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January 19, 2018 - 4:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in law enforcement, news.

Genesee County is receiving a $25,580 grant from the state for local law enforcement agencies to upgrade their video interrogation equipment.

This is the third time in the past decade the state has awarded such a grant to the County.

The money is awarded to the District Attorney's Office and will be distributed to the Sheriff's Office, Batavia PD, Le Roy PD, and Corfu PD.

The money will allow those agencies to replace worn out or outdated equipment.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said there is a protocol for when agencies record interrogations. The equipment is used in the case of serious felony offenses.

Genesee County received the largest grant in what the Governor's Office considers the Finger Lakes Region. Rochester PD received $24,283; Albion PD, $6,854; and Wyoming County, $5,282.

The Governor's Office announced a total of $650,000 in grants to help 28 local law enforcement agencies in 23 counties across the state.

January 19, 2018 - 3:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, Le Roy.

Le Roy beat Pavilion Wednesday night 72-31 in boys basketball.

Reece Tresco scored 12 points, hauled in nine rebounds and had one assist. Tyler Rider scored 10 points and was five for five from the field. Tim McMullen scored nine points, hitting three three-pointers.

Cody Penders had seven points for Pavilion.

January 19, 2018 - 3:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, basketball, sports, Shoot for a Cure.

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Press release:

During the last six seasons, the Pembroke High School Girls’ Basketball Team has focused on winning — not just league games, but the battle against breast cancer. It’s a cause that is personal to the team and their school district because of the number of faculty and community members who have been affected by the disease. Yet according to Senior Captain, Olivia Kohorst, this year’s fundraiser (7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 25th vs. Oakfield-Alabama) is particularly important as it marks the final season she will be able to play in the event.

“I was only in sixth grade when the first varsity team came up with the idea to host the first Shooting For A Cure! game in support of Toni Funke’s battle with breast cancer,” said senior Olivia Kohorst.

The team spent that inaugural season seeking support from the community and local businesses in hopes of funding research efforts at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in honor of Mrs. Funke.

“I remember being on the PYA team at the time with my friends. A lot of us went to that first game and I remember wearing pink and that the gym was really crowded! As a young kid, to see our community come together the way they did in support of Mrs. Funke made a lasting impression on me. I knew then that I wanted to be a part of that, part of something bigger than just me playing basketball with my friends,” Kohorst said.

“This fundraiser means more to our team every season. It gives us an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others and it gives us greater purpose not only as student-athletes but as people. Cancer affects us all, my family included, and to be a part of a team that supports those fighting means more to me than I can express in words.

“Being a part of Shooting For A Cure! has affected me in such a positive way. Playing in this game was the highlight of each season I played basketball at Pembroke and I look forward to still being involved after I graduate.”

While the Pembroke Girls Basketball team started the Shooting For A Cure! tradition, there is one standout supporter of the event that truly makes the game special and successful year after year. Wesley Cliff, a senior at Pembroke Jr./Sr. High School, has gone above and beyond in seeking donations to support the team’s fundraising efforts this season.

Moreover, Wesley has been crucial in the implementation of this fundraiser throughout his high school career, helping in any way he can.

“His passion to help the community and all those impacted by cancer is inspiring to our entire team,” Kohorst said. “Wesley’s involvement with the Shooting For A Cure! mission started off as a behind-the-scenes role when he entered high school; however this being his senior year, he wanted to become more involved.

"He saw this as a great opportunity to give back to our school and our community. We truly value all he has done over the years to share our mission.

Wesley has recently secured donation amounts of $1,762.80 from Summit Lubricants of Batavia as well as $500 from DuPont of Buffalo, in addition to several other monetary and product donations from local area businesses.

In addition to these generous donations, the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA) will again be donating an astounding $2,500 to RPCI in support of Shooting For A Cure! this season.

“Roswell Park has done incredible things for our membership," said Western Region NYSCOPBA Vice President Joe Miano. "It has helped so many of our members and their families battling cancer. We wanted to give back to Roswell Park as well as support the incredible efforts of the Pembroke Girls Basketball team.”

