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November 9, 2008 - 9:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, help.

The following links are designed to help you better understand how things work on The Batavian.

 

May 25, 2016 - 9:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ladder 15, City Fire, batavia, news.

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City firefighters were out at about 8:30 last night training with the new truck that will become Ladder 15 early next month and with all the lights on, it was a great chance to get some pictures of what it looks like at night.

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May 25, 2016 - 9:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, alexander.

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Jake Wozniaka struck out four over six innings, but errors proved costly for Alexander on Tuesday at Dwyer Stadium in the Section V Class C1 semi-final.

Avon scored two unearned runs to beat the Trojans, 2-1.

In other baseball action yesterday:

  • Batavia beat Wayne, 11-5. The Blue Devils play for the Section V championship Thursday at a location to be announced against Aquinas. 
  • Oakfield beat Geneseo, 11-3, and will play Bolivar Rickburg at a location to be announced Friday.
  • Notre Dame beat Lyndonville, 8-3, and will play Genesee Valley on Friday at a location to be announced.

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May 25, 2016 - 8:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, air quality, news.

The National Weather Service has issued an air quality alert for Genesee County starting at 11 a.m. and lasting until 11 p.m.

The index value for outdoor air quality is expected to exceed 100 for pollutant of the ozone.

The higher the number of the air quality index, the greater the health concern.

When the index is high, the State Health Department recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects.  Those with pre-existing respiratory problems, such as asthma or heart disease, and with such symptoms, should consult a personal physician.

The toll-free number for air quality reports is (800) 535-1345.

May 24, 2016 - 5:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Frostridge Campground, Le Roy, business, news, steve barbeau.

The fight over live music and other alleged zoning code violations at Frost Ridge Campground is far from over and court documents indicate the fight has recently involved some name calling and an accusation of anti-gay bias driving the attempts to shut down the park.

Attorneys for David and Marney Cleere and Scott and Betsy Collins, neighbors of Frost Ridge, have filed motions seeking a permanent ban on live, amplified music and long-term camping at the facility.

Their court papers alleged that a ZBA hearing in February that led to a finding in favor of David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell, owners of Frost Ridge, violated the state's opening meeting law and therefore the ZBA's decision should be voided.

The Luetticke-Archbell's position is that the meeting was given proper public notice, a position backed by sworn statements from the ZBA's then-chairwoman Debbie Jackett and answer filed by the ZBA's attorney, James M. Wujcik.

Any appearance of inconsistencies in the ZBA's actions, before being disbanded by the town board, is purely the result of the anti-gay bias, David Luetticke-Archbell claims in a sworn statement, of Town Supervisor Steve Barbeau.

It's a charge that Barbeau vehemently denies in his own sworn affidavit, but Luetticke-Archbell accuses Barbeau of calling his husband a "faggot" after a "contentious" Nov. 12 meeting. To support his charge of an anti-gay agenda, Luetticke-Archbell also points to several actions by Barbeau throughout the legal and civic process over the past couple of years, including a statement in a court filing approved by Barbeau that Frost Ridge is a "malignancy which cannot be allowed to metastasize."

"Mr. Barbeau, with the Town Board in tow, has unabashedly trampled on the due process rights my husband Greg and I would have been afforded but for our sexual orientation," Luetticke-Archbell wrote in his statement.

Barbeau said that Luetticke-Archbell didn't tell the whole story of the events of Nov. 12.  First, he denies using the word "faggot," but he also accused Greg of calling him a couple of choice names while following him into his office after the meeting, including a "piece of shit."

In his statement, Barbeau states he holds no bias against the owners of Frost Ridge.

"The Luetticke-Archbells have a place in the Town of Le Roy, one they have earned through their commercial and charitable efforts," Barbeau states. "The Town of Le Roy is merely trying to enforce its zoning ordinance so as to not render it irrelevant."

Barbeau said that the actions he and the town board have taken have been supported by a majority of town residents. The evidence is in the election results, he said, given that he and other incumbents handily won reelection despite opposition focused on the Frost Ridge issue.

David Luetticke-Archbell is equally convinced that Barbeau is driven by an anti-gay agenda.

Besides the slurs, Luetticke-Archbell says Barbeau's pattern of actions is further evidence of his anti-gay position.

