Online News. Community Views.

Recent comments

Community Sponsors


December 9, 2017 - 7:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Adam Miller Toys & Bicycles, batavia, news, business, downtown.


Carter McClellan, 15 months old, wasn't too happy during his first visit with Santa today at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle.

Santa visited Adam Miller so the store could provide a free visit and a chance to get pictures with Santa for customers who came in the store today.

Penelope Ortiz, 18 months, below, was also a little unsure of the Santa thing, but didn't cry.

Chase McClellan, 7, was quite ready to let Santa know what tops his Christmas wish list.




December 9, 2017 - 7:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, batavia, business, news.


Bill Hume popped up in Falleti Ice Arena today with a "pop up store" for Foxprowl.

It's the second time he's set up a retail location in Falleti and he said later this month he will do what he's calling a "flash store" inside Record Revival on East Main Street.

Earlier this year, Hume shut down his permanent retail store at Jackson and Main, Batavia, but sees the trend for "pop up stores," which are common in metropolitan areas, as something he would like to see catch on Batavia.

December 9, 2017 - 4:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, business, richmond library, computers.

Press release:

Once again Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia will be offering a series of computer classes designed for those who are finally ready to take the plunge and learn the ins and outs of computers and those who would like to improve their computer skills. There is no charge.

Registration is required and can be done by stopping at the library or calling 343-9550.;

The library is located at 19 Ross St.

Email Start to Finish: from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m on Tuesday, Jan. 16

  • Learn about email and sign up for a new account, if desired. If you already have an email address log into it and let’s get the most from it.

​​Windows 10: from 1 to 4 p.m.​ on Tuesday, Jan. 16

  • Introduction to Windows 10, the latest operating system from Microsoft. Use our machine or bring your Windows 10 machine.

Facebook Combo: from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18

  • Learn about Facebook and sign up for an account, if desired. If you already have an account, let’s get the most from it.

​Gadgets and Gear/Open Access: from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18

  • Bring your questions and gadgets! Ereaders, phones, laptops, tablets!

Gaga for Google! Cut, Copy, Paste!: from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 5

  • Do you use Google? This powerful tool is more than a search engine! We’ll explore some of its many uses. Please note: This class is for people who are very comfortable using the Internet, and also navigating Web pages. We will also copy information from the Internet into the Microsoft Word program.

Internet Resources: Safety, Security, Fun!: from 1 to 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 5

  • Take your Internet experience to the next level! Examine Youtube, Twitter, Wikipedia, and your Library Catalog! Help keep your computer, yourself, and your loved ones safer while surfing. Class includes Downloadables with Apps.

Flash Drives/File Management: from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6

  • This class focuses on saving, moving, and retrieving any file on a Windows-based computer. We will learn how to add new folders to the computer, and rename both folders and individual files, with a focus on saving, renaming and deleting documents.
December 9, 2017 - 3:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in tompkins financial corporation, business.

Press release:

Tompkins Financial Corporation has named Abby Peterson as Marketing Communications Manager.

Peterson will be responsible for overseeing the marketing communications efforts for Tompkins Financial’s four community banks: Tompkins Bank of Castile in Western NY, Tompkins Trust Company in Central NY, Tompkins Mahopac Bank in the Hudson Valley, and Tompkins VIST Bank in Southeastern Pennsylvania. She will be based in the company’s Ithaca headquarters.

“Abby's experience in the marketing industry, her time with Tompkins Financial and her deep commitment to our communities and customers will allow her to excel in this roll," said Susan Valenti, EVP, Marketing, Sales and Service. "I look forward to her continued contribution to our organization."

Prior to joining Tompkins as a Marketing Communications Business Partner in 2016, Peterson served as a marketing and public relations specialist at Hagan Associates in Vermont, where she planned and managed marketing and public relations initiatives for multiple clients. She received her bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Ithaca College in 2011 and has resided in Ithaca with her wife since 2013.

Peterson is an active member in the community and serves on the Downtown Ithaca Alliance Board of Directors and marketing committees, and the Historic Ithaca Development Committee. She is also a Leadership Tompkins Graduate, and Fab5 Planning Committee Member/Tompkins Trust Company Representative.

About Tompkins Financial Corporation

Tompkins Financial Corporation is a financial services company serving the Central, Western, and Hudson Valley regions of New York and the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania. Headquartered in Ithaca, Tompkins Financial is parent to Tompkins Trust Company, Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Mahopac Bank, Tompkins VIST Bank, Tompkins Insurance Agencies Inc., and offers wealth management services through Tompkins Financial Advisors.

