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July 27, 2014 - 10:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Town of Batavia Fire.

Town of Batavia firefighters proved once again they know how to throw a party.

Saturday night, the department hosted its annual Harley Raffle party, the biggest fundraiser of the year for the volunteers.

Mary Miesner, of Albion, with ticket #1281, won the Harley Fat Boy (or she could choose a cash prize). The four $500 winners were Andrew Chapman, of Batavia, David Metzger, of Buffalo (his ticket being drawn above), Roy Baker, of Medina, and Joseph Sherman, of Le Roy.

The band this year was Audibull.

To purchase prints, click here.

July 26, 2014 - 10:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, ebla.

This dog was found this evening wandering on Mechanic Street in Elba. It has tags, but the village hall is closed until Monday. If it's your dog, call Carol at (585) 757-6856.

July 26, 2014 - 10:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Town of Batavia Fire.

Nate Fix sent over these photos he took with his drone earlier this evening of the Town of Batavia Fire Department's annual Harley Raffle party.

The party goes until midnight. Audibull is the band and they're rockin' the tent.  

The fire hall is on Lewiston Road, across from Kmart.

I'll have ground-level photos posted in the morning some time.

Batavia Downs.

July 26, 2014 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, YWCA, Stan's Harley-Davidson.

Kaden Lyons, 9, models his Harley-Davidson gear atop his dad's bike at the YWCA's Wheels and Heels fundraiser today at Stan's Harley-Davidson.

The event featured a fashion show and Kaden was one of the models.

Funds raised will be used for the YW's for domestic violence programs.

The event's band was "driVen," with Mike Warren on bass and vocals, Dylan DeSmit on lead guitar and vocals and Alex DeSmit on drums.

July 26, 2014 - 1:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in corfu, Milestones.

Shelby F. O'Neill was named to the dean's list at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, for his outstanding academic achievement during the Spring semester of the 2013-14 year. O'Neill, a member of the Class of 2015, is the son of Philip O'Neill and MaryAnn Wiater, of Corfu, and attended Pembroke Central School.

Students whose grade-point averages were 3.7 or higher were named to the dean's list.

Founded in 1813, Colby College is the 12th-oldest independent liberal arts college in the nation. Colby provides a rigorous academic program that fosters transformational relationships between students and faculty. Graduates emerge as leaders ready to make an impact on their world. Colby is committed to making the full experience accessible to all qualified students, regardless of their ability to pay. The college enrolls 1,825 students.

July 26, 2014 - 1:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, sports, Milestones.

For the second year in a row, Genesee Community College Assistant to the Athletic Director Ron Spiotta has been named the Western New York Athletic Conference Distinguished Person of the Year Award recipient. The award is given to an individual who has outstanding accomplishments or has made significant contributions to a sport or athletics in general.

"Ron has been a great asset to the Genesee Athletic department for the last 28 years," said GCC Athletic Director Kristen Schuth. "He does a great job communicating with the community as well as his peers. This award is very well deserved for the second year in a row."

Spiotta has been with the College since 1981. He currently coordinates athletic eligibility, scheduling, charter traveling and assists the athletics director on day-to-day operations. In addition to his duties as a staff member, Spiotta was the head coach of the baseball program at Genesee from 1986-1999 and currently sits on the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee at the College.

Spiotta is a 1978 graduate of SUNY Brockport with a degree in Recreation and Leisure. He resides in Batavia with his wife, Deborah, and has two children, Lauren and Michael.

Genesee Community College athletics program endeavors to provide a quality and competitive intercollegiate athletics program consistent with the National Junior Collegiate Athletics Association (NJCAA) philosophy and the overall educational mission of Genesee Community College. Participation in collegiate athletics should be an extension of the total educational experience for the student athlete. The inherent philosophy emphasizes the athletic setting as a classroom used to teach character, commitment, work ethic, respect for differences, and the importance of sacrifice, teamwork, and cooperation.

July 26, 2014 - 1:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.

Timothy M. Redband, of Batavia, received academic honors from the Harpur College of Arts and Sciences at Binghamton University by making the dean's list for the Spring 2014 semester.

Binghamton University is one of the four university centers of the State University of New York. Known for the excellence of its students, faculty, staff and programs, Binghamton enrolls close to 15,000 students in programs leading to bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Its curriculum, founded in the liberal arts, has expanded to include selected professional and graduate programs.
 

