Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Site Sponsors

Howard B. Owens's blog

April 28, 2011 - 3:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul.

Press Release:

ERIE COUNTY – Oil companies British Petroleum (BP), Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Exxon Mobil all reported first-quarter profits today, with Exxon Mobil reporting an astonishing 69-percent increase in profits. 

“While Americans are paying more than $4 at the pump, oil companies are making exorbitant profits thanks to the help of their Republican friends in Congress,” said Kathy Hochul, candidate for New York’s 26th Congressional District. “Speaker John Boehner says Congress ‘ought to take a look at’ tax breaks for oil companies, but we know that the House has already given them far too many.

“The 2012 House budget, that my Republican opponent supports, further fuels the profits oil companies made last quarter by cutting federal spending in energy research and development, while calling for the elimination of tax breaks for wind, solar and other alternative energy technologies. House Republicans would rather gut alternative energy technologies and decimate Medicare, than cut subsidies for big oil. How is that competitive?”

Jane Corwin has publicly stated her support for the Republican’s 2012 budget that would decimate Medicare, while giving tax breaks to corporations and America’s wealthiest individuals. The proposal also terminates alternative energy development, innovation and exploration.

April 28, 2011 - 3:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul, Ian Murphy.

This week, we asked each of the four candidates in the special election for the NY-26 Congressional District questions related to taxes, spending and debt.

Below are the questions. After the jump, the candidates' responses in the order received.

Let’s start with general economic theory. There are two primary, and opposing, schools of thought regarding modern economics and the role of government. Which theories most closely match your own economic view, those of John Maynard Keynes or Ludwig Von Mises?

A median-wage worker pays 23.4 percent of his or her income in federal taxes. A person in the top 1 percent of wage earners pays 16.9 percent.  Would you consider this differential something that should be reformed in the current tax code, or does this seem reasonable to you?

For purposes of political speech, corporations are considered persons. In tax law, persons must, at a minimum, pay an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Should the AMT be extended to the “persons” of corporations, such as General Electric Corp.? In other words, should corporations be required to pay at least some tax, regardless of write-offs and other tax advantages?

At the federal level, there are several departments and agencies – such as education, health, commerce, and more – that duplicate state and local services. Which, if any, of these departments and agencies could be eliminated or greatly reduced?

In 2009, Obama pushed through a tax cut cut for the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers that saved taxpayers from $800 to $1,600 per year. In December 2010, Congress overturned this tax credit. Would you have voted to repeal this tax cut if you were in office at the time?

Is it necessary to reduced the nation’s $14 trillion in gross national debt, and can it be reduced without tax increases? And if taxes have to go up, where should they go up first – corporations, the top 1 percent wage earners, the middle class, the poor?

Would you support a flat tax or national sales tax as an alternative to income tax?

April 28, 2011 - 2:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26.

Press release:

Statement from Jack Davis, Independent Candidate for Congress (NY-26), on Report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showing 1st quarter economic growth of 1.8 percent as the trade deficit widened:

Today’s report confirms what people outside Washington and Wall Street already knew: The economy is not getting better. 

Today’s report shows the trade deficit widened as businesses bought imported goods to restock their inventories. 

We need to put Americans back to work, and the surest way to do that is to make more of what we buy. If each American spent just 18 cents a day on American made products, it would put 200,000 people to work.

Every dollar spent on imports represents a job an American doesn’t have.  

Both parties in Washington continue to push failed economic policies that send our jobs overseas and make us dependent on imports from unstable foreign sources.

April 28, 2011 - 2:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy.

On Tuesday morning, somebody apparently fired a shotgun in the Village of Le Roy.

No injuries were reported in the 11 a.m. incident, but a bullet was lodged in the wall of a residence.

Police do not know who fired the12-gauge shotgun slug, which imbedded in the outer wall of 57 W. Main St.

It's also unclear where the person was standing when he fired the gun. It appears to be somewhere east of Craigie Street.

