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April 19, 2016 - 6:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, business, news.

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Bob Moore said he feels bittersweet about stepping away from the business he and his wife Noreen opened together 37 years ago, but he couldn't be happier with the new owners.

Tim Adams and Steve Foster become owners tomorrow afternoon of the Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in Stafford.

Already business partners with Adams Welding and other business interests, Adams and Foster said not only did the restaurant business interest them, they couldn't stand the idea of an outside buyer taking over a local tradition.

"There's no place like it," said Adams, who was named Geneseean of the Year for 2013. "It would have been a shame to see it shut down or turned into a Chuck E. Cheese. That's what people have been saying, it could have become a Chuck E. Cheese, or somebody could have moved it to another location and we would have had another empty building here. It's a special place so it would have been a shame to have it lost."

Foster started working at the Red Osier 20 years ago, straight out of high school, first as a server and working his way up through the ranks as a bartender and in the kitchen before becoming manager 10 years ago.

"The Red Osier is just a special family," Foster said. "We're all family."

Adams and Foster will retain the restaurant's 70 employees.

Moore said he's not retiring, just stepping aside from owning and running his own restaurant. He will serve as a consultant to Adams and Foster as well as his son, who owns another branch of the Red Osier brand, based in Rochester. 

He's excited to see what Adams and Foster will bring to Red Osier.

"That's what we need, young guys, like we were 37 years ago," Moore said. "They're like my wife and I were, full of piss and vinegar."

There won't be substantial changes, but Foster said there is definitely a magic about the Red Osier to be recaptured and they hope to do that with some decor changes to start -- new uniforms, new white table clothes, a regional wine display, historic pictures of the restaurant are a start.

Moore approves. 

"These guys are full of ideas," Moore said. "I want to help them implement as much as I can. The place looks beautiful. Wow! What a facelift."

There were eight or nine other potential buyers who looked into the restaurant before Adams and Foster approached him, and he immediately thought they would be a perfect fit to take over his business.

Noreen agreed.

"We couldn't have done better," she said.

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Tim Adams ad Steve Foster with Bob and Noreen Moore and a commemorative key Tim and Steve made for them at their metal shop.

April 19, 2016 - 2:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in BID, news, downtown batavia, business.

Press release:

The Batavia Business Improvement District (BID) is proud to highlight its accomplishments for the 2015-2016 fiscal year at its 17th Annual Luncheon & Awards from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 22nd at the City Church Generation Center, 15 Center St., Batavia.

Please join us to meet and hear from Laurie Oltramari, the new executive director of the BID, who holds a master's degree in Architecture and Urban Design from the University at Buffalo and previously worked as the BID assistant director for the three years.

In attendance will also be representatives from the offices of Congressman Chris Collins, Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, and Assemblyman Stephen Hawley as well as Genesee County legislators and Batavia City councilpersons. The newly elected board members for 2016-2017 will be announced by Freed Maxick, CPAs. A buffet will be served by Downtown restaurant, T.F. Brown’s.

This year’s guest speaker will be Felipe Oltramari, director of the Genesee County Planning Department, presenting on “The Value of Downtown and Secrets of Urban Design.” Oltramari was the leading voice in introducing Genesee County to the concept of “Beer-Oriented Development (BOD),” which spurred the interest and growth of breweries seeking to come to Downtown. He is also credited with educating municipalities in Genesee County on the idea of form-based codes which is a less restrictive and more intuitive land development regulation that fosters predictable building results and a high-quality public realm by using physical form (rather than separation of uses/zoning types) as the organizing principle for the code.

This year’s recipients of the Batavia Business Improvement District awards includes Java Farm Supply, T-Shirts Etc., and Kristen Merriam. 

Java Farm Supply (45 Center St.)  -- Spirit of Downtown Business Award 

Java Farm Supply first opened its doors in 1951 in the basement of a small tire shop. Its founder, William Bookmiller, wanted to offer customized solutions to help local farmers by providing innovative products, many of which were manufactured right here in Batavia.  

Today, Java Farm Supply remains focused on the same purpose and has expanded its scope to include application, dairy, fruit, turf care and row-crop equipment. Its new location in Batavia compliments an expanded product offering and helps its dedicated associates and mobilized fleets deliver these solutions all over Western New York and beyond.  

Java Farm Supply and its associates are proud members of the community, supporting and participating in many local events and organizations. "We are honored to serve the community that has so graciously welcomed us."  

T-Shirts Etc, Inc., (35-37 Center S.) -- Spirit of Downtown Business Award

T-Shirts Etc. is a family owned and operated local screen-printing company that was established in 1997 and began its operation in the Industrial Building on Harvester Avenue, right here in Batavia. After several moves to accommodate the growing industry, T-Shirts Etc. made its way to Downtown Batavia in January of 2012 and became a permanent resident of Downtown after purchasing the building at 35-37 Center St. in 2015.

T-Shirts Etc. provides quality screen printing, embroidery, artwork and logo design, banners, promotional products and decals. They currently serve more than 2,000 customers within the Genesee County area as well as several customers in other counties and out of state. 

As the company hits its 19th year in business, T-Shirts Etc. currently employs five full-time people and is proud to contribute to several local charities and organizations in our community. 

T-Shirts Etc. is a proud member of the Batavia Business Improvement District, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, Genesee County Business Education Alliance, and the Advertising Specialty Institute.