As a former Pembroke graduate and current resident, Miano is a firm believer in this cause.

“This group of young women, with the support of the Pembroke School District, continues to do great things for the community beyond the basketball court. It’s truly inspiring and we wanted to take this opportunity to reinforce their efforts,” Miano said.

Miano, accompanied by a few additional members, will take part in a check presentation with the team to be held prior to the varsity game.

At this time direct online donations are now being accepted in support of Shooting For A Cure! through this site: http://give.roswellpark.org/goto/ShootingForACurePGBB.

The team hopes Shooting For A Cure! will continue its tradition of topping the previous years’ fundraising total.

“All of the money raised that evening goes directly to support cancer research at Roswell Park,” sophomore Mackenna Johnson said. “Playing basketball for Pembroke is not just about trying to win games, it’s about giving back to the community and showing our support for those in need.

“My oldest sister Breanna and her teammates started Shooting For A Cure! back in 2011 in support of Mrs. Funke, and what they started has become one of the largest Team Roswell fundraising events. Last season, we raised over $20,000 in one night, it was amazing! Our community is so supportive and we truly can’t thank all of the volunteers and donors enough for all that they do to support this game."

Roswell Park has officially sanctioned Shooting For A Cure! as a Team Cure fundraiser and as a valuable example of the way that young people can make a difference.

“We continue to be impressed by the Pembroke Girls’ Basketball Team each and every season," said Alex Hoaglund, Team Roswell special events coordinator. "They push themselves, not only on the court, but off the court as well, going above and beyond for the benefit of others.

"It’s inspirational to have a group of teens who are so passionate about raising funds for cancer research at Roswell Park. These girls continue to demonstrate an incredible amount of compassion. This team is special and their community is remarkable.

"Although the players may change each season, Shooting For A Cure! has remained constant, with the girls leading the charge for six consecutive seasons. To think that they’ve has raised over $60,000 in six seasons with this game is a testament to the benevolence of the entire Pembroke community as well as this special team.”

January 19, 2018 - 3:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

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  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.

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January 19, 2018 - 12:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, byron-bergen, elba.

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Elba improved to 10-1 on the season with a decisive victory over Byron-Bergen in girls basketball by a score of 48-18.

The loss drops the Lady Bees to 7-4 and ends a seven-game winning streak.

Emily Reynolds scored 14 points for Elba. Leah Bezon added 13 and Brynn Walczak scored eight, with two three-pointers.

For B-B, Dana VanValkenburg scored six points.

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January 19, 2018 - 11:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in YWCA, batavia, news.

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Dealing with conflict in the era of hyper-disagreement was the subject of a symposium Thursday night at the YWCA.

Professor Barry Gan, director of the Center for Nonviolence at St. Bonaventure University, opened the discussion talking about some of his own experiences in working out conflicts in his life and then handed out a brochure listing steps to dealing with conflict.

The steps start with "Calm Down," which includes distracting yourself (count backward from 10, for example), relaxing, talking to yourself, and if all else fails, leave.

If you don't leave, try to reach an agreement to work it out. As the other person, "If I listen to you, will you listen to me?"

Gan promotes active listening, which includes paraphrasing the other person's concerns and asking if you are stating their position correctly.

If the disagreement is over something that needs a solution, agree to terms for a concrete solution.

Also participating in the panel were Rev. Roula Alkhouri, left in the photo, above, City Council President Eugene Jankowski and representing a gun-rights position in a later discussion, and Gary Pudup (not pictured), Upstate coordinator of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.

Event coordinators were Alkhouri, Rev. James Morasco, Morganville United Church of Christ, and Joanne Beck, Batavia YWCA.

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January 19, 2018 - 11:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sean Madden, byron-bergen, art, news, GO ART!.

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An opening reception was held at GO Art! last night for a show by artist Sean Madden.

Madden's work is recognized throughout Western New York. He is a teacher at Byron-Bergen High School.