Police are asking any possible witnesses to call the department at 768-2527.

April 28, 2011 - 2:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

An Oakfield motorcycle rider who led local law enforcement on a high speed chase early this morning faces multiple charges, including DWI and reckless driving along with four counts of speeding.

The Sheriff's Office says Gregory P. Smith, 20, of Main Street, Oakfield, reached speeds this morning of 120 to 136 mph on what a witness described as a "crotch rocket" style motorcycle, according to dispatchers.

Initially, at 6:22 a.m., deputies were dispatched to the Village of Oakfield for a report of a motorcyclist driving fast and erratically, possibly intoxicated.

The driver reportedly dumped the bike near Wilson Farms, got it back up and headed south on Route 63, which is where he was intercepted by deputies.

When deputies attempted to initiate a traffic stop, Smith allegedly sped up, heading south on Route 63 into Batavia.

The suspect then continued west on West Main Street Road, through the Town of Batavia. When the driver reached Kelsey Road, he reportedly turned north and then headed west on Galloway Road. At Downey Road, he turned north and continued to Maple, where he turned back toward the village.

Smith reportedly lost control of the bike on Route 63 at Hutton Road.

He then allegedly fled on foot.

Law enforcement officers caught up with Smith in a cornfield north of the accident location and deployed a Taser to subdue him.

Smith faces the following charges: DWI; driving with a BAC of .08 or higher; reckless driving; unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle; four counts of speeding (120 in a 40 mph, 130 in a 45 mph, 120 in a 55 mph and 136 in a 30 mph); five counts of failure to stop for a stop sign; driving left of pavement markings; passing on the right; running a red light; unlicensed operation; and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.

The incident was investigated by Deputy Howard Carlson. Assisting in the incident were Deputy Lonnie Nati, Warrant Officer Eric Olson, Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello and the State Police.

April 28, 2011 - 1:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, elba, Oakfield, weather.

In the past hour, calls for trees and utility poles down have subsided, and the wind seems to have died down a bit, but a strong wind warning remains in effect until 4 p.m.

There are about a dozen locations where power outages have been reported, most significantly in Elba, where 871 National Grid customers are without power. The power outage was reported at 8:48 a.m. and no ETA for when power will be restored.

Above, what's left of a tree that blew down on Lewiston Road in Oakfield. Below, a contractor saws off a large broken limb from a tree on Wortendyke Road, Town of Batavia, that was hanging precariously over the roadway.

April 28, 2011 - 11:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

There are at least six power outages in the county, most of them effecting fewer than five National Grid customers each.

One outage, in Alabama, has cut power to 189 customers.

April 28, 2011 - 10:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion.

A section of roof has blown off a barn and into a telephone pole at 1083 Transit Road.

The section of roof is tangled up in the wires. The pole snapped.

Pavilion Fire Department is dispatched.

UPDATE 10:51 a.m.: Traffic is being shut down at Sheppard and Transit. The pole is broken and leaning toward the roadway, but is not completely sheared off.

UPDATE 11:10 a.m.: The roadway is being reopened. Pavilion Fire Department is leaving the scene. The farm workers are working to clear away the portion of the barn roof. Apparently, the wires are not a safety hazard.

View Larger Map

April 28, 2011 - 10:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Darien, Pavilion.

Joshua Edward Krzemien, 24, of Portageville Road, Castile, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing. Krzemien is accused putting another person in a head lock, obstructing the person's breathing, during a domestic incident on Ellicott Street Road, Pavilion, at 9:40 p.m., Tuesday.

Sarah Jean Nugent, 25, of Ellicott Street Road, Pavilion, is charged with criminal mischief. Nugent is accused of breaking the mobile phone of another person during a domestic incident on Ellicott Street Road, Pavilion, at 9:40 p.m., Tuesday.

A 16-year-old from Three Rod Road, Marilla, is charged with trespass. The youth, along with three others, are accused of being on property at 400 Seven Day Road, Darien, without permission. Also charged with trespass were three youths from Alden: a 17-year-old, of Emerson Street; a 17-year-old, of West Drive; and Steven Anthony Jasinowski, 18, of Kellogg Street.