Kristen Merriam -- Spirit of Downtown Volunteer Award

Kristen Merriam graduated from Churchville Chili High School in 1999 and then attended Monroe Community College in 2002. She is the proud mother of three children and an avid gardener. Kristen was nominated for the volunteer award because although she does not serve on any committee, she is the first to volunteer to help for any event including promoting events, volunteering at the Batavia Wine Walk, Beertavia, the BID’s Annual Downtown Clean-up, and even staying nearly all day to help with the BID’s largest festival, Summer in the City.

She works at Charles Men’s Shop and although sometimes volunteers only do so in order to promote their business, Kristen works hard and selflessly because she sees the value of helping the community. She has worked behind the scenes for several years. It is likely that board members or committee members do not know the extent of her help. It is with great honor that we bestow the Volunteer Award to Kristen.

*************************

Contact: Laurie Oltramari

E-mail:   [email protected]

Phone:  (585) 344-0900 office                                                                                                                                    

April 13, 2016 - 4:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pollyanna & Dot, The Hidden Door, batavia, business, news, downtown.

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Batavia's newest retail store promises to offer local shoppers unique items for the home, as gifts or perhaps, something special for yourself.

The business, at 202 E. Main St. (Masonic Temple, next to Charles Men's Shop), is really two stores in one and the result of a cooperative agreement between Leanna DiRisio and Ashley Bateman.

The Hidden Door is DiRisio's business and offers rustic, old-timey items that will add tasteful flare to home decor, and Pollyanna & Dot is Bateman's business and offers primarily new dresses in vintage styles.

"We thought this would be a great start for a new business," DiRisio said. "It's kind of like an incubator and if maybe we both grow a little bigger we can go out on our own."

Bateman said Mary Valle (Valle's Jewelry) brought DiRisio and Batemen together and suggested they find a way to partner to pursue their shared dream of owning their own retail shops.

The two aspiring entrepreneurs met, but weren't initially sure it would work out, but as time went on and they thought about it more, the idea started to make more sense.

Both have young children and by working together they can coordinate times to keep the shop open and take care of their kids and other family needs. 

"For me, it's always been something that I've wanted to do and I just figured with the changes going on my life, that if I don't do it now, I would never do it," said DiRisio, who praised a six-week entrepreneur-training program set up by the Batavia Development Corp. at Genesee Community College for giving her the confidence to move forward.

Batemen also thought this was the time to act rather than wait.

"There's a renaissance here that's happening and if we don't do it now, somebody else will, so we wanted to get here first," Bateman said.

The grand opening celebration for Pollyanna & Dot and The Hidden Door is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday.

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April 13, 2016 - 11:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in 1366 Technologies, business, GCEDC, STAMP, news.

Press release:

Hanwha Q CELLS Co., Ltd., (“Hanwha Q CELLS”) (NASDAQ: HQCL) and 1366 Technologies, Inc., (“1366”) today announced that they have entered into a supply agreement in which 1366 will supply up to 700 MW of wafers using 1366’s proprietary Direct Wafer™ technology to Hanwha Q CELLS over a five-year period.

This deal follows a year-long strategic partnership and collaborative R&D efforts to commercialize 1366’s Direct Wafer™ technology with Hanwha Q CELLS’ Q.ANTUM cell technology. 1366 will supply the wafers from its planned U.S. manufacturing facility in New York State, scheduled to be online in 2017.

The agreement ensues months of intense technical collaboration between the two companies during which a series of performance records for the Direct Wafer™ technology were achieved. Hanwha Q CELLS and 1366 jointly reached a maximum efficiency of 19.1% using Direct Wafer™products in Hanwha Q CELLS’ Q.ANTUM cell, as independently verified by the Fraunhofer ISE.

“This agreement with one of the world’s most respected and innovative solar manufacturers is, no doubt, a significant milestone for our business. It further demonstrates the compelling capabilities of the Direct Wafer™ technology and the readiness of this innovation, and establishes its long-term bearing on the industry,” said Frank van Mierlo, CEO of 1366 Technologies. “We’ve found a strong partner, Hanwha Q CELLS, and we are extremely proud of the work we’ve accomplished together.”

“This agreement aligns with our continuing efforts to bring about world leading technologies that enable solar energy to be more competitive and more affordable,” commented Seong-woo Nam, CEO of Hanwha Q CELLS.  “We are pleased with the progress we have made together during the past year and excited about the potential of 1366’s Direct Wafer™ products with Hanwha’s cell and module technologies to deliver further cost reductions and LCOE competitiveness to standard multi-crystalline wafer-based modules.”

Provided that 1366 meets certain terms and conditions related to its wafer qualification and timing of delivery as agreed by both parties, Hanwha Q CELLS’s commitment to purchase up to 700 MW of wafers over a period of five years will commence.

1366’s Direct Wafer technology is a transformative manufacturing process that offers significant advantages over traditional cast-and-saw wafer production technologies. The process makes wafers in a single step, pulling them directly from molten silicon instead of today’s multi-step, energy- and capital-intensive approach, resulting in significant wafer production cost savings.

Hanwha Q CELLS' Q.ANTUM technology is based on PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) architecture and includes many additional technological features for maximum energy yield under real conditions. Q.ANTUM significantly enhances power output, low-light and temperature-behavior, while at the same time offering all of Hanwha Q CELLS' VDE certified quality standards like Anti-PID protection, Hot-spot protect, and Tra.Q laser marking.