July 26, 2014 - 1:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, engagements.

Mrs. Sharon Yasses-Dobbs is pleased to announce the engagement of her daughter, Stacey Marie Yasses to Christopher Arthur Cohen, son of Mr. and Mr. John Cohen Sr. of Cary, N.C.

The future bride is a 1999 graduate of Ogdensburg Free Academy and a 2001 graduate of Cazenovia College with a AS in Human Services. She is employed as an operations manager for an electrical contractor in Raleigh, N.C.

The future groom is 1993 graduate of Apex High School and a 1997 graduate of East Carolina
University with a BA in Business Administration. He is now co-owner of an Insurance Restoration Company based in Apex, N.C.

The couple reside in Cary, N.C., and plan to wed the summer of 2015 in Gasport, NY.

July 26, 2014 - 1:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press release:

The first of eight visits by the lucrative New York Sire Stakes takes place Sunday afternoon, July 27, at Batavia Downs and for the local fans it’s a chance to see some of the biggest names in harness racing.

Post time for the first race is 1:15.

The 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers will be on hand and that means some very exciting action.

There will be three legs of the NYSS and two of the Excelsior series and the entrants will be competing for combined purses in excess of $140,000.

The first division goes for $39,200 and looks to be the main event as it is loaded with talent and speed.

Perennial training leader Ron Burke will start 3-5 morning line favorite All Bets Off, who ships in with some impressive credentials. He won the $300,000 Art Rooney pace at Yonkers Raceway in May and after winning his elimination heat in 1:48.3, finished third in the $500,000 Hempt final at Pocono Downs behind McWicked last month. In that race, McWicked set a new world record for 3-year-old colts on a five-eighths mile track (1:47.3).

This will be the third start in the NYSS for All Bets Off this year who won at Vernon Downs in 1:50.2 and just 10 days ago finished second at Yonkers in 1:52.4 to Capital Account, who looks to be his toughest competition in today’s race. He has earnings of $291,575 already this year.

All Bets Off, who starts from post five and will be driven by Matt Kakaley, is part of an entry that includes stablemate Keystone Honor.

Capital Account has competed in some high-profile stakes already but without positive results. He drew post eight in both the $69,000 Somebeachsomewhere and $45,500 North America Cup elimination at Mohawk and finished well beaten in both. But even though he does not sport the gaudy numbers of the morning line favorite, he certainly has beaten him.

In his last start at Yonkers in NYSS action, Capital Account was pulled third over up the backside before tipping four-deep around the leader All Bets Off at the top of the stretch. He then outpaced the 1-5 favorite to the wire to win by a half-length. The 16-1 shot was overlooked last week but certainly won’t be in here.

Capital Account is trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter and will start from post three for leading NYSS driver Jim Morrill Jr.

The second $39,200 division is headed by Canadian conditioner Cassie Coleman’s Twin B Tenacious. After getting 2014 off to an inauspicious start, Twin B Tenacious has now strung together four straight wins (the last a NYSS event at Yonkers) and registered a 1:50.3 lifetime mark at the Meadowlands in the process. Steve Smith, who has been at the helm for all four victories, will once again be in the bike and start from post four.

Forty Five Red, who is another entry from the powerful Burke stable, comes in off two consecutive wins at Yonkers Raceway which includes his seasonal mark of 1:52.3 in his last outing. Although he hasn’t missed a check all year, his most recent outings have probably been his best to date and indicate he will be a legitimate threat to the favorite.

The third division is worth $38,500 and looks to be a wide-open affair.

Stay Up Late has been made the morning line favorite but has yet to win in stake action at three. He has gone off the favorite in his last three starts but his sole victory this year came in an overnight event at Yonkers Raceway on July 8 in 1:53.3. He gets Jim Morrill Jr. up for the first time this year and starts from post four.

Neat draws the rail for trainer Erv Miller and is coming in off three very impressive starts. After just getting beat in 1:53.4 in a NYSS race at Buffalo on June 27, Neat finished second in an overnight at Pocono Downs in 1:50.1 over a sloppy track the following week. He was then back in Sire Stake action at Yonkers his last start where he got away sixth and chased a :56 flat last half parked out to finish third in 1:52.3.

Neat is rated at 5-2 for driver Brent Holland.

