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May 18, 2011 - 12:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul, Ian Murphy.

All four candidates for the NY-26 special election race on May 24 were scheduled to appear at the YWCA on North Street this morning at the invitation of the Western New York Independent Living Project.

Only Jane Corwin and Kathy Hochul actually made it. Curtis Ellis, spokesman for Jack Davis, claimed that Davis couldn't make it because of an emergency at his plant. Ian Murphy, well, by the time I left, nobody knew what happened to him.

Each of the candidates were scheduled to speak in 15 minute increments with each of hopeful arriving and leaving separately. Corwin was up first and exited before Hochul entered the room.

When Corwin reached the parking lot, another reporter asked Corwin a question and when Corwin kept walking without saying a word, he said, "Can you stop?" Corwin said, "I'm on my way to another meeting, Dave, thank you."

I had one question I wanted to ask Jane Corwin, "where is the second tape?"

The second tape is one shot by a GOP operative in Greece last Wednesday when Corwin's Assembly chief of staff, Michael Mallia, confronted Jack Davis and produced a 15-second YouTube video in which Davis is caught on tape saying, "hey, you want punched out," then takes a swipe at the video camera and Mallia reacts by wailing like a banshee.

We know there was a second camera operator because she was caught on tape by WGRZ-TV.

Nobody from the Erie County GOP or Jane Corwin's camp has denied that there was a second camera operator and that she was there on behalf of the GOP.

When other reporters pressed Nick Langworthy, ECGOP chairman, on the second tape -- under the assumption that it would tell the full story of what really happened during the incident -- Langworthy said there was no tape because the battery was dead.

However, the WGRZ footage shows the GOP operative is operating a camera, something no reasonable person would do if the battery was dead (as Judge Judy says, "If it doesn't make sense, it's not true").

Since there must obviously be a second tape, the logical question is, where is it and why hasn't it been released? The most logical person to ask about it is the CEO of the Corwin Campaign, which is Jane Corwin.

Certainly, Corwin, with all of her busienss experience, understands that the buck stops with the CEO. She's the one who needs to explain the conduct of the people she's chosen to surround herself with, which is something she hasn't done yet.

The result of my attempt to ask the question of Corwin can be seen in the video posted above.

Meanwhile, after Kathy Hochul (picture below) finished speaking, rather than rushing to get into her car, she stayed for another good 20 minutes and answered every question every reporter could think to ask.

As soon as I can, I'll post a story on what Corwin and Hochul said during the forum.


May 17, 2011 - 10:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens.

Nearly 1,000 voters showed up at the polls today with 53.14 percent of them rejecting a proposed $3.9 million Batavia City Schools budget.

The tally: Yes, 448; no, 508.

In the board of education election:

(Incumbent ) Wayne Guenther - 594
Amy Barone - 764
Alfred McGinnis - 427

May 17, 2011 - 6:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.

A Le Roy resident caught dealing methamphetamine from his home during a multi-agency law enforcement investigation will spend 210 months in a federal penitentiary.

Donald G. Vanelli II, 48, was sentenced to 17-and-a-half years in a Rochester federal court today.

Vanelli had previous entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Documents released by federal authorities at the time of his arrest indicated that Vanelli, president of the Road Agents Motorcycle Club, was head of a meth ring involved in acquiring meth in Monroe County and distributing in Genesee County.

The operation, headed by the FBI with assistance for the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force, included wiretaps and a video camera positioned on a pole near his house and well as the use of an informant.

As a result of the investigation, authorities concluded that Vanelli obtained between five and 15 kilograms of methamphetamine from drug suppliers.

Arrested the same day -- July 13, 2010 -- as Vanelli were David H. Cohen, 49, of 918 Goodman St., Rochester, Donna L. Boon (aka Donna McAuley), 44, of 3658 Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road; Andrew W. Chapman, 40, of 5 Cedar St., Batavia; and Kerry A. Ball, 51, of 7202 Meadville Road, Basom.

The cases against the other defendants are still pending.

In late April, Boon's husband, James Henry McAuley Jr. (aka "Mitch"), 62, was accused by federal authorities of being a leader in the Rochester Hells Angels and charged with racketeering.

May 17, 2011 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul.

Press release:

ERIE COUNTY – Kathy Hochul, candidate for New York’s 26th Congressional District, today released a new television advertisement entitled “Look For Yourself.”

The 30-second ad speaks to the false attacks Jane Corwin has made about Kathy Hochul’s plan to preserve and protect Social Security and Medicare.

