Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Site Sponsors

Howard B. Owens's blog

April 10, 2011 - 1:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bergen Fire Department.

I got out to the Bergen Fire Department's open house a little later than I would have liked yesterday due to other coverage, but I was told there was a big turnout -- more than 300 people. I did get there in time to find Grace, a little unsure about the whole thing, checking out a firetruck for the first time.

April 10, 2011 - 12:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Oliver's Candies.

The Easter Bunny made his annual appearance at Oliver's Candies on West Main Street, Batavia, on Saturday. 

April 10, 2011 - 12:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, sports, softball, college.

While I was up at GCC for the Eco-Fest, I noticed both the women's softball team and men's baseball team had games going.

This post contains a few shots from the softball games and I'll have a post later with the baseball photos along with more information about the 2011 men's team.

The Cougars split their double-header with Hudson Valley CC 2-5 and 10-5. The women's team is 4-9 overall on the season and 3-0 in its conference.

More pictures after the jump:

April 10, 2011 - 12:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GCC, environment, Recycling.

Hundreds of residents drove up to Genesee Community College CC on Saturday to drop off old computers, monitors, printers, TVs and other household electronics so they could dispose of the broken, outdated technology in a safe, environmentally friendly way.

While there, Todd Sloat, of Sloat Tires, would check the air pressure on the motorists' tires, if they wished.

April 10, 2011 - 11:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, history, hlom.

Among the many things to do in Genesee County on Saturday was to stop by the Holland Land Office Museum and meet some Civil War reenactors and see some of their guns, swords and household items.

April 9, 2011 - 10:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, accidents.

A 60-year-old Elba resident turned himself into police today, reportedly admitting he was the driver involved in a minor-injury, hit-and-run accident on Vine Street on Thursday night.

Craig Yunker, 60, of 6464 Transit Road, Elba, was charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and moving from lane unsafely.

Yesterday, Batavia Police issued a request for help in identifying the driver of a white pickup truck involved in an accident at 9:40 p.m., Thursday. The truck reportedly suffered heavy front-end damage in the head-on crash, but was reportedly able to drive from the scene.

The unidentified driver of the other car was transported with minor injuries to UMMC.

After turning himself in, Yunker was issued citations and ordered to appear in Batavia City Court at a later date.

April 9, 2011 - 10:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany.

A driver who died in a one-car accident on Little Canada Road, Bethany, this afternoon was reportedly not wearing a seat belt, according to a Sheriff's Office report.

Suzanne M. Stratton, 51, of Clipnock Road, Bethany, was pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Donald Coleman.

Her passenger, 16-year-old Peter C. Couch, also of Clipnock Road, was wearing a seatbelt. He was transported to UMMC with minor injuries.

Stratton was driving at 1998 Dodge Stratus westbound on Little Canada Road just before 3:30 p.m. when she apparently failed to negotiate a curve. Her car flew off the roadway and overturned several times before coming to rest on its wheels in a field.

Stratton was ejected from the car.

The investigation is continuing and is being conducted by Deputy Cory Mower, Sgt. Greg Walker and Deputy Ron Meides.

Alcohol is not considered a factor.

Assisting at the scene were the Bethany Fire Department, Mercy EMS and State Police.

April 9, 2011 - 10:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul.

Press release from Kathy Hochul campaign:

“Tonight, with just over one hour before a massive a government shutdown, the United States Congress finally came to a budget compromise. 

“For days, I have called on my opponents, Republican Jane Corwin, and Tea Party-endorsed candidate, Jack Davis, to join me in supporting a budget compromise to no avail. I am thankful Congress has worked through their disputes and finally come to this compromise that cuts spending. However, I am greatly dismayed at the lack of concern Jane Corwin and Jack Davis have shown on this issue. Instead of supporting what was right for the people of the 26th District, my opponents chose to play politics and avoid the issue at hand. 

“If Jane Corwin and Jack Davis were currently serving in Congress, their apathy towards the budget compromise would have delayed students their loans, seniors their social security benefits, small business owners their loans, veterans their benefits, military men and women their paychecks, and hard working families their tax refunds.

“We cannot allow partisan politics to stand, which is why once elected I will work with all Members of Congress to make sure this fiasco does not occur again. I will work hard to pass a 2012 budget on time that makes substantial cuts, while still ensuring essential services are not disturbed. We cannot decimate Medicare and break the promises made to our seniors.”

April 9, 2011 - 10:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, Ian Murphy.

Ian Murphy, the Green candidate for the NY-26, was barred from a Tea Party candidates' forum by organizer Rus Thompson of Buffalo because, supposedly, Murphy isn't a "serious" candidate.  

David Bellavia, who didn't even get a line on the ballot, was allowed to speak.

