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April 10, 2015 - 12:27pm
posted by Jess Wheeler in batavia, schools, education, City Schools.

The return of three teaching positions and the lack of a tax increase highlight a 2015-16 budget proposal for Batavia City schools following this week's budget meeting. 

The reinstated teaching positions include a science teacher and a social studies teacher, both at the middle school level. The third position is for a districtwide music teacher.

There are students on a waiting list to take music classes.

The preliminary budget released in January projected a .55-percent increase in the tax levy, but with new state aid numbers that increase was zeroed out.

“The governor has always given budget projections,” Business Administrator Scott Rozanski said. “This year, he did not. So we used the budget numbers from the current year. When the state budget was finalized, we saw an increase of about $427,000. We used that to reduce the tax levy to 0 percent.”

The $427,000 will be coming in New York State Aid.

The proposed budget includes an increase in mileage for transportation at John Kennedy Intermediate School.

“I think the Board has sensed the needs of the taxpayer and has done even better than the governor projected,” Rozanski said.

The board meets again April 14 to finalize the budget proposal.

The public vote is May 19. The election will include the budget, transportation and three open seats on the school board.

April 10, 2015 - 12:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements.

From Carol Grasso:

Hi everyone, May 9th we are having a Birthday Party for the Aunnal Dinner for the Peace Garden.  Former Miss Teen New York State Corin Stellakis will be our guest speaker this year. The dinner is at Terry Hills Restarant 5:00pm cocktails and dinner at 6:00pm. $25.00 per ticket. Please call if you would like to go.585-343-1027. We are honoring Kathy Jasinski, Rob Borroughs, Kelly Rapone,and Potters Lumber Yard,( Mary Dix). Hope to see you there. Mark your calendars!!

April 10, 2015 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alabama.

Eastbound semi-truck traffic is being shut down on Lewiston Road at Route 77 to Knowlesville Road, Alabama, because of a low-hanging wires.

There's also a utility pole leaning over the roadway on Lewiston Road. All eastbound traffic on Ledge Road will be closed at Route 77.

Alabama fire with mutual aid from Indian Falls responding.

National Grid is reporting a 30-minute ETA for the Ledge Road incident.UP

UPDATE 12:34 p.m.: There's a report of wires down at 12 Walnut Street, Batavia.

April 9, 2015 - 9:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, brownfield areas, brownfield opportunity area.

The governor's office announced the designation of 12 brownfield opportunity areas today, including one in Batavia. Here's a portion of the press release. We've included the top overview portion of the press release and the section about Batavia.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the designation of 12 brownfield opportunity areas in economically challenged communities across New York State. The Brownfield Opportunity Areas Program helps local communities establish revitalization strategies that return dormant and blighted areas into productive areas to spur economic development. This designation is based upon plans of varying focus that reflect local conditions, and projects receiving this designation are given priority status for grants and additional Brownfield Cleanup Program tax credit incentives.

“By designating these sites as brownfield opportunity areas, we are helping to reimagine their potential as vibrant parts of the surrounding communities,” Governor Cuomo said. “This distinction allows us to put their rehabilitation on the fast-track with additional state resources, and that means new development, jobs and opportunities in the future. This is another way that our administration is joining with local partners to revitalize blighted areas across the state, and I look forward to seeing their transformation continue in the days to come.”

Prior to their designation, these communities received planning grants financed through New York’s Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program to complete a nomination that set forth revitalization strategies and promoted sound redevelopment and enhanced environmental quality within the affected areas. The Department of State accepted the nominations for these BOAs and has determined they meet the necessary requirements and criteria for designation. Developers, property owners and others with projects and properties located within a designated BOA will be eligible to access additional Brownfield Cleanup Program tax incentives and receive priority and preference for State grants to develop projects aimed at transforming dormant and blighted areas in their communities and putting them back into productive use.

Brownfields Reform and State Superfund
Separate from the sites receiving BOA designation today, the 2015-16 State Budget extends the Brownfields Cleanup Program for 10 years, and includes important reforms to protect taxpayers and promote brownfield redevelopment, particularly Upstate. The Budget also includes a new $100 million appropriation and extends the State Superfund cleanup program for ten years. The Superfund has been instrumental in identifying, investigating and cleaning up hazardous waste sites throughout the State.

Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales said: “These designations will serve as tremendous environmental and economic development engines for communities in need of public and private investment. The added incentives will afford these communities great opportunities for new housing development, businesses and job creation, and overall beautification.” The Secretary of State is charged with the designation of BOAs after a community planning process.

Val Washington, president, New Partners for Community Revitalization, said: "From Buffalo to the Bronx, from Wyandanch on Long Island to Lewis County in the North Country, New York's BOA Program is showing its worth. Uniquely, it brings community and municipal leaders together to develop plans to revitalize neighborhoods impacted by multiple brownfields. We applaud and support Governor Cuomo's important announcement today, and appreciate his leadership in increasing state government support for developers who will work in these designated areas."


Batavia Opportunity Area, Genesee County -- This consists of a 366-acre area characterized by an estimated 75 potential brownfield sites located within the Batavia Central Corridor. The primary community revitalization objectives include: cleaning up and redeveloping underutilized, vacant and brownfield properties with appropriate uses; stabilizing existing neighborhoods; and continuing the revitalization of the Downtown Business District. A $266,508 BOA Program grant financed planning activities.

City of Batavia Manager Jason Molino said: “We would like to thank the Department of State for providing the funding and guidance to complete Batavia’s Batavia Opportunity Area plan. The Batavia BOA has been an overwhelming success and we have already seen significant developer interest in our brownfield sites. To date we have already received more than $2 million in grant funding for TEP, NY Main Street and CDBG applications that advance recommendations in the Plan.”

April 9, 2015 - 4:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

WATCH: Stephen Pike, the 18-year-old accused of digging up his father's grave, explains why he did it.Read more HERE:

Posted by 13 WHAM ABC on Thursday, April 9, 2015

From The Batavian's news partner, 13WHAM.

Steve Pike, the 18-year-old Perry resident charged with aggravated cemetery desecration, explained today why he dug up his father's urn at St. Joseph Cemetery.

I get it," Pike said. "They might have saw disrespect, but he's my father. I think the urn is right under only about that deep under. I never even thought I would be as close to my dad as I was. I got his jacket. I got his Coca-Cola stuff. I got all this stuff, but you know you want closure." 

Pike's father died in 2006. 

"I can't find anybody. Nobody really gets it. So I went over to the cemetery and I just grabbed a shovel. Little, not a big shovel. Just lifted up the dirt, put up the grass, and I found it and I kind of just broke down emotionally right there, and I'm like, 'Wow, Dad,'" he said. "I never thought I would be that close to my dad. I can't hug him. If his body was under there and not his ashes, I'm not going to dig up his body."

Pike turned himself in today. He was issued an appearance ticket and released.

UPDATE: Here's a link to 13WHAM's full story where Pike explains further that he didn't learn who his biological father was until after his father died.

April 9, 2015 - 4:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, WNY Independent Living.

Press release:

WNY Independent Living, Inc., wants feedback from youth and young adults 14-24 years of age with mental /behavioral health problems and their parents and educators.

Focus groups are wanted that are comprised of individuals with a “behavioral health” diagnosis, parents of youth/young adults with mental/behavioral health challenges and/or educational service providers/teachers who work with youth/young adults. These focus groups are focused on areas which include disability, developmental/mental health challenges, substance abuse/use, trauma, eating disorders, and environmental disabilities, etc. Focus groups are available to youth/young adults, parents, teachers and service providers.
Each focus group is looking to create a report which shows stakeholders (youth/young adults, parents and services providers) feel is needed in Western New York to support youth/young adults with mental health/behavioral health needs, parents/caregivers, and education/service providers. Through the overall outcome of the focus groups, WNY Independent Living's goal is to create programs and services which will close gaps in current behavioral health services, training, and information to provide to youth/young adults, families and educators within the WNY community.
The focus groups can be set up at any location or WNY Independent Living, Inc., can provide a location in Lockport, Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Batavia. The focus group takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. We greatly appreciate input as it will create long term outcomes and goals to assist transition age youth/young adults in need of support while attending and remain in high school, transitioning to college or work in being successful and sustaining employment down the road.

Our goal is also to divert youth in high school from dropping out, based on mental health/behavioral
health challenges and needs.
If interested in being part of a focus group to design new and inventive future services please contact Lynnette Torgalski at (716) 836-0822, ext.154, or e-mail at [email protected], or Chris Hoff at (716) 836-0822, ext.103, e-mail at [email protected].

April 9, 2015 - 4:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, Mr. Batavia.

