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January 11, 2011 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

In an item added at the least minute to the city council agenda Monday night, the council approved an extension to the Dwyer Stadium lease agreement for the Batavia Muckdogs.

Formalizing the lease agreement extension in a hurry-up fashion was necessary, said City Manager Jason Molino, because it's only been recently that another year of professional baseball in Batavia was "set in stone." 

Once that was in place, Molino said, the New York-Penn League demanded a lease agreement be in place well before the start of the season.

The NY-Penn League has been pretty demanding during the off season, Molino said, and the city has, in response, made improvements to the field and locker rooms.

"You talk about unfunded state mandates," Molino said. "Minor league baseball has mandates of its own."

Near the end of the 2010 season, league president Ben Hayes spoke harshly about the condition of the Dwyer playing field. Molino said the field wasn't in the horrid shape Hayes made it out to be, but the league did have some (valid) concerns.

"We addressed those concerns in the fall and the league is satisfied with the changes that we've made," Molino said.

The renewed lease makes few changes to prior agreements and does not increase the funding burden on taxpayers, Molino said.

The primary change is memorializing a capital expense fund balance with a minimum balance of $20,000, though the city has a $60,000 balance currently, Molino said.

January 11, 2011 - 9:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

From three to six inches of snow will accumulate in parts of Western New York, including Genesee County, as a storm hits the region later this afternoon.

The National Weather Services has issued a winter weather advisory for 4 p.m. today through 5 p.m. tomorrow.

Snowfall over night will likely hinder the Wednesday morning commute, the NWS warns.

At times, in moderate snowfall, visibility will be about a half mile.

January 10, 2011 - 11:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GoArt, Roz Hayes.


At one point in the 1960s, Roz Hayes wanted to have her work shown at an art show in the area, but a woman with the artist society in charge of the show told her no.

Hayes, who died June 24 at age 87, was painting modern, abstract works at the time, and the other artists in the society were painting still life, recalled her daughter, Pati Cultrara.

"She said, 'Your art isn’t welcome here. This isn’t what we want,'" Cultrara said. "My mother cried and cried and cried. She cried, because it was art, you know, because whether this lady liked it or not, it was art. "

Hayes, though, would keep painting, moving into ever more colorful motifs, creating work that many people wanted to buy, but few got the chance.

hayes_painting01.jpgFifty years after that initial rejection, area residents who appreciate art, particularly the vibrant and expressive pictures of Roz Hayes can, at least one last time, take in a retrospective of her work hosted by GoArt! at Seymour Place, 201 East Main St., Batavia.

"With this exhibit you really get a feeling for the artist and for her evolution," said Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council Director Kelly Kiebala. "You can really feel how she really blossomed. It’s so colorful and it's really uplifting to look at her work. I think it leaves you with a really good feeling."

During the opening Saturday, Hayes' three children -- Pati, Nancy Cifelli and Tom Hayes -- were on hand to talk with gallery patrons about their mother's work.

They said Hayes started painting when they were elementary school age, though Pati recalled that her mother always seemed to have a visual sense.

"She would block things out, you know," said Cultrara, holding up her thumb like the prototypical artist. "She was always doing that while we were growing up."

At first, Hayes specialized in landscapes with earthy, natural tones.

Despite the rejection of one local artistic matron, Hayes began to find an audience for her work. People wanted to buy her paintings, so many of those early works wound up in the hands of local residents.

"I wish she didn’t sell as many as she did," said Tom Hayes. "We weren’t the richest people in the world and we actually needed the money. "Then it got to the point where she really hung onto her paintings.

"When we cleaned out her house, we found hundreds and hundreds of paintings. We found them everywhere, under beds, closets, you know, tables."

Hayes' later work, especially after her husband Edward died, became much more careful, and near the end of her life, she started her "Jazz" series, paying tribute to her favorite music.

"Whatever she loved in life, she put on canvas," Cifelli said.

Among the paintings the family found in her home after her death, Cifelli said, is one that is now her favorite -- it is of a young Nancy with a white horse she used to ride every summer.

"I never even saw it before," Cifelli said.

Asked what her highly regarded mother meant to her, Cifelli said she never thought of her that way.

“I appreciate her artwork, but I always looked at her more as my mom than as an artist," Cifelli said.

Pati, Nancy and Tom all describe Roz as a woman of great energy, a positive outlook and a multitude of interests.

Hayes took dance and psychology classes, studied piano, collected books and loved going to flea markets.

"She had thousands of books," Cultrara said. "There wasn't anything she didn't want to learn."