The forum was hosted somewhere in the Buffalo area.

Murphy showed up dressed in Revolutionary War-era garb.

April 9, 2011 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, Jane Corwin, kathy hochul.

Press Release:

ERIE COUNTY – Kathy Hochul, candidate for New York’s 26th Congressional District, today released a new television advertisement.

The 30-second spot, entitled “The Truth,” responds to misleading attacks made against Hochul in one of her opponent’s most recent TV ads.

“Jane Corwin has once again chosen to literally leave out half the story in her most recent television ad – distorting Kathy’s remarkable record of fighting for Western New Yorkers,” said Fabien Levy, communications director for Kathy Hochul. “Kathy Hochul saved Erie County residents over $200,000 when a new federal program came down on us from Washington.  Meanwhile, Albany politician Jane Corwin is playing political games by saying she supports budget cuts, and then voting against them.”

The campaign also included three supporting documents (all three files are PDF):

April 9, 2011 - 10:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GoArt, Folk Arts Program.

When I heard there was going to be a Mexican Folk Art Festival in Batavia, I was excited about it, but I neglected to do one thing -- put it on my calendar.

The festival was March 19. The other day, Kelly Kiebala, director of GoArt, sent along a couple of pictures from the festival, and even though it's a little late, I thought them worth sharing. I'm hoping this is something GoArt will sponsor again in the future.

April 9, 2011 - 10:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A 19-year-old woman suffered minor injuries following a head-on collision at 9:40 p.m. Thursday, and police are looking for the driver of the vehicle that struck hers.

The other driver was able to drive his car from the scene and fled before police arrived.

The driver is described as age 50 or older, white male. He was driving a white full-sized pickup, possibly a Ford. The truck should have extensive front-end damage.

The identity of the accident victim, who was transported by Mercy EMS to UMMC for treatment, was not released.

Anyone with information that might assist in identifying the suspect driver is asked to call Officer Marc Lawrence at (585) 345-6350.

April 8, 2011 - 1:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, byron, Alabama.

Shane Wheeler, 31, of Sackett Road, Bergen, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, failure to reduce speed for hazard and moving from lane unsafely. Sheriff's Deputies responded to the area of routes 33 and 19 area following a complaint of a car on the road driving only on tireless rims. Upon arrival, deputies located fresh scrape marks on the roadway and followed the marks. An accident scene was located at the intersection of Lyman and Coward roads in Byron. The scrape marks continued north on Coward and onto the CSX railroad right-of-way. While searching the right-of-way, deputies discovered the vehicle had become stuck and was struck by a passing train. Wheeler was located, uninjured, and deputies determined he was allegedly operating the vehicle while intoxicated. The incident was investigated by deputies Howard Carlson and John Weis.

Grant A. Sundown Jr., 46, of Skye Road, Basom, is charged with felony aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, DWI and aggravated DWI. Sundown was stopped at 8:25 a.m. Thursday on Lewiston Road, Oakfield, by Deputy Bradley Mazur.

Kevin Christopher Heschke, 25, of St. Marks Street, Le Roy, is charged with felony DWI and failure to keep right. Heschke was reportedly observed by a Le Roy Police officer swerving and driving left of the pavement markings on Church Street on Thursday night. Heschke reportedly fled his vehicle and was caught in a nearby backyard. He was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Jessica Marie Poodry, 22, of Bloomingdale Road, Alabama, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, reckless driving, and failure to notify DMV of address change. Poodry is accused of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident at 1:35 a.m. Friday on Gilmore Road, Pembroke. The accident was investigated by Deputy Jason Saile.

Koro Karanja Prince , 18, of Troy Avenue, Brooklyn, is charged with criminal trespass, 2nd. Prince is accused of being in an apartment at College Village after being banned from the property.

Armekco Devanta Austin, 19, of Monica Street, Rochester, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and criminal trespass, 2nd. Austin is accused of being inside a room at College Village after being banned from the property.

Joshua M. Gaudioso, 22, of 3232 Fillmore Ave., Caledonia, is charged with obstructing governmental administration, 2nd, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Le Roy Police assisted Sheriff's deputies in locating Gaudioso who was wanted on a warrant. Gaudioso allegedly struggled with officers when located. Following his arrest, a bag of marijuana and a pipe were allegedly found on him.

April 8, 2011 - 12:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26.

Press release from Jack Davis' campaign:

Jack Davis, independent candidate for U.S. Congress, was endorsed by the Tea Party Coalition on Thursday evening. This endorsement builds on the broad support Davis’ independent candidacy is receiving from voters of all affiliations throughout the 26th District.   
“I am honored to have the support of the Tea Party Coalition. Along with the Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives and Independents I have heard from, they are fed up with both parties which have failed to deliver the jobs we need to support families, keep Social Security strong and ensure a prosperous future for our children. For too long, we’ve seen politicians make promises then break them when they’re bought off in Washington. I’m not a politician and I can’t be bought,” Jack Davis said.

