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October 4, 2012 - 2:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, kathy hochul.

Press release:

Today, Representative Kathy Hochul (NY-26) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated the seven counties of New York State’s 26th Congressional District as natural disaster areas due to the significant production loss caused by damage from armyworms.

"The infestation of armyworms combined with the spring's wild temperature swings, the summer's drought, and high feed prices have resulted in a particularly difficult year for Western New York farmers. The USDA's disaster designation will provide much needed relief to our farmers dealing with the devastating effects of the armyworms. Farms seeking assistance will now be eligible for emergency loans to help them recover and keep their businesses viable," Rep. Hochul said.

For more information, affected farmers are encouraged to contact their local Farm Service Agency office or Cornell Cooperative Extension Office.

Since the initial reports of the armyworm outbreak, Rep. Hochul has worked with local farmers to mitigate the damage, including seeing the effects firsthand at a Wyoming County farm.

Rep. Hochul has continually advocated for agriculture, a mainstay of Western New York’s economy with nearly 3,500 farms and an annual output of over $739 million in the 26th District alone. Support for agriculture is a key component of Hochul’s REBUILD Plan.

October 4, 2012 - 1:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, GCC.

Press release:

The State University of New York Community College Collaborative recently announced that $14,633,390 has been awarded for the Training and Education in Advanced Manufacturing (T.E.A.M.) Educational Pathways Project.

GCC's allocation was $145,348 from the collective pool of T.E.A.M. funding for all 30 New York community colleges, which is subsidized through the U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Training Grant Program.

It will ultimately provide more than 3,000 of New York's trade adjustment assistance-eligible workers and unemployed veterans with the education and training necessary to secure high-quality, high-wage jobs in the advanced manufacturing industry.

The T.E.A.M. Educational Pathways Project aligns advanced manufacturing industrial career pathways and third-party certifications for participating students to attain credentials and degrees in two years or less. The targeted industries for the Pathways Project include: advanced manufacturing, plastic and all its related sub-industries, optics, photovoltaics, precision machining/CNC, semi-conductor, and nanotechnology.

A statewide process for designing and offering training and education programs will be developed to replicate the T.E.A.M. model across all community colleges and all academic programs in the applied and occupational sciences.

The Pathways project will also allow the SUNY Statewide Community College Collaborative to leverage additional funding opportunities, such as $20 million in the SUNY2020 capital funds, and a $5 million proposal to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Workforce Innovation Fund in partnership with New York State DOL.

The T.E.A.M. Educational Pathways Project incorporates the following eight key strategies:

(1) Develop and promote educational pathways in advanced manufacturing with clear entry and exit points;

(2) Build and offer uniform core and specialty curricula based on the USDOL competency model for advanced manufacturing and incorporate the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System;

(3) Validate new and existing curriculum with industry at state, local and national levels;

(4) Build and offer fast track developmental education curricula in advanced manufacturing programs;

(5) Offer core specialty and developmental education courses online and in other delivery formats;

(6) Build and offer a uniform statewide system for awarding academic credit through prior learning assessment;

(7) Provide centralized student services through campus-based T.E.A.M. Centers in partnership with public workforce systems;

(8) And build and implement a coordinated statewide approach to outreach, recruit, and "earn and learn" models for the advanced manufacturing industry.

A series of existing credentials, both credit and noncredit, will be incorporated into the training program, including but not limited to: ACT's Work Readiness System (National Career Readiness Certificate/NCRC), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC), and National Institute of Manufacturing Metalworking Skills (NIMS). Additional training to support or enhance core and specialty curricula will be based on employer demand to include Six Sigma, OSHA standards, EntreSkills and web-based programs offered by the NYS Small Business Development Center.

"Genesee Community College is delighted to be the local partner in a national initiative designed to sharpen the competitive edge of our manufacturing sector," President Jim Sunser said. "Together as partners, the Pathways Project will allow community colleges to bring the very finest, most up to date training programs to our workforce and business community."

Through the grant, GCC will hire three adjunct faculty members to not only teach designated courses, but to also participate in the collaborative developmental meetings and planning process. In addition, the grant will allow the college to purchase equipment in support of its academic programs.

