Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Community Sponsors


May 11, 2016 - 3:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in michael ranzenhofer, NYCLU, farms, business, agriculture.

Sen. Michael Ranzerhofer today issued a statement about the lawsuit filed Tuesday by the NY Civil Liberties Union seeking improved rights for farmworkers. The Senator says the suit will have a devastating impact on local jobs and farms.

After the lawsuit was filed against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state in the New York Supreme Court in Albany, the governor made it known that he backed workers' rights and the NYCLU's efforts and that he would not contest the litigation.

Among its aims is to allow farmworkers to unionize and get paid overtime. The NYCLU maintains that existing state law does not provide farmworkers with the protections that other worker groups are afforded. Cuomo noted "inconsistencies" and said workers in any sector should not be exploited.

The increase in the minimum wage approved last month in New York includes farmworkers and the wage will become $12.50 per hour by in end of 2020 in Upstate New York. Farms are expected to get a $30 million subsidy to accommodate the wage increase.

Ranzenhofer issued the following statement this afternoon:

“The New York Civil Liberties Union is trying to push increased regulations on farm workers through the courts. These burdensome regulations would force local farms to eliminate jobs and potentially go out of business. Whether it is New York City politicians or the NYCLU, they have little to no understanding of the economic realities of the agriculture industry. If the NYCLU wins this lawsuit, then it will have a devastating impact on our family farms and jobs in our rural communities.”

May 11, 2016 - 2:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, business, Announcements, news.

The Genesee County Ag Society will present a Livestock Fitting, Showmanship & Judging Clinic May 20-22 at the Genesee County Fairgrounds. It is located at 5056 E. Main Street Road, Batavia.

It is intended to be a learning opportunity for young people. All youths age 8 to 19 are particulary welcome and they do NOT have to be members of 4-H or Future Farmers of America (FFA).

Friday, May 20, is Livestock Game Night. Saturday, May 21, is a Livestock Clinic. Sunday, May 22, there will be industry speakers talking about nutrition, genetics and the ag business.

Topics covered during the weekend will include: Nutrition & Care, Basic Training, Showmanship Overview & Practice, Fitting & Hoof Trimming, Livestock Species Knowledge, and Judging & Oral Reasons.

Tickets are $30 per youth, which includes a T-shirt and chicken BBQ. Accompanying adults are $15 (but if they want a T-shirt and chicken BBQ, it's $30).

Camping is available for the weekend. Cost is $25 one night, or $40 for both Friday and Saturday nights.

Early registration is recommended.

Any questions, call Heather Weber 585-297-3032.


Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, 420 E. Main Street, Batavia NY 14020

Phone: (585) 343-3040 ext. 101 Fax: (585) 343-1275

May 10, 2016 - 2:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, business, news.

The Clarion Hotel on Park Road in Batavia is now the Quality Inn & Suites. Prices are unchanged. But the wireless service, which had problems previously, has been replaced with state-of-the-art Wi-Fi service and the bedding is all new, too.

So says General Manager of the location, Evan Sakeeb.

"We're bringing a lot of new stuff with the new name," Sakeeb said. "We're constantly changing, working to better serve our customers."

Whereas the Clarion was only one of 158 nationwide, the Quality Inn & Suites is a more with familiar brand with many more U.S. locations.

"Quality Inn is more familiar and more popular," he said.

The owner of the Batavia location remains the same, Chan Patel.

More changes/upgrades are planned there soon and will be announced later.

Our news partner WBTA contributed to this report.

May 9, 2016 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, business.

Press release:

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide a new financing option to help farmers purchase portable storage and handling equipment.

Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini and Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator Elanor Starmer announced changes to the Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program today during a local and regional food roundtable in Columbus, Ohio. The loans, which now include a smaller microloan option with lower down payments, are designed to help producers, including new, small and mid-sized producers, grow their businesses and markets.

