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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.

May 15, 2011 - 3:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, Nick Langworthy.

Richard Nixon has his 18 1/2 minute gap. Nick Langworthy has his dead battery.

As the screen shot above shows, there was a second camcorder at the scene of Wednesday's confrontation between Jane Corwin's Assembly chief of staff and Tea Party-line congressional candidate Jack Davis.

The question is, where's the tape from that second camera?

Langworthy, the Erie County GOP chairman, told the Buffalo News there is no tape. The young woman with the camera was operating a device with a dead battery.

Our question, didn't she know the battery was dead? How could she not know the battery was dead? (See our video posted below.)

Our public question to Langworthy: Please explain how the woman could be operating the camera without knowing the battery was dead, and, presuming that's impossible to explain, where's the full, unedited copy of that tape? 

In the now widely discussed incident -- perhaps the most bizarre incident in the NY-26 since Shirtless Chris Lee sent a half-nude photo of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist, leading to this special election -- Michael Mallia, an Assembly staffer by day, a Corwin campaign volunteer at night, confronted Davis after a campaign event in Greece.

In the video shot by Mallia, you hear Mallia repeatedly and aggressively asking Davis why he dropped out of a planned debate scheduled for the following day.

Davis is seen saying, “You want to be punched out?”  The 76-year-old Davis then takes a swipe at the camera -- it's unclear if Davis hit the 50-years-younger Mallia, or merely slapped the camera, or if Davis connected with nothing but air. After the swipe, Mallia falls away, wailing like a damsel in distress.

Buffalo's WGRZ-TV caught the tail end of the incident on tape and what the footage reveals is that a second person, who seems to clearly be part of the GOP crew, is standing behind Mallia taping the incident.

The tape from that second camera could answer a lot of questions about what really happened.

Besides saying the battery in the second camcorder was dead, Langworthy has steadfastly refused to release the unedited version of the tape from Mallia's camera, saying of the 15-second tape: “It’s the whole story, right there.” (Source, Buffalo News, linked above).

A spokesman for Davis, a registered Republican, has called the incident a "set-up job."

As the Buffalo News story indicates, even many Republicans are critical of Jane Corwin, Langworthy and Mallia over the incident.

Popular conservative talk show host Bob Lonsberry, a lifelong Republican, posted a strongly worded denouncement of the ECGOP tactics on his Web site

Afraid that Jack Davis was polling too high, apparently unable to argue against his platform, the Corwin campaign and the Republican Party decided to use character assassination, and they got a state employee to do it.

This isn’t the Republican Party that took control of the House of Representatives last fall. This isn’t the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan. This is the Republican Party of Richard Nixon. This is the dirty tricks party.

Of course, the second tape would inform us all better whether this was a "set-up job" or whether Davis acted as irrationally as Langworthy would like us all to believe.

So, Mr. Langworthy, where's the tape?

May 15, 2011 - 2:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, kathy hochul, jim owen.

Popular local teacher Jim Owen, who has been turning students into fans for more than four decades, has an interest in the NY-26 special election race that's a bit different from a lot of other Genesee County residents.

One of his former students is on the ballot.

Back in the mid-1970s, Kathy Courtney took a typing class from Owen.

Eventually, she would marry Bill Hochul, become a member of the Hamburg Town Board, then clerk of Erie County and now, she's the Democratic nominee for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"As a teacher, you have students in a classroom as juniors or seniors and you have no idea where they might go," Owen said. "Then when you read the paper that they've been very successfully -- obviously, I had nothing to do with it -- but it's nice to say, 'hey, I had her as a student.'"

Kathy Hochul isn't the only famous name that Owen can list as a typing student during his 35 years of teaching at Hamburg High School. 

Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Tom Toles was also a student.

"I wish I'd gotten one of his cartoons back then," Owen said.

Owen, who also coached her brothers and cousins in track and field, remembers Hochul as a diligent student.

"Now, in typing, we don't communicate too much because you're supposed to be typing, and she was," said Owen. "She did her work."

Owen wasn't sure Kathy would even remember him.

On the campaign trail today, Hochul had time for a brief conversation and said Jim Owen is certainly "somebody stuck in my memory bank" as an important person in her young life.

"The students loved him," Hochul said. "He had a real way to take something as mundane as typing and make it real fun. He was very popular with all of the students."

A staunch Republican, Owen won't reveal who he's voting for, but admitted he can't help but root for Kathy.

"It's kind of neat to say, 'Here's a young lady I had in class and now she's running for Congress,'" Owen said. "I wish her a lot of luck. I hope things work out for her."

He added that he thinks "all three" candidates, especially the "two young ladies," would represent the community well, and he's expecting close results -- so close that a recount may be necessary.