He accused Barbeau, rather than code enforcement officer Jeff Steinbrenner, of drafting an e-mail denying Frost Ridge prior, non-conforming use status; of purposefully mucking up the application process on a couple of occasions; of usurping the independence of the Zoning Board of Appeals by filing court documents on its behalf without properly notifying the ZBA of the proceedings; of then wrongly admitting to adverse allegations of improper conduct by the ZBA; and, of illegally firing the previous ZBA attorney and then appointing an attorney who works in the same law office as the town attorney's son.

"Mr. Barbeau's motivations and actions here have always been and remain malicious," Luetticke-Archbell wrote in his statement. "His allegations, if considered at all, should be weighed accordingly."

Barbeau called Luetticke-Archbell's affidavit an ad hominem attack and asked that it be stricken from the record.

The attorney Barbeau appointed is James Wujcik, who continues to represent the ZBA and filed documents in the current court battle defending the ZBA against allegations leveled by the attorneys for the Cleeres and Collins.

As for the motion for injunction filed by Mindy L. Zoghlin, attorneys for Cleere and Collins, it's long (32 pages) and legal, and the responses from David Roach, attorney for Frost Ridge, are also detailed.

Whereas in the first round of lawsuits, it was Cleere and Collins along with the Town of Le Roy against Frost Ridge, Luetticke-Archbell and the ZBA, the new motion names the Town of Le Roy as a defendant.

The Town of Le Roy is accused of not upholding its own zoning laws.

It accuses Frost Ridge of violating town ordinances by allowing permanent RV camping, of violating the noise ordinance, of relying on a defective ZBA interpretation of the law, and of violating Judge Robert C. Noonan's preliminary injunction against amplified live music that he issued in September 2014 by allowing live amplified music before 4 p.m.

It accused the ZBA of violating the open meeting law after the case was remanded back to the ZBA for a determination on whether live, amplified music is a prior, non-conforming use. The suit accuses of the ZBA of not providing proper public notice and of not deliberating its decision in public. 

In his response, Roach denies all the substantial allegations.

Acting Judge Michael F. Pietruszka is expected to make a ruling on the current set of motions at a later date.

May 24, 2016 - 2:35pm

Press release:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) announced the name Western New York National Cemetery for the new national cemetery planned for construction in Pembroke, New York.

“The Veterans of Western New York deserve a final resting place worthy of their service to our nation,” said Ronald E. Walters, Interim Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs.

National cemeteries are named based on the geographic location of the cemetery. VA relies on local Veterans and community leaders to submit name suggestions. Of the names submitted, “Western New York National Cemetery” best met VA’s naming criteria and is consistent with the requirements specified in title 38 United States Code § 531, requiring VA property, including national cemeteries, to be named for the geographic area in which the facility is located. Any other name suggestion, such as that of a particular person, requires congressional action.

VA purchased the Genesee County property at 1232 Indian Falls Road off Exit 48A on Interstate 90 for $625,000 in May 2014. The cemetery will serve more than 96,000 Veterans, their spouses and eligible children in the Buffalo and Rochester areas. The initial phase of construction will develop approximately 70 acres and provide for approximately 10 years of burials, accommodating both casketed and cremated remains.

The nearest open national cemetery is Bath National Cemetery located in Bath, New York, approximately 85 miles away.

May 24, 2016 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, batavia, news, Ladder 15.

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This week, city firefighters will be training in Batavia's new ladder truck.

Representatives of E-One, the company that delivered the truck, will be on hand to train firefighters on all aspects of the truck's operations and equipment.

"As with any new piece of equipment detailed and repetitive training is required to develop the 'muscle memory'that enables the CBFD to perform in a proficient and expeditious manner under emergency conditions," said Capt. Robert Fix.

As part of the training, crews will set the truck up at various locations throughout the city over the next week. At times, this may cause some roadway lane restrictions as well as minor inconveniences near mid-rise and high-rise buildings, Fix said.

The new truck is expected to be in service by June 1.

(Yes, I was given a ride all the way up the 100-foot ladder.)

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May 24, 2016 - 11:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, softball, sports, Oakfield, Alabama.

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Oakfield-Alabama will advance to the Section V, Class C2 championship game after beating Geneseo on Monday at GCC, 4-2. 

