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March 16, 2017 - 1:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) has released the following statement after President Trump unveiled his FY 18 Budget Request.

“President Trump’s budget delivered a clear vision for the role the federal government should play,” Congressman Collins said. “It demonstrates that President Trump is committed to keeping the promises he made to the American people. He will rebuild our military. The budget’s $54 billion increase in defense spending is much needed, and I fully support the increase in military funding. Additionally, President Trump promised to secure our borders, and this budget lays the groundwork for building a wall and taking the necessary steps to ensure our nation’s border security.

“However, I have several concerns about significant cuts to local programs, which I believe go too far. I worked for more than two years to help write and pass the 21st Century Cures Initiative, and I fully believe that the funding guidelines established in that legislation must be followed. The $5.8 billion cut to NIH is drastic. I will do whatever I can to ensure that the Appropriations Committee recognizes how crucial medical research is to Western New York and the millions of Americans whose lives could be saved with better medical research.

“The Great Lakes are a crucial part of Western New York’s economy. I have always fought to protect them and have voted to increase funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at every opportunity. I will do the same this time around. Western New Yorkers can rest assured I will be fighting tooth and nail to restore the program’s funding.”

“Agriculture plays a significant role in Western New York’s economy. This budget eliminates the water and wastewater loan and grant program, which helps rural areas alleviate the financial burden of maintaining wastewater programs. I have always fought hard to support this program and this year will be no different.

“Over the next few months, I will continue to evaluate this budget. Ultimately, it is up to the Appropriations Committee to fund these programs and I will be strongly advocating for Western New York’s best interests.”

March 16, 2017 - 12:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

Press release:

Following a successful contest to have a logo created for The Ellicott Trail, Town of Batavia officials are hoping to use a similar method to select a new town logo. Ideally, the logo would incorporate the town's rich history and rural nature, while giving a nod to recent development.

The original Town of Batavia included practically the entire Holland Land Purchase, which was nearly all of Western New York. The town was formed by act of the Legislature, March 30, 1802. Alexander, Bergen, Bethany and Pembroke were set off in 1812, and Elba and a part of Stafford in 1820. The first town meeting was held at the tavern of Peter Vandeventer (now Newstead, Erie County) March 1, 1803.

Today the town is home to nearly 7,000 residents, a number of farms, shops, parks, and industrial parks. The town is bisected by the Tonawanda Creek, Interstate 90, and a number of state routes including routes 5, 33, 63, and 98 which has given the town its current slogan "All Roads Lead to Batavia."

The new logo will be used on a wide range of applications including but not limited to exterior signs, town vehicles, and the town's website.

Entry deadline is April 30.

  • Entries must represent well in black and white format but full-color entries are encouraged.
  • Entries must include the verbiage "Town of Batavia" and establishment date (1802).
  • In addition to the name and date, an additional graphic element or design solution is encouraged.

To submit entries:

This is the town's current logo:

logo.png

March 16, 2017 - 12:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, hockey, sports.

Press release:

Notre Dame High School is proud to announce that three members of its hockey team as well as Coach Marc Staley have been selected to participate in the prestigious Scotty Bowman Cup to be held on Wednesday, March 22nd at KeyBank Center.

Cameron Clark and Ryan Webster have been selected to play on the Rochester Senior Team and Ethan Conrad has been selected to play on the Rochester Junior Team. Coach Staley has been selected as the Rochester Senior Team Coach.

The Scotty Bowman Cup is hosted by the Buffalo Sabres and honors the best high school aged hockey players across Buffalo and Rochester. Three games will be held that evening beginning at 5 p.m. Admission for the event is $5 per person.

Congratulations Cameron, Ryan, Ethan and Coach Staley! We are proud of your accomplishments and can’t wait to cheer you on!

March 16, 2017 - 8:09am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

A victory for the “little guy (and gal).”

This year’s T.F. Brown’s Restaurant King & Queen mixed doubles handicap tournament proved to be just that as Marshall and Megan Trykowski Faron chopped down a few “Goliaths” on their way to capturing faron_king_and_queen.jpgthe $500 first prize last Saturday at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

“It is definitely a shock, especially since we went into the tournament thinking it was a no-tap (where nine pins counts as a strike),” Marshall said. “This is only our second tournament, and we just picked up the league on Thursday nights this season.”

Both are new members of the North Pole Restaurant/Family Affair Boat Repair League on Thursdays at Mancuso’s, where Marshall has a 150 average and Megan has a 124 average.