For more information on Tompkins Financial, visit

December 9, 2017 - 3:15pm

Press release:

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, in collaboration with Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, will be offering a CDL Training Program for Genesee County agriculture producers and their employees for Class A and Class B licenses.

This training program is designed for producers and farm employees that have some experience with commercial truck operation.

An informational meeting will be held on Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension building at 420 E. Main St., Batavia.

This meeting will explain how the program works and answer any questions you may have. The required training materials and medical forms will be passed out at this time.

Classroom instruction dates are Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Cornell Cooperative Extension building in Batavia. Drive time will be scheduled with the instructor at a later date.

Full payment (check or cash) is due at the class on Jan. 31st. The cost for Class A is $625 and the cost for Class B is $475.

Class size is limited. Registration is required and will be accepted until Jan. 23rd or until the class is full.

For more information or to register, contact Jan Berlinger at 343-3040, ext. 132 or Brandie Waite at ext. 101.

December 7, 2017 - 4:09pm

Clean Cut Barbershop in the City of Batavia is offering $5 off a haircut from Dec. 12-16 IF you donate a new, unwrapped toy or gift suitable for a child age 6 months to 16 years old.

The donations received will benefit the nonprofit Hillside Children's Center in Batavia (located at 50 City Centre).

Bring your donation to the city's newest barbershop at 466 Ellicott St.

Co-owner Joey Williams says the guys there are "always looking to spread love in the city and do positive things for kids."

The event that starts next Tuesday will add to their list of good deeds, which also includes giving away back-to-school supplies, breast cancer awareness month events, customer appreciation days and more.

"We want to make this event as big and impactful as possible," Williams says.

December 7, 2017 - 10:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in The Manor House, batavia, news, business.


Braelynn Cook, 4, received a free scarf from Leanne Mullen, owner of Tahoe Pines Custom Sewing and Design, yesterday during the St. Nick’s Christmas Bazaar at the Manor House.

This was the first year the Manor House hosted the bazaar and Braelynn was there with her mother, another vendor, and Mullen thought she deserved a scarf​ for being a good girl during the event.

The bazaar was open to the community as well as Manor House residents to help with Christmas shopping.



December 7, 2017 - 10:00am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in Parson's Place, news, Attica, business.


When 25-year-old Nikki McMahon’s grandmother was reaching retirement, she decided last month to take over Parson’s Place, a Christian book and gifts store her grandmother started in Attica.

Sally Harding, McMahon’s grandmother, launched the business in 1991. It's located at 11157 Alexander Road on Route 98. McMahon started working for her grandmother during busy seasons and breaks during schooling.

“I’ve been around Parson’s Place my whole life,” McMahon said. “I wanted to see this place go on. I didn’t want to see it end with her.”

McMahon has traveled to Europe, lived in North Carolina and Florida for a period of time, but grew up in Attica, down the street from her grandmother.

After taking over the business, McMahon decided that she wanted to create more of an online presence for the store.

“I’ve been posting on Facebook more,” McMahon said. “We are also on Google now. So, when you search ‘Christian Book Stores’ Parson’s Place shows up. It’s been helping a lot.”

More things are also being added online to their website, located here, including an online store.

“I’m hoping we have a more thriving online store eventually,” McMahon said.

McMahon is trying to think outside the box with advertising and other things to get the word out about the store. An open house was held a couple weeks ago, which was popular, McMahon said.

“I’m just hoping to bring in some newer things,” McMahon said. “I’m focusing on inspirational gifts rather than books. Even though we do still have the books, the gifts are more popular right now. I want to bring the influence of the next generation into the store.”

McMahon said being a young business owner is a lot more work than she anticipated.

“Honestly, it’s great working for myself,” McMahon said. “It's rewarding and I love talking to customers that come into the store.”

Parson’s Place is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

“My grandma opened this store as a source of inspiration in ministry for Western New York,” McMahon said. “I intend to do the same for as long as I can.”

December 6, 2017 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, business.

Press release:

According to the findings of a new poll commissioned by Batavia Downs Gaming, Western New Yorkers overwhelming believe that all gaming facilities in Western New York should be taxed at the same level. Sixty-nine percent of Western New Yorkers support changing the tax code to ensure tax fairness. In addition, twice as many respondents see Batavia Downs as a benefit to the local community.

“As the only municipally owned gaming facility in New York State, Batavia Downs Gaming is not only a strong economic driver for Western New York, but it provides critical funding for community development which creates jobs, keeps Western New York families safe and helps to offset tax increases for residents,” said Michael Nolan, chief operation officer of Batavia Downs Gaming WROTB.