Hannah LaGrou tripled home her sister Madi for the go-ahead run. Hannah later scored on a wild pitch.

O-A faces Cal-Mum at 5 p.m., Wednesday, at GCC in the final.

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May 24, 2016 - 9:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, Vibrant Batavia, deer management, BID, business.

Rather than a typical Monday night meeting, the Batavia City Council is holding its conference meeting tonight, Tuesday night, and discussions are expected to include what to do about deer, what to do with funds previously earmarked for Vibrant Batavia, what happened with funding for the Business Improvement District.

The city's deer population has been a point of discussion with the council before, and after researching the issue, City Manager Jason Molino is asking the council for direction on what to do next, how much city staff time should be spent on the issue and what approach might the city take on the topic. Council members received, as part of their agenda packet, a 50-page pamphlet on community-based deer management. There are several approaches the city could take, Molino said in his memo to council, and the best approach depends on the situation in the community and what community members will accept as an appropriate response. "There is no right answer," the memo says, based on the recommendations of the pamphlet authors.

Councilman Adam Tabelski requested an item on tonight's agenda regarding the disposition of funds previously earmarked for Vibrant Batavia, which the council decided to defund at its last meeting.  That creates a pool of $97,000 in unallocated funds. Tabelski is suggesting the money be used for the as-yet unfunded Batavia Pathway to Prosperity Capital and Reinvestment Fund. New PILOT agreements with property developers is supposed to generate funds for that program, which is intended to help mitigate clean-up of brownfield sites in the city. That creates a bit of a chicken and egg problem, because funds are needed to clean up brownfields and there's no money in the fund. "Kickstarting the BP2 fund with a significant amount of seed money will help turn an innovative approach to target economic development into reality," Tabelski wrote in his memo.

The council will also discuss changes in the funding formula for the Business Improvement District. The reduction in funding for the BID prompted its board of directors to cancel Summer in the City.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

May 24, 2016 - 6:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

City fire is responding to a report of possible power lines down at Ross Street and North Street, Batavia.

The roadway is partially blocked.

No arcing or sparking reported.

May 23, 2016 - 4:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in County Airport, news.

A plane that made an emergency landing on East Saile Drive on Thursday afternoon was in a mishap on the runway of the Genesee County Airport moments before and caused possibly as much as $20,000 damage, according to County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens.

Hens does not yet have actual estimates to fix the damage yet, but he's figuring it will be at least $15,000 and possibly as much as $20,000.

The county will seek reimbursement from the pilot's insurance carrier, Hens said.

The name of the pilot is not yet available, but Hens said he is apparently inexperienced and was performing touch-and-go practice at the airport when his plane veered off the runway for some reason.

The plane struck a light, a guidance sign, more lights and another guidance sign. There were very visible wheel marks in the grass along the south side of the runway, to the pilot's left, The marks go for at least 500 feet after the last sign was struck and then the pilot took off again, but he was losing fuel fast from a puncture in one of his tanks.

"It's pure speculation on my part as to why he took off again," Hens said. "It's almost like a hit-and-run or maybe he panicked and pulled up on the throttle, but when you're driving a car and hit something, you don't usually speed up."

The FAA is investigating the accident.

Losing fuel as fast as he was, he was unable to maintain altitude and was forced to find a place to land quickly.

"How he managed to not hit any power lines or the fence and still land on Saile Drive is beyond me," Hens said.

May 23, 2016 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in le roy hs, Le Roy, schools, education, news.

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Sebastian Maroundit, a Sudanese Lost Boy who came to the United States as a refugee, spoke with students at Le Roy High School this morning.  

He is the cofounder of Building Minds in South Sudan along with his cousin Mathon Noi.

This was the school's final PRIDE assembly of the year.

Born in the rural Village of Mayen-Abun in Twic County, South Sudan, cousins Sebastian Maroundit and Mathon Noi were less than 10 years old when war came to their village and separated them from their families. They escaped to Ethiopia only to experience war again within four years. In 1991, they escaped from Ethiopia and spent a year walking across the hot desert to a refugee camp in Kenya. In this camp, both were educated through the eighth grade. In 2001, Sebastian and Mathon were selected as two of the 3,800 who would resettle in the United States. Mathon recently graduated from Niagara University majoring in Accounting, while Sebastian is pursuing his Business Degree.  

