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July 26, 2013 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, muckdogs, youth, sports.

Press release:

Join us at Dwyer Stadium Aug. 6th, 7th and 8th for our youth baseball camp!

Kids ages 6-14 will receive two days of on-field instruction from the Muckdogs players and coaches on Aug. 6th & 7th from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Children will learn from the pros in the areas of hitting, fielding, pitching, catching, base running and bunting.

Then on Aug. 8th, campers will be able to come back to Dwyer for a private autograph signing with the team 30 minutes before the gates open (5:30 p.m.) and then be recognized on the field prior to the Muckdogs game vs. the Hudson Valley Renegades (Tampa Rays affiliate).

Campers will also receive a special T-shirt not available in the team store, a camp photo, two tickets to the Aug. 8th game, as well as daily lunch, all for only $70. Registration forms are available at Dwyer Stadium and online at Space is limited and early registration is encouraged.

July 26, 2013 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

An amendment to a defense bill that would have ended the NSA's spying on American citizens was defeated in the House earlier this week, and Rep. Chris Collins was among the members who voted against the amendment.

The amendment was introduced by Rep. Justin Amash, from Battle Creek, Mich., and would have de-funded the NSA program, which gathers data from phone companies on phone calls by U.S. citizens in the hope of uncovering terrorist plots.

The Batavian sent an e-mail to Grant Loomis, spokesman for Collins, and asked for a statement on the vote. Loomis said we could attribute the following statement to him:

“Congressman Collins voted to keep in place the same program that for nearly the last decade has saved countless American lives and thwarted terrorists at every turn.”

There is no evidence publicly available that a single terrorist plot has been prevented by the program, known as PRISM.

We asked Loomis what evidence the Congressman had that the program has prevented a terrorist attack, and he responded:

"He has participated in Congressional briefings on the matter. Chris believes the NSA program is in the best interest of our country’s national security and his vote on the matter reflects his position."

The vote was largely symbolic because even if the amendment would have passed in the House, according to a Washington Post story, it certainly would have been stripped from the bill in conference committee with the Senate, but if it didn't, it would have been vetoed by President Obama.

July 26, 2013 - 8:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Le Roy, corfu.

Anthony L. Holohan, 77, of Gilmore Road, Corfu, is charged with criminal mischief, 2nd. On July 11, an employee of the Log Cabin Restaurant arrived at work and found a hole in a picture window in the dining room. Later he found another window was damaged. After an investigation, Holohan was arrested and accused of damaging the windows at about 3 a.m., July 11. The estimated damage is $2,260. There's no known motive for the alleged crime. Holohan posted $5,000 bail and was released.

Ryan C. Riggi, 18, no permanent address, is charged with two counts of criminal possession of stolen property, 4th. Riggi is accused of twice possessing and using a credit card of another person, stealing more than $3,000. Riggi was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Danielle Marie Stevens, 36, of Ford Road, Elba, is charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Stevens is accused of stealing a bottle of hydrocodone pills from the purse of another person.

Matthew Charles Olcott, 34, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, was arrested on warrants out of the Town of Pembroke and Town of Batavia, for criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, violation of probation, attempted unauthorized use of a vehicle, 3rd, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, 2nd. Olcott was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court on all charges and jailed on $500 bail on the Town of Pembroke charges.

July 26, 2013 - 7:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business.

Press release:

Batavia Downs announced today that their highly anticipated expansion project will open on Sept. 27.

"Pushing back our opening date ensures that all facets of our new gaming facility will be finished and ready to accept customers,” said Michael D. Kane, president and CEO of Batavia Downs.

Batavia Downs will be open on Aug. 28th and 29th, days which the casino had planned to be closed. Promotions already scheduled around the weekend of Aug. 30th, including several large cash drawings, will go on as planned. 

"Customers should check our Twitter and Facebook pages for exciting promotions planned on days we were to be closed,” said Ryan Hasenauer, director of marketing.

July 25, 2013 - 8:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, boxing, Angelo Prospero.

