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Howard B. Owens's blog

November 3, 2009 - 8:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, 400 Towers.


Everybody was in good spirits when  I stopped by 400 Towers this evening, just as the annual bake sale was wrapping up.

November 3, 2009 - 4:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections.

If you're disappointed to find many races in Genesee County with only a single candidate, many voters in rural communities across the country are having the same reaction.

In fact, Genesee County may be among the fortunate to have candidates for all of its seats at all, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

State officials and political scientists say finding candidates has always been a problem for small towns and rural communities, but the recession has made it particularly tough this year.

"It's a very scary time out there, economically. They're under the gun with their own finances, let alone being responsible for their town's financial health," said Marty Newell, chief operating officer for the Center for Rural Strategies, a Kentucky-based advocacy group.


Being a local politician, even in tiny towns, is not an easy job. The pay is low, the hours long and the complaints loud.

The most interesting anecdote is about the mayor of one small town who has never actually run for office. From his first election in 1987, he's been a write-in winner.

Dofner, a fire department engineer and diesel engine mechanic, had just gotten home from work when his phone started ringing with congratulatory calls.

"I thought it was a mistake," said Dofner, now 63. "Then, I thought it was a joke."


The town held an election. No one ran for mayor, so the residents wrote in Dofner's name again. And again. He expects to be reelected by write-in vote today for a 12th term.

He said he'll take the job.

"I can't say no. I can't leave my community in a lurch," Dofner said. "It's just not right. A town needs a mayor."

(via the Rural Blog)

November 3, 2009 - 4:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident.


A little while ago, there was a two-car accident at Main and Center in downtown Batavia.  There were apparently two people injured.

November 3, 2009 - 1:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in election.

The Batavian's election coverage will start some time around 8 p.m..  We'll spend time during the evening at both Republican and Democratic headquarters and plan to stop by 400 Towers and anyplace else we hear there's election-related activity.

We will post results as soon as they are available.

WBTA will be on the air with election coverage at 9 p.m.. The Batavian and will provide live online streams of WBTA's on-air coverage.

November 3, 2009 - 1:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Darien.

James M. Kulik, 19, of Alden, is charged with assault in the third degree, unlawful imprisonment, criminal mischief and harassment. Alden was arrested by State Police in Darien at 6:10 p.m. yesterday. He was jailed on a cash bail. No further details were released.

Kyle Earl Viehdeffer, 21, of 114 Bank Street, Lower/Front, is charged aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. Viehdeffer was turned over to the Sheriff's Office on a bench warrant issued out of the Town of Batavia Court. Viehdeffer was released on $200 bail.

Juan Alberto Ramos, 19, of 110 E. 177th St., Apt. 2E, Bronx, is charged with trespass. Ramos allegedly entered College Village without appropriately signing in with security.

Christopher Patrick Ball, 27, of 4902 Route 63, Batavia, is charged with aggravated harassment. Ball allegedly called a woman's cell phone numerous times, causing an annoyance. Justice Tom Williams issued an order of protection.

November 3, 2009 - 12:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Wortendyke Road.

The railroad crossing at Wortendyke Road in the Town of Batavia is closed until Thurdsay afternoon.

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November 3, 2009 - 11:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, corfu, Swine Flu, h1n1.

A boy whose death Oct. 22 shocked the communities of Pembroke and Corfu is a confirmed case of H1N1, according to Randy Garney, interim director of the County Health Department.

In a news release this morning, the health department said it would not identify the boy, but when we spoke to Garney, he said the death was the same one as a boy who died in Erie County.

That boy has been previously identified as Jared Peters, child of Timothy and Linda Peters.

Meanwhile, the county has begun receiving supplies of the H1N1 vaccine and is scheduling clinics as doses become available.

The priority group for vaccination include pregnant women, caregivers for infants 6-months and younger, health care and emergency medical personnel, people from 6-months to 24-years of age, and people over 25 with health conditions associated with a higher risk of complications from the flu.

UPDATE 1:15 p.m.: Randy Garney asks that we clarify that he did not explicity provide the name Jared Peters.

November 3, 2009 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day.

South Main Country Gifts, 3356 Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Handcrafted items, gifts with a regional flair, candles, teas and spices -- South Main has a wide selection to please most any interest. We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: Exercise your soul as well as your body in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. We have a gift certificate for a seven-week  session (one class per week), which is a $56 value, for $28.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

Jackson St. Grill, 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Try the fresh, skinless haddock fish fry on Fridays. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

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.