While Roz loved New Orleans and its music, and was fascinated by the life of the place, the artist, who never traveled, never visited the cradle of all that jazz music she loved, Tom said.

While in her later career, Roz didn't sell much of her work, she did like showing it off, Cultrara said.

"She glowed (when she showed her work)," Cultrara said. "It meant that people felt it and they liked it and it made her glow. ... To her, art was filling, like when you’re full. You know, when you eat, you’re full. When she painted, it filled her with – well, she was full."

The exhibit runs through Feb. 15.

Tickets are $2 each or three for $5 and are available at GoArt! and online.

For more information, or to make an appointment during non-gallery hours, contact the GoArt! at (585) 343-9313.

Top photo: Nancy, Pati and Tom.

January 10, 2011 - 7:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, taxes, City Budget.

The proposed City of Batavia budget for 2011/12 includes an increase in the property tax levy, taking it up to $10.51 per thousand dollars of assessed value, an increase of 1.59 percent.

The owner of a $80,000 home would pay $13 more per year.

It's a 16-cent increase over the previous year.

Total anticipated revenue for the budget year is projected at $14,800,662.

In connection with release of the budget, the city is releasing a strategic plan. Part of the plan funded in the proposed budget is the creation of an economic development director with a salary of $55,000 to $70,000.

In the proposed budget, the water rate is scheduled to go up 23 13 cents to $4.31 per 1,000 gallons. (strke-thru is correcting a typo in original city press release)

January 10, 2011 - 10:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy.

Cortney L. Richardson, 28, of 77 Walden Creek Drive, Batavia, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, speed not reasonable and failure to keep right. Richardson was charged following a one-car, non-injury accident on Bank Street, Batavia, at 2:40 a.m., Friday. Richardson's car reportedly hit a fire hydrant on Bank Street after he allegedly failed to negotiate a turn at Denio Street. Bail was set at $7,500.

Mark Wilhem Hanel, 39, of Swamp Road, Bergen, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Hanel is accused of being in the house of a person he was barred by court order from contacting. Upon his arrest, Hanel was searched and allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance. Bail was set at $2,500.

John M. Taggert, 28, of 16 North Lyons St., Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and operating with insufficient headlights. Taggert was stopped on Main Street, Village of Le Roy, at 12:30 a.m., Saturday, by Le Roy Police.

John R. Sherman, 33, of Lima, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and following too closely. Sherman was stopped at 10:20 p.m., Friday, on Route 5 in Stafford by State Police.

January 10, 2011 - 9:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Le Roy.

The Sheriff's Office is looking for anybody who witnessed a non-injury accident Thursday morning on Route 19, Le Roy.

The accident occurred at 6:14 a.m. in front of Le Roy Manor, 8678 Lake Street Road.

A green 2000 Ford Taurus, driven by Deborah A. Rodgers, 43, was pulling from the driveway of Le Roy Manor preparing to turn south when it was struck by a red 2002 Hyundai driven by Leslie J. Exford, 48.

Exford was passing a northbound tractor-trailer. The accident occurred in the southbound lane.

Witnesses are asked to call Deputy Frank Bordonaro at 345-3000, ext. 3229.

January 9, 2011 - 7:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, photos, byron.


This afternoon I drove out to Byron for a bit and found a couple of interesting looking barns. The pair above, if I remember correctly, were on Warboys Road. Below, a group of barns on North Byron Bergen Road.


January 8, 2011 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, elba, Andrew Cuomo.


Sam Lamont, a student in Elba, was selected to attended Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State speech earlier this week.

He was one of 62 students selected from throughout New York. The Elba Central School District was asked by the governor's office to select one of its student.

Sam was selected because of his leadership qualities, involvement in the community and was a Boy's State representative last summer.

Above, Sam is pictured with his parents, Skip and Mari-Ellen Lamont.

Below is his report on attending the event.

Being chosen to attend the "State of the State Address" was an honor. This was my first trip to Albany and yes it was impressive. This was a moment in history.

Seeing Governor Andrew Cuomo outline his plan to bring New York forward and reduce spending was inspiring and rang true with those present.

He is an emotional speaker and today, in Albany, it didn't matter if you were a Republican or Democrat.

He does care about the future of our state. Rochester's own Robert Duffy, taller than I had expected, gained the respect of everyone in the room.

As I sat on the stage, I was immediately impressed by the number of black power suits and the presence of the press. Cameras were everywhere. It seemed everyone was making contacts and later being interviewed as to their opinion of the speech.

The receptions were filled with a cross section of New Yorkers looking forward to a canoli or cheesecake while discussing politics.

