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April 25, 2017 - 9:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Torrey Farms, agriculture, elba, business, news.

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Maureen Torrey, co-owner of Torrey Farms in Elba, was at the White House today along with other representatives of the country's farmers, for the signing by President Donald J. Trump of an executive order aimed at boosting agriculture and rural communities (Full text of the order).

Torrey said the farmers also met with the president and his staff and there was a productive, positive discussion about labor, infrastructure, research, trade, NAFTA, Canada and Western NY dairy.

Torrey is pictured on the far left, back row.

UPDATE: Here's a related press release from the NYS Farm Bureau:

New York dairy and vegetable farmer, Maureen Torrey from Genesee County, joined 13 other farmers from across the country for a roundtable discussion yesterday with President Donald Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall was a part of the discussion as well on issues the White House believes are most pressing for American agriculture.

Following the roundtable, President Trump signed an executive order that acknowledges a reliable, safe, and affordable food, fiber and forestry supply is critical to America’s national security, stability and prosperity. The order also establishes an interagency task force, to be chaired by Secretary Perdue, charged with identifying legislative, regulatory and policy changes that would enhance American agriculture, rural economic development, job growth, infrastructure improvements, technological innovation, energy security and quality of life in rural America. The report from the task force is due within 180 days.

“It is an honor to have a representative of New York agriculture invited to play an integral role in the roundtable discussion at the White House,” said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President.  “Farm Bureau looks forward to working with the administration and Congress on issues like trade, farm labor and regulatory reform, with the goal of boosting American agriculture and increasing access to New York-grown food.”

The event is an historic occasion, as it is believed the last time a group of farmers met with a U.S. president this early in an administration was prior to the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.  

It followed the swearing-in of newly confirmed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. New York Farm Bureau is supportive of Secretary Perdue and is pleased to see him finally in place as the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Secretary Perdue is one of us. He grew up on a dairy farm, raised row crops, and was an agri-business owner. It is important to have someone in this position who understands trade, immigration and a whole host of other issues that are vital to a farmer’s success. Secretary Perdue spoke about having the opportunity to visit New York during his confirmation hearing, and New York Farm Bureau would like to personally invite him to our great state to showcase the opportunities and challenges that exist for our diverse membership,” said Fisher.

April 24, 2017 - 11:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, STAMP, Alabama, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) today announced that William Kent Inc. in Stafford will conduct an auction for items in vacant structures on the site of STAMP -- Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park. The items to be auctioned are from 6758 Allegany Road; 6725 Crosby Road; and, 6840 Crosby Road. 

The auction will be held online from April 27 through May 2.  All items purchased must be removed from the properties by May 12.  The auction will precede asbestos removal and demolition of the structures.

The agreement between the GCEDC and William Kent Inc. states that the auction company will receive 10-percent commission of the sale of all items. William Kent Inc. also may deduct their fee from the gross sales receipts resulting from the sale of the items. The notice of the auction was published in The Batavia Daily News, Genesee Valley PennySaver (Oatka and Batavia editions) and the Lake Country PennySaver.

“There are items in the vacant structures that have some value and funds from the online auction will be used to mitigate costs associated with preparing the site for development,” said Mark Masse, senior vice president, GCEDC.

Since 1970, William Kent Inc. has conducted thousands of auctions across upstate New York from farm and commercial properties to estates and antiques.

For more information about the online auction please visit www.williamkentinc.com.

April 24, 2017 - 10:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, batavia, business.

Press release:

Tompkins Bank of Castile is expanding its presence in Western New York, adding a new role to lead the further development of its commercial lending customer base in Erie and Niagara counties. The bank is also beginning a search for office space in the Buffalo area to support this expansion.

Adam Desmond, a banking industry veteran who is native to Buffalo, has been named Regional Market Leader for the Buffalo market. Desmond joined the company on April 3 and will lead the efforts to further grow the bank’s presence in the area.

“We are excited to have Adam lead our effort to significantly expand our growing presence in the Buffalo area,” said John McKenna, Tompkins Bank of Castile President & CEO. “He brings extensive banking experience, a deep network and knowledge of the Buffalo market to our team.”