Herbly Wonderful, 3701 Pearl St., Batavia, NY: Winter teas, spices and fall colors for your home in stunning floral arrangements and seasonal wreaths are now available at Herbly Wonderful. We have a $25 gift certificate for $11.

Vintage and Vogue Inspirations, 36 Main St., Le Roy, NY: Just the kind of store to help make your home more warm and inviting. Handcrafted items, including quilts, candles and quality antiques. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, W. Main Street, Batavia, NY: Recently opened, it offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.


November 2, 2009 - 9:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens.

There is a report of a pedestrian being struck by a train in the Bergen area.

Firefighters from Bergen are heading to Route 19 and the railroad crossing, as well as Townline Road and the old Buffalo Road crossing.

There is also some chatter on the scanner about kids throwing pumpkins.

Churchville fire officials have checked their side of the tracks and now Genesee County deputies and State Police are checking the Genesee County side of the tracks.

UPDATE 9:18 p.m.: The train is stopped at the county line. Train personnel are checking the area.  According to the train operator, there was a subject wearing a red shirt in proximity to the track.

UPDATE 9:20 p.m.:  There is pumpkin residue on the front of the train.  So far, two reports of areas checked on both sides of the track are clear.

UPDATE 9:36 p.m.: More reports of clear tracks. The training being advanced from the crossing.  EMS personnel have been put back in service.

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November 2, 2009 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A jury was picked today in the criminal trial of Jennifer L. Ferguson, charged with sexual abuse in the first degree.

The 30-year-old Batavia resident  is accused of sexually touching a two-year-old that she was babysitting on Nov. 23. She was arrested in December.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said he will start his presentation to the jury on Wednesday, and expects jury deliberation to begin on Thursday.

If convicted, Ferguson could be sentenced to up to seven years in state prison.

There is no court tomorrow because it is a state holiday -- election day.

November 2, 2009 - 12:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.

Le Roy Fire is being dispatched to Tops Market, 128 W. Main St., for a general fire alarm.

UPDATE 12:46 p.m.: First responder, "Nothing showing."

UPDATE 12:48 p.m: Alarm company confirms, unintentional activation during maintenance.

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November 2, 2009 - 10:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, water.

Residents in the Village of Alexander no longer need to boil water to make it potable.

The boil order for the Village and along Route 98 to Attica was lifted this morning.

The order had been in affect for several days.

(via WBTA)

November 2, 2009 - 9:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

City Fire is responding to 1 Treadeasy, the P.W. Minor plant, where a smoke detector has been activated.

We now hear, it's a false alarm.

November 2, 2009 - 8:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Attica, crime, alexander, Darien, Pavilion, Bethany, corfu.

Patrick L. Gugliuzza, 30, of 94 Exchange St., Attica, is charged with DWI, criminal possession of a controlled substance and following too closely. Deputies were in the area of 104435 Route 98 in Alexander investigating a motor-vehicle accident. The deputies received a report of a minor property-damage accident on southbound Route 98 near the accident scene. Upon investigation of that accident, Deputy J.M. Graff concluded that Gugliuzza was allegedly driving while intoxicated. Further investigation allegedly revealed that Gugliuzza had a small quantity of heroin. His passenger, Brandon Eck, 29, of 51 Bunnel St., Attica, was also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and unlawful possession marijuana.

Keith A. Finan, 44, of 10501 Bonnie Brae Drive, Darien, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving left of pavement markings in a no-passing zone. Finan was reportedly stopped on Bonnie Brae Drive in Darien on Friday. The investigation was conducted by Deputy Jason Saile.

William Daniel Nix, 48, of 55 Riverview Drive, Rochester, is charged with criminal mischief, harassment and disorderly conduct. Nix is accused of causing a disturbance at 48 Deli Express at 8204 Park Road. Nix was reportedly using foul language and was asked to leave. Nix allegedly continued to use foul language and got involved in a physical struggle with a clerk, tearing his shirt.

Ariana M. Busch, 19, of 10876 Bowen Road, Attica, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and failure to dim headlights. Busch was arrested following a traffic stop on Route 20 in Darien at 2:25 a.m. on Saturday.

Dylan C. Miller, 21, of 3883 Eagle Harbor Road, Albion, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving an unregistered car and failure to yield right-of-way. Miller was stopped by Officer T.S. Mart on Oak Street at 2:18 a.m. on Saturday.