“As more communities reconnect with agriculture, consumer demand is increasing for food produced locally or regionally,” Dolcini said. “Portable handling and storage equipment is vital to helping farmers get their products to market more quickly and better maintain product quality, bringing them greater returns. That’s why we’ve added this type of equipment as a new category for our Farm Storage Facility Loan program.”

The program also offers a new “microloan” option, which allows applicants seeking less than $50,000 to qualify for a reduced down payment of five percent and no requirement to provide three years of production history. Farms and ranches of all sizes are eligible. The microloan option is expected to be of particular benefit to smaller farms and ranches, and specialty crop producers who may not have access to commercial storage or on-farm storage after harvest. These producers can invest in equipment like conveyers, scales or refrigeration units and trucks that can store commodities before delivering them to markets. Producers do not need to demonstrate the lack of commercial credit availability to apply.

“Growing high-value crops for local and regional markets is a common entry point for new farmers,” Starmer said. “Since they often rent land and have to transport perishable commodities, a loan that can cover mobile coolers or even refrigerated trucks fills an important gap. These producers in turn supply the growing number of food hubs, farmers markets or stores and restaurants interested in sourcing local food.”

Earlier this year, FSA significantly expanded the list of commodities eligible for Farm Storage Facility Loan. Eligible commodities now include aquaculture; floriculture; fruits (including nuts) and vegetables; corn, grain sorghum, rice, oilseeds, oats, wheat, triticale, spelt, buckwheat, lentils, chickpeas, dry peas sugar, peanuts, barley, rye, hay, honey, hops, maple sap, unprocessed meat and poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and renewable biomass. FSFL microloans can also be used to finance wash and pack equipment used post-harvest, before a commodity is placed in cold storage.

AMS helps thousands of agricultural food producers and businesses enhance their marketing efforts through a combination of research, technical services and grants. The agency works to improve marketing opportunities for U.S. growers and producers, including those involved in specialty crop production and in the local and regional food systems. Visit to learn more about AMS services.

Today’s announcement will further advance the efforts of USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, which coordinates the Department's work to develop local and regional food systems. USDA is committed to helping farmers, ranchers, and businesses access the growing market for local and regional foods, which was valued at $12 billion in 2014 according to industry estimates. Under this Administration, USDA has invested more than $1 billion in more than 40,000 local and regional food businesses and infrastructure projects. More information on how USDA investments are connecting producers with consumers and expanding rural economic opportunities is available in Chapter IV of USDA Results on Medium.

To learn more about Farm Storage Facility Loans, visit or contact a local FSA county office. To find your local FSA county office, visit

May 8, 2016 - 11:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake theme park, business, Darien.


Yesterday was the first day of another new season of fun at Darien Lake Theme Park.

While we didn't get out to Darien for photos until the afternoon, after the clouds arrived, the morning blue skies helped encourage a great first-day attendance, park officials said.









May 6, 2016 - 9:56am

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved a final resolution for an application for assistance from Alpina Foods, Inc., at its May 5 board meeting.

Alpina Foods, Inc., will add 3,200 square feet to its existing facility in the Town of Batavia to accommodate space for a bottle-filling machine and packaging equipment for a new drinkable yogurt product.

The facility’s expansion will result in the creation of four new jobs and the retention of 23 current full-time employees. Based on the success of the product line and other growth opportunities there is the potential for the creation of additional new jobs at Alpina.

The company was approved for a sales tax exemption of $15,405 and a property tax exemption of $62,903. The project’s planned capital investment will total an estimated $1.1 million.

“It is exciting to see Alpina adding a new yogurt product to the marketplace that is being made right here in Genesee County,” said Christopher Suozzi, vice president of Business Development at the GCEDC.

“The Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park is an important community asset and continued investment and expansion there will only help us market the site to other food processing and food manufacturing companies.”

May 6, 2016 - 8:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in 1366 Technologies, STAMP, business, Alabama.

Press release:

Silicon wafer manufacturer 1366 Technologies (“1366”) today announced it has received a $10 million investment from the Hanwha Investment Corp., one of Korea’s leading private equity/venture capital firms with more than $500 million under management. The funds will be used toward the construction of 1366’s first large-scale commercial factory, scheduled to be online in 2017.

