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April 20, 2016 - 11:37am
posted by Julia Ferrini in batavia, alexander, Attica, events.

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The pride and joy of the man’s job now sits idle most days, his namesake lovingly wiping the dirt from her fenders as a myriad of emotions floated across his brow. Douglas Mess’s John Deere 4020 is built for heavy work, but could also be used for lighter duties, and as his son put it, “it’s the heart of any farm.”

Family and friends gathered at the Spring Farm Tuesday evening for the second annual Douglas Mess Memorial Tractor ride. April 19 marked the one year anniversary of the death of the 52-year-old farmer. As a way to remember the father, brother and friend, those who knew him best revved up their tractors and made the approximately six-mile trek – from the Spring Farm on Chaddock Road to Baskin Livestock on Creek Road – in celebration of a man’s life.

“Most days are fine,” said the eldest of three boys, Doug Mess. “I still have my off days.”

Since last April, the Mess’s farm in Attica had been off limits. Within the last few months, the boys have been able to go back. 

“We aren’t operating the farm right now,” Doug said. “The cows have been gone for almost a year and now we're just getting things cleaned up.”

“It’s still a shock,” said longtime family friend Dale Spring. “Our families grew up together. Our kids were in 4-H together. He was an awesome guy. He would help you no matter what. If he couldn't talk ya through it, he'd come down and help.”

Sixteen tractors in all and double the number of friends and family met to honor the man.

“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him,” Spring said. “Every morning, after he was done milking his cows he would drive by my farm...”

As a way to remember their employee, Bill Baskin and Susan Blackburn, Baskin’s wife, had a sign made dedicating their new truck shop to Douglas.

The gathering. The ride. It was a time to remember the man and not the incident surrounding his death.

See related: Murder of Douglas Mess a big loss for Baskin Livestock Attica woman charged with murder in missing man's death 

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March 15, 2016 - 6:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in public service committee, events, genesee county.

The donation of an "old school" ice rink, the status of flooded County Building #2, construction at the airport, Albany's inflexibility regarding bid procedures, and indigent defense were all topics of discussion at Monday afternoon's Public Service Committee meeting. 

Oh yes, and no filbert trees were available for sale this year from the Soil & Water Conservation District. But more on that later.

Highway Superintendent Tim Hens recommended that the committee accept the donation of an old-fashioned ice rink -- a veritable "duck pond" with "dasher boards" -- from Oakfield-Alabama Central School District (OACSD) for use at DeWitt Recreation Area off Cedar Street in the City of Batavia.

There is an area long designated for an ice rink in the master plan for DeWitt -- which is overseen by county Parks, Recreation and Forestry -- and if approved by the county Legislature, this is where the rink would be installed.

After a brief discussion, the committee unanimously approved recommending that the "as is" donation be accepted. It was originally paid for by OACSD with a $1,000 state grant.

"This is great for the county and the city," Hens said.

The Oakfield-Alabama district used the ice rink for two years, then it became problematic to maintain. A corps of volunteers will be needed to set it up, flood it with water, and keep it maintained during the winter.

"There's no Zamboni that comes with it," Hens quipped.

County Manager Jay Gsell agreed.

"It's skating in the park," Gsell said. "It's not Rockefeller Center. There won't be a Christmas tree."

Committee Member John Deleo asked about power and lighting for the ice rink.

Hens said all the possibilities are being looked at, but they are leaning toward LED with a solar-powered "hot box."

Water and sewer lines at DeWitt will be extended for a new restroom facility under construction, and lighting will be added at that time, Hens said. 

Deleo asked about parking to access the rink and Hens said if the rink is installed, the south parking lot would be opened in winter. Currently, only the north parking lot is kept open year-round.

The committee also voted to recommend approval of two candidates for the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Advisory Committee: Tom Clark and Jerome Gentry.

And Hens asked the committee to recommend awarding a bid to buy one cargo van with a sliding door for $25,000 or less for motor-pooling, and members agreed to this.

As for the recently flooded County Building #2 on West Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia, it has been fully remediated, Hens reported.

The contractor thoroughly dried the place out after a busted pipe caused extensive water damage during the winter. Mold and mildew were eradicated, even the floorboards in the information/technology area were raised and the space vacuumed.

Drying the facility cost $30,000. Repairs/plumbing/painting/tile work on top of that are estimated at $88,000, according to Hens. When allowable depreciation is factored into the mix, the total cost drops from $118,000 to $113,000 -- below the insurer's cap of $115,000 for this incident. The county's deductible is $10,000.

