Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

May 11, 2018 - 1:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GCC, commencement, education, batavia.

Press release:

Like a crescendo of a year-long concerto, Genesee Community College is fine-tuning all the logistics of its 50th Commencement Ceremony scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 20, in the new Richard C. Call Arena (RCCA), one of the last events of its multifaceted 50th Anniversary celebration.

More than 200 students are anticipated to walk across the stage after hearing Kristina M. Johnson, Ed.D., the new Chancellor of the State University of New York give the keynote address.

In addition to this being the College's 50th Commencement celebrated in a new facility, other unique aspects of this year's event are the 44 international students that will be graduating this year; 11 of those are from the island nation of Curacao.

GCC is also delighted that 10 students from area high schools will be completing their GCC degree requirements concurrently with their high school diplomas. These 10 graduates participated in the inaugural cohort of the College's STEM Program with the Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) Office, which started back in 2012 when the students were in seventh grade.

Several other special opportunities are also going to be part of the event.

"Overall, this is a very exciting Commencement Ceremony for the College," GCC President James M. Sunser said. "So many wonderful opportunities are coming to fruition and all in the name and spirit of student success. This ceremony will be one to remember." 

The Commencement ceremony rehearsal will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 18, in the RCCA to prepare soon-to-be graduates for the procession.

Prior to the rehearsal, representatives from Carlson's Studio will be set up in Room H103 of the Call Arena to take individual graduation photographs. Graduates should be in cap and gown, and have payment for their photo package.

Graduates are encouraged to contact Carlson's Studio in advance at (585) 786-2871 or via email at [email protected] to inquire about photo packages and pricing. Families can also pre-order flowers and gifts for their graduate through this website https://www.thecommencementgroup.com/Genesee/.

Each GCC graduate received five tickets for guests to attend the ceremony inside the RCCA Fieldhouse as part of their commencement package. There are no additional tickets available.

On Commencement Sunday, guests with tickets can enter the Fieldhouse starting at 12 p.m. for general admission seating. All guests, regardless of age, will require a ticket to enter the Fieldhouse.

Additional seating for guests without tickets is available on a first come, first served basis in the Stuart Steiner Theatre where the ceremony will be broadcast on the Theatre screen. The doors of the Theatre will also open at 12 p.m.

For distant family and friends scattered around the world and unable to enjoy the event in Batavia, the entire Commencement Ceremony will be live-streamed with easy access from GCC's website or at this Web address: https://www.genesee.edu/home/event-streaming/.

Accessible seating accommodations are available in both the RCCA Fieldhouse for ticketed guests and non-ticketed guests in the Stuart Steiner Theatre. For details, please contact GCC's Office of Student Activities (585) 343-0055, ext. 6261, or via email at [email protected] before Friday, May 18, to make arrangements.

GCC's Child Care Center will be open for all graduates and guests for children from 6 weeks to 5 years of age to allow family and friends to focus on the ceremony. However, guests wishing to bring children to the commencement are required to have a ticket for each child regardless of age.

To sign up for FREE child care services, please contact Student Activities or call (585) 343-0055, ext. 6261, before Friday, May 18. The Child Care Center will open at 12 p.m. on Commencement Day.

May 11, 2018 - 12:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia.

A white male wearing a blue sweatshirt and khaki shorts fled Target on foot on Veterans Memorial Drive after a larceny in progress was reported. He was said to be by the dumpster behind Five Guys burger shop.

Law enforcement responded and he's now in custody.

He allegedly left the store with a $400 vacuum cleaner but dropped it and ran.

May 11, 2018 - 12:19pm

Press release:

The 20th Annual Batavia Rotary Club High School Tournament will take place tomorrow at Dwyer Stadium.

Due to the threat of rain, there has been a change in the schedule of games.

Attica will play Notre Dame in the first game at 1 p.m followed by Oakfield-Alabama vs. Batavia at 4 p.m. with the championship game scheduled to start at 7 p.m. There will be no consolation game.

Admission is $5 for an adult all-day pass and $2 for a student all-day pass. All proceeds from the tournament will help benefit Batavia Rotary Club charities.

May 11, 2018 - 12:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, Le Roy, notify.