Article written by Angelo Prospero. Prospero is a native of Batavia and grew up knowing many of the local boxers from Batavia's Golden Age of Boxing. He became a boxing writer and boxing historian of some note. He holds degrees in history from Conisius College and taught history at Trident Technical College in Charleston, S.C. He currently resides in Summerville, S.C. He's written for "Ring," the Batavia Daily News, "Boxing Illustrated," "Boxing Digest" and "Unitas Boxing World." He also wrote a book on boxing, "Great Fights and Fighters." Prospero has also been a ringside judge for professional boxing matches. Prospero provided us with the pictures, as well.

Mickey Devine

Patrons of Marshall’s News Store on Jackson Street in Batavia during the 1930s heard the sounds of shuffling feet, speed bags, heavy bags and shadow boxers skipping ropes upstairs as they purchased their newspapers and magazines.

The entire second floor was the home of the Batavia Boxing Club, the brainchild of Batavia businessman John DiCarlo, called by many the Father of Batavia Boxing.

DiCarlo, husband of famous artist Rose Pontillo DiCarlo, was a boxer, teacher, trainer and matchmaker who loved the sport. He was promoting his young brother, Ponce DiCarlo and was appalled at the lack of training facilities. Missing were a ring, showers, equipment and other paraphernalia that goes with a boxing gymnasium. So he took out a yearly lease and with his chief assistant, Tony Gaeta, renovated the upstairs Jackson Street area, making it as fine a place as any in Western New York.

It featured a homemade ring and DiCarlo used his own money to purchase all the equipment and gloves, and formed the BBC. Dues were one dollar a week and the initial response was slow as DiCarlo and Gaeta promoted the career of young Ponce, who became a sensation with a long win streak all over New York State and the surrounding areas.

About this time, the Great Depression hit and many unemployed youngsters flocked to the gym filling it to capacity. It was the Golden Age of Batavia Boxing. Teams were dispatched to Buffalo, Syracuse, Frank Powderly’s Elks Club in Rochester, Cleveland and even New York’s famed Daily News national competition in Madison Square Garden.

Tony Sciolino of Buffalo was a brilliant featherweight who won just about every honor in his hometown and decided to turn professional. He was engaged to a lovely Batavia Miss, Margaret Fusco, of Ellicott Street, who lived near Ellicott Square at Liberty and Ellicott streets. Sciolino was the nephew of John D. Gioia, civic leader and pharmacist.

Since Sciolino was spending so much time in Batavia, Gioia decided to install a makeshift gym behind his pharmacy on Ellicott Street and Sciolino did most of his training there. How good was Sciolino? He defeated world featherweight champion Tommy Paul and fought a draw with Wes Ramey, who this last June, was inducted into the Canastota Boxing Hall of Fame.

Mr. Gioia also convinced Father William Kirby of St. Anthony’s Church to purchase a ring and equipment and put it in the corner of the Community Center on Liberty Street. The Center was financed by the many Bingo nights held there by Reverend Kirby and the gym was portable enough to be disassembled easily and stored in the cavernous bowels of the Center. Many times the boxers-in-training there disassembled the gym themselves with the aid of the school kids at the nearby St. Anthony’s School, so Bingo could be played.

Around the corner on Central Avenue, was the home of the Cintorino family. Ma and Pa Cintorino made a living selling Treadeasy Shoes (made in Batavia) to support their six boys. The second eldest, Joseph, dropped in the gym where Sciolino trained and quickly showed excellence under the tutelage of Sciolino, displaying a stinging left jab and defensive prowess.

Ironically, the teacher and pupil would meet in the ring professionally in a few years. To prevent his father from finding out he was fighting, Joseph Cintorino used the fistic name of Mickey Devine. His younger brother Sam used the name Sammy Devine.

Mickey Devine, undoubtedly Batavia’s greatest professional fighter, used a circuitous route to gain fame in the ring. He fought in two venues, amateur and bootleg. Combined, he had a 70 win, 6 loss record.

