Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
New iOS App
Android version
not yet available

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

Howard B. Owens's blog

October 28, 2012 - 1:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Notre Dame.

Following a 26-6 Section V Class D title victory of Clyde-Savannah, Notre Dame's Head Coach Rich Mancuso said a lot of the credit for the win could go to the offensive line.

"Our offensive line and Anthony Paladino did an absolutely outstanding job of blocking and that’s really controlled the game and won it for us," Mancuso said.

The stout line allowed Nick Taylor to rush for 192 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns. Taylor was named MVP for the game.

The title is the first for ND since 2006 and the second in Mancuso's eight seasons as head coach.

Clyde-Savannah is a passing team, but the Golden Eagles were really forced to go the air by the third quarter with the Fighting Irish up 20-6.

While QB Tom Molisani was an impressive 17-29 for 246 yards (including a couple of competitions he tossed while in the grasp of ND defenders), the senior passer gave up four interceptions.

"The big thing is, we knew we had to stop them from throwing the ball and we knew we had to control the clock and we had to take care of the ball, which we did," Mancuso said. "We created a number of turnovers on their part. We did a great job with our game plan both offensively and defensively. I couldn’t be prouder of the kids at the moment."

The Irish amassed a total of 322 yards on the ground.

Andrew Mullen carried the ball for 88 yards on 16 carries and scored a touchdown. QB Tim McCulley added 37 yards on four carries.

McCulley was 1-3 for 23 yards, with the one pass completion going to Charlie Hebert for a touchdown.

The junior also had two key second-half interceptions.

Like Mancuso, McCulley was full of praise after the game for the offensive line.

"Our running game (was a key to victory)," McCulley said. "We ran the ball in the throat. Our line played great. Our running backs ran hard and everything just fell in place."

After the game Taylor said the win felt "awesome."

"I've been starting since my freshmen year and we’ve lost every time in the finals so it’s great that in my senior year, we actually win it," Taylor said. "It feels great."

Paladino, who helped led the lines on both offense and defense and was one of the players of the game, said his award wasn't just about him.

"We all work hard," Paladino said. "You shouldn’t really pick one person. The whole defensive line did everything."

On defense, Paladino had three tackles and Taylor had four, as well as a sack.

Jared Thornton had five tackles, Hebert four and Josh Johnson, four. Taylor and Aaron McDonald each had an interception.

Hebert also blocked an extra point try following Clyde-Savannah only TD.

On a night of constant rain for the entire game, neither side gave up a fumble.

Also receiving game trophies were Johnson and James Spear.

Next up for the Irish (8-1), Avon (8-1), who beat Red Jacket 14-6 to capture the Class DD title. That game will be played Saturday in Rochester.

To purchase prints of these photos and the photos in the slide show, click here. If you're unable to view the slide show below, click here.

October 28, 2012 - 8:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

The remnants of Hurricane Sandy are expected to bring high winds and heavy rain to Western New York from Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning.

Two to three inches of rain are expected with 40 mph winds and gusts up to 65 mph.

A high-wind warning has been issued for Genesee County and a flood watch is in effect for all of WNY.

The National Weather Service says there is some uncertainty on the track the storm will follow with the heaviest rain and strongest wind.

"It is unusual," according to the weather service, "to get winds from the northerly direction, leaving some areas typically sheltered from strong winds more vulnerable."

There could be localized flooding both in the city and in rural parts of the county.

Winds could bring down trees and power lines.

Sandy is currently a Level One (the least strong) hurricane expected to hit the eastern seaboard sometime Monday. While not the strongest hurricane, it has the potential, according to news reports, to become a "super storm."

The width of the storm -- 105 miles -- could make it the largest such storm on record to hit the United States.


October 27, 2012 - 5:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Kiwanis Club.

Batavia Kiwanis hosted another successful Pancake Days pancake breakfast at the First Presbyterian Church today.

October 27, 2012 - 10:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama.

A motorcyclist who was injured in a rollover accident at 1:41 p.m., Friday, said a rider on another bike unexpectedly put on a right-turn signal.

Michale P. Julicher, 61, of Millersport Highway, Amherst, was riding on Bloomingdale Road, Alabama. He said he tried to lay down his 2009 Honda because he didn't believe he had time to stop.