October 4, 2012 - 1:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

You're Too Funny, after three consecutive second places in the $9,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Batavia Downs, took a brief respite from the harness racing battles. But after a week of freshening, You're Too Funny ($15) returned to the war Wednesday night (Oct. 3) and conquered the field of six by scoring a half-length victory over the heavy 1-9 favorite It's De Lovely in 1:55.1 over the fast track.

It's De Lovely (Dave McNeight III) cut the fractions of :27.4, :57.3 and 1:26.4 and seemed in control around the final turn. But the three-length lead evaporated quickly as the fast pace turned out to be too much to handle.

You're Too Funny and driver Jack Flanigen used a steady and methodical stretch run beginning just past the three-quarters pole, grinding into the lead with every stride down the stretch, eventually collaring the pace setter. Evil Eva (Shawn Gray) was up for third.

Owned by Greg Capell, of Batavia, and trained by Chris Naedele, You're Too Funny has now bankrolled $46,030 on the season. It was the ninth win of the season as well for the four-year-old American Ideal mare.

The Dan Noble watch continues as he inches closer to 3,000 lifetime wins. The 29-year-old Ohio native drive home a pair of winners on Wednesday night and sits at 2,995 career tallies. A great weekend of harness racing kicks off on Friday night at Batavia Downs when a 12-race program gets underway at 6:25 p.m. The Pick-3 returns with a 50-cent minimum wager and a $1.00 minimum bet, starting in race 10.
 
On Saturday night, a super 13-race card is set highlighted by the 10th Annual $50,000 Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace along with the $12,500 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot, the usual $10,000 Open Pace and a strong undercard.
 
The night will also feature $1 Sahlen's hot dogs, draft beer and soda and a Robert J. Kane Memorial Pace T-shirt giveaway.
 
Then on Monday, Columbus Day, a special matinee is on tap with post time slated for 1:15 p.m.
 
For all the information on the holiday weekend action or to view live streaming video of all the action, go to "http://www.batavia-downs.com/">

October 4, 2012 - 1:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

Sheriff's deputies are at the college to check on a complaint of erratic driving. Campus security has the gray Ford Focus in question stopped in the parking lot of College Village. According to dispatch, it's the same vehicle that not long ago was "causing some issues" in the city related to traffic safety when it stopped and conducted "a Chinese fire drill."

October 4, 2012 - 11:39am
posted by Billie Owens in Alabama, accidents, Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

A property damage accident is reported on Sand Hill Road, on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. The driver of the vehicle which reportedly struck the involved property fled northbound in a green Chevy Astro van. But the driver left his or her passenger at the scene.

October 4, 2012 - 10:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in health department.

Paul Petit will soon officially be in charge of two county health departments -- Genesee and Orleans.

Over the past couple of weeks the two counties have hammered out an agreement to share health department services.

Petit, out of Orleans, will become Genesee County's public health director while retaining that position in Orleans County.

Genesee County's interim director, David Whitcroft, will become the environmental health director for both counties.

The official appointment of Petit was approved Wednesday by the Ways and Means Committee and will next be voted on by the full legislature next week.

Petit will be paid by Orleans County and get reimbursed for a portion of his salary by Genesee County, and Whitcroft's $65,000 salary will remain on Genesee County's payroll, but Orleans will share in the expense.

Over time, County Manager Jay Gsell, the arrangement may lead to more shared services between the two health departments, meaning potential cost savings.

For now, the real cost savings comes from the fact the county won't need to hire its own public health director.

For several years, Genesee County has relied on interim health directors, but the state is putting a stop to such an arrangement.

The county must have an actual public health director, but the qualifications for such a position put the annual salary in the $80,000 to $100,000 range. The shared services arrangement will help the county avoid that expense.

October 4, 2012 - 10:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, budget.

There are no sacred cows in county spending any more said Mary Pat Hancock, chair of the Genesee County Legislature, during a budget session on Wednesday.

After first-term Legislator Shelly Stein questioned with trepidation why the county finances the Holland Land Office Museum, Hancock said the legislature should consider every discretionary line item as a possible cost savings.

Legislature Robert Bausch added county parks, GoArt! and the libraries into the mix.

Marianne Clattenberg and Ray Cianfrini had already suggested Genesee County Economic Development Center for the chopping block.