3-1 third choice Sir Sam’s Z Tam has the fastest seasonal mark and the most money earned of any other horse in this race, but also has the only NYSS victory this year. After hitting the board four consecutive times, he found himself parked out in a fast last half at Yonkers before finishing fifth.

Sam’s Z Tam will start from post three for trainer/driver the Pat Lachance.

The undercard features two divisions of the Excelsior series and they are slated to go as race seven and 10.

The first split goes for $12,600 and has two horses that have dominated the class; Cabbie’s Delight and Murder He Wrote.

8-5 favorite Cabbie’s Delight has not been worse than second in six Excelsior starts. In fact he is the point’s leader to date in the series. He won four straight out of the gate before finishing two close seconds in his most recent starts.

Trainer Sam Serianni has Jason Bartlett in the bike this week as he looks to get back in the winner’s circle.

9-5 co-favorite Murder He Wrote has won his last two starts, including a NYSS event at Buffalo Raceway where he blew up the tote board at 45-1. The roan gelding drew immediate respect after that when he went off the prohibitive favorite the following week at Yonkers where he won wire to wire in 1:54.1.

Jim Morrill Jr. will drive Murder He Wrote and starts from post five for conditioner Linda Toscano.

The final $12,600 Excelsior contest is headlined by 2-1 choice Believeinthespirit. After having negligible success in four straight NYSS races, trainer Ed Lohmeyer reclassified his charge to the Excelsior and the change has proven fruitful. Believeinthespirit has won his last two starts in convincing fashion and looks to continue the streak from post two.

5-2 second choice Archetto Hanover is the second highest point getter in the Excelsior series behind Cabbie’s Delight and has three wins and two seconds to show for his efforts. Trainer Erv Miller has Brent Holland up for this trip and will depart from post five.

For more racing information or to watch race replays as soon as they are declared official, logon to www.bataviadonwsgaming.com <http://www.bataviadonwsgaming.com/> .  Or if you would like to bet online and watch live streaming coverage of the races as they occur, logon to www.bataviabets.com <http://www.bataviabets.com/>  and open an account.

July 26, 2014 - 12:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, accidents.

A motor-vehicle accident with minor injuries is reported at 711 Sumner Road at the intersection of Harlow Road. Darien Fire Department and its ambulance are responding.

UPDATE 12:47 p.m.: Two children and the driver are injured.

UPDATE 12:49 p.m.: There are reportedly five injuries now. Mercy medics are called to the scene.

July 26, 2014 - 12:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, darien lake, Darien, darien lake performing arts center.

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office during the Keith Urban concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Friday.

Veronica E. Dudla, 19, of Carolyn Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, is charged with criminal impersonation, 2nd, after allegedly impersonating another person. She was also issued a ticket for alleged possession of another’s license.

Tyler J. Sobkowiak, 19, of Dean Road, Depew, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Nicholas M. Boulard, 22, of College Road, Stevensville, Ontario, Canada, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Sara E. Friedman, 26, of Ayrshire Lane, Henrietta, is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly causing a disturbance in the campground.

Dominic J. Manarasi, 24, of 26th Street, Niagara Falls, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly punching a security guard.

Breanna M. Rivers, 23, of Rhode Island Avenue, Niagara Falls, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly pushing and hitting a security guard.

The following people were ticketed for alleged possession of a fictitious license:

Nicole D. Dugo, 18, of Dansville
Caroline A. Grande, 18, of Scottsville
Brittany M. Copeland, 19, of Warsaw
Ryan S. Cordis, 19, of Springville
Samuel E. Anderson, 20, of Kane, Pa.
Mackenzie C. Garby, 18, of Great Valley
Megan E. Arno, 20, of Clarence
Thomas C. Schena, 18, of Great Valley
Danielle N. Mueller, 19, of Rochester
Michael Gallagher, 19, of Hamburg

The following people were issued tickets for alleged possession of another person's license:

Anthony J. Laurienzo, 19, of Akron
Lydin N. Kallin, 19, of Orchard Park
Haley M. Waple, 20, of Lockport
Kayla B. Kreuder, 19, of Hamburg
Angela N. Creek, 19, of Cheektowaga
Alec E. Davis, 18, of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada – 2 counts
Molly K. Gorski, 19, of Akron
Chelsea D. Rzepka, 20, of Rochester
Patrick G. Stairs, 18, of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada

July 26, 2014 - 9:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion.