Julicher was transported to ECMC by Mercy Flight.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Chris Parker. No citations were issued.

(Initial Report)

October 27, 2012 - 10:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Oakfield.

Holly Lindsey submitted this photo of four generations of Roy Joseph Muntz. Roy Sr., left, is 81. Roy Jr., is 55, Roy III, is 31 and holding Roy IV. The Muntz family lives in Oakfield and Batavia.

October 27, 2012 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in environment, weather, outhdoors.

Press release:

Western New York waterfowl hunting season opening Saturday, October 27, will likely be affected by the widespread reduced precipitation from last summer’s hot and dry weather, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. These conditions caused water levels to drop substantially in many wetlands and dried up other wetland areas. Recent rains have improved conditions; however water levels remain lower than normal. It is important for waterfowl hunters to scout potential hunting sites when making plans.

DEC Region 8 contains the state’s premiere waterfowl hunting areas in the form of the managed marshes at Iroquois and Montezuma National Wildlife Refuges and Northern Montezuma, Oak Orchard and Tonawanda Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).

The dry wetland conditions are particularly pronounced at the Iroquois WMA. In addition to some intentional drawdowns of impoundments to stimulate the growth of seed-producing annual plants preferred by waterfowl, the drought caused some additional units to go dry and the remainder to drop well below normal levels. The lack of rain also meant that there was no moving water to reflood the intentionally drained units. Several units are still mostly dry and all are below normal; many are one foot lower than usual. The number of permits issued was reduced by 20 percent for opening weekend at Tonawanda WMA due to lack of water in some impoundments.

The situation is less severe at Northern Montezuma WMA, where some wetland units dropped water levels significantly, but none went completely dry. Water levels in the Seneca River, Barge Canal and Crusoe Creek are lower than normal, but will support waterfowl and public access. Half of the managed marshes contain water levels suitable for hunting waterfowl, and in all sites, the production of seed-bearing annual plants is exceptional.

This year, for the first time in many years, the main impoundment at Conesus Inlet WMA was drained to regenerate the marsh vegetation. A normal year of precipitation would have made it difficult to keep the unit drained as there is a decent sized stream that flows through the marsh. The dry weather this year stopped that flow and allowed a complete drawdown. The unit is now reflooded to about half the normal depth where it will be held it until next year to allow the vegetation to fully rebound.

Overall, the waters in the marshes are more than enough to hold ducks and the extra vegetation and seeds produced due to the low waters will attract and hold birds. The biggest impact will be to hunters who usually access the marshes in boats. The low waters may make it impossible to float a boat, and will require wading to access the more remote locations. The increased vegetation may also make it a bit more difficult to find any downed birds.

October 26, 2012 - 3:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, USDA.

Press release:

Genesee County farmers and private landowners were matched $1.5 million dollars in federal assistance this past fiscal year to install conservation practices on their farms, fields and forests.

Heath Eisele, district conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service said, “We are currently accepting applications for fiscal year 2013. To be considered for funding, interested applicants should submit their applications to the Batavia Field Office no later than Nov. 16.

Although the fate of the 2012 Farm Bill is undecided at this time, several programs remain intact to help landowners address a variety of resource concerns on their working lands. The NRCS programs for which applications are being accepted, include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Agricultural Management Assistance Program and the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program.

According to the most recent Agricultural Census, Genesee County is comprised of approximately 184,000 acres of cropland. According to Eisele, this is where farmers in particular can have the biggest impact on improving soil, water and air quality.

“Many farmers have traded in their moldboard plow for equipment that reduces tillage and improves overall soil health. However, many farmers are not aware that financial assistance is available to help them transition to a less intensive cropping system or take their conservation efforts to the next level,” Eisele said.

One grain farmer who has championed the use of innovative farming techniques and who has utilized NRCS conservation programs is Donn Branton, of Stafford. Precision nutrient application, tissue testing, reduced tillage and cover crop cocktails are just a few of the ways that Branton is able to “build” soils and sustainably increase crop production.

NRCS currently offers incentive payments to farmers willing to plant a cover crop on fields where cover crops were not previously planted. In 2012 the incentive rate was $73 per acre for grass cover crops planted conventionally and $75 per acre for organic. Planting a cover crop mixture earned farmers $90 per acre. Incentive rates may change slightly for 2013.

