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February 26, 2013 - 12:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, garbage collection.

As it stands right now, if you're a City of Batavia resident, you have no idea who will pick up your garbage come April 1.

Monday night, the city council rejected, on a 2-7 vote, a change in the trash ordinance that, by their own admission, they asked city staff to draft. And with the Genesee ARC contract expiring March 31, it will take some quick work to come up with a new trash plan.

The clear direction from the council members after the 2-7 vote: get the city out of the trash business.

That means a municipal contract with Genesee ARC, after 28 years, will not be renewed and each property owner or resident will be free to select any trash collection vendor.

Councilman Jim Russell said that while council members heard from Genesee ARC supporters, they also heard from a lot of people who liked the proposed changes to trash collection in the city. But more, he said, they heard from people who said the city shouldn't be involved in trash collection at all.

"The City of Batavia or any government entity doesn’t belong in business if they don’t have to be," Russell said. "We have a lot of work to do. But if we can make this happen, people will have the choice they asked for."

Donna Saskowski, executive director of Genesee ARC, said after the decision that her agency is ready to provide trash service to city residents on a contract basis if the council fashions a plan that allows ARC to fulfill its primary mission: Employ people with disabilities.

"I think there needs to be some resolution and some more equitable way to charge people for trash and recycling," Saskowski said.

ARC is has always been ready to provide a rate-based service, she said.

"We never had that discussion," Saskowski said. "They never discussed that with me. We never knew about the rates. I think that’s something that’s really up to the council. We’re ready to provide a service. We’ll see what happens."

Saskowski indicated, however, there's still a chance Genesee ARC could get a sole-source contract with the city.

"I still think preferred-source vendor discussion should still be on the table," Saskowski said. "I don't think the city administration agrees with me, but I think it should.

"I was always willing to work ith the city before and I'm willing to work with them now."

The two votes in favor of the new trash plan came from Pierluigi Cipollone and Rose Mary Christian.

Cipollone pointed out that the proposal before the council was what members asked city staff to draft and by the direction of council, it reduces property taxes.

"If we're trying to be a fisically responsible council, this is something we need to do," Cipollone said.

After the decision was made, Cipollone warned that the council was about to embark on a plan that would cost city residents a lot more money.

"The people of Batavia will be spending more now on an individual basis than they would have from any of the offers on the table," Cipollone said.

Molino said he accepted the council's decision to change directions at the 11th hour.

"We did what we were asked in putting together budget, but sometimes things take turns we can’t predict," Molino said. "That happened this time, so now we respond to it."

At a Wednesday evening meeting, city staff will present a plan to the council that will keep trash out of the city budget -- meaning the 16-percent tax cut is retained -- and prepares the city for conversion to a self-selected, private-hauler solution.

Between now and Wednesday city staff will need to figure out the logistics of ensuring all city residents are ready to contract for their own trash collection by April 1, or find out if it's possible to extend Genesee ARC's contract for some period of time, buying more time for the conversion to a private-hauler system.

February 25, 2013 - 7:25pm
posted by wayne bell in lost cat.
February 25, 2013 - 7:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

City council votes down proposed trash ordinance 7-2. The rest of the agenda is tabled, including the budget proposal.

Direction from council to City Manager Jason Molino is to get the city out of the trash business completely.

February 25, 2013 - 6:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Ellicott Street.

We posted earlier today about plans by the City of Batavia to auction off properties obtained because of unpaid taxes. One of those properties is the former Green Wolf Pub on Ellicott Street.

Potential business opportunity for somebody.

February 25, 2013 - 6:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, new york.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) is carrying out a number of interviews to garner support for his legislation that would allow New Yorkers to answer the question “Do you support the division of New York into two separate states?”

Hawley has participated in, and scheduled future interviews with, high-profile outlets such as Capital Tonight, Talk 1300 Radio and WBEN Radio to highlight Assembly Bill 391, which would help Upstate and Western New Yorkers make their voices heard in state government by allowing counties to put the aforementioned question to a non-binding voter referendum.

“Due to the fact that much of New York’s population is concentrated Downstate – primarily in New York City – the vast majority of statewide legislative leaders are not from Upstate or Western New York. As a result, many local families feel their needs are ignored in state government,” Hawley said.

“I have been promoting this legislation across New York to garner support for this measure, which would allow the people of this state to decide for themselves if they would be better represented in the Capitol if New York were split into two separate states. This legislation is meant to give our local families a voice in state government, and I will continue fighting to make our voices heard in all corners of this great state.”