April 8, 2011 - 12:11pm

GCEDC has landed its first business for the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia. It is a Bogata, Colombia-based dairy product company that will use the plant to expand its yogurt business into the United States.

According to South American news reportsAlpina Productos Alimenticios will invest $15 million in the project and will initially hire 50 people at the plant.

Established by two Swiss entrepreneurs in 1945, Alpina runs nine industrial facilities across Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, and has commercial presence in more than 12 countries. 

The product line, which generates about $740 million in annual revenue, includes beverages, milk, baby food, desserts, cheeses, cream and butter, and fitness food products.

"The Alpina brand is a symbol of pride not only to Colombians but to the entire Andean region," Alpina President and CEO Julian Jaramillo (pictured) told La Republica. "We hope to build a new frontier for growth in the U.S. market, based on the properties of innovation, quality, nutrition and sustainability associated with our products and our presence in places where we already operate."

But it's not a 100-percent done deal, according to Genesee County Economic Development Center CEO Steve Hyde.  

The company intends to purchase a 10-acre parcel with a phase I construction plan for a 28,000-square-foot yogurt manufacturing facility.

The company picked one of the newest parcels in the park, so there is still a little bit of work to be done to get it completely shovel ready, including extending one of the roadways.

The purchase is contingent on that work being completed on schedule, and if it is, Hyde said, construction on the plant should begin in August.

The 10-acre parcel will give the company room for expansion.

"They've got a real footprint for future growth," Hyde said.

According to the La Republica article, Alpina has achieved growth rates in Venezuela and Ecuador of 15 and 20 percent and his hoping for the same level of success in the U.S.

Jaramillo believes per capita consumption of yogurt in the U.S. is low, which he sees as an opportunity to capture new consumers.

Hyde said the company, which he described as really family oriented, has done a lot of market research and has determined the northeastern part of the U.S. has a fast-growing Hispanic population, so they were looking at five sites in New York and three in Pennsylvania.

Batavia having a nearly shovel ready park combined with the region's high number of quality dairy farms were attractive to Alpina.

"It kind of proves the thesis that you've got to have that shovel ready site that clusters industries or companies won't even come," Hyde said. "They won't take the risk. They've got to be able to build and go."

The project is part of a $50 million plan by Alpina to expand its business.

“We’ve been waiting for exactly the right moment to make a major push into the U.S. market, and today we found the right location to achieve our strategic goals,” said Alpina Foods, LLC, Managing Director Carlos Ramirez Zavarce.  

Below is a video the company produced for YouTube that has received more than 500,000 views.

April 7, 2011 - 10:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, Jane Corwin.

Press release from Jane Corwin's campaign:

WILLIAMSVILLE -- Jane Corwin, sucessful businesswoman and the unanimously endorsed Republican, Conservative, and Independence Party nominee for New York's 26th Congressional District, was unanimously endorsed this evening by TEA New York, the leading Western New York Tea Party organization.

"I appreciate the support of TEA New York and all Western New Yorkers who are committed to cutting spending and changing the way Washington does business," Corwin said. "For too long, Washington politicians have failed to take the lead on cutting spending and reforming our tax system, and individuals such as the members of TEA New York have led while career politicians continue to follow. If honored to be Western New York’s next representative in Washington, I will fight to cut spending and reduce taxes so we can strengthen our economy and create jobs in both the short- and long-term.”

Corwin received the unanimous endorsement after attending a TEA New York candidate forum this evening.

"Tonight, TEA New York sent a strong message by unanimously endorsing Jane Corwin for the 26th Congressional District," stated Rus Thompson of TEA New York. "Her message of reducing spending, creating jobs and (reining) in runaway government programs is exactly what our country needs. We look forward to electing her as our voice in Washington."

April 7, 2011 - 10:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accidents.

City fire is being dispatched to Vine and North streets for a minor-injury accident.

Dispatch describes it as "very minor injuries," but there are fluids leaking and police on scene requested the fire department.

Mercy EMS responding non-emergency.

April 7, 2011 - 5:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, Jane Corwin.

Press release from Jane Corwin's campaign:

WILLIAMSVILLE – Jane Corwin, successful businesswoman and the unanimously endorsed Republican, Conservative, and Independence Party candidate for New York’s 26th Congressional District, today called on Members of Congress to forego receiving their paychecks if they fail to avert a government shutdown.

