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Howard B. Owens's blog

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:

May 16, 2011 - 11:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Park Road.

A vehicle that came off the Thruway apparently spilled diesel fuel on Park Road from Route 98 to Veterans Memorial Drive.

A caller reported that the spill made the road slick, "like ice."

A trooper checked the scene and confirmed the spill and the slickness.

DPW is being dispatched to deal with the situation.

UPDATE 11:45 a.m.: It sounds like a trooper has tracked down the vehicle causing the spill.

UPDATE 11:46 a.m.: Apparently, the truck was heading onto the Thruway. The vehicle has been located about six miles down the Thruway. It has a broken fuel line. The trooper on scene reports the Thruway entrance was also slick.

May 16, 2011 - 7:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

A car has reportedly struck a utility pole in the area of 8 Union St., Batavia.

No injuries are reported.

The pole is down. Unknown hazards.

City fire dispatched.

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May 15, 2011 - 10:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

A tree is down in the area of 7116 North Bergen Road, Bergen, and wires may be down with it.

There is a report of power out in the area.

The tree is totally blocking the roadway.

Bergen fire is responding.


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May 15, 2011 - 8:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Authentically Local, thebatavian.

Authentically Local

If you happened to scroll to the bottom of the home page within the past few days, you might noticed the little emblem to the left showing up there.

A couple of months ago, myself and a couple of other local site owners started a Facebook group where we could discuss business and content issues among ourselves -- an industry group, if you will. Up until then, there really was no central location for independent local site owners to gather.

One of the members, Debbie Galant, co-owner of Baristanet, based in New Jersey, and one of very first local, online-only news sites, mentioned she owned this domain name: and shouldn't we use it to promote not only local ownership of news sites, but local ownership of businesses in general.

For launch, 30 local news sites, including The Batavian, signed on to the Authentically Local campaign.

Regular readers know how heartily we push the idea of shopping first at locally owned businesses. When you shop local, more of your money stays in your local community were it can do the most good, and you're helping your friends and relatives enjoy a better quality of life.

Well, it turns out, I'm not the only local news site owner who thinks that way.

The difference for The Batavian is that so far we haven't faced the intense competition some of my colleagues are dealing with from well-funded national chains. For them, Authentically Local is a chance to remind readers and advertisers that with their sites, advertising dollars stay in the community, and that the owners are partners as well as neighbors.

These are values Billie and I share, but it's a critical message for the sites facing competition from the "Walmarts of the news industry," as Galant has put it.

Locally owned businesses in Genesee County are welcome to add the badge to their own Web sites.

May 15, 2011 - 8:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Bank Street.

A power pole is reportedly sparking in the area of 266 Bank St., Batavia.

City fire responding.

UPDATE 8:21 p.m.: National Grid being notified. Pole #40 is arcing intermittently.

View Larger Map

May 15, 2011 - 7:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, pembroke.

A power line is reportedly down and in the roadway in the area of 1167 Gabbey Road, Pembroke.

The line is reportedly arcing and sparking and possibily on fire.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire dispatched.

UPDATE 9:07 p.m.: National Grid notified. No ETA.

UPDATE 9:15 p.m.: National Grid reports 75 customers without power from this spot north to the reservation.

View Larger Map

May 15, 2011 - 7:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attica, advertising, Sponsored Post.


Thermory® Solid Hardwood Flooring is now available in Western New York, in fact, nationwide.

Europeans developed a “thermal modification process” ideal for upgrading in the solid hardwood flooring industry.

Milled from “thermally modified” hardwoods, Thermory® flooring features superior stability, beauty, durability, functionality and is environmentally sound. Thermory® fills a void in the marketplace -- it's the only solid hardwood flooring product line warranted for use over radiant heat and concrete applications.

May 15, 2011 - 6:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin.

The reason the Erie County GOP won't release the possible second tape of the confrontation in Greece on Wednesday is because it will show Jane Corwin's staffer disrespecting a veteran, says a spokesman for Tea Party-line candidate Jack Davis.