“Our Direct Wafer™ technology represents one of the most significant manufacturing innovations in solar, with the potential to propel the industry forward and deliver dramatic cost advantages,” said Frank van Mierlo, CEO, 1366 Technologies. “We are thrilled that Hanwha Investment Corporation, with its deep expertise in and understanding of the manufacturing industry, has invested.

"It is a tremendous validation of our commercialization plans, and a clear signal that we’re poised to disrupt the $10 billion and growing silicon solar wafer market.”

“Hanwha Investment Corporation actively seeks out companies with groundbreaking technologies that transform industries. In just a short period of time, 1366 has moved from proof of concept to commercial-ready technology, achieving technical milestones steadily and rapidly. We believe the 1366 team is well positioned for commercial success,” said Woojae Hahn, president and CEO, Hanwha Investment Corporation.

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.

CLARIFICATION: We were asked to clarify a prior report that said the Hannah company that is purchasing solar wafers and the Hannah company making the investments in 1366 are the same company. While related, they are not the same company and operate independently.

May 5, 2016 - 3:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Eastown Plaza, Eastown Beverage, batavia, business.


The expansion of Paul Parise's Eastown Beverage, which includes more space for his redemption center, coincides with that redemption center becoming the last privately owned, independent one in town.

Rob's on Ellicott Street, where Parise got his start more than a dozen years ago, closed last month. The nonprofit ARC operates a redemption center on East Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia, and Tops Market chain also has one.

This spring, Parise has expanded his redemption center into space, formerly a detail shop, next to his beer store. 

The new redemption center is bigger and Parise promises it will always be the cleanest around with the fastest service.

At the same time, Parise has been able to add more coolers -- now 24 doors -- to the beer shop and he's increased the number of craft beers he carries, and unlike a lot of shops, everything he sells is refrigerated.

The shops are located at 563 E. Main St., Batavia.

Eastown Beverage is open seven days a week: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; Thursday through Saturday to 9 p.m.; and from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The redemption center is open 9 to 4:30, except Saturdays when it closes at 4, and its closed on Sundays.




May 4, 2016 - 10:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake theme park, Darien, business.

Press release:

Darien Lake, Western New York’s largest theme park, opens this weekend for its 53rd season of family thrills and entertainment. This season guests will experience the new RipCurl Racer water ride, updated Ignite the Night laser show, and four free in-park concerts.

RipCurl Racer

Towering above the ground at 42 feet, six mat-riding competitors launch themselves headfirst into side-by-side tunnels and rocket through the twisting tunnels before accelerating into separate racing lanes. Riders then drop down the home stretch, enjoying speed, compression and zero gravity moments as they blast into a high-velocity finish. RipCurl Racer will begin taking riders on the water park’s opening day – May 21.

Ignite the Night Laser Show

Darien Lake’s Ignite the Night laser show has been upgraded to include full-color laser beams; extra pyrotechnics, and an all-new soundtrack. Ignite the Night, presented by Tops Friendly Markets, takes place every evening at 10:10 on the lawn at the Lakeside Amphitheater from May 20 to Sept. 4.

In-Park Concerts

The in-park concert series presented by Tops Friendly Markets are free with a Season Pass, a hotel/camping package or daily admission. The series will take place on the Performing Arts Center stage, with access to and from shows provided exclusively through the park. The concert series includes performances by Jacob Whitesides and Laura Marano on May 28, Rachel Platten on June 4, Sabrina Carpenter on June 25, and the latest addition Daya and Shawn Hook on July 2.

“We continue to improve and develop the park to provide exceptional value and extraordinary experiences for our guests,” said Darien Lake General Manager Chris Thorpe. “The new RipCurl Racer water ride and the stunning must-see laser show elements are as awe-inspiring and exhilarating as they are colorful. If you haven’t visited the park in a while, now’s the time to come out and see what’s hot and happening at Darien Lake.”

