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June 15, 2018 - 12:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

Billie and I will be out of town for the rest of the afternoon ... hopefully, all is quiet and we don't miss anything.

May 2, 2018 - 3:31pm
posted by James Burns in news, thebatavian, batavia, business.


The Batavian celebrated 10 years of delivering news and support to local businesses at Eli Fish Brewing Company in Batavia yesterday.

Sharon White, above, representing Assemblyman Steve Hawley, delivered an Assembly Citation recognizing The Batavian for 10 years of service to the community. 

Michael Kracker, representing Rep. Chis Collins, delivered a copy of Congressional Record for May 1 commemorating The Batavian's 10 years in business and recognizing the efforts of Publisher Howard Owens and Editor Billie Owens for their commitment in preserving the First Amendment.

Jay Grasso, representing State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, delivered a Legislative Resolution, which was read into the State Senate record yesterday, marking The Batavian's 10th anniversary.

A letter from Sen. Charles E. Schumer congratulating the publisher and editor of The Batavian on the 10th anniversary of their local news business was also received before the event.

It reads, in part: "I applaud you both for the leap of faith you took back in 2009 when you moved to Batavia and garnered the support of local businesses in order to keep this news outlet alive. Thanks to your efforts, The Batavian remains a go-to source for local news and is supported by more than 150 local businesses."

Tom Turnbull, president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, and publisher of the Batavia Daily News when The Batavian first startedserved as emcee Tuesday afternoon. He noted how there was an intense rivalry between himself and Howard Owens in the beginning, but now they often work together as friends with the shared mission of promoting local business in Genesee County.

Also in attendance, Dan and Debbie Fischer, owners of WBTA radio. WBTA is an official news partner with The Batavian and has been a partner and friend to The Batavian from the beginning.

Howard Owens spoke briefly and recognized the contributions of several people, including the Fischers and Turnbull, who have helped him and his wife over these past 10 years, including staff member Lisa Ace, who has been with the company for almost seven years and is critical to helping The Batavian serve local businesses.

The Batavian officially launched May 1, 2008, without an office in Batavia. The site was then owned by GateHouse Media. The editor was Philip Anselmo* and he camped out at Main Street Coffee every workday covering local news from his unofficial office. The location of Main Street Coffee is now Eli Fish Brewing Company.

On March 1, 2009, Howard and Billie became owners of The Batavian, sold their house in Pittsford and moved to a duplex on Maple Street in June of that year.

At the time, there were only about a half dozen online-only news sites in the nation. Today, there are more than 200 and The Batavian is among the most successful of the online-only ventures.

The Batavian and Howard Owens have received awards from the New York Press Association, the Inland Press Association, and the National Press Photographers Association. This news site also received the 2009 Innovative Enterprise of the Year Award from the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, and the 2013 Spirit of Downtown award from the Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District.

(*Former Batavian Editor Phillip Anselmo, always an excellent writer and top-notch journalist, went on to earn a master's degree in Comparative Literature at UC Irvine; he is now a Critical Theory graduate student in UC Irvine's School of Humanities. The Rochester native teaches a class in Comparative Literature at the Irvine, Calif., campus.)

Top photo by Jim Burns. Bottom two photos by Steve Ognibene.


Tom Turnbull with Howard Owens


Billie Owens, Bill Kauffman, Howard Owens

May 1, 2018 - 9:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, top posts, news.

Looking back on the first 10 years of The Batavian, here are the most viewed stories. First, by cumulative page views and second, each top story for each year.

Top 10 most viewed stories in 10 years

The most viewed posts in each year:

Reminder: We're celebrating our 10th anniversary today at 5:30 p.m. at Eli Fish Brewing Company (10 years ago, Main Street Coffee and our first "office").

April 30, 2018 - 9:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, news.


The Batavian is 10 years old tomorrow. You're invited to join us at 5:30 p.m. for a 10th Anniversary Celebration at Eli Fish Brewing Company.

Eli Fish is located at 111 Main St., Batavia. Ten years ago, that was the location of Main Street Coffee. When we were launching The Batavian, we didn't have an office, so Philip Anselmo (our editor then) and I, with the gracious permission of Rob Credi, camped out at Main Street Coffee all day. That was our first "office." So it's fun to return to that same location that is now a new business that is part of Batavia's revitalization.

April 15, 2018 - 5:20pm
posted by The Batavian in thebatavian, news.


A news photo by Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian, has been selected by the National Press Photographers Association as the best spot-news photo in the nation for the month of January.

