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June 24, 2017 - 2:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in RTS, Regional Transit Service, business.

Press release:

RTS announced today that service improvements stemming from the Regional Service Efficiency Study conducted in 2016 will be implemented in Genesee and Wyoming counties on Monday, June 26.
 
“These improvements to our transit system are a direct result of the engagement and feedback from customers and stakeholders in these respective communities, and months of hard work from the RTS team,” said Bill Carpenter, CEO at RTS. “We encourage our customers to provide input on the new changes in the coming days and weeks to help us ensure the most efficient operation possible.”   
 
The improvements are as follows:
 
RTS Genesee
 
Routes 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be renamed 211, 212, 213 and 214. Aside from the renaming of the routes, the biggest changes include the addition of service on Saturdays, connections to Orleans and Wyoming counties, and the creation of a “Countywide Runner.” The details of these and other improvements are as follows:
 
·   We retained a good portion of current route system (routes 211 and 212);
·   Route 212 will begin earlier in the morning to continue service to the Middle/High School and create additional opportunity for rides to work;
·   We added transportation to Big Tree Glen 10 times a day, Monday – Friday;
·   We integrated the early morning Genesee Community College (GCC) run into current routes and added additional transportation for a total of six trips to GCC;
·   We added a midday service run to Le Roy;
·   We added Saturday service;
·   We now connect with Orleans and Wyoming counties at K-Mart on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 8:55 a.m., 11:55 a.m. and 2:55 p.m., and;
·   We merged our Dial-A-Ride and Countywide service to create a “Countywide runner.” This countywide service is now available Monday – Friday to anywhere in the county not within ¾ miles of the route. This service will focus on countywide and medical appointments.
 
Following are the links to the new RTS Genesee route maps on our website:
·   RTS Genesee Routes 210 & 211
·   RTS Genesee Routes 212 & 213
·   RTS Genesee Route 214
June 23, 2017 - 11:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, business.

Press release:

Demonstrating its dedication to its agricultural customers, Tompkins Insurance Agencies completed a rigorous educational training program to earn distinction as a Nationwide On Your Side® Farm Certified Agency.
 
“For more than a century, Tompkins Insurance Agencies has been committed to providing unrivaled customer service to those who have trusted us with their insurance needs, including local farms and businesses,” said David Boyce, President & CEO, Tompkins Insurance Agencies. “The Farm Certified program from Nationwide is a perfect fit with our commitment to serve as a long-term partner that provides the highest level of service to our customers.”
 
Nationwide has more than 100 years of service and the company’s commitment to agribusiness can be traced back to 1909. Farm Certified agents are trained experts in the field, helping customers take proactive steps to protect their farm or ranch. To become certified, agents complete a series of comprehensive training classes covering the specifics of farming operations, commonly found risks and associated coverages. Agents re-certify every three years, keeping current with changes in agriculture and trends in farming and ranching. 
 
Tompkins Insurance Agencies works with large and small businesses across New York State and Pennsylvania and serve industries including agriculture, municipalities, not-for-profits, fire departments, schools, technology, construction, wineries, manufacturing, hospitals, dealerships, hospitality, and more.
June 19, 2017 - 1:06pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in news, elba, Underhill Farms, agriculture, business.

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Andrew Underhill's passion for growing strawberries took him across the world to Eisenberg, Germany, to work on a strawberry and asparagus farm. 

The 15-week internship was required for his graduation from SUNY Morrisville, Underhill said.

“I love growing strawberries and it was a 35-acre farm there,” Underhill said. “It was my dream farm.”

Underhill said when deciding where to complete his internship, he knew wanted to be on a large strawberry or asparagus farm.

“I wanted to go somewhere farther than New York,” Underhill said.

His college roommate had family in Switzerland, who ended up having a connection at the farm in Germany. 

Erdbeer Land, the farm he interned at, has 35 acres of strawberries and 15 acres of asparagus, with 385 employees.

While at Erdbeer Land, Underhill learned new cultivation methods for strawberries and asparagus, and how to extend strawberry seasons.

Underhill said he also learned how to grow white asparagus while in Germany, but doesn’t plan to grow it here.

“It’s harder to grow,” Underhill said. “It’s the same plant, but it grows under the soil.”