A car has reportedly struck a pole in the area of 11017 South Street Road, Pavilion.

A person is pinned in the car. Wires are down.

Injuries are possible.

Pavilion Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

Le Roy's rescue requested to the scene.

UPDATE 9:31 a.m.: Mercy Flight dispatched.

UPDATE(s) by Billie 9:36 a.m.: Mercy Flight #5 is airborne.

UPDATE 9:40 a.m.: Mercy Flight has landed. National Grid is expected to arrive in 20 minutes for repairs.

UPDATE 9:50 a.m.: National Grid is on scene.

UPDATE 10:11 a.m.: The victim has been extricated.

UPDATE 10:17 a.m.: Mercy Flight is in the air, going to Strong Memorial Hospital.

UPDATE 10:47 a.m.: Howard at the scene reports that officials believe the seriously injured driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel of his pickup truck. He appears to be in his mid-40s. It took at least 45 minutes for rescuers to extricate the victim. They had to use a winch to pull the front of the cab from the rear of the truck. The man was conscious and able to talk throughout the rescue effort. He suffered serious injuries to his legs and chest, and possibly internal injuries.

UPDATE 11:30 a.m. (by Howard): The truck's front end was heavily damaged and the pole was sheared in half. The wires were pulled off the house at that location and a second pole near the house was on the ground. The truck came to rest in a cornfield. Pavilion Assistant Chief Dewey Murrock said, "When I first pulled up, I thought it was going to be very bad, but he was awake and talking. I was actually surprised at that." We'll post pictures from the scene after we receive word that family notifications have been completed.

UPDATE 12:10 p.m.: Family notifications completed, but we don't have the victim's name yet.

UPDATE 12:21 p.m.: The driver is identified as Steven Lantz, 47, of North Street, Le Roy.

UPDATE 5:22 p.m.: Lantz is listed in satisfactory condition, according to the Sheriff's Office.

July 26, 2014 - 6:44am
posted by James Renfrew in byron, bergen.

CORRECTED VERSION:

Where is the center of the Universe?  On Saturday, July 26, it will be Byron, New York.  So look it up on MapQuest, orient your GPS and set your Bat-radar for Byron.  Your life will improve, the community’s spirit will be lifted, flags will wave, and the world will be better!  Just look at these great activities and special events taking place throughout the day:

 

8:00 – 9:00 AM            Fishing Derby at Trestle Park (sponsored by Byron Kiwanis & Sackett Merrill White American Legion Post), for ages twelve and under.  Sign-in begins at 7:30 AM.  No entry fee.  Prizes will be awarded.

 

8:30 AM                       5K Run at Fireman’s Park (sponsored by the Byron Rescue Squad).  Registration begins at 7:00 AM, the race begins at 8:30 AM, and results are posted at 9:30 AM. 

 

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM      Craft and Food Vendors (in Fireman’s Park).  Contact the Town Clerk (548-7123 x 10) to reserve a space.  Non-profits may reserve for free, and a modest fee for others.   During this time the Byron Fire Department will be offering activities and games for children to enjoy.

 

9:00 AM - ??                Town-wide garage sales.  Contact the Town Clerk at 548-7123 x 10 to have your location added to the publicity list.  Lawn space is available for free at the Presbyterian Church in the center of town (please call 548-2800 to reserve space).

 

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM     Raffles (tickets sold at the Gazebo in Fireman’s Park).  Winners announced 3:00 PM.

 

10:00 AM - ??              Bounce House at Fireman’s Park (sponsored by Fullerino’s)

 

11:00 AM                      Red, White and Blue Parade.  Fire companies, vintage vehicles, and community organizations are invited to participate.  Please register with the Town Clerk (548-7123 x 10).  The parade will form on Caswell Road.  A panel of judges will review the parade.  Prizes will be awarded to fire companies and to community groups. 

 

11:00 AM – 3:00 PM     Cruise In.  Vintage vehicles are invited to participate in the parade, and then park in Fireman’s Park for judging by the public.  Trophies and door prizes will be awarded.  No pre-registration required, no entry fee.

 

3:00 PM                       Garden Contest.  Please register with Jeanne Freeman (548-7197).  Entrants must be from the Town of Byron.  Photos of your garden will be taken and then the public votes for their favorites at Fireman’s Park.  Prizes will be awarded.  Winners announced at 3:00 PM.