April 28, 2011 - 10:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion.

A roof is apparently blowing off an apartment building at 10980 Starr Road, Pavilion.

Pavilion Fire Department being dispatched.

UPDATE 10:22 a.m.: The building is being evacuated.

UPDATE 10:23 a.m.: A code inspector on scene advises it's just shingles blowing off. The decking is intact and no electrical wires are involved.

UPDATE 10:26 a.m.: An assistant chief on scene reports just sheeting coming off the roof. All Pavilion equipment held in the hall.

UPDATE 10:30 a.m.: Pavilion back in service.

View Larger Map

April 28, 2011 - 7:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

Winds between 30 and 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph are possible today through 4 p.m.

The National Weather Service warns that strong winds could bring down trees and power lines.

Drivers of high profile vehicles should exercise caution.

A flash flood watch for the region has been cancelled.

There's a 50-percent chance of precipitation today, and it will be partly cloudy.

April 28, 2011 - 6:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Oakfield.

A pursuit of a motorcycle rider is in progress. It began in Oakfield, came into the city briefly and now appears headed back toward Oakfield.

The original call was for a motorcycle rider on a "crotch rocket" apparently racing through the Village of Oakfield. The original caller suspected the rider was intoxicated.

Law enforcement units responded to Oakfield but didn't get there before he refueled at Wilson Farms.

The rider was spotted southbound on Route 63. When he reached West Main Street, he turned right and headed west. He took Kelsey to Galloway, then Downey, then Maple and is now heading back into the village and then 63.

The rider has allegedly ran multiple stop signs and "almost lost it on Maple."

He just "dumped it" on southbound Route 63.

The rider took off on foot, northbound.

UPDATE 6:34 a.m.: Suspect in custody.

UPDATE 6:37 a.m.: Medics requested to the scene to evaluate the suspect from being Tased and his tumble.

UPDATE 6:42 a.m.: Suspect is denying any injuries. Taser probes need to be removed from his legs.

April 27, 2011 - 7:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, weather, Tonawanda Creek.

A scene along South Main Road, at about 6:45 p.m., shortly after our cloudburst.  Recent rains have the Tonawanda Creek running high, from bank-to-bank.

While radar shows the storm seems to have passed, a tornado watch remains in effect until 10 p.m.

There is a flash flood watch in effect from 10 p.m. until tomorrow morning.

April 27, 2011 - 5:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, alexander.

Two cars going in the opposite direction on Railroad Avenue in Alexander struck side view mirrors and the driver in one of the vehicles suffered minor cuts as a result of the accident.

Nicholas A. Antonucci, 23, of 4192 Broadway Road, Alexander, was eastbound in a 2009 Dodge pickup, and Edward R. Reiter, 58, of East Main Street, Attica, was westbound in a 1990 Ford dump truck when their mirrors struck.

Reiter suffered cuts on his arm but was not transported to a hospital.

The accident occurred at 1:06 p.m.

No citations were issued.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Chris Parker.

Earlier this week, Antonucci was charged by City Police with driving with ability impaired by drugs.

April 27, 2011 - 3:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, Jane Corwin, Ian Murphy.

Ian Murphy, on the Green line in the NY-26 special election on May 24, may be considered such a long shot that the Buffalo News won't even mention him as a candidate in the race, but that's hardly keeping him silent.

As a long-time blogger at Buffalo Beast, Murphy has learned a thing or two about the Web, social media and PhotoShop.

Murphy has raised so little money for his campaign, he hasn't even needed to file campaign financing reports, but it doesn't take much cash to launch a Web site.

So Murphy is campaigning against the frontrunners in the race the best way he knows how -- with satire and digital media.

Within the last day or so, Murphy launched

The site is a direct copy of Corwin's own campaign site,, but alter's text and photos to send a decidedly different message.