With park admission or season pass, guests receive unprecedented access to all in-park entertainment/concerts, special dive-in movies, special events, shows, and now more than 50 rides. A 2016 season pass has even greater value than ever before, paying for itself in less than two visits.

Season Pass holders will have front-row access to RipCurl Racer at Darien Lake’s Season Pass Preview Party on May 20 and receive a free souvenir mug, free tickets for friends and free parking. Restrictions apply, visit for more details.

May 4, 2016 - 10:44am

Live Nation's concert line up for 2016 at Darien Lake looks pretty much like it's set for the season.

Here it is:

  • Bad Company & Joe Walsh – Tuesday, June 7th
  • Miranda Lambert w/ Kip Moore & Brothers Osborne  – Thursday, June 23
  • Zac Brown Band – Sunday, July 3
  • 5 Seconds of Summer – Wednesday, July 6th
  • Vans Warped Tour – Thursday, July 14th
  • Toby Keith w/ Eric Paslay – Friday, July 15th
  • Disturbed w/ Breaking Benjamin – Sunday, July 24th
  • Josh Groban w/ Sarah McLachlan – Tuesday, July 26th
  • Heart & Joan Jett w/ Cheap Trick – Wednesday, July 27th
  • G-EAZY with Logic – Friday, July 29th
  • Darius Rucker with Dan + Shay and Michael Ray – Sunday, July 31st
  • Brad Paisley w/ Tyler Farr – Friday, Aug. 19th
  • Goo Goo Dolls w/ Collective Soul – Saturday, Aug. 20th
  • ZZ Top & Gregg Allman --Tuesday, Aug. 23
  • Blink-182 w/ A Day to Remember & All Time Low – Wednesday, Aug. 24th
  • Florida Georgia Line w/ Cole Swindell – Friday, Aug. 26th
  • Kidz Bop Kids Live! – Sunday, Aug. 28th
  • Def Leppard w/ REO Speedwagon & Tesla – Wednesday, Aug. 31st
  • Jason Aldean w/ Thomas Rhett & A Thousand Horses – Thursday, Sept. 22nd
May 4, 2016 - 10:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in liberty pumps, bergen, business.


Press release:

Liberty Pumps hosted hundreds of visitors for their 2016 Open House held on April 27.  The event was planned with two separate segments, one for family and friends of employees and one for the community.

The company welcomed visitors to show the completion of the recent three-phase expansion which nearly doubled the size of the facility.  In total, the expansion added over 123,000 sq. ft. to the corporate operation in Bergen, NY.  New additions included manufacturing areas, engineering lab and test facilities, as well as a new training center.

Attendees were treated to a tour of the facility, product demonstrations and a presentation and dedication of the new facility by Charlie Cook, President and CEO.

May 3, 2016 - 12:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in liberty pumps, bergen, business.

Liberty Pumps hosted hundreds of visitors for their 2016 Open House held on April 27. The event was planned with two separate segments, one for family and friends of employees and one for the community.

The company welcomed visitors to show the completion of the recent three-phase expansion which nearly doubled the size of the facility. In total, the expansion added over 123,000 square feet to the corporate operation in Bergen. New additions included manufacturing areas, engineering lab and test facilities, as well as a new training center.

Attendees were treated to a tour of the facility, product demonstrations and a presentation and dedication of the new facility by Charlie Cook, president and CEO.

May 3, 2016 - 8:26am

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider an expansion project for Alpina Foods, Inc., at its May 5 board meeting.

Alpina Foods, Inc., is planning to construct a 3,200-square-foot addition to its existing facility in Batavia to accommodate space for a new bottle-filling machine and packaging equipment for a new drinkable yogurt product.

The company’s investment will total more than $1.1 million in the drinkable yogurt line, resulting in the retention of 23 current full-time employees.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. Meetings are held at the Innovation Zone Conference Room at MedTech Centre -- 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia, on the first floor, across from Genesee Community College.

May 2, 2016 - 10:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Fired Up, crafts.


Another old thing that's new again is ceramics.

