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February 1, 2011 - 10:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, UMMC.

Regular readers of The Batavian might recognize a couple of the pictures hanging on the wall here. As part of the decor in UMMC's new surgical wing, the hospital purchased 15 of my photos. Seven pictures are hanging in the waiting room and a barn shot is hanging across from the elevators. I'm not sure where the remaining seven photos are, but they're around somewhere.

January 31, 2011 - 7:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, GCEDC, Upstate Medtech Center.

When building the Upstate Medtech Center, the GCEDC should have ensured prevailing wage was paid to construction workers, according to a state Department of Labor (DOL) letter issued in November.

The letter came to light following an Authorities Budget Office report critical of GCEDC's staff compensation practices.

It was written by John D. Charles, associate attorney for the DOL, and issued in response to an unnamed person who asked that the department look into the matter. It concludes that the department's opinion was based solely on the material provided by that person and should not be relied on as a final answer.

Ask for a response to the DOL letter, GCEDC CEO Steve Hyde issued the following statement:

"While the LDC (Genesee Gateway Local Development Corp.) wholly disagrees with the Department of Labor's initial conclusions, we are actively working with them to ensure that they have all of the facts and circumstances of the Medtech project. A final determination has not been made by DOL with respect to the issues and questions raised."

Longtime local contractor Vito Gautieri is known to be concerned about how the bid for construction of the Medtech Center was awarded. It ultimately went to Batavia-based D.A. Tufts Co.

In an interview last week, when asked if the letter from Charles was addressed to him, Gautieri said, "No comment."

He then went on to complain about GCEDC forming a nonprofit corporation -- Genesee Gateway Local Development Corp. (GGLDC) -- as owner and agency developing the project. He said if that's how government agencies are going to operate on construction projects, then "we might as well pull up our shingles and move out of town."

At issue is compliance with New York's prevailing wage laws, which require employees on public works projects to be paid an hourly rate based on a prevailing wage schedule set by the state.

The DOL letter says that according to information given to the agency, the GGLDC's Medtech project does not meet the standards for waiving prevailing wage.

It says that because the project was at first initiated by a public agency (GCEDC wholly owns the GGLDC and is the project's actual owner), it is not just a temporary title holder.  In addition, it is not acting "merely as a mechanism to facilitate financing." If it were just a temporary titleholder and holding title merely to facilitate financing, according to the letter, perhaps paying prevailing wage would not be required.

January 31, 2011 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GCEDC, Holiday Inn Express.

There will be a public hearing at 4 p.m., Tuesday, in Batavia's Town Hall, 3833 W. Main St. Road, on a proposal to provide tax subsidies for the construction of a Holiday Inn Express on the north side of the Thruway.

The hearing is being conducted by the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

The public is invited to attend and provide feedback on the proposal.

GCEDC did not have information to release to the media today in advance of the meeting on exactly what is being proposed.

In response for a request for more information, Media and Marketing Manager Rachael Millspaugh wrote in an e-mail: "There is no additional preliminary information on the project except what was discussed at the December 2010 board meeting. We will have a project summary available at the public hearing. The GCEDC Board will be reviewing and acting on the request at this Thursday's regularly scheduled meeting."

January 31, 2011 - 5:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day.

The Daily Grind, 85 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: For Batavia's finest coffee, smoothies, as well as fast and convenient breakfasts and lunches, stop into The Daily Grind. We have a $10 gift card for $5.

Matty's Pizzeria, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Matty's, a great place for pizza, wings, subs -- eat in, take out or delivery. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Clor's Meat Market, 4169 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: For the best, most flavorful, juiciest chicken or hamburger in town, hands down, stop by Clor's. Oh, and the steaks are great, too. And the sausage. Clor's also serves lunch and dinners from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Kraving's offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Exercise your soul as well as your body in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. We have a gift certificate for three weeks of yoga, 3 classes, a $30 value, for $15.

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.

Stafford Trading Post, 6173 Main Road, Stafford, NY: Lunch or dinner, Stafford Trading Post offers a variety of fresh, homemade meals, as well as snacks and drinks. Now in a new, expanded location. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

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

Blue Pearl Yoga

January 31, 2011 - 5:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

A winter storm expected to hit Western New York on Tuesday night has been upgraded.

The National Weather Service has issued a "warning" (meaning a more severe storm than a "watch") for the expected weather pattern, which should hit the area after 10 p.m., Tuesday.

The warning is in effect until 10 p.m., Wednesday.

Accumulation of snow is expected to be 10 to 14 inches, with winds of 15 to 25 mph and gusts of 30 mph.

Hazardous travel conditions are expected.

January 31, 2011 - 1:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, fire, byron.