The Elba resident works on his family farm, Underhill farms, located on 4847 Batavia Elba Townline Road. He is the fourth generation of Underhill men to farm on the same fields.

Now an alumnus of SUNY Morrisville, he said he plans to take over Underhill farms one day.

"I do all the planting [of strawberries] here," Underhill said. "I pick them, too." 
 
Below are photos from his time in Germany.
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June 16, 2017 - 6:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, Announcements, batavia, The Mane Attraction.
The Mane Attraction Salon & Spa will be closing Saturday, June 24th. All Gift Certificates will be honored at Great Kutz Salon, in the Valu Plaza, Batavia. It is located at 4152 W. Main Street Road, Suite #7.
 
Any questions, please call Chris at 343-3377.
June 16, 2017 - 2:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, GCEDC, business, batavia.

Press release:

Genesee Community College's Board of Trustees Monday evening approved its first-ever application for participation in the Start-Up New York program, which permits eligible companies to operate tax-free on or near SUNY campuses for 10 years. Trustees approved Tencar Inc. for participation, a medical equipment manufacturing firm founded in 2011 by Georgann M. Carrubba, of Basom, a 2003 graduate of GCC's Nursing program.

Tencar will operate in the Genesee County Economic Development Center's Med Tech Park, located on the south side of Hawley Drive, across from the Batavia Campus. Genesee Community College designated the Med Tech Park as part of the Start-Up NY zone two years ago.

The Start-Up NY application will now be forwarded to the New York State Empire Development Corporation and State University of New York for review and final approval. Reid J. Smalley, executive director of Workforce Development, said that approval may come within the next 60 days, permitting Carrubba to begin operating in the Med Tech Park.

Carrubba, who serves as CEO of the company, developed and patented an innovative ostomy device that prevents awkward leakage and odor among patients with colostomies and related conditions. The product is expected to go to market later this year. Product components will be 100-percent made in the United States, and Carrubba has concluded an agreement with the 3M Company to use its products in the manufacturing of TenCar devices.

The Start-Up NY program is open to new or expanding businesses that align their operations or products with academic disciplines taught at SUNY campuses and some private college and university campuses. Genesee Community College students in the Nursing, Fashion Design and Business programs will have the opportunity to learn product design, customer service, business operations, and entrepreneurship principles from TenCar. The company hopes to make internships available to GCC students and hire GCC graduates in the future.

Prior to the Board's decision, the College's Start-Up NY Committee scrutinized the company's plans and operations, and determined that the company's presence in the GCC Start-Up NY Zone would benefit the College and its students.

President James M. Sunser said that he and the staff were proud of Carrubba, and believed that TenCar, a graduate-founded company, is an especially appropriate choice for Start-Up NY participation. Several trustees praised Carrubba and said they believe her company's innovative product will make a significant difference in the lives of ostomy patients.

June 16, 2017 - 2:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Feeds, batavia, news, business.

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Thomas Winters, left, has become the fourth generation of the Winters family to enter the feed business, joining his dad's business, Genesee Feeds, on West Main Street, after graduating from Alfred State. 

Lee opened Genesee Feeds in 1992, with his dad joining the business in 1995. Lee's grandfather operated his own feed business for a number of years.

Genesee Feeds got a big boost when a chain closed its local feed store in 1999 and the business has been going strong since, Lee said.

Thomas said he wanted to work with his dad because he's always enjoyed it and it's what he grew up doing.

In recent years, Lee has added U-Haul rentals and sheds to the business and he said Thomas will be able to help the business expand and further diversify.

"It's always been here, always been in the family, so it’s always been something I wanted to do," Thomas said.

June 16, 2017 - 8:28am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in news, bergen, Liberty Pumps Inc., business.

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Liberty Pumps Inc. gained an addition to their fleet of machines last week, special ordered from Japan, increasing efficiency and productivity.

Don Cunningham, the machine shop and paint department supervisor, said it is the largest vertical machining center in their factory.

“It was driven by more sales volume,” Cunningham said. “Plus, we keep getting bigger and bigger parts we have to deal with, so the machines keep getting bigger and bigger as well.”

A vertical machining center has rotary cutters to remove material from a piece in a direction at an angle with the axis of the tool. 

