Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Site Sponsors

Howard B. Owens's blog

September 15, 2015 - 11:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, hydrofracking, environment.

The Town of Stafford became the first local community to ban hydrofracking within its borders with a 4-0 vote of the board on Monday night following a public hearing where every speaker supported the ban.

Fracking involves using hydraulic force, with a mixture of water, chemicals and sand, to extract gas from shale. The technique is controversial. Opponents believe the process generates soil and water contamination.

"This is the wisest, the safest and the best thing to do for our community for many years to come," said resident Judy Manly.

Another speaker, who didn't provide her name, said it was up to Stafford to protect itself because the town can't count on the legislature or governor to ban it and current state Department of Environemtnal Conservation regulations could easily be overturned by another administration.

"Passing this law in our town is a safety measure that we absolutely need," she said.

Three years in the making, the law prohibits extraction, exploration, storage of wastes, and other activities in connection with underground injections for petroleum or gas production within the Town of Stafford limits.

September 15, 2015 - 9:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Kwik Fill, batavia, business.


The Kwik Fill at Jackson and Ellicott streets is closed for a few days -- with work starting yesterday -- for the lot to be resurfaced. The cement and asphalt is being completely removed and replaced. A worker said they expect the store to reopen by Thursday, though work will continue for a few more days after that.

September 15, 2015 - 9:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, business, crazy cheap cars, Batavia Downs.


Mary Frombgen, of Gasport, was the big winner in a drawing at Batavia Downs on Saturday, claiming a prize of $5,000 toward the purchase of a vehicle from Crazy Cheap Cars, in Oakfield. Frombgen went to the dealership yesterday, test drove several vehicles and settled on a 2012 Buick LaCrosse, which she said she just loved. Pictured with Frombgen is Crazy Cheap Cars owner Mike Ognibene.

September 14, 2015 - 5:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in little free library, Oakfield.


While in Oakfield this afternoon, I spotted this Little Free Library on Farnsworth Avenue.

September 14, 2015 - 5:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, Oakfield.


September 14, 2015 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, pembroke, byron, Oakfield.

Roberta Susan Dwello, 55, of State Route 104, Williamson, is charged with possession/transportation of more than 10,000 untaxed cigarettes and criminal tax fraud. Dwello was stopped on Route 77, Pembroke, at 12:20 p.m. Sunday by Deputy Joseph Corona. Dwello was allegedly found with 27,000 in untaxed cigarettes and is accused of selling untaxed cigarettes for financial gain.

Bobbisue Butler, 32, of Byron Holley Road, Byron, is charged with petit larceny. Butler is accused of shoplifting from Walmart.

Matthew Christopher Moy, 22, of Glidden Road, Holley, is charged with promoting prison contraband, 1st. Moy was allegedly found with a pocketknife while inside the jail.

Kivon Alijah Orr, 18, of Kelly Street, Bronx, is charged with trespass. Orr was allegedly in a dorm at College Village without permission.

Mark David Jackett, 45, of Sunrise Parkway, Oakfield, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. Jackett allegedly had unwanted contact with a protected party.

Ryan M. Bobzin, 26, of Byron, is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Bobzin was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident reported at 1:20 p.m., Sept. 8. No further details released.

September 13, 2015 - 8:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, elba, byron-bergen, Elba/Byron-Bergen.


 Photo by Baily DeLelys

Richard Flores had 16 carries for 214 yards and three TDs plus a kickoff return of 82 yards for a touchdown. Tucker Bezon, two carries for 66 yards and two TDs. John Hochmuth was five for nine passing for 60 yards and a TD. he also had four carries for eight yards. Brendan Marsocci and Chase Toal each had rushing touchdowns.

On defense, Andrew Gotler had 15 tackels, Cody Kauffman, 14, David Castaneda, and Flores, eight.

September 13, 2015 - 8:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Le Roy.


Photos submitted by David Boyce of Le Roy's game against Dansville on Saturday, which the Knights won 28-0.

Nick Egeling scored on a 43-yard run and a six-yard run. Josh Laurie had a 65-yard punt return and Dom Filio had a three-yard run. Mary Purdy knocked in four point after attempts.

Egeling rushed for 108 yards on 18 carries, Laurie 19 on 4 and Filio 16 on five. Laurie was two for nine passing for 38 yards. Catches by Reed Kacur for 40 yards and Ryan Boyce for two yards.

On defense, Luke Hogle, 12 tackles, Kacur, eight, Anthony Natrigo, seven, Filio, seven, and Nate Flint, five.










September 13, 2015 - 6:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Frost Ridge, music, entertainment, Le Roy.