Additional Note: Hanwha was part of a Series C funding round in 2010 that raised $20 million in venture capital to back 1366 Technologies. It was announced at that time that Hanwha planned to become a 1366 customer once production began. The latest available information online indicates that 1366 has raised more than $70 million from private investors.

April 13, 2016 - 11:41am

Press release:

Live Nation is looking to hire a few “rock stars” for this summer’s upcoming concert season at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. The concert venue is shaping up to have a busy concert schedule with performers like Bad Company & Joe Walsh, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band, and Def Leppard scheduled to perform.

Seasonal job offerings will be available in key areas such as security, cleaning and parking attendants.  The open positions give music lovers seeking part-time work the chance to work in a fast-paced environment and enjoy great live music. 

Live Nation will be hosting four job fair sessions starting this Saturday, April 16th and Sunday, April 17th.  The job fair will be held backstage at Darien Lake in the catering pavilion and sessions will take place from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

For those interested in inquiring more about open seasonal positions, should visit www.livenationentertainment.com/careers/seasonal.

Applicants will need to bring either a driver’s license and Social Security card or a valid U.S. Passport to complete the application.

All applicants are subject to background checks.

April 12, 2016 - 5:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy, news, Boonle.

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A Le Roy resident has a fledgling tech startup he thinks has a chance to get big.

Billion dollar big,* he doesn't know, but he sees an opportunity and he's going for it. (*In the venture-capital investing world. a "unicorn" is a company with a billion-dollar valuation, and a "rocket ship" is a company that is growing fast.)

A couple of months ago, after much planning Antonio Calabrese launched Boonle, a site where aspiring graphic artists and other creative types can find entry-level projects and start building a resume. 

The concept is aimed at college students and new graduates, but anybody entering the workforce as a freelancer might find the site helpful, Calabrese said.

Small businesses without Madison-Avenue-type promotional budgets, as well as other startups, might also gravitate to the site for the chance to tap into some talent at little or no cost.

According to his research, the freelance market, also called the "gig economy" in today's digital parlance, is expected to become 40 percent of the nation's workforce in coming years. 

That's just a huge opportunity for a business like Boonle.

"I think we can harness a lot of that market because that's the newbie market, when things are starting out, and we plan on being that first stepping-stone for those entering the freelance market," Calabrese said. "I think we can own a big chunk of that."

So far, Calabrese, the company's sole owner and founder, has raised $100,000 in seed funding and is starting the search for another round of early-stage investors with a goal of raising from $500,000 to $1.5 million.

There's a lot of marketing needed to help get the word out about Boonle, especially on college campuses. He's hoping to complete a partnership deal soon with RIT, where he graduated from, and other colleges. He recently received applications from 25 students at universities around the nation willing to sign on as brand ambassadors to help sign up would-be freelancers. 

Calabrese came up with the idea for the business when he realized how hard it is for graduates who have yet to establish a professional portfolio to find work, and that there are a lot of smaller businesses that can't afford the rates experienced freelancers and agencies charge.

He acknowledges he's gotten a little criticism from those who think a site like Boonle lowers the fees digital designers and developers can charge, but he counters that the businesses that would pay more, and the designers who would charge more, aren't part of Boonle's target market.

"There is plenty of work to be done on projects that pay more," Calabrese said. "Those are the jobs that are still going to go to those with the skills to get higher-paying jobs."

Creative categories on the site range from logos and brochures to writing and photography and even music production. Basically, if you're a creator, you should be able to find a market for your work on Boonle.

"We're a platform to help people build a platform so they can eventually launch a career," Calabrese said.

Those looking for work set the price for the job, from free to something a bit more pricey, and then freelancers look at the job, decide if it's within their skill level, if the price is right for them at that stage, and then accept the assignment.

The potential employer has the option to reject the freelancer and the job goes back into the marketplace.

"The business can set the job for free if they don't have the budget for it, but the chances of it getting worked on go down if you set it for free," Calabrese said. 

If a business hires a particular freelancer, or several of them, they can present future projects to their pool of trusted freelancers, but the job goes out to the whole site if it isn't picked up within 48 hours.

On jobs that are paid, Boonle handles the transactions through PayPal, taking about a 30-percent cut, with a third of that covering PayPal's transaction fees.

In a future update, freelancers will be able to upgrade their accounts, once they've proven themselves, and get exclusive access to higher-paying jobs and avoid the fee being taken out for a small monthly subscription.

It's Calabrese's intention to keep his business based in Western New York. He's from Rochester with a lot of strong ties there, including ties to the tech-startup investing community, but he thinks as the business grows, wherever it's based in WNY, he won't have a hard time recruiting employees.

He said that while he was at RIT, a lot of students expressed an interest in staying in the area, even those not from here originally, but the kind of jobs they've been trained for are just in short supply in the area.

"When you're getting job offers from Google, Apple, LinkedIn and Facebook, who wants to stay in Rochester then?" he said. "But if there's a cool company here, and the cost of living is a lot less and we can still pay them somewhat competitive rates, then I think they would stay here."

April 8, 2016 - 2:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, batavia ophthalmology.

Press release:

HEALTHeLINK today announced Batavia Ophthalmology, PLLC, is the newest participant in Western New York’s clinical information exchange. 

Currently more than 4,000 physicians, all of the area hospitals and many independent laboratory and radiology practices are connected to HEALTHeLINK with a goal of improving the quality of care, enhancing patient safety and reducing health care costs.

