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October 9, 2015 - 3:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in entertainment.
Event Date and Time: 
November 15, 2015 -
4:00pm to 6:00pm

Mark your calendar: The Genesee Valley Wind Ensemble will present its Fall Concert in the auditorium of Elba Central School at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15.
“This event is put on to expose and educate our community to different and familiar genres of musical works and help our organization’s members further develop their skills though preparation and performance of this music.”

October 6, 2015 - 5:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in square dancing, Silver Stars, batavia, entertainment.


Dean Rich, a resident of Pratt Road, started square dancing in Batavia 60 years ago. He's danced in California, Arizona and Florida and remembers the time he danced to a caller from Alaska.

"I enjoy it because you meet so many interesting people," Rich said.

As if to prove it, he told an engaging story about himself. Now age 88, he's retired from MY-T Acres farm where he spent most of his farming career, invested his money wisely and was able to quit 28 years ago.

"I was working for my uncle for $50 a week and Bob hired me for $55 a week," Rich said. "Plus, I didn't have to come in until seven and I got a pig. Bob's dad said, 'You're paying him too much,' because the guy I replaced was making only $35 a week."

Rich and his wife had been married four years when a neighbor invited them to their first square dance, and soon they were regulars and including square dancing in all their travels. They were together 64 years. Rich took some time off while she was ill, but after she passed, he couldn't stay away from square dancing. He just enjoys it too much.

"There are so many interesting people and you never meet anybody who's rowdy," Rich said. "You cannot drink and do this, when you really get to square dancing."

Rich is one of 24 members of the Silver Stars, who gather every Monday at the VA Center in Batavia.

It's one of at least 15 clubs in Western New York, said caller and Buffalo resident Bill Ryan, who started calling 52 years ago at age 14.

"It's just a whole lot of fun," he said.

It's also good exercise, Ryan said, and, he agreed, you meet some great people.

Jean McCoy (top photo) said she would go stir crazy if she had to stay home, so she square dances to keep herself active. 

"Truthfully, I like the outfits," she whispered when asked what she likes about square dancing, but then added, "I like the camaraderie. You have to be out and be around people when you live alone, otherwise you'll wind up in the psych ward."

The age range of the club runs the spectrum and the youngest dancer at Monday night's club gathering was 7-year-old Caylin Perry, of Batavia. Caylin was too shy to tell us why she likes square dancing. She just said she does. She looked like she was having fun.











September 29, 2015 - 4:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in entertainment.
Event Date and Time: 
October 29, 2015 -
6:00pm to 8:30pm

Reel Discussions
Come view the movie and join us for a group discussion afterward. This month’s movie is “Maleficent.” A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubles land.
For more information, call the library at 343-9550 or log onto
** This month’s movie is scheduled 1 week later in the month.

September 29, 2015 - 3:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in entertainment.
Event Date and Time: 
November 15, 2015 -
9:30am to 3:30pm

The Genesee Society of Model Engineers will be holding their semi-annual GREAT BATAVIA TRAIN SHOW Nov. 15 at the Clarion Hotel in Batavia.
· Show Name: The Great Batavia Train Show
· Date: Sunday, Nov. 15
· Location: Clarion Hotel, Park Road, Batavia
· Admission: $5 adults, $2 under 18, free for children under 13.
· Hours: 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM.
· Features: Vendor tables, door prizes, free parking
Additional Train Show Information:

September 27, 2015 - 12:00am
posted by Session Placeholder in entertainment.
Event Date and Time: 
September 26, 2015 -
1:30pm to 2:30pm

The Batavia Silver Stars along with the Chili-based Cloverleaf Squares are Western square dance clubs and they will be performing at Darien Lake Theme Park twice this month.
They will have a demo dance from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26. For more information about WNY square dance clubs visit

September 19, 2015 - 9:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in entertainment.
Event Date and Time: 
September 19, 2015 -
5:30pm to 6:30pm

The Batavia Silver Stars along with the Chili-based Cloverleaf Squares are Western square dance clubs and they will be performing at Darien Lake Theme Park twice this month.
They will have a demo dance from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19, and from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. For more information about WNY square dance clubs visit

September 13, 2015 - 6:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Frost Ridge, music, entertainment, Le Roy.


Darryl Worley, a multi-hit country music artist who topped the charts in 2003 with a 9-11 song, "Have You Forgotten?", played Frostridge Saturday night and a few hundred hearty fans braved the rain and waved flags and cheered Worley's pro-USA, positive-living message.

The show closes out the 2015 season for The Ridge.









September 4, 2015 - 12:27pm


(Photos from last night's show.) Luke Bryan headlines a second, soldout show, at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center tonight.