Darryl Worley, a multi-hit country music artist who topped the charts in 2003 with a 9-11 song, "Have You Forgotten?", played Frostridge Saturday night and a few hundred hearty fans braved the rain and waved flags and cheered Worley's pro-USA, positive-living message.

The show closes out the 2015 season for The Ridge.









September 13, 2015 - 12:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Aldi's, batavia, business.



The local outlet of the discount food chain Aldi's is closed for remodeling and will remain closed until Oct. 1, according to a handwritten sign outside the store's main entrance on East Main Street in Eastown Plaza.

There was no prior announcement of the closing and no details of the renovations in the store have been released.

Aldi's is based in Germany. The company has 1,400 U.S. stores and is planning on investing $3 billion in the states, and creating 10,000 more jobs. It plans to open 600 more locations in the U.S., making it 44 percent the size of Walmart. Walmart is reportedly Aldi's competitive target.

The U.S. division of Aldi's is based in Batavia, Ill.

September 12, 2015 - 11:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, alexander, Notre Dame.


In a key early season Genesee Region matchup, Notre Dame beat Alexander 34-14.

Alexander scored first on a 14-yard run by Jake Wozniak. Notre Dame scored twice in the second quarter, making it 12-8, on a two-yard run by Peter Daversa and a 44-yard run by Jack Sutherland.

Alexander tied the score early in the third quarter on a fumble recovery in the end zone by Josh Hylkema.

The rest of the game was all Notre Dame, as the Fighting Irish scored on a 51-yard run by Sutherland, a one-yard dive for a TD by Sutherland, and Deversa scored on a one-yard run.

Alexander finished with 172 yards of total offense to 307, all on the ground, for Notre Dame.

Sutherland gained 185 yards and Deversa had 104. For Alexander, Wozniak rushed for 120 yards on 20 carries.

C.J. Suozzi had nine tackles and Dane Meberlein, 12, and Hunter Marzolf had nine for Alexander.

Suozzi punted twice for 69 yards.

In other Genesee County football this weekend:

  • Attica beat Pembroke, 36-0
  • Geneseo beat York/Pavilion, 34-28
  • Elba/Byron-Bergen beat Holley, 60-14
  • Le Roy beat Dansville 28-0 (We should have photos from this game some time tomorrow.)
  • Previously: Photos: Batavia beats Cardinal O'Hara 32-8








To purchase prints of photos, click here

September 12, 2015 - 1:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire service, elba, batavia.


Fire companies from throughout Western New York were represented in Batavia today for the funeral of William M. Hynes.

From his obituary:

Bill dedicated his life to the fire service in Genesee County. He served with the Le Roy Volunteer Fire Department from 1961-1968. From there he served with the Town of Batavia Fire Department from 1968-1980, serving as chief in 1978 and 1979. He is a current member of the Town of Elba Fire Department, joining in 1980 and served as chief from 1990-2003. He served as president of the Board of Directors of the Elba Fire Department from 2004-2013. He was also a life member of the Western New York Fireman’s Association and the New York State Fire Chief’s Association. Bill served on the Genesee County Mutual Aid Advisory Board, where he served as chairman for two years.









September 12, 2015 - 12:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Batavia HS.









September 11, 2015 - 5:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Police Facility.

With news that the state is going to once again try to auction off its one-time armory on State Street, there's been some chatter around town about the city buying the building and converting it into the new police headquarters.

After all, it only costs $60,000.

First off, it's going up for auction, and $60K is just the ante. It will likely go for considerably more than $60,000. City Manager Jason Molino said judging by the number of calls the city has been getting with questions about zoning for the property, there is quite a bit of interest in it.

But even if the city could get it at a reasonable price, converting it into a police station would still cost millions.

"It's not a turnkey building by any means," Molino said.

To make it suitable for police needs there would need to be substantial modifications, a lot of demolition, environmental abatement and retrofitting.

"It's not just a matter of repainting a few walls and moving in," Molino said.

The building was considered for a possible location early in the process, Molino said. The original committee of city staff and consultants toured the building and the city even asked the state to hold off on selling it until the city could complete its study.

The state didn't wait. The building was sold at auction, but that deal eventually fell through.

Even with a potential private owner to deal with, the task force that eventually came up with the Swan Street recommendation gave brief consideration to the armory, but rejected the idea almost as quickly.

Besides the cost, the location is essentially a residential area and the property has only one point of entry and exit. With State Street being a main thoroughfare during the school year, the property would be hard to enter or exit quickly twice a day -- morning and afternoon -- for nearly 10 months out of the year.