Hawley cited two examples of statewide policy advanced by New York City-area legislators that has drawn the ire of Upstate and Western New Yorkers -- gun control and Medicaid spending.

“We have seen time and time again that one-size-fits-all is not an effective way to approach government,” Hawley said. “When Downstate politicians tax and spend our economy into peril and infringe on our Constitutional rights, our communities are the ones that suffer. We deserve a voice at the table, and that’s what this legislation aims to achieve.”

February 25, 2013 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

The President insisted that these devastating, across-the-board spending cuts become law as part of the debt negotiations back in 2011. Now four days away from these cuts taking effect, he is telling the American people the only way to avoid the pain is to raise taxes – again.

I am very disappointed the President is not working with us to find a solution. The House first passed legislation 290 days ago to replace the President’s sequester with smarter, more responsible spending cuts. The Senate and the President never addressed those bills.

The President is now threatening an apocalypse if he doesn’t get a second tax hike in eight weeks. There are smarter, more bipartisan ways to replace President Obama’s sequester than higher taxes on hardworking Americans.

February 25, 2013 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

The sentencing for Randy Johnson, a Batavia man who admitted in November to causing a baby's brain injuries, was delayed today because Judge Robert C. Noonan wants to hear from an expert witness before deciding how to proceed.

Noonan said he has the full range of sentencing options for Johnson, from probation to seven years in prison, but he doesn't have enough information.

"The missing companion is a medical analysis of exactly what conduct had to be occasioned on the victim in order to cause such a serious medical outcome," Noonan said.

Noonan would like prosecution to bring in either the treating physician or an expert in shaken baby syndrome to fill in the missing information.

He said the defense would also have an opportunity to present testimony and the defense would have the option of putting Johnson on the stand.

Both of the primary attorneys in the case, District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, and Deputy Public Defender William Tedford, are on vacation, therefore not in court today. Noonan asked for a date -- 10:15, a.m. March 14 -- with both attorneys able to give an estimate of the time they would need for testimony.

The hearing will set be at a later date.

On Nov. 28, Johnson admitted to causing the injuries to the baby, but entered his pleas to reckless assault on a child on an Alford plea basis. He said he cold not admit to the specific actions attributed to him by the prosecution.

February 25, 2013 - 1:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Genesee ARC, garbage collection.

The Batavia City Council meets at city hall tonight at 7 o'clock and top on the agenda are the proposed changes to how garbage and recycling are collected in the city.

The council will be asked to pass several resolutions, which will: alter the city's solid waste code; enter into a bond anticipation note to buy totes; enter into a contract with Allied Waste Services for trash and recycling collection; purchase totes from Cascade Engineering; establish a refuse and recycling fund; and set a refuse and recycling user fee.

All must pass in order for a new system to go into effect.

Supporters of Genesee ARC are expected once again to fill council chambers in hopes of persuading at least five council members to vote against the proposed plan.

If the changes go through, a 28-year relationship between ARC and the city for garbage collection comes to an end.

Following the seven resolution items, the council will be asked to adopt a budget resolution. The budget contains an 16-percent cut in the property tax rate. The reduction hinges on the new trash program. If that vote fails, it's unlikely the council will be able to approve the proposed budget and the city will need to redraft the budget.

There is no agenda item for public comment during the special business meeting.

Following the special business meeting, the council will hold a conference meeting.

On the conference meeting agenda are items to establish an investment policy and the Dwyer Stadium lease for the Batavia Muckdogs.

Also on the agenda is consideration of foreclosed properties.

The city has foreclosed on five properties for delinquent property taxes. City staff is recommending three of the properties go up for public auction and that two of the properites be provided to Habitat for Humanity for restoration.

Recommended for auction are:

  • 339-341 Ellicott St., zoned commercial, valued at $60,000 and with $23,061.57 in unpaid property taxes.
  • 10 Swan St., zoned commercial (but looks like a residential property), valued at $61,000 and with $18,730.08 in back taxes.
  • 61 Oak St., single family, valued at $83,000 and with $24,894.08 in taxes owed.

Recommended for Habitat are 11 Harvester Ave. and 2 McKinley. Both properties were once owned by the Pontillo family. Both properties have been vacant for a considerable amount of time. Habitat, according to the staff report, has reviewed both properties and expressed an interest.

Over the past seven years, Habitat has rehabilitated five single-family homes in the city. The average assessed value has climbed from $49,520 to $68,400.

February 25, 2013 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, elba, Oakfield, Le Roy, Alabama.