With patient consent, participating physicians can securely and electronically access clinical information on the patients they are treating at the point of care. Approximately 810,000 Western New Yorkers have signed a consent form to provide treating medical professionals with this access through HEALTHeLINK. Ask your physician for a copy or download one at HEALTHeLINK’s Web site

About HEALTHeLINK:  HEALTHeLINK, the Western New York Clinical Information Exchange, is a collaboration among the region’s hospitals, physicians, health plans and other health care providers to serve the eight counties of western New York State. HEALTHeLINK was created to enable the exchange of clinical information in secure and meaningful ways to improve both efficiency and quality, while also helping to control health care costs. Patients who provide consent allow physicians and providers directly involved in their treatment to securely access relevant medical information via HEALTHeLINK, resulting in more timely and effective treatment at the point of care. 

HEALTHeLINK is part of the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY), a technology framework spanning the entire state that allows health care providers efficient access to their patients’ data. HEALTHeLINK has been recognized for its work in building a regional health information technology infrastructure and for testing innovative approaches by both state and federal agencies, including being named a Beacon Community, an effort funded by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. For more information about HEALTHeLINK, please visit wnyhealthelink.com.

April 6, 2016 - 11:34am
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, batavia, Batavia High School.

Press release:

Anita Strollo, the coordinator for Batavia High School’s College and Career Center, is “casting a wide net” to find more local businesses that may be interested in being part of the school’s first Hiring Fair on Thursday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at BHS, 260 State St.

“We have about a dozen so far and we’re thrilled with those businesses, but of course we’d like more,” says Strollo.

She anticipates at least 100 students will take advantage of the opportunity to meet with potential employers, providing those business representatives with the chance to meet face-to-face with a large pool of possible employees under one roof. To facilitate the process, there will be computers/laptops and Wi-Fi access for online applications, as well as quiet zones for on-the-spot interviews.

For more information, contact Anita Strollo at [email protected], or 343-2480, ext. 2012.

April 5, 2016 - 6:10pm

The Genesee County Business/Education Alliance continues to grow and gain momentum.

In an agency review before the Human Service Committee on Monday, BEA Coordinator and local businesswoman Beth Kemp highlighted the many avenues the partnership uses to prepare students for the world of work.

It was a dizzying gamut of outreach -- from the popular Summer Career Exploration Camps and a hiring event next week at Batavia High School for 10th- through 12th-graders, to school presentations at Le Roy and Byron-Bergen high schools and a bus tour Oct. 7 of local manufacturers, with more in the works.
 
Upcoming at the YWCA will be the free "Tech Girls" program to enhance critical thinking skills and hands-on learning for at-risk girls ages 9 to 15 with limited access to technology.
 
"It's important that businesses see the value, too, in helping students achieve success," Kemp said.
 
The "education of educators on local business opportunities" is one of the area's that the BEA is focusing on, Kemp said, helping them help students hone a career path.
 
For the next academic year, they will be working with the Genesee County Economic Development Center on piloting a course in Oakfield-Alabama schools about choosing a career. It will include information about the skill sets that will be needed to succeed in jobs at the Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) planned in Alabama.
 
She cited the WNY Tech Academy in Bergen as having STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focused education for high-skill, financially stable careers in growth industries.
 
For the career camps, the alliance is seeking sponsorships to cover the costs for deserving students. Most camps cost $95 and include a week of instruction, a T-shirt, lunches and snacks. A total of 230 sixth- through 11th-graders will take part in camps this summer. (Camp enrollment maximums vary.)
 
The camps include:
  • MST -- Math, Science and Technology
  • All About Dogs
  • Culinary I
  • Culinary II
  • Animal Science/Vet 
  • Medical ($75)
  • Hard Hat
  • WNY Aviation Adventure (This camp costs more. It's $350 and includes week-long room and board.)
"I think it's amazing what this group can accomplish (for the money)," said Committee Member Andrew Young about the BEA.
 
Following Kemp's overview, the Committee was asked to recommend approval of a resolution for $3,452 in funding for the BEA through a contract for 2016 between the county and the Chamber of Commerce. The members did so unanimously.
 
The BEA operates out of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce office on Main Street and is supported by schools, businesses and county government. It is part of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.
April 4, 2016 - 12:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, Announcements, elderwood health plan.

Press release:

Elderwood Health Plan, a locally based managed long-term care (MLTC) plan, was granted approval by the New York State Department of Health to begin enrolling members April 1.

Elderwood Health Plan provides services to people 21 years and older who are Medicaid-eligible, chronically ill or have disabilities and have been assessed as needing community based long-term care services for more than 120 days. Services are provided in Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming and Monroe counties. Dr. Anthony Billitier is the medical director for the program.

Elderwood Health Plan coordinates primary, specialty and community-based services for its members, and is the payor for a wide range of services, such as long-term home health care, dental, vision, transportation and audiology. Members continue to use their own primary care and specialty physicians through their Medicaid, with the advantage of having an Elderwood Health Plan care manager help coordinate their community based and home care services.

“Our goal at Elderwood Health Plan is to provide the care and access to services necessary for individuals to remain independent and in the community,” said Alicia Kenyon, director of business development. “Our care managers provide support to both members and their families to help coordinate services such as podiatry, physical therapy, in-home care, durable medical equipment, and transportation to medical appointments and day centers.

“We will also help families with the paperwork required to apply for Medicaid.”