“Cover crop is really the first step toward improving soil quality. In order to maximize the benefits, it is important that fields are not exposed to tillage after planting or for termination. Tillage can destroy soil structure, provide a seed bed for weeds and reduce residue on top of the ground,” Eisele said.

Farmers who adopt no-till or reduced tillage methods, such as strip-till or ridge-till, can receive up to an additional $43 per acre to limit the amount of disturbance to the soil. 

“I have found that leaving residue on the surface so it can degrade naturally promotes better soil as opposed to tilling it in,” Branton said.

Farmers not able to plant cover crop or utilize residue management can receive an annual payment of $10 per acre for three years by incorporating a small grain into their cropping rotation. The small grain will provide cover throughout the winter months and can be harvested for silage or grain. Hay may also be considered if not previously grown in rotation on the farm.

Other cropland practices that are eligible for financial assistance through EQIP include: grassed waterways, nutrient management, diversions, and riparian herbaceous buffers.

EQIP also offers technical and financial assistance to farmers that have resource concerns around the farmstead. Roof runoff management, silage leachate control, milkhouse waste containment, and waste storage are some of the practices that can be implemented through the program.  Other practices such as solid-liquid separation facilities, waste storage covers, composting facilities and anaerobic digesters have also been popular in the county.

To learn more about NRCS New York Conservation Programs, visit their Web site at To apply, interested landowners can call 585-343-2362 and request an application or visit the Batavia Field Office at 29 Liberty St., Suite 3, Batavia.

October 26, 2012 - 3:31pm

Daphne Cross started her professional life as a waitress. Now she's a restaurant owner, and her new business has her name on it.

The sign was installed today. The restaurant opens Monday.

The location will be familiar to a lot of area residents. It's on South Swan Street at the former St. Nick's Social Club.

Jeremy Yasses bought the building in June partially hoping to revive the legendary club, but when that idea didn't go as he'd hoped, he let Cross know the building was available.

"It's a nice location," Cross said. "It's big. It's on the Southside. There are residents around. They're excited. Somebody stops in every day."

The grand opening will be in three or four weeks after Cross's liquor license is approved.

For the past several weeks, Cross and crew have been busy cleaning, painting and installing equipment.

Her chef, Mark DeCann, said the menu will feature Italian dishes, seafood and steak.

"The three basics everybody wants," DeCann said.

He promises, "It will be good."

October 26, 2012 - 3:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, photos, elba.

I figured this would be the last decent morning for fall photography (considering the weather predicted for next week), so I struck out early this morning and headed up to Elba to see what I could find.

I found myself on Arnold Road, which, I was surprised to discover, I had never been down before. The barn above is on Watson but shot from Arnold.

I then headed down Watson and met John, a former horse trainer, who let me take a picture of his barn and picnic table.

I started out at at Pine Hill Cemetery.

October 25, 2012 - 10:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, advertisement, contests, sponsored posts.

I messed up the settings of last week's contest and nobody was able to complete their picks, so no winner last week. Sorry. This week, same question, but of course the possible answers are different.

To enter, click here. (Hey, if you find a problem with a contest, let me know ASAP so we can get it corrected.)

October 25, 2012 - 9:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, Oakfield, pets.

We just received this message from Mary Pentycofe:

ATTENTION!!!!!! All people in or around the Oakfield area. Please be on the look out for our lost African Grey Parrot. Answers to "Benny." Is known to whistle the Indiana Jones Theme song and "Hi-ho" when prompted. He went missing about 7 p.m. Thursday night 10-25-12 from 7 Coe Ave. in Oakfield, NY. If found, there is a $50 reward. Please help us find our bird. This is not a joke, we are all heartbroken.

If found or seen please call  585-307-1116.

UPDATE: Benny has been located. Mary said he's home safe. She thanked all who helped, including the Oakfied Fire Department.


October 25, 2012 - 2:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Tonawanda Creek.

The Tonawanda Creek is a tremendous natural resource, according to Elizabeth Bentley-Huber, and it should be kept clean.

Residents dumping pollutants into storm drains isn't as much of an issue as it once was, but Bentley-Huber, along with other members of the Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee, want to promote the idea that our neighborhoods are linked to the creek.