There existed at the time a hybrid group called Bootleg Fights, a sort of semi-pro organization with its own officials and rules, outside the normal amateur sphere. Some pros fought as amateurs using different names and amateurs fought as semi-pros looking to pick up a few Depression dollars. They fought in “Smokers” at various places, so called because the smoke was so thick. One such place was the Eastman Kodak in Rochester where the legendary George Eastman would attend. When fighters weren’t paid in cash, sometimes, trophies and watches were awarded which the fighter sold to gain some valuable dollars.

Mickey Devine was a sensation on the circuit and decided to apply for a professional license. As a pro, he compiled a brilliant 18 win – 2 loss – 1 draw record. His one loss to Jeff Furrone was later reversed. In their 2nd contest, Devine won easily, flooring his rival twice. For his 22nd fight, Mickey was matched with his mentor, Tony Sciolino, at Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo in what was billed as “For the lightweight championship of Batavia.” Devine was too slick and too fast for the aging Sciolino and pounded out an easy eight-round decision.

With lucrative bouts offered him, Devine decided to retire and get married. He took the $1200.00 from the Sciolino fight, his largest purse ever, paid off his parents’ mortgage and purchased a house for himself. He served as a referee at amateur contests and trained a protégé, Nick Tundo. Remarkably, he was unmarked despite all those bouts, a tribute to his defensive skills.

Joe Church

Back at the Batavia Boxing Club, all types of would-be pugilists would be in training under the watchful eye of DiCarlo and Gaeta. Some of the notables were Jimmy Amatrano, Cheech Trinchera, Chet Mruzek, Vinnie Lewandowski, Ken Pixley, Joe Syracuse, Tony Zito, Eddie Urban, Tony Stone, Nate DiSanto, Frankie Flynn, Mike Saquella, Kid Fillete, Sammy Devine, Norm Columbo, Paul Columbo, Scrapiron Marshall, Gordon Hyde and Dick Warboys.

But the two gems of the stable were Joe Church and Lou Cecere, both inducted into the Rochester Boxing Assn. Hall of Fame, along with Mickey Devine and Tony Zito. Church from Swan Street on Batavia’s South Side, was a 1929 graduate of Batavia High School. He won his first title, the Niagara District Amateur Championship and his second followed quickly as he swept through the Buffalo Championships and continued his Western New York Amateur dominance, winning the Courier Express title, and repeated his Niagara AAU title in a heavier 126-lb. division.

These wins garnered Church a chance to compete in the prestigious National Amateur Championship in Cleveland. The only problem was money and transportation. Determined to fulfill his dream of winning a national title and competing in the Olympics in 1936, Church and a friend hitchhiked to Cleveland and slept at the bus station the first night.

A 100-1 shot, Church swept through the prelims and then shocked the boxing world by winning the featherweight title. Floored in the first round, Church won the next four rounds handily to win a unanimous decision.

He was awarded a champion’s reception when he returned by train to Batavia, being greeted by dignitaries, including the mayor, who presented him with a Key to the City, as the City Band played proudly. The crowd gave him a tremendous ovation, appreciative of Batavia’s only national boxing champion, ever.

The festivities didn’t end there. A parade brought him from Swan Street to the Community Center on Liberty Street. 250 admirers showered him with gifts and standing ovations. He was introduced by Father Kirby and praised by John DiCarlo, Tony Gaeta and John Gioia. He received another standing ovation when it was announced he would be an alternate on the 1936 Olympic team, the event that featured Jesse Owens.

Church later won a boxing scholarship to the University of Miami and served as a boxing instructor in the Army.

Lou Cecere, one of 11 children, was a boxing fan as a teenager and with his friend, Tony Zito, began appearing at the Jackson Street gym. His speed and footwork caught the eye of John DiCarlo and Cecere’s ability to outbox the veterans put him on several cards in Western New York. He once won 40 consecutive fights, including the prestigious Syracuse Herald American Golden Gloves.