The Batavia High School student government hosts its third annual Mr. Batavia Contest at 7 p.m., April 17.

Eleven seniors have signed up and picked the charities they will represent. Proceeds from the event go to the winner's charity. Last year, Mr. Batavia raised $2,200 for Habitat for Humanity.

The contestants and their charities:

  • Bryce Rogers, Ricky Palermo Foundation
  • Andrew Maniace, Batavia VA
  • Samir Jain (not pictured), Michael Napoleon Foundation
  • Dylan Beckman, Habitat for Humanity
  • Brandon Smart, Volunteers for Animals
  • Josh Franks, Anna’s Wish
  • Adam Taylor, Care-A-Van Ministries
  • Eric DiLaura, Roswell Park Alliance Foundation
  • Nick Bauer, Crossroads House
  • Jordan Fluker, Genesee Cancer Assistance
  • Ben Demare, Boy Scouts of America National Youth Leadership Training

Hostesses for this year's event are (names not in order): Emily DiBacco, Carly Scott, Katie Kesler and Maggie Folger.

April 9, 2015 - 4:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

GO ART! Workshop -- "Eavesdropping on the Writing Life"

Join author Joe Langen for a look into the magical and mysterious world of writing.

This program will be presented at GO ART! Center Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St., Batavia, at 1 p.m. on Saturday April 18.

He is a retired psychologist and has written for publication since 1990. He started writing a biweekly column which appears in the The Daily News in Batavia on alternate Saturdays. He has published two collections of columns, "Commonsense Wisdom for Everyday Life" and "Navigating Life: Commonsense Reflections for the Voyage."

He has written a memoir of his nine years in a Catholic seminary and monastery, "Young Man of the Cloth," which took place during the turbulent and exciting years of change for the Catholic Church.

He wondered about the many abusive priests who were in the seminary at the same time he was. He explored this topic in "The Pastor’s Inferno," a novel about an abusive priest coming to terms with his abuse. There do not appear to be in print any other books which explore the mind of an abusive priest.

He recently published Release Your Stress and Reclaim Your Life, a self help book which explores the nature of stress, where it comes from, how it affects your body, mind, feelings and soul. He details physical, mental, emotional and spiritual approaches to dealing with stress and also considers the future of stress.

He is currently completing a self help book for teens, "Navigating Your Teen Years: Tips for the Voyage." This book is based on the author’s 35 years of working with teens and their families as well as interviews with teens in Genesee and Monroe counties.

All of his books have been self-published. He will discuss his joys and challenges in seeking publication for his work. He will also share selections from his writings. If you have wondered what it would be like to publish your own work or just want to understand a little more about what it is like to be a writer, please join us for a taste of the writing life.

Read more about Joe Langen’s writing at

April 9, 2015 - 4:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is pleased to announce that David Wolcott, of Batavia, was recently initiated into Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Wolcott was initiated at Ithaca College.

Wolcott is among approximately 32,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors, having at least 72 semester hours, are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as do faculty, professional staff, and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine and headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest and most selective all-discipline honor society. The Society has chapters on more than 300 college and university campuses in North America and the Philippines. Its mission is "To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others."

More About Phi Kappa Phi

Since its founding, more than 1.25 million members have been initiated. Some of the organization's more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist David Baldacci and YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley. The Society has awarded approximately $15 million since the inception of its awards program in 1932. Today, more than $1 million is awarded each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, member and chapter awards and grants for local and national literacy initiatives. For more information, visit

April 9, 2015 - 3:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Ascension Parish will host the Fruit of the Vine Wine Tasting Fun Raiser ™ on Sunday, April 25th from 5-8 p.m.

This year the event is open to the general public and for adults 21 years of age and older (proper identification is required). This event will feature premium Finger Lakes wines handcrafted by Eagle Crest and O-Neh-Da Vineyards of Hemlock Lake.

Hors d'oeuvres along with assorted cheeses and crackers will be served. A classical guitar ensemble will accompany the evening’s festivities along with works of art by local artist Carole LaValley. All proceeds benefit Ascension Parish.

The cost of the event is $25 per person or $26.75 online at

Ascension Parish
19 Sumner St.
Batavia, NY 14020
Phone:  585-343-1796
Fax:  585-343-0919
[email protected]

April 9, 2015 - 3:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

High winds are expected to blow into Genesee County tomorrow morning with the potential to bring down trees and power lines.