At the King & Queen event, the Batavia couple bowled slightly better than their averages – qualifying 14th out of the 59 entrants to advance to match play and then winning four one-game head-to-head matches to take the title.

“We tried to keep it fun,” Marshall said, adding that it was nerve-racking as well. “We’re built for three games, and here we were in game (number) seven.”

The Farons received 116 pins per game handicap and needed just about all of those pins in two of their matches – a 462-459 victory over scratch bowlers Michelle Sterner of Niagara Falls and Roger Thaine of Rochester, and a 391-389 win over scratch bowlers Tracy Spanitz of Rochester and Mark Brown of Attica.

The victory over Spanitz and Brown propelled the Farons into the finals, where Megan rolled 134 and Marshall 169 in a 419-365 triumph against Batavians Kathy Stearns and Rob Stefani.

Marshall, an Akron native, recently started his own business, C.J.’s Heating & Cooling, which he named after his 3-year-old son, Colton James. The couple is expecting their second child in nine weeks – a son who they will name Connor Joseph in keeping with the C.J.’s theme.

Megan, who has family in Batavia and Darien, starts a new job next week as a Licensed Practical Nurse at the VA Medical Center.

Stearns and Stefani earned $300 for placing second while Spanitz/Brown and Stephanie Alexander of Canandaigua and Scott Culp of Lima each won $200 for reaching the semis.

Other cashers were as follows:

Quarterfinalists, $130 each -- Andrea Pizzo of Rochester and Rob Sease of Brockport, Frank Jarkiewicz of Byron and Laurie Morgante of Bergen, Jeanette Sease of Brockport and Mike Lavender of Medina, and Sandy Restieri and Norm Bialuski of Rochester.

First round, $100 each – Chase Cone of Bergen and Jen Merle of Batavia, Sterner and Thaine, Penny Brown of Attica and Rich Culver of Medina, Rich and Jen Wagner of Batavia, Scott and Christine Shields of Batavia, Joanna and Jerry Menzie Jr. of Bergen, Dana and Christopher Charvella of Batavia, and Kelly and Shayne Herold of Batavia.

Spanitz and Brown were the high qualifiers with 1,382 for three games. Rob Sease had the tournament’s high game (290), while Culver (751) and Spanitz (744) posted the high three-game series.

HACKETT, GILMAN HIT 300 MARK FOR FIRST TIME

Mike Hackett said he is optimistic about his bowling future now that he has made a successful switch to a two-handed delivery.

The 27-year-old Pavilion resident rolled his first 300 game on March 7 on lanes 3-4 in the Industrial B League at Legion Lanes in Le Roy while filling in for a regular league member.

“I’ve gone from a 155 average to a 193 average in a year and a half since I went to two hands, and I plan to take the game more seriously,” said Hackett, a PRC tank processor at Pcore Electric Co. Inc. in Le Roy. 

A league bowler for three years, Hackett said he got a couple breaks on the first two balls in the 10th frame – a light hit that collapsed the pocket and then a late-falling 10-pin – before putting the ball squarely into the 1-3 pocket for the 300.

“I was really nervous, but the last ball put them all in the back of the pit,” he said. “After that, my nerves were crazy.”

The pins didn’t cooperate as well after the perfect game as Hackett ended with a 632 series, but he wasn’t too upset.

“I finally got the 300,” he said, eclipsing his previous high of 289, which he said he reached six or seven times.

A regular in two leagues in Le Roy last season, he suffered a broken arm while playing softball last summer and is subbing at Legion Lanes and at Gates Bowl in Rochester this season.

At Oak Orchard Bowl in his hometown of Albion, Greg Gilman said he stayed with the new Loch Ness Monster bowling ball to spin his first 300 game in the Saturday Mixed League on March 11.’

“It’s been 57 years in the coming,” said Gilman, referring to his age. “I just got the ball a couple weeks ago, but I hadn’t bowled too well with it as I was getting used to the way it hooked.”

The ball is the first offering from Monster Bowling, a company co-founded by Rochester pro shop owner Brad Buckert.

Gilman, a right-hander, registered 189 and 205 before zeroing in on the second arrow to finish with the 300 and a 694 series.

“As long as I stayed smooth, it read the lane and hooked into the pocket,” he said. “I got a couple of light mixers where it took out the 7-10, but they all were right there.”