"One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that the water is treated between that drain and the creek," said Bentley-Huber, who is a district technician for the Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District. "Whatever pollutants and chemicals it picks up are directly washed right into the creek."

To help promote the idea that we shouldn't dump or wash chemicals into the drains, the committee has purchased through a soil and water conservation district grant, a thousand medallions to place on storm drains.

Committee members are going out each Saturday as volunteers, weather permitting, and affixing the medallions to storm drains.

Bentley-Huber said the creek could really become a bigger part of our community, an attraction for people looking for outdoor recreation.

One of the biggest problems is clearing out the 43-mile stretch (11 miles in a straight line) of creek between Attica and Batavia. Log jams on the long, flat stretch can be a big problem, especially for boaters.

"That’s a lot of nice creek," she said. "It could be open for boating, and with the economy the way it is, people are looking for more inexpensive recreation.  Boating, canoeing or kayaking on the Tonawanda would be very nice."

October 25, 2012 - 12:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather.

Fall has reached that point where it's pretty much time to start raking, mowing and blowing leaves.

Joe Pero was out on South Swan Street today blowing the leaves from his trees.

Here's an announcement from the city about leaf pickup:

City wide leaf pickup will start on Monday, Oct. 29.

One city crew will begin on River Street and head east across the south side of the city.

A second city crew will start on Grandview Terrace and head west across the north side of the city.

Residents on Oak, Main and Ellicott streets are asked to place their leaves in the parkway. All other residents are asked to place their leaves in the street near the curb line.

Leaf piles must be clear of sticks and foreign materials. The Bureau of Maintenance reminds residents that catch basins are to be kept clear of leaves. To ensure that leaves are picked up, residents are asked not to park their cars in the street where there are large piles of leaves to be picked up. Please do not pile leaves in front of mail boxes, around power poles, fences, fire hydrants or other obstacles.

Leaf pickup will continue as weather permits or through Wednesday, Nov. 21.

Starting Monday, Nov. 5, the Law Street Yard Waste Station hours will change to 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Residents are encouraged to bring leaves to the Yard Waste Station through the end of the season. (It is estimated the Yard Waste Station will remain open through Saturday, Dec. 8, before closing for the season.)

Some people have told me they've seen a forecast for snow next week. The forecast on for the next 10 days has rain every day starting Saturday, but no snow.

October 25, 2012 - 10:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Settlers Restaurant.

John Spyropoulos, co-owner of Settler's Restaurant on West Main Street, was a little taken aback yesterday to learn that the insurance company for the owner of a car that took out his 28-year-old business sign Oct. 10 won't help pay for its replacement.

State Farm said, according to Spyropoulos, that since the alleged driver, Martin F. Jones, 41, of 120 Jackson St., Batavia, wasn't authorized to drive the vehicle, the owner's policy doesn't cover the damage.

"I thought that was what uninsured motorist was for," Spyropoulos said.

It will cost $12,000 to replace the sign and the insurance Spyropoulos has on the building will pay only for $5,000 of it.

To get his money, Spyropoulos may need to file a claim for restitution through the courts. He could file a claim for the entire $12,000 expense.

If Jones is convicted, Jones could be ordered to pay for the sign at his sentencing.

Spyropoulos said he will look into that option.

Jones was charged with felony DWI, refusal to take breath test, two counts of leaving the scene of a property damage accident, unsafe backing, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, avoiding an intersection, speed not reasonable and prudent and driving on the sidewalk.

October 25, 2012 - 8:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A burglary suspect turned himself in yesterday following a police investigation into a break-in at a residence on East Avenue in the city on Oct. 9.

Trevon L. Armstrong, 27, of 20 Tracy Ave., Batavia, is charged with burglary, 2nd, and grand larceny, 4th.

Det. Charles Dudek investigated the case, identified Armstrong as the suspect, and asked him to turn himself in. Yesterday, he did.

A flat-screen TV and a laptop computer were recovered shortly after the burglary was reported, Dudek said.

Armstrong was arraigned in Batavia City Court and ordered held without bail.

Officer Mark Lawrence assisted in the investigation.

October 24, 2012 - 11:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron.

The issue of merging the South Byron and Byron fire departments was probably first raised in 1968, according Paul Boylan, the town's attorney.