Of course, it's not going to go over well if the legislature cuts both the county's economic engine and its tourism engine, Hancock said.

Clattenberg said that, at least with her constituents, she won't be able to explain a cut to something like HOLM if there aren't also cuts to GCEDC.

Legislators believe the county is facing a fiscal crisis of massive proportions, driven by Albany's cap on tax increases and the inability of state officials to curb spending -- specifically the so-called "unfunded mandates" that counties must fund with no control over how much the expenditures will be or how the money is spent.

During the meeting, there were no votes taken, no decisions made, no real proposals put forward. The budget conference was just a chance for each member of the legislature to sound off about their budget thoughts and concerns.

Frank Ferrando, participating in his first round of budget talks as a legislator, suggested his colleagues stop calling the Albany-driven spending spree "mandates." He said what the mandates really are is a tax on counties levied by Albany politicians.

During the meeting a lot of anger and frustration was directed at Gov. Andrew Cuomo for earlier in the day proclaiming that the tax cap enacted nearly two years ago by the State Legislature is working.

"It frustrates me that the governor can take credit and the Assembly and the Senate can take credit for the tax cap," Ferrando said. "They're killing us and we're too soft on them. It's time to face off. The counties are going broke. They're taxing the heck out of us. The rank-and-file don't get it. You call it a mandate. They don't know what a mandate is. Tell them it's a tax. Everybody gets what a tax is. Our taxes are going up."

Earlier in the meeting, Hancock made a lengthy statement about Cuomo taking credit for the tax cut, but never addressing the need for mandate relief. And she pointed out that the county legislature will need to make big cuts --  if not this year, then next -- to what small part of the budget it does control.

"He says they curbed out-of-control spending by the counties," Hancock said. "That's the message he's put out there, making us all the bad boys and bad girls of local taxes, but he's not talking about mandate relief or a true takeover of Medicaid.

"He said the tax cap worked and to some extent, that is true," Hancock added. "It's not going to change until the people see their services are not the same. They can't be the same. You cannot do what you did for less money.

"They feel if we were just a little more clever, if we pinched here and we did this little bit more wisely, then we would have plenty to spend on local services, but we don't have any control over a lot of these expenses," Hancock continued.

"You heard about the impact on all of the constituents we serve," Hancock said. "You heard from our veterans. You heard from Genesee Justice. You heard from probation. You heard from DSS. These people serve your constituents and we're the ones cutting their budgets. We're the ones sitting here at this table and the pie is getting smaller."

Stein opened the discussion Wednesday evening by asking why the county has both a probation department and Genesee Justice.

"Why they can’t be one, or is that taboo and we can’t talk about?" Stein said.

Her initial remarks were met by a long silence.

County Manager Jay Gsell pointed to a bottle of hand sanitizer in the middle of the conference table and said, "Pretend that's the grenade. You notice nobody's pulled the pin yet."

Gsell then explained that there really are some key differences between the two departments. Probation deals primarily people who have been convicted of a crime and Genesee Justice supervises people going through the court system. One agency is more enforcement-oriented, the other more about monitoring activity and behavior. Probation gets state funding. But release under supervision gets almost no funding support although it helps keep the county's jail costs down, Gsell said.

The other sacred cow several legislators expressed a willingness to gore is the Genesee County Nursing Home.

It simply costs the county too much money, they said, and is a problem that needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later.

"We need to get some direction as a legislature or we're just going to keep shoveling money into that place," Annie Lawrence said. "I just see no end to it if we continue to be owner/operators of such a place. The state and federal government are just going to shift more and more of the cost onto local taxpayers."

A looming crisis for the county are roads and bridges. Lawrence and Ferrando wondered if the county shouldn't finance repairs and reconstruction through bonds. But Gsell said one of the problems the county faces is some existing debt (which will be paid off in two years) and the failure of the state and feds to reimburse the county for social service expenses, most of it tied to the nursing home.

"That $6 million in rolling debt from the state and feds affects our bond rates," Gsell said.

When it came Cianfrini's turn to share his budget thoughts he opened with, "I know I'm going to make some enemies with this, but ..." and then he raised the issue of cutting spending for GCEDC.