A 190-plus average bowler, Gilman’s previous high game was 289. A recent New York State retiree, he also bowls on Monday and Thursday nights in Albion.

Three other perfect games were reported last week:

-- Rob Sease of Brockport posted 300—741 on March 7 while subbing in the G&W Vending League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

-- Chris Bardol of Rochester, a frequent flyer in this column, popped another 300 en route to a 687 series in the North Pole/Family Affair Boat Repair League at Mancuso’s on March 9.

-- Rob Dennis of Medina fired 228-222-300—750 in the Thursday Firefighters League at Medina Lanes on March 9.

Honorable mention: Jason Quilliam of Batavia, 290, in the North Pole/Family Affair League and Paul Baney of Holley, 296, in the Sneezy’s Monday Night League at Oak Orchard Bowl.

GRUSBC ASSOCIATION TOURNAMENT BEGINS MARCH 24

Letchworth Pines in Portageville and Perry Bowling Center are hosting the 11th annual Genesee Region USBC Association Tournament, a team, doubles, singles and all-events competition scheduled for March 24-26 and March 31-April 2.

The team event will take place at Letchworth Pines and doubles and singles events will be contested at Perry Bowling Center.

In the Open Division, teams consist of five bowlers; in the Women’s Division, teams are made up of four bowlers.

For more information and to download an entry form, go to www.bowlgr.com.

Information about other tournaments this month can be found by scrolling down this page to the March 2 Pin Points column.

BOWLERS TURN OUT TO SUPPORT PERRY FD

Forty-one teams supported the Perry Fire Department’s “Sonny Yencer” three-person handicap no-tap tournament fundraiser last weekend.

The team of Shawn Illerbrun of Warsaw and Marie and Richard Stone of Perry placed first with a 2,420 total to take home the $440 top prize.

They were followed by Ed Doody of Pavilion, Brian Wetmore of Perry and Joe Rosowski of Warsaw, 2,413, $210; Brett Van Duser of Perry, Marty Weaver of Castile and Jamie Schery of Pike, 2,411, $120; and the Perry trio of Rachel Van Duser, John Huntz and Chris Huntz, 2,372, $90.

At Mount Morris Lanes, the Motley Crew team captained by Dave DiSalvo won the Bob Bertram Memorial five-person no-tap tournament’s first prize of $1,000.

A team captained by Tom Sweeney placed second, good for $500.

DiSalvo also won the singles tournament with 878 – earning another $200.

More than $1,200 was generated for both Livingston County Hospice and Teresa House by the event’s 40 teams.

BATAVIA, PERRY BOWLERS CAPTURE YOUTH TEAM TITLES

Bowlers from Mancuso Bowling Center and Perry Bowling Center combined forces to take first place in Division A of the Genesee Region USBC Youth Team Tournament on March 4-5 at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

The Thrown Together squad of Brooke Jurek, Emma Miller, Tony Sprague and Matt Hurlburt posted a 2,555 score with handicap to edge Scopano's Scrappers team by eight pins and capture the top prize of $100 scholarships each.

In Division C (there was no Division B), scholarships went to the Mancuso's team of Lily Martin, Jonah Martin, Noah Martin and Zach Wester with 2,440.

The Genesee Region Youth Travel League concludes its season this Sunday afternoon at Mancuso Bowling Center. Batavia Strike Force holds an 11-point lead with 19 points up for grabs as it takes on second-place Scopano’s Lanes No. 1.

CONDOLENCES TO ORLEANS COUNTY BOWLING FAMILIES

Thoughts and prayers go out to the Allis family from the Medina area and the Ecker family of Albion on the passing of their loved ones – Sydney Allis and Bill Ecker.

Syd was the patriarch of a multi-generational and extremely skilled bowling family that lists around 20 USBC-certified adult and youth members. He passed away on March 12 at the age of 92.

Bill, who died suddenly on March 9 at the age of 55, leaves behind his wife, Kay, and sons, Cameron and Dallas, all avid bowlers at Oak Orchard Bowl.

(Mike Pettinella’s Pin Points column appears every other Thursday on The Batavian, the region’s No. 1 source for online news. To advertise on this page, contact Mike at [email protected] or at 585-343-3736).

March 16, 2017 - 7:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, bergen.

An accident with possible minor injuries is reported in the area of 7793 Townline Road, Bergen. 

Bergen fire and ambulance responding. 

UPDATE 7:50 a.m.: Confirmed injuries. Extrication for at least one person required. 