Cecere had a 92-7 record when he headlined the Open Air Amateur card at MacArthur Stadium in the summer of 1940. It was his 100th fight and he didn’t disappoint the thousand fans who showed up at the ballpark. They paid a dollar for ringside and 44 cents general admission to see Cecere put on a dazzling exhibition, winning all five rounds over veteran Buffalonian Earl Wilson.

Lou Cecere

On the same card, youngsters with big padded gloves regaled the throng. Sammy Devine won a four-round decision and Cecere’s stablemate, Vin Tresco, lost a five-rounder to Ed Stokes. Tony Stone of Oakfield and Frank Aquino of Batavia were winners by decision. But, Batavians Kid Fillette, Jimmy DiFalco and Angelo Pettinella were all knockout losers and Ed Urban lost on a decision.

Despite the success of the evening, World War II was approaching and boxing lost its luster for a while. Cecere was drafted into the Army, losing his chance to turn pro. However, he did serve with Billy Conn’s touring group in Europe giving exhibitions in several areas. After four years of distinguished service in World War II, he never fought again.

Tony Zito’s main ambition was to win the Buffalo Golden Gloves. He lost his first effort, then enlisted in the Army. There he became a Service champion compiling an impressive 38-2 record before being shipped overseas where he participated in many infantry battles. During his march through Belgium, a V-2 German rocket destroyed a hospital. Zito worked several days, under heavy fire, getting patients to safety and for this supreme effort, he was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery. He later was wounded twice by shrapnel and received the Purple Heart.

Upon discharge, Zito wanted to return to the ring, but was advised by doctors not to because shrapnel was still in his body. He went ahead any way and in 1946 won two bouts before running into Calvin Leigh of Rochester, later, a successful pro, and lost in the semi-finals. It was his last fight.

Zito, a longtime employee of Batavia Downs, prided himself on his boxing knowledge and became a noted boxing historian.

Boxing in Batavia received a faint spark of life in 1947 with the emergence of Batavia High School athlete Dick Brenkus, who excelled in basketball and football. He tried boxing under the direction of trainer Jack Shevlet and won his first six bouts, capturing the Buffalo Courier Express Novice Middleweight title.

In the final exhibition held in Batavia in April 1947, Brenkus headlined a six-bout card at St. Anthony’s Community Center. The old ring was located and 800 fans packed the auditorium. Anybody who was anybody was there and they were delighted as Jimmy Fasano, a nephew of Tony Sciolino, won his debut in a three-round bout. Bob Smith won a five-round decision. But it was not to be for Batavia boxers that evening.

Sam Nicometo was starched in the first round and Brenkus, with famed coach Danny Van Detta in his corner, was simply overmatched. He was pitted against Buffalo Open Division champion Mickey McGuire who had 60 fights. Brenkus held his own the first round, but McGuire kayoed him in round two with a flurry of combinations dropping him over the lower strand of the ropes as referee Tony Gaeta tolled the mournful 10 count.

The flaming embers for boxing in Batavia died out that evening. With other activities such as cars, television and drive-ins, there wasn’t a farm system to develop young talent. It was over, all over. But what a glorious ride!

Today, boxing is being challenged and probably surpassed by MMA and other kickboxing battles. Aided by reality television and today’s penchant for violence, these affairs are immensely popular and highly visible.

But to the boxing purists of yesterday, they will never match the Sweet Science of the Golden Age of Boxing.

And to that I say “Amen.”

Mickey Devine trains protoge Nick Tundo, circa 1941.

Top photo: The Batavia Boxing Team in 1937. Dick Warboys, Vince Lavandowski, Joe Syracuse, Natalie DiSanto, Nick Tundo, Lou Cecere, Ed Urban, Tony Gaeta, Gorden Hyde and Mike Saquella. Photo by Tony "Butch" Zito.

July 25, 2013 - 7:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, byron, weather, Stafford.

It was a beautiful day. I didn't have much time to just drive around and take pictures, but as long as I was out and about, I did grab a few.

Above, a barn at Gillette and Ivison roads, Byron.

Below, three sunflower pictures from the Oderkirk Farm on Route 33, Stafford.