 

4:00 PM                       Horseshoe Tournament in Fireman’s Park (sponsored by Sue Fuller).  You may sign up at any time before 4:00 PM.  Prizes will be awarded to winning teams. 

 

4:00 PM                       Chicken BBQ (sponsored by Byron Kiwanis) at the Byron Fire Hall.  Continues until sold out!

 

12:00 PM – 11:00 PM     Live Music in the Fireman’s Park Pavilion

12:00 - 2:30 PM   “Side By Side”.  

3:30 PM – 6:30 PM   “M.A.C.”

7:30 PM – 11:00 PM    “Savage Cabbage”

 

9:30 PM                       Fireworks (best location for viewing is Fireman’s Park)

 

For up-to-the-minute information about the Byron Heritage Festival, please visit Town of Byron Heritage Festival on Facebook. 

Event Date and Time

July 26, 2014 - 7:00am - 11:55pm

 

July 25, 2014 - 5:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Old World Collision.

Dick McClurg says "they don't call me the dreamer for nothing."

"The Dreamer." That's what's stenciled on his 1932 Ford hot rod roadster. His dream car.

"I wanted one all my life. I waited 50 years for that one."

McClurg has about a dozen classic cars scattered around his shop location, Old World Collision on West Main Street Road, Batavia, that many of us would consider dream cars -- a Mustang, Corvette, BelAir, Thunderbird, Charger,  '41 Mercury, Cadillac El Dorado, and old coupes buried under a a couple of dozen rusted bicycles.

Many in some state of restoration; some in permanent disrepair and destined for Ed Arnold's.

"Rust is my life," he said.

Now that McClurg is retired, he has more time to work on his own projects (he emphasized, he's not looking for new business), hence the completion of the roadster.

He's just about finished the restoration on his shop car, a 1949 Chevy panel truck. It hasn't been on the road for 31 of the 36 years he's owned it.

What was wrong with it?

"Everything," he answered. "Body off the frame, every nut and bolt. It's probably one of the most rotten pieces I've never tackled."

The old delivery wagon sat out front of his shop for awhile this morning, gleaming in the July sun.

"I've probably had plenty of opportunities to sell it, but if the day ever came where I could handle getting it on the road, then I'd have to go buy another one, so I'm glad I didn't."

My stop in McClurg's shop this morning -- a stop I've intended for a long time -- was prompted by a 1957 Caddy. 

At the accident near Wortyndyke today, I was reminded of a classic Caddy I'd seen -- and a firefighter had seen -- parked over on Pearl Street, at LaWall's Collision.

The shop owner there told me, yeah, it had been parked out front, a real traffic stopper while it was there, but after some rear end repairs, it had gone back to Old World.

McClurg said the baby blue Caddy is a project for one of his few remaining customers.

Another dream car about to become reality.

July 25, 2014 - 4:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in Deal of the Day.

$$$ NEW PRICE! -- Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Stretch your body and soul with yoga. This offer is for a $20 gift certificate off instruction for the price of $5. For new students only. Not good with any other discounts or offers. Use before October 2014.

The Mane Attraction Salon and Spa99 Main St., Batavia, NY: offers "Affordable Luxury" in downtown Batavia. We pride ourselves in the great customer service we give to the entirefamily. Men, women and children are all welcome either by appointment or walk-in. We offer all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, lowlights, perms, styling/updos, facials, leg and back waxing, Shellac Polish System, manicures and pedicures. We are the only salon in Batavia that has an airplane chair for kids' cuts! Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. We have $20 gift certificates for $10.

Sweetland Pines Golf Course, 5795 Sweetland Road, Stafford, NY: Sweetland Pines is a par 3 golf course, great for beginners and experienced golfers working on the short game. Relaxed golf game, average play is about 1 hour and 20 minutes, leaving the golfer time to enjoy rest of the day. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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 $12.

Daphne's Restaurant & Lounge, 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 $12.

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 $12.

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 $12.

$$$  Scooter's Restaurant in Le Roy, 140 W. Main Street Road (Route 5), Le Roy, NY: Come see us at Scooter's family restaurant with our friendly atmosphere and homestyle cooking! We offer classic American food with breakfast, lunch and dinner served all day. We also offer a full take-out menu anytime. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

***For the rules, click here.

SOLD OUT

July 25, 2014 - 4:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, agriculture, immigration.