The machine weighs about 38,000 pounds and cost just under $400,000. With the size of the machine, Cunningham said it can handle bigger parts.

Liberty Pumps Inc. is a manufacturer that builds dirty water pumps, such as sewage or sump pumps, located at 7000 Appletree Ave. in Bergen.

Cunningham said the new machine has a feature known as a pallet changer, making the machine more productive and efficient.

“One pallet or table can be in the machine being worked on with the cutting cycle, while another pallet or table is staged outside the machine,” Cunningham said. “The operator loads that and when the running cycle is done inside the machine, it will swap tables and keep going.”

There is no downtime for loading or unloading, which older vertical machine centers in the factory have, Cunningham said.

Cunningham said the new machine is part of the testimony to the growth of Liberty Pumps Inc.

“It is part of what will take us into the future,” Cunningham said.

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A crane was needed for the delivery of the new vertical machining center. (Submitted photo.)

June 15, 2017 - 5:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, STAMP, GCEDC, construction bids.

Press release:

The process for the construction of infrastructure in and around the Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) continues as the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) announced an advertisement for sealed bids for the construction of the STAMP main access road and widening of New York State Route 77/63.

Bids will be received by the agency up until 2 p.m. EST on June 27. 

The road work includes the construction of approximately 3,300 linear feet of new roadway and drainage for the STAMP main entrance between NYS Route 77/63 and Crosby Road, and an alternate bid that includes constructing a new northbound left turn lane on NYS Route 77/63, all located in the Town of Alabama.

“Bids for the road work are in addition to the bids that have been accepted , reviewed and awarded for water work to support STAMP,” said Mark Masse, senior vice president of operations at the GCEDC. “Over the summer we will see actual work being done to prepare the site which will only enhance the opportunities to market STAMP to emerging advanced technology manufacturing businesses.”

The issuing office for the road work bidding documents is Clark Patterson Lee, 186 N. Water St., Rochester (NY 14604). All inquiries should be made to Debbie Button-Vanderwall at [email protected] or at 585-402-7511. The bidding documents also can be viewed at this location on Monday-Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Only Written Requests For Information (RFI) will be accepted. If necessary, an Addendum will be issued by 5 p.m. EST on June 20. Requests should be made to Zach Anderson via email: [email protected] or facsimile: 585-232-5836.

This project is partially funded by Empire State Development. Prospective bidders should review the Empire State Development requirements included in the contract documents. The project also is subject to a Project Labor Agreement.

About the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC): The GCEDC is the primary economic development agency in Genesee County. The GCEDC’s mission is to assist local economic development efforts by serving in a conduit financing capacity enabling the issuance of taxable and non-taxable debt to benefit the growth, expansion, ongoing operations and continued viability of for profit business enterprise in Genesee County thereby helping to maintain a sustainable long-term economy. The Batavia/Genesee County region has been recognized for eight consecutive years by "Site Selection Magazine" as a top 10 micropolitan in the United States and is rated number three by "Business Facilities Magazine" as a top metro area for food processing and manufacturing growth.

June 15, 2017 - 5:25pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Fresh market conventional and organic growers of all levels of expertise are invited to tour research plots and ask questions of Cornell Cooperative Extension experts on early pest management options at the third annual Fresh Market Vegetable Field Day on Monday, June 26.

This exciting full-day event will take place at the Cornell Vegetable Program’s Fresh Market Demonstration Site in Batavia. Additionally, industry representatives will be available to meet with growers to answer questions on their products. DEC credits are available for this field day.

The field day runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fresh Market demo site: Partridge's on the Farm Market, 4924 Ellicott Street Road (Route 63), Batavia. Cost is $25 for Cornell Vegetable Program enrollees and $35 for others. Price includes lunch if pre-registered by June 22. The at-the-door price is $35 and includes an information packet, but no guarantee of lunch if you did not pre-register by June 22.

To register online, click here.