July 25, 2013 - 6:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, water, infrastructure.

Construction is well under way for the new $1.65-million water tower in Oakfield and if all goes to plan, it could be in use by this fall.

Every day there are from five to seven welders on the job constructing the 165-foot, 10-inch tower. The sections are pre-fab and then welded together on site. It took one day to raise the center column, two weeks to build the bottom half of the tank top.

The tower now acts as it's own crane to haul workers and material to the top.

Workers will begin installing the next sections of the top of the tower on Monday.

Clark Patterson Lee out of Rochester handled the design and engineering. Caldwell Industrial out of Louisville, Ky., is the construction contractor.

The pedisphere-design tank will hold 500,000 gallons of water once completed.

July 25, 2013 - 3:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

Two suspects were taken into custody early this morning on assault and robbery charges stemming from an alleged incident on Columbia Avenue at 10 p.m. July 7.

Mark D. Callan, 26, of 189 S. Main St., and John P. Wittkopp, 29, of 24 Columbia Ave., both of Batavia, are each charged with third-degree assault with intent to cause physical injury and second-degree robbery, aided by another.

Callan was arraigned before Judge DelPlato in City Court, jailed without bail, and was scheduled to appear in court again at 11 this morning. No further information was provided about Wittkopp.

The investigation and arrests were made by officers Matt Lutey and Kirbis.


July 25, 2013 - 3:00pm

Vinyl Sticks welcomes Adam Lowder as their New Graphic Designer!

If you have had a sign or vinyl graphics professionally created in the Batavia area within the last 15 years, odds are pretty good that you have worked with Adam Lowder. Adam has been working with patrons in Western New York, creating signs, banners, magnets, and vehicle layouts since 1999. With familiarity of all aspects in the sign and vinyl graphics’ field, and a true passion for this line of work, Adam is ready to assist you.

“Here at Vinyl Sticks, no project is too big or too small,” Adam explains. “Whether you are looking for a small sign to stick in your yard, a few window stickers to promote your organization, or to do a complete vinyl wrap on your company van, Vinyl Sticks will do the job right. We have the ability to take any vehicle and turn it into a driving billboard.”

Adam joins Joe Bradt at Vinyl Sticks, who has been the head of operations since the company opened in October of 2012. Joe is a third-generation sign craftsman. Growing up around his grandfather’s and father’s sign businesses, Joe adds plenty of years of experience to Vinyl Sticks.

Vinyl Sticks is a company for everybody, not just businesses. Although they do create a lot of yard signs for businesses to advertise their services, and specialize in vehicle designs, big and small, they also make every day birthday banners, welcome-home banners, campsite signs, car decals, stickers and much more.

"At Vinyl Sticks we are using state-of-the-art printers and software to create stunning graphics.  We use a wide-format printer which allows us to print directly onto a variety of media surfaces, such as banners and vehicle wraps. We have graphics that allow you to advertise on glass, while still being able to see out of the glass.

"We have graphics that can turn your silver truck into a pink or camouflage truck. Graphics that allow you to advertise on walls, on the floor, and even on brick walls, and because we are creating the graphics ourselves, it is very cost-effective. Our prices are very competitive.”

Vinyl Sticks offers free estimates, free consultation, and of course design, production and installation services. Feel free to visit Adam and Joe at Vinyl Sticks, located at 23 Ganson Ave. in Batavia, NY. Off of Route 63, turn onto Evans Street; go past the Falleti Ice Arena, and at the stop sign go straight onto Ganson Avenue. Vinyl Sticks will be on your right.

You may also contact Adam or Joe by calling: 585-300-4307 or 877-456-4755.

E-mail Adam Lowder: [email protected]

E-mail Joe Bradt: [email protected]

"Please feel free to contact us with any questions. Send us your thoughts, ideas, and artwork and we will gladly provide you with an estimate and answer any questions you may have. Please visit for more information!”

July 25, 2013 - 1:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in deals of the day.

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.

