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January 23, 2018 - 1:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake theme park, darien lake, Darien, business.

Press release:

Darien Lake Theme Park’s 2018 season will feature two unique, thrilling performers, Magical Entertainer Aaron Radatz and Hypnotist Tammy Barton, as part of the amusement park’s free in-park entertainment lineup.

Dubbed “the magical entertainer to see” by Time Magazine, Radatz started performing at the young age of 6 and quickly turned his grandmother's gift of a magic set into a full-time hobby. Today, Radatz is the newest star to hit the magic entertainment scene. He has studied with many of the masters of magic including Harry Blackstone (Jr.) and recently completed his first 6-month run headlining a casino on the Las Vegas strip. He is also a featured magician on the CW Network’s global sensation TV series “Masters of Illusion.”

Radatz is also the only magician who has been commissioned by the U.S. Pentagon for a command performance for the U.S. military. His dedication to the troops has earned him awards, including such high honors as the Commander’s Coin of Excellence and the Scroll of Appreciation of Honor and Admiration.

Barton has been performing as a professional stage hypnotist since 1993. She began her career working with her parents, both of whom are certified hypno-therapists. She quickly realized that hypnosis performed correctly could be both entertaining and educational at the same time, and could allow her to obtain any goal she set for herself.

In every show, Barton selects willing volunteers from the audience and then puts them into a state of hypnosis. She then guides them though a journey of the mind in which the volunteers act on suggestions she provides. Only the imagination of her volunteers will limit their journey.

Radatz and Barton both performed during the 2012 season and the park is thrilled to welcome them back this year.

“These daily in-park shows are high-quality family-friendly entertainment for all of our guests,” said Chris Thorpe, Darien Lake general manager. “Both Tammy Barton and Aaron Radatz are thrilling, unique performers and we are excited to welcome them back to the Darien Lake for what promises to be a wonderful summer.”

Also returning in 2018 is Ignite the Night, Darien Lake’s nightly laser extravaganza. Music, water, fire, video and pyrotechnics all come together for this laser light spectacular in the air, on the stage and all around, which runs beginning in late May through Labor Day Weekend.

For more information about the park or to purchase a season pass, visit DarienLake.com.

January 21, 2018 - 2:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, Announcements, agriculture.

Press release:

Tickets are still available for the 16th Annual Celebrate Agriculture Dinner! The dinner will take place Saturday, March 17 at the Alexander Fire Hall. Doors open at 6 p.m. This event is a celebration of Genesee County’s number-one industry – Agriculture.

The highlight is a delicious meal prepared by Penna’s Catering using locally produced foods.

The dinner is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce (8276 Park Road, Batavia) for $30 each. A table of 10 can be purchased for $275.  Sponsorships are available for $350 which help to support agriculture educational events in Genesee County. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

The Celebrate Ag Dinner is coordinated by the following partners: Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, Genesee County Farm Bureau and Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District. Many local farms and businesses sponsor or donate products to this event.

For ticket information contact the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce at 585-343-7440 or email [email protected].

January 18, 2018 - 5:02pm

Press release:

Today recipients of the 46th annual Genesee County Chamber of Commerce awards for 2017 were announced.

The event to honor them will be held Saturday, March 3, at the Quality Inn & Suites on Park Road in Batavia.

This is the county's premier event honoring businesses and individuals for their achievement in business, community service and volunteerism.

Tickets are $50 per person or a table of 10 for $450. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres, entree tables and a cash bar. (No formal sit-down dinner is served.)

The Award Program starts at 7 o'clock, at which time coffee and dessert will be served.

The 2017 honorees are:

  • Business of the Year -- Baltz Concrete Construction, Pavilion
  • Innovative Enterprise of the Year -- Firing Pin, Bergen
  • Agricultural Organization of the Year -- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, Batavia
  • Special Service Recognition of the Year -- Batavia Cross Training, Batavia
  • Geneseeans of the Year -- The Family of William Kent Inc., Stafford

Call Kelly J. Bermingham at 343-7440, ext. 1026, to make your reservations.

January 17, 2018 - 12:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, farm workers, agriculture, news, business.

Press release:

State Supreme Court Judge Richard J. McNally Jr. has dismissed a New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) lawsuit, filed in May, regarding rights for farm workers. Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst) was the first outspoken State Legislator to criticize the NYCLU’s actions.