A passerby has called in a trailer fire in the area of Route 262 and Transit Road.

It's unknown if the trailer is occupied.

Byron and South Byron being dispatched along with a tanker from Elba and Town of Batavia's Fast Team.

UPDATE 1:41 p.m.: First responder reports heavy smoke upon approach.

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: There are people outside the structure, still unknown if anybody is inside.

UPDATE 1:47 p.m.: Law enforcement was on scene first and vented windows. Still unknown if residents inside. All Elba equipment dispatched.

UPDATE 2:05 p.m.: A tanker from Bergen is now on scene. Mercy EMS also responded. A fire chief asks dispatch to contact Elba School to see if they have anyone registered at that address.

UPDATE 3:25 p.m.: Byron and South Byron back in service.

View Larger Map

January 31, 2011 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy, corfu.

Walter Lyle Knickerbocker, 53, of South Street Road, Le Roy, is charged with petit larceny. Knickerbocker is accused of stealing road salt from the DOT salt barn on routes 19 and 20, Pavilion. The alleged theft(s) occurred on and before Jan. 19.

Aaron D. Swimline, 24, of Main Road, Corfu, is charged with a felony count of DWI, a felony count of aggravated DWI (driving with a BAC of .18 or greater), unlawful possession of marijuana, speed not reasonable nor prudent, moving from lane unsafely. Swimline was reportedly involved in a one-car accident at 12:59 a.m., Saturday in the area of 2553 Main Road, Corfu. The accident was investigated by Deputy Howard Carlson.

LaToya Tamika Vialva, 19, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with trespass. Vialva is accused of being on College Village property after being banned from the property.

January 31, 2011 - 11:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.

One person suffered a minor injury Saturday after a car pulling out of a business on Ellicott Street Road reportedly struck her car as she tried to avoid it.

William B. Heany, 74, of East Main Street, Batavia, told a Sheriff's Deputy that he didn't see the headlights of a car driven by Victoria Lee Wood, 40, of Pavilion Center Road, Pavilion, as he pulled from the parking lot of 4818 Ellicott Street Road, Batavia.

The accident occurred at 8:27 p.m.

Lee, who said her headlights were on, was transported by ambulance to UMMC.

No citations are listed on the accident report.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Patrick Reeves.

January 31, 2011 - 8:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather.

More than a foot of snow and heavy winds are headed toward Genesee County, according to the National Weather Service.

A winter weather watch is in effect from Tuesday evening through Wednesday evening.

The storm, which will primarily hit the northern part of the county, is expected to produce 8 to 16 inches of snow with winds up to 30 mph.

Visibility will be down to a quarter of a mile.

Drifting snow and low visibility are expected to make driving conditions particularly hazardous.

January 31, 2011 - 7:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, thruway, pembroke.

Either a tire or brakes on a propane truck on the Thruway near mile marker 401 has caught fire.

The explosion occurred shortly after the first call to Pembroke Fire Department went out.

UPDATE 7:54 a.m.: Fire is knocked down. Another Pembroke and Indian Falls unit requested to the scene for traffic control.

UPDATE 8:09 a.m.: The fire is under control and crews are cooling down the truck. Now there is a report of a motor-vehicle accident just west of the fire scene in the eastbound lane. There are no apparent injuries.

UPDATE 8:15 a.m.: Mercy EMS requested to the scene to evaluate a driver. There was heavy interior damage to the car and air-bag deployment. The car rear-ended a tractor-trailer.

January 30, 2011 - 12:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

On Friday night we started the migration to a new host server for The Batavian. We thought it would be a one-night job.

Our new IT support guy -- Nick, of Batavia -- put the site in "read only mode" and began transferring the database to the new server.

But we've published so much content over the past two and a half years years that the transfer ended up stretching well into Saturday.

Around 7 a.m., today, everything seemed set to flip the switch on the domain name and start pointing traffic to the new location.

Then we had some technical bug.

Things have seemed to settle down, but it will take a couple of days to get everything back to normal. Primarily, search isn't working yet and in posts pictures may not be appearing yet.

If you're seeing this post, you are seeing the new server. Everything should be fine.

There's no effective way to communicate this to people not seeing this post, but I'll put it out there anyway. If you're not seeing the new site, try restarting your computer. If that doesn't work, your Internet Service Provider just hasn't caught up with the change yet.  That can take some service providers as much as 48 hours to catch up.

Why the move: We anticipate a performance improvement. I feel like I'm already seeing it, though the server is still working pretty hard indexing the database and such. 

The simplest way to explain why we anticipate an improvement: When you have a site on a server that shares the server with other Web sites (a common type of commercial hosting environment), there is software that acts like a traffic cop and says, "OK, it's your turn to get this site, now it's your turn to go here, and now it's your turn to get this one."