"I know, it's a job well done and they've done a great job, but I don't see how we can continue to fund them at the current level when they show profits into the millions of dollars," Cianfrini said. "We're at the point, and I made this comment earlier, where we should only provide essential county services. If it's not an essential county service, we should look at cuts there."

Cianfrini also expressed concern that not everybody in the county has tightened their belts as much as they should. He cited specifically a case of members of the Public Defender's Office all going to a conference at a cost of $4,000 or $5,000.

"Was that necessary?" Cianfrini said. "No. How much of that is going on in the county. I don't know. I think we have to really start looking at where all this money is being spent and (ask) is it really necessary.

Cianfrini also suggested the county look at the services it offers and decide which ones the county should start charging a fee to provide. If the county can't raise taxes sufficiently to cover increased expenses, maybe the county should take a page from Albany's way of operating and start tacking on fees.

"It's always tough to find new sources of revenue," Cianfrini said.

October 4, 2012 - 9:06am

GRAND OPENING! Genesee County Republican Headquarters! Come and enjoy pizza and wings, get your ROMNEY/RYAN Lawn Signs! 

Support your 2012 GOP Candidates: Congress-27th - Chris Collins, State Senate-61st - Mike Ranzenhofer, State Assembly-139th - Steve Hawley, Sheriff - Gary Maha, County Treasurer - Scott German, Coroner - Don Coleman & Karen Lang, City Council - Brooks Hawley & Jim Russell

Paid for by the Genesee County Republican Committee

October 4, 2012 - 8:56am
posted by Lisa Ace in Deal of the Day.

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.

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.

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.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Kravings offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

New York Subs and Deli, 234 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY: Offering the freshest ingredients daily with a wide variety of sandwiches, wraps, and daily specials. All tips collected go to help an animal in need! We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Rancho Viejo, 12 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY: Traditional Mexican cuisine, from tacos and burritos to pollo norteno, Rancho Viejo brings a bit of "south of the border" to Batavia's restaurant scene. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

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.

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.

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.

SOLD OUT

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

October 4, 2012 - 12:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, GO ART!.

AARP hosted a dinner and presidential-debate watch at Go Art! on Wednesday evening. There was a good turn out for the dinner, I was told, but nearly everybody left before the debate started (which is when I showed up) so they could watch it at home.

October 3, 2012 - 8:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

A fire alarm has sounded in Hickory Hall at College Village and the Town of Batavia Volunteer Fire Department is responding. The address is 8170 Batavia Stafford Townline Road.

UPDATE 8:32 p.m.: Firefighters are responding to a "confirmed report of burnt food" in room H-102.

UPDATE 8:36 p.m.: A firefighter on scene says they are "trying to determine why the alarm went off. I don't believe (the reason) was cooking."

UPDATE 8:50 p.m.: No update on what set off the alarm, but the assignment is back in service.

October 3, 2012 - 7:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents.

A car-pedestrian accident is reported at 505 E. Main St. in front of the 7-11 store in the City of Batavia. The city fire department is responding and medics are on scene.

UPDATE 7:38 p.m.: City fire is back in service.

October 3, 2012 - 4:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime.

A fight in front of Genesee Community College, by the Clock Tower, is just now breaking up and it reportedly involves 15 people. Campus security is on scene and multiple law enforcement officers are responding.

UPDATE 4:48 p.m.: The fight has reignited. An ambulance is requested for injured victims.

UPDATE 4:50 p.m.: A law enforcement unit on scene reports other officers responding may disregard the call. They have the situation under control.

UPDATE 4:52 p.m.: Mercy medics are put back in service as they are deemed not needed.

UPDATE 5:18 p.m.: Subsequently, medics were again called to the scene, in non-emergency mode. One 19-year-old male who was allegedly involved in the fight is being taken to UMMC with lacerations to his lips and an injured left hand.

October 3, 2012 - 4:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, alexander, cody johncox, dirt-track racing.

Cody Johncox, an 18-year-old dirt-track racer from Alexander has experienced extremes in one season from breaking his leg to breaking into the list of AMA Pro winners. In just six months, Johncox went from a broken femur to earning his first-ever AMA Pro dirt-track race win this September at the prestigious Springfield Mile, in the AMA Pro Singles class.