August 15, 2015 - 11:25am


Joey Belladonna, lead singer of the metal band Anthrax and native of Oswego, brought his cover band Chief Big Way to Center Street Smoke House on Friday night. The room was packed with fans as the trio, with Belladonna on drums, powered through big rock hit after hit. Tom Mazurkiewicz, who became friends with Belladonna after meeting him at Darien Lake, helped arrange the appearance.








August 12, 2015 - 9:53am


Batavia Society of Artists and Batavia Players teamed up Tuesday night for a unique arts event in Jackson Square. The artists made art, the players were the models, in character for an upcoming performance of "Alice in Wonderland." Artists were encouraged to paint or draw in whatever medium they preferred. Some sketched, some used acrylics and others put chalk to cement. The players also rehearsed their parts for the show. There was also a wine tasting featuring Midgard Winery, of Corfu.








August 5, 2015 - 3:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in comics, Richmond Memorial Library, batavia, entertainment.


Comics have been a hobby, a career and now an ambition for Batavia resident Dan Hosek.

The Long Island native is a former Marvel Comics editor who came to Western New York when his wife started school at SUNY Brockport. He happened to work for a graphics company at the time that had an office in Buffalo. They settled in Batavia, and now Hosek is a free-lance graphic designer.

But he still has a passion for the comic book business, and love that goes back to his childhood and a passion that survived a rocky bankruptcy reorganization by Marvel in the 1990s.

Hosek shared some of his expertise in comic book creation, marketing and distribution with a room of like-minded people at the Richmond Memorial Library on Tuesday night.

His advice: If you want to get published, work at it. Be prepared for long hours and don't be afraid to self-publish -- that can be a road success.

It's certainly a road he and his partners Keith Koppenhoefer and Ryan Gutierrez hope helps propel their series, File 13, to a bigger audience.

The trio hatched the idea for the series a few years ago -- based primarily on a character developed by Hosek when he was 12 years old. A year ago, they raised enough money through a Kickstarter campaign to get the first edition printed.  

Without a distributor, however, it's been a lot of work getting the comic book onto store shelves, but they have been making headway and sales.

"The micro-distribution route, that can be a full-time job in itself," Hosek said. "Calling comic shops, visiting comic shops, sending e-mails, and the whole follow-up is a lot of work, but we're getting there. It's growing. We're hoping the numbers get high enough that we can go back to Diamond (the only comic book distributor in the nation) and say 'we've sold this many,' and hopefully they'll look at the numbers and look at what we're doing and decide to distribute it."

The story is about two twin brothers who inherited a company and they have opposing views on the value of science. One brother believes science should only be used for the greater good, while the other believes science should be used in the service of the bottom line of the company they own. One brother is fired from the company, and he steals battle armor developed by the company. This leads to a whole universe of super heros who return to Earth after not being around since the 1980s.

While being both one of the creators and part of the whole marketing and distribution effort is a lot of work, the reception File 13 has received has been worth it, Hosek said.

"When you hold that finished comic book in your hands or somebody tells you how much they enjoyed it, it's a reward, so part of the drive comes from that, hearing from other people that they liked it and that you're producing something other people enjoyed," Hosek said.

You can find out more about the comic book series at, like the series on Facebook, or purchase editions at Foxprowl Collectables on Ellicott Street, Batavia.








July 30, 2015 - 9:29am


Slipknot headlined Darien Lake PAC Wednesday night. Lamb of God opened. Also performing were Bullet for my Vallentine and Motionless in White.




Pictured below photos of Lamb of God:




Pictured below photos of Bullet for my Vallentine:



Motionless in White:


July 10, 2015 - 9:04am
posted by Jess Wheeler in batavia, entertainment, music.


Scott DiMartino played in local bands as a teenager. He had all the sound equipment needed for his big idea. In December, he approached his brother, Danny DiMartino, with the idea to set up a portable night club in Batavia. They bought a light setup and are now staging events at T.F. Brown’s and Billy Goats with their business, Esdee Entertainment.

“Batavia has a lot of culture for bars,” Scott said. “There is Center Street, Bourbon & Burger and other places. As far as dancing goes, there isn’t really much to offer. It’s the same bars, the same bands, the same nights.”

The brothers never thought that Batavia was big enough to support a nightclub for more than six months. Scott is hoping that monthly events will get people out and give them exposure to a different scene they may not have necessarily seen before.

“We want to bring something different to this town,” he said. “People in Batavia may not have seen real mixing on turntables and that’s what we want to bring.”

The idea came to Scott after his friend, Macy Paradise, came back from Colorado for a visit. He asked Scott to play a show with him at T.F. Brown’s. At the event, Paradise spun records and DiMartino played the drums. The response was overwhelming.

“Tons of people showed up,” DiMartino said. “We received so much support from the people of Batavia that night.”

DiMartino praises Paradise and his brother for their help with bringing his idea to life, but he really does it out of his love for music. He works 55-hour weeks at his full-time job. Yet, he somehow finds the time to plan events to share his passion with the rest of Batavia.