Jihad Abdul Hakiim, 19, of W. 168th St., New York City, and William A. Hucks, 18, of State Road, Webster, are charged with burglary, 2nd. Hakiim and Hucks allegedly entered a dormitory suite at College Village through a window and took two XBox game consoles and games. Hakiim was jailed on $15,000 bail and Hucks was jailed on $5,000 bail. The case was investigated by Deputy Brian Thompson with K-9 Pharoah, Investigator William Ferrando, Deputy Patrick Reeves and Trooper Eric Daigler.

Jessie Marie Cramer, 27, of Bank Street, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant. Cramer allegedly failed to appear in Town of Batavia Court on a petit larceny charge.

Justin Ryan Bidell, 38, of Meadville Road, Basom, was arrested on a bench warrant. Bidell turned himself in to the Sheriff's Office on a warrant for alleged failure to pay fine.

Andrew William Bruckman, of Robertson Road, Churchville, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bruckman was stopped on Route 33, Stafford, at 6:08 p.m. on Saturday by Deputy Kevin McCarthy, for allegedly pulling a trailer with switched plates and having an unregistered trailer. During the stop, Bruckman was allegedly found in possession of marijuana.

Steven Ronald Dennis, 23, of Maple Ridge Road, Medina, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, speeding (94 in a 55 mph and 84 in a 30 mph), and unlawful possession of marijuana. Dennis was stopped at 1:21 a.m., Sunday, on Water Street, Oakfield, by Deputy James Diehl.

Eric Alexander Ion, 40, of Pike Road, Batavia, is charged with felony criminal contempt and assault, 3rd. Ion allegedly violated an order of protection by assaulting the protect party, causing injury. Ion was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Jon Hoyt Bush, 29, of Route 98, Elba, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd.  Bush was arrested on a warrant after being released from the Livingston County Jail. Bush was jailed in Genesee County on $1,000 bail.

Cazan Jayrryary Cummings, 20, of Avenue W, Brooklyn, is charged with trespassing. Cummings was allegedly at College Village after being banned from the property.

Nicole Lee Cramer, 23, of West Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Cramer was a passenger in a vehicle stopped on Route 5, City of Batavia, at 1:07 a.m. on Saturday by Deputy Patrick Reeves. Cramer was allegedly found in possession of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Upon further investigation, an amount of suspected cocaine was found concealed in an undergarment.

February 25, 2013 - 11:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A pedestrian has been hit at Main and Center streets, Batavia,

The pedestrian is currently in a deputy's vehicle.

No report of serious injury.

UPDATE: Female pedestrian transported to UMMC with a complaint of pain in her legs.

February 25, 2013 - 9:21am
posted by Lisa Ace in Deal of the Day.

NEW TODAY - Santino's Pizza, 2 Main St., Oakfield, NY: We're pizza and a whole lot more! Voted #1 pizza in Genesee County in blind taste test! Santino's features pizza, wings, subs, wraps, ice cream, and more! We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Alabama Hotel, 1353 Lewiston Road, Basom, NY: A historic and legendary tavern and restaurant. The Alabama Hotel is famous for its fish fries, but also serves a variety of top-quality entrees, featuring Certified Angus Beef. Now with expanded hours. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Alli's Cones & Dogs, 7063 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; all-you-can-eat salad bar; ice cream served year-round; eat-in or take-out. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Batavia Downs Grandstand Bar & Grille, 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY: A full menu, salad bar and drinks in one of the region's most popular entertainment venues. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50. (Must be new or current Players Club member to redeem.)

Bourbon & Burger Co., 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Batavia's newest burger joint offers more than two dozen different types of tasty hamburgers. Our menu also includes a variety of sandwiches, appetizers and an extensive beer list, plus a full bar. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

The Color Salon, 35 Center St., Batavia, NY: Our attention to detail, combined with the focus on precision haircutting techniques will ensure that your hair will be your best accessory when you leave The Color Salon. We offer all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, up-dos, as well as waxing services. We carry products such as KMS and Paul Mitchell. Now available: Bella Taylor purses! We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Daphne's Restaurant, 241 Swan St., (Off Rt. 63/Ellicott St.) Batavia, NY. Daphne's is destined to become a favorite for any who enjoy something special in a dining experience. Formerly the old St. Nick's Social Club, now unrecognizable to those who used to frequent the club, Daphne's provides you with a warm, inviting atmosphere and decor, which complements the array of wonderful dishes. We offer homemade seafood and pasta dishes, meatballs that are addicting as well as large salads, hot sandwiches & homemade potato chips. Fresh desserts are prepared in our own kitchen (tiramisu has been the top seller so far). We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

The Enchanted Florist202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Whether you need just the right gift or a memorial or just want to brighten your own home or work place, The Enchanted Florist can put together just the right floral arrangement for you. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.00.