A high wind warning is in effect from 8 a.m. to midnight Friday.

Winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph are expected.

April 9, 2015 - 3:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Join the Genesee County Master Gardeners on Wednesday, April 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. to learn about creating a cutting garden. Cut flowers are not difficult to grow and the range of flowers is diverse; from annuals, perennials, bulbs and herbs to shrubs and even ground covers!

Learn the basics to planning, growing, cutting and conditioning fresh flowers for cutting. When planning your gardens why not think about incorporating plants that can be dried and are perfect for arrangements, wreaths and decor!  We will also look at the various plants and flowers you can grow and dry to make simple and beautiful arrangements.

This class will be held at the Genesee County Cornell Cooperative Extension at 420 E. Main St., Batavia. Cost is $10 per person. Pre-registration is requested by April 13 as class size is limited. Contact Brandie at 585-343-3040, ext. 101, or stop by our office to register. Visit our Web site at: for more information.

April 9, 2015 - 2:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in Deal of the Day.

NEW TODAY!  The Original Woody's Deli, 47 North St., Le Roy, NY 14482: It's all here at Woody's "The Corner Deli" -- Made-to-order, hand-battered chicken tenders, homemade cannolis and soups, specialty pizza, wraps, hot and cold subs, Mexican favorites, fresh salads, Garbage Plates, Kids' Menu, wings, catering, delivery.  Hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday noon to 8 p.m. Stop by today! Or phone in your order 768-8585. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

Pastore's Pizzeria, 110 W. Main St., Le Roy (formerly Ficarella's): Since 1998, Pastore's has been serving fresh hearth-baked pizzas and a wide variety of wings, subs, wraps, pasta, salads, as well as many finger foods. We would like to thank all of our loyal customers in Le Roy, Stafford, Caledonia, Pavilion, Bergen and surrounding towns in Genesee County, for making this our 16th year in business! We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

Fortune's Restaurant inside Batavia Downs, 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY: Italian-style menu, drinks in one of the region's most popular entertainment venues. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15. (Must be new or current Players Club member to redeem.)

The Little Ridge, 107 Evans St., Batavia NY, 14020: The Little Ridge continues the long-standing history of fantastic food from Batavia's local favorite, Delavan's. Fine dining and family fare combine to offer the best of both. We offer Friday night Fish Fry, prime rib dinner on Saturdays, steaks, burgers, salads, and classic Italian dishes. Open Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Phone 815-5118. Take-outs available. Kids' menu. Weekly and daily lunch and dinner specials. On Saturday, breakfast is served from 9 to 11 a.m. Good food, good friends, good times! We have a $25 gift certificate for $15.

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.

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. Open daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

Byron Hotel & Trail House, 6874 Byron Holley Road, Byron, NY: Casual, friendly atmosphere centrally located in Byron offering a full menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, seafood, steak, and pasta. Lunch punch pass Monday -- Friday 11 a.m.  to 1 p.m.; Tuesday -- Trivia; Wednesday -- Clam & Wing Specials 6 to 10 p.m.; Friday -- Best Fish Fry around. Dining room available for private parties or corporate events. Patio opening. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

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.

Batavia's Original, 500 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: First established in 1947, this Batavia landmark pizzeria reopened as Batavia's Original in 2010, serving up delicious Neopolitan tomato pies that have had satisfied generations. We offer regular and New York-style thin crust pizza, plus Chicago deep dish and gluten-free. We have "tray," white, sweet, or white ricotta sauce. Choose from two dozen toppings, including pulled pork, carmelized onions, steak and spinach! Enjoy specialty pizzas, too, like Sienna, Steak-in-the-Grass or bacon/chicken/ranch. Our menu also includes calzones, appetizers (like deep-fried pickles, garlic knots, Hodge Podge), wings, salads, wraps and cannolis. All subs are toasted. Weekday Express Lunch combo meals (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.). A $9.99 Sunday lunch buffet is offered from 11 to 3. Patio dining, catering, delivery. Hours are: Sunday & Monday 11 to 9; Tuesday & Thursday 11 to 10; and Friday & Saturday 11 to 11. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