Conner M. Beaumont, 18, of East Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, criminally using drug paraphernaliap 2ndp and unlawful possession of marijuana. David C. Renteria, 18, of Bernd Road, Pavilion, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd. Eric J. Bratcher, 29, of Pringle Avenue, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th, and criminally using drug paraphernalia. On Wednesday, Batavia PD conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle on Pringle Avenue. Members of the Local Drug Task Force participated in the traffic stop and found the occupants allegedly possessed crack cocaine, oxycodone, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia. Beaumont was also issued traffic citations.

Laura Ann Fronczak, 35, of Lake Street Road, Le Roy, is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, window tint violation, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Fronczak was stopped at 2:26 p.m. Wednesday on Route 33, Stafford, by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

May 11, 2018 - 12:00pm

New Price Alert: 147 Pearl St.! The sun shines brightly on 147 Pearl St.! This home is a MUST SEE! Superbly maintained 3 bedroom, bath and a half home with not one ounce of anything to do! This home is no flip -- completely gutted and remodeled within the last 5 years, beautifully done and tastefully decorated.

Roof full tear off 4 years ago, furnace 5 years -- Beautiful cherry cabinetry with granite countertops, all stainless appliances to stay, plus washer/dryer! Nice formal dining/extra-large living room area with cozy gas fireplace – great for entertaining. Upstairs bath fully gutted with super convenient upstairs laundry area and three large bedrooms. All new carpeting throughout as well!

The outside features an extra wide drive and a double lot with a nice back deck...Inexpensive utilities and no flood insurance. What more do you want?

Check it out! Call Lynn Bezon today at Reliant Real Estate or click here for more information on this listing.

May 11, 2018 - 11:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) announced that a bill he authored with Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, passed the United States Senate. This bill unanimously passed the House on Sept. 12, 2017 and now has unanimously passed the Senate with one amendment offered by Lamar Alexander (R-TN) on May 10.

A 2015 study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that firefighters had a greater number of cancer diagnoses and related deaths than the general population.

This revealed an enormous gap in research, which led Collins and Pascrell to author the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, which will require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and maintain a registry to collect data regarding the incidence of cancer in firefighters.

“This is a huge win for firefighters across the United States, now that we are so close to getting this bill on President Trump’s desk,” Collins said. “When this bill becomes law, we will have a succinct and voluntary registry of cancer incidence in firefighters so we know what causes cancer in these individuals and how we can better prevent it.

"These brave men and women put their lives in danger to keep their communities and neighbors safe, and we have a commitment to do everything we can to keep them safe and healthy in return.”

“Passage of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act in the Senate moves us one step closer to implementing this critical legislation," said Rep. Pascrell, co-chair of the House Fire Services Caucus. "Improving the well-being of firefighters who risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe is an important goal.

"Better understanding any connections between their work and an increased risk for cancer will help mitigate those risks to keep our firefighters healthy. I am hopeful that the House will act swiftly so that we can get a final bill to the White House as soon as possible and we can get the program started.”

When signed into law, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act would authorize federal funding to gather data about potential risk factors in order to better improve equipment and procedures.

Participation in the registry would be completely voluntary and data collected would include status of the firefighter (volunteer, paid-on-call, or career), number of years on the job, the number of incidents attended, and the type of incidence.

The Firefighter Cancer Registry Act is expected to be passed in the House as amended in the coming weeks before heading to President Trump’s desk.

May 11, 2018 - 8:56am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Bowling, sports, Genesee Region USBC.

Dennis Englert of Nunda, Jan King of Dansville and Bill Draper of Livonia will be inducted into the Genesee Region USBC Hall of Fame at the local association's Awards Banquet on Saturday night (May 12) at Batavia Downs Gaming.

Englert was a longtime bowling manager at Letchworth Pines and an avid bowler, as was King, who has served as a league officer, association director and tournament manager for many years. Both will be enshrined in the Meritorious Service category.

Draper will go into the Hall in the Achievement Veteran category for his accomplishments in league and tournament competition as a member of the former Perry Bowling Association.

More than 100 people, including tournament champions and association average and series leaders, are expected to attend the dinner, which gets under way at 6:30 p.m.

An Army veteran, Englert began his career in bowling in the early 1990's at Letchworth Lanes (now Letchworth Pines) and learned as much about the bowling business as he could -- both in customer service and in lane/pinsetter maintenance. He later worked at Valley View Lanes in Warsaw and served as a bus driver for Keshequa Central School for 19 years.

While driving bus full time, Englert also went back to work at Letchworth Pines and, along with his wife, Eunice, became a fixture at the Portageville location, and facilitated improvements that increased league bowling and started the popular Glow Bowling at the Pines.