 Elderwood Health Plan is backed by the experience of Elderwood, a respected area health care provider for more than 30 years, and by parent company Post Acute Partners, operating more than 20 health care communities in New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

For more information, call Elderwood Health Plan toll-free at 1-866-843-7526 or visit the Web site at www.elderwoodhealthplan.com.

April 2, 2016 - 5:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, batavia, business, Home Show, news.

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Exhibitors said there was a steady stream of people coming through the Chamber of Commerce's Home Show today at Falleti Ice Arena in Batavia, and that had them in pretty good spirits.

Here's a quick photo tour of some of the activity today.

Doors are open tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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More pictures after the jump:

April 1, 2016 - 4:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Home Show, chamber of commerce, business, batavia, news.

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Late this afternoon, vendors were busy putting together the final touches on their booths for the annual home show at Falleti Ice Arena.

The home show, brought to you by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, opens at 5 p.m. today and continues tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday.

There are about 70 exhibitors with goods and services designed to help you make home life better, beautiful or more efficient. For more information, visit the Chamber's Web site.

March 25, 2016 - 3:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, dairy, business, O-AT-KA, news.

(Photos by Jim Burns.)

A Canadian proposal to reduce the amount of milk products imported from the United States, and to impose a tariff, could have perilous financial consequences for Western New York dairy farmers and cooperatives such as O-AT-KA in Batavia, which exports 20 percent of its goods to Canada annually.

At a press conference this morning in the plant's cafeteria off Cedar Street, Sen. Charles Schumer vowed to bring all his clout -- built over 18 years in the Senate -- to bear to stop the limitations being put forth by the nation's trade ministry in conjuction with its agriculture department under new government leadership.

Last year, U.S. dairies produced 200 billion pounds of milk; 85 percent of that was consumed by Americans and 15 percent was exported, said O-AT-KA CEO Bill Schreiber.

"Canada's trying to put in a new rule that would be devastating to O-AT-KA and Western New York," Schumer told the media, union employees, dairy farmers and local officials in attendance. "That ultra-filtered milk came in duty-free. Now they're trying to change that. ...  and the Province of Ontario wants to keep out (U.S.) dairy sales."

For O-AT-KA, the restrictions would amount to a loss of 180 million pounds of annual milk production -- which is 20 percent of $95 million in yearly sales, or $19 million, according to Schreiber. 

WIth more than 350 employees, the facility is one of the largest employers in the Genesee County. Upstate Niagara Cooperative, made up of nearly 400 dairies, is the majority owner of O-AT-KA.

WNY dairies are poised for growth, despite recent declines in milk pricing -- from $25 per hundredweight (the name of the commodity pricing unit) to $15 currently.

In 2012, O-AT-KA invested $16 million to build a new two-story addition to allow "ultra-filtration" capabilities in order to expand its product line and boost sales to other producers in the United States and abroad, especially Canada. Products include non-fat dry milk powder, buttermilk powder, whey powder, canned evaporated milk, butter, fluid condensed milk, iced coffee, nutritional beverages and other drinks. Ultra-filtered milk is used in cheese making.

Schumer said the recently proposed Canadian trade barriers could hinder plans for growth.

"We have good neighbors in Canada, but every so often something happens," the senator said. "This proposal would bring our mutual agreement to a screeching halt. It would put O-AT-KA and New York's dairy farmers in grave jeopardy. It would imperil the whole Upstate economy."

When asked "Is there really anything you can do?" if another nation, like Canada, implements a trade rule you don't like, Schumer replied: "Yes, a big leverage is tariffs. It's not a one-way street. It's not just exporting to Canada; we import from Canada, too."

It boils down to the fact that "we just have a stronger dairy industry and they're trying to build their's."

The rules, if implemented, would take effect in about six months.

"I'm here to go to bat for you," Schumer said. "I'm going to send a shot across the bough."

Schumer is calling on the U.S. Trade Representives and the USDA to work to protect U.S. dairy exports by ensuring that Canada doesn’t impose restrictive trade rules and honors its commitment to open borders to Upstate New York farmers.

The proposal to limit U.S. dairy imports comes on the heels of the "Trans-Pacific Partnership," referred to commonly as TPP, being signed in New Zealand last month after seven years of negotiations. Besides New Zealand, it is made up of Canada and 10 other Pacific Rim countries, including the United States, Australia, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Chile, Mexico and Peru. Ratification is anticipated over the next two years.

According to the Toronto Sun (Feb. 4. 2016), the pact could impact many industries in Canada, including agriculture, and some opponents fear it could hurt the economy and result in layoffs in some sectors. As part of the deal, Canadian dairy farms are slated to get $4.3 billion in subsidies from their government over a span of 15 years to offset losses from an increase in dairy imports from TPP trading partners.

Schumer made it clear that he opposes big trade agreements like TPP, just as he opposed and voted against NAFTA during the Clinton Administration.

Here's a copy of Schumer’s letter to both the USTR and USDA:

Dear Ambassador Froman and Secretary Vilsack:

I write to you with strong concerns about reports that Canada is weighing policy and regulatory shifts that would undermine one of New York’s most important export markets. Just a few years ago, two dairy companies made investments worth tens of millions of dollars in Upstate New York to produce ultra-filtered milk specifically for export to the Canadian cheese market. These sales are possible as a result of the duty-free access for this specific product that Canada agreed to under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Recent reports indicate that Canada is considering administrative actions to limit Canadian companies’ capacity to use this product in further processing and that Ontario is advancing a new, targeted pricing policy designed to crowd out New York’s dairy sales. Further restraints on dairy trade are unacceptable, particularly coming on the heels of Canada’s recent pledge to expand access to its tightly restricted dairy market under TPP. 