In the summer of 2007, they both returned to their village. Though Sebastian lost his father during the war and Mathon lost his mother, they were reunited with their surviving parents after 18 years apart. They were dismayed to find their village in poor condition, with no roads or clean water. The children of the village were being taught under a large tree, because the school had been destroyed.

Since that visit, they have been passionately committed to helping rebuild hope in their village by building a school to provide a basic education for the children. Their efforts have raised thousands of dollars through BMISS and built a new school that now serves more than 800 children. They have begun to build a second, eight-room all-girls school in Majok Keen, four miles from the Ajong Primary School. Three hundred girls are already signed up and it is projected that it will also house 800 girls.

The school's Rotary Interact Student Club organized the event and also made a donation to the BMISS at the end of the event. The Interact students will sell paper bricks the rest of the week in lunches to students or staff for $1 to raise more money to give to the organization. The sold bricks will be hung as a visual reminder about the support.

Photos and info submitted by Principal Tim McArdle.

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May 23, 2016 - 11:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's School, batavia, schools, education, animals, pets, news.

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Students in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades of the Saint Joseph School in Batavia, all members of the National Junior Honor Society, collected useful items and monetary contributions for the PAWS Animal Shelter in Albion over the course of two weeks. All SJS students and their families donated pet items, pet food, cleaning supplies, and money to the fundraiser. Friday, the NJHS members delivered more than 300 items and $150 to PAWS.

Info and photo submitted by Alicia Palmer.

May 23, 2016 - 10:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Chorale, batavia, music, entertainment, arts, news.

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Press release:

As we watch our favorite films, it is often the music that brings to life what we see on the screen. A soundtrack can tug at your heartstrings, incite a fit of giggles, bring tears to your eyes, or put you on the edge of your seat. Ric Jones, musical director of the Genesee Chorale, has created a performance that takes those moments off the screen and brings them to a live audience.

The Genesee Chorale invites the community to "Meet Me at the Movies"! This performance will feature a multimedia presentation of movie clips followed by a live performance of featured songs by individual singers, small ensembles, and the entire 60-member Genesee Chorale.

Song selections will come from some of your favorite movies, including "Grease," "The Bodyguard," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," and many more. This performance will also feature the Genesee Children’s Chorus, directed by founder Heather Lovelace. The Children’s Chorus will be performing songs from "The Sound of Music" and Disney Pixar’s "Brave."

“The last time the Chorale performed 'Meet Me at the Movies!' the event sold out,” Jones said. “The community’s response was overwhelming and we have so much great music to choose from in films, we couldn’t resist doing a second performance!”

This exciting event will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 5, at Northgate Free Methodist Church, North Campus. It is located at 8160 Bank Street Road in Batavia.

Refreshments will be available for purchase by concertgoers at the concession stand. Presale tickets cost $8 and can be purchased from any Chorale member or online at www.geneseechorale.com. Tickets will also be available at the door for $10.

May 23, 2016 - 10:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in IAFF Local 896, batavia, MDA, City Fire, news.

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Members of the Batavia City Firefighters from IAFF Local 896 will fan out across the streets with boots in hand for this year’s drive on Friday, June 3rd.

Batavia’s Fill the Boot drive is organized by firefighter Chris Morasco. 

“In 2015, our members with the generous help of the community were able to raise $7,523 for the MDA! We are going to try our best to top the $10,000 mark for this great cause," Morasco said.

The event is from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Main Street and Court Street and at Ellicott Street and Court Street.

Pictured with city firefighters are Patti Arroyo and her daughter Zoey.

They are a local family that has been touched by the MDA directly. They met with firefighters to explain how the MDA has helped them. 

"It was a great opportunity to put a face to the cause and see that our efforts are truly making a difference and changing lives," Morasco said.

May 22, 2016 - 1:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, professional wrestling, batavia, business.

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James "Jim" Fullington, better known by his professional wrestling ring name, "The Sandman," hams it up with Bill Hume, owner of Foxprowl on Ellicott Street, Batavia, during a visit to the store, where he met with fans yesterday.

May 22, 2016 - 1:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Habitat for Humanity, batavia, news.