Madden's early influences were Ernst Fuchs and Salvador Dali. He as also influenced by the psychedelic-era work of Robert Crumb, Robert Williams, and S. Clay Wilson.

In the paintings on display, Madden mixes well-executed realism with surrealism and his wild imagination and love of color.

The show runs through March 2.

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January 19, 2018 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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  Quamane Santiago     Jaequele Tomlin

An ad posted to Craigslist of a car for sale in Batavia was really just a scam to rob potential buyers, police alleged, and two local men have been arrested and charged with conspiracy in the fourth degree.

In custody are Jaequele M. Tomlin, 23, of Central Avenue, Batavia, and Quamane J. Santiago, 19, of Main Road, Stafford. 

They were arrested on Sumner Street in Batavia following an investigation by Batavia PD and the Local Drug Task Force.

When they were taken into custody, both reportedly possessed replica firearms.

The alleged scam came to light after concerned citizens alerted police to the post and the suspicious behavior of the sellers.

Tomlin and Santiago were arraigned in City Court and jailed without bail.

Tomlin was also arrested on a warrant for criminal mischief and assault. 

Additional charges are pending for both suspects.

Police ask that anybody who responded to a suspicious vehicle for sale ad in the City of Batavia to contact Det. Sgt. Kevin Czora at (585) 345-6311.

"The public should be aware of these types of scams, and report any suspicious activity to their local authorities," Police said in a statement. "When making transactions of these types, it is encouraged that you meet in a very public location, including local police departments."

January 19, 2018 - 10:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) released the following statement after voting in favor of legislation to maintain current funding for federal operations and prevent a government shutdown through Feb. 16. In addition to continuing government funding, the bill includes language to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years.

"Today, House Republicans voted to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years, yet again providing certainty to millions of low-income children. The bill also includes short-term funding to keep the government open and make sure our nation’s military has the resources they need to keep us safe.

"I am confident that we will come to a solution on a long-term funding bill while taking care of the DACA situation, but as negotiations continue I hope that Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats stop playing politics with the health of our nation’s children and vote to keep the government up and running."

January 18, 2018 - 5:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in nursing home, genesee county, news, notify.

As the County wraps up expenses related to the sale of the Genesee County Nursing Home, officials expect to have about $17 million available for funds dedicated to infrastructure, including roads and bridges.

"That's what we said we would do with the money and that's what we're doing," said Marianne Clattenburg, chair of the Ways and Means Committee at yesterday's meeting.

It looks like the proceeds of the $15.2 million sale of the nursing home to Premier Healthcare Management LLC is $10,033,000.

The county is also collecting $7 million in unpaid intergovernmental transfers (federal reimbursement for medical expenses for nursing home patients). This money will also be set aside for infrastructure.

There is still some wrangling with insurance companies, said Treasure Scott German, over money the companies think they are owned and money the county think it is due. There may be additional minor expenses to close out, but those payments will be handled through the general fund.

In other words, the budget line for the nursing home in the county's expense ledger is now officially closed.

January 18, 2018 - 5:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, elba, immigration.

Of 46 suspected or convicted criminal foreign nationals arrested this past week by Immigration Customs Enforcement in Western New York, seven were arrested in Genesee County, according to an ICE spokesman.

No details were released on the seven arrested locally. They were apprehended in Batavia, Elba, Byron and Bergen.

ICE provided examples of some of the people arrested without providing names or details on the locations of the arrests, such as: 

  • A 39-year-old Mexican male with convictions for two counts of illegal entry, driving while intoxicated, and a protection order for domestic violence. He will remain in ICE custody pending the outcome of his removal proceedings.
  • A 23-year-old Guyanese male with convictions for driving while ability impaired and harassment, following his arrest for menacing with a weapon. He will remain in ICE custody pending the outcome of his removal proceedings.
  • A 53-year-old United Kingdom male with convictions for two separate convictions for felony grand larceny. He will remain in ICE custody pending the outcome of his removal proceedings.
  • A 49-year-old Vietnamese male with convictions for theft, burglary, abuse, and menacing, following his arrest for menacing with a weapon, child endangerment, and criminal possession of a weapon. He will remain in ICE custody pending the outcome of his removal proceedings.