Senator Ranzenhofer has issued the following statement:

“The NYCLU’s attempt to bypass the State Legislature and push increased regulations on our agriculture industry has failed. These burdensome regulations would have had a devastating impact on our family farms.

"I applaud the judge’s decision, and I commend the New York Farm Bureau for defending our 35,000 farms all across our state. As New York State’s number one industry, agriculture is the backbone of our rural communities, and this is a major victory for our family farms.” 

January 12, 2018 - 4:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, community supported agriculture, batavia, business.

Here's the latest update on Gleba Farms in Batavia and its Community Supported Agriculture opportunities, provided by Tim and Amanda Gleba:

Gleba Farms will offer two CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) options for the 2018 season. We will continue with the Summer Veggie CSA and new for the year is the Meat/ Veggie CSA.

Both CSA options will run for 16 weeks, tentatively starting June 12th and concluding Sept. 27th.

The veggie pickup will be weekly, Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. Pork and turkey will be included in the Meat/ Veggie CSA. Members who sign up for the Meat/ Veggie CSA will receive turkey and pork in addition to their veggie share. The turkey will be ready for pick up just before Thanksgiving and the pork will be ready for pick up at the end of November.

The pork meat is a gourmet meat pig, American Guinea Hog. The AGH were imported by Thomas Jefferson and other Virginia farmers as early as 1804. Also known as the Pineywoods Guinea, Guinea Forest Hog, Acorn Eater, and Yard Pig, the breed was once the most numerous pig breed found on homesteads in the Southeast.

The Guinea Hog is a gourmet meat pig raised on pasture. Chefs and charcuterie artists prefer to cook with this breed. The marbling, and intramuscular fat hasn't been bred out of these special hogs. However, the taste comes largely from the way they are raised.

Members will receive 1/2 a pig which equates to 50 to 60 pounds of meat. From the butcher you will receive a ham, pork chops, tenderloin, bacon, pork shoulder, breakfast sausage, neck bone and hocks (which make great tomato sauce) and lard (optional). The butcher will smoke the ham and bacon.

For the 2018 growing season we have scaled back on the amount of varieties and concentrate on growing what did well for a larger yield. The list of 30-plus veggies is available to view on our website.

As soon as the ground thaws we will start the construction of the deer fence to help protect the veggie crop. Deer was one of our biggest obstacles last year. There are other tactics we will employ to better protect this year's crop; ie. coyote decoy, scarecrows and a motion-sensor water sprinkler.

Our livestock are pastured during the spring, summer and fall months, so they grow at their own pace. We do not use antibiotics or growth hormones. We feel it's a healthier lifestyle for the animals, which in return, produces a healthier, higher quality meat.

The chickens are weathering the cold quite well. They are staying warm in the coop and currently molting. We have had a few members inquiring about eggs this winter. Between the cold and the molting, chickens are not currently laying. We will send an emailing advising when they do.

We will be adding a "guard geese" to the flock to hopefully mitigate any loss to predators. A farmer in the Southern Tier has had luck with geese protecting the chickens, so we thought we would give it a try.

We are adding two beehives to the farm this year. A local apiarist is helping us by providing some guidance on getting started. There are so many health benefits to local raw honey. We will keep everyone posted with the progress.

In a portion of the front field we will be planting 150 Christmas trees (Douglas fir, Fraser fir, concolor fir and blue spruce). As we were planning for the 2018 growing season we concluded we would not be utilizing the whole front field. So, instead of letting the field go to waste, we decided to plant coniferous trees with the intent of cutting them for Christmas trees in several years.

Since we started the farm, we have found if you work hard enough, sometimes you get lucky. There are no short cuts, it takes time and it takes money and it takes reflection to properly care for the land and livestock. We’ve had a few great farmers and members from the community help us along the way.

In closing, we valued the feedback we received from our members. We are in this for the long haul, so we want to ensure we fulfill the expectations of our members. Amanda and I have an appreciation for the relationships we have cultivated with everyone last year!

Lastly, I would like to give a big thank you to Tom Ryan, Ryan's Rose Organic Farm, John Riley, Riley's Family Farm and John Eisenhard, Eisenhard Forestry.

Cheers to a successful and prosperous 2018!

Tim and Amanda
Gleba Farms LLC
3726 S. Main Street Road
Batavia, NY 14020
(Editor's note: Pricing, registration forms, and more information about the farm and how it works are available on the farm's website (see link just above). For previous coverage, click here.)
January 12, 2018 - 2:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, business, michael ranzenhofer.