For more information contact Darcy Telenko 716-697-4965 or email [email protected]

Extension Vegetable Specialists, Darcy Telenko, Judson Reid, Robert Hadad, and Christy Hoepting along with Megan Burley, Extension Educator Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County, will be leading research site tours and answering questions on the following topics:

  • Weed Management Tools for Fresh Market Vegetables
  • Fresh Market Vegetable Plot Tour
    • Tomato varieties and organic spray programs for disease management
    • Cucumber varieties and organic spray programs for downy mildew
    • Herbicide options in sweet corn
    • Weed management in root crops and zucchini
  • GAPS/FSMA Update
  • Garlic: Introduction and Tour of the Trials
  • Garlic: Q&A about Soil Borne Diseases
  • Pest Management in Tomato, Pepper and Eggplant
  • New Market Opportunities

Research trials will be on display throughout the day. Darcy Telenko will lead a tour of fresh market vegetable research.

Plots include: demonstration of organic disease management options in tomato and cucumber; sweet corn herbicide trial; pumpkin variety trial for powdery mildew resistance; organic weed management options in both root crops (beets/parsnips) and zucchini. Telenko will discuss how to identify the vegetable diseases in New York, what symptoms we are looking for in the field, and management tools available. The use of disease forecast warning systems (USABlight, Cucurbit Downy Mildew PIPE) will also be discussed. Information will be provided for both conventional and organic growers at all levels of expertise.

Growers will also get to view a sweet corn herbicide trial and observe new herbicide programs in controlling weeds. The major herbicide programs, organic, and mechanical options will be discussed. Topics will also include how to scout after herbicide application to confirm usefulness. Growers will be encouraged to actively participate, and ask questions about the proper use of herbicides in vegetables. Organic weed management options in zucchini and root crops will showcase the peculiarities in regards to weed management the use of a stale-seed bed technique. Growers will be able to view the different weed management tools, look at the economics of utilizing each system, and ask questions.

Robert Hadad will give an update on GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices) and FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act).

New this year – a large-scale garlic trial on fusarium management. Christy Hoepting and Robert Hadad will review cultural and organic products available for fusarium management in garlic as growers can view research trials. Hoepting and Hadad will lead a discussion of garlic disease questions, offer management options and answer grower questions on best management practices to reduce soilborne diseases and pests of garlic.

Judson Reid will discuss the major diseases in tomato, pepper and eggplant in New York. Topics to be covered include: scouting – where, how and when; identifying the pests; checking for management issues that may improve or decrease disease control; and control options. Information will be provided for both conventional and organic growers at all levels of expertise.

Megan Burley will discuss how to develop new market opportunities for your farm. The new FreshLab in Batavia will talk about their farm to table initiative, with a possible tour of the new facility.

A key component of this event is the support provided by industry organizations. Contributing organizations including Exhibiting Sponsors – BASF, BioSafe Systems, KeyPlex Biopesticides, NutriAg, Oro Agri; and Participating Sponsors – Artic Refrigeration, Empire Tractor, Seedway, Siegers Seed, Stokes Seeds, along with others are recognized as an integral part of this dynamic event. Industry representatives will be on-site with displays and available to talk about some of their new products.

About Cornell Cooperative Extension - Cornell Vegetable Program

The Cornell Vegetable Program is one of the premier regional agricultural Cornell Cooperative Extension programs in New York, serving a large multi-county region in the western and central part of the state. The team's Vegetable Specialists work together with Cornell faculty and extension educators statewide to address the issues that impact the industry. The Cornell Vegetable Program provides educational programs and information to growers, processors and agribusiness professionals, arming them with the knowledge to profitably produce and market safe and healthful vegetable crops, contributing to the viability of farms and the economic wellbeing of New York State. Specifically, our program focuses on food safety, variety evaluation, market development, pest management, and cultural practices.

The Cornell Vegetable Program is supported, in part, by 13 county Cornell Cooperative Extension associations: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Seneca, Wayne and Yates counties.

June 14, 2017 - 12:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, news, Le Roy, Frost Ridge.

The owners of The Little Ridge at 107 Evans St., Batavia, are changing tactics and will stop operating the location as a restaurant.

David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell are shifting the restaurant business to their campground on Conlon Road, Le Roy, known as The Ridge, but best known as Frost Ridge Campground.

The Little Ridge opened in November 2014 and the owners plan to continue to use the location for parties and events.

Gift certificates purchased for The Little Ridge will be redeemable at the Le Roy location.

June 14, 2017 - 8:22am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in news, batavia, Belly Up BBQ, business.

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Tim Petrie, a resident of Pavilion, decided to try something new when he opened his new restaurant, Belly Up BBQ, a month ago.