The arrests were made over a five-day period as part of an operation targeting at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants, and other immigration violators.

ICE said half of those picked up had prior criminal convictions. Of the 23 who were counted among the non-criminal violators, four were fugitives and six illegally re-entered the country after being deported.

Criminal convictions of those arrested included: felony grand larceny, firearms possession, drug possession, child endangerment, abuse, driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, and forgery.

“Operations like this one demonstrate ICE’s continued focus on the arrest of dangerous criminal aliens as well as those who enter the United States illegally,” said Thomas Feeley, field office director for ERO Buffalo in a statement. “Illegal aliens will not find safe harbor in New York.”

In the press release, ICE states:

Some of the individuals arrested during this week’s enforcement action will be presented for federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Those not being criminally prosecuted will be processed for removal from the country. Individuals who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country.

ICE stated that during the operation, which ended Jan. 12, officers may have encountered additional suspects who may be in the United States without proper documentation. Those persons were evaluated on a case by case basis and, where appropriate, arrested by ICE.

January 18, 2018 - 5:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, cold war veterans, news, notify.

Of the 25 taxing jurisdictions in Genesee County -- not counting the ones in other counties with some local overlap -- only nine have adopted a property tax exemption for Cold War veterans.

The tax exemption is one of the few available to veterans who served during the Cold War but not during Vietnam or some other armed conflict.

Veterans Services Officer William Joyce said he's working to get more jurisdictions to get it passed but it isn't easy.

One school district -- he didn't say which one -- flat turned him down.

"A vet is a vet," Joyce said. "It’s a benefit they earn. It’s not a privilege. It’s time served."

Veterans who served in armed conflicts or used military benefits to purchase their homes are eligible for benefits under other programs.

The initial Cold War exemption was capped at 10 years but the State Legislature last year approved an indefinite extension that each local jurisdiction must pass even if they have an exemption already in place.

Joyce is working on that now.

The county is adopting the extension.

Jurisdictions that provide the exemption, besides the county, are the Town of Alexander, The Village of Alexander, the Town of Bergen, the Town of Elba, the Town of Oakfield, the Town of Pavilion, and the Town of Stafford.

Batavia City Schools adopted the exemption just last week. City Schools is the only district in the county to adopt the exemption.

Some of the jurisdictions that chose not to adopt the exemption include the City of Batavia, the Village of Bergen, the Village of Elba, the Village of Le Roy, the Village of Oakfield, and the Village of Corfu.

Alexander, town and village, are the only jurisdictions that have adopted the higher tier exemption, which is a formula that calculates an exemption of 15 percent off of assessed value or a maximum exemption of $12,000.

All other jurisdictions with the exemption adopted the first tier, which is 10 percent off of the assessed value or a maximum of $6,000.

January 18, 2018 - 4:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in east pembroke, batavia, news, land use.

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The developer of a proposed Dollar General Store in East Pembroke was willing to do a little trading with the Town of Batavia Planning Board on Tuesday night.

If the town will let him reduce the number of parking spaces from 47 to something closer to 30 he would ensure there is a sidewalk installed along Route 5 in front of the store.

"I would be more than willing to remove the parking spaces, whether it gets down to 30 or some number down there that makes sense based on the layout," said Todd Hamula of the Zaremba Group. "Then I'd stripe across here to a sidewalk that I would build either on the property or just in the DOT right of way."

Quickly, plans were made then for Hamula to rework is the site plan and get it before the County Planning Board again -- which last week recommended a sidewalk be included in the project -- and then in front of the town's Zoning Board of Appeals before coming back to the town planning board again in a month.

The ZBA would need to approve a variance for the reduced parking because the current zoning code requires a building of the type and size of the proposed Dollar General to have at least 47 parking spaces.