The photo, of Eddie Miles in handcuffs being taken from the scene of an apartment fire on Washington Avenue he is accused of starting, was previously selected as the NPPA's best spot-news photo in the New York/International Region.

The NPPA divides its membership among several regions and photographers are invited to submit photos in regional monthly contests for spot news, general news, sports, features, and other categories. The regional winners are eventually judged in a national contest.

Over the past five years, Owens has had several pictures selected for first, second, or third place in spot news and general news.

He isn't the only Batavia-based news photographer who competes in the contest. Mark Gutman of the Batavia Daily News, is also a frequent entrant. He's won several awards from NPPA and in January captured three third-place awards in sports feature, sports action, and general news. Many of Gutman's awarding-winning shots, which includes prizes from the Associated Press, can be seen on his website.

In an era of fewer local news outlets and smaller photography staffs at newspapers around the country, Genesee County is one of the few news markets in the nation with still-news photojournalists working at competing news organizations.

The photojournalism of Owens is also featured in the current edition of News Photographer Magazine, a publication of the NPPA. A photo he took in October of the Wilson High School Football Team pushing against a school bus that had become stuck on a sidewalk was printed across two pages in a section at the front of the magazine called "Opening Shots." The picture was the region's winner in October for spot news. It took second place nationally that month.

UPDATE: I completely missed this at the times the awards were announced -- the two shots Mark Gutman had for sports feature and sports action that took third place in the regional competition actually moved up to second place in the national competition -- so for January, he had two-second place shots nationally.


March 6, 2018 - 9:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

This afternoon Billie and I will board a plane headed to Los Angeles.

This is not a pleasant trip.

On Feb. 22, Charles Raymond Sutherland, Billie's youngest son, age 35, died following a heroin overdose in Ventura.

We will hold a memorial service for him in Ventura on Thursday.

In all, Billie and I will spend four days in Ventura before driving over to Bakersfield to visit my dad.

While we're away, we will receive help with the site from Mike Pettinella, Jim Burns, Steve Ognibene, Maria Pericozzi, Alecia Kaus, and our news partner WBTA. We will do our usual work that we can do remotely; however, honestly, we might not be as focused at times on this trip as we have been on previous trips.

January 1, 2018 - 9:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

To purchase prints, click here.

December 11, 2017 - 10:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

The Batavian is available in a fast, easy-to-use app for iOS and Android devices.  Download it today.



December 8, 2017 - 3:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

This is a notice for people who submit calendar items.

We were using a vendor calendar on Batavia's List (www.bataviaslist.com) and it was necessary to Batavia's List to submit calendar items.  As a cost-saving measure, we've canceled that vendor contract.  We're going back to just the calendar that is part of thebatavian.com's content management system.  To submit calendar items, use the "add event" link under the calendar on the right-hand side of the page.

For those who submitted calendar feeds for us to import, we are still importing those feeds.

As an alternative, you're also welcome to email calendar items to [email protected].

For users of the calendar, people who just view it, you won't notice any change on The Batavian, but there is no longer a calendar on bataviaslist.com.

December 1, 2017 - 11:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, news.

Thank you to everybody who stopped by the WBTA/The Batavian Christmas Party at the WBTA Studios at Main and Center this evening during Christmas in the City. We had a great time.

Thank you for Dibble Family Center for the fantastic chili and grilled cheese sandwiches we served our guests.

As we announced beforehand, anybody who stopped by and showed us that they had downloaded The Batavian's app on their smartphone or tablet could enter a drawing to win $100.

Many people tonight downloaded it right on the spot.

In all, we had 60 entries.

The winner is: Amy Swanson, of Stafford.

If you haven't downloaded the app yet, please do so:

December 1, 2017 - 3:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, Christmas in the City, downtown, batavia, news.

Downtown Batavia will be filled with holiday cheer and family fun tonight as local merchants host Christmas in the City.

Main Street, from Ellicott Street to Liberty Street, will be closed to vehicle traffic starting at 7 p.m. in preparation for the Christmas in the City parade at 8:15 p.m.

The festivities start at 5 p.m. and include horse and buggy rides, music, crafts, food, and other family-oriented activities.

Stop by the WBTA studios at Main and Center for a Christmas Party co-hosted by WBTA and The Batavian. Bring your smartphone or tablet, show the staff of The Batavian our mobile app installed on your device and you can enter a drawing for a $100 prize (no purchase necessary). We’re serving chili and grilled cheese catered by Dibble Family Center. 

Download our app.

November 30, 2017 - 3:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

You can now get instant access to news from The Batavian on your smartphone or tablet.