Located at 4974 Ellicott Street Road in Batavia, Belly Up BBQ serves anything you would find at a backyard barbeque cookout.

“We serve brisket, ribs and turkey,” Petrie said. “We serve pretty much anything I can put through a smoker.”

Petrie said they also serve burgers, fresh haddock and catfish, for those who do not eat barbeque food.

Petrie was a heavy equipment operator for Donald G. Butler Construction Inc. in Perry, before opening the restaurant.

The inspiration for the name came from two options: succeeding as a restaurant or going “belly-up,” Petrie said.

“I figured if I looked at the name ‘Belly Up’ every day, I wouldn’t do it,” Petrie said.

Petrie built all of the grills for the chicken himself. He said he would have liked to built the smokers, but did not have time.  

“I would like to triple in size within three years,” Petrie said. “That’s my three-year plan. I want to make this location bigger.”

The restaurant is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.

“We serve great food,” Petrie said. “I do takeout, serving and catering.”

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June 10, 2017 - 9:21am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in news, Oakfield, agriculture, business, Lamb Farms.

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Kendra Lamb is passionate about dairy farming, so much so that she speaks at conferences, participates in education programs, serves industry groups and now she, and her family, are in a commercial promoting dairy. It started airing June 1 on the Food Network and the Cooking Channel.

The commercial was produced by Dairy Good, a national trade group that represents family-owned dairy farms, such as Oakfield-based Lamb Farms.

Leslie and Gordon Lamb started the farm in 1966 with 110 cows and it has since grown to 2,400 cows. Kendra’s husband, Matt, runs the home farm, but they have  expanded to five other locations.

Dairy Good contacted Kendra about the commercial two and a half months ago and said she was excited to do it.

“Since I became a mom, I’ve become passionate about talking about what we do,” Kendra said. “I think that as people get further removed from agriculture, there’s a distrust with what you don’t know.”

Kendra said she wanted to do the commercial because there is a lack of understanding.

“Farmers haven’t always been good at talking about what we do,” Kendra said. “That’s become my role on the farm.”

Kendra said she shares pictures on their Facebook page to show their values at the farm.

“That’s what people care about these days,” Kendra said. “They want to see the person behind the product. They want to know that you care, and we do.”

Kendra also guides free tours throughout the farm, showing the facilities and cows being milked, providing an educational experience for visitors to learn where their food comes from.

The farm is always improving sustainability, Kendra said.

A methane digester was installed in 2010 that powers the whole farm, creating green energy from cow waste.

“We’re always improving [sustainability] but we don’t do a good job talking about it,” Kendra said.

Kendra said 97 percent of the dairy farms in the United States are family-owned.

“Hopefully those that see our commercial see that we are family farms, even though we are bigger than what people picture when they picture a family farm,” Kendra said. “We care about taking care of the cows. We are proud to produce a high-quality product.”

June 10, 2017 - 9:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Copart, Le Roy, news, business.

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Friday afternoon was member appreciation day at Copart in Le Roy and The Batavian was invited out for some BBQ and a tour.

I first became aware of Copart in the early morning of March 26, when a car caught on fire behind the electrified and locked gate, which made it difficult for firefighters to gain access, so the fire spread to other vehicles, so it was interesting to learn more about the facility.

One of the managers, Scott McCumiskey led the tour.

Copart specializes working with insurance companies to acquire and sell "total loss vehicles." That's the bulk of its business, but it also sells vehicles that have been donated to charity. 

All auctions are conducted online and buyers must be members, and either a licensed dealer or affiliated with a licensed dealer. Different condition cars tend to have different kind of buyers, buyers that specialize in each kind of vehicle, such as those that can be driven off the lot, those that can be repaired and resold, those good only for parts and those that are nothing but scrap metal.

An insurance loss car might sit on the lot for 30 to 90 days until the insurance company releases it for sale. Sometimes that release for sale might take months or years, depending on the legal case a vehicle might be involved in.

Cars donated to charity are usually sold within a week of arriving on the lot.

Copart has 190 locations worldwide, including in Canada and Europe, with 125 in the United States, including three in New York. The Le Roy location's territory stretches from Syracuse to Buffalo. The company was founded in 1982 in Vallejo, Calif., by Willis J. Johnson, who remains chairman of the board. It is now based in Dallas.