He bowled in several leagues at the Pines, posting a 300 game in October 2006 at the age of 64. He also served as a league secretary-treasurer, participated in numerous tournaments and served on the Genesee Region USBC board of directors.

On Jan. 15., 2015, after about 20 years at Letchworth Pines, he suffered a devastating brain injury when pushed to the floor by a much younger man, and since then has undergone two surgeries and is pretty-much confined to a wheelchair. He has been a resident of the Avon Nursing Home since June 2015, and has made great strides in speech therapy.

King, a bowler for 60 years, has been a tireless worker for the Genesee Valley Women's Bowling Association and the Genesee Region USBC. She has initiated and directed numerous tournaments, most notably the Gladys Ford Senior Women's Tournament for the past 10 years.

She has served as secretary for various leagues (formerly in Dansville and now at Mount Morris Lanes) and on numerous association committees. King has attended several New York State and national conventions, has bowled in local, state and national tournaments, and has been a member of the national and state 600 Clubs.

Currently, she is a Genesee Region USBC director, who coordinates the association's Memorial Service and chairs the policy and procedures committee. 

Draper found success for many years as a member of the Perry Bowling Association, primarily in five different leagues at Livingston Lanes in Geneseo and as a competitor in the association's Classic Travel League.

He had a high average of 216 in the 1990s and continued to average 200 or better for another 10 years.

He also has three 300 games (1999, 2004 and 2010), a 299 game, and an 811 series (2004), and is a Singles, Doubles and Team champion of the Perry Association Tournament.

Draper, at 67 years young, continues to bowl in the Wednesday Night JCI League at Livingston Lanes.

May 11, 2018 - 12:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.
stjohndavon2017.jpg
    Davon S. St. John

Davon S. St. John, not yet even 20 years old, can expect to spend up to the next 15 years of his life in state prison for breaking into residences and stealing items in the City of Batavia.

St. John was sentenced this week on his burglary conviction.

His arrest was the result of an extensive investigation by Det. Thad Mart, Det. Matt Wojtaszczyk, Det. Eric Hill, Det. Rich Schauff, Det. Kevin Czora, Officer Jason Davis, Officer Kevin DeFelice, and Officer Mitchell Cowen.

The 19-year-old Oak Street resident broke into five homes on Ellicott Avenue, Montclair Avenue and Union Street, Batavia.

He entered a guilty plea to burglary April 4.

Over the course of his crime spree, he stole $180 in U.S. currency, an HP laptop, book bag, calculator, butcher knife, Samsung electronic tablet, 2004 Jeep, 40-inch Vizio television, MAC Book Air, Harman Kardon Wireless speakers, MAC Magic mouse, Apple Series 2 watch, Alexa Echo Show, $400 in U.S. currency, silver coins, Halloween candy, four gold chains, a gold dome ring and four blank (bank) checks. 

Once released from prison, St. John will serve five years probation.

May 10, 2018 - 11:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, news.

route33fataldec8-3.jpg

It is a driver's responsibility to operate his vehicle in a safe manner, an appeals court has ruled in rejecting a claim by a woman seriously injured in an accident Dec. 8, 2016, in the Town of Stafford that the girlfriend who was texting with the other driver should be held liable.

Carmen Vega, of Le Roy, who was injured in the accident sued the family of Collin Crane,17, the other driver, who died as a result of the crash, and his girlfriend, Taylor Cratsley.

Genesee County Supreme Court Judge Emilio Colaiacovo dismissed Vega's claim in April 2017. The Appellate Division of the Fourth Judicial Department upheld that ruling.

"The court properly concluded that defendant had no duty to refrain from sending text messages to decedent," the appeals court wrote in its ruling.

A State Police investigation found that there was no evidence Crane tried to take evasive action after his car crossed the center line on Route 33 in Stafford, "suggesting that he was likely distracted."

An investor reported, "The cellular phone activity may have been the source of the distraction."

Vega's attorneys argued that Cratsley knew or should have known that Crane was driving and therefore should not have been sending him text messages.

Cratsley told police and later stated in an affidavit, that she was unaware Crane was driving at the time of the accident.

"Mrs. Cratsley added that often -- when the decedent was returning from work -- a family member would pick him up and drive him home," according to a court document. "Cratsley testified at her deposition that she never expected nor asked the Decedent to send her text messages or read text messages while driving. None of the text messages produced contradict Mrs. Cratsley's testimony."

