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October 8, 2010 - 11:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business.

The Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center is asking businesses to update contact information that dispatchers need in case of fire, break-in or just a false alarm.

If you own or run a business in Genesee County, including in Batavia, Corfu and Le Roy, you should download the information form and fax it to 343-9129.

The information is kept confidential, according to Steve Sharp, director of emergency communications. It will be used only for the purpose of contacting business owners or key holders in the case of an emergency.

October 8, 2010 - 7:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

A fire is reported at a residence at 224 East Ave. in the City of Batavia.

City firefighters and Mercy medics are responding following a fire alarm there. A second fire platoon is requested to standby in headquarters. Batavia police are helping with traffic control.

National Grid is being notified about the incident, but no other details have yet been reported. The occupants are not home.

UPDATE (7:57 p.m.): The fourth platoon is requested to standby in headquarters and the second platoon is called to the scene. It is reportedly a fully involved kitchen fire.

UPDATE (8 p.m.): Firefighters on scene are told to come in through the back sliding glass doors. The homeowner is en route according to the alarm company.

UPDATE (8:03 p.m.): The fire is "knocked down." National Grid is expected momentarily. Traffic barricades are soon to be delivered.

UPDATE (8:07 p.m.): The homeowners are on scene. One cat has been rescued, but firefighters are told there's another one still inside the home.

UPDATE (8:19 p.m.): The firefighters are now doing "overhaul" to ensure the fire's complete extinction.

October 8, 2010 - 3:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, jerome senior apartments.

Here's information from a news release:

The completion of Jerome Senior Apartments in Batavia was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.

Jerome Senior Apartments is a 37-unit affordable senior community owned and managed by Conifer Management. This brand-new complex is available for seniors 62+, and is located within the United Memorial Jerome Center, which makes it possible for residents to ride an elevator to appointments within the center.

The complex hosts a variety of services and amenities to accommodate the specific and individual needs of its residents. These include Energy Star-rated appliances, wall-to-wall berber carpets, window treatments, an emergency call system, a controlled building-access system, a community room, an exercise room, a computer lab and more.

It is located near financial institutions, churches, the senior center and shopping areas.

“It is heartening to see this type of housing made available for our citizens,” Assemblyman Stephen Hawley said. "It is equally impressive that the former St. Jerome Hospital has been refurbished instead of torn down…our history continues, intact, with existing structures instead of tearing down and starting all over!”

The complex is located at the site of the St. Jerome Hospital, 16 Bank St. Opened in 1917, the hospital was a iconic landmark of Batavia for more than 75 years. Several major renovations, notably in 1922 and 1947, display the unique architectural elements that were incorporated into the current renovation.

Jerome Senior Apartments share the building with professional and retail businesses, adding to the appeal for senior living in a mixed-use and accessible neighborhood.

Number of units: 37 affordable senior apartments
Unit type: One and two bedroom
Developer: Conifer Realty, LLC
Architect: Clark Patterson Lee
Contractor: Conifer-LeChase Construction, LLC
Not-for-profit partner: United Memorial Medical Center
Construction lender: Bank of Castile
Equity financing: M&T Bank/Tompkins Financial Corp.
Financing: $687,000 - DHCR Low Income

Housing tax credits: $4,690,245 -- 9-percent tax credit equity
(M&T Bank & Tompkins Financial Corp.)

$5,139,571 - NYS Housing Trust Fund TCAP
$703,000 - FHLB NY
$118,802 - FHLB Pittsburgh
$107,000 - NYSERDA
Sales Tax Exemption & PILOT - Genesee County Economic Development Center

October 8, 2010 - 1:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day.

REMINDER: Please do not purchase a gift certificate you've already purchased in the past six months.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Larry's Steakhouse, 60 Main St., Batavia, NY: The name says it all -- Larry's is a great place for steak. Larry's has a fine dining atmosphere with a great menu and outstanding service. 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.

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 Nov. 30, 2010).

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.

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

SOLD OUT

October 7, 2010 - 11:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, politics, Democrats.

dems_chris.jpg

The Democrats held an open house for their 2010 Genesee County Campaign Headquarters in the mall this evening.

Above, Chris Charvella explains how much he loves The Batavian (um, actually, I have no idea what he was talking about at the time). Below in the dark suit is Senate candidate Marc Coppola. Bonus picture for regular readers after the jump.

dems_coppola.jpg

October 7, 2010 - 11:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, books, outdoors, Jim Nigro.

nigrobooksigning.jpg

Dozens and dozens of people turned out to Go Art tonight for the release of Jim Nigro's first novel, "Tapestry: A Life Walk Among Friends."