Sweet Pea’s Cupcakery Café, 23 Jackson St., Batavia, NY. We are a full-service Cupcake Bakery and Café. Now serving soft-serve ice cream! We offer a variety of baked goods, mainly varieties of specialty and traditional scratch-made cupcakes, as well as other bakery items such as cookies and brownies. We also serve a variety of hot and cold coffee beverages. Check out our location, or place an order for parties, gatherings or any other reasons you can think of to enjoy some cupcakes. We have a $10 gift card for $6.

Dave's Ice Cream, 3872 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, NY: Dave's offers only locally purchased products, including Perry's hard ice cream in a wide variety of yummy flavors, with a wonderful assortment of toppings and homemade waffle cones. Different soft-serve flavors are offered weekly. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

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.

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 $15.

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 $12.

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 $12.

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 $12.

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 $12.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. We have a $20 gift card for $12.

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Stretch your body and soul with yoga. This offer is for new yoga students only. Get 7 weeks of any yoga class -- a $70 retail value. We have a gift certificate for $35.

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 $12.

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 $12. (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 $10 gift certificate for $6.

Sweet Ecstasy Bakery & Cafe, 201 E. Main St., Batavia, NY. A retail and special-order bakery and cafe located in Downtown Batavia inside Seymour Place. 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 $6.

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.

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.

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 $15.

Jagged Edges Salon, 4140 Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia, NY: Jagged Edges Salon is a walk-in and appointment salon for men, women and children. It is a fun, welcoming salon that offers all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, lowlights, perms, styling/updos, treatments, and facial waxing. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. 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.

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.

Bohn's Restaurant, 5256 Clinton St., Batavia, NY: Fine dining in an atmosphere of casual elegance. Lunch and dinner, steak, prime rib and seafood. Ask about Bohn's catering services and banquet facility. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15.

Pudgie's Lawn & Garden Center, 3646 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Spring is here and Pudgie’s has everything you need to enjoy the season -- hanging baskets of beautiful flowers, lawn care products, shrubbery, gardening supplies, and more. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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 $12.

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 $12.


July 25, 2013 - 12:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, Ralph Peterson.

The two members of the Village of Corfu office staff have formally filed letters of complaint with the trustees accusing Mayor Ralph Peterson of creating a hostile work environment.

In her letter, Assistant Clerk/Treasurer Denise Beal said she believes Peterson's treatment of her is meant to demean her as a woman and is therefore a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Both Beal and Clerk/Treasurer Sandra Thomas said they do not want to take further legal action but may be left with no choice if the trustees are unable to stop Peterson's alleged harassment.

The trustees received the letters Monday and voted to forward the complaints to Village Attorney Mark Boylan for his advice on how to handle the complaints.

Beal's letter indicates that it's mostly a feeling she gets from Peterson that he tries to harass and intimidate her because she is female. The one concrete example she gives of different treatment of her and Thomas is that Peterson allegedly demanded Beal and Thomas give him copies of office and file cabinet keys but has not made the same demand of the all-male maintenance staff.

Both Beal and Thomas said things kind of came to a head in the past week with Peterson's alleged insistence that his criticism of the office staff be included in the village newsletter.

"His subjective comments he wrote in the village newsletter are embarrassing," Beal wrote. "I have been employed by the Village of Corfu for over 5 years. Never have I felt so degraded and harassed by a male. I have always taken great pride in my work and have performed my duties with great confidence, the highest levels of professionalism, efficiency and accountability. I have always enjoyed my job, but the hostile work environment that has been created by Mr. Peterson is making it difficult to be at work."

Peterson has not yet responded to a request for comment sent via text message.

Both Thomas and Beal said they believe at least some of the motivation for Peterson's conduct is the fact that they are potential witnesses in the criminal case against Brandi Watts, the former village court clerk accused of stealing more than $10,000 in court funds.

Special Prosecutor Donald O'Geen has warned Peterson and the trustees that there should be no interference with the investigation.

As part of their complaints, Thomas and Beal cite Peterson's alleged attempt to fire them, his request for passwords and keys, his moving a desk and chair for himself into Beal's office, and constant assertions of authority and intimidation when he's in the office.