It's never happened, and after a town budget meeting Wednesday night, it's apparently not going to happen any time soon.

Trustee Scott Wooten has apparently been pushing the issue and had convinced the other trustess to produce a budget this year with a single line item for two fire departments at the same funding as last year, but with a plan to reduce their funding each year by $10,000 a year until there is only one department.

"I don't understand why we pay $1.41 (fire district tax) and the average in Genesee County is .81," Wooten said. "What are we doing differently. Why do we need two of everything?"

Members from both departments were in the audience and argued that the expense of the departments are not as simple it seemed.

All of the current equipment is paid for, and two tankers are needed to comply with insurance adjuster standards, especially with the lack of public water in much of the town, and two engines in case of multiple calls or if one breaks down.

If the departments merge, the fire hall of South Byron would need to be expanded to accommodate Byron's equipment, reducing any cost savings.

Wooten tried to compare what Byron residents pay for fire service with other communities, such as Bethany and Elba. 

But there can't be a direct comparison several volunteers said. In Bethany, the town owns the fire hall and in Elba, the village owns the department.

What seemed like a unilateral move by the board to force a merger didn't sit well with the members of the department.

"It's really not pleasant to be bullied like this," said Peter Yasses.

Wooten said he was just trying to do what he thought best for the town residents, and that a fire department tax of $1.41 per thousand seems excessive.

"Unfortunately, you think we're making too much money but somehow we're barely surviving in order to help our neighbors at three o'clock in the morning," said Dan Stevens.

Yasses asked, "who's complaining? I never hear any complaints."

Well, the farmers for one.

"But let them throw a match on one of their piles of paper," interjected Jim McKenzie, "and their whole field catches on fire and we're the ones who have to respond to it."

Chris Hilbert said even the $74,000 allocated now for each department isn't enough to run them. They each must conduct their own fundraisers in order to balance their budgets.

Some members wondered how the town would save any money with one department when current expenditures don't cover the full cost of the service.

There was much talk about hiring consultants to look at consolidation. One firm has already offered a $25,000 estimate for such a study, so the discussion turned to how to pay for it.

An actual study would determine what cost savings, if any, could be achieved; what a consolidated department would look like, and how to go about it in a way that wouldn't increase insurance premiums for town residents.

Wooten wanted to know why a consultant needed to be hired for such a study -- couldn't the fire chiefs do it themselves?. Several said they weren't qualified.

Byron Chief John Durand said he was probably qualified to do the study, but he has a conflict of interest.

"I've been a member of the department for 27 years," Durand said. "This is my seventh year as a chief. Whether I have an actual prejudice or not, everybody is going to think I do because of all that time with the department."

Durand seemed to like the idea of a study, but said if the departments were going to go to all the trouble of an expensive study, they should contact the Bergen and Elba departments and discuss the possibility of a regional department.

Hilbert suggested that each department kick in $7,000 and the town pay $7,000 toward the study, but under the current budget proposal, the town can add only $5,900 in more spending and still remain under the state's property tax cap.

It was at that point that Wooten decided to drop his merger proposal.

"If you're telling me this is the best for Byron, then I'll stay with you," Wooten said. "I'm confident that you're never going to come together. I'm convinced of that. This gentleman over here tells me we must have two of everything, so then we might as well have two departments.

"I just want to see why we're at $1.41 and the average is .81," Wooten added. "If you're telling me that's the way it has to be, then I'm willing to accept that."

October 24, 2012 - 9:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, Notre Dame, soccer.

Notre Dame's girls soccer team beat Fillmore today for their first-ever sectional win, 1-0.

Pete Welker supplied us with three photos from the game. Above, Burgandy Bartlett kicks the only goal of the game.

Bailee Welker

Tess Diskin with the ball.

October 24, 2012 - 4:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, medical, health, UMMC.

UMMC invited the public into the ICU unit today to see a new patient simulator that will be used to help train hospital staff.

The $60,000 machine is a gift from CHART, the hospital’s insurance carrier. It provides a realistic representation of various medical conditions so medical personnel can practice everything from inserting an IV to performing defibrillation.

For more info, click here.

Above, Dan Grower learns about the simulator from Pamela Lynch.




Copyright © 2008-2017 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button