Ficarella's Pizzeria, 21 Liberty St., Batavia, NY: Dine-in, drive-thru or delivery. Featuring fresh, hearth-baked pizza since 1985, plus wings, pasta and more. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10. (Good only at the Batavia location.)

Greg'ry's Bakery, 13 N. Lake Road, Bergen, NY: The bakery offers a variety of the finest cakes, cookies, pies, cupcakes, breads, breakfast and lunch sandwiches and so much more. Each treat is made the same as it has been for decades and baked right here. Come in and sample some for yourself! We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Palm Island Indoor Water Park, 8250 Park Road, Batavia, NY: The newest family fun center in Genesee County, featuring a hot tub, monsoon lagoon pool and play area, tipping buckets, water slides, arcade with 15 games and birthday party rooms. We have a pair of gift certificates worth $40 in merchandise or services for $20.

Present Tense Books and Gifts, 101 Washington Ave., Batavia, NY: Whether your taste runs to local authors, the finest in fiction or nonfiction or you're looking for a unique and special gift, this charming store in a cozy Victorian house on the edge of downtown is a great place to stop and shop. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Salsa & Curry, 13 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: An authentic Mexican restaurant, offering all of your favorite dishes from enchiladas and burritos to tacos and fajitas, as well as daily Indian food specials. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Settler's, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, 9 Main St., Le Roy, NY. The kind of downhome, laid-back and comfortable place that just feels right. Open daily for lunch, dinner and drinks, this eatery and bar features a variety of eats and drinks that are outstanding. Specializing in smoked meats -- each meat is dry rubbed with a proprietary mix of seasonings, then smoked slowly in their on-site smoker for maximum flavor and tenderness. With a variety of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, combo platters and entrées, there's always plenty of choice for even picky eaters. Great food, frosty brews and some of the best folk around call the Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew their favorite -- make it your favorite today! Don't forget to ask about our catering! We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Spirits, 78 Lake St., Le Roy, NY. Le Roy's favorite sports bar, where fun and good food are always on tap. Come try one of our many delicious burgers that we have to offer, as well as our HUGE Bomber Sandwich, homemade chicken fingers made to order, and the all-time favorite Dumpster Plate with many choices. We deliver. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Sweet Ecstasy Bakery, 6173 Main Road, Stafford, NY. A retail and special order bakery located in Stafford. Offering a wide variety of items such as cookies, filled cupcakes, quick breads, pies, breakfast pastries, daily. On Fridays, Sweet Ecstasy Bakery offers fresh artisan bread like baguettes, sourdough and rye starting at noon. The custom cakes are out of this world with 3D characters or gorgeous wedding cakes to suit any budget. For all your sweet treats, we have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

T.F. Brown's, 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." Stop in and check out our Jumbo Chicken Wings, Roast Beef on Weck and Friday night fish fry. The original family spaghetti sauce still adorns all of our Italian specialties. The other popular selections from our menu range from Super Salads, butcher cut Strip Loin and South of the Border items. We offer daily lunch and dinner specials as well as a full adult and children’s menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Viking Valhalla Restaurant & Rose Garden Bowl21 Buffalo Road, Bergen, NY: Open for lunch Monday through Sunday, and dinner Friday and Saturday evenings. Dinner favorites are our succulent prime rib and Friday fish fries! We are always happy to help plan your special occasion -- wedding, shower, rehearsal dinner, stag party, graduation, company function, banquet, family or class reunion. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.


Note: If you've never purchased Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and processclick here.

February 24, 2013 - 8:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, terry hills, Bridal Show.

Today was the third annual Bridal Show at Terry Hills. Unfortunately, I got there later in the afternoon and most of the big crowd that had been there when the doors opened had moved on, but organizers said the show was a another big success.  Above, models showing off gowns from Stella's Bridal Boutique in Le Roy.

February 24, 2013 - 8:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

It wouldn't be a stretch to say that Sgt. John Peck, during his 25 years with the Batavia PD, has been a lifesaver.

He never fired his service weapon, and on several occasions he talked people out of jumping off roofs or into dropping a knife or gun.

He's been one of the department's hostage negotiators.

He got the job, he said, because, "I kind of had the gift of gab."

Perhaps the most stressful negotiation came near the end of his career, in November, when a resident of a boarding house on State Street fired a .357 Magnum inside his apartment.