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Vehicles involved in serious-injury or fatal accidents might sit in the lot for months or years while civil cases remain pending. The cars are sealed in plastic and tagged as a potential biohazard. Only insurance company or attorney representatives can then enter the vehicle.

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Most of the vehicles involved in the March 26 fire have been sold, probably for scrap metal, but these few remain.

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Copart also takes in and resells boats, as well as other vehicles, such as semi-trucks, trailers, RVs, and buses.

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This bus was destroyed in a fire more than a decade ago and it's been sitting on the Copart lot ever since. The insurance company has not yet released it for sale, presumably because there is a civil case still pending.

June 9, 2017 - 8:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, public market, batavia, news, business.

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The Batavia Downtown Public Market season has started and the market will be open three days a week this year, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Above, one of the vendors, Charleen Satkowski, of Harper Hill Farm, of Darien.

June 9, 2017 - 11:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in uber, lyft, ride sharing, news, business.

The demand for ride sharing in Western New York, including Genesee County, is strong and has been growing for years, according to the two leading companies expected to provide service locally as soon as it's legal on June 29.

Representatives of both Uber and Lyft said they anticipate being able to provide service to Batavia and the rest of the county that day and they're getting ready to meet the demand.

Both companies are eager to be ready for a potential surge in demand around the July 4 holiday.

Ride-sharing services are a child of the mobile digital age, allowing private drivers to make themselves available to offer rides to people who hail them through a mobile app on a smartphone.

Both Uber and Lyft have become global companies with valuations in the billions of dollars and both companies compete fiercely for drivers and riders. It's been years since either company has been able to expand service in a U.S. market, such as Upstate New York.

Sen. Micheal Ranzenhofer sponsored a bill passed by NYS Legislature and signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make ride sharing legal Upstate in time for the July 4 weekend, after the Legislature had previously approved ride sharing this year.

The lobbying effort by Uber and Lyft included more than $2.6 million combined in campaign contributions. Details do not yet seem available on how much in campaign contributions Ranzenhofer might have received.

A spokesperson for Uber said the company has been eager to start service in Upstate because the demand for the service has been so strong. Certainly in Buffalo, but even in Genesee County, said Alix Anfang, adding that drivers have been signing up in numbers that give the company confidence they will be able to provide fast and reliable service.

"New York, Upstate New York, is one of the last places in the country to have access to ride sharing and people in the area have been demanding it for years," Anfang said. "The governor and the Legislature listened to their constituents and their desire for better transportation options and we're excited we will be able to offer the service."

While there are small cab companies in Batavia and a bus service, ride sharing helps enhance those services rather than compete against them, Anfang said.

"The reports show that more the ride sharing available, the more people use public transit," Anfang said. "The real competition for ride sharing is personal car ownership."

Oftentimes, Anfang said, ride sharing is a "last-mile solution" for people who would want to use public transit, but a bus doesn't get them close enough to their intended destination. Many ride sharing customers, she said, take a bus and then use ride sharing for that last mile.

"If you can get reliable ride sharing, you're more likely to leave your car at home," she said.

Bar and restaurant owners may be one of the biggest beneficiaries of ride sharing. It's smarter to hail a ride, and even plan ahead, with an app on a smartphone than it is to risk a DWI arrest, which is one reason Uber and Lyft were eager to get the service legal and up and running by July 4.

Uber isn't just successful in large cities, Anfang said. Throughout the country, Uber has found willing drivers and demand for services in rural areas as well.

"We want to be everywhere and serve every customer as soon as we possibly can and we're working to make sure we can be ready, especially with the July 4th holiday coming," Anfang said.

Campbell Matthews, representing Lyft, provided the following statement:

"We are excited to officially become a part of communities across New York State,” said Jaime Raczka, regional director of New Markets for Lyft.  “In every community in which ride sharing operates, it improves road safety, boosts local economies, and brings local families needed income.

"We thank the thousands of New York State residents who fought to bring these benefits to their neighborhoods and cities, and we look forward to becoming New Yorkers' ride-sharing platform of choice.”