When Nigro was at best about half way through signing copies of his book, he said his hand was getting tired. When I arrived, the line out the door was at least 20-people deep. When I left, it was still at least 20-people deep.

For more about the book and Jim, click here.

October 7, 2010 - 11:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, charity.

pinkhat.jpg

It was Pink Hatters Night at the Holiday Inn this evening.  The event is an annual breast cancer awareness program.

It included a Chinese auction, dinner, Dr. Nina Strollor as a speaker and a comedy variety show hosted by Nels Ross.

pinkhat2.jpg

October 7, 2010 - 11:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Jerry Arena, Park Road.

arena_bar.jpg

Jerry Arena is planning to open a new bar at property he owns on Park Road. He will call it The Ten Cent Millionaire Tavern. He intends it to be a relaxing, affordable environment for a couple of drinks and maybe some chicken wings or a burger. 

He's already bought an attractive curved -- and very long -- bar for inside and is working on remodeling now.

There are some permits to secure from the Town of Batavia and he will add more space on the back of the building.

If everything goes to plan, he expects to open in the spring. More realistically, he said, he will likely open later in the summer.

October 7, 2010 - 10:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, Pembroke Primary School, East Pembroke Fire.

eastpembroke_fireprep.jpg

Volunteer firefighters from several companies turned out to Pembroke Primary School today as part of East Pembroke's annual effort to educate students on emergency preparedness.

Eleven trucks rolled up to the school first thing this morning, with all the sirens, horns and flashing lights the children could hope for.

Most of the trucks stayed at the campus throughout the school day and classes of children took turns touring the rigs.

Firefighters also provided information on emergency preparedness.

October 7, 2010 - 10:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown.

rayengland_windowcleaner02.jpg

Ray England is 70 years old and lives in Albion. He cleans windows for a living and has a handful of clients in Downtown Batavia.

He was on Main Street this afternoon in his top hat and green scarf taking care of some shop windows when I met him.

He uses a contraption that he built himself. It's quite ingenious. One metal poll with a cleaning wand at the end. A tube is connected to the wand and an air-pressure garden sprayer on a pull cart. England can spray water up the tube and onto the window.

One advantage of the system, he said, is that his hands never get wet, so he can easily clean windows in winter.

The squeegee he uses to wipe the water off the windows has a swivel head so he can handle any shape, including rounded edges, of a window.

The idea for the design came to him after he was seriously hurt in an auto accident.

“My arm was broken in three places and split at the wrist," England said. "For two years I couldn’t use this arm. It was dead meat. That’s when the great Lord above, the great engineer, He designed the universe, showed me this idea. I put it together and I’ve been using it ever since."

England claims to have a patent on the design and would like to find a U.S. manufacturer to build it and sell it so Americans could be put to work, but he claims a German company stole his idea and is building the same system out of cheap plastic.

"Mine is made with steal and copper and I sell it for $600," England said. "They sell theirs for $1,700 and if you drop it, it breaks."

rayengland_windowcleaner01.jpg

October 7, 2010 - 1:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, fencing.

engarde02.jpg

Ben Cook, 9, saw fencing in a movie and thought it would be fun. Peter Koziol, 12, thought it would be like sword fighting. Clair Zickl, 10, was inspired by her older brother and has already competed in her first tournament.

The three young fencing students are taking classes from Colin Dentino at his En Garde Fencing Academy on Harvester Avenue.

Dentino said fencing is appropriate for youngsters because it's a sport that anybody can enter at any age and learn.

"For me, I always liked the mental aspect," Dentino said. "It's really like a three-dimensional chess game with your opponent."

For Ben, Peter and Clair, it's just fun.

"I like fencing because I'm making new friends," Ben said. "It's physically active, and it's just really, really, really fun."

Claire is advancing fast, according to Dentino. She placed 17th out of 22 in her first tournament, competing against girls in her own age bracket, but who have been fencing up to five years.

Claire started just this summer.

"For her to finish anything higher than 22nd is fantastic," Dentino said.

She is mentally tough and has absorbed her lessons quickly, Dentino said, which allowed her to take one match against a girl with more experience who eventually went on to finish third in the tournament.