“In a desperate attempt to distract voters, Jane Corwin has created a false attack on Kathy Hochul that the Buffalo News has called an ‘attempt to deflect attention from her support’ of the Republican budget that would decimate Medicare, while giving massive tax breaks to multi-millionaires and billionaires,” said Fabien Levy, Director of Communications for Kathy Hochul for Congress.

“Independent sources have said ‘don’t believe’ Jane Corwin’s ad and called it ‘bogus.’

“The Buffalo News agrees, Kathy Hochul has the right approach to fixing and protecting Medicare for future beneficiaries and that ‘she understands health care for seniors to be an appropriate federal issue, while Corwin does not,’” Levy continued."

May 17, 2011 - 5:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C – Batavia) recently voiced his opposition to Assembly Bill 1157, which would place new mandates on firearms producers through the process of microstamping. The bill would require companies to add expensive new technology leaving imprinted marks on discharged rounds which could lead to the loss of jobs and increased costs to Western New York’s sportsmen.

“Placing onerous, costly mandates on New York’s business owners fails to increase public safety and only succeeds in giving these job-creators another reason to pack up and leave New York,” said Hawley. “Furthermore, as costs rise for arms producers, so will the prices of their products, passing the cost on down to our proud sportsmen exercising their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms in a safe manner. If we want to address gun safety, we should be aiming to remove illegal, unregistered guns from our community, rather than burdening the business owners and sportsmen that are properly utilizing this equipment.”

Hawley has consistently voted against prior legislation seeking to impose microstamping mandates against arms producers.

May 17, 2011 - 10:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, Vine Street.

A car has reportedly struck at pole in the area of 128 Vine St., Batavia.

If there are injuries, they are apparently minor.

No wires are reported down.

City fire and Mercy EMS asked to respond non-emergency. City police are on scene.

View Larger Map

May 17, 2011 - 10:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in roads, transportation, bridges.

Genesee County is facing a problem of aging roads and bridges and not enough money to fix them, according to Tim Hens, county highway superintendent.

Hens made a presentation Monday to the legislature's Public Service Committee and said the average rating of county-owned roadways is 5.32, and for the nine bridges with spans of 20 feet or greater, the average rating is 5.02.

A rating of five on a scale of 1-9 is considered "deficient."

Funding for roadways and bridges comes from three primary sources: federal grants, state grants and local taxes.

Typically, the state has provided $1.3 million per year, but it's not clear if those grants will continue at all or at the same level.

"If we don’t get that money from the state next year, we’re looking at either differing that amount of highway maintenance next year or coming up with funding ourselves," Hens told the committee.

There's also talk of cutting federal funds by as much as 30 percent, Hens said.

As for the bridges, many of them were built in the 1950s and 1960s are reaching the end of their expected life. Some of them are eligible for federal grants for repair and replacement, but those grants are spread out over several years.

And because of the formula used by the Fed to determine eligibility, some bridges aren't eligible for funding because they haven't uniformly fallen to a 5 rating.  

The bridge over the Tonawanda Creek at River Street is an example, Hens said. While parts of the bridge rate below a 5, other parts of the bridge rate well above 5. 

Hens said he's been trying to get a grant to replace the bridge for years. At some point, the county may just need to close it.

Bridges and culverts that are less than 20 feet in length are not eligible for federal grants, so the county must pick up the entire tab.

An example is a culvert bridge on Linden Road over the Little Tonawanda Creek. It's near the end of its life cycle but it would cost the county more than $3 million to replace it.

"Our choices are not replace the bridge and force residents in the hamlet to be separated forever and find alternative routes," Hens said, "or pay for it."

Other problem bridges are on Kilian Road in Pembroke and Griswold Road in Stafford.

With the Griswold Road bridge, school buses are no longer allowed to drive over it and snow plows won't go over it. It simply can no longer support that much weight. (The rusted beam picture above comes from the Griswold Road bridge.)

As for roadways, an asphalt road is expected to have a 50 35-year life span with resurfacing every eight to 10 years and preventative maintenance (crack sealing, for example) on a regular basis.

Currently, the county is behind schedule on preventative maintenance for more than 56 miles of roadway.

In all, 26 percent of the county's roadways are considered deficient.

Besides cuts in funding and many of these roads and bridges reaching the end of their useful life all at about the same time, the cost of materials, Hens said, are skyrocketing.

He recommended that the county develop a long-term needs analysis and then consider funding options, which may include bonds.