UPDATE: Daniel Aikin, a spokesman for Micheal Ranzenhofer, said the senator hasn't take a dime in contributions from either Uber or Lyft. "His support for the expansion of ride-sharing across Western New York is a result of thousands of Upstate New Yorkers demanding access to this new, safe and reliable transportation option."

June 8, 2017 - 3:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, batavia.

Press release:

The marketing efforts of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) were recognized during the New York State Economic Development Council’s (NYSEDC) annual meeting in Cooperstown on May 24th and 25th.

The GCEDC received Certificates in Excellence in the categories of Multimedia Advertising and Printed & Electronic Newsletter and Honorable Mention in the Brochure and Annual Report categories.

The Multimedia Advertising Award is shared between the City of Batavia, the Batavia Development Corporation and the GCEDC. That award recognized the “Bet on Batavia” video produced in 2016 for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative competition

“We were very proud of the collaboration to produce the ‘Bet on Batavia’ video,” said Jason Molino, Batavia city manager. “We will once again utilize the video, and other social media platforms and strategies as we pursue funding from New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative."

“Collaboration is an extremely important component of economic development especially in presenting a unified vision for a community and region,” said Pierluigi Cipollone, president of the Batavia Development Corporation. “In this instance, the video told a powerful story about the uniqueness and pride we have in our city.”

The NYSEDC annually recognizes the economic development marketing efforts of its member organizations.

“These awards demonstrate creativity, impact, and visual appeal by our members who are effectively marketing their communities for economic development purposes,” said Brian McMahon, executive director of the New York State Economic Development Council.

“Economic development is extremely competitive with regions, states and countries competing against each other, so it is imperative that our marketing materials stand out among those making investment decisions in Batavia and Genesee County,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO, GCEDC.

“Our marketing team under Rachel Tabelski and the marketing professionals at our economic development partners do a tremendous job in distinguishing our region through the materials they collaborate on to produce.”

NYSEDC has been the state’s principle organization representing economic development professionals, businesses, and colleges and universities for more than 40 years.

June 8, 2017 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, downtown, batavia, business, news.

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Saying it's a reality of business these days, Foxprowl Collectibles announced on Facebook that it is closing its downtown store, though the business will continue as an online-only business.

"This is by no means the business ending," Bill Hume said in the statement. "It is simply changing and adapting with the current state of retail (over 50 percent of U.S. retail sales now occur online)."

Hume, who operated the business with his wife, Joy, started Foxprowl as an online-only business and opened a store on Ellicott Street in 2010. They moved the store to Main and Jackson streets less than a year ago, in September 2016.

Foxprowl won the Chamber's "Entrepreneurial Business of the Year" award for 2016.

The store also operates an annual local comic and collectibles convention, Foxprowl Con. Hume said the convention will be on hiatus this year because of the business transition but will return in 2018.

The physical store location closing is effective July 1.

Photo: File photo of Joy and Bill Hume.

June 7, 2017 - 5:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, batavia, Empire Access.

Press release:

Empire Access, which has an office in Batavia, has received a $3.2 million grant award from the New NY Broadband Program. The New York Broadband Program was developed to help fund the expansion of high-speed broadband Internet service in New York State, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that all New Yorkers have high-speed broadband access by the end of 2018.

Empire Access is based in Prattsburgh and operates a fast-growing telecommunications company, offering high-speed Internet, digital television, phone and security services to homes and businesses – all enabled by Fiber Optic technology – to more than 25 communities in Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania.

“The NYS Broadband program has enabled Empire Access to build a fiber optic network and provide gigabit internet services in rural areas where it would be economically prohibitive. This program is a game changer for rural New York,” said Jim Baase, chief operating officer, Empire Access.

The New NY Broadband Program grant provides Empire Access with significant funding for the expansion of high-speed broadband services to more than 1,600 homes and businesses in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions of New York, including Burdett, Lodi, Odessa, Prattsburgh and Pulteney. These specific areas were identified by the New York State Broadband Program Office as underserved or unserved in Phase II of a multiphase grant process.

Empire will offer residents in the awarded areas super-fast Internet service with standard speeds of 100 Mbps download x 20 Mbps upload, along with an even faster 1 Gigabit per second option. High definition digital television, digital phone, security and smart home services will also be available. All services will utilize a state-of-the-art 100-percent Fiber Optic dedicated connection.