New York has made sizable investments in exporting into Canada under specific rules laid out by the Canadian government. Those sales now help support dairy farmers and rural communities across the state. New Canadian barriers to market access would have an outsized impact on New York’s dairy sector. As the country’s third largest milk producing state, a significant impact on New York’s ability to tap into key foreign markets also will impact farmers in surrounding states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. Moreover, this latest example of dairy market-access restrictions appears to represent a continuation of persistent Canadian regulatory and policy shifts aimed directly at impeding dairy trade. 

We must hold Canada to its commitments and ensure that our exporters do not encounter barriers to the products they are already shipping to Canada. I urge you to strongly reject this and similar efforts to impair the value of concessions the U.S. previously secured under NAFTA. Thank you for your attention to this important priority with one of this country’s largest trading partners.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

March 25, 2016 - 10:16am

Press release:

Mostert, Manzanero & Scott, LLP, presented a summary of the audit process undertaken, the scope of their engagement and audit results to the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation (GGLDC) Board at the March 24 meeting.    

The GGLDC Board engaged the certified public accounting firm to perform an independent audit of 2015 financial statements. The independent audit was designed to issue an opinion on the financial statements of the GGLDC for the year ending Dec. 31; a management letter to the Board of Directors management; and, a report about internal control over financial reporting in accordance with Government Auditing Standards.  

Included in the management letter is a statement from Mostert, Manzanero & Scott, LLP, affirming that no material deficiencies in internal controls were identified during the audit. The firm also affirmed that, in their opinion, the audited financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the GGLDC as of Dec. 31,  in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

“I am pleased with the continued positive audit results, and it speaks to the professionalism and transparency of the organization,” said Thomas Felton, president and chairman of the GGLDC.  

In 2015, the GGLDC, including Genesee Agri-Business, LLC (GABLLC) activity, received $1.2 million in grant revenues.

These grants included a NYS Homes and Community Renewal grant that supported infrastructure development at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park (GVAB) and the LeRoy/ Bergen America’s Best Communities grant, as well as an Empire State Development grant to support the development and marketing of the Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP).  

The GGLDC also recognized grant revenue from National Grid, which supported Buffalo East Technology Park (BTEP) infrastructure, an annual Community Benefit Agreement payment with CNL Income (Darien Lake) to support infrastructure in Western Genesee County, and an annual PILOT Increment Financing payment from Genesee County that supports a bond payment for infrastructure at the GVAB Park.

Currently, there is $6.9 million of land held for sale and development under the agencies control including 57 acres at the Gateway II Corporate Park, 67 acres at the BETP, 250 acres at the GVAB Park, 34 acres at Med Tech Park, and the Upstate MedTech Centre Building including an Innovation Zone for entrepreneurial businesses.

March 23, 2016 - 3:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, GCC job fair.

Press release:

Genesee Community College is pleased to announce another exciting Job Fair with more than 35 companies expected on Thursday, April 7, from 12  to 2 p.m. at the College's centrally located William Stuart Forum.

Genesee's Career Services Center continues to solicit businesses from all types of industries to join the popular, two-hour event that introduces potential new employees to employers, and also provides businesses an opportunity to present their trade and services to the local community.

The event is free to employers and attendees. Employers must register; job seekers are not required to register prior to the event but must sign in upon arrival. As of March 16th, the following employers are scheduled to be in attendance:

Participating employers include:

Aflac New York

City of Batavia Youth Bureau

Coastal Staffing

Darien Lake Theme Park & Resort 

Genesee ARC

Genesee County AmeriCorps, Genesee County Youth Bureau

Genesee County Human Resources

ESL Federal Credit Union

Fidelis Care 

Hidden Valley Animal Adventure

Home Depot (The) 

Independent Living of the Genesee Region 

KR Communications

Living Opportunities of DePaul

Masis Staffing Solutions, LLC

NY Air National Guard

Paychex 

Pembroke Travel Plaza

People's, Inc.

Pioneer Credit Recovery, Inc. / Sallie Mae

Premier Designs, Inc.

Remedy Staffing 

Palermo, Ricky

Rochester AmeriCorps 

Rochester City Police Department / City of Rochester 

Subway

United States Army

UNISYS

U.S. Army National Guard

U.S. Department of Agriculture

United Memorial Medical Center

Velocitii

Verizon Wireless

WBTA FM & AM

YWCA's My Sister's Closet

For more information, visit:  http://www.genesee.edu/career/events/. For a detailed listing of job opportunities by employer, please email a request for the list to [email protected]

March 22, 2016 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in farm bureau, news, agriculture, business.

Press release:

Genesee County Farm Bureau, in collaboration with Monroe Tractor, will be offering a NYS DOT Truck Rules and Regulations Training Program on Thursday, March 31, for area agriculture producers and their employees.

This training program is designed for producers and farm employees to become familiar with and review laws and regulations regarding proper truck operation throughout the year. It will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Elba Fire Hall, 7143 Oak Orchard Road, Elba.

There will be presentations by New York State Police about the legalities of driving farm equipment on our roads, as well as identify major problems with truck rules and regulations. Weather permitting, the training will conclude with a truck walk-around to identify problem areas and checkpoints.