Now a substitute teacher for Batavia City Schools, Owen doesn't know if he'll be required to work Tuesday. If he's off, he plans to attended the candidates' forum at 11 a.m. at the YWCA on North Street. If he makes it, it will be the first time teacher and student have seen each other in more than 20 years.

May 15, 2011 - 12:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Genesee Jaguars, lacross.

The Genesee Jaguars took a 12-0 record into a championship game in Hamburg Friday against Newfane and at the end of the match were celebrating a 15-10 victory.

The team received a nice big trophy to go with the win.

The Jaguars are a high school varsity-level lacrosse team comprised of players from throughout Genesee County -- with the exception of Batavia High, which has the Blue Devils lacrosse team.

Photo by Kim Argenta.

May 15, 2011 - 11:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, verizon, FiOS.

Every once in a while somebody asks me if I know when Verizon is going to install FiOS in Batavia.

FiOS is supposedly the fastest broadband internet service available.

When speaking with John Bonomo, a spokesman for Verizon out of New York City, about manhole covers, I asked him, "what about FiOS?"

He said it would be at least five years before FiOS is installed in Batavia.

Right now, Verizon has its hands full, he said, upgrading networks in cities where Verizon has the cable franchise.

"We have to get the work done where we have agreements," Bonomo said. "We've got to complete these upgrades first."

Batavia's cable franchisee is Time-Warner.

May 15, 2011 - 11:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Godfrey's Pond.

A former captain in the Batavia Fire Department who has worked the past four years as fire chief in Auburn is retiring and returning to Batavia.

Mike Hammon is returning to run Godfrey's Pond, according to the Post-Standard in Syracuse.

A one-time Auburn firefighter before moving to Batavia to become an officer, the 55-year-old Hammon told the newspaper: “This is the end of my fire career. I’m getting out of the politics (of the chief’s job) and this is good for me.’’ 

When Hammon was named chief in Auburn four years ago, it was a controversial appointment, according to the Post-Standard. He was the first chief in the 113-year history of the department not promoted from within.

The article includes praise from officials in Auburn for Hammon's work.

May 14, 2011 - 4:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.

Today, the Elba Historical Society held its 14th annual antiques and collectibles sales at the Elba Fire Hall and The Mill, Route 98 and Route 262.

Above, Jean Price, of Byron, demonstrates some old-fashioned loom weaving, while her daughter, Margy Hayes, in the background, spins yarn.

Below, Barb Toal, left, with Cheryl Kowalik, at the booth promoting the International Peace Garden.

May 14, 2011 - 4:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

More than a dozen singers turned up on a rainy Saturday afternoon to audition for a chance to sing the National Anthem at the Muckdogs' July 4th game.

Despite a cloudburst -- the contest had to be moved into the grandstands, and then after wireless mic problems, into the media booth -- the singers wanted to show off their chops and perform the "Star Spangled Banner" a cappella.

Above, Hailey Natalizia and below Ayisha Callahan -- both girls did a real good job with a tough song.

The name of the winner has not been released yet.

May 14, 2011 - 4:09pm
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:

“Last night, Representative Paul Ryan sent out a fundraising plea in support of Jane Corwin and her endorsement of the Republican-endorsed budget that would decimate Medicare. 

“This just shows how out of touch Assemblymember Corwin is with the people of the 26th District. Voters are undoubtedly rejecting her support of a budget that would throw our seniors under the bus, while giving massive tax breaks to the multi-millionaires and billionaires, yet she and Congressman Ryan continue to push it down our throats.

“Jane Corwin and the Republicans in Washington are out of touch with the voters of this district, including the thousands of Republicans. And on May 24th, voters will not only reject Jane Corwin’s plan to decimate Medicare, but they will reject her.”

May 14, 2011 - 3:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, flowers, Gardening.

Not too many people in California grow tulips. In Western New York, they're everywhere, and one of my favorite parts of spring. These are tulips in my own garden. Happy gardening!

May 14, 2011 - 3:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Genesee Cancer Assistance, ferrellgas.

There was a big turn out at Ferrellgas on Ellicott Street in Batavia this morning for the fuel company's second annual "Refill-A-Thon."

Customers were invited to bring their 20-pound gas grill bottles for a free refill with a $5 donation to Genesee County Cancer Assistance.

No word yet on how much was raised this morning, but last year's event raised $2,000 for the American Red Cross.

Ferrellgas expected to donate 1,600 gallons of gas and employees volunteered their time to help with the event.


May 14, 2011 - 3:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in David Bellavia, NY-26, Jane Corwin.

The following was received from Batavia resident David Bellavia, a Republican and Iraq War veteran who was passed over for the GOP nomination in the NY-26:

Dear Tea Party Colleague:

Before you get involved in the special election in NY-26, there's something you need to know.

Jane Corwin's two top advisers defrauded Carl Paladino to shove combat veteran Gary Berntsen out of the 2010 U.S. Senate race.