Hamula said that anybody who has frequently driven past a Dollar General knows there's usually only an average of five or six cars parked out front most of the time.

The Town of Batavia is in the process of reworking its comprehensive plan and adopting a planning philosophy known as form-based code. 

One of the goals of the process is to make East Pembroke a more walkable community, which means sidewalks are needed.

Paul McCullough, board member and East Pembroke resident, spoke up in favor of making the hamlet more walkable and argued in favor of a sidewalk installed with the construction of the Dollar General.

He expressed concern that the presence of the store would cause people to walk on Route 5, which is busy with fast moving traffic and isn't well lit at night.

"Let's at least get that section in and then figure out how to get that extra 100 feet in," McCullough said.

At that point, Hamula said he was amenable to working something out.

The store will be 7,100 square feet and will become the seventh Dollar General in Genesee County.

McCullough said in his informal survey of East Pembroke residents, people are excited about the potential of the store opening.

January 18, 2018 - 3:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Alabama, news, notify.

A 17-year-old Basom resident has lost his sentencing cap on his conviction of making a terrorist threat and reckless endangerment after allegedly testing positive for marijuana while out of jail awaiting sentencing.

Judge Charles Zambito told Isaac Abrams that he violated the terms of his release, which could mean his sentence on the two counts could run consecutively instead of concurrently. He faces up to seven years in prison on each count.

Abrams nor his attorney disputed the positive test.

Attorney Vanessa Guite characterized the marijuana use as a one-off incident.

"Someone handed him what they said was a 'black and mild' and he took a puff," she said. "He didn't understand what it was but he realizes he needs to change his behavior." 

The toxicology came back "mild positive," which indicates Guite said, that Abrams is not a habitual user.

First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini confirmed with Zambito that Abrams had lost his sentencing cap.

"I don't know if you can get a mild positive test from one puff on a blunt but he has violated the terms of his release under supervision," Cianfrini said.

A month ago, Abrams admitted to threatening to shoot troopers and deputies during an incident on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation on Sept. 30, and of trying to seriously hurt or kill a person with a motor vehicle in the City of Batavia on Aug. 28.

He pled guilty to making a terrorist threat, a Class D felony, and reckless endangerment in the first degree, also a Class D felony.

While out of jail awaiting his sentencing, Abrams is on a curfew and can't leave his house between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Zambito didn't order him back to jail today but warned him not to violate the terms of his release again.

"If there is any violation, there will be no notice to appear," Zambito said. "I will issue an order for your arrest and hold you until your sentencing."

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 9.

January 18, 2018 - 1:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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      Jarvis Seymore

Jarvis D. "D" Seymore, 34, of Carthage Street, Rochester, is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and unlawful possession of marijuana.

On Wednesday evening, Seymore's vehicle was located in the parking lot of a business on Park Road, Batavia, by the Local Drug Task Force and Seymore was served with a search warrant that had already been obtained by agents of the task force.

During the search, agents allegedly found a quantity of cocaine, fentanyl, marijuana and cash.

Following arraignment in Town of Batavia Court, Seymore was jailed without bail.

The arrest was the result of an investigation into the sale of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl in and around Batavia.

Assisting in the investigation, State Police, uniformed deputies and the District Attorney's Office.

January 18, 2018 - 1:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in County Jail, news.

County officials determined more than a year ago that the Medina sandstone facade of the County Jail, the portion that was once the Sheriff's Office and currently is home to Genesee Justice, needs some restoration work.

More than $100,000 was set aside for the work but when the contract went out to bid, there was only one response it was for much more than $100,000.  

Recently, it went out to bid again and the best bid came from a company in Yonkers for $399,923.

At the suggestion of Legislator Bob Bausch yesterday, the Ways and Means Committee voted to table the resolution to award the contract.

Bausch suggested the county wait and see if the county can win a grant to help pay for the restoration of the facade.

It turns out, the building received a historical designation in 1980 that might help in the grant process.

County Manager Jay Gsell said the county won't be able to apply for the potential grant until summer and perhaps it will be awarded by late summer.

