The complaint was investigation by Deputy Chris Parker. McMurray's BAC was allegedly three times the legal limit.

Justin David Cotter, 22, of Lehigh Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to keep right and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Cotter was stopped at 7:50 a.m. Sunday on Dorman Road, Batavia, by Deputy Bradley Mazur.

Cindy Bush, 52, of Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Bush was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident reported at 10:29 a.m. June 4. She was jailed on cash bail. No further details released.

Krystal C. Kingsley, 18, of Batavia, and a 17-year-old from Caledonia, are charged with petit larceny. Both are accused of stealing from a location in the Town of Batavia. They were arrested by State Police. No further details released.

June 9, 2014 - 9:00am
posted by Larry Barnes in batavia, history, Batavia Centennial.

Batavia officially became a city on January 1, 1915 after having been an incorporated village since 1823. The transition involved a progression through several steps during 1914. During 2014, I will be acknowledging each of these events 100 years after their occurrence.

On this date 100 years ago, June 9, 1914, Batavians went to the polls to vote in a referendum on the proposed charter that would make Batavia a city. Earlier in the year, there had been two different proposals before the State legislature with one providing for a city government run by a city manager and five nonpartisan councilmen elected at large. That proposal failed to gain sufficient support from assemblymen and senators. So, the proposal now before voters in Batavia was a second one which had passed the Assembly and Senate and had been signed by the Governor. This second proposal featured a mayor, six city wards, and a council person from each ward, all with party affiliations.

Earlier in the year, a straw vote had been taken among Batavians on this second proposal, but many questions had been raised about the voting procedure. While the second proposal seemed to have voter support at that time, there was enough doubt about the matter to warrant voting again. Consequently, when the second proposal was passed by the Assembly and Senate, it had been amended to require a referendum on June 9th. If voters failed to again support the proposal at that time, Batavia would not become a city despite approval by the State legislature.

And so, on June 9th, Batavians once more went to the polls. The turnout was not very high, resulting in only a little more than half of the ballots normally cast in village elections. It was not clear what that might signify and it made some supporters of the second proposal a little nervous.

As it turned out, no one needed to worry. One-thousand and seven ballots were cast, with 795 yeas and 212 nays. Thus, after several years of discussion and debate, Batavia was finally going to become a city. All that remained was to elect the new government in upcoming December elections. Who would be elected to serve? In six months, I will let you know.

June 9, 2014 - 8:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

Town of Batavia Fire Chief Paul Barrett submitted these photos of yesterday's truck fire on Batavia Elba Town Line Road.

June 9, 2014 - 8:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, bergen, Howie Hawkins, Green Party.

Press release:

Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for governor of New York State, will conduct a press conference in Bergen on Thursday, June 19 to be followed by a meet-and-greet with local Green Party members.

The slate of Hawkins, Brian Jones, lieutenant governor, Ramon Jimenez, attorney general and Theresa Portelli, comptroller, was nominated at the recent Green Party state convention in Troy.

Hawkins launches his second bid for NY executive after running against Andrew Cuomo in 2010. Jimenez is also reprising a run for AG.

The Green Party candidates have dubbed their platform, the Green New Deal. Hawkins says he plans to challenge the 1-percent tag team of Cuomo and Republican nominee Astorino on economic, climate change and criminal justice issues. Hawkins also wants NY to go carbon free with a 100-percent clean renewable energy by 2030, while providing a public living wage job to any New Yorker who needs one.

The Greens selected NYC Educator Brian Jones to highlight their opposition to Cuomo's education policies promoting privatization of the education system, including his promotion of the Common Core agenda and charter schools. The Greens are seeking full funding to meet the educational needs of New Yorkers, including free tuition at CUNY and SUNY.

The press conference in Bergen is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the residence of Genesee County Green Party member Chris Barons, 24 Clinton St. A Meet-and-Greet will follow a presentation to local Greens at 4 p.m. The event is open to the public.

June 8, 2014 - 1:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, Bethany, Stafford.

A lawnmower fire near a structure is reported at 5461 Ellicott Street Road. Stafford and Bethany fire departments are responding.

June 8, 2014 - 1:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, elba, Oakfield.

A truck is on fire and it's near a building and fuel pump at 3884 Batavia Elba Town Line Road. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding. Mutual aid is requested from Elba and Oakfield fire departments.

UPDATE 1:24 p.m.: Town of Batavia command says the cab is fully involved and there are also two waste stations nearby.

UPDATE 1:40 p.m.: Command reports the fire is knocked down.

June 8, 2014 - 12:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather.

A hazardous weather outlook has been issued by the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

Low pressure is expected to track across portions of Western New York this afternoon and evening, bringing showers and thunderstorms, and possibly some localized flooding.

The likelihood of widespread hazardous weather is low.

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