The contractor detailed 44 pages of work needed as a result of the mishap, which by all accounts would've been a lot worse if an employee hadn't stopped in on his day off, over the weekend, and found the broken pipe.

Hens said a private contractor will be employed to do the repairs, such as replacing tile, drywall, appyling a vinyl basecoat and other painting. This will enable county workers to stay on task with outdoor jobs that need to be done during the warmer months.

The new offices at the county airport will be completed by March 24, with the exception of "punch list items" like giving epoxy time to dry, then the big move -- read "big hassle" -- will ensue. The committee may hold its May meeting there, and get a tour. (The April 18 meeting of the Public Service Committee is already promised to the Sheriff's Office on Park Road.)

Lastly in terms of Hens' report, was the inscrutable logic of the state Comptroller's Office as regards the award of bids for highway contruction materials.

For example, take the weighty materials used for road bulding during the summer like asphalt -- whose price has dropped 15 to 20 percent due to the lower cost of crude oil and the price of gasoline -- or quarry stone. The price of these heavy cargo items is modified to account for hauling. So, take the low bidder then factor in another 50-cents-per-mile as the cost to get the materials to the job site.

They call it awarding a "catalog of options for vendors."

"This is the way counties in the Rochester region do business," Hens said. "Otherwise, I couldn't do my job."

But it's not the way the Comptroller's Office in Albany recommends doing business.

In fact, the mathematics appeared to stupefy the representative from the Comptroller's Office, despite an hour-long phone conversation with Hens articulating current procedures and the logic for them.

"That's frightening that someone can't understand that," Committee Chair Marianne Clattenburg said.

Gsell said it's actually not that they don't get it, it's that they lack flexibility and can't think outside the confines of their specific framework, making the gesture of a big square box with his hands. He cited New York's lack of national buying cooperatives and its dearth of "piggy-backing" to boost purchasing power as examples of New York government failures.

To avoid being scapegoated with an audit for not following the Comptroller's Office's recommendations to cease using a "catalog of options" approach, resolutions are being proposed for the Genesee County Legislature to sign. They are intended to underscore and articulate the local preference for doing business the way it has long been done by counties in the region.

And speaking of Albany, Public Defender Jerry Ader told the committee on Monday that he's asking for more money to defend the poor, something which is constitutionally the state's responsibility, but which has been palmed off onto counties for the past 45 years.

A grant for $344,200 is available, at no cost to the county, to help pay for indigents' legal bills, and he asked the committee to recommend accepting the grant. They unanimously agreed.

Ader also asked committee members to pass a resolution calling on the state to increase funding for indigent defense for all New York counties, not just the five counties (unspecified) which are now being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union for their allegedly poor defense of the poor.

The five counties are to be demo sites for a proposal to gradually allow the state, through the Office of Indigent Legal Services, to: oversee reimbursement of costs; ensure standards are met; and that caseloads are properly managed. Each county would simply administer the program.

"How do you justify not doing this for all counties?" Clattenburg asked.

Exactly, Ader said, "you can't unring the bell," noting that it's Governor Cuomo's task to find a way to fund the upgrade of indigent defense across the board. Until then, Genesee County, too, is at risk for getting sued by the ACLU, Gsell said.

Even so, local representatives seem a bit blase about the issue. Ader noted that neither Senator Mike Ranzenhofer nor Assemblyman Steve Hawley have boarded the bandwagon, which to date consists of a less-than-whopping two lawmakers. State lawmakers will select bills to vote on within the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, the annual Tree & Shrub Sale of the county Soil & Water Conservation District just wrapped up. At least officially, the deadline was March 11. 

Member Robert Bausch told district Director Pamela Whitmore he usually buys something every year. We do not recall whether he specifically mentioned having bought a hazelnut tree, but Whitmore replied flatly: "We don't have any filbert trees this year."

Whitmore also reported that the district is not seeking an increase in appropriations, nor are there staff changes afoot, although there is one position open.

At present, Water & Soil is focusing on stream water quality and water bank fortification, said District Manager Greg Tessmann.

He said they are in a partnership with SUNY Brockport to monitor water quality in streams and that the results of testing samples will be available this fall.

Committee Member Shelley Stein said she has been told about the exceptional staff at Soil & Water -- how they are "aggressive, motivated, interested and committed."

Lastly, county Weights & Measures Director Don Luxon told the committee he is considering retirement, but said he would provide a few months notice once the decision is made.