“Unfortunately, Batavia Downs Gaming is losing critically needed revenue because we pay the highest tax rate of any Western New York gaming facility. As this survey demonstrates, Western New Yorkers understand the positive impact we have on the community and want to see a change in the tax code to ensure tax fairness.”

This survey was conducted Dec. 2-3, with a margin of error of +/- 2.12 percent, with a 95 percent level of confidence. 2,133 likely 2018 general election voters who live in the 15 Western New York counties that own and operate Batavia Downs Gaming participated in the survey.

The full survey, complete with crosstabs and methodology, can be viewed here.


Buffalo News: OTB chief: Higher tax at Batavia Downs means lower payments to local WNY governments
Niagara Gazette: OTB officials make case for lower tax rate
Buffalo News Column: Another Voice: Publicly owned gaming facility is taxed unfairly


December 5, 2017 - 3:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, business, ferrellgas.

Press release:

As a company that serves the propane needs of hundreds of local homes, businesses, and farms, Ferrellgas knows a thing or two about keeping the members of this community warm.

This year, the company is once again asking local residents to partner with them to spread even more warmth throughout the area.

Now through Jan.12, Ferrellgas is collecting new and gently used coats, hats, scarves, and gloves and putting them in the hands of the less fortunate members of our community.

Donations can be given to Ferrellgas drivers or brought to the Ferrellgas office at 655 Ellicott St. At the end of the coat drive, Ferrellgas will donate items collected to one or more local charities.

“Dropping off that coat you’ve had in the back of your closet or a new pair of mittens may seem like a small thing to do, but it can have a big impact in the lives of our fellow community members," said Douglas Muha, Ferrellgas general manager. "For some families, a warm coat is a luxury that cannot be taken for granted, and we are grateful for all the donations that will be collected to meet this critical need."

Muha said his team has once again selected Community Action as the beneficiary of the local Ferrellgas’ office’s coat-collection efforts.

Local residents do NOT have to be Ferrellgas customers to participate in the donation drive.

For more information about this effort, please visit

December 5, 2017 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Valu Home Center, batavia, news, business.


The staff at Valu Home Center in Valu Plaza, Batavia, are looking to spread Christmas cheer to those who might need a little extra help this holiday season. They've set up a donation box and Christmas tree they're asking people to help decorate with a new hat, scarf, gloves or socks.

Submitted Photo: Store Manager Barbara Nichols, Floor Manager Amber Stearns, associates Hunter Lin and Maureen Smith, and Project Director Jeff Donahue.

December 4, 2017 - 10:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in business.

Press release:

Hodgins Engraving today (Dec. 4) announced Becky Almeter has been named President, effective immediately. As President, Almeter will have responsibility for all company operations and will report directly to outgoing President, Bob Hodgins.

“We are privileged to have Becky on board.  Her energy, enthusiasm, and industry knowledge will help us take the company to the next level” former-President Bob Hodgins said. “I couldn’t be more proud to turn over the operations of the company I have nurtured for 34 years, to Becky.” Bob will remain with the company in an advisory capacity.

Almeter, 34, is an 11-year veteran of Hodgins Engraving and has served as General Manager since 2014. 

Since coming to Hodgins Engraving in 2007, Almeter has held various positions including Production Manager and Customer Service Manager. She has also played a major role in overseeing the company’s efforts in restructuring their online presence.

In addition, Almeter has been instrumental in leading the company through a new production management and CRM software implementation. Under Almeter’s leadership, Hodgins Engraving has shown continuous improvement in their internal operations and customer service capabilities.

“I am excited and honored to continue my family’s tradition of entrepreneurship. I look forward to continuing to provide all of the excellent products and services that the Hodgins name has become associated with through the work of my father, Bob, and grandfather, John,” Almeter said. “I am privileged to work with a great team of people who make this job fun and fulfilling every day, and I am excited for our future.”

About Becky Almeter

Becky Almeter has been with Hodgins Engraving since 2007. She holds bachelor’s degrees in International Relations and Spanish from Eckerd College. 

About Hodgins Engraving

Hodgins Engraving, located in Batavia (NY) is an industry-leading international producer of high-end, custom print products. 


December 1, 2017 - 10:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Auto Wash, batavia, business, news.


A third-generation carwash operator is breathing new life into a car wash on West Main Street Road, Batavia, that has sat empty and unused for years.

Bobby Marchenese, whose family has long operated a car wash in Canandaigua, said he and his crew are replacing all of the equipment in the car wash with the latest high-tech car-washing machines.