The committee was not asked to take any action on the report.

Photos provided by Tim Hens and were used in his report.

May 17, 2011 - 9:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, State Street, washington avenue.

A Batavia man is accused of entering the home of a friend on Washington Avenue and trying to steal booze, and when confronted, the man allegedly returned to the house with a shotgun.

Taken into custody early Sunday morning was Andrew J. Rock, 24, of 206 State St. Batavia.

Rock is charged with burglary, 2nd, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal criminal use of a firearm, 2nd, and menacing, 2nd.

According to Batavia police, Rock entered the home on Washington Avenue, took alcohol and then was confronted by the resident outside. The resident retrieved his property.

A short time later, a little before 1 a.m., Rock allegedly returned to the residence and knocked on the door and when the resident opened the door, Rock was standing on the porch holding a shotgun.

Rock fled the scene before police arrived and was arrested at his house soon afterward.

He was jailed without bail.

May 17, 2011 - 9:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education.

Voters will be asked to go to the polls today to cast ballots in all eight school districts for or against proposed budgets.

In Batavia, three candidates are also on the ballot to fill two board seats.

The Batavia budget calls for $39.6 million in spending and would increase school taxes by 5.75 percent.

Polls for Batavia City Schools are open from noon until 9 p.m. at Batavia Middle School, Jackson Elementary and Robert Morris School.

In Elba, Oakfield-Alabama, Pavilion and Pembroke, polls are also open from noon until 9 p.m.

In Alexander, polls are open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Byron-Bergen, polls are currently open and will stay open until 9 p.m., same as Le Roy.

May 17, 2011 - 8:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, Jane Corwin.

Just out today, a new television commercial from the House Majority PAC, attacks Corwin for supporting the Ryan budget.

The PAC is the Democrat's version of the GOP/Karl Rove PAC called American Crossroads, which is backing Corwin's campaign. Both PACs have the ability to raise and spend an unlimited amount of money.

May 17, 2011 - 8:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, NY-26.

Special elections are normally sleepy little affairs where turn out is low and hardly anybody outside of the district really cares who wins.

The NY-26 special election is getting national attention.

Let's show the country that Genesee County cares about who is elected to represent us.

Regardless of who you support, be sure to vote next Tuesday.

If Genesee County can achieve the highest voter turnout as a percentage of registered voters of any county in the 26th district, The Batavian will donate $100 to the Genesee Justice Foundation.

If others would like to sign on to the voter challenge pledge to benefit Genesee Justice, or the charity of your choice, send me an e-mail (address in the footer of this Web page) or leave a comment.

Remember, it's not important who you vote for. It's important that you vote. If you want to abstain, at least turn in a blank ballot.

May 16, 2011 - 10:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in David Bellavia, Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin.

David Bellavia’s dislike for Jane Corwin didn’t just begin when he was passed over as a candidate in the NY-26 race. It goes back to Corwin's earliest days in politics.

And while Bellavia has taken a genuine shine to Tea Party-line candidate Jack Davis, he regrets that his support for Davis is being seen by some as just sour grapes.

Mainly, he supports Davis, he said, because he is an "honorable man" who knows what he stands for while he doesn’t know whether Corwin is a real conservative or just an opportunist.

“She only believes what people within a 5-foot radius of her believe,” Bellavia said. “If she’s in a red district, then she’s red. If she were in New Jersey, she would be a Patacki Republican. I can’t honestly tell you what she believes because all she talks about is negative things. She tells us what’s wrong with Kathy Hochul, but she expresses no beliefs, she has no plans. She’s an empty-suit candidate.”

Bellavia, a Batavia resident and a decorated Iraq War veteran, stopped by The Batavian’s office Monday morning to discuss the race and why he’s come out in favor of Davis and against Corwin.

In 2006, Bellavia backed Republican Tom Reynolds against Jack Davis, and in 2008, even though some in the GOP had encouraged him to run, he backed Chris Lee's campaign. When Shirtless Chris Lee vacated the office, Bellavia let the GOP leaders know he wanted to be the candidate, but Erie County Republicans, particularly the Chris Collins' wing, had another idea.

In a weighted-vote system that disenfranchised GLOW Republicans, the Erie County GOP handpicked Assemblywoman Jane Corwin.

Even so, Bellavia said, after he couldn't get on the ballot as an independent candidate, he was prepared to sit out of the race. But then, the smear campaign started. There were e-mails to his wife's coworkers and bosses suggesting nefarious conduct by Bellavia.