Press release:

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst) has introduced legislation (S7397) today in the State Senate to establish tax parity between Batavia Downs and other gaming facilities in New York State.

“New York State imposes one of the highest tax rates on Batavia Downs, and it’s one of the smallest gaming facilities in our region,” Ranzenhofer said. “This regressive rate deprives taxpayers across 15 counties an equitable portion of revenues.

"Lowering the tax rate will make Batavia Downs more competitive with other gaming facilities while ensuring a fairer share of revenues are returned to taxpayers through our local governments.”

In 2015, the facility had a total economic impact of $83.4 million, generating $21.5 million for state education funding, and $3.4 million to participating municipalities.

“We applaud Senator Ranzenhofer’s legislative efforts to level the playing field for Batavia Downs Gaming. This bill will allow us to return more resources to our member communities,” said Western Region Off-Track Betting Corporation (WROTB) Board of Directors Chairman Richard Bianchi.

The legislation would lower Batavia Down’s taxes paid to New York State by increasing the facility’s portion of net winnings from 35 percent to 41 percent. If enacted, the act would take effect on April 1, 2019.

Under existing state law, the oldest nighttime harness track in the country pays one of the highest effective tax rates among gaming centers in the region.


Gaming Operation

Facility’s Portion of Net Winnings* (%)

Batavia Downs


del Lago Resort & Casino


Vernon Downs


Hamburg Gaming


*2017-18 Fiscal Year

Batavia Downs Gaming, operated by WROTB, is a standardbred racetrack and gaming facility. WROTB is a public benefit corporation – owned by 15 Western New York counties, including Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, and Wyoming, as well as the cities of Rochester and Buffalo. Since its inception, WROTB has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in operating and surcharge revenues to the residents of those participating municipalities.
January 11, 2018 - 10:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in O-AT-KA Milk Products, batavia, business.

Press release:

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative Inc., a dairy cooperative based in Genesee County, will construct a more than 20,000-square-foot addition at its production facility.

In an effort to meet the growing demand of its customers, the cooperative will install a new retort beverage production line and install support equipment at its facility located at the corner of Cedar and Ellicott in the City of Batavia. The additional space will facilitate the addition of up to 20 new jobs; 440 jobs will be retained.

The cooperative expects to have the new line up and running sometime next fall.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said,The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council is supporting the growth of food processing companies, like O-AT-KA dairy cooperative, which will be retaining hundreds of jobs and hiring additional employees to help them on their path to continued success.”

O-AT-KA’s production facility ensures there is a market for milk produced by more than 400 farms in the Western, Finger Lakes and Central New York regions.

The cooperative is majority owned by Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc., which is headquartered in Buffalo, New York and also by Dairy Farmers of America, a cooperative with a strong presence in Central New York.

Michael Fuchs, O-AT-KA’s Chief Financial Officer and project manager said, “This project supports our continued growth and will allow us to meet growing market demands for our products.

"The support we continue to receive from ESD, GCEDC and our Board of Directors is a testament to their commitment to the livelihood of our dairy farmer owners and to our position as a leading employer in Western New York.”

Empire State Development is providing a total of up to $750,000 for the project through a Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Grant. Genesee County Economic Development Agency also offered incentives for the enterprise. The total project cost is $34.5 million.

Supporting agribusiness is a top priority for the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and the locally designed the Finger Lakes Forward economic development plan.

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Monroe Community College President Anne Kress and Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bob Duffy said, “The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council is committed to supporting projects that grow jobs. Agriculture is an important industry and a key driver of our regional economy.

"This expansion project will also create solid opportunities for area farmers, shaping the future of the region’s agricultural industry, helping to move the Finger Lakes forward.”

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer said, "Agribusiness is Genesee County's number one economic driver, and growing demand for milk products produced by our local dairy farmers will help to reinforce this important industry.

"Today's announcement by O-AT-KA Milk Products will further strengthen our local economy. I commend Genesee County's largest private-sector employer for continuing to create jobs for Western New York residents."

Assemblyman Steve Hawley said, “Economic development and business expansion, especially when it comes to the dairy sector, is tremendously important to our region. I am pleased to see that not only will O-AT-KA be expanding its production, but also adding 20 new jobs to solidify itself as a top-tier producer in Western New York.