In fact, when they were caught, Erie County GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy and Corwin's campaign manager Chris Grant lied to me about it.

Why would you help Langworthy and Grant, when they hate the Tea Party so much that they would do this - potentially a criminal felony fraud - to push their establishment candidate for U.S. Senate over Carl's choice: my friend Gary Berntsen.

As Rus Thompson of TEA New York wrote: "[They] fancied themselves independent political operatives and clandestine master manipulators, and spent a small fortune of Carl's money WITHOUT HIS KNOWLEDGE OR APPROVAL, for a large lit drop naming Jay Townsend as the Paladino endorsed candidate. We caught wind and squelched the effort as best we could, and Carl issued an urgent press release confirming Berntsen as the Paladino endorsed candidate...[but Gary] Bernsten got screwed."

Before you lift a finger to help these two anti-veteran Corwin advisers manipulate this election, too, be sure to read the whole story here:

I urge you: don't help the people that will do anything - anything - to kill the Tea Party movement.

In Freedom,
Staff Sergeant David Bellavia
US Army, Ret.

UPDATE Sunday, 3:49 p.m.: We just received this e-mail response from Rus Thompson.

Although what happened during the Paladino campaign was unethical and just  plain wrong the FBI investigated and there is NO current investigation  ongoing with this. The FBI came in, went through Bernstens accusations and  found no wrong doing in violation of any Laws. The investigation was over as  fast as it started. There were no violations of the Law and NO campaign  finance Laws were violated, end of subject.

On the other hand, is it not unethical to do what Bellavia, Bernsten and  Caputo are doing right now? Endorsing a fraudulent tea party candidate for  the sole purpose of vengeance, to pay back fools with the republicans for an  idiotic move during a campaign last year?

Grow up and take this battle to a primary and not throw a special election to  the democrats.

Rus Thompson

May 14, 2011 - 2:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Stafford.

A fuel tank reportedly came completely off a car while it was traveling on Byron-Stafford Road near Thwing Road, Stafford.

There is a fuel spill.

Stafford Fire is responding.

UPDATE 2:52 p.m.: A chief reports the tank was full when it came off.  The tank is on the road with a hole in it and it is "leaking like crazy."

UPDATE 3:04 p.m.:  This has been declared a Level 1 hazmat incident. About 20 gallons of gas have leaked. The road will be foamed down. Fire police from South Byron and Stafford requested to the scene to close the roadway.

UPDATE 3:17 p.m.: Fuel leak under control.

UPDATE 3:29 p.m.: Chief releases South Byron fire police, "with our thanks."

UPDATE 4:04 p.m.: The road is open.

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May 14, 2011 - 9:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul.

Press release:

WILLIAMSVILLE – Career politician Kathy Hochul joined Nancy Pelosi for a swanky fundraiser in New York City last night, underscoring the deep admiration between the two liberal Democrats. The event continues a weeklong showing of affinity from Hochul towards the former Speaker of the House, an icon to the liberal special interest groups funding Hochul’s campaign. On Tuesday, Hochul said that Pelosi did “a great job for this country” during her time as Speaker, despite the fact that during Pelosi’s time as Speaker our country borrowed trillions more dollars from China and millions of jobs were lost.

“Kathy Hochul’s proud support of Nancy Pelosi shows she just doesn’t understand the congressional district she wants to represent, which isn’t surprising considering she doesn’t even live here,” said Matthew Harakal, Communications Director for Jane Corwin for Congress. “It comes as no surprise that Pelosi would expect Hochul to report back to her, considering that Hochul is Pelosi’s handpicked candidate. Kathy Hochul has followed Nancy Pelosi’s lead in supporting massive tax increases, the Obama health care law, and growing government, but where does she disagree with Pelosi?”   

This is at least the second time in recent weeks that Hochul has traveled to New York City for a posh fundraiser with downstate leaders who have helped decimate Western New York’s economy, all the while leaving Western New Yorkers behind.

“Kathy Hochul just doesn’t get it,” Harakal added. “Voters across the country rejected Nancy Pelosi’s tax-and-spend economic policies which have brought our economy to a screeching halt, but Kathy Hochul continues to push that same failed agenda. Maybe Kathy Hochul should actually spend some time in the district and instead of sipping champagne with liberal special interests in Manhattan, explain to taxpayers why she thinks it’s smart to raise taxes on job creators to fund her ideas for growing government.”

The press release contained the following links:

May 13, 2011 - 7:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

Two cars have reportedly hit head on in the area of 6758 Alleghany Road, Alabama.

Three people are apparently uninjured and a fourth person has an ankle injury.

Alabama Fire Department is on site. Mercy EMS is responding.

UPDATE: 9:40 p.m. (Billie): The scene is clear. A male with an ankle injury was taken to UMMC. All responders back in service.

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