Decades ago, buying clay figurines and painting them according to your own craft or whimsy was quite the thing, but then the hobby kind of faded away.

It's starting to make a comeback, which is one reason Shirley Nigro-Hill decided to open a ceramics shop on Ellicott Street in Batavia.

Nigro-Hill taught ceramics in the 1970s before establishing a reputation in dolls, but when her daughter moved back here from Florida and couldn't find what she needed to continue her ceramics crafting, they decided to open up the shop in a building she owns on Ellicott.

They already had the kilns and slips, which puts them in a unique position for most ceramic shops these days -- they pour and fire most of what they sell.

"I guess that's unusual for the day, but I'm back from the old school," Nigro-Hill said.

The type of ceramics is called "Bisque wear."  

The shop, Fired Up - Ready to Paint Ceramics, opened last week.

Customers can purchase a figurine and paint it in the shop with acrylic paint and it will be dry and ready to take home by that evening, or they can take it home and paint it at home.

Nigro-Hill said the shop also offers classes for both adults and children and also offers group events.

Fired Up, at 216 Ellicott St., is open noon to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to 6 p.m. on Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.






April 29, 2016 - 4:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Vinyl Record Revival, business, batavia, downtown, news.


The sale of vinyl records has reached its highest level in 28 years and Batavia resident Richard Mistretta is betting that trend continues.

His own research and experience tells him vinyl, once considered a relic of history, has achieved its own kind of staying power.

"Last year, I first had a thought of opening a brick and mortar store," Mistretta said. "I wasn't sure what I'd be selling, but I started selling online and I noticed albums were selling well. I was selling a lot of vinyl, so with my online business, I switched over to exclusively selling vinyl and the sales numbers continued to go up."

Tomorrow he opens Vinyl Record Revival at 220 E. Main St., Batavia.

He's spent the past couple of weeks building bins for records, CDs, reel-to-reel, and he even has a couple of boxes of 8-track tapes, but vinyl is clearly where the action is. It attracts collectors of all ages these days.

"The big age group right now is young people, teenagers are getting into it," Mistretta said. "I've been hearing about it from a lot of people. They find it fascinating. They find it is something interesting to collect, and, also, the sound is different. That's the big thing, but, also, it's tangible. You can hold it, you can look at it, the artwork; it's easy to read. When something is digital, you don't get all that."

Clearly, vinyl records can't beat digital, especially in the age of cloud storage and streaming services, for convenience, but beside of the tactile and aesthetic appeal, most connoisseurs tip in favor of vinyl for the superior audio performance of analog, which doesn't suffer from the loss of dynamic range found in compressed sound files.

It might be surprising, but as Mistretta noted, when teenagers take an interest in The Beatles, they seek out vinyl, some becoming die-hard collectors.

That works out well for Mistretta, who is a lifelong fan of The Beatles and is stocking a full range of Beatles records, books and memorabilia. 

But the Beatles aren't the only hot seller from previous generations. There's also The Who, Queen, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, and, Mistretta noted, even before he died, he couldn't keep Prince in stock. When he put Prince records up for sale online, they would often be gone within hours.

Record stores in WNY are now few and far between, so he's hoping to draw clientele from throughout the GLOW region as well as Rochester and Buffalo. One of his goals is to get to know his customers, know what they're looking for and work with his wholesalers to find it for them.

Mistretta is 60 and recently retired after 20 years at the University of Rochester. He lived in Rochester when he met his wife, Michelle, and fell in love with her and fell in love with her hometown, Batavia. He's lived here for three years.

When he decided vinyl would be the speciality of his retail store, he started buying boxes and boxes of records, including one large collection from a seller in Pennsylvania. He said he's found some real gems among these big collections.

"The poor UPS drivers," he said. "Those poor delivery people probably have sore backs from carrying in boxes."

He's found the type of customers range from young to old, from those looking for just specific artists, to those who buy everything in a genre and those who are more interested in album covers or just exploring.

He has set up several listening stations in the store so customers can sample before they buy.