Following the morning session, a DEC pesticide recertification program will also be offered at the same location from 1 to 4 p.m. This afternoon program will include discussions on weeds, diseases and insects in corn and soybeans, prepping your sprayer for the upcoming season, and an update on pesticide regulations. Bring your pesticide card to earn 2.5 recertification points.

There is no need to register for these trainings. For more information, contact James Kingston, Batavia Monroe Tractor Branch Manager at 585-746-1670.

March 17, 2016 - 2:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, genesee county, micropolitan, business, news.

Press release:

For the 12th consecutive year, "Site Selection" magazine has once again recognized Batavia/Genesee County as a 2015 “Top Micropolitan” for corporate facility investments in the United States.

The ranking of “Top Micropolitans” is based on cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people which cover at least one county. There are approximately 575 micropolitans in the United States according to Site Selection Magazine.

Corporate facility investments in Genesee County are the result of the work of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) and many other economic development partners including the Batavia Development Corporation (BDC), the Batavia Business Improvement District (BID), and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. In 2015, the GCEDC authorized approximately $54 million in new capital investments which created almost 200 new jobs.

“This was another year of tremendous growth for Genesee County, as we once again saw existing companies make significant investments in their operations here,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC. “With the announcement of 1366 Technologies as the first tenant in the Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP), we remain on a path to a very prosperous future for our region.”

“We have every reason to be optimistic about the continued growth and business expansion in Genesee County,” said Raymond Cianfrini, chairman of the Genesee County Legislature. “We have a new hotel at Batavia Downs, Darien Lake Theme Park continues to improve, our new county airport terminal will be ready soon and the STAMP project is now a reality. It’s an exciting time to be a part of this progress.”

The GCEDC achieved 18 project “wins” in 2015, including a $5.4 million investment by ADK Hospitality for a new hotel at Batavia Downs, one of region’s most popular gaming and entertainment destinations. The project will result in a new 82-room hotel and will create 25 new jobs.

“We are very fortunate to have a strong partnership with the GCEDC as Batavia begins to revitalize,” said Jason Molino, City of Batavia manager. “Collectively our efforts in the community have helped create a unified vision that can be achieved. The announcement of 1366 Technologies is just the beginning of a bright future for all Genesee County residents. Twelve straight years as one of the top micropolitan areas in the country has put Batavia/Genesee County on the map.”

“Over the last several years, the strategic partnership between the Town of Batavia and the GCEDC has led to tremendous growth that has benefited not only the Town of Batavia but the entire micropolitan,” said Greg Post, Town of Batavia supervisor.

“With the ramp up of WNY STAMP and 1366 Technologies, we believe investments made by the Town of Batavia and GCEDC will continue to make us a top micopolitan community for years to come.”

Along with these projects, the Batavia Development Corporation had a productive year with the attraction of the Batavia Brewing Company and introduction of the freshLAB restaurant incubator to the Newberry Building, as well as secured more than $600,000 in economic development grants and coordinated a small business ownership series in partnership with Genesee Community College and the New York State Small Business Development Center.

“Over the last five years we have marveled at the good work of the GCEDC and its diligence to position Genesee County for business success,” said Ramon Chaya, Batavia Development Corporation Board president.

“We are happy to be rebuilding the City of Batavia, from brownfield site redevelopment, entrepreneurial and innovation projects, to business education programming. We could not do it without all of the partners in our community. It feels great to be collaborating and moving in the same direction and we are excited to see what comes next.”

The Batavia Improvement District (BID) has had a busy year with many successful events bringing new businesses Downtown, attracting new customers, and working to enhance programs and offerings for next year. The next big project it will undertake is a permanent public market to be housed Downtown.

“Downtowns are the foundation to any community. We continue to work to make the Downtown a place where people want to be. We focus on smaller, productive growth and the basic needs of people which equates to a better quality of life,” said Laurie Oltramari, executive director of the BID.

Other significant projects the GCEDC assisted with were investments made by Darien Lake Theme Park Resort, the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative, Inc.

Tourism plays a significant role in Genesee County’s economy with over $51 million in payroll contributed to the local economy. Driving more tourism is one of the region’s 2016 goals with respect to a new visitors center on Park Road.

“Our new Visitors Center will allow us to do a much better job of marketing our assets to overnight travelers at the hotels and the day-trippers visiting Batavia Downs, our restaurants and our shopping centers, by enticing them deeper into the county,” said Tom Turnbull, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce president.

“This new location will allow us to take tourism marketing to the next level and give us a visitors center that all of Genesee County can be proud of."

Full the full list of Site Selection Magazine’s rankings, visit http://siteselection.com/issues/2016/mar/top-micropolitans.cfm.

March 12, 2016 - 1:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in tax liens, Bontrager's, batavia, business.

taxlienauctionmarch122016.jpg

Properties there were foreclosed on by either the city or county in the past year for failure to pay property taxes were auctioned off today at Bontrager's.

We'll post the results of the auction once they are available to us.

taxlienauctionmarch122016-2.jpg

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(UPDATED 7:30 p.m.): Here are partial results from today's auction. They are for county-owned properties and do not include city-owned parcels. Those figures were not available today.

Note that the selling prices are listed along with the approximate amount of taxes and penalties owed. ***However, included in the amount DUE is interest, but that needs to be removed, as it was not earned. So the final amounts DUE are not available today, but they will be less than shown below.