March 15, 2017 - 10:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather, news.

mattheatherengage2017.jpg

Here's a different take on a snowstorm picture. Matthew Bailey and Heather Lewis got engaged recently but hadn't yet gotten their engagement portraits taken, so today, in the midst of a snowstorm on Tracy Avenue, they thought it would be the perfect time to have their official engagement pictures taken. They will be married May 12. Bailey was recently hired as a corrections officer in the Genesee County Jail.

Photo submitted by Melissa Barone.

March 15, 2017 - 8:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, batavia, news.

img_0544.jpg

Firefighter Christine Marinaccio was part of a team of Batavia Local 896 firefighters who participated this past weekend in the American Lung Association Fight for Air Climb at the Main Place Tower in Buffalo.

Marinaccio won the trophy for Fastest Female Firefighter, beating out the other women in the climb up the 24-floor staircase. Her time was seven minutes and 27 seconds. The five-member team raised $2,100 for the ALA.

March 15, 2017 - 7:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Centennial Park, news, weather.

centparksnowmarch152017.jpg

Lilah Guarino, 7, (top photo) and Quintin Hoca, 4, (below) couldn't wait to get to Centennial Park today to sled in the snow. The sun came out late this afternoon and they were there. It's the first time this winter there has really been enough snow for good sledding. Lilah's father said she's been bugging him all winter about sledding so she was eager to hit the slopes today.

centparksnowmarch152017-2.jpg

centparksnowmarch152017-3.jpg

March 15, 2017 - 7:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Alabama.

A person is reportedly stuck in a vehicle, but uninjured, after a rollover accident on Route 77, just south of Ham Road, in Alabama.

Alabama fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

March 15, 2017 - 7:09pm

The Genesee Valley Wind Ensemble will hold its Spring Concert in the auditorium of Elba Central School at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 30.

Philip J. Briatico is the conductor.

It will feature these works:

  • "A Copeland Tribute" -- Clair Grundman
  • "Barnum & Bailey's Favorite" -- Karl King
  • "Ghost Train" -- Eric Whitacre
  • "New York: 1927" -- Warren Barker
  • Highlight's from Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Carousel"
  • "When Jesus Wept" -- William Schuman
  • Sounds of the Carpenters
  • "Hymn to a Blue Hour" -- John Mackey
  • "Bond...James Bond" -- arrangements by Stephen Bulla

Admission is $10 for adults; $8 for seniors age 55 and up, and veterans; $5 for students with I.D.; children ages 5 and under are free. Get a Family Deal for $25 for mom and dad and up to four children.

Also, there will be a Meal Deal printed on the back of the tickets, offering a deal at Chap's Elba Diner, which can only be used immediately following the concert for 10 percent off the dining bill.

This program is made possible, in part, by the Reach Grant program administered by the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.

The purpose of the Genesee Valley Wind Ensemble is to serve and to provide the Greater Genesee Valley audience with new and familiar live music, to serve its membership with the opportunity to perform challenging wind ensemble literature and to create the opportunity for the conductor and musicians to grow their collective musical talents.

To contact the ensemble, email  [email protected]

March 15, 2017 - 6:52pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, batavia, City Fire.

Press release:

City Manager Jason Molino announced today that Stefano (Steve) Napolitano has accepted the position of the City’s new fire chief.

Chief Napolitano will be leaving his current position as Deputy Fire Chief for the Village of Herkimer and begin his Batavia post on April 17.

“It has been a long and thorough search to fill this important position with the City’s fire department,” Molino said. “Steve brings with him a great breadth and depth of experience in the fire service and has the proven skills and passion for leadership that we’ve been looking for. I look forward to introducing him to our community.”

In addition to his 25 years with Herkimer’s fire department, Chief Napolitano has served as a New York State Fire Instructor since 2006. He continues to conduct training at the State Academy of Fire Sciences in Montour Falls.

Napolitano also worked as Deputy Director of the Herkimer County Office of Emergency Services from 2008 through 2015 where he assisted in development, revision and implementation of local disaster and emergency management plans, along with assisting in the county 9-1-1 dispatch communication center and the administration of the county’s mutual aid plan, mutual aid radio system and state fire training.

Chief Napolitano, who has two adult children; a daughter, Alyssa and a son, Steven,  will relocate to Batavia.

“I anticipate becoming an integral member of the community and immersing myself in various civic organizations,” Napolitano said. “In addition, the City is experiencing many quality of life enhancements, and along with being able to work with an outstanding group of men and women in providing critical services to the citizens of Batavia, I’m looking forward to taking advantage of all the community has to offer.”