Until this election Bellavia has been a loyal Republican. But he believes the whisper campaign was orchestrated by Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy. He said Langworthy denied it. Langworthy couldn't be reached for comment.

Bellavia believes the Langworthy/Collins camp is taking the Western New York GOP in the wrong direction, that Corwin isn't suited for the office she seeks. While he doesn't agree with Davis on all issues, at least Davis will give you an honest opinion, according to Bellavia.

The questions Bellavia has about Jane Corwin's character began, he said, when they met at a GOP function where she told the group they were talking with that she would never use her own money for an election campaign.

At the time, Bellavia said, he didn't know who Corwin was or the Lewis family/Talking Phone Book connection.

Later, when Corwin had an opportunity to run for Assembly, according to Bellavia, Corwin promised to drop $500,000 of her own money into the race. The self-funding vow immediately caused the other GOP hopefuls to drop out of the race.

He found Corwin's seeming double-speak distasteful, he said.

“Conservatives should stand for truth and honesty,” Bellavia said. “We don’t say just anything to get elected.”

When the nomination process came around for the NY-26 special election to fill the seat vacated by Lee, Bellavia said he witnessed Corwin use the same tactic. Corwin, he said, promised to spend $5 million of her own money on the race.

So far, she’s only put about $2 million into the race and outside money is flooding into the district to shore up her campaign.

“That’s money conservative Republicans in other districts are going to need to protect their seats,” Bellavia said. “Instead of spending her own money like she promised, she’s taking money that the Republican Party will need.”

Bellavia believes the NY-26 should be represented by somebody from one of the rural counties, which are the reddest part of the district. He thinks Erie County Republicans, led by Colins and Langworthy, hold too much sway – and aren’t conservative enough – to get the NY-26 the kind of representation it deserves.

They also represent too narrow a base of Amherst, Range Rover Republicans to truly reflect the more diverse parts of the district, or the working class, rural counties.

“Where are the black conservative Republicans?” Bellavia said. “Where are the conservative Hispanic Republicans? You know they’re out there. Where are they? Where are the farmers? Why can’t we be represented by a farmer?”

The thirtysomethings gaining power in the ECGOP, Bellavia said, are unprincipled, lack values and aren't true conservatives.

He wants to see them stopped before they become entrenched, which will only happen, he said, with a Corwin defeat.

“If she loses, I can guarantee you, the next candidate will be a conservative,” Bellavia said.

“If I have to be the one to fall on a grenade to change the direction of the Republican Party in Western New York, then I’ll be happy stay out of politics, to just raise my kids and stay right here in Batavia,” he added.

Which raises the question, is Jack Davis a conservative?

“He’s right on a lot of issues,” Bellavia said.

Bellavia then listed off trade (he characterizes Jack’s position as “fair trade”), he's right on the Second Amendment (he noted Davis has a substantial gun collection and loves guns), and Davis has said he will caucus with the Republicans and the Tea Party. He said Corwin hasn’t said that she will caucus with the Tea Party.

In fact, Bellavia said that typically, the Tea Party movement is supposed to stand against mainstream, GOP insiders, and today, the Tea Party Express was in Buffalo endorsing Jane Corwin, the epitome of a GOP insider.

As for abortion – Bellavia is staunchly pro-life -- he disputed claims that Davis has said he supports partial-birth abortion. While he doesn’t agree with Davis’s overall position on abortion, he said Corwin’s position is even worse.

“She said she favored allowing abortion in the first trimester,” Bellavia said. “Nobody talks about trimesters. Either you’re pro-life or pro-choice. You only talk about trimesters if you’re a career politician trying to have it both ways.”

Bellavia said he was disappointed in New York pro-life groups when he went to them to seek support for his candidacy and was told they were going to sit on the sidelines in this race. He said one group announced that Corwin is “pro-life enough.”

As for the other candidates in the race, Bellavia said he personally likes Kathy Hochul and Ian Murphy. He called Hochul a “good Catholic and strong woman.” He also said she’s a liberal Democrat and disagrees with her on a lot of positions.

As for Murphy, he said the Green Party candidate is smart and funny.

“If Murphy gets (as much as) 2 percent of the vote, it’s going to be an embarrassment for Corwin,” Bellavia said. “He’s nailed her character. He saw in her what the Republicans should have seen in her.”

As for regrets, he has a few.

Bellavia said he likes Assemblyman Steve Hawley but regrets that he got off on the wrong foot with him.