There is $131,730 in the budget for the work facade work.

One reason the cost has gone up is the contractors who do such work are much busier these days, which drives up their fees.

The facade, it also turns out, is in much worse shape than originally assessed. There are bricks falling off the building; the front steps are bowing; there is water that is getting behind parts of the facade.

At the Public Service meeting Tuesday, Bausch said he was shocked at how bad the building was when he toured it last year and acknowledged it will take a bit of money to preserve it.

"The other option, I suppose, is I'd like to just tear the whole thing down," Bausch said.

Legislator Gregg Torrey interjected, "It's hard to put money into that building."

Then Bausch added, "I’m sure we would have a few people with the historical societies who would not be happy with that."

January 18, 2018 - 12:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Weights and Measures, genesee county, news.

Changes are coming to Weights and Measures in Genesee County.

Starting Monday, Weights and Measures will no longer be a stand-alone department of county government. There will be a single employee reporting to an environmental health supervisor in the Health Department.

Also, once approved by the Legislature, Genesee County will start charging fees for Weights and Measures services.

Paul Pettit, director of the Health Department, said Genesee County appears to be the only county that hasn't been charging for the service.

The new fee schedule will bring in about $25,000 annually.

"The fees do not fully compensate the full cost of the program," Pettit said. "It's a revenue offset."

Article 16 of the Ag and Markets Law requires counties to have a director of Weights and Measures. The new inspector will have the title of director but not the duties of a department head. The Health Department will handle budgeting and administrative work for the inspector.

The county is responsible for inspecting weight and measurement devices throughout the county, such as gas pumps and meat counter scales and similar devices where fees are charged based on weight or volume, except on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation, where there are no government inspection services.

January 18, 2018 - 12:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Darien.

A semi-truck has gone off the road and hit a fire hydrant in front of Darien Lake Theme Park on Route 77, Darien.

The truck jackknifed.

The driver does not appear to be injured. A deputy is on scene.

Darien fire and ambulance requested to the scene.

UPDATE 12:55 p.m.: There is no water leak from the hydrant.

January 18, 2018 - 12:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Joan Elizabeth Seamans, news.

seamansny27.jpgPress release:

Joan Elizabeth Seamans is a strong, compassionate woman who is ready to bring back decency and be a voice for the people of NY Congressional District 27.

“I fiercely oppose the cycle of special interests funding campaigns and legislation that benefits the wealthy instead of the people in NY District 27. My opponent, Chris Collins, has confirmed this practice. My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again,’ 

“It is time for 'trickle up' economics and legislation that gives the people in the district opportunity and financial security instead of the wealthy and corporations. My desire is to serve all constituents, Republican and Democrat alike. I am committed to listening, being engaged and take their concerns to Washington as their Congresswoman.”

A longtime business owner, she has operated, Short Street Photographers in Western New York for more than 30 years. She is: a past president of the Williamsville Business and Professional Association; a member the Public Policy Committee for the Amherst Chamber of Commerce; and a former Trustee in the Village of Williamsville. In addition, she is a member of NAWBO National Association of Women Business Owners.

Her political activism is far-reaching. She is a founder of a 1,300-member online group focusing on electoral issues, encouraging civic engagement and education of members about political and legislative issues. 

As a committed woman to community needs, Joan Elizabeth has worked for four years working with families whose children have addiction and behavioral issues. In addition, realizing the lack of services for our poor elderly, Joan Elizabeth spent six years connecting talented youth with residents of nursing homes all over Western New York.

Joan Elizabeth is a wife, mother, business owner, community leader and political activist. She and her husband Gary Nizinski have been married for 32 years. She has two children.

She comes from a humble background. One of eight children, she was taught resourcefulness and self-sufficiency early on. Her father, a World War II Navy vet is a lifelong Republican and her mother was a Democrat. She regularly acknowledges she has “a little bit of both of them in me.” Joan Elizabeth recently was granted guardianship of her father and has been a long time champion for the elderly.

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