"The support of businesses and job creation at the state level benefits our entire community, and this is a prime example of our state’s agricultural sector rising to one of the best in the nation. I look forward to the continued prominence of our area’s farmers and producers and am proud to share in their success.”

Steve Hyde, president & chief executive officer of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, said, “The GCEDC is proud to assist O-AT-KA Milk Products, the largest private sector employer in Genesee County, to expand its operations. O-AT-KA is an industry leader through innovation and commitment to excellence.

"Through our collaboration with Empire State Development and the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, we are demonstrating that companies like O-AT-KA can grow and prosper in New York State.”

O-AT-KA’s name was taken from the Seneca Native Americans, and means leaving the highlands or approaching an opening. The “highlands” refers to Wyoming County, New York and the “opening” refers to the Genesee River flowing into Lake Ontario.

The cooperative opened in 1959 with only five employees and has since grown to provide employment tomore than 440 people contributing to growth in the local economy. O-AT-KA has long-term business relationships with many Fortune 500 listed manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers.

January 9, 2018 - 10:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake theme park, darien lake, Darien, business.

Press release:

Live Nation and Darien Lake Theme Park are thrilled to announce that due to overwhelming demand, concertgoers will once again get free same day Theme Park access with each paid Amphitheater concert ticket in 2018. The wildly popular promotion started in 2017 as part of Darien Lake Amphitheater’s 25thseason.

“This was truly the deal of the Summer last year and we couldn’t be happier to be partnering again with the theme park to bring the best value in entertainment in Western New York,” said Jim Koplik, Live Nation president of Upstate New York and Connecticut.

This year is already shaping up to be a great one for music fans and thrill seekers alike at Darien Lake. The amphitheater has announced two shows to date, including Kesha and Macklemore on July 22 and Niall Horan with Maren Morris on Sept. 7, with many more shows being announced in the coming months. Darien Lake Theme Park recently announced the amazing new 98-foot vertical coaster, Tantrum, opening this Summer that will be a ride not to miss.

“We’re excited to partner with Live Nation to offer free same day park admission for concertgoers again this season and know we will thrill them with our new Tantrum coaster, ensuring all guests can rock and ride all summer long,” said Chris Thorpe, general manager of Darien Lake Theme Park.

To redeem the offer, guests will show their concert tickets at the Theme Park’s main gate for same day validation and admission.

The offer is not valid in conjunction with any other Darien Lake Theme Park offer and is nontransferable. Free Theme Park access is only valid the same day as the concert ticket and is only valid on purchased tickets and not valid on complementary concert tickets. For concerts occurring on days the theme park is not operating, purchasers can present their concert ticket for free admission at the Theme Park’s main gate for any other operating day after the concert.

January 8, 2018 - 4:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, education, GCC, BEA, news, batavia.

Press release:

More than 200 local high school students will be participating in the inaugural Health Career Day at Genesee Community College in Batavia on Tuesday, Jan. 9th.

The event is from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will provide Genesee County students the opportunity to learn about high-growth and high-demand health careers and meet with medical professionals from over 10 different fields, including laboratory technologists, first responders, nurses, physical therapists, sonographers, radiologists and more.

Students will also participate in the Health Care College and Career Fair in the William W. Stuart Forum from 12 to 1 p.m., where they will meet with representatives from more than 20 colleges and health care providers.

The BEA Health Career Day is a special collaboration between the Genesee County Business Education Alliance (BEA), Rochester Regional Health United Memorial Medical Center, Genesee Community College Accelerated College Enrollment Programs, and the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation.

Our mission is to promote employment opportunities with tomorrow’s workforce, as jobs in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The BEA Health Career Day will help secure the health and wellness of Genesee County for generations to come.

For more information, contact Genesee County Business Education Alliance Director Karyn Winters at [email protected] or 343-7440.

January 5, 2018 - 6:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in education, Nursing, GCC, business, news.

Press release:

Genesee Community College will host a Recruitment Open House for the Nursing Program from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at GCC's Medical Technology Building in Batavia.

GCC invites anyone interested in joining the GCC Nursing Program faculty to come to the open house and meet Director of Nursing, Laurel Sanger, Human Resources Recruiters and members of the Nursing Program Faculty team.

At this time, GCC is recruiting for full-time positions in the fields of obstetrics, pediatrics, mental-health and medical-surgical. In addition to these, GCC is continuously recruiting for adjunct clinical instructors.