September 10, 2015 - 9:58am
posted by Billie Owens in events.
Event Date and Time: 
October 24, 2015 -
7:00pm to 8:30pm

On Saturday, Oct. 24th, the Batavia Cemetery Association will host a candlelight guided ghost walk through the Historic Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Avenue in Batavia. The tours will feature the famous and infamous movers and shakers who shaped and influenced the City of Batavia.

September 8, 2015 - 4:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in Stafford, events.
Event Date and Time: 
September 23, 2015 -
7:00pm to 8:30pm

The Stafford Historical Society will meet on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 at 7 p.m. and the guest speaker is Michael J. Eula, Ph.D., Genesee County historian.

His presentation will be "American Culture and Cookbooks in Genesee County, New York, 1830-1920." The meeting is at the Stafford Town Hall at 8903 Route 237. All are welcome to attend the free presentation.

September 5, 2015 - 12:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in events.
Event Date and Time: 
October 3, 2015 -
4:00pm to 8:00pm

The Batavia Business Improvement District (BID) will once again hosts its 6th annual Batavia Wine Walk from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3rd.

Tickets are now available for purchase at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle (8 Center St.; 343-0584), T-Shirts, Etc. (37 Center St.; 345-1997), Valle Jewelers (21 Jackson St.; 343-3372), and The YN Godess Shop (73 Main St. 343-3170).

September 4, 2015 - 3:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in notre dame high school class of 1965, events.
Event Date and Time: 
September 25, 2015 - 7:30pm to September 27, 2015 - 1:00pm

Notre Dame Class of 1965 is hosting its 50th Reunion the weekend of Sept. 25-27.

Planned venue includes:

Friday, Sept. 25  -- Center Street Smoke House -- 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 26 -- Batavia Downs Grandstand Banquet Room -- 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 27 -- All Alumni Mass at Notre Dame Chapel – 9:15 am., followed by Brunch at Terry Hills Golf Course at 10:30 a.m.

For detailed information please contact the 50th Reunion Committee at the e-mail addresses below:

[email protected]

August 23, 2015 - 1:26am
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, events, Wiener Dog Race, family fun day.
Event Date and Time: 
August 23, 2015 -
2:00pm to 4:30pm

Sunday, Aug. 23, is Family Fun Day at Batavia Downs from 2 to 4 p.m. Tthere will be pony rides, face painting, sand art and other family activities. It's also the big race for little dachsunds. Wiener Dog Races will begin shortly after 4 o'clock. Each year 80 wiener dogs vie for glory after live racing is completed on Family Fun Day.

August 20, 2015 - 12:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, richmond library, batavia.
Event Date and Time: 
September 2, 2015 -
6:00pm to 8:30pm

Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia

Event:  Reel Discussions

Date & Time:  Wednesday, Sept. 2nd, at 6 p.m.

Come view the movie and join us for a group discussion afterward. This month’s movie is “Spare Parts.” It's a true-life story about four undocumented Mexican American students, two great teachers, one robot-building contest.

August 18, 2015 - 4:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, jazz, music, batavia.
Event Date and Time: 
August 20, 2015 -
5:00pm to 8:00pm

The DSP Jazz Trio will perform at T.F. Brown's restaurant in Batavia from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20. It is located at 214 E. Main St.

August 16, 2015 - 11:35am
posted by Billie Owens in Stafford, events.
Event Date and Time: 
August 26, 2015 -
7:00pm to 8:30pm

The Wednesday, Aug. 26th, meeting of the Stafford Historical Society will be at 7 p.m. at the Stafford Town Hall, located at 8903 Route 237. A presentation of our latest museum exhibit, "Herstory," will be given by the display organizer, Sue Briggs. Also the status report of the July 9th Taste of Stafford will be explained.

August 14, 2015 - 1:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in billy goat's, music, events, batavia.
Event Date and Time: 
August 21, 2015 - 10:00pm to August 22, 2015 - 2:00am

Friday, Aug. 21, Esdee Entertainment presents "Get Down in B-Town" with music from the '80s, '90s and 2000 at Billy Goat's Bar & Grill, 345 W. Main St., in the City of Batavia.

Cover charge is $5. Time is 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Music by DJ ASID.

August 10, 2015 - 3:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, Le Roy, woodward library, wildlife.
Event Date and Time: 
August 12, 2015 -
6:30pm to 7:30pm

Class on identification of birds in your backyard and beyond! This free program is open to the public on Wednesday, Aug.12th, from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. at Woodward Memorial Library, 7 Wolcott St., Le Roy. Get out and enjoy a safari in your own backyard!