I came to the realization that Albany is a powerful place and those individuals in dark suits are many of our elected officials. They are powerful people and are decision makers in our future. Let them hear your viewpoint; vote, contact your representatives and be informed.

January 8, 2011 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day.

Red Osier, Route 5, Stafford, NY: Truly, one of the landmark restaurants of the area. Red Osier features prime rib carved table side. We have $25 gift certificates for $12.50.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY: To me, Delavan's is one of those restaurants where you want to eat frequently until you try everything on the menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

O'Lacy's Irish Pub, 5 School St. Batavia, NY: In Irish pubs, it doesn't get more authentic than O'Lacy's. Be sure to try the homemade chips. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Settler's Restaurant, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Alli's Cones & Dogs, 7063 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; new all-you-can-eat salad bar; ice cream served year-round; eat-in or take-out. We have $20 gift certificates for $10.

NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.


January 7, 2011 - 12:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, Batavia Rotary Club, sports.


Notre Dame entered the 4th quarter of the Rotary Club of Batavia Girls Basketball Tournament finals down by 8 points.

All night, Perry gave Notre Dame room for plenty of attempts, but the shots just weren't dropping. That all changed in the 4th quarter. Suddenly, whatever invisible shield had been keeping the ball out of the basket disappeared.

The Lady Irish scored 20 points in the 4th quarter, compared only six points for Perry.

Final score, Notre Dame 45, Perry 39.

Carly Pike had 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 steals for the Fighting Irish (8-0). Pike scored 13 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter.

In the consolation game, Alexander beat Batavia 56-52.

All-Tournament players: Cheslea Turcer, Alexander; Lisa Redband, Batavia; Karissa 
Schuster and Erica Miller, Perry; Riley Norton, Notre Dame; Carly Pike was named MVP.


Winners photo submitted by Tim Call.

More pictures after the jump, with even more available for purchase by clicking here.

NOTE: For Tuesday's games, I used the wrong pricing sheet for photo purchases. That's been corrected and those photos are available by clicking here.

January 7, 2011 - 11:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

Richard Wolfe, 33, of 36 Garibaldi Ave., Oakfield, is charged with public lewdness. Wolfe is accused of exposing his genitals to a female employee of a West Main Street coffee shop in Batavia while he was sitting in his car at the drive-thru window.

Nathan D. Stephens, 43, of 6258 North Lake Road, Bergen, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd, unlicensed operation and speeding. Stephens was stopped by Deputy Colin Reagan of the Wyoming Sheriff's Office at 6:22 a.m., Thursday, on South Main Street in the Village of Warsaw.

Justin William Bird, 22, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, unlawful possession of marijuana, inadequate headlights and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Bird is accused of being involved in a property damage accident at 2:26 a.m. in the area of 43 S. Main St., Elba. Allegedly, Bird left the scene without proper notifications and was later located driving in the Village of Elba.

January 7, 2011 - 11:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.


If you live Le Roy and items went missing from your car or garage the night of Dec. 12, the Le Roy Police may have recovered your missing items.

The police are asking individuals who may have found items missing to come forward and identify the property.

Officers believe the items were stolen by three individuals first observed running from Officer R. Tygart in backyards along Summit Street and Hilltop Drive.

Officers followed the footprints in the snow from Hilltop Drive to Washington Street, Union Street and Crossing Route 19 and then down Munson Street.

The three suspects were eventually located on Gilbert Street and taken into custody. They reportedly admitted to stealing items from cars along the way.

The property recovered: numerous $1 bills, coins, a Sansa MP3 player, an unopened pack of Seneca brand cigarettes, three lighters, two flashlights, some eyehooks, one opened pack of Market menthol cigarettes and one knife.

Also found in the area and believed stolen was one gray plastic tote bin (pictured) consisting of Arizona ice tea, 24 oz. bottles of Dr. Pepper, packs of Orbit Mist gum, Wrigley’s gum and lollipops.

The Le Roy Police are attempting to locate the owners of this property. If your vehicle or garage/residence was entered during this time frame and/or property was found missing, please contact the Le Roy police as soon as possible at 768-2527.

January 6, 2011 - 11:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown.

cubcakelady01.jpgYvonne Burgess has a real talent -- she can turn an ordinary cupcake into a work of art.

She stopped by The Batavian office Thursday afternoon to show of the decorative "flower box" of cupcakes she had with her and showed off mobile phone pictures of several other designs she's come up with.

The owner of Fry Dogz, a mobile food service, Burgess is looking to expand her business to offer customers cupcakes designed to fit any occasion.

"I feel a lot of enjoyment making these," said Burgess, explaining why she would like to make this speciality her primary business.