“We are just two brothers who love music and bought a bunch of stuff with a ton of support from the community,” he said.

The duo is hosting their next event on July 24 at Billy Goats. The $5 throwback dance party is for the 21-and-over crowd. Music will be exclusively from the '80s, '90s and early 2000s. The brothers hope to turn the occasion into a giant karaoke party.

“I want to see the looks on people’s faces when they say, ‘Oh my god, I forgot this song existed!’ ” DiMartino teased. “People are going to have a really good time. I couldn’t be more excited to share this with my hometown.” 

Check out their Facebook page for updates on their future events. 

Photos by Steve Ognibene



July 5, 2015 - 10:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batava, music, arts, entertainment, Ramble Music & Arts Fest.














July 3, 2015 - 6:05pm
posted by Jess Wheeler in batavia, Ramble, music, entertainment.


Paul Draper is used to being a musician for the Ramble, a musical event hosted in Batavia, but this year, he’s experiencing the event from another angle. Bill McDonald and the rest of the Ramble Posse have decided to pass the organizational and promotional torch on to Draper. He couldn’t be more excited.

“When Bill asked if I would like to be involved with the Batavia Ramble, my answer was, ‘yes. 100 percent,’ ” Draper said. “I’m the lucky one to take the hand-off.”

This year, Draper worked on filling the band rosters, organizing information and he even created a Facebook group.

“Batavia Ramble Facebook group is a local hub for all things Ramble,” he said. “In the group, you can find the band lineups, schedules for each stage as well as pictures from previous years.”

 Next year, he’s taking the lead on the event.

“This year was a lot of fun learning how everything runs and getting hands on,” he said. “I am also very much looking forward to next year where I'll be putting my PD3 twist on things and bringing the event to the next level.”

The first Ramble was held 10 years ago by the original Ramble Posse members Bill Pitcher, Mike Murray and McDonald. The Ramble aims to unite and reunite musicians and artists who have called Batavia and the surrounding areas home. The day is full of music, friendship and art.

This free event takes place Downtown on Sunday in Jackson Square and on Center Street. For the first time, three stages will be set up featuring musicians who live locally as well as those who are coming back to play the Ramble. Music starts at 11 a.m. and concludes around 9:30 p.m.


Paul Draper, Jim Starkweather, Bill Pitcher, Tom Trescott, Mike Murray, Wally Kowalik, Kevin Mayler and Bill McDonald.

June 17, 2015 - 8:54am
posted by Jess Wheeler in entertainment, music, batavia.

For as long as he can remember Batavia native Gary Call Hanley has been surrounded by music. As a child, his grandmother, Leona Pastore, took him to orchestras and encouraged his love for music. It wasn’t long before Call Hanley learned to play a variety of instruments and began to play in various bands.

Courtesy of Nashville Symphony

After a few years of touring in Western New York with local bands, he started playing with national bands. He has played legendary venues like New York’s CBGB. Now, Call Hanley has planted roots in Nashville, Tenn., as a recording and audio engineer with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

On July 3, his composition “Plight of the Common Man” will premiere at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center as part of the “Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture: A Star Spangled Evening with the Nashville Symphony” event.  This will be the first time in the history of the Orchestra that it plays a symphony written by someone on its staff.

“The 1812 concert is annually one of the most popular performances on our concert calendar,” Dave Felipe, publicist for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra said. “It means Gary’s work will be heard by upwards of 1,500 or more people along with works by Gershwin, Copland, Barber and more.”

Felipe is right. Call Hanley is very excited.

“I don’t know of anyone else who has had their first symphony played by a world-renowned orchestra,” Call Hanley joked. “I just thought, if other composers can do it, so can I.”

So he did.

“Plight of the Common Man,” starts off minimalistic, builds up in the middle and comes back to a gentle ending. Call Hanley likened it to the life of man.

“We start off small, we live these big lives, and then we end small,” he said.

The title comes from the thought that man is facing a constant struggle.

“Life isn’t always a fanfare, sometimes it’s a plight,” he added. “The challenge is to overcome all of the hardships and heartaches that life brings. With the good comes the bad and with the bad comes the good.”

When he isn’t writing symphonies or recording for a GRAMMY Award winning orchestra, Gary Call Hanley finds solace in playing with his band Subway Lights. In addition to cowriting songs with his writing partner Alex Quinn, Call Hanley sings lead vocals.

“Music is in my DNA,” he said. “I hear melodies and music all the time in my head. If I didn’t have those outlets, I think I would be a very sad man.”

Call Hanley believes that Western New York holds a great deal of musical talent and he feels lucky to be a part of it.

“I feel very fortunate,” he said. “I feel very lucky to be where I am. I am very grateful to that. It’s been a lot of hard work, but I’ve been very grateful.”