On the authentic site, where Corwin invites people to sign up for an e-mail newsletter, Murphy changed the submission fields from e-mail address and zip code to "Bank Account Number" and "SS #."  Where Corwin has a "Contribute" button, Murphy's button reads, "Give Me Your Money."

One blog post entry is titled "Corwin Outlines Comprehensive Pandering Strategy." The post begins: "Jane Corwin, successful daughter of rich people and candidate for New York’s 26th Congressional District, today outlined a comprehensive pandering strategy to say she’ll decrease gas prices because that’s what our polling research said people want to hear. Corwin discussed her pandering agenda to a crowd of local idiots."

The humor isn't always polite. Murphy also calls Corwin "ugly."

The disclosure on the footer of the site reads, "paid for by corporate greed."

Some of the links on the site lead to a page asking people to make contributions to Murphy's campaign.

Asked about the site, Murphy wrote back:

We set it up as a favor to Jane. Her current Web site doesn't accurately portray her vapidity, her corporate agenda, or her desire to decimate Medicare and Social Security for the financial benefit of the Wall Street elite. We just thought she deserved a more honest Web site.

We also asked Corwin's campaign for a response and this is what we received from Matthew Harakal:

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Now if we could only get liberals and career politicians like Kathy Hochul to follow Jane Corwin’s lead to reduce taxes, cut spending and create jobs, we could really start to fix Western New York’s economy.

April 27, 2011 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

Weather Service statement:







April 27, 2011 - 2:58pm
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:

“While voters of the 26th District express their concern over Jane Corwin’s support of the Republican budget that decimates Medicare, the Assemblymember is hitting the D.C. fundraising circuit with the same Washington insiders who voted for the proposal.

“This morning, Jane Corwin is headlining a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., with slick Washington politicians and her old Wall Street pals at the Capitol Hill Club. The fundraiser is being hosted by The Financial Services Roundtable – a group of Wall Street bankers, who were among the first to back President Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security.

“So not only do Jane Corwin’s donors want to decimate Medicare, but they supported privatizing Social Security as well? Voters in the 26th District will not stand for politicians that support proposals that could send our seniors back into poverty, while lining the pockets of the super rich.

“Jane Corwin’s plans are wrong for all Americans and will only add burdensome costs onto the backs of our seniors, while providing massive tax breaks to America’s corporate giants and wealthiest individuals.”

UPDATE: Response from the Corwin campaign:

"Today, Jane is discussing how she would vote to cut spending and create jobs, while over the last few days Kathy Hochul has been sipping champagne with radical New York City special interests that have decimated Western New York’s economy. Instead of hobnobbing with glitterati on New York City’s Upper East Side, maybe Kathy Hochul will finally speak up and unveil her plan for cutting spending, creating jobs, lowering gas prices, or anything else for that matter."  -Matt Harakal

April 27, 2011 - 2:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Saturday, for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, members of the Batavia Police Department will be in the parking lot of department HQ, 10 W. Main St., Batavia, to collect unwanted prescription drugs and hypodermic needles.

No questions asked.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The drop off is open to all people regardless of where they reside.

Additionally, nursing homes, doctors offices and other organizations wishing to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs and or hypodermic needles may use the service.

As an added bonus, people disposing of unwanted prescription drugs will receive a certificate for a free seat at a Buffalo Bisons home game between May 5 and 12 when one ticket is purchased for the same game.

Photo submitted by Batavia PD. Pictured are Det. Charles F. Dudek, left, and Det. Todd A. Crossett

April 27, 2011 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba.

The Town of Elba has a new phone system, according to Supervisor Lucine Kauffman. 

The new, automated phones at Elba Town Hall required the town to change its phone numbers.

Here are the new numbers:

Town Hall main number: 585-757-2762. Callers will receive a message with the extension menu for all of the Elba Town officials and departments.

Town Hall Fax number: 585-757-9921

Town Court Fax number: 585-757-9200

The changes took effect today.




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