This should happen very fast but, after we hired Nick to take over IT duties, he discovered that the type of software our previous host used had been shown to perform about four times slower than other options, so we decided in order to improve performance, we should change hosts.

Like I said, I feel like I'm already seeing better initial load times, so here's to hoping all of the frustration of the past 24 hours or so have been worth the change for all of us.

January 28, 2011 - 2:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

mug_ron_smith.jpgA Level 3 sex offender accused of committing similar offenses within months of his release from custody entered not guilty pleas in Genesee County Court today to the four counts against him.

Ronald A. Smith, 18, of 679 E. Main St., is charged with failure to register a change of address and three counts of sexual abuses, 1st.

Smith was allegedly living on Thorpe Street when he allegedly sexually abused at least one child. When he moved from Thorpe, he allegedly did not notify police of his correct address.

Smith is being held on $25,000 bail.

Public Defender Jerry Ader will have 45 days to prepare and make motions in the case.

January 28, 2011 - 9:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien.

Paul Douglas Marquardt, 38, of Chick Road, Darien, charged with 39 counts of criminal contempt, 2nd. Marquardt is accused of having contact with a person he was barred by court order from contacting. He was jailed on $10,000 bail.

Michael Jason Sullivan, 39, of Hosmer Road, Churchville, is charged with petit larceny. Sullivan was stopped by Gates Police, who discovered there was an active warrant for Sullivan's arrest in Genesee County. Sullivan is accused of stealing scrap metal from Demo's, Clinton Street Road, Bergen.

Matthew Roy Ace, 24, of Vine Street, Batavia, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Ace was taken into custody by Batavia Police on a bench warrant and turned over to the Sheriff's Office. Ace was jailed on $100 bail.

January 28, 2011 - 9:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day.

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.

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.

Margarita's Mexican Restaurant, 15 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: When you're looking for an authentic Mexican meal, Margarita's is the place to go. The food and atmosphere are perfect and the service is always outstanding. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

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.

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.

South Beach, 59 Main St., Batavia, NY: Try the new lunch buffet. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50 (must be used by Feb. 28, 2011).

Batavia Downs Grandstand Bar & Grille, 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY: A full menu, salad bar and drinks in one of the region's most popular entertainment venues. We have $25 gift certificates for $12.50. (Must be new or current Players Club member to redeem.)

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


January 28, 2011 - 6:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany.

A one-car rollover accident is blocking the eastbound lane of Route 20 in the area of 4471 Broadway Road, Bethany.

There are no reported injuries.

Bethany Fire and Alexander Fire Police are responding.

UPDATE 6:40 a.m.: Traffic is being directed around the accident.

View Larger Map

January 27, 2011 - 8:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, GCC.


John Parrinello, the Monroe County attorney who was kicked out of a basketball game at Genesee Community College on Dec. 12, was back at the scene of the alleged crime Thursday night.

Parrinello who reportedly has a long history of supporting women's basketball at Monroe Community College, and who has a son who now coaches the team, was in the stands just prior to the start of a game between MCC and GCC.

A school official said until Parrinello is allowed on campus pending the outcome of the legal case that led to his arrest.

The MCC district trustee was originally charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, for allegedly refusing to leave the gym after reportedly mouthing off to a ref during an MCC game. 

The charges against Parrinello were reduced this week to a violation of trespass and two counts of disorderly conduct.

After his appearance in Batavia Town Court where he entered a not guilty plea, Parrinello said, "I'm presumed to be innocent. They have to prove me guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which they'll never do."

For previous coverage, click here.

January 27, 2011 - 7:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Tim Walton, Mike Marchese Jr..

A plan to open a teen nightclub on East Main Street, Batavia, has hit a snag.

Tim Walton and Mike Marchese Jr., who planned to partner on Impulz Teen Nightclub, discovered through the planning process that their selection location requires a sprinkler system for the planned use.

The building is 7,350 sq. ft. and because the maximum capacity for the building is more than 100 persons, code requires a sprinkler system.

Not just any plumber can install it, said Walton. The cost could top $50,000.

"Right now we got a price and it's looking like it's gonna cost an additional $50,000," Walton said.

The partners are going to look into getting a price for a dry sprinkler system and see what the pricing and regulations would be on that.

"If the price can't drop any lower, then I would have to go back and refigure some numbers. Those numbers would have us into this well over $100,000 and I would have to be sure it would workout."

Walton and Marchese aren't ruling out opening the club, even at the original planned location at 624 E. Main St., but feel that current circumstances will make it difficult.

"If it's meant to happen it will play out." Walton said. "If not, then there will be other opportunities."




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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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