Details on these career opportunities are available here.

GCC's Nursing Program Faculty members work in an innovative and supportive environment using state-of-the-art nursing laboratories and are able to participate in clinical placements in Buffalo, Batavia and Rochester. Our faculty members enjoy a superior benefits package and a culture that encourages personal and professional growth and development.

If this sounds like the environment for you, RSVP via email to [email protected] or by calling (585) 345-6808 today and come check out the facility on Jan. 24. Walk-ins are also welcome. Qualified applicants must have or obtain a master's degree in Nursing by Aug. 31, 2019. Concentrations in Nursing Education are preferred but not required.

January 5, 2018 - 5:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, corn, Farming, cornell extension, business.
Press release:
Looking to improve corn grain and silage production in 2018! Cornell Cooperative Extension’s NWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team will be offering its annual congresses for corn producers, one of which will be held in Batavia 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, at the Quality Inn & Suites, 8250 Park Road.


Registration fee: $50 per person includes proceedings booklet, morning refreshments & hot buffet lunch.     

DEC Recertification points and Certified Crop Advisor credits will be available.

PLEASE PRE-REGISTER to guarantee a lunch: Call Cathy Wallace @ 585.343.3040, ext. 138, or [email protected]


J. Julian Smith, Ph.D.: “Why is 300 bu/ac Corn the Goal when the Genetic Potential is 1000?”

Smith is currently president and co-founder of CZO Agronomics, a global consulting group devoted to technical advisory and end-to-end project management services in agribusiness and horticulture. Before founding CZO Agronomics, Smith was the firector of Discovery & Innovation for Brandt Consolidated Inc. in Springfield, Ill., leading the company’s plant health research and new product development team.

Smith is a widely published agricultural professional in the fields of agronomy, environmental issues and precision agriculture. His career has been primarily concerned with plant nutrition and specialty products, as well as their positioning within the agricultural market-places of North America and Europe. The latter half of Smith’s career has focused on micro-nutrient, biostimulant, biological and plant growth regulator product application for all crops.

Jim Hershey: “Managing Corn in a No-Till System”

Hershey owns and operates a 600-acre livestock and grain farm located in Elizabethtown, Pa., and has been operating a Crop Management Service that covers several thousand acres.

Hershey is presently serving as president of the Pa No-Till Alliance where their mission is to promote No-Till, Cover Crops and Soil Health. He has been practicing No-Till for more than 25 years and Cover Cropping for 15 years. Hershey’s operation has been a leader in Cover Crop Interseeding where they have been marketing interseeders commercially. One has planted several thousand acres in NY the last three years with great success.

He has also installed a ZRX roller on his corn planter to be able to roll and plant into green cover. This has helped reduce weed pressure, less herbicide, build organic matter while conserving moisture and nutrients.

Other topics to be discussed by Cornell researchers, Cornell Cooperative Extension and PRO-DAIRY:

  •  Using Corn Yield Data to Develop Yield Stability Zones
  •  Corn Silage Trials, so Much More than Yields
  •  GMO Free Corn Pest Management: Insects and Weeds
  •  Western Bean Cutworm Resistance: Where do We Go from Here?
January 2, 2018 - 2:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, Announcements, batavia, The EOC, Essential oils.

(Submitted photo) Entreprenuers Vicki Wood, left, and Michelle Gillard will host the Grand Opening of The E.O.C. – Essential Oil Center this Saturday in Batavia.

Information provided by The E.O.C.:

Vicki Wood and Michelle Gillard are excited to announce the Grand Opening of The E.O.C. – Essential Oil Center this Saturday. 

The E.O.C. is located on the REAR side of the Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

You are invited to stop by the Grand Opening Jan. 6 from 1 to 4 p.m. and see the hundreds of oils and oil-infused products in stock. There is literally something for everyone.

Most people have heard about essential oils but they may not know the different varieties and how they can be used. There is so much to learn and discover about essential oils.

"This is strictly an education center," Gillard said. "It is not a retail store."

You can attend a variety of classes at The E.O.C. free of charge. 

The E.O.C. is affiliated with Young Living Essential Oils, a worldwide network marketing organization.

You don't have to buy Young Living Essential Oils to take classes at The E.O.C. If you choose to buy the Young Living Essential Oils Premium Starter Kit, it costs $160 and is comprised of 11 essential oils, a diffuser, some samples and a one-year membership in Young Living.