“Empire Access is excited to be part of the state’s broadband initiative to expand high-speed broadband services throughout New York,” Baase said. “We’re grateful to Governor Cuomo and the legislature for their support and we look forward to working with the state of New York to accomplish this goal.”

This deployment of broadband service is supported by a grant awarded to Empire Access by New York State through the New NY Broadband Program.

To check current coverage and future expansion for this New NY Broadband Program grant, visit http://www.empireaccess.com/where-we-are/check-location.

About the New NY Broadband Program

Recognizing the importance of broadband infrastructure and building on prior State investments in broadband deployment, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2015, with legislative support, established the $500 million New NY Broadband Program. The Program provides New York State grant funding to support projects that deliver high-speed Internet access to Unserved and Underserved areas of the State, with priority to unserved areas, libraries, and Educational Opportunity Centers.

An “unserved” area is defined as an area where the fastest available advertised Internet download speed offered by a wireline-based provider is less than 25 Mbps. An “underserved” area is defined as an area where broadband service is only available from a wireline-based provider at advertised Internet download speeds between 25 Mbps and 99 Mbps. The program is the largest and most ambitious state investment in broadband in the nation, with a goal of achieving statewide broadband access in New York by the end of 2018.

About Empire Access
After starting in 1896 with one telephone line in Prattsburgh, Empire Access has grown significantly as a family‐owned, locally based communications provider serving large areas of Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania.

Today’s Empire offers a wide range of products and services from basic phone service to digital phone, scalable high‐speed Fiber Optic Internet, basic to enhanced digital TV service to advanced security solutions. Responding to a variety of business and residential needs, Empire continues to expand into new areas while retaining a strong focus on local, personalized customer service.

Empire Access offers Fiber Optic service in Arkport, Batavia, Bath, Big Flats, Canisteo, Corning, Elmira, Hammondsport, Hornell, Montour Falls, Naples, North Hornell, Penn Yan, Watkins Glen, and Waverly in New York and Sayre, Athens, South Waverly and Troy in Pennsylvania. The company’s website can be found at www.empireaccess.com.

June 5, 2017 - 1:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Insurance, batavia, business.

Press release: 

Tompkins Insurance Agencies recently was appointed to The Hanover Insurance Group’s President’s Club, an elite group of independent insurance agencies from across the country. 

Tompkins Insurance Agencies was one of only 125 independent agencies recognized with this distinction across the country. The Hanover partners with a select group of 2,200 independent agents nationwide. Agencies named to the company’s President’s Club are recognized for delivering outstanding value to their customers through insurance expertise and responsive service.

“For more than a century, Tompkins Insurance Agencies has been committed to providing unrivaled customer service to those who have trusted us with their insurance needs,” said David Boyce, President & CEO, Tompkins Insurance Agencies. “We’re proud to be named to the President’s Club, which is a recognition of the value we place on providing specialized insurance strategies to help the families and businesses in the communities we serve.”

The agency was formally recognized for its inclusion in the company’s President’s Club at a national business conference in Laguna Beach, Calif.

“The team at Tompkins Insurance Agencies truly understands the needs of its customers and delivers a top-of-the-line customer experience, providing expert insurance counsel and high-quality service,” said John C. Roche, president, Hanover Agency Markets. “We’re proud to partner with Tompkins Insurance Agencies and appreciate its commitment to going above and beyond to serve its customers.”

June 2, 2017 - 11:04am
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, GCEDC, STAMP.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors approved the selection of LeChase Construction Services of Rochester at the agency’s June 1 board meeting. The GCEDC Board approved the selection based on the recommendation of the members of the GCEDC STAMP Committee.

The $3.18 million project includes the trenching and installation of approximately 50,000 square feet of pipe that will extend from the Town of Oakfield to the site of the Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP). The work also will include connecting some households on Church Street and Maple Road in the Town of Alabama.

The project is being funded through $33 million allocated to STAMP by New York State to make the 1,250 mega-site shovel ready for advanced manufacturing operations, including 1366 Technologies.

“It’s exciting to see the first substantive infrastructure work that starts the process of making STAMP a shovel ready site,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC. “It really enhances our opportunities to market the site to those who are in the planning process of identifying shovel ready sites to build the next generation of advanced manufacturing facilities.”

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