Johncox, who began his motorcycle dirt-track racing career at the age of 5, turned pro on his 16th birthday. His years of amateur race wins and championships began at his home track in Medina. In amateur nationals in the USA and Canada, this Western New Yorker earned the Canadian Youth 65cc National title as a 9-year old, and at age 12 Johncox became the AMA Amateur Grand National Champion 85cc Mod. 12-15 Class. At 13, Johncox took the prize of AMA Amateur Grand National 125 Class Championship, winning every race that season on his way to the title.

Following his numerous amateur championships, Johncox moved up to being a pro racer, battling the world’s best riders in the AMA Pro Singles class for the last two years on dirt tracks and TT courses. In a race this spring in Savannah, Ga., Johncox was knocked from his motorcycle and then run over by other bikes, breaking his femur. What for some might have been a career-ending injury has now been proven by Johncox to just be a passing setback.

In just six months, and not quite yet at 100 percent of his abilities, Johncox outsmarted and out-rode his competition, taking the AMA Pro Singles win at the Springfield Mile, in Springfield, Ill., on his Yamaha. This crowd-pleasing win was a photo finish of 11 motorcycles side-by-side and wheel-to-wheel, separated only by half a second from front to back, from first to 11th. The difference between Johncox’s first-place finish and second-place is measured in thousandths, at .004-of-a-second, which is three times less than it takes a hummingbird to beat a wing.

About his first AMA Pro win Johncox said, “We were in a single-file line of bikes on the restart after a red flag, and I was the 10th bike. I worked my way up the inside and on the second-to-last lap I led over the line. Then I tucked in behind Zakk Palmer and drafted him across the line at the end.”

Third-place finisher, Michael Bickerton, was just a 100th of a second behind the leading pair, finishing .018-of-a-second behind Johncox. If that wasn’t enough to make Johncox nervous, Cole Anderson took fourth also at less than a 10th of a second behind Johncox, trailing by a mere .064 of a second.

It wasn’t until the fifth-place rider crossed the line that a single competitor had finished a full tenth of a second or more behind Johncox. In these passing fractions of a second at the finish line, Johncox could have finished anywhere from first to 11th; but on this day it was first for Johncox, showing his concentration, commitment and character.

Asked why he prefers dirt track to motocross racing Johncox said, “Dirt track is what my dad did and I like it better than motocross. It’s about more than hitting jumps. You really have to learn how to ride the corners at high speed. Dirt track is more about the riding, about controlling the bike.” In talking about his goals, Johncox afford, “I now try to qualify for the Pro Twins class. Just a couple races ago I was just one position from making the final. I hope to one day be an expert champion.”

Cody’s father, Eric Johncox, builds Cody’s bikes at his Sunnyside Cycle shop in Alexander, and said he does what he can to help him do well. “I raced as a novice at the national level and had to stop when I was injured after just working my way into the junior class. It’s my sport. I try to give Cody the best bike possible.”

Cody, who is in his first year at Monroe Community College, will be racing at the two final events of the 2012 season, at the Half Mile at Tucson International Raceway in Arizona on Oct. 6, and the historic Half-Mile at the Los Angeles County Fairplex in Pomona, Calif., on Oct. 13. Look for Johncox on his number-96B Yamaha in the Pro Single class, and look for him as he attempts to qualify his Harley-Davidson XR750 for the AMA Pro Twins class.

The sponsors that make Johncox’s racing possible are: Sunnyside Cycle, Yamaha Motor Corp. Top Gun Construction, RLJ Engines, Arai Helmets, Dynotech, Applied Business Systems, DC Enterprise, Zoladz Construction, Motion Pro, Motul Lubricants, Rev'It Leathers, Alpinestars, Smith Optics, K&N Filters, Oury Grips, Wadco Racing, Stan’s Harley-Davidson, American Harley-Davidson, Saddleman, and Racers Tape.

October 3, 2012 - 4:16pm

Enjoy food from all of your favorite restaurants at “A Taste of Genesee” at St. Joseph School’s 53rd annual Popcorn Ball at 6 p.m. on Oct. 13.