(Photo: Courtesy the Nashville Symphony.)

June 16, 2015 - 2:09pm
posted by Jess Wheeler in batavia, movies, business, entertainment, Godzilla: Heritage, films.

“We live in a world of gods and monsters,” Mitchell Lawerence, played by Alexander native, Tim Schiefer, said. “We’re simply here to tell the story.”

What story is Schiefer trying to tell? The story of “Godzilla: Heritage.” 

Schiefer and Director Greg Graves have been working on the film for six years. It’s all coming to fruition. However, to make the movie the way they have always pictured it, the crew needs help raising money.

Rashaad Santiago and Chris Barbis filming the teaser. Photo courtesy of Tim Schiefer

Thirty-Six days remain for the project’s crowd-funded Kickstarter. They have so far reached $10,463 of the $40,000 goal. If the project does not get fully funded, the production will not receive any of the money raised.

This is the second kickstarter campaign following a successful lead. The first time, the crew asked for $10,000 and received almost $20,000. The money that was raised went toward nicer cameras, travel, filming the teaser and the creation of the monster suits.

The suits are being made by season six winner of the SyFy network show "Faceoff," Rashaad Santiago. Santiago moved to Batavia to help with the movie. Godzilla has been a fascination of his since he was a child.

“For me, he was an escape from reality growing up,” Santiago said. “My mom recorded seven or eight hours of a Godzilla marathon when I was younger. I would watch it on loop until the film popped.”

Schiefer and Graves brought several other professionals onto the project. They include Chris Barbis, Kyle Gilmore, Tyler Graves, Billy Rupp and Christopher Bloomer. Bloomer has done visual effects for “Zombieland” and “Dragonball: Evolution.”

The cast and crew need the money to finish making the monster costumes, pay actors, promote the film, for anticipated filming permits and other expenses.

“Eighty to 90 percent of the movie will be filmed in Batavia,” Schiefer said.

Ken Mistler, owner of several local businesses, including City Slickers, has donated the spaces that “Godzilla: Heritage” will be filmed in. Additionally, the movie may need to be filmed outside on a street and permits would be necessary.

The character of Godzilla is not in the public domain. In fact, he’s heavily trademarked. It is for this reason that Scheifer and his team are creating the film as a fan film. No money will be made off of this production. They are making the film strictly for the passion they have for Godzilla.

“As massive fans, we wanted to do something different,” Santiago said.

“We want to make the movie that we’ve wanted to see,” Schiefer added.

There are rewards for financially supporting “Godzilla: Heritage” and any amount helps. Still, the crew is looking for donations of any kind.

“Any local investor is helping local kids do something that has never been done around here before,” Schiefer said.

To financially support the film, visit the Kickstarter and check out their Facebook page.

June 10, 2015 - 9:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, entertainment.


Photos from last night's Batavia High School Talent Showcase.

Above, Ross Chua performs with three volunteers from the audience, Cara Ranalli, Malik Vascianne and Lindsey Hill.


Ross Chua


Tyzonah Reese


Madison Hoerbelt and Andrea Gilebarto with Mr. Dan Grillo playing the piano. 


Kelli Dumuhosky


Rachel Flint


Kesa Janes and Hannah Bluhm


McKenna Dzieman


Alex Hansen


Laura Guiste


Jerrett Laskett

June 9, 2015 - 10:10am


Press release:

The Genesee Symphony Orchestra is having a full-orchestra concert this Friday, June 12, 7 p.m. at Jackson Square. The GSO musicians are reaching out to our Batavia audience in hopes of having an entertaining concert for all ages. The program will be conducted and led by GSO concertmaster Gregory Docenko. Greg is a phenomenal violinist and will be playing his electric violin while conducting the orchestra through the program.

Greg has designed the program with musical arrangements that will get the audience whistling and clapping. There is a portion of the program that will feature the GSO Jazzers, and Blue Grass Fiddles. Howard Owens will be featured on his typewriter during the "Typewriter" by LeRoy Anderson. State Assemblyman Steve Hawley will read the narrative/story of "The Frog Prince" with orchestra accompaniment. "Stars and Stripes Forever" and a brass rendition of "America the Beautiful" will fill our patriotic hearts.

Though Jackson Square concerts are free, the GSO will be accepting donations to support our orchestra for the upcoming 69th season. So, bring your chairs and enjoy our very entertaining hour-long concert. The GSO is proud to continue and support our area's cultural traditions.

Photos by Howard Owens, rehearsal Monday evening in the band room at Batavia HS.







June 8, 2015 - 5:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, music, entertainment.


Ross Chua and Chelsea Jensen rehearse Monday afternoon on the Batavia High School stage for tomorrow night's talent showcase.

The show goes on at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $3 each.





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