Desmond joins Tompkins Bank of Castile with more than 15 years of financial services industry experience in Buffalo. In addition to his professional experience in Buffalo, Desmond was born and raised in the area and lives on Grand Island, N.Y., with his wife and children. He is active in the community, including serving as Vice Chairman of the board of the Buffalo chapter of Literacy New York. Desmond completed a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Finance at the University of Buffalo and an MBA with a concentration in Accounting at Canisius College.

As the company looks to establish an office location in the Buffalo market, there are plans to add additional team members to support banking, insurance and wealth management customers. Founded in 1869, Tompkins Bank of Castile has a tradition of providing long-term value for its clients in Western New York.

“As a community bank, we pride ourselves on our local decision-making, which allows us to help local businesses grow,” said McKenna. “Establishing an office in the Buffalo area will allow us to provide even better service to our growing customer base across all Tompkins businesses in Erie and Niagara counties.”  

April 21, 2017 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Falcon Re-Furnishings, Harvester Center, batavia, business.

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The idea of starting a business, not working for somebody else, seemed like a good idea to Matt Cryer after he recently retired from the Army, so he and his wife Michelle talked it over and decided to work together on a new venture.

They've started Falcon Re-Furnishings, with manufacturing space in the Harvester Center.

The business is all about creating unique home decor and furnishing using salvaged items that can either be repurposed or restored. They either come up with their own ideas for their finds or they take custom orders.

"The beauty of it is we can build what you want," Michelle said. "How many times have you looked for a specific table for a specific spot in your house and it has to be this many dimensions? We needed one for in our bathroom. We only had a nine- to 12-inch space and we couldn’t find anything. Now we can do special orders for people, certain sizes or you need special colors to match your decor."

Their workspace has a few old chairs and tables that they will restore or repurpose -- Michelle is planning on recovering an old loveseat with lush, pink fur.

Matt does a work with discarded pallets, making tables, shelves, chairs and even a bar for a client.

One of the tables now is made from pallets and cast off cast iron from an old porch railing.

They're building a website, can be found on Facebook and plan to sell through Etsy.  They didn't want to open a retail store just yet, not until they understood the business better and see how it's going to grow.

Matt said with his military pension, as a fresh retiree, it seemed like the perfect time to give owning a business a try.

"If it works, it works," he said. "If it does, it doesn’t. At least I say I at least tried it."

Michelle thinks Batavia is a great market for them to try this type of business because much of what they'll make isn't available here, or there isn't much competition.

"You would have to go to Rochester or Buffalo to get a lot of this," she said. "We've got a lot of good feedback so far."

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April 21, 2017 - 4:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, batavia, business, news, freshLAB.

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Demolition has started on the interior of the former Newberry's building in Downtown Batavia. The project will convert the building into a brewery and an incubator for startup restaurant businesses, known as freshLAB. The second and third floors will become apartments.

April 21, 2017 - 1:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Calling All Dogs, batavia, business, pets, animals, news.

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Tori Ganino, owner of Calling All Dogs, in the Harvester Center, has been accepted for membership in the International Canine Behaviorists.

The England-based organization provides ongoing professional development for dog behaviorists and enforces a code of ethics and code of conduct and requires certification for membership.

Ganino said she believes she's the first member in the United States.

April 20, 2017 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, Oakfield, business, Bonduelle.

Press release:

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced frozen food processor Bonduelle USA Inc. will expand operations at its locations in Monroe and Genesee counties. The company is investing in new equipment and machinery at its facilities in Brockport, Bergen and Oakfield, which will increase production and improve efficiency at the three plants. That growth will require the addition of 22 new full-time jobs and will mean the retention of 340 jobs in the region.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Bonduelle USA Inc.'s decision to expand their operations in New York State is a testament to the economic opportunities available in Upstate New York for companies that are looking to take their business to the next level. We look forward to seeing the company continue to grow and create jobs in the Finger Lakes.”

The canned and frozen vegetable producer is well-established in the Americas, operating several production sites including four in the United States, seven in Canada and one in Brazil. These sites are used to transform frozen and canned vegetables into a variety of canned sauces, baked beans, legumes and soups. As well as producing for major retail brands, the American subsidiary also markets vegetables under its own brands, including Arctic Gardens and Graves in Canada, and Bonduelle in Canada, the United States and Brazil. The company services supermarkets and catering circuits including restaurants, institutional food service and school dining halls.