She would like to open a retail location, offering other baked goods, as well, in Downtown Batavia, but first, she said, she needs to demonstrate that she can make money making cupcakes.

A cancer survivor (she said she had a brain tumor), she said she's recently found it easier to work for herself, and making beautiful cupcakes is what she enjoys doing most.

"I couldn't find work that suited me (after getting cancer) and this does," Burgess said. "I love creating things and helping others. That's just me."

To contact Burgess, call either 585-591-7911 or 585-861-0414.

January 6, 2011 - 10:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Nursing Home, business.

Employees of the Batavia Nursing Home of told WKBW that they've been having trouble cashing their payroll checks.

The facility, along with one in Lewiston, is owned by Senior Associates LLC, which is owned by Marc Korn, according to WKBW.

Full story.

January 6, 2011 - 2:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, tourism.

In 2010, bed-tax revenue returned to normal, said Kelly Rapone, director of tourism and marketing for Genesee County.

After abnormal years in 2008 and 2009 -- when first a lot of construction drove the revenue numbers up to record heights, and then a recession and bad summer weather caused revenue to plummet -- 2010 put revenue back on the growth track of previous years.

Not every hotel did equally as well. Darien Lake Theme Park grabbed most of the revenue and the growth. But overall, last year was a good one for Genesee County tourism.

"It was a really good season, but it was a mixed bag," Rapone said. "The bulk of the number is driven by Darien Lake. They were going gangbusters this summer, while some other hotels were down a bit."

Recently, Darien Lake added 24 "Brown Bear" cabins, which can sleep up to eight and offer extra amenities, as well as added other accommodations. The Darien strategy has been to try to keep guests on site.

"The did keep a lot of business," Rapone said. "I would say eight of 10 calls we got here were from people wanting to stay on the property."

In all bed-tax revenue in 2010 was $356,133, up slightly from the last "normal" year, 2007, when it was $350,435.

While Darien Lake accounted for about one-third of the bed-tax revenue, the theme park also did a lot to bring people into the county, which helped a lot of other businesses.

The concert season was "awesome," Rapone said.

"If you were anywhere in Western New York, you couldn't escape the advertising for Darien Theme Park," Rapone added.

January 6, 2011 - 11:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Tim Walton.


Tim Walton, the 21-year-old entrepreneur behind Top Line Shirt Company, is planning another business venture.

He and a partner, Mike Marchese, are planning to open a teen nightclub at 624 E. Main St., Batavia, in the spring.

The building is owned by Ken Mistler and once housed his gym, which is now located at the corner of East Main and Jackson streets, downtown.

Impulz Teen Nightclub is expected to open in the spring, Walton said.

The space is 7,350 square feet and Walton said it is already well set up for a DJ booth and dance floor.

The club will cater to teens in high school and middle school and be similar to iTeen, a popular nightclub in Buffalo that draws young people from throughout the region.

Walton said he first conceived of the idea when was 18 because he and his friends felt there weren't enough entertainment options in Batavia. But until now, he said, he couldn't afford to open such a venue.

To avoid the need of a loan to fully fund the venture, Walton turned to Marchese as a business partner to help get the doors open.

There will be extensive renovations inside the building before the club can open, Walton said.

Originally, Mistler intended to put a nightclub in the space, Walton said, but Mistler has become busy with his business ventures downtown, which include The Daily Grind, Next Level Fitness and South Beach Restaurant. Mistler has been providing advice and pointers during the start-up process, Walton said.

January 6, 2011 - 10:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, byron.

Nicholas Adkins, 20, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with burglary, 2nd. Adkins allegedly forcibly entered a house on Swamp Road, Town of Byron, and stole money. Adkins was jailed on $5,000 bail.

A 17-year-old resident of Transit Road, Elba, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. The youth is accused of becoming physically abusive toward a 14-year-old boy while the boy was in the area of 430 E. Main St., Batavia. The Elba youth may be eligible for youthful offender status.

David Paul Bartholf, 19, Kelsey Road, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bartholf was reportedly a passenger in a vehicle stopped by Deputy Patrick Reeves at 4:58 p.m., Nov. 11.  Bartholf was allegedly found in possession of a marijuana pipe.

Gregory Seppe, 52, no permanant address, is charged with petit larceny. Seppe is accused of shoplifting from Dollar General at 8:08 p.m., Wednesday. Seppe was jailed on $750 bail. (For previous reports on Seppe, click here.)

Donna M. Croft, 57, of 56 Buell St., Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Croft is accused of trying to hide several items of merchandise from Dollar General  in her purse. The alleged crime was reported at 9:54 p.m., Wednesday.




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