Peck was the first officer in the building. When he got to the top of the stairs, Dennis G. Wolfe was allegedly in his doorway with his gun.

For the next 15 minutes, Peck talked. It helped, he said, that he already knew Wolfe.

Both men had guns. There were five police officers in the foyer. It was, to say the least, a tense situation.

When Peck saw a tear, he knew he had turned a corner in the negotiation.

It's always that way, Peck said. You never think you're not going to be able to talk a person away from the brink of disaster.

"Your adrenaline gets going and you get really focused and you don’t even think of not resolving it," Peck said, adding later, "You kind of tell which direction it's going, but you never feel like you're not going to to be successful."

Peck's last day on the force was Saturday.

In retirement, Peck will get a few more tattoos, ride his motorcycle when the weather warms up, and maybe get a part-time job that has nothing to do with law enforcement.

He plans to stay in Batavia, where his wife of eight years, Jennifer, and two adult children, Ryan and Ashley, live.

After growing up in Fairport and going to college, he  started his career working part time in the Livingston County Jail.

"When you're a young guy, you don't want to spend your time in the jail," Peck said. "You want to be on road patrol."

Soon, he took a police officer's job in Geneseo. Two years later, better benefits and pay lured him to Batavia.

Working in a small city appealed to Peck, he said, because while you get a good variety of calls, serious crime is still rare.

"It's not like you have homicides every day, like in, say, Rochester," Peck said.

There's been plenty of opportunity to talk with people, get to know people and work with people, Peck said, which is his favorite part of police work.

He also likes solving problems.

"When you get a complaint, you look at it like a puzzle, putting the pieces together and resolving an issue," Peck said.

In 25 years in Batavia, though, a lot has changed, though, Peck said.

There are more calls for service, more people causing more problems and a shrinking police force to deal with the call volume.

Peck's advice for the new guys: "Stick together" and learn to prioritize.

The new officers must cope with the demands of a changing Batavia, Peck said, plus they have to deal with a changing department structure (eliminating the lieutenant position, for example) and a less generous retirement package.

"They need to stick together as a group and face the challenges," Peck said.

The biggest difference Peck has noticed in Batavia, he said, is the public's attitude toward law enforcement.

"I don't see as much support for the police over the years," Peck said. "I think a lot has changed as far as respect, especially from a lot of younger people. You just don’t see the respect and you have to come to terms with that and learn to deal with it."

February 24, 2013 - 6:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, Stafford Volunteer Fire Department.

The Stafford Volunteer Fire Department held its annual awards and installation dinner Saturday night at the Clarion Hotel.

Firefighter of the Year was Stephen Johnson (left).

Also receiving awards were Tim Eckdahl, Chiefs Award, and Stephanie Call, Special Recognition. Eli Dawson had the most fire/rescue training hours and Bob Mattice had the most EMS training hours.

The top 10 responders for 2012 were Tim Eckdahl, Eli Dawson, Don Hall, Tom Snyder, Stephen Johnson, Dave Rumsey, Ryan Lokken, Chris Bobo, Jamie Call
and Mike McDonald.

John Woodworth Sr., received a 50-year Service Award.

During 2012, Stafford responded to 213 calls. Those calls were 159 rescue calls (including motor-vehicle accidents), 14 fires, 11 calls for service, 12 hazardous conditions, 10 good intentions and seven false alarms. Those calls added up to 942 man hours.

Department members completed 2,238 training hours, which was fourth highest among the departments in the county.

To purchase prints of the photos, click here.

February 24, 2013 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, basketball, sports.

The Blue Devils started a little flat in their first-round match of Section V playoffs at Batavia High School on Saturday, going a few minutes into the first quarter before scoring.

Defense and poor ball handling by Waterloo, who came into the game seeded #8 with a season record of 5-13, kept the game notched at 0-0 for more than three minutes.

Batavia would find their range, though, and finish out the first quarter with a 13-2 lead on their way to a 60-37 victory.

Justin Washington led all scorers with 19 points and crossed the 1,000-career-point milestone.

"It’s hard to keep these guys motivated (playing a #8 seed) and keep the good habits you try to build," said Head Coach Buddy Brasky. "I thought we did a fairly good job for most of that game, staying within our defensive principles. That was the whole big concern for me, you know, not to start reaching, going for steals. We want to play solid defensively. That’s what’s going to lead us to the sectional title."

Jalen Smith, a key spark for Batavia's offense, hadn't touched a basketball in a week, Braskey said. He hadn't been out of bed in four days. Half the team, he said, has been sick most of the week, which explains as much about the slow start as playing the #8 seed.