Daniel Vielfaure, president of Bonduelle Americas Long Life said, Bonduelle is encouraged and excited to continue its business growth in the United States in which our New York State plants play an integral part. We are very pleased for the support and the commitment that the State of New York has for all agricultural businesses and we look forward to their continued support.”

In order to encourage Bonduelle to expand its operations in New York State, Empire State Development has offered up to $700,000 in performance-based Excelsior tax credits, which are tied to the creation of 22 new jobs and retention of 340 existing jobs. The total project cost is $20 million and Bonduelle expects the expansion to be completed by June 2018.

Supporting agribusiness is among the top priorities of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and the region's Finger Lakes Forward Initiative.

FLREDC Co-chairs, Monroe Community College President Anne Kress and Wegmans Food Markets CEO Danny Wegman, said “The FLREDC is strongly committed to supporting agricultural endeavors like this in an effort to grow jobs as part of the overall Finger Lakes Forward strategy. Agriculture is an important industry, a key driver of our regional economy, which is helping to bolster our efforts to ensure the regions vitality for years to come.”

State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer said, “Today's announcement by a major frozen-food processor to invest and grow in Genesee and Monroe counties is further proof that our agribusiness economy is strong. Bonduelle's expansion will create new opportunities and jobs for our residents. I commend the leadership team for their decision to help move our region forward."

Bonduelle has more than 13,500 employees worldwide. For more about Bonduelle click here.

April 19, 2017 - 11:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Charles Schumer, trains, agriculture, business, bergen.

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Sen. Chuck Schumer was in Bergen today to talk trains and trade.

He's concerned about volatile sweet light crude oil being shipped from North Dakota by CSX on lines that pass through many populated Upstate communities, such as Bergen, and he's ready to get tough with Canada over new barriers to imports of dairy products from WNY.

He also answered questions about a potential wall along the border with Mexico, President Donald J. Trump's tax returns, immigration and high-speed rail.

"Even with the new oil cars, if the train is going faster than 25 miles (per hour) a big explosion will occur and that kind of explosion could occur on these tracks right here in Bergen," Schumer said. "Look, there are houses all around and businesses all around."

He reminded reporters of a derailment involving fuel cars in Canada few years ago that claimed several lives.

The fuel car issue has been on Schumer's radar for a few years, but what brought him to Genesee County today to raise the issue again was the derailment of a train carrying gun powder in Batavia during the windstorm in March.

As he held an enlargement of a picture of the derailment published by The Batavian, Schumer said, "as you can see it’s frightening to look at. These are large, large cars going at a very fast speed and if they had contained flammable materials they can be dangerous."

The fuel coming through Upstate New York in recent years comes from oil wells in North Dakota that tap reserves inaccessible until new technology changed the oil business. 

That has been a very good thing, though not without a cost, Schumer said.

"It's made us much less dependent on foreign oil," Schumer said. "It’s reduced the cost of gasoline and home heating oil and other things over the years, so it’s a good thing. But they don’t refine it out there in North Dakota. It gets on our rail cars and comes right across Upstate New York and Albany. They turn south and they go to those huge refineries in New Jersey."

According to this NPR story, the number of train cars carrying oil out of North Dakota has increased 4,000 percent since 2008. It was shipped by rail because, at the time these new fields opened, there was no other infrastructure in place to deal with the new supply of oil.

The trains can be a hundred cars long, Schumer said, and that's just too dangerous. If the oil companies won't voluntarily change the way they do business, then he wants the Commerce Department and Energy Department to write new regulations requiring oil companies to burn off the mixture of methane, butane, and propane that comes out of the ground with the oil.

The natural liquid gasses, stored in a confined space, are explosive if suddenly exposed to air and a spark.

The oil companies already do what Schumer wants in Texas, he said, without government regulation.

That's one reason, Schumer said, the economic impact of his proposal would be minimal and since the gas is going to be burned off one way or another, there is no additional environmental impact by burning it off in North Dakota instead of New Jersey.

Schumer believes bringing pressure to the issue can lead to change. He said his efforts have already led to rule changes that forced rail companies to ditch older tanker cars, what he called 1-11 cars, for newer, safer tankers. 