If Congress and President Obama do not reach an agreement on how to fund the government by midnight on Friday, essential federal services will be halted. While the House has now passed two funding bills to keep the government operational and protect essential services, the Senate and the White House have both failed to act on this issue.

“The failure of Washington politicians to do their job and pass a budget that supports our military and protects our seniors represents exactly what’s wrong with Washington,” Corwin said. “The numbers are complex but the facts are simple – last year House Democrats did not even produce a budget and now as a result of Senate Democrats’ failure to act, we are on the brink of a government shutdown.”

Corwin added that Members of Congress have a responsibility to their constituents to make the difficult decisions that come with their position, and used the current situation to highlight why Washington needs to take more cues from the private sector.

“In the private sector, we face challenging situations every day. The difference is, we solve those challenges by making tough decisions, which the politicians in Washington can't seem to do or don’t want to do. And in the private sector, if you don’t get the job done, you don't get paid,” Corwin added. “If our military families will not receive their benefits during a government shutdown, then Members of Congress who have failed to act should not receive theirs.”

April 7, 2011 - 5:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC.

New York's regulatory environment is a big problem GCEDC's CEO Steve Hyde told legislator's during a meeting in the Old Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon.

A "making it up on the fly" attitude among mid-level bureaucrats helps to chase business away from the state and makes it harder for Genesee Economic Development to operate, Hyde said.

His examples: A Department of Labor opinion saying GCEDC should have paid prevailing wage in the construction of the MedTech facility; the Authorities Budget Office compensation report; and new difficulty in getting a rail line built into the Agri-Business park.

"It’s funny when you're trying to do progressive business development, how bureaucrats who really don't understand business development will make up new regulations on the fly," said Hyde during a meeting of the Ways and Means Committee.

Hyde also provided financial data on GCEDC's performance, noting that the county's $250,000 (approximate) annual investment in GCEDC has been leveraged into: $18.7 million in capital investment by area businesses; 116 PILOT projects that currently generate $2.2 million in new tax revenue -- and will eventually generate $4 million for local governments; and an increase of $2.2 million in sales tax revenue.

According to Hyde, for every $1 invested by Genesee County in 2010 in GCEDC, $16.54 in tax payments are returned to the various taxing jurisdictions in the county.

Much of this information will be presented at a public information meeting April 11, but so far, only 11 people have signed up to attend.

As for the regulatory climate, Hyde started off talking about the Department of Labor opinion and the conclusion of its attorney that the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corp. should have paid prevailing wage on construction the MedTech facility.

"We had an attorney from the Department of Labor unilaterally write a decision against our nonprofit LDL because the LDL has some sort of association with the (Industrial Development Agency)," Hyde said. "I don't know how one attorney in a single regulatory agency can issue an opinion that pierces the veil of state and federal law on nonprofits."

He called the idea of labeling a nonprofit corporation a public entity a "travesty" and "disrespectful of nonprofit laws in this country."

"If we fail on this one, it will be a very expensive issue not just for us, but could effect the college and the county directly," Hyde said.

On the Authorities Budget Office report, Hyde called the agency a young regulatory body that engages primarily in writing new rules for IDAs to follow -- regulations that haven't been enacted by elected officials.

"They come up with interpretations that are far reaching beyond any legislation," Hyde said. 

On the Agri-Business Park, Hyde said that no major food processor will want to move into the park without it being connected to rail lines. The GCEDC has received a grant to build a rail line, but one "mid-level" bureaucrat in the Department of Transportation office in Rochester is holding up the funding.

"He's got us jammed up right now," Hyde said. "Now I'm going to have to work the chain, go to Hawley or Ranzenhofer. I told him, 'It's not your job to make regulations on the fly.'"

Besides the difficulty the GCEDC is facing with its own regulators, Hyde said the Department of Environmental Conservation is making it harder for businesses to build and expand in New York. As an example, Hyde said the DEC is expanding its "short form" environmental impact application from one page to four.

"One of the questions is about 'environmental justice,'" Hyde said. "How do you like that term, 'environmental justice'? It's just absurd."

Senior VP of Operations Mark Masse said the regulatory environment is one of the reasons an agency like GCEDC is needed, to help level the playing field with other states.

"We think it's bad living in NewYork, but there are people outside of New York who think we're closed for business because of these issues," Masse said. 

But there may be help on the way. Hyde, and Legislator Hollis Upson, reiterated that that the Cuomo administration seems to be taking concerns about over-regulation seriously.

Members of the GCEDC recently met with Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, Hyde said, and Duffy was quite concerned about what he heard and promised specifically to look into the Department of Labor and ABO issues. 

"Duffy really did seem interested in trying to knock down some of this bureaucracy," Hyde said.




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