Molino also thanked Interim Chief Dan Herberger who has served in the temporary capacity for a little more than a year, saying “Chief Herberger has proven himself to be an outstanding senior leader and integral member of our management team.”

Molino added that Herberger contributed immensely not only to the fire department but to the entire City through his wisdom, work ethic and incredible sense of commitment.

 

March 15, 2017 - 6:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, batavia, news.

Press release:

City Manager Jason Molino announced today that Stefano (Steve) Napolitano has accepted the position of the City’s new fire chief. Chief Napolitano will be leaving his current position as Deputy Fire Chief for the Village of Herkimer, NY, and begin his Batavia post on April 17, 2017.

“It has been a long and thorough search to fill this important position with the City’s fire department,” said Molino. “Steve brings with him a great breadth and depth of experience in the fire service and has the proven skills and passion for leadership that we’ve been looking for. I look forward to introducing him to our community.”

In addition to his 25 years with Herkimer’s fire department, Chief Napolitano has served as a New York State Fire Instructor since 2006. He continues to conduct training at the State Academy of Fire Sciences in Montour Falls, NY. Napolitano also worked as Deputy Director of the Herkimer County Office of Emergency Services from 2008 through 2015 where he assisted in development, revision and implementation of local disaster and emergency management plans, along with assisting in the county 911 dispatch communication center and the administration of the county’s mutual aid plan, mutual aid radio system and state fire training.

Chief Napolitano, who has two adult children; a daughter, Alyssa and a son, Steven, will relocate to Batavia. “I anticipate becoming an integral member of the community and immersing myself in various civic organizations,” said Napolitano. “In addition, the City is experiencing many quality of life enhancements, and along with being able to work with an outstanding group of men and women in providing critical services to the citizens of Batavia, I’m looking forward to taking advantage of all the community has to offer.”

Molino also thanked Interim Chief Dan Herberger who has served in the temporary capacity for a little more than a year. “Chief Herberger has proven himself to be an outstanding senior leader and integral member of our management team.” Molino went on to say that Herberger contributed immensely not only to the fire department but to the entire City through his wisdom, work ethic and incredible sense of commitment. 

March 15, 2017 - 6:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
March 15, 2017 - 6:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, batavia, youth.

The Genesee County Job Development Bureau will hold a Youth Job Fair from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, March 23. It will take place at the Genesee County Career Center, located at 587 E. Main St., Batavia.

Eleven employers and 13 vendors are scheduled to attend. They will assist youth graduating from high school secure employment on a short-term or long-term basis, and vendors such as Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, Genesee Community College, and Empire State College will have representatives there to talk to the youth about vocational or educational goals.

In addition, representatives from the Department of Labor will be on hand to review students' resumes.

For questions or to participate in this event, contact Jay Lazarony, senior employment & training counselor, Genesee County Career Center, 587 E. Main St., Batavia. Phone 344-2042, ext. 4212, or email  [email protected]

March 15, 2017 - 6:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, st. joseph's school.

Submitted photo and press release:

St. Joseph School inducted new members into its Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) last week.

With help from the school's current NJHS members, new inductees were welcomed into the NJHS at a ceremony held at St. Joseph Church. The NJHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship. For 10 years, the students in the NJHS at St. Joe’s have been helping the Batavia community by holding fundraisers and providing services for many different organizations.

To be considered for a nomination into this Society, seventh-grade students had to maintain an average of 94 or above and eighth-grade students had to maintain an average of 90 or above. These students then had to apply for membership showcasing their accomplishments and service over the past few years. After careful review and consideration, the St. Joe’s NJHS faculty council selected this year’s inductees.

Congratulations to seventh-grade students Nathanael Brew, Colin McCulley, Aiden Sisson, Lucia Sprague, Steven Zocco, and to eighth-grade students Donato Fiorentino, Colin Kratz, Ava Reinhart and Maxwell Tenney.

March 15, 2017 - 6:00pm

Helping People in Need -- DePaul Batavia Square Apartments

DePaul, a not-for-profit organization established in 1958, is seeking to rezone two East Main Street properties in order to allow construction of 80 units of housing for income-eligible tenants. The affordable apartments would be fully handicap accessible, provide workforce housing and would serve vulnerable populations including veterans, elderly individuals and persons with special needs who would be linked with supportive services. A spring 2018 construction date is targeted.