"I could go into many detailed examples of Ralph Peterson's barrage of threats, innuendos, accusations, falsehoods and harassment," Thomas wrote. "Some are a matter of public record, and many have been made behind closed doors and in emails. He has now made public his contempt and made insinuations of incompetence of the office staff in the Village Newsletter to Village residents. This is unacceptable."

Thomas concludes, "Although Mayor Peterson is smugly confident that he is untouchable and (can) do and say absolutely anything he wants, I am filing this complaint imploring the Board to put a stop to this deplorable situation and prevent any further harassment and retaliation."

July 25, 2013 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield.

There's a change in leadership in the Village of Oakfield.

At a special meeting Monday, Richard Pastecki resigned as mayor and Trustee Jeremy Yasses was appointed mayor.

Pastecki resigned to become the new zoning enforcement officer.

In his new position, Pastecki will be able to use his experience as mayor and knowledge of village plans to help the village move forward, Yasses said.

"Our village is doing great," Yasses said. "(For example, there's) construction of the new water tower and Rick Pastecki was instrumental in the whole process. We have many new projects that will be enhancing our village and we will be gearing up for spin-off developments from STAMP. With Rick as the new zoning enforcement officer, he will help those come to fruition."

July 25, 2013 - 10:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, Oakfield.

Photo and story submitted by Roy Watson.

It was a year ago almost to the day that the same team met on the same mound for the championship game. Last year had a different ending. The Batavia Yankees came up short, losing in the 8th inning by one run.

Monday, was sweet revenge for Coach Roy Watson Jr. and Cornelius Cook. Yankees were up 4-0 in the top of the first inning. Oakfield came back and began to pound the ball. 

Trevor Sherwood was the starting pitcher, but soon after that coach had to pull him and enter Peter Maddafri. It was 8-4 in the bottom of the 2nd inning. 

The Yankees were fielding with a man on second and a walk to first. With a wild pitch, the runner was heading home. Catcher Evan Bender threw out the runner. That made it one out. Next play, Oakfield’s player is caught in a hot box between 2nd and 3rd base and the Yanks' got him out; third out came with the next batter striking out. This is what the Yankees' needed. There was no stopping their momentum. 

Coach Watson entered pitcher Tyler Prospero during the sixth inning. He had five strikeouts, with no man left on base. Tyler shut out Oakfield completely with his lethal curve ball and his 75-mph fast ball.

Tyler Prospero went 2-2 with game changing double and two walks, Dwayne Fonda 1-3, Peter Maddafri went 2-4, with two RBIs, Jarret Lasik 3-4, with two RBIs, Trevor Sherwood 3-4 with game-tying double and two RBIs, Peter Diversa went 1-3, with two RBIs and with a single to put the Yankees ahead in the 8th inning. Evan Bender went 1-4, Sam Marble went 2-4, Peter Kozol 1-3, Phil Kozil 1 RBI, Tony Diversa 0-1, with a walk.

The final score was Yankees 9, Oakfield Alabama 8. It was sweet revenge for the team that came up short a year ago.

July 25, 2013 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, sports.

Photo and information submitted by Durin Rogers. (Credit, Rogers said, goes to Christine Cecere-Wormley)

The American League All Stars of the Batavia Major League Baseball League beat the nationals in the league's annual season-ending all-star game, 12-8.

Pictured are, front row, Quinton Betances, Bryn Wormley, Vincent Grazioplene, Luke Rogers, Matt Neal, and back row, Manager Dan Utter, Kyle Kendall, Logan vonKramer, Jason Dykstra, Jesse Reinhart, Alex Totten, Dominik Taylor, Brandon Bartz, Coach Dan Utter Sr.

After the jump a submitted game story (click on the headline to read more):

July 25, 2013 - 9:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, pembroke, Stafford, Grand Jury.

Matthew T. Milleville is indicted on counts of criminal possession of marijuana, 2nd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Milleville was allegedly found in possession of more than 16 ounces of marijuana and a quantity of LSD at a location on Main Road, Pembroke, on Dec. 12.