"We pushed very hard, and it hasn’t happened as fast as I’d like, but the law now is they have to get rid of all of these unsafe cars and put safer cars in.  More than half the oil cars now are now safer."

Schumer also wanted to talk about changes in dairy import policies in Canada that he said are hurting New York dairy farmers and in particular, O-AT-KA Milk Products, which employs nearly 300 people in Batavia.

According to Schumer, Prime Minster Justin Trudeau campaigned on a promise to protect Canada's dairy industry and has since started to implement measures that are closing the market to U.S. dairy products, mostly what's known as ultra-filtered dairy product, which is used in cheese production. O-AT-KA is one of 70 producers in New York and Wisconsin that are affected by the change in trade policy.

"I'm telling Trudeau to back off because it would just lead to a lot of trouble on both sides," Schumer said.

Canada exports some $260 billion in goods to the United States, and trade with New York includes $17.7 billion in goods being shipped to New York while it imports $12.6 billion worth. Top Canadian exports to New York include aluminum ($626 million), paper ($571 million), precious metals ($444 million), motor-vehicle parts ($417 million), plastics ($354 million).

Canada has a lot to lose in a trade war with the United States sparked by a fight over dairy exports, Schumer said.

"If they persist, they’re going to suffer with their exports, not necessarily with dairy, but with something else," Schumer said. "I am just adamant about this."

He said he was surprised that Trudeau has actually been pushing the issue.

"We didn’t really think they would go through with it at the end of the day," Schumer said. "We just thought it was a campaign promise up there, that they would realize the damage it would do to the Canadian economy if we started going back and forth, back and forth, but they’re persisting, so we have to up our game."

Schumer suggested Canada's actions are a violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"That shows you what a lot of good NAFTA does," Schumer said. "I’m glad I voted against it way back when."

On trade, Schumer said he agrees on a lot more with President Trump, at least the way Trump campaigned, than people might think. He's not a fan of the World Trade Organization (on the dairy issue with Canada, he said it would take the WTO six years to issue a ruling and dairy farmers don't have six years to wait); he opposed NAFTA out of concerns with trade imbalances with Mexico and losing American jobs to Mexico; and thinks more needs to be done to promote and protect American jobs.

"My position on trade, frankly, has been closer to President Trump than to President Obama or President Bush," Schumer said. "Now I just hope he follows through on all of it. That hasn’t happened yet."

Schumer does have reservations about Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico. Trump wants to put it in the 2017 budget, but Schumer said he needs to slow down and come up with a workable plan.

"Here’s what no one knows about the wall: A -- how much it would cost?" Schumer said. "Today we were told there it is an estimate of $70 billion. That’s a huge amount of money. Wouldn’t we rather have that money fixing our roads and bridges and everything here?

"Second," he added, "no one knows where it should be or what side of the river it would be on. The Secretary of the Interior, whom the president appointed, said he can’t build it on the U.S. side because it would cut off us from the river. We can’t build it on the Mexican side because they won’t have it. Maybe we have to build it in the middle of the river. There are no plans for it. So you can’t go ahead and allocate money until there are plans.

"The final thing is, eminent domain, there are tons of property owners who own land right up to the border. It would take forever to get their property and you might not even succeed in court. So instead of rushing it through, there ought to be a discussion about it."

On immigration, he said he is pushing for reforms in the H1B visa program because foreign workers should be paid less than U.S. workers.

He said he understands the concerns local farmers have about immigrant labor but didn't express much hope that anything will change soon to help them get the help they need.

He noted that last year, there was an immigration reform bill that Dean Norton, an Elba dairy farmer who was then president of the New York Farm Bureau, helped draft, that would have given farmers the relief they need, but it didn't pass and he doesn't think there will be any movement on it this year.

"We had a really tough bill and it got bipartisan support in the Senate but it never made it in the House," Schumer said.

As for Trump's tax returns, he said the president will have an easier time with tax reform if he is completely transparent about his own tax returns. He said Trump is no longer a private citizen and he should release his returns.

"He should do it because it's going to slow down tax reform," Schumer said. "Any proposal he might make for cutting something, people will say, 'is he doing that because it's good for the American people or is he doing it because it's good for his own real estate holdings?' "

The last time Schumer was in Bergen, it was to push construction of a high-speed rail line between Bergen and Churchville as a demonstration project. We've heard nothing about the proposal since then.