DePaul committed last fall to build new facilities in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties as part of a $2.6 billion statewide plan to develop supportive housing units for vulnerable populations such as the working poor, seniors and veterans. 

Working with SWBR Architects, DePaul has plans for six buildings — two multistory apartment buildings and four sets of town homes placed in half-circles around a central green space. The newest developments in solar technology would be used and vegetated “green roofs” would be located over both the two- and three-story, 24-unit buildings with shared laundry facilities in each townhome. According to DePaul President Mark Fuller, DePaul is staying on trend with varied design and less density, providing mixed-use, diverse options to populations in need. 

Having access to affordable, quality housing in a neighborhood that is connected to jobs and other amenities makes life better for people. Research demonstrates there is a positive relationship between stable, affordable housing and improved health, increased academic performance, and greater economic self-sufficiency. 

Construction of new affordable housing creates a host of jobs, while vacant or underused parcels are transformed, increasing the value of the property and neighboring areas. Communities truly benefit from the revitalization of neighborhoods and promotion of economic and social integration. DePaul is committed to investing in Batavia and the many people in need who benefit from quality housing. For more information; please visit us online at: www.depaul.org

March 15, 2017 - 5:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in Sunshine Week, steve hawley, news.

A statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) on Sunshine Week, which is dedicated to increased openness, accountability and transparency in government:

“Sunshine Week is a tremendous opportunity we have as public officials to inject trust and integrity back into Albany politics. Unfortunately, year after year, Albany’s budget process seems to be the opposite.

"The governor and house leaders have routinely kept many rank-and-file legislators completely in the dark on budget negotiations, only to thrust a series of very long bills on our desks in the middle of the night for a rushed vote, and that is unacceptable.

“Let’s not forget it was New York City special interests who voted against 12 reforms put on the table by my upstate Assembly colleagues and I, which would have set term limits for legislative leaders, put restrictions on messages of necessity and required a three-day input process before legislation could be voted upon.

"The best way to cut through the dark cloud of secrecy and backroom dealings is sunshine, and I will be working to pull back the curtains as we move forward.”

March 15, 2017 - 5:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Le Roy, batavia.

Rachel Ann Baehr, 30, of Linwood Road, Le Roy, is charged with third-degree assault. On March 15, at 1:25 a.m., Baehr was arrested following an investigation of a domestic incident that occurred at 9101 Linwood Road in the Town of Le Roy. She allegedly bit another person's face, causing them to bleed. Baehr was arraigned, then released under supervision of Genesee Justice. She is due back in Le Roy Town Court on April 20. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Ryan Young.

Richard Dean McKague Jr., 26, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. On March 14, at about 11:16 a.m., McKague was arrested for allegedly possessing a Kung Fu Star during a probation home check. He was issued an appearance ticker for April 11 in Batavia Town Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Travis DeMuth, assisted by Deputy Chad Cummings.

March 15, 2017 - 5:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news.

A Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) on the Assembly’s One-House Budget Resolution:

“It comes as no surprise that the Assembly’s One-House Budget Resolution, crafted in secret by New York City politicians, increases taxes and spending and shifts our state’s resources in a way that seemingly benefits illegal aliens and criminals as much as taxpaying citizens.

"This is a 3-percent spending increase over last year and it is disingenuous to force our municipalities to stay within the 2 percent tax cap when the legislature is not required to do so. We should lead by example and walk the walk.

"I will not stand for free college giveaways like the DREAM Act, Raise the Age, which protects violent felony offenders or the Essential Plan, which gives high-end healthcare plans to illegals on our dime.

"Despite these misplaced priorities, billions to fund clean water infrastructure upgrades, an increase in school aid, an increase in local agriculture assistance and a $500 million proposed investment in the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) will go a long way toward improving and strengthening our community if they make it into the final enacted state budget. Expect me to remain vigilant and fight for these initiatives in the coming weeks.

"Furthermore, I am encouraged by the proposed $4 million restoration in Library Aid that the governor planned on cutting. I have worked diligently over the last few months to restore this funding and even wrote a letter to Speaker Heastie with signatures of 62 legislators from both sides of the aisle.”

March 15, 2017 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in city centre, City Centre Mall Association, mall, batavia, news.

City officials are wondering what's up with the settlement they reached with attorneys for the City Centre Mall Merchants Association. They thought the matter would be resolved by now, but apparently, the attorneys for the merchants haven't even shown the membership the final draft of the settlement agreement.