If you choose to renew your membership after a year, you can do so by buying $50 worth of Young Living products.

Whether you are a beginner with little or no knowledge of essential oils, or you're an avid user, The E.O.C. classes are designed to educate people about the value, importance and necessity of incorporating essential oils and oil-infused products into their life and homes. The class schedule changes monthly.

View the upcoming classes here

Questions or comments? Call Michelle Gillard at 297-0779 or Vicki Wood at 749-9411.

(Editor's Note: This post was updated on Jan. 5 to include information about the global network marketing company, Young Living Essential Oils, affiliated with The E.O.C.)

December 27, 2017 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Bootery, batavia, news, business.


Earlier this month, Batavia Bootery hosted "Boots & Bourbon," a special event where guests could taste-test various bourbons and shop for shoes and boots at the store.

The store donated $15 from every pair of boots and shoes sold to the Arc of Genesee Orleans, raising $635.

Yesterday, Don Brown presented the check to Shelley Falitico, director of Development & Community Relations for Arc.

December 26, 2017 - 2:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, hodgins printing & engraving.

Press release:

Hodgins Engraving announced it is acquiring Impact Printing & Engraving, located in Garfield, NJ.

Impact Printing and Engraving is a fourth generation printing company that provides high-quality engraving, letterpress, foil stamping, thermography, and offset printed products.

“We are excited to bring Impact into our business family,” said Hodgins Engraving President Becky Almeter. “They are well-respected in the industry and we look forward to bringing additional value to their customer base.”

All production and customer service functions will be relocated to Hodgins Engraving headquarters in Batavia in the coming months. In addition, Hodgins will immediately begin offering additional products and services to existing Impact Printing & Engraving customers.

Former Impact Printing & Engraving President Frank Corbiserie Jr. will remain associated with the company in a sales role.

“There’s great synergy between Impact and Hodgins” Almeter said. “Their existing customers have a need for the types of products we have specialized in for over 60 years.  We look forward to providing that continuity.

"It’s a privilege to work with another respected family-run business operation and continue to support the customer base they worked so hard to serve for so many years.”

About Becky Almeter

Becky Almeter has been with Hodgins Engraving since 2007. She holds bachelor’s degrees in International Relations and Spanish from Eckerd College. 

About Impact Printing and Engraving

Impact Printing and Engraving is a printing company that specializes in engraving, letterpress, foil stamping, thermography and offset printing. They were formerly located in Garfield, NJ.

About Hodgins Engraving

Hodgins Engraving, located in Batavia, is an industry-leading international producer of high-end, custom print products. Website: http://www.hodginsengraving.com.

December 24, 2017 - 11:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in New York Craft Malts, batavia, business, news.


Harpoon Brewery in collaboration with Big Ditch Brewing is releasing a new beer this month, Rivalry IPA, to celebrate the long-standing rivalry between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots. It was released just before today's game between the two teams.

One hundred of the malts used in the beer come from Batavia-based New York Craft Malts, the malting house of Ted and Patricia Hawley on Bank Street Road.

The IPA will be available in taprooms throughout WNY and New England just days before the big game.

Photo courtesy Ted Hawley.

December 23, 2017 - 1:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, business, Farming, steve hawley, farm bureau.

Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“I am honored to be named to the Farm Bureau’s Circle of Friends for 2017. Agriculture is such an important part of Western New York’s economy, and we have so many dedicated farmers and producers locally who battle excessive rain, drought and other obstacles to feed our state. Whether it’s dairy, livestock or vegetables, our products are in grocery stores across the nation and that is a testament to the devotion and will of our area’s farmers.

“As the former owner and operator of our family-owned farm in Batavia for many years, I know the challenges our producers face, and that is why I will always have the backs of these dedicated men and women. I look forward to another productive year in Albany and will strive to keep New York’s farming industry the best in the nation.”

December 22, 2017 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Empire Access, news, batavia, Le Roy, notify, business.

While many Americans are worried about higher broadband costs or diminished service following the repeal by the FCC of "Net Neutrality" rules, customers of Empire Access can continue to count on unmetered, unthrottled, unlimited data, Bob VanDelinder, director of marketing for the company, told The Batavian today.