"We did get a big transportation budget and in that budget, there was money for high-speed rail," Schumer said. "The Republicans took out the money for high-speed rail. Now, this is an area where there is some agreement, if we could get a major infrastructure bill, there could be money for high speed rail.

"I know there is division here in Bergen about whether we should have it or not," Schumer added. "I would want to come back to the communities, but if people thought it was a good idea I would probably try to get the money."

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April 19, 2017 - 3:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, business, news, All About You'sd.

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If there had been a store around like "All About You'sd" (sic) when she was in high school, Kathy Allen says she would have been thrilled.  

She would have liked the idea that there was a place she could go to buy trend-current, name-brand clothes at a steep discount.

"I would have loved to have an Abercrombie sweatshirt but there was no way my parents were going to let me spend $125 on one," recalled the Elba native.

That's just one reason she decided to open her consignment shop at 102 S. Main St., Oakfield.

"If I had had a place like this when I was in my teenage years when I was making my own money and could spend it, I would have died to have a place like this," Allen said. "I also like the retail side of it. I like the retail management side of it. I like meeting with people."

Allen has a master's degree in Athletic Administration and Sports Management, but unless she is willing to move away from Genesee County, the job opportunities in that career field locally are limited. That's another reason she decided to go into business for herself.

The idea of a consignment shop had long been on her mind and the location she long thought would be perfect was the former photography studio on South Main.

It's 2,400 square feet with ample off-the-roadway parking.

"The first thing people say when they walk in is ‘oh, my God, this place is huge,’ " Allen said. "That’s the first thing. The second thing is ‘wow, you have really nice things’ and the third thing is, ‘I’m really surprised how it smells in here. It smells really good in here.’ "

Allen said she was determined that her consignment shop not come off as a thrift store or typical second-hand store. She's careful about what she accepts in inventory -- just quality items in good condition. Her 15 years working at Tops Friendly Market taught her about merchandising, which helped her plan the layout and displays.

A surprising number of items in the store have never been used.

"There are a lot of new things that people just bring in and say, ‘bought 'em, thought I’d wear 'em, here they are,' " Allen said.

One of the thrills of the business, she said, is "you never know what's going to come through the door."

The back of the store is filled with men's, women's and children's clothing, all clean and nicely arranged, but much of the store is given over to housewares, decorations, furniture, jewelry, accessories and other useful items.

There's also a room near the front that is mostly filled with locally made items, such as the booze bottles turned into lamps by Allen, and horseshoe art by a local crafter.

"I had a lot of local people who supplied me with some great stuff starting up," Allen said.

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April 15, 2017 - 11:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, batavia, downtown, business.

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The Easter Bunny paid a visit to Foxprowl today. Owner Bill Hume sent in these pictures.

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April 15, 2017 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, business, Le Roy Express, news.

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Brad Lamie and Kyle Palmer are putting the full meaning of full service back into the full-service gas station they took over at 100 W. Main St., Le Roy.

The station, now known as Le Roy Express, was full service before, but since buying the business, they've gone beyond just pumping gas for customers to also cleaning windows and checking oil, if needed, just like the old days of the gas station business.

"I think (full service) is what draws people, especially in the winter," Palmer said. "Nobody wants to get out of their cars and pump gas."

Lamie, from Elba, and Palmer, from Pavilion, have been spiffing up the business, which includes a car wash, and have even invested in matching shirts for themselves and employees (though not for the Easter Bunny, who paid a visit today).

The duo met while working together at Townsend Oil in Le Roy and when their boss decided to sell his gas station, they saw it as an opportunity to go into business for themselves.

"We've both always wanted to buy a gas station and this became available so we jumped on it," Lamie said.

April 14, 2017 - 1:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business.

Press release:

Raymond F. Cianfrini, attorney, announces that he will be retiring from the practice of law effective May 1. Clients, friends and colleagues are invited to an open house at his office at 31 Main St., Oakfield, from 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 28.