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It was a long journey for James and Jessica Maskell and their two young children, Bailey and Sophie, to finally get to the day where they could move into their new home on Pearl Street.

The journey started long before the Maskells even knew they would get a home through Habitat for Humanity, when City Manager Jason Molino guided Habitat's Jessica Maguire-Tomidy and P.J. Riner through the house and Riner argued against Habitat taking on the project. 

The house was such a mess, but according to Riner's account, Molino pressed the issue and Maguire-Tomidy agreed they should give it a try.

"The city is instrumental in its vision in developing these homes and these neighborhoods," Riner said. "Jason has brought that vision to fruition here in this home. He walked us through and I said, 'no.' I think it was the first time I ever said no to a house. This house looked terrible, but after we got started on this house, we found there was much here to be saved."

He said the house has a great floor plan, had a solid structure and turned out to be worth saving.

"I actually like doing these rehabs more than the new builds," he said. "These houses have more character and more space."

The long journey included hundreds of hours of volunteer labor from people throughout the community and students from RIT and thousands of dollars in donated material from area businesses.

"We after week, they show up when it's raining, it's snowing, it's cold, it's hot and they do the hard and very important work of building the actual house," Maguire-Tomidy said.

James Maskell said he and his wife were so grateful to all the volunteers and the donors that made their new home possible.  

"We really didn't expect this to happen," Maskell said. "When we first signed up, we thought, why not give it a chance, and now, here we are."

Like all new Habitat homeowners, James and Jessica also pitched in on the rehab effort as their down payment on their mortgage.

"When we hand over a project like this that's complete, we feel like we've made a difference not only the in lives of the family but in the community we live in, Maguire-Tomidy said.

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May 22, 2016 - 11:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Somebody vandalized and stole items from a growing community memorial at 8157 State Street Road, Batavia, the site of Friday's fire that claimed the lives of 2-year-old twins Michael J. Gard and Micah G. Gard.

The Sheriff's Office is investigating the crime and are asking for the public's assistance in identifying the perpetrator.

Stolen were a decorative fire extinguisher, a teddy bear and a white cross, approximately two feet high.

The cross and teddy bear were placed there Saturday by Richard Frazier, who said the cross had been a temporary marker on his grandmother's grave and the teddy bear had belonged to his grandmother.

Other memorial items were located strewn along the shoulder of State Street Road, indicating the person or persons responsible for the theft departed on foot south, toward the City of Batavia.

There was a memorial service at the site last night and the theft was discovered this morning.

Anyone with information should contact the Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: The Sheriff's Office released the following statement:

The family reports that the cross and teddy bear have been returned to the memorial. They were taken by another family member to add some additional decoration and were not, in fact, stolen. The affected family is satisfied with these circumstances and consider the matter resolved, and is grateful for the assistance of the public in this matter.

Previously:

May 22, 2016 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, thruway, news.

A brush fire reported along the Thruway in the area of mile marker 390, on the eastbound side.

Dispatchers say they've received numerous calls with size estimates ranging from two feet by two feet up to 20 feet wide.

East Pembroke fire is responding.

UPDATE 10:17 a.m.: A retired trooper who lives in the area has told dispatchers that the only thing he is seeing is a large tractor kicking up dust.

UPDATE 10:20 a.m.: A chief on scene says there was a small fire, but it's out. Somebody put it out with a fire extinguisher.

May 21, 2016 - 11:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports.

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Notre Dame beat Honeoye 3-2 yesterday at Dwyer Stadium to advance to the semifinals of the Class D1 Section V playoff.

The Fighting Irish will play Lyndonville on Tuesday at GCC at 4:30 p.m.

Also, Friday, Oakfield beat Keshegua, 6-2, and will play Geneseo at 7 p.m., Tuesday, at Dwyer Stadium in a Class C2 playoff.

Alexander beat Williamson 7-5 will play Avon at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, at Dwyer in the Class C1 semifinal.

Batavia beat Geneva, 3-2.

Le Roy lost to Holley, 4-3 and Pembroke lost to Avon, 11-5.

In girls softball, Batavia plays Aquinas at 5 p.m., Tuesday, in Brockport. Le Roy plays Wayland-Cohocton at 4 p.m., Monday, in Canandaigua. Oakfield-Alabama plays Geneseo at 5 p.m., Monday, at GCC. 

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