Her performance qualified her to compete in an April 15 tournament in Portland, Ore.

engarde01.jpg

October 7, 2010 - 12:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, County Clerk, DMV.

If the county's Department of Motor Vehicles office were to cut 5 percent of its expenses, it would seriously jeopardize current, profitable revenue streams, County Clerk Don Read told the Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday.

donread.jpgIn 2009, the county's DMV took in $70,000 in profits, and that number could top $150,000 in 2010.

As part of the county's budget process, department heads are being asked to suggest ways to shave 5 percent of their expenses.

Read said to make that significant of a cut he would need to lay off a staff member, which would mean less staff time to process DMV paperwork for out-of-county auto dealers.

Apparently, Read's office has been able to build a business around servicing the DMV needs of Monroe County dealers because of quicker turn-around times.

Eliminating staff members would take that process from three or five days to 10 days or more, erasing the edge Genesee County's DMV office has over Monroe County.

"We've gone from a deficit in that office of $41,000 to this year showing a significant profit," Read said.

He thinks 2011's profit could exceed $200,000.

Profits from the DMV office go back into the county's general fund.

Read said the local staff's primary responsibility is taking care of walk-in clients, so if staffing were reduced, their would be less time available to handle dealers' DMV needs.

About 35 to 40 percent of Genesee County's walk-in DMV clients are from outside of Genesee County, and if waits became longer because of staffing constraints, the county would start losing that business as well.

County Manager Jay Gsell called the idea of 5 percent cuts a "suggestion."

"We told the department heads, you know your budget better than we and so we'll take those suggestions and see what to do with it," Gsell said.

During the Ways and Means Committee meeting, there didn't seem to be much enthusiasm for cutting the county clerk's budget.

"The bottom line is the bottom line," said Mary Pat Hancock, chairwoman of the Legislature. "I’m glad you’re making money. I don’t want to hurt that."

October 7, 2010 - 11:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office.

If you try to call the Sheriff's Office at 343-5000, you might not get through.

The problems with the phone lines this morning is not affecting 9-1-1 at all, according to Undersheriff Bill Sheron.

People who need to place non-emergency calls to the Sheriff's Office are asked to call 345-3000 and select and press 0.

October 6, 2010 - 7:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, photos.

mainstreet_sunset.jpg

Another great sunset tonight. Here's a couple of shots I grabbed on Main Street.

citychurch_sky.jpg

October 6, 2010 - 5:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

A disabled tour bus is adding to rush hour traffic congestion at Ellicott and Main.

The bus is sitting, with its four-way emergency lights blinking, on westbound Ellicott Street near the old courthourse.

October 6, 2010 - 4:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Cemetery, photos, William Morgan.

morgan460.jpg

This afternoon I had the pleasure of touring one of the businesses in the Harvester Center and when I found myself on an upper floor on the south end of the building, I was able to get a picture of William Morgan's statue at an angle we don't usually see.

October 6, 2010 - 3:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Pratt Road.

The Pratt Road bridge over the Tonawanda Creek will be closed for repairs starting tomorrow, according to County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens.

The closure is expected to last a week.

Two steel girders will be reinforced.

The repairs will enable the county to remove a load restriction placed on the bridge following inspections this summer.

The $10,000 expenditure comes from the 2010 Bridge Capital Improvement Project, which is funded with state highway aid.

October 6, 2010 - 1:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, Western Regional OTB.

An attempt to fill a long-vacant executive position at Western Regional OTB with a Monroe County politician with some baggage is meeting resistance locally.

Genesee County's representative on the OTB board, Richard Siebert, told the Democrat & Chronicle that Monroe County officials are trying to make the appointment without going through proper procedures.

James Smith is a former deputy executive for Monroe County who was charged -- and later acquitted -- of misdemeanors related to alleged misuse of county workers for non-county work.

Smith's nomination is supported by Dennis Bassett, who is Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy’s appointee to the board.

According to Siebert, there's been no interview process and no other candidates considered.

One subcommittee vote was a tie, effectively killing Smith's application.

However, Bassett is now reportedly trying to bring a vote on Smith to the entire board.

A meeting with this single item on the agenda is scheduled for Oct. 11.

From the D&C:

Siebert said Smith supporters are trying to push the appointment through without advertising the job. Smith lacks gaming experience and, while Smith was acquitted of criminal charges, the accusations against him did raise questions about his managerial work, Siebert said.

“They’re ramming it down our throats,” Siebert said.

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