Citing previous case law, the court said, "A defendant generally has no duty to control the conduct of third persons so as to prevent them from harming others, even where as a practical matter defendant can exercise such control."

Such a person, the court said, has no direct knowledge of what the driver is doing and less ability to control the actions of the driver.

"The same driver has complete control over whether to allow the conduct of the remote sender to create a distraction," the court wrote.

The text sender's actions, the court said, are as "innocuous" as a billboard by the side of the road, a sign outside a church, or a lemonade stand, all of which are intended to grab a driver's attention. To rule the text sender could be held liable would mean those responsible for these other distractions could also be held liable.

"We conclude," the court wrote, "the defendant owed no duty to the plaintiff to refrain from the conduct alleged, and therefore that she cannot be held liable for such conduct."

Photo: File photo.

May 10, 2018 - 10:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Pavilion, news, notify.

heartaccidentmay102018.jpg

There is a man at UMMC tonight who may live because a family residing on South Street Road in Pavilion acted fast to pull him from the wreckage of his truck after he apparently suffered a heart attack, performed CPR, and called 9-1-1.

"I looked out my kitchen window," Eileen Ostrander said. "I ask my son and my granddaughter, 'is it raining that hard or is there a fire?' We went the kitchen door and then we heard the tires spinning. It was still in gear."

They didn't realize at first that somebody might need their assistance.

"It took a second to realize what was happening," said her son, Joe Condidorio. "You know, a lot of people on four-wheelers, tractors, so we took a few steps and we looked at each other and we realized what was going on and we just sprinted toward the truck."

Ostrander said she used to be a track star but this time her son beat her to the truck.

The truck was wedged into a grove of pine trees on the other side of a field across the road from their house.

When they got to the blue pickup truck, it was still in gear, the man's foot was full-throttle on the gas, smoke was spewing from the back tires and the driver was slumped over the wheel.

Condidorio undid his seat belt, turned off the engine and slapped him gently on his face to see if he would respond. His daughter, Isabella, called 9-1-1.

"He was unresponsive," Condidorio said.

Ostrander, who has worked for HomeCare & Hospice and Crossroads House, felt for a pulse. There was none.

Condidorio pulled the man from the vehicle and into the field. Ostrander started CPR.

Often times, dispatchers must talk a person through CPR procedures but Ostrander knew what to do.

"Actually, when I had my children it was the best thing I ever could have done was to take the CPR course," Ostrander said. "Everyone should."

By the time medics arrived, the man's pulse had returned and an EKG showed he had suffered a heart attack. At the time he was transported by Mercy EMS to UMMC, he had a regular heartbeat.

Condidorio said what his mom did was amazing and the family pulled together in a team effort.

"She probably couldn’t have gotten him where I got him to," he said. "She took over from there, so it was a great team, and with my daughter calling 9-1-1, too."

(Initial Report)

heartaccidentmay102018-2.jpg

heartaccidentmay102018-3.jpg

May 10, 2018 - 8:46pm
posted by James Burns in Le Roy Central school, news, genesee county.

untitled_shoot-0911.jpg

Tonight at Mercy Grove the Le Roy Central School Senior Class hosted “Mom Prom.”

This is an annual event where graduating seniors bring their mom or special guest to show appreciation for their support and guidance while they were in school.

The three-hour soiree includes dinner and is full of surprise activities for attendees.

The highlight of the evening is a water-pong tournament. (Water pong is non-alcoholic version of beer pong.)

The winning graduate receives a $100 scholarship and their partner is crowned “Mom of the Prom.” 

untitled_shoot-0917.jpg

untitled_shoot-0928.jpg

untitled_shoot-2955.jpg

May 10, 2018 - 8:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Pavilion, notify.

A serious-injury accident is reported in the area of 9663 South Street Road, Pavilion, near the town line with Le Roy.

A person was ejected from the vehicle; CPR in progress.

Pavilion fire and Mercy EMS dispatched. Mercy Flight on in-air standby.

UPDATE(S) (By Billie) 8:34: p.m.: A landing zone for the helicopter is being set up.

UPDATE 9:11 p.m.: Residents in the area heard an engine revving; upon inspection, they found a truck wedged in a grove of pine trees, its driver passed out and unresponsive with his foot on the gas pedal, wheels spinning in place. His body had no pulse. A nearby resident arrived on scene, turned off the engine and pulled the victim out of the vehicle and onto the ground. That rescuer's mother, who is a nurse, was also there and performed CPR. The victim was subsequently taken via ground ambulance by Mercy medics to UMMC.