Cianfrini, who has been engaged in the general practice of law in Oakfield since 1972, recently reflected in a letter to clients:

“When I began my law practice in 1972, I never imagined that I would still be in Oakfield 45 years later doing what I enjoy. I have always considered it an honor when clients put their trust in me to assist them in resolving their legal matters. I would like to thank you for your confidence in me over the years. It has been a pleasure to assist you.”

DelPlato Casey Law Firm LLP (Attorneys Michael A. DelPlato and Peter M. Casey) will continue to serve Cianfrini’s clients at the office location at 31 Main St., Oakfield.

April 14, 2017 - 1:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in START-UP Genesee, batavia, business, GCEDC.

Press release:

The next START-UP Genesee Think and Drink event will take place at Genesee Community College (GCC) featuring small business resources and access to capital specialists. The FREE event is the fourth of series of networking opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business professionals. The event hosted by GCC will take place in Room T119 from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 20.

The program will include remarks by the following:

  • Barb Shine, a leadership development trainer and serial entrepreneur. Shine will offer highlights of GCC’s upcoming Small Business Ownership Series, a program recommended for all entrepreneurs as well as current managers of small business.
  • Peter M. Casey, Esq., who is a START-UP Genesee sponsor and partner at DelPlato Casey Law LLP and Batavia Development Corporation Board officer, will address legal considerations when starting a business.
  • Leanna DiRisio, The Hidden Door owner, and Sam Campanella, certified business adviser for the Small Business Development Center, will share their stories about starting and growing a business.

“The course was intentionally designed for the busy self-starter who might be wondering where to begin or for the early stage operator needing a little more guidance,” Shine said. “Our goal is to shape an action plan for your business initiative.”

“It’s vital to consider the business structure as you enter a venture and equally critical to protect your assets,” said Casey.

Representatives from local banking institutions will be on hand and other creative lending sources will be on display.

START-UP Genesee is intended to assist all types of businesses from early stage planning to site selection, access to capital and product development or diversification.

The Think and Drink series is sponsored by:

  • Canandaigua National Bank
  • Tompkins Bank of Castile Insurance Agencies
  • Feed Maxick CPAs
  • Merrill Lynch of Batavia
  • University at Buffalo New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics, Life Sciences and Material Informatic
  • Del Plato Casey LLP
April 13, 2017 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Second Hand Heavan, batavia, business.

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After opening a year ago in Attica, Amanda Dixon decided her consignment shop, Second Hand Heaven, might get more business in the bigger city of Batavia, so she's opened her doors at 315 Ellicott St.

The shop offers a wide range of used items for sale, from furniture and household goods to clothing and toys, as well as art, books and DVDs.

Owning her own business, Dixon said, allows her to keep her 2-year-old child with her during the day, which she couldn't do working for an employer.

Plus retail is a people business.

"The people I've met are amazing," Dixon said. "It's really nice. I like it."

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April 13, 2017 - 3:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, batavia, O'Lacy's.

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Press release:

On Saturday (April 15), O'Lacy's Irish Pub will celebrate 20 years of business in Downtown Batavia.

The all-day celebration will feature specials and giveaways. Live Celtic music will kick off at 8 p.m. by the Rochester group called "Himself."

The public is invited to come celebrate at the pub and enjoy anniversary cake, which will be served at about 8:30 p.m.

The celebration and band will continue until 11 p.m.

O'Lacy's is located at 5 School St. in the City of Batavia.

This history was provided by proprietor Kent R. Ewell:

In 1996, a small, single-story woodframe building (which was the former Darien Knitting Mill), was purchased and torn down. Soon a new building arose shaped and resembling a small Irish cottage and on April 15, 1997 O’Lacy’s Irish Pub opened for business!

Owners at that time, Kent and Nancy Ewell, decided to keep O’Lacy’s as authentic as possible. The menu (which had not changed much) featured American and Irish items as well as some very popular specialty sandwiches. The bar started with 12 draft beers but soon expanded to 16, which currently exist now. The beer is all “pushed” with nitrogen and their lines are only 14-feet long, which makes for a smoother cold one! Guinness is their featured beer. In 2010 O’Lacy’s won the Guinness “Best Pour” in NY State. Quite a feat for small-town Batavia! 