This is the fifth location for Marchenese. Besides Canandaigua, he has locations in Tonawanda and Geneva and will soon open a location in Auburn.

"We had our eye on the market for a while," Marchenese said. "We tried to contact the previous owner several times, no response, then we noticed the for sale sign one day so we called and we were able to put a deal together."

The location operates under the brand name Auto Wash and Marchenese believes he and his team will have the facility ready for its first wash within three weeks.

The car wash will be fully automated. When vehicles pull in, a computer will profile the vehicle's height so the wash area can be adjusted. This eliminates the need to hand-prep the car for the wash. The machines themselves are variable speed with soft starts. All of the lighting is LED.

"We will have the most energy-efficient car wash out there," Marchenese said. 

The end of the wash is fully automated, too.

"With the advanced technology we’ll be using we won’t actually towel dry cars,"  Marchenese said. "We have an automated drying system at the end of the car wash after the blowers, so that will dry the vehicle as it goes through."

Photo: Greg Farkas, Ryan Schmeer, Bobby Marchenese, and Zach Letta. Letta will manage the Batavia location.

November 27, 2017 - 5:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Olympia Sports, business, batavia.


Olympia Sports, a national retail chain with a location in the Tops Plaza, is closing its Batavia location.

November 25, 2017 - 3:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia's original, batavia, business, news.


Kathy Ferrara, with her husband, Dan, children Marygrace, Daniel, Ashley, and grandson Brently, celebrated her purchase of Batavia's Original earlier this week.

After thanking the community, employees, and her family for their support, there was a ribbon cutting outside.

Previously: Batavia's Original, formerly Pontillo's, returns to local ownership

Note about the ribbon-cutting pictures. I messed up and forgot to change my camera settings when we shifted from inside to outside, so my ribbon-cutting photo was overexposed. Below there is a picture from the Kelly Birmingham of the Chamber of Commerce, and my photo in black and white.



November 25, 2017 - 3:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Shop Local, news.


Sue Schultz checks out, with the help of Michael Mugler, her purchases at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle this afternoon on Shop Small Saturday, a day promoted nationally to encourage shopping at locally owned businesses.

Locally owned retail businesses are critical to healthy local communities. Small business owners provide the support communities need to thrive and more of the money spent at a locally owned business stays in the local community to help the local economy grow.

For more:

  • Grow Your Own (PDF) by the Kansas City Federal Reserve (A guide for local communities on promoting support for small, local businesses)
  • The Shop Local Ripple Effect, by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance

For a directory of locally owned businesses, visit

Andrea Karas and Kasey Woodhouse shopping at Pollyanna and Dot and The Hidden Door.


Gerald Diskin shopping for shoes at Batavia Bootery with Kevin Stone.

November 22, 2017 - 10:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Main St. Pizza Company, batavia, business, news.


Today, Vic Marchese, owner of Main St. Pizza Company, presented a $3,309 donation to Genesee Cancer Assistance. The funds were raised in October through the sale of large pizzas -- delivered in a pink pizza box -- with $1 from each large pizza sold going to the charity.

Pictured, Fred Hamilton, Lori Kurek, Sue Underwood, Nickie Fazio, and Vic Marchese.

November 22, 2017 - 3:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, steve hawley, Small business Saturday.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“As we kick off the bustling holiday season on Black Friday, it is important to consider shopping at some of our locally owned, small businesses this weekend for Small Business Saturday," Hawley said. "The dedicated men and women that own and operate these businesses take pride in the products they sell and are crucial in growing our local economy.

“As a small business owner/operator for several decades, I know firsthand the trials and tribulations of our state’s business owners and have strived to become their voice in Albany. By patronizing these tremendous companies this weekend you will undoubtedly take part in helping to create local jobs, stimulate our economy and make Western New York a fantastic place to do business.”

November 22, 2017 - 11:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pontillo's, batavia's original, batavia, business, news, notify.


As friends and customers have found out her plans, people have told Kathy Ferrara, "This must have been your dream all along" -- becoming owner of Batavia's Original.

That's not the case, said Ferrara yesterday, hours after closing a deal with the previous owner, Jeff Reddish, of Rochester, to buy the popular local restaurant.

"I never planned on buying it," Ferrara said. "I just enjoyed what I did. I did it 100 percent. I was trustworthy. This wasn’t my plan. It was definitely that God wanted me here. I’ve tried leaving a couple of times and He made it really clear that this is where I’m supposed to be. He made this happen so only good things are going to come from that."

Before Batavia's Original was Batavia's Original, it was Pontillo's, Batavia's first pizza parlor, and Ferrara started working for Sam and Betty Pontillo 29 years ago as a waitress.