(Follow Up)

May 10, 2018 - 6:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, byron, news, notify.

It's been 22 years since Guadalupe Hernandez was arrested on a burglary charge in the Town of Byron but just this past week an appeals court ruled his three-to-six-year sentence handed down in 2016 was "too harsh."

The sentence was reduced to one year.

Hernandez, 41, was first arrested in 1996. He failed to appear for his arraignment on the felony charge and was re-arrested in 2011. In November, he entered a guilty plea with a sentence cap of five years in prison. He then disappeared again -- in both cases, he reportedly left the area -- and wasn't re-arrested until 2016.

The Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department, agreed with the argument by Hernandez's attorney that the sentence was unduly harsh considering the nature of the crime.

"My understanding is that it may have been in part because of the nature of the burglary," District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said. "Apparently, there was a fight going on outside of a residence and, I believe, the defendant chased someone else into the residence and continued it, or did something, but entered with the intent to commit a crime.

"So it's not what you probably think of as your typical burglary. It wasn't someone breaking into someone's home to steal something. So that certainly may have been one of the factors weighed on appellate division finding this to be harsh."

The court rejected the defense contention that Hernandez wasn't properly warned that if he failed to appear in court he would lose his sentence cap, stating that since Hernandez didn't object in court he had failed to preserve that contention for court review.

Friedman said overturning sentences as too harsh is rare, primarily because most sentences are part of a plea agreement and the defendant clearly agreed to these terms.

Some years ago, Friedman's office started requiring defendants who enter a plea agreement to waive their right to appeal the sentence as a condition of the plea deal. Hernandez was convicted before that practice was established.

May 10, 2018 - 5:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in log cabin restaurant, indian falls, pembroke, corfu, news, notify.

melissacianfrinimay102018.jpg

young_ryan_w_deputy.jpg
      Deputy Ryan Young

By the time Deputy Ryan Young arrived at the Log Cabin Restaurant in Indian Falls at 11 p.m. on April 11, he knew a customer had caused a disturbance in the restaurant and that the customer had fired at least two shots from a firearm.

As Young and other deputies arrived in the parking lot that Wednesday night, they heard another shot being fired.

Keith Kent, a 61-year-old logging company owner from Albion, spotted by deputies in the parking lot carrying a handgun, did not respond to verbal commands to drop his weapon.

At a press conference today about the shooting, First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini said, "He began to advance in the direction of Deputy Young, raising and ultimately pointing his revolver at Deputy Young. Deputy Young fired several rounds and Mr. Kent was shot."

Kent was hit in his neck and grazed by a bullet across his back. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Following a month-long investigation by State Police -- that District Attorney Lawrence Friedman characterized as "thorough" -- a Grand Jury reviewed the evidence and returned what is known as a "no bill," which means the Grand Jury found no reason to charge Young with a crime.

Friedman said the Grand Jury ruled the shooting was justified.

While Friedman and Cianfrini are prohibited by law from discussing anything that happened during the Grand Jury hearing, they are free to discuss what the State Police investigation uncovered.

The narrative of events starts with Kent trying to talk with a woman at the bar of the Log Cabin.

"He was talking with the woman at the bar and she was not receptive, I guess you might say, to what he was saying to her," Friedman said. "He was asked to leave her alone and ultimately was asked to leave the bar and was removed from the bar under protest."

After he went outside, either patrons or employees or both continued to observe him as he walked to his truck.

By this time, a person at the Log Cabin had already called 9-1-1 and remained on the phone with an emergency dispatcher providing updates as "the situation quickly escalated," as Cianfrini put it.

Investigators were not able to determine if Kent retrieved a revolver from the truck or if he already had it on him when he left the bar. He was a valid permit holder for the revolver, Cianfrini said.

After reaching his truck, he started to walk back to the bar and fired two shots into the air.

"Patrons at the restaurant and employees went down into a basement and began to arm themselves with materials in the basement while hiding," Cianfrini said. "Mr. Kent did re-enter the restaurant and threats were made."

There is no evidence that Kent fired his revolver while inside the restaurant.

He walked back outside.

"He was given multiple directives by sheriff's deputies to drop his weapon," Cianfrini said. "He did not comply with those directives."