"The changes in net neutrality, we don't feel, will affect Empire Access because we still plan to keep the Internet open for our customers," VanDelinder said. "We will continue to offer unlimited data without content blocking, no throttling, and no paid prioritization. The customers on Empire Access should not see any changes."

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission overturned a 2014 rule known as Title II that prohibited Internet service providers from having tiered pricing plans, so-called "net neutrality."

The change has caused customers of Empire Access to call the company and express concern that their service will be changed and VanDelinder said they're all assured that there will be no changes. Soon the company will embark on a social media campaign to help spread that message. Customers will also receive an assurance of the company's commitment to unmetered service with the bills that will be mailed Jan. 1.

Proponents of net neutrality say the repeal of the law will mean restricted, or slower, bandwidth for customers or content providers who don't pony up extra cash.

Opponents of net neutrality say that Title II inhibits innovation and is holding back companies from making the investments necessary to provide faster broadband to more customers.

The idea of ISPs trying to squeeze more money from content providers is not without precedent. Prior to the 2014 rules, Comcast sought fees from Netflix and tacked on an extra charge for customers who streamed more Netflix shows and movies.

Empire Access doesn't know what its competitors might do following the rule change, VanDelinder said, but as far as Empire Access is concerned, nothing has changed.

"It's somewhat early yet to know what is going to take place with our competitors but as far as our stance on the ruling, it's our feeling that our customers come first," VanDelinder said. "We will continue to provide open access to our customers."

Over the past several years, Empire Access has been expanding throughout the Southern Tier and Western New York. It's an expansion plan that started before Title II was enacted, continued through the Title II era, and will continue going forward, VanDelinder said. Whether there is net neutrality or not, it doesn't slow down Empire Access's plan for expansion and innovation.

"We're a family-owned company," VanDelinder said. "We're a local company. What is best for the customer is really what we're striving to achieve to provide the best services."

Being a family-owned business has its advantages over larger competitors, such as Comcast, VanDelinder noted. 

While Comcast sought more money to stream Netflix, it wasn't taking the same approach with Hulu, which is owned in part by Comcast.

"Our business is providing Internet, phone, television, and security services," VanDelinder said. "We don't necessarily have these conflicts like some of our competitors do."

Since Empire Access came to Batavia and Le Roy, local customers are in a unique position of having options. Nearly 60 percent of households in America have only one company to call for broadband service.  

"One of the great things about operating in the towns, villages, and cities where we provide service is that we create competition," VanDelinder said. "Competition is good for the consumers."

December 18, 2017 - 5:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, steve hawley.
Press release:
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today criticized Gov. Cuomo’s new proposal to mandate businesses pay the same minimum wage to tipped workers as other employees in their region.
The plan calls for the New York State Department of Labor to hold hearings to gain input on the issue.
Gov. Cuomo signed legislation in 2016 that increases the minimum wage in New York City, Long Island and Westchester to $15 per hour by 2021 and at least $12.50 per hour for the rest of the state.
“The governor’s war on small businesses continues with this new proposal,” Hawley said. “Many workers in the service industry are competitively compensated due to the large share of their income that is comprised of tips.
"By allowing our employees to be paid by tips we are letting their performance and work ethic determine their income to a large extent which raises standards across the industry and provides a better quality of service. Another minimum wage hike will surely be a blow to small businesses and stifle job creation when what we need is tax and regulatory reform to allow these companies to thrive.”
December 17, 2017 - 3:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, lawley.

Press release:

Lawley, for the second year in a row, has been named a Best Place to Work in Insurance  in the annual list by the magazine "Business Insurance."

The company was honored in the medium-sized category (250-999 employees). The award recognizes employers for their outstanding performance in establishing workplaces where employees can thrive, enjoy their work and help their companies grow.

Lawley, a family-oriented company, has built its culture around an internal wellness program focused on both physical and mental health benefits. The company offers a number of perks to employees, including:

  • Annual Employee Appreciation Week
  • On-site biometric screenings and complementary yoga classes
  • College scholarship programs and paid trainings/certifications
  • Summer hours

"We pride ourselves on investing in our most valuable asset – our people. Our success as a company is due to our ability to offer remarkable service and build relationships, which ultimately starts with treating our employees well,” said Bill Lawley, Jr., managing partner at Lawley. “We make it a top-priority to provide the resources, culture and environment to ensure time spent at work is rewarding, educational and fun.”