"That was part of it, too," Brasky said. "We’ve really been battling this flu since last Saturday."

After Washington scored his 1,000th point in the fourth quarter, announcer Wayne Fuller stopped the game for the announcement and Washington's teammates and coaches congratulated him on the achievement.

"It means a lot to me," Washington said. "It’s something to talk about my whole varsity career. After Andrew (Hoy) did it, I wanted to do it."

Washington has been a pleasure to coach through his four seasons as a varsity starter, Brasky said.

"He’s been a really nice kid to have in our program and I’m really happy for him," Brasky said.

Next up for Batavia, a semi-final match against #5 seed Livonia, 8:15 p.m., Tuesday, at RIT.

Also, last night, Le Roy's boys fell to #1 seed Hornel, 62-42. Scoring for Le Roy: Marcus Mistersaro 7; Zach Moore 11; Nate Piazza 6; Le Roy finishes the year 6-13.

The other big Section V boys basketball game this week: #1 seed Notre Dame (19-0) vs. #5 Avon (13-7), 7 p.m., at Cal-Mum.

In girls Section V playoff action:

  • Batavia plays PalMac, 6 p.m., Monday, at Pittsford-Sutherland
  • Elba and Notre Dame square off at 8 p.m., Tuesday, at Dansville

Coverage Note: We're not completely settled on what we'll cover yet. On Monday night, at most we can cover one game because I'll be at the Batavia City Council meeting. On Tuesday, Nick Sabato will cover Batavia and I'll cover Elba/Notre Dame.

To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

February 23, 2013 - 5:54pm
posted by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports.

The Genesee Community College men’s basketball team dropped their regular season finale on Saturday afternoon, 87-69 to Erie Community College.

The Cougars found themselves behind early after Erie started the afternoon on a 21-8 run and had a 31-14 lead 15-minutes in. Donte Meredith closed the gap after a three-point basket and a traditional three-point play later in the half to get GCC to within 13 at 33-20 with four minutes left in the opening period. The Cougars trailed 39-24 at the break.

(#11 Vaughn Boler scores two of his team-high 19 points against Erie CC on Saturday afternoon)


The Kats upped their lead to 17 early in the second half before the Cougars clawed back. With 14 minutes remaining in the game, E.J. Blackwell got Genesee to within ten with a layup, and then Vaughn Boler converted a free throw after a basket to trim the Erie lead to 49-42.

Seven points was as close as GCC would get, as the Kats ended the afternoon on a 30-19 run.

Boler scored a team-high 19 points and Maurice Bailey added 18 points. Terryl Coombs grabbed 11 rebounds and Blackwell dished out nine assists.

The Cougars end the regular season with a 15-15 overall record and a 6-8 record in conference play. They will move on to the Region III tournament next week, which begins on Tuesday night.



The Genesee Community College women’s basketball team ended their regular season with a loss to Erie Community College on Saturday afternoon, falling to the Lady Kats 75-43.

Paige Hennings gave Genesee an early 4-2 lead with her first of two 3pt baskets of the half, but Erie responded with a 10-2 run to take the lead for good. The Lady Cougars went through a seven-minute scoring drought at the midway point of the opening period and trailed 38-16 at the break.

Erie’s lead ballooned to as many as 32 points in the second half after a 16-7 start to the final twenty-minutes and stayed there for the end result.

Dashawna Jenifer led the way for GCC with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Hennings ended the afternoon with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Genesee end the regular season with a 1-23 overall record. They will head to the Region III playoffs next week.

February 23, 2013 - 5:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Wiss Hotel.

Letter to the Editor:  I have been asked to weigh in on The Wiss Hotel’s future by a member of the Le Roy, NY LLC, who wants to renovate The Wiss for high-end apartments, and storefronts. First, I want everyone to know that I am not an investor in the LLC. I have no interest in the property upon which The Wiss sits if it’s torn down. My interest is that of every property owner in the Village of Le Roy who may be faced with having taxes we paid used to tear down The Wiss. 

The Village Taxpayers -- Actually, the future of The Wiss itself is of little or no importance to me. My concern is that the Village trustees have voted 3-2 to seek bids to demolish the building. Some people in Le Roy may think it’s about time, but how many of us are taking the time to realize that this could cost Village property taxpayers between $148,000 and $250,000 to accomplish? And these numbers were estimated prior to an asbestos removal study which would likely increase the cost. The answer I’ve gotten from one Village trustee is that the Village has the money that we’ve paid previously in taxes to accomplish tearing down The Wiss. 