O’Lacy’s also created, organized and ran nine St. Patrick’s Day Parades -- the first and only St. Patrick’s Day parades in Batavia’s history. Along with the parades they have run several charity events through the years; donating to many organizations such as the Richmond Memorial Library, Crossroads House, Toys for Christmas, UMMC, Volunteer for Animals, and many others too numerous to mention.

Present owner Kent Ewell has held his own in the Market Place and has no plans for any extreme changes. He is proud of his staff, thankful for the friendly, quality patrons who enjoy stepping into a bit of “The Old Sod”!

Photo: By Howard Owens

April 13, 2017 - 8:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Bootery, downtown, business, batavia.

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Batavia Bootery, located inside Charles Men's Shop in Downtown Batavia, held its official grand opening last night. Cutting the ribbon, with Dave Howe and Don Brown, is Pete Zeliff, owner of local shoe manufacturing company P.W. Minor. 

For more on the store opening, click here.

April 12, 2017 - 2:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Bootery, batavia, downtown, business, news, Charles Mens Shop.

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When you step into the new Batavia Bootery, the experience will be top rate and you will find only quality shoes in stock, say proprietors David Howe and Don Brown.

The new shoe store at 210 E. Main St. is a joint venture between Charles Men's Shop (the establishment of Howe and Brown) and local shoe factory P.W. Minor.

The store's grand opening is this evening from 6:30 to 8.

"Quite frankly, P.W. Minor was looking to have a strong presence in their own community," Howe said. "I think Mr. Zeliff (Pete Zeliff, owner of P.W. Minor) has really made a strong commitment to the community and he wanted to make a commitment to Downtown. As proprietors of Charles Men's Shop, Don and I like anything that is going to help Downtown businesses."

Howe expects the new shoe store to draw on and expand the customer base of the 70-year-old clothing store, which Howe said has a strong local following, but also draws customers from Buffalo and Rochester.

But with limited space, Charles Men's Shop wasn't able to sell shoes to its customers.

"I think a good shoe store has been sorely lacking in Downtown," Howe said. "When Pete approaches us, I said I can't tell you the number of times people have come in to buy a new suit, whether they have a new job, are going to a job interview, a funeral or a wedding, and when we've finished packing the new jacket, shirt and tie, they say, 'I need a pair of shoes.' " 

Now those customers will be taken to Batavia Bootery, Howe said. There, both men and women will find a complete line of high quality, long-lasting, comfortable shoes sold by a knowledgeable, friendly staff. While featuring shoes from P.W. Minor, other companies shoes will also be available, to offer a price range from moderate to higher end, but all shoes from other lines are selected for their quality, comfort and foot health benefits.

"Our customer service is second to none," Brown said. "We're professionals. We got to all the big shows. You're not getting that kind of service in a mall or a big box store. The knowledge, you can't get that from a bunch of stars left by Millennials online."

Batavia Bootery will be the flagship store for p.w. minor, carrying every shoe the 150-year-old local manufacturer carries, including the new Abrams Boots line and the Batavia Boot and Shoe collection, both high-quality brands for the stylish dresser.

The store will also carry the same quality, orthopedic shoes that has made P.W. Minor famous, but in styles that have been upgraded to more attractive and fashionable designs since Zeliff took over the company and saved it from near closure.

Since Zeliff has taken over, he's moved production back to the United States from China and continues to hire more workers and ramp up production as the sales staff finds new customers across the country.

The craftsmanship of P.W. Minor shoes is really impressive, Howe said. They are made to last a lifetime.

"This is a wonderful example going forward of what can be done in America by American workers," Howe said. "I think that’s really cool. Although we’re just a tiny part of what P.W. Minor is doing. We’re really proud to be associated with them and what they’re doing to bring back American workers and American products."

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April 11, 2017 - 11:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, wny stamp, Alabama, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) today announced a new round of bids for site work at STAMP -- Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park -- have been released. A legal notice announcing the bids was published April 11.

The work will include: asbestos abatement and demolition of a former two-story residence at 6758 Alleghany Road; a former two-story residence at 6725 Crosby Road; a former one-story residence at 840 Crosby Road; and, two barns and removal of debris from a structure that was a former residence.

The bids will be unsealed and read at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, at the Genesee County Economic Development Center, located at 99 Medtech Drive in Batavia. Bids also can be accessed by contacting Debbie Button-Vanderwall (585-402-7511) from Clark Patterson Lee, which is the engineering firm overseeing the bidding process.