Right now, the store is strictly used records, tapes and CDs, but with most top current recording artists releasing their albums on vinyl again, he is hoping to find the right distributor so he can carry new inventory as well.

He also sees a need to supply area audiophiles with turntables, receivers and speakers.

"Manufacturers are starting to get back into making a nice receiver, making a nice phonograph and the big speakers, because everything did switch over to something that was more portable," Mistretta said.

Store hours will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. He's not settled yet on what his Saturday hours will be, but he will be closed Sundays and Mondays.










April 26, 2016 - 5:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Vibrant Batavia, batavia, news, business.

Whether Vibrant Batavia gets funded in 2016-17 depends on how a resolution passed a year ago by the City Council is interpreted by the City Council this year, and that decision will wait for another meeting, this year's City Council decided last night.

A year ago, the council made 2016-17 funding contingent on Vibrant Batavia securing $15,000 from another funding source, but the available language of the resolution seems unclear whether Vibrant Batavia must already have that funding in place or if the group of volunteers must have a plan in place for raising the money before the end of the fiscal year.

City Manager Jason Molino wasn't at the meeting last night and council members would like to hear from him and to review the minutes from a year ago to help with the interpretation of the resolution.

That said, it's a resolution, so it isn't binding. If there are five votes against Vibrant Batavia, the meaning of the resolution could be moot.

When Council President Eugene Jankowski asked council members to vote on a motion to request more information from Molino, four members -- Rosemary Christian, Kathy Briggs, Al McGinnis and Paul Viele -- all voted against even getting more information before making a decision.

Councilman Brooks Hawley was not at Monday's meeting, but it's not clear that other council members would support Vibrant Batavia if came down to a binding vote.

McGinnis likened Vibrant Batavia to socialism. He thinks the government shouldn't take the initiative on what private citizens should do.

Rosemary Christian said she was promised years ago that a spray park would be built on the Southside and she wonders whatever happened to that idea, and there are sidewalks that need repaired and police cameras that should be purchased.

"We need other things more than we need Vibrant Batavia, no ifs, ands and buts about it," she said.

Jankowski said everybody agrees that Vibrant Batavia has done good work over the past three years.

"There's no debate about it," Jankowski said. "The debate is on how to fund it. That's where the split is."

While the motion failed on the 4-4 vote, it really only takes one council member to request an item be placed on a conference agenda (it takes majority approval to place an item on a business agenda), so the council will be able to take up the issue again at the next conference meeting that Molino is able to attend.

April 26, 2016 - 3:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, Announcements, drones, The BEST Center, GCC.

This information was provided by The BEST Center:

The world of drones is exploding! In partnership with regional experts, an intensive 18-hour course called "Introduction to Drones" (sUAS -- small Unmanned Aerial Systems) will be offered at the Genesee Community College Forum, Batavia Campus, on three consecutive Saturdays -- May 7, 14 and 21.

Cost is $1,499 and includes your own model quad-copter drone with camera, computer flight simulator and workbook. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a one-hour break.

This course is offered in partnership with regional experts and is designed for any industry, business or service that is using or looking to use drones as well as for hobbyists.

If you are interested in emerging careers or are involved in construction, agriculture, real estate, insurance, public safety, EMS, photography, media, marketing, inspection, land surveying, golf courses, amusement parks, etc., or want to start a business, you'll learn how your industry can be transformed in new, cost-effective ways.

For recreational operators, you'll learn exactly what you need to know to be legal to fly efficiently and get the most out of your drone.

A Certificate of Completion will be awarded to participants (not a license).

To register, call 345-6868 or visit

The course will cover:

  • Indoor hands-on flight practice using a model quad-copter;
  • Computer simulator training;
  • Operations of different tyoes of sUAS, including mot multi-rotor and fixed-wing;
  • Flight systems, inlcuding DJI Phantom, Inspire 1 and 3D Robotics;
  • Flight vehicles, radio controllers, components and characteristics;
  • Autonomous flight
  • Routine maintenance;
  • Uses and Applications: Markets, Photography and Video, Post-processing, Economic Drivers;
  • Safety: Best Practices, Operational Risks, Rules of the Road;
  • Up-to-Date FAA Regulations: Policies, Flying Legally, Liability; Exemptions; Operation and Certification of sUAS;
  • Etiquette and Privacy;
  • Operational Risks and Insurance;
  • Exploring Career Opportunities -- Virtually Unlimited!
April 22, 2016 - 4:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BID, batavia, downtown, business.