GENESEE COUNTY PROPERTIES

PARCEL #1:       SELLING PRICE: $450               ***DUE: $768

Town of Batavia: Shepard Road (corner w/Batavia Bethany Townline Road), .62-acre lot, Tax Map No. 20.-2-30

 

PARCEL #2:     SELLING PRICE: $4,750            ***DUE: $5,650

Town of Batavia:  7697 Lewiston Road, .5-acre lot w/ commercial building,Tax Map No. 3.-1-6.112

 

PARCEL #3:      SELLING PRICE: $6,000            ***DUE: $3,150

Town of Pavilion: 10179 South Street Road, .78-acre lot w/burnt mobile home,Tax Map No. 6.-1-10.12

                                   

PARCEL #4:     SELLING PRICE: $5,000         ***DUE: $2,400

Town of Pembroke: Cleveland Road, 1-acre lot, Tax Map No. 16.-1-12.2

 

PARCEL #5:     SELLING PRICE: $650              ***DUE: $655

Town of Stafford: East Bethany -- Le Roy Road, 1.1-acre lot, Tax Map No.12.-1-46  

 

PARCEL #6:      SELLING PRICE: $33,000         ***DUE: $12,338

Town of Stafford: 8476 Route 237, single-family residence, .41-acre lot, Tax Map No. 7.-1-54

 

PARCEL #7:      SELLING PRICE: $28,000        ***DUE: $20,107

Village of Le Roy: 31 Mill St., storage/distribution, .27-acre lot, Tax Map No. 7.-2-1.1

   

PARCEL #8:      SELLING PRICE: $24,500         ***DUE: $15,660

Village of Le Roy:  63 Church St., single-family residence, .29-acre lot , Tax Map No.  6.-1-47

March 12, 2016 - 1:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee Urgent Care, GCC, batavia, news, business.

Press release:

Distance barriers and transportation issues are no longer obstacles for Genesee Community College students at the Batavia Campus Center seeking access to medical services. With its partnership through Genesee Urgent Care, the College’s Health Services is pleased to now offer telemedicine, technology that provides clinical health care at a distance.

Through the use of video exchange, telemedicine provides patients with access to a licensed medical professional in real time, regardless of where they are located. Developments in telemedicine technology have opened the doors of possibilities, adding tools such as a stethoscope and ophthalmoscope that integrate simply through a USB port. These tools allow patients to be seen for low level and primary care, as well as interface capabilities with specialists. Telemedicine can share X-ray images with orthopedics and electrocardiograms with cardiologists. These advancements not only improve access, but also reduce costs and improve quality.

“While access to the Telemedicine Network is currently only available to students at the Batavia campus, the intent is to grow this to GCC’s other campus centers as well,” said Genesee Urgent Care President Melissa Marsocci.

Students interested in being covered under the telemedicine technology through Genesee Urgent Care will need to purchase one of two available plans. A basic plan, costing $60 per semester, covers a student with unlimited telemedicine access to a licensed medical provider for illnesses including cold and cough, flu, sinus infection, sore throat, urinary tract infection, rash and poison ivy, pink eye, sexually transmitted diseases, mono and bee stings. The plan also includes diagnostic tests through lab work. Lab tests that are covered include pregnancy, mono spot, rapid strep, RSV and influenza. Any additional lab testing would have to be sent out, and the student would be billed for the cost.

An additional plan is available starting at $300 and includes the same coverage as the basic plan, in addition to injuries such as fractures, dislocations, minor eye problems, sprains and strains, cuts and lacerations and burns. The plan also includes additional diagnostic tests, providing lab work, X-ray and EKG.   

Covered students in need of medical services that utilize the telemedicine technology will need to check in with Health Services at the Batavia Campus in room B109. The technology, a Polycom device known as an HDX4500, is used to “call” the urgent care center where the patient and attending nurse can see and hear the urgent care staff. In instances where prescriptions are necessary, providers from the urgent care center can e-script the medication to the student’s pharmacy of choice. Some pharmacies include the option of delivery service, providing students a full medical experience without ever having to leave campus.

For additional information on Genesee Urgent Care, telemedicine and coverage plans available to GCC students, visit http://www.geneseeurgent.com/gcc-plans.html.

March 11, 2016 - 7:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake, darien lake theme park, Darien, business.

Press release:

Darien Lake Theme Park is enhancing its popular in-park laser show Ignite the Night with the addition of full-color laser beams, extra pyrotechnics, an all-new soundtrack and radio frequency-driven LED color wands that enable guests to “glow with the show.” This advanced technology brings an exciting new element to a long-standing park tradition.

The new handheld color wands are integrated with the show, flashing and glowing a kaleidoscope of colors throughout the performance. Guests can purchase color wands for $8 and have a souvenir of their family-fun experience for long after the show concludes.

Ignite the Night has been part of Darien Lake’s free family entertainment since 1992. The show started with simple green and yellow lasers, which were New Age at the time. The show has seen several enhancements over the years, including a 3D laser show introduced in 1995 and the addition of a 100-foot-wide water screen and hydro-cannon blasters in 2013.

From its humble beginnings to today’s fully modernized production, the show has paid tribute to our American heritage, and still to this day “Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood closes every show with a blast of fireworks.

“Our Ignite the Night laser show is the perfect way to end a fun-filled day with us,” said Darien Lake General Manager Chris Thorpe. “Families gather at the lawn on a warm night and look to the sky for a spectacular and magical experience.”

Ignite the Night, presented by Tops Friendly Markets, takes place every evening at 10:10 on the lawn at the Lakeside Amphitheater from May 20th to Sept. 4th. For a full list of special park events click here.

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