Young was armed with his duty AR-15. As Kent pointed his revolver at Young -- who was 50 to 80 feet away from Kent -- the deputy fired 15 shots, which did not empty his magazine, Cianfrini said.

No other deputies fired their weapons during the incident.

"I believe that the reason why other deputies may not have discharged their firearms was because of the concern that there may have been patrons in the restaurant area," Cianfrini said. "They weren't fully aware where the patrons or employees in the restaurant were, and so under their standing orders, they were not in a position where they could safely discharge their firearms."

The narrative of events was established by witness statements, body camera recordings, 9-1-1 recordings, and the available forensic evidence.

"What I can tell you about the body-worn camera footage is that this incident took place during the night," Cianfrini said. "It was dark. There was limited lighting. There were no body-worn camera recordings that directly caught the incident."

Friedman said, however, the recordings were useful to the investigation, especially the audio portions of the recordings.

Asked if Kent made any statements before being shot, Friedman said he doesn't believe he did.

Friedman expressed confidence that the shooting was justified.

"I would say, in addition, that throughout this very thorough investigation, interviewing of everyone who was there, there was never the slightest hint that would indicate that this was anything other than justified."

Previously:

logcabpcmay102018-2.jpg

logcabpcmay102018.jpg

May 10, 2018 - 3:03pm

From Batavia PD:

Parking enforcement has been suspended for residents whose driveways are being affected by the sidewalk construction.

Affected residents may park in the street but must follow all other parking regulations (ie. parking the correct way, not parking in a no parking area, etc.) until their driveways are usable again.

May 10, 2018 - 2:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in government reform, senator ranzenhofer, news, ethics.

Press release:

The New York State Senate has approved two new bills– introduced by Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer – as part of the most sweeping package of good government reforms proposed in years. 

“From bid-rigging scandals to corruption trials, hard-working New Yorkers are fed up with the lack of ethics in state government, and the time is now for real reforms. I am pleased that these reforms are starting to advance through the Legislature,” Ranzenhofer said.

Preventing the Appearance of “Pay-to-Play” 
S8409 limits political donations from parties applying for grants, licenses, or doing business with public entities to the public officials or candidates who would approve such grants, licenses, or contracts. Unfortunately, disclosures of significant donations by people or businesses who have received significant public contracts or licenses gives rise to public suspicion that there may be a relationship between the two occurrences, and thus to public cynicism and distrust of the process of how public bodies make decisions.

Prohibiting Certain Political Contributions by Government Appointees
S8404 prohibits appointees who are appointed by the Executive to make political contributions to the Executive or his or her political campaign. The appointees would be prohibited from making political contributions within a year of appointment, during their term, and for a year after the term ends. It also prohibits the appointee from soliciting contributions on behalf of the Executive or the Executive's campaign committee. This prohibition also applies to members in the appointee's household.

A February 2018 article in The New York Times profiled a current trend whereby Executive appointees have made political contributions to the Executive totaling nearly $900,000. An atmosphere where appointees operate under the practice of making routine political contributions to the individual appointing them to their positions leads hardworking citizens to believe that Albany is rife with a "pay-to-play" culture.

Ranzenhofer called for an end to these practices.

“Allowing these questionable practices to continue will only foster distrust and skepticism of the process in state government. Appointed officials of the Executive branch should not be permitted to make donations to the Governor's re-election campaign, and private companies should not be allowed to make campaign contributions to politicians while under consideration for state contracts. These reforms will help to end Albany's pay-to-play culture and restore the public's trust in their state government,” Ranzenhofer said.

The comprehensive legislative package incorporated additional measures to boost accountability, transparency, and prevent the misuse of taxpayer dollars. The following reform bills have passed the Senate and are on their way to the Assembly:

  • Developing a Searchable Subsidy Database: S6613B requires the creation of a searchable state subsidy and economic development benefits database that would help New Yorkers and policy makers monitor the use of taxpayer money used to grow our state's economy and create jobs. The database would include the name and location of the participant; the time span of received economic development benefits; the type of benefit received; the total number of employees at all sites of a project; the number of jobs a participant is obligated to retain and create during the project; the amount of economic development benefits received for the current reporting year; and a statement of compliance indicating if any other state agency has reduced, cancelled or recaptured economic development benefits from a participant.
  • Creating the New York State Procurement Integrity Act: S3984A restores the State Comptroller's independent oversight of SUNY, CUNY, and OGS centralized contracts; expands the Comptroller's oversight of the procurement process to include contracts in excess of $1 million awarded by the SUNY Research Foundation; and prohibits state contracting through state-affiliated not-for-profit (NFP) entities unless explicitly authorized in law.
  • Protecting State Investments When Deals Don’t Meet ExpectationsS7697A ensures that the Public Authorities Control Broad members have sufficient information to make informed decisions prior to a vote approving funding and includes disclosure of a claw-back provisions for instances when a project job creation claim doesn’t come through, the state could recoup funding. 
  • Creating an Independent Budget Office: At least 23 other states– California, Texas, Florida, Connecticut and Vermont– have already established non-partisan budget offices to assist their legislatures. Accurate, up-to-date information is a key ingredient for prudent, timely budgetary and policy decisions. S2325 creates the New York State Independent Budget Office to provide objective, non-partisan analyses of state revenues, expenditures, and management practices to members of the Legislature for any legislation with fiscal impact or at the request of a leader or a committee. 
  • Reforming START-UP NYS5985A restores and bolsters reporting requirements for START-UP NY by requiring the preparation of an annual report which would be provided to the Governor and the Legislature. The report would include, but is not limited to, the number of business applicants, number of businesses approved, benefits distributed and received, and the number of net new jobs created per business– including cumulative data that reflects the amount previously recorded and adjusted for net new jobs that have been lost.
May 10, 2018 - 2:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, chris collins, opioid epidemic.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27), member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, applauded yesterday’s advancement of 25 bills out of the Committee to help combat the opioid crisis. Collins championed three of these pieces of legislation that will head to the House floor.

“The opioid epidemic is impacting every community across America and we have to take action in order to save lives,” Collins said. “We have seen far too many innocent lives lost and families torn apart because of addiction. I’m hopeful that this package of bills will help individuals get the treatment they need and give communities the resources required to stop this epidemic in its tracks.”

Collins joined fellow New Yorker, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries in introducing the Synthetic Drug Awareness Act of 2017 that would require the Surgeon General to report to Congress the public health effects of the rise of synthetic drug use by 12 to 18-year-olds. Currently, Congress does not have sufficient information to craft the unique types of public health and law enforcement approaches that could save our nation’s children from these dangerous substances. 

Collins also introduced the Eliminating Opioid Related Infectious Diseases Act of 2018 with Congressman Leonard Lance, Congressman Joseph Kennedy, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Congressman Joe Barton, and Congresswoman Doris Matsui that focuses specifically on how the opioid epidemic has contributed to an increase in infectious diseases like Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. Increased monitoring and education will lead to a better understanding of the impacts that this crisis is having on public health.

Finally, Collins introduced legislation with Congressman Eric Paulson, Congressman Ron Kind, and Congressman Connor Lamb that would require Medicare to send an annual notice to Part D patients about the adverse effects associated with prolonged opioid use. By improving awareness and education, the Medicare Clear Health Options in Care for Enrollees (CHOICE) Act will help patients be more inclined to watch for the warning signs of addiction and be more informed to talk with their doctors on their options for pain management.

The additional bills focus on helping patients receive treatment and making sure these drugs do not get into the wrong hands. The Committee has identified issues with enforcement, prevention, and coverage within Medicare, and the additional legislation provides solutions that will address these areas.

A background memo, electronic copies of the legislation, and live stream of the markup can be found online here. The Committee plans to hold a second markup on opioid legislation on Thursday, May 17.

May 10, 2018 - 2:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, genesee county chamber of commerce.

Press release:

“How to Create a Positive Work Environment” will be the subject of a small business workshop to be hosted by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, May 16.

This is the one of a series of business workshops held in conjunction with the United States Small Business Administration and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. The workshops are open to all Chamber and non-Chamber businesses and their employees and will offer expert advice from experienced professionals designed to help small businesses succeed and grow.

“It is possible to have positive – and perhaps even fun – work environment in any business and this workshop is designed to show you how,” said Tom Turnbull, Chamber president.

Greg Lindberg of the Small Business Administration will conduct the workshop.

The workshop will be held at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Road, Batavia.The session will run from 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. and includes a question-and-answer period. Cost for non-Chamber members is $10 for each attendee.

Chamber members and Batavia Business Improvement District members may attend all small business workshops free of charge but should make reservations to insure space.

To reserve a seat in any workshop or for more information, contact Kelly Bermingham at 343-7440 or by email at [email protected].

Pages

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
23
 
 
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2017 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