This year’s menu:


  • Seafood Bisque from Terry Hills
  • Fried Calamari from Alex's Place
  • Smoked Chicken Wings from Duke's Smokin' Bone

  • BBQ, Ribs from Clor's
  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches from Center Street Smoke House
  • Mini Beef on Weck from T.F. Brown's
  • Mini Beef Wellington from Larry's Steak House
  • Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo from Bob Evans
  • Eggplant Parmesan & Pasta Primavera from Penna's Catering.



Along with DJ Frank Gioia and great prizes like 2013 season passes to Darien Lake and Palm Island Indoor Water Park, we will also being honoring outstanding alumni Judge Robert Balbick and M&T Regional President Dan Burns and volunteers Jamee Logsdon, Maria Streeter, and Michelle Cryer.

All proceeds will benefit St. Joseph School and the event is open to the public. Tickets are $60/couple or reserve a table of 10 for $250. For more information: Please visit http://www.sjsbatavia.org/st-joseph-school-popcorn-ball.html

October 3, 2012 - 4:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, GCC, phi theta kappa.

Press release:

Even though numerous studies indicate a college degree improves earning power and career longevity, one of the challenges facing higher education is helping students commit to and complete a degree or certificate.

The honor society Phi Theta Kappa at Genesee Community College is hoping to improve the graduation rate by adopting a new project called Community College Completion Corps, also known as C4.

On Thursday, Oct. 4, PTK members are sponsoring an event to encourage students to sign a pledge to complete their degree and learn just how essential completion is for their future success. A ceremony to launch the year-long campaign, which is part of a statewide "Commit to Complete" initiative, will take place at 12:30 p.m. in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building on the Batavia Campus.

"We know that employers value seeing degrees on applications and resumes, even for students just starting out, because it indicates a person can set and stick to a goal," said PTK co-Vice President Emmeline Vacanti, of Alexander. Fellow board member Taylor Schutt, of Cheektowaga, said initially, her goal was to get a GCC fashion degree, but decided it was not her passion and quickly became discouraged. But she said she "found a new dream and now I'm on track to pursue a new goal," and hopes her personal story helps illustrate to others that they, too, can overcome obstacles and reach their goals, one step at a time.

The GCC chapter of PTK is launching this new initiative under the guidance of a new team of officers. Psychology Associate Professor Elise Banfield will continue to serve as advisor to the club and Eileen Blackwell, a psychology and human services instructor, will serve as co-advisor.

The remainder of the PTK leadership team is made of up students: Thomas Wieszczyk (of Dansville) will serve as president and regional VP for all of Western New York, Taylor Schutt and Emmeline Vacanti will share the vice presidency, Batavia's Michelle Williams takes on public relations duties, Courtney Dart (Alexander) will serve as secretary and Marcy Lorenzi (Alden) will assume the responsibilities of chapter Webmaster.

The honor society is also launching a push to gain more members. Michelle says there are hundreds of GCC students eligible for membership, but just a few dozen actually join. "I don't think they appreciate how valuable membership is. I've gotten inquiries from several four-year colleges, with offers of scholarships, just because I belong to PTK!"

Phi Theta Kappa was established in 1918, and serves to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two year college students and provides opportunities for individual growth and development through honors, leadership and service programming. Students must earn a GPA of 3.6 for initial membership.

For more information about the C4 initiative or PTK, please contact Elise Banfield at 343-0055 x6294, or via email: [email protected].

October 3, 2012 - 4:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, YWCA.

A Community Harvest Supper will be held under tents on the lawn of the Batavia YWCA from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

The event celebrates local agriculture and our community. It will include face-painting, pumpkin painting and live entertainment.

The autumn supper will include beef and vegetable stews, stuffing, potatoes, breads, mac 'n' cheese, and desserts.

Cost is $6 per person, or $20 for a group of four. Reservations are required and the deadline is Friday, Oct. 5.

October 3, 2012 - 3:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, sports.

The Alexander volleyball teams are sponsoring an ovarian cancer awareness game Thursday night Oct. 4 at home during their games against York.

(We know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this even started out as a breast cancer awareness game, but we switched gears at the beginning of September after our Varsity Coach Marcia Hirsch lost her sister-in-law Bonnie Hirsch to ovarian cancer at the end of August).

We will be having a serving contest in between the J.V. and Varsity games to win prizes from area businesses. You pay $1 to serve a ball into a pizza box and if you hit it, you win the prize that's in it.