The City Council will be asked to consider a plan to build a police station from the ground up on Swan Street. That public discussion among council members has yet to take place.

September 11, 2015 - 4:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, batavia, crime.


Remember Rocky, the dog whom authorities say was scalded by hot water? The owner and her boyfriend where charged with crimes, and the owner surrendered Rocky to the county for adoption.

Rocky walked this week in the Oakfield Labor Day Parade and I was surprised to learn nobody had shown any interest in adopting him. On the spot, he kind of muzzled his way into my heart, so after much thought and conversation with Billie and a couple of visits to the animal shelter, Billie and I decided we would adopt him ourselves.

He's a real sweetheart, very gentle, loves people and other dogs and doesn't care much about cats. We had him with Pachuco in Kiwanis Park today to ensure they would get along, and they hit it off and have been doing well together this afternoon.

We think we can give Rocky a good home.


September 11, 2015 - 4:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in va center, batavia, 9-11.


Veterans came together at the VA Center for a 9-11 remembrance ceremony.








September 11, 2015 - 12:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, education, schools, batavia, business.
Craig Yunker

By the time Genesee Community College celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017, the campus will have opened a new Student Success Center and an events center, President Jim Sunser told a gathering in the Stuart Steiner Forum yesterday evening.

These will help GCC continue to grow and serve students better, Sunser said.

"Colleges are constantly evolving and student success is at the core of the values that we have at Genesee," Sunser said.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring thanks in part to a successful fundraising campaign chaired by local farmer and businessman Craig Yunker.

The goal of the campaign was to raise $5 million. The committee did better than that. It was comprised of people from Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

"We're really proud that this community is a generous community and people stepped up with a smile," Yunker said. "I'm proud to be a member of this community, and I'm proud to report to you that as of 2 o'clock this afternoon, we raised $5,214,213."

The two buildings along with a new scholarship fund is a $42 million project. More than half of that money will come from state grants. The county will also back a bond to help close the gap in funding.

A total of 475 individuals, couples and businesses from throughout the GLOW Region contributed money to the campaign, called "Building Our Future Together."

The project is the largest undertaking by the college since its founding, Yunker said. 

"Fifty years ago, GCC was just talk," Yunker said. "I remember how the talk about how it would move the region forward. It took a lot of volunteer effort. It took a lot of effort to bring it about."

A big reason the campaign was successful, Yunker said, was the support of the effort by the Call family.

"It's hard to imagine how this campaign wouldn't have gotten off to a great start without the Call family, and I just want to acknowledge Dick Call's leadership, Dick Call's vision, but the whole Call family, it was really important the leadership that the Call family has shown," Yunker said.


GCC President Jim Sunser

September 11, 2015 - 8:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections.

All primaries were Republican races. Results considered "unofficial."

City of Batavia, Ward 1:

  • Viele, 110
  • Doeringer, 25

City of Batavia, Ward 3:

  • Richmond, 20
  • Canale 41

Bergen, Town Clerk

  • Truax, 57
  • Smith, 213
  • VanHoute, 33

Byron, Supervisor

  • Heins, 114
  • Yasses, 157

Byron, Highway Superintendent

  • Forsyth, 173
  • Leaton, 99

Byron, Town Council (vote for two)

  • Cudney, 191
  • Sackett, 114
  • Klycek, 126

Bethany, Highway Superintendent

  • Fleming, 56
  • Merle, 75

Pavilion, Supervisor

  • Knepshield, 117
  • Howard, 130

Pavilion, Town Council, vote for two

  • Carney, 36
  • Clary, 109
  • Davis, 177
  • Rudgers, 123

Pavilion, Highway Superintendent

  • Offhaus, 118
  • Zarbo, 29
  • Thompson, 94
September 10, 2015 - 5:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC.

A volunteer committee of community and business leaders who came together to solicit donations to support a campus expansion and new scholarship fund has raised $5.2 million, announced Craig Yunker. 

The goal was to raise $5 million. 

We'll have more information posted in the morning. 

September 10, 2015 - 4:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Armory, batavia, business.


If your idea of a good bargain is a Mid-century Modern fixer-upper, has the State of New York got a deal for you.

The state is making a second attempt -- the first deal fell through -- to auction off its former armory at 235 State St., Batavia.

The minimum bid is $60,000.

Perhaps you need office space, space for your contracting business, or you think it could be apartments or offices or maybe even your home -- all contingent on zoning approvals, of course.

The auction is at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 30, in Buffalo.

There was an open house today and two more coming up -- from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22, and from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5.












Copyright © 2008-2014 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