El Burrito Loco, 4125 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Located in Valu Plaza, this new eatery offers tasty, authentic Mexican fare. Tell us what you want on your burrito! We make it fresh just for you. Choose from steak, seasoned ground beef, chicken, pork, and/or beans -- black, refried or pinto. Other ingredients to choose from include lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, guacamole, Spanish or white rice, cilantro, salsa, and jalapeno peppers. The menu also offers tacos, quesadillas, burrito bowls, loaded nachos, Mexican soda pop, lemonade, and more! Relax and eat in, or take out. Call in your order if you like -- 219-4620. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

John & Mary's Restaurant, 3711 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, NY: This popular restaurant offers a varied menu that people love. From subs, hoagies, hand-tossed pizza, and wings, to fish & chips, salads, Mexican food, gyros and other Greek fare, it's all here. Only the finest and freshest ingredients are used. Bread, using homemade dough, baked fresh daily. Amazing specialty pizzas and appetizers! "We never waver on quality!" Delivery available all day, every day. We offer catering. Hours 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

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.

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.

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.

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 $10 gift card for $6.

The Rack Shack, 4974 Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, NY: Genesee County's newest BBQ restaurant offers a varied menu that ranges from tender, tasty slow-cooked BBQ ribs and smoky beef brisket to Cajun catfish, ribeye steaks, burgers and wraps. Family owned and operated, the atmosphere is warm and comfortable, and the meats are smoked on-site. The homemade BBQ sauce is “sweet with a spicy kick.” Sides include authentic Southern-style collard greens, 5-bean chuck wagon beans with bacon and ground meat, mac ‘n’ cheese, tater tots and more. Catering available. Dine in, take out, phone in (585-201-7077). Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 9 to 7, closed Monday. 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.

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.

Mooney's Sports Bar & Grill, 65 Lake St., Le Roy, NY: "Not Your Average Sports Bar!" This place is Home of the Mac N' Cheese, an All-American favorite with nine kinds to choose from. Plus, monster 1/2-lb. burgers, huge tacos, pizza, wings, fingers, wraps, soups, salads, appetizers (including deep-fried pickles), a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches, seafood, and plenty more. Mooney's has a fun, welcoming atmosphere where you can enjoy watching your favorite teams. Endless soda pop, great selection of ice-cold beer. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Catering available. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

[Last updated June 6, 2014. Subject to change without notice.]

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April 9, 2015 - 2:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, educaiton, common core.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today reminded his constituents of their ability to opt out of the Common Core tests. Hawley said the Common Core Standards have been irresponsibly implemented and parents have a right to know that they can refuse to have their children take the tests.  

“As we look forward to the warm weather that April brings, let us not forget that it also brings another round of dreaded Common Core testing,” Hawley said. “With all the conversation surrounding how teacher evaluations will be altered in the 2015-16 State Budget, we are overlooking the bigger issue of Common Core tests. Teachers are still struggling to learn new curriculum requirements, and students fear this time of year as immense pressure is placed on them to succeed on the fairly new methods of testing and learning. I sponsor the Common Core Parental Refusal Act, which mandates that school districts notify parents of their ability to have their children refuse to participate in Common Core tests without penalty to themselves or the school. To learn how you can opt out of Common Core testing, please visit”

Hawley also commented on how the Assembly Minority Conference’s Achieving Pupil Preparedness & Launching Excellence (APPLE) Plan would address many salient education concerns such as Common Core and teacher evaluations. Assembly Bill 3656 is a bipartisan measure that was reintroduced earlier this year.

“Fortunately, the Assembly Minority Conference’s APPLE plan would address many of these concerns,” Hawley said. “Our plan would suspend Common Core tests for two years and create a commission, consisting of experts from the front lines of education, to evaluate all aspects of Common Core and determine a more suitable way to implement the standards. This legislation has been active since last year but was blocked by members of the Assembly Majority during last year’s session.”

Hawley’s comments come on the eve of Common Core testing which is scheduled to begin later this month. More information can be found about the Assembly Minority APPLE plan at

April 9, 2015 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, St. Joseph Cemetary.

An 18-year-old Perry resident has been charged with aggravated cemetery desecration for allegedly digging up and taking home the urn containing his father's ashes.

Stephen E. Pike turned himself in after learning the police planned to charge him, according to a release from Batavia PD.

Sometime on Monday, Pike allegedly took the urn and carried it to his residence.

The urn was retrieved by detectives and re-interned at the cemetery.

April 9, 2015 - 11:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mike Ranzenhofer, infrastructure.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced today that the 2015-16 State Budget makes a record level of investment to support local highway, road and bridge repair projects.