Curtis Ellis said a person who witnessed the incident claims that Michael Mallia, chief of staff for Jane Corwin's assembly office, jumped out of a car as Jack Davis was walking toward his car and called Davis a coward.

Mallia, he said, repeatedly called Davis a coward for not participating in last Thursday's debate.

"Here's a U.S. military veteran coming from this very somber veterans' event and some young kid is calling him a coward," Ellis said.

The event at a fire hall in Greece, sponsored by Republican David Bellavia, who endorsed Davis at the event, included a recitation of the names of all the military members killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Coming to an event like this and yelling 'coward' at a veteran as he's leaving is an insult to every veteran, every man or woman who has ever served in the military," Ellis said. "Jane Corwin needs to apologize."

If Corwin doesn't apologize for her staffer's conduct, Ellis said, "she's no better than Jane Fonda."

When we asked to speak with the volunteer who was with Davis at the time of the incident, Ellis said, "If they dispute my account, they can release the tape. They won't do that because it will show that she's really Jane 'Fonda' Corwin. That's what it will show."

Ellis made these comments in response to our earlier post requesting that Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy either release the tape or explain how somebody could operate a video camera without knowing the battery was dead. (Langworthy has claimed he can't release the second tape because the camera battery was dead.)

At 4:30 p.m., after talking with Ellis, we e-mailed Corwin's spokesman, Matthew Harakal, and asked for a response. So far, we haven't received it.

May 15, 2011 - 5:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in motocross, sports, Stafford, Jason DiSalvo.

Stafford's Jason DiSalvo is racing this weekend at the West Coast Moto Jam in Sonoma, Calif.

This is a sport I don't understand at all, but based on this chart (which features live results, so it could be different when you view it), it looks like he is doing very well. I think he's in first place, 22 laps into the race.

The multiple day event is airing on SpeedTV. The next, and final, telecast is tonight at midnight.

DiSalvo won the first race of the season, the Daytona 200.

Jason returns to New York after this race and begins preparation for the Miller Motorsports Race in Salt Lake City.

May 15, 2011 - 5:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

There is currently a flood watch in effect for Genesee County and it is scheduled to remain in effect through Monday morning.

Heavy rain combined with already saturated ground and creeks running high creates a greater danger of localized flooding, the National Weather Service has warned.

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

Press release:

Jack Davis, independent candidate for Congress, set out a plan to replace Obamacare and give states power to address out of control health care costs. States would have greater flexibility to devise model health care programs and spend money allocated under federal programs by joining interstate compacts.

“For those like myself that want to replace Obamacare, the interstate Healthcare Compact is a realistic and viable strategy. States, not Congress, the White House, or federal bureaucrats, should set the rules for healthcare from top to bottom. In addition, individuals should be able to deduct the cost of health insurance from their federal income taxes just as corporations can,” Davis said.

“Healthcare is simply too large and complex to manage at the federal level. Our federal healthcare system impacts 300+ million people and healthcare spending exceeds 2.3 trillion dollars annually. Centralized planning of an industry that is this large and complex is not possible and has never been successful,” said Jack Davis.

The Healthcare Compact would make it possible for Americans to exercise greater control over their healthcare options. It would relieve the federal government of the responsibility for healthcare policy and return it to the states. As decision-making is transferred from the federal government to the states, so would control over federal healthcare dollars.

The Healthcare Compact does not impose one model of healthcare reform on an immense and diverse country. It does not presume that there is one Band-Aid solution to solve the healthcare crisis. Exactly how specific compacts would work - how they would function - would be determined by the states that enter into them. 

New York state taxpayers send more dollars to Washington than they receive in return from the federal government. Overall, government checks flow from affluent states, generally in the Northeast and West, to less affluent states, especially in the South.

May 15, 2011 - 4:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul, Ian Murphy.

We now have answers from all four candidates in the NY-26 to our questions on personal liberties, with Jack Davis being the last to respond (answers had been due on Friday).

We posted the questions Friday, so won't repeat them here, except in context of the answers. The answers are after the jump in the order received.




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