Early on, Bellavia admitted, he said that Steve never would have been elected to the Assembly if his name was Johnson rather than Hawley. He knows that really offended Steve and he never should have said it.

Then, in the run up to this race, word leaked out that Collins, Langworthy and Carl Paladino offered Bellavia Steve Hawley’s Assembly seat if Bellavia would drop out of the congressional race (the plan was, Hawley would move to Ranzenhofer’s Senate seat and Ranzenhofer would become a judge). 

Bellavia regrets that a discussion that was supposed to remain behind closed doors among a small group of people leaked out.

He said it was an unfair to Hawley that the conversation was leaked. 

“It didn’t come from me. I never said a word,” Bellavia said. “I never even considered it for a minute and I wouldn’t take such a deal.”

Bellavia’s other regret is that some people think he’s just the “candidate scorned” and that’s the only reason he’s backing Davis.

“Honestly, 90 percent of my initial response was these guys were so nasty that I wanted to get back at them,  but I stand with Jack today,” Bellavia said. “I could have just stood back and lobbed bombs, but Jack Davis is an honorable man. I honestly believe in Jack Davis.”

We left two phone messages with Matt Harakal, spokesman for Jane Corwin, and invited him either to provide answers to interview questions or submit a response of any length at any time after publication. We followed up the phone offer with an e-mail. We also reached out to Nick Langworthy for comment and would welcome a written response from Langworthy.

It should also be noted that we’ve extended at least a half dozen invites to Jane Corwin to stop by The Batavian office for an interview. We’ve never gotten a yes or no response from Harakal to any of those requests.

May 16, 2011 - 9:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul, Ian Murphy.

Here are links to articles related to the NY-26 special election race from the past day or so.

May 16, 2011 - 8:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul, Ian Murphy.

The latest TV ad from Jane Corwin.

Jack Davis speaks at neighborhood meeting.

DCCC commercial.

MSNBC segment with ThinkProgress spokesperson.

A video from

NRCC television ad.

And we close with comedy from Ian Murphy.

UPDATE: Found another Jane Corwin ad.


May 16, 2011 - 5:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul.

Press release:

The following is a statement from Fabien Levy, Director of Communications for Kathy Hochul for Congress:

“Jane Corwin’s desperation has never been more evident than it is today.

“In an effort to distract voters from her support for the Republican-endorsed Ryan budget that the Associated Press has said ‘would cut billions of dollars from Medicare and recast it as a voucher program,’ while at the same time giving massive tax breaks to multi-millionaires and billionaires, Assemblymember Corwin has distorted Kathy Hochul’s plan to protect Medicare and Social Security.

“The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle says Kathy ‘Hochul strongly opposes GOP plans to replace Medicare with vouchers for private insurance.’ Meanwhile Jane ‘Corwin remains a staunch supporter of the GOP plan, though some Republican leaders are wavering. It’s also unsettling that this could be a sign that Corwin is a strict GOP partisan.’

“And the Buffalo News has said Jane Corwin ‘supports the Republican proposal for Medicare, which would turn it into a voucher system.’ The paper agrees that Kathy Hochul has the right approach to fixing and protecting Medicare for future beneficiaries and that “she understands health care for seniors to be an appropriate federal issue, while Corwin does not.’”

“Kathy Hochul is the only candidate in this race to be endorsed by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, a non-partisan, multi-million member organization that fights to ensure the survival of Social Security and Medicare.”

May 16, 2011 - 5:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin.

Michael Mallia is a wanted man. He's a wanted man in Western New York and a wanted man in Florida.

Mallia is the man behind the camera in a controversial video produced by the Erie County GOP in an attempt to discredit Jack Davis, a registered Republican running for congress on his self-made Tea Party line.

The Davis campaign announced today, in conjunction with David Bellavia, that veterans in Western New York are willing to pay a $5,000 bounty for a media interview with Mallia, who has allegedly been spirited away by the GOP to an undisclosed location in Florida.

Of course, no credible media organization is going to accept cash for a conducting a news interview, but a wanted poster published on was clearly created with tongue implanted in cheek.

Though, a footnote on the poster says, "This is not a joke. This is a serious offer and the reward may be collected."

From Bellavia's press release:

"Jane Corwin's legislative chief of staff is wanted by the military veterans of Western New York for disrupting our meeting last week, mocking a moment of silence for combat casualties, attacking a 78 year-old Marine, and working on a political campaign while being paid by New York State taxpayers," decorated combat veteran David Bellavia said. "Now Corwin has sent Mallia to Florida in an attempt to hide him and the unedited video from reporters, because she doesn't want the truth to come out before Election Day: her staff chief followed a Marine and called him a coward to create an incident."