The new State Budget allocates a total of $488 million in statewide funding, including $438 million for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) and $50 million for Extreme Winter Recovery.

“Municipalities all across Genesee County will receive more funding than ever before to help repair our local infrastructure. The final budget maintains a record level of funding as part of the CHIPS program for a third consecutive year, while allocating extra dollars for a second year to address potholes and road surface damage from the harsh winter,” said Ranzenhofer.

Municipality Breakdown: CHIPS + Extreme Winter Recovery


2014-15 Budget ($)

2015-16 Budget ($)

Year-over-year Change ($)

Percent Change

City of Batavia





Town of Alabama





Town of Alexander





Town of Batavia





Town of Bergen





Town of Bethany





Town of Byron





Town of Darien





Town of Elba





Town of LeRoy





Town of Oakfield





Town of Pavilion





Town of Pembroke





Town of Stafford





Village of Alexander





Village of Bergen





Village of Corfu





Village of Elba





Village of Le Roy





Village of Oakfield





In addition to these initiatives, the State Budget designates $7.2 billion in capital funds over two years for the State Department of Transportation to support state-of-the-art infrastructure and an additional $1 billion in funds to repair and replace roads and bridges.

“For far too long, New York’s crumbling infrastructure has been put on the back burner. The new budget makes a substantial down payment on addressing this issue. These critical investments are important to keeping motorists and their passengers safe and to moving our economy forward,” Ranzenhofer said.

The New York State Legislature started the CHIPS program in 1981. The CHIPS program provides funding for the repair of highways, bridges and roads operated by local governments.

April 9, 2015 - 11:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, music, entertainment, Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

Jonathan Jaeger, music instructor at Roxy's Music in Batavia, practices with students Lucia Sprague, John Patt and Kirk Ellison. The students are preparing for Sunday's performance with the Genesee Symphony Orchestra of the "1812 Overture" and "Concerto Grosso."

Showtime is 4 p.m. at Batavia High School.

The concert will also feature drummer Dave Mancini and his original compositions of "A Peace For Him" and  "Symphony of Peace." 

It is also the final concert under the direction of Conductor Raffaele Ponti.

Photo submitted by Debbie Patt.

April 9, 2015 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, radio, wbta, business, elba.

WBTA has expanded its programming from one local entertaining talk show to two.

Hiram Kasten is now co-hosting "Batavia After Breakfast" with is wife Diana at 9 a.m., Wednesday mornings and his former partner, Lucine Kauffman, now has her own show, "Genesee Life," at 8:30 a.m., Saturdays.

Hiram and Diana, pictured above, will feature their witty repartee as they share their experiences in Batavia, what's happening in Batavia, and Hiram -- with decades experience as a comedian, actor and performer in New York, Hollywood and Las Vegas, as well as around the globe -- hosts guests from his entertainment world.

Lucine, bottom photo, will celebrate and explore Genesee County rich cultural life, featuring local residents who might be artists, musicians, authors, historians, hobbyists, farmers, athletes, local business owners and local characters. The show will also promote local shows and showings.

WBTA is at 1490 AM, 100.1 FM and streaming at as well as through apps available for your mobile devices.

April 9, 2015 - 11:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen.

A possible gazebo fire is reported at 25 Richmond Ave., Bergen.

Bergen fire requested to the scene.

April 9, 2015 - 11:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, accident, Le Roy.

A driver who was seriously injured in a Dec. 30 accident in Le Roy has been arrested and charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs.

Charles R. Lowe, 51, of 8131 E. Main Road, #6, Le Roy, reportedly fell asleep while driving westbound on East Main Street, Village of Le Roy, at a speed of 52 mph in the 30 mph zone.

His vehicle veered from its lane and rear-ended a vehicle paused to turn left onto Wolcott Street. That car then struck another vehicle on East Main Street.

The other two drivers suffered minor injuries.

Lowe was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital and was initially in the intensive care unit.

He's also charged with reckless driving, speeding, failure to use designated lane, following too closely and two counts of assault in the third degree and criminal negligence.

Following the accident, Lowe was entrapped in his vehicle and required extrication by the Le Roy Volunteer Fire Department.

The Sheriff's Office Crash Management Team assisted in the investigation.

Lowe was issued an appearance ticket and is due back in Le Roy Town Court on April 27.





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