Download our app.

Come to Christmas in the City tomorrow, stop by our partners at WBTA's studios at Main and Center between 5 and 9 p.m., show us the app on your device and you will be eligible to enter a drawing for a $100 prize.

November 28, 2017 - 7:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, downtown, Christmas in the City, batavia.

The Batavian and WBTA, local news partners for Genesee County, are hosting a Christmas party Friday evening during Christmas in the City at WBTA's studios at Main and Center.

Stop by between 5 and 9 p.m. and you could get a chance to win $100. Show us The Batavian's mobile app on your smartphone or tablet and you will be eligible to enter the drawing (no purchase necessary).

We will provide snacks catered by the Dibble Family Center.

  • To download The Batavian's app for iOS, click here.
  • To download The Batavian's app for Android, click here.
November 27, 2017 - 12:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

At long last, the Android version of the mobile app for The Batavian is now available in the Google Play Store.

This is essentially the same version as the iOS version (available here) though we changed the subscription scheme a bit, making it three tier. There are no additional benefits to the higher tiers. It's just a matter of how much you're willing to contribute to help support local news. Stories are free for the first six hours after publication (these are changes that will be included in the next update of the iOS version).

If you have issues or want to provide feedback after you download the app, email me at [email protected].

There is not a vendor product. It's not a generic, open-source project. It's homegrown. I wrote the code for this myself and will continue to add onto it and hopefully improve it as time permits.

The app is suitable for Android-powered smartphones and tablets with an operating system of 5.0 or later.

Download the Android version of The Batavian app by clicking here.

October 26, 2017 - 10:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

Download our new app for iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod) to easily access the latest local news wherever you are. Get notifications for breaking and other important news.


September 26, 2017 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

In the first day of its availability, more than 100 people have downloaded our new app for iPhone and iPad. Now it's your turn.

To learn more about the app, click here.

September 25, 2017 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, news.

Today, The Batavian is releasing its new mobile app for the iOS platform (iPhones and iPads). You can download it through this link from your iOS device.

This is a completely homegrown app. I decided two years ago I could no longer ignore mobile publishing.

My initial impulse was to try and raise money for development, but as that started looking really difficult, I weighed that difficulty (and spending a lot of time with an uncertain outcome) against just writing all the code myself. The actual code writing started 18 months ago. First I built all the backend (server stuff) to support the app (building the Deal of the Day program was a "getting my feet wet again in programming" exercise), then eight months ago I started building the actual app.

It was every bit as hard as I anticipated, which is why I had avoided the idea for years, especially going through two eye surgeries and now a dislocated knee.  

The future of news is mobile. It makes a lot of sense. People with smartphones and tablets always have the world with them, including their local community, and they like to check in frequently to find out what's going on. On the other hand, local news on mobile is still a specialty product, a niche. I think the website is going to be our dominant news and business promotion platform for several years yet, but I also don't want to lose out to mobile when it becomes a bigger part of how people access local news.

The people interested in mobile news, studies show, want fast, smooth access to check the latest headlines. The Batavian's new mobile app is designed to meet that need for those people looking for a fast and convenient mobile news experience. We've streamlined news delivery and what we ask in return is that those who use the app regularly pay just $2 a month for a subscription.

We also use the app to help promote local businesses. Our shoplocal.thebatavian.com local business directory is featured on the app. The directory is now only a framework for the long-term goal of creating a model for business-promotion-as-a-service for mobile and social networking, to bring local readers and local businesses together in a friendly, safe and mutually beneficial environment.

For those on Android: I don't expect to have the Android version of the app completed anytime soon. I'm guessing three months or a little longer. Most of the code that makes the iOS app is the same for Android as it is for iOS, but there are some significant differences to work through. I have some other business tasks to attend to while continuing to cover local news, so my available time for coding is limited.

Download the iOS app.

August 1, 2017 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

You might have noticed I've not had a byline on the site the past three days.

Friday evening while hitting golf balls, while in my back swing, I felt a pop in my left knee and fell to the ground in pain. Billie took me to the emergency room. It looks like a slight tear to the meniscus and fluid on the knee. Since then, it's been really tough to walk. I'm stuck at home and can't get up stairs.

Billie just moved my computer downstairs so I can start doing some work again.

Hopefully, I'll be back to normal in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, it's going to be hard for me to get out and cover things. We've got a cast of freelancers to help with coverage, but my work will be confined to what I can do without leaving the house.

We like to keep people informed of things going on that affect the normal flow of coverage, so that's the story in this case.


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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

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