Lawley is deeply committed to the communities they serve. Social responsibility is a priority and has direct, positive impact on those communities. Lawley employees spend a significant time throughout the year giving back locally.

In addition to being named a Best Place to Work by Business Insurance, Lawley has been recognized as a Top Work Place by the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and named to Buffalo Business First’s Best Place to Work list for more than eight years.

“Being named to Business Insurance's list of the Best Places to Work in Insurance for 2017 demonstrates that Lawley has built a culture in which employees are supported and engaged, which benefits their customers and the employers’ financial performance,” says "Business Insurance" Publisher Peter Oxner.

Best Places to Work in Insurance is an annual feature that lists the agents, brokers, insurance companies and other providers with the highest levels of employee engagement and satisfaction.

Harrisburg, Pa.-based Best Companies Group identifies the leading employers in the insurance industry by conducting a free two-part assessment of each company. The first part is a questionnaire completed by the employer about company policies, practices and demographics. The second part is a confidential employee survey on engagement and satisfaction.

The program divides employers into the categories of small, 25-249 employees; medium, 250-999 employees; and large, 1,000 or more employees.

This year’s report features 75 companies of various sizes, from 25 employees to more than 4,000. The ranking and profiles of the winning companies were published in the magazine and online at BusinessInsurance.com.

Lawley is a privately-owned, independent regional insurance firm specializing in property, casualty and personal insurance, employee benefits and risk management consulting and ranked among the 100 Largest Insurance Brokers in the United States, according to "Business Insurance" magazine.

For more than 60 years, Lawley’s team of more than 375 associates have developed customized property, casualty, surety and benefits insurance programs for businesses and municipalities of all sizes along with personalized protection for individuals and their families.

December 16, 2017 - 2:45pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Anthony Angotti, president and owner of Beers of the World in Batavia (a business of Angotti Beverage Corp.) was honored Dec. 2 with the Star District Award by the Knights of Columbus.

Angotti is the only member in New York State to receive this recognition and one of only 18 members worldwide to achieve this designation.

The Star District Award goes to district deputies attaining 100 percent or more of their district’s membership and insurance quotas, and, in addition, at least one of their active councils must attain one of the levels of Star Council.

Anthony Angotti joined the Knights of Columbus Our Lady of the Genesee Council #4812 in April 1993. It was shortly thereafter he became Deputy Grand Knight and then Grand Knight for the same council. During his elected position as Grand Knight, fundraising for those in need were among many of Tony’s responsibilities.

In 1995, he took his 4th degree and then became Navigator at the Bishop Kearney Assembly. He was assigned to guide the 4th degree assembly for two years including fundraising for the Canandaigua VA Hospital. At that time, he also became a Knight of Columbus Color Guard and then went on to become Assistant Commander. The Color Guard’s presence is mainly known at the Greater Rochester International Airport during the arrivals of the Honor Flights. They also perform the Memorial Day and Veterans Day Missing Man Ceremony in Canandaigua.

Tony was elected to the position of Trustee, and then shortly thereafter was appointed the position of District Deputy which he has held since 2014. He oversees five councils within Monroe County including, Our Lady of the Genesee Council #4812 in Henrietta, St. Louis Council #15833 in Pittsford, Ascension Council at St. James #15638 in Irondequoit, St. Stanislaus Council #9326 in the City of Rochester, and St. John of Rochester Council #15917 in Fairport.

His duties include ensuring that all of the Councils have the proper paperwork for the Knights of Columbus State Office, fundraising for the VA hospitals and collecting money and goods for Coats for Kids. Tony also is a member of a group of Knights that purchases or refurbishes chalices to be given as gifts to newly ordained priests.

“After immigrating to the United States 62 years ago, we left our native land with nothing but what we could carry by hand on the boat and no money in our pockets," Angotti said. "I will never forget those that helped us when we arrived and because of that I will forever be grateful. I have a great appreciation for this land and the Veterans that have fought for our freedom.

"It has been such a pleasure being a part of an organization as the Knights of Columbus. My membership has afforded me the opportunity to repay my appreciation by helping those in need especially the veterans of the United States."

About the Knights of Columbus

With more than 1.8 million members, is the world’s largest lay Catholic fraternal service organization. It provides members and their families with volunteer opportunities in service to the Catholic Church, its’ pastors and their community. The guiding principles of the order are: Charity; Unity; Fraternity; and, Patriotism.


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