Sam and Betty, she said, took her under their wings and taught her the pizza business from top to bottom. She was trained in every job in the restaurant.

By the time Sam and Betty's sons took over, she was a manager.  

When that business collapsed in 2010, Ferrara was the one who broke the news to the staff.

When Reddish bought the business and the building at 500 E. Main St. out of bankruptcy, it was Ferrara that Reddish called to run the business.

"Jeff Reddish taught me the ins and outs of the business," Ferrara said. "He taught me how to make payroll and meet food costs together. He was a good teacher. He was great to work for, a really good boss, fair, basically let me do things the way we've been doing all these years."

Earlier this year, Ferrara asked Reddish, who owns restaurants in Rochester, if she could become a partner in the Batavia location.

"He wasn’t looking to sell," Ferrara said. "He wasn’t going to put it on the market. That wasn’t in his plan at all. I approached him and he said ‘I’m not looking to sell, but I would sell it to you.’ He’s the one who got the ball rolling and made it happen.”

Ferrara is a graduate of Pembroke High School and Genesee Community College. She is married with three children, Ashley, Mary-Grace, and Daniel, and one grandson.

Local ownership of the restaurant is important to Ferrara, she said. She will have more control over local promotions, support of local charities and organizations, and who she hires as vendors.

"Now that it is locally owned again, that makes a big difference," Ferrara said. "Everybody I’ve dealt with so far, the website designer, maintenance, plumbers, they’re all local. So everything is back local, in Genesee County, so that only helps the community."

She will keep the name, Batavia's Original, picked after Reddish learned he couldn't retain the name Pontillo's. Ferrara said it only makes sense.

"This is the original pizza of Batavia," she said. "It’s the same recipe. We haven’t changed any of the recipes."

The return of Pontillo's/Batavia's Original to local ownership will be celebrated with a ribbon cutting at noon on Saturday.

Ferrara said she will also continue Sam and Betty's tradition of taking good care of the staff and ensuring restaurant guests get great service.

"Everybody is treated fairly," Ferrara said. "It’s a fun environment to work. I always work around their schedules. The staff is mostly college students and high schoolers."

Being able to do more for the staff of 35 employees is another reason Ferrara was motivated to buy the business, she said. Taking care of employees pays off in better customer service.

"Anybody who comes here to eat will always leave with a good experience," Ferrara said. "Everyone who works here gives 100 percent. I get compliments all day long about the staff. People say they look like they love it here and they do. That’s something the Pontillos taught me, is how to treat the staff. Sam and Betty treated everybody like family."

Photos by Steve Ognibene.


November 21, 2017 - 1:50pm

Press release:

Plans are already underway for the 16th Annual Celebrate Agriculture Dinner which will take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 17, at the Alexander Fire Hall. It is located at 10505 Main St. in Alexander.

This annual event is a celebration of Genesee County’s number one industry – Agriculture. The highlight of the night is a delicious meal using locally produced foods prepared by Penna’s Catering. The dinner is open to the public.

Tickets go on sale Dec. 1 at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce (8276 Park Road, Batavia). Tickets are $30 each or a table of 10 can be purchased for $275.  Sponsorships are also available which help support agriculture educational events in Genesee County. Only 400 tickets will be sold. Order your tickets now as they will not be available at the door.

The Celebrate Ag Dinner is coordinated by the following partners: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District and Genesee County Farm Bureau.

Sponsors of the 2017 celebration were: Alleghany Farm Services, Arctic Refrigeration, Carolina Eastern - Crocker, Clark Patterson Lee, CY Farms, Farm Credit East, Farm Family Insurance, Five Star Bank, Freed Maxick CPA, Helena Chemical Company, Lamb Farms, LandPro Equipment, My-T Acres, National Grid, Rochester Regional Health – UMMC, Scott Adams Trucking, Tompkins Bank of Castile/Insurance Agency, Torrey Farms, Wendel, William Kent, and Windy Acres Farm.

Farms and businesses that donated locally grown food or other items for the dinner included: Bonduelle, Farm Fresh First, Dairy Farmers of America, Fenton’s Produce, First Light Farm & Creamery, L-Brooke Farms, LaPoint’s Hill ‘n’ Hollow, Jeremy Neal, New York Pork Producers, O-AT-KA Milk, SJ Starowitz Farms, Torrey Farms, Upstate Niagara Cooperative and Yancey’s Fancy.

For ticket information contact the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce at 585-343-7440 or [email protected]


Subscribe to



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