 

August 7, 2015 - 1:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in events.
Event Date and Time: 
August 7, 2015 -
5:00pm to 11:00pm

The 79th Annual Elba Fire Department Onion Festival starts this afternoon! Grounds open at 5 o'clock. The Firemen's Parade begins at 7. There will be roast beef on weck available from the Ladies Auxiliary inside the Rec Hall at  6 p.m. and Buffalo Amusements will be providing rides from 7 to 11.

At 9 o'clock the band Blood Money performs inside the Beer Tent.

Take advantage of the chance to win a 2015 Ford Mustang or $20,000 cash, courtesy of Orleans Ford.

August 4, 2015 - 1:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in events.
Event Date and Time: 
September 2, 2015 -
7:00pm to 8:00pm

 Wednesday, Sept. 2, 7 p.m. / Batavia Campus / Room T102

Tom Schobert, president of Buffalo Civil War Roundtable and Robert E. Lee impressionist, will kick off the history lecture series with "The Alamo – The Myth, the Reality...and John Wayne!" Like other high-profile events in American history, the story of the Alamo is shrouded in legends and myths. This lecture will cover the known facts as well as the legends and lore, and also how John Wayne got involved.

July 30, 2015 - 4:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, Pavilion, pavilion fire department.
Event Date and Time: 
August 8, 2015 -
11:00am to 11:55pm

The Third Annual Fired Up Fundraiser for the Pavilion Fire Department will be held Saturday, Aug. 8, at BW's, located at 11070 Perry Road, Pavilion.

Organizers say please come and support the men and women who volunteer their time to make our community a safer place to live and work. "Thanks for all you do!" And thanks also to all those who have so graciously donated to this great cause.

The day kicks off at 11 a.m. with an 18-hole golf tournament.

Basket raffles will take place from 2 to 5 p.m.

July 30, 2015 - 4:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, Batavia Players, batavia society of artists.
Event Date and Time: 
August 11, 2015 -
6:00pm to 9:00pm

The Batavia Society of Artists is partnering with Batavia Players to host a "Sketch Out / Paint Out" in Jackson Square Downtown from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 11. Everyone is welcome, so invite your friends and family.

Brings whatever utensils you would like to use to sketch or paint with.

The Players will be practicing for an upcoming theater performance as well as posing for artists and the community to sketch or paint.

Bring a chair/easel and spend the evening creating some art. 

July 22, 2015 - 11:27am
posted by Billie Owens in events, Stafford, ESATA.
Event Date and Time: 
August 1, 2015 - 9:00am to August 2, 2015 - 4:00pm

The annual Empire State Antique Truck Association (ESATA) truck, farm, and construction show is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 1 & 2.

This is our 29th annual show and is held at the Stafford Fire Department carnival grounds, with free admission and free parking.

We do suggest a donation to Camp Good Days and Special Times, which we have supported for many years.

The fire department grounds are located at 6153 Main Road, Stafford.

July 22, 2015 - 11:19am
posted by Billie Owens in events, Batavia Concert Band.
Event Date and Time: 
July 22, 2015 -
7:00am to 8:00pm

This evening, Wednesday July 22, the Batavia Concert Band's fourth concert of the 2015 season will be in Centennial Park, beginning at 7 o'clock. Great weather for an outdoor concert is predicted, so bring the family, your favorite friend(s), some chairs or a blanket, and enjoy! Light refreshments will be available.

July 21, 2015 - 4:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in events.
Event Date and Time: 
August 8, 2015 -
3:00pm to 7:00pm

The Batavia High School Class of 1955 is planning its 60th Class Reunion!

There will be a formal get-together with food, desserts, and drinks on Saturday, Aug. 8th at 3 p.m. at The Dibble Family Center, located at 4120 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, NY 14020.

The committee that put this celebration together is Jim and Connie DiSalvo, Victor Corey, Betty O’Brien, Eleanor Bakos, Rose Suozzi, Joe Gerace, Ralph Hyde, Mary Lou Klein, and Richard Cecere.

July 21, 2015 - 3:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, batavia.
Event Date and Time: 
August 7, 2015 -
8:00pm to 11:55pm

The Batavia High School Class of 1955 is planning its 60th Class Reunion!

There will be a social gathering of classmates on Friday, Aug. 7th at 8 p.m. at The Polish Falcons of American Nest, located at 123 S. Swan St., Batavia, NY 14020.

There will be a formal get-together with food, desserts, and drinks on Saturday, Aug. 8th at 3 p.m. at The Dibble Family Center, located at 4120 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, NY 14020.

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