“While we will not be conducting a pre-bid meeting; those interested in submitting a bid can arrange for a site visit to see the structures,” said Mark Masse, senior vice president of operations at the GCEDC. “It also should be noted that for this specific work the Project Labor Agreement will not be applicable.”

April 7, 2017 - 6:30am

Press release:

The Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club is announcing its annual scholarship and Community Service Awards and calling for applications. 

Scholarships are open to all Genesee County high school seniors (male or female).

The students need to have maintained an 85-percent average, need to complete the one-page application and attach a letter of recommendation from a school staff member. The students will also need to submit a personal essay discussing their achievements and future goals as well as an essay from a parent. The application can be found and printed at the Batavia Business and Professional Women’s website: bataviabpw.wordpress.com under the Giving tab.

All schools in Genesee County were emailed packages on this program in February. These included the eligibility requirements, guidelines and applications. Parents and students are advised to seek out their school’s guidance counselor/department to receive the needed information and application.

The Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club has established a scholarship for a returning student from Genesee Community College as well. The recipient is chosen by a college representative and the award is applied to their account in the fall.

Recognition is also given to two outstanding students from Genesee Valley Educational Partnership in a form of cash awards for their outstanding scholarship performance.

The Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club has given scholarships since 1961. The number and amount of scholarships given is dependent on the club’s annual fundraiser.

The Batavia Business and Professional Women’s Club will also offer monetary awards for service groups in June. Deadline for both the scholarship applications and the service awards letters are to be postmarked by Friday, April 14.

Please share with your local service groups that they need to send a short letter requesting to be considered for our service award on service group letterhead to:

Batavia Business and Professional Womens’ Club Service Award
PO Box 1778
Batavia, NY 14020

Any questions contact Peggy Johnson through email at bratvfm@hotmail.com or 585-409-8769.

April 6, 2017 - 7:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, darien lake theme park, business, news.

Press release:

EPR Properties, a specialty real estate investment trust (REIT), today announced the purchase of Darien Lake under an agreement that also retains Premier Parks, LLC, as the park’s operator and awards a 40-year operating lease for the New York park along with 11 other theme and water parks.

“Darien Lake has an even brighter future under this new agreement with EPR Properties as it gives Premier Parks new resources to grow and improve our theme and water parks,” said Premier Parks CEO/President Kieran Burke. “The new 40-year operating leases awarded in conjunction with this purchase give our parks much greater stability and investment in the years to come.  Our parkgoers won’t see any changes in the day-to-day operations of the park. It is business as usual as we enter an exciting 2017 season!”

The operating lease agreements impact 12 of the water and theme parks currently managed by Premier Parks including Frontier City and White Water Bay in Oklahoma City, OK; Darien Lake near Buffalo, NY; Wet ‘n’ Wild parks in Kapolei, HI, Palm Springs, Phoenix, AZ and Houston, TX; Rapids in West Palm Beach, FL; Wild Waves in Seattle, WA; Magic Springs in Hot Springs, AR; Waterworld California in Concord, CA; and Myrtle Waves in Myrtle Beach, SC. 

EPR Properties (NYSE:EPR) is a New York Stock Exchange publicly traded REIT with substantial resources, over $5 billion in investments, and a proven track record in the entertainment industry with assets in golf entertainment venues, megaplex theatres and ski resorts.   

“Premier Parks has been successfully operating most of these theme and water parks for many years,” continued Burke.  “In anticipation of the EPR purchase, we were able to bring four new parks under the Premier Parks management umbrella last fall including the theme and/or water parks in Seattle, Concord, Myrtle Beach, and Hot Springs. We are confident the new ownership will have a positive impact on each of our parks’ customers, staff and community.”  

Other parks not involved with this sale but also managed and owned by Premier Parks, LLC include:  Wet ‘n’ Wild Toronto, Canada; Clementon Park & Splash World, Clementon, NJ; Nashville Shores, Nashville, TN; and Ocean Breeze in Virginia Beach, VA.  Premier Parks also manages Elitch Gardens in Denver, CO for Revesco Properties. In total, Premier Parks manages or owns 16 U.S. parks and one park in Canada.

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