Brandin D. Scott is indicted on counts of felony DWI and felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Scott was allegedly driving drunk on Route 33 in Stafford on Feb. 22. He was allegedly convicted of DWI in 2003.

July 25, 2013 - 9:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Darien, Stafford.

Nicholas J. Adkins, 22, of 111 Liberty St., Apt. A, Batavia, is charged with resisting arrest, reckless endangerment property, unlawful possession of marijuana and assault, 2nd, with intent to cause physical injury to an officer. Batavia PD reportedly attempted to assist in the arrest of Adkins on State Street at 6:25 p.m., Tuesday, on a NYS Parole warrant and Adkins allegedly fled on foot.

Carolyn Marie Peachay, 30, of Main Road, Stafford, was arrested on a City Drug Court warrant related to a prior DWI case. Peachay was jailed on $100,000 bail.

Jerome W. Brown, of 65, of Lockport, is charged with menacing, 2nd. Brown was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident reported at 10:56 a.m., July 3, in the Town of Pembroke. No further details were released.

(Name redacted upon request), 35, of Buffalo, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or higher. xxxx was stopped at 11:27 p.m. Tuesday on Colby Road, Darien, by State Police.

July 24, 2013 - 3:34pm

Washington Towers is hosting an Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 26th. We will be hosting an Open House to show our beautiful building to the community! Take a tour of an apartment, ASK questions of our staff, MEET other residents, see the amenities we have to offer, LISTEN to music and HEAR a live broadcast by WBTA personalities. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

This event will take place rain or shine, inside or out. We will be here to show you the benefits of living at "the very best senior facility in Genesee County!"

We offer:

  • Security
  • One bedroom/two bedroom units (no studios)
  • Well maintained inside & out
  • Great location
  • Friendly & helpful staff

Event Highlights:

  • Music by Gridder & Pitch -- 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Food by Louie & Stella’s Café and Pasta Bowl
  • Live broadcast with WBTA personalities! 10a.m. - Noon

For more information on Washington Towers, please call (585) 344-0200.

HUD Section 8 Housing for Elderly & Disabled (with impaired mobility).
Displays provided by: Wortzman's Furniture Floral Fantasies.

July 24, 2013 - 2:39pm
posted by Bonnie Marrocco in GLOW Corporate Cup, Merrill Lynch.

The YMCA has a new best friend -- the Batavia Office of Merrill Lynch. The investment banking and wealth management company donated $5,000 toward the inaugural GLOW Corporate Challenge -- a 5K team race that's intended to connect the community and give back to it.

Proceeds will benefit the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Wyoming (GLOW) YMCA (similar to the Chase Corporate Challenge that takes place in bigger cities).

The goal is for local businesses to form racing teams, compete in a fun atmosphere, and crown a winner of the GLOW Corporate Cup. Following the race is the region's largest “office party,” where Batavia’s own, the OHMS Band, will perform. Companies are encouraged to set up tents, bring refreshments and prepare to have a good time at this major networking function.

Steven Tufts from the Batavia Office of Merrill Lynch is thrilled with the level of participation.

“We have 14 sponsors and expect more than 400 participants," Tufts said. "The money from the sponsors, after expenses, will go directly to the GLOW area YMCA. Judging from this year’s response, next year should be even bigger.”

The local Merrill Lynch office worked with city officials about location and logistics and set the event for 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, starting -- and ending -- at Centennial Park. Check-in is at 4:30. In the event of inclement weather, the race and concert afterward will still go on.

Registration is $25 per person and you must be 18 or older to participate.

The route has been certified as a USA Track and Field Course and there will be EMS by the finish line for any runner/walker who may need assistance.

Ellicott Avenue will be closed from Washington to Richmond from noon to 10 p.m. the day of the race. Street parking is available, along with parking at the Batavia City Centre on Main Street and the Jerome Center on Bank Street.

You can register online at or call 585-344-1664.





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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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