The Business Improvement District held its annual meeting and awards at the City Church's Generation Center on Center Street, Batavia, this afternoon.

Above, Beth Kemp and Brian Kemp, owners of T-Shirts Etc., accept one of the two Business awards handed out.

BID Director Laurie Oltramari borrowed from the movie "Moneyball" to talk about focusing on our strengths as a business community and not trying to compete with the big companies on their terms.

Felipe Oltramari, Genesee County's director of planning, delivered a keynote speech, pointing out the Batavia's highest value properties are all downtown. One mixed-use property Downtown is worth more than Walmart in tax revenue. He recommended finding ways to add density to Downtown.


Java Farm Supply, represented by John Bookmiller, also won a BID Business Award.


Kristen Merriam, who works for Charles Men's Shop, was honored as Volunteer of the Year.

April 22, 2016 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, batavia, news, Tencar, Choice Cap, healthcare.


Besides a potentially great idea, Georgann Carrubba has one of the key things investors look for in a startup CEO -- passion for an idea that she thinks will make a big change in people's lives.

Though the product she hopes to bring to market is decidedly less sexy than some tech gadget, she thinks her sincerity is what swung a panel of judges in her direction two days ago when they awarded her the $25,000 top prize in the 2016 Rochester Venture Challenge.

The lifelong Batavia resident said she could hardly believe she won, standing on stage in front of 300 people with young men who came to pitch ideas for drones, mobile phones and gaming. 

She had been through this kind of competition before, at Buffalo's 43 North, where tech inventions carried the day.

"I was in complete shock," Carrubba said. "I'm looking at each side of me and it's all technology again. And they're good people and they believe in their products as much as I do, so I was completely caught off my game. When they asked me to speak, I cried. I had to compose myself to say a couple of sentences because I truly did not think we would win. It was a tough competition."

Not only is Carrubba's product less sexy than a tech gadget, it addresses an issue that doesn't even get a lot of attention among the pantheon of people's medical issues that are the subject of telethons, ribbon wearing and 5K races.

We're talking about colostomy and ileostomy patients, people who have bags attached to a hole in their abdomen to collect their bodies' waste.

There are some 800,000 ostomy patients in the United States (perhaps as many as 5 million worldwide), and another 50,000 to 65,000 are given the procedure each year. The surgeries are the results of cancer, disease or accidents and the range of ages includes the very young and the very old.

Up until now, these patients have been saddled with a bulky bag that is prone to leaks and odor and reduced mobility and activity, including sexual activity.

Carrubba became a visiting nurse in 2004 and dealt with many patients who struggled with their ostomy equipment and dealt with the embarrassment of their situation often by avoiding socializing and outside activities. 

She thought in this day and age, why hasn't something better come along?

There had been no significant advance in ostomy care in 60 years.

One evening in 2011, she was sipping coffee at her sister's house and glanced down at a bowl and an idea popped into her head.

"I went home, went to bed, said my prayers and the next day made it in my garage," Carrubba said.

What Carrubba invented -- and secured a patent on -- is a cup-like device that attaches to the diaphragm in the patient's abdominal opening and collects waste. It is secure, airtight and waterproof.

She has a patent pending on a sensor that will be included in the cup so patients will be alerted on an iPhone or iPad when the bag inside the cup needs to be changed.

To go along with the device, called a Choice Cap, patients will be able to purchase biodegradable bags, and perhaps eventually, bags that can be flushed down any toilet, and decorative covers that can match anything from a wedding dress to swimsuit to boxers or a slinky nightgown.