While City Manager Jason Molino said he has no reason to believe the settlement won't eventually be presented to the merchants and the settlement will be approved, the delay just means the city can't work on structural deficiencies in the concourse.  

"I would like to think that there is nothing that suggests the deal is going to fall apart," Molino said. "The issue is how do we get to the finishing line and get to the finishing line as expeditiously as possible, which is in the best interest of everyone in the community, the best interest of the property owners in here in the mall, and then we can start to talk about what we can do to trigger new growth and new investment in this concourse and in this mall. That's the most important thing to keep our eye on."

Mall Manager Madeline Bialkowski, who scheduled her retirement for April 1 to coincide with the settlement of the mall merchant's lawsuit being in place, said that merchants are waiting for a final draft of the settlement agreement from the attorneys.

Hugh Carlin is the attorney representing the City Centre Mall Merchants Association. 

Yesterday, we asked Carlin when the merchants would approve the settlement.

"I can't say yet," Carlin said. "Hopefully in the near future. There are a few more details we're working on."

Asked what those details might be since his side had already agreed to a settlement, Carlin said, "I can't comment." Pushed for clarification, he repeated, "I can't comment."

According to documents obtained by The Batavian through a Freedom of Information Law request, the merchants have paid their attorneys $212,056 since starting the litigation against the city in 2009.

In February of 2015, The Batavian reported that the association had spent $103,317 on the lawsuit. The tab has gone up another $108,738 according to documents obtained through the FOIL request.

The city, through the same period, has spent $168,070 on attorney fees, with $63,872 being added since February 2015.

"The city has done everything it can prior to the lawsuit (to reach an agreement), during the lawsuit and now, having entered into terms we've agreed to to end the lawsuit in a way that is expedient and in the best interest of everyone," Molino said. "Now, we're still having challenges with the mall's legal counsel."

The lack of an agreement is delaying Bialkowski's retirement. She's agreed to stay on until the settlement is finalized, but she and her friends are still going ahead with a retirement party at Ken's Pits on March 30 because she anticipates she will be retired not long after that, she said.

The association and the city had a long-simmering dispute over who is responsible for repair and maintenance of the mall concourse. According to a 1987 settlement, the merchants' association was supposed to take control of the city-owned concourse on April 1, 2000.

The settlement agreement the city and the attorneys for merchants agreed to during the first week of February puts the burden back on the city to repair and maintain the concourse. That's a task Molino said the city is eager to take on because that's the only way all of the necessary repairs will take place so the mall becomes once again a viable business investment.

The City Council approved the settlement Feb. 27.  Each owner of properties in the mall must individually sign off on the agreement or submit a motion to the court to show cause for not agreeing to the settlement.

The city is ready to get started, he said, as soon as the merchants approve the agreement.

"The city is in position and we're ready to move," Molino said. "We're ready to take this 17-acre area and take on the responsibility to move it into a better position so that in the future it triggers investment."

There's a lot of work to be done but that doesn't apparently include mitigating mold.

Contrary to reports in other media outlets, there is no evidence of mold in the mall, Molino said.  

The speculation for mold in the mall apparently comes from an interview Ron Viele, a local contractor, gave to a reporter. We placed calls yesterday afternoon and early this afternoon seeking clarification but Viele has not returned our calls.

We did speak to Paul Viele, Ron's son and a member of the City Council. He said he didn't participate in the interview with his father but did say "it's possible" there is mold in the mall, especially given the leaks and moisture in the mall.

He said the city should hire a professional to evaluate whether there is mold.

"We don't do that kind of work," Viele said. "We're contractors."

Until the merchants' attorneys move forward with the settlement, it would be up to the mall association to hire a contractor to deal with any potential mold, Molino said.

However, he said, as part of the settlement process, a third-party consultant was brought in to evaluate the mall concourse. Molino said he can't release that report, even as part of a FOIL request, because it's part of the technically ongoing litigation, but that consultant found no evidence of mold, he said.

As for whether it's possible, of course, it's possible, Molino said. It's also possible, he said, that if you have forced-air heating in your home that you have mold in your home. In fact, if you haven't had your ducts cleaned in a long time, it's likely. That doesn't mean the mold is harmful. It depends on the type of mold and a person's sensitivity to it.  It would take a professional, not just somebody looking up at the ceiling, to determine if mold is present. (Here's what the CDC says about the health risks of mold.)

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