Brian L. Smith, 47, of 8655 Jones Road, Houston, Texas, is charged with DWI and driving with improper tail lamps. Smith was stopped by Officer Dan Coffey at 1:05 a.m. on Sunda. Smith was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Scott D. Kingdon, 43, of 6243 Sparks Road, Pavilion, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Kingdon was reportedly involved in a verbal argument with a friend. The friend called the Sheriff's Office and reported that Kingdon might be at her house. While Deputy Kevin McCarthy was checking the residence, Kingdon reportedly pulled into the driveway. McCarthy allegedly found Kingdon was driving while intoxicated.

Two teenagers, one from Alexander and another from Bethany, are charged with petit larceny for an alleged theft in Alexander. The original incident was reported to State Police on Sept. 15.

David H. Robinson, 45, of Corfu, and Amber M. Robinson, 40, of Batavia, are charged with identity theft. Amber is also charged with forgery of a public record. David and Amber were arrested by State Police at 3 p.m. on Thursday. No further information is available.

November 2, 2009 - 8:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day.

T.F. Brown's, at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown'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.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, W. Main Street, Batavia, NY: Recently opened, it offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

Matty's Pizzeria, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Matty's is another Batavia favorite for pizza and wings. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

South Main Country Gifts, 3356 Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Handcrafted items, gifts with a regional flair, candles, teas and spices -- South Main has a wide selection to please most any interest. We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.

Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles, 8 Center St., Batavia, NY: Feel like a kid in a toy store again, or treat your kids to the greatest toy store they will ever see. We have a $25 gift certificate 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.

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


November 1, 2009 - 10:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing.

Press Release:

Batavia, NY--Arm And A Leg, a 6-year-old Nobleland Sam gelding out of the Towner’s Big Guy mare Kelly’s Hat Trick, quickly took the lead from post 5, and never looked back, to win for the 12th time this season in the featured $8,500 Open Handicap Pace for owners Mark J. Jakubik and John P. Cummings Sr., in 1:55.3, at Batavia Downs Casino, on Saturday night (Oct. 31).
With regular reinsman Kevin Cummings in the bike, Arm and a Leg cut all the fractions in the race, 27.4, 57.3, and 1:26.4 en route to a three-length score over New York Prime with Tom Agosti. Oh Geez Whiz (Ron Beback Jr.,) was farther back in third.
New York Prime, who was parked out to almost the half from his assigned outside post position, suffered his first defeat in Western New York after winning six in a row. He remains a serious candidate for October horse of the month.
The win raised Arm and a Leg’s seasonal earnings to just under $80,000 and lifetime earnings to $210,000. John Cummings Sr., is the trainer.
Kevin Cummings, Troy Boring and Jack Flanigen all had driving doubles. Training doubles went to Jim Compton and Laurie Patistas.
Batavia Downs Casino is currently racing Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday and Saturday nights, post time is 7:05 p.m. The 2009 Summer-Fall meet ends on December 5.
In addition to live harness racing Batavia Downs Casino offers simulcast wagering from some of North America’s top tracks and Video Gaming. The gaming floor featuring over 600 gaming machines is open 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m.
Todd Haight
Promotional Marketing Specialist
Batavia Downs Casino

November 1, 2009 - 9:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, UFOs.

An anonymous poster on a UFO site claims she and her husband saw a strange object in the sky in the Pavilion area Saturday night.

The poster says they spotted the object just around 8 p.m. and that other cars on Route 63 apparently saw it, too, because cars were swerving and stopping along the side of the road.

It was very dark out and about 8:15pm when we saw an object with 5 LARGE white lights and 1 SMALL red blinking light hovering low above the road in the distance ahead. Coming from Batavia we thought it was a radio tower or airplane or something of that nature. As we neared it we noticed it was some type of aircraft. We both were pretty calm at first because neither my husband or I believed in UFO's. As we drove directly under this object we both became extremely nervous. I didn't know what to make of what I just saw, my husband couldn't even speak. I know we were not the only ones who saw it because there were several cars in front of us an behind us.

The woman claims that they spotted another object later that evening from their house, and that object made some sort of humming sound.  The couple awoke about 3 a.m. when the same sound started again.

November 1, 2009 - 9:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in new york, localism.


This morning I discovered the art work of Jim Parker. He's an Upstate artist.

While none of his subjects seem to touch on Genesee County, I wanted to share this finding because I'm as fascinated by the style and quality of his work as I am by the subject.  

Billie and I have enjoyed what little exploration we've been able to do of New York. It's a beautiful and historic state full of charming rural scenery and buildings. 

Among Parker's favorite topics for painting are villages, landscapes and buildings from Upstate counties in the 18th and 19th centuries.  These paintings can really feed the imagination because so many of the buildings he paints are still standing, or buildings like them are still standing all over he state.




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

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