Is The Wiss Property Worth More As A Lot Given the Cost to Village Taxpayers? -- My question I posed to the Village Board in January was why would the Village taxpayers pay to tear down The Wiss? Some of the trustees apparently see that the property will be worth more with The Wiss gone than it is now. I think this is an unfounded assumption. The space taken up by The Wiss and the adjoining storefront is not big enough for any development on the scale of what current developers need, such as what was needed when Walgreens bought up at least three houses, one old gas station and a store in back, the Milliman Block of storefronts, and the historic Masonic Temple for their facility. 

Village Has Received Offers for The Wiss As Is, and When Torn Down & Filled In -- The Village has gotten an offer of $125,000 for the property once the Village tears down The Wiss and fills in the hole, and this individual says the property is worth $250,000. If there were no other parties interested in The Wiss than maybe we as a village would have to tear it down. But what about The Creekside Inn, that has been vacant for years, and I don’t hear any concern about it? Fortunately, the developer there intends on completing The Creekside. But The Wiss, too, has a developer interested in saving it, the Le Roy, NY LLC. The LLC is a group of citizens I understand who are mainly from our community, who want to renovate The Wiss and are willing to pay the village $10,000 for it. In addition they promise to immediately fix the roof, and take care of any concerns about its impact on the neighboring buildings, and to spend $400,000 renovating the building. A feasibility study has been done, which I believe figures in The Wiss getting historic status, which has been called into question because the exterior facade is not original and the inside has apparently been gutted of anything historically significant. But, this is a private venture, and if the investors know this and still think it a good investment, who is the Village Board to stand in their way? 

A Village Trustee Is Worried About Investors in a Wiss Private Enterprise -- One trustee in a recent article on the subject of The Wiss, said he was against saving The Wiss because by doing so we as a village would be encouraging the members of the LLC to invest in the building, only to lose their investment. My opinion is that that should not be the concern of the Village Board. Once the property is owned by the LLC, if that happens, the LLC is a private enterprise.  For too many years the Le Roy Village boards that have come and gone and have taken all of us into one business venture or another (one notably being the failed compost facility that we’re still paying for). The Village Board has no place making private business decisions, and no place picking winners and losers in this realm. If the LLC pays the village $10,000 for the building and saves the taxpayers an additional $148,000 to $250,000 from having to tear it down, we are ahead as taxpayers and that is what we expect the Village Board to be interested in. If the LLC takes possession of the building and fails, the county and then the Village will be its owner again, but this time we’ll have a building in much better condition than it is now, and therefore we as taxpayers win. And a private investor might buy the renovated Wiss from the LLC, and it may not become the Village’s responsibility even if they do fail. This is private enterprise at work. 

Where Is the D. O. T. If The Street Is To Be Widened At the Intersection of Rt. 5 & 19? -- There have been comments made by another Village trustee that the corner needs to be altered to allow large trucks to make the turn more easily, but this is a state issue, and The Wiss has been for sale, and/or in the Village’s possession since 2005. If the state wanted to address this concern where are they? If the state gets funding in the future, I’m sure Walgreens would be only too happy to sell them some of their property to accomplish a wider street. 

Is The Wiss a Fire-Hazard? -- On the issue of whether or not The Wiss is a fire hazard, we as a village, through our fire tax, purchased a fire truck with extension ladders capable of fighting fires from above tall buildings such as we have on Main Street, and in other parts of town. Also, I’m sure our fire department has the equipment to go alongside any window of the building and fight a fire through the window(s). Our Fire Chief Tom Wood has said that he will not have his department enter The Wiss if there is a fire, in its current state. This may be a concern, but The Wiss has burned before in recent years, and I understand quite extensively when it was occupied, and it did not affect the surrounding buildings.  And where is the concern about fire here when there is no electricity and no natural gas going to this building? And modern firefighting technology can be employed by our fire department to contain a fire at The Wiss if one should occur again. And if it is so wet inside, as has been reported, what’s going to burn? 

The Creekside Inn down the street has burned a couple of times through the years, and more recently, the second time, than The Wiss fire. And The Creekside Inn was occupied by a restaurant and apartments at the time. While some damage was done to the adjoining building there, and maybe any risk is intolerable to us, a fire can occur in a house or building at any time. Whether it’s occupied or not doesn’t stop a fire. And one only has to look at the walkway between the Vintage & Vogue building and the Fusion Dance Center building, on the other side, to see that there are at least two layers of brick on either side that forms the walls there. The Wiss likely has the same layers of brick between it and the adjoining building as do the buildings on either side of the walkway. How many layers of brick make up a chimney, and what are the fire risks there? Also, there have been other buildings destroyed by fire on Main Street through the years and they’ve been contained to one building in each instance. And The Wiss is right across the street from the Le Roy Police, and the Le Roy Fire Department so an eye can be kept closely on it if the LLC buys and renovates it. 