There will be concessions with a bake sale and some T-shirts will be available for purchase -- all proceeds being donated to Roswell Park Cancer Institute in honor of Bonnie Hirsch.

The JV game starts at 5 p.m., the serving contest is at 6, followed by the varsity game and the evening should wrap up no later than 8:30 p.m., according to organizers.

The school is located at 3314 Buffalo St. in Alexander.

October 3, 2012 - 3:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, girl scouts.

Press release:

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is America’s leading business and economic literacy program for girls. During the 2012 sale, which begins Oct. 6, local Girl Scouts will put their sales and marketing skills into action as they strive to reach an unprecedented goal: Sell 1.7 million boxes of cookies.

“When a Girl Scout sells you cookies, she’s doing more than just handing you a box. She’s creating a plan, interacting with customers, and working as part of a team. She’s building a lifetime of skills and confidence which validates an important part of Girl Scouting which is to inspire girls to reach their full potential,“ said Cindy L. Odom, chief executive officer.

No matter which cookie is your favorite, each cookie has a mission -- to help girls do great things. Girl Scout cookies are once again $3.50 per box. All the popular favorites are back, with a NEW packaging look, including Caramel de Lites, Lemonades, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Peanut Butter Patties, Thanks-A-Lot, and Thin Mints.

NEW THIS YEAR -- Mango Cremes! "Eat with health in mind — Mango Crèmes with Nutrifusion™ Girl Scout Cookies is a tangy, refreshing tropical treat." Girl Scouts go greener with new Lemonades™ and Thanks-A-Lot® cookies. These cookies are offered in a tray with film overwrap and no carton. By removing the carton, 300 tons of paperboard a year is saved. Cookies in these film overwrapped trays freeze well so consumers can stock up.

Over the next two and a half months, girls will take orders door-to-door in their neighborhoods, and set up “cookie booths” at convenient locations and organize neighborhood walk abouts. Participating in the cookie program provides an opportunity for girls to develop budgets, design and implement creative marketing strategies, and master the art of both sales and customer service.

They actively participate in setting goals for their sale and in deciding how they will spend the proceeds. Most troops use their cookie revenue to pay for troop activities, special interest projects or for a wonderful trip. 

Besides using traditional marketing and sales techniques, Girl Scouts will also use the cookie program as an opportunity to spark some creativity. Some will make formal presentations; others will create displays that outline their troop goals and how they will use the money. Last year, one local Girl Scout set up a “drive-thru” cookie booth in her circular driveway. Her signage directed customers to the booth where each day she had established hours for customers to drive through and purchase cookies.

This year our community service organization is a partnership between Girl Scouts of Western New York and the Niagara Falls Air Force Base to provide Girl Scout cookies to men and women in our military and armed forces in WNY and overseas.

It costs roughly $320 to provide a year’s worth of opportunities and volunteer support for each Girl Scout.

 “Through the cookie program, the Girl Scouts of Western New York is able to achieve its mission of developing leadership, decision-making skills, and commitment to community.” Odom says.

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Young entrepreneurs have been at work in the Girl Scout organization since 1917, when girls baked the cookies in their own kitchens and sold them door-to-door. Their efforts helped build a long-standing tradition of girls working together to achieve their goals and become leaders in their own communities and beyond. The skills they develop and the memories they make will last long after the cookies are gone.

Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) serves over 20,000 girls and 9,000 adult volunteers across the GSWNY jurisdiction; including Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming counties.  The council’s administrative headquarters is located in Buffalo. GSWNY program and service centers are located in Buffalo, Batavia, Jamestown, Lockport, Niagara Falls and Rochester.

Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Through the Girl Scout Leadership Development Program, girls discover their personal best and prepare for a positive future, connect with others in an increasingly diverse world, and take action to solve problems and improve their communities.  

A premier voice for girls and a leading expert on their growth and development, Girl Scouts is a highly regarded, contemporary organization. Girl Scouts offers girls ages 5-17 remarkable opportunities to develop values and contribute to society as leaders, thinkers and responsible citizens.

Founded in Savannah, Ga., on March 12, 1912,  GSUSA continues to be the leading authority on girls, with a membership of more than 3.7 million girls and adults.

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