Via Orleans Hub, a documentary on the difficulty WNY dairy farmers face because of current immigration policy.

Fruit and vegetable farms have access to legal foreign workers through the H2A program, but the federal government hasn’t made that possible for dairies because the work isn’t considered seasonal. Dairies haven’t had much success finding local Americans to work the night shifts.

Many dairies say they have been forced to hire Mexicans who don’t have proper documents. They are hard-working and dedicated, but they are also vulnerable to sudden removal by immigration officers. Germano interviews one dairy farmer who will soon have long-term milking employees deported.

“I am tired of the inaction in Washington,” a WNY dairy farmer tells Germano. “We’re trying to run a business. We’re the ones caught in the crosshairs between the government that makes the laws and the other agency that has to enforce the laws.” 

July 25, 2014 - 4:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy, Watson Guitars.

Guitarists tend to have dream guitars -- a Gibson Les Paul, a Fender Stratocaster, a Guild Starfire, a Martin D-28 ... all expensive guitars.

And these days, often machine made.

What if there was a guitar available locally that was handmade and affordable?

That's the market Dave Watson is going after with Watson Guitars.

Watson has been making custom guitars for more than 20 years and started selling his handcrafted creations in 2009.

This week, he finally was able to open a storefront where he can sell guitars he's finished or take orders for custom guitars (soon, he'll have a new Web site that will allow customers to order custom guitars).

"A lot of your handmade guitars are three, four, five thousand dollar instruments, which, you know, I've made a few that are up in that price range, but for the most part, I try to keep my basic models affordable," Watson said. "My basic models start at $399. If you can find a better guitar for $399, buy it."

Once a professional musician, Watson found that it was hard to find bass guitars really suitable to his size. Bass players tend to be tall and lanky. Watson's under six feet tall, so he wasn't entirely comfortable with an off-the-shelf model.

He decided to build his own bass.

He found he really liked working with wood.

"It's in my blood, just as much as playing," Watson said.

After suffering some hearing loss, Watson had to step off the stage and away from bands, but he couldn't stop making guitars.

He figures he's made and sold hundreds of guitars.

Each one handmade, unique.

"I always put it this way: It's the imperfections that make a guitar perfect," Watson said.

He thinks something has been lost for the discriminating guitar player with the market flooded by cookie-cutter guitars, sliced and sanded to identical specifications by computer-controlled machines.

"There isn't a personal touch," Watson said. "As far as I'm concerned, there isn't a guitar made today that will ever be as valuable as a '59 Les Paul, because someone made that guitar with their own two hands."

The typical Watson guitar has his signature look -- both the headstock and bottom of the guitar are cut out with a kind of W shape.

Watson's target market is the local musician -- the player with an ear tuned enough to recognize a quality sound, fingers sensitive enough to pick up the response of quality material and an eye for beauty, but who can't afford to lay down thousands on a guitar.

"There's a big difference between the sound of a machine-made and a handmade guitar," Watson said.

Watson's shop is at 57 Mill St., Le Roy, and he had to get a zoning code variance to open the front up as a retail shop, but with that done and the space spiffed up, he's ready to meet with players who either want to select something hanging from his walls or sit down and design the guitar of their dreams.

"As long as it's not a copy of something, we try to build their design the way they've always wanted it," Watson said.

Customization can include airbrush designs by a local artist and fiber-lighted top dots on the fretboard.

July 25, 2014 - 2:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Genesee ARC, Lambert Park.

Kids participating in the city's summer program at Lambert Park toured the recycling center at Genesee ARC this morning.

July 25, 2014 - 10:41am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents.

A car accident is reported at 3299 W. Main Street Road, just west of Wortendyke Road. The vehicle is on its side. East Pembroke Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 11:04 a.m.: (from Howard at the scene) There is no vehicle on its side. A black sedan was eastbound on Route 5 and a FedEx truck was westbound. The truck attempted a left turn into a car dealership and allegedly did so in front of the sedan, causing the initial collision. Then the sedan veered into the car lot, hit a barrier pole and the front end of a car. The female driver was extricated and is being taken to ECMC by Mercy ambulance. She suffered a possible head injury, possible pelvic injury, and a face laceration. The FedEx driver was a sign-off. The truck has a damaged right rear panel and a flat left rear tire.

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