The reward, apparently, could be paid to anybody who just lets a media outlet know where Mallia is, leading to a published interview.

Full press release after the jump:

May 16, 2011 - 4:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, Union Street.

Reader Doug Veltz submitted pictures of this morning's one-car accident on Union Street. At this point, we have no further information on the accident (initial report).

May 16, 2011 - 4:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Le Roy, Pavilion, corfu.

Eric J. Bratcher, 22, of North Street, Le Roy, is charged with disorderly conduct. Bratcher is accused of shouting numerous profanities while outside a residence. At the time, there were many other individuals, according to Le Roy police, who were capable of overhearing the vulgar language Bratcher was allegedly using.

Ryan Thomas Covell, 20, of Polish Place, Buffalo, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Covell was allegedly found in possession of a partially smoked marijuana blunt during a traffic stop on Route 63 in Pavilion at 11:35 p.m., Friday, by Deputy Chad Minuto.

Kenyon Hanks Barnes, 26, of Clinton Street, Batavia, and Lisa Marie Horn, 21, of Clinton Street, Batavia, are charged with endangering the welfare of a child and unlawfully dealing with a child. Barnes and Horn are accused of providing alcohol to a 17-year-old girl while at their residence, 5100 Clinton St., Lot #4.

Stephany Marie Demorcy, 21, of East 161 St., Bronx, is charged with petit larceny. Demorcy is accused of shoplifting at Walmart.

Mazariegos Rene Roblero, 26, of McGregor Street, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to dim headlights, unlicensed driver and unsafe tire. Roblero was stopped at 2:20 a.m., Saturday, on Main Street, Village of Oakfield, by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

Timothy Wood, 22, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Wood is accused of threatening to harm a woman.

Woodrow C. Horseman, 35, no permanent address, is charged with petit larceny. Horseman is accused of shoplifting from the Wilson Farms on East Main Street, Batavia. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

May 16, 2011 - 3:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in volunteer firefighters.

When the Bergen Fire Department was formed, bucket brigades were still used to get water from cisterns and wells to a building engulfed in flames.

That was in 1861. 

Now, 150 years later, the department responds to a fire in heavy duty trucks, deploys 5-inch hoses that can pump out water at more 1,000 gallons per minute and firefighters enter burning buildings swathed in protective gear.

But one thing hasn't changed about the Bergen Fire Department: It's still an all volunteer force.

On Saturday, the Bergen Fire Department celebrated its 150th anniversary with a dinner and officer installation ceremony at the Genesee Country Museum.

The department received numerous proclamations and handed out its own awards to its members.

In all, 13 past chiefs attended the dinner (pictured above). They are (in no particular order): Paul Cummings, Scott Crosier, Jim Pascarella, Carl Pocock, Norm Pimm Sr., William Kolmetz, John Zastrocky, Lewis Cunningham, Jim Keller, Merton Reynolds, Robert Bobzin, Gerald Fuerch, Larry Smith.

The 2011 officers are: Chief Paul Cummings; Deputy Chief Eric Wies; Assistant Chief Jim Bridge; captains Garrett Dean and Doug VanSlyke; lieutenants Brian Carson, Kevin Bruton and Mark Holley; EMS Chief Barry Miller and Assistant Chief Melody Kolmetz; Fire Police Captain Gerald Fuerch and Lt. Frank Watson; President Joseph MacConnell, Vice President James Ride, Secretary Gail Ride and Treasurer Wayne Keller; and Ladies' Auxiliary President Lisa Crosier, Vice President Linda Cunningham and Secretary Sharon Fuerch.

This year's awards went to: 

Firematic Awards

Most Fire Calls - Gary Mielke and Jim Pascarella
Most EMS Calls - Sara Gillard, Mark Holley
Most Combined Fire and EMS Calls - Mike Crosier, Sara Gillard
Most Training Hours - Jeff Thomas
Service and Membership Awards
68 Years - Merton Reynolds
55 Years - George Cunningham, Wayne Keller
10 Years - Collette Dodson, Charles Wies
5 Years  - Lisa Flanagan, Victor Flanagan
Ladies Auxillary Service and Membership Awards
15 Years - Linda Cunningham, Lisa Crosier
10 Years  - Sherry Watson

To find out more about becoming a volunteer emergency responder in your community, visit

More pictures after the jump:




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