What Could A Renovated Wiss Building Look Like? -- The Wiss is a very, very old building, and that in itself, for me, isn’t reason to keep it and renovate it.  I haven’t ever thought the building to be attractive, but with a light color paint on the brick façade, and banks apparently willing to invest in the LLC, why wouldn’t we give the LLC the chance to save this building?

Why Not Sell The Wiss to the Le Roy, NY LLC Who’s Interested In Renovating It and Possibly Save More Buildings On Main Street from the Wrecking Ball? -- Possibly other buildings will be saved around it, if The Wiss is renovated rather than torn down, and our Village will have character unlike so many places in the surrounding area where the older buildings have been torn down. Why not accept the LLC’s offer, rather than have a developer buy the lot and tear down more of our Main Street for a new structure? And how long would it take to get back the demolition costs in property tax, and from a portion of the county’s sales tax that comes back to Le Roy from a new development? How many minimum wage jobs are going to make a real difference in Le Roy that wouldn’t be possible with the existing buildings there? 

What Could The Village Do with Our $148,000 - $250,000 Instead of Tearing Down The Wiss? -- Lastly, what could the Village Board do with the $148,000 to $250,000 needed to tear down The Wiss? I understand they have an extra $250,000 in their coffers. What could the Village do with that amount of money in terms of revitalizing the creek bank in Le Roy, our signature view, by covering the stones that were placed there for erosion control? The creek bank in the public portion is an eyesore and only the village government, not private enterprise, can correct this. What about renewing the project to put old-fashioned street lights on Main Street every other light to revitalize Main Street? What about replacing sidewalks that are in very bad shape on Main Street? There are so many things that could be done with the $250,000 the Village has of our tax dollars rather than tearing a building down that a developer wants to buy and put on the tax rolls.  And while they’re at it, the Village Board could give every property owner a rebate on their taxes. Who would complain about that? Thanks for reading this letter and I trust that Village taxpayers, and interested residents of the Town, will let the Le Roy Village Board know what they want to happen with The Wiss. 

Douglas Hill, Le Roy Village Resident

February 23, 2013 - 10:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Le Roy.

With a key player injured in the first minute of the game, Le Roy's girls battled Bath-Haverling hard, letting the game slip away for only a portion of the third and fourth quarter, but still came up short in their Section V playoff match, 47-42.

Montana Vescovi, who led the team this season in points, rebounds and steals, suffered an ankle injury early on, but captains Kari Piazza and Alicia Conte picked up the slack and kept the Oatkan Knights in the game.

“She’s a definately a key player, but we were right there," Head Coach Brian Herdlein "There’s no excuses. They played well. We played as hard as we could. It was a good game."

Le Roy and Bath switched back and fourth on the lead until the midway through the third quarter, when Bath built as much as a 12-point lead at one point.

Herdlein said his girls were able to take advantage of their mismatches with Bath when Bath ran a one-on-one defense, but when Bath switched to a 3-2, Le Roy had a hard time making the adjustment.

"Our girls were taking shots they weren't comfortable with," Herdlein said.

With about three minutes left, Le Roy started going inside again, tighented up their defense and pulled within two points with a minute to play.

Bath was largely able to control the ball, however, in the final minute and run down the clock, adding points on foul shots.

"They (Bath) rebonded well and played good defense," Herdlein said. "That's the minor difference in the game right there."

Photos: Top, Piazza scores on a lay up in the third quarter; Brooke Bower scrambles for the ball in the 4th quarter; Piazza reacts to getting elbowed in her eye during a rebound attempt in the final seconds of the game.

To purchase prints, click here or the link in the upper right of the slide show below.

In other basketball action:

  • Elba defeated Hammondsport 79 to 30 and Notre Dame downed Prattsburgh 68-54. The two rivals will meet in a Section V semi-final in Dansville on Tuesday.
  • Batavia top Livonia, 48-41.
  • Bergen plays  Mynderse at 4 p.m. in Canandaigua.
  • Notre Dame boys beat Williamson 86-63.
  • Alexander lost to York, 63-51.
  • Oakfield-Alabama lost to Clyde-Savannah, 85-32.
  • Batavia takes on Waterloo at 3 p.m.
  • Hornell and Le Roy meet at 7 p.m.




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