After six design changes in the prototype, Carrubba is ready for the Choice Cap to go through trials with actual patients. Even though the product doesn't require FDA approval, she wants that kind of rigor in the trials so she and her team can collect the feedback and make any design changes  needed before going into production.

She hopes to have the Choice Cap on the market by early 2017.

A journey that began with a spark of inspiration hasn't necessarily been easy or straightforward. Carrubba has never run a business and didn't really know the first thing about starting a business.

She got together with her cousin, Eugene Tenney, an attorney in Buffalo, to help form a company, originally to be called Carten, but it turned out that name wasn't available, so it became Tencar, a company she plans to keep based in Batavia.

She then went to the Innovation Center at the Med-Tech Center, where the Genesee County Economic Development Center staff helped her form an advisory board, provided information and introductions for the startup communities and services in Buffalo and Rochester.

The competitions taught her a lot about the business world, she said, but admits that while she'll remain CEO, she really isn't qualified to be COO or CTO or CFO or any of the other C-suite positions. 

She was particularly grateful to High-Tech Rochester for the training and mentoring program that preceded the competition, and she said the encouragement she received from Theresa Mezzullo and Rami Katz of the investment firm Excell Partners was particularly helpful.

It was Katz who advised Carrubba to just be herself during the pitch, so she showed up in her nurses scrubs and spoke from her heart.

What drivers Carrubba, she said, isn't the allure of entrepreneurial success, or even the potential $2.4 billion domestic market for her product, but the hope of making people's lives better.

"I was never one of those, 'I'm going to invent something and be a millionaire,' " Carrubba said. "No, no, no. I was a nurse. I've always been a nurse. Truth be known, probably a lot of my employers don't like me because I've always been on the side of the patient, whatever is best for the patient. I've always been a patient advocate."

April 21, 2016 - 3:36am
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, Rancho Viejo, business, news.


Rancho Viejo Mexican Restaurant opened Wednesday in the Le Roy Village Plaza on West Main Street. (Photo courtesy of Marysol Leon.)

Le Roy’s newest restaurant has plenty of longtime fans.

Rancho Viejo Mexican Restaurant had a “soft opening” Wednesday in the Le Roy Village Plaza on West Main Street.

The location is one of several owned by Jose and Marysol Leon, including Rancho Viejo in Batavia and a Mexican restaurant in Warsaw.

“We’re happy to be in business,” Jose Leon said. “I invite people to give us a try.”

Many already have.

The Batavia restaurant opened in 2011, inside a former Ponderosa on Ellicott Street. It soon built a loyal customer base — including LeRoyans who lobbied for a restaurant in their hometown.

Jose Leon said he was interested in Le Roy because it did not have a Mexican restaurant. The plaza location was also ideal, offering plenty of space inside, and lots of parking outside.

And its West Main Street address, next door to Le Roy Medical Associates (UR Medicine), guarantees visibility and foot traffic, he said.

Marysol Leon said business was steady on Wednesday, even though the opening wasn’t announced.

“People have been calling to ask, ‘When are you going to open?’” she said.

Le Roy Village Plaza is a former supermarket. The space occupied by Rancho Viejo was formerly a Chinese buffet. It’s been remodeled, brightly painted and decorated.

Jose Leon said food is prepped twice daily, guaranteeing fresh, “home style” cooking. They have applied for a liquor license.

The menu will be familiar to anyone who has been to the Batavia restaurant. 

For first-time diners, Marysol recommended the deep-fried Rancho Viejo Burrito, which is stuffed with ground beef, chicken, rice and beans and topped with nacho cheese and pico de gallo. Rancho Viejo Special Fajitas are served with sliced grilled beef, chicken, pork sausage and shrimp — along with the traditional bell peppers, onions and tomatoes.

Rancho Viejo also offers a children’s menu, vegetarian dishes and “All-American” options that include burgers and a grilled chicken sandwich.

Take-out service is available.

Hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For information call (585) 502-5292.


(Photo courtesy of Marysol Leon.)


Subscribe to



Copyright © 2008-2016 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button